Thursday’s Workwear Report: Half Sleeve Cassidy Dress

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

cassidy wiggle dressI’m usually opposed to anything (for work at least) called a “wiggle dress” or noted as a “body-con” style — but with stores inspired by vintage wear it’s a bit different, and I really do just like this dress (which also comes in regular sizes, and in red). I’m totally unfamiliar with this store, but they have a number of interesting and affordable styles that might work for work and beyond. As for this particular dress, I like the wide, high cowl neckline, the half sleeves, the faux buttons on the sleeves and, hey, a basic black dress for $72 is never a bad idea. Unique Vintage Plus Size 1960s Black Knit Half Sleeve Cassidy Wiggle Dress

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


  1. Unwanted...twice :

    Hello hive;
    Going anon for this one, but I my contract was just terminated.
    This is my second time, first time was after 6.5 years with my first employer straight from college. This one is after almost 2 years (they head hunted me).
    I only ever interviewed for these 2 jobs but had countless interviews for internships before. After 8+ years in the workforce, I’d have to rewrite my resumé and start over.
    My current employer is MBB so they kindly offered to place me at one of our clients in the geography that I like (I want London). How do I take them on their offer?
    They have been really good to me and said on some skills I have a level many of them can’t aspire to yet on other basic things (time management) I am lacking. This means in industry I’d probably go places, and they have no issue letting me pick from the client list because that is how confident they are.
    It’s tough to stomach first thing in the morning… and I have to put on a brave face at the office Christmas party in few hours…

    • Anonymous :

      Sounds like a great offer to me! They aren’t firing you immediately by the sound of it, so take next week, dust off your resume, look at the clients you have in London to get an idea what’s out there and then discuss it. I wouldn’t assume you can literally pick any client so be prepared to be flexible.

    • Ughh first some commiseration – that’s so sucky they told you this morning before the Christmas party! Make an appearance and then ditch, IMO.

      Ask A Manager for all interviewing/resume advice.

      Do you get the move to London? Because if so, this is going to be an amazing opportunity and adventure. After the initial surprise wears off, keep framing it that way.

    • I’m not in consulting, and it’s always a bummer to get news like this, especially before the holidays, but definitely take heart in the fact that you landed the two jobs you interviewed for. That’s amazing and not very common, so you must be doing something right!
      In addition to thinking through your resume, it’s also good to brainstorm the sort of role you’d be most interested in – taking into account your current strengths and the skills/opportunities you’d like to develop. What you’ve liked best from prior roles and what you’ve hated and would like to avoid going forward.
      Good luck!


      Sending hugs for the emotional side of this (and wanting to pop them one for doing this right before the holiday party).

      As for the logical/career side, this sounds epic… you get to be relocated to a place you want to be AND they affirmed the things you rock at (which can be useful for cover letter writing, btw). I say let them relocate you where you want to be and then work on the things you know they want you to improve upon!

      • Yes, me too. Hug’s to you. It is always sad to get news before a holiday party, but you are AWSOME, and YOU WILL PERSEVERE, as a veteran member of the HIVE. I think all situeations can be learning experiences, though difficult at times.

        Kat I want to commend you for putting a pretty plus size model in the picture today. It’s nice to see someone with hips and a tuchus being featured. I think today’s body ideal should NOT be dictated by men, but by women who must live by those standards. We as a hive should strive to dictate our own ideals, and NOT be led, blindingly, by men who ONLY want us to take off our clothes for them and do s-xeual things with them. If they also wanted to marry us, that would be different, but men today just want the s-x, and then you never hear from them again. That is NOT right. FOOEY on them!

        I wish the entire hive a happy holiday season, irrespective of religion, race, color or creed. We all have a lot to look forward to in the new year, so let’s get a great start on it by sticking together to fix the issues’ we see that we can fix! YAY!!!!!

    • I’m sorry you got that message! I know it’s hard, but try not to think of yourself as “unwanted” – the model for these firms is pyramidal, and 2 years is a very, very common time to send the message that it’s time to look elsewhere. Take some time over the holidays to think about what you want your next job to look like and update your resume. It’s fantastic that the firm is talking about helping to introduce you to clients (N.B., the firm can’t “place” you- clients make hiring decision), but you need to decide if you agree that industry is the right fit for you — as opposed to seeking out a different consulting firm that has a more niche expertise or staffs matters differently, etc.

  2. Anonymous :

    What on earth is a “wiggle dress”? Is it called that because it’s so tight you have to wiggle when you walk?

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. And because it comes down below the knee.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Yeah, I have a wiggle dress from Asos that I love, but I would have to work pretty hard to make it work appropriate. Think Joan from Mad Men. Maybe if I wore it with flat knee-high boots and tights to de-emphasize the legs, shaping garments to minimize the wiggle, and a big drapey scarf to generally de-emphasize my shape? Overall, doesn’t seem worth it.

    • I think a dress like this is nice with a long cardigan but I would prefer it didn’t have sleeves for that (I don’t like double sleeves). The dress being sleek/fitted under the cardigan is what makes the look work.

    • The model looks amazing in this outfit.

  3. What's Next? :

    The conversation yesterday about early retirement has me thinking: I followed the “conventional” law path: clerkship, biglaw (litigation) and, now, in house counsel in the insurance industry (corporate, litigation, a bit of HR, etc.). My job pays well and has good hours, but it is not my passion. I am not interested in retiring early because I like the challenge of law.

    My partner and I are about two years away from having our major debt paid off (student loans, car) with substantial savings, and we could live off of a single income at this point. He loves his job and has truly found his calling. I, however, am good at my job but do not love it. The idea of staying here until I am 65 is not appealing. What is more, I am not sure that I want to put off all of the good things in life until 65 (travel, volunteering, time to slow down and enjoy my children). In two years, I would like to find a job or area of the law that I enjoy and could see myself staying in for many years. My challenge is that I am not sure what area that could be or what jobs are outside of the traditional practice of law.

    In some ways, I feel like I should stick with my current job because it pays well, decent hours, good benefits (health insurance) and most people over history have not had the luxury of loving their jobs. Have any of you undertaken this path? Resources or books to recommend?

    • Veronica Mars :

      I don’t think this is a 9-5 problem. I think this is a whole life problem. What can you do now to “slow down” or enjoy your life more? Can you negotiate more time off/vacation and start traveling? Can you do shorter weekend trips around the US? Could you start saving for a dream second home? If you leave your stable job you enjoy, it may be harder than you think to locate one that gives you “passion” 9-5, especially since you already enjoy the challenge of law now.

    • What about becoming a judge? Is that something that would appeal to you? It doesn’t necessarily pay the best (depending on where you sit) but I think it can be very intellectually rewarding and to a large extent you get to set your own pace/hours, and the benefits are generally good (again, depending).

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t know how accurate it is to say that judges have control over their own pace and hours. Limited jurisdiction judges don’t necessarily work a ton of hours, but the pace is set by the volume of cases and can be quite hectic. In some places general jurisdiction judges have more flexibility, but in other places they are on the bench nearly all day and have to do their file review, prep, research, and writing outside of business hours. In some states, judges also have to be on call at all hours to sign warrants. It can be very rewarding, but also exhausting. Your colleagues may or may not be the sharpest crayons in the box, depending on the state and court level. Plus that you have to get yourself elected or appointed.

        • Maybe an administrative law judge or a magistrate?

          But if you’re planning on throwing children in the mix, I’d just keep the job you have. The kids will make you grateful it’s vanilla. And I had a vanilla job that gets incrementally harder all the time (not what I signed up for, but it may change on you or grow with you).

        • All valid issues, but generally speaking you don’t stay at the limited jurisdiction level long and with OP’s resume it sounds like she would be well-positioned to get herself elected/appointed. You do sometimes need to be on call, but again, most of the time this is a rotating responsibility so it’s not like you are constantly required to be available 24/7. And two years is a good time frame to start networking/making the connections you need if you want to go down this path (it will likely take longer, but you need to start at some point).
          I have no idea where OP is based – this may be a terrible path, depending on location – but in places like NY it can be a very rewarding career and it sounded like OP wanted a job that she could really enjoy so I suggested it as an option. Most of the judges I see here are very happy, like coming to work and have the best work/life balance of any lawyers I know.

      • My friends who are judges love it. They work part time. They are lifers. Work is challenging and satisfying. Benefits are amazing.

      • This is a fascinating idea! To be honest, I hadn’t thought of this too much (other than going on a tirade when the recent appointee to the federal bench did not know what a motion in limine was). My youngest child (and last) is about to enter kindergarten. I know that childcare woes are not behind us, but the era of needing full-time care is winding down. I adored my time clerking (two stints). I know that the state-level is not the federal bench, but this is definitely an idea I would like to explore.

        • Anon for this Judge :

          It’s a great job! The only downside from a scheduling perspective is that if you’re in the trial court, you have to be on the bench or at least in the courthouse during court hours. So the hours are short but not very flexible.

          Also, at the state level you run the risk of becoming a cog in the prison-industrial complex. Mass incarceration is a real thing and it’s not a pleasant thing to be a part of.

    • Would law in a public interest field spark some joy for you.

      • This was going to be my suggestion too.

        I work in the public interest field and have (mostly) decent hours. I know I could be making more in the private sector but I am willing to take a smaller paycheck home to enjoy my life. I leave almost always at 5, rarely have take home or weekend work and the best part is that I know I am making a difference in someone’s life. I will say that in this political climate, the job security issue can be a bit nerve wrecking at times but it hasn’t stopped me from enjoying what I do. While government funding has been cut, there has been an increase in private funding.

        You could look into areas you are passionate about and find an organization or a private law firm that represents a number of organizations. I love the idea of early retirement but I think I will continue to work my law-brain until it gives up on me. To me that doesn’t necessarily mean working in the traditional sense but perhaps I can volunteer at workshops such as filing out immigration paperwork, expungement etc.

    • Perhaps take steps incrementally before blowing up a good thing? Have you asked for additional responsibility at work? I’m also in house and they love to let folks spend time trying different roles in the department. It’s a good way to grow your skills, keep things fresh, and get to know the business better. Perhaps you could pick up a piece of litigation in a different area from one of your peers? Assist with a deal?

      Another option would be to start an in house pro bono effort. I went to a dinner a couple of months ago where the GC of Merck got a big award for his pro bono efforts. Since then we’ve been motivated to get a pro bono effort going (again) at our company. We’re looking to collaborate with external counsel who already have a robust effort underway. We just need to sort out our malpractice insurance first. It’s going to be great.

      • Our GC retired this summer and before our new GC started a week ago, I had been acting in his place (not my plan — happened by default). As a result, I have had exposure to most of the company over the past six months. The pro bono idea is a great one!! Any thoughts on how to approach this with our new GC?

      • Happy Dance :

        I was at that dinner- thanks for supporting the org. :) Isn’t the happy dance something?

      • Anonymous :

        An in house team I work with has two team members, one that coordinates pro bono and another that handles the legal support for the company community engagement activities.

    • Similar but different. We have our loans paid off and only a mortgage, which we kept at a level we couldn’t pay with only one income despite living in the Boston area.

      At 34, I started consulting part time to be home more with the family (had 2 young kids and was pregnant again). I make about 25-30% of what I used to make, but 100% of that can go to savings. We spend $1500-2000/mo on childcare now vs the $4500/mo we’d be paying if we were both working Hardcore Full Time.

      I’m keeping myself marketable by taking on a variety of clients (two have already offered me FT roles, which I declined). I’d like to go back to true full time in a few years, when my youngest is in Preschool or kindergarten. If I have to go back earlier, we can do it.

      DH has been busting his butt (80 hour weeks) for the past 3 years, and working hard for years before that. He’s looking forward to stepping back and doing consulting in a few years.

      I think for us, it’s about keeping ourselves marketable and since neither of us want to be CEOs of an F50, this works for us. We’ve kicked around the idea of a startup (we’d never work together but we work in similar industries where we brainstorm ideas a lot) and that might be on the horizon for one of us once the kids are all in grade school. We are careful about our spending g/savings esp related to long term debt to make sure we can be this flexible.

    • earlyish retirement :

      I am one of the posters from the early retirement conversations. In short, my husband and I are both opting to work demanding jobs we don’t really love (me biglaw lit, him i-banking) to earn and save a lot of money quickly to retire by the time we are 50ish. Mid-thirties now.

      But we aren’t putting off anything fun until then. I time-box my work as much as possible (stick to 7:30am-6pm unless something urgent) so I have time in the evening to spend with my husband/kids/make dinner/work out/read. I don’t really bill over my target. I also take 3-4 weeks of vacation a year. Sure, I could retire even earlier if I was willing to work even more hours to get bigger bonuses/get to partnership or senior counsel faster, but this is the balance that works for me.

      I am also someone who accepts I wouldn’t really “love” any job, and the autonomy and intellectual stimulation (and paycheck) I get from my job is good enough. What I love is spending time with my family, traveling, and pursuing my hobbies.

      • I’m not sure I would love any job either, unless it was part-time. For now, I’m settling on content and enjoying my family and hobbies.

  4. Dating novice seeking advice :

    How do you decide whether it’s worth the risk to try to go from friends to more than friends with your closest guy friend? And if it is, what’s the best way to bring it up?
    Possibly relevant details: late 20s, definitely both single, known each other for several years, originally through work but we don’t work together anymore. He may be moving away in 2018 but may not. We have a lot of mutual friends and will continue to run into each other socially and professionally as long as he’s local. I can be a little awkward and don’t have a lot of male friends/experience dating and would really appreciate your advice on how to navigate this.

    • I could have written this exact post two years ago. Word for word. I tired it and we had some really great times but overall it didn’t work primarily because he has lots of issues he has to deal before he can successful be with anyone. But I’m crossing my fingers for you.

      • Do you regret trying it, knowing now that it didn’t work out?

        • Dating novice seeking advice :

          I’m curious about this too. Thanks for your comment – it’s genuinely nice to know someone out there is rooting for me.

    • anon for this :

      There are a lot of options, depending on your comfort level.

      Try flirting with him more overtly. Do you two touch each other at all when you’re hanging out? Ramp it up a little – touch his arm or his knee when you’re talking to him to see how he responds. Same idea: hold eye contact for just a few seconds longer than is comfortable, and see how he responds.

      You don’t mention why you want to to date him instead of be friends with him. Do you want to kiss him? Would you try that?

      You can also ask for more one-on-one hangouts, or expressly ask him for a date. You could also try asking, lightly, whether he’s ever thought about the two of you as more than friends. If he says no or stammers or something like that, then you have your answer.

      As for your other implied question, yes, I think a friendship can survive if he’s not interested in you romantically. It may be weird for a little bit, though.

    • What about commenting to him that you mentioned ___(insert something you both enjoy)___ and that both you and he enjoy it to a friend (someone he doesn’t know) and that person asked if you guys were dating. See how he reacts, which might give you your answer? (It’s a tad “high school” but it gets a reaction with minimal fallout either way while not having to get too clever or put yourself out there tons.)

      • Dating novice seeking advice :

        I actually tried this! And got essentially no reaction (“oh interesting”). So I wasn’t really sure what to do with that.
        Anon for this, to answer your question, we typically hug hello and goodbye, and other incidental touching (him putting a hand on my back or arm to steady me if I’m in heels/guide me somewhere, me playfully jabbing him when he’s playfully teasing (which is a common dynamic for us), etc) is relatively common.
        The simplest way for me to describe why I want to be more than friends: I love him as a friend and could definitely progress to loving him as a partner, and I feel happy and safe and accepted in his presence. (And, of course, I find him attractive.) But I also recognize that I can continue to love him/feel happy/etc if it doesn’t progress beyond that, so I’m reluctant to be really forward about it, like by just going for it re: kissing him.

        • Do you think you could work up the courage to say this right here to him? More touching or overt physical contact would be more awkward for me than having a glass of wine and getting up the courage to have this conversation.

          • Dating novice seeking advice :

            That’s a good point, and it would certainly be more definitive. I don’t know if I’m that brave, but I’ll try. I think I’d like to be someone who can have that conversation, even though there’s a risk it doesn’t go how I want it to.

    • I say go for it!!! Partly because, my experience has been that hetero male-female friendships tend to fizzle anyway once both parties are otherwise committed to other people. i wish it weren’t like that, but I think it usually plays out like that. So what is there to lose??

  5. hair loss from iron deficiency :

    Has anyone experienced this? I’ve noticed shedding, a general limpness to my hair, and a sense that what does grow in doesn’t ma make it to full length, so I have all these weird baby hairs all the time. My dermatologist tested my iron levels and my ferritin was low, so she’s tecommended I take Slow FE iron supplements.

    Curious if anyone else has had this issue and if getting iron levels back up helped the hair growth and stopped the shedding. I’ve checked everything else and this is the only thing it could be… unless I just have inexplicable hair loss, which is extremely depressing. Any good stories out there? I could use the encouragement.

    • Sorry for multiple posts. Was stuck in mod for awhile.

    • Mineallmine :

      I’ve had very low iron the past couple of years, and it didn’t affect my hair like that. However, what has caused my hair to fall out or break is 1. hormones (perimenopause and hormonal BC both did it), and 2. hard water – it builds up in your hair and causes it to be dull and break, but putting a filter on my shower helped.

    • I want to follow because I have the same problem…I’m really hoping the iron supplements help. I want my hair back! I have a lot of new baby hairs and hope that’s a good sign.

    • Also- I take my supplements at night before bed because caffeine can block iron absorption and I want to keep my coffee!

      • Same! I have (so far, fingers crossed) had no stomach issues with these. I took some a few years ago that made me nauseous, so these are an improvement.

        Good luck with the regrowth!

    • I had this and found it was due to stress. I have been seeing a counselor and trying to improve the way I handle stress, and my hair has recovered! It’s been about 4 years, but my hair is long and healthy again, although not quite as thick as it used to be.

  6. How gorgeous are Harry and Megan’s engagement photos???

    • Anonymous :

      So gorgeous I die.

    • Anonymous :

      God, they really are. I got chills reading that he used a diamond from Botswana (and two from his mom) – that was where they had their second date.

      (Are we OK now with Harry after the whole Nazi-dress-up incident? It seems so. I know Obama’s hanging out with him)

      • Anonymous :

        I am! That was a long time ago, he’s really grown up, and I’m just not okay with holding a lifetime grudge over a youthful mistake that he clearly regrets. It was a bad costume, he wasn’t actually joining the Hitler youth.

        • I have been incredibly impressed with his and his brother’s speaking publicly about mental health. I watched an interview where he talked about processing his mother’s death, getting angry and getting help. As someone who also lost a parent young, his words rang so true to my experience. I found his honesty very brave. I think he has grown up a great deal.

        • I’m a total grump about the royals, but watching The Crown this season (no spoilers) has made me think about how Nazi uniforms and flags were a very normal part of the landscape for previous generations in this family, and apparently not always much of a lightning rod. I don’t excuse his mistake at all, but the visuals of the show have given me a new idea about where it may have come from. (I know that education by Netflix is not exactly enough! It’s more like an artistic impression I am seeing.)

      • Ahh I’m going to be such a fangirl for this royal wedding. My DH is already rolling his eyes.

        Interesting point re Harry/Nazi-dress-up thing. I love Meghan Markle, so I guess I have moved past it. On a general level, though, it raises an interesting question for me this morning – at what point do we forgive those in the public eye for doing dumb things?

        • I guess, although I always suspect things. Like if you ran around in a Nazi costume when you were young, I’m always going to wonder if you have some majorly questionable views.

          • This connects to my fundamental discomfort with royalty–the concept that some people, by birth, are better or more important than others. It’s not a huge leap to look at possible connections to racism and etc.

          • That’s where I come out. I think he’s grown up an absolute ton, and I too have immense respect for the steps he’s taking to help mental health issues. . . but there’s a bit of me that’s like, “really? Nazis? You’re a prince in the British royal family. . .you should know better.” Maybe it’s a bit of the Prince Philip in him.

          • royal question :

            Does anyone really think the royals are better or more important than anyone, or that they’re just a rich celebrity family with some political power, but not much? Is there a major difference between them and the Kardashians, or the Kennedys or whoever?

          • British people can answer that question better than I, but the bottom line is that they live in national palaces and have to be addressed as “majesty” or “royal highness.” I know we have a very problematic elite/celebrity families here too, but I can stomach that a bit better.

          • They can’t *make* you address them like that.

            I watched The Tudors. England has, like, laws and stuff now. They can not invite you to tea for messing up, but they can’t lock you in the Tower if you don’t curtsey (or escheat your lands).

            I mean, they have rules, but with no real penalties, they are just customs. Customs don’t bother me.

        • Harry would have grown up with a tv comedy called Allo Allo. It was totally beloved in the UK. It was set in 1940s France and has the Germans as scared fools or zealots, the Italians as idiots and the British as upper class twits etc etc. No one ever batted an eyelid about this, including veterans. Everyone just thought it was funny and that it was a good way of bringing various topics into discussion. A whole generation grew up with depictions of Nazis and we never thought it was unusual. people did dress up as the, and we never thought they were promoting Naziism or the like, they were just dressing as a historical character.

          • Lyra Silvertongue :

            Allo Allo is probably my favorite sitcom, hysterically funny stuff. And I hate Nazis.

        • “at what point do we forgive those in the public eye for doing dumb things?” At the same point we would like to be forgiven. The costume incident happened in 2005 when he was 21 (though images didn’t surface until a couple years ago). How many poor decisions did all of us make in college?

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, but it’s *Nazis* we are talking about. I did stupid stuff but didn’t parade around at Halloween in a KKK robe, for instance. Maybe I’m missing some nuance around how British people view Nazis.

          • Anonymous :

            You are. Absolutely.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I am Canadian and studied in Scotland and am a staunch republican (not GOP but the traditional meaning as in being anti-monarchy), but I was deeply impressed with Harry this summer during his stint in Toronto for the Invictus Games. He is quite clearly a really nice person who grew up in an unimaginably weird situation. I think the fact that he will never have to be king is actually quite freeing and has allowed him to be more authentic than his brother.

        • Ah, republican. I knew there was a reason your past comments didn’t read Canadian to me.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I am not even sure what that means. I could use “eh” a bit more… I have been told that my Scottish years have made me a bit more blunt than what Canadians are presumed to be though.

          • She means literally Republican, not GOP/conservative

    • Harry’s always been my fave. I love these photos!

  7. Hildegarde :

    I could really use some shopping help if anyone has time: my mom has asked for a purse for Christmas, and she said this one: (the Tumi Aidan crossbody in burgundy) is perfect, but she wants leather. Tumi does not make it in leather. The top handles aren’t strictly necessary, but she would like as close to this one as possible. Tan is acceptable if there isn’t a burgundy option. I haven’t been able to find anything close enough; does anyone have any ideas?

    • May be the satchel bags from Madewell?

    • Radley’s Primrose Hill bag is similar but slightly less stylish.

      • Hildegarde :

        She specified she needs an external pocket, though the shape of that one is close. Thank you!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Mini tassel bag from Cuyana.
      Coach & Rodarte courier bag.
      Rebecca Minkoff Midnighter Work Satchel tote in dark cherry (maybe too big) or the Regan Satchel in almond (I would probably remove all of the excess tied fringe to make it more classic).

  8. hair loss from iron deficiency :

    Has anyone experienced this? And did it get better when you got your iron levels up? My dermatologist found that I have low ferritin and she said it could be causing my insane shedding. Curious to hear if anyone dealt with this and if taking iron supplements helped. She prescribed me Slow FE supplements.

  9. Just have to share that I am wearing FLEECE TIGHTS for the first time today and they have already changed my life. I might never take them off.

    • Anonymous :

      They changed my life as well. I have 5 pairs on regular rotation. And never would have known about them without this s i t e!

      Hive FTW

    • Not to rain on your parade, but I felt this way until my third wear and then realized that they pill and sag in weird places and I just don’t care for wearing drop crotch tights to work. Now on most cold days I just wear knee highs under my tall boots and a long coat and find it suffices. If it’s super cold, I have a pair of fleece leggings I’ll wear over regular tights and take off when I get to work.

      • The dreaded drop crotch tights! Do you think this problem could be solved by sizing way up?

        • IME, sizing up doesn’t make a difference.

        • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

          Wear a second pair of panties over the fleece tights. Life changing. They will never droop again. Fleece tights do wear out a bit faster than my usual thick tights, but I think are totally worth replacing every year or two.

          • In the same vein, I wear short spandex shorts over mine. Bonus of some compression.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          I solved it by layering a pair of regular tights over fleece tights. Keeps them up properly.

        • If I’m wearing boots, I wear footless fleece tights and socks. Sizing up does work for me, though. I usually buy at least one size larger in any tight because I’m tall.

        • I sized up and down with no luck. I would be happy to replace them every year – if they lasted that long! Mine have been good for max 2-3 wears. I can’t imagine wearing anything over the tights, especially given that pilling is still a major annoyance for me and can’t be solved with extra underwear, but if that works for someone else, great.

        • wildkitten :

          I went TC camisoles and they have silicon at the bottom. It’s supposed to be there to keep the camisole down but it’s AMAZING at keeping tights up.

    • I personally hate fleece tights, but love fleece lined jeans from uniglo – they have all of the warmth and none of the weird fit issues.

      • Anon for this Judge :

        Wait… what?

        Fleece lined jeans!!!???

      • These are awesome –

  10. anonymous :

    I’m the “diversity issues” poster from last week. I decided to talk to my friend about the things she was saying that are perpetuating harmful stereotypes (even if it doesn’t seem like that’s what she intends or that’s what she’s doing on the surface). She’s a loving and gracious person and really did handle the whole thing very gracefully. But we’re to the part where she has all these questions and she’s sharing with me her observations and asking what I think and how she should look at things differently. Which to be clear, I did say was okay. She’s not treating me like I owe her anything or anything like that.

    The more she asks her questions and explains why she got certain impressions, the more crazy and ridiculous I think things are. Think “well on Real Housewives I observed that X people tend to…” And it’s like……do we really need to revisit the part where not everything on TV is real? She has an ivy league degree, a PhD, and is a smart and kind person. How are we having this discussion about reality TV not being real? The other thing is that the assumption appears to be that because you see a few of X people doing a certain thing, then that must be a thing that all X people do- looking to race as something that must be operative in every difference you’re seeing.

    She wants to understand and I don’t want to dissuade her from asking honest questions when she’s trying to understand. But I a.) just can’t believe that she thinks some of the things she does and find that extremely frustrating given the “data” sources she’s apparently using, and b.) don’t really know what to say, how to say it, or how to proceed and c.) I am just about at the end of my rope having to think about these issues even more than I normally do.

    Not sure what I’m asking for here. advice? For someone who’s been on the receiving end of this type of conversation, what was helpful? How can I make sure she feels free to ask things? Anything else useful?

    • Anonymous :

      Wait, you don’t want her to ask things though? Cause, to be blunt, she’s a racist idiot. Assuming all x people are a certain thing because of Real Housewives isn’t ignorance, it’s ignorance and stupidity and racism. I think you invited this in, but you’re allowed to change your mind.

      • I mean, it’s not like she’s saying “oh I observe that some people do this so I assume that all do.” or “I saw this on reality TV so it must be true.” If I said “you know not everything you see on TV is accurate right?” She’d say of course she wasn’t suggesting that, just that this seems to be an example of something. I

        All the above is dumb and incorrect, but my point is that she isn’t explicitly assuming these things and doesn’t realize she’s doing it. Frankly, she’s doing this in a way I see a LOT of white progressives do. She just isn’t aware of what underlies what she’s saying. It’s not okay and doesn’t make it not racist, but it doesn’t mean that she’s beyond help.

        Of course I invited it. It ended up being worse than I expected by a lot, but I’m not trying to complain so much as I am trying to find a way forward.

        • Ok well that’s very different than your first post then.

          • Sorry. Maybe I could have been more clear. Still though, even though she might understand on some level that what she sees on TV isn’t necessarily real, she doesn’t get that real housewives =/= X people culture unless I point that out. Once I point this out, it’s going to seem obvious. So I guess it’s a little bit of both?

          • “Once I point this out”

            So, you haven’t already done so? I would just point it out in a very straightforward way. “You seem to be making X assumption based on Y reality TV show, and I don’t think that’s a valid assumption.”

          • I have pointed out similar things in related contexts before. But I haven’t responded to her about this particular thing. I’m trying to think through how to approach it before I actually do.

            Thanks for the script.

    • Anonymous :

      I can’t say that I’ve tried this approach in the context of a friendship (it’s something I use with my direct reports who are working on professional development and leaning on me too much as the sole source of ideas), but with that caveat: can you talk to her about what her plan is for improving her knowledge/sensitivity/etc in this area? That is, hand more of the burden for figuring out her next steps over to her, maybe with some suggestions along the lines of books/sites/articles *if that wouldn’t be a research project for you*.

      Also, continued props to you for being willing to take this on at all!

    • With regard to her deriving a conclusion because X number of people in a group do something they all must, have you explained to her that that is one of the underlying bases for racism and prejudice? That as a general principle a few observations do not extrapolate to the whole group because people are different and individuals, which is one of the basic tenants that POC want white people to grasp? Instead of answering every question and stressing yourself out (and unwittingly becoming her “race questions” person), since you say she’s so smart, try to talk to her about race theory in an academic sense re: the above. Make examples that she can relate to. Try to cut these questions off at the knees.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Can you provide her with some resources (like websites) to independently read so that she can do some of her own homework? Yesterday there was a poster who asked for resources (blogs/books) written by POC for a friend who wanted to educate herself – might be a good starting point.

      You sound like a good (and very patient) friend!

    • Yes to giving her reading material and maybe the Harvard surveys online on bias so she can do some introspection instead of asking you. Also, is it possible that she’s asking all of these questions because she may not agree with whatever you are saying? Like is she trying to prove the opposite point by asking questions?

      • Betterandbetter :

        I was actually wondering if there was something along these lines! I know there was a survey created that’s sometimes used in schools to help (presumably) straight kids have empathy for queer ones like “When did you decide you were a heterosexual? What caused your heterosexuality? Why do you flaunt your heterosexuality, can you just keep it to your self? etc Does anyone know if there is a race version?

        Also, OP, I was your friend with respect to white people to some degree until I knew a lot more of them and am still occasionally guilty of thinking “Geez, White ladies” when obviously what I really mean is “some white people.” We can all do better and all try to have empathy.

        I’m not suggesting OP isn’t. It sounds like you are being really good about pushing past your discomfort and engaging in this (that’s awesome! I could really feel how worn down you were in your original posts so this is really big of you) but I think none of us have clean hands when it comes to stuff like this- at least not without a lot effort to wash them off. And really- its no one’s fault other than those who consciously perpetuate this stuff. We are all victims of this crummy system.

        • I agree that none of us have clean hands. I’ve been on a very humbling journey of my own in the last few years on issues related to this and my anger about things that I’ve been on the receiving end of. It’s hard to let that anger go, but I think I’ve learned to deal in a much more productive way.

          I think it’s hard for me to see that “some white people” sometimes includes people I love and who love me, and those people also cause me pain in particular ways. I think I’m doing okay with this, but nothing about learning to understand other people and build bridges or whatever. I am trying really hard, and I hope one day I can be as big as I want to be.

          Thanks for your encouragement and kind words.

      • I would suspect that with other people, but I’m virtually certain that’s not happening here.

    • Maybe you could tell her the broad picture issue in general terms instead of pointing it out to her. It can possibly be worked into a response for another question e.g. “I think the bigger issue is that people often assume that if they see one member of a race/gender acting that way it may be common amongst people of that race. It’s true there are commonalities but just like all white women aren’t like you in the way they educate themselves on race issues, all African American’s aren’t this or that. I understand there are some commonalities when you take a persons gender, social status etc but a lot of the stuff in the news and tv is dramatized to get views. Take for example this one thing about you, you wouldn’t assume every blond does this because you do….There’s actually a very interesting book on this topic that I think might answer some of your questions…” I don’t know if this would be helpful but hopefully it’ll give you some ideas of bringing things up

      Here’s a test we have used in seminars about implicit biases. Maybe that’s something you could point her towards:

    • Not sure if you’re still reading, but that sounds like a lot of work for you. Have you considered asking her to buy a subscription to Safety Pin Box? They have a bunch of lessons that explain these things patiently and help people come to their own conclusions. There are plenty of issues with their product (I’m white and subscribed for ~6 mos, and I had to quit for a bit because there just wasn’t enough time to process each lesson), but it will handle a lot of what you’re seeing (i.e. “let’s learn to question what media teach us about POC!”).

  11. Best over-the-counter eyedrops for dry/red/itchy eyes?

    • Anonymous :

      I think you’re supposed to address the root of this and avoid OTC eyedrops

    • Anonymous :

      The just tears ones- the kind that come in individual pods with no preservatives. Lots of brands.

    • Avoid the visine or other brand “get the red out” drops. They work in the moment but your eyes quickly get dependent on them and you will need to use them more and more. One of my coworkers went to an ophthalmologist for a visine dependency and he advised her to quit cold turkey, which meant she had beet red eyes for several days and was quite uncomfortable. She looked like something out of a horror movie and I am not exaggerating.

    • Have you seen an optometrist to work out why you have dry eyes? You can probably pick some artificial tears up OTC from them, but ultimately the best ones will focus on the reason for your dry eyes.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just asked my eye doctor about dry eyes and she suggested Systane Balance and gave me a free sample. I don’t know if they are sold at regular pharmacies but I think they can be purchased where you buy glasses/contacts without a prescription.

    • Thanks for the ideas. I do have rx drops for allergies, but sometimes I get spurts of dry, itchy eyes for a day or two. I just want to keep something in my purse that keeps me from rubbing them.

    • My ophthalmologist recommended Blink specifically. She said not to worry about forming a dependency, but I don’t really know if that’s because it’s not a concern with this product line, or because my eyes were already dry, red, and itchy. The ingredients make it look like a moisturizer and barrier. I use the stronger product at night and the milder one during the day. I found it helped to the point that I apply drops less frequently and sometimes forget to apply the drops. I can also wear contacts again though preferably not all day. The cause was probably mild allergies.

    • Former Retail :

      Zaditor. More expensive than everything else on the shelf, but worth it.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      On optometrist recommendation, I use Zaditor for itchy eyes and Systane Balance for dry eyes. I like to keep a bottle of the Systane in the fridge (a trick I learned in LASIK recovery). The coolness is so soothing.

    • Systane was recommended by my eye doctor, as well. They work really well and provide immediate relief, but be aware that they are a thicker eye drop. I also stumbled on a box of one use disposable Systane eyedrops (they look like plastic little eye drop vials), which are very easy to store in a variety of places for use.

  12. Anyone else bummed that Chrissy didn’t win Survivor? I feel like the producers picked their winner early and did everything in their power to make sure he won.

    • Wanderlust :

      I was rooting for her too. Ben did play a good game, though.

    • Another Anon :

      I didn’t mind Ben winning, but the final twist definitely seemed engineered in his interest. Chrissy played like a boss though- she was undeniable.

      • Right that’s the frustration. I guess she knew she was signing up for an entertainment event and not necessarily a fair competition. But the show so clearly favoring the guy…. I don’t know. I guess the only recourse to shenanigans like that is for viewers to stop watching the show. No money for you, network. Boo.

  13. I’m sure this has been asked before but I had trouble searching. For those of you who are partners in big law firms, what made you decide to go for partnership and when did you make the decision? Is it better or worse then you expected and why? And are you happy overall?

    • I could write a novel about this.

      Candidly, I wanted to be successful in biglaw because I care – deeply – about the city of my birth. It was impressed on my from an early age that civic-minded and engaged business leaders have an enormous ability to make a positive difference. I knew that being a partner in my firm (which is headquartered here and has historically had a significant place in the civic life of my community) would be a path to having a voice in making this place better. It would give me a seat at the table that I’d otherwise have trouble getting. I also like my work, my clients, and my co-workers, but the real drive comes from that. And that has turned out to be true – I’m able to make a difference in my community because of the platform and connections this gives me.

      I made the decision when I was a fourth year.

      It’s better than I expected, both in terms of what I expressed above and in terms of giving me more flexibility and direction in my work. I also have awesome opportunities to mentor associates and to try to make some change in issues I care about around hiring and retention. That’s been enormously satisfying.

      I don’t know if I’ll do this forever, but I’m happy with my choice and with my life.

      • Cornellian. :

        I know that this line of thinking is sort of like being surprised at seeing your 4th grade teacher in a grocery store because you thought he lived at your elementary school, but I am still surprised when I see BigLaw partners talk openly about not always being a BigLaw partner. I’m now senior enough to have slightly more senior friends who are partners, and it’s still so surprising. I guess I think of partners as static, somehow.

        I think I stick around BigLaw for a not dissimilar reason: now that I’m almost done with my debt, I can really make big contributions to charities I find important, and use my legal skills (+ my firm’s platform and support) to help them. It’s like the firm lets me multiply the help I can offer. I imagine it’s even more powerful as a partner.

      • It’s funny that you write this now.

        I have been trying to lean out for a long time. My children need me — they have one mom, and there are other lawyers (some of whom I trained, so they are good) out there. Our city’s schools need more hands-on volunteers (esp. higher-level subjects, like math, which I am very good at teaching and coaching).

        Sadly, I can make more of a difference as “Anon, equity partner at Firm A” than “Anon, a mom who drives a minivan.” It’s not just clout, it’s being able to back it up with writing big checks, having contacts, getting Important People to call you back, encouraging businesses to support volunteer projects, fundraising, etc.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Obviously you should do whatever your heart calls you to do, but I will not pretend that the constant stream of this line of thinking makes me so sad, especially on a blog for women.

          We are constantly complaining about the prevalence of old men at the top of the pyramid and how hard it is for women to have c-suits mentors…and a lot of it (not all, but a significant amount) is because women lean out from partnership and aggressive ambition. It just makes me feel, sad.

          • I think it’s that I have ambition for Things that are Important to Me.

            I am just over ambition for Things that are Important to Others.

          • Yeah, I mean my view is this: we should all lean in.

            We should lean into the things that we love.

            We should lean into the things that are important to us.

            We should lean into the life that we want.

            Our societally defined concept of success (which is, of course, mostly driven by what has historically constituted success for men) shouldn’t define our ambitions. Our own values and priorities should do that.

          • +1 to your last paragraph.

            This is going to be unpopular, but while definitely support every woman’s/person’s right to make personal decisions for themselves, part of the reason why the gender based issues in this society persist is that there are too many white men at the top relative to the rest of us. We’re depending on a few people (women partners at law firms for example) to change things for us, but otherwise we aren’t going to make progress until we get more power. We do that by having more ambitious women achieve things.

            I support an individual person’s decision to lean out bc it works for her and her family, but there are serious consequences for women’s advancement it too many people do this.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, but why should I care about whether I am mentoring other random people or checking the box for some “women in power” list for outside counsel or being whatever token is needed to show strangers to me when my actual family needs me more?

            I can’t send a surrogate to every kid/family function.
            I can have someone else pick up my work if I walk out the door permanently.

            What is my story going to be when I am gone — that I did something b/c it was important to others or I did something that was important to me? That I sacrificed my family or the ambition that would make a better resume?

            At this point, I spent half of my life on my resume. I want the other half of my life back for me.

          • cbackson, your last paragraph is a lovely way of phrasing it. I also like the idea of being over ambition for Things That Are Important to Others.

            I got into a fight with an older woman who is very much of the view that younger women need to make partner at law firms and that women of my generation are essentially lazy for not doing everything they can to chase that dream. But from my experience, it’s kind of soul-crushing to run that race if you don’t really want to be in it. I’m not sure how to resolve this tension.

          • @anonymous at 1:03, I’m not saying you should care. I think you need to make the choice that suits you and your life. I’m pointing out that there is a tension between what works for us personally and what it means in terms of progress for the collective. I’m not really sure how to resolve that, and I’m not saying the answer is that everyone needs to do things they don’t want to do.

        • Not in law, but I feel the same way. The social capital thing among women is fascinating to me. I have a friend who was in a prominent position in our community and then got laid off. She and her husband are financially comfortable, and so she decided not to get another job (she’s in her late 50s, so it barely counts as early retirement). We had lunch the other day and she told me that now that she is not VP of blah-blah at Local Bigcorp, people won’t even return her phone calls. She was thinking she could spend her time working for non-profit boards and fundraising but those positions are going to people who still have jobs and connections back to their company’s money. It seems someone really can get much more done by being VP at BigCorp vs. being Mom Who Drives Minivan, and I don’t think it’s always been that way. I know I have a lot more social capital working for the company I work for now – bigger and more well-known – than I did working for the small non-profit I worked for a couple of years ago.

    • This is very interesting. I just make partner in big law, so I’ve been thinking a lot about this. It’s amazing that folks feel like they can influence their communities by being in big law– maybe that’s something I can look forward to as a partner. But I bill a lot. Like the horror stories. I stay because I find my work incredibly interesting, and I have the most intelligent, thoughtful colleagues and clients. I’ve paid off my loans, so the money is nice, but I’d take less to work less if that was an option. I took interviews and explored other opportunities up until 6 months before the partnership vote. But I ultimately decided to stay and to make partner because I really like the work and the people. I optimistically believe that I can practice the kind of law that I find interesting and make a difference in my organization by being a partner who has interests and obligations outside of the office. I hope to slowly in my own small way create a work environment here that is more flexible so that we can attract different kinds of talent and not just burn everyone out. I believe that folks run people into the ground partially because they are not good managers–they are good lawyers–and I strive to be both. We will see what happens. Stay if you love what you do and you feel supported and like you can have the career you want. Leave if you find those things elsewhere. Or at least, that is how I made my decision.

  14. San Francisco :

    My partner and I have a week with our young kids (4 and 7) in San Francisco in February. I am thinking of spending a few days in Monterey and then a few days in San Francisco. Any recommendations on where to stay in San Francisco (neighborhoods or specific hotels)? Also any recommendations on gluten free restaurants that are Celiac friendly? Thanks!!

    *I realize this is the off-season and that the weather may not be ideal. However, we live in New England where the weather will likely be and have been 10 degrees F since, well … now, so anything higher than freezing will feel lovely.

    • It’s often nice here in February, there can be storms so check ahead of time, but nothing like the east coast (you’re usually talking rain not things that get in the way of doing stuff and keep you indoors). For hotels, I like the Stanyan Park in the Haight – it’s a neighborhood spot that’s in a residential neighborhood so you get the feeling of living here. Goop just wrote up the Hotel Drisco, also in a residential neighborhood that looks interesting. If you want more chain/hotel area hotels, the Hotel Vitale on the EC is nice and close to the Ferry Bldg.
      and you don’t need to worry about GF here, I haven’t been to a restaurant yet (save for maybe Flour and Water) that doesn’t have robust GF options.

    • I’d stay in union square, the generally touristy/shopping area, because it’s close to everything. I like the St Francis.

      • Anonymous :

        i feel like union sq is too close to the tenderloin … how about north beach if you want to be close to ghiradelli/the embarcadero/marina? actually the marina is proba good place to stay too. if you want cute super nice neighborhood, stay in hayes valley

        • Anonymous :

          SF is a very dense city, everything is “close” to the Tenderloin. Anyway, Union Square is a great place for visitors to stay. There’s lots to do and it’s a pretty central location for reaching other parts of the City. I’ve never felt concerned about safety in Union Square.

    • I am going to second the recommendation that you stay somewhere more central rather than one of the cute residential neighborhoods. Look at Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, the Embarcadero (aka The Financial District). The simple reason is simply to keep you within walking distance of a lot of what you are going to want to see. Bonus points for something on Bart or with good public transit options. You do not say whether you are going to have a car, but driving in SF is a pain and parking is worse.

      If you are renting a car, be sure to get the appropriate car seats for BOTH of your children. I think the cut-off in California is currently 8, but someone with younger children might have more recent information (mine is now driving so our car seat years are long behind us).

  15. Legally Brunette :

    I’m looking for a fitted winter wool coat in a fun color. I have tried many stores at this point (Boden, JCrew, Nordstrom, Banana, Nordstrom Rack, LL Bean, Land’s End) and am coming short. I’m also looking for a coat that not everyone has (so no Jcrew cocoon coat, which I see on the metro at least 5 times a day). At this point I’m just going to wait until after the new year and look for sales, but does anyone have suggestions on where I might look?

    I tried going on Lord & Taylor’s website last night and was so frustrated at how terribly slow it was. I gave up after 5 minutes.

    • Talbots? They have lots of colorful coats and I don’t see them everywhere.

    • Have you tried Reiss? Colors may be limited in the brightness arena but they have some truly beautiful coats.

    • anon a mouse :

      Dillards, Bloomingdales, Club Monaco, Anthropologie?

      Don’t discount checking the Marshalls/TJ Maxx in your area too — I’ve found some outerwear gems there.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I don’t know your budget, but Mackage has gorgeous coats and they are very “of the moment” thanks for Ms. Markle’s patronage. This sunny yellow is so gorgeous….

  16. Just a vent… I had my first annual review on Tuesday (I’m a newly minted second-year) and one piece of feedback (from a male partner) is that I should be more humble. A female partner’s feedback was that I need to be more self-confident. ARGH!

    • And such is the nature of these things. Throughout work you’re going to get seemingly conflicting advice. You just do you and keep on going. Congrats on getting through your first review!

    • That’s hilarious and completely annoying. It sounds like you are doing things right!

    • Welcome to the club. This is like one of those (annoying) rites of passage.

    • LOL. Work life in a microcosm right there.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Is there any chance the conflicting feedback is based on how you respond to those two people? I could see myself getting the same feedback as a 2nd year. I worked for one very friendly male attorney who valued my opinion and would debate legal issues with me. I got feedback from him that I need to concede more when I’m wrong. At first I was pissed but it was actually great legal advice for court. You gain a lot of credibility when you concede some weaknesses. The judge knows that you aren’t puffing when you stick to your guns on another issue in the case.

      I also worked for a female partner who I was completely intimidated by. She was not very nice — not that women need to be nice — she was just more of a stereotypical scary partner. I would approach her much more cautiously with a lot more deference and rarely pushed back. Consider whether you have a similar dynamic.

      • This is good advice.

        Also, I found that some partners want you to argue, play devil’s advocate, point out weaknesses in their arguments, etc.–working through issues with another person can make the final product better. Not arguing with them would come off as a lack of self-confidence. (“She needs to engage and push back more.”) And some partners have already worked through the issues by the time they give you instructions, and they just want you to carry them out. Arguing with these people could come off as a sign of arrogance (“Does she honestly think I haven’t thought of that?”) So it could be that these two people have different styles and expectations for junior associates. Talk to some mid-levels to see if you can figure out if that’s the case.

      • Anonymous :

        OP here– thanks for this! That hadn’t occurred to me. One of the partners I’ve never actually met in person, only over the phone, and I might not have done a good enough job of asking around about her style and expectations.

    • This happened to me, too, except our feedback was blind, so you wouldn’t know who to be more confident in front of and who to be more humble in front of. One year the partner reading the feedback literally laughed because the comments were so opposed they were ridiculous.

  17. I’m 28 and have been with my SO for 5 years, living together for 3. Not married. Can’t ask anyone this in real life so would appreciate th insight! We are great together when we’re not fighting. We definitely fight more than we should, which is something we’re working on because it’s the same set of issues repeatedly. My question is, is it normal that when we fight, in the moment I question everything and feel I don’t want to be with this person anymore? I get so angry and start planning to leave, start apartment hunting and making mental lists of what household items are mine to take with me. But then it passes. It makes me scared to take the next step given how often I consider breaking up with him.

    • I’m voting not normal. Whether it’s not normal because your relationship is bad or not normal because you have some work to do around handling conflict I have no idea, and therapy is a good place to explore that.

    • Not normal. Don’t be like me, marry him, have kids and be stuck because it’s not bad enough to leave but a mediocre marriage isn’t fun. We’re still having the same fights we had 15 years ago.

      • +1

      • This. If you are fighting over the same issues–that means there is no resolution and no moving on from them. You haven’t shared the issues that are recurrent–but one or both of you needs to accept that the other is not going to change on it and determine if you can live with it. And it could be really small–if you are ticked because his underwear is on the floor instead of the hamper every day and you have fought over it 20 times–and it’s still there–it’s not going to change–so you have to ask yourself–can I let this go and live with it because that is just the way he is. Conversely–he should be able to evaluate and say “wow, she really cares about this, so I should get these to the hamper.” Ideally, he would make an effort to the hamper, and she would cut him some quarter if there is improvement…alas sometimes that is not possible.

      • + 100000000. this is exactly my life. wish i had a time machine.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I have been saying for some time now that the relationship stands or falls on its worst moments, not its best moments.

        And also? Why would you marry somebody you fight with? Ugh. No.

        Again, there are dealbreakers and there are things that are the price of admission. If it’s a dealbreaker, you don’t fight, you leave. If it’s the price of admission, you don’t fight, you accept it.

    • In general, I’d say no, this is not normal and is something to pay attention to.

      The only caveat would be if this is typical for you in other aspects of your life too, like–when you’re frustrated at work, do you immediately start thinking about quitting? When you’re fighting with a close friend or family member, do you easily consider cutting off all contact? And even if the answers are yes here, I’d say it’s a cue to commit slowly and get to a point where that is no longer your go-to emotional response to conflict.

    • I’ve done this. I catastrophize things though- it’s an issue with me, and likely an anxiety response. I don’t actually want to break up with my guy when I do that, but for some reason my brain goes into planning mode for worst case scenarios, I guess as a way to defend myself or protect myself? I guess it depends on if that’s your mindset, or if you actually do want to break up with him in the moment.

      • +1 me too. This is a know yourself situation. For me, I’m an avoider. It’s my natural response to most areas of life when things don’t go my way. I’m in therapy and that’s how I A) realized this and B) am working on it. It’s definitely come up in my relationship though so I’m glad I’m in therapy to realize this is sorta more of a me thing than a relationship specific thing.

        • Anon at 11:33am :

          Also it’s definitely related — at least to me — to my conflict comfort level. I fee very uncomfortable by fighting and my brain goes into “flight” mode but I’ve learned by watching my partner that hey it’s okay! It doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the world.

          Of course — I don’t know the specifics of your conflicts, so YMMV.

      • anon for this :

        +1. I used to do the same thing. I’ve worked on it in therapy. I still have the feelings, but I can recognize them for what they are, calm myself down, and not act on them. But in my younger days, I froze out some perfectly nice people because I didn’t know how to deal with conflict.

        On the other hand, my now-husband was my motivation for working on this. He refused to put up with it, and I decided I didn’t want to lose him.

    • My experience :

      I’m 48 and have been married to the same person for 24 years. He’s 54. First marriage for both. Our marriage is basically the battle of two very strong wills. The first five years of our marriage were a pattern of dramatic fights and make ups. He tells people I had my bag packed for years – “She did not get the memo that it’s fashionable to like being married.” I’m thankful that we lived hundreds of miles from family bc it would have caused great concern and made it easier for me to go somewhere else (I always went home after a couple of hours). The arguments were about nothing substantial – how to spend money or time or sometimes we could not recall how it all started. No physical abuse. Once a lamp was broken and once spaghetti was thrown on a newly upholstered chair. During all of it, though, we were loyal to each other and he was honestly the one I wanted to be with, meaning I knew I would never find someone better. I married someone smarter, funnier, nicer and better looking who was somehow confused and felt the same way about me. Things mellowed over the years then we had a child and there is really no time for the luxury of fighting. It is so not about us anymore. :) We spend a lot of our free time together which is not common in our community. Even our daughter says we are not like other parents – we argue more and do everything together. I’m not holding us out as an example of what is appropriate, but I am very satisfied in my marriage and extremely happy we made it (so far!).

      • If someone broke a lamp and threw a plate of food during an argument, there was physical abuse. I mean I’m glad it worked out for you and all. But let’s stop telling women that throwing things isn’t abuse as long as it didn’t hit you.

        • I wouldn’t want to be in a marriage where people were throwing things on the regular, but it’s not physical abuse just because a lamp was broken out of anger. It waters down that term to call every physical act of aggression physical abuse. My father occasionally punched doors or walls out of anger. I don’t think it was great behavior but I would never dream of telling people I was physically abused as a child. Punching a person (or swinging in the direction of a person even if you don’t make contact with the person) is totally different than punching a wall (or breaking a lamp) that’s 10 feet away from the nearest person.

          • Throwing things, punching walls, otherwise acting out physically – IS abuse. It is aggressive behavior intended to intimidate, inspire fear, and force the victim to back down. It doesn’t water down the term abuse to call abuse abuse. And yes, if your father got so angry at you that he was punching walls, he was absolutely abusing you.

          • Punching walls out of anger is NOT normal or okay.

        • Idk, it feels more like childish to me. I specifically remember being so mad at my dad as a little kid that I threw a plate of food…

          • Not the same at all? One is a child and one is an adult? Toddlers sometimes hit when they have temper tantrums too, that doesn’t mean that an adult striking another adult is just childish so we should ignore it. This concept really isn’t difficult. Not sure why so many of you are trying to minimize abusive behavior. Thought this board was better than that.

          • I actually agree with the other poster that punching/throwing stuff is not always meant to intimidate. Sometimes it really is the same as a kids’ temper tantrum – a poor way of expressing frustration. I know a lot of ladies here grew up with great parents who really thought about the act of parenting, but speaking from personal experience sometimes people are just immature and copy behavior that has been passed down for centuries out of ignorance. Yeah, it is not ideal and takes arguments to a weird place, but not a place where you fear for your personal safety. Something like this is probably a class marker.

          • My experience - former fighter :

            Busy at work – update below. If the behavior was abusive, I was surely the abuser. My husband tells people, “never marry a 24 year old!” I would have to agree if the bride acts like me.

        • Maybe she threw it. Same response?

          • Yes? Why is this a question? It’s not ok for anyone to throw things.

          • Another anon :

            Of course it’s the same response!

          • update from former fighter :

            Busy at work today but more info: he broke the lamp (actually just the light bulb) after a sequence of turning it on (me) and turning it off (him). Broke the bulb off in the socket with the alarm clock sitting next to it. So embarrassing and immature but I was insisting he stay awake and argue with me when he had an international flight the next day. As for the plate of food, I dumped it on his lap while he was sitting on the newly upholstered chair. He promptly stood up and rubbed the plate in the seat of the chair. I am the first to admit that I was the most immature 24 year old bride in the world which is the opposite of my personality in any other setting. Pretty sure both events happened in the first year of marriage, 1994. Fights were quick to start and quick to end (20-30 minutes). We tell people these stories and no one ever believes us. We are both generally reliable people who take care of business, delay gratification and deliver professionally. We never lived together and it was hard for me to adjust to the marriage emotionally and to be far away from my family. In hindsight, he remembers these years as ridiculous but happy. The darkest times of our marriage definitely involved the sadness of infertility and losing pregnancies. Relationships are so personal, and what we receive from them is difficult to articulate. I have no insight into OP’s relationship but considering leaving during fights sounds perfectly normal to me, particularly if the planning only lasts for short periods of time.

    • Baconpancakes :

      To quote Senior Attorney, being with someone should be easy. This does not sound easy. She can explain it better, but yeah, I was in that relationship, and then I got out, and once I did it, my only regret was not doing it sooner.

      • Ditto. Being with someone really should be easy. I’ve been in the difficult relationships and thought, “Well…” There is no “well.” There is no convincing yourself or making excuses. When you’re in the right relationship, you KNOW.

      • Senior Attorney :


        I get that there are people who love the drama, like the poster above. But for me? Ugh, just no. I far prefer being in a romantic comedy than in a big ol’ drama.

        • OMG, with these comments :

          People love drama, like the poster above? In general, it has been my experience that only people who “love drama” themselves say such things. Oh, my.

          Enough with the weird myopia so omnipresent on this site. Some people simply have a lot of spirit and are incredibly close and share everything, fighting included – without things being abuse or all the terrible words that I see thrown around here. I feel kind of sorry for you. :( Do you have a lot of exposure to other (egalitarian) cultures? My god, you would clearly be aghast at how many 35-years-together happy parents and parents-in-law talk to each other, so loudly and full of boisterous amusement. They raise their voices! I raise my voice! And this is not drama, is not cold, abusive yelling, but a manifestation of friendship and family closeness, of love.

          OP – I , and my happily-coupled friends of mine, all have gone through periods when we had those kinds of reactions. It’s just how some people are. It is not “drama” (ah, the horror!), but your own reaction. It passes!

    • For me, this is not normal. My husband and I fight sometimes, but I have never considered leaving him. (We have been together for 15 years, married for 12.)

      • Same. Fights themselves are not easy and we definitely have our share. But, I’ve never doubted our mutual commitment to the relationship. No matter how bad the argument, I don’t think either of us have considered leaving as a way to solve things.

    • It could be a lot of people’s normal, but do you want it to be yours? That sounds exhausting and there’s a sense that I’m getting from reading this that you want to leave but are scared of what starting over looks like. I’m of the school of thought that the relationship stands on it’s worst moments and if those made me want to leave, I’d leave.

    • The issues that are recurrent I’d say are mostly our arguing styles. I need time and space to cool off from an argument and discuss the issue calmly and unemotionally. He just gets more and more emotional with each passing second and has a full on panic attack, with full on crying and throwing up, and ultimately refuses to give me this space. So things just escalate because I’m angry and irrational and he’s panicking… so small disagreements about laundry or dinner turn into GIANT fights. I’m desperate for couples counseling to learn to argue better but we haven’t found one that will work on the weekends, and my firm already freaks out about my 100% medically necessary, quarterly doctor’s appointment for 30 minutes each quarter for a chronic illness. They will honestly probably fire me if I start leaving work for counseling.

      • Will he go to therapy by himself?

      • Only you can know your relationship, but this sounds awful. When I was at a law firm, I often felt too overwhelmed with work to even think about making changes in my personal life. Moving sounded impossible, I stayed in bad relationships because it was easier than leaving. I’d kindly suggest not making this mistake. How you handle conflict is a big deal and some people just don’t handle it well together. Both my husband and I had prior relationships with people we had a lot of conflict with because we just weren’t compatible with them. In our relationship, we disagree sometimes but it’s never crazy/angry conflict and it’s just so easy. I’ve fully come around to the relationships should be easy school, and I really think if yours isn’t, move on. And maybe think about changing jobs too – even in my big law days, a doctors appointment was no big deal, and there are better gigs out there. Life is too short to accept misery.

      • Can you make an appointment first thing in the morning? Like 7 am?

      • anon for this :

        Whoa, he needs individual counseling, especially if he’s crying and throwing up as a result of an argument. This sounds like a serious problem.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        This is literally my husband and me (although in reverse). We have been married for 14 years.

        BUT it only took a year or two before we understood each other’s style and learned to adapt. If this has been going on for five years, you fight a lot and you still cannot figure out how not to escalate it, then, friend, I do not think that this relationship is the right one.

      • If he’s not willing to get therapy right now, you’re going to be in for a rough future if you do not end the relationship. Crying and throwing up over an argument about laundry is not normal and it is not you, it is him.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Arguing devolving into panic attacks to the point of throwing up is a Problem. Like, a legitimate mental health problem that your partner needs to work on with sympathetic professionals.

        He needs to learn how to handle a disagreement in a way that doesn’t escalate like this. Yes, you probably could benefit from changing the way you argue, but it’s not a reasonable expectation for you to be able to argue constructively with someone who handles conflict so poorly. I am not unsympathetic toward his uncontrolled anxiety, but that is The Thing that needs to be dealt with before you can work on your mutual handling of conflicts.

        Here’s my concern: *is* he working on this stuff by himself? I don’t gather that he is. Again, I know how hard it is to deal with these types of mental health issues, but when you’re in a relationship I think you owe it to your partner to address your stuff for the betterment of the relationship. You deserve a partner who will work on this for the betterment of your relationship. If he isn’t putting in the real work to get a handle on his anxiety, you can’t fix this relationship. No one is to blame for having mental illness, but he doesn’t get to be indefinitely mentally ill AT you.

        I am also concerned — possibly I’m projecting — that he’s putting too much of this on you. Where you say “I’m angry and irrational” … well, he’s not letting you leave while he’s crying and panicking and throwing up? Being very upset in that situation is *not* irrational. You aren’t *making* him cry and panic etc. His anxiety is doing that.

        You can help him get help for this. Lovely posters on this board frequently talk about how they have helped/are helping their partners with things like this. But first there has to be a desire and a commitment from him to get better.

        • Thank you for your thoughtful post (and thank you to everyone else as well! This has been very mind opening!) I have suggested individual therapy or psychiatry or both for him. He is not interested and generally says I’m the one with an issue. I agree I do have issues that could be dealt with in therapy, and maybe this would be more doable for me with my work schedule (easier to coordinate one person’s schedule), but SO DOES HE. I’m thinking about, well, I hate the idea of an ultimatum, but essentially that. Therapy or bust!

          • He’s the one that’s throwing up when you get into routine disagreements. I would take that as pretty strong evidence that he’s not functioning particularly well, and I’m concerned that he’s trying to put that on you.

          • Anonymous :

            Honestly this is the worst red flag you’ve mentioned – “He is not interested and generally says I’m the one with an issue.”

            He should have enough self awareness to recognize that having not-infrequent emotional meltdowns is not healthy for him, regardless of what he thinks you’re doing to trigger it. Even if you were the worst person in the world (which I’m sure you’re not), he would need to work on maintaining his composure. The fact that he doesn’t see that would be a dealbreaker for me.

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Oof, yeah. What January said.

          • Killer Kitten Heels :

            Agree with Anonymous at 1:54pm – he’s the one throwing up and somehow that means you’re the only person in the relationship with an issue? Nope. No way. Not an acceptable interpretation of events.

            FWIW, my H struggles with anxiety, and it does inspire a certain kind of “magical thinking,” along the lines of “if only things would go exactly the way I need them to go, then I wouldn’t be anxious and I wouldn’t have a problem, my problem isn’t anxiety my problem is my partner/my boss/my friend/the world isn’t behaving the way they should.” It’s a total lie, by the way, because if you twist yourself to conform to the way he claims you’re “supposed to” act to avoid causing him anxiety, and he has an anxiety-based reaction anyway – because he has clinical anxiety – he’ll just move the target and claim there’s a list of still more things you/the world/whoever are doing wrong and should change.

            Good rule of thumb – avoid relationships with people who make THEIR emotions YOUR problem.

          • Anonymous :

            Oh no, no, no, no. He is blaming you for everything. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. DTFMA

          • This whole thread was a series of red flags, but the gas lighting you on therapy? Big fat no. DTMFA

          • Senior Attorney :

            “He is not interested and generally says I’m the one with an issue.”

            I was married to this guy. Turned out my biggest issue was that I thought it was okay to be married to somebody who treated me badly.

            I ran away from home and didn’t look back. That was four years ago. It was hard and sad and scary but now I’m married to somebody who treats me like a queen and the magic couldn’t happened if I’d stayed with Mr. Gaslight.

      • He’s the one who needs therapy. And after 5 years of this…no way. There are better relationships out there, truly. He needs help and you can’t provide it.

      • Anonymous :

        You don’t need therapy, he’s controlling you with violent reactions. You need to leave.

    • Fighting about the same things over and over isn’t normal or healthy. What does Senior Attorney say? There are 3 types of conflicts in a relationship, and Number 3 is things you hate but if you explain it exactly the right way enough times and passionately enough then eventually your partner will stop it? Except there is no Number 3. That’s where you’re living right now.

      You can try to work it out in therapy. But you have to go to therapy to get the tools to resolve the conflict on your own. Expecting the therapist to be your tie breaker, or to explain your Number 3 to your partner in just the right way, is not likely to be a successful strategy.

      • +1,000

        When I have had this issue in relationships, while it has been sad to end them, I have almost immediately felt relieved and like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I no longer have to worry about something mundane turning into a blow out fight. I am no longer emotionally exhausted. I am no longer so tired of trying to explain my side that I stop doing it and give up.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Wow, Anonymous! You explained Number 3 better than I ever did!

        OP, this is so true! And CountC is right, too. There is magic out there but it can’t happen until you find the courage to leave.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I’m you. But I’m 41. And it’s exhausting doing this. I’m in therapy and it’s helping, but I have a massive “flight” response when anything goes wrong. When I was a child, I kept a “runaway” bag hidden in my closet. So I’ve been dealing with this a very long time. Take some time and fix yourself. Dumping him won’t fix your problem. It will follow you to the next relationship. Fix yourself now and you’ll have successful relationships going forward.

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Why are you still having the same fights? What do you and he need from each other to resolve them? Is one or both of you (and ideally, both of you) willing to give a little ground (freely, not grudgingly, without resentment) to make those resolutions happen? If no one is willing to move at all, are you prepared to just keeping having the same arguments over and over again for the next however many years you end up spending with him?

      What you’re doing right now isn’t working – it’s basically a never-ending game of tug-of-war between evenly matched foes, which is not really #relationshipgoals, you know? Your options are (a) you drop your end of the rope (either by letting go of whatever you’re arguing about and accepting it will never change or by leaving the relationship); (b) he drops his end of the rope; or (c) you both drop the rope by mutual agreement (only works if he’s on board, obviously). “I’m going to continue arguing with him about this stuff because I am convinced I am right and he should drop his end of the rope but I’m not willing to drop mine” is not a solution.

    • Not normal :

      “We are great together when we are not fighting” said everyone in every relationship ever. A relationship sinks or floats on its worst moments, not its best ones. Get out now; these fights are not going to get any better for you over years and life is too short for that. Find someone who you can argue with more productively, or just enjoy the drama-free existence of being alone and not having to deal with a scary angry adult male.

    • Salad Schmalad :

      My SO and I had recurring fights early in our relationship, and in those moments I often thought about leaving him, and thought through the logistics of moving out, etc. Over the years we have learned to fight fair, compromise, and understand each others’ viewpoints. Our marriage isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty good. And much better than it was in those early years.

      Ultimately you will need to determine whether your partner would be willing to change (their beliefs,behavior, whatever it is you are fighting about), even an inch, for you. And whether you would be willing to do the same. If so, your relationship has hope. If not, your relationship is doomed.

    • It takes a lot to go from a negative feeling to active planning, and it’s happening a lot, so I’d say that’s a red flag. Unless this is normal for you in relationships, in which case I’d say it may not be a red flag in this relationship but is still not normal and probably worth talking to someone about.

    • If you are apartment hunting, it is well past time to go. I know this from experience.

    • I will omit the back story to this, but we found having a weekly, regular meeting lasting no longer than 1 hour. We discussed disagreements, joint arrangements, commitments, whop was going to do what, etc. The meeting began with reading an agreement that we had drawn up, and renewed annually about how we wanted to live together, points that we wanted the other person to work on, etc. It was not the total solution, but it really helped.

    • wildkitten :

      Move out. I was in your place, exactly, and as soon as we were not living together I very clearly realized I didn’t want to be with him. When you live together it’s hard to see straight in making that decision. Maybe you do, maybe you don’t, but it doesn’t sound like you have the space to think clearly right now.

  18. Anyone else have a problem where your Roomba’s dust collection bin spontaneously detaches? Overall, I love my Roomba, but this seems to be happening more and more lately and it’s really frustrating. I don’t see anything that should be impeding the bin from staying attached to the body of the machine.

    • I’ve had that happen on a ~15 yo Roomba. Basically, at this point I make sure to push the bin in firmly before I run it (and am eyeing replacements).

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I called Roomba after owning my Rooma for at least a year (read: it was not an original defect, the problem was probably due to wear and tear) and they were more than happy to send me replacement parts. Even though I couldn’t remember exactly where or when I bought the Roomba.

  19. Frustrated :

    How do you deal with being the youngest and least experienced on your team? I am one of three admins for my boss, and he tends to leave bigger issues to his more senior team members. I completely understand that, but there have been slim opportunities for me to get to know him/earn his trust. It’s been three months of impostor syndrome every day. If I try to communicate with him the same way he communicates with his more senior team members, I get scolded–I feel as if every day is a test until he can finally break me.

    Both he and his other admins are gone until New Years, and I’m trying to prove I can keep the boat afloat while they’re gone…but I can’t help feeling hopeless. I just really need to vent about how frustrated I am. Is this something I should go to HR with, or should I just try to have a conversation with him when he returns?

    • It’s not an HR issue if more experienced team members receive bigger files to manage.

    • Can you talk with some of those admins about assisting or acting as an advocate to your boss for you after the holidays? Prove to them that they can rely on you when their load gets heavy and then they feel comfortable saying to boss “I have too many competing priorities but Frustrated has been really great at something like this.”

    • You’ve only been at this job for three months? That’s not even close to being long enough to get real opportunities. Keep doing what you’re doing. The opportunities will come. The only way to earn his trust is to do a good job with what you’re given. Demanding more when you, as you say, don’t have much experience and have only been at this job for three months is not going to go well.

    • If you’ve only been there 3 months (apologies if I’m reading that incorrectly), I would ease off the over eager thing and not push back on anything right now. You are not being treated like a senior team member because you’re not a senior team member. You prove yourself and earn his trust by doing all the junior stuff really well, not by telling him that he should be giving you different work.

      If you’ve been there for years and this is still happening, maybe start job searching because it doesn’t sound like he’s interested in changing what he wants you to do.

    • Omg neither chill. You deal with it by working hard and eventually you earn trust.

    • Yeah the other admins have more of a working rapport and trust with him because they have BEEN THERE LONGER and earned it.

      Prove yourself by doing a good job and communicating respectfully.

    • If your boss has three admins, he probably has much bigger things to worry about than whether his most junior admin, who has been there for three months, is feeling sufficiently challenged and appreciated.

      The good news is, you’ve got a great opportunity from now until New Year’s to prove that you can keep the boat afloat. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop wasting time contemplating whether you should go to your boss or HR. Put that mental energy into making sure things go smoothly for the next two weeks – that will benefit you in the long run.

      Also, be organized and keep documentation of things that come up during these two weeks which your boss and the other admins will want to know about when they get back. At the end of their time away, send them a “welcome back!” email that gets them up to speed on anything they missed that could be important.

      • In my experience, one needs to be in a job for at least a full year to really know what is going on and to handle it appropriately.

  20. iron/ferritin deficiency = hair loss? :

    My doctor found that my ferritin levels were low, so she prescribed some iron supplements. I’m hoping this stops my insane hair shedding. Has anyone else had this issue, and did supplements help?

    • Yes and sort of.

      When my mom was anemic, the iron supplements had never helped, so my doctor (who was also her doctor) didn’t bother with them for me. Like my mom, I needed to take extra vitamin C, but (unlike my mom) ultimately I also gave up on eating vegetarian. Her hair shedding was truly out of control before she got this worked out.

      For me it was more of a gradual change, since it turned out that I also had low stomach acid (probably as a complication of hypothyroidism) which is a risk factor for a bunch of bad things but which my doctors were pretty blase about for a long time. Supplements helped with that too, and I’m not low iron anymore, though I still take a good multi.

      If the supplements work, then great–but I would want to know how your iron levels got low in the first place if there isn’t an obvious answer.

    • Some supplements can be hard to digest, and as a result you don’t get as much iron from them as you might need. I’m sure your prescription probably takes it into account, but a slow-release pill or a liquid formula (Floradix) are ideal.

    • Salad Schmalad :

      I have had thinning hair since puberty. I was borderline anemic so I took iron supplements for years, but they didn’t make much of a difference. I learned to accept my hair and style it differently to make it look fuller.

  21. My dad has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. It’s one of those things that our whole family suspected for some time but didn’t want to bring up for fear of the worst. He has tremors in both hands, trouble balancing, and in the past two years his energy levels have dropped dramatically. We are looking into support groups and resources. Any advice/tips would be appreciated. I’m also thinking I may need to look for a more flexible job to help take care of him. We are in Houston.

    • Best place to start is the Michael J. Fox Foundation website. They have amazing resources.

    • Anon in NYC :

      No advice, but hugs.

    • What kind of care do you think he may need? I have a lot of knowledge but would help to direct it some.

      • He needs help with some basic tasks like showering, and definitely shaving. He can eat on his own but don’t fill his cups up all the way, don’t do soup, and are thinking of moving him to plastic dishes and cutlery. He can walk on his own but loses balance occasionally and walks with a shuffle step.

        • You may try more hand-held foods too, cutlery can be frustrating. My grandfather with Parkinson’s eats a lot of sandwiches, quesadillas, etc.

    • First, Parkinson’s is very, very common. Most of us will develop signs of it if we live long enough. My point is that you probably didn’t know this, as the vast majority of folks who have it just take meds to manage it and go on to live very full lives. It is not the cause of extensive disability at all, for most people.

      He needs a very good neurologist, who specializes in treating movement disorders, of which Parkinson’s is the most common. Look at the largest/best academic medical center in the area. If you tell me which city he lives in, I can give you some names.

      Things to keep in mind….. in addition to a medication (and it can take a little time to find the perfect MED and dose, and it often needs adjustment with time), exercise and physical therapy are very very helpful. Ask the neurologist for a referral to a PT who specializes in therapy for Parkinson’s. Biking can be wonderful too! Also, depression is a very common symptom of th disease and will make you more tired and less active, so it is very important to reassure your Dad that feeling depressed is typical and can be easily treated. Don’t ignore this.

      He can be ok. Truly.

      You are a good daughter.

      • Thank you for the recommendation of a PT that specializes in this. We have Dr Jankovic in Houston as his neurologist. From what I researched he is one of the best. He is definitely depressed, but “does not believe” in depression as a clinical diagnosis. He thinks he is just mentally weak. Ugh! I do think his mood is compounding the fatigue. I wish there was something I could do to help him gain traction and feel a bit more in control which would help with his depression I think.

    • Daughter to PD Dad :

      I’m sorry you’re going through this. I was the driving force for my dad to get a diagnosis-it’s been about 5 years. But he’s been on the depression and denial track, instead of on the “regroup and tackle this sh!t” track. I had to let go of the idea that he would “motivationally” handle his diagnosis. And instead, my husband and I are preparing for paying for his convalescence as I see him on a downward spiral now. My dad doesn’t take his medicine, does not exercise, does not do his PT (even though my MIL, who he is close to, is a physical therapist and has treated PD patients before), does not talk about PD, and is showing some early signs of dementia (new research topic for me).

      Michael J Fox foundation is good, but I’ve found more local resources straight from my dad’s neurologist and the associated hospital. Usually there are support groups for PD patients and separate ones for their caregivers. I can’t get my dad to go. Make sure you get a neurologist that your dad likes and will listen to. You may need a person to attend the appointments too. I think it’s commonly understand that Parkinson’s patients aren’t usually self aware about the symptoms they have, or how bad. For example, my dad has suffered from the facial masking symptom for some time. He had no idea it had been going on for so long.

      And, maybe I’m projecting based upon my disappointment in my father not rising to the occasion, but this is not your diagnosis and I would not switch jobs based upon it. At least, not yet. If he just got his diagnosis you may be surprised by how much PT, regular exercise, and routine medicine can help him with his symptoms. If managed properly, Parkinson’s is not a death sentence.

      There are a lot of blogs that I’ve found helpful too, for education and maybe even a window into the future. One that I really like (though it’s not organized very well, but the regular email is great) is
      If you leave an anon email I’ll check back later and we can connect off-s!te. I’m in the Chicago area, for reference.

      • Sorry to hear about your Dad.

        Is his depression being treated aggressively? That can make a difference.

        Also, in a smaller proportion of patients, dementia is part of the picture and can confound everything. My point is at his behavior is actually part of the disease. Try not to blame him. He does not know what he is doing. He can’t be responsible for his own depression and dementia. Your father cannot rise to the occasion. It is not his fault.

        Does he have a good neurologist? RUSH is the best place for movement disorders in Chicago, although good docs are at the other major hospitals too.

        • I do think dementia might be part of it but has not been formally diagnosed. One day, he was staying with us and I woke up at 4 am to him cooking bacon and eggs.

        • Daughter to PD Dad :

          Thank you for your thoughts. My Dad is at Rush and would be receiving the best care there is, if only he’d accept it. I know that depression and dementia can be part of it. They weren’t initially symptoms he had 5 years ago, so it’s a part that he’s grown into. It’s a compounding issue, I think. He refuses to talk about it, internalizes it, denies his diagnosis, doesn’t exercise, gets more depressed, starts up with dementia symptoms, forgets his pills… and so on. He’s unwilling to pursue his depression. My hands are tied on that front.

          I definitely understand his behavior is part of the disease. But I can certainly blame him for not taking care of himself in the beginning as his doctors told him to. When his doctor’s said he would lose movement he doesn’t use, so exercising is imperative. And he didn’t. So now, he can’t hold his grandchildren. He chose denial and this is how his disease progressed. I can be angry at him for that (trust me, my therapist approves).

          But I don’t approach our interactions today like that. I actually approach it based on Episode 532, “Magic Words,” of This American Life, Act II. I meet him where he is, I step into his world. We can’t go back to where things were. So I meet him where he is and plan for the future.

          • Daughter to PD Dad :

            Please ignore the typos… they are making me cringe.

          • His doctors are failing him. They should have treated his depression years ago. It is the depression. I promise you. Even RUSH docs can screw up. I am frustrated for you!!!!

            It is the doctor’s responsibility to present mood changes as part of the disease. Treating it improves sleep, improves motivation to exercise, reduces pain, improves cognitive function, and makes life better. The disease and dementia also progresses more quickly if the depression is not treated.

            I would try calling the clinic/nurse/doctor and privately telling him your concern about your father’s severe depression, which perhaps he hides from his doctors. Ask why they aren’t treating it, since you have read it is a symptom of his PD and has such a negative impact on his recovery?

            Doctors forget. Remind them.

            While some of this is his personality, I promise you that much of his behavior is not unusual at all and it is not his fault. The doctors are failing here.

          • Daughter to PD Dad :

            Cray, I really appreciate your enthusiasm for this! I agree that he’s hiding, at least, the depression from his doctors. But, for self preservation, I’ve created some boundaries that may not make sense to anyone else. And that’s okay.

            I’ve stepped back from managing his health, as my mom is still alive and very much involved. I’ve mentioned to her several times about bringing this (and dementia) up to the doctors and she says she will. It’s ultimately not in my control (by choice). I know everyone would handle this differently, but I was isolating myself from him by trying to be so proactive and involved about his treatment. And, I think he still holds a bit of resentment towards me for forcing him to get the diagnosis (denial) so we are where we are.

            Even though I’m not managing his health I still try to stay as informed as possible.

          • Daughter to PD Dad :

            I think my long comment got eaten. In short, thank you for your enthusiasm and concern. I have boundaries now that don’t involve me managing his PD but still involve me staying educated about what’s going on. I’ve mentioned to my mom that the depression needs to be treated, and that’s all I can do. I’m really touched by your concern, and you’ve probably encouraged me to press the issue a little bit with my mom again. Thank you.

      • Thank you for sharing your experience and for the blog resources. I do think my dad sounds very much like yours. My dad actually got the diagnosis about a year ago, but it has taken forever to get a specialist appt with the doctor we wanted to confirm the diagnosis. During that time he has progressed tom stage 2 to stage 3. I 100% feel that he is in that same stage of depression and denial you talk about when we want him to tackle the issue. I pray for him every day. It’s striking to see how much the mental aspect plays into this. My grandmother who is 30 years old than my dad is in way better shape. She is a total spitfire. She had a hip replacement last year, planned for it, hired an at home nurse to help my mom, did PT and is back in fighting form better than before and back in aerobics class and tai chi. My dad just wants to watch House and be sad.

        • Daughter to PD Dad :

          Hugs. I get it. It’s really hard, and even harder having a comparative “go go granny” (I have one of those too!). Find joy in the moments you can, even if it’s binge watching House with him. Just don’t let yourself take on the sadness too, it’s his diagnosis, his sadness. You can be there for him without taking that on.

      • Look into Lewy Body Dementia. Sounds like it could be that. Hugs to you, it’s not easy.

    • Hugs. I don’t have tons of advice because I’m only becoming more knowledgeable as my mother gets worse. She was diagnosed about 9 years ago with signs a few years before. I agree with all of the above, especially to get a neurologist that he and you both like and for you (or someone else) to regularly go to his appointments with him. I go to the appointments with my mother and I find that I point out issues that she does not recognize. Physical therapy has been a huge help. There is also boxing for Parkinsons patients and while my mom hasn’t done that yet, I have seen demonstrations and it looks like it would be very beneficial. One of the best things we did was to get a recommendation for a parkinsons-specific physical therapy center. As I’ve said though, she has lived with this for about 10 years and although things are definitely deteriorating, they are doing so slowly. So while every situation is different, I would not look for another job yet if you are happy where you are. Good luck.

  22. Just wanted to say thank you to the hive for introducing me to a bunch of good things this year, like the recommendation for the therapist I’m using now, Lash Boost, MM’s Tory dress… and many more things. And for helping me keep an even keel. I sometimes don’t like the advice you guys give at first, but then I look back and go, yup the hive was totally right. What has everyone else been introduced to this year?

    • I’d like to thank the hive for Yoga with Adriene. I know there have been a couple of other things, but that comes to mind.

      • “Do Yoga With Me” was also recommended here which I love even more (mostly because of the 40 minutes hip/lower back session).

    • I’d like to say thank you hive for recommending I decrease my Retinoid to every other day and use Ponds cold cream (amazing!), tinkle razors, and for helping me feel less clueless.

    • Thank you to the hive for keeping me sane and socialized when I was working part-time from home, remote from my office, through my up and down job search, and now through my transition to a new, wonderful, in-person job. This was a hard but good year, and I came back to this place after a year or two away, to find that it had aged well and was still here for me.

    • Oil cleansing! I got a free sample of Tatcha oil cleanser and would have probably just tossed it, assuming that it wouldn’t be compatible with my skin. But a conversation on here made me give it a try, and now it’s a staple – has made a huge difference this winter!!

    • My Hobo wallet, reminding me to check out Talbots again (including the Windsor trousers that I ordered on a recommendation here), vitamin c serum, Sam Edelman petty boots (wearing now), Tinkle razor, Barefoot dreams cardigan, Harney & Sons tea (I hope I like it, I put in my order on Monday), and probably many other things that I’m forgetting.

    • The Lord and Taylor ponte pants I am wearing right now (so that I can eat as much yummy food as I want at our office party tonight!)

      • Link? Those sound great!

      • Yes! That’s the best thing I’ve bought all year, and wearing mine today too! So cute. So comfy.

        But mostly, so glad to have this forum for keeping me sane. Reading the others stories that are so like my own, and being able to bounce ideas around when I get stuck.

    • fitnessblender!! the see 5 things Feel 4. hear 3. smell 2. taste 1 to reduce anxiety

  23. Should you write a thank you note to a boss who gives you a Christmas thank you gift? ($200 cash in a greeting card)

  24. Thank you all for introducing me to MM Lafleur. I am 4 months post partum with baby #2 and the middle has not snapped back as I had hoped. I tried the Tory dress at a recent MM pop up shop and was so impressed by how streamlined it made me look. I have gotten compliments from everyone in my department on it. I hope it washes well.

  25. Help interpreting a leave policy :

    Unfortunately, the HR department where I work has a history of providing people with incorrect information. I’m pregnant with twins. My manager has already indicated that I should take as much time as I’m allowed, so I am trying to figure out exactly what that is before I go and speak to HR because I want to be able to advocate for myself. We don’t have a great policy – it is basically STD (6 pr 8 weeks depending on how you deliver plus unpaid leave through FMLA). My question is about the FMLA part of the policy. Someone else posted about this recently where they were able to take extra unpaid time because their FMLA 12 weeks per year was based on their start date rather than a calendar year and I think that my policy might read like that as well. Here is what it says:
    “Family leaves, which may be limited to 12 weeks in any 12-month period, will be provided if requested for the birth of a child of the employee. The company uses the individual’s current anniversary date of hire in a benefits-eligible status to calculate the 12-month period.” —> This makes me think that if hypothetically my start date was August 1 and I give birth on May 15 via c-section, I would take 8 weeks of STD bringing me to July 10. Then I would use 3 weeks of unpaid FMLA bringing me to July 31 and those 3 weeks would be coming from my FMLA allotment for August 2017-August 2018. But then the way the policy reads, it seems like the FMLA period start over on August 1, so could I take an additional 12 weeks unpaid? Or am I completely misinterpreting this?

    Later on it says “staff members whose medical leave, family leave, or medical leave in combination with family leave does not exceed 12 weeks will be returned to the same or an equivalent position.” but does not say anything about 12 weeks within the calculated 12 month period or 12 consecutive weeks or anything like that. It does say that you can take the leave on an intermittent basis or through a reduced work schedule and I’m not sure if that is relevant on how to interpret this part. Is it incorrect to imply that when it says “does not exceed 12 weeks” that means “within the calculated 12 month period,” based on the definition provided at the beginning of the policy?

    Thanks in advance!!!

    • I see your argument, but I think you’re going to get 12 weeks and that’s it.

    • I think “any 12 month period” means ANY 12 months, not a fixed period of time. So if you had to care for your mother for 3 weeks in April and then had a baby in October, those are part of the same 12 months. so you’d only have 9 weeks left to use for the baby. But if you had to care for your mom in April 2016 and then had a baby in June 2017, your time would start over again and you’d have all 12 weeks to use for the baby.

    • FMLA normally runs concurrently with STD. So if you had a baby on May 15 and used 8 weeks of paid STD and then 3 weeks of unpaid FMLA you would have used 11 weeks of FMLA on August 1. I’m not sure about the question of when/if FMLA resets, but just wanted to point out that normally you don’t get 8 weeks STD + 12 weeks FMLA, it’s 12 weeks total.

    • Based on that policy, I would interpret “does not exceed 12 weeks” to mean your total leave cannot be longer than 12 continuous weeks. At a minimum, I think you’d have to return to work and request a new leave in the new FMLA year. if one of your children has a health problem, you could probably do this (12 weeks pre-Aug 1 as a mat leave and 12 weeks post-Aug 1 as a sick child leave). But I don’t think it would fly if you and your children are all healthy by the end of the first 12 weeks, which will hopefully be the case.

      • +1 – you need to be employed at your employer for 12 months to be eligible to take FMLA, so that’s why your hire date matters.

        For taking FMLA, it 12 weeks in a 12 month period, irregardless of your anniversary date (except that you need to have qualified). So it’s a rolling availability.

    • The birth of a child (even multiples) is one FMLA qualifying event. Even if you earn a new 12 weeks of FMLA on August 1, I don’t think you can use it for the same qualifying event you’ve already used 12 weeks for. I do believe that if you return to work on August 1 and then you have a separate FMLA qualifying event (sick child/spouse/parent, etc.) you could immediately use some FMLA time to be away from work to take care of that person, whereas if your FMLA year renewed on January 1 then you would have to wait until then because you would have exhausted your FMLA time for the year on your mat leave.

      • In HR, can confirm. 12 weeks per event (and correct, you don’t get to count twins as two separate qualifying events :))

      • Also in HR, can cosign this. I understand, OP, why you want to try to get as much leave as possible, but you are limited to 12 weeks under both the law and your company’s policy. If you feel like you need more time, consider negotiating an additional period of unpaid leave. People get this more often than you might think because most people would rather see a good employee take an extra month and come back than have to start all over again with a new employee. Ask – all they can do is say no.

  26. Hi folks, I’m hoping someone might have some suggestions for where to find replacement mugs similar to these: (that seller is no longer in business!). The important details are that it’s handmade and brightly colored (I do really like the plain interior, but it’s not vital).

    Thanks in advance!

    • I love Healing Touch Pottery, though it may be too textured for you. We got ours on a vacation to New England.

    • Le Creuset actually has one in two styles that is similar. Search for “Le Creuset mug cassis.”

    • It seems you can still contact the seller… maybe see if they are still receiving messages by reaching out to them?

    • Anonymous :

      Fiesta ware!

      • Thanks for the responses, all! I think we need to conclude our mourning for the broken mug, and then get some new ones!

  27. Roomba with Cats :

    Inspired by the other post about Roombas– I am thinking a Roomba might be a good idea to help with cat hair. Anyone have experience using a Roomba for that purpose? I have 2 cats that shed a LOT. They also track litter moderately around the litter box– will vacuuming up the litter ruin the Roomba?

    • I have two floofy dogs that, despite being good about not shedding, still seem to create a lot of fluff tumbleweeds. We have a roomba (albeit an older one; maybe 6 years old, base model). I love the Roomba for being hands off, but with any amount of pet hair, you’re going to be hearing the little “toodly doo do doo!” of the vacuum, telling you to come stop and either empty the bin or (more likely, and more annoyingly), clean the spinny brush. The machine doesn’t start back up until you fix the issue, so the utility of it being hands off tends to get diminished.

    • We had a Roomba like 5 years ago, so this is old info, but I found the cat hair tangled up the bristles pretty fast – it seemed like the brushes all needed to be taken out and cleaned after almost every cleaning. Litter was no problem. Also, our apartment was cluttered enough with furniture and stuff that Roomba would get stuck under that setting the stage for cleaning seemed to take as much time as a regular vacuum would. If you have larger rooms or are tidier maybe it works better.

    • works well for my 2 cats. we don’t really have it in the litter box area (different floor).

    • Getting a Roomba for cat hair made me feel like I had a third cat. It required a lot of attention and cleaning, and it was always getting stuck or upset and would cry until I saved it.

    • We have 2 cats and a dog, and our roomba is mostly to pick up pet hair tumbleweeds. It does an ok job, but it does an ok job every day, which is way better than me doing a very thorough job once a week. The brushes do need to get cleaned fairly often, but that only takes a couple minutes.

    • Baconpancakes :

      We have one short-haired cat, but I shed enough for two cats, so it evens out. We have a Deebot N79 that costs half as much as most Roombas and works extremely well. It’s less fancy than a lot of Roombas, but I only have to cut hair out of the brush every two weeks or so, and it doesn’t get stuck very often.

    • wildkitten :

      I love it for my two cat one dog home and I love it for my no pet home. I got the cheaper one recommended by the Wirecutter.

  28. Looking for ideas how to solve a temporary problem for my senior dog.

    She’s 80 pounds and her body is starting to struggle some days. She can’t do anti-inflammatories or most pain meds due to liver failure, but she gets a lot of body work (weekly massages – lucky dog) and is generally happy and still has a good quality of life. However, some days she really struggles with the stairs to my third floor apartment. We’re moving to a house with easier access for her to get in and out, but for the next few months I’d like to give her an option to not have to go all the way down and back up the stairs every time she has to pee. I have back stairs with a small outside landing where I could put something like a litter box, to save her at least her evening trip outside. Questions – does anyone have recommendations for what to use? A cat litter box is probably too small for her and I don’t think she’d go in it. Puppy pads would probably be very confusing to her. Also, she is so house trained and well behaved I don’t know how I can tell her that it’s OK to pee on the back stairs. How do I train her to do this?

    I also have harness to help her up and down the stairs but I haven’t needed to use it. It’s mostly a confidence issue for her – she feels unsure about her hind legs so she gets a little fearful of the stairs on bad days, whereas on good days she will bound up and down them.

    Thanks for any advice!

    • Aww poor thing. My senior dog took to puppy pads with no issue in his old age. Good luck!

      • Wanted to add another idea that might help if she doesn’t instinctively pee on the puppy pad right away. You might try taking the puppy pad outside with you to (and I know this is gross) lay the pad where she peed to get her “scent” on it and then put it on your back patio. Dogs generally tend to understand they can/should pee where it already smells like their pee.

    • Cornellian. :

      I own and live in a third-floor walk up with my 100 lb 9-year-old dog and genuinely think I will be moving in a year or so to an elevator building because he can’t deal with the stairs.

      I asked my vet about some sort of potty training thing, and she says that housetrained dogs usually don’t have luck with it. At a later point you can put them in diapers, but most still don’t want to go inside. There are, however, these plastic fake grass patches that have a draining tray underneath you can find online, if you want to give it a shot.

      • yes, I think a fake grass patch with a draining tray is what I need. And I somehow need to get her pee on it so she understands it counts as an “outside” toilet. Also, just wanted to say I totally understand moving to an elevator building to help your senior dog. :)

        • You can actually get live grass in a box for this purpose – maybe that would be more recognizable as “outside” to her? I think the product is called Fresh Patch or something like that.

    • Cornellian. :

      Also, at the recommendatoin of my breed rescue, I am trying Winston’s supplement system for him. It’s expensive but less expensive than renting out or selling my apartment.

    • I bought a fake grass patch and a tray catcher for mine, then I just hose it down when needed either outside or in the shower and replace the grass patch when it gets smelly.

      Links to follow (trying to avoid mod)


    • I’d probably try out the harness and see if that helps first. Also, you didn’t mention if you’d tried supplements.
      We use PolyChews at the recommendation of our doggy orthopedist and they seem to help our older dogs with stffness and mobility issues. We also make sure that our groomer trims the fur from the pads of their feet to help with traction.

    • Freshpatch! We got one for our puppy when potty training. It didn’t really work for him, but it’s a low-risk thing you can try (and I think a money back guarantee?) and if your dog takes to it would make a big difference, I think.

    • Seconding supplements. Dasuquin is absolutely amazing and extended my Malamute’s life. The harness can really work but may suck getting on/off, so I recommend spending more on an easy design. Also, we had elbow and knee warmers for our Mal (like she wasn’t hairy enough, lol) and those also helped with stiffness (before we discovered Dasuquin). G00gle “canine angels”.

  29. I’m being promoted, effective Jan 1. I’m aware that I’m being underpaid for my new title and today I have a meeting with my boss in which I intend to ask for a raise.

    I happened to see an H1B visa application posting in a break room (publically posted which I guess is the law), for a job with my new title, in my department. It is paying “no less than” 40% more than my current salary. 40% more!

    Would it be appropriate to mention the posting in my conversation to my boss? Something like this seems way more concrete than talking “general market value” or Glassdoor. I intend to ask for a 30% raise, which is obviously huge but also justified. I think the visa application is somewhere in the middle of the pay band for my position.

    • I don’t know anything about H1B visas, so this may not be an issue, but do H1B visa applicants get benefits? If you’re getting benefits, maybe that 40% makes it equal to your entire compensation package?

    • I’d use the number in the posting to negotiate without overtly mentioning it. You have information, which is always helpful in a negotiation. I wouldn’t reveal where it’s from, at least not at first.

      If they won’t give you the $$ you deserve then I’d reconsider directly mentioning it later.

    • If it were me, I’d bring it up by saying, “The H1B posting in the break room made me curious about the internal equity for this position – can you give me some insight into your thoughts on that position and how it’s similar/different from mine?”

      You always run a risk of comparing apples to oranges when saying “other person makes X and I should too” without totally understanding all the circumstances.

      Also, depending on your company, 30% may be very challenging. If you are working at a large organization, they probably have strict guidelines regarding wage increases and it may be impossible for them to get you that much no matter how much they like you.

      • Just curious–would those guidelines regarding wage increases apply even when employees are promoted? From OP’s description, it seems like she deserves the raise because of the promotion.

        • At the companies I’ve been at, yes. Even with a promotion, I would have a VERY hard time getting signoff on anything more than a 20% increase, and even 20% would be a very tough sell. Theoretically, someone should be at or near the top of the pay band for their current position before being promoted, and then move into the bottom of the pay band of their new role, so it shouldn’t be a huge gap, although it would be larger than a typical yearly increase. (Probably around 10%)

          Also, from a budgetary perspective, there is only so much money in the pool each year/quarter for employee compensation, including increases and promotions. Your boss will have some discretion over how that budget gets distributed, but it can throw things out of whack to have one person suddenly need a large and unexpected raise. (They will have to “find it” somewhere in the current budget – i.e. not spend money on something else that was planned, or go back to their boss to get an out-of-cycle budget approval.)

          This is why it’s easier to get a big raise when switching jobs – your salary at your current role is likely budgeted based on what you’re currently making (plus a few percent increase each year). Companies often say they “prefer to promote from within” like they care a lot about their employees – part of the reality is that it’s way cheaper for a variety of reasons.

          • Thanks. As someone who has only worked in law firms, with different norms and paths “up,” this is very eye-opening.

    • If you are being promoted, I’d assume you move into the bottom (or bottom 25%) of the new title’s payband. The other role may be targeting more experience- eg. If you are a director now and the h1b role is director, they may be looking for someone lateralling who would be more mid-tier.

      You dot know until you ask, though, so ask!

  30. Help, Please. :

    What would you do in this situation?

    Here’s the basic facts:
    – I have a newborn (3 weeks) and a 17 month old at home
    – Husband works from home, mostly regular schedule; some travel
    – I am starting a new job (medical field) end of January, I work some extended hours

    We decided to get a nanny because 1) baby is too young for daycare and 2) we need help outside of daycare hours. We hired a nanny based off the recommendation of the director of a local child care center. We have a fairly comprehensive contract with the nanny (thanks, hubby!) and the arrangement is hire/fire at will.

    Nanny is 25.
    First week of work, nanny shows up late every day – ranging from a half hour late to over two hours late. We give her a written warning/notice. She tells us that she and her stepfather had to get her schizophrenic mother involuntarily committed to a mental hospital over the course of that week.

    Second week of work, I have baby, and nanny is awesome about staying with son the whole time (of course, we’re paying her OT). Still, she was extremely flexible and helped us out in a tough spot as we have no family here.

    Third and fourth week of employment relatively uneventful, aside from the fact that she wanted to take the kids to her apartment during the day to pick up some medication. We declined this request and explained why (not comfortable with kids being in home we’ve never seen, personal time should be off the clock, worker’s comp liability, etc). She was understanding and fine with it.

    This week nanny confides to me that she previously was fired from her former job (flight attendant), saying that she was raped by a pilot during her 90 day probationary period. She says she went to HR and filed a complaint but was let go after the 90 days. She asks me not to share this info with my husband (which of course I do). Husband is immediately uncomfortable and tries to look up to see if there’s any litigation; finds none (which doesn’t necessarily mean anything).

    There seems to be a lot of unfortunate things happening with this nanny. Accusations of rape I take seriously, however, I can’t help having a gut feeling that something is wrong here. We need the help, and overall she is excellent with the kids. Is this a situation that I need to just manage better from an employer perspective, or is it time to start finding a new nanny, stat? Please keep in mind I’m also postpartum and have emotions that are swinging fairly wildly from one end of the spectrum to the other.

    • I don’t get it. Why are you uncomfortable that she made a rape accusation and was subsequently fired?

      • +1,000 This would make me ragey at the employer, not at my nanny. She was fired in retaliation.

        Also, she had no requirement to disclose that information to you and most likely felt close to you and needed/wanted to confide in someone. I am not saying that’s appropriate for a work situation, but I am struggling to understand why it makes you uncomfortable. Of course there is no litigation history. She got fired and, I assume because she said nothing about it, didn’t sue them. No litigation history does not mean she is lying!!

        Is your husband worried that she will make a false accusation against him? Because IMO, there is no evidence that would make me think she would do this.

      • Help, Please. :

        The rape accusation in isolation would be one thing.
        But it’s sort of a gut-feeling, everything taken in totality that makes me feel something is off overall with her.

        • If she’s late and unreliable, or you don’t trust her, fire her. This accusation is just not at all relevant. Your discomfort with knowing that information has nothing to do with her reliability.

        • Anonymous :

          +10000000 to Torin. As an employment lawyer, things like this rarely improve.

    • I wouldn’t bat an eyelash at the rape accusation. So maybe she was let go from her job because of that and maybe she was let go because she wasn’t great at being a flight attendant – either way it doesn’t have much bearing on the current situation. I’d be much more uncomfortable with the schizophrenic mom who had to be committed to a mental hospital. My knowledge of schizophrenia is admittedly limited to what I’ve seen on TV/movies, but there’s certainly a stereotype that schizophrenics can become violent and I’d be worried about that for the same reason people were worried about the nanny with the abusive (ex?) husband showing up and hurting the kids.

      • I take the violence that can be motivated by schizophrenic delusions very seriously (there’s a reason why it ends up in the news and in movies), but I think the risks here are negligible. (Because it’s a minority of schizophrenics who are at risk for violent behavior in the first place, because she’s being treated, because we expect violence motivated by schizophrenic delusion to be directed at people who are in the immediate surroundings, etc.). It’s just really different from something like a vengeful stalker.

        I also want to say that it’s my understanding that the diagnostic category of schizophrenia currently includes a number of different types, and what’s actually going on the brain may be different from person to person. Just because someone ends up in the hospital with schizophrenia doesn’t mean you would ever otherwise know they had it, much less that they pose any risk.

    • I’m curious to hear what others say, but if she’s good with the children and you feel comfortable with her in your home, then I think I’d let this play out a bit more. She could end up flaky and unreliable or she could be great; I think it’s too early (and she is young), so I’d give it more time if you feel comfortable doing so.

    • It sounds like her personal life is chaotic, and you are wondering how this is going to leak into your family’s life, which I can understand. She’s also sharing a lot of personal info in a way that might make me question her boundaries. So I can see why your gut is uneasy. But if your husband is really at home much of the time she is caring for your children and would be likely aware if something was really wrong I think I would give it some more time and see if your gut changes its mind. She hasn’t done anything wrong except for the first week of work, which is kind of a big red flag since it was her first week of work – I get that she had a family emergency that week but it sounds like she wasn’t very proactive or professional in communicating to you about what was going on.

      • Anonymous :

        I would agree with this comment – it’s not about the rape, it’s not about the mom – it’s about the fact that her life appears to be in disarray and that’s the red flag. it’s also a red flag for me reading it – that’s a lot of poop hitting the fan and her first week with you was not exemplar performance.

    • Did you ask her why she didn’t want you to tell your husband? That would be worrying to me. The rest of it… not so much. I actually think the medication thing weighs in her favor. She asked you first – she didn’t just assume it would be OK – and when you said no she accepted it.

      That said. You have to trust your nanny. If you can’t trust her for literally any reason even just a gut feeling then get a new nanny.

    • espresso bean :

      There’s a lot to unpack here. I think there are several separate issues:

      *the nanny was unreliable the first week of work (major red flag, IMO)
      *the nanny suggested taking your kids offsite and it made you uneasy (totally understandable on your part)
      *the nanny confided about the rape accusation

      The first two are (understandably) making you uneasy about her ability to do the job well. I think you should go with your gut here. Do you trust her or not? Based only on what you’ve told me, I would be unsure about whether or not she is reliable and trustworthy (and that has nothing to do with the rape accusation). Look at how she performs on the job and decide if it’s up to the standards you expect from a nanny. Then go from there.

      • Yeah, I almost wonder if she told you about her prior experience to garner sympathy because she knows she did some questionable stuff and doesn’t want to be fired.

        If you aren’t comfortable with her, that’s enough reason to terminate. And you can’t count on someone who is constantly late.

      • Anonymous :

        I agree with you about the first two points being the most relevant, but I think #3 is also relevant. Not the substance of the accusation, but the fact that the nanny was so eager to bring it up so early in the employment relationship. Oversharing of such intensely personal information is something that unreliable, immature, drama-prone people often do.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 to Anon at 1:35 pm. To me it sounds like a red flag on judgement.

        • Wow, disagree. Those of us who have been raped don’t have to pretend it didn’t happen just because it makes the rest of you uncomfortable to know about it.

          • +1,000 I do not talk about being raped for any other reason than I want other women to feel like they too can talk about it openly (IF and only IF they want to). I am not ashamed of it, I did not do anything wrong, and like hell do I talk about it because I am immature, unreliable, or prone to cause drama.

            If you want to fire your nanny because you do not find her trustworthy, that’s fine, but to make an assumption that someone is X, Y, Z (anything other than a rape victim) because they told you they were raped is pretty $hitty.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t know though – it’s about far more ‘the rape’ subject matter… it’s about this:

            “Oversharing of such intensely personal information is something that unreliable, immature, drama-prone people often do.”

          • Anonymous :

            No, but you also don’t go around telling a new employer about it for no reason.

          • OP didn’t provide any context for the conversation at all actually so we don’t know why or how it came up or whether or not she was really oversharing at all. Why you left your last job is relevant to your current employer. It’s a super common question. Y’all have jumped to the conclusion that she broadcast the information unnecessarily and in an overdetailed/oversharing way _because you are uncomfortable hearing it_ not because anything the OP said makes it unreasonable for the nanny to have revealed this information.

    • all about eevee :

      I don’t understand your question. Why do you think something is wrong? Do you think she is going to falsely accuse your husband of rape?

    • If a nanny was late and unreliable the FIRST week of work, she’d be gone… in my experience, this never gets better, it only gets worse. I’d be less concerned about the other items in a vacuum (not entirely unconcerned, either).

      I had a nanny with similar issues (but not as bad) and I ended up getting rid of her much too late. No harm came to my kids as she wasn’t a harmful person, but she was flaky and unreliable and did occasionally lie to me and it wasn’t worth worrying about her, her life and how it was going to affect my life.

      • wildkitten :

        It’s hard to find a good nanny and it sounds like the first week coincided with MAJOR personal life hurdles that are discreet. I’d give her some more time before going to the work of finding another nanny, if this one is otherwise good at her job.

    • I didn’t even read your whole comment because it is wayyy TL;DR, but I gleamed from the first few paragraphs that you don’t like her and don’t think she’s doing a good job, so you should just fire her already and get over it. I don’t necessarily agree with you, but their your kids and you get to decide.

    • PatsyStone :

      It sounds like you are not comfortable with the nanny and would prefer a different nanny, but are hesitant to spend the time, resources, and discomfort to make the change. You have my permission to let her go, accept some sunk costs, and find a nanny that makes your like easier.

      I have no comment on any of the issues mentioned, but in my experience people who show red flags early often have more down the line.

    • Anonymous :

      Fire her. You should have fired her the first week. Her rape has nothing to do with you.

    • Anonymous :

      I probably could have acted like this nanny at 25, going through a very rough period of my life and dealing with anxiety and trauma. Doesn’t mean she can’t do the job or that she’s a bad person, but it also doesn’t mean you need to obligated to keep her in the job, around your kids. What does your husband think?

      • Chicago Thrift :

        Likewise, I’m sure I periodically have come off as unprofessional, particularly in my mid-20s. However, I’d just remind you that you don’t know who she’s learned boundaries from or who her behavior has been modeled after. I’d suggest setting clear boundaries (tell her if something is TMI), stating bluntly what you expect in terms of communication, (you don’t want to know the nature of a family emergency but you need her to tell you x amount in advance if she’ll be late) and simply ask her why she’s sharing something in the moment she says it if it strikes you as weird. Ultimately, you get to run your house however you want and if she doesn’t want to respect that, just fire her.

  31. San Jose with a toddler :

    My husband is going to San Jose for a week for business and I’m planning to accompany him with our 18 month-old daughter so I can catch up with friends in the area (we lived there many years ago, pre-kid). My friends all work, so I’ll only be seeing them in the evenings and am looking for ways to fill our time during the day. We’ve done all the big Bay Area touristy things many times and I think my daughter is too young to get much out of them, so I would prefer to just stay in San Jose rather than trekking to Monterey or SF or Napa. My friends don’t have kids and aren’t any help with suggesting toddler friendly stuff right in San Jose. I see there’s a Children’s Museum, so we’ll definitely check that out – any other suggestions?

    • Hotel with a pool and a park nearby

    • Go walk around Santa Clara University- lots of green open space to run around!

    • Silly Valley :

      I don’t know if the Tech Museum would be worth it for one that young but you could check to see if there are any traveling exhibits there. Friday lunch there’s a farmers market at San Pedro square (I think that year-round?) and parks are a good idea. History San Jose and the kids zoo there could be fun. I’ve heard good things about CuriOdyssey but that’s a bit more of a drive.

  32. Gail the Goldfish :

    I need help with bridesmaid’s dresses. My bridesmaids are scattered all over the country/world, including one who is not near major retail (lives in a small town in WV) and one in Scotland, so it’s challenging to find a store everyone can access. I don’t need them all to have matching dresses, but I was hoping for a store where I could have everyone get the same (Or close to the same) fabric/color with different designs. Does anyone know of any stores that either have free shipping and returns or lots of locations? Any stores that would be available in both the US and UK?

    • It’s not the most fancy, but maybe the best for this situation: David’s Bridal. They have UK stores and shipping, and will likely have experience with buying online/returning for the right size (there appears to be only one DB in the whole of WV). You can pick one color/color family and go from there.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        That was my first thought because I thought they had British stores and then didn’t see any british locations on their website, just Canadian. I just realized that in fact, I am an idiot, and they have a separate uk website address. So that may be the best option. Thanks!

        • Haha not an idiot, no; a hard working, kick-arse bride who has a lot going on and is thoughtfully trying to make her attendants’ lives easier.

      • +1 to David’s Bridal. My best bridesmaid experience was the one where the bride sent us all to get our dresses from David’s Bridal – she gave us a fabric, color and told us to pick one of two dress styles. It was so easy and everyone was happy with the dresses. And pretty reasonably priced without looking cheap. (Except for their satin dresses, which I do think tend to look cheap.)

      • While planning my wedding, I also had geographically scattered bridesmaids with varying access to major retailers. I considered David’s Bridal, but they were few options under $100, nothing I would consider truly re-wearable, and their line wasn’t very size-inclusive (If I recall they went up to 18-20, but didn’t do a great job adjusting patterns for proportionality, so that bridesmaids in that range would almost certainly have to spend an extra $15-50 for alterations). What I ended up doing was picking a color, a length, and a general formality level, and then letting everyone buy/order a dress that suited them. I did some online shopping and made a shared pinterest board to give ideas and inspiration at a variety of size, style, and price points. The resulting mismatched effect was very modern and beautiful, and I’ve seen all my bridesmaids re-wear their dresses to other events :) And visually, it actually wasn’t that much different from having the same color DB dresses in different styles.

        I know some people feel that this approach can actually create more work for the bridesmaids, and that’s a valid concern, especially if the bride does have a specific look in mind that doesn’t match her bridesmaids’ tastes. But if you trust your girls and take care to communicate your vision clearly, it can work out very well.

    • BabyAssociate :

      What about Asos?

    • David’s Bridal has lots of locations, including some in the UK and one in Glasgow. That may be the most convenient option if you want a lot of bridesmaids to have access to the same store. (I don’t know that their inventories, or even their fabrics, are exactly the same between the US and UK though.) You didn’t say this was necessary, but they also have the largest range of sizes that I’ve seen without having to custom order (and pay extra for larger sizes).

      Nordstrom has free shipping and returns in the US but obviously not many locations. I don’t think it’d be easy to do the “same fabric/color with different styles” thing through Nordstrom though.

    • I was recently in a wedding that included bridesmaids from multiple locations in the US, plus one in Australia. We went with Azazie. While they do not have physical stores, you can “rent” up to 3 options at a time for a nominal fee ($10?) to try on at home. They have a huge selection and I found their customer service to be very responsive.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      I have never reworn a bridesmaid’s dress. I would just pay for everyone’s dress and get from David’s Bridal or wherever they have a store. The bridesmaid will need to get the dress altered.

  33. solo long weekend in NY or SF :

    Help me plan a trip! I want to treat myself to a solo long weekend in Q1 to recharge, see fabulous culture and art, shop, work on my art and writing, and eat well. I’m torn between NYC and SF. I’ve been to both before, NYC a million times and SF just once. I have friends in NYC I could meet up with, but I know no one in SF so it would truly be solo.

    Which would you choose for a solo trip? And what would you do?

    • Anonymous :

      Q1 weather in NYC can be miserable, I would pick SF unless spending time with friends is key to recharging for you.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yeah. Jan/Feb/March in NYC can be really gross. SF will be more temperate, for sure. I would decide whether you want to be truly alone for this long weekend. If yes, I’d pick SF.

    • I live in and love New York, but I’d vote for SF if you want a truly solo trip. If you have friends in NY, I think you’d end up spending lots of time with them, which could be great, but doesn’t sound like what you want for this weekend. Also, exploring a new city or a city you don’t know well is fun. But the main reason is that I think New York is at its worst weather-wise in January/February (March is hit or miss), so I’d save a trip to NY for a nicer time of year.

  34. Anonymous :

    What’s your personal “rule” for coming into work after you/your household have been ill – of the stomach variety. The parents in my group feel – you can’t wait until every last person is well bc then you’d be off all the time; so it’s fine to come in after you and your kids have had the virus and you’ve been ok for 24 hrs — even if your husband is currently home with it now. I’m like — I get it that’s the school/daycare rule (24 hrs of wellness) but ugh – it’s in your home, you’re here touching papers etc that we all use, why not wait until you ALL are ok (esp if you’re the boss with time off).

    • Anonymous :

      yeah…IMO if you’re fine it shouldn’t be a big deal?

    • Anonymous :

      I stay home when I’m sick. It’s not realistic to stay home until every family member is better. The actual sick, contagious person is not in the office, so I don’t see the problem.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not a parent, but I wouldn’t stay home from work if I felt fine just because my husband was sick. That seems odd and overly paranoid. Germs aren’t that easy to spread and if you practice good hygiene it seems like it would be tough to bring in another person’s germs and spread them around when you yourself are not ill.
      I also don’t enforce a strict 24 hours of wellness rule – generally as soon as I feel fine and I have no symptoms I go back to work. I guess I wouldn’t go to the work the next day if I was up during the night with GI symptoms, because I’d want to stay home and rest, so by default by the time I go back to work I would have been GI-symptom free for 12 hours.
      For something like the common cold, I will usually stay home for a day or two to rest and minimize my exposure to co-workers while I’m contagious but the sniffles and coughing usually linger around for 7-10 days for me and I can’t possibly take off more than a week every time I get a cold. We have paid sick leave, but I’d be working less than half time from November to April if I took off a week for every cold and I wouldn’t be able to get my work done.

    • Can you catch a stomach virus from touching papers that someone who is not currently sick is touching? Is this happening? I mean, use hand sanitizer and try not to worry about this.

    • lawsuited :

      Does your employer have a generous work-from-home policy so that people who are well but have a sick person in their house can still work, or would you expect them to use PTO to stay at home even though they are willing and able to work? Coming into contact with germs is part of life.

    • Anonymous :

      Because we don’t all live in a fantasy land of unlimited vacation? This is so out of touch.

  35. My personal rule is to come in when I am not contagious. I also make it a point to wash my hands a lot and to more or less isolate myself to my office to the extent practicable if I’ve been sick. To my best knowledge, I have never passed on something to a coworker. On the other hand, there are two people I work with that I literally will avoid during sensitive times in my life because they practice terrible hygiene and almost always get everyone around them sick. I think how you come in to work is just as important as whether you come in.

  36. Just venting. I am sad today. We have a friend staying over for two weeks and she and my husband are nerding out blissfully. They spent a good portion of the evening last night playing video games while I cooked and watched our toddler. I feel like hired help. I know I’m overreacting but not sure how to shake myself out of it. This is only day 3. Any fresh perspectives or suggestions appreciated.

    • Ask them for help! “Hey, friend, would you mind keeping an eye on Toddler while I make dinner?” “Hey friend, would you mind giving me a hand in a kitchen? Could you chop the carrots please?”

      They are there for two weeks, they can be helping. Sure, they should have offered, but people forget. Ask!

    • Is she more of “his” friend? Would it be appropriate for you to plan a girls’ activity and leave your husband home with the toddler? Also, just give yourself permission to not play hostess – “hey, I’m going [window shopping or driving to see Christmas lights, whatever], see you later.”

      • Hmm – I like this perspective. Why am I the one stuck watching toddler/cooking/hosting? I should enjoy having extra help with toddler and go to the gym.

    • Anonymous :

      Speak up! Your friend’s (and husband’s) behavior is objectively rude but you still shouldn’t just sit there and stew quietly. Say you’re tired of cooking and propose going out for dinner or tell your husband he’s cooking. After dinner, ask them if they want to play a board game or do some other activity that can involve you and the toddler.

    • Agree that you should speak up if you want help. Your husband may have thought that he was being a good host by entertaining your guest.

      • +1. DH and I fall into a pattern of him “entertaining” guests and me doing the work, even when people are just over for dinner. We have to communicate expectations and sometimes adjust plans so the division of labor is more fair.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Aw that stinks. Is she his friend or a mutual friend? If she’s really your friend too, maybe you can suggest that the two of you go out and do a thing together?

    • My only suggestion is to not cook a thing. Pizza, delivery, and out to eat it is!

    • wildkitten :

      I know that guests are supposed to offer to help, but when I’m a guest I really appreciate being given specific tasks to do. You should also give specific tasks to your husband so its not you and the guest working and him playing video games. Sounds like she’s taking his lead. Maybe talk to the hubby?

    • Talk to your friend!

      I have a shared interest with one of my friend’s husbands that is fairly specific and so we usually wind up talking about it when we spend time together. At one point, she said to me (one-on-one), “I’m so glad when you’re around and can talk to Husband about X! I know he loves when you’re here so he has someone to talk to. But sometimes I feel left out.” I told her that I also liked talking to Husband about X… but honestly didn’t want to talk about it ALL the time but felt like it would be rude to say, “Let’s talk about something else.”

      So it wound up being a good conversation. I assume she also had a similar conversation with Husband but I don’t know for sure. But now when we spend time together, Husband and I geek out for a while and then eventually one of the three of us says, “Okay, enough X talk!” and we make a point to move on to other things.

      Moral of the story, talk to your friend and/or husband.

      • This is actually very applicable. She’s my friend-by-default/distant relative but she and husband are both crazy about space & aviation at a level that I’m just not even trying to comprehend. I’m an accountant, not a physicist. When I try to participate, there is a pause in conversation and I can see that they’re trying to evaluate if it’s even worth explaining something to me, so I’ve kind of stopped trying. I think you’re right and I should talk to both of them, really.

        • Anonymous :

          Ohhh are you the one in Seattle with the college student cousin visiting you for a couple weeks? Definitely ask her to pitch in! Friends are very different than family in that regard, and I would straight up ask her to contribute to household tasks/watching the toddler.

    • anonshmanon :

      Hey hubby, you got [friend] all to yourself last night, so I’d like to go out with her for drinks while you have quality time with [toddler]. Do you need the number of our pizza place?

    • Anonymous :

      Oiiii. Come get your kid I’m cooking.

  37. Any recommendations for a southern cookbook that is not just deep fried everything? I don’t want something that’s specifically “lightened up” southern food but more wondering if there is a book of simple recipes that aren’t too heavy for everyday use.

    • Southern Anon :

      I have and love this one. The pictures are gorgeous and the recipes are delicious.

      • Junior League Cookbooks for the win! Although, in recent years, they’ve become a bit more “cosmopolitan” than regional. I find it’s getting harder to find truly regional cooking in some of them. Maybe try for an older one?

    • Anonymous :

      People seem to like River Road Recipes

    • Anonymous :

      Simple Fresh Southern!!!

    • Anonymous :

      Hugh Acheson, A New Turn in the South

  38. Anonymous :

    Neither. I’d go to Philly. SF solo sounds hellish to me. Philly has much better art than SF, a good gallery scene, the historical stuff is fun if you’ve never done it, and the people in restaurants would be friendly to a solo traveler.

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