Thursday’s TPS Report: Diamond Stretch Peplum Jacket

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

Halogen Diamond Stretch Peplum JacketHooray for Thursday! I’m liking this diamond stretch peplum jacket, available in navy and black, both on sale 40%. The black blazer has some matching bottoms still (pencil skirt, pants), but the navy seems to be standing alone. The blazer was $138 but is now marked to $82.80. Halogen Diamond Stretch Peplum Jacket

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]


  1. kjoirishlastname :

    that is a pretty jacket! I’m not a big fan of the peplum, but this one seems fairly demure. And what a great deal! If I needed suits, I’d actually buy this one.

    Quick question WWYD: Bought a pair of sunglasses online. I had tried them on in store first, and I liked them a lot. Not super expensive, but high-quality & polarized. I have a small (read: tiny) head, so sunglasses are sometimes tough to find that aren’t either too wide, or totally overwhelm my face.

    So, I like these. I tried them on for DH. I honestly don’t remember what he actually said, but the word “butch” came out of his mouth. I know he didn’t say “those make you look butch”, but “butch” was used in some manner to describe. He then backpedaled a bit saying that they were fine.

    Now I am super self-conscious about them. Haven’t taken tags off, so I can still return them, but I don’t know how he really feels? Truth be told, I do care, because I would hate to be putting something out there that I didn’t perceive, that the rest of the world does, kwim? Would you return them, or keep them??

    • I once returned a pair of tennis shoes because DH described them as something his (much older) mom would wear so I understand how those comments can affect you. I wasn’t a huge fan of the shoes so it wasn’t a loss. But, sounds like you like these sunglasses and have a hard to fit head. I’d ask some trusted friends for their opinion.

      • Me too. I once bought a pair of RAYBAN’s sun glasse’s and Alan took them from me right away b/c he thought they were TO MACHO for me to wear. FOOEY ON HIM, especialy b/c he looke’d a littel strange weareing them b/c he has a big head and the size was for me a littel smaller then what he needed. He realy looked alot like the computer guy’s on TV who wear dopey glasses. I am SO glad he never became my DH! OMG, He became a drinking doosh that I could NO Longer live with in my apartement.

        I am meeting with the manageing partner and the Judge today at the Lamb’s Club. The judge asked that I come along even tho those 2 went to school together and this is kind of an alumni thing. The manageing partner has me wearing a white suit today. I hate weareing white this early b/c I alway’s get spagetti (tomatoe) stains when I wear white. Mabye I will order fish today b/c I need to eat less calorie’s. Or mabye a Cobb Salad b/c there is no tomatoe sauce in it. But absolutely NO schrimp cocktail’s for me. That would wind up RIGHT on my white suit. DOUBEL FOOEY! I hope they have cream broulee today! YUMMY!

    • How can sunglasses make you look “butch”?? Sorry, I don’t really get that.

      If you don’t like them, feel free to return then, but just because your boyfriend made a (slightly homophobic imo) comment about them, you shouldn’t feel like you can’t wear them!

      • I’d wear them, because I’m not afraid of rampaging lesbians hitting on me the second I look a bit butch.

        • Hahahahaha. +1

        • +2. Because OMG, the worst thing a woman can possibly look like is a lesbian! Since all lesbians look the same, which is butch!

          I also don’t know what butch sunglasses would even look like. So for my own personal edification, I just did a google image search and it returned…pictures of sunglasses, that look like sunglasses. And pictures of butch standouts such as Lil Wayne, Justin Beiber, Zooey Deschanel, and Lady Gaga? Use that knowledge as you will.

          • kjoirishlastname :

            that’s what I don’t get either. I have no idea where the comment came from. Thanks for all the input. I will see if I can solicit an opinion from another, but I am more inclined to keep them–in part because I only paid $20 for them after my REI dividend and 20% off, whereas finding another pair would probably end up costing me more than I paid for these.

          • Yeah! If you like the sunglasses, wear the sunglasses.

      • I’m having trouble with how they could be “butch,” too. Maybe he meant tough, like tough rebel in sunglasses? That doesn’t sound as bad, and makes more sense, IMO.

        Maybe put them away for a few days, then try them again and see how you feel? I find I think of things differently depending on my mood, so that might help. And, for those of us other gals with little heads who have a very hard time finding sunglasses, I’d love a link!

        • kjoirishlastname :

          They’re the SunCloud Wisp sunglasses–I got them from REI dot com, only because they don’t have a B&M store here, but our local ourdoor outfitter does carry them so I could try them on. I really wanted to like the SunCloud Patrol–it’s a bit of a more elongated aviator style, rather than big/round or tear-drop shape, but they seemed a little too big for me.

          If anyone knows of small aviators…I’ve been looking at RayBan, but I just can’t drop that kind of $$!

          • Anonymous :

            Check out Gaffos[dot]com for pricing on the RayBans should that be where you ultimately wind up… I’ve gotten some good deals there (though I also use them to replace the lenses w a prescription as well)

    • The thing is, now that he said it, you can’t unhear it. And if it makes you self-conscious then you’re not going to wear them. Ultimately, you have to decide if you can put aside what he said and wear them.

      My SO is usually so complimentary of my clothing choices that if he expresses a negative opinion, I usually listen. I recently returned a shirt that I was on the fence about – he wanted to see it first. We disagreed about what we disliked about it but neither of us loved it. Then again, he didn’t, at first, love my new Michael Kors wedges and I love them so much that I told him I didn’t care what he thought.

    • Diana Barry :

      If you like them, then I would keep them!

    • DH once commented that a pair of my regular glasses were “hoity toity.” At first I was offended, but [email protected], I loved those glasses. Rather than shirk back, I ran with it. “Watch out honey, I’m going to wear my hoity toity glasses tonight. You might want to put on a nicer suit” and some such. Don’t let a dumb comment made without much though have power over how you perceive what you like. If you love ’em, love ’em.

    • I’d be more pissed that my husband decided to use the term butch then what he thought about my sunglasses. It’s 2014. Do we really still need these terms?!

      • really anon for this :

        Hi. I am a little bit scared that I am opening up a can of worms or about to make everyone hate me, but can I ask you/the hive – is butch not an acceptable term? And is it derogatory, or is it merely an out-of-date term (like venereal disease? I am so sorry but that is literally the only example I can think of).

        I am genuinely asking this, here. I live in a smaller community in the South, and goodness knows we have a terrible habit of using derogatory terms much longer than we should, but literally everyone I know, of all status and gender status, uses this term.

        I had a summer associate position in Maryland about five years ago, and I remember being struck by how there everyone referred to me as “the African-American woman” and talked about “African-Americans.” Where I come from we say “black”, and AA is usually meant to refer, somewhat disparagingly, to urban blacks. But in Maryland it seemed that calling someone “black” was taboo and so instead the words AA more times in a week than I’d heard my entire life growing up.

        I often am on the phone with counsel from another city, rarely but sometimes a different state, and I would hate to think I had inadvertently offended someone with this or any other word. I have certainly used the word butch dozens of times to describe a person. Can you help clarify for me?

        • I don’t think butch is derogatory in and of itself. Rather, suggesting someone not wear something because they look butch suggests that looking butch is a bad thing. And I happen to think its a hot thing myself. If her hubbie had said “damn, sexy butch look in those glasses” I personally would not find that usage inappropriate. My personal guideline is “am I saying something positive ” and “am I being lazy and stereotyping”

          • I think this is the best explanation. To use a term that is usually specific to one group in a derogatory fashion is at best rude. Another example would be when men tell other men they’re “acting like a girl.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with the word “girl” but the application of it.

            Sorry for being the word police, but people should realize that what they say carries weight and if someone gives you a side eye, treat it as a learning opportunity, move on, apologize (as needed) and don’t be defensive.

          • +1 to this, and I’m someone that spends a ton of time working on being PC (thanks to the commenter–Ru maybe?–who gave me my favorite way of explaining why I care about this sh*t: PC also stands for Polite and Considerate).

            But yeah. I (note that I am not LGBQ or gender-non-binary, so: members of those groups or a differently-informed ally, please feel free to correct me if you disagree) don’t believe that “butch,” in and of itself, is derogatory. I think that the OP’s husband’s use of “butch,” as a negative, turned an otherwise-mostly-neutral descriptor of “a woman who uses masculine-associated modes of dress/social norms/whatever” into an inappropriate slur. In the same way that “You’re gay [meaning “You are literally a man who is interested in romantic relationships with other men”]”=value-neutral, probably totally fine; “You’re gay [meaning, “insult”]”=slur. Does that make sense?

        • Lady Tetra :

          It’s tricky, because butch can be used derogatorily to describe a woman who’s not conforming to traditional norms of femininity. But I know that some women have sort of reclaimed it so that they like describing themselves or their fashion choices as butch. I personally wouldn’t describe a person like that unless I already knew she was fine with it. If I were just describing an item, like the sunglasses in question, I might use masculine? But really I’d probably just say blocky, or big, or whatever they actually are, because gender norms are fluid and it’s more complicated than it needs to be to describe sunglasses.

    • tbh, If you have a DH you probably don’t need to worry about looking butch. I’m really outspokenly feminist socially and I know a lot of people have been surprised that I’m not gay (because, you know…. straight people clearly don’t care about equality). I also have a tendency to dress slightly ‘butch’ sometimes.

      The only reason it bothers me is because I’m actively on the look-out for a male partner, and if guys assume that I’m not into them I’m not going to get anywhere. When I’ve not been single it hasn’t bothered me nearly so much

      • Silvercurls :

        “because, you know….straight people clearly don’t care about equality”
        ROFL at your understatement!

        Seriously (and also not to give the wrong impression of where I stand) I agree with you about being, as I’ve seen on buttons, “straight but not narrow” and I also agree that it might cause unwanted confusion in otherwise potential partners (who in your case would be straight single guys).

        • The people who make the ‘NO MORE PAGE THREE’ t-shirts in the UK also have pin badges saying ‘feminist killjoy’ – I need one.

    • I have a really nice pair of riding boots that were left on my porch by my sister, accompanied by a note saying she was tired of her husband saying: “Where’s your horse, Little Joe?” every time she put them on. I’m not wild about your guy’s phrasing, to be honest, but mostly I wonder whether you will ever separate the comment from the sunglasses.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Honest to God, not trying to be mean, I can’t imagine a universe in which somebody saying my sunglasses looked butch/made me look butch would make me not want to wear them.

      That said, if it bothers you and you can’t unhear it, you should take them back and get something you will enjoy.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      thank you guys for all of the comments. It (as often does, here) has turned into a very interesting topic of conversation. To be fair/honest, I wasn’t offended by the term, and I believe that a lot of you hit the nail on the head by saying that the term itself isn’t derogatory, but the context was. To also be fair, DH doesn’t mince words, either. He is usually careful and considerate about the words he chooses, but he will absolutely tell me what he thinks, and he does have very clear preferences for appearance/clothing. I’m not the type to just blindly go by what he says, but I absolutely do take into consideration his opinion in my selection of clothes. He told me I should never wear horizontal stripes. At the time, I had several striped sweaters and such, and was 40 pounds heavier. Plus, I’m short. So, the comment made sense, and even when I tried on striped things that I liked on the hanger, they just didn’t do me justice, and so I followed his advice, and still do, to this day. Sometimes he’s not good at articulating what it is about a characteristic that he likes or doesn’t like. We were talking about pixie haircuts the other day (I want one), and he said that he didn’t like them. It’s not that he doesn’t like pixie haircuts, but he doesn’t like the late-90’s back-of-head stacked cut. With LOADS of back and forth, we were able to finally pinpoint the feature that he didn’t like about it.

      So, “butch” may not be what he intended, but for lack of a better word at the time, there was something about them or the way that I presented them that wasn’t appealing to him

      • OP, just wanted to say – I don’t exactly disagree with other posters taking issue with the use of the word “butch” in general, but I do think that in this context — between spouses, as solicited feedback on a pair of sunglasses — it’s really not that big of a deal, and does not in my mind paint your husband as a homophobe or anything of the kind. In particular, I don’t take issue with it because I don’t think his use of the word here is necessarily pejorative – there might not be anything wrong in looking butch, but she’s his wife, maybe he knows (or thinks) that’s not the look she was going for. If you asked, say, your boss for feedback and got this response, I would feel differently. This is not a word that screams homophobe, it depends on the context, and this one seems innocuous to me.

        • Joanna Toews :

          +1 to this.

        • Eh, I don’t think anyone was accusing her hubs of being a homophobe. More of being a human who used a word thoughtlessly, without thinking about how it played into broader social contexts about gender, sexuality, privilege, etc. Which I’m positive is something that can also be said of every other human walking the earth, myself very much included! But for me, usages like this aren’t innocuous, per se, so I believe they should be called out as opportunities for education–because in-group members (in this case, straight people) don’t always see the ways that they’re privileged in their use of language.

      • I appreciate this added context because I was going to ask if you often take his advice on clothing. My husband is not always a fan of the bright colors and patterns to which I sometimes gravitate so if he tells me he doesn’t like something, I usually am like “oh well, I’m getting it anyways.” Exceptions are cases like you mention when he suggests I wear the orange patterned dress instead of the pink patterned dress because the pink one “just isn’t working for you right now.”

  2. TJ - leave for severe morning sickness? :

    Has anyone ever taken unpaid leave for severe morning sickness? I’ve been trying to power through, but starting a few days ago (at around 11 weeks) things have gotten a lot worse. Since then I’ve only had about 3-4 hours a day where I feel well enough to get anything done. I’m in NYC Biglaw, so this really isn’t sustainable but I hate to give up part of my parental leave down the road…

    • Can you try to ask if you’re able to work from home instead? And are you on Zofran? That made a huge difference in my ability to sort of function.
      I had hyperemesis gravidum so I totally get where you’re coming from. Honestly if it wasn’t for working from home (and the meds when I did have to go in) I would have quit my job.

    • I’m not pregnant but the thought of this terrifies me. I have been sick at work before and barely made it to the bathroom. How do people with morning sickness deal?? I would puke in my trashcan.

      • My morning sickness was more like a 24/7 hangover. Nausea, exhaustion, dizzy, but very little vomiting. And unlike a hangover, if I did get sick, I didn’t suddenly feel better.

        • +1. I felt like I was going to puke all day long and there was a lot of dryheaving/spitting into my trashcan, but I only threw up once or twice per week and it was often immediately upon getting out of bed if I hadn’t eaten enough crackers first or before I left for work.

          For the OP: Zofran. Seriously. It didn’t make me feel all better but it took the edge off enough that I was able to hang in there at work a little bit better (there were still a few days I left early or called in sick). All together I burned a week of sick leave on morning sickness that I had been saving for maternity leave. You gotta do what you gotta do.

        • Joanna Toews :

          +2. Like a hangover, on two hours of sleep, with no relief in sight.

          For FIVE. SOLID. MONTHS.

          Yeah, I used a lot of sick time. And some vacation time, when that ran out. It was just bad.

      • “Morning sickness”–that’s such a joke. More like all day sickness. For me, the worst was around 11 am, right before lunch, and around 2 pm, and then most of the evening. At work I just brought a toothbrush and a small bottle of Scope that I kept in my desk.

        Citrus smells seemed to help, so I kept a sliced lemon in the refrigerator in our break room. If things got bad, I would bring it to my desk and smell it while I worked.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yeah, I called it “morning, noon and night sickness.” I was in law school at the time and I would sit in the back row next to the door, in case I had to make a dash for it.

          I have nothing to add except tons of sympathy. Hugs, OP!

          • I was in law school with my first pregnancy, too! It was actually a good time for it, now that I think back, because I had built in breaks between classes. Being pregnant at work was so much harder.

      • Just wanted to say this for all the people like you who are reading this and want to get pregnant, and are thinking “OMG how can I ever handle this?”.

        Not to minimize the difficulty of pregnancy and (god forbid) childbirth, but different people go through pregnancy differently. Some things that are an issue for others may not be an issue for you at all.

        For me (and I get queasy when not-pregnant on winding roads) I did not get morning sickness.At.All. Pregnancy for me was like a slightly more intense case of PMS (which for me is usually fairly mild).
        So a little unusually emotional, some back pain, some tightness/cramps in the abdomen, bloating and gas, some varying appetite levels and some food/smell aversions, but you know, no throwing up. I’m not the only one either, and my next pregnancy may be completely different.

        Don’t everyone hate me though, because I’m sure I had the highest-maintenance infant ever. So the first year was way more terrible than I could ever have imagined.

        • Coach Laura :

          I am also in the “no morning sickness” category. I felt a bit “off” but was fine with lots of mini-meals. For example, I’d have a small breakfast and then string cheese and dried fruit at my desk at 10. Then I’d have to have apple and peanut butter or protein bar or something in the afternoon.

          And I couldn’t stand the look/smell of raw meat – even walking down the meat aisle at the store was impossible. So I only bought cooked meat and ate a lot of meatless meals. Never threw up in either pregnancy. One time at a client meeting in Oklahoma City the guys wanted to go to a steak house. I hadn’t announced at work and was junior enough that I couldn’t veto the steakhouse. They only had one chicken entrée, no salad or veg option and it was hard to get through the meal but I did it. Like anonmom, don’t hate me because both deliveries were horrors but babies were perfectly healthy so it worked out in the end.

    • Have you explored options with your OB (Zofran, unisom/b12)? IME, it got better around 13-14 weeks but mine wasn’t so severe as to need medication.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      Oh darling–I am so sorry. I had pretty bad MS, but mine was just nausea all the time, with little actual vomiting. If you need it, you need it. I would ask if you can telecommute–is there paperwork and such that you can do from home between bouts of lying down? Have you talked to your doc about zofran? If not–get on the zofran bandwagon! Zofran is safe, and very effective. It can come as a regular tablet, or an easy-melt such that you don’t even have to swallow anything. 4mg is usually effective, but you can get it in 8mg and just cut in half as needed. You can take it as frequently as every 4-6 hours, but it doesn’t leave you ridiculously sleepy like reglan or phenergan can.

      Others suggest ginger & peppermint, but nothing “natural” helped mine. I would just take zofran & a nap. Good luck dear.

    • TJ - leave for severe morning sickness? :

      I’m already on a high dose of zofran and have tried all the over the counter suggestions…and I’ve been working from home this week. Even working from home, I only have a few good hours. I just feel like I can only bill about half (if that) of what I need to bill to keep up with my group. So frustrating.

      • Diana Barry :

        Boo! Other things I would try: getting more sleep, even if you think you are; eating constantly; taking frequent naps.

        Can you eat anything or drink anything? Even if you aren’t constantly sick, if you aren’t getting enough liquid /food you may be dehydrated. I would go in and see your OB and see what else he/she can recommend. You should be able to take medical leave in addition to your regular maternity leave if needed. Hugs.

      • My OB told me that sometimes Zofran isn’t enough and there’s a prescription that’s more powerful (Reglan, maybe?) but it makes you incredibly drowsy. I know it’s trading one evil for another, but maybe ask about that. If you’re that sick, you might also want to see if you have hyperemesis.

    • TJ - leave for severe morning sickness? :

      thanks for the advice and commiseration. I have a call into my OB to see if there’s anything more that can be done. in the meantime, fingers crossed my symptoms disappear soon!

      • just Karen :

        You have my heartfelt sympathy. I hit 12 weeks tomorrow, and my all-day-sickness has been worse this week…just when I was hopeful it would stop any day. The good news is that it should be the final stretch of nausea for both of us, I hope! In addition to Zofran and constant eating (seriously – ridiculous amounts of food from morning to dinner is the only way I have gotten through), I wear Sea Bands every day and they seem to help a little. If I go even a little over two hours without eating, it is hard to recover from. Also, I tried those preggo pops? or something like that recently, and while I think the sour taste helped while I was actually eating it, the sugar made me feel way worse in the long run. Would it be possible for you to go 50% for a couple of weeks so that you minimize the time you are taking from leave?

      • Anonymous :

        I work at a BigLaw firm (albeit more of a life style firm). With my first pregnancy, I found that I had to do zofran, unisom/b-6, and reglan, and I still threw up many times a day. My worst was from 11 to 13 weeks. I had to medicate until around 20 weeks, but things got better after 13 weeks.

        I announced my pregnancy when at 16 weeks I was questioned about my hours. Despite not making my hours for the year, I am glad I powered through. Otherwise, I would have just been at sick and miserable at home with nothing to take my mind off of it.

        (Just a bit of hope, I am in the middle of my second pregnancy. I definitely had to take the drugs, but if I did, I generally did not throw up.)

  3. DTLA meet-up :

    See you lovely ladies at 5:30 PM at Seven Grand!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yay!! Come on out, ladies! You know you want to…

    • I plan to be there! I will be the tall chick in the hat.

    • Is DTLA downtown LA? Is this a real place where professional women can actually meet somewhere at 5:30???? I think I need to leave the east coast!

  4. This is a really stupid question but do any of you ladies have a recommendation for a good hair brush for long, fine hair? I’ve had a boar bristle brush for years and out of the blue lost it. It’s been so long since I’ve had to think about a brush I don’t know where to go and what to get. Recommendations? Thanks so much!

    • Oops its**

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I like my boar-bristle, but it makes my hair really static-y. I have short hair, so it doesn’t need a lot of brushing, but when it was longer, I just used a vented brush or a wide-tooth comb for detangling, and the boar-bristle for smoothing before bed. They can be had very inexpensively in the ethnic-hair care area of the big-boxes. I think I found mine for under $5, from a brand called Evolve.

    • People's Republic :

      I think the Pearson Mason is worth the hype. Just my $.02.

    • Yes! I recently got a Sharkk hair brush and it is the best brush I’ve ever had, especially if your hair tends to tangle, which my long/fine hair does. It’s kind of ridiculous because it’s just a $5 plastic brush, but it’s amazing. I will post a link in a moment to avoid moderation.

    • I have long, straight hair. I use a bamboo paddle brush for regular brushing, and boar bristle brush for smoothing if I want to put it in a ponytail or something.

      I just checked my brush. It is an Olivia Garden Healthy Hair Bamboo Brush (large Ionic Paddle, whatever that means).

    • Same kind of hair, I love this one

    • I was given an Edward Monkton cartoon hair brush years ago and, no joke, it’s the best hairbrush I own for my hair, which is like yours I think – lots of fine hair

  5. Styling Advice Needed: Earrings to wear with a black lace over nude dress? The neck is high enough that I think no necklace. Planning nude hose, black heels. Black/silver Movado watch, no rings. This is a black tie event, so something more on the statement side. In an ideal world, something with sterling or gold hardware, but at worst for a few hours I can probably deal with cheaper metals. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Hmm, I would say gold and probably something low-key, not statement, since that sounds like a statement dress.

      • Thanks! See, this is why I asked, since I am generally style clueless. It is definitely more than your basic LBD – has a vintage vibe, styled fit and flare (Tadashi Shoji Lace Overlay Dress). I was thinking black, because either gold or silver in my head seemed to class with the nude of the dress. But I have both gold posts or small hoops. And I will get over my shouldn’t mix metals as I don’t feel dressed without the watch.

    • I was thinking something like a long black dangle earring. Not sure because the dress is a flirtier shape than I thought (rather than edgy). But I was thinking of something like this:

      • or maybe search Etsy for black deco earrings. Lots of choices! I personally think gold or rose gold would look better with the nude of the dress rather than silver.

        • Thanks! I did see those at Nordstroms, but thought they were a little off – and I think you’re totally right that gold or rose gold would be better. Unfortunately event is in 10 days so I’m limited in what I can expect to arrive via mail, but for the next time I wear it, definitely etsy. Now off to search for similar at the other local options (which is most everything, luckily near major shopping metropolis)

          • I don’t know – lots of Etsy sellers would ship right way. You might try a convo with one if you’re interested in something. Maybe expedited shipping would be worth it?

            Macy’s has a couple of things that might work. The ones that are more geometric don’t look right to me.

    • I have a dress like that and find it plain/a basic lbd, I’d style with bright rhinestone/chandelier earrings and bright clutch myself.

      • By bright, do you mean a color, or clear crystal? I was thinking of vintage-y dark red lipstick and nails if that matters.

        • I’d do something like these & probably wouldn’t go dark red on makeup just because I’m dying for spring/summer looks right now, I don’t think these would go with that but there’s a lot of fun chandelier’s on the KS website.

          • PS – I’d still do a red lip (I like manhunt by NARS for a summery, bright red). (also, my style is generally a little more flamboyant so this may not be your thing, but I see dresses like this and think they still need a little something fun).

    • I was planning on getting the exact same dress. What’s the quality like. And which colour did u get?

      • I got the black – they didn’t have other color options. Quality of the dress itself seems fine; I don’t totally love the fit/construction of the top of the nude layer (fit seems a little off, but might just need to futz with it and the strapless bra) or the belt – it’s a stretchy elastic. Tried a couple of other black belts with it though and nothing worked. But l love the fit of the dress for curvy size 10 me. And it’s not too short (I’m 5 7)

        • Thanks, I am a curvy size 10 too. Planning to get the black and silver lace one. This is a fit and flare and on the neiman website.

    • What about something blingy but simple, along these lines:

      FWIW, KJL makes very nice quality costume jewelry in my experience.

  6. Variations on outsourcing to a stranger :

    Military spouse has an elderly parent. Failure-to-launch sibling has moved in (not to help care for the parent, just to have a place to live). Another sibling lives nearby. Military spouse isn’t able to visit and has become horrified at the condition of the mother’s house (filthy, stuff all over the place; not quite Hoarders, but on its way). The mother is not yet a nursing home candidate, but cannot carry much and has trouble walking (so legitimately needs help with things like laundry). The two nearby siblings seem to be OK with the status quo. Military spouse wants to pay for a home organizer to come in and periodic cleaning / homemaking service visits, but the two siblings are actively resisting (the failure-to-lauch sibling’s hoard would be in play) and military spouse fears getting shut out of the family over this. How would you handle? There is no assurance that the parent will have a save / clean house (and the siblings seem to be OK with the status quo), but the fear is that at some point either elder care social services gets involved or something terrible happens (fall on stairs, which could happen in a clean and tidy house).

    • Is the resistance because military spouse is asking two siblings to share in the costs? It wasn’t clear from your post. If that is the resistance, then I’d encourage milspouse to pay for this on his/your own, and tell siblings that it is happening and they don’t have to worry about the cost b/c he’s covering it. If they still object, then they are a**holes.

      • Variations on outsourcing to a stranger :

        We’re offering to pay 100%.

        The parent wants to stay in the house, understandably, but also does not want to make anyone upset. We’d take her in, but she does not want to move away and it will be a few more years before we would be done with the military commitment and could think of moving back, but that may be too late.

        • Then I think maybe phrasing/presentation is key. You want to make sure you aren’t phrasing it in a way that sounds like you’re frustrated that other siblings aren’t taking good care of mom (which, to be fair, it sounds like they aren’t – but pointing it out won’t accomplish anything). Maybe phrase it as “It isn’t fair for you two to have to shoulder everything just b/c you live closer, and so we’d like to contribute a cleaner/organizer to help keep up mom’s house. She’s too old/infirm to do it safely, and it isn’t fair for you two to have to shoulder that on your own.” Or something like that.

    • Have you asked his mother if she would like a housekeeper? If she says yes, then I’m not sure looser sibling gets a say. Like any child, he can be told that his belongings must be in his room ( which will not be cleaned) or the housekeeper will throw them away. I’m not sure what being a military spouse has to do with any of this- I might try and leave off that phrasing when speaking to the other siblings, it just feels a bit self-righteous when really the situation has nothing to do with military service. Could just as easily just live far away.

      • I agreed with the first half of this, up until the part where Anon says it’s self-righteous to be frustrated that your deadbeat siblings can’t take care of stuff at home while you’re off serving your country.

        • That’s exactly what I meant. You chose a job (a great one! Awesome! Thanks!) that means you’re not there to help. For the purposes of this discussion, it doesn’t matter what that job is. It sounds like lazy sibling is already defensive, so highlighting the righteousness of the reason you’re not there will likely serve to back lazy sibling into an even more defensive position.

      • Variations on outsourcing to a stranger :

        I only mention it here b/c it conveys so much about how spouse can’t easily visit or help or oversee things directly. If we were local, we would have noticed before things got this bad and even as regular civilians we could travel a lot more often / easily. I’m a civilian, so I could travel, but I’d get my head ripped off in a hot minute, so this isn’t even a burden I can take on (except for writing checks, which I feel like is the least I can do).

        We have mentioned getting help, but at this point, the housekeeper could not do much b/c they clean and there aren’t a lot of surfaces left. An organizer would really need to come through first. I think that half of the house is unusable currently and the rest is in bad shape. She has a yard guy, so you’d never guess how the inside is.

        • honestly, I think you need to call the local agency on aging and talk to a qualified social worker about this issue. The level of clutter caused by the defensive sibling coupled with her already limited functionality (limited carrying, difficulty walking) may escalate. I don’t mean to be a worry wart, but I’ve heard some sad things about elder abuse/neglect and wouldn’t want that for anyone. I could be totally misreading, but sometimes the added pressure of “authority” can help change a defensive family member’s tone. The other option would be to hire a private social worker/eldercare company and have them and go in and asses the situation. you could call the AAA for recommendations or go to

          • Variations on outsourcing to a stranger :

            Thanks — I know nothing about this really other than meal on wheels. I will do some digging.

            FWIW, I have told my parents for years that if they ever go down to 1 parent, they must be prepared to move in with me or to an apartment in my city. They are on board with that (more so after this). But I also know their neighbors (who know me), so I feel like I have some eyes on them if I ever need them (and an not afraid to make a welfare call to the police if they ever seem to be AWOL or acting funny).

          • Meg Murry :

            For eldercare companies, look into “continuing care without walls” or a CCRC as listed in this article:
            One of the mentioned companies is really popular for “aging at home” in our area. Its not cheap, but its something to look into.

            Also, even if your MIL isn’t ready for a nursing home, might she be ready for assisted living or a senior communtiy? Just something to start talking about – many nursing homes now have affliated assisted living facilites where she could have her own apartment or condo with no stairs, but have the option of taking meals in the dining hall, using the pools, having someone take care of her yardwork and laundry, etc.

        • I would focus on the inside organizer/cleaner as being an extension of the yard guy type assistance. “We don’t expect mom to do the yard, not fair to expect her to do the inside” and re: failure to thrive sibling “you’re keeping mom company so not fair for you to do all the household cleaning/organizing”. Designated rooms for failure to thrive sibling to have their stuff in that won’t be touched by the organizer might also help with acceptance.

          I actually think 3rd parties being involved is a great idea, it creates objectivity – because if it does devolve into a hoarder/unsafe type situation – they may end up reporting things or providing solid reasons for you to report to the authorities if necessary.

      • Military service could have something to do with the situation as military personnel usually do not have the same flexibility as people in regular jobs.

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      What a horrible situation. I wonder how said parent is handling this? Has s/he tried to improve living conditions, asked failure-to-launch sibling to make changes – or is s/he passive in the matter trying to keep peace with the siblings? It is truly important to know what the parent wants in all of this.

      In my mind, failure-to-launch sibling is committing a form of elder abuse. I would take the following steps: 1) inform siblings of intentions hiring home organizer, cleaning services and perhaps some form of home helper 2) if siblings refuse or push back, warn that a call to adult protective services will be made if they don’t cooperate 3) proceed with hiring; either siblings will back down or they will refuse service individuals access to the home 4) if access is refused, notify siblings you are calling adult protective services, and then do so. If contact with adult protective services becomes necessary, also begin looking in area Assisted Living facilities, or possibly even a retirement community (pending parent’s physical capabilities). Having a good elder law attorney on hand could also be very important.

      Getting shut out of the family is a very real possibility- one that I personally would prefer over allowing a parent to live in a dangerous and abusive situation. It sounds terrible, but I think your spouse will have to decide if it is more important to remain “in” with the siblings, or ensure that the parent is properly cared for. I see this sort of thing in my work often – setting a parent free from an abusive child is incredibly difficult, but very rewarding when the parent is able to live life in a safe, healthy manner of the parent’s choosing.

      • I completely agree with this. I just have no patience for the advice that is essentially telling loser sibling how wonderful he is and that he just can’t possibly be expected to be an adult human being, so that his poor ego doesn’t get hurt. No wonder he’s a helpless failure-to-launch.

        • Anonylicious :

          Well, this is less about him as a person than it is about him as an obstacle. If humoring his ego gets the job done, then fine. If he is still standing in the way, then continuing to play nice is probably a waste of time.

          • Silvercurls :

            +1 on this being less about living-with-parent sibling as a person than about him as an obstacle. However, it’s well worth the effort of effectively obtaining this sibling’s buy-in (meaning without conveying any negative opinions re how live-with-mom sibling is or is not spending his time). In the long run the OP will save time, money, effort, and stomach acid if she can arrange in-home help for mom w/out getting the sibling riled up and into a state of being actively unhelpful, having frequent tantrums, firing the social worker or organizer or housekeeper, etc.

    • In my experience with elderly parents who hoarded, getting an organizer really isn’t going to help. Hoarding isn’t something that can be fixed by just cleaning up the place. Hoarding is a thing . . . like, it will persist. I would focus less on the overall condition of the house and more on, as someone else suggested, making sure it is passably clean (dishes washed, toilets cleaned periodically) and then making sure elderly parent has basic needs met – dental care, health care, regular meals. I think the idea of a social worker or even a home health person who can come in once a week and just check on things might be your best bet.

      • Variations on outsourcing to a stranger :

        I don’t think that the parent is the hoarder. She may not be able to move her own things around very well, but we really don’t think that the bulk of it is her stuff.

        I guess I could offer to bring her grandchildren to visit (which she’d love), but I am not sure that three children would work well into this situation before it gets stabilized.

        It’s just so sad and if anyone had said anything to us, I like to think that we could have done more back when it was a bit easier.

    • My sympathies to you!!

      This is tangential, but I walked away from this post also thinking: Everybody who thinks they should have more children PRIMARILY to “give their child” a companion and friend-for-life needs to read this post. You never know whether siblings will get along. Sometimes they do, wonderfully. Sometimes, they act like selfish jackholes like the siblings of the OP here. Also having children is a crapshoot. You never know if they’ll be children who let Mom move in (as I have), or if they’re horrible people who’d let their own Mom live in very subpar conditions just to “maximize his hoard.”

  7. tj to vent :

    I love my best friend, I do, but I am so sick and tired of hearing about her pregnancy. It’s her first and I am happy for her, but it’s exhausting when it’s all she (understandably) wants to talk about.

    It’s gotten to a point where I don’t want to open the texts she sends me or answer the phone when she calls. When I log on to facebook at night, she immediately messages me about how tired she is, how the baby is making her uncomfortable, and most frustratingly: how fat she is. She’s almost 6 months along, so I’ve got another 3 months of this to try and not tear my hair out or snap at her

    I know I must sound like a terrible friend but I’m at the end of my rope wrt repeatedly saying, “you’re not fat, you’re pregnant.” In the interest of full disclosure I have never been pregnant, so I’m doing my best to be understanding and supportive without any pg experience.

    • You’re being a good friend.

      I hereby give you internet permission to set internal limits that allow you to still be a good friend but keep your sanity. I think everyone knows someone like this- you become their go-to to vent/talk/blabber about their wedding/house/baby/aging parent/ other thing that really doesn’t interest you at all. I personally tend to set literally timers- okay, I will let you talk about flower arrangements for 8 minutes and then I suddenly need to go take care of the dog (etc.).

      Thing is- I know that my good friends have done this for me. I’m sure nobody in their right mind wanted to hear me talk about how stressed I was about our mortgage paperwork, but a good friend did. Set boundries to preserve your sanity and just hope that what goes around comes around.

    • Since I’m not 12, I don’t use Facebook chat with any of my friends. Can you change your settings on that or just don’t log in? It sounds like you just have too much contact with her, possibly because she’s bored and lonely? Reducing those opportunities might be a good friction free way to get some sanity back. I’m not suggesting cutting contact, but there’s nothing wrong with forgetting to charge your phone one night or having plans another etc.

      • Facebook isn't just for 12 y.o.s :

        “Since I’m not 12, I don’t use Facebook chat” – really? That’s a pretty condescending and sh!tty thing to say. I have friends who live all over the country, and FB chat is a fast, free way to communicate with them regularly. It’s no different than GChat or any other instant messenger program – would you have had the same snotty remark if OP had said “when I log on to gmail at night”?

        • +1.

        • +2

        • Is it possible to not take every single sarcastic comment to heart? Sometimes people just say things. You don’t have to take it as an indictment on your life.

          • +1

          • Facebook isn't just for 12 y.o.s :

            Or maybe we should just stop letting people get away with saying sh!tty and condescending things in the interests of social harmony?

            I’m not the one who said the sh!tty thing, I shouldn’t have to take heat from you for calling out the person who did.

          • Yeah, but it’s the internet. It is a Sisyphean task to take on every sarcastic and condescending comment. It can be easier and less-stressful just to accept it exists and ignore.

          • @Facebook. Rosie is right. It’s the internet. The comment you are taking such umbrage at wasn’t that sh!tty. I’d even say it wasn’t sh!tty, period. It was at best an attempt at humor and at worst just a dumb statement because it ignores the fact that a) this is how most adults communicate now (for better or worse) and b) kids don’t use FB anymore because they’re parents are on it.

            I, for one, find that my life goes a whole lot better if I assume the best case scenario from internet strangers or ignore them altogether rather than assume that someone that I’ve never met who doesn’t know who I am is being condescending to me and my life when they are making a comment to *another* internet stranger.

            And to call my comment “heat” — c’mon! Don’t let this kind of nonsense affect your day. Not even close to worth it. Seriously. And I don’t even care if use AOL to communicate.

          • The problem with insecure people is that every choice, however subjective, however stupid, MUST BE VALIDATED and affirmed even by internet strangers.
            Any criticism, delivered snarkily or otherwise, will be met with lashing out or whining. LOL!

            Rosie is wise, folks.

      • I’m in my 30’s and I use Facebook as well as texting and other chat apps to talk to friends… it’s pretty normal.

        • I’m in my 40s and I use FB and texting and chat. Hello 21st century tools! Use them if you want, ignore them if you don’t. Also: 12 year olds think FB is passe.

          • Also in my 40s, and use FB regularly to chat with my 65 yr old mother. FB FTW!

    • No one likes it when a friend is hyper-focused on only one thing, be it their job, pregnancy, wedding, boyfriend, whatever. You’re being a good friend.

      If she has a supportive husband and doesn’t have other stuff going on in her life right now (or has a tendency to be a complainer), I think it’s fine to be like “sorry to hear that” and attempt to change the subject. And if she’s your best friend, even to say something like “I love you and you know I am so happy for you but I miss hearing about what’s up with you other than your pregnancy”

      If she’s got other stuff going on or her husband is a jerk, I’d probably cut her more slack because even healthy, badly wanted pregnancies just aren’t fun for a lot of people.

    • In Facebook chat settings, you can hide yourself from everybody, a group, or just individual people. (I just went into that setting for the first time in a while and realized I was hiding myself from someone I don’t really need to hide myself from anymore, so this is fresh in my mind.) I would make myself invisible to her temporarily so you can read Facebook in peace and not feel like you’re being invaded the minute you appear.

    • I used to go crazy listening to my friends talk about their pregnancies. It drove me nuts. Then I got pregnant, and I wanted to talk about it all and vent. Chances are – even if you decide not to have kids – there will be a time when you need to talk her ear off about something for an extended period of time. Listen to her, but you also don’t have to respond every time she reaches out. Maybe answer her texts and calls but skip the chatting on FB. Also, move the conversation to things other than her pregnancy.

    • How does she respond if you change the subject? I ask because, as a currently pregnant lady, I would actually rather talk about ANYTHING else. But when people – friends, not randoms – ask, I usually answer with more than just “fine,” especially because I’m having a bit of a complicated pregnancy. But sometimes you get into a vicious cycle where you are trying to show concern and love by asking lots of questions, and meanwhile the other person is sick of answering them, but wants to show that they so appreciate your concern. Doesn’t quite sound like the case here, but I’d still try changing the subject after a perfunctory acknowledgement of whatever she says, and seeing where it goes.

  8. Baldie nee Blondie :

    Just a follow-up to my post last month about interviewing (almost) bald: I got an offer yesterday and start in two weeks! I appreciated all the comments, suggestions and support. In the end, I did just go in au naturel although I had to wear at hat to the office because it was so cold out. My new hair is coming in quickly now and I will be rocking an ultra-pixie by the time I start, which will be nice since it is an outward-facing job.

  9. Anon for this one :

    On the topic of pregnancy, I got a faint line this morning! Been trying for a year. For some reason, left for work without telling DH. I think it’s because it was so faint it seems unsure, and I want a bit more certainty since we’ve both gone through so many disappointments re: this topic in the last year. (And frankly, I freaked out and mentally shut down.) Now, that I have a whole day of time to think (will take another test tonight), I really want to think of a fun, special way to tell him. I was thinking of getting a tiny symbolic present. Anyone here ever done or heard of a fun, special memorable way to share the big news?

    • Pretty much everyone I know wraps up a relevant onesie for the husband: alma mater, sports team, city, etc. Congrats!

    • Pretty sure hearing that your wife is pregnant is already memorable enough. But a dinner of baby peas, baby corn, baby carrots, and baby back ribs sounds tasty.

      • That would fly right over my head and I’m not a guy. It does sound tasty but don’t expect him to guess what the food means/be disappointed if he doesn’t get it.

      • This is reminding me of the Christmas where my grandmother came out from the kitchen with a small dish of water, put it on the floor, and waited for us to react excitedly. She was really disappointed that no one guessed that her gift to the family was money to build a swimming pool…

        Which was an awesome gift. But we never would have guessed that in a million years.

      • Wasn’t that a Full House episode? I believe Uncle Jessie didn’t get it either. (God knows what I could accomplish in life if my mind wasn’t being taken up with storing details of Full House episodes).

        • YES. So glad someone else has this memory :)

        • haha, ditto! I don’t think I’d get this meal at all if it wasn’t for Full House… and even at that I remember only getting it after they explained it to Uncle Jessie.

          Yep, can’t remember where I put my keys this morning, but a 20 year old episode of tv? no problem.

        • YES!!!

      • DId none of you watch Full House back in the day????

    • Diana Barry :

      Eh. I would wait until tomorrow am, take another test, then wave it next to sleeping husband’s head and shout, “LOOK!”

      That’s what I did and it seemed to go over well. Congrats!

    • CapHillAnon :

      Congratulations! I got a pair of tiny baby booties and put them in DH’s everyday shoes (one bootie nestled in the left shoe, one in the right). But it’s a wonderful message, so there is no wrong way to get it across.

    • Kontraktor :

      Don’t have kids yet, but I imagine myself being weird and awkward telling hubs. Like… uh, I guess we are pregnant or something…? That sounds bad but it just seems like such a personal and life changing thing to share that I feel I’m not sure exactly how I will be able to convey.

      I love the I Love Lucy episode where she keeps trying to tell Ricky she is pregnant in this adoring/loving/perfect way and things keep getting sidetracked, but then I love how it turns out in the end; just so sweet and special, yet kind of unassuming. Maybe mine will turn out that way.

      • OCAssociate :

        This is basically what I did: “So, I took this test, and it says I’m pregnant.” Not exactly celebratory.

    • Anon for this one :

      Thanks so much, ladies! Yes, I think the news alone is plenty, but can’t hurt to add some fun and romance. :) Love all the suggestions. Wow – HOW am I going to work today!?!?

    • Meg Murry :

      Don’t freak out if you test tonight and it doesn’t show positive. First morning testing has most concentrated contents and is most likely to show before any other time of day. Also, if you kept the stick from this morning, it might either have faded away, or gotten much stronger – don’t read into it either way, that’s why the packaging says to read between 2 and 10 min (or something like that) – results outside that time frame aren’t necessarily correct.

      But yay, congrats!

      • Anon for this :

        Thanks, Meg! I’ve actually been trying to “hold it” all afternoon to fake a first morning test tonight. Thanks for the sound warning!

    • I must be lame but I was so excited I just texted my husband a picture of the positive test! He was over the moon! :)

  10. Hello all – husband and I closed on our first home yesterday (excitement!) and would love to send a gift to our attorney. She was fantastic throughout the whole process. Any ideas on what this could be? I once received a cheese/sausage box from a client and it went over like gangbusters in my office, but we are big eaters, haha. Any thoughts/advice?

    • People's Republic :

      What geography are you in? Care to recommend??

      I think food or wine always goes over well. It’s consumable, so it doesn’t have to suit her style the way something you keep would be, but (imho) more enjoyable, and potentially a touch more personal (if you have any indication of what she might like) than flowers.

      • We are in Chicago – I can send her info over if anyone wants it!

      • Bagels/fruit delivered to the office in the morning are nice – your attorney probably had staff that helped too.

    • I love getting restaurant gift certificates from clients.

    • presents?!?! :

      Holy guacamole! Who are you people? Am I a terrible attorney? I do maybe 4 closings a month and I have never once gotten a present from a client! so jealous over here…

      • Maybe. The attorney we used for our closing was just a high-volume hustler (like many in this field). She did an adequate job, collected her fee, and that was it. I think that’s pretty standard; it sounds like OP’s closing attorney went above & beyond.

      • Anonymous :

        No! I would never send a gift. The attorney did her job and her gift is me paying her bill.

    • Edible Arrangements! Those are always big hits. Congratulations on your house!!

  11. Rachelellen :

    Can anyone in the DC area recommend a tax accountant/preparer? I’ve been reading the discussions here about whether to do ones own taxes with half an eye only to discover yesterday that I screwed up my ’13 return and will have to re-file. I am on a much stricter budget than I think a lot of people on this board but… I think I gotta get this taken care of.

    • CapHillAnon :

      We’re very happy with Kline+Friedman in Bethesda, 301-656-5400. We used Friedman. Good work and not expensive.

    • Yes. Post an email address and I’ll give you a name/contact info.

      • Rachelellen :

        I’m really dumb at this – is it okay to post real address in the comment field or is there another way?

        • here. email me at thelbchallenge at the mail of google and i’ll send your her contact info. she works from home or else I’d post it.

        • Silvercurls :

          You are NOT DUMBE (Ellen caps intended)!! You are juste expressssing something that you don’t’ yett know.

          Short version: Post something that you don’t mind having out in cyberspace for all eternity to be (potentially) viewed by every axe murderer, serial killer, thuggish kidnapper and/or nutcase with crackpot political opinions…

          Long version, seriously (and believe me, I’m NO techie):
          1. If your standard g mail address is something like Firstname.Lastname A T g mail D O T com, go to another freebie vendor (hotmail, ymail, etc) and create an address for KittyCollar45 AT whatever.
          2. Avoid anything at comast / verizon/ earthlink d o t com or d o t net.
          3. Replace the usual dots and “AT’ symbol with spellings (with or without parentheses), mess up your spacing and otherwise distort your email information sufficiently that it cannot be plucked off the web by evil characters who then send you spam or threatening notes or show up at your front door with a ton of political pamphlets or much, much worse.

          • Rachelellen :

            Thank you ma’am, and it is ironic since I am having a discussion with a professional list serve about this very same issue. : )

          • You can also create a second address at gmail and/or create an alias email in gmail and have them connected. I have several gmail addresses and I can either have them all show up in the same inbox, or keep them separate but switch between them.

          • I do what zora suggests. I have a separate gmail that I can post here and it forwards to my actual gmail.

  12. Shopping Help! :

    Help needed! I’m attending a ‘black tie optional’ benefit for work next week, and need a dress to wear! Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but I’m currently traveling for work, so I don’t have my closet full of clothes to pick from. Since I don’t necessarily need a new dress since I have some at home, it’d be great if I could find something suitable on rent the runway as opposed to having to shell out hundreds of dollars on a new dress, clutch etc. The other problem is that I’m swamped at work and don’t have time to look. Anyone want to go on a shopping challenge for me?

    I’m looking for a knee length cocktail dress (though floor length is also possible since its black tie optional), that is conservative, not too tight, etc. (I’ll be at a table with multiple male partners and corp executives), and preferably has some type of sleeves or thick straps. If it helps, I’m in my late 20s and usually a 0-2.

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations!

    • This sounds like more fun than working so I’ll post a few knee-length suggestions in a reply



      • And a few longer dresses:


    • This is FUN. I’m going to post names of dresses from RTR so I don’t get stuck in moderation for a bunch of links.

      ML MONIQUE LHUILLIER Never Let You Go Sheath
      NARCISO RODRIGUEZ Block Party Dress (this might be a touch casual for black tie optional, but I just can’t stop staring at it…)
      RACHEL ROY Cut Sleeve Dress
      PRABAL GURUNG Modern Baroque Dress
      MATTHEW WILLIAMSON Mayan Gemstone Dress (no need to find jewelry with this one)

    • Diana Barry :

      I would do a quick search to see if you can find pics of people at the event last year. Depending on where you are located, it might be more of an office wear than a c-tail dress event.

      • Rachelellen :

        I heartily agree. Also I know you said you wanted to rent but 6pm has had a ton of cocktail dresses cheap recently.

      • Shopping Help! :

        Thanks, should have mentioned that! Its an event in NYC and when I google the event, there are several pictures of men in tuxes, with women in both cocktail and floor length dresses. Unfortunately it doesn’t look like I can get away with office wear.

    • This may be perfect depending no your coloring.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I would say that previous poster’s black lace over nude dress would be perfect for this occasion.

    • Meg Murry :

      If its next week and you have a friend back home with your keys, you also have time to have someone FedEx you your dress, shoes, purse etc. I did this for my sister when she was in college more that once. Of course, RTR for something new-to-you sounds more fun than paying for FedEx for something you already own, but just wanted to mention it in case you didn’t feel like making a decision on RTR, etc.

  13. Easy dinner ideas :

    I bought and returned this suit (I got the pants, not the skirt). I love the jacket and wanted to keep it, but it just did not lay right on me (too much extra room in the bust area, and I’m pretty busty). The pants were too snug in the rear for me. I have ordered one size up to see if that will help. The fabric is great and it looks much more expensive than it is.

    Also, thanks SO much for all of the amazing, easy dinner ideas the other day! I really appreciate it.

    • I love Halogen suits for a little bit of a fun, different look than a standard interview suit. i do have to have the pants tailored usually, tho.

  14. I booked a ticket through, they called at 5am the next day to say they had to cancel it because they didn’t have an agreement with the airline (HUH?) and they wouldn’t charge me. The pending transaction lingered for a few days, they assured me it would disappear. Checked again this morning. They charged me. I can’t rebook until this gets taken care of, and international fares keep going up up up. RAWR at this week.

    • Request a charge back on from your credit card company?

    • anon a mouse :

      Call your credit card and see if they will up your credit line until this gets resolved? And in the meantime, initiate a chargeback.

  15. Religion/Catholicism Q :

    Are there any Catholics out there who have raised their children Catholic while having a non-Catholic spouse? My husband is Episopalian but he and his family are overall much less religious/spiritual than my Catholic family. I feel fairly certain that the burden of any religious upbringing in our (future) kids will rest on me. He says he would be okay with me raising our children Catholic, but would never go to church with me/us and would definitely not convert. If we raised our children Episcopalian, I could get him to go to church with us and would probably feel more like we were “in it together.” I realize that the differences between the Catholic and Episcopal churches are small, but somehow they feel bigger than expected. For example, I get sad when I think about my kids not making their First Communion while their Catholic cousins do (my siblings will definitely raise their kids Catholic and he has no siblings). But I do feel nervous about the idea of having just one parent responsible for the religious upbringing of the kids; it seems like there would be a lot of challenges there. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • I think I’d want to understand his position on never going to Mass better. Would he go for your kids baptisms? First communions (FYI while this is def a bigger deal in the Catholic Church many Protestant churches have a ceremony)? Your kids weddings? Were you two married in the Catholic Church? My father only came to church with us on Christmas/Easter/special occasions, which was fine (adorably he was in charge of getting the little girls ready, right down to hair bows), but he wasn’t antagonistic about my mother taking us.

      In terms of the religious upbringing, if you can handle bringing them to mass and religious education classes, I don’t think there’s much of a difference being a catholic or episcopal parent when you’re in your own home, so probably not as much of a concern there. But, again, I think this depends on how well you handle religion now.

    • I think it matters why your husband adamantly against ever attending a Catholic church? I was raised Catholic, and we elected to raise our kids in a Methodist church, but my husband has always been open to attending mass to preserve certain family traditions I have.

      • Budget Girl :

        I would honestly consider raising your children atheistic and letting them decide for themselves. My parents were raised Anglican, and Catholic respectively, thankfully they decided not to force either upon me and my brother, we are both on the science track now which definitely would not happened if they had raised us religious. My SO on the other hand was raised some sort of strict Christian, and its taken years for him to dissociate himself from it.

        • You can absolutely be raised Christian and take the science track , FYI.

        • Yeah, not to go off on the same tangent up-thread about calling out all the inane comments on the internet, but being raised in a religious tradition does not mean you can’t learn/like science.

          Methodist pursuing chemistry degree

          • Sure, you can claim to be both a Christian and a scientist, but anyone claiming to be an adherent of a Biblical religion and a scientist is not someone whose science I am gonna respect all that much… If you’re a wishy-washy Biblicist who doesn’t take any of it all that seriously then we might have a deal, though.

          • I’m going to co-sign on this b/c this is one of my huge pet peeves. I’m a catholic and went to Jesuit schools all my life and I would love someone to make the comment to the Jesuits that because they are priests and religious are somehow not “science-y” or “scholars.” I can’t help it but I think that’s an ignorant comment.

          • And because I just can’t help myself- Catholicism and other mainstream religions do not believe in the bible thumping nonsense that people seem to think, like the earth was created in 7 days nonsense. It’s been completely accepted in the Church to accept evolution and the existence of God for a very very long time.

        • Yeah, I disagree with this as well. I and a number of other kids who were active in my church youth group attended a local magnet high school for science and technology. I’m a non-sciency attorney but others are definitely in various research and/or scientific jobs.

          • Yeah…I was raised in a VERY religious family and I only knew one person growing up who was a creationist. And we didn’t view her as mainstream.

    • If it’s important to you, and it sounds like it is, I say you have to accept that you are in charge. In my case, hubby and I are both Catholic but I cared way more about attending church and making sure the kids received instruction and sacraments. As I result, I was responsible for deciding what church to attend, getting them to religious ed, sacrament class etc. It was important to me, so I didn’t mind. Hubby did, and does, come to church with us though. Hope that helps!

    • Religion/Catholicism Q :

      Thanks — those are good points. We were married in an Episcopal church, but not because he refused to be married in the Catholic church (at the time, I was having my own issues with the Catholic church). It’s only been more recently that I’ve been missing some of the traditions/rituals of the Catholic church, especially with respect to our future kids and our family down the line, so there is probably a part of him that feels like I pulled a bait and switch, although he hasn’t actually said that.

      Also, it’s not that he adamantly refuses to go to a Catholic church. He has been with me before, and he is going to Easter mass with my family this weekend. So yes, he would probably go on holidays/special events. But he finds it annoying/unwelcoming that is not allowed to receive communion, despite being baptized/confirmed, etc., and as such, he would not be into making it a regular part of his life.

      • You may be able to find a higher-church Episcopal church that would incorporate some of the traditions you miss. My last church (until I moved away) was Anglo-Catholic, and so we had veneration of the Blessed Sacrament, morning Angelus and a strong Marian culture (including observance of all of her holidays), observed saints’ days and many of the lesser holidays (Michaelmas, Candlemas, etc.), churching of women (renamed as celebration of the birth of a child, but still), and a full chanted eucharist with all of the “smells and bells.” You knelt to receive communion, and typically received on the tongue or by intinction. It was SUPER traditional from a liturgical perspective (although it was also an affirming congregation, and super gay friendly).

        Many Episcopal churches offer communion to all of the baptized, including small children, so First Holy Communion may not be a thing, but there is often a bigger to-do with confirmation as a result (and some do have First Communion-type rituals).

        • Definitely look at Episcopal churches in your area (if you have options). I’m non-religious, but was raised Episcopalian in a pretty high-church church and it was more formal than my Catholic friends’ churches. I definitely had training before my first communion, and there was a ceremony for it (and a pretty dress!), so a place may exist for you. My parents moved several years ago, and their current church is much more casual – all modern language services, no formal choir, no “smells and bells.” I miss the ritual even as a non-believer.

          FWIW, my DH was raised Catholic, and when he has attended church with my parents, he called the Episcopal church “a Catholic cover band.”

          • “he called the Episcopal church ‘a Catholic cover band’…”

            As a high-church Episcopalian, this is awesome.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 from another High-Church-raised Episcopalian.

          • That is hilarious. As someone raised Catholic but now in the NE we have a lot of high-church Episcopal options around for holidays services so I might see if one of them fits our family.

        • Anon in NYC :

          I was raised Episcopalian and my church had a lot of this sort of stuff too. We had Sunday School, and I definitely had a First Communion. I think I had a confirmation too.

      • Diana Barry :

        Maybe you should talk to him about it some more and explore the different churches near where you live. FWIW, my parents grew up Catholic and Congregational and they kind of met in the middle in the Episcopal church, because they liked that church best out of the ones they went to.

        If you do want the kids to be raised Catholic, you may want to think about how it will feel to you to always be the one to bring them to church while your DH is at home. I would like my kids to be Episcopal the way I was, but my DH is atheist and doesn’t participate, and I can’t get it together enough to get them ready for church all by myself and then go to church by myself while they are in sunday school, so the default has become just not going to church at all. Your views may also change when you do have kids – I know mine did just because getting them out the door is such a PITA!

      • This is how I was raised. My dad took us (three!) kids to Mass every Sunday. Mom made breakfast at home, or enjoyed a few hours to herself. I think she came to first communion and confirmation, but not on like, Easter or Christmas. It worked fine, but mostly because she always deferred to my dad and he is hardcore and would’ve attended mass every week no matter what anyway.

        Of course, now he’s all sad that none of his kids still ID as catholic but that’s more to do with the church than him.

      • Well you can’t receive communion either though. So aren’t you both sitting together during that part? I do think it would be hard to be the only one bringing them to church, but I guess that would depend on how often you will be going. And when it gets to the age that they don’t want to go, there will definitely be the “daddy doesn’t have to go why do I?”

        • Religion/Catholicism Q :

          I still receive communion. Are you saying that I shouldn’t based on the fact that I was married outside the church? I guess that’s one of the rules I bend. We were also having s*x before marriage and using BC (along with all the other Catholic people I know!) so technically none of us should be receiving communion.

          • So then why not just have your husband do it to? You can still have communion with the s*x before marriage and using BC (I use it to) but if you get married outside the church you can’t receive communion anymore, just like he cant. So either both do it or neither.

          • Religion/Catholicism Q :

            Oh okay. My understanding was that s*x outside of marriage and s*x in an “invalid” marriage are treated the same by the Catholic church. In either case, you are not supposed to be receiving communion.

          • The outside of marriage is actually less serious, because it can be rectified with confession. The invalid marriage can’t unless you get it blessed. Marriage outside the church is skipping a sacrament so its the same as if you hadn’t had confirmation. Plenty of people still have communion even if they “sin” with s*x before marriage, but getting communion after not getting married in the church is the big no no. A lot of my friends had to really think about it before their beach wedding, etc. But I think you could talk to your priest about it and he might be better able to help you through that.

      • Mmmm. I’m a Protestant unwilling to raise my kids Catholic because if the communion thing so I hear him on that. You’ll miss traditions and commonality with cousins, but he’d also be missing out on a shared religion with his family if you raised the kids catholic, and sharing that does have value. I’d want to make sure that you’re raising your kids in the religion that works best for your family, not making a call for a lifetime over a few ritual occasions and a sentimental attachment.

      • My Irish Catholic grandmothers often came to our Lutheran church since they liked to see my siblings and I sing in the choir and they both referred to it as Catholic-lite. We had First Communion (although later than my Catholic friends and with not quite the festivities/white dresses/etc., 3rd grade maybe?) and Confirmation (8th grade, we wore white dresses).

      • mama of 2 :

        I would encourage you to try some Episcopal churches. From what you’ve said, it sounds like your husband would be open to creating a religious family life as long as it’s not based in a Catholic church. I think he has a good point about that – as a born-and-bred Protestant – at a church where communion was open to all, not just those who were members – the exclusivity around Catholic mass is hard to swallow. But having a shared family religious life is really important to me, even though we’re not particularly observant. It’s important that we pray together before dinner, that we show up together at church, that we have shared friendships with other church families, and I really value sitting in a service with him.

        One thing I’ve learned about church, at least from my own background, is that nothing is permanent. You can try out some Episcopal churches for a while and see how it feels. You can switch back to a Catholic church if that feels better.

    • CapHillAnon :

      I hear you on the first communion issue. Catholic here, with a non-Catholic spouse, and I’m in charge of the children’s religious upbringing. We had many, many conversations about this, and I’ve given it a lot of thought. In terms of its being a potential “burden,” I ultimately realized that I feel strongly enough about the whole issue that I just don’t see it that way. I’m glad to be the one in charge of this for my children, and it just isn’t that heavy a burden, especially if you have Catholic family around to help celebrate the big events. My spouse isn’t as hard-line as yours. He’ll attend Mass on Easter, Christmas, weddings, funerals, baptisms, and never throws a fit about it. He’s supportive (helping us get ready and out the door, sometimes driving us to church) and respectful, which goes a long way. It’s not necessarily a straightforward issue, and is tangled up with cultural / family identities too, and it is helpful to take that into account. Your children are still hypothetical, right? Don’t make any final decisions on their religion until they are here, especially if you and your partner are going to bind each other to these negotiations–it would be wise to be open to the possibility of feeling much, much stronger once they’ve joined you. Good luck.

    • lucy stone :

      My parents are both Catholic, but my dad only went to church for special occasions – First Communion, weddings, funerals, baptisms, etc. My mom and I went to church solo and I was confirmed my junior year of HS, which is customary for our archdiocese. I’m married to a non-Catholic now and my husband is much more religious than I am, but I don’t want future kids in his church. I feel your pain! It can definitely be done alone, but I think he’ll need to be encouraging to the kids that it is a priority.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Since you’re the one who cares, you should really follow your path rather than try to compromise on a path that interests neither of you.

      This is exactly how I was raised. My mother is devout Catholic. My father is a “non-practicing Baptist” and I honestly have no idea what his spiritual life is like. If he had any qualms or hesitation about my mother raising us Catholic, he did an amazing job of not letting us know about it. That would be out of character, so I think he was truly apathetic.

      My mom doing it solo wasn’t really too hard. She took us to mass every Sunday and education/youth group, just like she would have already. The only thing that was different was that she had a hard time getting traction with adding religious tones to our home life. For example: doing an advent wreath or even grace before every meal. In fairness, my father worked long hours and was rarely home at mealtimes etc, so I’m not sure that’s completely attributable to him. When we whined about going to church when Dad didn’t have to go, my mother’s response was that she was our mother, not his. Effective (and used for a lot more than religion, btw).

      My dad attends Christmas and Easter mass with the family. He always loved singing in church, so he enjoyed it twice a year. He attended every one of my and my brother’s sacraments respectfully and without irony.

      From the child’s perspective, I think it was very positive to see our parents being honest to their convictions. Contrary to what you may think, it gave us a very positive view of religion because it was truly faith-based, not just going through the motions.

      I’m not practicing. I’ve chosen to be non-religious and have no issues with the Catholic Church specifically. My brother and his family do practice. I believe it would have been the same had my father been forced into being an active participant.

      • Religion/Catholicism Q :

        haha, I LOVE the “I am your mother, not his” line. Thanks for sharing :)

      • As an atheist, this whole line of discussion is so foreign to me. From my perspective, seems a bit like arguing over whose imaginary friend’s house your kids will go to a play-date at. Very much out of my realm of possible worlds. Carry on!

        • Anonymous :

          Are you this ignorant and flippant in real life? How about I don’t interject into every convo about Sunday brunch with “but you totes mean after church because hell right” and you don’t chime in to contribute nothing to a convo either?

        • it’s weird to me how many atheists can be so very dismissive and condescending (e.g., likening religious beliefs to an imaginary friend) when you think they’d be more liberal/open to all perspectives.

          • We definitely aren’t all like this!

          • That’s a ridiculous comment considering how much crap most non-religious people have to deal with from our deeply pro-religion culture. So if someone who is non-religious makes a comment stating their honest opinion about religion, you take offense? Give me a break.

          • So what if I dismiss religious practices? I could talk for hours about skiing – how to do it, the gear, where to go, when to go, what to wear, how other people do it, types of snow, the weather, etc. and most people would just roll their eyes and walk away. I wouldn’t be offended. More powder for me!!! Skiing is an interest of mine. Religion is an interest of others. It doesn’t offend me that others think ski talk is boring and stupid. I don’t tell people not to be religious but if they ask my opinion I’ll give it. Each thread on this site solicits internet strangers’ opinions. So there’s mine. This Sunday you can go to your imaginary friend’s house and I’ll go find some snow. We probably won’t bump into each other but ideally we’ll both enjoy ourselves and have a fun day.

        • anonforthis :

          When your stepkid comes back from her mom’s house talking about her pastor said Samelove by Macklemore is a bad song, we shouldn’t see the movie Noah because it’s blasphemous, gays are gross, and how her mother should stay with her current husband because “they said their vows before God,” I assure you it’s not about imaginary friends. But if it makes you feel better, you can pretend that it is.

          • Anonymous :

            I assure you the pretty-clearly-on-display issues with your family dynamic stem from much more than religion. But if it makes you feel better, you can pretend that’s all it is.

          • … you know that none of those views would be shared by most Episcopalians or Catholics, right? I probably have very similar (non) religious beliefs as you, but you’re just being rude.

      • NWanalyst :

        I love this. My father *was* bullied into participating and I think it did have a negative effect on us kids. It certainly caused me to feel that religion was something that hardly anyone really wanted to do, but that we all kind of had to do because otherwise we’d go to hell. If I’d had two loving parents who openly had different religion/faiths/beliefs, I think it would have absolutely cut into the fear of hell and it would have made me feel a lot less locked into a certain belief system and practice in general.

  16. I just got the matching skirt on this but wasn’t able to get the jacket. Fooey

  17. If I liked peplums, I would like this suit. They look great on certain people. However, I like to buy really, really classic and non-memorable suits. I can’t help but think that in 2 seasons, people are going to look back at peplums and say, “So 2011-2014…dated.” Thoughts? I just don’t think the peplum is here to stay.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have concluded that clothing is a consumable. Styles change, and I also get tired of even my favorites after a few seasons. So my thought is that I don’t mind buying the look of the moment, wearing it while it’s in style, and then retiring it once it starts to look dated (by which time I’m probably tired of it anyway).

      This blazer is cute and the price is right, so I wouldn’t mind wearing it for only one season if I thought it would fit me (which I don’t because me and Halogen jackets, we don’t get along).

      • I agree with SA. I get tired of things within a season or two and need a change.

        And I find when I keep clothes a long time, even classics, they just fall out of rotation. I think it’s just because I’ve seen them too many times.

    • kjoirishlastname :

      I have essentially made my clothing consumable by shopping at goodwill. I live in a small, but affluent community with a large university. Fortunately, I am similarly-sized to college girls. My job affords me the ability to dress very casually, so I don’t need suits, ever. I don’t feel bad about finding a top or whatever that strikes me for some reason, and then in a month, doesn’t. I started going to goodwill when I was fluctuating in weight and sizes, because I just couldn’t throw down money on new clothes, only to be able to wear them a season or less.

      Obviously, this isn’t an option available to everyone, but you would be surprised at some of the items that you find. If you need suits, buy suits. But look for your accessories, shirts-under-blazers, dress pants, skirts & dresses at thrift stores, especially if you are in an affluent community. I have found, on more than one occasion, NWT Banana, Loft, JCrew, Talbots, AnnTaylor, and others. I found a classic Pendleton navy wool a-line skirt, Lofli jeans, the list goes on. And I treat it as “disposable”

  18. I have been trying to get my husband to get a physical for a few years. I started a new job 10 months ago that incentivizes employees to better manage their health through a wellness screening – they pay each employee and spouse $750 per year for going through the screening. My husband definitely wasn’t leaving his $750 on the table so he went through the screening. I’m so glad that there was something there to finally motivate him….

    He received the results for his blood work and his triglycerides are 222, which is pretty high (should be under 150) and his HDL is pretty low at 48. His total cholesterol is 188, which is under the recommended 200. I realize these scores aren’t horrible but they aren’t great either. He’s only 32, what are they going to look like when he’s 50? I’m really hoping that this will encourage him to stop his occasional cigarette habit and cut down on his consumption of beer and red meat. I don’t want to be a nagging wife every time he eats/drinks/smokes something that he shouldn’t. I’m scared that he’s not going to want to change and that I’m going to resent him for it.

    His body fat was also at 23%, which isn’t awful but isn’t great for a guy either. His BMI is in the overweight, almost obese category (I realize BMI isn’t a great measurement).

    We are planning on TTC in the next 3 months. This really stresses me out. Do I want to have a child with a person that isn’t taking great care of themselves in their 30′s??? What will it be like later?

    Am I right to be concerned about this or am I overreacting? I’m open to any advice you all have for being supportive and encouraging without coming off as a total nag.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Gah. This is hard.

      Certainly it is reasonable to be concerned for the health of one’s spouse.

      That said, you are not his mom, you are not the boss of him, and the plain truth is the only person who can change his habits is him. Speaking as the former overweight spouse, I can guarantee you that nagging/urging/encouraging him to lose weight and change his ways is much more likely to make him resentful than make him compliant.

      Honestly, if this is a dealbreaker for you then you should leave him and find somebody who meets your standards of finess. If it’s not a dealbreaker, the best you can do is model healthy behavior and see “you are not his mother and you are not the boss of him,” above.

      Because there are only two kinds of undesirable traits in one’s partner:

      1. Dealbreakers
      2. Annoying things that you live with because you love the person — what Dan Savage calls “the price of admission.”

      Note that there is no such thing as

      3. Things that you really don’t like about your partner but which you can change if you just apply yourself to the project.

      Really. There is no such thing as number 3.

      • This is so great. More people should realize there is no number 3. People may change themselves/their own habits, but you can’t do it. And if you’re going to pick at it forever, then just let both of you off the hook and admit it’s a deal breaker. Or shut up about it.

      • This is exactly right – there is no number 3. And to help decide if the issue is a 1 or a 2, sometimes it is helpful to ask – “if this never, ever changes, will I still love this person? Can I love them exactly as s/he is, right here and now?” Because you can never change someone else – you can either accept them as they are or move on. That’s not to say they won’t change at some point in the future (of course they will) but it won’t be because of you.

      • Corporate Cowgirl :

        Love this! Simple and to the point!

      • Anon in NYC :

        I love this, Senior Attorney!

      • hoola hoopa :

        This should be on a plaque somewhere. There is no number 3.

        Ditto Carrie that you can model and facilitate. But that is all. Otherwise, leave it or leave him.

        I do think you’re over reacting. Those numbers really aren’t bad. He may not be an impeccable specimen, but he doesn’t sound grotesquely unhealthy either. He should stop smoking, though. That’s incompatible with children, but everything else sounds fine.

      • Wow, you say everything SO WELL. I need you hire you to write all my comments for me.

        There IS NO number 3. this is now my new mantra.

        Altho, I’m seeing someone right now that I currently have no number 1’s, and only veryveryvery tiny inconsequential 2’s about, which is the first time Ever, because I am usually super picky and judgy and get irritated about so many things. …So number 3s are COMPLETELY not an issue….. but I’m 90% sure it’s not going anywhere (bc of him, not me) and it kind of sucks thinking about it… ;oP

      • TO Lawyer :

        Can you please be my relationship guru from now on?! I need to remember this… there is no number 3.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Heh. Glad you like it. Honestly this is SO my new mantra if I ever meet any eligible guys!

        And don’t forget, ladies. It works both ways. So no more changing your lovely selves to suit the men!

    • I feel like I’m in a similar position as you. DH is overweight for his height, doesn’t eat the best (he’s an incredibly picky eater and eats nearly no veggies and no fruits), and gets little exercise in his day-to-day. Every now and then, he ramps up his efforts to get healthy, but as with most changes, they are hard to stick to. In the past, he was able to naturally keep the weight off. As he’s gotten older and after a major health issue (he was born with — not related to any of the above), he’s been more committed to finding a “formula” that works for him regarding eating, exercising and doing better. I think it’s something your husband has to do for himself. It might take a baby to make him see he needs to take better care of himself if he’d like to be an active dad for the next two decades. I know no amount of nagging I do (or modeling good behaviors — I’m no saint but I’m trying my hardest in all of those areas) really affects much.

      • Thanks for the comment Liz. It’s hard to get through to men. I’m going to try stocking the house with more healthy foods and I’m hoping he’ll eat those instead of the bad stuff.

    • I completely understand that you want him to take better care of himself. I remember a similar question came up here sometime last year and the consensus was that the husband needs to want to change for himself – nagging’s not going to help.

      But as for your TTC question – I don’t think any spouse is perfect. If a person is only willing to reproduce with someone who takes perfect care of himself, in addition to being compatible in all other necessary areas, finding a partner would be slim pickings indeed. It doesn’t sound like your husband is on the road to self-destruction, and if you think he’ll be a good parent in all the other ways, I wouldn’t stress about him being overweight. A lot of people are overweight.

      • I’d add only that you have a right to request/expect that he not smoke around you when you’re pregnant or around the baby. That is entirely different than trying to control his eating habits.

    • Actually, his lipids/cholesterol are not bad at all! He probably has a genetic tendency towards high triglycerides, but his Total and and HDL are GREAT for a guy his age. You would be shocked what the true “normals” are these days….

      I would let the doctor guide this.

      You eat together, so I assume you can guide the overall diets. But do not treat him like a child or this could backfire. It is much more important to focus on getting rid of the smoking before you have children and incorporating exercise (even just walking…) into your “family” lifestyle. Trying to control his eating habits, for a guy who clearly seems “normal” in his dislike of medical follow-up, could lead to relationship stress.

      Most men do not take great care of themselves.

      • Carrie, thanks for confirming that his numbers aren’t too bad.

        You say above that “you would be shocked what the true normals are these days”. I’m wondering if the cholesterol charts have remained virtually unchanged for years or if the definition of “good” and “great” are changing. Isn’t it something like 50% of people are overweight? So now it’s acceptable to be 10 pounds overweight and you’re in the “good” category?? I feel like the standards of health are changing and giving people more leeway. Clothing sizes (vanity sizing) are increasing to accommodate the change. Maybe I’m wrong but this is what I’m seeing.

        I hope this doesn’t sound b*itchy, I’m just stating my point for conversation purposes. I’m a CPA, not a health professional – please comment with your opinion.

        • From a very practical standpoint, doesn’t it matter that standards have changed? If you are looking for a partner who is the epitome of healthy lifestyle, in today’s world, there are fewer such people than, say, 40 years ago. Assuming you want to have kids and find such a partner, your choices are limited.

          You can:

          Decide to have kids with your husband
          Decide to stay with your husband but not have kids due to his “unhealthy” lifestyle (which has room for improvement, but doesn’t sound awful)
          Look for another partner (and in the general population, many men will have the same issues as your husband)

          I don’t think you are really looking for another guy, but you want assurance that your husband’s habits will change. There’s no such assurance, so consider your options.

        • Well, keep in mind that people in the “overweight” category live longer than people in the “normal” category. Mortality is a J shaped curve that only starts increasing once you move deep into the “obese” category. So if the “good” values are changing, there’s a reason for that.

        • I’m sure you also know that people today are significantly taller (4-6″) than people 50 years ago (When BMI charts were created) thanks to better childhood nutrition.

      • Also, as my doctor has said, upping your ‘good’ numbers with exercise can be much more important and effective to lowering the ‘bad’ numbers than diet. I have a genetic disposition to high cholesterol, so she has told me that adding activity will do a lot more than trying to change my diet.

        And I feel like activity is easier to increase together, you can ask him to go on walks with you, start playing tennis/golf/some sport with you, get into some sport or activity he likes but doesn’t do as much anymore, and spend more time outside and just get more exercise. You can also think of it as starting a more active lifestyle which will be good for the future kids as well.

        • This is a good point. I’m hoping that this the type of helpful advice he will receive when he sees a doctor.

    • I’m overweight and if my spouse suggested he didn’t want to have kids with me because of his concerns about my health his a$$ would be finding a new place to call home. People aren’t perfect. Maybe you should work on calming down pre-baby because if there’s anything you’ll need to get through a marriage and raising kids it’s realizing the goal is to make it through with love not worry about making everything as perfect as possible.

      • Anonymous, I would NEVER mention this to him. I’m stating it here in an attempt to hash out my own feelings about having a baby. I realize no one is perfect, I’m just trying to make a calculated life decision. Having a baby is a huge decision and want it to be with a person who will try their best to be healthy and provide the best life possible for our child.

        • CPA if your husband is genetically inclined to gain weight, there is a very good chance at least one of your kids will be prone to gain weight too. How will you handle loving a child who is overweight – when your image of the “best life possible” for your child means controlling everyone else’s body? How will you love them without constantly trying to change their body (as you are with your husband)? That is a way, way bigger issue to me.

          • TO Lawyer :

            This is actually a very good point. One of my cousins is overweight and has struggled with her weight her entire life. It has been made much worse by her mother who has criticized her and put her on diets since she was 5.

          • anon, how does he know if he’s genetically inclined to gain weight if he’s drinking 15 beers per week, smoking some cigar***es and eating a lot of red meat and junk food crap? Couldn’t it be that he’s gaining weight because he’s eating crap? He was not overweight as a child. I agree that some people have a predisposition to weight gain.

          • Ahh, I think the reply from CPA at 2:15 is telling.

            First of all, you didn’t say any of that in your initial post, just “cut down on beer and red meat”. But then, when your perceptions and opinions are challenged, suddenly it’s SO MUCH MORE DRAMATIC.

            You want him to do what you want him to do, because you think you’re right. If you would admit that to yourself you would have an easier time figuring out what to do about it.

            I’m not judging you, if you don’t want an overweight spouse, then you don’t. But you should at least be honest with yourself and him about your feelings.
            I am fairly certain that children all over the country are raised perfectly well with dads who eat junk food and have 2 beers a day. I would be far more concerned about kids growing up with a mom who needs to have a perfect appearing, perfectly held together life at all times. Because life isn’t like that, and neither are children.

          • Sadie,

            I said above that he needs to cut down on beer and red meat consumption. Wouldn’t that imply that it’s being consumed in excess?

            And you’re making an assumption that it’s two beers a day. Sometimes it’s 5 beers in one day and 2 a day after that for a total of 15. In my opinion drinking 15 beers a week is not healthy. Sure, it’s within the range of “you don’t have a drinking problem” but it’s not (in my opinion) healthy.

          • Anonymous :

            Does he have a drinking problem? 5 beers on a regular basis and a couple every night does sound like a lot. And it seems to be a problem for you.

          • anonymous, we’ve been through that discussion. I have no footing on it. His drinking is not indicative of a problem. He goes through periods where his drinking will decline and will more like 8 per week and other weeks it could be more like 20. It’s primarily centered around sports and being surrounded by his buddies. I think it’s big boy peer pressure. My only point on the topic is that it’s not healthy. So you you’re not an alcoholic, great. But is it good for your body to drink 15 drinks in one week? I don’t care who you are – no it isn’t.

          • Anonymous :

            Wait, so husband is the one who doesn’t love his body by treating it like crap, but OP is being attacked for body-shaming? There is a big difference between being bothered by an overweight appearance (bad) and being bothered by a loved one consciously making choices that are damaging to one’s long term health. It’s perfectly reasonable to want the father of your children to actually be there when that child is 8 years old (certainly an unfortunate accident could happen to any parent, but to willingly invite premature death is another thing).

          • Anonymous, nothing here suggests that the husband is “treating his body like crap” or that he’s at all likely to die of health-related diseases when the kid is 8. Nobody is going to say 15 beers a week is “healthy,” but come on; let’s cut the melodrama.

          • Thanks Anonymous. I think what I can take away from this whole conversation is that everyone’s idea of “healthy” is different and everyone’s tolerance for “un-healthy” things is different.

      • It’s not so much a matter of being overweight as caring about whether your spouse will be able to be physically able to help with the kids and be around for their whole lives. OP was not focusing on his weight but rather other health indicators that she thought reflected that he’s in not-so-great health. It is very scary thinking that your spouse is killing themselves with their eating/smoking habits, and while I don’t know that my first conclusion would be to not have kids with him, I would definitely try to do everything in my power to ensure that my future kids’ dad was going to be around for them.

        • An occasional cigarette is not going to interfere with someone’s ability to be there for their kids, nor is some beer and not-perfectly-healthy food. Conversely, this kind of perfectionist attitude directed towards your children does have the high likelihood of screwing them up for life, so that’s something to think about.

          • So I would peg you as an overweight person who smokes, drinks regularly and eats unhealthy food based on your posts here. You’re just trying to justify it to yourself….

          • Interesting, I’d peg you as a judgmental ahole, but since we’re all anonymous, neither of us will never know for sure!

        • Anonymous :

          Do you listen to yourself talk? Being overweight is not killing yourself. Doing everything in your sanctimonious power about it will just mean no husband.

          • And giving your future children an enormous complex and/or an eating disorder.

          • Yeah, I do listen. I didn’t say being overweight is killing yourself. Having other negative health indicators (many of which are associated with being overweight) can. If her husband is overweight but perfectly healthy, then I agree that she shouldn’t nag.

        • He smokes occasionally. He drinks beer but no indication that he’s anywhere near abusing alcohol. He eats red meat. None of these things mean he’d be unable to take care of kids to the fullest or be subject to extreme premature death that would leave the kids fatherless at a young age. If these things were true red flags, half the kids in America would be fatherless, or indeed orphans.

        • Senior Attorney :

          But the point is, even moderate overweight is not “killing himself with his eating habits.” And honestly? Occasional smoking isn’t “killing himself with smoking,” either.

          And I hate to break it to you, but “everything in your power” is not really very much at all, beyond modeling the desired behavior and bringing healthy food into the house. It does not include nagging/mothering/micromanaging your grown man of a husband.

          • Exactly. I do “everything in my power” to get my SO to eat more vegetables, which means I buy a variety of vegetables and cook them in a variety of ways that I know he’ll enjoy. Beyond that – it’s on him. Sometimes, he eats a bunch. Sometimes, I swear he goes a week without eating a vegetable (even when they’re on the table, he just doesn’t serve himself any). But you know what? He’s a grown a** man, so he has that right. Would he be healthier if he ate more veggies? Probably. But not getting X number of servings a day/week =/= a crack habit, so I think he’s good.

          • Yeah I should clarify that I agree with your second paragraph, Senior Attorney – by “everything in my power” I don’t mean “force,” I mean “try to persuade.” I definitely don’t support manipulation, micromanaging, etc.

            And see my above comment re: killing yourself. I’m not a doctor so I can’t interpret OP’s husband’s health indicators. But in the event that they were really bad, that is the indicator that your are hurting yourself, not a number on the scale or the number of occasional cigarettes.

          • Gah, moderation for the end of the word “cigar,” re-posting…

            Yeah I should clarify that I agree with your second paragraph, Senior Attorney – by “everything in my power” I don’t mean “force,” I mean “try to persuade.” I definitely don’t support manipulation, micromanaging, etc.

            And see my above comment re: killing yourself. I’m not a doctor so I can’t interpret OP’s husband’s health indicators. But in the event that they were really bad, that is the indicator that your are hurting yourself, not a number on the scale or the number of occasional cigare t t e s.

          • Roses – I agree with your wording. He’s not killing himself, but it’s the cumulative effect of poor decision that have an impact on health. Fortunately (or unfortunately), our bodies do not deteriorate over night due to having 6 beers and 3 cigar*****s

        • Roses – I agree with your wording. He’s not killing himself, but it’s the cumulative effect of poor decision that have an impact on health. Fortunately (or unfortunately), our bodies do not deteriorate over night due to having 6 beers and 3 cigarettes.

          • Thanks for this. I apologize that my wording may have seemed extreme or did not convey what I meant. I have a kneejerk reaction to posts like the OP’s because I have had at least 4 people in my close family that have either died or have had severe complications (e.g., a foot amputated) from diseases associates with poor eating habits – heart disease and type II diabetes, mostly. If you haven’t gone through it, it’s extraordinarily painful to see someone you love be told that they can control their disease by controlling their diet, only to have them ignore it and suffer horribly as a result.

    • Budget Girl :

      I started working out (for health not for weight loss since I was already tiny) and sure enough 6 months later my SO started hitting the gym daily too. Depending on who cooks changing diet may be pretty easy. I do all the cooking so our diet was already nearly perfect prior to the addition of working out.

      • I’m behind the times…. is this a new troll?

        • What does that mean? Troll because she wants to be healthy and not workout only for vanity???

          • Anonymous :

            Troll because heaven help us if she just says she started working out without making SURE everyone knew she was already tiny because omg being fat is the worst ever.

          • She also made a potentially inflammatory comment about religion and science further up. Describing yourself as “tiny” and your diet as “nearly perfect” just seems like wording designed to cause trouble to me. The combination made me wonder, is all.

          • If so this is a pretty subtle troll… the most subtle troll I’ve ever seen… since she writes only about herself and her own actions….. could also be people reading a little too much into some word choices in three sentences someone quickly typed onto the interwebs…. that’s not very much data on which to base any big assumptions about someone IRL.

          • Budget Girl :

            Haha, not a troll, just from a secular country, where atleast in the research facilities I work any science associated with religion is frowned upon. That, and I didn’t know it was offensive to be naturally thin and want to workout for health, will take note to never mention my figure again though.

    • My husband has been having similar health issues, and I’ve made a big effort to fill the kitchen with tons of fruits and vegetables, healthier snacks like hummus / sun-dried tomatoes / other vegetarian snacks, whole wheat everything, etc. And to stop buying chips (my weakness) and ice cream (his weakness). He falls into the “there’s no food in the kitchen so I’ll just get an Egg McMuffin” camp, so just having lots healthy food easily available helps a lot, without me having to nag/police every single thing he eats. And he’s lost 10 pounds over the past three months, so that’s not too shabby!

      • Ha ha! You could get him one of these egg-muffin making gadgets!

        • This is amazing! Especially the pancake egg sandwich covered in syrup. A homemade McGriddle!

          • +1 for the breakfast sandwich maker. I got one, and it’s easy to clean, and holding up after 4 months of daily use. You can make a yummy sandwich with turkey sausage and spinach.

    • Following this because I have the same questions. But my DH is on lots of meds, is nearly 50, and has a family history of very early stroke (his mother had one at 56). He does nothing to proactively protect his health (which is not that great), nor does he participate in physical activity. I’m the chef in the house, and the vast majority of time, I make meals from scratch with whole ingredients, so I have control over what our family is eating.

      I got my act together in 2011 when my youngest was 1 and have since lost 30 pounds and many dress sizes. Weight loss was my ultimate goal, but I got a lot more out of my working-out life than I intended (less chronic pain, a new community of friends, greater capacity for work/endurance & mental fortitude)

    • DC Wonkette :

      This is one of the things I’ve had the hardest time with because I’m into exercising and eating well and DH doesn’t care as much. I try to encourage cooking at home instead of eating out and tried for a hot minute to get him to run with me (that didn’t last). The one thing I’ve put my foot down on (pre-marriage) is that he needs to quit smoking before we have kids. I firmly believe you can’t force someone to change a habit, but that’s something I don’t want around when I’m preggers or with little ones. And I’d like him to be around for a little while, too.

      • Dc Wonkette, I’ve said the same thing too. I told him I will not be a nag about the smoking but when we start trying to conceive it’s time for it stop permanently. He knows that an everyday smoking habit is a deal breaker for me and an occasional smoking habit when we have children is also a deal breaker.

      • PinkKeyboard :

        I told my (now) husband when we started dating that I would not have children with a smoker so I would not marry a smoker. The ball was in his court but if he continued smoking there would be a natural ending point in the relationship. He quit.

      • DC Wonkette :

        Go team! (How are these boys still smoking??? The 80s called and want their bad habit back)

    • applesandcheddar :

      Honestly, I don’t really see what his blood tests have to do with anything. If he is healthy enough now, then that should be good enough if you want to have a child with him. It is impossible to know what the future holds. God forbid he (or you) is in an accident and can’t help care for the children. You just don’t know what the future holds and thinking that his diet MIGHT make him too unhealthy at some unknown point in the future to help care for the children sounds like an excuse.

  19. Present Help :

    My sister, early 30s, recently got a big promotion in her branch of the civil service.. There will be a ceremony tomorrow honoring her promotion. I totally have not had time to think about a gift for her and need some help. It’s not an office job, so a lot of the usual gifts (fancy pen, engraved stationary, paperweight, etc.) won’t work.
    Also, she just found out she is pregnant–not telling anyone yet–so clothes & gift cards for shopping are out. I’ll probably get her a spa day for her pregnancy once she announces it so I’d like to stay away from that. Any ideas for something that I can pick up at a store this afternoon? Under $150.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Au contraire. Gift cards for shopping are NOT out! She will need them for her maternity wardrobe!!

    • Hildegarde :

      Earrings if she wears them. A gift card to a store that sells both regular and maternity clothes (Target, Gap, and Boden come to mind if she wears them). A promise to take her out to dinner. Nice alcohol if she drinks it. Flowers.

  20. PSA from Silvercurls: Radio/Web Discussion of Confidence for Women :

    The second hour of today’s NPR’s program “The Diane Rehm Show” (talk show, with intelligent guests and topics, without shouting hosts) sounds worth catching online, if you can’t hear it as a live broadcast. Links below. When I heard a promo I immediately thought of this site & its community. Enjoy.

    “Katty Kay and Claire Shipman: “The Confidence Code”
    11 A.M. (ET) ON AIR NOW
    Research shows that women are less confident than men and D-N-A is partly responsible. But two journalists argue that biology is not destiny. What we can learn from successful women who take risks and are not afraid of failure.”
    Information retrieved April 17, 2014 at 11:42 a.m. from http(colon slash slash)thedianerehmshow(dot)org/
    You can also find it by going to www(dot)npr(dot)org; click on “programs”; click on “Diane Rehm Show.”

    • I love NPR and typically listen to it in my car, but I can not listen to Diane Rehm. An old co-worker met her because her husband works for the local NPR affiliate, and said she’s very, very nice in person. But on the radio, she just sounds like the crypt-keeper or something…

      • BankrAtty :

        Her voice is like that because she suffered a stroke a few years ago.

        • Oh, now I feel bad :-( I didn’t know that.

          • actually the voice issue is not because of a stroke, she has a chronic and probably neurological condition called Spasmodic Dysphonia.

          • Meg Murry :

            Its ok Brit. I love Diane Rehm’s work but I can’t listen to her very often either without her voice making me jump out of my skin, even knowing that her voice is due to a medical condition. I’ve discovered that I can’t passively listen to her show (like while driving) but if I make a point of listening to a podcast on a topic I’m really interested in, paying attention to her words helps me move past the voice.

    • Rachelellen :

      Ha! This topic is also being discussed on the list serv I’m on. Here’s a link to the video I mentioned earlier. Wondered what you ladies thought about calling out a guy for sexism in the moment:

    • Philanthropy Girl :

      I actually heard this on my way to a seminar this afternoon. Very interesting – I thought one interesting take away was that a boost in confidence does not require women to act like men, but instead to find our own way of expressing our confidence.

      Definitely worth the listen!

  21. Jewish/Secular Christian Differences :

    I’m currently dating (1.5 years) a Jewish guy who is not necessarily religious, but cares deeply about Jewish tradition. If we were to marry, he would want me to convert and for our children to be raised Jewish. He is uncomfortable attending my family’s holidays (which are very secularly celebrated!). This has been a point of contention for awhile but has finally come to a head and I need to decide what to do.

    I know the conversion process can be very difficult and often one where you need to prove your sincerity. I honestly don’t know if I could ever be sincere enough about becoming Jewish, not because I am religious or deeply founded in my own faith, but because I have no connection to it other than it’s importance to him. If this were a situation where I thought that our children would receive equal exposure even though born Jewish (i.e. attending my family holidays as well as his family’s, together as a family), then I would be more okay with converting and doing my best to be sincere. But I feel like I can’t count on that being the case, even if he might agree to it now.

    Has anyone else had a similar issue and could you please provide me any advice on how to proceed? I feel extremely conflicted and sad about this.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Is he asking you to forego, for example, Christmas with your family even though it doesn’t involve religious services? That’s a lot to ask.

      I think it’s completely reasonable for him to want a Jewish wife and family. But I think it’s completely reasonable for you to not want to give up the traditions you were raised with, and more impotantly, to not give up your family. Which is essentially what he’s asking you to do.

      I wouldn’t do it.

      • Jewish/Secular Christian Differences :

        Just to clarify – he wouldn’t stop me from going, but he would likely not attend and wouldn’t want our children too either. But yes, either way, it’s not good.

        • Total deal-breaker. He has every right to find a wife who is only interested in celebrating Jewish holidays, but that’s not you, so if he wants to be with you, he has to willing to compromise and support what’s important to you, religious or otherwise, and allow your children to participate in that part of you.

        • He wouldn’t want your (hypothetical) children to attend? Yeesh. I think you need to have a conversation with him about what he’s really looking for and how much he is willing to compromise.

        • yeah, i’m sorry, That’s a Dealbreaker, Ladies! (sorry) I know LOTS of mixed families, in fact a longterm SO was from a mixed family, and both parents participated in both tradition’s holidays and celebrations. Other families joined a new tradition (like Unitarian Universalist) and then made joint decisions about which holidays and celebrations to participate in from each person’s background.

          Not letting you take your kids to your own family’s Christmas celebrations is extreme. Why isn’t it enough for him to compromise. Like, you both spend Christmas with your family/the kids, and you both spend Passover with his family, observe Yom Kippur with the kids, etc? I just wouldn’t be able to have a family with someone who wasn’t able to find compromises on the big things.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. I would never give up Xmas with my family. Sounds like a dealbreaker, unless you can come to a better compromise.

    • Sorry, but I don’t think this can work if you want to still be able to go to your own family holidays (which is understandable) and especially with future kids. It sounds like he is, actually, pretty religious.

    • I don’t think this is a question about conversion, since Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative Judaism have less onerous conversion requirements than Orthodox Judaism, and if your partner is not very religious, he’s probably be fine with a non-Orthodox conversion. You seem genuinely upset that he won’t attend your family celebrations linked to religious holidays, while he wants/expects you to participate in his. The nonreciprocal nature of his wishes seems unfair, but realize that for strongly cultural (even if nonobservant) Jews, just attending an Easter meal or having a Christmas tree might be a dealbreaker. He may not even know how to articulate this, but just knows he’s not comfortable with exposing himself or his future kids to other religious traditions.

      I don’t think there’s a good answer other than to talk this out as openly as possible.

      • Let me clarify – I think the non-reciprocal nature of his wishes IS unfair, but his upbringing/conditioning might not allow him to understand that. Or he might understand, but not be able to get comfortable with reciprocality. It is sad that religion continues to divide people in today’s day and age, but I don’t see religion disappearing any time soon.

        • Jewish/Secular Christian Differences :

          I think you’re spot on for him – he can never seem explain why it is that he is uncomfortable with this. I often feel like he is being closed-minded but he swears that’s not the case. It’s extremely frustrating for me because I am very open with his traditions and am happy to attend all family events.

          • One thing I’ve heard is that after a lifetime of feeling excluded/marginalized by Christian holidays everywhere, it can feel very important to have your family life not Christian, in a way that those in the majority don’t necessarily experience. I’m delighted to attend a Seder, but I also haven’t been hearing all-Passover-allthetime talk my whole life. This would still be a deal breaker for me but I do think there’s a different dynamic when you’re in the majority religion.

          • BlondeJew :

            Anonymous 12:53, you hit the nail on the head. Attending a Seder is a chance to do something out of the ordinary and new, that you might not otherwise get a chance to do. You can’t really opt out of Christmas, no matter what your religion is.

          • I think that both his position and yours are reasonable. They may just not be reconcilable. Interfaith marriages can work, but you have to be completely on the same page about how you’ll approach things. My ex-husband was Jewish but non-practicing, and so we unwisely assumed it wouldn’t be a big deal. Well, you don’t always know what you’ll care about down the line. Religion became a major issue for us.

      • This is the case for me too – I have only one Jewish parent, was raised culturally Jewish but with no religious aspect. My college boyfriend was raised Catholic but also not very religious. When he started talking about how he (understandably) wanted to get married in a church, I started breaking out in hives. This was probably in large part because I didn’t want to marry the guy, but I also realized that at point that getting married in front of a giant cross was not happening for me. Even though I’,m not religious it was just too weird for me with my Jewish heritage and upbringing. FWIW, after that I consciously looked for Jewish guys & my now husband is Jewish (& similarly nonreligious).

        • I don’t know, I think not getting married in a church (which i wouldn’t want to do either, and I’m not Jewish) is very different from not allowing your wife to take the kids to her parents’ for Christmas holidays (primarily involving food, presents and family time, not spending the whole week in church)

        • You’re right, the church issue is different. But I do understand why Jewish people (and perhaps Muslims and other minority religions) have a hard time with “secular Christmas.” As other commenters have said, we’re so inundated with Christmas and Christian traditions in this country. I think for most people who are Christian or non-religious but not a member of a minority religious group, the idea of a secular Christmas exists and as long as you are celebrating with presents, family, Santa, etc and not in a church then it is not a religious thing. But to most Jews (and I assume members of other minority religions) there is no such thing as a non-religious Christmas. Christmas is Christian, period. My husband actually refers to my non-Jewish grandparents as Christian, which is so weird to me because they’re atheists and have never set foot in a church in their lives and would never describe themselves as Christian. But because they have a Christmas tree, they are “Christian” to Jewish people.

      • Point of clarification – Jewish children are VERY exposed to Christian traditions if they’re raised in America. It sounds more like he doesn’t want to embrace Christian traditions, since Jewish identity is something we have to work fairly hard to maintain in this very, very, very Christian nation.

        • Silvercurls :

          +1: In this country, unless one lives in a very culturally sheltered community, cultural if not religious Christianity is seemingly everywhere at certain times (e.g. advertising on radio, TV, online, and in print, holiday aka Christmas-themed music in malls and on the radio station, seasonally- or Christmas-themed movies and music albums). Based on the numbers–Christianity is the majority religion–I can’t and don’t object (separation of church & state is another issue) but I also can’t help noticing all the anticipation and promotion of this holiday.

          But more pertinently for the OP, you may sadly have to conclude “No” to the question of “Can this interreligious/intercultural relationship be saved?” Thankfully, we are free to make our own decisions in this day and age–most of our families won’t disown us, shun us, or grieve as though we had in fact died. Some people are able to balance the family equations on both sides of a bicultural marriage. Other people are not. Saying no is not a sign of terrible character, lack of loyalty to “one’s own side” or lack of tolerance for other viewpoints. It’s possible to simultaneously accept intermarriage for other people and reject it for oneself, even if one cannot summon a seemingly logical or consistent explanation.

          If a relationship is not going to go forward, it’s kindest for all concerned not to prolong the agony. There’s more than one potential mate for each of us. It’s possible that after a breakup one side or the other will change his/her opinion, but this has to be a genuine decision on its own merits, not just hoping to salvage the previous happiness that existed just between the two people. IMHO, as much as we moderns try to deny it, we _do_ marry our spouse’s family and culutural background as well as the specific individual person.

    • How is it sincere if you are trying to convert for someone who isn’t even very religious? I don’t mean to be harsh, but it doesn’t sound like he is that sincere himself.

      • This is a little bit of an issue for me and my Jewish boyfriend. Neither one of us is religious in the least, and neither of our families is either, but both our families observe the major holidays. He hates Christmas – it makes him sad and outsidery-feeling – and my family does Christmas big time. We do visits to my family at Thanksgiving, which is only vaguely theistic. He would feel really really weird hanging out there with a tree and carols and Santas everywhere. And I totally get that. If I want to go home at Christmas I go by myself.

    • If he’s asking you to convert and raise your children Jewish, I think that pretty clearly means that your children won’t be celebrating Christian holidays with your family. If you were exposing your children to both sets of holidays, you would be raising them in both faiths, not raising them Jewish. If you are not ok with giving up celebrating Christian holidays, you can’t really convert to Judaism. Many people who convert to Judaism have no connection to it other than a future spouse, so I don’t think that’s an issue, but in order to convert you really do have to give up your Christian traditions.
      You need to be honest with him about exactly what you want and what he wants and see if you can find common ground. Would he be ok with having a Jewish wedding (some rabbis will marry interfaith couples), raising your children with only Jewish holidays but with you not formally converting and occasionally going to spend Christmas or Easter with your family (as you probably know, your kids will not technically be Jewish if you don’t convert)? Or is conversion an absolute requirement for him?
      If you can’t agree on a scenario that sounds acceptable to both of you, it’s probably not going to work out long term. Religion (or at least what you plan to do about religion with kids, if you don’t see eye to eye) is one of those few things that you really, really have to be compatible on.

      • I look at Christmas as a secular holiday in the European tradition. It’s basically a hybrid Roman/Germanic midwinter holiday. It has no religious connotations to me personally. I understand it does for a lot of people, but the essential elements that survive today (tree, presents, lights, feasting) are not connected to Christianity. I think asking you not to celebrate a secular holiday is a little unfair.

        However, it also sounds like you are not that interested in his cultural traditions, and maybe that’s part of the problem. For a person who is very connected to his Jewish heritage this is probably a big issue for him and a major reason why he would want you to convert. Why don’t you take some time to learn more about Jewish history and culture and see whether you can develop your own interest and connection in and to it?

        I’m Chinese American and I’d be offended if I had a boyfriend who was completely uninterested in my background and resistant to allowing me to teach our future kids the history and cultural values of my ancestors. It’s not quite the same since it’s not a religion but I would want my future spouse to be genuinely interested in the things that make me me, and one of those things is cultural ancestry.

    • My boyfriend is Muslim and I am (nominally) Christian, so we have a variation on this issue. His family would ideally like me to convert, but like you I feel it would be dishonest and disrespectful to the religion for me to do that. My boyfriend doesn’t care much, so I’m not going to convert. We did struggle with this for a long time – when we were at 1.5 years, I don’t think we had this figured out. We did know that we didn’t want it to keep us from being together.

      We will raise our kids Muslim. My boyfriend is open to celebrating the secular parts of holidays with my family, including with kids, but doesn’t want them to go to church services (though he is willing to go). I still expect that we wouldn’t celebrate every major Christian holiday with them, and wouldn’t have a Christmas Tree etc. ourselves if we were not with my parents. But, it’s nice for me to know that my mom will be able to spoil her grandkids on Christmas and can bake cookies with them, etc. We draw the line at Jesus/God talk.

      Good luck! Even if you do decide to convert, I think people will understand that your commitment to the religion stems from your commitment to him. That is a sincere gesture of love, even if it is not rooted in religious belief.

    • I was raised Jewish, with a Jewish mother, but with Catholic grandparents. It’s doable, but only if you give up the idea that your family traditions with become your and his family traditions. As a child, I received Easter baskets and Christmas presents every year, and we generally celebrated the two holidays with the Christian grandparents, but I attended Hebrew school, was active in my synagogue, and had my Bat Mitzvah. At home, we had a “Hannukah bush” for a few years, but I got older, we stopped having one, and just contented ourselves with general winter greenery. After my Catholic grandparents both passed away, Christmas stopped being a holiday anyone in my family celebrated.

      One thing to keep in mind is that Jewish life, even if you’re not technically observant, is pretty rigorous. There’s Passover (Chag Sameach!) with a big Seder, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Hannukah, and Purim, at the minimum, plus a ton of other holidays throughout the year. Your children will spend at least a year of weekly after-school activities learning Hebrew, and their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are big freaking deals. Some parents spend as much as they would on a small wedding for those parties. Judaism is very strongly centered around family life, so you would have to go all in, even if you did celebrate Christmas with your family and future kids.

      One of the things that makes me certain about my atheist-raised-Catholic fiancee is his willingness to participate in Jewish rituals, for the tradition and ritual of it, if not the religion. When I like Shabbat candles, he says the blessing over the wine, as is traditional. He enjoys throwing Seders with me, has studied Judaism, and knows enough to explain most of our traditions to Seder guests. Our children will absolutely be raised Jewish, and while he definitely won’t convert, we’ll have a Jewish home, where he’ll also be eating matzah on Passover and reflecting on the past year on Yom Kippur.

      • BlondeJew :

        In moderation for a Hebrew word, I think.

        I was raised Jewish, with a Jewish mother, but with Catholic grandparents. It’s doable, but only if you give up the idea that your family traditions with become your and his family traditions. As a child, I received Easter baskets and Christmas presents every year, and we generally celebrated the two holidays with the Christian grandparents, but I attended Hebrew school, was active in my synagogue, and had my Bat Mitzvah. At home, we had a “Hannukah bush” for a few years, but I got older, we stopped having one, and just contented ourselves with general winter greenery. After my Catholic grandparents both passed away, Christmas stopped being a holiday anyone in my family celebrated.

        One thing to keep in mind is that Jewish life, even if you’re not technically observant, is pretty rigorous. There’s Passover with a big Seder, Rosh Hashana, Yom Kippur, Hannukah, and Purim, at the minimum, plus a ton of other holidays throughout the year. Your children will spend at least a year of weekly after-school activities learning Hebrew, and their Bar and Bat Mitzvahs are big freaking deals. Some parents spend as much as they would on a small wedding for those parties. Judaism is very strongly centered around family life, so you would have to go all in, even if you did celebrate Christmas with your family and future kids.

        One of the things that makes me certain about my atheist-raised-Catholic fiancee is his willingness to participate in Jewish rituals, for the tradition and ritual of it, if not the religion. When I like Shabbat candles, he says the blessing over the wine, as is traditional. He enjoys throwing Seders with me, has studied Judaism, and knows enough to explain most of our traditions to Seder guests. Our children will absolutely be raised Jewish, and while he definitely won’t convert, we’ll have a Jewish home, where he’ll also be eating matzah on Passover and reflecting on the past year on Yom Kippur.

    • If he’s open to it, and you’re very serious about this guy, I’d highly highly recommend finding a liberal, inter-faith friendly rabbi (perhaps at a reconstructionist temple) who can sit down with the two of you and help your boyfriend better articulate his feelings. I was raised Jewish but have all sorts of hangups about it for various reasons. I still am not observant, but being able to talk through about what made me uncomfortable and not was very much enlightening and enabled me to participate in religious traditions with my SO’s family that I had previously avoided. An interfaith rabbi might be able to help your boyfriend overcome similar aversions, or at least talk through why he feels the way he does.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Based on the experiences of several close friends who have been in similar positions, this is a deal breaker. If you were certain there would be no children ever, then you may be able to make it work although honestly prospects are poor. But since you want children, this will be a constant and major issue for your family life. Don’t do it to yourself, him, and your children.

      As it’s been said on thissite before: “Listen to what he’s telling you.” Believe him. He’s not going to change and you don’t want to. This relationship is not going to work.

      • anon for this :

        This +1000. You could have been me 14 years ago and your boyfriend could have been the guy that I should have broken up with WAY sooner than I did. I finally (thankfully and with counseling help actually) figured out that the relationship was not marriage/kid-material and ended it, but not before wasting a lot of time, tears, and strife. I married and have kids now with someone else and I shudder (almost literally sometimes) when I think of what a mistake I almost made to pursue the situation you described.

    • I have some first hand experience with a situation similar to this and we broke up. I am a hindu and the guy was catholic and both of us were from India. I was not necessarily very religious and neither was he. I had mentioned to him that I would never convert and become a catholic. He was okay with it. When things started getting serious, he became more and more religious. He would go to church every Sunday and he started pressurizing me that I should convert to his religion and though he personally doesn’t care, he wanted me to do it to gain acceptance from his parents.

      On a trip to India during December, he attended a christmas mass, then told me that we can never be together unless I become a catholic and I write an affidavit and submit it to the church that our children will be raised catholic. The priest in the church announced that if any one marries outside the religion and doesn’t follow these rules, then none of their family members would get a plot in the catholic cemetery. He started thinking that it was his right to ask me to convert as I belonged to kind of an open religion where I was free to do whatever I wanted to do and was not answerable to any religious institution about the change of faith. I broke up with him.

      Being is this relationship was the most stressful thing was the most stressful thing for me. I never dared to date some one from another religion then on wards. I married a hindu man from the same background as I am (religious, financial and social) and I am very very happy with him as well as the decision I made.

    • Sorry – no advice and I’m sorry if this is insensitive, but I think your handle should be Charlotte York.

    • Meg Murry :

      I also think this is a dealbreaker. My sister and I were both raised as secular christians (as in, we have family Christmas and Easter celebrations but don’t go to church or read the Bible ever – these holidays are simply about family togetherness for us) and we both had major issues dating guys who were far more into Christian religion than we were. In both cases, the guys said to us “why do we need to go to your family for Christmas/Easter, its not like they really celebrate it like we do in my family”? And after missing several of our own family events we realized that this was a not a compromise – it was totally one sided, and we always lost. In my experience, relationships are a give and take. You have to come up with a compromise you both can live with. It sounds to me like in his mind, he’s already compromising by “putting up” with the fact that you aren’t Jewish, while to you, you are being asked to give up your family traditions with and get to keep none of your own history.

      I think that this can’t be worked out, and will only get worse, not better if the relationship continues. Is this coming to a head because of Passover/Easter. I think if he wants you to participate in Passover with him this year but is unwilling to go to Easter with your family then this relationship is probably done.

    • I just can’t with the idea that whichever religion is perceived as the more marginalized, with more of an outsider minority-status, that that’s the religion that must predominate in the family you might form with this guy.

      Yes, Christianity in many parts of the U.S. has such a strong presence that if you’re of a small (in numbers) religion here, it’s easy to feel marginalized, and pushed out of the way.

      That said, OP, it’s not your job to right the wrongs of society by sacrificing your beliefs (or misrepresenting your lack of belief in your bf’s religion) just to please him.

      • I don’t think that’s what she’s saying. I think it’s his preference to have a Jewish family, because that’s what he is, not because it’s less common in the US. She has every right to want to maintain her religion as does he. I’m pretty sure you could replace Jewish with “atheist” and Christian with “Muslim” or any other religion/lack thereof and have the same problem. In fact, I think I’ve even read that on this site.

      • Silvercurls :

        +1 re anon @ 4:14 pm:
        “I think it’s his preference to have a Jewish family, because that’s what he is, not because it’s less common in the US. She has every right to want to maintain her religion as does he.”

        Eggzackly! Several years ago a close friend questioned the apparent contradiction between my being very liberal in my politics, and accepting all kinds of traditions and choices even if they aren’t my own personal selections, and yet wanting to avoid intermarriage (of the one Jewish partner/one non-Jewish partner variety) for myself and for my child. I wasn’t able to communicate this very well at the time, but I’ve since realized more clearly that it’s not that other people are less than or not good enough to marry–it’s that I think it’s really important to live with and pass down to the next generation this particular religious/cultural/ethnic inheritance. In other words it’s less about avoiding people who doesn’t share this appreciation than it is about positively seeking someone who _does_ share it. I am working to ensure this outcome by sharing what I enjoy about being Jewish rather than by threatening to react harshly if my child (or anyone else, for that matter) decides to act differently. I realize that we live in an open society, so statistically speaking, no one group can “win them all.” but that’s no reason not to emphasize the positives as I see ’em!

    • I’m sorry I missed this conversation earlier. Was raised Catholic but DH is Jewish and we are raising our kids Jewish. DH is not particularly observant (i.e., never goes to services, but observed High Holidays in his own fashion/with family, eats pork and shellfish, etc.), but very strongly identifies as Jewish. I went through all the usual Catholic rites through Confirmation and walked away from the Church after that one. Catholicism, for a variety of reasons, was not for me, period, and I never would imagine raising kids to be practicing Catholics. I still enjoy celebrating Christmas with my family, but it’s now an entirely non-religious affair…and my husband is happy to join us. So my situation is similar by not analogous.

      Whether or not this seems like a deal-breaker seems to me to depend on how much give-and-take there is. If his position is, all Jewish and nothing else, than yeah, it’s probably insurmountable. But if it’s, I want a Jewish house and for any kids to be Jewish, and there’s room for compromise (like, for instance, to celebrate Christmas with your family in their home, and maybe not to insist on a conversion that is all form and no substance), than I’d explore that. FWIW, Reform Judaism has accepted for a while the position that a child who has one Jewish parent can be considered Jewish (i.e., embracing both matrilineal and patrilineal descent), as does Reconstructionist Judaism; I wouldn’t be surprised if Conservative Judaism ends up there somewhat soon, too. Point being that were you in a Reform/Reconstructionist shul, you’d likely be welcomed and your kids would be considered Jewish without any requirement that you convert.

      I wasn’t clear on what religion you had envisioned bringing to a future house/family, if any, and I think that’s also important. You said both that you weren’t religious but also that you’d want equal exposure, and those seemed to me to point in different directions. Also how knowledgeable about Judaism you are and wanted to be; just knowing more might help contextualize your BF’s position. This is my own andecdata, but it has appeared to me that interfaith relationships are doable for a long time these days when many people are not particularly observant in their day-to-day lives, and even farther into the relationship (i.e., having a secular wedding) than you’d think–it’s when kids enter the picture that a couple’s differing visions for raising their kids collide and this (latent) conflict comes to a head. Hard as these issues are now, they are harder when you’re realizing that your possible husband fully anticipated planning a bris for your baby and you had visions of a baptism and were already picking out godparents.

      Good luck. None of these are easy issues but again, better to figure this all out now.

    • anonyomous :

      I just recently got engaged to a Conservative Jewish guy (very involved birth through highschool, stopped being involved in college with a shul) and I grew up super Lutheran (Dad the president of the congregation, church every sunday, bell choir every wed etc). We have dated for 9 years and I am 27. We talk about this a lot. What works for us:
      1) We are raising our kiddos as Jewish
      2) This might mean I convert, it might not. We both don’t believe in the faith aspects of either of our religions but really love the idea of having our children raised in a intergenerational community that focuses on giving back to the community. We are working with his childhood Rabbi because my fiancee doesn’t want me to ask me to convert if he doesn’t really believe in the theology because that feels very disingenuous to him. However it sounds like conversion might actually be defined as just be willing to keep asking faith questions and it might not mean making faith statements…so there might be a loop hole!
      3)As long as we have lived together (5 years) we do not do Christian holidays in our home, but do participate in them when we visit my family. My fiancee spends every Christmas Eve with my family and does the whole gift thing, a few times I have dragged him to church. If my parents passed away and he would go to the funeral in the church etc. Our kiddos will continue to do this despite being raised Jewish because its part of their cultural history. I don’t want them to lose touch with Great Great Grandmother’s springerle cookie recipe etc. Christmas cards are a big thing in my family so fiancee and I have started sending New Years Cards out, as a way to adapt that tradition.
      4) Its been really key that our families are cool with whatever we come up with as long as they are involved in SOME faith community. Maybe speaking with his family about it might help.
      5) Have you been involved in any sort of Jewish community prior to this relationship? I worked at a Jewish summer camp for years, had friends growing up that were Jewish, etc and these connections allow me to see how hard it would be for our future kids to be only partially Jewish because its just something that you have to totally involved in culturally. I love the culture and traditions (ie I hosted a 14 person seder on Tuesday for Passover) and that is a part that I love learning about and connecting with. Perhaps attending a shul or JCC or something might help.
      6) Finally realize that both of you might experience the feeling of letting someone down. When we announced our engagement although my partner was SO happy every time someone said Mazel Tov it was a little reminder that he didn’t go along with the plan that he was told to since child hood, that he was letting his community down (we haven’t announced to anyone formally that I might consider converting etc so for the outside community it just looks like he is marrying a non Jew). I also with my church community have had to explain to people I love that I am not going to be getting married in my childhood church. And even though we are both totally in love and happy with our engagement it never feels great to know you are somewhat disappointing people you respect on some level. It might be good to talk things like this over. We talk to his Rabbi, have read interfaith relationship books, currently have a pre wedding therapist, we want this not to be a problem later on so we are facing it head on now.
      7) Let me know if you want my email because I can suggest some books etc that have been helpful. What to do when neither person believes in the theology but wants their children raised in a faith background but doesn’t want to have to make either person formally make faith statements that they feel uncomfortable with but wants to be married by a conservative Rabbi and realizes that the Jewish thing gets passed through the mother so it would be pretty handy for conversion to happen pre kids being born so the kiddos don’t have to be converted at birth…is a tough one!

  22. In the last few months, I’ve become really disappointed and frustrated in my current role due to poor management and organizational changes. I still really like the company I work for, so I raised my hand for a new position internally and was told that I’m “too valuable in my current role” for the organization to move me to the new position, despite the fact that I’m unhappy.

    I think I’m also just worn out – I haven’t taken more than a consecutive week off of work since college (and I graduated 6 years ago). I have no motivation or desire to succeed in my current role and it’s freaking me out, because I’ve always been very ambitious and competitive. I’ve always been the top performer, or at least very close to it. Now my work product is slipping and I really don’t care.

    My complete lack of motivation is making me think it’s time to move on and find a new job, but honestly? I have no idea what I want to do next. The job I have now is on the path to the job I thought I always wanted (I’m also realizing that I don’t want my boss’s job, either), and coming to that realization is confusing and a little scary. If not this, than what? I’m also recently engaged and will be getting married in the next year, so part of me is just wondering if my crazy Lean In side is taking a break and letting me focus on my personal life for a little bit.

    Professionally, I’ve never felt like this before and it’s pretty unnerving. I feel confused, a little sad, and exhausted. Has anyone ever been through this before? How did you handle it? Any advice?

    • Going through it now, but a few years further out. I’m. . .just standing, to use a Lean In style metaphor.

    • Oh my god woman, take a vacation. You’re burned out and exhausted. No wonder none of your options sound appealing. Get away for ten days and come back refreshed. Take a look at your options then.

      • Anonymous :

        Also, reasses your own beliefs about your indispensability. 100% guarantee you are not doing such an important job you couldn’t have taken a week’s vacation in 6 years. Even the president takes vacation.

    • Are you me?

    • Being that it’s 4/17, are you in accounting or financial services by chance? Last year at this time I was dreaming about moving (I’m a tax acct.) to a remote island and never coming back. I just wanted to run away from my life. I decided to take an in house job and leave public accounting. It was definitely the right decision for me. It was hard for me to admit that I am not super woman, I do not enjoy working 70 hours a week for 3 months of the year. It’s okay to admit that you’re not super woman and you just mind find that you enjoy life more.

    • “was told that I’m “too valuable in my current role”” – this would never happen in an effective organization with a good long-range view. Get out now if you care at all about your professional development. This company is broken.

    • Hey BurnedOut, I don’t have a lot of advice but wanted to let you know you’re not alone. I also raised my hand for a promotion when my boss left recently, but was turned down and told they would re-evaluate in about 6 months. Now I’m actually covering both my original role, and the role I asked to me promoted to, for the same pay and title as my original role. I think a lot of organizations don’t reward staff who are ambitious, eager, and hardworking for a lot of reasons. Sometimes there is not much else to do except move on to a new place.

  23. This sounds like a quarter-life crises. I think that’s what’s happening with you, coupled with burnout.

    You owe it to yourself to book a vacation, pronto. Use Memorial Day to extend it.

    You need to ask yourself if you need “the perfect job that will lead you to your imagined life” or a job that you spend X hours a week so that you can afford your “outside of work” life. This is a deep, gut-wrenching decision and the answer is different for different people.

    Side note–I would be wary of any organization which limited my mobility based on my utility to them–your career growth and development are important to _you_, but not necessarily to the organization. Long term, you need to do what’s right for you, and find the right place that you can grow and get toward where you believe you want to be, not where you are most useful to them. It may be that the organization has a more expansive/wise view than you could have from your position, but if you think that it’s not the case at all, then try to decide if this is still the right company for you, given your “useful” skillset.

  24. Anonattorney :

    Just read all these posts for the first time today. This message board be crazy today!