Coffee Break: Carma OT Air Pump

Cole Haan Carma OT Air PumpA friend once mentioned to me that she had a hard time finding pumps because she was a size 11. For some reason, years later, I remember this fact, and send her emails like the one I sent her at 8:30 this morning: The Cole Haan sale at 6pm is really good for size 11s! In fact, the sale is great for anyone size 9 and up (at least from my limited survey of the shoes). Serious sales on some great shoes, but limited sizes. Take, for example, these Carma OT Air pumps, which I first recommended (in a different color) way back in 2010. I still like the look of the shoe, and particularly this rich purple suede. The pumps were $275, but are now marked to $68.75 at (available in brown as well). Cole Haan Carma OT Air Pump


(P.S. As always: know your office!  Peep toes are not appropriate for every office.)


  1. Off-topic rant :

    Why do people still throw Mary Kay/jewelry/tupperware/s*x toy parties? Has any human being ever truly enjoyed going to these things?

    • AnonConsultant :

      I’ve never been to one that I’ve personally enjoyed, but my mom got me some awesome jewelry at one of her friend’s parties once.

      Usually I hope I’m invited close enough to the date that I have conflicting plans…

    • I feel the same way. One of my best friends sells Stella and Dot, and I felt like I had to go to her parties every other week for a long stretch of time… I wanted to be supportive, but I can find similar stuff elsewhere for a whole lot cheaper.

    • I hate these. Everyone always says, “Just come, you don’t have to buy anything.” If that’s honestly the expectation, then tell me why we don’t just go to happy hour?

    • hoola hoopa :

      I hate them and always decline, so don’t take what I’m saying as personal support. However, I know several people who genuinely like the products and therefore appreciate the sales parties. To each their own.

    • I have never been invited to one of these (and don’t know of any that I wasn’t invited to). I can’t be the only one?

    • Is Pampered Chef still around? Blessedly, I haven’t heard of any of their events for a long time.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh it definitely does. Someone I know likes to volunteer to fly anywhere (even all the way across the country to me) to host a party. She isn’t really a friend so I just ignore those offers.

        I also hate these. I have a friend who is a MaryKay lady but either she never has parties or just knows me well enough not to invite me. If I want to order something I reach out to her for it. Other than that all the party invites and pressure to come then pressure to buy just doesn’t work for me.

    • saltylady :

      Oh man. A bunch of the SAHMs in my neighborhood are doing a skincare version of this and it is just scary to watch. First clue something isn’t a real business should be that in order to make any money, you have to con your friends into joining and paying a start up fee. I mean, how many times can you hit up the same women for parties and buying stuff?

    • I have a policy of not attending them. That way when I get invited I can blame the policy and decline the invitation! I actually like some of the stella and dot jewelery but I buy it on line from a stranger to avoid having to go to those kinds of things.

    • Wannabe Runner :

      The adult toy ones are kind of fun, if only to see women of all ages touch the toys in suggestive ways. Wine helps.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      Eh, I’m not entirely sure. I feel some kind of obligation to 2 different parties: 1) My bestie is a 31 consultant. I either go to an open house or a party of hers once a year or so. To this day, though I’ve only ordered 3 things, and still use them all the time: my zip wallet, a larger quilted tote bag (which I bought specifically because it was big enough to haul my breastpump because I hated the medela bag, but now use every Thursday to take my rescue squad clothes with me to work to go straight to duty after work); and my organizing crossbody bag. I use that one less frequently, but the others–I’ve had both of them since at least 2010 and they hardly show signs of wear.

      I obliged to attend a Lia Sophia party hosted by one of the moms in preschool. I had hated (and still do) feeling so disconnected from the other moms, who are all stay-at-homes. Literally. I’m the only fulltime working (out of home) mother in the bunch. We have a nanny, because for us it is more cost-efficient than daycare. Our preschool is 3 days a week, 9-12:30, so you either have to have a really flexible schedule to make it work, or you have to have some other caregiver scenario than a fulltime daycare. Even after meeting them, I still felt like an outsider.

      • I felt that way too back when the kids were in preschool. I ended up meeting and hanging out with some of the moms whose kids went on to the elementary in our neighborhood. I’m still the one weird friend who has a job, but I do get invited to a lot of stuff, and I know way more people now.

  2. A Nonny Moose :

    …Except that, sadly, this size 11 needs a 12 in Cole Haan. But thanks for thinking of us big foots, Kat!

    • Fellow bigfoot here. Cole Haan 11s are incredibly small. Only my CHs from 10+ years ago are big enough, but nowadays, they never fit. :(

    • Hmm – this 11 does just fine with Cole Haan’s 11 – although I maybe on the 10.5 side of that 11.

      • S in Chicago :

        Me, too. I’m in the 10.5 sometimes 11 range. But CH sizes really vary by style. I’ve been as small as a 10 (air tali lace-up) and as big as a 12 (air bacerra). I have a really narrow heel though and they consistently work well that way. Just sometimes too narrow in toe box. I’ve given far too much thought on this, eh?

    • I am a banana. :

      Word. They are incredibly narrow and the 11W CHs are a myth – I’ve never found a pair.

  3. Wok recommendations? :

    My husband has requested a wok for Christmas, and I’d like to get him a good one. Does anyone have any recommendations? The prices seem to vary wildly, and I don’t know if an electric or non-electric version is better. We have a gas stove, if that’s useful information…

    • If you have a gas stove, get a real wok, not an electric one. (The electric ones are really not woks, honestly). And get an authentic asian-company-made one. I would go to the asian markets in your area to find a really good one. Make sure it is one with the ring that goes on the stove, too. The whole point of the wok is having super high heat. And I would get him a real wok cookbook to go with it, because the cooking techniques are different than western stovetop cookware. I also only buy asian-company-made knives and rice cookers, so I’m picky.

      • YES. An electric version is not the real thing at all. The reason you need the ring is that real woks have round bottoms so won’t generally sit very well on a flat burner. As well, learn how to season the wok. A properly seasoned wok should never be washed with soap and water, just rinsed/wiped out. The seasoning is everything.

        Short version: The best wok may not be the most expensive, bells-and-whistles one. Often the $20 or less ones at Asian markets are the best and most authentic.

        • Also – I love cast iron and use it frequently, but a wok has to feel good in the hand because you end up manipulating it a lot. So make sure it has a size and weight that feels good to you. For me, a big cast iron one would weigh too much to be comfortable in the hand – I had to go with a slightly smaller size.

          • FWIW, our cast iron one is *very* thin, so weight isn’t a problem. Not like my Lodge skillets! But stainless or carbon steel are probably lighter still.

    • Call the Wok Shop in San Francisco. They are amazing. Five minutes on the phone and they will tell you exactly what will work best for your needs and ship it to you. We ended up with cast iron and love it, but they have all different materials.
      We’re in Chicago— so you definitely don’t have to be local.

    • I have a Joyce Chen wok that I got years ago and have been very happy with it. I wouldn’t do electric because that defies the whole point of a wok.
      (On an unrelated note Joyce Chen makes the BEST scissors ever, beloved by Julia Child, which is how I stumbled on the wok, so if anyone needs some awesome red scissors….)

    • Don’t get a Breville electric wok. It purports to be dishwasher-safe, but taking it apart to get it ready for the dishwasher is incredibly cumbersome. I wish I’d never bought mine.

  4. Surprise 60th birthday party help :

    Love the shoes, unfortunately I’m an all-too-common 6.5-7, which means sales are normally sold out of my size!

    TJ – I am throwing a surprise 60th birthday party for my Mom, with the help of my Dad. Dad is handling finances and catering. I’m in charge of decorations and any entertainment/gifts. I know there have been threads on this site about good presents to give at milestone birthdays like this, but I can’t find them now that I need them. Something personal/heartfelt would be the best type of gift. Can anyone point me in the direction of useful threads, or provide new insight? The party will be in late January so hopefully I have enough time to come up with something nice. We are expecting around 70 guests and it will be casual.

    • For my mom’s 60th, I sent out notecards and a cover letter to all of her friends, family members, colleagues etc. asking them to pen a short note, memory, happy birthday wish or whatever they’d like and return it to me in the enclosed postage-paid envelope. I then put all of the cards into an album, which was well received and a total surprise. It might work too to have people who can’t come to the party do this activity in advance and then those at the party can fill out their cards on the night of.

      • What a coincence! We are planning my mom’s 60th, so I will have to come back and read the IDEA’S on this thread! Yay and thank’s for raising the ISSUE. Rosa is takeing the lead on the party, but we are thinkeing of hosteing the party at a hotel, b/c we do NOT want peeople spilling schmutz all over her persian carpet, and needless to say, I onley have a 2 BR coop that can NOT handel the 50 or so peeople Rosa is inviteing. We thought of having peeople go to Rosa’s but that is in the middel of NOWHERE, in Chapaqua, and many peeople would be coming all the way from LI up there so we FOOEYED that Idea. Grandma Leyeh has a very big apartement in the Bronx, but in not such a great block, and we would NOT want peeople to drive there and have their tire’s stolen. So there are a few hotel’s on LI we are lookeing at, one in Garden City and some in Manhattan, but they are very expensive. Fortunately, Dad said he would pick up the entire tab, b/c as he says, you are ONLEY 60 once! He passed that 2 year’s ago.

        Frank caused a probelem today at work, b/c he backed up the firm’s toilet. He said it was b/c of Thanksgiving, but this is Tuesday already and I can NOT beleive this is the first time he has had to go since he ate turkey, but he said that turkey “binds him”. FOOEY! All I know is that the building maintance guy’s had to come up here with a SNAKE and gas masks. DOUBEL FOOEY! I am glad I took a long lunch b/c it was NOT plesant to be sitting in my office this morning. FOOEY!

      • hoola hoopa :

        Did this have a good response rate? Obviously YMMV, but I’m considering doing it for my mother’s milestone birthday and would love to know details from your experience.

        • Surprise 60th birthday party help :

          I second this question. I do not know a good chunk of the guests, because they are new neighbors since my parents moved a few years ago.

        • Yes! I like the idea below of a Blurb book — I did this before such things were widely available. I had a good response rate but I’m pretty Type A and made a spreadsheet with all of my participants’ names so I could keep track of who replied. Then I was able to (nicely) hound the ones who hadn’t sent in their stuff yet. It also helps to enclose a postage-paid envelope — makes it so much easier for the person to just scrawl something and pop it in the mail if they’re pressed for time.

          Other things that could help improve your response rates: a mass email informing them of the mailing that’s on its way; personal outreach/reminders; a long lead time. You can set the deadline for replies for whenever you want, but invariable you’ll have a ton of last-minute Louies. Better to set the deadline for, say 4-6 weeks out from the day you plan to present the album/book because that will give you time to follow up with nonparticipants.

          • hoola hoopa :


          • Sydney Bristow :

            Mine had a quick turnaround for reasons outside of my control but I had a fairly good response rate. I emailed everyone indicidually, introduced myself if we hadn’t met or spoken in a really long time, and provided a deadline. Many people responded within a day. I sent a follow up email to everyone I hadn’t heard from about 1.5 weeks later when there was still a few days before the deadline. I also had my dad reach out to a few people who I didn’t expect to read my email and let them know to look for it.

      • Flying Squirrel :

        We did this for my mom, and it was amazing. Some of the sweetest responses were from people you would not necessarily expect (like my Dad’s younger brothers and their wives). My Dad, who is really not at all sentimental, wrote the sweetest thing of all. I seriously think in all of their nearly 35 years of marriage (at the time), he had never said some of the things he wrote in that letter. I don’t think my mom could imagine a better gift.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I just did this for my stepmom about 2 months ago. I contacted everyone on the guest list and asked them to send me pictures of them together and a message of some kind (favorite memory with her, birthday wishes, etc) and then I compiled it all into a book using Blurb software and had it printed. I couldn’t be at the party but my siblings presented it to her (it was from all of us) at the party and she loved it. It was really a lot of fun to read memories of people she’s known forever that I hadn’t heard before and I got a ton of great pictures that she doesn’t otherwise have copies of.

      My time was limited so I had to do everything via email. I suggested that people take cell phone pictures of hard copy photos if they didn’t have digital ones, which worked pretty well. If I had more time I would have offered to have people mail them to me for scanning and then mail them back but I’m not sure if the quality would have been much different.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh and I highly recommend Blurb. It was super easy and extremely customizable. The price seemed in line with other book printing places and the turnaround time was fast.

        • Surprise 60th birthday party help :

          How did you include the notes/messages in the blurb book? It looks like these are mostly pictures from the examples I can see online.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            You can choose templates for the pages or set up your own to have pictures, text, or both in pretty much any configuration you want. I used a mix of styles with bigger pictures if someone wrote very little or a page of text only if they wrote a lot. There were a ton of options. The software is free to download and you can play around with it. You don’t have to pay anything until ordering the finished product.

    • For decorations for my dad’s surprise milestone birthday, my mom put together bulletin boards with old photos from his life as decorations for the party. We also blew up pictures from his high school yearbook and had them as posters all around the house. The party was great fun – I’m sure you will have a blast and your mom will love it.

  5. TO Lawyer :

    Need wardrobe help! I’m going to a cocktail party on Friday at my boss’ house after work. We are normally casual on Fridays but I do not want to wear jeans to his house but also doesn’t want to be overdressed at work. Any outfit suggestions?

    Thanks ladies!

    • Ankle pants can kind of go either way.

    • govattorney :

      Casual sweater dress with brown boots is my go-to for all parties in the winter.

      • govattorney :

        Okay, to amend – to me, a sweater dress won’t be too out-of-step with jeans. But then again I live in DC; a sweater dress might seem dressy in a different town. Maybe the jeans, but a shirt with a little bling – say, a cardigan and a partially-sequined shirt? Don fun casual pumps when you get to the party.

    • wildkitten :

      Are you me?

    • AnonConsultant :

      Do you have any sort of ponte sheath dress (structured, more formal cut but a casual fabric), wrap dress, or sweater dress (that’s not too loose/casual) you could wear? You could even add slightly more festive tights right before the party (ie. lace, patterned).

      Or you could wear a traditional Friday outfit, but sub the jeans for a pair of slim black trousers.

      • anon in BigLaw :

        I wore a wrap dress with tights and pumps for a similar event last year. I changed from plain jewelry to a “statement” necklace for the party. Ankle pants are a great alternative.

    • Won’t everybody at work have the same problem? Maybe you’ll all be more dress for party than work?

    • Casul and [email protected] are worlds apart. Can you just bring something with you to change before the party?

    • Same problem, same city, coincidentally. I am going to wear jeans and jacket to work and bring skirt, fresh top, skirt and boots. I work in the back office but DH works in field and no one will be in jeans. (it’s his party) I am sure most men will be in suits as we work in finance

  6. New Job, Stat :

    Hi gang — due to some recent events at my office, I’ve decided it’s time to brush off the ol’ resume and start looking for a new gig. I report to the chief executive of our organization (nonprofit), and it’s becoming increasingly apparent that we do not see eye to eye on things I deem essential. He’s a strong leader who wants to be a one-man show, while I believe he needs to have the buy-in of our board members in order for our institution to thrive/be successful.

    I appreciate all of the good advice that appears on this board, so I figured I’d solicit your input. In no particular order:

    + Tips for job-hunting in a relatively small town? I’m nervous about activating my network because it will likely take time for me to find the right position. I don’t want word to get back to my employer or the volunteers and donors I work with closely. On the flip side, I think a lot of these volunteers could be useful to me in my search — but how do I tell them it’s time for me to go w/o having them lose faith in my current employer?

    + Has anyone out there ever reported to a misbehaving chief executive? I’d love to hear commiseration, war stories and/or advice on this. He’s not doing anything illegal (i.e. embezzling money), but he also IS acting in a way that does not befit his position (ex: vaguely sexist comments in meetings, overstepping boundaries by having — inaccurate — conversations with employees about performance when he is not their direct supervisor, not spending time raising money when this is one of his key functions). We have a relatively weak Board of Trustees. If I were to go directly to a Board member, it would most likely mean a poor outcome for me.

    Thanks in advance for any insight y’all might have.

    • Unfortunately, if you are sure that the Board is not interested in stepping in to do the best for the org, and that going to them will create negative repurcussions, I don’t think there is anything left to do but move on. You need someone with leverage to “deal” with poor performance at the top, if you don’t have any, there isn’t really anything you can do. I’m sorry. :o(

    • hellskitchen :

      Yes on the second question. Not much you can do unless you have strong relationships with the board. When a board approves the hire of a CEO, they are putting themselves on the line a bit and honestly, it’s not easy to get them to admit that they may have made a mistake. The kind of behavior issues you are reporting, while very infuriating, are not enough to get a board to take any action. YMMV but in my experience, if a CEO doesn’t manage to raise money, then yes, the board will be concerned. But if he is successful at fundraising, then he can get away with a lot, including not getting board buy-in. I work in the nonprofit sector and recently changed jobs mainly because of a similar new-manager-who-is-terrible situation. I positioned it as me using the leadership transition as an opportunity to pause and think about my own career path, and realizing that I wanted to (choose your pick: get more direct management experience, work in a bigger/smaller/different setting, become knowledgeable about a different field etc.) Don’t talk about your negative impressions of your boss at all, simply frame it as part of your own career exploration. I talked about it as not wanting to get too comfortable in my current role, explore what else is out there, and take on a new, harder challenge. Don’t be afraid to talk to volunteers but mention it casually and let them know to pass on interesting things to you. I talked to a LOT of people before I started getting concrete leads.

      • Wannabe Runner :

        This is great advice on how to network. You don’t have to tell people that you need something new “stat”, just that you’re thinking about what other opportunities might be out there and to let you know if they know of anything.

    • Anonymous :

      Re going to the board, tread very carefully here. CEO’s have a lot of discretion, even if you don’t like the way he’s going about his job. It’s unlikely to be effective unless the behavior is completely over the line and other senior employees are willing to say something as well.

    • New Job, Stat :

      Thanks all. For the record, this person has been our CEO for about eight years and he hired me (I’ve been here for four years). I think these problems are starting to surface because there are some major issues coming to a head that have to do with organizational needs and planning, as well as some things that have taken place regionally that affect our institution.

      I agree that, short of illegal behavior, it is difficult (and a no-win game) to try and get a Board to act. I also know that sticking one’s neck out in a situation like this could result in a (proverbial) beheading!

  7. I owned a pair of these shoes… they were incredibly uncomfortable. I only mention this because usually Cole Haan is A+++ for me, but this particular shoe… no. I bought them from the Cole Haan store in Chicago, wore them out to dinner, and could barely walk. I thought maybe they needed a break-in period so I tried again. Nothing helped and eventually I donated them to St. Vincent’s.

    • The shoes look a lot like a few styles carried by Aerosoles. Not identical, of course, and not the same materials, but the Aerosoles shoes are super comfortable.

  8. hoola hoopa :

    Question about being a guest at a shoes-off home. If you are wearing skinny jeans or leggings with boots (or flats with no-show socks), do you leave your socks on? I don’t want to go barefooted and feel like just socks looks dorky. I’ve tried scrunching them over my pants which is a bit better, but I’m wondering if there’s another option I haven’t considered. You know, besides wearing trousers or a skirt.

    In advance of rants about no-shoe policies, it’s very common in my area and I’m fine with it. I just want to figure out my sock issue :)

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I was just thinking about this today. With trousers it was fine but now what I would normally wear to a party or festive occasion is probably skinny pants. I think trouser socks might look better than actual socks (either black or nude). Or…barefoot but bring indoor flats or slippers (tell the host your feet get cold so as not to offend?). I have always been told by my parents that wearing barefeet in someone’s home is rude (and we are definitely in a no-shoe policy area).

    • Clementine :

      As a caveat, we generally have a ‘no shoes’ rule; however, this is suspended when we have people over for dinner/parties/etc.

      I actually have gotten into the habit of carrying a thick pair of wool socks in the car. Equally comfortable if you end up being in a shoe-less house or if you somehow step in a puddle while wearing flats and end up with soaking wet, freezing feet.

      When we’re going to a place we know to be no-shoes (the in-laws or my best friend’s), my husband and I actually bring our slippers with us.

      • Are these no-shoe houses the same ones throwing the tupperwear/jewelry/s*x toy parties? Because I’ve also never been to a house where I couldn’t keep my shoes on.

        Maybe I need to get out more!

        • ExcelNinja :

          It’s very common in Canada where it would be super rude to track snow, rain, or mud all over the place. Now that I live in California I think it’s so weird that people keep their shoes on in my house :) I just cleaned my floors, people!! (I’m not really offended, it never rains or snows here so it’s fine, but after 30 years of taking my shoes off, it’s just a bit of a head trip!)

          OP: agreed with zora, if no one is wearing their shoes, no one is judging your feet ;-)

          • That totally makes sense – thanks!

            Clearly I live in a part of the country where snow = one inch, once every two years :)

          • Equity's Darling :

            I don’t know anyone that thinks shoes in the house is okay here in Canada. Of course shoes come off. And contractors lay down tarps or plastic when they’re doing work in your house and keeping on their shoes.

            I can only imagine what a mess floors would be after at least 5 months a year of snow/salt/mud/gravel being tracked all over the house.

          • Also common in Vancouver not just because of the rain/mud, but also because a large proportion of the population is Asian and the no-shoes rule is prevalent in many Asian households. If I wore shoes in my MIL’s house she would think I was incredibly rude.

        • They really must be. I know that it’s common in some cultures to take your shoes off before you go in the house, but I’m curious why others have a no-shoes rule. We don’t have that rule, but we generally take our shoes off simply because it’s more comfortable. We have concrete floors and not carpet. Does that have something to do with it?

          • See ExcelNinja’s explanation. It applies to the northern half of the US as well. You don’t wear your snowy, wet and/or muddy shoes past the front door of someone’s house.

          • Mostly because people don’t want dirt tracked all over their houses.

          • We have a no shoes rule because for the past 7 yrs we have had babies and toddlers who spend a ton of time on the floor with hands and toys that are on the floor in their mouths; and we don’t want the city grime and carcinogenic cr#p that is in all the asphalt trekked into our house . (We live in a southern hot climate with shifting soil that is constantly causing replacement of streets and parking lots.) It also keeps floors and rugs nicer; requires less cleaning and maintenance. That said, we are having a holiday party and will not enforce a no-shoes policy.

          • ExcelNinja’s explanation makes sense. I live somewhere that doesn’t get much (any) snow and hardly any rain, so we don’t have to worry about mud, etc. I probably wear sandals 9-10 months out of the year. More stuff those of us in different climates never have to think about.

        • Former Portlander :

          Where I grew up (Portland, Oregon) it was standard to have a no-shoes rule among many families because of the influence from Asian cultures. If I’m in a more traditional home I don’t worry about wearing something colorful, just making sure that my feet are covered (nude-for-me trouser socks). With twenty-somethings or creative types I usually tuck a cute pair of funny or colorful socks into my purse. There are a lot of fun, cheap Japanese socks you can get on the internet that are ideal for this purpose. Also try Sock Dreams.

        • Shoes would come off in most, if not all Asian homes. It would be considered the height of rudeness to leave your shoes on and bring in all the dirt from outside into a clean home.

        • Canadian too, as I look at 3 inches of slush. I have debated this with my posher friends who host/go to many parties. He wears one shoe or boot in bad weather and slips on shoes or an inside sturdy slipper that has never seen the outside…makes sense to me as I tote my slippers to all friends and family, hate bare or sock feet on any floor type. I would not have the b*lls however to wrestle with skinny jeans/tall boots and switch for drier ones.

          If we have people over, and we are ‘dressed up’ as opposed to come for football and wings, I always say keep your shoes on.

    • If the house is no-shoes, no one is wearing shoes, and no one is looking at your feet!! Don’t worry about it. Just do what is comfortable for you. For me, that would be wearing socks with my boots and keeping the socks on to keep my feet warm. It’ll be fine ;o)

    • I actually bring a pair of socks (thicker, warmer) to go over the socks I’m already wearing. But I usually do that because my feet would get cold with just one pair of socks on. They’re kind of replacement slipper. Maybe bring a pair of fun (coordinating?) socks to just wear in the house?

    • I always leave my socks on (although I’m more likely to be wearing tights). I much prefer it to being barefoot in someone else’s house. And no-shoes-in-the-house is pretty common in Canada – it’s more unusual to keep shoes on here!

    • Bright colored ankle socks. I recommend neon, skulls and/or polka dots.

    • People with no shoe rules often have guest slippers you can ask to borrow!

      • Really? I’ve never been offered guest slippers. (Upper Midwest/West)

      • What type of guest slippers are available? I would LOVE to implement this in our home but I think it’s rare enough that guest slippers would be very helpful.

        • Just the cheapest slip-on slippers you can find, at CVS or Marshalls/Ross, etc. You want slip on that don’t have toes so ppl can put them on over socks, and something with a grippy bottom. But the little terry cloth ones are the ones my Asian friends parents always had at their houses when we were younger.

          • ooo or even try the dollar store!

          • Yeah I get mine at the dollar store or IKEA. Make sure they’re machine washable! I only recently started doing this because I had no idea that some people get offended when I ask them to take their shoes off in my house. I’m Korean, wearing shoes in my house is just as weird to me as not wearing shoes inside is to you my dear house guest!

          • Awesome; thanks!

        • Clementine :

          Just to add to the list- totally a Northeasterner here. Weather- blah blah blah.

          Worst damage done to our floors- thankfully in a rental- was done by a friend’s ex-girlfriend who wore heels with no tips at all on them. Not ‘oh man, minor shoe emergency on the way over’, not ‘thin tips on heels’, we’re talking at least an inch of exposed metal pounding into the floor…

          I have a few pairs of really think, Vermont Made ‘Darn-Tough’ socks that I’ve offered to people who were here for longer stays.

          A friend keeps a basket of all different thick wool socks by the door and then just tosses them in the wash between each visitor.

    • On the other had, I never go WITHOUT shoes in our house – we have way too many dogs and cats. So 30 seconds after we vacuum the floors seem to be covered with pet hair. Or a dog takes a giant drink of water and proceeds to dribble it across the vinyl and hardwood floors of the kitchen and dining room, leaving little puddles in the traffic lanes. Or a cat barfs on the family room carpet, where it blends in beautifully and is invisible until you step in it. I am always horrified when my son’s teenage friends come in and immediately leave their shoes at the door, so they’re barefoot on our can’t-help-but-be-grungy floors.

    • Anonymous :

      For those of you who have a no-shoes policy in an area of the country where this is not common practice, how do you present this to guests? Do you let them know ahead of time that you have this rule? I live in the midwest and would love to have a no-shoe policy at my house, but it is really not common in my area and the one time I requested it (we had an unexpected sleet storm and everything was wet, muddy, and salty), it was not well received by several of our guests. We will be moving (within the same area where we currently live, but to a different house) within the next year, and I would like to have our new house be a no shoe house, but I am not sure how to accomplish this without offending people.

      • I have a friend who does put it on the invitations/in the evite as a Note: and I think that works well. She does offer guest slippers, though, and notes that in the invite as well.

        I think you will have to let go of others’ reactions, though. the most you can do is let people know well ahead of time so they can plan for it and not be surprised. But you can’t prevent anyone from being offended or obnoxious about it. There might still be someone who gets offended, and you will just have to shrug it off. You can’t control anyone else’s behavior, only your own reaction. ;o)

      • hoola hoopa :

        It is common here, so take this for what it’s worth. Typically guests know to remove their shoes because there are a large pile of shoes at the door. Or the host may say something like “you can leave your jacket and shoes here.” I suppose a basket of socks or slippers would help, although in the several dozen homes I’ve visited, only one has ever had them. When in doubt, most guests will ask if the host would like them to remove their shoes. I’ve never seen it in an invitation or had mentioned in advance; that would strike me as very odd. If I’m going to someone’s home that I’ve never visited before and don’t know whether I’ll need to remove my shoes, I just make sure that I wear nice socks.

      • AnonInfinity :

        I live in an area where everyone wears shoes inside except my sister in law, who put the policy in place to appease her mother in law. It’s really hard to enforce, and she pretty much has to catch every person at the door and politely asks the guests to leave their shoes at the door. Even the big pile of shoes by the door doesn’t make people realize they need to take off their shoes because no one really thinks in those terms. It is a nice gesture to offer slippers because when you’re not used to taking your shoes off in someone’s house, it feels really weird. Slippers help. I forgot the first several times I was there, but now I just take slippers with me.

        I agree with Zora that you might have to let go of others’ reactions. In a place where it’s not common, it can be kind of polarizing, so there will always be people who are offended. Also very important is to make sure not to shame the people who forget or don’t realize. My SIL’s MIL did this to me once (I came in at a different time than everyone else for some reason and had my shoes on), and it was just really rude and off putting. And it made me want to keep my shoes on and stomp around to spite her, though I understand that’s immature, and I did of course take them off.

        • AnonInfinity :

          Also do be sure to let people know before they get there, especially if you don’t have slippers, so they’ll be sure to wear socks. On the invitation is a good idea or maybe just mention casually when you’re inviting people over.

      • AttiredAttorney :

        A shoe rack by the front door for guest shoes helps send the message too.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I like the idea of bringing slippers or larger socks, thanks.

  9. Most Anonymous :

    Threadjack/update: I had posted a couple of weeks ago about being miserable in my Biglaw job in a small city (for several reasons, including my, ahem, “mercurial” boss), having no idea how to network, etc. All of you ladies were incredibly helpful, and I really appreciated all the excellent advice. Well, I decided to stop staring at my navel and be (relatively) proactive in my job search. And lo and behold, I have an interview later this week at a midsize firm in my area – my first job interview in the better part of a decade.

    Right now I’m equal parts thrilled (proud that I took initiative, feeling more in control of my life, etc.) and terrified (I’m sure it’s a giant pay cut. I’m afraid of leaving my big firm for a firm with far less name recognition. I’m afraid everyone will hate me if I leave. There are crazy bosses everywhere. And so on.). I keep telling myself that this is just an interview and I don’t have to take this job if it isn’t right for me.

    But my big question is this: if I’m being 100% honest, the main reasons (by far) that I want to leave are (1) the current boss; and (2) having a chance at a life outside of work. I am also aware that I can’t really say this in an interview. I do have some other reasons for wanting to leave (wanting to branch out into a wider variety of work, which is hard at my current job, etc.) but I’m not even sure how good that sounds. Am I overthinking this? Does anyone have suggestions for more palatable answers to the questions of why they are looking to leave their current job? (The firm that I’m interviewing with has a lot of clients in similar industries and takes on a lot of similar work as my current job, just on a smaller scale, so I don’t think I can use that as a reason.)

    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    • I think it is ok to say that you are looking to leave BigLaw. You’d like to develop professionally in a different way, have more interaction/impact with clients, be in the same office as decision makers, etc.

      • Agreed. I think mid-sized firms almost like to hear a very mild, generic sort of BigLaw bashing – nothing actually bad, but when you say stuff like you want to be “more hands-on,” have “more ownership over your work,” etc., it basically fits right into what they like to hear about why they are better than BigLaw (and it may very well be that these are all true reasons you want to leave – they generally are). You can preface by saying you feel you’ve gotten great exposure to a wide variety of matters at your firm, worked with great people, learned a lot, but now, you want to focus on a narrower area, take on more responsibility, etc. etc.

  10. So I had a small claims trial today (I won at the small claims level and then the plaintiff appealed, so we tried it in large claims). I got through my closing, the plaintiff was offering her rebuttal closing, and she mentioned the town in which the accident happened. The judge says, “The accident happened in [town not in this court’s county]?” The plaintiff confirmed, and the judge decides to sua sponte transfer venue to the county where the accident happened because he didn’t “have jurisdiction”.

    I was like, “Your Honor, I believe my client has sufficient contacts with this county that venue is proper.” He smirks at me and says, “I understand that, counsel, but your Motion for Reconsideration is denied.”


    • Some judges love to dodge decisionmaking. I’ve never understood why they wanted the job if they do not want to make a decision. Commiserations!

  11. I have a black lace dress that I want to wear to our office holiday party. The dress is currently styled with a black sash belt, but I was thinking for a holiday party it would look better with a red or green belt. Has anyone seen a festive sash belt recently in those colors (I already own leather belts in red and green, but I think the dress needs something nicer than a typical leather belt with a belt buckle). TIA!

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