Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Kate Spade has little colorful stud earrings that have been hugely popular for a long time now, and since I hate studs I’ve never pulled the trigger. I love that now they’ve got little drop earrings made with the same colorful crystals — I think they’re fun and a little festive. I kind of like the blackish “jet” (pictured) or the blueish “sapphire,” and there’s a lovely “berry” and “emerald” — but they also have a simple clear crystal with either gold, silver, or rose gold. These are part of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale; they’re $31 and will go up to $48 after the sale. If you’re not a big fan of these, Nordstrom has these very similar drop earrings that are NOT part of the NAS but on sale anyway! Bright Idea Drop Earrings

Psst: Note that the 2017 Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is now OPEN to the regular public — you no longer need a rewards card to get access!

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Comments

  1. Shoutout to my coworker for coming in with mini m&ms right when the Friday afternoon slump hit. I don’t know why the mini ones are better. But today they were just perfect.

    • The mini ones are way better. I used to keep them around for making cookies, but they are so easy to sneak a handful.

    • Pro tip: fun size candy bars really are more fun.

    • new job, who dis :

      ugh, and I just realized I’ve hit the part of my day where I’ve drank just a little bit too much tea – so I’m feeling sluggish and have to pee myself a lot.

      see ya productivity!

      • Anonymous :

        would not recommend peeing yourself at work. generally not seen as professional conduct ;).

  2. Life advice :

    I’m struggling. I’m a young professional with a decent job, although one that has relatively long hours. I don’t have many friends in my city and lost one of my closest ones a few weeks ago. I’m introverted and work a lot, so it’s difficult to make new ones. And to top it off, I’m not as confident about my physical appearance as I typically am. (gained a small amount of weight, etc.)

    • I am the same way. I had to really make an effort, and I hated it, but it does get easier. You just have to create opportunities to bump into people over and over, or to work for them.

      Maybe see if you can take a Zumba class? Join Junior League? join a committee for a nonprofit that interests you? Some sort of recurrent volunteer opportunity?

    • Life advice :

      Forgot to mention that I go to different offices, based on the nature of my job. I like the idea of something recurrent but it’s tough to handle it logistically.

    • I have found a good community in smaller workout classes like PureBarre, Pilates, Spin, etc. I don’t think it’s weird to make a comment to someone about the class have a few words and introduce yourself. Are you interested in tennis at all? I took lessons at a municipal court and then joined a ladder league to meet people. I also have made a few good friends in Junior League.

      Making friends is hard especially when you travel for work.

    • Say yes. I’m very introverted too, but I’m also a bit of a pleaser and if I commit to something, I’ll make it happen. I know that a lot of advice talks about how to say no to things, but when I was in a similar point in life, the best thing I did was say yes. I said yes to everything and made a huge effort to go, whether it was lunch with coworkers or an impromptu party where I barely knew the host. When I started doing this, I had a social activity once a month (single, no kids). That was how lonely my life had gotten. But way leads on to way and a group of people you hardly know connects to another group and it turns out they share your hobby for teapot history and eventually you end up needing to learn how to say no because your life is so full. It’s harder when your job keeps you extremely busy, but you have to start somewhere!

      • Linda from HR :

        Adding to this, a lot of people follow the “rule of 3” when it comes to declining invites, sometimes consciously and sometimes not so much. If you say “no” to three invites in a row from the same person, they may stop inviting you. Or maybe they’ll invite you a fourth time but eventually they’ll stop bothering to ask if you keep saying no, so if you’re hurting for social activity, say yes as often as you can.

  3. Happy story:

    My parents are gruff. My dad is not outwardly affactionate and was really against helping with law school (although really insistent that I go because my liberal arts degree would **ck me for life, never able to get a job that pays). 22 year old me went to law school bc everyone says it was a great idea and I’m good at school It has not been an easy road, I’m not really cut out for private practice (really smart, but not aggressive, hate schmoozing, conflict, etc).

    I’m the breadwinner, and the provider stress and the stress of being in a crappy place career wise has been such a huge burden for me. Got the GTFO talk from my firm, been looking for awhile and couldn’t find anything that would fit the budget to support the loans and the double daycare, let alone change careers. Started a new job, but pay cut (this one is just to pay the bills, I think).

    Today I got a random call. It was their financial advisor ( I know him, not Phishing), on the phone with student loan servicer, getting my permission to release a payoff balance for my student loans (’09 grad….had $45K to go…at 6%, double daycare…) It makes my life so much easier. Just that $500/month puts so much breathing room into my life, and lets us save for retirement/future without the huge stress.

    LOL….the coincidence is that a few weeks ago, I was doing some weird visioning/manifesting/the secret exercises (like, this is bullshirt, but I literally don’t have anything to lose). I may be about to get weird and into that stuff.

    • Anonymous :

      Yay that’s awesome! Fwiw, I think we plan to take a similar approach with our kids – we’ll pay for college but after that they can take out loans, because I want them to have a stake in their education and work hard and I know I worked a lot harder in law school when I had loans than I did in undergrad when I had parents footing 100% of the bill. But I would definitely be open to paying off their loans if we can afford it and they’re working hard and being responsible with money.

      • I’ve thought about doing that, too, based on my general observations in undergrad that people footing their own bills were usually more invested and, of course, on the fact that I had to pay my own way while walking uphill in the snow both ways and so forth.

      • My parents paid for undergrad and helped with some living expenses in law school (i.e. they gave me a sum of money that allowed me to foot the rest of my student lifestyle with my income and not borrow money to live).

        I wouldn’t have resented them if they hadn’t helped at all — they were so generous to pay for my undergrad that I saw any additional help as amazingly wonderful.

        I’m not sure that I personally worked harder in law school, but it was always the deal from the beginning that if I was slacking off in college, the funding train would stop, and I’d have to figure it out myself. I also had a lot of internal motivation to do well/not embarrass the family/etc. I do agree that generally, the more skin you have in the game, the more you care about the outcome of your education.

        And OP: I’m so glad you have this weight off, and that your gruff dad surprised you in such a sweet and generous way.

    • Oh that is so lovely!

    • I admit I’m a little confused. Did your dad pay off your loan? If so, that’s very nice. Congratulations!

      • Oh. Yeah, I didn’t understand either. “Their” who? I thought it was her new employer who wasn’t paying enough ‘s financial advisor and I was very confused.

      • Yes. Sorry, wasn’t clear! They are paid them off. I think they wanted it to be a secret/suprise, but they didn’t have all the information.

    • Baconpancakes :

      That is so sweet of your parents to do! Awwww.

  4. Current Sales Reviews - AZCPA :

    Recently, I did a major purge of my closet, and got rid of everything that didn’t suit my life anymore or didn’t fit. Afterwards, I realized I had about two daytime outfits left that weren’t athleisure – while I work from home a lot of the time, I do need clothes I can wear to see clients, or go to professional events.

    I decided to order a ton of stuff from various online stores to take advantage of all the sales going on right now, with the only requirement being either free online returns, or easy local returns. I wanted things that would be comfortable and do double duty (like tops that look nice both with dress pants and jeans). The results were interesting, and I hope they help others shop the sales this summer.

    Land’s End – Bought the godet dress and a couple other dresses from the Canvas Line, all on clearance for ~$40-$50 each. The godet dress was so heavy it reminded me of a weighted blanket, and the armholes were so high and tight on all the dresses that they were immediately uncomfortable (and I usually have the issue of armholes being low/loose). The ponte pants were a nice fabric, but the fit wasn’t flattering on my pear shape – they were $25, so a great deal if they work on you. All the dresses and bottoms were pretty true to my typical size. The tops I ordered were very large in my normal size, and not cute enough to warrant reordering smaller. The only thing I kept was a ponte pencil skirt (with pockets!!) that was a perfect length.

    JC Penney – Someone had suggested looking here, and since I have a couple of cute summer tops from the store, I figured it was worth a try. They had hundreds of fit and flare dresses online (I’m a pear, so sheaths don’t work) and I ordered a bunch in a variety of brands. None was more than $30. They all ended up fitting in my typical size, were nicely knee length, and most had hidden zippers, but being stretchy unlined fabrics, they definitely need a slip underneath. Ultimately, I didn’t keep any of them because I wasn’t thrilled with the quality and feel of the fabrics. That being said, if I was looking for a transitional wardrobe during weight loss, I would have kept a bunch of them – the stretch would allow them to fit for 2-3 sizes, and they were very nice shapes.

    Ann Taylor – They were doing an extra 50% off sales prices, so all the tops I ordered were under $20, and the bottoms and dresses were under $50. I kept a blue and black patterned sleeveless sweater dress that fit like a dream, and found a bunch of machine washable tops (most were a subtle peplum) that fit perfectly and would work with a suit, or with jeans. None had weird ruffles of a cold shoulder situation. All the tops I tried fit well; I’m only returning the ones in patterns I felt were too busy in person. The only fail was a sweater knit skirt that was borderline obscene on my curvy figure. While there were definitely some weird looking items in the sale, I feel like AT has started to go back to making wearable clothing, and I was pleased with the fabrics and quality as well, especially at the prices I paid.

    • Thank you for outlining this process. It’s helpful for me now as I am also in the process of revamping my style, after a semi purge– some winter clothes and undecided items are in a holding zone for now.
      I’m in Canada, but may visit the states in the near future, so I will check out some of your suggestions. Today I purchased a cream top — with short raglan sleeves that happened to be made in vancouver where I live, and on sale for 24 dollars- so a good start for now!

  5. My husband’s nieces are working at a farm this summer and entertaining us with their stories. Tales from awful first / early jobs?

    I had a quite lucrative babysitting sideline but worked for a college bookshop for a few months and was shockingly bad at it. I couldn’t make change, work the credit card machine, and used to tell people where to find textbooks cheaper online.

    Post grad school, I realised halfway through an interview that it was not the job for me so I very apologetically withdrew (was a US PIRG fellowship, 9 months of policy work, 3 months charity mugging).

    • Cornellian :

      My first job was a paper route. I don’t think I really understood how awful it was at the time, but there used to be families that would dedicate a large amount of effort to “miss” me each time I came around to collect their biweekly payment. They’d hide behind furniture, close the blinds, tell me they left their purse at work, etc, forcing me to come around 3-4 times and then finally write off their paper and pay for it myself. I am viscerally embarrassed for the grown, middle-class people who were dedicated to fleecing a sixth grader out of her 4-7 cent/per house/per day wage.

      • Anonymous :

        The paper made you pay for people’s papers who wouldn’t pay up? That’s awful!

        • Cornellian :

          I looked this up at some point later in life, and essentially it was allowed because we were independent contractors. We just bought the papers, whether we sold them all or not was not the newspaper’s business! Which is obviously ludicrous, especially since you could get the jobs so young.

        • Cornellian :

          http://panewsmedia.org/legal/publications/newspaperhandbook/independent-contractors

      • Anonymous :

        How rotten, and I’ve been there–I think there are a lot of those jobs out there where people take advantage of the younger person holding it, counting on the assumption that they won’t know any better (I certainly didn’t at the time.)

        • Cornellian :

          For sure. I also accepted as a 16 year old that I had to show up and, before clocking in, roll all the silverware I would need for my shift. Illegal!

    • I worked as a statistician at a processing plant. They really didn’t want a statistician but their home office required it. (They were trying to implement Deming statistical process control.) They were so not into it my official title was “Statician” – even said that on my pay stubs.

      I had little to do so I looked forward to going to the break room and hanging out with the processors. The break room had all sorts of vending machines, including one that dispenses mini-cans of soup, that came out piping hot.

      When I was going for my first real job I struggled with whether to put this on my resume. First of all, would I put down statistician or statician? Second, if anyone called there would the manager express his opinion that it was a BS position imposed on him by home office?

      Weird job.

      • (I guess I was off topic. This wasn’t my first job. It was my first sort-of professional job. I worked for JCPenney for years, which is a novel in and of itself and includes stories about a manager who slept with all the cute young girls except for me, and I never got a raise. Coincidence?)

    • Anonymous :

      I never did retail or manual labor work and I’m kind of jealous of everyone who did. My parents were sort of obsessed with making sure I had academic internships that were relevant to college admissions (to their credit, it worked), so I never got to lifeguard or work at the mall with my friends.

      • I’m in the UK now and it seems to be less common for teenagers and university students to work those jobs (at least at the uni where I teach). I think it is a shame – my first jobs taught me responsibility but also respect for people working in service jobs.

        • cranky seniorish atty :

          Yes — I had a lot of these jobs and often my co-workers were adults and this was their terminal occupation that kept a roof over their heads. You don’t see that sort of mixing these days. It’s more like if someone works as a teen/student, it’s with similar kids from similar neighborhoods / schools.

          My BFF has 18 in high school and she got a union job at the deli counter at FoodTown and is still good at slicing meat.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Agreed. I learned so much waitressing.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I agree too. I’m so glad I had retail/food service jobs, for a bunch of reasons.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked at a drugstore and once I whacked some poor guy in the family jewels while trying to ring up his mop. Didn’t really think about where the other end would go when I was trying to turn it around to find the sticker… :)

    • I’m flaming mad because of something at work, so this is a nice distraction . . .

      I worked a couple of jobs in HS that provided entertaining (now) stories . . .

      I worked for a dry cleaners, which was fine because I ran the register checking clothes in and ringing people up. However, at the end of every night when we were counting drawers, the owner instructed us to take a certain amount of money out of each drawer and put it in a specific jacket pocket on the line of clothes. I was 15 at the time and had a life that would not have exposed me to enough to know this was not supposed to happen at the end of the night at a dry cleaners! I ended up quitting for another job only because it was hot as h e l l in that place in the summer!

      I also was a life guard and ended up being staffed at a pool in a not-so-nice neighborhood. The money in our guest fee box would get broken into every night, we had to break up people having $ex in the pool once, someone had a seizure in the pool once, and another female guard’s girlfriend thought I was trying to make moves on her (I wasn’t) and would come and try to start a physical fight with me every other week or so.

      I also had several restaurant jobs, which were always rife with drama, but also fun and I am very thankful I had them.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked in a menial position for a professional sports team, which on paper sounded awesome and in reality was anything but. Honestly, there was way too much focus on customer service and a “the customer is always right, even if they’re drunk” mentality. It did teach me to ALWAYS treat everyone in a customer service position well because I know how much it can stink at times, but I also think that it taught Younger More Naive Me to tolerate sooooo much more BS from people (men in particular) than I really should have. I’m not sure if I would encourage my daughter to take any job where she’s perceived to be a smiling punching bag.

      Oh, and it also taught me that most professional athletes are total dooshnozzles, so I did also learn to not be intimidated by someone’s fame or abilities. That was truly useful :)

      • Anonymous :

        Same anon here reporting back how pleased I am that the term “dooshnozzle” cleared moderation quarantine on the first go-round :)

    • OK, I STILL think about this super awkward incident, 15 years later, and have intense anxiety: for your entertainment/horror:

      I got fired as an Applebee’s waitress when I was in college. They had these special menu items that were weight watchers branded. The training said you HAD to inform people that any changes to these items would result in extra points or whatever.

      Looking back, the “good” waitstaff who made lots of $ were probably very loose on following this guidance/ignored it. I, however, followed the script because I was 20 and such a rule follower, (even though it seemed like a doosh-y thing to do. obviously people following the points system will understand the alterations affect the points)

      I was also pretty anxious and hated offending people or conflict, and then just tended to either freeze or talk and talk and talk/try to deflect with humor (often digging a deep hole for self when I’m trying to do the exact opposite).

      Anyways, during my second week with my own tables, an obese woman ordered ranch with a weight watchers menu item. I told her I was required to tell her it would add points to the order. She got angry asked if it looked like she cared about points. (there is no good answer to this question, if you’re an awkward person). I tried to make a joke about Applebees policy being the food police/how annoying it was. Didn’t go well. Yelling. I used to cry as a default response to aggressive/uncomfortable situation.

      There were construction workers at next table (it was a beer special so they’d been there for awhile and had been coming in for the past few nights–they were traveling for a project and were staying at a hotel nearby). They tried to “defend” me and it devolved into a yelling match between the ranch dressing lady and the construction workers. I didn’t know what to do and was super embarassed and just stood there and cried. The bartender had to come around and “handle.”

      The manager told me in front of people that she didn’t think it was going to work out

      • Anonymous :

        That is an amazing story.

      • Oh my g*d. I love this so much. Poor 20 y/o you!

      • Anonymous :

        This is why I never waitressed, because I could see this exact thing happening to me.

      • Anonymous :

        I had some bad jobs in a grocery store (pre-scanners, when there was a lot of memorizing and knowing what was taxable and not taxable). I still know produce codes.

        I got yelled at a lot. By random people (everyone eats, so grocery stores get a ratable share of crazies plus people who are lonely and want someone to talk to).

        I learned not to take a that stuff personally. I take it personally when someone is meaning to be mean to me. But a lot of yelling / venting / etc. I can take (like people who work for the airlines customer service). I work on a trading floor now and can totally deal with it and think it’s odd that there aren’t more women here b/c we all have worked a lot more bad retail / waiting tables jobs than a lot of guys who are on the floor.

    • Kudos to your nieces! I think a farm internship should be mandatory for all HS students. Anyway, my first full-time job was at age 19 working as a…gopher, basically for a small physician’s practice. He would give me random tasks that I had no idea how to do (use the EMR software without any training, set up the wi-fi, make appointments in Spanish, etc) and it gave me a lot of anxiety, but the doctor saw potential in me and really helped me develop a good work ethic (protip: it’s a lot of fake it til you make it). It is, to this day, probably the best job I ever had. I got three raises in as many months, and I was able to work while going to school full time. I learned a lot about office culture, work ethic, and human nature. I also accidentally walked in on a teenage boy getting his “turn your head and cough” physical. In my defense, the doctor (on autopilot) SAID “come in” when I knocked. Sorry, kid!

      • Baconpancakes :

        I am of the opinion that all middle schoolers should be required to work on farms. A friend’s kid, who did a summer farm “camp” for two years in a row, came back astonishingly well-adjusted and level-headed. I figure it burns off a lot of that nervous energy, builds confidence to see something you actually grew that you can eat, and teaches them focus and discipline, as well as respect for the environment and familiarity with gross things and living things.

    • One of my teenage jobs was as a birthday party host. The place was a combination of indoor techy activities to get kids to move around (light-up wall for relay races, ski simulator, electric kick/punch bags) and a kitchen for “healthy” cooking classes. I was hired shortly after they opened and never got any real training for how to actually host a party (except for another teenager showing me how some – but not all – of the tech worked). Being 16, I didn’t think to ask for more training, so I just muddled my way through a few co-hosted parties with another girl who started a few weeks before me and evidently had been trained. She never really let me do anything, so I mostly just stood around and showed kids how to use the ski simulator. Thankfully they never asked me to cook anything.

      Once I finally figured out what I was supposed to do/could decently fake it, I got laid off since they hired too many hosts and hadn’t booked enough parties. I had only worked there for a month. The place closed about 6 months later – it was 2007, and it turns out that a place that only hosts expensive birthday parties that are difficult to explain isn’t recession-proof.

      • And in college, I worked at a museum as a tour guide, at the front desk, and in the gift shop. I have several great stories from that, but one of the highlights/lowlights was when a woman came in to the museum, went into a service staircase, took off all her clothes and put them in a trash can, and then refused to leave. My manager flagged down police officers walking by outside to help cajole her out of the building. It took most of the afternoon to get her to leave.

    • Never working retail again :

      I worked a ton of retail. A couple memorable occasions at various jobs:

      -The time the female district manager visited our store and commented that my n!pples were sticking out (“Is it cold in here?). I was 16 and horribly humiliated.

      -How my manager let all the smokers take extra breaks but none for the non-smokers

      -The time there was a big earthquake and power outage which was very unusual where I lived, and my manager still wouldn’t let us go home despite the fact that there was no power and no one could buy anything.

    • My first job when I was 16 was as a hostess at a popular restaurant in town. The big manager happened to be walking by one evening when I quoted a couple 60-65 minutes for the wait. (Calculating the wait was super easy – at least at this restaurant, you just multiplied the number of names on the list by 5 minutes.) The manager walked up and said, “Oh, this girl doesn’t know how this works. It’s just 20 minutes.” Yeah, uh, it was an entire sheet full of names, of course it wasn’t 20 minutes. The couple came up after 20 minutes and I said, “No, I’m sorry, as you see here, there are still…18 tables in front of you. My manager was mistaken and it’ll be another 40 minutes like I originally said.”

    • I worked at a fast food chain one summer- the next summer I made sure I got a good career-related internship lined up months ahead! One day the pizza place next door had a huge pest control operation to irradicate its roaches- the survivors ran across the parking lot and invaded our restaurant. I gave one lady a roach in her Mountain Dew ( they were seriously everywhere that day- it was hard not to give out roaches). She simply came back and Asked for Another Soda!!! Stuff happened daily… it was an adventure…

    • My first job out of college was a marketing and development assistant at a horribly mismanaged non-profit (not dissing non-profits as a rule, just noting that this one was awful) where for some reason, my 2-person department was put in charge of all office “fun” activities. About a month into the job, my boss told me “Look out, it’s birthday day.”
      Apparently my department was to organize a party for that afternoon that included treats for the whole office as well as specific requests from the birthday people. Ok, fine. I sent out a cheery email to the birthday people asking them what treats they wanted. I was thinking cupcake flavors, maybe ice cream or a certain candy bar they really liked. One woman asked me to get her a can of Duncan Hines German chocolate frosting. Another requested Sprite Remix (?!), which had already been discontinued for several years. A man sent me a detailed steak order from his favorite restaurant. Someone else asked why I hadn’t planned ahead and made a cake since she really preferred homemade cake to store bought.
      I asked my boss about these requests because I thought they were joking. He said no, this is what we do for birthdays, do your best to get everything you can. While I was at the grocery store getting all of this (sorry, no Sprite Remix), I kept getting phone calls. Apparently my boss had told everyone at the office “C is shopping for Birthday Day right now, so call her with any other requests!” Several people asked me to go to different stores and get certain things that were only available there, one person called to tell me he was ordering pizza for everyone, and as I was loading everything into my car, my boss called and said that he was reconsidering the entire structure of Birthday Day and could I nix everything and pick up ingredients for an ice cream sundae bar for everyone instead?
      I started job hunting that day and called in sick the next time Birthday Day rolled around.

      • Cornellian :

        that is hilarious (in retrospect)

      • I believe you that this is real, but it’s so ridiculous it sounds like hazing the new girl.

        • I seriously thought it was a hazing. I felt like Amy Gardner in the West Wing when she whispers to CJ “Am I being hazed? Is this a hazing? ‘Cause I’ll go along and everything but I have to [do actual work]” But it was unfortunately SO REAL.

      • Anonymous :

        This sounds like when Jim tried to do group birthdays when he was manager in the The Office.

      • Baconpancakes :

        This sounds terrible but also totally believable at one of the non-profits where I interned.

    • I had really good job experiences as a teen so I may be an outlier: I worked retail (I liked this less), I worked for a doctor after school and summers (I liked this better), and I worked as a receptionist for an advertising agency when my mom, who worked in the same building, became friendly with the owner’s wife (liked this best). All these jobs involved air conditioning, I just realized.

    • Detasseling! The job where you get up at 4AM to get on a school bus, drive for an unknown amount of time to a field and walk up and down the rows pulling the tassel off the top of the plant. It’s 100’s of degrees inside of a corn field, but you dress in long sleeves, pants, and a rain poncho so as to not get scratched to heck by the corn. The best part of the day was coming across a weed with an acceptable leaf to use as your toilet paper.

      That said, I grew up on a farm, so technically my first job was for my father. As a scrawny girl, I was useful for climbing into tiny spaces to retrieve something dropped, hold a thing, etc. I’m also pretty sure I’ve removed more miles of fence line than we had fields to show for it.

      • Anonymous :

        Yup. Did that too. We at least had portapotties though. i think. Or I held it until I got home.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked for a certain bath and body company that is in every mall, and I still get headaches when I walk past and smell their signature apple-scented products. The cucumber-scent was also very big when I worked there in the late 90s…never again!

    • My first job was in a dress shop in a small town. There were three employees plus the owner. The owner sometimes demanded that one of us “call the funeral home and see who’s dead”.

      • Anonymous :

        So many questios – why this because she “felt” someone die? Because you were getting an unusually high number of customers? Did people actually call? How did the funeral home respond?

    • anon for this :

      I took two years off from school after high school due to family economic circumstances. I worked a road construction job for my state’s department of transportation. Cleaned storm drains/sewer grates, cleared road kill, spread asphalt, patched potholes, dug ditches/trenches, drove trucks, did the stop/slow paddle, etc. etc. etc.

      It was bad because it was hard work physically and not really very rewarding. Some days I would do hard physical labor like shoveling/digging for hours on end. Standing for 8 hours with a stop/slow sign is also tiring esp. when it is really hot outside. But co-workers were very nice. Pay was also good. Now a biglaw mid-level. I am at least happy that it gives me perspective that my job isn’t THAT bad.

    • My first job was running a laundromat. For two summers, and then two academic years on and off after that (starting at 15), I literally ran a laundromat for an elderly owner who was never around. I basically spent hot, un-air conditioned summers doing massive amounts of other people’s laundry on a college campus, and it sucked. Hard. The stuff I would find…ugh. I did Clay Aiken’s laundry once when he was on tour in the area. Tighty whities with his name written in the waistband, for real.

      My better and more favorite early job was on a fishing boat. I worked with (for, I guess!) my then boyfriend, now husband, taking tourists and old men (who wished they had boats of their own) deep sea fishing and whale watching. We worked over night from 6pm to 2am, and I routinely didn’t get home until 4am because beer and unsupervised fun haha. It was the best paid and best shape I was ever in. We made beaucoup bucks in cash tips and so when I’d go to the bank to deposit all my grodie disgusting fishing boat money–which was all covered in fish blood and scales–the poor tellers were so confused. At the end of one summer, after making weekly deposits of bloody, damp ones and fives totalling upwards of $500/week, a teller said “Pompom, we’ve all been meaning to ask…what do you *do* for work?!” They were disappointed (relieved?) when I said “fishing boat.”

      • OMG picturing Clay Aiken’s mom writing his name in his tour undies! Also, did you work in the Gulf? Asking b/c you are the second person I’ve ever encountered who spells “beaucoup” correctly.

        • I had to fiddle around with the spelling as I was typing and then realized it was just a french-to-english idiom! Not from the Gulf, no. New England.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      My first official job was calling people to ask them to take telephone surveys. We called six days a week from 8 am to 8 pm and we called all time zones of the US. You can imagine how much people want to be asked about their electrical provider or their laundry detergent or their refrigerator at 8 am on a Saturday.

    • Oh boyyyyy. This got longer than I expected, because there were so many stories I wanted to tell.

      I worked for a call center at a nonprofit, and it was so terrible I basically went to grad school to learn how to run a better business than that nonprofit.

      A few samplings:

      -A coworker had some GI issues and had to take longer bathroom breaks than everyone else. My (male) boss noticed, followed that woman to the bathroom, and was tapping on his watch outside of the bathroom door when she got out.

      -About once every other month, I would get calls from someone experiencing some kind of severe crisis– like, “my mom just kicked me out and now I’m homeless” level stuff. We weren’t trained for how to help those people. After months of me asking for that training were brushed off, I reached out to my own contacts at 9/11 and at a local crisis line, put together a training, and offered it to that boss. “All you need to do is read it, sign off on it, and I’ll hand it out to the representatives,” I said. “It’s just not a priority for our organization,” he said. We were never trained.

      -This boss regularly interfered with the careers of a. smart women, and b. anyone else he felt threatened by. One woman, then the head of training, reported some of his widely inappropriate behavior to upper management. He got to insincerely promise he’d never do it again, at which point he convinced them that the head of training should be demoted to call center representative. He got his way.

      -His behavior included: just not showing up to work and sending us all an email that he was going to stain his deck; like delegating literally all of his actual job to people who got paid 1/4 as much as he did; like telling us that we weren’t allowed to read during the down times at the call center and then telling us he played video games *during* an important conference call.

      -He hired a woman from outside of the call center rather than promote me, because again, he had a thing against smart women. Said woman, who I trained in, proceeded to show up drunk multiple times, constantly complain about how hard her job was while spending the whole day on Facebook, and eventually get fired for stealing from the company.

      I nicknamed that boss Power Tool. This is not even half the stories I could tell you about him, or about that job.

  6. Skydiving :

    Pretty random question that I’ve been saving for a Friday. Has anyone been skydiving and if so, are you glad you went? Any recommendations for first time skydivers beyond the basics in the frequently asked questions section of a skydiving facility?

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been. I’m glad I experienced it, but I don’t think I’d go again. I didn’t enjoy actually jumping out of the plane, the free fall, and I’m not into roller coasters or anything like that so ymmv. Once they pulled the parachute, I did really enjoy it – it was like the whole world stopped and you could enjoy gently floating to the ground. Afterward I remember the adrenaline made us all so tired, so we ate and then all went home to pass out.

      • Once is enough! :

        Hah, plus one. I did a static line so it was solo, not tandem. It was the thrill of a lifetime for sure and I’m glad I did it, but my goodness I have never been so terrified in my life as waiting to jump out of that plane. Tip: be one of the first ones out, the terror just increases… also obviously of course check the place out and make sure they have a good safety record and train you !

      • Anonshmanon :

        I could have written the exact same thing. When I checked in, they tried to sell me the upgrade for the higher height (free fall will be twice as long!) but I don’t regret dismissing that!

      • Hot Air Balloon :

        Could have written the same thing. Although it prompted me to go on a hot air balloon ride and I liked that a lot more!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been and really enjoyed it. If you are at all predisposed to motion sickness, make sure to take motion sickness medication before you go.

    • I did it. In retrospect, I only did it because I was with a group and didn’t think about it much. If I had, there’s no way I would have actually left the plane. As it is, I’m glad I did it because it was a bucket list item, but I’m not interested in going again (or at least not anytime soon). The best advice I got was “during the free fall, if you can’t breathe, it’s because you aren’t breathing.” I was most definitely forgetting to breathe/having difficulty because of how fast air was rushing towards me, and remembering to breathe and turn my face slightly helped a lot. Once the parachute went up, it was a great view but I got light-headed and nauseous. The instructor was great, only turning around when we absolute had to to get down, and told me to look at the horizon (that helped only slightly). One of the people I went with got motion sickness bobbing in the parachute and puked (the instructor was ok with it because she puked on herself, not him!).

      IANAL but I read the whole contract they make you sign beforehand and OOOO BOY was that a load of crap. Signed it anyway but definitely make sure you know your rights before you go!

      • I’ve actually tried to deal with a parachuting contract before (ugh, crappy PI boss when I was a paralegal)

        and yes, if anything adverse happens parachuting, you is on your own….

  7. Piano for Beginner :

    My husband and I have always planned to put my son (5yo) in piano lessons around this age. We’ve discovered that most teachers in our area require the student to have a piano in their home. We totally get this and aren’t opposed, but we’re also not excited about spending >$1000. Neither of us has played since childhood lessons. We are leaning towards purchasing a Yamaha YDP-103R Arius Console Digital Piano. Does anyone have any thoughts about this particular model? Are we setting my son up for failure by not biting the bullet and going ahead and buying an acoustic piano. We’re not trying to raise a professional pianist. We just want him to appreciate music and have a good foundation for other instruments later if he’s interested.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      My sister took piano for years and we only ever had a Yamaha or Casio at home. She’s not concert-level or anything, but she still enjoys playing.

    • I would run it by his teacher explaining that you do not have (just say don’t have, not don’t want to spend) the money to spend on an acoustic and is this a suitable starter for him to learn on.

      The feel of the digital will be different than the feel of the acoustic that he plays at his lessons, but I don’t see the point of spending the money even on an upright in the event he ends up not being interested in doing it for very long (assuming that you would allow him to stop if he hated it).

      • FWIW, I took lessons for 10 years and we had a baby grand at home (my father plays) and I still don’t think you need an acoustic!

    • Anonymous :

      A Yamaha like the one you linked to is totally acceptable and perfect for learning. Don’t spend the money if you’re not raising the next Bach, and if you encounter a snooty teacher, look elsewhere!

    • I don’t really understand why you want your son to have piano lessons if you don’t want a piano in your home. What is the point really if there’s no piano to plop down and noodle at and try to pick out the melody to a favorite song?

      Get a real piano. Get a used spinet or console and find a wall to put it up against. You’ll have to hire a piano mover and a piano tuner but it’s really easy to find a used piano for next to nothing.

      A piano is a very good and useful thing to have in a home.

      • Anonymous :

        On the other hand, if he doesn’t end up liking or sticking with the piano, now you own a piano and have it taking up space in your house.

        • My parents have such a piano, and it is now essentially a shelf for photos of dead people. So. +1

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah. Was going to say this.

          My son was in a Suzuki music program. He played the cello for 5 years. We contemplated buying a cello once he got to a certain height and would take a full adult size, but held off. And I’m glad we did, because at the end of this school year, he announced that now that he does not HAVE to play the cello, he is NEVER PLAYING THE CELLO AGAIN PERIOD because he hates it. We would have bought a used cello and then tried to resell it, but I’m glad we didn’t even make that investment because now we’d be stuck trying to sell something we had just bought.

          I can’t emphasize enough that I think it is wonderful to expose children to playing an instrument. My son loves music and can read music, and is contemplating playing something like the saxophone or guitar at some point. But kids may or may not fall in love with their first instrument, and so I would caution against buying an expensive musical instrument for a new learner. I would definitely go with the digital piano and find a teacher who’s willing to work with that.

      • Used pianos are SO easy to find and pretty affordable! My tiny church of just 50 people has FIVE of them and we’re desperate to get rid of them. We’re literally putting them for free on Craigslist.

        • I was going to say this exact thing. We got our used Kimball console piano for free, for the cost of hiring the piano movers. There were several options on Craigslist (estate sales, etc) In my state the pay for piano movers is set by law (?!?) so it costed me about $250 plus a tip. Even a small console piano required 3 large men to move.

      • I took piano lessons when I was a kid and I’m really glad that I learned how to read music, even though I’m not a musician in any way, shape, or form. I was in band in middle school and coming in already knowing how to sight read was great.

      • Original Anon :

        We don’t mind having a piano at home. We just aren’t interested in spending more than a thousand before we know if this is going to be a real hobby or something our son hates. I know there are lots of used acoustic pianos out there, but what I’ve read and heard is that they require significantly more attention and care (tuning, etc.). I’ve also heard it’s really hard for non-musicians to know if they’re buying a underpriced gem or a lemon. This is why we’re leaning towards digital. Plus we can have a digital delivered pretty easily and for free rather than trying to arrange transportation for a piano off of Craigslist or eBay. I could totally have been misinformed, and am open to hearing that.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a Yamaha and I like it. It’s got a good weight and when it’s on a table it feels like the real thing. It was recommended to me by a friend who is a piano teacher and I think it would be totally appropriate for a first foray into music. Also, you can pretend to be Ross Geller and play the Sound :)

    • I grew up taking piano lessons and I don’t think there’s any need to buy an acoustic piano for your home just because your 5 year old is starting lessons. I practiced on an electric keyboard (make sure to get one with a full range!) for 2-3 years, until my brother and I were both serious enough about it to merit buying an upright Yamaha. Remember that a piano is a piece of furniture in your home. It’s great to have when it fits and is appreciated and enjoyed, but it can easily become just a lot of wasted money and space if there’s no one to play it.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I don’t know anything about that model, but any electric keyboard with 88 keys and sensitive key action is acceptable. By key action, I mean that you want one that he can play either soft or loud based on how much pressure he puts on the key (like a real piano); some keyboards emit the same volume regardless of pressure, and you don’t want that.

      As someone said above, you can almost always find a cheap used upright or spinet on Craigslist… I’ve seen great ones for a couple hundred bucks. A spinet doesn’t take up that much room, and you can easily sell it if it turns out he’s not into it.

    • I don’t know anything about pianos, but my husband bought a used piano recently on eBay – you might try searching there.

      He did not consult me before purchasing, and let me tell you, I was SUPER pleased about having to figure out where to put a piano in our already-full home.

    • Greensleeves :

      Both of my daughters take piano and we have a digital piano at home for practice. It has not been a problem for them not to have an acoustic piano. Bonus – volume control and earphone jack so practice time does not take over the house! I love to listen to them practice, but it’s also lovely to not have to listen when I’m on the phone or whatever.

    • Anonymous :

      My daughter’s piano teacher actually gives lessons on a digital piano, presumably because she doesn’t want sticky kid fingers on her Steinway. I am not sure of the model, but I have played it and it feels very much like a real piano. In addition to “sensitive key action” as described above, I would advise purchasing something with keys that have the same weight and “spring” (sorry, not sure of the technical term) as the keys on an actual piano. A lot of electronic keyboards have keys that are lighter and softer than those of a real piano.

    • Original Anon :

      Thanks everyone! This has been super helpful.

    • I would say that weighted keys are the most important thing to have in a digital piano. FWIW.

      • Spirograph :

        Yes. I’m a good amateur pianist. I learned on a real acoustic piano, but in a very transient stage of my life I had a Yamaha p-60 for years. I learned a lot of good pieces on it, and switched to real pianos at lessons and for performances just fine. On a solid surface, electronic with 88 weighted keys is a decent substitute.

  8. pugsnbourbon :

    My very first job was as an off-the-books concession stand worker at the only pool (private) in our very small town. I once overcharged my math teacher and I was paid in $5 coupons to said concession stand.

    Second job was a cashier at the local grocery store, where I accepted two bad checks and messed up an EBT transaction (to the tune of $100+) in the first month.

    Third job was as a bakery/deli clerk at another grocery store (10 miles away). I was actually very good at it! We didn’t do fancy custom cakes, but my roses, piping and lettering were all really good. My icing-writing is still much more legible than my everyday handwriting.

  9. i have anxiety about not having the “normal” amount of gardening partners (as in, too low). not looking to change th I situation, just how I feel about it. any thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I think most people have way fewer partners than you’d assume. If you don’t want to change the situation, I wouldn’t think twice about it. The number doesn’t matter.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you getting married? Yes, the number doesn’t matter, but you may wish you had sampled more.

        • Anonymous :

          I married the third guy I had ever slept with and I have no regrets. I had one long-term relationship (with a very adventurous partner), and one shorter fling before I met my husband, and feel like the “sampling” I got was plenty. My gardening life with my husband is lively and creative and I am not sure I missed out on anything. I think judging anyone’s “number” – high or low – is ridiculous. This is one of those things where there is no wrong, right, better or best answer. I definitely would not garden with more people just to bring my number up, but I was always fairly shy about that. Anyone else’s mileage may vary.

    • Anonymous :

      Assuming you’ve had at least 1 partner, I don’t think there’s really a “normal” number and I don’t think it has any relevance to how experienced or skilled you are. If you’ve been in one 10 year relationship, you’ve presumably gardened way more than someone who’s had 40 one night stands over the course of 10 years. (And while I don’t think making men happy should be the goal, I’ve never met a guy who thought a woman’s number was too low unless the number was zero, and that’s just because guys feel like there’s a lot of pressure if they’re the first.)

    • Anonymous :

      Before I got married I was kind of in the same boat–I didn’t start gardening until I was maybe 30 and my husband was the fourth guy with whom I’d ever gardened. I was raised in a hyper-religious and conservative family and it took me a long time to free myself of the inherent guilt enough to enjoy gardening. My primary worry was that I hadn’t explored the extent or variety of gardening out there to be had, but it turned out that my husband has a…uhhh…real “green thumb” in that department. YAY! as E!!en would say. The other three all had major issues: the first did not perform any oral gardening (a decade later, Present-Day Me would not tolerate that for a moment), the second had a huge tool but unfortunately said tool turned out to be attached to an even bigger racist, and the third had an unrecognized alcohol dependency that frequently manifested as a complete inability to garden.

      I guess if I would offer any thoughts for you, OP, it would be that if you’re worried as I was about not having experienced enough variety, there is a ton of variety out there to be explored within the context of a partnership, and sometimes that partnership can actually increase the comfort level and therefore degree of experimentation.

      • You have no idea how relieving your first paragraph is. You’re married AND you didn’t start gardening until your 30s? thank you, thank you, thank you.

      • Quote “the second had a huge tool but unfortunately said tool turned out to be attached to an even bigger racist”. Haha he was a huge tool in more was than one.

    • I have a relatively low number and I still have regrets about a couple partners.

      I don’t want to turn this into a numbers game but I have had 5. My husband and I started dating at 22.5

    • Anonymous :

      GAh! No idea how this wound up in mod, but here I go again:

      Before I got married I was kind of in the same boat–I didn’t start gardening until I was maybe 30 and my husband was the fourth guy with whom I’d ever gardened. I was raised in a hyper-rel!g!ous and conservative family and it took me a long time to free myself of the inherent guilt enough to enjoy gardening. My primary worry was that I hadn’t explored the extent or variety of gardening out there to be had, but it turned out that my husband has a…uhhh…real “green thumb” in that department. YAY! as 3!!en would say. The other three all had major issues: the first did not perform any oral gardening (a decade later, Present-Day Me would not tolerate that for a moment), the second had a huge tool but unfortunately said tool turned out to be attached to an even bigger rac!st, and the third had an unrecognized alcohol dependency that frequently manifested as a complete inability to garden.

      I guess if I would offer any thoughts for you, OP, it would be that if you’re worried as I was about not having experienced enough variety, there is a ton of variety out there to be explored within the context of a partnership, and sometimes that partnership can actually increase the comfort level and therefore degree of experimentation.

      • Quote “the second had a huge tool but unfortunately said tool turned out to be attached to an even bigger rac!st”. Haha he was a huge tool in more was than one.

    • Anonymous :

      Is your concern that you aren’t experienced enough? If so, I think that’s a load of hooey – I have had a lot of partners and I am still learning! So long as you are comfortable asking for what you want and if you don’t know what you want/like, experimenting and discovering what it is, then you are golden. If you aren’t comfortable asking for what you want/like or experimenting to figure it out, I highly recommend that you try :)

      If your concern is that you are somehow abnormal because of your number of partners, that also is a load of hooey.

      No partner that is worth a salt will ask you about your number and you should not be concerned regardless of where it falls on the spectrum!

    • anon for this :

      Oh, me too. Doesn’t help that a male friend (not a gardening partner) once made some offhand remark about how experienced gardeners were way more fun than inexperienced gardeners, or that I once spent some time with a guy who said it was “terrifying” that I hadn’t gardened in >1 year. Maybe I just know terrible people.

    • While I think a s3x-positive culture is a good thing in many ways, this is one of the big downsides. There shouldn’t be shame in having a low number. You don’t need to have a wide range of gardening partners to have a satisfying garden party. It also doesn’t mean you’re less interested in gardening. OP, I would try to unpack WHY you feel bad about having a low number.

      FWIW, DH is my one and only. And I don’t feel bad about it at all, nor do I feel like I’ve missed out on anything. We’ve had a range of gardening experiences together. We’re, um, very happy about the quality of our gardening parties. We’ve gardened together for 15 years now and are pretty much the perfect gardening partners for each other.

      • Anon for this :

        +1. This letter actually shocked me. Pearls clutched LOL. I grew up Catholic and firmly believe in sex positive everything now. However, when I think of gardening shame, due to my upbringing, my mind immediately goes to too many partners rather than too little. I’m married and my husband was my second gardner. That said I started gardening with first partner early in high school and husband sometime in college so I had tons of gardening experience, just only with 2 people. It really doesn’t matter how much or how little we garden or with how many or how few people, as long as we and are respective partners are happy.

    • I don’t think you should have any anxiety about this at all. In fact, some people, myself included, might envy you. While I am in a long term relationship now, I still am ashamed about the high number of partners I had before my current boyfriend. It wasn’t until I had an abnormal pap with several (curable and now long gone) s**ually transmitted diseases that I realized how irresponsible I had been throughout my twenties. The shame of the diseases alone was enough to put me in deep funk for a very long time and I still, to this day, feel guilty about it sometimes, especially because I know my boyfriend has only been with a couple people and he has no idea of my history. In short, I would value what you have and I agree with the above poster that the idea of being too inexperienced is nonsense.

      • There is no shame in having a high number of partners or getting HPV.

        Lots of people have HPV and it’s very difficult to completely prevent.

        • +1. I had an abnormal pap and an HPV scare. I’ve had three partners (including my husband).

          I don’t think too few or too many partners is a thing that exists, empirically. It’s whether you’re happy with your situation, and whether the activities you engaged in were consensual, IMO.

        • Yep. I got my first abnormal pap after ending a 5 year LTR and then dating 2 new people. It’s a shock at the time, but it has nothing to do with promiscuity.

          Men can’t get tested for it. It’s statistically likely that the majority of men at some point have carried at least one strain of HPV. Because it’s spread through contact, condoms can’t protect against it 100%. Plus, once most people decide on monogamy and get tested for the big scary STIs (herpes, HIV, gonorrhea, etc), they stop using condoms – but HPV is still a possibility.

          The body normally sheds it. If this can be said about any STI, HPV is the cost of doing business.

        • Anonymous :

          I’ve had HPV. Honestly you can have it and you’d never know because they only test for it if you have an abnormal pap. Totally not a big deal.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oof. You shouldn’t be ashamed. No one feels guilty about having taken only one hike, or having hiked every weekend in her twenties. Some people have never been to Disneyland, some people have season passes and go twice a month, some have been a few times for special occasions. No one feels ashamed about their history with those activities — why must (happy, consensual) s*x be different? S*x is something you do, it doesn’t inherently change who you are (and virginity is a patriarchal myth)!

    • Anonymous :

      My number is 2 (dated college BF from age 20 to 23 and then I met my husband a few months after that breakup). Fwiw, I wish my husband were the only one. I definitely don’t think there’s anything wrong with having two or more partners, but I just think it would be really nice if the only guy I’ve been with was my great love and life partner (college BF was a nice guy but not a ‘great love’). It’s not a regret that keeps me awake at night or anything but just pointing out that there are some people with small numbers who actually wish their number was even lower.

    • Anonymous :

      I was just talking about this with a guy friend who is getting divorced after a long marriage and is feeling embarrassed about the fact he’s 40ish and has only been with a couple of women. In my opinion, the only thing that matters is whether you’ve had zero partners or one or more. There’s nothing wrong with being a virgin of course, but it is unusual past a certain age and it’s not something you can really avoid discussing with people you’re dating. But once you’ve been with one person, who cares if you’ve been with one or one hundred. You know how it works and you don’t need to disclose your number to anyone. When I was dating, I always loved it when guys told me they hadn’t been with many people – it shows they can commit (since people with low numbers have usually been in long-term relationships), it made me feel special like they wouldn’t do it with just anyone but they wanted to do it with me, and it meant I worried less about diseases (although of course you should still be safe).

      • +1

      • Anonymous :

        My partner is mid-40s and I’m only his second gardening partner. His skill set is excellent and the things that really matter in the gardening situation – he’s kind, honest, generous, listens to me, and is invested in my enjoyment – don’t depend on a particular number of women in his past.

    • Anonymous :

      I think I have too many! I was 33 when I met my SO, and he is my #7. I am his #1. He doesn’t know my number but probably thinks it’s lower than it is. He’s got a green thumb so I don’t give a hoot about his lack of experience with other women!

      • Flats Only :

        I’ve got you beat by a mile with 15. I have been married forever, and met my DH in my mid 20’s, but before that I had flings and one-night stands and it was so much fun. I loved the chase and the fact that I was good at the chase.

        • I admire your confidence. My number is around 25, almost all of which happened in college and I am actually really ashamed by it now and wish I could take it all back. You live and you learn, I guess. Current boyfriend has no idea and probably wouldn’t even believe me if I told him.

          • Not Counting :

            Eh, mine is probably around there too, but I figure what’s the difference with one partner/many times and many partners/one time? FWIW, I haven’t even counted— it’s not worth it to me.

          • Anonymous :

            I got you beat (probably over 30), and I’m with a partner who has way fewer than me. He takes it as a point of pride that I’m very experienced, yet he’s the one I choose. He’s also amused by tales of my reckless youth… that helped me squelch the shame around my high ‘number’ for good. I roll my eyes at some of the choices I made in my early and mid-20s but they’re not anything to be ashamed of, and your number isn’t, either.

          • Anonymous :

            I’ve got at probably double that, but I stopped counting a while ago. I slowed down around 30 because I was ready for a relationship, but I have ZERO SHAME. $ex is fun! I was safe, I’m STD free, and used BC. Shrug.

      • I’m married to lucky #13. No regrets. I’m husband’s #6 and I know that because he told me, but my number is none of his business.

    • I don’t know if there is an optimum number or not. With me it’s 5 3 before my first marriage, then first and second DHs. I think the saying “it’s quality not quantity” is more than applicable.

    • anon for this :

      I feel the same way, but we shouldn’t feel this way! I have had two partners-a long term boyfriend and my husband.

  10. Konmari obsessed :

    As I get older why do the same clothes that fit me five years ago and still fit me look frumpy, even if they are basic items, like a black or navy skirt? Why do some still look good no matter what is in style? I notice the more unique items I have, or the classic with a twist items that are a unique colour, or have an unusual detail seem to defy trends, and look pretty good. I have been doing the ‘konmari’ whole house thing for over a week(I’m on vacation) and though I already went through my closet, am doing a second sweep. I have sneaking suspicion I am keeping things too long…five to ten years for some items that still are in top condition, but seem to look off. Should I pack away and re examine in a year?

    • I think a lot of this depends on how closely you try to adhere to seasonal trends. The more classic your wardrobe, the less you’ll need to update. But if you love cold shoulder (an example of something i think will be a very one-season trend) styles, you may find yourself making updates more often.

      I’m somewhere in between. This season I’m buying more ankle pants with a looser cut and midi skirts because those cuts feel fresh to me. But I’m still pairing those with tops from a few seasons ago.

    • Minor changes in style really make clothes look dated. Are the skirts not tapered in at the knee? Are they too long, too short compared to what’s current?

      I am thoroughly convinced that there’s no such thing as classic.

      I get what you mean about items with a twist. I always feel my Fluevog shoes never go out of style because they were never in style.

      • Konmari obsessed :

        I think the Fluevog shoes comment rings true for me too! I no longer have mine, but I have similar styled shoes, that were never ‘in’ so they never really look ‘out’.

        I work in a creative ‘everything goes’ workplace, and have for the last 17 years, and I like items that have that ‘twist’ so to speak. I notice these more unique items resist purges, and I am left constantly replacing basics such as pants and cardis. I wonder if my ‘twist items’ are becoming part of a collection, rather than a working wardrobe! (Not easy in1200 s feet, but new condo with good closets….so maybe I can convince husband to instal a small pax wardrobe for my ‘unique twist type clothing…)

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s what I always say. Things that are in style will always go out of style. But things that were never in style will never go out of style.

        • Konmari obsessed :

          Absolutely +1

          • Sentimentalist :

            Timely because I’m about to Konmari this upcoming week. I’m nervous because, honestly, 99% of my clothes don’t spark joy. I’m way bigger than the average person and I buy clothes that fit me. I don’t want to get rid of 99% of my closet! Also, I’m dreading getting to the sentimental part of the purge because I, somehow ended up as the family historian and have relatives’ diplomas, report cards, etc. I have a tendency to hold onto everything which is probably why I got this role, and is why my house is jam packed to the point of C.an’t H.ave A.nybody O.ver. Any advice on Konmari success is welcomed!

          • Konmari obsessed :

            I hear you! Some clothes still ‘spark joy’ for me, but the joy comes from viewing them rather than wearing them — good for a collection, but not for using, if that makes sense.

            The way I have been doing the Konmari process is in steps. If I am not ready to let something go, I basically put it in a holding area, or even move it to another spot. Eventually, I will reevaluate the item the next time I purge, or use it again in many cases. In terms of going through family papers, and diplomas and such – that took way more emotional energy and time, but I didn’t really follow the ‘steps’ exactly. Basically, don’t feel you have to do it all at once. A couple years ago, I organized my papers from when I was a graduate student (I left the program, but had essays and research still filled away). I let go of quite a bit. A few weeks ago, I approached the papers again. This time round, I was ready, and recycled everything except for two pages related this program! I was able to go through folders and magazine files — I could not stop and kept sorting for over four hours — and now everything fits in one half of a file drawer. This took many stages and years, but you will get there (if you want that level of letting go of course!) Give yourself permission to keep things too! I also rewarded myself after by purchasing some small drawer organizers, and a nicer box to keep some of the remaining items.
            Good luck!

  11. Freelance avocado enthusiast :

    I’m curious about how people have managed to improve their work-life balance. I’m getting reaalllll tired about reading articles from a mom about how she had a baby, decided her corporate job sucked, so she decided to launch a business and set her own hours. I totally applaud that, but I just don’t think that’s a realistic solution for many people. Being your own boss is a ton of work. You actually have to have a good idea, it’s a huge amount of risk and you’d better have a spouse with a good paying job to float you for awhile. The only thing I hate hearing more is, I didn’t want to work anymore so I became a blogger/podcaster/freelance avocado enthusiast.

    What makes you feel like you’re working to live, not living to work? Or is the real answer to have a job you love so it doesn’t feel so soul-sucking?

    • No advice – I’m career/soul-searching at the moment, but if anyone has any advice on how to become a freelance avocado enthusiast, I’m all ears. I already have a house, so I feel free to eat avocado toast.

      • I’m pretty sure “I already have a house, so I feel free to eat avocado toast” is going to be my go-to rejoinder to the inevitable millennial-judge-y articles/commentary encountered nearly daily. Actually LOL’d, so thanks for cheering up my Friday.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 million! Husband and I made that joke last night when we were eating (homemade) avocado toast for dinner. “It’s ok because we have a house!”

        • layered bob :

          lol. Every time we eat avocado toast (which is a lot, because our post-Millennial kids are big fans), we look sadly at each other and say, “this is why we don’t own a house.”

    • I improved my work-life balance by taking a lower-paying job that is closer to home (5-10 minute commute instead of 30) and requires fewer hours (40/week instead of 60). I am not my own boss, but my boss is pretty flexible on leaving early for family obligations etc., as long as the work gets done and clients are happy. I enjoy the work I do, but I’m not so passionate about it that I’d do it for free or if I didn’t need money. I vastly prefer it to previous job and being a SAHM (I’ve done both), and I don’t have any motivation to start my own company, be a freelancer, etc.

      • Another Anon :

        That’s basically how I improved my work-life balance too, except I’m in accounting and not law, so when I switched my new job paid the same as my previous one. I now work a 40-hour (or less) week, I never work at home or on the weekends, and I don’t even check my email when I’m out of the office. Not quite as exciting as my last job, but I was very picky about where I went and was willing to wait for the right company and I think I made the right choice for me. They have weekly lunchtime learning webinars here and when they asked if I wanted to watch the one on work/life balance I started laughing, because I had already made it happen just by switching jobs. I can’t believe how I was living before I started here.

        Even though I’m in a profession where it would be easy to go out on your own, I know I’m not the kind of person who would enjoy running my own company or looking for clients. I also don’t have a spouse, so if I couldn’t make it work I don’t have a second income to fall back on.

    • Anonymous :

      For me, it’s having a very low stress job. I also happen to mostly enjoy it, and I can make it sound interesting, but tbh, it’s a boring cubicle job. I like it because it’s slow-paced and totally has a nice work-life balance.

      Also, it really helps that I’m coming off of a year of unemployment where I still had resources through DH. I hated that, but used the time to take care of all kinds of medical issues, etc, which would otherwise be overwhelming to deal with whiLe working full-time.

      PS. I love your screenname, but I was a little disappointed the thread wasn’t actually on topic ;).

      • Freelance avocado enthusiast :

        If I figure out how to make it happen, this site will the first place to know!

    • Life Administrator :

      I do a few things: therapy, meditation, and always planning something fun. I get bummed out if I don’t have a little planning project – a weekend away, party, girls weekend, vacation. Not only do I have something to look forward to, but I love the process of planning and researching it. I love possibilities.

      But yeah, I am still waiting for my big chance to become a life administrator and make 300K per year running other peoples’ errands and planning their meals/vacations/events.

      • Can we be friends? Because 1) I’m obsessed with making a career out of planning other people’s lives and 2) how have I never thought to plan my own AS A LEISURE ACTIVITY?? You’re a genius!

    • “I’m curious about how people have managed to improve their work-life balance. ”

      I took one of those jobs that someone called “sad” a few weeks ago. The kind of thing where you make decent money but just kinda stay at one level doing the same thing forever. It’s the right thing for right now. And for what it’s worth, the vast majority of small businesses fail and only a tiny fraction of people involved in MLMs make any money.

    • It's possible :

      I have a great work-life balance at the moment. I enjoy my job and its mission, but I stay extremely busy after work with dance, yoga, language classes, choir, and seeing friends. Liking your job— or at least having a relatively stress-free job, most of the time— is important to me, because I’ve noticed when I’m stressed at work or home it bleeds over into other areas.

    • Green Hat :

      I got a job at a small firm with wayyy more reasonable billable hours targets, and gave up litigation to do only counseling in my niche area (which has far fewer “emergencies” to deal with). I do miss the thrill of litigation sometimes, but my life is way more manageable now. I also learned to set clients’ expectations regarding work product – if it’s not a real emergency, I quote them a turnaround time at least 2 days longer than when I think I could finish it by to give myself extra cushion.

    • “Or is the real answer to have a job you love so it doesn’t feel so soul-sucking?”

      This. Find what motivates you – creativity, serving the greater good, producing a tangible thing – and see how you can work that into your current field. Can you help take on marketing responsibilities at your company? Switch to a policy role? etc.

      • I truly don’t know about the idea that finding a job you will will really solve this problem.

        I have a super cool job. Honestly. It’s what I wanted to do for many years, I trained a very long time to do it, its creative, its rewarding, and I make a real difference in people’s lives.

        And you know what? 7 years in… a lot of it is routine. Everything becomes routine in time- particularly once you are comfortable enough that the anxiety cools off. I truly think that no matter how cool your job is, every single thing will become boring and tedious and you will wish you could sleep in on Monday morning instead of being a real adult.

        I definitely think there are ways to work around this- to find new challenges, to expand your role, to focus on the more rewarding areas- but I think that work can only fulfill you so much. The idea that if you find something you love you’ll never work a day in your life rings false to me. I probably have one of the cooler jobs in the world and there is still a reason that they have to pay me pretty well to get me to show up every day.

        Maybe this is just me

        But for me, the answer has been to find contentment in my life as whole, which means taking more control of my schedule, guarding my time off more vigilantly, saying “no” more often, spending more time drinking wine in the sun and less time working to get ahead, and accepting that if I never more any higher in the hierarchy of my career, that this is good enough for me- because the sacrifices I am willing to make for my job are limited (and in fact, are maxed out here).

        • gosh I can’t type. The first line should read “I truly don’t know about the idea that finding a job you love will really solve this problem.”

      • I was always the person who had A Passion and truly loved the work. I thought doing this work all the time would be the key to my happiness and make the 60 hours/week I spent working energizing and worth it. It didn’t work out that way, or at least, I learned that that’s certainly not sufficient for me. But that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be for someone else.

        Passion outside of work is working, tho.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/technology/2014/01/do_what_you_love_love_what_you_do_an_omnipresent_mantra_that_s_bad_for_work.html

        To give away the article’s conclusion… “Before succumbing to the intoxicating warmth of [the Do What You Love] promise, it’s critical to ask, ‘Who, exactly, benefits from making work feel like nonwork?’ ‘Why should workers feel as if they aren’t working when they are?’ In masking the very exploitative mechanisms of labor that it fuels, DWYL is, in fact, the most perfect ideological tool of capitalism. If we acknowledged all of our work as work, we could set appropriate limits for it, demanding fair compensation and humane schedules that allow for family and leisure time. And if we did that, more of us could get around to doing what it is we really love.”

    • I have two theories on work/life balance:

      THEORY #1 – Glass Half Full Extroverts. Every happy person I’ve ever worked with has been bubbly, energetic, able to laugh off stress, and only needed 5 hours of sleep. *I’m not that person.* They naturally have a work hard, play hard outlook. While they worked the same awful jobs at the same awful company, they were thriving while I was miserable. Attitude and energy levels are key.

      THEORY #2 – Be a Middle Cog. Assistant. Junior Associate. Part-time. Whatever title in your field translates to “Does middling work; no one needs to get a hold of her after hours.” You won’t have an enviable career, but you will have energy to have a life. You won’t make a lot of money, but again, you will have energy to have a life.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That is an excellent analysis, Jax.

        I am a shameless #1. I am a litigator, outgoing, work a ton, have a husband, a kid and a pretty good social life. I do not need a ton of sleep. I *love* my job and my firm. Work/life balance is one of those phrases that I do not care about – loving and being happy with my work means I am really into whatever I do when I am not at work. For me, that’s balance.

        A good friend of mine just left my firm to go to a regulator for less pay and less prestige, but it is way less work so she can watch her children play sports. She is super happy. The idea of it makes me want to curl up in a ball and die. Balance means different things to different people.

      • anon for this :

        I am a shameless #2. :) I found a job that is high paying where I can work from home and work about 50 hours a week.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have kids, but I gotta say my honest answer is that I’m not a really ambitious person. I guess that sounds terrible, but I’m content in my boring office job in an office where there’s good work-life balance and little stress, at least for the underlings like me. Obviously I aim to succeed and perform well, but I work my 40 hours in my cubicle and then go home and completely forget about work.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I say this all the time on here but there is nothing wrong with making good money and working to make that good money and just being happy where you are. We don’t always need to strive for more. We can just enjoy where we are.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Sometimes I feel like the opposite is almost true here, like the ones of us that are ambitious and want to work a lot and achieve that standard version of success are flawed somehow, either because the gold standard seems to be to go in house and work less or the pursuit of money beyond a certain level suggests you have misplaced priorities.

        • So, my partner mentor often tells me that the people who make partner have some sort of “bent” to them – they wanted or needed to make partner for one reason or another. But for them, making partner and achieving that particular brass ring was more important to them than having more leisure time, or getting more sleep, or having time to pursue avocado-eating as a hobby. It’s not misplaced, necessarily, it’s just different.

          I also think a lot of people who walked away from that track have some guilt/shame about it, so I think that’s why you may see more reassurance and support for that path than the other.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yup.

          I always say that the people who are really successful are the people who have “work” in the middle of the Venn diagram of their life and everything else (“things that make me happy,” “most important relationships,” “things I get excited about”) overlaps with it.

        • Anonymous :

          +1. I see so many strings on this site BigLaw being evil, up and out being bad, work/life balance being the most important thing, etc. I think we should take a minute to recognize women who have elected to make their career a priority and have been successful. My view is that work is one of three big chapters in my life and I’m going to make a success of it, and then move on to retirement proud of that accomplishment, and have plenty of time then to volunteer and pursue my hobbies.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m certainly thankful for women like you. We need more women at the top!

    • Having a job I genuinely love goes a long way, because it doesn’t seem like such a chore to devote time to my job. (Not a lawyer, though. YMMV.)

      When I was in a job I hated, I felt like that soul-sucking office was depriving me of all of the time I could have used to do what I liked.

    • For me, it’s having a flexible work schedule so I can be home and have dinner with my family and go to my kids’ events, and then just go online and finish up my work later (usually between 8:30 p.m. to whenever I go to sleep). Working a little on weekends while my kids are playing with their friends or at birthday parties or whatever (I have 3 kids in elementary). It’s not soul sucking for me because my job gives me a sense of accomplishment, I enjoy being at the office and chatting with my colleagues, about half of my work is intellectually challenging, and I know I wouldn’t be able to be at home all the time without being bored or anxious about not being productive. Can you find a job with a more flexible schedule?

  12. Anonymous :

    Where does one go to buy a normal everyday kind of bike? I love tooling around my neighborhood and on local trails but I think it’s time to retire my 30-year-old mountain bike. I dont need anything fancy but do want it to last (since I might have it for a while). I think I’d want a hybrid. Id buy used but would be afraid of getting a stolen bike. In D.C. Area on Virginia side for any ideas.

    • Anonymous :

      Your local bike shop should be able to fit you.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d go to http://thecentrevillebikeshop.com/ and get them to fit you then see if they have a new or used one that works for your riding and budget.

      I bought my current bike from a used bike store in my town and it’s the bomb and I got it at a steal! The frame and guts are in great shape and it came with new tires and brake pads.

    • new job, who dis :

      I got mine from REI (there are several in NoVA I think) and I’ve always been pretty pleased with the bike staff there.

      bikes go on sale seasonally and you can get a GREAT deal when they hit. and for a hobby biker like yourself, they’re not going to overwhelm you with the specs or details of biking.

      also – they have great free classes if you want to learn about basic bike maintenance skills (I highly recommend!)

    • Anonymous :

      I live in DC and got mine from the REI in Noma, but that was right after it opened and most of the experienced bike people were from the Virginia stores. They really know their stuff, and they have good price ranges.

    • Big Wheel Bikes (lots of locations) has been very nice to DH and me whenever we go in. I don’t know much about bikes but have a commuter as well as my fancy road bike for weekend fun riding, whereas DH is a bike hobbyist and a pretty fast amateur rider, i.e. a range of experience and skill levels if that gives you more confidence about buying from them.

    • Anonymous :

      Bike Nashbar has some really well-made, inexpensive bikes that are great to get started with until you figure out how much you’re going to ride. I’ve had a road bike and a mountain bike from them, both under $350, and they were great. I love riding and so have upgraded now, but check out what they have.

  13. I’m struggling with insomnia and have been reading about blue-light blocking glasses, which are supposed to prevent the electronic devices I use at night from causing me to stay awake because the blue light from these devices blocks the melitonin production. (Something like that). Anyone have any that they recommend? Or is this just a gimmick?

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      No, but I use the f.lux plugin on my Mac, and it filters out the blue light and is free. I simply avoid my phone after 8 pm, and put my computer away at least an hour before bed. I haven’t checked if there’s a phone app, there may be one now.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean…have you considered not using electronic devices at night?

    • Anonymous :

      What devices do you use? Most phones (iPhones definitely have them, my friend’s Android did a while ago) have a night shift mode that will turn the screen more orange. Your best bet might be to cut back on electronics before bed– I switched to reading paper books or non-electronic Kindle and it helped a lot.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep- insomniac here, I see a sleep specialist and have adopted this regimen per his recommendation: I wear blue blockers at night (just cheap ones from amazon), and then use a bright blue light (mine is from Philips, a bit expensive but worth it and used daily) for ~20 min in the morning, and take a tiny dose (500 mcg, my doc specifically recommended the Trader Joes brand) of melatonin 4 hours before bedtime. Hope it helps!

    • Anonymous :

      I got blue light blockers on my most recent glasses (I mainly wear them at night and at home). I also use the night setting on my iPhone. I think it helps. I don’t know or care if it’s a placebo effect.

  14. Birthday blues :

    Please cheer me up, internet strangers. I’m 39 today, feeling like I have little to show for my years, not much forward momentum, and a face and body that definitely can’t pass for even 35 any more.

    • Gratefulness :

      What helps me when I’m down is counting the things I’m grateful for, no matter how small. For example: I had a cup of my favorite coffee, I found a new shirt I really like, I have a sister/mom/friend etc. who cares about me, I did something nice for someone and made their day and am grateful I can make a difference, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m sorry. Just to push back a little, you’re 39! Having a body that should be 35 or less is just not realistic. Embrace what you have now!

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, for sure, especially since I had twins after turning 35! It’s just that I’ve always looked young for my age, and I hoped it would continue. :)

    • Can you try something new? Sometimes shaking things up a bit helps. And happy birthday!!!!

    • Hugs. If it’s any consolation, I had the same thoughts on a similar birthday earlier this week.

      What can you do to make today a great day for you? Doesn’t matter what others think. What do YOU enjoy? Then go do that.

      Happy birthday!

    • Delta Dawn :

      Happy Birthday!! Time to get yourself some birthday gifts. You could schedule a facial or maybe even dermaplaning/microderm. Makes me feel younger every time. Do you have a friend you can meet for dinner or drinks tonight? Or if not, take yourself out! Go home a little early, shower, get all done up, put on your favorite outfit (I know you have at least one thing in your closet that makes you look great!!), and go have dessert and champagne somewhere fancy. Somewhere that waitstaff will be attentive and make you feel special :)

      • Anonymous :

        Oh, gifting myself is a wonderful idea! My budget is more like a new bottle of nail polish than a skin treatment, but still, I should go for it. And thanks for the vote of confidence. :)

        • Anonymous :

          Bed Bath and Beyonds often have beauty supplies, and I always feel like I’ve scored such a win when I use that 20% coupon on a new shade of nail polish.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Happy birthday! You have hurtled through the vacuum of space around a gigantic, flaming, life-giving ball of gas 39 times! You are on this tiny clod of clay, which miraculously has air and grass and bats and baboons and white tigers and dahlias and mountain streams and weird hairless apes, one of which is you, and that is pretty weird but also really cool! And you are unique. You have walked a life no one else has ever walked, or ever will again. Your voice has cheered someone up when you didn’t even realize it. Your smile sparked another smile. The things you love are also loved by other people, even people you’ve never met, and because of that love, you are connected to those people, all across the world, living and breathing and loving the same things you do. And that is amazing! You are just full of potential, and every day you wake up and get out of bed and have another chance to do something that makes your heart soar. This day is your day, and tomorrow will be your day, too. No matter what the weather is where you are, what the political climate or financial situations are, you are alive, and you are a life different from all other lives. This is beautiful. There are so many different paths to choose, and whichever one you take, that one will be an adventure. Some adventures are louder than others, and some are peaceful and full of contentment, and some are filled with strife and struggling, but they are yours. Clutch them to you. Claim them. Be full of wonder, and be wonderful. And always take the opportunity to celebrate!

    • Here is my birthday present to you: next year you turn 40. The forties are glorious; they are the DGAF decade (DGAF of strangers’ judgment, bosses’ unreasonable requests, societal expectations of what women “should” be doing, etc.). You get to spend this year still being in your thirties AND getting excited about the glories of DGAF (maybe even getting a healthy start on DGAF-ness).

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks for that. I’m so glad to hear that the 40s can be a good, or even a great, period. Thanks again.

        • Senior Attorney :

          And the 50s are even better. Just sayin’.

          • Anonymous :

            Thank you so much, Senior Attorney. I’ve been following Corporette for long enough to believe that if you say so, it MUST be true!

  15. Anonymous :

    I am at a total loss about what to do about my English bulldog who is about 9 years old and otherwise in good health but has never been very smart.

    She has gotten aggressive with our nanny. So whenever our nanny stands up to leave when I’m home, she barks aggressively at her. She has even bitten her purse, but never her. She put her mouth on my foot once as if to bite, but I know if she had meant to bite me, she would have. But still I would not feel comfortable having her lose with any people over, and I don’t like taking her when we leave town anymore, so we end up boarding her all the time, which is so expensive.

    A friend suggested her teeth might be bothering her, so we tried that, it cost a fortune, and it didn’t work.

    The other thing she does is pee on her bed or any other soft thing we leave on the floor. It is so strange. My son left his dirty clothes on the floor last night, and she peed on them.

    I’m just at a total loss and about to have a third baby and so tired of dealing with this! Any tips?

    • Anonymous :

      Get rid of the dog?

      • Anonymous :

        Well, I would not really feel comfortable giving her to anyone else because of her aggressive behavior and some other gross qualities she has (I’ll spare you the details on those but she can really ruin some furniture).

      • Anonymous :

        Dogs aren’t disposable. They are family members.

        • This is one point of view, but I think it’s silly to expect that everybody should hold this view. It’s an animal, not a family member. And yes, I have several very well-cared for pets.

          • Anonymous :

            You don’t have to view it as “a family member” (I love my husband and children more than I love our dog) but if you view pets as property that can be disposed whenever it’s convenient, then you should not own a pet.

          • Anonymous, you must have misread her post. She said that her bulldog is showing increasing signs of aggression and potentially failing mental function, not that it’s vaguely inconvenient to have a dog. She is not attempting to “dispose of it whenever it’s convenient”, she is trying to think of what is in the best interest of her actual human family members, as well as the dog.

            Keeping a dog in an environment where it is nervous and paranoid for whatever reason seems cruel. Along the lines of “pets = family”, if you had a parent who was having cognitive difficulties and agitation that were incompatible with them living with you, I hope you would find a care facility where they could receive appropriate care. In the dog’s case, a senior dog rescue would be the equivalent.

        • Yes, but you shouldn’t keep a dog around that’s going to harm a real human being. I’m afraid for OP’s nanny. I don’t think this is going to end well.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re a terrible person. When you get a dog, you’re making a commitment to it for the duration of its life. There’s almost certainly an explanation for this behavior – probably either the dog has something physically wrong with it or it’s not getting the attention or exercise it needs. None of those things are the fault of the dog.

        • different anon :

          Actually, I don’t think Anon is that far off. I think there are more avenues to check first (vet visit, behaviorist, etc.) but at some point I would not put up with an aggressive animal. I love my animals, consider them family, etc. BUT if I had explored all options and could not stop a dog (or any other animal) from being aggressive, I am afraid I would have to put it down.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Hire an animal behaviorist!

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I also meant to add that I grew up with English Bulldogs, and 9 is quite old for them. Are these behavioral changes sudden? There may be something neurological going on.

    • Have you taken her to the vet and explained all of this? If not, that should be your first stop.

    • Any major behavioral change warrants a visit to the vet. She may have some kind of health issue that’s not super apparent, and a vet can help figure out what’s going on. It might be something simple like a UTI bothering her, or something more major, but it’s better to know.

      • Anonymous :

        We’ve already done this. We’ve treated all of these strange things and none of it has helped. I’m honestly just tired of spending thousands of dollars on her! Every vet visit is expensive with no results.

        It is pretty sudden, so I’ve thought perhaps it’s dementia or something. If that’s the case, what is there to do about it? That’s another reason I don’t want to spend money on a behavioralist – if it’s dementia, it seems unlikely training would help.

        • I would try an animal behaviourist as a last resort, and then personally I would consider having the dog put down. I do not tolerate aggressive animals in my house. Unfortunately dogs tend to get aggressive with they are in pain, although it is odd she is only aggressive to the nanny. I second the question that someone else asked if the nanny could be abusing her.

          It /could/ be dementia, but you need to be honest with yourself and ask some questions. Has the dog stopped going to the correct side of the door to be let out (going to the hinge side instead of the opening side)? Has the dog stopped remembering its commands or responding to people/places as she normally would? Has she gotten out of her normal routine? Does she seem lost or looking for something all the time? These things would point to dementia. The things you mentioned seem more like anxiety reactions. Do you think she might be losing her hearing or sight? If she is being startled a lot that could produce aggression reactions, and if your nanny is especially quiet, that could be why she is the main person affected.

          • Anonymous :

            I also suggested the hearing/seeing above, but you make a good point on dementia. There are meds for this too, I believe.

    • Anonymous :

      This is definitely a long shot, but if she’s only aggressive to the nanny, is it possible the nanny is abusing her when you’re not around? I have a good friend with a dog that suddenly became aggressive towards one person. Friend’s family member later witnessed that person kicking the dog when the person thought nobody was watching.

      • Anonymous :

        This, or one of the kids? Or, dogs are like people – they don’t have to like everyone and maybe there’s a good reason.
        Maybe the dog is having trouble seeing or hearing, so lashes out?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My friend’s dog has become really protective of the kids. It gets upset if people get between it and the kids. They’ve done some work with a trainer and have techniques to manage it but it is making life more difficult. Part of the training is not just putting the dog in a room when people come over but having that person interact with the dog, give the dog a treat when it is behaving and get the dog to see that the person is a safe person and allowed to be in the house. I suspect the stress of impending baby number 3 might have something to do with this too. Animals are keen to changes in our lives and they can get nervous and upset by them.

    • It sounds like for the sake of the dog it is better if you surrender her to a senior dog rescue organization. I have a neighbor who only adopts elderly dogs that cannot be taken care of (for whatever reason) by their owners. That way someone who has the time can give her what she needs.

      • Anonymous :

        It sounds like OP is looking for permission for something like this (or something more drastic).

        • Yep and it’s hard. OP, I know you’ve had the dog for a long time and it’s emotional but I think if you find a good organization they will be supportive and won’t shame you. Doing the best thing for the dog is foremost. Life changes and it’s important to recognize when you are unable to handle a situation and need help. I would research rescues, in particular senior rescues and breed-specific rescues.

      • Except that rescues shouldn’t have to deal with your old dog with health and behavioral issues, either! They are charities, not nursing homes that people pay to care for their old dogs until they meet their natural end.

        That aside, the kindest thing you can do for your dog if you’ve exhausted all options is to go to the vet and be there with her when you put her down. There’s no shame in that.

    • Anonymous :

      You need to talk to a dog trainer who specializes in “reactive” dogs. Have the trainer do an assessment.

      For the short-term, could you board the dog during the day or maybe do doggy day care? You could also kennel the dog during the day and hire a dog walker to come over to support as needed.

      I wouldn’t just automatically resort to putting the dog down, that is not fair to you or the dog. I think you are doing the right thing by exploring options. Hugs my friend.

    • Coach Laura :

      We’re dealing with dementia expressed as extreme anxiety in an older dog. Xanax didn’t work. But melatonin did work – doesn’t make them sleepy per se but reduces anxiety during day or night. You can google the appropriate dose but we gave 1mg to our aging 18 pound Jack Russell terrorist. We also gave 6 mg to our 50 pound border collie on July 4th for fireworks anxiety.

      If not, a behaviourist is the next best step. Get recommendations from a vet or dog breeder. You might be honest with the vet and state “We are running out of options for Bully and if we can’t resolve his problems, we’re going to have to euthanize.” See what the vet says to that.

      If that doesn’t work, then yes you’ve tried everything, euthanasia is warranted because, realistically, if you tried to rehome the dog, euthanasia would be the likely result.

  16. Boss suiting :

    I ordered some Boss items from the NAS today to try to get a Big Girl Suit.

    I’ve been wearing Banana, which I’ve found to be very pear-friendly (the Logan pants) but I have been ordering petite jackets b/c my waist is very high and my torso seems to be really short (like I can’t wear jackets or dresses from many brands b/c the waist hits around my hips and but bust darts are too far south of where I need them). I’m 5-4, but oddly proportioned. In BR, I’m a 4P jacket and 6 bottom (the waist has to be taken in on skirts / non-Logan pants, due to pear-ness).

    How is Boss?

    A lot of 4s were sold out, so I ordered 6 and 8 skirt / jacket / dresses (pants seemed to be sold out). Is it 2K worth of clothes that I’ll wind up returning? Or maybe something will work?
    I ordered a couple of sizes

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I love Boss suiting. I am so happy with the quality and fit.

      I don’t think I’ll be very helpful on fit because I have a different body type (straight), but I find it runs long because I am 5’11” and the sleeves and skirt actually fit me.

  17. Barre classes for newbie :

    I am completely new to any kind of working out/exercise class. I’ve done yoga for years, but that’s about it. Would barre classes kill me? I’m really out of shape. I want to try it but I don’t want to be humiliated in front of all the skinny cute girls…

    • Anonymous :

      I’d sign up for whatever class makes you the cute skinny girls with cute outfits. B/c I am so not that right now.

    • I doubt it. Barre is sort of a cousin of yoga (closer to Pilates), so I think you would be able to follow some of the moves. It is more physically taxing than yoga, in my experience. But it’s not a high-intensity aerobic type workout.

    • Try it! I’ve been going to barre3 for a couple months, and the instructors are very welcoming to new people and always include modifications to the exercises for different ability levels. And don’t worry about the other people in the class – at least at my studio, there are a variety of ages/body types/ability levels, and everyone is focused on their own workout so no one will notice if you don’t quite have the hang of everything.

    • I had never been to a yoga class as an adult. Or, um, well, worked out beyond some shortlived body weight type stuff that I was never awesome at. And I love barre. It’s awkward at first but it quickly gets better and now I love it. You’ll be fine! Go for it! I go to Pure Barre and adore it.

    • Late but cosign everything! Go check it out!

  18. Diana Barry :

    NAS initial report, in case anyone is still reading!

    BLANKNYC Chill Pill Cardigan – terrible. It had snaps that I could tell would get stuck together or pulled out of the fabric right away and it was lumpy and shapeless. Going back.

    Halogen Zip Detail Tweed Jacket – I wanted to like this but it was oddly cut so the front sloped down to the zipper and then up to the sides, so it looked like I had a triangle shaped pooch. Very strange. Going back.

    Halogen V-Neck Merino Wool Cardigan – Very nice. But I bought it to go with the blouse below, and I never wear cardigans, so it is going back.

    Treasure & Bond Deconstructed Blazer – GREAT. Really nice. Fits well and is very flattering. Keeping.

    Drapey Roll Tab Sleeve Jacket, ASTR THE LABEL – too wrinkly and shapeless. Going back.

    Halogen Bow Neck Top – I wanted to like this but could not for the life of me figure out how to tie the bow top – so it is going back. Also it is poly and not cotton.

    Halogen Long Ribbed Cardigan – GREAT, very cozy and flattering shape. Keeping.

    I have some more coming next week and will comment then. :)

    • Thanks for the update!

      I’m looking at the Halogen Long Ribbed Cardigan. A couple reviews mentioned the fabric was itchy. How does it feel? Is it worth the price?

      • Diana Barry :

        It wasn’t itchy to me (and I sent a couple of things back last year bc they were itchy). Very nice and comfy-feeling. Too hot for now so I expect it will feel nice in the fall. :)

  19. How Sad! I wrote a super long post reviewing a bunch of the non-NAS sales I’ve shopped lately as soon as the weekend post went up, and apparently it’s been eaten by moderation.

  20. Anonattorney :

    I’m leaving for London next week for a vacation and need some tips about food! It’s just me and my husband. We can do a couple of nice dinners, but otherwise will be trying to watch the dollars a bit. I’m thinking something more along the lines of $30 lunches, and maybe a few $50 dinners. Does anyone have any suggestions? Are there any good cafe or fast-food options that are good grab-and-go’s for breakfast and lunch?

    Also – I’m totally open to some fun dinner suggestions.

    TIA!

    • I would do a pub breakfast (full English) at least one of the days, and maybe afternoon or high tea another. I also find Marks & Spencer and Tesco/grocery stores to be good for grab-and-go things. Enjoy!

      • I was going to reccommend Marks & Spencer gram-and-go for lunch, but wasn’t sure if that would seem too cheap. They work great for picnics!

    • Nando’s is a good fast casual chain around London that would be good for a quick lunch.

      • Nando’s has also come to the US in some markets, so YMMV if you want something “new” to you.

        Man, I miss Nando’s…

    • Wagamama! Asian noodles and such for cheap. Most pubs won’t be terribly expensive and probably delicious. M&S to go is awesome – never seen such creative and gourmetish items in a grab and go convenience store (and, paprika Pringles…get them every chance you get). Pret a Manger for sandwiches. I loved high tea and it was generally filling but not cheap – lowest was 45 pounds per person.

    • Markets can be nice and reasonably priced. Try Borough market on a weekday and take your food to the church courtyard nearby. Takeaway food is also good – like you can get some packaged sandwiches and cider at M&S or Waitrose and they will be decent-tasting. There are so many good parks in London, just take food there and picnic. For restaurants, I love Grain Store in Kings Cross for a great food/middle price, also check Brick Lane for Indian restaurants but read reviews. Even if you don’t love Indian food, I find I like it much more in England than in the US.

    • AnonLondon :

      When you say $30 for lunch and $50 for dinner, is that per person or for both of you? And including drinks/etc.? Which part of town are you looking for recs in?

      • Anonattorney :

        Thanks all! I’m talking $30/$50 for two people. We’re staying in Clerkenwell. It looked pretty central, but I know nothing.

    • Soho has lots of options at different prices, and you also are near Chinatown where you can get other cheap meals.
      Would also recommend:
      Wahaca (chain)
      Bao
      Shackfuyu (have a reasonable set menu)
      Bills (chain)

      Lunch wise, along with those mentioned above Leon and Paul (both chains) are both great options. There’s also a couple of whole foods, and your typical coffee chains.

  21. I am terrible with kids. I don’t know how to interact with them at all and become incredibly awkward and stiff around them. Tonight I will be meeting my SO’s niece and nephew for the first time at a backyard BBQ at their house. Niece is 5 or 6 yrs (?), nephew is 7 months. FWIW I’m also meeting brother and SIL for the first time, but I’m less nervous about that. Are there any nuggets of hive wisdom for being less awkward around a baby and an elementary schooler?

    • Anonymous :

      As with adults, asking questions will get you a long way. Meet them at their level, literally and figuratively. What is her favorite sport? What grade is she going to be next year in school? Did she do a summer camp? What is her favorite animal?

      The 7-month-old is easier. Just smile and say baby things to him. You don’t have to hold him if you don’t want.

    • You actually probably won’t have to interact with them all that much. The older will be running around doing whatever she does and the little one is too little to do much.

      For kids, I find it’s helpful to squat down (the being literally at their level the pp mentioned) and just say, “Hi, I’m Jill. What’s your name? Whatcha workin on?” (if they’re distracted by a thing) or I make a goofy show out of shaking their hand, “How do you do, Miss Emily? It’s very nice to meet you.”

    • In general, the best thing with elementary-age kids is to essentially ignore them (after a brief initial greeting) for the first 15-20 minutes of the event. It really freaks kids out when you come on too strongly. They tend to react much better to a pleasant conversation (as per the previous comment) after they’ve had a chance to check you out for a bit and watch how their parents interact with you.

      • oh and if their parents do that weird thing where they try to make the kid hug or kiss you, just offer the kid a high-five instead.

    • I am probably too late but bringing little gifts for kids is a good ice breaker. I’m talking something like a book or a small (but not too small, given the baby) toy. My friend Tom felt weird around kids but when he visited he brought my then 3 and 5 year olds toys. A wooden car for my 3 year old son and a bead kit for my 5 year old daughter. They’re 14 and 16 now and though the beads are long gone, the wooden car is on a shelf in my son’s room and is always referred to by both of them as “the car from Tom.”

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I have four kids and I don’t know how to talk to kids like other people do. I just talk to them like they are people. This honestly works. And no, I am not being snarky at all here. A few random parents at school have criticized me for talking to my kids like they are adults, so ymmv.

  22. Anonymous :

    Need to vent. Due to an extremely busy schedule it’s been very hard for me to make time to go to the Obgyn for my annual exam. I’m in my twenties and have no health concerns, just need a renewed prescription to the BC (the pill) I’ve been using for over 10 years. Thus, it’s lower on my list of my priorities than perhaps it should be. So, my prescription runs out and my appointment isn’t for another month- it’s the soonest I could make it work. I ask for a refill in the interim and the doc says no- not until my appointment. I am LIVID. What does my annual exam exactly have to do with my BC anyway? And I don’t just take it for a contraceptive, it’s also for my chronic migraines. Here I am, a woman with every advantage in life (health insurance, a job, education, etc), without access to BC. How is this a thing!

    • Did you explain that it’s just for one month, not a full renew? Most docs would do that.

    • Are you me?!?! I literally just dealt with this!
      I moved to a new city and my annual was scheduled with old OB/GYN, but that office is now too far away to be feasible. Found a new OB/GYN here, but earliest appointment was after BC ran out. Called old OB/GYN and they said no, you’re no longer our patient since we sent your records to new OB/GYN. Are. You. People. Serious?!?! I take BC for a variety of reasons, one of which is cramps bad enough to make me vomit. I’ve barely accrued enough leave to take PTO for the annual appointment, but now I’ll have to find a way to take a sick day when the cramps hit.
      Oh, and I learned that new OB/GYN requires a follow-up appointment 3 months after starting a prescription, even though I’ve been taking the same BC for years. Not being sick once a month and not getting pregnant shouldn’t be this difficult…

      • What?! How is asking them to send *copies* of your records (since I’m pretty sure they have to keep a copy of your patient records) equal “we never want to talk to you again”? I’m outraged on your behalf.

    • Anonymous :

      That happened to me too, when I fell into the gap between my law school insurance expiring at the end of July and my work insurance not starting until November. I got as many refills as I could before my insurance expired, but it wasn’t enough. I went on the Obamacare exchange to be covered in case I got hit by a car, but it wasn’t worth it trying to actually find a doctor and get a prescription when I knew I would have better insurance in a few months, so I ended up just going off the pill completely until I was settled in with my work insurance. It was the first time in 14 years I’d stopped taking it… my skin and hair were not happy.

      TLDR: I sympathize completely, and I agree it’s ridiculous.

    • Do you have a primary care doctor? Mine would totally do this for me if my obgyn were being unreasonable.

    • I just went through this experience too, which spurred me to get a new OBGYN. The new doctor was totally outraged that the old one would refuse to give me a prescription. She even said she would investigate why the old doctor refused to give me a short term prescription when I had an appointment scheduled within a month (the doctors are part of the same hospital system). I am happy to have found the new doctor, but found the whole experience very upsetting.

    • Can you get birth control at Planned Parenthood or another clinic? I just checked, and the PP in my city says you may be able to get birth control without an exam. Either way, you can probably get an appointment quickly, not in a month.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Check if your insurance has a teledoc line! This is the perfect opportunity for it.

    • Flats Only :

      I wonder if Minute Clinic at CVS or another urgent care place would help out? Your insurance might cover it. I have found the Minute Clinic nurses to be very practical people.

    • Anonymous :

      Annoying! I used to get my bc from my GP for this reason. How unreasonable.

    • Planned parenthood online app will solve this problem for you. You need your blood pressure info and you can get an Rx that day.

    • I’m not arguing that this is annoying…but it’s disingenuous to say you don’t have “access” to birth control. You do. But there is a process and you knowingly disregarded it. If the grocery store closed at 10 and you didn’t get there beforehand, that doesn’t mean you don’t have “access” to food (and to take it further, you can go to the bodega down the street in the meantime, just like you can get condoms at anytime). If a person never makes time to go to the DMV that doesn’t mean they don’t have “access” to a license. Some people truly do not have access to resources; you are not one of them.

  23. Agree, it’s ridiculous.
    https://www.bedsider.org/features/851-how-to-get-birth-control-delivered-right-to-your-door

  24. The discussion about numbers above reminded me of a question I’ve had – when you count your gardening partners, are you counting only guys you’ve gone all the way with, or are you counting guys that you’ve gardened with only in the . . . um, Clintonion sense (giving or receiving)?

    I’ve always only counted the full shebang, but I’ve gotten the impression that some people count other stuff. Not that it really matters, of course, but my numbers would be pretty different.

    • Anonymous :

      This reminds me of that scene in “Clerks” where Dante knew he was #3 for his girlfriend but near the end of the movie it came out she had given 36 Clintonians. (May she RIP; the actress passed recently.)

      • Yes, I was thinking that, too. I share her opinion of things (though I would include receiving, which I guess people didn’t talk about even in movies like that at the time).

        I didn’t know that she’d passed; how sad.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Hahaha I only count the full shebang because my numbers are already really high and I had a lot of fun in college.

    • Flats Only :

      Hilariously, given my number and my comment above, I never did the Clintonian version with anyone but my husband. I always thought it seemed a little gross, and no man I ever slept with complained that we had P/V sex instead of that.

      • I always find this issue weirdly fascinating. To me, PIV is far more intimate because there’s always some risk, even if you take precautions, of pregnancy. That puts it way above anything else, IMO.

    • New Tampanian :

      Don’t count. What’s the point? I’ve never asked anyone “their number” nor would I. And if someone asked me mine I would laugh at them. If they were serious, that would be the end of the conversation. It’s not necessary information so long as I am up to date on all my doctor visits and of good sexual health.

    • Anonymous :

      I count the full shebang as my ‘number’ and think most people do the same. Although for me,the number I’ve done ‘Clintonion activities’ with is much smaller because I view that act as more intimate.

  25. I am an attorney at a mid-sized firm. My practice group is fairly small, tightly knit and we work nicely together. Occasionally I have to work for/with other attorneys (partners and non-partners) when their clients have needs in my practice area.

    I got called into my boss’s office this morning for an impromptu mid-year review. My boss told me that at the monthly partners meeting earlier this week, people were complaining that I have an attitude when getting new assignments/am turning down work. I was very surprised to hear that, and I asked him to identify the partners who were complaining; he said he could not name them.

    I want to treat this as constructive criticism, but to do so, I think I need to know who is making these allegations. There are some people who I do not like working with (for very specific work-related reasons), and yes, I probably could do a better job about hiding my lack of enthusiasm when they come to me with work. But that is a small group of people (some of them are not even partners). If there are other people making these allegations, people that I thought I had a good working relationship with, then that is clearly a communication issue on my part that I want to work on.

    I was kind of blind sided by the meeting this morning, and I left it that I’d like to resume the conversation on Monday after I’ve had some time to digest the information. I want to push to find out who is making these allegations, so I can evaluate whether this is my bad attitude or poor communication. What right do I have to find that out? As far as I know, there is no official complaint registered with HR (this seemed to be an informal meeting with one of my bosses, and HR was not present).

    There is also this nagging feeling I have that this would not be a complaint if I were male, that this is just an issue with the fact that I am not a compliant, doting female…

    • I think you should stop asking the partner to name names, he obviously doesn’t want to. Instead, I would ask for examples of your behavior that was off putting so that you can correct it.

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t have any right to find out this info, and pushing to find out will backfire. You asked once and they told you no, you need to accept that answer. Even without knowing specifics, you know what you need to do – put on a happy face and cheerfully accept work from anyone who assigns it to you.

    • Hmmmm…. But it sounds like you know who you have turned down, yes? can you guess who isn’t happy?

      I don’t think demanding to know who told on you could help at this point, and it may seem too defensive to push for this. Maybe you can come up with an indirect way……

      “I am very sorry that I gave a partner this impression, as that was not my intention. I will work on making sure priorities are clear and my door is always open to assist. Do you have an specific suggestions for me?”

    • You have zero right to that information and your tone about all of this is off. You have to fix your attitude with everyone. Apologize. Promise to do better. Don’t interrogate the partner who gave you the feedback.

    • By pressing the partner for feedback after he already told you he would not provide it, you’re only going to increase the perception of the “attitude problem” they seem to believe you have. I’ve been a partner for about a year and a half now and am shocked at the things partners notice and focus on. You need to do all you can to change this perception about you, and repeatedly asking this partner for information you are not entitled to and he has already refused to give you will not help –and may in fact only further increase this perception about you.

      I say all of this sincerely and agree you just need to focus on acting appropriately polite during the situations mentioned in your review. Not because you’re a female, but because that’s what is appropriate when a superior asks you to assist them.

    • Senior Attorney :

      These are not “allegations.” This is feedback on your job performance. I think your choices are to put on a happy face per Anonymous at 10:09 a.m., or start looking for another job.

    • Since you’ve diagnosed that this is either your bad attitude about taking work from people you don’t like, or poor communication when taking work from people you don’t have problems with, I’d work on both.

  26. Just putting this out in case anyone is here: my husband is out seeing Dunkirk on his own. When he comes home, I have to talk to him about the emotional affair he’s having with a colleague.

    I actually was having a really good day for most of today.

    • D. Meagle :

      Sending internet hugs and strength to you. Good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs.

    • Dude, that sucks so much. I’m here sending you well wishes. I’ve been in a similar, but not exact, world-shattering situation. I know there’s not a lot internet strangers can do, but I’m here providing validation that this sucks and you don’t have any obligation to modulate your emotions or feelings. You’ve been dealt a crappy hand.

  27. Thanks, y’all. It’s so tempting to say nothing and just hope it goes away. I am grateful to you for validating the suck. (And the need to get *through* the suck.)

    • And you will get through the suck. There is no one right course at this juncture. Put it all on the table. This might be the end of your marriage but the start of a new better, stronger, more honest p0st-husband life or it might be the start of your new, better, stronger, more honest marriage. Either way, know that you are worth better, stronger, and more honest.

      • Man, this is awesome. I am going to hold onto this–maybe print it out and put it in my pocket as a reminder for when I feel less-than-brave.

        It happened. He isn’t sure he still wants to be married. I’m pretty sure I do.

        This is one of those times when I wish I drank alcohol. I’m not sure how to get past this feeling long enough to go to sleep tonight. (I *could* start drinking tonight but that seems like a pretty bad idea.)

        • I’m the anon from the comment above and I’m just checking in to see how you’re doing. I know it must have been a rough night.

          • Anon, you are amazing. It is so nice to know that you are out there in the world–makes this all feel a little less lonely.

            Honestly, not much else happened after my last post. But I’m going to type out the whole gory saga because I might as well exorcise it–please feel no obligation to read along.

            Ironically, I had been planning to talk to him about the state of our marriage anyway last night–there have just been tensions in the air for a while, and I could tell that he was trying to ignore all of it. I went out to dinner by myself to both calm down and work up my courage for the “You need to try harder” conversation. When I came home and discovered that he’d gone to the movies, I puttered crankily around the house and for some reason, while I was walking through our shared home office, I decided to wake up his unpassworded computer and look at his iMessages. Which is where I found the emotional affair–tons of texts, nicknames, in-jokes. Intense conversations while he and I were on vacation a few weeks ago to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Lots of back-and-forth planning coffees and dinners and walks in the woods and visits to museums in the past few weeks while I’ve been working crazy hours. (They’re both grad students with the summer off from class.) And a picture from two days ago of our kitten snuggled up against his chest–for some reason that hit me the hardest. Don’t drag our cat into your flirtation!

            He had told me a few weeks ago that he knew he was flirting with this person and that he didn’t like it about himself. It didn’t occur to me at the time to ask if that meant that it was stopping. It seems like instead it intensified. (I am reasonably confident that it didn’t go past flirtation.)

            So when he came home (btw he says Dunkirk was really good), I told him that our marriage meant a lot to me, that I had put a lot into it, and that it had opened me up to things I’d never thought I’d wanted from the world (namely, to be a parent). That I knew I was afraid of losing him and that said fear had kept me from telling him that I needed him to put his whole self into our partnership.

            In response to this, he said that he wasn’t sure anymore what he wanted.

            So I came clean: I told him that on a whim that night I had snooped in his messages and seen that there was a lot more to his relationship with SchoolFriend than what he’d previously shared. I apologized for the breach of privacy, and I own that–I don’t feel good about having done that and it’s not something I make a habit out of. And I reiterated that I would have been checking about our marriage regardless–reflecting further, I know the SchoolFriend stuff is a symptom, not cause.

            Predictably, he was angry about the snooping and pretty immediately slunk off to put passwords on all his devices. (Whatever, dude.) He said he thinks our marriage is over. (I’ve heard that before–see above about him not bringing his whole self to the partnership.) He didn’t attempt to justify or apologize for the relationship with SchoolFriend. He spent the night in the guest room–his choice.

            I dunno, friend. We’ll see where we go from here. I think my challenge for the time being is thinking about next steps–I don’t know what I’m supposed to do in the meantime if he’s feeling unsure about what he wants. I don’t want to just wait around, but I also don’t want to give him a deadline. Our counselor (yeah, we have one) is on vacation–hoping we can just sit tight until they’re back and then at least have some guidance. I’m somewhat tempted to ask him to just leave for a few weeks, but that seems logistically (and financially) really complicated. And I’m fighting the temptation to talk to a friend or family member because I don’t want to wreck their impressions of him, but we’ll see how long that holds out.

            But you’re totally right: it can be better than this, whether we’re married or not. I know the potential for better exists in our marriage, and I am also pretty positive that it exists for me outside the marriage, too. Straight-up being happy is my goal. I would like to know that he gets to be happy, too, because I love him, but I definitely only have on my own oxygen mask at the moment.

            Anyway. That was a lot. Thank you for caring.

          • A year from now you’re either going to be divorced or in a vastly improved marriage and you will look back on these words you wrote and ask yourself why you put up with it at all, why you even took some of the blame. He is 100% in the wrong here. You have nothing to apologize for.

          • ohc – From one Internet stranger to another – I’m sorry you’re going through this. Hang in there.

          • This is so rough. When I went through something similar my mantra was “all you can do is take good care of yourself.” I stopped drinking, ate so healthy, went to bed early, went for long walks, lost myself reading Outlander. It still sucked for a very long time, but feeling like crap physically wouldn’t have helped.

          • Not that anon :

            But hugs, nonetheless. Addressing this head-on is giving you the best chance to find happiness. I’m sure you’ll get there one way or another.

          • Maudie Atkinson :

            Joining the chorus of internet hugs here, and echoing Anonymous @ 12:43’s advice for taking good care of you. In fact, I’m going to stash that one away for my own use when life feels like it’s spinning a little out of control.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m late to this but sending my internet hugs. I echo everything everyone else has said — you are wise and brave to face the situation and a year from now things will be much better, one way or the other. The only way out is through!

    • Super-anon wife :

      Yes, this will be horrible, and yes, you will get through it. I’m the poster from a couple of years ago, in the flip side of this situation – H was in a weird jealous state, convinced I was having multiple affairs and even getting special software to get to the e-mails on an old, dead laptop, which included some inappropriately flirty but not affair-level texts with an old boyfriend. I had cut those off years ago but in the face of insane pressure from H I ultimately confessed to an actual affair 11 years earlier. The marriage was basically over in the second I told him, although we had a couple of months of hideous bitterness and acrimony.

      Somehow, we managed to turn the corner, though. We divorced, I have a home I love a few blocks away from our old house, where he lives; we are friendly – he was just here for coffee – and attended our child’s recent collage graduation together, with his new wife! I am so much happier than when I was in that bad marriage, and so is he, but I sure didn’t think that would be the case when we were in the midst of the misery.

      So, I know this is not analogous to your situation, you have done nothing to bring this on yourself (and I most certainly did) but I’m here to tell you that you can get through what seems like your darkest time and come through it better, stronger and happier, no matter which way it turns out.

      Sending you hugs and strength.

      • You are all amazing.

        • Update: I think we’re going to be okay. Better, actually. There is a lot ahead of us but we are going to address it together.

          Thank you all for the chorus of love and affirmation. I knew that I could do this, but it was reassuring to feel your reminders backing me up.

          Onward. :)

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m sorry you are going through this and I’m glad things look more optimistic. However, I’m really worried for you that be said he felt the marriage was over. Please get a consult with a divorce attorney and have a plan b in case things go south. Know all your accounts (joint and individual) and how to access them. Have an idea of their values. Try to have something, even just a credit card that is just in your name.

            The hardest part of any breakup is telling the other person. You either love or loved each other and it takes courage. He may have told you what he wanted to test the waters to see if you’d agree. He might be backing off now that he sees it hurt you

            Or, he slept on it and realized he said dumb things last night.

          • Thank you, Blonde Lawyer!

            Yes, I totally hear you, and I appreciate your support. I am the one who manages all our money, and I maintain some of my savings separately. (I do this because I saw my mother’s very opposite experience, not because I’m paranoid. How far away from “paranoid” is “prepared”? :D) So although there would be lots of logistical concerns in the event of a separation, I would not lack for oversight.

            It is clear to me that we are in the “said dumb things” category. But yes, there is hurt that will need to be accounted for. Lots to do–starting today by going to the beach.

          • I echo the advice to make sure you take care of yourself throughout thia process. Sending you more internet hugs!

  28. Frustrated :

    A senior associate I like, but struggle to work with because our styles are so different, just got under my skin today. Giving me condescending instructions on something a first year would easily know and i am a mid-level. Plus the instructions were not relevant to what was going on, even though she thought they were. And she called with this “advice” when I was slammed with work and in the middle of multiple complex filings and another client emergency, so I am pretty sure my general attitude was eff off even though I typically wouldn’t be that way.

    Just venting. I am sure we will all move on and no one including myself will care come Monday.

  29. Does anyone have any recommendations or experience hiring a cleaning service in the NYC area? We are looking for someone and would appreciate any recommendations or more information on just what the market pricing is. Thank you in advance!

    • It depends on where you are talking about. Most cleaneing lady’s operate within a few square block area, as the 3 or 4 ladies that handel my building work from my building all the up to 83rd Street and Madison. I know b/c I had to let 2 of them go and they all talk. As far as priceing goes, it depends on the number of rooms you have and whether you want them to do windows, like me. I pay my cleaning lady $200 each time she comes, and she does NOT even do everything I want every time I ask. For example, she does the toilet once a week, but NOT the tub walls, which prevent’s MOLD and MILDEW She will clean the carpet’s and the kitchen floor, but NOT do a wet wash, or clean the oven/broiler except once a month. They are VERY particular, so try and be nice to them. Dad says they all come from the same place in Queens, so if you are blackballed, you will have to do all of it yourself. FOOEY!

  30. These are gorgeous!
    -gabby
    www.orcuttfamilydentistry.com

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