Coffee Break – Mab Satchel

Rebecca Minkoff Mab SatchelAmazon has some amazing deals on handbags, with lots of big brands marked to 50%-70% off. Case in point: this lovely MAB satchel from Rebecca Minkoff in a taupey brown. It’s such a classic bag that I don’t think I need to say much — I like the basketweave pattern on this one a lot. It was $525, now marked to $239 (with free shipping and free returns) at Amazon. Rebecca Minkoff Mab Satchel



  1. Cute bag.

    Weird question: My husband doesn’t really enunciate like he should. He kind of mutters and is a little hard to understand sometimes. He also says like excessively, which has kind of rubbed off on me and is driving me crazy. So, I really want him to work on that. Do any of y’all have tips on how to improve that? Voice exercises or something?

    • Incidentally, Kat, this would be a good topic for a post, I think. I loved the one on how to improve your writing (I apparently need to reduce my use of words like kind of, really, etc.), and I think one on improving your speech would be great too.

      • Yes, please, Kat, a post on this topic would be great!

        • I am acutely aware of this now that I am interviewing, talking to recruiters, etc. I spend a lot of time on the phone and make sure that I enunciate, sound polished and mature, use my big girl lady words…but i still feel like I sound like an idiot despite positive feedback.

      • Excellent idea!

        Incidentally on the poorly enunciating husband part, I’ve noticed that my husband and I seem to have more and more trouble understanding each other (not in the communication sense, but in the purely spoken word sense), and I’ve heard that that can be a common problem in longer marriages, I guess because people become immune to each others’ voices or something like that. (Add to the fact that I’m hearing impaired and have a problem understanding everyone!) It’s weird and kind of frustrating.

      • For those of you who want to improve your writing, I’d suggest (another) read of Strunk & White’s, The Elements of Style. It is a timeless book, and I guarantee that you will come across rules that you have long forgotten. For legal writing, I use two of Garner’s books, The Winning Brief and Modern American Usage. Most importantly, however, you need to find excellent sources of writing and read them on a regular basis. Kat’s blog is well written, but many blogs (and online news sources) are not. Besides, I find online articles are often too short to be of much help for improving my writing. I maintain at least one magazine subscription for the sole reason of maintaining access to, what I consider, good writing.

    • Related question – maybe someone who knows about speech can weigh in on both? (Don’t mean to tj your tj, b23!) My husband has a tongue thrust/speech impediment. We’ve been together for 14 years, so I don’t hear it anymore, but it’s very noticeable to other people. He is one of the most intelligent people I know, but I’m concerned that he doesn’t make that impression, at least initially, and that it could hurt his career (he’s a trial attorney). Now that he’s 35, is there any chance that he could address this with a speech therapist, or is to too late?

      • In a GQ article I read recently, the writer had a great way of describing this… he called it the “genius curse” when people are super smart but have trouble communicating well. That was such a nice way to put it, and I think it’s so true for many people.

      • It’s not too late!
        A speech therapist could definitely help him with that and it’s definitely worth looking into.

    • My husband also mutters sometimes, and I generally ask him to speak up. You might also suggest practicing some tongue twisters, like actor warm-ups. A great one is, “The lips, the teeth, the tip of the tongue, the tip of the, tip of the, tip of the tongue”. That one really makes you focus on where you places the sounds (ie: using your lips and front of your mouth, instead of “swallowing” the words.) You may also suggest speaking in front of a mirror, and watching how how his mouth moves. When I first started singing/acting, my voice teacher had me do this, and I was shocked by how little my mouth was actually moving! No wonder you couldn’t understand my words, they weren’t actually coming out! She also had me put my hands on the side of my face or lightly over my lips, so that I would be conscious of how much I was actually using my jaw/lips to form words. And finally, from an awareness/preparedness to speak, facial scrunching and widening. Basically, make your mouth, eyes, and eyebrows as WIIIIDDEEE as you can, and then squish them as SMMMMAAAALLLL as you can. Do this several times to warm up your facial muscles, and then “chew” a little to get your jaw/lips/tongue ready to speak clearly. It all looks and sounds a little funny, but just being aware of how you speak makes a huge difference. Good luck!

    • Research, Not Law :

      I’m married to a mutterer, too. Unfortunately, I can offer nothing but commiseration. His signature move is to mumble while turning away from me. Then, when I ask him to repeat, he turns away again – at the exact same point in the sentence. So then I have to ask him to repeat again, but *clearly,* which annoys him. And I’m annoyed that he’s annoyed – and that I still don’t know what he’s said. It’s really great.

      My husband’s convinced that I have a listening problem, rather than him having a speaking problem, so I don’t think anything will ever change. I’m sure it will be the center of our spats when we grow old.

      • This is amazing. I could have written that exact same post. My husband turns away from me while muttering too. It drives me flipping nuts!

        • He also says I have a listening problem, which is crazy talk. I can hear and understand most other people in my life.

          • My dad does that too, drives my mom nuts! He also will walk out of a room while you’re talking to him. Middle of a conversation? He’s headed out to the back yard! When you call him on it he’s always like “what? I thought you were done talking?”

            And he’s an attorney, not an engineer.

      • Well, the one consolation is that it’s not just your husband :) You and b23 don’t happen to be married to engineers, do you? My husband compounds the issue by talking in the other room or when there’s a lot of background noise. So, I’ll be in the kitchen cooking, he’ll stand facing away from me doing dishes, and then mumble something. We then play the same game you two play :(

        • canadian anon :

          YES this happens to me too with my darn engineer husband. No, I’m sorry, I’m in the kitchen with the dishwasher on, you’re in the next room with the TV on, and you think I can hear you how exactly????

      • My ex-h was a mutterer. Told me on so many occasions that I was deaf, refused to repeat things because it wasn’t his fault I was deaf. It is frustrating, especially with someone you spend so much time with.

      • My husband is married to at least 3 other women!

        He does the very same things. I finally told him, “honey, I love you and want to hear every word you have to say. But, you mumble a lot and start a sentance and then finish it as you are walking out the room brushing your teeth or whatever. I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing what you are saying but it would be great if I didn’t have to guess”.

        I said that to him about 4 different times. After the 2nd or 3rd I told him I’d stop guessing and just ask him to repeat so he’d realize how often it happened. It finally worked. Thank the lord. I still say “what?” or “huh? I didn’t catch that last part” and he quickly realizes.

        • What I want to know is whether all of you who married mutterers who turn away….did he do this on your dates? How did you get to know him well enough to marry him if he muttered so much? Is this what it means for a man to cultivate an air of mystery? ;-)

          Seriously, though, it seems like a charming foible to me. Something you can laugh with your husbands about when you are all 90. Although by then, maybe you’ll both be deaf and will be saying, “What? What?” a lot to each other.

      • Aagh, my husband too. I have said “What?” so many times and I get annoyed. Seriously I cannot hear half of what he says. It’s a combination of talking too fast and too low.

      • Yup, this is my husband too. He also does it on the phone – doesn’t speak directly into his phone because he’s looking at his computer. Combine all of this with the low tone of his voice and at least once a day I have to tell him to stop mumbling.

        We also play the *fabulous* game where he starts mumbling, so I keep having to ask him to repeat and enunciate. Then he gets cranky. So I quit asking him to repeat and just start filling in blanks and guessing. Then, I end up not answering a question or repond inappropriately, and he gets mad because now he thinks I’m not paying attention. No, honey, I am, it’s just hard sometimes to understand what you’re saying when you talk at your car window using the vocal frequency of an elephant.

        • Praxidike :

          Hey Sconnie,

          I don’t know if you saw my previous comment, but if you want to email me and maybe get together, my email address is msjulesia AT

          Hope to hear from you.

      • My husband is a phone mutterer only (or almost only) — so I can barely stand to speak with him on the phone. And the worst is I know its just a passive-aggressive thing because he hates the phone. I have to constantly tell him to speak up.

        And then I hear him on work conference calls or something on the weekend and I hear his “work voice” and its all professional and stuff and I’m like AHA…I knew you could talk like a grown-up.

      • My husband could have written this post about me! I think he has a listening problem. Maybe I should cut him some slack instead of talking while I walk away.

      • I’m laughing out loud at my desk at this thread and at Ack’s comment “My husband is married to at least three other women!”.
        Count my husband (and me) in. He’s usually mumbling, in the other room, facing away from me, and I’m the one going “what? what?” and running to the other room to figure it out.

    • I wish saying “like” could be socially acceptable everywhere because it is such a hard habit to break, especially if you’re young and you grew up in an atmosphere where it was ubiquitous.

      • I think it is becoming more socially acceptable, but it rarely adds anything of value to your speech or writing so I try to avoid it. I had a professor in undergrad who used to cross out whole sections of my papers and write “wasted words” in red pen on top. As much as he was a total d*ck, I try to keep that in mind in my professional and personal communications.

    • lucy stone :

      Mine does this too. He’s a criminal litigator who appears in local theater and has a great booming voice, but the second it’s just the two of us he sounds like a squad car radio.

  2. Maddie Ross :

    While I love (love!) the look of these RM MAB bags, I would be wary of buying a new one. I know friends who have had them for years and still love them, but the newer bags (of which I own one) are not the same quality. Mine was shot after 3-4 months. In comparison, I have several Kate Spades that are going strong after 1-2 years, so it’s not necessarily how I use it.

  3. Diana Barry :

    Threadjack – eyeliner question. Any tips on making your eyeliner match between the left and the right? Is the sit-back-and-eyeball routine the way to go? Also, any tips on applying your eyeliner on the lower lash line so it looks barely there? I have been applying it and then rubbing furiously until it’s almost gone, but sometimes I think that this can’t be good for my eyelids.

    Thanks all!

    • Anonymous :

      I was really impressed by the Laura Mercier tightline process (brush and the cake eyeshadow, the “activator” doesn’t do anything for me.

      Its a brush eyeliner and takes a few extra seconds in the morning, but I find I have a lot more control and can be extremely precise.

      • MaggieLizer :

        I was posting the same thing but the posting-too-quickly monster ate my comment. You dab on the liner with a flat brush, so you get pretty much the same line thickness each time. It has worked way better for me than even other brush-applied liners.

        Anonymous, how do you use the liner without the activator? I’ve tried using water but it just doesn’t work right for me. I’d love to save the $20 (or whatever it is) on the activator if you have tips!

        • Diana Barry :

          Thanks. I do have this, but it’s not really convenient for me to take in the car so I can swipe on the eyeliner in the car before I get out to walk from the parking lot! LOL. Will see if I can steal 2 minutes in the morning to do it at home before I go.

        • It takes a bit to get it damp in the pan but I just wet the brush tap off the excess and go for it – once the liner in the pan has been used a couple times it takes just a little water on the brush every morning. It’s a bit hard to explain and I don’t believe you can do it on a pan that you have used the activator in (the activator tends to make the pan waterproof).

    • Upper: I mostly just try to take my time and eyeball it. If it’s just not working, I pick a darker eyeshadow and blend. If I’m intent on a liquid eyeliner, no/little eyeshadow look, sometimes I steady my hand (I’m right handed) by holding my wrist with my left hand.

      Lower: I try to dot the eyeliner into the spaces between the individual lashes. Then with my finger I lightly smudge upwards into the lash line. The process only takes a second or two, but then again I only put eyeliner on the outer 1/3 to 1/2 of my lower lids. I like to think this method gives some definition without looking obviously like eyeliner.

    • It sounds JUST like Alan. He drank alot, so mabye that was it with him.

      Men tend to be kind of strange, but we have to put UP with them, if you know what I mean.

      The manageing partner is stareing at me RIGHT now! FOOEY!

      BTW, he now is LOOKING at my handbag every morning. I will NOT let him know how much I paid for it. FOOEY on HIM!

    • Seattleite :

      For barely-there eyeliner, I prefer soft pencils. MAC’s kohl pencils, specifically. They’re soft, so easy to apply lightly and blend with a q-tip if necessary. And being MAC, stay put for hours.

      For matching eyes, check your application angle. So often in blow-drying and applying makeup we change the angle of our hands from one side to the other. It really does make a difference.

      • Also from MAC, I use an angled brush and an eyeshadow “Smut” which is dark but not black so the lower lashes look lined but not dramatic.

    • Tired Squared :

      I can’t help you on the lower lash line thing, but in response to your first question… I also can’t make the eyeliner match on both the left and right sides when I first try to apply it. But I CAN match them up properly if I “erase” the eyeliner. By “erase,” I mean remove the excess eyeliner with a Q-tip dipped in eye makeup remover.

      So I usually apply it on both eyes, decide which eye looks better, and then match the less-impressive eye by erasing away whatever doesn’t match on both sides.

    • I just put it on quickly, and then use Almay’s non-oily make-up remover pads to take off any liner that looks out of place. Saves so much time! You don’t even have to be careful about it and it’ll look fantastic.

    • For really precise upper liner, you need the following
      1) magnifying mirror, preferably lighted
      2) stiff brush and cake liner, preferably wet
      3) steady hand by holding heel of hand against cheekbone as you apply
      4) pull corner of eye out with other hand if necessary

      for undereye barely-there liner, again use cake liner, but dry and with a less-stiff brush

      Ask for a lesson at Bobbie Brown, Laura Mercier or Trish McEvoy counter.

      There are youtube videos on tightlining if you prefer to go under the lashes. I did for a while, but I prefer the line right on top of my lash line.

      • 4) pull corner of eye out with other hand if necessary

        This is what I do… I use the other hand to ‘stretch; out my eyelid and it helps me get a more consistent application on both eyes. I have a difficult time with the Laura Mercier tight liner, most likely because I do not have the time or patience for it in the morning, with a toddler screaming at my feet.

    • hellskitchen :

      I use liquid eyeliner every day and the best tip to get it even is this process: dip brush in liquid, wipe off excess and then then start applying in the middle of your lashline (right where the arch is highest) instead of from the inner corner, drawing it out to the outer corner. Now, without redipping the brush, place the brush at the inner corner and draw the line to have it meet the line you have already drawn (your starting point in the middle). This allows you to better control the thickness of the entire line and customize as needed, versus trying to draw a line from inner to outer corner in one move. Also, this makes the line thickest at the center and thinner in the corners, which I think opens up the eye more. It also helps to have a brush that is not too long so you can control it better.

      Sorry if you were not looking for a liquid-eyeliner tutorial but thought I’d share since we are on this topic! :-)

  4. Anonymous :

    All day I have been in and out of a number of different side documents to be put into one brief, that I swear I am not making changes to and just copying and pasting from. Word keeps asking me if I want to save my changes. Did I accidentially type a random letter someplace that I don’t want in there? Did I forget to timely save or the last save didn’t work, and I am actually getting rid of purposeful changes? It is such a trick question. I am so unnecessarily stressed out by this.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Don’t worry – Word thinks you’ve done a change when you copy something out of a document. I get this all the time when I open documents as “read only” for reference.

    • In a Microsoft World, many things are random. The sooner you accept this, the happier you will be.

      That said, it could be that your documents have a field in them somewhere that is auto-updating when they are opened.

    • (I hope it’s not the paper clip thing. I cannot stand the paper clip, although I think that feature has been gone for a while.)

      • MissJackson :

        My Microsoft paper clip guy showed back up randomly last week. Probably due to some sort of insomnia-induced malfunction on my part. But I cannot for the life of me figure out how to make him go away. He’s more acrobatic than I remember. But I still hate him.

    • This always happens to me with letters where the date was inserted as autotext and set to update automatically.

    • phillygirlruns :

      this is a constant source of panic for me. “what changes? i didn’t make a change…did i?”

  5. Nice pick on the bag Kat.

  6. Woods-comma-Elle :

    I’m having a case of Big Law guilt. I’m sure I can’t be the only one.

    Recently I have been working long hours, I had a closing two weeks ago and the run up to that was many hectic and long days, and since it’s closed, loads of other things have happened so that I’ve been staying late more often than not. Tonight, I actually finished work at 7.15 and didn’t have anything left to do. For most people, this isn’t even that early, but I felt almost guilty, like I shouldn’t be leaving (even though there is no face time really in my firm and the partner told me to go home) and almost wanted to stay late.

    What is wrong with me? Do other people have this?!

    • MaggieLizer :

      Been there. I usually get over it once I realize how much I’ve let other things go in my life to pull those kind of hours. For me, that realization hits me when I finally make time to clean my bathroom and discover that 1) my sink is not supposed to be the same color as my foundation (I use mineral powder, it gets everywhere); 2) my glass shower stall should be transparent; and 3) the natural state of my floor does not include kitty litter.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I felt this way too when I was in the midst of a super busy year and had a random respite. You’ve been conditioned to think that 7:15 is “early” because you’ve been working so much later. 7:15 is actually plenty late. Go home :)!!! You have earned it, and then some. Don’t sell yourself short! Plus, before you know it, you’ll be working those super long hours again, so you must take advantage of your relative freedom while you can.

    • I’ve also been there. Yes, there is something wrong with us! I always have difficulty ramping back down after a crazy project. Any chance you can take a day or two off to decompress and put some distance between your current mindset and the crazy hours you’d been working?

    • Totally get this feeling. You’re not alone.

    • You are definitely not alone!

    • Not just Big Law. I go through this with every major project. There’s always a point where it transitions quickly from 12 hour days to < 8 hour days, and it is always shocking to the whole team. I have to tell my guys to leave the office and stop moping around looking guilty.

  7. Chicago Threadjack :

    Questions about Chicago:

    1. I will be in Chicago for a conference June 26-30 and am thinking of having my husband and my SD (16) fly out to meet me to stay until the Fourth of July. Are there any special Chicago events on the Fourth?

    2. Any suggestions for hotels that are clean, centrally located and not expensive? I have a good rate at the Marriott on Michigan Avenue for the conference, but once the family arrives we will need two rooms, which gets expensive.

    Many thanks in advance.

    • 1. I think there’s a Taste of Chicago event over the 4th. There may also be concerts in Millenium Park.

      2. Inn of Chicago. We had that as the lower-priced option for our wedding and it was fine. I think we got a rate of $139/night. It’s just off the Magnificent Mile.

      • Unlike previous years, Taste of Chicago is not happening over July 4th weekend. It is from July 11-15th. I guess due to costs, they’ve scaled it back. Sad.

      • Oh dear lord, don’t go to Taste of Chicago. It’s hot, sweaty, crowded, and the truly good restaurants of Chicago aren’t there. Save your money and go somewhere awesome (you can usually only book ahead on OpenTable two months in advance, so I would advise you to make a reservation somewhere awesome in April!)

        I also second the Priceline or Hotwire suggestion. My parents got a room at the Drake for under $100!

    • I live in Chicago but usually go out of town for the 4th. However, there are several small fireworks displays around the city at that time. I think there used to be a larger one at Navy Pier but it is no more due to budget cuts. If crowds are your thing, the Taste of Chicago will also be going on at that point.

      As for hotels, the Homewood Suites located at Grand Ave. and State Street is very reasonably priced, a great location across from public transportation, has a very accommodating staff, and a full breakfast included. Also, the rooms are large suites so it may alleviate the need for two rooms. (FYI – this was where we had out of town guests stay for our wedding and we heard nothing but good things from our wedding guests as well). Also, there is a Courtyard by Marriott located next door that is equally as convenient and clean.

      • The Navy Pier fireworks are gone? So sad! I went to college in Chicago and one of my favorite memories was having a picnic on those big steps by the Shedd Aquarium and watching the fireworks on the 4th.

        Also: I have stayed at the Travelodge at Wabash and Harrison, and though it’s old it’s very clean. You can get a AAA discount if you’re a member too. And it’s a pretty great location, right near Grant Park. And near Yolk, one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago (oh how I wish other cities embraced brunch like Chicago does!).

    • For hotels, look into Club Quarters. The rooms are small, but the prices are (relatively) low.

    • I’ve had a lot of luck getting 4 and 5 star hotels in downtown Chicago for $60-$80/night using priceline. It’s something to consider if you’re not too picky about the features your hotel has.

    • If you know your plans won’t change, perhaps a payment in advance rate is an option. Sometimes you can get 20% or get 4th night free or whatever. Of course, it being a holiday, who knows.

    • what about VRBO (dot) com? Maybe you could find a great loft or something. Renting a condo or apartment is usually cheaper and more fun than a hotel, in my experience.

    • Chicago Threadjack :

      Many thanks for the suggestions.

    • I recently stayed at the Omni on Michigan Ave and it was pretty nice. I didn’t book very far advance, and it was the most affordable option given the short notice. It is also all suites, and if you sign up for the guest rewards program, they’ll bring you a free pot of coffee in the a.m.

  8. Change of subject, but has anyone ever tried Tracy Anderson DVDs for their workouts? I recently purchased one after seeing what a huge difference in made in a friend, but I feel a little less than motivated.

    • You know, I considered them and decided against because they’re pricey and I know my own lazy slug self.

      Some of her stuff is on Youtube and I’d try a few of those short segments and see if you can stand them and her before committing to such pricey DVDs.

      The only DVD workout I’ve done with any consistency was fairly affordable – it was the NYC Ballet Workout.

      • Thanks! I too can be lazy and this is the issue.

        I have done the NYC Ballet Workout and loved it. I am looking to drop a few lbs and get that lean look, so maybe I will go back to that.

        • I really enjoy the 10 minute solution pilates DVD. I love that you can mix and match ten minute segments for a more personalized work out if you don’t have time for the whole 50 minutes. I’ve been doing it regularly for years and haven’t gotten sick of it. It’s great.

          • I did the 10 minute solution ab workout and also loved it. I mostly did the 6 pack segment. I thought it really helped, but my workouts got to be too much.

        • Ooh, what’s the NYC Ballet Workout?


    • MaggieLizer :

      Never tried the Tracy Anderson, but I’ve done several Jillian Michaels DVDs. The 30 minute routines are short enough to fit in my schedule, and I can’t really justify skipping my workout to get only 30 more minutes of sleep in the morning. They’re also hard enough that I feel it the next day. Or, if I’ve been slacking off, the same day. Like today. It should NOT hurt this much to sit down.

      • I have heard good things about the Jillian workouts as well. I think I just need something that is on the shorter side so I can’t justify my “I don’t have time” nonsense.

        Looking into the 10 minute pilates series mentioned above, that sounds amazing!

    • I tried it (got it on Gilt or Ideeli I think). Couldn’t sit down the next day. It feels so awkward to do but it apparently works. Did I keep with it? no. but I still have it there for the days I need it

    • I’ve done her mat workout, post pregnancy (never had kids – but a great ab workout regardless) and am thinking about getting her new 90 day plan (it’s called “meta”, I think?)

      I’ve done some pretty serious workouts (spinning, distance running, kickboxing, etc) – and I thought it would be just so-so (her rants about using no more than 3lb weights are a little eye-roll inducing) but…. it works. It really works. I put on muscle VERY easily – big calves, biceps, etc, on an otherwise petite (5’2″ frame) – and it is one thing that has made me look lean, not bulky. Highly recommend.

  9. Having a v….e….r…..y quiet afternoon and it is FREAKING me out. Been going through my inbox clearing out stuff that has been lurking but I’m just sure (actually I know) its in anticipation of total madness next week. Do not like.

  10. Seattleite :

    Follow-up from various recent threads:

    cbackson, if you want more information you may email me at seattleite [dot] training [at]

    Ruby, for future power outages, search amazon for a ‘jump-start system.’ I have friends who have successfully kept laptops and cell phones, plus small lamps, charged through multiple-day outages. I don’t own one myself, but am eyeing the Energizer 84020.

    for the ‘rette who was skeeved out by Marshalls/TJ Maxx food, I experimented just for you. The turkish delight from Istanbul was truly nasty and tasted like chemicals, but the chocolate toffee almonds and soft crunch toffee squares were delicious.

    • Aw, thanks, Seattleite! (I’m the one skeeved out by Marshalls/TJ Maxx food). The latter weren’t stale / broken / opened and retaped shut?

      • Seattleite :

        Nope. Well within expiration dates, and packages completely intact. Perhaps to my undoing…because those soft crunch toffee squares are seriously good, and I’m thinking about going back for more.

      • I have a family friend who swears by pasta from TJ Maxx. I’ve never had a problem with anything from there.

    • LMAO Seattlelite, you are too precious.

      And for those curious about my whole chipped soul debacle, nobody at the professional event noticed or commented on my nails. I was paranoid enough to watch people’s eye movements and nobody looked at my flashing nails. Nor did any of my coworkers for the past 3 days notice. But, but, my flipping personal trainer noticed and said, “So, Godzilla, what’s going on with your nails? Why are they so many different colors?” I guess I now have proof that he pays attention to me while I’m working out?

      • Totes McGotes :

        WOOOOO Godzilla has a boyfriend!

        • Godzilla and her trainer sitting in a tree. K-I-S-S-I-N-G

          • Considering the whining, eye-rolling, sweating, grunting and physical contact we engage in, that may or may not be inaccurate ;).

          • This all made me LOL enough to read it out loud to my husband. And you know you can’t read TCFKAG’s comment at 6:02 without that sing-song intonation…

          • Seattleite :

            Godzilla, if you’re rolling your eyes during s*x, SOMEONE is doing it wrong.

    • Thanks! It was our electric radiant heat that couldn’t be used as primary problem– but good to know about the jumpstart for small items.

      • Seattleite :

        My heating pad draws only 58 watts, so I think I could use it long enough to warm up if I got really chilled.

  11. Finally got around to reading my junk food (aka glamour mag), and on pg 250, it’s their monthly “Hey, it’s ok to…” with a list of things we all do and think are silly that are completely acceptable (included on this list is: “hey, it’s ok to put on a lot of concealer and call it sleep.”) and in huge letters it says:

    “Um, not ok to heat up fish in the office microwave. Ever.”

    Thought of you guys.

    • This may be weird, but …. DH’s BIL is putting together a job description for an assistant (can be remote) and I know you were out of work and in need of funds with the sick pup! I can share the description once I have it privately, but no worries if you’re not!

    • I saw that too! and immediately thought of everyone. Now I’m self conscious that I used to heat up frozen indian from Trader Joes. Oh well. Never again!

      • Formerly Preggo Angie :

        Ha! I just had the chicken tikka masala today. I’ve asked my coworkers (not too many) and they all think it’s fine.

    • a nonny miss :

      K, I hope things are okay with you and your puppy. I was corporette-less for a while so I may have missed an update but I’ve been thinking of you!

      • Sadly, Nikko passed away and now K is trying to get a close to “normal” life in another state.
        Just though of letting you know so she doesn’t get repeat questions about this subject.

    • You know, about the concealer thing – most of the time it’s great and works well. Some days I look in the mirror and feel like it’s screaming “I’m tired and wearing concealer!”

      • I usually don’t bother with concealer under my eyes, but I recently had to pull an all nighter and did not sleep at all. The next day I put on a bunch of concealer and this guy actually said to me, “Wow, AIMS, you look so well rested, you must have finally gotten a good night’s sleep!”

  12. Barrister in the Bayou :

    I went to ULTA during lunch and came back with a new Urban Decay concealer, a Too Faced – Natural Eye – eye shadow pallet, and a free L’Oreal lip gloss… now if I could only find the motivation to get back to work.

    Just out of curiosity, has anyone purchased the Urban Decay “Naked” eye shadows? I want them desperately but 1) I don’t know if they are worth it and 2) I wouldn’t know how to choose between them.

    • They are absolutely worth it. In fact, I think they were one of’s road-tested “Worth It” items. A friend bought me one of the palettes and it’s fantastic.

    • Merabella :

      I got a palette from Sephora – Kat Von D’s in Saint, which has similar colors to the Urban Decay for half of the price. I really have enjoyed it. I think that the Naked Shadow Palettes are a little outside my price range for what it is.

    • Ulta accepts returns with a receipt within 2(?) months, so you are fairly safe buying NP.

      I have debated the Naked palettes and in the end decided on NYX 10-shadow palette in Bohemian Rhapsody as an affordable, portable and versatile option. The quality, over primer, is surprisingly good.

    • Always a NYer :

      I posted about the “Naked” palettes a while ago and if you google “Urban Decay Naked swatches” you should be able to decide which one is for you. I have yet to see them in person but the feedback I’ve received is that one is for warm skintones and two is for cool skintones.

  13. Woods-comma-Elle :

    While I’m on the subject of posting on Corporette, an unrelated topic to the above. I recently bought a pair of green wideleg trousers. I will post a link separately – the picture on my screen looks turquoise but they are actually grass green.

    I want to wear them this weekend, but what to style them with? I’m thinking platforms and some sort of plain, lightcoloured top. I feel like anything coloured would be too much…

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

    • Merabella :

      LOVE these, am tempted to sneak off and get them right now. I would do a subtle patterned top in a neutral like navy. Gives it a bit of interest without taking away from the pants too much, but also not letting the pants overwhelm you.

    • A tank/tube top with a sheer/gauzy blouse or tunic on top might look really nice. Neutrals that go with your skin color will be fine, as well as colored clothing that are less saturated (like a dull/muddy maroon vs red).

    • I’ve seen black & white striped tops with green pants and I think it looks super chic. I think InStyle did an outfit with a yellow top and green pants? I also think the right purple might be good with those pants, but maybe I’m seeing too many Mardi Gras decorations & its coloring my view?

    • Gray. It is my answer to every wardrobe and home decor conundrum.

      If it were me, I’d go with a gray tshirt, probably more light/heather but a darker gunmetal would also work, dangly turquoise earrings, and a fun coordinating scarf.

      I would also consider throwing navy in there. Actually, navy, gray, and green is one of my favorite color combos.

  14. Random non-scientific poll for you guys:

    I’m a surgeon. I take call for the emergency room 7-10 days at a time. If I go in to the ER in the middle of the night (after midnight) I always get redressed in some quasi-professional outfit (usually slacks/pants, shirt and sweater, sometimes dark wash trouser jeans).

    What I really want to do, if its the second (or third, or fourth) night in a row that I’m up, is go in in my (black, heavy weight, full length) yoga pants. What would you think if your surgeon came and met you in the ER for an emergency operation in the middle of the night in her yoga pants? Instantly distrust me? Think critically of my attention to detail? Or not even notice because hey, you are needing a surgeon in the middle of the night? What about if it was your family member?

    Am I being totally self absorbed?

    • If you are wearing your doctors coat and have given me the pain meds — I probably don’t give a crap what you are wearing. But seriously, by the time the surgical consult sees me in the ER I’ve probably been there 5-7 hours (if your hospital is anything like mine) OR I’m really really sick — so either way, I’m not noticing what you’re wearing.

      Though last time I was there, the ER resident looked 12 and had super cool Addidas sneakers that matched his tie and I did comment on them. But that’s neither here nor there.

      Fun patient perspective from someone who pays too much time in the ER.

    • If I or my family member needed emergency surgery in the middle of the night, my only question about your outfit is why are you not in scrubs to operate RIGHT NOW. Go on with your yoga pants, lady, and save lives.

      • THIS.

      • Another S :

        Can you wear scrubs instead of yoga pants? Or does your hospital have a rule against scrubs outside of the hospital?

        And no, you’re not being totally self absorbed. You want your patients to feel like they’re in good hands, and for some patients the image you project is part of that feeling.

      • DC Association :


    • Agree with TCFKAG — by the time you get there, we’ve been there for hours and noticing yoga pants is unlikely, especially if you’re wearing your white coat. A pony holder on your wrist, though, would be a whole nother story.

      • Oh the pony holder IS on the wrist. Cause I need the pony under the scrub hat unless you want seriously wonky post-operative hair. And we don’t wear scrubs outside the OR here (once and awhile if I’m super busy I’ll shuttle within the hospital in my scrubs, but never out of hospital here).

        Okay, if it’s after midnight, I might break out the yoga pants. But if you point and sneer at my pony holder on the wrist, I will halve you pain medicine.

        (That’s a joke.) I would never withhold pain medicine from people who need it, especially if they are stylish enough to know that it’s a faux-pas

        • I hate doctors who withhold pain medicine. Or look at me askance because I know what kind of pain medicine works best for me.

          I want to be like, look at my chart. Of COURSE I know that. I’ve probably spent more time in this hospital than you have, since you’re 8.

          The good doctors and the nurses never give me any trouble.

    • If it were the middle of the night and I needed surgery (and it was the ER), I would definitely not notice what you were wearing!

    • Seattleite :

      Sleep in scrubs and save a step. :)

      I’ve had more ER visits than I can count, and couldn’t tell you what any of the docs were wearing.

    • lucy stone :

      I wouldn’t give a crap. The few times I’ve been to the ER everyone is in scrubs so I doubt that yoga pants would stand out.

    • I work in a hospital system and would not think to be critical of any physician’s wardrobe. Especially ER docs. Go with the yoga pants!

      • I think it’s weird when I see dressy clothes peeking out under doctor white coats or other coverings. I think ‘eww you might get blood or other fluids all over that if a patient blows.’ or if they are wearing a lot of makeup, or high heels. it just seems out of place to me.

        • Agreed.

        • I have this same thought when I watch oh-so-realistic shows like Grey’s Anatomy. I’ve been zooming through old seasons on Netflix recently. Why does Addison always looked glammed up in some suit with heels while the interns wander around in scrubs all day??

    • Please wear yoga pants.

    • I would want my surgeon to be as comfortable as possible!


    • Salit-a-gator :

      I could care less what you’re wearing. What I need from a surgen is intelligence, confidence and emphathy. Wear the yoga pants!

    • I would think, “Thank God, the surgeon is here!”

      Trust me, I’ve been in the ER. My doctor looked like Jesus Christ (only, erm, a lady) and the nurses looked like the holy angels.

  15. Merabella :

    Threadjack – I have recently made the transition to a less hectic schedule, which allows for more of a social life. Only I’ve realized that I don’t really have friends in the area anymore (I live in a college town). As a married 20-something without any kids, I’m having an interesting time branching out and finding more friends. I have several girlfriends from college now living in other towns who have expressed the same issue. How do you go about making friends outside of work?

    • I’ve thought about this a lot too! I’ve had some great experiences attending events through It’s a good way to start branching out and meeting people who have similar interests as you do.

      Also! Read this fabulously entertaining and enlightening self-help book/memoir titled MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche. It is guaranteed to make you feel better because it is so relateable, and it’ll give you some great ideas too. I just finished it and enjoyed every page. Another great read is The Friendship Fix by Andrea Bonior, PhD.

      Good luck :)

      • Merabella :

        Thanks for the suggestions. Both of those books look great from what I’ve read of the descriptions on Amazon. I’ll also have to check out in my area.

    • In the past, I have met nice people by attending religious services, not sure if that is an option for you (and it helped that there was a fairly small, but very friendly community practicing my religion in that particular area). Does your college have an alum association in your area? Even if it’s not very active, you could attend an event and see if you can gauge interest if you were to organize happy hours or a book club. You could also look into some kind of class–either a gym class or an adult ed-type class.

    • I just moved to a new city where I hardly know anyone, and I’ve been going to a lot of meet-up (meetup dot com) events. So far they’ve been hit or miss, but everyone’s been very friendly. I also took an improv class in January and February, and met a lot of potential friends there. In my old town I was part of a ravelry knit night that was absolutely fabulous, but I haven’t had as much luck with ones here, that’s another option for you if you knit or crochet or want to learn.

      If you’re in a college town, you might try some events that you think grad students will be at. Most grad students are married are married and they tend to know a lot of other grad students, who can be more potential friends. My husband and I want to start going to more social events in the college town 40 minutes away because our biggest problem is that most of the people we meet here are in their 30s and 40s, and we’d like to meet some people closer to our own age.

      I can’t wait to hear other people’s suggestions. I know I’m not going to be happy here unless I make friends, but it can be exhausting.

      • Merabella :

        I’m so glad to know that other people feel like this. I think that part of the problem is that it is SO easy to make friends when you are in college because there are so many people around with shared interests. Now that I’m older I feel like the opportunities for meeting people have declined dramatically. I also think a lot of events that I have gone to are not geared towards people my age, like you mentioned more towards those in their 30s and 40s or people with kids.

        I will try going to events I think grad students would go to. Maybe I will have some luck there.

    • I made some great friends outside of my existing social circle by volunteering. I found a young women’s group in my area through meetup dot com that was set up for socializing and volunteering (kind of like the Junior League, but not nearly as formal or traditional). The group only lasted about a year and a half, but I made four good friends from it whom I’m still close to.

      I remember being horribly afraid to go to my first meeting, but to this day, I am so glad I did.

  16. Venting threadjack…this afternoon I may have destroyed my work laptop (which belongs to me) by spilling on it. I’ve done everything I can to save it and now I just have to wait to see if it turns on in 24-48 hours. And since I NEED a laptop for my job, if it doesn’t I have to go buy a new one this weekend. With all my spare money.

    This has been a goat rodeo of a couple of months.

    • Merabella :

      put it in rice. I’m sure you can get one of those ginormo ziplock bags. I did this with my cell phone and it helped.

      • Its in rice in a garbage bag as we speak.

        Didn’t have any sealable bags big enough for a laptop. :-P

        • Merabella :

          make sure to label it. I have this fear that your laptop will accidentally be taken to the curb.

          • Haha. I had the same fear — I will make sure to tell my husband what is in there!

    • That’s rotten. I hope it turns on!

      Not to make light of the situation, but… “goat rodeo” – I just spit water on my keyboard when I read that! I have to steal that one.

      • Its EC MD’s, to give credit where credit is do.

        Or technically, I believe it might be her bosses, I forget.

    • I did the same thing – dropped a bottle of water on my laptop while [gag] prepping for a digestive exam. I had to send it back to Dell and have them fix it. Tried everything and everybody local. Dell fixed it and sent it back in a couple of days. But charged me a lot of money because I had voided the warranty trying to fix it and it was accidental.

  17. Does anyone have any experience with headaches or migraines? I have gotten this pain that is from my forehead (above my left eye) down to the temple (left eye also) almost every Thursday morning for the past 3-5 years. It usually lasts until Saturday. I have told my general doctor, my eye doctor and my gyno. Gyno said I could try a diff pill. General doctor had prescribed me something new within the past couple months and didn’t want to try another drug during the trial period. Eye doctor gave me some special glasses that are supposed to help with the strain of working on a computer ($500 later..). I am at a computer 10-14 hours M-F. I don’t drink during the week, my diet is pretty healthy, and I drink water all day.

    Okay, now that I got all that background info out of the way… Any suggestions? Doctors say its stress and tension and I should walk around and limit computer usage to 6 hours a day. Sorry Doc but that would require a new profession :) I am afraid that I have a brain tumor or something, which is probably a result of my googling “migraine causes” every single week. Insurance stinks and I will have to pay $1000 to go for a CT scan or MRI. A headache specialist goes towards my deductible also.

    • Merabella :

      My husband has terrible migraines. We live in a college town, so there has been headache research studies recently that he got into. Maybe check into things like that offered in your area as a way to get your symptoms checked.

      On a different note – Go to another GP or an ENT – it could be sinus pressure issues. Sometimes having someone else check it out is good. A gyno doesn’t really specialize in that area, so her suggestions might not be the best.

      If it is stress that is causing it, maybe something like yoga or meditation would help.

    • How about acupuncture? I have migraines and have pretty good results with it. I don’t know how it works but it seems to, so I go with it.

      • Second the acupuncture — I got migraines for years and they went 90% away since I started seeing an acupuncturist, who also helps me with nutrition, stress, sleeping, etc.

    • Seattleite :

      Are you eating anything different Wednesday nights? Try changing that, see if it helps. (I get migraines from certain grains.)

      I also get migraines from the bones in my head and neck being misaligned. A good chiropractor has made a huge difference.

    • Have you already worked on your monitor height, workplace lighting, posture, etc.? If not, perhaps a workplace ergonomic assessment would be in order to make sure your workstation is as ideal as can be, given that you have to look at a computer 10-14 hrs a day?

    • Your doctor has probably already told you to do this, but try keeping a headache journal. Record when you get headaches and what you ate and how much you slept and if you’ve been dealing with stress or if you are having your period and any other possible factors that could be at play. I think you can google “headache journal” and find more info about it. This might help you figure out what the contributing factors are. Otherwise, it’s a guessing game.

      • Totally agree with the headache journal thing. As a sufferer of migranes since age 12, every dr. i’ve been to has insisted on this before they would prescribe me anything. While nothing I’ve tried is a charm, i’ve found a few things that help – caffiene is always one of them. The second i start to feel a migrane coming on (I get an “aura” around my field of vision, which is best described as if you are looking thru cellephane) and my hands start to fall asleep. I immediatly pop two excedrin and chase it with a diet coke. This isn’t saying that this works for everyone, i just wanted to offer my suggestions. Also, my dr. has put me on Max-Alt (Im not quite sure if thats how you spell it), and so far, if the excedrin extra strength migrane and diet coke technique dont work..It sounds like you’ve got some good ideas, but I’d consider consulting a neurologist….I really didn’t get to the bottom of it until I met with a dr who was a migrane specialist, and even then, it’s more about maintaince, not getting rid of…good luck

    • This may sound strange, but have you spoken to a dentist at all? I had a somewhat similar situation to yours and it turns out I really clench my teeth at night (only on the left side) when I am stressed. It had gotten to the point where my entire left side was getting tense at night and I would even wake up with charlie horses. The bite guard was pricey and not covered by my insurance, but it’s just amazing what a difference it has made. It’s still not perfect because I only wear it at night and when exercising, but my massage therapist says I no longer have the tension/knots on the left side and I have far fewer headaches without having to take any medication.

      • Oh and I’ve been advised to take soluble aspirin with caffeine when I feel a migraine coming on (BC powder) – it is dirt cheap and won’t give you the rebound headaches you often get taking excedrin and the like.

      • Suited Up :

        Yes! Was going to mention this. I didn’t get my mouthguard from the dentist b/c I wanted to try to see if I could stand a cheap OTC one first, but it has made a world of difference for me in terms of reducing tension headaches. Of course, you should get a full workup done anyway, but make the dentist part of that.

    • I’ve heard a lot of people recommend the 20-20-20 plan for reducing eye strain while working at the computer. Basically, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. It seems to work when I remember to do it. It might help relieve the strain a little?

    • A 2-day headache every week? That’s more than 3 months of headaches per year. You shouldn’t have to live like that, and you need a doctor who thinks trying to live like that is ridiculous. If your GP is not that doctor, look for a headache specialist — check your insurance company’s site of participating specialists, or go to and start researching the doctors their “finder” app comes up with. I see that you’re worried about your deductible, but please weigh that against _3 months_ of headache days every year.

      Also, really examine your daily routines — what happens on Wednesdays? Start a headache diary, write down everything you eat and drink and your activities. Look for patterns, then try changing them to see if the headaches change too. Wednesdays are the obvious place to start, but don’t forget about Mondays and Tuesdays — the headaches might be a delayed reaction.

      If you’ve been checking this out, you know the common migraine triggers (red wine, chocolate, sulfites, hard cheeses, MSG); avoid those for now.

      Please get help; you really shouldn’t have to live like that.

    • Another S :

      I had something similar but I got it Friday mornings, not Thursday. I decided it was a combo of stress and how I sat at my computer/used my mouse, built up over M-R which finally crossed some threshold by Friday. It would go away over the weekend when I wasn’t working. An NTI – a tiny mouth guard thingy I got from my dentist – and extra neck and back stretching while at work have really helped me. Oh, and I’m not a doctor but I’d guess that a brain tumor would have killed you after so much time!

    • Have been through similar and has gotten better. Unlikely to be tumor (I DID go to neuro and had MRI etc.. apparently those are worse/different patternts). Female hormones, numerous triggers, workday strain, etc. all likely culprits. Agree with others’ suggestions, just wanted to let you it probably isn’t a tumor.
      For me, I have sinus pressure a lot which can hurt the head. I carefully moderate all sugar intake, alchohol, sun exposure, lack of sleep, stress, low blood sugar, and more. Usually if I combine any more than 2 of those things I will for sure get a horrid headache for a few days that nothing helps. I’ve also worn a night guard for 10+ yrs (since law school) which for sure helps. I barely ever miss a night, but when I do, can feel the pressure tension in my head from unguarded clenching.

  18. Random Dog Question :

    Does anyone have a poodle or know of a poodle breeder? I would like to explore purchasing this breed of dog as I am drawn to many of its qualities, but I am looking for some kind of personal recommendation before I randomly select a breeder off of the web. Thanks.

    • Merabella :

      Look into the American Kennel Club in your area. They can give good suggestions on which breeders to choose.

    • There are lots of great poodles available for rescue through as well!

    • I can’t help with breeders but I can say that poodles are great! My boyfriend’s family has had several over the years. They are smart, generally easy to train, clean (no shedding), and very friendly. You do have to give them haircuts, but other than that they seem pretty low-maintenance. Good luck with getting one!

    • I had a poodle growing up and love them. Great great dogs. (Mine was a standard – I can’t speak to minis and toys, which have somewhat different personalities.) Where are you located? I might be able to dig up the name of the breeder we used.

      Also, just a timing issue – you may want to hold off on getting a dog for a couple more months, since there seem to be many more litters in the spring.

      • Random Dog Question :

        I am actually in California, so appear to be at the opposite end of the country, but any recommendation would be great! I feel like if I go through AKA they will just give me some long list of breeders. I have also had no success with

        • Maybe contact a rescue? It’s just so hard to tell about breeders.

          This article is mostly about why not to buy at a pet store, but it has some advice for buying from a breeder as well.

    • I know a poodle breeder in Northern California; very ethical. Let me know if you want the contact info off-line.

      • Dog Person :

        A few thoughts:
        1. Yes, the AKC website will mostly give you a long list of breeders. Not such an easy process since there are a lot of poodle breeders.
        2. I hope this is obvious, but there is a difference between a puppy mill “breeder,” a we-put-our-two-dogs-together-in-the-backyard-two-months-ago “breeder” and a true, dedicated, ethical breeder. Please choose the latter. There are a lot of reasons for this. Please educate yourself about the differences between the three categories (and this information can be found if you search and read a variety of articles on the internet). You will encounter information from both sides about how evils of the other (rescue vs. purchase from breeder); of course, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
        3. A quick Google search located NorCal Poodle Rescue and also the Bay Area Poodle Rescue. Poodle rescues do, generally, tend to have a higher percentage of toy or miniature poodles than standard poodles. They might not have a dog available for you now but they would be a fantastic starting place, both for a rescue or a puppy from a breeder. The dog world is small and they can steer you to good, reputable breeders and also warn you away from people who have bad breeding practices.
        4. Another great resource: the Mission Trail Poodle Club. They surely have resources for people who are looking to get a poodle from an ethical breeder. Most breed clubs also maintain a list of breeders who currently have a litter of puppies available or who are expecting a litter in the near future. Again: it’s a small world and the poodle club people should be able to point you in the correct direction.

        Good luck!

      • Random Dog Question :

        Yes I would like the contact info off line. How do we do that?

  19. I got the Naked2 palette and it’s okay but I don’t reach for it like I’d hoped. Most of the colors are too sparkly, and just a little off in terms of tone for my coloring. Plus, it’s huge and doesn’t really fit well in my makeup stash. But if the colors and shimmer work for you, then it’s good quality eyeshadow and a sturdy container.

    • Sigh, this was for the post above. Got the posting too fast comment, then when I tried again it stuck me down here.

  20. MaggieLizer :

    Was anyone else disturbed by the lingerie Groupon today? It’s the one with the picture of a half n*ked woman on a bed with black feathers scattered around her. I mean, does she think she’s Natalie Portman or something? Is she some kind of animal that has just caught and torn apart a very large black bird? She looks quite pleased with herself, too, like “mmm that bird was yummy, what can I lure to my bed to eviscerate next?” Not. s*xy.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Also, if you’ve ever seen a cat tear apart a bird, you know that there’s more left over than just the feathers. I do NOT want to know where the rest of that bird carcass is. Gross.

      • Sigh… and ug. I’m flashing back to my beloved childhood pet who dragged a few half-eaten carcasses into the house.

        • My sister once (at about age 10) went to bed…stretched out under the covers…curled to her side…slipped her hand under her pillow…closed it around a half-eaten mouse. Oh yeah. I’m pretty sure she wanted to burn the bed after that.

  21. Ugh, I really hope I’m not being an unreasonable jerk here. Hive, here’s the situation.

    I live in the same house as a guy who is quasi-related to me (i.e., not by blood, but might as well be), he does not work (long story). I’m supposed to be at work by 8am.

    So, last night he wanted to go out to dinner to celebrate a personal to him thing. Fine, dinner is like 6 or 7 right? (Full disclosure, his grandfather was going to be there, he’s 95 and likes to eat dinner at 5.) Wrong, we didn’t get to dinner until after 8, we didn’t get home until 10ish. Ok, not great, but I can deal. Of course, I’d waited around for them from 6-8, so it really destroyed my whole evening, but whatev, it was something worth celebrating.

    Tonight is Mardi Gras night at the bar he frequents (I’ve just moved to a whole new area, so I don’t know anybody or any bars). Last night he asked if I wanted to go, I said sure, as long as we go early because I don’t want to be out super late, or I can take my own car. Now, I still know this means 8ish but at least I won’t be waiting around for them from 6-8, right? So he just texted me “the plan” which is that he has bowling league tonight, and his girlfriend works, so I’ll go pick her up at 9:30 and then get down to the bar where we’ll leave around midnight “we don’t like to stay until last call or anything!” He will have gotten a ride from bowling, so I will have my car there, but I’ll be their rides!! WTF? It’s like the exact opposite of everything I said last night!!!

    So now I really don’t want to go, I feel like I’m setting myself up at work, but then I also feel like I’m just being a curmudgeon and I’m only 30 d*mmit! I’m not old! I should go out and be social because I really literally don’t know ANYONE here except these guys who are not really “friends” (and not considerate enough for me to WANT them to be friends!) and everyone at my work is in their 50s and have their own lives, not exactly “friend” material.


    • Ok, dealt with the car thing, I’ll have my own, but we’re still not going to get there until between 9:30 and 10 and I’d like to be heading home by 10!

      • karenpadi :

        Sorry to break it to you but age is just a number.

        re: meeting new friends, what kind of friends do you want? Friends like your roommate or friends like you? If you want friends like you, you aren’t going to meet them at midnight on a school night.

        Welcome to adulthood and responsibility.

        • Um, I guess I deserved that, and I’m going to assume (hope?) you didn’t meant it to be as harsh as it sounds but I am an adult, I have a mortgage and care for a dependent, I have a job and excellent credit and am on track to pay off my student loans 20 years early. I have always, since the age of 10, been the most responsible person I know, and I include my (both attorney) parents in that calculation. In fact, that’s precisely the issue here, I feel obligated to go, but my sense of responsibility is telling me it’s a bad idea.

          I am on probation at work (government), I need to make good impressions, and coming in smelling like beer, hung over, or looking like death warmed over is not going to help. I already felt like crud one day this week, I don’t need another for any reason. Yet, I am a people pleaser in many ways and I don’t want to disappoint the people who invited me.

          I just have to remind myself that in the grand scheme of things this is minor and they probably won’t be disappointed anyway, and I can make plans to go and do something with them on a weekend night!

    • Your Mentor (if you want) :

      I give you permission (if you feel you need it) to totally bail on tonight. No way should you have to deal with this. Put your foot down now, or you will be forever out later than you want on school nights because they want you to drag along with them.

      I actually broke up with an almost-fiance over this. I was a litigation partner at an AmLaw 200 firm. My almost-fiance was a law school professor who was nocturnal and liked to listen to live music late at night. I recall his exact words one time when I did not want to go to a concert in the nearest big city to us, which would have me returning home at 4 AM, when I had a 5:30 am flight to catch for depositions the next day. His words: “If you loved me, you would come with me.” Really.

      • Wow, that is horrible. Good call on breaking things off with him!

        I appreciate the permission, I really truly do, although I also am sitting here trying to figure out why I do feel I need it. I guess I feel obligated to go to a thing I’ve been invited to even though I don’t think I’ll enjoy it, it doesn’t fit into me or my life, and it’s with people I don’t particularly enjoy. But it may be all of those factors that are making me feel guilty because just maybe if I liked them a little more I would go despite the late hour? Or just because I don’t think I’ll enjoy it, what if I do? What if by not accepting an invitation they don’t invite me anywhere else? (And would that really be so bad?)

        You’re right about putting the foot down now too, I may feel curmudgeonly (my older SO told me I’m making HIM feel old!) but I have a d*mn job and I have to be awake for it because otherwise the contracts I’m drafting really s*ck. I just need to bite the bullet, these folks may be older than me, but since only one of them works (retail) they just don’t know.

    • Sorry if this sounds harsh, but it sounds to me like you just haven’t hit that point in life yet where you realize you are the only one in charge of the architecture of your life. This is easy: don’t go. If you feel like you need other outlets, find ones that suit your needs and interests (and times) better. You will be happier. I remember agonizing over stuff like this I was younger, and it is so much more pleasing to say ‘yes, I’d love to come’ when I feel like it, and ‘no thanks, have fun!’ when I don’t. I decline stuff all the time. I also do stuff all the time. Until you decline stuff that doesn’t work for you, you won’t be able to find the stuff that does.

      • It doesn’t sound harsh, you’re totally right.

        I did ultimately decline and it was absolutely no problem (so far, this guys hurt feelings tend to come back around and bite me in the a$$, we’ll see!) and invited him to a function I’m attending on Saturday night, which he declined.

        I think I just worry too much. However, it does seem the consensus is not that I was being an unreasonable jerk by not wanting to go, but rather that I was being a bit immature and weak for not just telling him I didn’t want to go! Good notes all, I appreciate it!

    • I think everyone else is being unnesarially cranky with you. We’ve all committed to social engagements that for one reason or another we’re kind of grumpy about. If it were me, I might weigh how important a “personal event” this is for your roommate and if it’s important enough go. And then make clear that in the future you can’t do late nights on work nights.

      And then sign up for a caffeine drip tomorrow. :-P

      • Thanks :-)

        The personal event was really last night, tonight is just him wanting to have fun, a few beers, line dance, and hit on chicks.

        My mentor was totally right, I just needed to put my foot down.

        And now I need to get off of here so I can finish drafting this contract clause and get outta here!

      • MaggieLizer :

        This! I have a friend who always tries to guilt me into hanging out later than I want to. I would stay out late because I wanted to be a part of the group, didn’t want people to think I didn’t want to hang out with them, whatever. I finally got tired of listening to her tell me why my needs (for sleep, working out in the morning, etc.) weren’t valid, so now I just ignore her. You teach people how to treat you; if you’re going to put up with someone being inconsiderate of your needs then they will just keep walking over you.

    • I think people are being cranky because OP sounds like she has a strong commitment to being “responsible” and then equates irresponsibility with things which are fairly normal and mainstream and adults are capable of doing. And she sounds a lot younger than 30. I didn’t know that asking someone to dinner at 8pm was rude. I didn’t know that the OP existed in an alternate universe where she is not allowed to ask in advance what time dinner would be and plan accordingly. I didn’t know that going to a bar til midnight renders you drunk and smelly and incompetent the next day. It’s weird because I must be surrounded by pseudo adults and overgrown children at work and in my life yet we all seem well adjusted and happy. Is that shaking the OP’s superiority complex?

      Yes, it is annoying to be forced to decline social engagements. Yes, you have responsibilities. On the other hand, 8pm is not 4am. It’s not really fair to be constantly angry at people when it sounds like they offer non crazy, fairly mainstream social *invitations*. You can always decline, but don’t be surprised when those invitations dry up.

      • Well, I’m not sure why you responded so late or so angrily, but I would like to point out that perhaps posting at midnight eastern time isn’t the best idea for you because your reading comprehension is poor to abysmal.

        Dinner was planned at 6, I had to wait around for them for two hours while they said almost ready almost ready, when actually at about 7pm, the guy hopped in the shower, so clearly, at no point before then were they “almost ready.” Regardless, dinner was not the problem, it was an example of how I can expect this group to act and the consideration for anyone else’s time.

        The essential issue was that I accepted the invitation and explained my time issues, and specifically said all time issues could be solved if I just was able to have my own car and not be someone’s ride. The plan they came up with 12 hours later included both getting to the bar quite late AND would require me to be the only possible ride home for everyone.

        Regardless, as explained above, I ultimately did decline, there have been no issues, and I could see that really my problem was that I was feeling obligated and I hate breaking obligations, but this was a silly thing to feel obligated about.

        I’m not even going to address the rest of your rant except to say I hope that whatever was making you feel so bad has been resolved and today is a better day.

  22. collegiette :

    Threadjack – I’ll graduate from undergrad in December, and D.C. is my destination. My mom mentioned booking a “career consultant” (or some similar ambiguous title) as a graduation gift. Her friend mentioned great things about one specifically. The services are things such as interview coaching, clothing and presentation, speaking, etiquette, and the like.

    Has anyone ever used something similar? Was it worth the cash? If not, do you wish you had? Or, would the money be better spent on living expenses or a few suit separates? I’d love to know your opinions. I’m confident in my professional work clothing choices, and I consider myself a “people-person.” An outside opinion may be helpful, though.

    • You’re probably going to want to re-post this in the morning, it’s getting pretty late today to get a lot of answers.

      My experience is extremely limited, one of my sister’s friends did something similar and says it was the best $500-$1000 she ever spent. She landed the perfect job for her, happy, etc… mostly it really helped her figure out not just what she wanted to do with her life, but where she could do it, if that makes sense. She’s specifically into agriculture/science-y stuff and discovered that with her degree she could work for this small government agency doing something where she takes soil samples and works in a lab. Again, loves it!

      I had a 1 hour free session with a career coach and enjoyed it, but I mostly really enjoyed taking the time to sit down, think about my goals, think about three solid reasons they could come true and three solid reasons they could not, then think about ways to work around the could nots. Ultimately, I did not hire the career coach on an ongoing basis, but I think it did really help, she asked a lot of good questions and made me realize that I was self-defeating.

      For example, I was going to apply for a job that was about a $10,000/year raise from my current job, had amazing benefits, an actual career progression (unlike the current job) where that $10,000/year raise was the bottom of the salary schedule, there are promotional opportunities, etc…I talked to my dad (also an attorney) about it and he said not to bother because any job this good they would definitely already have someone picked out to take it and they were probably just asking for applications because they had to. Even knowing that my dad doesn’t know what he’s talking about in this area (owns his own firm, hasn’t applied for a job in 20 years) that made me think I didn’t have a shot and should stick with jobs that were “more reasonable.” The career coach convinced me that was silly, I applied, and I ended up getting the job!

      I guess in general I think they can be a good thing, but I wouldn’t spend $1000 on it. It seems to me there are better things especially right out of school, like living expenses, loan payments, resume assistance (be careful with that one though, I did a free promotion thing and then just tried to apply their advice to my resume, they wanted to charge me $100s for it!) etc… on the other hand, if you’re uncertain where you want to go in life at this point, it can’t hurt, right?

      • I’ve never used one of these services…but all i can say is that DC is incredibly, insanely expensive….i feel like living expenses is a better use. DC is all about networking (ugh) and unless the consultant is going to bring you to events, hold your hand and introduce you to thier super-powered friends….i feel like it’s kind of a waste.

    • I think that these “career consultants” that you have to pay are almost always a bit of a scam, especially for entry level positions. For occasional very senior level search recruiters you should pay, but as a general rule recruiters are paid by the companies for matching candidates. And right now most companies don’t feel that they have to use recruiters for entry level positions because there are so many more candidates than positions.

      Plus most positions at the entry level in DC are government, research, or government contracting — none of which tend to hire through recruiters that I know of.

    • Are you going to grad school? What industry? I’m with KC about the networking thing; that is the only thing that is working for me right now.

      Because you are looking for your first job as a college grad, I think a career coach would be better later on in your career if you’re contemplating a different career or if you want to move up to a certain position.

      Also, many of the larger companies here have job fairs for new/recent college grads.

    • Are you able to share a little bit about what type of field you want to go into?

      I received a lot of bad advice from very smart people when I first came to DC – and it was only bad because they were offering advice that didn’t fit with what I was hoping to do. Making your way into an association or a law firm is totally different from say a job on the Hill or with a nonprofit or political committee. It’s hard to advise the usefulness of this service without knowing what you are after.

      But I will say this – networking is free and DC is expensive. The single best thing people can do for you is to give you the names and contact info of people working in DC in the field you are interested in. Then send their contacts a polite email asking if they have time in their busy schedule for a quick meeting or coffee – you’d love to learn more about the work they are doing and get their advice. If the meeting goes well, then ask them if there are other people they’d suggest you meet in DC. Repeat, repeat… and eventually job!

      And if they insist on a monetary graduation gift, I agree with the other posters that anything that can help with living expenses is huge. It’s less about the money and more about the fact that getting help with this will allow you to take something you love regardless of salary. Many career fields in DC start out very low-paying, but then growing quickly – so “start-up capital” can be one of the best investments people can make in your future.

  23. collegiette :

    Thanks for the feedback! To clarify, my interests are in policy – specifically food and ag, while my passion is politics. Law is unlikely, however, I’m a loyal lurker here! A graduate program is in my plans, but I want real-world work experience to figure out a more specific route. I’m still figuring out my ideal job description. I’ve networked extensively, interned there (K St.), and have a number of fantastic mentors (many are lobbyists). As cliche’ as it may be, contacts have proven effective! After considering your suggestions, I’m really thinking a pricey career coach isn’t necessary.

    NGDGTCO was much cheaper.

    • Yeah, your contacts are going to get you more than a career coach. Politico is right, pay can be very low, but you can quickly increase your income. Also, I’d recommend you find a mentor, if you don’t already have one.

      Although lengthy, I like the Manager Tools and Career Tools podcasts; these ones relate to networking: (this one was good because it gave suggestions about what to say in networking e-mails)

    • In moderation, links to follow
      Yeah, your contacts are going to get you more than a career coach. Politico is right, pay can be very low, but you can quickly increase your income. Also, I’d recommend you find a mentor, if you don’t already have one.

      Although lengthy, I like the Manager Tools and Career Tools podcasts; these ones relate to networking:
      – Asking your network opportunity
      – Develop your career using your network
      – Staying in touch examples

    • crap, you said you had a bunch of mentors. Shizzle. I don’t think you need us, you’re doing everything right – ha!