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Workwear sales of note for 6.02.23:
- Nordstrom – The Half-Yearly Sale has started! See our thoughts here.
- Ann Taylor – $50 off $150; $100 off $250+; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Banana Republic Factory – Up to 50% off everything + extra 25% off purchase
- Boden – Sale, up to 50% off
- Cole Haan – Up to 50% off select styles; extra 20% off sandals & sneakers
- Eloquii – 60% off all tops
- Express – 30% off all dresses, tops, shorts & more; extra 50% off clearance
- H&M – Up to 60% off online and in-store.
- J.Crew – Up to 50% off “dressed up” styles (lots of cute dresses!); extra 50% off select sale
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 60% off everything; 60% off 100s of summer faves; extra 60% off clearance
- J.McLaughlin – The Sale Event: extra 30% off
- Loft – 40% off tops; 30% off full-price styles
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty.
- Shopbop – Up to 60% off sale
- Sue Sartor – Lots of cute dresses on sale!
- Talbots – 25-40% off select styles
Other noteworthy sales:
- CB2.com – Up to 40% off; pop-up sale up to 30% off
- Joss & Main – Up to 60% off, plus an extra 20% off with code
- Tuft & Needle – Save up to $775 on mattresses (Reader-favorite brand; Kat really likes hers!)
- West Elm – Up to 25% off in-stock furniture; up to 60% off clearance
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- Favorite comfy pants for an overnight plane ride?
- I’ve got a nasty case of tech neck…
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What’s the best commuter backpack?
- I’m early 40s and worry my career arc is ending…
- I canNOT figure out the proportions in this current season of fashion…
- How is everyone wearing scarves in 2023?
- What shoes are people wearing to work between boot and sandal season?
- What’s a good place for a relaxing solo escape?
- What are some of your go-to outfits that feel current?
- I need more activities that are social, easy to learn and don’t involve extreme running/jumping/etc.
PSA for those of you who like personalized stationery: I am in no way affiliated with this company, but I needed an emergency Very Important thank you note today, and discovered Haute Papier. They’re a wholesaler, but the woman on the phone let me make a purchase online and pick it up from their location near my office. The letterpressed cards are really nice texture and weight, and the designs are tasteful and pretty. I’m now lusting after their “stationery wardrobes,” but I don’t think I can justify it.
Must not look. Must not look.
The Royal We was cute and definitely a fast, fun read, but it was a little too much just a fictionalized version of real-life people and events (down to the red-headed party boy younger brother, pre-wedding break-up and the prince’s mother issues) for my tastes. I thought it would have been a better book if they’d taken the general theme of “average girl meets handsome Prince at British boarding school” and run with it in a more creative way. The two best brain candy books I read this year were probably Luckiest Girl Alive and The Vacationers.
I have a question for those of you who, like me, don’t celebrate Christmas. How do you strike a balance between being polite and friendly around the holidays and communicating that you don’t celebrate Christmas? When strangers (for example, grocery store check-out clerks) wish me “Merry Christmas,” I smile and say “Thanks, you too” because it seems like the normal, friendly thing to do. I’ve taken basically the same approach around my new office for the last couple weeks because I didn’t want to be That Girl who gets offended when someone says Merry Christmas (I’m really not offended, even though I don’t celebrate), but now everyone assumes I’m Christian and I feel like I’m lying by omission. I’m ethnically Jewish but had no religious upbringing at all, so I can’t casually drop in a mention about going to temple or having had a bat mitzvah because none of that stuff applies to me. I’m curious to know how others handle this.
I don’t think you have to worry about people thinking you’re Christian. Lots of people celebrate Christmas who are agnostic, atheist, of who follow another religion. Some of the best Christmases I’ve been to were celebrated by families who attended a completely different religious community weekly, but love trees and Santa and candy canes. Or – if you office is closed on Friday you might have awesome plans for 12/25 (like Star Wars) that have nothing do with Jesus but are perfectly reasonable answers when people ask what you’re doing for Christmas, so people will still ask you what you’re doing for the holiday.
I’m personally in favor of celebrating every holiday, whether it applies to me or not, but that’s something you need to decide for yourself.
“Thanks! Hannukah was lovely this year. Merry Christmas to you too!” Or “thanks! I don’t celebrate Christmas but I hope your holiday is fabulous!”
I don’t religiously celebrate Christmas but I do celebrate it culturally I guess, as I like to go to holiday parties and buy presents for (some of) my loved ones.
I guess my question to you would be – does it really matter? I usually say happy holidays around this time of year rather than merry Christmas because it sounds more natural and neutral to me. I don’t think people automatically assume others are Christian because they wish people merry Christmas. Maybe you can work in a Hanukah reference if that would feel more organic to you?
I agree with this. Can you just mentally reinterpret it to mean “have a nice weekend”? That’s pretty much what most people are saying, just some pleasantry that breaks down to “enjoy yourself.”
I’ll add that I think a lot of Christians wouldn’t hesitate to wish someone a happy whatever if they knew that the person celebrated a holiday even if they didn’t. I’ve certainly wished Jewish friends happy Hanukkah before. So I doubt anyone will think twice of you wishing them Merry Christmas.
Anon in SV
The erasure that comes from forcing myself to mentally reinterpret it is really annoying and somewhat saddening after a while. I shouldn’t have to reinterpret it just so that you (generic you, not you Lyssa) never have to risk feeling uncomfortable by me pointing out that I don’t celebrate Christmas. Generic pleasantries shouldn’t default to Christian.
I’m careful not to wish people a merry Christmas unless I know they celebrate, but I also want to push back against the idea that we should assume people who celebrate Christmas are Christian. I’d be pretty upset if someone assumed I was Christian because they found out about my secular Christmas celebration, and I have Pagan, Muslim, Hindu, atheist and Jewish friends who I know would feel likewise.
Em is so right. In a multicultural society where so many different things go down we shouldn’t get too put off by harmless comments. I know I don’t say Merry Christmas to people dressed in hajibs nor do I say Sallam Alechem to a gaggle of Mormons visiting from Moab, Utah. Accept good greetings and return it with a smile as no one is forcing you to do anything more than that. If you do any more it should be fully voluntary!
Lyssa’s suggestion was to someone whose default is “thanks you too” though. She’s not suggesting everyone must or should do this. Perfectly fine to say “I don’t celebrate Christmas but I’m looking forward to the time off- happy holidays”
R in Boston
Well said. If appropriate, I try to take the opportunity to tactfully educate. I had a dentist appointment last week where my hygienist asked me what I was doing for Christmas. I responded that my winter holiday (Hanukkah) had actually just ended and Christmas was no big thing for me. She asked whether I got a Christmas tree for my house for Hanukkah. Then we talked about that. Everything can be a teaching moment.
This OMG this times a billion. Particularly in light of the traditional meaning of Hanukkah -a holiday to celebrate resisting assimilation.
the gold digger
I’d be pretty upset if someone assumed I was Christian
My husband’s father, who celebrated Christmas and who told my husband he was a Bad Son for not spending Christmas with his parents, would have been deeply insulted at the idea that he was a Christian, as he thought people who believed in God were idiots.
At the other end of the spectrum, one of my best friends from high school is an atheist – and she is a UU pastor and she celebrates Christmas.
I do not assume that people who celebrate Christmas are Christians. I assume they are enjoying not having to go to work and are celebrating the secular aspect of a holiday that involves a lot of eating.
I personally find that life is far more pleasant when I just assume that people generally mean well and I realize that I don’t have to stop what I’m doing and provide some sort of explanation or teaching moment to every person I encounter along my way.
Respectfully- I just can’t understand this. And I say this as a Muslim. Seriously, why ascribe so much to a simple well wish? So you don’t personally celebrate it- but can’t you appreciate that a lot of people do and it’s just a happy time? I just think this is really dramatic.
Agree w lyssa.
I agre with Lyssa and L
I come from Europe and have the accent to prove it. I spent a fourth of July in the States. That day many people greeted me “Happy fourth of July.” I smiled and said, “Thank you” or “You too.” I did not feel the need to respond to a friendly greeting by a teacher moment about me not celebrating the American holiday Fourth of July and elaborating about the date my country celebrate our constitution.
That was me
I also don’t celebrate Christmas but I was raised Catholic so friends and family generally treat me like I do celebrate. When asked, I readily admit that I don’t celebrate and haven’t in years. I do take advantage of the time off to see my brother, who celebrates a purely “social” Christmas– like a big (>30 people) “orphan” Christmas party on Christmas Eve.
I like the “you too” response to “Merry Christmas”–I don’t really like explicitly wishing someone a Merry Christmas when I don’t celebrate it anyway. I especially like saying “you too” when someone says it in a War-on-Christmas tone of voice that implies a “F^@k You” after I admit to not celebrating. :-)
For close friends and family who take Christmas very seriously, I do say MC unless they are being War-on-Christmas snarky. Yesterday, when my uncle posted “Happy Holidays” to be “politically correct”, I wished him a Happy Solstice.
Instead of Christmas or holiday cards, I have “Happy New Years” cards that I send out when I get a Christmas card. I just feel more comfortable doing that.
Honestly, my favorite part of December is Solstice (it is astronomically significant and–bonus!–more daylight!). I would really love to feel more comfortable telling people this and being wished a “Happy Solstice”. But I have a feeling that such a request would only result in more snarky “Merry Christmas”-es.
I think you have two issues: 1) responding to greetings about Christmas, and 2) feeling like no one at a new office knows that you’re Jewish.
For (1), I think it’s fine to simply wish people a happy New Year or happy holidays in response. Or you can respond that “I’m Jewish, so I don’t celebrate Christmas but I love this time of year,” or something similar. The idea is that you want to respond to well-wishes with something that is equally positive.
For (2), I think that’s part of a conversation – so when people say, “What are you doing for Christmas,” you can respond with, “Embracing the long-standing Jewish tradition of Chinese food and a movie.” Or something similar.
I’m an atheist, and I celebrate Christmas and say Merry Christmas to everyone. I would not think that if someone said Merry Christmas to me, it meant they are Christian. I would just think they are engaging in the holiday and enjoying the happiness of the season, like myself. Now if you said Merry Christmas, bless baby Jesus, that’d be a whole different thing!
Some different advice than what I’ve read below so far. I don’t celebrate Christmas because I am an atheist, but I am certainly “culturally” Christian (my family all celebrate, though most of us are probably of the atheist bent and all of us are secular and non-religious). I will go home for Christmas and go to “required” family/boyfriend’s family parties (love my family/his family), but I am totally open – and even jokey – about not “celebrating.” It feels better to me to express myself (and perhaps I am lucky that I can, I guess). I think that as long as you speak nicely/politely/matter-of-fact and without any trace of anger or resentment, it should not be any problem to say “I am Jewish, yo. Happy Christmas to you, though” or something. (I definitely say “I do not celebrate Christmas” to a cashier, and enjoy the resulting conversation, so…your mileage may vary.)
Honest and unpopular opinion – I find it really annoying and awkward when I’m thrust into this situation. Being very visibly Muslim and wearing hijab, people still wish me a Merry Christmas. I thank them and say that I hope they enjoy their holiday. Which I sincerely do hope. People say it to everyone all the time and they honestly forget and do not care if you celebrate or not.
On a related note, I received holiday/Christmas cards from coworkers and personal friends and I don’t know what to do. I’ll get them Happy New Year cards or something but this is a good problem to have, I guess. People like me! How to deal? Buy them useless pieces of paper so that they don’t hate me.
Again, this is just my perspective, there are Muslims who celebrate Christmas (not touching that topic with a ten-foot pole) and some who don’t and they would love cards and holiday parties and whatnot.
TL;DR, you do what you want.
I also don’t celebrate Christmas. I do reply to Christmas cards with “Happy New Years” cards. I just feel more comfortable with a more generic holiday than Christmas. Plus, it gives me an extra week to send them out. Win-win!
Yeah, that’s likely what I’m going to do. I don’t care about New Year’s either but hey, sparkly glitter in the mail, amirite?
As a non-practicing Christian, I prefer to send non-Christmas themed wintry holiday cards. That way, the deadline is January 1 and applies to all recipients, regardless of religion.
When you get a Christmas card you don’t need to respond to it, it’s just a fun, seasonal thing people do. Most people don’t send them out and those who do don’t expect reciprocation… do they? It has honestly never occurred to me! I do have some non-Christian friends who send out New Years’ cards, if you’re into cards.
I don’t know. I figure people who send cards love cards and that’s why they send them and they’d love to receive them (this is just my thought spiral).
I got a Thanksgiving card this year. “May you enjoy a bountiful Thanksgiving, a joyous Holiday Season and a healthful, Happy New Year.”
You can’t win with holiday cards. People will be offended if you don’t send them; people will be offended if you do. We sent cards for the first time this year. They said “warmest wishes” (in blue & white font, traditional Hanukkah colors), we wrote personalized greetings to everyone based on which holidays we knew them to celebrate, and my Jewish in-laws still flipped out that we sent them “a Christmas card.” Sigh.
Not trying to snark, but as a (cultural) Jew I would also consider this a Christmas card. There is no winter holiday for Jews necessitating a card. As others have noted, Hanukkah is a kids only holiday and I don’t personally know any Jews who sent cards in November/December. I don’t think it is cause for flipping out and I certainly wouldn’t mind if I received a card like that, but I absolutely get where they are coming from that it is a Christmas card. You are sending it because of Christmas. You are just also being sensitive enough to acknowledge that they don’t celebrate Christmas.
I appreciate my friends who sent “holiday” cards. It makes me feel less left out (see “erasure” above). Just don’t send your in-laws a card next year. One less stamp to buy!
I disagree–how is this a Christmas card? Hannukah is not a kids only holiday, although it certainly is not nearly as important as I understand Christmas to be. I like sending people cards. I send specific Hannukah cards to those that celebrate Hannukah when I can find them. I send general winter cards to those that don’t celebrate Christmas or neither (or I’m not sure), although I do write “Merry Christmas” if I know the recipient celebrates. I’ve gotten some lovely new years cards, which I think is a nice way to go as well.
A Jew who would like to send Rosh Hashana cards but cannot get her act together in time, so the timing of winter holiday cards really works out.
A good friend on mine who is Jewish has always sent a winter holiday with a message like the one above. I’ve always thought it was a lovely tradition.
A Jew with no kids who still enjoys Hanukkah
Anon in SV
I respond to “Merry Christmas” with “Happy Holidays” but I do make corrections when asked about my family’s Christmas. So at lunch today, a coworker asked what I got my daughter for Christmas. “Well, we’re Jewish, so, nothing. What did you get your son for Christmas?”
Ha, I hear you. I had considered Eid cards but then I wondered why bother myself with that torture? I’ll stick to the tradition of sparkly clothes and overeating, thankyouverymuch.
Oops, this was meant to be in response to 4:04 anon re: Hanukkah cards for in-laws.
I love the eid card idea. Also, I love cards and don’t reply to the ones I get. And I prefer non Christian Xmas cards.
I mean I do not celebrate Christmas as Christmas but I sure as heck don’t work. So I will have a Merry time not working and taking my free day! That’s how I take it. Very few people say this anymore though. I actually said it to a clerk the other day and they lit up. Whatever.
If the question is what do you do for Christmas? That’s one thing. Just wishing someone a Merry Christmas I don’t think implies you are christian. Frankly you can’t even lump Christians together on most topics anyways. The Methodists had a movement that led to prohibition and the Catholics are serving booze for breakfast!
I would answer I am taking the time to relax and recharge.
Ugh my boss has a great perspective on this that’s about as PC as Donnie T. Non-Christians have holidays and get those days off from work. They also get to have Christmas off so they should be able to deal with him wishing everyone Merry Christmas. I like the slight bent on that above. I guess it is true that it is kind of like a “have a good weekend” since it’s just a long weekend. But ugh. Rolling my eyes at people like that.
Uh…so what holidays do atheists take off that Christians don’t? I don’t see Christians going to work on New Years, MLK Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth, Labor Day, etc.
Most of the Jewish people I’ve worked with take the absolute minimum amount of time off for the Jewish holidays–they certainly don’t take the entirety of Hanukkah off. I see many Muslims at work during Ramadan.
Your boss’s theory is bogus.
Observant Jews normally take Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and maybe a day or two at Passover (Hanukkah is only a holiday for kids and has no religious significance), but it’s so they can go to religious services, not lie on a beach somewhere. And many Jews at my old Big Law firm volunteered to work Christmas and Easter in a crunch, so that the people who celebrated those holidays could have time with their families. I definitely don’t think atheists, Jews or Muslims really come out ahead overall on holidays. Totally bogus theory, I agree.
Yeah, we’re taking vacation time! Whereas I’m forced to observe Christmas – I would gladly work if my office was open.
anon at 3:50 pm
It is the worst theory ever. If I didn’t roll my eyes when he said it, it’s a @*%#ing Christmas miracle.
Atheists get 4th of July, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, MLK, Veteran’s Day, Labor day and the best of all holidays COLUMBUS DAY.
I just say “thanks” or “you too” or add “Happy New Year!” if it’s a shop clerk or something. Not worth getting into it with them. And if I know someone is Christian, I have no problem wishing him or her a merry Christmas, although I’m more likely to say Happy New Year in business emails at this time of year.
I really hate it when people say “Happy Holidays.” It’s Christmas, I celebrate it, and I find this faux political correctness offensive.
Saying “Happy Holidays” is NOT “faux political correctness” at all. It is often just shorthand for “merry Christmas and a happy new year”. And if you are offended by someone saying happy holidays then you’re a jackass. I really hate when people get all up in arms about having to be PC, oh no, how terrible. Back in the day people didn’t call it political correctness, they called it not being jackass.
It’s not short hand, it is to avoid saying Merry Christmas. Which is stupid, as it is indeed Christmas.
Um, there are other holidays this time of year? Like New Years and Hanukkah? I really think most people who say “Happy Holidays” mean “Happy New Year and whatever else you may celebrate” not “I want to say ‘Merry Christmas’ to you but I can’t because that’s not PC”
You do know that Christmas is just the Christian-izing of Saturnalia and Solstice, right? Saturnalia merry-making (and lawlessness) is part of the reason for the “Merry” in Merry Christmas.
Anyone who begrudges the use of Happy Hoildays is a brain-washed scrooge.
Christians don’t actually own the month of December.
I’m Christian and I default to “happy holidays.” Because New Years and Hanukkah and occasionally Eid depending on the year.
Frankly, my view is that taking offense at being wished “happy holidays” rather than appreciating the kindness of a stranger is…not what Jesus would do.
But the same could be said about those who get offended by a merry Christmass
Idk I love me some Jesus so I go to church and work on loving my neighbor and am not particularly concerned about greetings?
I don’t say Merry Christmas to anyone unless I’m certain that they are Christian and or celebrate Christmas.
Me: 24 yo management trainee
VIP: Senior Vice President (now a member of Obama’s cabinet)
Me: I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
VIP: Five second pause…”Umn thanks.” deadpan when normally friendly.
Me: (Never saying that again.)
Trollransaurus Rex. Santa Troll. Trolly the Troll-nosed Troll-deer.
You don’t celebrate Advent? Or St. Christopher’s Day? Or St. Lucia Day? Or Night of the Holy Innocents? Or Watch Night? Or Three Kings Day / Twelfth Night / Epiphany? Jesus’ Baptism Day?
Some “Christian” you are.
Actually you’re a lousy Christian because Jesus said to love everybody and be nice to them no matter what. And one of his most famous parables was about someone who wasn’t Jewish (like all his followers at the time he as alive were), but a pagan who worshipped multiple gods — you might have heard of The Good Samaritan?
I’m Hindu, so if random strangers ( think sales people in a shop) wish me Merry Christmas, I just smile and reciprocate. But if it’s a work colleague or someone like that, I smile and say ” I don’t celebrate, but thanks anyway and a it’s as to you too”.
What really maddens me is the SHOCK on people’s faces when I say that I don’t celebrate Christmas. WHY?
Ugh…I meant to say…” The same to you too”.
i dunno- maybe they’re just shocked or taken aback that you felt the need to clarify that?
I do celebrate Christmas but I try to say “enjoy the holiday” to people. Even if they don’t celebrate, they probably still get the day off similar to Columbus day or Labor day. I’d say “enjoy the holiday” in those instances too.
I always default to saying “happy holidays!” or “enjoy the time off!” around this time of year. If someone wishes me a merry christmas I usually just say “thanks, you too!” or if our relationship warrants it I say “Thanks! have a merry christmas! I’m actually more of a winter solstice fan myself, but either way yay for holidays, am I right?”
The holiday that brings up erasure angst for me is thanksgiving, since I’m Native and thanksgiving has always struck me as a ritual meat sacrifice in celebration of genocide. (I’m sure there are Native people who enjoy thanksgiving and of course I respect their right to their own opinions.)
So when someone wishes me a happy thanksgiving I say “Thanks! That’s actually not a big holiday for me because I’m indigenous and vegan. But long weekends are awesome. Have a great weekend! Enjoy your time with your family!”
I realize the people wishing me a happy thanksgiving aren’t really saying “Hooray for the cultural and physical slaughter of your ancestors! Thanks for the continent!” but for me that holiday feels so firmly grounded in the colonialist oppression of indigenous folks that my ability to smile and nod fails me.
And I do find that as long as I’m friendly about pointing out the whole celebration of genocide thing people generally respond well. Most of them say some variation of “Woah, I never thought of it like that before. Huh…” and then they go about their day but I feel better for having been heard.
Ideas for bridal shower favors?
NO DIY, I want something I can just click “purchase” on since it’s an incredibly busy time of year for me. But I’m happy to go for something Pinterest-y if someone on Etsy will all do the work for me. I’m looking to spend ~$30 for 10 favors but am open to spending more if it’s something I think the guests will really love.
A few bowls of pretty candies + cellophane bags?
I threw a “blushing bride” bridal shower and the favors I gave were Nyx blushes in pink organza bags I picked up from party city. Everyone got a kick out of the punny gift.
“My colors are blush and bashful.”
Any local bakeries in your area that are known for decorated cookies? Etsy should have options for this too.
I’ve done this – individual cookies wrapped in cellophane and themed cupcakes in individual boxes. By that I mean, I was the vendor. I got rave reviews. I am sure there must be a bakery near you that does that.
Nail polish with either a pretty ribbon tied around the cap or in one of those tiny little pouches to make it more festive. Only party favor I’ve actually used and seen anyone be excited about (not counting the bottle of champagne, which was extravagant and def. above budget).
This is brilliant and perfect.
And there is definitely an Essie shade called Blushing Bride that would be perfect for this!
+1 there’s also one called starter wife. Haha.
This is a great idea. I’d like this or something edible. I tend to never take favors that are just stuff that I never use.
Oh yes, I’ve gotten this in the “wedding color”, with fake pearls and netting glued around the handle to look like a bridal veil.
Ooh, I like this idea. Plus, you can pick up those mini-polish gift sets for cheap after Xmas, then split them up to stay under budget.
Mugs and tea
Yay! Holiday Open Thread’s! I LOVe holiday Open thread’s! i also wish the HIVE a very happy holiday! As for what I will be reading, I do NOT have the time for book’s and b/c i am goeing to a ski lodge, all I will bring are a few back issues of Marie Claire and Vogue. The manageing partner said I should start workeing on an a CLE for him on international WC issues but I did NOT want to have to bring my Macbook Air up to the Catskills, nor am I even sure they have full access to Lexis at a ski lodge.
I ate at the Harvard Club and it was OK. A littel bit to preppey for me, but the food was passabel. I had the sammon fillet with HARICOT VERTS (green beans). Now I am talking like a Harvard man (which the manageing partner is. The manageing partner’s brother got an MBA degree there 10 years b/f I was even born! And the peeople at the restrunt are as old as Grandma Leyeh!
But anyway, the foood was Ok. The manageing partner’s brother is lookeing for a new girlfreind. He said he would like a girl just like me (but NOT me). I do think that if I said yes, he would be huffeing and puffeing on top of me within minutes! FOOEY!
I will check back with the HIVE over the week if there is INTERNET up there, but I will use my iPHONE if there is a signal . YAY!
Have fun but do not sleep (or do anything else) with with any men upstate. I did in 2005 and have a 9 1/2 year old boy to show for it!
Early 30s and fine lines around eyes. Grrr.
This has been like in a movie or something for me-I am walking along, living my life, la la la, when one day I look into the mirror and I see some fine little lines around my eyes. Small and have to get really close up to the mirror, but there. (I cried only once, a little, heh.)
Ageing is inevitable and I am really not looking for any advice re: accepting it, etc. Despite my dramatic explanation above, I am doing just fine. I am seriously interested in doing whatever I can right now to aid the situation, though. As background, I have been exercising pretty hard and regularly since university, I eat healthily, I drink a lot of water, I never smoked, I always wear sunscreen, and I barely drink a little now and then. My Mom does not have many wrinkles in her mid-50s. My grandmas aged well. I feel like the episode of friends when they all turn 30 and are all “God, why me? I thought we had a deal,” he he he. Basically, it’s been a sudden and rude awakening. I welcome all kinds of practical advice!
Sunglasses. Big ones.
Sunglasses, always and forever.
+2 for the sunglasses + a hydrating, anti-aging eye cream. I’ve been using the Fresh Black Tea Anti-Aging eye cream lately and having good results with it.
the gold digger
It sucks. For me, it’s not the wrinkles as much as the loss of elasticity in my skin which can be directly linked to my years in the sun when I was in high school back before there were decent sunblocks. I hate that there is absolutely nothing I can do to undo the damage. I try to tell young women to wear sunblock! and a hat! and to take the stairs any time they can so they can prevent a sagging butt (I know – muscle issue, not skin) but I think my appeals fall on deaf ears.
Sounds like you are doing all good things. The only thing I would add is get enough sleep (!! easier said than done), and possibly start using a retinol cream. I find retinols better for resurfacing/spots/irregularities per se, rather than wrinkles. Sunglasses and SPF is key.
But honestly….. Most of it comes down to genetics. And remember – you are not necessarily going to look like your mother’s skin or your father’s…. you are a combination of both, and sometimes the combo can be different from your parents.
And even more honestly…. you notice more than anyone around you notices.
Those suggesting sunglasses and sleep seriously just have genetics on their side. Things that actually work: (1) eye cream. The real stuff — not some $h!t you get at the drug store. Find thee an esthetician or plastic surgeon’s office. (2) Botox or another injectible.
If they’re teeny tiny fine lines right now, stick with the eye cream. But when the crows come a cawcawing, get a needle.
Two words: 1. Retinol. 2. Sunscreen
Retin-A, Vit C Serum and sunscreen definitely
Anyone else watch Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce? Last night’s episode wrecked me. I thought it was so realistic and definitely the right thing for the show creatively, but hard to watch.
It’s a great series that can hit close to home emotionally for those who have gone through similar circumstances. My life is more like Master of None however–unattached and over 30, with alternate paths narrowing in number as time passes.
I need to watch Master of None. I love Aziz. Sadly I don’t have Netflix.
Get your free month and binge it!
I didn’t want you to think I was being stingy with the Ubers.
@TBK Right? Never before has a show been this good that fast.
Alas, I have used my free month. I suppose I could sign up with a different email address but that’s kind of cheating. It will come to DVD eventually, right? House of Cards did.
You can pay for a month and then cancel.
Brunette Elle Woods
That show is awesome! I just watch it on demand on the Bravo website. Last night’s episode was very well done.
Yes! That episode was so tragically real and well done. I teared up when Abby said she felt like her heart was breaking. I love that show.
I’m currently in a fight with my husband and I have never been angrier with him. I hate going into Christmas like this, but I am still so angry I’m shaking. Last night, he mentioned a political ad that had upset him. I asked to see it on his phone. He showed me and I said “I don’t think I have a problem with it.” He said “well, you’re a bad person then” and left the room. I later went into the living room and asked if he was angry . He said he was disappointed. I later said that I was upset by him calling me a bad person and that one of the things I’d always been most impressed by was his willingness to engage and discuss issues with people he disagreed with, including his willingness to be persuaded to the other side. I was hurt that he hadn’t given me that courtesy and instead just called me a bad person. After I said this, he said “so this is going to be all about you doing your martyr thing about how you’re so aggrieved and put upon?” It has been an ongoing theme in our marriage that he can bring things up all the time about how this thing or that I did was rude or wrong, but when I bring things up to him, it’s either that I’m making up a whole thing about being so put upon and making him out to be a monster, or it’s that I’m bringing it up in the wrong way or at the wrong time. We work near to each other so I texted to ask if he wanted to meet for coffee. I didn’t really want to go into Christmas like this, and we have small kids and I don’t want to be feeling this way toward their father. (Or doing the happy dance in front of family while we’re seething at each other in private.) I figured he would at least say something like “I could have handled that better” or “I’m sorry you heard it that way; that wasn’t what I meant.” Instead he refused to offer anything. He criticized how I’d opened the conversation, accused me of making him out to be a monster, and flat out refused to say sorry about anything. I left the coffee shop even angrier. In general, he’s an extremely caring person. If I’m dealing with a problem, he is amazing about giving me his full attention, really listening, being extremely empathetic, and being very patient in working through the whole issue. While he’s not at all a touchy-feely type, he generally is open about talking about feelings, accepting emotions, etc. But he’s awful when it comes to this! I’m happy to hear that I could have handled things better, or here’s how we can deal with this going forward, but I absolutely cannot handle a marriage where I feel like I can never bring anything up.
And since it sounds like you need a sounding board sooner rather than later, the code DEC2015 will save $30 off your first month of Talkspace. It’s not as helpful as regular therapy but it’s more convenient for sure.
I agree with all the posts below about the namecalling not being ok, but I think therapy–and couples’ therapy, as well–seems necessary here because it is possible that the tone you take in your discussions actually does come across as you being a martyr. Just as you think he evaluates behavior differently when it’s his action vs. someone else’s, it is possible that you just cannot hear how you come across, too. A therapist can possibly help you unearth that, as well as help the two of you sort of learn to fight/discuss/disagree in a way that doesn’t seem so devastating.
Not sure what to say or do but had a similar fight awhile back and the guy I am seeing just apologized and I don’t think he even knows why. It was nice I suppose but it was like he was a robot “I am sorry. I shouldn’t have done that. I don’t know what else to say.” It was so unsatisfying…
Is it worth fleshing out why he thought the ad was so bad? Or are those disagreements already established?
I would have a hard time going into Christmas too without being a complete baby “Pass the salt? Well why would I do that if I am such a bad person?!” I have to squash the beefs.
Thank you for the laugh. Yeah, I got one snide remark in during the Doomed Coffee Talk. Mostly though I get very, very, very quiet when I get angry. And then I do the invisibility thing (where I basically act like my husband doesn’t exist, even if he’s in the same room).
But I know what you mean. I have an ex boyfriend who was just the opposite. Any little thing I brought up, it was like “oh my God I am the worst I am so sorry I’m now going to be sad sad sad because I hurt you!” and it was like, um, I just said I wish you would put your coffee cup in the sink when you’re done, it’s cool. So improvement? I don’t know.
Someone who is being loudly and excessively apologetic when they make a mistake (or they’re called out for having done something wrong) is also a form of controlling behavior; by making such a production over feeling guilty, they twist the narrative around and flip the roles. Now instead of the moment being about “Person X did something wrong to Person Y”, it becomes “Person Y has to reassure Person X that they’re not the worst, awfulest person in the world”. It changes the focus; Person Y no longer has the right to be angry because Person X is so contrite that continuing to be upset would just be cruel, etc. When that Person X adds self-harm to the mix – “punishing” themselves by hitting themselves, beating their fists or heads against the wall, etc. – then Person Y has to let go of whatever they were going to say, for fear that the other person will end up seriously hurting themselves.
In both cases, the other partner is left holding the bag, being made responsible for appeasing their partner. In both cases, they have to put their own wants and needs and grievances aside and tend to their partner, while the controlling, abusive partner is absolved of responsibility.
As I said, EX boyfriend.
Right. I don’t know which is an improvement either.
My mother did that. She would just say that she was always wrong. Wrong again. But she didn’t really mean it.
Honestly my read is he made an off the cuff remark and you turned it into WWIII. Obviously he doesn’t actually think you are a bad person, he just disagreed with you. And then you made it all about your feelings.
Maybe I’m completely off, but if understanding his side helps you get through the holidays figured it was worth a shot
Ugh, big long reply just got eaten/put in moderation. Short version: this was the latest in a years long build up where I feel like I can never bring up anything but he can bring things up all the time. So in this case I feel like he very clearly said a cr@ppy thing (“you’re a bad person”) and when I said “hey!” he said “oh so now this is all about how you’re a martyr again?” I’m just really, really sick of that. It’s completely dismissive. And he complained only recently about me making him justify how he’s feeling, and him having separate rules for his behavior versus mine is another theme we keep returning to. So hat’s why it’s WWIII. It’s every issue that makes me mad in our relationship balled up in one event.
The Doomed Coffee Talk? You’re using dramatic language to describe what sounds to me like a fight over an ad that your husband liked and you didn’t? I have to assume that there are other things going on in your marriage, because I have a hard time understanding why this is such a big deal for you. Of course, everyone is different, but my SO and I could have the interaction you described and both forget about it and move on by the next day.
Yeah this exactly. This is a stupid nothing fight. You want to talk about your marriage go for it, but I don’t think picking at this nonsense is at all helpful and wouldn’t bring if up again.
Also why won’t you say what the ad was?
What was the political ad about? Was it something that he is particularly sensitive about?
Just as an example: I was really, really torn up about the refugee crisis in Europe. I showed my husband what I thought was a particularly moving blog post – one that had brought me to tears. His response was to look at it through a more distanced and analytic perspective. His response made me feel like my emotions were being invalidated. It didn’t launch a fight — but it did make me feel dumb for having this big emotional reaction, and then slightly mystified and a little angry about how he could be so callous. We worked it out, but under different circumstances, I could see how it would have launched a more epic discussion.
It sounds to me like you are both angry. I get why you’re angry. I don’t get exactly why he is angry, but I think you need to consider what ownership you can take over this. In general, there is no marital crisis that does not benefit from a straightforward statement to the effect of, “I’m sorry I was dismissive of the ad you showed me. I get that it was important to you and I should have taken it more seriously.” Or something to that effect. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t own a piece of this. It just means that you’re stepping up to take ownership of your piece.
So we live in DC and we’re both really wonky, policy types. We have debates about policy all the time. It’s like what dinner conversation is for us. It used to be that if someone disagreed with him, he’d say “really? Why do you think that?” Ultimately some people might find it to be too much of a grilling, but we’re both extremely analytical and I know I’ve always appreciated a chance to hone my arguments and refine why I believe what I do. Lately I feel like he’s been getting more entrenched in his positions and less open to debate. We were a lot further apart politically when we met and we’re a lot closer together now, in large part because of these intense debates. So for him to completely brush me off like that, when I’ve still seen him give other people the chance to explain their positions, felt like he wasnt’ giving me the same benefit of the doubt he gives people who aren’t his wife. It felt disrespectful to me and of my intellect.
Second, this is just latest of a number of examples where I bring up something that’s bothered me and he makes it all about how I’m doing it wrong in how I bring things up, or how I’m making him out to be a bad guy.
Third, we recently had a big fight where he got angry with me because he felt that I always made him justify being angry about things (I felt like I was trying to understand where he was coming from, but we both have training as litigators and maybe I can be too aggressive in questioning). So now it’s that when he has a feeling, I need to just accept it, but when I have a feeling, he can tell me it’s unjustified. (This is another issue — I feel like he often judges behavior differently when it’s his own vs when it’s mine.)
And here’s the long reply that got stuck.
Killer Kitten Heels
It sounds to me like he’s getting stuck in very black and white thinking – like, the moment you express displeasure about something, it automatically turns into you making him “the bad guy”, which, ummmm, no dude. Sometimes people just don’t like a thing another person did – no one has to be “the bad guy” for there to be something that needs discussion.
I don’t have a great resolution for this, as it’s something that’s come up in my relationship as well and we haven’t fully solved it, but one thing that has helped me somewhat in your shoes has been to stop the conversation when he gets on his “you always make me a bad guy” shtick and remind him that no, he’s not the bad guy, I don’t think he’s the bad guy, I just think he needs to stop, say, springing house guests on me with no notice (or calling me a bad person for not sharing his political opinion). Also, everything Godzilla said below.
Sounds like you want to do something so that you can get over the anger right now while also coming up with a sustainable mitigation for the future for a long-term issue (agh, corporate speak). How about setting up date to converse on this topic in the future, say two weeks from now. Go prepared, with notes and everything, of what you want to address. Set up a holiday moratorium and every time you remember and get angry again, say nope, January 12th is the day we’re going to sit at the table and talk to each other for 3 hours, no interruption allowed. Hopefully, he buys into this idea as well.
You are a very wise lizard.
Look, couples disagree and sometimes fight. Sometimes they have big fights about relatively minor things. It’s not necessarily a reflection that something is bad wrong or that you need intense therapy. Clearly, you have plenty of other grounds for thinking he’s a good partner.
Have you actually had a conversation with him about ground rules for disagreements and what strategies work best for either diffusing the situation or moving past it? Our general rules – no name calling, no public/in front of kid fights, sometimes one person needs to take some time/space to recover (it’s not a sign that they don’t care) and we will re-visit the topic at a later, calmer time. It took my husband a while to realize that I argue succinctly, mostly calmly and play devils advocate a lot (it doesn’t make me cold-hearted, it’s just how I’m made). He’s much more passionate and needs to cool-off and process what’s happened, but I need to be patient and not expect him to hug it out immediately . Understanding these things makes for a stronger Team mascot even if it takes hard work to get to that point.
It sounds like you have the common ground to work through this; you just need to talk it out. Try it on your own first and then try therapy for any unresolved issues.
Whoa. All this stemmed from a political ad? That sounds way off from how you described his personality. Anger. Attacking your character. Refusing to apologize even later. Something else is going on with him and he’s taking it out on you, which isn’t okay EVER.
I second the suggestion of couple’s therapy, and think back over the past few months. Has he pushed you away? Been more and more angry? Have you ever wondered if he’s up to something? One of the first questions a marriage therapist will ask you is, “Do you think he’s having an affair?” I’m not saying your husband is, but I am saying that in retrospect we (all us betrayed spouses) can pick out a trail of clues we ignored or played off as bad moods. I couldn’t say or do anything right and he was constantly angry–meanwhile, it was because he was guilt-ridden and loathing himself/me/her/life.
The best thing you can do is quietly and calmly ignore his mood, and give your family the best Christmas you can. You can’t control his mood, and if spends Christmas with a nasty look on his face so be it. If he talks to you (or the kids) with a tone that feels condescending or nasty, call him out on it. A simple and quiet, “I’m sorry, but you don’t get to talk to me (or the kids) that way,” will either get him to leave the room or adjust his tone. After the holidays, have a sit down and tell him you want to see a marriage counselor.
The attacking your character is what stood out to me. I think John Gottman points to that as a trait of seriously troubled relationships.
It’s one thing to have a disagreement over something external but it’s something entirely different to me when someone starts making it about some character flaw. That’s unacceptable to me. I’m not sure how you get past it without him at least apologizing and trying not to do that anymore.
I think the ground rules mascot suggests above are really for starting this discussion.
I also think that if he’s been upset at you for how you bring up problems, in a calm conversation completely separated from fighting (maybe in the same one where you set ground rules) you should get him to try and flesh out how he wants you to bring things up so you can work through things together.
+1. I thought it sounded like something else is going on as well. Not necessarily an affair, but I know what I am stressed about work or something, I end up taking it out on my husband. (I do try to always apologize and now after so many years together he can tell what is an overblown reaction and what is something I am serious about.)
+1 to Sydney and Jax – calling someone names and being rude is beyond the bounds of decency and when I read it, I wondered about an affair.
The political ad part doesn’t surprise me. I’m in a state with some pretty awful ones right now. I played an ad that said something like deport all Muslims and my partner didn’t think it was that bad, I’d be really upset with them, feel like I don’t really know them, that their values don’t align with mine.
I’m wondering if he is focusing on something really offensive in the ad and you were just talking about the ad overall or something.
Also, you say you are the “shut down” type. Did he want to talk about this at the time and you didn’t? Maybe now he’s over it and doesn’t want to keep rehashing it?
I’m married to someone who will happily apologize when he did something wrong, IF he believes he did something wrong. If he still thinks it was no big deal, he absolutely will not apologize, not even to say “sorry you got upset by that.” I enjoy that I never have to worry if he is telling me what I want to hear or if he is really getting it. On the flip side, I have to realize I can’t control how he feels. If he said something that inadvertently upset, he will try not to say it again but he won’t apologize for saying it the first time since he had no way of knowing it would upset me.
Just something to mull over.
Also, I tend to find when I have to fake happy because we got in a fight and now family or friends are over, I’m usually genuinely happy by the end of the night. It’s not as big of a deal anymore. I realize we were just both being pigheaded. Maybe faking happy together is just what you both need to just get over it.
But, if it is just indicative of an overarching issue, address that, but it doesn’t need to be addressed this very minute. After you both feel better about this whole thing then you can start talking about the underlying issues in a more productive way.
“IF I played an ad.” Thank goodness we don’t have one quite that offensive yet but we are getting close.
I’m pretty sure it’s not an affair. He had already said that the people who created the ad were bad people so when I said it didn’t bother me, he said I was a bad person as a way of lumping me in with the ad creators. As I said he’s lately gotten more entrenched in his positions.
I have found that those close to me get more and more entrenched in their positions and preferences as they get older. There is actually a biologic contributor to this, and we get less flexible with age and more comfortable with familiarity.
There was great New Yorker article by Professor Sapolsky (Stanford University) awhile back that had a tongue in cheek discussion of this. He “calculated” that the age at which we stop seeking out novelty is…….. 35.
To get back to the OP….. what worries me a little is that I have become more distant from my family members that have become as politically entrenched and defensive as your husband. It only gets worse as they get older. So if you really think his behavior is a pattern, and there are no other underlying issues contributing….. you may need a a serious talk (and a bit of counseling) to set some guidelines for topics of discussion and not being cruel to your partner. This is one of those things that you will just have to decide whether you can accept, as it can be very hard to change.
I am going through something very similar right now. It feels awful. I do feel like I’m in for a “happy dance” Christmas because there is just not time or headspace to resolve the conflict. At least you walked away. I got so angry at the obstinance and cold-shouldering that I vented on him, big time, which has just made it all worse.
No advice. (Obviously, I need some myself!) But commiseration. It sucks. I hope you can resolve it for the holiday.
Meant for Anon at 3:39 above, obviously.
Book suggestion — 1.5 years ago I had a big trial get kicked down the docket, so I had a few months to kill. So I wrote a romance novel about an attorney and her jd-mba love interest who is stepping into run his family’s closely held conglomerate. Risking Ruin has a 4.4 average rating on Amazon.
Love to have some support from my fellow Corporettes!
I love a success story from a working lawyer/mom! I put it in my kindle wish list!
Thanks! if you do read, please leave a review. I love to get feedback and reviews make it more likely that others find my book.
That’s awesome! I just bought the kindle version. I’m intrigued – can you share more about how you published it on Amazon?
There is a huge learning curve w this. I wrote the book as serial, sending chapters to friends. Once it was done, I proofed the h@ll out of it. (2nd book, I paid a proofreader.) I sent it to a couple of publishers, but didn’t hear back. So, a friend drew the cover and I self-pubbed it on Amazon. If you can upload a document, you can self-pub through Amazon. Rinse and repeat with the paperback version. Marketing is very hard. I’ve sold a few hundred copies.
I write under a pen name. I worry about judgment, but in truth, this is no different than any other questionably profitable side business.
The hardest part is getting folks to take a chance in your book and then leave a review on Amazon. Less than 1% of readers leave a review and those reviews are so important to indie authors both for feedback and to increase visibility, get new readers, etc.
Killer Kitten Heels
As a fellow lawyer/aspiring romance writer (written some shorts, trying to turn one into a novel-length story now), I’d also love to know more about how you got published!
find me on Facebook- Mae Wood – and I’ll introduce you to a great group of women who write and publish on the side. Some have even parlayed writing into a full time gig. Happy to chat offline w you, too. MaeWoodWrites at g m a i l.
Love supporting fellow ‘ret*es and I love a good romance novel. I’ve only read the sample and it’s good so far, can’t wait to read the rest! Will definitely leave a review.
Great job Babyweight! I saw this description, downloaded the book, and then couldn’t put it down. Exactly what I needed as I’m recovering from surgery. Fun read!
I hope you feel better soon! I’m glad you liked it! If you don’t mind, please leave a review on Amazon.
Does no one just forgive their husbands because you took vows and it’s Christmas?
I think the opposite is more likely – that little things feel so much harder because of the compound stress of the holidays.
Killer Kitten Heels
“It’s Christmas” isn’t fairy dust. If something is upsetting, it’s going to be upsetting, seasonality be d@mned. And, as Wildkitten pointed out, the holidays actually in some ways make upsetting things even worse.
Kitten <3 <3
Forgiving is not forgetting. Perhaps forgive to get through the “happy” holidays and reschedule the conversation for after the 26th. The issues needs to be resolved or you’re in for a world of trouble and ulcers. Trust.
The issue of an ad? It just doesn’t.
Moar than the ad, bro. Read up.
Killer Kitten Heels
More like, the issue of deploying strategic blow-ups to ensure that OP is cowed into never calling him out on his behavior, even when he’s directly attacking her character over an ad. Or, you know, we could just be reductive and flip instead. That’s incredibly helpful when solving problems.
Thank-you to everyone who responded to my question yesterday about getting a glowing review for my first year end review but still being told I’m “too ambitious”.
I emailed one of the people who gave the review and asked if I could have more follow up about my critique. He is very open and helpful to new associates like me. I had a meeting with him and another person from the review. I gently asked for some clarification on what “too ambitious” meant and they told me that the partners and everyone else had never met “someone like me” who worked so hard and so well.
I asked what “someone like me” meant and they just shrugged and said “you know, like you”. They told me during the initial review that I was not a suck up, that I was a great team player and I know how to manage my workload while being independent and asking for assistance when necessary. So now I am more confused I think.
All the partners and most of the people here are white men. I’m a woman and I don’t really look white. I’m also from a really humble background. I think is what they mean by “someone like me” but I’m not sure how I feel about what they said. I am going to think on it over the holidays. If anyone has any thoughts I would appreciate it. Thanks again. Happy holidays to those who celebrate.
They gave you a glowing review, a raise, and a bonus. Stop thinking and enjoy it.
I’m so sorry you have joined the club where recognition of your work is tinged by sexist/racist/classist comments……it’s pretty screwed up but know you are not alone.
I don’t know your firm. They could all be s*xist jerks. That being said, it honestly sounds like you have a chip on your shoulder that influences your interactions. The fact that they are white men and you are a non-white woman from humble beginnings could just as easily affect how YOU interact with them as it could affect THEIR perception of you.
I am the first in my family to attend/graduate college and I attended a crappy set of schools. I worked my butt off to be a partner in the firm I’m with today. It took a very circuitous route to get here. Most of my colleagues had a more defined route (straighter? yes; easier? who knows). I know without a doubt that my background colours my own thinking. Sometimes I feel as if colleagues who challenge me on certain issues are “looking down on me” because of my educational background. However, when I watch really closely, I see that they often challenge others in the same manner. So, it really is my prejudice that sometimes controls over theirs.
Again. I don’t know your firm. Maybe you do work for men who are shocked that a woman has the same drive as they do. I honestly think it could be you, though. You probably have an internal drive to prove yourself because of your background and the background of your superiors — kind of a subconscious “I’ll show them I’m just as good”. And trust me. that comes across in ways you aren’t aware. It just does.
The fact that you are continuing to follow-up on this “too ambitious” comment, even though you received a glowing review and a number of people here told you to let it go really does (to me) indicate that the critique was spot on. Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Take time and learn and consider your own attitude and actions in the next six months. See if there is any credence to the critique and adapt. But until you have a real indicator of sexism (lack of promotions/raise/belittlement on assignments/condescension), let’s give them the benefit of the doubt?
Any chance they mean strive for a little more work life balance or don’t be a martyr? At my prior job there was one guy who came in earlier than everyone and left later than anyone and did way more work than everyone and it just wasn’t necessary. He didn’t get more recognition for it. In fact, his bills were frequently written down for excessive work. I think he was trying to make himself look like the hardest worker but instead he looked like someone who needed to be in a constant state of overload, self-imposed. Someone who couldn’t manage their work or time properly.
Also, it’s great to be a team player but you also don’t want to be the person always volunteering first for every little thing. It’s like the person in law school that always raised their hand and answered every single question just to hear themselves talk. Be strategic about what you volunteer for. Don’t be on every single firm committee for example. Don’t burn yourself out.
Lastly, they really may have just been forced to give one negative but didn’t have one and basically went with the old “works too hard” that we aren’t supposed to use in interviews.
Or they are racist and sexist. Only time will tell. But if you are getting raise/bonus/good review I wouldn’t stress about it right now.
Killer Kitten Heels
Agree with Amelia Bedelia and Blonde Lawyer here – it’s possible they mean some version of “chill out, we like you, calm down.” When you come from a modest (or at least, a comparatively more modest) background, you learn to work twice as hard to get the things that are pretty easy/natural for folks raised firmly entrenched in “the establishment” (for lack of a better term). It’s kind of like starting a race a hundred feet back from your competitors – if you want to hit the finish line at the same time as everyone else, you know you need to run that much faster, because you have to catch up if you even want to be a part of the race at all. With that said, once you actually get that first law job, I have to tell you, your background doesn’t matter as much anymore. I mean, yes, it matters because classism/racism/sexism, but, in general, once you have that first job (and particularly, once you have gotten your first set of good reviews), you’re part of the establishment. You’ve crossed the finish line. You’re in the club. Don’t let that turn you into a jerk, but also, maybe relax a little, and start acting like part of the “in-crowd,” instead of like someone who is still slugging it out to earn her place.
Vent coming . . . .
Complicated family where parents (one is step, one is biological) send a very detailed and long Christmas newsletter to their family and friends every year. (Many pages, with photos, etc.) Letter goes through details about their kids (his, hers, theirs) scattered around the country as well as grandkids, their travels and hobbies, etc. This year, I’m not in it. At all. (The other kids are all in it, as they’ve been every year. Some of them have kids, some don’t, some had major things in their lives this year, others didn’t — basically it’s not as though there’s a cut-off or something for “making it” into the letter that I didn’t meet — I’m just not in it.)
This comes at the end of a year where I traveled to see them in person a few times, so I haven’t been MIA or anything. It has not been easy for me to build and maintain a relationship with them (the divorce from my other parent was Lifetime Movie-level horrible and I’m the only one of the kids who they never had custody of). I would like to brush it off as they’re getting older, they maybe cut a paragraph to chop it down and didn’t realize it was the only one about me, etc., but right now I’m just hurt and don’t know whether to raise it with them or just ignore it and move on.
Am I being petty? And when (I’m assuming) at least one of the siblings raises it with me, what do I say?
I am not seeing them over the holidays but will be traveling to see them MLK Day weekend.
I would be grateful for any words of wisdom.
How would the others bring it up? I don’t get the context but a sample script might explain.
I think the sibling I’m closest to will most likely text something like “whoa — did you see the letter? Wtf?” Or “did you see the photo they used of me this year? How did you escape?”
You’re not being petty. I also come from a complicated big family and I’d be really upset.
If you just saw it, id likely try to laugh it off as “oops you cut my section and forgot to paste it somewhere” and if they aren’t immediately horrified and apologetic I’d follow up saying that it hurt me.
We’re having our own family letter/photo drama this year. I got married this summer and we took some great family photos. I sent them to my dad for the card since when my older brother was married they used the family wedding photo. One of my sisters eloped and my stepmom was the only one who could make it. They are having a wedding this coming summer and will likely take family photos then that we’ll use for next year’s card. My stepmom decided that this year we’ll use the family photo we recently took on vacation and they’ll put little inserts of both couples that got married. I was disappointed when I heard this and told her so. Nothing is changing but it felt right to me to be honest about my feelings. Writing it out makes it sound a little crazy but sometimes you can’t help but feel like you feel.
I am so touched that you took the time to share your own situation. Maybe it says something about my level of pre-Christmas/end of year at work exhaustion that I was as weepy as I was about this all night, but hearing that I’m not the only one dealing with this kookiness and that I’m not completely insane has really helped. Thank you!
Aw you’re welcome. I’m sorry you are experiencing this.
Thanks for posting – the same thing happened to me this year too (family holiday card has a random iPhone photo and not the one from my wedding so it looks like some random dude showed up and when my sister married, that news was all over the card) and I was upset by it too. Doubt I’ll say anything as these kinds of things have happened for years and every time I say something I’m labeled as “sensitive” and nothing changes.
My parents didn’t like our wedding photographer and wouldn’t use the family photo from the wedding for the card. I too was pretty hurt but what can you do.
My grandfather has not mentioned me for the last several years, even though I see him more often than the other grandkids. His new wife’s grandkids get a ton of space. It stings. But I don’t make it a big deal. So no solutions here, but commiseration.
That stinks. I wonder if he’s trying to overcompensate to show the “new” ones that they’re important to him? Or if maybe she writes the letter? But still. Ouch. I’m sorry. Thanks for sharing.
Are you estranged from anyone else in the family that you wouldn’t want reading updates about you and your parent thought they were protecting your privacy? I only ask because I’m estranged from an Aunt and cousin that I do not want to know where I live or frankly, be reminded I exist. My parents have very strict instructions to give them only limited, vague updates about me and to not bring me up unless they do first.
the gold digger
Nope. Not petty. I, too, would be upset. I am sorry this happened.
(When my husband and I were going through his mom and dad’s house looking for photos to display at his mom’s funeral, we found photos of my husband with his ex wife, photos of my ex sister in law, photos that were over 50 years old – and not one single photo of me – even though we had sent them a bunch of wedding photos. We had to send them wedding photos because they did not take any of their own.
I knew his parents hated me, but I didn’t know they hated me enough to actually throw away photos that had me in them! And this from people who still had check registers from the 70s in a box. As in, they threw away nothing!)
Gold Digger, same situation here. As soon as we got engaged, my soon to be MIL rushed to have a set of family photos done professionally because she knew she wouldn’t be able to exclude me once DF and I were married. We’ve just celebrated 12 years together and there’s not a single picture of me/me & DH/me & rest of family anywhere to be seen in their house.
I don’t think they actively dislike me; it’s more that I’m just not “one of them.” Which is fine, seeing as they’re the most politely polished people I know on the surface and racist, xenophobic bigots underneath.
How can we all possibly have such nutsos as relatives/in-laws and be so delightful ourselves? Though at least with in-laws you don’t worry about turning into them, so I guess that’s something. :-)
Killer Kitten Heels
I’m not exactly in the same situation, but I have also been plagued by Christmas letters this year, and something that helped was writing (and not sending, obviously) a satirical Christmas letter. (Think along the lines of “Mom and Dad continued to enjoy being divorced from each other, as they were an incredibly ill-suited pair and are much happier apart. KKH and Mr. KKH took several exotic vacations instead of procreating this year, because trips to Iceland and Jamaica cost less than children and are also more fun….” etc.) I like writing, so it was a good way to channel my negative energy, and my immediate inner circle got a kick out of it.
I’d love to receive a letter like that!
This is genius. If I have enough booze tonight before church, I may steal your idea!
So I just rewrote the letter with everything I was thinking and would love to say, and let’s just say it was pretty amazing. (The whole project took me an hour — I had some rage to work through in the form of pretty good zingers. I’d be totally screwed if anyone else ever saw it, but it is a thing of wonder.) My husband staged an interpretive reading of it for me and for the dog, during which he had to stop several times because he was laughing too hard, and I am getting ready for church in much better (though sober!) spirits. This was brilliant!!! Thank you!
Once again, we need a Like button here.
Once again, my handle fits the response. This has happened to me. And it’s also happened to one of my siblings. And one of my nephews. All at the hands of my “loving” parents. I chalk it up to them being absent-minded jerks. But when it’s “your turn”, it hurts. As for the holiday letter at the end of the worst year of my life, I begged my parents to be kind and discrete. The result was one sentence “BeenThatGuy continues at her same job and her child is 6 months old.” Hmmmm. No back story there…
There have even been years where the newsletter was left out of my card (and my closest sibling). But there’s always that one friend who calls and says “interesting letter this year from your parents”. So we knew it was left out on purpose.
People are crazy. Just because they gave us life, or raised us, is no exception. Sorry for your stress. I TOTALLY understand.
My family and I are actually super close and this is about the only hurt feelings incident we’ve had in years. I think it can happen to anyone.
My in-laws’ dog gets more pics and copy space than their only grandchild. I just don’t read the letter anymore. DH gives me the picture ratio and we laugh instead of cry about it.
Wow. I’m so sad for you and so grateful you shared. I often tell myself I am building the family my parents couldn’t give me. It’s ironic a bunch of people on the internet I will most likely never meet can have the capacity to empathize and comfort that none of my biological family can seem to muster. Thank you.
Also – are you the oldest?
(Not an excuse for them, just gathering context.)
That’s an interesting question — I am the oldest.
Did you get married this year? Or move farther away? Is there any reason your parents might think you have “graduated” from the family card updates?
That would make sense, but the other ones with no new job/baby/big news are in it.
I think you make the card as a child without accomplishing anything, and you graduate from it as an adult no matter what you accomplish. I wonder if it’s not what you did or they didn’t do, but that your parents have decided you’re your own adult and not in the card anymore.
Like, that happened to me with the family cell phone plan, eventually.
Or maybe your parents are jerks. That’s also entirely possible.
Has anybody gotten a mailer with a free trial code recently?
Anyone else working today?
I’m here with ya, anonymous
I am at work. There is not much to do though since nobody else is here.
Brunette Elle Woods
Yes, but probably a short day and just wrapping up some loose ends. I will probably also do some work over the weekend.
I’m here until noon. It’s not so bad. The office is quiet, I’m wearing leggings and an oversized cashmere sweater, and eating treats from the holiday baskets that were sent to the office. It’s a living.
I’m here and in the rattiest jeans I could find! :)
hat being said, I get to leave at noon (arrived at 7am) and I decided to be here to get tn.
to get things doe!
not to get tn.
Only until about 2pm.
Killer Kitten Heels
Yup, although it’s very quiet. I’ll probably leave around 2
Also at work. Also until 2, but hoping I might get to leave even earlier.
Yup, and the phones keep ringing.
Anon with nog
Not at work. Not supposed to be working. Had me a big old eggnog doctored with bourbon. Prior to that, real coffee with caffeine. (I don’t do caffeine.) The work calls started rolling in. DH’s entertainment for the day has been to watch me navigate these calls.
I’m starting an executive-level position at the start of the year. I previously functioned as the ‘subject matter expert’ on a fairly obscure area of the law. In this new role I will be supervising 10 people, sitting on several committees with CFO types, and making decisions that will have serious financial implications. I will also be expected to present to stakeholders on a regular basis, and the share/explain news that will not always be welcome to the recipients. Any tips on moving from nerdy back-room number cruncher to The Decider?
the gold digger
Yes! Read Ask a Manager! Alison and the commentariat give great advice to new managers.
Last minute gift suggestion for a family member who lives in a small apt. and loves family photos? Has to be a printable gift certificate for something orderable online. Thanks!
Shutterfly gift certificate for a photo book or just random amount? Or gift cert for one of those photo canvas places – they come in small and med. sizes, I have a friend who loves them.
Killer Kitten Heels
Printable Etsy gift certificate with recommendation for a frame or photo-book-making shop?
I think Adorama does printable gift certificates. They are my favorite place to have prints made.
Thanks to all for the great suggestions for tonight’s dinner. I think I’m just about ready! I decided to go in a little different direction.
Here’s what I’m serving:
-carrots, celery, grape tomatoes, blanched green beans, and pita chips with hummus
-brie with sour cherry jam on top
-mushroom, broccoli and rice casserole
-grilled pork tenderloin (marinated in balsamic, low sodium soy sauce and rosemary) – it’s almost 80 degrees so we’re grilling.
-peppermint brownie trifle
-caramel apple martinis
-chocolate caramel pudding shots
-something made with peppermint infused vodka!
Whew! I only have a few things left to do. The peppermint filling for the trifle and the vegetable casserole are the only complicated things left. A friend is coming to my house between services so he can put things in the oven and start putting out food before I get home.
Sounds delish! Hope you have a great time!
Yum! Can I come?
Of course! Come on down!
That sounds so good!
Just wanted to say we had a blast last night and the food came out great. My friend did a beautiful job of setting everything up.
Probably the favorite thing of the night was the candy cane infused vodka that I made on a whim. I stuck it in the freezer and served it in cordial classes. Everybody loved it and wanted to know how I made it.
Killer Kitten Heels
To respond to Kat’s original post (for once in my life), I’m an avid consumer of brain candy, and I’ve got a bunch of authors/books to recommend:
-Jen Lancaster (especially her early memoirs – her fiction and more recent memoirs are also good, but her first few memoirs are definitely the place to start if you’ve never read her)
-Madeleine Wickham (I think this is a Sophie Kinsella penname, but I like the Wickham books more than the Kinsella books)
-Jane Austen (it’s “classy” brain candy!)
-Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro
-Flying Changes and Riding Lessons by Sara Gruen (especially good for the horse-riding/owning contingent)
-The Darlings by Cristina Alger
-2 A.M. at the Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino (bonus, it’s seasonally appropriate because it takes place on Christmas Eve)
-150 Pounds by Kate Rockland
-Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
(And yes, I read too much.)
No such thing as reading too much!
I’m a huge reader, too. I don’t like “silly” women as leads in books, but I like to escape in a few chapters of a romance before I go to bed. (Just balances out the seriousness of work.) A good romance can be hard to find.
Since I mentioned my own (Mae Wood), let met tell you that I recently found Kate Canterbary. I won’t write “silly” women. Ms. Canterbury doesn’t write them either and her books are smoking hot, veering toward erotica, and highly addictive. The first in her series is 99c right now as a Kindle book.
Silly = TSTL (too stupid to live), right? The older romances (70s -90s) tend to have more TSTL or Mary Sues than the current authors. Courtney Milan, Julia James, Nora Roberts all have very compentant and sensible heroines. Other romance. authors with well-written characters – Julia Quinn, Eloisa James, Suzanne Brockmann, Alisha Rai.
The Smart Bitches and Dear Author websites are really good resources for figuring out what you like and how the stuff out there fits into your wheelhouse.
So glad I’m not the only ‘rette who loves her book candy!
Huge James, Milan, and Smart B*tches Trashy Books fan. I highly recommend them! (Best compliment I’ve received about my book – “reminiscent of Julie James.”)
I read an ungodly amount, at least 10 books a month. My mom gave me a book called What Pretty Girls Are Made Of for Christmas today. It’s billed as The Devil Wears Prada for the cosmetics world.
I confess, though, that I mix genres. I can’t read all chick lit or brain candy. She also gave me Dead Wake. And I just finished The Valley by John Renehan. I really need someone to read that so I can discuss it with them. It’s really good, really complex and I feel like I’m missing something. It’s basically Apocalypse Now, but set in Afghanistan. I actually woke up early today trying to puzzle out the story.
I’m on vacation, goddammit! I should be sleeping!
To whoever recommended the Productive Morning playlist from Spot fy for those of us who struggle with ADD – thank you so much! It’s been so useful for me.
My almost two year old is now calling all men with beards of a certain age he sees “Santa” and all babies except his brother “baby Jesus”. Eeep.
Can I go home yet?
This is a thing they do. Also calling all men Daddy and all women Mommy. They’re learning categorization or something.
My 2 year old calls all elderly men “Weaseltown” (i.e. Duke of Weselton from Frozen) and all men over 20 “someone else’s Daddy.” It gets weird.
Hoping this isn’t too controversial – I was raised without much traditional religious education. I read a few bible stories in college and I really enjoyed them. Just wondering if anyone has recommendations for books/podcasts/etc? I’m not exactly sure what I’m looking for…but I’d like to take this time in my 20s to explore my faith. TIA!
Rachel Held Evans – Searching for Sunday
I have other suggestions, but that’s where I’d start.
In college I took an Old Testament religious studies class, and we read God: A Biography by Jack Miles. I’d recommend that as an alternative or a supplement to reading the actual text.
Are you looking for faith or for education? I took some great into to the bible courses in college as electives- one semester each of old and New Testament. Maybe something like that is available free/online? My college was non secular, FWIW.
I like most C.S. Lewis stuff. Mere Christianity and The Great Divorce are books I really enjoyed. He tends to write these allegories where the lessons are implicit, but he was a sceptic who converted to Christianity later in life and so he has thought and written about a lot of questions and ideas that I have struggled with as well (such as how to explain suffering in the world, considering the idea of hell, etc). The books are also usually short, entertaining and accessible. He wrote the Narnia series that I loved as a child although I didn’t fully understand the Christian allegory until I was older.
Not that anybody is checking this thread today, but if you are and have Christmas money to burn – Dagne Dover has 25% off a bunch of styles and you can stack any of the 20% off codes (I used the one from CapHillStyle’s November post, today is the last day the code is good!) floating around out there on top. 13″ tote comes to $151.
Late brain candy recommendation–Crazy Rich Asians and China Rich Girlfriend by Kevin Kwan!