5 Things Every Woman Over 40 Should Have in Her Office

I just saw a ridiculous article on MSN entitled “20 things every man over 40 should have in his office” — and while there are some good suggestions, it seems the author wrote the article based on Gordon Gekko alone. (A bespoke couch? An amazing chess set? Really?) So I thought we could do a fun, equally ridiculous roundup of things we think every stereotypical, cartoony executive woman over 40 should have in HER office. Here are my top 5 things…

1. Attractive henchmen (or women) who all dress alike. Delegate, delegate, delegate!

2. A long cigarette holder.

3. A $1000+ winter coat (possibly fur), only worn as either a) a cape or b) so loosely belted that it’s falling off your shoulders.

4. A piece of art that features the executive as muse. Kinda like this.

5. A comfortable Herman Miller chair. Because, hello, ergonomics.


In all seriousness, I think a real list like this would begin with “1. Whatever the heck she wants because she DGAF,” but that’s me. How about you, ladies? What is the top thing YOU would put in our cartoon executive’s office? And what’s the one thing you really think every woman over age 40 should have in her office?5 things every woman over 40 should have in her office

Psst: We’ve covered 10 things to keep in your office (for women of all ages), how to decorate your desk, and easy office decor ideas. I am truly sad to see that this super old post of ours has a dead link for a page that revealed the desks of Candace Bergen, Judith Martin (Miss Manners), Liz Smith, and other prominent women. I BELIEVE you can still see images of the desks here; here’s the Wayback machine link to the original post on the wowOwow site (which, yes, seemed antiquated even back in 2008 — it’s interesting to see it apparently morphed into the site PureWow.)


  1. In search of Kindle advice: which to pick?

    I need to replace my aging Kindle and am trying to figure out which option would be best for me. Must-haves are (1) lightweight, (2) able to read in direct sunlight. I don’t think I want anything as tablet-ish as a Fire (isn’t the point that I’m reading and not distracted by games or whatever?). Some people have said that the Paperwhite isn’t as eye-friendly as the model that’s one older / cheapest — anyone care to chime in?

    • Thisperson1 :

      As a former Kindle owner who now has a Fire (because our library lending program changed software), I further your vote against the Fire as the battery doesn’t last very long. Loved having my Kindle in my purse, always ready. Fire pretty much needs to be charged daily, and I only use it for reading.

      • In House Lobbyist :

        Yes! I bought a Fire this summer when they were on sale and I hate it. I brought out my old Kindle again but it just takes so long to download all the books.

    • I love my paperwhite. You can adjust the brightness (it doesn’t go completely off, unfortunately, but gets really dim if you don’t want much of a back light) and the battery lasts a long time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the Paperwhite and don’t find it harder to read than the old versions. I do dislike that they got rid of the manual buttons (all the new models are touch screen only, or were when I was shopping). And get a case– my paperwhite’s screen cracked (thanks, toddler) and it looks much worse than if a non-Paperwhite had cracked because the light seeps out oddly.

      A big benefit to the Paperwhite over the older models is that you don’t have to turn on a lamp to read. I read a lot before bed (and in the middle of the night with insomnia issues) and that’s a huge plus for me– keeps the room darker.

      • I’m ready for Amazon to deliver an even better Kindle. I have a Voyage, and I find that I have to change the page too frequently when I am reading, which gets annoying. I’d rather have a slightly larger Kindle, much less bezel so more text can be viewed at once, and a setting where the text can be white on a black background to project less light in the dark when reading. The battery on the Kindle is excellent if you just keep the device in airplane mode. No need to connect to 3G unless you need to do so.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I have the Oasis and it is AWESOME. It has physical buttons and keeps its charge for days.

      • I want an Oasis so much – I have a Paperwhite (which I love) but really miss the physical buttons from my Gen1 Kindle. I keep hoping that I’ll break it or it will die or something so I can justify replacing it, but … no dice. (PS they are a good value that way, I’ve had mine since they were originally released, back in 2012.)

  2. Can anyone in the Twin Cities recommend a good place to give my athletic but frugal Sister in Law a massage gift certificate for after the upcoming marathon? They live in Minneapolis close the the U but could also look in Edina or St. Louis Park.

  3. Cartoon: an 8×10 framed dot-picture, exactly like the one they put above the fold on the WSJ cover article about her crazy phenomenal career.
    In Reality: a collection of business books I’ve actually read and would recommend–no give–to anyone with interest in reading.

  4. I’m looking for suggestions of florists or other providers to send my niece in Cleveland a big, offbeat kind of bouquet for her November birthday. Suggestions?

  5. On-topic, I once worked at a company run by a married couple who were pretty cartoonish. I recall the wife receiving a bouquet that included orchids and leaving it on the side of her office, still wrapped in cellophane. She claimed that orchid are so fragrant, it would be distracting to unwrap. These days, I put that in every parody I can.

  6. not all working women are lucky enough to have their own desk, never mind an office!

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