Frugal Friday: 7th Avenue Belted Split-Neck Sheath Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This dress is a pretty shade of blue that’s really nice if you’re looking for a slightly unusual color for a sheath dress — and note that it also comes in “Park Avenue pink.” The dress has a lot of iterations, including ones with topstitches and dots. It has good reviews, and for $40, it’s very affordable. The dress is available in sizes 4–20, which is a change from the pretty limited size ranges you typically see. You can find lots of other cute stuff at New York & Company if you’re poking around, including these bright yellow pants, this belted sheath, and this corset sweater dress7th Avenue Belted Split-Neck Sheath Dress – All-Season Stretch

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I LOVE Fruegel Friday’s and this sheathe dress! Even with the V neck and sleevless, I think there is enough protection to allow me to wear this in the office in the summer. It is getting stuffy already, and the janitor says we are at the end of a baffle, meaning that the air hardly get’s down to our office, which is at the end of a long hallway in the back of the building above the dumpster. All this means that we get hot and stuffy, and b/c our windows do NOT open, we have to live with the heating and air condition we are given by the landlord. FOOEY! At least in our old office, we could open 2 windows, which kind of mitigated against having a private toilet in the middle of the office which Frank took up residence in. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    But anyway, Myrna and I are going to a St Patrick’s day party at her bosses house on the Upper West Side tomorrow. It is on Central Park WEST, all the way up. I have NOT been in that area before, but Dad says it is now OK, and he is a professor up at Colombia, which is onley a mile up the road, he says. Myrna insists on driving there b/c she does NOT want to be walking around late up there at night. Dad says we can UBER over, so maybe I will suggest this to Myrna, b/c Dad says parkeing could be a problem. I will report to the HIVE next week if I meet a decent guy. YAY!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous :

    Help me: I need an outfit for a wedding this weekend, dress code: “Casual, no jeans.” It’s an earlyish wedding followed by a brunch reception. I’m not totally sure what this dress code means past the no jeans!

    About me: I gained some weight recently and am “sized out” of my event wardrobe — I’m a 14/16, cusp size, wear a lot of skirts/dresses. Would prefer to not spend a ton of money on something I won’t get much wear out of again.

    I’m in the DC area and need something I can pick up today — planning to head to Tysons after work.

    I’m thinking maybe one of the tulle/chiffon skirts from uniqlo with some kind of fitted top?

    • Anonymous :

      I think a tulle skirt is a bit much. You don’t need something eventy. What would you wear to a bridal shower or Easter brunch? Just wear a dress or skirt you own.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree that tulle/chiffon is a bit much. They are definitely more formal fabrics. I’d go with a cute floral print dress like –

        • Anonymous :

          This is the skirt I have in mind —

          • Anonymous :

            Oh nvmd that’s way less floufy than I was picturing! I still think literally any dress or skirt you own is fine, but that’s super cute and def appropriate

          • Anonymous :

            Super cute! I’d style it with a nice tee and statement necklace

          • I actually have this skirt. its versatile as far as a tulle skirt can take you :) I rock it with a sweatshirt or cashmere turtleneck and fun sneakers/ flats. Even if it says casual, if you dress up a little and don’t wear anything close to a gown I don’t think people will give you too much side-eye.

          • I…really want that skirt now. Anybody have thoughts on how Uniqlo sizing runs?

          • anon a mouse :

            It’s cute! Just be warned that some Uniqlo pieces run pretty small. I have no idea about this particular skirt, but I’m your size and could barely (and not decently) fit into an XL dress.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Okay, now I just really need a khaki tulle skirt…

    • I’d wear a jersey dress and flat sandals.

    • I like the skirt you linked to! That, or a relatively non-descript dress from Loft or someplace similar, with fun jewelry and shoes. Totally rewearable, and you probably have most of it already!

      • Anonymous :

        I mean, if I’m going to the mall anyway, I won’t say no to the opportunity to buy another statement necklace ;)

    • Get one of Old Navy’s jersey-knit swing dresses! They don’t have very many left with sleeves, but you could throw a cardigan over it. If it’s cold, wear leggings underneath or tights and a scarf. Casual but still cute.

    • You’ve gotten some great suggestions. I’d add consider a shirt dress. They look really cute with booties and give off the casual, but still look put together vibe. Esp if the weather isn’t going to be so springy. I think Old Navy has some right now.

    • There’s an Eloquii at Pentagon City, which will definitely have brunch appropriate dresses / dressy tops in that size range.

  3. Anonymous :

    Ugh I got a speeding ticket yesterday for the first time in over 20 years! I was really speeding (42mph) but it was on a street where you would really expect it to be 35, NOT 25! And they recently changed the speed limit down to 25. Has anyone contested a speeding ticket? Is it worth it? The police officer said, “Just go on down to the courthouse on your court date, the prosecuters there are real nice. Orrrrr you can go to traffic school.” I want to go contest it, what are some things to say or not say? Can I say I was going downhill and he must have caught me because my car is heavy? Or that the speed limit was recently changed (a few months ago)? Or that this is LITERALLY MY FIRST EVER TICKET [in this state] PLEASE DON’T GIVE ME POINTS????

    • Anonymous :

      Settle down a bit? You were speeding. Just go to court, apologize, show remorse, say it’s a first time, and they’ll most likely give you a fine with no points.

    • Relax, pay the fine, move on. Don’t get another one and the points will roll off in a year or two. I went to traffic court once, it was ridiculous. Yes the judge was nice, but the people contesting their tickets were just silly. You were speeding. Take responsibility for being wrong and pay better attention.
      It stinks (and the first one, or the first one in a while is a big deal—I get it). But it’s not the end of the world.

      • Anonymous :

        This. There’s no reason why you would be able to get out of this ticket. You were speeding. That they recently changed the speed limit and you didn’t notice isn’t a reason. In my jurisdiction, they are diligent with making sure the charging officer is available for traffic court because tons of people used to contest just because they were hoping that the charging officer wouldn’t show and it was clogging up traffic court.

        • OP Speed demon :

          Yes, and I don’t want to lie. I just don’t want points! But I’m glad to hear they will roll off in a year or two, so worst case even isn’t all that bad.

          At least I didn’t get subpoena’d by Mueller yesterday, could be worse!

    • Anonymous :

      1. Not sure what your state is, but if you go to drivers school, you can usually get no points.

      2. What he said is true. If you didn’t mouth off to the officer, most prosecutors are really nice and if your record is clean as you say, will let you plead to a no-point thing and have you pay a fine.

      You can confirm this by going to traffic court on a night when your case isn’t being heard and watching what happens (to me, traffic court is fascinating).

      3. You usually do get points if you just pay the fine and send in a check, so hold off on that.

      4. Perhaps you are a lawyer, perhaps not, but do not make a federal case over this. There is a system and with a slight bit of effort and BEING NICE ALL THE TIME AND VERY POLITE you can get a result that will make you happy. Don’t make excuses or try to explain. Just find out how you can no points.

      • OP Speed demon :

        Awesome, thank you! Totally not a lawyer, haha. I was wondering if being nice and showing up is all I needed to do and this seems to confirm it. I’d rather not lie or try to excuse what I CLEARLY was doing, but I also don’t want points since this is my first ticket! I will go to court and be super polite and pay whatever they want me to pay and try not to get points. Thanks!!!

        Thanks to all!!

        • Anonymous :

          This should do the trick!

        • Points are bad because your insurance rates go up, but they’re not the end of the world. Seriously, people who drive get tickets sometimes.

          • OP Speed demon :

            I really appreciate this comment, I felt horrible to ruin my perfect driving record but I need to put it in perspective.

          • Perfect record of not getting caught . . . C’mon. This is a speeding ticket, not the end of the world.

          • +1 to perfect record of not getting caught. And really – you were doing 42 in what you thought was a 35. That is still speeding even though the posted limit was lower. What you were doing would still have been a ticket, even if the limit was what you thought it was.

            And I know, it happens (it happens to me), but this is a reminder (with $$ attached) to pay attention. So pay attention and learn the lesson on not speeding vs how to not deal with consequences.

          • OP Speed demon :

            Carbon you are 100% right. I work from home so don’t drive much (mostly to the gym or grocery store) and prrrrobably was getting a little careless and this is a great wakeup call and I will treat it as such.

        • Showing up and being nice will get you lots of places in life!

        • Edna Mazur :

          Wait, why are you not considering traffic school? In my state that gets it completely expunged from your record, no fine, no points, nothing. You either give up two weeknight evenings for three hours or so or most of a Saturday. The fees for the school were generally comparable to the ticket fine too. Better than the increased insurance premiums for me at least.

          • Horse Crazy :

            In my state, you can even do traffic school online and you won’t get any points – it’s so easy. I’d look into that.

        • Senior Attorney :

          “I’d rather not lie?”

          I’d hope not.

          Please, everybody, don’t go into court and lie. Please.

          • OP Speed demon :

            I mean, I don’t normally lie. But when everything I know about court comes from TV, I don’t know how to act. Seems like being honest gets people into trouble just as much as lying.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Are we really having this discussion?

            Don’t lie in court.

            Do not lie in court.

            Please. Please.

            Oh, man.

          • OP Speed demon :

            I promise I won’t!

      • Anonymous :

        Also, in NC, people routinely hire attorneys for traffic tickets (they are usually right by the courthouse). They are experts at reducing it to A) you pay the same $ to the jurisdiction for the offense and B) you don’t get points.

        The $ for the attorney is usually <$200 and less than your insurance would go up with the points. If you can't go to the courthouse, the attorney can appear for you. If you have the time, you don't really need the attorney if you can be trusted to be NICE and not argue with people. Your goal is just to avoid the points.

        • I went to college in NC. I got a speeding ticket in the middle of a stressful semester and didn’t tell my parents about it. (They wouldn’t have cared, it wasn’t that big of a deal, I was going to pay it anyways.) My parents freaked out when a dozen attorneys sent mail to their house in Florida. They didn’t open the letters since they were addressed to me, but they called me like, “WHAT DID YOU DO?!” I had to think about it. Needless to say, they were relieved when I told them it was just a speeding ticket :-)

        • NC is kind of a special case, I think. If you politely tell the truth that you were just speeding, you may end up paying more than if you hire one of the attorneys. The lawyers argue over and over again that the speedometer wasn’t working. I’ve often wondered whether this is a spurious stat somewhere showing an absurd amount of equipment failure in NC.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think you can contest it — you did the thing. When the same thing happened to me, I went to court, “fell on my sword” and pled mea culpa, and ended up going to traffic school (3 sessions x 2 hours, specific to my county) to get it reduced to an equipment violation (non-moving, no points.)

      If you pay the fine, you are pleading guilty and in most states getting points on your license. Whether or not you think this is worth it vs the time to go to court + traffic school + court again (I had to go 3 times to get my charge reduced, luckily I worked across the street at the time) is a personal choice.

      Also, just in case it was in VA — you do accrue “safe driving” points on your license for every year (up to like 5 or 7) that you don’t have any incidents, so you may have enough “safe driving” points to cover the “negative” points of a speeding ticket. I don’t know if other states have similar programs!

      • Anonymous :

        ^FWIW, my ticket was for rolling through a stop sign

      • Edna Mazur :

        In my state if you sign up for the traffic school before the court date, you don’t have to go to court. You only have so long to complete it but if you get the completion certificate and mail it in you never have to set foot in court.

    • Just as a reminder, this is a large community of legal people. You wont find too much support for rolling though a stop sign.

      • Ha! I am a lawyer and I totes do the California roll. However, I wouldn’t complain about getting caught.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I can only assume that you are kidding. I am a lawyer and would absolutely fight a traffic ticket for either speeding or rolling a stop sign. That’s kind of what lawyers do, no?

    • FWIW – When I got a speeding ticket for the first time in maybe 15 years, I paid the fine, got 2 points maybe (I don’t remember honestly), and it didn’t affect my insurance at all. I assume that’s what you’re worried about. It wasn’t worth the hassle of going to traffic court for me. My driving record is otherwise pretty good, like yours.

    • Anonymous :

      Wow what are these states that make you jump through all these hoops for a speeding ticket? I’ve gotten tickets in 2 states and I just… paid the ticket and moved on with my life? My insurance premiums never increased.

      • Did you report it to your insurance? Moving violations are considered an ‘incident’ and required to be reported. Failure to report could result in lost coverage down the road. Check your policy as I’m sure this varies quite a lot.

        • Lol no one in the history of car insurance has ever called their insurance company to report a ticket. They’re not going to cancel your coverage for not reporting.

          • You realize the insurance industry is based on paying out as little as possible right? So they won’t cancel your coverage now but you can bet that when you have a massive accident with huge bills, they will be scouring every jurisdiction for unreported tickets so they don’t have to pay out to cover the accident. It’s their actual job to avoid paying out if they don’t have to. They may have to pay out to third parties but, depending on the jurisdiction, they don’t have to pay out for your rehab etc. Just like someone who lies about smoking to their health insurance.

          • Anonymous, you are totally missing the point and doing a weird straw man thing and honestly, it’s Friday, so why don’t you just relax a little.

        • Yeah – no. The insurance company is going to be looking at your record at the DMV, NOT relying on you to self-report tickets, to get info on what tickets you have. At least in this modern era.

          At least in my state, my car insurance company has never indicated to me a need to proactively report. And yes, I have had minor speeding tickets and later claims payout without issue.

          Several major tickets may cause you to get dropped by your insurance (or an inability to renew), but I’ve never heard of a requirement to report my ticket to my insurance company.

      • This is true, for a first violation or minor accident many insurers won’t raise rates.

    • In my state, I did an online class and it didn’t go on my record.

    • In my state everyone goes to traffic school. There are two types. One you can take every three years, the other you can take every five years. Literally every other person knows exactly how long it’s been since they last went to traffic school.

    • Anon Traffic Court Judge :

      I am a traffic court judge. Please do not go to court and say any of the things you listed above. They are not legal defenses and make you seem like a special snowflake. If you want to plead “not guilty” and put the People to their proof, that’s fine. But defenses like “I didn’t see the sign” and “oh I was going downhill” just make me tired.

      Everybody makes mistakes in driving. I don’t know why you wouldn’t just own up to it, pay the fine, do traffic school, and move on with your life.

      If you don’t want to do that, in my jurisdiction there are lawyers that specialize in traffic tickets. They are basically traffic ticket mills, they are very very inexpensive (like, less than $100 for a ticket), they know all the judges and officers and prosecutors and they will get you the best possible result (worst case, they will plead you guilty and get you traffic school and you will be out their fee, but often they will get a dismissal because the officer didn’t show up at trial, or they will negotiate with the officer/prosecutor to get a no-point violation or a lower fine). If it were me, I would hire one of them and have done with it.

      The people who get the worst results in my court are the lawyers who think they’re smarter and better and more special than everybody else, but who don’t know a thing about the vehicle code. Don’t be that person.

      • OP Speed demon :

        I’m not trying to be a special snowflake. The officer told me they’re “real nice” down there so it seemed like he was trying to indicate that would be my best option. I would like to avoid points but now I know, from a commenter above, that they are not that big a deal. Also I know, from other commenters, that traffic school is also a great option. I asked for advice on how to handle it. I got advice, so I am happy. I’m not familiar with the court system in any way shape or form so I was asking for best practices just like anyone else might ask about jobs or the best tote bag. I appreciate you weighing in. I know this seems pretty simple for lots of people but if someone has never encountered the court system before it seems super complicated and (possibly from TV) that some people have insights into “how things work” that a regular person doesn’t. That’s why I asked.

    • It all really depends on your jurisdiction, but in my city I got a ticket once and went to court. I met with the prosecutor before hand who agreed that if I paid a fine and didn’t get another ticket for 3 months, they would dismiss it or something like that. I never saw the judge.

  4. Anonymous :

    When you upgrade to a new cell phone and turn off service in the old one, will you still be able to look at messages in the old one? I know you wouldn’t be sending/receiving on it any longer.

    • Yes, at least with iPhones.

      • I think you have to be backing up your phone though – last time I did it, I wasn’t that consistent about it and lost some stuff. I’d save anything important just in case.

    • That’s a negative for droids, in my recent experience. Lost all my messages, even though I kept the same phone number.

      • Counterpoint – I’m a droid user and have been able to migrate all my text messages from old phone to new phone. (And by “I,” I mean my techie husband has done it for me)

    • Back up your iphone on a computer and you can restore everything. Not sure if the cloud backup saves as much.

    • An android, before you switch download the app SMS backup and restore. It has instructions. I recently transferred 10 years of texts to a new phone, from iphone to android even.

      • Yep, this. I always get Android phones, I switch every two years, and I have text messages dating back to 2011 on my phone thanks to SMS Backup and Restore. Including texts from a friend who has passed on, which I obviously don’t want to lose.

        • I would recommend looking into traffic school if it’s an option. In my state, they let you do traffic school if it’s your only offense in a three year period. The last time I got a ticket, I was studying for the bar exam and just really didn’t have time to deal with going to traffic school so just paid the ticket thinking I wouldn’t have anything else happen and my insurance wouldn’t be affected… then six months later I got into a wreck. I also was having to apply for my own car insurance a few months later, and my premium was outrageous. (That was my first ticket and wreck in 10 years.) This time, I was going to just pay the fine, but my husband guilted me into doing traffic school. It’s online so I can just do it at home while watching tv and doesn’t have to be done all at once.

          I also thought about contesting the ticket (going normal speed in a school zone) because I felt like it wasn’t well marked at all and is not close to the school at all, but then I realized how ridiculous I would sound saying I didn’t realize this area a mile from my house was a school zone…

      • +1 SMS backup.

  5. DC question -- WH visit with kids :

    I’m taking my kids to visit the White House in a couple of weeks. DC weather still looks a bit chilly (really, anything below 65 is cold to us).

    If I were going to the White House for something official, I’d dress up (I’m a lawyer and have the appropriate clothes for my profession but not such a good closet for colder-weather sharp casual dress (i.e., I leave heavy on Athleta and fleece this time of year)). But as a parent/tourist with elementary school-aged kids (they own clothes in these categories: school uniforms, play clothes, Hanna Anderson dress + leggings combos), on a garden-variety tour, what should we wear? And for kids, the shoes they own are sneakers and Keens (flats don’t stay on their absurdly narrow feet for any sort of lengthy walking).

    • Anonymous :

      Hanna Anderson dress + leggings + Keens. You might want to take pictures so something nicer than play clothes is good.

      For you what about the same thing? Dress/tunic + leggings + cute booties.

    • Anonymous :

      Omg whatever they want. It’s a tourist visit. No one cares. Don’t have your lady parts showing and you’re good.

      • Anonymous :

        There are a lot of threadjacks so you probably haven’t notice but this is a fashion blog – it’s literally about what to wear at different times to different events/locations/occassion in different weather. If you’re looking for a fashion blog with no fashion questions…. it might take you a while to find that.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah but this is a pretty stupid question. There’s no dress code at the White House if you’re visiting as a tourist. You can wear anything you want.

          • Anonymous :

            But it’s not “what MAY I wear” it was “what SHOULD I wear.” Different question.

            At work, I could wear tarty attire (jeggings, pleather). That doesn’t mean that I should wear tarty attire.

          • Anonymous :

            What you should wear as a tourist to the White House is whatever you want.

          • Anonymous :

            She asked for fashion recommendations on a fashion blog.

            She knows there’s not a dress code. It’s no different than the tons of questions about what to wear on a date, or to a wedding or baby shower or whatever.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m not at all. And the answer to this question is “whatever you want.”

          • Anonymous :

            That’s the answer to like 90% of fashion questions. Again, it’s literally a blog about fashion and she asked a fashion question. Slow your roll.

    • I would maybe wear jeans, a v-neck tee, and a blazer with flats or sneakers. I’ve never done one of these, but it would shock me if kids couldn’t get away with pretty much anything.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear your favorite t shirt. Maybe “keep your hands off my p_**y and the White House kitchen garden” or “resist” or a PP t shirt? Something I pink so you look suitably feminine with a blazer natch

      • Anonymous :

        Maybe it’s b/c I am southern, but I don’t think I could wear a t-shirt to the White House. That, to me, is like wearing a t-shirt to court. Or a wedding. Or a funeral. Sure, you could. But you shouldn’t. It’s the White House, not the mall.

        • Anonymous :

          lol at wearing a t shirt to the mall. I’m from Jersey. I dress nicer than that for the mall and would deliberately dress down for this White House.

          • DC question -- WH visit with kids :

            I’m not trying to make any political statements. We’re just going to DC to see a couple of museums and family, so trying to pack mainly for being outside a lot and walking.

            And we’re southern, so possibly genetically unable to wear jeans or a t-shirt to the White House without giving my grandmother the vapors (and she’d hear about it: “Loretta, I heard that that lawyer granddaughter of yours brought her family to the White House and wore jeans and a t-shirt. Why that just can’t possibly be true!” and then she’d just shake her head in disappointment while clutching her pearls.).

          • You are touring. The WH is a tourist destination. Wear whatever you’d wear to walk around DC. You don’t need to dress up.

            During the GWB admin, we took our children to DC and a friend who worked in the administration was able to get us to see AFOne land, the president come out, shake hands with those in line and walk away. We wore nice jeans and tops. We were still tourists. This Southern “can’t wear jeans” is just silly. Would you wear jeans to tour the Smithsonian? Of course. WH? Same thing.

            And I say a resist t-shirt is just peachy.

          • Good grief. Trust a Southerner to think clothes are more important than morals.

            If you are genetically too white to wear jeans, then have them wear their Hannah Andersen.

          • Bless your heart, Anonymous.

          • I would not wear jeans or a t-shirt to a church service, so I definitely would not wear them to the White House.

            Yes for kids in Hannas and Keens.

            Regardless of the current WH resident, if you visit, be respectful of staff working there and other tourists. Ignore posters who want you to make your visit about you with your attire choices. The goal is not to be disruptive or otherwise bother people who are probably on the lookout for nonsense and security issues (so don’t dress to suggest that this is who you are). Also, you can’t bring a purse, just a wallet / iPhone.

          • I wear jeans to church all the time. No one cares what tourists are wearing. You aren’t important to anyone. No one works there anyway.

          • +10000 to nobody caring about what you’re wearing because as a tourist you are DEFINITELY not important.

        • In that case, she could wear a nice blouse and this scarf:

      • I’d wear a small symbol of my distaste for the current residents – maybe a pin saying Protest is Patriotic, Nasty Woman, etc. – on a blazer, paired with skinny jeans and boots.

        Or a white pantsuit.

    • anon a mouse :

      Layers. The forecast often changes less than 48 hours out so make sure you are prepared.

      You and the kids want comfortable shoes. There’s a lot of walking and standing on hard floors in the museums. And remember that you’ll have to go through security, so keep your bag as light as possible for searching. (AKA, don’t leave your handgun in it, like a friend’s parent from Texas did.)

      • Baconpancakes :

        Or your pocket knife, or your nail file or clippers, or your bottle opener keychain…

        Moving to DC changed the way I pack my purse.

      • Well, yee-haw, Texas handbag with the gun. And Texans wonder why the rest of us laugh at them.

    • I went on a white house tour during this time of year, two years ago. It was 40 degrees and pouring rain. I wore a gray jersey long sleeve dress that had a lot of scrunching/folding, black tights, tall black boots, a black trenchcoat, and a bright blue and red floral scarf. It was comfortable and I felt weather appropriate for walking around that day.

      Depending on what time of the afternoon it is after your visit, check out the bar at the top of the W hotel for a quick drink (prosecco for you and lemonade for your kids?) It gets clubby towards happy hour, but if you’re there earlier in the day, you’ll be able to see amazing views of the monuments.

    • Legally Brunette :

      I took my son to the WH two years ago for a field trip. He wore khakis and a nice button down shirt, but there were many many children in jeans (and other tourists in jeans). I wore something business casual, since I headed to work after. I agree on comfortable walking shoes as well as a warm jacket. The weather has been weird here in DC and the children had to wait a ridiculously long time outside before entering, so be prepared to stand and wait. Have fun. Regardless of your politics, it was neat to tour a place with so much history.

    • So jealous! I’d love to visit the White House some time! Can you discuss how you got a pass? I know it’s not as easy as just ordering a ticket.

      • Actually, it is just that easy. I went through my senator (really, just so I could have a Senator Burr, sir, moment a la Hamilton). He/she should have something on their website about getting White House / Senate tour tickets. I think you just need to ask 3 months in advance and know who is in your party (legal names, etc.).

    • Are you doing the standard (East Wing) tour, or do you have a personal connection that got you a West Wing tour?

      For East Wing tours, people generally wear nice but casual attire. There are a lot of jeans, but generally people’s good jeans, if that makes sense. You may stand for a very long time, so wear comfortable shoes for that, and keep your bag light not only for searching but because holding it forever can be exhausting.

      West Wing tours are different – you will be in the actual working part of the White House and I would advise business casual for that. Also, if you’re doing a West Wing tour, bear in mind that the schedule is heavily subject to change based on what the president/staff are doing and that you may, for example, be held in one room for a long time if the president is in a space you were going to visit.

      Source: I was a WH intern.

      • DC question -- WH visit with kids :

        Thanks! I’ve been on a Christmas Tour with friends who were WH staff (came from work in DC back when we wore suits to work) and a West Wing tour after hours (pre 9/11, I’m sure that’s all different now).

        This is just a basic tour pass that you can get through your rep or senator. No connection. I have no idea what parts of the building are even covered.

      • Bag at the WH :

        You cannot have a bag at all now. I missed a white house tour because I had a small (really, very small) crossbody bag that they would not allow.

        • That’s only for East wing tours. West Wing tours, as cbackson described above, you can still take in a small crossbody.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          That’s awful. People, especially children, have necessary items that can be too big for pockets. Inhalers, epi-pens, even tampons. A small bag should be allowed and in the alternative, they should have a place you could check/store it.

          • DC question -- WH visit with kids :

            They are very clear about this: no bags. And there is no storage. You can basically bring a phone and a wallet — I couldn’t chance anything else. You can bring your coat though, so this time of year the pockets will be sufficient.

            This tour would have been a bad idea when we had stroller kids and a lot of diaper supplies.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I should clarify. When I said “they should” I’m arguing that they should change the policy. I wasn’t saying what you would find if you went. I believe you all that say no bags at all and I’m just saying that’s ridiculous. Even the rule about clear baggies is better than that. But, I’m someone that has to lug a few bottles of pills with me everywhere I go just in case so I get annoyed with stuff like this easily.

        • Anonymous :

          The way to deal with this, if you won’t have a car, is to stow bags in a locker at one of the Smithsonian museums beforehand.

    • Seventh Sister :

      We went to DC last year and took the kids (6 & 9) to Old Ebbitt Grill for dinner. It’s right by the White House and was both fancy and surprisingly kid-friendly. Though I’d definitely suggest a reservation – a lot of our fellow tourists were hanging out in the foyer for a long time hoping for a table.

  6. AnonTechie :

    To all the attorneys/lawyers out there- What advice would you give a young(ish) woman on the client side regarding engaging with male, senior attorneys and partners from an AmLaw 100 firm?

    Would love tips on how to 1.not sound stupid and 2.get taken seriously.

    More context:
    1.I’m new in my role:):):):)
    2.I’m ridiculously soft-spoken
    2. Everyone else on all sides is Male and older
    The legal team is helping us understand that laws we should worry about (or not), what licences we need , etc.

    • Anonymous :

      You. Are. The. Client.

      If you know your job you won’t sound stupid. If they don’t take you seriously fire them. If you don’t have that power, escalate.

      You have the power here. Chanel the Dowager Dutchess of Grantham and own it.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re the client and paying their bills, I’d expect them to cater to you.

      To get more value out of their work:
      1. read what they send over
      2. listen to what they say
      3. if you have questions (possible, since they understand the law but you understand your business and there can be gaps / disconnects / etc.), ask!

      • AnonTechie :

        Thank you. This is super helpful.
        I’ve only ever interacted with outside lawyers for very specific questions in the past (much smaller scope) and feel out of depth in this new area

    • Regardless of the client-not client situation, do not be intimidated by older white dudes in the workplace. Give them proper deference, but they are not gods. You are working together. Ask good questions–be a well-informed worker. Notice the gender dynamic but do not let it paralyze you. You’re going to come across a lot of older dudes in the workplace. Time to get used to this and act like you belong with them.

      If you are soft spoken, truly, you need to work on this in a business context, because soft-spoken people have a hard time being heard or interjecting. You might want to try Toastmasters or just try to summon a louder voice than what you are personally accustomed to–not shout, but just louder. A softer voice can be seen as meek, and you don’t want to be seen as meek in the workplace. Some people speak with quiet power and gravitas, but, IME, this is harder to do as a junior person. So try to be louder than you are used to and then you might be “even” with regular volume talkers.

      Good luck.

      • AnonTechie :

        Thank you. I’ve mostly tried to learn to not get intimidated by older men but its work in progress.
        I’ve tried louder but mostly failed. So attempting the soft-but-sure thing for now. FWIW, I’m younger but not too junior, my supervisors (c-suite) will roll off calls once I’m up to speed.

    • Don’t pretend to know things you don’t (sometimes my colleagues are tempted to make themselves look better to internal clients by nodding and acting like everything outside counsel is explaining is old news to them. They are not fooling anyone. If they knew all of this, why is outside counsel involved.)

      Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Related, if outside counsel is flinging around acronyms because they do this stuff all the time and it’s hard for you to follow, ask them to stop.

      If you’re not getting practical advice that you can act on (e.g., a 3 page treatise on the nuances of a particular law but no guidelines for how to, you know, actually comply with it) ask for it.

      • AnonTechie :

        Thank you. Very helpful getting all these tips on the how to get the most out of the engagement :)

      • Anonymous :

        Absolutely this. Feel free to ask questions that you think might sound dumb. And make sure you don’t caveat your questions in any way. For instance, don’t say “This might be a dumb question but…” Instead say, “Could you explain what this term means?” or “I’m not sure I understand the potential implications for this piece of our business — could you give me some more detail around your thoughts on that?”

        The common mistake I see junior in-house attorneys making is acting like they understand outside counsel when they’re not quite sure. Remember that you are the client and you are paying them gobs of money. Outside counsel sometimes won’t do a great job of speaking in plain English. That’s their fault, not yours, and you should absolutely ask for clarification whenever you don’t 100% understand what they’re saying.

    • Anonymous :

      The attorneys often have junior attorneys who do the work and who may be on the call. Make friends with them and they may be happy to do things like have lunch and/or talk shop a bit more than the old guys.

    • Also: read anything on the older attys website that they’ve written (articles, client alerts). We give tons of good info out for free and this may help you understand them more and may help you in your business/ industry. Take all of the freebies!

      • AnonTechie :

        Thank you!! Took your advice and went to their site, and found some super useful publications.

    • Don’t use any smiley faces in your emails.

  7. Vans Satin Sneakers :

    Help me style these beautiful sneaks I received for my birthday! They are beautiful but I am stumped as to how to incorporate them into my wardrobe. I also see them getting dirty sooo easily. Link in comment.

    • Vans Satin Sneakers :|cid:191532173|agid:26624222573|tid:pla-120010846839|crid:95842386413|nw:g|rnd:3952853666328751820|dvc:c|adp:1o1|mt:|loc:9016430&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1q3VBRCFARIsAPHJXrGMQVWnCAzi3cVu-KJBtz3MPb4KtXqylJKA9RqGjPnmIkNE_uwrskYaAtGTEALw_wcB

    • Anonymous :

      Following! I have a pair of Dr Scholls sneakers in the same color, if not the same material. My plan is to wear them with ankle or cropped jeans once the weather is nice enough for that, but I would love other ideas.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      These are super cool! I’d wear them with gray skinny jeans and a white tee, or a gray, black or white casual dress.

    • Anonymous :

      I love those. They’re so neutral imo, wear them with everything.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Ooooo, shiny! This won’t help with the not getting dirty, but I would pair them with white jeans and a pink top – heavier for right now, like this cardigan (link to follow) over a white silk camisole, and then lighter later – striped pink boatneck tee.

      Alternately, wear them with rolled-cuff faded boyfriend jeans (artful rips are up to you), a graphic tee, and a bomber jacket – again, could be in pink, or not.

      • Baconpancakes :

      • Baconpancakes :

        Or pair with a cashmere hoodie. The way to wear those pink sneakers is to wear them with something slightly elevated – like in a trendier cut or a more luxurious fabric. But otherwise, they do pair with anything.

    • Shopaholic :

      I love these. I have taupe leather Vince slip-on sneakers but I may buy these as well – they are so versatile. I think they may look a bit off with super dark jeans/bottoms. But definitely they would look great with white or grey jeans!

    • So cool! I spray ScotchGuard on my canvas sneakers and it seems to help prevent some of the grunginess. Not sure how it would work on satin, though.

    • I would totes wear these with the tulle skirt from uniqlo linked above.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Ooh, yes!

        I have some glitter Keds in that color and I wear them with a navy jersey jumpsuit. Also jeans and a pink cashmere sweater.

  8. This is a couple of days late but thank you to everyone who responded to my question about helping my friend with her 3 month old. (Especially Delta Dawn with the minute by minute breakdown, which was incredibly helpful!) I so appreciate this community and its wealth of knowledge.

  9. Anonymous :

    Help me deal with my boss. I started a new job a few months ago where I replaced someone who was obviously well loved by my boss. My boss still refers to my desk and computer as “Melanie’s desk” and “Melanie’s computer” and asks stuff like, “Can you look in Melanie’s files for x?” She also wants me to copy how Melanie did her work, even innocuous stuff like formatting of a spreadsheet. I thought I could be trusted to format a spreadsheet the way I want to, but apparently not.

    The job has been a big let down in many areas besides this one, and I can feel myself getting increasingly salty and resentful.

    • Anonymous :

      Just give it Time. This will pass.

    • anon a mouse :

      You have two issues here. On the work, your boss likes things a certain way. The way Melanie did it. It’s not about trusting you to format a spreadsheet, it’s about your boss not having to learn to read a new format. And they are her files, right(?) until you start adding to them and creating your own.

      But referring to your desk as Melanie’s desk and your computer as her computer is just weird, and rude. I’d be tempted to snark back something like “oh, do you expect her to return someday?” but that’s just me.

      • Totally agree. In my office, digital directories are under people’s names, so it’s literally, “you’ll find that in so-and-so’s files” even when I never met so-and-so.
        Also, OP, you have no idea you much you have pushed my buttons ;) by calling spreadsheet formatting innocuous. There are IMPORTANT REASONS to set them up certain ways, and you haven’t likely learned those reasons in a few months. Spreadsheet masters might be able to create a new system in that time, but judging by your dismissive tone, I doubt you are one. I started writing this paragraph tongue-in-cheek, but now I find I’m carried away by how much I care. I literally told my boss yesterday, “data management is an emotional subject.”

        But sympathy on the snarky name thing. Would personalizing the space help? Pictures of your family or pets? A colorful or patterned scarf draped on the back of your chair?

      • +1

        It’s not about “trusting” you to format a spreadsheet. It’s about how your boss understands information and how he wants it presented. There are a hundred ways to format any spreadsheet. He wants it done a certain way. He’d be asking you to do it that way regardless of whether or not you had a predecessor who did it that way.

    • My boss still calls me Andrea – and I’ve been here for a year. We have reached a point where we can joke about it…it will get better.

    • +1 to give it time. Just wait a few months and keep knocking it out of the park. Soon your boss won’t remember a time without you and could care less that Melanie is gone. Things are much better with you! I went through this a little when I took over for a person who was much loved when she retired. I did things the way she did, but I did them faster and more accurate. Pretty soon I was trusted to do more, etc. Stick it out a little longer and have patience.

    • You shouldn’t REALLY worry until you mention this in passing to one of your colleagues and they say, “…but Melanie’s been dead for YEARS…”

      Just kidding. But this sounds like a good opportunity to read (or re-read) Rebecca and marvel at the parallels to your modern life. :)

  10. strong women :

    I was working a key role at an all-day public meeting yesterday, and I was sitting in the back of the room listening to a session. At one point, the most senior person in my career track at my organization came to sit next to me. A gentleman speaking at the event had previously been a senior person at our org, and she told me how he had pushed her in to the first step of the “leadership” position ladder, and she maybe wouldn’t have done it as a then-new mom, etc. — I really appreciated hearing this from her. I’m very lucky to work under a chain of command that is completely (rock-star at their jobs) female, and she’s retiring later this year and it will be a big hit to our department.

    It may not have been her intent, but it was a nice reminder as I approach the division between technical specialist and “management”, that if I want it, I can do it too!

    • IAA?

    • Mineallmine :

      +1 for a positive story! Also for the leap between tech spec and management. I’m in the early stages of that myself, and it’s uncomfortable for someone used to having the certainty of knowing stuff to now have to deal the nebulosity of people and all their ’emotions’ and ‘needs’! At first I had to just trust my management that they saw something in me to handle it, and it’s true, I’m not terrible at the people stuff, so my confidence has definitely grown over the past year or so. I’m sure you’re much better than me and will do great, especially with such good role models!

  11. Arundhati Roy :

    I’m looking to upgrade my sleepwear into something pretty and comfy. I generally run vey warm, so liking for cotton or real silk but can’t justify paying above $50 for something that is replacing my old worn T’s. I’ve seen soma recommended here before, but that’s above my price point. Specific links to chemises would be really appreciated! I looked on Amazon and the mixed reviews got me confused, so if you’ve bought something there and loved, please tell me! Also I’m not very tall and some of the Amazon ones look really long (would prefer above knee or shorter to keep cool)!

    • Arundhati Roy :

      *looking for
      (excuse typos, gonna get another mug of coffee!)

    • Target!

      • Seconded! I think the brand I’ve seen is Gilligan O’Malley, they have some cute and inexpensive ones.

    • Look for Carole Hochman or Eileen West on amazon. Also often on deep discount at Lord & Taylor. Some is a bit too grandma, but others is just on the right side of Little House on the Prairie and the quality is great. I usually find the, on sale for $20-30, 100 percent cotton. If you can find cosabella nighties on sale, they tend to be a nice step up too. Usually pricey, but I’ve gotten them for around $30-50.

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      Soma Cool nights, the ankle and capri lengths are great for this short person. Shop the clearance section and use their coupons and you can easily get down to your price range. They are worth every penny and last for years.

    • I’m loving my gap body cotton sleep pants — and they are always on sale. There’s a ton of sleepwear on sale right now for around $20.

      Have you ever actually slept in silk? If you run warm, I’d rethink. I ran cold (until I aged) and I’ve never been able to tolerate the beautiful silk pajamas I’ve been given. It’s the warmest fiber for its weight and there is a reason they use it to make long underwear. If you are set on silk, I’d look for a loose weave.

      • Arundhati Roy :

        Oh wow, had no idea, thanks! Just assumed “natural” fibers will keep me more comfy I know I get warm and uncomfortable in polyester and other cheap fabrics I own. Totally unscientific here!

      • Arundhati Roy :

        Oh wow, had no idea, thanks! Just assumed “natural” fibers will keep me more comfy. I know I get warm and uncomfortable in polyester and other cheap fabrics I own. Totally unscientific here!

        • Be careful with some of the Gilligan and O’Malley stuff. I bought a nightshirt and it seemed very soft and lightweight, but made me too hot to sleep well. I can’t remember the fiber content (Cotton + rayon? Modal?), unfortunately. But their stuff is cheap enough that I’m not too upset to have a nightshirt I can’t sleep in.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I have one like this:

      I actually like the longer length because it seems to stay put better when I sleep and I appreciate that it’s one piece. But I noticed you were looking for knee length or shorter so I want to acknowledge that.

    • If you’re open to a shorts set, I have 4 sets of these and haven’t worn an old t-shirt in years.

    • I also sleep hot, and I have a bunch of Calvin Klein chemises for sleepwear. Look for the ones made of modal.

  12. Overreacting? :

    My group at work is me and two partners. At the beginning of the year the more senior partner set a weekly 8 am Friday morning meeting to talk about our cases, catch up, etc. I have a child who goes to daycare and getting to work at 8 am takes some juggling and is usually stressful because I typically do daycare dropoff and my husband has to get to work late to do it. I didn’t say anything about the meeting time initially because though it’s a little added stress it’s doable and I wanted to be accommodating and show that I am willing to be flexible when needed with schedule and committed to this job. Today I get in and no one is here. One partner emailed af 8:30 and said he would be late and the other responded that he had a cle and couldn’t make it at all.

    I am so mad. I was literally in tears because i felt so disrespected and am trying hard to make this work (and also maybe pregnancy hormones) I get that things can come up unexpectedly to cause you to be late but to have a CLE scheduled and not even consider emailing to let people know ahead of time that you won’t be there??

    My question is should I say something and am I overreacting? I don’t want to be a drama queen or make this all about my childcare issues but I just can’t believe that someone could be so rude.

    • I think this is two parts. You shouldn’t say anything about today. It is not particularly rude to the point that’s worth fussing over. They are not disrespecting you.

      But you should say something at a time when you’re calm about the timing! “Hey Friday’s at 8 are tough for me, day care issues. Can we do 9?” This isn’t a big ask.

      • + wise and thoughtful comment right here

      • +1

        It’s annoying and thoughtless, but not worth making a big deal of to them today. (Privately, feel free to be super upset – I totally get it) But you should absolutely ask about moving it to a more convenient time sometime next week or later today. They probably have no idea how much extra stress that 8 am meeting causes you.

      • Agreed, suggest pushing the meeting back til at least 9 or whatever time you usually get into work. No one wants to get in the office early on a Friday anyway.

        Alternatively, if the point is to catch up, maybe a lunch meeting would work? Even if you each bring your own lunch?

    • Over reacting. You act like this you’ll be labeled a hysterical mommy, rightfully.

      • Be Nice People :

        You are not overreacting at all, and you are not a hysterical mommy. However, I do agree that not all of this has to be conveyed to the partners. As others have suggested, just ask for 9 instead of 8. They can’t push back too much, since one of them was late and one of them no-showed, anyway. Your feelings are completely reasonable. And you mentioned pregnancy hormones, which I think you’re right is probably making you feel more upset than you might feel otherwise. It’s a lot!!

    • Frustrating is understandable. Wanting to be flexible is good but make sure it’s when it really matters. Give it a couple weeks and then mention that you’d prefer if the meeting was at 8:30 or 9am as you’re finding the 8am to be hard to work with daycare on a regular basis. This emphasizes that you tried to make it work, and that you’d be fine with 8am sometimes but for a regularly scheduled meeting if it doesn’t have to be 8am, that works better.

    • Do you have official work hours? If so, and they start at 8, you might not be able to do much. If people are consistently late, you might say something like “I’ve noticed we all have a tough time making it to this meeting on time, maybe 8:30 would work best?”

      FWIW, I think you should have objected when this was scheduled initially. Everyone’s time is important. Just because they’re more senior than you doesn’t make your time or schedule less important. If you let them know it actually doesn’t work for you, then they should be accommodating. Quite frankly if they aren’t, I’d probably be looking at different jobs because it would be indicative of a bigger issue. I’m an associate and work most frequently with one partner , and he always checks with me before he schedules meetings for us (with clients or otherwise). I think it helps to be 90% available or have general hours where you’re 100% available unless something comes up. I’ve given an outright no to something only once or twice in 6.5 years. You’re a person, too, and you matter.

      • Pretty Primadonna :

        I htink the way you have couched the ask is the best way to do it, so it is on ALL parties and not just OP to schedule the meetings for a later time.

      • So, definitely OP’s worth to the world is at least equal to these partners. But in the professional setting, her time actually is less important than that of people who are senior to her. That’s just how it works.

        But it sounds like there’s plenty of room to offer, neutrally, a suggestion that the meeting time be changed.

    • I’m sorry, that sucks and is literally the kind of thing that drives women out of working when they have kids. I would alsolutely say something and go for a mid-day meeting instead. At my office, we have a no non-emergency meetings before 10 rule to accommodate commutes, child care, etc. there’s zero reason this kind of thing has to happen at 8.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Respectfully, I disagree. There are several good reasons for having this kind of meeting at 8 am, namely so it does not interfere with actual work and billing, and second, because that is when the partners want to have the meeting.

        I simply do not accept that this is what drives women out of the workplace. Rather, I think it is that women (including the OP) think that men’s jobs are more important than theirs. The OP said that if her husband does daycare dropoff (and we are talking about one day a week) then HE is late for work. Big deal, why can’t he just make arrangements for that one day? Why is it always on the woman to ask for accommodations in these situations???

        This is one of those things that just bugs me to no end and will never cease until we all stop accepting that a woman is the default provider of childcare and the one who should make all the sacrifices once she decides to have a baby. Grf.

        • ^This is very true

        • I don’t usually agree with you, NTMS, but I definitely do on this. +1 to all of what you said.

        • Yes. Everywhere I’ve worked, it’s 100% normal to schedule our meetings around daycare and bus pickup/dropoff, there are tons of working men doing this. I don’t know the work environment, but if you never ask for what you want, how could you possibly get it? Don’t be driven out of working because you’re afraid to ask and expect people to psychically anticipate your needs. And if it’s a two-parent household, where is the other parent in this?

        • Rereading the OP it seems possible that the husband is accommodating the Friday dropoff and this is what’s causing the stress. This doesn’t change my opinion, which is agreement with Never Too Many Shoes that both parents need to step up. If the husband is doing dropoff and is grouchy and complaining about it, that attitude is part of what needs to change.

      • IT consultant so NAL but we have meetings all the time at 8 am, because otherwise some of us are booked through the rest of the day. From reading this s!te it seems like lawyers come in later than people in my firm do but 8 or 8:30 seems like a good time for this meeting from a work-perspective. My clients also often have regular meetings at 8 am.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Is this the first time it’s happened? If yes, they were rude but you’re overreacting. If this is a regular thing, I’d calmly suggest rearranging the time of the weekly meeting to something more attainable for all parties.

      • +1. Make it about the whole group–“I’ve noticed we’re all having a hard time making the Friday morning meeting. Maybe we can schedule it for a time that’s easier for everyone?”

        If they say they want to stick to Friday mornings, I think it’s fair to say that you’d appreciate them letting you know ahead of time if they’re unable to make it. As the junior, you have to go to meetings when people senior to you schedule them–but you don’t have to pretend it’s no big deal for you to get in early and just sit there.

        • “I’ve noticed we’re all having a hard time making the Friday morning meeting.”

          Would people really say this to a Senior Partner? And are the partners self-aware and chill enough to even agree with the statement? If this is the first time the partners couldn’t attend on time they probably think the time is working fine for them and a lot of execs I have worked with would bristle at this kind of statement.

          • Anonymous :

            I agree with this. Absolutely.

            Just change the phrasing slightly, and still ask for a change.

            Or have your husband do the drop off, and ask for accommodation at his work.

    • Maybe you can utilize the fact that the one partner was late to suggest that the 8 am time slot seems to be difficult for everyone, and would anyone be opposed to pushing it to 8:30 to accommodate for commutes and other issue. FWIW, I would in no way, shape, or form mention daycare as the reason. I am a parent in a very family-friendly department, and unless I am talking to my trustworthy secretary or very understanding immediate boss, I still give a generic “I have an appointment” or “I’m not available at that time” even if the reason is for a pediatrician appt. etc.

    • Cancelling a status meeting is not disrespecting you in any way. If the meeting time causes that much of an issue, speak up! It’s clearly causing you a lot of distress and there’s nothing wrong with asking to push back the time of a meeting. Or maybe you could call in, instead of being there in person.

    • My last boss was at times hard to pin down, so I’ve been stood up for more meetings that I’d care to count).
      Agree with others that you can’t take it so personally, but I get the frustration. Absent the fact that the time doesn’t work for you, something I started doing was to confirm with my boss/his secretary a day or two beforehand as to whether it looked like the meeting would actually happen (particularly if it was at a time that required me to change my normal schedule). I also got comfortable scheduling within my preference/availability, as I figured boss lost some level of deference to his schedule after frequent no-shows.
      How frequently are you actually meeting at 8 a.m.? If this is the first of ~14 meetings that haven’t happened at 8 a.m. on Friday, I think you should approach it as: “I’m finding 8 a.m. is not working well for my schedule. can we instead meet a different time when we’re all available, like Tuesdays at 3 pm?” -> it’s a your schedule issue, which is OK.
      If it’s not happening at this time very often anyway, maybe your intro is: “I know we talked about having this weekly meeting but since this time isn’t working for *all* of us, how about ….?” -> it’s an everyone’s schedule issue.

    • Gently, if you didn’t mention to them that this time was inconvenient, you can’t expect them to have intuited that it was. They’re not being disrespectful. Stuff comes up, and particularly in a small practice group, people often expect that things will be more casual with respect to internal meetings. Yes, the partner should have mentioned that he wouldn’t be there due to the CLE, but treating that like a big deal will not be helpful to you in terms of your ultimate goal, which is getting this meeting scheduled to a more convenient time. Just ask the partner in charge of scheduling if it can be moved to lunch instead – just the fact that it interferes with your commute and you’ve noticed that others seem to also have trouble making it is reason enough.

      • This is great advice.

        • Overreacting? :

          Thanks so much for all the thoughtful advice. I have calmed down a lot and recognize I was overreacting. Typically in my office people don’t come in until closer to 9 and there are no regular working hours, but I definitely see the need for an 8 am meeting to avoid interfering with other work, court, etc. I think it’s generally rude though to flat out not show up for a meeting without telling anyone when you have a non-emergency planned event that you could have easily told people about. This is true regardless of whether childcare issues are involved. In any event I think I need to just relax, have my husband do daycare on Fridays and if there are any more no show meetings I’ll try to happily use the opportunity to catch up on work.

          • Also, if these partners are not responsible for managing their own calendars (aka they have admins), it likely wouldn’t have occurred to them to alert you to any changes. That’s the admin’s job if they are the ones managing the calendars IMO.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            I read something the other day that was advice to someone who sees another person “overreacting” — I’m paraphrasing, but it was like, “if you think you saw someone go from 0-60 in no time, consider the fact that they might have been cruising at 59 for a while and you just didn’t notice.” I think we can apply it to ourselves too.

            Theres’s good advice above about considering how you work this out with your husband (is it unfair that instead of stressing his morning, dropoff always has to stress yours?) and whether you should have spoken up when the meeting was scheduled (are they hesitant to accommodate family needs, or is that an unfounded fear you carry?)… I encourage you to look at why this hurt so much, and what you can do so that you’re not already at 59, y’know?

            But also, don’t beat yourself up for ‘overreacting’ — you’re doing a lot of hard work balancing things, including your reputation and your husband’s schedule, so if all that hard work was for nothing, even one morning, I don’t think it’s nuts that that upset you. <3

  13. AUSA interview help :

    Anyone able to say what the interview process looks like for an AUSA position, particularly in WDPa? Thanks!

    • Anon for this :

      Not in WDPA (in Mass) but I imagine that interviews are similar. Be prepared to talk up your hands on litigation experience (taking depositions, any hearings you have gotten to appear in, etc.).

    • I think its different in every district but suspect they the most important question at all of them is why you want to be an AUSA. Think through your answer very carefully and consider practicing in the mirror. Hint: the right answer is not “to get trial experience so I can make partner” or any version of that.

    • Anon for this :

      I am not in WDPA, but the interview will likely be a mix of policy and practicality. Policy = why you want to be an AUSA, why you believe in the mission, etc. Practicality = what can you do for them, what litigation experience do you have, why should they hire you.

      Know who will be in the interview. I don’t know how big WDPA is, but in a small to medium district, you could expect the U.S. Attorney, the First Assistant, the Criminal Chief, and maybe one or two more experienced AUSAs on the hiring committee. If WDPA is bigger, there may be a particular Section Chief (Violent Crime Chief, White Collar Chief). Find out who these people are and google them. There are probably press releases of trials they have had. Read those.

      Are you interviewing for a general crimes position or for something specific (white collar, project safe neighborhood, etc)? Read their recent press releases on cases like that. Be able to talk about those. Nationwide priorities right now are violent crime and immigration (the latter is maybe not as big of a deal in WDPA, though).

    • AUSA interview help :

      I believe I am being interviewed for spots in the violent crime section and the appellate division. (I got a voicemail, called back, but haven’t spoken to a person yet.). I have extensive state experience in both, applied to both spots, and they were both mentioned in the voicemail. I’m actually a little concerned I might be considered too old/expensive to hire, since everyone I know who went federal did it much earlier than now. But at least it shouldn’t be hard to convince them that I’m not applying for experience.

    • Anonymous :

      I interviewed in the WDPA. It was a panel interview with about 6 people. Very casual atmosphere. They asked a lot about my prior work experience, why I wanted to be an AUSA, and some ethical issues. They asked several questions about if i was applying for state prosecutor jobs and why not if I wanted to be a prosecutor so bad.

      At the end of the interview two of them got up and said they really liked me and wanted to see if the USAO was available right then to meet with me. They came back a few minutes later and said she wasn’t available but she definitely wanted to meet with me and they would call me the next day to set something up. I never heard from them again. I was thrilled walking out of there thinking I had a shot at my dream job and to have it end like that was pretty crappy. But other than that they were very nice and friendly and it seemed like a very collegial office

    • In my interview I had to write an opening statement based on a hypothetical fact pattern. I was given the fact pattern and X amount of time to prepare the statement. Not sure if you’re still reading but wanted to comment as I didn’t see that anywhere (but my interview wasn’t in WDPA)

  14. I’m going to be in Belgium (mostly – I’ll have brief stints in northern France and in the Netherlands) in about two weeks for a cycling trip. Any suggestions of excellent and interesting things to do or places to eat in Ghent, Antwerp, Liege, Kortrijk, or Maastricht? I will have very short periods of time (I think I have two evenings/afternoons free in Ghent and an evening free in each of the others), so I’ll only have a few hours in each, and not during prime museum hours. I know that not all of these are prime tourist destinations, but who knows, maybe there’s someone here who grew up in Liege and knows That One Awesome Place You Must Eat, ha.

    Also, any other general Belgium advice would be greatly appreciated (I’m an experienced European traveler, but if there’s anything specific to Belgium you’d love to share, hit me with it), especially if it relates to delicious things to eat or drink or Easter traditions (I’ll be there over Easter weekend).

    • Don’t miss Bruges!

      • Unfortunately, I’m on a group trip, so I’m limited to the cities that we will be overnighting in. I’ll have to save Bruges for a return visit – I’ve heard it’s awesome!

    • I’ve only ever been to Antwerp and Ghent on your list; they are wonderful. If you have limited time, I’d just confine myself to strolling their historical centres, which are gorgeous and easy to appreciate. In Antwerp, I would go out of my way for the Unesco-designated Plantin-Moretus museum – an important Renaissance printing press which remained in operation, in the hands of the same family, all the way into the 18th century. In Ghent, the local treasure is Van Eyck’s Mystic Lamb, housed in a corner of the cathedral, go early or late to avoid crowds since they limit visitor numbers in the small space where the painting is displayed.

      Dominique Persoone’s Chocolate Line has the only chocolate in Belgium I’ve fallen for – their almond and cocoa-nib bars by the weight are mind-expanding (main shop in Bruges but a branch in Antwerp).

    • Ghent’s historical center is very nice, you’d have quite a few religious buildings and guilds for the different trades. Antwerp has a very modern fashion scene so if you get to do some shopping you’d get brands that you can’t buy in the US like Essential Antwerp. I usually get a kick from knowing that no one in my workplace has access to the same outfits, so if that is up your alley, give it a try.
      In all the Flemish part you want to try the Kaas Croquettes (sort of cheesy bread crumb melting food), you want to hit a fritKot and buy a cone of fries since Belgium invented this food, they are obsessed with the sauces so you can try tons of variations of mayonnaise you never thought existed.
      Kortrijk is pretty rural but the parkhotel (near the train station) has amazing food, quite a limited menu but definitely great, my favorite was pasta diabolica and the kaas croquettes. Their Jules bar has great burgers (try the Grimaldi, it has pesto sauce) but one waitress there is unbelievably slow and messes the orders each time so don’t expect the greatest service. I “lived” at this hotel over 3 months for a project so know that it is the finest address in the city.

      • This is so helpful, thank you! We are actually staying at the Parkhotel, so I’m happy to have all the insider info. And I will definitely be checking out the shopping in Antwerp.

    • My answer disappeared in mod. Give it some time and it should be up (pretty please Kat).

    • Have a wonderful time!

    • Another Anon :

      I’m also heading to Belgium at the same time and am making note of these suggestions!

  15. Baconpancakes :

    My SO just bought a $5 IKEA bathmat off of Amazon… for $15. $10 isn’t actually a big deal, but the principle of the thing is making me roll my eyes so hard they might pop out of my head. *Sigh*

    • Note to t r o l l s from yesterday: This is exactly why we are all ordering tons of stuff on line. To prevent our men from wasting money by trying to do the shopping themselves.

    • Mine thought about doing this with a $2 sippy cup until I suggested we just go to IKEA. We ended up spending an additional $10, but at least we got some yummy IKEA food out of it.

    • anon a mouse :

      Think of it as a $10 fee to avoid dealing with Ikea. It’s practically money well spent.

      • Yeah I’m down with this logic, and in fact I’d pay a lot more than $10 to avoid going to IKEA.

        • I love IKEA. I’d be even more mad about the lost opportunity to go visit than I would be about the $10.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Yes, this. If IKEA had a $10 entrance fee I would still go. If I could live there I would.

          • Arundhati Roy :

            Yeah, I’d be pretty pissed TBH. I would claim that’s because of irrational wastage of money but in honesty it’d be the missed opportunity to spend time in the ikea museum ;)

          • Anonymama :

            I love ikea too but the extra hundreds$$$ that I spend every time I go would make the extra 10 bucks to order online a definite more net saving proposition.

        • +1 million

      • Baconpancakes :

        Would be good logic, were I not going to IKEA this weekend to test sofa beds anyway…

      • I have done exactly this (probably the same bathmats even) with zero regret.

    • In many areas, you can ship to store and pick up at the front, so you don’t have to deal with Ikea crowds and don’t deal with inflated prices.

  16. Need a recommendation for a local florist in Severna Park, MD for funeral flowers. Any thoughts?

  17. What is this word :

    Is there a word for someone who’s not quite a friend but closer than an acquaintance? The kind of person you’d invite to your housewarming and you see fairly frequently when you’re out, but you wouldn’t necessarily call them if you broke up with your SO or needed a ride to the airport or wanted to have drinks just one on one. I tend to refer to them by how I know them – work friend, friend from college, etc. – but I don’t know of a good word for that concept. Some friends and I have been talking about this a lot lately and I figured you all might have some great thoughts!

    • Friend. It encompasses more than just a person who buried a body for you.

      • LOL but agree. I tend to use friend for this kind of relationship. I use ‘close friend’ or just use ‘best friend’ for my three best girlfriends who I’ve known for years.

      • Ha! Love that this was the first thing you thought of a friend doing for you.

    • thats what I use “friend” for. someone who i would call after a break up or for a ride to the airport is a close friend or a best friend.

    • Pre-ya-tel’ :

      There is in Russian and probably some other languages.

    • For what you’re describing, I think “friend” works fine. But my name for people who are more than acquaintances but not quite friends is “friendly acquaintance.”

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Like you, I tend to refer to those people by how I know them, which I think distinguishes them from a Friend Friend, because I just call those people… friends. So “I’m going to that concert with a friend from my beer club” or “We also invited over Kiddo’s classmate’s parents” vs. “I’m going on this trip with my friend.”

  18. Ladies, I’m going to be in Boston for work in a few weeks. Other than the typical touristy things, can anyone recommend some cool things to do, see, eat? I’ll have a few afternoons/evenings free. TIA!!

    • Saus for waffles and poutine! JP Licks ice cream (multiple locations all over the city).

    • I always take people to the Mapparium. It’s a giant, walk through stained-glass globe. It’s pretty cool, and it’s something different than the norm. And if you have any interest, while you’re there you can also tour the Christian Science church; it’s rather pretty.

    • Walk around the Harvard campus and Harvard Square and get lunch at Cambridge Common. Walk along the waterfront in Boston and stop at the aquarium to admire the harbor seals (outside – free to view). Walk along the Esplanade and cut over to Back Bay for some window shopping.

      • Anonymous :

        No, don’t eat at Cambridge Common. (I lived in an apartment overlooking the CC parking lot for three years.) The food is fine (although the beer selection is very good), but it’s very standard. Eat at Temple Bar across the street instead, or walk further north towards Porter Square and eat at The Abbey (or Bagelsaurus if you’re there in the morning, they usually sell out by noon). In Harvard Square, try Alden & Harlow or Park or Russell House for fancier American, Santouka for ramen, Le’s Vietnamese for pho, and LA Burdick for amazing hot chocolate. Orinoco has pretty good Peruvian food too.

        Maria’s for the best cannolis. Tatte is a nice local bakery chain, they have really good shakshuka. Toscanini’s or Christina’s for really good ice cream, but JP Licks is a very solid chain. The glass flowers at the Harvard Natural History Museum are pretty cool, and some of the other exhibits there are also very interesting. Isabella Stewart Gardner is a very different art museum experience. You can have high tea at the Boston Public Library, which is architecturally a very cool building, and you have to walk through all the book stacks to get to the tea room. There are a lot of factories you can tour: the Taza chocolate factory, the Harpoon and Sam Adams breweries…

        Be sure to check out the farmers markets on the weekends. And depending on exactly when you will be there, the individual towns have all sorts of little street fairs and festivals, like the Cambridge River Festival, which includes a race between various movable, interactive sculptures. Definitely walk or bike along the Esplanade, and you can also walk or bike along the Davis Greenway, which takes you from the cool shops and restaurants in Davis Square to connect to the Minuteman bike trail, which you can ride straight to historic Lexington. Depending on the weather, you can rent kayaks in Kendall Square and paddle around on the river.

        Have fun!

        • Taza factory tour is a ton of fun, as is the Sam Adams brewery (SO MUCH free beer). Also +1 to Toscanini’s.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Pan roasted lobster with bourbon at Summer Shack in Back Bay. Seriously one of the best things I have ever eaten in my life.

    • Anonymous :

      All the oysters. (Row 34, Island Creek, Neptune, B&G).

      If you like cocktails, I’d take an Uber to either Bully Boy or Grand Ten distillery. Both look like holes in the wall, but both make EXCELLENT cocktails out of products they make on-site.

      If it’s crummy outside, I might catch an improv show — either at Improv Asylum (in the North End — grab a drink and food at Parla before hand and/or dessert at Mike’s/Modern/Cafe Vittoria after) or Improv Boston (in Cambridge — grab a drink and dinner at Green Street before).

  19. Vacationer :

    I’m leaving my job for a new one (yay!) and get a month off in between. DH has lots of vaca time built up, and we’re thinking about traveling for 3 weeks or so in Europe in May. I’m thinking of doing a week or 10 days in 2-3 places (one of which would be Tuscany or somewhere in Italy), so that we have time to relax and also see sites. Because we have so much time, there are so many options!! Do you have any favorite places you’ve been that you can recommend?

    • So many choices! I’d be tempted to spend all 3 weeks in Italy, but different parts. Depending on what you enjoy, a week on the Amalfi Coast, 4 days in Rome, a week in Tuscany, a few days in Venice. But yeah, with 3 weeks in Europe, you could literally go anywhere :-)

    • Delta Dawn :

      Cinque Terre!! Two days there is plenty.

    • Go to Italy. Stay in Umbria/Tuscany or near that border. Spend 2-3 days time driving/meandering between Montalcino and Montepulciano because you cannot decide which of those two adorable hill towns makes the better set of reds -which rosso? Is Nobile better than Brunello? Hmmm. Take a long break at an agroturismo or nice restaurant in between your morning and afternoon tests for lunch; you’ll need fuel to do the test properly. (It’s about 45 mins between them if you decided for some reason to just drive direct; on a clear ish day you can see one hill town from the other.) Stop in a couple of other wineries in that area to double-check your answers. Poggio alle Mure and Aviognesi were hits for us. Umbria is my favorite province. Stay near Cortona if you can’t decide b/w Tuscany and Umbria.

      • I second all of this – we spent two weeks in Tuscany in 2016 with some day trips to Umbria and I would go back in a heartbeat.

    • I would really encourage you to look at central Europe, especially that time of year. There are a lot of amazing options there that North Americans don’t think of right away. I highly recommend the Julian Alps. Ljubljana and Trieste are close by there and both lovely; so are Graz and Vienna. That would make a lovely 3-week trip without too much time spent traveling great distances, and you could start by flying into Venice if you want to hit a big Italian city. I also had a wonderful experience on the Croatian coast near Split, and in Budapest.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to the Croatian coast! And on the island of Hvar you can rent an electric bicycle and spend the day pedaling around in the lavender fields.

    • think about the pace of the trip that you want. is your goal to go, go, go and see as many places as possible or to do a bit of a slower paced trip that is a mix between big cities, small towns and beaches. If you want the latter, I think 3 weeks in Italy sounds amazing, especially if you haven’t been before. You could do Rome, Venice, Florence, Cinque Terra, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast or maybe also Lake Cuomo. There is a lot of diversity in the country so you could do a lot of different things. We also loved Greece – we did Athens, Crete (Chania) and Santorini, but I do not think you need to spend 3 full weeks in Greece. Not sure how well traveled you are or where you have been in Europe, but some of my favorites are: Paris, Barcelona, Salamanca, Seville in Spain and Salzburg, Austria. Amsterdam is also interesting and I’ve heard that Brugges is a cool site to see in Belgium. Recently did Portugal, which I liked, but I think if I had 3 weeks I would probably do 3 weeks in Italy. May is a good time because places are not usually overrun by tourists yet, though beaches can be a bit cool, so I would try to save beaches for the end of your three weeks. We went to Greece a few years ago in late May. If you haven’t been to London, it is an easy and often cheaper place to fly in/out of. I’d be very happy to come along and carry your suitcases :-)

      • Vacationer :

        Thanks! We’ve done a lot of the big cities, and are looking for a more relaxed trip with a mix of smaller towns, countryside, and cities.

    • I love Vienna in the summer. You can spend many a happy afternoon drinking wine spritzers at a heurige, is all I’m saying.

      • Anonymous :


        Fly into Rome, spend few days in Rome, a week in Tuscany, then a couple days in Venice, then Vienna. Fly home from Vienna.

    • Italy is one of my favorites and has been well-covered by others. Tuscany is classic, maybe rent a car and if you’re brave, don’t make reservations but stop when you fall in love with one of the hill towns and find lodging on Booking or through the local grapevine. You’ll also find a different world up in the small towns of the Dolomites. If you’re food lovers, wander around Emilia Romagna for a couple weeks.

      If you love a road trip, I could spend months driving between small German towns, especially in the wine regions.

      I think May would be a gorgeous time to spend two weeks in Greece (I’ve only been in the late summer when it was blistering hot and in the fall). In addition to Crete, Santorini and Athens, I adore Delphi and wouldn’t miss the Peloponnese: Ancient Olympia, Corinth, Hydra, Nafplio.

  20. Good morning! Curious what others think of this situation. My SO works from home 100% for a large company (think big 4). He’s a high performer there and quickly rising through the ranks. The thing is… from the moment he wakes up to the moment he goes to sleep he vapes MJ. All day, everyday. It is not legal where we live. We’ve been together for 6 years. At first I was really against it (I do not partake), but now I’ve gotten so used to it I don’t even think about it. Sometimes I worry about what will happen when we have kids (we plan to someday), I don’t see him stopping. Borrowing trouble?

    • No. Your SO is high all the time. This is trouble now. I hope he isn’t your husband because unless you want to live with an addict who is high all the time you need to move on. He won’t stop with kids. So he can’t parent.

    • What? No. That’s trouble now. You can’t have children with this man. Because they might get taken away by the state. Reassess your life and leave.

    • Major issue and strongly suggest you work out what will happen post-kids before you have kids.

      If he’s high all the time, you can’t leave him in charge of your kids or you risk losing them to child protective services.

    • What if he doesn’t stop when you have kids? Will it bother you? How much? What if it bothers you a lot more post-kid than you think it will now? Where is he buying it? What are the chances of getting legal trouble for it? What are the chances of losing his job if he is found out? Is there a chance one of you might ever want a job that requires a security clearance? Is he self-medicating for anxiety or something? This would be a big problem for me, and I don’t think you should have a child together until you have some clarity on these issues.

      • The logistics of this make me curious — how does he get his supply? Are there sketchy people coming by your house all the time? Does your SO ever drive a car? Hopefully not a car you own?

        What if it weren’t MJ but vicodin or oxy or that he was drinking all day. Then you could see how it was a problem.

        • Oh my god, it is not that difficult to get MJ. This is not a movie with “sketchy people” dealing in the hallway.

    • Uhm no, that’s not borrowing trouble. I’m guessing he has anxiety problems that could be managed with some kind of legal medicine. I would 100% not have kids with someone who was high all day, especially not in a state where it’s not legal– if something happened and he was caught, you would become a single mother or your kids could get taken away. Would you be asking this question if he were drinking all day? This is a serious problem.

    • I live in a state where it’s legal and my husband and I occasionally partake, so I’m not coming from a place of excessive judgment. However, what you’ve described is sending up MAJOR red flags. All day, EVERY day? I don’t even know where to begin with that. I think you need to take a long, hard look at this relationship.

      • +1 I support legalization and have no qualms about recreational use where legal, but all day every day is still a problem in that scenario.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Same. If it was something innocuous and legal everywhere like beer, it would still be a problem because of the all-day-every-day part (she says, dreading the day when coffee is frowned upon).

      • I agree with this. From a mental/physical health and relationship standpoint, it would be just as problematic if he were drinking beer all day every day. The substance in questions just adds an extra layer of legal risk.

      • +1

        I don’t live in a place where it’s legal and still do occasionally partake. No judgment at all when I say this: it is not normal to be stoned all day every day. It would not be normal to use _any_ drug all day every day. This is a problem.

    • Your husband is an addict. Replace “drinks vodka” for “vapes MJ” and see how you’d feel about him doing that all day.

      There can be high functioning addicts who do well in their jobs and they don’t all crash and burn and hit rock bottom. But what you have to ask yourself is whether you want to live with an addict.

    • Thanks all! These unanimous concerns have helped me recalibrate. It’s so easy to normalize abnormal behavior, especially since I wouldn’t feel comfortable talking about this with anyone IRL. Will definitely have a think and a talk with him. He is 100% self medicating for anxiety, and believes MJ is “safer” than pharmaceuticals. We’re in our late 20’s and all of his friends still use it recreationally, so I believe he gets it from them on the weekends.

      • Oh, man. The anxiety thing is opening up a can of worms, but even if you assume that his anxiety will never get worse, will be perfectly managed by vaping, and he will never have any negative career or legal impact from his vaping addiction, what would he do if your child had anxiety? What does he think about modern medicine? It might be worth exploring some of these tangental paths to make sure y’all are on all the same pages.

        • Plus, you know what can really knock mental health off kilter? Having a child. What happens if the current level of usage isn’t enough?

      • I’d like to add that your SO is putting a lot of unfiltered smoke into his lungs, all day, every day, and…that’s not good for you. There haven’t been a lot of LT studies on this because…thanks war on drugs, but, I would be worried about that from a health perspective. This is not “safer” than taking a pill necessarily. Good luck.

      • Yeah, lots of my friends do the same thing. My friends in graduate school, especially, smoke every night so their anxiety lets up enough to sleep.

  21. Do you think amazon is going to fail? My husband works for everyone’s favorite giant, evil, megacorp (in warehouses, not in an office job if anyone has questions about what that’s really like). As part of his compensation, he gets a large amount of stock. He’s been there for six years and his amazon stock portfolio is currently around $400k. Should we be selling part of that and buying other stuff (possibly other FAANG stock?) because amazon is going to become the walmart of 5 or 10 years from now? I feel like people are starting to loathe Jeff Bezos and want amazon to fail. We have all our other investments and retirement savings heavily diversified.

    • No

    • I would never ever ever hold that much in any particular stock no matter what I thought its future was. Way too risky.

    • There’s a lot of middle ground between “failing” and stock prices only going up until your husband reaches retirement. So how much you diversify, and when, depends entirely on your tolerance for risk. Unless someone here has some inside information they probably shouldn’t share, your husband is probably in a better position than we are to assess the health of Amazon as a company.

    • You should sell some of it so you are not overly invested in any one company, regardless of what the company is. I can also buy discounted company stock, as part of my benefit package, but my intent is only to hold it for 4-5 years at the most, before I sell and realize the cash. I would be lumping my Amazon stock in with the rest of my portfolio and determining diversification based on the whole package, not just a subset.

      So yes, I’d probably be selling some of it.

    • It depends on what percentage of your total portfolio is invested in Amazon. It’s risky to have a large slice of your assets invested in any one stock. I’m pretty risk adverse, so I’d probably start dollar cost averaging into an index fund or something.

    • I recall learning somewhere that it is not good financial security to have too much stock tied up with your employer because if the company tanks–which could happen to any company (we don’t know for certain whether any company’s books have been cooked)–you lose both your employment and your nest egg all at once. If you’re otherwise diversified enough that you have a nest egg apart from this stock, that might not be a big concern. But you should consider not whether this stock is a good investment, but whether you could withstand the employment + investment blow in a worst case scenario.

      • +1

      • This. Isn’t that what happened to the employees at Enron? They lost their jobs and the employer match in their retirement plans that was held in company stock?

        • Flats Only :

          Yup. And Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Most insidious is that employees at those places bought into the idea that their stocks were golden and only idiots diversified. Many, many retirement nest eggs lost completely. See this horrifying graphic if you are in this type of position and need motivation.

    • It’s not going to fail but your investments are too correlated with your income ie they come from the same place and are exposed to the same risk. Diversify now. Ask me how I know – signed former AIG employee

    • It’s not going to fail but your investments are too correlated with your income ie they come from the same place and are exposed to the same risk. Diversify now. Ask me how I know – signed former AIG employee

    • Of course you should diversify. That would be the answer no matter what.

  22. Not borrowing trouble at all. Have you talked to him about his plan for when you’re pregnant and when you have kids? Has he said he will stop?

    • Actually I’d want to see him stop in advance. Partly to demonstrate that he can, and partly to find out who he is and what the relationship is like when he isn’t constantly smoking.

  23. KateMiddletown :

    Just coming here to say this has got to be Danielle from ANTM? Anybody remember her?

    • I noticed that too, and was excited pretty excited to see her. I see her in ads a couple of times a year.

    • yes!!! I love her!

    • Thanks for noting this! I had completely forgotten about that show. Apparently most of the older seasons are included with Amazon Prime, so I know what I’m binge watching over this dreary, rainy weekend.

    • Yep, and she’s one of the few that has made a solid career out of modeling. I saw a “what are they doing now” sort of episode, and she makes TONS of money and has great exposure as a catalogue model, less high fashion. I’m happy for her, it is consistent well paying work, which is hard for a model.

      • Anonymous :

        Good for her! I always liked her, it’s awesome to see that she’s been so successful.

  24. Toastmasters :

    I’m preparing to reenter the workforce after several years at home with my kids. My professional communication skills are extremely rusty, and I know very few people in my community aside from other SAHMs. Would Toastmasters be helpful in building my confidence as a well-spoken adult? I don’t necessarily need practice in speechmaking at this point; just introducing myself without tripping over my tongue would be a great start. There is a small club in my area. I guess I’m just wondering if Toastmasters would be a good match for my needs, or if I they would expect considerably more skill than I currently have. I was not particularly self-assured even when I was fully employed, and I feel positively incompetent after X years of momming.

    (It would be a great bonus if Toastmasters could also help me in meeting friendly, interesting folks who might eventually have job leads…)


    • My husband participated in a Toastmasters group through his company for a while. It was very structured and focused mostly on impromptu speaking in front of a group on a given topic, not really on one-on-one conversation and small talk.

    • I haven’t done Toastmasters, but I know people who have, and I know that their groups did not expect more skill or comfort than this. They had great experiences that sound right for what you are looking for, but I don’t know how much local clubs vary. Good luck!

    • anonymous :

      This might be harder to find than Toastmasters, but there are speech language pathologists who offer speech pragmatics for communication enhancement and corporate communication enhancement. So basically you can get adult speech therapy if you want it.

  25. Somebody mentioned Al Anon in one of the threads yesterday – does anybody have experience with it? I’m wondering if it could work for me (I have a family member in AA) – I’m an agnostic Jew and I’m worried it will be too religious
    or “preachy”…Any thoughts?

    • Unless you live in a rural area that is extremely conservative Christian, you won’t have trouble fitting in at meetings. The spiritual content has a light touch, and I have never encountered preachiness. In fact, most meetings prohibit cross-talk, which means that after you share (if you choose to), the group will respond only by thanking you. There is no instruction unless you explicitly and privately ask for it, and so you can choose carefully who you might approach for that.

      Meetings do have different flavors, so if you don’t like the first one try a different time/location and it might be better fit. Good luck.

    • I live a secular life and I’m very comfortable at Al Anon. I’ll tell you a story that I think perfectly captures the concept of “God” or “Higher Power” in Al Anon. I once told my sponsor that I was having some misgivings because my concept of a higher power doesn’t line up with the Judeo-Christian personal God that predominates religious thought in our culture. My sponsor was in both Al Anon and AA, and she said, “In AA, we say, it doesn’t matter what your higher power looks like, it just can’t be you.” And for me, that was perfect, because really, what the 12 steps are trying to do is to move us all away from this egoic, omniscient mindset where we think we can and should control everything. As long as I can say, “I don’t know who or what God is, I just know it sure as hell isn’t me,” then I know the program is working for me.

      • agnostic in al anon :

        I too had worries about the spiritual component of Al anon. As other commenters said, it may take time to find your meeting or people, but it does not necessarily have to be about a higher power or “God-centered.” My favorite saying is “take what you like and leave the rest.” the most useful parts of the program have been the tools for managing my anxiety by using awareness (and metacognition), recognizing intergenerational patterns of addiction/enabling. The logic of the program can be counter-intuitive at first in terms of staying out of other poeple’s business and avoiding “helping,” but these are crucial for truly helping our loved ones find sobriety. Am so glad I did not let my resistance to the religious aspect of 12 step deter me. There is so much more in the program. hoping you can find it as useful and supportive.

  26. I would not call this a “slightly unusual color for a sheath dress” – I think Tahari ASL and other mid-market dress makers are still making a lot of their sheaths in black, red, and cobalt.

  27. Recently I asked for help looking for a dress for an upcoming very very black tie gala- I’ll need to complement my MIL (who is receiving an award) but not upstage her. I finally bought one (link below) – thank you for your suggestions! How would you style it- black shoes? black bag? black wrap? Too much black?


    • Anonymous :

      Pretty! I would do whatever black shoe is most comfortable, since no one will really see them. I migh add some Kate Spade earrings that are on the bolder side, maybe something flowery in a blue or black.

    • Such a lovely dress!
      Shoes: doesn’t matter, won’t really show
      Purse: black or similar blue (if you have it)
      Earrings: black or gold, statement dangling, I like these

      Wrap: This is the tricky part, because you’ll likely need something for warmth.
      I’d do a cropped velvet jacket like this OR
      a silky kimono similar to this OR
      a cashmere wrap

  28. Can anyone in DC or the MD suburbs recommend their cleaning service that does some extras like laundering sheets and towels and doing dishes? It needs to be a service and not an individual for job-related reasons.

  29. Is there a better food-tracking app or site than My Fitness Pal? One that can track added sugar instead of just total sugar, and that doesn’t tell me to eat 1200 calories a day (yes, I know that’s net of calories burned through exercise, but at nearly 5’6″ with a decent amount of muscle mass I still need more than 1200 calories a day just to get out of bed in the morning).

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know of any that track added sugar. But you can adjust your calorie goal on MFP to whatever you want. I similarly need more than 1200 calories/day (I lose 1-2 lbs/week eating at about 1700, without accounting for exercise), so I just adjusted the goal.

      Do you have a fitbit? I have found the in-app food tracker to be decent (not as good as MFP), and it adjusts the calorie goal based on my daily activity and how much I’m trying to lose. Some people complain about the accuracy of the fitbit calorie goal but it’s consistently worked for me.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I really like LoseIt- it syncs with my fitbit, I’ve been able to find or create every food/meal/recipe I eat, and it adjusts pretty well. The setup is kind of confusing, but I ignore a lot of it and just focus on # of calories in, and then look @ fitbit for # of calories out.

    • cronometer :

      I learned of the website cronometer here, and I found it easier and more customizable than FitBit.

  30. Any favorite places to shop for grey work pants? (Preferably with an inseam of 33+?) No real budget.

  31. Best site to compare life insurance policies?

  32. Theory – they have 32-34 inch inseams depending on the pant.

  33. Dumb resume question... :

    If I was laid off in February and am now applying to jobs in March, my resume needs to reflect that my employment ended in Feb, correct? During Feb I kept it as “X Month, Y Year – Present”, but now that it’s a new month that no longer feels appropriate.

  34. Anonymous :

    Folks who have tried a meal service like B l u e A p r o n, which service was your favorite and why? I’m not opposed to trying a vegetarian service. I’m single and live alone, fwiw.

    • HelloFresh. The recipes are a little bit simpler and thus faster/require fewer pans than Blue Apron. I also thought there was a greater diversity of types of dishes. I used the vegetarian options for both, though, so YMMV in terms of non-veg plans.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Sunbasket. High quality food, interesting recipes. Blue Apron is good, but packaging quality was pretty low and leaked (two weeks in a row) and the recipes were a little basic. Good, but basic.

    • I’ve tried Plated, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Purple Carrot, and I would say Purple Carrot is my favorite. Here’s a quick assessment of each.

      Plated – probably the tastiest and most interesting dishes but was the most time consuming. Didn’t cut down on the amount of prep and cooking time.
      Blue Apron – my least favorite of all the meals. Might be good choices for families because the meals are kind of basic.
      Hello Fresh – Quick prep time. Meals were decent. Wasn’t a fan of the vegetarian options they offered – they were heavy on the dairy.
      Purple Carrot – Expanded my repertoire of vegetables and vegetarian/vegan dishes. Meals are quick and they send you pre-chopped vegetables where appropriate (like this past week it included chopped rutabagas) and that has been a big time saver and very much appreciated addition.

      One of my biggest complaints about all of the services is the amount of packaging. Purple Carrot seems to use the least amount of packaging but I still wish it were less.

    • Have a long comment in moderation. Check back later.

    • Anonymous :

      Sun Basket is my favorite. Lots of flavor in the recipes, especially if you like international cuisines, and it doesn’t feel like they fill you up with cheap carbs. Actually, the reason I’m using it now is because they have a lot of paleo options and it’s much easier than trying to meal plan tasty paleo dinners myself.

    • Also live alone– I get HungryRoot. It’s vegan/gluten free and overall just very clean eating. (I’m vegetarian but not vegan/gf). It’s my favorite because everything is prepped– everything is ready in under 20 minutes, most under 10 (so this works best if you’re like me and just looking for healthy easy meals and not actually into trying new recipes/cooking.)

    • Anonymous :

      Marleyspoon and Sun Basket.

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