Holiday Weekend Open Thread

BB Dakota Mary Wrap Dress with Belt Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Happy Columbus Day! ShopBop has marked down a ton of new stuff (including a number of items I previously recommended). There are a ton of cute dresses for parties or dates, including this dark blue number from BB Dakota. I like the belt, the high (but still flattering, I think) V-neck neckline, and the pleats — it looks fun and festive, and I suspect it could be dressed up or down. It was $88, but is now marked to $61.60. BB Dakota Mary Wrap Dress with Belt

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


  1. e_pontellier :

    NYC Meet Up: Wednesday October 17 at 8PM. Email e.pontellier.r e t t e [at] gmail [dot] com if you want in! We haven’t figured out details yet so feel free to suggest a location, either here or via email.

    • e_pontellier :

      PS: I’m so excited to be the first comment on the Holiday Weekend Open Thread. =D

    • Fooey! I have to be in Saint Louis! Doubel FOOEY!

      But I have a new CLEINT, Roberta. She agreed to giving us a TRIAL run of 10 case’s. I get my FULL hourley rate, and she like’s me b/c I know her neice, Kelly, who went to law school 1 year a head of me at GW and who is now working for the U.S. Departement of Justice in DC. I now know what hapened to her!

      We had a long talk about fashion (she is very styleish) and she was thrilled that the manageing partner is giveing me a 30% clotheing allowance. She had a great PRADA bag, and I said I could not aford one. She said that if I did a good job, the manageing partner would probabely buy me one! The manageing partner pretendeded NOT to hear, but we both LAFFED.

      Roberta also had a COBB salad. We have alot in common, but she work’s in HOUSE. She told me that she used to be a litiegator so she know’s if firm’s are dogging it. I told her I am a very hard worker and she is happy to try me out. Roberta is haveing the first 10 case’s shipped over Monday, but none of them are ready for trial’s yet. That is MY job. I have setlement authority up to $1000 without even haveing to ask! The manageing partner said he would supervize all settelement’s.

      Roberta, like me also has to watch her figure. We did NOT have desert, but BOTH ordered a slice of cheezecake and a cookie to go. I told the manageing partner I would be driveing out with Harold TOMORROW morning so at least I do not have to stay over for 2 Night’s. The manageing partner headed directly to Penn Station to take the train home b/c he is driveing out tonite for the weekend! Yay!

      • TRIPLE FOOEY, ELLEN. I wanted to meet with you SO BADLY. Please ask the Manageing Partner if he can reschedule your trip so that we can have a meetup. Yay!

        • Ellen is (conveniently) never available for meetups. A while ago someone mentioned that she probably lurks at them and it’s made me giggle every time I think of that.

          • I so want to call her out on moving the St. Louis trip as an alibi, but I can’t. She had previously mentioned needing to go there soon, but did not give a date. The only thing to do would be to hold an NYC meetup EVRY WEEK for a MONTH–she just doesn’t have enough do diligence trips to not attend any of them in that scenario.

          • @ELLENWatch. Love this idea!

      • Yay! St. Louis meet up?

      • Awkward Q: Do we have to reveal our handles / screen names, I’d rather have my Qs here stay anonymous w/o it getting awkward explaining why I don’t wanna “reveal” myself.

        Also, any chance Kat shows up to the NYC meetup?!

        • e_pontellier :

          We do not have to reveal our handles. I think everyone here values this community at least in part *because* we are able to be anonymous. Read: please don’t judge me.

          Kat, you are TOTALLY invited!! We would love to meet you!!

        • I think everyone but me is pretty safe on the anonymity front. But I don’t care, I’m so excited!

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Woo! What about Revival as a location? It’s not glamorous, but it’s convenient (on 15th st 1.5 blocks from Union Square), has a fairly laid-back scene, and has a few discrete spaces that make it good for gathering. We might even be able to reserve a table or two (preference for upstairs which is loungey and fun).

    • hellskitchen :

      Local West at Penn Station could be a good option since it’s close to several train lines

      • Alanna of Trebond :

        I would prefer this for location reasons, will be coming from Midtown West.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Oh shoot, my parents will be visiting and arriving that day so I can’t make it. I definitely want to be there for one in the future though!

  2. ChristinaMD :

    Can someone help me with styling a pair of black motorcycle style flat boots I got a couple fall seasons ago. I’m pear shaped & my jeans are boot cut, so that’s not a flattering look. Also, they fit pretty snug in the calf, I don’t have a lot of extra room and am aware of that when I try to pair with a skirt.

    • Try stretching the calf part a la the guide here:

    • I think flat motorcycle boots look very flattering paired with black leggings and a sweater dress. Especially if your boots are black, it will elongate the leg. With a sweater dress (or other similar type of tunic top), you have the added benefit of not breaking up those same vertical lines the way a skirt/top combo would.

  3. Sorry, the waist on that dress is a serious problem. It’s not high enough to get away with being an empire waist, but it’s so high that anyone over about 5’2″ will look like a child in it (as a tall gal in a world of short-waisted dresses, I’ve had this experience many times).

    • Yes! The hem just looks regular-short when you look just at the knees, but when you look at the whole dress, the waist makes it look SO short – like you should have an adorable ruffly diaper cover peek out of it. This is the way baby dresses fit. Yikes.

  4. So, I’ve come to the realization that i need to start an evening skincare routine. I usually wash my fash in the morning and sleep with my makeup on (i know, i know… blasphemy). Anyone have suggestions of products, brands, etc? Late 20’s, fair, normal skin… I also don’t want to spend more than 5 minutes. Thanks!

    • I’d use one of the wipe off cleansers. I use L’avene thermale but Lush makes one as well. At least you’d be getting the make-up off.

      (Shameful secret, I don’t take my eyeliner off, I just touch up the next day)

    • OC Lawyer :

      Just want to encourage you to adopt a regular regimen, hone it until it works for you and then stick to it. I read somewhere that your morning and evening routines should both start with cleansing, but the morning routine should include “protect” for the day and the evening routine should include “treat” for the night.

      My routine is as follows (I am mid-40s, very fair and very sensitive skin. In my 20s and 30s, my skin was extremely oily. So the products have changed, but not the approach. I will let someone with skin that is more like yours recommend products.)


      cleanse (Johnson & Johnson liquid Purpose)
      moisturize/sunscreen (Shiseido White Lucent SPF 15 oil free moisturizer on face, neck and chest every day (SPF 42 Urban Jungle on non-office/outside days)
      Cetaphil UVA/UVB SPF 50 facial moisturizer on my hands and arms every day
      Rite Aid SPF 45 Rx Suncare Lip Balm


      remove eye makeup (Neutrogena eye makeup remover)
      cleanse (Johnson & Johnson liquid Purpose)
      Topix Replenix 2x retinol every other evening (purchased from derm)
      Topix Replenix Dermal Restructuring Therapy every other evening (purchased from derm)

      This routine and these products work for me, so I don’t spend any time or energy trying “the new best product.”

      I exfoliate in the shower once a week with scrubby gloves and liquid Purpose. (I used to be able to do this daily in my 20s and 30s, now that is too much for my skin. Also, I used to use cleansers that had hydroxy acid in them — I especially liked Skinceuticals “Simply Clean” — but they are too harsh for my skin now.)

      I started Botox in my early 40s and wish I had started it as a preventive measure in my mid-30s.

    • I’m in a similar boat. I use whatever face wipes are on sale (again, blasphemy), but really liked an apricot exfoliating version that was either Publix or Target brand. I’m much more likely to use them than wash my face at night because they’re so easy. I also use the Origins night creams – either Night-A-Mins or Dr. Weil Night Health – once my skin has dried. Two very simple steps, but the make up comes off, and the skin is nice and hydrated, etc.

      Here are the night creams (both available elsewhere as well). A little goes a long way:

    • Maddie Ross :

      I would suggest just starting to use a makeup removing cleansing wipe at least every night, followed by moisturizing, and go from there. Getting in a routine every night of removing makeup and daily filth for me was the first step, as I initially hated the idea of having to wash my face at night (so much extra time before I could get in bed!). I now have a much more involved routine, but I had to start small…

    • TO lawyer :

      I use makeup removing clothes at night and depending on how I’m feeling, will sometimes moisturize/use eye cream (I’m in my mid-20s). I really like the Garnier wipes in the green package (they smell great too!).

      If I shower in the evening, I’ll wash my face using cleanser – I use Philosophy purity made simple cleaner and hope in a jar moisturizer (both morning and night on the rare occasions it actually happens at night).

      FWIW, I have pretty good skin, sometimes drier and sensitive but not acne-prone or anything like that. If all else fails, I’d use a makeup removing cloth as it’s good to get everything off your skin I think before you sleep.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        For whatever it’s worth – I don’t have sensitive skin at all and I *love* the Purity Made Simple cleanser, but the Hope in a Jar moisturizer and When Hope Isn’t Enough toner burned like *fire* going on and made my face red for days. Only skincare product that’s ever done that for me, and I have no idea why. So I’d try a small test patch first!

    • Also fair with normal skin. All I do at night is wash my face with Neutrogena Clean and Clear cleanser, and then slap on some Olay Regenerist night cream. That’s about all I can manage and works great for me.

    • You’ll notice a marked difference when you start washing your skin at night – I promise. I cleanse, mostly use a toner, put on a serum, and wrap up with moisturizer and eye cream. I look much younger than I am. It takes me no where near 5 mins. 90 seconds tops.

    • I don’t wear much makeup, so I just use plain old Ponds Cold Cream. Works well, super cheap. I also use it on my poor son’s hands – they make him wash his hands so many times a day at school that his hands get soooo dry they crack and bleed in the winter, poor thing. I’m all for handwashing, but they take it pretty far.

    • I use eye-makeup remover, my clarisonic with Neutrogena face wash (the orange stuff in the squat square bottle), night moisturizer, eye cream. The longest part is the clarisonic cycle, which takes 1min. Total, probably 3 mins. If you take away the clarisonic, it goes down to probably more like 90-120s.

    • Hi there!
      You can use Sensibio H2O (also called crealine depending on where you live).
      It’s by Bioderma and acts as a cleanser/toner and is very mild so you can use it to remove eye makeup.
      Since it’s mostly water you don’t even need to rinse it off. So one product and cotton pads and you’re set in under 5 minutes.

      Shameless plug: I have a night time routine video on my YT channel but it has way more than one product.

  5. I am a banana. :

    Kat, I think the link to Pinterest tracking old recommendations now on sale is really cool and useful/helpful. Also adding to the chorus of those loving the lines by the comments. Thanks!

  6. Apropos of mamabear’s comment this morning about living in a bubble, has anyone done this quiz from NPR? It was very popular among my Facebook friends last spring and it really gave me something to think about.

    This quiz clarified for me why, even though I always felt solidly middle class growing up, I feel like I come from a different place than most of my current DC professional cohort. I do think the focus on white people is a little strange, though. I don’t see you couldn’t be of another race and live in a bubble as well. Any thoughts? Is it a bad thing to live in a bubble? Anyone ever make a conscious effort to expand out of your bubble? Is that even possible without being an offensive socio-economic tourist?

    • Georgia peach :

      It’s because Murray’s book is about white-people culture. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with living in a bubble so long as you are aware that not everyone lives like you do. For what it’s worth, I think the quiz is on the silly side, and the book is really awful (although not as controversial as some of his other works, esp. The Bell Curve). I’m sure others disagree.

    • I’m not white. The questions didn’t really register to me as focusing on white people, just class dividers.

      The ‘test’ wasn’t entirely inaccurate for me despite the fact that I don’t have a lot of the same cultural touchstones that my white American peers have. I think the bigger distinction the test was aiming to make was whether you were raised or lived in an urban environment where people are generally well-educated.

      I don’t really agree with the conclusion that I’m in a bubble, though, but I’m the child of working to middle-class immigrants. And I definitely disagree with the conclusion that I’m different from an average American because a big chunk of America shares the same values of me (believing in education, women’s equality, etc.) Even with that in mind, my fiance (a doctor) and I can feel the cultural/class distinction between the two of us (considering our debt, we’re kind of poor, but our gross income is definitely not poor) and my sister, who had both the same parents, has a bachelor’s that she took more than six years to finish and works in an administrative government position.

      I’m curious as to why you feel that you come from a different place than most of your professional cohort. Is it because you feel less-enbubbled? (Just made that up.) I know that I make it a point to stay friends with some people from grad school and college who have differing political views … but that’s because we don’t really talk politics.

      • The long-winded answer to the reason I feel like I come from a different place: I come from a place where I never wanted for food or clothing or shelter and both of my parents went to college and used correct grammar and watched PBS, so I always felt very solidly middle class growing up, even though we were blue-collar in many ways. And in some ways I felt superior to my friends whose parents said “ain’t” and watched NASCAR and smoked and drank Mountain Dew for breakfast. But then I changed my life and moved here and met people who went to prep schools, whose parents paid for their college educations, who had never worked to support themselves until after getting a graduate degree, who had traveled extensively, who knew a lot more than me on a lot of topics, and I realized that “middle class” has a lot more variation in it than I ever knew. I honestly didn’t know before law school that boarding schools still existed, and now a significant portion of my close friends went to boarding school. I had never met a lawyer before law school, and practically half of my class had a parent who was a lawyer. I got teased all the time growing up for using “big” words, and now I realize that I have been mis-using or mispronouncing certain words all my life.

        It has impacted me in a couple of ways. First, I get insecure sometimes about people thinking less of me for the things I don’t know, the words I mispronounce, and the fact that I’ve never traveled in Europe, etc, etc. Second, I have to watch myself that I don’t think less of people who grew up with more than me Sometimes I tend to look down on people who haven’t had to be as self-sufficient as I have, which really isn’t fair Like, sometimes I find myself thinking something like, “If you haven’t ever come home to an eviction noticed tacked on your door, what can you really know about life?” And I realize that’s as unfair as someone saying to me, “You’ve never been to France, what can you really know about life?” It can be a tough balancing act to recognize the value of my own experiences without denigraing the experiences of others. I can be a fairly competitive person, so I have to work really hard to keep that kind of zero-sum thinking in check.

        Sorry for the novel. Pretty soon I will be marrying across class lines and I’m feeling some anxiety about it, especially the big moment when our two families meet, so I’ve been giving this issue a lot of thought.

        • “And in some ways I felt superior to my friends whose parents said “ain’t” and watched NASCAR and smoked and drank Mountain Dew for breakfast.”

          I resent that!

          Nah, just kidding. I am frankly horrified by the quantity of Mountain Dew available in my family members’ fridges. Although they don’t smoke – they chew! Get it straight, Jenny. :)

        • Francie Nolan :

          Hi DC Jenny – I come from a very similar background, my mom was a single mom that worked hard to keep up on the lower edge of middle class and always said my sister and I would do better and in my town of 4000, I felt out of place and got teased for being a smartly pants.

          As I got older and moved away from my small town I am more self aware about my lower middle class background and the things it taught me. I want my kids toto have some of those good values, but also have the advantages I didn’t.

          I think that finding a balance between where you came from and where you are is hard, but it can be done.

          As for the families meeting, that is hard but make it as netural as possible and a low key experience if possible. When my mom met my husbands family the first time we met half way between towns and it was a short lunch. It helped because it was a limited time not a big party or something with high expectations.

          Good Luck!

        • DC Jenny, I can relate to a lot of this. I’m still in the Midwest (obvs), but I feel myself increasingly pulled into a upper middle class bubble and am not completely comfortable with it. I don’t want to betray my background or ever, ever come across like I think I’m ‘better’ than the people I grew up with. At the same time, being in an organization like Junior League was a very uncomfortable experience for me. I just didn’t fit. The women were perfectly nice, but there were all these rules and norms that everyone around me seemed to understand instinctively that I just.did.not.get. I blamed it on my lack of sorority background, but after awhile, I realized that wasn’t it at all. It was a cultural thing. My parents were big into education and my dad was college-educated — but we still were a blue-collar family in almost every way possible. Now, I feel like I’m straddling this weird line between blue-collar and … I don’t know what to call it. Economically advancing? I am not striving for any particular social category, but my life in suburbia is quite different from the rural area I grew up in.

          • MIdwest, I’m curious if you think your Midwesternness plays into this. I mean, I scored a 19 on that quiz and have no reason to doubt I had a middle/upper middle class upbringing – both parents had graduate degrees, college was always an expectation, parents were in professional roles (engineering/mgmt and teaching), grandparents were surgeons/engineers/business owners, never wanted for money, they paid for most of my college education, etc. But I’ve felt so much discomfort exhibiting upper middle class social norms – networking, a sense of entitlement, etc. For me, I wonder if my parents’ Midwestern “style” (for lack of a better word) was actually a bigger influence on my childhood than class per se.

          • MIdwest, I’m curious if you think Midwesternness plays into this. I mean, I scored a 19 on that quiz and have no reason to doubt I had a middle/upper middle class upbringing – both parents had graduate degrees, college was always an expectation, parents were in professional roles (engineering/mgmt and teaching), grandparents were surgeons/engineers/business owners, never wanted for money, they paid for most of my college education, etc. But I’ve felt so much discomfort exhibiting upper middle class social norms – networking, a sense of entitlement, etc. For me, I wonder if my parents’ Midwestern “style” (for lack of a better word) was actually a bigger influence on my childhood than class per se.

          • Anon, Midwesterness is definitely a thing and could explain your discomfort. Here, networking can be a dirty word in some circles. It gives people the impression that you’re fake, that you put on an act for personal gain and that you have an overly high impression of yourself. In other words, networking is seen as flash, not substance. That isn’t to say networking doesn’t happen, of course, but it us much more subtle and usually takes place over years, not weeks or even months. People have a finely tuned bullish*t meter, IMO. If you are overly schmoozey and it shows, people will back away.

        • I really enjoyed reading this “novel.” I appreciate your honesty about how you sometimes look at folks. (And admire your awareness of your own habits, plus the efforts to change what you don’t like about your patterns.)

        • Too Personal :

          I married “up” too, DC Jenny. A short story to let you know you’re not alone. I grew up in a rough, don’t go outside after dark, urban area. My dad worked a union job. Neither parent had a college degree. I think we were lower middle class because we never had to use a food bank or welfare, though money was tight. We had two old cars. Public school all the way. I took the bus. I worked my way through college to supplement the money my parents gave me because it wasn’t enough to live on. I’d never heard of lacrosse or field hockey before going to college. I didn’t know boarding schools or polo still existed.

          In contrast, my DH, who I met in law school, has two parents that are doctors, and aunts and uncles with various graduate degrees. He grew up in nice suburbs where people didn’t always lock their doors because there was no crime. His family drove luxury new cars. They went on international family vacations. He went to a nice private university on scholarship and family money, didn’t have to work. Conversations between us revealed there were huge gaps in my knowledge, things my public schools didn’t teach.

          The first time I went to his parents’ house, I burst into tears. A sobbing mess. I was totally overwhelmed by how “fancy” everything was. I never knew anyone with that kind of house. I’d never been in that kind of house. Actual art on the walls. Furniture that matched, made of real wood and real leather. Marble countertops and a fancy stove. It took me months to mostly get over my class-differences anxiety/impostor syndrome, this overwhelming feeling of “I don’t belong here.” It still flares up occasionally. The funny thing is, he doesn’t think he grew up well off because he knew people with lots more money than his family. It’s all a matter of perspective.

          • Um, are you married to my fiance? Awkward.

            The first time I went to his parents place, I spent a good amount of time sitting in the bedroom alone practically hyperventilating. I feel you.

          • Re the hyperventilation – in the initial stages of my relationship I always dealt with it as an anthropological visit instead of focusing on feeling intimidated and out of place. “White people really do act like they do on TV!”

          • Same with me. I spent some time with my in-laws when my husband and I were dating, and I was a crying mess for a lot of it. They weren’t really more educated than my parents but they had WAY more money. Like, probably made 5x as much as my parents. I was overwhelmed by all the hired gardeners and Porsche Club memberships and fountains in pools and fake boobs (CA suburbs, and I was from the Rust Belt).

            I was just so angry and uncomfortable the whole time.

        • Don’t apologize for the novel! Even though I rarely comment, it’s always interesting when people on this site share their viewpoints. I’ve given a lot of thought to the same topics because I come from a similar upwardly-mobile background as you (plus a hefty dose of inter-cultural angst), so here are some of my similarly novel-length thoughts:

          First of all, in response to your first paragraph, my opinion is that the people you were shocked to discover middle class sound like they live the lifestyle of the upper-middle class or the upper class. Rich and poor alike really like to call themselves middle class — or just average — even when they’re anything but average (see my example just above — I personally insisted that I’m an average American). An article I read in the NYT (which I realize is often considered the newspaper of the white upper middle class) once said that no more than 10% of Americans polled around 1970-1990 considered themselves to be anything but middle class.

          I empathize with the feeling of being disoriented: in retrospect, I can see that I made a lot of mistakes in presenting myself earlier in my career. My working theory is that I would have made a lot fewer if my parents were savvier in the business world — but that it’s not their fault. For me, law school was a three year long game of learning how to like act one of “them” — that is, the people whose socio-economic status I aspired to. It’s still a learning curve for me and I consider my fancy law school as part of the socializing process.

          On the first impact you mentioned — in the context of wondering if people sometimes think less of you, I think there must be some kind of socio-economic angst-equivalent of impostor syndrome. Rationalizing it transitional socio-economic angst might be a good sanity check when you’re thinking about your class-related anxieties. And…personally, I’ve also mispronounced a lot of words in my life. It’s because I read a lot as a kid and my parents don’t really speak a lot of English. But my fiance sometimes asks me for an opinion on how a word is pronounced too, and his dad was an exec and both his grand-fathers were famous WASPs in their own ways. I think we all kind of learn languages funny.

          On the second, well… I think that life has been easier for me once I accepted that differences exist and that’s OK. As much as I want to fit in for the sake of my career (and as much as I wrote about it earlier in my response), I have to cut myself some slack for being different because I AM different… and I also try to cut other people some slack for being different from me. As a more innocuous example, I sometimes get snotty with my future MIL because she’s always talking about how great our little city is for being soooo diverse despite its size and I’m just “uh what are you talking about it’s remark-worthy to people around here that I know how to use chopsticks.” But ultimately I think a philosophy worth keeping in mind is that we can’t judge people too much for being the product of their background in the way that we hope they’re not judging us for never having gone to France. Being familiar with eviction notices doesn’t make anyone worldly, just familiar with financial hardships, in the same way that studying abroad in college only makes you familiar with drinking while surrounded by foreign language speakers. It’s kind of like a point someone made in an earlier thread — liking organic food doesn’t make you morally superior to those who don’t in the same way that not liking it doesn’t make you a ‘manly real American’ or whatever.

          And finally… if you’re lucky, your families will love each other because you two love each other. And if not, no one says that your parents have to be best friends, just able to be civil to each other. If you and your betrothed have the same values, I think that’s enough to make class differences work (says the not-yet-married girl). It’s OK for the two sets of parents to be different as long as they’re rooting for the same goals. It just takes work to translate your goals as a couple between the different cultural contexts of the parents.

          This was really long and rambling but the TL;DR version is that you’re not alone, it’s OK to feel anxious about crossing class lines, and don’t be too hard on yourself or other people.

        • DC Jenny, I think that you and I probably have a bit in common (though I probably went to a less ritzy law school – I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend from a boarding school, though I did tutor at a boarding school a little bit in college – it was a VERY weird experience). For me, though, a lot of it had less to do with money and more to do with geography-based culture – my family was from New Jersey, but we moved south when I was a kid. (Believe me, I’m not trying to say that NJ doesn’t have it’s own kind of redneck, they just have a different culture about it.) Although I went to a state law school, I was really surprised at how many of my classmates came from “lawyer” families. For most of my family, I’m the only lawyer they’ve ever really had contact with.

          I thought some of the questions on the quiz were weird, too. But I got a 52, though, which seemed about right. I think that I teeter between the 2nd and 3rd catagories – my family wasn’t blue collar the majority of time that I grew up, but some of it, and, though money was always really tight and we drove [email protected] cars and shopped at Wal-Mart and there was nothing to help me with college, I never worried about not having food or a home (thank goodness).

          I don’t feel too weird about it for my day to day life, but I feel a little weird about it for my kid(s) – I never really liked those kids who were completely removed from the lower class presures growing up, but here I am in a nice, new house with an HOA and a pool and nice(ish) cars and fancy foodstuffs, and a big screen TV; it will be very different for my kids.

        • This was all very interesting to read. I came from a family who was decidedly very lower middle class in terms of money but existed in a mid-atlantic suburb of upper middle class families. I spent a lot of time growing up figuring out how to appear like I was on a level playing field with the people around me, knowing that my family was in a much different financial situation. I’m sure my parents were struggling to do the same thing. As I result I feel like I existed as part of the upper middle class culture but always felt like an outsider.

        • 'Non for this. :

          This is such an interesting quiz… I got a 33, which I think is accurate. My mom married “up.” She was the only person in her (12-sibling Catholic southwest Louisiana) family to go to college. She was always the weirdo smarty pants who didn’t really “belong.” My dad came from a fairly well off new england family.

          I definitely felt like I had a really solidly middle class experience growing up with lots of influences from the “relics” of my dad’s upper middle class family– the silver, the china, the antique furniture, the art, but at the same time there were oddly lower class aspects too– my dad was a military officer who’s functional alcoholism spiraled out of control after he retired, he smoked like a chimney, fished, and owned a truck. On the other hand, my mom was very focused on our cultural education, and we went to the opera, and to as many museums as our feet could carry us through. My sister and I both read constantly as kids, which is one of the reasons I feel so comfortable when I’m around other people– it is very rare that someone says a word and I don’t know what it means or how to pronounce it. My sister and I both went to good private universities and got fantastic educations. I think my experience especially prepared me to be able to “fake it” in the transition between middle class and upper middle class.

          My husband married “up” when he married me. In terms of cultural markers, my FIL has car parts and appliances strewn throughout his yard. He was the head of the janitor crew at my university, so my husband got free tuition there. Husband is very smart, and fairly cultured in a “subjects you learn about in school” sort of way, but is still a work in progress in a “social cues” sort of way. He has come a long way when it comes to being comfortable with people and different situations. When we were first together, someone gave us tickets to a $50 per person fundraiser. He was planning on going in torn jeans and a t-shirt until I mentioned I was going to wear a cocktail dress. Something I still can’t seem to break him of is this suspicion about other people– he thinks people are always out to screw him over financially. It’s just bizarre. I don’t know if that’s a poor person mentality or just him being weird. It’s a really fascinating topic. I really recommend the book “Class” by Paul Fussell. It is a little dated, but he parses apart class better than anything else I’ve seen.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          You’ll notice in the presidential debate both Romney and Obama carefully never defined “middle class” when talking about tax cuts for the middle class. Everyone likes to think they’re middle class.

          • I had a college econ professor once tell us that most people identify as middle class. He then proceeded to show us a series of cutoffs based on tax brackets. The real kicker was that the criteria was household income, so by his calculation, if a married couple made a combined $100k, they were among the top 15% of households. That number may have shifted slightly since then, but it’s interesting to note how many people have a lower perception of their comparative financial rank*.

            *Also, I should note this is income, not wealth, which is a big factor in delineating upper vs. upper middle class.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Yes I did, and it drove me nuts. Because honestly, with my student loan debt burden and very expensive geographic area as far as living expenses, income tax brackets define us as borderline “rich” yet sometimes we just scrape by!

        • This is my life, too. Exactly. I just try to watch and learn…

        • health care anon :

          This. Totally.

          I work for physician’s now as a research coordinator, and I love it, although I do feel alienated by history, if you will. My dad is a diesel mechanic and often worked two jobs (not out of necessity, he just likes to keep busy, I believe he tends to get anxious like me, and idle hands lead to panic attacks, like me. I could be wrong, he has always just said he “likes’ to work). My mother became pregnant with my older sister when she was 17 and never got to go to college like she wanted, so both mine and my sister’s undergraduate degrees were paid for by them. My parents always use/d proper grammar and helped me with school work. We had family dinners, and watched Nova and other PBS programs. I was encouraged to read, and I would often come home from my college classes to find my mom reading my books I was assigned. I found that endearing. My parents fought for my sister and I to be in advanced and college classes, and it has paid off for both of us. I am very proud of my parents, and thankful for everything they have given me and plan to do the same for my children. I married a man who works for a large construction firm who has an amazing work ethic. We spend weekends at the museum, zoo and aquarium (and farmers market for a couple more weekends hopefully) and run family 5K’s and we are very involved in our children’s schooling, despite both of us working full time. We have breakfast and dinner together every day, which I personally feel is huge (my step daughter, whom we have joint custody of, doesn’t have any meals with her mother or step dad, eats at day care) and we make time to each process our day and read together every night. I wish I could remember where I had read the article a few weeks ago about how children learn working class versus upper class techniques for handling behavior, but I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I had just read it a few weeks ago and sadly it is failing me. It might have been on ask a manager, or a link on that site.

          Long story short, I don’t feel like I’m in a bubble per se, however, I have a degree in sociology as well and spent four years of undergraduate work thinking, working and writing with underserved groups in my community. I also think that my parents were cognizant enough of the things they wanted from their daughters socially and education wise, and knew what to do to make that happen. My sister and I are the first in our families to have professional type jobs with flexible schedules and benefits. I think that makes my mother very proud (my dad too)

    • I don’t know, the questions struck me as very ‘urban upper-class vs. rural working class’ and didn’t include a geographical and racial/cultural diversity that is the reality of the lower economic classes in this country. but it is an interesting conversation starter, for people who have never thought about these kinds of things. It gave me a weird result, because even though I was definitely raised in a middle class family, my family also has a multi-generational history of working in education and the nonprofit world with low-income and marginalized communities, and I have spent much of my career doing that work. So, I think it’s overly simplistic, but, again, interesting.

    • Wow, this is really interesting. I never thought about it the way it’s laid out in the quiz, but I often feel like an alien or anthropologist when I find myself in social situations in DC. I didn’t live in an area where I think the majority of my 50 closest neighbors probably have college degrees until I moved to DC at age 25. (In fact I grew up in an area where my 50 closest neighbors comprised probably a 10-mile radius.) Hell, a majority of my immediate family don’t have college degrees. To them, being a lawyer is exotic. To many of my friends in DC, farming is quaint and manual labor is something fun to do as a hobby for DIY projects.

      • Oh, and I scored 63. I sort of resent that some of the questions asked “have you or your spouse” rather than “have your or a member of your immediate family”, because i’m not married, but my siblings and parents do pretty much everything that was asked about.

        Anyway, my score qualified me for three possible descriptions, although the second one (first-generatoin middle class with working-class parents) is the correct one.

        48–99: A lifelong resident of a working-class neighborhood with average television and movie going habits. Typical: 77.

        42–100: A first-generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits. Typical: 66.

        11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.

        • Yours makes more sense for you. I got a 38, so I’m supposedly that 3rd one you listed. But I am a far cry from upper-middle-class, I work in nonprofits, so I’m making (confession time) $35k, and my parents were at the low end of middle-class financially, with long periods of unemployment and financial struggle. But I grew up with a very intellectual culture, and I live a culturally urban intellectual life, but my income doesn’t necessarily correlate to that. And there was no way to indicate in the quiz my level of awareness of the severe economic and racial problems in this country because of the work I have done with marginalized people in the US and all over the world, as it intersects with my own standard of living.

          But still, interesting.

          • I got a 34. :-)

            I’m in 2 different bands, including 11–80: A first-generation upper-middle-class person with middle-class parents. Typical: 33.

          • I got a 36 – interesting, I think. My parents were both teachers/school administrators, as were my mother’s parents and I think education somewhat skews it. I went to a fairly expensive liberal arts college and went abroad so I think that sent me in a slightly different direction from how I was raised (parents both group up in the same small town, lived in the same state their whole lives, solidly middle class, never had lots of money).

          • I got a 48. I grew up in the midwest, and we were quite poor until I was a teenager. My parents both worked for nonprofits so I grew up in a home with a lot of books and very little else. I remember learning to budget by helping my mom clip coupons and plan meals for the week, and trips to garage sales to buy new school clothes. My parents had zero help from their families, and I had essentially zero help from mine.

            I now live in DC where the majority of my peers come from great privilege, and part of that privilege is simply rooted in never having known worry about whether you’ll have enough food for the week, or that you have to keep wearing shoes that hurt because it’s another 2 weeks until payday. I’m very conscious of the way that those experiences shaped my outlook on life.

          • I think a lot of the habits and hobbies that enabled us to move out of a blue collar/working class life and become highly educated professionals result in lower scores than we really should have. For instance, I was the nerdy kid who read books instead of watching TV, so my score was lower because I didn’t watch any of the TV shows they listed. (I actually grew up without a TV. We were poor. Cable and satellite wasn’t the norm back then. Kids played outside.) I’m not an Evangelical Christian and I felt alienated from that crowd in school, which pushed me into more nerdy pursuits like drama club and quizbowl. My parents have never traveled, but I got a scholarship to go abroad at a fairly young age and that broadened my horizons beyond my small town. And so on. I suspect it’s the same for you, Zora. My salary is technically middle class, but with student loans and in a high cost of living city, I definitely don’t have it easy.

          • I think a lot of the habits and hobbies that enabled us to move out of a blue collar or working class life and become highly educated professionals result in lower scores than we really should have. For instance, I was the nerdy kid who read books instead of watching TV, so my score was lower because I didn’t watch any of the TV shows they listed. (I actually grew up without a TV. We were poor. Cable and satellite wasn’t the norm back then. Kids played outside.) I’m not an Evangelical Christian and I felt alienated from that crowd in school, which pushed me into more nerdy pursuits like drama club and quizbowl. My parents have never traveled, but I got a scholarship to go abroad at a fairly young age and that broadened my horizons beyond my small town. And so on. I suspect it’s the same for you, Zora. My salary is technically middle class, but with student loans and in a high cost of living city, I definitely don’t have it easy.

            Posting again because my original comment disappeared into the ether without so much as a “posting too quickly” message.

        • Scored a 68. Thank you small-town-in-south-Texas upbringing.

    • Thanks so much for all your responses; it’s nice to know I’m not alone. Here is another interesting article specifically on class issues in the office that may interest some of you.

      • Fascinating. It has taken me a long time to understand the political nuances of the workplace and I still screw it up occasionally. I was definitely raised on directness and much prefer a blunt boss instead of one who talks in circles or sugarcoats things.

      • I’m reading about some of these class markers and identifying with being a straddler.

        There are pros and cons to both the blue-collar and white-collar mindsets, and at my age, I’m mostly interested in gleaning “best practices” from both groups.

        That said, I’m pretty sure my background gave me the strength to go toe-to-toe with the @sshole managing director I used to work with in IB. Was totally not afraid of him and let him know it. So after a few initial “boundary tests,” he stopped trying, and never bullied me, despite bullying all the other junior analysts and associates in our group.

      • You are so not alone, DCJenny. I can hold my own with the trust fund crowd since I traveled Europe (while serving in the military) and did a stint at a fancy college. But even though a lot of my extended family has college degrees, I’ve always been very comfortably middle class, and one of my parents has a “high prestige” career, a lot of my extended family also works in blue collar fields, and I was raised as a pragmatic Midwesterner. I went to public schools, I know how to fish, and my dad drives a pickup truck and owns a bunch of guns and farm equipment.

        I think the biggest difference is the view of money — even though I have a well-paying and somewhat bubble-y career, money is something I work for and spend judiciously, but ultimately something I can have a lot of fun without. Money, for a lot of the people I encounter, is just something that’s there, has always been there, and will always be there as they send their kids to prep school and summer in Nice. Whether or not I can talk to them, I still don’t understand the mindset. I also don’t think I understand the blue-collar mindset, but I’m more comfortable there.

        The DC area is such an odd socioeconomic melting pot of types of people I never, ever, encountered at home in the Midwest — I read Paul Fussell’s “Class: A Guide Through the American Status System” a few months back and was totally fascinated. Even though it’s kind of outdated, oversimplified and snarky at times, it managed to put in words a lot of things that I’d kind of always felt but never been able to identify objectively since I’ve lived here.

      • Thank you for posting this. I come from what I considered a very upper middle class family. My parents are both well educated, located to an area with a phenomenal school district, and generally did all they could to support my siblings and I throughout our childhood.

        That said, it wasn’t until I moved to the east coast for school that I realized how limited my understanding of social class was. Many of my college peers were shocked I had gone to a public school (several asked “Is that even safe?”) and had never traveled outside the US. It was quite intimidating to be around such “cultured” people (and yes, like others I had panic attacks before meeting certain friends parents).

        To be honest, I aspire to raise my children in a similar way. I’d like them to have the natural understanding of art, history, and foreign cultures my college friends did. But I also worry about losing sight of my roots. Being a stradler can be rough at times.

        Thanks for posting and reminding me there are plenty of others in the same position :)

    • Thanks @DC Jenny. It nailed me as being the first generation middle class from working class parents. Many of these things I could only say yes to because of growing up where I did.

      42–100: A first-generation middle-class person with working-class parents and average television and movie going habits. Typical: 66.

    • The quiz pretends there are no immigrants around us. The author must live in a bubble, or in flyover country.

      • I agree that the quiz is limited, but you do know that there are plenty of immigrants in “fly-over country” right?

        • Yes, there are. For example in my fly-over suburb, about 1/4 to 1/3 of my neighbors are Indian and Pakistani. The more urban parts of St. Louis have big Bosnian and Vietnamese communities.

        • You know and I know that, but none of the groups described in the results even has the word “immigrant”.
          A person may have no clue about Opra, country music or baseball by virtue of being an immigrant. And it could be a dirt-poor illiterate person, yet they would be grouped together with rarefied academics of foreign extraction.

          • exactly, this is what I was getting at above, that the concepts of different classes were lacking a geographic and cultural diversity. Different immigrant and cultural groups have different experiences. Or, low-income urban populations that have never gone fishing or would never have bought a pick-up truck.

          • Posted in the wrong place originally – The author, Charles Murray, published a sociological study of white Americans. I don’t think the quiz is meant to apply to non-white Americans. Not because they’re not important, but because they’re not the demographic group that Murray studies.

      • “fly-over country”? Are we trying to create another flap (pun intended) by stereotyping the Midwest?

      • The author, Charles Murray, published a sociological study of white Americans. I don’t think the quiz is meant to apply to non-white Americans. Not because they’re not important, but because they’re not the demographic group that Murray studies.

    • I’ve been reading through everyone’s responses (when I should be studying for contracts midterm!) and have been trying to figure out where I fall. I scored a 43, which seems to be in a bunch of different categories. I don’t think I’m the upper-middle-class with middle-class parents option, but I’m also not middle-class with working-class parents…

      Anyways, since moving to SoCal (originally from Oregon), I have noticed some discomfort in particular social situations, and feel like I stick out in certain places. I’m from a small, rural, logging & fishing town (< 10,000 people) that was very much small town USA – rival football teams, everyone at the high school on Friday to watch the game, school dances that everyone went to, senior pranks like putting a cow on the front door of the school, going mudding, everyone hunted, everyone fished, camping, drinking in the woods…But at the same time, my parents were both from CA, my dad's a college professor, my mom didn't finish undergrad but is very smart & reads a ton, never had a tv, parents are definitely hippies, and we lived in CA, several places in the south, and then OR. So I had lots of exposure to different places, different viewpoints from my hippie liberal parents and their friends, and then this crazy "redneck" environment I grew up in. So – I went to college first in the south at a private school and felt so out of place. I was like this strange creature from Oregon, and the majority of students were very upper middle class, went to boarding or private high schools, etc. I was so uncomfortable I transferred back to school in OR. Then I lived in Argentina for four years, where I interacted either with Argentines, or expats, who tend to be a particular type of random person. And now I'm in SoCal, and it's just so bizarre to me. My bf's family is upper-middle-class, and they are definitely "keeping up with the Joneses" types, as well as being kind of big fish in the area we live in. Maybe it's just impostor syndrome, but I definitely feel like a weirdo at family gatherings, even though I haven't done anything in particular…Maybe in social situations I use my more rural roots as a shield? Maybe because my parents are kind of earthy, despite my dad being in a "high profile" profession, I just get flustered and don't know how to act like everyone else. I don't know what it is, but everyone's responses are definitely giving me some food for thought!

      P.S. This makes me sound way awkward, but I think a lot of it is probably in my head.

      • Oh and also – when my bf visited my hometown I took him out to a local bar, where most people wear camo, there was a knife fight in the parking lot the previous year, and guys tell hunting stories & spit on the floor sometimes. BF about died. He’s a pretty well-traveled guy, has lived abroad in several places, traveled a lot, lives in a diverse area…I think there’s something about rural life in the US that can still seem incredibly shocking to people from metropolitan areas, even if they’re well-traveled.

    • Hmm, this definitely was an interesting exercise. I received a 35 which probably makes sense.

      I think its hard to put people in a box. My upbringing had a mixture of upper middle class and middle class components. My parents had professional jobs and college educations, and there was always plenty of money, but we lived in a more middle class area (also it was in the South so Evangelical Christians were commonplace). So I went to a public high school, rode the school bus, and had lots of friends whose parents did not go to college and who themselves did not end up going to college. But I also traveled outside the country growing up and I was able to attend a prestigous private college in the Northeast on scholarships / my parent’s dime. Perhaps it was because we were on the wealthier end of the people in our neighborhood and at my high school, but I never gave class much thought. I appreciated the privledge I had (especially whwhen applying to college – many of my peers had to pay their own way), but I did not feel uncomfortable interacting with people in different classes.

      At my college people biforcated into 2 class groups — the upper class & wealthy and the middle classes, and I fell squarely into the 2nd group. This group includes people with backgrounds like mine, truly middle class people and even people who grew up in families where money was tight. The other group includes people whose parents held really prestigious jobs, attended private/boarding school, regularly traveled outside the country, had lots of designer stuff, etc. The people in the second group seemed to have had really different viewpoints and customs than mine. Many of the events at school were conducted according to those customs, and this was the first time I really gave much thought to my class.

      Now that I am some years removed from college, I have been around a lot more people in the upper class / wealthy category (coworkers, people in the yuppie neighborhoods I have chosen to live in, etc.), and I feel like this is the group I will settle out in if I continue on this career path. But I think if I change to a lower-paying career, I will end up back in a similar middle class/upper middle class lifestyle like my parents. Exposure to people in various classes has helped me to feel comfortable around a variety of people. I don’t feel that I fall squarely into any category, and I understand that customs/traditions/etc. may be different depending on someone’s upbringing, people are all just people when you get to know them.

      I thought I would add another person’s experiences to this discussion. I think each person experiences class in a very individual way and that it is a fluid concept, impacted by their family background and all the places life takes them after that.

    • That was interesting. It scored me as second-generation or more upper-middle class, which I think has to do in part with living in the south. I’m pretty sure that by any normal person’s calculation, I’m wealthy. And I’m not the second generation of my family to fall into that category – I’m the product of centuries of upper class privilege, in the US and in England before. But in the south, it’s not uncommon for a person with that background to own a pick-up truck, to know or be an evangelical Christian, and to have a varsity letter in some high school sport. Class signifiers do still vary regionally, which is something that I forget from time to time.

      I think a key factor that is often discounted in these discussions is the cultural capital that accompanies a history of privilege. My parents weren’t particularly wealthy during their own childhoods or during mine. But my mother, for example, came from a long line of women who had been educated at the highest level possible for their time – my grandmother had a master’s degree, my great-grandmother and all her sisters attended “female seminaries” after high school, and the generations before them had private tutors at home until their coming-out. You can’t even begin to monetize the value of that – it’s a heritage that made a huge difference in terms of my prospects.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      The responses to this have been absolutely fascinating to me. Although I am certain the substance of the quiz wasn’t intended to apply to me, as a Black woman, the scoring still was pretty accurate. Because the technical definitions for class in this country are so broad, I’d define my family as solidly middle class, but within the Black community, probably upper middle class so the numbers/definitions apply (My grandparents owned their land and sent half of their kids to college w/o student loans). What I find striking however, is the sense of outsider-ness among so many of the posters. We lived in an urban setting but I attended a New England prep school, and I never felt I didn’t belong and when exposed to things I’d never experienced, it validated why I worked so hard. That didn’t mean I wasn’t acutely aware of being a minority and having to “represent my race” so to speak. What is more interesting is the subtle expectation I now experience in the work place that I haven’t had certain experiences, when I HAVE had them, and many more, e.g… extensive travel abroad etc…. Almost the opposite of what some of you describe. And when I talk about plans for my kids etc… the looks of, I don’t know – perplexity? – that I would be preparing my child for those experiences. I guess perspective is everything, but I absolutely have no doubt my kids will be better off than my generation, as I am better off than my parents, and they than theirs…. My grandparents were farmers, my dad was a tradesman, and I am a professional. My kids will be what they want to be….

  7. circle of life :

    Some questions about egg harvesting and gestational carriers.

    I’m 27, and I’m thinking about having my eggs harvested and frozen. I’m pretty sure I want kids someday, but that “someday” may not be for a long while — probably post-35. Given issues with trying to conceive past that age and higher rates of birth defects, I’ve been thinking for awhile about having my eggs harvested and frozen. If I’m going to do it anyway, there’s no time like the present. Has anyone done this? Also, and this is a weird question, I know, but: is it possible to also donate eggs when I get them harvested? Or are there not enough to go around? Haven’t been able to figure this out.

    Second question is obviously much longer term, but I’ve been thinking about it and am curious as to whether anyone has or knows someone who has had an experience with a gestational carrier. I have some health issues that make me a little terrified to get pregnant. I have a chronic condition that requires me to take ADD medication to be competent at work. I also have, for a long time now, had issues with anxiety and depression (mainly anxiety) that require me to go on and off prescriptions. The thought of not being able to take the ADD medication, and also not being able to take other prescriptions in case of panic attacks, while pregnant is very scary to me. One solution is to tough it; another (rarely used) solution is a GC. Wondering if anyone has thoughts on this issue.

    • Anon for this :

      There was an article here within the past year about one woman’s journey in harvesting her eggs. It’s not a cheap process and involves a lot of shots to the abdomen but the whole process takes about a month. I’m not sure about egg donation but people do sell their eggs for quite a bit of money.

      • One of my friends did it while she was in vet school. It was a little problematic because of the hormonal mood swings while she was in school but she was really happy she did it.

    • Hey there! I’m also in my late 20s (29) and have basically made the decision to freeze my eggs. Already have the money saved and am beginning the process of looking at different fertility clinics.

      About donating your eggs: you can do it, but it depends on how many cycles you want to go through! One extraction cycle isn’t enough to guarantee that you will have a baby — you probably need to do at least two cycles. If you want to donate your eggs, you would probably have to go through 1-2 more cycles to make sure the egg recipient has a live birth as well. And from what I hear, cycles are not only expensive, but may have unwanted health consequences as well.

      I’m no expert, but based on what I’ve read, the chances of a single extracted egg resulting in a live birth is about 5%. Using basic probability, the chances of having a live birth from of 20 extracted eggs are therefore 1-(95%)^20 = ~ 63%. The more eggs you have, the better your chances. With 40 extracted eggs, the probability narrows to 1-(95%)^40 = ~87%. I’ve heard that in young women, you can expect about 15-20 eggs to be extracted per cycle, meaning that you would have to go through two cycles to retrieve around 40 eggs.

      Then it comes down to the cost (both financial and personal) of doing an egg-freezing cycle. The average egg freezing cycle costs about $12-$15k, lasts a couple of weeks, and involves heavy doses of hormones. You’ll probably feel irritable, gain weight, and be somewhat susceptible to a potentially-fatal condition called Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome. If you go it on your own, you’d have to pay about $30k up front and spend four weeks going to appointments. If you decide to donate your eggs, maybe you can get the recipient to subsidize some of your cycles. The downside, though, is that you’d have to deal with 6-8 weeks of high hormone dosage.

      Despite all of the above, I still think that egg-freezing is worthwhile! It is unquestionable, though, that’s cheaper and medically less risky to have kids before 35. Also, keep in mind that if your *husband* is 40 or older, he has a higher chance of having kids with birth defects/autism/etc. It’s not all on your side. Frozen eggs in the bank are a great backup plan, but will require a lot of sacrifice on your part, and they do not entirely eliminate the risks associated with having children at a later age.

      • circle of life :

        This is great information, thanks. Yes, I’ve seen the recent research on father’s age, which I’ve also been considering. My husband is 6 years older than me.

        Do you happen to know how long before the egg freezing cycle you need to go off birth control?

        • Maddie Ross :

          Not sure about egg harvesting, but with IVF they often put you on BC to regulate your cycle before doing the egg collection cycle, so I would tend to guess you wouldn’t have to be off of it for very long.


      Check this out. A friend of mine has done it twice; she’s a professional and has 3 kids of her own and then decided to help 2 other couples. It wasn’t a money thing with her. I could never do something like that and I’m sure it is very difficult to find someone that you trust, but I thought this article was very inspirational in a way and gave all of us older ladies some hope.

  8. 1st Marathon on Sunday! :

    I am running my first full marathon on Sunday. I have put in the time training and the forecast looks great. These facts are not stopping me from being incredibly nervous! Do any of the runners have some wisdom to share?

    • Enjoy it! Especially the last mile. You’ll never again run the last mile of your first marathon. I actually carried a small camera in my fanny pack (yes, I wear a fanny pack when I race, but I also race in a pink skirt so I think that cancels out the fanny pack) and took photos along the route. I purposefully wasn’t trying for a great time, though, so if you are, you might not want to be such a tourist in your own race. Do you have friends/family coming? I station my cheerleaders at mile 20 and at the end. I always find miles 13-18 to be the rough ones and knowing my team is at mile 20 really helps me push through. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep tonight. You might be too nervous to sleep well Saturday night but if you get solid sleep tonight, you’ll be fine.

    • Congrats! I would “dedicate” each mile to a friend or family member. Marathons give you plenty of time to think, so I would use that mile to think about that person and it helps to take your mind off things, especially towards the end.

      • 1st Marathon on Sunday! :

        Love this idea!

      • Congratulations! The most important and best advice, as someone else said, is DO NOT GO OUT TOO FAST. 26.2 miles is a long way. And Enjoy it! If your first marathon is a big city marathon, consider oa teeny camera. I bought a cheap one that has no memory card and was so small it fit in my raceready shorts front pocket–tht was before Boston (NOT my first marathon by far) and I used it to shoot photos along the way.

        Eat yoru big meal at lunch today, not at dinner. Have a modest dinner and try to get to bed early, even if you cannot sleep.

        My first was a small town marathon on Labor Day, in Mississippi. They had record breaking heat. An out and back, which really helped me do negative splits and I really held back the first half. Have a great time!

    • Go out nice and slowly, don’t believe the spectator at Mile 2 who is holding a sign that says “You’re almost there!”, remember your throw away clothes and a trash bag to stay warm before the race, push through miles 18-25, and savor the “that was awesome” feeling when you cross the finish line.

      Congrats on your training. Good luck. Have fun.

    • Glad the forecast looks great – it matters so much. It is a huge accomplishment and I am sure you have a solid base down and have down on the training. I really like Angie’s idea, alot. How clever.

      I’m also sure you’ve done races before and I don’t know how big your marathon is, but it could take a while to really get going. Get out there and go at your own pace – you will do great! And, hydrate more than you think you need to hydrate! Please report back on how it went.

    • Legally Red :

      Good luck! I hope I’m not too late for this, but make sure you go to the bathroom beforehand! I nearly elbowed an older man out of the way when I finally saw a port-o-potty when I did Chicago last fall. The men have it easy–they can just find a bush! Also, if it’s a crowded race, be prepared for it to turn into an obstacle course toward the end once people start staggering around. I joke that I actually ran 27.2 from zigzagging around people who would just stop suddenly after mile 18 or so. But other than that, have fun! The training was the hard part, the race is easy! :)

    • 1st Marathon, how did it Go?

  9. I got a new job which I started on Monday! It is a wonderful company and is great for my career. I was unemployed for 9 mos because the work I was doing ended and company subsequently went out of business. Not that anyone remembers but, my SO deployed in April and he came back all safe and sound. In fact, the day I saw him when he came back is the day I got this job offer.

    So, to those of you that are still looking, hang in there. I was targeted about my search (I didn’t apply for anything and everything) but it was still demoralizing because every place I interviewed, they wanted me, but they didn’t have the funds or were unsure what they were going to do because of economy.

    Good luck to everyone in a crappy situation – it will get better. Just wanted to share some positive news and updates. Hoping to see the DC gals later on this month!

  10. PharmaGirl :

    Any tips for negotiating with internet sales associates when buying a car? Or any otehr car buying tips in general? I need to get this over with quickly without the hassle of sitting in a dealership all day.

    • I negotiated with the internet sales associates for several dealerships in my area. I emailed all of them and asked for prices. After getting offers, I circulated the lowest offer to the other dealerships. I did this several times until no one was willing to go any lower and purchased from the dealership with the lowest price. Then I made an appointment to pick up my car and spent about an hour doing paperwork at the dealership and drove away with my new vehicle. This was 7 years ago, so they may be more sophisticated or the process may be more complicated now.

    • Try Cartelligent.

  11. momentsofabsurdity :

    Inspired by this morning’s food thread:

    Do any of you have experience joining a CSA as a single person? I am considering it but I am not living with family, etc, and my roommate eats out for basically every meal (though I’m sure he’d eat something I cooked, I doubt he’d want to throw down to join a CSA!)

    I am looking at a CSA that includes meat, dairy and fruits/veggies but requires you to purchase at least $50 of food every two weeks. I’m unsure if I can eat that much food/devote that much time to cooking, but I love the idea of getting regular, local food delivered. I’ve heard horror stories of friends joining CSAs and loving them until the months where they got 25lb of kale and nothing else, etc. I’ve heard also that it’s much better/much more useful if you have a family. This CSA does allow me to pick what I want, but I’m nervous that one person couldn’t feasibly eat/cook that much every week.

    Anyone have any advice/experience?

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      $50 is a LOT of food, unless there is a lot of meat included. The CSA I was in had a cost of $65/month and was too much for two people to eat. (This is in the midwest and I lived 30 minutes away from the farm)

      I would not sign up without someone else willing to split it with you. The CSA itself should have literature describing how much food you get generally. Our CSA told us that a family of 2 could eat the food in the box (which was only veggies and whatever was picked that week) but we found it to be too much for us.

      You could probably just go to a farmer’s market weekly and have it not cost as much. (But if the market isn’t nearby, then that suggestion won’t work)

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        There is a good amount of meat included — it’s basically an online “store” from which you pick what you want every week (the store being updated to reflect the availability of produce). So looking at the store today, and trying to decide if I wanted to sign up, I tried to figure out if I could get/eat:

        – 1 whole medium chicken – $25
        – 2 bags small heirloom tomatoes – $10
        – 2 bags green beans – $5
        – 1 loaf artisan bread – $5
        – 1 package swiss cheese – $10

        which would come out to $55 but seems like a lot of food to eat over a week/two week period (seems like a lot of chicken sandwiches!). But again I’m not sure and it’s tough to gauge, especially when they don’t say the size of the bags/boxes of vegetables.

        There is a farmer’s market near me but it’s only open July – Oct and is open weekday afternoons/early evenings when I’m still commuting. I will investigate that though – there must be other ones open year round somewhere.

        • Just some ideas for how to work with that: first, just roast the whole chicken.

          1. Roast chicken with green beans (however you like them)
          2. Chicken sandwiches with tomatoes and swiss (and ranch dressing.)
          3. Omlette with swiss, tomatoes, and green beans (can add chicken. or, make an egg sandwich!)
          4. Roasted tomato soup
          5. Chicken quesadillas (great for dark meat)
          6. Pasta puttanesca (with the fresh tomatoes, add some olives, garlic, etc.), with chicken, and green beans on the side. Perhaps some bread on the side.
          7. French toast
          8. Chicken with a fresh tomato sauce (cook down the tomatoes until they break down and become a sauce), green beans on the side.

          … I think that’s all I have right now. If you sign up, is it easy to cancel?

        • Whoah, $25 for a chicken? Despite all our conversations on food yesterday and today, that seems awfully high even for organic, and to my mind if what you listed is all you are getting for your $50, they are overcharging you. Just saying.

          (PS, I’ve been looking at CSA boxes recently too, and I know I live in a different region than you, but based on my research $50 would get me way more than what you listed. Are you sure you don’t have any other CSA options?)

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            That’s fair – I actually have NO idea what a CSA should charge and am just looking at the prices they are giving on the website. It may be that the one I’m looking at is absurd. I also rarely buy whole chickens (usually just chicken breasts) so I wasn’t really sure what they should cost.

          • If she’s in the Boston area, that’s a typically price for a local chicken.

          • Kontraktor :

            I was also shocked at the chicken price. I guess this is the reason I will probably always eat ‘regular’ food (sorry to the chickens, I guess, if the organic/fancy/whatever ones are treated better and ‘normal’ ones have a horrible life, but I do not envision a world existing where I can regularly afford $25 for one chicken, which maybe lasts 2 people 2 meals depending on size and how it is consumed).

            For reference, a ‘normal’ grocery store chicken generally costs between about $8 and $14. A lot of stores have sales when they sell whole chicken for $.99/lb and you can get them for $4-5.

          • Just checked my local CSA price for a whole, unmedicated, free run chicken and it is $16.00. Interesting. I guess this just goes to show the price differential in different regions. I am in the PNW (but BC, not Washington).

          • Wow. That’s one expensive chicken. Do you mind if I ask what sort of area you’re in? That seems extremely high.

        • You could freeze some of the chicken for variety later?

        • Divaliscious11 :

          You can get 2 organic chickens for that at Whole Foods or Costco, and still have some $ left over…..

        • That actually doesn’t seem like much food to me. If you want to do it and the money isn’t a big deal, go for it – I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble eating through it.

    • I don’t remember where you are, but some CSAs offer things like half-shares. I think my friend (who lives in PA) splits a CSA share with 4 people. Can you split the share even further?

      I think you could probably eat $50 worth of veggies/fruits/meat/dairy in two weeks (how much do you usually spend on these items at the grocery store?). Depending on your food preferences, maybe go heavy on the veggies (especially since you can choose what you get), and try to think of dishes to combine all of them (like a minestrone. Or saute up a bunch of greens and other veggies and make a quiche). If you are a big dessert person, instead of purchasing dessert at the grocery store, try substituting fruit for dessert (roasting apples in a bit of water, squeeze of lemon juice, and cinnamon — so good!).

      I was a CSA member a few summers ago, and it was just me and my husband. There was a lot of kale and kohlrabi (which was awesome and new to me). There was only so much kale that we could eat in a week, so we used to blanch it and store it in the freeze to toss in soups.

    • Merabella :

      I don’t have much advice, but I do know there are groups that have special offers for single people. There is one that delivers in my area and you can choose between 1-6 people boxes. Another thing to think about is going halfsies with a friend so you don’t have to do it all on your own and have food go to waste.

    • You can always have a partay! :)

    • I do an organic produce co-op. 15 lbs of produce every 2 weeks. That’s just the half share; full share is 30 lbs. I don’t get to choose what I get. I like it, but it does take some diligence on my part to eat up all those veggies/fruits. I’ve changed my eating habits… for example, I might just have some braised swiss chard for dinner if that’s what’s left over in my fridge. Doesn’t bother me.

      As for your whole chicken. Do you take your lunch to work? I like to rotisserie a whole chicken and then freeze individual lunch portions w/ chicken + veggies from my share. Also, once you start getting more root vegetables, soups w/ chicken are great. I roast veggies (this week, it’s going to be squash, carrots, apples, pears, and some fennel), add a little chicken stock & puree w/ immersion blender, add the rest of the stock + a little cream to give it body, and add shreds/chunks of chicken. Spices, too, obvs. So comforting on a cold day.

      Anyway, if what you described is all you get for $50, I think you can blow through that in 2 weeks, easy.

    • We have a market here that sells produce boxes that are akin to a CSA share. Their boxes are $25. Some of my colleagues get them. I never have.

      Here’s what’s in this week’s box, just for an example:
      Sweet Potatoes (Laurel, MS)
      Bunch of Radishes (Fekete Farms, Hungarian Settlement, LA)
      Turnip or Red Potato (Fekete Farm/Indian Springs)
      Red Mustards (Point Coupe Minority Growers Co-op)
      Green Onions (Fekete Farms, Hungarian Settlement, LA)
      Arkansas Black Apples (Cherry Creek Orchards, Pontotoc, MS)
      Yellow Squash (Indian Springs Growers, Petal, MS)
      Arugula (Monica’s Okra World, Garyville, LA)
      Natural Herbs (Community Growers, Hollygrove)
      Natural Microgreens (Good Food Farm, NOLA)
      Brown Jasmine or Popcorn Rice (Campbell Farms/Cajun Grain)
      White Button Mushrooms (Red Hill Mushroom)

      They also have recipe suggestions for each box.

  12. Revenge of the Mole :

    Anyone ever have a mole removed from their face? I have a mole above my eyebrow that I’d like to have removed (skin colored, but raised) and am curious about the process, cost, and scarring. Any info greatly appreciated!

    • Go to a plastic surgeon! A derm can do it, but a plastic surgeon will make sure you don’t have a scar. I’ve had four moles removed from my face by a PS. For each one, I’ve gone in for a consultation, come back about a week later for the removal, then had an appointment about five days after that to get the stitches out, then one final appointment about a month later to make sure it was healing properly.

      The removal process was pretty easy. They injected the mole with some kind of numbing agent, then dug it out, put in one or two stitches below the skin that dissolved, and then put in two or three stitches on the surface (the ones I later got removed). I don’t have scars from where the moles were removed.

      I was able to go running the next day. I think the only activity that was limited was swimming.

      If you go this route, you should not expect insurance to pay for it—but go ahead and ask the doc about whether insurance will pay for part of it (insuance covered one or two of mine, I paid for the others). If you post which city you’re in, someone may know a good PS.

    • I had one (technically a seborrheic keratosis – those are the brown raised ones) removed from above the corner of my eye, just below where my eyebrow starts. It was probably a bit smaller than the end of a pencil eraser. I had it done, wow, over 20 years ago, so I’m sure the technology is better now. I had stitches and a slight scar, but it was so minimal, much less noticeable than the mole. It faded very quickly and now is barely noticeable. No idea what it cost. I had it done the year after I graduated from college and wish I had done it sooner.

      Recently I had one removed from my hip, but they just sort of burned it off, I guess? It cost me about $75, I think, insurance covered most of it.

    • Revenge of the Mole :

      Oh good point–NYC, recommendations definitely welcome! Any regrets? The whole thing makes me squeamish but they really bother me. How much should I expect it to cost?

      • No regrets here. The next bugger who dares to pop out on my face will be getting the same treatment as the prior ones.

        I don’t remember what I paid. I think the ones insurance didn’t cover were around $1,000. The ones insurance did cover were probably closer to $200. But I really don’t remember.

        I didn’t see any blood the entire time (and I really hate blood). All I had to do was put some ointment and bandaids on them while the stitches were in. No pain.

      • Yes! Dr. Heller’s office in Columbus Circle (I got the rec from this site, actually). I went in for what I thought was a mole and it turned out to be a wart – I did NOT feel pretty that day. Dr. Heller burned it off. I can’t find the site of the mole/wart anymore.

        I also wanted to get a keloid I got from cystic acne removed. Dr. Heller recommended that I see the cosmetic surgeon on staff, seeing as how I’m a smokin’ hot chick. Dr. Gokalp was AWESOME – she literally looked at me, numbed me and cut that ish off. I could feel the stitches inside holding my jaw line together, so that was cool. She glued the edges of my skin together so that the stitches wouldn’t keloid over. Obviously, I find all of this fascinating. It’s a great practice.

        My health insurance paid for both procedures, thankfully.

        • “Dr. Heller recommended that I see the cosmetic surgeon on staff, seeing as how I’m a smokin’ hot chick” best line ever!

          • Well, it would make sense that Godzilla would be “smokin’ hot,” right?

        • Revenge of the Mole :

          Oh great, thanks! Was Dr. Heller a dermatologist then (as opposed to a plastic surgeon)?

          • Yes, he’s a dermatologist. He could have cut off the keloid as well but felt more comfortable having the surgeon work on it since it was on my face and I’m young, having many more years of beauty ahead of me. My opinion of him went through the roof once he referred me; I’m happy I didn’t end up with a scalpel-happy doctor. I’d recommend seeing him first and asking if you’d be better off with the cosmetic surgeon.

      • I had one between my eyes, which had evolved from a spot left when I fell on my face on the second day of first grade. It was getting larger, it was starting to press on my glasses, it itched (the borders and color were good, no hint of malignancy). Worse, I figured if it got any bigger it’d leave a huge hole when I got it out. So it took all of 10mn, and was really painless. My sister removed the stitches with a swiss army knife, as we were traveling when they were ready to come out. It was worse for her than for me :-). Now 15 years later it looks like I have a wrinkle there, rather than the fine scar, but no regrets, leaving it in till they had to remove my nose would have been awful.

    • lucy stone :

      I have an actinic keratosis cut off my face about twice a year. I see my derm and have had no scarring issues. I get a lot of things cut off me in general and recommend lots and lots of Vaseline or Aquaphor, then Mederma.

    • I had one removed by my dermatologist – it got infected and I have a scar. Thank I had one removed by a plastic surgeon – I can’t even remember where it used to be.

    • I had one removed, and my only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner! I’d had the mole basically my entire life, but it was getting maybe a bit “taller.” Plus, my kids liked to poke at it. Lovely behavior, which of course I worked to address, but there was no denying it dramatically increased my self-consciousness. The procedure was easy-peasy, and I had to wear a bandaid for maybe a day or two. It’s been a couple of years, and the mole is still gone, although there’s a little teeny bit of a divot that can be seen. Soooo much better than having the mole, though. I’d put off removal earlier in part because I thought trading a scar for a mole wasn’t much of a difference, but I was wrong, it’s a huge difference.

      Here’s one warning though: once you start, it’s hard to stop. I have some other (much smaller) facial moles, and now they look so much bigger! I’m leaving them alone for now, but it’s tempting . . . .

    • I had a large mole on my eyebrow removed a few months ago by a dermatologist, and he did an excellent job! The scar is hardly visible, and basically follows the line of my eyebrow. It was awkward to go to work with a bandaid and stitches on my face for a week, but it was obvious that something had happened to me that was temporary, so it wasn’t too bad to just mention that I had a mole removed. It was frustrating to wash my face and put on make-up for the week that I had stitches, but once the stitches were removed, life went back to normal. I second the sentiment that I wish I’d done it sooner, and it’s hard to stop. I have a mole on the right side of my chin that is starting to seem like a great candidate for removal to me!

  13. SoCalAtty :

    Is having Columbus Day off as an attorney common? I know we’ll all be in on Monday…we just get the major holidays off. Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Xmas Day, New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day & day after. I don’t work Yom Kippur or Passover, but that’s it.


    • We’re working in this law office on Monday.

    • Left Coaster :

      I have Monday off, but I’m a government attorney.

    • Kontraktor :

      I don’t get C day or Veteran’s day at my current investment management company, but we get Good Friday, Xmas Eve, and the day after T-giving as provided holidays. I don’t mind giving up the random holidays for the free days other times. At my old government contracting company, we did not get C, Vet’s, President’s, or MILK days (but we got 2 ‘floating holidays’ and the day after T-giving).

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have it off.

    • I get it off at the university, but haven’t had it off at my last 3 jobs. I did get it off in Rhode Island, though. There’s a large italian population there. I’ll be getting Veteran’s, too. Yay.

    • Working here.

    • I had no idea this holiday was even coming, and was really thrown off by the sale round-up accordingly.

    • Not law, but this is the first year I haven’t had Columbus Day off. But, like Kontractor, I get other days instead.

    • My small firm is closed, but we’re very laid back and closed for pretty much everything you can think of. The courts are open, though, and one of the partners has a hearing to go to.

    • Former MidLevel :

      No, it is not common.

    • I’m not an attorney – I work at a university. We don’t get Columbus day and never have. We have fall break next week, though, and we get one of the two days the students are off.

    • Never had it off as an attorney. Of course, we’re also not getting off the Monday before Christmas this year either…

    • I don’t think it’s common for private practice attorneys, but the courts will certainly be closed. I’m a federal law clerk and I had at least 5 attorneys ask me that today.

    • If the stock market is open (which it is), we are open :(

    • Not common for private practice attorneys. In fact, I do not know a single attorney except government who has it off.

    • This is also not actually Columbus Day…I couldn’t figure out what holiday Kat was referring to at first. Columbus Day is October 12, so it would make more sense if the “holiday” (it’s never been a holiday anywhere I worked) were next Monday.

      • What do you mean? Columbus day is October 8th this year, not the 12th..

        • It’s like Memorial Day, in that it’s observed on a designated Monday of a Month.

        • Columbus Day does actually have a fixed date (October 12), but the observance moves around. Given that the 12th is a Friday this year, it seems funny that it’s observed this Monday, rather than next.

          • Uniform Monday Act (1971) puts Columbus Day as the 2nd Monday of October. It was formerly observed on Oct 12.

          • since the 70s its always been the second monday of october, not a fixed date.

    • It’s totally an East Coast (yes) vs West Coast (no) thing..
      I had never even heard of Columbus day before I moved East.

  14. A question for earlier this week inspires this multi question post about plastic surgery..

    Has anyone here has rhinoplasty? Was it worth it? How did you find a surgeon you trust?

    I have wanted rhinoplasty since I was about 9 years old and started getting teased about my large, ethnic nose. I hoped I would grow into it or learn to like it but I am in my late 20’s and this still hasn’t happened. Part of me feels quite shallow to admit that I am so vain as to think about my nose so much but it is what it is: I am very self conscious about it. I have been with my husband 5 years and only mentioned it recently that I am interested in the procedure. He is definitely not supportive of the surgery and doesn’t think I need it, it’s a waste of money, etc. I don’t feel like I can go forth with a multi thousand dollar procedure that will require me to take time off work and have help getting to and from my appts. without my husband’s support. I feel embarrassed to even explain to him that I am tired of feeling insecure and I want to do something about it because he is dismissive of my concerns and tells me I don’t need it. I am ready to start serisouly considering this procedure but I am not sure how to move forward. Wait until my husband supports my decision (which could be never as I don’t seem him ever being OK with spending thounds on a cosmetic procedure) or just tell him this is what I want and move forward without his support?

    • Former Large Nose :

      I had mine done when I was 30. I’d hated my nose since middle school and had been vocal about hating it. Everyone said they thought it was fine and not big. What changed their minds? I went for the consultation with a well-respected plastic surgeon. At the consultation, they took pictures and digitally altered them to show how they expected I would look afterward. Suddenly, people realized I had a big nose.

      I really like my nose now and I really don’t think anyone would know I had it done because my nose is very normal sized—I didn’t go with a little button nose because I have a large forehead and full cheeks so a tiny nose would have looked as bad as my old one.

      I had my procedure done the Friday before Thanksgiving, I took off the week of Thanksgiving, and was back at work the following Monday. So I was out of the office four days. I told everyone I had to have “nasal surgery” and so they all thought I had some horrible, non-elective nose procedure and no one even asked if I had my nose “done” because most people couldn’t see an obvious difference (if you see my before and after pics, it’s clear it was done). I also slightly changed my haircut just before getting it done so any changes to my appearance could be attributed to my hair.

      The pain for me was minimal. After the first day, I only took Advil. But they didn’t have to do any work to the inside of my nose; everything was cosmetic on the outside.

      I have been so glad I did it. I feel better about how I look. It’s been amazing.

      • Thanks so much for sharing your story! How did you go about finding a surgeon? I am so overwhelmed with the choices and I have found many don’t offer a digital image to show you what you will look like. I know the surgeon can’t guarantee that is how I will look but I’d like to be sure we are on the same page. Is this common?

        • Former Large Nose :

          I knew two women who had used this doctor and I liked their results. When I went for my consultation, he looked at me and started describing the nose I had and what he didn’t like about it—they were the exact same complaints I had. I felt like someone had tape recorded my nose bashing sessions and he’d memorized the tapes. It was amazing. So I went with him. Shopping around and talking to several docs is probably a good idea, but I liked this guy’s previous work and I liked the comments he made the first time he saw me.

          I don’t know if providing the before and after pictures is common since I only saw one doc. Perhaps other women who’ve had any kind of plastic surgery can comment on whether they got them beforehand. I’d be hesitant to use someone without seeing what he thought it would look like since noses can come out so differently depending on what’s your ideal. And some docs seem to have “a nose” they put on everyone—I didn’t want one of those doctors because my face isn’t like everyone else’s. You can see this in some doctors’ websites.

          If it’s somehow helpful to you, I used Rod Rorich at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.

    • SoCalAtty :

      If you want it, do it! I’m not quite sure why your husband wouldn’t be supportive. If it bugs you, and of course it isn’t a financial burden, why not? That is pretty minor cosmetic surgery (depending on how much they are doing though…) and very common.

      I have a pretty good overbite which is mostly hidden now through me learning where to “hold” my jaw and several years of braces, but it is still there and it would make a cosmetic difference in my appearance if I had the jaw surgery done to fix it. Unfortunately, that is not so minor and requires your jaw being wired shut for at least a week or two, and the cost is about $15k. That and the risk of bone issues down the line talked me out of it, but my husband was really supportive and basically said whatever I decided he would support, but voiced his opinion that it probably wasn’t worth the cost and pain for something like that. I guess my point is that he told me what he thought but was supportive of my decision.

      Maybe if you tell him why, that it is just for you, really, he would change his mind?

    • also interested :

      I’m also interested in rhinoplasty. How much does it cost? And any recs for surgeons in LA? [insert joke about superficial LA people here]

      • Former Large Nose :

        I’m in Texas [insert joke about superficial Texan women (and their big b**bs) here]. I think it cost about $5,000.

  15. DC Meetup? :

    Many apologies, but can someone (DC Jenny?) post again the email to get in the loop about the DC Meetup? When is it again? I really want to come!


    • The meetup is going to be Thursday Oct 18 at 7:30. The email is dccorpor3tt3 at yahoo dot com. I am still working on the location, but I’ll let everyone know as soon as it’s confirmed. Gallery Place area for sure. I hope you can make it!

      • DC Association :

        As ELLEN would say, “Yay!” I hope to be there and I will email. I love me some Proof…but also Passenger and a place close to it on 7th across from the Convention Center are a bit out of the way and perhaps not so crowded.

  16. Some quick follow up on the recent threads, which I just returned to:

    I’m all about organic fair trade and I’m in a small town in the midwest (albeit one that is hippie-fied — at my son’s 5th birthday party one of the other kids looked squinty at the carrots and asked if they were organic before he would eat them), a long way from the Bay Area. But I will look more at the FT issue; TBK, truthfully, I might just ignore a comment about FT being bad but I have really appreciated and respected so many of your comments in the past — so the fact that it was you sharing this information will make me think twice about the subject.

    I’m not judgy of people who don’t buy organic, but I eat organic when possible — and was extra careful when my son was a baby and young child — not only because I don’t want all those chemicals in our bodies but also because I don’t want them in the air and soil and in the bodies of the people who live and work around farms. There are frequent public discussions about whether the trace chemicals in conventionally produced food are harmful to those who eat it, but one point that goes unnoticed is the often devastating effects of the much larger exposure of farmers and especially farmworkers and even their children. So, in my mind, there is a moral component in favoring organic when possible — trying to aoid harm to others, even those we tend not to know or think about.

    And on the topic of non-leather shoes — my last topic, I promise — I have had good luck with Annie (I am currently rocking purple faux-suede Annie pumps), Aldo, Call it Spring (which pretty much has flats and sky-high heels, alas nothing in between), sometimes Nine West, Naturalizer, j-41/jambu vegan (for casual shoes and the best sandals ever, the Fiji), and Easy Street (not to be confused with Easy Spirit). I have several pairs of Life Stride, but I think their recent styles are more frumpy than several years ago. I also have some awesome Franco Sarto knee-high boots that are non-leather. I haven’t bought any yet, but J. Renee has lots of great non-leather options, especially for fancy dress-up shoes, on zappos. You also can search zappos for non-leather — search not just for” vegan” but also for “faux” or “synthetic;” these terms don’t always lead to non-leather products but help narrow tthings down. Mooshoes dot com is all vegan and has a lot of shoes that are more trendy/high-heeled/expensive items that I can swing but that some of y’all might really like.

    So have a great weekend, organic or not — especially those of you lucky enough to be off work on Monday!

    • SoCalAtty :

      As a gardener myself, and someone who grew up on a small scale (2 acres) gardening operation, I put just about 0 stock in the “organic” labels. In my own garden, I only use pest-killers that are certified organic, but they can synthesize some pretty nasty poisons out of “organic” materials, like plants. For instance, we use a lot of Diatomaceous earth – keeps pests down, makes soil more porous – but even though it is “natural” it is basically silica sand. When you till, you are sucking silica sand. We also use NEEM oil, made from the plant of the same name, and I wouldn’t want anyone to ingest much of that either.

      What bums me out is that there are no real definitions for organic. I like to see programs where they do regular beneficial insect release programs (parasitic wasps for leaf miner, for instance, or ladybugs for aphids) and grow non-lab-GMO strains of heirloom varieties that are less susceptible to disease.

      When I buy produce, I want it grown as close to home as possible with some indication of their pest control program, not just “organic” and by “organic” we still mean we’re growing monsanto corn that produces its OWN round-up so we don’t have to spray it. I try and grow my own and can/freeze for the winter or physically drive to “you pick” farms or go to Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s, which normally tell you where the produce came from.

      I’m not knocking wanting to buy sustainably grown, better-for-you produce. I’m just frustrated with the term “organic.” Sorry for the farmer rant.

      But…if any of you are getting ready to buy seeds for next year, might I recommend Baker Creek Seeds out of Petaluma, CA? Shameless plug. I love them.

      • Thank you for saying this. I get really frustrated with the over-emphasis on organic. There are many, many small farmers who are growing crops in environmentally sustainable ways that simply don’t want to jump through all the hoops that being certified organic entails. That doesn’t make their products inferior.

        • Agreed, and I was using “organic” as shorthand I guess. I buy a lot of produce from local farmers who don’t use pesticides/herbicides but who are not officially certified as organic. The hoops necessary to be “organic” are really difficult and not necessarily reasonable, I know.

  17. Extremely Angry... :

    I have a question for the hive.

    I’ve been on the edge about my relationship with my inlaws. They’ve been here for the last 7 months and have made my life a practical living hell. And now it’s gotten to a point where they’re accusing me of everything and complaining to my husband about me. And while my husband doesn’t believe them, he tells every single accusation of me to me. I’m extremely angry now. I tried very hard to not let it get to me but now I’m not sure if my husband is just plain stupid or he’s with them and telling me all these things deliberately.

    And for crying out loud, I’m pregnant, just a week or 10 days into it and doc has said I need to come back for another round of HCG level testing as it’s pretty low compared to what it should be.

    Can it get any worse? I just cried at work…

    • LadyEnginerd :

      “They’ve been here” as in living with you? Or just moved to your area?

    • SoCalAtty :

      “Here” as in “staying in your house”? For 7 months? Why??!!

      Here’s how it would go for me:
      “Listen SoCalHusband, I love your parents and all, but stress and general commotion is not going to be good for me now that I’m pregnant. I appreciate (whatever help in laws have thrown in while they were there – make it up if you have to, or say “their company”), but now I need some alone time with you to get ready for our big life change. Let’s give in-laws another week, but then they need to [find another place to live, go home, find a hotel, jump in a lake, whatever].”

      My in-laws once stayed with me for 2 weeks. After week 1, FIL went home with kids because they had to go back to work/school, but MIL stayed. I was under the impression it would just be for a few days, but when I was asking my husband about planning something a week out, I said “when is MIL going home again?” He said, “oh, another few weeks, she doesn’t really have anything else to do…” I looked right at him, grabbed my overnight bag, and said “let me know when she’s gone.” She was gone the next day (she had a car, other in-laws flew home and she was driving).

      That was pretty extreme, but she had already overstayed a week longer than we had agreed and, during that time, had completely rearranged my house and driven me insane. My house is 720 square feet ok, so she was on the pull-out in the living room.

      You can’t be PG and crying over your in-laws. When you get married, you now choose spouse over everyone else. Husband needs to get with the program.

      [My gosh I’m cranky today and all over this thread! Sorry hive, just having a day…]

      • SoCalAtty,

        You are completely right about the spouse needing to be TeamUs not TeamEveryone Else.

        Extremely Angry, did you and your husband agree to let your in-laws stay 7 months or did they just come over and it turned into 7 months?

        My recs:
        1. Talk to husband. He needs to get with the program. TeamUs, or Get The F–k Out. Baby or not. You should not be undermined in your own house; nor should he be doing this unhealthy idiotic triangulation. He may be a brilliant guy, but he’s behaving like a spineless idiot. It’s curable, but you need to have the talk with him.

        2. Is this a cultural ethnic/thing? I ask because the culture my parents was raised in involved a lot of codependent living/financial/childrearing arrangements. In some cases, it was fine, mostly, it was a sh!tshow. I don’t know your particulars, but in the case of “cultural entanglements,” in-laws paid for the young couple’s house, and were signing up to be unpaid childcare and governesses/tutors for the grandkids, so they had a lot of clout. Typically, even if the in-laws were interfering, judgmental pests, the young couple would put up with it because they had a conflict of interest. They felt financially obligated to the in-laws/parents, and they wanted the free childcare. I hope you are not similarly encumbered.

      • Cranky or not, I completely agree.

    • This sounds awful. Are there cultural or financial reasons why your in-laws are staying at your house? I think you need to have a conversation with your husband about your needs during this time, how it is chaotic to your life/routine to have your in-laws stay with you for such an extended period of time, and that their constant negativity is deeply upsetting to you.

      I agree with SoCalAtty that you should probably couch it in some nicer language (“I was okay with hosting them for an extended period of time, but I need to have our house to ourselves again.”)

    • I feel for you. Do they have return tickets?
      Agree with other commenters – your husband needs to man up and demand that they respect you. He also must recognize your feelings, particularly in your present condition, and shield you from non-essential barbs you don’t need to hear.

    • Extremely Angry... :

      They’re visiting us from our home country. They are going to be leaving in 3 weeks but I’m finding it extremely hard to deal with them as the complains are getting nastier. They came to visit us with not a single penny in their pocket (which is totally acceptable) however, they’ve started making fun of us – 1) our meals and the way we refrigerate them (for heaven’s sake, we have a 1 day in the fridge rule and the 2nd day, the food gets tossed out – so in a nutshell, they dont belong to this time and age 2) they wonder why we dont hire a house-help to do our everyday stuff.. like why not call in somebody for an hr everyday. I told them we don’t need a househelp that often. They think we’re all about saving our money but they are unable to understand that this is the lifestyle here.

      I’m not sure how I’ve dealt with this for this long but I’m finding it so hard to go back home from work for the past one week. MIL is extremely rude sometimes, and sometimes she ok but I’m not a switch to go so easily from one mode to another. And everytime she’s ok and tries to talk to me and I don’t respond well, she goes and complains to my husband that I’m not talking properly to her. And then my husband “requests” me to be nice to her for as long they are here. I’m so sick of this. How about trying to be nice to people in the first place?

      • It sounds like you’ve just hit your breaking point, and I totally sympathize. I cannot fathom having my parents or my in-laws live with me for 7 months. BUT, they’ll be gone in 3 weeks. So, I think this is one of those times where I would bite my tongue, complain to your husband as appropriate, and then when they’re gone, turn to him and tell him “never again.” I’m sorry! I can’t believe you’ve had the patience to put up with intruders in your space for that law.

      • Extremely Angry... :

        Thank you all for responding to this thread. I’m never ever going to let them inside my house again once they’re gone now. I mean, it’s beyond me to understand how people can stay at my place for so long and pick up a fight with me and then try to pit my husband against me? I mean, aren’t they even worried i’m going to ask them to get the h*ll out?

        But seriously, thank you for responding. I already feel slightly better. I just needed somebody to understand what I’m going through.

        • Wow, I’m so sorry. I get along well enough with my in-laws, but 3 straight hours is my limit before I’m ready to blow so I can’t imagine 7 months. Can you get out with your husband soon? Or send them out to dinner so you can have some time without them?
          I know you said you never want them in your house again, but are they going to insist when they find out you’re having a baby? If they would come back, I would highly recommend you look into subleting a place for them if at all possible – if you think your hormonal state is bad now, it will be 100x worse with postpartum hormones, a baby to take care of and little sleep. You do not want to be playing hostess to them then. And if at all possible they should plan to come when the baby is a few months old, NOT right away.
          Sending internet hugs your way. I hope it gets better soon.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            Yeah, that was my first thought. The OP is going to have to deal with this as soon as there is a grandchild in play. Baby = in-laws visiting when you’re vulnerable (I’m not pregnant, but I already dread how my FMIL will deal with me and hypothetical future infant. And while she’s quite a peach, she’s nothing compared to your in-laws).

            I agree that with people below: rule number 1 should be that they will never stay with you again and rule number 2 should be that visits (where they stay in a hotel) will be limited to three weeks (given that they’re coming from afar). Why did you agree to 7 months in the first place? Did you feel that you are expected to? If so, that’s an issue in your marriage that you’re going to have to work out as soon as possible, before you announce your pregnancy and they have their hearts set on another trip.

            On the other hand, man, they’re going to feel cheated that they came this year instead of post-baby :) Serves them right. Personally, I’d secretly gloat at how chagrined they’re going to be when you do announce your pregnancy.

        • Former Partner, Now In-House :

          I may be way off-base here, but is there some cultural thing going on here where in their culture daughters-in-law are expected to take a lot of bullS*$t? Maybe that is what they are doing? Whatever it is, they don’t get to do it to you ever again. Which means you have license to:

          1. Never have them in your house again.
          2. Never go to their house.
          3. Drastically limit any time you may be willing to spend with them in public. Or none at all.
          4. Drastically limit any time you may be willing to let them spend with your kid(s). Or none at all. Or only in public under your physical, personal supervision.

          • Culture or not, it’s totally unacceptable, and I cosign everything you say here.

            I come from a culture that condones and encourages the MIL to basically bully the crap out of the daughter-in-law and belittle everything she does especially in housework, second-guess her every decision, and to torment her based on her appearance as a way for the MIL to assert “who’s the boss.” It’s ugly, and it’s unacceptable and barbaric.

            These cultures also tend to produce weak tyrannical princes. To their wives, the husbands demand a lot of stuff out of entitlement. But they’re weak when their mothers (the MIL here) tries to control matters that should be between the couple. Part of it is condescending on the part of the husband — “oh, it’s a woman’s problem, you know how these women can’t ever get along, *shrug*, it’s not my problem, they just have to work it out”, part of it is economic (co)dependency, part of it is just spinelessness.

            In these cultures, it perpetuates (in many families), a cycle of abuse. The formerly bullied daughter-in-law, who’s told pretty much that she’s the lowest on the totem pole, will, when she has sons*, bully the heck out of her daughters-in-law in turn. It’ll be the only person they are able to take their frustration out on, and it’ll be condoned by the other relatives.

            *well, they’re sons, natch, that’s what her job is, right? produce some heirs and spares. (I say this in a bitingly sarcastic tone, because it’s f–ked up.)

      • SoCalAtty :

        Since you have a definite date of departure, depending on your money situation, I would seriously consider either finding a fun hotel or long-stay to stay in, or finding a nearby friend with a couch or guest bedroom and declaring a “I’m pregnant, girl time!!” escape. Maybe even just for the weekends, like Friday – Sunday if no one is close, or if you don’t want to spend 3 weeks away, but you have a solution coming in 3 weeks and you just need to get out of there. Tell the husband you want him to enjoy these last few weeks with his parents, and vacate the premises.

        If you don’t, the situation is going to go south (more south?) and really, you’re not going to change that husband/in-law relationship in 3 weeks.

        After they’re gone, bulldoze your guest bedroom. Seriously, turn it into a nursery, library, meat locker…anything.

        I’m honestly concerned about remodeling my house to have extra bedrooms. I think I’ll make them libraries with no sleeping space.

        Just as an aside – I can’t stand it when guests come without a single penny in their pocket for the weekend, but feeding/housing them for 7 months? [Insert epithet of choice here] no! At least my in-laws/family buy groceries when they’re visiting.

        • Former Partner, Now In-House :

          I could be wrong, but I inferred that OP did not want to tell the parents that she is pregnant. And, I can’t say I blame her.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Whoops, missed that! Then I think just a “girls weekend” is in order :)

          • Former Partner, Now In-House :

            Girls’ 1 /2 fortnights?

          • Former Partner, Now In-House :

            * 1 1/2 fortnights*

          • I totally agree on not telling she’s pregnant. That’d be bound to raise shrieks of hysteria, and potentially lengthen their stay by another year. Be careful!

        • Bulldozing the guest rooms, love it.

          My mom did something similar when she got sick of hosting in-laws. Nothing wrong with a nearby hotel.

      • AnnonDiva :

        I am reading this thread very late. I am guessing the OP is South Asian or Indian. Where else do people have such in-laws expectation? (I am Indian too). All the ladies above have given you lot of sound practical advice but I am sure you must be hesitating to put your foot down and demand that they leave/go to hotel etc as this must go against every “good girl” values you were raised with. Such extended in-law stays, pitting the son against his wife is pretty much the norm in Indian culture where the poor wife is economically dependent, has nowhere to go and it is considered a great virtue to keep the in-laws happy no matter how abusive they are.

        Maybe I am too harsh here, but this is what I have even seen is most upper middle class highly educated urban families growing up. Though I am indian myself, I absolutely hate this aspect of my culture. Honestly if it was me, I would threaten divorce and definitely not do activities in past 7 months that leads to a baby **wink wink**. That is where I got an upper hand over the in-laws, atleast in America where he dare not beat me up . I absolutely refuse to tolerate such in-law emotional abuse in US when I am economically independent and don’t give a f**cking damn about cultural expectations.

      • AnnonDiva :

        OP, you have such incredible patience ! Just re-read your message, how can you tolerate them and be so nice and keep your mouth shut? I would have been an absolute b*tch with the following replies
        1) <> Deal MIL, if you have so much problem with the food, please cook whatever you want as you are sitting at home anyway. I am busy with work which is more important to me than cooking you fresh meals 3 times a day, I am not going to do that.
        2) <> This is how I decide to run my household. If you want a daily maid, please find one yourself and pay her.

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I think you have two options:

      1. “Offer” to pay for them to stay at a hotel on your dime for the remaining three weeks and join you both or DH only for dinner and weekend activities.

      2. They continue to stay with you, but: (A) DH filters out everything they say and never mentions it to you, and (B) you are polite and not substantive with them at all. If they try to start a fight or a serious discussion, you are them “do you prefer daisies or lilies? I’m thinking of getting flowers for the table.”

      I would normally suggest option 3: you go stay in a hotel or with a friend for the next 3 weeks, but that will only tell them that they “won” because they created a rift between you and DH. I suppose there is a different option 3: they stay in the house and you and DH both go stay together with friends or in a hotel.

      And, yeah, they’re never crossing your threshold again.

    • Good lord, are you south Asian? When I was pregnant, I made sure inlaws would not be visiting ( I lucked out as they visit us annually for two months and I got preg just after they left). Even so, dealing with their visit when my son was 3 months was HELL.

      I cannot imagine 7 mths unless they’re sick or whatever, which doesn’t seem to be the case. Tell your husband that you can’t take the added stress especially now you’re pregnant.

      Good luck.

  18. So happy it’s the weekend thread! TGIF

  19. lucy stone :

    I’m going to a retirement party for a judge tonight. It’s at our nicest hotel which is not all that nice (think Comfort Suites or basic Marriott). How dressed up do I have to get, and for that matter my husband too?

    • Who’s planning the party? Can you contact that person for the dress code if the invite didn’t specify?

      If you can’t find out from the planner(s), a really nice suit + blingy jewelry would probably go over just fine.

      • lucy stone :

        The judge’s wife, who told me “something nice”. The last one of these I went to was in the summer I wore a cotton dress and cardigan and was in the middle of the spectrum. Some people showed up in jeans and polos and some were there in suits or full dress uniform.

        • How vague and unhelpful.

          I suppose she’s one of those people who, if she went to the doctor’s office would say, “Doctor, I have this pain….”

          And then the doctor would be tearing her hair out trying to get the patient to say exactly where the pain was, how frequent it was, and the severity, and get nowhere.

    • How about a sheath dress with a colorful wrap. Then you can use the wrap to adjust the dressiness?

    • lucy stone :

      Went with a black sheath (the scalloped hem one Lands’ End had this spring) and cardigan, felt appropriate.

  20. Kat, one more piece of feedback on the redesign. Is it possible to work within this new system so that when we are typing up a comment on a post the screen shows us what post we’re actually responding to (like in the old design) without having to scroll up / re-read, etc.?

    • Oh and increase the font size when we’re typing in the comment box? It’s noticeably smaller than the site’s font size.

  21. (High-cost)City Mouse :

    Can any ladies out there who are not making BigLaw salaries give advice on how to survive life in a high-cost geographic area? My husband and I both work in the nonprofit/public sector and don’t make huge salaries, and neither one of us is particularly jazzed about the idea of changing to more corporate/well-paying fields. Our fields are also both tied to this specific city. We’ve been saving pretty aggressively to buy a house sometime in the next five years or so, possibly followed by kids, but we still seem so far away from being able to afford a down payment even in the suburbs of our high-cost city, without moving to a two-hour commute from our jobs downtown or to areas that are less safe with not-so-good schools.

    We have pretty good financial management/budgeting skills now, although we could certainly cut back more on things like eating out, etc., but even with changes like that it’s hard to see how the math adds up for us to ever reach a comfortable financial level. And when I think about possibly having kids and all the costs that go along with that, it just seems so daunting. Has anyone done it successfully and can give me any hope that we can make it?

    • Note that you don’t really need to worry about school quality until the kids are school age (so, more or less 5 years old).

      Maybe stay where you are with the down payment saved until a time when the school location wins out?

      At that point, there might be other options (magnet or charter schools, private schools, some variety of homeschooling, etc.) that will be available. If you move to the burbs before then, then you’d have made a tradeoff that you might not have needed to make.

      • (High-cost)City Mouse :

        Thanks – I definitely realize that school quality won’t matter for a while. Right now we’re in a one-bedroom condo, which is fine for now, but we are eager to move to a house for all the advantages of more space, a yard, not having to deal with neighbors on the other side of a wall, etc. We don’t want to move another time, so our next move should ideally be to where we’d raise kids, so a certain amount of looking at the future (and guessing how the schools will turn out 5+ years down the road) is needed.

        Our plan is to stay where we are and save as much as we can for a down payment, but it seems like what we need for a down payment in this area is so high a bar for us to meet compared to how much money we can put away. And if the economy improves and housing prices go up, it will get even farther away. Even without factoring kids/schools into the equation, can people live in a high-cost area on public sector salaries? It seems so unfair that this area is such a draw for people in our low-paying fields, but yet has such a high cost of living. Partly I’m just whining too.

        • LeChouette :

          I live in NYC and have resigned myself to being a long term renter. It’s really not so bad. Don’t put your life plans on hold/move someplace you don’t like just so you can own a house.

        • A yard is not an asset, btw. It’s a time and/or money sink.

          I’ve done both — renting, owning. Being a renter has many, many advantages.

          Plenty of citykids have had great experiences. Don’t feel like a house is a necessary prerequisite to having children.

          • Yeah. Yardwork is overrated.

          • “A yard is not an asset … [i]t’a a time and/or money sink.”

            Amen, sister. I dream of a condo.

          • Honey Pillows :

            I agree that not everyone needs a yard. But I’m one of those people who have struggled to ripen tomatoes, create compost, and raise lavender in a shady, north-facing 3’x4′ plot of gravelly packed dirt in the city, so I can definitely say I need a real yard some day. Particularly since my own love of dirt probably comes from being swaddled up and plunked into the pumpkin patch for hours on end while my mother gardened, and I fully intend to pass that on to my children.

            Don’t get a yard if you don’t really want one, though! More land for me!

    • The country is moving toward school “choice” so where you live is not as important as being able to get your child to and from school every day.

    • I think some of the other posters have offered good perspective. But I think what it really comes down to is figuring out what your values and priorities are. If you’re earning less than the median income for the standard of living you’d like to have (I know that’s a weird metric, but it’s useful), they you probably can’t have everything you want and you need to figure out what matters *to you*.

      As grad student, DH and I lived in a relatively high cost-of-living area. Technically, on our stipends we qualified for government assistance. But as students, we didn’t have high expectations for our standard-of-living. We ate out relatively frequently, but rarely was it anything other than a cheap local pub or pizza. We thought our 1-BR was enormous because the dining area was large enough to fit my desk. I thought $50 jeans were an unimaginable splurge. But, being amongst the extremely fortunate ones to have cars that were paid off and no undergrad debt, we were actually better off than our social circle…and we lived a great and comfortable life.

      Now our income is 5-6X what it was, but I don’t feel particularly richer because I want things like nice dinners out, international vacations, a house, and, occasionally, $100+ jeans (DH probably cares less about these things). I don’t think I’m a bad person for wanting these things, but I have to be realistic about the income-level it takes to support these things. And also what our income can’t support: fancier cars, luxury hotels, etc. All of this said, I’m also glad I know I can live on a lot less…and we both know the limit to the professional/personal sacrifices we’re willing to make for a higher salary. The latter means that we still earn considerably less than many of our college friends who went into areas like finance and BigLaw.

      My rambling point is that income levels and standard-of-living are relative…and the important thing is to recognize that you have choices and be comfortable with the one you make. You and your DH probably earn more than many people in your community and less than others. You need to figure out what’s important to you. If it’s a house, how big? how far from your workpalce? what kind of neighborhood? It may not be feasible to support what your really want on your salary in your city…so you have to make trade-offs. Affording a house is about more than a down payment. Upkeep and mortgage payments can be very expensive. DH and I feel that we shouldn’t purchase a house if we don’t have 6mos of mortgage payments in the bank in addition to the down payment. How important is having a house to you compared to having the job you love? If you don’t live in the same area as your parents, how important is it to you both to visit your families? How often?

      There is no right answer to any of these questions. But I think it’s important to be realistic about what matters to you. And there is no shame if some of what matters to you includes non-essential material things. But it’s important to know that and respect that…if you don’t you will always feel like you don’t have enough and are struggling. As a student, I knew I had chosen to do something that made it nearly impossible to participate in activities that my friends from college took for granted, so I didn’t resent it. I know now that we may not be able to provide our kids with the lifestyle my parents gave me, but I’m okay with that because I think it’s more important that my kids see their parents working hard a jobs that they are committed to. It’s not always fair…but what part of life is?

  22. Does anyone know of a website which shows similar shoes to more expensive ones? Like a shoe-a-likes type website? Basically, I keep seeing gorgeous shoes everywhere but the cost, oy! Anyone?

    • Ahem. If you were to submit or ask a specific request on my tumblr I’d be happy to try to help out with this attempt (please specify preferred price and size….”less expensive” can be pretty broad!)

      • Otherwise, you could probably use shopstyle to do this sort of thing. So if the shoe you like is a black point toed pump with a silver strap (for example) you could search for that and then limit by price to see similar cheaper options.

      • I will!

  23. Tomorrow I am going to see Pitch Perfect. I’m so excited I just had to share. Anyone else seeing it this weekend? Odds that I will be humming every song from it for….practically forever? About 99%

    • Come back with a review. It looks like it could be absolutely amazing or absolutely horrible and I would like to know before I spend what little discretionary income I have.

      • Agreed. I’m leaning toward really awesome, but I’m also worried about hyping it up too much and then being disappointed. A TCFKAG movie review would be appreciated!

        • Also, on a completely random note, I’m wearing a polka dotted blazer today and totally thought “TCKFAG would approve”. Yay for casual Fridays!

      • I just saw it – it is Bring It On plus acapella. (As such, I loved it.)

    • I saw it last weekend and then promptly bought the soundtrack and have listened to it a million times in the past week. Hope you love it!

    • I just heard a review on NPR from the (male) movie critic from New York Magazine, who fully expected to hate it, and then gushed over it the entire review. It’s been added to my mental list of possible movies to watch.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i saw this over the weekend and loved it. rebel wilson is HILARIOUS.

  24. Reviewed. :

    Posted this yesterday but it was super late to the party and got stuck in moderation:

    I posted a few weeks ago about how stressed I was about my upcoming performance review. The review is still a few weeks away but good things have already come out of my self-evaluation. (Not strictly work-related but definitely professional experience related.) I’ve only been reading this site for a few months but I love you guys…and my work wardrobe has substantially improved.

  25. SoCalAtty :

    Epic partner-associate miscommunication. I thought we only cared about the documents we asked for in discovery, and not so much their boilerplate responses. Motions to Compel would be due Tuesday, Oct. 9. Partner just said “when are these due, you better get moving!” to my shock. It is 3:30 pm Friday. I have an all day medical procedure Tuesday, and, while I’m keeping pace (barely) with my work despite of the medical issues I’m having, I was faced with drafting TWELVE (three defendants, 1 motion per each form of discovery) motions to compel by basically noon on Monday. I called opposing counsel to ask for an extension but all of them were out for the day already! I sent a desperate email (even mentioning the med procedure) then went and had a panic attack in the bathroom. He JUST emailed me back and granted me a 10 day reprieve.

    Now, this is some very contentious litigation where we’ve both been really obnoxious. Could it be that there are still some humans behind those bar cards? I needed one thing to go right for me, and as tiny as this is, I thank whatever gods that are out there for it.

    I doubt I’ll get any more work done today I’m shaking so badly.

    • If I were in your shoes, I’d go home, totally chill out and relax, not think about work, and then get up early tomorrow, treat yourself to your indulgent coffee or tea beverage of choice and then really push through as much work as you need to to feel back in control again.

      And I hope your procedure goes well.

      That reminds me — poster with the esophageal perforation, how are you? I’ve thought about you and your misery a lot.

  26. Anon for this :

    I am scared that I won’t be able to provide my kids with the same kind of lifestyle that I had growing up. Along the same lines of the conversation above about how most Americans consider themselves “middle class,” I never considered my family anything other than normal growing up. I think a big part of it was because my parents tried to keep us grounded- most of our kid clothes were from kohls, our family vacations were to visit extended family members, etc. We lived in a great town where the community was strong and there were traditions and activities that kept everything pretty close knit. I’ve always wanted to be able to return home to raise my family.

    After leaving home for college and becoming more aware, I realized just how privileged and affluent my family and my town in general was. On the one hand, I’m trying to recognize that it will be ok if I can’t provide the same kind of life for my future kids. On the other, I really want to be able to give them everything that I was given. I’m realizing now that what I had growing up was incredibly atypical- it included living in a mid 7 figure home, unrestricted access to athletics and extracurriculars, tuition to the college and law school I attended, and help establishing myself in a city as I began a career. Obviously I now recognize how lucky I was. But I’m now also realizing that no matter how much I’ve been given, it may not be possible for me to give the same. Does anyone have any advice for coming to terms with this? I feel like no matter the level of lifestyle, it would be difficult to realize that you can’t provide for your kids what was provided to you.

    • For what it´s worth, you will probably be far from alone. They do say our generation is the first one that won´t be better off than our parents. However, kids are pretty amazing with taking things as they are. You thought your family was normal growing up, and so will your children. So what if they can´t do every extracurricular thing they want? They´ll just have to choose carefully and enjoy the things they do. And people make it through college without their parents paying for them. If you raise smart, polite, hard working children they will too.

      My parents weren´t exactly dirt poor, but their income was probably among the lowest of my friends growing up. But I´ve always known that they have my back no matter what. When I was 18, a few of my friends and I were in a car crash one town away from home and the car was totalled. (We were all uninjured.) None of my friends dared call their parents to ask for a ride home, but I did. And dad came driving and forced all the others to call their parents, haha! If you can be that parent, you´re the best, ok?

      • What I´m trying to say is that if you think about what you love about your own parents, or ask anyone else the same thing, it´ll probably not be about how much they bought for you, but what they taught you, what kind of person they raised you to be, and how much they love you.

        • My parents certainly didn’t have the money their parents did. And for various reasons, I had lots of opportunities to become aware of all the things we couldn’t do/didn’t have compared to other friends and people in the area. And yet…I don’t think I’ve ever had a moment’s doubt that my parents love me and only want the best for me. I always knew I could ring them at any time (never did, but my sister certainly did) and they would be there. And still are, even when I live a long way away.

          With that in the background, the resentment I felt now and then about things financial is really irrelevant in the scheme of things. And I hope my parents know that.

        • wow, Pip, you put that so eloquently and beautifully. Made me tear up a little ;o) and you are so right.

    • I think Pip’s thoughts are great, and I will add: future kids are going to read about the 2007-08 financial crisis, and the recession and employment crater that followed, in their History textbooks. If you ever really feel pressured to explain to them why your home may not look like their grandparents’, you can probably place it in context of that. Coming of age during the wrong phase of an economic cycle has consequences that can last a lifetime, sadly, and also affect the next generation. They will recognize, sooner or later, that their parents did their best.

  27. OK, dark spot or acne spot correctors – any of them work well for you? Bonus points if they are helpful for greasy skin. Pregnancy is not being kind to my face.

    • Magdeline :

      Hmm, I use Retin-A and hydroquinone with success, but I don’t think that either one is safe during pregnancy. Lactic acid peels, which you can easily and safely apply at home, work really well, too. They’re made from milk, so I’d imagine that they’d be safe for you. (You can buy them/check out reviews on them on Amazon. They come in various strengths.)

  28. ATLANTA LADIES: Let’s talk days, times, and locations on our meetup. Please chime in re: the following:

    1) Day/Time: Weekday after-work drinks, or weekend brunch? Or some other alternative?

    2) Locations: I’m a vote for Midtown if we’re meeting during the week, because I work in the area. On the weekend, I’m up for anywhere.

    Given that we are a small number, feel free to email me your preferences if you’d prefer and I’ll coordinate.

    • Leslie Knope :

      If we do after-work, I would need to start around 6. I live in the Midtown area, so weekend brunch is good too.

      Someone else suggested the Decatur area–maybe Brickstore or Twains? If we stay in Midtown we could do Shout or Cypress Street Pint & Plate or the Nook.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      I’m ok with Midtown during the week (also work there), but would probably need to do around 7pm if we go Mon-Thurs. I was the one who suggested Decatur (live there and love it); Brick Store is always fun but I’d have a hard time getting there early enough during the week. I would be happy to do weekend brunch wherever.

      My anon email address is rose in bloom 001 (no spaces) at the gmail if it would be easier for all of us to email instead of posting here.

      Looking forward to meeting you ladies!

      • I am kind of leaning toward brunch, because I rarely, if ever, leave work before 7:30, and it sounds like it might be easier for others as well. I will do a couple more round-ups and try to collect anonymous emails for coordination purposes.

        Feel free to send me yours, ATL ladies!

  29. Anonymous Poser :

    The Brick Store or Twain’s would work well in Decatur. Midtown would be fine for me,too.

  30. Anon for this :

    Silicon Valley Start-up visit:

    Ladies, I need some wardrobe help. I’m going to visit/tour a technical silicon valley start up tomorrow as a perspective employee. It’s not an interview, in fact the relevant hiring manager won’t be there. Basically, I talked to a fellow alum who works there a couple weeks ago, he forwarded my resume, and I talked to the recruiter earlier this week, mentioning I’d be in town tomorrow. She suggested I drop by to tour and see what it’s like to work there. I’m a pretty good fit experience/background-wise, so I think the hiring process will be a mix of whether they have a need for me specifically and whether I fit in personality-wise.

    Pictures on their site are very casual. It’s mostly male (like 90%), everyone in jeans. The women who currently work there are mostly in less technical positions, and online they are in casual slacks and short sleeves. I’m looking at a position that would straddle the technical/business sides. I know a suit is out. I have a well-fitted, texture blazer. Trying to figure out flats vs heels, and jeans vs casual slacks. I’m leaning toward flats, but totally stuck on jeans vs. cotton black pants. Any thoughts?

    • I think you should ask your friend, she would know best. It sounds like an awfully big startup if there is a full-time recruiter. If it’s a small (20 employees) start-up that does mobile or web 2.0 type stuff, you should dress more casually and “younger” (the blazer, designer jeans, jewelry). If it’s already a larger and more professional company, or if it actually makes a product that people pay real money to buy, then wear non-cotton nice dress pants and flats and a blazer.

  31. Eileen Fisher update:

    I posted on Monday about thinking the Eileen Fisher fall collection was gorgeous and wondered whether it was professional enough. (I will post the link I was looking at as a comment.)

    On Saturday, I finally made it to my local Macy’s, which was having a 20% off sale on EF, which hardly ever happens.

    There I met a very stylish and bossy saleswoman who has worked the line for 16 years. She looked suspiciously at the pieces I had chosen for myself and said, “OK you can try those on, but I’m going to give you my honest opinion.” They did not look good on me, we agreed. Then she chose some pieces for me to try, and after a couple of duds, she got an idea about what would work for me.

    I ended up buying three really beautiful pieces that I was thrilled with the moment I put them on. And it made me realize that reaction – thrilled – should be the reaction for anything you buy. If you’re not thrilled – if you’re meh, but this will fill a hole in my wardrobe (a trap I fall into) – then Don’t Buy It!

    I love bossy saleswomen and am glad to have found a good one.

    Now that I think about it, when I had a personal shopper at Nordstrom, also bossy, she pushed me toward the same styles. Hmmm

    • I fell in love with this display

      (I am not plus sized in EF, but I like to see styles on a “plus” model because they’re usually size 12, closer to my size. This particular model is shaped a lot like me, which was part of why I was so thrilled to see this collection on her.)

    • I bought this cardigan

      And a longer black top and a gorgeous draped neck black dress that I cannot find online – maybe they’re Macy’s exclusives.

      They will be perfect for travel. More than I intended to spend, but I’m really happy with these pieces.

  32. Hope it’s not too late in the weekend to get responses. I’ve been cleaning out my closet, and I have two large tubs full of clothing — various seasons, brands, and sizes. Trying to decide if it’s worth taking any of them to consignment stores, or if I should just donate everything. Does anyone have experience with and tips on deciding which clothes are worth consigning? And, if anyone is in the DC area, any advice on particular consignment stores to work with?

    • Consigning is not too hard, but keep in mind they will probably only want a small fraction of what you bring in. I’ve had decent luck with Current Boutique (stores in DC, Alexandria, Bethesda, and Clarendon). They’re fairly picky, but I think that’s because the women working there have a pretty good sense of what sells. I rarely buy from consignment shops, but I find their selection to be well-curated and worth looking at. They also move stuff between their locations which can increase your chance of things selling. I also find that they’re prices are a little higher than I would expect, which means that if you do sell something you get more back (you get 50% of the selling price which is fairly standard for consignment).

      There are other shops in DC that I’ve heard are less picky, but I haven’t tried them yet. Most consignment shops are generally specific of what season they want since they have limited storage space, but if it’s something they are really confident will sell I’ve had CB take items out of season.

    • If you itemize your taxes, it almost always works out better to donate and itemize. Turbo Tax has a little in-app thing called It’s Deductible, and I’ve always been surprised at how much we can deduct for what we’ve donated.

      The only time I think it really pays to consign is when you have actual labeled Chanel, Dior, YSL, etc in very very good condition.

  33. Has anyone ever used Bag Borrow Steal to buy a bag? It looks like they are going to stop carrying some brands and there’s a Kate Spade bag I want. I’ve never borrowed before either and have no idea if the borrowed bags are the same as the ones you can buy. And there’s no sort of indicator as to what London condition the bag is in. It’s sort of feeling like a pass for me right now, unless anyone has any insight?

    • Thanks iPad. Not sure what London was supposed to say…

    • I bought a Chloe bag from BBS in early 2009 for $600. It was and is in great condition,though I have had to have the cobbler fix the strap twice, but I’m not sure if that is because of the style/weight of the bag or because it is used. I will totally shop there again the next time I am in the market for a bag. I think you are able to return bags for a brief window, so that should minimize the risk.

  34. transition :

    Just wondering if anyone has ideas of places to make money from 50s/60s/70s home furnishings. I am looking to sell items in the house in order to help pay to replace the roof and have approx: 4 couches, 6 chairs, 2 dining room tables with 5 matching chairs, 6 sets of draperies, 2 end tables, 3 large dressers, 2 night stands, 10 pieces of framed artwork, and 8 lamps. Everything is in great shape.

    It’s too late in the season for a garage sale and, since these items are fabric, bringing them outside isn’t always wise. I’m going to photograph and post on cl but thought you guys might have other ideas too… thanks!

    • e_pontellier :

      We were able to find a local store that wanted to buy some furniture from us when we were ready to sell. They might have been an antique store, but the things we were selling definitely were not antiques. Maybe check furniture stores nearby (just by walking in and asking – not suggesting you carry the furniture with you, but pictures would probably help) if you have any that are more than one designer? Good luck though!

    • K, Apartment Therapy, a popular design blog, has a marketplace section. There are lots of MCM fans on that site.

    • Legally Red :

      Are there any furniture consignment stores in your area?

    • I am drooling at the possibility that you have mid-century stuff in great condition.

  35. This is late in the weekend, but to PollyD, KLG, ABr, Sweet as Soda Pop, shortiek, (and anyone else I’m forgetting) I just got back from my First Ballet Class in Nineteen Years!!!! Woo! It completely kicked my a$$, but it definitely wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. I really can’t do the things I used to be able to, which feels weird, but no one seemed to mind when I missed the steps ;o) The teacher just kind of jumped into where the rest of the class was, but she spent a good amount of time coming over to adjust me on the basics, and was very nice and encouraging after the class that she just wants people to be able to dance and have fun!

    I am So. Sore. right now ;o) but i will def be going back. Thanks to all of you for the advice and encouragement!!

    • That’s exciting Zora! So funny I’m scheduled to try out an adult beginning class in about 2 weeks! It has been about 15 years for me :) Glad I’m not the only one picking it back up after all these years!

      • Not at all! In fact, most of the other women in my class were my age or older, even a couple of women in their 60s, and it was a great group and really fun! A$$ kicking, but fun! ;o)

    • Adult Beginner Ballet is very, very fun, and I loved it when I did it. I never did any sort of dance as a kid, so I went into it as a true adult beginner and really enjoyed the experience. Zora, you and SoCalAtty are inspiring me to take it back up again. :-)

  36. Just bought 3 pairs of AGLs from my local Nordstrom Rack. 2 pairs of flats and 1 pr of heels. $80 each. Holy crap, they are as comfortable as every one says. I want to wear them all the time.

    • $80??? Which Nordstrom Rack? That is a steal.

      I have friends who swear AGLs are the most comfortable shoes in the world. I haven’t tried them.

      • The one at Potomac Mills in VA. Yep they were $79.90. I”m sold on their comfort. And one pair is shimmery orange leather with a toe cap in orange patent leather (and a silver buckle). I almost died. I’m going to check out another location tomorrow. I’ll report back – this might be a NordstromRack trend.

  37. San Jose Tailor :

    I have a blazer that needs to be taken in. Can anyone recommend a tailor in San Jose? Thanks!!

    • karenpadi :

      No, but I am trying to find one too. I’ll be checking back to see if anyone has a rec.

  38. I was very late comeing back to the City last nite. Harold said his car was broken, so he kept presseing down on the gas, then brakeing all the way home. FOOEY! He also need’s a good shower. Fooey! On the other hand the party for the manageing partners aniversary went OK. I love the manageing partners’ wife. She is SO nice to me! YAY! At least one person there was NORMAL.

    Harold is another story. He kept trying to ask me to sleep with him. I think he was competeing with his father and I told him he was ridicueleous and way to young for me. Also, he has NO prospects and no job, but he want’s to hang out with me at my apartement? No way, Hoze!

    What was REALY weird was that Harolds father was there with a cute date that was younger then me! He is DIVORCED (FOOEY!) and balder then Harold (Doubel Fooey) and he was there with a 22 year old girl who work’s at a health club!!!! Then Harold’s dad started askeing me if I would want to go out with ME? Harold’s father I do NOT think so! He is to old and bald and Harold is to young and balding (and unemployed) Tripel FOOEY!

    I have to be in by 10am b/c Roberta is going to call the other firm and have the first 10 file’s delivered over to me. I need to get back into my work b/c all of the socializeing this weekend resulted in ZERO billeable hours! I will review all of the file’s today, but will be carful not to overanalayze them (or bill to much), b/c I like Roberta and want the other case’s. If I am going to be a judge, I need alot more expereience! Yay!

  39. Does anyone else find it depressing to be at work and there’s no TPS report? Just the old stale weekend thread. Bleah.

    • There’s always me!

    • Yes, I’m at work today and definitely miss having a new post to read!

      • SoCalAtty :

        Me too! Especially since I can’t even eat anything but clear liquids (drink anything, I guess!) because of my stupid test tomorrow. I’m starving, I don’t want to look at any more Jello, and I’m getting dumber the longer I go without eating – not good for this sanctions motion that I’m trying to write before the day is over. Which is in an hour and ten minutes (leaving early to prep for said test).

    • Ditto.

      My own stab at the TPS post for Monday would be these two pieces from Lafayette 148.

      Stretch Wool Delancey Pant ($348) and Stretch Wool Edna Jacket ($598). I consider these price points a splurge, but YMMV. :-)

      The collar and lapels of the Stretch Wool Edna Jacket are not going to be everybody’s cup of tea, but I love that notch-lapel. Not my interview suit, but I’d feel pretty jazzed wearing this for the few times I have to wear a suit. (Biz casual workplace.)

      • Ooooh, pretty. Good pick. My life doesn’t really require any more suits, but if it did, and if I had extra cash laying around, I’d be really tempted.

      • Not a splurge but I’m thinking about buying these boots after not being able to figure out what to wear with my outfit this morning:

    • Me too. And I’m recovering from food poisoning, so I’m really not enjoying being at work. So I just bought this dress to make myself feel better:

    • We could just take over the Sale Thread (for commenting). Since there are fewer posts to wade through.

    • Yep.

    • I’m here too, and yes it is!

  40. "Allergies" PSA :

    Godzilla, I hope you have a good visit today. My wish for you is that the MD examines you and proclaims, “I know exactly what is wrong and how to fix it.”

  41. Just need to vent — I am figuratively shaking my fist at whoever wrote the grant application guide for NIH grants right now. There are some awfully obscure required items in the instructions.

    On an unrelated note, I had no idea that Ellen and I are both GW alumni! (Any guesses on when she went there?)

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