Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Armani Collezioni Tile Jersey Jacket

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

Armani Collezioni Tile Jersey JacketHappy Monday! I like this shrunken blazer from Armani Collezioni — the textured jersey is a very interesting, almost waffle-knit pattern. I like. More importantly, for discussion purposes: how do we feel about the model’s overall look — the monochromatic look on top with a black pant on the bottom? I feel like it’s a classic look but one that I’ve only seen on older women — but I’m not quite sure why. I do kind of wish they’d styled it with another color instead of black, though — perhaps a dark gray, or maybe even the right shade of brown. Readers, what are your thoughts? The jacket is $1395 at Saks. Armani Collezioni Tile Jersey Jacket

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  1. I’m pretty sure she’s wearing jeans, if that makes a difference.

    • Mom jeans, at that.

    • She is (they’re listed down the page on the right). And they’re dry clean (ha!). I don’t know about Mom Jeans, though. The rise looks higher than most boot cuts, but they definitely don’t have the taper to the ankle that mom jeans were known for. And there aren’t any pleats.

      • Dry clean jeans?! Why on earth would you dry clean jeans?

        • I have a friend who dry cleans her jeans because she doesn’t want them to fade.

          On the other end of the spectrum, with the exception of a few suits and dress pants, if I can’t machine wash it, it doesn’t come home with me :)

  2. What a gorgeous jacket. That color! And in jersey would be so versatile. I think I’d wear the monochome top with a blue jean on bottom – my office is very very casual. Or really mix it up, with a lavender tee.

    • It appears she is wearing jeans (either black or a really, really dark wash). Personally, I’m not a fan of the red top + red jacket. I think a third color for the top would make the outfit look a little less stark.

    • Your sequin skirt and updo are FABULOUS.

  3. I think the outfit would look much better with a dark skirt, maybe in subtle pinstripe or black/white plaid.

  4. Honeymooner :

    One color + black = “professional” to me for the longest time. Now I’ve branched out much further (mostly because of this Hive of well-dressed professionals!) To me, this looks like she’s wearing jeans.

    Honeymoon TJ:
    I’m getting married in March! For the honeymoon, I want to go to a beachy, tropical all-inclusive resort. I have no idea how to find a good one. (No other person in my family has traveled internationally for generations except as a member of the military or the clergy. I am neither) Any recommendations for places/resorts/resources?

    • I’ve never done an all-inclusive resort (they aren’t my husband and my style) – but if you’re looking to go international for a place like this, I’d check out Costa Rica. Especially some of the eco-friendly resorts down there are supposed to be amazing, and you can book a trip to the rain forest. And I will be jealous from afar.

    • what’s your price range? Like TCFKAG, my hubby and I are more of the small B&B on the beach types, but I have friends that have done Sandals (St Lucia is a popular one) and richer friends that have done more luxe/remote – ex Peter Island in the BVI and Half Moon in Jamaica.

      I’d also recommend tripadvisor once you’ve narrowed it down a little. If it’s always too crowded at the best restaurants so you’re stuck dining at 9, etc, you’ll find out there.

      • Honeymooner :

        We want to spend $5,000 total. One week in March.

        I will check out tripadvisor!

        • Priceline also has packages that are pretty decent & if you have a costco membership, costco also has packages on their site.

    • Miz Bizcuit :

      A friend of mine loved her all-inclusive beach vacay in Jamaica. (To put it in perspective, we *live* on the best beach in FL, so this is really saying something.) I can’t remember the name of the resort, but I know it wasn’t terribly expensive.

      Also, Jamaica is a relatively short plane ride from FL. Important for those of us who *hate* plane travel.

    • The Grand Palladium in Jamaica was wonderful when I went when it first opened and it seems to be a new Jamaican visitor favorite. All-inclusive with plenty of restaurants, beverages a-plenty, and a very comfortable place to walk around within the resort. But as mentioned before, tripadvisor is my go-to for almost everything.

    • We loved the Bucuti resort in Aruba. It’s not all-inclusive but is all adult and better than any all-inclusive we’ve been to. They have honeymoon packages that include an amazing dinner on the beach and I can’t say enough nice things about the resort and staff. Aruba is also a very small island so we felt comfortable trying out nicer restaurants close by in the evenings. In my experience, the food at all inclusives is generally subpar. It was nice to lounge at the resort and be pampered by staff during the day then go off the resort at night.

      • I second the Bucuti recommendation! You can also purchase a Dine Around Plan which gives you the option to choose from about 30 different restaurants all over the island.

      • I replied below before I saw this. We stayed at the Bucuti as well and loved it. I also highly recommend the Flying Fishbone restaurant — get a table where you can eat with your feet in the ocean!

    • Aruba! The weather and food are amazing and it’s a very short flight from the East Coast. It’s what I call an “easy” vacation — you can use US currency and everyone speaks English. Hubs and I honeymooned there (and we’re relatively adventurous travelers, but just wanted to be lazy after the chaos of the wedding) and it was AWESOME.

    • Congratulations and best wishes!

      My husband and I went to the Paradisus in the Dominican Republic last summer, and I would highly recommend it. It was gorgeous, the staff was wonderful, and the all inclusive food and drink were excellent and free flowing. We paid extra to do the “royal services” package, which has some separate areas and extras (it’s adults-only, too, which is nice). Here’s the link: http://www.paradisuspalmareal.com/

    • It wasn’t all-inclusive, but we stayed at The Crane Resort in Barbados. It was amazing then (2008) and they were doing a lot of renovations then, so I get its really awesome now.

  5. Regular poster, anon for this :

    Childcare TJ – Any advice on what questions to ask when touring prospective daycares? I have a few appointments set up this week and I’m not really sure what to ask when I’m there. I have the basic details down (price, licensing, recommendations from other parents), but what should I try to learn while I’m actually at the site? Thanks in advance!

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      Not a parent, but is there a nurse or NP on site?

      • Seventh Sister :

        I have to say I’ve never known a daycare to have a nurse on staff (but this may be regional and it sounds like a great idea), but do ask about CPR/First Aid training. Some states require such training for licensing (like mine), but others do not.

    • There are lists out there with 100 questions you can ask. For us, we went by gut feelings. Things we looked for included: Is the place clean? Are the toys/equipment in decent shape? Are the classrooms divided up? What is the noise level? Do the kids seem generally happy and are the teachers attentive? Is the director engaging? We walked out of several places and knew immediately that it wasn’t the place for us. On paper the places seemed fine and the facilities were adequate, but there was something that just didn’t feel like the right fit.

    • Staff turnover — you want it low low low. Even for the staff that does not regularly interact with your child (ie. office staff, the kitchen staff, etc). You want it to be a happy place for people to work — your child will feel more secure and happy when they feel safe and loved.

    • A few other questions: is there a waitlist and how long is it? What are the hours and late pickup penalties? What is the calendar – do they close with the public school calendar or are they open most holidays? What is included in your price – do you have to supply your own diapers? Wipes? Food and snacks? Formula? If you are b-feeding, is the staff familiar with b-milk handling? Another important aspect is teacher turnover – if staff is not treated well and turns over often, thats probably not an environment you want to be in.
      When touring, look at the teacher interaction – are most of the babies being played with and held when not sleeping, or are they just moved from one containment device (exersaucer, swing, bouncer etc) to another? Tour the older classrooms as well as baby. Does the staff do projects with the kids like arts & crafts and music or is it just a free for all play all day? Is there a preschool component for older kids? What about outdoor access – is there room for kids to run & play? If there isn’t a preschool component, do they run a bus to a local preschool?

    • Take a look at the layout of the place. Can you see into the classrooms easily from where the director sits? How many office staff are there? How many floating teachers. You want there to be extra bodies available so the teacher doesn’t leave the kids understaffed when they go to the bathroom. You want someone to be at the front desk at all times- so if there is only one office staff, what would happen if there was an issue in 2 rooms at once?

    • Take a look at the state licensing website to see if there have been any complaints. Make sure that their polices match your thoughts on childcare. (I am assuming you are looking for infant childcare here.) For example, do they hold the babies when feeding them bottles? Do they let the babies sleep in bouncy seats/swings or cribs only? Are the classrooms organized with clear and tidy areas for putting the child’s belongings? Do they have labeled areas in the refrigerator for the child’s food/bottles? How do they calm a baby? Most of all, I think it is very important to have good rapport with the child’s head teacher. You want to feel like you are on the same team. I didn’t really click with my child’s first teacher, and it was really difficult and upsetting. I’m much happier now (at a new school) but it takes time to build trust with the caregivers.

    • Diana Barry :

      Definitely have a list, but for me, I went with my gut. If there was not enough lighting, too few teachers for the number of babies, too much peeling paint on the building, etc. etc., it just made me feel weird about putting my baby there and so I didn’t.

    • Ask about end of day/beginning of day arrangements. Sometimes the classes are consolidated at the end or beginning or day. Ask where the children go to be active on rainy or too cold days. Ask about when the daycare is closed.

    • I am looking at day cares and compiling a list of questions too. Most of the ones on my list have already been covered but here are two more: (1) what is their evacuation plan in case of an emergency? and (2) how often do they change the air filters in the infant room (one day care we looked at had a “dirty diaper” smell that we didn’t notice in other day cares

    • Seventh Sister :

      You may want to ask about food. Do you have to bring it all? Is there hot breakfast? Hot lunch? How do they serve food? (At our school, the littlest mostly bring their own lunches, but breakfast and snacks are served family-style so the kids can learn how to pour milk, spoon out yogurt, etc.)

      While you may be most focused on the baby/toddler areas, I think it’s good to try and also pay attention to what the older kids are doing. We really wanted a play-based preschool, so I was wary of the schools that seemed overly focused on academic stuff.

  6. Thinking about Lyssa this morning – isn’t her C-section scheduled for today?

  7. regular poster, anon for this :

    Difficult Parents Threadjack:
    I’ve posted before about having difficult parents. Sadly, I need to post again about difficult parents. It’s a novel, so skip if this stuff is tedious for you. I’m sorry it’s so complicated and ugly.

    The facts:
    On Sat. Dec. 8th, I chatted with my parents on the phone, making plans to meet them for lunch on Sat. Dec. 15th at a restaurant near where I live. We planned to meet at 12:30. I asked them more than once if they’d like to stop over at our place afterwards to have tea and chitchat some more. They repeatedly demurred, because my mother said they’re busy and she wants to go home right after lunch and cook the following week’s supply of food for herself and my father.

    Other useful background facts:
    My mother and father work together (they’re small business owners) and their working together has significantly damaged their marriage in the past 10 years. But they refuse to disengage and disentangle their work and personal life. Because my mother is the one who is responsible for all the food, she likes to go to the grocery store with my father in tow on Saturday morning, when it’s a zoo, buy the entire week’s supply of food, and then come home and spend all Saturday afternoon and evening cooking the following week’s food.

    My father has expressed that he’s sick of the same old foods, but won’t lift a finger to make healthier foods. If pressed, he’ll just go to McDonald’s, which disgusts my mother. Fridays are slow days and my father has said that it would be better for my mother to go grocery shopping then, so they don’t have to go when it’s a zoo. Plus, he has confessed to me that he’d just like to have a few hours alone when she’s not glued to him. They drive to the office together, they work in the office together, they drive home together, talk about work over dinner, and then spend all their time together.

    On Friday Dec. 14, I learn some bad news about my husband’s side of the family. 2 relatives (one is middle-aged, another is in her 60s) are both dying, and are likely to both die around Christmas. And to top it all off, my mother-in-law (“MIL”) just got diagnosed with cancer. She had a bad fall recently and has been racked with muscle spasms making her unable to do a lot of normal physical things. Her birthday is Dec. 15th. Because of MIL’s physical condition, she can’t always make plans in advance, because sometimes, she is too racked with pain to leave the house and walk about to do stuff.

    Also, on Friday Dec. 14th, my FIL calls to ask if we can join FIL and MIL for dinner on Saturday night at 6pm (but at a restaurant that’s close to them b.c. of my MIL’s condition, and far from us). We agree, because we wanted to see my MIL before her surgery (today!!) and because we wanted to cheer her up.

    After talking with FIL and MIL, I call my parents to update them, because they’ve always inquired politely about how my in-laws are doing and I didn’t want to hide the bad news from them. Especially since FIL and MIL had cleared me to talk about this stuff.

    But I knew something was off in my mother’s tone of voice, but she didn’t say what was wrong and I refuse to play, “guess what Princess McSulkySulk is pissy about” because it feeds the diva behavior. My father offered to move lunch up an hour earlier because he thought it would give my mother time to do more of her cooking (since in our previous conversations and give me and my husband time to go home, get dressed for dinner, and drive out to see my FIL and MIL. I thank him for this offer, accept it, and wish them good night and tell them I’m looking forward to seeing them tomorrow.

    On our way to the (lunch) restaurant, I realize that my parents had called while I was getting ready (in another room, didn’t hear the cellphone). They left a garbled message (poor reception). I call my parents, and they tell me they’re canceling lunch. They tell me sarcastically that they don’t want to get in the way of my pleasing my drama queen mother-in-law.

    I tell them that this is inappropriate and unfair and that if they had a problem with the dates, they should have said so, rather than pretending they were fine, and then throwing a fit. I told them that it was inappropriate, rude, and disrespectful of them to call my mother-in-law names, and frankly, if we really want to talk drama, in all the years I’d been married, every episode of drama had been instigated by them (my parents), not my in-laws. We ended the conversation there.

    Yesterday (Dec 16), my father sends me an email where he scans in my wedding programme. He has underlined the part where my husband and I thank my in-laws for hosting the rehearsal dinner, and where we thank my parents for providing the flowers and music. My husband and I paid for everything else. Note to everyone: don’t let anyone pay for even a sliver of your wedding, because it’s not worth it. If they are drama queens like my parents, it will come back to bite you in the @ss. My father wrote: compare how much your in-laws paid for your wedding vs what we did and think about what is the appropriate level of respect you should give us. And then he asked for time to have a mock-trial type debate where each of us would be allotted X minutes to say his/her piece and Y minutes for rebuttal.

    Classy, no?

    • Wowza. I don’t really have any advice, but this is not normal behavior. Your parents do not buy your time or affection by paying for your wedding.

      • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

        Normal, well-adjusted parents don’t.

        I left out one important fact:
        It doesn’t help my parents came from China, where financial and emotional codependency is the norm. Also, communism– more than on generation crammed into a cheap, Communist-Party approved apartment tends to blur the boundaries. Still, they decided to come here, become American citizens, and become 99% Americanized.

        • At first I read your post, and was floored, but then you posted about their cultural background and it is easier to understand now. Even if they have lived here for so long, it sounds like they still have the traditional / family norms (elder respect / parents are always right, etc), and you may have different ones as a result of growing up here.

          It may be help to come to terms with the fact that you either a) work within their cultural norms and go with they are always right and try to be diplomatic, etc. or b) accept that you have to do what works for you, and they will probably always think you are in the wrong. For me, there was something freeing about accepting that I couldn’t change the parental interaction / drama and if they always made such a big deal about things, there was no point in me worrying about it more than I should.

          • style advice needed... :

            Very good points here.

            I was sorry to read the OP’s story, which is awful. But hearing her parents are from China and have lived through a completely different cultural/family experience then is the norm here…. it does explain a lot.

            You can’t win here. You will never change them. I agree with Ditto that you will have to make a choice about how you will respond to their antics, and try to be consistent. I’m sorry you have to deal with this additional stress.

    • e_pontellier :

      That’s terrible. You sound like you have a great head on your shoulders, and a great hubby, so hopefully you won’t be too dragged down by your parents’ noise.

    • Perhaps this is simplifying things, but if your parents are so disagreeable, why not just accept their lunch cancellation with a simple, “I’m sorry this didn’t’ work out. Thank you for understanding that we need to visit our sick/dying family.”

      And delete emails like that from your FIL. I’m not suggesting you cut off contact, just delete that nonsense. You can reply with a straightforward, “I’m sorry you feel that way,” if it helps.

      • sorry–your father.

      • GirlMeetsWorld :

        I agree with this. If you aren’t going to cut them out of your life and if talking/discussing or trying to get them to see another point of view isn’t working, then maybe you just need to disengage from the situation. Vent, scream and get your frustration out to your sources of support and then try to rise above this. I think parents do this out of a need to exert control not just over their own kids, but over anything that they can when other things are out of their control in order to feel better about themselves. It’s destructive behavior that probably stems from insecurities but maybe the best you can do is ignore it. Perhaps then they’ll get the message that they cannot have a good relationship with you by being emotionally manipulative.

    • Yikes. Parents can have fragile egos, and I’m sorry yours are taking what is a noble act on your part (visiting MIL – I hope her surgery goes well) as an insult. Unfortunately, as it sounds like you’ve realized, it’s not worth trying to reason with them (and frankly, how could you ever convince them your respected them to their standards without totally giving up your relationships with everyone else?). Perhaps a cool down period will help, but props to you for staying strong and calling out their behaviour.

      Also, I agree 100% re: weddings. This is one of many, many reasons eloping seems more and more attractive.

    • Ditto, but honestly I think calling out who paid for what on a wedding program is, um, a little tacky. While the actual emailing is a bit odd, I’m not surprised that your family is annoyed by it.
      If you can change the wording at all, I’d just put something neutral like “thank you to the X family and Y family for all their help in planning our big day”.

      • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

        *****My wedding was 10 years ago. *****
        (I should have mentioned that earlier. Sorry)

        And that wording was specifically requested by my parents who were getting the hives thinking that people would read the programme and think they did nothing.

        • oh that makes sense now. Your family is crazy, my condolences.

        • The very fact that your father bothered to scan a 10 year old wedding program in to try to “poke” at you with is just ridiculous.

          I agree with Brant, above. They’re behaving like pigs, and there’s no trying to reason with pigs, you’ll just get dragged in the mud. You don’t have to ‘cut them off’ but you’re probably going to have to let them go a little…don’t react.

      • I don’t think OP can do that because the wedding already happened. Unless you’re suggesting she re-do her wedding programme and send her parents a new one which is sort of passive-aggrevessively funny.

    • Your parents sound like children. Seriously. They aren’t going to change the way they interact with each other or with you so adjust your expectations. Yes they are your family but life’s too short to get upset over people who can’t behave with a tiny sense of decency.

      I’m sorry about your in-laws.

    • Good lord, it’s exhausting when parents revert back to acting like middle schoolers. Maybe your dad is similar to your mom, no response as to not feed the tantrum?

    • Miz Bizcuit :

      Some people feed off drama, and love to draw innocent victims into their wake. They crave the validation they get from forcing others to pay attention to them.

      Try something that wild animal trainers do: when someone displays undesireable behavior, ignore them. Do not respond. Do not give them what they want (attention, validation) when they misbehave; only give it to them when they behave the way you want them to.

      I got this idea from a NYT article called “What Shamu Taught Me About a Happy Marriage.” It worked so well on my husband, I now use it on my coworkers!

      • +1 This! I love that article!

        I think there is a point in all children’s lives when we realize that the parent-child roles must be reversed. You must be the adult, and parent your parents. You are responsible for telling them what you expect from them, and disciplining them when they step out of line.

        • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

          Just read the article. Thanks for making me smile a bit.

          Thanks to all who’ve responded so far, I really truly appreciate the support. You ladies are very wise and kind! I was weeping with rage last night, and then I decided that I had to get a grip. I can’t control my parents’ crazy, but I can try not to let them ruin my day.

          I’ll try to respond to some of the questions that have come up. I already wrote War and Peace so I was trying not to make my novel even longer.

          • “I can’t control my parents’ crazy, but I can try not to let them ruin my day.”

            Amen, honey. The only behavior and thoughts you can control are your own.

        • Apparently_Unhappy :

          So true!!! When my parents start getting crazy, I tell them that if they act like children, I will treat them like children. If they can’t behave like adults, then I put them in time out.

          Seriously. It works.

      • Love the title of that article so much.

      • Diana Barry :

        YES, this article is great. Just try to disengage, it’s not worth it. Sorry your parents are being DOOSHY.

      • This. At least with my sometimes-psycho dad, refusing to react to the crazy is the only thing that (kind of) works. Don’t let yourself be dragged down to their level, which appears to be, hmm, seventh grade.

      • I love the article too – and following its advice to ignore bad behavior has helped me keep situations from escalating.

    • If it wasn’t for the fact that you’re married, I would swear you could be one of my best friends (she’s Vietnamese). She has parents (her mother more so than father) not very dissimilar from yours. She’s just finishing up grad school now and she looks forward to the day when she no longer needs money from her parents so that she doesn’t have to hear any more of the money-based guilt-trips.
      My first question is, how really interested are in trying to fix this situation with your parents? If you don’t care to try/think nothing will change, then I’d say just ignore the email and this’ll all probably blow-over eventually. If you really do want to try and fix things, (1) don’t respond to any of the wedding/money comments in an email and (2) just only say that you’d be happy to sit down and talk with them soon and pick a mutually-agreeable time a week or two out. If nothing else comes of it, you’ll have the chance to say your piece which may give some relief to you (though it may not do much for your relationship with your parents).

    • It is dificult if you have tough Parent’s. I am sorry you have this situeation. But I am VERY fortunate that my parent’s are their for me. My dad is very smart and he handel’s all of my finanace’s (as well as his own). Rosa has her own MAN so Dad let’s him cover the finacnial matter’s. and does NOT get involved there.

      Myrna and I came back here and all day SUNDAY we decorated the place. It is not NEERLY as DUMPEY any more Myrna think’s! And she has some decorateing skills! YAY! I am not sure what she does at work for the holiday’s but she is very RESOURCEFUL, b/c she had some big guy haul up and put up the decoreation’s all the way from BROOKLYN to MID-TOWN! YAY!

      PS: Kat, I LOVE the RED Jacket! It is very styleish, but to expensive for me even with my reimburesement from the manageing partner. I will wait for a nock-off here in the garment district. The manageing partner know’s alot of cleint’s here and they can do up one of these VERY easieley! YAY!!!!

    • Sorry about the drama and all the illness on your H’s side.

      I have had a family member go super crazy on occasion, pulling in something ridiculous over something relatively minor that I still don’t believe I was in the wrong about. The “I did x for you 10+ years ago and this is how you repay me” is so manipulative and unpleasant. My relative who did this to me basically wanted to go back to normal without apologizing or talking about what she had said, and I refused to let that happen until she acknowledged that she had been mean and hurtful and that her response was totally out of proportion to how she thought I had slighted her.

      I recommend not stooping to their level and arguing over who actually paid for your wedding, that you never asked them to do that, etc. Offer to talk about what happened rationally with them. In my opinion, you deserve an apology, but it’s up to you whether you want to wait for that to happen; if you can get them to acknowledge that they’re being irrational, that would probably be a good step.

    • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

      First of all, *hugs* *extra hugs* plus *tea & sympathy*

      Yes, your parents are behaving ridiculously, but I always probe deeper. It’s part of my personality. Tell me to shut up if these questions hit any raw nerves. But they might help me offer up some better-nuanced advice.

      1. What do you want your relationship with your parents to be going forward? You don’t sound like you want to cut them off, and that’s fine. You have to do what feels right to you and what also doesn’t cost you your sanity. They’re crazy, you don’t have to let them make you crazy, too.

      2. Balanced Time. It sounds like your parents are crazy insecure about where they stand in relation to you vs where your in-laws stand. I’m not trying to blame you, just trying to understand what’s fueling the crazy. What’s the geography/logistics? It’s hard if one set of parents is 500 miles away, but it sounds like everybody’s driving distance roughly? So, do you spend roughly an equal amount of time with both sets of parents?

      3. How you feel — Also, do you connect more with your in-laws than your parents? Do you like your in-laws more? Do you love your in-laws more?

      I don’t have kids, but I could well imagine the pain I’d feel if someone I’d birthed and raised and loved grew up to love the in-laws more. I’d like to imagine that in this scenario, I’d have the good grace to cry in private, or complain to this board, but that I’d never, ever, ever throw the tantrums your parents are throwing here. Not only because of personal dignity, but because tantrums are counterproductive. If my hypothetical kid(s) sort of liked the in-laws more, my tantrums would only push my kids further into the in-laws arms.

      • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

        My parents suffered a lot in China. They suffered a lot coming here. Moving to a small-ish town in the Midwest was a mistake for them. The much-vaunted Midwest friendliness? Well, it didn’t apply to my parents or me or my younger brother. My brother and I both went to college in the East Coast, and my parents relocated to be closer to us and to get away from the isolation of the Midwest. It didn’t help. My parents are still isolated, just living in a medium-sized town in the Northeast and still in a place with crappy weather. But they’ve had fewer racist comments directed at them, so I guess that’s a plus.

        When my parents aren’t behaving like loons, they can be very kind and even fun. They’ve always been very supportive to me and my brother. So I don’t want to cut them off. I want to redraw some boundaries, though, because I think it’s wrong of them to behave like this to me. And to try to throw my MIL under the bus, too.

        I don’t want to treat them like children, I think it’s condescending, and it goes against my cultural beliefs. But I think I need to reassure them that I do love them. And even if my in-laws are very into literature and art (my parents aren’t), it just means that I am able to have fun dinner conversation with my in-laws, not that I love them more than my parents. I honestly thought I was in the clear because I had confessed a few years ago that I loved my husband more than I loved them and they said it was right and proper. Probably a mistake on my part to say that, maybe it just fuels the fire now and gets transferred into in-law hate.

        I think I need to carefully edit and limit my communications with my parents to not give them stuff to blow up about.

        • I’m not sure I understand the part where you say you “confessed” that you love your husband more than your parents. I’m not sure how that would come up in conversation, but the whole premise of the statement seems to cause more trouble. It’s not about who you love more, or less, it’s about how much time you can spend with each side.

          • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :


            A few years after my marriage, my parents asked me point-blank, whether I loved them or my husband more. And I foolishly foolishly said “my husband.” I am kicking myself that I said that. It was a big mistake on my part. I do want to paint a more balanced picture of my parents– they aren’t demons, even though they’re behaving in a way that seems irrational and awful to me. I’ve probably disappointed them terribly too.

            Part of me says, it was the truth, “TEAM US” not team me and my parents, with my husband as an afterthought. Part of me also realizes that just because it’s true doesn’t mean it had to be said. I admit I was flustered in the moment and didn’t come up with a better reply that would have been less wounding.

          • Ah – OK. For what it’s worth, I don’t think you are being unfair to your parents regarding the way you are describing them here. This sounds like a difficult situation, and it’s terrible that your parents even asked you that question. I wouldn’t spend time worrying about whether your answer was the wrong one – the question is outlandish to begin with.

            You can’t win on this one, so I would just repeat my first comment above. Good luck to you,

          • SF Bay Associate :

            So they tricked you and trapped you by asking that question, adding ammunition for their emotional blackmail, getting you to feel guilty, which in turn makes you more obedient and subservient to what they want.

            One of my closest friends is first-generation Asian. These tactics your parents are using are favorites for her parents as well. I second the suggestion of therapy.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I have dealt with some codependency issues from my Mom, if you’re curious and want a chuckle (google my handle, this site, and ‘my teeth were no longer perfect’), but she’s has a sense of humor about it and is generally pretty self-aware.

          I think that for Westernized ears, the mention of money /gifts and how they pertain to how much influence your parents believe they should have in your life, sounds beyond tacky, and yet for those in the Sinosphere, it’s probably par for the course. And I can empathize to some degree with that– money is a proxy for effort (and your parents sound like they work tons to have earned that money), and effort shows concern and love. But it’s still codependent and insecure.

          I’m going to respectfully urge caution on your idea of carefully editing your communications. It’s oppressive to have to self-censor so much. But it might be something you have to do for awhile until things quiet down. I agree with those who say you need to draw or redraw some boundaries, but I think you should give it some time before you approach them to have The Talk. Or Series of Talks. Good luck, my dear!

        • I am Chinese with Chinese in-laws that sound a lot like your parents. When my husband gets asked if he loves his parents more or me more, the correct answer is, “You are my parents and I will also love and respect you.”. Yes, that doesn’t answer their question per se, but it reassures them and they hear what they want to hear. Your parents are not demons or evil, they are just Chinese. They are are insecure about their relationship with you– they just want reassurance that you still love and respect them and appreciate them. Telling them that without referring to your in-laws or your husband will help. May seem irrational, but it is entirely a cultural thing.

      • Anon for This :

        Ahh Susan you’ve just vocalized one of my biggest fears! My parents are great but a little difficult, whereas my SO’s mom and sisters are so great and easy to get along with. I’m scared once we’re married, my parents will realize that I sometimes will prefer my in-laws because they’re just so sweet and drama-free.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I admit that I had this fear too before I got married, because DH and his family seemed so normal. Then, I got to know them.

          They’re good folks, as my parents are, but my in-laws have their issues and drama, too (I think I’ve posted about my brother-in-law and my sister-in-law before here). It’s amazing how things look once people deem you family and drop the “behave in front of the outsiders act.” Ultimately, we’re all human, and with a few exceptions, our foibles are mostly loveable and funny. Don’t worry and don’t borrow trouble, my dear. :-)

          • Anon for This :

            This is great advice! It is so me (and so counterproductive) to worry about something years before it actually becomes an issue. My future in-laws are great (the ones I know) but I know my FFIL is not so great and I don’t know my FMIL that well. I know my family all too well which is likely why I know their flaws :)

          • Totally echo Susan. I ADORE my in-laws and feel blessed and lucky to have married into the family. They are loving supportive and very very generous and caring.

            BUT. But. I definitely think I romanticized them in my early courtship with my husband. I still adore them, but their flaws are more evident to me, and I find myself more frustrated with them when they visit. The newness wears off, and sometimes I find myself so grateful to have my parents, who I can totally anticipate how they will operate and what their thought process.

            (And on a side note, but petty — who sends a non-essential text to a person who is 39 weeks pregnant at 530 AM?)

          • anon for ECMD :

            The answer is “Someone who wants to incur the wrath of the hive.”

            I’m sure we are all thinking of you and can’t wait to hear the news of the arrival of this little spark of life who’s wearing you out!

    • Your parents want to have a mock-trial type debate?? Wow. Sorry about the drama.

    • I will agree the drama went way too far. I have to disagree with K.P. about the role reversal and disciplining your parents. That role reversal happens when they are very ill or suffering from dementia.

      You really should be respectful of your parents, just as they should be respectful of you and of the stressful situation you’re dealing with right now. If they cancel lunch, you can just say you’re sorry they feel that way. Are they acting like children? Yes. But will it help to treat them like children? Probably not.

      And the part about money spent and the level of respect deserved? Wow. It really doesn’t work that way, does it?

      • Please forgive my sense of hyperbole. To clarify, I was *not* suggesting she have her parents declared incompetent (or put them in time out, as suggested by Ms. Unhappy above).

        My point, hopefully more eloquent than the first take: In my observation, we adult children never really get out from under the thumbs of our parents until we accept that *we* are now responsible for setting the rules of the relationship, and enforcing those rules.

    • So they are jealous and a bit childish? A bit manipulative? Is it possible that you are overreacting and are a bit ungrateful. I feel a bit sorry for your parents. Whatever their flaws, they’ve presumably done right by you overall and your response is encouraging strangers to mock them and laugh at them.

      • No, she’s using this website to vent her frustrations among mostly like-minded peers – adult women who also have various relationship difficulties, whether with parents, or friends, or significant others. And just as the strangers give the rest of support and empathy when we have these issues, that’s what we’re doing now. I assume that venting like this will give her the strength to deal with her difficult parents in a mature and adult manner.

      • little advice :

        I think that Elle is troll. Don’t feed the trolls.

        • Yeah, I realized after I read her NRA reply below. Sigh. I used to be good at identifying trolls.

    • des-pairing :

      So sorry to hear you had to go through this :( The money mention, particularly, sucks big time. My grandfather does the game to my parents from time to time, and it hasn’t gained him any love.

      I think your parents are acting out some underlying insecurities / other issues. Are they insecure that you prefer your inlaws? Is it because they can’t deal with each other that they pour it all out on you? Do they fear abandonment from their children?

      What my parents have done in similar situations from the past: They would sit my grandfather down a few days after the tantrums, ask what his real problems are, offer point-by-point rebuttal, until he’s forced to calm down or reveal his true motive. It was not pretty, but not resolving it would be problematic as well.


    • Gah, this is so hard. Honestly, I’d consider investing some time/effort/money into a few therapy sessions and see where it gets you. My family is similarly high-maintenance and I’ve been seeing an amazing therapist for the last two years who’s helped me better define boundaries for myself and my immediate (husband and kid(s)) family. Those boundaries are SO SO hard and sad for me for many reasons, but it’s helped tremendously to see what’s normal and what’s not.

      By refusing to engage in the dramatic parts of the relationship, you almost end up “training” your family members to behave better. Not perfectly, mind, you, and mine still act like lunatics. But I’m able to minimalize/compartmentalize that part of my life and not have it drive me around the bend quite as badly as it used to.

      GOOD LUCK. This is hard and terrible stuff and I completely feel for you.

      • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

        Any advice about what I should tell my brother? It is looking like my parents won’t want to see me for Xmas and I am the host this year. I just got a weird email from my Dad saying that he had experienced some awful humiliation 10yrs ago at my wedding, but he’s being coy and won’t say what happened. Only that he has been sitting on this for 10yrs to protect my feelings and that when we talk again, he’ll tell me what it is. I am not sure how to process this.

        I want to cry on his shoulder on the phone (he lives in a different city, not driving distance from any of us because he’s smarter than me!)

        But I also want to shield him from this. I don’t want him to take sides, or get caught up in this. I don’t want him to hate my parents.

        • I apologize that I am all over the thread already, but I sympathize a lot with your situation. The entire “I will tell you later” is awful, and vintage manipulation. He hasn’t told you for 10 years there was an issue, now he tells you but won’t share specifics. What was the point of that comment, other than to worry you?

          Straight forward communication is most important here so as not to add to the drama. As in – ” Dad – I love you, but my wedding was 10 years ago, so no good can come from discussing our own (very old) perspectives. In the future, if something bothers you please say something at the moment, otherwise I cannot do anything about it”. Or “Brother – M & D and I had a disagreement over the amount of time I spend with them. Unfortunately, they are not coming for the holidays. I am still hosting and you are totally welcome to come, but understand if you don’t want to get involved” Honestly, he probably knows how they are already, so he may not be surprised.

          I hope you can get some time to take care of yourself, away from all the craziness.

        • GirlMeetsWorld :

          Ay yi yi, I am sorry that you have to deal with this kind of crazy. I think that if you are close with your bro, you should tell him but he shouldn’t let what you tell him affect his relationship with the parents. He will be able to give you perspective and maybe help run interference.

          As for this mysterious humiliation.. you cannot do much until he tells you what it is, and then you respond appropriately. I wonder if part of this is the insecurity of the kids growing up and moving on.. maybe your parents feel insecure because you have other strong, familial relationships with the husband, and the in-laws. Perhaps they feel like they cannot compete for your time and affection so instead of recognizing that you now have more obligations, they are being emotionally manipulative. I will say, wedding decisions, the money aspect, maintaining traditions etc. will invariably result in someone’s feelings being hurt and insecurities arising because of the power tussles.. so maybe he was hurt by something. However, to bring it up 10 years later to blackmail you emotionally is wrong. Either deal with at the appropriate time or bury it. I think you should try to get as much support as you can from your brother and you should reiterate that you want your parents over for Xmas (not now, but later make this clear) so that they feel included in your life.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Or to be culturally appropriate, ai ya. If you’re close to your brother, you should tell him the whole story. He’s an adult, right? He doesn’t need to be shielded. I also agree that when you are being honest, you can also tell him honestly that you don’t want him to be put in the middle, that it is FYI only, you don’t want him to run interference, but you do want him to know what’s going on, and that you’ll completely understand if he wants to change his holiday plans. These secrets and lies and manipulations and “protecting” each other are what are causing these problems.

            Your father is emotionally blackmailing you. Whatever it is, it happened ten years ago. And are you even sure what what he tells you, after he sufficiently works you up into a tizzy and demonstrates his control over you, will be the actual truth? My guess is that it’s something about how the in-laws were mean/rude/disrespectful to one/both of your parents at your wedding a decade ago, which may or may not have happened at all or at least be totally blown out of proportion. And he’s hoping that you’ll say, “Baba, I am so sorry that I ever liked my inlaws. I am ashamed that they disrespected you, and that I in turn disrespected you by liking them. I will put you and mother first from now on, as I should have all along.” And with that, his emotional blackmail pays off nicely. You’re back in line, subservient, obedient, and controlled by the whims of your parents.

            Think through what his motives are, and what he’s hoping to get out of you by behaving the way he is. It seems to be working.

          • des-pairing :

            I’m with SF Associate here, your brother would provide great support and potentially be a good neutral party / negotiator for the situation.
            I also think you should offer to listen to your parents, if only because then you’d have the chance to confront him and say all things others have suggested here.

          • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

            GirlMeetsWorld, Ditto, and SF Bay Associate:

            Thank you for your helpful comments regarding the new guilt grenade that my Dad has sent me. Thank you also for advice on how to let my brother know.

            You’re all right that my Dad is using emotional blackmail and manipulation and that sadly, it’s been working somewhat. It’s on my to do list this week to find a good therapist who specializes in this. Ideally, we’d do family therapy, but when my parents’ marriage imploded, and I suggested couples and individual therapy, they acted like I was asking them to cut off all their fingers and eat them. Even if they don’t want to get better, I agree that I can learn better patterns and set boundaries better.

            I am sad to say that this incident does make me respect my father less. I’ve come to believe that respect and family are earned and that entitled behavior like this does nothing to build a closer relationship.

          • regular poster, anon for this (OP) :

            to: des-pairing

            I don’t think it’d be appropriate to make my brother be the mediator. He’s a family member and it’d be conflict triangulation or a conflict parallelogram or something like that.

            When my parents’ marriage imploded, they tried to get me (I’m the elder and I talk with them more) to “be the judge and decide who’s right and who’s wrong” and I refused. They are all about point-scoring. I cannot do that to my brother in good conscience.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      My parents just pulled a similar fit of drama about the holidays. My mother apparently believed that we were planning to slight her by visiting my in-laws instead of her. This wasn’t true, but it didn’t stop her from the drama onslaught. Upon receiving an angry (shouting) phone call that ended in her hanging up, I simply told my mother that if she couldn’t state her opinions honestly and respectfully and without drama, I would not engage in any discussion whatsoever.

      She apologized days later and thinks everything is fine. However, something in me has changed, and I have decided to remain steadfast in my refusal to engage her in additional drama. I will visit, and hope my child loves my parents, but I won’t allow her bad behavior to make me sad/guilty again.

  8. Working Parent - school aged children Q :

    Good morning!

    I work full-time and have children who are in day care. The oldest one will be able to go to public school with a pre-K year in the fall (which would mean picking that school going forward) or another year of day care before commiting to a school. I picked an older neighborhood in my city because it is very close to my job and had good schools. After living here for a few years with children, it seems that not only do most mothers in my immediate neighborhood stay home, they also tend to go to various area private schools (to the point where the few female co-workers I have have noted that these schools are not necessarily working-mother friendly). Public schools (which I attended as a child, but in a different state) are more populated by 2-job families. Has anyone else run into this when the school choice came up? I am finding myself not wanting my older to be the odd person out (both with expectations re parental availability and prescence and with not being able to play with friends after school b/c mommy can’t host b/c she works).

    This is almost a follow-up to the Friday post about quitting law (my field). It won’t be b/c I don’t like it, it’s b/c it’s not very compatible from needing free time and flexibility after 3 or 4 in the afternoon until about 8 or so. Children? Children have friends? Children have hobbies or music lessons or ballet? Aiiii!

    • Not a parent but sounds like the public school is a better option.

      • Working Parent - school aged children Q :

        I don’t know that that is true (certainly not universally in my city), but I’m not convinced that the private schools are, say, 15-20K/year better. The private school parents insist that even the local schools / good magnet options leave much to be desired and that if their children ever had to transfer, they would be significantly behind public school peers (specifically in the northeast, which is not where I live, but where many people in my area are from and may return to). I generally don’t buy into knee-jerk reactions and many equity partners at my firm use public schools that are the ones I could use, too. The non-academic stuff seems to be driving the bus for me on this, which is not what I ever expected to let happen.

        I feel that if I had had any background in education I might be able to put my finger on things a little better and feel that “my child will stick out less and not be disadvantaged b/c I work” is a rotten way to make a choice that has the option to be significant (whether or not it is and in what ways, sweet child, your poor analytical data-hungry mother is unable to say; she just wants you to be happy).

    • Not sure I understand the question-are you considering sending your oldest to private schools, and you are concerned that your child will be the odd man out since he won’t have anyone home to take him/her to lessons and playdates? We had an afterschool nanny for part of the time when our kids were growing up. She was able to take them to lessons and host playdates (with appropriate advance disclosure to the parents of the visiting child). My kids are older now, and I will say that the concern about what everyone else is doing dissipates. Even in our local private schools, where there was a tendency to have many more stay at home parents, as kids get older, you tend to find many more dual working parents. My experience was that my guilt over not being home was much, much greater than my kids’ concern that I was not home-even while in day care, we were always able to work things out and they readily accepted that I was a working mom while other moms were not. Now that they are older, it’s really a non-issue. Good luck with your decision!

      • +1 My mother was for some reason convinced that none of the other mothers at my school worked (I think about 90% of them did) and spent a lot of time fretting over that. I think the truth was that most of the mothers were professionals (lots of doctors) who could make their own hours and so be available for mid-afternoon school events, while my mother had to be in her cubicle 8:00am-5:00pm M-F. I completely accepted the fact that my mom couldn’t be at daytime events and while I would have liked it if she were there, it was really not a big deal to me that she wasn’t. It was, however, a HUGE deal to her. Now that I think of it, if she hadn’t made a big deal about it and obviously felt so guilty about needing to work, it never would have even occurred to me to wish she could be there. Kids are often very accepting of reality as it is. It’s often not until they’re older that they distinguish between what is and what could be.

        • health care anon :

          Hello. I think I might be your mother :/ mom guilt central here.

      • Working Parent - school aged children Q :

        Maybe in a nutshell: has anyone opted out of private schools, which are academically better (perhaps b/c they have a more homogenous student body, perhaps b/c they can offer more / better teachers / academics) because there was an expectation of signifcant maternal availability and input and because they didn’t want their child to have to be one of the few children who had to do institutional aftercare (possibly off-site) and not be able to do things with friends after school or have friends over?

        • Sort of the opposite here — when I was in the city, my kids (pre-K and K) were in private school and school pickup was 90% nannies. Now that we are in the suburbs, I’d say that afterschool is pretty evenly distributed between daycare kids (bus goes from school to daycare for afternoon), nannies, and stay at home/work at home parents.

          Either way, I agree with the other posters re: the kids don’t notice, kids are flexible, and its all about how much fuss you make over it.

        • But friends can still come over on the weekends, right? I grew up exclusively in private schools, did the school’s aftercare program in elementary school (which was fantastic! lots of drama, crafts, etc. programs), and in middle/high school did my homework in one of the school classrooms until my mom could come get me. But then, back in the day, I don’t recall there being any demands for daytime parent participation, which strikes me as insane. (I mean, isn’t what you’re paying for to have someone else educate your children?)

          • Working Parent - school aged children Q :

            I think it’s a combination of their school days end by 3 at the latest and either your child gets on the bus (which someone has to meet) or gets picked up then (you / nanny / bus to a day care that may only pick up a few children, but no guarantee of someone at the school keeping an eye on them; the HS children have activities, but not there’s not as much of a system for the little ones). Even if my workday could be wrapped up by 5 (iffy on some days, it seems that it really needs to be wrapped up by 2 every day (yai!) to make these things work.

            Husband has the schedule of, say, a pilot — erratic and unpredictable, so this is more my burden not by gender, but b/c I’m usually in the same place every day.

        • When I was in private school (pre-K through third grade), my working single mother couldn’t pick me up when school was over. So she asked around and found out that one of my classmates’ stay-at-home moms was more than happy to pick me up along with her kids. For an extremely nominal fee, that mom let me hang out at her house and play with my friends for 2-3 hours after the school day, until my mom could come get me. My classmate and I were also in some of the same activities, and we all went to the same church, so once I week they’d schlepp me along to ballet, and every once in a while to a church thing. It worked extremely well. So there’s an idea if you’re worried about after-school stuff.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            My mom was the stay at home mom and a bunch of my friend’s working moms relied on her to transport/watch their kid too. I think being somewhere with lots of SAHMs gives you flexibility of not always burdening the same person with your kid’s after school needs. Say your kid wants to play softball. Maybe you can alternate with 5 SAHM’s of teammates to get your kiddo at school and get her to practice/the game. She could go to daycare on the other days of the week. I think lots of SAHM = more options personally but I don’t have kids.

          • lucy stone :

            I did this in private school for a few years as well. One of my classmates had a SAHM so I would ride the bus to their house and stay there for an hour until my dad picked me up. I also would stay there in the summer time 3-4 days a week. It worked out just fine.

        • Also, I will add that I really think you’re over-thinking the whole “maternal availability” thing. At my private school, there was indeed the expectation that parents would chip in and help out, but again, my single working mom made it work. I think she took a morning off like once a month or something to come in and read our class stories.

          But I will ALSO ALSO add that I liked public school so. much. better. than private. My mom felt a lot of guilt when she pulled me out of private school, because it wasn’t the “done thing” or whatever, but I loved the diversity of my public schools, got an excellent education, and was approximately 100,000 times happier than in the white, Christian, affluent bubble.

        • I work in a private school and my kid won’t be starting 5K for 2.5 more years, so take this however you want, but I think you should pick the school that’s the best fit for your kid. Every school I’ve ever known has night/evening/weekend stuff that you can figure out how to squeeze into your schedule. No, you can’t be there during the day but maybe you can contribute something (store bought even!) to the bake sale, or you can chaperone the Friday night dance.

          Ask the school upfront what the expectations are (not the implied ones — the actual ones!) and make your choice from there. But definitely do what’s best for your kid/family — and know, too, that if your gut tells you “no” after a year it’s not the end of the world if they switch schools either.

        • anonymouse :

          It sounds like you are creating an issue where there may not be one. Perhaps you felt like the “odd man out” as a child for some reason, and are projecting this onto your own kids? Most children don’t feel like being different is a bad thing, unless someone tells them it is.

          • One concern I have with the coming school years is that I enjoyed having largely unstructured after school time growing up (teacher parent) and had the ability to do things spontaneously (most children in our neighborhood were friends b/c we went to the same schools and played outdoors with each other). I would not have liked having a 100% structured life at that age and I *know* that my children would like a bit more breathing room (i.e., we deliberately keep weekends unscheduled now and they just come alive so much more when we can just see what the day brings, plus they really need the time to recharge).

        • I just wanted to comment that my parents sent me to a private school (NE-Philadelphia area) for elementary school and she was one of the only working mothers. I do not recall noticing that she worked however I did notice the difference in playdates/activity level versus the other kids. I did have a nanny so i’m unsure why it made such a difference. Either way it wasn’t a great loss and when given the choice I chose to transfer to public school for middle/high school. We are now trying and I’m hoping to do public school for the diversity (2 working parent households- we will be one also) and because we have some extremely well regarded districts here.

      • I think that there are pros and cons to both types of schooling and which is the better choice really depends on what’s best for your child and you.

        My Mom taught at a really fancy private school (so my sister and I could have gone there for free) but my parents still chose to send us to our well-regarded public school because it was a better fit for us.

        The private school was great for the middle 80% of kids. It had smaller class sizes and generally a cozy supportive atmosphere. The school actually recommended that the 10% of the kids that fell on either side of that middle ground though leave the private school to attend the public school to get the specialized things that they needed.

        For instance, there was no good intensive learning supports at the fancy private school if your child had special educational or behavioral issues. It also didn’t have as many advanced classes for the students that really needed to be more challenged (in our public elementary school my sister and i got pulled out for a general advanced class and special advanced classes.) It also had greater opportunities for those students who wanted to do more with art of music.

        So, I would think carefully about what your kids/family actually needs from a school and make sure the school you choose actually meets those needs not just the needs of “most” families.

        • Also, I would talk to the actual school about what the mix of after school options there are. I would guess that more students go to some sort of afterschool care than you are hearing about.

          On another note, my sister sends her oldest to afterschool care 3 days a week and she LOVES it. My niece will actually ask to go there on the days that my sister is home because she loves the activities/hanging out with her friends so much.

    • Just one perspective — I went to private school, and both my parents were lawyers. I was one of the only kids who didn’t have a mom or nanny pick them up after school, but it didn’t make that much difference to me. The school had an after-school daycare program, and I became very good friends with the other kids in that program. When I got older I took public transportation home from school, and I did often have stay-at-home moms pull over by the bus stop and offer me a ride home because they thought it was sad that I had to ride the bus. As for activities, I mostly did ones that were at school (plays, sports, etc) so there was no need to be driven around in the afternoons.

    • Well, not to add fuel to the fire, but really NOTHING about having children is working-parent-friendly.

      • Working Parent - school aged children Q :

        Hell, when I was single and lived in a big city, I got the application to adopt a dog (I had a *tiny* house, but a fenced-in back yard). After the home visit, I didn’t turn in the application b/c I thought I’d be rejected since I was gone up to 12 (often more) hours a day. I couldn’t easily have managed a few days of doggie day care, since that would have meant throwing a car into the mix (in a non-car-friendly city). I am shocked that two little ones have made it into the mix.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I’m one of the posters who really want to have a dog and had been on the fence for ages about it. And the doggy day care thing just decided it for me (not getting a dog).

    • I’ll say this. I went to public school (city public school at that) from 1-12th grade and it was great for me. And my brother went to private from 6-12th. The reasoning was that my brother was a more difficult student and needed more specialized attention; he would have floundered in public school (and might have taken a few teachers down with him). Whereas I was a student who did fine in more traditional settings, so public school worked fine for me. So, the added value of private school in our family was the added services.

      I can’t speak to the expectations of parental involvement (since both my brother and I had a working mother all the way through – and my brother was certainly not the only one) – but I did tons of activities after school both at school and not at school (swimming, theater, etc.) We usually made it work with carpooling and bus rides and the like.

      • I’ve always thought education really needed to be tailored to the needs of the individual child and so it makes complete sense to me that a family might have one kid in public school and one in private, but I always wondered whether that might make the public school kid feel jealous that the parents were spending more on the private school kid. Just curious to hear your feeling on that — did it bother you at all, or were you so happy with your school that it didn’t matter?

        • I had a special-academic-needs sibling who got expensive private schools while I got the not-well-ranked public schools. We both turned out fine and I think that I would choose private schools if I had a chid with similar needs.

          That said, I wish my parents had at least explained things to me. Instead, they also would up spending signifigant amounts of time managing my sibling’s needs, including behavior issues, that made me feeling ignored and longing to get to college as quickly as possible (this was about a 6-year drama fest). It would have been nice to have had something special for me — maybe a camp for a break? Maybe a chance to pursue something I liked?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I can speak to this a bit. I have two sisters and one went to private school (6-12) while me and my middle sister (I’m the oldest) went to public K-12.

          I wouldn’t say it ever bothered me. There’s a big age gap between my youngest sister and I (7 years) and my parents have always been more financially comfortable as she’s grown up than they were as I was growing up. Even more than that, my baby sister has always struggled in school, while I and my middle sister haven’t had major academic issues.

          I sometimes wish I could have gone to private school, since I went through a period in high school where I was pretty rebellious and did poorly in school, and I don’t think it would have gone on to the extent that it did if I had been surrounded by peers that came from families that valued academic work and had closer oversight by my school early on. But I never was jealous of my sister being able to do that. If anything, I think I always acknowledged that my sister really needed the smaller class sizes, individual attention, etc more than I did – having gone through public schools, I absolutely know that she would have been swallowed up in big class sizes, tracked into lowest lane classes, possibly hanging out with the “smart but lazy” kids rather than surrounded by kids who are generally a hardworking, All-American bunch, encouraged to work to her full potential even if that’s not at the tippy top of the pyramid (not saying this can’t happen in public school, but I think it was a lot easier to find this peer group and these class sizes etc, at a private school in our area). I definitely can point to some major advantages I had going to public school, but when I think about them, I think in my little sister’s case, they aren’t enough to outweigh the disadvantages (and vice versa for me and private school).

          Maybe it would have been different if I were younger than her, or even if we were closer in age. There are certainly times where I feel like she doesn’t appreciate how incredible it is that our parents are willing to pay 30K / yr for her education, and I try to remind her of that. But I don’t think jealousy has ever been a factor in my case.

        • It didn’t bother me. There were things that my public schools had that my brother’s schools didn’t have – like certain sports and a certain variety of AP classes (that kind of thing). But mostly, by the time I was in high school and making choices about schools, I applied to a bunch of private schools – but when I saw how much they would cost my parents, I knew I couldn’t ask them to spend that much when there was a perfectly good public option.

          I guess its a bit hard to explain, but it never caused a ton of jealousy in my house. But I was also a pretty pragmatic 13/14 year old.

        • I also had brothers in private school while I went to public (for some of the same reasons articulated by TCFKAG above), and I never was bothered by it. I chose public high school because it offered AP courses that the private did not, as well as a much broader range of sports which the private did not. With my own kids, one went to private for a year since I too thought he would benefit from smaller classes and greater teacher attention-it didn’t work out for him (more likely due to his issues than the school). My other two children did not seem to think that attending the very expensive and exclusive private school was a plus-they liked being with their friends and did not like the idea of attending all your classes with the same 35 kids. I don’t think that I would have made my decision based upon whether I would be the only working mom-but then again, both our local private schools have excellent (and expensive) after care that I would have likely utilized if needed.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Working mom – 2 elementary age kids, one in private, one on public, opposite directions.

      I’d pick the school that is the best fit for your kid and then worry about making the rest of it work. I wouldn’t care about what the other mom’s are doing etc…. hopefully, they are making the decision that is best for their kid and leave it at that.

    • health care anon :

      Working parent. Hello. So glad to see you. My son in four now, will be five shortly, in Montessori through Kindergarten (18 months away) and I am FREAKING OUT about what to do with school after that. I have settled on a great public school, close to work, my sister is the counselor, but I have to be to work before 8 and often by 7, and my husband works too. I feel dumped on!

    • About quitting law– If you’re ok with a lower salary and reasonable hours, including the freedom to work from, say, 7-3:30, certain government legal jobs offer that.

  9. TJ – I’m looking to get my first credit card in my name only. I already have good established credit from sharing two accounts with my mom since high school. Both cards are Visa (LL Bean and Disney) and I’d prefer something with good mileage points as I have family in the UK that I like to visit every other year or so. Any airline affiliated cards that you’d recommend? Thanks, ladies!

    • Pick the airline first, *then* pick the card.

      • See what airline has a hub by you and see if they fly into where your family lives/or partner with another airline. I have a United card and I am ok with it, but I have heard good things about other travel cards as well.

    • Check out the Chase Sapphire card. You can use the point on any airline.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      Yeah, it might be helpful for you to know which airlines you are likely to use and then pick a card that gives you rewards for those airlines.

      I have a united visa. I find the miles to be ok, but the other perks, like an extra checked bag to be more helpful. Also, I think the cash back cards (perhaps Discover) might be equally good, if not better than getting miles.. something else to check?

    • We’ve been happy with the Capital One Venture card. There is an annual fee (booooooo), but since we charge everything (gas, groceries, clothes, you name it) to the credit card and pay it off each month, we’ve more than made up for that fee in free travel annually. You can use it for any airline and lots of other travel expenses as well.

    • Very late to this discussion but wanted to add – find out if the card(s) you are interested in have an annual fee. If so, how much is it and do the perks (miles, etc.) make the fee worth it?

  10. For those of you with the Lo & Sons OMG, do you know the dimensions of the laptop compartment? I know the website says it fits 13 inch laptops, but I was wondering if my 15 inch ultra book would fit. It’s dimensions are 14 x 9 x 0.5. I know I could just order it and try it out, but thought you ladies might have some insight. Thanks!

    • I posted last week about this, but in short: I have a 15″ Lenovo laptop that technically fits in the OMG, but I have to shimmy it in and out. If I have the laptop and a few binders, the fit is much more difficult. I use the bag mostly for day-to-day office stuff, so it’s not a problem for me. However, I wouldn’t be able to fit everything I need in it, and take my laptop out for security at the airport easily, for traveling.

      • Thanks! What model Lenovo do you have? I might be ok with shimmying. I’ll also look for the thread from last week.

        • I also posted about this in the same thread as JJ. I havea 14.1″ lenovo (that’s the screen size) – outer dimensions work out to be closer to 16″. It is a tight fit and a real struggle to get in and out of the bag. I got the OG instead – it’s my first day carrying it and I love it! fits everything that was in my backpack and looks classy! Just gets a little heavy though, but I’m used to carrying a backpack.

  11. Mom thing – please skip if you aren’t interesting. I have had to start taking antithyroid and beta blockers meds due to hyperthyroidism. I have decided to stop nursing my daughter (10 months) because I don’t want any of the medications to get passed to her through my milk. I am so so sad about stopping. All of my close family members/friends either were happy to stop breastfeeding or never did at all, so I feel like I have no one to talk to about this. Anyone else?

    • Wow. Of course, I meant if you aren’t *interested*.

    • SpaceMountain :

      I’m sure your hormones are also impacting your feelings right now. Hang in there; it’ll get better as your body adjusts. I was sad when my last child stopped, also.

    • Anon for today :

      I am right here with you. I am so torn about weaning. My son is 13 months old, and is nursing less and less – and as he is nursing less, my hormone levels are going crazy. I’ve always been partial to mood swings with PMS, but this is like that x5. Half of me wants to hurry up and just wean all the way so I can get past this (and go back on antidepressants that I took pre-pregnancy), but the other half of me is so sad because my baby is growing up and I love the snuggle time I get with nursing, and its the easiest way for me to calm him down when he’s sad, sick or sleepy. I can’t offer any other advice other than – I’m right here with you being sad and feeling torn, and if it gets beyond being just a little sad, go see someone you can talk to about whether its slipping into depression as opposed to just sad. Post weaning depression is a real thing just now starting to be recognized by some doctors – not as common as postpartum depression, but it still exists.

      • Anon for this :

        Definitely watch yourself for symptoms of PPD. I developed postpartum anxiety and depression only after weaning which surprised me because I assumed that a year out from the birth I was well past the point of worrying about PPD. The psych. I saw said what the above poster mentioned, that it’s not common to develop PPD associated with weaning but it definitely happens, and when it does it is often not recongized by mom and her immediate support network, especially if weaning is happening long enough after birth that mom has otherwise mostly gotten back into the swing of things and people aren’t watching out for her as much.

        To deal with the sadness about weaning (which is totally understandable, especially in your circumstances), can you replace one of the times you usually nurse with another special activity that can become the new bonding/cuddle time? Like a snuggle with a special song at bedtime (this is what I did), or choose a special book you read together every morning, etc. Something to give you some quiet bonding time just between you and your daughter every day, the same way nursing does now.

        • Thanks! I am all over the place with the thyroid problems anyway, so I will definitely ask my husband/friends to keep an eye out. I had not heard of this before.

    • Diana Barry :

      Aww, I’m sorry. Is it a requirement of the medications that you stop nursing? Could you talk to your doc or pediatrician about it again?

      If you 100% need to stop, think of the 10 months that she has already had your milk – that is huge! And you can still hold her and feed her even if she needs to have formula.

      Big hugs.

      • Well, they said that I could continue breastfeeding but that the baby’s thyroid needs to be monitored. I figure it is better to give her formula than to potentially suppress her thyroid function.

    • [insert clever name here] :

      I am in a very similar boat – child is around a year old and we just now weaned down to only a morning nurse and a pre-bed time pump. I will be giving up nursing entirely in the next month for scheduling reasons and am dreading it. I agree – there is a sadness in giving up nursing and I am already mourning the loss of it.

      Some positives to focus on:
      1) I now have access to an entire portion of my closest that I couldn’t wear before (namely, dresses!!!).
      2) I look forward to certain body parts “belonging to me again” (I hate that phrase, but will use it here anyways) and will reward myself for 12+ months of nursing with a good, much needed bra-fitting and new underoos!
      3) I will soon be able to enjoy certain moments of grown-up attention from my husband without the, ahem, “complications” that plague nursing mothers.
      4) I also soon hope to enjoy the (crossing my fingers) loss of my extra 5-10 pounds that are retained during nursing.

      Some transition advice that I will try in the coming weeks:
      1) We adopted another poster’s suggestion to incorporate another special bonding activity each day. Ours is becoming a morning story and cuddle. (I still nurse him in the mornings now, but we have recently added the story time routine in anticipation of quitting and will continue that component once we stop the nursing in January).
      2) More hugs and kisses whenever my very-mobile child will allow.
      3) And, if all else fails, chocolate!

      • Ohhh…positive #3, how I will welcome your return!

        I will definitely incorporate a bonding time (ok, maybe a few)! I felt a little weird being so sad about ending this stage, so it’s nice to know that I’m not alone. Good luck!

        • [insert clever name here] :

          Right back at ya.

          Every woman is different. And frankly, the same woman can be different depending on the day (or hour). There are some days where I would give up nursing in a heart beat. And there are others when I think I could continue for a long time.

          Moral of the story – Your emotions are never wrong or wierd – they’re how you feel. End of story.

    • I was sad when I weaned my boys at around 9-10 months each. I especially remember my first. I had cut back to nursing morning & night only because I had started back at work & didn’t want to deal with pumping. And then one day I realized that he wasn’t really getting anything from me during one of our sessions. Looking back I was probably wrong because he wasn’t hungry or anything, but that’s what I told myself & so I just stopped. But it was sad.

      And then when I weaned my youngest, and I knew he was my last, I was sad as well. I knew it was the right decision, but it was still sad because it was the end of that special time.

      • I do hate pumping – won’t be sorry to see that go. We were down to nursing before bed, during the night, and one pumping session a day. It’s not like it was that much, but it was something!

    • So glad you posted. I forgot to post after my endo appointment last week.

      First of all, I breast fed one kid to 8 months and one kid to 12 months and was honestly thrilled to stop. (unfortunately for me the recommendations upped between kid one and kid 2) I did not love breastfeeding and also, with both kids, after stopping, I dropped those last 5 lbs without really trying, which was nice.

      My hyperthryoid wasn’t diagnosed till my kids were older but once I got my thryoid levels regulated I was much less weepy/anxious/ uptight. If you had told me (like they did) that my behavior/feelings were a result of my thyroid I would have gotten all indignant and angry (like at a man asking if you are PMS-ing when you are, but are also legitimately annoyed) and said I was impatient and angry because of the situation.

      Might it be that pregnancy hormones/breastfeeding hormones/ thryoid messed up/ baby lack of sleep is tough on you? Perhaps after breastfeeding stops and thyroid gets regulated and baby sleeps better (mine didn’t start sleeping through the night till they were on formula — oh and I let them cry it out, but that’s another whole thing) things will seem better? Or there may be other stuff going on too.

      Good luck. I am sorry you can’t take the meds and keep breastfeeding. What is the medication and dosage?

      • Thanks, lobbyist! How was your endo appointment? I had mine last week and pondered the meds for a few days before starting. I am on propanolol (20 mg) and Methimazole (20 mg).

        • PS. Yes, I really hope that baby sleeping will help. She is an awful nighttime sleeper and I have been getting up almost always since I was breastfeeding at night.

          • I am down to 5 mg of methimizole a day. I started higher and when I leveled out, I got to go down. Tried 2.5 but then my numbers were off again. I don’t recognize propanolol — what’s that for? My endo appt was good. I was totally fearing talking about my weight but MD (who is very thin and sporty) said my BMI was still fine and that overall I was healthy, and if I was back to my pre thryroid “normal for me” weight then really how bad was life. Still feeling fat because I can’t fit in to old pants, but that’s my issue I guess. She also said not to try getting off the meds and seeing if I was into spontaneous remission for another 6 -12 months, and that at my low dose, I could stay on that for a long time. So it was good.
            My kids were bad sleepers at first too, but got a lot better on formula and once I made them cry it out and learn how to put themselves to sleep. Awful process, but totally worth it in the end.

          • Propanolol is just a short-term thing. It’s a beta blocker to deal with some of the symptoms until the thyroid is more under control. I have tremors and a rapid heart rate, so the beta blockers just suppress that stuff until the thyroid hormone levels get lower. Glad to hear that your dose is so low! I am hopeful that I’ll move down after things are under control, but I imagine that it’s a long road until then.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Going 10 months is great! You’d probably be switching to mostly milk soon, anyway.

      Weaning is hard. It’s very emotional. ((HUGS)) The ‘good’ news is that it will probably be harder for you than for baby.

    • I should note that we are down to morning and night, plus one pumping session during the day and some overnight nursing when she wakes. She gets 4-5 bottles a day, so this isn’t a *huge* change. We’ve been easing out of it for a while because we were hoping to try for #2 (before the thyroid issue).

  12. Have y’all seen the horrible attacks on Belle over at Capitol Hill Style? Apparently she lobbies for the NRA, and people are just saying terrible things, like how can she sleep at night, etc. It makes me really sad for her, especially because many of them today were in response to her post about her grandmother dying.

    I’m a big firm lawyer, and I don’t love what all of my clients do. I would hate if people made personal attacks based on my clients.

    • I saw them- many were pretty terrible, especially given that she has said before she can’t comment on things that relate to her job. I was really shocked by people who said “I know you’re contractually obligated not to but I can’t believe you didn’t anyways” or something to that effect. People amaze me sometimes

      • This is what got me too. I actually agreed with a lot of the commenters at first, and then when someone pointed out that she likely wasn’t allowed to comment, I backed off. As someone who previously worked in politics, you really have to be careful about what you say and how it can represent your employer.

        It is tough for me, because I am far on the other side of the aisle from Belle, but I think she overall manages to do a very good job of keeping politics out of her blog.

    • I’d say that the NRA is more than just one of her clients — my understanding is that it’s her employer. That being said, I think the vitriol targeting the NRA this weekend has been off the hook. I understand that people are sad and angry. (I’m plenty sad and angry myself.) But my husband is a lifelong member of the NRA. He’s also a loving, thoughtful, intelligent person who, like most of us, cried when he heard the news on Friday. He, however, spent the weekend being called a child-killer by some of his followers on Twitter because of his beliefs. He responded calmly with his typically well-reasoned, thoughtful, and intelligent arguments and questions, hoping to have a real conversation. Instead, people just called him more names. That also made me sad and angry.

      • There’s an article in the Washington Post today with a quote from Sen. Manchin that I thought was really reflective of what a lot of people likely feel – “Never before have we seen our babies slaughtered,” Manchin said. “Anybody that’s a proud gun owner, anybody that’s a proud member of the NRA, we’re also proud parents. We’re also proud grandparents.” – I think the anger comes from the fact that people (probably like your husband feel this way), but it isn’t always reflected more broadly by the organization as a whole. But I don’t fault individual people for the lack of change; I blame all of us. To point at one side or another just misses the mark and in my humble opinion, the only way to prevent anything like this again is if we all stop clinging to what we “think” is right and actually work together.

        And now off my soap box!

      • Your husband is part of a culture which kills children. He should be ashamed.

        • Wow, is that a loaded comment. In no way is her husband part of that culture. Most NRA supporters are thoughtful, responsible, and respectful citizens who believe in the freedom our Second Amendment grants us as US citizens. It’s unfortunate that mentally unstable individuals are able to cause such panic that some are willing to take away such a fundamental right because of abuse. I sadly think that if it weren’t firearms, that young man would have found some other way.

          • Side note: I cannot WAIT until the dynamic of the Court shifts enough that the ridiculous current interpretation of what is included in Second Amendment freedoms is scaled back.

          • I am not a gun owner or a “gun-rights” advocate — as a side note, I absolutely believe that the rights afforded by the Constitution have to be balanced with the rights of all to a safe society — it’s why the Fourth Amendedment doesn’t afford absolute protections. The protections and rights have to be balanced and I believe the same goes for the Second Amendment. Also, the Supreme Court has had no problem limiting and carving exceptions to the Fourth Amendment to protect the safety of all.

            Back to the issue, which is whether a member or employee of the NRA deserves to suffer the ire of the public, or friends/family. I, personally, see nothing wrong with voicing the opinion that belonging to the NRA makes a person part of the problem. If the NRA didn’t have such a strong lobby and so many supporters, it wouldn’t be as powerful. If people are made to feel shame over their affiliation with the organization, then maybe they will rethink that affiliation.

            It’s a completely different issue, but I judge people who remain involved with the Boy Scouts after their hateful position. I would have no problem telling someone that I thought their involvement was part of the “problem.” If hundreds of thousands of people mailed back their membership cards, maybe the NRA would change it’s position on things.

        • This is completely uncalled for.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          IMO, you should be ashamed. That is both hyperbolic and incredibly uncalled for.

        • A lot of parts of our collective culture kill children. (Cars and planes come to mind.) I didn’t grow up with guns and was very much in favor of strict gun control until I met my husband. The “culture” of the NRA is stringently pro-safety when it comes to guns. My husband is meticulous in everything he does involving firearms (and not especially meticulous in any other part of his life). My husband takes a much stronger stance on the Second Amendment than I do, but the argument he made that won me over to support at least some access to guns by private citizens is this: guns are the great equalizer when it comes to self-defense. Without a gun, a 100 lb woman has no hope of fighting off a 250 lbs man. Even most 150 lbs women would lose in a physical fight with a 150 lb man (since more of the 150 lbs would be muscle in the man). But with a gun, she has a good chance. Also, Condoleezza Rice has made some compelling arguments about why the Second Amendment has been essential to the safety of many people in our country whom the police were unwilling to protect (see also the Heller case, which included plaintiffs who feared for their safety because they were part of a disfavored group, e.g., gay, or could only afford to live in neighborhoods with drug violence).

          • I’m sorry, but if it’s about safety, then why the need fr assault weapons. And if it’s about self defense and protection, but NRA members are meticulous about gun safety, then how is your 150 lb woman going to fight off her attacker when she has to get her locked, unloaded weapon and then get her locked ammunition –kept separately from the gun, for safety of course. I call bullshit on all of it. The positions are incongruent and, frankly nonsensical. What hunter needs a semi-automatic weapon. Oh yeah, you’re a real sport there, guy. Way to get your deer with a gun that pumps six rounds of bullets per second.

          • Also, cars and planes are not specifically designed to kill people or animals. A gun has no other purpose than to kill a person or an animal. That is it’s only use.

          • To add on to A: The NRA may be entirely pro-safety, but they also have a HUGE effect on weakening gun control laws or not getting them passed at all. Belle works as a lobbyist for them, she’s not out educating people on how to put a safety on.


          • Anon. -- automatic v. semi :

            I don’t know of any semiautomatic weapon that could fire multiple rounds per second.

            Maybe a fully automatic weapon, but those have been illegal for civilians for decades.

          • A semi-automatic weapon can fire in bursts. E.g. an M16 can fire 3 rounds with 1 pull of the trigger. Since a semi-automatic immediately loads the next round, it is possible to still empty a magazine within seconds, as fast as you can move your index finger.

          • anonymouse :

            Guns are one of the only products that will be fatal when used according to the directions.

            Cars and planes are not.

            The constitution was written before the increase in population in this country and drugs and gangs, etc. To believe that we need guns in case a militia needs to be formed is a very Scalia view of the world. I don’t endorse that view personally, but I respect your right to voice it.

        • We are all a part of a culture that kills children. And comes running to their aid when they are in danger. And tries, even in vain, to save them. And mourns them when they die. And cries at their funerals. And comforts the parents.

    • I saw those this morning too. While I’m not trying to excuse them, I suspect some of the attacks reflect some pent-up snark backlash that people are taking the opportunity to unload — Belle’s tone is often very judge-y (like saying she was laughing at people who wore stilettos to a country club wedding aerating the lawn) and VERY defensive in the comments if someone disagrees, even politely.

      That said, as manomanon said, Belle’s been very clear that she can’t talk about work on her blog, and I’m sure she’s struggling with this issue enough in real life, so I hope the furor dies down soon for her, especially b/c of her grandmother.

    • If a person is affiliated with the NRA, a person might expect to get some backlash after horrifying gun violence. She can obviously make a living any way she chooses, but she can’t both make her living doing something controversial and be excused from any participation in the controversy.

      I feel somewhat different about NRA members vs. NRA employees, and wouldn’t attack anyone on Facebook or in person. I do think that everyone ought to regularly reflect on his or her life, political views, and ethical commitments.

      • There have been numerous school attacks in China, both the same day as Sandy Hook, and in 2010 there were several resulting in the deaths of 20 children and injuries of more. With a KNIFE.

        Of course, you can kill more people, faster, with guns. I have no problem with introducing more gun control legislation, particularly reinstating some type of assault weapons ban.

        But this conversation without a conversation about mental illness in this country, and the horrific dearth of resources both for people struggling with it, is not going to solve the problem. This didn’t happen because guns exist, it happened because guns were in the hands of mentally ill people. That’s a TWO part problem, not a one part problem. Guns are a lot easier than mental illness, because none of us know what to tell someone like the mother who wrote the blog post that is all over the ‘net today (“I am Adam Lanza’s Mother”), because we don’t know what to do when someone is scared of their own child, either. We want to be angry at the parents of these shooters, for not doing something, but people who live with a mentally ill child who are TRYING to do something are basically told, “well, we can do something when he commits a crime”. Sadly, sometimes the first ‘crime’ is one like this, or any of the other shootings. There are many, many similarities between these shooters. The FBI has a valid profile, because there are enough similarities to create one. We can keep name-calling and sinking further and further into the muck of hatred, or we can take each other by the hands and try to pull each other up and figure out what we are going to do about the fact that we repeatedly have similarly situated young men taking actions like this.
        Sadly, seems like many are far happier to do the former.

        • My understanding is that the knife attack in China resulted in ZERO fatalities (22 children injured, some seriously, but no deaths). Which makes the opposite point – whether a crazy person has access to a gun matters significantly to how much damage they cause.

        • I think part of the problem is that (some) people in this country want a quick, clear-cut answer to this problem. Something quick and easy that can put people at ease that this will never happen again. Take away the guns, that’ll fix it, right? Some people believe that, I don’t.
          Sadly, I believe that if someone is so angry or so disturbed that they want to cause mass distruction, they’ll find away. Maybe, as A said above, the primary purpose of guns is to kill (a statement I find arguable, that aside), but in my experience with gunowners that’s not the typical purpose/use. Things like planes, cars, and fertilizer don’t have the typical purpose of killing, but history has shown that they can be used for that intent.
          This needs to be more than just a discussion about gun control. This needs to be a discussion about mental illness (treatment and recognizing warning signs), safety protocols in our schools, and how our national media responds to these events. Preventing what happened last Friday from happening again isn’t going to be the result of any quick-fix.

          • Query: what is a gun’s other intended purpose?

            Sure, many, many things have multiple uses and some of those uses can be dangerous. But, what other intended purpose does a gun have than to fire a bullet at a person or an animal? I’m seriously curious what you believe to be the other intended purpose of a gun.

          • Sport and target shooting. Honestly, I don’t know statistics on this (the shooting of inanimate vs. animate objects, if such statistics even exist), but the vast majority of gun owners I know stick to shooting clay pigeons and paper targets.

          • Anonymous :

            Shooting clay pigeons and paper targets are training exercises for using the gun for its one and only intended purpose — killing.

          • Anonymous – would you also be against archery, in that case?

          • or fencing?

            or karate? the training for multiple things is the sport itself. I want way stricter gun control but not everyone who goes shooting or owns a gun is training to kill.

          • Correct me if I’m wrong, but the “sport” of hunting is to kill animals, no? The sport of karate and fencing is not to kill your opponent. One is awarded points based on their performance in the match. For archery as well, I believe. As for the sport of hunting, the intended use of a gun is to SHOOT AND KILL an animal. One is not judged on anything other than whether one killed their target. With a gun. Which is intended and used for that purpose.

          • I am not talking about hunting. I am talking about shooting clay pigions or range competitions. It is the same as archery.

    • The NRA is not her client, it is her employer. And she’s not in some membership-oriented or other less-controversial role — she is a federal lobbyist for the organization, which means she is at the core of the worst of the NRA’s activities.

      I am not surprised that she hasn’t commented on the shooting, and I don’t fault her for that. But I find her line of work appalling regardless of Friday’s events, and had I found out sooner I would have unsubscribed from her blog a long time ago. I did now.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I haven’t seen CHS but here are my less than well organized thoughts:

      There are some circumstances where “blaming the NRA” makes sense. An example would include assault rifle violence. There really is no need for a “law abiding citizen” to need such weaponry. It is overkill (no pun intended) for self-defense and not really effective for hunting unless you want your meat pre-ground.

      In this horrible tragic case the shooter had a sig, a glock and a bushmaster. Even the more liberal people that advocate gun control tend to believe one should be able to have a firearm for personal protection and/or for hunting. The weapons at issue here were that caliber. Let’s ignore the fact the mom was a gun collector. Is there anything fundamentally wrong morally with owning a sig, a glock or a bushmaster? (Again, pretend it wasn’t all three.) If the answer is no, what could have been done differently here? Restrict the number of bullets one may purchase/possess at a given time? This may be okay for personal safety but how about training? Purchase and use additional ammo at the range only?

      I am typically VERY liberal and I am pro gun control but I don’t think that means no guns for anybody ever. Again, for the purpose of this discussion, let’s ignore the constitution and just consider “what should be.”

      I also try not to push my opinions on people until they have been tested. I have always been anti-death penalty. A friend was murdered. I was still anti-death penalty. Conviction tested and sustained. On the gun front I was formerly pretty anti-gun, which was hypocritical since I was already protected with my husband’s service weapon.

      Fast forward and I have a crazy guy in my office. I call the police. It takes OVER AN HOUR for them to get there. They had good reasons but it didn’t change the scenario. At that point I wished I had some way to defend myself if things escalated. It made me wonder, what if someone broke in my house in the middle of the night? The police are 20+ minutes away. My conviction was tested and I feel I do have a need to be able to defend myself.

      I have not yet taken the step to purchase a weapon because I want to do it responsibly, take a safety class and train on it first. Nonetheless, I still feel the option should be there. One weapon, with training, with proper storage. Not an arsenal. I’m not sure what the answer is for society as a whole.

      If it makes any difference to my scenarios, my husband is currently in a position without a service weapon but still in a job where he makes plenty of enemies and we have reasons to worry about our safety.

      • I’ve generally worked in buildings protected by armed guards and frequently also with metal detectors. I had a crazy ex of of a BF once that made me very glad to have this at work. I don’t have this at home and live in a house, but in an area where we pay off-duty police to patrol (so they had this person’s picture and license plate number — a bit more comforting than nothing, but still). It is scary, scary to be a target.

  13. We’ve discussed this before but I’ve only just started paying attention. Do many of you believe the link between parabens and cancer? Only after going through all my products this morning did I discover my HG of night creams has methylparaben… I’m going to search for another that works with my combo skin but am wondering if it’s “safe” to finish the jar I have. Am I being paranoid or cautious? Thanks and let me know if you have any recommendations.

    • kerrycontrary :

      I believe in the link between parabans and cancer. Unfortunately, they are really hard to avoid! I think it’s all about striking a balance between paraben-free products and finding what works for you. So if the majority of your body/beauty products don’t have parabens but you need to stick to this one cream? You’ll be fine. I would finish out your moisturizer instead of throwing it away (especially if its expensive). Think of all the parabens we’ve been exposed to in our lives, a couple more months won’t “put you over the edge”

      • aren’t parabens just preservatives? We’re consuming all sorts of preservatives these days, especially in foods. I don’t think that the amount absorbed through the skin can supersede what we ingest. If, however, you’d like to make the argument that the effect comes from accumulation over time, I’d like to see some articles that say/prove that parabens cause cancer.

  14. Diana Barry :

    Argh, you guys – I am STILL feeling bad about my firm’s party, which was this weekend – bc I am not one of the new partners. :(

    And I don’t want to be! But I don’t know what else there is for me. Am I going to have to create my own counsel track, or something? I don’t know what to do. Plus my review is coming up, which always makes me anxious and worried FOR WEEKS ON END EVERY DECEMBER. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. (and sorry for the CAPS.)

    • SF Bay Associate :

      What a bummer, Diana Barry. Is your firm one of those firms (like mine), where you rarely make partner the first time you’re up, but often make it the second time you’re up? If so, not making it the first time you’re up isn’t a surprise and isn’t a reflection on you personally. As for the “dang it, I hate that I didn’t make partner… except I don’t want to be partner… but I don’t know what I DO want to be and I don’t know what’s available to me besides partner, so I hate that I didn’t make partner” – I am right there with you, just a few years behind. Can’t I be a senior associate forever and ever amen? If you figure it out, let me know. Tea and sympathy.

      • oof, +1, SF Bay. My class (08) is starting to dwindle, and I can’t honestly say I would want to make partner for any other reason than being able to say I made partner.

        My problem is that (1) I like my coworkers and gradually increasing responsibilities, but can’t really fathom putting rainmaking on top of that — so far my natural strengths have aligned with my job, but as an introvert, having to be thinking about my network all the time is exhausting, (2) the partners I work with are reasonable people and I think I’m not “burning out” fast enough for someone who does expect to leave but has minimal “stick” motivating reason to try, and plenty of “carrot” to stay, (3) the more I learn, the more I realize I don’t know, even as I master certain things, making me reluctant to leave before I’d feel comfortable handling a transaction like a partner does (which I do realize is totally unrealistic when they have 20 more years of experience, but am still affected by), and (4) thinking about baby timing and it’s the only time I’ve regretted going straight through from college to law school, in that this career turning point will be right at the time we’re thinking of trying — if I had been approaching 30 as a 2nd or 3rd year rather than a 5th, it would be easy to take maternity leave and expect to return for a meaningful period of time; if I’m out as a 6th year things may be different and I don’t want people’s memory of me to be yet another associate who took the maternity leave and ran. So, AHHHHHH putting my mental block back up so I can have a productive rest of the day…

      • Diana Barry :

        Oh, I’m not up or anything. Also have received no notification/information of how the partnership process works, how long it typically takes, or anything else. (This is a smaller firm.) But I feel like I have to do something next year bc I have been practicing for kind of a long time, so it looks weird if I am not something other than an associate, if that makes sense.

        • Similar position, except that I switched firms earlier this year. I asked for the title “Senior Associate”. It doesn’t mean anything really, just lets others that I am dealing with know that I am not 2 years out. Kind of helps bridge the gap when you are in an experience range where you *could* be partner but aren’t yet.

        • Susan (edna_mode_nyc) :

          I’m guessing that partners don’t want a bajillion other partners sharing the profits, but at the same time don’t want a giant horde of 1-2yr associates either.

          The firm probably benefits the most and gets the most payout for people like you– experienced, so you aren’t taking a senior person’s time away from their own just to train you and guide you, but not sharing the profits in the partner pool, and also able to help train up the 1st and 2nd years.

          The trick is– is your firm appreciative that you and others like you are the “glue” that connects the really new hires and the partners, or do they make you feel like stale bread?

          • Diana Barry :

            Susan, we don’t have many associates (nobody for me to train, that’s for sure). I am mostly feeling bad that a person made junior partner who got out of law school a couple of years after I did.

            My immediate boss is great to work with. But I have no idea what the firm’s long-term plan for me (or anyone else!) is.

          • ” I have no idea what the firm’s long-term plan for me (or anyone else!) is.”

            This is completely unacceptable. Ask. If they have a problem with that, there was no chance of anything good happening there long-term anyway.

            This goes for everyone. You should always know what your employer plans for you in the future.

  15. I want to have a 1/2 day spa outing with a female relative. I have checked the prices at several day spas in my area and it is expensive!
    What services would you choose for your ideal spa day be and is it really worth the $$?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Massage. Not scrubs or masks. I enjoyed a Vichy (spelling) shower. Mani/pedi. Facial if your face does well with them. My skin looks worse after. Steam room/hot tub access. Fancy beverages. If booking a service or two gives you an all access pass, book the massage and mani/pedi an hour or two apart. Use the between time to use the others amenities or sip fancy tea by the water fountain.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Funny, I would ask for the scrub, not the massage. I’m very particular about my massages, so I would prefer a scrub, which is a PITA to do myself. Agreed on the facial being a maybe, and the mani/pedi. I’d definetly suggest reflexology with the pedi though – everyone has tired feet.

        • karenpadi :

          Thanks! I am very very particular about massages too (I have a regular therapist). I have been avoiding spa visits because I don’t want to get a “stranger” massage. I’ll consider scrubs instead!

    • East Coaster :

      I think spa pricing and quality varies widely. If it is a place that I know or which has very good reviews, I’ll get a facial. But for places that I don’t know (for example, if I’m traveling for a bachelorette party and going to a spa there) I’ll just do a manicure and pedicure.

    • A facial and a massage. If the spa is one of those with “bath treatments” or “water treatments” or something like that, they’re also usually cheaper than the massages, and they’re a nice add-on to the facial and a massage.

      Also, hanging out in the spa room/sauna/hot tub in your bathrobe/swim suit/whatever is usually free – easy way to turn 2 hours of services into a half day. :-)

    • I’d do a massage and pedicure – but check to see that the services you want separately are more than a spa package. I was looking into spa packages for Aveda, but the services I wanted were cheaper to purchase separately.

  16. Forget about Cyber Monday – its “last minute to get it shipped in time for Christmas without paying an arma and a leg” Monday! Anyone else joining me in frantically finishing off online shopping?

    • lucy stone :

      YES. My dad is impossible to shop for and I need to get him a retirement gift in addition to Christmas presents.

    • Well good for you b/c I just found out today is “Free Online Shipping Day” or something crazy like that. Happy clicking!

    • Does it count if I “frantically” ordered myself bright yellow corduroys on deep discount? Don’t worry–they will see heavy use.

      • eastbaybanker :

        I’m sure they’ll see heavy use. I bought bright mustard yellow skinny corduroys a few years ago and wore them ALL the time until I lost weight. I love yellow and navy.

      • Ooh. These sound awesome!

    • I tried it this weekend and realized that I wouldn’t be able to get some things for Christmas. Argh. I’m clearly behind!

    • You can order from my Etsy shop until Wednesday, if you need Christmas Eve delivery. No extra shipping charges.

      Just sayin’


  17. Cornellian :

    I’m gearing up for my first year-end review as a BigLaw associate in a small transactional group. Anyone have any advice? I want to be receptive to feedback, but also not just roll over if there’s something I don’t understand or agree with, which is my general response to criticism. I plan on asking about what I can do moving forward, what I need work on, etc, but anything else?

    • I wouldn’t worry about “just rolling over.” I’ve seen people try to straighten out misinformation that made its way into a review and, frankly, they looked worse for trying to correct it. Maybe some firms are different, but in my BigLaw firm, once something was in a review, it was there to stay. Your best option is to just ask for ways to improve. This really is a time to just say “yes sir may I have another.”

  18. I have an interview at a big law firm in Denver coming up. Any thoughts on skirt versus pant suit? Thanks!

    • It may depend a bit on which firm and how big law it is. But generally, Denver is very very casual (and also cold in the winter!). I have a hard time thinking that a pant suit will really be a problem. In fact, thinking about it, I’m pretty sure I remember seeing people interviewing with Denver firms in pant suits at OCI. Good luck!!

  19. Anon today :

    I have an interview in 2 hours for a job that I applied for outside the normal track. I submitted my materials directly to someone at the company rather than online (because I know them well, they told me to.) Now I have an interview with some of the HR hiring people that on its face sort of sounds like an informational interview. When it was set up it was “I heard you were interested in working here, let me know if I can answer any questions for you.” I’ve already applied and offered to send this group my application materials, which they said no to. Now I’m sort of stressing out because I don’t know how to approach this interview.

  20. Oh dear, I’m pretty sure I do monochrome + black fairly regularly… Granted, I have backed off it a lot since watching the British What Not to Wear back in [whenever that show actually began], because they railed against it, arguing that black actually drains most colors. I usually substitute gray or brown for the black, as Kat suggests. Or I try to wear a scarf/jewelry than incorporates black and the monochrome to tie things together a bit. So I guess my final conclusion is that there are frequently more interesting ways to style things than monochrome + black, but there’s nothing actually *wrong* with it. (Gosh, I hope not!)

  21. After reading that black looks better with neutrals than with brights / pastels (especially when there’s a top/bottom divide), I initially thought that was absurd, but have slowly started to agree. With rich colors, I’ve shifted to more navy and dark grey pieces, which would probably enhance this red more than black.

    • I agree with this so much! It’s one of the reasons I love grey shoes so much.

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