Thursday’s Workwear Report: Colorblocked Sheath Dress

Our daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

This may not be for the shrinking violets among us, but I think this purple dress with black details is really lovely — for example, if you wear a lot of dresses and you’re desperate for something a little different from your usual black, gray, or navy. There is a matching jacket, which I would not necessarily recommend — but you do you. I think that for $38 (on sale for $49.99, plus the discount code listed on the page), it’s a good option for a new statement dress. You can wear it with navy or red or black, or with gray — this would look great with a gray blazer on top. It comes in sizes 2–16, but not all sizes are still in stock. Colorblocked Sheath Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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  1. Anonymous :

    I would wear this, the purple if it was for work, or the pink for a different setting.

    • Why so short, though? This makes me crazy.

      • Lands End has a great colorblocked ponte sheath that is a normal length, though the Mondrian effect isn’t as pervasive. Fewer lines. But great dress!

        • How does Lands End sizing run? I typically am a 2 but am afraid I won’t be able to fit into a 0 or 2 there.

          • I’m on the opposite end of the size spectrum, and have found it to run slightly big. Like, I’m usually a 16 due to chest size, and can safely order a 14 in ponte dresses there (stretchy, forgiving fabric).

          • Cornellian :

            Agree with Pompom. I am between 00 and 6, generally a 2, and their XS stuff works okay. If you’re smaller than a 2 or like fitted clothing, I think you may be out of luck at Lands End.

          • Anonymous :

            I have some things marked small that say they are for size 6-8, which is typically a medium elsewhere. Their SML sizes run really big, but maybe their numbered sizes are better.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m also small and find their stuff runs big. They do carry petites though in some items and that can help cut down on the overall sizing if you have some wiggle room though. For a sheath or something that should be pretty fitted it might not be worth it.

  2. No. 6 - worht it? :

    If you possess No. 6 clogs, are they worth the $$? I need a good solid pair of shoes to wear around the house. I need some lift, but in a platform type shoe, not a heel. I need super comfortable; I’ve had my eye on these for a while, but ouch are they expensive. Danskos tend to be too heavy, so if they weigh as much, not for me. Looking for those with No. 6 experience to weigh in; if they are really awesome, then my cost per wear is such that I will do it.

    • Anonymous :

      Why not a comfortable pair of house slippers? You could get the ones with shearling inside from Ugg, those would probably be more comfortable and lighter than wooden clogs IMO.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 I got a pair of Ugg Ansley slippers when I was spending 8+ hours a day walking around the house wearing my 15lb baby and they saved my aching feet.

        • Anon for this :

          I live in my Ugg Ansley slippers in the winter. And sometimes I even wear them to the grocery store or brunch in my neighborhood if I’m feeling super lazy.

      • No. 6 - worht it? :

        Don’t love the uggs that much – I think I need more structure; I do better with a shoe as opposed to a slipper (and sometimes forget to change when I run out of the house to do a quick errand, which is another reason I prefer a shoe)….

        • Former Retail :

          I love a cork sole for this purpose. Birkenstocks in warm weather, Haflingers in cold weather. Ugly and expensive, but worth it.

          • I wear a pair of Haflinger clogs as house slippers. I like the idea of cozy Uggs, but my feet need more support.

    • I’d personally get some danskos or my personal favorite, birkenstock clogs. I wear them as house slippers year round.

      • By the way, the wooden clogs are really loud. I don’t have No 6, but I have Svens. They’re super clack clack clack.

      • +1 to Birkenstocks. I wear the sandals all day when I work from home. Comfortable, and they provide support.

    • I have Merrell clog type shoes and they are fantastic and not too expensive. I wear them around the house all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have them and they’re definitely lighter weight than other wooden clogs (e.g. Hasbeens), but in my experience the base has a tendency to chip a bit. I don’t think the clogs are worth the price but a colleague has the shearling-lined booties and loves them.

  3. Making professional connections :

    Career TJ: I’m in academia and a Professor who is an acquaintance recently gave me the contact info for another academic she knows at a university about 3 hours away from where I am. This contact does research in one of my areas of specialization–although my current work is in now in a different field. My question is how does one go about introducing themselves and trying to make a connection in this case? I’m at the stage in my career where I need to make connections and widen my network just not sure how to best make use of such introductions.

    • Hello, Prof. Otheruniversity (or whatever the preferred colleague addressing convention may be).

      My colleague, Professor Myuniversity, passed along your contact information and suggested that I connect with you, based on your research in my area of specialization. I am currently working on XYZ degree/project/whatever here at MyUniversity, and I would be interested in hearing about your experience/work in that area.

      If you’re available and open to it, I’d like to schedule a telephone call to get acquainted. If you have another suggestion, or are not able to speak with me, please let me know; I understand that you may be very busy with your research/courses.

      Best, Making Professional Connections

      • +1. The other convention is, if you feel comfortable, you can use their first name and then follow with (if I may)

        E.g. Dear Sarah (if I may), ….

        Can you also bring them in as part of a speakers series? or perhaps ask to meet up at a major conference if there is one coming soon?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. I would skip the Professor/Dr unless you are a graduate student. I’d write something like,

        Dear Jane,

        Hello! My colleague Melissa Myschool suggested I get in touch with you …

        [some specific request – coffee at the big conference? a phone conversation? a collaboration?]

        [your sign off term of preference],
        Firstname Lastname

    • Scientist :

      Do you have a reason to connect…. like a scientific question you’d like to discuss, or a collaboration you’d like to establish, or is this just for networking purposes?

      If just networking, I try to seek these folks out at conferences. Go to their talk, seek them out afterwards to compliment them on their talk and ask a question, make sure you introduce yourself etc.. Try to follow up the meeting with an invite for coffee.

      Otherwise, I just drop an email introducing myself and ask a question. If I know I am going to be in their area, drop an email and ask if they might like to get together for coffee… would love to hear what they are working on, mention an interest you share in common, or drop the name of the Professor and say that they recommended you meet. Name drops are always good.

    • Anonymous :

      Is the acquaintance willing to make the introduction? It’s a little weird that she just handed over someone else’s contact information without giving that person a heads-up first.

      If she’s not willing to introduce you, send a brief email explaining that acquaintance suggested you two connect and you’d like to get together for coffee or lunch sometime soon. If you can conveniently be in town in about 2 weeks, all the better. I know it’s a hike but I think you have to actually go to them and meet in person if you want to make a real connection. Try to schedule other meetings in the area so you’re not traveling all that way just for coffee.

      • networking :

        Second this advice. Send the introductory email, mention that you’re going to be in town (within the next couple of days, weeks, etc) and invite this person to a specific place for lunch/coffee. Suggest a time, but let him/her know you’re flexible. If the person responds back and says they can’t meet or seems to be giving you a lukewarm but friendly response, follow up with a phone call instead of an email and ask a specific question. I’ve had good success with this. I generally find two types of people: the ones that jump at the chance to network, and others who are more… introverted?

        • I would not do this unless the she provided her number and invited a call. Honestly, if I turned someone down for this type of cold meeting and then got an unsolicited call from them, it would make me uncomfortable (among other things because I’d wonder how you got my number) – turning down the meeting without inviting other contact is a pretty clear “no” to the networking ask.

  4. Anonymous :

    PSA that Pottery Barn Kids won’t do price adjustments even when the item goes on sale the next day and the customer could return/reorder for free. I just made a huge order there and am so annoyed about this. In the future I’ll stick to Macy’s, Nordstrom, Land of Nod and other stores that treat their customers better.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s so annoying!

    • That is SUPER frustrating! I certainly don’t buy everything there, but we’ve had great luck with RH baby and child stuff (on sale natch) and their customer service is amazing.

    • Same for clothing store COS and Uniqlo. Very annoying.

    • I haven’t had that exact experience, but I find the Pottery Barn customer service policies to be not great in general

    • I hope you’re going to reorder at the sales prices and then ship your already-placed order back when it arrives. That’s what I’ve done before, in situations like this.

      • I’m so annoyed I’m just going to return the items they won’t price adjust (crib bedding) and buy that stuff at a different store. Unfortunately, the bulk of my order was furniture and I think it’s too late to cancel it at this point, plus I spent a lot of time measuring and searching for exactly what I want so it would be a huge waste of my time to start over. But I’m definitely off shopping there.

      • I enjoy calling Customer Service, explaining the situation, and then telling them that I’m going to do that when they won’t process a price adjustment. I also enjoy making them repeat back to me that this process is inefficient and a waste of the company’s time and money. Then I do it.

        I am petty.

    • I think that some states regulate this. It’s called price protection and I’m pretty sure for Maryland at least that they have to honor the new price if it drops within a certain number of days.

  5. Birthday suggestion for my father?

    I was thinking about some sort of “… gift of the month” club. He loves getting packages of any kind, so I thought it would be nice to have something every month to look forward to.

    He is very frugal, never had birthdays when he was a child because they were very poor. So he has a complex about gifts…. loves them but feels horribly guilty about getting them. So it is challenging.

    He is a science/computer geek. Not a food person, and on a medical diet so this area is out. Not a luxury goods person, obviously. He needs to laugh. His fondest memories are of his childhood dog, but he doesn’t have one now. He is disabled, so is not very active.

    • I loved Book of the Month, but you choose the book each month with an email reminder which is great if you want him to be able to participate, but not great if he’s won’t want to check emails

    • AlexisFaye :

      Have you looked into loot crates? I don’t know if his tech stuff goes towards pop culture/games/books/tv, but just google “loot crates” and stuff he’s interested in. You should get some nifty ideas…

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband is probably your dad’s age, and he subscribes to Vinyl Me, Please, which sends him a vinyl record album along with a cocktail recipe every month. If your dad doesn’t have a record player, you could wrap one up and give it to him on the day and then he’d get the records each month.

      • +1 – FWIW, we just got a Crosley record player on Amazon for under $100 – gave it to my parents too & everyone is loving the record revival.

    • flowers or a plant?

      I know you said food was out, but FWIW my Depression-era father in law loves fruit of the month club – citrus is still something that feels like a luxury to him.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I like the ideas already posted. What about a donation in his name? Maybe to a local animal shelter or a service/therapy dog program. They might send pictures/updates to donors throughout the year.

    • What about a magazine subscription? Might feel less frivolous and something look forward to monthly

    • Not a monthly thing, but how about the WeRateDogs book?

    • Thank you for such wonderful suggestions! I’ll be doing some searching tonite online using these great ideas. Many thanks.

  6. I recently learned some really basic nutritional advice from a really good Nutritionist (at a Major medical school/research hospital) that I took a relative to. Wanted to share some basic advice that was new to me.

    Fruits/veg can be divided into 3 groups by color. Red/purples, orange/yellow, and green. Try to eat one fruit/veg from each color group every day. That’s it.

    There are amazing purple potatoes that have great nutrient values and can actually qualify as one of these fruit/veg groups. They have amazing anti-oxidant qualities. And one of the greatest super-foods is the purple sweet potato. They were hard for me to find, but my local farmer’s market has them. Amazing! I love potato, and always avoided them thinking they were just “bad” for me….. The color alone after cooking is just out of this world.

    If you like to make soups, don’t use regular chicken broth. Buy the bone chicken broths, which are much higher in protein and nutrients. And taste the same.

    • Is this for real? Because I really don’t think color can tell you very much about nutrition. An orange and a carrot have very different nutritional profiles…

      • Yes, it is for real. There is a lot of nutrition that does correlate with color. I certainly knew that eating a green veg most days was good. It turns out that the purple potatoes share quite a bit with the blueberries in terms of micronutrients.

        Of course there are some exceptions. It’s just a simple to think about getting a diversity of nutrients in your diet.

        While an orange and carrot are different, most things that are yellow/orange share a lot of vitamin A +/- vitamin C. etc..

        • This is all true.

          But it can be even simpler. This “color” plan encourages people to consume a variety of fruits/vegetables. It probably doesn’t work long-term if you only eat purple potatoes, carrots, and green beans everyday (and I’m sure that’s not what the OP’s nutritionist friend suggests). But if you regularly vary within categories, you’ll end up getting a pretty diverse diet with a variety of plant material–which is all you need to satisfy your micro-nutrient requirements.

      • I feel like this is one of those things where there’s some truth hidden in there, but it’s been boiled down to a Facebook shareable snippet that really makes it lose all its meaning.

        • But most of us here are smart, reasonable people and get the drift.

          It is very helpful for me in a simple way. I always eat at least two veg at dinner. Now I glance at my plate and say….no red. Cut up a tomato. No green…steam some spinach on the side. Etc…

          My life is so complicated. I actually eat more veg this way.

      • Anonymous :

        My aunt, a nurse, used to always say your plate should be a color wheel.

  7. I just bought this dress – the purple is darker and less bold in person. Looks great with a black blazer or jardigan.

  8. No Problem :

    To make a long story short, I am in possession of my friend’s mason jar that she uses for her daily smoothie. She thought she lost it a really long time ago but I found it yesterday. I will give it back to her when I see her next week and I want to fill it with something. Hopefully something more creative than Halloween candy, though that is of course an option. What would be a fun surprise that fits in a 12 oz jar? She’s super environmentally conscious, owns a cat, and is a vegetarian. Basically, she’s very granola and proud of it (hence why she was sad to lose her favorite reusable drinking vessel).

    • Anonymous :


      • Triangle Pose :

        Ha, I love this reply!

      • No Problem :

        Haha, I did think of that, but I suspect she makes her own and anything I make or buy would be inferior.

        • Pinch of Yum has a pumpkin granola recipe that she posted last month that looks really good and not too difficult. Something to mix it up and different enough to not be considered “inferior”.

        • Eleven Madison Park’s granola. I assure you, it is better than anything she makes.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            Haha I have an Eleven Madison Park mason jar that used to be filled with granola. Has anyone been since it reopened?

    • Union square cafe bar nuts. They are addictive and super easy to make (esp. if you up the cayenne and sugar to make it more sweet/spicy).

    • networking :

      sounds like a great opportunity to clean out all those random bags of tea you have hanging around in your pantry / kitchen drawers. I never seem to finish an entire box of tea…. so weird…

    • Soup in a jar! I recommend five bean soup because it will look pretty. It’s all the ingredients you need to make a soup. Google some recipes.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Flowers. Although actually I don’t mind using the same mason jars for flowers and food because I just run them through the dishwasher, but your friend might not feel the same way.

      • Cornellian :

        I would love flowers, but caution that your friend may not find them particularly environmentally conscious (unless you’ve found some that are, of course).

        Maybe candied nuts? They are super easy to make.

    • Loose tea or Friday fruit from bulk bin at grocery store

    • New Tampanian :

      Little notes about fun things you’ve done together or positive affirmations. Something she can look at when she’s having a bad day.

    • Anonymous :


  9. If you want to be kind of Instagrammy, what about layering a few different snack items and putting a bow around the top? I’m thinking maybe seasoned nuts and chocolate-covered espresso beans. You can buy them in bulk and save the extra amount for yourself.

  10. Hope everyone in the area is safe!

    So we had a big anniversary trip planned for the week of the 23rd to San Francisco/napa. Is it time to cancel or reschedule yet? Any alternative plans that someone could suggest would be great. thanks!

    • I’d probably cancel the Napa part of your trip, but there’s tons of stuff to do in SF, and wineries in places other than Napa/Sonoma if you’re really set on wine tasting (check out the Livermore wineries)

      SF’s air will be clean within a day or so of the fire being over and they are starting to get containment now.

      • I would not do Livermore wineries. Lots of good stuff to do elsewhere in the Bay Area but the wineries near Livermore are not scenic and don’t have terribly good wine (or good food nearby), and Livermore is far from SF and not near other interesting stuff to do. If wine tasting is really the driving reason for this trip, you should reschedule the trip. Otherwise, do other fun stuff in SF + Bay Area.

        • Cosign this. The only exception is Wente, and not because their wines are great, but because their outdoor concerts are great.

          You could definitely consider going South and doing Monterey/Carmel/Paso Robles wine tasting though. That’s a great option.

    • You should cancel. My good friend lives in Santa Rosa and is currently evacuated; we’ve been talking a couple times a day.

      Even if they manage to put the fires out soon – which is doubtful, given the weather – there is a lot of chaos up there. Some small businesses can’t open because their employees can’t get to work or are living in shelters. Emergency services people have their hands full keeping people out of evacuation areas and the areas keep expanding. People in the fire area are literally in fights for their lives and property. This is not the time to go try to have a tourist experience. Additionally, the air quality up there is terrible and healthy people are ending up in emergency rooms in respiratory distress. Two hospitals in Santa Rosa closed due to being close to the fire zone and the remaining area hospitals are overwhelmed.

      In a few months this area will desperately need tourist dollars so it can recover. So reschedule your trip for that time. Right now the fewer people that are in the area, impeding emergency services and recovery efforts, the better off everyone will be.

    • cancel the napa part and go south of SF instead. half moon bay, carmel, monterey, los lobos state park, santa cruz… tons down there that is great. SF is fine. it’s a little bit smoky today but it was fine yesterday and the air will clear up by the 23rd since they are (hopefully) getting a ha ndle on the fire.

      [email protected] residents, sports basement is collecting donations for fire victims and also you can purchase items to donate at 40% off. im sure there are other entities as well but they’re local and i live next door to one so it’s been an easy way to donate and support the fire victims.

      • +1

      • Good idea to go south. I commented about Livermore wineries above, but i’d rather spend a day in Pescadero than just about anywhere in the world, much less Livermore. :)

        There are wineries near there too – Bonny Doon is an amazing winery in nearby Davenport. I belonged to their library club for years.

    • We have an anniversary trip planned to Napa Valley for the middle of November and are wondering about these things, too. Our flight is to San Fransisco and are renting a car, so we have some flexibility on exact location. Glad to see some suggestions on locations a little farther south.

    • +1 cancel Napa portion, go south for wine. lots of great wineries in santa cruz area.

    • Anderson Valley wineries are excellent and you could head to Mendocino on the coast which is amazing and not touched by the fires.

  11. Triangle Pose :

    I’m know I’m the third person or so to say this, but THANK YOU to the commenters who recommended Marycrafts dresses. The material is solid and doesn’t cling and the shape is perfect! I used the size chart and surprisingly didn’t need to size up but YMMV because all of the reviews said to size up. I got so many compliments!

    • Same! I ordered two (kept one, sent the other back because I didn’t read closely…), and I love it. Just needs to be shortened, but otherwise a total winner.

    • Can you give more details? Which dress did you order? Easy to return? TIA!

      • Triangle Pose :

        Marycrafts Womens Elegant Lady Vintage Evening Wiggle Midi Dress
        Marycrafts Women’s Office Business Short Sleeve Pencil Midi Dress

        If you stick with Blue, Mint, Red, Burgandy, etc. I think they are great for speaking engagement/conference/office wear. I have prime so they are easily returnable.

    • What’s your body shape? Would it work on a small-chested pear?

      • I’m a pear and one of the original recommenders (so happy to hear people like them!) and SIZE UP. I wore 1 size above my usual size in a full-skirted dress, but needed 2 sizes up in the fitted dresses to look work appropriate.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Straight body, petite. That’s prob why I didn’t size up but a lot of reviews recommend sizing up. I found the size chart to be very accurate.

      • I am a small chested type with proportionate hips and shoulders and small waist (so, hourglass with a small bust). I ordered carefully by measurements and laughed so hard when I tried the Marycraft dress on– loose in the shoulders (has never happened in my life- I have pretty sold square shoulders), loose in the bust, fit in the waist but waaaay too small in the hips. I also have a long torso so the hips were in the wrong place. Sizing up wouldn’t work as it would then be even bigger up top. Disappointing!!

    • Same here! I’m a small chested pear- ordered 3 first order and keeping all 3- in fact I just bought a 4th! I followed the size chart and reviews and wound up ordering 2 of the 3 in my normal size and the 3rd one size up to make sure it was work appropriate. Love them!

  12. Skincare questions :

    I have a couple of forehead wrinkles that are getting intense. Is there anything topical I can use to lessen them? I did Botox about a year ago and will do it again but am currently pregnant– is there something I can do in the meantime?

    Also, the weather here suddenly turned to fall yesterday, and my skin reacted immediately with dry patches and flakes (chin area). My skin had been pretty good during the warm season, so I’m thinking I may need a thicker moisturizer. I had some pregnancy breakouts on my chin and had been using Mario Badescu buffering lotion and drying mask– I think that led to the flaking once it turned cool, so I have stopped those (the breakouts are gone for now anyway). Any recommendations to restore balance and stop flaking now that it’s cool ?

    • The fist ingredient in your lotion is alcohol – start with something alcohol free and see if that helps!

    • I’ve had good luck with softening intense lines with a combo of Korean skin care regimen / products (full of peptide, nutrient and vitamin C serums) + a good AHA peeling pad (to the extent you can use them) a few times a week. I visibly look at least a few years older when I fall off of this routine.

    • I have great luck with Olay’s moisturizer in the red jar. I had forehead wrinkles started and it nipped them in the bud. Their Pro-X line is also good. I have also tried neutrogena, but not for their all over moisturizers.

    • For flaking you need to be exfoliating and then using heavy moisturizer. I like Boscia exfoliating peel gel (it’s a gentle enzyme peel) and then Paula’s Choice Skin Recovery Hydrating Treatment Mask (technically a mask but I use it as nighttime moisturizer). That combo rid me of winter flaky skin and has also seen me through some pretty heavy retinoid use.

    • K-beauty products have worked for my sensitive, dry face as well. As of yet I have not needed any forehead wrinkle intervention, but I have an awful area of loose/wrinkled skin under my chin/neck area. I am sure it is from weight fluctuations, but will anything improve this area except for surgery? And if I go that route (I’m late 40s), will I have to do a full lower face lift? I feel like my face looks much younger than my true age, but that little area just below the chin is all I can focus on sometimes. Has anyone had success with any treatments for this area?

    • If you’re interested in Rx solutions, take a look at Curology. They offer a free trial. They offer dematologist consults and a custom mixed product for anti aging and acne control. I’ve been really pleased and I think they deliver a really professional and supportive solution (quick response from the docs, fast shipping, scientific approach, etc.)

  13. Boundaries and Guilt :

    For about a year or so I’ve been working really hard on setting boundaries. I.e not being the therapist for my friends’ bad decisions (“borrowing trouble” was my MO for a such a long time), distancing myself when I feel disrespected, listening to the voice in my head that someone is probably not a good friend, etc. While this has been empowering and increased my quality of life/people I’ve surrounded myself with, I still have some guilt for standing my ground and letting go of people. It’s such a weird feeling that I hope will pass with time (and therapy, I know) but having to let some people go (at least for now) without feeling like a “bad person” has been hard. Anyone have any advice on getting through this/stories of their own?

    • If you don’t already read Captain Awkward, it has great advice for this kind of stuff, like scripts you can actually use and advice for handling your feelings of guilt.

      • Second this. And then also third and fourth it. Captain Awkward is a treasure trove for this kind of thing.

    • It gets better with time. Establishing boundaries is HARD because people in your life are so used to walking all over you. When you finally stand up for yourself they do everything they can to get things back to “normal.” You know how they say leaving an abusive partner is the most dangerous time? The same is true with emotionally abusive people. They ramp up their efforts hard when you push back.

      The only real solution I’ve found is to cut out those people entirely. Once I got new friends who didn’t treat me that way, I started to realize just how awful my old friends/family were. Knowing that it didn’t have to be like that really strengthened my resolve and helped me to let go of the guilt.

    • As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that I have much fewer friends, but they’re people I genuinely enjoy being with. My free time has gotten smaller so it’s nice to know that I absolutely will enjoy brunch with the girls, or a couples date with the Ys, or whatever. I can be fully present and really be there for the friends in my life, and I’m not even a little tempted to co-opt their time by checking my phone or complaining about ToxicFriend drama or whatever. My social interactions are richer, if that makes sense, even if they’re less often.

      • This is #goals for me: I’m not even a little tempted to co-opt their time by . . . complaining about ToxicFriend drama or whatever.

        I used to get kind of a thrill hearing about this stuff but now I just find it exhausting and tedious. I have so little free time I cannot listen to a friend complain about another friend I’ve met once or twice in passing. Do you know how hard it was for me to eke out this hour with you??? I want to catch up on what’s going on in your life, not some girl I don’t care about (sorry, friend-of-a-friend, I’m sure you’re great).

      • I’m the same. Fewer, better friends as I’ve gotten older. It’s much better this way.

        I tended to make really good friends at work, and as I’ve moved along in my career, that happens less. Maybe because as I got older my peers and I were busy raising kids and not hanging out as much after work, or maybe because as a manager, I’m careful not to make friends with people who report to me or could end up reporting to me. But I’m happy to be out of the workplace friends dramas of my twenties and early thirties, though I do miss the weddings. :)

  14. I love the blocking on this dress but the color options are so dated to me. Any suggestions for something similar in more subdued colors?

    • Lands End has a sleeveless ponte sheath that comes in more worky-colors, and a black and white pattern. Here’s the color one:

      I own it in black and white (not the pattern, just black and white solid), with a jacket that was recommended here a while back and it is shockingly chic for Lands End. It’s become a go-to for travel, presentations, etc.

      • What is the jacket?

        • So, the jacket is only the black and white solid (as opposed to patterned), and I haven’t found an analog for the newer two options. It’s on sale, and lucky sizes (it is an open jacket, so that may be helpful for sizing):

          There’s a white skirt with black tipping that goes with, too, that I can’t find at the moment. LE did a terrible job merchandising these three items together, when they operate as a three piece suit in actuality…in that they didn’t merchandise them together at all.

          • Also, the whole trio machine washes (and air dries, finish in the dryer) fantastically. As does all their ponte.

  15. Canadian lawyerette :

    I have a lunch interview for what sounds like a great job. Do I let the interviewer pay? Any other advice? This is my first interview since OCIs so I’m nervous..

  16. Boy Scouts :

    My husband was a den leader for my stepson who is now an Eagle Scout. My daughters are doing Y Guides with my husband (which I’m glad he gets to do and I’m glad is a dad-led activity). I’m a bit down on girl scouts (I don’t need another mom task) and while I liked being a brownie, I dropped out of girl scouts b/c they were . . . just not great (I was in Explorer Scouts in high school (which is career oriented — I did the one on lawyers) and in a sorority in college and felt like I got good leadership training and skills in that but nothing from scouting except for some field trips). I have a friend who made it to the Gold Award (which is like Eagle Scouts for girl scouts) but no one even really knows what that is.

    I am a bit excited that my daughters could participate in boy scouts (husband is conflicted). I bet it becomes a mom (perhaps family) task. We already own half of an REI store for camping. My understanding is that packs will be co-ed, but dens will either be boys or girls, but I bet that this is still unfolding and under development.

    Once they age out of Y Guides (which seems to be in middle school in my area), I really want to do this. Ladies — are any of the rest of you ready to dive in to khaki? [Our church sponsors a boy scout troop and we’re whiskeypalians, so I think they will be OK with this.]

    • I was really happy to hear that Boy Scouts will now be open to girls. I have a former girl scout and a current boy scout. My daughter dropped out of girl scouts because it was basically all play dates and selling cookies. They did one trip a year to a ski resort but that was it. I never saw our particular troop do anything philanthropic. Oh, and the meetings were at 3:30, not walking distance from school, so impossible for working parents.

      My son on the other hand was a cub scout and now a boy scout. He’s having a great experience. The boy scouts own so much beautiful land for camping that is not open to anyone else, I’m envious of him. The troop has great support from moms and dads, and is just so much more organized and consistent than my daughter’s girl scout experience.

      She’s 16 so it’s too late for her to do anything with Boy Scouts, but if it had come along earlier, I would have encouraged her to participate in a heart beat.

      (by the way, our particular troop never discriminated on an orientation or religious basis)

      • What you’re going to hear is that Girls Scouts is so leader-dependent. Yes, there are a few GS troops that do boy scout type activities, but those are the exception rather than the rule. I remember dropping out of Brownies when I was young because we only did paper mache and sewing. I loved that, but wanted knots and camping too. The majority of GS troops don’t offer that, and there are no other alternatives for girls.

        You’ll also hear about the benefits of a single-sex environment for girls. I’m not sure I agree with that. There are so many messages that split boys and girls from age 3, I think it actually helps both sexes to know that either one can build a fire and sew on a button and help in a nursing home.

        I have some problems with the Boy Scout organization, but I do like the idea of learning life skills in a coed environment and achieving badges at your own pace. I also like the idea of a seminal award for a service project. I like the idea that you get a generally consistent experience regardless of your leader/ town/ state. I also like the encouragement to have dads get involved, since so much falls on moms, although I think more needs to be done for single parents or others who don’t have a dad who can participate.

        I don’t know. I’m a little mixed on this, I guess. I like the concept, but I just don’t like the BS org and don’t trust this will be handled appropriately. I feel like it’ll be presented as “girls are in your troop, add girly things to your activities. don’t worry, you’ll breeze through them, they’re easy.”

        • For me, the overwhelming thing is the land. Boy Scouts of America owns so much gorgeous land that I always felt it was a great injustice that girls couldn’t access it.

          Also, the Eagle Scout certification carries more weight than anything Girl Scouts gives out.

          It has always felt wrong to me that my son had these opportunities that my daughter did not, and now that they’re opening to girls, at least future generations will share in the benefits the boys have had all this time.

          • I find it really interesting that they don’t work with other groups like Girl Scouts and allow them use of the land as well.

          • Not true. I’m on the BOD for a very large BSA council. We do allow others the use of land and facilities. Have also been trying to partner with GS for years. No go. I’m astonished that they are threatening to sue over this. Bc girls will be offered same thing as boys? Really? Pretty new low for them.

          • IMO our girl scouts go to girl scout specific camps and the boy scouts go to boy scout camps (and Y guides go to Y camps, some of which are quite awesome).

            IMO boy scouts just have better camps and it’s not that they don’t share. It’s like presbyterians going to presbyterian retreat centers (and methodists to methodist retreats). They aren’t being bad sports or not sharing.

        • Girl Scouts is definitely dependent on the individual troop leader(s) as well as the local service unit and council. Our troop and service unit are great, but our council is a disorganized mess so we try to avoid council events. Our troop has done a lot of cool things, from a mock legislative debate in the house chamber of our state legislature to a women in science day at our local university to a mock trial in a real courtroom to tent camping. They also organize and run events for younger girls.

          The biggest problem I see with Girl Scouts is the weakness of the badge program. The badge requirements and topics are lame and often vague, and it’s easy to earn a badge in an hour or two without learning anything. Most of the really cool stuff our troop has done has been unrelated to badge work. I also have some doubts about the major service awards. My daughter’s troop did a real substantive project for their bronze award, but I have seen lots of troops do lame projects that require little planning or effort just to satisfy the requirements. The Girl Scouts are forever touting the gold award as the equivalent of the Eagle Scout award, but It definitely doesn’t carry the same recognition or prestige.

    • I don’t have kids, so my opinion is relatively limited here. But, BSA’s Venture Scouts has been co-ed since the late 60s, though it is age-limited to older kids, and could be what you’re looking for. I did that in combination with GS, and it was awesome. My particular GS troop–of which I was a member through HS graduation–was awesome and modern (lots of non-camping travel, self-planned things, and stem/finance activities, thanks to the college professor moms who ran it). The Venture Scout option added a nice layer.

      • Not internet incompetent :

        I’d never heard of Venture Scouts, so looking it up led me on this rabbit hole of comparing similar programs’ age requirements. All these programs fail to mention one key thing (at least clearly or easy to find): what age they start. I visited the BSA pages, the Venture Scout pages, Y Guides (local and national pages)… to no avail. Does anyone know what the minimum age is for these groups? I have a 5 year old.

        • I only know about Ventures, in the US, and “Members must be at least 14 years old, or 13 years old and have completed eighth grade, through age 21.”

          I was maybe 17? Did it for two years. Boyfriend–now DH–got me interested in it as a supplement to GS.

        • Cub Scouts starts in grade 1.

    • In theory, I think it’s great that they now admit girls but I have too many issues with the Boy Scouts organization to ever be enthusiastic about my child (boy or girl) participating. I did Camp Fire, which has been co-ed for a long time, and I’d have no qualms about my kid doing that, although I realize it’s just a fun activity and doesn’t carry the same prestige/college admissions cred as being an Eagle Scout.

    • I was a den leader in Cub Scouts and was thinking of being an assistant scoutmaster in our Boy Scout troop (the lad crossed over in March). My son really wanted me to take on this role but it looks like I am heading towards community service chair. I might still consider it. The role I really want is chaplain (I am a ‘pisckie deacon, hi to another Episcopalian!), but our sponsoring organization (a Methodist Church) has that covered. (Although I may still go volunteer to be the chaplain for our former Cub Scout Pack.) The other Boy Scout troop in our town does not allow women in leadership.

      I had a not-great experience in Girl Scouts and can’t compare.

    • Scouts have been open to girls for years in Canada. I still did Girl Guides (the name for Girl Scouts in Canada). I really valued having an all female environment throughout the teenage years. I was a really awkward teenager and I would have hated camping with boys. My group was active – we did canoeing trips, multi-day backpacking where we planned the route ourselves, refinished wooden chairs and learned computer programming.

      I also did a lot of international travel through girl guides and it was really important to my intersectional feminism to meet girls from other parts of the world whose experiences in male dominated societies were very eyeopening.

      Like any volunteer driven organization, finding the right unit/group is key because the activities will very much be set based on the skills and abilities of the unit leaders. I would look for a girl scout troop in your area that is very active in the outdoors.

      • You tawk fine :

        My church (very 1%er) has a big SAHM contingent of former lawyers and bankers who run a troop like this at an inner-city school. I’d send my daughters to that troop, but in our ‘hood, girl scouts just sell cookies and raise $ and go to camp that is not as cool as the boyscout camps. Not something I’d make any effort to add to our lives, sadly.

        • My girls do Girl Scouts, and the leaders do a really good job of trying to do meaningful activities. BUT the GS organization itself is completely focused on selling cookies and GS gear– from which the troop gets about 2% of the sale price. It’s a total breeding ground for future MLM “business owners.” I get at least one email a week from the GS organization urging me to sell some product or buy another product. I absolutely hate it.

          • Yeah, I hate to admit it, but the Boy Scouts are just a better brand. And Eagle Scout is just such a thing — I’d love to have a girl Eagle Scout.

            It’s like the Girl Scouts are always trying to make Fetch happen. Just stop, Gretchen.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I dislike a lot of GS management practices, but the core values – the ones in the GS Law – are just better for creating capital-G Good young people. One of the things we stressed in Girl Scouts in the 90’s was the line about using resources wisely and making the world a better place. I think any organization aimed at kids should emphasize that, as well as (strong emphasis for boys in particular) “Responsible for what I say and do, And to respect myself and others.”

            I know a lot of boys who could’ve benefited from repeatedly reciting a pledge to be responsible for what they say and do and to respect themselves and others.

    • Baconpancakes :

      It depends on a) your kid, and b) your Troop Leader. My troop was outdoorsy AND very girl power focused, and it gave me confidence in using knives and hatchets AND taught me how to properly plan out a meal and balance a ledger. I would not have done well in a coed group, having been a super shy and awkward kid.

      I just volunteered at a Girl Scouts Campfire last weekend, and it was wonderful to see the girls so outgoing, so unafraid and uninterested in impressing anyone or conforming to anyone’s expectations of them. When I worked at a coed summer camp, that was not the case. Whenever there were boys around, the girls would act differently, less confident, and more image-obsessed.

      • The basic experience will still be single sex. Boy Scouts will have single sex dens. The basic unit is the den of a few boys and a leader. Packs are made up of many dens. Packs can decide to be single sex or co-ed.

        • Baconpancakes :

          That doesn’t really change my assertion. Last weekend, there were about 7 troops represented at the Campfire. The girls were boisterous but respectful, all knew and mostly followed the silence signal when we put our hands up, and all the troops presented skits to the whole group, with very little of the refusal to participate or be silly or gross that I saw working with coed groups. One troop’s skit punchline involved farts – it was hilarious. Had there been more than a handful of boys (family members) there, I imagine the Campfire would’ve been very different.

      • I would NOT want some smelley boyscout’s peering into my tent if we were on an overnight camping trip. That is why we need to keep the scouts seperete from each other. There is ampel opportunity to mingle with scout’s of the oposite sex, so why force the issue here? FOOEY!

    • I am completely opposed to the Boy Scouts due to their lack of action on abuse allegations, refusal to accept lgbt members and their political stance. They are desperate to add to their numbers and therefore reluctantly including girls. The Girl Scouts are a much more positive organization. I would rather support positive role models for children.

      • Girl Scouts in my area are a waste of mom time and a waste of kid time. They teach nothing useful. I’ve never seen anyone make it into anything that remotely compares to even a mediocre boy scout experience (camping, sports, cooking in the wilderness, planning large group meals and not having them all get food poisoning, dealing with diffulty, dealing with impatience, dealing with losing, community placements, coordianting an eagle scout project, etc., etc.). I can buy cookies if I want to buy cookies.

        I’d rather put my kid in pageants than have her be a Girl Scout.

        IMO, scouting is like anything else (army, catholic church, etc.). I do it for the good and in spite of the bad rather then reinvent the wheel in my own personal “better” way with my budget of 0 for money and 0 for time.

    • I mean the Boy Scouts don’t allow gays still right? So no. I’d prefer to not have any of my children participate.

      • Anonymous :

        Wrong. Not been the policy for a long time.

        • 2014 is not a long time ago

          • Anonymous :

            many, many local councils changed their policies on this issue long before the national did. it is the locals that deliver all the services, not the national. Also- most local councils will disregard the “separate but equal” part of yesterday’s statement and let the unit decide if they want coed or single sex. Truth is, they’ve been doing coed a long time, but without the ability for non-boys to earn badges and advancement. In this organization, the changes all take place at the local level and filter up to the national, not vice versa.

    • Seventh Sister :

      My initial response as a GS troop leader is that if the Boy Scouts have less paperwork and a shorter fundraising season, I’d switch in a heartbeat!

      More seriously, I really like the GS curriculum, but the paperwork is too much and cookie sales go on too long. My girls are pretty little – 9 and 10 yos, so cabin and tent camping is right at the edge of their abilities, even though they are a pretty outdoorsy bunch.

      While there are some pretty able campers among the moms*, I don’t think we’ll be backpacking through the wilderness in 5 years with these kids (which is why I’ll probably push Venturing at my kids during junior high/high school). The Girl Scout’s DIY troop formation can be positive, but it’s really hard to have the infrastructure to do complex outdoors things when each GS troop is essentially started from scratch by the moms who have interested girls.

      *I use moms because frankly, the moms are the ones that participate. I’d love it if even one father wanted to help out. On a related note, I’ve had it up to HERE with the s*xist hypocrites in my life – the moms in my oh-so-liberal, socially-conscious, super-progressive city and school and church and life are the ones doing nearly all the volunteer work while the fathers practically break their arms patting themselves on the back for their progressive values. Thank you, I feel much better.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I read some of the OUTRAGED comments yesterday and I am seriously confused as to why this is such a big deal. Scouts Canada has been completely co-ed since 1998. Girl Guides also still exist.

    • Anonymous :

      Was hoping someone wanted to talk about this topic! A conservative blogger’s post showed up on my FB yesterday by way of a friend liking it, and it’s really been on my mind. There were so many comments to the post, predominantly from women, in an uproar that girls being admitted into the BSA was just “further examples of rampant feminism in our country” and “everyone needs a trophy mentality”.

      It does not sound like this initiative takes away from “boys becoming men” with the separate dens for the girls. I built the curriculum for my region’s Girl Scout STEM badge – as an engineer myself, I think it’s challenging and exciting for the girls. I’m not sure whether our region’s girls would say they are missing what the BSA offers exactly (leader / region driven like said above). But maybe they wish for the seminal Eagle Scout project. Or maybe they’d prefer to stay in an all-girls environment if it helps them feel more free to be themselves. But I would like them to be able to decide.

      I don’t know. I guess the continued examples of resistance to the concept of inclusion in our society just makes me sad. Including one group does not automatically mean taking away from another.

      • Eh. I’d say it’s an example of desperation. Scouts membership is down substantially and they need warm bodies.

        • In Australia, Scouts has been co-ed for some time and there is still Girl Guides. When speaking wiht Scout leaders, the reason they became co-ed was became their membership was otherwise declining.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      The Gold Award is harder to earn than Eagle Scout, which is part of the reason you don’t hear about it as much. Eagle Scout is easy to get by age 13, but no one earns a Gold Award by that age, because there’s much more involved. I’m sad to hear so much negativity about Girl Scouts. I’m a lifetime member of GS and had a very well-rounded experience as a kid. We hiked, camped (incl digging our own latrines), started fires, pitched tents, used compasses, canoed, sailed, planned meals and trips, voted ourselves among leadership roles, raised money besides just selling cookies, did a million service projects like helping lead younger GS troops, as well as earning badges from sewing to computers. Obviously it depends on what the leaders and girls want to do, so not every troop is the same. I’d try it though! Or start your own troop.

  17. Does your heart beat kind of weirdly for a couple hours after drinking a fair amount? (Like, harder than normal, and maybe the rhythm is slightly different but hard to tell?)

    Mine does that, and I assumed it was a normal result of getting drunk, but I told a friend about it last night and she freaked out and said I needed to call the doctor. So I guess I will call the doctor, but is this really an unusual thing?

    • Sounds like a-fib – read about it but yes, see your doctor. And maybe cut back on the getting drunk.

    • This has never happened to me although I only drink wine and just tend to get sleepy, even after a single glass.

    • That happens to me too. I always thought it was normal/my body’s way of telling me I’ve had enough.

      Idk what a doctor is going to say other than, don’t drink so much.

      • Anonymous :

        If I drink more than my body wants me to drink, yes. and ditto. Don’t drink to that point.

    • I would not jump to the A-fib concerns. Sure, make an appointment with your doc, but this is not an emergency.

      Most likely, you are getting dehydrated as you drink more and more. This makes your heart beat faster, and can be noticeable. Getting drunk is also a stress on the body, and could be causing your heart rate to increase for that reason. Also, when you are drunk your perception abilities change, and you may misperceive the significance of these events (ie. how loud it is, how regular it is).

      How much are you drinking? How much do you weigh? Ever think about cutting back?

      • I’m the Anon below – the dehydration explanation makes sense because I’ve also noticed it happening when I’m dehydrated, not just drunk

      • Thanks for the words of non-panic. :) I’m always on the edge of dehydrated so what you say makes sense.

        I don’t feel like I drink that much…2-3 glasses when out at a bar is common for me and by that point I feel quite drunk (I’m like 150 lbs so not tiny but still quick to get drunk). But I only do it occasionally and socially so I’ve not seen it as an issue.

        • 2-3 glasses is a significant amount. You probably pee up a storm, yes? I am also on the edge of being dehydrated all the time so I struggle with this too. I am pretty drunk with 3 drinks, although I don’t “look it” at all. Honestly, I can tell my perception abilities change with just one glass.

          Make sure you drink at least one full glass of water for every glass of alcohol.

    • Ya this has happened to me. I didn’t think it was that unusual (and I haven’t really cut back on the drinking for that reason) so maybe don’t listen to me. It just didn’t seem like a huge deal to me?

      Please report back after seeing your doctor, if you’re comfortable doing so!

    • Not for me, but alcohol has been linked to arrhythmias. I haven’t looked at the literature recently, but I think it needs to be a fair amount of alcohol, so maybe drink less.

    • I’m not a big drinker in general, but my heart races, enough to the point that it will wake me up, after I have more than two drinks of most anything but wine or anything but beer (which I don’t drink much of these days). I talked to my primary care and she said it was very likely a function of the sugar in the drinks. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but I have a history of severe cardiac issues at young ages in my family and she was very not worried about it.

  18. Thanks to everyone who suggested going to look at engagement rings at Tiny Jewel Box in DC! I fell in love with one there that their in-house designer made. And their sales team was so friendly and not stuffy at all, even though the shop is incredibly elegant and could definitely go stuffy. I’m pretty sure my boyfriend has already purchased it, so now I’m just waiting!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Were you the one trying to decide between art deco or a more classic solitaire style? What’d you end up liking?

      • Yes, that was me! I ended up with neither haha. I went to 10 different jewelry stores in the area, and kept coming back to this unusual ring that their designer had made. The modern center stone is cut in an antique style, so I got the soft quality I wanted in a diamond, and then small diamond leaves come up from the diamond band to frame the sides of the center stone. It manages to somehow be sophisticated and boho all at the same time.

  19. Girls Weekend :

    I need a suggestion on where to take a girls weekend. We are coming from the NY and CA. Since it would just be a long weekend, it needs to be fairly easy to get to/not a long flight. We have already done Chicago and New Orleans, so those two are out. We like to spa, walk/hike, eat good food.

    • Minneapolis? Austin or San Antonio?

      • I did a similar weekend in Minneapolis over the summer and it was great! Not sure when you’re planning this, but winter there can be brutal.

        • Eh…Winters aren’t *that* bad, consistently. It’s more of a case of not knowing which weekend will get the storm/deep freeze. It’ll get bitterly cold once or twice, usually in Jan/early Feb, as those are typically the coldest part of the winter. It doesn’t get as snowy as other places with winter, and the plows are pretty good. October can be really nice and autumnal. Nov gets more gray and brown, but the holiday lights come out in Dec and can look pretty in the snow. So, it really depends on when you’re going.

          But because it’s winter a good chunk of the year, we are also used to doing things outdoors in the winter.

    • Austin

    • Denver?

    • I recently did a girls weekend in Denver and it was awesome! It would offer plenty of variety given your likes. We had a similar situation with a few coming from the west coast and a few coming from the east coast and Denver was a nice middle destination.

    • anon a mouse :

      Santa Fe or Nashville.

      • Seconding Nashville (but disclaimer, I’m a native Nashvillian so I’m biased). It’s about 4 hours from both places and there’s TONS of good, beautiful wooded hiking in the area, spas downtown, and of course. lots of good (Southern, but also more cosmopolitan) food.

    • Anonymous :

      Blackberry Farm

      • Anonymous :

        Oh yes. Old Edwards Inn is less expensive but similar in nature (not saying these are equivalent at all but my girlfriends would generally balk if I suggested a place with BF costs).

    • Anonymous :

      My sister and I have been drooling over the idea of Ojo Caliente in New Mexico

    • I actually had a fabulous weekend in St. Louis. Lots of fun sights and delicious food.

  20. Veronica Mars :

    Does anyone have a good rec for a LARGE makeup/toiletries bag? I was using the Sonia Kashuk weekender, but the zipper broke and I need a new one. I was looking at the Zoeva zoe bag, but wanted to see if anyone else had a good recommendation. $75 or under, ideally.

    • Boy Scouts :

      Scout bags has a lot of cute fun bags. Some are titled makeup bags but there are lots of smaller ones.

    • If you want a lot of organizational features, you should check out the Emme bag. I have both the original and the small. The original is quite large. I like that it’s sold by a woman entrepreneur..

      • Veronica Mars :

        I need this. Thank you! It’s exactly what I want.

        • I’m glad you like it! I have used the large one for five years and a lot of travel, and it still looks new. No issues with zippers or tears or fraying.

    • Sephora has a couple nice, large ones with lots of pockets that I’m lusting over (the organization, not necessarily the patterns at the moment).

    • The container store has a multi-pocket hanging toiletry bag that folds up. Plenty of room for makeup and toiletries.

    • lawsuited :

      I love this one from MAC because I can see/find all my stuff!

  21. Arizona Help :

    My mom is turning 70 in January and wants to go to Arizona for the weekend since we have never been. It will be just the two of us, no kids and no husbands. Any suggestions of a great hotel/resort to go and stay to relax, sight see, and have good food. Also, what should we do? Mom can still walk and get around but her mobility is somewhat limited by Parkinsons and she tires easily. Are there areas that are great to see from the car, or that don’t require much walking? She can walk around someplace for a half hour or so, but it is slow going. Any suggestions?

    • If you fly into Phoenix and drive to Tuscon, the drive through the ponderosa pine forest is lovely. And then you can easily drive from Tuscon out to San Xavier del Bac. You could stay at the Canyon Ranch. I’ve never had bad food even at the most random places in Tuscon.

    • Four Seasons Scottsdale if you can swing it!

    • Anonattorney :

      The Enchantment Resort in Sedona is nice – big, nice spa, good food, close to some good day trips.

      • Make sure you book any of the excursions or classes *well* in advance of your trip. We stayed at Enchantment about a year ago, booked things 6 weeks in advance, and had difficulty securing reservations. The place is wonderful, the staff was very hit and miss :( Kind of disappointing for such a $$$ experience. However, the pool was amazing.. and you didn’t need a res for that :)

    • Consider flying into Tucson – smaller airport so it is way easier to navigate, which would be easier on Mom. You can stay at La Paloma or Starr Pass resort. Canyon Ranch is good too. You can drive to the Desert Museum (the road is windy with amazing views) and then see the animals – the loop “trail” is wheelchair and stroller friendly, with tons of places to sit, so she’s likely to manage it fine. And yeah, the food is oddly delicious here!

    • Sedona. Driving the hairpin twisty road will take longer than the highway shortcut, but the scenery is breathtaking, and once you’re there everything is gorgeous.

    • Senior Attorney :

      The Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix is divine.

    • For me, no trip that involves the Phoenix area is complete without a stop at Richardson’s Cuisine of New Mexico. Get the GCP – the green chile potato – a roasted poblano stuffed with everything that goes into a twice-baked potato and then topped with gravy.

      • Anony Mouse :

        I’m sure it’s great, but it seems a little silly to seek out New Mexican food as a tourist in Arizona, when there are so many fantastic options for Sonoran food.

    • Miraval Resort

    • Anonymous :

      I love the Arizona Inn in Tucson, if you are just looking for a hotel. Tanque Verde is fun – even if she cannot get on a horse, there are neat things to see and do there. And of course, Canyon Ranch is completely dreamy.

    • Depending on which part of January you go, the Scottsdale area is VERY crowded from about mid-January to the end of January with the car event and then the big golf event. It will make it very hard to get reservations anywhere, hotel included, and the airport will be packed. Tucson might be a better option to avoid all of this.

  22. New Office :

    Fun question,

    My group moved into a new office space and I get to choose some of the furniture and appliances.

    We’re ordering a refrigerator and dishwasher for the kitchen. I’m leaning toward the slate finish rather than stainless because I think it looks modern, and I like the idea of it being less prone to fingerprints and smudges. But do you think slate appliances will look terribly dated in a few years?

    • I like the stainless.

    • I put slate in my kitchen… and I love it. Hoping it won’t look dated for at least 10 years.

      • That’s a good point. I’m not sure how long office appliances tend to last, but 10 years seems optimistic.

    • Senior Attorney :

      No more dated than stainless looks now.

      • Anonymous :

        wait if stainless is dated, what is modern? slate? other?

        • Senior Attorney :

          No, my point is that stainless doesn’t look particularly dated even though it’s no longer the very newest thing on the block.

    • Anonymous :

      I think they will be hard to match if you need to replace them. It’s just an office though, so I wouldn’t really factor that in so much.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Office recently installed a new kitchenette with stainless fridge and dishwasher. As long as you’re not the one wiping fingerprints off the door, stainless is fine.

      My personal vote is avocado – if it’s all going to look dated at some point, at least I’ll be intentional.

  23. Depression and Inflammation :

    I was just curious because there seems to be a lot of ladies on this board who are well-acquainted with depression. Have you every heard of a link between depression and low-level inflammation? I had a friend who is kind of woo-woo mention this to me, and I honestly have never heard about this. But then I started googling, and it does appear to be a thing. If that’s the case, has anyone’s doctor every mentioned this to them, or suggested dietary changes to assist with depression? I thought it was super-fascinating, and as we are finding out more about the gut-biome/whole body connection, maybe there is something to it! Any info or resources or anecdata appreciated.

    And, BTW, I am in no way suggesting that depression shouldn’t be treated with current drugs or therapies, but am genuinely curious about the inflammation-depression link! I am not minimizing current treatments, just interested to see if diet or other anti-inflammatory changes have every been brought up for those of you who have dealt with depression. TIA.

    • Cornellian :

      I agree that a lot of the stuff out there is pretty woo-woo pseudo science but it seems like there might be something to it. I know that my bipolar is better when I cut back on foods considered inflammatory. For me avoiding refined grains and added sugar is helpful (I already eat meat no more than once or twice a month, though).

      I saw a psychiatric NP once who was open to adjunct dietary adjustments, but have not had it mentioned to me by my now MD psychiatrist.

      I put slightly more stock in the connection between B12 and depression. If you want to go down a rabbit hole, look at research around MHTFR genetic issues, and treatment with supplements. I had a “genesight” genetic test done by a previous psychiatrists, and also did the 23andme DNA test and ran it through various third parties, and it seems like I am prone to B12 and folate issues.

      • Agree with a lot here.

        The B12 absorption and efficient transportation to the brain may be real, and should be discussed with your psychiatrist. But even that has very poor clinical evidence behind it.

        The inflammation stuff is not well established at all, and is eye roll worthy. Agree with the NP that as long as you are being healthy, it is fine to experiment.

    • I think you’re right to be skeptical about the idea of “curing” mental illness with a probiotic or something, but I think you’re also right that inflammation and diet impact mental health and that there is definitely a “whole body” aspect to it.

    • I have, or at least my doctor thinks I have, an auto-immune type disease that seems to be related to inflammation. (Sarcoidosis) I tend to not be woo woo at all, but I do feel better and have fewer symptoms when I eat a low inflammation diet.

      • I have lupus and have considered a low inflammation diet in the past. I didn’t have any flares whilst pregnant but it is something I should consider now.

    • I definitely think there’s a link, but in my experience, the inflammation goes away when i take better care of my mental health, and not necessarily the other way around. But in general a healthy diet, keeping a tidy space, getting sleep, avoiding toxic people and situations, self care, etc make me feel less inflamed (which manifests mostly in my skin) and less depressed, so it’s sort of chicken or egg.

    • Agreed that it’s almost definitely unreliable science, but I starting drinking turmeric and ashwaganda tea twice a day recently, which is supposedly highly anti-inflammatory and also good for mood regulation. It’s really made a difference for my anxiety. I feel much more stable and able to focus. It’s very likely placebo but I won’t be going back from it.

      • Anonymous :

        Can you recommend the tea? I’ve been looking for a turmeric tea but haven’t found one I like. Does it stain your teeth at all?

        • I have the Turmeric Chai and Turmeric Hot Chocolate from Spice Pharm, and also love the Opportuniteas Turmeric Products, all from Amazon. They’re a bit powdery (so they leave a sludge at the bottom that I just don’t drink) but otherwise taste great, and I haven’t noticed any teeth staining.

    • Anonymous :

      Robynne Chutkan has a few books about the microbiome – I have only read one, they all seemed kind of similar, but it was pretty interesting reading. I’m sure there must be other books out there, too. If I remember correctly, serotonin is mostly found in the gut, and there is evidence that gut issues can cause depression.

  24. So I’ve just started as a new associate at a biglaw firm, and I’m trying to learn as much as I can about how to be professional. My looks don’t help much (I’m 25 and look young, blonde and large chest, basically a stereotypically dumb girl vibe). I’ve taken a lot of the advice on this website to heart, such as how to dress, do hair/ make-up, writing emails, etc. but was wondering if anyone has any book suggestions. I’ve read Lean In, and just started Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office (a suggestion I found on here). I think I struggle immensely to overcome the gender norms I learned as a young girl, especially growing up in the South, so I’m trying to work on this. Any suggestions or advice?

    • You tawk fine :

      For realz — watch Working Girl.

      • Haha that’s been on my list for awhile! Maybe tonight I’ll get around to watching it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG I remember watching Working Girl when it came out, sitting in the theatre by myself (no idea how that happened — maybe I ran away one afternoon) and crying my head off, mostly from sheer exhaustion.

      • Anonymous :

        And for perspective…Office Space

    • Not really a book suggestion, but I’m in academia and there isa a website called The Professor Is In – basically, she gives a lot of advice to grad students about how to be more professional and to craft their own academic persona. She has several posts about mannerisms, asserting yourself, etc. that I found really helpful as a fellow young (and young looking) blond woman. YMMV, but it might be worth scrolling through and looking. I tend to be a head tilter when I am listening – so I look like a puppy dog – and she has some suggestions for how to get over this.

      • Oh man I am such a head tilter! I’ll check this out, thank you!

      • Head tilting (mirroring the speaker) is an empathetic response. I personally do not think it’s something we need to try to stop doing.

    • I find it really useful to envision what a man would say when I’m struggling with how to word something, either orally or in an email.

      • I go back and forth on this. Why does sounding girly = non-professional? Shouldn’t we be pushing back on that?

        • Anonattorney :

          It depends on how you define “sounding girly.” If it’s speaking in a quiet voice, not using affirmative, strong language, and generally having a diminutive presence, then yes, I think those are things that young women especially need to work on. If it’s just talking about typically female-focused things, or having a high voice, then you’re right – it’s something to push back on.

          • Yea, I agree. Although I would push back on having a diminutive presence being a feminine trait too (although many girls are still conditioned this way). I guess I was more taking issue with “picturing what a man would say” and having that be the “professional” way. How about picturing what Sheryl Sandberg, Condoleeza Rice, Michelle Obama [insert your choice of strong female executives here] would say? It might not be the same as what an imaginary man would say, but it will still be professional.

        • Anon Lawyer :

          My husband and I are both lawyers, but he has been and likely always will be a far superior writer/talker/explainer. Part of his new job (in house at a large org) is reviewing the communications (letters/marketing materials) that go out to customers. They’re often poorly written, and he goes back to the business group and says, “what are you trying to say here?” and then, to whatever they say, he responds with, “well, why don’t we say that?”

          It’s not necessarily gender specific, but I have found that my writing and communication have improved when I ask myself, “what am I trying to say here?” and just say ithat, rather than trying to default to flowery language or use a lot of unnecessary words. Again, I don’t think that writing this way trends towards male or female, but I do know that I get better feedback on my writing (which I struggle with) when I keep this question in the forefront.

    • I like Feminist Fight Club because she talks through a lot of real life work place scenarios

    • I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Girl Should Know – Kate White
      Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges – Amy Joy Casselberry Cuddy
      The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self-assurance – Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

      Keep in mind while reading these books that you don’t have to take all the advice. For instance, I really like Kate White’s voice but her background is in fashion and some of the advice she gives wouldn’t fly in my industry. That doesn’t diminish the rest of her message, but it’s worth noting that there isn’t one book that’s going to perfectly reflect your situation.

    • I think your attitude is awesome. Way to address it up front. And this site is full of great advice. Good luck from an anonymous internet stranger who was you five years ago!

    • I’d suggest some negotiation books, too, like the classic Getting to Yes and others of that genre. And ask if you can do training on negotiation, like a seminar, if you can relate it to your position. It’s one of those things they just don’t cover much in law school and it will be helpful not only in work, but in advocating for yourself. Check out the blog at Harvard’s negotiation site,

      • I love negotiation, I was on the negotiation team for a year in law school. I’ve heard of Getting to Yes but haven’t gotten around to it, definitely adding to my list! Thanks!

      • Read Pitch Like a Girl by Ronna Lichtenberg

      • 3Year Lawyer :

        +1. I’ve read Getting to Yes several times and need to read it again. Useful for both personal and professional situations. I would recommend Unfinished Business by Ann-Marie Slaughter as well.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Books you should read:

      – How to Be Useful by Megan Hustad
      -Manage Your Day to Day by Jocelyn Glei
      -Great on the Job- Jodi Glickman
      -Mistakes I Made at Work- Jessica Bacal

  25. Thisperson1 :

    Just a vent. Our house is under contract; inspection is tomorrow and appraisal should be done by end of next week. Until then, we’re just in limbo… Don’t know if we’re moving or staying and if we’re moving, are we buying immediately or renting a little while, and if we’re buying, we need to find the right neighborhood and right house two states away, and plan to be there a long time, and if we’re renting, there are not a lot of rentals available right now in that area. But at the moment, we have no idea. Oh, and if the house sells, we’ll be moving out on Thanksgiving Day. And if we we’re buying, we wouldn’t close at the same time so we’ll be in limbo again for a bit… staying in an Airbnb or something for a month with a toddler and a dog.

    • Hang in there, in hindsight it will feel like a brief moment in time, and yes you’ll be moving in. Inspections and appraisals will just result in more negotiations, very unlikely to result in the sale falling through.

      Congratulations on your new home!

  26. Recommendations for really soft stretchy jeans? Skinny or slim fit. Skinny styles are uncomfortably tight in the calves so I am needing something with a lot of give. I tried the JAG pull on styles, but I had to go up four sizes to get the unstretchy waistband over my hips, and then the whole thing was clownishly big. Thanks!

  27. I’m having a bad week. One of my closest friends lives in Santa Rosa, CA and has been evacuated from his house since Monday. He’s relatively certain right now that both his home and a rental house he owns burned last night but can’t be sure right now. He has a wife who worked at one of the hospitals that got evacuated, and they have a small baby. He has no idea where they will live if they lost their home; they are relatively new to the area.

    Then yesterday, I found out my mom has breast cancer. It’s stage 1, receptor-positive and she has no positive lymph nodes so it’s about as good as the situation can be, but she’s going to have to have surgery and radiation and she is not the kind of person who is good at staying still.

    Any good thoughts are appreciated, as is advice on how I can stay focused today at work when my mind is very much elsewhere.

    • Hugs from an internet stranger who’s been through the breast cancer thing with my mother this year.

      You’ll get through it, and so will she. If it’s receptor-positive, tell her she can start looking into diet changes; there are resources out there to help lower the estrogen you consume in foods.

      At the end of the surgery and radiation, she’ll likely be put on maintenance medicine to reduce estrogen, and she can get a head start on that. Might help keep her busy, without being too strenuous. From my mom’s experience, the surgery isn’t too bad (she was up and around the next day), and the radiation is exhausting, but bearable.

      Other than that, feel free to cry/laugh/do whatever you need to do. It hit me like a ton of bricks when my mom got it, but you’ll get through it, and it gets better.

    • All the hugs to you.

      They caught it so.early.

      That does not change the fact that finding that information out can be absolutely shattering. My mom’s had breast cancer three times. All completely unrelated the the prior one(s). All were also Stage 1. As my very to-the-point nurse practitioner sister says: “if you’re going to get cancer as a women, that’s the one you want” – it’s so studied, very well funded and (sadly) extremely common.

      Again, none of that makes hearing and digesting the news any better, but don’t forget to remind yourself of that as often as you can.

    • Hugs. FWIW, a friend is going through breast cancer right now and her doctor urged her to continue running so your mom won’t necessarily have to sit still.

    • New Tampanian :


    • Hugs from an internet stranger

  28. (please skip if you’re not wanting to read someone’s good news right now – totally understandable)
    I can’t really share all of this with most people in my life yet, but I’m so happy I could burst. In the past week, my kid got offered a spot in wonderful local public school. We’ve been working on getting him in for more than 2 years (although he doesn’t know that), and it finally came through. He transferred on Tuesday, and the difference after 2 days is astounding. This morning, he bounced out of bed and said “I used to hate school but now I love it.” He’s gone from >1 hour of homework per night including weekends to ~10 minutes (much more appropriate for 1st grade). His teacher and classmates are so warm and welcoming. And we can all sleep half an hour later in the morning.
    On top of that, the same day, I received an offer for a new job. I’ve been searching since February. My current job pays well, but makes me miserable, and I was expecting to take a 50-70% pay cut (seriously, based on market research) to get to do the type of work I find meaningful. We live frugally, so I could have made it work. The new job is EXACTLY what I want to do, higher level, more responsibility, and – somehow, miraculously, when I told them my current salary, they agreed to match it, despite the fact that I’ll be moving from the corporate to non-profit worlds. I’ll finally get a chance to feel like my career is moving along again, and to not feel like work is something I just have to suffer through to keep my family alive.
    I feel like I’m living in a dream, it all seems too good to be true. Thanks to everyone on the board for all the encouragement and good advice over the years. Not necessarily to me personally, but just reading through all the threads. I feel much better equipped to thrive in the professional world.

  29. Wife/mom advice needed please!

    My bff has asked me to weigh in on something because she is stuck and not sure how to approach an issue in her marriage. I am not married or a parent, so while I have thoughts, I am crowd sourcing here as well. I also sent her the How Not to Hate your Husband book and article info . . .

    Her husband won’t make any decisions about their kid (or ever really). He asks my bff to weigh in on whatever it is – does he need more food, what about a bottle, does he need to go down for a nap, etc. But then he gets annoyed when she makes a decision if he disagrees with it. He has told her that he feels like it’s mostly my bff raising their son, and he is just the helper. She feels like they are a team and that while she is better with their son at this age, their son’s preference for which parent he prefers will ebb and flow. She also feels like her husband would feel less like a helper if he would, you know, actually help and make decisions, but he won’t. She wants him to make decisions, she is not a helicopter mom and acknowledges and accepts that they will both make parenting mistakes. What matters is that they are both trying their best.

    My thought is that she should stand strong on refusing to make a decision and then let her husband deal with the consequences. Not taking a nap if the kid needs one will suck, because it will be unpleasant for everyone, but it won’t kill their son. Same with missing a bottle once or him making up a bottle when their son doesn’t need or want one. None of these decisions will kill their son. He won’t break the kid. But unless he feels any consequences for refusing to make a decision, then he will continue to not make them.

    Am I way off base here?

    And YES, this isn’t my business, but she has specifically asked me to weigh in. She is seeing her therapist next week for assistance as well, so I am certainly not the be all and end all of advice.

    • She should go away for a week. Business trip, vacation, whatever. The only way to break this pattern is for him to be solely in charge with no recourse. No grandparents coming to stay, nothing. The kid will survive and their bond will grow. If she can arrange for him to be responsible for childcare at least 1 or 2 days per week (maybe daycare drop-off, pick-up, and taking care of the kid until she gets home in the evening), even better.

      • If she does this she also needs to refuse to answer her phone or text messages.

        Signed, the mom who gets pictures of algebra homework texted to her every night while traveling because apparently dad never attended middle school and is incapable of checking homework

      • +1

      • +2. She also needs to stay quiet when he makes different, but acceptable choices, in taking care of child. If he’s in charge of a task, no complaining that the outfit doesn’t match or that he chose to feed the kid peas instead of corn as a veggie or whatever.
        This is a common issue with a lot of new parents and your friends will get it figured out. Parenting is hard, yo.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. This is the only way.

        And she needs to back off the “she is better with the baby at this age” thing. Gatekeeping is insidious and she and he both need to fight it tooth and nail.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I completely agree. The best advice I ever got about parenting was from my sister-in-law who told me to just get out of his way so he has to figure out his own way to handle the child.

    • Anon for this :

      My husband is a bit like this — and it’s insane making. Sometimes it happens because I do correct what he does, but usually this is only a safety issue (e.g. the car seat or a choking hazard or sunscreen), so he gets all ‘oh, I don’t know what to do’.

      What helps is me NOT being around them for a while and not providing detailed instructions on what he’s supposed to do with her. That way he’s forced to make decisions as to what to feed her, how to entertain her, how to dress her. And he has to deal with the consequences of a cranky child.

      Of course this approach only works if you’re not legitimately concerned your spouse could break the kid.

    • Married not a parent. Not to sound too harsh but the husband sounds whiny. He is not there to “help.” He is there to do his job, which is co-parent, co-advise, co-raise, co-whatever his own child. Asking her to make decisions is his refusal to learn, observe, make decisions and facilitate the child to be her/his best. Mothers learn because they have to, at least initially, because of biology. He is shirking his duties.

      • Kind of an aside, but seriously, this is why I’m single. I cannot with these useless men. Every time a married/coupled friend complains about their husband not “helping” (i.e. being an adult) I roll my eyes. I’m in my mid-30s and I know 0 straight couples who have an equitable division of labor in the household. Without exception, every woman I know who has a man in her life has to do some level of BS for him that she shouldn’t have to do. I don’t know anyone whose male partner actually appears makes her life better. I’d rather be single forever than be a mom/maid to a grown man.

        • anon for this :

          A couple of days ago, a few of my female coworkers were standing around laughing about how useless their husbands are. One of them is about to have a baby, and can’t get her husband to pack a pair of his own underwear in the hospital bag. She had told him she was going into labor (it ended up being a false alarm) and he said he’d get ready, and then literally fell asleep minutes later. I honestly don’t know how they could find this funny, and second your finding that literally no woman seems to have a male partner who actually pulls his weight.

          • Anonymous :

            My husband packed his own stuff for the hospital but he is the world’s worst over-packer and he packed two suitcases – one was carry-on size but the other was a giant suitcase that would have had to go in checked luggage if we were flying. And this was all his own personal stuff – I had my own stuff, plus whatever we thought the baby might need, plus some family electronics (cameras, etc.) It was mortifying and also the room was not large and was FILLED with his crap. I really wish he had let me pack for him.

        • Not all of them are man-babies, but there are tons out there. Run far away from anyone who can’t handle his own basic needs, or expects you to take care of all of them once you are dating.

        • I am the very lucky exception. My husband’s not perfect but he definitely pulls his weight and some of my own. I choose to believe this is because I am unreasonably lazy and slobbish and have been for the entire time we have known each other, so he’s never gotten the benefit of (or used to) having a normally-socialized 21st century U.S.-based girlfriend/live-in partner/wife.

          I am not packing any of his stuff for the hospital bag.

          • fight the socialization! :

            Fighting the socialization is HARD, even when you’re a strong independent woman married to a perfectly capable and willing partner. Being gone definitely helps. DH is 100% capable of feeding himself healthy meals/cooking in bulk/grocery shopping when I’m not around, and he handles breakfast for both of us nearly every morning. But every once in a while, the insidious gender norms that we both grew up with sneak in and he’s asking me why we have no vegetables several days in a row instead of just buying the veggies himself.

            And in-law expectations, OMG those are annoying. MIL wants SIL and I to put together crockpot recipes from “The Girls” for BIL. Um, what? Why can’t BIL just go on the internet for recipes like we do? How do you think I found these crockpot recipes? I don’t just magically know how to make good food because I’m a “girl”… as proven by the fact that DH often makes the best pancakes from scratch and fancy NYE dinners for a group of 10 people. Dudes are perfectly capable of learning to cook/clean/schedule/whatever, but standing firm on who does what based on skills and time constraints vs. traditional gender norms is surprisingly difficult.

        • Happily single :


        • Anonymous :

          I feel like a lot of this is women wanting things done to a certain standard. Whereas IDGAF if DH has needed a haircut for the last three weeks or if he dresses the kids in mismatched clothes or if he wears the same pair of 501s until there are holes in the knees. Not my problem. He can book his own haircut and buy his own jeans.

          I stopped buying my MIL birthday gifts because it was absorbing so much emotional energy. Put DH in charge and he promptly forgot the next two birthdays in a row. MIL was pissed. Not my problem. Still his job. His brother reemed him out enough the second time that he remembers now.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s not and women need to stop telling each other that their standards are too high. This isn’t about which way to put the TP on the roll. This is about not doing basic stuff, such as:
            1. Doing his laundry on a semi-regular basis so that it’s not (a) overflowing all over the place, or (b) he doesn’t consume the washer/dryer for an entire weekend – when I need to be doing my/our combined laundry too – the once a quarter he decides he wants clean undies.
            2. Taking equal responsibility for groceries/meal planning/meal prep. That includes things like (a) competently grocery shopping (i.e., not bringing home already-rotten veggies or expired items); (b) take 100% responsibility for some meals, not expect me to (i) find the recipe and make sure we have all the ingredients; (ii) stage manage your cooking; or (iii) tell you where to get takeout from and what to get; (c) when I am gone you’re on your own, I am not cooking ahead for you/the family while I’m getting ready for a business trip.
            3. Generally doing things that need to be done without me having to nag. Such as: (a) cleaning up mail; (b) clearing clutter off counter/tabletops; (c) periodically throwing out expired/freezer burned foods/medicines/etc.; (d) generally feeling like he has a responsibility to manage the house and not expect me to be his manager; (e) not do the very barest minimum he can conceivably get away with when I ask him to do something.

          • Anonymous :

            Do people actually date men who are like that? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Divide up chores into areas of responsibility. Agree on times for laundry. If he puts his stuff in when it’s not his time, take it out mid cycle and dump in back in his hamper wet.

            Like don’t marry/live with a man who’s a selfish pig. It’s not that complicated.

        • Boston Legal Eagle :

          They are out there. I have one. Also, my dad is one. Maybe I just got lucky, but I tend to think that since I wasn’t socialized to be the stereotypical woman/caretaker, I don’t behave that way in my relationship.

          I agree that the husband needs more alone time with his child. This is why paternity leave should be mandatory and encouraged – fathers need solo time with the kids to figure things out, just as mothers do during maternity leave.

          • Two Cents :

            This is why paternity leave should be mandatory and encouraged – fathers need solo time with the kids to figure things out, just as mothers do during maternity leave.

            Such a good point. I never thought about it this way.

        • Anonymous :

          If it makes you feel better, my husband is 100% a competent adult who is an equal partner. I have friends with husbands like those and I don’t know how they can take it.

        • I’d also rather be single than dating an overgrown man-child. But I’m coupled to a man who is not a man-child. They do exist. You don’t have to put up with mothering a g*dd*mn adult.

          Also, I have very little patience for women who constantly complain about how useless their husbands are. I personally find it irritating to listen to someone list the litany of ways in which her husband/boyfriend falls short as a human and tend to just not be very sympathetic. My feeling is: if you don’t like him acting that way, don’t put up with it. But, to be fair, for some I think it’s a background thing to complain about in a way they’re not totally serious about, sort of the way people constantly complain about work even when they don’t actually hate their jobs.

    • Silly example, but this is like when the last guy I dated offered to make dinner and then spent the next hour asking me questions about how to make the dinner – where are the pans, how do I chop this, do you think this is done. Except that guy felt like he deserved 100% of the credit for making dinner and giving me an hour of free time; your friend’s DH is whining that he didn’t do it himself when he refused to do it himself.

      I feel like, if you legit don’t know something, I will help you once. After that, you’re on your own. In my example, I will point out where the pans are located. If you weren’t paying attention/forgot, then I guess you’re going to have to open a lot of cabinets. It takes really strict boundaries to enforce this though. He’s going to get mad if you’re sitting right there and refuse to help, and she has to resist the urge to jump in because it’ll just take a minute. If your friend doesn’t feel comfortable leaving for an entire overnight, she can at least have designated “me” times in a separate room or some activity that gets her out of the house for a couple hours.

    • Idk what I said to get in moderation – but basically your friend should remove herself from the situation for a couple hour block of time so he doesn’t ask questions and she doesn’t jump in.

    • +1 to leaving kid alone with Dad more. DH and I swap off on weekend mornings. I get up on Saturday morning and he is ‘off’ to sleep in/go for a run/whatever. and he covers Sunday mornings. Only requirement is to be home by 11:30am so we can have lunch as a family before

      Mom should also plan to start a new activity that will require Dad to put kid to bed at least once a week. Mom can pick up and get quality after work time for an hour or so. Then Dad comes home and does dinner bedtime while mom goes to activity. Mom does not plan dinner or set out anything re: bedtime routine. Mom will have to hold fast on this so that may mean dropping kid off at Dad’s office if he is ‘too busy’ to come home on those nights.

    • Thanks everyone

      Your comments made me think of the fact that he changed his work schedule so that he picks their son up from daycare every day after work. He works a set schedule in state government, and never works over 37 1/2 hours a week. That said, she also works in state government and doesn’t get home too much later than he does, so I suspect that he waits for her to get home to do anything other than a necessary diaper change. I will mention this and ask what he does in that time period. Sounds like this would be a great time for her to go to dinner with me! Or, as you’ve suggested, do something else which would mean he would have to do all of the evening routine. In the past when we have gotten dinner after work she has definitely gotten home for bedtime.

      Thanks again!

      • Anonymous :

        So I commented above but this change my view a bit. It sounds like he is genuinely trying to be an involved Dad. I think sometimes we forget that women are exposed to a lot more of baby routine stuff via mom friends/sisters/babysitting when we were young.

        So in addition to maybe going out for dinner from time to time, I’d suggest she write out a list of what her routine would be when she comes home if she was solo parenting – very bare bones and lots of emphasis on that this is just what she does and not necessarily what ‘has’ to be done. Like – check diaper/refill water sippy cup/put out toys for play etc. That would give Dad a starting place. And when they are together, and he asks her opinion she needs to keep “Not sure, what do you think?” as a common response when he starts trying to push the decisions onto her.

        • Edna Mazur :

          I was going to come here to say the “what do you think?” response. I find myself sometimes asking questions to my husband as a way of making conversation. “Do you think it is too cool for short sleeves?” type of thing. I could figure it out on my own but I’m just chatting. I didn’t realize I was doing it until my kid started doing the same thing. When he asks a question, I cut out the “Not sure” part, because I I am, that is the trash collector collecting the trash, but ask him “what does you think?” Conversation still happened but I wasn’t actually answering the question.

      • At a certain point I started passive aggressively answering every single one of my husbands “helpless” parenting questions with “do whatever you would do if I weren’t here” and then would stop talking and stare at him. After that was the answer to the 5th question in a row, he got the point.

        I also left on a three day trip when kid was 6 months old. That was also extremely helpful in getting him to be a more confident parent.

      • Have her read “Drop the Ball”!

    • Listen to episode 2 of the podcast “where should we begin” – it addresses this exact scenario in a really thoughtful way.

      • Side note, I burned through all 10 episodes of that podcast in two days, it was so interesting

    • Anonymous :

      This is actually a two sided coin. Have you empowered your husband to make these decisions? Can you accept that there are multiple ways to accomplish the same task, and so if he does it not the way you would, are you okay with it.

      A friction point in our house is that, yes I want the husband to do the task…as long as he does it my way. It’s hard for me to sometimes watch him do it his way and let it go. If I can’t let it go, then the default is predictably deference to my way of doing things/ decision making.

      The real question is whether you are willing to give up control and allow the decision making (and all its fallout) to happen. If you are a particular person, this can be impossible and your husband may be cowed from running the risk of criticism by venturing forth without your approval.

    • lawsuited :

      Disclaimer: My son is 6 months so I am not some veteran expert, but I have been married 8 years and my husband and I made the transition at 3 months to my husband being my son’s primary caregiver.

      1. Write it down – When I was with my son during the day, I knew his schedule best so when we transitioned to my husband staying with him during the day, I wrote down his schedule as it then was and other tips. This “download” of knowledge helped signal to my husband that he know had all the information I had, and I was no longer some special source of secret childcare knowledge.

      2. Delegate and mean it – I told my husband that he needed to go grocery shopping, and he asked me what baby food to buy. I said “figure it out, I always manage to”. He came back with different brands than I buy, but our son didn’t care.

      3. Ask genuine questions – I stay awake at night fretting over choosing a daycare provider and sleep-training methods (while my husband sleeps) but I don’t take on the whole responsibility of making decisions. I ask my husband “What do you think our top 3 daycare criteria should be?” or “what do you think we should do if the baby doesn’t stop crying after an hour?”. They are real questions that I am struggling with, not token questions to get my husband involved. He sees that and gives his best effort as we try to come up with solutions.

  30. Dry Cleaning :

    I have some pencil skirts in suiting material that I wear frequently 1 or 2 x per week, usually. I’m wondering how often I need to be dry cleaning these? Every certain number of wears? Every month? What do you do?

    • My method: change into “play clothes” as soon as I can after a workday ends, then when I take them off, hang them up outside my closet overnight to “air them out” (sounds so crude…!), then carefully and neatly hang them back up in my closet. By the third or fourth wear (depends on weather, honestly), usually, they are in need of the dry cleaner.

      • +1 for the method but I tend to go much longer than 3-4 wears between dry cleanings. As long as they aren’t smelly or don’t have obvious creases or misshaping, I keep going.

      • +1

        Upon the earlier to occur of (1) excessive wrinkling, (2) a spill, or (3) 4-5 wears (more like 3 wears in summer). I wear hose with skirts in cool months, which stretches the dry cleaning out by a week or two.

        • I was more of a 4-5 wears previously, but I now live in the SEUS and it’s still 85 out everyday, so fewer wears it is! Once/if cold weather/tights hit the catwalk of my life, stretching it out.

    • Is it ok to dry clean skirts separate from matching jackets? I’ve heard no – but if I wear only the skirt I don’t want to have to clean the jacket too!

      • Ideally you’re cleaning them together, but jackets are SO much more expensive to clean that I … ignore this rule.

        By the time the skirt or pants is noticeably different than the jacket, the whole [email protected] thing is likely falling out of style anyway.

      • You’ll want to clean them together so they “wear” evenly. The fabrics can start to look different if you only clean one piece.

      • I do it and I have not noticed an issue. I feel like suits are not made to hold up the same way they used to these days so for my standard BR suits, I don’t do this. By the time any color discrepancy comes up, the suit probably has other issues.

    • I don’t think there’s a set rule. I clean mine when it’s been a sweaty day, when I spill something (often) or when they just don’t look or smell fresh. I agree about hanging clothing up after wearing it to let it air out.

    • You’re going to think I’m gross but I don’t dry clean unless I have a spot. I’m not a sweaty person and I only wear my dry clean only items for work. If they look rumpled I steam them. I never drape them over a chair or whatever – I put them right back on the hanger when I’m done wearing them.

      I just don’t like how things smell when they come back from the cleaners, I’m not wild about the chemicals, and I’ve often had things like pencil skirts shrink slightly at the cleaners, to the point that the lining shows when wearing them.

      I hand wash absolutely everything I can. I haven’t had great luck washing lined wool skirts, but everything else gets a dunk.

      • +1

        I dry clean like once a year, or if there’s a spot I can’t get out with a fabric brush. Otherwise, I take them off and hang them up immediately when I get home and they get steamed when rumpled. Dry cleaning is expensive, hard on your clothes, and I just don’t find it necessary to do it that often.

    • Anonymous :

      I just use Dryel. They might get officially cleaned once or twice a year.

  31. Anonymous :

    I am so grateful for the person who posted the “I see .., I smell,… I hear…” advice for panic attacks. I felt one coming on today and I felt the switch when I focused my attention on seeing, smelling and hearing.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Right there with you. Hang in there.

    • Anonymous :

      Can someone either restate the advice or link me? I didn’t see it when posted but would like to.

      hang in there OP!

    • Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you; FOUR things you can touch around you; THREE things you hear; TWO things you can smell; ONE thing you can taste. Breath deeply and slowly. Tell yourself that you can get through this feeling, that you are safe, and you are ok.

  32. Careless Atty :

    A few days ago I e-filed an amended complaint only I uploaded the wrong document… I’ll have to tell the partner, opposing counsel, and the judge (and probably the client) about my careless error and seek leave to file a second amended complaint to upload the correct document. I’m cringing so hard.

    • It happens. Admit it right away and explain in the same breath how you’re going to fix it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes do it now and come back and tell us about it. The longer you wait the worse it will get.

      • Yep. My excellent secretary did something like this in her first week at our firm. She handled it so well and I was so impressed. She’s great, generally, but that experience did far more good for her standing here than bad! We all make mistakes.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you get the court to reject it off the docket and re-file the correct one?

      • Second this: Call clerk and see if they will reject it. If you are using the fed court system, then it is totally doable. But, act fast.

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