Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

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Comments

  1. When did you go on maternity leave? :

    Just a quick poll…I’m getting a lot of surprised reactions that I’m still working at 39 weeks pregnant (except from people on my immediate team, who don’t think anything of this). I assumed most people worked until their baby came unless they had complications or were insanely uncomfortable. I’m not “comfortable” by any means, but I don’t want to use up my leave. What is the norm here?

    • Babyweight :

      I stayed both times until I went to the hospital. I wasn’t “wasting” days while babe was happy inside of me.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Baby was 11 days late, I was at work until the morning I went into labor. He was born the next day. Maternity leave is precious!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was in law school, but I attended class on Friday (10 days past my due date) and gave birth on Sunday.

      • Oh, SA, I just love this!!

        • Senior Attorney :

          Heh. It was ugly. I got so big people were afraid to get in the elevator with me. And when anybody asked when my due date was, I’d bare my teeth and snarl “LAST WEEK!”

    • I worked until I went into labor. Very happy with my decision too – it felt good to keep busy and take my mind off all the aches and discomforts of late-stage pregnancy, plus I got to maximize my time at home with the baby. And yes, people made lots of weird comments. It’s how they process their own mild sense of discomfort at something unusual perturbing their environment. The same way that if one of the printers makes a funny smell, every single person in the office will comment on it, often more than once.

    • Anonymous :

      When I hit 41 weeks, I left (and had the baby a day later; my induction had been scheduled for 2 days after that).

      I think some women get doctor’s notes to leave early which may be a medical leave instead of maternity leave, but I was as comfortable as you can be while pregnant so I didn’t ask. (Also I don’t think I could have convinced my midwife that I couldn’t work my office job, but could still go rock climbing at 40 wks pregnant).

    • Anonymous :

      I was sending emails while I was at the hospital waiting to be induced. As noted above, I wasn’t going to waste vacation/PTO days when baby was inside of me. Though I did work from home a lot toward the end.

    • Worked until the day before I went into labor.

    • I went to work 8 days past my due date and that was a Monday. My shoes didn’t fit anymore so I cleaned up my desk and said goodbye to my team and went into labor that evening.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Worked until my due date. Took about a week for the baby to arrive, so I was a little bored but also glad to not have to go to work.

    • Anonymous :

      Most people I know (law) worked until they went into labor or at least till their due date. I stopped a week before my due date and got some strange looks, but it was the right choice for me: I was having intense digestive issues that made commuting very difficult and necessitated going home mid day a number of times, work from home wasn’t an option, and it was much easier to have a set date to hand off my work. I had more paid and unpaid leave available than in my current job, though; in this job there’s also more work from home flexibility, so I might be stuck working up until the end. I delivered two days before my due date and was SO happy to be at home those last few days, but would have been pretty grumpy if the baby had been two weeks late.

    • Anonymous :

      The first time I worked while I was in labor (mostly sending emails that I would not be able to close a transaction because I was in labor), which was two days after my due date. The second time I worked until 10 pm the night before my scheduled induction on a Wednesday, which was one week after my due date. I was pretty miserable though on that Monday and Tuesday and at the time I wished that I was not working.

    • anonymous :

      worked up though my Friday due date – had baby on Monday-first day of leave.

    • Worked until 2 days prior to scheduled c section. But I had a very easy pregnancy (and no paid sick leave) so the ‘choice’ to work until the end was an easy one.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked up until the absolute end (2 hours before my water broke and a few hours on the morning of planned late-morning induction after I went past my due date). Saved my leave for the actual baby.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I stopped at 38 weeks, but the Canadian leave system is a bit more forgiving so there was less of a worry about “wasting” the time prior to the baby’s arrival.

    • I worked until the day before giving birth, both times. I did decline a court appearance for my second one near the end of my pregnancy and had a colleague cover for me because I was just feeling so uncomfortable and had outgrown most of my nicer looking maternity clothes — turned out I was in the hospital delivering the baby when the hearing was taking place. Good thing I didn’t go!

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      I planned to work up to the time I had the baby beause I wanted to save as much leave time as possible. My due date was on a Sunday and I ended up being late. I worked the following week until I decided that Thursday, I wans’t going back to work, baby or not. I delivered on Saturday morning. :-)

      In hindsight, I would have taken that last week off to relax.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked until 5 while having what I thought were the usual Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having off and on for weeks. Then I realized at around 6:30 I was actually in labor. I went to the hospital at 8:30 and delivered at 11 that same night. I’m glad I worked up until the last minute so I could save all my leave for time with my baby.

    • I told my employer at about 6 months pregnant that I was going to start my leave two weeks before my due date. All my supervising attorneys appreciated having a date certain. No one cared that I was starting leave two weeks before baby was due to arrive. I’m glad I left when I did. It gave me some time to decompress from work and relax before baby was born. It was like a two week vacation, but filled with doing last minute errands around the house.

      • Anon also :

        I kept it open ended until about a month before my due date, but I ended up with my last official day 6 business days before my due date. At that point I was going to the doctor twice a week, was exhausted and still had a million things to do before the baby got here and had no reason to prove my worth by going into labor at work. It also let me hand things over at reasonable points, rather than frantically try to wrap up.

        I ended up working a few days the next week, until at least one client and one of the partners I work with told me to put down my laptop and phone and stop.

        Baby was a few days late, so I ended up having a week to just chill out and putter (slowly). I think it really helped in recovering from birth.

    • I worked until I went into labor both times. My first kid came at 36 weeks, so it was a definite surprise. Second came on time. I was working from home when pregnant so that made it MUCH easier to be comfortable right until the end. I also had easy/complication free pregnancies.

    • I ended up having to have a c-section two weeks before my due date. I went from work to the doctor’s appointment where they told me I was going to have to have the baby now, went back to work and cleaned everything up, went home and had the baby the next morning.

      I had no desire to sit home waiting, burning up leave. I would have worked up till the day I had the baby even if I had gone overdue.

    • 2 weeks late with my first. I worked until my due date. If I’d known I was going to be late I’d have worked longer but due to the nature of my work, I needed a certain leave date.

      On time with my second but my OB kept telling me I was going to go into labor early so I let her disable me at 38 weeks. I really was very uncomfortable and my feet were so swollen she described them as “sausages.”

      Same with my 3rd. 2 weeks before my due date.

      For me, I had state disability so as long as the doc said I was disabled I got paid. They can disable you up to 4 weeks before birth depending on your symptoms. It was fine with me. Although I was bored, it didn’t count against my leave days and I really was in no shape to commute. (Working at my desk would have been ok. But standing on BART, not so much)

    • I was in biglaw with my first, where our STD policy covered leave beginning two weeks before your due date. My maternity leave (18 weeks) did not begin until my son was born, so I was not wasting any PTO. Also, he was due in February in New England, and I commuted via public transit, which became increasingly treacherous with snow. With my second, I worked on my due date, which was my last day of work. I had a replacement starting the following Monday. My daughter was 10 days late. With both, I ended up having time to myself at home before the kiddo was born. I really enjoyed that time resting, cooking and relaxing but could have easily worked until each was born.

    • Anonymous :

      I was planning to work until I went into labor but did cut out between 41 and 42 weeks (when I was finally induced). It was a Friday, I was 41.5 weeks pregnant, and I was like, I just don’t want to come back Monday. I had no paid leave except a few sick/vacation days so was trying to hoard it, but at that point I felt like I had earned a day off.

    • First baby, worked until 2 days past my due date, had baby a week later. I was exhausted and crabby and appreciated the time to relax a bit before the baby arrived. I had flexibility with my leave though. Second baby, I don’t remember!

    • lawsuited :

      I plan to start maternity leave on my due date (or when the baby comes, whichever is first). My baby is already enormous at 36 weeks, so if I go past term I think I’m going to be extremely uncomfortable as getting to and from work and moving around the office is already a strain.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I think everyone is different, so do what works for you. My first trimester was BY FAR the worst part of both my pregnancies due to nausea. Since I felt good, I didn’t really change my daily routine much (aside from switching up the type of exercise I do) until I went into labor. I went into labor once in the law library during law school and once while at work. But I think I had pretty easy pregnancies and everyone is different.

    • lucy stone :

      I planned to start mat leave two days before my due date. I ended up going two weeks late so I got approval from my boss to work from home until I delivered.

    • I worked till my due date with both pregnancies.

      I was mentally and physically fine, why waste days?

    • I’m 35 weeks and I’m working up until my due date. I would probably leave at 38 weeks if I could, but my PTO/short term disability benefits aren’t that generous. I’m physically okay but I’m not as mentally present at work as normal. I don’t think there is anything wrong with working up until the due date though, it’s all personal preference.

  2. Anonymous :

    I don’t know if anyone remembers this but I am the woman who posted a couple months ago asking whether or not my relationship looked like it was emotionally abusive. I had never told anyone in my real life some of those things but last night I finally opened up to one of my closest friends and her reaction, and the reactions of other friends have cemented for me that my relationship isn’t good for me. I am going to see him this weekend and bring up these issues. When even my assistant is suggesting that I should take a break and my closest friends, who don’t even know all of the things I shared here, tell me I need to get out and find somebody else, I think I know what I need to do. I just hope I am strong enough to say what I need to say.

    • Senior Attorney :

      What are you going to say? I hope it is “goodbye.”

      If he is abusive it is vanishingly unlikely that he is going to change his ways. And I don’t want to be a Debbie Downer, but my marriage got a lot worse when I started speaking up about my ex’s bad behavior. You deserve better than this and there are better men out there. Get out and get some therapy! And report back when you’ve done it!

    • If you’re not married, this shouldn’t even be a question. Get out. (And if you are married, I have the same advice, but the path would be more complex than just one conversation this weekend). It doesn’t seem like you plan to make your conversation with him an actual break-up… am I right? If you’re planning on going in with even the tiniest feeling that you can mend things/he will change, he’s going to convince you to stay.

      • anonymous :

        to follow up… do you live together? Do you have to see him in person? Every time I hear someone saying they’re going to have an in-person conversation and they hope they can be strong in the moment, all I think is…”oh, so they want to be convinced they should stay”. Can you have this conversation not in-person?

        • anonymous :

          this comment was so beyond helpful for me, thank you. Not the OP but struggling too and this gave me really helpful insight to think about why I think as I do and why it might be bad for me.

    • Why aren’t you planning to break up with him?

      I worry that someone who is realizing they have been emotionally abused for a long time without being comfortable to bring it up with close friends may not be strong enough to manage a “discussion” with the abuser about his behavior.

      • anonymous :

        this is very helpful, thank you.

      • Anon4this :

        I’m the Anon4This below. I hid all of this from my friends too. I wasn’t myself. I wasn’t enjoying the things I used to enjoy because I was always afraid of the fallout of my actions or my words. Once I started to share a few things with them towards the end and they immediately said break up with him, FWIW.

    • Anon4this :

      Once I accepted that I was being emotionally abused by my ex bf, I knew I had to break up with him. He claimed to be blindsided despite me having expressed concern about certain things and asking him to stop doing certain things (aka screaming at me and using derogatory names to describe actions from my past). Once he realized I was serious, he begged me to change my mind, that he would change, that he didn’t realize what he was doing, etc. I made the mistake of entertaining giving him another chance and, no surprise to anyone, he reverted. I had my first panic attack in over 7 years and I made the decision that day to cut off contact and I have. He continues to try to reach out to me over a year later, but I never respond. I can’t bring myself to interact with him to tell him to stop, so I filter his emails to their own folder which I never look at and I donate the flowers to a hospital. I hope some day it will stop.

      All that was to say, please, please end it and do not allow him to weasel his way back into your life.

      • Anon4this :

        eg not aka – EDIT button!!.

      • If you’ve never read “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker, he confirms that you are doing the exact right thing – no contact is so much better than replying to tell him to stop. If you reply, no matter what your words say, all your ex will hear is “it took one year of flowers to get this response, now I know how to keep her engaged.”

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I say this as someone who tried to have that conversation many, many times: emotionally abusive men don’t want to hear that they’re emotionally abusive. They want to keep abusing the person- and you really, really, really, really, really don’t want the abuse to be something he can then start abusing you about.

      Leaving is hard. It’s really, really hard. Leaving sucked. It took me probably a dozen times to actually get out. I’ve been out a year, and my life is so much better. When I got out, I just said “This is enough, I’m done.” I didn’t try to have another conversation begging him to change, because he wouldn’t.

      Conversations I had with my ex: “X, you’re abusing me. Stop.” “I’m abusing YOU? You’re abusing me by saying I’m abusing you! How dare you! You are so crazy, to say I’m the abusive one, all I do is deal with YOUR crazy behavior, I can’t believe you.” “You’re right, I’m sorry, I’ll do better, we both have things to work on.” Obviously summarized, but the gist.
      “X, you act in these ways and it makes me feel X.” “I wouldn’t have to act like that if you weren’t so (needy, clingy, crazy, emotional, depressed, weak, abusive, terrible, cruel, mean to me, insert insult here).” “Well, let’s talk about that, can you tell me how I’m (insult)?” “If you don’t know, I can’t help you, I can’t deal with you anymore.” “I’m so sorry, I don’t want you to feel like I’m (insult). How can I do better?”
      “X, you got drunk and screamed at me. I was afraid you were going to hit me.” “I was just drunk, I am so sorry, I feel so terrible, I can’t believe I did that, I am so sorry, you are making me feel so terrible, it will never happen again, why are you making me feel so bad, it will never happen again (cry cry cry cry cry).” “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel so terrible, it scared me and I wanted you to know it wasn’t okay.” “You told me that, je*us, stop rubbing it in, I’m a terrible person, huh?” “No, you’re not! (Reassure reassure reassure).”

      Conversations about abuse with abusive men do not end the abuse. I wouldn’t have it. If he’s abusing you, break it off. Don’t make it a topic of conversation. Before you have it, I would absolutely read Why Does He Do That.

      • anonymous :

        ordering this book now, if i can afford it, thank you. for all of this. thank you.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          If you can’t afford it, email me at SydneyBristowe*t*t*e at gmail (without the *s) and I’ll buy you an ebook version.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I got it from my library’s Ebook service- also a possibility. I could therefore read it on my phone with no one knowing I was reading it. Lundy Bancroft, the author, also has a blog- I found it useful.

          • anonymous :

            https://www.pdf-archive.com/2014/08/24/why-does-he-do-that/why-does-he-do-that.pdf

            found this via g00gle search, not sure about the legalities, if any, but wanted to make sure everyone who wanted it had access.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG I had all those conversations (except very very very few that included the words “I’m sorry”)!

        I’m coming back to tell the OP it took me three tries (three times hiring a lawyer) to actually make the break. So if you don’t manage to do it this time (and I hope you do!) don’t be ashamed or afraid to come back here for support!

      • I’m a man who recently left an abusive marriage. Your quotes above sound like something I could have written. What’s bad for the goose is equally bad for the gander.

        • Anonymous :

          Men read this site?

          Why?

          • anonymous :

            f*ck you, stop undermining people on this website. Whatever the reason this person comes here, he made a good point. G, I hope you’re doing well and please know, no one here is claiming women cannot be harmful or abusive, it’s simply that this is a site that’s almost completely female based, so most interactions are female/male (though of course female abuse in same s3x relationships occur as well).

          • Was the swearing necessary?

            I was also a little bit unsettled to see a man posting.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Maybe more men should read here so they have an idea what women are dealing with. I have learned so much about the world outside of my bubble from reading here. I also read blogs that don’t relate to me just because I want to learn. I read parenting blogs and I don’t have kids.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Wow it’s chilling how familiar these convos are (with my ex). I also tried to leave… maybe six or seven times? Before it finally stuck.

        One thing that helped the final time was telling everyone — like my mom, my brother, everyone — that we broke up (not necessarily why, that was mostly for friends) because it made it a more official break in my head.

    • Hoping you are still reading this, is there one friend IRL you could show your 2 posts to and say help? I would hate to think a friend was going through this and couldn’t tell me….. some practical support might make the difference and although if you were my friend I’d really want you out and safe, I’d also get that like Senior Attorney says, it might take more than one try. Much strength to you!

  3. Babyweight :

    Side hustles.
    Anyone else have a side hustle? What is it?

    I write novels under a pen name. I’d love to swap ideas with you on balancing corporate life, family life, and starting fledgling non-MLM business.

    I know our fearless leader Cat did this years ago when she started this as an anonymous blog (that gave me happiness during my time as a young associate).

    (as for me you can find my books here — https://www.amazon.com/Plus-One-Pig-Barley-Book-ebook/dp/B01N5R2Z3N/)

    • I teach yoga part time outside of my day job.

      It’s not a ton of money — I teach a class (sometimes two) a week, but it’s some extra cash and something that bring me joy.

      • If you don’t mind my asking (pls ignore me if you do) – how much money is that type of thing and in what kind of area (MCOL; HCOL). Always thought it was a cool idea but wonder if it’d be worthwhile.

        • I don’t mind at all! I just started last July, so I’m still growing my presence/business. YMMV, but here’s what my area is like:

          I’m in a MCOL area. I’m basically in a far DC suburb (people here commute into NOVA, but not usually to DC proper). Yoga is kind of a thing, but it’s a conservative area, so it’s not as popular as the Bay Area or NYC or anything.

          My regular teaching gig is with the studio I did my teacher training through. It cost me $2400, which I deducted on my taxes this year. I didn’t buy any new equipment to teach, because I was already doing yoga pretty regularly. This year I’m saving receipts for clothes, props, books, etc for deductions.

          At my main studio, you get a price per head. This, it seems, is pretty standard for actual yoga studios. Gyms tend to give you a flat rate. If I teach my regular class, I get $5/head, no limit. If I teach a $5 happy hour class, I get $3/head, no limit (I’m teaching one of those tonight). I’ve got a loyal little following of students, and tend to average about 10-15 per class.

          With my schedule (teach one class a week, usually sub a few times a month) I usually average about $250-300/mo. I stick about half of that back for taxes, though I don’t end up owing that much. I basically ends up being my Starbucks/eating out for lunch because I was too lazy to pack/Oh man Sephora is having a sale! kind of money. I don’t budget it for necessities.

          I have teacher friends who do this as a more full-time or half time hustle. Usually they’ve got private students (I don’t do one-on-one instruction), do workshops (not me!) and teach way more per week than I do.

          For me, it’s worth it for a few reasons: the studio I teach at is five minutes from my office, so I’m not going out of my way. I’ve been practicing forever, and practice regularly outside of teaching (every morning or evening, depending), so planning class doesn’t take me a ton of time, because I’m pretty much incorporating what I’m doing in my own practice. And even if I had decided not to teach, I was interested in taking the training for my own edification as a student (I learned a lot about poses, got a lot of one-on-one work, and learned I had been doing chaturanga wrong for many, many years).

          • midling yogi :

            THIS IS SO INTERESTING

            Thanks for this. I’ve always been curious about the mechanics of yoga teaching.

          • Anonymous :

            This sounds like an awesome side hustle!

          • No problem! It’s not something you’re going to make a great living at unless you’re Kino McGregor, etc. My friends who make it work live simply, don’t have student debt, etc.

            And since I’m a kind of chubby lawyer in a down market location, I’ve got some very realistic expectations.

            I also forgot to mention: I get free yoga classes at my studio for teaching. And I do spend a whopping $200/yr on yoga teacher insurance.

      • Anonymous :

        Similar; I coach CrossFit and will be getting spin certified this year (a friend is opening a studio and asked me to)

        • I am in awe of you CrossFit people! I’m pretty strong (we’re a power-style yoga studio) and I like to lift, but the running would kill me. Kudos to you! :)

          • Anonymous :

            I mostly don’t run – I’ve been recovering from a knee issue. But I love having the excuse. ;)

        • Fellow CFer :

          What’s your day job? I’m a lawyer and would kill to coach CF or weightlifting. So much more fun than billing hours.

          • Anonymous :

            I do public affairs for the federal government. :-) I love my day job, but coaching is fun for me and while the money is a bonus, I do it because I truly enjoy doing it! I couldn’t do it full time though – my friends who do that have some trouble making it a lifestyle in our HCOL area, even the salaried ones.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Years ago I did something similar — I taught a couple of kids’ karate classes. It was super fun even though I made almost no money. I did it through the dojo at which I trained and I got paid a little bit per class, plus free classes and access to equipment and uniforms at wholesale prices.

        • My side hustle is working at a wine shop twice a week. It’s my “fun money” to spend as I wish, so I don’t really budget for it, and I get a hefty employee discount that I make liberal use of.

          • Oh my god, this is such a great idea. I also really want to learn more about wine but can’t seem to motivate myself on my own. Maybe this is the solution….

          • I would honestly love to do this at some point!

          • Babyweight :

            Wine shop x a week? Sign me up! I’d love to do this!

          • Senior Attorney :

            A friend of mine works a few hours a week at Pottery Barn for the employee discount. She and her husband just bought a house and he (the accountant) calculated that with all the stuff they’ve bought, her real hourly wage is something like $300/hour!

          • Rainbow Hair :

            My husband used to (and perhaps again will!) work at Whole Foods. Always had the hook up for the best deals on the best food/wine/beer/cheese. A+ would marry a purveyor of fine foods again.

    • Investing.

    • Musician. Play classical music gigs as part of a string quartet.

      Although, my most frequent hire is by friends who want us to play for free for their weddings….. ugh…. Please don’t do this to your friends. Let them offer as a gift, if they want, and realize that they will have to pay their colleagues for the wedding performance and this is really really really nice gift.

      One of my friends “paid” us by giving each of us one of her duplicate wedding gifts. Thanks for that.

    • I don’t know if I can call it a hustle with a straight face because the money is so bad for the hours worked, but I teach a class at a law school as an adjunct. I enjoy it, and it’s fun, but it is a lot of work for little money. It’s my Botox and fun money basically.

      • I also teach a couple of courses a semester at a small liberal arts college and make $4000.00, but it’s a lot of work.

    • Not sure this counts as “side,” but I’m working as a consultant (hourly) and on the side/in my spare time (when I have time I’m not actively billing) I’m working with a friend to start a company in my industry. Our plan is to keep up consulting until we can float ourselves for a year, which we will use to ty to get investment and go back to drawing some money. Or closing up shop and going back to a normal company. Tbd, ask me in 18 months :-)

      • Another side consultant here. I left a job where I was consulting to a job where that’s not part of my day job, and I got permission from my new employer to keep seeing clients that wanted to continue working with me on the side. I honestly don’t want to turn this into a full-time job, but it’s helping pay for my son’s summer day camp, which is great.

        My key with “balancing” so far is that my family comes first, then my day job. Then the side hustle. I only do stuff on the side that I have the time and energy for and I make sure I don’t spread myself too thin. My son is 10 and can do a lot of this stuff for himself – there’s no way I could have done this when he was little; I would have been exhausted. But I am not trying to turn my side hustle into a main hustle, so everyone else’s mileage may vary.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have no side hustle, but I love seeing that you all are doing such cool things!

    • Calibrachoa :

      Hey you already have my dream side hustle in the writing! :D

      I DJ/event manage on the side, and have considered dabbling into creating music as well. It is basically a self-funding hobby with the occasional drinks money, with a side of occasional travel opportunities to go do it in other cities-

      • Thats so interesting! How did you get into Djing?? I’ve thought about it myself since I love music.

        • Calibrachoa :

          Honestly? Mainly because I am into a niche genre with a very small “scene” locally – there was a weekly club that put out a call for gueest DJs, newbies welcome, and I took the plunge. Fast forward to now and I am one of the organizers behind a monthly event, which we run on a shoestring budget and DIY vibe but everyone is having fun.

          There are probably classes in basic DJ skills in your area that aren’t a total ripoff; they might also be able to give you an idea of what it takes to get into things in your area.

    • anonymous :

      I am a ghostwriter, I get paid to write the emails/memos/calendars that companies don’t want to waste their time dealing with and don’t trust their lower paid staff to handle. I work freelance so it’s all word of mouth, but I really enjoy it and wish I had a way to bring in more clients, which is tough since companies and individuals don’t like to let the bosses or the world know they outsource that.

    • Anonymous :

      Portrait photography (families, engagements, newborns, pets, but not weddings). Still getting into it, and not quite at the point where I want to officially open a business and pay for insurance, etc., so I’m shooting for family and friends, who usually send a gift card after the fact. Hoping to get to the business level soon, but good portfolio building for now and I truly love doing it.

    • I don’t have a side hustle but I have always wanted to do bartending. I like making stuff, like cocktails, I’m friendly and outgoing, I work well under pressure and I’m b00bacious (which I figure would help with the tip jar, if I were wearing the right top.) I have never done it but I might when my kids get older.

      • I bartended in college and the summer before starting law school. I really loved it, for all of the reasons that you point out. I like both of my hustles right now, but if the opportunity ever arose for me to do a little bartending again, I would do it in a heartbeat. One of the best jobs I’ve had.

        • Me, too. My college actually had a bartending agency. I never studied so hard for a test in my life. We made $12/hour plus tips and cab fare and this was back in the late 80s/early 90s. It was good money.

    • Farm! My husband and I have a small farm in addition to our full-time gigs and raising two kids. We board horses, have three cattle, many chickens (I’ve lost count) and are getting pigs this spring. I also rock a garden in the summer, although I’m not the most consistent in what grows well. Last summer I had more heirloom tomatoes than I knew what to do with. The year before it was summer squash. I’m an in-house corporate lawyer (recovering litigator), and I absolutely love the look of shock that I get from people when they hear about our farm. I think to them it seems so incongruous with the lawyer in heels standing in front of them. Most of the farm chores are done in the early morning (lovely in summer and miserable when it is 10 degrees out), evening or on the weekend.

      • Babyweight :

        Betty, you are my new role model!

      • This is the coolest thing ever.

      • Senior Attorney :

        So jealous of the fresh eggs!

      • It’s all fun and games until you are the first one home and the bull is on the wrong side of the fence and you are the only one home…. He’s happily back where he belongs but that was an adrenaline packed 30 minutes. But yes, I love it most days! And the fresh eggs are amazing.

      • We do the same thing, although we have goats instead of pigs! I rock the work wardrobe because it’s the only time I get to play with fashion; the rest of the time I’m in muck boots and Carhartts. I also get that shocked look from people at work because I look like the least likely person on Earth to be out in a barn.

        It’s a lot of fun and the cheapest therapy there is.

    • I have a side photography business. I do elopements, small weddings & portraits (family, some corporate stuff). I love it – it’s so nice to do something that’s all my own, completely creative and the opposite of what my “real” job is. It also helps me bring a business perspective to my “real” job that I think is helpful.

    • I’m a former big law lawyer, now in-house, and I work as a doula and rent out two bedrooms in my house (separate entrances, cut off from my portion of the home) on Airbnb full time. Airbnb covers my rent in the Bay Area ($6000/month); doula-ing is just for fun. I can’t have a full schedule, of course, since I have a full-time job, but anything I make from birthing or teaching classes is a travel/fun fund. Anything beyond rent from Airbnb goes into the same account.

    • My side hustle is actually babysitting. When I was a poor intern I started babysitting 6 or 7 days a week to help pay rent, etc. Now that I have a “real” job, I still occasionally babysit for one of the families. I probably only do it 2-3 times a month now, but it is good fun money!

  4. Do you judge? :

    Does what someone does, specifically, impact how you think of them? Thinking of people who work to protect cigarette companies from lawsuits, people who work as writers for academic plagiarism websites, people who work for companies that are known for child labor issues, heck, people who work for trump, etc.

    Where’s the line between “we all need to make a living” and “you’re contributing to the downfall of society/you’re what’s wrong with the industry/etc.?”

    Also, if you worked in one of these types of areas, would you hide what you did for a living?

    • I work for the insurance part of a bank and when I introduce myself I always say I work in insurance rather than that I’m a banker.
      So I’m guilty of this myself.

      • Ha! That’s kind of funny. I was in biglaw defending banks and now am in-house at an insurance company. I always felt more comfortable to owning up to working for the banks.

    • Why are you re-asking a not very good question?

      • anonymous :

        obviously you’re in the minority here and obviously you’re a jerk. if you don’t like something, keep scrolling, stop attacking people who post.

        • lawsuited :

          As a matter of etiquette I think folks on this site generally avoid posting the same question multiple times as it can be tedious. An exception might be where a poster posts late on a thread meaning that few people see it, and the poster will explain that’s the reason they’re reposting.

          • anonymous :

            this person did seem to post very late on another day’s post, which got no traction. not knowing to explain that doesn’t mean this person should be attacked for posting it. yeesh!

    • anonymous :

      I would judge the people in your examples, absolutely. The lawyers you reference, I assume you mean they work in-house or exclusively with these clients. In that case and in all the other cases (except possibly someone who works for Trump) I would totally judge.

      • Why? Because you assume the lawyer is doing something morally bad? Do you feel the same way about criminal defense attorneys?

        • anonymous :

          No, of course not. Sometimes people who have been accused of a crime are innocent, and even when they’re not, they deserve a fair trial. I am talking specifically about lawyers who exclusively defend the cigarette industry. I mean, just choose almost anything else.

          • But you are making a value judgment that certain industries don’t deserve a legal defense, or at least, don’t deserve lawyers working for them. As long as you’re okay with that.

          • JayJay, for me the difference is the Constitution, and what it provides. We, as a society, decided that people accused of crimes deserve X. That the all people should be protected by the 4th amendment, etc. These principles are the bedrock of our society.

            Speaking as a former prosecutor, I think CDLs do a patriotic thing by making sure we’re all held accountable in the system.

            I don’t feel the same way about fighting for for the rights of tobacco companies to continue to make tobacco products, and to market them.

            I’m 100% OK with that value judgment.

          • anonymous @ 2:31 :

            Yea, and I’m ok with knowing that I am judgmental about this particular thing. I really have no sympathy for the cigarette industry and wish someone would just make cigarettes illegal right now.

          • Yeah, JayJay, that’s the point. Are you okay never making value judgments?

        • anonymous :

          Just tried to reply but I think cigar*tt* got me in moderation. Of course not– many people are innocent and even if they’re not, they deserve a fair trial. I am talking about lawyers that exclusively represent the cigar*tt* industry.

          They can do what they want/what brings in an income, but I am going to judge them.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I actually think this is an interesting question!

      While I will freely admit to judging people at times, generally speaking I do not judge for career (apart from 25 year-old “life coaches”). Then again, I am an insurance defence lawyer so there are possibly plenty of people who would judge me for trying to protect mega-corps from paying out to innocent injured people…

    • I judge people who work in industries that can pretty objectively be described as bad (lawyers for cigarette advertising, owners of websites known for child trafficking, owners of brothels). I especially judge people who are anti-women in their work.

      • Anonymous :

        uhh how do you determine that people are anti-women in their work?

        • The examples I gave plus others – lawyers defending abusive male football players, doctors making millions off of elective labiaplasty, people who run surrogacy businesses matching poor Indian women to childless couples in the U.S., men’s rights activists, etc. I could go on.

    • When I began my career in biglaw (at the ripe age of 26), after clerking and feeling like I was on the side of “good,” I remember seriously questioning who some of our clients were and what it said about me and my value that I worked for those clients. I was aghast that I was helping to defend some things that I saw as wrong or not necessarily good or not in-line with my personal values. Then I started learning more. I learned the facts, saw the nuances in the arguments and realized that there is rarely pure good v. pure bad, especially when it comes to lawsuits. Most exist in shades of gray. And I stopped judging.

      • I’m a government lawyer now, but my first job out of law school was for a rather large insurance defense firm. I also felt similarly at the beginning of the job, but my view changed as I got to know my clients and the facts of the cases we were assigned. It was particularly eye-opening for me, because I was working primarily on first party bad faith litigation.

        I’m certainly not saying I never saw insurance companies do things that I felt uncomfortable defending. But I also understand now that many of the blanket judgments of both plaintiffs and insurance companies are much more nuanced than I first thought. I have plenty of friends to still do that work, and I don’t judge them at all, even though it ended up not being a good fit for me, personally.

    • Yay! Open Thread’s! I love Open Thread’s and Lilly Pulitzer”s clotheing! Great Pick, Kate and Kat!!!!!

      As for the OP, yes, we often must defend people we do not want to, but it’s a living. As a WC defense attorney, I often see claimants who are actually hurt, but can NOT prove they got hurt ON THE JOB. It is their burden of proof to show a WORKPLACE injury. Otherwise, it’s NO SOAP, as Dad says.

      Sometimes I just want to pay them, but I represent Insurance Companies who do NOT want to pay unless it is a worplace injury. We find alot of the time that peeople make up where they got hurt, but we find out they were lying. Other times they say they are hurt, but we find them doeing roofing work on their roofes, which they OBVIOUSLEY could NOT do if they were really hurt.

      So at the end of the day, we must draw the line and REPRESENT OUR CLEINT ZELLOUSLY, which is a hallmark of the ETHICS Rules under NY Law. Any duly admitted NY attorney in good standeing should know this, learn this, and live this. That is what DISTINGUISHES us from the non-legal community. YAY!!!!!

  5. Can I just vent! I’m supposed to be traveling overseas for my cousin’s wedding next week. This week, my grandmother was hospitalized for an out-of-the-blue health problem. Her condition stabilized, but has now started to deteriorate again. I’m trying to push up our travel, but the consulate has lost track of my daughter’s visa/passport!! I’ve been calling for 10 days now trying to resolve this (meanwhile my son’s was processed in 3 days with no trouble). They claim that they have located the application and it should be processed by Monday, but I’ve lost all trust in anything they say.

    Meanwhile, I’m terrified that I will miss my last opportunity to see my grandmother alive! I am right now thinking about traveling alone with son (he’s 7 mos, she’s 3 y.o.) and husband will come separately with daughter whenever her visa gets resolved. But it’s a 16 hr flight, so not exactly fun to do solo.

    I just feel so helpless and paralyzed right now :( I am still having an impossible time wrapping my brain around the fact that this will probably be the last time I see my grandmother. I typed it, and I still don’t believe it. And I’m caught in this bureaucratic nightmare in between.

    • I’m so sorry you are going through this, and I hope your grandmother recovers. I lost my grandmother suddenly two months ago (exactly two weeks after losing my grandfather), and I would give anything to spend some more time with her. If possible, I would encourage you to go as soon as you can (with or without your son), and have your husband join you once the visa issues are resolved. This will allow you to spend time with her – and that is more valuable than anything. I didn’t travel to see my grandmother the weekend she was hospitalized because everything seemed under control, and I was already planning to visit her the following weekend. She passed away a few days later, and there isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t regret visiting her sooner.

    • If you’re not so close to the cousin that you’re in the wedding but you are so close to your grandma that losing the last moments with her breaks your heart, why not skip the wedding? You can visit the cousin another time and they’d very likely understand, considering grandma and the visa issues and having 2 tiny humans who might not do well on that long of a flight. Besides, if you’d spend cousin’s whole wedding worrying or if you’d resent the cousin if grandma dies while you’re away, it’s not good for your relationship with cousin if you go!

      • Senior Attorney :

        My take is that the grandma and the wedding are in the same place and OP is trying to decide whether to leave early even though it means daughter won’t be able to go right now.

        OP, I’m so sorry! Do what works best for you and your family!

        • Yes SA, that’s exactly the situation. I wasn’t really clear.

          This is cousin’s grandmother too, and we are all very close despite living on opposite sides of the globe. I honestly would not be the person I am today without my grandmother (for so many reasons). A few years ago, when my grandfather was hospitalized, I made a split-second decision to get a ticket and travel. He died within hours of my reaching, and I got to see him alive one last time. My uncle died much too young 3 months before my wedding, and somehow the mix of health problems and weddings is also bringing up a lot of that grief for me.

          I’m very torn right now about what to do, and I’m relying on my Dad who flew there a couple days ago for information. He thinks I should wait 24 more hours before changing my travel plans depending on her condition, but I’m just so irritated that we have this added complication to making a decision. I’m still BF’ing my son, so I will definitely travel with him (and luckily he has his visa).

          • Anonymous :

            It will be totally okay to travel on your own with your son and let daughter go with Dad. Make sure Dad has an Ipad and packs ample snacks and they will be fine. Pretty much same re: 7 month old except they are way more entertained by just people watching.

            Sorry that you are having to deal with this. Hugs.

          • anonymous :

            Just take your son and go, daughter is too young to remember this trip anyway so she won’t be upset on the plane without you and maybe, since it’s a long trip, the doc can prescribe something to help her sleep so she can be most comfortable on the plane and husband has less to worry about. Then get on the plane and go. They’ll meet you there and it sounds like there’s no regrets if you go now and they meet you but plenty of regrets if you don’t go and something happens.

          • Anonymous :

            If I were in your situation, I would travel with your son as soon as possible and let your husband bring your daughter whenever that situation gets resolved. You won’t regret it, but may regret not going sooner.

    • I agree with all the above advice to take son (or not) and go as soon as possible. I lost my grandmother a couple of weeks ago and would give literally anything I have in the world to have been able to give her a hug. Anything. Please find a way to go asap.

    • Manderley :

      I’m so sorry about your grandmother – I hope she’s ok. We flew a lot as kids (parent was an airline employee) and we always flew separate (parent and kids on one and parent and kids on another) in case anything happened with the plane. Grim I suppose but another data point for you.

  6. endometriosis... what I wish someone would have told me :

    For anyone who had painful periods, huge mood swings, tons of unexplained abdominal issues, etc. it might be endometriosis. It’s often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed and many docs p00-p00 the complaints. It takes most women a decade or more to get an actual diagnosis! And, when they do, the info is often outdated or wrong since docs often don’t train on this topic even though an estimated 10% of women have it!

    If you have or think you might have endo, PLEASE go to a specialist. The ONLY way to remove it is through excision and most do not know how to do this properly. Burning them down doesn’t do anything but make it tougher for excision later. Hormone treatment may quiet the symptoms but it won’t stop the growth of the cells, so it’s a bandaid, not a cure.

    Contact the center for endometriosis care and/or read their website, tons and tons of helpful info and the owners of the center win international awards for their knowledge and for their bedside manner. I battled this for 18+ yrs and had 3 surgeries because the first 2 claimed to be experts and actually didn’t know what they were doing. They actually caused me significant damage and quality of life issues.

    Also, when you have surgery, insist on photos so you have the records to show future surgeons, make sure to get a stomach brace for after, take charcoal pills, use a heating pad on your shoulder where the gas from the surgery will travel, and use st00l softeners to deal with narcotic constipation (no one tells you to prep with this stuff but it’s heaven sent to have when you need it). Also, never ever ever ever use lupron even if they try to push it on you, the effects are permanently devastating to the body. I hope you see this and that this info helps you!

    • Fibroid PSA :

      Also, if you think that that middle-aged spread that makes you look pregnant-ish may just be your metabolism dipping with perimenopause, esp. if your periods are heavy, you may have fibroids. If you are having vanity issues, make sure there aren’t real physical / medical issues causing them.

      Ask me how I know.

    • endometriosis & pcos :

      Thank you!! I’m dealing with this now (I was diagnosed with PCOS as a teenager, and for some reason it didn’t occur to my doctors that I could have both). I will be sure to stay away from lupron; everyone I’ve spoken with has given me the same advice about excision vs. laser.

      The gynecologist I saw said that they actually used to do more surgical excision for endometriosis and even PCOS with good clinical outcomes before endocrinology started to lay claim to these conditions. She was a bit of a hippie, but a story of male physicians doing chemistry winning out over women physicians getting their hands dirty had the ring of truth to it.

      And all the medications I’ve taken for both conditions so far have been off label. The one exception, Ovasitol inositol, is on label for PCOS but wasn’t insurance covered. I could go on about the experiences I’ve had with doctors over the years, but in short I’ve gotten the impression that women with these conditions are not top priority, and we need to self-advocate.

      • I’ve been diagnosed with both but never provided any treatment other than metformin, which hasn’t helped at all. What should I ask my doctor for? I’ve had two kids, and that did make me more regular, but still unbelievable pain and stomach issues. We won’t go into mood swings. I’m seriously considering asking for a hysterectomy. Would this be a mistake?

        • anonymous :

          a Hysterectomy only helps if the issues are only on the organ(s) being removed. read up on the center for endometriosis care website and contact them, they’re top in the country and people come from all over the world to see them. they can review your info and help better than anyone on a website, but keep seeking answers. and do not let a hysterectomy happen until/unless docs can explain why and how your issues are tied only to those organs.

        • endometriosis & pcos :

          There are a lot of things short of a hysterectomy that you can try. Definitely learn more about surgical options and excision as the OP mentioned.

          Doctors like to prescribe birth control to even out hormones (for PCOS) and to “skip periods” (for endometriosis). The wrong birth control pill can make everything a lot worse, but the right one can help with some symptoms. I don’t thrive on the pill, and I had a hell of a time getting started on it (think weeks of pain and bleeding), but even I have to admit that it’s a nice break to take it continuously and just not deal with symptoms for months at a time. I was concerned about the risk of stroke, but there’s also an increased stroke risk for PCOS patients who aren’t on the pill, so there’s a risk analysis to do there.

          For PCOS, look up Ovasitol. It is a bit new, but it’s worth asking your doctor about it. It is over-the-counter, so you can try it either way.

  7. to those with spouses and/or kids :

    Please consider including/inviting your single childless friends to things! So many think these friends wouldn’t want to do stuff with the kids or just hang out at the house, but often those friends just feel left out! It’s tough for them to ask you to leave your spouse or kids to hang with them for a while so they often don’t, but they’d often love to join in if you ask!

    • OMG YES! And even for those of us who don’t have it – sometimes it feels good to hang out with a family/kids in a house for a few hrs – like we had growing up; it’s different from even the most luxurious, meticulously decorated condo – it’s cozy and homey.

    • person with spouse and kids :

      The reason we don’t invite you to things is that we don’t get to do anything anymore! Ever! Unless you want to spend half the weekend watching my kid’s sports events, which I won’t even subject her grandparents to.

      • Yea but, I like spending time with my friends and I don’t mind sitting at kid’s sporting events. Plus, wouldn’t they be more bearable if you had a friend to talk to while the kids were chasing a ball in 100 different directions? I don’t need to go every week, but once in a while is fun for me.

        • person with spouse and kids :

          Maybe a soccer match at the local park, but not my kid’s sport. Minimum two-hour drive away, minimum four hours of watching paint dry interspersed with brief moments of nail-biting tension, two-hour drive back. It is torture for me, and I’m her parent!

          • That’s fair!

          • Off-topic, but I’d bring my Kindle :-)

          • Former swimmer :

            Is this swimming?

          • Yeah I pretty much sit in my car in a parking lot for 3 hours an hour away from my house every Saturday. Dear daughter is ok with me watching the games but not the practices. and it’s too much sun for me anyway.

          • Could you do something else during (but still at) the event? My mom use to read books during my swimming matches. I would let her know when I was going up for an event, she would watch that event, and go back to reading. It didn’t bother me at all. Not knowing what your kid’s sport is, maybe that wouldn’t work. But I thought I would throw it out since I’ve never seen anyone else do it at sports events, but I know made them much more bearable for my mom.

          • Gymnastics. I chat with the other parents and we cheer for each other’s kids (who are all good friends because they spend their entire lives together) so it’s not so terrible, but I would never ever ask a non-gym person to come along.

      • I’m married, but no kids, and no plans for kids.

        I actually kind of like going along to sports events for my friends’ kids when I’m invited. It gives me some time to catch up with my parent-friends, and if I’m close enough that we’re friends, I care about how your kids are doing, too. I like seeing them do well, and learn new things.

        I’m similarly super happy to come over on a Saturday (or invite you and an older kiddo to my place) to hang out, watch TV, and/or play with your kid with you for a while.

        I don’t mind not going out, or doing traditionally entertaining things. But I may be the minority, which I also respect. :)

      • anonymous :

        I WANT to do these things! 1st, your kid feels supported that someone else comes to see them play (yay for that), and 2nd, you’re sitting still for an hour without having to entertain your kid so we can catch up without interruption (double yay for that). I wouldn’t commit to going to every game, I don’t typically want to go without you (I’m not your kid’s weekly taxi) but that or sitting with you in pj’s while your kid naps because you can’t go anywhere but want to catch up or going with your fam to the zoo or to the park or something sounds amazing!

        Please try to remember, I live solo, I eat cereal for dinner, I would love a few hours of helping to read a kid a bedtime story or eat some food at a table with other people or someone to watch tv shows with while the kid sleeps!

    • Thanks for posting this. I’m expecting a baby and all my friends are single and child free and I’ve really been struggling with identity and whether my friends would still want to hang with me when I had a baby. I find it really reassuring that some people would be into coming over, eating home baked cake, and hanging out with me and the baby. I don’t know why I’m surprised, I love kids and would have happily done the same for a friend.

      • Frankly? This is my choice of evening with or without kids, before I was married and after.

        I’ve never been much of a “let’s go out!” kind of person. Let’s all stay in and play a board game, drink wine, watch TV, hang out with your kid, etc.

        I also love, love, love going on outings with my friends’ kids when they get a little older. One of my good friends has a 3 year old, and we all went to the zoo last summer. It was super fun, even when the little one got a little tired.

        • At this point in my life, AGREED. I don’t want to go out to bars, heck, I don’t really want to get out of my pjs. If I can come to your house, eat pizza/salad/whatever, hang with you, and just sit on the floor helping put blocks in a stack, I am a happy camper!

          • Calibrachoa :

            I’ll even bring my own coloring books! :D

          • MargaretO :

            I like going out to bars but I also enjoy this! If you are my close friend I probably also like your kid, and I will probably enjoy having dinner at your house with them, rewatching a favorite kids movie, reading them a story in the bath, whatever! It’s not how I choose to spend the majority of my time, but because I don’t have kids of my own its actually somewhat novel and definitely very fun for me. I have friends with kids who I do stuff like this with and I really enjoy myself when I go over to their houses. I especially enjoy kids who like my dog and want to run around with her and tire each other out while I have a glass of wine or coffee with their parents. It is also just really nice to be around a nuclear family and have that warmth minus the stress and emotional baggage of my own loving but high maintenance family.

      • Anon in NYC :

        My best friend had a kid years before I had my first. I used to make the trip to see her (~2 hours drive) all the time, just to hang out in her house and run errands with her and play with the baby. Now she has 2 and I have 1 and we still do this (and she sometimes comes to me), and we have adult sleepovers where we drink and make dinner and everyone stays up a little too late and then gets up and goes to the playground the next morning.

    • I am older, not a parent, and my work exposes me to the dark side of people. I absolutely loved spending time with friends and their children when the kids were young, and now I have some valued young adult friends (those kids) who are a generation younger than I am. I look forward to spending some time with their children/friends’ grandchildren. I just plain enjoy it, but also it takes me away from the often dark stuff I deal with in a work context.

  8. (Reposting from previous thread) I am going on a business trip to Dubai (client meetings, fairly Westernized client). Would a skirt suit with a knee-length pencil skirt be appropriate, or should I go for a pantsuit? If I wear a skirt suit, can I go bare-legged? I appreciate that it is probably going to be cold indoors due to a/c.

    • Grain of salt since I was last in Dubai about 8 years ago, but I lived in Dubai for two years and wore pencil skirts regularly – I don’t think you’ll have any issues. And I never wore nylons either.

    • Was just in Dubai (not for work) and I would say that you should make sure your skirt is on the longer side – to your knees, not above them. I think I saw maybe three women with any amount of thigh showing the whole week I was there (except for folks at the clubs, which was a whole different story, or the beach).

    • I replied on the other thread, but givemyregards gave you good advice there.

  9. Let's Play a Game! :

    What song lyric most represents you, whether it’s who you are now or who you’re working to become?

    • Anonymous :

      Seems like everywhere I go
      The more I see, the less I know

    • “In my Mind” by Amanda Palmer.

      • Oh hey. Reading comprehension fail.

        “And it’s funny how I imagined
        That I could be that person now
        But that’s not what I want
        But that’s what I wanted
        And I’d be giving up somehow
        How strange to see
        That I don’t wanna be the person that I want to be”

    • Love this question! Don’t be surprised if I post multiple answers all afternoon. First one the comes to mind – Passenger – Let Her Go (not the whole song just this lyric)– Staring at the bottom of your glass, hoping one day to make a dream last. But dreams come slow and they go so fast . . . .

    • New Tampanian :

      Oh I love this. So this ENTIRE song speaks to me, so here below are the full lyrics. It speaks to me on all levels of my life right now, particularly professionally.

      MILCK “Quiet”

      put on your face
      know your place
      shut up and smile
      don’t spread your legs
      I could do that

      But no one knows me no one ever will
      if I don’t say something, if I just lie still
      Would I be that monster, scare them all away
      If I let the-em hear what I have to say

      I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
      I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
      A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

      I can’t keep quiet
      For anyone
      Anymore

      Cuz no one knows me no one ever will
      if I don’t say something, take that dry blue pill
      they may see that monster, they may run away
      But I have to do this, do it anyway
      I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
      I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
      A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
      Oh I can’t keep quiet

      Let it out Let it out
      Let it out now
      There’ll be someone who understands
      Let it out Let it out
      Let it out now
      Must be someone who’ll understand
      Let it out Let it out
      Let it out now
      There’ll be someone who understands
      Let it out Let it out
      Let it out now

      I can’t keep quiet

    • Backyards (by Broken Social Scene) :

      it’s a hard parade
      just be courageous

    • Brick house. I know that’s weird but I’m curvy and very solid. I always wanted to be waif-like, and I felt insecure about my attractiveness. But as I have gotten older I have realized that a lot of men are very attracted to my shape, and that’s what Brick House is about. Plus, it’s just a great song.

  10. Casper bed? :

    Has anyone here actually purchased a Casper mattress (or any other of the seemingly dozens of rolled-up-when-shipped mattresses that are popping up)? There seems to be a lot of hype and reviews seem good, but they also seem too good to be true considering the low price.

    • And can someone explain why these are a thing? I know nothing about them except every pro athlete is suddenly endorsing them. Do they really get mailed to you? If so – how are they thick/comfortable enough? Is it now completely out of date to get a Sealy or Serta?

      • They are made of foam, and highly compressed for shipping. They pop back up to normal mattress size as soon as you cut open the vacuum packaging.

        I have a Tuft & Needle one, and like it a lot. It is very firm, which is my preference.

    • I’ve slept on one before and it was really comfortable. I dont really get the hype much tbh – maybe more about the convenient delivery service and relatively good pricing compared to the typical mattress store.

      It comes in a box that looks small until you take the mattress out of it. I think you can try it for 30 days then return it with your money back but I have no idea how one would get that back in the box hahaha

      • Casper bed? :

        lol yes good point… like actually how would you do this?

        • I have no idea!! I think thats the one gimmicky thing about Casper but thankfully everyone I know that has it has loved it and didnt need to return it lol

      • Anonymous :

        Unfortunately I have heard that the “returns” are actually just a refund and they send a trash company to come collect it and dump it. Don’t know if that’s every company, but certainly seems to make more sense than shipping the unrolled mattress back (which presumably they can’t resell!)

        • Casper bed? :

          Whaaaat? Ok that makes me kind of sick.

          • Anonymous :

            Yup, interesting article link here – https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/17/your-money/buying-a-mattress-online-was-easy-now-about-the-return.html

          • I don’t know about Casper specifically, but we “returned” another mattress and they had us take it to a charity shop and send them the donation receipt. That seemed like a good solution.

      • Casper bed? :

        Also- how firm does it feel? I never grew up sleeping on firm mattresses, but the few times I have as an adult I’ve realized that I think firm is the way to go for me.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I like a very firm mattress and I did not find the Casper showroom bed to be firm enough for me.

    • givemyregards :

      We purchased a memory foam mattress from Amazon for our guest bedroom (it’s a really small room so we had to get a full, think it was about $200) and everyone who has slept on it says it’s incredibly comfortable, including my mom who has an actual tempur pedic. It was mailed rolled up in a box and then you just unroll it and cut off the plastic once you have it in the room where you want it to be – it pops up immediately but then continues to expand for a few hours or overnight. It is thinner than my huge pillow top serta that I bought a few years ago, but I think we got a 10 inch and they usually go up to 12 inches or so. Overall, I’m really happy with it.

    • New Tampanian :

      I got a Tuft & Needle one this past year. I love it. I had a SUPER old mattress and it’s been a lovely upgrade.
      They put the mattress in plastic wrap then suck the air out (think of a food saver thing). Roll it. Tape it. Put it in a box and ship it.

      When you receive the box, it’s HEAVY. Pull the mattress out, lay it on your bed, unroll, then unwrap. It fluffs up immediately. (Maybe it’s more akin to a spacebag for clothes?) You keep it out for a day to air out and then you’re good.

      They all have different levels of firmness. Casper I believe has two firmness choices. Tuft & Needle only has one. Tuft & Needle has a 90 day policy if you order straight through them and not Amazon. If you don’t like it, they’ll pick it up and donate it and give you a full refund. Their customer service was amazing when I used them. I think T&N is on the firmer side although not terribly.

      I love mine!!

      • We love our Tuft and Needle as well! We added a Tempurpedic memory foam topper to it, and our bed is pure heaven.

    • Not the ghost :

      Yes, we bought one! We were moving to a new city, I’d heard lots of chatter about it, reviews seemed good and price was right, and at that point I had so much decision fatigue that it just seemed the easiest way to go rather than sitting on 20 mattresses at Sleepy’s or something. It arrived in a box super easy, we pushed it out and it unfluffed and unfurled on its own, and it has been very comfortable since we got it. I do think it’s a little firm, but I also have been on the Great Pillow Search and think that’s contributing to me noticing the firmness.

      I feel like the try out period is closer to 100 days. I have no idea of how you’d return one either, but I feel like they might send someone to the house to get it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I was moving and needed a new bed/mattress anyway. I liked that I didn’t have to buy a separate box spring and frankly, taking it out of that box was really fun. It is really heavy and just as thick as a regular mattress but without the springs. Westelm had one to try in their store. I think the return period was 100 days and they would pick it up and donate it (whatever the chemical reaction is that makes it expand is definitely a one way deal).

    • Young House Love did a review recently that answered most of the questions here.

    • ALX emily :

      I have a Leesa – we had been mattress shopping for a long time and were on the verge of getting a $2500ish organic latex ridiculousness, and then walked into the Leesa store in Venice when we were on vacation and liked one of the mattresses well enough to give it a try. I like it fine (and better than the mattress it replaced) and the price was right, plus having FedEx delivery rather than scheduling a window for furniture store delivery was nice!

    • I bought one from Amazon for my son when he switched from a twin bed to a full. The mattress is fine but unlike buying from a mattress store, I had no one to take the old mattress away. I ended up having to call Got Junk. (I found some other stuff for them to take away too) so factor this into your price.

    • Babyweight :

      Yes. Love it. Getting rid of old mattress was a pain but we found a “furniture pantry” – like a food pantry, but for people who need access to furniture, etc. – to pick it up from our front porch.

    • Yes! Have a Casper (king) and it’s amazing. I love firm mattresses, do Crossfit, and need something comfortable to recover on.

      Highly recommend. The mattress takes its full shape very quickly and the shipping is convenient (the box is still heavy-ish to lug around).

    • newbinlaw :

      I have a Ghost. Love it. Researched a ton so I will address some questions:
      – it is now a “thing” because in the age of zappos and amazong this is how everything is done. They can lower prices by not having expensive store fronts. Since people only try a mattress in store for what, 3 minutes? I don’t see why it matters that you can’t try it beforehand. You can return it if you want, but we love ours.
      – I believe at least some of the companies donate them, they don’t trash them. That would be crazy to me.

    • I don’t know the brand, but I got one of Amazon for $400 for a king and it’s the most comfortable mattress I’ve ever slept on. I love it. It’s on high quality Sealy foundation though.

    • The Sweet Home has done reviews these kinds of mattresses. Their advice is usually pretty solid.

  11. Where did you learn? :

    In the time between college kid clothes (hoodies/jeans/sneakers) and having a wardrobe full of professional adulting clothes, how did you transition? Where/How did you learn what was appropriate for settings, what was flattering in terms of fit/colors, how to do your hair/makeup, etc?

    So often we complain about people who aren’t appropriately dressed or why an intern is way inappropriate, so I’m wondering how a person learns these things so they don’t get talked about on a professional blog lol

    • My mom took me shopping for my first suit when I needed it for speech league in high school, before my first internship (which was fairly casual since it was a summer stock theatre), and then before I moved out for my first job (which was business casual). From there, I built around what she had already helped me purchase, but my first boss was incredibly well dressed, so I picked up a lot from seeing what she wore and when.

      TLDR – help with first basics from my mom and then watching others.

      • Same. My mom took me shopping before my first summer internship to get a capsule work wardrobe.

        She doesn’t wear makeup, so I learned that from the girls I lived with my first year of college. I’ve always prefered a natural look, so I didn’t need to make any changes for work. Youtube taught me how to do hair. I rotate between down, buns, Gibson rolls, and French twists.

    • I’ve been reading this blog since my first year of college. Other than that, from the workwear section of the Boden catalogue and from looking at what my lecturers wore at uni.

    • givemyregards :

      I honestly just bought whatever seemed businessy from Banana Republic and wore a whole bunch of sort of questionable clothing from J. Crew, but my first few years out of college were at a company that was technically business attire but full of nerds who wore the weirdest stuff, so it didn’t really matter.

    • I went to a college that had “class dress”. The guys wore coats and ties and the girls wore skirts, dresses, or slacks and nice tops. I mostly learned how to dress from a very classically stylish friend of mine who was my best friend in college. And from looking at the other kids I went to college with, who had very white collar well-to-do backgrounds for the most part.

      I learned to do my makeup by going to the mall and having someone show me and then watching Carmindy doing a hundred people’s make up on What Not to Wear. I don’t wear a ton of makeup though. My hair is questionable. I don’t really know what colors I look good in. Discovering Ann Taylor about 12 years ago was how I learned what clothes look good on my body. Everything they had at that time fit me perfectly. It was the first time I had put something on, looked in the mirror, said “oh!” and opened my wallet.

      My mom was also very strict about what I was allowed to wear — nothing dirty, holey, stained, too short, too tight, etc. So now I feel weird or overexposed when I do wear stuff like that. She also had a horror of cheap looking or artificial fiber fabrics, so I grew up hearing about how polyester was the devil.

    • New Tampanian :

      I learned about some makeup stuff from my teammates in high school. My mom wasn’t very good at any of that.

      Then I just made it up as I went. There are definitely outfits that I wore which were toeing the line of inappropriate but I thought I was “dressed up”. Honestly, Express and then the Limited basically saved me. Law school was also a good kick in the pants. From there I tried to emulate lawyers on tv.

      I am still trying to figure out the hair and makeup stuff as I go. My work style, however, is pretty solidly nailed down now.

      • +1

        Same here – just fumbled my way through. When I got my first job, I went on a mini shopping spree at The Limited and NY+Co and bought like $400 worth of clothes with graduation money, which felt INSANE to me.

        I mixed the new clothes in with the most sophisticated pieces of my college wardrobe, and in retrospect, that was probably pretty obvious to everyone I worked with. For example, I had a very fluffy faux-angora pink sweater in regular rotation, which I convinced myself was professional because I wore it with black pants. Also, a very silly suit from Express that was super tight and pin-striped, which I thought was *very* grown-up.

        Luckily, I never veered into truly inappropriate territory, so no one ever said anything and I eventually was able to shift my wardrobe to be actually grown up.

    • My advice is not to go too crazy buying a bunch of stuff at once. Get the bare minimum, and you’ll learn as you go. Also, agree that moms can help! Although my mom always steered me toward stuff that was a size too big and a bit frumpy, but better than the opposite, right? Sites like this have from time to time a segment on what the “basics” are — can’t hurt to start with that, but always take it with a grain of salt.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My grandmother took me suit shopping when I started interviewing for jobs near the end of college. She was an executive secretary in a conservative office and also had a good sense of style.

      Hair and makeup is something I learned through trial and error, magazines, and more recently through Pinterest/YouTube tutorials.

    • Anonymous :

      I learned this the very long, very hard way (and was probably that intern that people talked about). I do not come from a family of white-collar professionals, so learning by example wasn’t an option for me. When I got my first internship in DC, I basically just walked into New York & Company because it was at my nearest mall and bought a few pairs of (what looked like) dress pants and a couple button down shirts from the clearance rack, because that was all I could afford. I stuck out like a sore thumb in DC, but I didn’t realize it because about 90% of the team I worked with was men. In my first job after college, I used that same wardrobe with a couple more pieces, mostly from Express and the junior’s section of Kohl’s (oops, sorry guys). Still didn’t realize how weird I probably looked, because again my office was mostly men (yay gender discrimination). I moved to another job after that where the dress code was more casual — but again, my coworkers were still mostly men. It wasn’t until my mid-late 20s when I finally ended up in a job with several decently fashionable women co-workers in my age range, when I realized how out of place I looked. I would watch what they wore every day and literally took notes on things I liked. This was the point in my life when I learned that blazers were a thing people actually wore to work, and started dressing like an actual professional. Long, long slog to get there. That said, please be gentle on those of us who commit fashion faux pas when we’re younger professionals — helpful ideas are great, but rudeness and a “you should already know that” attitude are not. Some of us had literally no guidance or money to try to figure these things out, and did the best we could.

      • anonymous :

        this means a lot… this is me. no family, no professional friends, trying to figure it out and trying to do it without making too much of a spectacle of myself.

    • Calibrachoa :

      My mother is a country mouse who doesn’t use makeup and never worked in an office, and I grew up in a rural area where no one wore a suit outside a funeral or other important event.

      I learned makeup from my older cousins and from magazines, and tbh even now in my early 30s I find some of it just completely mystifying.

      For business wear, I used to look at magazines and tv and all these really amazing-looking people, and when the time came for my first Real Job In An Office? I asked a plus-size fashion community on LJ. I still made mistakes that no one cave a flying fig about because, this place is heavily on the casual (I shudder to think about some of my interview attire over the years…) and then found y’all <3

    • PrettyPrimadonna :

      My mom and other ladies in the community (e.g. sorority, Junior League, etc.)

    • Anonymous :

      Your “college kid” clothes sounds like me in high school – I ended up transitioning to more business-casual while in college. But I went to school in NYC and sweatpants were not OK even in my lazy social circle, in contrast to my friends who went to school in college towns. I followed a lot of inspiration workwear fashion blogs even though I was/am too cheap and too lazy to dress like them most of the time. Makeup is all from friends and from the internet/YouTube, but I still basically just do brows because I am lazy.

      As for work specifically, My parents were white collar middle class but hadn’t worked normal office jobs in a long time, so when I was in high school/starting to go to internships I wore a lot of clothes that were pretty borderline. They made sure I had a suit when I needed one, but man… all those “pencil skirts” without zippers.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      I asked my much more girly/feminine best friend. I did some postgrad work while she had already gone into the workforce, so by the time I was worried about what to wear other than jeans and tees, she had been buying items for a couple of years. She and I have similar ideas of what is appropriate business wear, though we have very different dress codes.

      I still ask her questions about this stuff and we regularly transfer clothes between our respective closets. I’m taller but we have similar coloring and body shapes, so if something shrinks, she gets it. Similarly, if she decides something is too big, she offers it to me.

    • No role models. I learned through trial and error. My first two suits were going to church suits from JC Penney and I didn’t realize they weren’t the same as work suits. (Baby pink and a full skirt – kill me now) lots of mistakes but I’ve got it down now!

    • This brought up a sweet memory for me. I grew up in a pretty dysfunctional family and my 4th grade teacher really took me under her wing. We stayed in touch and I would babysit for her, etc, then she moved to my middle school and I had her again. I grew really fast and of course wanted to look cute and trendy (anyone remember soffee shorts?) but this didn’t work on my 5’5, D cup, hippy body. I felt awkward and out of place always. One weekend she took me shopping. I went to banana republic for the first time, which sounded so grown up to me (& learned what a banana republic is!). She helped me shop and try on things and I bought 3 outfits with my allowance/savings and then she bought me a trench coat. I wore the trench coat for 10 years.

    • Anonymous :

      My family is from Texas and my mom is one of four sisters. In my particular Texas family, they start teaching girls how to do their makeup and their hair when they’re in the womb. Seriously, I have pictures of myself at formal family events in these ridiculous frilly dresses that had little bells on the petticoats (yes, the dresses had petticoats – and ruffles, lots and lots of ruffles) with curling-iron curled hair and eyeshadow on. I am like, four years old in these pictures.

      It was great in a lot of ways because if I had a question about clothes, hair, or makeup I had three aunts, my grandma and my great-aunt, and my mom to ask. Of course, a lot of what I learned was not useful for the business world (or any year after 1988), but I got the basics down. I will say, my grandmother worked her whole working life in a fairly formal office where she was the assistant to the president, and she had to dress up – suits and heels every day. She always wore Shalimar and she always wore pearl earrings (I have them now). But in many Texas families, mine included, lots of makeup and big hair were just what you did, especially in the 80s, and I had to learn a lot about “toning down.” And also that you don’t necessarily have to put on makeup to go to the mailbox. Even today, my 85-year-old great-aunt does her hair and puts on a full face of makeup and an outfit that matches just to walk her dog. I think about her every time I see someone wearing pajamas in the airport.

      I rarely wear makeup now and my hair is basically just there – it’s healthy but has quirks that make it so style options are limited for me. I do love clothes, though. That got into me young, and there’s no getting it out.

    • My mom did not care what I wore to school but if I went out to dinner with her or went to her job, I had to be dressed appropriately. I do the same with my son. He can wear whatever he wants but when he go to dinner witht the family, he is to wear a collared shirt, nicer jeans, and maybe vans. I bought him real dress shoes and clothes for his summer volunteer gig at legal aid. I can’t believe how many men wear black sneakers at work in place of real shoes. As for fashion, from TV, magazines and blogs like this.

    • My college had a dress code –skirts or dress for women, coat and tie for men. It really helped for knowing what to wear to an office.

  12. Reposting from this morning in the hope of getting more responses. I’d also appreciate comparisons to Seattle if anyone lives there! I’d ultimately like to stay in the West and have always liked both cities.

    My husband and I live in the Bay Area, but it’s too crowded and congested for our taste (the traffic is HORRIBLE). I like the outdoorsy options and I have family nearby, but we plan to move when my two-year stint at a job is up. We have our eye on Denver because there are good tech jobs, the outdoors, and a little more affordable, but I was wondering if anyone could comment on the quality of life there re: crowds and congestion and traffic. Are there nice areas to live where you could still commute to work, but not have such a “city feel”?

    • anonymous :

      Columbus ohio. Someone mentioned it this morning and I researched it and now I sort of want to move there! Big city, 15 minute commutes, easy airport access, etc.

      • I live in Columbus. There are a lot of affluent suburbs outside the outerbelt, but also luxury living apartments in the downtown area. It can get cold and snowy in the winter, but spring and summer is nice. The only negative about the airport is that there’s not a lot of direct flights. I moved here when I was 10 (40 now) and I like it.

      • Columbus is my hometown; it was a cow town when I grew up there and even when I worked there after college/pre-law school, so these comments kind of crack me up.

        But yes, it’s a pretty good city now. The arts and restaurant scenes are good, people are friendly and open and the COL is great. (Although I really wish I’d bought a couple of my former residences, which probably have gone up in value by a factor of 10 now that my old neighborhoods are trendy.) But the commutes may or may not be long, depending on the times of day. The freeways at the height of rush hour are not pretty, although nothing like LA, DC, etc.

    • I spent some time in Denver a few years ago and am hoping to move back eventually. I was recently told to avoid commuting on 25 unless you can use the lightrail system. If we go back, we’d like to live in the Arvada or Golden area. You can look into Evergreen, but it gets more snow so you will have to deal with weather on your commute more than other areas during the winter months. Housing prices are increasing, but property taxes are very low and home insurance is lower than other states.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Seattle has all that you love and hate about the Bay Area – huge population growth (including Bay Area refugees), nutso traffic, very high housing costs. I’ve lived here a long time and work outside the tech arena, have affordable housing, and a really great commute, so I’m insulated from a lot of these issues. But it’s to the point that I don’t like going out for dinner in my own neighborhood because it’s too crowded and busy, and I can’t take advantage of a lot of the amenities I used to enjoy because they’re overcrowded. Transit is overloaded and underfunded and our current light rail expansions won’t be online for many years.

      I love living here, but mostly because my life is set up to avoid many of the stressors most people can’t avoid.

      • I agree, I also live in Seattle. Although the housing market isn’t nearly as crazy as the Bay Area, it’s still really tipped towards sellers.

        I live in the city and work in the suburbs, but have a reverse commute which makes it super easy. My husband works in tech, and has a much trickier commute.

        That said, I love living here. It’s an hour away from the mountains, and breathtaking in a way that the Midwest where I grew up isn’t. There are a lot of plusses, but if you’re looking to avoid traffic and a crazy housing market, this might not be the place.

    • Portland, OR. Not as expensive as Bay Area, very commute friendly if you live on the MAX line. 20 minutes to downtown from the airport. 1.5 hours from ocean or mountains west / east (respectively).

      • anon in SV :

        My impression is that there is basically no legal market in Portland. Is that wrong?

        • Small but not non-existent – Portland Metro is over 2 million. I have a law school friend who moved there for a job with a 1600 annual billable requirement. Capital (Salem) is 45 minutes away and they hire a ton of attorneys.

        • Very hard legal market – top 5 hardest in the country. There are only a handful of big (not big like NYC but big for Portland) law firms and there are a TON of students graduating the local schools; it’s hard enough for them to get jobs, let alone outsiders. 2 NYC biglaw friends knew they wanted to move back there (both grew up there) – took them 3-4 YEARS to find jobs and it was very much a discussion of why they wanted to be there, did they REALLY grow up there – i.e. which high school; you must know my cousin he was in your class etc. IDK – but I don’t feel like Portland is provincial like that, but the legal market just uses those criteria to sift thru the applicants since there are so few spots; they don’t want people who are burnt out on NYC or SF to move there for 2 yrs and leave. They want lifers.

          • Anonattorney :

            I’m a lawyer in Portland. It’s an amazing legal community – lots of camraderie (sp?), hours are good, etc. You really need to network to get a job, though. If you have a good resume, and if you network, you can get a job. Firms are hiring right now.

    • sweetknee :

      Ever thought of either Greenville, SC or Charlotte, NC? Both are growing cities with relatively low costs of living, and really nice weather and outdoor areas.

      • I’ve heard great things about Charlotte, but I prefer the West Coast (mountains, family nearby, better weather in the summer). I’m jealous of the reasonable COL for great-looking quality of life, though!

      • Anonymous :

        Or Salt Lake City? It’s Denver’s smaller, prettier, cheaper cousin.

    • Posted on your earlier thread re neighborhood recommendations. Will add that Denver is planning on its own version of a “big dig” (burying I-70, the main E/W artery) later this year, so I do expect east/west traffic in town to get seriously bad later this year. If they’ve got their light rail act together, it may be ok. That’s a big maybe.

    • I’ve never lived in Denver, but have a lot of family there. I would absolutely recommend it as a place to live, given your priorities. The access to outdoors is unparalleled, and the sun shines ~300 days out of the year (vs. Seattle, which has half that). It’s a young, energetic place with an expanding tech industry.

      Housing costs in Denver have gone up recently, especially since the legalization of pot, but compared to the Bay Area, it’s affordable. I would recommend living in a city neighborhood instead of the suburbs for the best commute. There’s really only a small section of downtown Denver that has a true “city” feel, and the rest of the city is more suburban – think single-family and two-family houses, with the occasional 4-6 story apartment building. I’ve spent more time in neighborhoods on the east side, like Park Hill, Cheesman Park, and Capitol Hill, than on the west side. But both sides have lovely neighborhoods with some walkable services, well-kept 1920’s bungalows, and a strong sense of community.

      Commutes from the suburbs of Denver can be awful, because there is frequently only one route for all the commuters.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Call me crazy, but Los Angeles. Particularly West LA, but many other parts of the area fit this bill as well. Doesn’t feel like a real city at all.

      We used to live in the Bay Area, and we disliked it for the same reasons you mention, among others. I particularly hated how there were no suburban-feeling neighborhoods in the city that would give either of us a reasonable commute.

      We live in the city in west LA, but on a quiet tree-lined street and our kids walk to school. The trick with LA is to live close to work. If you do, the traffic becomes basically a non-issue. I work from home now, but my old job was a 2 mile, non-freeway, <10 minute commute with traffic. My husband does something similar now.

      It is also much, much, much cheaper than living in the Bay Area. It is also just easier to find a apartment/condo/home in good condition with modern amenities.

      Having access to beaches, hiking, skiing (a drive, but still driveable), cycling, etc. and consistent good weather is also excellent!

  13. upcoming birthday :

    Going to be 34 in a couple weeks, don’t have family or others who offer me sage wisdom so I’m wondering,

    WHAT WOULD YOU TELL YOUR 34 YR OLD SELF?

    • :(

      (I just turned 33. I’m following so I can take advantage of the advice).

    • Senior Attorney :

      Don’t marry that guy you are going to meet in three years! In fact, don’t even date anybody until your son is up and out of the house!

      And don’t worry — things are tough now but they are going to work out great. Eventually.

    • Anonymous :

      Do not take things so seriously. Do not spend time in a job you hate. Do not try to get every last errand done. Your time is precious. You only get so much of it in this world. Work less. Love more. I’m 54.

    • That you are SO young! Start going heavy duty on skincare -spf, facials, whatever other treatments you can afford. Save money. Travel more.

    • Hey, 34-year-old self, you look hot!

    • I would wish myself a happy birthday, and then hope that I could get my boyfriend to do more than merely accept oral from me. He does not like to reciprocate, and that leaves me feeling used. Does anyone else have this issue with men? It seems we are always busy giving, and even on our birthdays, our men are not interested in doing any thing else than taking more from us.

      • Anon for this one :

        Guys who refuse to reciprocate are not worthy of us. In college, I was like you. Totally accommodating to a bunch of frat guys who did little but guzzle beer and demand the types of things I am embarrassed to say I did — all in the hope of getting a ring and a ticket out of my past life. After a year and a half of being “the party girl”, all I wound up was an upclose sampling variety of sweaty, smelly body parts == sometimes with a group of drunks, with little to show for myself but a bad reputation. I never go back to college events, as I get those smirking, knowing looks from the guys I was with, as well as funny looks from their current wives (who did not do “everything”). If I could provide any advice to young college women today, it would be to find the guys who do not demand that you do everything they want. They will not appreciate your willingness after a month of doing it, will only demand more, and then toss you aside unceremoniously as soon as a fresher face arrives willing to perform the same tawdry activities for their understated manhoods. A 20 year old drunken slob rarely grows up.

  14. favorite way to veg out? :

    When your brain is completely fried and you just need to veg out, what do you do/watch/enjoy?

    • Scrubs, How I Met Your Mother, Friends, Arrested Development, Parks and Rec, Modern Family

    • Some wine, a coloring book, and Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and other dark comedies.

    • Walking Dead

    • BabyAssociate :

      This is actually the kind of night I have planned tonight! I’m going to bake some bread, drink wind and watch my go to show when I need to zone out/laugh: 30 Rock.

    • Calibrachoa :

      I like procedurals ,the non-gory ones like Hawaii 5-0 because they are predictable and you won’t miss much if you do

    • Anonymous :

      I watch Friends or something on Food Network. I also like to take my kids to the park or the pool and just enjoy being there. I try not to let my brain think about work/family stress/etc. I also really like to go camping if I can get away, because then I can’t even be tempted to check email or the news. I can just be.

    • Playing Candy Crush, petting my cats and just sitting in a quiet room. I’ve been watching Scandal on Netflix and catching up on This is Us and Timeless on demand.

    • I watch first season Friends or Mallrats. I don’t know why I love Mallrats so much. I’m an uptight accountant who does not do drugs, but I just love Jay and Silent Bob and all the juvenile humor. THAT KID IS BACK ON THE ESCALATOR. Also boxed wine.

      • My husband and I still quote Mallrats to each other many, many years after we first saw that movie in the theater.
        “Why buy the cow when you can get the s – e – x for free.”
        “That was too little, too late.” “‘Too little’? You said it was a good size!!”

    • PatsyStone :

      Candy crush + Chardonnay + podcast + (gasp!) cigarette

    • Korean Dramas. Reading subtitles makes it impossible for me to think about real world stress.

  15. for married/coupled gals :

    So often, the single folks hear about all of the benefits/perks of coupledom and get asked why they haven’t found a partner. I’m wondering, for those who are coupled/married, what do you miss about single life? What makes you even momentarily envious of your unattached friends? What benefits/perks might they be overlooking?

    • When did you go on maternity leave? :

      I don’t miss this, but not having to consult or consider anyone else on a major life decision! Move wherever you want to move. Apply for a job in a new city. Live in the type of apartment/house you want. Oh and here’s another one (that’s minor) — not having to agree on the furniture you buy! haha! If you love mid-century modern you can go wild instead of having to compromise with your husband’s taste.

      • Haha, the furniture thing is so true. My husband hates furniture with feet and I love mid century modern. We just arrived home with two of the danish replica chairs from ikea so I’m slowly winning him over.

      • +1 – I love being married and I love my DH a lot, but marriage involves a significant amount of compromise and selflessness. Anything from little things like furniture shopping (my DH is awesome at many things but taste in clothes, furniture, etc. is not his strong suit) and weekend plans to big life/career/relationship decisions.

      • MargaretO :

        Omg people gave me so much flak and asked me a lot why I was buying a house as a young single woman and the honest truth is that I wanted to decorate my own house with no input or compromise from another human being. I mean there were lots of other reasons but emotionally that was a huge part of it.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Right? I was at the beginning of my house project when I met the man I ended up marrying, and only got to live in the finished product for a year or less. but I am SO SO happy that I got to check “buy and remodel/decorate a whole house” off my bucket list!

          • Anonymous :

            Yes! My bedroom is half pink! My couch is turquoise! My furniture is mid century modern! My picture frame are neon! I did not have to ask anyone permission, I love the way my house looks, and I highly doubt that anyone I have ever dated or ever will date would agree to my decorating choices, in a million years. My house is gorgeous and kooky and 100% me, and it is so satisfying. I’m glad you got the experience even if it was just for a little bit.

          • MargaretO :

            Woops that comment was supposed to be me.

          • Seriously! After my divorce, I redecorated my whole house. Got rid of any furniture I didn’t love and replaced it with furniture that suited me. I painted rooms, bought art. My bedroom is pretty girly (periwinkle walls) and my former SO always said that the guest room looked more like a master bedroom (decorated in brown and blue), but who cares? I also have a painting that I love that he said he didn’t get. I said “you don’t have to get it. You don’t live here and it’s my painting.”

            Also agree about watching SYTTD whenever I feel like it it Big Bang reruns or eating whatever I want (or nothing) for dinner. I can also keep whatever schedule I want and go to the gym after work without worrying about someone else waiting at home.

            Yeah, there are times when I want to have a partner, but I like living alone a lot.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Ha! My dresser is coral and my couch is lime green velvet! So fun!!

      • lawsuited :

        + 1 million! Not having to take my husband’s boring, traditional taste into account when choosing things for our home would be so amazing.

        Also, things staying in the last place you put them.

    • Doing whatever you want with your money without anyone else having an opinion on it. Doing whatever you want with your time as well (more of an issue for parents – not DINKs) – want to stay up to 2 am, great, you can do that and sleep until noon — that totally stops once there are kids bc they’ll get up at 7 am not caring whether you got 10 hrs of sleep or 3.

    • Moving is a HUGE one and not having to compromise on career goals. If the perfect job opportunity comes up for you in North Carolina and you want it — you take it without any thought to — well we first have to see if DH can get a comparable job there.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Above all, I miss living alone – not having to compromise on what it looks like, or how it is decorated and, most importantly, knowing that if something is clean it will stay that way until I make a mess…not going to sleep with an immaculate kitchen counter and waking up to CRUMBS.

      • Yes. Yes. Yes.

        Crumbs and dirty dishes in the sink. Or clothes all over the bathroom. Or beard in the sink.

        I love my husband dearly. But living alone was bliss.

      • So much.

      • on the other hand... :

        For the flip side perspective, I miss being able to leave dishes in the sink for a day / clean things piecemeal and on my time, rather than when my anxious husband wants them done because suddenly mess is freaking him out. I miss living alone more than I miss my pre-kids time freedom.

      • THIS.

        Being able to trust that if there are cookies when i go to bed, there will be cookies in the morning.

    • I miss cooking (or not) for one. Creating meal plans and grocery shopping weekly and sticking to a budget because I’m committed to a plan with someone else are so . . . boring. I know, planning and budgeting are the reality of being an adult, but when I was single, I could eat cereal for dinner or spontaneously meet a friend for drinks after work. But now, we take turns cooking and I feel obligated to make a meal that my partner will appreciate (minimally better than Cheeri0s). When we moved in together, cooking transformed from fun date night in to routine weeknight chore.

      • This. I love to cook. But being responsible for planning/cooking meals for my husband and kid is just annoying some days. What do you mean you don’t want random steamed veggies and a piece of cheese for dinner?

        • Anonymous :

          Meal planning with consideration of my man’s preferences gets old AF, even though he’s too polite to ever complain about what I serve him.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I really, really miss the option of just skipping a meal here and there.

    • Being the king of my own thermostat.

      • Good one. I have the Nest app on my phone and so far no one else has wised up and installed their own. Don’t tell anyone!

        • Senior Attorney :

          My son is a fan of the late comedian Bill Hicks. One of his funniest routines begins with: “Why did we get divorced? We lived in a house. With a thermostat.”

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am blissfully happy in my marriage, and I love living in Lovely Husband’s fabulous big house, but I so miss the beautiful little house I so carefully remodeled and decorated to be Just So and only got to live in for a year or so.

      I miss watching junky TV in bed until all hours.

      I miss getting to eat what I want, when I want. Fried ramen for dinner three days in a row? Yes, please. Skipping dinner because I had a big lunch? Yes.

      I miss being able to schedule Girls’ Nights on no notice.

      Like Anon above, I miss having complete financial independence and no accountability to anybody but myself.

      Mostly it’s the TV thing… ;)

      • The spontaneity!!

        I loved being able to just not come home for 24 hours and no one caring. I used to regularly have Fridays like: planning a Girls’ Night after work, staying overnight with a friend, then meeting someone else for brunch, going for an impromptu hike, then finally wandering home around dinner time. I even used to have a change of clothes in my car because this happened often enough.

        This will never happen spontaneously again. I’d have to plan this a week ahead of time and include babysitters/sleepovers and grocery shopping and always be ready to leave if an emergency came up.

      • We have a Do Your Own Dinner night. At least one night a week, DH ends up doing something like grilled cheese or ordering a pizza (with all the toppings I dislike), and I have a bowl of popcorn while reading my book. Heaven.

    • A sense of obligatory companionship. Control of the TV. Knowledge that whatever mess I made is my mess, and if I’m clean the house will stay clean. Not having to deal with inlaws. Making life choices on my priorities alone. Picking the kind of ice cream/wine/sandwich meat I like (I’m a Mint chocolate chip person, DH finds it vile. But he eats cookie dough! Ew! We either have 2 cartons or buy chocolate. Can’t do vanilla because I like vanilla bean and he doesn’t).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Stretching out into the starfish position while sleeping. Getting to make all decorating decisions entirely on my own. Having the entire apartment to myself on a regular basis (if our work schedules were different, I’d get this though and wouldn’t miss it).

      • If you have a king-sized bed and short limbs, you can starfish even with someone else in it ;)

        Amen on the temperature and the eating. I have a small appetite and can ration food like nobody’s business/ eat the same thing 4 nights in a row no problem / make a meal out of bits and bobs in the fridge. I used to grill some chicken on Sundays and eat it with arugula salad it would last me until dinner on Thursday no problem. Now with a man in the kitchen, those chickens are gone Monday night!

        • Senior Attorney :

          California King for the win!!

          I feel like it should have its own ZIP code!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Alas we were barely able to fit a queen-size bed into our bedroom and my husband is 6’3″ with long limbs.

          I didn’t even think about the temperature thing since we don’t really have control of it in our apartment. But being able to leave the window open or the AC on because I’m hot is something I miss. We have such different internal temperatures that we joke we will need separate wings someday.

          Another one I missed but just realized because it just happened. I miss being able to burn candles or incense all day. Incense triggers his migraines so I never burn it. He can deal with my candles for about an hour before it starts to risk a migraine. I don’t really miss being able to wear perfume because I didn’t do it that often, but I’d be ecstatic if my candles didn’t bother him. I’m glad he’s able to tolerate it for a bit though.

    • Stay up late as I want reading in bed without bothering anyone with the light. Being able to have the house exactly as loud or quiet as I want. Never having to wait to use the bathroom. Having more alone time. Not having to spend time with in laws or compromise on where to go/what to do with my vacation time.

      Also ditto what everyone says about messiness…Although a lot of these apply equally to roommates as to romantic partners.

      • OH, most important! I miss the sense of accomplishment that supporting myself gave me. Obviously I still work and contribute to my household, but it’s a lot nicer than what I could have on my own and I really took a lot of pride in being independent…Like, yeah, my apartment was kind of shabby but I was standing on my own two feet.

    • Anonymous :

      Being able to take a shower or use the bathroom without someone barging in on me to ask how to do something or because they absolutely must water the houseplants right this instant and could not possibly use a different sink.

      • LOL, this! I hate having the bathroom door opened while I’m showering because it lets all the steam escape and makes the room cold. I’ve explained this to DH 1000 times, but for some reason, I can’t seem to get a shower alone. He doesn’t even close the door when he comes in, so it just gets colder and colder.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe this is a dumb question, but don’t you guys have locks on your bathroom doors?

          • No, we don’t. It’s an old house (built in the 1930s). The door latch on the bathroom doesn’t even really catch because the door is warped, so we just shove the door closed.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Three words: Hook and eye.

          • Anonymous :

            He gets mad if I lock him out.

    • Honestly, dating. I never went through a proper dating period as an adult. I stopped being a student when I was 26, and never in my life have I been on a date with someone I’d never met. Never went on a blind date (which is how my parents met, so I acknowledge that I’ve romanticized the concept). Of course my husband took me out on dates (real proper dinners with grown-up clothes) but we were also at school together.

      I also miss the singles scene in a bar… making eye contact from afar.

      • Anonymous :

        I miss the fact that I’ll probably never get to experience falling in love again, never get butterflies about seeing my friend’s hot roommate, never flirt my way into finally going out with someone I’ve had my eye on, never get to find out what makes a new guy tick in bed, probably never have the kind of soul-melting s e x I had with a few of my exes again. I love my DH, I had to work through a lot of stuff before I could have had a stable relationship, and I don’t want to sound full of myself, but Christ, I was hot when I was 24, and I knew how to use it.

      • It’s not quite dating but you can always flirt. There really is such a thing as harmless flirtation.

    • I have to second all of the comments about furniture/decorating and food. Most of the time, I am happy that my husband cares what our house looks like, that he wants to buy nice quality things and generally has good taste. However, every once in a while, I just long for the days of my law school apartment that looked like it came directly from Anthropolgie.

      Also, I really miss just being able to eat some cheese and crackers for dinner and not being told, “that’s not dinner.”

    • I have a grumpy husband and two kids. I miss:

      Not having to deal with someone else’s bad mood

      Peace and quiet

      Making plans without checking the family calendar

      watching whatever I want to watch on tv

      Reading in bed as late as I please

      Competing financial priorities

      In terms of alone time, I really enjoy a business trip and will often schedule one night where I don’t do a dinner and will curl up in my room with room service and a movie.

      • Another one. Not having to share the bathroom with a man and a teen boy. I’m not saying I smell like a rose all the time but what is it about guys? I can smell it though the house.

      • Business trips are the only vacations working moms get. It’s the truth. On my family “vacations” I still have to coordinate everyone’s travel, activities, food, etc. and make sure my kid has clean clothes, doesn’t leave his stuffed animals in the hotel room by accident, etc. On a business trip, the only person I have to take care of is me. I volunteer for business trips that I don’t have to go on just because I love traveling when I don’t have to take care of other people.

        • “Business trips are the only vacations working moms get”

          Thank you. I’m writing this on the inside cover of my planner. It’s so true. I should stop feeling guilty about business travel.

    • At least in theory, you can have time to yourself at home.

      DH works from home, so he’s ALWAYS there. I understand that many single people have roommates, so you may not always have the ability to be alone when you want to, but I know that for me, when I was single, I savored time to myself.

    • anonymous :

      I miss not having someone else’s crap to care about. My in-laws are terrible people, and I have to do things like go to DH’s major work events, graduations, etc, and generally go out of my way for him a lot. Obviously I like these things, but I miss only committing to things that I really wanted to do and not having to be a partner.

    • Having to negotiate on holidays. Hands down.

      We’re a small family. If I don’t see my parents for a holiday, they’re alone. And DH’s family is not very inclusive. It’s always such a difficult balance.

  16. Anonymous :

    I applied to an in house gig at an established company in the Bay Area (east bay) – blind without any contacts in the company. Any tips on how to get an interview? I applied 3 days after the job posted and it’s now been a little less than 2 weeks.

  17. corpor3tt3 postsecret? :

    Just discovered post secret, now I’m wondering about the secrets of everyone! Care to share a secret or two here? The option to be anon can work in our favor and let us take some of the burdens or fears off our shoulders and let us know that others here are in the same boat!

    • Much as I love being self sufficient I’m terrified I’ll be lonely forever.

      And I’m also terrified of what life might be like if I did manage to lose my excess weight.

    • My mother was horrible. I logically know this. She still is horrible, that is why she is not in my life anymore. But when bad things happen (a breakup, not getting a job I applied for, etc. etc. etc.) I wonder if she was right about me and how I’ll never be happy or successful because I am a bad person.

    • during a breakup, an ex once told me that I’d spend forever chasing love, I’d never actually find/have it. I know he’s a horrible person, but he met his wife 4 days after breaking up with me (we were together for 3 yrs). I’m 5+ years later and still single and I wonder if he was right about me.

    • anonymous :

      I don’t really like having s*x. I am able to org*sm, but that doesn’t really change things. I almost always tell my husband no (and then sometimes change my mind after I convince myself I’m not being fair to him) and the rare times that I initiate, I really have to talk myself into it. I’m always glad we did it after, but I dread it before. I constantly feel terrible for him.

      • anonymous :

        And it’s not just him– this has been the case in every relationship I’ve ever been in

        • That’s completely okay. I know it might cause stress in your relationship, but you are not alone and it doesn’t make you abnormal in any way. You don’t “owe” s*x to anyone and you should not do it when you don’t want to. If anyone ever says “here’s why you SHOULD have s*x”, I always question why people want me to be anything less than an enthusiastic and willing partner, or why they think my preferences matter less than other people’s.

          • You don’t owe it to anybody, but your partner can also choose that they don’t want to live without it.

          • Anon at 7:42, I completely agree (I’m anon at 2:45). It’s a sad situation because it can harm relationships, but if it becomes a dealbreaker for her husband, she shouldn’t feel like she “has” to do it.

    • anonymous :

      I wish I had never had kids. Not in the sense that I would hurt them or leave them or something but I was never really sure whether I wanted them, husband did, and it was expected, so we had them. Now I wonder if I’m horrible for realizing that I think my life would be happier if I hadn’t had them, if we spent our time and money elsewhere. I try so hard not to let the kids or the husband know this but man, do I wish I didn’t know this to be true.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you for sharing this

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I wonder about this too sometimes and always feel guilty.

      • +1 I love my kid and would do anything for him, but I’m also pretty sure I would be happier if I wasn’t a parent. I just try to remember that the latter part of that sentence doesn’t obviate the former.

      • Senior Attorney :

        My lovely husband never had kids and I will tell you right now that he is definitely a happier person than I am, in no small part because he doesn’t have the parental angst I (still even after 30 years at it) have.

    • anonymous :

      I am drowning in debt. I make big money compared to what most make, and I live like I do (housekeeper, dinners out, never turning down an invite from friends, etc.), but student loan debt, home buying debt, etc. is crushing DH and me. We are so afraid anyone will find out or notice if we changed our ways, so we just keep up the appearance, but I’m afraid it will lead us to bankruptcy or divorce if we keep this up.

      • Been there :

        You can change! Would meeting with a financial planner help? Or even just sitting down with DH and making a budget and sticking to it? I hope others can chime in with more helpful advice, but I just wanted to say that your post really spoke to me and I’m rooting for you.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        If you’re afraid people will find out, could you try to change the things that wouldn’t be noticed? Cut back the schedule the housekeeper comes on, never go out to eat alone, etc. Even if you still go out whenever invited by friends, you’d still likely be saving a lot of money.

        You might be surprised by how many of your friends are in similar situations and feel the same way.

      • Anon Novel :

        I know you didn’t ask for help, and I’m sure you probably won’t see this. But since a LOT of people I know are in your boat, I’m putting a few things out there for future reference on how to work with the “afraid someone will find out/notice” part of your anxiety while you figure out how you’re going to deal with this for real. Bankruptcy or divorce will be far scarier than having your friends understand you need to reign in your spending. Also know that no one expects you to live your life a certain way. If you tell people up front that you’re revisiting your budget and adjusting your spending and saving goals, they will likely be proud and supportive rather than judgy or snarky. But here are some ways to keep up the pretense –

        — Even if they think you’re raking in the cash and living the high life, you can get people rooting for your budget if you let them know that you’re working towards a specific financial goal. “We’re focusing on paying off our student loans faster so we’re not burdened with them [at the same time we’re paying for our kids education/in retirement/when I decide to leave $$$ job for non-profit], “We’re saving money for a kitchen remodel in the next couple of years”, “We’re saving for a round the world vacation – not sure it will ever happen, but if we want it to, need to start socking away the funds now.”
        — Be halfway honest, and lighthearted about it. “Holy &%$#, we just did a financial review. Did you know that without social security, models recommend we have $4-6MM in savings at the time of retirement? We’re going to have to switch from $20 cocktails to $6 beers and cut back on our trips if that’s ever going to happen.”
        — Initiate the invites yourself. Instead of dinner with friends, where you’ll have cocktails, appetizers, dinner, and wine, you can schedule brunch, happy hour, some sort of local class (cocktails, cooking, canning, glassblowing – these sound cheesy writing them, but in my area they’re all run by hipster artisans and very in demand), spring boccie ball and picnic in the park, grilling at your place, etc.
        — I’ve mentioned alcohol a lot. May just be me. But if you want to cut out your alcohol consumption in public to save $$, weight and/or health are the easiest way to do this. “I’m watching my empty calories, so no more than 1/2 drinks for me, then water”
        — If you and your husband/family are doing dinners out on your own a lot, switch to Blue Apron/Hello Fresh and let people know you’re having fun spending time in the kitchen together. It’s still cooking (aka work), but there’s no planning, shopping, or food waste to deal with. I have a rule to only use dishwasher safe equipment to minimize cleaning time. If you need to leave the house for meals to feel like you are getting what you want out of life, go out after a home cooked dinner and split a single scoop of ice cream, a bubble tea, two fancy chocolates, etc.
        — You didn’t mention clothing, but I struggle with the need to wear “new” items each time I go out. And Instagram culture has made repeats even more obvious. My brain knows that no one notices if I wear the same thing over and over again, or would care if they did notice. I tell myself and my friends I’m failing but trying my best to be more Euro and sustainable by wearing fewer, better outfits.
        — If you need to cut out time with other people completely for a bit of time to get things under control (abstainer vs. moderator), tell some white lies about why you can’t go out: “We’re doing a deep clean on the basement this weekend, so we’re staying in” (here’s an area where you can actually pick some home projects you want to do but haven’t – paint, refinish furniture, clothing edit, etc.), , “Work is really busy right now, and I need to stay home to get something done”, “I have a terrible headache and don’t really feel like leaving the house.” Or my favorite non-lie: “I’m sorry but I already have plans.” No need to tell people that those plans involve drinking grocery store wine and scouring personal finance blogs. You can get about 3 weeks of “No thank yous” in without being terribly rude, especially if you have something planned in the future – “I can’t make Friday, but I’m really looking forward to that thing on the 22nd”
        — Do you need to downsize your car or house to really make things work? Those will hurt. For car, consider using environment or parking as an excuse. And start talking about it before you do it so people will be pleasantly surprised when you do it: “My SUV is only getting 20 miles to the gallon, so I think I might get a Prius or Leaf to minimize my footprint”, “I hate parallel parking my boat, I’m considering trading in in my 7 series for a 3 series.” For house – Too much effort/time to maintain, location (school, walk-able), better features (smaller space, but with deck, pool, basement, concierge) are all valid reasons for moving that don’t scream “I’m drowning in debt!”

    • anonymous :

      When I post here, people tend to think I’m a troll because they think my questions are stupid or obvious. I am not a troll, I just don’t have anyone in my life to teach me these things or to ask about these questions. But I don’t argue or try to prove I’m not a troll, I just assume this means I’m too stupid to deserve a real answer to my question.

      • :( sorry. When I first started posting here, I’m pretty sure 90% of the things I wrote were stupid. Over time, I’ve learned how people here will respond to things. I also go anon any time I think my question or response might be stupid.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This is why I hate people making troll accusations here. Please keep posting and asking for the help you need to learn those things!

      • If you get called out for asking questions that are racist or sexist or classist, then maybe you’re not ready for anonymous internet comments and you should try somewhere else.

        • Sorry, but why in the world would you assume that the OP’s questions have been “___ist”? I’m not even a regular here and I have certainly seen people accused of trolling for asking basic, yet fundamentally inoffensive, questions about workplace etiquette, fashion, personal relationships, etc.

          • anonymous :

            me too… and some of the amazing people who were here years ago have left because of the nastiness. people sometimes come here to be petty or take their bad day out on someone anonymously and it’s both wrong and detrimental to the group. I wish it would stop too.

        • Anonymous :

          You can also call out racism/classism/etc. without telling someone they’re a troll.

          anonymous at 2:31, please keep posting. You deserve answers to your questions as much as anyone else.

    • anonymous :

      I am certain that, if we were all at one event or conference or something together, I would be the awkward wrongly dressed person that the rest of you would gossip about and judge.

      • Me, too. Wait, do I have to say this anonymously? Anyway, it happened to me so often in big law that I finally decided I just don’t fit in and never will. So I quit.

        • anonymous :

          not sure what makes you not fit in but I have the feeling I’d much rather be hanging out with you on the sidelines than part of the catty group of judgy people!

    • anonnnnnnonon :

      I’m afraid that I am a serial relatinoship-ist and that I will never be able to get to the point where I get married, which is something that I want. I’ve never had a relationship last longer than 10 months or so. I used to know it was because I was not ready and because I wasn’t choosing quality guys, but instead rushing into something because someone was paying attention to me and I liked it and it seemed good on the surface. I know I am ready now and that I can be a good partner for someone, but I am afraid that I still won’t be able to do it even though I Want it.

    • I am hyper self-critical about the way I come across socially and I have little social self-esteem. I don’t think it’s really obvious to most people. It probably just seems like I can be a little awkward at times, but in a funny way (because my sense of humor is super self-depreciating). But inside, I’m like… omg what did I just say, what do they think about what I just said, can everyone tell I feel super awkward, why haven’t they responded to my text yet, is it because what I said was weird/not funny? I am constantly trying to be funny to cover up the fact that I feel so uncomfortable.

      • anonymous :

        this is me. If it helps to know, if we ever met, we would probably both be so busy worrying about this that neither of us would notice whether the other was awkward. I try to tell myself that this is probably true of most people, that we’re all worried about ourselves so we don’t notice weirdness in others. <3

        • Thanks :) that does make me feel a little better.

          Once, a manager and I were at a bar frequented by the after-work crowd. I had just started this new job, and she made me go and get business cards from 5 strangers. It still stands out as one of the worst experiences of my life.

          • That just sounds like a horrible manager!!! I would HATE that too

          • Yea and she knew I specifically had anxiety around doing so (which is why she thought it was a good idea to make me do it). I was so mad.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            NO. What the….if she wants the business cards, do it her own d*mn self. If my manager asked (and he would never), I think the look on my face would indicate that if I did it, it would only be with the caveat that I was going to murder him afterwards.

        • anonymous 2 :

          This is also me. And I’ve always tried to tell myself that most people feel socially awkward and self-critical in social situations, but I don’t think I really took it to heart until this past year. It’s made me so much more comfortable socially.

    • I have LGP fantasies about my husband’s brother.

    • Anonymous :

      I have never had a relationship, and I am a virgin. And I’m approaching menopause. I think the ship has sailed.

      • Do you want to meet someone and/or lose your virginity? If so, maybe online dating would be a good fit for you. It could help to get past that initial compatibility check.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t think it has sailed. If you want something different, you can do it. Just take a little step and things will start happening.

      • I am 31, my sister is 36 and we never had a relationship. Not even a kiss.

    • I don’t think I want to be in a relationship, but don’t want to tell people because I think they’ll think I’m delusional. I do want to have kids on my own.

    • I become paralyzed when approached by men in what I think could even sort-of be a romantic/flirty way. I am married, but have an incredibly hard time making it clear that I’m not interested. It’s not that I actively flirt back with them, but rather that I would feel so bad/awkward about rejecting them that I’m a lot nicer than I should be, or possibly seem more open to talking to them than I actually am. I basically just never want to be approached by any man ever, unless it’s for a very specific purpose (like, hey- I think we work together!).

    • I am afraid of dying alone and my cats eating my face when they run out of food. It’s a twisted stupid fear but seriously. I have no boyfriend, friends are all over but only a few real close to where I live, and I sometimes go off the grid. It could easily be a good few days until anyone noticed if not longer depending on the time of year. And I’m lonely. But I put on the “I cherish being alone” act. And most times it’s true but what I would give to connect with a man on all levels right now. It’s been years since I felt that with anyone. Plus I could REALLY use some consistent gardening.

      • If you are actually very concerned about this, I believe there is some type of app that might send you notifications that you have to reply to, or else the app takes action (maybe sending a message to a designated person)? I have no idea what it’s called, and I’m not even positive that it exists, but I think it might. And if it doesn’t, someone should make that asap.

        • anonymous :

          this is also me and I think the app would be a great thing for me to have for the same reason.

        • anon @ 3:19 :

          There’s one called Kitestring that seems to be very similar to what I mentioned!

          • anonymous :

            I wish there was an app where, if you don’t use your phone at all for a certain number of hours, it alerts someone to check on you. Considering how often we all check our phones or use them for something or other, this seems like a clear indication of a problem and someone should reach out or go check on them

        • Look up “Iamfine”. My friend who lives alone uses it. The service calls her daily and if she doesn’t respond after a few tries they contact someone on her call list (I am one of them).

      • Anonymous :

        OMG did I post this earlier in a fugue state? I do love living alone for all the reasons mentioned up thread, but otherwise I’m right here with you.

    • Anonymous :

      I get stupidly nervous before sending work emails out to people above me or out to the general public. I’m worried that I’ve typed the wrong thing, including some small mistake, or have just mucked the whole thing up.

      • Anonymous :

        I will often freak out in the evenings that I forgot to cc someone, or forgot an important point, or how I phrased something was bad and everyone will think I’m stupid

      • Me too. If I make a typo in an email, or make a trivial mistake – it haunts me for the rest of the day and sometimes for days on end.

    • I think my dad physicaly s—ly abused me as a child, but don’t remember it clearly enough to act on it. He said gross stuff to me all the time, watched me in the shower, asked me explicit ?’S abt my h.s. friends’ gardening habits.

      He was also really ragey and did lots of crazy stuff.

      My mom grew up in an abusive home and was terrifed of being poor. She put up with all the ragey weird stuff, and I was too embarrassed to tell her abt the s–al stuff. They’re still married. She would never leave. I know telling her now would just get turned around on me as being crazy or attention seeking.

      Ive always been functional, just limited contact w him and avoided relationships bc I thought all men acted like this.

      Everything changed when I had kids.
      I told my husband I didn’t want my kids around my dad alone but didn’t elaborate.

      I tried counseling for a long time, finaly disclosed, but didn’t really make progress “processing” it bc I don’t have a linear memory of events, they just come to me in bursts. Counselor terminated. Tried emdr, but couldn’t focus (?). I feel guilty all the time, like “well maybe this didn’t really happen if therapy doesn’t help.”

      I kind of want to get divorced, but I’m afraid my mental health records would get subpoenaed and I’d lose custody of my kids and my colleagues (I’m an atty in a small market) would find out.

      Also tremendously guilty…What if something happens to kids, and making excuses to limit time w my mom and refusing to visit them overnight

      • anonymous :

        unless your husband has reasons to bring in your mental health stuff, it won’t happen. Even if he tried, therapists legally can’t/don’t give anything other than the specifics pertaining to the case (like if you told the therapist you’d kill your kids or you wished they died or something that would put them in danger in some way or show you’re unfit).

        Have mom come to you?

        Whatever happens, this is not at all your fault, then or now. You did nothing to deserve this or ask for it and you are not coping in any wrong way. You may find help in a support group, even just by going to listen (you can pretend you’re researching for work or something if need be). You are not doing anything wrong.

      • I wish I was wise enough to offer really great advice here. However, if it helps, stop doubting yourself by thinking that it maybe didn’t happen. You know it did happen, you were just too young (which makes this even worse) to remember the exact details.

      • I feel you. My uncle was the same when I was a child and knowing my sister lets him near my nephews despite being aware of it makes me sick.

    • Anon-ah-ah :

      I am afraid that I don’t have what it takes to be the person I want to be, professionally.

      I have a ton of credit card debt that I would not be able to pay off if not for my husband paying the vast majority of our bills. And I still spend too much and live beyond my means.

      • Anonymous :

        I feel you. The majority of my stress/breakdown the last couple of years was coming to terms with the fact that I just don’t have it in me to be at the top of my field. I could put in all the time and effort but there are inherent parts of my personality that will always hold me back.

    • I don’t like either of my brothers-in-law because they aren’t partners to my sisters, they’re dead weight “dreamers” who don’t hold jobs for any significant amount of time.

    • I self-harm: I binge eat, I exercise to the point of vomiting, I do drugs, I sleep with strangers/married men/women. I’m 40, a single mother, an executive, and I teach Sunday School. And this is my f***ing life.

    • If I didn’t have three kids, I would leave my husband. I should never have married him, and I knew it at the time, deep down, and still did.

      • Only 2 kids here, but I feel much the same way. Except that I doubt that I would actually have the courage to leave.

    • I dream about having children but terrified to actually have them. My husband doesn’t care to have children and doesn’t want to know anything about pregnancy,child birth and worse yet possible infertility. Combine this with severe setbacks in career. It is so so lonely and crushing me from within.

    • I think the notion that “[email protected] is best” was invented by the patriarchy to keep women down.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I don’t need to go anon to say that I kind of agree with you.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        It is so restricting. Much more so that I ever imagined before having a baby.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Not to mention the Breast Pump Industrial Complex…

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I feel so bad for a friend of mine who is having trouble with her milk because she seems to feel like a failure for it. Nobody should feel that way.

      • No, I don’t agree. There are many reasons to breast feed because it is nutritional and it encourages skin on skin contact. But you can do skin on skin contact with a bottle, too. But to suggest that using our breasts for the very reason we have them is patriarchal is kind of crazy.

    • The reason I have such a hard time putting my time in time & billing each day is because I have leftover extreme anxiety from my last job, where we were harangued on a weekly basis about our billable hours. It doesn’t matter in my new job. I don’t have a billable target, and I’m not in danger of losing my job. But somehow I’m still filled with anxiety just thinking about putting in my time. So I procrastinate terribly.

      • anon for this :

        If it makes you feel better, you are NOT alone. I hate hate hate hate doing mine because it calls up all my insecurities about whether I’m efficient, productive and/or valuable. On top of being tedious AF. I don’t mind it nearly as much when I’m really busy and doing work for clients who don’t fuss over bills.

    • anon for this :

      I believe that if I do or don’t do certain things- like park my car in the same place, listen to certain songs in the mornings, wear certain clothes, take certain routes to work, use certain makeup, I will have a terrible day at work and bad things will happen and my career will tank. I’m usually following about 10-15 specific made-up rules any given day. I develop similar patterns with relationships. Sometimes I’ll denote an object as good luck and refuse to part with it. They’re generally harmless, but are a constant buzz of insecurity and anxiety. Objectively, I have great credentials and I am a well-loved and respected associate at my firm. I have never been diagnosed with OCD, just anxiety and depression.

    • My self esteem is 100% bound to the number on the scale. I wish I could love myself even when, like now, I have a significant amount of weight to lose.

    • Anonymous :

      I am a married mom now because I was unintentionally careless with birth control and got knocked up. We got married and had the baby shortly thereafter. Sometimes I wish I could tell women to do this because I’m not sure I would have married or had a kid otherwise. I secretly think it’s the luckiest thing that ever happened to me (though it felt terrifying at the time).

    • Anonymous :

      I’m pretty sure I am going to be single forever because I am so fat.

      • That’s what society tells you but it’s not true <3. I'm north of 350 lbs and in a happy relationship, you'll get there too

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That is not a thing. Truly.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        This is not true. So many people will (and do) find you beautiful — and not “in spite of” anything, just plain ol’ beautiful.

    • This thread clearly ended up being very cathartic. Thanks for starting it!

    • Anonymous :

      My parents are horrible and I am the only one of their children who capable of taking care of them, so I’m stuck with the job. I loathe them and wish they would die already.

      • Anonymous :

        Here here sister.

        Signed,

        Caregiver to bipolar paralyzed father who abused me.

        • anonymous :

          I am confused by this… if someone is horrible and causes damage to your life, why do you have to keep them around just because you’re related?

          If it’s “who else would do it?’ why not reach out to the elder dept of your state or city and find out what happens for people who are a certain age, can’t care for themselves, and can’t afford their own care?

          I know society says children are obligated, but we’re not. Someone shouldn’t get to be horrible throughout our lives and end their own life by making ours that much worse.

          • Anonymous :

            Give us a f–ing break, ok? This is a venting thread, NOT where we have to share all the details and defend ourselves when clearly you have no empathy and are not a caregiver.

            Go away.

          • I don’t think that kind of hostility is warranted. I think it’s giving the OP permission (even if from an anonymous stranger) to not have to be the one to care for abusive parents. OP, do whatever is best for you – stick them in a home or whatever you need to do. You don’t owe them anything.

          • anonymous :

            I only wish someone would have said this to me and given me the permission I couldn’t give myself. Instead, I spent thousands of dollars and thousands of hours with someone who only reinforced my insecurities and who made my life revolve around them until they died, leaving me the mess to clean up and feeling guilty for feeling relieved when they passed.

            I think our society makes us think we owe them forever but we don’t. I wish I would have called a home or whatever to put the parent in and let it be. Then I’d have my sanity, my retirement account would be much better off, and I wouldn’t have wasted so much of my life both on their care and on trying to recover from them.

          • I’m the OP at 5:53 p.m.

            Thanks for this. I have them in assisted living and I visit them a couple times a month and call occasionally and handle their finances. Basically the bare minimum. Fortunately they have enough money to last until they are in their mid-to-late 90s and I am hoping and praying they die before the money runs out.

            I have had LOTS of therapy to get to this point.

    • Anonymous :

      I love my husband very much and he’s really handsome by objective standards but I just don’t feel that much physical desire for him anymore, and I fantasize about my dorky and not-really-that-cute co-worker all the time.

    • anonymous :

      My recent ex is a narcissist (never diagnosed NPD but would likely qualify). I am working to come away from him and out of his grasp. However, I now realize that he has severe money issues and is not at all classically attractive. Which means there was likely nothing redeeming about him and now I feel weird talking with friends about the emotions I feel when I miss him and such. I feel like, if he were George Clooney and awful, people would get it because they could see the appeal of the money or the fame or the attraction, but knowing that he’s seen as a broke, 120+ lb overweight homeless looking person who is also a narcissist makes me think that talking about the pain I feel makes me sound ridiculous.

    • anonymous :

      I worry that, if I post my secret here and no one comments their support or that it’s true for them too, it’ll just verify that I’m a freak.

    • Thank you for starting this, OP. I am very happy with my personal life but my professional life has gone off track and it’s caused me to be very anxious and depressed. I’ve realized that I’ve always defined my worth by my academic/career success and not having it makes me question everything. I feel more like a stereotypical man in being defined by my professional success and yet I also feel pressured to feel “mom guilt” even though I’m not sure I even want to be home more.

    • Husband and I haven’t had a LGP in 3 years. I know I should feel like something is wrong in our relationship but it’s not. We’re happy and love each other.

    • Anonymous :

      I like popping zits way, wayyyyy too much

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Sometimes I watch those videos on you tube. I am so grossed out but also mesmerized.

    • Only a few of my very closest friends know I’m a radical feminist. I want to write an op-ed relevant to my field of work, but I’m afraid of being doxxed or harassed by males and liberal feminists.

      • How does radical feminism differ from feminism?

        • being super transphobic and reducing women to walking vaginas

          • Thanks, Anonymous! Super supportive and not judgmental at all; you really made a valuable contribution to a thread where people share their fears. “So anon”, radical feminism believes that feminism is about ending male violence and oppression, not about “choice” as the be-all end-all for all of the problems facing women.

    • I am getting ready to turn 40 this year, and still unmarried. And I am not all that successful with my career either. I can support myself, but I am grossly underpaid for what I do, relative to my peers. I have to actively manage my money to make this salary work. I live by myself in a 1 bedroom condo, and I worry that I will never be able to afford an actual house, or just to move to a new condo. I am afraid I will be stuck here forever. I worry that my parents are embarrassed that their oldest daughter is still unmarried, when the younger siblings have already taken care of this. I am head over heels for an ex-boyfriend and have never gotten over him. I worry, worry, worry that this 1 bedroom condo is as far as I could make it in life, and I won’t ever get to experience anything better or more than this. I am worried that i still can’t quite explain how my life turned out to be so flat. Babies are obviously out for me, but I am starting to believe that home ownership and a husband are out too. All of the mile markers of a successful life, and I might not hit any one of them.

  18. Do you guys believe that you should strive to be happily alone/single before you can really be in a healthy relationship? Or it doesnt really matter?

    • Yes. If you are not secure in your identity and values on your own, you will be attractive to the wrong kind of people, and it will be more difficult for you to recognize and exit an unhealthy relationship. That doesn’t mean it’s unhealthy to want a partner, it just means you need to be a whole person before you can be part of a healthy couple.

    • Yes absolutely. My last serious relationship happened a couple years after a previous relationship ended in cheating/a terrible breakup. I was not 100% emotionally or psychologically and it ruined my next relationship.

      I didn’t realize it at the time (and ultimately think that my most recent ex and I were not well-matched for each other anyways) but with the benefit of hindsight, I think things would have been much better if I was healed.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, absolutely.

    • As much as I want to play devil’s advocate, I do kind of thing this cliche leans more towards true. In long-ago relationships I was content to stay in relationships that were miserable (in fact I fought really hard for them!). I didn’t consciously think “I’m going to do whatever I can to keep this together because I don’t want to be along” but that’s definitely what was going on. Once I really spent a lot of time by myself (and did some therapy to figure out what I really wanted in a relationship) and got to a point where I didn’t feel like I NEEDED to be in a relationship, I got a lot more comfortable saying no to second dates and didn’t feel as crushed when someone I liked didn’t like me back. So then when I met my current significant other, I was able to clearly ask “do I like this person? Do they make me happy? Are they giving me what I want and need in a relationship?” instead of “omg what can I do to make them happy/not leave??” which has resulted in a very healthy and stable relationship – I don’t think I could have gotten here without being comfortable being on my own first.

    • Ehhh I’ll go ahead and plays Devils Advocate (and I actually believe this). I am never going to be a truly “happy” person. I am sometimes happy, but often not (not that I’m always angry/actively sad, I’m just usually sort of “blah”). I was lucky to find someone who understands my weaknesses and doesn’t judge me for them, and honestly, I’m much happier in relationships than I have been in the same emotional state, but single. I believe that some people can find the right person that will make them happier than they could be alone.

      • PatsyStone :

        Yeah. There’s not a magical level of happy that needs to be achieved. It’s not happiness in itself to achieve. Most people have a baseline happiness level through their lives. It’s about whether you are emotionally healthy enough to handle your own sh*t as to not push your chaos into a relationship.

        • Calibrachoa :

          This, and that your emotional issues are compatible. Occasionally two train wrecks can make it to the station together

    • Yes. When I read the post about an abusive relationship above, my immediate thought was: This is a person who needs to spend a long period single before entering into any romantic relationship of any depth so she can feel confident cutting off a bad relationship.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes. This isn’t quite that, but I was in an LDR through college, and I think being LDR rather than single or in an on-campus relationship helped me a lot with confidence and becoming my own person, without anxiety over being single or being attached at the hip.

    • Anonymous :

      Not really. I mean if you have obvious issues with relationships or find yourself willing to settle for anyone to avoid being alone, get some therapy so that you’re capable of forming good relationships. If you’re kind of bummed about being single, that’s not some special thing you need to fix.

      • +1

      • Senior Attorney :

        This.

        I was way happier on my own than I was with my horrible former husband. But I am way way WAY happier with my lovely new husband than I was when I was on my own.

      • Oh absolutely. I hate how this is phrased, like it’s a further punishment and you don’t deserve to have a relationship because you as a person are not yet good enough. As if you have to finally accept your fate as being forever alone before anyone will ever want to be with you.

        And really, does anyone ever say this to a man? Although I believe a lot of men are much more comfortable getting to that point organically because they don’t have the time pressure of fertility and social pressure to be married by 30 or whatever.

    • Hmm, not really. I think there’s all this pressure to be “totally, perfectly, completely, happy” alone that’s just unrealistic. It’s totally okay to be lonely and to want a relationship and to find that one makes your life better. That was certainly the case for me – I wanted someone to share my life with. That said, I think it is important to live the best life you can and to just generally realize that you’re in control of your own happiness, no one else can do that for you. So even in those moments of loneliness, I think you’ll do better in a relationship if you have a lot of peace with yourself and your life. Before I met my husband, I had a really full life – lots of friends, social engagements, fulfilling job, etc., and I was really grateful for that, but I still wanted to meet my person. I got really lucky and I did, but I also knew it wasn’t completely in my control – I could improve my odds but I couldn’t guarantee that it would happen.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t think “happy” is the right word, but I do think that it is helpful to be “comfortable” being single before being in a relationship.

      I was single for a decade before meeting my husband and I really think that having a really good sense of who I am and being comfortable being alone helped me. I knew exactly what I was looking for and didn’t feel like I HAD to be in a relationship.

      On the other hand, I have a sister who has been in one serious relationship after another since she was 16 and has never really been alone. Each boyfriend has been objectively worse than the last. I think she has some serious self-esteem issues and is afraid to be alone. I know that simply being single for a period of time wouldn’t magically solve her problems, but I think that it could help her feel more self-reliant, which might help some. Ideally, that self-reliance could also help her be a little more discerning when jumping straight back into a relationship with someone regardless of the red flags.

  19. Long Distance Love? :

    I met someone last summer when we were working in the same area. We dated briefly but didn’t continue things into the fall as we would have been long distance. (Both in consulting, based in different areas.) We didn’t know each other well enough to be sure that it would be worth the effort to try. We’ve regularly communicated since then and might be seeing each other soon due to work travels. I wonder what could have been and feel like he might as well, because he asks questions about whether I’m seeing anyone else. Does him asking this mean anything? And has anyone been in a similar situation? I’m not sure if I should bring this up knowing how difficult it would be to try a relationship. It’d be long distance, but complicated by the crazy hours and work travel on both sides.

    • I believe that LDRs are totally doable, but I almost never think it’s a good idea to start a relationship that way. It’s just too hard. If you want a straightforward answer, unless the situation changes for one of you and you end up closer to each other, I wouldn’t try to move forward with this.

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree that OP and this guy haven’t known each other long enough to do an LDR. My husband and I dated in person for two months, then were long distance for two years until he moved to be with me. We’ve now been married for more than 10 years.
        That said, I’m inclined to agree with January that this guy could very well be asking if you’re single because he’s hoping for some casual s*x while you’re in the same city.

    • Yu need to figure out of a LDR is something you want. As Anon at 3:09 said, it is totally doable! I think you need to just have a straightforward talk to him and see if he’s willing to take the plunge.

      That being said, it likely wont be easy and I’ve seen some LDRs fail because of poor communication skills and people making assumptions (which already exists in many relationships, let alone adding distance into the mix). I’ve also seen people end up idealizing or romanticizing their partner because they are apart for so long and overlook things they usually wouldn’t if they saw the person every other day, but they were afraid to end it/end up like a statistic of an LDR not working out.

      I think what helps is if you have an end game/clear plan of when (and where) you guys will be living in the same location (or at least a short driving distance away).

    • I mean, the cynical response is that his asking whether you’re seeing anyone just means he wants to know whether there’s a possibility of a one-night stand while you’re both in the same place, but he’s not seriously thinking about whether a relationship would be worth a try.

      That said – enough about him. What do you want? Would you be up for a fling while you’re both in the same town, or just meeting him for friendly drinks, or… ? You can certainly ask him what he’s thinking without being 100% sure of where you stand yourself, but know that he might be as confused or of two minds about it as you are.

    • It could work! I met someone from my college while abroad – we were in two different countries all summer (hence, didn’t really think about dating) but got to know each other better via IM/etc and dated when we both returned to the US. I really liked getting to know him via correspondence rather than being able to just be physical in the early part of the relationship. We broke up b/c we were young/hadn’t been in other relationships but had we met later, it could have worked out long term.

  20. Never too many shoes... :

    When my now-husband (13 years) and I started “dating”, we were living in two different countries, five time zones apart. A great deal of our relationship took place over long phone calls and email with a few one-week visits in between. It was so, so hard but was also an excellent way to really get to know each other since we could not really default to “not talking” activities like movies or…whatever.

    The real issue, in my mind, is whether either one of you would ever consider relocating. If the answer is a hard no, then there is not much point. But if it is maybe, then I would encourage you to give it a try.

  21. "Interests" on Resumes :

    Do you put an “interest” line on your resume? What’s in there? I was encouraged by my law school to do this, and a few years later I’m torn on whether to keep it. I did get asked about a few things in there when I did my 1L on-campus interviews.

    How do y’all feel about including a certain type of fitness in the interests? I don’t have time for many hobbies, but I make it a priority to work out at a specific studio a few times a week. Think CrossFit, spin, yoga, along those lines.

    • My interests are listed as related to the organizations I belong to- for me it’s having a leadership role in an adult chorus, and is listed under my volunteer and organizations heading. I’m iffy on having an “interests” section on a resume. Maybe if you think they really stand out those could be in your cover letter?

      I don’t think the fitness stuff is appropriate.

      • I agree with including volunteering and involvement in organizations, particularly leadership positions. It shows you have a network in and ties to the community.

    • I always debate about this. Earlier on, I thought it was silly, but now that I interview people, I like to ask them about their interests to see if they are people who can engage in a conversation.

      So, if you have real “interesting” interests, I’d put them on. Maybe pick a couple specific ones — say CrossFit and yoga — rather than saying you like fitness.

      As for myself, I struggle with this. I’m in biglaw with two little kids and a husband who works full time, and I have no time for hobbies or “interests”. My interests are like, going to the park with my kids on the weekend. This is not really something one can put on one’s resume! I updated my resume a while ago and couldn’t think of anything to put there that would not sound fake or super unimpressive — like, I enjoy reading and travel and running, but I’ve read like one novel in the past year, and run 3 miles like a few times a week, so I end up looking pretty un-interesting!

      • But interviewees should be able to engage in a conversation about their work, not just about their interests. If the interview is particularly long or includes a meal, then a good conversationalist should be able to bring up personal interests without a prompt from the interviewer.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I put martial arts when I was doing that seriously. I put tap dancing when I was doing that seriously. Both of those made for fun and interesting conversations.

        These days I’m kind of boring so I’d probably skip it. (I don’t feel like “growing grapes alongside the driveway and making wine in the guest bathroom” really sings…)

    • Anonymous :

      I would absolutely not put a fitness interest on my resume. I don’t put eating or grocery shopping or bathing or yard work, so I wouldn’t put fitness activities unless maybe I taught classes

      • Anonymous :

        It sounds like fitness is a chore for you, not an interest.

        • After reading the comments here I may forego the interest line entirely. But this particular fitness interest is just that– an interest/ hobby– and certainly not a chore like grocery shopping.

        • Anonymous at 4:33 :

          Not at all! I teach Spinning and train for marathons and love exercising and hiking and having an active lifestyle. But I don’t define myself by these things- they’re just things I do, similar to making food and maintaining my home.

    • No, not after law school.

    • I do not put an “interest” line on my resume because I think it has much more potential to hurt than to help, particularly when a group is deciding/ making judgments about you. I wouldn’t include it unless you’re applying for a job where it’s expected and looks weird if you don’t include it (including applying for jobs straight out of law school). By a few years out, you should have enough experience to fill the page without including your interests.

    • Calibrachoa :

      In Europe, the interests are expected as the semi-standard European CV is ĺonger and more detailed than a US resume, so mine does include mine – music, travel and dance, because I can leverage each into a good talking point if asked.

    • The interests can be helpful if you are going through OCI. It was helpful when I was interviewing 15 students in a single day, but only if it was genuinely interesting. For example: I wouldn’t put down running but I would absolutely include that you trained for and ran the NYC marathon because it shows determination and the ability to see a goal to its end. I wouldn’t put “cooking,” but if you took at class from an Iron Chef I would include it. Part of what we were screening for was the “Atlanta Airport Test.” Basically, if you get stuck with this person at the Atlanta airport for four hours, will it be miserable?

      • Give me a break. You act like the airport test is something novel – every interviewer does it, whether they call it or not. And no the NYC marathon will not push you over the edge of being interesting. We all know when we meet someone interesting vs. someone boring/annoying. It has nothing to do with the interest line. It has to do with whether they are polite, polished and not a bore and not socially awkward/Aspie.

        • I disagree. I’ve actually met a fair number of people who can be very reserved when talking about some things, but on other subjects they really open up and show their enthusiasm and have a much easier time connecting on a personal level. I don’t think this is all that unusual, but then again I did spend time in a field with a higher-than-average amount of socially awkward people.

    • anonymous :

      I think this is highly dependent on the job, your interviewers, and your interests. I am a lawyer who spent a year doing data analytics of the Supreme Court. I know A LOT about the SCOTUS and really geek out about it. I also golfed in college and have been to a lot of professional tournaments and follow it closely (as well as local sports). These are topics that biglaw lawyers (mostly older men) eat up, so they go on my resume (strictly one line) and aaaaaaalways gets good conversation on an interview. When I worked at a non-profit, they were not on my resume and other interests came up organically in the interview. I think you need to have more than a passing interest to put it on your resume and need to really be able to speak about it (i.e., don’t say you ‘enjoy running’ if you jog a mile once a week because you could end up interviewing with someone who completes an Iron Man every year and you will regret putting it on your resume.) If you can’t talk the talk because you are a generalist or too busy to have a hobby you would be comfortable speaking to (again, depends on the environment), then you are better off not putting anything down.

      • Senior Attorney :

        See, that’s my thing. My main non-gym, non-work activity these days is riding my bike along with LH, who is a Very Serious Cyclist. I am not at all a Very Serious Cyclist so I wouldn’t dare put “cycling” on my resume lest I be forced to confess I don’t even clip in…

        • anonymous :

          Yes! I am a generalist in a lot of other things, too and would not dare to include them! At my old firm, interviews would also often get assigned on common interest or schools, so if you wrote an interest involving sports, you would get paired with this partner that was basically a super athlete and had completed several Iron Mans (even had the tattoo) and regularly did Cross-Fit and could stand on his head in yoga. And he was 50! In other words, don’t invite it if you aren’t ready to geek out bigtime on it.

          PS- also love biking with my SO, who is also a VSC, and clips downright scare me. WHAT IF I TIPPED?!

    • I think it works for entry-level or more junior positions, where there are hundreds of identical applicants and can give you something to touch on and be remembered by. Past that point, your professional achievements should stand for themselves.

    • Meg March :

      I am very junior– currently a paralegal applying for law school, and I have one line of Interests on my resume– it’s not taking anything away from my otherwise pretty short resume, and has allowed for some good conversations during interviews. I only put things on there that I’m willing to talk about in detail, and that, yes, I’m fairly good at. My interests section includes: my NFL team (i.e., “New England Patriots,” since I watch every game, play fantasy, follow their draft picks and trades, and could otherwise have a serious conversation about them, not just occasionally root for them if I see the game on tv), hiking (I hiked part of the Appalachian Trail for a month about two years ago and hike approx. every other week during the summer), and New York Times Crossword Puzzle (I do it every day. Yes, including Sunday. In ink.). Like I said, I feel like you have to be able to talk about it, and have something to say besides “isn’t it neat!”

  22. I see I’m in the minority here. But I really do think it’s helpful (if they don’t make you sound frivolous or boring), and can help guide your interviewer to seeing you as a three-dimensional person they might get along with.

  23. Bored at work. Texted 3 friends today – not one has responded. UGH. Come on – need some social contact?? I realize it’s Friday and ppl are finishing work and running out the door – and we text as a running convo, so they’ll get back to me a day from now but ugh. Sitting in the office for another 1-1.5 hrs, while 1 is home for mat leave; another “works” from home on Fridays; and another rolls into work at 11 am and isn’t that pressed for time . . . .

    • My sister is on mat leave right now and it takes her waaaaay longer to text me back than it ever did when she was working full-time. Mat leave isn’t a vacation.

  24. Legal Aid :

    A client just called me a “f*cking c**t.”

    It was a good day before this, but godd*mn do I hate legal aid sometimes. I started to cry after I got off the phone. Told the client that was unacceptable and he hung up on me.

    Ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh, ugh.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, man. I’m sorry!

      Maybe you can meet up with our friend Shots! Shots! Shots! later!

    • If Shots! Shots! Shots! isn’t available, maybe Bottle of Wine is?
      (Also, you are very brave and very good to work at Legal Aid!)

    • DAAnon123 :

      I’m sorry that happened. I’m a prosecutor and one time had a witness call me the same. Our boss’s policy was that we weren’t allowed to respond, even to say that it was unacceptable.

    • I’m really sorry he did that to you. I don’t know how it works at Legal Aid, but if I were you, I would feel no obligation to help or work with this client ever again. It’s one thing to lose your temper and call someone a jerk or maybe even an *sshole, but misogynistic slurs are NEVER acceptable and you don’t have to “put up with it.” If it’s an insult no man would ever receive, I wouldn’t think I should receive it either.

    • Then allow me to call you a g*[email protected] incredible HERO.

      The tough thing about working in your line of work is that it is thankless by the people you help but so very appreciated by those of us you don’t. I don’t know you and I am not your client but I am thankful for you and for the work you do. You are an important part of society. Keep fighting the fight. You are a Champion and a Hero. Thank you.

    • anonymous :

      this makes me think of my friends who are social workers. one had her car damaged but the facility wouldn’t release security footage to the police since they were protecting the person who did this because that person was a client (and brought in substantial money from the gov’t to help). another was spat on at least weekly by angry clients with special needs. some go to homes with roaches and bed bugs and have to disinfect before going home.

      I wish jobs with awful people gave hazard pay.

  25. Has anyone installed a California Closets closet in their home? I’m completely intrigued by their website but can’t get any sense of the cost. It looks like there’s 4 levels & I’d actually be happy with “level 2” which they call “$$” but there’s no scale for what that means. Wondering if anyone has used them and has a sense of what the cost is to put one in?

    • Not California Closets but a similar company cost me a few hundred per closet in my 75 year old house (with 75 year old sized closets). At the same time we turned a sitting room off the master bedroom into a walk in closet and that was several thousand.

  26. Any guidance on recovering from plantar fasciitis? It’s been months but every step is still painful. I’m seeking a podiatrist, have inserts, have done shots and meds but am still in pain.

    • So sorry, no advice, just commiseration, I have it too. Just curious, how did you get it?

    • Yes! I have advice. Wearing inflexible soles exclusively for a few days fixes it for me every time. Dansko or Sven clogs. Jambu wedges with the “rocker” sole. Not super cute but they do it.

      Also, don’t go barefoot. Ever. Get slippers with arch support (I am currently wearing Birkenstock clogs, but fit flop makes some good slippers too) and wear them every second you are not in regular shoes. I even slip them on to walk to the bathroom in the middle of the night.

    • Thanks for the advice. I recently started wearing Clogs and that had helped. I do have a habit of walking bearfoot at home so will work on that. I think I aggregated them by wearing flat sandals all summer. Birds but still not enough support for my arches.

    • Anonymous :

      Vionic brand shoes (and slippers) or Birkenstocks. Orthotics in everything else.

    • S in Chicago :

      KURU shoes for days I’ll do a ton of concrete walking. A true lifesaver. I also wear Vionic flip flops instead of going barefoot. Like literally at the side of the bed. That’s maintenance though. When physical therapy and a shot didn’t work, it looked like I was headed to surgery (had already had surgery for an embedded nerve thanks to pf on the other foot). My podiatrist put me in a walking boot for a month–it seriously was better in just a few days and perfect by the end.

    • Wildkitten :

      Strassburg sock

    • Anonymous :

      Buy the trigger point therapy workbook. Massaging my calves the right way changed my life.

      • +1

        I have the trigger point therapy workbook and have found working on my calves to be hugely helpful for foot pain.

    • NEVER go barefoot. Get a Strasburg sock and sleep in it regularly. (I did for about six months,and i am one of those people who cannot sleep when anything is the least bit “off.”) It’s easy and painless. https://www.amazon.com/Strassburg-Sock-Large-16-21-inches/dp/B005GK9YBU/ref=sr_1_2_s_it?s=hpc&ie=UTF8&qid=1488810403&sr=1-2&keywords=strasburg+socks

      Also, get a slantboard and use it regularly. recommendations are six times a day 10 minutes at a time. I rarely met that goal but could manage 40 or 50 minutes, by using it while drying my hair, having my morning coffee and reading the newspaper (or email), eating lunch, etc.

      The principal cause of plantar fascitis is that your achilles tendon is too tight. Any fix other than stretching it and not letting it tighten up at night (the sock), is temporary and a patch. It’s something that requires a long term solution, and you really have to keep at it.

      The other thing I use is Superfeet insoles for flats and for high heels. They are pricey, but you may have noticed that flats in particular have NO arch support, and these add that. https://www.amazon.com/Superfeet-Womens-Delux-High-Heel/dp/B00B806DNE/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1488810327&sr=8-7&keywords=superfeet+insoles+for+flats

    • Physical therapy, several times a week. It’s the ONLY thing that worked for me.

    • My SO is an ultra runner and this is a common issue for him and his friends. He wore a hard strap on boot brace to bed and did super intense stretches for a couple of weeks/maybe months (pre-us dating). Apparently part of the issue is the re-tearing every morning when you step out of bed? His friend is dealing with it now and there is some new piece of equipment to use. Try searching some ultra running forums for tips.

  27. Visa for Europe travel? :

    Did anyone else see the news about he EU requiring Americans to get a visa for tourist travel? It’s not locked yet (they would have to implement the law by May), but should I get a visa for my trip to the UK in July? What are all the other Europe summer vacationers doing?

    • Anonymous :

      Going to Italy in May and so far doing nothing. I understand the EU just passed some sort of resolution encouraging countries to do it, and individual countries would actually have to implement the law for it to take any effect. i don’t see major tourist destinations like the UK, France and Italy doing anything but it remains to be seen. I will certainly be keeping tabs on this news.

  28. Having this week off with the university closed has given me a lot of time to reflect and, while I’m sometimes sad, it’s been good! I didn’t do much running around at all. I spent a lot of time at home, reading, knitting, getting things picked up around the house. I love my job, but weeks like this are incredible for rest and rejuvenation.
    Some reflections:
    -I discovered that when I don’t feel obligated to wake up early and chat with someone, I CAN actually sleep in. I slept a lot over break and, wow, it felt great.
    -when I sleep and take care of myself, I don’t automatically get sick when I let down and relax.
    -while I miss my ex-SO, I don’t think there’s any possibility of going back. He misses me but doesn’t know how to change anything, so there’s that. I had come to the realization that he was too old for me. One of my friends pointed out that it’s a mindset (on his part) – an outdated perspective on how one should treat a significant other.
    -I’m a little scared that I’ll be alone for the rest of my life. It’s hard to meet someone when you’re not social.
    -my cat wails a lot, but it helps to cuddle her rather than getting angry.
    -my knees are absolute crap and that’s scary.

    • anonymous :

      hugs for all of those things (except yay’s for the sleeping in and the cat snuggling)

      • Thanks! My cat was driving me crazy the other day. Just sitting in front of me wailing when I wanted to read and be quiet. I started to get angry, but then poor thing just looked so pitiful, so I scooped her up and cuddled her for a while and she stopped wailing and begging for treats.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Glad you are having a good week even though you’re dealing with tough realizations. I’ve been thinking of you lately. It sounds like you really needed a week off.

      • Thanks, Sydney. I really did need a week off. I have been worn out. It’s rough because he is here in Louisiana right now, but I’m just trying to get past it and be ok. There is just no hope, at this point, that I would take him back. I just need to take care of myself.

        • anonymous :

          going through that right now, knowing he’s nearby but there’s no way in any form that things could ever work between us. it makes me hermit out of fear of running into him, but being home surrounds me with calm, so I’m giving myself permission to hermit.

  29. I’m kind of dreading spring. Not that I wouldn’t like a warm vacation or something but strictly in relation to work clothing, I feel so much more professional in winter clothing. I love wool separates and coats and tights and scarves and layers. I also look best in dark colors with my winter coloring.

    Do you have any go-to spring/summer outfits that aren’t too pastel-y and resort-y?

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