Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Eleanor Silk Blouse

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

This silk top from Joie looks gorgeous — I like that it’s a pullover so it’s no fuss, I love that the sleeves are pretty and decorative enough that you can wear this by itself, and I love the pleats at the neck and that it’s not a crewneck but leaves some space for a little necklace. I find this to be a more flattering neckline, at least on me. It’s not opaque, so I would definitely wear a camisole with this for work, either white or nude-for-you, (the eternal question of whether your camisole should be white or nude), especially your first time wearing it. It $198 and comes in sizes XS-L, in the pictured porcelain and also in black. It’s available at Neiman Marcus, Zappos and Amazon (free returns; not Prime). Eleanor Silk Blouse

Here’s a more affordable option and a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. I’m considering getting a leather sofa from Room & Board. The Jasper, to be specific. Can anyone speak to their leather quality?

    On a related note, do you find it important to have a sofa that’s at least as long as you are tall? We have a small-ish 1 bedroom place, and we’re looking at a 71″ couch, but DH is ~73″ tall. Not sure if that will matter, but also not looking to go much bigger.

    It’s my first time buying real furniture, so thanks for the help!

    • Anonymous :

      Do either of you plan to nap on it regularly? Personally, I’d be more concerned about it being the right size for the apartment and tall/short enough (top of seat cushion to the floor) to not be awkward to get out of. Since you are going to be sitting on it more often than you are lying down on it.

      Signed, long legged person who didn’t buy an IKEA couch because they were too short. And once only had a loveseat and napped on that just fine.

    • R&B quality has always been top notch in my experience. I have not bought a full leather couch from them, however. But I do have a large velvet sectional and it has held up beautifully in the 2 years I’ve had it.

      • I have never been disappointed in a single thing from Room & Board. We have a shorter leather couch and I love it. It smells like real leather and has worn very well. As far as the length, it would not be a problem at our house but we never fully recline on sofas. We sort of sit against one arm with a pillow and use the other arm as a foot rest if the length is too short to fully extend our legs.

    • Color clueless :

      My husband is 78″ tall and naps just fine on our couch – I don’t think it’s as tall as he is. It is really deep though. Not a problem for me since I curl up on it, but my shorter mom and grandmother don’t get on or off it easily. We don’t entertain much at our house though, so not a big deal for us.

    • As someone who just had to get rid of a relatively new couch when I moved into a new building, consider also getting a sectional if you plan to move in the next few years, and you want a long couch for a tall person. It pained me to sell my prior couch and pay for a new (sectional) one.

    • I bought my leather chesterfield style sofa in 1993 and I thought I would die from how expensive it was ($2000 on sale!) it was my first real furniture purchase and at this point it looks like it’s the only sofa I will ever buy. Go for a classic style and nice leather with good construction, and it will last you a lifetime (which is why it’s important to buy something you really, really love)

  2. sleep mask with snap closure? :

    I started sleeping with an eye mask and I find it super restful but the velcro closure keeps sticking in my hair. Anyone have a recommendation for a snap closure eye mask?

  3. That top is GORGEOUS.

    • Anonymous :

      +1, though I could do without the bow/tie in the back.

    • I have this top in black and navy (which it seems like they don’t make anymore). Buying two of them was definitely a splurge but they are absolute staples in my wardrobe. I wear them to work constantly and they are also beautiful to dress down for brunch or going out to dinner.

  4. Anonymous :

    If it’s $200 I expect at least it to be at least passably opaque… but I guess this is why I can’t buy flowy tops anymore these days.

    • For that much money it should be lined.

      • Shopaholic :

        +1 – this is beautiful but definitely needs to be lined.

        • Whereas I’d much rather wear a cami that a hot uncomfortable lined blouse.

          • Yeah, agree with this. I would not ruin a nice silk blouse with a polyester lining. I wear silk camis and would be happy to wear a nude cami with this.

            Or a black cami. I know that sounds weird but a stylist did this for me once. I was buying a sheer white top to wear with black pants/skirt, and she advised a black cami to create an unbroken line with the bottom half. Try it. It really does look sophisticated.

    • I am so tired of having to wear camisoles with everything.

    • This. I don’t understand clothes I guess, but what in the world makes this worth $200? I feel like you could get the exact same thing at Target for $25.

      • No you couldn’t. This is silk. You do t get silk for $25 at target.

        • Maybe not, but I expect there to be more than just fabric as a difference if you’re going high end. This isn’t responsibly-sourced otter fur or something, it’s silk. Quality of construction and wearability (like being lined or draping better or something) should also increase with the price.

          • Those design elements all cost time (and therefore money) to be executed correctly, so that’s going to increase the price.

            I would guess you probably have about $50-75 for the amount of fabric (silk) and then the expertise to deal with the fabric (it can be a slippery/fussy) and create those design elements reliably. Probably 3-5 hours of work for a single shirt (between cutting and sewing)?

            If you are concerned about it being too sheer in white (which I don’t think would be that bad with a nude-to-you bra and no cami required), then don’t buy in white.

          • Nah. There’s SO much polyester on the market, that anyone actually using breathable fabrics gets to charge a premium. I don’t like it, but it’s the truth. Also, non-opaque white isn’t really a thing.

          • +1 regarding non-opaque white. It’s not really that it’s sheer, it’s that you can’t wear high-contrast underneath. That’s just kind of how white fabric works, unless you want it thick, in which case you don’t get this drape.

            And now I totally want to make a version of this….

      • I commented above, but chiming in as someone who owns this top in black and navy…

        I don’t wear a camisole under mine – they are not sheer at all in the darker colors, though the fabric is quite delicate so I can see how the white one would be.

        Could you buy a top that looks sort of similar for $25 from Target? Probably, but it just won’t look as good. The silk makes these drape beautifully, and they are perfect to wear in warm weather because they are so light. I bought both tops ~2.5 years ago and wear them very regularly; they still look brand new when they come back from the cleaners.

        These tops would be ruined by being lined – I love that they are light and floaty.

        To me, this is the definition of an “investment piece” – yes, pricey to buy and dry clean, but beautiful and versatile, and I always feel polished and confident wearing it.

      • I sewed a silk top very similar to this, except in a patterned fabric. the fabric cost about 20 – 25 dollars (I don’t remember exactly, and it does not require a cami. If I were to choose a more sheer silk, I would line the front of the blouse only, in the same fabric, or with a lighter/ thinner weight silk to avoid a cami. This would add a higher cost to the blouse for sure.
        It took me a long time to make this design from silk — I could not tear out stitches or mess up or it would be apparent — I worked really slowly, and from cutting to sewing/ completing it took about five or six hours.

  5. What do you do if you feel like your husband’s job is destroying your sanity but he refuses to leave?

    I don’t know that counseling will solve this because we are excellent at communication. He understands that his job is detrimental to me and our kids (extensive, extensive travel away for months at a time with limited communication) but he refuses to switch to a ‘regular’ 9-5 job.

    His reasons are that he’s been working in this field for 15 years, he doesn’t want to deal with the ‘rat race’, and (this is the one that kills me) that he would be miserable in the type of job I want him to get. He would probably be taking a 30% pay cut, but we could afford it. I can do it all, I just don’t want to anymore. We’ve been living this life for years and now I just want to be normal. Our kids are at an age where they’re really noticing he’s gone and based on what he had said in the past, I really thought this is when he would switch. But… nope.

    I don’t know if he’s afraid or doesn’t want to leave his comfort zone or if this is truly absolutely the only job that will ever make him happy. I personally feel like even if he gets a job he’s indifferent to, it will overall be a massive improvement in our quality of life.

    I don’t see divorce as an option because I want to see more of him, not less of him.

    • I think counseling would help — or find a wise mentor who can help the two of you have a different conversation. You may be communicating with each other, but you’re not *hearing* each other in a way that makes both of you willing to change for each others’ sake.

      • Ugh. I guess we could do counseling, although I really truly don’t know what it will do unless the counselor says to him, ‘Quit your job.’

        100% honestly though: I really feel more and more like the only solution that will make me happy will be for him to switch jobs. He knows that. I know that.

        I’ve been the dutiful wife who takes care of the kids and the house while he’s at work for almost 10 years at this point. I feel like it’s run its course.

        • Ok, but he’s ignoring that, doesn’t care that you are unhappy, and doesn’t want to see his kids more. If you don’t want a divorce, having someone else help you communicate about what’s really happening might help.

        • What I learned from CBT marriage counseling:

          1. Take turns listening and repeating back/summarizing what your spouse is saying. “So what I hear you saying is that ______.” Then your spouse has a chance to say, “Exactly,” or, “No, that’s not quite it.” You don’t move on until your spouse says, “Exactly.”

          2. There was a question prompt sheet that we used to discuss our completely different positions. “My ideal resolution would be _____. The worst case scenario would be _____. My fear around this is _____. This goes against my beliefs/ethics because _____. I have experience with this in my past when _____.” It’s was a big help to see more of the though process WHY we were on different sides.

          For what it’s worth, if you two already communicate well I don’t think you NEED a counselor to play referee.

        • anonlawyer :

          get an au pair?

          That saved me. When my husband started a job that keeps him traveling a ton, i was going crazy. I work in biglaw but dont travel often, so all of the kids stuff in the morning, drop off, etc was falling to me, and on top of that, i couldnt go to the gym in the mornings, which is super helpful for my sanity. We had an after school sitter, but it didnt help in the morning or at night.

          Then we got an au pair. I could keep going to the gym (kids are sleeping after all), she helps with breakfast and the morning routine, she makes dinner, and if i have work stuff at night, she takes care of the kids. So i have my sanity back plus the time when my husband is home, everything is better because im not resentful. Sure, we are busy, but all of our time together is quality time.

          • Anon for this :

            I thought au pairs were maxed at 40 hrs/week. Do you just have a live in nanny?

    • Counseling because you may talk a lot but you aren’t actually fixing anything.

      He doesn’t want to see more of you, so yes I think divorce might be an option.

      • +1 the fact that y’all talk about this problem and are aware of it isn’t enough — you have to both be willing to take steps to fix problems when they arise, not just talk about them.

        Look I get his viewpoint. Looking for a job sucks. The fear that you might not find something, or that if you do it will be worse than your current job, is strong. He needs to either get over that or lose you.

    • I don’t see what other options there are if he refuses to consider a new job – you either have to accept it or divorce. Or maybe you and the kids can give up your lives and travel with him, if that is even possible.

      • Not an option. Dang. I was hoping there was some magical solution I had not yet considered.

        • Nope. Accept it or change it. Honestly I’d demand therapy because I’m not up for this life and our kids deserve to see their father. I know people do this, and I’m so impressed by all our military families who sacrifice for the rest of us and make it work but it’s not what I want for my life.

          • To clarify: Not an option was related to giving up lives and travelling with husband.

            I think I’m going to push therapy.

        • …this situation is basically how I ended up divorced. My ex-husband was supposed to quit his high-travel, high-stress (but high-income) job after we were married, since he’d only taken it to be able to live in the city where I was in law school. The plan was allegedly that after law school, once I started my firm job, he’d find a lower-travel job in our new post-law-school city. (Note, I wasn’t in biglaw but making six figures, so we could afford financially for him to leave his position.) His job made me miserable, but it seemed workable as a temporary situation.

          Four years later (during which he traveled about 250 days/year), we divorced. He complained about the job the entire time, but also wasn’t willing to give up the money and prestige. In the end, his job lasted several years longer than our marriage.

    • How about just saying to him “You say a new job like we’ve talked about before would make you miserable. Your current job is making me miserable. Can we block off some Saturday night to just sit down for like 3 hours and try to brainstorm a solution where neither of us has to be miserable?”

      You have good communication and a good relationship with him, so the only answer will come from talking it through together – not from us.

      • This is especially true since you say you “don’t know” whether it’s the only job that could make him happy, etc. You need to establish the right conditions where no one is stressed, rushing, wanting to watch a sports event, whatever – when you can take the time and go deep and start from a basis of “I love you and let’s figure it out” instead of “I’m at my breaking point, why don’t you do what I want you to?”

        • I’ve laid it out in the heat of the moment, in a relaxed, pre-planned manner.

          Our conversation goes like this:
          Me: reasonably lays out how I feel, stressing impact on kids.
          Him: Gets defensive, ‘some people actually LIKE their jobs’, eventually makes me feel bad

          We apologize and awkwardly change the subject.

          • You keep saying you communicate well, but this is not good communication! I really think therapy will help.

          • Honestly, the more you type, the more I think you need to have this talk: “You know that this is making me miserable, but you’re not willing to change it. I think we need to talk about why that is with a counselor, because either your job changes or your marriage does.”

          • I think his comment about him liking his job is besides the point – he likes it, that’s an established fact. He should at least acknowledge that it’s making you miserable. If you’re discussing it in a relaxed manner, don’t apologize about it. You’ve nothing to be sorry over and you’re not getting your feelings validated.

          • I take back my earlier comment about not needing a counselor to play referee. If he’s dismissive and shuts you down so that you’re apologizing for bringing it up, then you need a heavy on your side. You need the counselor to say, “Let’s stay on topic here. This isn’t about people liking their job–this is about you hearing her. Can you repeat back what she said?”

            It’s also completely okay to say, in those moments when he’s defensive and blocking you, “It feels like you’re digging in your heels on this. Can you tell me why?” He may explode that you’re trying to change him, take away what he loves, etc. But these are all things that need to go on the table so you can address them. You won’t move forward until he stops shutting the conversation down.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        The solution from anon at 10:18 seems like the only option to me. There are underlying facts and trends that you both need to face and acknowledge as true: he likes his job; you feel increasingly miserable; whatever the money stuff is; this is impacting the kids more; etc. The best possible solution is for you two to be on the *same side* looking at all those factors, and together finding something that works for the whole family. And yeah, if he’s shutting you down, maybe you do need a third party to help.

    • Is there something in between 9-5 and gone for months at a time, that would be a compromise? Can you guys identify key things he enjoys about the job- independence, excitement etc- and figure out other jobs that may provide some of that? When my husband quit his pilot career he went into a boating related job. It fulfilled a similar out and about, your own boss feel, but obviously not aviation-related (for example, he would not have very happy working a desk job with FAA).

      • I feel like I’ve identified these jobs and he has crushed them.

        • Okay, then. He has shown you where his priorities lie, and you are refusing to listen. When people show you who they are, believe them. I’m sure much lip service has been paid, by him, to the idea that he wishes things were different. But he has the power to make things different and he’s choosing not to do that, even though he knows it will make you happy. You and your children are less important to him than his job. He has shown you that through his actions. So, you can either live with that, or you can leave. Those are your only choices. Adults only change when and how they want to, and he doesn’t want to change. You’re wasting your time and his trying to change him.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Does the current job have a natural end game? A fully vested pension at 20 years? A move into management that doesn’t require travel? Or does he think he will do this forever? Are his skills transferable? If he’s a deep sea fisher or oil rig worker he might need some new skills to get an office job.

      • It has natural ‘exit points’ but at this point, he’s talking like it’s this until our kids are grown.

        Skills are extremely transferable.

        • At that point why bother quitting? He won’t know his kids or you.

        • Why would he choose that endpoint?

          How cruel…. to quit when the kids are gone… as if he is actively trying to avoid them

          • Anonymous :

            He’s choosing that endpoint because he’s spent his life being a _____ first and a husband and father second. It probably fits with his career and perhaps aging body to make a career change at that point. It’s not unheard of for people to prioritize an energizing and engaging career over what their spouse or children want or need. “Cat’s in the cradle…” comes to mind.

    • OP here. This has been very harsh, but very helpful.

      I’ve realized that I handle things so well from an external viewpoint that I think people don’t realize how I actually feel. It’s also helpful for me to not disclose the details of his job because people tend to get tied up in the positive elements of his job rather than the negatives.

      I also just can’t explain how hard it is to have such a wonderful, supportive partner in all aspects except this one big huge mega nuke of an issue.

      • That’s really common though in troubled marriages – that things seem OK except for this one major issue.

      • Is this Doctors Without Borders or something?

        • I was thinking national politics or celebrity/athlete/actor etc…

        • Anonymous :

          I assumed international development work or offshore oil and gas (but even there they can email) because why else is he not in contact more when he’s gone?

      • I was in a somewhat similar situation. My husband was career military. Gone a lot, out of touch, etc. We even did two years apart, with him stationed half a continent away. (As a disclaimer; I was NOT miserable, although I did miss him something fierce. I wanted him home, but had enough support to make it much easier for me.) He recently retired and took the 9-5 job.

        He’s miserable in his job. Completely, utterly, and totally miserable. I’d rather have him gone and know that he’s enjoying what he’s doing. He brings the misery home (yeah, we’re working on that) and frankly I think the relationship with the kids is worse. Trading one miserable spouse for another isn’t the answer.

      • Trapped in moderation, so I’ll try again.

        I was in a somewhat similar situation. My husband was career military. Gone a lot, out of touch, etc. We even did two years apart, with him stationed half a continent away. (One point of difference; I was NOT miserable, although I did miss him something fierce. I wanted him home, but had enough support to make it much easier for me.) He recently retired and took the 9-5 job.

        He’s miserable in his job. Completely, utterly, and totally miserable. I’d rather have him gone and know that he’s enjoying what he’s doing. He brings the misery home (yeah, we’re working on that) and frankly I think the relationship with the kids is worse. Trading one miserable spouse for another isn’t the answer.

    • I don’t know, I will dissent a little bit. You’re certainly entitled to divorce him if that’s what you want, but unless your husband promised to get out of the job at a certain point, I don’t really feel like he’s done anything wrong. You chose to marry this man and have children with him knowing what he does for a living and asking him to leave a career he loves is a huge ask and I understand why he’d push back.
      (From your post, I’m envisioning something like he’s in the military or a spy and taking the kind of stable 9-5 job you want would be a dramatic career change; if he’s a consultant or something like that and could do essentially the same job without the travel then I agree with everyone else).

      • But she’s also entitled to have needs. This used to work. It doesn’t now. She doesn’t just have to stay in an unhappy marriage because he has a meaningful job he doesn’t want to quit.

        • +1 000 000

        • The ‘You knew what you were getting into’ conversation is one I’m given a LOT. Especially by my in-laws. He’s not a spy, but yeah… it would be a huge change like you’re talking about.

          You’ve honed in on part of my guilt… although I swear he said to me ‘I plan on doing this until x’ and my sister, his father, and other people remember him saying this, he says he never said that or had any intention of doing this. The spouses of other people (mostly male) who are in his field are 95% SAHMs or very part-time and that’s not my style…. I get a lot of ‘stand by your man’ from them.

          • Special Ops? If you are indeed a military spouse, you may be stuck with what you’ve got if you don’t want to divorce. There are resources for helping you cope with it, but they’ll be on his side, since he’s serving his country. Was he not in this job or on track for it when you married?

          • That’s some nonsense people are giving you. Stop listening to busy bodies.

          • bluefield :

            SAHM or very part time have nothing to do with this. You want an active, engaged partner, someone who is there for the kids and for you, and you’re not getting it. Your personal work status has nothing to do with it. Even SAHMs don’t sign up for raising kids essentially by themselves.

        • Reverse the genders, would you say that? Career fulfillment is a big deal for everyone. In reading, it’s hard for me to understand why someone else’s job makes OP miserable aside from the time issue. I’d see if you can work on that in some way – more weekends away/quality time when you’re home together; find some relief from parenting alone (if you can live on a lower salary as you said, perhaps throw that extra you have now to child care so you can have an independent life outside of him and the kids); etc. I’d spend some time brainstorming in this direction because telling someone to quit their job that they love is a big big deal. I’d never acquiesce to that request from a spouse and I think it’s completely unreasonable ask.

          • Wait, you really can’t understand why someone might be unhappy by not seeing their partner for months at a time? She’s not complaining just that life is harder with one parent — she doesn’t WANT to be a single parent.

          • Anonymous :

            Frankly, this situation is the plot of countless movies and novels: She loves a …. sea captain, explorer, warrior, adventurer, iconoclast but wants him to be near her and the future children and be a farmer / shopkeeper / exec in her dad’s company. He can’t bear that, because then he loses who he is and what drives him. Drama ensues.

            Trouble is, OP is living the real-life version, in which there isn’t a good movie ending.

      • I agree that OP’s husband hasn’t done anything wrong. Nobody here is saying, “Oh, he’s a jerk, DTMFA.” But one person doing something wrong isn’t the only legitimate reason for divorce. If there’s such an impasse that having each person’s needs met is impossible, then divorce may be the only option going forward. Hopefully that’s not the case.

      • Sorry but I don’t buy the “you knew what you were getting into” argument.

        No relationship is the same 10 years in as it was at the beginning. You agree to try to negotiate with each other in good faith to keep the relationship healthy and happy as far as possible for both people. You can’t agree to “what you’re getting into” more specifically because that’s not a thing over the long term. Life happens. Things change. People change. Insisting that a thing that used to be true remain constant for your entire life/relationship is a recipe for unhappiness.

        • Eager Beaver :

          Yeah – I agree with this. I think this quote from Esther Perel is pretty relevant, “Most people today, for the sheer length we live together, have two or three marriages in their adult life, and some of us do it with the same person. For me, this is my fourth marriage with my husband and we have completely reorganized the structure of the relationship, the flavor, the complementarity.”

    • I agree that you may have to accept it. (Yeah, divorce is an option, but it’s highly unlikely your husband would change jobs in that case.) I think counseling could be helpful for your marriage, but I doubt a marriage counselor is going to tell your husband to quit his job, so don’t go into it hoping you get “your way.”

      Is there any change you can make that would make your husband’s job acceptable to you?

      Can you pay for help so you’re not “doing it all” while your husband is traveling? Pay for someone to pick up the kids and drive them to activities, for a housekeeper to clean and/or cook meals for you, etc. Obviously, this does not solve the problem of you and your kids missing your husband and noticing he’s gone. But would additional help make it more tolerable for you? You say your family can afford for him to take a 30% pay cut, so can you use some of the “extra” he’s making to help you out?

      Would you want to move near extended family so you have more help and your kids have more connection outside their immediate family?

      Can he control his travel schedule enough to be home at certain important times (birthdays or holidays)? Is there any promotion in sight where he travels less? Can he relax and work less when he is home? Even if the answer to all of these is “no,” are there any traditions you can create where you all get quality family time when he is home?

      Do you like your job? (Your description of your husband’s comment suggests you might not.) Would you want to change jobs or go part time or (blasphemy coming) even quit?

      • I’ve never been married, but I tend to agree with this.

      • +1

      • bluefield :

        IMO this completely misses the point. OP wants a partner. She wants someone to make and eat dinner with on a Tuesday night, she wants someone to watch TV with on Sunday mornings. This is not crazy. Most people do not get married so they can outsource all the housework and lead completely independent lives.

        • I agree – the OP’s wants for an engaged partner who is at home and attentive are not unreasonable or wrong. (In fact, they’re really common). But, from her description, she doesn’t have a partner who is interested in being at home more. If he’s not willing to change, then I don’t know what else there is for her to do but try to reduce the housework burdens on her and, perhaps, consider whether the marriage is still working.

      • Anonymous :

        I think this is great advice. Been there and wished I had done this!

    • The guy does not want to be home with you and the kids. He likes his job better than being home. It’s a choice. .

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I think that’s really unfair. Would you say a female big law lawyer doesn’t like to be home with her husband and kids and is making a choice? I wouldn’t. I’d say she values her career and is doing her best to make it work. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t miss her kids while at work and enjoy the time she spends with them when she is home.

        • Not Anon Above :

          I would definitely say a female big law lawyer in that situation is making a choice. That doesn’t mean “she values her career and is doing her best to make it work” isn’t also an applicable descriptor. Being a working mom vs SAHM is a choice. Being a working mom in a job with a high hours requirement vs. a lower hours requirement is a choice. It might not feel like a choice because of what one might have to give up (owning a home, vacations, new cars) but that doesn’t mean it’s not a choice.

          • bluefield :

            +1. If you chose a 60 hr a week job vs 40 hrs a week for the money, you are implicitly trading time with your family for money. Sure, you will be able to afford nicer things for your family, but then you are trading off nicer things for time spent. It’s fine. Men do it all the time and no one judges them, and I’m not judging the woman. People make choices. You have to own your choice though.

      • Yeah, I kinda agree. Also, you have to consider what he’d be like after you made him switch to that 9-5 job. Sounds like he’d be miserable b/c he didn’t choose to do it and no one likes something they didn’t choose. Sounds like he doesn’t want to do bathtime and weekend t-ball. Could be wrong, maybe he’ll switch and thank you for it. But I think it’s more likely that if he made the switch, he’d be resentful.

        Can you rearrange kid’s schedules so that they are going to school near his work so the kids can reasonably ask him to pick them up or attend their events and then it’ll be more a think between him and the kids directly?

        • This isn’t biglaw. The problem is that he is away for months at a time with no reliable way to even phone home.

          • So on the offchance that he IS special forces –

            My brother and his wife went through something similar. He went into the reserves and private sector…for all of a year before reenlisting for active duty SF. He is gone a lot, but everyone is much happier than when he was working “normal” hours escorting high profile individuals on overseas trips and feeling like a glorified babysitter. So you are absolutely right to feel your feelings, but i can totally see where your husband might be looking at the alternative and thinking ughhhh those jobs will suck.

    • Honestly I wouldn’t “make him” (not that you can) switch jobs. He WILL be miserable. Some people don’t have the personality for a 9-5 and they convince themselves they can handle it and then they are even more miserable (ask me how I know). It will lead to lifelong resentment. And this isn’t the kind of guy who values being at t-ball or whatever — he’d rather be traveling for work and get the 2 min update on t-ball when he calls home next week. Personally I see nothing wrong with that. Not everyone is cut out to be a doting parent cooing over a kid learning to tie his shoes. And he IS adding value to your family — he is earning the money, as much as people like to minimize that these days.

      • This is awful advice. She is currently miserable and should remain miserable because he *might* not like his new job?

    • Senior Attorney :

      This seems like classic Number Three to me. As in, there are two types of undesirable characteristics in a mate: 1. Dealbreakers, and 2. Things that are the price of admission. Number Three is “things that you can get them to change if you really explain often enough and passionately enough that you really can’t live with and that are making you miserable, even though the other person has no desire to change those things.”

      Problem is, there is no such thing as Number Three.

      I agree that if you two haven’t been to counseling, it’s definitely worth a shot. He needs to hear you say, in so many words, that you are miserable in this situation. But once you are sure he gets the message, you really do need to either find a way to live with it (I think SC has some great advice above), or leave the marriage. Because there is no such thing as Number Three.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Number 3’s do occur but they occur early on in the problem. So there are plenty of times partner one raises something, partner two says no, it comes up again, and maybe again, and then partner two changes. But, once heels are dug in and each person is entrenched in their positions, number 3 is very unlikely to happen. As currently written, it sounds like people never change for someone they care about and that isn’t true. But, they change early on, before it gets to ultimatum status in my experience.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Note that a characteristic of Number 3 is “the other person has no desire to change.” I think agree that people can and do change, but only if they are willing and able.

    • Thank you all for your input. Definitely a lot to consider.

      Just to answer a couple of overarching questions: the thing that changed is that our kids have started asking why Daddy will be missing Christmas or the dance recital or whatever. He is a very involved dad when he is home- he is Mr. Teeball, etc. It’s not an issue of household responsibilities- I have lots of support, it’s the actual ‘we need Dad home’ aspect which is harder to solve for.

      • Anonymous :

        IMO, they should be asking him that and he needs to answer it. No more making excuses for him to the kids to save face.

      • I think the issue here is less the actual problem of his job is making you miserable but another job would make him miserable, and more the fact that he’s not engaging you on how you guys can work together to make it better for you. I agree that you should go to counseling, and if his willingness to troubleshoot the problem doesn’t improve, well then you have a decision to make about the future of your relationship and family.

        • This. What is he making easier for you? You are enabling his life, and for that to be anything other than self-abegnation, he needs to make it worth it for you.

          He doesn’t get to take take take without giving you something back in return. And you can argue all you want, but if you’re miserable, whatever he’s giving you (on his own terms, according to his own schedule, and within his own preferences) isn’t enough to make this worth it for you. If that’s not bothering him enough to have problem-solving conversations about it, then your choices are to 1) “force” the conversations via a counselor and find a way to live with it until those accomplish something or 2) try a separation.

          Maybe he needs to understand that for him to be Mr Teeball every 3 months, you need Mr Available every week. (Or whatever you need.)

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Divorce won’t resolve her desire to not be a single parent. As she said, she wants to see more of him, not less. I’m not against divorce but I don’t see how this solves her problem unless she meets someone else who is then an involved step parent.

          • bluefield :

            Well, right now her chances of meeting that involved stepparent are 0. If she divorces, her life will not change that much and she will have a much higher chance of eventually having a partner who respects her needs.

          • Exactly. That’s how I’m feeling.

            It’s not an issue of getting things done or burden of childcare. I’ve made it through the baby and toddler stages with him doing this. It’s the aspect that I can’t easily fill: how do you deal with the fact that your spouse misses important things like funerals for loved ones. I am an adult, I can manage quite a bit. I don’t know that I want my kids to live the live we’re living now, but I don’t think living life where their dad and I are not married is in any way better.

            Also, to the person who suggested I should make their dad explain that to them: LOL. Have you ever dealt with a sobbing small child who is having nightmares and wants to know why Daddy can’t come in and snuggle and suggested, ‘Why sweet darling, might I suggest you send him an email so he can appropriately respond to your concerns?’ It is and has been a priority for me for them to feel safe, stable, and loved at home. My frustration with my spouse’s non-traditional career doesn’t disrupt that.

          • NP: Just playing devil’s advocate, sometimes a divorce makes an absent-parent step up their game.

        • Coach Laura :

          OP I’m a bit late but I’ve read all your posts I think. Here are my thoughts:

          -He seems locked into his position
          -Counseling may be the only way to get him to see other options
          -If he can open his mind to a new career that will allow him to spend time with his wife and kids, he has to find the new career himself.
          -Ask him to begin with the end in mind. Does he want his kids to grow up largely without him? Does he want to take the risk that you’ll grow apart over the next 10 years?
          -If he does change jobs it will only work if he thinks the benefits outweigh the costs. One of those benefits is your happiness which counseling may help him see.
          -I’ve known kids raised by parents absent by choice and he may not want to take those risks but he is denying those now.

          Hope this helps.

      • Without doing it so obviously that it will push him away, I would make sure to highlight all the great times he’s missing with you and your kids- so it’s more of a pull toward something wonderful that he’s missing, rather than pushing him out of a job he loves. Sounds like your kids are at a really fun interactive age- at least, let him know how much he is missing so he doesn’t regret it later.

  6. I just ordered a new LL Bean tote bag. I don’t love how they are so stiff when new. Is there a way to break them in quickly?

    • A boat n tote? Ie the canvas ones?

      Get it wet then leave it outside. Inititally it may feel a little stiff but it will loosen up. Something about the chemical sizing in the canvas? But these will be stiff for a while by their nature!

      • Yes sorry, a boat n tote canvas tote. I have a few older ones and love how broken in they are. I give them as gifts often and they are always so stiff out of the box. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • They are the best bags! Funny story: My parents had one particular bag fo–no lie–like 25/30 years and it was still in halfway decent shape. My dad was on the phone with someone at L.L. Bean about something else and when they asked him how long he hadbeen a customer, he mentioned the bag as a reference point. The customer service rep managed to surreptitiously get some details from him about the bag. About a week later a brand-new version of that bag showed up in the mail at my dads house. I have the old bag still! They have the absolute best customer service!

    • Yes! Soak it in the bathtub for a few hours. Squeeze out as much of the water as you can, and let it air dry.

  7. Color clueless :

    Is there a service/business that will give you 100% honest and informed feedback on what colors look good on you, specifically in regard to hair color? I feel like this should be my hair stylist, but while I really like my hair stylist (she does a great job with color blending, cuts, and I’ve been going to her for a long time) I don’t think I get real feedback from her. I think she’s just following my lead on what color I want to do now, as opposed to really giving recommendations. My natural hair color is a medium dull brown, which works well as a base for going darker or lighter. Right now I’m blonde, which I like, but I’d really like someone to objectively let me know whether it works or not or whether it’s highlighting my imperfect pale skin or whatever. Or is my long hair too long for my face shape? I look at color thermometers and face shape diagrams online and I just cannot put it together for myself. Basically, I want to have just the hair/makeup makeover portion of What Not to Wear. People who actually know what they’re talking about who will honestly tell me. Is this a thing?

    • Hmmm….I’ve heard things about fabric draping to find your best clothing colours (people on reddit’s female fashion advice board have had it done) but maybe someone who did this also advises on hair colours?

    • A style consultant maybe?

    • It’s from the 1980s and might work for why some wigs are so so so wrong on Elizabeth Jennings on The Americans, but maybe a library or Amazon has a copy of Color Me Beautiful?

      I’m a ruddy-skinned brunette and basically no version of bottle-blonde would work for my skin coloring except going all the way to bleached-out platinum blonde (at which point my hair would break and fall off and then be a nasty bunch of dark roots). But the book explains a lot about what works and why.

      The shorthand is that if you were blonde-ish as a child, some version of that color may actually work for you as an adult even if your hair has darkened.

      You need to find a live person in your city to talk to. And that person is either a makeup artist or hair colorist or some sort of stylist person who works at a boutique and just knows all of this stuff. It would probably help if you were in the SEUS. If you are in NYC, Whitmore House salon is a place I’ve always wanted to go to.

      • Color clueless :

        I’ll look up the book!

        I’m in Wisconsin, so no big cities nearby. However I travel a decent amount to Chicago and Minneapolis. And I’m moving at the end of this year to Florida with easy access to Orlando, Tampa and Miami. So if anyone has recommendations in any of those places I’d love them and would try and make appointments corresponding with when I’ll be there.

        I’m most confused about my coloring because while the a lot of quizzes put me as “cool” (like my veins are blue on the back of my arm; very pale skin that burns somewhat easily, lots of freckles), my facial skin is recovering from cystic acne scars. I just finished Accutane a couple months ago, but still have a lot of pink scarring to deal with. That really throws me off.

        • Color clueless :

          On reflection, I’m like 90% sure I’m cool toned, but would really really just like to go to a stylist who’s really good and say make me look great – whatever color, go.

          • What about a cool, light brown base with some highlights? If I had to guess, you might be going too blond. Your coloring sounds awfully similar to mine. I have some extra pinkness in my cheeks from rosacea but my “base” color is in the light, neutral family. I can pull off some blond just fine, but the all-over blond effect magnifies the pink/red tones.

            Totally get that you’re frustrated that your stylist can’t help you put all the pieces together. I think color charts and the like are a good starting point, but they can be really … two-dimensional, I guess? If I follow those color charts, I fall into the “summer” category. It gave me some ideas why some colors just don’t work for me, but some of the recommendations aren’t to my personal style or taste. It’s a lot of trial and error.

          • I think cool tones need to go with “ashy” hair colors. I have a hard time explaining what that means, but fortunately hair colors are labeled this way.

        • Can you wear rust? Or dusty rose?

          Do you look better in white, off-white, cream, or blush?

          For me, the only one of all these colors that I look good in is white. My blonde sister looks ok in off-white and pale pink, but not cream (to tannish?). I look like death with khaki or tan or rust or dusty rose near my face. It is awful.

          In Color Me Beautiful speak, I am a winter. [So are most of my friends of all races who are brunettes, but we each gravitate to different colors / families of colors. I love warm pale blues and turquoise but that might not float someone else’s boat. FWIW, all of my brunette friends who has blonde spells eventually realized that they never got quite the right all-over blonde and eventually made friends with doing better coloring (highlighting, etc) while maintaining a brown base shade.]

          In CMB speak, you may be more of a summer than a winter. My sister is a dark blonde summer who became light brown as an adult but gets the blonde highlights right and it totally works for her. Her skin is almost pink.

          • Hey not the OP but if I can wear dusty rose and off white but decidedly not rust, what does that mean..

        • I’m from Minneapolis and went through this whole color/cut/style/makeup process almost 4 years ago at a salon in Uptown that does this whole reinvention process – look up Revamp Salon. The salon owner has written books and done this process on national tv shows, etc and knows what he’s doing. It isn’t cheap, but I learned so much and it took years off my “look.” I’m 56 now and could easily pass for 10 years younger.

          • Another Revamp Salon person here!

            Christopher is well known for his makeovers! Mine was fine but honestly he dyed my hair nearly the exact color it already was so growing it out was just annoying.

          • Color clueless :

            This is EXACTLY what I was hoping for. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Absolutely. Invent Your Image. She’s beyond amazing and will consult via Skype. She’s worth every single penny and I completely changed the clothes I purchase, the makeup I wear, color of my hair, etc.

      inventyourimage [dot] com

    • I went to Lowe’s, got paint swatches, and held them up to my face and made my mom and sisters tell me what they liked best, and then I saved the paint swatches they liked best.

  8. fake coffee snob :

    I’m looking for advice on a work bag. Right now, I use a (big) Dagne Dover tote and I love it but I think I’m really hurting my shoulder/neck by carrying so much weight on one shoulder and it’s time to switch to a backpack. I see a wealth of “professional backpacks” out there that are fine for what I want, except for one thing – I love having my phone, wallet, and kindle so easily accessible on my commute (especially because so much of my professional clothing lacks sufficient pockets, ugh) and I don’t know how to access that when it’s on my back. Are there certain backpack styles that make that easier? Should I just use a lunch tote or something to hold those things accessibly? Do I just deal with taking the backpack off to get things? How do other backpack-wearers handle it?

    • I use a backpack and a travel pouch with a crossbody strap on my bus commute (from Orla Kiely). It’s nice to have everything I need on the bus close to hand and makes going to lunch/meetings super easy. The travel pouch is oiled canvas, small, and lightweight so I don’t feel like a bag lady.

    • I don’t do this, but I’ve seen woman carry a backpack with the larger items and then a small crossbody bag that barely fits the items you mentioned. I personally try not to carry a small purse into work, but you could always tuck it into your backpack before walking into the office.

    • My solution was something in between — a tote bag with a cross-body strap. I got the Midi bag from Daame, and I really like it. It is still going to hurt your shoulder if you stuff it to the gills though.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      I’ve seen, and done, the small crossbody thing. (Especially when I was still pumping and had 1043729 things to fit into my bag.) If not a small crossbody, what about a wristlet for the phone and metro card? A (ahem) fanny pack?

    • When I travel, I typically have a backpack and then a small cross-body purse that fits my phone and the other few items I want accessible. I didn’t like digging around to find things in my backpack and didn’t want to put my wallet in the outside pocket of the backpack because I thought it would be too easy for someone to take.

    • If I want to take stuff out of my backpack while I’m walking, I put it on my front to unzip it and grab what I want before switching it to my back. If I’m sitting, it’s on my lap, or if I’m standing in the subway, it goes on my front.

    • fake coffee snob :

      Hmmm, I hear the cross-body thing loud and clear. I don’t typically use a bag that size, so excuse my naivete…is it comfortable to wear in addition to a backpack? I’m worried it’ll be too many things to wrangle (I’m a messy, ADHD person in general who is a little too well-known for losing my ID in my office) or it’ll look a little unpolished (though my office is generally business casual and I’d like to think we aren’t in the business of policing people for reasonable, functional accessories).

      I usually carry my lunch in one of those ubiquitous lululemon bags and I’m thinking I might just start dropping my phone/ID/wallet/kindle in there for accessibility and see how that goes.

      • I’ve tried it with a sturdier crossbody and it didn’t work but my pouch has very thin straps so I don’t feel all tangled up or bulky. I used to use a tote but have a tendency to lose things that aren’t physically attached to me.

      • What are you carting back and forth that your lunch won’t fit in your giant tote or backpack? Step one to not looking like a bag lady is to streamline.

        • I mean, it’s not uncommon for women here to have to carry large files, laptops, binders, you name it in their totes. It’s not ideal of course–it’s not the most streamlined look–but it’s necessary.

        • fake coffee snob :

          Coming back a couple days later, but anyways – it’d fit, I just like to keep it separate in case of spills/leaks. Plus I like lunches that tend toward the bulky end – big square salads, sometimes bottled drinks, sometimes an ice pack, extra snacks, etc.

          Also, honestly, I am a bit of a bag lady. I don’t have any place to store stuff at work (I work on a client site without a dedicated space) so I carry a lot of “essentials” (for during- and after-work time) with me. Today it’s a t-shirt and flip flops to wear to the congressional baseball game, an extra cardigan for when the office gets cold, and a small pharmacy’s worth of allergy meds. Hence, switching to a backpack. I know streamlined works for lots of people, but for me, being prepared is the more comfortable option.

    • I would never wear only a backpack on a crowded waking or subway commute because it would be too easy to pickpocket my wallet or phone or both. I think the cross body plus backpack sounds like a great idea.

      In terms of backpacks, I have never liked the looks of “professional” backpacks. I think they try too hard and ultimately fail. I’d go for a real backpack looking backpack. Like a Herschel or a Fjallraven.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      How about the Hanover by Lo and Sons? Side pocket for phone, front pocket for wallet and Kindle. I find it pretty easy to swing a backpack off my arm and reach into the front pocket if it’s an easy zip, and it looks like this is.

  9. I’m a makeup/skincare fan in the UK and coming to Chicago tomorrow for a week – Sephora and Ulta are top of my list, I’d love recommendations of anywhere else I should go! And any thissite favourites I should get, especially from smaller or own brands the UK doesn’t have?

    • Try Walgreen’s as well! Great for drugstore stuff that Ulta doesn’t carry.

      Anything from Dr. Jart you’ve been wanting to try – I love the Ceramidin Cream
      Carol’s Daughter for amazing hair care products – more readily available here
      Drunk Elephant is super spendy but amazing
      Kate Somerville – Goat Milk cream, Sunscreen, Exfolikate

    • If you can get to a Target, that’s my favorite place to shop for drugstore makeup/skincare.

    • If you can order online & have them ship to your hotel: Jordan Samuel skincare https://jordansamuelskin.com/collections/all

      I’ve been blown away by the lipsticks from Marc Jacobs (Sephora), Gold Bond with CoQ for body lotion (drugstore), and Alpha Skincare 14% glycolic treatment (Ulta).

    • Chicago Bean Accounter :

      Try to go to the Sephora at Michigan & Ohio if it’s possible – it’s one of the biggest in the city and seems to carry more brands than many of the others. The Walgreens just a few blocks south of that Sephora on Michigan (in the Wrigley Building) is pretty big and has a good variety of drugstore stuff. I believe the Ulta right in the middle of those two stores has their grand opening late next week (if not there are other locations), and there is a Blue Mercury at Clark and Kinzie (about 85% sure on that intersection). Also, the Macy’s on State Street, while generally very crowded, has a huge beauty section and there’s another Sephora right across the street and a Target a block south.

      Enjoy Chicago – it’s a great city, and summer has officially arrived (the high is 90 today!).

      • Weirdly, though, the Sephora at Michigan and Ohio doesn’t carry Guerlain. For that, you’ve got to go to Water Tower!

  10. *women

    —coffee time

  11. Embarrassing issue. Whenever I eat potatoes that are roasted or pan fried, I get terrible, smelly gas. When I eat potato chips or deep fried potatoes like french fries, I have no issue.

    Clearly the solution is to stop eating roasted/pan fried potatoes but can someone explain WHY this happens? Is there anything I can do to alleviate the problem, short of not eating potatoes?

    • Maybe different types of oils are being used? Vegetable vs animal fat?

    • First Year Anon :

      Is it the potato skin?

    • It could be the specific oil used in roasting / pan fried vs. deep fried items. When you deep fry something you need to use a high heat oil (Corn / canola / peanut / coconut / avocado). Often with roasting or pan frying you are using olive oil due to its lower smoke point – could maybe be the issue.

      Also could potentially be the potatoes themselves. Potato chips / french fries are often made with some kind of reconstituted potato as opposed to an actual potato.

    • What happens when you eat a baked potato, without the skin? If that gives you gas, then it’s probably the potato itself, since you’d be consuming very little, if any, oil. If it doesn’t, then it’s probably the oils used in pan-frying or roasting, or something about the combination of the specific oil and potato.

    • It probably is the skin. Try taking Beano when eating them and see if that helps.

  12. So Kate Spade has a pink light sale today! Anyone with the cedar street small Hayden? What do you think about it?

  13. Any advice on where to start looking for furniture/design ideas? I have a good sense of the kind of thing I like, but for most of my life I’ve done the “finding a piece here and there” thing. Now we are buying a new house and I can actually afford to fill it with furniture potentially from a store, not thrifting. Where do you guys look for furniture? I am overwhelmed by the local furniture stores websites because everything looks really generic and dated to me. I don’t need coordinated sets of things but looking for ideas of where I can find mid-priced, decent quality furniture. So far I like Room and Board but not sure I can afford to go wild there.

    Very, very excited for Adult Furniture. Maybe before I turn 40.

    • Also, we have a toddler and a preteen so I’m not quite ready to break the bank, but looking forward to finding things that look more purposeful and coordinated.

    • If you like that R&B aesthetic, West Elm or CB2 might work too and are lower price point. I have found them to be lower quality than R&B though, so you get what you pay for.

    • Arhaus, Ethan Allen, and Basset all have pretty decently priced (esp. if you find it on sale) very classic, mostly well made things. I am EXTREMELY leery of Crate and Barrel/Pottery Barn for big pieces, I’ve not heard great things about their sofas/beds, but chairs and dining room tables seem sturdy enough. Do you have outlets near you? Restoration Hardware outlet and Lillian August outlets have some amazing deals. If you have enough things (and know your manufacturer) I’ve also placed orders online with the North Carolina furniture discounters and have had them truck stuff up (like, 2 full bedroom sets from Shermag, who sells furniture at macys).

    • I just bought a grown up couch from Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams that I am pretty psyched about. We were going back and forth between it and some stuff from R&B. Some of their stuff is a little too design-y for me, but they had a good sale recently and presumably will again, and their couches seem very good. As above, I also like West Elm and CB2 too, but their stuff is definitely not as high quality as R&B.

      • Should also clarify, West Elm/CB2’s quality is far from bad and pretty good value for the cost in my experience. They’re definitely a step up from Ikea.

    • Don’t forget about department stores. Dillards and Macy’s generally have good quality furniture at great price points.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I bought some nice pieces at Apt 2B. They had great customer service and I loved that their pieces were made right here in Los Angeles.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Scandinavian Designs (formerly Plummers) is great quality for a reasonable price point. Been buying large pieces there for over a decade.

    • Mischief Managed :

      Interior Define! Beautiful, high quality furniture made in Chicago. Free shipping, I think. Prices are very reasonable for the quality.

    • Article is a great option for West Elm-esque stuff at lower price points and MUCH cheaper delivery and shipping charges. I just bought my couch from there and it’s gorgeous.

    • I had to start over when I got a divorce and my husband left me with five items. (I said, I want these five items, you decide how to split the rest, and I came home to five items plus dust bunnies.)

      I went to Ethan Allen and worked with one of their designers. She worked with the five items I had (couch, desk, piano, dresser, vanity) and chose pieces that I needed right now, vs pieces I could add later, which I did.

      I still love my furniture and still have the vast majority of it, despite getting a new husband who came with his own (ugly) furniture and giant TV.

    • Thanks! These are a bunch of awesome options I didn’t know about before. Thank you all!

      Also, Anon at 2:11, sounds like you were right to DTMF.

  14. Interesting read that touches on a lot of frequent-flier discussion topics here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/10/opinion/sunday/stop-pretending-youre-not-rich.html

    Thoughts?

    • The private school thing has always rubbed me the wrong way. So true!

    • I thought it was an interesting piece. What always gets lost in these discussions is what “rich” means in different areas of the country. In my Midwest city, pricey private schools just aren’t a thing at all because they literally don’t exist. Private school means a parochial school affiliated with your church, for a couple of thousand dollars a year. The families who use them are in the minority, and there are so many scholarships available that it’s not an accurate marker of class, at all. But certainly, there are other ways that unacknowledged privilege shows up.

    • I think it’s an interesting piece.

      We live in an area with a complicated system of expensive private, less expensive parochial, charter, and public schools that’s very difficult to navigate and overwhelming. Right now, Kiddo is in daycare, and we’re a little ways away from thinking about school.

      We ran into a mom on the playground this weekend. She’s a teacher at a private school and has a 4-year-old. We talked about one of the local charter schools, which accepts children with the highest test scores. She told us that many parents pay for private tutoring for their 3-year-olds to prepare them for the testing to get them into that school. I had such a visceral negative reaction to this. It seems to tie in with another NYT article from last week about how college students are suffering from anxiety and depression in record numbers. But it also seems so disingenuous to get your child into one of the few free schools offering a good education by paying for private tutoring–there’s just such a concentration of wealth even in the institutions that are supposed to be open to everyone.

      • SC, my friends with kids have found somewhat differing ways to deal with the school issue here. Two or three or my friends have kids at Lycee. One has both 12 year olds in a charter school that has had some cons (mix of levels of students in one classroom can be disruptive) but mostly pros. Email me if you want names and contact info of some of my friends who have been through it.

        • Thanks. We’re actually in Jefferson, not Orleans, and a couple of years away from dealing with all this. It was just playground gossip. I guess I’m naive, but it surprised me that people send their 3-year-olds to private tutoring to get them into pre-K. DH thought you could frame it in a way that doesn’t create stress or pressure. I think even little kids are pretty intuitive, and I don’t see how they could not internalize the pressure and anxiety. I’m already against all the testing the private and charter schools do (but will likely subject my kid to it for pre-K), but tutoring just adds another layer to the crazy.

      • That is so awful and so completely unsurprising.

    • Anonymous :

      The article is 100% on point. Brits are open about their class system but Americans like to pretend it’s merit based.

    • Anonymous :

      As a single, childless woman living in a HCOL and high-tax area on closer to the $115k end of the top 20%, I do feel rich. I max out my 401k, invest a few grand per month, own a condo (and a ginormous mortgage), and take a few trips per year.

      I am very dependent on being able to earn a paycheck every two weeks and get health insurance through my employer. I invest a large chunk of my earnings because I have two former colleagues who have start-ups dedicated to creating AI that will render lawyers in my specialty obsolete before I’m 40. I know I’ll need a financial cushion to carry me through the beginning of my second career or early retirement.

      What I don’t have is influence. I vote but live in California where the Electoral College dilutes my vote. I donate to causes I care about but not enough to be able to affect the organizations’ plans. I am active in my HOA and attend city-level meetings affecting my neighborhood but the only thing that’s done is gotten me on my councilman’s mailing list. I don’t have children so schools are a moot point even though I do vote in favor of school funding whenever it’s on the ballot. I vote in favor of affordable housing even though that housing will be built close enough to my building to block my view and depress my property value. I vote in favor of public transit.

      I just don’t see how someone like me who is ostensibly in the top 20% is the villain.

      • I just re-read the piece and don’t see where he’s saying the top 20% are villians. He’s saying that being in the top 20% and failing to acknowledge the systematic advantages that got you there is problematic. Actually, he stops short of problematic and basically just says that the UK has a responsibility that comes with increased wealth, whereas the US does not.

        That said, I do question what exactly top 20%ers are supposed to do. If it’s systematic, then one person really can’t change much. Yes, the political parties should be doing more to help the bottom 80%ers, but those platforms aren’t determined by the 20%ers. They’re determined by the top 1%ers (on both sides).

        Like the school question up top – if your choice is a struggling public school or a top-tier charter school, it’s awfully disingenuous to suggest that anyone should choose the public school (again, if they had a choice). You might choose it for yourself, but almost no human would choose that for their kids. It’s awful, for sure, and of course you feel for the parents who don’t have that choice, but your one kid getting a not-great education isn’t going to change the system, and is only going to make them worse-off individually. There’s no advantage to NOT trying to get them in the charter school.

    • Great article. My husband and I are high earners in terms of the entire US but are not Bay Area rich. I send my kids to public high school.

  15. Graduations :

    A bunch of people are going to be out of office here this week because the local high school graduations are on a weekday. That seems so unfair to working parents and relatives. All three of my graduations (high school, under grad, law school) were on a weekend. Is this the new norm? Maybe the city I relocated to is just weird. I thought the family might just want the week off to celebrate the graduation but other people are taking Tuesday off to attend a family member’s graduation. The actual graduation is on a Tuesday. So weird! Another coworker’s daughter’s graduation was on a Thursday. The only reason I can think of is they don’t have a large enough space at the school to host the graduation so they are renting an arena that can’t give up weekend time.

    • I think mine might of been on a weekday, possibly a Friday? But it was in the evening, so if people were missing work it was a very very small amount of time off for first shift. But I definitely agree with you: seems like a strange new thing at least to me!

    • Not unusual to me at all. My college and law school both had school-specific ceremonies on Sunday and then the university-wide commencement on Monday. My high school graduation was maybe Thursday evening?

    • My undergrad and law school graduations were both on a Friday (more than a decade ago) and so is the local high school’s graduation. Tuesday seems weird though, especially for universities, where family members are likely flying in from far away.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Our city has public high school graduations on weekdays because all the public high schools in the county use the convention center for graduation (presumably the only space large enough to hold everyone?). They stagger them basically one every four hours Friday-Wednesday. So you can get lucky and have it on the weekend, or at 8 pm on a weekday, but a lot are morning/afternoon of weekdays. I agree it’s annoying.

      • Yeah, my nephews’ graduations were one on a Friday and one on a Saturday (same school) because they use that huge arena in Winthrop, SC. In N.O., the college graduations are almost all at the Dome, so the schools have to stagger dates.

    • I think the last sentence nails it. I went to a private high school, and my graduation was on a Saturday, in the school gym, with parents in the bleachers. My bf at the time went to a public school, and his graduation was in an arena on a weekday (evening, IIRC). The kids sat on the floor of the arena, and the family members sat in the seats. It’s not just that you can’t necessarily rent it out on the weekend, but there were probably a dozen graduations in that arena throughout the week.

    • I believe my high school graduation was on a weekday. It was a half day for everyone, and graduation was in the evening. Our fields were usually used for some sporting event or another during the weekends; parking would become an issue if graduation were on the weekend.

      Law school graduation was in the morning on a Monday, of all days, due to the sheer number of graduations that happen in the city. Monday was supposedly the most convenient. It was a pain for my parents who had to drive up during the weekend, take off Monday, and then leave shortly after a graduation lunch. Add in regular Monday morning traffic and it was annoying for everyone.

    • The people with the real work inflexibility (think hourly, retail, etc.) are also possibly going to be scheduled on the weekends, so this is definitely a case where you can’t please everybody.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      My law school graduation was on a Tuesday night (smack during rush hour downtown….) because the school screwed up and didn’t schedule the space early enough. My parents took M/T/W off of work and it was ridiculous all around.

    • Anomnibus :

      My high school definitely had (and still has, from what I see on FB) graduation on a Saturday, but there was some sort of awards ceremony during a weekday, and I think middle school had its “moving up” ceremony on a school day as well. My ex did graduate during the week I think, but it was in the evening.

      It is probably a space issue, not being able to use the gym when they want it and/or needing to rent a space that fills up, and charges more on weekends.

  16. Curious what people’s thoughts are on the following situation. I am planning a trip with a very good friend. We both have enough airline miles to pay for our tickets. I also have enough credit card points to pay for our entire hotel stay, and I’d like to use them on this. Obvi then I’m contirbuting more to the trip than her. I definitely in no way want her to pay me cash for half of either the cost of the hotel or the value of the points. I think I want her to pay for something though, since having spent my points on this they won’t be available to me for my flight next time. Was thinking of asking her to cover all of the in City travel- cabs uber subway etc? Probably works out to $400 per person, one night of the hotel is $300. Is that unreasonable? We are very close, I’m sure we will figure something out that we are both happy with, just curious what others would do!

    • I think that sounds super fair but I also think you could basically put exactly what you wrote here into an email and ask her her thoughts. If you are close, you’re just telling her what your thinking is and inviting her to weigh in.

      • Oh I absolutely will! TBH though she’s going to try and insist on just paying me cash for half the stay, and I think that’s completely unnecessary :)

        • What’s the difference between her paying you cash for half the stay and you asking her to pay for cabs…?

          • A thousand dollars. I don’t want her to get no benefit from this. I’m not putting cash into the hotel and I’m not going to ask her to either!

          • Ah, I see — from your subsequent answers I now understand that the value of the hotel is significantly more than the city travel. Wasn’t clear from your original post.

    • I don’t think it’s unreasonable, but I could see it becoming sticky because city travel is an unknown cost, and it might cause friction while you’re on the trip if she wants to use the subway and you want to Uber somewhere and the fact that she’s covering the transit costs could make things awkward. I might be in the minority, but if a friend was covering our hotel on points, I’d rather she just ask me to contribute $X to the hotel costs or cover Y number of nights of the hotel, because then it would be clear cut.

    • Why not use Splitwise? You can add the value of your points as the cost of the hotel and it will even everything out at the end. This is what I do when I travel with friends (including w/ hotel point use).

      • Because I don’t want to charge her half the cost of the hotel.

        But sounds like people would prefer a fixed amount so maybe I’ll just do that, and set it at way less than half the hotel.

        • The point I was trying to make is you can adjust the value of the hotel in Splitwise. You want her to pay something (paying for subways, etc). If you enter whatever value you think is fair for the hotel in Splitwise, it avoids the issues others raised above (what if in-city travel costs 2x as much as you thought? what if it costs 0.5x as much as you thought? what if she wants to take the subway everywhere to pay less?).

          • Ah gotcha. Perfect solution thanks! It’s seven nights hotel stay so adds up quickly.

        • Anonattorney :

          How many nights is your stay? I can’t tell from your post above.

        • Moonstone :

          In a similar situation once, my friend used points and we agreed that I would bring an envelope of cash (maybe $350?) for the trip and we used that cash to pay for cab fares, cheap lunches, small admission fees — anything we were doing together. You are still subsidizing her trip because of course she would be paying half of those expenses anyway. But we liked it because there was less fumbling with credit cards and splitting every little thing.

        • The only reason it doesn’t seem quite fair to me is that for all you know, she would have preferred to stay at a different hotel – you chose the hotel because it would cost you nothing.

  17. Anyone tried Hubble contacts? It’s a subscription for daily lenses. My eyes keep getting drier it seems and wearing monthlies has been an issue. Never tried dailies before but the price is right with this Hubble brand.

    • I have – they only work as backup contacts for me – I get just as dry eyes as I did with monthly lenses. They are not the same quality as regular dailies and I had to switch back to the name brand daily lenses. Worth a shot though, I believe I got a trial month free.

    • Using Peroxiclear overnight has helped me tolerate my bi-weeklies a lot better.

    • anon a mouse :

      Not Hubble, but I switched to Focus Total 1 dailies when my eyes were really dry and it’s made a huge difference. They’re made from some magical substance that retains moisture better (at least for me). The cost is similar to what I’m seeing on Hubble, but you have to buy a 3-month supply at once.

    • Never tried Hubble, but I have serious dry eye (to the point where I can’t get Lasik) and dailies are the only contacts I can wear anymore.

  18. Coping with Anxiety :

    An episode on how mindfullness and meditation can help with coping with anxiety for kids, teenagers, adults by Dr. Ann Marie Albano from the podcast called “Untangled”. Link below

  19. Recs for things to do and places to eat in Portland ME? We will have a car.

    • Oops, posted before I was ready. We will have a car, but not interested in venturing up the coast or to places like Kennebunkport as I’ve done the coastal drive many times. We really want to focus on the city of Portland itself this time.

    • Miyake and Pai Men Miyake for Japanese food and ramen respectively. Chocolate croissants at Standard Baking Co if you can get there before 10AM-ish.

  20. I’m sure I’m the only one but I wish we’d go back to the days where pregnancy was a bit taboo even in America. Instead I have a pregnant “friend” in the office and she’s talking about v vs c deliveries; of course is anti formula; and thinks nothing of wearing firm fitting dresses at 9 months pregnant. Meanwhile even the older men are reminiscing with her re – oh when my wife had our son 20 yrs ago . . . . Gross.

    • I mean, at 9 months, isn’t everything (short of a caftan) form-fitting?

    • Pregnant Anon :

      In some ways, I’m with you. In others ways, it’s extremely hard to find anything that’s not form-fitting at 9 months pregnant. It’s hard for me at 6 months pregnant! The things that are flow-y and appropriate now will not be in 3 more months, but I’m also not running around talking about my delivery at work so it sounds like it’s a combination of things with this person. And the fact that there are sub-sections within maternity clothes called “bodycon dresses” are beyond me. Bodycon and maternity should not be used in the same sentence.

      • Had to look up what that was – that’s exactly what she’s wearing. Sorry but I don’t need to see exactly how low you’re carrying bc I’m not your dr.

        • Pregnant Anon :

          Fair enough. And at this point, talking about formula vs. BF is divisive and might as well be the same as talking politics in the office – please, don’t.

          • Agreed.

            Also, at some point, you can’t sit politely. Like your legs have to be out at a 45-degree angle (or larger). So maybe don’t wear a short maternity skirt — use a maxi skirt or just wear pants. No one needs to see your underwear.

    • Anonattorney :

      Blegh to this post. I love pregnancy. I love form fitting dresses on women who are 9 months pregnant. I’m sorry you find this awesome miracle of science so distasteful.

      • Anonymous :

        There have been babies since Adam and Eve. Get over it – I don’t need to share in the miracle.

        • Anonymous :

          I mean, I get not wanting to hear about v vs. c deliveries or the specifics of breast-feeding, but a pregnant woman is allowed to show off her body just as much as anyone else. It’s not something she needs to hide or be ashamed of. It’s REALLY hard to dress professionally when you’re pregnant and your body is changing all the time, so if her outfit is a little too tight or whatever, cut her some slack and assume that she put on a couple of pounds suddenly and didn’t fit into anything this morning.

        • Technically, there have been babies since humans began evolving as a separate species. If you don’t find them to be miraculous, that’s cool, just don’t have any.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            If you don’t find babies miraculous, don’t have any? What a terrible comment.

      • If I’m being honest, I looked frikkin amazing in dresses at 8 month pregnant. got so many compliments.

        Completely agree that the talk of pregnancy can be overkill. I really don’t want to hear about a lot of very personal details that some people willingly share.

    • I didn’t like it as table talk. Dude — I’m eating! Don’t talk about how dilated you are. Or anything like that. Or I will start talking tampons and stuff.

      FWIW, I have had children. I will spare you the details b/c so many of you are probably eating at your desk now. :)

      A lot of it is like listening to all of the 1Ls on the Metro. It must be so nice to know All of the Things about All of the Things! And those people are always around to share their knowledge with the rest of us.

    • Why does it bother you so much?

    • I think I just wish we generally had less sharing as a culture w/r/t some topics. Your friend sounds like she probably overshares in other areas of her life. I work with someone who is way too comfortable discussing foods that will upset his stomach and how much time he will spend in the bathroom after eating X, Y or Z.

    • It sounds like you’re in B eating crackers phase with this woman, not that you have any legit gripes about pregnancy. You have a problem with her body and the very fact the she exists as a pregnant woman. Would you like all visibly pregnant woman to just stay at home until they deliver their babies?

    • OK, I agree that formula feeding and delivery are not great topics for the workplace, but your comment about how she dresses seems really mean-spirited. Pregnancy, and pregnant bodies, are part of life. Sorry if it offends your delicate sensibilities to see how a pregnant woman really looks, but I sure as heck don’t want to go back to the days when women had to hide themselves and/or pretend that pregnancy didn’t exist.

      • Marshmallow :

        +1

      • I think that just like non-pregnant people can dress inappropriately, the same applies to pregnant people.

        Some of that is understandable (maybe it was 70 degrees last week and you’re dying now that it is 90 degrees and not sure if you should go shopping b/c the baby is due any minute). Some not. I’ve seen shirts that were OK first trimester be work with stomach / belly hanging down below. And things so tight you could tell that someone’s belly button had popped up like a turkey timer. And more cleavage than I’ve seen on dancers in Vegas. Being pregnant may get some rules relaxed (dress + jacket instead of a suit), but it is not a 9-month get out of fashion jail free card, either.

        I have seen some awfully inappropriate maternity wear worn in the office and some people who dressed prefectly appropriately regardless of the gestational point they are at.

        • It’s really freaking hard to dress professionally while pregnant, and really freaking expensive, and if you are anything unique (tall size, plus size), it’s even harder, so err on the side of giving someone an f’ing break.

      • Yeah, I think this is the right line. If pregnancy and kids are a big part of my life, it’s weird and sexist to shame me out of talking about them when it is office chit chat time. I definitely don’t think it’s gross for older parents to be reminiscing with a pregnant coworker about when their kids were born. That said, it’s poor judgment to talk at work about “political” stuff like breast vs. bottle and hygiene/medical matters.

      • Word. Because what women need right now is more policing of their bodies from the general public. Also–to the OP–you’re probably a tr0ll anyway. (Signed, an 8-month pregnant lady who doesn’t give a damn about what you think.)

      • anonlawyer :

        +1000

    • Your post is way too critical of something that has nothing to do with you. You don’t get to complain about other people having babies. If it bothers you, reevaluate yourself.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not critical of people having babies – have dozens of them if you want. I just don’t want to see it or hear about it ever.

        • You must have a huge problem moving about in the world on a day-to-day basis

        • Anonymous :

          yeah…..so that’s a you problem not a them problem. Not wanting to get the play by play on the birth plan is one thing, not being able to tolerate looking at a pregnant lady unless she’s wearing a caftan is something you’re going to have to deal with.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      On the flip side, as a woman who has had children, I got a lot of uncomfortable, probing questions about my pregnancy and decisions in infant care. I really prefer to keep these topics private, but I felt I was being rude by doing so.

      • Anonymous :

        Right? Like getting asked by someone (female) on the management committee if I was having more kids. Or others asking if I was nursing? Or how I delivered (and some poor guy who thinks that “naturally” and v*ginally are the same thing)?

        The stork brings the babies. Why do you feel that you need more details?

    • You sound like an awful, bitter person.

    • I am a bit amused by her ability to get even older men engaged in these topica! She is a talent!
      I have no kids and never been pregnant myself, but I have seen a fair share of coworkers pregnant.
      I understand that pregnancy means you may feel extremely uncomfortable in your body and frustrated from how big you are, how sweaty you get during summer and how nothing really fits anymore. So I am extra considerate and generous when it comes to pregnancy fashion. I know my colleagues try their best and also try to keep things modest.
      I have high tolerancy for pregnancy talk with clear boundaries and I am not shy to clarify them to coworkers (eg please don’t talk about xyz when I am around, it makes me feel xyz). In general, I am all happy to listen to majority of their talk as this is an important period of their lives and I want them to feel good and supported.
      In your case, I would talk to the person in private (in a casual and friendly tone) and share where the limits are for you. In my experience, people have better things to do than to spite you. And if not, well, you only have one month to go ;)

  21. My husband has changed over the past year or so – he’s more introverted, he rarely socializes, makes no plans to leave the house over the weekend, whether with the kids or on his own, and has stopped exercising. We have two kids, 1 and 4, and some friends but no family where we live. We both work full-time plus hours, but we mostly get our weekends to ourselves (i.e., not working). That said, despite that flexibility and free time all weekend, my husband does not go out. If we socialize at all over the weekend it is because I made plans. If the kids leave the house on the weekends (to go to the park or museum or go on a playdate), it is because I initiated it. He’s more than happy to stay at home with the kids and play with them and let me do things on my own (exercise, etc.), but he never takes the girls out. It not only drives me nuts, but it also negatively affects him and me. His lack of socializing causes him to place a bigger burden on me. I have to be his everything because he doesn’t really have friends or have any outlet at all (like exercising). I find it exhausting and unfair. And he was not always like this. A few things that I would rather not go into happened that contributed to him retreating from certain friends but I am frustrated because I feel like he has given up. I have tried to talk to him about it and he says his life feels full and he’ll add more when he is ready. What else can I do? I am already stretched thin with work, 2 kids, and taking care of myself.

    • Ask him to get therapy for his depression or go to couples therapy with you because this does not work for you.

      • +1

        This sudden change sounds like depression.

        Is he overwhelmed at work?

        • He was very busy at work but it has slowed down in the past few months and is now steady state. But he is frustrated with work. He doesn’t feel appreciate for the time and effort he puts in. I definitely think that has something to do with it.
          He has also said to me that he feels “at capacity” right now in our life with the kids, a dog, a house, and two working parents.
          Again, I’m not trying to pick on him and I truly appreciated others’ point of view that I shouldn’t bug him and this is his choice and how he wants to live his life right now, but as Frozen Peach mentioned below, it can be exhausting and draining on me if he’s solely relying on me for adult interaction outside of work.

    • Is he more introverted than usual? Or more introverted than you? I’m more introverted than my husband and I’m perfectly happy to hang out at home all weekend in my pyjamas with the kids. Making muffins, painting pictures, building puzzles, playing dress-up are all the lazy weekend things that I never get a chance to do all week when I’m working. I might venture out for a trip to the grocery store or the playground but otherwise being home and playing with the kids truly is my happy place.

    • Sounds like he’s lost his friend group. Not so easy to make friends when you’re middle aged – as guys are hanging out with their brothers in law or their college BFF who happens to live in the same town. For most parents the only chance at making friends is by meeting kids’ friends’ parents – yet there is a whole lot of fakeness in that that he may not want to deal with; it doesn’t really result in “real” friends – it just results in guys to talk to on the sidelines at soccer and then when the season is over and everyone is on new teams next yr, you never hear from them again.

    • Anon in NYC :

      It sounds like he’s content with a more quiet life these days. Does he give you a hard time if you organize a trip to the park / museum / playdate? I don’t think it’s fair that you’re his everything (that sounds really tough), but it’s also not clear to me that he’s depressed or anything simply because he doesn’t really leave the house.

      Perhaps it would be helpful to tell him that on Saturday mornings you expect him to take the kids to the playground or the library (or somewhere) for an hour by himself, while you get time to yourself. It becomes a standing outing. He doesn’t have to socialize with other adults, but it relieves some of the burden on you.

    • I could be your husband, minus the part about relying on my DH to be my everything. (At least I don’t think I’m doing this?)

      I think it’s fair to tell him when you need an emotional break, but otherwise, I’d back off a little. Working full-time and having little kids is a huge energy drain. If someone is on the introverted side already, that combination can make them even more so. Making new friends takes time and energy that he may not have. And making a new friend group in your thirties doesn’t magically happen overnight. Completely agree with anon @ 11:45 that there is a whole lot of fakeness, which is further energy draining. He’s telling you, full stop, that he is okay with not being more social and he’ll pick it back up later.

      I think it’s fair to ask him to take your kids out on the weekend, but it sounds like he’s giving you time and space to do your own thing if you want to go out — so I’m somewhat confused about that aspect of the problem. You have an outlet and he’s not standing in your way.

      I guess I’d try to articulate how he’s putting the burden on you. Is he emotionally unloading on you too much? Or are you forcing yourself to fill the void and take care of him, when he seems content with a quieter life right now? I think you need to be very specific about what feels like a burden before you can work on fixing it. I can tell you that when my DH badgers me to visit friends or exercise more, when I’m already feeling tired and burdened myself, it doesn’t go over very well.

      • +1 to this. It’s not clear from your post why his not wanting to socialize or do the work of making new friends is a burden to you. It’s possible that he doesn’t understand it either. Maybe you could get some concrete examples and ask for the solution you want? FWIW, if someone was at me to go more places and do more thing and make more friends, I wouldn’t respond well.

      • These replies are refreshing and eye-opening and helping me see it from his perspective. I guess what I am struggling with is that if he’s not socializing anymore or exercising anymore (and he used to do both of those things regularly when we were married), and without those 2 things, he doesn’t have an outlet for his emotions, stress, frustrations, etc. And sometimes I feel like I become that outlet or, in on occasion, become the target of a lack of that outlet (for example, he’ll blow up out of nowhere and get super angry).
        I like the idea of getting a standing “date” on the calendar for Saturday mornings for him to take the kids out. I also appreciate the sentence in this reply that he’s telling me “full stop” that this is not the time for him.
        I struggle with whether I think he is depressed or simply he’s just tired and we’re at an exhausting period in our lives. And it is true, making new friends is exhausting. But, we socialized over the weekend, and I actually saw/noticed a post-socialization uptick in his personality. He was in a fantastic mood for hours afterward. So, I feel like there is value there.

        • It’s totally fair to ask him not to unload his general frustrations in his direction. I’m guilty of that as well. But it is not up to you to decide how he manages his time or his stress, and if you take that on, it’s only going to frustrate you both. Tell him that you noticed he seemed happier after the weekend get-together — but leave it there. Your husband is an adult, and probably a tired one at that. Do not take on the role of social organizer, which he hasn’t asked for, and then be resentful of how much work it’s causing you.

          Also, ask HIM what he needs to feel relaxed. Getting out of the house may not do it for him. What if what he really wants is an hour or two at home to veg in peace? I sympathize with you and hope I’m not beating you up too much. I honestly didn’t realize how introverted I was, until I had little kids and a full-time job. Your husband might be grappling with this personality shift, too, and may be completely relearning how to recharge.

          • +1

            What he needs to relax may change. My DH hated treadmills, would only run outside pre-kids. Post-kids? We own a treadmill. He runs at night while watching hockey game replays because he wants to spend all day on the weekends with the kids. I switched from a Monday night yoga class to a Saturday morning one. Post-kids relaxation changes and it can take a while to find the right fit.

        • Does HE think he’s depressed? Stressed? Tired? What’s his take on what’s going on?

    • Why does it matter if he wants to stay in on weekends? You don’t have to put a burden on yourself to find things for him to do. It’s a problem only to you. I would back off and not plan anything for at least a few months. Let him relax.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Just wanted to add a different perspective.

      DH and I are both homebodies and when we moved to a city where he didn’t have any friends and I did, this was a real problem for us (still is, to a degree). I don’t care how introverted you are or how much you enjoy spending time at home, it is NOT fair to a spouse to make them function as 100% of your non-work adult social life. It puts way, way too much pressure on that relationship. No one person can be all things to another person. It isn’t that I want space from my husband, or that I don’t enjoy spending time with him. It’s that I recognize the value and stimulation that my friends and social life bring back to our marriage, our conversations, our perspectives, etc– and I wish that my husband had that too– selfishly. It’s exhausting to always be the one making all social plans, and it makes the relationship feel unbalanced. It also gets boring for the spouse who hasn’t decided to become a hermit. When you go spend time with friends or doing something social, you come back with something to talk about!

      Think about it this way– would you date or marry a guy who had no friends or social life outside of going on dates with you? Beyond potential red flags for other issues– let’s say you have a clean bill of health and no major personality or other concerns– wouldn’t that, in and of itself, cause you concern? Why?

      Anyway, OP, just wanted to say you are NOT alone and we should force our husbands to go on a friend date together.

      • Thanks, Frozen Peach. I appreciate the understanding – I don’t want to be 100% of my husband’s non-work adult social life. Right now, I am.
        The replies have been so interesting, though, because it is causing me to really think about why it bothers me so much. He should be entitled to relax however he sees fit, and I certainly realize that post-kids, relaxation is very different.

        • Frozen Peach :

          I had great success talking about my own efforts to make new friends and saying things like “no one person can be all things to all people– that’s why we have friends!”

          Does he have old friends from high school or college that you could invite for a visit? That might also jumpstart as a reminder that hey, we have friends because they are fun!

          I’ve also accepted that I am going to be making a lot of plans that include both of us. It’s hard and it definitely strains the relationship. I want my spouse to have someone else to talk to about his workout, for example…

  22. Alas, the dry spell continues. BUT there is hope. I matched with 3 guys on bumble Thurs night/friday am and was chatting with them. I don’t normally “go out” but was in the mood for it Friday night so a girlfriend of mine and I bopped around our city. And just so happens that I bumped into one of the 3 at our last stop! The flirtations continue so … we’ll see… lol

  23. The Relationship Test :

    Going to Ikea after work today for the first time with the SO. Tips for avoiding 30 Rock level meltdowns? We’re going because he needs an actual bedframe- the mattress on the floor isn’t cutting it anymore- and a nightstand.

    • Bring a power bar and bottle of water so you don’t get hangry!

    • Godspeed. I hate going to IKEA.

    • Know exactly what you want before you go in. IKEA drained me when I went there the first (and only) time. I didn’t realize you had to go through the whole store to get to the checkout, even if you wanted one or two things.

      Snacks and water are excellent ideas.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        There are usually shortcuts you can take on the map that skip by entire sections.

      • I got lost my first time and was within an inch of lying down on one of the beds to take a nap. Thirst drove me onwards.

    • Going to Ikea is not a big deal. If you can’t find something you’re looking for, ask a staff member. There are little maps on the wall that show where the cut throughs are, if you don’t want to talk to anyone and can’t find your way.

    • Definitely make sure you’re rested, hydrated and fed, and wearing comfortable shoes. You can do this!

    • Go in through the exit – there’s always a cafe right by the exit, and you can get ice-cream cones to take with you into the store. For us, doing this makes it more fun and also avoids some of the ‘hangry’ problems that can come with Ikea. Also, figure out the most direct route to the bed / nightstand area and go directly there.

      • What a great idea! But I love IKEA in general, and my SO and I used to go for fun sometimes when we had nothing to do…. I think the real relationship test is building the IKEA furniture, not merely walking through the store.

    • Browse online in advance so you know what’s in stock. Head straight to bedroom area – pick out furniture. Pick it up in warehouse area and buy ice cream cones on the way out.

    • Do you already know what furniture you want? Look up its bin location online and proceed directly into the store via the “Exit” so that you’re already in warehouse-land.

    • Here is my number one tip and it’s a good one.

      You two take turns standing in line. When it’s not your turn to stand in line you get to go buy an ice cream cone. *not actual size

    • I would pick like 4-5 models of beds that you want to see in the store, same for nightstands, and formally forbid yourselves from checking out everything else.

      Ashamed to see I’m totally part of the stereotype, every time me and my boyfriend have gone to Ikea I’ve gone into sulks/rages while my boyfriend retreated further and further into his shell….god this place is evil.

    • Anonymous :

      why do you have a mattress on the floor to begin with? that setup is only okay when you’re 25, or you literally just moved and are waiting for a delivery. and seriously, going to IKEA is no big deal, it’s furniture shopping people do it all the time, you’re overthinking things.

  24. Last minute beach/tropical getaway from DC for 4th of July-ish time frame? I know it’s an insane holiday time, but I’d like to go somewhere with my mom that’s laid back, easy to get to, and has a nice beach. If you have experience booking sort of last minute trips, any tips or sites would be helpful

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      You probably don’t want anything too tropical in July because heat & humidity. If you want a resort, I don’t have specific recommendations as my family always rents condos, but I’m a fan of most of the islands in South Carolina and Georgia. You could get a direct flight to Charleston and stay on one of the nearby islands (Isle of Palms, Sullivan, Folly, etc). Or a direct to Jacksonville will get you to the Georgia Golden Isles or Fernandina Beac/Amelia Island.

      If I had far more money than I do for vacations and really wanted to get away from everything for a laid back beach trip, I’d go stay at the Greyfield Inn on Cumberland. Cumberland’s gorgeous, and 90% National Seashore (Greyfield is the only accommodation on the island, unless you happen to be a descendant of the Carnegie family and own a house on it.) It requires a ferry to get to, so may not meet your “easy to get to” requirement, but it’s a short ferry ride and not far from Jacksonville airport.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        though thinking about it, Jekyll Island Club Hotel has a similar feel to Greyfield and is cheaper/more accessible. And they have brand new oceanfront suites (these may or may not be open yet).

    • Anonymous :

      If your budget allows, Bermuda. I went over Fourth of July a few years ago.

  25. ATL Newbie :

    Anyone in GA or around ATL know of a good place to go for a weekend getaway? Looking to get out of the city for a fun, romantic weekend, but would like to stay on the cheaper end of things. TIA!

    • Frozen Peach :

      Oh I am your gal! Helen is a lot of fun– we had a great time renting a cabin, soaking up a little kitsch, and hiking and fishing in Unicoi state park. Blue Ridge is similarly lovely, may be a bit pricier.

      Paradise Garden in Summerville has a really unique AirBnB– it’s hard to explain but we’ve been and it is WORTH THE HIKE.

      Callaway Gardens will do everything for you and is lovely.

      Savannah is a bit far but SO romantic and there’s tons to do. And open containers are legal there.

      If you are Walking Dead fans, Senoia is the place to be. And Serenbe is fairly nearby for some more upscale dining/lodging options.

      Any of the Georgia sea islands are lovely but it is peak season right now.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      See my post above about the beaches, though they’re a smidge far for a weekend getaway from Atlanta. Long weekend would be nice, though.

    • Eager Beaver :

      Lots of great options, but I love this little mountain inn: https://glenella.com.

    • Anonymous :

      We are in ATL and we’ve done Savannah (great food and really cool historic city), St. Simons Island (very cool little beach town) and Destin (super commercial but beautiful if you’re into beaches). All are about a 4-6 hour drive, depending where in ATL you are. Not sure how cheap any of those places are at this time of year but worth checking out!

    • Western NC- Asheville is an easy drive. You might be able to find something in Blue Ridge or Cashiers. Snowbird Mtn Lodge is nice property and the room rate includes all meals. The clientele skews a little bit older, but its great if you want quiet and the outdoors.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Highlands NC is beautiful and close.
      Greenville SC is surprisingly fun (cute downtown, great hikes nearby)
      Madison, GA if you like history (the most gorgeous old house museums from the Civil War era)
      Plains, GA and go hear President Jimmy Carter teach Sunday school (even if you’re not religious, it’s amazing to hear a former president talk about his life- his teaching schedule is here: http://www.mbcplains.org/?page_id=212)
      Amicalola Falls State Park has a gorgeous but simple Inn, a decent restaurant, and lots of great hiking. They run sales where rooms are around $100/night. Bonus – hit the North GA Premium Outlets on your way back to Atlanta
      Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Might be a little spendy, but check groupon and living social for deals at the spa or packages.
      And for a really close staycation, I actually really like the Evergreen Marriott Resort at Stone Mountain. You feel surprisingly disconnected and removed (in a good way), and there’s plenty of fun cheesey stuff to do at Stone Mountain. Bonus- pay for it with Marriott points and check Groupon for spa deals.

  26. men's winter wear? :

    The guy I’m dating will likely be visiting me in a cold weather location (we currently live somewhere approximately as hot as Hades … pretty sure that’s the scientific consensus). I know how to dress myself for cold weather, but I can’t remember what men wear! Specifically, what kind of boots do they wear? Do they leave a pair of shoes at the office to change into?

    Please help me remember what men look like in the winter! Thanks.

    • Are you dressing him? Packing for him? Buying a present? Or just trying to mentally prepare yourself for what he’ll be wearing and the logistics of how he’ll get that on his body?

      I’m going to assume you’re buying him boots as a gift. In that case, it depends on what you’re doing in the cold weather. Skiing requires different footwear than walking around a city.

      • men's winter wear? :

        I’m trying to help him prepare for what he needs to buy/how much he’ll spend. He’ll be walking around a city. He’s never lived anywhere that approaches freezing temperatures, so I’m just trying to even picture what men wear to professional situations in a large city in the winter.

        • Is he visiting you as a fun trip or is he on a business trip? I think it depends it’s going to snow much. In a large city I would assume sidewalks would be clear and he’d only need a winter coat/hat, but if you can name the city maybe someone could chime in with what people normally wear there.

          • men's winter wear? :

            It’s a large city but icy and slushy often … I have to wear boots, then change into work appropriate shoes at the office, especially since it’s a public transit city. You don’t need to be able to walk through inches and inches of snow because like you said, they do clear/salt sidewalks. So what I’m wondering is what a guy who lives somewhere full time would buy for winter boots if he only bought one pair? The boots would have to work for potential professional situations.

            Maybe the easiest question to answer is just this: If you have a close male friend/sibling/SO etc. and you live in a cold weather city, what boots does he wear? What coat?

          • Blundstones or similar + warm socks and parka for commute. Change shoes at the office. If your man’s commute involves minimal time actually outdoors then galoshes + wool coat.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh I have wondered this! I should’ve looked when I lived somewhere cold!

      Most of the women in my office changed into heels when they got in, but I frequently just wore boots that worked in both the office and on the slushy/snowy sidewalks. Sorry, I have no idea what men do!

    • Basic things: Boots – can be snow boots, but a pair of good hiking boots + thick socks will work fine. A parka-type jacket, preferably windproof if you’re in a big city where the buildings create wind tunnels. He might be able to get away with a thick wool overcoat, but parka is safer bet. Long underwear. If he’s not dressing formally, there are also water/windproof pants he can get. Lots of fleeces/sweaters depending on his style.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        So does a man wear snow/hiking boots inside? at the office?!? and we don’t notice because they’re wearing slacks and only the toes show?! Somehow I am now super invested in this mystery.

        • Depends on the office, but my husband can get away with nice (i.e., leather) hiking boots in the office during winter.

      • men's winter wear? :

        So helpful, thanks! In your city/experience, do 30-something men who work in business environments wear black coats/boots? If he buys hiking boots, is it ok if they’re brown? Sorry for being so specific in my questions. Like I said, I moved somewhere really warm so I haven’t seen men in anything more than a t-shirt and jeans in a long time!

        • Assuming a business casual office, I would say he might be able to get away with dark brown leather-looking hiking boots with khakis (but probably not dress pants). Get ones that look as close to normal shoes as you can. The other option, which are definitely okay but a bit less functional would be chukka boots (might have the spelling wrong) or boots that basically look like wingtips but go up to the ankle. Those work under dress pants.

          For jackets, totally fine to have a parka type coat and take it off in the office. For more formal, he should have a heavy wool collared overcoat. They do make some overcoats that are weather resistant and quite warm.

          • men's winter wear? :

            This is awesome information! Thank you!!

          • I’m probably too late in the day, but if he does need formal shoes, this is what galoshes are made for.

            Signed, I used to live in Chicago

  27. Costco question :

    Can you order food through Costco, like for an event? Specifically, I was interested in ordering kebabs, which seems like a thing Costco would have. I assume since they have birthday cakes you can order at least some foods ahead of time but I wasn’t sure how it worked. Any experience?

    • To my knowledge, what they have at Costco is what’s available for purchase. So if you’ve never seen kebabs at yours – they don’t have kebabs. I know that if you need, like, 5 deli trays like the ones they have out for purchase in the cases, you can call the deli in advance and order them. (And the deli manager at ours told me they prefer for people to do that, rather than come and clean them out of deli trays.) I’ve never known anyone to do that with the meat counter.

      We’ve had great luck ordering things like chicken skewers for satay through our local butcher shop. Independent butchers can do pretty much anything, as long as you can pay for it.

    • No idea. Never been to Costco, though I did go to a great wedding involving a lot of Costco. If that turns out to be a dead end, consider Zoe’s Kitchen if there is one near you. They cater and do kebabs specifically.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes – Costco has a catering manager. Ask to talk to them to see what your options are. We have had good luck with our local Costco for hosting large functions (baby showers, bridal events, etc.)

    • You have to make sure the kebob’s stay refrigerated. I once got a delivery, but forgot to refrigerate the kebob’s and when we grilled them, they tasted bad. Dad blamed me, but I did NOT know that they had to be refrigerated.

  28. Sloan Sabbith :

    Had a great date over the weekend- or, at least I thought it was great. He didn’t text me or respond to my one brief “Had a great time! Watching that movie we talked about :)” text. Fundamentally, I think that unless there’s something very off (and I can objectively say there wasn’t- we talked for two hours nonstop, none of the weird first-date “Oh please let me escape” vibes from either of us), ghosting is an awful, mean thing to do to anyone at any point, and I’m surprised. He was kind to me, respectful to other people, impeccably nice to the baristas, and generally seemed like a good dude. So, on top of the sting of being rejected and the beating myself up I’m trying hard not to do (because anxiety says this is totally my fault), I’m righteously irritated that people ghost other people and can’t be adult enough to send a “I had a nice time but I don’t think we’re compatible” text.

    But mostly I’m just stung. Sure, it was one date, but being rejected still sucks. Mostly just complaining here- hoping for commiseration, not a long drawn out thing about how I’m ridiculous for feeling upset after one date. I’m still looking and messaging guys and all the stuff we have to do to find men now. But I’m definitely feeling down.

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh. I feel like this has happened to me so many times. I don’t get it either, especially when they seem like such nice people on the date. No advice for you, unfortunately, but I definitely have been in your shoes (and probably will be again in the future… sigh…)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, I was very hopeful. Although I kind of had an inkling at the end of the date when he told me he “had a nice time” and walked away. But STILL HOW HARD IS IT TO SEND A F*CKING TEXT?

        • Anonymous :

          I think that your text is an new-fangled way to bat your eyelashes and hope that he asks you out. And the non-response response is your answer. Which is hard, HARD. But I hate texting b/c there can be a million reasons (flying! driving! meeting! out with someone else!) that a person doesn’t text back for a while. So it was better when you could get a direct sort of “oh, not intersted” confirmed back to you instead of just waiting by the phone.

          GOOD LUCK

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Sorry, I should have been more clear- I explicitly asked him out again in my text. Non-response response is my answer, probably, I’ve kind of given up on hearing back so now I’m just :( about it.

    • Anonymous :

      ???? It’s one date, it’s fine to ghost but also do you want to see him again? Ask. Him. Out.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        ????? I’m aware it’s one date which is why I said it’s one date (See: “Sure, it was one date, but being rejected still sucks”), and it’s not fine to ghost, that’s the point of my post, it’s mean. And, I did. My message to him said “I had a great time today- watching (Movie) now. :) Would you like to meet after work one night this week with my pup and I to (walk around local lake)?” He didn’t respond.

        • I think it’s the not-responding to your text part that’s rude/qualifies as ghosting. If you go on one date and neither party reaches out, that’s not ghosting, it’s just not a match.

          But Sloan – that’s rough, and I’m sorry. :(

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Thanks. :( I was so hopeful and having a good time during the date, it was one of the only first dates I’ve been on that felt natural.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s rude to ghost if the other person reaches out. Wanting a “I had a nice time but I don’t think we’re compatible” text is completely reasonable.

    • Sorry, been there, and that sucks. I’d push back a little bit over whether not hearing back from him the same weekend you went on your date is a total rejection – I’ve had things go further with guys when their initial communication with me left a lot to be desired. But even still, and even if that’s not the case, I’m totally with you on how that can hurt because seriously … how hard is it to just send a text back?? Anyway, I get it. Can you do something nice for yourself today?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I’m hopeful but not optimistic- he’s been online on OKC and read my message. So, I’m thinking it’s probably not going to be a response.

        Yeah, I’m going to barre with a close friend, probably b*tching about how much guys suck, and then we’re getting dinner, so it’ll be good. And yesterday I went to the beach and took a long walk with my puppy and got out a bit of my righteous “HOW DARE YOU” anger in platform barre.

        Totally unrelated but amusing anecdote: Just because the women in the photo of platform barre can jump off the platform like multiple inches doesn’t mean it’s something everyone can do, the quarter sized bruise on my shin is proof. I tried to jump, landed half-on and half-off the platform and smacked my shin so hard I almost fell over. SO glad no one was paying attention.

        • Oof. I sometimes feel that way in yoga when it’s time for inversions, and honestly I admire you for trying.

          Maybe you could try framing it this way – this guy is rude, and it’s good you found that out so soon before you invested eve more time and emotion into him.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Thanks, I’m going back to not trying because my shin is black and blue. Tiny jumps. I am not a ballerina.

            yeah, absolutely. Rationally I totally know that. And I’m mad enough that if he texted me now I’d probably consider taking my own advice and respectfully telling him no. Maybe.

    • Anonymous :

      Sorry for this. I agree with you that is mean not to communicate and let someone know you are not interested.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, on a fundamental level I think it’s a terrible thing to do and always have. It’s immature, and in this particular circumstance, hypocritical- we were chatting about communication and he said he’s “upfront” and “straightforward” and looks for the same (which I am), yet not upfront and straightforward enough to send a message? Ooooookay.

    • Am I missing something, but didn’t you just see him like…. one day ago?

      So he has to respond to every text…. immediately…. or he has ghosted you?

      Did your text have a question in it that required a response? Doesn’t seem like it.

      I’d wait until later in the week and then call him to see if he’d like to get together again.

      We read too much into texts. Don’t we?

      Signed,
      woman in her 40s

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Saturday.

        Not immediately, no. But he read my message (read receipts on OKC) and I did have a question- about whether he’d like to go out this week to take a walk with my pup and I.

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh, that happened to me a few times. We appeared to hit it off, the date seemed to go well, and then nothing. I eventually started replying with something like, “I’m going to assume that a lack of a response means that you’re not interested. ? I will stop texting. Good luck with your search.” Petty, but I felt marginally more satisfied.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        My petty side says “THIS IS A GREAT IDEA.” My logical side says it’s not a great idea to do right at this very moment.

      • Anonymous :

        Straight up, this makes you look like a crazy person.

        I think some folks could really benefit from reading “it’s just a f— ing date” by the same guy who wrote “he’s just not that into you.”

    • Marshmallow :

      That sucks, I’m sorry. I haven’t dated in long enough that I have never been ghosted by a guy, but I was ghosted by a close friend (I mean best friend level close, like friends since middle school) and I still worry about it YEARS later. It’s just the worst because you don’t have any closure. Also, immature and selfish. Blah. I think it’s more a reflection of him than you.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        That’s terrible, I’m so sorry that happened to you.

        Yeah, more about him than me, I know that rationally, but anxious and self-conscious and inexperienced at dating side of me says I did something wrong and I must go over EVERY SINGLE MOMENT of the date to figure out which moment it was. Which is where distracting myself has come in handy.

    • Anonymous :

      OK I don’t get texting. I dated one guy who would randomly text. Like he was sharing a thought, but not really asking me to participate in something. Is there a text equiv of “I note that you send me a text” which is a response that is a neutral non-ghosting non-response?

      I get texting when you need to say “stuck in traffic” or “trying to find a parking spot” or “plane landed”. But when a guy sends you a text like the one you sent, he’s also not asking you out again or doing anything other than jerking my chain (I feel; others may differ).

      If you want to ask me out, ask me out (even if by text). But a text saying “hey” is nothing that seems to require a response immediately. You have my #, no?

      I’m not a mind reader. I hate texting when it’s so oblique. Like they’re seeing if you’re still there, but not bothering to do anything with you, either. It seems like they just want to see how many options they have open.

      And no dirty texting. Yuck. It seems so junior high for someone that has a mortgage and a real job.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Sorry, I should have added more detail- I did ask him out again and he didn’t respond.

        And yeah, he*l no on s*xting.

      • Anonymous :

        Different strokes for different folks. S e x t ing is a lot of fun for some of us (although no pics for me)! Even some of us with mortgages and real jobs.

    • Cookbooks :

      I’m sorry that happened! But I hope your pup is helping you feel better :)

      And I’m with you on the ghosting. My friends dismiss it as no big deal, but unless something really wonky occurred, I think a brief response is totally reasonable. We’re adults, let’s behave like it.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yup.

        He is, I cried last night (to be fair I’m also PMS-y….) and he first looked concerned (he hasn’t seen me cry yet), and then he carefully brought over every one of his toys and laid them on me and then laid down and licked my face. Hard to stay upset when you’ve got a puppy a half inch away looking very worried.

    • Sending hugs, Sloan, I followed your posts on your date and know how much you enjoyed this first date and how hopeful you were. It really sucks that he hasn’t replied – so rude and inexcusable. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You will get past this girl!

    • Anomnibus :

      “I’m righteously irritated that people ghost other people and can’t be adult enough to send a “I had a nice time but I don’t think we’re compatible” text.”

      Man, I feel you, ghosting is awful. It happens with dating, it happens with job hunts, I’ve even had friends ghost me. It’s like, you kinda know they’ve changed their mind, but you think, they seemed so into me, how did they go from being that enthusiastic, to figuring I wasn’t worth a quick message to say it’s not gonna happen?

      I mean, sometimes someone doesn’t respond because they were busy when they got the text, said “I’ll get to that later” and didn’t for whatever reason (my boyfriend is usually very responsive but even he lets texts slip through the cracks sometimes). That said, if he’s into you, he’ll text, and if he’s not into you, he should eventually say so.

    • Perhaps I’m younger than you and the culture is different but I don’t think ghosting is rude or a formal rejection is necessary unless a) we’ve gone on 3-4 dates or b) I’ve been “unavailable” without apologies the last three times he’s asked me out and he’s still not getting the picture. That said I will respond if someone asks me out directly so as to not be rude.

  29. What do you wish you had thought about before moving into your current apartment/house/community? What would you keep in mind, or what would you place more value on, if you were repeating your housing search?

    My roommate and I really like our current apartment, but it is much too expensive (awesome amenities but we would rather settle for okayish amenities at a lower price). We are looking for a new apartment in the same city (HCOL Southern California) for when our lease ends next month. We toured a place yesterday that is not as “nice” as our current place but checked off most of our boxes, and the price was right, so we put down a (currently refundable) deposit. After that, we thought to check Yelp and were horrified by the terrible reviews of this place, mostly surrounding bugs/pests and not very responsive management for maintenance requests. So, we are back to the search to see what else we can find for slightly more money and better reviews. If we can find another good option we will likely pull out of the place we put a deposit on. All of these communities are owned by the same giant leasing company, so I had assumed we could expect similar levels of service at all properties, but evidently the quality of site-specific service varies greatly.

    Since I hadn’t even thought to check Yelp prior to putting down the deposit (since the community seemed fine when we toured), now I am wondering: what are some things you would recommend specifically checking before signing a lease? What questions would you ask if you could do it over? Which features did you not think would be a big deal, but turned out to be a hassle?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Believe those reviews!

      1. Think about how your furniture will fit, and then think about if it will fit in a second configuration, too.
      2. What are the extra charges? Affordable rent is less affordable when you have to pay W/S/G, parking, bike rent, pet rent, pet fee, etc.
      3. Randomly approach people coming out of the building to ask their opinions. Three people told me they love my current building and they were right. Also, the entire staff has been there since 2012, which said a lot to me.
      4. Go back to the area after dark. A nice apartment in the day can become oh-f-no city after dark.

      • +1 to visiting at all times of the day. I spent a lot more time indoors at my last place in an extremely walkable neighborhood after discovering an unexpected amount of nighttime crime in the area. You can’t avoid crime altogether in most areas, but at least scope it out and consider what it will mean to your lifestyle.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I live in one of the safest areas of my city and I found a crack pipe on a walk with my dog this morning, so yeah. And had to pick the puppy up and carry him away. Because he REALLY WANTED TO PLAY WITH IT.

    • Cookbooks :

      When I renewed my lease last year, the landlord, who’s a high-maintenance dingbat, added all sorts of provisions and an addendum that I really wish we had asked her to clarify. It had to do with renovations she wanted to make. Long story short, the end result was beautiful, but the few months it took to get there were awful.

      So ask if renovations are expected and if so, when would it occur? If it’s during your lease, what provisions would be made for you? Also worth asking if it’s a smaller property–does the landlord plan on selling? Our previous landlord put the house up for sale without telling us, leaving us in limbo as to whether the new landlord would want to keep as tenants or if we should plan on moving out.

      I’m not sure this would be as big of a problem with a large management company, but if there is anything that gives you pause, ask!

    • Anomnibus :

      Two things:

      1) I wish I’d taken a closer look at the bathroom, it turned out the shower/tub area wasn’t in great shape but I didn’t know it until I went to take my first shower after moving in.

      I actually think there’s a few things I should have taken a closer look at, but hey, you live and learn!

      2) I regretted not taking out my phone and checking the cell reception. It’s fine now, but when I moved in I had little to no reception and I could only make calls in certain parts of the apartment, and I had to stay very still!

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