Coffee Break: Michelle Tote

We recently rounded up some vegan bags in our post on six clothing and accessory brands for the stylish vegan professional, and we’ve just heard about another option: Marsi Bond, which makes eco-friendly, vegan leather bags (made from polyurethane, not PVC). The pictured Michelle Tote is office-friendly and durable — yet still stylish — and it has a zip top and an outside pocket that fits an iPhone 8+ or other large smartphones. Best of all (and I haven’t seen another brand that does this), the zip-out lining is removable and machine washable! I love that idea. The tote is available at Amazon for an affordable $88 in the pictured black as well as cognac, gray, pink, red, and a tricolor. I like the bit of red peeking out of the black one — it’s a nice little detail. Marsi Bond Michelle Tote

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    Reposting from the early thread . . .

    Any pinstripe suit recommendations? My dad thinks they’re just the most important thing ever (although now that I think about it, he definitely doesn’t have one) and he wants to buy me one for my birthday. I would wear one, so I might as well accept his offer.

    • Marshmallow :

      I haven’t tried it on, but Brooks Brothers Red Fleece has pinstripe suits.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have two by Jones NY (RIP) and one Tahari from Nordstrom Rack. I think I’ve also seen them at Lord and Taylor but that may have been a couple of years ago.

      • Anonymous :

        JNY is not dead. I am not sure it is the same, but it is back. There is a suiting section on the website.

    • I don’t know your dad’s budget…if it’s a decent amount you can take a suit that fits you well to a tailor. S/he can use it to make a pattern and source a pinstriped fabric. My mom got an amazing gray with purple pinstripes suit made using this approach.

  2. St. Lucia? :

    Thinking about a solo trip to St. Lucia this fall… anyone been and have any recommendations on where to stay and what to do? Thanks!

    • We got married there 8 years ago and I had a really good time. If you’re adventurous there’s not a ton to do, but if you like the beach and resort activities you should enjoy it a lot. We stayed at the Body Holiday and it was delightful. We got a wedding package that included a spa treatment every day. There were also lots of daily activities like boating trips, archery, tennis, biking excursions, etc. I just laid on the beach and went snorkeling (and got married). The food was good. Highly recommend. Pro tip: there are two airports. Pay attention to which airport is nearest your hotel so you don’t have to drive from the north end of the island to the south like we did. Nothing major, but DH said driving there was stressful.

    • Anonymous :

      Loveddd saint lucia for our honeymoon. If you are athletic I would definitely hike gros piton. It’s strenuous but amazing. I would go scuba diving or snorkeling if that’s your thing. I would NOT drive around saint lucia myself, the roads are crazy hilly, twisty, and the people there seemed to drive like maniacs. We hired a driver to go to the Pitons for our hike. It is so so gorgeous though and I can’t wait to go back one day. We stayed at a sandals so no hotel recommendations, but there seemed to be a lot of other pretty resorts. I would not stay in the city/capital if possible, I’d definitely do a more remote resort.

    • Really liked St. Lucia!
      We rented a car, but got very car sick from all those crazy hairpin turns! Pro tip: bring dramamine if you plan on driving a lot.
      We went with some family members and rented a condo in a resort, somewhere in the Gros Islet area, I believe.
      As far as activities: I loved the scuba diving. We did a zip line course through the jungle that was lots of fun. There were some markets that were fun to explore. Also just spent a lot of time lounging by the pool/beach.

    • Yet another anonymous poster :

      Counterpoint, I went to St. Lucia on my honeymoon and it was definitely my least favourite Caribbean destination as it was a bit, dull. It is quite pretty, but not dramatically so compared to other islands. However, this resort was just beyond spectacular…although I am still not sure it was worth the money.
      http://www.jademountain.com/sanctuaries/sanctuaries.html

  3. AlexisFaye :

    I don’t think you’ll find one. I just spent the last 8 weeks suit shopping (two weeks at trial = I need more than 1 suit). I can only think of *one* pinstripe I saw, at Nordstrom. It’s gone. I don’t know what your dad’s budget is, but I splurged on Hugo Boss (link below), and I got a TON of compliments (15% off for first time buyers). I also bought a basic black suit from Elie Tahari, and it’s fine, but not exciting. I did not like how Theory fit (I’m curvy). Ann Taylor had an interesting plaid, and B.R. has some nice solids. Also, the British brand Reiss circles through some pretty stuff.

    As to Hugo Boss size guide was not accurate. I thought for the price it would be. I have 40-ish” hips, and ended up with a size 6 skirt (instead of the 10 the size guide suggested).

    Skirt: https://www.hugoboss.com/us/virgin-wool-skirt-vibena-/hbna50385082_970.html?cgid=11005#start=1
    Jacket: https://www.hugoboss.com/us/metallic-virgin-wool-blazer-jibena/hbna50385083_970.html?cgid=11004#start=1

  4. Lana Del Raygun :

    Thank you to everyone who offered their opinion on whether Sperry is an obnoxious brand! I happened to get a DSW coupon in the mail and they were having a sale, so I pulled the trigger and I’ve decided that this summer will be the summer I treat myself to the nautical wardrobe I’ve always dreamed of! Catch me canoeing around a fake lake while dressed like a real sailboat person.

    • I thought of that thread earlier today when I looked up someone on LinkedIn ahead of a call and saw that he had been a “Campus Brand Ambassador” for Vineyard Vines while in college… and then had to try very hard not to pre-judge this person.

      • Why would someone put that on their profile though? Unless they are so junior that they do not have any decent internships or job experience

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I literally buy every striped boatneck shirt I find.

    • Anonymous :

      My summer style can only be described as obnoxiously nautical. I embrace the kitsch. I have shorts with boats on them. Anchor earrings. But my husband is also a prepster, so it works!

    • Anonymous :

      I have the most nautical wardrobe ever – I have occasionally changed something about my outfit before work because it looked too “sailboat captain” – and I approve!

      • This is me. I’ve decided it’s my brand and just go with it now. So much easier to decide on something to wear when all your shirts/sweaters are a variation on blue/white stripes. And a blue blazer is just classic. Although I prefer the Sebago Bala (a la Kate Middleton) to Sperries.

  5. Anonymous :

    Am I crazy to not do a hair and makeup trial before my wedding? It’s a second wedding (I did my own the first time around) and a destination wedding. My makeup artist is an actual professional who does magazines and has an amazing portfolio of work. The only time to do the trial would be the day before the ceremony and it would involve some running around, and I just don’t want any hassles or the stress of trying to be somewhere at a certain time. And I don’t want my fiance to see me all done up before the big day – I figure a trial would mean I’d have to go back to our hotel room and tell him not to look at me and take a shower in the middle of the day. Her work is impeccable, I completely trust her, and…I guess I just don’t care that much. Can I skip the trial?

    • I wish I had skipped mine! Skip it!

    • cake batter :

      Because you know your makeup artist’s work already, then you can probably skip. But I’ll share my horror story…

      I got married in another country and skipped the trial with the hotel’s makeup artist (“I don’t wear much makeup, I’ll just ask for really light and natural and it’ll be fine!”) but absolutely hated my makeup. Didn’t recognize myself when I looked in the mirror and had to ask her to scrape all the plaster off my face. I hate all of my closeup wedding photos because you can still see the heavy makeup caked on, despite “toning it down” several times over. Apparently “light and natural” means different things in different countries! YMMV!

      • Anonymous :

        I had a similar experience, but with a makeup artist in a fancy salon in the U.S. “Light and natural” just means different things to different people. If I had a do-over, I would not have skipped the trial.

      • Same thing happened for a family member and her wedding abroad. She did do the trial and was glad she did because “natural” was akin to Vegas showgirl – talking colored eyeshadow up to the eyebrows. She ended up doing her own makeup and scheduling a tutorial at a Bobbi Brown counter specifically for “event makeup” a few months before the wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      I am skipping makeup trial out of necessity because I am only going to be at my wedding destination two days before my wedding and my makeup person was already fully booked both days. I figure if I really hate it, I can take it all off and do it myself well enough that I’d be ok with it. I also intend to bring a picture of myself from a friend’s wedding where I was a bridesmaid and had makeup professionally done and tell them “just make me look like I do in this picture.” I’m not skipping hair, though, because I feel like my hair is a lot harder to deal with than makeup and I definitely can’t do that myself.

    • Skip it but bring pictures of what you want. It’s easier to follow a provided template than to rely on the makeup artist’s interpretation. Especially since makeup trends nowadays tend to skew more Kardashian (heavy contouring, heavy brows, long fake lashes) than natural, so it’s best to specify.

    • Anonymous :

      I did one but then that person wasn’t available on my wedding day so I had someone else and it looked totally different. I say skip it especially if you’re proficient at your own hair and make up.

    • Anonymous :

      My trial with a professional (used by friends; familiar with her work; total pro) was a disaster, so there’s that. My makeup looked great (although I think makeup is honestly usually riskier) but my hair required a second trial.

      It wasn’t about skill but direction – she just did not listen to my initial instructions (which involved multiple photo examples and a description of what I wanted). I also thought I just didn’t care that much until I saw the outcome of the trial. The style was lovely on its own it, but it didn’t make me look/feel like myself and I was surprisingly upset. I went back for a second trial and she prepared better and it went great.

      If you don’t do a trial, I would leave a ton of time on your wedding day in case you need a redo/the first run isn’t what you want.

    • destination wedded :

      I was in this situation for a destination wedding and didn’t want to give up play time for beauty time. I was just really clear that I wanted it natural, showed her pinterest photos for examples, and crossed my fingers. Worked great. No regrets.

    • I didn’t do a trial and I should have or should have been more forceful with the artist, who somehow interpreted “I want a natural look” as “I want to wear thick pancake make-up with heavy lip and eyes.” She also showed up late and overcharged me, but I was so frazzled at the end because we were running late and the look was so not what I wanted that I just paid it. Big mistake.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I found the trial to be critical. I didn’t really know what I wanted before the trial (I did two, actually) and decided not to get one make-up artist because she was so mean.

  6. BelleRose :

    My BF is about to graduate with a PhD in Chemical Engineering, and is working on the job search (industry-based jobs, not academic). Should he get a proper suit for interviews, or would that be too much for engineering industry? TIA!

    • BelleRose :

      Oh, and we’re in the Pacific Northwest region, if that makes a difference :)

      • Seattle here – my advice is: do buy the suit in navy or charcoal, do buy the tie, don’t wear a white shirt. Light colored shirt with a small pattern. He can take off the tie if he walks in and it’s obviously a super cas environment. Suit and patterned shirt look much better without a tie than suit and white shirt. Engineers in this climate have to frequently be management-facing (justifying why money needs to be spent) so he needs to take all that into account, and please advise him to do basic hair maintenance like unibrow hair, nose hair, beard trim, and recent haircut. I cannot tell you how often I see interviewees for STEM professions look like they haven’t gotten basic hygiene training. This is a big deal because we need all of these smart people to convince execs why things need to be done!

    • Anonymous :

      My husband is an engineer and definitely wears suits to interview, but we are on the east coast so YMMV.

      • Same in the Midwest. I can’t imagine an engineer not wearing a suit to a job interview.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – have a suit for interviewing. My read is that engineering is most likely to be a function in a larger corporate environment – its not really a separate industry in the way tech is.

    • Anonymous :

      Unless you’re like, interviewing at the latest app start-up in San Francisco, every job interview needs a suit.

    • I think he should just play it safe and wear a suit. Its always better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed.

    • Anonymous :

      If he has a PhD in chemical engineering and can string a coherent sentence together, he could show up naked with a bucket of chicken and get a job…

    • Of course. While he may become a schlumpy engineer once he gets the job, its’ important that at least for now he look profesional. With a Phd, you need to appear to know something, dad says, even tho most are schlubs. I agree. The profesors in college were jerks and more then 3 of them onley wanted for me to take my top off for them in their office (which I refused to do).

    • PhD engineer speaking- we tend to skew extremely casual especially on the west coast. If he feels comfortable in a suit, great, get him a suit. If he feels comfortable in khakis and a button down shirt, that’s probably fine too. IMHO there’s nothing worse than a clothes-oblivious engineer in a bad suit which doesn’t fit their personality.

  7. Triangle Pose :

    Any petite women on here ever order from Marks & Spencer? I’m intrigued by some of their dresses and ankle pants and basic tees and wondered if anyone has their two cents to share with me. TIA

    • There was a brief period of time 2 years ago were most my wardrobe was from M&S. I am 5″2 and a size 4P US and 8 petite UK, 36 EU.
      They have a “short” version on several pants and dresses especially in workwear. “Short” is the word they use for their petite range (at least in Europe). They run true to size
      For jumpers, t-shirts etc. no special sizing, I just bought the regular range in a size down

    • I love M&S. it’s the source of all of my underpants.

      I have one dress from them–standard sizing fits well (Ponte sheath with sleeves) but found i had to try on most tops to make sure the shoulders weren’t too wide.

    • Mineallmine :

      I’m in the U.K., and as much as I like their knickers and can wear the tops and blazers, I find the bottoms and dresses too straight cut for me. I’m small but hourglassy, and curvy cuts don’t really seem to be a thing over here. It’s been a while since I’ve tried any on, though. Obviously a straighter cut just might be your thing.

  8. Legally Brunette :

    Has anyone tried the Allbirds lounger shoe? I tried their lace up boat shoes and they looked really odd on me…just bulky and not flattering. They were very comfortable, but looking for something a bit sleeker.

    • givemyregards :

      I haven’t tried the on myself, but in photos I’ve seen of them, they look too much like slippers to me. If you want them just for lounging/running errands I think it would be fine, but I wouldn’t categorize them as much sleeker than the other Allbirds shoes.

    • Anonymous :

      I have the skippers and have gotten a lot of “where did you get those cute shoes?’ on them. And they are very comfortable.

    • Duly Noted :

      I have the wool Loungers and they are a favorite weekend shoe. The do look a bit like slippers but I really don’t care as they are super comfortable. I wear them far more frequently than the wool lace-ups. Allbirds also has new shoes made from bamboo. The slip-ons look like topsiders and are called tree skippers. They are great for warmer weather.

      Did you know Nordstrom now carries Allbirds? I saw them in the shoe section the other day.

  9. Anonymous :

    What’s the cutest “we’re pregnant!” reveal you’ve seen? Asking for a friend…

    • Two attorneys had their business cards, with a new (fake cute) one for the baby placed under theirs. Graphic said: “We’ve got an associate joining us in May!”

    • The one that made me laugh the most recently was a Facebook video that was basically an outtake reel of them announcing to their cat that she was going to be a “big sister” and then trying to get her to lie in front of a sign that said “A Mouse in the House, Sept 2018”. (The cat alternated between complete indifference and mild irritation.) It was a delightful and gentle send-up of lots of baby announcements.

    • ’90s style:

      Two ice cube trays and then an arrow pointing at her abdomen.

    • Wanderlust :

      My friend who is a film director made up a real-looking movie poster with him and his wife on it and a big “COMING THIS FALL…” banner across the bottom. So cute.

    • Anonymous :

      None of them are cute.

      • Anonymous :

        +1000000000

      • Anonymous :

        I tend to agree (and a bunch of friends just had babies that I absolutely adore…but please just say “I’m pregnant!” instead of something cutsie.

      • Agreed. They’re terribly tacky. Just straightforward tell people you’re pregnant, how excited you are, etc. No need to be all weird and “cute” about it.

        It honestly seems really weird to me to have otherwise normal adults go down some sort of cutesy rabbit hole of baby-related “reveals” (first the pregnancy, then the gender, then the name…).

        • Agree. Just say you’re pregnant or you’re expecting. No one cares enough for a “reveal.” And for heavens sake, no gender reveal parties either.

    • They’re all tacky and if you’re under 30 I’ll just assume you’re trying to cover up a mistake.

    • Anonymous :

      To my husband- a cute poem/themed alma mater artwork piece about a kid wanting to go to his dad’s school that I left for him to find.
      Grandparents- a picture frame with a note inside that read “Reserved for baby __. Expected arrival is ____”
      Fancy reveals weren’t our thing, but these were still meaningful. The look on my husband’s face when he realized what the poem is one of my favorite memories of us.

      • Anonymama :

        Wait, so then did you know for a while before you told him? I can’t imagine keeping something like that from my partner… he was definitely right there with me every time I took a pregnancy test, and would have been super bummed if he didn’t get to share in the finding-out test. Of course, ymmv, every relationship is different, etc.

        • Anonymous :

          I knew for maybe 5 or 10 minutes ahead of him. I think he was in the shower or something since it was first thing in the morning test. I’d found the artwork months before that and had bought it as a potential baby gift for a friend of his. Once we started TTC, I came up with the idea of giving it my husband as a gift.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      A photo of the parents with speech bubbles saying “I’m pregnant!” and “Hi Pregnant, I’m Dad!”

    • Anonymous :

      I honestly don’t think any of them are cute. The worst is a photo of bread in the oven (“a bun in the oven”) – I think the bl0gger Kath Eats did that and I find her super annoying so maybe that’s why that announcement irks me. But then one of my friends did the same thing and I just couldn’t stop cringing.

      • I’ll do you one better: some very churchy friends of my husband, whom he lost touch with for a year (knew them before we were together), sent him an EMAIL recreating this photo with the caption “We’ve been baking!” CRINGE. So much ew.

    • cake batter :

      I like most of these ideas, but I’ll throw in one that is so so common among my acquaintance group that I think is super creepy — the line of empty shoes (parents and baby). Empty shoes just has such a strong connotation to death in my mind and reminds me of the exhibit at the Holocaust Museum. Why people use this as a baby announcement is beyond me, but I always cringe when I see one.

      • Anonymous :

        People in my friend group do that too, but the parents are usually wearing their shoes so only the baby shoes are empty. It always reminds me of that famous Ernest Hemingway six word “novel” (“For sale. Baby shoes, never worn.”) and also makes me feel a little sad/creeped out.

        • That story, though – so revealing about Hemingway and his presumptive audience. Craigslist is full of posts with almost that exact text, because kids outgrowing their shoes before they ever wear them is a parenting trope. File under: deep thoughts that are only deep if you don’t know anything about the subject of your writing.

          • Quick FYI :

            craigslist was invented 20 years ago…. when Heningway wrote that, his presumptive audience were not really thinking BST sites LOL

          • I dunno, I’m a parent and when I hear that my mind definitely goes to a sad place. Kids do grow quickly but mine have worn all their clothes at least a few times. I think “like new” or “very gently used” are more common descriptions for selling used kids stuff.

    • Marshmallow :

      My friend got a mini Adirondack chair and placed it in between her parents’ usual chairs at their lake house. They slowly realized what it meant when they went down to the lake on their annual vacation.

      • Anonymous :

        Aw, now, this one I love. Because it’s personal and just for the grandparents and a great memory for them.

    • After a nasty battle with infertility, DH and I are opting for keeping things “normal” and private and to ourselves as it related to pregnancy announcement and all future posts about baby. Personally, I feel that if the only way that you’d find out we’re pregnant is via social media, then you probably don’t need to know. Personal calls to family and friends, texts, even. But keeping it out of the blanket social media posts because there are so, so many silent sufferers out there of infertility. I didn’t need our (long waited, hard fought) happy news to bring any sort of stress on a distant friend who I happen to, but probably don’t need to be, friend with on FB. Speaking from experience, this “look at me” world – particularly as it relates to pregnancy/gender reveal/name reveals, etc – that we’re in to make everything cutesy and photo worthy takes a giant toll on a silent many.

      • Not trying for baby yet, but very much with you. It’s such a private matter that the people who need to know are going to know not via social media.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry for your struggles. I’m with you 100% even though we were fortunate to get pregnant quickly. We told family and close friends and co-workers (basically anyone we saw or talked to regularly) but didn’t make any announcement on social media until the baby was here. And then it was just one post announcing her arrival, not constant photo updates (mostly to protect her privacy).

      • Anonymous :

        PREACH

      • Anonymous :

        I had a very nasty battle with infertility myself, and I personally don’t find the announcements to be insensitive (and have chosen to try to not find them painful). And for us, the flip side of it was that we had waited so long to be pregnant, we wanted to enjoy the parts that we could enjoy (when we weren’t freaking out that it might not work), and this included the announcement, baby shower, and birth photos, etc. I’m not saying you’re wrong to feel how you felt or to take the path you’re taking, I would just like to put out there that not all people who have suffered from infertility feel this way — and that people are allowed to express their joy without having to censor it because of other people’s potential pain.

    • Not the OP, but this is very timely for me, and just want to say thanks to many folks on this thread for validating my strong desire/laziness not to do anything more complicated than “We’re having a baby! Yay!” Super agreed about not doing things for the photoworthiness.

  10. I am unhappy with how my SIL is treating my husband. To make a very, very long story short, SIL and her husband are trying to buy a new house. She first asked my husband to borrow what I considered to be a massive amount of money (low-mid 6 figures). Husband declined without even consulting me, which I agree was the right thing to do – his reason was we have two kids, in a 2 bedroom apartment rental, need that money for a down payment for our own place, and have massive student loan debt; plus they already live in a four bedroom house in the same neighborhood. She was angry but got the money “from another source” that she would not specify. She then asked us to lend her something in the 1k range to cover “incidentals” (I’ll spare you the details). We decided we were OK with this, offered to Venmo, and she said it had to be cash – like mail the dollar bills in an envelope. My husband was about to do it, but my lawyer nature made me question why and it became apparent on further questioning she was trying to skirt some regulation of some kind (it couldn’t show up on her bank account). The more questions he asked, the more angry and secretive she got, and he concluded he didn’t feel comfortable sending. But he would have never come to that conclusion if not for me. And a few days later sent a barrage of texts berating my husband for not being a good brother and how she can’t count on him for anything and removing us from the people who they share photos with.

    I should just leave this alone and let it pass, right? Did I even do anything wrong I should be apologizing to her or my husband for? I feel so guilty.

    • Anonymous :

      Why would you feel guilty for dodging being scammed by your SIL? And who expects their sibling who has their own family to lend them hundreds of thousands of dollars for a house?

      This SIL is a right royal you-know-what. Don’t even apologize to her for her own awful entitlement and behaviour.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t feel guilty. There is something else going on here. You don’t borrow low six figures and then need another grand. Nothing in this story adds up. You guys are in the right and it will pass over time. Who borrows 100k and is like oops…I’m short 1…this is a guilt free pass for you both and really really weird.

    • I don’t think there’s much more for you to do in this situation; you have nothing to feel guilty for. The only thing you might consider is just having a positive conversation with your husband – basically thank him for being on the same page as you and make sure he knows you’ve got his back in dealing with his sister. I’m sure he’s feeling like he’s in a really tough spot right now and just hearing some extra words of support and encouragement would mean a lot. If you can, try not to attack his sister but just some simple statements/questions like “I know it’s hard but I think you’ve handled this so well,” or “How are you feeling about everything with your sister? I think you’ve absolutely done the right thing but I know she’s been upset,” might give him room to vent or talk through things.

      Basically, your role in this should be supporting your husband in dealing with his sister, and that’s as far into the situation as you should go – don’t engage with the SIL or anyone else who happens to get drawn into this.

      • +1 this is really helpful I think.

        OK, he might not have questioned it if you hadn’t brought it up, but it sounds like once you did, he questioned it because he also thought it bore questioning, not because you made him. That’s nothing to feel guilty for.

    • Anonymous :

      You didn’t do anything wrong. She sounds awful. But I wouldn’t try to intervene or fix their relationship, let your husband do that if he wants to.

    • If she’s still in the underwriting phase of her loan, banks go through the accounts in great detail. I had to account for every small expense reimbursement from my employer when we were buying a house. Selling our house got seriously delayed when the buyer got a monetary gift from a family member at the last minute. So I can understand the reluctance to introduce another round of bank questions triggered by $1000 showing up in an account. I wouldn’t assume she is doing something super shady, but people can be really weird about discussing their money. I’d let this blow over. Buying a house is stressful and it sounds like they have some cash flow issues.

      • No, it’s shady. She’s almost certainly signed something promising the bank that she has enough money to go through with the transaction (which is apparently not true) and that she will tell them about any gifts or loans she receives during this period (which she is not doing). The OP’s husband is not going to get in trouble for sending her cash in an envelope, and it’s certainly true that people do get held up for perfectly innocent stuff, but this is shady.

    • Anonymous :

      Uh wow there’s a lot to unpack here. You guys aren’t even homeowners yet? And you feel guilty for not helping someone else to come a homeowner on your dime? Like… no. Honestly it’s concerning that your and DH’s reaction to SIL is anything other than, lol wut April Fool’s is over but good one. No you don’t give someone else $100k+ to buy a house WHEN YOU DON’T EVEN OWN A HOUSE (not that you should anyway but that bit is just crazypants). No you don’t give someone $1k to fix up their house or whatever the heck she said she was going to do… you realize she’s just going to call you for $$ every time something breaks? Um part of being a homeowner is paying for incidentals if you don’t have $1k in the bank after your dp then don’t buy a house?

      And if someone does need $1k for emergencies or whatever you definitely don’t MAIL them cash. You know why she really wanted DH to mail it? So she could say she never got it and shake him down for another $1k.

      • I love this, thank you. We are obviously way too nice and patient – working on that. We are also very risk averse when it comes to money – hence the tiny apartment and being generally conservative with spending. So sometimes it is hard to know if we are being too rough on her. We obviously need to stop questioning our judgment.

    • Thanks all for your input, and confirming I am not off my rocker. I like the idea of supporting my husband (although I seem more bothered by her behavior than he is). And it is right that I didn’t force him question her – it definitely was more like “this seems odd” and he started diving deeper. Finally, I get scrutiny applied by banks when going through the loan process, but if she would have just told us that instead of getting defensive, secretive, and angry, we likely would have been fine mailing the cash. Or we could have come up with an (honest) way to make the fairly small transfer NBD to a bank. Or better yet, my husband could have actually had a meaningful conversation with his sister about whether this transaction is a good idea given they don’t have the money for it – when he gently suggested that, she hung up on him.

      Not that this is relevant, but since I posted this, she emailed me and told me I don’t know what it is like to not have enough space for a family. I am not going to reply, but man, saying that to someone who has a family of four in a 900 sq ft apt is about as tone deaf as she could get. And of course, she has criticized us for having such a small place, not having a “home,” and for living in a “terrible city.”

      I think I just had a realization that she is in fact simply awful more generally and not worth my time.

  11. How do I make more working mom friends? My two close friends both recently decided to become SAHMs. I have a 13 month old and took a promotion at work that requires more hours so I’m feeling pretty lonely. I work with mostly men and women who chose not to have children. I am not looking for commiseration/let’s get drinks and complain about how hard our lives are – I want friends who are willing to acknowledge that we’ve chosen this path and are committed to it. Any advice?

    • Anonymous :

      Do your kids go to daycare? That’s the only place I’ve been able to meet working moms (I live in a town where almost all women stay home or work part time).

      • Mama Llama :

        +1 All my working mom friends are from daycare. Or come over to the Moms board and post where you are! If it’s a major city I bet there’s someone who’d love to grab a coffee.

    • Similar but older :

      It sounds like I’m a few years ahead of you with a 15 year old. I’ve always treasured my working mom friends. I found them at elementary school parties (when I took off to attend) by chatting then texting/calling/emailing if I had a question about something later. Other times I find them at early morning gym classes because the non working moms tend to exercise later. I got to know a few people pretty well by seeing them regularly 3 mornings a week. Now, I sit with other moms at sporting events and chat. It involves a bit of serendipity and reaching out but you can definitely find your tribe with a little effort. Also, I just noticed your child is 13 months. It’s a little early to make connections in this way now, but you will probably find people in public parks/playground areas this Summer. Good luck! Do you even remotely know someone in your same situation now? You could always make contact by saying, “no pressure if you are too busy right now but I am craving some working mom companionship. Would you like to meet up sometime?”

    • We have a “bodies for birth” group in my city. You’re all done with birth but you can still join something like that. The $$ to join and the seriously intense workout means there is a very particular type of woman who comes to the morning classes: an ambitious person with a decent job who has just dropped off her kid at daycare or is actively pregnant. I met people I like there. I have also met moms at the local library (toddler story time) and the park and the pool, but I swear I just never have anything in common with them.

    • Count me in! :

      Where do you live? I live in the PNW, just moved here, and could definitely use more working mom friends! (Well friends period…)

    • Just a promise – it will probably get easier in a few years. Right now your kid is too young to make real friends on their own. When they are three or four, and making friends at daycare/ballet class/the pool, you will get to know the parents of those friends, and some of them will be working parents whom you like and actually want to be friends with.

      • Excel Geek :

        Saturday morning ballet class is where I met many of my local working mom friends. Only working moms need Saturday classes.
        Started around 3 years old I think?

        • Anonymous :

          I met one of my childhood best friends– whose mom is still one of my mom’s best friends– at my 3 year old gymnastics class! 35 years later our (then working, now retired) moms still hang out.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I found that my socialization improved a bit when 1) my kid got older (she’s almost 3) and actually was able to start having friends, 2) I started getting on email chains with parents from my kids’ preschool, 3) accepting invitations whenever possible (i.e., meet up at a local museum on Saturday afternoon – we will do our best. Thursday afternoon for the part time students, not so much).

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I’ve been trying really hard to say yes. To playdates, to the park, whatever. Even if I don’t want to, even when it sounds like a pain in the butt. I also have been asking moms I want to know better to hang out, repeatedly. It’s free to text, and no one can say yes to me if I don’t ask.

        I have the added hassle of a serious amount of work travel, so doing regular things, even on the weekend, is hard. But I’m not giving up!

  12. Minnie Beebe :

    It’s late, probably no one will see this, but did anyone see Nikki Haley’s response to the White House explanation on her UN statement on Russia Sanctions? WH said she was “momentarily confused”. Haley replied “I don’t get confused.”

    I don’t agree with her politics, but am giving her a solid (virtual) fist bump for this!

  13. I am a senior associate working in BigLaw. I’m dealing with a problematic male client that started off as lots of “sweeties” and “honeys” and has progressed to direct comments about my body. Needless to say, this is not sitting well with me, and the remainder of my (otherwise all male) deal team does not seemed to be phased. Has anyone had any success in diplomatically dealing with unwanted comments from a client?

    • Looking right in the eyes (ideally in a public context): “I’m sorry, what did you just say?”

      Next time: “That type of remark is unacceptable–and it’s not the first. I’m your lawyer, not your sweetie. Don’t make me call you on it again.”

      Third time: Take it up with HR and copy every colleague on your team and every senior person who’s likely to have your back.

      Your mileage (and style) may vary. But honestly, show a little spine.

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