Thursday’s Workwear Report: Paneled Sheath Dress

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

banana republic 2017 sheath dress for workI feel like we’re in a weird place for fashion (especially workwear right now) — and there are a lot of stores with a bunch of WTF options right now. One store where I do like a lot of the inventory — and so does everyone else, apparently, because there are a LOT of lucky-size only options — is Banana Republic. LOTS of cute dresses and skirts at the moment. This gray paneled sheath dress is sophisticated and simple, and I love the styling with the gray belt. (It doesn’t come with it and I can only find this on their site, which looks a bit different.) The dress is $128, available in regular, petite, and tall sizes — and today it’s 40% off. Nice! Paneled Sheath Dress

Two plus-size options are at Talbots and Lands’ End.

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  1. Anonymous :

    Banana Republic has been, well, bananas lately. It’s a mix of classic nice pieces and off the shoulder ruffle disasters.

    • cake batter :

      I did almost zero black Friday shopping because everything in my regular stores is so bonkers. I don’t understand who wears all these cold shoulder, weird ruffle, asymmetrical, open back monstrosities that are on sale everywhere, but it’s sure not for me. The most depressing is Nordie’s “work wear” section. Literal WTF.

      • Anonymous :

        Nobody wears them. That’s why they are on sale.

        • Anonymous :

          And then all the clothing retailers get quoted in articles moaning and groaning about the “death of retail” because no one is buying the ridiculous garments they’ve chosen to offer as “workwear.”

          Hey retailers! News flash, women still go to work and not as ladies of the evening. If more women’s apparel brands were making clothes that were actually work-appropriate, more women would be buying clothes and maybe fewer clothing stores would be shutting down.

          • Seriously! I wish they’d stop trying to be trendy and “cutting edge” (i.e., ugly as sin) and just offer well-made, fashionable clothes that are appropriate for an office. It would make my life so much easier if I had one go-to place, but no — I have to hunt and pick around for the one or two work-appropriate items at five different stores. If I had more good choices, I would buy more work clothes!

            Also, retailers, GTFO with all these tops that require additional layers underneath to either a) be appropriate or b) not freeze. It is winter in the Midwest. The current wind chill is 5 degrees; I do not want lightweight anything, thank you very much.

          • So glad I’m not the only one frustrated this season. The ruffles have taken over!

        • I agree. I will NOT expose my shoulders in a work dress, or for that matter have an open back going 1/2 the way down to my tuchus! What a feilday Frank would have pokeing at me and trying to see what color panties I was wearing! FOOEY on him! He can check the color of Laura’s panties, but NOT mine. That will be the EXCLUSIVE providence of my husband, should I ever find one!

          The fashions they are putting out there I think are for mileanials who do NOT mind showing their shoulders and tuchuses. I supose when I was 20, I did not mind, but now that I am older, I need to be conservative as an attorney and counselor at law and partner. If I were still in DC, I could wear some of this stuff, but with all of the HORNY men down there, I could expect that I would still be fair game for some schmoe who would want me to take off my clotheing for him. DOUBEL FOOEY on that! The manageing partner is VERY carful in warning our cleints that I am NOT available for anything but an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay! YAY!!!! That was NOT the case when I served subpeenies. FOOEY on that old job!

        • Actually, no. The dress was also offered in black and sold out fairly quickly.

          I bought one and love it. Nice stretch and figure-flattering. It has become my go-to for sure.

      • A few weeks ago I saw a woman wearing a long-sleeve t-shirt *under* a cold shoulder shirt. Much worse than just the cold shoulder alone…

    • Ann Taylor too with those shoulder ruffled sweaters and long puffy sleeves (which don’t flatter anyone).

    • I don’t understand what’s wrong with these companies! I want to buy work clothes, but everything is just hideous! I found one okay top at Ann Taylor and one okay sweater at Banana Republic but every single thing at Nordstrom is awful. I’m perpetually freezing, so I do most of my clothes buying in the fall and winter, but this year I’m totally out of luck.

      • Joe Fresh has some pretty good options–it’s not strictly a work wear line, it’s a mix of everything–but they have lots of natural fibres, I’ve bought simple, work appropriate, lovely coloured merino from them before.

      • This! I’ve been hoping for a wardrobe reboot, but there is literally nothing I can find that I want to put in my closet at most of the major stores. The only places I’ve had any success with this season are Boden and Brooks Brothers (which, thankfully, has started making some normal suits again after a few seasons of yikes).

        • Anonymous :

          I bought Hobbs from Bloomie’s, Brooks Brothers and Lafayette 148. Escada and Boss had good pieces, but don’t fit my shape.

  2. Viva la Reckoning :

    Hive help: somewhat generic gift idea for a 13 year old boy? What about college aged girl?

    • iTunes gift card for both.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 to iTunes or Amazon. And Starbucks or Sephora gift card for the college aged girl.

    • I would actually say no iTunes gift card, as I don’t know anyone in that age range who still uses iTunes. If you can swing it, a Spotify subscription would be a better option for music imo.

      • Anonymous :

        iTunes gift cards are good for the app store, for games and stuff, not necessarily for music since I agree that I don’t know anyone who actually buys music through iTunes these days.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree to no itunes gift card. My young sister got one recently and didn’t know what to do with it. Amazon gift card or Visa gift card (or cash) or you want to go that route.

      • I think there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding of what an iTunes gift card is for. It’s not just iTunes music, you can use it to pay for the Apple Music subscription, buy or rent movies and TV shows, the App Store, literally any entertainment content offered by Apple.

    • Uber or Lyft gift card for the college girl. On board with an iTunes gift card for the boy (or for both) because it can also be used in the app store.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Or a Spotify card. With her college email, she gets it for $5 a month. If you want to spend $60, you’ve paid for her Spotify for a year.

    • I give my college age nephews money, but I’ve also given them gift cards for their school bookstore (one is Barnes & Noble, so it’s easy). They can buy school shirts or whatever.

    • 13 year old: Nike Elite socks, gift card for the gaming system he has (xBox, whatever). My kids are a bit overwhelmed by Amazon gift cards.

      College age: like the Uber/Lyft idea, Starbucks,

  3. Kitchen, redo or refresh? :

    We are meeting with a designer next week to plan our renovation! Which is exciting, but now that it comes down to it I am conflicted about my kitchen. We live in a 50s ranch, and we have established there is no way to enlarge or change the configuration of the kitchen without either spending a ton of money, or sacrificing our beloved back yard living area. I’m actually ok with a small kitchen, and the current layout works really well. But if there will be zero change in the layout, I am not sure it is really necessary to replace all the cabinets. Current cabinets are all wood, but from the 50s, with a soffit. So it would definitely change the look to get new cabinets and I would get some functionality that comes with new cabinets. But is it really worth it to spend an extra 20-30K on cabinets (that is cabinets and install). I could go with cheaper cabinets, but why would I remove all wood cabinets to replace them with cheaper materials?

    So if you have refreshed your kitchen are you happy with it? I’m afraid that I will never be happy unless it is completely redone! But considering the circumstances, a full redo seems a bit much. For more context, the other renovations will mean we will move out for a few months. So if we are going to really do the kitchen, now is the time.

    • Constant Reader :

      If you get better configuration/storage, it might be worth new cabinets. You could get dish drawers, different pantry pull outs, etc. I have a new townhouse and for whatever stupid reason, the new kitchen cabinets don’t have deep drawers or modern kitchen options, and it drives me nutty but we weren’t able to customize to that extent. But you might be able to get a custom cabinet maker to replace just a few sections. The other option is to replace just the doors and hardware. Lots of companies do that now, and if you wanted a more modern look with walnut fronts, etc. that would be cheaper and less disruptive. Most of these are for Ikea cabinets specifically, but some of them allow more customized orders and you could also go to a local custom cabinet maker for the same idea.

      Personally I’m budgeting to rip out my two year old cabinets and replace them with IKEA in a few years just because the lower cabinets are driving me batty and I’m wasting a lot of space and they aren’t exactly in line with universal design principles as my husband and I age.

    • We kept our cabinets because we were not changing the floor plan and the cabinets are solid wood with custom pullouts, etc. that would have cost a fortune to replace. We had them painted but the contractor clearly did not have experience painting cabinets and the paint is chipping already. So I think it’s fine to keep the cabinets if they are high quality and in good shape but if you are going to paint them definitely make sure the painter knows what they are doing. Also make sure the contractor is on board with keeping them. I think part of the problem was that our contractor is used to big, fancy kitchen remodels where everything is new. On the first day of demo we had to stop the workers from ripping out the cabinets even though the contractor knew we were going to keep them!

    • Do it! But shop around.
      We completely redid our kitchen and refreshed the bathrooms. Granted, my small kitchen is probably smaller than yours (NYC apartment) but our wood, custom cabinets were not that much (I think $12-15K with installation). I’m very happy with how the kitchen turned out, but having lived through the renovation process I wish we could have done more before moving in (we did some before and then the rest after move-in and being there during was the worst). We mostly left the layout the same but having new cabinets gave us a lot more options vis a vis appliances, custom pull outs, etc. It was also easier to change the floor and the backsplash, the whole thing just feels and looks a million times better. I love my new kitchen!
      In contrast, we refreshed our 50s bathrooms. They turned out surprisingly well with just new lighting, cabinets, and floors, but we benefited from the tile being in really good shape and everything being classic white. Still, if I could have packed at least one bathroom into the renovation it would have been great to have that done. Renovations are filthy business, even aside from not having access to whatever it is you’re renovating. So all in all, I say if you can afford to do it, do the kitchen.

    • Anonymous :

      Most 50’s wood cabinets aren’t great – mine sure aren’t. I’d replace them in a heartbeat. Even an Ikea kitchen would be much nicer.

    • Just do a reface on your existing cabinets. New solid wood doors, new real wood veneer finish on the outside of the cabinets – much cheaper than tearing them out and getting new cabinets. I had this done in my previous house and it was great. When I sold the house, everyone at the open house was oohing and aahing about the cabinets.

      I had all the shelves in the pantry and one of the shelves in the under counter cabinet replaced with pull out drawers at the same time. That was probably my favorite part.

      In my current house I replaced all the cabinets because we changed the layout and because the existing cabinets were a mismatched joke. I actually prefer the sturdier refaced cabinets of my old house to the new cabinets of my current house – they were expensive but they’re still “cheap” – not as well made as the older cabinets.

    • Flats Only :

      If the layout works fine, and the existing cabinets are sturdy, consider having them refaced. They put on new doors and matching veneer covering the “box” parts. We had it done and it looks great. Cost a 1/5 of what new cabinets would have cost.

    • No advice, but a semi-related question: has anyone ever replaced their countertops without replacing the existing cabinets? My whole kitchen was recently renovated (before I bought the house), so everything is new and in good shape – but I HATE the countertops and would love to change them.

      • Yes, did this two years ago and it worked great.

      • Yep, it’s was easy. Not sure why this would be complicated or unique? The granite is custom cut to your layout no matter if the cabinets are old or new. Might be trickier if you have backsplashes that tie into tiles to work around but not impossible.

        • I was just concerned that removing the existing countertops would cause damage to the cabinets. Glad to hear that others have had success!

      • Yes, with granite. The only issue is if the tops of the old cabinets aren’t perfectly level, so they may place a shim where needed and cover with silicone. I watched them do this and I can’t see or remember where it was.

      • Yep, this is no problem. My parents did this several times at their old house.

    • Used to be in the industry: what would you actually do if you “refresh” the kitchen?

      Regarding the cabinets: painting is one of those DIY/cheap solutions where the after photo on pinterest looks great and then the paint chips quickly thereafter. In any mid-to-high end cabinet factory, the doors and frames go through numerous rounds of hand-spraying of either paint or stain, baking, drying, sealing, protective coatings and quality control screenings. This is not something your contractor can do in his workshop. Cabinet refacing, or keeping the same footprint but replacing the cabinet door for a new look, can cost as much as actually just replacing the cabinets. It’s spending a lot of money on a compromise.

      I see options as:
      – replace kitchen flooring (know it can be difficult depending on how the cabinets were built and installed, to get everything out and back in cleanly)
      – replace countertops (never a bad idea, I recommend quartz, lots of natural-looking patterns from Cambria)
      – retro-fit your cabinets with awesome storage solutions from someone like ShelfGenie (they’re the best)
      – replace the appliances (You might be able to save space here, too – refrigerators especially are being made to use space super efficiently, Fisher & Paykel dishwasher drawers are worth the hype)

      If it were me? I’d probably replace the kitchen. Have the designer look at the space with you and build in efficiency. If you don’t love it after they re-design it, or don’t think what you’d get by replacing would be worth the $, stick with what you’ve got. You will be amazed at the options available and even if you’re not changing the footprint the cabinets will be in, you can axe the soffit and take your uppers to the ceiling and put in different cabinets that will be more functional. In a small space, you can either buy pre-made pullouts or do a custom retrofit after installation with a company like ShelfGenie. By the way, don’t buy into the “custom cabinet maker” schtick. I support local biz everywhere possible, but honestly, reputable cabinet manufacturers offer hundreds of size combinations and your kitchen will be custom designed for you either way, and I’ve found greater consistency and actually higher overall quality (within the box/structure of the cabinet) with cabinets purchased from “factory” brands like Mid Continent, Fieldstone, Omega, etc.

    • Kitchen Mission :

      Just renoed our kitchen this summer in a 1969 house with an odd configuration and small kitchen space. Also did not want to knock down walls but our designers came up with some great solutions. We lost cabinet/pantry space technically, but the space works SO much better now with new cabinets.

      If you do get new cabinets I’d recommend custom. Ours were an arm and a leg, but I feel like it was money well spent because I got exactly what I wanted and they made little changes to maximize space. For example, I have a corner cabinet with a double blind corner pull out rack (you open the cabinet, pull the rack out, slide it over, and there is another pull out behind it). All of my pantry shelves are pull outs. They angled some cabinets to fit more space and leave me room for seats at the counter. They added outlets everywhere. I have a double shelf pull out spice drawer. New cabinets will allow you to maximize the space in ways you might not have imagined.

      Always happy to talk Kitchen reno!

    • Paint them!

  4. Anonymous :

    My husband and I have been having long, ongoing discussions about invisible labor. In a very non-confrontational way, we’ve agreed to make a list of all the things we handle so we make the labor “visible.” We have agreed to break down the chart by tasks we do: daily, weekly, ongoing (more than weekly less than annually), and yearly.

    Separate spreadsheet for “seasonal.” We are allocating by my tasks, his tasks, and joint tasks. Criteria is that it can’t only be for yourself – so self care or items that only help yourself don’t go on the list — or for work.

    What are the things that constantly run through the back of your brain to keep the family trucking that aren’t necessarily “visible”? — things like remembering to order new kids’ gloves when it gets cold, scheduling annual well visits, school forms, pulling out outgrown kids clothes and sorting for donations, etc.

    • Cornellian. :

      Do you have pets? Keeping track of when they need to be groomed or go to the vet or get vaccinations. Getting prescriptions and ordering drugs (that could be pets or humans, I guess).

      Keeping track of various service providers, making sure they get paid, figuring out what tip/holiday bonus to give. For us that’s daycare and dogwalker.

      Planning/scheduling holidays. I left that to my husband this year and so far we have no plans and no sitter for the two-week daycare closure. ARGH.

      • Sounds like DH is taking 2 weeks off!

        Luckily there are so many college kids home that it shouldn’t be that bad to find last minute coverage.

    • Sick child visits, remembering and sending gifts/cards (if you do this) for family members, arranging for child birthday parties, coordinating play dates, school drop off and pick ups, seasonal school items (costumes for plays, new equipment for sports, coordinating rides to/from after school or weekend school practices or activities), remembering gifts for any help (teachers, cleaners, postal workers, child care workers), managing donations of old clothing/etc. from your house and children, meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning up, making child lunches (if you do).
      There are more – I’d also include any big ‘spring cleaning’ activities you do – I sent my husband a list and he had no idea flipping mattresses, washing pillows, washing drapes, cleaning baseboards, vacuuming and cleaning out window wells, cleaning the dishwasher/washer/dryer, etc. etc. were things that I did bi-annually.

      • Side question- how do you clean your washer? I’m a newish homeowner and I’m learning that there are all these things that need to be cleaned…..

        • Tide washer bombs. They have an actual name, but, yeah… washer bombs:

          • I use something like HG service. It has a old fashioned looking box and finally got rid of the funky smell in my front loader. I did have to text my husband and ask where liquid detergent was inserted, which made him laugh.

          • whoa. that’s cool, thanks for sharing. I apparently have a lot of lint in my washer, because clothes come out with smudges and sometimes actual lint. Will this help with that or do I need to do something else too?

          • I have a top load- is the lint catcher thing in the center spinny thing?

        • Do you have a front or top load? I have a front load, so I only know about those. Look in the gasket around the door. It traps all kinds of hair/lint. You have the pull the gasket back and then use a wipe or damp paper town to clean out all the gross stuff.

        • Depends on how anal you are ;) Affresh was recommended to me by Sears, so we run that through. I then use a vinegar/hot water mixture and microfiber rags to wipe out the gasket, clean the soap dispenser and the door, and leave the door propped open to dry, and the soap dispenser drying on a towel. Top loaders are a lot less prone to mildew/mold and need less baby-ing though.

    • cake batter :

      RSVP’ing and adding to the family calendar all weddings, parties, events, etc. Buying, shipping, wrapping gifts for weddings, birthday parties, holidays. Remembering to send flowers/cards on mother’s day, father’s day. Scheduling and taking animals to vet appointments, booking daycare/boarding for vacations. Researching daycares, nannies, house cleaners, gutter cleaners, and booking those appointments. Changing the furnace filter, getting ducts cleaned, misc. house maintenance. Remembering and paying non-regular bills, like car registrations or insurance. Meal planning and grocery shopping. Researching and booking vacations.

    • Anonymous :

      Meeting everyone’s unsaid needs. My in laws watch our kids, for which we are very grateful, but they will never say when they want to go away on vacation or need to leave early for some appointment or other event, so I have to try to intuit these things and then plan accordingly. It’s maddening. I’ve tried to get them to just tell us because it’s not a big deal, especially with notice, but that’s failed. I’ve tried to make him deal with it because they’re his parents but he is just clueless and believes them that, “oh, it’s not a big deal if we miss this Holy Thursday service at church that we obviously want to attend….” The whole thing drives me bonkers. He does appreciate it when we talk but it’s always a bit of a struggle to get him to notice the issue in the first place.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh my gosh. If I were in your shoes I would totally totally not put up with that. After they miss a few Holy Thursday services I bet they will learn how to use their words!

    • Making charitable donations, remembering birthdays, shopping for gifts, sending gifts, taking returns to the post office, menu planning, washing sheets and towels before they are disgusting, various cleaning tasks around the house, vacation planning and research (this one is big), removing old food from fridge and freezer regularly, and probably a lot more I’m not thinking of.

    • Anon for this :

      Oh I love this. It’s a something my boyfriend and I are attempting to fix, too. Here’s a list of things for me:

      -changing bed sheets/washing towels
      -replacing soaps in bathrooms
      -monitoring toilet paper/paper towel levels so we’re never without
      -sorting out junk mail and getting mail daily (we both have keys but he’s never checked the mail)
      -changing to winter duvet when it gets cold
      -going through fridge and throwing out expired items or old leftovers
      -grocery shopping in general but also for any event. For example, if we have friends over for a night or guests staying with us, I am always the one monitoring what food we have and getting what we or our guests need
      -misc laundry everything: weird stain on shirt? Is something linty? Wrinkly? my issues.
      -interacting with leasing office about lease or maintenance staff about repair issue. We’ve had a leaky shower, a toilet that ran nonstop, hot water issues, etc. and I am always the point person for those issues.
      -if utility/bill issues come up, they are my issue (had to fight with Comcast for HOURS to get our bill in english. It was in spanish and neither of us speak spanish)
      -car everything: gas, cleaning, registration, insurance, and maintenance.
      -unload dishwasher, and generally dishes as well but he occasionally contributes
      -pet everything: heartgard/frontline, vet appointments, scheduling dog walking and pet sitting for vacations, paying for these services, ordering food, bags, treats/toys, etc.

      • Wow, if my partner never checked the mail, I would pretty quickly stop bringing his mail into the house.

        “No, dear, I don’t know if anyone sent you a birthday card. Why don’t you check the mail?” ::years’ worth of uncollected mail whooshes out, Hogwarts-letter-style::

    • sweetknee :

      Just off the top of my head:
      * checking our OTC meds a couple of times a year to make sure we have seasonally appropriate stuff ( allergy meds, solarcaine, etc)
      ** vacation planning/reservations/funding
      **House maintenance issues: is it time to clean out gutters?, do we need to trim shrubs?, do we need to winterize grass?
      ** making sure we use all our flexible spending money by the end of the year/keeping up with how it is used
      ** things like HOA dues, pool dues, checking our escrow account to make sure we are not ahead or behind
      ** when our kids were smaller, figuring out where they were going to be on school holidays, summer breaks, etc.
      ** sports physicals for kids ( different in our district than regular physicals, and required by school district)
      ** wedding, graduation gifts for friends/family
      ** remembering when various insurance policies expire so I can shop around for better deals

    • We’ve done this exercise recently. Some of the less obvious ones included:
      -dealing with birthday parties that kids are invited to (RSVPing, putting on calendar, getting presents and cards)
      -arranging playdates
      -signing up for kid classes on time (around here, they fill up if you wait)
      -researching options for childcare (ie – 1 kid starts kindergarten next year, are we ok with the local public school or do we think about charters/private? Even though we’ll probably end up going with zoned public school, I’ve spent a ton of time talking to parents and otherwise confirming that it’s a good choice for us. Will repeat with aftercare in a few months, I’m sure).
      -gifts for teachers at appropriate times
      -general liaising with daycare – sending in diapers when they run out, talking to them about any concerns we have
      -making sure kids have seasonally appropriate clothes
      -researching random symptoms to decide if we need to take kid to the doctor
      -car registration, parking permit, etc
      -annual cleaning for chimney
      -arranging babysitters for date nights

    • I’ll add some seasonal ones:

      -Snow tires for cars
      -Buying, addressing, and mailing Christmas cards
      -Shopping for, buying, wrapping, and mailing Christmas presents
      -Christmas cards/presents for teachers
      -Making sure someone attends holiday parties/concerts/etc at school or daycare

    • I was a full-time career nanny for years, and this kind of thing was a huge part of my job since my bosses didn’t have time to deal with all the extras that keep a household running. One of the biggest ones was making sure the kids had clothes that fit! They grew so fast. Three times a year I went through all their clothes and shoes, donated anything that didn’t fit anymore, transferred outgrown stuff from the big kid to the younger kid, made them try on all their shoes to see how they fit, stocked up on socks and underwear, made sure they had new winter boots every winter, bought new hats and gloves when they inevitably lost them…and on and on.

    • -Remembering to replace household items that wear out (and trying to get a good deal, maybe?) Rugs, washcloths, towels, the ice cream scoop that is bent out of shape, old spatulas, the rusting grill grates, car ice scraper that snapped in half, etc.
      -If kids, removing clothes that don’t fit, sorting through hand-me-downs, getting rid of excess (Craigslist? Family? Thrift store? Goodwill?)
      -Tax planning, W-4 adjustments, investment contributions, portfolio re-balancing, open enrollment changes, keeping track of glasses/contacts/dental/orthodontics

    • Anonshmanon :

      Arranging our social gatherings. Recently, I asked hubby to invite our friends, and there was a lot of back and forth about dates, food and so on, because his invite basically contained no details. It was just “wanna come over?”

    • If you have a house: gutter cleaning, changing the air filters in the furnace, new batteries in smoke/CO2 detectors, Halloween/Christmas/other decorations, lawn mowing/weeding or landscaper liaison, shoveling.

      Interesting that most of the comments on this thread are about the stereotypical things that women do and not much on the tasks that generally fall on the male partner.

      • I think she’s coming at it from the perspective that her partner will automatically include those things (which are MUCH more visible) but not ‘see’ or ‘count’ the invisible labor that goes into running a home and having a family/pets/social life.

      • tell me, what tasks fall on the male partner?

        I was a single homeowner of a car and an older house with a yard before marriage/kids.

        All I can see that my husband contributes is maintenance on his cars. He took over the yard b/c he didn’t want to see a pregnant woman with a lawnmower (or to have people see him not mowing a yard while a pregnant woman was mowing it; now a service does it and he pays them)). All of my old jobs + kid stuff are still my jobs.

        [If you as my husband what he does, he will say a lot and I have no idea what that entails other than paying the yard guy and dealing with his cars.]

    • Wow, ok, this makes me feel so much better. DH handles a ton (most maybe?) of the visible labor and I was starting to feel really badly that he did most of the work, but this makes me realize I actually do contribute. I do pretty much anything that involves planning ahead: meals, vacations, gifts, birthday parties, scheduling appointments, hanging out with friends, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Just a question…i am kind of confused on the point of a conversation like this with your husband. Are you trying to get him to do more? Is he trying to get you do to more? I would just offer a counterpoint that I am a single homeowner who also owns a car. I am the oldest and most responsible in the family. I do all of these tasks myself. I hear a lot of married women complaining about the work that they do and the lack of participation on the part of the husband. The alternative is that you don’t have a husband and you do all of it yourself. Presumably, you like your husband’s company and want to keep him around. Why do you need to keep score on who is doing the most work? Again, the alternative is that you are single and you do all of it on your own. How is that better?

      • I assume you don’t have kids and only have your laundry (and cooking and messes) to take care of. When workload triples but you’re still doing everything on top of trying to have a successful career, it starts to feel like servitude and we need help.

  5. Recommendations for things to do/see/eat in Tokyo? Have a couple days there before a wedding this Christmas and work has been so busy I haven’t had time to research!

    • Anonymous :

      Was just there! Also just for a couple days for a wedding. On such a short trip, I basically only had time to get my hair done, shop, and eat. One cool thing was going to tsukiji fish market and lining up at sushi dai at 3:30 am (jetlag) for the morning seating (at 5:30am) and getting some really top quality sushi without breaking the bank. This is only a good idea if you’re already staying in the western part of Tokyo and are good at standing in the cold. If not, just go later (in the early morning) and go to sushi bun or daiwa sushi, much shorter lines.

      Also try some teppanyaki wagyu if you haven’t before. Bifteck kawamura ginza is a nice option especially for lunch. Otherwise I’d go get lost (on purpose this time) in shinjuku station, or go to the daikanyama neighborhood for something more low key cool.

      • Thank you!!

      • Wanderlust :

        Daiwa Sushi is soooooo good. I dream about it. If you’re free on a Sunday, I also loved peoplewatching around Harajuku. The food court area in Tokyo Station also has a ton of delicious options.

    • There is (used to be?) a Tokyo ‘rette who gave some recommendations that were awesome when I was there. I haven’t been since tsukiji moved. We did the Tokyo Metropolitan Building and drinks at the Hyatt (I think they also have a fixed price happy hour with appetizers that was recommended?) which was awesome. Get ramen at Fuunji in Shinuku if you can.

      Also, I had some kind of fried green tea donut with red bean paste inside. I cannot tell you what it was, just that we had it from a stand near one of the major, touristy shrines, but I die a little inside every time I remember because I don’t know what it was called and probably never will.

      • Matcha anpan? If it’s these, they’re pretty common and I bet you can find them in many major US cities

      • Anonymous :

        No, it was more deep fried — had little crisp “peaks”/edges instead of being perfectly smooth.

        Though I’d definitely eat this, too!

      • Anonymous :

        If this link works, the author references them too, but doesn’t have a name — about halfway down the page, “fried bun display”!

      • Anonymous :

        i think you’re talking about age-manju!

    • Definitely the fish market and the palace gardens. I spent a half day in the gardens and loved it. Perhaps a spa/baths if you have time. Beyond that, we just wandered the city by foot.

    • Whenever I’m in Tokyo it’s eating and shopping and random walking. I would go to Harajuku for the fun/crowded shopping streets and then to the nearby Meiji Jingu shrine for some relief. Christmas lights should be up in many places, some more impressive than others. Try eating at Ichiran Ramen in Shibuya. You buy the meal from a ticket machine and hand the ticket to your server, which is very typical in Japan.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Do you have an email I could send a google doc to? I have a google doc of our Tokyo trip which you might find useful.

    • Anonymous :

      Ramen street in Tokyo station. Tokyo station is a destination in and of itself for all the shopping and craziness, and Ramen street has the most delicious Ramen.

      A sumo wrestling match or practice. Can be hard to get into–if your hotel has a concierge you might check there.

      A drink at the bar of the Aman hotel. Seriously the most gorgeous bar you’ve ever seen, beautiful city views, and some very interesting rich-people watching.

      If you go to Harajuku station, definitely walk down Omotesando. The architecture is incredible.

    • Anonymous :

      I live n Tokyo!
      The standard sites are Imperial Palace, Gonzalez/Tsukiji, Harajuku/Meiji Shrine, Shibuya & Shinjuku

      Befor xmas there are lots of gorgeous Christmas light displays (called ‘illuminations’ here). Roppongi one and Omotesando are beautiful. Check Tokyo Timeout for details.

      If you want to get lunch post an email!

    • I used this guide and it was really helpful:

  6. Anonymous :

    Has anyone gone from a big office to a small one? I’m making a big job change (yay!) but it will be a whole new environment. I’m used to being in an open office surrounded by a busy talkative staff, chatting with work friends over lunch or coffee breaks, doing team activities, etc. Now I’m going to a tiny company where I will be alone a lot. I’m an introvert so working in a quiet office sounds nice, but it’s going to be weird too.

    • Yes I did that. It was lonely at first. I had a staff of 45 people (direct and indirect), some in remote offices but mostly located in the home office with me. We functioned as a team and even though we worked really hard, we had a lot of fun too. I consider several of my former staff good personal friends now.

      I moved to a smaller company and am building out a new function for the company. The culture of the company is different than I’m used to. People are quieter and work more 9-5 schedules. I didn’t have any staff until recently, and just a handful of them. We work in a satellite office so it’s just us.

      I do miss the busy environment of my former job, but I like the ability to focus in my current role. I’m sure the role will expand over time and I will miss the quiet days, but for now to be honest I find them a little tedious.

    • When I went from a big office to a small office, one thing that surprised me was the lack of drinks and snacks. I ended up bring my own tea, coffee, etc. in addition to my regular snack drawer.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, I did that some years back. I agree that it was a shock to have to bring a lot of things I’d been used have having provided, like drinks and snacks and even Kleenex (part of this was going from a firm to a government office). One thing that helped was getting involved in some community activities that involved a lot of personal interaction.

      And then, perhaps predictably, when I moved again to a job that involved interacting with people all day, I just wanted to be quiet when I got home so most of the community stuff went by the wayside (or transitioned into things I could do by myself).

  7. One of our non-profit clients just mailed me a letter soliciting a donation. I’ve spoken on panels for them, but it’s not a cause I would personally choose to give to. I auto-donate monthly to food banks and homeless shelters, but this is a niche educational non-profit that, well, frankly doesn’t DO much besides host symposiums. Am I “obligated” to give because of some unspoken professional code?

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. Just ignore it.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. As someone who works in nonprofits, they will solicit ANYONE who has a relationship with them. It’s just how it’s done. You can ignore, they won’t mind.

    • Cornellian. :

      Is it a form letter? If so, I’d be less inclined to donate, and assume you just got on their mailing list.

      What’s your work set up? In my law firm, I think the partners would probably be willing to use a small amount of firm money to make a donation to keep up the client relationship. Obviously if it’s your firm, you’d have to make this call.

  8. Holiday Tipping :

    I get acupuncture weekly for my migraines. It’s an hour-long session – 30 min with the acupuncturist and 30 min with a massage therapist – and it’s covered by insurance. The place is kind of spa-like, and the massage therapist also does just regular out-of-pocket massages. Do I need to give her and the acupuncturist a holiday tip? I feel silly asking this, as I wouldn’t tip a nurse or physical therapist, but I see these people on a weekly basis and the massage especially feels like a tip-able service.

    • Absolutely not. These are health care practitioner, for your purposes. They are paid by your insurance. That’s it.

      And wow – that’s amazing insurance.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have trouble with this. I have a doctor’s note for massage and my FSA covers it. I go to a therapeutic massage place that just does massages. No pedicures or anything. But, many people are there for relaxing fun massages not deep tissue medical style massages. I can’t include a tip on my FSA charge. I just bring cash and tip in cash. It seems weird to not tip just because I’m using my FSA when I would otherwise tip. At the same time, I agree I shouldn’t tip for medical services.

      • New Tampanian :

        Tell me more about this doctor’s note for massage…. I would love to be able to do this.

        • Your health plan or FSA administrator should have a “medically necessary” form. Just have a medical provider (like your PCP) fill it out, sign it and then you submit it to your insurance or FSA provider. I do this each year for my FSA dollars. The cost isn’t covered by my insurance, but I can use pre-tax dollars. I do this for my gym membership dues as well.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I don’t even have to recertify annually. Originally, I was having a medical issue with some muscle rigidity and the massage was 100% medically necessary. This was a few years ago. Now it’s just more old injuries and knots that need work once in awhile. Once I had medically necessary massage on file it has stayed on file so long as I’ve been at that job and with the same FSA company. I’ve heard of a lot of people having luck asking their doc to sign the form. In my case, the doc suggested it first.

          • New Tampanian :

            I really, truly love you for this information. My next open enrollment and FSA period doesn’t begin until June (and I’ve used all my FSA already – stupid hospital stay) but I will be keeping this in mind for sure!

  9. Appreciate the great gift recs on this site.

    My hard gift this year is to a quiet family member (brother) who is a Silicon Valley techie/scientist, who enjoys hiking/outdoors. His life is very stressful due to family issues, but he never shows it. Wish I could do something nice for him.

    He never gives any feedback on gifts. He lives very simply, wears shorts and a T-shirt/fleece every day.

    • Anonymous :

      SmartWool socks

    • If he is a computer scientist/software engineer, I had a great reaction from a box made of keyboard keys. Search “reclaimed keyboard keys box”. If you know him well and know he wouldn’t see it as junk :)

      • I remember you posting about this in the past. Will take a look. Thank you. Yes, he is a computer guy.

    • If he lives simply, would he appreciate a donation in his name to a cause like the Sierra Club or National Resources Defense Council? If you’d still like to give a thing, what about a national park pass?

      • I did exactly this last year. Joined Sierra Club and donated for him, and then learned he had already joined/donated. Still like the idea though.

        I always assumed he had a National park pass, but I honestly don’t know! So I will look into that too. Great idea.

    • How about a really nice new fleece from patagonia? Those fleeces get pilly over time and the dudes in my life never notice until they get a new one and realize how soft it is.

    • Frozen Peach :

      One of my stolen “FTW gifts” this year is a map of all the state parks in our state — they are available on etsy. I know there’s a nice California map. Several artists also have a national parks one. The idea is that you put pins on all the places you’ve visited.

      • What an interesting idea. I will look for this. Thank you.

      • There are also various options for digital maps. Nat. Geo. produced boxed sets years ago, with the idea that you could fire up your computer and print out a map for the particular area you are heading out into.

        These days it’s moved more into the realm of apps. Hiking-map apps are usually slight variations on fitness apps and geocaching apps. Avenza is one my friends like. I believe you upload your own pdfs, but I haven’t used it myself.

    • Allbirds sneakers might go over well

      • This is an idea I considered last year. Thanks for the reminder. He wears sandal type things everyday, but you’ve gotta have a pair of sneakers, right?

    • T-shirt from the Alt National Parks Service store?

    • blueberries :

      California parks membership!

    • SFAttorney :

      If he does backpacking, how about some ultra light equipment or accessories? Could be useful even for hiking – a lightweight strong backpack.

  10. Dream Job :

    Update! Interview went well and I’ve moved on to the second round!

  11. Would you get a x-mas gift for a guy you’ve been dating about a month and half? We see each other 2-3x a week. Not sure if it would be a bit much for such a short time.

    • Anonshmanon :

      Why not tickets to do some activity together?

    • Flats Only :

      In that situation I went with a Speed Racer tie – he wore ties to work and liked to show some personality, and loved Speed Racer. I also got him a Gumby and Pokey set of plastic bendy figures. I know it had to do with an in joke we had, but I don’t remember what it was. He liked the gifts, still has them, and we’ve been married 19 years.

    • Ask him what he thinks!! (And if you’re not comfortable enough with him to ask, don’t buy a gift :)

    • Consumables could be good in this case. Nice (but not break the bank) whiskey if he likes that, or some kind of fancy coffee/tea.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, when I was newly dating Lovely Husband I bought him a nice bottle of wine and a couple of unusual stemless wine glasses and then went over well.

    • I think I would maybe chat about it with him and instead of gifts plan a fun activity together.

    • Rainbow Hair :


      • Never too many shoes... :

        And maybe (if your relationship is a physical one) some red underthings…

    • THIS is my problem exactly. Except it is also his birthday next week. I think I may go with fun socks for work for the birthday, and gage Christmas based on how he reacts to the (smallish) birthday gift.

  12. anon for this :

    I have a friend who is feeling guilty about her decision to return to work after being a SAHM for 8 months because she will be barely making enough to cover the cost of childcare for her daughter. To be clear, she prefers returning to work vs. staying at home, but she feels like it’s “selfish” of her to want to work. I have tried explaining to her that she is maximizing her earning potential for later, childcare costs are temporary, and her husband wouldn’t question HIS decision to work for a second….but it doesn’t seem to be resonating. Does anyone have an article or something that lays these points out thoughtfully?

    • you go girl :

      ugh. women sometimes. You are a wonderful friend.

    • No artickes but here’s some anecdata: she’s dramatically adding to her family’s security by working because it’s a safeguard in case her husband loses his job or becomes unable to work. If the s hits the fan she’ll have an easier time getting a better paid job if she’s already employed while applying, not to mention that in dire straits she could (maybe) find lower cost child care/other living expenses. becausr of he nature if my work I’m always dealing w people facing these kinds of worst case scenarios and her being employed is going to help a LOT just in principle ( notwithstanding the Amt she is earning) if she has the misfortune of dealing w this kind of thing. eg, landlords are more willing to rent to employed people who have a long history of being employed.

    • Don’t bother. She doesn’t want to stop feeling guilty.

      • Ok a-hole. Go tr0ll somewhere else

        • Excuse me???? That wasn’t trolling. She’s not dumb. She knows intellectually all of this. And OP has told her. She’ll stop feeling guilty when she wants to. You can’t reason and logic her out of an emotion.

        • You need some more coffee this morning, I think.

      • Even considering what I said above I think Anon might be right… say your piece (especially the part I suggested, lol) but at some level you have to just check out on this.

      • I mean, it’s a trolly statement, but, OP could it be somewhat true? Is she the type of person who might like attention, or feels the need to show public remorse for a societal expectation so she won’t be looked down upon so bad? Some people need that validation of “I know I’m doing what I want, but oh, woe is me I feel so bad.”

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          This is a definitely possibility, and I don’t mean that as a dig at your friend at all! You’re being subliminally told that only a horrible monster woman would willingly leave her children in daycare, so you have to protest how guilty you feel to make it clear (to others but mostly to yourself, I think) that you’re not one of those monster women.

      • Really, Anonymous at 10:06 am? Sometimes I feel like this board gets invaded by people from GOMI.

        • I’m baffled that this is so controversial. She’ll stop feeling guilty eventually. She doesn’t need a friend compiling a dossier of reasons why she is wrong.

        • Orrr maybe you’re being a touch too sensitive.

      • I laughed at this…and then I had to admit that I agree with the troll (or a very blunt anon).

        Every mom spends a lot of time hand-wringing about working or staying home, and they don’t feel 100% okay with their choice until their kid hits like, I don’t know? Age 7? Because I’m old and grumpy and my kid is 12 I’m at the burn out stage of the hand-wringing around me. Every mom struggles through this, and it’s not pretty to watch.

        As for articles, point out the company 401K match and the beauty of compound interest. Even if the salary is blown on daycare, she’s still building her retirement. It’s still worth it.

        • And benefits.

          My husband’s job – (daycare *2) – AMT hit of him working in a high-tax state = barely enough for the hassle of two working parents

          But his health insurance is so crazy cheap for our family (would be 2K more per month if I used mine) that that alone is worth him working. Plus his company has a partial 401K match (mine doesn’t).

        • wake up ! :

          seriously tho – it’s true. it’s not a troll.

          Mommy guilt isn’t real. it is only real and as powerful as women allow it to be.
          you know how you get over guilt? you just do it. you decide that you are not guilty.

          I love this article, but I’m also pragmatic about my marriage. if she’s one of those trust-my-husband-unconditionally-forevernever, then she’ll assume divorce won’t ever happen in her life:

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree that this is a trolly post.


        I had an interesting conversation with my son, the brand-new psychotherapist, last night, and he said one of the first things they teach them in shrink school is “don’t problem solve.” Because when you try to solve people’s problems for them, you are necessarily implying that you are smarter than they are, and you know more than they do about how best to conduct their affairs. Which is, in most cases (and in pretty much all cases where your advice hasn’t been requested), insulting.

        So there’s that.

        • Anonymous :

          Stop. I’m not trolling. It’s good advice.

        • What does he (or you or anyone here) say about people who are always telling you their never ending problems? Sill like/love/sometimes enjoy spending time with them so I don’t think cutting them out of one’s life is an option.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Well, when I was going through my divorce and really wanted to talk about it and I realized it was super boring, my close friends and I set a limit — I could only talk about it for five minutes at a time! Worked fine for us… YMMV.

        • blueberries :

          Senior Attorney, thank you—that’s a good life principle to remember.

    • Here’s info on a book about it:

      • I read this and can recommend it. It really stuck with me–I remember cautionary tales from that book when I start to waffle on working.

    • Several examples of articles that discuss a Harvard study showing the benefits of being raised by a working mom.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I don’t know that convincing her to stop feeling guilty is the right approach. She probably already has lots of Good Reasons for not feeling guilty, but she’s still living in a culture that puts a lot of strong but subtle pressure on women not just to do kid stuff all the time, but to *want* to and to find it maximally fulfilling.

      If she’s feeling guilty (as opposed to actually believing that she’s doing something wrong), maybe she just needs some time and emotional support–i.e. not “Here are reasons why this is the smart choice” but rather “Aw, that sounds hard, you’re doing great” kind of things.

      • Yep, this. As a new mom, I was your friend. I had plenty of good reasons to work, and I still felt terrible about it for a long time. It just took time, and lots of evidence that my kid was thriving in his daycare. I think the best thing you can do is remind her that she’s an amazing mother and her kiddo is incredibly loved and cared for — and that will be true no matter whether she works OR stays at home. Point out all the things she’s doing *right* as a mom.

      • anon for this :

        Good points, thank you!

    • Good article:

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        This was really interesting to me, and something I’m going to watch out for when I have kids. Thanks for sharing.

        I thought it was really weird that the author says “I have started thinking of the money I earn as less important than the money my husband earns, and I mentally earmark it for baby-related expenses.” What makes baby-related expense less important than whatever she earmarks her husband’s salary for?
        Keeping a tiny human alive and in diapers seems like a really crucial household expense to me!

      • anon for this :

        Interesting article, thank you!

      • Send her this article – my favorite lines are below:
        Childcare doesn’t merely allow a mom to work, it allows both parents to work, or however many parents are involved. So everyone’s incomes go towards that cost. Add up the total income and then subtract the amount of childcare before you ask yourself, “Is it worth it for one of us to stop working?” Why is that so hard?
        If everyone benefits from childcare, everyone pays for childcare. Period.

        • I agree and disagree.

          In DC/MD, a lot of time, it didn’t “pay” for the lesser-earning-partner to work IF the parents are married and IF one earns a lot less b/c of the AMT hit / marriage penalty. And in DC/MD traffic, the hassle of working is huge (try pushing a stroller to the bus stop in the rain if you are also schlepping a work bag).

          When I’d work out the after-tax math, if often wasn’t worth the hassle esp. if one partner has a really unpredictable job (law enforcement, any sort of shift work, many medical jobs, BigLaw, some govt jobs) or mandatory overtime, etc. If you were strictly 9-5 and had lots of great benefits (free/cheap healthcare, any on-site daycare, WFH abilities), that made it easier to endure the untaxed hassle-factor.

          Often times, it might have been worth it in the long-run even if you were breaking even, but when the misery ratchets up, it was just so easy for the “secondary” earner to walk especially when there was no real spendable money (or cheap health insurance) at stake in the family budget.

          • Senior Attorney :

            It is always worth it in the long run for the person who is working. You maintain your employability, you build your retirement (Social Security or other), you preserve your relationship with the other working partner (as discussed above), you safeguard the family against the other earner becoming unemployed. I think you take a terrible, terrible risk when you opt out because it’s easier in the short term.

          • I totally agree with SA.

            I just see why people get so overwhelmed that they jump, especially when you have no $ and much misery to show for it (e.g., couple with one kid who had the normal day care early years where kid was sick a lot; one spouse on trial as a line attorney; other spouse trying to juggle; no local family; job not working out; hopelessly interviewing for other gigs; gets pregnant again; bedrest + preemie baby = lasted six months after baby #2). Had there been a pause button or ability to take more unpaid time off, it might have worked. But two jobs + commute is such a nightmare that if you aren’t making bank, it’s hard to get through the early years.

            My kids can read and that makes me one of the senior working women, judged by just the age/stage of my kids. I get it. I hate not having working mom role models b/c I have no idea how I will manage the years to come. Life is darn tough. Juggling makes it harder.

          • I work full time and feel good about it most days, but I can’t help but push back a bit on the idea that it’s “always worth it in the long run” just because you come out ahead financially and professionally. There are lots of reasons why someone might still prefer to have a different life, even if there’s a financial and professional cost. Lots of people enjoy those years at home with their children and think that it’s worth the financial sacrifice down the line. I’m not saying one choice is better than the other, I just take issue with the idea that just because something is better for you financially in the long run it is necessarily the better choice. I left Big Law because I wanted my sanity/life back and took a huge financial hit as a result. Still the best possible choice I could have made for myself.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I didn’t say it’s always the best choice to maximize the finances. I said it’s always the best choice to stay in the workforce. Big difference between “working full time but not Biglaw” and “staying home.”

          • I understood that to be what you were saying. I’m just saying that I disagree that it’s always the right choice for everyone. Clearly, it depends on what that person values more. Some people value the time at home and the reduction in stress (assuming they find working to be more stressful, I’m not sure I do) over the increased financial security. Plenty of people live happily on far less income than most people on this board enjoy. Again, I’m not saying that’s the choice I would make, but I can see how someone could make that choice with their eyes wide open.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Perhaps she can reframe it a bit. It is not that her income barely covers daycare, more that she adds to the family pool of income of which childcare is one expense. Plus the benefit of adding to retirement savings and not having a large gap on her resume…

      Also, at 8 months, her daughter will not be overly traumatised – transition to daycare is actually much harder when you go back later.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I’ve read that working even when it barely covers child care is an investment in yourself and your own future earning potential.

        • +1 I now know multiple SAHMs trying to get back into the workplace after years at home with the kids. It is a tough road. Staying in the game may not pay off obviously now, but it will in the future.

          • I see this, too.

            Childcare is cheap when you weigh it against the cost of never likely working at full capacity / pay again.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yep. Which is contrary to your post at 12:28 above.

          • It isn’t though. It’s so, so hard, especially once you have a commute > 1 hour, which is frequently the case when you don’t have nannies.

            I totally understand why people just give up b/c they reach a crisis and it all just falls apart.

            My counsel is always to do every single thing you can to make it bearable in the short run, but I get why that doesn’t usually happen. Esp. when the $ isn’t there right away.

            What does Goldman Sachs call it — long-term greedy? B/c in the short term, it often doesn’t make cents/sense and truly makes for miserable living.

          • +1 to tax girl.

          • The former SAHMs of the 80’s/90’s that I know seemed to pay for it in their late 50’s/60’s. Lots of bitter women pissed at their companies (and life) that they weren’t eligible for retirement, while their husbands were.

            I’ve also witnessed quite a few older women juggling seriously ill husbands (cancer, dialysis, etc.) AND a crappy, mid-level office job. I don’t want to be a 63 year old widow struggling to make it to my 8-5 call center gig with only 80 hours of PTO each year. I’d much rather work and bank what I can NOW, so I can take care of myself THEN.

      • Anonattorney :

        There’s also the whole other piece about having a healthy and equal relationship with your partner. I have seen a lot of good relationships get very complicated and flounder when one of the partners decides to stay at home. It completely changes the power and parenting dynamic. Obviously plenty of relationships handle this quite well, but some just don’t.

        • Honestly, that was part of what kept me working, even when I really really wanted to quit for awhile. I knew that it would shift our marriage is ways that are undesirable to both of us, but especially me.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I know some people felt the sample used was insufficiently diverse, but The Feminine Mistake really opened my eyes (even though I was that “bad” mom who came back to work at 5 months even though we have a year partially-paid mat leave).

    • No articles, but anecdata. I had quit a corporate job to go part-time (at way less than half of my corporate salary) in August of 2008, when my son was two. Remember what happened in October of 2008? The economic meltdown. My husband’s company hung on till early 2009 but shut down that March. And no one was hiring, so I was stuck in my part-time job. We had unemployment, savings and a part-time income to live on. Fortunately, my husband has good tech skills and was only out of work for four months. But those were not fun times and our marriage just barely survived it. IMO, it is always safer to have two full-time incomes in a household.

    • Seventh Sister :

      It’s a little dated, but a book called “The Feminine Mistake” by Leslie Bennetts really helped me out when my kids were little. I felt so isolated and alone working full-time with kids, and it made me realize it was OK on a number of long-term and short-term levels.

  13. Hey everyone just a random recipe shout out for a recipe I made last night that was SO GOOD I’m already fantasizing about enjoying the leftovers for dinner tonight….. and it has a ton of veggies if you’re into that! Search fried cauliflower rice and use the Kitchn recipe… but each time it says to add more bacon grease, add double what it’s says + a small drizzle of sesame oil..and add a tiny bit extra of sesame oil at the end with the soy sauce. Hope you all enjoy it!!

  14. Pretty Primadonna :

    Love this dress! Alas, I am trying to lose pregnancy weight and don’t want to purchase anything too fitted and tailored at the moment. :-(

  15. Assistant help :

    I am a first year associate with an administrative assistant that is…less than helpful. She’s moved from being unhelpful to an actual inconvenience. Two issues stand in my mind: I asked her to register me for a conference a week before the conference, I followed up twice and she waited to register me the day before (all approval boxes were checked–no reason for delay). instead of getting firm to pay for it I had to pay myself and have an almost $5k charge on my credit card. The second is that she’s suddenly become unwilling to process reimbursements for me. I asked her to mail something for a nonbillable project I was assigned and she chose to mail it priority fedex overnight, which was not necessarily needed. She asked for my credit card and I gave it to her for the charge. I asked her to process a reimbursement for it and she said “if you really need to be reimbursed for it, I’ll do it next week.” …yes, I’d like to be reimbursed for a firm charge.

    I’m new to the firm world, so not sure what to do. I’ve tried to stop relying on her, but there are some things (like conference registrations) that I have to go through my assistant for. Do I address it, and if so, how? If the answer is no, am I allowed to request a new assistant when they do the twice yearly checkins? Do I start using other assistants that work for my practice group?

    I also think it’s worth noting that she’s a longtime assistant and is known for being a bit unfriendly. Friendliness hasn’t been an issue for us–we’ve had long (too long) conversations about her family and her hobbies. My issue is directly related to helpfulness.

    • Yes address it!

      “No, you need to submit the reimbursement today.” And in the future why would this ever be charged to your credit card?

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I realize it sucks but you have to help her help you (even if she’s not particularly interested in helping you). It would be pretty bad form to request a new assistant when HR checks in without addressing anything with your assistant directly. When I’ve had a bad assistant, I do use other assistants that work for partners I also work for, but I go out of my way to be SUPER friendly and to always ask if they are able to spare a moment to help me out.

      Why is she using your credit card for a courier charge? That is beyond weird. Unless that is practice at your firm, if she asks for your credit card again (or charges it without asking) you need to be clear that you are not providing your card for firm expenses, they should be charged to whatever billing code the firm uses for non-billable expenses. Be polite but firm.

      Everytime you work with her, spell out your expectations in advance, along with your timeline (preferably in writing as well) and confirm they’ve been done. If it’s not done right, GO BACK TO HER AND MAKE HER FIX IT. This is hard. I hate making people fix work for me (I’ll do it myself first) but if there are certain things she has to do for you, you need those things to be correct.

    • Caution here. Longtime assistant could equal a bear trap for you. How many other folks is she helping? Is she assigned to you and a partner? Very likely, as a first year , optimistically–she is testing you, worst case–she is gas-lighting you. If you have a mentor in the firm, you may want to ask for advice on how to handle this. The best way to address this is directly, but you don’t want to have that conversation blind–get information from others, understand the network within the office, the firm dynamics, and then deal with it appropriately.

      • Plus one to this – I had a similarly unhelpful assistant my first year. Gave her negative feedback on her review. Then got in trouble for it b/c “I was the only one who had a problem with her work” and she was supporting a very important partner in our group. Should have talked to someone more senior to figure out the dynamics and how to deal with the situation. (Ultimately the situation resolved itself when I moved offices within the firm.)

      • Testing her? Is this a thing that assistants do? That seems crazy to me. Just do your job. Note, I don’t have an assistant and I have no idea how it works but still. If you’re asked to do something and it is part of your job description, why would you not do it? And how can you expect there not to be ramifications for not doing your job?

        • Yep. It is definitely a thing some (usually older) assistants do.

        • It’s absolutely something assistants do. Not all, or even most, but some. Unfortunately, there are partners (typically older and male) who are completely nonfunctional without their assistant. The only thing they can do on their own is breathe and go to the bathroom. Everything else is a team effort between their assistant and SAHW to keep their personal and professional live in order. The assistants who work for these partners know they have them by the [email protected] and consider their at times ridiculous demands from the partner to be more than enough work for what they’re paid. Not only will they not help other attorneys that they’re assigned to, but they take some enjoyment in flexing their power and messing with the younger attorneys who know they can’t do anything about it because of office politics.

          I’ve seen this at my two mid-size firms, and know friends in Biglaw who deal with it too. The root cause is the manbaby partners.

        • It is crazy, and I’m sure it happens *occasionally* but jumping to that conclusion immediately is pretty out there. Occam’s razor, y’all!

        • It is absolutely something assistants do. At my old firm, on my last day, my assistant (who sounds like OPs in several ways) told me that (1) she wasn’t nice to me because she knew I wouldn’t be there long (no one that works for this partner is there long) and (2) she tested me by telling me things that she knew were purposefully wrong. The partner I worked for was the highest paid partner at this firm, she had worked for him for 20 years, so she was pretty secure in her job.

        • Anonymous :

          Yep. They want to see what they can get away with assuming you know nothing.

          This backfired on one assistant of mine because other people noticed all her attorneys were doing their own time/ all of the reimbursements were corrected at least 5x to get it done correctly, etc. etc, to the point that the assistant was let go. She had been secure under a partner, but that partner left.

          OTOH, some “test” you, but if you’re nice and show competence and human decency they will help you even if you are the most junior of their 6 attorneys.

    • Address it immediately and make it clear that she is supposed to assist you.

      In the longer term, it may be helpful to ask to switch assistants. I’ve had problems with older assistants in the past who look at me and not want to do work for me because of my age. It’s f-ing ridiculous, but it is something I’ve had to deal with.

    • Flats Only :

      Is there a secretarial supervisor? If yes start with that supervisor vs. confronting the secretary yourself.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Everyone above has made good suggestions. I would also recommend putting all your instructions in writing and even bolding the deadlines so that you have a paper trail for later and can prove that you have clearly communicated your requests.

      While the conference charge on your card is annoying, upside is points #silverlining

    • I had no idea that learning how to work with staff was going to be the most stressful thing of my first two years as an associate. learning how to delegate, give instructions, make corrections, etc. to people who are older than you and have been at the firm (much) longer than you is no joke. and NOTHING about my law school experience, including 5 different internships, ever provided a crash course in this.

      I tried to stop relying on my initial, very bad assistant too. it worked for the first year or so. but as you get more senior, you really do need your assistant to handle more for you. my current assistant is mediocre, and will never ever prioritize my requests, so I’ve learned to limit my requests to reimbursement and mailing things out.

      anything time-sensitive or that needs to be done perfectly (making a binder for delivery to chambers, for example) is outsourced to someone else, so that I’m still not doing administrative work but also not relying on her. at my firm, I use our mailroom/copy center and word processing department to handle these things. that might be an option for you too.

    • Yeah this is nothing. I mean, look, I’m sorry you’re dealing with it, that sucks. But this is a pretty typical level of incompetence. Come back when she told you she mailed that service copy, but nope actually it’s still sitting on your desk 2 months later, after you already filed your motion for default judgment telling the Court that you timely served the thing she told you she served. Ask me how I know.

      Don’t go to HR or the secretarial manager with this. You will look petty af. They deal with real problems (see above). The conference registration wasn’t her fault, it was yours. You waited until a week before, you needed to pay for it and get reimbursed. This is pretty typical procedure in most firms. A week is also a pretty not-unreasonable turnaround to submit your reimbursement requests. This is not your hill to die on.

      • *HER desk

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Whoa there. Holy whatever. In your jurisdiction, do you not have to file an Affidavit of Service? If so, and she lied on it, she would be immediately fired here.

        Please tell me she does not still work at your firm.

  16. I’m 30 and have just started wearing makeup to look more put together at work. I recently purchased primer, foundation, and lipstick. I’m considering getting blush/bronzer and maybe eyeliner and mascara for special occasions. Which of these is worth paying more for and what can I just get at CVS?

    • All of it you can find at CVS. There’s no reason to spend department store money.

      If you’re wondering about products, check out emilynoel83 on youtube. I feel like I talk about her all the time on here, but she used to be a local news anchor, so her videos are really high quality and she’s super friendly. If you go through her archives, she has some fantastic tutorials where she shows you step-by-step how to get the look. (She doesn’t do as many tutorials anymore, so you’ll have to go back a couple years, but the basics stay the same.)

      • +1 to emilynoel83. I also like Julie Dawn Olsen. She does a lot of videos with drugstore products.

        I like foundation from Revlon (color stay), L’Oreal True Match and the new Wet ‘n’ Wild photo focus (not sure if that is the exact name). Wet ‘n’ Wild blushes are pretty good too. I like L’Oreal voluminous mascara.

        For brows, L’Oreal Brow Stylist Definer is my holy grail product.

    • I have always gone by the rule that something that sinks into your skin is worth spending the $$ for (primer, foundation), but anything that goes on top of that, drugstore is fine. Drugstore mascaras are often better than high end, in my experience (I’ll usually use Loreal). I don’t have any advice on eyeliner because I don’t wear it (I already have pale skin and dark hair/eyelashes). Blush the Milani baked blushes are great, physician formula bronzer is great.

      • I’ve heard and generally follow this rule too. I spend money on face make up such as primer, foundation, powder, concealer and I get drugstore mascara (also use Loreal), eye shadow, and lip stuff. I actually do use a department store eye liner because I found one I love, but there are probably good drugstore ones too.

    • IMO Sephora/department store is better than drugstore in pretty much all cases. This is especially true for foundation, primer, blush, and eyeshadow.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        My strategy is to buy drugstore products to see what I’m actually going to wear regularly and what I end up skipping, and then upgrade as needed. This goes for general products (am I actually going to contour every day, or is that a fantasy?) and colors (do I actually like wearing red lipstick?).

        • Cat Lady In Training :

          I think this used to be the case, but not any more. I was a long term MAC, Chanel and Tarte fan but for the most part I have replaced those products with drugstore alternatives I like better.

          • I did this (high-end to drugstore) and then went back to mid-level Sephora products. I found I was replacing stuff all the time and that the more expensive products really do last longer both in terms of how it wears during the day and in how much product I use, and products are much more finely milled and go on my skin better. Plus you can try on and get samples of everything from Sephora before you buy, which may save you money by getting the right shades the first time. Where I don’t see a worthwhile difference is between Laura Mercier and Becca to By Terry and Tom Ford (double their price).

        • This is what I do too—after too many optimistic department store purchases. Now I pretty much have my holy grail products that get me out the door in 5 minutes or less and only my mascara is drugstore (I love L’Oréal voluminous and have been using it since I was a teenager).

    • If you need product recommendations for a different skin tone (many drug store products are good on the lighter end, but terrible on the tanner and darker ends), there are some good youtubers I can recommend as well.

    • L’Oreal mascara. I’ve seen pro make-up artists use it.
      Maybelline liquid eyeliner. If you are a beginner though, use pencil.

    • Shenandoah :

      I’ve almost always worn drugstore makeup. I tried a couple types of more expensive foundations from Sephora and Nordstrom and either had a negative experience or didn’t notice a significant difference compared to my go-to drugstore foundation brand (Revlon). For mascara I go with Loreal. I stick with Revlon for foundation and lips. Nyx is good for blush. I have combination skin (mostly dry but some areas get a bit oily) and only wear foundation, mascara, blush/bronzer, and lipstick/lip stain on a daily basis.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I buy makeup at Target. I like Maybelline for mascara, NYX for foundation, Revlon for liquid eyeliner (takes practice!), and Rimmel, Wet n Wild, and NYX for lip products.

    • Horse Crazy :

      The only high-end item I buy is foundation – everything else I buy at the drugstore, and am very happy with. I love Milani blushes and Physician’s Formula bronzer. As stated above, NYX is great as well.

  17. Why are boundaries so hard? I have an ongoing fight with my family about New Years’ Eve. I avoid spending a full week with my mother because we fight. I come for a couple days around Christmas then spend NYE with friends.

    My brother and his family, who live a plane ride away, insist on visiting several days after Christmas and over NYE. Fwiw, mom is 70, bro is 50, I’m 30, his kids are over 20. Every year since I was ~18 we’ve had the same fight. I’m horrible for not staying through NYE. I did once in the spirit of compromise but that only emboldened them – you did once so you can do it again! – and I was miserable the whole time. Brother & fam have never come earlier as a compromise.

    The family definitely judges my “party lifestyle” (I’m in biglaw I don’t have time to party? And before that I was very studious… I didn’t even know what a margarita was before I was 21) and seems to think that I value partying more than them. The fighting and nagging is starting already and I’m just so tired. I honestly want to tell them if they keep it up they won’t see me for Christmas either.

    • Hang up, leave the room. You’ve made yourself clear, stop listening to their whining

    • So, I have a mother like this and the best approach is to just shut it down. If she brings it up, you change the subject. If she keeps talking about it, you tell her you have to go and hang up the phone. Don’t give her the opportunity to nag and fight. Remember the key phrase when dealing with difficult family members: What you allow will continue.

      • Thanks for the responses so far. How do you hang up/walk away when the comments are indirect or passive aggressive? I would have no problem with doing that if they were constantly trying to start a conversation about it, but they’re rarely so direct. It’s more like, “It will be so wonderful to see the family EXCEPT PARTYGIRL HERE you know I only get to see everyone once a year! I wonder what I should serve for dinner…”

        • You say in a cheerful tone “Keep it up with comments like those, and you’ll see me even less! How about grilled cheese for dinner? Tomato soup sounds excellent right about now.”

        • Check out Captain Awkward. I think the “Alice” letter is the famous one about boundaries, if I’m remembering correctly.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Good stuff:

        • Ignore it.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I would text them all some party photos (staged if necessary) throughout the course of their dinner together…because sometimes I just want to burn it all down to the ground, you know?

    • If they’re already nagging you and you’re already fighting I would make other plans now and not use that as a future bargaining chip. You’re 30! Just say, this is too complicated, I have to work, I will see you in the spring.

    • You need to let go of the expectation that they will like or accept your decision. It’s not a wrong decision just because they hate it.

      My MIL can really bring the crazy sometimes. I’ve had to accept that she will always see me as the person that ‘stole her son’ vs. adding a daughter to the family. She is great with the kids and I’ve accepted that our lack of a close relationship isn’t something I can change.

    • Captain Awkward has some great scripts for dealing with family in these kinds of situations.

      • In case OP didn’t go look it up, it’s here:

        And this quote in the comments sounds helpful to OP: “The Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense by Susette Hayden-Elgin (I’m talking the original, with that title, though the other books, focused on different aspects of the issue, are also wonderful) is the single most helpful thing to ever happen to my relationship with my mother.

        It is basically exactly what it sounds like; it’s about setting conversational boundaries and keeping yourself on your verbal feet. It’s not about aggressive communication or “getting the better” of someone else or manipulating them. It’s about how to have difficult interactions without causing harm, or worsening the harm that has already been done. It is about how to avoid being manipulated and caught in those conversational traps of “If you really loved me . . .” and “Well, it’s obvious that you don’t really care about. . . .””

    • you can do it :

      If you would rather avoid going for any holiday or if you feel like it might help to put your foot down for a year, tell them that, if they are going to bring this up after it’s already been decided, you’ll just cancel your trip and you’ll see them in the Spring (or whenever your next visit typically is). Don’t let anyone make you miserable or hold you hostage. You’ve said what you’re doing, you are not wavering or changing your mind, I will be there x to y. If they kick up, just say you have to go and hang up. Enough of this sh!t :)

  18. Therapist recs in SF area? :

    Hi all,

    Does anyone have a rec for a therapist in San Francisco? Bonus points if near the Mission area, but anywhere in SF is okay. Asking for a friend who is deeply depressed, and would like to try therapy but is having some difficulty finding good recommendations. Thanks!

    • Vanessa Tate! I saw her when I was having some Nxiety issues and found her very warm but also challenging (in a good way)

  19. shoe fit question :

    When I wear high heels my feet slide down so that my toes get cramped and my heel is too far forward in the shoe. I can sort of fix it by wearing either bare feet or thick sweater tights inside them, but that doesn’t work with all my outfits. This is a fit issue, right? What should I look for in shoes to correct it? I have wide toes/narrow heels proportionally, fwiw.

    • Yeah that shoe is too big

    • Try the Foot Petals brand pads that stick in the shoes under the ball of your foot. They can prevent the slide.

      • shoe fit question :

        Even in slippery hose?

        • Different anonymous :

          Yes, that should work. Or you could stick some of that ballet dancer’s wool in the toe. Lately I’ve been cutting up dry cleaning plastic and sticking it in there. I have the same feet so need to push the feet back so as not to have heel slippage.

    • Honestly, I put a piece of fashion tape on my heel so that my foot doesn’t slide if I must wear a shoe without a strap. You need to be careful to hold down the lining of the shoes when you take them off, but it is the only thing that has ever worked. Pedag inserts can sometimes work, but not as well as the tape.

    • I mean, the issue is that you’re wearing high heels. Can you wear a more moderate heel height?

      • shoe fit question :

        Maybe? This happens with ~2 inch heels too (I guess I use “heels” and “high heels” the same). Do you mean lower than that?

        • I personally can’t wear any kind of heeled shoe with slippery hose unless it has an instep strap or an ankle strap.

        • Also, don’t go shoe shopping at the end of the day. Our feet are swollen by then from a day of sitting down and/or walking around, so you can end up getting shoes that are too big.

      • ew to moderate heel heights.

        • Some of us have joint problems or want to be closer to eye level to others, rather than tower over them as a tall woman in high heels. To each her own.

  20. Help me, I am losing my mind. For some reason I have the hardest time keeping track of my keys, my ID badge, and my phone. I carry a large, bottomless bag to work and I spend what feels like inordinate amounts of time looking for those three things at various points throughout the day when I am going back and forth – to and from my office, out to meetings, home at the end of the day, all of it. Also, I somehow managed to lose my keys this week … I thought I had thrown them into said bottomless bag and didn’t realize until the end of the day that they just weren’t there. (Turns out they had somehow fallen out in an uber.) I feel like I am going crazy. Do I just need to create some kind of ritual or routine where I regularly check to make sure I have these things? How do I keep them at the ready so I’m not constantly struggling to find them in my bag? I feel like the answer should be obvious, but after losing my keys this week, I obviously need help. Any tips?

    • I use pouches in my bag to keep related items together. It keeps me sane. Can you get a small pouch that attaches to your purse strap?

    • The obvious tip seems to be: Don’t carry a large, bottomless bag to work. Consider a cross body bag or some kind of smaller bag that really just holds keys, ID badge, wallet, phone, and maybe a pair of glasses or breath mints or whatever. The larger and more shapeless the bag, the more junk that will accumulate.

    • Smaller or more structured bag. You need something to hook your keys to the handle of your bag. I also have a bell on my key ring so I can shake my bag or coat and make sure they are there.

      • givemyregards :

        Just chiming in to say that the bell thing is GENIUS. Personally, I use a coach wristlet (ancient, probably a goofy thing for an adult own) and attach my keys to the strap so wallet and keys a)are connected to one another and b) take up more space in my bag so they can be more easily located.

        • I think wristlets are great for practical purposes. At the very least, the OP should aim for a smaller bag that stands out due to a bright color, sparkles or shine. It’s so frustrating trying to find a black wallet in a black bag in the dark.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I just have one million keys.

    • Well, don’t use that bag! Use a bag that has pockets and keep your stuff in those pockets.

    • See if you can find a back with a key leash, or get one to attach to your existing bag. Basically a leather cord that hooks on to your keys and to your bag strap so you can just grab it to pull out your keys.

    • shoe fit question :

      A ritual sounds like a good idea! I would also find some way to secure these items within your bag. Besides pouches like Anonymous suggested, I would recommend putting your keys and badge on a lanyard with a clip, or getting one of those wristlets designed to hold a phone and ID–lots of them have a spot to attach a key ring to.

    • Flats Only :

      I have an organizer for my large, bottomless totes. It has pockets all around and an open space in the middle, so everything can go in a pocket for easy retrieval and not just swarm around inside the bag. It also helps the bag hold its shape. Search Etsy for custom ones to match your bags lining.

    • I have a ring on my wallet that I’ve attached my keys to. That helps enormously in being able to keep track of my keys. I’d do the same thing with your ID badge, and then it’s basically just wallet and phone and you’re good to go.

    • wildkitten :

      Oh hello, self. I use Tile and I loooooove them.

      • Anonymous :


        I got a tile for my keys because if I can’t find my phone, I can use tile to “ring” my phone and if I can’t find my keys, then I use the app to locate it–to know that it’s in my bag.

    • Yeah, every time i look at those lovely Cuyana bags I think “but I’d never be able to find anything”. You need a bag with pockets and a key clip and some organization., and then you need to use it.

      Wear your badge. It’s not the cutest thing but either clip it to your waistband or wear it on a necklace style lanyard.

    • Also, you might look into a credit card holder that is applied to the back of your phone case. I have one and LOVE it. Then I only have to remember keys and phone.

    • Moonstone :

      I have a smaller bag AND it’s got pouches and special pockets and I still have troubles like yours, but one thing that helped me was buying one of those plastic coil-y key rings for my work ID, so I can wear it on my wrist as a I badge out of the office. I have a better chance of putting it back in its special pocket if I can wait to do that on the train, and the wrist coil thing means that I don’t loose it between the office and the train. My ID used to end up in random coat pockets.

    • I’m late in the day, but YES to Tile, structures bags, and routine. My routine (stolen from a roommate) is to say “keys, phone, wallet — badge!” and pat each as I leave a space. Works well for me since I’m verbal, and (normally taciturn) boyfriend started doing it, too, which cracks me up and is an added benefit :)

  21. My DH wants casual but tuckinable button downs for casual fridays in his Office. Works in private equity but we are in the south. Recs on where to buy? I feel like everywhere has these but not sure what people like!

    • My DH loves the Macy’s brand Club Room shirts. They are perfect for business casual and come in a zillion colours and prints every season. 100% cotton, come in standard or slim fit, good for wearing without a tie.

    • Express, check out their active/performance fabric line of button downs. Or Banana Republic.

      I think it also depends on his build, the above work great for athletic/broad shouldered

    • Cat Lady In Training :

      If you mean South as in Atlanta you can’t beat H Stockton.

    • My husband is a big fan of the no iron shirts at LL bean. He works in a similar environment – collared shirt, tucked in, no tie.

    • My SO loves Bonobos – only thing I would say is stay away from Everlane’s cotton button downs because they wrinkle like crazy.

    • Bonobos has tons of these.

      • Thanks all for the suggestions! I didn’t know Bonobos made these so might start there since I know the pants fit him well!

    • My DH loves Uniqlo for this.

  22. Paging Dr. Stati!

    I saw your post about the food prep yesterday, and you mentioned where you live. I’m in CH, too, and I’m relatively new to the area (last January). I need a family/general practitioner at some point. I’d love to hear if you have any recommendations in CH, Durham, or Raleigh (I work in Raleigh).

    If you see this, but would prefer to chat offline, you can email me at my username plus the last 5 letters of this s i t e at the mail of google. TIA!

  23. Frozen Peach :

    Honestly, I was you until I started doing a “Keys badge phone phone wallet” check anytime I went anywhere. Now that’s automatically part of my routine. It helps. Also second a bag with lots of pockets.

  24. routinely follow, but have never posted (I’m oddly excited). Has anyone had any luck working remotely for a period of time (thinking 2-3 weeks), taking days off sporadically, maybe 2-3 days each week, working the rest of the time–the catch is that I would be in a completely different time zone, and out of the country, so phone calls would be limited, and my availability would overlap only a few hours each day with my office. I’m trying to figure out if it’s even worth exploring with my manager or if I should just plan a much shorter, probably 1 week trip. I have a sibling living overseas and I would really like to take advantage of having someone we know there and exploring the area while she is there. We are already going over the holidays, but we’d like to go back this summer. I have the vacation time, but it’s not customary at my office for people to take large chunks, and availability is always a big thing. I really want to come up with a workable arrangement.

    • We do this fairly regularly. Many of my co-workers are originally from other countries, so they will sometimes work remotely when they are visiting home for a couple of weeks.

    • This really depends on your firm, your manager, and the type of work you do. I work remotely but I have conference calls all day so it would not be doable for me to be in a significantly different timezone or not be available for calls most of the normal work day. Also, it sounds like someone will be joining you on the trip so will that person be OK with you working 4-5 days a week or will they be lonely/bored and you’ll feel guilt/pressure to hang out with them during your “work” time?

      • Also how senior are you at your firm? Are you someone who has been there awhile and is valued? If so you have a much greater chance of this being approved/

      • my husband an kids will be there and my mother in law may join us–I’m thinking we might rent a place instead of staying with my sibling the whole time. They might all be annoyed, but I think they would be ok knowing that it’s better than nothing. A lot of my day is spent on the phone, and I manage a relatively large team, but I have some good managers and my direct manager is more active than passive, so I’m not really worried about things falling a part while I’m gone. I’m more worried about being out of the loop when I return and being viewed as a slacker or someone that isn’t dedicated/interested in my career anymore. I’m in house, so there are lots of layers here. The other option is that I take a full week of vacation, and come back, while the rest of the gang stays longer–I just hate that idea and I’m kind of at this place where I feel like I’ve given up a lot for this company and I’m not interested in that trade off anymore. With all that being said, I don’t want this to derail my career, I’m going to be working for the next 20 years.

    • People occasionally do this in my office. The key to it working is to have a set schedule of availability (preferably in the correct time zone) and to attend meetings remotely and supply deliverables on time (given that you are still taking a number of PTO days.

    • This would not fly in my office, so you would effectively by out for the whole time with limited availability. It would be much preferred that just take a week or two trip

  25. Books for tween Boys :

    I’m sending my nephews that I don’t know super well/don’t see very often (but have a friendly relationship with) cash for christmas. i’d also like to include something with it and was thinking maybe a book? They are 13 (8th grade) and 10 (4th grade). Book recs? Ideas (~$10) other than books that aren’t related to screens/electronics? Don’t waste my money and just send cash?

    They, like most kids, are always glued to their screens so I don’t really want to send anything that explicitly encourages that, though I’m sure they’ll spend their christmas cash on video games :). Younger one is still pretty into cub scouts. Older one is in a rough place (see: 13 year old boy + dad who disappeared from his life when his mom and dad had another baby after they had already divorced + new baby that arrived when he was 11 and his parents had been divorced for 5 years… + trouble paying attention in school and working autism spectrum dx* + his brother does way better i school than he does)

    *jury is way out on this once since there are so many confounding psychological factors. He’s a very outgoing, warm kid who just has a hard time focusing on things he isn’t interested in.

    • Books for tween Boys :

      Oh…and before the great suggestion of “spend time with them” comes up…they’re clear across the country. We won’t see them until this summer. Otherwise I’d send DH on a Male Role Model date with them in a heartbeat.

    • Legos. It gets them away from their screens and makes them focus. There is no one that doesn’t like to put together a lego kit.

      • Books for tween Boys :

        We used to send legos every year (and we’ve historically gotten the bigger ticket star wars ones). I asked their mom this year which sets, and she told me they’re not really into legos anymore.

        I’d do it as a “side” present, but there are no good lego sets <$25 for this age group!

        • How about the LEGO architecture series? There’s an Eiffel Tower for about $35 in Amazon. At 13 and 10 I wonder if the boys aren’t into LEGO or of mom is just not into cleaning up LEGO pieces. My son is 15 and completely glued to his screen, but he still stayed up until 2 am to build BB8 when he got the kit for his birthday.

          How about a board game for the two of them? I bought that Ticket to Ride game Kat recommended just before thanksgiving and my family had fun playing it together thanksgiving weekend.

          I am all about getting them off their screens but realistically you can only do it for short periods of time.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I second the Legos!

      For books: adventure books for the Cub Scout–Horatio Hornblower or Swallows and Amazons if he likes ships; Jack London; Hardy Boys; that kind of thing. “The Mouse and the Motorcycle” and the Henry Huggins books (Beverly Cleary) are more everyday (well, except for the talking mice) but also excellent! His brother might like them as well, although he may be too old to pick the TMatM, but if he’s into gaming, what about sci-fi? “Ender’s Game” is a good one, and he’s probably old enough for (some) Terry Pratchett. Maybe the ones about Grimes and the Watch?

      • I was about to suggest Ender’s Game for the older boy! Bonus because if he gets into it, there are a whole host of sequels/prequels/companion books that he could read afterwards.
        You might need to double check the reading level, but what about The Hatchet for the 4th grader? Adventurous, outdoorsy, not racy.

    • My 11 yo nephew asked for the book Wonder this year for Christmas.

      • Wonder was a great book and great movie. I truly think all kids should read and see it.

        • Anonymous :

          There is a high likelihood that any 10-year-old has already read Wonder, so I’d verify that he doesn’t already have it before purchasing.

        • Anonymous :

          Late to this, but it’s gotten a big thumbs down from many disability rights activists. The use of a prosthesis to portray the disability the child has in the film is seen as especially inappropriate and complicated.

          Teen Vogue’s take, not surprisingly, is good:

          I would not buy this book or take my kids to see this movie, full stop.

    • Ranger’s Apprentice Series for the older guy (also has a companion series) – my sons and nephews have all loved them. I’d say if they have any Lego that any more is probably too much, unless Lego is really their jam and they make the models and keep them. Otherwise – they have fun building them but there are so many specialized pieces that once they break and a part is lost mom ends up with millions of partially built pieces of lego ALL OVER HER HOUSE, ask me how I know.

      For the younger one, Diary of a Wimpy kid might be great.

      For either – Ripley’s Believe it or Not, Guiness Book of World Records. IME boys of any age love these.

      The Google may lead you to some good reading lists for boys in these age groups too.

      It’s super nice of you to think about these guys. I feel like girls are easier to buy for and sometimes the boys get a bit lost in the Christmas extravaganza!

    • lawsuited :

      What about some Metal Earth 3D model kits? They’re around $10, although you will also need to buy each boy a pair of pliers. The Star Wars ones are especially cool.

  26. What would you do in this situation?

    I left my last firm on not the greatest terms (aggressive personalities, and not mine). Someone in another office, who I was friendly with (but have never met in person), just left the firm. It seemed weird, since she seemed to really like the firm. I can’t exactly figure out why, but I want to reach out to her and ask why she left. I want to see if she had the same issues I did. There is nothing to be gained from this, other than potentially learning that maybe the bad culture wasn’t just in my head. But, that potential realization would mean a lot to me.

    Should I reach out?

    • Sure- to congratulate her on the move, wish her well, and to say something vague about getting together if you’re ever in the same place.

      That’s it.

    • Veronica Mars :

      Don’t do it. That’s a strange request for someone you never met in person. If you were friendly, you could’ve done drinks with them and casually brought up the office. But in this case, any mention would of the blue would be strange. If you’re still upset about the situation, look into some self-help books on self-forgiveness and letting go of the past.

    • No, that’s weird. You’ve never even met her.

    • I’m going to go with no. I understand why you want to talk to her, but there’s a strong possibility her departure was not by her choice, and she may not want or be ready to talk about it yet.

    • If she’s in another office then I wouldn’t assume she had the same issues. Different offices tend to have pretty distinct cultures.

      Totally fine to email her and wish her well though. If the office is nearby then you could offer to treat her to a celebratory drink once she gets settled.

      • Caveat: my last sentence assumes that she has another job and you know where it is. I realize now that you didn’t actually say that. Don’t offer to take someone to “celebratory” drinks for leaving their job if you don’t know why they left or if they have a new one lined up.

    • As I am quoted below, let it go.

    • I was definitely friendly with people that I never met in person (including one person that I now regularly have lunch with). I don’t think it’s weird to reach out in a vague way.

  27. My apologies if this is a duplicate post–I tried to post earlier and it doesn’t look like it went through. I routinely follow, but have never posted (I’m oddly excited). Has anyone had any luck working remotely for a period of time (thinking 2-3 weeks), taking days off sporadically, maybe 2-3 days each week, working the rest of the time–the catch is that I would be in a completely different time zone, and out of the country, so phone calls would be limited, and my availability would overlap only a few hours each day with my office. I’m trying to figure out if it’s even worth exploring with my manager or if I should just plan a much shorter, probably 1 week trip. I have a sibling living overseas and I would really like to take advantage of having someone we know there and exploring the area while she is there. We are already going over the holidays, but we’d like to go back this summer. I have the vacation time, but it’s not customary at my office for people to take large chunks, and availability is always a big thing. I really want to come up with a workable arrangement.

    • I haven’t done this, but one of my colleagues did this for 2 weeks during the summer so she could visit out-of-state family with her kids. The key to making it work was being really clear about *when* she would be available and how quickly to expect a response to emails, phone calls, etc. This might be harder since you’ll be multiple time zones apart, but it’s worth exploring. From what I can tell, this arrangement worked well and others in our office are already talking about trying the same thing next summer.

    • When I worked in NY there were a couple of people on my staff who went to Israel for extended periods and worked remotely. I was just ok with it as a manager. They had to plan ahead and be willing to delegate quite a lot to their subordinates (like, subordinates would attend meetings they generally attended, which was a big deal in our hierarchical culture) but it worked ok. I didn’t find they were particularly productive but they were productive enough.

      Because of the time differences I would come into a flurry of emails from overnight and then answer them, then it would be tomorrow before I got the next response. It was workable but I wouldn’t have wanted to do it permanently.

      I allowed it as a favor to the people that worked for me because they were otherwise good employees and I didn’t want to lose them. Is that the situation you’re in with your boss?

    • Totally worth exploring. Also discuss with your sibling what is realistic in terms of their schedule as well. You don’t want to promise to be available from X-Y time only to find out that’s when sibling hosts chess club at their apartment.

      I would try, one week off then three weeks working full days on T/W/TH, then one week off, then fly home.

  28. Any of you shopping ninjas want to help me find a new winter coat?

    I am 5’4” and petite. I’m hoping for wool (or wool/cashmere), knee-length, defined waist, with a hood. But I prefer a dressier style, like a wrap coat, rather than a duffel coat with toggles. And I’d like it to be pretty warm, while remaining appropriate for wearing to work or out in my mid-Atlantic city. (I have a down coat for polar vortex weather.) Flexible on colors in the cool spectrum: black, gray, green, dark blue would all be fine.

    I like the style of this Cole Haan, but I am not sure how warm it is (wool/poly blend), and I would want it to be longer than mid-thigh:

    I also like this one from Mia Melon, but given their non-existent return policy (exchanges or store credit only! wtf), I won’t be trying it:

    Hoping to stay under $300 but would consider up to $500 for the perfect item. Suggestions welcome! Or even just shops to try—if there’s a department store with a good coat section, let me know. Thank you!

    • I’d be interested to see if these two would be closer to knee length given your height:

      • This is gorgeous but not as fitted –

        • Oh my gosh, that brand is gorgeous. Wowza. Beyond my price range at the moment, but thank you for introducing me to it!

          • The extra 25% on bloomies right now takes this one down to juuuust under 500, so definitely stalk the sales if another catches your eye from the brand!

    • Some suggestions: (25% off, but no hood)

      I’d also check out Club Monaco (some of their coats are on sale right now) and Mango.

    • MidwestLady :

      Try Babaton line at Aritzia- I just got the Killiam but there are quite a few coats that look stylistically similar to what you are looking for

  29. Thanks for the recs on soups last week. I made the cauliflower chowder from [email protected] delicious last night and my family hoovered it up. I was surprised because it’s pretty healthy, but it has bacon and bacon is magic. I made it as directed but added a little thyme.

    Any other suggestions for weeknight soups from scratch? I only have around 30 minutes to do it most nights. I have a pantry full of homemade stock so I’m looking to use that.

    • greek lemon with rotisserie chicken from Real Simple, chicken and dumplings

    • I just made a chicken and avocado soup from Skinny Taste last night that was great. Chicken stock, tomato, minced garlic, chili powder, cumin, shredded chicken, and avocado. Super easy to throw together.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Black Bean.

      Saute a chopped onion and some garlic in olive oil (quantities here are very forgiving). Add two cans rinsed black beans and, if you like spice, about 12-15 pickled jalapeno rings. Add enough stock to cover plus about an inch. Boil for 20 minutes. Add 1 tsp salt and juice of about 1 – 1.5 limes. Puree with stick blender.

      Can top with sour cream, grated cheese, leftover chicken, tortilla strips, avocado slices or any combination thereof.

    • Broken record rec:

      Two other favs. Recipes are vegan but obviously you can sub homemade stock. (<– my commuitted carnivore SO's favorite black bean soup ever) (it does take a while to chop everything, so if you've only got 30 minutes I would batch chop on the weekends)

    • cat socks :

      Baked potato soup from Skinnytaste. If you scroll through the comments, someone left instructions on how to do it in the InstantPot. Also the Summery Chipotle Corn Chowder from Pinch of Yum.

    • I have been making a lot of soup lately!
      The red lentil soup with North African spices from Cooks Illustrated is great. Second the baked potato soup from Skinnytaste too – or her “Dad’s” cauliflower soup.
      Also just made this chestnut and celery root soup (link to follow) which was interesting in a good way


    • If you have a crockpot, Pioneer Woman’s chicken tortilla soup. Aside from dicing an onion and 2 bell peppers (which you could probably buy prepped at the store), it is a true dump and go recipe, and it can cook on low all day while you work. I use boneless skinless chicken thighs, so I can get away with the longer cook time. You could probably also turn this into a quick stovetop soup after work too if you are not a crockpot person.

    • Hopefully you see this since I’m posting late. I make pots of soup every Sunday for DH and I, so I have lunch for the beginning of the week. Here are some of my favorites:

      -The cauliflower chowder you already enjoyed;
      -Corn and Zucchini chowder:
      -Creamy chicken and wild rice:
      -Creamy Parm Sundried Tomato and Spinach Tortellini:
      -Italian Orzo Soup (DH requests this one regularly):
      -Zuppa Toscano (w/gnocchi and kale):
      -Also, here is my favorite (very easy, very quick chili recipe-I use ground turkey instead of beef and it is fabulous):

  30. Kitchen Towels :

    I want to buy some new kitchen towels (something I can get on Amazon preferrably).
    What we have now are microfiber towels, which are very soft and absorbent – but get gross really quickly and never really come clean in the wash. Or we have the thick/smooth cotton towels which absorb precisely nothing.

    Looking for something absorbent, but that will come clean when I wash them. Recommendations?

    • I really hate microfiber. We use surgical towels in the kitchen. They are cheap, no lint, come clean easily and don’t stink (for a while). Downside – they aren’t THAT absorbent but I’ve found them sufficient for our various kitchen spills.

    • With the caveat that kitchen towels are basically disposable (they get demoted to the rag pile after about 6 months) I have bought these towels and they are absorbent but not fuzzy and when I bought them they came in a variety of colors/stripe combos.

      Cotton Craft – 4 Pack Oversized Kitchen Towels, 20×30 – Periwinkle, Pure 100% Cotton, Crisp Basket weave striped pattern, Convenient hanging loop – Highly absorbent, Professional Grade, Soft yet Sturdy

    • I really like the plain hearth and hand towels from Target. They’re huge and really absorbent. Search Kitchen Towel – Cream/Black – Hearth & Hand

    • I really love the Threshold kitchen towels from Target.

    • I like the Williams Sonoma classic striped dishtowels. They’re big and last forever. As a cheaper alternative, the Threshold dish towels from Target are absorbent and great for the price.

    • Bar mops!!

      • this – you can buy big bags of them at Costco or Sam’s. I use them as a reusable paper towel.

    • William Sonoma. My kitchen towels that I got for my bridal shower 10+ years ago look brand new.

    • cat socks :

      I use this method to wash towels when they start to get funky.

    • Away Game :

      Cloth diapers; the plain white rectangular ones that you can buy at Target or Amazon for less than $2 each. Super absorbent and wash easily in hot water. My kids are in middle school and we still buy those to use as clean-up tools. Gerber flatfold or gauze, I think, are the ones in my kitchen right now. Not super beautiful, but really work. We also keep buying baby bottle washer thingys to clean glasses, sports bottles, etc.

  31. Ugh. Franken is resigning. While it’s the right thing to do given the numerous accusations, it makes me SO ANGRY that the right is supporting their similarly/worse-situated candidates and officials, while we lose ours.

    • Yeah, but it’s necessary. There are other Minnesotans who can do good things in the Senate. We don’t need Franken.

  32. F. He shouldn’t resign.

    • Yes, he should. I’m a liberal democrat and I will miss his voice but we must lead by example. Sexual harassment is not acceptable by members of either party.

      • I am too but it’s starting to feel like a witch hunt. All male Dems can’t resign.

        • if he hadn’t done it that would be one thing…

          • Ok but probably every male Dem has done something like this – whether in office or prior. I’m not excusing it. So now they will all be ambushed? This is an important cultural moment, and now women will be able to report these guys ad hoc going forward.

          • Anonymous :

            Sure, let’s burn them all down and bring in fresh blood. Nobody get a waiver because I generally like their political party.

          • It’s not an ambush if they did it…It’s holding them accountable for their crimes. Even if every male in the world did this, it would not make it ok or acceptable.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          They can all resign. And then the Republicans too. And all the men running companies! And all the creepy middle managers! And all the butchers! And all the artists! And all the bus drivers! All the programmers! All the MDs! All the professors! All the detectives! All the creeps can resign! I am certain there are lots of wonderful, qualified men and women who don’t grope people ready to step in.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            THANK YOU

          • Senior Attorney :


          • +1 billion. Or 3.51 billion, for all the women in the world who don’t need to keep putting up with this sh*t.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Rainbow Hair, I like you, you know that. But this is just so not the world.

            IF Franken resigning would cause even one Republican to follow suit, I would be all for it. But instead, Franken will resign, Roy Moore will get a seat in the Senate and camp out there forever.

            The opposition does not play by the same rules here and they came to WIN. Which means this is no time to “go high”. Take back control of the decision making process and then clean house. Not a minute before.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Never too many… I hear you. And I am not particularly politically wise — I can admit that.

            But it seems that by refusing to ‘take the high road’ we are pouring salt into the wounds of so many women. It sounds the same as it has always been: “so sorry you got assaulted, honey, but you don’t want to ruin the career of this nice man, do you? I’m sure it was a misunderstanding and he’ll do better next time. take this one for the team, ok?” Can’t there be ONE political party where being a s*xual predatory disqualifies you from leadership?

            From a “we have to maintain political power” perspective you might are probably right, but from a “godd*mnit we’ve had enough” perspective, I can’t get behind sacrificing more women for political gain.

        • It’s not a witch hunt for people who abused power to not be in power anymore. I mean, there is photographic evidence here. Just because he’s the enemy of your enemy does not make him a friend. He’s a gross guy who though he could grope women when he felt like it. We don’t need guys like that in power, and Amen to Rainbow Hair – let’s let some of the perfectly wonderful non-gropers have a go at this, and see what they can accomplish when they’re not busy harrassing the people around them.

          • There’s no photographic evidence of him assaulting anyone. There’s photographic evidence of him pretending to grab a woman’s chest while she’s asleep, which is gross and in poor taste but not the same thing as actually grabbing a woman’s chest while she’s asleep.

          • Hey, Anonymous @ 12:47, Franken *really* doesn’t need any more apologists. Stop.

        • A witch hunt? More like a epidemic of rapists who have been getting away with it for too long.

        • They sure as h3ll can! Good bye and good riddance!

        • It’s only a witch hunt if the people being accused are innocent. If they did [email protected][email protected] someone, they should resign and hopefully we can replace them with someone who respects all people.

        • Examples of witch hunts:

          -Actual witch hunts

          Things that aren’t witch hunts:

          -Powerful men being held accountable for their actions

    • He has to, but I’m very down about it, too. What an awful nation we are right now.

      • Really? I finally feel hopeful about our nation. I can’t believe how many women have endured sexual harassment in silence up until now. I am glad we are sending the message that creepy behavior from men in power will no longer be tolerated. Bye, Franken.

        • These events were all before he was senator. I thought we were a people who forgave, who said your story is not done because you messed up. None of the events were r*pe.

          • His story isn’t done. He can do whatever he wants with his life! He just doesn’t need to represent an entire state of people and gain further power and fame, given that he’s already shown us what he does with power and fame.

          • Anononope :

            I am definitely one of the people who chants, “throw them all in the garbage!” but I also think I agree that we have to undergo some kind of real reckoning. What do we do with the now-good men who did bad things? I think that saying, “Sorry, a person who has done this isn’t fit for leadership” might be fine. But do we throw them all in the garbage and start over? Maybe?

            I think about someone I know professionally, who is the type of person who interrupts my interrupter to say, “yes, I think Anononope was just saying that.” He walks the walk more than he talks the talk. And ~20 years ago he was in a fratty frat at a fratty school. Did he grab @ss? Most certainly. I feel pretty safe assuming it was nothing worse. Do I want to throw him in the garbage? No… but if someone he hurt stepped forward and wanted him to step down, or something like that, would I say she was wrong? The question I’m groping [sorry] toward is something like, knowing how prevalent this bad behavior has been, do we cut ties while moving forward, or do we do even more work to try to move forward bringing the no-longer-so-bad men with us?

          • Dude, you really need to go away and stop trying to justify other people’s awful behavior. Just leave.

          • Anonymous :

            Thank you, Anononope. Some people can be redeemed and Franken left his fratty ways behind. But now he’s in the garbage as you say.

    • In a vacuum, I think he should resign. His actions were wrong, and he should suffer the consequences. But it makes me FURIOUS that Conyers and Franken are resigning, while Roy Moore will almost certainly win and be seated with no issues and Trump is still president. There are degrees of wrong-doing (e.g., murder and assault are both wrong, but murder is objectively worse). I haven’t been following the Conyers allegations that closely, but what Franken did (getting hands-y with adult women) is certainly not as bad as what Roy Moore did (molesting underage girls).

      I am just so exhausted by the fact that Dems hold ourselves to the standard of “perfect candidate, perfect human being” while Republicans will happily settle for “anything but a Democrat.” It feels like the 2016 presidential election all over again – yes, Hillary has flaws as a person and a candidate but LOOK AT THE OTHER CHOICE. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

      • Exactly. We are shooting ourselves by continually taking the high road. Maybe “setting an example” should come later.

      • Anonymous :

        The other choice for his seat is not Roy Moore. That kind of political handwaving is why we tolerate these creeps in the first place.

      • I think there is a really, really, REALLY huge gulf between demanding perfect candidates and demanding that we not be represented by sexual predators.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        They should all resign! Franken not resigning is not going to make Moore any likelier to resign. It’s just going to make us all more used to tolerating awful men and more used to sacrificing women for political goals.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Yes. Yes. Yes.

        Is Franken a good person necessarily? Nope. But he has been a consistent advocate of a liberal, rational stance and the Senate, and the country, is worse off without him in that seat.

      • Eager Beaver :

        This article really spoke to me:

        “I see a few Democrats griping about unilateral disarmament. Why should Franken resign if Trump won’t? Aren’t we just a bunch of chumps if we hold our officials accountable and they let theirs do whatever they want?

        This is the wrong way to think about it.

        First of all, high ethical standards are their own reward. A party that stands against sexual harassment is better for the people who work on campaigns and in congressional offices — especially but not exclusively women. A party that lives its values of ethical behavior and equal treatment is also more likely to make laws in the public interest.

        High ethical standards also have a political reward. They allow the party to make a stronger argument to the public that it is deserving of trust, and enable the party to more credibly criticize the other side for its failures.”

    • I’m from Minnesota and I’m very sad about this. If everything that’s been said is true, he deserves censure but not resignation, and some kind of props for acknowledging and apologizing. Instead he’s punished out of proportion to his actions, while Trump and Moore get promoted.


      Ugh. Welcome to the sh!tty end of taking the high ground.

      *resign, drop out of Alabama senate races, leave the Oval Office, etc.

    • Yes, he should resign. Trump and Moore should also resign. It’s not a witch hunt; it’s men FINALLY learning that there are consequences to their actions. Don’t want to get forced out of politics? Don’t sexually assault women. Seems like a pretty basic standard to expect men to adhere to and I could not give less f*cks whether it hurts Al Franken’s feelings.

      • Yep, 2 of many things people are supposed to learn as children:

        – Keep your hands to yourself.
        – Actions have consequences.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        In the abstract, of course you are right. But Moore and Trump and a million others won’t resign. So Franken doing so does what exactly?

        • It means for every vote where every vote counts, we are down one dem. I am so upset about this. If the R’s and D’s were all resigning together then amen. I fear a lot worse things will happen to women because of this if we don’t have the votes to stop the legislation. Unless a D replaces him but that is never guaranteed.

          • A Dem will replace him in the interim, but MN is a solidly purple state, and Franken won by fewer than 500 votes in 2008. Minnesota is the land of Mondale and Wellstone but its also the land of Michelle Bachmann and Jesse Ventura … sh*t’s crazy here and no political party has a clear upper hand. Since republicans apparently don’t think women are capable of telling the truth or being assaulted, we might end up replacing Franken with an unapologetically ass-grabbing Republican so we’re markedly worse off.

          • Actually, it basically is a guarantee. The Democratic governor of Minnesota will get to appoint his replacement until a special election can be held. The governor COULD choose a Republican to fill the seat, but that’s never going to happen.

    • I am so frustrated with this! Of course it is the right thing to do morally, but I am very concerned about Dems holding themselves to a higher standard than Republicans. In what universe does Franken resign and Trump stay? The accusations against Trump as more numerous, and credible (he admitted to them on tape!). Great quote from Dahlia Lithwick that sums up my feelings:

      “Al Franken, many argue, should now resign. He should resign immediately because there are credible accusers (another emerged Wednesday), and because the behavior alleged is sufficiently abhorrent that there is simply no basis to defend him. In this parade of unilateral disarmament, Trump stays, Conyers goes, Moore stays, Franken goes. Is this the principled solution? By every metric I can think of, it’s correct. But it’s also wrong. It’s wrong because we no longer inhabit a closed ethical system, in which morality and norm preservation are their own rewards. We live in a broken and corroded system in which unilateral disarmament is going to destroy the very things we want to preserve….

      “My own larger concern is that becoming the party of high morality will allow Democrats to live with themselves but that the party is also self-neutering in the face of unprecedented threats, in part to do the right thing and in part to take ammunition away from the right — a maneuver that never seems to work out these days. When Al Franken, who has been a champion for women’s rights in his tenure in the Senate, leaves, what rushes in to fill the space may well be a true feminist. But it may also be another Roy Moore. And there is something deeply naïve, in a game of asymmetrical warfare, and in a moment of unparalleled public misogyny, in assuming that the feminist gets the seat before it happens.

      “This isn’t a call to become tolerant of awful behavior. It is a call for understanding that Democrats honored the blue slip, and Republicans didn’t. Democrats had hearings over the Affordable Care Act; Republicans had none over the tax bill. Democrats decry predators in the media; Republicans give them their own networks. And what do Democrats have to show for it? There is something almost eerily self-regarding in the notion that the only thing that matters is what Democrats do, without considering what the systemic consequences are for everyone.”

      • Anonymous :

        I 100% agree with this … except for the idea that we don’t know who will replace Franken and he could be worse. MN has a democrat governor

        • Right, and the Lieutenant Governor is expected to take his place, but just in a placeholder role until an election can be held. And MN was sharply divided in the presidential election, so I’m worried.

      • But a Democratic governor will appoint Franken’s replacement–there’s no danger of a Roy Moore filling the vacuum. Why on earth would Democrats be expected to protect admitted sexual predators in their leadership simply because the GOP shows the same tolerance? “Yeah, he has harassed and assaulted women, but at least he votes the way we want him to”?

        • I agree, and I’d also add that I think Democrats need to set a higher standard here for cynical electoral reasons, not just because it’s the right thing to do (fwiw, I totally agree it’s the right thing to do, but hey). Democrats count on women voters in a very different way than Republicans do.

        • I’m in Minnesota and there is absolutely a danger of a Roy Moore type filling the seat in 2018 (special election two years before Franken would have been up for re-election.) Michelle Bachman is from here. My representative, Jason Lewis (talk show host famous for saying, “if how does somebody else owning a slave affect me? It doesn’t. If I don’t think it is right, I won’t own one … you know if you don’t want to own a slave, don’t. But don’t tell other people they can’t.”

      • brokentoe :

        This IS our current reality. Perhaps I’m just older and more jaded, but there is a lot of danger in seeing the world as a black and white place with no shades of gray (Black = you didn’t grope = you’re OK vs. white = you did grope = you are bad). We are all imperfect human beings and I seriously would hate to be judged by my worst days and actions. By drawing such a bright line here, Dems will be the ones to suffer the worst, and there’s no guarantee that the R’s will ever get a conscience about this when they see how it all is playing out. It certainly isn’t in their best interest, no matter how morally outraged the citizens are.

        • Anonymous :

          Thank you. I guess everyone here is young = can’t see gradation.

          • Or . . . people of all ages are affirming their dignity and the dignity of billions of others in asserting that yes, groping is bad; repeated groping is worse; and we don’t need people who don’t know that representing us in public office.

        • Metallica :

          I hear you (and am older and jaded myself), but wouldn’t it be awesome if more women saw the benefits of a no-tolerance policy on harassment and decided to vote Dem? I’m slooooooowly using these instances (the stark contrast between the party responses to Franken and Moore) to bring around a previously-conservative woman in my circle of friends who is finally starting to see that this behavior affects all women, not just liberal ones.

    • Nope, you are sooo wrong about this. He should have resigned weeks ago.

  33. Penn. rep just loses his mind when another straight guy touches his arm for 30 secs.

    $100 says he thinks that women who report harassment are “overreacting.”

    • Senior Attorney :

      I saw this and could. not. believe. it.

      What the heck???

    • PA resident here: he’s also really well known as one of the most bigoted, h*mophobic, anti-woman elected officials in the state. This just adds to his baffling, cruel behavior.

      • Yeeeeepppp. Cosigned as someone who lives in one of the neighboring districts. There’s a lot of talk after this about who can run against him because he’s a huge a**; he’s been in office for almost 20 years.

      • Yup. I’m from western PA. This guy is a known lunatic. A write in got 40% of the vote in the last republican primary running against him. A dem can’t win there but they at least need to find a less insane republican.

  34. I feel awful. I hosted a party last night and served some nibbles. The guests had a variety of food restrictions – vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, dairy free, keto, paleo, and some people had several restrictions. I put a lot of thought into making sure everyone could eat something – I had a couple types of nuts, a veggie tray, cheese plate, hummus, guac, and a variety of chips/crackers (including gf and df). I also had a taco bar with two options for the protein: ground chicken and black beans. I made the black beans from dried.

    I didn’t realize until I was emptying the trash this morning that I must have accidentally grabbed chicken stock instead of vegetable stock for the beans. I totally spaced. I know some of my vegan friends ate the beans. Should I tell them I goofed? I tried so hard to accommodate everyone, I’m really kicking myself. Ugh.

    • Wow, you were way nice putting all that effort in. Forgive yourself and move on!

      • As your vegan friend, no, don’t tell me. I don’t want or need to know. And THANK YOU for being such a great considerate friend. I’m sure I’ve unknowingly eaten chicken stock before. We do the best we can.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Absolutely not. There is no upside to telling them.

    • To quote Elsa: let it go.

    • You are an amazing and considerate host. It’s already been eaten, there’s nothing you can do. Don’t worry about it.

    • givemyregards :

      +1 I’m a vegetarian (although admittedly a little more chill than some of my veggie brethren) and honestly wouldn’t care and wouldn’t want to know. There’s nothing to be done after the fact anyway!

      p.s. that is very thoughtful of you to be so accommodating and I hope everyone was appreciative.

      • I would absolutely care but I definitely would not want to know after the fact because nothing can be done. Mistakes happen.

    • Anonymous :

      No, we know it happens. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter.

    • Anonymous :

      Say nothing. You’ll just upset them and what’s done is done.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I vote no. It would only cause them distress and it was an honest mistake.

      • Veronica Mars :

        You didn’t mention if any of them are vegan/vegetarian for religious reasons, but for Muslims, there’s no sin if they accidentally/without knowingly eat something that violates their beliefs.

        • I didn’t know this! Thank you for sharing.

        • Cornellian. :

          Came here to say that. Or if they keep kosher, and something about the stock preparation wasn’t.

          But you probably know if your friends are observant, so hopefully it’s not an issue.

    • You’re an amazing hostess. And I’m saving on your list of fixings for my next gathering.

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