Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Green Lightweight Wool One-Button Blazer

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

I’m picturing this blazer now instead of on Friday the 17th because you still have time to either run to the BR store or order this online with expedited shipping if you really have a need for a grass-green wool blazer. This may seem like a crazy purchase, but if you’re in a very male-dominated office culture where St. Patrick’s Day is a huge deal for everyone and you all go out to the local pub, or if that’s the kind of thing that you and your friends enjoy doing, then you may be surprised by how much wear you can get out of a bright green blazer and/or pants. (I don’t think anyone would wear them together unless they were going to dress up as a leprechaun, but you do you.) I think the blazer looks lovely. It’s only available online in sizes 0-8, but if you call your local store they may still have some other options. Banana Republic actually has a lot of cute things right now, including this gingham blazer and matching pants, and this “navy camo” blazer and matching pants. Pictured: Green Lightweight Wool One-Button Blazer (and matching pants)

This blazer comes in green and seven other colors in sizes XS-4X.

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  1. anonymous :

    For those of you who are or have been in serious interracial relationships, did you find that your respective backgrounds mattered much at all? Did you feel like you had significantly different challenges than you have had with relationships with those of your same race/group? I’m really curious about people’s reflections on their experiences in general.

    • I’m Korean, born and raised in USA. My partner is Colombian, but was adopted as an infant by a white family, and was also raised in the US. I think that because my family was never super culturally korean, outside of food, and his more or less the same, sometimes I forget that we count as interracial.

    • I am white – ex was black. We loved each other. Our families loved us together. We were young.

      It ended for a lot of reasons. Our incompatibility was due in part to my insistence that, “race doesn’t matter!” which I had (and have) the privilege to say because *my* race never mattered in a way that disadvantaged me. We were both from middle class families and met in a top 20 law school – but I never got followed in stores or pulled over for no reason. I didn’t understand or appreciate that our experiences of being in the world were just different. Things that I would be applauded for (e.g., participating in a march or protest) would get him arrested. I didn’t respect that his choice not to fight everything was a survival mechanism, not a sign of complacency.

      • This is really interesting, thank you for sharing. Do you think that if this relationship happened now you would have approached these things differently?

      • Midwest Mama :

        This is my experience. I am white; DH is mixed black and white but looks black. I absolutely did not understand my white privilege, which caused issues in our relationship early on. He would tell me he got pulled over while driving because he is black; I would push back and say he must have done something wrong. Rinse and repeat. It’s been a huge eye opener for me, a white woman with an upper-middle class upbringing in a very nondiverse area, and I am thankful for his patience in helping me understand what he goes through on a daily basis. In addition, he is very active in the community, in particular when it comes to racial issues and equality and has been called out by the black community numerous time for “selling out” and marrying a white woman. Our friends and families have always been very supportive of our relationship, however.

    • I was born in India, but moved to the US when I was three. (I’m 39 now) My husband is white and from a bit of a rural town. The biggest issue we had was that he didn’t go to college. He had a job and was living on his own, but for various reasons, no college degree. I met him while I was in college and we got married my senior year.

      Due to the lack of his education, my parents thought he would be a bad influence on my and I would drop out of college and end up barefoot and pregnant. We got into many fights as the tried to convince me not to marry him. They were not supportive of the wedding at all, so I told them not to come to the wedding. There was a period of a few months were I didn’t talk to my parents

      I slowly reconnected with my family and year later we had an Indian wedding ceremony. My parents love my husband and we all get along. I’ve been married for 18 years. We chose not to have kids.

      Other than my parents, I haven’t had any challenges with race and marriage. In fact, I never really liked any of the Indian guys I met. Also, since I grew up in the US I relate more to American culture than Indian culture.

      I think the biggest challenge in our marriage is the fact that my husband’s parents got divorced when he was young and he was raised by his father. His mom wasn’t really around and I think that’s caused issues that my husband hasn’t fully. addressed yet

    • Anonymous :

      Oh gosh. Mine are not exactly relationships but rather experiences.

      I look Indian. Whenever I stop by Target or other stores with a White male friend and I pay for my own purchases, everything is normal.

      Whenever I shop wtih an Indian/Brown male friend and I PAY for my own purchases, the cashiers have handed my change back to the guy friend. I glare at them, grab my change out of my friend’s hand, and move on.

      To think about it, something similar happens at restaurants. If I’m with a White guy, the waiter/ress will make eye contact with both of us. But if I’m with a Indian/Brown guy, the waiter/ress makes eye contact predominantly with the guy.

      I’d like to assume that this happens because the average American probably only hears about Indian women on TV getting sexually assaulted in India.

      • Haha I’m Indian and when I go out with my Indian husband, he usually pays and when I go out with my otherrace colleagues, we split the restaurant check! This might be the reason.

      • Anonymous :

        BUT, if I am the one physically handing my cash to the cashier, then, the cashier should hand my money back to me, not to the guy with me….

    • not sure if these even count :

      I’m white and espicopalian, but I have relatives who are Jewish.

      I dated a very nice guy who was Jewish (his mother had converted though). Eventually, it became a problem for his mother that I wasn’t Jewish (she was otherwise lovely to me). We were also young and still in school. Grad school being in different cities made things succumb to the inevitable. It might have been different if we had been older and had established our own homes instead of being so closely tied to parents as people in their early 20s.

      I also dated a guy from India who then came to believe that my not being Indian was a problem for him.

      I’ve always lived in big cities, so I realize that I often date outside my exact faith (but not necessarily outside of my holidays) and work with people from all over. I think that older generations might have a hard time with religion (if the holidays were different) and especially race 20-30 years ago. With race now, I think if I dated a Nigerian doctor, they’d be OK with that but not so sure about someone from a very different educational / economic background who was also of a different race/religion (so one of those is OK but not all of those).

      But other generations (parents, cousins) would probably be OK b/c we’ve had so many bad marriages by now that any good marriage with a good person would be welcomed. Cannot emphasize this last sentence enough.

    • I’ve never dated anyone of my nationality, so I lack counterfactual. However, I’ve never really had any problems related to our nationalities or races. This could also be due to the limited contact with and between our families (we live in country A, my parents are in country B, his parents are in country C). Of course, we’ve had some misunderstandings and wrong assumptions, but all the couples have some degree of communication problems. For me, being with somebody religious and of different religion than my own would be way more troubling. Say, a Muslim man who has expectations of me not working, etc. So I’d focus not on different races, ethnicities or nationalities, but general compatibility, as with any other partner. The usual red flags of different priorities and values, approach to family and money, anger management, etc.

      • My Muslim brother met a European woman while he was at med school in Europe. He fooled around and had a very hard time getting residency when he came back to the US. We never heard of her. Finally, 5 years later, when he got a residency and started making money, she showed up. They got married, she became a US citizen, and she refuses to do any work whatsoever. She stays at home, hires maids, orders takeout everyday, and sends her 1-year old kid to daycare.

        My Muslim uncle met met a white American librarian. He’s a doctor. After a few years of working, she retired while he works full-time. She’s cool. He’s cool. They enjoy their life.

        My Muslim mom and dad have worked full-time. He’s a doctor. She’s a nurse. While we we were young, she stopped working for a few years. Once we were in junior high, they opened up a practice and work together. Now they are both retired.

        My Muslim kid brother says that he would love to have a girlfriend/future wife that would be super rich so that he could stay at home and program all day.

        Just some perspective. I also know that my mom’s Muslim friend doesn’t want her daughter to go to college because it is too far from home (45 minutes) :(

        • I specifically wrote “a Muslim man who has expectations of me not working, etc.” not a “Muslim man”. Because that would be a deal breaker for me, a woman who wants to have a career and is an atheist.

          Just to add to your examples: my friend is married to a Muslim from Egypt and they are both happy. She works full-time and is a mom of a toddler.

          • Yeah but that has nothing to do with being Muslim. I’d have trouble marrying a Muslim man because my Christian faith is very important to me and I want to share it with my spouse. I’d have trouble marrying any man, regardless of religion, if he expected me to stay home with babies.

          • MidAssociate :

            I am the product of a Muslim father and Catholic mother. My parents have been married for over 35 years and both devout in their religion. I grew up in a very loving and englighted household and was taught that God is God, no matter if I’m speaking Arabic and saying Allah or speaking English.

          • So your problem is with someone who wants a stay at home wife. That’s fine, but I don’t see why that relates to being Muslim. There are a lot of men who want stay at home wives.

          • “Say, a Muslim man who has expectations of me not working, etc. So I’d focus not on different races, ethnicities or nationalities, but general compatibility, as with any other partner. ”

            Sorry you’re getting flack because people lack reading comprehension. I thought it was pretty clear that you were just giving an example of someone where there would be compatibility issues for you and in no way implied that Muslim men do not want women to work.

          • It’s not lacking reading comprehension. She didn’t say “a man who doesn’t want women to work” or even “a religious man who doesn’t want women to work.” It implied that men who don’t want women to work are Muslim. Or (charitably) that she’d be okay with a Muslim man or a man who didn’t want women to work, but not the combo.

          • numbersmouse :

            Anonymous @ 11:00, why aren’t you quoting the correct context? She wrote “For me, being with somebody religious and of different religion than my own would be way more troubling. Say, a Muslim man who has expectations of me not working, etc.” She’s implying that not wanting a woman to work is part of being religious for a Muslim man. It’s not other people that lack reading comprehension.

          • To Anonymous @ 12:54– But that’s the thing about prejudice — it makes assumptions about people that are just not necessarily true, and thus dehumanizes them.

            I have one side of the family that is Muslim-Arab, and one side that is (European) American. I have experienced exactly zero misogyny — zero! — from my Arab family.

            But members of the American side of my family have literally said things to me such as:
            1) “When are you planning on leaving the work force?” 2) “As a woman, you should think about part-time work!” 3) “When are you going to have kids? It’s so much more fulfilling than work!” 4) “Is your husband trying to make partner?” (this question was not asked about me, and my husband and I are both lawyers). 5) “Why didn’t you change your name when you got married?”

            So, yeah, it KILLS me when people make these misogynistic comments about Muslims, because it’s just so unfair for Muslim Americans to constantly be battling this stereotype.

      • Why would a Muslim man expect you to not work?

        • Why would you think she said anything like that? Reading comprehension, try it.

        • Hmm, I think the confusion is that there is a stereotype of oppressive Muslim men out there who want to control their wives and have them stay at home all day. Of course, stereotypes come from somewhere and we know that in some countries/families/places/cultures, these kind of things do happen.

          I can see how Kag used “Muslim” and “Expect to not work” as just possible examples. I am Anonymous at 10:19am and I just wanted to do what I can to make sure people are aware that it is a stereotype and not all men who are Muslim fit in that description.

      • Wow, you’re super prejudiced. My three Muslim male cousins are married to two doctors and an accountant, respectively. Ugh. Now I feel depressed that people like you exist.

        • Wow, and your words towards me are not prejudiced and plainly hatefull? Let alone that I really don’t understand how could I be prejudiced if all my relationships were and are with people from different cultures and races.

          But O.K., maybe this example is touchy given the current political context in the US (I don’t live in America). I just wanted an example of different culture and religion that would definitely not work for me (you give examples of couples living in US, not, say, European woman marrying a Saudi Arabian and living in Saudi Arabia according to the local rules). My basic message (that I’ve wrote) is that I’m not concerned about culture or race, but general compatibility as with any other person.

          • It is a little bit touchy given the political environment. But, your overall message is understood.

          • You are prejudiced against Muslims because you just assumed, plainly for all to see, that Muslim men don’t want their wives to work. Imagine what the reaction on here would have been if you had said — “I don’t think I would be compatible with a black man who was lazy.”

            You may not be prejudiced against other races or religions, but own up to your prejudice against Muslims. If making an assumption about members of an entire religion based on stereotypes isn’t prejudice, I don’t know what is.

          • And someone pointing out how your message could be interpreted as offensive is not prejudiced. It may not have been done kindly or gently, but it was not prejudiced at all.

          • That’s the whole point though. There’s nothing in the Muslim religion that says women shouldn’t work and there is no one Muslim culture.

          • With all the respect, that’s false. There is a strong positive correlation between share of Muslims in population and female labour force participation rates. Muslim countries have lower levels of female labour participation, as compared to the other countries that are similar in terms of geography and level of economic developments. According to the World Bank data, female participation rate in the Arab countries is 24% and 22% in the Middle East & North Africa. These are the lowest regional values. In the East Asia and Pacific 61% of working-age women work in the market sector, 57% in North America and 51% in Europe. It equals 50% for the world as a whole.
            Moreover, Turkey provides a good natural experiment. Historical evolution of female participation rate changed according to government being more secular or traditionally Muslim.

            Koran, which is a base for Islamic law, explicitly says that woman’s work is meant to be a work for the family. Outside work is not forbidden, but her husband has an obligation to provide for her (so his earings are household earnings, her earnings are of her own).

            Of course, it’s statistics and history, so it isn’t everything. But it is definetely not true that “There’s nothing in the Muslim religion that says women shouldn’t work and there is no one Muslim culture”.

          • TinyDancer :

            A lot of posters are being ridiculous. Many Muslim women all over the world (but particularly in Muslim-majority countries) are not only discouraged from, but forbidden from working or, at the least, having high-powered careers. That is not a stereotype. That is a fact. Of course there are Muslims who view things differently, and of course there are non-Muslims who also don’t like when women work. But the OP’s post was not prejudiced or bigoted, it was a fact-based generalization. Not every generalization about a group of people is rooted in bigotry. I guess we’re supposed to turn off the critical thinking function of our brains to fit into today’s “everything offends everyone” society.

          • Kag, you could say that about basically any religion. Christianity comes to mind. But people generally are less likely to lump all Christians together (at least in the US and I’m assuming most of the West) than they are Muslims or people of other religions. Allowing room for one group of people to be individuals but not others is a form of prejudice.

            I’m not saying that’s what you’re doing. But hopefully you can see why it can seem that way when what you’re saying isn’t 100% untrue, but it’s also not untrue of most other conservatives/traditionalists, regardless of religion or ethnicity. I think you might find similar statistics if you were to break the US down by region, for example. I’m betting you’d find different labor participation rates for women and attitudes toward working women in the south vs New England, for example.

          • Htown lawyer :

            kag: “I’m so totally not prejudiced against muslims!”

            *three minutes later*

            kag: “here is all the data to support my prejudice!”

          • Muslim here... :

            Kag, I don’t mean for this to sound aggressive, truly, but people with beliefs like yours are literally why I never let people know that I’m from a Muslim background. (I look white and have an Anglo-sounding name). I know they will make a whole lot of assumptions about my family/culture until I prove otherwise, and it’s a burden that I frankly don’t want to bear.

            I also realize that this might be unfair to Muslims who are identifiably Muslim, and don’t really have a choice in the matter.

          • @ Htown lawyer:
            I see the difference between:

            a. not being prejudiced against any single PERSON based on their race/religion, etc.


            b. knowing that some attitudes and values are significantly more common in some REGIONS than the others. Or may I not say that any given Nigerian is far more likely to be poorer than any given American, because it’s a prejudice?

          • I have had older religious women tell me that it is my religious duty to take care of my husband and (future) children, and not waste too much time studying and working.

            I have also had religious women tell me to to pursue knowledge like gold as a tool to serve humanity- when you contribute to society, you are serving God’s creation, and therefore serving God.

            Different women, different beliefs, but same religion – Islam.

            As a Muslim, we can’t deny that there are backward practices in the name of Islam. It happens. It sucks. I have experienced so much misogyny in the Muslim communities – might I add, this is almost always from the older generations.

            We can bring awareness to these issues and educate people who are prejudice but it bothers me when people make comments like “there’s nothing in the Muslim religion that says women shouldn’t work”. Address the stigma, don’t ignore it.

          • Anonymous :

            I had people make those same statements to me (rarely though; not my immediate family/friends). And that I was taking a guy’s place by daring to clutter up my law school with yet another female student.

            I am about as white and christian as they come. I’m sure that the speakers were as well. And they didn’t come from some place like Juniper Creek, either.

    • Not inter-racial exactly but I (white, family been in the US for ~100 years) dated a first-generation Cuban-American and differences in culture played a huge part in our breakup. His family was filled with women who stayed home and supported their husbands and kids, and while it wasn’t a huge issue at the time because we were so young (we dated in college) I came to realize he didn’t have role models of women who worked and was very unlikely to take on half the child-rearing like I wanted my future husband to. Religion was also a big factor for us. I’m not Christian and although he was not a practicing Catholic, I realized it was important to him to get married in a Catholic church and baptize future kids, which were things I wasn’t comfortable with.

    • Not my experience :

      My aunt is white and her husband is Mexican, and they have one child together. Her ex-husband and her ex-SO were both Mexican as well. She says it’s hard. A few years ago I was surprised to hear her say that she wouldn’t recommend interracial relationships to people. I don’t know all the details, but I know some of it relates to his family – lots of relatives coming to visit, people staying in their (small) house for long periods of time. There are money issues as well – her husband doesn’t want to fix up the house or save for their kid’s college, but there’s always money for fancy clothes or an expensive car for the kid. It’s hard to say how much of that is cultural versus general compatibility, as kag said above, but based on her history and comments, I suspect it’s largely cultural. That said, they’ve been married for over 18 years, so they’ve made it work.

      • Anonymous :

        I was engaged at one point to a man from a Mexican family, he was the first generation born in the U.S. It is a very different set of cultural traditions than I was used to. My experience: there was still a lot of machismo, and expectations about gender roles. He took the idea of being a provider very seriously, but made it clear the house and the future kids would be my responsibility. I also experienced the same thing as your aunt – there seemed to be a lot of emphasis on “live for the moment” type of spending – he always had fashionable clothes, the latest electronic toys, and a nice car – but not a lot of emphasis on long-term planning. (My ex-fiance didn’t understand why you’d need to start a retirement account until you were in your forties, and no one in his family owned a house; most people considered it to be “too much hassle” and a problem because you had to spend money on upkeep.)

        At the same time, I don’t think, looking back, I had a real understanding of what life was like for him as a Hispanic man. He went through the “pulled over for no reason” thing; he was detained one night because a fight broke out in a bar that he just happened to be in – he wasn’t involved in the fight at all, and didn’t know the people involved. This was in the mid-90s and while people talked a lot about “racial equality,” “privilege” didn’t really exist as a topic of conversation. As a white woman, I definitely had it, but I didn’t examine it. I had been raised with a belief that “anyone can make it if they work hard enough” and saw the setbacks he experienced not as structural racism, but as evidence he wasn’t trying hard enough to succeed. My family is upper-middle-class, and we had a lot of talks about how different the money situation was between our families. He expressed that he was worried he wouldn’t be able to “give me the kind of life I was used to.” And since he was so serious about “providing for me” – even though I wanted to work and had no problem providing for myself – that became an issue.

        There were lots of reasons why I broke it off with him, but I will say, even though I was adamant from the beginning that the cultural and racial differences matter, it did matter. We had a hard time understanding where each other was coming from, and ultimately I don’t think the marriage would have worked, because not only were we trying to bridge some wide gaps, but we didn’t seem to have a mutual communication style that helped us bridge those gaps. I think that can happen in any relationship, with people of any background, especially where there are big socioeconomic differences. But in my case, there were cultural differences that I think made a difference.

    • Anon for this :

      Yes, I am from an upper middle class WASP background, my husband is half Mexican and grew up in a very poor and rough neighborhood in a large city. Our childhoods could not have been more different, though both left us with major baggage.

      I truly don’t believe our marriage would work if we hadn’t both started consciously thinking and articulating the ways our backgrounds inform our expectations, especially around parenting. It gets easier with time, as you start learning how to include your partner’s lens when you consider decisions, feelings around certain situations or debates, etc. The class differences can be much harder than the race issues because they are less easy to identify and name. Which is 3/4 the battle.

      I’ll give you a relatively benign example– my husband’s father forbade my husband from reading when at his house or with him. Because the kids should be focused on making the adults happy, and reading was self-centered (don’t get me started). My parents had a policy that they would never say no if I asked for a book. Throwing away a book was blasphemy. Today my husband doesn’t understand why his request to limit the number of books we own would be deeply upsetting to me. Even though he loves reading and books. I’m like, books are part of my fundamental value system, do you even know who I am. He’s like, why are you so upset about reducing clutter?

      • Thank you for shareing. Life is complicated enough with relationships. I would like to find a guy who respects me for me, irregardless of race, religion, or creed. If I EVER find that guy, I will have him MARRY me. Yay!!!!

    • I am white and my fiancé is black. We are crazy, stupid, head-over-heels in love with each other, even four years in. Most of the time, we navigate the pitfalls by just being honest when we don’t know what to do or say.

      There have been issues I don’t quite know how to navigate. He has suggested his mom and aunt are not crazy about the fact that a successful, well-educated black man is marrying a white woman instead of a black woman. His mom is not warm to me most of the time, though it’s hard to quantify how much of that is because I am white and how much is because she is the kind of mom who thinks nobody is good enough for her son. For what it’s worth, his father and his stepmother are so, so kind and welcoming to me.

      When I was growing up, my parents weren’t necessarily a big fan of interracial relationships, and implied many times they wouldn’t be happy if I brought home a black guy. And then, my parents changed. When I brought my fiancé home, they LOVED him. I think they’d changed and started to recognize their own racism and bias before I brought my fiancé home, and then knowing him really crystallized for them how deeply unfair they’d been.

      It is impossible for me not to notice that he gets treated differently than I do. We travel frequently, and he gets “randomly” selected by the TSA all the time. Literally all the time. I’ve seen him followed around stores in a way that has never happened to me. I get better service at bars and restaurants (though I suppose some of that may be gender, as well).

      And then there are things that haven’t come up yet, but I suspect they will down the line. Even now, we have friends who tell us they can’t wait for us to have kids because “mixed kids are always so beautiful.” I know white women who have married black men and people think they’ve adopted their kid.

      • I’m a white woman married to a black man, and I can say emphatically that our mixed kid is one of the cutest ever (though I might be a bit biased) :)

        • I despise the ‘mixed kids are so beautiful’ statement, people think they’re so progressive when they say it but it comes off as really racist to me. My son is black, full stop. Would he be more beautiful if he was half-white or half-asian or half-something else? Same with other kids who are not mixed. I really think people don’t think through the implications of this statement when they make it and wish they would stop. HUGE pet peeve of mine.

          • anonymous :

            I’m a “mixed kid.” Statements like that bother me for a lot of reasons, one of which is what you pointed out. I also don’t like being called exotic or being treated like I’m a museum exhibit, which happens frequently. Mostly with my in-laws.

          • Anon Multiracial Family :

            I get you here, anon. It rises to the level of fetish-ism for me sometimes.

            I do think sometimes people say it to me to try to communicate that they are welcoming of our family, and I try to believe the best intentions with it. It can be othering though, and makes me wonder what else they think or why they feel they need to mention my kid’s racial background.

          • Anonymous :

            I can see why you feel like that but sometimes, mixed people have such a rare look that it is quite stunning. There’s lots of beautiful black and white people, but one of my friends is half korean, one-fourth black, and one-fourth Irish.

            She has curly black hair, Asian eyes, light brown skin, curvy body – it’s just unique and so beautiful, I would not be able to resist saying mixed kids are beautiful.

          • Anonymous :

            @ Anon 3:19

            “I would not be able to resist saying mixed kids are beautiful.”

            People are telling you that this makes people uncomfortable. Listen to them. Your friend may be beautiful but just tell her that she’s beautiful, not that “mixed kids are beautiful”.

          • Yeah, I hate the fetish-ism aspect as well. I get that people are saying it with good intentions much of the time, but there is so much wrong with the statement. Just replace it with a blanket statement like ‘white kids are so beautiful’ or ‘not mixed black kids are so beautiful’ and you start to see how creepy it is to even be commenting in this way. I’d never approach two korean-american friends who were dating and be like ‘i love pure korean kids, you’re kids are going to be so beautiful.’

          • Anonymous :

            Alright, you all have a point. I will refrain from making statements like that in the future. Thanks for sharing this perspective.

    • Amelia Bedevil :

      I’m white and my husband is from the Middle East. He relocated here as a teenager. the issues we have faced have largely been family driven. his parents were VERY against our relationship and marriage, hated that I worked, hated that we delayed having children so many years, and hated that we have daughters (how is this even a thing we can control???)
      we would be divorced if it weren’t for one driving fact: husband stands up to them at every turn, fights for me, defends me, shields me from their ire as best as he can, refuses to live near them so as to not subject me to them. If he were in any way deferential to them, we’d be divorced (or very, very unhappy).
      I grew up abroad, so neither of us is super Americanized — we’ve americanized together in a lot of ways. We lived in the south for a few years and then fled, mainly because i couldn’t stand the prejudice there. Husband handled it so much better than I did. he just shrugged his shoulders and said “it is what it is.” I’m far more angrier about it than he is, but that’s probably because I’m allowed to be angry about it whereas he might face reprisals if he showed anger — i.e., termed the “angry arab.” He’s nice to a fault and i sometimes wonder whether that is a defense mechanism.

    • Not my own experience, but I have a handful of close friends who are the children of immigrants who don’t speak English to their parents, but do speak English to their different-race SOs. I know it saddens them that their kids will likely not learn their native languages and will have trouble communicating with their grandparents because of that.

      • Why would their spouse not speaking the language mean that the kids don’t?

        My sister married a Russian-American. She doesn’t speak/understand Russian but her son speaks Russian with his grandparents/Dad, and son speaks English with her. Her husband translates for our parents at family gatherings as needed.

        I’m married to a German citizen (not US citizen yet), he speaks German to me and our daughter, I speak English to him and our daughter. She goes to German language lessons on Saturdays. I translate for my parents as needed.

        • +1. Most people kids I know in that situation just grew up in a bilingual home. In other cases, they still grow up in a bilingual home, except the English-speaking parent also learns the language. Unfortunately my parents didn’t do this for me, and I really wish they had.

        • It’s all possible and I know a lot of families with kids speaking 2 to 4 langugaes. But it needs a lot of effort and commitment to have multi-lingual children. Probably one more thing to consider.

        • I was raised bilingual in this exact way! My mom spoke one language with me, my dad spoke English (he speaks the second language conversationally but far from fluently). It’s actually best for a kids language acquisition for each parent to commit to speaking to them exclusively in one language, its basically the baby version of immersion language programs.

          • Anon 11:05 :

            I love it because it’s so neat to watch her switch between German when she speaks to her father and English when she speaks to me. We enforce that she can’t speak to him in English but she’s allowed to speak to me in German. The difference is because we live in an English language environment so it’s very much already her dominant language.

          • It is so cute and so impressive to see little kids do this! (not biased at all). The arrangement definitely got a bit harder as I got older and my parents had my younger sisters, there’s not much you can enforce with a babbling multi lingual toddler. English is what I did about 80% of my schooling in so its very much my dominant language for reading/writing, but I pretty much equally comfortable speaking in both languages. My parents say they never knew which language we would be speaking when they woke us up for school as kids. You are giving your daughter an awesome gift by raising her bilingual! I am so grateful to my parents for doing the work to make sure I spoke both languages.

        • It’s definitely possible, but practically A LOT harder. I don’t speak English with my immigrant parents, or even my sibling even though sibling and I were born and raised in the US. Both my mother & father worked outside the home growing up so it’s not they don’t know English, but for our family that is how my parents made sure we knew the language well enough to engage in religious services and communicate with grandparents and extended family that don’t know English. When it comes time to teach my kids the language, I hope to have a similar environment where I communicate with them in that language at home…. which would go out the window if my SO didn’t know the language because then he’d be left out of those conversations. Or, if he has another language from his heritage that he wants our kids to learn, we’ll have to figure out a way to juggle our competing language priorities. I think your family’s experience sounds great, but it’s so much harder to pass on those languages than if both parents are fluent.

          An additional thought (unrelated to your family) is that I’ve seen non-European languages falling by the wayside more because of how it can be perceived in public and thus even harder for parents to pass on to their children. Multiple times, I’ve seen white Americans help French or German-speaking people with directions, but give dirty looks to the Mexican/Indian/Chinese family talking amongst themselves in line at the grocery store. Growing up, so many of my Asian friends refused to speak anything other than English with their parents because they didn’t want to be made of. I remember distinctly a girl I went to school with who always spoke French with her mother because they had recently moved from Paris. Everyone thought she was SO COOL, but did not have the same opinion of the students from Mexican/Chinese/Indian/Middle Eastern families.

          • This! Someone once called me speaking Hebrew to my mother “speaking in tongues”. No!!!! I’ve seen so much nonsense directed at my friends speaking Spanish in public. All languages are definitely not treated equally.

          • Anon 11:05 :

            “which would go out the window if my SO didn’t know the language because then he’d be left out of those conversations” — why wouldn’t you expect your SO to learn to understand even if not speak? My sister doesn’t understand much Russian but her son still speaks it with his grandparents and his Dad speaks it to him.

            Re: non ‘white’ languages — we’re very cognizant of our white privilege here and we give generously to support immigrant assistant groups. It’s ridiculous that multilingualism isn’t more highly valued in this country. Like Ivanka has her daughter learning Mandarin but if a Chinese-American person speaks to their grandkid in Mandarin they get stares/complaints.

          • replying to Anon 11:05

            Again, the practical difficulty of it is immense- in an ideal world, SO would learn to understand but that would take time/energy away from other family responsiblities. If he has his own language he wants to share, then we’d both be putting energy into learning each other’s languages as well as being the primary teacher for our kid(s). Which is doable if you make language your #1 priority as a family, but at the end of the day, families juggle numerous priorities. I’m not saying it’s impossible, as your family experience demonstrates, but it’s just much harder. People and families have finite energy and time, so parents have to make (hard) choices about prioritization. There’s no wrong answer of what should be the priority, but I sympathize with people who married someone who doesn’t speak their language and aren’t able to teach their children as well as they would have liked. It’s just hard.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Jo March, my parents both spoke English and different European languages. I was raised in a home with my mother’s parents (who also spoke English although my grandfather was not born and raised in Canada so was less fluent than my grandfather). At home, we spoke a mix of all three – my father learned some of my mother’s language and my mother became fluent in my father’s native tongue (we visited his home country a lot and she wanted to know what people were saying about her). I am well able to function in both of my family’s languages and I do not believe either of my parents felt “left out”. It totally can work. In fact, I know lots of Canadian families with similar stories but I do think that this kind of multi-other home without everyone just defaulting to English is more common in Canada maybe.

          • FYI, Mexicans generally speak Spanish, which is a European language.

          • @ Never too many shoes

            I agree about Canada. Probably all the emphasis on french immersion schooling that normalizes bilingualism/multilingualism as a desirable asset.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        My husband refuses to teach our children his native language. it saddens me. but it isn’t my language or heritage, so I don’t press him.

        • Anon 11:05 :

          Really? Is his native language Arabic? So frustrating – Arabic in particular that is really a lot easier for English speakers to learn when they are young. Have you tried pointing out all the opportunities it opens? Arabic is one of the UN languages and there is a huge demand for Arabic language translation.

          I’m a big believer in people being multi-lingual because it opens so many doors and exposes one to different ways of thinking. If my daughter wasn’t learning German from her Dad, she’d probably be at Saturday school learning Spanish or French.

          • Amelia Bedelia :

            trust me. i’ve made this argument. He declines to teach them. He’s rather them speak French, or even Spanish. Interestingly, he also speaks spanish but refuses to teach them because his command of the language isn’t perfect and he doesn’t want them to learn it incorrectly.

        • My best friend is Arab-American, and his parents refused to teach him Arabic. Friend didn’t like feeling left out or not Arab enough at family events, and asked his dad why they didn’t teach him. His dad said that he didn’t want friend to talk funny English and seem like/feel like an outsider in the US. He wanted friend to be normal. I think that’s sad.

      • Child of immigrants myself, grew up speaking two languages in the home. My fiance cannot speak the language and although I will try to teach our (hopefully, future) children my native language, it is not as easy when they only hear it from one parent because eventually they will notice how the parents talk to each other. I grew up hearing my parents speak it to each other. I have a cousin who is an example of this. She grew up speaking only the non-English language (grandparents watched her during the day) but then didn’t know any English. One parent speaks only English and now so does she. She now doesn’t remember any of our native language and she cannot understand herself in videos of her as a child. The only way I have seen this successful into adulthood is if a parent speaks it at home *and* there is outside teaching of it, too, either from constantly being around family that speaks it or classes in the foreign language. Same goes for my cousins who grew up in the mother country. Their English really struggled because they weren’t hearing it at home even though one of their parents has an American accent. It was because the other parent didn’t speak English at all – the only way they learned it was by attending English classes, too.

        • Anon 11:05 :

          A few unsolicited tips for teaching:

          1. new media is your friend – Dora the Explorer DVDs or similar in target language (turns out that German Dora learn English not Spanish – who knew). You Tube has tons of stuff. We’re more flexible with allowing screen time in the target language. Ipad games help reinforce vocab.

          2 Enlist your SO. I can barely speak German but I understand a lot. I’ve improved as I’ve been exposed to my husband speaking to our kids. Encourage him to read books in target language. Books for babies are generally just one word and a picture. I still remember when I had to move from the one word vocab books up to the 18month+ books – terrifying but now I recite half of them in my sleep. Books with rhymes are your friend because you can guess at the pronunciation of one word if you know the other.

          3. Enlist other family members – my toddler loves watching videos of his uncle singing the alphabet in German; Skype with grandparents lots if they are not local – encourage grandparents to speak to baby exclusively in target language. I often put in laws on skype to entertain the kids (sing songs, read them books – grandparents and kids each have a copy of same book) while I cook dinner.

          4. Find a community of native language speakers – as kids get older, they need to have friends they can play with in target language plus formal or informal reading/writing language lessons.

          • Thanks. Going to be hard for my SO (has been for others that have married into the family) because of pronunciation and an unrecognizable alphabet. Kids pick up really fast, the key though is keeping up with it well into teen years or you end up like my cousin who exclusively spoke our native tongue as a child and now doesn’t know anything beyond what a tourist knows (Thank you, hello, etc.) because she lost it completely. When one parent doesn’t speak it, the best you can do is formal classes, but those aren’t always available in every town and language.

            I am also fluent in another language and conversational in another that both use the Roman alphabet, and speak them often with my nieces and nephews. Those are easier for others to read those books due to a familiar alphabet and much more common to find even adult classes in those languages.

    • A lot of these responses are more cultural issues than race issues.

      I’m mixed race, so I grew up in an interracial household. One of my parents is not from this country, so it was also intercultural, which, is where most of my parents disagreements stem from, primarily around expectations of each other.

      All of my relationships have been interracial, but, not intercultural, so, honestly, race hasn’t been something that I really think about that much in terms of relationships. I have had men comment on me as a spot on their “bingo gardening party” card, which I don’t care for, and men who have explicitly said that they’d date me, but never have children with me, because of my race, but, it doesn’t come up much. This is probably because I’m culturally quite similar to them.

      As someone who is mixed race, I sometimes find identity really hard- I’m neither race A, nor race B, and that can be really hard to navigate. I know some other mixed race people feel as though they’re both races, but I don’t feel that way.

      • I’m also mixed race/mixed culture, and this has been my experience as well. I also find identity hard, although I sort of feel like I’m both A and B and neither A nor B depending on the situation. I haven’t had your experience with men, but I have had men say that they just don’t find A or B women attractive. I’ve come to the conclusion (as have a lot of my non-white and mixed race friends) that most white men in particular don’t really find non-white (and I guess also non-Asian) women attractive. It has definitely impacted my views on my own attractiveness.

    • We’re married! There are just little things that stem from different cultures, like why would it be the end of the world on the south Asian side of my family to not invite every cousin to the wedding, versus in his (white European-American) family not at all. We have the same fundamental values, so no worries. I think it’s a much bigger deal if you have dramatically different values – but that’s true regardless of whether their source is your different family heritages. FWIW, I’m multiracial as well and my parents have been happily married 30+ years. :)

    • I’m a white woman married to a Black/Caribbean man, and I think that most if not all of our differences are due more to socioeconomic issues than race issues. That’s not to say that the experiences that others have articulated don’t ring true for us (with him being treated differently due to his race, etc.) – but he is used to that, and is used to functioning in a primarily-white world (due to his profession), so it doesn’t cause issues. What does cause us to have conversations (sometimes arguments) are the socioeconomic differences – I grew up upper middle class and he grew up poor. We’re both very successful now, but it plays out differently in how we want to spend our money, the things we want to focus on in raising our kids, etc. I also see it play out in our perspectives on the world – I assume the best in people because I grew up with a supportive family in a safe environment, while he tends to assume the worst because he grew up in a fractured family in a dangerous inner-city environment. We work through these things as best as possible, but it has definitely been a challenge at times. But I think that we would have the same struggles if he were white and had grown up in the same environment – so I chalk it up more to socioeconomic issues than to race.

    • Wildkitten :

      I’m white and have had serious relationships both interracial and intraracial and yeah, interracial is harder. Not remotely a dealbreaker of difficulty, just another texture added to the complexity of bringing two distinct humans into a unit.

    • Anon Multiracial Family :

      I’m curious as to the reason you are asking, but here’s my experience.

      I’m a white woman married to a black man and we have a toddler that looks like she could be white. We’ve been together 11 years (met in college), married for 7. We live in a very red, predominately white state where I was raised, he’s from a big city on the east coast. He’s the first person I dated outside of my race, so I wasn’t too sure of what to expect, and I remember some conversations on my end that make me cringe now. I was in college and just learning, but still. I’ve come a long way. Our families are very similar and so are our backgrounds and viewpoints with regard to church, politics, family-raising, etc. I think these are the main things that matter, like in most relationships. No issues with family or friend acceptance of our relationship.

      However. This election season has especially opened my eyes to the viewpoints of people around me. Not necessarily in that I now believe everyone around me that voted a certain way (that I formerly voted) is against us or is a racist, but it does lead me to question their beliefs and motives. Many of my close friends from college have trouble understanding what the influence of white supremacy has in our government and why our family might be concerned about that. The privilege of their lack of awareness of things happening in our country is startling to me, though I grew up around it. I try to understand it as to not totally alienate my friends, but it is certainly disheartening to me. It’s an amazingly complicated issue, and I feel I have some responsibility to try to educate them. Otherwise how will they learn?

      What has really been helpful for me is to surround myself (at least in social media and IRL when possible) with other multiracial families and family networks. It’s nice to be around others that you don’t have to constantly explain things. Some days I want to pack up and move to a blue city, but our life is here. We also have unbelievable family support here, and my family is constantly seeking to learn and understand which is a huge blessing.

      On a lighter note, if you haven’t seen Get Out, you should! Then read an article that breaks it down.

      • anonymous OP :

        I’m asking because I don’t have any friends in interracial relationships that I feel close enough to ask them about their experience. My husband is white and I’m not. We’ve had an interesting and challenging time with a lot of things, and while my friends are lovely and they listen, I just have never had the opportunity to talk to people who may have experienced something similar.

        • Anon Multiracial Family :

          Totally get it. If you’d like a pen pal, feel free to leave your email address and I’ll send you a note. Just haven’t taken the time to set one up for this s i t e.

      • anon for this :

        “What has really been helpful for me is to surround myself (at least in social media and IRL when possible) with other multiracial families and family networks. It’s nice to be around others that you don’t have to constantly explain things. ”

        This is one of the many reasons why I don’t want to move to the (predominately white) suburbs. It has to be hard living in a deep red state. I like living in our diverse, urban neighborhood. I am the poster below “anon for this” who is brown, with an asian husband, two bio kids, and two adopted kids who are black. I feel narrow-minded when I say this, but I can’t even envision us in a suburb of our city.

        • Anon Multiracial Family :

          If I didn’t already live here, I don’t think I’d move. My cousin adopted a multiracial child and lives in Chicago and has this incredible network. She’s added me to their FB group and it’s made a huge difference for me. They discuss everything from current events to hair care and it’s amazing. I have to be careful about not making Chicago out to be a dream city though, when it certainly has it’s own problems. IE, if we only lived in CHI, this would be different.

          Like everything in life, it comes down to choices. We are a suburb of a medium sized city in the Midwest, public schools are great, cost of living is amazing, and people are genuinely friendly, although maybe blissfully unaware at times. We try to make up for some of this by exposing our family through lots of travel and experiences. I don’t want my kids growing up thinking everyone lives the same way or enjoys the same privileges they do. And also, we try to live by example and stand up for our beliefs, and hopefully can be a bright light to our community :).

    • anon for this :

      I really don’t think it matters for us, but as others have said, a lot of the issues described here are cultural, not racial. Both my husband and I have complicated national origins, and even though we are from different cultures and places, we have a lot in common because of that. We both fled persecution in our home countries. We both were displaced to a different country than our home country before we came to the US. Neither of us have any family that we know of except each other and our kids. I am from one of the -stans that was part of the Soviet Union and fled to Russia as a teen, and my husband is fled to China from DPRK as a young person as well. We somehow eventually both ended up in the US, meeting each other, getting married, and having a family. I couldn’t be happier, and I am glad to be with someone who has some understanding of what I have been through to get where I am now.

  2. Anonymous :

    One day in LA

    We will be in LA for a full day , any recommendations on what to do and see?
    Four adults and four kids, latter aged 5 and 10.

    Where to stay, so that we aren’t too far from tourist attractions? It’s everyone’s first time in LA.
    Also, would we need a car for just a day (we will fly out from LAX on the second day). And we will be coming to LA from Anaheim by taxi, most likely.

    • I enjoyed the Getty. Great views across LA. Lots of families were having picnics. Its free!

      Another thing kids might enjoy and parents too is the La Brea Tar Pits and Museum.

      I love food so if I had one day I would do a food tour! https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/Attraction_Review-g32655-d1203734-Reviews-Melting_Pot_Food_Tours-Los_Angeles_California.html

    • Anonymous :

      A taxi from Anaheim to LA will be very expensive. You will need a car to get anywhere in LA unless Uber is a big thing there now (I haven’t been there since Uber came on the scene so I don’t know). Why not rent a car in Anaheim and return it at LAX?

      My top pick for attractions would be the Getty Center. I think you might have to make reservations to park there.

      • I was there for a work trip in October and had no problem getting around via Uber (even to meetings in Orange County). However, it might be more cost effective renting a car – you have to balance out the hassle of parking against the hassle of hailing a car.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Uber is a thing, but I would just rent a car. I go there a lot for work and usually just rent–LA is so spread out I think it would be worth it. I would pick what you want to see and then choose a hotel close-ish to it, because traffic.

        You don’t need a reservation to park at the Getty, but my understanding is it can fill up, so get there early.

        • KateMiddletown :

          +1 with 2 kids. Not sure what the carseat laws are for Uber or 5 year olds in CA but I prefer flexibility w/ kids. On the other hand my then-6y/o loved the novelty of riding in an Uber in Chicago sans booster.

          • You will need a car seat/booster for Uber so bring one if you plan on going that route. Obviously if you rent a car you can rent scar seat as well. Check the California DMV website for the exact requirements. Kids under 8 have to be in a booster unless they are 4’9″.

          • please don’t let your kids ride unrestrained until they’re of the correct height/weight to do so safely. Car crashes are a top killer of young children.

      • I would rent a car and drive from Anaheim to LA as a starting off point.

        As for what to do with one day in LA, I would suggest staying somewhere near Santa Monica and going to the beach, Palisades Park, the pier (there are a couple silly rides and carnival games), Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place for some shopping. There are lots of fun places for lunch and dinner. You could also rent bikes and go down to the Venice boardwalk too. There is good people watching and the kids can run around a bit.

        Not sure what your budget is for hotel, but Casa del Mar would be my higher priced suggestion. Someone I know also always recommends the Oceana Hotel to out of town guests.

    • Rent a car. With a group that size and varied ages I’d stay near Santa Monica – go to the pier, maybe rent bikes and ride to Venice (there is a flat beach path), go to the Promenade to shop and look for celebrities, maybe hit the beach at the Annenberg Beach House (and depending on time of year they might have something for kids or the pool may be open). Getty Villa is not far but probably not interesting to kids. Cha Cha Chicken has great cheap Jamaican food.

      If you are more interested in downtown LA/Hollywood experience I liked the Courtyard Marriott by the Staples Center. Walk across the street to plenty of restaurants. Haven’t been but heard the Clifton Cafeteria is cool. Take a tour of stars homes – there are plenty of van tours around Mulholland and the canyon. Do a studio tour – I liked Warner Bros (plus there is a whole giant room of Harry Potter stuff!), check out the stars on the walk of fame, visit Griffith Observatory.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        +1 for Cha Cha Chicken. Love.

      • I used to love the Getty Villa as a kid. Studio tours and the Griffith Observatory are fun too.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I think Santa Monica/Venice is a good suggestion. Outdoorsy/beachy stuff galore (skates and bikes to rent), funky “only in LA” people watching, and the Santa Monica pier has carnival-esque stuff, games and a ferris wheel! You can walk around the promenade too, do some shopping or get food.

      • Ha! I just read your comment after posting mine and suggesting almost the exact same idea re Santa Monica and Venice.

    • Seventh Sister :

      While your kids will probably enjoy the Getty, LACMA is also very kid-friendly. There’s the Boone Children’s Gallery (they can paint and draw) and a lot of it is outside which is pleasant. The Tar Pits museum is smallish but on the same campus as LACMA.

      The Santa Monica pier rides are relatively inexpensive and kid-friendly. Santa Monica is a nice place to stay – lots of tourists but it’s not overwhelming.

      Uber is very common and easy to use here and the traffic is difficult so you might like it better than renting a car. I’ve yet to meet an Uber or taxi driver that gave a cr*p about carseats, much less boosters, so maybe bring one of those inflatable boosters for the 5yo?

  3. I have basically a permanent “headlights” situation going on, even when I’m not cold or excited. My n*pples are generally sensitive and a bit sore also. I’ve assumed this was some annoying but benign body characteristic…now I’m wondering whether it’s actually something that’s medically significant or could be changed. Does anyone have experience with this?

    • I have the same situation, except without the soreness. I wear bras with thick material, but I’m not sure if there’s anything else that can be done.

    • I think it’s hormonal. I used to be like that, but it stopped with age. You may be able to change it with hormonal bcp.

    • I had that issue for a few months along with some soreness and eventually itching/flaking. Apparently you can get eczema on your n*pples, and apparently your doctor will look at you like an idiot and say, have you tried using moisturizer? That wasn’t embarrassing at all.

    • I have the same problem. Its become obvious even under wool sweaters. I now wear nipple concealers called Silicone Coverups byt the company Hollywood. I bought them in Ulta and they have been a lifesaver. I’m busy so can’t wear padded bras.

    • Bezi bra discs, $20 on Amazon. Life-changing.

  4. Near white-out conditions in Chicago on my way to work this morning. So much for no snow in Jan. and Feb.! I was so excited for spring…

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the Chicago burbs. My tulips had sprung up and I fear all this snow is going to kill them :(

      • KateMiddletown :

        Do you cover your plants? I didn’t/haven’t and saw fields of daffodils on the hwy medians that had flopped over and will be browning soon. I’m the opposite of a green thumb but I love the idea of keeping them in bloom if possible.

      • Chi-burbs here too (commute was AWFUL this morning) and yes I’m afraid my perennials will die. I hadn’t covered them because I guess I didn’t believe the 12″ part of the 3-12″ forecast.

    • Chicagoan here.

      I don’t mind. We have had an incredible winter, and it will all be melted in a few days.

      Enjoy the beauty, and stay home!!!!!

      • +1 – Chicago averages 6 inches of snow in March. The benefit of spring snows is that they go pretty quickly, since the sun is getting stronger.

        • Anonymous :

          Also in the suburbs. Have to head downtown later and I am full of dread. Hoping for the best.

  5. Anonymous :

    Does anyone else have just no desire to give any money to their alma mater? I went to a wealthy, elite private school and although I had a good experience there and I know having the school’s name on my resume has served me well in life, I just don’t feel like they need my money since they seem to be rolling in dough and my parents paid a fortune for me to attend (my parents made $X available to me for school, so using so much at this school meant I had to take out sizable loans for law school), so I feel like my family has done their share contributing. I feel like my dollars are needed so much more by other charities, especially with the current political environment, and even if I wanted to give to a university I’d be more inclined to give to the public university where I work, which doesn’t have the huge endowment or the super wealthy alumni my alma mater does. But I feel like my feelings are sort of the opposite of normal and generally the wealthy, elite private schools generate way more alumni loyalty and giving than the big state universities do.

    • I went to a huge Big 10 school. I don’t give any money. I’d rather donate to something where it felt my money was making a difference.

      • I went to a Big 10 school for undergrad and a wealthy private school for law school. I give lots of money to undergrad and none to law school. I make specific donations to my academic college and to the University’s Honor College to help fund scholarships for people in those programs.

    • Lurve this blazer :

      Listen to Revisionist History w/ Malcolm Gladwell – he has an episode that ties into this topic. TLDR: a $1MM gift to a small trade school /community college has so much more impact than a $1MM gift to a well-endowed university.

    • I went to a wealthy elite private school with a similar situation.

      The only time I have ever given (about 10 years out from graduation, FWIW) is when there has been an alumni drive specifically for student scholarships and grants. Even then I didn’t give much, because like you, I do my charitable giving elsewhere these days.

      I am no longer geographically close to my alma mater, but I am on the list in student services/career services as an alum that is open to networking/mentoring/answering questions for students in my chosen career path or who are looking for internships in my geographic area and need help navigating that process.

      I guess my point is: I don’t think your feelings are abnormal. Or if yours are, then mine are, too. Solidarity.

      • Anonymous :

        I do a variation of this. I give to a specific scholarship fund aimed at assisting a specific group of students that has personal meaning. But I only give to this one fund and one of my three alma maters.

    • No, I totally agree with you. My private university did/does have a great alumni network which was incredibly helpful in getting me interviews/first job. However, I have never given them a dime and do not intend to. They have a very large endowment, other prominent donors in big time industries, and I just feel more passionate about spending my money on causes closer to my heart (primarily women’s health, social justice causes, childhood hunger, and literacy). We *do* give to my husband’s private HS/my child’s school but earmark those dollars for scholarships for those who would not otherwise be able to attend. I personally feel like leveling the playing field via scholarships tends to matter more earlier in life than at the college stage.

    • ponte python's flying circus :

      I hear you. I went to a wealthy, elite private university, too, and I’m torn about giving. On one hand I would like to see it become more economically diverse. On the other hand, I have yet to see the administration’s efforts to tackle s*xual harrassment and alcohol abuse bear fruit. And the undergraduate population is so small and can only take so many less-advantaged students. Perhaps the best way to address economic inequality is to give to public universities and community colleges and enable them to enroll more socioeconomically disadvantaged students. I suppose it depends on what you want to accomplish with your charitable giving.

      • Based on your comments, I am wondering if we went to the same school. I feel the same way. Would like to increase diversity to fight the homogenous, wealthy nature of the student body, but ultimately feel like my $$ is better spent elsewhere.

    • I don’t give. If it was specifically for scholarships for underrepresented groups, yeah, but to fund a new basketball venue? Nope. The advantage of living abroad – I’m harder to reach.

    • Nope. If that hurts my kids’ chances of getting in, so be it, but they really need to get their cost structure under control rather than looking to all of us to find it. Tuition is now $46,000 per year (just tuition) and I personally know the professors aren’t paid much.

      • I won’t give for similar reasons – I’m still close with some professors and I know what they make almost down to the dollar – lets just say a first year tenure track professor makes less than a first year student pays in tuition (in a HCOL area). The administration is hostile to a faculty union, so they aren’t unionized. Any time they ask for money I tell them that as long as the faculty isn’t unionized and is paid so far under market, they will not see a cent from me. While I was a student there I saw how poorly the schools funds were managed (construction of buildings no students wanted to use while refusing to add faculty or student services that the student body and faculty were both asking for, super top heavy administration, the usual) – if my college was any old charity I wouldn’t give any donations for this reason alone.

        That said, like the posters above, I am super happy to help out current students and recent alumni. I’ve gone back to campus a couple of times to give talks on work I was doing, I’m in the alumni network, etc. I just don’t trust the administration with my money.

        • +1 give to the academic library. It helps professors and the students….see my comments below.

    • I don’t. I went to a small, wealthy, though not sure how prestigious, private school. It was basically a prep school for graduate school which I did not attend. It offered virtually no help for those who just wanted to start working and did not prepare me for the “real world” at all. Thus, I made about $10/hr when I first graduated and couldn’t afford to give anything. I’m still a little bitter so even though I could give something now, I choose not to.

    • Marshmallow :

      Nope, even if I had the extra money I wouldn’t. I went to a small private school that was ranked fairly well when I went (not great, but reputable) but has since plummeted dramatically in the rankings, gone through several presidents, and had money management issues. I appreciate that I went on a near full ride, but I don’t trust them to manage donations appropriately.

      If I have the expendable cash in the future for a significant donation, I would consider something targeted toward low-income students at my law school.

    • Nope. My parents paid full freight for my Ivy undergrad, and I paid full freight for my Ivy law school. Great opportunities resulted, yes, but… I paid for them already.

    • I do but only like $20 every year – they get to up their alumni participation statistic, I get to give money where it’s more impactful.

    • I give my money to my alma matter b/c I get deductions for IRS purposes. Dad gives to His colleges also. I pay less taxes and feel good, tho I do not give enough for them to name a classroom after me. FOOEY!

    • I went to top public schools for undergrad and law school. I will never, ever donate to the law school for many reasons. They already got enough of my money when they raised my tuition but not my scholarship, forcing me to take out unplanned loans. I knew tuition would probably go up a little over time, but not by 60%! The law school also completely ignored me because I was pursuing a non-traditional career, even though I was a top student and was doing independent research for publication while still in school. I secured a real post-graduation job during my second year with zero help from career services and started working at that job 2L summer. I had discussed the job with a couple of members of the administration so it shouldn’t have been a surprise to anyone that I was employed, but a few weeks before graduation I got a panicked e-mail from the career services people asking if I had a job yet because they were worried about their stats. No way am I giving that school even $20 just to pad their rankings stats. Nope to the nope nope.

      I do not have the same animosity towards my undergraduate alma mater, but I don’t have any warm fuzzy feelings towards it either and would rather give my money to causes about which I feel strongly.

      • I hear you and understand your perspective, but it is important to know that law school career services offices have a gun to their head from their administration and from the regulatory bodies (ABA, NALP, and will not a regulatory body, US News) requiring them to report the data. However, almost no school requires students to report the data to the career services office. I know it’s a small distinction and it leaves a bad taste in some students’ mouths (it did when I graduated during the recession!) but they have no choice they have to collect the data. My perspective changed since leaving the practice of law and becomjng a law school career services administrator who is herself tired of stats!

    • I give substantially to both my undergrad and law school. My undergrad made a pledge a few years ago to ensure that middle-income students would get grants rather than loans and it’s hit their finances hard (although it’s also helped make them one of the most economically diverse 4-year universities in the US). I benefit immensely from my law school network and so I give primarily for that reason – the networking opportunities I get as a result.

      However, I am perpetually annoyed at being hit up for donations by my expensive private high school, which I know does a terrible job of providing scholarships. No, I am not donating money so that we can have a second (a second!) high school theater.

      • +1 – this is my high school. Do they really need a new gym? And if so, do I need to fund it when tuition is now 3x what it was 10-12 years ago?

    • I’m an ivy alum and I only give to the financial aid program and the office that handles sexual assault (I volunteered with the office while there and know from personal experience that the people in that office prioritize student safety and nuanced consent education over generating goodwill with or good sounding press for the administrative higher ups). I plan to continue giving until I reach the amount that I received in Financial Aid (upwards of $150K over the 4 years that I was there) because I was the first in my family to go to college. I would have not have been able to have the college experience I had without financial aid that allowed me to graduate loan-free. My ivy degree ended up costing my family less money than my State U degree would have cost (and I would have had to take out loans for the State U). I would hate to see my alma mater revert back to including loans as part of financial aid so it’s important to me to pay it forward for other 1st gen kids now that I’m in a place to do so.

      I can also see the value in contributing to schools that aren’t your prestigious alma mater if you care about supporting scholarship funds/financial aid and those schools are often in a better place to attract applicants from those communities. Like someone said above, it depends on what you want to accomplish with your giving. I plan to re-evaluate where my money goes once I “pay back” the amount I received in aid. I think there’s value in donating to community college/trade schools, but at the same time, I went to school with many 1st gen kids who recounted stories of counselors saying they shouldn’t set their sights on an ivy and that a no name school was the best they could hope for given their background. So I see the pragmatic side of having a higher impact donation, but there’s also a special place in my heart for 1st gen/low-income kids who kick so much ass that they’re able to have their pick of the upper tier schools.

      YMMV about what causes matter most to you and what you want donations to accomplish, but at the end of the day, it’s your money and you’re not obligated to give to your alma mater just because of what name is on your diploma. Tuition and/or financial aid took care of that and any money you give now is your call and not something the school is entitled to.

      • all about eevee :

        As a professional higher education fundraiser, I want to say thank you for your gifts to the Tile IX Office. That’s a wonderful and very worthy way to direct your gifts.

    • I went to a Big 10 school for my undergrad and graduate degree. My attitude is, maybe I can give when I finish paying off my student loans (check back in 9 years)…. honestly, I’d be more likely to fund a scholarship through my high school though.

      I do give when I see students for my school fundraising for charity in my city.

    • For those of you that do give back, consider designating your gifts to something like the library which supports students directly.

      So many times people give to a general fund and it gets used for funding for sports, marketing, etc and does not directly impact students in a direct way.

      As an academic who wishes we had better resources for students, the library is the way to go .

    • I don’t think this is abnormal. I give occasionally, but only to very specific programs or scholarships (the ones that helped me.)

      True story: I saw the President of the University at an alumni reception. The conversation paused suddenly into one of those awkward silences. So I said, “Well, I guess I’ll let you mingle. I don’t make that much money so your time would be more profitable elsewhere.” The President ROARED with laughter and when he began his speech he said, “The alumni association gave me a sheet with all the attendees and the amount they’ve donated before I left, but I threw it out.”

    • I won’t give a dime to my very wealthy, southern private university. They’ve made enough shifty moves – from handling s*xual assualt/Title 9 cases to raising tuition dramatically (15%+ overnight) – in the last 10 years that I don’t fee that Il owe them anything and am focusing my donating on far worthier causes.

    • Snow day! :

      I benefited greatly from my fancy pants schools, so I give $25 annually to pay it forward and up their alumni participation stats while directly the majority of my charitable giving elsewhere.

    • Seventh Sister :

      I give to my women’s college because I love it and it changed my life (dorky to say but true). That said, I give a pretty nominal amount per month mostly because I want to give something but want to support other worthy causes with more money.

      I have more complicated feelings about my T20 law school. It wasn’t a pleasant experience for me in a lot of ways, I don’t feel like they need my money, and while I’ve done OK on the career thing, I feel like I’m kind of a “marginal” alum for them and always will be because I’m not a straight white guy making $$$$$ as an equity partner at Biglaw. I give them a nominal amount 1x/year because it’s the only thing I can do to keep them ranked within the T20.

  6. I need advice from disinterested parties. I’m an associate attorney in a small rural area in a law firm with two partners, both males, one in his 50s and one in his 70s. When I started here five years ago I wasn’t in a relationship and I didn’t plan on having children. I was convinced that I never wanted kids and I repeatedly stated this to anyone who would listen. This includes the partners in the firm.
    Well, of course, I met my fiance and my biological clock started ticking. We are getting married in September and I want to immediately TTC. I’m currently buying my way into the firm and will be a partner in early 2019. The younger partner and I are trying to plan for the retirement of the older partner (he has no intention of stopping and it will probably be an unpredictable event) and whether we should bring on someone else. Do I tell them that we are going to TTC, or do I just wait until it actually happens and spring it on them?

    • Wait until it happens. If you want to save face over changing your mind, present the pregnancy as an unexpected but pleasant surprise.

    • Anonymous :

      I would wait until it actually happens. You could get pregnant right away or you could take 5 years to get pregnant.

      It actually sounds like a great scenario where older partner would either be able to stay on a bit longer or come back on contract to help cover the mat leave. If you have enough work for three people now, then you’ll just have to hire someone when you’re pregnant to help cover the mat leave as well. Timing may be tricky but you’ll figure it out. You’re not married or pregnant yet so take things one step at a time.

    • Anonymous :

      Wait. Not to be a downer, but it could take a while and you don’t want them to know you’re TTC years before you’re actually pregnant.

    • I am also in a relatively rural area. I need more information.

      How is your relationship with the partners? How is cash flow for the firm? Would telling them ahead of time allow you to make changes to the business plan to make it more feasible for you to lean out for a few months? What area of practice are you in, generally? Litigation, where someone will definitely need to cover cases, or more transactional? Criminal? Civil? A mix of both? What are these two men like?

      All that said — I think it’s still early to tell them. You’re six months from your wedding. Even if you got pregnant immediately after getting married, you’re over a year out from a baby being born. Depending on the answers above, you may tell them when you’re trying (though I’m not sure I would). Otherwise, I think you just tell them when you’re pregnant.

      • You can handle all of that sort of stuff within the nine months it takes to grow a baby.

        • And in fact, I would wait until you’re 12-14 weeks pregnant. You can still handle all that sort of stuff in the 5-6 months after you tell them.

    • Anonymous :

      Wait until it happens.

    • I have a really good relationship with the partners, but the younger one will definitely be unhappy with the development. His main concern will be how this is going to impact him and his practice because I do a lot of work for him. My practice is mainly custody and divorce work. The firm is a general practice with the older partner doing estate work and the younger partner’s focus is general civil litigation and municipal work. A large chunk of my work is also doing research and prep for the younger one (we are too small to have a paralegal, so I do most of that work for both). I’ve managed to make myself somewhat indispensable to the younger partner, and I’m concerned that springing a pregnancy on him is not going to go well. But I also know it may take years to get pregnant or it may never happen, so that’s why I’m leaning toward not even mentioning that our life plans have changed until it is a foregone conclusion.

      • If you’re becoming a partner, won’t your focus move away from doing his prep work anyway? It sounds like this might be a great time to work on expanding your business and hiring a (part-time?) associate or paralegal.

    • Wait until it happens. No one needs to know your reproductive plans besides you and your partner.

    • I definitely agree with everyone else that says wait to talk to them. But, I think that it’s worth pointing out that, depending on your individual situation, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a big deal for them. I was in a slightly similar employment position to you when I had my first. I had no problem keeping up the same workload while I was pregnant, so it was really just a few months that I was out that really made any sort of difference, and it was easily planned for. I wound up leaving for a better opportunity fairly soon after, but I had stayed there longer, it would have been barely a blip.

      As far as after the baby comes, that’s obviously going to depend on how demanding the job is, how much family support you have, and what you actually want (and there’s no shame in wanting to cut back if you do!). But it doesn’t necessarily mean that your ability to be a full employee and business partner would change all that much.

  7. Lurve this blazer :

    I am dying for this or the pink version. Has anyone pulled the trigger? (Kicking myself that I missed BR friends & family!)

    • I haven’t on this one, but I tried the gingham and blue floral camo ones that Kat also linked to — both were a total flop. I was looking for something more interesting to wear as a suit, but once I got them home they looked completely ridiculous on me and definitely inappropriate for a professional setting. The green is so pretty, but I’m afraid that I’ll have the same disappointment that I had with their other items so far this season.

    • I actually have these pants…and I am surprised how often I wear them. I usually pair with black or grey top/blazer to tone down the color. That said, I’ve only had for a few months, so I can’t speak to how well they’ll stand up over time

      • Phi Mu 4ever :

        I’ve had the BR lightweight suiting for years and haven’t had any issues. Their jackets fit me off the rack, so that pretty much settled it for me as my go-to.

        FWIW, either the green or the pink is great to see when your wardrobe is otherwise So Much Black (with its friends, white and gray).

    • Phi Mu 4ever :

      I have the pink jacket and pants. I love the color but won’t wear the pieces together outside of going to sorority alumnae events and the convention.

      I saw some ladies from AKA Sorority at their convention a while back and they all looked amazing in a sea of pink, green, and white.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Yes! I bought the pink suit a few weeks ago. Haven’t worn it as a suit yet (very very casual office) but have worn the jacket to work & it’s quite comfortable. It hits at the high hip on me, and the armhole’s a little low, but otherwise I like it a lot. And I think it looks amazing as a suit – the perfect antidote to the endless grey & rain here.

  8. Sydney Bristow :

    Working from home because of the snowstorm and partially closed subway service. In a perfect world, the higher ups would see that those of us working from home have really similar productivity as when we are in the office and start letting us work from home some days (instead of just before or after our days in the office and on weekends). Due to the nature of my work, there actually are metrics that can back this up. Probably wishful thinking though.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish. I’m even feeling pressure to go in today this weather! I work in open cubes and am sometimes even more productive at home.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I decided that the pressure I was feeling was totally internal and due to me being a rule follower. I made it in during the last blizzard, but the subways weren’t shut down at all. There wasn’t anything that I couldn’t have taken care of at home that day and today isn’t any different. We got several messages about how our safety is important and this morning the MTA and National Weather Service advised staying home even if your subway line was open so I decided to take my office at their word. I got up at my normal time so they’ll actually get about an hour more work out of me since I don’t have to commute.

        • Agh you’re right, I’m also a rule follower. I walk to work (about 15 min) and most people know this. Still debating going in for at least a few hours but I really don’t want to. And they’ll lose the time it would take for me to get ready and travel in.

    • Maybe some research could help to convince them?

  9. Anonymous :

    Someone posted the following to my neighborhood facebook group and I almost did a spit-take, thanks to this s*te lingo….
    “Unwanted gardening tools free to a good home. Very lightly used. I’m getting rid of them because I realized I don’t enjoy gardening that much. The tools themselves are terrific and work exactly as intended.”

  10. Thinking about a fitbit just to encourage me to start moving more since I sit at a desk all day. Want something cuter and not the ugly plastic deal but thinking the cuter, more jewelry looking fitbits might not work as well. Any suggestions from the hive? Thanks in advance!

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Withings Steel HR or Apple Watch?

    • Marshmallow :

      I have the Withings Steel HR and really like it. If you don’t need the notifications, the Withings Activite Steel is a cheaper option.

    • I have a Fitbit One and carry it in my pocket (thank you Lands End sheath dresses), or clip it inside my bra. I like real jewelry too much to give up a piece for my Fitbit , even though I LOVE it.

      • Yup. I wear the fitbit one clipped to my bra under my arm. I don’t have to worry about matching it to my clothes or that it’s too ugly/utilitarian for my ensemble

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I have a Fitbit Alta, which is the slimmer style; it has changeable straps, and they do leather and metallic versions.

      • I also have a Fitbit Alta (and previously had two other Fitbits). I love that it buzzes with ten minutes left in the hour if I haven’t walked 250 steps yet.

      • Nelly Yuki :

        I have a fitbit Alta as well, and love the reminders Walnut mentioned. I bought a magnetic clip for it on Amazon and wear it on my bra – I hate the rubber bands and love my nice watch too much to give it up for a wearable.

  11. Cheers to all the companies in the GTA who put human decency above capitalism and are closed today!

    • What on earth is GTA and why did you need to close there?

    • But the snow is so light! Unless you’re further out like Hamilton where the snow may be heavier.. downtown and north Toronto are totally fine.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Did places seriously close? I am sitting in my downtown Toronto office and there is literally a dusting from yesterday on the ground and nothing yet today.

      • lawsuited :

        The highways are definitely in better shape (I.e. Fewer accidents) because some folks stayed home.

    • Well, I live in the south Bronte area and could hardly get out of my driveway, lake effect snow.

      I work for one of the big banks downtown Toronto and they did not close.

      I just finished picking my uni kid up in Hamilton, roads are a bit slippery, no driving at 120 on the QEW. On the plus side, everyone must have worked from home as there was no traffic

  12. Any recommendations for dry cat food for picky eaters? I’ve been buying Purina Beyond for a few years, but yesterday I opened a new bag and my two girls literally turned their noses up at it. I double checked it’s the same seafood flavor, so I’m not sure what is different about this batch. Luckily my big tabby boy will eat anything so I’m not left with a bunch of unused food.

    • I switched my cats from Purina One to Blue Buffalo Wilderness after a similar reaction – all of a sudden two wouldn’t eat it and the third kept throwing up, even after we’d been feeding them Purina with no issues for years. BB is a bit more expensive, but they seem to like it better and stay full longer. They like the duck flavor.

      • Marshmallow :

        My picky cat also eats BB. She turns her nose up at canned food! And TUNA! What kind of cat doesn’t like tuna?

        • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

          I know this pain. My ancient orange boy has been having some skin issues lately and the vet suggested changing to a grain-free food. Well, we got the expensive grain-free food and the cats stared at the bowl, stared at me, stared at the bowl, stared at me.

          Sigh. Cats.

          • Haha, that’s exactly what they did to me. Oh, the look of disdain!

          • numbersmouse :

            My cat also refuses wet food, tuna, and some dry food (including Blue Buffalo). I fed him “Catswell Nutrisca Grain-Free Potato-Free Dry Cat Food” when I lived in NYC. I found it on Freshdirect and it was around $15.

          • *giggles*

            Cats. I love them.

    • My cat ate Wellness Core on her second or third day home from the shelter and has continued eating it ever since. She was very picky with the wet food, which makes me think that she’s picky overall and Wellness Core fit the bill.

    • KS IT Chick :

      Taste of the Wild. It has meat as the primary ingredient & has no grain (uses sweet potatoes & carrots as filler). My picky boy who mostly eats wet food turns up his nose at any other dry food, but he loves this.

      • Nature’s Domain at Costco is a perfect generic dupe for this, FYI. I feed it to my dog and I’m very happy with it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Now Fresh. Grain free, and it’s obnoxiously expensive, but my picky cat with a delicate stomach eats it with no issues.

    • Thanks! I’ll make a stop at the pet store during lunch. It would be great if there were sample size packets of dry food. I never know what they’ll like.

      • I’m pretty sure you can find 1 lb bags online. (At least, that’s what I did before my cats settled in Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diet dry).

      • If it’s a small pet store, ask! They may have sample to give out (although I have no idea about cats, but my dog liked variety so she might eat a sample-sized bag of a new food fine and then get tired of it once we bought a larger bag). You also may be able to return or donate opened bags, if you do buy something that you later learn your cat won’t eat.

    • My cats all love regular Wellness, canned chicken. They’ve been eating it for years.

    • Anonymous :

      Merrick dry adult cat food with their wet food added in at night – they seem happy and the vet is content w their health

  13. I am finally ready to admit that I need a therapist. However I think I need one with a specialty but I’m not sure exactly what kind. I’ve never really dated and if I’m honest intimacy both physical and emotional scare the life out of me. I’d love to be able to respond to a dating site message or even go on an actually date without being on the verge of a panic attack the whole time. I’ve never suffered any specific trauma I can think of so I don’t want to waste the time of that kind of specialist. But any suggestions for who I should look for? Or recommendations generally?

    • I think a therapist who specializes in anxieties and phobias — which is a lot of therapists — would be appropriate for this situation.

      One thing to think about – I have experienced something similar, and while it’s hard for me to come to definitive conclusions about it, I think a lot of it is that I felt like I had to date any man who was interested in me because otherwise I’d be ~throwing away a good life~ and my body just rebelled from those expectations. I’m now happily single and I think I actually want to stay that way. That’s just me but I offer it up as an example of how sometimes anxiety is trying to tell you something unexpected.

      • This is a good idea. Women like us who have been decieved by men s-xueally are naturally reticent to get into another relationship for fear we will again be taken advantage of. I have NOT tried therapy b/c I have Dad and Myrna to provice me with Counseling, but I can NOT help but think that men are NOT interested in me b/e of my personalty, but b/c they just are interested in me takeing off my clotheing for them and them just useing me for s-x. FOOEY on that. I made that mistake with Sheketovits, and admit I did what he wanted b/c I wanted him to MARRY me. But he did NOT and I wound up dumping him and leaving the relationship with nothing (other then stained sheets). So in the OP’s case, if she can get benefit out of therapy, then go for it! I also hope to be married to a guy who will NOT take advantage of me. YAY!!!!

    • I have some similar issues. Was diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder (which honestly sounds like more of a symptom, but W). For me, cognitive behavioral therapy was helpful. To some extent you can do it on your own, but if you need accountability or encouragement, a therapist is obviously helpful. Good luck and good for you for taking steps to change.

      • Seconding cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s more of a skills based therapy modality – if you want to do a deep dive into your reasons for this anxiety, its not the right approach. But if you want to learn the tools to make your body and brain less anxious, this is definitely the way to go. It’s ok if you do one kind of therapy, feel like it helps, and end up going to a second therapist to tackle your issues from a different perspective!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Psychology Today dot com has a web site where you can search therapists in your area. They each have a little blurb about their specialties and concentrations. It might be helpful to browse through and see if anybody jumps out at you.

    • This is a good idea. Women like us who have been decieved by men s-xueally are naturally reticent to get into another relationship for fear we will again be taken advantage of. I have NOT tried therapy b/c I have Dad and Myrna to provice me with Counseling, but I can NOT help but think that men are NOT interested in me b/e of my personalty, but b/c they just are interested in me takeing off my clotheing for them and them just useing me for s-x. FOOEY on that. I made that mistake with Sheketovits, and admit I did what he wanted b/c I wanted him to MARRY me. But he did NOT and I wound up dumping him and leaving the relationship with nothing (other then stained sheets). So in the OP’s case, if she can get benefit out of therapy, then go for it! I also hope to be married to a guy who will NOT take advantage of me. YAY!!!!

  14. A little rant about how men in my life are driving me nuts:

    Exhibit A: a male friend of mine who is very proud of his liberal ideas and support of feminism. I suggested to him that he read Feminism Is For Everybody as an intro to feminist theory. His actual, literal response: “I will consider ordering this if you promise to pester me until I finish reading it.” Yes, somehow it is now my responsibility to make sure you learn about this stuff you are theoretically a supporter of…

    Exhibit B: a male colleague of mine; we work at a start-up. He has a team of 10 engineers, all men. He also has two daughters and a very successful wife, so he feels that that makes him a feminist by default. He happily reported to me that he has recently gotten a bunch of applications from women for an open engineering position, noting, “I suspect it’s because the position is more junior and is probably less intimidating.”

    Exhibit C: a female colleague of mine has been telling our executive team for several months that our financial projections are wrong and that our company is going to run out of cash if we don’t take on add’l investment. She and I went through the numbers in detail and I confirmed that she was right. She and I have both pointed this out multiple times to our boss, the COO, and he brushed it off, saying we didn’t understand the projections and were being alarmist. Finally, last week, the CEO ran the numbers himself, reached the same conclusion as my colleague, and promptly freaked out.

    I just saw a new article in The Atlantic this morning about sexism in Silicon Valley. I will probably read it but I haven’t been able to bring myself to – it will just stoke the fires of rage even further.

    • A and C are eyeroll-worthy, but B would make me have a rage stroke. Did you call him out on it?

      • Yes, we got into a super-frustrating discussion over it.

        He says that 15-20% of the applications he gets for any given position are typically women, but they tend to remove themselves from consideration during the interview process. He ascribed that to “flakiness” or “realizing they were underqualified”. Then, he said the remaining ones have not passed their whiteboarding test, the value of which is something that has been discussed a lot in the start-up/engineering world recently.

        When I pushed harder on the assessment that ALL his female applicants have fallen into a bucket of “flakiness” or “incompetence” (since he hasn’t hired any), he said, “I dunno, man, these are just the applicants I’m getting! I would love to hire a woman for the team! But I’m not going to lower my standards to do so.” When I again pointed out that it seems more like there is a flaw in his interviewing process that women are either removing themselves from the applicant pool or are consistently failing their tests, he said, “Maybe I’m not being sensitive enough to what women want to hear, but this is what has worked for me in the past; this is how I hire good engineers.”

        And then I DID have a rage stroke and had to end the conversation.

        C is actually not eye-roll worthy; the implications of it probably lead to me looking for a new job in the next 3-6 months but meh, such is start-up life.

        • Sorry, I meant that C is eyeroll-worthy with respect to them ignoring the women, not the implications for your life. Sorry that came out wrong!

        • Ugh!!! He’s basically doing the “but I’m a nice guy, why do no women want to date me, the problem is clearly with women” thing that major @ssholes do.

          C would make me absolutely furious. It has basically no impact on my life so I tend to roll my eyes and let it go, but my mother does this to me all. the. time. I will make a suggestion, she will ignore it, and then my brother and I will exchange glances and he will make _the exact same suggestion_ and it’s suddenly an amazing idea. I’ve even told her that she does this and it has no effect. If someone how actually had power over my life was doing this to me I would rage so hard.

        • Show him the research in Lean In where they took the same resume with a male and female name, male name got an interview/rated more positively a LOT more – I don’t remember the exact details.

        • Oh man. If all the female candidates are removing themselves from the interview process, there’s a problem with the interview process and it’s NOT the candidates.

    • Gaaaah!

      I am having a problem very similar to A, with a really close friend I have known for over a decade. I would love suggestions on how to approach this if anyone has them. Serious commiseration! Some days all we can do to navigate the patriarchy is get through the day and go home to punch our pillow/scream into the void.

      • “Dude, I’m not your 6th grade teacher. You want to know your stuff? Do your own homework.”

        • That happened a few years ago….now he likes to show off how “educated” he is about feminism on social media but never lifts a finger to actually do anything (didn’t go to a single women’s march/event in the last few months, has never donated any of his time or money to any of the causes he is now so “educated” about). But he does like to use all of his new reading to tell me about how he is so much more woke than me. The friendship is very much on life support.

          • I’ve dealt with ‘friends’ like this by pretending that of course they were at the march. “Wasn’t the March/Event on Date great? I really liked the speech by Person. Which was your favourite?”

            Then they reference that they weren’t there, and I act all surprised: “Oh, like you were late and missed the speeches? Was it hard to find parking were you were late getting there?” “Oh, you mean you didn’t go at all? Is everything okay? Were you sick?”

            These are people that I consider frenemies though.

        • Senior Attorney :

          “If you read the book, you would learn that attitudes like this are part of the problem.”

    • A might have been flirting with you/trying to establish a future reason for you to contact him. Not great phrasing, but not neccesarcily a blatant request for your emotional labor to make him a better feminist.

      B and C are ragestroke inducing. I’m about ready to start chucking things at my coworkers’ heads, so no advice, but lots of solidarity!

      • You’re right – I should suggest to him that I’m happy to discuss it with him at any time. He’s a close enough friend that we don’t really need a reason to stay in touch, but maybe a kinder way to choose to interpret it is that he wants to read and learn, but is a little intimidated by the idea of reading a book on feminist theory and is looking for some solidarity. Good point.

    • So we are interviewing candidates for a data architect position on my team. It’s a position that my former boss posted without telling our team about. So none of us was able to apply for it. But that’s a different story.

      The former boss has moved on to a job as Director and is not in the hierarchy for our team, but is still involved in our team decisions because until yesterday we didn’t have a replacement for him.

      But we’ve had 2 instances of sexism in the past week. First, the former boss gave a presentation discussing new software platforms on the horizon, which again he did not discuss with my team (the Data Warehouse Team). During the presentation he mentioned that he has formed a pilot group to work with the various platforms and investigate their viability. He rattled off the names of the people in this group. Not only is no one from my team in this group, there are no women in this group. This presentation took place last Wednesday, International Women’s Day.

      Yesterday we interviewed a candidate for the Data Architect position, who had been screened by our former boss. His resume was a mess – 9 pages in 12 point font, no college degree. The resume doesn’t even match the candidate’s linkedin profile. During the interview with my team, the candidate made a point of saying that he was the one at one of his jobs that worked with one person because he wasn’t “sexist” but then later referred to a female colleague as “this girl”

      Please note I work at a major university. Last year I assisted one of the directors in assembling a dashboard focused on assessing our department’s ethnic and gender breakdown, especially in regard to more senior roles.

  15. Thoughts on when to ask for a WFH arrangement? I’ve been at my job for nine months and just received a glowing evaluation. I’m planning to TTC in a couple months, so could potentially have a baby in a year although I know it could take much longer. I’d like to work from home twice a week when I come back from mat leave, and my job is well-suited to this. I have a bunch of meetings but they all fall on three days of the week, and the other two days I try to devote to something fairly brain-intensive that is easier to do from my perfectly silent home office rather than while my office mate is gabbing away on the phone and smacking her gum. I truly believe I’d be just as productive from home, and after a three-month or so trial period, I should have metrics that prove this. I’d enjoy having this arrangement now, but I feel like it will be much more crucial when I’m managing life with a new baby, and because TTC is so imminent for us, I’m pretty content to wait until then. Nobody else at my office has something like this, but my boss is generally super laid back and very pleased with me and my work so I think he’d be supportive.

    My questions is when should I ask? My thought it is to just ask for this when I announce my pregnancy and discuss leave plans with my boss (I plan to take the maximum FMLA 12 weeks). The reality is I won’t leave even if they don’t give me this arrangement and I certainly wouldn’t threaten to, but I think they might be more inclined to let me do this if I’ve announced I’m expecting because they may fear me not coming back from leave. But my husband thinks I should get it established in advance so that when I give them the “bad news” of pregnancy (I don’t think they’ll see it this way, but maybe I’m naive) I won’t also be requesting a special arrangement at the same time.

    • I would separate requesting work from home from the pregnancy/maternity leave. Do others in the department have work from home arrangements? How tenured were they when they began their work from home? There’s no harm in asking the question if there has already been precedent set. If there isn’t any precedent, 9 months is probably a little early to make the ask.

      • No one else has a formal, regular arrangement, but the boss is super understanding about people working from home when they’re not feeling great, have to meet a plumber, when the public schools have a snow day, etc. I know that’s not the same, but he is a really easy-going, family-friendly guy.

        When do you think is long enough to make the ask? I could potentially be pregnant in three months and I know a lot of people struggle with exhaustion in the first trimester so if I want to really do an amazing job at this arrangement for the first few months, I feel like the time to start is now or once I’m past the first trimester exhaustion, which is the time I’d be announcing the pregnancy.

        • If you were in my group, you’d need to be 3+ years to make the ask and have a REALLY good reason for it. We are super flexible about working from home for one off scenarios, but extremely inflexible regarding permanent work from home. You’ll want to get a feel from more senior people in your group.

          • I don’t really have anyone senior to me except my boss – it’s a bunch of people at the same level, all of whom are relatively new to the org (longest tenure is <2 years) and our shared boss. Do you think it's ok to ask him about it, in an informal, "hey would this be a possibility" way?

          • Definitely bring it up since you have such a new group. Just make sure to have your talking points ready on why this would benefit your boss and the organization.

    • No no no you have the cart WAY before the horse. The employees I’ve had in this situation all successfully negotiated a part time work from home situation as part of their transition back to work after Baby.

      I always asked if they had childcare when working from home. It’s pretty idealistic to think you can put in a full day’s work at home alone with an infant. I get that you can try to get in a total of 8 hours around naptimes etc but what about taking meetings? You can’t always time baby’s naps around your work schedule. Basically, you need someone watching your baby while you work. If not, you’re not really working.

      • I always thought childcare was mandatory if WFH? Does anyone other than mommy bloggers WFH if the kids aren’t with the nanny or at daycare?

      • I definitely plan to get full-time childcare, but I’m not wild about waiting until I’m actually out on leave/planning my return to the office to ask because hiring a “parent’s helper” to watch our child while I’m in the house is pretty different than hiring a nanny to be the only adult in the house. I’d be very comfortable with a college student watching the baby while I work in my home office, but if we’re hiring a nanny to be the only adult at home, I think I would want someone more mature than a college student. And obviously childcare needs to be lined up way before I’m out on leave.

        • You need the real deal when you are working from home. I have a two year old and a six month old. Go nanny and really set yourself up for success so your brain can be 100% on work and not 90% on work 10% on that college student.

          • Yeah, your childcare arrangements should not be based on whether you have WFH. The benefit of a WFH arrangement as a parent is that you save yourself the commute — it is not that you can get cheaper or different childcare during those times. You need FT childcare that can also work when you are at WFH. Trust me as I’ve seen several friends try to make the “lesser” childcare work when WFH occasionally and it does.not.work and ultimately loses you credibility when you pretend it does.

        • You need the nanny even if you are going to be there. Trust me, I have lived this. My job sounds similar in some respects. It is hard enough to devote those days to concentrated work when the baby is being cared for by a pro. It’s impossible (at least for me) if I feel like I have to keep an ear out to supervise a mother’s helper.

        • Spirograph :

          I am working from home today because of the snow. My husband (who is a very involved parent and totally competent at solo care for 3 under 5) is not sufficient to keep the kids quiet enough for me to be productive at anything that requires focus. If you are working from home, you need a real nanny, and an office where you can close the door and everyone knows to leave you alone for the duration of the work day.

        • I am literally in the office sick today, because I CANNOT work from home because my toddler is at home. it doesn’t matter if she has a full-time caregiver…if she knows I am in the house, she will bang on the closed office door and cry at the top of her lungs until I come out.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I totally agree with your husband. If you start now, you will also have the opportunity to demonstrate how well it can work while you are still operating at full capacity. Finally, as someone who has been pregnant, you might be very glad to have the working from home already set up both for the early period, when you might not be feeling that great, and for later, when your shoes no long fit due to your huge, swollen feet.

    • I agree with your husband. Establish now and prove it can work when you’re able to do put 110% effort into making it work. Do you have a long commute? That’s often a good reason for a few WFH days. My DH works from home on Mondays and Fridays. Our kids go to a nearby daycare. A dedicated office space is important. You may also want to think about how this might impact your childcare arrangements. I wouldn’t be able to have a nanny and work from home because I wouldn’t be able to focus if I heard the baby crying. If your WFH space is separate enough, that may not be an issue.

    • YMMV, but my company required a full, separate office space, and reserved the right to see a copy of my childcare arrangements to verify that I did have full time care while working from home. I was then formally certified as a full time work from home employee (which could also be used on my taxes, though we choose not to).
      I didn’t mind at all, as personally I think it makes people more likely to take the situation seriously if they know the company has strict rules around formal, full time, WFH arrangements, and no, my kid isn’t just playing with me all day long.

      • Thanks. Yup, I plan to have full-time child care and I have a dedicated home office space, on a separate floor from where the baby’s nursery and playroom will be. I do kind of wonder how they could enforce that though – what if the child-care plan is your partner who is a stay at home parent or what if you have grandparents watching your kid? Not everyone has child care receipts they could submit.

    • Ask for it now so it becomes part of your routine. Working from home is just that–it’s not child care nor is it leaning out. The more you separate the two in your employer’s mind the better. (Perhaps in your mind as well by the way you’re asking this.)

    • I don’t know, I kind of disagree with everyone else. If you have an abnormally long commute or another reason you can point to for wanting to start working from home now, I think it makes sense to ask now. But if you don’t have a compelling reason now, it makes more sense to me to wait until you have a baby and have that reason.

      I’d certainly understand why an employee with a new baby at home wanted to regularly work from home. Not because I think working from home allows the employee to hang out with their baby all day – I’d expect the employee to have 40 hours/ week of child care – but because I think people understand that every minute of the day is precious to new parents in a way it isn’t to other people. I’d find it kind of weird if an employee with a normal (say, 30 minute round trip) commute wanted to work at home to save the commuting time because commuting is just part of life and that’s not an atypical commute. But it makes more sense to me that 30 minutes/day could make a significant difference in the quality of life of a new parent.

      I think if the request arises in the context of pregnancy/leave discussions, you could also pitch it as “I want to do this temporarily to ease my transition back from leave” and then if everyone involved agrees its working well, talk about making it a permanent thing.

      I don’t think working from home is automatically ‘leaning out’ because you can do it and still do a great job at work, but many companies include it along with flexible schedules and reduced hours schedules as part of a set of policies geared toward accommodating employees with families. So I don’t think there’s anything wrong with acknowledging to your manager that working from home would help you balance work and a young family. Telling your manager that you want to work at home so you can save money on child care is totally different and obviously wrong.

    • So, I did this before I went out on maternity leave. My job is structured so that at certain points of the year, WFH is very do-able. I returned from maternity leave and did 3 days WFH for several months. It was understood that someone else was watching my child and that I had a dedicated space (baby went to day care, or occasionally my MIL would come over and watch him if she really wanted to get some time in with him). I realize the reasons to WFH are different for everyone, but the reasons I especially loved it for after maternity leave: I didn’t have a ton of work clothes that fit, so I was able dress in yoga pants for more than half of my work week, and also pumping / wearing pump-accessible clothes was much easier. I think I used my WFH time efficiently and overall, it made for a much happier employee transitioning back from maternity leave. I was able to structure my day in ways I couldn’t have if I worked in an office 5 days a week.

  16. $9 Target ponte jacket- great buy :

    Thank you to whomever recommended the $9 ponte target jacket. It’s a great deal and has the same lines as the MMLafleur. I hesitate to compare them as there is a huge quality divide between them but for $9 I am very happy.

    Two things that I did with this are take out the shoulder pads (it was an easy snip), and slip stitch the lapel to the jacket on the inside so it would lay flat.

  17. Ex-wife blues :

    My husband has been divorced from his wife for 7 years, yet his sister in law (brother’s wife) still invites her to family events. The ex is invited to their daughters sweet 16 in May. I don’t want to go as it is very awkward. At the last family event the ex was included in the family pictures but not me as we weren’t married yet. Now that we are married, I’m expected to be in the pictures as well. I refuse to be in them. My husband understands but says there is nothing he can do.

    Has anyone been thru anything similar and can offer advice? We have been married under a year and this is definitely causing tension in our marriage.


    • My SO divorced his ex 6 years ago, and is still very close to his ex-in-laws. He’s the one who attends her family events, even if she’s there. They don’t speak directly to each other if they can avoid it. I have attended a couple of family events with him but she wasn’t there. If/when SO’s ex wife is at a family event in the future I intend to be cordial to her.

      Why refuse to be in the pictures? I don’t think the fact that they still want to have a relationship with her means they can’t have one with you. It seems to me that by refusing to be in photos with her you’re unnecessarily punishing both yourself and your in-laws. Unless his ex-wife has in some way been ugly to you directly (which you don’t mention so I’m assuming not), I don’t see why the divorce means SIL has to dump her friend.

    • My parents are divorced, but for a long time my mom’s family invited my dad to family events. It was great for me and my sister. They did stop eventually (my parents have now been divorced for 25 years), but definitely it was a thing for at least the first 10 years that they were divorced. Unless your husband’s ex is going to make a scene or something, why not just let it go?

    • Unless there is something else in the background, I think you are being childish. You cannot expect this woman to erase herself from her previous life, simply because of you. She made these relationships and friendships independent of you. Grow up.

    • My parents have been divorced for 20 years, and my mom’s side of the family is the sort where they’re open and welcoming toward everyone, and even if you leave for whatever reason, you’re still part of the family and have a place there. My mom has 7 siblings, most of which have been married multiple times, and the exes still come around and have independently good relationships with everyone. My dad has always been close with my mom’s mom. I’m sure it’s not my stepdad’s favorite thing, but my dad also tends to not go to things when mom and stepdad will be around. He does go for visits and stuff a lot though. I really love how open and accepting my family is. I’m sure it’s uncomfortable for someone in your situation, but I would just go with it unless someone is nasty to you.

    • No direct experience but my grandparents divorced after 30 years of marriage, both remarried, and everyone gets together for the holidays. I’ve always thought it was wonderful that they could put the past behind them and everyone could enjoy special events together. I’m sure the birthday girl wants her aunt there and she shouldn’t be deprived of that. I get why it’s awkward but I think that you should do your best to let it go.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Agree that people aren’t required to dump their friends when there’s a divorce. Especially if she’s the mother of his children, who are the nieces/nephews of the sister-in-law and grandchildren of his parents, then I think it’s fine to continue to invite her.

      Honestly, the high road here is to be in the pictures, smile, be gracious and kind. Hell, I invited my first husband (father of my son) and his sister to my wedding and Thanksgiving and Lovely Husband didn’t bat an eye. There is no upside to making an issue of this and you look like a hero if you go along and get along.

    • I think it’s weird that your husband’s family remains in such close contact with her (unless she and your H had kids?), but you have NOTHING to gain here by being petty and refusing to join the picture.

    • My husband and his ex-wife have a child together. Tbey both attend all events related to their mutual daughter (birthday parties, school events, graduations, etc.) and I attend with my husband. His ex-wife and I greet one another and make small talk as required. We have nothing in common, but we are both polite. I’d suggest you do the same—attend the functions, be in the pictures. Just be polite. The ex-wife doesn’t have to be your best friend, but you accepted she would have some role in your life when you married a divorced man with a child.

      • I don’t disagree with the spirit of your comment, but I don’t think OP’s husband has a kid with his ex. It sounds like these are events with his extended family, including the husband’s nieces and nephews.

        • Anonymous :

          EXACTLY. You suck it up for YOUR kids, not your sister’s kids.

          • Even more reason for her to not have input onto the guest list. It’s not her event or her husband’s. It’s her Brother-in-Law and Sister-in-Law’s event.

    • Can you reframe this from the kids perspective? If the niece is 16 now, she was 9 when the couple broke up. That’s definitely old enough to have her own independent relationship with her ex-aunt and it makes sense that she would want to stay in touch with her aunt and keep including her in major life milestones. It’s not like they broke up when the niece was still a toddler or something, and it’s hard to fault the kid for wanting her ex-aunt to remain in her life.
      I would think of it as trying to be the bigger person for the kids, which might make it easier psychologically (even if the brother and SIL are also very keen on maintaining a relationship with the ex).

    • Why are you refusing to be in the pictures? That sounds incredibly immature. I’d understand being upset at her presence if the ex was being nasty to you or causing drama, but honestly it sounds like you are the drama llama.

    • Anonymous :

      Of course there is something he can do. His sister is inviting his ex to family events? He can say “this is insane. why are you being cruel to me? I am not attending any events she is invited to, and you are way out of line.”

      • Unless she had done something really horrible to him or his new wife, why on earth would he need to police his family’s guest list like that? They were married and presumably lived together, and their divorce was 7 years ago; it’s not cruel or insane to think that they should be able to handle being in the same building for a few hours.

    • Ex-wife blues :

      For clarification, I was referring to the child of the sister in law, not my husband’s children.

      The ex has been natsy to me in the past, and caused a lot of drama early in our relationship.

      I reading the posts, I now see that I can’t ask my sister in law to not invite her. I will be in the pictures and take the higher road.

      Thank you for all of your comments. I’m in my 40’s and this is my first marriage and the ex wife/ in law is new to me.

      • If you & your husband are solid, and unless the ex steals your identity and wrecks havoc on you financially & legally, then that woman cannot cause drama unless you let her. Just say, “Wow” and move on.

        • +1

          Though I’m sorry she was nasty to you OP, it need have no impact on you whatsoever. She’s just some random woman to you, and you should treat her nastiness the same as any other random woman’s (i.e. let it roll off your back and move on).

      • Senior Attorney :

        You will be doing yourself and your marriage a huge favor! Good luck!

  18. The picture thing last year is weird, but let it go, especially if there’s children involved between them. You refusing to be in a picture with your husband’s ex-wife is the drama now, not her being there. +1 to Anon above me as well.

  19. Wedding Advice :

    Hi Ladies,

    I need some advice. My boyfriend and I are about to get officially engaged, which I couldn’t be happier about. Because of timing (we want an October wedding for family who will be travelling from overseas purposes), we have started the venue hunt before making it official. I am already overwhelmed. Many places are already booked and the cost of weddings is so incredibly expensive. I am in my late 30’s as is my boyfriend. I’m sure my parents will contribute to the wedding, but I don’t know how much. My boyfriend and I want a nice wedding with our family and friends, but don’t want to break the bank or take on more debt (thank you student loans). How do people do this???

    Any help or advice would be appreciated.

    • Think carefully about your invite list. The single easiest way to keep wedding costs in check are to invite fewer people. Look into non-traditional venues or venues that on the surface seem less ideal (union halls, etc.). Make sure to be clear on what the venue provides versus what needs to be rented in addition. If the venue doesn’t have an exclusive catering arrangement, you’ll likely be able to be more flexible on food/drink cost.

      • +1 on the guest list. If you can keep your numbers down, a lot more options will be open to you, like private rooms in restaurants (or restaurant close-downs). I’d also consider who the wedding is for – if you guys want one, go for it, but if you don’t really care, I’d strongly consider eloping. I am totally biased toward that option as that’s what I did, but it was seriously the most romantic and lovely way to get married. It had the added benefit of being as inexpensive as you want it to be (I think the minimum cost is the license/ceremony, which in SF was around $250). We followed up our elopement with a small dinner party for 50 at a local restaurant about 6 months later. All-in, we spent around 15K on both our actual wedding, party & honeymoon. If we’d skipped the party, it would have been well under 5K (& that’s just because we splurged on an intimate dinner at a really nice restaurant for us and our witnesses and I wanted a nice dress).

    • Rainbow Hair :

      We did it by being really brutal about (1) the guest list and (2) what we actually needed.

      If I had to explain to my dude who anyone was, he/she was off the invitation list, and the same in reverse.

      Then we just didn’t do a ton of stuff you “have” to do for a wedding. Our venue (the event space at a brewery/restaurant) was pretty and had tables and chairs and plates and everything already, we said eff it to table cloths and those weird chair covers, so the cost for decoration was $0. Open bar was important to us, but we limited it to (good!) beer and wine (see: brewery) — it kept people from getting too drunk, and limited the costs a bit. No sit-down dinner — a buffet with awesome food. The venue was “free” once you spent the minimum for food, so there was that. No flowers — I made my own bouquet (a hipster “alternative” bouquet). My dress was less than $300 (a party dress from bhldn). Dude’s clothes were ~$150 (nice khakis, a nice shirt, and a vest). No cake — the venue had dessert options, so everyone had brownies and ice cream and stuff, and it went toward our $ minimum. No DJ — Dude hooked his iPod up to the venue’s sound system and we danced our butts off all night (I still think so fondly of the playlist he made for us). No attendants (in fact we had a tiny private ceremony with family only just before the party/reception). Officiants were family members ordained online for $20-ish. Photography was a gift from my parents.

      In spite of all of this, it was *nice* — the venue was lovely, we looked cuteAF if I may say so, and everyone had great food and tons of beer, and as I said we danced our butts off.

    • Anonymous :

      Cut the guest list and/or formality. It’s pretty much impossible to have a Saturday night black tie wedding in a hotel ballroom for 400 people without breaking the bank. I don’t know what you consider expensive, but we had 120 guests for a Sunday afternoon wedding (nice plated lunch, cake + champagne toast, followed by dancing)for less than $15k. Weddings are great, but they’re just one day of your lives and they are not worth taking on debt that will follow you around forever for. Set a budget based on what you can afford and what your families are contributing and then axe things as necessary (including guests) to get within that budget.

    • I’m getting married in my mid 30s and similar vibe in terms of big extended family coming from abroad (although not SE Asian style big wedding), and desire for it to be “nice” in a major NE city.

      My fiance and I each chipped in $17,500 which we had each been saving for this goal and our parents each contributed $2,500. One set of parents is also throwing a casual rehearsal for all family and the other set is throwing a good bye breakfast buffet the day after the wedding.

      Even with that price tag (which blew my mind) it took a lot of shopping around of venues, photogs, DJs (bands are absurdly expensive), etc to really get good prices. We used a family engagement ring and are buying wedding rings from an affordable local metal artist.

      We also cut a lot of things from our plan that we just weren’t interested in investing in – lots of flowers (chose a space that was well decorated and are using the same flowers for ceremony and reception decoration), having a ceremony at the same site as the reception which is very conveniently located in the center of a major city therefore not having to provide transit, no bridesmaids/groomsmen, no favors, etc.

      We also found that having the reception at a place that provided catering/booze was much cheaper and logistically easier than having a venue and bringing in a caterer.

      In terms of evaluating venues, we did a lot of online searching to identify possible places in our price range and then set up two insane days to look at all of them. We also developed a scoring matrix to make sure that we were considering all components of a site (some had a ton of hidden fees) and then completed the matrix during the visit. It was a bit more leg work up front but it made it so much easier to evenly evaluate places since different venues have surprisingly different models.

      Also, we hoarded cc points and are paying for all of our honeymoon that way – airfare, rental car, hotel, etc.

      Good luck.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m lucky enough to have savings, but if you want all the typical stuff (dinner, dancing, open bar) the typical hotel wedding places are where it’s at. I found newer hotels, even in not the best locations, charged a lot more than the standard players who had been around for years. I ended up with somewhere that wasn’t cool and hip, but had done a million weddings and did a nice job. You can cut costs on all the other stuff like dress, flowers, etc pretty easily, but the bulk of the cost is the venue/dinner/open bar. Because it’s so late and probably nobody is booking October weddings anymore, you may be able to negotiate with some venues to get a discount. Some of the venues I looked at gave a 10-15% discount for booking certain weekends that were maybe 4-6 months out.

    • One way to potentially reduce costs is to plan for next October, if the same family members make annual trips or are able to travel again then. You’ll have more venue options and more time to figure out the process and figure out what’s actually important to you. It sounds like you’d like a relatively large wedding, or at least average-sized, and 6 months is not that much time to plan, and you’ll likely spend more doing things at what in wedding-land is considered the last minute. If you’re set on getting married this October, you’re going to have to make decisions about where to scale back very quickly, and all the advice above is good.

    • Don’t start planning or day dreaming until you have a budget. Are your parents contributing, if so how much? How much can you and fiancee contribute {or how much do you want to}? Are his parents going to contribute, will the they host the rehearsal dinner?

      Get your finances lined up then look at venues and start planning and stressing. It’s a fruitless effort now.

      Speaking from experience, I was looking at lower cost venues and stressing about making the budget work until I found out my in-laws were paying for the whole thing. I wasted two trips to my home town (halfway across the country) and many hours of stress.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Find out if/how much your parents are willing to contribute. It’s not a fun conversation, but you need to know what your budget is going in. My dad kept saying “Don’t worry, we’ll pay for it” and I had to keep pushing for an actual number because I knew perfectly well my dad didn’t really know what weddings cost.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Two things.

      One, we did this. We were just out of grad school and had no money, and parental contributions were very limited. Ended up having an amazing wedding that people still talk about 5 years later (and I swear, it’s not solicited– more like random people like dates of friends who they’ve since married saying wow, that was a fun wedding). However, we made choices that a lot of people (including here) might turn up their noses at. Get comfortable doing what YOU want and not meeting anyone else’s expectations about what a wedding Should Be.

      Two, check out the A Practical Wedding community and book. Best ever resource for this kind of planning and thinking about marriage.

    • We decided on a budget and added 25% for a cushion (I get spend happy easily and everything costs more for wedding that you’d think). We then spoke to our parents who gave us a figure they would provide. We were engaged in July but wanted a September wedding, but the amount we needed to save per month to get married the following year (based on budget + cushion minus parental contributions) was outside of what we could afford. We instead decided to have a 2 year 2 month engagement to allow us save a sufficient amount.
      We were then brutal on the invite list – 85 people total. We then used the budget and the headcount to hunt down venues which we could afford, all recorded on a huge spreadsheet. I also asked for discounts/deals/little freebies to be thrown in also. Not doing the things we see as unnecessary which for us includes throwing the bouquet, transport, a huge cake (small cake + dessert table) etc etc.
      Also finding a beautiful venue that doesn’t need much decoration helps.
      Finally, stay off pintrest! It’s a money pit.

      We did a tot up last week and the wedding will be fully paid off 3 months before it happens. We’ve concurrently been saving for our first home and our honeymoon.

    • Practical advice-
      1) Set your budget assuming no parental contributions. Let whatever they are able to give you be for splurges, or say have one side buy your wedding dress.
      2) Going against the grain, but get your fixed costs under control–the photographer, officiant, flowers, venue rental etc. are not marginally that much more depending on the size of your wedding (e.g., ballroom for 100 v. 200 is not that much more). Figure out what you can live with and what is available in your area.
      3) Seconding the recommendation for a hotel wedding. They will typically provide you with upfront pricing that you can gauge size and costs.

  20. Collared shirts :

    I work in a male-dominated field / office where my male colleagues where dress shirts tucked into trousers everyday. I have a couple collared shirts — one that is a fairly traditional dress shirt and some that are pseudo dress shirts (different fabric, slightly more elaborate pocket layout). Do I have to tuck these in to my pants? I just feel a little too much like I’m trying to look the guys. At the same time, I worry if I look too informal to leave them untucked.

    • I think it depends on the shirt & pants/skirt you are wearing. So no, you don’t have to tuck just because the men do, but realize that some combos that you wear may need to be tucked to look right.

    • Delta Dawn :

      You do not have to tuck– and you also do not have to copy what they are wearing. You need to be on the same level of formality (sounds like business casual), but that doesn’t mean you have to wear collared shirts and trousers. My office is usually business casual, but I can’t recall a time I have ever tucked a shirt into pants. I do tuck into most skirts. I think you are right that you may be trying too much to look like the guys; you don’t have to wear what they are wearing as long as you are wearing business casual.

  21. Work Tote Recs Please! :

    I am in desperate need of a new tote for both work and weekend use. I don’t carry my laptop but I do carry a few files for work during the week and random kids’ stuff during the weekend. I want it to be black and I like nylon totes because they are light weight (but I need a durable one). I have been using this one, which I originally bought as a diaper bag substitute, for ages but it started fraying fairly quickly: http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/burberry-nylon-shopper/3023783

    I want something nice-ish, black, nylon, lightweight and roomy. Any recs???

    I am thinking about this one, but it seems a bit stupid to spend so much on a nylon tote. That said, I’ll use it for years and maybe being a brand name elevates it (I work in a HCOL city where people notice brands, it’s kind of dumb, but I am not going to rail against the reality of this one since I can afford it and don’t buy many things):

    or this


    Any other suggestions??

    • I always love the canvas Gucci bags. My mom had one when I was growing up.


      • Work Tote Recs Please! :

        I did look at those – and I really like the reversible ones (they have whimsical pink and sensible black), but I was worried the beige canvas print would get grimy pretty fast, no?


        • The canvas isn’t like a boat bag, its darker and possibly coated in some form or fashion. Have a look in the store if possible! The one you linked is lovely!

    • Not offhand, but know that Nordstroms can add zippers or feet or stiffen sides if you ask them. This helps to provide some support for the nylon.

    • I have an earlier version of this and like it. But know that Prada nylon is not the quality you would expect from a $1000 tote. Mine is the older tessuto and the leather is already coming apart and the gold has all rubbed off the zipper. Granted I am hard with my bags but I’ve learned my lesson. Tumi/Knomi for my next purchase.

      • Work Tote Recs Please! :

        That’s disappointing :( I am trying to talk myself into either the Coach reversible tote with cheerful floral coated canvas on one side and Kelly green leather on other ($90 at nearby Coach outlet, can’t find pic online)

        or this Goyard-esque Tory Burch


    • I got a black nylon one from Cole Haan a few months ago that was on sale for under $100. So far it’s been super sturdy. I just looked at their website and it doesn’t look like they have it for sale anymore (sorry!), but I would check back there periodically since they change up their handbags every few months or so.

  22. Anonymous :

    Possibly too late to get responses, but a wedding etiquette question for the hive:

    My sister is 27 and her fiance is 42. They’re getting married this June. This is a second marriage for him and a first for her. They disagree over whether they should have a registry and she asked for my input. He thinks that registries are for young people that need things to set their houses up and it would be tacky for the two of them to have one. I have a ton of sympathy for his position, and if they were both 42 and on second marriages, maybe not having a registry at all would make sense. But half of their couple actually IS young.

    What does the hive think? Is a registry in this situation tacky?

    • Do the registry. I resisted until after my bridal shower. Hot mess of gifts at my bridal shower – I appreciate that people wanted to be thoughtful but many cousins/aunties barely knew my taste. I registered for the wedding. Ten years later I cannot get rid of ugly casserole dishes without annoying Auntie so and so/sparking a battle with my mom.

      Register. She won’t regret it.

      • Anonymous :

        Good point.

      • Anonymous :

        Meh, everyone has that crazy aunt that will go off-registry even if you have one, and these days (at least in my part of the US) most people interpret not having a registry as a polite request for cash, so I’m not convinced you will get weirder/worse gifts without a registry.

    • Anonymous :

      Registry info should not go on the invite or save the date anyway, so can they create a small registry that can be shared with your side of the family when people ask where she’s registered? If someone is asking presumably they wouldn’t be horrified at the idea of a registry in this situation.

    • It’s not really about youth; it’s about whether or not they need a lot of housewares. If they have an established home with all the stuff that they need (like, grown-up pans, not the sad thin pans you own in college, for example), then I’d do a charitable registry and assume most people will give cash.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We’re old and we had a registry (albeit one that was made up mostly of bottles of wine). i had originally planned to forego the registry because it seemed insane that people would give gifts to a couple of old fogies such as us. But friend who married the year before me, who is close to my age, said “you have to register or people will give you all kinds of random stuff,” so we did. And some people gave us gifts and some people didn’t and it was all fine. We put the info on our wedding web site with a note that said something like “honest to goodness, we don’t need a thing, but if you just can’t help yourself, here’s our registry.”

  23. Oil in Houston :

    I have been promoted and need more suits, I am in the process of losing weight post surgery so don’t want anything too expensive, but it does need to have A-line skirts as 1. I never wear trousers, 2. I have very wide hips… anyone can recommend a good place to shop at? online preferred ideally

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