Coffee Break – Sabir

Taryn Rose - Sabir (Merlot) - FootwearA stacked oxford can be a nice way to get some height without the pain of pumps. This merlot pair from Taryn Rose seems perfect for the office — I’d wear the shoes with black, navy, gray, beige, brown, or even — yes — with some of the red trousers we’re seeing this season. And, hello:  built in arch support and a memory foam footbed.  They’re on sale, too: they were $269 but are now marked to $203 at Zappos. Taryn Rose – Sabir (Merlot) – Footwear



  1. Salit-a-gator :

    Love this shoe – beautiful and versatile color, and I’ve heard good things about the brand. Good pick Kat!

    • I have one pair of Taryn Rose pumps – they are not my most comfortable brand (which is Kate Spade) but they have held up nicely and are certainly reasonably comfortable – which for me, means that I can wear them all day without getting blisters, pain, etc.

      These look like a really great pair for work!

    • Diana Barry :

      I like these too. Maybe the chunky heels of the 90s are coming back!

    • I just got my first pair of Taryn Rose pumps (wedges to be specific) and I love them. As in love-so-much-I-commute-in-them. Definitely top 5 comfortable shoes for me.

  2. Bored by BigLaw? :

    Hive – is BigLaw too slow-paced for me? Serious career question for you brilliant women: I am a seventh year litigation associate in a major city working for a small-ish office of a global firm. I have experienced close to none of the nightmares you typically hear about BigLaw. My hours are reasonable, the partners treat me with respect, I get tons of client contact and responsibility and did so early on. I have received great feedback and the firm has given me some very unique experiences proving their investment in my career. I have a *decent* shot at partnership. I like some aspects of the job but have lately realized . . . I am just kind of bored. My days are generally pretty slow paced and typically have been (trial time excluded – love trial). Over the years I have noticed that when I have an incredibly busy day that consists of me running around like crazy without time to think or surf the web or take a breath, I drive home at night peaceful, content, happy, tired, and excited for couch time. These days are rare. Most days consist of languid meetings, lots of internet surfing, and chatting with colleagues. I can’t concentrate and have trouble digging in to a project. I feel unbearably lazy. I nonetheless somehow get it all done. Driving home most days leaves me still very restless. It’s kind of like I am a toddler that needs to get worn out. As I gear up to make the push for partnership in the next few years, I want to stop and think. Is this the right job for me? Would I be happier, on a day to day basis, if I had a more demanding, fast-paced job? If so, what is that job?

    I understand the pros of staying where I am. The two biggies are (i) great money; and (ii) a flexible schedule (especially if I make partner), which is super important as DH and I plan to have kids in the not-too-distant future (which the firm would be very supportive of).

    Should I just shut up and appreciate the fact that I am getting paid a lot of money for what I know must sound like a dream BigLaw job? Am I going to relish a somewhat slower-paced job once I have kids?

    Thanks in advance for any thoughts.

    • How far out are the baby plans? How many kids do you want? How closely spaced together (or not)? How does this relate to partnership timing? Is there anything you can do in your current job to make it more exciting/busy?

      IME — yes, you will very likely appreciate a slower-paced job and flexibility when you have kids, especially as they are little, especially if you want more than one. If the baby plans are near-term, then I would suggest holding on and seeing how you feel in a year or so. You can always lateral out once you’ve made partner. It would be unfortunate to give up a good flexible job you love that offers partnership potential, for a more demanding job that may prove harder to juggle once you have kids. Many moms go looking for exactly that job once they’ve had a baby.

    • It sounds as if you just don’t have enough work. If you become a partner you may find that you have to come up with your own clients, perhaps through your own efforts or instead by developing relationships with existing clients of the firm. If you do a good job of client development you may find that you’re much busier. Staying and making partner might be the smartest thing to do, but you could also look into the U.S. Attorney’s office, where you might well be busier and go to trial much more often.

    • I’m still in law school, so take this FWIW, but have you considered that if you had those crazy days you enjoy every day, you may not enjoy them as much? It’s possible that something in between your current scenario and years of really demanding days would be ideal. And making it to partner and having kids may give that to you.

      • definitely this. i’m a litigator in biglaw in a major city. i also have a great relationship with the people i work with and enjoy a pretty great schedule most of the time, but then i have back to back crazy days for weeks on end. i also end up working substantial hours when i take vacations, because things always pop up. i enjoy the busy days, but when theyre never ending, it doesn’t hold the same thrill. also keep in mind that you get burnt out if they come up too frequently, and then your performance may not be as consistent.
        plus, FWIW, smaller regional offices get different work from major offices, maybe you could have more of the thrill you want by working with people in other larger offices?
        there’s also always professional development and bar association stuff you can be doing to stay fulfilled.

    • Sounds like you don’t have enough work if you’re spending a lot of time surfing the internet or gossiping.

      Another alternative– adult ADD?

      • Second adult ADD.

        • Okay, lets back up here before we diagnose this. The OP is extremely successful and high functioning in many, if not all, aspects of her life- has worked at a large law firm for several years and performed well, obviously, as she has a good chance of making partner, she is married and planning to start a family, and she seems to be thinking about her long term future career and happiness, in an insightful and deliberate manner. The only “symptom” she has of ADD is being bored at a job that is, by most standards, often boring. She’s not always bored- she’s only bored when she’s not busy and the the work is um, boring. I think ADD is extremely unlikely. A person with ADD has difficulty concentrating to the extent that it significantly impairs aspects of his or her life- typically work or other relationships. The OP has described none of that.

          I second the suggestion to do pro bono work or some other side project that interests you.

          • Agree that ADD didn’t jump out at me. However, one can appear to be extremely successful and high functioning while having ADD. Often such people have developed their own coping mechanisms that become harder to implement and manage as they become older and layer on family responsibilities. Significant impairment can be relative.

      • I agree. I am ALSO a young asociate in a small office in a BIG city, and I ALSO have getten BORED from time to time. But my Issue is with my manageing partner, who insists that I conform to HIS standeards of behaviour. FOOEY!

      • Sounds like ADD 100%. I’m the same way — I thrive on crisis, but get really, really bored and unmotivated when things are slow. Drugs help…

    • Well, you could always transfer to a bigger BigLaw office and bill a few years of 2400+ hours. And have a couple of kids to boot. If you are still feeling like you “need to get worn out” at that point, you are made of stronger stuff than I am.

      Seriously, where is this BigLaw job where you are working reasonable hours, feel very supported about having a family, and think you have a decent shot of making partner? I don’t mean to rain on your parade, and for your sake hope you are right on all counts, but in general, being at a small satellite office and billing at a slow pace that lets you spend hours internet surfing every day does not bode well for partnership. (Unless you do something extremely specialized?) Also, even though partnership might allow you more flexibility, the BigLaw partners I know work extremely hard, and if they don’t, they are likely to get de-equitized. Cue the old joke about the prize for winning the pie-eating contest…

      But best of luck figuring it all out.

      • Bored by BigLaw? :

        Thanks to all for the responses. To answer a few questions – I am not billing at a slow pace for my firm at all. I have very bust trial months giving me 250-300 hours then two months of slow . . . and my slow I mean still billing 6-7 hours a day. In response to the doubts about partnership potential, while i dont have a specialized practive, and while I know its an uphill battle, I have some fairly unique things going for me. I have had very unusual (and extended) access to firm management at several of our more important international offices as well as other domestic offices larger than my own. I also have some very promising practice development things going on that most associates do not have. So while its by no means in the bag, I have had several of the most important people in the firm tell me to stick around and that they are invested in me.

        Thanks to GovtMom – not sure about spacing re kids but probably 2, starting in 2 years, fairly close together. I think you are right on.

    • Barrister in the Bayou :

      How about taking on some pro-bono cases? I don’t know what kind of law you practice. But if you’re looking to fill your schedule, and you make your hours, why don’t you try to take some pro-bono in a different area? You’ll get some intellectual stimulation, it won’t just be added drudgery, and you will be helping out someone in need.

    • I can sort of relate, but I’m a few years behind you (4th year associate). I noticed last summer that I was experiencing many of the same issues that you mention. I went as far as applying for other jobs before I realized that really, I was just anxious to start our family and ready to move towards “that” particular goal. Until we started trying, I was unhappy, antsy, and frustrated, but many of these feelings went away after we were trying. Frankly, getting our family ready for a baby (financially, taking trips, etc.), helped divert some of my attention and made my days/overall life feel much fuller/busier/whatever.

      Also, other plugs for staying and trying, we unexpectedly had problems that required frequent trips to a reproductive endochronologist to remedy. Fortunately, our issues were resolved quickly, but I appreciated the flexibility that comes with being a known entity in my office. This would have been even more important if we didn’t get pregnant as quickly as we did. Also, being pregnant has been harder than I ever anticipated it would be. I’m a former competitive long distance runner, and am used to abusing my body, but I genuinely relish the easy days I have now. I am simply exhausted all the time, and no longer feel that crush to go-go-go-go all day long.

      The short version of my post is – make sure you examine your motive for what is really driving your angst. You may need fulfillment elsewhere in your life (if not the baby, then volunteering? adopting a puppy?), and a busier job may not be the solution.

  3. Love the shoes. Wish they were less expensive; my budget can’t take it right now.

    Question for the hive: I’ve got an old 401K with my former firm, value in the range of $100k. Am trying to decide what to do with it now. I suppose I should take it out of the firm’s program, but I haven’t decided where to put it. Am just plain not sure where to start. Thoughts?

    • Before you move the money anywhere, I’d develop a general investing strategy (even a very basic one). Do you have an IRA, an existing 401(K) from your current employer, other investments … ? Do you have an idea of what you want to invest in and for (e.g. for retirement, but how far off is that?) and are you a pretty conservative investor or open to more risk?

      Your options are to basically to a) leave it where it is, b) roll it over into your new 401K if you have one, or c) roll it over into a separate IRA with, say, Vanguard (I love Vanguard!) and control it yourself. You also d) take money out of it but this is a bad idea if you’re not of age. So not really an option.

      A) is easiest but the question is, do you like the options and fees that your old employer’s program is offering? This of course depends on your overall investment strategy. B) is a decent option but again, depends on the program and whether it jives with what you want. C) is probably the best option – I’d roll it over into an IRA and you can change the assets if you like. D) is really not an option unless you’re flat broke.

      Easy answer: c) and either leave the investments as-is, or transfer them into no-fee index funds.

      • karenpadi :

        Second Vanguard. Love Vanguard.

      • I would not leave it with your old employer unless there is a very compelling reason to do so (such as, they are an investment adviser and this plan gives you access to a very unique investment option). Roll it out in to an independent IRA so that you have some diversification (one plan with new employer + the independent IRA). Agree that Vanguard is awesome.

  4. Just a note to say thank you to those who responded to my question yesterday asking how comfortable you are with your SO having FB “friends” of the opposite sex. I needed an outsider’s perspective and your comments were very helpful. So thanks!

  5. Future Dog Mom :

    2 questions for the Hive:

    1) I recently tried to adopt a dog from a rescue. Went through the adoption process, fell in love with a pup with a supposedly sweet, even temperament, passes the home visit, and brought the dog home. Within 3 days, he went from a slightly skittish wiggly-butt friendly dog, to a very possessive-of-mom dog who lunged at anyone not Mom or Dad. I have dealt with frightened dogs before, but this was more than I could handle, and honestly, I think the dog had been fostered with a confident pack and wasn’t sure how to handle being a lone dog. The rescue and I agreed this wasn’t the best situation for him, and he went back to his foster.

    So, now I am still considering adopting an adult dog, I am becoming increasingly open to adopting a puppy. Any recomendations on how to raise a puppy while working full-time?

    For what it’s worth, I can work from home a few days a week and have family and friends nearby to help.

    2) I am looking for a lap-dog for my brother. My family has always had dogs, but of larger varieties (labs mostly). Any recommendations for smaller dog breeds that can handle bigger dogs in the family, as well as take hot weather?


    • 1. Are you single? You’ll need a dog walker or doggy day care for your puppy. You also will want to live in a place where you can restrict the puppy to a limited area when you’re gone (i.e., not a studio).

      2. I’d suggest a Sheltie or Papillon. They’re both super intelligent breeds that tend to be people-oriented, but also get along well with other dogs. I had Shelties growing up and they did fine with our other dogs.

    • (1) Don’t let one bad experience sour you on adult dog adoption. This is actually fairly unusual and it sounds like the rescue handled it in the best way for all involved.

      (2) Possible breeds: miniature (mid-sized) poodles (smart as h*ll, cuddly, sweet when well trained, and good with dogs), some types of terriers, or frankly just a mixed breed that’s small. There are tons of them in the shelters and in rescue.

      • AnonInfinity :

        Agreed. I’ve adopted 1 puppy and 2 adult dogs, and the adult dogs were a much better experience. I don’t think we’ll ever get another puppy.

      • Don’t give up on adult dogs! I’ve been saying this like, every thread, but I just adopted an adult dog from my local shelter, and she is fantastic. She takes up a lot of time, though, between walks, playing, feeding, and grooming–and she was already house-trained and knew her manners. I don’t even want to think about how much more work a puppy would be.

    • There was some talk about this last week (I think) – a woman who was starting her first job and wanted to know about getting a dog.

      My take: I raised a puppy while working full time. I have Yorkshire terrier – I got her at 3 months and she was paper trained by the breeder, a huge plus for me, who didn’t have family and friends around to help take care of her. I came home once during the day to walk her but slowly she adjusted. She is still paper trained and goes when she needs to (i.e. raining outside or she’s just being stubborn).

      • Anonymous :

        Re the lap dog issue:I would suggest a pug. Large enough for a guy to feel like it’s a “real ” dig, but small enough to cuddle. I have had two pugs, and they were both great dogs.

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I think that you should think carefully about your expectations about bringing a dog home. Dogs require work – both training and time investment is needed in order to have a well-adjusted dog.

      If you don’t feel that you can devote more than 3 days to getting the doggie behavior and doggie interaction that you want from an adult dog, I’m not sure why you think you have the time or skills to train a puppy. I certainly don’t think that I could move into a new environment with new people and routines and perform as required in 3 days! Also – what happens when the puppy that is so cute and well-behaved with the breeder turns into a around-the-clock pooping and peeing machine in the house that does not respond to your training efforts (remember, most dogs CAN’t physically be completely toilet trained until they are between 6-9 months). With a puppy – the dog can’t go back the foster, you will be “stuck” with it or forced to find a new home (which is very hard – dogs are like cars and humans, the older they get, the less people want them) or abandon it to be put to sleep at a shelter.

      I think if you could clarify exactly what you are looking for in a pet and what your expectation for time commitment and doggie behavior is, you would be able to better identify good options.

      I would suggest that you continue to work with the rescue as they sound like they have handled this situation well and are a good resource. You might want to consider taking dog-training courses with your dog (once they are 9-12 months old – “puppy kindergarten” is a waste of money) to help you build a good, understanding relationship with your new dog, especially if you are uneasy around bad-behavior dogs.

      When I adopted my first dog, I had selected two possibilities from the shelter. The first was a high-maintenance dog, and from my interactions with the dog, I knew that he would need an experienced, firm pack leader. I ended up going with a much more quiet dog, that was very anxious and needed confidence training in the shelter.

      I always joke that for the first few months we got him, he was on his best doggie behavior. Once we had him a while and he got more confident, he “loosened his belt” and became a normal dog. Eg: he used to sleep on the floor next to his basket because he had never seen a basket or dog bed before, but once he climbed in, he was never going back!

      Now he is the sweetest cuddle-muffin I could have asked for and totally adjusted. But to this day, if my or my man drives by the animal shelter with the dog in the car, the dog whines and cries and screams. It is hard to find the right dog with the right temperament for you. But at least this experience is teaching you what attributes you don’t want in a dog. And its totally okay to say – hey, I can’t handle a high maintenance dog with behavioral issues or aggressive tenancies that make me uncomfortable. But its not okay to get a puppy, be surprised when the puppy develops a personality of its own, and then abandon the puppy – contributing the dog euthanasia problem.

      Its so funny because I remember being a timid first-time dog owner just a few years ago and now I have no qualms breaking up a dog fight between two giant German Shepards and can discipline a dog from a mile away (not literally – but really, once you learn how to interact with dogs, they will respond the way we want them to). Dogs are the only creatures on the planet that have literally evolved to be man’s best friend and I hope you will have a rewarding relationship with your dog.

      • I read this thread yesterday and was thinking about it last night. Leaving a dog by itself in an apartment or a house all day is so sad. Dogs are very social animals and they do get lonely. Cats are better if you want only one pet. But for dogs, I recommend either another dog or a cat to keep the dog company. The dog won’t cry and howl (which will avoid neighbor problems) if it has company and sometimes they get destructive if they are left alone too long. If you get a cat, a second cat is a nice thing to do for him or her, as cats do like having company while you’re at work.

  6. Anonymous :


    This may sound like a really elementary question, but my career services office is no help… Where does one find job postings for first year associates?

    I am in the top 10% of my law school class (graduating in May), and I am moving across the country in May due to my fiance’s job. My law school has a website with job postings from my current state, but absolutely nothing from my new state. I have found job postings for those currently licensed in my state, but, aside from government jobs (which I have applied to), nothing for someone who will not be admitted to the bar until the fall.

    Should I be submitting my resume to legal recruiters? Checking Craigslist for job listings? I would really appreciate any advice that anyone can give me.

    • Third post in one thread … whoa.

      Get reciprocity to the career centers of a law school in your new state. If you ask, your career center should know what I’m talking about. It gives you access to the other school’s info, which will likely be more local and more helpful. Also, have you reached out to alumni from your college and law school in your new state?

    • is a good website that gathers listings from all your general job listings websites.

      If you post the state you’re moving to, I’m sure people will be able to give you more specific advice, but for example in Mass there is a website called masslawyersweekly where there is a legal job classifieds section.

      • Oh right, and I second the thing about reciprocity.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks so much for all the advice so far. The state is California. I will definitely contact my Career Services office now and see if they can help me get reciprocity.

        • There do seem to be classified ads for the county bar associations as well.

    • Having been through this post law school, I would suggest you look at the law schools in the area you will relocate to and talk to your career services office about reciprocity with those schools. Your school should be able to get you access to some other school’s career services offices resources (online and in person). I found my position through another school’s career service website, but I would also look at craigslist for small firm jobs. Good luck with the move!

    • Honestly, I would try to gain access to the job-posting site of some schools in the state where you will be living. For example, I went to law school in NYC, and I have given my symplicity login info to various friends who are looking for jobs there. My friends have done the same for their friends. Starting jobs are generally going to post with law schools, where the newbies currently are. If you are looking for biglaw or government, you may want to contact offices directly and see whether they are looking, or just send in your resume. But I think local law schools’ job sites are the way to go. Recruiters probably won’t be helpful, but it can’t hurt to try. If you happen to be moving to NYC and are looking for a job there, I am happy to give you my login info if you give me an email address to send it to.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here. Thanks so much for the offer; it is California, unfortunately. However, you just made me realize that I do actually know an alum of a CA law school who could give me access to his school’s job posting site. Thanks for the idea!

    • Try the BYU Intercollegiate job bank- if your school is a member, you can view all the other member’s lists. Also try the state bar’s site. I’m in FL and we have both classifieds in the biweekly newspaper and in a separate job database.

      Keep in mind that in this economy, it’s much harder to find jobs before you pass the bar. This is more likely to be the case in CA where the pass rate is very low and it takes ages to get results. Most smaller firms aren’t going to wait until December (best case scenario) for you to be sworn in when they can hire someone now who past the last bar.

  7. Dear ladies:

    Does anyone have any advice or have any experiences to share on the matter of moving in/living with an SO in a together-forever kind of way? I am a naturally a “lone wolf” type of person, needing a good amount of alone time to feel by best, and all the happiness in the world does not prevent me from sometimes stopping and wondering, you know, what if I sometimes just want to lie quietly and read and not talk, etc…. it seems mean to say “leave me alone,” right?! This is more of a philosophical question, I suppose, but I really appreciate others’ experiences with dividing time while living with an SO. Thanks.

    • Geezerette :

      Is your SO also an introvert? My spouse and I are both introverts, so it works well for each of us to have our alone time. Our after-work routine is to reconnect for a few minutes, then separate for alone time — he cooks dinner and I read in another room. We have a longish dinner hour together, then we either do our own thing until bedtime or (more rarely) we do something together. Works for us!

      • This is how my SO and I are as well. We make sure that we always have a two bedroom place, no matter how small, because we need that alone time. I have no idea how I would cope if I had an extroverted SO.

    • This is huge for me, because I am very much a “lone wolf” too. I was hesitant about moving in together, and had a few areas of rough transition.

      I think it all comes down to knowing what you need, being honest with yourself and your SO about it, and–probably most of all–having an SO who understands. This means getting it, and better yet, anticipating, when you need to be left alone. If he’s talking to you and you’re not up for it at the moment, figure that out and know how to convey it. You may also turn down invitations to join him in something or other for no reason other than needing some down time. It’s on you to make yourself clear, but then someone who really knows and understands you needs also to avoid taking it personally at all, and just be around when you’re ready to connect again.

    • anonymous :

      I understand what you are worried about, because I’m the same way. You should establish a routine with your SO whereby you are in different places in the home doing your own thing. This is likely to happen naturally, but if not, make an effort to do it. If your SO isn’t getting the clue, explain gently that you need a little alone time each day. My SO watches TV constantly, so I go in the bedroom and listen to music (am also planning to only allow a TV in the basement when we buy a house), or he mutes the volume if I am reading or something nearby (he watches sports, which don’t really require volume).

    • I have only a what not to do…don’t move in together in to a studio. You will never miss walls and doors so much as when you don’t have them anymore.

      But seriously, my SO and I find it important to have our own personal spaces and our own personal time. So I can sort of kick him out of the TV room so I can watch my crappy tv and he can play his stupid game upstairs without me harassing him, too much. If this isn’t something you feel comfortable talking about — well get comfortable, because “forever” type relationships mean sometimes having uncomfortable conversations.

      And yeah, “leave me alone” might seem kind of mean to you, but not seem so mean to a boy. Boys are weird.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Agree wholeheartedly on the studio. My boyfriend is loud (like, likes to yell at the football game on tv, because you know that’s going to make a difference), and I would kill him if there wasn’t a wall we could put between us sometimes. Of course, if we could afford it, I would have a second bedroom, so I may be unusual. I hate sharing a bed.

        And I’ll occasionally tell my boyfriend to leave me alone for an hour. Maybe it’s mean, but he knows me and understands that sometimes, especially if it’s been a long day at work, I just need alone time because my brain cannot handle communication right at that moment.

        • karenpadi :

          Haha. I’ll second hating to share a bed. Boys take up too much space, get too hot, and like to hold on to me all night. Plus, they snore and make weird sounds.

          Unfortunately, boys seem to enjoy sharing a bed. It’s one of the questions on OK Cupid and I have yet to find a guy who prefers to sleep alone.

          I don’t mind sleeping with my cats though.

        • I occasionally spend the night on the couch just to have some alone sleeping time. Hubby thinks it is weird so I had to reassure him that it is not because I am unhappy with him, just that I need some privacy and me time. Being together 24/7 is not natural for me.

    • Can't wait to quit :

      DH and I seem to be balanced when it comes to wanting alone time, so it works out quite well. We seem to naturally retreat to our corners at certain times without having to negotiate it. Have you travelled with your SO? How did s/he react if you wanted an hour of peace and quiet? If you are planning on moving in and have not travelled together, can you arrange a week-in-a-cabin type vacation to see if you enjoy playing house? It could give you a snapshot look at whether your SO will be in your face all the time, or whether you two will naturally know when the other needs some alone time. (FWIW, I don’t recommend moving in together unless you are in a committed relationship – but that’s a whole ‘nother post).

    • I don’t think this is crazy or mean. I think if you frame it as solo time helps you recharge and are clear about your expectations it’s fine. For example, my SO and I each take at least an hour when we get home from work (unless it’s really late) to do our own thing. He has an at home office office and I generally am reading or watching TV. Before we moved in together, we talked about it to avoid hurt feelings.

      He is also the kind of person that can sit next to me on a couch, while I do my own thing and not bug me (if that makes any sense). There are some people who constantly need to be “entertained” (involved may be a better word), so I would think about your SO’s current needs.

    • Magdeline :

      This is me too! I am naturally introverted, but I need to be quite extroverted for my job (time in court/client counseling), so when I come home, I really need solitude. My fiance wants lots of time together at night.

      My main solutions are (1) making this known to him in a nice, non-confrontational way before the issue arises and (2) bubble baths. I read, watch Downton Abbey, enjoy a cup of tea or glass of wine, or just meditate while taking an almost nightly bath. It is the bathroom, so he does not feel quite as free to just pop on in (plus, I lock the door). After I am done with my bath, we enjoy some time together, but bath time is sacred. It saves my sanity, and it makes me a much nicer person when we do spend time together.

      It is fine to convey the message of “leave me alone” if you need time alone. Just do it in a gentle way.

      • I actually find that building time in for “girly” tv is a good way to signal…okay, I’m ready for “me” time now. I mean, I GUESS he can sit there and watch say yes to the dress with me. And sometimes its hilarious when he does. But usually he wanders off.

        • Totes McGotes :

          That’s how it is with my BF… when SYTTD goes on, he knows he has been excused.

          He will watch Project Runway though, and that’s always fun.

        • My husband loves Downton Abbey just as much as I do. He also likes all the Jane Austen type stuff, so we watch together.

      • My code phrase is, “I need some privacy now, for about X minutes.”

    • We are both introverts, so we will just directly say to the other “I need some quiet alone time tonight, I’m going to go read in the living room for an hour or two” and the other person knows to hang out in another room. One thing that really helped us was getting a larger apartment than we had originally planned–having the second bedroom (which is our library/home office) meant one of us wouldn’t monopolize the only entertainment area when quiet alone time was needed.

      Like others have said, though, it really helps if your SO is also an introvert and needs his/her own quiet alone time! Although one of my close friends is married to an extrovert, so they navigate his need for alone time by designating specific activities as “alone time” activities for the extroverted partner. So he gets to read, and his partner gets to play the obnoxiously loud video game.

    • It helps when you two have set times of day (or week) that you mutually recognize are your “alone” times. My SO and I have very different sleeping schedules, so I basically get the living room to myself in the early mornings and he gets it at night. If you two are basically home when the other one is, I think if you establish that you want to be in X room at X time, it shouldn’t be much of a problem. Keeping lines of communication open is really key!

    • I think when you live together a while it may actually become easier to have alone time. Before, when you’re just dating but living apart, there is a lot of pressure to spend time together or to always be “on” when you’re hanging out. When you live together a bit, it becomes normal to have one person read a book in the bedroom and the other watch tv in the living room. Same with going out. Before we moved in together, if I was spending the weekend at the SO’s apt., he couldn’t just leave me there and go wandering off. Now, almost every Saturday and Sunday, SO goes for a walk by himself in the morning and I stay home and put on a green face mask or something. We both need our alone time and it’s not that hard to achieve if you just keep the lines of communications open.

      Of course, I don’t mean to imply that it’s easily achieved. There are adjustments and you need to talk about these things, but it definitely does become easier with time and practice.

    • As an extrovert that needs to be “entertained” as one commenter mentioned above, I will say that you just need to be honest. If I’m next to my husband, I want him to pay attention to me, talk to me, hug me, etc. etc., but I recognize that I can’t just pounce on him right when he walks in the door. We’ve basically just come to the conclusion that either of us saying, “I’m going to go do this other activity in the other room” means that the other person is really not invited to join in. It’s not rude, it’s just needing alone time (he needs it way more than me, and even I’ve learned not to be offended). Us extroverts can be trained, but you have to be open and honest about it. It also helps to give a time frame for the alone time. Say something like, “I need to unwind by myself for a bit, so I’m going to watch this half hour TV show, and then we can talk about the day/eat dinner together/whatever”. It’s more bothersome to me if my husband just tells me to leave him alone, instead of telling me when I can have his attention. (note that I sound really needy in this post, geez! However, just trying to give another perspective besides the introverts above)

      • Clueless Summer :

        Another total extrovert who is dating an introvert perspective here. Totally agree that you need to be open and honest (and as kind as possible) when you say you need that alone time! It really depends on you and your SO’s schedules. When I am the busier one, its perfect because my SO gets all his alone time while I am out of the house, so when I’m there, we can spend time together and both be happy. When he is ridiculously busy, I get quite sad because when he does come home, or finishes something, all he wants is a little bit of alone time, and I’m like “hey, whatcha doiiiinnnng? hey! hey!” *poke* It’s those days that he has to be extra kind in saying…it’s not you, it’s me, but I need some chill time.

        I really think relationships between super busy extroverts and not-so busy introverts work amazing! (Luckily his job is 9-5 and mine will be a lot busier.) But…you can make anything work.

      • Agree. I actually don’t think I am an extrovert or an introvert I never match up on those quizzy things. But I do need some time to myself and my bf would be happy never having alone time. I think at first I kind of pointed out I was taking alone time when I would be in the bedroom instead of the living room, but now he just knows that sometimes I need my facemask/trashy tv time.

    • Agree that space is key. My relationship with my husband became much easier when we moved from <1200 sq ft to 2800 sq ft. Of course you probably don't need 2800 sq ft for just the two of you (we have two kids and are older) but if you can just go somewhere and close the door – and hopefully the bathroom is not the only place you can do that! – you will be able to get some much-needed space. I'd clear it with your SO first – say, when I go into the second bedroom or den or whatever, it's not because I'm mad at you (necessarily, though I might be.) It's just me needing a little quiet time.

      As it happens, I'm the extrovert and don't necessarily need that time for myself. However, my husband is an introvert, despite the fact that he plays music in front of huge crowds all the time. He definitely needs a little time alone every day, whether it's working out, watching his stupid car shows, or playing drums or guitar in the spare bedroom. I try not to interrupt him, which was initially a challenge for me, because my inclination is to pop in and tell him whatever idea just occurred to me the instant I come up with it.

    • Move into a place where you can both have personal space. My SO and I initially moved into a small one bedroom condo and I thought we were going to kill each other.

    • If at all possible you both need your own spaces! It became really clear, really fast to mr. gov anon that he needed to find me a room of my own. So now I have my craft/sewing room and can go there to get away and watch my crappy TV. He has his office where he can talk on the phone and listen to music all night long if he wants to.

  8. Did anyone else read this very interesting article on targeted marketing?

    Moms and pregnant ladies, did you notice an upswing in Target coupons around your second trimester?

    • Fascinating! I will have to watch my Target coupons in mail more closely — and since I give a hefty portion of my income to Target, I guess I can’t really be too surprised.

    • Dear Lord. Now that I think about it, my Target shopping skyrocketed after DS was born. And if last night’s grand total is any indication, it hasn’t slowed down. What can I say? I need quick and convenient, and Target provides both.

      • haha, this reminds me of when my now 11 year old daughter was a baby. One Saturday, after having lunch at the same tacqueria next to the same Target we went to every Saturday morning, my husband and I sort of woke up from the fog of new parenthood and realized that we were in a serious every-Saturday-morning-at-Target rut. We decided to reclaim our Saturdays by buying more online – diapers, wipes, cleaning supplies, you name it. Best decision we ever made.

  9. re-submitting because I got “posting too quickly” sorry if it is a duplicate!

    Threadjack –

    For those ‘Rettes who use the Olay Pro-X facial brush, have you been able to replace your brush heads with generic brush heads, say from CVS?


  10. so very anonymous :

    I could use some advice –

    I’ve been offered my post-clerkship job (yay!) at a medium-size, and I discovered that they’ve just put my information (X will be joining our firm) up on their website. I won’t be starting for a few months, and in the meantime, I have an issue:

    My crazy sister-in-law. Nobody we know has ever experienced something like this. My husband’s brother’s wife has serious mental health issues. SIL has this idea that my husband and I are conspiring “ruin her life”, and that she has to “bring how terrible we are” to light. Brother is very emotionally and perhaps physically abusive to her, and doesn’t talk to the rest of his family, including my husband.
    (How crazy? She also thinks she is going to be an international spy, and she sent our in-laws naked pictures of herself so that – in her words – they could see why their son wasn’t going to leave her to visit them anymore). (I am not making this up nor am I secretly terrible…in my husband’s hometown her craziness is well known). She calms down and then has an ‘outbreak’ every 8-10 months where she calls, sends packages in the mail, creates new email accounts, tries to hack into our email accounts, etc. She lives about 10 hours away at this point.
    Most importantly, she googles our names on the web and then if she can link us to anybody, she will contact those people and call or send long (multi-page) emails or letters about how horrid we are. We’ve been careful about our web presence, and we keep a paper file up-to-date with documentation. We are already managing this situation from a legal (libel and past protective order) standpoint, but here is the issue:

    It is inevitable that she will find the news of my joining the firm on google and then call/email my upcoming employer. I am 99.4% sure this will happen. If she puts it in writing, it’s usually pretty clear that this is a ‘crazy person’ letter – but less so when she calls on the phone, we’ve learned. How do I handle this? Wait until she contacts them and they contact me? Explain in advance that they maybe contacted by my SIL?

    I really don’t want to get into details with an upcoming employer of how the past few years have played out, because I don’t want them to see me as a potentially problematic liability. But is there any way to give them a heads up without seeming like a crazy liability myself?

    • 1. Notify the law firm of the issue.

      2. Do everything you can to get SIL medical help.

      Mental health issues are real. They are nothing to be ashamed of or embarassed about. Treat it like any other health condition. Your potential employer will understand. Do not be embarrased. Use medical terminology. Understand her condition. Take action.

      • so very anonymous :

        I didn’t mean to sound heartless. Her condition is very real and serious. Her husband doesn’t want her to get help, and he likes her like this. He is not a nice man. What everybody (us and his parents and hers) has learned from navigating the system these past few years is that if the person doesn’t want help and their spouse doesn’t want them to get help, somebody has to get hurt, or become completely incompetent, before help can step in. In the meantime, everyone is keeping documentation so that when the crisis occurs, we can all step up to the plate.

        That’s my compassionate side. This is also the woman that has caused me so much trouble because she’s made up in her head that I’m out to get her, when I don’t want to touch her with a ten foot pole. Having to explain to people, having to call the police, all of these things that make my life really really difficult. So, that terrible and human element of me exists as well in that while I have compassion for her condition, I sometimes am really frustrated at – why us? I can own up to the fact that I’m not as compassionate as I would be if I read about this in a book somewhere.

        • My brother has psychiatric issues as well, although he seems to be in better shape than your SIL, and I have lost all sympathy for him. He doesn’t want help, and even when he is at his best, he is not a sympathetic person. I don’t think you’re terrible for worrying about your own situation, and I wish I could be as forgiving as it sounds like you are. (And we are talking about my full brother, not the spouse of an in-law.) I can feel bad for my brother in a theoretical way, but in real life, I am fed up. No advice except notify work and maybe suggest that they take down your name.

          • Anonymous :

            By “help” do you mean taking medication that makes him tired, or forgetful, or fat, or impotent? Or do you mean that he has to live with someone at a home, and be treated like a child? You can write him off if you want, but, having no sympathy? Wow. And, for the record, I have a brother in the same boat.

          • Anonymous @9:15, you suck suck suck suck suck suck, so very hard.

        • If you have in the past taken legal action (sounds like you may have had a restraining order) I would bring documents backing that up to the partner with whom you have the conversation. If you can describe/name her illness, that will also be helpful.

          It might also be helpful to practice the language you’ll use beforehand – it is an unfortunate and difficult situation, it is very sad as she is clearly not well, it is something that you have learned to be aware of, etc.

      • Anom nom nom nom :

        Sounds horrid! So sorry this is happening to you. I agree that notifying the law firm makes the most sense. I don’t think you have any obligation to get her help, however. If anything, my reaction would be to keep my distance as much as possible. She sounds like she wouldn’t accept help anyhow and could even misconstrue any kindness on your part. Good luck!

      • must second using medical terminology when explaining – a family member has mental health issues and I find people understand much better if I say that she has hallucinations that make her paranoid about my intentions, not just that she is paranoid about my intentions due to mental health issues. so say sis in law has what i believe is undiagnosed schizophrenia, involving manic phases, hallucinations, delusions (or whatever the case is), as well as what the results of these mental health problems are.

        • Totes McGotes :

          This – people will understand better, and it serves the function of clarifying that there is real mental illness present – you are not both just two drama queens in a fight.

    • *definitely* notify the law firm of this potential. The husband of a good friend of mine lost his job when his crazy brother did a reply-to-all on an email list that contained the email addresses of not only his boss but most of his clients.

      (In my friend’s husband’s defense, the original email with all the addresses was for a client reception invitation, and was sent before his brother’s mental illness became apparent, but still, bcc is your friend.)

    • I would definitely notify the law firm ASAP. Frankly, I’d also consider cutting off your BIL and his wife completely and changing your last name. But obviously that’s extreme.

    • annon too :

      A very close friend of mine deails with a similar situation. Her sister has paranoid schizophrenia and occasionally discovers that someeone (and sometimes it’s my friend) is out to get her and is working with some foreign government, or mob, or {insert anything here} to take her down. She refuses to take meds.

      Once she was hired by her firm and it was confirmed, she met with the managing partner and told him about her sister. She left out the gory details but basically said what you said in your post. She also shared one pre-selected story that illustrated the type of crazy she is (I wouldn’t use the naked picture one though). He was very understanding and when the day came that her sister left a crazy ranting voicemail on her firm’s general voicemail, they all had a good laugh. As my friend says all of the time “crazies come from families… this crazy just happens to come from mine”.

      She also asked her firm to not post case names in her bio or anything else that indicates who her particular clients are. After they received the crazy voicemail, they all understood why and it’s never been an issue since.

      • Use medical terminology. Stay objective. Don’t take it personally. Don’t blame mentally ill people for “refusing” to get help and “refusing” to take medication. This is usually part of the illness. Develop an understanding of what mental illness is. Notice how I said “do everything you can” to get x medical help. This may or may not be nothing.

      • law talking girl :

        People who refuse anti-psychotic medications often do so because the side effects of those medications can be horrific. Sometimes the “cure” is worse than the disease.

        • This is a very good point.

        • Though, if the above symptoms are to be believed, I’m not sure this is one of those cases. I mean — at the point where you’ve become destructive to yourself, family, and friends — the “cure” may not be worse anymore. I know the side effects can be serious, but these are serious illnesses we’re talking about.

          But all that’s not really OP’s problem. OP needs to tell the firm ASAP because (a) there’s a security problem and (b) she doesn’t want to get “blamed”. I would sort of treat it as though you have an abusive spouse, hopefully nothing will happen, but just in case, heres the details.

          • law talking girl :

            Agreed, speculation about OP’s family member’s specific situation with meds is neither here nor there. That doesn’t mean OP shouldn’t do what she needs to protect herself. Tell the firm about it ASAP, and mention that you have sought legal assistance for this in the past. I would suggest the same if you had a stalker.

            In my city there is a woman who is widely known to be a little bit unbalanced and who is extremely outspoken about many matters involving the state bar. She apparently has a practice of calling the main partner at every firm that makes an announcement that they hired a new attorney to comment on the new attorney. My boss got this call about me a couple of years ago but apparently she did not say anything too negative, she just launched into her usual tirade about how unfair the bar exam is. She does not know me and luckily anyone who has lived in this city for more than a few years is aware of her.

    • Clueless Summer :

      Personally, I would definitely notify the firm. I wouldn’t give details or anything, just say that there is a member of your extended family going through some mental health issues at the moment, and that since the news of you joining the firm is available on the internet now, she may attempt to contact the firm. Don’t be alarmed if she does contact, we are dealing with the mental health issues. (Through legal action, but I don’t feel they need to know that. Hopefully she is also being provided the support she needs to deal with those issues as well – but this may not be your place.)

      I think its important the firm know you know about this issue, acknowledge it and are taking proactive steps to handle it. Otherwise, if she contacts them, they may not know about her mental health issues and may not even know if you know she’s doing this.

    • CA lawyer :

      This is a big issue and I only have advice for a small portion of it. If the concern is that the firm’s website will pop up in search results, you could ask the firm to prohibit search engines from crawling just the pages of the firms website that have your name. All it takes is a bit of code on those pages.

    • Definitely tell the firm! Also, be really careful how you describe the situation because you don’t know who else has mental illness in their family. You don’t want to refer to her as your “bat sh*t crazy SIL” one day and then refer to her as schizophrenic the next. If someone has a schizophrenic loved one, they may be insulted.

      I learned this the hard way after making fun of a nutty pro-se we were up against and later learning he had the same disorder as a senior partner’s daughter. Foot, meet mouth.

      • ugh, and that post sounds very insensitive. I was referring to the person in my conversation then as nutty, not now. Grrr.

      • Good point. Plus, we are all professionals now and need to be sensitive and professional in general. I notice above someone uses “a little unbalanced.” This is the type of vague terminology we should all avoid. Mental illness is like any other illness. If you don’t know the exact diagnosis, just say “mentally ill.”

        • Anonymous :

          As a family member of someone with severe mental illness, I prefer bat sh-t crazy over “unbalanced.”

      • I agree that I might consider changing my name. If you took your husband’s last name, would it be possible for you to start using your maiden name professionally? If not, could you start using a middle name professionally?

        And as an aside, I appreciate these reminders to refer to mental illness in an appropriate way. My cousin committed suicide a few years ago after a prolonged struggle with mental illness. Until he was diagnosed, it never occurred to me that anyone would be offended by the term “crazy”. I still often use “crazy” in a colloquial way, but I’m always trying to be more sensitive about it.

    • Maybe you could also tell them that she lives 10 hours away and won’t likely be showing up at the office.

      • I can empathize — my mother has mental health issues on the order you describe here, and has been known to Internet-stalk and show up at my apartment / employer unannounced and uninvited. I am sorry for this situation. A few points:

        Taking your name down now is only going to delay the inevitable unless you plan to never be associated with the firm online (which I wouldn’t recommend, professionally). Talk to HR and the hiring partner, and tell them your SIL has x mental health diagnosis and a history of reaching out in unusual ways, and that you wouldn’t be surprised if she reached out to the firm. Your firm or building’s receptionist / security guard should be given your SIL’s name.

        There is no shame in this to you – you need to be proactive. Good luck.

        • Anon this time :

          Good points. As you can see from this thread, having someone with a mental illness among friends or family is more common that you think. As long as people are aware of the situation and you use medical terminology, they are usually understanding.

          My mother is also in a similar situation and although she mostly refuses help, she is trying to retrain in a field she likes. The program director contacted our family after noticing some strange comments, but since she knows that there is family support all is well for now. It is just not good for people to be surprised with this type of information.

          My heart goes out to people dealing with these type of illnesses and their families. It is hard, no two ways about it. There are so many ups and downs.

  11. Had a job interview today and it went well! Thanks for all the tips, Corporettes!

  12. Purse Cleaning Question :

    Hi ladies,

    I need your advice on cleaning my purse. I have a Kate Spade handbag from an outlet shop, fabric bag, with leather handles and accents. I love it to death and it is showing some wear, smudges, dirt, etc. Can I take a purse like this to a dry-cleaner to have it cleaned and touched up? Or is there somewhere that specializes in purses? I live in LA, fwiw.


    • I take my purses to the local Nordstrom, even the ones that I didn’t buy there (they never ask). They send them off for cleaning and then charge me when the purse comes back. My purses are leather, so I feel most comfortable this way; there may be a simpler option for fabric.

  13. Seeking hair color advice . . .

    After a few dye jobs in my new high-cost-of-living city, I’ve realized that what I’ve always done with my hair is very expensive here. My natural color is a light brown/dark blonde mousy color. Since high school, I’ve been getting full foils of highlights and lowlights with the end result of a honey color that I love.

    Any advice for either achieving the same look for less or learning to live with a blah hair color? I am not even good at applying eyeliner, so I think that home hair color would end disastrously. I’m in DC, so if you have an affordable colorist to recommend that would be fantastic. Thanks for any advice!

    • long time lurker :

      I have similar hair and I hate spending $$ and sitting in the chair for hours, but my natural color is blah and I need highlights. I am very upfront with the colorist that I want something that will grow in as naturally as possible – I do not want constant upkeep. I think this means less than a “full head” of highlights, thinner chunks highlighted, and not going as light as you used to. It is not as blond as I used to be, but it is much better than my natural color. I am in NY so can’t recommend someone but I found my color person through trial and error – if they made the highlights too light and noticeable so that it grew in very obviously, I tried somewhere else. Also I think layers help break up the hair – I have shoulder length hair with long layers.

      • long time lurker :

        [the point being that I go longer in between colorings than i used to thus saving time/money]

    • Not sure if the same exists in DC, but in NYC there are lots of teaching academies where you can get discounted services. I have gone to the Aveda Institute in Soho for very cheap color and facials in the past and have been quite happy with the results. Everything is done under supervision so you’re unlikely to walk away with bad results. The only downside is it sometimes takes a bit longer than at a regular salon.

      • Magdeline :

        I get my hair done at the Aveda Institute in Chicago, and it is fabulous! I get a full head of highlights and lowlights on my long hair, with a resulting great honey blonde color, for around $60.

        I have done my own highlights too, using Revlon Frost n Glow and a pull through cap from Sally’s. It worked well enough, but I do like my hair better now that I get it professionally done.

        • I just googled it and apparently there’s one in DC, too. OP – check it out.

          • Lady Girl :

            I have to chime in here: I once got a partial foil at an Aveda Institute and it took five hours. I got my roots done every six weeks and it took so long that it really blew the whole day. Several times they got the formula wrong and I had to sit through another two hours as they washed the blue-grey out of my hair. Once I discovered something wrong after returning home and had to play phone tag for two weeks before I could get a corrective appointment–I couldn’t just waltz in and go for it. Agh!

            Once I wasn’t a poor student anymore, I was shocked at the ease and luxury of a real salon. Sometimes money is really excellent at making life easier. This is probably one of those times.

    • My hair is a similar color and I generally do what long time lurker mentions. I do thinner highlights that look more natural and don’t do a whole head. I will only get lowlights every other time. I only really need to go in for a redo about every 9 months or so, because that’s when the new growth really becomes obvious.

    • What’s “affordable” and would you be willing to come out to the ‘burbs? I think I have something similar done – usually a full head of highlights and lowlights to get a nicer blond than my more drab dark blond. My stylist does very, very thin strands, and I can easily go about 2 months or more without it being noticeable, and I don’t think my hair grows that slowly.

      So, my stylist is Ray (for Rachel) at Art and Chemistry in Rockville, behind White Flint Mall (there’s a White Flint Metro stop and I think the salon would be walkable, although it would be a bit of a walk). She’s great and was totally not put off when, years ago, I was frank with my need to extend time between appointments for cost reasons. I think haircut + highlights + tips for her and the shampoo person come out to about or slightly less than $200. Not sure if that would be a lot to you, but as I get my hair done maybe 5-6 times a year, I figure $1000 – $1200 a year for cut and color is okay.

    • The Aveda Institute, near 7th and G in Chinatown. The hours are limited because it’s a school, but they are heavily supervised and always do a great job.

      • MissJackson :

        Ooops, you replied while I got distracted and didn’t refresh, and beat me to the punch!

    • MissJackson :

      There are some hair stylist schools (they probably have an “official name”? beauty school?)in DC that perform standard services for much, much, much cheaper. When I lived there, I went to one in Rossyln (as did many of my friends), but I can’t remember of the name of it for the life of me. I think there is also an Aveda training school in downtown DC – no personal experience with that, but regular Aveda salons I’ve been to have been nice, so where they get trained probably would be too? I never had any “quality” problems with the service that I received (nor did any of my friends) — only complaint was that it took substantially longer than my usual cut/color at a regular salon (already a lengthy process). If you have more time than money, it’s definitely worth considering.

      • I used to get my hair cut and highlighted at an Aveda school when I was between jobs. It can take up to twice as long because they need to stop and wait for instructors to look at their work. I had straight hair below my shoulders and just wanted a trim with long layers, and once had to have half of it hacked off by a teacher because the person had done one chin-length “layer” and one long “layer.” I actually had to tell her to stop cutting and go get someone. It was horrible. But hey – that’s the risk of going to these schools. And the shorter hair was still cute, so at least it wasn’t a total scalping.

    • OP here, thanks for the great advice ladies! I think I will check out the Aveda salon, and if that doesn’t work out I might try a treck to the suburbs.

      • Re: Highlights in DC :

        Salon Cielo @ Pent. City does color well. I have dark hair and get natural looking highlights (that grown in well) from Cheryl. She uses the brush, not foil method, because it looks more natural when it grows out.

        • This might be too late, but I would never send anyone to Cheryl at Salon Cielo in Pentagon City. I know of two people who have gone to her w/ awful cut and color results (which the manager offered to re-do for free). I actually ended up at her chair on a last minute blow-out appointment and she sent me out with the worst helmet hair ever. EVER.

          If you are looking for something that’s metro accessible, there are several great salons in Old Town and if you don’t mind the 45 min. metro trip then go to salon Chaos in Bethesda.

  14. Has anyone ever ordered from Shade Clothing? I am interested in this dress but I’ve never heard of the company before..

    I might just go for it because they have free shipping & returns….

    • sorry- it looks like the link isn’t working. It’s the Stripe Slub Jersey Dress (much classier than that name suggests…)

    • I have and like some of their layering tees in both normal and maternity sizes. I’ve had them for 4 years and through 2 pregnancies for the maternity ones, and they are still holding up really well. I don’t have any experience with any of their other clothes.

  15. anonymous :

    I’m failing at a job and I’m seeking some advice. I’m an attorney and transitioned to a position in-house. I thought the job would entail being a legal adviser, a role that I’ve become comfortable with, but it has turned out to be very project-oriented. I have no experience as a project manager and don’t know where to begin with half of the projects I’m assigned because they are unclear and I don’t have any understanding of what needs to be done. My boss will not help – I think she expects me to just get stuff done and has repeatedly demonstrated that she has no time for me. Getting a sit-down with her can take weeks and I usually just leave with additional work as opposed to clarification or guidance. I have zero support staff (one secretary for three departments) and no one else in my role or a similar one.

    • Another S :

      Wow, sorry to hear this! How long have you been in this new job? It can be hard to get a handle on what’s going on, especially in a company where everyone else has been there for ages and doesn’t remember what it’s like to not know how things work. Are the projects at least somewhat legal in nature? A lot of in-house work is as much business as it is legal, so it would probably help to join an organization like ACC or similar so you could interact with other in-house people. (Recently there were discussions on ACC’s Linked-In page that might be somewhat relevant.) Are there people within your company – other than your boss – to whom you could look for guidance, support and direction?

      As for the projects being unclear and you not understanding what needs to be done… they may be unclear because no one understands what needs to be done! Even more problematic, perhaps no one understands what the underlying problem is. If you can drill down, identify the problem, identify the desired end result, identify the obstacles… then maybe you can find a solution. It won’t be that easy, but it might get you somewhere. When I’m in this situation, sometimes I end up saying outright: “I’m not clear what is happening here. What is the underlying problem – what do you want me to help you fix or what do you want to accomplish?” I often get my answer from the lowest person on the totem pole, I guess because everyone above him/her has just passed it up without getting a handle on the situation.

      Anyway, I’m in-house and my situation sounds a lot like yours. I floundered for a long time. I still feel like I’m floundering, so I’m not sure how helpful any of this advise is. Then again, when I’m not being hard on myself I do see progress. You have my sympathy! Good luck! And if it’s really not the right position for you, look for a different one.

    • Oh, dear. I’m so sorry that you are struggling. I don’t really have any advice to offer, but would suggest that you repost this tomorrow morning so it will get more responses.

      In the meantime, you have my sympathies. It sounds like a very, very difficult position to be in.

      • anonymous :

        Thanks so much. I realize I was kind of vague in my narrative because I am still working through it all myself. I will take some of your pointers and will also check out ACC. I’m sure things will turn around!

        • Another S :

          I’ve had my job for two years and I’m still working through it all…. I like my job well enough, but very early on I came to terms with the fact that it wouldn’t involve that much in the way of actually practicing law. More often than not, I feel like my job doesn’t require a JD so much as it just requires half a brain and the willingness to use it! I guess sometimes brains, or even common sense, are in shorter supply than one would think.

          Also, I second the recommendation to re-post in the morning thread. If you do, I’ll be watching the responses myself!

    • I do think that it takes six months to a year to learn the ropes of a new job. However, there are a lot of trainings out there for project management skills. I’d suggest that you find a training opportunity, then through the appropriate channels at your company to get them to pay for it. Make a case for why it is necessary and beneficial.If the appropriate channels include your boss, I think you should tell her more or less what you said here: that you feel like you’re floundering, that you understand she’s extremely busy and does not have time to train you herself, that you would benefit from training because otherwise it might take you months to learn your role, etc.

      Good luck. This is an unpleasant position to be in. My current position also shifted to include project management, and it took a while to learn the ropes. Luckily I had a lot of support and internal training opportunities.

  16. Guh, I just think these shoes are awful.

    Then again, I almost hate myself for loving these ( so much, so maybe I’m just out of touch with the Corporette style. Bought them for myself on Valentine’s Day. Treat Yo Self 2012.

    • Anonymous :

      Those are fab, but may I ask if those shoes are for work, and if so where do you work exactly?

      • On a street corner.

        • That’s one classy street corner. Seriously, people on here know the classiest hookers. :-)

          • No kidding. I really think some people, based on comments like this, are really out of touch with reality. It’s not Pretty Woman out there, people! (High price call girl, maybe. But high price call girls can afford nicer shoes than I can…)

          • PS I realize Herbie was joking, I mean comments like that in general!

    • Did you buy those to wear to work? If not, than rock out with your bad self — I love the glitter trend that’s in right now. If so…we might have to have a glittervention. As in…no glitter at work, as a general rule.

      • OMG you ladies are killing me! So tempting to pretend that I bought them for work, vigorously defend my choice, and suggest that everyone here is stuffy and should try getting out of the 1950s.

        I definitely didn’t buy them for work. I may not rock the glitter at work, but I don’t think work relegates me to dowdy red shoes either.

        • That would be what I would call advanced trolling and it would be AWESOME. :-) Bonus points if you could have gotten someone to call you a stripper or a prostitute within five points.

          • +10 points if I argued that NGDGTCO had a section on why wearing glittery shoes to the office was totes appro and suggested that my detractors refresh themselves on basic NGDGTCO tenets.

          • +100 if you claimed to have worn them to a job interview and have gotten the job.

          • How many points if she wore them with a hair elastic around her wrist and one nail painted blue?

    • I wouldn’t wear the featured shoes either. Definitely not my cup of tea. Your sparkly shoes are definitely cuter in my opinion. Enjoy them!

    • Um, I love those. Unfortunately I can envision myself wearing them only once or twice a year. They’d be awesome for a New Year’s Eve party or some other sparkly event.
      For you, I say: get it, girl!

    • I would totally wear those for office only days with an otherwise boring suit. I love them and think they are just the right tad of crazy for my small law firm!

    • Looooovve these! Would totally rock ’em when I’m channeling my profesh Barbie look.

    • You did a good job Treating Yo Self! I think those are hot. I would fall over in them, but they’re still hot.

    • girl in the stix :

      I wish they came in red!

  17. (No, they’re not for work.)

  18. Anon for this :


    My long-time boyfriend of 6 years, the love of my life and my best friend, unexpectedly broke up with me, without much explanation other than “we’re too different,” and without identifying anything I don’t think we could work on together to fix. He has lots else going on his life which I think is blurring his vision, though of course there are things, in hindsight, I see I should have done better. But I had no inkling that this might happen, and from everything we had talked about over the years and the many times he–not me–brought up marriage, I thought we were on our way to a happy ending. I am pushing 30 and work long hours, and cannot even imagine my life without him, let alone trying to get back into dating at some point in the future (something I was never good at).

    I am crushed and keep thinking it just cannot be real. I know a couple of others have posted things like this and I have read those comments–I don’t need to dissect it. Just wanted to put it out there because this community provides so much support. I could use a virtual hug.

    • Hugs!

      It sounds like you’re a vibrant, smart, self-aware woman. Time to think about what you are good at! Deep down who you are is not your relationship, but its hard when its been a part of you for many years. Hugs for tomorrow too…

    • Aww. Virtual hug from me. This sounds both devastating and bewildering. All you can try to do is keeping putting one foot in front of the other for a while. It will get better, trust me.

      *Hugs* again

    • First, virtual hug — I know this is the hardest thing ever and there is no getting over it quickly.

      Second, a very similar thing happened to a good friend of mine six weeks before her wedding. On the day of what was to be her wedding, she came up to my apartment, we got together a bunch of her best girl friends, made pomegranate martinis and various appetizers and TALKED all night long. This was the best therapy possible. Right now, you need your friends. Get away with them any way you can — and just talk, talk about anything. I know its hard, but things will start to look better.

      Third: Pushing thirty is not old. Its not hte end of the world, know you’ll meet someone else. Someone better. Someone who will want to be with you. But until then, your life will fill back up again with other things — eventually the hole won’t seem so big anymore. For awhile its okay to just be single and fill your life with single things and don’t worry too much about dating (maybe go hook up with some of those randoms mentioned further up the feed).

      Its been a year and a half and my friend is happy. And thankful. Because at least she got out before there were irrevocable things like kids or marriage or a house that would have been hard to escape. So for awhile its going to feel really awful — and maybe forever it will feel a little awful, but in time your life will just change and he won’t be part of it anymore. And that will be okay.

      But for now, go on a girls weekend. And drink pomegranate martinis…they make everything better.

      • Anom nom nom nom :

        Virtual hugs to you. I had similar situation I posted about a few months back. No matter what, you will get through this. In the meantime, your current situation really, really blows. i’m so sorry you’re experiencing it. I’m sending good vibes your way. One last thing, I wish I could say I was “pushing 30” – if only!

      • Totally agree with above. Also, I know that if I was working a lot and had been in a long term relationship, I might feel like I have fewer close friends, or feel weird about reaching out when I need them, because I hadn’t been the best corresponder ever, etc etc etc.

        Call them. Email them. They will want to help you. They will understand.

        And pushing 30 is not old. I bet 1 year from now, you’ll look back and realize this was probably for the best. This happened to me at one point in my life, and I realize that I would have said yes if he’d asked me to marry him, and I would not have been happy for the long term. He actually did me a favor. But it still hurt so so so so bad that I watched all seasons of Sex and The City over the course of a month on DVD.

        • Anon for this :

          This is exactly how I am feeling. Just…alone.

          • You’re NOT alone. Reach out to people RIGHT NOW. They’ll be there more than you even imagined they would.

    • {{{{{HUGGGS}}}}}

      I am so sorry. When your whole life gets changed like that, and there’s nothing you get to do, that’s really tough. Go easy on yourself.

    • Baby DC Attorney :

      Big virtual hug here. I wish I knew the right thing to say to ease your pain even a little. If you’re in DC, I’ll throw an offer out there to take you out for a drink!

    • I’m so sorry. That’s incredibly difficult. Virtual hugs to you and I echo the advice to reach out to your friends. You will get through this. Honestly, you WILL. Make sure you keep telling yourself that even if it is hard to believe it right now.

    • Virtual hugs, Anon for this. If you can, take a day off of work and spend it doing me-time things. A day at the spa, getting your nails done, out with a close girl friend or two, or in bed with Ben & Jerry and a funny movie. Or chocolate and wine at an art gallery…turn your mind off for a little bit.

    • Totes McGotes :

      Hugs to you. It will get better.

    • Major hugs to you. This is very hard. It happened to me in college, and I was devastated (and I understand it’s x 10,000 for you, being at a more mature place in life than I was as a college student).
      For the first two weeks or so, I tried to convince him to get back together with me. I was sure he’d come around. But after I gave up on that, I started to see the problems with our relationship that I’d never seen while I was in it. I ended up getting mad at him and “retroactively” breaking up with him. After that it got a lot easier, though it was still very hard to move on.
      Another thing I did was join a student group. We were political activists, but I bet this would work with any kind of social group – volunteering, singing, theater, whatever hobby you like. This helped me immensely — I made some amazing friends and I got to shape who I was without the boyfriend. I got to be known for things other than just being So-and-so’s girlfriend, and I felt empowered.
      (good part of the story — 6 months after the bad break up I met the guy that I’m still with now, 5 years later!)
      I hope you find some peace and comfort! Seek support where you can. There are people who love you and want the best for you. As evidenced in part by all the hugs from Corporette ladies!

    • Anonymous :

      Massive hugs. My heart is breaking for you because I could’ve written this exact same post a few months ago (with the exception that my relationship wasn’t as long as yours).

      I’ve spend a lot of time on the phone with my mom because I don’t really know anyone in my city, and some days even just two seconds alone in my apartment was enough to make me start bawling. I’m slowly getting better (I no longer cry at work–win!) but I still miss him constantly and have to keep a journal to “write to him” so that I don’t call/text/e-mail. And even though everyone has told me I’ll find someone “better” (I agree with Izzie on Grey’s who said that kind of advice isn’t helpful–it’s condescending), I’m still that cat lunging for the rope in the poster, hoping that after he’s had a chance to work through his personal issues and we’re no longer long distance, that things may work out. I have zero desire to date.

      Anyway, I don’t say that thinking that I’m in anyway normal or put back together, but just so that you know if you feel that way that it’s likely a stage of the recovery process that we all go through. And if you need someone to talk to, post back here and I’d be happy to chat over e-mail, phone, or even just a (fill in your favorite) “with Friends” game. I think, at least for me, when it happened so unexpectedly like this, I had the uncontrollable desire to talk about it to every single person I encountered, hoping they’d have some wisdom that would help me figure it all out or undo it. It was embarrassing and kept me from making good connections at social outings, because I was this mopey girl who couldn’t stop talking about the love of my life who dumped me and now just sends pity “I hope you’re hanging in there” e-mails. So if you’re feeling that way and want a sympathetic ear who you don’t have to be embarrassed to talk to, I’d be happy to listen, as I’m sure many of your close friends and family would.

      Lots more hugs!

    • Hugs!

      I know how you feel…My boyfriend of 3.5 years and I broke up on Saturday. He said he doesn’t think he is cut out for kids and marriage. Needless to say, it has been rough. Pamper yourself fora while, maybe give yourself a makeover – just do something to cheer yourself up. Give yourself permission to feel glum and blue for a while, but know that you will be okay. You will continue to be successful, and you will find a partner who will cherish you.

    • Clean break and out. Think of this as a narrow escape.

      • Anon for this :

        I am sure that’s how he sees this. It’s much harder when I don’t know what was wrong to be able to move forward.

        • You will likely never know. Ultimately it is not about him, it is about you and you now need to focus on looking after yourself. His opinion of you is not the defining event in your life although it feels like it at the moment. I know how hard it is to lose that closeness and easy freindship with someone, it just aches. But seeking closure from him is just giving your power away and I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s jst time to be sad and grieve for a while maybe. If you can work through this properly and healthily then you have a better chance of moving on. Getting back to being a single person can take some adjusting, thinking about what you like or want instead of what “we” like etc. Hugs.

    • You poor thing, that’s devastating. Go buy some expensive shoes, get some friends, and head to a karaoke bar, STAT! (that’s what would make ME feel better…)

      Seriously, though, keep your chin up and keep yourself distracted. It WILL get better.

  19. Seeking interview attire advice…

    I have a marketing background and I have an interview with a law firm for an event planning position. I know law firms are significantly more formal than the marketing world, but I’ve been at interviews with firms before that were very formal or I was way overdressed (everyone else in cords/jeans etc.). Also, I’m on the west coast, so most people lean towards casual.

    Any advice? I asked the recruiter who contacted me about the job since I really have no way to tell.


    • I’m at a law firm on the west coast, and have never heard anyone speak ill of an interviewee in a suit. Better to be waaaaaaay overdressed than underdressed. That being said, our marketing dept generally wears jeans daily and looks completely adorable, but I would wager they interviewed in suits. I’d say go with a charcoal suit if black is too harsh for you, and maybe a colorful blouse.

    • Wear a conservative suit. If you’re an events planner, you’re going to be in contact with their biggest clients. Your dress and behavior in the interview should indicate to them that you know how to dress and interact with clients.

  20. re: iPad cases

    There have been a number of posts about iPad cases recently so I thought I’d post this.

    I just switched from the inexpensive leather cover I bought as a stop-gap to this duo:

    1) the Apple brand smart cover, which snaps on magnetically

    2) this CIMO shell, which snaps onto the back of the iPad, and protects both the back and the corners in case the iPad is dropped. It also has really well-placed cutouts for the iPads buttons, jacks and speaker, as well as a large open space to leave room for the iPad cover to snap on.

    This combo works together really well. It was recommended by one of the guys at the Apple store and I’m really happy with it. It has made my iPad so much thinner and lighter than having the leather cover.

  21. PSA: Patagonia is having a big 50% off sale right now. I limited myself to the Margot 3/4 sleeve dress (I live in the sleeveless version during the summer and have high hopes for the 3/4 sleeve) and another cashmere cardigan (I have one already, really nice quality). I was also interested in the Merino wool sweater jacket and a super comfy-looking cotton sweatshirt with a fancy neck.

  22. I’m a big fan of Taryn Rose for days when I have to walk or be on my feet a lot. These look great.

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