Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Sorel - Cate The Great (Black/Pewter) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

So last year, I started noticing lots of New Yorkers and other fashion bloggers wearing these Sorel boots. I’ll admit: coming from Ohio (where, at least when I lived there, people wore things like this more for practicality than fashion), I couldn’t believe it… but I have to say that I’m now so taken with them that I’m lusting after this pair, Cate the Great. They’re the epitome of ski resort chic — I wear them with a pair of leggings or skinny jeans (or even tights and shorter skirts) for running errands, meeting friends, or more. They’re $200 at Zappos. Sorel – Cate The Great (Black/Pewter) – Footwear


P.S… Stay tuned; I’ll try to round up some of the best sales I’m seeing/hearing about this weekend.  Happy Thanksgiving to all American readers!


  1. Anonymous :

    Happy Thanksgiving! Love the boots, but could have sworn that Sorel boots got bad reviews for chafing at the back of the foot. Also, I can’t justify $200 snow boots when I live in San Francisco and only spend maybe 5 weekends in Tahoe.

    • I have these! Got them 50% off at REI since they only had one size left – mine!. Your heel definitely slides up and down, since the foot bed is stiffer than the typical shoe, combined with the fact that you should buy your snow boots a bit on the big side so your foot isn’t crammed in there with no air circulation. But, there is a removable layer (with all the insulation) and I don’t recall there being any major seams in the heel area, so I don’t know what chafing might happen.

      I was also astounded by the comment/reviews on the product that mentioned wearing them clubbing. I mostly consider them a cute, but practical, alternative for something that I’m likely to need anyway.

      • I live in a relatively high-altitude mountain town & have Sorel Caribous that I could only be happier with if they were a little warmer. I like the leg-gaiter look of these Cate the Greats, but Caribous have a knobbier sole with a lot more traction.

        • Anonymous :

          On the soles – I have a pair of Sorels with this sole. I love the look, but they are useless if there is any ice. Now obviously, walking on ice in any footwear is difficult, but the stiff soles with no traction on these made it worse. We get more ice than snow where I am, so perhaps they would be fine if you are in a locale with snow that doesn’t immediately melt and refreeze. Cute, though!

          • Have you found anything better on ice? I usually throw some Yaktrax on a less aggressive/snowy pair of boots if I know there’s going to be ice.

          • I found my running shoes to be better on ice, though useless in the associated slush. Have never heard of Yaktrax, but I’m definitely intrigued. I live in the South. We get 1 or 2 terrible ice storms a year. So if I can just add something to my existing boots, which I otherwise like, I’m in.

      • I think these are hideous. The fake fur is atrocious. Wearing them with skintight leggings or skinny jeans seems so bridge and tunnel. I’m not thin, but when somewhat not size 4 or under, 30+ chicks try to wear fake fur boots and leggings, I want to punch them and take their lunch money. Know your age, body, and at least have some sense of style.

        Kat, If I saw a 30+ mom pushing a stroller in these I would love at her.

    • I have these and love them. But I live in a very snowy mountain climate. I wear them to and from work and then wear regular shoes in the office. I also will wear them to and from the hospital from my office (and won’t switch if I’m only at the hospital for a short time). I wear them on the weekend with skinny cords or jeans. I love them! They do slide in the back of the heel a little, but when I wear my thick socks it’s less of a problem.

    • Noticed these while on Zappos the other night. Cute but not quite what I was looking for. I ordered the Weitzman “Furlure” boots (which I like but probably not enough to keep) and some dressier Paul Green boots ( which I do quite like for my biz caz Boston-area workplace. However, my husband noticed that the Greens were already wrinkling quite a bit where my foot bends, and I was concerned that they would look tired rather quickly. I realized that I don’t have any true nappa leather boots, only suede or patent-y types, so I’m not sure whether this is really a problem or not. Any thoughts?

    • Happy Thanksgiving to cat and all!

      My daughter has a similar pair to wear at her snowy college campus. She wears extra thick socks for the first few times she wears them in a season, and then her feet get used to them.

      • Brain fail *Kat*

        • Just another AWESOME winter book recommendation, from someone who spent 4 collegiate years in snowy upstate NY – the Ugg Aderondack book – they are so warm, comfy, great traction – a great buy!

      • are you kidding me? :

        LOL, my point exactly. A college to under 25 year old only can wear boots with fake fur poking out the top. After that age, you just look like you’re trying WAY too hard.

        • eyeroll – I wear these with my snow pants just fine, thank you.

          Signed, Over 30

        • Also over 30, and I have a similar pair that I wear regularly when it snows. Mine are real shearling and rabbit fur, though, so maybe the real fur makes it “acceptable” for those of us 26 and up. And yes, the are “fashiony” but I think I can pull them off without looking like I’m “trying too hard”. I’m sorry that you cannot.

          • While, I agree with you that being 26+ should not disqualify a woman from wearing a certain type of snow boot, wearing real rabbit fur on your shoes is far from “acceptable”–rabbits are the third most popular pet (right behind cats & dogs), not a pelt meant to be worn as a fashion accessory. I have a hard time imagining you would find it “acceptable” to have your boots lined with dog or cat fur. Please stop thinking that you are more fashionably acceptable or trendy because your wearing someone’s should-be pet.

    • clueless summer associate :

      I just bought the Sorel Joan of Arctic…for January, when I’m going to live in one of the Canadian territories…i.e. North of 60. When I bought them in Toronto, I was told they usually sell out quite quickly, and I was super surprised since it’s not cold or snowy enough in Toronto to really warrant these boots! I’m super surprised that people in major US cities would be wearing them…they are cute, but heavy and kind of overkill for a cool, slushy day.

      • Agree on the overkill for a cool, slushy day (or clubbing!) – but there are a few major US cities – Chicago, Minneapolis – where I could totally see these as being useful. Minnesota tends to get its winter on a pipeline from the Canadian territories…

      • Is Toronto outside the Ontario snowbelt? When I lived in Ontario I found it to be plenty snowy! Do you wear lighter snowboots, or go without? I’ve also found that even a bit of snow/slush/salt destroys leather boots in no time!

      • Equity's Darling :

        I have Sorels too- the Caribous. And they are so worth it. I find a bit of heel chafing at the beginning of winter, but within a few weeks I’m fine. And I feel like I can walk anywhere with no fear of slipping or wet socks.

        I don’t live north of 60, but where I live gets cold enough that the “rated to -40C” is really, really worth it.

      • clueless summer associate :

        I do just fine with leather in Toronto…I do find the salt gets to them, but as long as they’re waterproofed or sprayed, they do fine with the slush.

    • DC Association :

      I love Cate the Greats, ordered them last year but I am short and they were just way to tall and heavy. So, this year I got Sorel Torfino. Similar to Joan of Arctic but the boot shaft is nylon (?) instead of leather and they are much, much lighter.

      I just love the names of Sorel boots :)

      • All I can say is, there is a good reason why Sorel’s waterproof model is called “Tofino”. Anyone who lives in my part of the world knows all about it….the only possible rainier place is, perhaps, North Vancouver. My winter boots are simply duck boots. #inwinterimightaswelljusttakeabath

        • This made me laugh. You’re so right! I’m originally from the Seattle area, so I thought I was prepared for Victoria/Vancouver Island winter weather. Ha. Totally ruined a pair of boots over a NYE trip a few years back. Still love the gorgeous NW though….

  2. MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

    Hi Ladies! I was reading the bike thread today, and noticed that 2 of you have apparently lived in Copenhagen! I’m applying for my dream job there at this very moment, and was hoping you might be able to give me some insight into the place. I was really excited about the idea until I read the book Culture Shock Denmark, which, honestly, freaked me out a bit since it made it seem like everyone would be really rude, and that I’d be lonely. So…how was your experience? Were you able to make friends? How’s life there with small children? I don’t speak Danish, yet, but would make a serious effort to learn. Are there some expats to hang out with in the meantime? Want to compare the experience of working vs moving to do a PhD? If anyone wants to compare Denmark to Germany, I’d appreciate that as well, since my other option is in Germany. Thanks!

    • Can someone advise me how to find overseas jobs (for Americans)? I am very eager to make a move but the only advice I have ever heard is to work for a US company that has branches overseas.

      • Always a NYer :

        I would look at different employment search engines for the country/city you’re considering. When I was looking for jobs in London, I searched for that on instead of Also think about a head hunter in your city of choice to do your work on the ground for you.

        Another think to remember is to find out what you need to do in order to qualify to work abroad (i.e. work permits and visas). I have dual EU citizenship so this isn’t an issue for me but a consideration for those with only US citizenship.

        This is also the time to reach out to those in your network who are overseas. You never know, they may know someone who knows someone who is looking for a new employee.

        So excited for you and good luck!!!

        • I would like to move to find an in-house legal job in London (also a dual citizen, but US qualified). Are you a lawyer? How hard was it for you to find a job? Thanks!

    • No experience with Denmark, but lived in Germany for a year. It is hard to make friends, but once you “break through”, they are life long (at least in my experience.) In general, the people I met wanted to talk politics and can be extremely opinionated (mostly American bashing…) but don’t mind a little bit of back and forth. It helps to learn the language (obviously) although many of the younger people in larger citites know at least some English. The culture tends to be much more formal, for example collegues who have worked together for years still call each other Mr. SoandSo or Ms. Soand So. All that said, it is a beautiful country, I enjoyed the experience, and have some very dear German friends. It can be, however, a definite culture shock.

    • So…how was your experience? Were you able to make friends? How’s life there with small children?
      I loved living in Copenhagen. As a general rule, I didn’t find people rude at all (and, imo, rude people are everywhere, so…)

      I moved there for my studies, so I had a built-in way to meet people. You would likely also do that since you’re moving for work. Danes can be considered rude (they mostly don’t talk to strangers on the bus, for example) but once you get into an environment where it is natural to talk to people – they couldn’t be more friendly. If you’re making an effort to speak the language, even more so.

      Where I worked in Copenhagen alongside my studies, it would be common that people brought in breakfast for special occasions (you had a birthday, you brought in breakfast, cake or candy for the office) and we would also go out together for Christmas lunch, spring lunch, “the partners are away”-dinners, and so on. I only caught the tip of the iceberg of this, being a part-time student worker, but the company would also arrange to have spots in various races if anyone wanted to compete and so on.

      It is also quite an egalitarian society. The personal assistants in the company and the partners were all addressed the same way – by first name. Only fairly old people, or the royal court, would address people by last name.

      There is an International school, and quite probably also an expat community tied in with that.

      Copenhagen is quite a child friendly city. (None of the friends I have from my studies moved to the suburbs when they had kids, the only move was to a bigger apartment) And it is common to see parents biking their kids around/to school rather than driving them.

      I’m happy to answer more specific questions – if there are anything in particular in the Culture Shock book that you would like expanded. You can also contact me at the linked N in my username.

    • No advice unique to Denmark; just wanted to say GOOD LUCK and I’M JELLUS!

      Alot of Jellus.

    • I was on exchange in Copenhagen and lived in a Danish dorm. I found the people I was living with to be the opposite of rude – they made a huge effort to help me get settled in, included me in all the holiday traditions (Christmas holidays are so much fun there) and were generally amazing. I can’t speak to what they would like to work with though.

      In my opinion, Danes are much more open in the summer than the winter – I think it’s climate related. So if you do move there, best to start in the summer when people are more social.

      All that being said, I never lived in Germany but have good friends there and loved traveling there (alone or with friends). I just prefer the culture – it’s a bit more in your face and German was imo easiest to pick up than Danish. So if I had a choice I’d pick Germany. Not sure what cities you’re looking at but if Berlin or Hamburg is on the list, I wouldn’t hesitate to go there. I think loneliness is unavoidable in a big move, at least for the first year. So if you do go, expect to be lonely for a bit no matter where you end up.

      • MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

        Woohoo! It’s so cool to get back from lunch and see replies=) Thank you, and, I’m very delighted to hear several of you actually found people quite friendly and helpful. I gave huuuuuge sigh of relief. That jives with my (brief) experience, so, maybe I’ll just toss that book out the window, and delve in and enjoy=) I lived in Germany before, and didn’t find it that hard to make friends, so, I think I’ll just trust that I’ll be ok in Copenhagen, too. Thanks for the good luck! I’m really excited about this opportunity. Though, LOL, looks like I’d be moving before summer, so, I might have to wait a few months for the ice and people to thaw=)
        Thanks also, N, for the insights into bringing in breakfast, and people staying in the city with kids. I love the idea of biking around with my kids in one of those big front-boxes=)

        • Also, check out this blog of an American who lived in Copenhagen and her experiences:

          (Not much on the first page, but as you go backwards there ought to be some things.)

    • I lived in Frankfurt for a few years for work and also traveled to Copenhagen. I would definitely pick Copenhagen. It’s a more beautiful city and the people are more progressive and friendly. If you only speak English, Copenhagen would be easier to get around. Nevertheless, both would be a great life experience, so don’t hesitate!

      • anon in Germany :

        These are both really good points. Firstly, if you don’t speak German or Danish, the Danes should have better English skills, meaning that more people and aspects of their culture are accessible to you. Secondly, it really depends where in Germany you would want to live. I’ve only heard good things about Copenhagen (never been), but there are a number of cities in Germany that are nice places to live and potentially are more attractive (e.g. if you are crazy about the mountains). However, there are also a lot of cities like Frankfurt which are just very pragmatic and wouldn’t be particularly charming or child-friendly places to live. If you have a particular location in mind, there is a big forum for expats at Toytown Germany. Their snark to helpfulness ratio is like 99,9%, whereas I find Corporette to be 1%, but they are large and cover a wide variety of specific topics. Good luck with your application and move!

      • MovingToCopenhagenOrGermany :

        Thanks again for all these comments and insights. Great blog – thanks for the link! I speak some Germany, and no Danish. My Germany option is a very random place which I will keep quiet for privacy’s sake, but, not a cool fun city like Hamburg=)

        Thanks all!

        • In House Europe :

          If you have a somewhat anon email address and want to post it, I’d be happy to share insights with you (US lawyer working in Europe here as is obvious from my name I guess?) But for general advice – go for it! Small town Germany may be somewhat tough as there isn’t a huge expat crowd but if you speak German that will help Alot. Alot likes people who speak German.

          And as it is now 2 pm on Friday and no one else is in the office, I am going to go to the gym. Yay. :)

    • I love Copenhagen and Denmark in general. Love, love, love it. I spent a semester there in college and it is one of my favorite places. The city itself is beautiful, I loved biking there, really I just loved the city in general. I lived with a host family and was there with a program so had less experience with building a social network there. English is widely spoken, especially among younger people. It was common for me to start saying something (or, more accurately, trying to say something) in Danish only to have someone stop me with “just say it in English.”

      As far as culture, I would say that the Danish sense of humor is a bit on the dark side. I think you would find that people are more direct than in many places in the U.S. For example, my Danish teacher disliked “Minnesota nice”, because it didn’t seem genuine to her. She also described Danish as a rude language, as it lacks certain words and phrases like “pardon me.” Instead of saying anything, someone will just push by you on the bus, which could come across as rude to many people.

      Two other random Denmark thoughts: 1) All of the girls in my program joked about how we had never felt so ugly in our lives. Danish men and women are very put together and, frankly, very attractive people. 2) Hyggeligt is a Danish word with no direct English translation, but it’s closest translation would be cozy. This idea of creating a cozy place (which also involves people-a hyggeligt evening might be one where you spent time at a friend’s house for dinner with snow coming down outside, candles all around, and great conversation). Creating this feeling is a somewhat significant thing there, and one that I really enjoyed.

      • Failed to finish my sentence “This idea of creating a cozy place” with “is one of the pieces I remember most.”

        Also, one last random thing: to the best of my knowledge, there is one word in Danish that is used interchangeably for fun and funny. This led to a bit of confusion the first few times my Danish host mom said “that sounds funny” when I told her I was going to spend time with friends :)

  3. I LOVE Europe alot !!!!!!

    When I get married, I am going on a honey Moon to Europe. But I hope that I will be able to visit Eastern europe also!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all corporetes! I told the manageing partner I would be leaving early and he said YES I could leave early!!!!!!!


  4. Might any of you ladies have suggestions for a luxury surf camp in Costa Rica (or anywhere else for that matter)? I did one many, many years ago and had a blast but the accommodations and amenities were a bit lacking (think cots, running but not heated water, no A/C). This time around I’ll be with the husband and we’d like something a bit cushier (think private bungalow with a dedicated bathroom, gourmet meals and the option to walk to nearby restaurants in the village, etc.). We’re essentially novice surfers, in case that matters, and we’re looking for a place that focuses on surfing – although the option to do some yoga or have the occasional massage/spa treatment would be great. TIA!

    P.S. Love the boots, seriously considering ordering a pair!

    • I see these on Jetsetter from time to time – so might be a good place to start your research.

    • I don’t have a recommendation for a surfing-focused resort, but you might have luck finding a hotel you like in Tamarindo and arranging for surfing lessons separately.

    • Highly recommend Pura Vida Adventures:
      www [dot] puravidaadventures [dot] com. They are mostly a surf camp for women, but definitely have a number of coed weeks every season. My best friend and I went for a week three years ago; they’ve since moved the accommodations to an even more posh hotel in the same village (Malpais, on the Nicoya Peninsula). The focus is on surfing, but there is a yoga class most days and they had a great massage therapist who came to the resort whenever you had booked a session. We also went ziplining in the canopy, which was amazing. . . .

      • Oh, and it’s definitely fine for people who have never surfed before . . . all the way up to people who are accomplished surfers and just want to ride every day.

  5. I ordered a pair of these recently in the tusk/stone color and I got them about a month ago. LOVE THEM. I live in Alaska, so they are practical, but fashionable. It’s so easy to walk around looking like the Michelin Man up here. I’ll admit I don’t do a lot of serious recreation in these. I wear them to and from work and walking around town, but I have a shorter pair of boots for my real recreation (snowshoeing, sledding, etc) because the lower boot is less restrictive for my legs when being really active.

    I read a lot of the same reviews regarding the chafing and whatnot and I have yet to experience any of those problems. They’ve been great so far!

    • I wish I lived in Alaska! Hope your boots helped you dig out from that huge storm!

      • law talking girl :

        That huge storm was about 500+ miles northwest of the biggest population center in the state, where I’m betting Anon lives. Not saying a huge storm couldn’t be 500 miles wide… but that would truly be the storm of the millennium. We were not really affected by it down here in southcentral – got a few inches of snow, that’s all.

  6. Maddie Ross :

    I ordered the Sorel “Helen of Tundra” ones last year and they chaffed (chafed?) like none other. I ended up returning very soon after buying (so I suppose there is chance you could break them in, but I was not willing to try). This year, I ordered the ON knock-off pair and am happy with them so far. I live in the south and do not have much need for snowboots except on a few occasions during the winter. The ON ones are rubber on the bottom and lined with Thinsulate, so seem like they’ll be ok for a milder weather locale. And they are cozy for just wearing around.

    • I broke out my Cates this weekend and figured out why I didn’t get any chafing problems – I got them big enough that my heel slips with rubbing the back of the boot. Which works for me – walking in snow boots is a learned skill (like walking in heels, right?). And I don’t really consider Sorels to be an activity snow boot, more of a “keep your feet warm outside boot” for casual walking around or shoveling the driveway. If I was into winter hiking or planning to be more active in my boots, I’d probably consider something from The North Face or Columbia with more structure built into it.

  7. I have a pair of the Sorel Tivoli in the Pink Houndstooth pattern — they are pretty comfortable, I’ve had no problem with chafing, and they’re cute!

    Question — are any of you planning to participate in Small-Business Saturday? If so, do you think shopping on Etsy counts? And further, if we all go and buy things from Kanye East on Saturday does that make us all good people? :-)

    • Etsy in general does not count because they allow so much counterfeit mass produced items to get thru. Kanye East def counts tho! Im saving up to buy something from there I love the necklace someone posted yesterday(I think- the freshwater pearls coin necklace?)

    • Thank you for mentioning this; I was just agonizing over whether to say something about Black Friday/Cyber Monday and boycotting big box stores and Wall Street.

      Unfortunately, there are a lot of resellers on Etsy. But overwhelmingly, it’s a great community of talented, independent craftspeople who are incredibly grateful for each and every sale, no matter how big or small. (If anybody has questions about particular items or sellers, please feel free to convo me through Etsy.)

      I’m doing a free shipping promo now through the end of November w/ coupon code ELEVENELEVEN, or you can always get the 15% discount with CORPORETTE (your choice; unfortunately Etsy won’t let us apply more than one at a time).

      • Interesting. Are there signs you can look out for to tell the resellers from the craftspeople?

        • look at their location, and read their shop profile. It’s pretty clear if they are an independent craftperson they will talk about themself and their craft. If they don’t talk about themselves, they’re probably a reseller. If they are located in asian countries, they are often resellers. I only buy from US based sellers, shipping is cheaper anyway, and I’d rather keep my money somewhat local.

        • Browse around on Regretsy sometime for side-by-side comparisons if you’re really curious. What qualifies as “handmade” is always a topic of intense discussion on Etsy forums, and I don’t want to go off on that here.

          In jewelry, I tend to suspect a reseller when I start to see the same metal components over and over. The biggest trends in the last year have been owls, octopods, wing charms, and these orchid findings:

          img3 [dot] etsystatic [dot] com / il_570xN.254152891 . jpg

          You can almost be sure anyone using them in their designs is not doing their own metalsmithing.

          • AnonInfinity :

            Just looked at Regretsy. There’s a pic of some elephant underwear that made me laugh so hard I hurt myself.

    • PS: Yes, it makes you the very best people.


    • I love Small Business Saturday! I live in a “walking neighborhood” with lots of small shops and I try to remind my husband (and friends) that those charming little local shops won’t be there if we don’t patronize them.

      American Express has a link on their website where you can share the promotion with your social network on Facebook & other sites.

    • Small Business Saturday? How about Small Business every day?

      I try to avoid the malls and box stores between now and mid-January. I made a list of relatives and what I’m going to get them for presents, and for a few of the female ones, I wrote “Jewelry from Etsy?” Love the craftspeople on there! (And I love that so many of them are women! We women business owners need to stick together!)

      • I’m doing it! I’m really excited that it’s getting so much attention. This is something everyone can get behind – both Republicans and Democrats.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          You were asking about stuff that is made in America. I just stumbled on this website:

    • There is an art market in my area that is usually the last Saturday of every month but this month (and in December) it’s both Saturday and Sunday. The artists are fantastic. This guy’s paintings are incredible: and for you shoe ladies out there, here are some hilarious works of art:

    • Yes, definitely planning to participate in Small-Business Saturday! I have a favorite stationery and used book store I’m going to visit, and lots of other shops on that street.

  8. I have the Sorel Joan of Arcadia (red and tan) for my cold, snowy, upstate New York city.

    The foot does come out of the boot a little without heavy socks, but I have experienced no chafing (wore them all last winter). I wore them only when it snowed (all the time) and not out to nice places.

    I saw those Old Navy knock-off ones, and frankly, I was so chagrined that Old Navy can get away with BLATANTLY knocking off another company’s design that it caused me to stop dead in my tracks and stomp in the store in disbelief to look at them more carefully.

    The nice thing about the Sorels is how warm they keep your toes.

  9. I bought the Land’s End version of this that Bonnie posted in the comments recently. They were on sale for something like $30. But they’re suede. I am a total idiot about snow – only visit it maybe once per year – but I assume suede + snow is a bad idea?

    • Here’s the link to the boot. The day Bonnie posted about them, Land’s End had 40% off all shoes.

      • Anonymous :

        You could waterproof them with Nikwax, but it will change the color (think tan goes to chocolate brown). I Nikwax’ed some payless boots and they got me through three years on NYC slush.

    • They won’t be waterproof, so they won’t be too useful in slush, but if they’re water resistant and you treat them regularly with waterproofing spray, you should be ok as long as you avoid wet snow, slush, and puddles.

      • We take our kids up to the Donner Pass/Truckee/Tahoe area to sled. The snow is relatively powdery most of the time, but it can be up to the knee. Do you think these would be OK for that?

        Thank you, Jas. You seem to know about snow!! If I can help you with earthquakes, let me know. ;) Signed, a native Californian

        • I do seem to talk about snow a lot! I think you’ll be fine. Just be sure to wear decent wool socks that will hold some heat even if they get a bit damp. Even if they were 100% waterproof, you’re going to be getting snow over the top of them from the sledding.

        • If you’re sledding, you should wear snow pants, which hang over your boots. No reason snow should get into the top of your boots.

    • North Shore :

      I got those, too. I’ve already been wearing them with skinny jeans or cords, and they look cute. I do need to treat them with waterproof spray before the snow comes, though.

    • I was pleasantly surprised with them and that I could fit them over my calves! I think they will be good for powder snow or even light slush. They will probably soak through if submerged in slush for an extended period of time. Have fun sledding!

  10. I have a pair of Sorel Caribous that are great. I’ve gone snowshoeing and snowmobiling in them several times and they’re very warm with great traction. I do get chafing on the back of my heel, but I accidentally got them a size or so too big, so that’s not really surprising. I figured I’d have to wear serious heavy socks, but it turns out they’re warm enough with regular wool socks, and the felt lining compressed a little.

    • Love my caribous too. I’ve had them for 10 years in a snowy mountain climate. They’ve held up beautifully and no chaffing. I think correct sizing is important. Big enough for thick wool socks but not so big they flop around too much.

  11. Would not wear anything this heavy where I live, it is just not that cold here.

    What I think looks good for work this season is black tights, black sweater or turtleneck, and a narrow patterned or textured skirt just above the knee. The skirt has become an accessory!

  12. fly a way :

    I am looking to streamline my day to day briefcase. It must hold regular sized manilla file folders. The height requirement is stumping me.

    Does anyone have the Brahmin Arno? Will it work?

    Link in next posting.

    Many thanks; also for sites other than Nordies that might have sales?

    • fly a way :

      Other ideas welcome; don’t want to go over $300 though.

      • Anonymous :

        I love my Jack Georges briefcase/tote. It is a bit more understated than the Brahmin bag, so your style may dictate. I like the look of the Brahmin, too, but can’t speak to functionality.

        • I’m a Jack Georges fan, too, and I just got an email from them about Black Friday, but it’s a little mysterious. I’m not sure whether they’re having discounts that day or just reminding you to shop there.

          FWIW, Small Business Saturday, I bought my current Jack Georges from a neighborhood luggage shop. :)

          • I adore my Jack Georges bag. It is a great streamlined briefcase alternative. And I’m pretty rough on my bags and its held up really well.

        • OP here, can any of you tell me your ‘style’ … there are options out there and I can’t determine which would hold 2-3 files (letter size) fo about an inch thick each…so many seem to be designed for laptops.

          I do like what I see.

          Do you mind not having “feet” on the bags? Does that effect their wear?


          • I have the Chelsea collection Alexis business tote. I think it has feet on the bottom.

          • I have this one,

            and what I love about is that it basically looks like a really nice handbag, but can fit my laptop and/or slim files. This one has traveled with me for over five years and still looks great.

          • I have the Milano as well (I think – scored it on sale at TJ Maxx for $80!), in a medium blue. I really like it, and it does have feet. I can cram a few letter size manila folders, or a letter size redweld stuffed with paper, or a small binder. On days I’m really schlepping, I have carried a laptop, a large binder, and a full redweld, but I can zip it up (fine for me as I’m just hauling it to the car for my drive home).

            I have several nice Coach briefcases, as well as a spring green laptop bag from Franklin Covey, but the Jack Georges is my go-to. Love it.

          • Sorry – *can’t* zip it up that full. But can with just a couple things in it.

    • I have a Brahmin bag that’s more tall than wide, but forget the name of it, and can’t seem to find it online. I’ve had it for about a year now and carry it everyday. Fits my laptop, manila folder, the leather is still beautiful. I love it (and get compliments on it semi-regularly).

    • Love my Jack Georges briefcase. It’s more than 10 years old, though, so not a model that’s still made. Mine is closest to the current “Platinum Special Edition Double Gusset Flap Over Briefcase” — but mine is only a single gusset. It can fit three letter-size manila folders each about an inch thick without any problems. If you scroll down on each of the individual pages the Jack George website will give you the dimensions. Standard letter-size manila folders are 9.5″ on the shorter side, including the sticking-up tab.

  13. Happy thanksgiving ladies!

    I’m reposting my question from earlier, since there were no takers on the morning thread.

    I’m applying for a legal fellowship at organization B. Prior to law school, I worked for a long time with organization A, which has a “strained” relationship at best with organization B. My substantive experience at B is highly relevant to A, and anyone at B would be very familiar with what A as an organization does, though not necessarily what people in my position there do.

    I think they are going to look at my resume and think its great experience and interview me, or they are going to hang my resume up and gleefully throw darts at it while doing that evil laugh thing like in cartoons. Could really go either way.

    Should I send a long-ish cover letter discussing my experience and “what I learned” about B while working at A in detail, or should I cover it briefly and move on?

    Also, when someone is applying for a fellowship as an entry-level person, what do you want to see from them in a cover letter about what they hope to get out of the fellowship and what they hope to contribute? How should those two things be balanced?

    • Forgot to say – thanks in advance for all responses!

    • Former MidLevel :

      I would keep your letter short – one page is ideal. As someone who reads a lot of cover letters now, I hate ones that try to detail what the applicant will contribute (e.g. “My high grades in Con Law demonstrate the depth of legal analysis I will bring to this position…”). Not only do those sorts of letters tend to come off as pretentious, but they rarely convey useful information.

      Focus on why you want *this* internship. Do you have a geographic connection? Does it fit well with your subject matter interests? It’s not clear from your post if A and B do the same type of work, but it appears they are related in some way. But are they related enough that you can say something like “As you can see from my enclosed resume, I have interest and experience in immigration law…”? If they do slightly different things in similar fields, maybe something like: “Now that I have some experience with the direct-service side of this industry, I’m eager to learn more about the administrative side.” But as far as the “strained relationship” goes, there is nothing you can do. So don’t mention (or sweat) about it. Don’t summarize your experience or what you learned–leave that in your resume.

      Clearly, there is something about organization B you like–tell them what that is. Who knows, maybe there are other people who have “switched sides” as well.

      • Thanks for the advice. I wish I could be more specific, but it’s a unique situation and I don’t want to out myself! I’ll keep it short.

  14. working stiff :

    I was wondering if any corporettes had read the recent NYT/dealbook articles on the woes of young, suddenly unemployed finance types and a related op-ed, written by a current Yale student, on the evils and inherent problems with big bank recruiting on Ivy league campuses I’ll post the links in a separate comment.

    Personally, I think the article about the finance types was a bit unfair, and really skewered these 20-somethings whose biggest mistake was probably agreeing to be interviewed. Not that they need or deserve special sympathy, but the general outcry over the article was alarming – some of the comments were vicious. Did anyone see them / agree with them / disagree with them?

    On the Yale op-ed, I thought it had some interesting points, but as someone who went through an investment bank program after graduation, I actually think they have merit. I didn’t stay in banking, I left after 2 years. But yes, I did pick up a lot of great skills that have served me well in my career (which has nothing to do with Wall Street) and there is something to be said for the rigor and forced learning curve that these programs put you through. A few years later, you’re a much more valuable hire for all kinds of corporate and non-corporate roles — same goes for consulting programs.

    I agree, it would be nice if fewer of our “best and brightest” went into Wall Street and more of them went to work on fixing major world issues. But in that case I really think we have to start earlier and get more people interested in math and science and engineering so that someday, they can start solving some of our world problems around energy, the environment, world hunger, etc. If we’re waiting for the on-campus recruiting office to do that for us, I think that’s way too late.

    Ok, enough rambling. Just wondering if anyone else had seen those articles and had any thoughts about them. Happy Thanksgiving!

    • working stiff :

      here are the links.

      the first article:

      a 2nd article about the first article:

      and the op-ed:

      • thanks for your responses. I’m not sure how “start earlier and get more people interested in math/science/engineering” would ever be easy. if that’s how you read the comment, that certainly wasn’t the intent … yes, i do realize that you can’t just say, “hey kids, be an engineer!” and fix the problem. but just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing, especially when you have all this smart young talent at stake and the financial industry is snagging the lion’s share of them.

        driving more interest in math, science, and other fields — fields with more specialized expertise, that is, and with students more likely to fuel industries other than finance — would, by definition, mean starting young, and also making those fields more attractive, including trying to address many of the issues you are highlighting (the crazy workloads, the poor job market, the high tuition, the sexism). yes, it’s a long, slow, complex process, but so is the trend that got us here – a 15, 20 year path of steadily increasing wealth built by the financial industry, and an equal erosion of value in fields that used to be more attractive to students. anyway, if we could make these other needed fields more appealing, and make the career path more apparent, perhaps we wouldn’t have so many students heading to finance for lack of other clear goals.

        anyway – the article was actually about on-campus recruitment of banks. thanks for listening, though.

        • The thing is, if I could start over, I would have majored in economics or finance instead of engineering. I always liked money/business stuff, but fell into engineering because I was good at math and science. Once I got into law school I focused on financial classes and loved all of them.

          • Economics would have been fine, too. Plenty of math and world problems to solve there! ;)

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Made me think of this article – the argument is that finance cannibalizes entrepreneurship in other sectors of the economy by paying huge amounts of money to those who are best prepared to innovate:

        Oh, and I absolutely agree that we need people not to be afraid of STEM. We don’t necessarily need more engineers, but we do need more people to be trained to think like scientists and logically test hypotheses. Unfortunately that’s an uphill battle given that not only the general public, but also many elementary school teachers think of science and math as a subject they didn’t like in school with lots of confusing facts as opposed to training in how to problem-solve.

    • karenpadi :

      I haven’t read the articles. But I don’t think it’s as easy as “start earlier and get more people interested in math and science and engineering”.

      I am an engineer. There are so many hurdles for getting people to stay in STEM programs that are never addressed. To start, STEM grades aren’t inflated quite like liberal arts/business grades. What 18 y-o wouldn’t want a 3.5 GPA instead of a 3.0? Also, what 18 y-o wouldn’t rather take history and psychology rather than calculus and physics their first year in college? Plus, as an engineering major, I wrote more pages per semester than my journalism/English double-major roommate.

      Engineering students have class on Friday mornings and two labs a week. Engineering classes are more likely to start on time (if not early) and go late. I was constantly shocked at the difference between my engineering friends and the other students when we had to join the general population for certain liberal arts requirements. We were prepared for class, on-time, we had our homework done, we participated in class discussions, we didn’t skip class (we’d have classes where only the engineering majors showed up), and we didn’t pack up 10 minutes before class officially ended. Looking back, it would have been much easier to not be an engineering major. I don’t blame the kids who dropped out freshman year.

      Plus, engineering as a career is pretty dead-end in the US unless you go into management. It’s not a path to riches and it’s not a paradise of being able to solve world problems any more than law or finance is. Even more troubling for women, engineering is chock-full of sexism and boys’ networks. There was a WSJ article a few years back about a MIT scientist who is male-to-female trans (sorry if I have the terminology wrong) and how she is treated less seriously now than she was as a man.


      So no, just encouraging more kids to go into STEM won’t work. The best proposal I’ve seen is to subsidize engineering majors so that they pay much lower tuition than other majors. I know that the deciding factor for me to stay in engineering was that one of my bigger scholarships was dependent on me being enrolled in the college of engineering.

      • well…one way to encourage more women to go into engineering would be to have hotter male engineering students! I’m kidding…sort of. I started college wanting to major in poli sci and go to law school, but dated a cute guy in my calc II class that was an engineer, and long story short I got an engineering degree. i’m actually dating a different engineer now, who’s also really hot.

        I second everything karenpadi said, engineering is HARD. I worked full time while going to law school (which I finished in 3 1/2 years) and that was a walk in the park compared to majoring in engineering and not working. no one ever skipped class. we had design hours on wed morning, and tues was a big party night. we had to take way more credit hours than liberal arts majors, and write at least one, if not two 20+ page lab reports a week. (and when I got to LRW my prof said engineering students always do well with legal writing!)

        Initial starting salaries are decent, but there’s only so much more you can make, unless you run your own company or are a big rainmaker for someone else. i’m glad I got the degree, but if I could go back, I don’t think I would have done it.

        • karenpadi :

          That was one perk of being an engineer–I knew more guys than all my non-engineer girlfriends.

          I like your point about taking more credit hours than liberal arts majors. If you follow engineering curriculum, you start to notice a trend that things/classes keep getting added and nothing is removed. So, to fit a new two-credit class into the curriculum, they take two formerly 4-credit classes, make each three credits and add a lab to one of the courses. It’s a constant upward spiral.

      • I’m a classically trained scientist who works at an FFRDC (Federally Funded Research and Development Center, think Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos National Labs, etc), and work mostly as an engineer these days. Actually, I am half time engineer and half time manager. I found that my people-skills are better than many (not all!) engineers at my lab, which makes me ideally suited to management. So my salary is more than I ever expected it to be, and double what I’d be making at an academic institution.

        But that is just the salary part. The other part is that I adore the synergy of minds coming together to create something innovative and new. It is this part of my work that brings me back enthusiastically ever day. It is FUN! (Mostly)

        Just another perspective…

    • I saw the articles but read them only after seeing your post. The reaction is not so surprising – although Dealbook posts don’t generally attract that many comments, certain themes seem to bring out a more generalist readership who tilt left/ liberal/ anti-Wall Street/ anti-big business and who are not shy about making their views known in the comment section.

      I don’t know if you recall Facebook’s sale of shares to GS and its clients earlier this year – it was extensively covered by Dealbook, there was a similarly vitriolic reaction then as well and it also went for pages and pages.

      My own thoughts : I’ve been in financial markets for over 15 years now and this looks like the bottom of every other cycle I’ve seen – hand-wringing on one side and gloating on the other. It’ll be the reverse at the top of the next market cycle – we’ll all believe it’s different this time and that we deserve for the IPO to jump, the deal to be a double-bagger etc etc. We kind of do it to ourselves – so no need to feel too badly for us !

  15. Am I the only one dreading Thanksgiving? Bah!

    • Anon for this :

      It’s usually my favorite holiday but this year I’m in the hospital with pregnancy complications (looks like little peanut will be just fine though and I’m feeling very thankful for that). And the food here stinks. :/

      • Good luck to you and your little peanut. Sorry you’re in the hospital, but as you say, lots to be thankful for. Best wishes to you.

        • Important to get someone to bring in good food for you unless you are on a restricted diet, I have vowed never to eat hospital food.

          • The brith center where I had my daughter was affiliated with a hospital and so the food was “hospital food” but it was so good! I was very surprised with the quality.

    • Un-turkey :

      I used to love holidays. And then my brother got married. Because I don’t like my psycho-in-law, I now dread holidays. I think working would be better… Why did he marry a witch?

      • My brother married a witch, too. I feel your pain.

        • I am so often glad that my sister married someone awesome (even if it took my parents some drama to realize it). I can only hope eventually my brother does too, but I worry.

      • Mine is about to! Maybe the wedding will get called off. The nice thing is that everyone else hates her as well…so complaining about her has turned into a real family bonding experience.

        • While, I complete understand the sentiment, that kind of statement makes me feel sorry for her. I obviously don’t know what kind of person she is , but I have found that the complaining (as justified as it may be) can quickly develop into a habit and mindset about a person that may cause you to overlook some potential good qualities – or alienate any potential relationship you may have with that person.

          Maybe for Thanksgiving you could find a couple of things about her that you are genuinely thankful for?

          • I second this. When I read the first comment, my first thought was “oh my gosh, I hope you’re not my SIL complaining about me!” Extended family/in-laws are hard and I recognize that there are certainly circumstances where people are truly deplorable or difficult, but I also wonder if people don’t almost undermine their relationships with their in-laws by dreading and complaining about them. My MIL and I had problems at the beginning, but once I began to realize that she is not my mother and is obviously going to be different than my own mother, I started being able to accept her actions better. I also stopped complaining about her to other people, even jokingly. I figure, if you say something enough, you start to believe it, even if it’s not true.

          • I third. I did not like my sis-in-law when she first married my brother, but I’ve come around. We will never be best friends, but she loves my brother and I’ve really gotten used to her, more than anything else.

            I think getting married myself also changed my perspective on this. It’s hard to come into another family when you didn’t choose them and they didn’t choose you.

          • anon for this :

            One of my brothers married a woman that no one in the family was in love with (other than him). My step mom (his mom) made a conscious decision to accept my SIL with open and loving arms, and to continuously try to find aspects of her that were admirable and laudable (for instance, she really is a wonderful mother to her kids). I’m sure it hasn’t been easy for my stepmom, but she’s really set a tone for our family, and it’s helped all of us accept my SIL for who she is, and accept her into our loud, sometimes dysfunctional, always loving family

    • AnonInfinity :

      I’m okay with Thanksgiving, but I am dreading Christmas.

      • I dread holidays to the max and finally just talked with my in-laws about “excusing myself” from Christmas. I grew up Jewish, so I’m not into Christmas and I just don’t dig the way his family celebrates. This year I am joining them for lunch (after the 5 hours of present-opening madness are over) and I just couldn’t be happier. This after many, many fraught years and hurt feelings/stress/dread.

        Thanksgiving, on the other hand, I was not able to weasel out of. Maybe next year.

        • You sound sooo ungrateful. I wish I had a family. why are you soo miserable? Seriously, I find comments like this more depressing than spending the holidays alone.

          • Thank you for having such supportive comments. If only we could celebrate the idea that everyone celebrates in different ways…

          • Anon for This :

            I think sometimes it’s less about ingratitude and more about recognizing how you can best actually enjoy these people. My BF’s family is great, and I love them at all other times, but I’m removing myself from their Christmas celebration this year. I’ve done Christmas with them for the last several years because my parents are divorced (they each usually travel individually to see extended family). Last year I decided I can’t take it anymore.

            Every family has traditions, but one of theirs is that only family members can put presents under the tree. Even after so many years being there – and even as the only non-relative present! – I have to store my gifts elsewhere; also I always have to give my gifts last. At any other time these people are the most friendly and welcoming you could imagine, but they’ve made it clear that their traditions are 100% inflexible. Also, they are all last-minute shoppers. BF and I were flat broke all last year, but with some very careful shopping we were able to swing Christmas. His sister (who, like everyone else, knew about our money problems) calls at 5 PM Christmas Eve wanting BF to go in on a luxurious gift for their parents because she (guess what??) couldn’t find anything else suitable.

            This year, I am doing my own Christmas at my own house and people can show up or not. The people you honestly treasure at every other time of year can become totally thoughtless and obnoxious at the holidays!

          • Huh: Perphaps you are not aware of any families affected by severe mental illness and/or drug addiction or alcoholism? Many, many people suffer through the holidays because of long-standing dysfunction and abuse.

    • Thanksgiving became one of my favorite holidays when I stopped spending it with family. Usually it is just me and my husband, eating turkey at a nice restaurant, counting our blessings. Sometimes we spend it with friends, but usually turn down offers to eat with friends and THEIR families.

      Holiday drama is so over-rated.

      • Louise: Great idea. Some of my favorite holidays are ones I spent with my mom at a restaurant.

        My boyfriend is really into “ritual,” which I have never been. It’s frustrating.

        • my ritual is sitting on my ass and doing as little as possible ;o)

        • Is your bf into ritual because it’s always other people (probably his mother, and other women) stumping up to do all the work to set it up all cozy and fancy for him? If your bf is willing to do his share of the work to make the ritual happen, then that’s perhaps not so bad.

          My brother-in-law “loves ritual,” but only because he never lifts a finger to do anything or exert any effort. I’ve stopped saying that he likes ritual and have just taken to calling him “entitled and spoiled.”

  16. SF Bay Associate :

    Don’t forget that lots of stores that will offer promos for Black Friday/Cyber Monday will do price adjustments –> you can buy now, and get an adjustment on Monday :). Chat with a customer service rep to check (and be sure to also check if you can get an adjustment if you use a coupon code you found on retailmenot or such), and then shop today to get a jump on selection!

  17. Is there a site for tracking the price on products? I googled but it is turning up kind of scammy looking sites. I really want a Clarisonic Mia for Christmas but don’t want my mom to be spending that kind of money on it.

    • If you are an Ebates member, go to their site. They have a build-in product/price search. I took a look for you, lowest price I saw was at buyDOTcom.

    • Got stuck in moderation – sorry if this posts twice:

      If you are an member, go to their site. They have a build-in product/price search. I took a look for you, lowest price I saw was at buy DOT com


      • Seconding ShoppingNotes dot com. They only track prices as they go up and down; I’ve never gotten any spam from them.

        • Thanks to you both. I am a ebates member and will check out the tracking function as well as Shopping Notes.

    • I like Pinx. Free, easy to use, sends me emails when price drops.

  18. Speaking of boots, I am thinking about buying the Deerfield Equestrian boots from L.L. Bean (link in the reply). The description doesn’t say anything about the shaft height (I really hope that isn’t a bad word)! I really like at least a 17″ shaft height in brown boots. Does anyone have experience with these boots by any chance?

    • Here is the link:

    • I think in the description it says it is 15 inches.

      “Traditional riding boot look with feminine buckle detailing. Boot 15″H; Heel 1¼”H”

    • Seattleite :

      Actually, if you click on “show more details” the extended description says the boot is 15″ high.

    • Oh, gosh. It’s been one of those days. Thanks, ladies!

    • AgencyCounsel :

      With some convicing from me, my sister got these boots from the L.L. Bean Outlet some time ago. She wears them all the time, loves them. They are a tall boot that comes just under the knee.

      • How tall is your sister? These boots are gorgeous, but I always worry they’ll come up too high and become over-the-knee boots on me (I’m 5’2). Sometimes the shaft measurements are not quite spot on, though LL Bean seems reliable.

    • I now have the theme song from Shaft stuck in my head.

    • Timely – I just got these today in the mail. In love, already.

  19. Hi everyone!
    I am in my late 20’s and am still searching for the *right* career for me. I am unhappy in my current position now and have been considering getting an MBA and making the leap into consulting but I’m nervous about the cost of MBA programs and the weak hiring right now. How did you all know what the right career path was for you??

    • Don’t go into debt.

      -Associate attorney with a lot of debt who would rather be a park ranger but who has no other option than to continue being an associate attorney.

      • Another associate attorney :

        Associate attorney who would rather be a park ranger, have you looked into IBR? If your payments were capped at 15% and your loan balances forgiven after 10 years, perhaps you could swing it. I’m a junior associate who hates being a lawyer, and I’m considering leaving the law for a career in human services…

    • MBAs are extremely expensive. Unless you’re going to a top tier school, it’s probably not worth it in this market, especially without a career plan. And the top consulting firms really only hire from the top B-schools.

      Your question is a too open-ended for a neat & tidy solution, but here are some questions you should ask yourself.

      Do you like/are you good at:
      – working with people? People different than you?
      – writing? Researching? Reading and editing?
      – math, numbers, financial info?
      – statistics and data?
      – sitting in an office, in front of a computer?
      – talking to/dealing with people all day long?
      – selling?
      Do you need to achieve some sort of mission or goal with your work, or do you mainly want to earn money for rent and pursue your dreams on the weekends?
      Are you financially well-off? How much money can you live on?
      Where do you want to be? US, overseas? Big cities, small towns?

      You get the idea.

    • I agree that (at least in this economy) you shouldn’t start an MBA program unless you are independently wealthy or get a full ride scholarship. You should also decide what type of job and what level of firm you want to target before you start. For example, McKinsey hires a distinct group of MBA graduates, mainly from top schools and/or with specialized backgrounds. Regional consulting firms are quite different, so again it depends. I have friends who got full rides to Wharton and their trajectories are much different than that of someone who went to a lower tier university without a name-brand. Not to say that’s bad, it’s just that it would be better to figure out that before you spend the time/$$$.

      You might be interested in this recent article:

      • Thanks for your input! I currently have no debt so I could possibly afford to pay for an MBA with some planning. My current employer used to pay for an MBA but (because of the economy) the program has been suspended.
        I feel trapped! I am not happy at my current job; I originally wanted to pursue a JD/MBA but because of the cost decided that was just risking too much. I don’t know how else to get out of this situation. My company over-hired in the boom days so it is difficult to move into a new department. I also really dislike where I am living and really, really want to get the heck out of here. I am at a loss; I feel like the outlook for every career is so terrible right now but at the same time I don’t want to not pursue a career path I am excited about and have regrets later.
        I am about to have a post quarter-life crisis!!

        • LadyEnginerd :

          No concrete advice about MBA/no MBA, but please make sure that you’re making a move towards something that could be a dream job, as opposed to doing anything to escape where you are now. I say don’t do anything, particularly don’t take any concrete steps towards an MBA until you have had time to reflect about some dream career options after some time away from the job where you are unhappy (like at the tail end of a vacation). Reflect too on whether you don’t like your larger career, or your specific job. After a few informational interviews and a lot of research, I think only then will you be prepared to make a more rational decision about where to go next.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I think this is great advice. Having a clear goal in mind if you ultimately decide to go get your MBA will probably make school that much better for you and that way you won’t be taking on the incredible expense for something you aren’t sure you want.

    • If you really want to do consulting, then the MBA can be a good idea (although I agree with Coach Laura and anon to think about this before making the leap).

      I also agree that you should not go into significant debt, but you might be able to swing the MBA without loads of debt. Does your state school have a decent MBA program? If so, the debt could be manageable with in-state tuition. An MBA is only two years after all. Think twice, though, of you want a job outside of your state because those employers may prefer an MBA from a different type of school (e.g., ivy league). Also, don’t be afraid to ask for scholarships, aid and other ways to cut the cost. You might get more help than you expect. For example, some of my friends got a full tuition waiver when they agreed to T.A. an undergraduate class while in their MBA program. Most of them got also got some sort of aid if they asked for it (even if it was just a token amount). Finally, night programs could be an option if you would be willing to keep working to avoid the debt.

      You should also do a reasonable cost/benefit analysis if you haven’t already. Consider what you are earning now, what you would probably earn after the MBA, what monthly payments would be on expected MBA debt, and intangibles (e.g., a realistic assessment of how likely it is you will be happier as a consultant versus your current position).

      Good luck!

      • I have spent a lot of time considering this but I am still not confident because of the cost. Which I will be entirely responsible for on my own (same as undergrad). If you are in the “right” career for you now, how did you know it was the right choice??

        Many of the careers I am interested in you can’t exactly try beforehand so even though I have talked to people in the field I am still nervous about making the switch..

        Thanks again everyone for your insights!

        • What did you say is so bad about the job you have now?

          • My job isn’t bad – it just isn’t a good fit for me. I don’t find it challenging or very interesting. I am concerned that the longer I stay in this field the harder it will be for me to leave. I work with a great company but it’s not in an industry I see myself staying in.

          • How did you get into a not- a- very -good -fit -for -me, not -challenging -or -interesting -job in the first place?

          • Turkey –

            “How did you get into a not- a- very -good -fit -for -me, not -challenging -or -interesting -job in the first place?”

            I can’t reply under your original comment so I am posting here …. That is a great question. Basically I left a job I really enjoyed and relocated to a very, very tiny little town with my husband because he landed a job at a very, very large company here. I took a job at the same company because they had an opening in an area where my degree makes me qualified and there are very limited options around here. I am not exaggerating when I say my choices were essentially to take this job or be unemployed/underemployed. In this area there isn’t an option to do the type of work I was doing previously.

          • So how would you get and MBA in this tiny town?

          • There are two top 25 MBA programs within driving distance…

          • O.k. Sometimes things are just meant to be. If that is truly your situation, if your husband has a good job, if you are settled in the location you both want to be (or your husband wants to be), if there are no other job options, if there are two top MBA programs within driving distance, if you are seriously thinking about it to the point where you need to ask others for advice, if you figure out a way to pay for it, if you visit the schools and like the curriculum, this is what you are meant to do. Do not overthink beyond this point. Education is never a bad thing. Your degree will be worth something big to you in the future in ways you can’t know now.

          • Turkey,

            Thank you for calling me out on overthinking. :)

            I tend to do that quite a bit, and of course I rationalize it but in the end I just never make a decision. Glad to hear that there are other peole that believe education is always a good thing. I heard to many people say their graduate work was a “waste”.

          • too*
            Hate when I do that!

        • If your inner voice is telling you to be worried about cost, you should listen to it. It could be that costs would be problematic or it could be something else seems off and you aren’t really sure you want to go through with it.

          I am not sure there is a *right* career for everyone. I may be cynical, but one way I look it at is that there are about 1,000 awesome jobs in any given field and about 1,000,000 people that want them. Plus, only about 100 of those jobs would probably still seem awesome once you actually got them.

          I told a friend last year that was considering different careers: money, time, or fun; pick 2 because you will rarely if ever get all 3, and if you only get 1 of them then that is not a good job. Perhaps that is oversimplified, but many jobs will require a significant trade-off on one of those items (i.e., no time to yourself, not much money, or not much fun).

          So if you have already thought about what is right for you, maybe spend some more time thinking about what is wrong for you. Then, focus on careers where the jobs include reasonable trade-offs. Would you be able to tolerate not having enough money for things you want all the time? Could you put up with a more boring job if it paid enough and left you time for yourself? Do you easily get overstressed so that a high-pressure environment would be intolerable? [etc.]

          I decided to become a lawyer because I needed more economic security and I knew I wouldn’t mind the day-to-day drudgery of being a lawyer. (I don’t consider it drudgery the way many do. I like researching and writing and thinking about things and I am also usually not intimidated or stressed out by crazy clients, short deadlines, or the other “negatives” of my job.) Unlike a lot of my friends in law school, I went there with a purpose and knew what life as a lawyer would probably be like. The economy was better back then, so I didn’t have the concern that I wouldn’t find a job. Even though the economy was pretty good, I went to a school where I could pay in-state tuition (which took 2 years of advance planning so that I could establish residency first). That meant that I graduated with manageable (although still significant) debt.

          You should also seek the advice of those that know you well and tell them to be honest. If they think you are looking into the MBA because you aren’t really sure what to do, they will hopefully tell you that.

          Good luck!

          • Thanks for the great thoughts. I agree with trusting your gut but it is really hard for me to understand if my reservations are from not being confident in my career choice or if it is because of the responsibility of paying back a large amount of debt. I suspect it might be a little of both – that and the whole going “into the unknown” aspect.

            My dilemma is do I stay in a low paying, boring job and have no debt, but feel unfulfilled or do I risk taking on a large amount of debt to make a career change and increase my odds of finding more challenging, fulfilling work? I absolutely know what I am doing right now isn’t working for me.

            It is a shame that because of the lack of job prospects and extremely high cost of tuition I (and many others) have to debate furthering my education.

          • So – you are in this tiny town where you only had one option with your existing qualifications (based on what you said above). Is getting an MBA going to open up opportunities in this small town? Or are you going to still be limited by the offerings available there?

            And if there are 2 major MBA programs within 30 miles, are there not also more job opportunities in your field in that 30 miles? Is your husband going to be in this tiny town for the rest of y’all’s lives, or is there the possibility of moving in a few years? Is there someway to alleviate the boredom from the current job (that’s the vibe I’m getting – is that you’re bored, rather than being in a toxic environment) through continuing education in your field?

            Maybe you’ve covered this – but is there no middle ground between boring job and MBA/debt?

  20. I personally lust after the old-school LLBean tall waxed-canvas hunting shoe. Not warm like these, but kind of the equivalent for my (wet and chilly, but not typically snowy) climate.

  21. For anyone making a Turkey tomorrow that might be a little stressed out about it (Ellen) –

    You’ve gotta love Tante Marie.

    NSFW warning – I watched this at work, but she does say the F word a couple of times.

  22. Need major help, Ladies…
    So i work in an administrative capacity in a job I mostly hate. It has nothign to do with what I studied, love, care about, blah blah, but it’s a job. I’m looking for a better one, but, rent that’s some background.
    So since it’s an administrative job, I do a lot of menial stuff. Some of it involves writing things, with my hands, like writing on documents when i found a file or whatever. I was just repremanded by my top supervisor because my writing was not ledgible. I cannot help it. It is a learning disability called dysgraphia that I have strugggled with my entire life – I have VERY bad handwriting, I know. I really can’t avoid doing these tasks, or typign them up – it’s part of my job. I can write ledigbly, it just takes me about double the time what it takes someone else. It was frankly, very embarrasing and upsetting – i started crying in the meeting, and let my little learning disability secret out. I am by no means stupid, I have a masters degree from a top ten school in my discpline. I’ve frequently dealt with people who do not think this is a “real” disability, or think I just “make it up” because I only tlel people about it when the need arises- such as now, when I was being critizcized. Any advice would be greatly appreciated – I know it’s almost the holiday, but don’t worry, I’ve been asked to come in over the holiday weekend, so I’ll be here. Just feel very alone here.

    • How did they respond when you told them? Were they supportive?

      I don’t know if this would work, but if the notes you have to write are fairly short, could you type and print them on labels? Especially if it’s often the same thing, you could print out a sheet of labels at a time. Or if it’s a date, could you use a date stamp?

      I hope you find a solution that works for you..good luck :)

    • No advice, but sympathies! My boyfriend’s brother has a learning disability and has been in similar situations with not-understanding bosses. Maybe find an ally at work if you can, and brainstorm ways to work around this (like anon’s suggestion of labels or a date stamp). It really helps to have an understanding friend, even if you can’t think of the perfect solution. Hang in there!

    • Short-term, they should not be criticizing you about a disability.

      Long-term, however, it does seem like the ability to write would be part of your job as an admin. Are there accomodations or equipment your employer could provide that would help you be able to do this part of your job?

      Have you consulted with an Occupational Therapist to work on techniques and adaptations?

      I’m sorry if that seems obvious, but I have taken my son to an OT for quite a while due to his own learning disability (and by the way, my son is really really smart – I think everyone should know that having a learning diability does not make you “stupid”) and the OT has been so very helpful in giving him tools to get along in a regular public school classroom. It seems similar tools could help you get along in a regular workplace.

    • hmm, I have never heard about this but had to look it up. I have atrocious handwriting, I was like the last student in my elementary school class that was allowed to graduate to using pen instead of pencil, bc we couldn’t do so until our handwriting was up to par. I also am a terrible speller and mispronounce words all the time, I just half joked that I’m dyslexic.

      Anyway, yes if I want my handwriting to be legible it takes for-freaking- ever. Actually, I the birthday/thank you cards I send out generally look bad bc I’ll start out in my ugly regular writing, and then think, oh crap, I should have made this look nicer.

      So I take extra time on file labels and if I’m writing something for someone else. If I have to leave someone a note that is longer than what would fit on a post it, I email/type it. Thankfully my boss has terrible writing too.

      A classmate of mine actually offered to buy the bar exam flashcards I made for myself but I told him he wouldn’t be able to read them!

    • Get a doctor’s note and ask for an accommodation – a label maker. You can get an amazing one for $50. As long as it’s documented, they have to do it since it’s neither expensive nor difficult to accommodate.

      I have this one and love it, but there are cheaper and hand-held models out there.

      • Ooh, good point. I loved my label maker when I worked in an office that had one.

        • This business about the label maker makes me smile. My husband and kids and I stay at the same rental house every summer and, apparently, the home owner has a new label maker. Because this year, everything was labeled. And I mean everything.

          There is a label that says “towels” stuck to the wall over the towel bar. There are labels on the shelves of the (empty) medicine cabinet that say “toothpaste,” “toothbrushes,” “razors,” “soaps,” and “feminine products.” There are labels in the kitchen that say “wine glasses, stemmed,” and “drinking glasses,” and “bowls” and “utensils.”

          I’m sure this is not what the OP will do with her label maker, but N K, think of the possibilities!! :)

    • You’re either going to have to take the extra time to write legibly or find an alternative, like writing in all caps or seeing an OT as others suggested. It sounds like your boss handled it in a crappy way, but his request (being able to read your writing) is not unreasonable.

      For what it’s worth, I sympathize because my handwriting is terrible. When I’m in a hurry and I’m not consciously trying to write legibly, it’s a total mess. I often can’t read my own notes and my thank you cards are just embarassingly messy.

    • fly a way :

      I do assessments for all ages with learning differences, and dysgraphia is one of them.

      If you look up International Dyslexia Association (interdys dot org) they have some great information sheets on Dysgraphia.

      I also think that you can find some inforamtion on

      wrightslaw dot com

      learning disabilities association (ld dot org) has severa like this

      YES. You should have accommodations. Typing labels, using some sort of technology.

      Information is power. so is technology. You may need a letter from the last diagnostician and/or your educational site that gave you accommodations.

      Try lettering … it’s writing like “Ellen” posts, all caps.

      Best to you.

      • Thank you everyone! This has been so helpful and i really appreciate the suggestions. I was only diagnosed last year, after someone else in one of my grad school classes made a mention that he had this condition and I thought to get checked out and I am going to contact my school and ask if they can recommend an OT – I’ve never thought that something like this could get in the way so much, but it’s very frusterating when people assume you are “dumb” because you have messy handwriting. I knew i should’ve been a doctor…if it wasn’t for chemistry!
        I definatly am going to look into a label maker and ask my boss if this is a possibility and I really love the date stamp idea – that’s EXACTLY what im doing, writing what date i pulled files on, so that’s perfect. Thank you so much, everyone.

        • good, stay positive! you can figure something out. You’re right, you should have been a doctor! ;o)

        • Another Stephanie :

          I work as an ADA coordinator, and assuming you’re in the states, each state has a Technology Assistance Program – locate your, make an appointment and see what gadgets/ideas they can set you up with.

          For the virtual tour – pop “job accommodation network” in your search engine with “dysgraphia” and see what comes up. This is a federally funded initiative that shares the (possible) solutions for those who inquire.

          Yes, stay positive – there are many ways to work through this, as well as relatively inexpensive solutions.

    • My job includes reading handwritten records, in more than one handwriting, and I often wish we used pre-set stickers/labels. I know of some similar offices that do this.

      I think everyone I know has some sort of disability. You are not alone.

    • Oh man. Dysgraphia is a real and serious disorder / learning disability that is mostly unknown. Get yourself to a psychologist, get an eval, and get a doctor’s note. You should always be allowed to type up anything before it is reviewed and should have access to spelling /grammar resources (either your spell check on your computer or a copy editor) since spelling and grammar are major issues for dysgraphics. Most dysgraphics have associated dyslexia, rate problems, or even dyscalculia on occasion. Those are “reasonable accommodations.” I know that dyslexia is generally covered under the ADA, so with a diagnosis in hand that can’t really do anything to you except accommodate your needs.

      The two dysgraphics I know are very successful in their jobs and have managed to keep their disorder under wraps. My father is a school psychologist and always has my mother (or myself when I lived at home) read his reports. I also have a friend from school who just got staffed in the writer’s room of a TV show. My father isn’t dyslexic, but my friend is. But neither of them have anyone ever looking at their handwritten notes. This is an undue hardship for you and can force you to reveal medical information (which you should not have to do).

      I think it can be very hard for intelligent people to admit they have learning disabilities, but you should not be ashamed (EVER!) of being dysgraphic. My younger sister has Williams Syndrome (IQ <80), would you tell her to be ashamed or embarrassed that her brain doesn't work exactly like other peoples'? Or tell some one who is blind that they should be ashamed? We are sometimes very good at standing up for things that are OBVIOUSLY wrong, but sometimes really crap at standing up for little injustices. Your employers are wrong to harass you at all (and in fact if your manager was even a little bit good at her job, would have immediately suggested making accommodations for your handwriting whether or not she knew you had a learning disability — because most adults can't change their handwriting anyway).

      Stay strong! Remember that you have accomplished a lot, in spite of your learning disability. Remember that morally, managerially and legally your boss is in the wrong. Get your letter from your doctor and get an employment lawyer recommendation from some of the legal minded Corporettes. And demand your reasonable accommodations. Take a stand against neurotypical bias!

      (Also, hugs and feel better. Maybe some pumpkin pie will help?)

  23. Are any Corporettes shopping on Black Friday? Cyber Monday? Would any of you share your shopping plans?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m planning on hitting Target to one-stop-shop for my giving tree kid. My church does mittens with 5-7 items on it. You are not expected to buy everything on it. To level the playing field, they want each mitten to return with only three wrapped packages though you can put more than one thing from the list in a wrapped package. My kid is 8 and asked for pants, shirts, coat, shoes, legos and remote control cars. I of course want to buy him the toys but I can’t ignore the necessities. While I’m not normally a fan of big box stores and crazy sale weekends, I’d like to see if I can get him everything on his list at a reasonable price. The tough part will be fitting it into just three wrapped packages! I’m actually going to start price comparing online now.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Need advice! The kid I’m shopping for this year is 8 years old and requested size 7 in boys clothes. The jackets and shirts at target are Small 6-7 or Medium 8-10. That’s a big difference! I think I’ll get medium because I think it would be better to be a little big than too small, right??

        • Yes get the 8-10, at worst he’ll grow into it! I was a very small child and always “wore my age”, so the 8-10 should work for a 7 year old, especially who’s on the small side.

        • WorkingGirl :

          Get medium so he can grow into them.

        • I’d get the small. I’m the mom of 3 boys, and through experience I’ve learned that there is a huge difference in ‘normal’ sizes for kids of a certain age. He might already be sizing up a little so that he can grow into them. You don’t really know. There is often a HUGE difference between small and medium, and in jackets and long sleve shirts, this could result in an unwearable item of clothing. Coats that are too big are also less warm. If you still don’t feel right about buying the small, find a different store that carries size 7, or make sure to include a gift receipt so it can be exchanged.

          Imagine if you had asked for a certain size of something for Christmas, and you got a larger size. Even if you were still growing and would be able to wear it someday, it would be awfully disappointing that you couldn’t wear your present immediately, especially if it was something you really needed.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Thanks. I got all actual size 7’s except for one shirt which I got in small 6-7. I got in 5 minutes before the end of one of JC Penny’s door busters and got an $85 boys jacket for $15. With that and other deals I found I was able to get him everything on his list for exactly $100 – 2 pants, (1 pair of jeans, one pair of cargos lined w/ warm camo fleece), 2 shirts, 1 pair of shoes, one lego set, one remote control H2, and 2 sets of batteries for it. The key was checking out the sales online before I went out so I knew exactly where to go.

  24. found a peanut :

    My great-aunt, who has done Thanksgiving at her house for at least the past ten years, just called me to see whether I could bring something.

    Oh, did you just realize ten minutes ago that you were hosting Thanksgiving? No? Oh well then, sorry, can’t help. Peanut works. Peanut cannot drop everything on a dime to go home, go to the store, pick up food, and then cook it. Next time you want Peanut to cook a side dish for 50 people, Peanut requires at least 3 days’ notice.

    • 50 people?! I thought maybe you were overreacting a tad until I read that. You are not overreacting, that’s ridiculous.

      My dad invited our whole extended family over for Thanksgiving. I just found out that on Sunday he tore out the wall between the living room and dining room. Don’t mind those chunks of drywall in your turkey. Wine all around!!

      • I still wonder if the 50 people might be a bit hyperbolic, though. I mean, my family (aunts/uncles/cousins) could be 40 or 50 if we were all in town, but that’s a pretty big crowd even for us. We also pot-luck it, with the hosting family responsible for the turkey/ham/meat, and everyone else chipping in on sides and desserts. Because its a little extreme to expect one person to buy and cook all of that food themselves, when so many benefit.

        And while I understand peanut’s frustration with the short notice, I agree with anon (below) that swinging by the deli for pre-made salad, or offering to pick up rolls or something wouldn’t be too much to ask.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s what I need! (I tend to forget that there’s an open bottle around.)

    • do you really have to cook it yourself? it’s still a hassle, but can you somehow get to a local gourmet food store and order 5 lbs of XYZ side dish? a lot are open late today, and open tomorrow til noon.

      i agree that the request is not very reasonable, but for the sake of family harmony …

    • That is ridiculous. I don’t understand all the posts (not just on this particular topic) about just maintaining family harmony or just doing something to keep from upsetting the person who is being unreasonable. I am a firm believer that you teach people how to treat you. If you bring a side dish this time, then next year she is going to call you last minute again. Boundaries need to be set in any relationship, even if it does cause awkwardness or rock the boat.

      • good luck with that, JS. we all get to pick and choose our battles.

      • Well, yes, but if someone is cooking you dinner and they ask for help, I think it’s reasonable to help in some way rather than digging your heels in about your boundaries.

        • There’s a difference between being asked to bring a side dish or two, and being asked to bring enough to feed 40-50people on short notice.

    • I don’t think this is unreasonable. Maybe not ideal, but give the woman a break. Organizing such a big dinner year in and year out isn’t easy, maybe she just realized she can’t do it all even though she wanted to. Help her out and get in the holiday spirit.

      • 5 bags of precut prewashed romaine lettuce, 4 bags of croutons, good grated parmesan cheese and a bottle of caesar dressing. Voila! Caesar salad!! And when you bring it, say sweetly to your great-aunt, “Next time, could you please give me a little more notice?”

      • Totally agree. Sorry, I work too and would never even consider showing up to a thanksgiving at my grandma’s house without bringing a dish, unless I was under the age of 18. Peanut just sounds like a spoiled kid who wont give up 3 hours to contribute a little to thanksgiving.

      • Yes. I don’t cook, so I would just buy a pecan or pumpkin pie. In fact, that’s what I’m bringing to my sister’s tomorrow. Unlike peanut’s situation, she asked me to bring something a week ago.

    • She is your great Aunt, she has to be pretty old. Do your best to help her, it must be hard to host that many people for the last 10 years! She called to see whether you could bring something, she didn’t even demand it. I would try to think of the spirit of the holiday and try to help

      • Many of us old folks have learned better time management skills over the years. Peanut’s aunt has no excuse for acting like a ditzy, unorganized new homemaker.

        • You are calling her 80 (guessing) year old aunt who hosts every year for 10 years, who called to ASK for ONE SIDE DISH a ditzy, unorganized new homemaker? yeesh people.

          • give me a break :

            Exactly. You are GUESSING that great-aunt is 80. Peanut’s complaint was being asked to provide a dish for 50 people at 4:48pm on the day before Thanksgiving. That is disorganized on Auntie’s part, at best. Rude at worst.

            Sorry, old people don’t get a pass on being rude or ditzy, unless there is a medical problem. In which case, I seriously doubt Peanut, a valued contributor to this community, would have griped about her aunt. You’ll note she didn’t say, “My elderly great aunt, who is having problems getting around and we’re all worried about her, has asked me for help at the last minute. She was so apologetic, so I feel really bad. It’s inconvenient, but I’ll help.” This is a meal Auntie has been making for a decade, she ought to know by now what needs to be done.

            And if bringing a dish every year was expected, why would it be a surprise to Peanut this year? Instead of attacking the OP, how about applying some sympathy for her situation? Yeah, some people’s relatives, even the old ones, can be real jerks.

          • I just don’t find it rude to ASK for help. Why would I have sympathy with something I don’t agree with? I’ll tell you one thing this has made me very grateful for my family this thanksgiving.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I wonder also if your great-aunt, who has hosted the past 10 years, is surprised to find that she’s not as spry and energetic as she once was, and so she’s having a harder time with the T-day prep than she expected. Or maybe she made what she asked you to bring, and then accidentally dropped it or burned it, and can’t face making it again with everything else she has to do. It might have been hard for her to admit that she needed your help, especially if she prides herself on doing Thanksgiving on her own, as she always has before. She turned to you for help.

      Call Whole Foods, order whatever dish she needs over the phone, and pick it up tonight on your way home. You don’t have to make it yourself.

      • I can’t agree more with this. It honestly made me sad to read your reaction to your (80? 90? year old) great aunt asking for a little help

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ditto. It is very hard for many people to ask for help.

      • WorkingGirl :

        Yeah. I hope to God that by the time I am a great aunt, and I am making a meal for 50 people, I will have earned the right to ask the people 2 generations under me to bring food without getting attitude from them. I do not think it’s appropriate to make passive aggressive comments about needing more notice next time. I can’t imagine it would take more than half an hour to place and pick up an order at your local gourmet store, most of which seem to be open late tonight and/or open tomorrow morning. This certainly is not too much to ask. If I were her, I would expect people to volunteer to bring something, or at least not show up empty-handed!

    • Seventh Sister :

      And Seventh does not cook. She has no idea how many pies are being made, the flavor of said pies, the consistency of said pies, or how many pies should be taken to Thanksgiving dinner. Seventh is a member of Team Pie, but when Seventh says that her husband does all the cooking, Seventh really, truly, actually means that her husband does all the cooking. Pick up the phone, Annoying Relative, call your son, and ask about the dessert menu. It’s 2011. Men can make pies.

    • Every Thanksgiving dinner I’ve ever attended (family, friends, my own) has been potluck-style, even when someone is officially “hosting” at their house. Everyone contributes to the bounty on the table, even if it’s not homemade.

      Next time someone invites you to Thanksgiving (or any holiday) dinner, try asking what you can bring upon accepting the invitation. That may help avoid last-minute surprises like this one.

      • I am astonished people don’t do this generally. I would be offended if I invited people to dinner and they did not at least offer to bring something (even if just a $9 bottle of wine). Especially at the holidays. You at least offer, ALWAYS. How rude to be offended an old lady coooks the entire dinner and then you get mad she asked you to bring ONE thing. Seriously?

        • Thank you! I was feeling like I was on island here. Peanut’s comment was so rude it actually made me feel sad and I felt like I was in bizarro world because everyone was agreeing.

        • This is NOT addressed to Peanut, who I assume has a pattern established with Great Aunt about Turkey Day meals and who brings what (or not).

          But, I will say, in response to “really?”, that you can tell a lot about the way someone was raised by how s/he accepts a dinner invititation. Anyone who doesn’t ask, “What can I bring?” when invited? Raised in a barn, as my mother would say.

          • Anonymous :

            Really? If I invite someone to dinner, I wouldn’t expect that they would assume that I won’t provide everything. Bringing wine, dessert, or flowers is standard. Asking if you need to contribute is not required.

      • Anonymous :

        Peanut won’t be the only person running around the stores this evening and cooking well into the night.

        • You mean you “forgot cranberries, too”

          Sorry. I love “Christmas Wrapping”

    • I understand the frustration with last minute planning (total pet peeve of mind), but I truly hope you were not planning on showing up empty handed! It’s one thing to not have the time to make enough of great great grandma’s double baked potatoes for 50 people (especially if you’re working late today and then traveling to t-giving dinner tomorrow), but it’s another if you were planning on showing up without so much as a pie or bottle of wine.

    • Okay. I think I can offer a more measured response on this than I’ve seen from everyone else, because I face a similar situation every year I celebrate Thanksgiving with my father. It goes thusly: I arrive home, ask how many people I’m cooking for, plan the menu, do the shopping, and begin cooking. I have everything under control, because I am an Overachieving Chick. Then, 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day, my father informs me that I will not be cooking for four people, I will be cooking for ten. I respond by screaming at him, drinking 3/4 of a bottle of wine while getting on with the cooking, and hating my life and my family and the fact that I don’t have enough shallots and that he forgot to brine the turkey and etc. etc. etc.

      But then I set the table, and get to use the good silver. Make a centerpiece. Put everything in serving dishes. People have started to arrive. And then everyone’s sitting at the table, and I realize you know what? It’s okay. Because what my father does is invite all of his childless, single friends, who do not have family nearby to spend Thanksgiving with, which, really, is a pretty cool and kind thing to do. And dang it, it’s a holiday about being grateful, and I (along with, I would venture, the overwhelming majority of Corporette readers) have a lot to be grateful for.

      So, at the risk of being all preachy, Peanut, because I really do understand where you’re coming from with the 11th-hour culinary demands–families suck sometimes. Holidays suck a lot of the time. But you can get through it, with or without a well-timed Whole Foods run or Caesar salad, because in the end, Thanksgiving is not about the food and the stress. It’s about your family, and giving thanks for all of the immeasurable blessings that we all share. /OKAY YALL, END HALMARK CHANNEL MOMENT, KIND OF THROWING UP IN THE BACK OF MY THROAT.

      • Bravo, a. Happy thanksgiving and extra karma points for spirit.

      • Damn. I feel a little teary, and I have a sudden urge to go watch the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special. Well done, a.

        Back to my sweet potato casserole with the crappy gigantic yams I bought which apparently take an hour plus to get soft enough to mash, a fact apparent to me only after dirtying ever mixing apparatus in my kitchen. Happy Thanksgiving.

      • A, what an awesome narrative. I’ve so done that holiday. Now having flashbacks to an anniversary party for my parents where I did most of the cooking and my SIL and brother ditched for the whole afternoon to go on a date and left their 2 and 5 y.o. daughters with me.

        They needed to have some time together, I don’t really begrudge, but shit o dear was the timing bad! It all was fine, though, and I want them to celebrate their 45th some day. But yes to the compensatory drinking!

    • found a peanut :

      Whoa! I just came back from dinner to find all these responses!

      Yes, there will probably be 50 people there tomorrow…my family is HUGE and all concentrated in one area. My great-aunt is not 80. FWIW, all her siblings and their children help out, so it’s not like she’s cooking/paying for the meal alone.

      It’s not as simple as just picking something up (which I would totally do)…my family is largely kosher so I can’t bring anything with dairy in it (thus cutting out most salads and cold pastas) or anything cooked that isn’t kosher, and I’m pretty sure if I brought a non-kosher cold side dish I’d be given the stink-eye and possibly it wouldn’t even be served.

      So really, she is asking me to either cook some sort of side dish for 50 people on one day’s notice, or find and go to a kosher deli after work to buy food.

      I wouldn’t mind bringing a dish, but seriously, one day’s notice is not acceptable. I’m going to tell her that I’m happy to help next year, but she has to tell me what to make the Friday before Thanksgiving.

      • we’re all just full of opinions, one way or another :)

        Happy Thanksgiving to Peanut, her great-aunt, and everyone else on this thread too!

      • Make a damn fruit salad.

    • Wow!! With all of the whinging about family over the last few threads, I realized that while my parents were imperfect, I was blessed to have them. They are no longer with me and I miss them terribly and it’s more acute during the holiday season. I hope some of you can begin to be gracious enough to see that family members are flawed human beings (as we all are) and ease up on the harsh judgements.

  25. Sorel boots are awesome. I have had my pair of Snowlions for 15+ years and they are still great for deep snow. Now that I have boots on the brain –

    What does everyone think about these Frye boots for business casual?

    Obviously under pants, but I was also thinking with black tights and a tweed or herringbone pencil skirt. Too naughty secretary? TIA!

  26. Blonde Lawyer :

    Just want to thank the poster who suggested using a free google voice number as a work cell phone number. I just got one and linked it to my personal iphone. If I have to give a client a number they will get that one and if they abuse it, I can just close that google number and get a new one. Great idea!

    • I think you can also set-up rules and vm msgs based on specific incoming calls…so no need to get a new # :)

      • SoCal Gal :

        Yes, you can just block their number. They get to hear the “doo-da-dee! This number has been disconnected” recording.

  27. Thanks to those that helped me with my law-school stresses last week. I saw a therapist today and am feeling much better.

    On a semi-related note: any tips on studying for law school exams, or doing well in law school in general? The next few weeks are crucial for me and any advice would be appreciated. TIA !

    • Relax and enjoy Thanksgiving first. Be a real person tomorrow and not a law student. Plus two or three days of mental rest will do wonders for your stamina over the next few weeks

      On Sunday or Monday, prioritize your studying. You have to look at your finals schedule, the difficulty of each class, and how many credits each class is worth. Come up with a plan. Do your own outlines, and do as many practice questions/exams as you have time for. If you can’t finish your outline in time, skip ahead to do the most often tested subjects (you can tell this based on prior exams, if avail, or any hints or professor gave, or, if all else fails, time spent on it in class). On test day, just try to focus and do your best. Don’t let panic/anxiety take over. Organize your answers well (numbered headings, small paragraphs). If you won’t finish in time, skip ahead to bigger/higher value questions. Good luck!

    • Studying for law school exams:
      –Agree with above — you need to figure out which ones need the most memorization and put in the most time with those. Also, if a class allows open book or notes, keep your outline short and sweet. If you spend more than a couple of second finding anything, you’re never going to finish.

      Writing law school exams:
      Take ten-fifteen minutes after you read the question to seriously outline and plan. This will help you (a) finish on time and (b) make a coherent argument for your professor. I can’t emphasize enough how much the professor will appreciate if you sign post all of your arguments and include an introduction with a clearly laid out plan for the answer. Don’t worry about sounding smooth, the more clear you are about signposts the better the professor will understand your answer.

      Relax, eat well, exercise, and be nice to your fellow students. Study with other people if it helps you, but don’t feel like you have to!

    • Up at 5. Work for an hour, chat online with partner for 45 minutes or so (dorky, but what can you do). Bathe, wake up kids and get them to school; at work by 9. I can get myself dressed, supervise kids getting dressed, make breakfast and lunch for the three of us and be out the door in 1:15.

    • North Shore :

      Don’t try to be original. The professor wants to hear his/her own words spouted back. When I was in law school, most professors just checked off key words in your exam answer, and then added them up, so if you tossed in as many key words as possible, you could get a good grade.

      • This is very true.

        If this is the first semester for you, keep in mind that your professor is basically looking for relevant points, not for background or history in the topic. The way one of my professors put it is, “you get a point for every relevant, intelligent thing you say. Then I tally.”

        If you have access to old exams and esp. model answers, do as many as you can get your hands on. Don’t wait till you “know everything” to start, you will never “know everything,” you will learn more by doing them. I found outlining model answers (esp. if written by the prof) the most helpful.

        If faced with blank page, I found writing IRAC or some version thereof to be a good start.

        As far as studying, everyone learns differently, but for me the process of writing index cards helped me memorize.

    • Practice Exams :

      Don’t waste all your time making your outlines perfect. Good enough is good enough. Spend more time taking practice exams.

  28. Related to something from the weekly news update – what time do you wake up in the morning, what do you do with your morning time, and how do you streamline getting ready to save time? I was surprised to see so many early risers here on Corporette, although it’s not that surprising once you really start to think about it.

    • Up at 7 or a bit before, eat breakfast, make coffee, pack lunch, put on clothes, do makeup, at work by 7:45 (I have to be there by 8).

      Ways I streamline: pack lunch the night before (this like, never happens though); pack running clothes (this is rare, but more frequent than lunch); run after work (I’m in education, so I can be out by 3:30 if I’m not coaching, and when I’m coaching I can run during practice); shower at night unless there’s something I specifically have to be dressed up for; get friendly with buns and ponytails; live three minutes away from school. No kids, no dogs (which I am sad about), no SO. YMMV.

    • Too early, I have no clue, and nothing, apparently.

      Basically, I take a ridiculous amount of time to get ready in the morning and have no idea why, so I’m interested in this thread, too.

    • Early Riser :

      Up at 5:15. Immediately take the dog on a short walk, less than 20 minutes usually. Into the office by 6:30 (less than 5 min commute). Leave around 3:30 if no one walks in my office at 3:15 to ask for something. I’m lucky to work for a company that allows and (generally) respects flexible hours. I usually go to bed between 9:15 and 10:00.

      • Early Riser :

        Oh, and I shower at night, wet my curls and wash my face after the walk, and then put on makeup/get dressed.

    • Alarm goes off at 6:20. Lie in bed listening to the news on the radio and waking up until 6:45. (Clearly I could streamline this part of my morning.) Up, showered, dressed and hair done by 7:15. Breakfast, brush teeth and do makeup by 7:35. Out the door at 7:36. Bus comes at 7:39. Arrive at work by 8:15.

      Of course, since I have a parking spot at work (which I try not to use for environmental reasons), if anything goes wrong with this schedule, I can just drive to work. It is too easy. So far this week I’ve driven to work every single day. Not good.

      What do I do to streamline? I don’t dry or curl my hair – I usually put it up. If I do want to curl my hair, I wash it the night before, put it in pincurls, and sleep on it. I figure out what I’m going to wear the night before, or while I am listening to the news in the morning. If I plan to take my lunch, I sort it out and pack my bags the night before.

      • Erm….that is, sort out my lunch, put it in the fridge, and pack my bags otherwise. I do not court E-coli on a regular basis. :-)

    • Another Sarah :

      Alarm rings at 545, snooz until 610, then up for breakfast. Eat/check email/read Ask Amy and Caroline Hax until 630, then shower. Dressed, makeup, out the door around 715-ish.

      I really don’t like my roommate, and I have a hellish commute. So this gives me a way to get out of the apartment before he wakes up and has a chance to ruin my day before it started. And I usually make my lunch the night before. :-)

    • The biggest time sucker is HAIR. I vary the time I wake up base on what I’m doing to my hair, and whether I showered at night. I shower at night if I worked out enough to sweat, and when I was in law school (night student) I normally showered at night because I felt icky and it helped me fall asleep. oh god I almost miss those relaxing late night showers, but also can’t believe I got through it.

      Anyway….typical day, out of bed at 6:35, wash hair in sink, wash face, brush teeth, done between 6:40-6:45. Get dressed, blow dry hair or put it up or scrunch it, grab coffee and maybe leftovers for lunch, gym bag, out the door between 7:00-7:10, in before 7:30.

      I pick out my clothes ahead of time. I dont’ always pack a gym bag, but its easy to just through clean work out clothes in there as the essentials are there. I never make lunch. I either keep go to lunch food at work, bring leftovers or buy it. And I eat breakfast at work too (keep oatmeal or yogurt there and bring fresh fruit). Oh and I do make up in the car/while computer is booting up. Daily necessities are curling eyelashes, mascara, powder foundation and some lip product. Undereye concealer, eye liner, eyeshadow and blush make regular appearances.

      I have thin hair that’s in a bob cut. I can blow dry it in like 7 minutes. If i’m going right to a social outing or something after work, I wake up early to blow dry it nice or flat iron. I scrunch my hair on some days in the summer, or when its raining hard.

      I really wish I could wake up early enough to go to the gym or run before work. I’m better at this in the summer, when the suns up early. I’m hoping to get a new job where I can get to the office between 8:30 and 9, and maybe that will facilitate morning workouts.

      • Agree biggest time sink is hair.

        6:25 alarm goes off, hit snooze until 6:35. Shower until 6:55, then get dressed. Hair and makeup takes about 45 minutes, then I check email and pack up my laptop and leave around 8:00, arriving to work at 9:00 (work is less than 10 miles away)

    • I usually need 2 hours to get ready, but that includes reading the paper and breakfast. If I’m also checking email, it’s longer. I hate rushing in the morning.

      I’m fascinated by whoever said she can get herself and two kids out the door in 1:15.

    • Wake up at 5:45. Turn on my laptop, dither for a few minutes before getting in the shower. I have thin hair that’s pretty short so it takes about 3 minutes to blow dry and very little time to style. I do makeup but don’t take a ton of time over it so I’m done by 6:30. Get the paper, make coffee, have breakfast, listen to Mike & Mike on my laptop (I’m a sports radio junkie). Get dressed (how long it takes depends on how I feel physically and the wildly varying weather), grab my gym bag (packed the night before) or food for lunch (I take enough for the week on Mondays) and out the door by 7:15. At work by 7:30. I’m totally routine driven – if I weren’t I’d leave the house with my shirt on backward.

    • hiphopanonymous :

      YMMV, I’m a resident physician…
      Up at 5, hit the shower, grab coffee (timed pot set up the night before) and throw toast in while I go to get dressed. Attempt to dress while toast is cooking, but if I don’t make a mental plan while showering, the toast is usually cold by the time I get to it. Eat breakfast, skim email. Dry hair (usually just into a pony tail, as I’m lazy), regret that I don’t have time to do more to my face than undereye concealer and lipgloss, brush my teeth, put remainder of coffee into travel mug and sprint out the door to catch the 5:44 or 5:58 bus.
      Tricks: I wear the same jewelry (E-ring and studs), do not pack a lunch, and the contents of my bag otherwise don’t really vary from day to day. I sometimes throw fresh granola bars or another snack in my bag .

    • I have a 10 week old baby and just recently returned to work, so my morning routine has recently changed. The night before, I pack the diaper bag (put in clean bottles and make sure there are enough diapers, wipes, etc.), pack my own lunch, and shower and wash my hair so it can dry overnight. I set my alarm for 6am and usually get up at 6:10-6:15, take another shower, and start doing my makeup. I then go downstairs and make my breakfast of turkey bacon and oatmeal. I eat the bacon while the oatmeal is in the microwave and once that’s done, I take the oatmeal upstairs with me to eat while I finish getting ready. I then finish my makeup, do my hair, and brush my teeth. By this time it’s about 7am, so I wake up my daughter, feed her, and get her changed and dressed. I then get myelf dressed and try to get out the door by 7:30/7:45 so I can get her to day care between 7:45 and 8am and make it to work around 8:30am.

      It’s really not that bad of a routine but it definitely helps to get as much done as possible the night before. It would take me much longer in the morning if I had to pack my lunch or wash and dry my hair. And I agree with a. – I’m very friendly with buns and ponytails. :)

      • I get up at 5a and am out of the door by 5:45. I shower, blow dry my hair, put on makeup, get dressed, and leave. This is made easier as we have no children to manage, hug on, and get places themselves. I eat breakfast at the office. My timing is all maximized by living 7 miles from the office, and a fast drive that early in the morning (by design).

        My key is to have standard makeup each day, no lotion nor shaving in the shower in the morning, and have thought about the day’s outfit the night before.

        My closet is organized. There have been threads on this before. I believe it is about size of the closet in the long run, ymmv. Groups of skirts, jackets, tops, sweaters/knits (on shelves). All are visible. All are sequenced by color, in the same order


        starting with solids and then patterns in each color

        It sounds tough, but once it’s set up it is easy to keep up. I also can “see” all my clothes and shoes. We took a small, 2 pole walk in and an adjacent sliding door closet and turned it into one. I have a lower rod (the same length of the original/standard closet) for my jackets/skirts, two wire shelves (2/3 of the samelength) for sweaters/tops, and 5 short shelves for shoes. My dresses/longer jackets are over a 2-drawer chest of hubby’s hanging around clothing. It’s a u-shape in the closet now.

        • Oh yes, I forgot to add that my closet is organized by item and then by color. It makes it a lot easier. And there’s no running to the laundry room, trying to iron in the morning etc. I have realized if that if I don’t totally plan out my outfit and end up trying on like 3 tops or something it’s a big time waster.

          Having good basics and a limited color palette definitely help. I break some of the streamlined wardrobe rules in that my wardrobe is based on browns and blacks, but I also wear a lot of red, which goes with both.

      • I am so impressed that you are managing all this along with being a mom. If you can do this when the babe is 10 weeks old you are going to totally rock it as time goes on. You should be so proud of yourself and you have one lucky baby there! Best wishes and congratulations on your little one!

        • anonymous, NOT KW :

          Sorry, obviously meant this as a reply to KW above! Congratulations again!

    • Legal Marketer :

      Up at 5:15, out the door for a workout at 5:25. Home at 6:55, drink a shake, shower/hair/makeup/clothes. Get toddler out of bed at 7:20 – diaper/dressed/cup of milk. I pack our lunches (most of it prepared the night before) load the car and on the road by 7:40. Usually eat a banana, protein bar or PB/tortilla in the car after I drop off at daycare.

      Two things are key for me: The first is having an identical routine that I do every day. I don’t have to think about it. I think about my outfit while I shower, I do my hair and makeup before leaving the bathroom (and always in the same order), then clothes, jewelry, shoes. The other key is getting as much done as possible before child wakes up. If kid is still sleeping when I’m finished getting ready, I pack lunches and load the car. Total commute, including daycare dropoff, is about an hour, so I’m usually in the office at 8:45, but 9:00 isn’t unusual.

      On the odd occasion the little one wakes up early before I’m showered and ready, we’re definitely going to be late because I get suckered into one puzzle, or a few minutes in the snuggle chair…

      It also helps that daycare feeds breakfast, so some mornings child goes from crib to changing table to carseat and feet never hit the floor.

    • Changing Purses? :

      Anyone here change purses regularly? I do not. I carry (not wear!) the same black leather bag every day. Goes with everything. Good quality.

      I have a colleague who changes her purse virtually everyday. She is late for everything all the time. Plus, during the day, she frequently can’t find things and it’s usually because the thing is in her “other” bag.

      What is this thing some women have about changing bags? I so do not get it. Can anyone explain? This woman’s life would be so much better if she picked a bag and stuck with it (exceptions for evening bags on a Saturday night etc. obviously).

      • Isn’t this more a question about fashion in general? Some women want to look fashionable (whatever that means to them) and like to have a mix of shoes, coats, accessories, bags, etc. for each day or each week or each season. Some women like to find one thing and stick with it.

        As a practical matter, most of us who switch our bags up do it with more grace and efficiency than your colleague, though :)

      • found a peanut :

        I switch my bag around a lot but I have a mental list of what I need and make sure it goes with me. Wallet, phone, keys, headphones, reading material. It’s not *that* complicated.

        If your coworker is open to tips, you can suggest she get a bag-within-a-bag (could be as simple as a ziploc or something fancier) to put all her assorted bits in, and then when she switches the bag she just has to move her ziploc.

        • Changing Purses? :

          There are many things that are not *that* complicated that seem to stymie her every day. And I am in NO position to be making any suggestions to her. Learned that the hard way. It is painful in the extreme to literally sit in a chair in her office and watch her talk to herself and identify an “issue” and then talk herself through what to do about it and then try to do it. In the past, when I have made the (obvious) suggestion, she has gotten mad. When I say, quietly, “I’ll come back later,” she instructs me to stay. She outranks me and it is a very small office, so I have no choice. In a firm, this would never happen because she would know that every minute I am sitting there and not billing, I am reducing the firm’s profits. In-house non-profit? Not so much.

      • I switch out bags all the time to coordinate with outfits. I bought one of those as seen on TV bag organizers at bed bath and beyond so it takes me 5 seconds to swap out everything.

      • “What is this thing some woman have about changing bags?”

        Um, because some of us have fabulous purses that we freaking love and that make us sigh with happiness to look at? That is what.

        Unlike your buddy, I never am unable to find something because it’s in one of my other purses. I have 4 things that get transferred between purses: keys, wallet, sunglasses, lip gloss. Pretty simple.

        Off to Bluefly to troll for another fab bag…

    • On non-running days (which is every day right now since I’m a fair weather runner & it’s now winter) alarm off at 6:00, check email, weather, etc in bed on iphone until 6:15, up & shower – out of shower at 6:25-6:30, dress (decide on outfit night before) hair (I have naturally curly hair & I let it air dry so this is less than 5 min) makeup (another 5 min or so) and downstairs by 6:45-6:50. 10 min to make kids lunches, and get lunch & snacks & anything else for me ready to go. Out the door by 7, walk to train (15min) and then 30 min train ride to work. In my office by 7:50 at the latest.

      On running days my alarm goes off at 5:15, I’m up by 5:30, go for a 40-45 min run, and I’m usually in the shower about the same time as a non-running day, maybe 5 min later.

      My morning routine is pretty streamlined. I eat breakfast at work, and if there is any major packing I need to do for work I do it the night before. However, if anything upsets my routine I forget everything. Like giving my middle son his morning meds, or leaving my lunch or phone at home, or something else crazy like that.

    • scientist :

      Up at 5. Leave alarm on for SO to snooze. Start coffee (would pre-set it, but the coffee pot is tricky and likes to pour out on the floor); check email. Shower by 5:15. Blow dry bobbed hair, light makeup, dressed by 5:55. Breakfast of cereal. Coffee into travel mug. Pack lunch. Gather pre-packed bag while talking with SO about changes to evening schedule (when I’ll be home, who’s turn it is to cook, etc.). On the road by 6:15 at latest. NPR for the first half of the drive; dance music for the second half. At work by 7:30.

      Streamlining: lay out clothes the night before. Pack bag the night before. Check that sodas and lunch items are ready night before. Lunch bag and coffee mug are emptied when I get home and sit on the fridge for the morning. Wearing pants most days, so I don’t focus on perfect shaving. Organized closet in case I change my mind in the morning. Most of the jewelry I wear on a regular basis are on a jewelry tree, but I pull out anything else at night. Routine, routine, routine.

    • Full disclosure: I take forever to get ready. I don’t think this will change until I have kids and am forced to find some other way to look presentable. Or maybe I’ll just let the “presentable” requirement go altogether.

      Up at 5:45, make tea, shower, make up, steam/iron clothes if I didn’t bother to do it the night before, dry hair, straighten hair, maybe have breakfast (if not, grab yogurt, throw it in my purse, plan on eating at my desk), pull lunch out of the freezer (I make individual lunches to take to work), feed the cats, out the door at 7:30. If I don’t have to mess with my hair, I’ll sleep until 6:15.

  29. I have my husband’s company party coming up next weekend. He’s an anesthesiologist at a large university hospital. Women come dressed in everything from gowns and furs (I’m not kidding) to slacks and sweater sets. I’m struggling with what to wear. Last year I wore a cashmere sweater, a beautiful black leather pencil skirt, and low heeled black pumps and felt very comfortable, but a little “un-festive”. More like I was going to happy hour than a party.
    Not sure what to do this year!! I have winter white tuxedo pants, what does everyone think of those? What should I pair it with?
    A side note, my husband refuses to dress up and will likely wear a sweater and slacks. He can get away with it because he’s hot and tall, but I think he looks under dressed. Hints to get the man to dress up?

    • Esquirette :

      Those pants sound to die for! I’d wear them with a favorite top or sweater — if it happens to be silky or jewel-toned, even better — with some heels you don’t mind standing in (patent would be fun and festive). Add a sparkly-ish longer necklace and/or earrings and/or bracelets/bangles (whatever works best with your hair style and top choice), and maybe a nice belt, and you are good to go.

    • Esquirette :

      Just saw your last question — I have found that positive reinforcement works. I.e., Hey, husband, remember when you wore X. You looked really hot. As I have to go to your boring work holiday party, why don’t you wear something like X so I have something enjoyable to look at.” ;) Very tongue-in-cheek but you get the idea.

    • Bribery.

    • I’ve been married 12 years now. At this point, “here, wear this,” works. :)

      • I’d leave him be. Your DH is a grownup, and can make his own choices– as you say, he’s hot and tall, and can pull off the “slightly underdressed” look, so let him rock that. If he’s not pulling the look off, then I’d gently try mamabear’s approach. :-)

  30. Another Sarah :

    I need some guidance from the hivemind. I received my first review at work yesterday. It was 98% good, with a few areas I need to improve on, but that’s understandable considering I’ve been in the job for 2 months and it’s completely different than what I’ve done before (I’m an attorney, doing marketing for an international corp…there’s a bit of a learning curve :-) ). However, I received one comment that kind of irks me. I think the comment is completely fair and something I have to work on, but I’m having a hard time getting past it. Specifically, I’m apparently a bit too assertive with some of my colleagues and they take offense. Now, none of these colleagues are anyone I work with on a day-to-day basis, as far as I know, but rather the (female) managers that I interact with at our HQ in a far away land. I think I’m being respectful by being direct and with a respectful tone, and coming with solutions. She thinks I’m scary and now won’t return my emails, which is an issue because I need her to validate my work to publish it. My first instinct is to say, “Bugger for her, if she can’t handle the heat then she needs to get out of the kitchen.” Except that doesn’t work in real life. My boss referees a bit, but I’d rather he not do that since he really shouldn’t have to. I’m kind of at a loss of what to do since the last time I encountered this kind of thing was in the 7th grade (which doesn’t help my sentiments). I know I need to simmer down, but short of a mantra, I’m not quite sure what to do. Any advice?

    Also, any marketing corporettes have any advice, I’m all for that too! It’s a bit of a stretch to go from “research everything until you come full-circle” and “if it’s not on paper in three different peer-reviewed journals it doesn’t exist” to “based on these people’s hunches, we should spend ALL THE MONIES!”

    Thanks in advance!! :-) I really appreciate all your advice.

    • This will sound obvious and simplistic (and probably annoying) but what about just trying to be/sound as nice as you can? It really does help grease the wheels of work interactions. It sounds like you’ve really offended this person, so you might even have to apologize for coming on too strong. Maybe mention the challenges with working with someone across the country. It does you no favors to continue on as you have been, especially since you need this person to OK your stuff. You most definitely do not want to get the reputation of “difficult to work with” because who is usually the first to go when there is a round of layoffs? Even if you are more than pulling your weight, if nobody wants to work with you, that could spell trouble for you in the future. The good news is that your boss was good enough to bring it to your attention so you can work on fixing it. If you take the criticism for what it is- constructive to help you- and you change your behavior based on it, you will earn huge points.

    • I think I can understand why you reckon the feedback is hard to get past – this person seems to be doing an unhelpful passive-aggressive thing (doesn’t return emails but complains to your boss instead). But if there’s a mantra to try, it may be “What do YOU think ?” and its variants. Use this to open discussions with your colleague, say it frequently during the discussion, say it when you are finished but before you publish. It may work in a couple of ways – your colleague feels welcome to contribute and more prepared to validate a shared effort, you train yourself into a more approachable professional persona … but at the very least, it should limit the likelihood that the comment re-surfaces next time or at least it re-surfaces with less credibility if your mantra has been heard often enough other people around the both of you.

      Not sure how to respond to your more generic Q on marketing but for what it’s worth, many organisations have both sales and marketing functions and the two are generally in subtle competition for corporate resources (or not so subtle). Very few corporate managers ever transcend their bias for one or the other which is a shame because there’s actually a lot of worthwhile interaction between the two functions eg. you may be able to find a friendly sales person to put you in touch with a live customer (or a decision-maker of some sort, a buyer or stockist) to cross check the marketing ‘hunches’ before ALL THE MONIES get spent.

    • Time for a plug for Nice Girls Don’t Get The Corner Office by Lois Frankel. Great book, and has a lot of advice for being assertive at work, while not coming across as difficult.

    • Since they are far away, are there regional or cultural stylistic differences that you might be bumping up against?
      For example, a friend did sales for a while with both clients in the northeast and in the midwest. She got feedback from the midwest that she spoke too fast, did not engage in any pleasantries before getting down to business and therefore was not making as much headway as she did in the northeast, where her manner fit in fine. She was able to adjust her style to the tastes of the different clients she called and be much more successful.

      • Another Sarah :

        I think there are more of the cultural differences. I’m in the US, she’s on a different continent. Which also makes things a bit hard because, according to my colleagues, she’s “much more of a phone person than an email person,” so our workdays overlap for about 2 hours, and that’s when she’s even in the office.

        My boss shed a bit of light on it for me when we talked about it. Apparently she’s feeling a bit threatened by how I’m half her age but with the same title and ultimately the same responsibilities as her having decades in the industry and me having about 3 months.

        • karenpadi :

          This might be too late. But here’s my 2 cents.

          If she’s a phone person, I would phone her whenever I could. Maybe follow-up with an email if that makes you more comfortable.

          This is going to get mixed reviews and it has sometimes worked for me/sometimes not. Try to enlist her as an informal mentor. I know it’s tempting to try to prove yourself right away, so it’s a tough thing to do. If there’s a tough situation, call her up and run your strategy by her. See if she is open to advising you. If she feels respected by you, the age difference might not be such a big deal.

    • Another Sarah :

      Thanks all for your help!! I’ll step up my niceness to more “nice all the time!!!!” instead of my usual “pleasant at work” mode, and maybe that will help. Everyone tells me that she and I would get along great, so going along the informal mentor route would probably work as well.

      And the fact that I barely did anything this weekend and spent most of it in bed relaxing will probably help this week! :-D

  31. Calling all musicians! Looking for a gorgeous tote for sheet music. Will consider all suggestions.

    • I’m a musician (singer) but don’t really carry music around unless I’m singing at a funeral at another church or a funeral home and then it’s usually in a folder, so I’m wondering what are the particular challenges? Size of the music? Is it heavy because the music is in a folder? Is there anything else besides the music that you need to carry in the tote? Are you going to be someplace where a colored tote would stand out in a bad way? Also, what’s your price range?

      • Actually, this would be a gift for a young musician to carry music books to lessons, recitals, on vacations, etc. It should not be expensive, just something special, and maybe music themed. Sorry about original lack of specificity, and thank you for your input.

        • Cafe Press has some cute messenger bags that you can have personalized. Even when I was a kid, I always thought that those “music themed” items were a little cheesy but I have to say that I like the messenger bags they have. The music graphics are pretty cool. Not a tote, but could actually be better for lugging music around.

          • Just remembered that the go-to place for music themed gifts when I was growing up was the Music Stand. Just found them online. They still have cheesy items like a “cat on a piano” tote but there are some other items that could be cute. I still like the Cafe Press messenger bags better!

          • Thank you so much. Those messenger bags are awesome!

          • Just bought a very cool messenger bag. Thanks so much.

  32. I thought I had made tremendous progress on my Christmas shopping until my MIL announced “no clothing or jewelry this year” (ok, I guess I got her one too many sweaters from her favorite store!). Now what? My in-laws live across the country in Edison, NJ, have literally no shared interests and don’t like things like spa experiences. One thing they do like is organic produce, so I thought of getting them a weekly or bi-weekly box delivery. Any NJ Corporettes out there know of a good one? Any other ideas? My husband is useless on this front and I have probably gotten everything in the way of suggestions that I am going to get from the in-laws . . . . TIA

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Farm co-op membership?

    • Seattleite :

      I really like the idea of a weekly or bi-weekly box, but out here in my area the CSA-type stuff generally doesn’t start until May; the focus of those boxes is ‘local,’ and not much grows in mud this time of year. If you don’t want your in-laws to wait that long, Harry & David’s has organic fruit-of-the-month boxes in addition to organic one-off boxes.

      • I like shipping Florida citrus to northeastern relatives. Just did a quick Google search and there are various organic producers that will ship gift boxes — Uncle Matt’s was one. (I’ve used Gracewood Groves with good results in the past, but they don’t seem to be online and I don’t think they were particularly organic.)

    • Another Stephanie :

      There are a few websites that will locate local, organic, etc. places for gifting organically your inlaws – try eatwild, localharvest as search terms – both help locate local-via-zipcode vendors. Some places have gift certificates which could help bridge the winter season & give them some control on delivery/acquisition.

    • thelandofoaks :

      this might be too late for you to see, but I often give food items from my local area as gifts, especially to people who like food. Are there any food items your local area is known for, or any local farmers markets with local producers? A nice local bottle of wine can be nice too, or a selection of small jars of jams or pickles, or things like that. When I lived in Oregon, I would always give people marionberry jam, cranberry relish and pinot noir. Olive oils or other flavored oils can be fun, too. That way it is something the gift receiver can eat and enjoy, but isn’t just more stuff taking up space. ;o)

  33. I just started working part-time as an independent contractor attorney (former BigLaw for 7 years, then a long break staying home with kidlets). I do almost all my work for one small firm. The State Bar requires an address that they post on their public website — since I quit BigLaw I have been using my home address. I have a case I’m about to file a complaint for that is civil, but has criminal aspects to it and one of the people involved is a real nut-job. I don’t want this person to be able to find my home address.

    So, what are my options?
    –rent a mail box at a UPS store-type place? (I will probably get one piece of mail a year — my bar dues statement)
    –rent a USPS mailbox?
    –ask my in-town in-laws to let me borrow their address to give to the bar (this was husband’s suggestion — seriously — yeah, I don’t want this nut-job to come after me, but he’s offering up his parents? I don’t think he thought that one through)
    –ask the small firm I do work for if I can use their address on the state bar website (don’t know if that messes up my independent contractor status)

    Other ideas? TIA!

    • I would rent a PO box at the post office (or mailboxes etc), that kind of thing. In fact, I would just start using it as your business address. Your other options (borrowing family/friend’s addresses, the firm’s address) wind up being much more inconvenient in the long run – it’s better to have an address that you alone control.

      The PO box will actually have many other uses. You can open a credit card to that address and charge business expenses to it, to keep your records straight and ease tax filing. Or you could use that credit card for one-off purchases, charitable donations, etc. and thus direct a lot of unwanted mail (catalogs, charitable requests, etc) to it.

      I think you’ll find that it will be useful to you in more ways than just this one instance.

      • Have you checked your state bar rules to see what is acceptible? Is this case for the small firm you do most of your work for or something you are doing on your own or for someone else? Why are you taking this case?

    • I agree with anon about the usefulness of a mailing address, but would encourage you to use a private mailbox company such as a UPS store. That way, your address will take the form of

      123 Main St., Suite 57
      123 Main St., Unit 57
      123 Main St., #57

      rather than

      P.O. Box 52

      I think this looks more professional. We use a UPS store as our permanent mailing address, since we live on the road. To everyone else, it looks like a condo or apartment unit address and doesn’t raise the same kinds of red flags as a P.O. box.

    • I think you should consider a P.O. box, too. Whether you go with a Post Office or a retail one, that’s up to you. I would probably just look at the cost difference.

      Consider incorporating, “Law Office of Zenmom3.” You might save yourself some self-employment taxes that way.

      (And are you covered by the firm’s malpractice policy?)

    • In my city, several large office buildings have a service where you pay a monthly amount for a mailbox, address and occasional use of a space for a low price (I’ve heard as low as $80 a month). You can reserve their conference rooms for client meetings, have mail sent to you there, and have an “office” address even if you work out of your house. You might see if there are spaces like this near you.

  34. Sorry if this posts twice

    I thought I had made tremendous progress on my Christmas shopping until my MIL announced “no clothing or jewelry this year” (ok, I guess I got her one too many sweaters from her favorite store!). Now what? My in-laws live across the country in Edison, NJ, have literally no shared interests and don’t like things like spa experiences. One thing they do like is organic produce, so I thought of getting them a weekly or bi-weekly box delivery. Any NJ Corporettes out there know of a good one? Any other ideas? My husband is useless on this front and I have probably gotten everything in the way of suggestions that I am going to get from the in-laws . . . . TIA

  35. Another Sarah :

    Reposting because I got stuck in moderation…Sorry if this posts twice!

    I need some guidance from the hivemind. I received my first review at work yesterday. It was 98% good, with a few areas I need to improve on, but that’s understandable considering I’ve been in the job for 2 months and it’s completely different than what I’ve done before (I’m an attorney, doing marketing for an international corp…there’s a bit of a learning curve :-) ). However, I received one comment that kind of irks me. I think the comment is completely fair and something I have to work on, but I’m having a hard time getting past it. Specifically, I’m apparently a bit too assertive with some of my colleagues and they take offense. Now, none of these colleagues are anyone I work with on a day-to-day basis, as far as I know, but rather the (female) managers that I interact with at our HQ in a far away land. I think I’m being respectful by being direct and with a respectful tone, and coming with solutions. She thinks I’m scary and now won’t return my emails, which is an issue because I need her to validate my work to publish it. My first instinct is to say, “Whatever, if she can’t handle the heat then she needs to get out of the kitchen.” Except that doesn’t work in real life. My boss referees a bit, but I’d rather he not do that since he really shouldn’t have to. I’m kind of at a loss of what to do since the last time I encountered this kind of thing was in the 7th grade (which doesn’t help my sentiments). I know I need to simmer down, but short of a mantra, I’m not quite sure what to do. Any advice?

    Also, any marketing corporettes have any advice, I’m all for that too! It’s a bit of a stretch to go from “research everything until you come full-circle” and “if it’s not on paper in three different peer-reviewed journals it doesn’t exist” to “based on these people’s hunches, we should spend everything!”

    Thanks in advance!! :-) I really appreciate all your advice.

    • I’ve gotten some similar feedback, I just took on a more senior position and needed to be more of a leader/assertive across the board but in a few cases was in meetings where I didn’t quite realize who I was dealing with and probably overstepped. My boss pointed it out and now I just take more care in my e-mails, in my choice of words, even if its being a bit overcautious better safe than sorry!

  36. Happy Thanksgiving, all! It seems I am a little late to the party, so to speak, but could use some advice from the hive…

    A close-ish friend of mine is about to have a baby. She is part of my group of girlfriends from college and we all still hang out/chat pretty regularly. Everyone in the group is thrilled and can’t wait to go and see her after the baby is born and hold it and go all ga-ga etc. Except me. I don’t care for children, I don’t want any of my own, let alone other people’s. My friends know this, it’s not a secret, but this leads to some issues.

    For one, my friends can’t help but comment on the fact that I don’t like children. They make comments such as ‘Oh, Miss X will have to find new friends once Y has a baby’ or ‘are you sure it’s really safe for you to have Miss X around once they baby’s born’. They say this jokingly, but it already led to my now-pregnant friend getting super upset about two years ago (before she was ever even pregnant) about the fact that I wouldn’t like her future child and this all started from said comments by other members of the group (so not even me!).

    Of course I will go and see my friend and the baby once it is born. I threw a baby shower, bought presents for the baby etc. and I’m trying to go through the motions. Of course I want to see my friend, see how she is doing and be supportive of her and her new family. It’s like anything in a friend’s life that happens – you are there for them, even if you don’t like it, because they are your friend and they need you. However, I worry that she will know it is disingenuous if I go ‘aww isn’t he cute, I can’t wait to hold him’ and I feel like that’s worse in a way, because she knows me well enough to know I don’t mean it.

    I guess I’d like advice on this on the basis that:
    1. What nice things can I do for my friend once she has had the baby, when clearly she is not going to ask me to babysit – I’m thinking taking her out to a spa day or a nice dinner or something, but what would you want your friends to do once you’ve had a baby, that isn’t to do with the baby (and not to offend her in the process)?
    2. How to deal with friends’ comments which potentially upset my friend? I have tried to speak about this to my friends before, but it seems not to have worked very well and I’m worried my pregnant friend will get upset again.

    • Anonymous :

      What do you get out of hanging out with these horrid troublemakers? Send champagne when the baby’s born and don’t do anything you’re not comfortable doing. Your “friends” sound like nightmares.

    • (a) Send a small baby gift or perhaps a prepared meal when the baby is due.

      (b) Spend time with your friend as much as you can. Don’t drop the baby out the window (not that you would….but that’s basically your entire responsibility).

      (c) Start finding new friends.

    • While I was single, my married-with-kids friend actually wanted to talk to me about ‘adult’ stuff – whether it was work, fashion, or my dating troubles. She specifically said she had enough friends with kids, and it was refreshing for her to hang out with a woman who would talk to her about something other than kids.

      So, you can still be a good friend to her. Ignore the trouble makers!

    • Just talk to your friend directly. Tell her despite what everyone is saying and/or your feelings about children generally, you are super excited for her and know she will make an excellent mother. Although you don’t want kids, someone has to (for the propagation of the species and all) and you could not think of better parents than her and Mr. friend. Then follow through by sending a nice handwritten card when the baby is born, expressing these sentiments. That should be the end of that awkwardness. Afterwards, be patient when she wants to talk about the baby and show you pictures.

      Who cares what your other friends say. If you talk to your friend directly as above, she shouldn’t pay any attention to it.

    • I agree, speak directly with your pregnant friend. The best thing you can do for her as a friend is keep being her friend, and not get annoyed if she can’t always do things or go out on a moment’s notice, or sometimes is simply too tired.

      I’ve found that some people (this probably applies to your other friends and not your pregnant friend) feel threatened by friends/acquaintances who make different life choices. It really seems like they feel you are criticizing their choices by you not doing exactly the same thing. It sounds crazy, I know, but I think this feeling comes from insecurity on their part. Maybe this explains your other friends’ reactions. There really is nothing you can do about their feelings other than reassure them that you admire their choices and it’s simply not for you.

    • I can relate to your situation, I also don’t plan to have any kids and don’t have any particular affinity for babies, but quite a few of my close friends are either pregnant or have young kids.

      My advice: It’s unrealistic to assume that you’re going to be able to have entirely (or even primarily) kid free time with your friend once the baby arrives. Like any other major life change it’s going to preoccupy her for a while, so try to engage at least a bit in baby related conversation. Otherwise you risk making her feel like you’re completely uninterested in this major part of her life. Taking her out somewhere is a nice idea, but unless she has a sitter (or some of your friends are willing to babysit), it might be more realistic to go visit her. I’ve brought home cooked meals over for friends when they get home from the hospital, and it’s always been much appreciated–I may not know much about kids, but I can cook!

      As for your friends, I’d (nicely) tell them that just because you don’t want kids, it doesn’t mean you’re a rabid, child-hating monster or that you plan on disowning them when they reproduce. Probably at least part of their snarkiness has to do with their discomfort about how to deal with a non-kid person–in my experience saying that you don’t want kids often leads to people assuming that you’re judging them for having kids, or that you think their kids are ill-behaved, slobbery nightmares. As weird as it sounds, it may help to remind your friends that your decision not to have kids is not a judgement on them, and that you still respect them as people and as parents.

    • If hosting a baby shower didn’t convince people that you are not the enemy, I don’t know what could. (I’m fairly indifferent to babies, but showers actively make me want to put cigarettes out in my eyes.) I guess the next time someone makes a comment, I would say, “No, I’m not a baby person, but I’m really happy Friend is getting something in her life that’s so important to her. Why is this on your mind so frequently?”

      As far as postpartum gestures, in my experience, new parents often surprise even themselves with how reluctant they are to leave the baby. I know people YEARS in who don’t seem to do anything without the kids – even more so when they have other new moms they can “double-date” with. This isn’t (quite) a criticism – imagine if all parents loved it that much! – but don’t be surprised if that spa day never happens. Come over with a movie, a bottle of wine, and a prepared meal; or get her a gift certificate for house cleaning, but anything that requires her to leave home and/or baby may not be the gift to her that you want it to be.

    • Anon for this :

      I just had a baby nine weeks ago. I have a friend who literally hates children (her bookshelf includes “I Hate Other People’s Kids” and “Baby Not on Board”). I have loved talking to her since I had my baby because, while I love my baby, I have had a lot of moments of frustration and depression and she has been a great person to call at those times. I feel like my friends who are enamored with the baby wouldn’t understand and would think I was a bad person for feeling the way I did . So, if your friend has any difficulty adjusting to having the baby, like I did, you could be a good person for her to talk to.

      In terms of things to do, I took myself to the spa once and really enjoyed it. But, honestly, it’s hard to leave the baby, especially if nursing or pumping (since the baby has to eat or mom has to pump every two to three hours).

      It doesn’t sound like you want to watch the baby at all, but if you would consider it, I have most enjoyed when people taken care of the baby so I could get other things done or have a few minutes to catch up on sleep, phone calls, thank you notes, etc. Even if you don’t want to be left alone with the baby, just offering to hold the baby for an hour or so while your friend is home would probably be greatly appreciated.

  37. Happy Thanksgiving from the Gwen Beloti Collection. The GB Collection…Quality garments with a youthful yet classic feel, from dresses to separates,..for the independent stylista looking for a little edge and a feminine fit.

  38. Happy Normal Work Day to everyone who is *not* in the US. Come slog away at your desk with me!

  39. NYC cabs to JFK/LGA :

    Quick gut check: which cab ride is cheaper to the East 20’s — JFK or LGA?


    • LGA. Gotta be.

    • Lga, definitely.

    • MeliaraofTlanth :

      LGA. Though if you don’t mind the trip taking a while and want to do super cheap, you can take the airtrain to the subway from JFK. (Theoretically there’s buses that run from LGA, but I’ve never tried it).

      • I have used the buses, and they worked great – took the bus from there to Grand Central last year with no trouble at all, and it cost about $18, I think.

      • Working Girl :

        If you really want to save money, you also can take the public bus from LGA to the 6 train. It drops you off at 125th across from the subway. Very fast.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think LGA is a flat fee cab ride to anywhere in Manhattan.

      The airtrain system at JFK is great. I’ve done the bus to LGA before and its fine, but a little more complicated.

  40. anon for this :

    Ugh. I have a close relative who very frequently ruins holiday get-togethers, often by striking out at somebody in a way that’s really vicious and mean. She overreacts to everything and really knows how to hit below the belt. Anyway, I had a feeling all week that today was going to be my turn to be on the receiving end, and what do you know – I was right. It was awful and now I’m totally traumatized and shaken up and can’t get it out of my head. Nobody will ever say anything to her because they’re scared that she’ll either lash out at them or separate from the family and go off the deep end. Anyway, it is VERY good to be home and done with this day.

    • Anonymous :

      So sorry.
      What would you do differently next time?

    • she sounds like a head case. i don’t know your family dynamic, but at least recognize that she is her own problem and you can’t respect, let alone accept, the opinions of a raving lunatic (or whatever she is). sit there and let her rage on (if that is your family’s preferred technique), but you certainly don’t need to take it home with you.

      and at least thanksgiving isn’t for another year!

      • anon for this :

        Thank you both for your kind responses. I think I might benefit from learning some techniques for dealing with people with anger issues – I’m going to do some research. And yes – she’s a total head case. And I kind of had my defenses down that day – I was a little sick, and my partner who usually has my back at family events was home sick – which made me even better prey than usual. Yes – thankfully I only have to deal with this a couple of times a year.

  41. PSA to everyone who knows what store I’m talking about:

    Hobbs is now shipping to North America!!!!! I am so excited I could die. I might have to get someone to hide my own credit card from me.

    • Ahh love Hobbs! Have seen most of their AW collection in store and it is amazingggggg.

  42. SF Bay Associate :

    Checking our archives, it seems we’ve discussed Kindle and iPad cases a few times, but not Nook cases. The $79 Black Friday deal pushed me over the edge into picking one up, but now of course I need a fabulous case. Nook ladies, what cases do you recommend?

    • Kate Spade or Lilly Pulitzer!!
      I am not sure they still have the Lilly ones through B&N but you can find them online. They are fun and happy and so so fabulous!!

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      They aren’t designer, but I have one of these covers for my Nook and love it. It has a great texture, it opens, and there is storage for Post-It notes and business cards inside.

  43. anon for this :

    I hope people are still around this weekend to give me some fantastic Corporette advice about a fairly basic question about accepting a job offer and negotiating for a better employment package.

    I have had 2 interviews for my (almost) ideal job with a public interest law organization. It’s possible they may call me with an offer sometime soon, and I’ve been fairly up front with them that I would prefer to work for them than for other employers who are hiring. I get the feeling the (really low) salary is not negotiable. (They peg their salaries to what legal aid offers.) I am hoping to do some modest negotiation about vacation days. (I have a legitimate, non-leisure, non-health-related reason to request a few additional days off from work each year, and I’d prefer these days not be deducted from my vacation days.) So, if/when they call to offer me the job, what should I say? Should I say right away that I accept, but that I want to meet face to face to discuss the details, or should I say something else that would suggest that my acceptance would be contingent on the employer making some relatively modest modifications to the vacation day scheme? Should all of this discussion take place during the “offer” call?

    For what it’s worth, my back-up plan (which would be fairly easy to line up) would pay 3-4x what I would get from this employer, but it’s totally worth it to me to get relatively little pay in exchange for doing work in which I really believe. And my first choice employer is pretty much aware of this situation.

    Many thanks in advance!

    • i’m not a lawyer. but if you get the good-news call, say you’re very happy to get the offer, thank you so much, how wonderful, etc. and you have a few details to work out regarding the package, so who can you speak with about those? Don’t say you accept right there.

      If they pressure you to accept (which seems unlikely), say you have some questions to sort out first, and if they offer to address them right then and there, ask away. Even if they address them to your satisfaction, make sure it’s clear that nothing is confirmed for either side until it’s in writing.

      good luck!

      • Another Stephanie :

        You could ask for the extra days as a reasonable accommodation for a health condition that would qualify under the ADAAA. Figure out if it’s the time, the money, or both. If it’s about money – it’s not part of the accommodation process. You would also need to disclose and document the medical condition – in a very limited way.

        This would be an alternate way to get your medical needs met, is all.

        • Another Stephanie :

          Whoops – read too fast – missed the “non” on health. Carry on.


  44. Anonymous :

    Hooray! What should I do with a **surprise** windfall of $250?
    J.Crew cashmere cardigan? Sephora T3 roller set?

    • Well, J.Crew is having a 25% off deal (+free shipping) right now if you buy more than $150, so you wouldn’t need the entire $250 for a cashmere cardigan… but I’d vote for a purse in a classic shape and a fun color that goes with a lot of your outfits (dark purple? yellow? red? — whatever works for you). That way it might feel like a splurge — but you won’t be over it by next season.

  45. Hey ladies – Lee Michaels’ jewelry is having a gold swap this weekend. It’s not like their buying events where you can get cash. You have to spend the money in the store. But I just found a bunch of old jewelry from my ex-husband in a box under my bed and traded it in for a black and white diamond pendant. A little present to me!

  46. Are there any NJ corporettes around? I’m a fairly new lawyer, looking for some networking advice. For the last few years, I’ve been so focussed on getting a job that I really just go to bar associations and other lawyer-themed events. But now that have a job, I realize I should probably be shifting my focus from networking for a position to networking to find clients. The problem is, I’m not sure where to start. What have you found helpful? What has been a dead end? I went to a NJ Young Professionals event recently, and it was ok.

    Bonus points for organizations related to the arts, or organizations that don’t require huge time commitments. Thanks!

  47. hesitantly waxing at home :

    Has anyone tried a home waxing kit that has worked well? I’m trying to save money over the winter and do my bikini line myself, since it’s more for my own comfort that only myself and my husband will see (and not an entire beach of people…I do brazilians during the summer months). Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated! The last time I tried to wax myself, I was in middle school, and it was an absolute disaster! And just to note, my skin has historically been too sensitive for products like Nair, so I’m not sure a hair removal cream (as opposed to a wax) is what I’m looking for. Thanks in advance!

    • Nads (strips, not jar), or the CVS brand. Both use plastic strips with wax on them, instead of the usual paper material. Make sure to rub the strips a lot, to get them a little bit warm.

      Also, avoid the roll-on wax kits. I tried it once and it was a total disaster. Have you considered an electric razor for the winter? It won’t get as smooth as a good wax, but it is so much easier.

    • Another Sarah :

      I’m a fan of the Sally Hansen waxing kits. The lavender one is more gentle, I’ve found. You can also get rid of some irritation by exfoliating in the shower you take before you wax. The Sally Hansen kits also have the azulene oil, which I find helps soothe.

      If you’re waxing yourself, especially your bikini line, I’ve found it’s always a LOT less painful to do a thin strip at a time. Yes, this takes a super long time. But then you’re not doubled over in pain and thinking, “It’s not so bad if I just do the one, I don’t really have to do the other one, do I?”

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