Thursday’s Workwear Report: Essential Structured Blazer

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

Like yesterday’s Talbots blazer, this one from Mango also comes in yellow, but we’re featuring the fuchsia today. I like the modern look of this blazer (which I believe is a bestseller), and the style is different than a lot of things we feature, with its more modern, younger cut. I like the seaming and the darts at the back with the structured shoulder, and even though the pictures online don’t show it closed, it does have a front hook closure — in case you want a more tailored, fitted look. The pink looks really fun (and the price is right at $79) but it’s also available in basic black and off-white (plus the yellow). It comes in sizes XXS-L at Mango. Essential Structured Blazer

Two plus-size options are here and here.

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  1. In House Interview :

    Hi All,

    I have an in-house interview coming up with the General Counsel of the company. I have never interviewed for an in-house position before. Also, I am currently 8 months pregnant. I already told the HR person at the company before she offered me the interview because I wanted to be upfront about when I can start- and who wants to waste time interviewing when 8 months pregnant if timing is a conflict.

    Anyways, does anyone have any tips about interviewing in-house and about interviewing while 8 months pregnant? Thanks in advance!

    • In-House in Texas :

      I’m in-house and I’ll tell you that the biggest thing they want to hear you say is that you’ll be a partner to the business. Not only will you be a legal adviser, but you need to be a business partner too. That means different things to different people. What I’ve learned since I’ve been in-house is that no is usually not an acceptable answer. You can say no, but you’d better have an alternative. I hope this helps…good luck!!

    • Triangle Pose :

      Agreed. It’s about advising the business about the legal risk and then allowing them to balance that with other risks and gains to make an ultimate decision. There are times you can say hard NO but your reasons should be reasons the company leadership cares about. And don’t say you want to move in-house so you have “one client” that’s not true, you still have many clients once you are in-house and lots of priorities and business units to support. Thanks.

      • Triangle Pose :

        I don’t know why that says “Thanks.” Ignore that!

        • It’s such an ingrained habit! Like when I accidentally end business phone calls with “Love you.” :)

          • Senior Attorney :

            OMG I did that the other day with a male colleague. Ended the phone call with “Love you bye!”

          • I once did this with a male colleague when I was a prosecutor (he was a defense attorney). Mortification ensued.

    • Have a good answer for “why in-house” and “why this company.” Your answer to the first should not be “i want a better work-life balance” (even if that’s true) – it comes off as “i want to work less,” and while we all know that we work less in-house, it’s still a job and we want to know that you have a substantive reason for wanting the job. Do some research about the company so you can answer #2 and discuss the industry in a meaningful way. Ask the GC some substantive questions – what challenges do you see your team/company facing in the next 3-5 years, what makes a person successful in this role, etc. Also, be aware that personality/fit are MUCH more important in-house than they are at a firm, so please be cognizant of how you come off. Do whatever research you can about the company’s culture and the legal team’s culture. We had a candidate who was rude to the security officer when she got her visitor badge, and she was automatically DQ’ed from consideration. These things matter at some (not all) companies. What the others said above is very important – they want someone who can actually make decisions (rather than give advice and let others make decisions), who can do so without having all of the info (and can do so relatively quickly – you can’t get paralyzed with decision fear), and who can recognize that the business still needs to operate, so you have to be able to weigh the risk against the initiative/project being contemplated. Overall, good luck! Signed, someone who has been in-house at 3 (very different) companies :)

  2. I’ve gained about 10 pounds in the past two years. Doesn’t sound like that much, but it’s kind of a lot on my 5’3″ frame. It’s just enough that I didn’t really notice it while it was happening… but now easily half my clothes fit awkwardly or feel too tight to wear. Tops still fit because I gain all my weight in my belly, hips and butt, but dresses are suddenly feeling an inch too short and pants are tight enough that I feel uncomfortable.

    I don’t really want to buy a whole new wardrobe because I hope to lose this weight, but realistically it’s going to take awhile. What’s a good capsule to buy for this in between time? Getting dressed in the morning is making me miserable.

    • Don’t worry. I was just like you, with most of my excess weight in my tuchus. But just do what I did! Exercise more, with a FITBIT (do 10,000 steps a day), drink alot of water, and you will start shedding the pounds. Instead of takeing a cab 15-20 block’s, WALK, and walk everywhere. Do NOT wear heels when you do it. Buy NIKE AIR sneaker’s and keep your pump’s in your bag (or have your assistant carry them for you). Also, try and minimize junk food (tho I still eat DARK chocolate, but Dad hates it when he sees me with the chocolate).

      If you follow my advise, you will be svelte again, in as littel as 3 month’s if you are serius about it. Both of us will be abel to wear our bikini’s before the end of July if we FOCUS FOCUS FOCUS!!!!! I still have will some issues with my tuchus — Dad says you can NOT spot reduce — and he is right. But I am overall much TONER, and the manageing partner and judge say so! YAY!!!!

    • I was in the same boat until a couple of months ago. I’d look at myself in the mirror sans clothes and still thought I looked good, but I wasn’t willing to buy a new wardrobe. I just committed to a self-designed weight loss program and lost the weight in a little over a month. I the meantime, I stuck to the clothes that were stretchier or otherwise adapted well to me at different weights. If half your clothes still fit relatively well, I don’t think you absolutely have to buy more stuff.

      I think if you decide to buy more stuff then I would buy stuff that’s still going to fit you if you lose the weight. For me that meant different silhouettes, so A-line skirts/dresses rather than pencil (which are my favorite) and dresses/skirts instead of pants. 10lbs on your/my frame is enough to make clothes of certain styles not totally fit well, but it’s not enough to require a totally new size in everything. Do your dresses have extra material in the hem that you can let out? That’s a lot cheaper than buying new stuff, and it’s reversible.

    • I recently gained a similar amount of weight in the same places (ok, a little more weight, but I’m also a bit taller) and am facing a similar struggle. After a while of “I’ll just wait it out until I lose the weight!” I decided to buy a few skirts that fit me at my current size with the idea that skirts are easier to take in than pants.

    • Start out by buying a couple of pairs of pants that fit in your current size. I had the same issue last year and wore the same two pairs of black and navy pants for several weeks. It was massively helpful though because not having any sort of “muffin top” issue caused by my pants being too tight helped my shirts look more flattering too. So I wound up getting by without needing to buy much in the way of new tops.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you me?

      I bought a black MM Etsuko dress b/c I wanted to feel fab and I figure I can take it in a bit if I lose weight. I gained in the same places (premenopausal pooch?). At any rate, I love the dress. I can throw on a blazer or a scarf and no one notices if I am wearing 2x/week.

    • I had the same issue. I bought three new pants-1 light grey, 1 dark grey, 1 navy. That matches basically everything in my wardrobe, and I don’t mind wearing them twice in a week.

    • I REALLY like the Foster pant at MM for this – same thing, traveled a lot, health issues, and carrying about 5 extra lbs in my middle. It is super forgiving/stretchy, and looks more intentional when I wear a cigarette style pant with flowy tops. I figure if I lose weight it’ll just be my travel uniform – comfy enough to wear on long flights,
      accommodates lots of dinners out, and machine washable.

    • This happened to me 3 years ago, still haven’t lost that weight. I’ve just slowly adjusted my wardrobe to include more comfortable styles, like drape tops and lots of dresses.

    • Thanks, everyone! I know it sounds like such an obvious solution: buy new clothes. But it’s a weird situation where half my stuff fits and the other half COULD fit if I get serious about losing this weight.

      The worst is that I gain in my belly in a way where I honestly look pregnant. I look at bump pics everyone posts at like 14 weeks and it’s exactly how I look! I’m dressing around a bump without the good reason for it. And I don’t really want to shop maternity.

      I wouldn’t even mind being bigger if I could just gain it all over. Instead I get a full belly, thighs that rub together, and a giant butt that makes it impossible to find pants or skirts that fit. On the bright side, looser pants seem to be more in style now, as well as longer skirts. Midi skirts are GREAT on this body type and they hide all the problem areas!

      • It’s tough. Buy a few basics that you can mix with the stuff that still fits. I promise you’ll feel better wearing clothes that fit your body as it is right now.

    • Ugh – me too! I just realized that as of Monday I have gained 15 pounds in the last year. I am 5’1″ Ugh. I am planning to change jobs, so have bought interview suits that fit, but have held off on anything else. I have been so uncomfortable and buy a couple more pairs of pants. Blouses still fit, and my dresses fit (they are accommodating cuts) but those old pants are just torture.

    • My belly is not the same as it was pre baby and I’m embracing flowy shirts. I’m finding I can still buy the same size, but they just have a much looser fit than I used to wear.

    • Baconpancakes :

      After two years of graduate school, some of my clothes still fit, but many don’t. As one of the perks of my new job is a discounted membership to a gym that’s on the way to my office, my “stopgap” wardrobe purchased over the past month consists of: 4-piece navy suit, black ankle pants, two fitted dresses with sleeves, and one additional skirt. All my blazers and tops still fit, and my stretchier jersey dresses still fit. All the stopgap pieces are from J.Crew factory and Target, so it wasn’t particularly painful on the wallet.

      Oh, and a firm support pair of spanx. They’re perfectly comfortable in the right size, and increase my confidence in dresses by 1000000%.

    • I feel you. I gained 10 pounds last fall as the result of a temporary medical situation, and as a result only about 1/3 of my work skirts/dresses/pants fit in a way that felt comfortable. I bought one black pencil skirt in a larger size and two ponte skirts (black and gray), and then leaned heavily on my fit-and-flare dresses to fill in the gaps. I also started wearing control-top tights and hose, which helped a little. I’m on the way back down now that I’m able to exercise again, and back to over half of my wardrobe fitting. I’ve been able to keep up the motivation to lose the weight by keeping a few items that I especially miss wearing in the front of my closet so I see them regularly, and I try at least one on every week or two to see if I fit into it yet. Good luck!

    • Try the whole 30.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the process of loosing weight, and have lost about 20 pounds. My skirts still basically fit, the pants are tougher. So I vote for getting some skirts that fit if they are high on your waist now – you can wear them lower on your hips when you slim down. Or have them altered, which is generally likely to be easier on a skirt than pants due to fewer seams.

    • Anonymous :

      Pack away all your clothes that don’t fit. You don’t have to get rid of them, but just store them in a box somewhere. This way you won’t be trying on clothes that don’t fit every morning and feeling bad about yourself. The only things in your closet should be what works for you NOW.

  3. BeenThatGuy :

    After a many year hiatus, I’m starting back to therapy today (with a new therapist). I have very specific things I want to work on but I have also had a lot of trauma in my life. Most of which I have worked through and understand. While only a few things still linger on the old stuff, I want to focus on the new reasons that brought me back to therapy. I’m not trying to avoid the past, I’ll address when needed, but I don’t want to get bogged down with it. Is there a polite way to tell the therapist this?

    (Or as I’m tying this, I’m realizing this could me trying to control the situation like I try to control everything else, gulp).

    • Anonymous :

      I would just tell the therapist what you’ve said here, including the bit about “I may be trying to control, I don’t know.” This place of being tired of going back and rehashing old stuff but also not knowing if you’re trying to avoid it and control the conversation — the therapist should be able to handle that.

    • Anonymous :

      Just talk to your therapist honestly. Don’t worry about being polite.

    • I think you’ve phrased it really well in this comment! Sharing with your therapist that your goals for these sessions are XYZ, will be very helpful. I think the best way to think about it and phrase it is in the context of focusing on certain goals, not necessarily saying “I don’t want to talk about these topics.”

      If, even with that knowledge, you find that your sessions continue to focus on your trauma, you should probably consider that you have not worked through things as well as you’d like. In my experience, therapists are typically very positive about having specific goals to work towards and will respect your wishes as much as possible (without compromising treatment) in that regard.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        With no animosity towards you as an internet stranger, LAnon, your second paragraph is a perfect example of the dynamic I wanted to warn OP about. It can be very invalidating when the clinician’s opinion is given more weight than the patient’s lived experience.

        That being said, OP, there are good therapists put there who listen and help. I hope you’ve found one, and if not, keep reaching out!

        • Totally agree. It’s a tough balance. In some ways, the clinician’s opinion SHOULD be given more weight than the patient’s lived experience – they are a professional who has trained extensively for this. At the same time, you have a point that there are clinicians out there who will steam-roller over their clients’ wishes and opinions.

          I guess what I’m trying to say is, you should work to establish goals and then trust your therapist to work towards those goals. If you don’t trust that they’re working on the right stuff with you, you should stop seeing them altogether, rather than imposing boundaries in your conversation topics to try to keep them on track.

          One question you could ask if the old issues keep being a topic is, “How do you see this affecting my current goals?” and see if the therapist has a solid answer that makes sense to you, or if they just offer something vague like, “Well we just have to work through this…”

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      I’ve struggled with this repeatedly because I had a similar attitude towards events in my past. I’m afraid many therapists were never able to see past my childhood circumstances and see “me”.

      The best advice I can offer you is to interview them with nothing but self-interest at the first few appts. Not all therapists are equally skilled and wise, and if you feel you are not being served well, move on.

      It takes trust-building and really getting to understand you before they have the right to call you on control issues ;)

  4. Anonymous :

    This photo looks like it was taken either accidentally or surreptitiously. It does not show much about the jacket other than the color.

    • In-House in Texas :

      Use the link to go to the site. There are a bunch more photos from different angles.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes! It drives me crazy when stores use as their main photo one where you can’t even see what the garment actually looks like. BR has been doing this a ton lately too. I especially dislike when the only shot from the front involves the model’s arms crossed over her stomach. It makes me think there is something wrong with the product design or fit that they’re trying to hide.

      • Anonymous :

        Or they insist on rolling up the sleeves! Is it 3/4 sleeve or full length? Impossible to tell from pictures.

    • Agree. The link doesn’t take you directly to the jacket. When I finally found the jacket, I clicked to get a bigger picture and price points, it took me back to the home page.

      • Also, the color name is “Fuchsia,” but the pictures look decidedly coral. Cool pinks and warm pinks look good on entirely different people. Is it my monitor, or is the color name wrong?

  5. Anon for this :

    Just asking for some support re: slow and steady weight loss…. I’m 15 lbs into a 40-pound loss. It’s taken me about a year to lose that much because I’m trying to be slow and steady / realistic. I’m finally wearing a few things that I had to put aside last year, which feels fantastic as a marker of progress.

    BUT a coworker has just lost maybe 20 pounds in a month by doing a juice cleanse thing and eating small portions at dinner. I am competitive by nature and am extremely envious of the results/tempted to try this even though my rational self knows that severe calorie restriction is not. good. for. you and that I tend to be “addictive” about things… so this type of weight loss could get out of control for me. I could use some kind words today!

    • Shopaholic :

      The way you’re losing weight, you’re actually changing your lifestyle so the weight will stay off. Once your coworker starts eating real food again, she’ll put it all on (and possibly more).

      I totally get your impulse because I had about 20-25 pounds to lose and I’m about 8 pounds in and it feels very slow and painful. But I keep trying to remind myself that if I keep going, I’ll be able to keep the weight off much longer because my metabolism won’t spike and then crash.

      You are doing amazing. Keep doing it. You will get there.

      • Agree with Shopaholic 100%. I am in the first months of trying to lose 50 pounds during perimenopause and it ain’t fun. I have an insta/FB friend who is a shakeology booty whatever flex coach and she looks amazing. I’m tempted to join her but I know I won’t spend the rest of my life drinking shakes (and don’t want to) and I can’t do plyometrics and all that bouncing around because of a couple of old sports injuries. So I’m doing it the (semi) old fashioned way – counting calories, daily exercise, cutting sweets/sugar/grains. It’s hard and I have had setbacks since January but I am determined to stick with it. Slow and steady wins the race.

      • Yes, absolutely. I’ve lost 40 lbs in 5 years and because of lifting weights in addition, went down 4 sizes. I don’t get panicked about “what happens when I stop doing x” because I’m not doing anything I can’t continue, and I haven’t quit anything I can’t live without forever. I’ve known a number of people, in the time I’ve been losing, that lost way more weight than I have but then had rebound gain and ended up heavier than they started. One ex co-worker of mine did Medifast and lost 80 lbs in 6 months – only to gain it all back and then some. I just don’t believe in that extreme or fad stuff anymore. It never seems to work long-term. I would like to lose more weight but I want to do it through gradual, sustainable lifestyle changes, so it lasts. You’re doing great, and you’re doing the right thing. Hang in there.

      • Yes, I’m 7 pounds into a 25 pound loss and it’s taken 6 months just to get here. Apparently I lose weight by holding onto everything for a few weeks, then losing 2 pounds overnight. Then staying there for more weeks, then another 1.5 pounds. It’s super frustrating, especially in those hold weeks, and I’m so tempted to do a juice cleanse and just get there already, but I know it wouldn’t be sustainable.

        It’s so hard to stay slow and steady though. Argh.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Just remind yourself that nothing good comes after “juice cleanse.” Also worth noting that anything that allows you to be healthier / lower your fat mass is going to have to be achieved with a longer term lifestyle change. Thirdly, sometimes by drastically cutting calories you will near term lose weight but can torpedo your metabolism / lose muscle as well as fat and thus end up gaining it all back and and then some. It is more complex than simply calories in < calories out.

      You are doing great. There are healthier options involving ramping workouts / playing with your macro balance if you want to try to speed up your pace of weightloss but you are doing things the right way.

      • Metabolism Myth :

        I agree with the overall sentiment here but just wanted to point out that studies show that it is a myth that drastic calorie cuts cause “starvation mode” and slow your metabolism to preserve energy. You’d have to starve for weeks to trigger a slow-down. These findings have been underscored by the success of intermittent fasting as a way to reduce overall caloric intake.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Yes, but these juice diets and shake diets have you on a 1000-1200 calorie diet, and you’re expected to stay on them for months if not years. For a 5’7″ woman, wouldn’t that count?

          • JuniorMinion :

            This. With IF I’m under the impression people are talking about a couple days in a row at most. Most people I know who have tried these restrictive diets are down around 1000 -1200 calories a day for at least a month. They are making themselves more metabolically efficient and if your goal is to overall become smaller you should be operating at a small daily calorie deficit while building muscle / managing your macros to make yourself more metabolically inefficient.

            At the extreme of this is a coworker of mine who is a competitive bodybuilder and maintains weight at 3500 calories a day (of healthy food… but still). And he’s not a huge dude (think 5’7″ 190 – 200 lbs when not cutting) .

          • Metabolism Myth :

            Oh, never mind then. I have no idea what effect these juice / shake things would have on such a long term basis, like weeks and months., but not healthy even if it produces weight loss. With long term juice & shakes… where do you get fiber? I was thinking of “cleanse” as a 3-day thing, which I think is stupid for many other reasons, but not because of metabolism.

            My point was only that people tend to think that calorie reduction (even “drastically”) has a starvation effect, and that’s a gross oversimplification and very often not true. Problem is that it’s usually not sustainable in the long term compared to overall lifestyle sensible eating.

          • 1200 net calories a day is not starving for a 5’7″ woman. It’s lean, but sufficient.

          • Anonymous :

            You do you, but I would be passing out all over the place at 1200 calories.

          • Anonymous :

            Cite some peer-reviewed scientific sources saying that’s an okay calorie amount for weight maintenance for a person that tall, or GTFO.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Would also be passing out at 1200 calories as well.

            Not a nutritionist, but a former trainer. 1200 is really low for anyone who is active at all, and arguably for people who are not active. And your caloric requirements vary based on so many things, including some that are individual to you like your basal metabolic rate. One of the best ways to figure out how many calories you need to is to use a journal to track what you eat (how many calories in), how much you exercise (how many calories out in addition to basal metabolic stuff), and what your weight fluctuations are in relation to that. I have worked with a lot of former clients on this, and it lets you set a healthy calorie goal to lose weight at a healthy (no more than 2 lbs per week unless you have a ton of water weight) rate.

          • It’s 1200 net, which would take activity into account. Whether or not you feel full probably depends on what you eat, but it is a standard acceptable amount for an adult woman.

          • I’m 5’5″ and active, and 1200 is maintenance for me. I know it’s not what the “calories in, calories out” crowd want to hear, but we’re all different, hormonally, metabolically, and in every other way. I can’t get my body to budge a pound below 138 at that number unless I start working out twice a day. (And before anyone suggests I’m eating more than I think, I have a decade of an eating disorder in my past; you unfortunately never forget how to count every calorie.)

    • I am in a similar position, trying to be patient with the slow and steady weight loss and being tempted by something that I know will get the pounds off quickly. The thing that’s helping me stay the course is reminding myself that those diets don’t work. Sure, they work in the short-term, but in the long-term you’re much more likely to gain the weight back (and then some). Ask me how I know. So while the way I’m doing it now takes time, it’s also the way that will have the most effective, lasting results in the big picture. Hang in there!

      • It’s not really true that you’re more likely to gain weight back if you do it more quickly instead of doing it slowly. See:

        • Great reference. Tx.

        • Hmm, that’s actually pretty interesting. I’m a little confused because they measured long-term follow-up at one year apparently (I can’t tell more specifically than that because I can’t see the cites for some reasons) and my own experience has been that it may take longer than that but it ultimately does come back. I mean, hard to argue with the NE Journal of Medicine so I’m not gonna try, but I just know what my personal experience has been.

          • It’s also possible that you (like me) are one of those people for whom weight is hard. I’m not saying I always make good food or exercise choices (I do not! I bear responsibility in all this!) but genetically, I just don’t have a great starting point.

            I’m about 25lb down from my high weight, which puts me up about 20lb from my low weight. I’d like to lose 40 from where I now am, and am doing the slow and steady thing, because it just works best for me. But I’ve always struggled keeping weight off, no matter how I lose it.

          • I can’t remember where I read it (thought it was the same article), but I think you’re statistically as likely to regain it whether you lose weight slowly or quickly. Logistically speaking, there’s no reason why you can’t restrict calories and lose 2lbs a week (vs 2lbs a month) and then alter your healthy eating pattern to maintain that weight — you don’t have to eat at the maintenance rate (the 2lbs a month rate), the whole time on your diet, unless you want to. It’s a personal preference thing.

    • You’re both doing awesome. I need your inspiration for my own weight loss efforts today, so thank you!

      I agree with Shopaholic that you’re making life-long choices for life-long weight loss. You got this.

    • I’m in a similar situation. A friend is documenting her dramatic weight loss (40 lbs in 3 months) on facebook and it’s so frustrating because I’ve talked to her and I know she’s not dieting in a healthy way. She went from fast food 5x/week to nibbling spinach leaves for every meal (literally. not salad, just spinach leaves.) Meanwhile, I’m tracking my fat/protein/carb/vitamin intakes and getting into meal prep and cycling classes to make larger lifestyle changes to stay healthy during and after losing weight.
      So I’ll tell you what I probably need to hear too- You’re doing this the right way! I’ve yo-yo dieted a lot over the years, and the lesson from the Tortoise and the Hare is valuable here- slow and steady wins the race. You’re not just losing weight, you’re becoming a healthier person. Patience is tough, but I’m waiting to see the difference when, in a few months or years my friend is posting about needing to diet again and I’ve incorporated these healthy habits into my regular life.

    • You’re brain is absolutely in the right place. You are making changes to your life, to your attitude toward food in a way that is sustainable. I have a friend who lost about 80 pounds over the course of 5 years. 5 years after finishing the weight loss, she’s still at her lighter weight. Statistically, she should have put the weight back on. I’m convinced she hasn’t because she actually changed. Not temporarily, but permanently. You are doing the exact same thing. It may take longer to get to your weight-goal, but I bet you’ll maintain your loss and you won’t be yo-yo-ing forever.

      You’re losing a pound a month, which is quite an accomplishment. Keep up the good work!!

    • I would step away. You don’t know exactly how much weight he lost, if they were eating “enough” calories, the time period he was actively trying, etc. It’s tempting to judge and compare but you shouldn’t – you don’t know all the details even if he has told you a few, nor should you. Calorie restriction is maybe not good for you, maybe good for you depending on what you read. It’s tough not to compare, but try to see him as a separate entity that has no bearing on you. His diet choices are not a judgement on yours.

    • The best way to lose weight AND keep it off is to have a healthy life style. Juice cleansing is not a healthy lifestyle. I wouldn’t be surprised if your coworker put it all back on the second she is done with her cleanse.

    • Agree. Coworker will not be able to maintain rapid weight loss. I have been that person.

    • Anon for this :

      OP here – thanks all :) I will try to quash my jealousy and stay the course!!!

  6. Long weekend ideas needed! Bf and I want to take a long weekend trip somewhere no further than a 5 hour drive from Harrisburg, PA. We are AirBnb-ers, so we don’t need fancy accommodations. Boyfriend is into history and we both like hiking, antiquing, and generally poking around and exploring. A winery or two would be nice and ideally we would be near the water. I have been to The Tides Inn on the Chesapeake before and that area has the right feel. I also have been to St. Michael’s, MD, also the right feel. I would like to try somewhere new to both of us. Where should we go!?

    • The Finger Lakes! They have some decent wineries, some terrible, terrible wineries, but it’s beautiful, looks to be about 4 hours from you, and has lots of nice places to explore. Wine tastings are $5 max.

      Geneva is a nice town, there is some hiking in the area (closer to Ithaca), and it’s all in all a pretty place with wine.

      • Excellent idea, but we are likely going there for Memorial Day weekend with some of bf’s friends (I just found out about that possibility last night and we have been talking about the long weekend for just us for a little bit)! However, if the Memorial Day weekend trip doesn’t work out, it’s a front runner :) Thanks!

      • Anonymous :

        I agree. I have also stayed in Penn Yan, Hammondsport, and Watkins Glen. There are lots of B&Bs and Air Bnbs up there if that’s your thing. Lake Seneca has the most wineries, but Keuka Lake has a wine passport that you should look up – it’s a great deal and a lot of fun completing it. Lots of good hiking up there, too – Watkins Glen park, Finger Lakes National Forest, and more.

    • Have you been to Annapolis? Not much in the way of hiking unless you drive out of downtown, but antiquing, history, exploring, wineries and water are all close!

    • What about CT? If you want right near the water I’d suggest Essex, or Greenwich/Westport – both pricey, but great restaurants and shopping. For antiques/hiking/rivers, Kent is gorgeous and about 3 hours away?

    • Cookbooks :

      The Finger Lakes and the Delaware Gap are both under 5 hours. Lake George, I think, is just over 5. The Gap is definitely nice for a long weekend! Lots of hiking and kayaking and a few wineries around. Lots of Air BnBs along the water.

    • For some reason, my comment is in moderation. UGH.

      Finger Lakes is a great idea, but I found out last night that we may be going there for Memorial Day weekend with some of bf’s friends (should have mentioned that, sorry), but it is front runner if we don’t go that weekend!

      Thanks so much for all the ideas! We both have been to Annapolis (and I love it). I did a brief browse of Kent and that looks fab! The AT also runs by Kent for good hiking opportunities.

      Keep the suggestions coming :)

      • We stayed at the Inn at Kent falls – would definitely recommend it if you don’t go the AirBnB route. Super lovely hosts, nice rooms (though it is definitely an old house, not a modern 4-star hotel) and about 5 minutes from downtown and 8 minutes from the state park.

    • New Hope, PA.

    • Are you looking for something urban or more rural? Pittsburgh is a 4 hour drive, all turnpike, but you could also make stops along with the way through Central PA for hiking in the Laurel Highlands.

    • If you want something quiet, hike Ricketts Glen and do a picnic next to one of the falls and maybe stay in Eaglesmere, which is a quaint though quite small town. If you have never been to Rickett’s Glen it is probably the best hike in PA, but you could also do it as a day trip. There’s lot of good, cheap antiques up in that part of PA. Also near World’s End – you can rent cabins there if you like it more rustic. Not much wine to speak of, though there is a terrible but interesting winery near World’s End.

    • Shenandoah Valley in VA, staying in Winchester (~2) or Harrisonburg (~3)! It’s an easy roll down 81 and will get you a very different vibe from PA. Both of those cities hit all of your wishlist items–plenty of history (small museums, battlefield parks, etc.) for your boyfriend, lots of cute stores to poke around, easy proximity to tons of hiking and other nature-based activities (climbing, tubing/kayaking/etc), and plenty of local alcohol.

      You can also get to my broken-record recommendation of Charlottesville in VA within 4 hours from Harrisburg. I would recommend the Northern VA wine country as well, but it’s probably going to be more expensive.

    • anon a mouse :

      Harpers Ferry. Fantastic hiking in the area, cute town, wineries nearby.

    • Thank you everyone! I have added several places to my “to visit” list and it has refreshed my interest in a couple places that were already on it.

  7. Carpool etiquette :

    My boss has graciously offered to drive me to a conference 4 days next week. It’s over an hour away with no traffic (and there’s always traffic). Should I offer to chip in for gas? I normally would but not sure if I should when it’s my direct supervisor…

  8. Brooklyn Bride :

    Wedding shoes question. My dress is knee length and a bit retro, and I am looking for the perfect pair of blue shoes. I just ordered these shoes (link to follow) and love them. However I’m a little concerned about the jewel detail. My engagement/wedding rings are gold and I’m wearing a small gold pendant necklace (with the birthstones of my fiancé and myself). I might also wear a gold comb or something in my hair. Is the detail on these shoes too silver? Will it clash? Do you have other blue shoe suggestions?

    • Brooklyn Bride :

      • Anonymous :

        These are adorable. I see more shiny/crystal than silver. I don’t think they’ll clash.

        • Agreed, I think they’ll just ready as pretty sparkles. Love them and think they will look adorable with a retro knee-length dress!

      • Anonymous :

        I think it will look fine. If it really bothers you, you can probably find similar shoe clips on Etsy to attach to any pair of blue pumps or you could paint the silver with some treasure gold from a craft store. I’ve seen similar shoes (Badgley Mischka makes some of their styles in light blues) but I think they all had silver accents on the jewels as well.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Those are adorbs and I agree they say “diamonds!” rather than “silver!”

    • If you love them, go for it! I wore blue shoes as well and I loved having a super bright pop of color. Some other options are below – kate spade now makes a number of blue shoes for brides! With a retro style dress, I’ve probably go for a d’orsay style show, and suede would be nice for the summer.’orsay-pumps/421103?skuId=22212993&defaultColor=2488&colorExplode=true&catid=cata000020

    • I think they are really lovely, and I do not think they would clash with gold jewelry or hair accessories.

    • I am getting married soon too and am wearing these blue shoes.

      I love them. They are comfortable enough that I will definitely wear them all night.


      • I have a pair of low sam edelman dorsay heels (stiletto, no strap) and they are my go-to wedding shoes because they are so comfortable! I would wear these 24/7.

    • Love those and they won’t clash at all.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I wore blue shoes for my wedding as well. I don’t think these will clash. I wore a more plain pair solely for the reason that I wanted to be able to use them again for work, etc.

  9. Cookbooks :

    It’s in the 90s and still no A/C in my office. So I’ve shellacked my curls into place and wore my lightest office appropriate dress and Birkenstocks; I dug out a small but mighty fan from home; and I have surrounded myself with cold drinks. Wish me luck!

    • Sounds like my co worker. She looks like a sweaty baked tomato already

    • I know that’s not fun, but I’m jealous. My office has been comfortable all week but today it’s like I walked into a meat locker. It’s supposed to get into the 90s today, so I guess I’ll eat lunch outside to thaw out.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Every year I am miserable all summer because I freeze in the a/c. Brrr…

      • The office usually is a meat locker when the HVAC is functioning properly, and I hate it. I never thought I’d miss it. But it’s easier to warm up than it is to cool down.

      • Same. I’m at a conference I swear they’re keeping at 60 degrees

      • I am jealous of your meat locker. Pregnant + 90s and the office A/C is just not keeping up – although my colleagues look less frozen than usual (I usually have a fan on even not pregnant when they have space heaters on).

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      It was so hot in a deposition a few weeks ago that even after I shred my jacket, I sweat completely through my shell. I am generally always cold. It was at least 90 in the conference room, as the 85 degree air outside felt cool.
      What is up with the lack of AC?!

  10. Everlane Relaxed Silk Shirt sizing? :

    Everlane’s site indicates that their Relaxed Silk Collarless Shirts are only stocked up to a size 12. (Which is normally too small for my 36DD chest.) However, the sizing chart states a that a 12 is “45 1⁄2″ in the chest, which is significantly larger than the 41-42” chest circumference I typically look for.

    Are their sizing charts accurate?

    • The blog “looks good from the back” has done several reviews of Everlane’s silk shirts. You might try checking that out.

  11. This week I freed myself from my many lovely and professional totes and starting using a backpack for my commute. It is like heaven. That’s all.

    • It’s amazing, isn’t it? I got a backpack a few years ago and felt like I could go anywhere! I’m much more likely to get off the bus early or go for a longer walk when I’m not hobbled by my tote bag.

    • When my gorgeous by not-easy-to-carry Kate Spade diaper bag broke, I purchased a diaper bag that converts from either backpack straps or a shoulder strap, and doesn’t look like a diaper bag (it looks like a normal messenger bag with the shoulder strap). I figured it would be easier to be hands free, or even not have a strap slipping down my shoulder all the time, with the baby. I quickly learned that it is easier to be hands free ALL THE TIME. I’m sure I am getting some side eye, but I wear it as a backpack everywhere even when I’m not with the baby.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      My Herschel backpack is lovely. It’s 50/50 backpacks and totes in my office.

      Covering the Lo and Sons backpack. But I do not need it.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      At some point in the last five years, I announced to myself that I was no longer wearing uncomfortable shoes, and I ditched all of my beautiful and professional high heels in favor of various sensible shoes. Heaven. I miss the look, but there’s great joy in being able to walk fast and keep up in comfort.

    • I am team backpack for life.

      I do keep a tote under my desk for meetings.

  12. Excellent find, kat! easy to wash, clean lines, interesting sleeve details (which can be easily tailored closed when you are done with that detail), and a great price point.

    I am noticing a variety of professional styles featured from the more traditional to the sleek modern and I really do appreciate it.

  13. Eddie Bauer Coats :

    I ordered the Girl on the GO Trench in Tall M and it’s too big. It’s sold out in the color I want so I’m debating the Mackenize Trench instead. Does anyone have either/both? Comparisons?

    • I bought this on a recco from here and I felt it was very…. unremarkable and boring. Debated the Mackenzie too…but it looks nearly the same, with a slight empire waist?

      • Eddie Bauer Coats :

        Thanks – the recommendation here was the reason I went with it but I’m underwhelmed (aside from the size issue). So hard to find a professional looking coat that’s great in truly rainy weather though. Also gets quite windy here so umbrellas are not great option when I’m handling daycare pick up.

  14. Has anyone bought bras from Lively before? Experiences? I read somewhere they have good t-shirt bras. Open to other recs too – I’m about 6 months postpartum and smaller up top than I’ve ever been, so massive amounts of support is unfortunately not relevant here.

    • I love their t-shirt bra! Better than Third Love, which I also tried and is fine, but costs twice as much.

  15. help me dream :

    What wall colors would you do with a warm, yellow-ish wooden floor? I’m at a loss because I usually like bolder paint colors and I feel like the colors we have in our current house would not work at all with these floors. Currently the house is painted in pastels which I hate. I was thinking maybe a burnt orange? I can’t find pictures online with houses with floors this color.

    • AnonMidwest :

      I have the same floors in my house and my living room is a sage green it looks great. The powder room is a deep lavender/Stirling purple and the kitchen is soft chardonnay with a little bit of red accent. the combined affect of the yellow/red gives it a softer but not pastel orange tone. Still looks great.

    • I think you can get away with not matching the floors perfectly if the wall color coordinates with furniture (and cabinets in the kitchen) which is much closer to the wall anyway. We have what I’d describe as warm, yellow-ish wood floors in our kitchen (kind of like this? and we have Mindful Grey which is a cooler gray. It doesn’t sound like it would work, but it does. But the kitchen isn’t a room with a ton of wall space and we have dark brown (espresso) cabinets that coordinate perfectly with the wall color.

      For rooms with a lot of wall space, I’d probably vote for beige or a warmer brown. Burnt orange on walls plus yellow/orange wood floors sounds like a LOT of orange to me. But I’m generally a fan of neutral wall colors.

      • I can’t tell if it is a birch-ish color like you posted or actually more yellow since the walls are currently pale yellow. If this link works, this is a picture:

    • Blues, greens and greys. Search “paint colors that go with gold oak floors”. Also, consider area rugs

    • What about a navy and white scheme? Link in comment below has navy and white with gold and grey accents with a floor that looks like what you described.

    • My whole house has warm golden wood floors. I painted my kitchen grass green, and it makes the floors look awesome.

      • That’s awesome! Our current sunroom is grass green and I love it, so I would love to bring that color over to the new house. It looks great with a bright white glossy trim.

        I love all the ideas, thank you!

    • Behr Perfect Taupe.
      Sherwin Williams Hazel.
      Behr Navajo White

      These are my floors and these are three excellent wall colors I’ve used that look AMAZING.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      We have a really subtle sage on our walls (like it took my husband a few months to be like “the walls are green!?”) with similarly yellow/golden floors. I love it — it reads neutral without being beige.

    • I would use a blue-grey, a lavender that leans toward blue, or maybe aqua. Complementary colors (opposites on the color wheel) play nicely together. I’d stay away from orangey/yellowy tones.

    • Take a look at Benjamin Moore 2145-40, Fernwood Green. I have that in my kitchen and it works great with my yellow-tone floors

    • I feel like most houses (at least in my area) have wood floors that color, so I think of them as pretty neutral and not much of a factor in deciding on paint colors — I think almost any color would go with them. We actually went the opposite way — we painted our walls pastels colors. But when we moved in, they were deep earth tones, which worked, but just wasn’t our style — e.g., a sort of mustard color, a deep, woodsy green, and a burnt red color. My biggest piece of advice is not to by shy about getting samples and painting them on posterboard to get a sense of how they will look in your home. This was very useful for me.

      • Agree that you probably don’t need to account for the floors in choosing your wall color. And no offense intended, it is 100% your choice, but burnt orange sounds horrible to me.

        • Anonymous :

          I have the warmer golden oak colored wood – and I’ve got an accent wall in a coppery color (not metallic) that could also be described as burnt orange :) And I like it – as an accent wall. The rest of the walls are a tan with a pink undertone.

      • Something about this yellow wood I’ve never seen before. We have a very warm but darker wood in our house right now (a reddish golden brown) but I haven’t seen this actual yellow before. Bold wall color is my aesthetic and I don’t want it to look weird with the floors. Even in that Maria Killam blog post (mentioned below), what she calls yellow or orange floors look totally normal to me. This pale yellow is different to me. Love the sage/aqua recommendations. Your coppery color is what I”m thinking with burnt orange – not like a full 1970s burnt orange.

    • one, look at Maria Killam’s blog, she has definitely covered this before.

      two, I’m currently in a hotel room that has a gorgeous color scheme. I matched the colors to the Kelly Moore app. They are: 3 walls White Hot Chocolate, accent wall behind bed Emu Egg (a tealish green) and upholstery colors a mix of cream and Agean Green. It does not have yellow floors but has marble countertops on the furniture in a color that looks like yellowish hardwood floors. It is a very, very pretty combination.

      • Anonymous :

        Not OP, but thank you for those recs. Hadn’t heard of Maria Killam, but already a fan! Reading back through her blog now….

  16. There are so many good travel recommendations on this site, I thought I’d throw my own trip out there and see if people had any ideas. I’m looking at 8 or 9 days in Prague in December. Any recommendations? Is that too much time for Prague, and should we cut it in half and also spend some time in Budapest? I’d really appreciate any ideas.

    • I think that’s too much time in Prague especially in the winter when it’s cold and dark (and I love Prague!). Maybe add another city? Budapest? Krakow? Somewhere in Germany with excellent Christmas markets.

      • Thanks. That’s good to know. Is Germany really the place to go for the Christmas markets? Or are there other locations that do that kind of thing well also?

        • LondonLeisureYear :

          Prague, Budapest and Germany all have Christmas markets. They are useful for walking around and getting mulled wine and hot things to eat but I feel like once you have seen a few you have seen them all. Get the Trdelnik which is dough cooked on a long wooden pole rolled in sugar!

    • DEFINITELY do Budapest with nine days. I visited both cities more than a decade ago, so I can’t offer specific recommendations but I looooved Budapest and was underwhelmed by Prague. But honestly even if someone was planning an eight day trip to Budapest, I’d tell them to add Prague or another city. You just really don’t need more than four or five days to see a city well.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      I agree with the previous poster. Prague I was like okay with but wasn’t crazy over.

      I loved Budapest. Loved Loved Loved Budapest.

      We did…with some travel days added in:
      2 full days in Prague.
      1 full day in Cesky Krumlov (drove there, explored, stayed over night, drove to airport next day)
      4 full days in Budapest

      If you leave your email I can send you my google doc that has my Budapest trip recs.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        Oh and I will note we did our trip from Christmas to Jan 3rd so my activities will be weather appropriate for December.

      • That would be great. Thank you! e t t e travel at (without the spaces)

        • LondonLeisureYear :

          Tried this email and it didn’t work! Are you sure its right?

          e t t e travel at

          • Oops, it’s outlook, hotmail. Sorry about the confusion. e t t e travel at Thanks again!

          • Ugh, it’s outlook, NOT hotmail. Wow. I’ve got to slow down.

      • Could you share a quick top 5 or 10 list in Budapest for us all? We’re thinking of a trip in the next 3-4 years there. I don’t have a handy anonymous e- mail to put out there. I appreciate you being on this s!te for all your comments but esp the travel!

        • LondonLeisureYear :

          Create one and once you have it just ask and i will see and send it. Its full of links and pics and stuff and pretty difficult to get into a version to post on this.

    • For 9 days, I would spend 5 days in Prague and visit both Český Krumlov and Terezin while there.

      Then I would go somewhere with an awesome Christmas market instead of budapest. It’s great but I think it could be more ideal to tour it in the summer.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        The outside hot springs were pretty awesome on New Year’s day in Budapest. Just saying!

    • I did 9 days in Prague in February and it was great! Airbnbs are insanely cheap and really great – that’s what I would recommend (especially because you will get tired of eating Czech food and want to make a salad or some veggies in your kitchen one night). In Prague, we would do maybe 3-4 hours of site seeing every day, with lunch out and then back to the airbnb for relaxing, dinner out and then lots of beer! We used Prague as a home base for a few day trips – Dresden by train (the military history museum was really truly top notch) which we planned ourselves, Cesky Krumlov and the bone church which we did with a tour. So that took us down to 7 days. We also spent one day going to a soccer game (could also do hockey or whatever is playing), one day seeing Kampa and the Lennon wall, one day doing the Charles Bridge/mala strana/tyn church/clock/prague castle, one day exploring zizkov and the creepy baby tv tower, we did the museum of communism one day, the strahov monastery brewery one day. We did a lot of long lunches, popping into things just to see, and even some napping, so it was a pretty relaxed pace!

      I lived in Prague years ago so definitely felt we could spend 10 days there (even though I had seen all of the things we went to see) but you could happily add one other city and get to see a lot (just at a less relaxed pace).

    • Dresden! 2 hour train ride north from Prague, oldest Christmas market in Germany, beautiful city. Absolutely magical at Christmas. I also agree that 8-9 days is too long for just Prague.

      • Agreed. Best stollen in Germany, too, which is dense fruitcake with marzipan. I LOVE the Christmas markets in Germany.

    • Way too much time. Krakow and Budapest would be fairly easy train connections. Be prepared that it may be really cold in December.

    • Go to Budapest! It’s so much more beautiful and authentic than Prague. Sorry, but Prague is kinda touristy at this point. Still worth visiting but certainly not for that long. Think about possibly throwing Vienna into the mix – such a lovely city!

      • +1 for Budapest. I couldn’t wait to get out of Prague and can’t wait to get back to Budapest.

    • I live in Prague :) I love it and I could find ways to enjoy it as a tourist for two weeks even, but you may well combine it with Budapest (still beautiful, easy to walk, different cuisine and great spa choices), Vienna (museum quarter, city walks, great food), Krakow or Wroclaw (amazing history, interesting places, people and cuisine are also different from both Czech or Austria). In case you would like to explore more within the Czech republic, you may find the following interesting: Cesky Krumlov, Karlovy Vary, Kutna Hora for sightseeing and some spa. In case you are like hiking, you may visit Sumava mountains or a quirky Jested. Some interesting accommodation tips can be found on a facebook site called Amazing Places. In case you will rent a car and are interested in some mountain hiking, you can drop at Slovakia’s High Tatra region.

      Now coming back to Prague. December is great as we have the heaviest tourist peak in spring and summer, winter months are definitely less crowded.
      Obviously, sou want to visit the mandatory sights such as the Old Town square with The Clock, walk through the picturesque streets to the Public House, walk through the Charles Bridge, discover the islands, visit the castle, enjoy Saturday’s streetfood market at the riverside, enjoy a nice dinner with a view of either of Charles Bridge or the castle.
      I also recommend visit to Vysehrad (old hilltop church with cemetery of notable Czechs and then do a walk along Vltava river – but this is reco for summer.
      I like to take my guests for a walk in a beautiful residential area Letna – with nice restaurants, bustros, cafes and two huge parks. One of them has beautiful view of the old town and you can walk from there directly to he Castle.
      For a nice dinner or lunch, explore residential areas at Vinohrady. For a genuine pub culture atmosphere, try Zly Casy or Kulovy Blesk pubs. It is worth to call ahead and make a reservation. It is a unique experience.
      I also love Prague Zoo, sou can walk there through a park from Letna.
      With guests that have visited several times, I like to take them to less visited places, such as Zizkov – TV tower, Vitkov park and stop for an easy lunch on the route.
      Christmas market at the Old Town square is nice, but if you will not see it, you will survive. The one in Budapest is nicer (my opinion).
      Now that I think about it, 5 days in winter should be just fine.
      In case you would like some more tips (sights, restaurants), let me know and I will drop you my email.
      Enjoy your trip!

      • One more thought – it is worth seeing on its own, but especially if the weather is awful and you want to spend time inside – go and see the National Technical Museum. It has a great collection of historical cars (you can read their stories on boards next to them – some of the cars were dismantled and hidden from N€zis during WW2 and then reassembled in 1945/1946), bicycles, motos, some aeroplane models (I loved it and my dad thought this is an adult version of male Disneyland). It is located in Letna.
        For fine dining, try Kampa Park, Hergertova Cihelna, Mlynec. Locals tend to choose restaurants at Vinohrady close to Namesti Miru (Bruxx is a Belgian-style restaurant with great beers and mussels).
        In case you want to try vegan or want to eat in the city centre and avoid tourists, try Maitrea (hidden behind a church at Old Town Sq), Lehka Hlava (close to Dancing House/Tancici dum) or Lemon Leaf.
        Tripadvisor has some strange reco for restaurants and bars, I would therefore recommend to have a look at a local guide (try or others).
        You should also know that Prague has one of the largest population of Vietnamese living outside of Vietnam – you will see a lot of small grocery shops or nail salons around the city owned/serviced by Vietnamese people. There is a small village within Prague which is very reminescent of Vietnamese open air markets/docks. It is an interesting visit and you have a chance to eat pretty good authentic meals. It is known as Sapa. Some of my friends beg me to make a trip there just bc of the food – it is a 30min drive from my place and I am always happy to make the trip.

    • Thank you all SO MUCH for the recommendations.

  17. Does anyone have a rec for affordable ponte sheath dresses? My usual go-tos, Old Navy and Target, don’t have anything at the moment that looks work appropriate to me, even for a fairly casual office. Someone recommend Lands End recently but I ordered one there once and wasn’t very impressed with quality for the price. It pilled super fast.

    • I love the Calvin Klein dresses and they are frequently available at TJ Maxx and Marshalls or the sales rack for $30-50.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1 to Marshalls/TJMaxx.

        And I agree about the Land’s End ponte. I bought a sleeveless one ~2 years ago and it’s still a workhorse that looks great. The 3/4 sleeve one I ordered last month seemed like a totally different fabric – much less nice-feeling.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yes, I am returning a bunch of Land’s End ponte that I ordered in the past few weeks. It feels thinner, the structure is strange, etc.

  18. How old were you when you felt like you had a hold on things financially? I am in my mid 20’s and sometimes the idea of saving for retirement+vacations+life in general seems so overwhelming. What did you/do tell yourself to remind yourself that everything will be ok? Thanks!

    • Mid-20s is so young! I was still in law school then with a very (very very) negative net worth. I’d say I felt financially stable around 33? My law school debt was paid off at that point, and we were able to buy a house. And that’s around the time we started saving for retirement too (late, I know, but neither of us ever had an employer match and my law school loans were at a much higher interest rate than any retirement savings vehicle).

    • Ummm…how about not yet? haha. I’m 35 and went to law school late. I was married at the time and we were financially comfortable enough to pay off my loans within a year or two. Unfortunately, we got divorced right as repayment started, so now I’m single, living in a HCOLA with a modest salary, and money is tight every month. I really do wonder when I’ll have financial breathing room, and I think the answer is not until/unless I leave this area.

      Make wise financial decisions, live within your means, and do the best you can.

      • +1,000 to your last sentence.

        I suppose I feel comfortable enough? I don’t have anywhere near as much saved for retirement as some of the posters here do, but I contribute and am slowly adding to it. I have law school loans that I am also slowly chipping away at. I have a healthy emergency fund/savings account for emergencies. I can pay all my bills on time and I generally don’t buy things I couldn’t afford with cash. I use a credit card and pay it off every time I get paid and get cash back each month. My car is paid off, I just refinanced my mortgage and my payment is crazy low. Do I wish I had more cash? Of course, but I think I am pretty financially stable and am able to do the things I want while still saving. I am 37.

      • This. It sounds silly, but I have an “ideal” salary in my head, and that’s the means that I use for everything in my life. So for example’s sake, mine is $75K for my own salary, $75K for my DH’s. So everything in our life is structured around living on a $150K salary lifestyle, which is pretty modest for the area of Chicago that we’re in (although pretty large considering some other areas in Chicago). We have a smaller house (and therefore mortgage), we have fully paid off cars, basically we can pay all our bills and savings within that $150K range. Now that we’re in our mid-30s, we’re actually above that salary range, so we’ve upped our savings rates and we allow ourselves to take slightly better vacations, or splurge on things like an extra date night. We also started a savings fund for a remodel for our house, which we’ll only do once we can pay for the whole thing in cash.

        So now we feel financially comfortable, because we know we can each take paycuts if necessary and still get by, and in a few years, hopefully, we’d even be able to get by on one salary if we needed to, with just a few reductions in lifestyle.

        I don’t think I’ll ever feel comfortable from a retirement or college savings perspective, because those costs just seem completely overwhelming. I’m not sure how I’ll have $300K (future dollars) for an in-state 4 year college if I have a kid soon, and I’m not sure how I would ever afford a $90K annual nursing home stay (today dollars) for one or both of us for more than just a couple years. But we’re saving what we can and hopefully we’ll get close.

        • +1 on never feeling comfortable about college or retirement. I’m waiting for the higher education bubble to burst- it seems like it’s reaching a “something’s gotta give” point

          • Agreed. The bubble HAS to burst at some point if in-state uni ends up being $300k =(

        • I did something similar. I’m currently a senior associate in BigLaw, but frankly never expected to be here this long. So, when I was structuring my life after law school and then when buying a home, I did that with my expected future (lower) income in mind. So, for example, I bought a $550k house when all my friends/co-workers were buying $800k+ houses. At this point, my life is basically structured for a $100k salary – my law school loans are paid off, and my mortgage is about what a nice 1 bedroom rents for. Since I actually make about $400k a year, that means lots of great vacations (and paying to take family members with me) and shopping when still saving over 50% of my take-home pay and maxing out my 401K.

          • And I realized that didn’t have any actual advice for the OP. I started by keeping my set costs low, building up an emergency fund, and putting something into retirement. For example, I was recently out to dinner with 4 junior associates and it somehow came out that my monthly mortgage was at least a few hundred dollars less then what they pay in rent, and my mortgage was a few hundred more a month then what I paid in rent 2 and a half years ago when I bought. I was thinking about it after and realized the biggest difference was that they always lived in the hip, hot area and paid a premium for it. Fund your 401k with something, trying to get the full match (if there is one) and try to work up to the max as you are able.

            In terms of feeling confident, I think (hope?) that just comes with time. Because I structured my life so that my set cost are pretty low, I generally feel that I would be ok if I lost my job but still worry some about retirement and potential college costs for my potential children. And I realize that not everyone can be in a position to live on such a small percentage of their income.

      • +1 to “do the best you can.” You just need to get yourself on the right track given your stage of life. You do not have to have everything taken care of yet. Track your spending and make a sustainable budget. Start saving something towards retirement, at least enough to get any match for which you are eligible. Start building an emergency fund, even if you can only contribute a small amount each month. If you are taking action to get yourself to where you want to be, you will feel more in control.

    • I made a blanket rule that I am not allowed to worry about money for any reason ever. I made a plan with regards to saving (basically, I led a really minimalist lifestyle and saved everything I could until I was about 28) and just stopped thinking about it. Relative to my peers, my approach to saving was pretty extreme, but now I have a huge sum of money saved in my investment and retirement accounts, and I make much more than I did when I was starting out, which translates into a huge sense of security. I can’t overstate the benefits of saving a lot while you’re very young enough.

      Basically, be smart with your money. And then, don’t worry about it. You’ve done all you can. I find that the more you can take the emotion out of it, the better- both for your finances and peace of mind.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m also early to mid-20s and am slowly figuring it out. I save a bit (not enough…) each month and am going to set up my 403b this month. I was holding off until I had a better grasp on what my monthly expenses look like, which I do after about 8 moths in my job. I pay an extra $100 to my one private loan each month on top of the monthly payment and my PSLF (DO NOT WANT TO TALK ABOUT 45’S NEW PSLF IDEA) loans are paid by loan forgiveness each month. My car payment is $75 a month with a ridiculously low interest rate, so I just pay it and don’t pay extra. I have enough each month to do what I want and be responsible. So I try to not worry too much.

    • I’m in my 20s too, I feel like I’m doing ok but not amazing. I own a house but I also live in a super LCOL/rapidly gentrifying city. Other than that I can afford my whole life pretty well, and I am saving some but not a ton in cash and retirement. I hope that savings rates will go up as I earn more over the next 10 years or so. My advise is to just start – if you put 50 dollars a month in retirement now that is infinitely better than nothing and will be worth a lot years down the line even if it seems small now. Just start with what you can and avoid paying interest on anything besides a mortgage and maybe some thoughtfully used school loans.

    • If you can do what you can to have an emergency fund, max out your 401(k) retirement savings, and not take on any credit card debt, you will be way way ahead and your future self will thank you.

      I didn’t feel like I’d gotten there until I paid off my student loans at age 32. I’d been maxing out my retirement savings since I was 27, so I was finally starting to see my retirement savings start to really feel more substantial.
      I’d also finally saved up about $30k, and I just felt like I could breathe a bit easier financially.

  19. I’m going to Royal Ascot this year with my (London-based) firm. Unclear if we will be in the Royal Enclosure or not (but I do not think so).

    What should I wear?

    I’m willing to entertain fantasy outfits, but ideally would not spend more than $200 / 150 pounds ish. I have a few spring-colored dresses (an orange ombre, a dusty gray lace, a light purple lace) that I could pair with a jacket or pashmina and a hat. Or I could buy something completely new.

    • Is this something you need a fascinator for?

    • Lucky you! If it were me, I’d probably go with a dress I already owned and spend on new shoes and/or fascinator and/or clutch.

      • Agreed. If purple is your color wear the light purple lace dress and spend money on a hat. Hope someone can comment on the shoe situation – will you be on pavement/hard ground or grass?

      • Don’t spend too much on shoes! One year I went it was a muddy mess….

    • blueberries :

      I think they have a super particular style guide/requirements depending on where you sit. It’s not intuitive (at least for this Californian).

  20. I’m attending a wedding of college friends — people we’re chummy with , but not super close. We all live in NYC, but the wedding is out-of-state. Is a $200 check still a respectable gift? We’re mid-30s, got married almost 10 years ago, so I don’t want to fall behind the times! TIA for the reality check.

    • That seems very high to me, but I don’t live in NYC. We typically give $100 (from us as a couple). We gave more ($150-200) to a couple girlfriends I was a bridesmaid for and we will give more to my husband’s sister when she gets married. But for a non-family/non-bestie wedding, it would never occur to me to give more than $100.

    • AnonPastryLover :

      I got married in 2015 in Chicago. From couples typical gifts were in the $100 to $200 range.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Yup thats what we do. I usually try to find things on the registry that add up to around 200 bucks for us as a couple.

    • cake batter :

      Gah, that seems super high to me for non-besties/family, but I’m located in the Midwest so possibly gifts are smaller here. Besties get $100-125ish and everyone else gets $75ish (whatever looks decent on registry).

    • Anon in NYC :

      I usually give ~$300. That seems to be about the norm in my friend group.

    • Not in NYC, but my budget is usually around $100 for wedding gifts.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I think $200 from close-ish friends as a couple is about right. I have give more to super close friends but I would not give less.

    • $200 for a couple is standard in New York.

    • Single in NYC :

      Is $100 from a single person attending a wedding in NYC good? We went to high school together, seen each other a few times since then but not majorly close since then.

      • I got married in NY two years ago and there is a healthy range — I would say most couples gave between $125-250. Some gave more, few gave less. Single friends (not very close friends) gave about $100.

    • $200 sounds right since you all live in NYC. If the couple lived in a LCOL area where that would be considered very high, I’d adjust to the local standard.

  21. Currently talking to my clients IT help desk on the phone and I’m 95% sure this guy is high. Lord give me strength

    • I once had to explain to my own company’s IT rep what the difference was between a PDF and a Word document. So I feel you.

  22. I really don’t like this idea of “young” clothes (e.g., this very cute and all-age-appropriate jacket). I would wear this now at 44, I could see a 70-year old wearing it, and a 25-year-old wearing it.Calling pieces “young” is riding the fast train to frump town.

    • +1 the only time to call something “young” is when you mean “juvenile and inappropriate for work,” which obviously doesn’t apply here.

  23. Has anyone tried Daily Harvest, the smoothie delivery service? Now they are doing overnight oats, chia parfaits and soups as well, so I am really tempted.

  24. I know I’m an outlier, but if anyone can help, it’s the hive! Can anyone recommend a bra source for large band/small cup size? I’m a 38A and the band size seems to make the cups so huge even for A cups. Ugh. Help?

    • Check out R/ABraThatFits! They have amazing guides for pretty much any bra situations you can think of

      • Also, you are completely right, going up a band size without going down a cup size does make the cups bigger. For example if you are a 32D and need a bigger band, you go up to the “sister size” which is a 34C. If you need to go down a band size you go to 30DD. I guarantee that Reddit will have good suggestions though!

    • The Little Bra Company specializes in smaller cups in hard to find band sizes and is worth checking out. A less expensive (but surprisingly comfortable) option is Aerie (American Eagle’s bra company). They also have hard to find sizes, but you have to filter out all the braletts and sports bras.

      • Anonymous :

        Seconding Aerie, which has been my loyal supplier as I’ve gone on moved among a billion sizes over the last few years (from health condition caused weight loss through pregnancy, miscarriage, pregnancy, nursing, weaning) — 36b, 36a, 36aa, 38a-d, etc.

    • stalking this as I have similar issue

    • The Reddit guide is great! Mind blown.

  25. Any tips for picking yourself up after getting canned?

    Yesterday I was fired (for the first time ever) from a job I hated. No issues with work product or behavior–I was totally blind-sided. I feel like I should be happy to be free of that place (the position was misrepresented to me and things only got worse from there), but instead I vacillate between angry, betrayed, and demoralized. As I was looking before this happened, I have already applied for the few jobs in my field in my smallish market, and I have had 1st interviews/phones screens with additional rounds to be scheduled, so there isn’t much for me to do (or focus on) right now.

    My resume and references are solid; I know I will find something and be fine. But still…what. the. f***.

    • So brace yourself for my comments and take them with a huge grain of salt.

      Same thing happened to me last July. This community SAVED me. I couldn’t tell anyone the truth because of a non-disclosure agreement, so this was the only place I could be honest other than with my lawyer and therapist.

      My advice:
      Work through your grief/anger — it will come through in interviews otherwise. (People said that and I didn’t believe them, and now I realize that even delaying certain interviews a week would have helped me not be a zombie in them.)
      Get out of town or do something where you can go somewhere, not have to lie (if you signed an agreement), and can rest.
      Decide what your story is. Write it down. Practice it. Do it over and over again until you can get through it positively when you run into an old coworker at the grocery store or a possible new coworker at the gym. This is critical. People talk and you don’t want a less than flattering version getting around. (And I don’t mean “story” as in “lie” — just that you want to be careful what you say.
      Figure out what happened. Process it so you can prevent it in the future, whether that means running when you see warning signs next time that a place is a mess, or changing something you do. (Not judging at all but just saying that my reaction last July was similar to yours but I came to realize I hadn’t made the situation better and would do things differently if I could.)
      TRY to relax and enjoy a break. You probably haven’t had one in a very long time, and it’s hard when the future feels uncertain. But go on bike rides during the day, clean out your garage, read that pile of books, finally volunteer at the animal shelter, etc.

      Everyone told me this, but I didn’t believe it: A year from now, maybe two, you will wake up and being fired will be the thing that changed your life for the better. I make less money — A LOT less money — but in just 10 months since being fired have no more stomach aches, no more migraines, went from not exercising to doing triathlons, my house is no longer a disaster, my husband and I actually talk now, and none of that would have happened if I hadn’t gotten fired. (For a lot of reasons, but the firing is what got me out of my slog and living again.)

      Take care of yourself, and remember that the only way out is through. And when you’re going through hell, keep going.

      • All of this! I also got fired from a horrible situation where I was already looking but having support made all the difference. I’m also SO MUCH HAPPIER now.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

    • One of my mentors once told me that getting fired, like getting your heart broken, is a sad but necessary rite of passage some of us have to go through. It’s a tough situation and it stinks, but it’s absolutely a growth opportunity. I’ve only been fired once, but it was from a terrible job that drove me crazy, working for the absolute worst boss I’ve ever had. The moral of that story for me was, number one, I should have gotten out on my own terms sooner – it wasn’t like I didn’t have options (which I had to figure out quickly as soon as I got canned); and number two, I don’t think it’s possible to bring your A game in a situation where every single day you wake up praying that the building has burned down so you don’t have to go to work.

      I know this is hard and regardless of how much you hated the job, it feels like a big ol’ rejection of you as a person. But it’s just a job, and you’ll get another one. There’s no situation, in my experience, you can’t learn something from. So take some time to mourn, be mad, contemplate the lessons, etc. But then move on. Better times and a better job are ahead of you.

  26. Am I being unreasonable? :

    It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago, and I’m bummed out that my husband didn’t do anything to acknowledge it. We were on a fancy vacation on the actual day, so it seems a little absurd to want more, but I am the one who decided to take the trip and I completely planned the vacation (no complaints about this, I enjoy travel planning and would want to do it even if husband offered). Given how much money we spent on the trip, I didn’t want anything expensive, but I would have liked a token gift or at least a card. He didn’t even wish me happy birthday! I tried to talk to him about it – pretty calmly, I think – and he flipped out and basically called me a birthdayzilla (“We were in HAWAII. What more do you want?”) Um, yeah, we were in Hawaii, but it was no thanks to you and you didn’t even acknowledge the day. He’s never been great about birthdays – he’ll buy me small random presents for no reason but believes that birthdays/anniversaries/Valentine’s Day are arbitrary days that don’t merit a big celebration – but this is the first year he’s completely ignored the day. I guess he felt like the vacation I planned gave him a pass but I don’t see it that way. Any advice?

    • Just ask nicely for what you want without putting him down. “Hey, I had a really nice time with you on our trip. It would make me feel really special if you could get me a card or a small token gift next time and tell me happy birthday on the actual day.”

    • The two of you have fundamentally different belief systems about holidays and special personal days. You think they are important and meaningful, he thinks they’re arbitrary and meaningless. Deal with THAT foundational difference, not the Hawaii / vacation / birthday conjunction that just happened. That situation isn’t the problem, the fundamental mismatch in this area is the issue.

      Bottom line: You are in a committed relationship with someone who doesn’t have the same value system in a certain area that you do. How will the two of you be generous and kind with each other regarding this? Talk about that.

      • +1

        I have seen this time and time again, and in my own family. You can get upset every year about it, or learn to accept it as a price of admission. In the scheme of things, it would be a small sacrifice in my book.

        My solution is that I plan my OWN birthday treat, no guilt. Usually it involves buying something for myself that is slightly decadent and perhaps a special outing/meal. I invite who I want. But I have never been a party person, and I have zero expectations from others. It still twinges…. a little? But I move on, and have trained myself not to be a big birthday person anymore, in the typical sense.

        I get a huge amount of joy from giving gifts, and it is hard not to be a little hurt when others don’t prioritize this too.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. This this this.

        Being a birthday person married to a birthday person is either (1) a deal-breaker, or (2) the price of admission to the relationship. There is no such thing as (3) changing your husband into a birthday person by nagging or getting upset every year.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Oops… “birthday person married to a non-birthday person.”

        • I’m not sure I agree. At the end of the day you may be right, but I really empathize with OP’s frustration here. OP isn’t trying to convert DH to be super enthusiastic about birthdays. She’s asking for a very low cost investment from him: a card and a happy birthday. It takes almost zero thought or effort. Ime, the kind of person who bristles at doing something this small is usually not very generous in other areas; obviously idk OP’s marriage, though, maybe DH is great otherwise.

          I also think it’s fair for OP to be concerned that this is a change in behavior from DH. Maybe birthdays were never really his thing, but he at least did SOMETHING in prior years. Now all of a sudden he does nothing and when she asks about it he blows up at her. It seems like something else is going on in their marriage.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I don’t know that we disagree.

            I can agree that she’s right to be frustrated, and I can agree that her husband is not very generous, and I can agree that it’s concerning if this is a change in behavior. And certainly the “blowing up at her” thing would be a dealbreaker for me.

            But my agreeing with all those things doesn’t change the fact that he is who he is and people are not improvement projects. OP can plan her own birthday, she can leave, or she can decide that her DH’s other fabulous qualities outweigh this one thing. But she almost certainly can’t turn him into a birthday person.

          • I think what Tribble may be saying is that you may not be able to turn someone into a “birthday person” who is genuinely enthusiastic about birthdays, but you can turn him into a person who understands that his wife needs a card and a “happy birthday” on her birthday. He may privately think it’s silly that she needs this, but he should be able to understand that this is something that he needs to do to make her happy. My husband grew up in a family that didn’t celebrate birthdays, and didn’t get me anything for my first birthday after we started dating. Over time I have communicated to him that birthdays are important to me and he understands that he needs to get me flowers and wish me happy birthday. He is still not a “birthday person” but he understands that I am and he needs to do certain things for it, just like I do certain things for him that I don’t care about.

            I know you like to say “people are not improvement projects” and I think it’s true that there are some fundamental values and characteristics that you have to accept and decide they’re either dealbreakers or prices of admission. But I also think that people can compromise and change certain behaviors if the person they love is asking them to do/not do something. She’s never going to make him into someone who thinks birthdays are actually important, but she can hopefully make him understand that they’re important to her.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I agree with all that. But I guess I just feel like the “asking to compromise and change certain behaviors” thing should be time limited. If you’re having this conversation every year, at some point it’s time to make the dealbreaker/price of admission call and get on with your life.

    • No advice, but commiseration. My H is awful about birthdays and holidays. We’ve basically agreed to write off valentines and our anniversary as holidays/events all together, because it is just isn’t worth the differences of opinion. For birthdays, I’ve just started being clear about my expectations – I want to do x for dinner, here are some gift suggestions. I’ve stopped trying to “test” him or expect a surprise. Frankly, even if we were on vacation on my birthday, I’d probably still need to tell him, I’d like to go to x place for dinner tonight to celebrate. It’s just not his love language…

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I don’t think you’re being nuts. When we’re traveling over a birthday (it seems to happen a lot) we’ll do something like get a nice drink somewhere and toast to the birthday person — not a whole production, but an acknowledgement. I think the ship has sailed, but you can say, “next year, I want [and then honestly state what you want].”

      • +1 to this

        I am your husband. I was away over my husband’s birthday (discussed and OK’d beforehand) and thought I had done things right by him re the birthday. So it was not unacknowledged. But he was livid nevertheless when I had not gone above and beyond what I did b/c in his mind it wasn’t acknowledgement engough *for him*.

        We’ve tried many times having the talk you need to have (and have again): discuss in advance what you want, discuss in advance what he will do, ask if you are in agreement; repeat. If either of you has an unstated expectation, you do not get to be upset about if you’ve just hoped that he would read your mind (or vice versa). You know how the other one is wired. You don’t get to sulk and act surprised. You speak up before instead of creating drama after or nursing your resentment.

        • But you also know how the other one is wired. You know your husband wants a gift and a card and for you to be excited. OP’s husband knows the same thing. Why do they have to adjust instead of you and the husband adjusting? It’s not that hard to get someone a card, especially when you know they want you to.

          • Senior Attorney :

            The person who is expecting the other person to do something should be the one to adjust. I don’t get to order you to do XYZ thing if you don’t want to do it. And you don’t get to order me to do ABC thing if I don’t want to do it.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I would be really hurt if my husband didn’t at least acknowledge my birthday, so no, I don’t think you’re being unreasonable about that.

      It seems like you might have different love languages at play here. That’s fine if he doesn’t value birthdays, anniversaries, or Valentine’s, but if you do value those days (or want at least a nominal recognition of them), I think you just need to talk to him about it and tell him what you expect. In response to his very accusatory “What more do you want?” I think your answer is, “I want you to acknowledge my birthday by wishing me a ‘Happy Birthday.'” Marriage is a two-way street – he doesn’t have to value those milestones, but since he loves you and you do value those events, he has to compromise a bit.

      • +1000 to this and anon above. My husband doesn’t believe birthdays are a big deal. I think it comes from not having big celebrations growing up, so he told himself, it’s just a day- it doesn’t matter. Regardless of why, I need at least an acknowledgement! Last year we celebrated with my family (Mom’s bday close to mine) and to him, that was it- for a milestone bday. I ignored it until it bubbled up the following week as a huge weeping episode which is absolutely unheard of for me- I think he gets it now. You do have to ask, and explain, what you need. Good luck!

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yeah, the love languages was my thought as well. My SO is a physical touch and quality time person, across the board. He appreciates when I make him tea but it’s not an act of service to him, just a convenience that he didn’t have to make it himself. I am a huge act of service and gifts person, and so he’s gotten pretty good at cleaning the kitchen whenever he thinks about it, making me a drink when I come home, and offering backrubs all the time, but gifts still baffle him. So I’ve gotten explicit, saying “I want you to find something that reminds you of me on your trip and bring it to me. It should be small and sentimental.” Or “Celebrating my birthday is a big deal to me. Would you please make all the arrangements for (thing to do for my birthday)?” Then I step back. It’s worked so far, because he’s smart enough and knows me well enough to pick out the right things. I did have to stop expecting that he would surprise me with something the way I would prefer, but those gift and service gestures mean even more when you know they are hard for someone to do, but they’re trying because they love you that much.

        But your husband does need to make that effort.

    • I can totally relate. On the one hand, it seems silly because you were already doing something awesome, but on the other hand, acknowledgment is nice. I agree the ship has sailed this year, but I would explicitly (this is no time for hints) communicate your expectations next year to your husband: “Honey, I don’t want anything big, but can we at least do x for my birthday in 1 week?” or “I’m planning x for my birthday and I want y for a gift”.

      Like you, I am the planner (holidays, vacations, fun things on the weekends) and it gets exhausting, but if I don’t do it, we won’t do anything. I’ve given up hoping for some fun surprise for my birthday and I just go ahead and plan a fun activity for the two of us.

    • Anonymous :

      I think all the advice you’re getting here is crap. Your husband isn’t required to get you a gift for your birthday, especially if you’re on an expensive vacation. But no “Happy Birthday”? I think that verges on the cruel (assuming he did not just forget your birthday, which would hurt but I would forgive that). If he knew it was your birthday and literally did not even speak one word to acknowledge it, I think your husband has some serious issues.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah this. DH and I don’t really do birthday gifts, but we at least say it. It seems incredibly weird to not even acknowledge it is your birthday.

      • +1. I would be extremely upset if my husband/boyfriend didn’t even say “Happy Birthday”.

  27. Gift advice needed, stat! Need a gift idea for a person of significant means graduating from a graduate degree she pursued for fun (doesn’t plan to work in the field). Husband is throwing her a large, sit-down dinner party tonight to celebrate. My usual grad gifts (biz card holder, picture frames) seem silly for someone of her status and it’s too late to get the personalized things I like to give.
    Any ideas that I can have Amazon Primed or grab on the way to the dinner? Don’t know why I forgot about this but it got away from me and the dinner is tonight! She loves to cook, loves opera, has 3 small kids.

    • Bottle of champagne or fancy wine she likes.

    • This seems like the perfect occasion for a nice bottle of champagne, a pretty bow, and a card.

    • I like the champagne idea — easy enough to pick out a nice bottle for $50 on the way, so I’d probably just go with that. Another idea is, depending on the degree and how well you know her, maybe a couple books related to it that she might find interesting? This would be easier if it’s art history or something.

    • gala dinner anon :

      Champagne if she drinks, flowers if she doesn’t.

    • Do you have an opera company in your city? She might appreciate a donation made in her name to them.

  28. Relevant to many people here. This is a big step further from the Dept of Ed saying they couldn’t guarantee whether certain jobs apply for PSLF.

  29. Cornellian :

    Off topic: weight loss. Maybe I should ask this at corporette moms, but it seems like there is a lot of weight loss discussion here today, so I’ll try here.

    I have a four month old (my first) and just came back to work this week. Not to be smug, but I didn’t really have any problem losing the weight (I’ve been at my pre-baby weight since about 12 weeks post partum and now am actually a couple pounds under it). OTOH, I just feel so WEAK. I thought carrying my son around non-stop for four months and walking 5+ miles a day would keep me toned, but I think it just toned my forearms. I’d like to get back to my athletic pursuits once I get in the swing of things at work, but I can’t do one pull up or five push ups right now. A complicating factor is that I’m breastfeeding and on a slightly limited diet, so I don’t think I can really play too much with what I’m eating right now.

    I can’t imagine adding a real work out routine to my life right now, but there are obviously fit moms, so I’m looking for advice. Is it naive to think that one morning workout + weekend workout would get me any results? The answer can’t be that I don’t get back in shape until my kid is in elementary school (right?????!!).

    • I had a very similar experience. Dropped the weight quickly and without issue, but lost all my “strongs” and energy in the process (also BF-ing). Lifting is your best bet. Like not just lifting your child, but kettlebells, squats, etc. This has really helped me. I think yoga would also really help me as I am so stiff from BF-ing, but I can’t figure out how to fit that in as well. Even 2-3 days a week is better than nothing.

    • Have you looked into any of the 10-minute circuit workouts? You have a list of bodyweight exercises that can be done at home (think planks, burpees, pushups, etc.) and then set a timer for 10 mins or however much time you have as you go through a circuit of doing each exercise for a set number of reps. It obviously won’t have the same effect as an hour in the gym, but 10-15 mins a day can make a difference and might be easier to fit in as a mom.

    • I so feel like a broken record, but search for BodyPump classes near you. They’re one hour, and I just went once a week and saw dramatic improvements in my muscle tone. You won’t bulk up, you choose your weights, and you hardly notice time passing because you’re bopping around to music (but no coordination required, which is why I fail dramatically at all dance-y, aerobics-classes-like things haha).

      • YES to bodypump! :

        I second this rec for Bodypump!!! And if you can’t get to the gym, I recommend paying for their streaming online – it is only $13/month and you’d need to invest under $100 for a bar with plates and some dumbbells.

    • You’ll get there. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, because you really don’t have a lot of time to snap yourself back into shape. One time/week plus weekend workouts will get you a long way. It gets easier when you’re sleeping more and spending less time breastfeeding. I was in probably the best shape and skinniest (not that skinny is really what I was going for at that stage in the game) of my adult life by about 8 or 9 months pp (with my first baby, not so much with the second…) due to all the calories lost from nursing and getting back into a workout routine. By about 4 months pp, I think I was able to hit the gym for bootcamp maybe 2 times/week before work and exercise on the weekends. If this doesn’t happen till 6 months pp, or one year, then whatever, I’m sure you’ll be fine — just as long as you stay reasonably active. It also gets easier once baby is a little less wobbly and you can take baby on runs with you in the jogging stroller, if that’s your thing. It takes a while to find a routine, but if you make it a priority, it will definitely happen before kindergarten :)

    • So I’ve never had a baby, but… your four months pp. Maybe cut yourself some slack? Breastfeeding, less sleep, physical recovery–all of these things will make you tired and affect your physical performance. Consider starting small, like doing a 7 minute body weight circuit a few times a week (there are a lot of apps).

    • There’s space between being worried about tone at 4 months PP and never getting back in shape for the next 5 years. Work in a short daily (10 min) toning workout at home or a weekly or biweekly toning class. Make sure you up your food intake appropriate. If you’re back to your pre-pregnancy weight, and you weren’t overweight to begin with, then you don’t want to be losing weight while BF.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yay big red!! Just had to comment on that. Not a mom but used to work 80+ hours a week which is how I ended up doing box jumps in my 3rd bedroom….Have you thought about maybe starting out with some bodyweight stuff in your house (or weighted if you are comfortable with it)? I’d say you probably ideally want to shoot for 3 days a week (if possible) and 25 – 30 minutes per session (to accomodate a decent workout including warmup / cooldown). There are lots of youtube resources – I personally like fitnessblender (workouts are free but they also sell a paired 8 week calendar program for busy people where all the workouts are around ~30 minutes in length for $15), but platforms like Befit / Grokker / Popsugar fitness have a ton of shorter effective workouts.

      The reason I like at home is that it eliminates the drive to / from a facility and any wait times. It also meant that when I got home sometimes at 10 PM I could get a quick 30 minutes in and meant that when I worked out in the mornings I wasn’t having to get up at some ridiculously early time (7 AM is a struggle when you leave work on average between 10 PM and 12 AM).

    • Start incorporating strength training – you likely lost muscle and fat during the process. To be toned you have build/maintain muscle and reduce fat, walking won’t help muscle mass or retention. Fitness blender has some body-weight videos, Popsugar has some good bodyweight/light weights videos, but once you can lift heavier you should.

      Also, BBG’s Kayla Itsines has an app (Sweat) that just added a post-partum program for moms designed by a mom who was specially trained for it. I think it pays special attention to joint loosening and other issues pp bodies deal with.

      Best of luck!

    • Are you eating enough to keep your energy up? I had a similar experience–I lost the weight quickly (2 lbs below pre-pregnancy weight within 2 weeks) but was very weak from 9 months of a severely limited diet and activity resulting from hyperemesis. Eating more helped and did not make me gain weight.

      For a quick at-home workout to kick-start a routine, I like the 30-Day Shred followed by a couple sets of pull-ups, with a band or feet on an exercise ball as needed.

    • Sorry to break it to you, but when your kid is in elementary school you will have even less time to work out than you do with an infant. Don’t count on things getting any less hectic as your kid gets older. Your life will still be crazy, just a different type of crazy.

      • Macademia :

        Sad but true. I am finding middle school to be even worse in that regard.

      • I have disagree with this! I have soooooo much more time to work out now, when my kid is 2, than I did when she was 4 months. The most important change…not breastfeeding anymore! Makes it much easier to schedule a workout. I can’t speak to the five year old, but it does get easier!

        • Anonymous :

          Ding ding ding! The first year was the worst for scheduling workouts if you are BF-ing. In the am, you are either uncomfortably full or you can’t completely guarantee a specific wakeup time. And evenings are just rough. I didn’t get back to working out until I weaned and sleeping became more consistent. I hear what you’re saying about older kids being busier, but they aren’t busy during the 5-6am time slot!

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          Yeah, I disagree too. For me, the hardest time was when my kids were infants and the second hardest was prior to them starting school. It got immensely easier with time when they started in school, and am finding middle school to be the easiest thus far. They are so much more independent and can do so much more on their own.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Pure Barre might help- it can develop some tone and I know they have new-mom specific classes (and DVDs!).

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      Was in your shoes 1.5 years ago! Start small and slow – it’s consistency, not trying to introduce a whole new workout routine/ location, that’ll set you up for long-term success. The more you’re able to be consistent, the more sustainable it is in the long term. I like Megan Dahlman’s bodyweight workouts on YouTube for a start, and then as work, pumping, sleep etc. settle down you can look for BodyPump classes or make appointments with a personal trainer.

    • Anonymous :

      Strength training + enough protein made me stronger than I had ever been at ~18-24 mo postpartum. I went from 0 chin-ups to 3 pull ups. I had ABS!! (Not 6 of them. 2-4, depending on the day…and time of day). I’m currently pregnant again, and gained ~10 lbs over the winter so… ha, ha, ha, bye bye abs.

      I started by getting Bret Contreras strong curves book (12 week program: Bootyful Beginnings). About 4 hours/week for 12 weeks. The workouts change every 4 weeks, which is nice, and they start off ‘easy’ with bodyweight work. There’s another 12 week program after that, which I kept extending.

      That said, I didn’t start really weight training until I noticed how skinny/weak I had gotten at about 12-15 mo postpartum. From ~4-12 mo postpartum, I did a lot of walking, running, and triathlon training, but that didn’t necessarily help with muscle building. Weightlifting is where its at.

      Good luck, and cut yourself some slack. You’re not in for 5 years of doing nothing!

    • Anonymous :

      Give yourself some time, 4 months is nothing. I didn’t reliably start working out again until my son was 2. I’m loosing the baby weight (and post weaning gain) now that he is almost 5. I am not sure I could have done when he was 4 months old what I am doing now, but in terms of fitness, it is this: I get up about 30 minutes earlier every weekday and either jog for 30 minutes or do a workout. They have 3 different 8-week programs that are 30 minutes or less per day and incorporate both strength and cardio. Highly recommended! I don’t generally work out on weekends because it makes me too tired when I have to chase my son around all day and do chores, etc.; it is sort of counter intuitive, but it works better for me to work out on a day when I just have to sit at a desk all day. I think at 4 months though, 30 more minutes of sleep was probably worth more to me. Don’t worry, if this is important to you you will figure it out eventually.

    • Anonymous :

      I started with 12 minute HIIT workouts (substituting low impact when necessary as my joints took months to recover from pregnancy). When I felt stronger, which did happen, I moved to 24 minute HIIT workouts on some days, weights on others. It just takes time, but you will build strength again!! I had gone through similar weak stretches due to previous health issues/surgery recoveries so I knew already I could get my strength back over time. We had a lot of life upheaval/major move so I took my time increasing, but by 18 mo I felt pretty normal or even in better shape.

    • I was in a very similar position to you when I had baby #1. Was nursing, had eliminated dairy b/c baby #1 had a dairy allergy and dropped to pre-pregnancy (slightly under too..) by 6 months pp.

      As long as you’re hitting your macros and calories (even with a limited diet) coupled with lifting weights, you can see strength gains. I would start out lifting day every other day and see how it goes. If you go with a good progressive lifting program, lifting every other day and doing it 3 days a week will get you good results.

      I initially started doing P90x and loved it. I liked that it was 1 hour from warm-up to finish and that it used weight. I’m now doing the New Rules of Lifting but some stages can take a little over an hour for each workout. Not sure about your time constraints but wanted to put that out there. I’ve also heard great things about the Strong Curves book by Bret Contreras.

      I work out at home for the same reasons others have posted (save on drive time, can squeeze in a work out at odd hours) and currently only have dumbbells. I have to adjust some of the workouts in the New Rules book but I’ve still gotten really good results. After P90x and the New Rules of Lifting, I can do 6-8 unassisted pull-ups in most every variation (pull-up, chin-up, wide-grip, close-grip). Before I started, just hanging from the pull-up bar was exhausting.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Getting back in shape was really important to me, so I started as soon as I was medically cleared to do so. I had to give up nearly everything except swimming and light resistance training in my third trimester, so I started back in with swimming and those other things I was doing first and built up to other things. Running, cycling, neavier weight training. I had our nanny stay for a couple extra hours two nights a week or so so I could squeeze in workouts once I went back to work. I also did two very heavy workouts on weekends, because my husband could stay with the kids while I was out.

    • Cornellian :

      Thanks, all. It seems like body weight exercises at home (maybe through one of the online services or books mentioned) is my best bet for now.

      Re: it getting easier (or not) as they get older: I have found that even at 4 months it’s easier to find 20 minutes to myself than at 4 weeks. I think b-feeding is probably a large part of what makes finding an hour to work out difficult. Hopefully that will change as he starts eating real food and I can phase out a couple feedings/pumping sessions (OMG THEY TAKE FOREVVVVVVER).

    • How are your iron levels and b12 levels? It’s common to be deficient in one or both after pregnancy and childbirth, and that could be causing your problems, not a lack of specific exercises.

  30. Someone talk me into/out of buying this:

    • And now I want this! (But probably won’t order because it’s not listed as “hips friendly.”)

    • I have a very old version of a similar dress they made in their first year (think I picked it up as a sample) and don’t love it. They will have likely fixed the design flaws (skirt unlined and rides up, cowl neck too low), but do make sure the fit is right. I also find it less versatile than a separate shirt and skirt. But this did catch my eye. If you’re less concerned about versatility I’d recommend ordering it but ensure that it fits perfectly or commit to tailoring
      A few of their new dresses look great. I just got the Taylor from a pre-order and it’s gorgeous. Although still trying to figure out a topper for it.

      • I’m interested in the Taylor as well. What kind of thing are you planning to wear it to? Work? Party? I’m such a bad judge of these things, but the color and machine washability make me want this for work.

        What are your thoughts for a topper?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      That is beautiful! I vote buy it.

    • Anonymous :

      This is a beautiful dress. But, caveat: there is a reason they chose an African-American model. I think it wouldn’t look so great on many fair-skinned Caucasian or Asian people.

  31. Anon for This :

    There’s a very loud meeting going on in the conference room next to my workspace all day today that I’m not really allowed to criticize. The group using the conference room is a significant organization that supports my nonprofit office with donations, etc. and they only meet here a few times a year, so it’s considered a “pull out all the stops” kind of occasion. I get that they’re important, but they’ve been so loud that I haven’t been able to concentrate all morning, even with headphones! Breakfast was catered and lunch will be catered as well, so they won’t be leaving anytime soon. Ugh. /end rant

  32. Condolence 'gift' :

    What’s something different to send for condolence? Survivor is a 90 ish year old woman. DH said champagne to toast the life of the deceased, but we don’t know her well enough to know if that would be appreciated!

    • A plant, a memorial tree ( they do this in US forests), windchime, a donation in his memory

      • +1 my husband got a memorial rosebush from a friend when his father died and it was a lovely gesture that I have co-opted as my own.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I would not do champagne. It seems too celebratory, and who is she going to drink it with? Maybe a nice blanket or throw and a note that says “this won’t replace the deceased’s hugs but maybe it will help keep you as warm as your memories” or some such.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      Champagne seems inappropriate to me. It’s a wonderful idea to celebrate the life of the deceased, but not in a “Yay, let’s drink!” sort of way. Depending on who the deceased and bereaved are (their relationship to you and DH), I’d recommend a card with a lovely note, like a favorite memory about the person. Donation in the deceased’s honor is also a nice gesture.

    • No champagne. It seems inappropriate for the reasons Minnie mentioned. I would stick with the classics, like a plant or flowers.

    • Champagne is completely inappropriate…. for so many reasons. Never mind that alcohol + 90 year old woman = broken hip or brain bleed (I am a doctor).

      Did you know the deceased? If so, a thoughtful card with a memory of the deceased is the nicest gift you can give.

      Avoid flowers, as they are given too often, die quickly, may require care (and carrying water/vases which can be heavy), and some people do not like them etc… If you know she enjoys plants, you could consider a small plant but I also avoid this now as many people who are 90 do not want more stuff and responsibilities.

      A gift of food, easy to store in the freezer can sometimes helpful. A donation is very nice, particularly if there is a foundation/cause mentioned in the obituary or you know was meaningful to the deceased.

      A visit is nice.

    • A heartfelt card or a personal visit. This is not a gift giving occasion.

    • Anonymous :

      I think condolences are an area where there’s really no need to be different or creative — unless you KNOW the person really dislikes convention. Card, flowers, plant, donation … just express that you care.

  33. Does your office’s dress code relax a bit during the summer, even if it’s not explicitly stated? In my office, it seems like the lower- and entry-level folks relax quite a bit, while the execs are still in full suits most days. My position falls into the middle management category and figuring out what’s appropriate, based on the people around me, isn’t easy because our personal styles are very different. When the afternoon high earlier this week was 90 degrees, I wished I felt comfortable wearing a pair of dressy sandals instead of my closed-toe shoes. I was cool with that until a couple of years ago. (I’m in my mid-30s.) I’ve been trying to step up in formality during the past two years, in hopes of presenting myself as more senior. It’s not an issue most of the time, but summer always throws me off my game because damn wouldn’t I love to dress down a bit for comfort reasons.

    • Condolence 'gift' :

      I’d say it’s consistent all year round – consistently poor. I was going to ask what younger women wear, because at my office it’s patterned leggings, wh*re pumps/sandals/booties, oversized sweaters or button downs, really short dresses with button-downs over. Yes, they need to get off my lawn. One asked me where I get my skirts, and then said shopping at AT would make her ‘look like a nun.’

      • This is exactly my office. It’s so bad.

      • Whoa. My office is the opposite — frump reigns. That’s infinitely better than what you’re describing. I just don’t understand how people think that’s work appropriate. I knew better even when I was straight outta school and came from a background where my parents did not have office jobs.

        • Anonymous :

          We have a couple of people who manage to be frumpy and inappropriate at the same time. Think button-front dress from the 1990s, now a little too tight, with no slip. Shudder.

    • I’d go with “dress for the job you want” here. Folks in my office run the gamut, but I err on the side of formality because I never want to come off as sloppy or someone you couldn’t pull into a client meeting on short notice.

  34. For those of you in house, how long did it take to find your job? I’ve been looking/networking/submitting applications for six months with zero results. It’s starting to get discouraging…

    • I imagine the answer depends on how serious you are and how broadly you are looking (in terms of type of org and location). I’m not trying to stay in biglaw forever but am not desperate to leave, so am being pretty picky and have only applied to maybe 4 or 5 positions in the course of one year. I got 3 interviews and 0 offers (hmm, maybe this is a bad sign, now that I think about it…), and I’ll just keep at it until I get something I’m looking for or feel like I need to broaden my search.

      • The fact that you’re getting the interviews is a good sign (I’ve heard) — but I”m in a similar spot (several interviews, 0 offers). I think part of the issue is that there are literally hundreds of applicants for every in-house position, so it is a numbers game.

    • Anonymous :

      It really does depend so much on so many factors: area of the country, years of experience, area of practice, etc. It can get discouraging, I’m sure. But the other poster is correct – we get hundreds of apps for every opening, so spend time thinking about how you can distinguish your resume. More importantly, take time to get to know the attorneys at the companies where you’re applying – I got my first in-house gig (at a F50 company) by sending my resume to the sister of a friend of mine (after we had coffee) because she was in-house at the company I was applying at. It turns out she forwarded it directly to the hiring recruiter (along with a note about how pleasant I am, based only on our coffee conversation) and I was fast-tracked from there. Many companies will ask their attorneys first whether they know anyone who’s interested in a position (easier than just posting, and most people won’t recommend someone who sucks) so networking with in-house folks is a really good bet to get an inside scoop on the positions

  35. citizen, trying to be informed :

    Does anyone know what’s the deal with the WH Press Briefing today? Was really looking forward to tuning in, but apparently there’s nothing on the schedule. Because, you know, it’s a slow news week and all. Harrumph.

    • Anonymous :

      Apparently Spicer’s out of doing these now – Sanders to take his place. Guess he said “Muslim ban” too many times.. .

    • Anonymous :

      They’re phasing them out overall. Used to have it in the background daily. Then this week a few times they refused on camera press conferences and spicer would only do audio. Heard this morning that after they return from the 9 day trip, spicer won’t be doing them most likely AND they won’t be daily no matter who replaces spicer.

      • citizen, trying to be informed :

        I hate everything about this damn administration.

        But apparently the man himself is doing a presser at 3:45 so I’m going to have my popcorn ready.

  36. My good friend is moving to the UK (somewhat less urban area). Any thoughts on a farewell gift? I was thinking books for the plane since we’ve often traded books, but then got stuck after that. Is an umbrella too cliché? I’m shying away from anything that takes up space – she and her family are working hard to downsize from big-American-house to their new UK cottage.

    • Where in the UK is she moving? If she likes nonfiction, I’d recommend Watching the English. Fairly academic but really fascinating read. Or some of the Bill Bryson books?

    • AnonPastryLover :

      How about a travel book of the UK? Either a modern one (for actual use) or an antique one. (There is a certain type of used book store that is always stuffed to the gills with 100 year old travel books.) Some kind of experience gift to related to where they’re going (a museum membership, etc)?

    • Packing cubes.

      And stuffed inside them, her favorite American junk food/snack food that she wont be able to get as easily in the UK.

      Or a simple, tiny, framed… print/watercolor/picture of a place in the US you visited with her or where she lived if she loved it or of the both of you together.

  37. Stockholm Syndrome? :

    I’m rather embarrassed to ask my friends (and also don’t want to color their perception of DH) but I am really fed up with our marriage. I’m not sure if I’m being unreasonable or if I’ve just gotten used to the insanity but I’m really tired.

    We don’t really argue, except about parenting issues which are huge, but we have a pretty lukewarm relationship. DH doesn’t like kissing or cuddling. EVER. This wasn’t the case when we were dating but gradually changed after we married 14 years ago and has dwindled to NOTHING. I’ve tried talking to him but he just says he doesn’t like it. We also (and probably relatedly) don’t connect on an emotional level.

    DH refuses counseling and, to him, nothing is wrong with this. He has a lot of borderline bizarre social behavior. He’s very introverted, thinks he’s smarter than mostly everyone (he’s smart, to be sure, but he seems to think he’s THE SMARTEST ALWAYS; he accepts that I am also smart, so this doesn’t come up between us but seriously hampers normal socializing); he doesn’t read social cues very well/doesn’t care about them (he will sit through dinner with my family or his and literally say nothing). In sum, he may have an undiagnosed mental illness.

    The biggest problem for me is that he yells and swears and our 12-year old. I get that parenting a pre-teen is challenging, but it seems to me that DH is really demanding all the time. He says that I don’t discipline our child, so we have a difference of opinion to be sure, but I don’t think that yelling at someone is ok ever. I’ve tried every tactic but DH won’t change. I managed to get him to family counseling once and the counselor immediately honed in on DH’s anger management issues as the problem so DH refused to go back (he claimed the counselor just didn’t know what he was doing/wasn’t qualified).

    WTH do I do? Is divorce my only option at this point? I don’t know how I can handle one more super stressful event on top of a stressful job and everything else and I don’t really know how we’ll afford it since we live in a HCOL area. We’d have to sell our house at a loss since we bought at the height of the bubble and it would really be a complete financial mess. I’m not looking for the easy way out but I also don’t want to keep accepting the status quo for myself or my child. Am I being unreasonable?

    • Anonymous :

      Divorce seems like the logical step. I know it seems impossible, but you will manage to afford it. Also, the real estate market in most of the country is a seller’s market right now, so it might not be as bad as you think.

    • Anonymous :

      I think try another counselor in case while simultaneously getting everything in order on your side for a divorce.

    • Anonymous :

      “I don’t think that yelling at someone is ok ever.”
      This is a really extreme position. I was yelled at a teenager and DH and yell at our children. It’s not something we love doing or are proud of necessarily, but it happens and I don’t know anyone that has managed to raise children without yelling at them once in a while. That said, swearing at a kid is different than simply yelling at him and especially if the swears are “You %*#@&%” rather than “What a dumb %*#& thing you did”, it would definitely bother me. It also depends on the frequency. Is this a very occasional thing he does that is upsetting you because you believe people should never yell? Or is it just his parenting style to yell and swear at the kid at every minor annoyance? I would definitely be thinking about divorce in the latter situation if the spouse refused counseling.

      (I think you should separate out his social obnoxiousness – which sounds like it might be Asperger’s? – from his treatment of the kid. I would live with a spouse who was awkward and annoying in social situations. I wouldn’t live with a spouse I believed was verbally abusing my child.)

      • Stockholm Syndrome? :

        Yes, it is nearly a daily occurrence and it is definitely the “You xxxx” and “you are so xxxx-ing stupid” and on and on. If I am there when it happens, I step in, at which point DH will still fume but stop for a bit but my son says it is much worse when I am not around to the point where my son recorded my DH shouting at him at the top of his lungs for more than 5 minutes with every other word being “f” and I really lost it. My son doesn’t argue back, mostly. He just tries to say “uhh-huh” “yes” “ok” but that doesn’t help. DH used to yell at me like that and actually left a few times before we had our son and DH eventually stopped. But now I see his same behavior towards our son and I’m sad and worried.

        • Anonymous :

          If it’s to the point where your kid is recording stuff to show you how bad it gets when you’re not around, then you need family counseling asap. And I would avoid leaving son alone with DH if possible.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, you don’t need us to tell you this is not okay. Yelling is something most parents are guilty of, but I would go berserk if I heard my husband say these kinds of things to our kids. If he’s not willing to work on this — or at least try another counselor to be convinced that he needs to deal with this, divorce is a no-brainer, economic consequences be what they may. Living in a 1-br apartment in a sh*tty part of town is preferable to having your kid verbally abused by his dad.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, I’m the one who said yelling is normal, but the things that you are describing are definitely not, and in particular the fact that your son is so terrified that he’s taking videos of it is very disturbing. You need to get out for the sake of your child.

        • This is new and vital information. It’s not just an issue with his anger management with the kid — it’s an anger management issue with people. As in you, badly enough that you left him several times before he quit doing it to you and moved on to your son, who can’t fight back.

          I was raised by a mother like your husband, and my father didn’t divorce her despite her refusing counseling. I’ve got a lot of baggage, and my relationship with my dad is crippled by it (i don’t really have a relationship with my mom, though they’re married still).

          If this is regularly occurring and your husband refuses help, then yes. I would leave, if I were you.

        • I think you need to consider what damage is being done to your child by not removing him from this situation immediately. You stepping in but remaining in a situation where it sounds like your husband is verbally abusing your child sends a message to your child that you will continue allowing this to occur since you haven’t stopped it. Even if you have a good relationship with your kid–which it sounds like you have–you are still silently telegraphing the message that staying is more important than protecting him from this. What long term consequences will that have for your son’s emotional development, and for his future relationships?

        • Anonymous :

          Your son is being verbally abused. I grew up in a household like this, it was my mom doing the yelling. It took literal years of therapy to get over the feelings of worthlessness that came from listening to that for my entire childhood. I left home at 17 to get away from my mother and never went back. My dad and I don’t talk even though my mother is gone now. Because he should have protected my brother and I from the abuse, and he didn’t. And I can’t forgive that. My brother became an addict and just barely survived.

          News flash: you are married to an a** hole. Things are not going to get better. Your son recording the abuse and letting you hear it is a cry for help. He needs you to protect him from his father, and you aren’t doing it.

          What you should do is put your husband out. Today. And get a lawyer who can ensure limited visitation with your son. But you won’t do that, because if you’ve been living with your husband acting like this for this long, let’s face it – you’re not leaving. My brother and I would beg my dad to leave our mother and he never did. I don’t know why, because she treated him like dirt also. That’s not love, so I don’t buy the excuse of “well, but I loved her.” Apparently he didn’t love us or want to protect us more than he loved her. So I hope he can take care of himself now, because my brother and I aren’t doing it. You’re headed down the same road.

          I’m so, so sorry for your son. I wish I could reach out to him and tell him that once he gets away from you two – things will get better. Please tell him that for me. There is hope – not any you can provide, but out there in the world, for him. And I’m sorry for you, that you’re so weak that you can’t leave someone who would treat you and your son this way. You’ll pay for that for the rest of your life, and you don’t even realize it.

          • MargaretO :

            Wow I am very sorry that you experienced abuse as a child but this response is not going to help her get out.

            OP – you can decide to be strong enough to leave even if you haven’t been in the past. Please kick your husband out or move out with your son ASAP. Contact a local DV organization if you need to. What your husband is doing is abuse and you and your son deserve so much better.

          • Sick of it :

            MargaretO, I know you seem to to think of yourself as the self-appointed expert on everything around here. But if you haven’t experienced abuse, maybe for this one you should S TF U. I don’t agree with the way Anonymous above said what she said but she’s speaking to her truth and her pain. I think the OP would be wise to listen to the experiences of people here who are posting about growing up with abusive parents. This is a crazy-azz situation and the OP needs a wake-up call. This goes way beyond a husband being moody.

          • MargaretO :

            If you hadn’t included that first sentence I would take this as helpful criticism but come on. You have a point but that was super unnecessary.

          • MargaretO :

            And you also have no idea if I have experienced abuse or not

          • Anonymous :

            I agree with Margaret O. This was not helpful to OP.

            Separately, Sick of it, you may want to explore with a therapist your comment that “My brother and I would beg my dad to leave our mother and he never did. I don’t know why, because she treated him like dirt also. ” The psychology of why people stay in abusive situations (whether physical or verbal abuse) is well studied and understood phenomenon. Learning about that is not about thinking that staying is ‘okay’ but about understanding the psychological mechanisms of why people make those choices. That may bring you some peace as you move forward because you are clearly carrying a lot of anger and you don’t have to feel that way.

          • Anonymous at 323- I have experienced abuse. And I know all about the psychology of why people stay in abusive situations. I get that it’s well studied and understood. But those are rational things. That’s not how it feels to be the child in this scenario. It feels like your parent just never GAF about you enough to care about protecting you. I’ve come a long way in processing my anger, and I have become an emotionally healthy person. But I can’t shake that feeling that my parent just did not care about me enough. Those wounds are deep. It doesn’t matter why said parents did what they did. The wounds are there and “understanding” them aren’t going to make them go away. And honestly, I don’t think understanding really brought me any peace.

        • Honestly, if your son has the emotional wherewithal to record the abuse and play it for you, he may very well be about to follow the advice he would get from Dear Abby, Carolyn Hax, etc. and tell his pastor, school counselor, a cop he sees. If you don’t address this right away, you may find the authorities involved, and you will not only lose the crappy husband, but you may lose your son as well. School is nearly out – can he go stay with grandparents, friends, summer camp, etc. while you proceed with getting his dad out of his life?

          • Blonde Lawyer :


          • Anon to the max :

            Yes. And you will deserve the consequences. Because you should have womanned up already and protected your son.

            (Been there. Still resent the parent who allowed this verbal abuse to happen. Limited relationship with the verbal abuser.)

        • Anon for this :

          I would take that recording and march into court and get a domestic violence protective order to protect your son. In my state, at least, it would be granted for verbal abuse like that, plus it would get your husband kicked out of the house and give you a giant leg up in the custody litigation.

          • Stockholm Syndrome? :

            I’ve considered getting a restraining order because I really don’t know how else to get away from him but I don’t want to ruin his life or wreck his career. I wish he would just accept that this is not ok, we can’t continue to live together and allow a peaceful dissolution. I cannot grasp why he would be motivated to stay in this situation but I don’t wish him any harm.

          • Senior Attorney :

            He doesn’t care about you and your child. He is harming you. He is ruining your lives. Protect yourself and protect your child.

        • Viva Las Megas :

          This is abusive behavior. Towards your child. That you are aware of. You have an obligation as a parent and a human to protect your child from this behavior. Immediately. Tonight. Do the right thing.

          • Been there :

            You have the right to stay and allow your life to be a mess.

            But for your child, no. You are his parent and should be his protector.

            If you don’t, he’s not going to forgive and forget. You’re going to damage your future relationship with your son. IMO, YOU are damaging him just as much as his dad does by not ‘stepping up’.

    • I have no qualifications to respond- no kids, no experience in this. But I’d imagine the fighting/ anger will only intensify as your son ages through the teen years and becomes more independent. If I had to guess I’d imagine it will not even be the status quo- it will be worse.
      Please post again in the afternoon thread for better advice – and I’m sorry.

    • No. It is reasonable to expect that your partner will respect you and your child, and not swear at a 12-year old. The voice inside of you telling you that you can’t live like this anymore? Listen to it.

    • Anonymous :

      You are not being unreasonable. I’ve posted a few times about how beneficial Gottman style counseling has been for our family. But my DH has always agreed that we had issues and needed to work on things. Working through parenting conflicts within our marriage counseling has been helpful.

      Look for someone who specializes in marriage counseling but also family counseling including post-divorce family counselling so that they can continue to support you if that is the root forward. Go with your daughter even if your DH will not.

      I don’t think that anyone here is able to tell you if he has a mental illness or Aspergers etc. But I think to a certain extent, it doesn’t matter what the cause is, the effect is that he is swearing at a 12 year old and that is not okay. He needs to take responsibility to improve his behavior towards yourself and your daughter.

      As Senior Attorney says – the only way out is through and you will get through this.

      Best of luck. And please continue to reach out for support, whether online or with your real life friends.

      • Stockholm Syndrome? :

        Thanks, all. I really needed an objective view since it’s been so long for me in this mess. I don’t want to be unreasonable and I get that some people yell, but this goes beyond that. I’ve just lost my compass for how far is too far. After nearly 20 years together it is very scary to think about divorce. Also I have mentioned it to DH before as in “we need to fix this through counseling or divorce” and he was adamantly opposed to divorce (hence our single trip to the counselor) so I know I’m in for a fight.

        • Anonymous :

          Please know that “I’ve just lost my compass for how far is too far.” is a common thing in situations of verbal abuse. You’re reaching out for help now and that is a great way to help yourself and your child. You can handle this. It won’t be easy but the long term outcome is that things will be better whether he gets help and you stay married or you divorce and get your child away from a situation of verbal abuse.

          I recommend that you start to keep a record (e.g. via email) of any incidents (date/time/details) that are particularly concerning to you.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Do not go to joint counseling with this person. An abuser will continue to abuse even in therapy sessions. I have done graduate work in counseling and joint counseling in abusive relationships is contra-indicated. Go to counseling yourself, for sure, and get your child into counseling!

          Also, don’t be afraid to leave for financial reasons. I stayed years longer than I should have for all the reasons you mention — scared of divorce, scared about the finances, etc. Once I finally left, my life got better than I could have ever dreamed. It can happen for you, too!

          • Stockholm Syndrome? :

            Thanks, I am relieved to hear from the posters who said it got better or that they were happier (and not horribly scarred) when their own parents divorced. I’m worried about doing the right thing for my son given all the competing problems and splitting up his home has been high on my list of worries.

    • I think this absolutely divorce-level material. But you also need to have a talk with a family lawyer about what kind of custody you can expect. 50/50 custody with this dude does not sound like a great situation either.

    • Best thing I ever did for myself, my kids, and my ex-husband was divorce him. Yes it sucked and put us in a huge whole financially. He was court ordered to get the help necessary if he wants to continue seeing his daughters. I am at peace (it’s tough as a single parent, but worth it). My daughters are doing AMAZING. The difference with their verbally abusive father out of the house is like night and day. They’re kids again! I didn’t realize how little opportunity they were given to just be kids when he was around

    • From today’s NY Times:

    • MargaretO :

      Please save your child from your husband. Even if it is expensive. Even if you have to live in a small apartment. The poster above says that no yelling at all is extreme but I disagree – we all lose our temper from time to time, but there is an enormous gaping difference between losing your cool a few times a year vs. regularly yelling at your child. Swearing is even more extreme (yes my parents occasionally swore when they stubbed their toe or whatever, but never AT me). I do my absolute best not to yell at people I love and I expect the same from the people in my life. You are totally within your rights to make this a dealbreaker and get out as soon as you feel it’s time. I promise your kid is noticing and hurt by their father speaking to them like this.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I agree with this. “No yelling” is a dealbreaker for me and it is perfectly reasonable for it to be a dealbreaker for you, too.

    • This sounds bad. While DH and I have no kids, DH had a step parent like this and it was awful, and influences his behavior to this day- in fact it’s a major reason why we don’t have kids. He was worried he’d inherited a sharp temper from his Mom and learned this awful behavior from his stepfather- which escalated to physical attacks as he got older. We both look back and think how hard it would have been for his Mom to leave, with no job or support- but wow, we both wish she had.

      • Anon for this :

        I was in a similar situation (mine didn’t really yell at kids just unreliable and I made all the money and did all the work at home,) and after YEARS of contemplating divorce, am finally doing it. And I feel great. We filed, he moved out to an apartment, it is (so far) amicable. I love living alone, not having to deal with his moods and unpredictability and criticisms. And I no longer rely on him so I am not constantly disappointed by his not doing what he said he would. We were in counseling for eight years. And while I am certainly glad we gave it our all, and that effort has made me feel like I did try my hardest and that divorcing is not unreasonably giving up, there is a part of me that is self-critical as to why I didn’t divorce him a decade ago when I first thought about it. What pushed me over the edge was my then 11 year old daughter noting how unfair it was that I did all the household chores and I realized what a terrible example I was setting for her by allowing myself to be treated the way I was allowing. I would never want for her (or my son) to have the kind of unequal marriage I did, so why was I staying in it and modeling it for them, giving them the message that I was okay with it. Sounds like you are in the same boat. If the way he treats your son is unacceptable and you do nothing you are in a way condoning it. That came out more harsh than I intended, I totally understand I was super hesitant about separating and super afraid and so far my only regret is that I didn’t do it way earlier.

        • Anon for this :

          And I don’t really live alone, I live with my two kids. SO far he doesnt see them that much. Hopefully that will change. What I meant was not with him.

      • My stepdad was like this and my mom just made excuses for his behavior. She either told me I was just making it up (even if she was there) or that I misunderstood (not sure how many ways there are to misunderstand him ranting about how stupid I am and her apologizing for having such a stupid daughter) and one of the things that bothers me most is knowing that my mom would never have done anything to protect me from him, regardless of how bad it got. I’m glad he wasn’t a rapist or child molester, because she totally would have just let that happen.

        Anyway, you’re not doing any of this, but I would be concerned that if you don’t actually do something to make the verbal abuse stop (like divorce or moving out) then it’ll seem like you’re condoning the behavior or that it’s okay with you on some level to your son. Talk is cheap. If you really think it’s that bad, you have to do something to protect your son. At least that’s how it’s likely to look from your son’s perspective.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re comfortable posting your location you can get recommendations for counselors or lawyers.

    • I was verbally abused by my father. We have little to no relationship now and I do blame my mother for enabling his behavior. My mother and I are not close at all. I still think about his words almost daily and I don’t want children of my own because of my own childhood. Please get out. Verbal abuse is still painful, particularly at that age. You are also worth more than this and deserve better.

    • Has he ever been diagnosed with Aspergers? Because a lot of his behaviors sound like they could fit that diagnosis. I would get yourself a therapist and talk to them about his behavior. But what if you told him you were going to get a divorce? If he is as emotionally stunted as he sounds, he might not even realize that his behavior is making you feel this way. And if you draw that line in the sand it might be enough for him to start seeking help and changing his ways.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My one concern is whether divorce will lead to him having unsupervised time with son. He is unlikely to lose his parenting rights over this. Check whether your state has one party consent or two party consent laws for recording conversations so that you/your son does not get threatened with wiretapping violations if you bring the recording into it. Talk to a therapist yourself over what is better/worse for kids. Maybe someone here who experienced can say. I think if I was the kid and going to be exposed to the abuse either way, I’d rather feel 100% safe in mom’s house and have to “deal with it” at Dad’s rather than always be on edge in my home that the abuse could be right around the corner even if mom tried to mitigate it.

    • Your husband’s behavior sounds similar to my father’s – the intellectual superiority complex, the cursing and yelling at his children, etc. My parents separated when I was 22, and I only wish they had done it sooner. There is no amount of therapy that can completely erase the years of abuse I took from him. I can’t put myself in my mother’s shoes, or really reconcile why she stayed for so long, but as a child in this environment, I wanted out. I have no relationship with my father now, and i need it to stay that way. I would think about the kind of behavior and parenting you want your children to witness and experience, and whether putting up with this kind of abuse is worth the relative financial comfort/life stability. If your children are pre-teens and can articulate their feelings well, it’s likely that your husband would only get supervised visits – if he seeks any custody – or that a court would take your children’s opinions and feelings into account as to whether/how much they should be in his company.

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