Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Boat-Neck 3/4-Sleeve Sheath Dress

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

light pink sheath dress for workLe sigh: I always love Roland Mouret’s tailored, architectural dresses. This light pink masterpiece is gorgeous, and I could see it working in any number of situations, from work to events and beyond.  I particularly love the zig-zag seaming in the front and the wide boatneck. Gorgeous. It’s (gulp) $1,440 at Neiman Marcus. Boat-Neck 3/4-Sleeve Sheath Dress

Looking for more affordable options? This $188 Hall of Famer sheath dress also comes in a light pink, and this $138 dress is also really nice. In plus sizes, this pink sheath dress comes up to size 24W (and has a blazer to match).

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  1. Just out of morbid curiosity, has anyone here ever bought a dress this expensive? No judgment, I understand the concept of quality over quantity.

    • Anonymous :

      No. It’s really going long on maintaining the same shape/size, and I’m so thrifty that even if I pulled that off, I’d still be wearing it probably 10 years after I should have stopped.

      I find that I’m comfortable buying BR wool suiting on sale, splurging for tailoring, and then feeling like I’ve gotten a good ride of something after about 5ish years and donating. If I were more spendy, I’d probably hang on to things for too long.

      FWIW, my wedding dress didn’t cost this much. I still think that b/c it’s knee length, I will rewear at a summer garden party.

    • Technically yes for my wedding dress :)
      In the non-wedding dress category, I don’t think I’ve ever gone higher than $300 for a dress, with most of my work dresses in th $150 or lower category.
      This is gorgeous but would be a disaster for my food- and drink-spilling ways.

    • I think there’s a point of diminishing return for us mere mortals… especially if you take a decent quality ($100-$200ish) dress to a high quality tailor. Most expensive item of clothing I’ve bought was a winter coat for $700+, and I could see myself one day breaking the 1k mark for a similar purchase because it’s been so well worth it.

    • No way. I get that $50 dresses are on average worse quality than $200 dresses, but there is no way a $1500 dress will last 10 times as long as a $150 dress. The math just doesn’t work out. My wedding dress was $800 but for normal dresses my limit is about $150-200.

    • High three digit price tag, not four: I bought a Max Mara wool sheath dress as a reward/splurge. The construction is high quality – perfect seams, not a pucker on it; seams are perfectly straight and flat; and the seams are finished inside. The fabric is 100% wool, and it has some density and thickness to it. It looks new despite being several years old. I am an Old, and I remember when averagely decent mall clothes were made of natural fibers and weren’t paper thin. My AT sheath dresses are adequate for my needs, but look a little sad next to this one. When I hit some financial goals, I’ll start buying one or two a year.

    • Other than my wedding dress, no. On the other hand, I also remind myself that it’s all relative; my cousin is routinely aghast that I would spend more than $100 on a dress.

    • I bought a $600 DVF dress. It was a real splurge for me because otherwise my max is ~$200. For me, it was a good decision. My life calls for cocktail dresses about 2x per year, but for good looking, more casual clothes much, much more often. The dress I bought, a jersey wrap dress, hits the smart-casual spot dead on and looks much better than the cheaper versions I had been buying. As a bonus, I now know my DVF size and so can buy used on ebay.

    • cake batter :

      Only my wedding dress. I get tired of my everyday clothing too quickly to buy something I’d need to wear for 10+ years to break even on. My tastes change slightly from year to year, so I like buying cheaper clothing (eg. up to $150ish for dresses but prefer to hunt sale items under $75) that I can afford to replace when the mood strikes. I can imagine eventually pushing my budget up to $200-300 dresses to get a nicer quality, but for now, I have fun shopping sales and spending much less.

    • Not this expensive. I have 3 Badgley Mischka dresses in the $400-500 range that I wear to work, and I feel like they are worth every penny – they are very well-constructed, very flattering, classic styling and they’ve lasted ages. I regularly check Badgley Mischka to see if there are new work-appropriate pieces to add. That said, I think I would have a hard time wearing a $1400 dress often enough to mentally justify the cost per wear.

    • I have nowhere near the budget to buy a dress this expensive, but if I ever got to that point, it certainly wouldn’t be in a light color! I’d be so afraid of ruining it with a poorly-timed sip of coffee or something like that.

    • No, I’ve spent $400 twice — on a perfectly tailored sheath dress and on a cocktail dress that has some stretch to it, works in a number of a different scenarios, and that is super chic without being trendy.

      Also, Roland Mouret goes on sale by 50% at the end of every season.

    • I don’t think I would even if I had the money. My most expensive purchase is my $800 parka which was well worth it.

    • Not for myself, no. But I used my first biglaw paycheck to buy my mom a St. John knit outfit (jacket and skirt) full price and I think the cost was about this much at Neiman. Never paid that much again for any outfit, including my wedding dress!

    • I think it’s interesting that people would spend this much on their wedding dress that they wear once, but not a basic work dress they’d wear many times. (Of course, anything white or off white is not a basic for me because coffee)

    • My wedding dress was $1500 19 years ago. I’ve never spent more than $200 on a dress. I’ve spent more on shoes, boots and cashmere sweaters.

  2. This is beautiful.

    Question: I received a free $50 voucher/promo from JCrew back in December and ended up buying a sweater that doesn’t really work. Does anyone know if this is the kind of thing that I can return? My out of pocket on the purchase was $4 or so, so I’m not looking for a refund, just would like to get something else of equal value that I could actually use.

    • I do know you don’t get a $50 card back if you return — but I bet they’d let you swap it. I’ve had success doing so in person (once) but don’t know if I was just lucky or if that’s the actual policy.

    • No, you can’t. I tried to do this because I bought my husband a sweater that didn’t work. So out of pocket I paid a few bucks. They wouldn’t let us exchange for equal value, but they did extend a 40% coupon (the promotion was over) for the pants he wanted to exchange. It really annoyed me!

    • Sell it on ebay.

      • I figured this may be the outcome. Too bad. I may go in person to see if I can get it exchanged, but won’t be getting my hopes up. I guess I should have known better than to order online with a brand that is somewhat unreliable when it comes to fit/quality.

  3. Anonymous :

    This is such a great courthouse wedding dress.

  4. Maudie Atkinson :

    This is gorgeous. Great pick.

  5. Anonymous :

    never would I ever buy a polyester dress for a $1000+.

  6. Anonymous :

    Wondering if I could’ve handled this better. For years I’ve wanted to spend NYE somewhere fabulous and European. I’m single, mid-30s, and I’ve done the solo travel thing but I was really hoping that someone would come. I asked pretty much everyone I know but no one wanted to come. So I went alone and had a great time.

    The responses to my solo trips have been overwhelmingly surprised but positive, maybe even a little envious. This time, one person made a comment that’s really stuck with me (of course it’s the one negative comment that stands out) – “You wanted to spend a holiday ALONE???” I mumbled something like, “I wanted to go somewhere fabulous so I did.” What I was really thinking was, yeah no one wanted to go and I didn’t want to sit in someone’s house watching people on TV doing things I wanted to do. Now I can’t get it out of my head. Is that what everyone is thinking but too polite to say? Do I look like this sad pathetic person who must be awful because I have no friends who want to do amazing things with me? I know I need to let it go but… ugh.

    • That person is a jacka**. I’m happily married but would looooove to take a solo NYE trip somewhere fabulous and European. Please tell us more about your adventures!

      • Agreed. This person is probably totally jealous that you did something you wanted to do. NYE isn’t even a “gather round the table” type of holiday so the comment is weird and rude.

      • Ditto. Even on trips with my husband I fantasize about going alone, just so I can indulge in only what I want, when I want, for as long as I want. Solo trips are amazing!

    • That person is a JERK. Full stop. Nobody else is thinking this. You took a fun trip and had a great time. Dont give the jerk another thought.

    • Anonymous :

      No – that person has a cultural script that says you must spend all holidays with family or friends, or there is something wrong with with you. So their comment is more about their relationship with the holidays.

      You did something you wanted to do and had an amazing time, and that’s all that really matters. Take the positive responses at face value.

    • IMHO, NYE is a crappy holiday and spending it solo in a fabulous European location solo sounds like great planning. You should plan something solo and awesome for Valentines as well – another crappy holiday.

    • Raccoon Eyes :

      No. Other people are envious of you. Keep taking fabulous vacations, solo or not.

    • espresso bean :

      First of all, you are fabulous and this single mid-30s woman wishes she did what you did for NYE.

      Second of all, everyone is definitely NOT thinking negative things about you. This one rude person might be… but who cares? Based on that comment alone, I sense that this person lacks empathy and curiosity. Doesn’t sound like someone whose opinion I’d hold in high esteem.

      What matters is that you lived the life you wanted, boldly and without apologies. And you had a great time! Some people are just so used to the status quo that they’ll never be comfortable with a less conventional choice. But if you lived your life caring about what those people think, you might never do anything interesting or satisfying at all. And where’s the joy and fun in that?

      Tl;dr —You are awesome, and you should keep living your awesome life and not give this comment a second thought!

    • This person does not deserve another second of your time, absent an apology.

    • For all you know this person is walking around thinking “how could I have said that? What a dummy, I really put my foot in my mouth.”

      I don’t think your trip sounds pathetic at all. Rather, it sounds cool and like something someone who is self assured and confident would do. It also sounds like you had a great time. Whenever I hear of people traveling solo (or doing anything solo, really), I think “good for that person.” What strikes me as sad is when I hear friends say things like, “oh, I wish I could go see Star Wars in the theater but I don’t have anyone to go with.” In those situations, I’m always torn between wanting to offer to go with them and really just wishing they felt more comfortable going alone.

      • The comment was definitely a knee jerk. I think she felt a little embarrassed as soon as it was out of her mouth. I don’t hold any bad feelings toward her, it just made me reflect about how I must come off to others.

        • Senior Attorney :

          You come off to others as an amazing, thrill-seeking fun-haver!

        • Frank talk: yes, some people will judge you negatively. But not most people, and probably not the ones you care about the most. And a different set of people would judge you negatively for making a different choice. So you can’t worry about it. Just do the thing that sounds amazing to you. And your response was an excellent way to handle it.

    • Solo travel is AMAZING, full stop. But some people are never going to get it.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I think it’s awesome that you went ahead and did want you wanted to do! I wish I was brave enough to do the same; I’ve wanted to go to Paris for ages, but I never have anyone to go with.

      • Do it. I’ve been to Paris three times, once with a (now-ex) boyfriend and twice solo. Solo is amazing and wonderful.

        • At least you had a boyfreind in Paris! I think if I were still with Sheketovits, I would let him take me to Paris to get away from all of this. We could go to the LEFT BANK and enjoy sitting out on a BATEAU MOUCHE! For those in the HIVE not familiar, there are BATEAU MOUCHES on the river where you can sit out and sip French Champagene. Of course, if you get tipsy, you have to watch it b/c the men will immediately take advantage of you. FOOEY!

    • Question, why do you feel you had to post about your NYE on social media? That’s what I don’t get. I’m so tired of social media, and people posting about how fabulous their lives are. My life is pretty great, but I don’t feel the need to post about it on social media. Most people don’t give a crap about how I spent my NYE, and the feeling is mutual. Which is why I’m not on FB or anything else anymore. It’s so freeing.

      • Anon at 10:07, she didn’t say anything about social media. In fact, since her response to the hater was “mumbled,” I’m pretty sure this was IRL conversation.

      • I’m not sure where you are getting this from the original post. She said someone commented and she mumbled a reply which indicates an in-person conversation. But even if it was on social media, isn’t this the reason why social media exists? To share your adventures? What should people be posting if not pictures of their cool trips? Just complaints about their lives and bragging about how smart their kids are?

      • These kids and their newfangled ideas like electric lights and horseless carriages! Give me a good tallow candle any day, am I right?

      • Oh please. Because everyone does? Because it’s nice to share?

        Also where do you get the idea this wasn’t all in person?

        Take your pet peeve elsewhere grumpy.

      • I doubt she felt like she *had* to post about her vacation on social media. She may have simply *wanted* to. Lots of people who aren’t total narcissists do it simply to share news and photos with friends and family rather than having to, say, email people individually.

        Side note: I’ve also at times closed down my social media accounts because of various annoyances, including fatigue at seeing lots of highlight reels when I’m feeling down, but I gotta say, hun, you don’t sound very “free” if you’re spontaneously posting bitter comments about other people’s social media use.

      • Yeah the conversation was in person.

        I DID post vacation pictures on social media, if it matters. I thought that’s kind of what social media was for? I love looking at friends’ vacation pictures.

        • Yeah you’re 100% right.

        • I love looking at vacation pictures too. Not sure why the social media hate. I think it’s a fun lowkey way of keeping in touch.

        • This is the #1 kind of thing I want to see on social media so the original comment is bizarre

        • Senior Attorney :

          Exactly. Social media is, by definition, everybody’s highlight reel. I love the vacation pics!

        • Not saying this is what OP did (and OP, I think your solo vacation sounds awesome) but at least in my social networks, the vacation photos do tend to get really over the top and obnoxious. To me, there is a big difference between “Here is a photo of me in front of the Eiffel Tower” versus “Here’s a photo of my suite at the [super fancy hotel in Paris].” I don’t see any point to the latter kind of photo except bragging about what you can afford, but a lot of people I know share photos like this every time they go on vacation. Same thing with photos taken in first class (or on private jets!), at uber expensive restaurants, on yachts, etc. I know a lot of New New Money people (Silicon Valley tech millionaires) so maybe this obnoxious flaunting of wealth is not so common among normal people, even those who are very well off and can afford to travel well.

          • This is something about your circle – I rarely see this.

          • Anonymous :

            Hahaha, totally your circle. None of my friends fly first class and we generally stay in Airbnbs.

          • Maybe they’re just excited about the super-ritzy thing? If we accept that people will share vacations on social media, should people have to hide it when it’s somehow “too” good.

          • Linda from HR :

            Winter, that’s my thought! I’m not super rich, so if I got to stay in a super fancy suite you bet your bum I’m gonna show it off on social media!

      • I post things about my life because I want to share them with family/friends, which is presumably why everyone else uses social media, too. I mean it’s not like I’m going to print out all my vacation pics and carry around a photo album to show my friends, or invite them over and make them watch a slideshow (or whatever people did way back when). That way people can look if they want to and not look if they don’t want to…

        • I’m not on social media but I am 100% with you on this, vs. people who insist on whipping out their phone unsolicited and making me scroll through 3 dozen vacation pictures or calling me into their office to watch a highlight reel on their computer.

          To be entirely fair, I think some of these posts online do come off as a little bit “braggy,” which is why people have may negative reactions in the abstract, but this is something that is generally an issue with some people and maybe not others, as well as maybe *for* some and not others. #blessed.

      • Linda from HR :

        Why not? Humans have always had an impulse to document their lives and share it with others. Some people love social media, others don’t, there’s nothing wrong with either.

        When I finally went to Europe, I shared a lot of the pictures on social media, because I was having an amazing time and I wanted to share it with my friends and loved ones however I could, since I couldn’t have them there with me. Other times I don’t bother sharing because I’m busy enjoying the moment and it doesn’t occur to me until later that a picture for FB might’ve been nice.

        Let people do their thing.

    • No. You ran into one miserable jerk. The rest of us are thinking go you, amazing trip, mad jealous.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Uh, no. I would be thrilled (THRILLED) to take a trip over New Years alone. It sounds amazing.
      Ignore them. They’re speaking from their own perspective and it’s not wrong, per se, but it’s also not the only valid (awesome!) option. Going alone to things isn’t something most people get. It seems sad/lonely/what have you. But for me, it’s incredibly empowering and fun.

    • That is a person who is not their own best friend.

    • Some people think that, but it’s not what everyone thinks. They sound like the kind of person who would wonder why you travel when you could stay home in comfort. I mean New Years is not exactly a family holiday, it’s a party night at best. Most New Years parties are pretty lame and involve tv-watching, vacation is much cooler.

    • Some people are good at being on the own and some can’t. In general I’ve found that people who are good on their own understand/accept that most people aren’t like them. However there is a small but vocal group of those who don’t “do” alone that just can’t fathom that some people are ok experiencing things like travel alone. There is a distinct crossover with the folk who hassle you for being single.

      • Also single, mid-thirties, and I’ve been doing the solo travel thing for probably a decade now (yes, some great trips with friends thrown in, but mostly solo). It is nearly impossible to get others to come along, and I think it’s just a factor of people with SOs, kids, etc. so I don’t take it as a personal insult that schedules don’t work out. We don’t know each other, but if we are equally awesome, I’m always looking for someone to plan my next adventure with! While solo travel is great, there are some trips that would be better with a friend (for safety, or simply to have someone to enjoy a meal with).

        • Absolutely! I just created an anonymous email to post here… miss adventure abroad (no spaces) at the mail of google.

          If anyone else is looking for travel buddies, feel free to drop me a line! If there’s enough interest maybe we should start a Facebook group?

    • No! The person who said that is sad and pathetic. I would be your friend, but I wouldn’t be the friend of someone who thinks it’s better to be with anybody just so you don’t have to be alone.

      You look like an amazing person who is brave enough to do what you want. I spent my twenties not doing the things I wanted to because I didn’t have anyone who wanted to do them with me. Once I realized I just needed to go, my life became what I want it to be! I have had amazing experiences that I would have missed out on had I waited for a travel partner. Don’t wait!

    • No, you sound awesome.

    • Linda from HR :

      There are people who just can’t do anything alone, and they can’t fathom someone doing something alone and not going crazy from the loneliness. Others could probably go it alone, but worry others will judge them for being alone, so they always have a companion to avoid looking pathetic. You do you.

    • Some people won’t so much as go to a restaurant and eat dinner alone. I think those people are weird, personally.

    • So… one of the big things I am struggling with recently is how I appear to others, because a lot of people around me have made some insanely rude and nasty remarks to and about me recently. It tends to centre around things I do myself that other people pay people to do – the equivalent of, say, re-doing the electric wiring in my house. (I work in a white-collar profession requiring an advanced degree, so this isn’t typical for people like me.) The people making the remarks are exclusively men.

      On one hand, it hurts and it’s coming from several people. But it’s also hard to shake the idea that the viciousness is jealousy from people who *can’t* do that and want to tear me down for doing it.

      Taking a solo NYE trip is awesome – and the fact that you did it solo is its own dimension of cool, confident, and self-reliant.

      • Anonymous :

        Why on earth are you being criticized for being self-sufficient? Isn’t this an unassailable positive trait/accomplishment? Is it gendered criticism? I always pat myself on the back for doing the simplest task I would have had to pay another for. It is a source of pride when I manage to avoid calling a mechanic/plumber/handyman/tax preparer, etc. Perhaps I am overly focused on being independent?

        • Anonymous :

          I’m guessing this the type of crowd who view this type of self-sufficiency as below them. Eff them!!

        • Thank you for the vote of confidence. It’s actually been really hard because it’s so bizarre, but I do think it’s gendered criticism. It comes exclusively from men who aren’t able to do the things I can do, let alone to the level I can, and those things are stereotypically “man jobs.”

          (If it needs to be said, I don’t think they should be “man jobs”!)

      • It is odd that someone would criticize you for doing something yourself. Normally I see the exact opposite being criticized (i.e. hiring someone to do something you could easily do yourself), whereas you are being self-sufficient and saving money and generally awesome.

        • Thank you.

          I think there is an element of “you can’t win either way,” but I mostly see the criticism for hiring people to do things like mow the lawn or do a deep clean of the house – stuff that takes time but no special skills.

    • Anonymous :

      Next time, give her the same raised brow I give staff at fine restaurants who say “table for… one” like I’m due a condolence card.

  7. Isabella the She Wolf :

    Does anyone have advice to help with nightmares? A couple of times in the last week I’ve woken up feeling panicked or angry; sometimes from vivI’d dreams, sometimes without really even falling fully asleep. Suggestions?

    • I’ve experienced nightmares when there’s stress in my life that I’m not dealing with in waking hours. Does that resonate with you? For me, sometimes just acknowledging how I’m feeling, even if I can’t do anything to change it at the time, is enough to let my sleeping brain stop saying “we have a thing here.”

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        This is true for me, too. In the time between considering quitting my toxic job and making the decision, I had nightmares every night. They woke me up crying, I wasn’t sleeping, I couldn’t fall fully asleep. Once I made the decision, they decreased enormously, and once I did something about it (no job yet but it was an action towards that) they’ve almost completely gone away.
        It’s happened before to me with smaller stuff that’s a big deal at the time that I’m avoiding for whatever reason- once I did the thing instead of worrying about not having done the thing, the dreams went away. Even making a to do list before bed helps clear my mind sometimes when I’m stressed about how much I have to do.

      • This is true for me, too. If I have a dream about flying (inevitably I’m on a plane to somewhere, things are going wrong and I’m helpless) it’s a sign I’m not feeling in control of something IRL.

      • Dream interpretation :

        I find I can suppress my feelings so deep down inside that even awake me can’t figure them out.

        If you are like that too, try looking at dream interpretation. Basically certain elements of your dream are symbolic and by looking them up you may get some insight into what exactly is bothering you. I like the dictionary feature at dreammoods dot com

        Like the posters above, the nightmares go away once i figure out what is causing me the stress

    • I get nightmares when my blankets are too heavy or I get too hot (because the blankets are so heavy). Maybe check your physical sleeping setup?

      • Same, if I am hot, I have crazy nightmares.

        • That’s interesting. I’ve been feeling too warm in bed the past few nights, and keep having, not really nightmares, but stress dreams.

          My stress dreams consist of being back working in my thesis lab and not being able to figure out why I’m there or how to do anything, or how to get back to the job I have now, that I like well enough. So, not crazy scary, but rather distressing. And discombobulating – I wake up having to reassure myself that I really do have a job.

    • Frozen Peach :

      I find that Sleepytime or Cup of Calm tea (both usually available at the grocery store) before bed usually zap nightmares for me.

    • Don’t eat spicy or heavy food.

    • Constant Reader :

      Long shot since you probably would have mentioned it, but have you changed or added medications recently? Some meds have nightmares as a side effect — Mefloquine as an antimalarial, Chantix for smoking cessation are the ones I’m familiar with, but there are others. Might check the insert on any meds or supplements you are taking.

    • Lately drinking has started to cause emotional rather than physical hangovers for me. If I get buzzed or drunk at night, I wake up in a panic the next morning and usually spend the rest of the day pretty anxious. But also, stress definitely manifests itself in dreams for me. Usually I’m aware enough of the stress in my life to know why I have bad dreams, but sometimes not.

    • New supplements? :

      I have had disturbingly vivid dreams from various supplements, including biotin and B12. If you are trying something new, try searching for “supplement and vivid dreams” and see what comes up.

  8. Super Anon :

    Anon for this. Last night I was scrolling DH’s phone with his permission looking for an old pic of the kids to print and a racy pic came up. He had accidentaly downloaded it but then he said he gets off of that type of picture – women missing limbs – legs, arms, fingers etc. I said it was okay and just to be careful the kids don’t see anything but I’m actually super freaked out by this and have no one to talk to. So nauseous. Help!

    • The woman in the “racy pic” was missing a limb? And he gets off to that? Okay, I think that’s really, really bizarre.

      • Super Anon :

        Yes. I have a childhood acquaintance who lost a limb as a child and she is now happily married with kids so I don’t want to seem like I think people with disabilities can’t have relationships. But these pictures are like a f€tish thing for him.

      • It’s really not that bizarre, IMO… there are people who take it to extremes called ‘devotees,’ and they are a profound nuisance to the disabled community, but her husband seems to just have a garden variety kink that he enjoys indulging visually once a while. Unless he’s hiding a lot more than looking at pictures sometimes, in which case that’s obviously a problem. Everyone has their thing.

      • Ehh, everybody has their kinks. If he’s not actively pestering disabled women, it’s harmless. OP needs to relax and maybe take a scroll through some Dan Savage archives.

    • Oh, that’s an interesting one, but actually not super rare as far as k*nks go. Can you think about what’s bothering you so much about it? Would you be as bothered if it was something else, like feet or latex? Is it that he’s been hiding something for you? Former Domme here so I’ve seen it all, and I think there is a caretaking D/s dynamic to this one most of the time, which is a dynamic that can manifest in a bunch of different k*nks. It’s not like he wants to maim people or MAKE them this way, he just enjoys something about the vulnerability or “off-ness” of it, I think.
      Can you sit with your feelings a bit more and then have a neutral, non-judgy conversation with him about what exactly he likes about it, when he realized he liked it, etc?

      • Super Anon :

        D/s stuff would not bother me as much. I’m just stressed about the whole thing as generally he is super super vanilla so very shocked. And where he is my husband he could provide medical consent for amputation if I was in a car accident or something. He said the interest predates me. I feel so uncomfortable with how enthusiatic he was about the Paralympics. I thought it was so ‘woke’ that he wanted to watch it a bunch and now it feels icky.

        • Frozen Peach :

          Okay, I didn’t feel icky until the Paralympics info. Could it be that what really makes you uncomfortable is that this is apparently a long-standing interest and he hasn’t been honest with you about it?

        • I think some people are into certain things for whatever reason; it doesn’t mean they want that in real life. A common example is non consent fantasies. I’d wager that 99.9% of people who have those – relatively common, btw -have zero interest in experiencing that IRL.

          That said, I think you should talk to him. Explain that it took you by surprise and that you’d like to discuss. Feel free to bring up your anxieties about his being your health care decision maker in the event something unexpectedly tragic happened, ask him about his interest in the Paralympics, or whatever else is on your mind. But absent additional issues, I don’t think this has to be a big deal.

          • PS: check out the Savage Love column, if you’re not a reader already. It really helps contextualize a lot of these things and I think he has a good balance between being non-judgmental about random interests people may have and acknowledging when there are actual issues.

          • +1 to the Savage Love recommendation. I was going to suggest the same thing. I know he’s written and talked about this before.

        • Yeah, honestly, this particular k*nk has a tendency to get a little… creepy, in the way that you mentioned (being enthusiastic about paralympics, hiding it from you, etc). There’s nothing wrong with the preference itself, but for some reason it has a tendency to manifest in the way you’re describing.

          My advice would be to try to uncouple the k*nk itself from the elements of it that are actually bothering you. I mean, the fact that he acts like he’s vanilla, and then hid this from you? THAT would make me livid. It’s very dysfunctional and avoidant. In my (plentiful) experience, k*nks are manifestations of very deep psychological and emotional needs/patterns, so it makes sense that someone who is avoidant and ashamed but wants to project vanilla normalcy would be into something that represents non-normative vulnerability. Lots to unpack here.

      • Not the OP, but it would cause me discomfort as well and I’m trying to figure out how to articulate my thoughts. Having a body part amputated is a pretty serious medical procuedre. It would result in physical and psychological impacts to a person’s life. Amputees live normal lives, but I think it would sitll be something difficult to deal with. I would feel weird about my parter getting off on something that caused another person discomfort.

        • Super Anon :

          This is what bothers me. The girl I knew in childhood lost her limb to cancer so I strongly associate it with sickness and pain.

          • Anonymous :

            Some people are born without (some/all) limbs and do not experience their bodies as traumatized or abnormal. I don’t think this particular k*nk means he is into the painful event of amputation.

            Having an intense response to a particular body shape/identity might reflect a totally normal early childhood experience (I read about someone with this k*nk who traced it to being under the kitchen table seeing adults move around the room, but only seeing the lower half of their bodies.) There is a lot of stigma about this particular desire which may be why he tried to conceal it.

            You really need to ask him about this and listen without judgment. Maybe his explanation will be unsettling, and you can go from there, but it might be not nearly as alarming as you are imagining it to be.

        • “I would feel weird about my parter getting off on something that caused another person discomfort.”

          Lots of people do this, though, in so many contexts. This is the raison d’etre for the BDSM community. There is a f*tish for everything. Like AIMS said, lots of people have non consent fantasies, even though they would never ever do anything like that in real life NOR would they find it arousing in real life. For example, I’ll toss out there that I’ve thought about all sorts of non consensual stuff in fantasy land that’s done it for me but that literally makes me sick to my stomach if I were to see it happening or hear about it happening to an actual real live person. Example- let’s say I have a r*pe fantasy. That doesn’t mean that, my friend tells me about surviving s*xual assault, that I am in any way aroused or think of that conversation as anything related to *my* s*xuality. I have also been s*xually assaulted and was decidedly not aroused. Fantasy =/= reality.

          Fantasies are weird. I think the bigger issue is how he feels about disabled individuals/amputees in real life and how he approaches his relationship with that community. (Hence, your concern about the Paralympics.) Is this simply an off beat fantasy, or does it factor into his real life?

    • He didn’t accidentally download it. That is a lie.

      • I think she means he admitted to viewing it, but didn’t mean to save it to his phone. This would be an easy mistake to make on an iPhone.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, and the fact that he let her scroll through his phone without hesitation suggests to me he probably didn’t know it was saved there.

    • If you aren’t familiar with Dan Savage, I highly recommend him. He writes a lot about k*nk and really helped me change the way I think about the topic.

    • This is just so not safe for work.

    • So,as a kinky person (although your husband’s kink isn’t my kink) let me just say thank you for not totally freaking out on him when you found the picture. Because that’s usually the fear, when someone finds out our kink. That we’ll be judged as damaged, gross, unsafe people.

      Your husband has an interest in this. It may be permanent or it may be temporary. He may want to share this with you – I’m having trouble with the whole “it was accidentally on his phone” and you “accidentally” found it thing – sometimes this can be a way of opening up the idea to a partner, but maybe not. I know this is a weird, foreign thing to you. Please give your husband the benefit of the doubt and have some conversations with him about it before jumping to conclusions. People run across things, they have a reaction to something and sometimes that reaction surprises even them. This may be something he is full-on into or something he is exploring. You need to be clear about your own boundaries, for sure, but also remember that he is not a different person today than he was yesterday. I’m happy to help if you have any questions I might be able to shed some light on.

    • I mean, it’s a thing, so it’s not just him. Definitely wouldn’t be my thing, but I don’t necessarily think its a reflect on him (or you). It’s just how his brain is wired.

      You might do some reading on arousal nonconcordence ( Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski talks a little about this from the female perspective). And there are things that are really good aids at firing the imagination and getting the engine reving (prepping the soil?) but are things that a person would want in real life. It’s not quite the same a nonconcordence, but the brain is a funny thing so there can definitely be a disconnect between fantasy and reality.

    • This may or may not apply to your husband, but something that is true for me personally is that I feel “safe” with some of my kinks because they are so far from reality that they are completely compartmentalized in my brain as fantasy. I get turned on by some very weird p*rn but part of the reason I like it is that it’s so far from the realm of ever happening in my life – and I wouldn’t want it to. I keep those preferences secret from my partners because I wouldn’t want them to think it’s anything I’m ever interested in acting upon – it all exists solely in make-believe land.

    • I myself have some odd k*nks that I would never want to act out in real life. I think that is true for many people – whether they admit it or not. Lots and lots of people have non-consent fantasies. They would never act on them. Lots of people have v*rgin fantasies involving (post-pubescent) teens but would never lay a hand on a 17-year old. Frankly the only fantasy I would find serious disturbing as indicating something really twisted would be someone fixated on prepubescent children. Vanilla = does not want to act out anything unusual. It does not mean people don’t think about it.

      And your reaction says exactly why your husband, like many people with k*nks, did not talk to you about it. Are you honestly concerned that he would unnecessarily have one of your limbs amputated? While I can 100% understand why you found his tastes weird and a little off-putting – that is a huge leap. That is not a criticism of you as a person, but I suggest doing some research on the topic. Fantasy is not desired reality.

  9. I hate my uterus :

    Has anyone here struggled with adenomysosis? It’s apparently related to endometriosis but contained within the uterus. I’ve been struggling with a fibroid for the last several years only to find through MRI that the primary problem is likely severe adenomyosis. Although I’m in my 40s, I’m very opposed to a hysterectomy. Just looking for others’ stories.

    • Endometriosis :

      Yep, me! I have a “minor” case of adenomyosis which is apparently responsible for midcycle spotting. I’m 32 and very opposed to any surgery, even the laparoscopy for endometriosis investigation/excision. I’m taking progesterone-only bcp to suppress my periods. I have found megadoses of vitamin B6 to very helpful against spotting and super-clots during my period, like 150mg+.

    • Similar struggles. :

      Not this exactly but have a profound issue with fibroids and for years have pushed back hard against a hysterectomy. It is official to get meaningful treatment when that appears to be the only option. So, no stories but I feel your struggle.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks to you both for your replies. It’s so frustrating that hysterectomy seems to be the first solution suggested for so many female issues.

  10. Elegant Giraffe :

    Good morning! I need to buy a birthday gift for a co-worker (it’s like a Secret Santa arrangement). I don’t know her very well. We have a $10 limit though I’m happy to go beyond that. She likes running, is a big basketball fan (NBA I think), is recently divorced, and has three teen children. Any ideas? I thought about getting her a gift card to a running store, but since I doubt $10 can actually buy anything of value for that particular hobby, it seems like a bad gift.

  11. Paging Cotton Sweaters :

    I saw some of 100% cotton sweaters at Frank & Oak this weekend. Will include a link below.

    • Paging Cotton Sweaters :


  12. Paging Cotton Sweaters :


  13. What’s the best printer for a home office? (WFH, rarely print anything). Probably printing 30 pages/month? Would love scan capability and

    • I have a Canon MX890 (about 4.5 years old) that scans and copies and I am very happy with it.

    • Whatever Costco carries.

    • I vote laser instead of ink jet. Inkjet is often recommended for infrequently used home printers because, although the cost of printing each sheet is higher, the initial costs are much lower. Unfortunately, my experience with inkjets is that they never work when you need them to. They’re always out of magenta ink or something (and refuse to print) on April 14 or something.

      • Flats Only :

        We found that if you leave the machine on by accident the inkjet ink will actually dry up pretty quickly due to the warmth generated by the machine itself. So yeah, laser all the way.

        • +1. Laser for infrequent use. I would also look for something with duplex printing, so it prints both sides of a page easily. Mine doesn’t have that and I wish it did. I could do it manually if I really wanted, I just don’t.

          Brothers is usually a manufacturer that has something a decent price.

      • Definitely laser with duplex and scanning capabilities.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Brother laser printer/copy/scanner with duplex function. Love it. My first one melted (user error, not the machine) and I bought the exact same one I liked it so much.

    • I’ve had a brother dcp-7030 (laser/tonor, scans high res/multi page, photocopies) since early 2010 that has gotten A LOT of use. I’ve previously had ink jet–it gets super expensive/time consuming dealing with ink–only useful if you want to do something in colour regularly.

  14. Does anyone have insight on post baccalaureate programs? I’m looking at decently competitive universities, and there doesn’t seem to be much information online about class profiles. It would have been awesome to see some typical stats.

    • Can you be more specific? What kind of graduate programs? And what kind of stats do you want to see?

      • Sure, I’m looking into post baccalaureate programs. They generally come after a bachelor’s degree and before a master’s. People may attend to switch areas of study before pursing more advanced degrees, although other reasons exist. I’m looking to learn more about average age, college gpa, etc.

      • Longer response might be in mod. The program would be called a post baccalaureate. It generally occurs before a master’s and can be used as a means of changing subject areas. I’d be interested to see typical age, gpa, work experience, etc. I’m not sure where to look.

    • I know several people who did them for purposes of applying to med school because they had not done the pre-med requirements in undergrad. The people I know were satisfied and got into decent medical schools, which was the end goal. But they were also all funded by their parents. My (maybe incorrect) impression is that post-bac programs tend to be at expensive private colleges not state universities, so if you’re planning to take on medical school debt and you don’t have someone paying for the post-bac program, it will be a LOT of additional debt.

      • Mary Ann Singleton :

        My local state U has a post-bac program. A friend did it and got into med school. It wasn’t necessarily cheap, but it wasn’t private U tuition.

    • I think there just aren’t many stats because it’s not terribly common or terribly hard to get into. Word of mouth is your best bet if this is for med school or teaching.

      • +1. I took a few courses for free through the postbac program at the highly prestigious liberal arts college where I worked at the time, to help with the transition to grad school in a new field. Where they exist, these programs tend to be small and informal and not to publish stats. The more structured programs likely to publish any stats are for those specifically designed to qualify students for med school or teacher licensure.

    • I think it depends on what your goal is by pursuing one.

    • It really depends on a lot of factors tbh. Are you talking about post-bac med school programs? If not, ignore this entire comment lol. If so, I’d be careful and deeply assess whether its worth it or not. Nearly 1/3 of my friends from undergrad were pre med so i had a lot of insight into that insane process. Out of all of them, only two did a post-bac program. One ended up at the same school she did the post-bac in and didnt get in anywhere else so for her, it was probably necessary. For the other one, she didnt even get into the school she did the post-bac program in but got into a couple of other schools. Its really hard to say if it helped friend number 2 but for friend number 1 it definitely helped.

      Several other friends were shoved the post-bac route down their throats by their advisors but decided to focus on the MCAT and using a year or two to get some research/work experience under their belt to strengthen their applications. It saved them a lot of money in the long run – those programs are expensive and those courses often dont transfer to med school so you have to start med school all over.

      This is a hard decision to make and only you know if its right for you! I’d talk to people at the programs youre looking at for further help deciding.

    • IMHO you’re better off with a masters program. If you’re changing fields and need prereqs, all universities have extensions which let you take those courses. I review a lot of applications and a MS>>post bac which doesn’t result in a degree.

  15. Is this genius speak that I’m not smart enough to understand or a copy/paste error?

  16. Tiny vent about a tiny frustration ;)

    When someone asks you to create a document for them and they act like it’s all casual:

    “Oh, could you put this info together, like you did that chart for the Jones project?”

    “Sure.” …copy and paste Jones with new info, send it back to them…

    “Could you change the title?”

    “Ok, here you go.”

    “Actually, could you remove the column about widgets? And just FYI, Bob did a report for the Smiths that was like this.”

    “Ok, here you go.”

    “Thanks. And actually, can you use the format Bob used for the Smith report?”

    …SMH… “Bob, can I get a copy of the Smith report from you? Thanks.”

    Happy Monday haha! Anyone else go through this regularly? :)

    • Every. Single. Day.
      You have my sympathy.

    • scope creep. I get this a lot but with analyses. “Look how X and Y relate” .. “Now change X and re run against Y and Z” etc… meanwhile I’m updating my code and anyone looking at it would think I’m the worst programmer because it’s so messy but I’m adding conditions on the fly!

    • Linda from HR :

      I hate when I send a document to my boss at, like, 10:30AM, and at 4:30 she’ll send me a list of all the changes she wants me to make. Now, our workday ends at 5, and I’m generally okay staying a bit late as long as I didn’t make any plans for that evening, but it’s irritating knowing that she probably could have requested those changes hours ago.

      And one time I sent her my changes at 4:50PM on a Friday, and left at 5, but she asked for more changes at 5:10 which I didn’t see until Monday. She seemed fine getting the edits that morning, but the manager for the project completely freaked out thinking I’d dropped the ball.

  17. Anon for This :

    Reposting from weekend thread:

    Decided my big goal for 2018 was to find, and use, a great therapist in 2018, to help me deal with career, marriage, family and personal issues (a lot, I know). Looking for recommendations in Twin Cities area – if you can recommend a therapist who is kind, but challenging, please include their details. This is my self-care for 2018, and not a moment too soon.

    I was really stressing over this; checking yelp, wondering who I could trust, and then I thought ” Da**, just ask the hive. These are the strongest most amazing women ever!

    If you would prefer to email me, please send to For888rent at g of the mail dot com.


    • I saw Kate upon a referral from a very dear friend. Kind, compassionate but tough enough to get me going in the direction I needed. She offices in St. Louis Park.


    • Senior Attorney :

      Also, absent any luck with referrals, check out the psychology today website’s therapist finder tool. Both my son and I found amazing therapists in our area there. They have a lot of information and you can sort by various things like “takes insurance” and areas of specialization and so on.

    • same but for NYC?

      • For NYC Anon :

        I really like Kristy LaRocca. Kind and sympathetic, really evocative and penetrating questions, calmly and non judgementally points out inconsistencies and will absolutely take you up on it if you say you want your butt kicked but in a very nice way. I think she’s trying to develop an ethical non-monogamy niche but I started seeing her for run of the mill (Though severe) depression anxiety stuff. She’s also really self actualization focused.Therapist fit is such a blackbox but can’t reccomend her enough.

      • Also for NYC Anon :

        Doris Chang – I worked through personal and work issues with her and made a lot of progress. I believe she is primarily CBT (which I think is a great therapy style for high-achievers because you work toward concrete results). She also does a lot of research regarding the Asian-American community in case that’s relevant.

  18. Also single, mid-thirties, and I’ve been doing the solo travel thing for probably a decade now (yes, some great trips with friends thrown in, but mostly solo). It is nearly impossible to get others to come along, and I think it’s just a factor of people with SOs, kids, etc. so I don’t take it as a personal insult that schedules don’t work out. We don’t know each other, but if we are equally awesome, I’m always looking for someone to plan my next adventure with! While solo travel is great, there are some trips that would be better with a friend (for safety, or simply to have someone to enjoy a meal with).

  19. I’m outside the country and was unable to renew my car’s registration since emissions testing has not yet been done. It’s parked at a relative’s house at the moment, is it worth keeping up with the insurance–I had downgraded to the lower rate since it’s not being driven, or would the insurance have been automatically cancelled too since the registration lapsed?

    • I’m not an expert, but I don’t think the insurance would be automatically cancelled. I think you would have to do that.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I had an issue with my emissions and my car registration was expired for six months, as far as I know it had no impact on the insurance.

    • Have you been paying for insurance?

    • Ask your insurance agent (email works).

      Your question depends on your state and insurance company, I think. Your best bet is, again, email your insurance company, and then have a relative or friend take it for emissions testing.

    • I think you should register it as non-op (Non operational) as long as none of your relatives drive it – and they really have to promise never to drive it. You can re-op it when you’re back in the country.

      Your insurance would then be cheaper, probably only comprehensive coverage, if you buy that. There’s some minimum amount of liability they will charge you for, but it should be a huge savings.

  20. Can someone explain to me why some women like to fixate on what they consider feminist or don’t, or get upset about people who don’t openly identify with the term as much as they do rather than using those efforts to actually support the cause they’re going on about? I fail to see how arguing with other people about who exactly gets to call themselves a feminist is advancing the position of women in this society.

    • Can someone explain to me why some people like to fixate on other people’s choices to the extent of deliberately stirring the pot apropos of nothing rather than getting a better hobby? I fail to see how posting this comment is advancing anything whatsoever.

      • I’m having a debate with a friend about a related issue, and I’m curious about what other people think. Seems reasonable to me.

        • Seems like pot stirring to me. Since you posted it with no context, detail, or ties to a discussion, and are talking about the mythical “some women” instead of actual women and are clearly not just wondering but actually trying to make a point.

          Some women care about what is and isn’t feminist because words have power and meaning, and some women don’t owe you or anyone else never spending any time on anything that doesn’t meet your personal standards of trying hard enough to dismantle the patriarchy.

          • Okay, so expand on your point about “Some women care about what is and isn’t feminist because words have power and meaning.”

            Can you give an example of how you feel like categorizing things as feminist or not has meaningfully impacted something? You might be right, so enlighten me please.

          • Nope. Because I still think you’re just being contrary.

        • It seems like you are having a disagreement and escalating it, maybe? Not really different from any other disagreement. Person A thinks X, person B thinks Y, person A says oh yea well why are you arguing me when you could be doing Y instead, person B says oh yeah well by arguing with me you’re not doing it either, yadda yadda. I doubt either person A or B think they’re actually advancing their points in greater society by arguing about them with each other.

          • Yes exactly. You don’t care what anyone says. You just want to win so bad you’re trying to pick a fight. It’s not interesting. Sorry!

    • Not gonna play the “some women” game. If you have a specific complaint, please share.

    • nasty woman :

      Troll bait/willful pot-stirring. If you actually gave this 2 seconds’ thought you’d be able to answer your own questions. Also I call troll because this issue of “who gets to be a feminist” and “who gets to define it” has been pretty popular among trolls recently.

      • No, actually I can’t answer the question. That’s why I asked it. I’m actually not a troll, and I think these are worthwhile topics to discuss. Or at the very least for someone to explain to me. But if it makes everyone else so uncomfortable, that’s fine too.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s your style of comment, not the topic. It makes you seem hardheaded and argumentative. That might be something worth thinking about.

        • Anonymous :

          We talk about this topic all the time. But I won’t with you because of the way you post.

        • nasty woman :

          No. You could. You’re just not willing to use basic analytical reasoning techniques to do so. First of all, throwing out an extremely broad question like this and asking everyone to do the legwork for you is lame. It’s like saying “Hey, can someone please tell me why women should have equal rights? Not disagreeing– just want you to spell it out for me. TIA!” No.

          Second of all, it simply should be obvious to anyone with basic logical reasoning and critical thinking skills that there may be differences of opinion as to what beliefs embody or promote “feminism.” It is important to discuss what beliefs embody or promote or represent feminism because those beliefs are inexorably intertwined with how we understand the term and know what it means. It’s for the same reason that people debate what beliefs or practices are a part of any major religion. This is as plainly as I can state what really is a simple concept that happens to play out in complex ways.

          I’m bored, so….an easy example is abortion- there are people who claim you can be a pro-life feminist, or that the pro-life position IS feminist, for various reasons. I, and many feminists, do not believe that you can hold a pro-life position and be a feminist and that that position is inherently anti-feminist, because it requires subjugating the rights of a woman to the “rights” of a fetus. If feminism is the position that women deserve equal social, economic, and political rights, then the pro-life position inherently contradicts that and simply cannot constitute feminism. Pro-lifers should not be permitted to undermine the definition of feminism, and should not be allowed to claim the mantel of feminism to promote this belief.

          Sorry you’re butthurt because someone is telling you you’re not a feminist. I bet this person you’re arguing with actually spends a lot of her spare time working to advance feminist causes and you are simply annoying her and wasting her time. If you don’t want to “identify” with the term, let me suggest to you that you are afraid to do so because patriarchy has conditioned you to associate the word with negative attributes and you want to play the cool girl and make sure that men know that you’re, like, not going to nag them or be a shrill b*tch or whatever.

    • What You Sound Like :

      Can someone EXPLAIN to me why people are DIFFERENT from one another and some people have different opinions from ME? And then they think their opinion is RIGHT and they try to convince me that their RIGHT? i fail to see how people disagreeing with MY OPINIONS advances society!

  21. Has anyone had success requesting a certain room at a hotel before checking in? We have been going to a certain resort annually for a couple of years, and I know a certain floor has smaller windows than the other floors, so would rather not have those rooms. It’s a mid-size hotel chain. Should I call/email the hotel itself or their Corporate bookings line? Any other tips? TIA!

    • Call the hotel itself, mention that you’ve been coming there annually for a few years and specify which floors you want to avoid. They should be able to accommodate you – this is a pretty basic and reasonable request (it’s not like you’re asking for the penthouse suite at a regular room price) and hotels should bend over backwards to accommodate guests who stay with them regularly.

    • I would call the hotel directly and have them put a note in your reservation about your preference. They probably won’t be able to promise it to you, but they can certainly note the preference. When you check in, if they didn’t pay attention, ask to be moved right then.

    • My mom does this all the time with her marriott time share and has some success. She wants a high floor and a certain building. I think it actually works about 75% of the time. But, 100% of the time, they are very nice about her asking ((it’s never a “burden” – great customer service) and say that they will do the best they can.

    • Hotel itself, first. If there are no pricing considerations and your ask is reasonable, I don’t see why they wouldn’t accommodate you. I ask for being not near the elevators, not an inter-connected room, etc.

    • I used to work at a hotel and we did our best to accommodate requests like this. Call the front desk.

  22. Interviewed for a job over the New Year’s weekend. I know the person who’d be hiring me, and I know she likes me and thinks favorably of my work. I know she’s extremely busy transitioning into a huge new role, and while hiring her staff is important, hiring my specific role is just one of many items on her huge to do list. I know that there’s another role in her office she has to hire first, and that she hasn’t yet hired that person. I know that there’s one other person she wants me to talk to, and that person has been out on vacation (presumably back today). I know all of these things. But I’m still having so much trouble focusing on my current job while I wait to see what happens with this one!! It would not only be a new job, but it would also entail about a 70% pay increase. So I’m also feeling antsy about that. I love my current job, and wasn’t really looking to move, but then she got this new position, and I would be a good fit for her staff and — now I really want the new job! Just so hard to focus.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow, sounds exciting and distracting!!

      No advice but cheering you on from the sidelines!

    • Anonymous :

      No help, but I’m in the same place. I interviewed for a job late last year, and got a request for references last week. Even though I know it will be weeks before I move (if I even get the job), it’s so hard to motivate myself to do any work!

  23. PSA re professional development :

    The 99U series by Jocelyn Glei are all on super sale at Amazon right now as e-books. “Manage your Day to Day” was game changing, so I’ve happily snagged the other two. Highly recommend.

    • Cool! I’ve never heard of her, but am intrigued for $1.99/book on Kindle. Thanks for the rec!

  24. I work in corporate strategy at a F500. My division went through some internal shake-ups last year and most of us got new titles and salaries. I’ve realized I’m not happy with my title, salary, or the projects I’ve been assigned (there is little potential for upward movement on them); I brought this up with my supervisors and they went to bat for me, but management above them wouldn’t budge. It is unheard of at my company to freeze people out until they quit, so I don’t think that’s what’s happening. I think my division is really struggling to organize itself following last year’s changes.

    I like my company and don’t want to leave. The facts seem to suggest I’m never going to be valued the way I want here. Is there any way this ends with me staying at my company?

    • Yeah sure. By reassessing in 6 months.

    • Are there other strategy groups in the company in better organized divisions that you may want to join? Would you be up for taking a non-strategy role in the company?

      • I’m hoping to stay in strategy. Moving to a different strategy group would involve a big relocation. It would unquestionably be a better career move and there’s no commitments tying me here, but I generally like my city and would prefer to stay if I can. Otoh, I don’t like my city enough to put up with being bored and underpaid. We’ll see….

    • Be optimistic and bide your time, but also throw out some lines in your network. Things will either realign at your current place, or you’ll get a better offer elsewhere while you wait. I give it 50/50 shot in either direction, and there’s no way of knowing now, but you’ll be fine regardless. Expect this process to take 6-12 months.

  25. Anon For This :

    Just venting… my inlaws have been in my house since last Wednesday, watching DS since he’s been off of school for winter break (tomorrow school starts back up and they go home. Yay!!) I’m grateful for the help watching my son, but holy smokes, are they driving me crazy! I work from home, so there’s only so much I can avoid them.

    Example of a “conversation” with MIL.

    MIL (picking up empty box of Mrs. Meyers Dryer Sheets): Do these work?
    Me: Yeah, I guess so.
    MIL: Oh… I don’t use dryer sheets (with a tiny bit of a sneer in her voice)

    Okay… so why on earth did you ask?

    It seems silly when I type that out. But I’m so ready for to them to just go home now. They are so loud! They rarely stop talking, making comments and judgments on Every. Little. Thing! And they leave crumbs and coffee rings on the counters!

    Also, I picked a tough month to not drink. On the plus side, staying sober the rest of the month should be a snap. :)

    • Hugs. You’ll be fine. You know that the people providing the free child care get to leave crumbs and speak out loud. Next time can you not work from home? Use a co working space for a day or two? It’s neber fun just having people there all the time but you’ll be okay.

  26. Sincere Question :

    Would you have any issues using a male cleaning person? We use a service and need to switch the time that our cleaning person comes. They usually send the same person each time. We were told our new person will be a male. Prior to this we’ve only had women. I didn’t think much of it initially, but husband said he’s not sure how he feels about a guy being alone in our house when we’re not home. He seems to think men are more predisposed to bad behavior than women. At first I thought he was joking but now I’m not sure. We’re still going to have this guy come by and see how he does, but just curious if any of you here would feel any hesitation about this. I’ve heard this discussion in the context of male nannies but not cleaning persons.

    • I would have zero qualms about a male cleaning person being in my house while I wasn’t there. I would probably hesitate more about a male nanny, because I believe statistically men are more likely to abuse children than women, but I would hire a male nanny if he was the best person I could find and I was determined to have a nanny (we went the daycare route in large part because I wanted the oversight that state regulation provides and I was more comfortable with my child being in a classroom with many other kids and a couple adults as opposed to alone all day with just one adult).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I might pause for a second but then I would get over it because I don’t discriminate on the basis of sex.

    • I think your husband is having a caveman moment about another male being in his territory. He can feel that way (we’re all driven by our lizard brains on some level) but I wouldn’t let this affect you – the guy is employed by your cleaning service and you should assume that he will act with the same level of professionalism as anyone else they’ve sent.

      If you’re nervous just because it’s a new person and you don’t feel the same level of trust, think about how you’d handle this if it were a female – you could call and ask for more details like how long the person has been employed, or arrange to be home at the beginning or end of the cleaning session.

    • I have a male cleaning person. He’s great.

    • No, not per se. But DH and I wary of anyone being alone in our home so we haven’t yet hired a cleaning service. If we did, one of us would work from home when that person was cleaning. If that person happened to be male, DH would probably be the one to work from home.

    • Your husband is being absolutely ridiculous.

    • It makes me a little uncomfortable to be home alone with a man I don’t know, like a plumber or something, but I wouldn’t not hire a male plumber for that reason. It wouldn’t occur to me to be nervous about a man being alone in my house without anyone there. Would you husband feel the same if the man were a contractor or a plumber? Or does the fact that his man is working in a job that is traditionally coded as female make him more uncomfortable?

    • My dad’s cleaner is a man. Pretty sure he’s never stolen or broken anything, in the 2 years he’s worked for him. My dad would’ve fired him.

    • Wouldn’t have given it a second thought until I read your post. But then again I am always (maybe irrationally) afraid of people putting secret cameras in my house/hotel rooms/bathrooms. My neighbor was arrested for doing this to his female tenants and a restaurant in my town got busted for having cameras in the women’s restroom. I am now leery about that. It wouldn’t stop me from hiring a male cleaning person, but I would want to make sure he had good references.

    • I have a male housecleaner as well and he’s also great.

    • My DH is essentially my male cleaning person, so nope.

    • No, that’s ridiculous.

      Where I live most of the cleaning people/nannies are Filipino and lots of husbands work alongside their wives.

    • Reading “Nickel and Dimed in America” convinced me that cleaning is a better fit for the average man than the average woman. Cleaning all day is pretty heavy labor and the stress injuries the author described her Merry Maid co-workers having were pretty grim.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I had a man cleaning person once. No issues at all, except he was a flake, which I do not attribute to gender.

    • Sincere Question :

      Thanks all. Husband is a prosecutor and I think his views are skewed by his daily experiences dealing with mostly men. He’s basically of the mind that men, particularly younger men, are walking crime scenes waiting to happen. Obviously exaggerating a bit, and he didn’t ask that I cancel the service/revert back to woman we have now at a less convenient time, but I think he just feels more comfortable with the status quo situation. I will wait to meet this guy and see how it goes. Fingers crossed it works out and hubs can grow from the experience!

    • I have a team and it’s male/female. I’m often home but even so, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second.

      Frankly, I trust them so much I’d leave the house with a napping baby in it if they were there (and Ok with it). I’ve never done it but just saying… we’ve used the same people for almost 4 years now. He knows all my kids names and even which toys go in which rooms.

    • Midnightlady :

      Our cleaning service sent us a male after a few years of having female cleaners, to do our offices (so not a home cleaning situation, but wanted to share anyway) – it was just terrible. Unlike his female colleagues, he was not thorough, he was always trying to have a small talk in each office or was on the phone sitting in kitchen; always bragging how he is the best employee and how he cleans some embassy building on the other day – however when confronted and asked for some improvements due to serious lack of attention to detail, he only flipped out – long story short, we had to terminate the contract with the cleaning company as they were not able to send us another person nor do anything about the ineffectiveness of the male cleaner.

      Anyhow, in the OP situation, I would only look at the thoroughness of the cleaning person, not the gender.

  27. You can vent. I had the same last week. SO GLAD that winter break is over and we can resume our normal schedules.

  28. Flushed. So flushed. Is it the cold weather? The drones? The one glass of wine I had last night? I’m pale and I’ve always blushed easily but this is constant, my cheeks feel hot, and I’m already using anti redness lotion.

    • Dry winter weather always irritates my skin.

    • Are you getting sick? Have you been moving around a lot this morning?

      I mean sometime I have an ear that just gets bright red (and warm to the touch). I don’t notice it myself, but have had people point it out to me.

      • Yessssss the one hot ear thing?!?! What is that??? I don’t have it today but it happens from time to time.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Thirding the hot ear thing – I think it’s fairly common, since there’s a superstition that it happens when someone’s talking about you.

  29. Question regarding salaries.

    My manager accidentally sent me a bonus spreadsheet of a fellow manager. Based on the information contained in the spreadsheet I know approximately how much money he makes. I currently make $92,000 while he makes between 107,500 and 112,500. He and I are at the exact same level but he has about 10 – 12 years experience on me. Neither of us have advanced degrees or additional certifications. I was promoted to my current position and he was hired for it. Due to the disparity in our experience, I think the salary difference makes sense. However, I have been much more successful in our role and made “extra” contributions to the departments while he seems to be barely meeting expectations.

    Is there anyway that I can use this information in negotiating a raise for 2018? We typically have these conversations in January/February.

    • No. And for 10 years experience difference that’s pretty close. Make your case about you not a comparison.

      • +1

      • +1 yes this is a very solid answer. Bigger question is do you bring this up that this error was sent to you? or do you just keep quiet?

        • I mentioned that it looks like she sent me Manager A’s on accident. Can you please send me employee B’s? (I receive this information for all my team members).

          She didn’t seem flustered or apologetic about it. I think she assumed I don’t understand our cryptic number/letter system but I do have it documented from HR.

      • +1. If anything you are doing well, given that he has 10 years’ experience on you.

      • Thank you so much! Needed a gut check. I appreciate the responses.

  30. Whole pain in the butt :

    Started a second Whole 30 this month and finding it SO much harder than the first time. The things that were staples for me last time (eggs, tuna) make me gag this time. The things I craved last time (sugar sugar sugar) aren’t bothering me so much, but I am weakened at the thought of a slice of even the blandest whole grain bread. And, I am already so sick of preparing every. single. meal.

    Last year this was a new adventure. This time, I’m feeling like I want January to be full of hygge since we’re stuck at home for most of it, which to me means pasta, bread, wine, and popcorn. But, I also desperately need to lose some belly weight and have already seen the scale go down by 4 pounds. (Last year I had lost 4 pounds by the end of the month. And yes, I know weighing yourself is supposed to be off limits but I do it every day so, not stopping.)

    Looking for words of encouragement/experience from other Whole 30 vets.

    God, I want a cookie so bad.

    • I think the thing to remember is that you chose this. There are other ways to lose weight. Ways that let you eat a cookie or beans or yogurt or wine. You wanted this restrictive limiting one.

      • Whole pain in the butt :

        These do not appear to be words of encouragement or experience. Please see above.

        • Anonymous :

          Cry me a river princess. Whole30 is all about tough love. Literally they tell you not to say it’s hard because cancer isn’t hard. You want to put yourself through this you really gotta own the want. Remind yourself this is your choice just for you. It was encouraging sorry it wasn’t dressed up in rainbows.

      • +1
        I gained weight on an overly restrictive diet because I craved certain things so badly by the end I was eating crazy quantities of the “allowed” foods. It’s good to break bad habits and it does take a while to reset your taste preferences, but if you’ve done it before you know what’s healthy and what’s not, so maybe smaller changes would be easier.

    • Senior Attorney :

      So funny — I’m having the opposite experience. Last year was hard and this year is way easier because I know how to do it! (I also weigh every day because how can you not??)

      It won’t help with the preparation but if the planning is bugging you , both Sun Basket and Blue Apron have Whole30 compliant options (Blue Apron only has two per week but I learned on here that you can order just two meals from them). Sun Basket has a whole bunch and you can get up to four per week.

      The thing that saves me is potatoes. I made this last night and it was a huge hit: https://therealfoodrds.com/crispy-garlic-ranch-roasted-potatoes/

      • You can eat potatoes but not beans???

        • Whole 30 says no beans or legumes. This is one reason I won’t even consider trying it. Any diet that doesn’t let me eat peanut butter is unacceptable.

          • …isn’t peanut butter way healthier and better for weight loss than potatoes? I’ve actually heard that one of the best ways to eliminate belly fat is to avoid just potatoes (and still eat pretty much everything else). This diet makes NO sense to me.

          • The best way to avoid “belly fat” is to have good genetics. Maybe people are confusing bloat with belly fat. In that case, yes, avoid the foods that make you bloat.

          • Senior Attorney :

            So it’s good you’re not doing it, then! :)

        • Senior Attorney :


          Nobody said it was logical.

      • Whole pain in the butt :

        OMG yes, potatoes. If it wasn’t for potatoes I would be curled in the fetal position.

    • What if you did something less restrictive, like IIFYM?

      • Whole pain in the butt :

        My primary goal is not to lose weight. It’s to detox from sugar (I find myself eating cookies as meals by the end of the holidays) and to re-set from dairy. I’m lactose intolerant and while I carry boxes of lactaid with me wherever I go, I know that if my body doesn’t like it I probably shouldn’t eat it. And, I like the idea of Whole 30 because, like it or not, it does create good habits like pre-planning, label reading, and making recipes from real ingredients. I also like that it requires me to develop some discipline around food (I generally eat whatever I want even though I am a bit overweight).

        I’ve thought about cutting it short (we already are for a weekend trip on 1/26), or adding back in some grains but I’m just not that kind of girl. If I am going to do something I do it all the way (or in this case at least 86.6% of the way) even if it sucks a little bit (I mean really, it’s one month and I’m just whining).

        The weight loss provides a bit of motivation, but really I’m just looking for encouragement.

        • I did a W27 and didn’t like it. Too much dairy makes my skin break out and too much booze and sugar makes my waist disappear. I already knew that going in and I didn’t have any other food sensitivities. Yes, it was good to cut out the booze and sugar, but it made me hate cooking (one of my favorite activities). By the end, I was developing some weird anxiety around food. You can still read ingredients, focus on non-processed foods, and meal plan without it. So if this isn’t working for you, I give you permission to stop it. Focus on the things you’ve identified as issues and cut those out of your diet. Remove the dairy and cookies from the house. Automate breakfast and lunch. Make one of your daily meals a salad. Drink all the sparkling water. Sub kombucha in for weeknight wine. Those are the resets I am doing right now and they feel a lot better than freaking out over beans.

          • This is brilliant. And spot on. I bought expensive coffee for a new French press that I bought for work, bought some expensive tea for night time and just walked to get a case of La Croix for my office fridge. I am definitely going to try the Kombucha as a replacement for wine. I absolutely need to cut the wine out.

          • Whole pain in the butt :

            This is both brilliant and spot on, and I love your permission. I may exercise that.

        • Anonymous :

          There is a 21 day sugar detox diet by someone else, if sugar is your main concern. You still get to read labels because there is so much sugar in everything!!

    • I’m on an Elimination Diet and the lack of coffee (and weirdly eggs) is really starting to get to me. I am just literally counting down every day and hope that this works to show what my body is not processing well so I can optimize my diet from here on out and not have to be so restricted.

      At least you’re losing weight so far? I am not…

      • Whole pain in the butt :

        What are you eliminating? Are you trying to ID food sensitivities?

        • Yes, basically, coffee, sugar, potatoes, wheat, dairy, eggs, nightshades (I never realized how much I liked tomatoes and peppers until last week), alcohol, also gum and mints.

          It’s supposed to help determine food sensitivities but so far, it’s only determined that I am cranky without coffee and I don’t know what to eat for breakfast.

          And also I currently have a lack of a social life because I don’t trust myself around temptation.

      • 4 pounds in 8 days is definitely some or mostly water weight, so don’t get too discouraged yourself!

      • Good luck! When I did an elimination diet the first 12 days were hell until my system had processed out the allergens and the inflammatory response died down. You can do it and it will be worthwhile in the end!

    • This might not necessarily be an option for you, but after doing the “pure” Whole30 once, I’ve done a modified version ever since. Since the original purpose of the Whole30 is to eliminate all “problem” foods that tend to cause bad reactions, I’m a little less strict with myself on foods I 100% know don’t cause me a problem. For example, I don’t cut out peanut butter (but still go for a sugar-free version) or whole grains (brown rice, quinoa), which I don’t know don’t bother me. It makes it a lot more tolerable, while still targeting processed and sugary foods that tend to cause weight gain and make me feel icky. Might be worth giving yourself a tiny break if it will allow you to stick to the rest of the program better.

      • Whole pain in the butt :

        I think this may be the direction we are heading in. I don’t eat much processed food as it is, and typically read labels for sugar (although I admit we found some sneaky ones in there when we cleaned out the pantry). But cashew butter is the work of Satan and we don’t have issues with beans so I can see adding that back in without issue.

      • Whole30 graduate :

        +1 This makes all kinds of sense to me, and is also what I do now.

    • Whole30 vet here. I found the second time around harder, too! But it is so, so worth it — for me it was not only about dropping weight, but feeling so much better (better mood, more energy, just…everything). It’s hard but doable. You’ve got this!

    • Anonymous :

      If you want something cozy, maybe make a chili or stew? You may be able to replace some of the bean/grain aspect with quinoa, since it’s a seed instead of a grain. Also, I know you’re not supposed to eat beans or lentils or whatever, but maybe it would make more sense to just eat them in healthy ways? Then you could do a nice veggie-heavy lentil pasta to satisfy your craving and still feel good about what you eat. There doesn’t seem to be a point in following all the rules if they’re not fitting your needs. If your goal is to avoid processed sugars/refined carbs, then you can avoid those things while still eating in a healthful manner and losing weight and quasi-following the diet.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I made this chili the other night and it was delish: https://sunbasket.com/recipe/chipotle-turkey-chili-with-cucumber-sumac-salad

    • Whole30 2, too :

      I’m in the middle of my second Whole30 as well, and it has definitely presented different challenges. Here’s a delicious, fast, and easy recipe that I’ve really been enjoying for my weekday lunches this round: https://physicalkitchness.com/20-minute-whole30-orange-chicken/ good luck!

  31. Seeking help with Communication :

    I think folks had listed out communication books here before… I’m realizing it’s a weakness and hurdle of mine (shutting down in the face of conflict; avoiding extra communication because it’s a nuisance) which is leading to misunderstandings and other problems.

    Have you read a communications book that you found helpful? Any recommended resources welcome.


  32. Vacation inspiration? 10 Days, from NYC, June July or August. No budget limitations but won’t be a super high end luxury trip. Two women in our 30s.

    • Raccoon Eyes :


      • +1 that’s what I was going to say too. Italy would also be great if you go in June. I don’t like most of the traditional European vacation spots in July/August (especially August because Europeans all take their vacation then).

      • BabyAssociate :

        +1 rent a car and drive the ring road!

    • Alaska. See the glaciers before they all melt.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Or Glacier National Park or Canadian Rockies. I haven’t been, but it seems like half my friends went last year and all their pictures were amazing.

      • yes! the Kenai Peninsula is amazing in June and July. My favorite vacation ever. We flew into anchorage and did a road trip, not a cruise.

    • Never too many shoes... :


  33. Summer Associate Ideas :

    Helping plan the summer itinerary for my office’s summer program. Midsize in comparison to bigger markets, but secondary market “biglaw” in the Southeast. Firm culture values family, hobbies, having fun, and emphasizes fit. A lot more “all summers (and significant others)” events than individual/leave the credit card down for them events, though we do a few. We will have anywhere from 20 to 30 summers.

    What are some fun things your summer program does that we might be able to replicate?

    • Cooking class, wine tasting, group tour or performance at a non-profit that’s a pro bono client (like a museum or performing arts org), boat outing, softball game…

    • Just don’t plan any pool/beach parties.

    • Big hits with my summers: board game parties, escape rooms, any sort of tasting event either at a venue or a partner’s house (we typically do a beer and grilled cheese, wine tasting, and candy tasting in case we have folks who can’t drink), outdoor movie nights/concerts/theater events, hikes and picnics, and high tea. We also do a retreat with typical “get to know you” things like improv games and “firm jeopardy” (everyone submits a childhood photo or piece of trivia and folks have to guess who it is) that you could make separate events. Some of these might not scale for large groups, but most should work if you get RSVP’s ahead of time (for example, if you have a group of 24 that’s just 3 8-person escape rooms, and then everyone can go for drinks after).

    • Anonattorney :

      Two pieces of advice:
      – For activities: fishing classes; baseball game; rafting trip; wine tasting class; cooking class; food festival; beer cycle (if your city has it); escape room
      – Generally: don’t be on the planning committee for longer than a year. This job sucks and is a huge time sink. You will have to wrangle people to go (partners, current associates) and you won’t get anywhere near the amount of credit you deserve for the time you put in.

      • No fishing classes! Ugh.

        Signed, your vegetarian friend and colleague

        • I like fishing, but I’m having a hard time understanding how fishing classes would be fun for a wide cross-section of people. Seems…specific.

      • I’d stay away from wine tastings and beer cycle, in order to avoid making summers who don’t drink feel uncomfortable. Happy hours, etc., should be fine because they can get a soda or something, but events that are purely about alcohol should be a no-go.

    • Anonymous :

      Nothing requiring anyone to wear a bathing suit. Nothing requiring anyone to bring a date — can be awkward when you’re single and there’s some formal event where everyone will necessarily bring a spouse; no problem to invite dates/spouses to casual events bc some will come and some won’t so you won’t have 1 person alone all night plus you aren’t seated all night. My firm wastes top dollar on the summer program in nyc – I think every year though the (relatively) cheap bowling event is the best – it’s casual and fun.

    • Anonymous :

      Nothing involving playing a sport or wearing a bathing suit.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Shakespeare in the park or the like – that was my favorite. (Or, in some cities, organizations like Backroom Shakespeare Project do plays in bars.)

    • Team scavenger hunt?

    • Frozen Peach :

      Just please, no salsa dancing lessons. Especially not if only the summers participate and the whole recruiting committee watches and laughs.

    • My last firm did a cooking class that was really fun. They also did putt-putt once, which was fun–they rented out the whole place (2 courses), and our putt-putt place serves food and beer.

    • Anonymous :

      Not sure about your summer weather, but hiking, bird watching, and fly fishing classes have all been fun.

  34. Sloan Sabbith :

    Does anyone have any book recommendations for how to best manage people? Specifically in non-profit or government if there’s anything specific.

    Also, does anyone have any favorite social studies/leadership development/project management courses on Coursera (or another MOOC site?)? I tried to take one from edX and the lectures were so bad I quit.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my list thanks to a rec from a colleague: Multipliers by Wiseman. My colleague was introduced to it at a conference specific to non-profit.

    • Raccoon Eyes :

      I’d Rather Be In Charge by Charlotte Beers. Though it is from a private sector perspective, I fount it helpful for my government job.

      Also, subscribe to Harvard Business Review – they always have great advice on this topic.

    • Anonymous :

      The One Minute Manager book is a little old, but it’s a quick read and very helpful.

    • Winning by Jack Welch is excellent and has great advice on managing people.

    • Anonymous :

      Managing to Change the World by Alison Green (author of Ask A Manager). Not that I’ve read it, but she gives pretty good advice on her blog.

    • Managing to Change the World by Alison Green (author of Ask A Manager). Not that I’ve read it, but she gives pretty good advice on her blog.

      • Check out Manager Tools podcasts. About 25 minutes or so long, they are bite size lessons on every topic for managing people. Fantastic.

  35. Bad boots? :

    My new Anne Klein ankle boots have started making a popping noise with every step. I don’t see any clear cause of the noise—nothing loose or flapping. Does anyone have an idea what might be producing this effect?

  36. Anonymous :

    Speaking of solo travel, I’m early 30s, newly single, fairly experienced with international travel (never solo), and bilingual (fluent in Spanish). I’ve been ordered to use or lose 2 weeks vacation time. Where should I go on a solo trip? I did Iceland this year. Flying from the East Coast. Not TTC/don’t care about zika. Do care about safety as a first solo trip.

    I should note, I’ve traveled extensively for work solo, but I see that as different as I don’t really venture out beyond my hotel/conference center.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve posted about this before here, but I really enjoyed Nicaragua as a solo female budget traveler, and I don’t even speak spanish. I spent about 2 weeks and it was perfect. I regret not getting to Ometepe, but I loved the Corn Islands, got my scuba certification, went volcano boarding, did a rain forest hike, etc.

    • Flats Only :

      How about Peru? Your Spanish would make it easy, and you could really see a lot in 2 weeks, plus you’ll have minimal jet lag. Stick with a tour (either group or private) so that the details are taken care of and you’re not walking out of bus stations at 2:00 AM looking for a hotel, and I think you’ll be quite safe.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I’m a broken record on this, but consider Rancho la Puerta in Mexico.

    • Go to Cartagena! Super short flight (generally) from the U.S., people are super friendly, very tourist-friendly location (and safe). The food is fantastic and you will absolutely love it.

      Other parts of Colombia are fantastic as well, like Santa Marta, Medellin, and Cali.

      • I was just looking last night at Cartagena for a spring break vacation. Any recommendations for what areas to look for a hotel or AirBnB? We want to be walkable to a nice beach (and will have 2 kids with us), but are otherwise generally open.

        • Cartagena isn’t really a beach destination (it’s a harbor city, not a beachfront city). You can get to some beaches from Cartagena, but if beach is your priority I’d go elsewhere.

    • Anonymous :

      I loved Chile and Argentina (Buenos Aires) as a Spanish-speaking solo traveler and felt 100% safe in both.

    • I’m also fluent in Spanish and have traveled solo extensively in Latin America (and lived there for two years). Some thoughts:

      -I did an awesome trip to Argentina where I stayed on a polo ranch for a few days. I was only there a week, so other than the polo place, I spent a few days in BA and did a 2-day trip to Iguazu. With two weeks, you could do so much more – it’s an amazing country. It was very safe other than normal big-city issues.

      -I find Costa Rica to be fairly over-touristed; you can have a very nice experience there but it feels like it’s harder to experience normal CR culture than in some other countries.

      -Went to Cartagena alone for a long weekend and loved it. It felt very safe (and that was a much less safe time in Colombia). I would LOVE to go back to Colombia.

      -If you like the outdoors, I spent an amazing long vacation hiking in Chilean Patagonia. I was solo for that trip and it was easy to join groups/fall in with solo travelers. Very, very safe, again.

      -I’ve had a good time in Brazil but wasn’t solo there and wouldn’t do it solo. Peru is fantastic; I wasn’t solo there either and at least when I was there, it was a bit less safe and I wouldn’t have wanted to do most of the stuff I did alone.

      All of that being said, you might want to consider Panama. Panama is extremely safe and has fascinating history and amazing outdoor experiences; it’s also a country where your experience is immeasurably richer if you’re a Spanish-speaker. That’s where I lived, and if you’re interested, feel free to email me at my name at the mail of google and I can send you my Panama greatest-hits list.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to Peru. If you travel frequently, you’ll have status and can get some amazing upgrades in Cuzco if your hotel chain has a hotel there. Plus, it’s pretty darn different than traveling for work. You should be able to drop into a hiking group pretty easily if you want to do the Inca trail or whatever.

      • Anonymous :

        Counterpoint in case you are still reading: I have traveled solo to >20 countries and one of the only places I felt uncomfortable was Lima. I have fair skin and blonde hair so I stuck out but I was followed by guys many times while I was just walking around and I found it really creepy. No similar issues in Cusco as there are so many tourists!

    • I second all of the recommendations for South America — I’ve only traveled solo in Argentina, but I’m not Spanish-speaking at all and I felt completely safe there. Peru is also amazing, although I went there with Spanish-speaking male friends and I’m not sure I would have felt safe traveling in parts of the country alone (maybe different for you, though, given your language skills?). Same with Brazil.

      If you’re looking for other, farther-flung ideas, given that you have two whole weeks (a decent-sized chunk for someone based in the U.S.!), I highly recommend New Zealand or Bali, particularly if you like outdoor activities. I’ve traveled solo in both places (I’m also early-30s and single) and had an amazing time in both. There are hop-on/hop-off buses in New Zealand that stop at all of the major national parks, cities, and towns, and I made some amazing friends traveling alone there (I took the Stray bus, FWIW). NZ doesn’t have as much “culture” as other countries if you’re coming from the U.S. but it is SO GORGEOUS. Before I went I was worried that friends had overhyped just how beautiful it was, but once there I went hiking every day, fell asleep under the stars at night, spent days at a time completely “off the grid,” and I don’t think I’ve ever had a happier vacation in my life. Bali is far more touristy than NZ, but is also beautiful (and, of course, MUCH cheaper). I didn’t meet that many people there — it’s so inexpensive and hotels/resorts are so overbuilt that even broke backpackers seemed to stay in hotels instead of hostels — but if you’re looking for great food, temples, volcanos, and some time to yourself, it’s fantastic.

      If you want tips about these places, or want to talk about solo travel generally (I love traveling and decided not to wait around for a partner or a friend who could join me before going on my dream vacations!), leave an email address and I’ll reach out!

    • New Zealand!! Two weeks is just barely enough time to see both islands. I also really loved Croatia–I had 8 days, so I stuck to the coast, but with two weeks you could go to the mountains as well. Both countries are gorgeous and have great hiking.

  37. I’m kind of style-illiterate, so I’d like opinions on this coat: https://mmlafleur.com/shop/bianca-boucle-toffee

    Is this like a trendy thing that will be weird to wear in a few years? Is it old-lady looking (my husband’s comment)? I think I’m looking for something that looks nice and that I can wear for a long time/won’t go out of style in the next 5 years. Also I’m in my late 20s, so nothing that reads a little older.

    • It looks very Kate Middleton to me. There’s a ladylike quality to it that’s very attractive if that’s your style.

    • Anonymous :

      I like it and don’t think it is matronly in the photos. I find that collarless coats don’t really work on me, but they work on other people – it’s a thing you need to try on to see.

      • I love collarless coats and have two- I am a tiny person overall and find that collarless coats look sleeker on me as opposed to having a collar taking over limited space.

    • Anonymous :

      I dont think it looks worth the price. That color also does nothing for me though, so ymmv. I dont dislike the coat though, just wouldnt be my choice for the $$

    • Anonymous :

      Oh my gosh, I think it’s absolutely gorgeous but it does read older to me.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m 25 and I think it’s gorgeous.

    • I have a wool boucle coat and I love it. I don’t think I am un-trendy. Mine is black.

    • Metallica :

      Pretty pretty pretty! I like it. Does not read as older.

    • If you have a large chest, the collar may push up to look like it’s suffocating you. Otherwise, the coat is beautiful and totally classic.

      • nerfmobile :

        I agree. It’s very classic, both in color and style. 100% wool, lined, should be warm and last well if you keep it protected from moths. Worth the investment I think.

  38. Anonymous :

    I’m expecting a baby in a month or so and we’re not sure what to do about our dog when I go into labor. My mom is going to come in as soon as we tell her I’m in labor, but it may take her up to 24 hours to get here, which is obviously too long to leave the dog alone for. We’re fairly new in town and don’t really have friends or neighbors we could ask. Some of our colleagues have been to our home and met our dog, but none of them are dog people and we feel like it would be inappropriate to ask them to come take care of the dog. We have a few different dog sitters we’ve used when we travel, but without paying one of them to be “on call” (if this is is even something they’d agree to) we won’t know if they’ll be available then. The hospital is pretty close to home, so my husband thinks he can just run home every ~8 hours to feed and walk the dog, but that doesn’t seem like a great plan to me — even if he’s only gone for less than an hour at a time, it would be really scary if they decide I need an emergency c-section during that hour and he’s not there so I’m all alone while I’m being operated on. Any ideas? Asking a dog sitter we’ve used before to be on call seems to be the best plan, but I’m not sure how to go about addressing that or how much money is appropriate to offer.

    • Anonymous :

      Why will it take so long for your mom to get there? If she can’t be there any quicker, find a doggy hotel where you can board your dog for the week before and after your due date.

      Don’t leave your dog alone in the house for 8 hours at a time, that’s cruel.

    • We just sent our pet sitter a text the morning I went into labor and asked her to care for our animals. She charged more because it was last minute, but not prohibitively more. We did not ask her to be on call.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a DOG. Not a child. It can be alone for 8 hours – though in no event should your husband leave you until you’ve had the baby. It can also be alone for 24 hours until your mom arrives. Just leave it outside so you won’t have to clean up after it inside upon returning. It’ll survive.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you insane? A dog can not be left alone for 24 hours and certainly not outside in this cold weather much of the country has been having.

      • While a dog can be unattended for extended periods of time, you should NOT leave a dog for 24 hours outside. You don’t know the weather–whether it’ll change radically or whether her yard is appropriate for this.

        I would board my dog. I’d coordinate for your regular dog sitter to come pick up and drop off your dog at boarding. All of you will be much happier (and safer) that way.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re insane.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t you guys work? Isn’t the dog used to 8+ hours/day alone?

    • Anon in NYC :

      You’re right that the dog sitters will be your best option. Ask them if they would be willing to take care of your dog at the last minute, and possibly for an overnight or two. Ask them if they would be willing to keep your dog at their house, if it comes to that. And just ask them how much they would charge for it (let them set the price).

    • Call your vet’s office and ask if any of their techs do pet sitting on the side. We have a wonderful pet sitter that we found that way.

    • IME dog walkers understand about emergencies. I’ve had to contact mine and tell her (for example) that my flight home from a day trip for work was canceled and I’m stuck out of town and could she please run over and take my dog out? I would call the ones you use and explain that you’ll need someone while in labor but obviously can’t be specific as to date and ask if they will be OK with that. I bet they will.

    • Talk to your neighbors/friends/colleagues. Someone will be able to step up and let the dog out a couple of times. People are genuinely willing to help in emergencies and one-off events like labor. Call your dog sitter and see if they can help. Let the dog out and feed it a little bit before you go to the hospital, even if it’s the middle of the night. Most adult dogs can last closer to 12 hours without issues (put them on a hard surface if you are worried about accidents).
      Also, my husband slept at home both nights when I was at the hospital because of our dogs. I didn’t have a C-section so I really didn’t need him to help and preferred at least one of us got some sleep.

    • Voice of dissent here – we had this exact situation and my husband went home to let the dogs out and came back a little while later. It’s about your own comfort level. If you aren’t comfortable w/ him leaving, that’s absolutely your decision, but it isn’t insane to say he can go do that and run back. (That said, I had a c-section so he stayed for about 5 hours after the baby was born and left while both the baby and I were in and out – he didn’t risk missing the birth.)

      • This. you can take the dog for a “last pee” before you head to the hospital. You can text the dog walker and see if they’re available over the next 10 hours. It doesn’t need to be exactly 10 hours after you leave- 4 or 6 or 10 will be fine. If things are slow, DH can go home for 30 minutes. If labor is quick, he can go home when it’s over.

    • We’re in a similar situation (although March due date). I have two possible boarding options in mind (two in case one books up.) I hope we’ll be able to drop Snickers off before we go to the hospital ourselves. This won’t be possible, if, for example, something dramatic happens and we leave for the hospital at 3am. Our plan in that case is to text a local colleague who has our house key (lent to her for this purpose) and ask her to take the dog to the boarding facility for us in the morning. Dog will be ok over night alone, and, truthfully, since this is our first kid, we really don’t know how labor is going to go and how comfortable DH will be leaving the scene.

    • Order a combo lock key holder now and put house key in it, leave in place accessible from outside. Have husband find someone on Rover dot com as you are getting checked into hospital. Read sitter reviews. You may pay more than usual but TRUST me it is so worth it. Our normal rate is about 30-40 a night, we paid 55 for a last minute occurrence.

      Also – my husband took care of dog while I was giving birth and that prevented him from taking care of me. Get the sitter so he has no obligations except you and baby. You may have mascot’s experience or you may need more help, it’s good to have options open.

  39. Anonymous :

    It occurs to me I could never do a trendy restrictive diet like Whole 30 or whatever because they all seem to heavily feature beans, eggs, and avocados.

    And I hate beans, eggs, and avocados.

  40. CarConundrum :

    Very privileged problem here. My boyfriend and I are looking to buy a house together in the next 6-12 months. I make about $50k a year, no loans. I don’t have a car. I live fairly far from the city center and use public transportation to get to work, and a combo of public transportation/Uber for everything else. I’m really getting fed up with this, as our public transportation is very unreliable (got yelled at by a judge this morning because the train made me late), and not very convenient (15 minute to/from train station, another 10 from the train station to work).

    I am interested in leasing a car. However, I am concerned that this will negatively affect a mortgage rate. My mother has offered to buy me a car. She is well-off and can easily afford it, and it seems like she wants to buy me a car. I am 28 and feel like I’m too old for Mommy to buy me a car, and I would prefer being fully independent. But I also really want a car. What would you do?

    Again, I know this is totally a privileged problem and it’s for that reason I’m turning to an anonymous online board as opposed to my real-life friends.

    • Flats Only :

      You need a car! Can your mom gift you an amount to help with a down payment and whatever fees it will take to drive to car off the lot, and you can own it and make the payments? If you only borrow a reasonable amount (I’m thinking $10K, not $35K) and make the payments on time it should not have a huge impact on your credit, just cut down your “available” credit a bit.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hi, I’m your mom. I want to buy you a a car. Please make me happy and accept.

      And if I were you I would take it. Hell, I accepted a monetary gift towards a car from my parents when I was in my 40s! As long as you are truly not dependent on her, let her buy the car.

      Also? If you have good credit having a car lease shouldn’t affect your mortgage rate. Talk to your lender and see you at least you can make your decision based on actual information.

    • Yep, I’m your mum too
      We are buying our 23 yr old daughter a car next year, we can afford it, it gives her a leg up in the work world

      Take it, say a huge thank you, treat it properly and buy your house :)

    • Lyra Silvertongue :

      Regardless of your credit, you are correct that monthly debt obligations affect the terms of your mortgage. Let your mum buy you the car and be graciously grateful :)

  41. https://www.chadwicks.com/product/crepe-sheath.do?gclid=Cj0KCQiA7dHSBRDEARIsAJhAHwjZBAgHn8u4PpMa1MxWRD0U-ynmK4lADAW-NUJQTQG9DpYQTKijYHEaAhxcEALw_wcB

    Has anyone purchased clothing from Chadwick’s recently (or ever)? I was Googling to find another less expensive dress along the lines of the featured one, and I found this style there (obviously a somewhat different color and cut but close enough for me). I have no experience with Chadwick’s (other than vaguely recalling that my grandma used to get their catalogues) and I’m afraid this dress would be a case of “you get what you pay for,” and not in a good way.

  42. If anyone is looking for online shopping for stylish clothes, then I cannot say enough about how much FUN it is to shop with apparel website ObeyClothing.com. They have a marvelous sense of style and a great eye for color, texture and patterns.

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