Holiday Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Readers recently recommended The Hating Game by Sally Thorne, and I read it and really loved it! It was very funny — as the publisher describes it, it’s “a hilarious and sexy workplace comedy all about that thin, fine line between hate and love.” (If you like books by Sophie Kinsella, I think you’d like this.) I’m excited about this new author, too — it’s her debut novel. I will note there were a few face-palm moments of “Why is the heroine being so dense?!” but that’s par for the course in a rom-com sort of book. So if you’re looking for something to read over the holiday weekend, or if you’ve got spring break coming up, do take a look The Hating Game, which is $9.44 at Amazon. The Hating Game: A Novel

Psst: Happy holidays to everyone celebrating this weekend! One of the “holidays” we’re missing, of course, is April Fool’s Day — see our previous content here. That Hunt on shrugs will just have to wait for next year.

Psst: The Marimekko collection with Uniqlo just dropped — pieces are already selling out.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I just got these pants in black. https://www.jcrew.com/p/H6605
    They fit me very well (many of my pants do not right now) although come to my ankles– longer than in the picture– and are extremely comfortable. I want to keep them but can’t come up with enough outfit ideas to justify. All I can come up with is a black or white t-shirt. Help!

    • Anonymoss :

      I’d wear them with anything you’d wear with other black pants – patterned shirts where black is one color, bright or jewel tones, etc. If it’s the style that’s making it tricky, try balancing out the wide pants with a closer-fitting top, like a thin turtleneck or a tailored blouse.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Been thinking about pants like these myself. I think you could do a minimalist look – neutrals, really clean lines. A simple top in blush, white, black or gray would look awesome.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, I think the tailoring is my issue. I usually go for big blouses with skinny pants and I need to flip that look for these. Maybe not worth keeping if I’d have to buy new shirts to wear with them.

        • Zephyrwolf :

          What about pairing them with a flowy top you already own and then belting it? Throw on a long necklace, too, and you’ll have a defined shape + lots of long lines.

          It might be a little too Flowy Lady of the Canyon for your taste but it’s one of my old standbys.

        • Definitely want a fitted look on top, I agree.

          • Long over short, short over long. Tight over loose, loose over tight. Rules to live by that always work.

            My teen daughter thanked me for them the other day, and I guess I should thank my former sorority sister whose mom worked for Harpers Bazaar back in the day.

    • Those pants are ……challenging. And if they go to your ankles, then I am even more perplexed…..

  2. What’s the protocol when you see a typo in a professional blog? I’ve had some interactions with the person on the phone and via email and we are friendly, but never worked together.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think it warrants doing anything.

    • Don’t do anything. Everybody makes typos. You probably figured out what the correct word or spelling was supposed to be just fine, so there’s no need to alert the authorities.

    • Is it just a spelling/grammar thing like their vs there? If so, I agree, do nothing. If it is a typo that is relevant to the work, like she cited the wrong statute number or something like that I would probably point it out.

      • Anonymous :

        And I’d point it out via the contact email on the blog vs the comments…

        • I think we SHOULD point out typo’s in someone’s blog, b/c they can CORRECT the typo’s on a website. There is nothing worse then having typos in your documents, as it makes you look a little less profesional. I have Lynn do a spell check of all of my brief’s b/f I upload them to the court’s web link.

  3. Lingerie for Curvy Ladies :

    Shopping for a friend’s bridal shower, and I’d love to get her a nice robe or nightie (nothing too racy, but something fun and frilly to lounge in on her honeymoon). She is fit but very curvy, including a large chest. I have the same body type and have challenges finding nighties myself – most seem to have minimal coverage on top, designed for ladies with B-cups, not F…or they’re super boring and dowdy. Any suggestions of brands that accommodate a full chest but are still fun and s*xy?

    • Anonymous :

      I have a short Natori Zen chemise that comfortably fits my 32E chest (I wear a size S) and provides some light support. It is the only cute thing I can sleep in, can’t stand most others. It doesn’t look as s3xy on the models because they don’t fill out the top, but it’s cute in person.

    • Bravissimo! Check out their clothing line too.

    • Nordstrom has a nice selection in their “wedding lingerie” section.

    • Of all things, Torrid, if you choose carefully.

  4. Job hopper? :

    I am thinking about leaving an associate attorney position that I have been at for less than a year and could use some perspective/advice.
    I started my current position back in July. It’s fine but not great. I can probably stick it out a little while longer but for a variety of reasons don’t see myself making my career here.
    I recently came across a posting for an in-house position that seems to fit well with my niche practice area. Do I let the fact that I’ve been at my current position 8 months deter me from applying? I can come up with some acceptable reasons for wanting to change jobs (e.g. just relocated to neighboring state due to fiancé’s job which has a residency requirement and the in-house position would cut down on my commute). FWIW I was a law clerk for one year after graduation and then an associate in a very small firm for 6 years before starting the current job which is a midsize firm in my state.
    Any thoughts, advice, things I should consider would be appreciated!

    • Absolutely do not let that deter you. Going from a firm to in-house is a lot of people’s end goal & there’s zero need to stay at the firm longer than you need to. Most hiring timelines are long anyway, so 8 months could easily become a year. Apply.

    • Coach Laura :

      Job Hopper – go for it! By the time the hiring process is complete you could be at or very close to 12 months. Given that you were at a prior job for six years you will not be seen as a job-hopper. I wouldn’t focus on the commute but that it is a rare job in your niche – too good an opportunity to let pass.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the opportunity is different enough from your current job that it wouldn’t be weird to be applying after only eight months – if you were applying to another firm, that might raise an eyebrow or two (since you’d be looking to move to essentially the same job), but everyone knows in-house opportunities are more rare, and you have to pursue them when they pop up.

    • I think the fact that you stayed at your last job for 6 years should take care of any concerns that you are prone to job hopping. I say go for it!

  5. Anyone have any good April Fool’s day pranks planned?

    • Anonymous :

      Easter Bunny didn’t come

    • Anonymous :

      Nope – I hate pranks.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t tell my mom I’m pregnant anymore because she would be thrilled.

    • Linda from HR :

      I don’t plan on actually doing anything, since I’m spending the day with my boyfriend’s family, but boy did I have an evil brainstorm while bored in a meeting the other day. Went off the idea of taking wrappers off chocolate eggs and putting them on grapes, then thought of putting vegetables in plastic eggs . . . then putting plastic spiders in the eggs . . . then having an egg hunt and telling people there were more eggs than you actually hid . . . Every Flavor Beans in the baskets but not telling anyone . . .

      I shouldn’t be allowed to have kids.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would never ever do this but I would love to get up before all the neighborhood kids and run through the yards collecting all of their eggs. It would be pure evil. Their parents would have no idea where they went. Then I’d like to dump them in a pile in the backyard of my neighbor with the super annoying dogs that are always roaming unsupervised (small ankle biters) and make it look like they stole them all, but only if they didn’t have chocolate because I wouldn’t want to accidentally kill the dogs.

    • KS IT Chick :

      A friend at work is telling her kids to to find the eggs that she has not hidden.

  6. Baconpancakes :

    Off to my mother’s for Passover tomorrow. While I adore her, she does provoke a high level of anxiety. I’ve already spent the morning getting the Haggadah I wrote perfect for her, since she’s just so excited she’s getting them professionally printed. Oy.

    Wish me luck.

    • Anonymous :

      Don’t you have something like 7 cups of wine with the meal?

      I went to a seder once and had to take a cab home. Oy.

    • Horse Crazy :

      You wrote a Haggadah??? That’s so cool! I just bought this one and am trying to convince my mother to let me use it :)

      https://www.amazon.com/unofficial-Hogwarts-Haggadah-Moshe-Rosenberg/dp/0692859055/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1522348104&sr=8-1&keywords=harry+potter+hagaddah

      • Never too many shoes... :

        That is *amazing* – am going to order for my friends for next year.

      • omg. If I ever host a seder I’m using this.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Ha! Makes sense though. The four houses, the four children…

        I made mine after I bought the Jonathan Safran Foer one and was wildly disappointed by the reversion to sexist, outdated, impersonal language, but loved the artistry of it. I wanted one with more poetry and fun but not camp, geared towards adults, not kids. So I made one.

        I used Haggadot.com to get a lot of progressive content, the actual prayers, and transliterations, put in my favorite poems and the songs and explanations I liked, scanned some images from Leonard Baskin-illustrated Haggadah, and used a few textured paint swipe images to break up the text. I made it in InDesign, did have to download a Hebrew font I like better than the standard adobe one.

        I like being able to edit it, so that I can add topical readings, like the poem Home by Warsan Shire, and an explanation of an African-American charoset recipe from Michael Twitty.

        • Horse Crazy :

          Number 4, Privet Drive…so many connections haha

          That’s such a great idea. Our seder is based off of my grandparents’ Haggadah from the 1920s or 30s – some of the storytelling is great, but a lot of it is definitely outdated and sexist. So we’ve taken poems and writings off the internet and interspersed them throughout the seder (and every time it says “he” or “men” or “sons”, we say “people” or “children”). I think I might steal your idea of making it into a real book, or at least making a supplemental book to go along with the Haggadah…I don’t think I could convince my mom to completely give up on the old ones!

      • Puddlejumper :

        Unorthodox just put out a free Haggadah that is amazing! They will email you the pdf or it’s on their podcast website.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Our Passover is going to be weird(er than usual). My dad will be in the hospital, and the local Chabad said they’d bring over ~stuff~ for us… It’s likely to be, in content, much more traditional than we usually do, but also of course less traditional (like will Elijah come down the hallway and drink wine outside the hospital room door? can we even have wine? what’s a seder without a table?).

      But the message of Passover seems like a great one for my dad right now, so that’s great.

      • I wish the best to the HIVE! I am at Rosa’s now, and we had a very cute Seder, with all of the latest hi-teck stuff for the kid’s. Tonite, we are goeing to Grandma Trudy’s, where she still has these old Hagaddah’s with petrified food stains on them from the 1950’s that she got for free from Maxwell House Coffee! I do not like useing them b/c some of the food is caked on and gross. Who knows what else is stuck in those pages, but I do see alot of wine stains from many years ago (perhaps I even made some of them).

        Ed has the kids all doieng their stuff on their ipads with some internet website teaching the kid’s how to sing. I wonder if I will be able to have 3 kids as internet savvy as those kids are. YAY for kid’s! There is hope for this world after all!

      • BelleRose :

        So sorry to hear about your dad; I hope he gets better soon!

  7. Anonymous :

    My son didn’t make the baseball team (or any of the travelling teams) he wanted. He’s 10 and very sad and down on himself. He also didn’t make the hockey team he tried out for last fall. That turned out fine but now he’s saying he doesn’t want to every try out again and I want to make it better for him but obviously I can’t.

    His older sister always made either the top team or the second team every time she tried out, so his dad and I are legitimately surprised this keeps happening to him. He is a good team player and a dedicated athlete, but he’s very easy going so if it were between him and another kid I feel like the evaporators would say he’s so resilient let’s take another kid…

    • Senior Attorney :

      Dammit! This stuff is so hard for us moms!

      Hugs to you and to him! Just buy him an ice cream and hug him and tell him it sucks and you’re sorry. No need to have the discussion about next time when he’s still smarting from this time.

    • Anonymous :

      I have no advice from the parent perspective – just fear about hitting this stage with my own kids. As someone who was passed over for several teams on several occasions as a child though, I would tell you and him to take a hard look at what he wants from those activities or others. I ended up really thriving by giving up on the team sports and moving toward individual sports where my success was based on my own hard work, not a “team” and frankly where they take more team members. If I were you, I might steer him toward an activity where getting picked isn’t the first step and let him have a little success. It’s hard always getting passed up…

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Is there a less competitive rec-league option so he can still play the sport without having to try out?

    • If he needs a pep talk, talk to him about Tom Brady’s story. He’s arguably the greatest quarterback in history who constantly was a third-stringer and barely hanging onto the team.

      • Anonymous :

        My parents used to tell me the story of Michael Jordan, getting cut from the team. It only helps so much though unfortunately…

        • Tom Brady won recognition for most days spent training outside of the required training schedule – he was just at it constantly, every day, 6 am. Then he watched hundreds of hours of game footage to learn to anticipate what would happen on the field. No one gets to the pro level without a work ethic, but Brady put them all to shame – after rejection, more rejection, and even more rejection.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        I did competitive sports as a kid and found it really hard and devastating. As an adult I wish my mom had told me I could just play for fun.

    • Also, Michael Jordan didn’t make the 7th grade basketball team.

      • Sophomore year high school varsity basketball team (he made JV). Only one sophomore made varsity. Some of the reason was that he was too short, but he worked his tail off, kicked butt on the JV squad, and, when he grew four inches over the summer, made it the next year.

    • Anonymous :

      Can he be on a regular team that doesn’t involve trying out? Ten seems kind of young for that intensity, we didn’t have that when I was a kid.

    • Aw, I agree – take him out for ice cream or something else he likes to cheer him up! But also be ok with him never trying out again if that’s what he wants. He’ll probably come around on his own and want to get involved in less competitive leagues but if he doesn’t, that’s ok and I would let him know you’re 100% ok with him not doing sports anymore. That can be his sister’s thing and he can find his own thing like music or theater or whatever.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Couldn’t agree with this more.

      • My husband tells a story of how his younger brother played the violin and ran cross country (things my husband excelled at) because the younger brother thought that’s just What You Do. Younger brother was terrible at both, but kept at them for years. He finally went to their parents and said, “Hey mom, dad, I know Brother runs cross country and plays the violin, but is it ok if I don’t?” And they were astonished and felt bad because they hadn’t even thought that he would have thought he had to do those activities. Younger Brother, like many younger siblings, has a fantastic artistic streak (which my bossy older brother husband has none of haha), so Younger Brother turned to those and really blossomed. Just food for thought :)

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Ugh. Heartbreaking. All you can do is comfort him right now. I agree with all the ice cream comments.

      Ask him if he’s interested in working with a trainer to get his skills on par. My son is 9, plays rec and travel baseball. Working with a trainer, in as little as 2 or 3 sessions, has made a world of difference. It’s worth the money to see his confidence skyrocket.

      • BeenThatGuy, I don’t want to be a hater and I know that you’re in the best position to make the best decisions for your kid.

        But it makes me really sad that it’s the state of youth sports in the US that a 9 year old is working with a trainer and already specialized in one sport.

        • BeenThatGuy :

          Totally understood. But for context, I was a catcher, my father was a catcher at Vanderbilt, my grandmother was a catcher on the Racine Bells (not “the famous year”). I’m not saying my son is the next Gary Sanchez but he loves baseball. He loves being part of a team. He loves our family history of baseball/softball. If having him work on a skill he loves gives him confidence, for our family, it’s the right choice. I equate getting extra help (i.e. a trainer) no different than getting a tutor for school. But I could be in the minority.

          • Like I said, you’re in the best position to know what’s right for your kid :) Sounds like your son is really passionate and all-in on baseball for a lot of reasons. So it sounds like a trainer is the right choice for him. And I really wasn’t trying to call you out specifically–more of a general observation.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Yes! As a former high school teacher, I had WAY too many 16 year old students with chronic stress injuries and getting ACL surgery from specializing so early. It’s absolutely absurd.

          • It’s sad. My SO is an athletic trainer* and it’s really depressing to hear about some of the repetitive-use injuries that he and his practice are coming across, at such young ages. Baseball can be really bad, especially for pitchers.

            *Licensed sports medicine professional, not personal trainer. He’s 50% in a high school and 50% in a PT clinic.

        • I don’t see anything weird about working with a trainer for a few sessions as a kid – there’s not that much difference between “taking lessons” and “working with a trainer”, and it might be that some 1:1 coaching really helps improve some specific skills or just confidence. When I was 12 years old, I had once per week sessions with a piano teacher, a horseback riding instructor, and a math tutor – I don’t see that as very different.

          • I was commenting on this more as a function of the arms-race towards overspecialization in youth team sports, which is a well-documented phenomenon with links to a variety of poor outcomes: burnout, anxiety, repetitive-use and chronic-overuse injuries that used to only come up in collegiate or professional athletes becoming common in 12- to 15-year-olds, etc. This is something I care about a lot, as an (admittedly very average) athlete, former high school coach, and future mother of kids who are likely to be athletic themselves, based on family history on both sides.

            It’s very different than the activities that you (and I, for that matter; I grew up riding and only joined the “team sport” of track/cross country in high school) did. And again, of course there are reasons why one-on-one support may be the right choice for an individual kid in their individual situation.

    • Ten is probably too young for this to really work, but I try really hard as an adult to channel this disappointment into an “I’ll show them” attitude. It’s worked out pretty well for me. FWIW, my husband was very involved in athletics throughout his childhood and into high school. So much of ability at your son’s age depends on how fast the kids are growing. If he keeps at it, by the time high school rolls around, much of that will even out. Example: my husband was on the B/last team for 7th grade basketball. It was basically him and all the other further HS varsity players when they got to that age. It became a running joke for many years.

      • Ha…my SO had the opposite trajectory. He hit his growth spurt super early, so was the 6′ 7th grader dunking on everyone and the king of 9th grade football. Then everyone else caught up…

        It still turned out fine. He transitioned to an individual sport and went to a well-respected DI program.

        All of which is to say, there is no single path to athletic success.

    • Switch him to martial arts! Unless you’re at an elite sparring level, there’s no team to be cut from, and the focus is much more about self improvement. And, basic self defense is much more useful than knowing how to hit a home run.

      • Anonymous :

        Our son does martial arts (Kenpo karate) and is about to test for his junior black belt. I seriously cannot say enough about what karate has done for him…he is also laid-back by nature and in karate, there’s really not a lot of competition against other people (unless a kid wants to join a demo team or spar at the tournament level) – mostly, you are competing against yourself. He has learned so much about discipline, persistence, pushing yourself (enough but not too much) and the importance of practicing and practicing and practicing until things are right. We get tons of kids in our school who either do both competitive sports and karate, or chose karate because they didn’t want the pressure of trying out for club teams and all that jazz. (Which I think is totally ridiculous – we’re talking about children here! – but that’s just me.) It’s totally normal for a kid to come in at age 10, although there will be kids that will be in there who have been in since age 4. If your son is interested at all, OP, arrange to tour a school and take a demo class or two. You’ll be able to tell the ones that are more interested in fostering development of the whole person vs. ones that are just interested in winning sparring and kata tournaments pretty quickly.

    • I’m sorry for your son! It’s hard to watch someone you love be disappointed.
      Maybe he is just not right for the competitive-level sports. It’s possible that he could work extra hard, get a trainer, and still not bloom into a Michael Jordan or a Tom Brady. It’s not possible for everyone and it can be a lot of pressure to put on a kid!
      Also, gently, it might not be helpful to offer execuses to him like “he is so easy going and resilient that they picked another kid”. Sometimes things like this are true, and sometimes he was just not the best candidate. And that is okay! It will probably happen a few more times in life, and it’s good to know how to deal with disappointment without just blaming someone else or thinking that the process is “unfair” (I deal with a lot of adults who are constantly complaining about the “unfairness” of decisions…)

      • Anonymama :

        I spent some time as a third-stringer, didn’t make a few teams, but kept playing. Older sister was always an all-star. But I really enjoyed it and kept improving, even as other kids lost interest or suffered injuries. Can you try to find rec teams for him to play on? I think it’s okay that he’s disappointed, and for you to be understanding of that, while also being clear that you yourself are not disappointed in him and don’t think it’s too big of a deal.

      • It will probably happen a few more times in life, and it’s good to know how to deal with disappointment without just blaming someone else or thinking that the process is “unfair”

        Oh, OP, please, please help your son learn this skill. Honestly, he was probably not picked because he’s not as good at the sport as the other kids. That’s how these things work, not some weird combination of who will take rejection best.

        I have an acquaintance who is always making excuses both for herself in her work life and for her daughter’s performance in sports. I can see how her daughter makes the same excuses and it’s just not going to help her get very far in life to constantly blame disappointments on other people.

        • Biglawanon :

          So much this. Everyone has different talents, and maybe sports aren’t one of his. And that’s ok.

  8. What are your trick and tips for feeling better right after waking up?
    I generally get enough sleep (7-8 hours) and wake up to my phone alarm. Those first few minutes after the alarm are generally horrible…once I get going (get my face washed, etc.) I feel better.
    Do you have any advice for feeling better when you wake up? I do have low blood pressure so that could be contributing.

    • Flats Only :

      This will sound bizarre, but I use a sleep app on my iphone and when it wakes me up I spend a couple of minutes looking at news, twitter, etc. The bright light and little hits of information wake my brain up, and if 5 minutes I’m alert and then don’t feel like I’m in a fog for the next hour. If I skip the phone routine I feel groggy, achy, etc. for quite a while.

    • Anonymous :

      I have an alarm clock with a light that gradually brightens from a dim red to full sunlight about 30 minutes before it goes off. I usually crack open my eyes while it’s still dim and go back to sleep for another 5-10 minutes. It’s like a gentle snooze button.

      If you have low blood pressure and feel dizzy when you sit or stand up, go slowly. There’s no hurry. If it’s really bad, ask your doctor for an orthostatic blood pressure. It’s a simple test where they take your blood pressure laying down, then sitting, then standing. There are treatments that they can prescribe.

    • I need water right away. I go to bed with a big bottle and drink a bunch of it as soon as I sit up.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree that this can really make a difference in how I feel. I try to drink at least half a glass before I start chugging coffee.

      • Anonymous :

        This is what I was going to say. Cold water can stimulate the vagus nerve and help with low blood pressure (or so I’m told).

    • Anonymous :

      I have this same issue. I feel HORRIBLE when I first wake up. I also have low blood pressure, is that related?

    • anonshmanon :

      DH also feels very groggy when waking up and has low blood pressure. He also has trouble staying awake in meetings due to his blood pressure.

      For me, cutting back on caffeine helps immensely with the feeling like a zombie in the mornings.

    • I don’t have any suggestions but wanted to chime in that I have the same problem as you and I have low blood pressure too! I thought I was the only one…

  9. BR Sloan / Loft Julie pants :

    Ladies, I’m in a shoe rut. What shoes do you wear with your BR Sloan or Loft Julie pants? I’m so used to wearing boots and tights/heels all winter that my regular shoe game is suffering. And a lot of my shoes are so worn / old that it may be time to go shopping.

    And I need real specifics — I could wear either with pointy toe skinny heels, but block heels never looked right. 3″ wedges seem OK and “executive” flats (not my sad and tired old C-H Air Beccaras or Air Talis), but I’m striking out especially in the flats department (I need a flat with some sort of ankle or tie attachment or the slip off of my narrow heels).

    Ideas, please!

    • Just bought these this weekend and they are SUPER cute on with pants and so comfortable! http://www.naturalizer.com/en-US/Product/EC0225332-3016799/Naturalizer/Black+Leather/Adeline.aspx

    • Last summer I wore these in silver all the time: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/womens-shoes-boots/flats/a0164-ros/womens-rose-gold-metallic-abbie-loafers

      This summer I’ll be rocking these, even if they are suede (which I think is sort of off-season in summer but I don’t care because these are so cute): http://www.bodenusa.com/en-us/womens-shoes-boots/flats/a0164-brd/womens-red-pop-abbie-loafers

      • BR Sloan / Loft Julie pants :

        how do Boden shoes fit?

        My feet are sort of triangular — very high arch means I have foot volume in the forefoot that maxes out a B-width (so I can’t wear anything that run even a smidge narrow). But I have really narrow heels, so it’s easy to walk out of shoes, esp. on stairs.

        • Anonymous :

          I have your shape feet (triangular). Shoe fit is a real problem. I’ve hear that Boden shoes are a bit narrow but I haven’t tried them.

          I basically have to pack a bunch of cushions in the heel of my shoes to fill up the extra space.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Those are super cute! I agree that a funky loafer or oxford would be a good bet.

    • My Nordstrom Rack has had some totally cool G.H. Bass and Co loafers and oxfords lately, it would be worth a peruse if you have one near you (there are some online, but I’ve seen other styles in-store). Other shoes I like with this style include M.Gemi Lustro, Speranza, Argento, Fortuna, and these J.Crew factory wedges https://bit.ly/2GEEFK0

    • Kiki LaRue :

      I wear the sloan ankle pants all the time. I wear a gray patent leather block loafer from Boden, Rothie flats, Cole Haan tali wedge and that’s about it.

  10. Spring beauty :

    I’ve noticed that around this time every year, I seriously look terrible. My late winter/early spring face has no color or glow whatsoever, and seasonal allergies are making my under-eye circles even worse … and they’re pretty bad to begin with. Even with makeup and trying to take care of my skin, I look tired and drained of life. Any ideas for looking less haggard? Specific product recommendations are very welcome!

    • Anon in NYC :

      I love the Sephora pearl face mask. I thought my skin looked great the last time I used it. Drink tons of water.

    • Hydrating adequately will plump up your skin, really good concealer and color corrector will get rid of discoloration, caffeine serum (the Ordinary has a good one) under the eyes will help with dark circles. And if you don’t wear it, or like to stick to minimal makeup, all you need to look more awake and “healthy” is: concealer for circles, blush for color, mascara for wide open awake looking eyes.

      • KittieBiscuits :

        This! And allow me to add, if you have light/scrawny brows like me, fill in eyebrows or get brows tinted & waxed. Brows work like a picture frame, providing structure & polish to the eyes.
        Concealor + blush + mascara + brows = 5-7 minutes and keeps face fresh.

        Also, up your skincare. I love sleeping masks, it’s a super nourishing moisturizer-like last step at night. My skin looks and feels soft and fresh in the morning, every morning.

    • Anonymous :

      I like the Jergens self-tanner for face. It gives me just enough glow and color to look happy and sun-kissed, not orange. I also tend to look sort of pallid and sallow around this time of year and the self-tanner helps.

    • Yep. I noticed early this week that my winter foundation color is too yellow and dark. I’m wearing these on repeat with bb cream until I can be outside more: Maybelline Dream Lumi Touch Highlighting Concealer and Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder. I make a V under my eye with the concealer and then stipple it in with my finger, layering if needed. Then set with the powder.

    • I feel you. I’ve been using Neutrogena Water Gel, and it is seriously amazing. When I don’t use it, my skin looks dull, but as soon as I put it on in the morning, it instantly looks better.

  11. Delhi recommendations needed!! :

    Heading to Asia tonight! Will be in Delhi for 3 days and looking for recommendations (esp food/restaurants). I’ll be staying near Connaught Place but willing to travel by car/metro/taxi. Current plan is to spend one day in Old Delhi and one day in New Delhi. Third day will be hiring a driver to go see the Taj Mahal. Thanks!

    • Arundhati Roy :

      OMG so many good restaurants, so much good food and so little time! Definitely recommend “Punjabi by Nature” for North Indian food and “Oh Calcutta” for East Indian food, which are very different from one another. Check out “Dilli Haat” for a shopping village that has handicrafts from all over the country and you can buy straight from artists. I’d normally avoid the trip to Taj in one day (it is intense and hectic) but I understand why someone might still want to do it. Let me know if you need more!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so jealous….

      Eat well.

    • For sightseeing, Humayun’s Tomb is a must-see. For shopping, Dilli Haat and FabIndia.

      • I would actually pack really light and head straight to FabIndia upon landing. I felt great wearing their clothes through the duration of my India trip.

    • Easy Impressive Dinner? :

      ANOKHI for shopping!!!! Seriously my favorite store ever. Amazing block printed fabrics made into literally any textile good you could want. All the heart eyes for it.

  12. Anonymous :

    Could use some advice in case a best case scenario happens, as this is all new to me and I don’t want to screw it up! I think I’m about to get a job offer from a law firm tomorrow, the one that is my last choice. I’m still waiting to hear back from another firm I recently interviewed at and really like, and I am scheduling an interview next week at a firm I REALLY like. What’s an appropriate script for “I need to think about it” and how long can I “think” for? TIA!

    • anononononono :

      I always ask how long I can think for! I would say something like (and this fits with my interview style, just to keep in mind), “Thank you! I’m so excited! I of course need to discuss this with my family/have some time to go over the details. What kind of timeline do you have on your end?” Make sure you know what your timeline is, so that you can push for a few extra days if need be, e.g. “How about Friday instead? That would work well for me. Thanks again!!” This gives you an in for future negotiating too if you do go with this firm.

      • +1 Also, if you get the offer I think it’s totally fine to call up the firm you interviewed with and explain that you really like them and want to work there, but you have another offer and were wondering what their time frame is for making a decision. (You probably can’t do that for the one you didn’t interview with yet, though.)

    • You can also go back in for a ‘second look’ (or third, or whatever) and say you want to meet more people. This plays out the timeline a bit. Almost like it resets the date of the offer to when you go BACK to meet people.

  13. TTC - Advice/Commisseration? :

    I’ve been TTC for about 9 months now…I’m not surprised it’s taking some time, and it’s been totally fine so far, in part because I didn’t have any close friends who were looking to get pregnant. Until yesterday, when my brother’s wife announced that she is several months along.

    I’m incredibly happy for her, and I know her pregnancy has nothing to do with my fertility or lack thereof, and things will happen for us when they’re meant to happen, but it just kind of sucks. She was describing how disappointed they were when they thought she got her period during their first month trying…turns out it wasn’t and they were pregnant. And complaining about morning sickness (which I’m sure is horrible). I am just having a hard time empathizing, although I know how exciting and stressful that first month of trying in particular can be. I also feel bad, because I know they hesitated to tell us because they know we’ve been trying…and I don’t want them to feel hesitant about talking to us about this incredible thing.

    I just saw a reproductive endocrinologist this week, and I’m hopeful that getting more information will help us find a solution. But I’m just…tired and feeling crappy about the (totally unfair and irrelevant) comparison to my brother’s wife. And I can’t stop questioning whether I’m doing something wrong (is my crazy stressful job preventing me from getting pregnant? Are we timing things wrong despite temping and tracking?). I’m usually able to keep this in the background and not let it make me crazy, but today has just been rough.

    Not sure what I’m looking for, except maybe a chance to vent, and also some commiseration. Any success stories / tips for staying sane during this process?

    • Anonymous :

      TTC is so stressful. After I found out my sister was pregnant I took 2 months off from trying via IVF. I just needed a break. Didn’t want to feel like I ‘lost’ the time though so DH and I DTD every second day per What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Was a lot of fun even though I didn’t get pregnant. I did getr pregnant on my next cycle of IVF. The break did help me refocus on stuff other than TTC which helped my overall stress levels. No idea if that helped or if it was just luck with the 4th round of IVF.

      It’s okay to take breaks along your TTC journey. It can be a long stressful process. All the hugs.

      • Girl, you totally win at infertility then because once we were in the “interventions” zone, TTC sex was not at all fun. Sex when I knew I wasn’t ovulating was still a blast but sex when we had to was the pits. I can’t imagine doing it as much as you did. Maybe that’s why I’m not pregnant lol.

        • Anonymous :

          +1000. The TTC schedule just about did both of us in. It stopped being fun surprisingly quickly.

        • Biglawanon :

          We tried to get pregnant naturally for 3 years. It really was the pits.

          We ended up adopting twice (unwilling to do any fwrtility treatments, IVF, etc), and a decade later, at forty effing three I was unexpectedly pregnant with twins. I don’t understand what we possibly doing wrong for those three years!

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      No advice, just commiseration. I’m in the same boat.
      I realize my friends (and strangers on the internet, and every woman I seem to see in public) are not getting pregnant AT me, but it still feels really crushing. I remind myself that I am not my feelings of envy, sadness, or disappointment and otherwise try to focus on what I can control, like taking good care of myself.

      • TTC - Advice/Commisseration? :

        Ha – the idea of feeling like people are getting pregnant “at” me totally resonates! So silly, but someone it all feels so personal. Thank you, and good luck!

      • This is a great thing for me to keep in mind as well! Thank you for commiserating.

    • I’ll commiserate with you, as I was in the same position a few years ago. Everybody around me was getting pregnant with their second, third and fourth babies while I was struggling along with secondary infertility with zero answers about why it wasn’t happening. So, first of all, good for you for at least starting the RE process. Second of all, IT’S OKAY TO FEEL BAD. Really. You’re only human, and TTC can be a tough road when it’s not happening quickly. Wallow, cry, journal, get your feelings out, otherwise they’ll sneak up on you in some less pleasant ways. As long as you’re not taking it out on your SIL, you’re fine. It is completely possible to be happy for your family while still mourning what’s happening in your own life.

      Big hugs to everyone going through this. Infertility is one of the most emotionally difficult things I’ve been through.

    • This happened to me with my younger sister. She literally got pregnant the first month she was off the pill. It was really hard and frustrating.

      One thing that I learned was that it’s okay to protect yourself emotionally. I stopped going to baby showers and refused to be sorry about it – I just couldn’t handle it emotionally – and turned down certain social obligations that I didn’t want to face. I think the common wisdom is that withdrawing isn’t a good thing, but for me it was much better than putting myself in situations that were just painful.

      The other thing that helped was traveling, eating out at nice restaurants, sleeping in, and doing other things I knew I couldn’t do as easily with a child. I shamelessly posted lots of photos of amazing trips and hikes on social media and then enjoyed all the comments about how nice it must be to have that much freedom. I really focused on trying to live it up while we waited for our baby.

      It’s really, really hard. I never understood until I went through it myself, but I wouldn’t wish it on anyone.

      • Hugs. Prior posters have some good suggestions.

        It is really, really hard. 10 years on it seems like a long time ago. We did many cycles and have 1DS. I withdrew from some social relationships. It wasn’t great for our romantic life. I spent a bunch of time working on some projects. I did end up finding a great online support group for women with severe fertility problems. I suspect that maybe 99% of us were situationally depressed at various points. A number of these women are now some of my closest real life friends.

        Kudos to you for starting to work with an RE.

    • Anonymous :

      This happened to me, with a cousin and then with a good friend who both got pregnant when we were in fertility treatment after two years of trying. It has nothing to do with your SIL and it has nothing to do with you either. It just sucks and there’s no resolution to it. Embrace your feels! As long as you aren’t punishing them for something they can’t control (your infertility), you have a right to feel how you feel and do what you need to do to get through each day. I chose to limit my contact with each person (I don’t live near either of them, so it wasn’t super-obvious or anything) and did not go to baby showers, although I did send gift cards (shopping for an actual present would have been tooooo much for me to handle). I did finally get pregnant through medicated IUI and they were thrilled for me. My son is 12 but I still haven’t forgot how much it hurt, some days. Honestly, the only people who understand the pain of infertility are the people who have experienced it. Other people don’t have a clue. So find yourself a good support group online – that’s what gave me hope and support on my worst days.

      You didn’t plan to be on this road and now that you’re on it, the only way out is through. It is rough and honestly, how I got through it was remembering to breathe, and taking each day as it came. And taking time out for myself when I needed it. Take care of you. Big hugs.

      • Did you have an explanation for your infertility? How many IUIs did it take? We did one but were then going right to IVF. Do to the doctor’s schedule, it’s going to be a couple months. We did one more (medicated) IUI while we wait but now I’m leaning towards “wasting” a month with no treatment until we can start IVF. We are unexplained.

        • Happy to answer as many questions as people have about this.

          I was only 26 when we started trying but I have PCOS, diagnosed when I was 18. I had very irregular periods and a lot of cystic activity on my ovaries that didn’t respond to Metformin at all (my glucose and A1c have always been low-normal, so the failure to respond wasn’t a surprise). So we knew we were going to have an issue. We tried for 22 cycles on our own (I counted) and then I went to my regular OB/GYN and my GP – both said, you need an RE and you need to do more testing to figure out what’s going on.

          The RE tested me and found out that in addition to the PCOS I also had MTHFR and Factor V Leiden clotting factor issues (which could have been causing very early miscarriages) and I also tested positive for ANA antibodies (but subsequent tests have all been negative). I also had multiple pelvic ultrasounds and an HSG (most painful thing I have ever been through in my life) and there was some indication of scar tissue around my right ovary – most likely from healed ruptured ovarian cysts, but the dye flowed through fine and they didn’t want to do laparoscopic surgery to investigate further. My husband got his testing done and the original test (which was not very comprehensive as we found out later) said his count was high and things looked fine.

          I did five cycles of Clomid, increasing dose each month, with an HCG trigger and progesterone supplements – nothing. I went to a “fertility acupuncturist” recommended by my RE; I took buckets of supplements; I made my husband take supplements; I meditated; I did “fertility yoga” from a DVD. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

          Before the fifth cycle, we did more tests on my husband – lo and behold, the more-comprehensive test revealed that he had low morphology (1% I think) and that most of his sp*rm were anuclear (they didn’t carry any genetic material which makes it pretty darn tough for conception to happen!). Chances of us getting pregnant without IVF the doctor pegged at “maybe around 7, 8 percent.”

          The RE started talking to us seriously about IVF, which we would have had to transfer to another clinic to do. I was extremely fortunate and at that time had insurance that would cover three medicated IUIs – there was no coverage for IVF. So I said, let’s do the IUIs and see what happens. He would only let me do one IUI on Clomid – I was about to hit my six-cycle limit – and then I would have had to go to injectables for the last 2. But we did the first IUI and it worked. Everyone was very surprised including our RE. I didn’t have the easiest pregnancy but the boy is here now and perfectly healthy. We knew once we (finally) got pregnant we were done with fertility treatment; I just couldn’t go through it again. So he’s it.

          It was the hardest experience of my life. I am sure people will relate to this: until infertility, there was nothing that I couldn’t get for myself or make happen by working hard, persevering, and doing more than others were willing to do. With this, it didn’t matter how hard I tried or what I did; I could not get pregnant. There’s no feeling of failure quite like the failure to get pregnant month after month after month when other people get pregnant by accident every day. Then I started fertility treatment and felt like I was living at the d*mn RE’s office and the acupuncturist and the pharmacy. Like, that was my part-time unpaid job, trying to get pregnant. I had a good job at the time and I feel like it could have gone somewhere if I hadn’t been alternatively depressed, preoccupied and wacked out on synthetic hormones most of the time. As it was, I got laid off from that job when my son was 1. But everything worked out and I have a great job that I love now.

          I am sorry you’re on this road. I am sorry for anyone on this road. I wouldn’t wish the pain of it on my worst enemy. I have no good words of comfort other than “good luck and I am thinking about you.” One way or another, things will work out.

      • thank you for this, I needed to hear your encouragement myself. I’ve recently found out that our only chance for #2 is through IVF, which came as a complete shock, and I’m still processing, but as you say only way is through.

        • This happened to us too. We got pregnant with #1 my first month off birth control. A few years later, after trying for #2 for about a year, we went to see a fertility specialist and found out IVF was our only option due to male issues. I completely understand your shock. But our first IVF cycle was successful and I’m now 14 weeks pregnant. So know that you’re not alone, and once you get over the initial shock and through the process, it won’t seem like such a big deal. And also, secondary infertility is its own animal because I couldn’t help but feel guilty that we already had one child when so many others were struggling to become first time parents. No matter when or how it happens, infertility is not fun. Thinking of you and everyone who is going through it.

    • I hear you. It just sucks. We were TTC for a while and I had 3 miscarriages. After every one I pulled back from seeing friends who were pregnant/friends with young kids for a bit. I knew it wasn’t their fault but I just couldn’t be around pregnant ladies and babies so had to find reasons to politely decline a lot of social events. The other thing I came to realize is that more of my friends than I knew had gone through similar things but just didn’t speak about them openly until I went through it myself. And one of my friends who got pregnant easily and whose baby shower I skipped after a miscarriage that week ended up having a really hard birth. So it’s not personal and it’s rarely 100% easy for anyone, we just each get our ups and downs at different times.

      My best advice is just to give yourself the time and space you need to do what feels right. For me I needed more quiet time at home and read a lot of favorite books. And it’s not necessarily better on the flip side…I am 7 weeks pregnant now and terrified of every little fluctuation in symptoms. Hang in there!

      • and good luck to you too. I had a pregnancy after a miscarriage due to genetic issues, and the entire pregnancy was stressful due to the uncertainty of knowing with 100% certainty that the baby would be ok. She was btw, but boy do I not get people who say pregnancy is a fun time …

    • Just want to also say don’t get ahead of yourself. We were TTC for about 6 months before I went to a reproductive endocrinologist (I didn’t want to wait the full year people recommend). We were both tested – everything was normal, but it just wasn’t happening. We did one round of IUI and I got pregnant (now 20 weeks!). I joked we just needed the express lane to get his stuff to my place. TTC is hard and super emotional – but you’re getting the assistance you need now – good luck!

  14. Horse Crazy :

    Ideas for Easter dinner main course for three? It’ll be me, my SO, and his mom. She doesn’t like lamb, and I don’t eat ham/pork, so the usual suspects are out. Any suggestions? I was thinking prime rib, but it’s not sure since there are only 3 of us…thanks in advance!!

    • Horse Crazy :

      *but I’M not sure…ugh typo

    • Coach Laura :

      Roast chicken, Epicurious’s zucchini/asparagus/yellow pepper frittata/casserole, roasted baby new potatoes? Or roasted asparagus with garlic and parmesan if you don’t want eggs.

      Martha Stewart had a roast chicken recipe years ago that I still use. Stuff the cavity with lemons and rosemary I think. Makes the house smell divine. Any roast chicken recipe should work though.

    • Baked ziti.

    • You could roast a chicken. It’s super easy but tastes fancy.

  15. Anonymous :

    I snore. And I hate it. It’s embarrassing when I go on girls’ weekends, and my husband has to sleep upstairs sometimes. Is there any type of procedure to be done, or are people just doing the CPAP or whatever it’s called now? Anyone have any success with this?

    • Anonymous :

      I guess what I’m wondering is if CPAP is the only option. If it is, then I need to think about whether I want to do that before going to the doctor. If it’s not, then I’ll go to the doctor and see what my options are.

      • Anonymous :

        You can’t get a CPAP machine without a prescription.

        • Anonymous :

          I see why my statement was confusing. What I meant was whether I was willing to get a CPAP. If that’s my only option and I don’t want to do it, then I will save myself the trouble.

          • Why are you opposed to a CPAP machine? My understanding is that it wouldn’t be prescribed unless there was a real health issue that needed treating.

          • Anonymous :

            Because they’re hideous unsexy and annoying and loud and cumbersome and not all snoring is caused by sleep apnea?

          • That’s why I said prescribed. No one says she should use it if it doesn’t address her issue. But if she needs it and decides not to get it, I assume there could be some significant medical risk?

          • Oh and I guess chemo is hideous and unsexy so if someone may need it they won’t go to the doctor and get diagnosed. So brilliant.

          • A little harsh tesyaa…. Shame is not usually an effective vehicle in these situations.

            Yes, I would chose sleep apnea + CPAP over cancer any day, but this is a different discussion. And fortunately, even those of us with chemo usually don’t take chemo every night for the rest of their lives.

            A huge percentage of people… probably the majority of people…. who have sleep apnea do not get treated. And while the majority of those with sleep apnea are men, they often dislike the mask/how it looks/what it represents just as much as women. That’s why adherence to treatment is quite poor.

            But if you don’t treat sleep apnea you have increased incidence of heart attack, stroke, dementia and lots of serious stuff.

      • KittieBiscuits :

        My DH snoes, and although he had to use the CPAP machine for a month to prove it wasn’t his first choice, his specific issue could be helped by a device that fits over his upper and lower teeth and holds his airway open. It mostly works, so that while there is still some snoring it is 30% of the level when he does not use it.
        If you’ve seen mouthguards for teeth grinding, it looks like two of those. He vastly prefers it over the CPAP, which dried out his airways and was generally not comfortable for him.

    • Anonymous :

      Talk to your doctor and get a sleep study. It could be for multiple reasons that are treatable without a cpap, like a deviated septum, weight-related apnea, adenoids, tonsils…

      • +1 I thought DH had sleep apnea because he snored like a freight train. We did not even make it to the sleep study because his adenoids were huge.

    • Anonymous :

      There are many causes of snoring. Only one of them is sleep apnea, which responds well to the mask/CPAP. But just because you snore doesn’t mean you have sleep apnea. CPAP is literally life changing for people who need it.

      Have you talked to your doctor about it?

      Do you feel rested after a night sleep? Do you fall asleep frequently during the day, if sitting quietly? If sleepiness is a daily thing, and your partner notices you stop breathing when you sleep (!) you need a referral for a sleep study.

      If you do not stop breathing when you sleep, and feel rested in the morning, you may have a structural reason for your snoring. See an ENT doctor, and they can take a look and give their recommendations. They can also refer you for a sleep study if they think it is appropriate. Sometimes there are mouth devices, small surgeries/procedures that can help with snoring too.

      Try those Breathe Rite snoring strips in the meanwhile….

      • Anonymous :

        I was going to suggest this – the nasal strips that open your airways. I got mine at Walgreens and use them some nights.

    • This depends on the type of snoring you do, but my husband’s snoring essentially stopped after he got a wedge pillow to sleep on.

    • BelleRose :

      CPAP is 100% not the only option, and CPAP is not to treat snoring. CPAP is to treat sleep apnea (when you stop breathing when you are asleep). Many people who snore have sleep apnea, but many don’t.

      Go see an ENT (ears/nose/throat doctor). They will ask you a bunch of questions and do an exam to figure out what the problem is: deviated septum, enlarged turbinates, your jaw falling back, tonsils…soooo many reasons for snoring. They might have you try some medications (like a nasal spray if the problem is in your nose), might want to talk about surgery, might want to do a sleep study…Go see a doctor. CPAP is 100% NOT your only option.

    • You don’t just “do” the CPAP. That’s a pretty serious medical device for people with a specifically diagnosed sleep disorder. I think you need to see a doctor or do some more research, because you’re pretty uniformed right now.

    • Betterandbetter :

      There are other options for treating obstructive sleep apnea if in fact that’s what’s causing your snoring. My friend’s husband uses a dental appliance (literally just a thing you stick in your mouth). So yeah, going to get that checked out may improve your quality of life without subjecting yourself to the indignities of a CPAP. Also CPAPS are getting less and less intrusive.
      That being said treating sleep apnea with a CPAP has been life altering for me. I didn’t even know how physically stressed out I was ALL of the time until I had restful sleep. I’m still an occasionally anxious and depressed person but it’s so much better. Also I lost 10 pounds without trying. True story. However OP if you are also the anon at 4:37 it sounds like your husband doesn’t get the benefit of your sexiness occasionally cause your snoring drives him out of the room. Quite aside from not wanting to keep my wife from getting a good nights sleep for her own health I’d do a great deal to be able to reliably cuddle in the night. If your friends are really the type to judge your because you need a medical treatment they are terrible friends. I would personally feel like a bad friend/spouse myself if there was something I could do to keep from disturbing everyone I sleep around. That’s in the near term. Long term, quite aside from increased happiness, I figure the decreased risk of heart disease or preventing the high blood pressure that may lead to a stroke and paralysis is worth the trouble. That’s just me though.

  16. Leaving Biglaw after six months back? :

    I recently went back to my biglaw firm after my clerkship and have been back for only six months. I also was at the firm for 6 months before I left for my clerkship, and was at another biglaw firm in a different city for 2.5 years before that. Since I’ve been back, I really dislike the huge teams that I’m on, and have been told that I lack civil lit experience. I regret returning to biglaw and am thinking about applying to litigation boutiques and in-house positions. Is it too early to start doing so now? When they ask me why I want to move, should I tell them that it’s because I want to get more substantive litigation experience and work on smaller cases? I’m expecting an uphill battle, but I’m also prepared to interview and apply to at least a dozen firms. I feel that my decision to go back to my firm was not very thought-out, and I need to be more proactive with my job search process going forward. Thoughts? Can anyone recommend a recruiter? Or is it better to as my existing contacts for referrals to smaller boutiques?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s too soon and that’s a bad reason.

      • Anonymous :

        Disagree on both counts.

      • Wow. Super helpful response.

        • Just because you don’t like to hear something doesn’t mean it’s not useful or true.

          • Uh- I’d say its not useful because it doesn’t expand on WHY you think it’s too soon or a bad reason…

          • I’m not OP- I don’t have in investment in what the advice given to her is. The response was stupid and unhelpful because it doesn’t contain any information or explain the reasoning behind it. It’s NOT useful. I can’t believe I have to explain this to an adult woman.

            Obviously she considered the possibility that it’s too soon and a bad reason, because that’s why she asked the question! You added literally nothing to this conversation.

    • My smaller law firm (think 25- 30 lawyers) recently hired someone with almost your exact experience and his reason was the same – he wanted more hands on work and litigation experience. My partners thought it was a very good reason. As a younger partner, I was honesty a bit hesitant as I was concerned that he did not have the experience that a busy, smaller firm needs (i.e. someone who can jump right in), but he proved me wrong. He started out on some smaller files and within a few months was running with stuff. So long story short, giving that as a reason makes sense to partners in smaller firms as they know people come there for more hands on experience.

    • I’d say the substantive experience reason — true, shows motivation — but not the small cases reason — could sound condescending. I don’t think it’s too soon — many of us not in biglaw think biglaw seems super unpleasant and would totally understand why anyone would want to leave as long as they seem really motivated to do the actual work we’re doing not just to escape biglaw.

    • I’m on the other side of this–about to start clerking and debating whether to go boutique or Biglaw when I get out. I’m not so worried about hours/lifestyle but I prefer having more hands-on control over my work and exposure to substantive tasks. Is that a clear sign to go boutique? Or is it possible not to feel like a cog in a machine in Biglaw if I’m careful about the firm I choose? FWIW I know the people well at the firms I’m choosing between and know that they are generally good folks/no jerks, so that’s not a real factor in my decision.

      • Leaving Biglaw after six months back? :

        I really regret not going to a boutique. I had a good experience at the biglaw firm prior to my clerkship, but since I’ve been back, I’ve ended up on a giant team of 20 (including partners and associates), which has been my worst nightmare. Now I won’t be able to get off this case at least until the end of this summer. I didn’t apply to any of the firms that had clerk receptions because they were mostly biglaw or midlaw, and I didn’t like the people from the few boutiques that did have clerks receptions (Susman; another one started by this SDNY judge; Molo). I had a co-clerk who was being really entrepreneurial. He basically spent all of his spare time during the clerkship cold emailing small boutique litigation firms that don’t have the money to host clerkship receptions, spent at least 100 hours getting coffee with the partners there, and on interviews. Now he’s at a really small new boutique where he is basically the only associate and being mentored to be the next partner. Obviously, it’s a different type of stress because he has to focus on bringing in his own business, but he is learning a lot more substantive and procedural civil litigation than I am.

        I think I’ll start emailing partners at boutique firms to ask them out for coffee as a starting point and see what they tell me first.

    • In my BigLaw experience, it was super common for folks to leave within 6 months-1 year after clerkship. I don’t think that’s strange or bad or anything. It’s your career and your life – do the best to make it what you want it to be.

  17. Hiking Shoes :

    Can any outdoorsy ‘rettes recommend a flexible, supportive hiking shoe? For reasons, simply going to a store and trying a million on isn’t possible, so I’ll have to order online and return.

    I’ve found that I simply don’t trust the soles on my current Columbia shoes. Rather than being rubbery and grippy, the soles are more like a hard plastic that doesn’t bend at all – the effect being that I slip on lots of surfaces – dry dirt with a decline, yup; wet mud, yup; dry rocks, yup; wet rocks…I just sit down and scoot. I’ve thought about just getting a trail running sneaker (I am not a mountain climber), but wasn’t sure if maybe any of you could recommend an actual hiking shoe that would perform better. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Hiking boots will not be flexible because to be supportive they need a more rigid sole, but they shouldn’t be so slippery. If you want a flexible sole you’ll probably need a trail runner or a hiking sneaker.

    • If you truly want flexible rather than a real hiking boot, try the Altra Lone Peak sneakers. They’re really popular for hiking and I find them quite comfortable.

      • I love running in my Lone Peaks! They have good lugs, are just grippy enough on rocks and such, ans provide good padding for long distances (I have run 50k/7 hours straight in mine with no issue). Order them from Runing Warehouse and you can return after you wear them if they bother you.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I love my Keens because they are grippy, supportive, and comfortable. I hate my Keens because they are so. ugly. But I’ll buy another pair when these wear out, so overall a win. I don’t slip in them – and I climb a lot of rock scrambles, so it’s important.

    • I’d order three – one from Keen, one from Merrell, and one from Salomon. They’re all good in different ways, it juts depends what fits you better and what your needs are. This is assuming you don’t want higher boot hiking shoes. My hiking boots are Lowa, but I like Keen and Merrell for the hiking support sole without the ankle.

      • I really like my merrells as well! often, they’re cheap on amazon.

        • Second the Merrells. I have their All Out Crush running shoe, but it really is a heavy duty hiking shoe (not a boot). They have a large toe box, which I like. Super comfortable from day 1.

          • Third the Merrells. I hike in the Moab 2 shoes all the time – they are not as bulky as traditional hiking boots but more support than sneakers.

      • Easy Impressive Dinner? :

        I also have Merrells that are like a cross between hiking boots and running shoes and I really like them! Not as Outdoorsy as hiking boots but still supportive and grippy. I wear them running around town occasionally as well.

    • Anonymous :

      I have and really like the Salomon X Ultra 2 Mid GTX. Looks like they’ve moved on to the 3 now, but it’s been a great shoe for me–both lighter and more flexible than other hiking boots I’ve had, while remaining supportive and with good traction–and I’d recommend trying it. I also see that Salomon makes the same shoe in different heights, so if you’re looking for more of a low-ankle hiking shoe than a high-ankle hikign boot, I’d give one of the lower options a try.

      • If you’re up for something in a trail running direction (more of a sneaker than a hiking boot) the salomon x mission s are THE BEST. I’m on my third pair- my sister in law and I both wear them all the time. They have a nice wide platform, they’re not heavy, and they have a really curvy/sculpted foot shape- works well for a wide toe box, high arch, narrow heel. I wear them for lighter hiking and trail running- I had a gore tex pair for more strenuous hiking too.

    • Anonymous :

      Could you be too light for your hiking boots, or wearing too much/ too inflexible of a shoe for you? In other words, if you’re not putting enough pressure on the soles across a wide enough area, there isn’t enough friction to keep you from slipping. I also prefer trail runners for hiking, or if you’re a clumsy person (like I am) who is terrified of slipping, consider a rock-climbing approach shoe with stickier rubber soles.

    • Anonymous :

      I like my Oboz. They’re grippy enough to splash through rocky streams but have a lot of ankle support for steep hills and more rugged terrain.

  18. late winter funk :

    I am in such a funk with this constant cold, grey weather (Chicagoan here). I swear it makes me want to eat and sleep more and just curl up with tea instead of being active. Any tips on getting through these last lingering weeks of winter?

    • Anonymous :

      Get outside at lunch and walk. Get some sunshine. It is still kind of lovely here in Chicago…. I kinda hate hot summer, so these moderate temps don’t get me down….. as long as I get me some SUN!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Same. Not in Chicago, but it’s still basically winter here. It’s so hard. I’ve started to wearing my spring clothes because f&ck it. Maybe I can turn it into spring through sheer force of will.

    • Also a Chicagoan :

      Saaame

      • +1. Looking out my window at the gray Chicago sky right now. Echoing the person below, I buy succulents and plants to remind me that Spring is on the way. I grow cherry tomatoes in pots on my deck, so I start the seedlings indoors now. That reminds me to open the blinds and curtains and let ALL THE SUN shine in to my place during the day, so when I walk in from work it feels happier.

        I also treat myself to a cute umbrella every year.

    • Anonymous :

      Bring spring to you and buy yourself flowers.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Our local florist does “flower happy hour” where at the end of the day, all the loose stems in their coolers are 50% off. Check around local shops to see if they run similar deals.

    • hello from Chicago (north side!) where i’m wearing my slippers and drinking tea. As soon as I finish this cup, I’m going to do a BBG workout on my roofdeck- even without the sunshine, I think fresh air and getting my blood pumping will do me some good.

    • Tanning. (I know, but I live in a place even worse than Chicago and sometimes in the winter you just need to do it.)

      Also, definitely getting outside in the middle of the day when it’s brightest.

    • Anonymous :

      In Indiana and in the same boat. Slippers and tea are great in January — not so much in (almost) April! Plus I’ve got a new baby that isn’t supposed to go to enclosed public spaces until she gets her 2 month vaccines, so I havent left the house in weeks and have a major case of cabin fever.

    • +1 Another Chicagoan! I get serious winter blues, so this year I tried to plan a preventative spring break in sunny Florida but . . . plans fell through for various reasons. I’ve been going for a run on my lunch break, buying Trader Joe’s flowers once a week, and watching my seedlings grow on my kitchen windowsill. I also open my windows a crack when the temp hits above 40. It’s energy wasteful, but I find I need to smell the fresh air to get me motivated to get outside to run.

    • It’s sunny in Minneapolis today (was gray, but warmer, yesterday), so maybe you’ll get some of it tomorrow?!?!

      At least its above freezing? The long slow climb into spring always takes forever.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’m in Chicago too, and I’m prone to SAD. I’m glad that the days are longer and it’s no longer bitter cold, but this final stretch of endless gray sucks. I switched out my wardrobe (I have a tiny closet) this weekend, and while I didn’t put out my summer stuff yet, I packed away my bulky sweaters and a lot of my dark-colored clothes for brighter colors and lighter fabrics (even if tops are still long sleeve) and I painted my nails a nice springy pink.

      Because I’m a nut, I also like to switch out a few small things in my home with the seasons, so I put out a gardenia scented candle and switched my throw pillow covers, throw blanket, hand towels in the bathroom, and kitchen towels for lighter spring colors. I put away our flannel bedding even though it’s still cold at night because I can’t stand it any more. I also made a delicious chicken soup with peas, lemon zest and fresh basil and am cooking ALL the asparagus. It helps, even if it’s not the same as sunshine!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I found that bright drinks — I’m partial to pineapple juice + sparkling water — let me pretend it’s summer.

    • I’m in Hotlanta and it’s crappy here too. Tornadoes, rain, gray sky, pollens. I need summer and sunshine so badly.

    • Also in Chicago. I’ve been going with tropical c-tails, a lot of upbeat music, and wearing more color in my wardrobe.

  19. Clueless at networking :

    Hi hive, can anyone recommend good books, articles, blog posts, etc. about basic networking skills? I’m a mid-level attorney seeking to make a lateral move to a new market where I (luckily) have a lot of contacts, and in starting to have conversations with them I’ve realized that I don’t really know how to “tap” my network to help find a new job (as opposed to building a network in the first place, which I think I’ve been decent at). I’ve only worked at one place since law school and got my job through on-campus interviews so I feel like I have no idea how to best go about this. I’m working with recruiters but also want to take advantage of knowing so many people there! What kinds of questions should I be asking, at what stage in the process should I be reaching out, how should my approach change based on whether it’s a contemporary of mine or someone more senior, etc.? Any advice appreciated.

    • Never Eat Alone (the book).

      • Totally separate from the original comment and, really, this book, but man, I love eating out alone! I do it all the time!

    • Just call the people you know & have coffee with them, tell them you’re interested in making a move & see what they say. I’d start with the people you’re closest to & go from there. I wouldn’t overthink it. Networking is just a fancy word for keeping up relationships. Some of them will be closer than others & I’ve always had the best success with the people I’m closest to. I’d also suggest just doing this on a regular basis – it’s easier to ask for something when you’re in regular contact with people rather than just when you need them.

    • Anonymous :

      The book The 20-Minute Networking Meeting by Marcia Ballinger is a good resource for this, and frequently recommended bu career coaches.

  20. Anonymous :

    A job I’m looking at asks that materials (such as resume) be sent to the company email. Is it ok to just write a sentence or two, saying that the files have been attached? I want to make a good impression but am used to submitting these materials to a system.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, you should absolutely write something in the body of the email to which your resume/cover letter are attached.

      1. What job/job type you are applying for
      2. Itemize which documents you are attaching
      3. name/contact information.

      • joan wilder :

        In addition to the above make some basic information available in the email header. Jane Smith -application XYZ job. Make it as easy as possible for them to receive, correctly file, and review your application. [Don’t be one of the 25 emails with a header that says either ‘My Application’ or has no header at all.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Your plan sounds perfectly appropriate.

    • I usually do something like this:

      “Good morning,

      I am writing to apply for the Whatever Position. My resume and cover letter are attached.

      Best,
      Anon”

  21. Reposting from couple of days ago because I posted too late.. (PST here).

    Any recommendation for a cosmetic dermatologist/aesthetician in San Diego? I am looking to consult for laser epilation of facial hair and may be general aging facial care. Thanks!

    • For laser epilation, be careful if you have Mediterranean heritage. For those folks, it can make hair grow in darker / fuller.

  22. Thank you to whomever recommended Equipment silk shirts a few weeks ago. They are AWESOME – perfect cut for suits or even casual, not see through, tons of colors and a standard cut so I know what I’m getting. Also, in case anyone else is wondering, their Large size totally fits my size 12 frame.

  23. BelleRose :

    How do you ladies fight the munchies? Most of the time at work, I just eat lunch/dinner, but the past few days, I have constantly wanted to eat everything in sight (and NOT because I’m actually *hungry*). I’ve tried gum, drinking water/tea/coffee…What helps you?

    • Is it hormone related? Try adding a little more fat and protein to lunch and see if that helps. Or, let yourself eat a somewhat healthy snack that comes in multiple pieces (popcorn, veggies, whatever) for the next day or two and letting it go. I’ve worked pretty hard to eliminate snacks from my diet, but some days, I need a little extra boost. If I’m pretty happy with my meal distribution the other 90% of the time, I’m not going to sweat over a snack on occasion.

      • BelleRose :

        I had thought it might be hormone-related, but I don’t normally have a period because of my IUD, so I thought it must be something else. Sorry if TMI, but guess who found spotting like 30 min after posting this (*facepalm*).

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I’ve stopped keeping any interesting snacks at work. I have unsalted raw almonds (which are only appealing when I’m actually hungry) and a bag of cut-up veggies if I need it, and that’s it (oh, and tea and La Croix). I’m mercifully far from the break room and any candy dishes. Otherwise I’ll eat every snack in sight.

  24. Moonstone :

    Does anyone want to weigh in on the new A Wrinkle in Time movie? I saw it and thought it was beautiful, but man the reviews have been brutal. (I’m not even talking about the concerted effort of white dudes to drag down the IMDB score.) One reviewer said something about how the only audience for this movie was Lisa Simpson, and I was kind of like “… why is that not good?” So I am curious what others here think.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      No idea since I haven’t seen the movie (although I loved the book as a child), but anybody who doesn’t see Lisa Simpson as Goals can GTFO with their nonsense.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t really want to see the movie because I love the book so much and movies almost never match the vision I have in my head of the book. If the only audience for the movie is Lisa Simpson, and Lisa Simpson is inevitably going to be disappointed because no movie can ever measure up to the book, then nobody is going to like it.

    • Anonymous :

      I saw it and liked it. Was it the best film ever – no – but it was beautiful and hopeful and the opposite of cynical. I could be painting with too broad a brush, but if I were a middle aged dude (the most common demographic for reviewers) I may not have liked is as much. But as it was, I luxuriated in the visuals and was pleasantly satisfied by the rest.

    • I was super disappointed by everything other than the casting for Meg (which I really really loved, she was great). They cut things that I felt were the heart and soul of the book, the dialogue was clunky, and overall I kind of wish I’d gone with Anon @5:49pm – no movie can measure up to the book.

      • +1

      • I actually thought the kids were horrible actors so the adults kept trying to overcompensate for them (saying this as someone who works in feature films). The movie was a bit disjointed – left more than one plot hole (I either never read it as a child or don’t remember anything about it), and had weak visual effects at times. That all being said I thought as a whole it was FINE. good for families/kids, and definitely not deserving of the hate being directed at it. but certainly it was not a great film.

    • Linda from HR :

      I enjoyed it just fine. I read the book so long ago I couldn’t really compare the two, and out of the movies I’ve seen recently it ranks kinda low but I don’t regret it. It was beautiful and uplifting, and that’s pretty great.

    • Moonstone :

      Thanks for the responses. I was having a hard time parsing what feels like legitimate criticism from an attitude of why-make-movies-for-middle-school-girls.

  25. Can I get some advice please?

    I was contacted about a job last year which was two steps up and in a new industry for me. I got to the final interview but then got sick and since the interview was time dependent, I had to withdraw. It’s bugged me ever since.

    Suddenly another job has come up in the same place. This time it’s just one step up and is suited to me well.

    I just can’t get my head around going for a job one step down from the previous application. Is this just my ego getting in the way or would it be humiliating?

    • Anonymous :

      If it’s a new industry that would be hard to get into, then maybe swallow it and apply. If the industry doesn’t matter, then wait for a better role to come up.

    • Two steps up is pretty tough – even if you’d stayed in the process, it was probably a long shot anyway. If you were interested then, why not go for the one step up – it’s more realistic anyway & then you’re in the company & positioned to keep going up there once you start. I wouldn’t view the fact that you were contacted for two levels up as the marker of that’s where you should be shooting – recruiters mess that up and go for out of the box candidates all the time.

    • Anonymous :

      There’s nothing inherently humiliating about applying for a job, any job. Even if it’s at the same level or LOWER than the one you currently have.

    • I once turned down a job offer because i didn’t get the #1 position I was going for and they offered me the #2 slot, reporting to the person who got the job I wanted.

      I probably should have taken it. The person who took the top job didn’t last long. When I turned down the #2 slot I referred them to a friend I thought would be a fit, and she took it. When #1 left, she got promoted to #1.

      Is it a company you really want to work for? Is the one step up position something you really want to do? Then go for it.

    • “This time it’s just one step up”

      It’s still a step up…

  26. Veronica Mars :

    A non-problem for the weekend: my fiancé’s mother made many dishes for him growing up that had a canned base of cream of chicken or cream of mushroom soup. When I cook similar recipes, I almost always use a homemade version with butter, milk, etc. However, I notice that he doesn’t think it tastes “right” unless I used the canned version (he prefers my canned-base pot pie to my scratch base pot pie). What would you do? Continue to use the canned version? Up the fat content on my homemade version (not be as stingy with the butter, use higher % fat milks)? Go cold turkey on the canned? (Although it is nice in a pinch!)

    • Anonymous :

      Is telling him to make it himdamnself an option? Is this something you like to do? If no, see my first question. If yes, and if your preference is to not use cans, I would tell him this is your twist on his mom’s recipe so that you can make it your own.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Oh no, he’s super polite and a really good eater. I have to really press it out of him, but I want to make things that we both enjoy. The most reliable way I can tell if he actually likes something is the number of helpings he has (one helping–OK, he doesn’t like it, two, it’s good, three, he loves it).

      • He’ll eventually get used to it tasting different and will likely prefer it with time.

    • Don’t be stingy with butter in recipes that have a cream base. The texture will be completely off.

    • Flats Only :

      If you really want to stick with home made, up the fat content (just throw in an extra pat of butter) and use more salt. Or just figure that for those type of dishes you’re just going to use a can. Since you’re probably not having a casserole every night, the many other things you make will balance out any negatives from the canned soup.

      • Veronica Mars :

        That’s a good point. I don’t mind them in some dishes, especially if I’m going for a soup and am making it really quickly (I’ve talked about the copycat olive garden chicken gnocchi soup on here before and if I’m doing it in a half hour, I almost always add a cream of onion to deepen the flavor).

    • Anonymous :

      Are you making it for you? Do it your way. Are you making it for him – and by that I mean, at his request – then make it the way he’s used to. I grew up with many canned casseroles (green bean casserole FTW!) and it does not taste “right” to me without canned soup (and brand name canned soup at that) in it. Not that it’s bad, it’s just not “home.”

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – the point of the dish is as much the nostalgia as the food itself. Some foods you want because they are comfortable, but they are only comfortable if they taste “right”.

        And yes to not being stingy on the butter…

        • Veronica Mars :

          This totally makes sense to me. Like sometimes I just want Kraft mac and cheese even though I KNOW my homemade version is so much cheesier.

    • Anonymous :

      I made a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving with real mushrooms, cream cheese, etc. and I thought it was amazing but it got lukewarm response. As do my homemade desserts because my plebe family likes Mrs. Smith’s. But don’t compete with his mom. Develop your own special, different recipes but I guess give in and use the canned on the mom’s stuff.

      • Veronica Mars :

        That’s a really good point– I probably won’t try to beat mom for pot pies but will do my own thing for other dishes. She’s really nice though and shared exactly which flavors to use for her famous pie (cream of chicken with herbs, go figure).

    • Shoe Ruiner :

      Is there a reason you do not want to make the canned version? Maybe it’s more fun to cook from scratch, or you want the recipe to be healthier?
      If there is not a clear reason, I say just keep using the cans. I don’t think there is any shame in cooking shortcuts, especially when they taste good.
      (But I am also saying this from a grew-up-on-canned-soup-casserole-perspective.)

      • Veronica Mars :

        Well it’s been an accomplishment for me to learn how to cook, and I like celebrating by making things the way I now know how, if that makes sense. Also I worry about the sodium content in the canned versions since they can be pretty salt-heavy.

        • Housecounsel :

          This is hilarious because I can relate. I made a fancy (as fancy as tuna casserole can be) tuna casserole with a from-scratch cream sauce. My efforts were NOT appreciated by my husband.

        • I’d just use the canned versions, just as he likes it.

          Unless your husband has really brittle hypertension that is poorly controlled, or congestive heart failure, you can make his favorite Mom recipes just the way he likes them.

          We worry a bit too much about salt, if you don’t have salt sensitive medical problems.

          • Veronica Mars :

            Oh, you’ve really touched on something here. I used to do a lot of cooking for my grandma who had to be on a low-sodium diet when I lived in my home state (I’d bring her dishes she could easily freeze and reheat), so I got used to under salting. (I mean, I’d always reason that anyone else visiting her could just add more to their dish). Maybe I am under salting now that it’s not an issue.

          • Makes sense.

            FYI – when you are used to full salt, and you eat undersalted food, it really tastes…… bland. Not good. Even, unpleasant.

            You may actually be used to a lower salt taste, which is fine. But if you are making his childhood favorites, then you really need to step up the game. With the rest of your cooking, salt as you think is best.

            I believe you that your homemade versions taste better. I would love to have your chicken pot pie!!

      • +1, just use the cans. There are low sodium versions of most canned soups if you’re worried about that.

    • Gross. I’m sorry – man child can’t make his own casserole the way mom used to? You fall short of mommy? It’s your job to cook for him like mommy used to?

      Be careful how you’re setting expectations here.

      • Anonymama :

        I think you’re extrapolating a lot… there are definitely certain dishes from my childhood that I prefer a certain way, even if it’s not as technically “good” as the alternative version. And no where does OP say he is complaining about it. I mean, trying to do something kind for your spouse should be an expected part of a relationship, not something gross. Like, if it was a man building a chair or something and debating on doing something the more aesthetically pleasing way or building the chair in a way that his wife is more comfortable sitting in, maybe you would think it less gross? But I’m sure you are coming into this with your own tough experiences, I wish you healthier relationships in the future!

        • I’m even more put off by your very gendered example.

          To OP, I sincerely hope that your fiancé is also cooking you your favorite dishes, the way your mom OR DAD cooked them when you were little

          So many young women on here in relationships asking these mothering type questions – what should my husband wear? What kind of doctor should I take my fiancé to see? Don’t establish your relationship in a way where you are the mom. For most of you, there will come a time when you are an actual mom, and you will feel completely overwhelmed trying to mother your children and your husband at the same time. It happens all the time. This place is supposed to be for high achieving women – we should all be talking about being in egalitarian relationships, because, after all, that is the only way married women are going to be able to get to the c-suite.

          • Veronica Mars :

            This is a good point, and I think there was much more extrapolation in my post than was warranted, but that’s the slant of this site–it seems anything that even hints of (sexism? patriarchy? what would be the right word) can raise the heckles of ‘rettes readers/commenters. In this case, it’s just a casserole and I’m happy with the division of labor (including emotional) in my relationship.

          • There’s a difference between trying to mother a person and being a loving, supportive partner who wants to do nice things for the person she is partnered with. I’ve been on this s*te a long time and have figured out by now that the people who give the most vehemently strident relationship advice are the same ones who moan and groan about how they are terminally single. Gee, I wonder if there’s a connection there? And also, if you have no idea what being in a long-term partnership is really like – because you’ve never been in one? Maybe keep your opinions to yourself. Having a cat is not the same as being married to another human being for 20 years, despite what some people here would like to think.

          • Haha nice try. Nope, I’m trying to give realistic advice. I’m a 50+ year old c-suite woman in a 20 year marriage with teenagers. I do not mother my husband. I’ve learned a lot along the way and I try to share what I’ve learned.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Anon – I’d also offer that some women truly enjoy the more traditionally gendered tasks. I’m not one of them. I hate cooking. But, my best friend LOVES it. Her husband eats like a king. To an outside viewer it might appear that he is “mommy’d.” She does the shopping (because she knows what she needs for the dish) and she literally puts on an apron when she gets home from work and makes it. But she LOVES it. I don’t judge her for cooking her husband dinner even if it was an expectation of a 1950’s housewife. Now that they have a child, he parents the child while she cooks, then he does the dishes and then he parents the child again while she gets some alone time. They have a nice split of tasks despite the fact that she’s the family cook.

    • Anonymous :

      I really like a few things made with canned soup. I don’t cook, my husband does all the cooking. He can make a lot of these dishes from scratch, but he uses the Campbell’s soup because he knows I like it and he loves me.

      Just to neutralize the gender conversation.

      • Thank goodness! Was starting to think everyone was a 50s housewife!

        Honestly, casserole recipes using canned soup was not what I expected to read about on this s1te.

    • If you are making these things with low fat ingredients – which is what it sounds like based on your butter and low fat milk comments – make it with full fat items. See how that goes. But it’s entirely possible he likes the canned version because of the processed flavor in it. There is a reason people like those things and it can take a while to readjust your palate.

    • Pacific Foods makes Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soups that aren’t as full of junk as the Campbell’s versions. That’s what I use to re-create my mom’s old recipes that used Campbell’s cream-of soups. The taste isn’t exactly the same because there’s way less salt, but it works. Our Target usually has these.

    • CookingIsMyThing :

      A few things you can do to keep it homemade but bring in some of the nostalgia flavor of canned food. (1) use full fat products – heavy cream, butter, whole milk. Don’t be stingy; mouthfeel is an important part of taste. (2) Increase the umami flavor. The canned cream soup contains both monosodium glutamate (MSG) and yeast extract, which gives it a distinctive “meaty” flavor. There’s no evidence that MSG is bad for you, and you can replicate the canned flavor by using MSG, which can be found on Amazon. If MSG isn’t your thing, there are other ingredients that will increase the umami: soy sauce, marmite, anchovies are all contain that same umami flavor. Finally, (3) increase the salt content. The canned soups are high in sodium, and salt affects taste dramatically.

      Obviously, these tips change the nutrition of the dish: more fat makes the dish richer and higher in calories. Serve this in smaller portions or less frequently.

  27. If you wanted a cheap cardigan, would you go with BR Factory or J Crew Factory? I’m petite, if that makes a difference.

    • I’ve had good luck with the quality at BR Factory. I have several cardis from them and they hold up really well. They also have lots of petite options at my local store.

    • I am petite and cardigans from both places fit me pretty well. I have found that BR Factory cardigans are slightly better quality.

    • No opinion on these, but for cheap cardigans since I wear them out so quickly, I buy from New York & Co., if you feel like branching out.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I buy my cheapo cardigans at Kohls. The Croft & Barrow line, which is otherwise fairly frumpy, has cotton/nylon blend cardigans. Not the most luxurious fabric, but they really hold up.

        • Housecounsel :

          Halogen at Nordstrom Rack has cardigans in the $35 range. I like these. They’re pretty thin, which I like for dressing up, and hang nicely.

  28. The canned soup tastes better because the salt content is so high compared to homemade. Either use the canned version or up the salt in your homemade version (although I suspect your hubs still won’t like it better than the canned version)!

  29. Greek brunch :

    My friend is hosting Easter Sunday brunch, and she’s doing it Greek-style – spanakopita, dolmas, etc. I’m supposed to bring something, and I’m just not sure what to bring that would compliment that type of food well. I cook a lot, so I’m open to suggestions, but I just don’t have any ideas.

  30. Hills to die on :

    I’m 8 months pregnant and working 20-30
    Hours a week with 2 other kids home (not while I’m working- they’re in preschool/PT daycare), but I’m absolutely the default parent- husband works about 50-60 hours/week. I do wake up, school, after school, deal with school/camp/drs appts, dinner prep, activity schlepping, lunch prep, etc. we have a cleaning service come every other week to deep clean, but i do laundry etc. that’s been our arrangement- I work less (and earn less, though our earning power at FT is equivalent), and do more around the house.

    But. I’ve recently been driven absolutely crazy by my husband’s inability to be useful to himself or others. I know I’m pregnant so coming here for a “this is not a hill to die on” gut check, or perhaps some thoughts on how to effectively talk to DH.

    DH ran out of pants earlier this week. He’s gained some weight so some of his older clothes don’t fit, and has apparently been wearing the same pair of jeans to work (he’s senior mgmt in a very casual office) for months. They ripped in the leg when he went to put them on Monday and he flipped out in a grumpy “i have nothing to wear” fit. Dude, you’re 36. I don’t pay attention to your clothes. Go buy yourself some damn jeans. Did he buy jeans? No, he taped them together on the inside and wore them to work. Did he stop at the mall that is *on his way home*, order some overnight shipped or even ask me to help? No. Same problem Tuesday AM.

    I went to Nordstrom and bought like 10 pair of jeans for him to try on Tuesday night because I refused to listen to another day of this.

    So this AM, I walked in and watched him put socks on our of the dirty laundry. “Dude, gross.” “They don’t smell dirty.” “They are dirty, you’ve worn them already.” “Well I don’t have any others.” “The laundry is all done, what do you mean you literally do not have any other socks?” Apparently he is out of the type of socks he finds acceptable to wear with the shoes he was planning to wear. Has he ordered more? No. Has he mentioned he needs more socks? No. Did he wear different shoes so he could wear clean socks? No, he did not. WTF.

    And as I brooded about this, I realized I am the one that schedules his dentist appts, schedules time in our weekend and reminds him to get an haircut (he’ll occasionally say “I need a haircut” but then by Sunday night he hasn’t gotten one…so I do things like say “take Kid 1 and go get your haircut while kid 2 and I go to the grocery store now.” I often catch him going out the door and ask him if he knows that he’s unshaven (his facial hair grows really fast and he needs to shave daily to stay clean shaven). “Yeah, i know.”

    So…this hasn’t always been our dynamic. And he used to care far, far more about how he looks. I frankly don’t care what he wears, but he used to (esp when he worked for a less informal company) look what I’d call “presentable” at work (clean clothes, shaven or intentionally groomed and bearded, hair kept at the length he intended it to be). He’s senior management, so to me, he’s schlubby. Not that he can’t wear a t-short and jeans, but he can’t wear a ripped and wrinkled faded t shirt and ripped jeans with yesterday’s socks.

    A. Do I say literally nothing. I am not his mother, he is a grown man. He can wear what he likes and shave or not shave and cut hair or not.

    B. Do I try and be helpful in a distant way: for example, just schedule into our life a haircut every 6 weeks so it’s part of the family routine, put socks on Amazon subscribe and save, etc. this feels like something he can do himself- he does work long days but he has time to handle this stuff.

    C. Do we have it out over this, and i insist he take over select household duties in addition to just managing his ish.

    I know I work less and am the default household manager both by skill set and free time, but somehow this particular stuff- 100% all DH’s stuff to manage not the family unit’s- is making me crazy. He was b!tching that there “wasn’t any cereal for breakfast” (not to me specifically just grumbling around) and I got confused because we have 7 boxes of cereal. Apparently none are the kind he likes/prefers/wanted. Dude, we’ve been married a decade. We have a grocery list. If you don’t like what we have, put something on the list. I am not a mind reader! Also, I’ve seen you eat *all* these 7 cereals in the past so shove it.

    • Anonymous :

      Pants. Why?!? No. Don’t mommy him. Don’t buy him a selection of pants. If he whines tell him to quit and walk out of the room. That’s on you. You must stop.

      Socks. Again. Why are you making this your problem? True confession sometimes I do that and literally no one dies it is fine.

      Cereal. “Stop whining. You are not a child and I am not your maid. If you want something different you’re welcome to add it to the grocery list.”

      If you don’t want to be his mom stop momming it and stop putting up with it.

      • Anonymous :

        +1,000

        He has no incentive to change, you are doing everything for him. Stop it.

      • Someone (maybe Terry Pratchett) said that when a woman gets a “mother” pin, everyone else in the world gets a “child” pin.

        Stop mommying him. Stop scheduling in his haircuts, laundry, and cereal preferences like you do for the kids. You two should probably be communicating about what needs to be done (bills to be paid, cars in for oil changes, when the school plays are, etc.), and ask him then if there are other things he needs done. But you can’t magically make socks and jeans and food appear, and then expect him to act like an adult.

    • Option A. He is an adult. He can make his own appointments, buy his own clothes and cereal. (Yes, he can squeeze in trips to the store even while working 60 hours/week.) You are doing things for him that he can do himself. And if he goes to work with ripped jeans, you have to take a deep breath and let it go.

    • Anonymous :

      I”m going to go with a combo of … relax, not a hill to die on, have a conversation, and you don’t have to do any of this for him.

      I’d just have a simple conversation — do NOT “have it out,” do not dump frustration on him, do not bite his head off. Just say, “hey… just want you to know that the haircuts, clothes shopping, etc. are on you, unless you specifically ask me to help you in some way. Luv ya.” And then let it go.

      Or, if you can summon some compassion and curiosity, “hey… you used to care about this stuff. What’s happened? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Exhausted?”

    • Anonymous :

      Option D – have a heart to heart about how concerned you are for him because he is suffering from depression.

      I’ve known many man children and I’m here for women who won’t tolerate that nonsense. But you say he hasn’t always been like this. He used to dress presentably but now he’s gained enough weight that he doesn’t fit into his clothes, he’s literally taping together rags to wear to work for days in a row, wearing dirty clothes to work, and not shaving. Is he brushing his teeth, bathing, and using deodorant regularly? My guess is he’s probably slipping in these areas too. And that’s just scratching the surface; you don’t know what’s going on inside his head that leads him to believe this is any kind of acceptable.

      This isn’t a manchild issue, this is a mental health issue. He needs professional help. I’m really sorry to tell you – I think you’re going to have to continue with the lion’s share of the work and emotional labor until he’s healthy again.

      • Anonymous :

        Fully agree with this advice. These are symptoms of the problem, and I think OP needs to insist he look into tackling the problem itself (ie, making good mental health choices, possibly seeing a therapist, etc). First because she loves him, but also because it’s going to eat into her respect for and attraction to him.

      • +1. He sounds depressed.

        Had similar issues with my DH during what we now both clearly understand was a huge depression pit for him. At the time, he would just grumble in response to all reasonable questions and requests and spent all his free time on video games or some other detachment activity. I don’t think you should do what I did (which was take him at his word that he hated his job, sell our house, and move across the country putting him into a get a new job or this-is-the-end-of-everything position which finally snapped him out of his depression) but you should definitely address the depression.

      • Anonymous :

        +2 – he sounds depressed. I’d try to get to the root of the issue and there’s nothing wrong with helping him in the meantime. I’d kindly give him a push to deal with his mental health, and also if you buy him jeans right now, you buy him jeans. I eyeroll hard at the “don’t mommy” chorus.

    • I hear you…I feel all the feelings with you.

      I would selectively do A, B, C – whatever is easiest. Easier to say nothing about his hair? Say nothing. Easier to help in a distant way? Sure, put the socks on subscribe and save. Easiest to have it out about some subset? Go for it.

      I have started just announcing my limits as an alternative to having it out. No one has to do anything about it; I just make it clear that problem X is something I’m not going to solve. E.g. you don’t have to shave, but I don’t like to kiss you when you’re scruffy because it hurts my face. You can solve the “I want to be kissed” problem or the “I don’t want to shave” problem – your choice.

    • Anonymous :

      Longer post in moderation but… dude he’s depressed he needs mental health care ASAP.

    • So two thoughts: 1) it sounds like you have the same responsibility for him at home as your other kids in terms of what you do and what he manages on his own and I would find that super frustrating if I were you. The fact that he works roughly twice your hours wouldn’t make a difference to me. I’m on maternity leave right now and I still expect mr. AIMS to pull his weight even while I’m home, at least within reason.
      2) is it possible he’s a bit depressed? These issues all remind me of times I was unhappy – he gained weight, his clothes don’t fit, maybe he thinks he will lose weight so he doesn’t want to buy new clothes or acknowledge that this is the new norm by doing so, the cereal thing seems connected, too (is it healthy? Unhealthy? I get mad when thing I like but don’t feel good about buying are gone)….
      anyway, I think whatever the underlying cause is, you have fallen into some unhealthy patterns. I would talk to him. Not have it out, not make this a hill to die on, but just try to figure out where this is stemming from. You’re going to have another kid soon and you’ll have to navigate all that so maybe frame it in that context. Tell him your systems seem to be failing and you’d like to figure out new ones in place. Good luck! You have a lot on your plate right now but it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation.

      • Hills to die on :

        I definitely recognize I’ve slowly stepped in where it’s totally not my job. And need to figure out how to back out before I drive myself crazy.

        Re: depression, the thought crossed my mind given the list of behaviors I listed, but this is just a slice of our lives. He’s fully engaged elsewhere- I think he’s stressed at work, we have a lot going on at home, and I think he’s turned into a middle aged man that DNGAF about things like pants relative to the rest of the stuff on his list.

        • You’ve got to just let him wear the ratty pants and the dirty socks and buy his own damned cereal. Ignore the whining too.

          You have actual children to care for.

          If you keep doing this stuff for him, then nothing will change and you know it.

          We ALL, collectively, give you permission to just stop.

        • Anon in NYC :

          It sounds like your husband is just being whiny about stuff. Personally, I’d make him deal with it.

          “Oh, only these types of socks are acceptable? Why don’t you add them to the Amazon cart and we’ll throw out your other socks”

          “Oh, we don’t have the cereal you want? Add it to the grocery list”

          “Oh, you have no pants to wear? Well, I guess you’re going to have to buy some more”

          • I agree. I think the Op wants him to solve these problems himself, so what better way to nudge this than saying, “well, why don’t you buy a new pair of pants?” or by asking what he plans to do about it.

        • I think there’s a difference between clinical depression and maybe being a bit blue over some aspect of your life. You say he’s turned into a middle aged man, and maybe that’s true but maybe he’s a bit down about it, too, and jus doesn’t know how to deal? I know the standard line of reasoning around here is ‘he’s a grown man let him sort this sh*t out and buy his own clothes’ but so many threads around here also revolve around ‘help me figure out how to dress myself now that I’m older and maybe have kids and gained a bit of weight and my body doesn’t feel like itself’ and I’m sympathetic to the fact that many poeple – men especially – lack both the space and maybe even the language to deal with this kind of thing. Like his dude friends aren’t going to sit around talking about their new ‘dad uniform’ and it might be something that nonetheless bothers him?

      • Hugs to you. You have a lot to deal with being pregnant with this guy’s baby. But I think you can deal with it as follows:

        I agree with the OPs that this guy (who you been married to) needs to step up. You are about to have another of his babies and he is mortified that he doesn’t have clean socks? Who is goieng to change the baby’s diaper, or scoop up the poop? Certainly you want him to have a hand in this as he was the one who helped to get you pregnant.

        As for shoppeing for cereal, tell the schlub to take the list to the grocery, as by now your baby bump looks like Mt. Vesuvius! He can get what he wants, and you do NOT have to baby this schlub. My ex was like this. He ate everything in sight, then complained I had nothing for him to eat! FOOEY!

        As far as wearing dirty jeans that are ripped and dirty socks, I am sure someone would notice if he smelled. If he wants to wear clothes over and over again, he can be like my ex. I just dumped him, but that is NOT something you will be abel to do. FOOEY on men who smell and then blame us for not cleaneing their clotheing!

        Once you have your baby, your hormones will go back down, and you can deal better with hubby as just another overgrown child. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Frozen Peach :

      Gentle suggestion, because I identify with a ton of these frustrations and have really been able to get over them.

      Check out some resources, books, podcasts, etc around codependency. I’m a firm believer that the American definition of a “good mother/wife/daughter” is an extremely codependent individual. I have encountered waves of having to beat it back when I got married, moved closer to my aging parents, and had kids.

      I highly recommend Melody Beattie. I don’t think you are in trouble with this– you seem extremely self aware. But the framework and tools associated with those resources are gonna help you check it before it wrecks you. Hugs.

      • I 100% buy your thesis that the American definition of good [being a woman] is extremely codependent. But could you expand? I want to hear more! It may be relevant to my life …

    • Anonymous :

      This is my husband exactly. Down to the pants issue. I also work 40+ hours so I ordered him 5 pairs of Costco jeans that I know fit him. I did know when this happened that he was depressed, but I was also overwhelmed. Some days he does still wear yesterday’s jeans and it makes me crazy.

    • Miz Swizz :

      What is your ideal outcome? Do you want him to assume responsibility for his stuff? Do you want to help him but stop the b!tching? My husband and I have a similar dynamic so I understand where you’re coming from but I also know that I don’t always want the same result. At any rate, I think option D, a heart to heart about you not being a mind reader is the best solution.

      • Hills to die on :

        Ideally I would like him to adult himself, and it’s fine if I’m part of the solutions (“hey it looks like I’m low on socks, can you get more of (this kind)”/ “can you pick up some X cereal next time you’re at the store?”).

        First and foremost I want the b!tching to stop, which is why I ended up ordering the damn pants. But yes, I could just do nothing.

        • Anonymous :

          Repeat after me:

          “Not my circus, not my monkeys.”

          Seriously. You are doing enough to manage the household. Your adult husband’s preferred sock style is not on the list of things that ever need to be your job. Personally, in your shoes, I would ignore the complaints entirely, or, at most, offer one one-sentence response before ignoring (like, with the cereal, I might suggest, once, that if he wants a particular thing he needs to add it to the grocery list, but would otherwise not respond).

  31. Anonymous :

    What do you typically bring with you to an internal interview when the interviewers are people you work very closely with? Resumes? Samples of your work? Do you always bring a notebook, and if so, do you actually take notes? I am curious what other people actually do in their interviews. I got my current job with only a phone interview, so I kind of missed the boat on learning these things.

    • the yellow one is the sun :

      Always, always have a notepad and pen in an interview or any meeting with anyone higher up than you. Take notes if they’re warranted – keep track of a question you think to ask, details you want to remember for a thank you note if it’s an interview – but I think it’s ok if you don’t end up actually taking notes. It’s about being prepared, to me, and I always notice.

    • I think it’s extremely strange to not take a notebook to any interview

    • Yes, take a notebook, copies or your resume, and samples of your work — whatever you’d take to any interview. You can keep all of these in a portfolio, and they may not be asked for, but you certainly want to have them with you.

    • I’m a hiring manager. When I’m interviewing internal staff for positions, I expect them to bring the same things external candidates would bring. So yes to an updated resume, work samples if common in your industry, and maybe a cover letter highlighting what they have to contribute. A notebook is fine either way – some people bring them to interviews and jot a few notes, some do not, and I’m agnostic as long as taking notes doesn’t interfere with the interview.

      Good luck!

      • +1. And be sure to have a few questions to ask the interviewer.

      • Anonymous :

        I guess my next question is (because I keep hearing mixed things), do you expect the candidate to pass out these materials to the hiring managers? And if so, at what point? FWIW, I bring a notebook everywhere, but I think I would find taking notes to be distracting and that I would actually miss something the interviewers said, so happy to hear this is not really a deal breaker.

        • Since you’re internal, you have the option of emailing the documents to the hiring manager(s) ahead of the interview. I would suggest also having printed copies ready to distribute at the start of the interview.

          I just interviewed an external candidate today. I had printed out his resume, but he had an updated one to share. He handled it perfectly, noting that the one I had was outdated and giving me a clean copy at the start of our discussion.

  32. factory tour wardrobe help :

    Any engineer ‘rettes have advice on what to wear for a factory tour? I’m an attorney, so my usual dress/skirt and heels will not be appropriate. I’m especially curious about footwear. The facility is several buildings and we’ll likely be walking outside too. I’d really appreciate any advice.

    • Not an engineer R e t t e, but when I visited factories in my last job, I wore sneakers and then used the steel toe shoe covers the factory provided for guests. Be prepared to wear safety googles and possibly a hard hat as well.

      Jeans were fine in these factories, but you’ll also be fine with something similar to khakis or chinos.

      Honestly, I would ask your contact at the factory. They will know what’s best for their facility!

    • Anonymous :

      Pants, socks, closed toe and flat soled shoes. No dangly earrings or loose/flow-y clothes (aka, things that could get caught on other things).

      • +1, also if you have long hair, it’s a good idea to bring a hair tie to pull back your hair or stuff it under a hard hat (if they ask you to).

        For footwear, depends on formality, but flat riding boots (or similar) or solid-color sneakers would be alright. Women’s loafers might be alright too, but you should probably ask the contact to be sure.

        • Anonymous :

          Footwear can vary according to site. I’ve been places where sneakers were banned and boots had to have heels.

          • What do you do on a factory tour, and why do you go? Genuinely curious.

    • Housecounsel :

      I remember my first steel mill tour (attorney investigating some awful incident). I wore a black pantsuit and flats and came out completely covered in gray powder. I remember an uncomfortable 2-hour drive home because I didn’t want to stop in even a fast-food bathroom looking like a zombie. I’d call client and ask, and if you are told that jeans and boots are OK, wear them!

    • Ask. Some you can jut walk around in anything, others you need to wear hard hats and boots, sometimes you need steel toe boots, sometimes there are other requirements. Not all factories are dirty, but some are. A steel mill would be very different from a factory assembling cell phones, for example.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear work appropriate pants and closed toed shoes.

    • Closed toed shoes, pants, or skirts you can climb a ladder in, something to pull your hair back with, if it’s long enough. If food processing, a pullover or top with snaps is preferable to buttons, but not essential. Also if food processing, no nail polish or fake nails.

  33. Anybody else working today? Sigh ….

    After hearing them recommended here a few times, I bought some of the Wit and Wisdom absolution jeans. I seem to be between sizes – can anyone who already owns them comment on whether they stretch out a lot? Size up or size down?

    • I love those jeans. I’d probably size down, or else they’ll be slipping down on you all day.

      I think everyone I know is working today except for people who have been out all week for their kids’ spring break. I was surprised to see a holiday weekend thread.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Yes, but judging from the empty parking lot and hallway, it’s just me and the support staff.

      • Haha, this. They did send around an email saying we (aka, the four of us here and the staff) can go home an hour early.

    • Linda from HR :

      I’m working today, but I really don’t mind! Any time there’s a holiday that lots of people have off but I don’t, my morning commute is usually pretty pleasant and the evening commute less crazy that usual.

  34. Reno Guidance? :

    I recently bought a brand new condo in NYC. Since it’s new, I don’t want to do extensive work, but there are a few projects that would make the space work much better and provide more storage. These include adding cabinets in the kitchen, adding built-in storage in an awkward corner space, adding electrical outlets, and redoing the patio.

    I’ve been going back and forth over whether to do these projects one at a time or whether to just pull the trigger and get my whole wishlist done (budget allowing).

    Any tips from those who have been through?

    Also, any guidance for finding a contractor and/or designer (not sure if I need a designer/architect)? Has anyone used Sweeten or another service? Any specific recs for contractors, designers/architects, millwork, cabinets, landscaping, etc. in the NYC area?

    • I’m going through a coop reno right now. I would do all of those things at once (budget allowing) as it would make it worthwhile for a contractor to take on the project vs just a small item.

      We interviewed/talked to neighbors who had renovated (they often engaged us in convo first), asked for their recs, and got to see places that were done by different contractors.

      We interviewed two of the recommended contractors and did not bother contacting the contractors whose work we did not like.

      Of the two, we went with the one that was more responsive and who had just completed an apartment in the same line (which made it easier). Sometimes I wonder if we should have gone the sweeten route, but in the end, going with the contractor who is trusted by the building management and whose work we got to see, and who was well liked by his clients, and who we had good rapport with has worked out so far.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree that if your budget allows you should try to consolidate all of the projects. We’re going through a bathroom and kitchen reno (coop), and we hired an architect who is also acting as our general contractor because we’re changing the layout of our kitchen and removing walls. Based on my limited research, I don’t think you need an architect unless you’re doing those sorts of changes. Adding storage, creating a built in, adding outlets, can all be managed by a general contractor.

    • I think you’ll get a better deal from each worker if you consolidate projects.

    • As an architect, I’m always reluctant to say that someone doesn’t need an architect, but… I don’t think you need an architect for these things! Find a millworker you like, and have them do the kitchen cabinets and corner storage at the same time to get the best price and most attention. Separately, deal with your patio. The millworker and landscape people should each be able to recommend a good electrician. Chelsea Garden Center might be a good place to begin thinking about your patio. They do consultations, etc. Good luck!

    • Agree that you should do as much as you can all at once, maybe separating the landscaping because that probably involves different contractors. Depending on what your building requires in terms of approvals and deposits, it may be just too much of a pain in the a** to do separately.

      My attempt to use Sweeten resulted in a very high estimate for the work I wanted done so we just found our contractor thru word of mouth. It ended up being 1/4 the price.

    • Anonymous :

      All at once! Rip off the bandaid and minimize disruption to your life, plus you will likely pay less overall.

      I used Sweeten and loved it — I actually found the estimates to be lower than interviewing contractors independently. Plus I liked the added accountability that my contractor had to Sweeten — Sweeten was constantly checking in to make sure that I was happy with how things were going. Nothing went wrong (thank god), but I feel like if it had, Sweeten would have stepped in and my contractor would have addressed it, so as not to lose his certification with them or get a bad review on the website. It seemed like tighter accountability than Yelp.

      I have a $250 referral code for Sweeten if you want it (full disclosure: you get $250 off, I also get $250 credit if you book someone with them). Send me an email at brooklyng6 at the google of mail.

  35. Paging to-be SAHM :

    I wanted to add a couple of things to the comments that have already been given to the poster who posted earlier this week about becoming a SAHM. I am not trying to make trouble, I promise. Just trying to give another perspective. Sorry for the novel:

    – I am a person who leaned way out when my son was younger. I worked full-time until he was 2 and then went very part-time (like working 10-20 hours a week) partially at home. He went to daycare half-days four days a week so I could get work done, but that was it. I stayed part-time, gradually increasing my hours to about 36 a week, until he was 6 and was midway through first grade. This worked out really well for me, career-wise. I am not treated at all like I have a “gap” in my resume (because I don’t) and right now I’m in a great job that was exactly what I was aiming for back when I had him. I got here a few years later than I would have if I hadn’t leaned out, but I’m still young compared to my coworkers, some of whom are in their 50s. It didn’t hurt me that much.

    – Understand that as a SAHM that wants to keep a foot in the workforce, you will be neither fish nor fowl and may have trouble finding a tribe of moms you fit in with. That was my experience, anyway. As a part-time working mom I fit in better with the working moms than with the SAHMs because the SAHMs in my area who stayed home had no intention of ever going back to work, or that time was so far in the future it wasn’t worth thinking about. Most of the working moms were fully leaned in and working 40+ hours a week but I still related better to them, even if we didn’t have time to hang out. Also understand that unless you are doing some kind of actual paid work, hanging out with working moms at professional luncheons and other events may be awkward. I was present a couple of times when the “SAHM wanting to keep her hand in” showed up at an event and people were not kind about it. The working moms viewed that as “having your cake and eating it too.” Like, you’re either in or you’re out, lady. They accepted me because I was still working as a professional, even if it was only a few hours a week.

    – Part of the work I did when I worked part-time was with a nonprofit program counseling older women (meaning 50 and over) on how to get back into the workforce after a gap in employment. One thing I saw that I have never forgotten is that it is very possible for a very smart, successful woman to end up in the wilderness as far as employment goes, just because she takes time off. It is not fair but it is the case. I worked with a woman who had quit working to take care of her terminally ill parents (one got cancer, then the other one got it two years later and they both died about the same time) and she could not get interviews despite having an awesome resume and two graduate degrees. Another woman had worked for F100 companies, but quit working in her late 30s to stay home with her daughter. After 12 years at home, she could not get a foot in the door anywhere. It is ROUGH out there for older women who are job searching and that goes triple if you haven’t been in for years. So I would say, if you are in your early 30s looking to stay home for 4-5 years, you’ll probably be fine. If you’re in your late 30s and looking to stay home for 10+ years, beware, big-time. And if you are in your 40s and thinking you’ll stay home for any length of time you need to count on retraining or changing careers to get back in the workforce because going back to your old job/career is almost assuredly not going to happen. I saw this with my own two eyes. Like I said, it’s not fair but it’s reality. That doesn’t mean you *can’t* go back to work doing *something* but please don’t kid yourself that you’ll be able to stay home for more than five years and then just walk back into your old career and pick up where you left off. It doesn’t happen like that for the vast majority of people. And especially if you do something technical – the world will be completely different in 5 years.

    I hope this gives some additional perspective. If I were you, I would consider doing part-time consulting or something else so you have a foothold in the workforce. Otherwise getting back in may not be possible. Good luck.

    • Thank you for sharing this. Very good advice.

      I am your example of stepping out in late 30’s for 10 years, and had to completely change/retrain for re-entry and work along-side 20 year olds who look down at you. Rough.

    • Thanks for sharing your story. I think people have remarkably similar advice to the OP – do some sort of paid work in your field, keep your skills up to date and relevant, reading industry news will not be enough – but she didn’t seem to be in a space where she wanted to hear it. Perhaps with a couple of days to mull it over, she will be more receptive now.

      • Also I decided to tell a story.

        When I was coming up through the ranks I had a work friend, I will call her Kate. Kate was a year or two older than me and started her family before I started mine. When we worked together, we were peers reporting to the same boss, but she was senior to me by virtue of having worked a couple of years more than me. She was also very bright and very assertive about face time, etc, so she was considered a rising star. Kate and I were work friends but not outside of work.

        Kate had one baby and continued working, then had a second baby and quit to stay home.

        I had one baby and kept working. I have never had a choice financially to stay home with my kids, but I’m not sure I would have chosen to either way.

        Four years later, I was managing the department we both used to work in and Kate approached our former boss, who was now one level up, wanting to come back part-time. Our boss said sure! And he put her in my group. It was somewhat weird that he didn’t run it by me but we were very short staffed and he looked at it as an easy solution to our problem. And truly, I was thrilled. I wouldn’t have to train her, she already knew the stuff, and on an idealistic level, I was happy to support a working mom trying to make it happen (part time was a rare exception at this company)

        Kate was really disappointed to learn she’d be reporting to me, which, to her credit, she was really honest about, because she used to be senior to me and was older than me. It was really hard for her.

        I will tell you that I bent over backward to make it work for her. Remote connections at our company were brand new back then, and I worked with IT constantly to make sure she could log in from home. She had a completely flexible schedule – two or three days total work over a five day week, fit in when she could find the time. Her productivity was hit or miss but when she was on, she was on.

        And I liked Kate. We didn’t bicker. But she always brought up that she found it sort of embarrassing to work for me, which was a bit off putting for me, but I tried to sympathize.

        After two years, she ended up quitting and going back to staying home full time. We have kept in touch in a sort of Christmas card way, but I think she still has a lot of resentment about those couple of years and we are not friends the way we used to be.

        All this to say, I guess… don’t be surprised when the people who kept working full time surpass you, and don’t have too much of an ego about coming back at a lower position when you do return to the workforce.

  36. Very truly yours :

    I work at a midsize law firm where everyone signs their letters “very truly yours”. To me, that is an old fashioned love letter signature – the equivalent of singing something “Love, Jane.” I constantly am making secretaries change it to “sincerely” on anything I have to sign.

    Obviously how other people within the firm sign their letters is not my concern at all, but it’s made me curious because it’s suddenly so prevalent. Is this a normal business signature and I’m just insane?

    (FTR I totally realize this isn’t a problem or worth wasting any time worrying about. I’m just curious.)

    • Housecounsel :

      Did we work at the same firm? I worked at a firm for 12 years where all letters went out like this. I hated it, although I loved the firm. I use “Sincerely” now, happily!

    • the yellow one is the sun :

      No – I see this only occasionally and think it’s weird.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      We use very truly yours. I work at a super conservative law firm. I sort of love it (but maybe that is a reason I work here). We are also business formal.

      • Yes, this firm is much more traditional and conservative than my old firm. Maybe I need to just embrace it.

    • My firm also does this, and it is weird, and I refuse to do it. I use “Sincerely”.

    • You are just wrong. It is old fashioned. It’s also not a love letter sign off. In many firms and bars it is the standard most formal closure unless you’re writing a judge. Sincerely is less formal. Break the rules if you want but you are wrong about why VTY means

    • Rachelellen :

      Funny, I thought “best,” was the go-to now.

      • Nooo, not in law. “Best” is a casual sign-off. Might be ok for email (although I usually use “Sincerely” for emails w/opposing counsel and “Best regards” for emails to clients and save “Best” for internal emails). But it’s not ok for a formal letter that goes out on firm letterhead.

    • ha, this is the same at my mid-sized firm. i too find it old fashioned, kind of romantic, and just…weird. I use “respectfully submitted” for any letter request to a judge” and “regards” for anything else.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      My current firm and my former firm use it. I hated it at first but now I just roll with it. No one really pays any attention to it anyways. The only closing that has given me serious pause is one firm that signs it “yours, etc.” Like they couldn’t decide what to use. Anyone seen that before? It’s a NY firm. I thought it was a typo at first like he was writing a spot for his secretary to insert the closing. We were working on something together and I changed it and he changed it back so it was definitely intentional.

      • I feel like this is how letters in old books are signed — like if Jane Austen has a letter in the book, it’s signed “yours, etc.”

      • Anonymous :

        NY lawyer here. I love “yours, etc.” it’s passive aggressive and ridiculous and it feels like the writer is yawning. The only choice for aggressive correspondence to opposing counsel in my opinion.

      • I agree with Blond Lawyer. At my firm they use a number of different sign-off’s. With the judge, I use “respecfully filed”, and with cleint’s, I use “Sincerely your’s,”. With potential cleint’s, we all use “very truly your’s” and in our email’s we have all pre-populated our closeings with whatever we like. My closeing says simpley: “Best “. I hope this help’s the HIVE to decide which one’s they will use and where. YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      It’s standard at my government office. When I first started I once used sincerely and was corrected by the attorney supervising me. He told me it wasn’t formal enough and I needed to use VTY. So I do.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      Everyone at my firm signs letters with VTY. I don’t see it as romantic or old fashioned – to me, it now reads as a sort of passive aggressive F you. Like, [I] very truly [think that] your [position is garbage]. I would never use VTY with someone I liked!

      • Very truly yours :

        Ha! I hadn’t thought about it that way. I may be coming around on this.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, I had a boss who liked VTY with opposing counsel for that reason. He liked that it was formal but more aggressive or somehow less sincere than Sincerely or Best regards. I’m not really sure what makes it rude, but I definitely feel like VTY is a bit rude, at least in a subtle way. I moved to a different practice/geographic area where people are more collegial with opposing counsel and everyone was shocked when I signed things VTY and told me to use Sincerely instead.

    • Marshmallow :

      My firm does this too. It’s formal but I don’t think it’s romantic or weird.

    • Yup. I worked for a very old school partner who insisted on VTY. I thought it was weird and sort of romantic at first too, but I got used to it.

    • Anonymous :

      Didn’t Kat just post this? https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/email-sign-offs-employers-will-fire-you-for-especially-if-you-happen-to-be-a-woman

    • Ha, I also worked at a firm that does this. I think we do sometimes? It always makes me laugh, especially when I know that the partner who is signing it is a total jerk, or it comes at the end of a nasty letter. “Rage rage rage your client is terrible do what I’m telling you or else you’ll be sued for millions and I’ll report you to the bar! Very Truly Yours, Anon.”

  37. My SO and I are moving in together in a month (very excited!) but I’m wondering what the best approach is to handling this/your anecdata/advice:

    -How do you split up housework? What works for you? I’m not by nature a SUPER ORGANIZED! SUPER CLEAN! person and I think we have similar baseline levels of cleanliness, but I also don’t want to become the household manager and be delegating tasks etc.
    -I will have a walking commute to work (<10 minutes, down from my 30-45 drive/metro commute now) and he'll have a 30-60 minute drive (thanks, DC.) I would otherwise think it's fair to me to pick up a little more of the home-oriented tasks, but I don't want to fall in to a rut where I do everything? If this was your situation, what would you think would be fair?

    If it matters, we are of equal seniority in our careers and bringing the same amount of money to the household/evenly dividing rent.

    • Try not to keep score and spend a lot of time evaluating what is and isn’t fair and keeping score – you are a team, this is a partnership, and there is going to be give and take.

    • Do not even start down that road of shorter commute more housework thing.

      Sit down with your SO and talk about what generally needs to get done – cooking, cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, taking out the trash, etc – and outline how you’ll do that. Are you going to split up the tasks, for instance he cooks, you do dishes? – or are you going to take turns?

      I think a lot of guys just say they’ll chip in where needed, and that you’ll share everything, but that does indeed set you up as the household manager/task delegator/default task doer/ MOM, and you do not want that!

    • Linda from HR :

      Start by telling him your concerns. It would be best to let him know that you want him paying attention to things that need doing, and finding time to do them rather than be “willing to help” but waiting for you to ask before doing anything. Sometimes people who are passive about housework worry they’ll do something wrong, so get on the same page about, for example, what products you’ll use to do certain cleaning tasks. It also helps to get on the same page about what “clean” means, and whether everything has to be guest ready all the time or whether there’s a more relaxed, “sort of clean but needs some tidying” state the house can be in most of the time.

      I’d say that if you do get home earlier, maybe you pick up a couple tasks, things like getting dinner started or putting in a load of laundry, but don’t feel like you need to be cleaning the whole time you’re waiting for him! You could also, I dunno, put the breakfast dishes in the dishwasher and hit the start button, but that’s about it for the morning.

      Also, let him know you will speak up if you feel you’re doing everything, or more chores than seems fair, but to be fair to him, speak up when you start to feel this way, don’t bottle it up for months and then explode over something small.

      • anonshmanon :

        And if you have a perfectionist attitude or were raised by a perfectionist, sit on your hands while he does his share differently than you would. For example, I think hubby is wasteful with water and soap when he does dishes. But the important thing is that dishes get done, and not by me.

    • My husband and I never discussed it when we moved in together, we both just moved in and started doing our share and it’s working out great so far. One thing that helps is that when he does something, I return the favor so that he doesn’t think I’m a slob. So I’ll wake up to a clean kitchen with a clean dishwasher, so I’ll put it away. Or if I stay up late and do dishes or run the dishwasher, he’ll put it away in the morning. Or I tend to throw my clothes on the bedroom floor instead of putting them all away all of the time, but I make up for it by cleaning the bathroom, which he never cleans, but he’ll make up for it by doing something else. We thank each other when we notice. Now it’s a habit for both of us. I think where you get into trouble is if you’re feeling like you do all the work and he doesn’t do anything, or if you care more and get upset that he doesn’t care in the same way that you do. If you don’t want to keep score or assign tasks, don’t! There’s nothing wrong with letting it develop organically. Don’t feel like you have to do things one way or another, do things because you want to do them.

      • This is how it’s worked out for us. For instance, he has more energy than I do in the evenings, so he starts a load of laundry at night, and I have a more flexible morning schedule, I so flip them over to the dryer.

        And whoever cooks doesn’t have to do the dishes.

        And lots of thank yous :)

    • My husband was pretty straight forward about the fact that he does better with a discrete list of tasks he knows are “his.” (Yes, we did discuss the inherent emotional labor of being the one who comes up with that list, but hills to die on and what not.) So, discrete tasks like trash, recycling, package pick-up are all his routine responsibility.

      Also, just pay for a Handy.com cleaner or some other service once a month. That way you will never have the “I’m the only one who ever deep cleans the bathroom!” spat.

  38. Folks, I read about Lip Ink and tried it—there was someone a bit ago asking for a lip stain and wanted to share. it’s magical (different from MLMs like LipSense). It’s a lip stain that literally lasts for 24 hours (Or more). I usually avoid bold lip colors because I have to reapply constantly.

    I tried a deep red, and it lasted all day with eating, drinking, and *ahem* gardening. Looked just as good at 10 pm as it did at 10am, without any retouches.

  39. WiFi Calling :

    My SO will be out of the country for the next several months and the only way he is able to call me is over WiFi. He set his phone to WiFi calling and has called me several times, but do I need to also set my phone to WiFi calling in order to avoid charges? Will that affect my ability to receive regular calls by those still in the States? Also, what if he is on WiFi and I am not (like when I answered at work yesterday). I’m probably just going to clear it up with Verizon so I don’t get charged for international calls but just wondering if anyone here has experience in this.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Whenever I travel internationally, I have use an app called “What’s App” for all my calls (in/out) and text messages. It’s free to use, over wi-fi, for both parties.

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t get charged for answering any calls, at least in the US. If you’re really nervous you could use Skype or similar, but it’s not necessary.

    • Anonymous :

      No, he can call from wifi without you being on wifi.

  40. Anyone have experience with Restless Leg Syndrome? Recently it has been really bad for me, and I can’t sleep for about the first 4 hours of the night. Researching online hasn’t produced much info as to what I can do to prevent it or ease it.

    • There is prescription medicine that can treat it, so the boring and expected answer is see your doctor.

    • Anonymous :

      Try drinking tonic water before bed.

    • Anonymous :

      See your doctor.

      Sometimes (rarely) it is exacerbated by low iron stores. So your doctor should check your iron and ferritin levels. If supplementing iron doesn’t help, there are many medicines that you can try at night at very low doses that can help. If you are not getting relief quickly, see a neurologist with an interest in Movement Disorders. Sometimes a PCP isn’t the best person to manage this, but start with your PCP.

      A lot of this is genetic, so sometimes you just have to accept it and try a few things. It runs in my family. My Mom had it severely, as does her sister. They wouldn’t be able to sleep without a medicine. I have it, but so far it is mild. Sometimes a simple calf stretch or walking around for a minute or two when it is bothersome can help me get to sleep. But most nights I never notice it.

      Tons of medicines help. Neurontin, SSRIs, opioids, benzos, dopamine agonists (low doses of Parkinson’s disease medications – but you don’t have Parkinson’s) and many others can make it go away.

      • Mineallmine :

        +1 on the low iron. I became really anemic for the first time in my life that was supplement-resistant due to increasingly heavy flow (thanks perimenopause!), and coincidentally (I thought) developed RLS and an ice-chewing pica. It wasn’t until I was researching the latter that I realized both symptoms could be tied to my worsening anemia. It wasn’t until I finally got properly treated for my hormonal issues that my iron level came up some, then the RLS and pica went away. It was weird, I don’t even like ice normally, and RLS is so frustrating, but it’s fine now.

  41. I had this for a while, but when I started taking anti-anxiety medicine at night, it went away. So for me, at least, it was anxiety-related, but they do have a medicine to treat it on its own. Like the previous reply, I recommend that you see your doctor.

  42. WiFi Calling :

    Not understand why I’m in mod but has anyone used WiFi calling? My SO will be out of the country for several months and has called me using WiFi, but does my phone need to be set on WiFi calling as well? Will I still receive regular calls? What about when he is on WiFi but I am not (like when I answered at work yesterday)? I’m going to talk to Verizon to make sure I don’t get charged for any international calls but wondering if anyone else here has experience with this.

  43. WiFi Calling :

    TEST

    • Kat, you are going to lose followers over your mod policy. Why some posters go to mod is plain baffling

      • Anonymous :

        I am a long-time poster. About a month ago, everythkng I post from my work desk top and work laptop (regardless of whether home or work wifi) started to go into moderation, previously having no issues whatsoever. I can post from my phone without moderation, sometimes!

        I emailed her about it saying it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to take part in discussions, and her response was that it must just have gotten stuck in the queue and to review the policy.

        • Same! It’s only at work. But I can post everywhere else I go (reddit for example). Her response was to clear my history and cookies. Super annoying to do, and it didn’t work. When I try to post it says “not secure” as in this page is not secure. which it never did before. Glad I’m not the only one, but horribly frustrating as a long time reader and poster!!

      • Anonymous :

        You know, people have been commenting about losing followers for ages. It’s either happened and she’s fine with it, or it actually hasn’t happen. So, I guess I don’t know what you think is going to happen…

    • Have you considered that it has something to do with your work network having tighter security than your home network? I have noticed the same thing: when I post at home it goes up immediately, but work usually goes into mod or takes 20-30 minutes to go live. My solution is to post from my phone and use data, not the company wifi network.

  44. Lots to Learn :

    Would appreciate some advice on what to advise my daughter – especially from any doctors or med students out there. My daughter’s deepest desire is to be a doctor someday. She is currently a high school freshman. She loves and is good at science, but math does not come naturally to her. She is smart but has been diagnosed with “low processing speed” disorder so she doesn’t grasp tough math concepts right away, but really has to work through them. Because of this, she has always been in “regular math” but has worked hard and gotten solid to high As. She’s been offered a recommendation to move to honors math her Sophomore year and we are trying to decide if she should take it. Past teachers have recognized her high grades are due to hard work and have refused to recommend her because they are concerned that honors math will move too fast for her, and she’ll have to kill herself to keep up. But this year’s teacher seems to think she could handle it, with a good bit of extra work and effort.

    On the pro side of moving to honors, she would show that she is willing to challenge herself in the STEM area, which I’d think would be important if she’s selling herself to colleges as a pre-med candidate. It would also give her a stronger foundation for AB Calculus, which she’d have to take senior year to be a viable candidate. It would also be more consistent with her self-image, which is of someone who doesn’t shy away from hard work and challenges.

    On the con side of moving to honors, the school has said her grade is likely to drop an average of 10 points, which would put her at a low B or even below. Currently, all her grades are mid to high As, so that would be a real blow to her, especially since she’s shooting for pretty competitive colleges. In addition, the extra time she’d have to work to keep afloat in an honors class (after four years of regular math) would probably mean that she wouldn’t have as much time to devote to other classes, so her grades in those would likely drop, as well. And she probably wouldn’t have as much time for extracurriculars and would likely be more stressed. She would also probably be one of the weakest in the class so she’s going to be seeing herself as “dumb at math” compared to all the kids to whom math comes much easier, and who have been in honors this whole time.

    What would you advise her to do? Are colleges likely to view her as having failed to push herself adequately to show a commitment to pre-med if she stays in regular? Is it better to push herself knowing that she’ll likely have Bs this year and next and have all her grades go down some, or to take what may be seen as the easy way out and stay in regular and keep very high grades all around? I know this is a first world problem to have but it’s tearing her up inside as she wrestles with the best course (which, of course, being a teenager, she thinks will affect the entire trajectory of her career aspirations for the rest of her life…) Appreciate any advice.

    • Gently, I think there’s a time to have a conversation about realities. How would she survive the college coursework, the MCAT, med school, and rounds with “low processing speed?” There are some professions where something like that is ok, but I don’t think medicine isn’t one of them. We want to give our children everything, but not every dream can come true and sometimes dreams change.

      • I disagree with this completely. Please please please don’t discourage your high school age daughter from becoming a daughter because you think she can’t handle it! She has plenty of years to figure out what’s realistic for her (although nothing in your post suggested to me that she couldn’t be a doctor!) There’s no reason to crush her dream at this age.

      • Anonymous :

        This.

      • BelleRose :

        If it is truly out of her reach, maybe mom can have that conversation. But as long as daughter is not killing herself with work (and I do agree with below posters; watch out for depression/anxiety), let her find her way. If she is still set on being a doctor once she makes it to college, have her go on StudentDoctor dot net forums. Some pre-meds are woefully uninformed (don’t rely on the college pre-med advisor to have all the answers), but if she makes it through a few discussions on there, she’ll have a real idea of what is needed for applications and the road to doctor-hood.

        • I just don’t see how you could possibly know whether it’s out of her reach – she’s only a freshman in high school. I don’t see any benefit that could come from having that kind of conversation at this age. I think you should encourage her to keep challenging herself, but don’t push her down (or away from) any particular path. It’s her life, ultimately she will have to make her own decision — but not for years.

          • (I meant whether OP could know whether it’s out of reach.)

          • BelleRose :

            If she struggled in ALL her academic classes, then yes, being a doctor might be a bit out of reach. If just in math, then not a problem. Like I said, mom would know her daughter best.

            But I agree with you that, barring the daughter working herself to death, mom should encourage her to keep challenging herself and being supportive of her choices. Makes all the difference in the world to a high schooler :)

          • Even if it seems out of reach to OP, I still don’t see any good that could come of telling a young teenager that she isn’t capable of doing what she wants to do.

            Also, I didn’t do particularly well in high school but got excellent grades in college, did well on the LSAT, and graduated at the top of my law school class. I know law school is different than medical school, but my point is just that people change so quickly at that age, you can’t tell now what someone’s potential is. I’m sure my high school teachers would be shocked to see where I ended up.

          • BelleRose :

            Point taken :) The more I read through this, the more I agree with Anon @ 2:23, and the less I agree with Anon @ 1:53. While I have experience with the pre-med rigmarole, I have zero experience in parenting, and probably should not have tried to give advice in that arena!

      • Lots to Learn :

        OP here. I appreciate the concern about whether doctor is a realistic goal for her given her processing speed issues, but I think it is a realistic goal. She’s at a very competitive private school in a big city and has grades in other classes ranging from 95-100 and a 97 in regular math. So she is smart and hardworking. It’s just that she doesn’t grasp new concepts quickly – she has to hear them more than once and have time to “process” them. And from what we hear, that’s one of the biggest differences between regular and honors math: honors just introduces concepts once and expects kids to get them, and thus moves much faster and covers more ground. So I think she’ll be able to handle the college and med school coursework – she just has to work a little harder and take a little longer than others. But I appreciate the concern and take it in the spirit it was intended.

        • Anonymous :

          College prof here – your position on her need to take AB Calc in order to prepare for med school … is putting a lot of pressure on a 14yo. Many, many students come in to college without having chosen a major much less prepped themselves out for their desired graduate program. She is not doomed in her STEM/med school aspirations if she takes regular math as a freshman in high school.

          I would worry less about the math and much more about the pressure cooker in which you are incubating your kid. Supporting her so she can grow into a psychologically healthy high school graduate who can navigate the issues related to her disability when she enters college is much more important than the math track you’re envisioning here.

    • Anonymous :

      What part about being a doctor does she thing she likes? Is she fixated on “doctor” because she doesn’t know what else is out there? Doesn’t every kid want to be a doctor as some point?

      I have a cousin that was fixated on being a dentist (her dad is one), but didn’t end up getting into dental school. Ended up doing a post-bac course for nursing, since I think the “helping people” part was what she liked/identified most with. So maybe there are other healthcare paths that might fulfill that same idea.

      Alternatively, I don’t know that honors math in HS is going to make that much of a difference. I was a chem major in undergrad and got away with just doing calc my freshman year. So if she only needs a couple years of math in ugrad, then I don’t think accelerating her in HS matters as much as it would if she was thinking of engineering. Keeping her out of honors math in HS let her stay with the group that is moving at her learning pace, which is going to be better for her learning style, right? And gives her flexibility to come to the realization over the next 6-7 years that maybe med school isn’t the answer.

      • Lots to Learn :

        She has researched being a doctor pretty thoroughly. In addition to watching every episode of Grey’s Anatomy :) she is taking online epidemeology courses, has gone to a mini-med school camp for a week, is going to Georgetown this summer for a similar camp, has shadowed one doctor and has plans to shadow another, watches surgeries online in her spare time, practices sutures on grapefruits, labeled all the bones on the skeleton hanging in her room, etc. She may not like the actual practice of medicine, but I think she is doing all she can to explore medicine as a career while in HS. Appreciate the perspective on the relative value of honors math in HS.

    • Anonymous :

      I worry about your daughter. The fact that this is “tearing her up inside” as a freshman in high school, considering the brutal competitive path (never mind physically demanding) to becoming a doctor makes me extremely worried for her.

      Math is not critical for medicine. At all. She just needs to satisfy the minimum requirements. Honestly, I don’t even remember what they are. Maybe, one calculus level class in college? Statistics is what would benefit her the most long term, and basic algebra.

      It is much more important these days to be well rounded, doing extra-curriculars, having good people skills than being in the highest level math class… both for college entry and medical school.

      You don’t have to be brilliant to be a doctor. You need to work very hard, be incredibly disciplined and consistent, and not burn out. It is extremely competitive. If she needs special accommodation, there is going to be a problem……. And many people don’t make it. But there are a ton of other options in the medical world that are extremely interesting, rewarding, well paid, with much shorter a road, less competition and better quality of life.

      Watch closely for depression/anxiety. She is a set up for it. She is way too young to be worrying about this. She also has no idea what a doctor’s life is, so for her to be set on this now is clearly foolhardy, but that is youth.

      • Lots to Learn :

        OP here. Yes, I worry about the anxiety a lot too. She’s putting this pressure on herself because she really, really wants to become a doctor and she’s so worried that if she makes the wrong decision, it will affect her ability to get there. I think I’m going to have her talk with someone to help her manage it.

    • BelleRose :

      Not a doctor or med student (yet), but currently waiting to hear back if I got accepted to med school, so some experience with the pre-med system.

      First, going off of anon above: Is her “low processing speed” just in math, or in other academic areas? If just in math, she may need to work harder, but could be able to make the medical track work. If in other areas as well, I may agree with anon.

      Again, if her only weakness is in math, I would advise her to stick with the regular math class and push herself to truly excel in other areas and get by in math. If she is AP/honors in all other classes and “regular” in math, that is fine. If she struggles in honors math, colleges will really only look at her grades, and it will probably not turn into the “show that she is willing to challenge herself” that you are hoping for. ECs and GPA are extremely important in the application game, so IME, an A/A- in regular math, strong ECs, and A/A- in AP/honors science will serve her exponentially better than B/C in honors math, weak ECs, and Bs in AP/honors science classes.

      To get into med school, she will need pre-calculus and stats, though a few schools require calculus. Regular math should be able to get her there no problem. Again, if that is her only area of weakness and she can get through pre-calc (in HS) and stats (in college), she should be fine.

      For more general pre-med advice:

      If she really wants to do pre-med, go for it. There is no reason she can’t reconsider at some point, and as a parent, you want to make sure she feels no judgment for “trying and failing” (which is how a lot of ex-pre-meds feel). It is a very long and hard road to become a doctor, and you absolutely should NOT do it unless you 110% feel like there is no other career you could ever want.

      It sounds like she is self-motivated and a hard worker. That’s great, but make sure she doesn’t burn out. The next 15-20 years of training (yes, that’s how much longer it will take for her to become an independent doctor) will just get harder and harder.

      I typed and deleted a lot more advice, but that’s way ahead of where she and you are now. Let her continue to figure things out without stressing too much. If you really need to know more, email me at bellerose2542 at live dot com. Best of luck!

      • BelleRose :

        Wow, people posted while I was typing my novel! In the second paragraph, I was referring to anon @ 1:53pm.

      • BelleRose :

        and oops, I forgot they changed the email to bellerose2542 at outlook dot com. Haven’t used this one in a while :)

    • I know a number of medical students and doctors who didn’t major in pre-med (in fact, I know several who went to liberal arts schools that didn’t even offer it as a major) – so I think worrying about getting her admitted to a pre-med program is a bit premature. I also don’t think taking AB calculus in high school is an absolute pre-requisite to becoming a doctor.

      I think you need to take a step back, let her dream, and focus on what’s right for her right now. If she’s having anxiety issues over it, then you need to take steps to help her address that. But figuring out how to get into medical school is just way premature at this point.

      • BelleRose :

        “Pre-med” is only a major at a few schools, but most people say it, because it’s easier than saying “I’m a biology major on the pre-med track.” As long as you take the pre-requisite science/etc classes, you can do any major to get in to med school. Statistically, a humanities major is more likely to get in to med school than a science major, and the major with the LOWEST acceptance rate to med school is pre-health!

      • Lots to Learn :

        OP again: I should have been more clear. What she is worried about is not so much getting into med school, but telling her “story” for college. Some kids have the story that they are an amazing cellist or that they help refugee kids. Her “story” is that she is passionate about medicine and has been pursuing that through her extracurriculars. But we didn’t want that story to be undermined by a transcript that shows just regular math. From all the responses, it sounds like we may be overthinking it. But FYI, I have heard from our college admissions counselors that most selective schools will look askance at someone who has a STEM story, but hasn’t taken calculus. So she is planning to take AB Calculus senior year, if at all possible.

        • BelleRose :

          If you want her to take an AP math class, consider if her school has AP Stats. It’s not as “mathy” as other math classes, but will look just as good for a STEM story, especially one focused on research/medicine.

        • BelleRose :

          Also, if she wants to tell the medicine story with her ECs, she’ll need to show clinical experience: a medical mission, EMT, shadowing. Otherwise, it can look very naive to be talking about how much she wants to be a doctor but not having any experience in what a doctor does.

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          So, this is harsh, but taking AB Calculus senior year is like remedial math for someone who is supposed to have a STEM story for college, especially from an elite private high school. At least take BC Calculus. Hopefully, she is also taking all the relevant AP science courses – Physics, Chemistry, Biology.

          Thinking further ahead, it is easier to get into a good medical school from a lower-ranked undergrad. So that could be a strategy as well.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 for strategically considering ranking and difficulty. Going to the top ranked undergrad that has a reputation for grading hard is going to make getting into grad/profressional school a bit more challenging.

        • Nerfmobile :

          Hordes of excellent doctors did undergrad work at their state universities. Nothing wrong with aiming for more selective schools, but an undergrad degree from any reputable college can be sufficient preparation for med school. So it might be a good idea to start talking now about looking for the ‘right fit’ for college, and not just focusing on the Ivies/Stanford/MIT/etc.

        • Whoa okay, you shouldn’t really be thinking about her college application essay now. I don’t care if everyone else is, but it’s not helpful. It’s especially unhelpful if you are planning her coursework around it.

          If your kid does not have a truly special life story, the goal of the college application essay is competence. It should show that she is a competent writer, thoughtful, and has some vague idea of why she’s doing what she’s doing.

          I will echo the posters above and point out that she might be better off killing it at a good but not HYPMS type school. A kid who leaves a solid, respectable college with a sky-high GPA, loads of professor recommendations, and a very solid MCAT score is better positioned for medical school than a kid who was the tiniest fish in an ocean.

    • Anonymous :

      Wait, it’s actually a disorder now to have “low processing speed”? Are we serious?

      • That’s really dismissive and unkind. Yes, low processing speed is a legitimate learning disorder.

        • I agree the tone above is unnecessarily dismissive. But to be honest, I don’t understand the difference between this disorder and just not slower at learning math. What is it that makes this a learning disorder? Not trying to be snarky, just generally curious.

          • I hear you. I wondered about that too. I certainly knew many very very smart kids in high school and college that didn’t click as well with math. And clearly it comes easy to some people. What qualifies as a learning disorder these days is unclear to me.

            Maybe the OP can clarify… Does your daughter have a medical diagnosis that qualifies her for special accommodation? Or just requires a lot more study to keep up with math, and possibly needs tutoring? If she is doing so well in regular math, I can’t imagine this qualifies as a disability.

            I agree with another poster that if her school offers AP stats that would be MUCH more valuable,very relevant to medicine, and under make her more memorable than another AB or BC calculus.

          • I agree here. Extrapolating from this, up to 90% of my high school class had a learning disorder.

            Btw – it does not matter at all if she takes calculus in high school. I know a ton of humanities majors who went to MED school and are wonderful doctors who hate math. Colleges will not deny her for admission for not taking calculus. Medical school requires college calculus. COLLEGE. Not high school calculus.

            But if she does take high school calculus and gets a B- or C, then that will jump out to everyone who reviews her transcript.

            And she should not focus her college applications on only wanting to be a doctor. That will only hurt her as she will not have had sufficient life experience to determine that, and colleges know that most don’t make it. It is much more important to be well rounded, unless you are doing high level medical research/winning Westinghouse/volunteering with Doctors Without Borders.

      • What makes it a disorder as opposed to just someone who learns slower? Is it just whether parents push to have the kid labeled?

    • I did not go to med school. I was a biology (pre-med) major at a big state university. I am now a patent attorney. The single best thing I did when I was considering schools and possible grad programs was talk to admissions counselors. If I were you, I’d pick an admissions office of a med school near to me and go have a frank discussion with them (without your daughter now and maybe with her in a few years).

      I do not think getting into a pre-med program is competitive unless the college itself is competitive. What is competitive is getting into med school. In a few years, I’d find a couple target med schools and talk to them about your daughter’s goals and what undergrad program they recommend. At my state’s primary med school, the college that has the highest success rate for applicants is a small private college. That is probably a setting where your daughter would get the support she needs to do well enough in math. Talk to admissions – they are a wealth of helpful knowledge.

      Also, this “low processing speed” and good grades, etc. is the type of material med schools eat up in admissions essays and interviews. That along with good grades, an extra-curricular leadership experience, and a solid history of volunteer work would make a great application.

    • PatsyStone :

      I think let her take the honors class if you/her have funds and time to hire a well-regarded tutor. This really does sound stressful, so I would make a tutor part of the bargain. In HS I was right on the line for taking the “upper” math classes, and that was great until I managed to actually fail calculus senior year! It was way too much for me. But that was a decent way for me to realize on my own. that any STEM field my not be right for my individual skill set FWIW.

      I have no insight into how this choice would affect undergraduate admissions at a really competitive school.

    • I would not have her go into the honors math class. If she’s struggling to keep up, that’s going to affect her ability to perform well in other classes, not to mention her self-esteem in general. I can’t speak to how colleges would view that choice, but just keep in mind that a highly competitive, prestigious college is not the only path to medical school.

    • Have another response caught in mod. I think she should take honors math. No med school is going to care how she did in HS in math. What matters are her college grades/MCAT scores/leadership/volunteer experiences. If she truly struggles with math, you’d really rather have her take AP calculus in HS. Not necessarily to get out of it in college but to learn the concepts in a more supportive environment before she takes calculus in college. Essentially she’d be retaking calculus in college, and that grade will matter more than what she does in HS. Getting into “pre-med” is not competitive unless the actual college is competitive to get into overall. So unless she’s looking at ultra competitive undergrad programs generally, one or two grades aren’t going to matter. And this would be a great opportunity to teach her balance. Getting a few Bs to not burn out is a good lesson.

    • Encourage your daughter, but if at all possible, make your decision based on the teacher. Ask around, particularly to parents of older kids, who the best math teachers are. I’m sorry to say that there are a lot of really terrible math teachers out there and over time, they usually get stuck with the lower classes.

      However, an exception is a new math teacher. A bright, young, enthusiastic math teacher that can really inspire kids sometimes gets the lower math classes to start with, because the more tenured teachers want the “easier” students (behaviorally easier).

      Find out the situation at your daughters school if at all possible, and put your daughter wherever the best teacher happens to be teaching. That will make more difference than whether it’s regular or honors math.

      (Source: former math teacher, current math professional, mother of high school junior and freshman)

  45. MSec show :

    I have to comment to say I am loving the Netflix show Madam Secretary! I find myself really admiring the woman’s style and personality. She is a mom of 3 and handling really thorny international relations (even war!) at work along with sometimes nasty coworkers and it has been educational to me to see how she maintains her cool.

    In one episode, her daughter is melting down and having a crisis, her boss second guesses her, a male colleague (Sec of Defense) tells her to her face she’s incompetent and that is why he was brought in. After that, she is at home and picks up a binder from work to read in bed, and has an insightful solution arising out of that. I know it’s fiction but I love the message coming out of it – not just luck but it’s hard work that matters in the end. Just putting in the hours and separating one’s emotional life and being able to intellectually problem solve with a clear mind despite everything. She doesn’t raise her voice with her kids either, just drops it into a worried frowny one when needed. A good example for this poster who was ashamed about yelling at her three year old during the morning rush all day yesterday.

    • I just started watching this yesterday (just the first episode), and really liked it, but after your comment now I am really looking forward to seeing the rest!

    • Hermione Granger :

      I love this show. It is so real and I love her and her style and the characters.

  46. Anyone have any tricks for removing a splinter? I went to Ann Taylor today to celebrate a long weekend. Had to get a different pair of pants and just walked in my socks the ten feet to the table. On my way back I got the biggest splinter I’ve ever seen in my life. About half of it is still wedged about half an inch into the ball of my foot.
    I’ve tried soaking it and tweezing it out but no luck and it hurts like a devil. Trying to avoid having to spend the rest of the day at Urgent Care, and really want to get my weekend runs in.

    • Anonymous :

      I am not a medical professional in any way, shape, or form, but the last time I had a splinter in the bottom of my foot I tried every single DIY online solution. I finally had to resort to a sterilized safety pin to dig it out.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        Just light a match to sterilize the tip of a safety pin and dig it out. Wear reading glasses if you need them. If you can’t do it, invite a friend or relative over to do it. Wash well with soap, and bandaid. Treat them to a Friday night pizza and beer.

        Do not go to urgent care for this. Seriously. This is a life skill you can achieve.

      • If you’re going to go the digging route (and I don’t disagree you might have to) yes, sterilize the pin, but more importantly sterilize your skin as best as you can before you dig in. And then clean the wound you’ve made carefully too.

        Any infection isn’t going to come from something that was already on the pin. It would be from something on your skin, like the staph we all carry around.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you tried drawing salve? I don’t know that it will help that quickly unfortunately, urgent care may be the quickest overall bet.

    • Marshmallow :

      This is a luxury that comes with having good health coverage, but I’d go to urgent care rather than dig at it myself if it’s not coming out after soaking and tweezing.

    • Anonymous :

      I would go to urgent care – if you do this badly it could get infected and that would be way worse. Sorry!

  47. My annual HSA contribution limit is X. I wanted to frontload my contributions because of some big medical bills so I told my employer I wanted to contribute X/2 in each of January and February and nothing for the rest of the year (this is allowed and I’ve done it before). They did that for those months but I just got my March paycheck and they took X/2 from my paycheck again in March. Now my bank account is decimated (I was expecting vastly reduced paychecks for Jan/Feb but counting on a full paycheck in March) and I’ve way overcontributed to my HSA and have to figure out on my own how to reverse it since no one in benefits or payroll knows what to do. I work for a big organization and I don’t understand how our HR can be so incompetent! What an obnoxious start to the weekend.

    • Don’t try to reverse it thru HR. Transfer the cash from your HSA account back to your checking account. You’ll have to account for the transfer back for tax purposes when you file taxes next year, but that’s fine. AFAIK there isn’t a penalty for spending HSA money on non-qualified expenses – you just have to pay regular income tax. And if you have over-contributed (gone over the yearly max set by IRS), you’ll have to correct the error anyway.

      Just be sure you have cancelled the deduction going forward.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

      • Anonymous :

        I also suggest going into your HR/benefits portal (if you are able to adjust your HSA contribution amount yourself) and re-enter zero going forward. Hopefully even if incompetent HR doesn’t catch it the computer system will fix it anyways. I deal with big corporate HR payroll and benefit screwups in my every day job – the easiest solution is the DIY solution suggested above. I also recommend padding your checking account for next payroll cycle just in case they screw it up again.

  48. For those that live in DC and know the area where Pruitt rented his $50 per night “room” within a ?two bedroom apartment that had space for his daughter, how off is the financial benefit here….say compare with an AirB&B for that area?

    Obviously the optics are bad, but maybe the numbers are not crazy off?

    • Anonymous :

      WaPo had avg Airbnb per night rentals in Capitol Hill around $142. It’s grossly under the going rate any way you slice it and a clear favor from the lobbyist via his wife.

    • Yeah, the numbers are way WAY off. poster above is correct that a room is ~150/ night. IF you can get one. Additionally, renting a 1BR around there is ~3500+ a month, and a 2B, IF you can even find one, is ~4500-6500. So yeah, this is really really crooked.

  49. Happy Anon :

    I need somewhere to talk about my super secret happy things. I graduated school two years ago and have been working in admin ever since to pay the bills while taking some contracts in my industry. I’ve been applying to a very competitive job for years and one of the applications I put in a few years ago just panned out into a job offer. My current boss will be mad, but I was always up front that admin was a stop gap and he hired me anyways. I’m just thrilled not to be in a degrading job any more. Plus I get to make pretty good money and do something meaningful and use my degree. Plus I feel like a bad*ss for getting one of the most competitive jobs in my field. I’m just so happy. Good things don’t really happen to me. It’s such bizarre and fantastic luck I could almost cry.

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