Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Fluted Stretch-Knit Skirt

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

This fluted skirt by Victoria Beckham is made from a smooth black knit that’s got a bit of stretch — it’s a viscose/polyamide/elastane blend. This is a pull-on skirt, and the fluted style is always flattering and has a vintage vibe to it. I think it’ll always be in style. The skirt is $1,100 at Net-a-Porter and comes in sizes 1 to 3 (S to L). Fluted Stretch-Knit Skirt

Two more affordable options are here and here, and two plus-size options are here and here.

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  1. Left biglaw a few yrs ago on decent terms and in good standing w the firm – though I personally was bitter about not making partner. I decline most alumni events but tend to go to an easy one every 1.5-2 yrs just to maintain the network etc. Agreed to go to one tonight bc it’s short and consists listening to a speaker for 45 min and then an hr of shaking hands etc. Normally I’m fine w this but am just having a hard time. Was looking at LinkedIn/firm website – it’s hard to see that peers made partner when I didn’t or jumped to other firms and are partners there though I wasn’t able to secure another firm job. Hard to think about the fact that they are getting to do the work I want and making millions and I’m . . . not.

    How do I get thru this event without being sad and teary (though I’ve been teary alone about this I’m certain I won’t cry in front of others – but I don’t want to look miserable when asked about my own work)? I know I can bail, but I want to see if I can work thru it.

    • I would focus on what makes you happy now and practice talking about it in front of the mirror. Many of them likely aren’t making the money you think, may be envious of the life you have not being driven by crazy demands and 6 minute increments, etc. The grass is always greener, and no doubt your former peers (to the extent they have the emotional energy left at an evening event) will probably look at you and be envious of you!

      • Yeah I mean most junior partners aren’t making “millions of dollars.” Even if they made equity partner because they have a book (which is a big IF), they have to pay the buy in and they might still have student loans. As for those that jumped ship to smaller firms to have a shot at partner… there’s really no way to tell what their financial picture looks like, the comp structure at boutiques can be wompy. Then there’s always the risk of a capital call; even big firms did that in the not-so-distant past, I can’t imagine what it was like at smaller firms.

        I understand where OP is coming from. This is a hard thing to grapple with. No need to make it harder by telling yourself that these people are a lot better off than they really are.

        • AnonymousFriend :

          There’s also a million other non-career things in their lives that might make them sad/miserable/pause. Not that I’m wishing that on anybody, but I’ve had endless career problems, but accidentally got pregnant… and I had a friend who’s never had career problems but has infertility issues call me “fortunate”.

          You never know…

    • Anonymous :

      I was just in this exact situation.

      In the end.. I went. But I only stayed for the lecture, then left after a quick nod to a couple from afar. Busy…busy…. Had to go…

      That’s enough for now. Little steps.

      • +100
        I have not been in this exact situation but dont put pressure on yourself to mingle more than you have to. Going to the lecture then doing some small talk for a quick minute is completely understandable. You dont owe anyone anything. Go at your own pace =)

    • Wanderlust :

      There is a good Dear Sugar column about making peace with “the ghost ships that didn’t carry us.” She’s responding to a reader questioning the choice of having children, but I find it applicable to career stuff as well. FWIW I’m in the same boat and struggle with this daily — you’re not alone.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you reframe this in terms of your goal in going? If it is to catch up on old friends, or to meet three new people, go, do what you need to do to accomplish your goals and count it as a success. Plus, the event is full of other people who found that firm did not meet their needs for various reasons. You won’t stand out.

      • AnonymousFriend :

        Good point. It’s almost like a support group! Hey, we got through this, glad we’re not THERE anymore…:)

    • Hips don't lie :

      This is a stretchy skirt that comes in SML. I think that Victoria Beckham is an S. I am not sure what an M or an L.

      I like how this looks in the picture. But I am 5-4 and built like a sprinter (enormous thighs / butt) and I think that this would be almost Kardashian levels of insanity on me. So maybe for a hot date? Esp. b/c it’s stretchy and I could actually eat in it (or would that give me a food baby, too)?

      • housecounsel :

        I just came to look at the comments to see if anyone else had those thoughts on the skirt. Does it look good on the model? Sure. Could I pull it off for work? No WAY.

      • Mmmm . . . I like a godet skirt, but prefer mine in traditional worsted, crepe, or denim (great for casual day with a white blouse, flats and cardi). Talbots usually has one most winters in traditional colors; they usually have nice vertical seaming, a waistless cut (flattering on those of use with pooches), and proportional godets that can be really flattering if they hit in the right place (for me, right at the bottom of the knee).

    • OP here – thanks all. I normally go to networking events with a goal in mind – usually meet/reconnect with 3 people. So I guess I’ll do the same here, and then if I’m not feeling it – I’ll leave. Rationally I know my junior partner peers aren’t taking home millions; I know many have said that after taxes/health insurance, they make less than senior associate money at my old firm and that money is only guaranteed for 3 yrs, after which that comp can fall if you don’t bring in business – which most don’t. So I know it isn’t some rosy picture – it is still financially better than mine. But more importantly, it is the work I wanted that I didn’t get to do – while they talk about it like it’s terrible . . . . Such is life . . . grass is always greener . . . .

      • I know your question is very specific to this event, but I wanted to offer the perspective that I think there is a broader issue going on with you that you should address. (And maybe you are, in which case feel free to stop reading.)

        I’m in a similar situation, though my reason for not pursuing what I really wanted to do was more about compatibility with DH’s career. Ultimately, though, the feelings of not getting what I wanted are the same. And until very recently I often felt very unsatisfied in my current career. Counseling helped. This is a totally legit reason to be unhappy/depressed and many therapists are skilled at dealing with it. Also, what helped is giving myself space to consider what really made me happy to do and just allowing myself to enjoy the aspects of my work that I liked…even the things I would have judged myself for enjoying in the past. I don’t know if my approach is helpful, but I guess my point is that you are so much better and more valuable than feeling miserable (to the point of tears) about a career path that took an unexpected turn a few years ago!! You deserve to enjoy what you are doing, and you undoubtedly have a lot to contribute to the world. I don’t know how you specifically can get to the place where you feel that too, but you owe it to yourself to start that journey.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        If you are wanting to reconnect with 3 people, why not reach out to them individually? And do something outside of an official event. It is easier to talk and catch up that way anyways.

        I used to be at a different firm and it was a terrible place to work, but I really liked two of my co-workers. We keep in touch with lunches, happy hour, etc. Ymmv, I would never go to an alumni event of my old firm.

  2. Any suggestions for an event venue for a dinner in Chicago? I need: River North, Loop, or West Loop areas; space for about 75 people; at or preferably under $75/person (all-in — tax, tips, etc.). Need space for the boss to speak (probably a microphone too). Food shouldn’t be horrible but it doesn’t need to be Tru (and with our budget, that isn’t likely anyway!). TIA!

    • housecounsel :

      Oh, how I love Tru . . . . but I know Maggiano’s, Ditka’s and Chicago Cut have the kind of space you need.

    • Girl & the Goat has an amazing underground party space (and awesome food) — likely out of your budget, but worth a shot?
      I’ve been at smaller events at Mastro’s, Gibson’s, other steakhouses.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      The Gage has private space and good food, convenient location. Mercat, also, though they’re being renovated so it depends on the timing.

      Or be the coolest and have it in Revolution’s event space (I know it’s not in any of your neighborhoods, but it’s still the coolest.)

    • I do a lot of dinner events, and $75 all-inclusive is really hard to find in the city, particularly if you want to include drinks. Some places will also charge you extra for AV equipment too. Check out Maggianos, Eddie V’s, 312 Chicago, Carnivale, Boarding House, or Bridge House Tavern.

      What I have learned from planning events is that it is worth calling/visiting places you really like to discuss options. Especially if your event is Mon-Wed, many restaurants are willing to work with you to find a menu that fits your budget (particularly true since you have a large group).

    • Sable Bar and Kitchen? Could you rent Publican for a night and get them to do more of the menu off of the PQM menu?

  3. How do you fix really mediocre LGPs? DH and I have been married for 2 years and together for 8. No kids. In the last couple of years, it’s been really blah. Part of it is that he moved away temporarily for grad school and we don’t see each other as much as we would like. And we’re both really tired and stressed for work-related reasons that are expected to subside soon. Still, I’m just not as into it/ attracted to him as I once was. Nothing has changed, he looks the same, he’s a great partner, and our relationship is great. I think maybe the issue is that I’m taking him for granted whereas before I was a little more insecure about his affections and so every time we had a LGP I felt accepted. Anyway, any tips for being more into LGPs and having a more satisfying life on that front?

    • First of all, after about two years of relationship, you feel less attraction and chemistry. This is because of your hormons, it is impossible to be madly in love in one person for years and years and years.

      Second, you may need to work on your stress levels, so that your drive is higher. It may be mindfulness, it may be therapy, it may be hobbies, pet, whatever.

      Third, regarding the LGP itself, try new things. Make a list of things that you’d both want to try. Get yourself lingerie in which you feel amazing. Pamper yourself. Go on romantic date. Kiss. Heck, play with yourself (at least for me, it makes my drive higher).

      • To your 3rd point, I think my drive is adequately high. I self-garden several times a week to every day. It just seems like it’s so much effort to do it with another person, although I think if the LGPs were better I would prefer that. I’ll try your suggestions :)

    • I’d start by making your outside-of-the-bedroom relationship more exciting. Do something new together – take dance lessons or start hiking regularly or join a wine tasting group – whatever you’re into. If it’s impossible to make that a regular thing, find a time to take an impromptu weekend trip somewhere random. Or find an excuse for the two of you to get very dressed up and go out. The goal is for the two of you to get back some of that “new” feeling in your relationship, which will carry over into your sex life.

    • Good advice from others.

      You should also be aware that satisfaction with your LGP will ebb and flow over your relationship. I’ve been married 20+ years and it’s definitely been true for us.

      In your situation I would talk to my dh to see f he’s feeling the same way. And then make a plan together on how to get i of the rut. I’d also recommend reading the blog “Down to There” for some advice in this area.

  4. Marshmallow :

    Wow, this skirt is BEAUTIFUL. And expensive. I tend to stay away from fluted/tulip silhouettes at work though. They just seem to accentuate the hourglass effect too much.

  5. Day Without a Woman :

    Anyone planning to participate in the general strike on Wednesday? I’ve seen a lot of headlines about this being a strike for privileged women, but no one I know (large metro area, definitely the privileged set) is planning to stay home.

    • I don’t know where you’re reading nonsense about the strike being for privileged women, but it’s for all women everywhere and the original calls to strike originated in Argentina. Remember, even when women may be privileged in terms of race, class, SES, etc., they are never privileged by virtue of being female. This strike is about global solidarity for all of our sisters, across all cultures and nations, who face violence, oppression, and lack of equal opportunity simply for being born female.

      • I am guessing the OP means it’s a strike for privileged women because they are more likely to be able to afford a day without pay or have PTO that they can use more easily than, say, women who are hourly employees or who do not have PTO, etc.

      • nasty woman :

        CountC is correct. You are misinterpreting OP- it’s not a strike for [the benefit of] privileged women, it’s a strike for privileged women [to participate in]. Women can and do have privilege even though they are women. #intersectionality. Further, being female can be a position of privilege–we are not privileged in that we are women as compared with men, but we are as compared with transgendered individuals.

        I could strike- but it would basically amount to my staying home from my law firm job and my partners probably expecting I was at a depo or something. They wouldn’t notice. It wouldn’t hurt them, and I don’t want to hurt my firm because my firm respects me and respects women. The only person who would be affected would be me, because I’d get behind on my work. I also have no real skin in the game- I can sit at home and no one bats an eye. Many women do not have that luxury. Strikes work when there is strength in numbers and a direct impact- one steel worker can’t strike because she’ll get fired or she’ll lose her PTO or her paycheck for nothing. All the steel workers can’t strike because they can’t all be fired. That’s the point. But this strike won’t operate like that.

        • nasty woman :

          ugh, all the steel workers can* strike

        • The question of whether women have privilege over transwomen has been asked and answered on this blog before, so not going to get into that other than to say the answer is no. It’s not relevant to the women’s strike. From what I have read, women all over the world are participating in the strike, including those with less economic privilege. I agree it’s definitely harder for many of them to participate than it is for wealthy women, but I’m glad that they are and I think it can make a real impact, especially in countries or locations where women are expected to shoulder ALL the housework in addition to working outside the home (this can add up to 15 hours a day or more in many places). The world would fall apart without their work and I want to recognize that in some way, even though it wouldn’t make much difference for me personally as to whether I show up to work or not. Strikes aren’t about me personally, though. It’s about the broader effort, including the symbolic effort.

          • nasty woman :

            “The question of whether women have privilege over transwomen has been asked and answered on this blog before, so not going to get into that other than to say the answer is no.”

            Sure. I’m certain that you’re unequivocally correct and that there’s no way reasonable minds can differ on this complex and nuanced subject and thanks for putting words in my mouth. Eyeroll. All I did was correct your misunderstanding/mischaracterization of OP’s post.

    • No. I like my job (and it’s a busy time for me), and I think showing up and kicking *ss makes a better statement. My husband and I share household labor and I don’t see the need to dump everything on him for one day to prove a point that doesn’t need to be proven (at least, not to him). And I look like death warmed over in red.

      I will be making a donation to a women’s shelter instead.

      • Spirograph :

        +1, except I look great in red (as long as it’s orange-y red). I think this is a really poor way to make the point that I think the organizers are intending.

      • +1

      • Women having been showing up and kicking ass for a long time and it’s accomplished nothing. But by all means keep working as hard as possible to show men that you have value. And don’t ever wear something that doesn’t make you look cute to boys.

    • I know no one participating – in fact, I dont even think a large amount of people know about it (compared to the march). I understand/appreciate the point but i think its super unrealistic (for both privileged women and underprivileged)…

    • I 100% support the sentiments behind the strike, but I’m not going to refrain from engaging in childcare that day (I don’t work on Wednesdays and if I didn’t watch my child I’d either have to pay another woman to do it, or make my husband take our child to work). I’m going to wear red and refrain from spending any money, which I think is something that all people can do (I know some people wear uniforms but you could wear a red bracelet or scarf or hat – I’m sure most people could wear SOMETHING red and still comport with workplace dress).

      I think the strike has been very poorly planned and advertised. I want this to be a huge raging success but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be.

      • I’m not participating because I’m in trial that day. As to your statement of “or have to hire a woman to do it” isn’t that point of the strike though? Can’t you hire a man to do it or ask your husband to stay home on a Wednesday, like you do, to watch his child?

        I also get all the comments that if you work in a progressive workplace there is no need to show them what a day without women would be like.

        I also think the “day without women” could backfire. I’ve heard some joking ramblings among men I know (who know I’m a talker) say “it will be the most productive day of the year.”

        • bluefield :

          I could, and my husband offered, and I said no because I enjoy my day off with my child.

          Comments like your coworkers make show why we need a general strike. They wouldn’t say that to a man.

    • From my perspective, the strike is equivalent to leaning out and in my experience my most successful way of changing the system has been to lean in. Also calling people on their sh!t has gone over shockingly well once I had sufficient tenure and reputation to do so.

    • I marched but will not be striking. In my personal experience, a strike that leaves people without essential services (child care, school, health care, etc.) is not a good way to gain sympathy for a cause and instead alienates people whom you want as allies. Closing day care centers doesn’t hurt the people in power, it hurts the people who have the least power. It is not the same thing as shutting down a steel mill.

    • In Canada – participating by taking a PTO day and volunteering a local women’s shelter. Planning to wear red.

    • New Tampanian :

      I work in a male dominated industry so I will be at work continuing the good fight there. I support the effort and was at the March in DC. It is a bad time at work for me to be out of the office. I will be wearing red and spending zero money though. And I will continue my personal mission to increase the number of women in my industry while also plotting world domination. ;-)

    • Wildkitten :

      I’ll be participating and going to the rally in DC.

    • Nope. I just got this job, I can’t afford to take an unpaid day off, and I’m saving my vacation time for some family trips later this year. I’m also not sure it would look good to my bosses if I took a day off work just to make a political statement. But I’ll wear red! That’s easy for me to do. I’ll also avoid spending money, and I’ll consider making a donation to a women’s organization.

    • I thought I didn’t know anyone, but our school district (Alexandria VA) just announced they were closing because so many teachers requested the day off. So now maybe I will be taking the day off after all, for child care.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      No. Isn’t staying home what our male-dominated society wants us to do anyways?

    • Bensonrabble :

      I’m participating; going to a NARAL rally at statehouse. Yes, it’s much easier for privileged women to participate and it’s only one day so the effect is limited. If it was a widespread movement and women at all economic levels participated, that would be powerful. I think we should all try to wear red, don’t shop, and call reps.

      We as a whole need to wake up to how much labor women do and that women are upset. A strike can be a powerful message.

  6. Car repairs :

    Can anyone in the Bay Area (preferably East Bay) recommend a good Subaru dealership or auto repair shop? We bought a used Outback (private sale) and would like to find a new place to get established for routine repairs. TIA!

    • a millenial :

      i live in east bay too but i actually drive down to japanese a+ auto repair in san carlos for maintenance bc i love them so much.

    • Fixer Upper :

      I’ve had a good experience with Carlsen Subaru in Redwood City. Never used them for anything complicated (yet) but I liked that their sales guy was not pushy, and their service team seems good. I also used the Subaru dealership in Serramonte to check something quickly on my car. In the end it wasn’t something that needed to be fixed, and they didn’t charge me for looking into it, and the service guy showed me photos of his puppies, so I would use them again (because, puppies).

    • SFAttorney :

      Don’t know about East Bay, but we us Putnam Subaru Service Center on O’Farrell in SF and are happy with them.

    • Anonymous :

      We’ve always gone to the Subaru dealer in Albany – for many many years now!

      • +1000 on Albany Subaru Ford, their customer service in both sales and service has always been great in my experience. My parents, cousin, and uncle all have cars from them too because of this.

    • Car repairs :

      Thanks everyone!!

  7. Anonymous :

    I loved reading the Post Secret thread that was started over the weekend. To everyone who shared: I think you are brave, beautiful women and I am glad you shared. Being able to read those helped me feel less alone, even though I didn’t post anything.

  8. Marie Sklodowska Curie / Wedding Dress PSA :

    Thanks to my second grade daughter for bringing home a book that said that Marie Curie wore her (dark-colored) wedding to the lab after her wedding to Pierre.

    Also, she kept her maiden name in her name. One of the reasons for this was her loyalty to her home country of Poland (so much so that she named an element after it).

    At any rate, I raise my caffeinated beverage to the only woman to win Nobel prizes in two sciences.

    • Even more, she also gaved birth to and rised a daughter who won a Nobe prize too!

      She’s an incredible figure. A migrant, first woman at the university in Paris, a woman who was one of the first modern scientists, a cyclist and so on. Such a modern, multi-dimensional lady! In a few months Poland will release a movie about her, I’m quite curious to see it.

      • Whoa, I had no idea about that! Anybody know of any good (adult) books about her?

        • Not about Irene Joliot-Curie (like her mother did for her first, she shared her Nobel Prize with her physicist husband, incidentally) but Marie Curie’s other daughter Eve wrote a lovely biography of her mother, Madam Curie that I can recommend. There’s a documentary about Irene though.

          Oh, and Irene’s daughter is a professor of particle physics!

        • Not about Irene Joliot-Curie (like her mother did for her first, she shared her Nobel Prize with her physicist husband, incidentally) but Marie Curie’s other daughter Eve wrote a lovely biography of her mother, Madam Curie, that I can recommend. There’s a documentary about Irene though.

          Oh, and Irene’s daughter is a professor of particle physics!

    • Marie Sklodowska Curie / Wedding Dress PSA :

      Also, I am really liking reading all about this again. It’s so refreshing to see how, a long time ago, you followed your dreams and it was OK. She and Pierre found each other. I cannot imagine MSC moping about that “no one will ever love me b/c I am smart and like science.”

      I think that she worked to help send her sister to school in Paris and then her sister helped her get to Paris.

      At any rate, such a good story.

      [Not a scientist myself, but a person reasonably good in math. AND I remember reading about Jennings and cowpox as a girl and being very fairly pro-germ (up to a point).]

    • Sydney Bristow :

      You and your daughter might like the book Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky. I gave it to my 7 year old niece and she and her mom have been enjoying reading it together.

      • Marie Sklodowska Curie / Wedding Dress PSA :

        My children won’t eat peanuts. We delayed introducing them and by the time they were 2 they had no interest. They have had peanut-allergic kids in their classes since starting school. The next book coming into our house is on George Washington Carver b/c peanuts are awesome. Honestly, it’s like we’ll never be able to take them to SE Virginia (peanut soup, anyone) or even a Thai restaurant.

    • I love learning new things alongside kids. Has your daughter seen the science themed books ‘Rosie Revere Engineer’ ‘Izzy Peck Architect’. I’m terrible at judging reading level (maybe they are for smaller kids) but they are really beautifully illustrated and have such a good message.

      • Shopaholic :

        These books are great. I bought the first one for a friend’s daughter and they both love it. And her mom loves the message it gives her daughter.

      • There’s a third one as well now! ‘Ada Twist Scientist’ and the title character is a black girl. Very popular in our house.

    • The History Chicks podcast did an episode about her recently. If anyone is looking for a fun podcast, they focus just on women in history. Recent peisodes were Ida B. Wells and a two parter on Lucille Ball; they did a series on other women who ran for president back in October.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Oh, she was such a hero of mine when I was a child! Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Job Hunting :

    I just dealt with a situation that I think is weird but I can’t tell if maybe I did something wrong.

    I emailed a partner at a firm about potential job opportunities. He asked for my resume and quickly after (i.e., 30 min after) asked for a Facetime/Skype interview 45 minutes later. It was midday and I was walking into a firm meeting so I told him I unfortunately have a meeting but I am available later in the day or later that week. He doesn’t respond until I prompt him a few days later and says he was away on business and is travelling so we should reconnect in mid-March. I email this morning to reconnect as suggested and he said ‘sorry the initial call didn’t work out we already hired a bunch of people.” umm wtf? Was I really wrong to turn down that first phone interview? Or did I dodge a bullet?

    • Sounds like he wasn’t totally looped in on the hiring process/timeline or the firm decided to take their hiring in a different direction.

    • They were hiring on a quick turn around.

    • bullet dodged – if they are hiring people that quickly and/or he is so out of the loop on the firm’s normal hiring practices, then there is something off.

    • I think you dodged a bullet.

      Suggesting that someone do an interview with an hour’s notice is not normal and implies that this partner thinks 100% of his own timelines and schedule and 0% of anyone else’s. That doesn’t seem like someone I’d want to work for.

      Also, “I’m on a business trip and unable to talk for the next few weeks” sounds like an excuse from several decades ago. Surely he is taking other calls and otherwise staying in touch on other matters.

      • Disagree re the business trip thing. You don’t know what the trip was for – what if he’s in depos 8 hrs a day? Sure he’s taking other calls later in the day – but likely work related, not “extras” like interviewing.

        BUT I do think you dodged a bullet. Expecting someone to be available on an hr’s notice for an interview and then being annoyed enough not to reschedule if they’re not = a partner who will drop assignments on you at 8 pm and expect them to be done by 8 am, not caring if you are unavailable for any reason. He sounds like a – jump at my command – partner; which is harder to deal with the more senior you get (bc you don’t have buffers acting as seniors or mids for you – you are the senior dealing with the crazy).

        • Job Hunting :

          That’s what I thought- he could have forwarded my email to HR or another partner. I guess when you’re looking for a job it’s hard not to freakout if you lose a lead like this. But upon reflection I feel better. I don’t know what else I could have done.

    • Hr consultant :

      You dodged a bullet. When I was a recruiter, every so often I’d run across a hiring manager that had the attitude that anyone who was serious about working for them/their company would drop everything at the mere possibility of a job opening, and genuflect at the hiring manager’s feet. These were the managers that would ask candidates to leave work at a moment’s notice for interviews, or ask new hires to give less than two weeks notice when quitting. The attitude seemed to be, “if this person really wants the job they will sacrifice to get it.” Even if what the person was sacrificing was their professionalism and their reputation. These managers were uniformly wretched people to work for and I tried to avoid placing candidates for them as much as I could. Normal people do not expect someone to drop everything, or cancel an existing commitment,to do a Skype interview. Count yourself lucky and keep looking.

  10. advice for better disagreements :

    Are good fighting habits with a partner something that can be learned? My boyfriend and I have been having several fights (stressful year for both of us, plus [temporary] long distance for the first time) and I’m bothered by how he has handled the disagreements. I feel like I try to acknowledge both sides and why each of us feels the way we do, and then quickly move to a compromise solution. In contrast, he tries to win. To me it almost seems like he views compromises as losing ground and thus proving that his view was incorrect. As a result, I feel like he gets more and more aggressive during these discussions and just causes them to drag on longer and feel meaner.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve seen him argue with his siblings in a similar but more extreme way and find it downright awful – my siblings and I would never talk to each other the way that they attack each other when they’re mad: no words or aspects of their personalities are off limits to go after. They all seem to bounce back pretty quickly (like in a matter of minutes) and get back to just being normal and having fun together, so this is clearly a difference in our upbringings.

    I’ve tried expressing how much I can’t take this, but I feel like those conversations are forgotten as soon as we’re in another moment of disagreement. Does anyone have any advice about how we can better handle arguments?

    • Have discussions about rules of engagement when you aren’t in a fight. It may take some time to get on the same page, but if you see a future with this person, you’ll need to get this figured out. Here are our basic rules. These aren’t written on a wall or anything- just things we’ve noticed over a decade of marriage. I think the over-arching theme is that we try to be nice to each other. We don’t call each other names, excessively swear, bring up old fights, don’t deliberately say hurtful/inflammatory things, and don’t make threats.. We also try to avoid having heated discussions when we are hungry, stressed about working, or have had a couple of drinks. Even with these parameters, we still have some really heated disagreements. Neither of us has any doubts that the other person is 100% on Team Mascot Family and that lends a certain level of comfort that we can work through whatever we are fighting about, no matter how uncomfortable we are in the moment. I think that lets us focus on solving the problem instead of worrying about fall-out from an argument.
      Also, I’m a compromise person and like to end the fight and move on. My husband needs a bit longer to process. He knows that I say my piece and sit down essentially and that this doesn’t mean that I don’t care just because I’ve stopped talking. I know that he needs longer to cool off, but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t care or is trying to win. It’s just how we are. Keeping that perspective helps.

      • I think a rules of engagement discussion is really helpful. I have a horribly quick temper (but no name calling, personal attacks, just noise) and am over it equally quickly. My husband shuts down when there is yelling. For us to have a productive discussion, I need to be able to use my inside voice. To get to that point, I need 20 minutes and a shower.

        I’ve learned to recognise the signs of anger and walk away, and my husband has learned to let me, knowing that I’m not plotting my departure, I’m just processing.

        This isn’t a perfect science – this weekend I got really frustrated and didn’t catch it in time. I discovered (after 4 years of living together) that our doors are too heavy to slam in a satisfying manner. I calmed down, we both apologised, and we talked about a solution to the issue.

    • If it was something you’re doing, you could learn because you’d want to change how you react. But that’s not the case here. Your BF reacts and fights in a way you don’t like, both with you and with his family. He won’t change – I’m sure they don’t like it either. I’d break up and find someone you’re more compatible with. How someone deals with conflict is a deal breaker for me.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This this this.

        I was married to that guy for 15 years and it only gets worse over time. And the worst part is that the more you object, the harder he will push back.

        Sure, proper rules of argument engagement can be learned (I second the Gottman suggestion below), but you’ve expressed your needs and your BF has shown you that he is not interested in meeting those needs. It doesn’t necessarily make him wrong (*cough* yes it does *cough*) but it most definitely makes him not a match for you.

        Run away! Run away!

        • Counterpoint :

          I was your boyfriend — a combination of personality + upbringing gave me a “fight to win” mentality. It took a couple of years, but I finally owned up to it and sought therapy to change how I fight. I’m actively working on it, because my instinct is still to fight the “wrong” way, and there are many times that I catch myself when I’m already in it, but I think I’m proof that people can change the way they fight even though they won’t get it right 100% of the time.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      When you’re in the heat of the argument, say to him “what I heard you say was…X Y Z”. You’d be surprised how what we hear is actually very different from what was said. It also lets your partner know that you’re listening and trying to understand. I’ve found that it’s the most constructive way to argue.

      • I’m confused by this. I understand correct use of this technique to require parroting — essentially word for word — what was said. Are you suggesting that the listener repeat back how the listener interpreted the words? Or are you saying the speaker may hear their own words and realize they meant to say something difference?
        I’m skeptical about the technique in the first place, at least in the manner and context in which I was taught to use it, but it was taught to me as a way to ensure the other party knows that you heard exactly what they said.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          The person who is listening repeats what was said to them. I learned it in marriage counseling.

        • Nah, this is a real thing–it was a core skill in my counseling skills class in grad school. It makes sure everyone is on the same page, because sometimes one person will misunderstand or mis-hear what the other person said, especially in emotionally-charged situations. It also gives you a second to collect your own thoughts, plus builds empathy because it forces you to engage meaningfully with the other person’s perspectives and feelings instead of racing right into the next point you want to score yourself.

          It’s not parroting, more like a paraphrase of your understanding: “So what I’m hearing is that you’re frustrated because you feel like I’m critical about how you do your chores.”

          • I was taught that I could not really change the words. As in — use the word frustrated only if the speaker used the exact word frustrated. If you use what you believe to be a synonym for frustrated, you’ve done it wrong because the speaker may not agree they are synonymous. Paraphrasing might be okay as long as it is truly only shortening/summarizing without any interpretation.

            I know it is “a real thing,” but like I said, I did not find the technique useful in the way it was taught to me or in the context I was being told to apply it. If it allows for a little more freedom on the part of the listener to express her own interpretation (while truly trying to hear the other person and not lace the sentiment with the speaker’s own projections), it might be, so I’m curious if I was just not taught it well. Sounds like maybe that is the case.

    • Break up. Do it now while he’s just your mean boyfriend who fights to win in a way you find upsetting. Doesn’t sound like he cares about changing at all.

      Idk why people fight to hang onto things that are broken. You’re supposed to date to find out if you’re good together. You guys aren’t. Move on.

    • It really boils down to communication, IMO, and those skills can absolutely be learned. As others have suggested before, I would highly suggest you find a Gottman-trained couples therapist in your area.

    • My husband and I are both “score keepers”. One thing that has helped our fights is to set ground rules over things that we agree are not scope keeping items (ie, no score keeping over feeding the kiddo or changing diapers. Whoever notices first is expected to handle the situation.)

      We also tend to bicker about housework, yard maintenance, groceries or overspending. We use Trello to create checklists around daily and weekly chores, groceries, and maintenance items and sync all of our accounts with Personal Capital in addition to maintaining a finances spreadsheet. We have also started outsourcing tasks that we have different priority levels on (dusting and deep cleaning) and this might be the year I agree to outsource yard maintenance.

      • How do you handle score-keeping about who gets up at night if the kid wakes up (or are you past that stage)? We are recovering score-keepers and this one is the toughest nut to crack.

        • Not walnut, but we just assign nights. I get M/W/F, he gets Sun/T/T and we alternate Saturdays (and hence who gets to sleep in on Sun morning).

        • When baby was tiny, he took early shift and I took late shift. It worked naturally with our sleeping patterns, so I went to bed at 7PM and he went to bed at midnight. Now that kiddo is older, we alternate nights. My husband usually wakes up first and will nudge me awake when it is my turn.

    • Anon in NYC :

      My family growing up was like this. My mom is a screamer and my dad fights dirty. If you criticize my dad he turns it around and criticizes you. My mom screams and yells and then is fine five minutes later. I didn’t know that this wasn’t normal until I got older and started ruining friendships. It took a lot of work for me to suppress and eventually change those fighting habits. My parents haven’t changed. Your SO is going to have to learn how to change, and it’s going to take a lot of work and he’s going to have slip ups. This isn’t something he’ll be able to change overnight. Personally, I do agree with other comments that couples therapy of some sort would be helpful. He really needs to hear and understand how disturbing you find this, how it makes you feel in your relationship, and how you don’t want your future children to think that this is normal or that they can treat other people this way.

      As for instances like this in the middle of a fight, you need to stop the fight and say, “what you just said to me was extremely hurtful and inappropriate. I would never say something like that to you. I’m going to walk away / hang up the phone now. We will talk later.” And then later on reiterate that that kind of fighting is off-limits in your relationship (and really should be off-limits in all relationships).

    • advice for better disagreements :

      Thank you very much for the advice, from those of you who took the time to read and reply! I appreciate having the opportunity to hear from others’ experiences or advice.

      • I married the guy like your DH. I’ve stayed and made it work because we have three kids but it’s taken A LOT of couples therapy to help him unlearn trying to ‘win’ and be ‘right’ all the time. Many times I wished I had seen this future and made different choices years ago. If you’re not ready to break up, have your DH read something like this: https://www.gottman.com/blog/5-steps-to-fight-better-if-your-relationship-is-worth-fighting-for/

        There will always be things in life to disagree about but how you handle those disagreements will set the tone for your relationship. If he’s not interested in improving and willing to take serious steps to get there, I would end it now. How you fight is hugely important.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes yes yes.

          And honestly, if I weren’t married this would absolutely be the #1 dealbreaker for me.

    • If I can TJ a bit, my SO and I also want to learn better argument techniques but don’t know how. I always need (not want, need) space to cool down so that I’m not dealing with conflict from a place of hotheadedness or being upset. I’m much more objective, calm, and ready to resolve issues once I’ve had some time (an hour?) to myself. My SO is the opposite. He won’t leave me alone, he pesters me like a barking dog. It makes small issues explode into giant fights. We both feel entitled to what we “need” during conflict (me: space him: my attention)

      • Can you compromise by giving him attention but not talking about the issue? Like, talk about something neutral for a few minutes? That helps us.

      • Does his need come from a place of insecurity? Is he thinking, if she walks away from me that means she doesn’t love me, she’s thinking of leaving me, and if I can just keep her in my sights I can make it all better? Or is he in a hotheaded place and needs to be heard rightthisminute but maybe he should really be taking a break too? From your description, it seems like you’re not clear on this – you describe him as “pestering” you (insecurity) but also “barking” (he needs a break too).

  11. I know jealousy is a useless emotion but it is still real and I do feel it from time to time. Mostly towards people who seem to “have it all” and dont hold themselves back in ways I find myself doing. Last year I worked super hard to over it come it/focus on gratitude and I’ve come a long way. Despite many of you being confident ambitious women, do/did any of you struggle with jealousy?

    • Totally. It seems like some people just get everything even though they don’t deserve it. What helps me is that I know that everyone has their own demons to face. People look at me and assume I have everything. No one knows that I lost my parents and faced lots of abuse growing up. They just see my wealth and job and assume I have nothing to be sad about and they become jealous. We all have our own path to walk to and we can’t compare ourselves to others. It’s like apples and oranges and comparing other’s successes to yours own is not effective and will just make you miserable.

    • All the time. It’s been getting worse as I get older.

    • I am one of those people that appears to “have it all” for someone of my age – I have a husband whom I love very much, a house, a kid, I’m healthy, I don’t have any financial problems. I know I’m incredibly lucky. But I am super-sensitive and prone to jealousy when it comes to friendships. When I learn that my friends are going to a party or going on a trip and I wasn’t invited, I get very jealous and feel left out, even when the invite involved a different social group that I’m not a part of or something. I also get super stressed out about whether people will show up if my husband and I throw a party, and I have a tendency to feel like my friends do nice things for me only out of some sense of obligation vs. actually wanting to. I am mostly successful at telling myself that these insecurities/jealousies are all in my head and wouldn’t matter even if all of them were true, but it doesn’t keep me from feeling that way.

      • This is me. And I am early 50’s, so I feel like what I consider Jr high/high school feelings should be gone by now!

    • I think it was easier when I was younger. You are fairly fungible (smart 18 year old, smart recent graduate). At a certain point, you have run a bit of your own race. And I’m not a person who cares about stuff (I mean, I ached for a convertible when I was 17, but I am blessed that feeling has left me and not for any effort on my part).

      I know someone who is a big-time non-working yoga mom. Her house is worth 7 figures. She has shiny pretty things. She also had a stillborn child in her first pregnancy. I see the sadness because I know this about her. I don’t really pay attention to her stuff (but others remark on it) — it is just stuff and I know she’d give it all away if it would have changed things.

      TL;DR: jealosy is often about our insecurities. It’s usually about stuff that isn’t important in the long run. And maybe it distracts us from moving forward?

    • Sure, I always suffered from career jealousy. Seeing colleagues get what I wanted was brutal for me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that every milestone comes with it’s own unique set of challenges. Some of them I’d rather not have to deal with and prefer my life as it is. Also, having reached some of the milestones my younger self set, I don’t actually feel that different having achieved it. I just kept pushing the goal post further. Once I realized that cycle, I stopped caring as much about what others had achieved and focused instead on being a kinder person, which is what I think this whole shindig is about.

      • Thank you for this. I struggle with career jealousy a lot and always internalize it as a lacking on my part (which I understand may be true to a certain extent, but I would never be able to find out anyway). These wise words were a warm reminder to myself today. Thank you again.

    • For me, it’s more about struggling with being at peace with who I am and what I like rather than buying things that I don’t actually want to impress people who are at or slightly above my economic level. I’m not jealous of lawyers who make “millions of dollars” because that’s so far from my frame of reference that I can’t even comprehend it. But I see people who live their lives in a certain way, who probably have income levels similar to mine, and that’s where I struggle.

      I live in a LCOL town, and a couple who makes $150k is really doing well here. Definitely upper middle class. My husband and I make that much. We live in a modest older house. Sometimes that bothers me when I look at people in fancy houses who I know make the same amount of money we do. But then I bought a lexus last year and sometimes struggle with how that feels. It seems too fancy. I came from a solidly middle (not upper middle) class family, and it feels weird to drive that car. Like I’m putting on a show for other people or something. What it boils down to is feeling comfortable with who I am and what my tastes actually are, vs. what I do to impress other people. My husband’s family were very poor and there’s an added bit of complexity to how all this feels, because I’m watching his discomfort about making six figures and having a cleaning lady when his dad was a manager of a crew of janitors, and his parents supported 4 kids on a combined salary of $45k.

    • Peggy Pedant :

      I think you mean envy, not jealousy.

      Envy occurs when we lack a desired attribute enjoyed by another.

      Jealousy occurs when something we already possess (usually a special relationship) is threatened by a third person

      And so envy is a two-person situation whereas jealousy is a three-person situation. Envy is a reaction to lacking something. Jealousy is a reaction to the threat of losing something (usually someone).

    • Absolutely. Over the years, I’ve realized that often when I experience jealousy of someone, it’s related to a part of my life that I’m not confident in or have been letting slip recently. For example, I get jealous seeing a friend finish a half marathon because I’ve been having a hard time getting to the gym twice a week lately. Instead of getting bogged down in those negative feelings, the best thing I’ve found is to recognize the root of the jealousy and make a plan to do something about it. So if I’m jealous of my friend’s half marathon, I let myself recognize the reason I’m jealous: that I haven’t been working out the way I would like. It has nothing to do with my friend. Then I think about how I can fix it, and schedule morning runs with a friend on the calendar three days a week.

      I think jealousy can be a healthy emotion because it helps us realize what we value and what we would like more of in our own lives. The hard part is recognizing the root cause of the jealousy and putting it into action to make your own life more in line with the life you want to have.

    • Not really, because I know many hugely successful people very well, and the grass is literally always greener.

      Friend born with a silver spoon, went to all the best schools and grad schools, has a fab job and $$$ (her own and her family money.). Killing it at work. Gorgeous house. Wardrobe to die for. Took her forever to TTC- really went brought the wringer but eventually (and an obscene amount of $ later) she had a baby. She (friend) had a terrible delivery and can’t have anymore kids. Her kid is not well (lots of different small but manageable things) and the kid is being raised by the nanny. Mom (friend) is debating bailing on her career to raise her kid or continuing to let hired help raise the kid. She doesn’t sleep.

      I could tell a million stories but the point is that nobody has it all. Addiction, family issues, health issues, you name it.

      I’m happy.

      • But why does there have to be something going wrong for the friend born with a silver spoon for it to be OK to you? Not you, specifically, but in general.

        So it looks like everything is going great for someone (“has it all”, silver spoon, whatever) but it’s OK because it’s really not going as great as it looks–she’s infertile. I take huge issue with this.

        There shouldn’t have to be a BUT or an IF or a problem for us to accept another woman’s success, whether it’s wealth or prestige/career success or family or just how put together she is or plain luck.

        • Yeah I agree. I think its better to just accept that some people just “have it all” (whatever your definition of that is) and there isnt a BUT. Some people worked hard, some people got lucky, some people worked hard AND got lucky. The sooner we accept this the easier it will be to move forward imo.

          Everyone has struggles in life but I think we should accept that there are some people who have very few struggles, if any at all compared to us and/or the average person

          • I agree with this approach because otherwise you drive yourself crazy trying to find out what’s going wrong with their life. It’s not worth your time and worry to obsess about this – it reminds me of that that all-too-true song from Crazy Ex Girlfriend about stalking an ex’s new girlfriend just to find details that make you feel… worse? better? about yourself? I am surprised sometimes by the knowledge and details people seem to have about others – how do you know about the $150k salary or about how much money someone spends or saves? Mind your own business and you will be happier. Comparison is the thief of joy, after all.

          • Eh, I don’t think she’s saying she needs to find out everyone’s secret misery so she isn’t jealous of them. I think she’s saying it’s a good idea to keep in mind that none of us know anyone’s full story. Of course it would be great if all of us were perfect and non-jealous and non-envious from the get-go, but some of us have to work on it, and while we’re working on it, it’s a good reminder that even the snootiest, richest, prettiest people have pain and struggles in their lives and the thing you are comparing yourself against may be an illusion.

            I went to a summer camp with a bunch of rich snobby kids and there was one time people were invited to share difficult things going on in their lives. This girl, who was kind of a Regina George, stood up and cried and talked about how her horse was sick and how she was so sad and scared because the horse was the only thing she and her dad had in common and she was scared that the horse would die and she wouldn’t have a deeper relationship with her dad anymore. I went from disliking her because of my own jealously of her wealth and looks, to being incredibly touched by her story and moved by her bravery in sharing it.

        • + 1 million to this. It’s not productive or even true to assume that someone with a great life also has some terrible/awful to deal with. It’s a lot more productive to just look at the why behind your feelings of jealousy and figure out whether what someone else has is really what you want, and if you’re willing to take the steps necessary to get there. I have never understood the urge to find the negative in someone else’s positive situation. Maybe it gives some temporary relief but it’s not a way to ultimately achieve peace with yourself.

    • You really don’t know what others are dealing with behind the scenes. Right now, my life is going incredibly well – dream job that pays well, amazing man in my life, a puppy, a condo in a HCOLA, fun weekend trips, involved in my community. I know I’m one of those people who looks like I have it all. But only my very closest friends were privy to the inside of my last three years: cancer scare, divorce, failed bar exam, underemployment, finances so tight clipping coupons was a necessity, bad relationship with an emotionally screwed up dude, death of my father, nasty family fighting over his estate, and LOTS of therapy and anxiety meds. There were days all I could find to be thankful for was that I wasn’t ill. I think it’s fair to say, “Boy, I wish I was in a good patch in life,” if you’re not at the moment, but no one really has it all, all the time.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This times a million.

        Right now my life is so fabulous that sometimes I feel like I should be jealous of myself: Beautiful new marriage that came with a beautiful new house and vacations and fancy cars, and the best part is my husband is the most wonderful, kind, loving man on the planet. I’m in good physical shape, career is fine, social life is great, my son is doing well, and so on.

        But four years ago this week I was in despair and getting ready to leave my narcissistic sociopath husband. For months after that I literally woke up weeping every morning. Nasty, prolonged divorce. Then both my parents had serious health crises at the same time and I had to move them into assisted living on an emergency basis, which was a nightmare beyond my wildest imaginings. Fortunately I’m not prone to jealousy (sometimes I feel like that’s the one and only neurosis I don’t have!) but I was certainly in a very, very bad patch.

        Life has good patches and bad patches, and neither of them is permanent. I think when you realize that it’s easier not to be jealous.

    • Yup. And I really hate it because I also think it’s a useless emotion. So then I feel guilty for feeling jealous. I have no idea what to do about it. And yeah, obviously I rationally know that you can never tell what’s happening in somebody’s private life. That really doesn’t do jack sh*t to make me feel less jealous.

    • Jitterbug :

      Of course, a little envy is natural! It’s how you handle it that counts. Remind yourself that people tend to accentuate the positive around others – they’re open about their successes and highlight their strong points, but don’t generally draw attention to their failures or shortcomings. Some people are good at looking like they have it together, sometimes people really have gotten everything but they worked harder for it than they let on, some people who “have it all” may have envisioned a totally different life, but things fell into place in an unexpected but still happy way. And hey, some people really are just fortunate, and there’s nothing inherently immoral about having good fortune!

      Two things you can do:

      1) Step away from thinking about this person and think about what *you* want and what you could be doing better, or differently, to achieve it.

      2) Remember there are many paths to happiness, and you don’t necessarily need everything they have to get what you want and feel fulfilled.

      I would, however, stay away from this “well they’re probably dealing with something terrible” line of thinking. Why is it only okay for someone to be successful if they lost both parents in a tornado, or secretly has cancer, or had 20k in credit card debt? It’s not exactly the same as wishing ill on people, but it’s mighty close.

  12. Nope. Jealousy isn’t a problem for me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t experience other “useless emotions”. Good for you for identifying a problem because that’s a strong start towards working through it, especially coupled with your focus on gratitude.

    To the contrary, there was a thread recently- I don’t remember how it got started- and one of my favorite points was that if you are successful/have it all/ met your goal, why shouldn’t you be proud of it and own it? Of course bragging is bad, but I don’t think I should have to minimize my successes so a person struggling with jealousy can feel better about herself.

  13. Sydney Bristow :

    Just got my first Stitch Fix box. Hooray for adding plus sizes! I haven’t tried anything on yet, but the stylist got super close to my personal style. If things fit correctly, I’d be tempted to keep all of the items.

    Question for those who have used the service before. The outfit suggestion cards are awesome. There are a few items on the card that I love. Does Stitch Fix carry those items? As in, could I request those specific pieces in my next box or buy them directly?

    • I get my first one on Friday–so happy about the size extension!

    • I’ve asked for specific things and haven’t gotten them. The only people they seem to be willing to do it for are folks with a large online presence. Also, I don’t know if the clothes on the suggestion cards are things they usually carry. Doesn’t hurt to ask for something specific, but I wouldn’t count on it.

    • StitchFix is awful at requests. I cancelled because they sent me a dress I loved, but it was slightly too small in the bust so I wanted it one size up. They couldn’t accommodate that request, which seems ridiculous. This was after repeated months of making sure my profile was clear on no accessories, but every box including a necklace or bracelet. Or asking to build my casual weekend top wardrobe, and getting a box full of pants and scarves. It just kind of became obvious that they’re not really interested in working with you, they’re interested in cleaning out inventory.

    • Mine just shipped!

    • I just got excited about this news, went to sign up, and size 18 isn’t a choice under “what sizes do you wear?” It goes 0 to 16 and then starts over at 14W. What the heck?

      Most 16s are too small for me at the moment and 14W (or indeed any size with a W in it) is not shaped like me. Oh well!

  14. I’m in my early 30s, went to HYP undergrad (don’t want to specify for some anonymity), then got a Master’s and went to work in public policy/advocacy. I work with a lot of attorneys and find myself contemplating law school. I actually took the LSAT, did well, but didn’t apply because I got offered a raise and have a lot of student loan debt.

    I’m once again feeling really compelled to attend law school. I enjoy advocacy but wish I could have more of a direct impact in the courtroom, and I can totally see myself working as a staff attorney for a civil rights organization.

    Is it “too late”? I’d have to take the LSAT again because my score has expired, but that doesn’t phase me. My primary concern is starting law school ten years older than the other students.

    Would a T14 accept me? Did you have older students in your classes? Is a student returning to law as a 2nd career frowned upon when procuring summer internships?

    • If you want to be broke the rest of your life, go for it. You already have debt and now you want more?

    • It’s not too late, but hardly any lawyers have a real direct impact in the courtroom, and civil rights work is actually really competitive to get.

      Sounds like now you have a good and interesting job.

      What if you graduate with 200k in debt, and either can’t get or can’t afford to take a civil rights job? Do you still want to be a lawyer if it means commercial litigation for years? Picture yourself 40, a 5th year, paying $1500 a month on loans, sharing an apartment to afford being able to do the kind of work you want. Do you want it that bad? If you do, you can make it work. But I’m of the opinion that if you only want to do one specific thing, you shouldn’t go to law school.

      • former public interest lawyer :

        Co-sign all of this. Especially that part about making “a direct impact in the court room.” Very, very few attorneys do this and these roles are extremely competitive. Not only that, but I think non-lawyers who want to advocate overestimate how much you can get done in the courts v. other types of advocacy. Talk to some people who actually do high-profile impact litigation and you’ll realize what an insane uphill battle it is. (That is, unless you want to be a direct advocate for individuals- like low-income people who need legal aid, or a public defender, or an immigration attorney. There, you can make an impact on someone’s life.)

        Whether a T-14 will accept you depends mostly on your LSAT score, but it sounds like you may be competitive for some. No issues with being an older student, and I think employers like- you have experience in the real world, you have an interesting, diverse skillset, this isn’t your first job. No one cares if this is your second job.

        • Personal Injury Attorney :

          I practice a type of law that is constantly litigated. Short of working for a public defender or prosecutors office, PI attorneys are in the courtroom the most. That said, most of our cases still settle. I’m in my 8th year of practice and I have had 4 trials (many hearings though). That’s it. I have 50-60 cases on my case load at a time too. Real true oral advocacy doesn’t happen often. I actually had a jury selection today and had to laugh when the judge mentioned both attorneys were “seasoned litigators that knew what they were doing.” I appreciate the compliment but it’s crazy to think 4 trials makes one seasoned. Of those, one was federal jury, one was state jury, two were state bench trials. That means I have even less experience in any one venue.

    • I think if anything it would give you a leg up. But that said I wouldn’t go to law school now unless I got a really great scholarship and wanted to be an actual lawyer. It sounds like those might not be a problem for you though.

    • Marshmallow :

      It is absolutely not too late. But I would consider the following factors:
      — Whether a T14 is willing to accept you will hinge almost entirely on your LSAT. Take some practice tests and compare your results to their incoming class profiles to see where you stand.
      — Are you still paying off undergrad student loans? You will almost certainly incur huge student loans at a T14 law school. That level of debt would probably preclude you from working as a staff attorney at a civil rights organization. I’m a T14 law grad without any undergrad debt, and I still can’t afford to do that kind of job.
      — I could be wrong about this, and it would be illegal if true, but I could see big firms not wanting to higher a significantly older student into their summer class. It just doesn’t seem to happen much. But it sounds like that isn’t what you want anyway, right?

      The biggest barrier I see here is how you’re going to pay for it. But if you have the means and really want to do it, see how you do on the LSAT and take it from there.

      • Diana Barry :

        NYU has the Root Tilden Kern scholarship program, which could be a possibility if you are a rock star and have a great application (in addition to the LSAT, getting admitted regularly, etc.) http://www.law.nyu.edu/financialaid/jdscholarships/rootscholarship

        • anon a mouse :

          NYU also has the Furman. Bottom line – if you can find a way to get law school mostly (or completely) paid for, then it’s not a terrible idea. But the debt otherwise will be crushing, and not compatible with your public service goals.

    • Peggy Pedant :

      I believe you mean taking the LSAT again wouldn’t “faze” you.

      To faze is to disturb, bother, or embarrass, but a phase is a stage or step. It could faze your family if your princess phase lasts well into your college years.

      • Why are only correcting people’s wording this morning without contributing to the conversation/legitimate issues on here…? Why the snobbery?

        • I’d rather be corrected anonymously on a fashion blog than if I’d written “phase” vs “faze” at work.

          I’m not the OP but I’ve made (and been corrected) on mistakes before. It’s embarrassing and nitpicky but I still learned my lesson. IMHO.

        • Because plenty of people still write “peaked” when they mean “piqued” and its great to learn of your gaffes anonymously.

    • I think you’re just as likely to get into a great school or get a great internship as anyone else, and if anything being older probably gives you an advantage because you add diversity to the class. Yes, there were older students in my class, including some in their 50s (I went to a Top 30 but not T14 school).
      That said, I would only go if you get close to a full ride. Taking on $200k of debt is not something to do lightly in your 20s, but it’s something you should even less lightly in your 30s. Many people who go to law school in their 20s are still paying back the debt in their 40s – are you really ok pushing that entire timeline back 10 years and paying off student loan debt in your 50s. And I don’t want to assume kids or home ownership are life goals for you, because I know they are not priorities for everyone, but if you want those things I would definitely think long and hard about how the debt burden will affect your ability to do those things.

    • Do not do this unless you can get into Harvard, Stanford, or Yale, get your parents to pay for it so you incur zero debt, and make law review.

      • And truly understand what the market for civil rights attorneys looks like and/or be willing to accept another career path.

    • If you truly want to help the less fortunate in a meaningful and tangible way, pls go to dental school and open a free clinic. You probably would be good in writing grant applications for that. And you’d have to be good at running a business (leasing space, hiring staff, wage and hour laws, HIPAA, etc.). But we just had a two-day all volunteer dental clinic in a convention hall and you would not belive how important and needed this is.

      I am a lawyer and there are already too many of us wanting to change the world. You have to fight to get a bad-paying job and those loans are just as expensive as they are for the BigLaw associates.

      In all seriousness, if you want to help someone, become a dentist or an RN.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Dental school loans are just as bad (if not worse) than law school loans!

        • Just be an RN. You can often get a lot of aid and the time-in-school is less if you already have a BA. You can go more advanced (nurse practitioner), but the need is so great for lesser-served populations that I wouldn’t.

        • You can usually get your loans forgiven (or at least, substantial amounts knocked off) if you work in underserved locations for a few years.

    • My only word of caution is you might want to consider that that specific job won’t happen.

      I went to HYS for law school, so had a lot of opportunities relative to most. To be a courtroom civil rights attorney, you often need to have clerked. To clerk, geography matters. And same with some of these organizations. Can you move several times in the next decade? I think maybe marital status/kids could be more of a thing for you than others. I found it tough that I did not have geographic flexibility because those types of jobs are highly highly competitive and that would open up more opportunities for you for sure.

      Would you still be glad you went if you ended up not getting a super awesome civil rights job? It’s not about the money – I would literally pay someone to let me do that. There’s just not enough jobs out there compared to the number of people who want to do it.

    • Also, if you want to be a person engaged with constitutional law, these people touch it the most:

      — city attorneys dealing with anything re land use
      — city attorneys dealing with sign regulations
      — city attorneys dealing misdemeanors / ordinances / hoarders / etc.
      — school district attorneys
      — prosecutors
      — defense attorneys
      — tax attorneys

      It seems like you might want to be Amal Clooney. That job is taken (but maybe she needs to have someone cover her upcoming maternity leave).

      I know a lot of people who wanted to be crusaders against The Man who joined DOJ to protect civil rights. Now they are The Man defending against suits for motor vehicle accidents caused by USPS mail trucks (e.g., the torts division) or working for the state department (but doing employee grievances / wage and hour claims).

    • I’m 35 now and went back to law school when I was 29. One of the hardest things for me has been starting over on the career ladder. I was successful in my first career and that hasn’t really translated in law. I’ve been lumped in with the 25 year olds who’ve never had a real job before because law is its own thing. Just now do I feel like my degree is paying off (as in, I can finally afford my student loan payments and I’m doing stimulating work). If I could do it over, I’d have stayed in my old field. Not only do you lose 3 years of working time (earning salary, getting promotions and raises) going to law school, you come out with a huge pile of debt. It’s really a double negative. If you already have huge piles of SL debt, I’d think long and hard about this.

      • To add to this: Law is very much a field of paying your dues, and those dues must be paid in an attorney role. Having prior work experience my help you get noticed in terms of getting hired, but you will still have to start at the bottom.

    • I’ll be the voice of dissent. I had a public interest career out of undergrad and went to LS to pursue that career track on a higher level. It worked out very well for me. The fact that I had prior related work experience was a huge leg up in getting into law school, getting a scholarship and getting internships and a job. I wrote my application essay on this – After X years doing Y, I want to go to LS to do Z because abc. It’s the opposite of a hindrance.

      I would encourage you to do several things:
      – Find people who have the career you want. Look for people you want to be in 10-20 years, and also in 5 (aka right out of LS). If you are already working in the field generally, you probably know people who can put you in touch with the right people. Pick their brain about what it’s like, what they did to get there, and, crucially, what the job market is like. Ask about lifestyle too. Do this with at least 10 people in your target geographic and practice area. I met with a couple of dozen over a two year period.
      – If your target area is really competitive, have a plan B. You can develop that in the conversations above. Look at job postings regularly so you have a sense of the hiring schedule and what’s out there.
      – Retake the LSAT and do really well.
      – Decide whether financially, it makes sense for you to go to a top school or a mid-range school on scholarship. Top schools often have good loan repayment programs (in-house) – research them, figure out how they work and what they would mean for you. Scholarships cut the middle man out. Some fields care about school prestige, some don’t – ask your contacts this.

      I did all of the above, going to a mid-range school on scholarship, and got my top choice job. The connections I made were crucial for helping me get internships and helping me prep for the competitive interview process. Lots of others who were trying to go where I went made tons of mistakes that I avoided because someone had warned me about them.

      If what you think you want to want to do is unrealistic or not really what you think it is, the above research process will help you figure that out before you invest years and tons of money on LS.

      Good luck! Some of us do get to save the world :)

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I strongly advise against going to law school. The only reason to go is if your employer will cover the tuition and it will advance your career with the employer when you graduate.

    • Think about it this way:
      Take the annual salary you expect to make with a law degree, working in the field you want to be in.
      Then subtract the amount of student loans you’d have to pay yearly. Consider that your “real” salary amount.
      It might be higher than what you’re making now. Maybe not. If it’s not, you might be better off working for a non-profit and moving into management. Those people can make a big difference – especially people who get involved with advocacy or program management – and can also make fairly-decent-by-most-standards salaries. I would only go back to law school if someone other than you can pay for it outright, and you also have an already well-funded retirement plan.

    • I’m not sure if this is the voice of dissent, but worth considering.

      – As mentioned above, staff attorney jobs someplace like the ACLU are incredible competitive and usually going to someone with sterling everything credentials who otherwise would be going to a white-shoe firm. In fact many of them come from those white shoe firms.
      – Are you able to take on such debt, with the knowledge that the job that pays it off might not be available? Or is available but might make you miserable, thereby shackling you to it until you can get out from the debt?
      – Might you consider a local or state school? If you have a good LSAT score, have work experience and write a good essay, and have good undergrad credentials, a state school will GIVE you money to attend. And moreover, might have great local connections with a job that has an actual positive impact on someone’s life (like immigration, etc.) If I’m being honest here, your LSAT score is really 70% (or likely even much much more) of the consideration.
      – I worked for a miserable biglaw, but worth noting they are out there. One of the grumpy, miserable partners actually preferred younger junior associates because they were less likely to have marital and family commitments and (post-recession) less likely to speak up or push back on insane demands or encroachments into the work/life ‘balance’ – let me tell you about the associate that was yelled at for not emailing fast enough while on maternity leave and the associate that had to reschedule his honeymoon. I don’t know your family situation, and it was a $hitty place, but worth noting because it is in the top Vault and AmLaw firms and these people exist.

      If I were you, I would look for a new job.

    • full of ideas :

      If you want to go to law school and be a civil rights lawyer, find a school that will give you a full scholarship. This is the only feasible way to make it happen.

    • Never too late :

      If you want to go, go. I finished law school at 45, got a dream job & my only regret is that I thought about it for many years before I had the courage to do it. Be realistic, but don’t not go just because people on this site tell you you’ll be poor. You might be poor, but you also might be delighted. every. single. day. There’s also IBR and public service loan forgiveness (I think still). I do think the big firms were not interested in hiring me. Not a good fit (probably because of age), but they were right.

  15. New Law Grad :

    Biglaw associate looking for tips on how to bill more efficiently. I’m a new grad and find myself having a hard time focusing for extended periods of time. Not so much in an attention-deficit way, but in a “I had a non-stop day yesterday, so let’s read the Internet all day today” kind of way.

    I can’t seem to get into a rhythm and it’s really hurting my ability to leave work at a decent hour and ruining weekends. What is normal for a good working day (what’s a realistic goal) and how do I encourage myself to sit and do it (without browsing Jezebel for the 100th time)?

    • Can you use your nights and weekends as motivation? Like, “I’m forced to sit in this chair for the next 5 hours – I might as well make productive use of the time?”

      When I was in Biglaw, I’d try to get 8.5 hours billed out of 10 in the office.

    • It’s hugely dependent on what kind of work you’re doing, and how many matters you have, in my opinion. I had weeks where all I was doing was doc review on a single litigation case, and I was basically billing 90 or 95% of my time in the office. I would just start the timer in the morning and only stop it when I took a food, bathroom or Internet break and doc review is so mindless that I found that I didn’t need many breaks. On the other hand, when I didn’t have one big case and I had to fill my time with smaller projects, I struggled to realize even half my time, because I spent so much time switching between matters and thinking about what I should do next. The happy medium – and what my typical Big Law workday was like – was having one major case but lots of projects to do for that case that were more mentally taxing than doc review and required more frequent breaks. In that case, I was usually able to realize about 80% of my time (e.g., in the office 10 hours to bill 8).

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. What kind of work are you doing? I found due diligence to be the easiest to bill 10 hrs at a stretch, and I used those days/weeks to get myself ahead of goal. Research projects were also good for a few hours at a time.

        If you are doing lots of back and forth, make sure you bill for your time emailing! I find now that I lose time unless I am billing for my emails back and forth.

    • Marshmallow :

      One silly little trick for this is that I actually start a timer going on my phone or Excel when I need to work intensely on something. Feeling like I am literally “on the clock” helps keep me from getting distracted.

      A daily billable goal is near impossible since your work will fluctuate so much. Try dividing your yearly goal down into months and weeks for a ballpark, but it’s going to vary.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Pomodoro technique saves me on those “I can’t even” days. 25 minute super focus (can’t check email, can’t check phone, can’t internet), 5 minute break. Repeat 3-4 times, then take significant break (lunch, coffee downstairs, walk). I often blow through the breaks once I get started because I just need to have to start. But you have to respect the pomodoro, otherwise it loses it’s power.

      Other easy-ish ways to play the game – can’t eat lunch until you bill 3 hours, always doing 1 hour of easy stuff at home from 9-10, always billing at least 4 hours on Sunday, etc.

      You will probably have weekly and monthly targets in your docketing software, but calculate your real daily targets using paper and pen or excel – include weekend days, if you work them, but also take off 4 weeks (or two) for vacation. Keep updating if you miss the first month’s goal, for example. Don’t leave til you hit that number (if there’s work to do).

  16. Paging Endometriosis from weekend thread :

    What permanent damage does Lupron do? I took Lupron for two months to shrink a pomelo (!) sized chocolate cyst prior to surgery, and it made me feel like cr*p, but of course the doctor did not disclose any potential long term side effects (when do they ever?). Nothing in my reading mentioned long term effects either, but maybe I didn’t dig deep enough. Thanks!

    • Sounds like you need new doctors. My doctors always disclose side effects.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      I just finished a 6 month course of Lupron in Dec, so I can’t speak to lifelong side effects. But people may have been alluding to the negative effects on your gardening life. It was hard for my husband and I to work through it, and it seriously damaged our marriage and our individual self-esteem.
      I would also be interested to hear about other’s experiences

    • anonymous :

      g00gle lupron ruined my life. There are thousands who are permanently damaged due to the short term use of this drug and most every true expert in endo has warned against this awful drug.

    • A loved one experienced some horrifying side effects on Lupron for endometriosis. It can decalcify bones. She lost teeth and required multiple serious jaw surgeries. I don’t know full details, but from what I understood part of those issues were covered under regular heath insurance but others fell under dental insurance and with the dental insurance limits she had to spend thousands of dollars repairing her teeth. It was horrible and life altering.

    • full of ideas :

      My understanding is that it can cause osteoporosis later in life and can really screw up some people’s hormones.

    • Oh so anon :

      I was on Lupron for 36 months in my early 20s. For the first six months, the migraines were non-stop. I could not work and had to move in with my parents. After each shot, I would have terrible nausea for days. I was so tired and could have easily slept 20 hours per day. I had horrible acne and osteopenia. The migraines let up a bit after six months, but I still had a constant bad headache for the entire time I was on Lupron. DO NOT RECOMMEND!

  17. Sunscreen for the beach? :

    Looking for recommendations for body sunscreen for a beach trip next week. I normally get a few bottles of Neutrogena SPF 50+ but all of the skincare comments last week made me wonder if I should rethink that. Face recommendations are also welcome, but I’m pretty fond of my Elta MD stuff already. TIA!

    • I just got back from the Turks and Caicos. I brought Coola 50 Body sunscreen, Supergoop 50 Spray, Coola face sunscreen and Alba Lavender 45. They were all really good.

    • I like the Neutrogena “pure baby” SPF 50 or 60 (don’t remember the exact SPF). They key to me is that it should be a physical sunscreen (look for zinc oxide and titanium dioxide as active ingredients). These days I’m kinda lazy about sunscreen though and end up with a massive hat and a surfing rashguard doing most of the work.

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      I take an annual Caribbean trip where I spent HOURS a day in the sun and water, swimming, snorkeling and playing on the beach and in the waves and I’ve developed quite a routine. I’m also very pale and sun burn just by stepping outside. My favorite sunscreen is Neutrogena Sport spray, especially the Wet version which can be sprayed on wet skin. Makes a huge difference for my midday reapplications as it also dries in a few minutes. While I know the spray may not be the most environmentally friendly, it’s the only way I’ve found to keep myself from sun burns. It goes on quick and easy with good coverage. I like the oil free version for my face but I have to remember to apply it more often than the sporty waterproof versions (water resistant is NOT waterproof) I take 4 bottles of the spray for a 10 day vacation. All my sunscreens are at least spf 75 and the 100 plus for faces is perfect for days when I’ve overdone the sun a bit. Finally I have an spf proof straw hat that I wear all the time, both to protect my face and make sure I don’t sunburn my scalp (not fun!). And I have a long sleeve zip up spf proof jacket that’s nice for cooler days. It’s super light weight and dries quickly. I love that it zips all the way so I’m not trying to get stuff off over my head/hat/sunglasses

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      The Shiseido 50+ one (lotion, not cream). Good for face and body – not greasy. I am brown, so it looks a little white on my skin. But really stays on and works well. Has a combo of mineral sunscreen and chemical sunscreen.

  18. My sister is getting married in a relatively remote location in Italy. Of course I want to go, but I have young kids and I have to figure out the logistics of child care. I love her, and I am happy for her, but I think this destination is 100% obnoxious. The travel time is a day and a half just to get to this place. Ugh. And then we have to rush back to our kids. I know there’s an option to stay home, but I want to be there. Just venting :)

    • Are you taking your kids? Italy is pretty kid friendly. If you want to post the location and the state you’re leaving from, I’ve traveled a fair bit in Italy so I might have some ideas on how to shorten your flight times. A day and a half seems like a really long travel time for USA – Italy.

    • Is bringing your kids an option, or is your sister having a kid-free wedding?

    • I think you are completely within your guest rights to opt out of this destination wedding. That said, one of my favorite vacations of all time was a trip to Italy when my son was 1.5 years old. Can you take them with you and make a vacation out of it? Italy is amazing for kids – piazzas to run around, great food (and gelato!), and fascinating old buildings and ruins.

    • Can you bring the kids and treat it as a family vacation? I love Italy and this sounds amazing to me, but having traveled to 25+ weddings in the last five years, I sympathize with how frustrating it is not to be able to choose your own vacation destinations.

    • Why can’t you bring your kids? Or leave your kids with their other parent (you refer to “we” so I don’t think you are a single mom) and go by yourself?

    • Take the kids, or have your partner stay home and go alone to the wedding.

    • Anonymous :

      If they are very young, I would go by myself and leave the kids at home with the husband.

    • I really never thought about taking the kids. They would be the only who would be going…my sister would never prohibit me from taking them, but everybody else is making other arrangements to leave their kids at home. I just can’t see them doing very well with a long flight and train ride. I will talk to DH about going solo – but I suspect that will cause marital strife (major rough patch in our marriage). I love my sister, but these remote/expensive wedding destinations are for the birds.

      • I so agree with your last sentence. Weddings have just become ridiculous. If your sister had any sense she’d have a small, private civil service for immediate family and then Italy would be a party for anyone who wanted to make the trip.

      • Anonymous :

        Totally confused where you are going that involves both a long flight and long train ride. Is renting a car a better option if you or DH are comfortable driving in Europe? Or if you’re flying with family, maybe sister can arrange a chartered bus?

        FWIW – I’ve done Italy with an 18 month old and the following year in another location with a 2.5 year old – had a blast at the beach both times – totally different experience from when I toured around Italy after college but opened my eyes to a whole other side to the country. Flights weren’t ‘fun’ but not that bad. Heathrow is a great transit airport if you can’t fly direct from your location – great indoor jungle gym things for the kids.

        • A place that is not close to an airport.

          • Anonymous :

            I get that but I would have thought that Milan, Pisa, Florence, Venice, Bologna, Rome etc. would leave you enough options that you wouldn’t have more than a 2 hour train trip at most. Either way, definitely have your sister look into coordinating a chartered bus if you’re more than 10-15 people arriving around the same time.

      • If you decide to bring your kids and can swing the extra cost of a plane tickets, definitely buy them their own seats. My kid is a nightmare flier on my lap, but an angel in his car seat.

      • This trip might actually help your marriage in the long run if you go solo. Husband might see that solo parenting is no fun and he needs to increase his husband game to avoid ending up splitting time with you solo parenting kids. He also might realize how much work you do that he thinks is currently done by fairies. He might be more appreciative of you when you return.

      • Anonymama :

        I have pretty active kids and they love train rides. If you can make it a longer trip so you can fly in, spend a night, then take a train the next day or two, it could actually be fine. But sounds like it might also be a good chance for you and SO to have some couple time…

  19. Due to some very well-targeted advertising I found myself browsing a website called Ellevest, which touts itself as an investing tool for women. One of the things it suggested was starting a fund for childcare costs. Has anyone done this, or wish they’d done this? My current employer offers literally no benefits, so definitely no maternity leave, and is too small for FMLA to apply. I’m 26, so planning ahead to self-fund maternity leave could be doable.

    • If your employer is too small for FMLA to apply, you may not even get unpaid time off. FMLA doesn’t pay you for maternity leave, it just means you can take 12 unpaid weeks off without your employer replacing you. I qualify for FMLA but get no paid maternity leave. I’m not starting a savings fund for it though, because we can pay our regular bills off my husband’s salary. We just won’t be putting any money in the bank for those 12 weeks, which is fine. If you don’t have a spouse or don’t anticipate being able to temporarily live off of spouse’s salary then putting some money aside makes sense.

    • Isn’t that just savings? Yes. Savings are great. Have them. I don’t think you need a special fund for this.

      • Yeah I just took a look at the website and their ‘how it works’ video and it seems like all they do is develop a savings plan…Unless I’m missing something, cant you just do this yourself?

      • +1. We are planning on having children soon, and I will take home 60% of my current salary during my maternity leave, so we’re beefing up general savings just in case. But no special fund.

    • I think it makes sense to save, but I’d probably think of it more as a “nest egg” unless you’re actively planning to have kids with a willing partner in X years. But that nest egg could be used for a down payment on a house, or to do a major renovation if you already own a house, or to fund a maternity leave, or to pay the expenses of uncovered fertility treatments or adoption.

  20. TorontoNewbie :

    I bought a face cleansing oil by accident. I thought it was makeup remover and I didn’t read the label. What do I do with it now? Is it a face wash replacement? Do I use it before/after a regular facewash? I’m confused and google really isn’t helping.

    • You remove your makeup with it. And use facewash after if you feel like you need to.

      • Diana Barry :

        Does the facewash after get rid of the oil in your eyes? I tried using oil makeup remover pads and afterwards felt like I had an oily film on my eyes for HOURS.

        • Do you get oil inside of your eyes? Or are you talking about on your eyelids? If oil is getting in your eyes, keep your eyes closed as tightly as possible when removing makeup with oil/oil cleanser. Wipe away excess oil from around your eyes and/or wash with a gentle cleanser so that the oil doesn’t eventually migrate into your eyes.

          • If you are getting that much oil in your eyes, I think you may be over-saturating the cotton ball or whatever you are using. Start with less than you think you need, oil goes a long way as a cleanser IMO/E.

    • Happy accident :

      Use it instead of your normal facewash. If your skin is naturally oily, you may be pleasantly surprised at how well your skin takes to it. Bonus points for using an exfoliating pad after (Nip+Fab, First Aid Beauty). When you have a few hours to go down a skincare rabbit hole, read Caroline Hirons’ website (start with her “cheat sheets”).

    • New Tampanian :

      My friend uses an oil first and then does a regular cleanse.

  21. Anyone have any experience with PoliTemps (on either end?) A friend of mine recently got laid off and was looking into them.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yes, they placed me in 2012. They were great to work with, listened to what I wanted and didn’t shut me out when the first position they offered me wasn’t a good fit (a common policy at agencies – if you aren’t desperately grateful for whatever crumbs they give you they shut you out). Also recommended is Ruthie Postow – very on the level, and their model is to cultivate life-long relationships with people they place, so that when you are in a position to hire you go through them. They also work at all levels- entry and temp through exec level.

      I can give you names for either one.

    • Wildkitten :

      I worked with them when I first graduated law school unemployed and they were great.

    • Very general experience :

      I used to work at a political fundraising firm that would bring in folks from PoliTemps occasionally (generally when they had a huge number of contributions to process and not enough staff to dedicate the necessary time). I know very little about the actual experience from either end but can confirm that it’s a legitimate firm and I would have considered working there in the event of a layoff or similar situation.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you all, I will pass this info on to my friend! Glad to hear he’s not barking up the wrong tree.

  22. I’m looking for recommendations for physical sunscreen for my face for acne prone skin. Any ideas?

    • I use CeraVe facial sunscreen on my face. I like the 30 better than the 50 because it rubs in better/leaves less white streakiness.


    • Elta MD all the way

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I like Ocean Potion – comes in a tub.

    • I used CoTz Flawless Complexion. It is literally the only sunscreen I have found that does not cause me to break out. The bonus is that it is not super expensive!

  23. I’m in my mid-30s and in my second month at a new job. A much younger guy was in my training group (but from a completely unrelated department) and seems to have taken a particular interest in me. In training he behaved like a class clown, but I rode it out since there was an end in sight. But he has called my direct line (I didn’t answer) and e-mailed randomly (while not sending similar messages to others from our training group). Nothing profoundly unprofessional (though not work related either), but I get huge weird vibes from him.

    Any advice? I e-mailed him back after his call to ask if there was something I could help him with (in order to create a paper trail). Any other ways to politely shake him off?

    • anonymous :

      “Hey! Got your messages but I’m not clear on what you’re hoping I can help you with. Please clarify.” Then if he responds, answer direct questions about work, if he asks you out, “Thanks for the offer, I’m not available/interested/I don’t date within my workplace.”

      Then if he doesn’t drop it, I’d “I’m so sorry you thought this was a discussion, but it isn’t. If this continues, I’ll be letting HR know.” And then follow through.

  24. Just got my first UTI.

    How do you handle UTIs with your doc? Do you have to go in to see them with an urgent appointment? Always get urine culture?

    I’m drinking like crazy and taking some supplements to see if I can beat it. Since I have a very high deductible plan, and money is tight now, I’m wondering how unreasonable it is for me to want my Doc to call in an antibiotic.

    • Diana Barry :

      If you haven’t had one before, you need to GO IN TO SEE THE DOC and make sure that’s what it is. It was only when I had gone in for one 3+ times that my doc would agree to call in an Rx.

      • Yup, good advice.

        But I am in health care, and have already dipped my urine and know it’s positive. I also take care of my father who has chronic UTIs. I’m a pro at this.

        I may try to email her to see what she says.

        • Anonymous :

          You do want a culture though, just so you can make sure that you’re on the right antibiotic. I had one once where the first antibiotic did not work and it was extremely unpleasant.

          • Yeah, my gut absolutely knows you are right. There are so many resistant bacteria out there right now that this is the smart thing to do. But since I have never had a UTI before, I am not sure about how the typical PCP handles it.

            So I just emailed my PCP, and can’t believe she (or her RN) got back to me already. She will call in a simple antibiotic for me, but if it fails I will have to go in for a visit/culture etc…

            But I know Anonymous that your thinking is correct.

    • You can go in to urgent care, which will likely be cheaper and faster than your primary care doc. That being said, yes, you need to go in, particularly if you’ve never had one. Water and supplements will relieve symptoms but they will not cure the infection, which can get much, much worse.

      Ignored a UTI and got a kidney infection, and if you think a UTI is bad, you’ve never had a kidney infection

      • Thanks for this.

        May I ask, how long after your symptoms did it take for it to get to your kidneys and got you to the doc?

        • It’s been a long time so I don’t remember perfectly, but it was almost like the UTI symptoms stopped and I thought I was fine…I felt “off” but not in a UTI way (my back hurt but at the time I didn’t realize what that meant). Then I fainted in the street and hit my head (it turned out that my “feeling off” was because I was really sick, complete with an ultra-high fever). I was taken to the ER and they diagnosed it there.

        • BabyAssociate :

          This has happened to me too. It was years ago so my memory is fuzzy, but I don’t think it was any longer than 12 hours, and it got me to the emergency room for the first time in my life.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Yes – I had a UTI and it was on the verge of a kidney infection. I don’t remember all of the details, but I had a 104+ degree temp, my back hurt, I was sweating through my clothes/soaking the sheets, etc. It couldn’t have been more than 2 days from when I first noticed symptoms. I had to take Cipro.

        • For me, a matter of hours between ‘it hurts to pee’ and ‘wow, that’s a lot of blood in the toilet.’ Go now, urgent care.

      • This happened to me too! I get them frequently enough that I home-treat but once I got one before 18 hours of international travel when I had to just take Azo and hope for the best, and sure enough it turned into a kidney infection after a few days (same experience– UTI symptoms stopped and then a day later fever and back pain). Once you’ve had more you might be able to home-treat but I agree for your first go to urgent care.

        • As an aside to this, my doctor gave me a prescription for broad-spectrum anabiotics to take with me if I am traveling internationally. If I end up not needing them, great. But it prevents exactly this kind of situation.

    • Wildkitten :

      They should be able to give you a cheap generic antibiotic. I know exactly what causes UTIs in me and so I know exactly when I get one. A D-mannose supplement prevents them.

    • Yeah first time you get at UTI (or yeast infection, or any type of vaginal discomfort) you need to go to a doctor unfortunately. I typically go to urgent care but perhaps call your insurance to see how much it would cost at first. Its likely your doctor will have to prescribe you something more effective/stronger than whatever supplements youre taking. UTIs and any vaginal infections typically dont just “go away” or something you “beat”. =(

    • You’ll need to go in and give a urine specimen. Don’t put this off. Not only can they diagnose a UTI on the spot, they will culture your specimen over a couple of days to make sure you’re on the right antibiotic.

      The last time I tried to beat a UTI by myself, I thought I had done it because my urgency and stinging sensations subsided. And then I came down with a high fever and learned that it had spread to my kidneys. Believe me, you don’t want that. Call the doc.

    • Bewitched :

      Another option is to ask if your doc will let you go to the lab for a “clean catch” urine sample. Lab tests to confirm UTI, doctor treats UTI. There is really no need for an in=person visit since it’s the lab test that confirms the UTI. You may also be able to convince your doc to prescribe based upon the CVS test strips, but as Diana Barry said, some MD’s want to see you a couple of times before they just call in an antibiotic. I have never been successful at using water/supplements to beat mine-they just get worse and tons more painful.

    • Anonymous :

      I used to get them regularly and eventually my doctor would agree to call in a prescription, but definitely not for the first one.

    • If you have a minute clinic (or similar), they can see you quickly and prescribe meds and it will likely be cheaper / faster than urgent care (or even your PCP). Alternatively call your insurance and ask for the cheapest way to see a doc and get your meds.

      As others said – don’t try to ride out an infection that is simple to treat now but can be much, much worse later.

    • I’ve had enough UTIs that I can actually message an on-call nurse at my healthcare provider and get a prescription for antibiotics called in to my pharmacy without a culture. But for the first time, they required a test. I’ve had them enough times that I can tell almost down to the hour what is happening and I put in the call then — even in the middle of the night. It will only get worse and there’s no point in delaying. (Separately, this is one of the reasons why I love One Medical. Email to on call nurse at 1 am Sunday morning – email confirming prescription called in by 5 am Sunday morning – able to pick up drugs right when pharmacy opens at 9. Magic.)

      But UTIs are NOT the kind of thing you can cure with cranberry and other supplements. First of all, I believe some studies were just released that cranberry is completely worthless. Second of all, those supplements are preventative, not cures. Seriously, you need antibiotics, lest you end up with a kidney infection or something worse.

    • Wow these comments shocked me! Am I the only one who just mainlines (sugar free natural) cranberry juice for a day or two until this goes away? I have never gone to the doctor for this and have had this happen maybe 4-5 times.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s what I do and have never needed to go in to a doctor. My symptoms have always disappeared within 24 hours, but if it persisted longer than that I supposed I’d go in to an urgent care.

      • Some people are muuuuch more susceptible to UTIs/severe UTIs. I do the same as both of you, because I know they they *usually* are mild and will go away on their own. Not everyone’s’ are like that.

        • Well clearly I didn’t know where the apostrophe went there, and ended up putting it in both places. D’oh

  25. Anonymous :

    Did anyone read that MMLaFleur article over the weekend about the data scientist? She is a frequent speaker on her area of expertise and found that audience response was different as soon as she cut her hair to a shorter bob. UGH. This is pretty much why websites like this matter, women are still judged on their appearance and subtle differences around signaling amek all the difference

  26. Jitterbug :

    I’ve noticed that some people use a lot of ellipses in work emails . . . And when people wrote like this, it came across (to me) like they were disappointed in me . . . and using ellipses to communicate that tone . . . It just always seemed a little . . . passive aggressive . . .

    On Friday I started to wonder, hey maybe that’s not the intention! Maybe people are misusing them, or using them for a purpose I’m unfamiliar with. As it turns out, for years people have opted to use them in place of periods to – get this – make their sentences softer and less blunt. Which I guess I can understand, because typing “thanks.” or “okay.” can sound a little cold, but this “modern” use still makes me feel uneasy. Like using quotation marks or Capital Letters to add emphasis . . .

    How do y’all feel about using ellipses to soften sentences?

    • Wildkitten :

      I hate them but I’ve worked for a lot of bosses who used them excessively in the way you describe.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I tend to use them to indicate sarcasm or snark. Such as “somehow opposing counsel managed to find all these records but somehow failed to produce this one particular record that is bad for their case…”

    • Agree with Gail the Goldfish about using them for sarcasm and snark.

      Has anyone else noticed an increase in smiley faces in the emails they get? There’s a time and place for it in an email, but I have on contact who uses them to excess and it drives me bonkers.

      • Our office receptionist uses them at the end of every single email she sends. It drives me bananas.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes! A junior (male) associate uses them when telling me something had been completed and it pisses me off – it’s your job, you didn’t do me a favor

    • Fixer Upper :

      True story, incorrect (and unnecessary) use of ellipses was the tipping point that made me break up with a guy. I had already started getting a little annoyed with him for silly and very minor issues, but when he kept sending me texts using only TWO dots (I’ve had it beaten into me that correct use is three dots, and it’s only to denote when you’ve left something out in a quoted text) I just knew I couldn’t be with him. His texts would go something like:
      “Hope you’re well .. Been thinking about you.” Or “Beautiful sunset tonight .. Lots of red and yellow.”

      And yes, this is probably why I’m still single. :)

    • givemyregards :

      I also hate them and associate them with passive aggressiveness, but I think this may be a generational thing. My dad used to use them all the time in e-mail and text, until I informed him that these days that reads as passive aggressive or condescending. He said he just used them to indicate sort of…drawn out thinking? But I got my brother to confirm it was out of fashion and he finally knocked it off.

      • Ugh, yes I hate them, too! In my experience people who use them use it like that, as sort of stream of consciousness typing and to sound less formal, I think. It drives me batty but it is better than those that use no punctuation where I can’t understand subject/verb because it all runs together.

        Example: No don’t need these have approved before you need to look at older Joe you agree
        [This is usually in CAPS, too, which I have spared you all of for your blood pressure health.]

        What the? I think that should read: “No, [we] don’t need [that]. These have [been] approved before. You need to look at older [figures to see the prior approved ones.] Joe, do you agree?”

        Also true story – I fell particularly hard for my fiance because he correctly used a semicolon when we started dating. My heart!

    • I always read them as “dot, dot, dot…you idiot.” One of my old bosses would use them all the time and that is exactly how he meant it. So unnecessary.

  27. I am ALL CAPS EXCITED! My bff is being induced tonight. I can’t wait to meet her son. EEEE!!!

    • Love this. My BFF was at the hospital when my kiddo was born (at my invitation) and took off the next day to hang out at the hospital with me. I was so touched and loved her to pieces for being so supportive.

    • Edna Mazur :


  28. Stephen Schwahn :

    If you are an online shopper, you definitely should look at the following app! It moves all your spammy promotional emails into it and lets you actually find the deals that you are looking for. Give it a shot! https://goo.gl/Fpv0Al

  29. Anonymous :

    How much wall art is not enough/too much? Should there be something hanging on every wall in every room? Or is it ok to just decorate one or two walls per room? I have parents who basically covered every inch of wall space with family and vacation photos and I always thought it looked horrible so I have a bias for lots of blank space. But I’m wondering if I’m going too much in the opposite direction.

    • How much art do *you* want on your walls? That is how much art should be on *your* walls.

      • givemyregards :

        +1 do whatever makes you happy! I also like blank walls, so I tend to have one or two big pieces per room, or a gallery wall, and leave the rest of the space blank. My mom had this thing where she thought it was tacky to have personal/family photos in the living room, and only displayed them in bedrooms or the upstairs TV room. I wouldn’t think it was tacky in someone else’s house but I must have absorbed this theory because I’ve stuck to that in my own place as well.

        • Anonymous :

          I have some small framed photos on bookshelves, etc. in the living room but I’d only put a large canvas family photo in my bedroom or a child’s bedroom.

    • “Negative space” (the fancy design-y term for blank space) usually adds impact to the stuff you’re displaying, so there’s some design principles backing up your preference. But definitely do whatever makes you happy!

      I trend towards givemyregards’s tactic, too. I think I also agree with her mom’s point although I’ve never articulated it as such. Mostly I get slight heebie-jeebies about my in-laws’ decor: multiple framed Sears-style family portraits of the four of them on the walls of their living room, dining room, kitchen, and den. No other art or images of anyone else in the “public” places in their house. It seems so funny to me to only have images of the people who live there!

  30. You guys, I’m wearing nude hose today. I thought I’d give it a spin. I bought the Nordstrom house brand, lightest skin color (I’m irish pale) and they’re not too bad. I’ve been tights, micro fishnets and bare legs only for the last 5 years.

    Now we’ll see how long it takes me to run them.

    What do you use to wash your nude hose to prolong their lives?

    • Woolite and warm water in the bathroom sink, hung over the shower rod to dry. Same thing my mother and grandmother did with theirs.

      I’ve been wearing nude hose lately, too, and I’ve seen them on other women. I love the Donna Karan The Nudes because it’s a perfect match, but whoa, $20 per pair is excessive.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I put them in a mesh bag and put them in the washing machine on delicate with baby shampoo, a trick I learned from the lady at the fancy bra store.

      • I’ve been wearing Nordies nudes for some time and so far, so good. I’ve been using Woolite to wash them, but I might give SA’s mesh bag and baby shampoo a try.

  31. This skirt is a much more affordable option, and more comfortable in my opinion because the fabric is stretchy. https://pinktartan.ca/collections/skirts/products/f160808845-pale-blue

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