Workwear Hall of Fame: Fabulist Heels

comfortable heels for work: Anne KleinThese $80 strappy pumps have been on my radar for a while now, and for some reason I’m always amazed to see how many rave reviews they get at Zappos: right now there are 187 reviews and a solid 5-star rating. There are more colorways right now than I’ve ever seen before, too: seven color options, including this lovely rosey tweedy fabric/leather duo (there’s also a really great textured black leather if you’re a black-pump-only kind of girl). Plus, I’m always inclined to think fondly of Anne Klein’s comfortable iFlex line of shoes — I was wearing a pair of them when I met my husband.  (Red strappy peep toes, if you must know.) The pictured shoes are $80 at Zappos. Anne Klein Fabulist

Psst: Have you checked out our recently-updated Guide to Comfortable Heels

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  1. expectations vs reality :

    I wanted to chime in on this morning’s discussion about realistic expectations from police. I’m in a position where I’m familiar with the budgets for the public safety agencies – including my jurisdiction’s police force, prosecutor, and public defender. This year, those agencies are facing a budget shortfall of millions of dollars. It’s on them – not my city and not my state – to make up that shortfall somehow. That means they have to prioritize not just the resources that they’re going to spend money on, but yes, the crimes that they can devote resources to investigating, and the number of people they can hire to investigate them. Violent and serious crimes rise to the top of this list, as they should. What the poster this morning is asking for is a form of broken windows policing – cracking down on minor property crimes to send a message to the offender and the city at large. Broken windows policing worked in the 80s in NYC, but it is not without its critics today. Nor are the police these days. Setting aside any value judgments about that, it’s fair to say that society is not all that friendly to police these days. That includes city councils and administrators, who set the budget for public safety agencies. That also includes agencies which sometimes give grants to police departments, helping to make up gaps in their budgets. All of these agencies, not just the police, have been asked to do more with less for YEARS. (Look up the Orleans Public Defender, for example, whose lawyers are now turning away indigent clients because their caseloads are so high already that they cannot provide adequate representation.) That’s a function of budget shortfalls, just like the fact that my local police department uses a computer operating system that was considered “new” more than fifteen years ago.

    All that to say – your expectations of the police might be reasonable, but they’re not practical and they’re not realistic given these concerns (which are not unique to my town). My point is that in order to realize our expectations, we need to fund our public safety agencies – all of them – appropriately given the standards we want to hold them to.

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s highly debatable whether Broken Windows ever worked.

      • Wildkitten :

        • MargaretO :

          Yeah broken windows “works” if the purpose of policing is to enforce a state monopoly on violence and incarcerate young men of color at extreme rates (some would argue that when the modern police were founded in order to capture runaway slaves this is pretty much the point….). It hasn’t made us any safer, certainly not communities of color.

          • That’s only if it is improperly implemented. In a perfect world with no racism all minor crimes would be equally addressed and black men would not be profiled. The rich white private school kids would get busted for a joint as frequently as a poor black juvenile.

    • Expectations of police :

      I’m the poster from this morning. I guess I just find it sad (from a philosophical standpoint) that there is no recourse or accountability for so-called minor crimes. Yes, it’s technically not a big deal to replace my stolen potting equipment – it was only worth $70 at most. It’s a bigger deal to replace two high-quality bikes, but still, it can be done. My point is that I don’t think the burden should be on me to just get over it and pretend like nothing ever happened; if I am paying taxes into the system to fund a property crimes department and there is no investigation or follow-up whatsoever for, say, 50% of property crimes, then I don’t want my money funding that department. Maybe it should be dissolved and all money should go to violent crimes only – but if that’s the case, that should be transparent, clear at the start, and part of the legal code, not up to the discretion of the officer who is busy on the day I make my police report. Shouldn’t a collective agreement to ignore property crimes in favor of throwing all resources at violent crimes be a standard society has to agree upon through an open process?

      I filed police reports for both incidents to contribute to data collection in case others in my neighborhood are also experiencing thefts. I would also find it useful to see statistics such as “out of 500 thefts reported, __% were investigated in 2017,” but I don’t know if I ever will.

      • Anonymous :

        I think those are good points. I was one who thought you expected too much, but it’s true that transparency would be better.

      • Another perspective :

        Have you thought through the consequence of a transparent policy that property crimes would not be investigated? It would give criminals a lot of incentive to perpetrate property crimes. If police are following up on 50% of property crimes, that provides some deterrent effect.

        I’m having trouble following your logic: “If police are only following up on 50% of property crimes, then I don’t want any of my tax dollars funding that department.” How does that make sense?

        I also live in the Bay Area. I know that in my neighborhood, the police did recover a stolen bicycle recently. I wish they would pull over more drivers for violating the speed limit in my neighborhood (mind you, I wouldn’t expect they would give citations to 100% of violators!) but I understand that my city has decided that is not a police priority given the city’s police budget.

        • Expectations of police :

          That’s what is tricky, though – of course there are budget concerns and higher priorities than others. I’m not saying that there aren’t. But when there are specific violations occurring that affect private property, quality of life, or public safety, who gets to decide which things to ignore and which to prioritize? I don’t think quality of life violations are unimportant and there is certainly plenty of evidence to suggest that stress and disorder in the most violent neighborhoods contribute to chronic stress and negative health outcomes (i.e., it’s not just a problem affecting affluent areas that experience theft and not much else). I know there are no easy solutions, but I sometimes feel like there is no real, measured, evidence-based approach that takes public priorities into account.

          As for the 50% comment, I mean that throwing money at a department to do 100% of the work but seeing results 50% of the time isn’t acceptable. If there is some reason why only 50% of the work can be done, that should be part of a public conversation with oversight from city council and other elected officials. Maybe then there would need to be budget increases, staff increases, etc., but it doesn’t seem right to just accept the status quo without at least exploring solutions.

      • There are interesting theories on crime rates internationally. Singapore has one of the lowest but they have some of the harshest punishments (death penalty) for fairly minor crimes (drugs). That said, they also follow a bit of broken windows theory. Even minor crimes are punished. There is a high chance of getting caught. I think it is more the high chance of getting caught, not the harsh punishment that leads to a low crime rate.

        • Prosecutor here, and correct. I’ve read multiple studies (don’t have time to search the links now but they’re out there) finding that certainty of punishment is a much stronger deterrent than severity

    • While I agree that law enforcement is frequently underfunded, theft is not and has never been the type of crime characterized as broken windows policing. What OP described, at least as far as the bicycles, is likely grand larceny and, depending on where they were stored, burglary. Broken windows is about minor vandalism and certain victimless quality-of-life crimes like public intoxication.

      Also, much of the problems with broken windows policing came not from the theory itself but from its corruption into the prosecution of petty crime. People like Guiliani were too focused on using it as a justification for arrests as opposed to taking the fundamental step of repairing the windows.

  2. Mirena woes :

    I’m going into my 5th month on my IUD and I dislike the effect it’s had on my body. I have lost about 10 lbs since insertion, which is a lot because I was already very thin to begin with. I went from a small C to an A, and you can now faintly see ribs in my abdomen. My exercise/eating routine has been constant so I’m certain this is attributable to the BC change. I was also on the nuvaring before (for almost 10 years) so I know there was a significant hormone change to my body.

    I know it’s vain to be so upset by my changing figure, but I really miss my curves. I’m under my ideal weight and I don’t like the way I currently look or feel. I’m a big fan of IUDs, but with how I feel I’d rather have the annoyances of the nuvaring again. Is there anything I can do to make the Mirena work? I don’t know if hormone supplements are a thing. It would be great to hear of others experiences before I talk to my doctor. We’ve had an encounter before where she critiqued my vanity (I had a several inch long bruise on my forearm and I asked for suggestions to help it heal more quickly since it was very noticeable) so it’d be great to have ideas or a script ready.

    • Is the copper IUD an option?

    • Anonymouse :

      You should go to the doctor who inserted it for you and see what he or she recommends. One friend felt absolutely nothing after her UID and another friend had opposite symptoms as you and gained a lot of weight – the effects of BC (including the UID) varies greatly for everyone so yeah, just talk to your doctor.

    • Anonymous :

      You can take pills in addition to an IUD, if you desire. If you’re having trouble gaining weight, it may be worth it to get evaluated for other reasons. It could be that your former bc was covering up something like a thyroid problem or what have you.

    • I would talk to your doctor. I think you can frame it as a health thing rather than a vanity thing. My experience was that the doctor was very reluctant to remove the Mirena (I don’t know why) and I really had to force the issue. But it was SO worth it and I’m personally much happier on regular old BCP.

    • I would talk to your doctor, and maybe switch doctors if you are feeling uncomfortable with the response. Anecdotally, my doctor had issues with the Mirena (mood swings), and was not at all surprised to remove mine (I was getting migraines, which didn’t actually improve with removal, sadly, but it was worth a shot).

    • I switched to the copper IUD and it was WAY better for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m also fifth month on Mirena after coming off Nuvaring and now I’m curious to see if I’ve had significant weight gain/loss… (My symptoms have been a nasty rash of acne at the end of month 4, worse cramping/tenderness during PMS, and a odd cycle that I think has figured itself out now – all aggravating, but not enough to make me want to quit so far.)

      I have heard good things from others about removal if you don’t feel like it’s working out within 6 months. Find another doctor who will let you do it without judgment, if this one seems reluctant.

    • They might but it doesn’t matter.

    • I switched from Mirena to a copper IUD. I did it after 2 years because I was speculating that the hormones were causing my cystic acne to be worse. Turns out it wasn’t (as my acne went crazy after that and I ended up on accutane), but my doctor let me try with no questions asked. Your doctor kinda sounds like she sucks if she criticized you for vanity (for a bruise?!) and I’d find a different one.

  3. Confession time…do you ever feel like the janitor who empties garbage cans secretly judges you? i.e. I now have various candy bar wrappers, pop tart wrappers, and a variety of crumpled up paper that I’ve used to discard my chewing gum just to nearly overflowing. What else are you afraid of the janitor seeing in your offices (but yet not really caring because you do what you gotta do)?

    • Cookbooks :

      Sometimes, yes. Especially when it’s one of those weeks where everything goes bonkers and lunch is take out of the Wendy’s/Five Guys/food court variety.

      A coworker was so spooked that the cleaning staff would be looking in his trash and making judgments that for weeks, on his way out, he moved his trash can out of his office and in front of someone else’s office door.

    • Anonymous :

      hahahahaha. I’ll see that and raise you — I literally just stuffed a chips bag and a rice krispies wrapper into a frozen dinner box to hide them from our sweet janitor lady.

    • Not the janitor, but I have an extremely healthy coworker. I mentioned to her one time that I was trying to have healthier habits, and now the only time I do something like crack open a bag of chips or get a coke, damned if she doesn’t walk by at that exact moment to witness it. She never walks by when I’m eating a piece of fruit or drinking water.

      I also had a coworker who subsisted on kale, quinoa, and non fat yogurt, and we shared an office when I was pregnant. The only foods that didn’t make me super ill during the first trimester were lemon skittles, cheddar and sour cream ruffles, and apples.

      In both of these situations I was/am self conscious, but I try to remember that people are so caught up in their own lives they probably don’t even notice what others are doing.

    • Haha, yes, I have definitely had this thought. I like to snack a lot. There was a stressful period where I was eating a lot of Doritos and candy bars from the vending machine and I did wonder what the janitor thought of me. But the truth is, I bet they hardly notice. They’re emptying dozens, if not more, of trashcans, so yours is probably just a blip in their day.

    • I do! I keep a box of softcups in my office and I take one to the bathroom as needed. When the box is empty, I don’t want to smuggle it to the bathroom trash and I don’t want to toss it in my work trash. So, it stays in a drawer until I remember to put it in my bag to bring home. Same with the packaging from when I needed to take diflucan in the middle of the day.

      • WHAT? This is crazy. Absolutely no need to do this. People are not paying this much attention to you and your habits.

        • Senior Attorney :

          For realsies. Have you ever seen the janitorial staff emptying the trash cans? I promise you they are moving way too fast to notice what’s in your trash!

        • +1000000

        • I think it’s funny that my post is the one that illicited this response. I think it’s crazy to think a janitor will worry about what you eat. I think it is less crazy to worry your coworkers might see your box of feminine products. Also, our janitor is our facilities person so he’s in the office frequently. He’s not someone I never actually see.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Women have periods. Presumably the janitor knows this. I still think it’s crazy.

            Also: I had to google “softcups.” Technology has advanced since I left that all behind a few years back!

          • Roughly half of the population will, at some point, have a use for feminine products. If your coworkers can’t handle even seeing them, that is their problem.

    • Not about the food that I eat, but how late I’m working. I am very lucky that I work in a group where the norm is to go home and have dinner with your family, but I am often working until 8 (just to power through) or I come in on Sundays to prepare for the week. Our janitors come Sunday – Thursday. Usually I am the only one here. So, I think he has the perception that everyone just leaves me to do the work.

      So, I was here recently on a Sunday when the janitor came by, and he said, “you work on Sundays now too? where are the other people?”

    • Anonymous :

      my secretary has not-so-secretly judged me on all the fast food receipts I put in for reimbursement. It’s the airport, there aren’t a lot of options.

      • Once I flew from LA to Orlando and was starving when I landed. It was also pretty late. I stopped at a Taco Bell on my way to the hotel. I guess I ordered too much food, because when I submitted the receipt as part of my expenses, our accounting department sent me a scanned image of the receipt and asked if the receipt was just for me or if I had bought someone else’s meal as well. Oh, the shame….

        • That’s hysterical!!

        • This is very funny and I feel the burn of recognition. I often wonder if my accounting department is going to bust me for eating too much.

          Your story reminded me of my colleague. He flew into Orange County CA from NYC. He was starving when he landed so asked his Uber driver to take him to Taco Bell. It was the middle of the night. He was wondering why they were driving through a dark office park when the Uber pulled up to a darkened tall office building and said “here we are.” It was Taco Bell’s headquarters. No restaurant. No burritos.

    • Yay! I am back from my cleint meeting in Weschester! The manageing partner is thinking of expanding by putting an office up in White Plains b/c of all of the new supermarket’s opening up there. So he had me go up with him to meet with some insurance companies who are connected with some of these places. I think that mabye when I get MARRIED, we could move to Weschester and I could work there. However there is a different judge in Weschester and I do not think I could do both Westchester and Manahattan. FOOEY b/c my track record is over 95% in Manahattan!

      As for the OP, yes, the cleaneing people look all the time at my garbage and scold me for eateing so much chocolate. It is the ONLEY vice I have, Dad says, and he attributes my tuchus to the chocolate. I told him that my tuchus is my busness and I have not had to many complaint’s about it lately b/c of all of the step’s I have been doing with my FITBIT. I hope I can find a guy to marry me with my tuchus, though, b/c I want to move to Weschester! YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Who cares?

  4. Need holy Grail of Jean :

    Emergency Jeans Purchase!

    I have 45 minutes tonight at a typical mall (think Madewell, Ann Taylor, Loft, etc) to purchase a pair of dark wash skinny jeans appropriate for a casual day in professional environment. I am pear shaped and prize comfort above all. Advice?

    • Loft – they have a curvy line (forget the name…)

      That’s where I go. I’m a pear.

      But I favor their skinny ankle pants for casual day at work.

    • LOFT JULIE FIT — hands down, my best ever

      LEVIS curvy cut +2 or +3 to your normal size (mail order only unless you have a stand alone store).

      For me:
      BR Logan pants: 6
      Loft Julie fit pants: 4 (6 in their skinny jeans)
      Levis curvy cut jeans: 10

    • The Brooke legging jean at Lucky. So comfortable and stretchy (I’ve gained 10 lbs in my thighs since buying them and they still fit!).

    • Anonymous :

      This may be too casual, but Old Navy Rockstars. Massively comfortable and inexpensive.

  5. Just a vent. I was in the office kitchen making a cup of tea (clearly making a cup of tea, bobbing the bag up and down) when a man who works here came into the kitchen for coffee. He took the rest of what was in the pump pot, which was about 1/2 cup, nuked it, left the microwave door open, and then very pointedly looked at me and said, “someone needs to make coffee.”

    Hard to describe how his expression conveyed this, but he was more or less ordering me to make coffee. Um, no.

  6. Black Halo? :

    Any experience with Black Halo dresses? I’m considering the Amelie in a pastel for a family wedding in which I’m not a bridesmaid but will be in photos. Thoughts on fit and quality?

    • Wildkitten :

      Cap Hill Style loves them.

    • Fit is great if you have an hourglassy figure that you don’t mind showing off. The sizing runs a little small, so I’d go up a size. Go up 2 sizes if you want a little more relaxed fit. I love the cut of their dresses, but am not as crazy about the fabric. I own 3 Black Halo dresses, all of which I’ve bought on sale. I wouldn’t pay full price for them.

    • Anonymous :

      Do NOT go up a size! They run true to size.

    • Black Halo? :

      Thanks, all

  7. Marshmallow :

    I also went from NuvaRing to Mirena, about two years ago. My experience has been generally positive. My weight crept up over the first year, then back down farther than it went up (with diet and exercise changes). So that’s just to say for me personally, Mirena did not cause weight loss. I take a regular multivitamin and probiotic, but I’m not sure what that has to do (or not) with Mirena working for me. I think it’s just kind of an individual thing.

    If you are uncomfortable with your BC, you are 100% entitled to tell your doctor that. Don’t let her make you feel vain or bad. 5 months is probably long enough to know whether you will be happy with a new form of BC, and you’re telling us you are underweight– this is not a vanity issue, it’s a health issue. Your doctor should want to keep you healthy. Tell her some version of, “It’s been five months but I still don’t feel like myself. I’ve lost X pounds and I think this is an unhealthy weight for me to be at. My lifestyle is the same and the only change is Mirena. It’s just not working for me. What other BC options can we look at?”

  8. True reading confessions: I enjoyed the thread last week about how much people read for pleasure, but I read so much less than I used to. Then I realized I’ve been forcing myself to read “high quality” novels or nonfiction that I would have enjoyed 10-15 years ago. I’ve been reading Subversives, just a chapter at bedtime, and it’s been such a slog to get through, despite being objectively interesting. So I decided to give myself and my brain a break and stop reading it for awhile. I’ve read two trashy romance novels in the last four days and I couldn’t be happier.

    • I so feel you on this. I was part of a book club with a lot of academic types, and most of the books were high-minded and just paaaaaaaainful to read. I like to think I’m smart, but I can’t (can’t EVEN!) with literature and sometimes very technical non-fiction filled with endless history/background minutiae. I like to think I’m a smart person, but I’ve decided I’m going with John Grisham over Ann Patchett every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      • Anonymous :

        Really? Ann Patchett? Bel Canto is my favorite book of all time and I think she’s a wonderful author but I would never put her in the category of “serious literature”. When I think painful book club, I’m thinking James Joyce and Ulysses. Can you try Bel Canto? It’s so good!

        • Is the book better than the opera? Bel Canto inched past Cats as my absolute least favorite opera/musical… I literally left at intermission.

          • Anonymous :

            It has nothing at all to do with the opera Bel Canto. Some of the main characters like opera/sing.

        • Anonymous :

          What makes something serious literature? I’ve always wondered where they draw the line with modern stuff.

          • Anonymous :

            I think there are a couple categories of Serious Literature.

            1. The Canon – which is old white dudes writing stuff. Also known as the Classics.
            2. Literary novels, which will usually tell you they are literary novels, because they are very proud of being literary novels and not part of those genres. I feel like this is the category Ann Prachett may fall into? (Having never read any AP…)
            3. Oprah Book Club picks – not because they are necessarily highly regarded by the literati, but because they tend to deal with serious subjects (abuse, bad parental relationships, etc).

            (I honestly have no desire to read any of those. I know where most of my catnip is and it is none of these things. Ain’t got time to read boring-to-me books to make other people think I’m smart).

        • Anonymous :

          Fun fact–I read Bel Canto in law school and 6 months later, the fact pattern for my moot court moot problem was Bel Canto. It was great.

        • Your plea is so sincere, I might have to!

    • Anonymous :

      +1 – can’t ever seem to get interested in any of the classics or even most of the popular fiction books (ie Gone Girl). I’m romance all the way (with some urban fantasy mixed in).

      I just wish there was less of a stigma around romance (aka trashy romance), because it’s not like its a lower form of reading. Good romance authors make you feel all sorts of emotions and keep the pages turning because you want to know what happens between the two individuals at the center of the book. It’s a huge ($$$$$) industry, that focuses on women, caters to women, and is dominated by women (authors, marketing, readers, etc.), but because of that female focus is derided.

      So from atop my soapbox, don’t feel like you have qualify the books as “trashy”! The authors have woven a compelling story for you that held your attention and made you feel things. That’s an accomplishment on their part!

      • layered bob :

        Yes! Romance gets s h 1 t on because it’s by women/about women/for women, and that’s so much b u 1 1 s h 1 t – there are lots of romances that don’t get critical attention because of the genre, but are in fact excellent, excellent books and not a giant depressing pain to read like the “serious” fiction/non-fiction that I *also* enjoy.

        My husband compares romances to action movies – both genre art, but because action movies are by men/about men the good ones get critical attention and are taken seriously (or parts of them are taken seriously – production values or soundtrack or whatever). Whereas basically all romances are dismissed wholesale even though I would say there is about the same proportion of “good” romances as “good” action movies.

        • The argument that gets me is the “but it’s soooo formulaic!”. And my response is “Dude, when was the last time a mystery novel didn’t end with it getting solved?”

    • I got back into reading — after being a voracious 5-7 book/week reader as a HSer — once I had kids by reading young adult novels when I was in my early 30s. It was a lighter lift, I had to remember less, and overall easier to follow the story & less mentally taxing. Now I read a variety of genres by choice.

      • Same here.

        For me, the turning point was how much time I wasted on E! or Bravo. I was watching junk, so why not read the junk instead and feel better about it? I started with YA and celebrity memoirs (think non-historic ones like Holly Madison and Amy Schumer and Tina Fey) and slowly added in “real” books. But I still love the YA books and totally consider them real. YA books often have more diverse, well-developed characters and aren’t afraid to let a woman be the star. And they lend themselves to the reading-at-night-after-the-kids-are-in-bed pattern of your 30s and 40s.

        • I often think the stories in YA are more interesting and less “this is what someone else’s life is like” than adult fiction. When was the last time you read an adult novel with a female protagonist fighting for her life in a sick, government-run gameshow? Or about adults with magical powers fighting an evil wizard? Adult books are often relationship focused or based in reality…it gets boring.

        • Spirograph :

          I love kidlit and YA because it’s fun. But reading in bed after the kids go to sleep is what makes me stay up way too late because I only have 100 pages left, no sense saving that for another night.

    • Life is too short to read books you don’t enjoy. Sometimes I’ll get halfway or more through a book before I realize I’m just not liking it. So I ditch it for something else.

    • You should try reading Jennifer We iner. (she wrote the book In Her Shoes, which was made into a movie, but I really like Good In Bed)

      She writes women’s stories. She is very vocal about the fact that men’s stories such as those written by Jonahan Franzen are considered contemporary literature, while her stories are substantially similar except written about women, and they are considered “chick lit.”

      • Jonathan Franzen is a COMPLETE bore. Dislike.

        OP sometimes I’m in a mood for something dense but more often not and I say, do not apologize for your literary tastes!

        • Sooooo not a fan of Franzen. I feel like he despises all his own characters except the ones that I find most abhorrent. I’m not interested in reading a book full of people for which the author seems to feel nothing but scorn.

      • Anonymous :

        Dick Lit! (can’t take credit for that)

      • Anonymous :

        Love her books!

      • Anonymous :

        I read everything she wrote as of 8-10 years ago but kind of forgot about her, so thanks for the reminder. I’ll see what she’s written more recently.

      • I read everything she writes. Emily Giffin is similar, with complicated female characters and relationships but her writing is not as vivid as Jennifer W.

    • I’m in mod. In short, try reading Jennifer w e i n e r.

    • a millenial :

      i loooove tana french. relatively well written and deliciously plot-twisty crime thrillers.

  9. Trying to Concentrate :

    Just a short vent about shared office space. I went from a law firm lawyer job where every atty gets their own office to a government office where I share an open space with 3 other lawyers. We’re supposed to just be sitting hear quietly reading, writing, researching, and analyzing. But that’s not what happens. Most days the 2 lawyers near retirement have personal conversations with each other and with their friends and family on the phone. One has a shrill laugh that just cuts right through you. I try to combat those with headphones. But lately the third office mate has started this foot stomping thing that is hard to block out and driving me nuts. Our chairs are on those rolling plastic sheets and she wears heels, and I get the sense that she is punctuating her sentences by stomping her heel on the plastic. It kills me. I thought she was an ally.

    • Anonymous government lawyer :

      I also went from big law to government and thus working in an open space. Also hate it.

      My coworker brought in a George Foreman grill and grilled a steak on the floor under his desk. Grilled. A. Steak. On. The. Floor. In. A. Shared. Office. Two days in a row. HR was called (not by me). You cannot make this sh* up.

      I don’t have any magical solution to the problem– this guy still does myriad annoying things– just a funny story. Headphones and soothing jazz music are your friends.

      • Senior Attorney :

        HAHAHAHA!! OMG that is amazing!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Do you work with Ron Swanson? Though I don’t know if Ron would use a George Foreman. It’s not a “real” grill.

      • Cookbooks :

        That’s hilarious!! And here I thought having someone walk through wearing a giant abominable snowman costume (for no discernible reason) was weird. I also work in government in an open space.

      • Not as annoying, but we had a guy buying frozen food in bulk that, I guess, didn’t fit in his home freezer, so he stored it in the work freezer. Many large cartons of frozen appetizers, frozen fish and family packs of ground beef – things you wouldn’t make for lunch in the office kitchen. (He was single). The day he got laid off he took it with him.

      • Ahahahahaha!!!

        This. is. GOLD.

      • Frozen Peach :

        This wins the internet today (on non-political topics).

        I also went from a firm to an open office and I listen to pretty loud music on my headphones. Woe to whoever puts fish in the office microwave. My desk is right by the break room and kitchen, and I sometimes have to flee the smell. But at least it isn’t fried in a pan in a campfire built on the floor of the office…

  10. Anonymous :

    haha, colorways. It’s not just “colors” anymore?

    • Literally thought the same thing when it was used last week.

    • I’ve seen it a lot lately, not just here. And I hate it. I assume it’s trying to include different textures/patterns as opposed to just solid colors but come on. We know what you’re talking about.

    • I’m a knitter. Colorway means a collection of colors. So you can knit this afghan in the blue colorway or the pink colorway, and each colorway will include different coordinating shades of those colors. In some cases this is achieved by changing yarns. In some cases the yarn is dyed in a colorway, so that some sections of the yarn are dark blue, some medium blue, some light blue.

      So a shoe can have a colorway rather than a color if it is made up of different sections of materials and shades. But i think it’s a stretch to call a single color a colorway.

      • I should add, colorway doesn’t have to mean just different shades of one color. Noro yarns makes colorway like magenta/chartreuse/grape.

      • Anonymous :

        As a knitter, I agree with all of this. “Colorway” = a particular collection of colors. A single color is not a colorway. I am on the fence about whether it’s proper to say this shoe comes in colorways because every option is a single color with multiple textures.

        • So, it’s a texture-way, with a single color?

        • Yeah, I’ve heard the term for years to describe hermes scarves. Because they are different groups of colors in the same pattern. I.e., different colorways.

    • Schmancy British brands say colorways instead of colours too. It’s sort of angloish.

  11. JulyBride :

    I am getting married in July and have two of my closest friends as bridesmaids (we wanted a small wedding party). I wanted a relaxed wedding and not too many constraints for the bridesmaids, so I let then chose their own dresses, but mentioned that I ideally would like them to follow the wedding’s color scheme (mint green/blush pink). One bridesmaid got a lovely mint dress and when i spoke to the other she said she was looking for a blush dress. She just emailed me a picture of her dress, and it’s navy blue. I really don’t want to be a bridezilla but…that doesnt work with the colors at all. I am not having a very formal wedding but the flowers and decor will match the colors. Am I overreacting? I wasn’t super directive about the dresses, but still tried to make it clear about the colors, and BM2 clearly got it.How do I politely adress this? Or should I drop it And just live with the mismatched colors?

    • Anonymous :

      haha +1 also, SA is going to be sooooo pissed that Kat called us girls.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you sure it was her actual dress and not an example of the style that she ordered in blush?

    • Anonymous :

      Hey so remember I said mint green or blush? This is navy.

      • “Hey remember how I didn’t actually specify I wanted mint green or blush and just wanted you to read my mind? You didn’t.”

    • let it roll sister :

      ultimately, it’ll look great and mismatched colors are fabulous – especially navy? you’re in luck. navy and mint green? That’s totally going to look gorgeous and if you don’t tell anyone about the dress color scheme you wanted, TRULY none of your guests will notice.

      as someone who’s been a BM many times over – as well as a bride who told BMs to wear any color – you were not directive enough, so if you want to backtrack and make her get another dress – that’s on you.

      maybe your friend is kind of a dope and didn’t get the memo but when you say “choose any dress you want” that’s what they do, regardless of your subtle suggestion/hint that didn’t make it

      • JulyBride :

        @anonymous – it looks like the dress only exists in navy on the website, but I could be wrong.
        @ let it roll sister – thanks, I think you’re right. Dress is otherwise pretty, and I guess no one will care. I promised myself I wouldn’t be that girl but I am really overwhelmed by the whole process of wedding planning (including my MIL repeatedly telling me it “won’t feel like a real wedding” because no veil, no matching bridesmaids and groomsmen, no tux, and most of all no church), so I may be losing my perspective a bit.

        • Is it important to you, though – not your MIL? If so, I would use the script below. I think if you’re honest about it and this is the only thing you waffle on, you’re not That Girl at all.

          Trust me, I am a BM this weekend… and not in a chillax way.

        • It sounds like your MIL is not helping in a major way. Did you even want to have “colors”? We had no wedding party, but decided on colors that we liked to sort of help us figure out decorations that would look ok together (our florist worked with us on it). I think that a navy dress with a mint/blush color scheme will be lovely and would not spend time worrying about it.

        • I’m sorry your MIL is being an A $ $. You know why it’s going to feel like a real wedding? Because you’re going to get married.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Those MILs are the *worst* – let me share a sample of highlights… “the bridesmaids should not wear black…what do you mean they aren’t floor length? what do you mean they are wearing different shoes and having different hairstyles? one of them is pregnant???”.

          My personal fave was when we were having four “women of honour” and only one groomsman, my MIL decided I was trying to show that I was more popular than her son and demanded that I drop all but one (especially the pregnant one) OR that her two brothers (both in the their 60s who my husband does not care for) and one of their children be added to “his” side. All of her suggestions were simply ignored, including the last second one that I wear my veil over my face. Not fecking likely, lady.

          You do you, sister. As for your dilemma, I think navy and mint will look beautiful with blush.

      • This. I think you tried to be too lax. You weren’t clear enough on what you wanted (either because you didn’t realize at the time, or because you did but didn’t communicate it clearly, although the reason doesn’t matter) so your BM couldn’t read your mind. That’s okay, but now you have to own it. If you want to fix it, you need to be clear and offer to offset the costs for her.

        You say “Look, I realize now that I want the dresses to be either mint or blush. So sorry, wish I would have figured this out sooner. If you can’t return this one, I’ll either pay for your new one or reimburse you for this one. Let me know which one works for you!”

      • Anonymous :

        I agree it will look great with Navy, Mint, and Blush! So I would just let it go.

    • Mismatched dresses :

      Agree with Anonymous that it might be a style example. The best way to find out what’s up is to ask her–“It’s beautiful, but I thought you were shopping for blush. Am I missing something?”

      FWIW, if what you told them about the colors is what you said here “ideally . . . follow the wedding’s color scheme,” and I were a bridesmaid, I’d first shop for mint or blush and then, if I struggled to find something in those colors/my size/my budget/that flattered me, I might think “She said the colors were the ideal, not a requirement, let’s see if I can find something basically unobtrusive that at least won’t clash with the overall look and that works for my size/my budge/my reasonable desire to not wear an unflattering dress.”

      I do think that you can ask her to not wear the blue dress, but it might be a gesture of goodwill to find and send links to some blush or mint dresses that would be good options for her (especially if she struggled to find them on her own). I get that this may feel sort of dictatorial in the way I presume you were trying to avoid, but honestly, as a bridesmaid, I just want to be told the thing I have to buy, not go hunting for it myself. Maybe this woman is different from me (seriously, you know your friends and lots of people like the hunting part of shopping) but the shopping-project-with-assigned-colors-that-fits-someone-else’s-vision thing sounds nothing but stressful to me.

      Finally, I think a navy dress would actually look fine, particularly with only two bridesmaids. Navy looks nice with both mint and blush and she’s not going to be the odd woman out of a big matching group; you’ll just have two bridesmaids each wearing a different dress (as was your plan).

    • To be honest, I think navy will look FANTASTIC with your wedding colors, and keep everything from looking too “cotton candy.”

      • +1. A good friend of mine had wedding colors that mixed navy and a very specific orange-coral with pastels, including mint and blush. It was beautiful and unlike any wedding colors I’ve ever seen and opened up a whole world of mixing darker (but not neutral) tones and pastels for me.

      • Also, could you bring this up with your florist? You might be able to work a bit of navy into the arrangement so it looks intentional. I agree, though, mint green + navy + blush should be very pretty.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I just looked on Pinterest and there are a ton of navy, mint and blush ideas over there…

    • Nonbridezilla :

      Just say “shoot, I wasn’t clear enough earlier when I said I wanted the dresses to work with our colors. Navy won’t really go.” And then send her links to like 5 dresses in colors you’re OK with.

    • Yeah I think you’ve got to let it go. If you’re going to make your attendants pick their own dress but stick to a particular color scheme, the color choices should be pretty ubiquitous, like black, charcoal, navy. If you’re going to pick colors that are neither ubiquitous nor easy to wear, like mint and blush, then you should’ve just picked the dress. Your bridesmaid probably couldn’t find anything in mint or blush that was appropriate to the occasion and was reasonably flattering on her.

      • Anonymous :

        Eh I don’t think the colors are the problem. You can ask a bridesmaid to buy a dress in mint green or blush. But if you tell someone “ideally” you’d like them to get a dress in those colors then you can’t be annoyed when they get something else. if you want them to do something you need to make a specific request, not a suggestion.

    • If you wanted them to have specific colors, you should have told them that.

    • Reading fail just now :

      Is it possible that she saw “blush” and (like me) read “blueish”? Because my mind did just that. And navy is blueish.

  12. Anonymous :

    Any experience with how complicated/expensive returns to figleaves are from the US? They’ve the best selection of bathing suits in my size, but I don’t want to end up spending a fortune on return shipping to find the right size.

    • Very easy, at least a few years ago. They have you send it to a US address and they ship it back to the UK. I don’t think it was free, but it was under $10 for sure. I love their suits.

  13. To those of you with office jobs that require butt in seat 9-5, how did you get your IUD? I can’t seem to schedule the three doctors appointments required in such a way that won’t result in major sass from my employer for being out of the office.

    • To directly answer the question, I took time off. I’m salaried, so I didn’t even use vacation time. Your employer is being ridiculous. You should be able to take time off for doctor appointments and procedures without major sass/any comments at all.

      In an attempt to be more helpful, can you find a doctors office that has early appointments? My doctors office has 8am appointments, so at least you could get the exams done early without affecting work. I think the insertion would take longer though.

      It’s worth it, even if you have to take the sass.

      • I actually work 7-5 and haven’t been able to find appointments outside those hours. I can’t seem to find lunch hour appointments either. I’m definitely going to do it no matter what but already took some flack for a minor surgery and the two half days I took in March. I’d rather not deal with the politics again

    • Anonymous :

      I took time off and it only required one appointment for me. I worked in the morning and then took the rest of the afternoon off after insertion.

      • What magical doctor is this? In my state its required to have 1 consult 2 insertion 3 check up. Can’t find a way without it

        • Anonymous :

          Sometimes you can get away with 2 appointments (no initial consult) if you have recently had your annual. Otherwise they like to do 3 appointments.

        • I don’t know if it was required, but this was how it worked for me too. 3 appointments.

        • What will happen if you don’t go to the follow up? Seriously. Are they going to come take the IUD out? Lol. The point of the follow up is to make sure it hasn’t fallen out. Useful, but you can also just feel that the strings are there. My first IUD was prekids and I dutifully went to the follow up. My second IUD was shortly after having my kid and I didn’t bother. I had someone check it months later when I had the time.

    • Anonymous :

      Do it during lunch? I didn’t really do an initial consult, though I mentioned it at my yearly. She told me to choose which one I wanted and make the appointment, so I made it during lunch and then went in for a consult during lunch again. I would think most office jobs would let you run out to a doctor’s appointment at any point in the day, but you must get a lunch break. You could also do the first appointment of the day before work.

    • Does your employee handbook really not allow you to take time for doctor appointments? That …. seems ridiculous. Mine explicitly says that we can use our sick time towards doctor appointments. I would look up the handbook and see what it says. If, as I expect, it specifies that you’re allowed to take sick time, I would print out that page and have it handy in case anyone gives you any flak.

      • Oh I can, I have ten medical days, but there is still a lot of push back. One coworker actually got a note for taking ‘too many’ medical days, but still within her ten allotted.

        • WTF is the policy for then?

          I would still say print out the policy and quote it when someone brings it up. Reiterate that you are well within your allotted days and don’t apologize for taking them. There are literally no doctors that you can make an appointment with outside of the 7-5 hours. They’re being completely unreasonable.

          Good luck!!

  14. Weird question – maybe not the right forum to post this but this is one of the more active online communities I’m familiar with. I have a side hustle as a yoga teacher. I really want to use the following reading in my yoga class tomorrow, but I always have at least one guy in the class. What do you think of the idea of changing the pronoun every other paragraph from “She” to “He”? So the paragraphs would alternate back and forth? Or too weird/confusing? Any other ideas?

    She Let Go by Rev. Safire Rose

    She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.

    She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

    She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all of the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.

    She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go

    She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn’t call the prayer line. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

    No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go.

    There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good and it wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

    In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

    • I think it would be confusing to alternate the genders, in a way that changes the meaning of the piece. and I think a guy should be able to reasonably identify with the character “she” in this reading even though he is not the same gender as her.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree, keep the single gender. (We women have to substitute a she for all the hes all the time, dude can do it this once). And also, it’s beautiful and thank you for sharing it.

    • No, you should not change the pronouns from “she” to “he” in a poem to protect some man’s delicate male ego.

      Idk about you, but none of my teachers, religious leaders, etc. ever changed the pronouns in their readings from “he” to “she” to make me feel more included. And now I’m chuckling at the idea of my childhood (quite misogynistic) priest referring to Jesus as a she.

    • Anonymous :

      As a person who is very deliberate with pronoun usage, here is my take: Do not alternate pronouns. Just read it as written. Alternating pronouns will confuse some people (are there two characters?) and draw attention to gender issues where there really are none. The character is a woman. Let her be a woman.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Leave it as is. It’s about one person and you are asking them to apply it to themselves. Women have been dealing with masculine pronouns for decades. Your male members will figure it out.

    • nasty woman :

      Just say she. It’ll be confusing otherwise and frankly, I think you’re entitled to. We’ve endured “he” as the primary pronoun in the English language for gd*mn years and still have to push to get people to use “she.”

      If only the patriarchy was as considerate of other’s feelings and inclusiveness as you are.

    • I didn’t even think of it from this perspective (i.e. in terms of the patriarchy)! You guys are totally right.

      I did have the thought to change it to “you” – to make it a more deliberate visualization – after I posted. But I might just leave it as is (definitely won’t be switching back and forth).

    • Agree that alternating would be weird. If you want to make it gender neutral, you could use you or I.

  15. Santa Fe Casual :

    Attending a destination wedding in Santa Fe, NM over Memorial Day weekend. Just got the rehearsal dinner invite & the attire is Santa Fe Casual (no shorts, please). Never been there, but all I think of is turquoise jewelry. Any ideas?

    • How frustrating that they’ve made up a dress code! Can you ask the bride/groom/family what that’s supposed to mean?

    • Anything out of the Sundance catalog (is that still around?). Stevie nicks without the platform boots.

    • Skyler White :

      + 1 to Stevie Nicks

      and mix in some Breaking Bad references and you should be all set

    • I’ve never been to Santa Fe either, but I would take this to mean casual but not shorts–so pants (including jeans) or skirt or even sundress or maxi dress or jumper, whatever you’re most comfortable in that is also appropriate for the weather in the evening in Santa Fe at the end of May.

    • Santa casual :

      I propose red pants, red flip flops, a white tank top, a Santa hat, and a sincere apology upon arrival that, oh no! You read “Santa casual” rather than “Santa Fe casual”

    • So this is the kind of thing I typically see when “Santa Fe Casual” is on the invitation:
      – Broomstick skirts worn with tank tops, cowboy boots, and straw or felt cowboy hats.
      – Chambray or white cotton shirts worn with broomstick skirts and Frye leather sandals, bonus points if you wear the shirt over the skirt and belt it with either a concho belt (little silver disks chained together) or a black leather belt with tooled silver hardware.
      – Suede and fringe. Fringed suede. Lots of it. On shirts, jackets, boots, etc. Fringed suede jacket or vest + short black skirt + chambray shirt + cowboy boots is an all-time fave, with a concho belt and lots of silver jewelry.
      – Denim skirts, short or (ugh) long, with a belted button-down shirt and cowboy boots. In winter, substitute traditional Pendleton wool skirts, the kind that look like they are made from the blankets.
      – Maxi dresses with -you guessed it – cowboy boots. Are you sensing a theme here?
      There may be some women who look more like they came from a gallery opening in Chelsea, with maybe some heavy silver jewelry added. So if that’s a comfortable look for you, go for it.

      Men will be in denim or chambray shirts and Western-style pants or jeans (you will likely see jeans on both men and women, no matter how formal the setting) and boots. You’ll probably see bolo ties, possibly on women too. Some men may wear Western-cut suits (like you’d see at a Western-wear store). But don’t count on it. That’s more “Santa Fe formal” these days. A lot of men will be wearing their $500 Resistol cowboy hats and they tend to leave them in inconvenient places when they take them off; watch where you sit as it is very awkward when you crush someone’s very expensive hat, even if they were idiots enough to leave it in a seat.

      In general you can think of it as 70% Western wear, 20% artsy and 10% random. If you have a not-too-dressy black dress and some silver jewelry, wear that with some sturdy sandals (Born/Clarks-style sandals are VERY big in Santa Fe) and your hair pulled back in a smooth bun, maybe bring a colorful wrap for the evening. You’ll look fine.

      Source: Native New Mexican. I attended a wedding last year where the dress code was listed as “Santa Fe Casual” and the above is exactly what I saw at the wedding.

      As an aside, you are going to Santa Fe at a great time and I hope you’ll have time to sightsee and enjoy some time exploring while you’re there.

  16. Anonymous :

    My neighbor has a giant piece of paper taped to the back of his car’s rear window that says “Trump is a lying sack of sh*t!” (asterisk in original)

    Hahahaha. Made my day. Also would love to see one of those Calvin (of Hobbes) decals where he is pee-ing on Trump.

    • Anonymous :

      I love your neighbor!
      You inspired me to go to the interwebs where I did in fact find said decals! What a great country!
      (I looked on my phone rather than office computer so no link but do check it out!)

      • Anonymous :

        omg…you are right! they are all over Etsy, plus other things. I am getting a mug, right now.

  17. Hi everyone. I’ve got to get a headshot done tomorrow and am interested in suggestions for what to wear. I work in consulting and analytics so it’s a fairly conservative role.
    I’m younger (mid 20s) so I would like to show some personality while remaining appropriate. Obviously it’s going to follow a basic blouse and blazer structure, but am interested in people’s opinions on colors, patterns, jewelry, etc.

    • I’ve never had headshots taken, but I think I remember reading that patterns aren’t great and you should stick to solid colors. Also think about how things will look if the photo is converted to black and white — will a top in a tone similar to your skin tone make you look like you’re not wearing anything? Will your clothes blend in with the background and make you look like a floating head? I think you should be able to find some good tips by googling, too.

    • Wildkitten :

      Don’t show personality.

    • Navy blazer, blouse in a saturated color like purple, jewel neckline if you can swing it.

      Minimal jewelry. No dainty necklaces. Either pearls or something about that size or no necklace. Stud earrings if you wear earrings – no hoops, no dangles.

      Wear your hair down. Wear more eye makeup than usual if you wear eye makeup. But not colorful eye makeup. Just a little more saturated with liner etc because the flash will wash it out.

  18. I don’t get these shoes. Dominatrix above the ankle and librarian below?

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