Coffee Break – Dollar Shave Club

I first heard about Dollar Shave Club from readers, singing its praises — I finally went over, watched the (very charming) video, and see what they’re talking about — it looks pretty awesome. The idea: why overpay for razors when you can get a nice sharp razor sent to you every month for a very low fee (they have $1/month subscriptions, $6/month subscriptions, and $9/month subscriptions). I think it would be a great idea for the guy (or guys) in your life.  Ladies more familiar with the club — do you also use the razor blades yourselves, or is it just for the guys?



  1. A male friend of mine uses this and he says it’s great. He gets a new razor every week (not sure which of the three plans he has) but he says it makes it super easy because every Monday he just throws out the old one and starts fresh!

    • My husband used these razors/blades for a little while but then stopped because he kept nicking himself. He gave them to me to try, but they also cut up my legs a little.

      Too bad because I like the concept and the video!

    • Anyone else have experience with this? I was thinking this would be great stocking stuffer for my SO, but now I’m on the fence. He has really sensitive skin and a really thick beard, so we spend a fortune on razors and he’s always has some sort of nicks/irritation, especially if he has to shave daily. I guess we can try it and cancel if he doesn’t like it…

      • Another S :

        My DH has this problem and solved it by using an electric razor first, then reshaving with a regular razor. Might work for your SO?

        • This is how I do my bikini area, and I use hair conditioner in place of shaving cream and rarely get in growns.

      • The Art of Shaving system is pricey, but really helped my husband with irritation. He also gets a better shave in the shower, but you need to take the razor out, dry it, and store it in a dry place each day to keep a good edge.

    • my son signed up for it, he likes it. He got the upgrade to 4 blades for $6 a month.

  2. Jacqueline :

    Anyone have tips on how to liven up flat, lifeless hair? I blame the dry winter air for its recent limpness. It’s long and fine with some layers.

    What I want (or really, any Olivia Palermo look — take your pick):

    I just want it to look full and pretty. Should I use a curling iron? Velcro rollers?

    • TO Lawyer :

      What kind of shampoo/conditioner are you using? Do you have split ends? Even though my hair is thick, it looks pretty lifeless if I don’t get a trim often enough.

      Are you blowdrying your hair upside down? I find that helps with the volume. As for the curls, I think you could achieve those fairly easily with a big barrel curling iron. I personally like flatiron curls, although they don’t end up looking like that.

      • Jacqueline :

        I use Pantene’s Flat to Volume (I think that’s what it’s called). My hair is medium-thick, but it’s extremely fine. No, no split ends — I’m pretty religious about regular trims. I do blow-dry upside down for the first few minutes, but the effect doesn’t seem to last. I wonder if it’s because I use the nozzle attachment.

        • Pantene is notorious for product buildup, imo. Try switching shampoos periodically to get rid of the buildup.

          • karenpadi :

            This. Pantene is great for the price but the build-up gets to be an issue after a few bottles.

    • Mousse and thickening sprays (applied to the roots) work well for me. I also use dry shampoo sometimes for a bit of body, especially if I’m spending all day at a conference or something.

    • I have fairly thick hair, but it is baby fine. A couple of things that work for me
      1) Coloring my hair. Highlights or all over color roughs up the shaft a bit for more volume.
      2) Use a volumizing shampoo and conditioner. Clarify as necessary to remove buildup. Use mousse for volume
      3) Blow dry upside down at first, then finish in sections. Afterwards, Velcro rollers. I put them in after I dry it and leave them in as long as I can. A misting of hairspray helps “set” the loft. They are much gentler on your hair than heat styling and a set will last for years.

    • Samson-like devotion to perfect hair... :

      A couple of suggestions –

      1. Volumizing powder and/or dry shampoo – I use Suave dry shampoo and have some of that Got2B (such a cheesy name) brand volumizing powder. The volumizing powder will make your hair HUGE, but it also is less manageable than dry shampoo and creates kind of a tacky/dirty texture. If you want to do the Olivia Palermo look, I’d maybe work in some of the powder in sections , comb it through and do one of the no-heat curls methods (I like the elastic headband method – you can google it). You could also use hot rollers and roll sections of hair away from your face with smaller rollers, then spray dry shampoo on the curls after you’ve taken them out and combed through.

      2. KMS add volume mousse. This stuff is no joke. I don’t like using it so much because mousse is so drying, but it packs a wallop.

      3. My hairstylist and I have been trying to perfect a volumizing/wavy spray recipe after her favorite brand was discontinued. 4 parts water, 2 parts sea salt, 1 part vodka (as a preservative) and 1 part coconut oil has been our best attempt thus far. Spray it on your roots before you blow dry and it adds a little volume. You could then curl with a straightening iron after you blow dry.

      • Jacqueline :

        Thanks — these are great tips. I’ve never tried dry shampoo, but my stylist keeps suggesting it. And I’ve never tried mousse either (I pretty much only use Moroccanoil and L’Oreal Elnett on my hair — I need to experiment!). I’ll have to check those out.

      • SugarMagnolia :

        The “elastic headband method” for curling is amazing. I am trying this TONIGHT. Sorry for the caps, but this is exciting!

        • big dipper :

          This is late, but if you try the headband method and at first don’t succeed…try again! It took me a few times to get the hang of it to figure out how to appropriately wrap my hair around the headband to get the look I wanted but I love it now. So, so easy.

    • My hair is somewhat similar to yours – the texture is incredibly fine (like angora, basically), but I have a medium-to-thick amount of it. Have you tried the Living Proof Full line? I bought the sample kit recently and have been impressed with the results — it doesn’t give me Kate Middleton’s hair, but it does make my hair look more like I think it should. And it helps the body from the Velcro rollers last!

    • Avoid any hair products that have glycerin in them. Glycerin is good for people who live in humid climates, but for those of us who live in dry climates it’s awful. I have curly hair so I’m sulfate & ‘cone free, but I also avoid glycerin because around here 60% humidity is a humid day! Unless it’s winter & snowing, that is, but I don’t think 90%+ humidity counts when it’s below freezing.

    • hellskitchen :

      chopping off a few inches might help pump up the volume. I have long and fine hair and when it grows long, it gets weighed down. I chopped off 3-4 inches recently and regained a lot of volume

  3. e_pontellier :

    I’m not sure what I was expecting of the video but holy cow it is worth a watch… possibly with your office door closed, in case you burst out laughing like I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I can’t think of a better adjective than charming.

  4. What gift are you most excited about giving this year? I’m looking for some ideas for people in lots of different categories, so I thought this would be a fun thread.

    For me, I am most excited about giving my hubs a Nest thermostat. He’s going to be pumped!!! I’m also giving my sister a Kate Spade crossbody purse like the one I have that she’s been eyeing jealously. :)

    • I am most excited about giving my BIL this little nerdy gadgety product.

      My parents will be out of the country for Christmas, so we are only doing one stockings this year. I have found one perfect stocking stuffer for each member of my family, except my darn sister!!! She is awesome, but she is just as much of a control freak as I am, so i have the hardest time finding things to buy her!

      • Sugru looks awesome! I was planning to be done with shopping for my boyfriend but I may pick this up too.

    • I am hoping for a certain something in a small box.

      I am annoyed at myself for being that needy woman who is buying into the overly commercialized hype surrounding engagement and marriage (not to mention the virtual monopoly that DeBeers has, which p*sses me off) in this day and age, but, well, here we are.

      • Sigh. I totally misread. I was supposed to be talking about *giving*. Now I feel even more stupid.

        OK then, I am *really* looking forward to giving my grandfather a dickey I knit for him. I gave him one a few years ago. He loved it and since then he has been dropping endless hints about wanting another one in a different colour. So now he will have a blue one!

      • You could always say fooey to diamonds (assuming you do want a ring at all).

    • My brother is obsessed with a local artist’s work and I got him a piece for his new house. I’m having trouble keeping it a surprise, I’m so excited!

    • My family are pretty boring, although I did buy some beautiful clay ornaments from Polly Wells at our local arts market.

      I bought a couple of pretty white platters (sort of a distressed look) with a raised crown on them. They make great cheese plates and weren’t all that expensive. The crown is another New Orleanian thing, like the fleur-de-lis.

      I ordered this pottery bowl ( for a friend and I’m really excited about it. She went crazy over mine when visiting for Thanksgiving. They were even offering free shipping!

    • I’m getting my dad a state geologic map from the state he grew up in. It hits 3 of his geek points. And it’s 7 feet long :)

      • lucy stone :

        Where did you get this? My husband would love it.

        • This one is for MT – it was put together by Montana Tech (Butte, MT). So, it probably depends on the state. If you’re looking for the MT one, I can send you a link to the MT Tech website.

          • lucy stone :

            I am looking for Alaska, but thanks for the offer of help!

          • Research, Not Law :

            Oh, oh! I’d be interested in the MT map.

          • I don’t know if they have anything comprable, but you could always check out the Geological Division in Alaska or the US Geological Survey to see what they have. It looks like they do have some geological maps.


            For the record, this is the one I got from MT Tech. It’s pretty awesome :)

          • Research, Not Law – the link to the map is in moderation. I’ll check back to make sure it comes through. I’ll warn you – the glossy version (there is also a matte option) was about $100 after shipping.

          • Thank you for linking!

          • MT map – just add the www.


    • Jacqueline :

      Ooh, good question. I’m excited to give travel books to some family members that are headed to Europe — I had so much fun picking out books that were tailored to their itinerary!

    • I’m most excited about gifts I have for my kids. For my 12 (almost 13) yo ds we are getting him a prepaid cell phone. We’ve always told him he’d have to wait until he’s 14 to get one, but we’ve been realizing lately that it would be very convenient for us if he had one. I know he’s going to be shocked and I think he’ll be excited as well.

      My ds who is 10yo has been begging for a remote controlled helicpoter for months, and we got a good deal on a decent one. He’s going to be SO excited! Can’t wait.

      My youngest ds (7) he’s getting a DSi. Not something he even asked for, but he doesn’t have a DS of his own – he always uses mine. He’s also getting a remote controlled car, which he’s wanted for some time as well.

      I think dh & I really nailed it on the gifts for our kids this year, and, as usual, I’ll have just as hard of a time sleeping Christmas Eve as the boys do.

      • Saacnmama :

        What helicopter did you get him? My sister is going to get one for my son, but I’m not at all confident she’ll get one that can be controlled well.

    • We got a Nest last spring, and it is really, really cool. I love being able to program it from my phone and tell it to, say, crank the heat up 10 minutes before I get out of bed, then drop it back down an hour later. We have 2 thermostats in our house (one up and one down), and I’m thinking about getting hubby a second one for x-mas.

      My favorite gift that I’ve picked out so far is some truffle liquor and truffled fois gras from some French website that I’ve ordered for my husband, who loves fancy stuff like that. We had the truffle liquor as an apertif at a very nice restaurant on vacation last year, and really liked it, but it doesn’t seem to be available much at all in the US. The fois gras is just extra, because I know that he loves it and would doublely love it if it is fancified up with the addition of truffles. I just hope that it comes in time – I don’t think that I’ve ever ordered anything from Europe before.

      • Truffle liquor as in chocolate or as in … well, truffles? (The kind rooted out by pigs) I’m having a hard time imagining what the latter would taste like.

        • The pig and mushroom kind. I know that it sounded odd to me at first, too, but it was really, really good. Not really sweet (it may be incorrect to call it a liquor), more earthy and rich.

    • Pieces of the Waterford Nativity for my mom.

    • We’re buying my mom a mattress — hers is 18 (yes, 18) years old. She knows she’s getting it so it’s not a surprise, but I’m still happy b/c she’s really hard to buy for.

      DH picked out his “big” gift (a super nice watch) but I have a hilarious stocking stuffer for him (a kitchy t-shirt that plays on our future son’s name — I’m due in Jan.) that I found totally by accident at a big box store.

    • Jessica Glitter :

      Great threadjack… any great dad ideas out there? (50, not a golfer, into gadgets, outdoors activities, hiking, running, geology, works in the oil and gas industry)

      • No ideas, but I LOVE your user name.

      • I’m not sure this will actually be a hit, but I’m getting my dad (who similarly likes hiking, other outdoorsy stuff, gymgoing, and gadgets) one of those wristbands that measures activity and other things — either the Nike fuel (the gamification aspect is a bit cheesy) or the jawbone equivalent, that also tracks sleep patterns and such. Even if he doesn’t end up using it, he’ll entertain himself for a few weeks futzing around with the settings, etc.

    • My family’s Chinese Checkers set is missing maybe 20% of the pieces, and the blue and green teams are almost indistinguishable color-wise. I don’t know why I never thought of this before, but I’m getting a group gift of a new set with clearly defined colors and a cover so that the pieces don’t wander off. (The household also no longer includes cats, so that will help.) Some relations have been rocky lately so I’m hoping that this being at my mom’s house will provide a way for…some of us to co-occupy a room without speaking? Or at least for me to send a positive message that is authentic.

      I’m giving Mr. Monday a pair of leather, cashmere-lined gloves that are a million times better than the thin knitted ones he deals with currently, and have zippers and buckles to suit his sassy-nerd-from-the-future aesthetic. I chose the color carefully to go with his huge collection of jackets and scarf that was a gift from his ex! I kind of ache to replace the latter, but he seems to like it and it’s fine. So, complementary gloves.

    • I’m excited to be repeating my mom and grandma’s gifts for the third year in a row, since I finally found winners and they’re both impossible to shop for (no joke, the g-ma ninjas 9 out of 10 gifts back into my mom’s house): a critter from Heifer for my mom, and a donation to the Nurse Family Partnership for my grandma (while using my address, so she doesn’t get inundated with mailings).

      I wish I could find a gift to be excited about for my dad. I think I’m doing a gift certificate to a spa here for my godmother, which she’ll enjoy, but my dad is a perpetual gift-problem.

      • I got my dad the Blu-ray of the BBC show Sherlock. My mom said they haven’t seen it but now she’s not sure. Whatever, either way it works.

    • Saacnmama :

      Silly of me, but what I’m excited about is that I masterminded a 3-way exchange wherein my sisters and I all give each other workout gear. And for once people seem to be lists in to me on what to give DS.

    • Two things for my daughters: 1) a felt nativity set like I used to have when I was a kid, 2) IF I can get them- Taylor Swift concert tickets (their little heads will explode).

  5. Gail the Goldfish :

    Question for those of you in/near Seattle–My SO is going in mid-February to give a talk for work. Neither of us has ever been to Seattle (or anywhere on the West Coast, for that matter), so I’m thinking about tagging along and making a vacation out of it. What’s the weather like in mid-February? Would it be too cold for it to be an enjoyable vacation?

    • Not cold, really, but wet. There will be lots of rain. However, even if it won’t be as cold as it is on the eastern seaboard or in the central states, because it is wet, it is the kind of cold that really gets into your bones. Best combatted with wool, Gore-tex and gumboots.

      Some people really love coming to the PNW in the winter simply because of the beauty of the winter storms – you might look into going to Long Beach (on Vancouver Island) to do some storm watching. It is gorgeous.

      • Research, Not Law :

        This. 34 and raining is a different cold. It wouldn’t be my ideal time to sight-see in Seattle, but it is a nice time to get cozy and storm watch on the coast.

    • I was there last year and it snowed. They don’t use salt on the roads. Had to drive around in a weird mixture of slushy sand and snow. Despite the snow it was still relatively warm (relative to the Northeast). I jogged outside, which I’d never do at home that time of year.

      • Coach Laura :

        To Gail re: Seattle in the winter.

        Seattle (and the surrounding suburbs) does use salt and sand when it snows. The problem is that since we don’t get much snow, there aren’t enough snowploughs/salt trucks and the roads are a hot (or cold) mess. We could have enough snowploughs but that would waste money since we only need them 2-3 times a year. Plus there are hills, which make the driving extra scary.

        Regarding a winter visit, it does usually rain daily and the cold 34-40 with rain is crummy weather. It doesn’t stop me from daily walks and long weekend walks with the dogs but isn’t fun, especially for tourists.

        If you stay in downtown Seattle, you could tour the Pike Place Market, Waterfront and Aquarium, take a ferry ride to Bainbridge and back, go to the top of the Space Needle and visit the Seattle Art Museum and/or the Experience Music Project all without a car. Bring umbrellas and raincoats (or at least polar-fleece jackets), scarves and gloves.

    • Cold and rainy, possibly snowy/slushy, but rain here in Seattle is often the intermittent type that you can still deal with, not the pouring rain that renders you housebound.

  6. Flying anon :

    I’m taking a flying trapeze class this week, and I’m supposed to sign and bring a waiver available on their website. It’s mostly a release of liability, but also has a lengthy and detailed photo release section—basically that they can use my photo and *full name* in any way they choose. While I am somehow fine with the prospect of “all injury, disability, [and] death,” the idea of them being able to use my name in any way they choose does not sit well with me.

    Is there a way to agree to just some of the terms? That is, can I just cross out the photo release section (or even just the part about using my name) before I sign it? (I have zero legal knowledge, but something tells me someone here MIGHT have a few thoughts on the subject…)

    Oh, and has anyone done flying trapeze before? Have any tips/advice?

    • manomanon :

      *Not a lawyer- but have been responsible for release forms in the past* My understanding has always been that you can agree to only part of the terms- particularly the photo portion. Give them a call and explain your situation- they may hear this a lot.

      • a passion for fashion :

        If it were me, I’d just cross out the part you dont want and sign it. I wouldnt call and explain anything unless they ask why stuff is crossed out.

        If theydo ask, only then would I tell them I dont want my photo or name used.

        Also, before you go in decide how much it means to you — i.e., if they insist on using your full name and photo, do you still want to do it? If the answer is no, then tell them that and be prepared to walk if they dont change their mind.

        • karenpadi :

          This. And I have walked away from things for similar reasons. Don’t be surprised if they call you some nasty names as you walk away or give you a “lady be crazy” eye roll.

    • I think it’s take it or leave it. There was an articel In yesterday’s NY TIMES about these terms and condition’s and if they can EVEN be enforcabel! I say NO BUT you would need to go to COURT and argue to a judge!

      As a litiegieator, I would recomend hireing an expert like me, who is good on her feet and can charm the judges. The Manageing partner says I can charm the pants off the court but that is HARDLEY what I want to see. FOOEY!

    • Don’t have any input on the legal issues, but I did a flying trapeze class last year. It was fun but terrifying! The worst part for me was climbing the ladder to the platform – I have a fear of heights and ladders are just the worst. I just kept telling myself that they knew what they were doing and we were hooked in to a couple of safety lines, so it was totally safe.

      One funny thing is that in the information I was sent, it had something about “don’t be surprised if your body reacts in surprising ways.” I took this to mean don’t be surprised if you pee yourself. I didn’t, but I guess it’s something to be aware of.

    • Also, I wore a close-fitting short-sleeve shirt with a sports bra and capri-length (just below the knee) yoga pants and ankle socks. They probably give you advice for what to wear, this is what worked for me.

    • Done it, SOOOO much fun! Be prepared to be very sore for the next few days. I had bruises all over after the first time (including on my waist, where they cinch your safety belt very tightly). And yet totally worth it.

    • That sounds really exciting. I am a lawyer and have worked a little bit with these releases – basically, they are designed to be take it or leave it. That doesn’t mean that you can’t attempt to negotiate – best course of action is to call or drop by and ask to speak to the manager about it, and just politely ask if they can strike that provision. The caveat, though, is that they can certainly refuse to have you as a customer, too (and if you’ve paid in advance in some way, you could lose that as well). However, my guess would be that the manager would prefer to lose the likely slim opportunity to use your likeness over losing you as a customer.

      Have fun and please tell us all about it!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been wanting to do it for quite awhile but haven’t signed up yet. Please report back!

    • It is so much fun! Make sure to wear leggings or capri leggings because you will probably hook the back of your knees around the bar, and it’s nicer if the bar doesn’t touch your skin. Wear a tight shirt or one that you can tuck in so that you don’t expose more than you intend to while you are upside down. Have a great time!!

  7. I’m having fantasies of quitting my job and running away to someplace amazing. Obviously this won’t happen tomorrow, but are there any good online (or print) resources for how to become an expat and the different residency restrictions that various countries have? Or should I just go to consulate websites for the various countries I’d want to live in?

    • No advice but I’ve definitely been there, I think working in a bookstore in Paris is my PhD backup plan.

      I think there tend to be country specific forums, I know here in the UK, there is a very active expat forum. I just read it because I’m fascinated by the people who moved here after they met their partners online. I just can’t imagine taking a leap like that.

      • You aren’t referring to UK-Yankee by any chance, are you? :)

        • I totally am! I am hoping to stay here long-term, hoping my education here + a future job offer will do the trick but these people just met online! Maybe I should be less focused on my degree and more on finding a nice Scottish man? ;)

          • Pretty much. :) The laws aren’t really favorable anymore for employment based visas, as I’m sure you know. :-\

    • The best way to do this might be to find a job/organization you’d like in a country you’d like to live in, then ask about what the requirements are in that country. If it’s a place that often hires ex-pats, they’ll know how the process works. (This is what I did, btw. I did a UN internship in west Africa and after I arrived, the UN people just took my passport for a few days and when I got it back, it had the correct stamp etc. in it for my work authorization.)

    • karenpadi :

      Me too! I’m thinking a scuba-friendly island when the Baby Boomers are selling off their vacation homes…maybe 10 years? No idea how to start planning for this.

    • I found this website useful for when I was wrestling with my visa: It’s mostly Spain-centric, but well, who doesn’t want to run away to Spain? I don’t know how old you are, or if you want to continue working in your current field, but Spain, France, and Austria all have programs to import Americans to work in their schools. Just as an FYI.

      Also, please become another expat [reader of this website]!

  8. anon-oh-no :

    This is an exciting for me thread jack —

    I believe I (and a few of my close friends!) are going to become partners at the large law firm in the large city in which we work in the next few days. Of course nothing is final until it is, but I’m in the mood for dreaming, so for the purpose of this post, lets assume it is true and i just found out. What to do now?

    It seems like shopping for an expensive something (bag, suit etc) is in order. I’m thinking maybe a chanel bag, or maybe a jacket. I’d love to just walk in and buy it — no research ahead of time — just do it.

    what would you get?

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I would get an antique Tiffany lamp for my office, or one in the arts and crafts style. That way, I could look at it every day, since I spend so much time in here anyway.

    • This is so awesome, congratulations! I’ve started a new tradition of buying myself a nice piece of jewelry for big accomplishments. Well, my mom started it, I guess. She got me diamond studs for finishing my masters, and beautiful diamond hoops for finishing law school. I have my eye on some pearls for passing the bar, but I need to save up for them first. I would say choose something meaningful or useful to you that you think you will love, and go do it! Maybe do a spa day too?

      • Whats with the random hyperlink? I’ve seen it do that here for Nordies, never seen if for others… Weird.

    • Jewelry. I would get something really classic and expensive. Maybe a ring or a bracelet so I can always look at it.

    • karenpadi :

      A nice, big, in-your-face, bling-y c-tail ring. And then I’d wear it to work every day.

  9. Broken down after a Break-up :

    I am going through a massive break-up and am having trouble concentrating at work. Any words of advice? Due to the break-up so many other parts of my life are in disarray that I am having a hard time shutting that all off and focusing on the tasks at hand.

    Also, what items should I replace to help cut the cord post break-up? So far, I’ve bought all new underwear, sheets, towels and got myself a cute new hair cut/color. Anything else that people prefer to do?

    I’ve never gone through a break-up like this and just feel totally adrift.

    • No advice, just commiseration. I’m right there with you. Even though I have trouble concentrating, sometimes I actually feel better when I’m at work as there’s a defined role, tasks to do, and a place where I can step into a professional persona for a bit even though my life is in shambles. It’s almost like I’m playing a role at work and it makes me feel better, until I cry in my car on the way home. Hang in there, and buy yourself some nice stuff. Maybe some new make-up if you wear it?

      • Research, Not Law :

        Change up your routine as much as possible. I struggled the most at specific points in my routine that were formerlly connected with my ex, so I started breaking up those moments with new tasks, classes, play tourist, etc.

        I exercised a LOT. I also ate all the foods that he didn’t like.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Me too. No advice, but plenty of commiseration. I started wearing my class ring again to wean myself off of feeling naked without the engagement ring. I drank the very nice bottle of wine we were saving for the wedding so it wouldn’t stare at me from the pantry. I changed the desktop of my work computer to something other than our planned honeymoon location. I also gave myself permission to avoid my most hated chores (i.e. paper plates instead of doing dishes) so they wouldn’t be waiting for me at the end of the work day. Still can’t focus at work, but I’m hoping to make it the two more weeks until I go home for the holidays without any major issues at work.

        I also give you permission to be as rude as you want to anyone who calls you a good catch (especially if that person happens to be the ex who suddenly threw you back into the dating pool. True story.). If you are by default in charge of dealing with the logistics of the breakup because he/she thinks things “don’t all need to be taken care of at once” and “things will sort themselves out” (translated: “you’ll take care of it eventually, because I like to fly by the seat of my pants and not plan ahead”), I give you permission to do something petty and spiteful like setting up mail forwarding to ex’s parents house and make ex clean up that mess all by themselves without you.

        As for me, I’m so mad my ex not only blindsided me, but then also benefited from my immediately taking action to separate our lives when he didn’t lift a darn finger to cancel the wedding, forward his mail, or any of the other logistical tasks that come with the breakup of a household. I just couldn’t afford to wait around for him to get around to taking care of those logistics (there’s only so many times you can cry over a catalog arriving in his name), so of course I ended up being slotted into the role of the breakup concierge. Yippee.

        • Buy yourself a fabulous c*cktail ring and wear it on the middle finger of your left hand!

          • e_pontellier :

            When my first engagement was broken off, I did this. I got a fabulous bling-y ring from Claires for like $6 and it made me feel amazing.

        • Not to make light of your situation…but “breakup concierge” sounds like an excellent business venture.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Probably more lucrative than my current job! We can partner with Godzilla’s process server business in cases where the courts are involved. (Totally not offended; it does sound like an excellent business venture.)

          • LadyEnginerd, our business model keeps sounding more and more lucrative…..

          • Yes, seriously, I would pay someone good money for that service! Go pick up personal items from ex, inform friends and coworkers who need to know, inform my family and ask them to not make a big deal out of it at Christmas. I would also give my breakup concierge access to all my social media accounts, where he/she could go in and scrub any connections with, and photos of, the ex. Then I would task my breakup concierge with planning and booking a really amazing vacation for me.

          • If I ever needed to serve process on someone, I would totally hire a reptilian monster like Godzilla to do it.

        • I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Your calm and sensible behavior speaks so, so highly of you – you’re going to come through this like the awesome tough chick you are.

        • I cannot believe your ex told you that you were a “good catch.” Wow.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Yeah. Apparently he’s more of a catch and release kind of guy.

          • When my ex-boyfriend met my then-fiance, he told him that I was “very talented.” I still don’t know what to make of that comment!

          • I had an ex say something similar – how there would be tons of guys that wanted to date me.

            They say it to make themselves feel better – as in, they aren’t REALLY hurting you because you’ll bounce back in no time.

        • He’s not just putting all of the breakup-related labor on you, he’s also avoiding all logistical reminders of his decision to end the relationship. I know this must be cold comfort right now, but anyone who isn’t adult enough to handle the consequences of his own actions, preferring to put them on someone already suffering, probably wasn’t going to be a great partner in life. I firmly believe that people can love and honor each other through breakups, and when they don’t it points to a lack of character and maturity. Picture me ironically breaking into “True Colors” here.

          • Yes, this! I had an ex break up with me a couple of years ago, after 2.5 years, in an awful way. It made me compare him to a friend of mine who, even though he has broken up with several women over the years, always did it kindly and respectfully, with no mind games. Break-ups seem to bring out the worst in people, and I do think it’s a mark of character if you can break up with someone in an adult way.

        • Broken down after a Break-up :

          I basically could have written this whole post minus the wedding piece. I am trying to comfort myself that I am avoiding a lifetime of having to be the only adult in the relationship.

          Also, my ex had apparently been doing something behind my back for several months that I disagree with ethically (not cheating) and rather than face me or talk about how to resolve this conflict like grown-ups, they broke up with me suddenly. Literally 24 hours after we booked airline tickets to take a long trip over Thanksgiving that we were to leave on later that week. The whole thing is just so frickin’ insane. It doesn’t feel like my life.

    • Hugs. What about a new exercise routine? Yoga could be a good addition. You’ll feel better, physically, and get a small endorphin rush.

      • Broken down after a Break-up :

        Thanks. Getting outside for a run always makes me feel better. I just need to keep myself motivated to actually get off the couch.

        • Legally Red :

          Start by telling yourself that you’re just going for a short walk around the block or something to get some fresh air. Once you’re outside, it’s much easier to turn that into a short run! :)

    • Hugs and rawrs! Keep yourself busy. Whether it’s watching terrible tv or movies or walking to every single library or cleaning out your closets, keep doing stuff.

      Also, give yourself permission to be sad. And you can say to yourself, “I will be sad from 7-9pm and that’s it until the next day.” That way, when you feel something overwhelming you at work, you have some scheduled time where you can break down and just be mopey.

      • Broken down after a Break-up :

        Thanks. I think part of the problem is that we were together for so long that basically all of my life is intertwined with this person’s. And we were living in their house, so I am scrambling to look for a place to stay with my small assortment of furniture.

        I keep trying to tell myself that this too shall pass and in three months time I will be settled in to somewhere new. It’s just a bit grim going home to a shitty temporary sublet with a mattress on the floor.

      • I think its extra grim because my ex and I were living in a house that they owned. The only sublet I can find suddenly during the holidays is super grim and I have minimal furniture so I am sleeping on a mattress on the floor. I am trying to avoid buying furniture for another couple weeks because finances are tight.

        • I really hope there’s a [email protected]#$#$te in your town that can take you out but please, don’t stay home if it makes you sad. Hang out at your friend’s, with a family member, the pound, the park, whatever.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Ditto to that. I had a lovely museum date with the amazing scientist this past weekend, and a couple others have reached out to me to help me keep busy (zora, I keep meaning to email you. maybe tonight.). It amazes me how the community on this site is perhaps best described as “good friends you haven’t met yet.”

          • I am certain that a C#[email protected]^te would do this, and it might help that she has no connection at all to the ex, your coupled life, or any of your mutual friends.

          • LadyE, you are such a genius. First your brilliant chart and now ‘the community on this site is perhaps best described as “good friends you haven’t met yet.”’

            That is the most beautiful thing! And it is so true, OP. The incredible women on here have gotten me back on the road to ‘almost feeling normal’ and are some of my best friends now! So, I hope you can find new friends here.

            And, LadyE, I am still happy to provide distraction whenever you want it ;o) In fact, I’m in the Bay, but I was thinking it would be great to plan a weekend trip to SoCal if you want an excuse to plan more fun, distracting activities. :o)

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Can you buy something festive and inexpensive to make your new space feel more like home? Even twinkle lights around the windows can make a huge difference in making a place feel like home.

        • This is such a generous community. Thank you all.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            If you’re in SoCal, please just let me know and I’ll happily take you out for Fun Distracting Activities, especially since I’m in the market for some of those myself. Just let me know. Many many internet hugs.

        • Can you pick up a few candles at Target to spruce things up a bit?

        • Saacnmama :

          I know finances are tight, but $20 for cheap tinsel, candles, window gels & the like might totally change the feel. When we first lived overseas and were eating off an upside down box & then a spool for phone cable, my son & I enjoyed bringing in beautiful inexpensive or found objects–leaves & pine cones, a kite, that sort of thing. He was 5 then, is 10 now, and we have happy memories of those days.

          • Saacnmama :

            Oops, now that my comment is at the end of the TJ, I see how totally unoriginal my comment was. Guess we all want you to have happy surroundings.

    • Merabella :

      I think the most important thing to do is to give yourself time during the day to feel completely horribly miserable – even if it is only 15 minutes.

      Go to the bathroom, or take a walk, whatever, and do a big old ugly cry if you need to, but only take that time.

      During the rest of the day use things like the Pomodoro system to focus as much as possible, and fit in breaks (use the 5 minutes to listen to a sad song or whatever).

    • Lots and lots and lots of hugs! Let yourself feel what you need to feel, but try to look at work as a way to get a break from those feelings. When I’m sad, I just hate being alone, so I think this site might be a way to feel less alone when you’re at work.

    • Do one new fun thing for you a week. Eat delicious takeout that the jerk used to complain about. And tell yourself on your way to work that you refuse to let him interfere with your job and go to work and throw yourself into whatever projects you have. Maybe volunteer with animals once a week – I find them more sympathetic than people.

      What city are you in? I’m sure someone would be glad to take you out for a drink!

    • Oh, hon. All the Internet hugs I have to give are going your way. I know it’s hard, but the only thing that will make this easier is time. Give yourself permission to feel the way you feel. And it’s totally fine to not make work a focus right now–your focus should be on doing what you need to do to make you feel better, whether that’s your kickin’ new hair or a pedicure or running or eating the Thai takeout he hated or watching eight rom-coms in a row while wearing sweatpants and eating Ben and Jerry’s. Work will still be there.

    • Let us know where you are so someone can take you out for a drink!

      As far as replacing stuff– new underwear. Get some cute/fun bras/underwears that make you feel sezzy. I reinvented my wardrobe style a little; fabuloused myself up a bit.

      Give yourself permission to throw his stuff away. You could maybe donate it or return it, yada yada, but that requires time and effort. I found it pretty liberating to chuck pictures and gifts he’d given me straight into the trash.

    • a passion for fashion :

      try to look on the bright side — at least he didnt break up with you on a post it

      • LadyEnginerd :

        If being broken up via post-it would give me carrie bradshaw’s wardrobe, I’d consider that an upgrade :)

    • Hugs to you. No advice. Just hugs.

    • *hugs* When my exhusband and I split up, I got a new haircut and color. I started listening to music that he hated (oh how I’d missed ani difranco!). I bought makeup which I hadn’t worn in years. I did stuff just for me. Try to think about what life was before your ex and what you did for fun. Maybe it was a decade ago but that doesn’t matter. You’re recreating a lifestyle. My friend advised me to not say no to any social invitations – she said yes to everything during a breakup; it kept her busy and she met lots of new people. Definitely give yourself permission to make life easier; like if he always cooked or cleaned, hire someone to clean for you for awhile until you learn to balance everything on your own again. Also, get yourself a butterfly kiss from good vibrations (or!). ;-)

  10. Lady Harriet :

    Argh, some of the leather has scraped off the heel of the shoes I just got last week! I’ve only worn them a handful of times, but there’s a chunk of ripped leather about the size of a pea near the top of one heel. Is this something that can be fixed? Should I email the site I got them from and try to exchange them? I’m not sure if this is a defect or I’m just clumsy. I really like the shoes and was hoping to get at least several years of wear out of them.

    • Take it to the cobbler. This is totally fixable for like $8

      • Lady Harriet :

        Oh, awesome! I’m pretty new to the world of actual nice shoes. The last cobbler I went to was terrible (lost my shoes, never called me back when he was supposed to, and acted totally clueless in person.) Fortunately I’ve moved since then, so I just have to track one down in my new town. Thanks!

  11. Double Boo :

    Anyone ever have a (female) friend go on and on about how they will never work for a female? I’m so over listening to it and having her send me stats. Then a whole diatribe about how she thinks most women are awful and a diatribe about all the drama she has with everyone in her workplace, neighbors, teachers, etc. Making me rethink being friends. If you can’t get along with females and have such a bad estimation of them, then perhaps we aren’t friends after all. I hope I never have anyone like her above or beneath or even equal to me with that attitude. I see good and bad managers of all genders (and ethnicities and religions and ….) So sick of having to just listen to her raging almost constantly with this lunacy. Goodbye, former friend and (hopefully) never professional colleague.

    • “If you can’t get along with __________ and have such a bad estimation of them, then perhaps we aren’t friends after all.”

      You can pretty much fill in the blank with any word you choose, and I’m going to have a problem with that person. Lumping people together into categories and then judging them as a whole bugs me. So yes, I’d have a problem with your friend, too.

      Then again, I guess we are all probably guilty of this to some extent. See eg – “There are only two things I can’t stand in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures… and the Dutch.”

    • Well, if she has trouble maintaining civil and professional relationships with women, then the problem is not women, the problem is her. Good riddance, says I.

    • karenpadi :

      I don’t think the problem is her not wanting to work with women. The problem is that she goes on and on about this stuff. It sounds like she’s a drag to be around. I think friends should make me happy and glad to see them (and vice-versa). Friends who just complain all the time (without good reason–we all need to rely on our friends sometimes) are breaking the rules of being a good friend.

      • Word. Everyone’s got their preferences and quirks and prejudices, but you need to know when to STFU about them (or you know, not bring them up to a member of whatever group in the first place, because, brains).

    • Double Boo :

      Thanks for the perspective. I think it’s a bit of both issues–I don’t like the idea of categorizing into groups and the rest is the amount I’m listening to it and almost being bullied into sharing the opinion. (“You would feel the same if you’ve been through what I’ve been through…etc.). I’ve frequently thought she needs a therapist or something but would never be able to say that without my head being bitten off no matter how kindly or delicately expressed. The phone calls are just draining.

      I am really bothered though just on a level of basic respect for others. I have had good and bad bosses and never once equated with gender. I think jerks come in all shapes and sizes–just like the good ones out there. And you have to do what you can to help foster a postivie relationship, too. Seems to me like if you go in already having a chip on your shoulder about women in leadership positions then you’re not exactly positioning the relationship for success. Also makes me sad for all the women who are working so hard to get ahead and encountering these sorts of barriers–from within no less!

      I guess I just need a breather from her for awhile…or more. I’m clearly not going to change her mind anymore than she will mine.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Does she ever want to be in charge of anything? If she thinks women are such horrible bosses, I wonder how she thinks she would be in that role. Maybe it could turn into something productive and she could figure out what she thinks being a good boss entails so that she can be those things if she ever becomes the boss. Perhaps she will even see traits that other female bosses have along the way…

  12. Gifting TJ: I got my aunt as a secret santa. Gift limit is $25 (so anything near that range is fine). She’s in her early 60s, is not super tech savvy (lives in rural New England, checks her AOL email 1x per week, no smart phone, I *think* they have a DVD player but not positive), no kids. She and my uncle have an AMAZING garden, but I think he does most of the work. She likes to cook, knits/sews, lives near and enjoys all things ocean, and they recently adopted a dog. She is a SPED teacher so presumably gets more than her fair share of teacher-y gifts.

    Last time I was her secret santa, I got her a really nice scarf, which went over well. But now I’m out of ideas.

    • What about a cookbook? I have Plenty on my wishlist. It could be a good fit with the garden. Or there are a number that other people have discussed on here (Smitten Kitchen, etc.).

      • Merabella :

        Second the cookbook idea, it would be great to send them a cookbook they could use along with their garden (if they grow food).

      • I like the idea–I’ll have to look around. She’s not a very adventurous cook, but definitely grows food (and makes delicious sauces!). I’m sure she’d cook more if I came to visit more :)

        • I can’t remember the name but I recently saw a very awesome canning cook book (recently published) – great for novices and delicious looking. Maybe check a b&n? It wasn’t all serious canning that requires special tools, just mostly “you grow this in the garden, here’s something cool to do with it” kind of thing.

        • “Moosewood Restaurant Kitchen Garden: Creative Gardening for Adventurous Cooks”
          Fear not on the “adventurous cooks” part – it’s not avant garde food. Pretty basic stuff really, but it has some recipes for some not so common vegetables, so maybe that’s the adventurous part. The best description of it that I’ve seen is “a gardening book for cooks and a cookbook for gardeners”.

    • Lady Harriet :

      If you know much about her taste, how about a skein of nice yarn? $25 won’t get you enough for a big project in fancy yarn, but it could be enough for her to make something small. You could also get her fancy stitch markers or a knitting needle organizer. If you think she doesn’t have one already, you can get a yarn ball winder for around $25, and they can be really helpful.

      What about a microplane grater? They’re so much nicer than regular graters for fine things like citrus zest. My aunt gave my mom a set of new silicone spatulas for Christmas last year, and she really liked them. There were two different shapes, with a red and white one of each–the red was for tomato sauce, so they wouldn’t get stained. You could check out the Cook’s Illustrated equipment reviews for some other kitchen gadget ideas. (Link to follow.)

      • Lady Harriet :

      • Research, Not Law :

        Cookie scoop is my favorite recent kitchen gadget. I also got silocone egg poaching cups in my stocking one year that I love.

      • All great ideas, I just don’t know how well “stocked” she is in the knitting dept. And calling my uncle to ask would be hilariously useless.

      • Mouse in DC :

        We have knitters in the family, and a great ‘go-to’ gift is luxury yarn – buffalo fiber, yak fiber, camelhair, silk, exotic local sheep wool, etc. It’s the sort of thing that the knitters would never buy for themselves (we were a bit flabbergasted when one particular skein was $60 – although it was stunning), and so they are tickled with the luxury aspect of it w/out feeling any of the guilt. Especially since it almost always gets made into something for a gift.

    • Comfortable and supportive house slippers?

      • Ooh I like this. I’ll have to do some snooping to see if I can find something near the price limit. (my go-tos are Tempurpedic!)

        • Don’t get the Brookstone tempurpedic ones (at least not the ladies’ model) – got those for my mom and they were worn out to a hard plastic heel in 6 months. She was appalled and so was I. Just FYI.

          • That’s so sad! I got them years ago (2004?) and wore them for at least 3 years. They were still super soft and cushy and supportive…but one found its way into a new puppy’s mouth. I guess the quality has declined–which makes sense since I remember them being more than $40.

    • Anonymous :

      How about a gift certificate to an online yarn store like yarn dot com, knitpicks dot com (my favorite) or nordicmart dot com?

      Hi, knitter here.

    • Anonymous :

      Baby chickens?

      Mcmurrayhatchery dot com

      • I think this is a wonderful and creative idea that fits well with what OP said about her aunt.

        However, I just about fell out of my chair laughing when I thought of what would happen if I got anyone in my family baby chickens for Christmas. Oh. My. Goodness. And I’m sure that one does not, like, wrap baby chickens and put them under the tree, but I am having a vision of chickens running amok under a tree, and my aunt in her cashmere and Uggs staring at them in horror…

    • Uncommon Goods has a cheese-making kit that might be fun

      • If I had my uncle (her husband), that would be perfect. It’s so up his alley. I’ll email that link out to my immediate family in case anybody has him. :)

    • I have two cookbook recommendations: “The Sunset Edible Garden Cookbook” by Sunset magazines and “Grow Cook Eat” by Willi Galloway. Both books are written for cooking with food from the garden. There is gardening information included. I would also recommend both books for anyone who has a CSA in the summer. I can always use good ideas for using up the produce in the CSA box. Both books also have lovely photos.

  13. Flat hair :

    I saw someone mention velcro rollers above. I made it to 30 without owning any, but I really need to start giving my hair some help. If you use velcro rollers, what brand do you use? How many do you need?

    • I probably have 2 dozen at this point. I like the thermal ones (metal core) so that you can heat them up with a hairdryer. Conair makes them and a few other companies. Try drugstores/beauty supply. I do have one of those Conair multi-size nesting sets for travel, but it has too many small rollers and they are flimsy. I prefer a roller that is 1.5-2″ in diameter, with one smaller one for my bangs. They sell ones with clips, but I find the self gripping ones are sufficient for my hair. You do need to clean out the stray hairs and fuzz when they start to lose their grips.
      I have been a velcro roller convert for about 15 years now. I didn’t realize I had so many opinions about those things.

  14. layered bob :

    I don’t want to share this IRL because I don’t want to be too braggy, but somehow sharing it on the internet seems less immodest? Anyway. Thanks for listening.

    I paid off my undergrad student loans today!

    And, I found out I was accepted all three of my top choice (T14) law schools today!

    I know many here don’t consider law school a good decision, but I’ve been thinking about it for several years post-college, I have a specific idea of what I want to do with a law degree, a standing job offer at the law office I currently work at, and my husband can pay our living expenses/fund our retirement accounts during this time. So I’m going to go ahead and open a bottle of prosecco tonight (didn’t pay off my student loans drinking Champagne… :-)

    • anon-oh-no :

      As a poster who could have written your first paragraph (see above post) and as someone who loves being a lawyer and thinks law school is still a good idea so long as you actual want to be a lawyer, CONGRATULATIONS!

      This is fabulous news and you should absolutely open a bottle of something. What school are you leaning towards?

      • layered bob :

        Congrats to you too, anon-oh-no!

        Leaning towards Michigan’s summer-start program… but scholarship $$ may make a big difference.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Congratulations on both!!

    • Congratulations! That is amazing news! With three acceptances, you should be in good shape to negotiate for scholarships. Start early and be persistent! I negotiated and saved myself tens of thousands of dollars on my T-14 education.

      • layered bob :

        Thanks :-) Can I do this before I’ve submitted my FAFSA? I wasn’t offered any scholarship money initially at my top three (although I did get scholarships at lower ranked schools) – do you think I can negotiate for a scholarship anyway?

        • Yes. I was not offered scholarship money at my top choice (but was at lower ranks), did not negotiate, and paid the full amount to attend my top choice. I don’t regret it. I did, however, learn early in my 1L year that many of my classmates were in my same position, they DID negotiate, and they got scholarship money out of it.

          TL;DR – you can’t get your admission rescinded for trying to get scholarship money. So ask away!!!

        • I would start asking right now, even without the FAFSA. The worst that could happen is that they tell you they won’t consider until you’ve submitted the FAFSA. No matter what, be pushy but professional. Like Anon said, they won’t rescind your acceptance.

          I personally started at my lowest ranked schools and asked them to increase their scholarships in light of my T-14 acceptances. As soon as I felt I had the best offer a school would give, I worked my way up. However, depending on your leverage/timeframe/preferences, your approach may differ.

          Also, even if you don’t have any T-14 scholarship offers, remember that not all T-14s are equal and they know it. E.g., if both NYU and Cornell are offering you the opportunity to attend at sticker price, Cornell needs to know and I bet they’ll cough up some money ASAP. Some schools have a policy of not negotiating, but I can’t remember off the top of my head–check Top Law Schools. I remember that Vandy wouldn’t negotiate and UVA dragged the process out up until seat deposits were due.

          Again, congratulations! What an exciting time! I knew that I wanted to be a lawyer, but I was still afraid of law school given the current state of the economy. It’s a big decision, but it can be the right one for some people.

        • One of my good friends has recently finished a stint as a major player in admissions at our alma mater, and I just want to chime in to say: (1) It’s too bad more students don’t realize that they absolutely can negotiate for scholarship money — the worst that can happen is they say no! and (2) It is *definitely* a more flies with honey than vinegar situation! Remember that the people you are talking to are swamped and stressed and working long hours and talking to a lot of jerks. Be reasonable, be polite, and be concise. They are all people, and they’ll be much more willing to help you now (and later, when you’re a student) if they like you, or at least if you aren’t making their lives unnecessarily difficult.

          Oh, and congrats!

    • CONGRATS!!! I would have had my loans paid off two years ago, but we took out loans for DH to go back to school, and his rates are way higher. So it kills me that I still have loans in my name, but not as much as that extra 3% of interest. Blah.

    • Paralegal :

      Jealoussss. I only submitted my applications last week, but that hasn’t stopped me from already obsessively status-checking.


    • layered bob :

      thanks folks :-) it’s nice to have virtual congrats. sounds like I better start pushing for scholarships – honestly didn’t think that was an option! we’ll see what happens… and meanwhile I’ll enjoy the next 9 months student loan free.

      • Do it! A good friend of mine got into law school a few years back, right around the time I was VERY successful in a new job salary negotiation. She wasn’t’ going to push back on tuition, and I basically forced her/wrote her “script” for her. And she ended up attending the school she wanted all along for an extra $15k less per year. 60k isn’t bad for a couple weeks worth of emailing.

    • Congratulations!! I’m celebrating with you–I got into my first choice law school, which means I get to move back to NY and eventually not be long distance with my boyfriend anymore!

    • Okay, sorry :

      but no, bragging about this on the internet doesn’t make it less “braggy.”

  15. Attire for visiting a business formal law firm :

    I am a 3L who summered at a firm this past year and accepted my offer to join the firm next fall (!!!). Since I can’t attend the holiday party (I’m on the other side of the country), I have been invited to visit the office while I am in town for the holidays. The firm is business formal fall through spring. Should I wear a suit, or can I get away with a sheath dress, pencil skirt/blouse, etc.? I’d just go with the suit, but I am losing weight and I’m in that awkward “too small for my old clothes but too big to invest new expensive clothes” phase. TIA.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      Suit! Esp. if they are biz formal… I’d err on the side of caution and go conservative.

      • Def err on the side of caution. If you are overdressed, worst that will happen is you might get teased. If you’re underdressed, it can give a bad impression.

    • Attire for visiting a business formal law firm :

      Thanks all. I had a feeling that was going to be the answer.

      • I disagree. You’re not going in to work there, you’re going in to visit. If you showed up at my office in a suit, I’d think you were either trying too hard or interviewing other places while you were in town. Pencil skirt and blouse is perfect. (and for what it’s worth, I work at BigLaw. Not a business formal office, but we used to be until fairly recently)

        • I’d certainly think that wearing a suit to visit shows she’s trying pretty hard, but that’s not a bad thing to see from a law student my firm just hired in a bad economy.

        • In the same vein, I’d add here that a well-fitting sheath dress + blazer is better than a very ill-fitting suit. I’d be much more likely to notice that the suit looks 2 sizes too large for you than think that you’re too informal in a business casual look.

          That being said, my first instinct is to say “suit.” Can you do a coordinating (but not matching) blazer with the skirt or dress? You also still have ~2 weeks, so can you go get a jacket tailored in that time (which it sounds like you might have to do at some point anyway)?

  16. Wow! Lots of good news on this thread today…

    Here’s some more for the pile. My very best friend in the universe has, over the weekend, achieved a HUGE professional milestone in her career. Enormous, gargantuan, amazing — and it couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person. She’s early 30s, lives in a large metro area and will be getting married in 2013. She works in a creative field. How on earth do I go about commemorating this for her? My budget is probably $100 or less, but I want it to mean something. Any thoughts?

    • Get her a card. The things that I cherish most from close friends are the things they write to me. I refuse to throw out some books because my friends wrote me notes on the inside cover (altho, I suppose I could just rip off the cover but I can’t bring myself to murder a book that way). Anything more is gravy although a dinner to commemorate would be nice, too.

      • This. Maybe with the addition of a really special night out, if you know there’s somewhere she really likes to go, or something she really likes to do? This isn’t exactly the same, but I still get kind of mooshy and borderline teary when I remember how a few birthdays ago, my best friend wrote me a really lovely letter and planned a night full of things I loved doing. Her note and that she went to the trouble to plan everything means more than any physical gift she could have given me.

  17. Hey, just wanted to say thanks to everyone for your comments on navigating my upcoming marathon parental visit! I’m going to start making lists of parent-friendly activities within walking distance, and plan to schedule things like my long-needed haircut for after they get here.

    And to Whoah, since I would have answered in the previous thread if I’d gotten a chance (sorry, I was doing family-hating American things, like Skyping my mom and writing a Christmas postcard to my grandma), I love my father and my godmother, am looking forward to seeing them, and am excited to have the chance to show them around my corner of Europe. I feel, which I did not make clear in my original post, pretty f***ing guilty about the fact that I’m taking my father’s money, but I am in an extraordinary-for-me situation right now, both in terms of my income (a 700 euro a month living stipend) and my housing (the only pet-friendly apartment I could move into before I started work requires a roommate to fit into my budget; my roommate suddenly moved out, due to a long, sordid, seen-on-a-daytime-soap story; if my family stays with me, I can’t get a new roommate until mid-January, which means I will be living paycheck-to-paycheck, while said paycheck is being cut by the government of a country in financial crisis, with ever-increasing austerity measures). (You say I should have stayed in America, living with my mom and contributing to my retirement accounts, instead of pursuing a lifelong dream and passion? Perhaps, perhaps.) Also, my dad is always trying to hand me wads of cash because he feels guilty about my childhood. This is the first time since like, ever, that I have accepted a wad of cash greater than $40 in gas money. It’s probably the best Christmas present I could have given him.

    Peace and love, y’all.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I don’t think it’s weird that your dad offered to give you the money to stay there, since he’s saving money on hotels. When I graduated college, my mom did something similar – I was in a studio apartment with zero furniture and she came to visit, stayed with me and used my car, and spent the money she would have spent on a hotel and rental car on IKEA furniture for me. I was incredibly grateful because I needed furniture at the time, and also was really happy to see her and have her come stay. I don’t think you have anything to be ashamed of on that front and I’m glad your dad is able to help you out during this time.

      Additionally, I actually DO think it’s important that you plan me time, in contrast to “Whoa.” I don’t think that makes you someone who doesn’t care about your family/isn’t grateful they’re coming to stay. On the aforementioned trip, my mom and I were spending functionally all our time together – it was a studio, so we were in the same room all the time, because she was borrowing my car, she was driving me to/from work and I literally got zero. alone. time. for the whole two weeks. That was *exhausting* for me, even though I love my mom and have a great relationship with her. Sometimes, people just need a chance to decompress no matter how much they love the people around them, and it’s important to keep that in mind because if you just suppress the need for it, you can end up irritable and snappy, which can put a damper on the whole trip.

      • What momentsofabsurdity said. I love my dad dearly and earlier this year I took him on a week-long cruise just the two of us for his 60th birthday. As much as I love spending time with him and am super glad we got to have that time and those memories, sometimes I just.needed. to have a few moments to myself. Needless to say there were moments when I was glad that he was ok with me going off and doing something by myself (him taking a nap while I wandered around a port city or him sitting in the shade while I laid out and got some sun).

    • People ask for advice a lot on this site. I’ve now decided that that I think that it’s rude and childish to write angry defensive responses to one or two comments when most people give respectful and kind answers. People took time out of THEIR DAY to respond to your query and you value their input zero. Instead, you’d rather get petty and immature and single out the slightly more critical responses, posting in new thread in an attempt to make yourself look like more of a martyr. The passive aggressive “peace and love” is just the cherry on top of the nasty person cake.

  18. Gift-related question. My sister is pregnant. Just out of her first trimester. She’s having a bit of a rough go of it — she’s been pretty sick. Any ideas for gifts for her? She is not showing at all yet, so maternity clothes are a no go at this point, and I don’t want to buy her a lot of clothes that won’t fit shortly. I’ve got some little practical things for her that are unrelated to the pregnancy, but I’d like to find something that might make her happy/more excited about what’s to come.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      If she’s been sick/feeling gross, how about a gift card for a prenatal massage or spa experience?

      • Something like would be perfect, but she HATES being touched by people she doesn’t know. (I feel REALLY badly for the stranger who first tries to rub her belly… That won’t go well for them.)

        She’s, unfortunately, not terribly sentimental either. So at this point something for the baby wouldn’t really make her that excited. I swear she’s a lovely person, and I’m not trying to be argumentative. This is just exactly why I’m having issues coming up with ideas.

        • She’s still your sister. Forget about the fact that she’s having a baby and just get her whatever you would normally get your sister (besides obviously clothes). She’ll get plenty of baby stuff at her shower. I would have been annoyed if I’d gotten all baby stuff for Christmas when I was pregnant with my kids.

          Does she like to cook? Kitchen gadgets, cookbooks.
          Live somewhere cold? Luxurious scarf, gloves, etc.
          Ipod case, nice socks, lip gloss, you name it. Whatever you would normally get a woman who is your sister.

          • Something to make her feel beautiful? I second jewelry, or gorgeous accessories?

    • What about something for the baby? A nice soft baby blanket, a really cute or funny onsie? A book that you both enjoyed when you were young? A nice frame to put baby’s first picture in? A calendar to record all the firsts of baby’s first year? A keepsake box to keep things like the hospital bracelets, the coming home outfit, cards received, etc? A scrapbook kit she can complete for baby’s first year?

      And for her, make sure to throw in some Jolly Ranchers hard candies. They seriously saved me with my last pg. Something about sucking on the sour/sweet candy really, really helped my tummy during the morning sickness that lasted the whole pregnancy except for about 4 weeks towards the end of the 2nd tri.

    • Does she like photography? How about a class to learn how to get good shots of the kiddo?

    • Research, Not Law :

      I received a copy of “The Pregnancy Journal: A Day-to-Day Guide to a Healthy and Happy Pregnancy” by Christine Harris while pregnant with my first, and I really enjoyed it. It’s different than the pregnancy week-by-week types of books (of which I read many) and it’s not overly sentimental (I am not). It has interesting quotes, tidbits, and facts. It was fun to read through the whole pregnancy.

      • Research, Not Law :

        I saw your reponse above. I can’t emphasize enough that I am not sentimental.

        You could also give her something to make her feel pretty throughout the pregnancy, like jewelry or accessories. Maybe a ring or necklace with a heart that would be symbolic of the new baby without being too cutesy or touchy-feely.

    • Maddie Ross :

      This is my favorite gifts for new moms-t0-be — especially the ones who aren’t feeling well:

      These gingersnap cookies are yummy (I can attest) and I love the story associated with them. They were thought up by a mom when both her daughter and husband were in chemotherapy. A portion of the proceeds goes to cancer research. And they truly do help with the mildly queasy stomach problems.

    • I like the photography suggestion a lot! Or perhaps money towards a professional photographer session after the baby is born (or maternity session)?

      If you want something just for her, how about something like a Bed Buddy? It’s a microwavable heat wrap for your neck, shoulders, etc. I received one that has a lavender scent and used it almost every night before bed when I was pregnant.

    • How about some products that she can pamper herself with? I just bought a nice gift set of Mama Mio products – tummy rub (to prevent stretch marks), body wash and body lotion. Its a nice treat and comes in a cute gift package. Also, I love that the products don’t contain sulfates and parabens, something I’m extra conscious of when pregnant, and smell nice.

      Also second the recommendation for photography session. They can be so expensive, but I treasure the newborn and other professional pics that I’ve had taken of my son.

    • This is not helpful at all, but your handle plus all the media insanity over the Duchess of Cambridge’s illness makes me think that you are Pippa Middleton looking for gift advice for your royal sister.

  19. You guys. Urban Dictionary published JSFAMO. I sent it in months ago.

  20. Seattle Freeze :

    Another good news post: today is awesome because, in addition to a really great performance review, it turns out that my basically wonderful office is unfazed by my newly pink-streaked hair.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Woohoo! I really wanted to do orange and blond streaks this summer.

    • Jealous! If (When?) I get into a grad school program, I am reviving my fire engine red streaks — I’ve always had to be serious/professional/boring as a law student, lawyer, etc… I’m starting really look forward to it!

  21. DC MEETUP :

    DC Meetup is in the DOWNSTAIRS Bar at laughing man in case anyone is having trouble finding it!

  22. Help – family member is asking my mom what to get me for christmas. She in turn is asking me, trouble is I have no idea what I want. Any suggestions in the under $50 range?

    • I always approach this as what would I want that I don’t want to spend $50 on myself. For instance, I have a perfectly good toaster but I just want a shiny new one. Or, really fancy lotion from Khiels that I wouldn’t get myself. Or a hand vac to pick up loose kitty litter that I can keep near the litter box instead of having to get the big vacuum out of the hall closet. Think of relevant ones for yourself and you shouldn’t have any trouble.

    • Without knowing anything about you, here are some ideas I came up with for myself this year (I’ve actually done much better at populating my list this year, and now I’m stupidly bummed that I won’t be getting much off of it!):
      Earmuffs that have headphones built in (for winter walks)
      Fleece-lined tights (ditto!)
      A picnic basket set
      A set of finishing salts

      I’ve also made favorites/wish lists on some of my favorite shopping sites (e.g., Zappo’s), and I’ve sent that to a few people who have asked for ideas.

  23. Pimple treatment recs :

    I have sensitive, oily skin on my face, which still gives me a multitude of small pimples (mostly pinhead sized) even into my thirties. I’m 32, FWIW.
    I can’t really afford anything above drugstore right now, and am thinking of trying the Neutrogena Acne products.
    Just wondered if anyone here might have experience using them?
    Tried Cetaphil based on recs here unsuccessfully. I think it failed because of the oil base which just made that problem worse.

    • karenpadi :

      I have the same face issues. 32, lots of blackheads, the occasional pimple, and an aversion to all soaps (including Cetaphil). Salicylic acid is supposed to do wonders for people like us. I just get bigger break-outs when I put anything on my face.

      Honestly, I’ve stopped washing my face. I wear make-up occasionally (not daily) so I can get away with it. I might run some shampoo-foam over my face in the shower but that’s about it. I switched to a mineral oil based makeup remover from an alcohol-based makeup remover and I think it’s better. When I do need to use soap (e.g., after taking off make-up), I have a travel-size bottle of Aveda’s non-foaming facial cleanser (funny, can’t find it on their website–discontinued?). But I can’t find anything that I can use on a daily basis without breaking out–I’ve tried all the drugstore brands.

      • long time lurker :

        possibly too late for this, but I noticed my skin is better when I wash my face less. I wash my makeup off with ponds and use a little proactiv cleanser on my chin area (the problem zone) most evenings. Sometimes I skip the proactiv step. In the morning I just rinse in the shower. my theory is that overzealous washing/toning/products makes the oil glads over-produce. very occasionally i will use some alpha hydroxy on my face overnight to exfoliate. (maybe twice a month? when my skin looks dull). I still get the occasional chin pimple before my period but it is not as bad as it used to be.

        as for the proactiv, i use so little of it that i get it delivered only every quarter. i do think it works, celebrity endorsements notwithstanding.

        I am late thirties for the record and have had this ongoing oily issue since my late twenties. my skin was pretty good as a teen, alas. the benefit is that oily skin sometimes looks younger – my mom has my skin type and looks much younger than she is and i hope that works out for me too.

    • in-house mouse :

      I wash with olive oil and a microfiber wash cloth. Followed by a few drops of olive oil as a moisturize. My sensitive skin has never looked better.

    • GirlMeetsWorld :

      Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Facewash or Desert Essence Tea Tree Thoroughly Clean facewash. I also find inhaling the steam from a mug of hot water to be helpful.

    • I use Cetaphil as my cleanser (with a Clarisonic deep clean brush head), and then follow up with Neutrogena’s Oil Free Acne Stress Control 3 in 1 Hydrating Acne Treatment (phew, that’s a mouthful). It’s a salicylic lotion that stays on your face, as opposed to a salicylic wash which goes on and then comes right back off. I also substitute with a benzoyl peroxide sometimes at night – usually a 5% solution or more. Be careful, as the benzoyl peroxide will bleach fabric.

    • Do you have health insurance? If yes, go see a dermatologist and ask for a milk retin-a prescription. Mine costs about $20 with co-pay and one tube last about 2+ years. It is the only thing I found that truly works.
      The other thing I notices is that – at least for me – what works best is really gently products. So my go to is a super sensitive face wash and a really basic sensitive skin moisturizer. Aveeno Gentle Wash and Oil of Olay Sensitive Skin Moisturizer have both been good in my experience.

    • Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing works well for me, and although it is more pricey than drugstore, it lasts 2-3 times longer than any drugstore product I’ve used so the price difference evens out. Also, it has a 60-day return guarantee.

    • For reference, I have similar (very oily, acne prone, and sensitive) skin, and am nearing 30.

      I have used Neutrogena products for a long time- it’s one of the few brands that I know I can count on to at least not make things worse. I got great results from their SkinID line, but they just announced that it has been discontinued. Previously, I have had decent results from their drug store products, especially the Acne Stress line, but I like the full routine of the SkinID — it was cleanser, toner with benz peroxide, and lotion with saly acid. I think I’m going to switch to Proactiv.

  24. Downunder Dotty :

    I have a week and a half in New York over Xmas and New Year- what is your dream itinerary? We like art (Frick is on the list already) and the Met Museum. Want some quirky experiences and “secret peeks”at NY life. Can’t wait to get there!!!

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