Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

This style of  sandal is super popular this year — high block heel, thin straps — but this particular shoe has a few things going for it: it’s affordable and Zappos reviewers are raving about its comfort. (One woman said she never wears heels and only bought it because it came in wide sizes — and still found it so comfortable she wore it all day long! Whoa.) It comes in camel (pictured), black, navy, and a lovely burgundy, in regular and wide sizes 5-11, for $79.95, at Zappos. Steve Madden Declair

(Not the same shoe, but very similar from the brand: this $89 sandal is very similar and comes in a zillion colors; this $79 sandal has a lower heel.

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Comments

  1. Money mismatch :

    How big a mismatch between finances is too big? My good friend has a trust fund (mid six figures), several savings and retirement accounts of her own, and makes about $45,000 a year in a social-work type job (in a low COL area). Her fiance makes $10 an hour at a part-time job doing something he hates while he tries to break into a competitive but low-paying government job and has 0 in savings. They both live a pretty low-cost lifestyle (no lavish vacations or fancy clothes or anything), but she just told me she has an opportunity to travel to France with another friend and that she wants her fiance to come, but that he “feels weird about her paying for more of it” and that she is not sure he’ll be on board with combining finances once they’re married. He knows how much money she has and everything, but I didn’t realize he would actually potentially hold her back on trips like this (that would be a great opportunity for her and not just one in a long line of luxury trips). I am encouraging her to go no matter what, even if he doesn’t, but I’m sure that might cause tension in their relationship. The more I think about it, the more I wonder whether you can truly overcome such a big difference in financial status and maybe financial values? This reeks of some kind of internalized sexism, but it’s also true that he is just not used to her level of financial security. Has anyone successfully bridged such a gap? I find this topic so interesting and have seen good discussions here over the years, and of course, I would love to be able to pass any good advice to my friend if she asks for it.

    • I think there’s a major distinction between different financial situations and different financial values. The first is just a number and I don’t think it would really stand in the way of a successful relationship. But having different attitudes – both in the priority of saving /spending and as far as whether to combine finances and what that means – can easily be a deal breaker even if both people have very similar finances. It sounds like they really need to sit down and talk about their values and their expectations when they marry.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        The red flag is that one person sees His Money and Her Money, while the other sees Our Money. That will be an issue for a marriage.

      • Marshmallow :

        Yes, exactly this. The difference isn’t the amount of money they have, it’s how they look at money. At least once you’re engaged, both partners should be shifting toward an “our money” standpoint. Keeping finances “separate” once married, in separate accounts or whatever, isn’t going to solve this problem.

        • I don’t agree both partners “should” shift to “our money”. Both partners have to have the same mindset, or there would be problems. But you do not have to share money. My husband and I have our own accounts and we split all joint expenses 50/50. We don’t have to clear or discuss non-joint purchases. We’ve been together ten years. But this is how we both want it. Agreement is the critical thing, not which way you do it.

          • Anonymous :

            +1. We don’t have combined finances other than our joint mortgage, and we’ve been married fir 14 years. It works for us.

    • It’s very possible to have a fulfilling and harmonious relationship if they both have a chilled attitude to money. I married my husband when he was in the service industry and had no savings at all, and early in our relationship I took him to my home country and paid for the whole thing. He’s a wonderful traveler- since he had barely ever been abroad before, everything was amazing to him and he loved every minute of it. In turn, I was happy that I was able to open his world to new experiences and to make his life richer through our relationship rather than more restricted. Of course, this all depended on my feminist husband being able to accept me as the breadwinner and to reject old fashioned notions about gender roles. Luckily he was never fragile enough to feel emasculated because I was the career-orientated one, and after I got pregnant he gave up his job (happily) to become a stay-at-home-dad.

      Long story short, if she’s happy to pay and he’s happy to positively profit from the opportunity she’s offering, it can be totally fine. If she is resentful about spending the money and he feels emasculated or that it’s not ‘right’ or ‘proper’ for him to lean on her, they’re in for a world of problems.

      • Money mismatch :

        That’s the thing – she’s willing to pay (she rightfully considers this trust fund unearned income and wants to use it to make their lives better) and he is ostensibly okay with her earning and having more money, but apparently for this trip, it’s “weird” to him. Maybe his thoughts about it just hadn’t been put to the test before.

        • Wildkitten :

          Engagement is a great opportunity for your friend and her fiance to discuss these issues and decide if they want to marry. They should probably pursue pre-marital counseling to discuss this and other issues.

          • Find a guy with money and bang him until you are married. Thereafter ration the sex so you get what u want.

          • Wildkitten :

            R. But what if you never marry him and then he steals your dog?

          • As long as you strive to keep fresh and desirable before marriage and be willing to accede to his bedroom requests, you will get the ring. Once you’re married, he’s hooked and you can lock your knees together with impunity. If you later want to dump him, that’s cool and you’ll have legal custody rights to retrieve your dog if he even tries takes it. Good luck with your boyfriend and remember these simple rules and you’ll come out on top!

  2. Compassion :

    There were some interesting comments on the thread this morning about how it’s possible to care for and have compassion for people you don’t know personally/have nothing in common with. You all might find this article really interesting, as I did: http://quillette.com/2017/04/20/crucible-application-process/#menuopen

    • Anonymous :

      Very interesting!

      I do relate to they “why I care discussion” in the article. Why — because it’s the right thing to do. Because it’s what I learned in Sunday school as a child that God commanded us to do. [I am a pretty good candidate for not making it past the pearly gates, but I do try to do undo others even as I sleep in on Sunday, etc.]. Because it makes me the person my dog hopes I am. Because I lucked out and want to pay it forward for when my luck runs out. Just because.

      This would drive me batty.

    • Marshmallow :

      Not sure if I identify it as a problem of the left or not, but the “why do I care” thing rings very true in my personal experience. On the other side of the coin, I know a lot of folks who DON’T care unless something affects them personally or they have some other common identity with those who are suffering. Read: white Americans who don’t care about the suffering of black Americans, but care a lot about perceived threats to their (white) ethnicity.

      And when I was reeling from the election (was? still am?) I got this line of questioning a lot: “But how will it affect YOU?” “It probably won’t, personally. I just think it’s wrong to [prevent gay marriage/ profile and threaten Muslim people/ force women to carry unwanted or dangerous pregnancies to term/ etc.]” “Well sure but YOU aren’t any of those things. How will it affect YOU?” Me: “But it’s just WRONG.”

      a;lksf;alkjsf;lakjdfl;kjasdf

    • Anonshmanon :

      This article is very unsettling. I feel compelled to point out the logical error that the writer interacted with probably close to 100% liberals in this process, and subsequently implies that the worldviews he laments are typical/more prevalent in the far-left. Unfortunately, the observations are still shocking.

      The discussion this morning put me in a very cynical mood, as this is a recurring pattern. People fighting for a cause that they don’t have a stake in are essentially accused of dishonesty. Because it is so unthinkable that you would empathize with unconnected human beings that you just have to have an ulterior motive.
      But when you are a stakeholder, this argument gets conveniently turned on its head. Well you’ve got skin in the game, your viewpoint is entirely subjective.
      So the group who wants to better their own situation gets dismissed but so do the people who wish to help them. It’s hard to stay positive in view of such overwhelming bias.

  3. This is a shoe very similar to the ones I was talking about when I asked last week if a shoe that comes off super frumpy in one color could be stylish in another ! I ordered the Louise et Cie version and Sam Edelman version of this sandal recently (both with 2.25 inch heel) — I was looking for a pink-darker-than-blush. Am still on the fence frump-wise but the colors are great for a dress I own.

    Question please: Does anyone know if in the fed sector, interviews for a posted position can begin before the close date, i.e. they just cannot make a hire before then? Or does it mean nothing can happen until the close date happens?

    • KateMiddletown :

      I saw a similar heel at Payless, too. We’re considering for bridesmaids for an upcoming wedding.

      • I bought the payless version online, and I acutally hate them. The ankle strap is super short and oddly placed. YMV, but they’re frump city on me.

    • Your second question would probably get answered on the AAM open thread. I know there are quite a few feds who are frequent commenters.

    • Anonymous :

      Executive branch? If so nothing happens until the ‘cert’ closes (on the date listed on USAJobs). So there’s no advantage to submitting an early application, if that’s what you’re asking.

  4. Travel Issues Rant :

    I am not sure there is a solution to this, and maybe this is more of a rant. I recently became a permanent resident, which I am thrilled with. But international travel is just not much easier because I still need a visa in advance to go to most countries that I’d go to for work. And that takes a lot of time, too much time for me to be able to go. I feel like I am missing out on client development and professional development opportunities and it is frustrating.

    • Wildkitten :

      I am really sorry. That sounds really frustrating. The good thing about being an LRP is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, if you want to become a citizen. Do you already know what your timeline is and have it written on your calendar? (That’s what I do for student loans.)

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Oh definitely. I am interested in becoming a citizen. Over 4.5 years away though. :/

        I think I feel extra frustrated because I have been in this country for over 15 years on a string of visas, never knowing if I was going to have leave after a few years. And it felt like becoming an LPR was a solution to ALL the problems, but it really isn’t.

        I was also recently detained, aggressively interrogated, and forced to give up my passwords for my phone and computer. I just don’t think that nonsense is ever going to change, even when I am a citizen.

        • I am so sorry that happened to you and I’m wondering what you mean by “forced” to give up your passwords. I have read that this is occurring more and more and it’s truly alarming. Did they threaten to deny you entry because you are not a citizen?

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            By forced, I mean I either had to give up my password or face continued detention. I was detained for over 7 hours, and I felt I really needed to get home to my family, so I gave them up.
            I did not want to, with the most salient reason being that my computer and phone are full of client confidential information of companies these people would have heard of and perhaps even be interested in. I am not sure how long they would have detained me if I continued to refuse to give them up. It could have been a really long time.

            This was after the whole “do we have to let in LPRs?” thing was resolved, so they were not detaining me for that reason, at least officially. I think it was a combination of being brown, originally from a Muslim country, and having a Russian passport. But there have been brown American citizens detained as well. So who knows.

            After this happened to me and similar things to two co-workers, my firm issued a new policy that basically says that it is OK to give up your passwords if the alternative is detention.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m so sorry this happened to you. Maybe your firm could assist you in bringing more publicity to this issue. I’m sure your major clients don’t want this to happen either. Maybe if major businesses (the only thing the Trump administration seems to care about) start publicly speaking out on the issue, maybe people will listen and care.

          • anonymous :

            I don’t have any advice, but I’m very sorry that this happened to you. It’s awful.

        • Anonymous Poser :

          Blonde Lawyer’s advice makes sense to me, unfortunately: “Maybe if major businesses (the only thing the Trump administration seems to care about) start publicly speaking out on the issue, maybe people will listen and care.”

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Not the same issue, but a related issue, was that many tech companies filed/joined amicus briefs opposing the travel bans. Tech companies, particularly big ones, obviously have a lot of money and should have political clout. I was hoping that would bring some coverage to the issue of discrimination against Muslims (or people from Muslim countries), but I just don’t feel the tech industry’s opposition was something that was covered much by the media. Or it was overshadowed by the variety of insane other things happening in Washington, like Trump’s inflammatory statements about federal judges.

  5. Anonymous :

    I say this realizing how fortunate I am, but does anyone else here feel like they’ll never have “enough” for things like retirement bc they’re single? Reading various financial blogs etc, there are people who’ll talk about having 300-500k saved up already at ages 37-40 (my age). Nearly every time I’m like – how are they SO far ahead, only to realize that’s savings from 2 professional incomes. I know you’re not “supposed” to compare but I can’t help feeling like its so hard to get ahead alone. Am I the only one?

    • No advice, just commiseration. I am 33 and I only have 12K saved in an IRA. I plan on working until I’m dead.

    • Well, it does cost more to support 2 people in retirement (not 2x, necessarily) so keep that in mind. And often people with 2 professional incomes also have kids and college tuition to worry about, so they may not all be as far ahead as you think. Am I missing something?

    • I’m not sure I understand. I save for retirement, and it’s not in some joint retirement fund with my husband (not that it’s not our money collectively, it’s just the banking), so I know what I’ve saved myself, and it would be enough to retire on when the time comes. And partnership is two mouths to feed / health stuff, etc., so it’s not like it’s double the money to each person. I’m trying to appreciate what the setback of singlehood is?

      • KateMiddletown :

        Marriage can bring joint buying power (see shared rent/mortgage vs doing it on your own – 1BR can sleep 2 or 1.) Plus you can batch cook and whatnot. And have someone batch cook for you while you’re working overtime.

      • Seriously? There are massive economies of scale that come with being partnered.

        • Of course. I suppose your point is that savings elsewhere spill over into allowing more retirement savings? That seems possible. But as other posters pointed out, there are many expensive tradeoffs that can (not must) come with being partnered. I’d love to live in a one-bedroom and not have a car and not pay for college tuition and pay lower property / income taxes and be able to work a more demanding, higher paying job, all of which made saving-while-single much easier for me but don’t fit into my current life.

          I don’t think there can be a generalized correlation here, but economists might tell me otherwise.

    • Anonymous :

      I am 37 and have just over $400K saved by myself – not with my DH. It took one professional salary to do it, though it’s just from making the max contribution to a 401(k) each year since age 25 when I started working . No ER match. Just the benefit of the market. Not impossible.

      • Anonymous :

        Congratulations? Nice bragging.

      • I am about 35, and I have no idea what kind of retirement I will have. Dad take’s care of my finance’s and 401k, and I have no husband to support me (and my kids, when I have them). So the morale is to save as much as you can, and always be on the lookeout for a decent husband who is loyal and can help save for our retirement. I work VERY hard and Dad takes care of the rest for now. But he told me he will NOT be around forever to take care of me, so it is up to ME to find a husband to take this task over for him. He does NOT want Ed to do it, b/c Ed is busy with Rosa and their kid’s, so it is MY job to get MARRIED soon, so I also can have babies! YAY!!!!

      • I think what the OP is talking about is the fact that living costs are more expensive when you’re single. I bought my $375k house by myself on my salary as a single woman, and though I could afford it, I was struggling to reach my (aggressive) savings goals until my SO moved in and started paying rent and half of the utilities. Without his contributions my savings would be a LOT smaller.

        • Exactly this. There are tons of efficiencies afforded by coupling that help free up money to throw at retirement.

        • Anonymous :

          The main advantage I can see to getting married is someone to split rent with, to be honest.

          • Yeah, definitely!

          • OG Monday :

            That’s really just an advantage to cohabitation, right? With anyone?

          • Shopaholic :

            Well I don’t think it’s just cohabitation with anyone, because if you have a roommate, you still may be paying more for food, for instance. I don’t buy things in bulk because I can’t finish them by myself whereas I could probably buy/cook in bulk if someone else was around so its more cost effective on a per capita basis.

          • OG Monday :

            OK. She did say “split rent with.”

          • Anonymous :

            Most couples will pay more in taxes if they get married (unless one spouse chooses to stay home or lean way out into a very low-paying or part-time job). The best case scenario financially is living together and splitting rent but not getting legally married so you can file your taxes as single.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          Yeah, this. Some of that is undone by paying higher taxes, but not all of it.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, you missed the point. Being married with two incomes allows you to free up more money to save for retirement. It is great that you are 37 and have $400k saved, but I can promise you that number would be different if you were married/living together/sharing expenses.
        I am a fellow single person, and I can commiserate with the OP. It is hard. Not only are we lonely and missing out on some of the key “milestone” experiences in life (like having kids), but we are also in a much harder position when it comes to saving without the benefit of two incomes.

        • I kind of agree with this OP. If you have 2 peeople working, it is easier. Personally, when my ex moved in, he had lost his job and his parents told him to get out of their apartement. I did NOT mind any of that b/c I had a job. BUT, instead of being clean and neat, he just kept drinkeing and throwing up on my carpet and peeing on my floor, so he was actueally WORSE then nothing. He also demanded that I do all of the shoppeing for his stuff, including wine and beer that I did NOT even like, and which caused some of the probelems. So once I considered all of the alternative’s, I decided to tell my Alan to leave. It was NOT an economic decision, but it did result in me haveing less in cleaneing expenses, and I did NOT have to go out for beer and wine any more. So that was a good thing, even though I have NOT had a steady boyfreind since. So all in all, it is a tradeoff. Money does NOT mean much if you are in love, but if you are not, and your boyfreind is not loveing and careing for the relationship, then it is not worth staying in that relationship. Mom & Dad understand and agree with this, even tho I am single, and NOT married yet with children, like Rosa. YAY!!!

    • Anonymous :

      So, a few things in response.
      First, commiseration. I am convinced I’ll have to work until I’m dead. Life expectancy is going up, social security (in the US) is going down, and how the h3ll am I going to know how long my savings will last if I stop working?
      Second, encouragement. I hope that as I become older, I can make sufficient income (or at least side income) doing a less-stressful job. I’m totally comfortable working at Jo-Ann Fabrics (for example) so that I can have a super low stress environment. I also plan to move to a less expensive location once my child is done with school (I’m a single parent and my child is in preschool).
      Third, comparison. Most couples you’re comparing yourself to will have children, and those children will have MASSIVE college costs. So, in 10-15 years when your friends are dumping their savings into their children’s college education, you’ll be able to sit back, relax, and freely enjoy your lifestyle without worrying where that $200k is coming from.
      Hope this helps. It sucks, regardless.

      • Agreed. And I’d also add that it’s very easy to look at your 401k amount and times it by 2 and say – if I was partnered up, we’d be at 400k. Reality is – probably not. You cannot assume that whoever you’re with has made the same as you and saved the same as you. I know plenty of marriages where people kind of brag (subtly – but not so subtle) that they’re already sitting on $1 million or whatever in retirement; and then it occurs to you that – that’s bc one spouse is biglaw while the other one worked for 3 yrs before staying home; or 1 spouse is in finance while the other works a part time job w/ minimal benefits. So don’t assume that if you’re partnered up, you’ll necessarily be in a 50-50 situation.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to the third point. I have a single, childless friend who is constantly making passive aggressive comments about how better off I am because I’m married, not appreciating how expensive it is to have our kids. She’d say it our choice (and it is), but it doesn’t change the bottom line. She has made choices, too.

        I may sound jaded because I am. Once at a high-end brunch where she drove in her new car and showed off pictures of her international vacation, she whined that she was “poor” because she doesn’t have any money left over at the end of the month and would never be able to afford a home (in her preferred neighborhood, where the homes are ~1mil) because the entire economic and financial system is biased towards marriage. So her parents “had” to give her a sizeable down payment on a house, otherwise how would she ever be able to live a normal standard of living? I could see her point, but the way she said it was so obnoxious and selfish.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m 32 and I have virtually no savings. I will have to work until I’m dead I guess.

      • OG Monday :

        The problem is that we can’t control whether we’re actually able to work until we die. I read somewhere that working to the end of your life is only a “plan” the way that winning the lottery or dying early is a plan. I don’t have a solution, however, and am also single and in a dubious situation retirement-wise.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Also, your spouse might be a spender vs you a saver. Both sides are hard. But don’t stop saving!

    • I’m not getting how working forever is a plan? Sure for people in industries where there is a CONSTANT need — i.e. medicine; IT — sure that may be doable; bc you can live anywhere, cut back to part time etc. I’m in an industry (law) that is already ridiculously tight right now and I feel like I’m past my prime and being pushed out in favor of 27 yr olds who know nothing but bill out at lower rates. I’m crossing my fingers I do ok employment wise until 65 – but beyond that – seems like a pipe dream in my field?

      • OG Monday :

        That’s what I was getting at above, and then there’s also the risk of health problems that prevent working into old age. You never know what’s going to happen to your body.

    • I so feel you. In my HCOLA, between my (modest for the area) mortgage and SLs, HALF my monthly take-home is gone. Add in a super fun IRS debt from my divorce and bills and there’s 75% of my take-home.

      Having someone to split bills with would be fantastic.

    • There are some obvious economies of scale with cohabitation, but I think they can easily be overblown. I’m a natural saver, and I’ve meticulously tracked my spending since I started working. I think that paying attention to where your money is going dwarfs the potential savings of living with someone.

      Before we got married, my husband didn’t pay a lot of attention to his personal finances, and he had substantial student loans. Now that the loans are gone we’re working together to save aggressively, but our combined savings rate is only a little higher than it was when I was single. Prior to living with him I lived in a two-bedroom with a roommate, but the rent decrease from moving to a one-bedroom is really only a few hundred dollars per month. We’re in a HCOL city.

      I think that for single or coupled people, the key to building savings is paying attention to the big budget items — generally housing, transportation, and food — and putting some time in to figure out how to spend smartly in those areas.

  6. So my husband is in the middle of a health scare. Got a bunch of tests done today and likely will get results back Monday. I’m really scared as his symptoms do not look good. We just moved to a new city and I’m starting my new job on Monday. Any advice for putting my fears/anxiety aside for the day so I can appear normal at work?. Right now I feel like I’m going to throw up and start crying and I can’t imagine being normal on monday when I know results are coming. Work seems not imporant at this point but rationally I know I need to do well at my job if results are bad and he can’t work or needs to take time off for treatment.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh my goodness, how stressful!

      Two thoughts: (1) can you trick yourself into thinking something like, “thank goodness I have this new job to distract me and keep my mind off other things! I’m so happy to be busy!” and (2) people get cut a TON of slack when they are new — I’m sure no one will be watching so closely they’ll catch a little blip.

      Hugs and good thoughts in your direction.

    • Sooo many !nternet hugs your way. I just went through this with a parent. I don’t think you should pressure yourself to be ordinarily productive today–in the long term, a single day’s performance isn’t going to matter at all. This weekend I would suggest enjoying yourself as much as possible–maybe hang out with some friends who can take your mind off things.

    • Anonymous :

      Any chance you could reach out to your new employer (now) and ask to push back the starting date? It’s not doable if you’re starting as a “class” and they make all new entrants start together. But if you are just the only person starting? If you do this — I’d be honest though — you can say that your DH is having a serious health issue and being in a new city, you need to be there to focus on it as you don’t have a network in place yet — so you’d like to push the new job back 1-2 weeks so you can be fully focused on work when you start. I know that’s a lot of personal info but as a new employee if you don’t give it — you don’t want them thinking hmm – this person is having cold feet; hasn’t moved to new city yet; is out there interviewing and trying to wrap up another offer etc.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This but I’d just say “sudden family emergency.” Something like, I can be there if I have to be but it would be best for everyone if I just start 2 weeks later to deal with this outside of work.

      • Anonymous :

        Honestly, I would not do this. I’m the anon below who’s husband had a major medical event and had to wait it out.

        For one, even though I work for a flexible, personal life friendly employer, this would not be appreciated. (If you do it, I would specify that you need extra days to deal with your spouse’s medical emergency).

        Secondly, the stress, nerves, and appointments aren’t going to ease up on Tuesday. You need to start the job someday (and get health benefits) so there’s no real advantage of waiting another week or two.

        • Anonymous :

          Pushing the start date back would keep her from having to use any vacation days if there are immediate follow-up appointments/consultations in the next two weeks. Even good news is likely to require an appointment or two to discuss.

          I had something very similar with a single parent in the first two weeks of a new job. My employers were way more understanding than I ever expected.

          • Anonymous :

            I get that. And some of it will definitely depend on what the next steps would be for her, specific to her husband’s condition. For me, it was a 1 week wait, 6-weeks of intensive time, and 6-months of less intensive time. I certainly would have wanted a new supervisor to be aware, but starting week 2 of the intensive 6 weeks would probably have been an even worse time to start a new job than during the three days we were waiting for radiologist opinions – wringing our hands and trying to not imagine the worst, but not actually occupied. I’m assuming that her situation is similar: he is awaiting imaging or pathology results, not on life support. So she’d be delaying out of the stress of awaiting results, while there will be the stress of a more major event coming.

            It also depends on the employer’s HR. Changing start days is a huge PITA where I work. So my perspective on that side also informs my opinion. But we’ve had two recent hires need time off for family medical issues during their probationary period and accommodated them. We could and have moved start dates for unforeseeable events, but as a hiring manager I’d rather someone be distracted on their first day than delay their start day two weeks.

      • I would also try to push back the start date–even just a few days if that is more reasonable than 2 weeks, if you are going to get the results Monday. Waiting for & getting health news at work is really difficult; when I’ve been there, I tried to work from home if possible, or at least have my day structured so that I could shut my door for a while when I expected to get the call. I think having to do “first day activities”–meeting people, HR paperwork, maybe lunch with new colleagues–would be particularly tough. Years ago when I was starting a retail job, I had to push back my start date to drop everything and deal with a family medical emergency, they were understanding. Sending you gentle hugs.

      • I do not recommend pushing back your start date. Information should be given to your new employer on a need-to-know basis. If you get the news you do not want in the middle of the first day, go to your boss privately and say, “I was hoping I would not have to say anything today but I just learned this morning that my husband has been diagnosed with X. I’m feeling a little fragile, and wanted you to know if I am coming across differently than I did in my interview, that’s why. I don’t yet know what that means but I’ll keep you as informed as I can as we learn about next steps for us.” Then if you have to rush to the bathroom to cry, your employer won’t wonder if it is because you feel like you have made a terrible mistake. At least no one will expect you to stay late on your first day.

        Your employer wants to know you are reliable. Pushing back your start date before you have any solid information will not relay that.

        I know it’s nearly 100% impossible but please try to minimize your fear as you wait for answers. Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry you are going through this. I went through something similar with a parent and I just had to compartmentalize. I would just tell myself I will worry about that after work or after I talk to the doctor or whatever. It was very hard, but there is no way I could have gotten my work done if I hadn’t forced myself to not think about it.

      • Anonymous :

        This.

        I was in a similar place last year with my husband’s health. Put it in a mental box to be reopened when you have more information on Monday.

    • If you do have to go to work, I wouldn’t worry about whether you’re being productive enough. Not too much happens on day 1 – lots of orientation. Just try to take notes when you can so you don’t have to rely on memory. Good Luck.

    • If it makes you feel any better, I had to leave early on my first day of my new job because my husband was out of town and daycare called me to tell me my kid had a 104 fever and I don’t have any relatives in town who could have gone and gotten her. I almost cried when I was telling the HR lady doing the onboarding training that I needed to leave early and wondered if I was going to be fired on the spot. Talk about creating a good first impression.

      Obviously, your situation is potentially a lot more serious, but I’ve been at this job for a year and a half now, and what happened on that first day is just now a blip that no one has ever mentioned or thought about.

    • I’m so sorry. I am currently dealing with a very serious health issue for another very close family member, as well.

      What I’ve been doing is mentally compartmentalizing. I remind myself that we can’t do anything about what may be until we have the test results, diagnosis, and treatment plan going forward. Honestly, work helps because it keeps my mind occupied and keeps me from dwelling on “what may be.”

      Good luck to you and your husband! I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Thanks for all the comments. I’m not going to try to push the start date but I did consider that initially. I already took a month off between accepting the offer and starting to deal with the move, childcare etc. so I feel like my employer would not be happy if I asked for more time. And I agree that keeping busy will probably help. I’m worried that if the news is bad I won’t be able to hold it together in the new office.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I feel like if the news is bad you’re not required to hold it together, new office or not.

        But I am sending every good wish I have that the news is good! Hugs to you and your family!!

      • I am so sorry you’re going through this.

        Do not push back your start date and when you start filling out enrollment forms, sign you and your husband up for everything, all the insurance benefits. Say nothing to anyone until you have a firm diagnosis, and by that I mean that you hear “this is the diagnosis and here are the specialists he’ll need to see” and not “we need to run more tests.” I would let someone – your new boss, probably – know that you are dealing with an “unexpected family emergency” and you may need to leave the office on short notice. The calmer you are when you say this, the more she or he will realize that you can cope with the situation and things will be fine. If you get bad news and start to lose it, just leave work. You let them know that was a possibility. They will understand “sorry, like I said might happen, gotta go” more than someone they don’t know melting down in the bathroom (sorry to be blunt, don’t mean to be harsh here).

        I know this isn’t totally analogous, but – I was two days post-miscarriage starting a job a few years ago. It was much-wanted but unexpected pregnancy and I was devastated. I held it together and got through to the weekend (I started on a Wednesday). I ended up having to have a D&C the next week when I wouldn’t stop bleeding. It was a nightmare, but I got through it. You will get through this too. I really, really hope the news is better than what you’re anticipating. I’ll keep you in my thoughts. Hugs.

    • I had a scare like yours but about myself this fall. I just told myself, well if I do have cancer it will not make a difference if I enjoy this weekend. It will not make a difference if I have another gin and tonic (yes, there was some of that). It will not make a difference if I binge watch The Americans. I just did whatever I could to distract myself.

      I will give you some advice though. You may not get test results Monday. You may get inconclusive tests. I have had mostly inconclusive tests.

      If the situation is as serious as it sounds, I’m sure your husband will be subjected to more tests. I had various tests and biopsies and awful waiting periods from November through March.

      This kind of situation is a marathon, not a sprint. Remember to pace yourself and remind yourself that no amount of worry will change the outcome.

      I will be thinking of you this weekend and wish you the best.

  7. Oh, that’s really hard. Sending internet hugs!

    If he’s feeling well enough consider finding a coffee shop or park in your new area to make things feel a little more like “Look, we’re normal people exploring our new neighborhood!” Or if he’s not feeling like going out, it would be a great time to get things ready for your first day (laundry, pick outfits that make you feel great, pick up snacks, pack your work bag, or make a favorite meal).

  8. Tour du Mont Blanc :

    Has anyone ever done this trek? If so, would you recommend it? How fit were you when you did it?

    • Are you thinking of trekking/hiking on the massif or actually climbing to the top? I have no experience with climbing, but hiking should be fine – assuming you are moderately fit, you are able to deal with some altitude and hiking is not new to you.
      I love hiking in the Alps and I am used to walking long distances (I prefer to walk than drive, I used to run a lot and I am fine with lifting weights). But I am no superwoman.
      The nature in the Alps is beautiful and I would recommend to give it a try. If you will find out it is more than you bargained for – you can always relax in a village (with a glass of Aperol) and do some lighter hiking. If you will make it to the top, please, report back with a picture ;)

      • Tour du Mont Blanc :

        I wouldn’t be climbing to the top, just trekking around the massif on the popular 106-mile (ish) route. I *think* I could do it with some additional training, but am looking for more perspectives. Glass of Aperol in a village sounds good too :)

        • In this case (hiking the route around the massif), Inwould not hesitate for a minute. Just make sure you are comfortable with walking long distances – you need to be prepared for a 20km walk/day in a hilly terrain. I would focus on hiking during weekend and adding some lower body strengthening exercises (lunges, squats, possibly with some weights) – it will prepare you well for the tour and will make it easier and more enjoyable. Also, I recommend to have an easier day after each 3rd or 4th day of hiking (to let the muscles rest a bit, but you may find you do not need it).
          And lastly – and I only say this since I have seen numbers of first-time tourists in Patagonia trying to do strenuous hikes in their boat shoes – please, do not underestimate good shoes, functional clothing and other accessories. The weather in the mountains can change every 15minutes – on my Easter trip in Dolomites, we had beautiful sunny weather combined with rain every 2hrs for 20min. It was fine, but made the rocks and grass slippery.
          A good pair of hiking shoes (Vibram outsole would be great), functional longsleeve tshirt (I have had three Icebreaker merino tops for ages), hiking pants (I wear leggings and have Fjallraven Karla pants in backpack), light windbreaker jacket (I am not chilly, so I only wear Gap knit vest and keep jackets in backpack) will be fine and stash warm layers and rain covers into your backpack. And one more tip – sunscreen. We got sunburnt during a rainy day :)

          • Tour du Mont Blanc :

            Great, thank you!! I always appreciate specific gear recommendations for changing weather conditions.

    • I didn’t a shortened version with my dad after I took the bar exam. We hiked most of it in 8 days (but did have some driving transfers to shorten it a little bit). We used the company Distant Journeys to help organise our trip and were very happy with their service. They have guided tours also but we had them set up a route just for us. We stayed in some huts and some hotels but could have specified more of one or the other. For us it was a good mix. We woke up at 6 each day, had breakfast, and were on the road by 7. We hiked between 8 and 15k a day I think – longer hikes were flatter – and were to our next location around 3 or 4. Amazing trip. I was not in amazing shape though I am generally healthy. My dad is in amazing shape. I would recommend good hiking boots and trekking poles, plus a variety of layers – it was summer but we did have one morning of snow.

  9. Thank you to everyone here who contribute terrific suggestions and recommendations to questions from complete internet strangers – there is nothing quite like this group of amazing women!

    I want to especially thank people who have suggested the following gamechangers:

    Whoever recommended the Franco Sarto Frankie Wedge Pumps from DSW. I have difficult to fit feet that are wide in the front, narrow in the back, and I have a small bunion on one foot. Pointy toed pumps never work for me, but I bought these wedge pumps one size larger, and added an adhesive heel grip on the back, and they are great. I can’t believe I’m wearing pointy-toed pumps to work and my feet are not hurting.

    Last weekend, I asked for recommendations for a sun hat or visor that will not make me look frumpy or old fashioned, and again, the hive delivered! I just bought the Dash and Splash Visor from Lululemon and it fits perfectly and is lightweight. Thank you to the person who suggested it.

    Finally, I want to thank people on this board who have recommended Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken. I made it twice so far and my kids love it.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      Yes, Salsa Chicken has become part of my standard meal rotation as well. Last time I made it, I got three meals out of it and it was exactly no work at all.

    • Yay, salsa chicken was me! I’m so glad it’s worked for you. I love nothing more than a REAL no-effort meal.

    • If you want another easy crockpot dish, and eat pork, try crockpot carnitas. There are recipes all over but basically it’s a pork roast with salt, chili powder and olive oil. (You can add cumin. You can add a chopped onion. You can add jalapeños. But you don’t have to do any of that.) So good. I like it with cole slaw.

    • We make this all the time! It’s dead simple-
      Package of chicken breasts (1.5-3lbs)
      Jar of salsa
      Dump both in slow cooker, fill up empty jar of salsa with water and dump that in too. Cook on low for 6-7 hours. Works with frozen chicken too! You can reduce the sauce if you’re feeling ambitious.
      To shred it, you can put the chicken in a kitchen aid stand mixer and beat it for like 30 seconds? With the paddle attachment. We seriously make this once a week.

      • I don’t add any extra water and I just shred with forks – even easier! I would be cautious about putting frozen stuff in the slow cooker – apparently it can give rise to more food-borne bacteria because it doesn’t get hot enough quick enough.

    • lululemon visor :

      Hooray!! So glad you got, and like, the Splash and Dash visor. It is my new summer staple and knowing another hive member likes it makes me feel even cooler. :) One more rec for sun protection: I am loving Mott 50’s lightweight cardigans. They also have thumbholes to wear and have the fabric protect the back of your hands. I find myself wearing it everywhere. happy summer!

  10. Does anyone here have the MMLaFleur Deneuve top? I’m wondering how well it holds up. I like the style but don’t normally pay $140 for a top so I’m on the fence. Thanks.

    • BabyAssociate :

      YES. I have it in cream and I love it so much, I might buy another color. The material is wonderful.

    • I wanted to like it but did not. I found it too short (5-8) and the light colors showed my bra (or camisole, bc i tried to layer hoping that would solve the problem).

    • I have it in the boysenberry/burgundy color (although mine is one of the ‘earlier’ iterations of the top). I think it’s held up well including multiple, multiple wears for a variety of occasions. As far as the fabric I hate dry cleaning so I took a risk and washed mine on delicate in a delicates bag and it came out okay (a little wrinkled but nothing a steamer or cool iron couldn’t fix).

      TL;DR: it’s one of my favorite tops and is very versatile; has held up well.

    • Gorgeous but too short for my long torso. But I got another style shirt that’s more than I would normally spend for a synthetic shirt and I wear it on a weekly basis. So worth it

      • Which top do you wear on a daily basis?

        • The Wilder (although weekly, not daily). It’s great under suits or on its own and stands up to machine washing in a delicates bag. It’s dead simple but works well tucked or untucked

    • Senior Attorney :

      I am short waisted and I love it with a couple of caveats:

      1. the faux wrap front looks a little odd with a blazer.

      2. I have it in black and when I washed it (cold, delicate cycle), the dye bled all over the load of laundry and ruined some things in my “delicates” load. I was very very VERY unhappy.

    • Anonymous :

      I have it in a burgundy color and it is definitely my favorite top. I wear it to work with a pencil skirt or jeans. I wear it out to dinner or to night school functions also. I am 5’4″, 140 lbs, apple shaped and it is fat and away my most flattering too. I will say that it is a perfect legnth on me, so I can see where ts too short on the taller ladies. I love it so much that I have adhered to the dry cleaning rule, and it has held up perfectly.

    • I have it, I wear it a lot.

      Pro’s:
      – minimal wrinkles
      – looks good on me (busty and short waisted)
      – works well under cardigan or blazer

      Con’s:
      – laid in bed after a long day and the black top bled all over my white sheets and ruined them
      – boysenberry top had both sleeves come unhemmed; I also seem to spill on my bust every time I wear this top and then have to clean it
      – color of the cream top looked terrible on me, and I sent it back

      • Did you mention the hemming to customer service? I had an issue with one of my dresses and they sent me money to take it to a local tailor. They’d probably also swap it for a new one if they still have it in stock. In general, customer service there is great

        • Anonymous :

          Honestly, I didn’t even bother. I’ve found their customer service so luke warm that I have a $100 credit that I’ve not bothered using.

  11. Any recommendations for beauty YouTube channels? Sometimes when I’ll play the videos in the background while I’m doing stuff around the house.

    • KateMiddletown :

      following!

    • Anonymous :

      Haha, I’m interested too because I find them relaxing.

      Ask me make up and Annie’s forget me knots are some of my favorites.

    • My favorites are Lisa Eldridge and Pixiwoo.

      • Thanks! I already follow Lisa. I’ll check out Pixiwoo.

        These are some I currently follow:

        Makeup By Tiffany D
        Tati
        Dominique Sachse
        Stephanie Lange
        RachhLoves

    • Anonymous :

      Hmm, my response vanished. Apologies for double posts.

      Ask me make up and Annie’s forget me knots are two of my favorites. I find beauty videos relaxing!

    • a millenial :

      i embarassingly really like fitness vloggers *cringe * i watch them as im getting ready for bed/getting up in the morning and it’s both silly and entertaining enough. also the side effect of motivating me to lift more isn’t terrible. i like nikki blackketter and jazmine garcia

      • Thanks! I’ll check these out too. I kind of like vlogs. They’re interesting looks into people’s lives.

    • lawsuited :

      Some additional channels that haven’t already been mentioned:

      – Shaanxo (a bit of a club girl but a good mix of tutorials, reviews, hauls, etc.)
      – KathleenLights (I find her so funny!)
      – thathaylaa (a bit ascerbic but lots of foundation reviews which are my kryptonite)

  12. Financial planner needed :

    How do I find a financial planner? I’m a relatively new law school grad, married to another law school grad, and both of us are in public service. How do I find a financial planner who understands IBR considerations, government retirement plans, and works with people in our income range? How do I evaluate a potential planner? Are there things that I should be considering, other than the fiduciary duty and fee structure?I’m wondering if bar associations or alum networks provide recommendations.

    • KateMiddletown :

      CFP.net is a good place to start. Ask your parents, friends, someone you trust and respect who they use. Meet a couple and see who doesn’t rub you the wrong way. Definitely bring your questions about gov’t retirement plans to the first meeting. I like people who are able to explain complicated issues in my language, so even if they don’t exclusively specialize in gov’t employees you want someone you click with.

    • Just something to flag for you if you haven’t already thought of it, but don’t count on IBR or public service forgiveness being around long-term. Those programs exist at the whim of Congress and you just never know. Be sure to discuss what making normal payments on a 10 year plan would mean for your finances.

      • Wildkitten :

        This is not true. This is very very complicated, but this is not true.

        • Could you elaborate? it is absolutely true that these programs may cease to exist.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            While they could cease to exist, I’ve heard that people after X date had IBR/REPAYE options listed in the terms and conditions of their promissory notes. If it is part of the contract, Congress can’t retroactively change it. I’ve made the same argument before re: we don’t know if it will still be around but the above is what I’ve always heard in response.

          • What Blonde Lawyer said is my understanding as well. Certain optional (for the borrower) terms and conditions, like IBR, were written into our loan documents. Not sure about PSLF. I am not on either, but I would not worry about IBR going away. As it was explained to me, it would be like your mortgage lender coming back and saying “I know you signed papers for a fixed-rate mortgage but we’ve decided to make it variable rate instead.”

          • thats my understanding. IBR will be around but PLF is not guaranteed

  13. Anonymous :

    I wore the same shoe in black as a bridesmaid in 1998.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      You didn’t get the memo? The 90’s are back. I almost fell over when I went to greet my 18 year old client in the lobby and she was wearing one of those tattoo choker necklace things I thought were so cool in high school in 1997.

      Like this one:
      http://www.claires.com/us/ProductDetails.ice?UniqueProductKey=91943&gclid=CMSfmsj7x9MCFRdLDQodsAAMgw&mkwid=3Fy3NNES&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_content=s3Fy3NNES_dc|pcrid|189522399789|pkw||pmt||slid||pid|91943||

      • My SO’s little sister was wearing one last time I saw her (she is a younger tween/teen). I was like “I had so many cool ones of those, I will find them for you next time I’m at my parent’s house!!”

        • I gave a couple 90’s chokers to my 11-yo niece and told her, “remember, it’s not old, it’s vintage.”

      • Anonymous :

        +1. 90s are vintage now.

        • +1 or +2, I can’t tell the embedding on my phone.

          My 16 year old daughter buys “vintage” ’90s clothing on etsy All The Time. Crop tops and 501s, which she calls Mom Jeans.

          I was a young adult in the ’90s. I feel ancient.

        • Girls keep posting on Reddit ThriftStoreHauls the “awesome” long floral dresses, poofy-sleeved prom dresses, and other 90s relics they have found at thrift stores and couldn’t be more pleased with themselves. The stuff I could not get rid of fast enough in 2000 is like their holy grail clothing item now. It definitely makes me feel old.

      • Anonymous :

        SHUT UP. Chokers? HA, that’s awesome.

        And I can’t decide if the fact that I wore an identical twin to this shoe in 1998 makes me like them more or less. They were really comfortable for high heels.

        I still have the velour dress I wore with them. I wonder if I can pull it out sometime soon…

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Saw multiple iterations of the velour/velvet slipdress at the mall last weekend. Definitely wearable again.

          • MargaretO :

            I own one. I look hot in it. I was pre pubescent when they were first fashionable and the look is really much better with my massive chest. Not sorry!

          • MargaretO :

            (but I’m sure I will lose it when whatever the hell was fashionable when I was in college comes back into fashion in approximately 7 years)

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Tomorrow I’m going on a double date (my friend and I are way more excited about going out together than about bringing our partners along, *shruggyguyforever*) and I’m wearing a 90’s inspired floral sundress and a choker (gah I hope I can find it!) and I think these shoes would really complete the look.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I love it! I’m planning on going to a 90’s concert this summer and I want to find overalls that I can wear with a halter top and drop one strap down.

  14. Ladies, excellent news. I posted last Friday about my cat with the broken sternum bone and the vet said no surgery required and the surgeon she talked with thinks it’ll heal on its own. So thankful that he’ll be okay, but really that I don’t have to put my cat (or my bank account) under the stress of that!

  15. Husband has been struggling with his weight. He has become a large (by mens sizes, XL) person who sweats a lot. A lot. He’s also become rashy in the pants area (in front, but the bottom of his stomach skin, not the leisure-use parts). He thinks that is sweaty + pressure of pants + pressure of belt + increased girth. Like it’s fancy adult diaper rash / possible yeast infection (which I realize is a fungus); his report of his derm appointment was vague (it’s definitely not a VD). Has anyone else heard of this? And is his idea of finally getting religion about getting in shape (he admits that he has become a walking adverstisement for statins, which combined with a family history of early heart attacks, needs a wake-up call) actually likely to improve things?

    • Over the weekend he should try some cream or powder on the rash (maybe gold bond medicated powder – it works wonders on rashes), and wear sweatpants or loose shorts to give everything some air. Work pants that don’t dig in will be more comfortable. Also, I find that a swipe of stick deodorant and a dusting of powder works wonders for keeping body areas dry and comfortable, so he should try that too. (Without this treatment my thighs rub together and sweat in the summer, and it’s nasty). Losing some weight so his clothes aren’t so tight will probably also help.

      • Baconpancakes :

        PSA for thighs in the summer – Monistat’s Chafing Relief Powder Gel is a game changer. I find it way more effective than deodorant, and it completely replaced Jockey’s Skimmies Slipshorts for me.

        • Anonymous :

          On the same note, bodyglide. I buy the “big stick” meant for “men” that’s blue. I also have the “pink” “women’s” one, but that’s because it’s small and fits in my purse for events nicer. The big one lives on my dresser/gym bag. :)

    • sweetknee :

      It sounds like some sort of yeast infection. It happens often to folks who lose a lot of weight and have excess skin. Depending on how he has gained his weight, skin overlap/overhang might the cause. Try making sure the area stays clean an dry. Could also try Desitin or another similar diaper rash type of cream, or ask his physician for an anti fungal cream.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep, that sounds right. I have a lot of experience with diaper rash and fungal rash. Here’s what I’d try over the weekend:
      First apply desitin 2-3x daily – if it looks better after 24 hours keep going with it. If not, move on to lotramin (clotrimazole) antifungal cream, again 2-3x daily. If it doesn’t clear up, he needs to go back for a prescription steroid ointment.

      Once it clears up, I’d have him try monostat chaffing relief powder gel to prevent it.

      If it makes him feel better, once I had a rash around my eye and the steroid cream bottle label said “special diaper cream”. It was mortifying until it was hilarious.

      • Anon in NYC :

        With desitin or the like you’ll have to make sure he’s wearing clothes that he doesn’t mind getting gross (it’s thick and white, so it’ll rub off on anything).

        Lotramin (or the generic version) should clear up a yeast rash within a few days.

        As for your Q about weight, I don’t see how losing weight could hurt if this really is a diaper rash/yeast infection scenario.

        • My son got a fungal infection in his inner elbow (what do you call that area? The place they draw blood) and his pediatrician had him get OTC terbanifide (Lamisil), which is athlete’s foot/ jock itch cream. Your husband will probably feel more manly and appropriate using that stuff Vs desitin, which I don’t believe is anti-fungal and which smells pretty strongly like baby butt.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I had this years ago when I was heavy and had an overhanging belly. I feel for him! I don’t know if you’re interested in weight loss advice, but my husband did the Whole30 diet with me in March and loved it. He lost 20 pounds in 30 days and best of all he’s sticking to most of the Whole30 guidelines and is eating healthier than he has in years and continuing to slowly lose weight. We both did it and had great results, and it was kind of a drag but also kind of fun to do together. Just a thought…

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Did he buy a new belt lately? Because it’s possible it’s a nickel allergy, to the belt buckle. My husband had a gross rash from that for like way too long, before I made him buy a new belt (JK I gave him one).

      • I got a nickel allergy rash on my temple from a pair of glasses that had nickel in the frames. It took me forever to figure it out. It’s not something most people think about, but a large percentage of the population is allergic to nickel.

  16. I just bought these shoes. They are a great value and comfortable!

    In other eye rolling news, my crazy ex sent me flowers for my birthday. We broke up over a year ago. I never respond, but I need this to stop. Ugggggghhh

    • Cookbooks :

      Dumb question about the shoes: how dressy would you say they look? I wouldn’t wear them to the office, but going out for drinks, say, would it be too much?

      I’m sorry about the crazy ex. But happy birthday!

      • Happy birthday!

        And I don’t think the shoes are overly dressy, I’d definitely wear them for going out for drinks and the like.

      • They are perfect for going out drinks! I wore them with distressed Rockstar skinnies and a flowy top last night. I also wore them with a dress to a wedding last weekend. Very versatile IMO

        And thanks!

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Happy birthday CountC!

    • Happy Birthday! If you haven’t responded to him before, don’t start now. If you do, he will likely reply and think there is a chance to talk about whatever he is thinking. If it is over, nothing says that bettter than silence.

      I like the shoes too.

    • Thank you everyone! <3

  17. Anonymous :

    I am starting to consider breast reduction surgery. I am 49, in a profession with a lot of client contact and just increasingly despondent about how large and uncomfortable they are, although honestly I do not experience significant back and neck pain. I am wondering if anyone has had this surgery and also if you know a good breast surgeon in the dc or baltimore area.

    • I have no personal experience or recs in that area but my law partner had it done when she was just few years older than you (maybe 52?) and was very happy. I think she took off a week from work, and she wore fairly loose-fitting clothes (well, all her tops were loose-fitting after the surgery) that mostly hid the bandages and drains during the recovery. The recovery was harder than she expected – somewhat more painful and as things began to heal she was very itchy. She would ask, “why did I decide to do this?” But as soon as she was through the worst part of the recovery she was very happy. She now considers it one of her best decisions.

      Also, FWIW, given the back problems and discomfort she had been experiencing, the surgery was considered medical, not cosmetic, and paid for by insurance.

      Good luck to you!

    • Wildkitten :

      I have not had that surgery but know several people who have and they are SO HAPPY. You might want to check what the qualifications are for your insurance to cover it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I haven’t had this surgery but I have had similar-ish surgeries and it was so, so worth it!

      Note that cosmetic surgeons almost always lie about the expected recovery time. If you double the estimate they give you, that will be a much more realistic estimate of when you will be back in action. It’s not for the faint of heart but can be totally life-changing.

    • I had this surgery (lift+reduction) at 18 and didn’t regret it at all. If you tend to gain weight in your boobs, which a lot of busty women do, I’d suggest going a bit smaller than you might want to initially to account for future changes in your weight and shape. I wish I had insisted on smaller like B/C instead of the solid C cup my surgeon recommended. IME, the results are good for about 20 years. Mine have slowly gotten larger and droopier over the years- a combination of age, pregnancy/nursing, and weight fluctuations.

    • Following. Just had a consult myself. 43. I do experience pain but generally, I just feel uncomfortable all. the. time.

    • One of my former colleagues did this. She did have some back pain but what put her over the edge was finding out that some of the sales agents she worked with called her “Julie Jugs” behind her back. Men can be so, so gross.

      She has never regretted it. I saw her scars (we had a work related spa day including naked hot tub which I still think is weird but another topic) and they were visible but had faded to skin color. I was kind of jealous, frankly, that she had no sag at all. She said she doesn’t even have to wear a bra if she doesn’t want to. I guess this means she had a reduction & lift combo, but I don’t know for sure.

      Anyway, I just thought I’d say, I don’t think you’re going to miss them if they really make you unhappy.

    • Had it when I was quite young, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made about my body. I think when they did mine, whether insurance would cover or not was based on the total volume taken out.

    • Everyone I’ve ever known who’s had a reduction was crazy happy after they did it, and said they waited way too long to have it done. Also, the people I’ve known pre-and post-op looked like they lost 50-75 lbs and all that happened was the reduction. It makes a huge difference. If I needed one, I would get one.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you so much to all who for responded supportively about breast reduction surgery, this is a great community.

    • Dr. Jabs in Bethesda. He did an amazing job with my nose, but I believe breast work is his specialty.

    • This is late, but if you’re still reading, add me to the chorus of best decision ever. I had this done in my early twenties and it made such a difference in my comfort level, ability to exercise (I.e., I’m a runner now, but that was too painful to think about before), and it makes shopping for professional clothes much easier. I was out of work for just over a week (had surgery on a Thursday, returned two mondays later), and aside from the icky feeling when the surgeon took the drains out approximately a week post-op, the worst thing I remember was having to sleep on my back. Can’t help with a dr recommendation, but can recommend the surgery.

  18. Brooklinen reviews? :

    Has anyone tried the Brooklinen sheets? I’m in the market for new cotton percale sheets. And yes, I did re-read the post on this s!te a while back on sheets. Wondered whether anyone has any quality reviews on Brooklinen? For comparison, I got my daughter organic cotton percale sheets from pottery barn kids and I like them a lot.

    • I have the luxe set and worth every penny.

    • I have the classic ones, and I’m really happy with them also. They’re very crisp, and I like that the fitted sheet isn’t overly large so there isn’t a lot of extra fabric.

  19. Sloan Sabbith :

    Nice, E**en told me to take a chill pill on the other post. I’m so honored to get a named call out!

    • Anonymous :

      I had to go back and look – wow, that thread kept going …
      Congrats! You brought her out of hiatus. But little did you know all you needed was a man!

    • It’s happened before, but I must say that her coming out of hibernation for that made me chortle at my desk.

    • But really, what are chill pills and where do I get them? Because I was super annoyed by this morning’s thread (100% on your side) and I guess I need a pill.

  20. Interview + Allergies :

    Interview advice needed! I’ve got an interview on Tuesday for a role that has the potential to lead to what I consider my dream job! So excited, and feeling really good and well-prepared.

    But, of course, my allergies have decided to flare up, worse than they have been in years. Usually, I just take a daily Claritin during allergy season and that handles things, but the past several days the Claritin has not been cutting it – I am sniffly, sneezy, itchy/red eyes, etc. I look like the “before” in every allergy commercial ever. A friend even commented last night, “Ugh, my eyes itch just looking at you.” I do NOT want to show up for an interview with red eyes, clutching a crumpled wad of Kleenex.

    Any recommendations for anything I can do over the weekend to be as allergy-free as possible on Tuesday? “I took extra medication on the day of my big interview!” sounds like a horror story waiting to happen. I was thinking maybe of taking some Benadryl over the weekend to try to get my immune system as calm as possible, even though Benadryl knocks me flat and means I will probably be sleeping / out of it all weekend. That’s fine if I can be back to normal by Tuesday.

    Thoughts? Commiseration?

    • Call your doctor. Maybe switch from Claritin to something else. And take a nasal spray and eye drops. Maybe take pseudoephedrine to dry out your sinuses day of. I don’t think Benadryl will help.

    • Try Allegra or Zyrtec or nasal Flonase. My understanding is that you need to switch it up to keep your body guessing. It gets accustomed to one drug. Claritin stopped working for me altogether a long time ago, but I do find Zyrtec and Flonase effective.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Benadryl is good for occasional allergies that you weren’t expecting, not seasonal allergies. I’d say Flonase but I think that usually takes a week to get fully working, but try it anyway (always spray at an angle, not directly up your nasal cavities), and combine it with a nightly saline nasal rise. I found neti pots impossible to use – I use the NeilMed squeeze bottle. Add Zaditor eye drops, but note they do make your eyes a little dry. Try Zyrtec – I think that’s a little better than Claritin. Drink a ton of water.

      • I find that Flonase helps, but you need to use it daily not just when your allergies are bad. Of course, on a really bad day, nothing seems to help.

    • Are you me? I also have an interview Tuesday for a really exciting position and just got slammed with the worst allergies I’ve ever had in my life! Thanks to everyone here for the advice (before I posted this same question)!

    • Assuming you have pollen allergies, stay inside all weekend and Monday if you can. Keep your windows closed, run a HEPA filter if you have one, make sure you’re wearing clothes without pollen residue and sleeping on clean sheets. Try some Benadryl tomorrow morning; if it helps, keep taking it, if not don’t. Same for Zaditor- it may help but also irritates my eyes, so better to try it a few days before hand. Pseudoephedrine could could also be worth a shot (only likely side effect are mild insomnia or feeling a little jittery, but if you’re also taking Benadryl, that won’t be a problem). Good luck!

    • Interview + Allergies :

      Thanks all! I have tried Allegra in the past and for some reason, it makes me really wired, even the regular formulation (not “D”).

      I’ll try switching to Zyrtec and Flonase starting tomorrow; hopefully, that will give enough time for it to get up to as much effectiveness as possible by Tuesday.

      Another friend also recommended a green tinted concealer for the redness around my nose, so I’ll try playing with that this weekend and see if I can get it looking natural.

    • So I was dying this year from allergies – like, I literally thought I had sinus cancer and was dying. I have been blowing blood clots out of my nose since January and I felt like one side of my head had been filled with spray-foam roof insulation. Terrible headaches. Face pressure Teeth pain. The works. I went to my doctor – we had not talked about allergies in years. Here’s what he told me:
      – If OTC antihistamines don’t help your symptoms after two weeks, stop taking them.
      – No one should be on the combo OTC antihistamine/decongestants for longer than two weeks, ever. After you’re on them for two weeks you should wait three months before using them again. He reminded me that they do make crystal meth out of what’s in decongestants, and he has had a couple of patients apparently get something close to addicted to the decongestant allergy meds.
      – Do not use “traditional” nose sprays like Afrin at all; almost no one can stop using them after the three day limit.
      – Corticosteroid nasal sprays are the #1, top-line recommendation for allergies. They work way better than pills. You can be on them for months at a time with little to no adverse effects.
      – Saline nose washes only work if the saline solution is hyPERtonic. Neutral or hypotonic solutions don’t help much of anything. Also, he’s not a fan of neti pots because of possible contaminants/fungi/bacteria getting introduced into sinuses (more from people’s dirty faucets/incompletely cleaned neti pots than from the water system itself) and recommended I get sterile canned hypertonic nose spray from the pharmacy when I bought my generic Flonase.

      Just for my own edification, he stuck the little camera up into my nose and didn’t see anything but a small polyp on one side, which should resolve with the corticosteroid spray.

      I got on generic Flonase and it is a world of difference. Within three days I was about 80% better. I’m using hypertonic saline every other day and that’s helping too. I know you already said you were getting Flonase but just wanted to reinforce, that is the right choice and should work well. I wish I had done this months ago.

    • When my allergy is the worst, I take a combo of Allegra (2x daily), Flonase (2x spray doses into each nostril 2x day). I do this just for 2-3 days when the symptoms are the worst, then I go back to recommended dosing. Depending on my other symptoms, I will add eye drops (red eyes) or pseudoephedrine tabs (blocked nose and sinus pressure), again, only for 1-2 days.
      I would not recommend Benadryl as it will make sou drowsy and disfunctional. At least I am super sensitive to it and immediately fall asleep after taking the pill.
      Saline nasal sprays – yes, hypertonic ones can help to clean and sooth the mucosa and also have a mild decongestant effect. With my supercombo of Allegra & Flonase, I do not need them, but I keep one bottle at hand just in case. I like to use it everyday in the morning after I wake up as a prevention.
      First and foremost – you need to minimize exposure to your triggers. It can be difficult as some triggers like pollen are everywhere, but at least try to avoid parks/fields/trees or prolonged walks outside, take a shower and wash your hair (hair catch a lot of pollen) once you get home. Air purifier with good HEPA filter can help as well.
      Oh, and wear sunglasses whenever you are outside to protect eyes from pollen. If you usually wear contact lenses, try switching to glasses (when sour eye symptoms are the worst), as pollen can also stick to lenses and irritate your eyes until you take the lenses out.

  21. MM Lafleur pop-up :

    There is going to be a MM LaFleur pop-up in Chicago next week!

    Anyone going? I tried to sign up online, but it looked like it might be reservation only, ?full already? Maybe someone who went in a different city can comment on how you got in.

    I would love to go to try on several things to find my size. And I will purchase a jardigan and the Deneuve top, thanks to this site!!!

    Any recommendations on what to try that you love, if you are pear shaped?

    I am a high waisted pear. 5’7″. 32A on top petite-ish, with high 27″ waist and larger butt 38″ and thighs. No pants fit me right, and almost no dresses.

    • I didn’t expect to, but I loved the foster pants. I’m 5’5 with a bit of a pear shape and mommy tummy and they are incredibly comfortable and flattering. I wore them to fly, meet clients, and after 12-hrs, still comfortable and not baggy.

      • MM LaFleur pop-up :

        Thanks for this. I honestly wouldn’t have planned on trying pants, but now I will!

    • I’m a small pear, also with a mom stomach but slightly taller. for what it’s worth my favorites are:
      Etsuko – adore it in black
      Wilder shirt – seems boring but very versatile

      I also branched out and have the Pippa ponte coulottes and matching colvin shell. It’s a bit outside my comfort zone but I really like it for less formal days
      Also have the Taylor on order but have to see it in person to gauge if it’s too cocktail

      I’ve tried on and have been very tempted by the catherine dress, nisa dress, Rowling top, mathilde top, Emma dress, and Pauline dress

      Hope this helps and enjoy!

  22. I am going to the MM LaFleur pop-up in Chicago, but I signed up quite some time ago – I’m guessing about 6 weeks ago. Would also love some recommendations. I am a 5’4″, in between a 6 and an 8. Muscular shoulders / arms (fully open to sleeveless, but sometimes have some problems with tight sweaters not accommodating my arms) and muscular calves, and a very “straight up and down” build. Average bust. Am interested in nice business casual clothing. Generally preppy / classic. Wear lots of black and gray, but open to branching out. Tend to prefer solids over patterns. Suggestions?

  23. Sloan Sabbith :

    I’m trying not to cry I’m laughing so hard at the article “Nevertheless, He Persisted: Tales of Masculine Perserverance” at McSweeneys. Highly, highly recommend.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG I must be grouchy today because although I totally get that it’s fabulously funny, it just makes me want to punch a hole in the wall! Grrr!!!

    • Sloan Sabbith thank you! You made my Friday!!

  24. Under $20 :

    What’s the best/favorite thing you own in your home for under $20? (Feel free to divide it into best in the bedroom, best decor, best kitchen, etc. if you want!) Links if you can, please!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Best bedroom: Intelex Hooty the Microwavable Owl. So nice smelling, so comforting. $16.99 on Amazon.
      Best kitchen: An extra iPhone/iPad charger. Charge my phone overnight or while making dinner, charge my iPad while I watch Netflix while making dinner or at my counter in the mornings eating breakfast. I really like AmazonBasics iPhone cords. They’re really sturdy and really cheap.

    • S in Chicago :

      A generic version of Tweedz earbuds (has fabric cord not plastic) that I got at Nordstrom Rack after losing my Tweedz (which still aren’t that much more expensive). I commute and throw them in my bag and they never tangle or split or break. I used to go through earbuds every few weeks prior to using corded ones like this. I have a fabric corded charger for my phone now too and it’s my favorite for travel.

      I also like Thorlo padded socks (always buy them on sale–on 6pm pretty regularly. The extra arch support has saved me on some days with massive walking.

    • Kitchen – k-cup drawer for under the keurig http://www.target.com/p/nifty-24-k-cup-mini-drawer/-/A-15078313?

      Random – Lockbox for passports, documents that I need to know the location of and had a bad habit of misplacing/putting in a random drawer https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006ICA8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_dQ.azb9EW32NP

      • Senior Attorney :

        Kitchen: Knitted oven gloves like these https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CHO64NE/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 So much better than oven mitts or hot pads!

        Miscellaneous: External battery for iPhone https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KQDTYHQ/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1 I have two of them and keep one in my purse and one charging so I always have one fully charged. It’ll charge my phone four times and I love it!

  25. Oregon/Wash trip help :

    we’re about to go to Oregon and Washington for a week with our 2-year old, would you do coastal Oregon for a couple of days between Portland and Seattle to chill, or a couple of days in the Olympic park, which means more driving? also, any rec for family friendly areas in Portland or Seattle to rent an airbnb?

    • Oregon/Wash trip help :

      in case it matters, we’re going the week after memorial day weekend

    • What about Hood River?

      • Hood River Railroad is a great trip and a young child would love it.
        https://www.mthoodrr.com/about/

        • Oh that looks fun, the website doesn’t give much details, how long is the journey?

          • Just trying to recall, it was maybe an hour or a bit more for the Parkdale excursion This page gives a bit more info for the various rides. https://www.mthoodrr.com/rides/ – click the MORE button.

            Looks like the fares have increased since we went.

          • Hood River will give you a better chance of good weather–May and June are still quite iffy on the coast. HR is also lovely for wine tasting, the farm loop, and a cute downtown area.

    • I Miss PNW :

      So jealous. I grew up in Portland and lived in Seattle for 10 years; I miss them every day.

      Oregon coast. So much to see and do with a toddler. Seaside has a great aquarium and boardwalk. In Lincoln City, donuts with Pirate Dan and chowder at Mo’s. Tillamook Cheese Factory is also a lot of fun.

      Re: Air B&B, Portland is very walkable and very transit friendly. Anywhere in SE, NE, or downtown. Don’t miss a trip to the zoo (light rail accessible). Saturday Market will have great food and tons of fun stuff to see.

      In Seattle I’d look for something in Ballard, Fremont, Green-lake, or Queen Ann. Great new kid friendly park near the Space Needle.

  26. I could use some tips! I’m only a few weeks into my job in the business-end of a biglaw firm. I’m young, and I do intend to go to law school eventually. Besides just doing my very best at my job, how can I impress/network/etc.? I’ll note that I will have contact and occasional face time with partners.

    • Forget the partners. Your best networking opportunities are the junior associates. Keep track of them as they change jobs, too!

      • +1 – this is your network. Make friends, help each other out, bond, this is your lifetime career network. People who miss this point struggle their whole career and never understand why.

  27. I’m a 6 year lawyer looking for a job in another state where I haven’t been admitted to the bar yet. I can waive in, but I need to take the MPRE again and my next opportunity to do that isn’t until August. My resume says at the bottom where I’m admitted; would you explain that you’re in the process of applying for admission to the bar in the new state in the cover letter? I want to make it clear that though I’m not barred there yet I will be before the end of the year.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’d do something like “Missouri Bar: Eligible for admission by motion.”

    • I would not say “eligible for admission on motion” if it’s contingent on passing the MPRE (yes, it’s much easier than the bar exam but it’s still a test you have to pass and you are not yet “eligible” for admission). Add a sentence to your cover letter that says you’re in the processing of seeking admission to that state bar and you expect to be barred there by the end of the year.

  28. Wildkitten :

    Aight y’all. Inexpensive but competent attorney to file a case in civil court for which I have already organized all the documents and my claim is pretty straightforward and the opposing party’s counsel seems pretty dumb. Go:

    • Wildkitten :

      In DC.

    • Anon for this :

      If NOVA counts, try Frank Webb. We went to high school together and now live in other states so I can’t say if he is an awesome attorney or not but he was really smart back in the day. He’s told me before that he really tries to keep costs down for clients.

      We went to a small high school and I’m pretty sure there were only three people from our graduating class that became lawyers and I’m the only woman of those three so tell him you were referred by his female high school friend who is now a lawyer via an anonymous internet blog. He’ll know who you mean. :)

      http://s466281419.initial-website.com/attorneys/

      • Wildkitten :

        Thank you! None of them are admitted to DC, so unfortunately NOVA doesn’t work here, but I so appreciate you.

    • Anon for this :

      Left you a reply. In mod.

  29. Family emergency.

    I have to fly cross country tomorrow/soon for a family emergency. Any recs of how to not get killed on a plane ticket?

    I fly very rarely and usually use Southwest, which is very pricey right now. Am not up to date on how to find cheap flights online.

    TIA

    • Anonymous :

      Miles are usually a much better deal than dollars in last minute situations. If you have any friends that fly a lot they might have excess miles you can use. You can call and explain the situation to the airline but I’ve found they give you a pretty minimal discount (i.e. you might get a ticket for $700 instead of $800). Sorry about the emergency.

      • Thanks for this. It is helpful actually. I never use miles, so I’m less familiar with the terms these days. Thought you had to use them way ahead or no miles “seats” were left etc… I’ll talk to my family.

        • Anonymous :

          Can I ask the cities you’re flying to/from? Might have some suggestions based on that? (totally understand if this is too personal)

  30. any suggestions for dressing fora conference in dallas?

  31. Anonymous :

    So this sounds like an episode of Jerry Springer, but it’s apparently my life….my cousin’s husband and their daughter are visiting from another country. And long story short, I have this insane chemistry with the husband. He and my cousin are unhappily married (by all accounts including my mom and aunt/cousin’s mother) and he will be back in my area again on business in a few weeks. I can’t stop thinking about him. I know I can’t do anything, right?

    • Anonymous :

      oh my god no. no no no no. honestly don’t even think it- he would have chemistry with anyone looking he is just sending out scummy vibes and you must be attracted to that. find some other D bag.

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