Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: 7th Avenue Split-Neck Popover Blouse

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

New York & Company has a bunch of these split-neck blouses right now, and they’re all very highly reviewed. This floral one is really pretty, and I think it’s wearable underneath suits, and with trousers, etc. — there are a lot of different options. They’re all machine washable and around $30. This one’s on sale for $24.97. Pictured: 7th Avenue Split-Neck Floral Popover Blouse

Here’s a plus-size option at Nordstrom.

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  1. I posted yesterday about my graduation with difficult divorced parents. My husband is also graduating from grad school (different school, different day) and he’s estranged from his family which doesn’t really bother him. My mom thinks that this is a huge deal and he needs people to cheer him on. It’s a nice thought, and even though she’s demanding and codependent, we said okay. Next thing I know, she’s talking to me about how I need to make arrangements for her, her husband (who likes to take charge of everything and inappropriately insert himself into situations) and their daughter to attend. Now, I don’t like her husband but I would generally tolerate him. The issue is that all of these people are independently very high maintenance, and that increases exponentially when they’re all together.

    I want to say something along the lines of “your desire to support DH is very sweet and we appreciate it. But all three of you guys is a lot of pressure and really stressful for us to deal with. We’d really prefer a smaller group”

    But I don’t know what to say. She’ll make it into a thing about how I hate my stepdad and I’m a bad person. There’s literally no way to minimize the fallout other than giving her exactly what she wants, which I’m not willing to do. No matter what I say, she’ll assume that we hate her and her family and/or don’t love Jesus or something equally irrational. They were verbally abusive to me as child, and while we have a cordial relationship now, I’m not willing to accommodate her very much, and she tends to get very nasty with me and accuse me of being a liar, cheater, selfish etc terrible person.

    Can someone tell me what to say? We’re cool with preferably one or maybe even two of them. But all three of them are very hard to manage and out of the question for me. My mom does come by herself to things frequently, so I didn’t expect this to by default turn into the whole family inviting themselves. What do I say? What do I do?

    • Can you say that tickets to the graduation are limited?

      • That’s what I was going to suggest. I remember my undergrad ceremony only had 4 tickets per graduate.

    • You should never have invited her. Of course she expects to bring her husband. Have some back bone!!! This is your husband’s day, do not let your family ruin it for him. Call her back tell her you changed your minds, made other plans, and she can’t come.

      • +1

      • I know, believe me. I realized how dumb it was after it morphed into her inviting other people. FWIW, she invites random people to things too sometimes, not just her husband. And she also comes alone sometimes, so it seemed reasonable. Obviously I made a huge judgment error, and you are right. *sigh*

    • You ask your husband what he wants, and you do that.

      And yeah… you can’t really say, ok you can come mom (the worst of the bunch?) and you can’t bring your family… can you? There’s just no way to say that.

      What does your husband want?

      I love the idea of limited tickets. Just say husband has already given tix to his close friends/mentors.

      Can I say, just reading your email stresses me out. Have you ever had a chance to speak with a health care professional about your family issues? It helps tremendously, let me tell you….

      • RedLeather :

        Agreed. Also, you say they were verbally abusive to you as a child, but it really sounds like they still are verbally abusive to you. You don’t deserve this, OP.

    • Put the onus on her. Tell her that you are too busy to make arrangements for them and that there is not enough room for them to stay with you.

    • There’s a subreddit you may relate to:

    • Comment lost in moderation, but i found a subreddit really helpful and it sounds like you could relate–it’s called Raised by Narcissists. Reading through others experiences there made me have a lot of “aha” moments about my father.

    • “Mom, we decided to just do H and I for his graduation. I appreciate your offer to cheer him on, but we’re going to keep this to just the two of us.” Then move on the next topic. If she keeps going “Mom, this is the decision we’ve made and I’d appreciate your support. I’m not going to discuss it further”. And then hang up if she can’t get off the topic.

      You can’t avoid fall-out. You aren’t going to make her happy. It’s going to feel weird knowing she’s going to be upset, but that her issue, not yours.

      • Senior Attorney :


        It was a mistake to invite her and the best option in a bunch of poor options is to undo the mistake.

  2. This blouse is actually super pretty online. I’d be curious if anyone has in-person experience with it?

    Last night we accidentally bought Trader Joes Asiago Peppercorn Sourdough bread, instead of the regular sourdough. Man I regret this mistake, because it’s going to be so hard to go back to regular bread after this. It’s SO good.

  3. Wild Chicken :

    My assistant’s daughter is graduating high school next week, and I’d like to get her a gift. My assistant has been struggling financially (single mom, no other support), so I imagine money would be the most practical, but that seems a little impersonal. That said, I don’t want to get her something completely useless. She isn’t going away to college so doesn’t need dorm things. Please give me your suggestions, Hive.

    • Gift cards? Bag that she can use for school/work?

    • Anonymous :

      What are her plans? Will she be getting her own place at all?

      You could get her a small wrapped present, but I bet $100 gift card to Target would be more appreciated.

      • We’ve given lots of graduation gifts to people in similar circumstances, and we do “useful book” plus cash.

        • I like this. Maybe a personal finance book, like “Get a Financial Life,” plus some cash.

        • The best grad gift I got (I still have it 18 years later) was a small toolkit – screwdriver (phillips and flat head), pliers, wrench, small hammer, and an exacto knife. Came in a small zippered case. Small, compact and useful items you might not think to bring to college.

        • Please make sure book is actually useful. I received many a “useful book” that ended up just sitting on my shelf. (Most of the stuff in the traditional books is all over the internet now.)

          Otherwise you’re better off just getting an enjoyable book… or upping the cash by $20.

          • True, but when you give a book to a young person, sometimes part of the gift is telling the young person what you think should be important to them.

      • Wild Chicken :

        She’s going to community college and will be continuing to live with her mom for the time being.

    • Maybe an amazon gift card, or if your local mall has gift cards that could be used at any retailer?

      I think this is too personal probably for you, but when I graduated from college, an Aunt of mine took me to an upscale hair salon and paid for me to have my cut and color done really nicely- it felt like a great fresh start before I started my new job.

    • Trapper Keeper? :

      I like to do a tangible/spendable combo on something like this. A cute necklace, bracelet, etc in the $25 range and a gift card or cash.

    • What's a Zoodle :

      I’d do Amazon gift card. If she’s going to college in the fall, maybe a gift card to her college bookstore (which is more fun).

    • Second the ideas for a Target or Amazon card- something that can be used on school stuff or on general life stuff, but want to add a suggestion for a diploma frame for a gift to go along with the gift card. These tend to be pricier than standard frames, and a lot of people won’t or can’t afford to buy them for themselves, but it’s a nice way to give a somewhat practical gift that acknowledges the accomplishment of graduating.

      • Does anyone really frame their high school diploma, though?

        • Never too many shoes... :

          That is a really interesting question. I did not.

        • I know a good many people who have, especially if they weren’t pursuing higher education or if graduating high school was a particularly notable accomplishment for them. My school was in a rural, low-income area and many of my classmates were the first in their families to get a diploma of any kind. Obviously this isn’t the case with Wild Chicken, but I framed mine for the memories even though I knew I would go on to get advanced degrees afterwards and I really like having it displayed instead of in storage somewhere.

    • +1 for an Amazon gift card and a note that they sell textbooks.

    • It’s maybe out of date but I was a poor kid heading off to college and a couple who were friends of my parents gave me a dictionary with a $50 bill taped inside. They also inscribed the dictionary with best wishes for me (before then I’d never known people wrote in books like that.) The dictionary was titled “College Dictionary,” which made it more exciting and official for me.

      The neckace my parents gave me for HS graduation is long gone, but I still have the dictionary.

    • anon a mouse :

      My cousin was in a similar situation (living at home and going to local community college) and the thing she wanted most was gas cards, followed by Target cards.

  4. Help me. I’m hurting.
    My husband told me yesterday about an 18 month affair he had with a woman he met online. They mostly chatted and texted but spoke on the phone numerous times. They had virtual “gardening” several times. They met once in March of this year when she was in town for business. They met for coffee and kissed once. He was so remorseful, he texted her the next day and called it off.
    The root of this is some complex insecurity, low self esteem and attention-seeking behavior. She made him feel smart. But he says he spent the last month and half soul searching and seems genuinely remorseful. He wants to make the marriage work. He volunteered to see a therapist and also go to couples therapy if I would be amenable.
    I have known about his insecurities for a long time but did my best to give him attention and make him feel I valued him and loved him. We have been married 10 years. He is my best friend and the love of my life. I can’t change that I have two Ivies or that I made more than him for the majority of our marriage. I never intended to make him feel “less” of any kind – and he says I didn’t. But I am doubting myself. He says he was immature and insecure and wants to work on himself and our marriage. He was so honest and sorry yesterday, I am inclined to believe him.
    We have two kids – toddler and newborn. Half of this emotional affair happened when I was pregnant.
    Despite all this and my rage and disbelief, I want to make it work. Am I being naive? How do I get over my distrust and feelings of betrayal? I am going to start journaling again and maybe see a therapist of my own first to work through my emotions and reactions. Any advice and stories from the other side would be greatly appreciated.

    • Anonymous :

      Stop. Right now. Your selfish husband cheated on you for over a year while you were pregnant. This has nothing to do with your education or income and everything to do with him being scum. You should be furious. You should have rage. Yes, you might be able to work through this. But not by brushing past it and making excuses for a man who cheated on you while you were pregnant. You don’t get over your feelings of distrust anytime soon because they are valid. He lied to you every day for nearly two years. Go to therapy yourself. Focus on what you want. He’s made it clear that he isn’t worthy of your trust.


        I’ve lived through this, and my marriage survived it, but Hurting, it was the worst effing experience of my life. Your husband just set off a bomb in the middle of your world, and trust me, you will never be the same.

        Ok, so first off, there’s something called TRICKLE TRUTH that’s text book confessing from the betrayer. He’ll tell you details–it will leave you in a sobbing heap on the floor–and he will hold back on the rest of it until later. So the “just a kiss, I swear!” story can change to this whole crazy physical-let’s-run-away! affair. He’s testing the waters. (I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes and saying, “No! He was so broken and honest last night! I have the whole truth!” This jaded wife can only pat your hand and say, “Maybe.”)

        Second–why now? If he got away with it, why is he confessing now? Was she pressuring him to leave you? Threatening to tell you, so he decided to get to you first? The why is important.

        Third–if you two can afford it, HE NEEDS TO GTFO. He can go be remorseful and figure out his feelings in his own apartment/friend’s couch/Mom’s guest bedroom. You need space to get angry and figure out what YOU want to do, not worry about where he’s at. He effed up, he moves out, YOU decide how this marriage will go forward.

        Big, big hugs. You are so not alone in this. There are many of us–it’s just not something that’s openly talked about.

        • I am so sorry. This would destroy me.

          Agree he needs to go, for now.

          Also agree that you need to understand the, “why now?” Maybe she was threatening to tell you. Most of the time they don’t confess until they’re about to get caught. Maybe she’s moving to town.

          Can the kids go stay with grandma for a few days while you also get some space to yourself? Go see a best friend in another state, etc.?

          With time, you’ll know if you can really move past this betrayal. You might not be able to, and it’s best to be honest about that and not waste time at the pretense. My friend let a cheating spouse back in for the sake of the kids, and she HATES him. Cannot move past it, fumes every time he’s 5 minutes late getting home because she assumes its an affair, gets suspicious whenever he’s on the computer – sometimes the trust and respect are just gone, for good.

          Another friend let her husband back, but her entire family hates him and every holiday / birthday gathering is miserable. You might be able to forgive him but your family likely won’t – give some thought to whether or not you even want to tell them about it, if you’re seriously thinking that you want to stay with him.

          • Logistically, taking on solo-parenting, whether for a short stint or a more prolonged period, is really really hard, especially with a newborn and toddler. But I agree that space may be important. My suggestion would be to have your SO find another place to stay for a period of time and have a close friend or family member come stay with you for however long they can or you need. At the same time, throw all concerns of “bad habits” to the wind. If it easier to have toddler and newborn co-sleep with you, cool. If you need to cereal for dinner every night for a week, do it.

        • I’m very interested in your comment because you say you lived through this – but also that your marriage survived it.

          Is that because ultimately you made the decision that you wanted to work through it and rebuild?

          • Yes. I decided to stay after he showed me that he was a changed, better man. It was his decision, really. I just had to accept him back.

            My husband proved to me that he was broken, remorseful, and willing to do anything to fix our marriage/family. When I caught him, I went to our church pastors and asked for help (after kicking him out). The pastors and a few elders surrounded my husband and really worked with him, and us, and what impressed me was that my husband had to confess and admit to humiliating, terrible things and say, “After everything I’ve done, I don’t deserve to be married to you, and you have every reason to leave me, but I love you and want to stay married to you.” Everyone at church knew, and he continued to go and sit by himself a few pews behind me. He continued to show up, no matter how I was raging or ignored him, no matter how embarrassing it had to be for him. He was willing to crawl through the dust and do the work, and he accepted 100% responsibility. (I’m in awe of him, because I know I wouldn’t have the strength to do what he did.)

            After he 1.) immediately ditched the other woman, 2.) fully confessed to everything, 3.) realized the horror of what he had done and how it had hurt me, our family, our children, and God, 4.) felt 100% broken and remorseful, and 5.) asked me for forgiveness and a 2nd chance to prove himself worthy of me…he moved back in and we renewed our vows.

            If I had kept him in the house, or blamed myself for him cheating and made excuses for him, he never would have realized the importance of what he did. Our marriage could have limped on, but would we have been healed? Would we have come back with a strong marriage, or would we have turned into two cold and distant people co-parenting?

            I don’t believe there can be real reconciliation without 100% remorse from the spouse who cheated.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          +100 million to everything Jax said. A very close friend of mine went through this exact thing and it happened exactly like Jax said…here are the details, oh wait, maybe there were some more, oh, there was also this one other time. They managed to make it through but it was awful and very hard at times (and still is at times and they are years past it now). And I also agree that you cannot get anything clear in your own head, OP, unless he is not there for a while.

          Above all, I am sorry you are going through this. If it were me (and this is what I told my friend), I would throw him out and never look back, but ymmv obviously.

    • Sassyfras :

      So I may be in the minority here, but I don’t think that cheating is an unforgivable offense. Especially since he came clean to you about it and is willing to go to therapy. Individual therapy for both of you, couples counseling too. And I think he needs to be willing to be very open with his phone/email and give you permission to check whenever you want… not that you necessarily have to, but I would want him to be willing. Hugs to you and hoping you two can find your way out of this together.

      • I know several married couples whose relationships have survived infidelity.

      • This.

        I’m pretty surprised at earlier posters telling OP how she should feel. Whether she feels mad or sad or whatever the emotion is, that’s up to her. Her feelings aren’t ‘wrong’ just because

        He’s remorseful and you want to be with him. He told you about it and ended it on his own. Both of which are good signs.

        It will be a long process to heal your marriage but it is possible. I would encourage you to start by seeking counselling together. I’ve been married ten years and we’ve had a rocky period since the birth of our third child. Couples counselling has been worth it. It’s been tough but I love that I am in a place where I look forward to creating a lifetime of memories with my husband. He’s the right person for me and it was worth it to work through our issues. We did counselling with a Gottman trained counselor. Highly recommend.

        This is a great article :

        • Pushback: I don’t think she’s required to feel any certain way, but I don’t think it’s at all healthy or grounded in reality for her to blame herself (which was suggested in her post) for any of his disrespectful behavior. Because that’s really what infidelity is — a choice to not respect your partner, whether a woman does it, or a man does (absent any agreement to the contrary, of course, which is not infidelity).

          My concern is not that she wants to be with him, or that she believes his remorse. My issue is her second-guessing herself because of his behavior. I think this is a natural reaction, but it lets him off the hook and places the blame on her for not being enough, not tending to his insecurities enough, etc. when he’s a grown man and has agency and the ability to control his own actions. I don’t think her emotions are “wrong” but I do think it’s helpful to hear “Hey, listen: you’re not to blame for his bad behavior” when she is not in fact, responsible for his bad behavior.

          OP: I do agree with above posters that he is not presently worthy of your trust, but I also think trust can be regained, though it’s a hard and tough road (made especially difficult because of the length and emotional nature of this particular affair). I second suggestions for couple’s therapy, individual therapy for you, and your husband seeing his own counselor to work on his issues.

          Good luck to you.

          • Totally agree that “Hey, listen: you’re not to blame for his bad behavior” is helpful but the tenor of a lot of the posts wasn’t that, it was – He’s scum/he needs to GTFO/this happened by friend and she hates her husband. OP wasn’t expressing any of those things – she said wants it to work or telling her that she should be furious isn’t helpful.

            When I had a newborn and a toddler, I would have sent my DH to the guest room or basement couch but having to deal with my mom or another relative in my house when dealing with this would have been harder than continuing to co-parent. with existing routines in place. She isn’t naive or not standing up for herself if she allows him to stay in the home.

          • I don’t disagree with you, Anonymous, and thank you for clarifying.

            I agree that things are complicated by two children, but I *do* think that she can’t just act like everything is fine and carry on with him in the bed next to her. I don’t know that I would be furious if my husband did what hers did, so I agree that telling her she “should” feel X way is unhelpful. But I also would create space (however that’s feasible) for him to realize, as Jax noted above, how what he did affected our relationship/my feelings.

            She’s not naive if she doesn’t kick him out — but it could make it harder, depending on their personalities, for them to get the space/time they both need to make it work.

            But that’s just my two cents. I think the only naive thing she could do is just continue on as if it didn’t happen, given the totality of the circumstances.

    • Anonymous :

      This has nothing to do with your degrees and income and his insecurity. Do not take responsibility for this. He did it. He chose to do it.

      It sounds like maybe you two have a pattern of him feeling really bad about himself and you doing a lot to make him feel better about himself? Don’t bring that pattern into this situation.

      • AnonMidwest :

        Agreed. The first and most important thing HE needs to learn is that confidence and self-esteem are both internal and it’s fundamentally unhealthy to rely completely on your partner to make you feel that way.

        An externalized source of self-esteem is bound to fail the person seeking it.

      • I think anyone who says things like “I have two Ivies” is probably not a great fit for someone who is insecure. That comment almost sounded troll-like in its ridiculousness.

    • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I agree with your instinct to start with a therapist on your own. You need to process your own feelings about this before you start working toward rebuilding trust with your co-parent (regardless of what happens with the marriage).

      Some people, including your husband it seems, might try to minimize the affair because “nothing happened,” i.e., no physical LGPs. That’s BS. First, I’m not convinced that it’s true – she came into town after a 1.5 year affair and they only had coffee? That… seems improbable. Sorry. Second, even if he’s telling the truth, the duration of the affair suggests that it was pretty serious. He was basically in a LDR. Whether anything physical happened is secondary. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being too hard on him because the affair wasn’t “real” enough. You’re entitled to feel how you feel.

    • Anonymous :

      My sister went through this. Something like my ex-BIL was not the cool kid growing up and was insecure and when he was a surgeon he was all of a sudden a rock star (not sure why it took after the 4th kid to cheat though) and he really liked feeling like a rock star instead of coming home to a house full of kids and not getting to watch college football 24/7 when not at work.

      I’m sorry that this happened. If he can fix what is going on with himself and you want to fix your marriage, you probably can and will. But a lot of this will be him fixing him and deciding does he want to do the wrong thing or the right thing by his wife and family. If he does and you do, that is a choice you get to make and I hope you will all be better after the storm has passed.

    • Anonymous :

      I read way too much Page 6. But I remember when Peter Cook cheated on Christie Brinkley. Christie Brinkley!!! Cheating isn’t a reflected on the cheated-on person at all. It’s about the cheater.

      See also: Anthony Weiner. That guy who used to be governor of SC. Ad infinitum.

      • Sassyfras :

        +1. This is absolutely not about you.

      • Yay! Fruegel Friday’s! I love fruegel fridays and this blouse, Kat — great find, though the split top is what makes it difficult for me b/c it is an open invitation for Frank’s pencil. FOOEY b/c it is fruegel and I could otherwise wear it to work, but for his weird focus on my boobies.

        Anyway, I agree with the OP. Men cheat on us no matter how pretty we are. In my book I could NEVER understand how that guy cheated on Christie Brinkley, or Weiner on Huma Abedin, tho I suppose if they stopped being s-xueal, these men could have wanted another place to park their male s-x organs, and evidently did.

        I do feel badly for us women when this happens. Men are very s-xueally orientated, and when we are preganant, they must feel that they need some other outlet, and find it in another woman. FOOEY, b/c I, at least, do NOT find anything attractive about another man’s manhood.

        I read that a late nite TV host is getting in troubel with the FCC b/c he made some comment about Trump and Putin and it was to s-xueal in nature for TV. Does anyone in the HIVE know about this?

        I am goieng to the HAMTONS on Saturday to open up the manageing partner’s house. It is to cold to swim, but he wants the place ready for his big Memorial Day weekend party, and I am the partner in charge of that party. FOOEY! It is suposed to rain all day on Saturday, but he does NOT care b/c it is goieng to be an inside event. YAY!!!

      • I have to draw attention to Mark Sanford (former SC gov) as an example of women getting the $h*tty end of the deal in these situations. After basically paying for him to run for office, Jenny Sanford had to put her kids through a very public divorce, was dragged by her husband for wanting custody of the kids, and he got elected to the US House of Representatives just 3 years later. After using state money to fly to Argentina because he couldn’t keep it in his pants. Men get such a pass in these situations! Working the marriage out may be a good thing, but you have EVERY RIGHT to be angry!

    • Anonymous :

      Yikes! That was close call. Good thing the actual physical contact woke him up. I’ve felt the gut punch of cheating before, as well as the experience of single-parenting. I wouldn’t wish either one on you. One hurts terribly for a short while. The other is a lifetime of logistical difficulties, trying to play both “comforter” and “enforcer” roles at the same time, and your kids’ pain that dad left because they weren’t good enough.

      Don’t fall into the trap of trying to figure out who’s at fault for what here. You have the partner you have or you have (I assume) no one. Focus on what needs to change for you to move forward together. That’s probably the route your therapist will take anyway.

      Did you see the comments yesterday to the person wondering if she should do a summer share with a guy she’d been with for a year? You might want to take a look. There is a guy in our town who advertises with signs that have the phrase “Harvard Law grad” and a picture of his grinning, middle aged face. When ever I see those signs I think to myself “Really? Is that all you got? So many years ago and you haven’t accomplished anything sense?” It must be a nice experience, the way you guys don’t forget it, but it’s time to get into your life now–job, husband, kids. Follow your college friends on social media, go to reunions if you want to, but don’t mistake them for your life now.

      Good luck, and all the best to your kids, who likely feel the stress between you and your husband even if you don’t fight in front of them

      • Shots. Shots. Shots. :

        What?!? Literally what?!? You’re blaming her because she went to an Ivy League school? No. Nope nope nope.

        Girl. Join me. I’m great at pond scum husbands. I can help you tap into your rage. You know you wanna take a Louisville slugger to both his headlights.

        • No problem with her having gone to an Ivy, but why does she bring it up now? If her husband had gone through with the affair, that would have been a wrong reaction, but thinking she’s superior to him because her high school self got into a fancy school can’t be easy to live with. Again, the reaction he nearly did is absolutely not appropriate, but it’s not like there was nothing to react to.

          As for calling her husband names–really not helpful to describe the one guy who is as invested in their kids as she is “scum”. They’ve both got to come to terms with things, not toss around ad hominems.

          • Because he has made it an issue throughout their marriage. On what planet do you see her thinking she is superior???! She hasn’t said or suggested anything of the sort.

            I cannot fathom you blaming her because he cheated on her while she was pregnant.

            You cheat on your pregnant wife? You’re scum. And worse.

          • OMG STOP. She mentioned it to give perspective on why he is/is going to try to blame her for something that was SOLELY HIS DECISION.


          • What about “wrong reaction” is hard for you to grasp?

          • Agree that it was very odd she brought up “Ivies”. As someone with multiple degrees from “Ivies”…. my friends and I never refer to them this way and I thought this post might be a troll for that comment. Who says that? Judgement much….?

            So if you aren’t a troll, perhaps you need to identify what is going on here.

            I couldn’t forgive my husband for doing what yours did, but am always a fan of therapy.

          • You are so off base. She’s bringing it up, as Anonymous above me said, because HE feels insecure about her making more money and having gone to an Ivy. She describes him as her best friend. She wants it to work. She has told us nothing at all that makes her sound like she views herself more highly than him based upon her education.

            Stop bringing your own baggage into this and blaming her for his decision to disrespect her and their children.

          • She’s bringing it up because he feels insecure about it, or he feels insecure about it because she brings it up? If she brought it up here, how do you know she doesn’t let it be known at home too?
            No, what he did isn’t acceptable, but don’t act like she’s perfect either.

          • And this right here is what I was talking about in my post above: “If he had gone through with the affair….”

            He DID go through with the affair. He carried on a romantic relationship with another woman for 1.5 years during his marriage to OP. Whether PIV actually happened is totally beside the point.

          • @ tribble – just because your definition of cheating says that PIV vs. a kiss is irrelevant doesn’t mean that’s how OP feels. To me, and I suspect many other women, – a kiss vs PIV is a totally different ballgame so it’s not “totally beside the point”

          • Are you being deliberately obtuse or are you just incapable of reading comprehension and abstract thinking?

            She only mentioned her degrees as examples of things that her husband (in her view, wrongfully) feels insecure about. There IS nothing to react to. There’s NO evidence that she thinks she’s superior. Rather, it’s the HUSBAND who thinks she’s superior. That’s his problem, not hers. You are deliberately misrepresenting what she said so you can call her “not easy to live with.” You must be a real treat.

            Second, you misrepresented tribble’s point. Sure, it’s up to OP to decide how different kiss v. PIV is to her in terms of the definition of cheating, but OP’s husband carried on a romantic relationship– complete with emotions–which means that this is more than just a kiss. A totally different ballgame, you might say. That’s what tribble was getting at.

          • @Anonymous — the issue isn’t kiss vs PIV. The issue is the romantic relationship. That’s more a betrayal than either a kiss or PIV. As you say, I suspect many woman feel that a romantic relationship, regardless of physical contact, is a whole different ballgame than just a physical indiscretion.

          • sorta been there :

            I don’t think the OP should be criticized for mentioning her degrees from the Ivies. I’m going to give her the benefit of the doubt that it is her husband who has made that a significant dynamic in their relationship. She is describing her relationship reality and her educational background isn’t something she can change. I was married to a man who was insecure with me being a lawyer and having one more degree than he did. He didn’t affirmatively address it, but often when I asked him normal questions he would respond “You can’t cross examine me — we’re not in court.” Totally his problem, but symptomatic of our bad relationship.

      • I suspect there may be some — or much — trolling going on in this thread.

      • “The other is a lifetime of logistical difficulties, trying to play both “comforter” and “enforcer” roles at the same time, and your kids’ pain that dad left because they weren’t good enough.”

        Okay. Lets not make the OP feel worse than she already does. She is going to need a lot of help if she does end up getting a divorce, but it sounds like she’s in a very good place to be able to hire help if necessary. It’s not like she works at McDonalds and has two kids and has to do everything on her own and is really totally screwed. No matter what happens, she is going to be okay.

        ALSO my dad cheated on my mom. I didn’t think it was because I wasn’t good enough. I thought it was because he was a selfish jerk. So, you’re jumping to a lot of conclusions.

        • If you never thought the reason your dad left was because of you somehow, then good for you–you avoided a very, very common thing that kids go through when their parents split. Took over ten years to surface with my kid, but it did eventually come up.

          • It is common, but that doesn’t mean that OP should stay if the relationship isn’t working.

            My parents are still together. They hate each other. I do not have a relationship with my mother, and it affects my ability to have a relationship with my dad, because they still live together.

            That is to say: having divorced parents isn’t the only trauma a kid can go through when parents don’t get along.

        • Hired help is NOT the same as family love.

          • I’m aware of of that.

            I’m just wondering what the point of saying all that stuff to her is? He’s cheated on her. They’re either going to get divorced or they’re not. It’s water under the bridge. Them getting back together isn’t necessarily going to be any better than them splitting up, so I’m not sure why it’s helpful to tell her how awful her life is going to be and how damaged her kids are going to be.

          • Nor is it awesome to be raised by two people who resent and hate each other. Ask me how I know.

    • Suggest you post on moms site for more responses given that you’re trying to figure this out while parenting newborn and toddler.

    • Hugs. I’ve been there too while pregnant and with a 4 year old. Because of our circumstances we couldn’t afford to physically separate but did go to intense couple’s counselling. I wanted a divorce but couldn’t afford it. We did get over it, but it took a long time so I’m not really sure I’d recommend it.

    • I’m so sorry, Hurting. You’re getting a lot of advice, so I won’t weigh in except to say: you don’t have to make any decisions right now. (((((()))))))

    • Thank you all. You’ve given me a lot to think and talk about individually and collectively during therapy. To clarify, rationally, I know that my education and my income did not drive his decisions. He consciously decided to lie to me and betrayed my trust. I know that. In a moment of weakness, I I brought up my degrees – they have been a source of acknowledged insecurity (on his part) in the past. Grandparents are here to help me with the kids and my husband is going to be working out of town for a few weeks. We will have some space to figure things out. I am going to start therapy to figure out my emotions. I want to believe I am stronger than this and hopefully, that my marriage will survive this. Maybe not in its current form which may be for the best. Even after therapy, if we can’t make it work, I will rationally assess my options then. Thank you for your kind words and thoughts.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Simple question-why do you want to make it work?

      • I really think that’s an incredibly complicated question.

        As someone who was cheated on when we had a one year old at home after 7 years of marriage, nothing about it was simple.

  5. Need to Improve :

    Ladies: I need to get from East Hampton to Fire Island, won’t have a car, and my Google searching has been unhelpful. Has anyone done this and what is the best way? I would even take Lyft or Uber part of the way if it makes it easier. Thanks!

  6. Does everyone hate their psychiatrist as much as I do mine? Seriously wondering if I should find someone else or if this is par for the course.

    • Sassyfras :

      No… find someone else who you click with.

    • MargaretO :

      I have really struggled to find a good one and just get my prescriptions from my PCP (who I love) now that I have settled on a medication and dose I like. I’m on something pretty simple so this works for, YMMV. Don’t keep seeing someone you hate, but if you can’t find anyone you really like, you are far from alone.

    • Find someone new! Having a therapist you click with will change your life like therapy is supposed to! Unfortunately, with my lousy insurance, I had to pay out of pocket for an amazing psychologist and just got my meds from my PCP like another poster.

      • MargaretO :

        Yeah I will add above that my PCP is excellent and I also pay a pretty hefty amount of money for a therapist I love – I wouldn’t feel comfortable with this arrangement otherwise (and neither would my PCP). In my mind a good psychologist is much more important than a prescribing psychiatrist who you see for 15 minutes quarterly. You definitely shouldn’t hate them but as long as you are getting the medication you need the psychologist is a much more important relationship.

        • Can I ask what the ballpark of a “hefty amount” is? I just switched insurance and I’m going to have to pay out of pocket until I hit the deductible. I was lucky to only pay the copay before so I have no idea what an average session runs.

          • *switched insurance AND moved so I need to find a new therapist (which is why I can’t just ask the one I had been seeing)

          • I paid $140 per session. DC area.

    • I actually like my psychiatrist, so it’s possible. That said, without knowing why you dislike yours it’s hard to advise you whether it’s necessary to make the switch. What makes you dislike him/her?

    • No, but my therapist recently overreacted to a crying episode and she claimed to be unaware of the fact that depression is a factor in an increased risk for heart disease. Crying is a common symptom of depression, and I avoid it because I have to return to work afterward. The trust I had is not the same.

    • Why do you hate your psychiatrist?

      I have mild resentment for my therapist because I find our sessions really challenging and she pushes me to confront difficult truths about myself. That said, that is literally what I’m paying her to do and our time together has helped me so much. She’s a lovely person and the only reason I have this resentment is that my brain associates my time with her with emotional discomfort. (I view therapy the same way I often view going to the gym when I’d rather lay around, or eating a salad instead of mac and cheese – I know it’s good for me but uuugghhh.)

      • OP here. It just totally feels like he doesn’t “get” me. I’ll tell him I’m struggling with an issue that’s at the base of my field and he tells me not to think about it. I tell him I’m distracted by thoughts about crap that happened 10-20 years ago and he prescribes Ritalin. I figured that out before the end of that appt, and found out that “ruminations” is the word for what I was describing. Like really? He can’t pay attention to what I’m saying, instead of acting like a resume reading app that searches for keywords?

        • I know someone in real life who is a psychiatrist and I very much suspect she’s just like that with her patients — her reviews suggest it too. Honestly this guy just isn’t very good at what he does and gives simple “don’t think about it” or “let me write you a script” solutions bc that’s all he knows how to do. It’s no different than any other doctor — some aren’t as good as others. Find another one.

        • I agree that you should find someone you like. But, on your last point, if you mean that he wrote “ruminations” in his notes, I might not worry about that. I have a family member who is a therapist, and she intentionally writes vague notes. She feels like it protects the confidentiality of the information if her client’s mental health records are one day discoverable in litigation (personal injury suits, divorces, etc., where mental health is sometimes at issue). She wants to be able to produce a document that says something like “ruminations” and then honestly testify that she does not remember what her client was ruminating about in a therapy session two and a half years ago.

      • This is EXACTLY how I feel about therapy. It’s work–exhausting work–and I would almost always do something else.

  7. Mystery water bottle :

    My daughter, who is 3.5, has her sweet little heart set on buying me this “amazing water bottle! You push a button and water comes out; you don’t push the button and the water stops! I saw it on TV! You’ll love it” as a Mother’s Day gift.

    Of course, we have no idea what this water bottle is. And none of the ones DH has found are right. Kid only watches PBS and every so often Nick Jr, though we were recently on vacation and she watched JetBlueTV.

    Any idea what this waterbottle might be?! FWIW I would actually love a water bottle for Mother’s Day :-).

    • Mystery solved? :

      I saw the Contigo advertised on TV just last night, so maybe it was that?

      • Mystery water bottle :

        Oh I bet it is! I have a contigo coffee mug like that, but the contigo water bottles I have are just like camelbaks with a spout. And I had no idea they advertised on TV.

        You saved my DH countless hours of misery, THANK YOU!!!

      • I think this is it! I watched the same ad with my 3.5 year old who was equally mesmerized, and I could not have told you what it is called.

      • Yes this is definitely it. The ad shows the bottle moving along upside down, button pressed, water pouring out, laptop approaches, button unpressed, water stops immediately

    • Minimoon in Chicago :

      Okay this is so adorable. Thanks for giving me something to smile about this morning!

      • Seriously. My ice cold heart just melted. This is adorable.

      • Mystery Water Bottle :

        Glad to be of service. She’s also told my husband that Mother’s Day is a holiday that requires a cake, and he must help her make one. Can’t argue with that!

        • She seems . . . assertive.

          • Which is great! She sounds like a fabulous kid.

          • She’s exhibiting leadership skills. Don’t go there with the bossy/assertive thing.

          • Yeah yeah leadership skills are great in the real world — but I don’t need my 3.5 yr old telling me I need to bake a cake or whatever. Call it as I see it — “assertive.”

          • Mystery Water Bottle :

            Clearly you haven’t spent much time around preschoolers :-).

            Her bossiness is tempered by the fact that she only likes vanilla cake, but put chocolate mix and frosting on the list, because I like it more. And DH was easy to convince that this is a holiday warranting cake!

          • She does seem assertive, and that’s awesome!

          • In a 3.5 year old’s world, having an opinion on how Mother’s Day is celebrated is her “real world.” If she does not practice this skills — speaking her mind on what is appropriate — at the age of 3.5, when do you expect her to learn that skill. If not in her own home with her own parents, when and where? This is her world. And, she is rocking it.

            OP: We should gather our “assertive” little girls and teach them to take over the world!

          • +1 million to Betty

          • alexisfaye :

            Yes for her assertive/leadership/BEING A PERSON WITH IDEAS!!! Good for you and her dad to try and help her make them reality!!

            Dude. Being a kid is crappy. You don’t pick the food, the clothes, the parents, the house, NOTHING. I see part of my role as a parent is to give my kids as much autonomy and self-direction as possible. First, to make them better adults. Second, because life sucks when you’re just somebody else’s minion.

          • The trolls or maybe just generally unhappy people have been out in force this week. Anyone else notice an uptick in the amount of snarky, unhelpful comments?

          • nasty woman :

            Oh, are you using “assertive” in a pejorative way? Hmm. Where have I *ever* heard that before. That little ellipses makes me think you were thinking of another word… that starts with b and ends in itchy.

          • newbinlaw :

            ugh. this disgusts me. This little girl is not only clearly a proactive, intelligent little leader, but also has a kind heart. and yet….. at 3.5 years old she is already being subjected (though unknowingly) to this s*x*st BS.

            JUST STOP.

            something tells me OP, that despite people that think like Anon, she will persist :) nurture that assertiveness!

        • This is adorable.

        • You sound lovely, Anonymous. If she was throwing a tantrum because they weren’t baking a cake? Sure.

          But she’s thinking of Mom, and having opinions about how they should celebrate a holiday. Provided that Dad is on board with this activity, why does this make her “assertive” in the pejorative way you describe? You’re reading in an awful lot.

          OP: Your kid sounds amazing. I hope they find the water bottle and make you a great cake.

      • Delta Dawn :

        I agree– this is just the cutest. Thanks for this!

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Love this. My son also gets sucked into commercials so bad. It’s hilarious.

    • Yep, here it is:

    • This is super cute.

    • This pretty much encapsulates the entirety of what motherhood is like.

    • That is really cute and totally describes the contigo bottle I keep at work.

    • This is so sweet. My (much older) child did something similar. She heard me talking about possibly getting a standing desk at work, didn’t really understand I was talking about, and convinced my husband to buy me some weird overpriced laptop stand for my birthday. She was so excited to give it to me because she had put a lot of thought into it and was convinced it was something I really wanted and that I would be surprised and delighted. I was absolutely mystified and had to try very hard to hide it while thanking her for the thoughtful gift.

  8. Diminished Value Claim/formerlyPhilly :

    Seeking recommendations/advice for pursuing a Diminished Value Claim due to an auto accident. I was rear-ended last week in Morristown NJ (the other driver accepted liability and his insurance is covering all of the repairs to my vehicle estimated at $6,500). I was driving a 2016 Subaru Forester with only 12,000 miles so relatively new. If I were to try to trade-in or sell the vehicle, it’s possible that I would lose money as a result of this accident blemishing the vehicle’s history record. Would a lawyer handle the claim or does anyone know of a trusted private company/appraiser? If a lawyer, what type should I look for? I would prefer to outsource this rather than file the claim and negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company myself.

    Long time reader, first time contributor. Thank you in advance for all suggestions.

    • I am Not a lawyer but my layman’s POV is that this can’t possibly be worth your time/money- I’d think the diminished value you could claim would be in the single digit thousands ($1-3k?). You’re talking about when you one day go to sell or trade in, not selling or trading in tomorrow, right? So we’re talking about a 6+ year old used Subaru with 75k miles, comparing one with an accident on its record can one that has a clean record?

      Again, IANAL.

      • Btw this sucks, and i completely understand where you are coming from. Rarely is the party that was hit “made whole” after an accident.

      • I agree with this. Pursuing this claim is likely going to set you back more than the hard to estimate diminished value at some imaginary sale date in the future. If the car is being fixed at no cost to you and you aren’t trying to sell it tomorrow, I would let it go.

        I am a car accident magnet (I have not yet been at fault) and the thought of pursuing this type of claim has never crossed my mind. I am a lawyer FWIW.

        • There is a way that insurance companies calculate this. In some states, it is automatically part of any claim. I would make the claim directly to the insurer and see whether you can negotiate something yourself. That said, when I had $5000 worth of repair work done on my car, I got a diminished value check for about $65. YMMV.

    • I can’t imagine that it would be worth your time/the money you’d have to pay a lawyer to deal with this. I expect that most decent lawyers would tell you it’s not worth your time/money or their time. Plus, once you start getting into “ifs” and “possiblies” and “some point down the lines” your damages become speculative, which means not recoverable. I am a lawyer. I’ve done insurance defense work in the past and can’t ever recall dealing with a diminished value claim… I just don’t think that’s done.

    • My former roommate did this (she was rear-ended in her brand new luxury car…) Her dad was an insurance adjuster, I don’t know if she used an attorney, but girl was a business development PRO who could drive a hard bargain and I believe she did eventually get some compensation from the other driver’s insurance. Whether that’s worth your time and/or money? I don’t know.

      • Anonymous :

        Personal injury attorney here. With a 2016 Subaru, you may have. a a decent DV claim; 3-4k at least assuming PD was bad. That said, it’s not worth hiring an attorney. Instead, you could find a licensed public adjuster in your area to look at PD documents and do a diminished value report (usually someone affiliated with a repair shop). It absolutely is worth paying the LPA’s flat fee (usually under 1k) to do a DV report. If ins. co. refuses to pay after getting the DV report, a LPO can invoke the arbitration clause under your insurance policy (assuming you have collision), and/or fight with the ins. co. of the driver that hit you to get a fair DV settlement.

  9. I need advice. I’ve had the same supervisor for the four years I’ve been with my current company. She’s being promoted to a higher level and I’m being promoted into a different unit, so she’ll no longer my supervisor, although she’s still my superior.

    She has honestly been the best boss and most amazing mentor anyone could ask for. I’d like to write her a note…or SOMETHING. Is that weird? If one of us were leaving for a different company I’d definitely do it, but it seems odd since we’ll both still be in the same place?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Yes, write the note. While I don’t have any direct reports, I absolutely cherish notes I’ve received from colleagues. She’s probably thrilled that you’re being promoted, too!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Write the note. If it seems appropriate, copy it to her new boss. This is a huge kudo to a manager,

      • Def a note. I wouldn’t necessarily copy her new boss; you don’t know her new boss – nor does she yet. Who knows how something like that will be received. Plus if the note is of a more personal nature (since she’s also your mentor – maybe you talk about career growth and life outside of work), I’m not sure that YOU want something like that going to someone else’s new boss; plus if she’s a private kind of person, she may not want her mentoring and friendship broadcast to new bosses.

    • Absolutely write the note so she knows she made a difference in your career. And it is an opportunity for you to thank her. It will make her day.

  10. Baby Gift Ideas :

    I’m looking for a gift for a 6 mo. old … first time meeting him and would like to bring something. Possibly something with a NYC theme or a western theme. A stuffed animal? Any ideas for a baby this age?

    • Anonymous :

      A spendy board book, esp. one with any moving parts. It’s a little advanced for now, but these are the best pricey consumables.

      • Ooh! One of the best gifts my kids got was the Nina Laden Peek-a set. Peek-a-Who, Peek-a-Zoo, Peek-a-Boo, Peek-A-ChooChoo, and Grow Up. There might be more now. But my kids were both obsessed with those books!!!

      • DS loves Matthew Van Fleet’s books. They’re expensive, so make great gifts!

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yes! My daughter loves those.

          There is also a board book called Cityblock that is not specifically NYC themed, but has a lot of NYC elements.

    • How much do you want to spend? A 6 month old is sitting up and will be starting to learn to crawl in a few months, so a crawl-along toy would be great. A NYC or Western theme might be hard.

      In the $50+ range are crawl-along “cars” and “houses” that will get a good 6-9 months of use because baby can even use them when they’re learning to stand and cruise.

      In the ~$30 range are crawl tunnels with carious fancy attachments.

      Under $20, you can go for push cars or push animals that they’ll crawl after. You could go for something musical like a piano or a drum. Or you could go for a sorting toy, like those sort-shapes-into-the-holes or a really cool “farmer’s market color sorting set” on Amazon.

    • There’s a set of 4 Helen Oxenbury board books – extra tiny ones just right for baby hands – that is perfect for this. It’s a set, so it feels more luxurious than a single book, and the size makes them big hits with babies and with parents (easy to tote around!). Search for “baby love: a board book gift set” on amazon. It’s cheap, so you could easily add a stuffed horse if you want a western themed gift, too.

    • Baby Gift Ideas :

      Loving the book and push toy ideas! Thanks everyone.

    • Jellycat stuffed animals are pricy, but they are fantastic. There are also Jellycat books with parts for babies to grab or chew that are great.

      • Mystery Water Bottle :

        We love jellycat. They have cute dinosaurs, dragons, hippos, fish, etc. my daughter has and loves the alligator best.

      • My one year old gives his jelly cat bunny a big hug everytime I take it out of the toy box. So cute!

    • I’ve bought these for my niece around that age:
      New York: A Book of Colors (Hello, World) Board book
      Good Night New York City
      Urban Babies Wear Black

      At that point the books are as much for the parents’ entertainment as the kids.

    • Search on Amazon for “Estella Baby Rattle Toy, Taxi”. It’s adorable. Tiny, but the baby is tiny too, and as a parent of a newborn, I was always appreciative of restrained gifts.

    • You’ve gotten some great ideas and I don’t have anything to add. Just wanted to say that at 6 months, my son’s favorite “toy” was a lotion bottle. He also liked rubber ducks and they are great to chew on.

    • Some OOT friends who were meeting Kiddo for the first time bought him a plush stuffed alligator and a few alligator-themed books. You could do something similar — a couple of Western-themed books + a plush horse, or a couple of NYC-themed books + stuffed apple/taxi/bear with NYC t-shirt or dressed as Lady Liberty.

  11. KateMiddletown :

    We’re going to a wedding in Denver at the Botanical Gardens in June – do I need to be prepared for chilly evenings or will it stay warm-ish all day? (Also, Red Rocks or other must-see tips? We’re staying Sunday + Monday afterward to sightsee.)

    • The temperature swings are definitely bigger in Denver– say +- 20 degrees. For sure, go see Red Rocks, either a show or just go see it empty. It’s really beautiful and hard to get the full visual from pictures. If you like beer, one of my favorite bars in the world is Recess (a biergarden) in the Highlands (right across the river from downtown). If you have two full days (i.e. you’re not leaving until Tuesday) you might consider a day trip to Boulder too. The Sanitas Brewery is really fun (can you tell I love beer?). Pearl Street in Boulder, while touristy, is great for a first-timer.

    • It will definitely be chilly in the evenings (and mornings). I’ve had to buy a down vest in Vail in August due to the 45-50 degree mornings/evenings. I’d take a warm wrap – that will probably be your best bet for the wedding, afterwards, a lightweight jacket or layers would work well.

      • Anonymous :

        Denver isn’t in the high-mountain ski areas, so you won’t get as cold as if you were up higher. Be prepared for cooler evenings and mornings. Denver in July can be hot. (not humid, but searing hot sun.)

  12. Get a Second Opinion? :

    Happy Friday! Question to run by the hive – am I being a hypochondriac or should I get a second opinion?

    I have about a quarter-size lump in my lower left abdomen (right below [email protected]). It has been there at least a year. I brought it up in my well woman exam and my new gyn said that I probably just have an asymmetrical uterus and its visible because I am on the thinner side in that area. I am 26, have family history of cancer (though not ovarian) and have PCOS. The pap smear was normal but no other tests were done.

    Should I get another opinion and request further testing or am I being ridiculous? What would you do?

    • AnonMidwest :

      Absolutely get a second opinion. That first one doesn’t pass the smell test for me (not a doctor) At best look for further explanation as to why.

    • I would definitely get a second opinion. Either they say the same thing and you feel temporarily silly for wanting another opinion or they do testing and you know for sure whether to be concerned.

    • Go to a doctor. They’re there to explain symptoms and help folks monitor their health. It’s not a waste of your doctor’s time if it’s nothing, especially if you’ve been thinking about it for a year.

    • I am not a doctor, so take this FWIW (nothing?). I can see what appears to be the outline of my lady bits when I am not bloated from eating or drinking. Both sides for me. I have never asked a doc about it because to me it was just something I could see because I was skinny. Report back if you get it checked out please!

    • anon a mouse :

      Absolutely get a second opinion. It may be nothing, but it also may be something totally unrelated to your lady bits (like a hernia).

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I had a lump around that area that was about the size of a chickpea. I wouldn’t have been worried but a) it was weirdly hard and b) I have a history of ovarian cysts. They did a scan and it was just a fatty lump that went away on its own – but the scan came out to like $50 after insurance and it was worth it for peace of mind.

  13. Any tips for supporting a friend while she “finds herself?” I’m super Type A and am actually doing what I wanted to do when I was a kid, so I’m at a bit of a loss as to how to be helpful and supportive.

    My friend is much younger than I am and is only 2 years out of school and is floundering professionally. She didn’t know what she wanted to do when she graduated college, so she got a master’s…and then another. She’s now backed herself into a profession it turns out doesn’t suit her at all, but her creative hobbies aren’t realistically going to put food on the table. She’s miserable in her field and her current job is genuinely toxic. I know she needs to figure this out for herself, I’m just not sure how to be the most supportive as she works through all this for herself. My natural instinct is to suggest she make a plan to figure out where she wants to go, but she’s not wired that way.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t. She doesn’t need you to be supportive, she’s fine. She will fix this when she wants to. Be a friend, do friend things together, change the subject if she’s complaining too much.

    • She has to make some decisions about her life that she managed to delay earlier by going to school again and again. Your friend will find this upcoming transition into adult life painful and disruptive, because she’s been not-facing-it for so very, very long by continuing to do what she knew how to do and succeed in: be a student. I’d connect her with a life coach, and then take the role of a friend who cares, but only that. You don’t want to let your friend’s life crisis consume your friendship and turn it into some kind of one-way therapy relationship.

    • I’d get her the book “Quarterlife Crisis: The Unique Challenge of Life in Your Twenties” It was helpful to me when I was about two years out of college and hated my job too. It’s old, but excellent.

    • 2 yrs out of school – I imagine that’s the second masters? So that would make her 28-ish? Maybe suggest how much she should have a 401k by now and how she’s behind bc she stayed in her comfort zone of school and needs to get it together? That’s what I’d want to do. Really I’d say nothing – it’s her life to figure out; if it’s fun to hang out, hang out. If it’s her complaining all the time and you being the therapist, pull back a bit.

      • Good grief Anonymous sounds like a terrible friend.

      • What?! No! Don’t do any of this unless you want to lose a friend or she actually asks you compound her stress by pointing out she’s “behind”.

        • Note how Anonymous would WANT to say those things, but in reality would not say anything.

          Jesus – I have a relative doing the same thing as OP’s person, and these are my exact thoughts. I also don’t say anything, because they haven’t asked. And this particular piece wouldn’t be helpful.

        • Anon — the Anonymous above also made assumptions about facts not in evidence here. I.e. that she doesn’t have a 401K and isn’t providing for herself.

          All we know is she has 2 masters degrees and doesn’t like her current field and that her current job is toxic.

          If she’s supporting herself and not hurting anyone else, perhaps you shouldn’t be so judgmental. Just a thought.

    • Hail Lady Hirons :

      Anything by Brene Brown or Tara Mohr – both focus on women succeeding and “finding themselves”. Brene definitely focuses in a more researched-based way. Rising Strong in particular is about failing and persisting through tough times & staying honest and open.

  14. Blazer help :

    Anyone want to help me shop? I’d really like to find a classic navy blazer. Not part of a suit. I tried out the Brooks Brothers one, but the buttons seemed a little jangly. I suppose I could give it another look and replace the buttons. Any other thoughts? I’ve seen a lot of love for Rag and Bone here. I would be willing to a few hundred bucks to find something I can wear over and over.

    • I have a pretty great theory one I found at an outlet – cant remember if it was saks off 5th or nord rack, one of those type stores. I’ll hunt around, but check out theory.

    • I have one from J. Crew that I bought a few years ago that I love. Also recommend Theory. Veronica Beard has some gorgeous blazers but they are expensive.

  15. Surveys any use? :

    I’m leaving the fortune 100 company I currently
    work at in about 2 months to go to grad school. Everyone who needs to (my managers basically) knows. They company as a whole sent out a survey about a particular area they are struggling in, an area that I’ve
    had bad experiences in. As in, I would leave for those
    reasons even if I wasn’t going to grad school.

    I really want to fill out that survey, but you have to put down your name and number. Could it be harmful to do so?

    • I wouldn’t do it bc things aren’t going to change if the company doesn’t want them to change; and why tick off a fortune 100 – who knows what the economy will be like when you graduate, what if you need to come back? But if you do it — don’t go overboard. No need to personally malign anyone or anything – make it a super constructive professional review.

  16. Silly question about jackets. I know there’s sort of a code for how men wear their suit jackets. They are usually buttoned up when they are going someplace, and always unbuttoned when they sit down. If you wear suits (as in, traditional kind of menswear-ish suits like you could buy at Boss, etc., as opposed to kind of skirt suits in bright colors that sort of are not comparable to men’s suits, if that makes sense), do you always wear your jacket in this manner? I sometimes keep mine buttoned up when I’m sitting and it doesn’t seem weird to me, but I get weirdly self conscious about it…

    • Shopaholic :

      I never button my blazers but I think the reason most men unbutton their blazers when they’re sitting is because it’s more comfortable.

      I would say wear what you’re comfortable with!

      • I never button either (standing or sitting). Well, sometimes when standing.

        The reason you unbutton (as a guy) is when you sit is that it stresses the button because the suit is now hanging on your body differently than when you stand. And guys will typically only button the top button when standing.

        For women’s suits that are styled like men’s (one or two buttons, vs all the way up), I’d do similar. A suit jacket is likely to pull at the button when sitting, which isn’t comfortable (or good for the jacket), so I would unbutton. Full button jackets (ala Alicia Florrick), leave buttoned, because that’s how the are designed – they usually hit higher on the hip, so aren’t shifting much when one sits.

    • I wear suits all the time. I don’t unbutton when I sit. Looking at the men when I was younger, I wondered if I should – but I saw no reason to bc it wasn’t uncomfortable for me; plus being the only woman in the room usually, I feel like I can do what I want. Now that I think about it, I don’t see women unbuttoning automatically like men do when seated.

    • I never button my suit jacket. I can’t think of the last time I saw a woman with a buttoned jacket, actually…

      • Really? I always button — though if it’s 3 button (not as common right now), I only button the top two. I feel like it looks better buttoned on me.

        • Re: “looks better buttoned.” I started buying my jackets a size down so that they would show some sort of feminine figure when unbuttoned. If I buy my actual size in jackets, they look too big when unbuttoned.

    • One of my male coworkers commented once about how my blazer was still buttoned while I was sitting. It happened to be the kind of collarless blazer that buttons all the way up– I was going for an Alicia Florrick thing. He said that he was taught to unbutton sitting and rebutton standing. I decided that, comparing Alicia Florrick and Will Gardner, he could do it his way, and I could do it mine.

      • Ha, I like that way of thinking — or really any analogy where I get to be Alicia Florrick. My husband is from Italy, where there are apparently very clear rules about how such things *must* be done, so maybe that’s where I’m getting this from. He says he only started wearing non-white shirts with suits when he moved to the US!

      • I hope that’s as close to an Alicia / Will interaction as you got. ;)

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      For blazer, it depends on the blazer. I have some blazers that have 5-6 buttons and button all the way up to the neck. Those stay buttoned. For others, I way just wear them unbuttoned (I am looking at you hot pink tweed single button blazer!).

      For suits, I only wear 2-3 button suits. I button the jacket (except bottom button) when standing/walking, and unbutton completely when sitting. I think that is the same that men typically do.

  17. Cold evening ball game :

    How many layers is too many layers for an evening baseball game when it will be ~45 degrees (today is generally cold and overcast, and it rained earlier this morning)?

    I run cold, and i know how to layer for general outdoor coldweather activities (running, walking the dog, strolling around the city) but i don’t think i’ve ever just sat in one place for hours at a time before!

  18. WFH probation :

    I liked yesterday’s thread about WFH.

    I have done long stints of WFH and also do it now every evening (I leave early for school pickup) and when my kids are sick. Sometimes I schedule a WFH day when I’m not planning on having any work to do, but I recognize that if something comes up, I’m still on the hook.

    What I really, truly resent, are the coworkers who ghost you under the guise of WFH.

    For example:
    — You WFH two days a week, but you have a yoga class you like to go to at 10 (we slowly find this out, which is another layer of irritation). Which means that you are unavailable from 9:30-11:30. Which means that scheduling the team around your yoga eats up half a day of our group’s time.
    — You do not have a phone number you can be reached at (no forwarded phone, no stated cell # to contact) and you don’t respond to e-mails.
    — If you are on travel or in a meeting and then working from home, you state this as what you will do (without asking) or say WFH without mentioning when you are truly out of pocket. Set the expectation and uphold it on your end.
    — You never check in. You have no work when you are WFH and don’t ask for any and then you wonder why your productivity is low.

    FWIW, I don’t have a boss, but I have clients. I am remote relative to them 100% of the time and I have to get their work done (or I won’t have clients any more). And my team is remote to me when I WFH in the evening or am on travel (or vacation — waah; law s*cks).

    I wish we had clearer rules for WFH while recognizing that any WFH home policy babies the responsible people and will not do nearly enough for the people who abuse it. I wish we had WFH probation for those who abuse it.

    • Glad you liked it. Most people here act like WFH is a birth right and how dare anyone criticize the fact that they want to go to yoga mid day bc [gasp] I’ll walk 5 min to get lunch mid day at the office and those two things are exactly the same.

      • No. No, people weren’t saying midday yoga is a birthright. No one said that.

        I work from home. I keep the same hours that I did when i was in a physical office. I exercise before or after work – not midday. My work line (still maintained) forwards to my home landline that is exclusively for work purposes. I am just as responsive here as i was at the office.

        If you don’t want to work from home, don’t. If you want to say that people who are required to be available between x and y hours as a job requirement, and who aren’t available, are not fulfilling their duties, then i agree with you. But we disagree that WFH automatically means slacker who is less productive and updating her pinterest board when she should be on a conference call.

        • +1. Lots of strawman arguments here. No one said doing midday yoga was a birthright. Or even that WFH is a birthright. But I do believe that it’s a valuable policy to have in place for those whose jobs can reasonably allow for it, and I think some limitations make perfect sense.

          Most people who work from home are punished for it professionally because of the stigma that is clearly associated with it, even if they are swimming circles around you in terms of hours and productivity. I also don’t think it’s an accident that this arrangement, along with other flexible arrangements that are taken advantage of by women (particularly mothers) more than men are stigmatized in this way.

          I work from 8:30-5:30 every day, almost always responding to emails in the evenings and occasionally on the weekend. My desk line goes straight to my home phone, and I have a professional set up (desk, external monitor, printer, etc). I may not always put on a full face of make up and professional clothes, I don’t see how that’s relevant. And I did make the comment about laundry yesterday, but when I throw a load of laundry in, I’m typically on mute on a conference call, throw the load of laundry in in about 2 minutes’ time, then return to rotate it to the dryer at some point during the day, and then take it out and fold it after my kid has gone to bed (wrinkles and all). I don’t see any issue with that, and anyone who does might want to ask themselves if it’s because of the gendered associations you have with laundry and women working from home.

          And for anyone who is interested, I am in a professional occupation doing an extremely kickass job (promotions, big raises, and permission to relocate and work from home). My team is based all over the country and the fact that I have a local office doesn’t mean much because my department isn’t based there.

      • Midday yoga would be fine if done during your lunch break (and didn’t have conflicting meetings) regardless of whether you work from home.

    • I WFH 100%. I have an office in my nearby city, but I only go in to print.

      My boss is across the country in another office, my team is spread all over the country- some in offices and some in areas that don’t have an office.

      My company has a formal “remote worker” policy, which is for people that would from home by design. We have technology tshe support it- i video chat myself into meetings that are happening live in another location (including India). When people are working, they are available on IM all day long.

      If any one of my employees was taking a yoga class during work hours, they would be fired immediately. If someone is doing anything that takes longer than a ~15 min coffee break/pee break, it goes on their calendar just as if they were in the office and stepping out for a drs appt or whatever.

      • Same here. I’m a fed and I take my telework responsibilities very seriously. I’m logged on and accessible for work hours. I’m shocked that a manager doesn’t take action for a WFH employee who just disappears like that.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Maybe a late response, but it is the same with my company. A lot of us WFH – but you are expected to be available on IM / Email AND phone during business hours. Disappearing would be a huge problem and I doubt they would last long around here.

    • To be honest, the fact that you have workers who aren’t available to you during work hours or who aren’t productive and slip by reflects on you as a manager, not WFH. You can and should demand from your team what you need from them. If they can’t cut it, they shouldn’t be on your team. The problem here is not WFH. it’s you.

      • WFH probation :

        I hear you.

        Part of it is law firm culture — for this crowd, lots of them came up only 50% utilized in the recession. And if people weren’t getting sacked (and aren’t really now), they are probably leaning out and just biding their time until they move. It’s never a problem with the performers. And for the people it’s a problem with, it’s not their only problem.

        I will say that my core team gets it. It’s theh team-adjacent people (the ones who are 25% underutilized and volunteered on a larger project (note to self: there may be a reason why they’re underutilized)) who just don’t pitch in who are the problem. We have some rockstars who can really increase their hours / value b/c they get more and better assignments b/c you can trust them to do their work and some who you dread having to use and try to avoid. But we just can’t seem to get rid of those people.

    • I find a certain irony in those who dislike WFH coming here to post about it. “How dare someone do laundry on company time!” she furiously typed onto the fashion blog she peruses on company time.

    • Different question – in your workplace what % of men vs. women are working from home regularly (once or more per week – not just when something comes up)? And really only asking about workplaces where there is a local office — obviously if your company’s office is in India or the only office is in Michigan then everyone outside of India or Michigan works from home if hired whether they want to or would prefer a local office to go to.

      • In my fed gov’t office – way more women than men have extensive WFH arrangements – not just when something comes up. Just talked to 2 women yesterday and both said they will start 2 day a week WFH rather than just 1 after they have their second kids in a few months. Both women are rock stars. I go back and forth on WFH – it is a good benefit that allows women to keep a professional career going BUT I do think it comes with a certain perception re a woman’s home life etc – whether those perceptions are accurate or not, whether the woman is a rock star or not etc. In that micro aggression way – Bob sitting in his office 40 hrs a week doing an ok job gets more subtle “credit” than Jill doing an excellent job bc 16 of those hours are at home and she’s out of sight. That’s just my workplace maybe others are more “fair.”

        • Anonymous :

          I’m a fed as well and thankfully my whole team, up to and including our SES, work from home. My team is 60% male and they use it as much as the women, though nobody at my peer level has children. We are allowed 2 days out of the office a pay period — for most people this breaks down to 1 RDO and 1 telework day, but if you don’t have an RDO you can telework two days. There are other agencies in my building with different union contracts who telework more. I occassionally will do an extra day if I’m sick, have an appointment, traveling, whatever but it is not the norm. I think this is a good balance. I couldn’t telework at my last job but would have been twice as productive if I could have – I am in a quasi-creative field and save my writing projects for when I’m at home and nobody is walking in and bothering me. Same for editing and when I used to do it, layout and design.

          Also, WFH=/= substitute for childcare and this misconception/abuse drives me batty.

          • Anonymous :

            I know people who really push this.

            IMO you aren’t providing good child care if you are really working (varies with age of kid / temperment / weather / can wind up being kid watching a lot of TV) or aren’t providing a lot of good work if you are also providing excellent child care.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Agree. I couldn’t imagine watching my kids while I am working. I work from home 100% unless traveling, and I have a nanny just like I would if I were going to an office.

      • In my MCOL city, there are a lot of banks too big to fail.

        There, the expectation is that you have FT childcare if you WFH so that you aren’t distracted, there isn’t noise, you are actually working. We don’t have express rules like that.

        Most guys are single or have SAHWs if they have kids. I know men with working wives who WFH at night / weekends rather than come in and who sometimes share in sick kid duty (for all of us, unless you have a baby who sleeps a lot or much older kids who can just watch TV and you aren’t having to take them do a doctor / deal with stomach bug cleanup, I discount that day’s productivity by 50% automatically; if it’s a big deal, it’s like 100% and you are in a triage-only function).

        I’d have to say, 100% of working mothers with children WFH at least some of the time (often b/c they have to due to school schedules). The people with => 2 only-WFH days/week are the ones where you can start to lose connectivity.

        Probably everyone else WFH for convenience periodically.

      • My boss, male, GC, works remotely 50% of the time. We have one female employee who works 100% remotely (mid 5os female).

        I occasionally work from home when it makes sense with appointments. I am going to ask to work from home 1-2 days per week starting this summer because my commute goes from 25-30 minutes one way to 60 to 75 minutes one way with summer traffic.

      • Annoying but it’s definitely viewed as a “mom benefit” at my work even though it’s open to all; people even assume when someone is pregnant – oh you’ll have to think about what days you’ll want to WFH after the baby comes. Guess it’s not a wrong assumption bc every mom in our group works from home at least 2 days/wk – but what if someone had a kid and didn’t want to? Would they be viewed as a lesser mom?

        • I’ve been asked that as well – I’m coming back at 80% but with the flexibility to work from home but I can’t imagine I’d get much done with a baby around? I’m in academia so our outputs / need for other people is different but still, I like coming to the office – I talk to people, I can take a walk through a lovely park at lunchtime, I’ve got a good desk set-up.

        • Caveat that I don’t have children yet, but the one downside to my 100% WFH arrangement is that my preference is for au pair / in-home nanny, but I worry either will be too distracting for me.

          And yes, our company WFH policy explicitly states that you need dedicated childcare during your working hours if the child is under X age (maybe 10?).

          • Anonymous :

            I can’t imagine that au pair / nanny would work for me with any significant daytime WFH. Part is that we have a bad house for that (the room with the best lighting is the den). So bad that I have worked from my closet (best soundproofing) when I have had to take calls with clients before. Plus, my kids have a mommy preference, so I’m not sure I could be left alone and rainy days / sick days would be disasters. I guess I would have to work out of Starbucks or the library, but that would work well with having to work on confi documents / have confidential conversations / work banning us from public wifi.

            Seriously — what do WFH people with nannies do if they can’t afford a house big enough to dedicate a bedroom to being an office?

          • Anonymous :

            They put them in daycare or they do a nanny share with another family hosting. We do the former but considered the latter. On days when my baby is sick, I take a sick day myself (or my husband does).

          • Late to this, but I WFH 50% and my husband does it 100%, and we have a nanny for our kids in the house. It only works because we have a huge house. My husband and I each have a separate home office, and we are two floors up from the main living floor. If we were in a higher COL place, we’d have to either use coworking spaces or send the kids to daycare. Kids realize we are there, but have accepted that we can only play with them for about 15 minutes at lunch time. We all look forward to that break, though!

      • I am in a fed office and almost everyone who has been here more than a year works from home two or more days a week. It is part of the culture here and there is no gender difference. We also regularly travel from work, so not being in the office for one reason or another is part of normal operations.

    • Counterpoint–I deeply resent that the ability to WFH means that I am expected to WFH whenever I can’t be in the office. If I say I am taking leave because I am sick or my kid is sick, then that is what I am doing. Do not spend the entire day bombarding me with e-mails demanding to know where I am and why I am not responding to your trivial requests. If I am charging my time to PTO, then I am unavailable and I have a good reason for it.

      • Along those lines, my company has a strict no WFH policy, yet when I use PTO for a sick day I am still expected to be available and responsive to requests all the time. So, either let me not use my PTO or leave me alone for an hour or two.

      • Anonymous :

        In BigLaw and would gladly get docked pay for anything that could make the e-mails stop when either I am sick or am having to tend to a violently ill child.

        Next time, I will put on an OOO saying “I am in the pediatric ER with a kid bleeding from every orifice and will not be replying to your e-mail; please contact someone else in our department.”

  19. I am the poster who posted a while back about having PCOS and had started exercising and dieting to lose weight, but only losing it at a snail’s pace. I really appreciated everyone’s comments.

    I recently went to my doctor and she recommended Qsymia as a weight loss drug to help speed things up. I know there are side effect, but there are also side effects of being obese. Has anyone had experience with this drug? Part of me doesn’t want to take it because it feels like “cheating” but the other part of me doesn’t think I can go another 6 months with working out 4-5 times a week + dieting and only seeing a 15 lb weight drop.

    • "soul cyster" ;) :

      I’ve never tried this particular drug, but for me the key in managing my PCOS was finding the right combo of other drugs. I take 1500mg Metformin XR in the evening and 50mg spironolactone in the morning and the evening. I started the spiro for acne but it absolutely helped me lose weight. My last A1C was normal (for the first time since age 16 or so!!!!), so my doctor and I have been talking about reducing my Metformin dosage. I also started in late 2015 on Vyvanse for ADHD, which also made a huge difference because you just have less appetite (it’s also prescribed for binge eating) and I think also made me eat less because it dries out your mouth (in some people) and makes food taste less good. I take Adderall XR now because of insurance changes and it’s 85% the same thing. My point in telling you this — I don’t think taking drugs in any way is cheating, whether it is for my blood sugar, anxiety, ADHD or weight loss. I am working with my body and hopefully working toward a healthy time in my life where I don’t need ANY medication. Then again, though I did not go this route, I also don’t thing weight loss surgery is cheating. And to be honest, if I could go back to that weight, I’d do it again.

      Also, make sure you are taking photos. Body recomposition is a real thing, and it can result in much slower weight loss. I am in the middle of a cut right now and I just emailed my nutrition coach checking in this AM and I wanted to cry, but there is a HUGE difference in my photos despite the scale only moving 5 pounds. If you don’t see a difference, ask a trusted friend, too. We are often our own worst critics.

      And I know it sounds crazy — but give yourself weight loss breaks. Lose 10 pounds then take 4-8 weeks to chill at your new weight and keep working out. It helps with maintenance long-term. I’ve lost 70+ pounds over the last 5 years and it has never been fast or easy. I diet, I take a break, I maybe even backslide a little bit, I get my shit together and get back on it.

      You can do it!

    • If you want to shed the pounds quickly, and if you can get your doctor on board, consider an extreme diet (e.g., )

    • I don’t have any personal experience, but a friend was taking it and she was able to lose weight successfully. I think there is a pcos community on reddit that might be helpful if you need more opinions.

    • I don’t have personal experience with that medication or dealing with PCOS but I have read a low-carb diet has been more successful for some women dealing with PCOS. I think it’s worth a try.

      I also want to raise my hand up in support of taking pictures and measurements. I started doing both several months into my diet. At one point, I was getting down on myself and looked at the pictures bc I was convinced they would back up what I was feelimg. Imagine my utter surprise when I scrolled through the pix and found I was making visible progress.

      I also think your 15 lb weight loss is great! That puts you at about 3 lbs per month and that not something to downplay. Good job and keep it up, you can do this!

    • I have major PCOS. I started Weight Watchers 1/2/17 and am down 25 lbs to date. I’m 5’8″ and was 208 when I started – a high for me, but I’ve generally been around 190 my whole life (carry it remarkably well and a regular half-marathon runner, but definitely ‘overweight’ by any definition of the word). I also take metformin XR every night.

      I would just caution against a rapid weight loss ‘solution’ – they are so, so hard to maintain, and coming off of one of those was exactly what lead me up to the 208 that I peaked at. I’ve tried most every plan out there – pills, restrictive/elimination diets, cleanses, etc, and am most happy with WW. Using something like My Fitness Pal could be helpful too. For me it is far more about portion control (which a quick weight loss/fad diet/short cut won’t teach you) than anything.

      I was told that because of my PCOS weight loss would be extremely hard. Because I’d been told that over and over, I used it as an excuse for not committing to a long-term solution – it won’t work, why bother? However, I’m finding that losing weight isn’t all that challenging (relatively speaking)as I have a manageable plan that I am able to stick to.

      Good luck. You got this and PCOS is conquerable!

    • 15 lbs isn’t chump change! You’ve done really well. That’s a steady and healthy weight loss, and if you’ve built fitness along with it, you’ve accomplished quite a lot!

  20. Firm website photos are next week. What are our thoughts on navy suits? The photos are taken on the upper floor balcony of our building, so the backdrop is a pretty shot of our city skyline and part of a park. I’d really like to wear navy, but I’m not sure if black or gray are more traditional/what I “should” wear to look professional?

    • I think navy is the *most* traditional! I wouldn’t think twice about it. It will look better with outdoor lighting than black or gray.

      Wear a jewel toned solid color top with it and you’re all set.

    • I don’t work at a firm so take this with a grain of salt, but I think navy suits are just as professional as black or gray.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Yeah, navy is just as professional as black and grey.

  21. Do any of you get super moody on the birth control pill? My teen daughter went on it for acne and around the same time she got very emotional. She’s moody. Super happy one minute, crying the next. The stuff that she should be able to brush off seems more major to her than I think it should.

    On the one hand, she’s a teenager and I know teenagers are moody. It could be that this came on coincidentally at the same time.

    On the other hand, I don’t want her being miserable if it’s just the pill making her that way.

    She is loath to stop the pill because it really is helping with her acne.

    • anon a mouse :

      It can take a couple of months for your body to adjust to the hormones. If the moodiness persists, she could try a different pill, possibly one with a lower dose.

    • Is this the first pill pack she’s ending or has this been happening for a while? I remember when I finished my very first pill pack and was about to start my second, I burst into tears at my house because one of my text books wouldn’t fit on my book shelf. My body just need to figure out what was happening re: hormones versus none. Now, almost 8 years later, that rarely (if ever) happens. I get irritated about things, but not super moody/crying.

      • She’s been on it for around 6 months. This is the second prescription we’ve tried. She had spotting with the first one, so needed more hormone.

    • Is she on a low dose one? I’ve been on one of the lowest ones around (Mircette/Azurette/Kariva/Viorele…there are a million generics, it’s been out for decades) since I was 19. Before that, I was on one that was too high and I was an emotional wreck.

      • she was on Trinessa Lo, but it was too “lo” for her and she was spotting all the time. We had to move up to regular Trinessa (that’s not the name, I think, but one level up in hormones).

    • It ate my longer reply. I’d ask the doctor about going on a lower dosage. I’ve been on the same low dose one since I was 19 (Mircette/Azurette/Kariva/Viorele…there are a million generics, it’s been out for decades) and I went on it specifically because my higher does one was making me an emotional wreck.

    • I think I had more issues with PMS on the pill (in my late 20s) than I ever had off of it. I know the stuff I took made me super tired in the evenings (when I took it in the morning), and that in turn made me depressed. And then unaccountably grumpy – such that I knew I was being weirdly grumpy, but couldn’t shake it off.

      Would daughter be open to going off for a couple months (seeing if that helps) and then trying a different formulation to see if that helps?

      • So far she’s not. You know when you’re upset about something and someone tells you, “maybe it’s that pill you’re taking” and then you get all RAGEY and say IT’S NOT THE PILL, I REALLY AM UPSET. I don’t think she can tell the difference. And maybe it’s not really the pill.

        She had pretty awful acne that is 95% cleared up on the pill so she is extremely loath to go back to that.

    • The regular pill made me moody, but I actually didn’t notice it. My husband and his friends actually gathered data on their wives’ moods while on the pill. When I stopped taking the pill to TTC, my husband said he noticed I was a lot more balanced. Other couples had similar results.

      When I was nursing, I went on the low-dose pill. It really messed me up, I actually went to the doctor for PPD. She told me to stop taking the pill, and I was fine.

      My husband asked me not to use the pill anymore for birth control because of how moody it made me.

      • I’m the OP. I felt the same way about the “mini pill” – the progesterone only one you can take while nursing. That thing messed with me so badly.

        But I never had an issue with the full pill except for headaches.

    • Shenandoah :

      If she just started taking the pills, there is definitely an adjustment period. I’d give it a couple of packs and re-assess. That said, if she happens to be taking a triphasic pill (like Ortho Tri Cyclen), she may want to try a monophasic pill (like Ortho Cyclen or Sprintec, the generic version). Or vice-versa. I started on a triphasic and endured the increased mood swings for over a year before making the switch to monophasic. Huge difference within a month of the switch and no other change in life events or mood that could have attributed to the change. My OBGYN said some women do not respond well to pills that change the levels of hormones each week and need a consistent level.

      • Yes, came here to say this. As a teenager in high school the triphasic pill made me go nuts. I later went on Jolessa/Quasense/Seasonale or whatever to only get my period 4x a year and that as ideal for me.

        Honestly, if your daughter is up for it, I’d encourage you/her to look at getting a hormonal IUD as well. I wish I’d had mine in high school/college! I take spironolactone to help with hormonal acne, so that may be another medical option that’s not hormonal if acne is her only concern.

        • Anonymous :

          Hormonal IUDs don’t treat acne and can actually cause it. Combination pills are best for acne.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m the 12:16 Anon and while I started the pill for acne/heavy periods (both true) I was also taking it for other reasons. Two birds/one stone and I like spiro + retinol for acne way more than I ever liked the pill.

      • FWIW, I have tried multiple versions of the lowestdose options multiple times, sticking with it through the “adjustment period.” Every time I have been an emotional mess. I simply don’t like myself when on the pill. I’ve given up at this point.

      • FWIW, I have tried multiple versions of the lowest dose options multiple times, sticking with it through the “adjustment period.” Every time I have been an emotional mess. I simply don’t like myself when on the pill. I’ve given up at this point.

    • Yes, I was beyond moody — like suicidally depressed for two days at a time, and then manic. I had no control over my crying. It was awful, and my ob/gyn was zero help.

      I was using the pill mainly for acne and when I finally told my dermatologist about my mood issues she immediately told me to get off of it and prescribed a very low does of Spironolactone (50mg) which solved my problems completely. Acne-wise, I wish I had known about that years ago. It takes some time to work (like 6-12 months for full effect, but good effects within 2-4 weeks).

      • pugsnbourbon :

        On a side note, what you say about spiro makes me feel better. I’m on month 4 of a 100mg dose and haven’t seen much improvement. My zits are smaller, at least, but still so dang red and there are so many of them. I just got bumped to 150 mg so we’ll see how this goes.

        • Anonymous :

          Are you also using a topical, pugs? I take 100mg spiro a day (50 am/50 pm) and love it, but 25 wasn’t quite enough for me.

        • Anonymous :

          I’m 11:57 — I should say that I also avoid dairy, sugar (including refined grains, etc), and chemicals/coloring, all of which effect my skin. That being said, on spiro, I can eat some of that stuff without the insane breakouts, but I still get mild breakouts. My theory is that my acne is caused at least partly by an inflammatory response rather than bacteria/hormones, so I try to avoid those inflammatory triggers.

    • The pill just doesn’t work for some people. I tried four different versions. One made me throw up. Another made me gain 20 pounds. All made me a miserable, weepy, moody wreck.

      • This. I eventually had to just accept it (after 6+ different types of pills and a hormonal IUD). Some people are just really sensitive to hormones.
        There are other drugs for acne that work – why not take her to a dermatologist if that’s the primary concern?

        • Her dermatologist initially prescribed the pill, because she (correctly) diagnosed my daughter’s acne as hormonal. Daughter has already tried all topicals and oral antibiotics. Next stop accurate, but that has emotional side effects too.

          • *accutane

          • Anonymous :

            Has she tried Spironolactone? That targets the hormones too, by suppressing testosterone (that’s the simple version) and it doesn’t potentiate estrogen, which is probably what is causing your daughter’s moodiness. Spiro is gold for a lot of people — google it if you haven’t already.

    • I experienced crazy mood swings on the first type of hormonal birth control pill that I tried. I made it about a month before switching gynos (I was seeing an older male gyno who tried to convince me to stick it out) and trying another pill. I WOULD NOT wait for a few packs to see if it evens out. The next pill I tried has zero symptoms for me. I genuinely felt crazy though on the first pill.

      • Anonymous :

        All birth control turns me into a suicidal mess. The first pill was a low-dose pill, which I took for 12 months, suicidal for 11 of those months and almost a year following. Tried several pills after that, same results. Also had terrible acne with several rounds of Accutane. Never had a single emotional issue with Accutane.

        For birth control I use a copper IUD.

        I’m writing this so you can watch her behavior and step in if needed. Spironilactone might be another, better choice or Accutane with non-hormonal IUD. For some women, the hormones in birth control aren’t tolerated well & she might be in that category.

  22. I’m seeing a close friend tonight who I haven’t seen in a while. I have heard from another friend that she is moving to the city of her long distance boyfriend. They have only been together for about 6 months, and she has a bad history with moving too fast with guys and then freaking out, dumping them, and going into a bad spiral (history of depression and suicidal thoughts). She hasn’t been happy in our city, and I think that may be fueling the move.

    I hope she’s not moving in with her boyfriend, and I hope she has a job lined up. I worry that this move could just be running away from her problems here, while putting her in a worse situation– if she and her boyfriend don’t work out, she will have no support system in her new city (no family there) and may not even have a place to live.

    I think there’s nothing I can say, right? I want to support her, and I think questioning her about her choices is not going to get through to her. She tends to get defensive quickly. Leaning towards “yay, I know you’ve been wanting to move! I’ll miss you though!” Any other advice?

    • Well it’ll come out in convo whether she has a job, no? Won’t she say — I’m moving to Denver, yay! To which you can be supportive and also say — so do you know where you’ll be working yet? If she says she doesn’t have an offer yet, can’t you encourage her to job search hard? You don’t have to say it’s bc you think things won’t work out and she’ll end up in a bad situation. You can make it about how it’ll be good for her to have structure in place there and work is a huge part of that, makes it easier to meet people in her field etc. While saying nothing re — I don’t think this is a good idea.

    • “yay, I know you’ve been wanting to move! I’ll miss you though!” + “come back and visit anytime”

  23. Any suggestions for a book to give a young woman graduating from high school? I actually need two (they’re twins). Both girls are headed to college next year, majoring in computer science/technology-related fields. Bonus points for books that are particularly helpful for women of color as they embark on this great adventure.

  24. The questions above made me think – what kind of relationship do you have with your PCP if any? Is it one where you feel like you can chat with them about anything or is it more transactional? I’ve always been pretty picky re doctors – always needed to have a female with excellent skills but also a great bedside manner; probably bc I’m so uncomfortable at the dr that having one who is chatty at least allows me to feel comfortable enough to tell them what’s going on instead of – oh it’s fine. In a new city now which is a disaster for healthcare (DC) – lucky to even have found someone with more than 2 min of experience taking patients and I trust her skills and yet she’s so . . . authoritarian . . . that I’m pretty much scared of her – which is a first for me!!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have a great relationship with my PCP. We can and do talk about anything. Sorry you’re finding your new doc challenging!

  25. Since thank you notes came up… I just ended therapy after four years with the same therapist. Our last meeting was fine, but would a thank you note be odd?I had already been in therapy for two years before I became her patient, but I was a disaster. I’ve really come a long way, and it’s thanks to her.

    • I’ve never been in this situation, but I think a thank-you note is almost never a bad idea if you feel thankful to someone. And I always love receiving them.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        A few years after I’d stopped needing her, the nutritionist I saw for anorexia treatment was in the paper for an innovative outpatient program she was running. I wrote her a quick email telling her I was doing better and she wrote back saying it had made her day.

        So go for it! Not odd at all.

  26. Baconpancakes :

    In case anyone was wondering, wearing a mini skirt and overnthe knee boots does not improve the impression formed by showing up late to your final presentation.

    • Cookbooks :

      No points for sub-par effort?

    • Edna Mazur :

      Huh, maybe she and the applicant sitting here (who was informed of our business formal dress code) in platform strappy sandals, a white miniskirt and a lacy tank top traded fashion advice.

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