Coffee Break: On My Corner Saffiano Bag

Wear it to Work: Calvin Klein On My Corner Saffiano Bag | CorporetteIf you’re on the hunt for a sophisticated, feminine bag — that won’t break the bank — do consider this lovely one from Calvin Klein. It comes in a million different iterations — crossbody! tote! backpack! minitote! — but my favorite is this top-zip style with rounded corners. The pictured bag is $228 full price at Zappos; Amazon has iterations from $65- $402, 6PM, Zappos, and Macy’s also various iterations. Calvin Klein On My Corner Saffiano Top-Zip Bag

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  1. Anonymous :

    PSA: I ordered the Merona ponte blazer mentioned this morning and noticed Target now has free shipping with a minimum $25 purchase for their RedCard holders (down from $50). A nice surprise, especially with Amazon and many other retailers upping their free shipping minimums.

    • Anonymous :

      This is trading down — shipping used to be free with a Red Card.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re right. Sorry, I misstated it – it’s still no minimum with the RedCard. But it’s down from $50 to $25 for everyone else (although apparently the change happened a couple of years ago, not that recently).

    • I think RedCard shipping is always free, and everyone gets free shipping at $25

    • anon a mouse :

      I couldn’t find the blazer for $9. Can someone post a link (or is it not on sale anymore?).

      • Anonymous :

        It was only the white that was $9 and it looks like it’s gone now. The black and gray versions are $30 but still available.

      • Anonymous :

        I replied with a link and got sent to m o d e r ation. Only the white color was $9 and it looks like it’s sold out now. There are black and gray versions but they are $30.

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          I purchased the black and grey the day the link was first posted and they were 9 bucks each. Must have gone back up in price subsequently. Also, there’s a white version?!

        • Anonymous :

          the black and grey are a different blazer – they have a lapel whereas the $9 one didnt have one – that being said – i own the black and its actually pretty delightful for the price – no lining and you have to remove the shoulder pads, but i was happy with the find

          i hear the white is totally transparent

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I love this blazer- I have it in grey and am wearing it today.

  2. Diana Barry :

    Ladies – hotel recs for NYC, somewhat near 51st and Madison? This is for my law school reunion. Could also use recommendations for early drinks/dinner in Midtown on a Friday (seeing a show after).

    • I’ve stayed at the Lexington, 48th & Lex (a few blocks from where you are). The rooms are tiny but the bar is nice for chatting.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve stayed at the Lexington a few times also – both with family and for business. It’s a Marriott property in a convenient location with a reasonable price.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The Refinery at 38th and 6th is not too far and it is a wonderful little boutique hotel. They also have an excellent restaurant and a rooftop bar.

    • The Sheraton New York/Times Square at 7 and West 52nd and the Hilton Midtown at 6 and West 53rd both are perfectly fine are very convenient, although I prefer the Westin New York at West 43rd and 8th.

      For early dinner, I like Marea at CPS and Columbus Circle. There usually is plenty of space in the bar.

    • Why not stay at the PALACE? It is at 51st and Madison, right behind St Patrick’s? There is a great steak place there you can eat also. Where did you go to Law School? The Palace is a good place to stay, b/c you could visit St Pats if you get religious. YAY!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      There’s an Omni at 52nd/Madison or you could stay at the Lotte Palace at 50th/Madison

      second Marea for early dinner/drinks pre show.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 on the Omni, which is our usual spot.

        For drinks and dinner before (or after!) a show, I love Toloache on 50th. Lobster tacos are amazing.

  3. I realized I need therapy and will be following-up accordingly, but wanted to hear some personal experiences. I’m struggling with some serious anger issues. I don’t hurt or hit anyone, but occasionally slam/kick a door or throw a water bottle (or something else that happens to be in my hand) to release my anger. It scares me that I get this angry.

    I exercise vigorously (think endurance, waking up at the crack of dawn to powerlift, etc.) and eat well. I get sufficient sleep and my relationships and job are all going well. However, anytime any little thing happens (SO forgot to buy something from the store for the tenth time, didn’t put clothes up, dog won’t lay down . . . ), I have an irrationally angry response.

    I want to change this. Primarily because my SO is a saint and while he doesn’t complain and takes apologies so well, he deserves better. I don’t think I realized I had “anger issues” until we had an argument and I threw a water bottle on the floor (while he was outside with the dog) and realized how stupid I was being.

    My mother is an incredibly irrationally angry woman. I HATE that I’m doing this to him because this is the exact same thing she did to my poor father. Any thoughts, advice?

    • Anonymous :

      Just go to therapy! That’s what it’s for. You’ve obviously tried to fix this on your own, you can’t, and it’s great that you recognize it isn’t okay.

    • One thing that therapy has helped me to understand is that we are working on my reactions to my emotions, not the fact that I’m having them.

      I sort of had this weird hope when I started therapy that it would help me go through life with zen-like calm, rather than as an anxious and emotional bundle of nerves. Basically, I felt that my feelings were making me out of control and I just wanted to stop having those feelings.

      Therapy helped me to recognize why I was having those feelings and why they felt so intense and all-consuming. And then gave me strategies for coping with them.

      Also, since you specifically mention anger: over the course of my therapy, I realized that because I grew up in a household where anger was one of the few emotions it was OK to display, I learned to redirect a lot of other feelings into anger. I was feeling hurt or sad? I’ll express that in anger! I was feeling excited or nervous? Good time to snap at someone!

      The most helpful question my therapist asked me during all our time together was, “What emotions were OK at your house when you were a child?” From your brief description of your mother, it sounds like you learned as a little kid that anger was an emotionally safe place.

      • sweetknee :

        I agree with therapy, but also understand that sometimes underlying depression manifests itself as anger. That has happened to me before. I have been on and off of antidepressants for years. I know that when I am off of them, I have to watch my temper. When I am on them, I seem to be able to take minor annoyances more in stride.

        Just a thought.

        • Ditto except the underlying issue was anxiety in my case.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Hi! For me it was both, depression + anxiety –> RAGE.

            Medication helped a lot with the initial swings of mood, and therapy has just generally helped me be a better person, and to be a person who has emotions but deals with them in a non-destructive way.

    • Anonymous :

      This is total anecdata/YMMV, but perhaps also consider underlying health issues. I had serious anger issues twice in the past: when I attempted to switch birth control pills and when I had an undiagnosed thyroid problem (hyper, not hypo). At both times I honestly wanted to punch people in the face all.the.time for the tiniest things. It was like I had a hair-trigger anger fuse.

      • Yeah, a day or two after my first depo shot I was driving through the parking lot of Target when this huge wave of rage washed over me. I brushed it off as a weird side effect that would go away. But it didn’t go away. I was a hulk smash monster on the shot. I have a temper anyway, but the shot took it from a 5 or 6 to an 11. I was So Angry.

    • FWIW, anxiety/depression always manifests as anger for me.

    • I was in the same situation (by GP diagnosed it as anxiety) and went on Lexapro for 9 months which made the problem 90% better, even when I went off it.

    • Lexapro helped me with my anger.

  4. What do you do with your old purses?

    I have some that were my daily bag, 9 years ago. Since then, I have used a Lo & Sons bag (formerly OG, now a Seville) and a clutch wallet thing as my daily work bags (and just the clutch wallet on weekends).

    Sitting in my closet are a variety of Coach, Cole Haan, etc. daily bags from 5-10 years ago. They are in good shape. I also have some fun bags that aren’t things I use even weekly but for evening occasions or where I need a larger purse (travel / weekends mainly) or it’s a cute bag for some outfits. Like the sturdy rustic cross-body bag that is good where there are pickpockets but too rustic and small for much else?

    I feel bad getting rid of a good-condition leather bag (b/c I grew up poor probably). I should just donate, no? Or is that the sort of things that even thrift shoppers wouldn’t want — a decent but dated bag?

    Accessories — so much hope when purchased, so much falling short IRL

    • Anonymous :

      Also: how many bags do people have? And used vs occasional use vs never used?

      Lo & Sons Seville
      Phone wallet thing
      Evening clutch

      used sometimes:
      LO & Sons OG (travel only)
      Cute red satchel (so pretty! rationing use to ensure long life)
      Rustic cross-body (travel)
      Rustic leather tote (heavy, won’t fit laptop)(used weekends)
      Hot pink shoulder bag (summer weekends)
      Evening bag

      used never:
      Coach bucket bag
      Cole Haan shoulder bag
      Red shoulder bag (never used! on clearance — waiting for the magic moment where it is needed)
      Light olive clutch from wedding
      [And probably a ton of others taking up closet space — a lot were travel-related purchases. And a fanny pack (good for Mardi Gras when you want your hands free).]


      • Used regularly:
        chocolate brown coach shoulder bag
        black coach shoulder bag
        silver cole haan hangbag
        green kate spade shoulder bag
        very small coach cross body (fits basically only phone, wallet, and keys)

        used almost never
        evening clutch
        other evening clutch on a super long chain
        black tote bag
        camel tote bag ( I never carry work home anymore so totes get very little use but I have used both totes more than the evening bags in the past year)
        convertible backpack purse

      • Anonymous :

        I have tons of bags. Eep. I use my Tumi tote on a daily basis for work, and outside of work I change it up regularly but I carry my black Kate Spade hobo a lot. The Tumi was definitely worth the investment considering how much I use it.

      • Work Tote Recs Please! :

        I have this same issue and I have no idea what to do about unused bags so they sit in my closet.

        Used regularly:
        – Black Burberry canvas tote (I posted in another thread bc I desperately need a replacement rec)
        – logo-patterned LV bag that fits my stuff plus random kid items and has top handles plus shoulder strap
        – small cross-body strap camel colored Jil Sander (fits wallet, phone and keys)

        Used rarely or never:
        – pale greyish blue Dior bumble bee shoulder tote
        – medium brown leather Prada bag with tote/over the arm handles
        – cream Jil Sander tote with shoulder strap
        – various evening bags ranging from Versace to Target in different colors
        – others I am blocking out because this list is long and embarrassing

        One of my family members used to work at a boutique that sold designer bags and such so I have a lot of stuff she got at a discount as a gift

        • Work Tote Recs Please! :

          And a Tod’s shoulder bag that used to be my go-to bag…and a weird Crocs-like blue rubber tote for pool/beach…and a small dark brown over-the-should Ferragamo, and a white embroidery-esque leather Ferragamo tote

          And a reversible Coach tote in cheerful Kelly green leather which I thought I could talk myself into liking as a replacement for my black nylon tote since it’s such a cheerful shade of green…that didn’t work out but the outlet is to far to return it

          This post makes me feel like I need to clean (or at least investigate) my closet :-0

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Fun question! I donated a bunch of bags a couple of weeks ago (none were “designer” but all were in fine shape). I had actually forgotten I even owned some of them! I’ve only gotten into “designer” bags in the last year or two and honestly, the quality difference has been impressive for daily use bags. I’m really happy with my current purse choices and the only thing I’d add at this point is a green bag if I find one that I totally love.

        Regular Use:
        Burgundy Kate Spade Emerson Place Small Phoebe
        Black Coach Stanton Carryall (the larger one that I don’t think they make anymore)

        Occasional Use:
        Lo & Sons OG (when traveling)
        Black and white Kate Spade crossbody (mostly weekends)
        Karl Lagerfeld cream-colored fringe and metal top handle purse (this was a gift and I normally just use it for weekends out with fun plans)
        Tiny black shoulder purse that I’ve owned for 15+ years (when I need something small but don’t want to carry a clutch)

        Special Occasion:
        Black satin clutch (not sure the brand, but I’m sure I spent less than $25 on it)
        Champagne colored metallic clutch (from David’s Bridal and was about $30)

        Holding on to just in case:
        Nine West laptop tote (former interview bag that I haven’t used in awhile)
        Calvin Klein laptop tote

        • Never too many shoes... :

          My handle speaks to shoes but I am ashamed to admit the extensive nature of my designer bag collection. Watch out Syd, once you level up in bags, it is hard to go back…

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Haha. I definitely got a taste for it quickly. Luckily I’ve received a couple of them as gifts. Also, my SIL works in fashion and grew up obsessed with it so she totally skewed how much my husband expects things to cost. He doesn’t blink an eye at a $300 or $500 purse.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            That’s a good start. My husband is very practical and when I started buying things that cost over $1K he was, well, somewhat confused…

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I haven’t bought anything more expensive so I don’t actually know at what point he’d be confused or concerned. Technically we haven’t combined our finances though so he might not care at all unless it inhibited our being able to take a trip somewhere.

            A good friend of mine is a stay at home mom and her husband gets worried if there is a single charge for over $100. Mind you, he isn’t concerned if there are multiple smaller charges that add up to over $100, even if they are at the same store. It is some hang up at seeing a 3-digit charge all at once. So when we go shopping she sometimes breaks up a purchase into a couple of transactions.

          • I’m on the slippery slope right now. I admired my boss’s Bottega Veneta and said I’d always wanted one – boss said get one – I said I can’t afford it – boss said yes you can (and boss knows how much I make) and now I’m kind of window shopping for the bag I would definitely never buy but might maybe buy because boss opened the door for me ENABLE MUCH

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t donate a real leather bag in good condition. Sell it if you’re sure you’ll never wear it again or want the cash to put towards a new bag. I personally keep all my bags because I think I may wear them again some day and if I don’t I can make a future daughter or niece happy with a ‘designer’ handbag.

    • Women’s shelter? Or Dress for Success?

    • I typically “invest” in a good leather bag that I’ll use consistently for 2-3 years before retiring it to a closet shelf in the dust bag. I’ll either hang on to it for occasional future use, or pass it on to my younger sister, who’s on a grad student budget. Since I keep my bags in good shape, she can usually get 1-2 more years out of it.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m too lazy to try to sell my designer bags so I just donate them. And yes, many people would be thrilled to find a real designer bag at a thrift store!

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t buy capital-D Designer bags (up until recently my fanciest bags were Kate Spade or Coach or Dooney so not super fancy) so I just donate my bags when I’m finished with them. Come to think of it, I’m invited to a clothing swap once every year or so and I often take my unwanted bags there to find a good home.

      If I had something Very Very Expensive I might try to sell it.

      Oh, and I am a Bag Lady and I change out my bag every day. I have probably a dozen in active rotation.

    • Wildkitten :

      I give them to my little cousins. It’s so much more fun than selling them.

      • Yeah, I have a bunch of fun Kate Spade bags and I know some young women who are Kate Spade fanatics and can’t afford them, so I given them away when I realize I have too many.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That’s a good idea. My little sister would love to get my nicer bags if I don’t use them anymore. I’ve been giving her shoes that I can’t wear anymore for years.

    • Anonymous :

      I have very little closet space and a husband who questions all accessory purchases, so I am a minimalist in the purse department. I always have one leather everyday purse that I keep for about two years until it begins to show wear. I also keep a fabric purse that can be squished up in my suitcase when I travel and a clutch or zip pouch for evening. When one wears out I buy a new one and donate the old one.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Black Merona work tote- the one with the flap pocket and laptop (“Women’s Tote Faux Leather Handbag with Zip Closure”),
      Black Lo and Sons Brookline
      Black Lo and Sons OG (only for when I have to lug A TON of stuff or when I’m leaving from work to catch a plane)
      Black with brown accent Herschel backpack
      Black Fossil Preston large flap bag for when I don’t need to carry much

      Silver Coach bag- blue interior, no idea what style, I borrow-stole it from my mom and it ends up being a work bag when I need something just big enough to fit 1 file and a notebook

      Burgundy and dark brown (which I pretend is black….) Fossil Vickery crossbody tote

      Pink Coach small crossbody- super simple; it lives at work, but I need to replace it with a different bag because I miss it at home
      Brown Fossil Preston small flap
      Black Steve Madden flap bag that I don’t know the style of

      Silver clutch
      Gold clutch
      Coral wallet-clutch that doesn’t fit my phone so it’s just a wallet…

      Coveting and will probably always covet a Proenza Schouler PS1 in black. If anyone knows a (….1/10 price) dupe, I’ll be so grateful.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That PS1 is a great bag. I saw a similar satchel style at (I think) either Mulberry or Furla, but I do not think it was much cheaper t be honest…

  5. Lukewarm about kids? :

    There was a thread about being ready for kids yesterday where a couple of people said “if you’re lukewarm about kids, don’t have them” but I also remember some a previous discussion here where at least a couple of people said they were neutral on kids but went for it anyway and felt like it was 100% the correct decision. I’m 33 and just assumed at some point I would feel that incredible pull to have kids, but I haven’t. My closest friends have all had babies in the last year or two, but that hasn’t really changed my feelings. I think parenthood would be fun, but I also can picture a happy life without kids. I’m definitely not anti-kids or sure that I don’t want them, but maybe kind of “take it or leave it.” We’ve been putting it off for many years (we were married at 25, homeowners with solid finances at 27) but husband is sure he wants kids and would like to get on with it and I’m pretty confident I don’t want to have kids close to 40, because I don’t want to still be putting them through college when I’m 60, so I feel like it’s sort of now or never. Any advice from people who felt lukewarm about it, decided to go for it and are glad they did? Or people who think I’ll regret it if I’m unsure about kids and have them anyway?

    • Anonymous :

      I was lukewarm until I started trying for my first, then decided I really want one, and now I have three! The thing that made me decide to start trying was picturing myself at 65. I know I want grandkids and people around for the holidays.

    • I always figured I’d have kids but never had baby fever. I was 33 when we decided we should go for it, and got pregnant pretty quickly. Still didn’t have strong feelings about it. When she was born I loved her and took care of her, but didn’t “enjoy” her. Now that she’s a toddler I’m starting to have a lot more fun with her, so I think I’m more suited to older kids than babies. I zero regret having her, but I also would have had a perfectly fine life without her – at least until, as Anonymous says above, if I wanted family around when I was older. I used to think we’d have two but again, no baby fever. So we’ll see what happens – if we have a second, we’ll start trying in the next year. I already feel like I’m getting old for it.

      • Anonymous :

        I may be the lone people who adored the newborn weeks. And the infant year. They were so tiny and warm and snuggly (and having a napping baby on your lap or to snuggle with is so sweet to me). And everything in the world was new and exciting to them. They were fun to just sit and watch as they reacted to their world. I really miss those days. I enjoy my elementary school children but I do miss the sweet snuggling that you can’t really get with 60- and 70-pound children.

    • I was you about 9 months ago. My husband really wanted kids, and I felt like I would regret not having them, so we started trying. It’s taking us a little longer than we thought to conceive, and this process has made me realize that I actually do really want to be a mom and have a family with DH. It’s not so much a “wanting what I can’t have” thing; it’s more that I realized the lengths I would go to to start a family (in terms of medical tests/procedures/costs) meant that I really did genuinely want kids.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This was me exactly. My husband really wanted a child and I was more “whatever, if it happens” UNTIL we started trying and then needed fertility help and, well, by then I was 37 and that is when I really felt the pull of wanting it. I love my son so, so much and can barely remember life without him…so yes, I am glad that I did it. BUT I am not sure I would advise someone lukewarm to just go ahead and do it just assuming they will suddenly be really into kids because they manage to make one. Sorry OP, turns out I don’t really have anything definitive for you.

    • My husband was on board the kid train and I was meh about it. We both figured we would probably regret it if we didn’t have kids (I don’t know why we thought this. We just did.). I had a really hard time coming to terms with the pregnancy and was downright in denial for most of it. There was so much about life that just seems “final” now that I was about to have a kid.

      My son is now a year and a half, I’m due with #2 in July and I’m thrilled that we pulled the trigger. My son is a hilarious tiny human and is more fun by the day. I think my favorite part of my upcoming maternity leave will be having him at home with me all day (even though I’m sure it’ll drive me bonkers when I’m in the thick of it all.)

    • Anonymous :

      I am 39 and people have been hinting/telling me for years that I will regret not having kids, including my mom (and she is always right, basically). I still don’t have kids, and honestly, the more time that goes by, the happier I am about that state of affairs. The older I get, the more I enjoy a quiet house and the freedom to do what I please.

    • Running Numbers :

      I was lukewarm, now an 18 month old and another on the way. I once read the comment that people never regret the kids they have but only the ones they don’t. He’s a lot of fun and I wouldn’t change a thing. I loved all our years solo – like you, we were young homeowners with finances in order but waited awhile. I don’t miss it. My son and I are currently binge eating orzo tossed in Italian dressing and he’s kicking an empty box around the kitchen while I obviously catch up online. It’s a treat in a way you don’t know until you have your own.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I actually have read a few accounts of people recently who say that they do regret having kids. They love their kids but regret that it is the path their lives took. As someone who has never wanted kids and have had far too many people say I’d regret it, it has been really refreshing to see people admit to feeling regret in the opposite direction.

        • Running Numbers :

          Fair enough! I did wish I’d clarified that statement by saying that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with not wanting kids and I think it’s insulting people would tell you repeatedly that you’ll regret not doing so!

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I took no offense at your comment!

            Luckily my family and close friends realied that I was serious very early on so it hasn’t been coming from the people closest to me.

        • There were DEFINITELY people in that “secrets” thread a couple weeks ago who admitted they regretted having kids.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes. And I don’t think that’s a good situation for anyone – the mom, the other parent, or the kids.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      “I think parenthood would be fun, but I also can picture a happy life without kids.”

      This is how I felt before kids, and honestly how I feel now. I am very happy having the kiddos in my life and love them to pieces, but I am certain my husband and I would have been happy without kids too.

      I don’t regret having kids, but I sometimes do miss pre-kids days where we didn’t have to deal with child care, etc. I also really did not enjoy the baby/toddler years very much. At that point, I did think I regretted having kids. But I really enjoy being a mom now that my kids are older.

  6. I also really enjoyed the discussion on feminism and marriage last week. It gave me a lot to think about and vocalized a lot of things I already feel. I especially liked the concept of 100/100 vs. 50/50 splitting of responsibilities. But what do you do when the other person is almost always going to need you to do the 100?

    I’ve been with my SO for three years. Our life together right now is great, and he is my best friend. But, he is in a high-earning, high-stress, long-hours (including travel) career that he loves.

    I have no desire to have a traditional marriage. Even if I had a 9-5 job, I want to feel like I have an equal partner I can count on. We’ve had multiple discussions about our future (with hypothetical children), and his answer is always to just throw money at the problem and out-source everything. Is that really the answer?? We do not live by family. I’m still so anxious that someday I will be the one that not only has to do but also think about all the emotional and domestic labor. Is this just price of admission and I have to weigh how important my previous vision of my life was vs. staying with this person?

    • Anonymous :

      Parenting is not “throwing money at the problem” and hoping everything works out. If he’s going to be totally disengaged because of his busy career and long hours, I would seriously rethink having children with this man.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe you could explain this:

      But what do you do when the other person is almost always going to need you to do the 100?

      Why the “need”? Is SO disabled? Or a person who travels for work / is deployed / clocks in third shift at a factory?

      I know someone with one arm who has 3 kids and an army husband who is often deployed / not flexible on his schedule. They manage pretty well. I know some SAH dads. Every family is different.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, when you talked about “need you to do the 100” I thought you were going to say SO is disabled.

        As others have said, you can’t outsource parenting. Do you want to be Melania Trump, doing all the emotional work while nannies do all the physical work and your husband brags about bringing in the money to make it all happen and never changing a diaper?

        If you want to have an equal partner in marriage and parenting, this is not your guy. You need to decide if it’s a dealbreaker or an acceptable price of admission.

    • Anonymous :

      The 100/100 isn’t always about chores. Who is in charge of household decisions? What are things he can be doing from the roud?

      On the parenting front – if you don’t want to solo parent, he needs a new job. And he has to want a new job. This is not someone who is available to co-parent. You can not outsource parenting. Childcare yes, parenting no.

    • Honestly, I would accept that this is the price of admission to be with this person and to have children with this person. “Throwing money at the problem” can certainly be part of the answer–you can outsource housework, meals, and childcare to the extent you can afford to do so, but someone has to be the person who manages all of those working parts. Keeping your life simple–renting or at least living in a managed building instead of owning a large home, living close to work, having a reliable nanny who comes to you instead of daycare–can help too. But Anon @ 4:09 is right, and you should also assess your husband’s ability to be present and engaged when he is home, and his ability/willingness to help out remotely while he’s traveling.

      Having a SO whom you feel is a partner you can count on is not just about how you divide the emotional and domestic labor. Many, many relationships work just fine when one partner works long hours.

      • Senior Attorney :

        And to give the other side of the story, I would not accept this, in part because it would mean my husband and I were leading completely different lives (his focused on work and mine focused on home), and I have seen those kinds of marriages crumble too many times.

        • I’m probably being a little bleak here because he doesn’t work all weekend. So maybe he pulls the weight more on weekends but in my mind (and granted, I don’t have kids), weekends have less responsibility.

          At his company, most of his coworker’s wives do not work and my impression is that if you’re okay with a traditional marriage and fulfilled by childcare and parenting then it can work.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Right. Until he falls in love with the pretty young thing at the office, with whom he has so much more in common than with his boring wife, who only cares about the kids and the house. Just sayin’. Don’t think it doesn’t happen.

          • I have an almost-2-year-old. In many ways, I feel like weekends have more responsibility. During the week, you can have your routines, but they’re for relatively short periods of time, and the focus is on getting things done. The weekends can be really fun and give you the quality time you need as a family, but there are also long stretches where you have to entertain your child (until they’re old enough to play by themselves, which seems to be sometime, maybe a long time, after 2 years old). Doing that with a SO is so much better than soloing it! I love my kid, but I’d take solo parenting during the week over solo parenting on the weekend anytime.

            The only caveat here–and it’s a big one–is that when your SO is traveling and something goes wrong (Kiddo is sick, or there’s a plumbing issue at home, or your car or the nanny’s car breaks down, or daycare closes for a snow storm), then you have to handle all that by yourself.

            FWIW, my husband’s career is lower-paying than mine and requires long hours and travel. I’ve posted about my struggles with us coming to a balance that works for us, mainly because I felt like I was doing more (but never 100%) of the working/earning and more of the domestic and emotional labor. Ultimately, the solution was for me to change jobs, with a significant pay cut, to one with much more flexible hours and less stress. (But also, I was extremely unhappy and unhealthy and directing my resentment toward my husband–some people on this s*te pointed out that he wasn’t doing anything wrong.) Several months later, husband is in the middle of changing jobs where he’ll be traveling 2-3 times per month, Tuesday-Thursday. We’ve worked out a variety of ways for him to be helpful when he is home (for example, being the “default” parent the weekdays he is home, and making sure there are freezer/ crockpot meals prepared for when he’s gone).

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I work a lot of hours (billing 55-65 most weeks) and my husband works 35 hours a week. We still split the housework. When my hours get crazier (like the 83 hours I billed a couple of weeks ago) or I’m sick, my huband picks up my slack and if he isn’t feeling well or is going through a stressful time at work I pick up his. I’d say we are both all in as our default and either is willing to shoulder the load for awhile when necessary.

      Your SO obviously can’t help out when he is traveling, but I’d push back on the assumption that he can’t contribute while at home. That being said, throwing money at the problem seems completely reasonable to me. The reason we don’t is that my husband isn’t comfortable with strangers in our apartment.

    • Wildkitten :

      You might consider it a price of admission but I’d consider it a dealbreaker.

    • I suppose I’ll be the voice of dissent here – I think it really depends on what you want. I ended up in a much more traditional marriage than I anticipated, and we’re pretty happy (we don’t have kids yet, FWIW). My DH has a demanding, high-stress position that requires lots of travel. He’s super ambitious and has always wanted this type of job, so I knew what I was getting myself into when we met and started seriously dating. It’s hard at times, but I also really can’t imagine not being with him because of his professional ambitions. For me, all of his other positive qualities outweigh the “works like a maniac and travels a ton” part. I’m also super independent, so I don’t mind having him gone a few nights a week (though I do miss him, and it does get old on the weeks he’s gone 5 nights out of 7).

      Communication is HUGE. I’m not kidding when I say my husband and I discuss work/life balance and who’s doing what weekly, and we’ve been having these kinds of conversations for years. He started a new job recently, and we discussed what it meant for us, our lifestyle, and our time together at length (and we still do, occasionally). It helps to make sure we’re on the same page about our needs, wants, and goals, over both the short term and long term.

      While he’s gone a lot, he manages to do a decent amount of the domestic/life labor (I do more for sure, but he definitely pitches in – I’d said we average a 70 / 30 split most of the time). If there’s something that can be done via phone, he takes care of it on car rides to the airport (he is the master of resolving credit card or insurance company disputes). He’s also good about setting aside a few hours on the weekend to tackle stuff that he wasn’t around to take care of during the week. We have a pretty traditional split in terms of the chores and responsibilities we both take on (I do the cooking, laundry, and grocery shopping, whereas he does yard/house maintenance stuff), but that works for us.

      It also works because even though the labor divide is usually tilted towards me, I’ve never felt like we weren’t completely equal partners or that I don’t have just as much of a say in our life decisions. We’re 100% equal partners when it comes to financial/life/family/big picture-type decisions. DH is also completely supportive of whatever I want to do, personally or professionally. If I want to go kill it in my career and focus on advancing and getting promoted (which was basically my focus for the first 5 years we were together), he’s super supportive. If I want to scale back or stop working entirely for a few years to balance work and family, he’s just as supportive. If I want to go full steam ahead after we have kids and “outsource” essentially everything, he’s just as cool with that. He fully acknowledges that he’s made his decision in terms of what he wants to do, and that I should be allowed to do the same (I realize this is an incredibly economically privileged position to be in). The happiness and well-being of our relationship and our family comes first, and everything else is extra.

      Also, career goals and ambitions change. DH’s new job has the potential to be very lucrative, so our plan is to live well within our means and save a lot over the next 5-10 years. Ideally, he can then transition to a new job where he’s around more with lower stress.

      • Thank you for this. Your fourth paragraph describes the type of relationship and support we do have. I don’t have to work – he said he will support me in whatever I do. We do make most other decisions jointly. I am attracted to his intelligence, ambition, and work ethic. It’s also part of why he’s attracted to me. And we are both very independent generally, so it’s worked well for us now.

        Lots to think about.

        • I’m the previous commenter above. Apologies for the Great American Novel, but DH and I have put a lot of work and thought into finding a balance that works for us. I know it wouldn’t work for everyone, but it works for us.

          Now, if you want to talk about the feminist guilt you feel when you find yourself “leaning out” to prioritize your marriage and your family, even when it’s what you want to be focusing on and prioritizing, let me know…:)

    • As a parent of two with a partner who is away for up to 18 months at a time, I’ve done solo, with household help, with a partner present, and with my partner as the primary care provider. In a nutshell: many different permutations. Even when he’s gone for months on end, I know he is a true partner in parenting and I have often summed it up this way:

      It’s 2am and a kid wakes up puking in their bed, like they do. You and your partner are both home. How do you handle it? If you don’t have absolute faith that one of you will be holding/cleaning the child while the other is mopping/toweling/changing sheets, then you aren’t partners in childrearing (disability and similar limitations aside). If you don’t have faith that you’ll both be in the trenches together, out of love for your kid and genuine let’s-get-‘er-done-ness, then you won’t have a partner in childrearing. Yes, please, throw money at the other stuff, but that commitment to being a parent first when the moment really matters cannot be outsourced. It may sound crazy, but the knowledge that he’d be by my side if he could, even if he’s sick or tired, makes separation, long hours, etc., all sustainable.

  7. When/how often do you see a dermatologist?

    • Anonymous :

      Never, which is kind of bad because I have pale skin and lots of freckles. I went to one once in my mid-20s for a full body skin check and there were so nasty to me about my “terrible sun habits” (I wear SPF religiously, I just freckle very easily) that I left the office in tears and have never been able to bring myself to go back to a derm. I do see an OB/GYN and PCP regularly. I know they aren’t derms, but they are doctors and presumably have some knowledge of what looks weird and suspicious and should be seen by a derm.

      • “I know they aren’t derms, but they are doctors and presumably have some knowledge of what looks weird and suspicious and should be seen by a derm.”

        IANA doctor but I don’t think you can rely on that. They _might_ but if it’s not their area of specialty and they’re not actually _looking_ for anything suspicious it would be extremely easy for them to overlook it. I’m sorry your previous derm was mean to you but mine is super nice! I would ask around for recs and go to one someone you know likes. I am super pale and covered in moles (I don’t freckle, I mole) and have never had a derm be nasty to me like you describe.

      • Anonymous :

        I have never been to a dermatologist. Just make sure your PCP is doing a skin check (specifically looking at the marks) during the annual check up. Mine does, and has asked about some spots (is this new, has this changed). I think this is sufficient, absent other indications of skin cancer issues (family history, prior removals).

      • I wouldn’t count on that. My dad pointed out a suspicious spot to his PCP for two freaking years and the doctor just blew it off. It was his dentist that pretty much begged him to see a derm. Sure enough, that spot was melanoma. He was treated and is fine now, but I shudder to think about what would’ve happened if Dad had kept listening to the PCP.

        Find a new derm. There are plenty that won’t shame you.

    • Once a year for a skin check.

    • I’ve gone once for a skin check (pale and freckly over here too), and they said to come back in 3 years unless something came up that looked weird.

    • OP here. Thanks all – I’m turning 30 and I’ve never seen a derm. My skin is pretty good generally and I have darker skin but over the last few years, I’ve noticed like a brown dot developing in different areas of my body – I don’t think it’s a freckle because I don’t think my skin freckles but anyways I saw a new one in the shower this morning which triggered this question.

      Maybe I’ll try to find one and make an appointment

      • Anonymous :

        Around 30 is when you can start getting freckles, even if you don’t normally have them. I probably wouldn’t go to the dermatologist to look at a freckle, but do what makes you feel comfortable.

        • Do you know if this applies to skin that is not white? I have indian heritage and as far as I know, we don’t have freckles.

          • Anonymous :

            Maybe ask your parents if they have freckles? I don’t see why your skin couldn’t freckle, people of all skin tones have freckles.

          • Yeah, I am black, as is everyone in my family, and we all have freckles. I don’t worry about freckles, but moles are more of an issue.

    • You know, I’m a redhead with tons of moles, and when I’ve gone, several times over the past 15-ish years for various concerns (and at least a half-dozen removals), to at least 3 different derms, no one has ever suggested that I should be going regularly. So, I have to assume that that’s not the standard. Personally, I think that I’d feel better if it were, though, so maybe I should just do it on occasion for my own comfort. I don’t know.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Pale with red hair and freckles and I asked my doctor about going to a dermatologist. She glanced at my skin, said she didn’t see anything that looked abnormal and didn’t think an appointment with a specialist was necessary. I never knew that yearly skin checks with a dermatologist were ‘a thing’ until I heard it here.

    • Every year for a full body check.

      I’m fair and didn’t use sunblock religiously as a child so I had a few bad burns. The guidance I’ve heard is an annual check with these risk factors and my insurance covers it, so that’s what I do.

      I’ve had a few potentially or pre-cancerous spots removed, as has my similarly situated friend, so anecdotally it’s worth the check up.

      Derm is always super nice and it’s a good chance to refill Retin-A, ask skin questions, etc. But non-cosmetic derms usually have a long-ish wait list so it takes me about 2-3 mos to get an appt.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      This reminds me that I need to make this year’s appointment. My doctors have told me to go yearly because I’m pale, have freckles, and have had a few suspicious looking moles removed over the years. My SIL had a friend die of melanoma in her 30s a couple of years ago, which inspired me to try to go yearly.

      I wasn’t impressed with the derm that I saw last year. She knew I was there for a yearly skin check but didn’t bring anything to make notes on so she wound up taking notes on a paper towel. She also immediately tried to sell me her own line of lotion for my KP. So I’d love a rec for a derm in Midtown East if anyone has one! I’d like to develop a relationship with someone to see yearly who can be more in tune with any changes in my moles.

      • Anonymous :

        Annually. I have lots of moles that I like to get checked out, and have had a number of them removed over the years. I also have acne and she prescribes my benozyl peroxide.

        Sidney, not in Midtown East, but I LOVE Cybele Fishman who is down by Wall Street.

        • Meg March :

          Oops, this was me.

        • Just chiming in to second the recommendation for Cybele Fishman, who I’ve been going to for years. Most years it is just an annual skin check but she has also helped me with the occasional other skin issue. Although it is clear from her office that she also does cosmetic dermatology, she has never tried to upsell me on products or services. Her office is right near the 4/5 on Broadway and Wall Street, so accessible from Midtown East.

      • Anonymous :

        Not *quite* Midtown East, but Dr. Adelle Quintana at Laser & Mohs Dermatology of NY is great. The office is right by Bryant Park.

      • Anonymous :

        Dr. Taylor DeFelice on 36th and Madison is wonderful!

    • I go once a year for a checkup b/c I am VERY fair skinned and worry about getting melanoma. Also, if I ever get a rash, I go to the dermatologist b/c my primary care physician is NOT that knowedlegeable, and he likes to stare at me. I feel kind of uncomfortable around him b/c he is about the same age as me and I do NOT like to disrobe for him b/c he ooogles me alot. FOOEY! I will start looking for a FEMALE PCP. Does anyone in the HIVE have a good PCP who is FEMALE and on the UPPER EAST SIDE? HELP!

  8. I would like to learn to cook better. I can do basic things but that has mostly been limited to the [email protected] supply of hand-me-down cookware I bought from a cousin in law school that consists of mismatched pots and pans. Thanks to bridal showers, we have received some really nice cookware (dutch oven, stainless steel pans, an actual full set of mixing bowls, immersion blender, Kitchenaid mixer– the works!) I am generally good at baking and following recipes and am comfortable improvising when I cook, but I would like to learn to use these new-to-me tools and learn some better tips, too! Are there any good basic/beginner cook books you would recommend? (Something more advanced than boiling water for pasta and more in line with cooking a whole chicken in a dutch oven, sauteeing with quality pans, etc.)

    • Anonymous :

      The Food Lab is excellent.

    • Anonymous :

      The Food Lab is very thorough

    • Joy of cooking

    • I’ve had good luck with the America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        A lot of the episodes are on either Netflix or Amazon Prime video. I found them helpful.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Also we just subscribed to Cook’s Illustrated magazine, which is put out by the same people, and there’s been something in every issue so far that we’ve been able to use right away.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This may seem out of left field, but we’ve been getting Blue Apron boxes and I feel like cooking their food has really helped both of us up our cooking game. If you’d like a free week shoot me an email at seniorattorney1 at gmail. (I’m not affiliated with them, just a fan.)

    • I love Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. I’m not a vegetarian, but the chapter with a few pages devoted to common (in the U.S.) vegetables–trimming and preparation, cooking methods, and a couple of recipes for each vegetable–were life-changing. Her salad dressings and sauces were also very, very good.

      I also liked Alton Brown’s cookbook when we were learning the basics. We have I’m Just Here for the Food, which walks through different cooking methods. He has a new one too, and I bought it for my husband for Christmas, but we haven’t had time for new recipes since then.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You might like The Four Hour Chef by Tim Ferriss. It isn’t technically a cookbook, but is about learning skills rapidly and is based around him learning to cook. He put together a specific plan with dishes/recipes that you can follow along with to learn and includes a lot of information on various tools and techniques.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’d get the books at the library.

    • I was a decent cook and found my cooking improved quite a bit when I subscribed to cooksmarts.

    • GirlFriday :

      At the risk of sounding…old-fashioned, I bought a vintage Better Homes and Gardens cook book, and it actually has a lot of tips on /how/ to cook, not just what to cook. If you’re feeling adventurous and don’t mind shelling out some cash, an America’s Test Kitchen cookbook might be a good investment. They have been a good resource for me (I’m a pretty novice cook though).

    • I really like “How To Eat Supper” for a great, accessible cookbook with a lot of beginner recipes. The book’s style is very well adapted to cooking for a young couple, too. It’s not really an “I’ll teach you how to cook” cookbook, but the tone seemed (to me) really tailored to new cooks, and there are some helpful tips and tricks in it.

      I am a big fan of Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, too, but that cookbook is overwhelmingly big. I’m not sure it would be my top rec for a beginner.

      I wouldn’t recommend Cook’s Illustrated for beginning cooks – anytime I try their recipes, it seems like they take about 2x longer than necessary. I also find that their recipes focus on traditional “meat and potatoes” dishes that seem more appropriate for a large family with growing teenagers or something.

    • Thanks for the recommendations, everyone! I read the Food Lab column a lot, I don’t know why I didn’t think about the cookbook. Already have and love several Ina books, and love the blogs whatsgabycooking and smittenkitchen. These are the exact books I need that are a little better at explaining exactly how to use these shiny new things!

      • The Can’t Cook Book by Jessica Seinfeld is also a great beginning cookbook. Her recipes are delicious and relatively easy, and are designed to teach you new skills in the kitchen. The front half of the book also includes basic cutting/dicing/cooking tutorials, and there’s a website with short videos as well.

    • How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman

      Also, consider a couple basic classes (knife skills, etc.) at your local cooking school. Makes a big difference!

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed – he does a great job of explaining the “why” along with the “how” of cooking

    • Anonymous :

      I really liked Alice Waters “The Art of Simple Food” for this kind of ‘one step up from the basics’ learning.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I really like the Barefoot Contessa. Some of her stuff is out there but others are very accessible. I just made her Italian Wedding Soup and Honey Vanilla Pound cake.

  9. What would you all wear to a wedding in North Carolina in May with this dress code:
    Mountain Casual – (black tie optional, so if you want to wear a tux/gown, please do so, otherwise, dress in a way that you feel comfortable).
    I may be over thinking it, but this just seems absolutely contradictory (mountain casual vs. tux/gown)

    • Bizarre dress code. I seriously hope someone shows up in hiking pants and a fleece.

      • +1. I just wear my standard wedding cocktail dresses and ignore the dress code whenever it gets too creative.

      • Anonymous :

        Right?? Mountain casual = fleece and hiking boots to me. Black tie optional is one of the most formal dress codes out there. This is BIZARRE.

    • Anonymous :

      That is such a weird dress code. I’d wear a non-sparkly cocktail dress.

    • WTH that’s the most confusing dress code instruction I’ve ever seen.

      I’d probably wear a dress that straddles the line between casual cocktail and sundress and cowboy boots, but I’m from Texas and we do that kind of thing here (boots and a dress). I have no idea if that outfit comports with that bizarre dress code but it was my first thought.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Ugh with the creative dress codes already. Just wear whatever you would normally wear to a wedding. All that says to me is someone important in the wedding couldn’t agree on a dress code.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Also, where is the wedding? I’d go by the venue somewhat–fancier dress if it’s some place like the Biltmore, for example.

        • It’s in a fancy rennovated with electricity and bathrooms barn! I’m SO glad everyone is just as confused as me. I tried to stay neutral in posting not wanting to look silly if this somehow made sense. I want to wear a sparkly top (formalish) with yoga pants (comfortable) and boots (mountain).

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I think that dress code is actually “wear whatever you want up to and including black tie.”

      • +1 this is not cute this is terrible

    • KnowYourWedding :

      When I searched it on the interwebs, I get “Mountain weddings often have a casual, outdoorsy feel, but guests should stay on the formal side of mountain casual. Western wear does a nice job here of balancing casual and formal. A sport coat is a safe bet, while a suit may be overkill. As with any wedding, consider the couple’s preferences to gauge how casual–or formal–you should go.”

    • Wildkitten :

      What? Do you mean Mountain formal? Mountain casual is a flannel and boots, not black tie optional.

    • Is the wedding in cashiers or highlands by chance? If so, you can’t wear flannel or boots. Most weddings would still have a nice cocktail dress or a long maxi dress (but not too casual). I would err on the side of formal.

      • GirlFriday :

        Kind of a TJ but we’re going to a wedding this weekend in OR and the dress code is similarly odd (“wear your sparkles!”). I’ve packed a black, mid-calf length acetate dress, but now I’m paranoid that’s not formal enough?! I don’t really have anything formal that’s also going to be warm enough. Thoughts? Pack a nice jacket? I should probably just get over it. I’m just a guest, right? No one is going to notice/care.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’m sure your dress is fine. I’ve been to both fancy and casual weddings in Oregon and there are always people in a variety of things. I may have even seen jeans at a formal wedding once. As long as you fall somewhere in the middle of what people are wearing then I don’t think anyone will notice and your dress will likely fall right into that zone.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      “Mountain casual”? I live in the PNW and I have no bloody clue what that means.

    • Senior Attorney :

      This is why I always feel like, as the wise women here counseled me when I asked a related question about some now-forgotten event related to my wedding, it’s best to describe the event and let people decide for themselves, rather than make up a dress code. Like “Dinner and dancing to follow.” Or “Barn dance after the ceremony.”

  10. A question I should definitely already know the answer to, but don’t: is it OK to have a well woman exam at the gyn when you’re menstruating? Should I reschedule?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s doctor-specific, so ask them. Some are ok with doing it on a light flow day, others will want to reschedule. And of course you can reschedule if you want, even if your doctor says it’s fine.

    • Call your gyn and ask. They get this question a lot. Mine reschedules (bc it can affect test results) but not bc of any other reason.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re due for a pap, they’ll probably want to reschedule because it can affect the results. If you’re not due for a pap, it’s probably fine, although I’d call to confirm. It’s not a stupid question and you shouldn’t feel ashamed to ask them about it.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t mean to be gross but how would that even work unless you are really on the last day where almost nothing is coming out. Otherwise won’t you be lying there – um – with flow coming out and dripping all over you??

      • Anonymous :

        Different people have different flows. Mine is pretty light, especially when I’m lying down, and there’s probably only one day of the month where it would be gross.

      • Wildkitten :

        Also, not everyone needs a pap every year and everyone should have a well woman visit every year, so many years it might not be an issue at all.

        • A well-woman visit still includes a manual v*ginal exam though, so you’ll be lying on the table in nothing but a hospital gown even if you’re not getting papped.

  11. Does anyone have experience taking an early IRA payout for a house down payment?

    I have a small IRA from a job in my 20s and just got a steady job that provides generous retirement benefits and a salary that will allow me to make mortgage payments. Spouse and I would like to buy soon so we can start a family, but don’t have a lot of cash. We’d be first time home buyers. To me, I’ll be able to make up the retirement savings soon so even taking the tax hit on any withdrawal over 10K, it feels worth it. Are there factors I might be missing?

    • I took a few thousand out of my IRA for a downpayment and I still don’t know if it was the right thing to do. It got me up to 20% on the down payment without having to deplete my emergency fund to unacceptable levels, so that was why I did it. I also withdrew less than 10k though so did not take the tax hit.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it would be a mistake. You can start a family without owning a home, or you can buy a cheaper home that you can afford w/o raiding your retirement.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Agreed. Babies don’t take up very much space. We started our family first and now have the savings we didn’t then. It’s nice to not be in the cash outlay of having a kid (hospital, etc) and buying a house in the same immediate time frame.

    • I would make sure the distribution won’t push you into another tax bracket. Have enough withholdings to cover the 10% penalty above the $10,000 PLUS your regular tax rate.

      Honestly, I wouldn’t pull from the retirement account – I would just mortgage, try to pay down the principal to get rid of the mortgage insurance premiums and keep your retirement savings.

    • I would take a loan from the IRA and pay yourself back, if your financial institution allows it. This loan doesn’t show on your credit check and doesn’t trigger a tax event if paid back within certain parameters. Check into it with whomever holds your IRA.

      I did this with my 401K at my first long-time job – it’s how my husband and I were able to get into the housing market in the Bay Area, which we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.

  12. Anonymous :

    Late in the day for this, but what would you do?

    Our neighbor left his shovel in the hallway last night, presumably so that neighbors could use it to shovel this morning if we needed to. We did. So my husband borrowed the shovel early in the morning to shovel our car out and, as a thank you, shoved this neighbor’s spot as well. The neighbor is in his early 60s, I think, and looked to be in good enough shape, etc.

    He knocked on our door later, tears in his eyes, and thanked my husband. The reaction seemed sweet but also a little excessive considering it was only a few inches of snow and not that much work. Well, he slipped a note under our door this afternoon saying that he was so grateful because he’s been battling cancer and doing chemo and is weaker than you’d expect. It was such a sweet note. But he also slipped in a hundred dollar bill so we could “enjoy a dinner out on him.”

    It’s so kind but we don’t need the money and it feels like it’s too much. We have no reason to think he can’t afford it, but you never know. Is there a tactful way of returning the money or should we just send a thank you note back and keep it? I am worried about offending him by rejecting the gesture. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I’d send a thank you note and keep it. The only circumstances under which I would return it would be if it seemed that giving you that amount of money was a hardship for him, and there’s no evidence of that. And maybe drop off leftover food or ask what else you can help with while he undergoes treatment?

      • AnonInfinity :

        Totally agree. It gave him joy to give the two of you such a gift. And definitely offer to help him out during the rest of his treatment. It sounds like he may feel a little isolated or lonely.

      • +1

      • The girl with no name :

        +1 – spend it on helping him further – he surely could use it. Food!

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1 to AnonInfinity- I find this heartbreakingly sweet.

      • Anonymous :

        If you do go to dinner, maybe a thank you note and bring him a plate of something? Make a plate of something. I wouldn’t share leftovers, but a new plate could be a nice “wish you could join us/want you to enjoy with us” message. Any gift would be nice, really.

    • What if you invite him to go out to dinner with you? Depending on the type of chemo he’s doing, his appetite may still be okay. If he lives alone, he might appreciate the company. Alternatively, now that you know he’s in treatment, perhaps offer to pick up things from the grocery store for him when you’re going for yourselves anyway—-he can pay for his own groceries, but I guarantee he will appreciate the help.

      This posting is another good reminder that we never do know what is going on in other people’s lives. Being patient, kind, considerate of others—even those who do not seem to “need” it—-is often appreciated more than we will ever know.

      • I would invite him to my apartment to watch MARCH MADNESS and have PIZZA, if his diet allows for it. I think men really appreciate it when younger women treat them right, and there is NO expectation of s-x. That is why I get along so well with the judge. We have a great relationship, and he has come over to watch football many times on a Sunday (he lives in Chelsea). So if you do a good deed like that, you will be payeing it forward when you become older. YAY!!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks, all. I think this is right. I should have added that he lives with his adult daughter so I think he has a lot of help — but I’ll definitely think of a way to thank him, likely through food and a nice note!

      • This is me, the OP, above and here — thanks for the input. We will keep the money and help him however we can. Definitely more shoveling, though this is probably the last snow of the season.

      • Anonymous :

        A meal for both of them would probably be well appreciated. I took care of my mother when she was undergoing cancer treatments and it was exhausting and I so appreciated when people brought us food or took us out to eat or really just came by to visit. Because of her immune-system we were kind of isolated for a while.

    • Anonymous :

      Keep it, and keep doing his shoveling.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe do a blue apron or nice takeout and invite him over? That is very thoughtful of you and your neighbor.

    • I’m with everyone who said keep it and send a thank you note…and also I want to add that this made me really happy about humanity.

    • Anonymous :

      My grandma still sends me $20 for my birthday. She needs the money more than I do, and last year I wanted to give it back to her somehow. My dad told me, “Don’t. That is part of her dignity, that she can still do that for you. Don’t take that away from her.”

      Many people feel pride when we can do – or reciprocate – for others. Keep the money, and figure out some way to keep helping him out, as others have said.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Mine does the same thing and it makes me really uncomfortable- she’s got Alzheimer’s and everything is hard for her. But it gives her so much joy that I just smile and thank her and be grateful she can still do that and is still here.

    • Wildkitten :

      In my building we leave shovels in the hallway because they are gross and drip salty water everywhere and the hallway is a better place for them to dry than immediately bringing them into the house. I don’t care if someone borrow it and brings it back, but that is not why I leave in the hallway and I’d assume it was stolen if it was missing (until it was returned.)

      • Well, that’s an interesting thing to take away from the story, but the shovel was left in the hallway the night BEFORE the storm and hadn’t been used. And we already have a good relationship with our neighbor, which is why we suspected he wouldn’t mind us borrowing it to shovel the area about 10 feet from the front of our shared front door.

  13. Makeup Post - Moisturizer after drinking? :

    I have somehow literally never thought of this. Putting on more moisturizer on your face after drinking helps?

    I’m usually pretty good at taking off makeup, making sure I leave water (with lime, it somehow helps) next to my bed so I remember to drink it, setting my alarms the night before etc.

    • Yes! Alcohol dehydrates you, and dehydrated skin is dull, ageing and more troublesome when trying to layer make up over the top. You can get sleeping masks, essentially thick skin in moisturising masks, that are great for these situations (Avene and Body Shop both do them).

      I always use to try and eat an orange before bed – in my head it helped my hangover? Also I promise I don’t drink on work nights as much as my posts make out.

  14. I’m sure you all would say I’ve officially given up… It’s chilly here today – one of the few days we’ve had in the low 50s and it felt colder. I had a painful shot in my knee this morning and I’m battling some kind of stomach bug as well. I had to come in to work this afternoon for something I’d agreed to, so I’m wearing a giant Saints hoodie, black leggings, and black studded combat boots. It was either that or come to work in my pajamas.

    • faddaffaddfs :

      It’s like 25 degrees here today, but on the types of days you describe I totally condone that outfit.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m in a dress because I had a presentation this morning but I didn’t want to wear my blazer anymore (as comfy as it is) and took it off and threw on my law school alma mater sweatshirt. DONE with this week and it’s only Tuesday. I’ve worked almost 30 hours since Sunday.

  15. Whole Life Insurance / Cash Value :

    Hi all — I know it’s late in the day, but I thought I’d ask if anyone has opinions about whole life insurance/cash value policies. My FP is trying to talk us into one because of tax savings, but my father (always my first line of investigation) thinks they’re a scam. I haven’t had a chance to Google yet and thought I’d ask here. Thank you in advance for any thoughts!

    • Wildkitten :

      They’re a scam and your FP is trying to make money off selling you a scam. Don’t buy it and also find a new FP.

    • It is a scam. Finance people make a boatload of money off of them, which is why they push them so hard. It’s super shady, IMO.

  16. Woke Misogynist :

    Follow up to our feminism/men conversation a few days ago:

    Reading an article right now titled “Meet the woke misogynist,” from Fusion.

    “Many male feminists are genuine, even if they’re not perfect. They will try and sometimes fail on their way to enlightenment. We care about the men in our lives, so we are happy to explain what they’ve done wrong. We will gently chide our guy friends for objectifying their female lovers or about how their favorite films don’t pass the Bechdel test.

    And they’ll usually listen, because being a male feminist is admirable. Being a male feminist can even get you laid.”

    As someone who had some pretty negative/assault-y/abusive experiences with a “woke misogynist,” it REALLY hit home for me (…bad choice of words). Enough that I needed to take a walk after finishing it because it triggered me to the point of tears and I’m at work.

    God, I hate my ex.

    • this article was amazing; thank you for sharing!

    • I’m sorry that happened to you. You are NOT alone, clearly! It can be so hard when people respond “but he seems like such a great guy” when you know the truth.

    • Wildkitten :

      My ex thought he was a genuine feminist but also got really upset when I said my job was the most important thing to me. (I have a good explanation – I need my job to pay rent/bills/eat, and Maslov’s pyramid is important to me!). I can never decide if he was a fake feminist or what. Sigh. Good riddance.

      • Wildkitten :

        I don’t think a man would ever even be asked if his job was the most important to him. And I don’t think anyone would flinch if he said it was. But everyone with bills needs money to pay them! And everyone has bills!

      • Wildkitten :

        We weren’t married and didn’t have kids but it was a big red flag that he would not have been supportive of the importance of my career to me for when we did. And I fully plan on having both kids and a career.

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