Coffee Break: Metallic Card Case

kate-spade-metallic-card-caseOooh: of course I’m going to love the metallic cobalt card case from Kate Spade — but the whole collection looks fun, especially if you’re the type who a) likes to have a colored wallet/card case so it’s easy to find in your bag, b) you like feminine, girly things, or c) you are trying to find a small gift for a person who meets either a) or b).  (I did try the use-a-card-case-instead-of-a-wallet-in-my-clutch trick the last time I wore a clutch and I really liked it.) Anyhoo: the card case is $50, and comes in a metallic cobalt, hot pink, and a more muted rose gold that isn’t pictured here; the larger wallets go as high as $158; they’re available at Bloomingdale’s and Nordstrom,. (The confetti one in the picture is the “Grant Lane” collection, also fun.) kate spade new york Rainer Lane Metallic Card Case

Sale Alert: MAC is offering 25% off all orders through 12/4. Wish I’d known that before I ordered the Soar lipliner (one of their bestsellers) during Cyber Monday, but hopefully all the mascara samples I got (the Cyber Monday deal) will make up for that.



  1. My parents offered to take DH and I out for a “nice” dinner for our anniversary. We went to one of our favoriate Italian restaurants which happens to be a little fancy (so it was “nice” and not just any other dinner out). Among the four of us, we shared two appetizers and four pasta courses (no meats/entrees), and one dessert. My dad is now complaining about the price on facebook – UGH sometimes I really hate social media.

    • Anonymous :

      My parents do this. I try not to take it personally, but it’s hard.

      I would never recommend a place I thought someone could not afford, especially if they were offering to pay. But now, especially with my parents, we only recommend places we know they think are reasonably priced, even if it’s not what I’d consider a nice or special occasion restaurant.

    • Anonymous :

      Ooh, that’s frustrating. It doesn’t excuse your parents behavior, but I know different people have very different definitions of nice. To my husband and me, a “nice” restaurant is one where we’ll probably pay more than $300 for two, to my parents a “nice” restaurant is one with $20 entrees. Next time I’d run the restaurant by them to see what they think, or just pick a cheaper place even if it’s not really what you consider nice. It’s the thought that counts?

      • Fooey on parents that do this! But my dad NEVER compleins, even when he takes Ed out, b/c he is so happy to have grandkid’s that Ed fathered. With me, he is growing weary of my excueses why I am NOT married, but if I could find a guy to MARRY me, I am sure he would take us all out to Per Se or to Morton’s for Rib Eye! YAY!!!!! I hope to get MARRIED soon so I can get some RIBEYE!!!!

    • anon a mouse :

      Obviously depends on your relationship with your parents, I would gently call out my dad on something like this. As in, C’mon, Dad, why am I finding out you’re upset about restaurant via facebook? If you don’t like it, can’t you tell me without broadcasting it to the whole world?

      Or if your family is more the passive-aggressive type, you could just respond via facebook and thank him effusively for the meal, and how nice it was of them. (kidding. except only partly.)

      And then ratchet down wherever you pick the next time. Better yet, send them menus for a few different places and let them pick.

      • My family is more the aggressive-aggressive type, and I would insist that my parents choose the restaurant.

    • Senior Attorney :

      LOL and meanwhile my son and his two roommates were complaining that the restaurant we took them to the day after Thanksgiving was too fancy and expensive! Maybe we can arrange a swap…

  2. Lawyer Question :

    Question for the other lawyers – what’s your case load like? I’m in a small general practice firm in a small state and I handle civil litigation. It’s a mix of plaintiff’s PI and med mal, business litigation both plaintiff and defense, employment law, both plaintiff and defense (but more plaintiffs) and a bit of family law. I currently have 55 active cases. When I worked as an insurance defense associate, I think I had 10. Just curious what the rest of you have on your plate.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in transactional so my frame of reference is probably off. I cannot imagine juggling 55 active matters.

      On any given day I probably have between 5-10 open matters, but when I have big deals I definitely don’t do more than 1 big deal with maybe 2-3 smaller matters thrown in so that I have work during downtime on the deal.

    • Anonymous :

      That sounds about right to me for a litigation practice that is not “large” case focused. I have about 50 active files right now, all in various stages (pre-suit issues, early stage pleadings, discovery, settlement, dispositive motions). If you have big, bet-the-company style cases you can have fewer, but when you are a fairly bread and butter litigator, it’s not unusual to have so many – some that are larger than others of course.

    • Anonymous :

      That sounds about right for a small firm. When I was in a niche area of litigation at a huge firm, I was typically staffed on 3-4 cases at a time and only one or two of them were generally very active at once. I moved to a small state and joined a tiny firm and was completely overwhelmed by how many matters I was supposed to be keeping track of at once. I would be in the office for 10 hours a day and was struggling to bill more than 3 or 4 hours, because I spent SO much time just trying to take stock of my files and figure out what I should do next. I guess I would have gotten the hang of it eventually but I left and went in-house…there were many reasons small firm life didn’t agree with me, but that was a big one. I felt like I had whiplash the entire time.

      • OP Lawyer Question :

        Thank you for saying this. I love my job but I can never seem to bill enough and it is because I spend so much time on administrative tasks. I do bill the firm for that but it doesn’t really “count.” Luckily, my office cares more about results and money in the door than they do about actually meeting our billable goals. I have such a hard time even tracking my time because I may work on 15 cases a day depending on who emails or calls that day. It’s hard to get ahead. I’m always doing triage.

    • Anonymous junior :

      Junior Biglaw here, working almost exclusively on “bet the company” matters. I’ve never had more than 8 billable matters plus one or two pro bono matters at any given time.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a senior associate in patent prep and prosecution. I probably have 200+ matters (patent applications) where I am the responsible attorney. I spend about 1 day every 6 months on each case to respond to the Patent Office, and I write new cases that join my queue. I get 2-5 allowances per month where the case drops off my queue but my clients like to file child cases so…yep…right back in the hopper.

      Having only 10 or even 50 matters would be super nice. But, alas, such is the nature of my niche.

    • Anonymous :

      I do insurance defence litigation in a small shop and have 60 matters.

      • I was really curious about defense firms. Thanks.

        • I worked as in house litigation counsel at an insurance company and handled 50-65 files in 8 different states. Let’s just say I had no life outside of work. But when I had 50 insurance defense files in one state, that was pretty normal.

    • Anonymous :

      Government attorney (civil defense) in an embattled bureau. Currently at about 240 active matters, some of which involve significant liability. No, it is neither manageable nor healthy, and I hope to find a new job before too long, as do basically all of my coworkers. I think a max load in standard civil litigation should probably be around 50-60 smaller matters, but I haven’t experienced that since my second month in this job.

    • I’m a prosecutor and I generally handle about 100 cases per week

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      About a dozen; legal aid, with cases that vary in intensity and “OH MY GOD”-ness. Right now I have two intense cases (one appeal, one other intense case), one case I’m trying desperately to close because the client is bigly annoying :P and 5-6 cases that are pretty much just chilling while I try to handle the fires that inevitably come up in these cases.

      I’m the only atty on these cases and sometimes the clients have 3-4 separate legal issues (for example, housing, debt, family law, public benefits) going on at once that need assistance.

      • Senior associate in big law – litigation/investigations practice. 6 active matters that range in size from huge investigations with $100 million+ at stake to small investigations / civil litigation with less than $1 million at stake; 2 dormant matters one of which is coming back this month; 2 pro bono cases, one of which is dormant. I consider myself full to overflowing with work at the moment.

    • PI Attorney :

      That sounds pretty low for litigation, to be honest…unless you are in a firm with very little for support staff. We have 8 lawyers (entirely plaintiff PI) and each of us carries over 200 in a mid-sized city. That said, we have case managers, multiple assistants, and it is pretty routine work. But with contingency work, you need a lot of small files to tide you over while waiting for payout on the bigger ones. There’s only so much you can do on each individual file while it “marinates.”

  3. Frugal femme :

    What detergent do you use to wash your work clothing?

    I try to take good care of my clothes. Wash clothing in front loading washer on delicate, hang everything to dry. I have nice specialty detergents for hand washing silks/very delicates and cashmere/wool. But for other clothing, I use Woolite darks for colors and a Kirkland free and clear for whites.

    I feel like the color is getting stripped out of my clothes too quickly.

    Should I not be using Woolite?

    • Anonymous :

      Your detergent sounds fine to me, but make sure you wash everything on cold.

    • I used Seventh Generation for my work clothes. It is effective yet gentle. I wear a lot of dark clothes and it takes quite a while for the color to start fading.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I use Dreft for my delicates, and I’ve noticed a distinct improvement in color life. I switched because of allergies in my partner, but I’m really liking the results.

    • Anonymous :

      Try adding 1/4 cup white vinegar to your loads. I put in in the liquid fabric softener compartment. It’ll help remove extra detergent and set the colors.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks for the suggestions. I’m actually a little relieved you didn’t tell me I need to buy some crazy expensive detergent.

      Do any of you use Oxiclean? I also tried that, hoping that would be good for colors, but maybe too harsh?

      Interesting about the vinegar. I sometimes add that to my black-only loads (I wear a lot of black!) because it helps to get rid of lint, but didn’t know it would be good for color. Thanks.

      • Anonymous4 :

        My mom is a big fan of Oxyclean. When I was home over the holiday she mentioned to me that she loves the stain stick and had never had a problem with it – but noted that my aunt had a pair of pants ruined by it. So perhaps it is color or fabric specific?

  4. NorCal (maybe)? :

    I’m heading to a wedding next summer in CA with plans to tack on a road trip to Big Sur and the Redwoods.

    A dear family friend, who lost his child and his wife this year, asked if he could join me on the road trip since he’s always wanted to see the Redwoods. I have no problem with it, but the catch is that he’s 77 (active, but will not be joining me on a hike in Big Sur).

    Aside from these two places, what else is there to see and do in that area of CA? Napa?

    • Where is the family wedding? It’s quite a distance between Big Sur and Redwood National Park. If the wedding is in between the two destinations, it might make sense to do Big Sur on your own first and then have the family friend join you for just the Redwoods portion of the trip.

    • Marshmallow :

      Napa’s pretty far, but you could spend a day in Monterey. They have beautiful (rocky, cold) beaches, sea otters, a big aquarium, typical downtown small-city stuff.

      • +1 the Monterrey Aquarium is amazing.

        I also like visiting Moss Beach – it’s further up toward SF and not as well known, but is a beautiful seal nesting site with tide pools etc.

        A bit south of where you’ll be is Pinnacles National Park, which is also gorgeous.

      • +1 great wine nearby as well – Santa Lucia Highlands especially.

    • Anonymous :

      Redwoods National Park is pretty far (maybe a 9 hour drive?) from Big Sur, although there are redwood trees all over CA. I also think the park itself is kind of a letdown, because the trees in many other parts of CA (including Santa Cruz and Sequoia Natl Park) are bigger and more impressive. How much time to you have? What do you like to do? Napa is great for good and wine. Yosemite is beautiful. Tahoe is also very nice although I prefer Yosemite for hiking (but Tahoe definitely has more options for boating, if you’re into that).

      • SF Lawyer :

        Ditto – the Santa Cruz mountains have beautiful redwoods, and it’s fun to stay in Santa Cruz and experience beach life. Santa Cruz offers the boardwalk, which is fun and tacky, but there’s also Natural Bridges State Park, which is lovely and more remote. Big Basin State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park should give you all the redwoods you ever wanted and are easily accessible from Santa Cruz.

    • SF Lawyer :

      I’m not totally sure where you’re thinking of going. If you’re in Big Sur, you should see the elephant seals and Hearst Castle, both in San Simeon on the southern tip of Big Sur. On the northern tip of Big Sur, there is Point Lobos State Park (lovely for walks with great views, not strenuous at all), Asilomar (a Julia Morgan compound – I really like staying there!), Carmel for food and art and wine, and then Monterey for the Aquarium which is wonderful.

      If you just want redwoods, you could go to Muir Woods in Marin or Armstrong Woods in Sonoma County. Both are beautiful and very accessible – nice flat paths for walking, some of which are paved or on boardwalks, with useful benches for rest stops. Marin is San Francisco-adjacent; Armstrong Woods is close to beautiful (cold) beaches at Jenner and Bodega Bay, but is also close to wineries in Sonoma County.

      • Nudibranch :

        Ditto to these suggestions.

      • +1 the Armstrong Woods recommendation. We were there in October with my husband’s ( very active) almost 80-year-old aunt and had a fabulous time. We coupled a walk through the redwoods with a driving tour of Bodega Bay/ Jenner Views along with stops at a couple wineries in Sonoma. It was a good balance on various levels.

    • Anonymous :

      It is really, really lovely that you are taking your friend for this.

    • We are avid hikers and had big plans for Big Sur and other places along the PCH. However, the entire coastal hiking system was closed when we arrived due to wildfires and subsequent erosion. We were definitely bummed but I was surprised at how fun it ended up being despite our inability to hike. We did a 3 day, 2 night trip which was a good amount of time.

      There are TONS of scenic vistas to stop at, as well as numerous beaches. You could do the aquarium in Monterey and Hearst Castle in San Simeon. Both of those are at least 1/2 day endeavors. Plan a nice dinner in Carmel and do some shopping.

      Napa is gorgeous as well but it gets really, really hot in the summer.

  5. I bought a bottle of light corn syrup and a bag full of pecans to make pecan pie for Thanksgiving. My whole family frowned on the idea, so I made an apple pie instead. Now, I have a full, unopened bottle of corn syrup and a bag of pecans and don’t know what to do with them. Do you know of any good recipes that require use of either corn syrup or pecans? Anything but pecan pie, which my family apparently dislikes.

    • Anonymous :

      I make this every Christmas

    • Shopaholic :

      Have a pie party with your friends and make delicious pecan pie because your family is apparently crazy (joking obviously :P)?

    • Anonshmanon :

      can you just make the pecan pie and bring it to a potluck? Hostess gift or small christmas gift to a helpful neighbor?

    • Do YOU like pecan pie? Because if you do, then I’d make that – and your family can either try some, or you get to eat a whole pie by yourself #whichisn’tabadthing

    • Anonymous :

      Chocolate pecan pie or maple bourbon pecan pie, which may appeal to those who don’t like plain pecan pie.

      • Maple bourbon pecan pie (sans bourbon, we use vanilla instead) is literally the first and ONLY pie that went at my house this Thanksgiving. The crust is also AMAZING – recipe at epicurious.

    • Wildkitten :

      Soup kitchen?

    • You could make divinity for a holiday candy/cookie plate, but honestly, I’d just make the pie and consider getting a new family…

    • marketingchic :

      Make the pecan pie as a slab pie (in a sheet pan) or as little individual pies and bring them to work or gift to neighbors.

    • Midwest Mama :

      Scotcharoos use light corn syrup, are really easy to make, and are a family favorite of ours.

    • You can make marshmallow frosting with the corn syrup.

    • Nudibranch :

      I use corn syrup rarely, but pecans frequently. Family members have allergies to walnuts so I use pecans in substitution: chocolate chip cookies, muffins, my breakfast oatmeal…lots of uses. I actually prefer their taste.

  6. I need a new makeup bag–mine is too small and too messy. Does anyone use a makeup bag with internal organization? What kind of features do you actually find useful–little zippy pockets? loops to tuck brushes and pencils into? a double layer like a train case? What features do you wish you had? TIA!

    • I got mine from Travelteq. It isn’t perfect, but it’s close. The things that were important to me were:
      1. Easy cleaning and light. Ergo, mine is nylon and not leather.
      2. Feet on the bottom to protect the bag from wet countertops. The bag I bought didn’t have this, so I added plastic feet to the bottom (stick-ons, purchased from Jo-Anns.)
      3. Ability to open completely and STAY open.

      This is the one I bought…on a crazy sale, but it was still expensive. It is better made than the Marc Jacobs ones that Nordies sells, though:

      • I should add that I use little pouches and other containers to sort the insides. It has internal pockets, in which I keep kleenex, qtips, etc.

        My main organizer is a plastic soap holder. I have decanted all my liquids into little containers that fit perfectly into this thing, which also has room for lipsticks and such. The advantage here is that the container fits into a 1 qt bag, so that I can whip it out easily and then set the holder onto a countertop and everything is neatly displayed and organized, so no rooting around in a bottomless well for things.

    • Brunchaholic :

      I use a Kate Spade travel bag that has internal organization and I LOVE it. Having separate comparments for liquid items vs. dry/solid items has been key, and I think it keeps things clean and protects in case of a spill. The bag I use is a bit big, but I put literally everything in it, so it generally works out. I also like that it packs up pretty flat. Makes packing easier- I think the bags that stand up are a little bit harder to shove into suitcases. That being said, bags that lay flat are terrible for loose powders since there is basically no way to keep them from tipping over.

      This isn’t the one, but I think it’s actually a smaller version, which is probably preferable.

  7. I have a client in a Latin American country (purposely being vague) that wanted to chat a bit about the political news. He was very nice about everything and was asking for more information about the Trump business – conflict of interest stuff he is seeing in the news. I guess in his country, politicians still keep their businesses and it is not that unheard of. He was saying isn’t what is good for Trump’s business good for all business anyway? Again, these were honest, trying to understand the issues questions and he wasn’t being argumentative.

    I explained it that normally our political system is set up so that politicians cannot personally profit during their time in office. Sure, they can write books and do speaking engagements and that sort of thing but like judges, they shouldn’t have a personal stake in anything they are making decisions on. He then asked more about our balance of powers and how congress is the one that makes the laws and judges decide on those laws so what role will the president have that could be a conflict? I mentioned executive orders and then said that this is such a new issue in our country I hadn’t really researched it much and shouldn’t really be the one explaining it yet. This was small talk, not legal advice and doesn’t have anything to do with why he’s our client.

    I also couldn’t answer whether there are actually laws against this kind of thing or if it is more of an appearance of impropriety kind of thing.

    So – without getting into a crazy partisan debate, could someone give me some friendly, professional language that summarizes the issue for someone not in this country who doesn’t understand the big deal?

    • The 2 big deals are:
      1. The conflicts of interest are not being disclosed, which means
      2. One can’t assume that the president-elect will be acting in a manner that benefits the country first, instead of him or his various enterprises and/or relatives.

      • I think my explanation mostly covered it then. Thanks.

        • Would you believe that there are NO LAWS concerning the president’s conflicts of interest regarding outside businesses. There is, however, a disclosure form that he or she must complete. This opens up the possibility of impeachment if the president lies on the form, or if it is revealed that he or she was derelict in their duties by putting his or her own interests above that of the country’s.

          As an aside, is anyone else bothered by the fact that Trump has apparently dropped the daily intel briefings, saying that he is getting them from “outside sources” and thinks a suitable punishment for burning the flag is a revocation of citizenship? In any event, I would think that the first would be grounds for impeachment…

          • There are many, many things that terrify me about our PE. Ignoring the intel briefings is a big one. Seeming to not understand how basic government works is another. Blatant flouting of the emoluments clause is another.

            But perhaps what is most terrifying is that he is threatening the foundations of our democracy and the rest of our elected Republican leaders seem totally okay with it.

          • I didn’t believe the “no laws” part and thought my research was coming up empty. Thanks for the confirmation.

          • No laws is not exactly true, but the strongest one is the emoluments clause, which is more of a dotted line from a specific type of business (one in which foreign governments are involved).

    • I’m not sure about the actual laws, but with respect to the potential conflicts, you could give him a very simple run-down about the administrative state and the president’s role in executing and enforcing laws. For example, you can explain that often Congress makes a large, broad law, but the administrative agency, which is ultimately run by the president, puts it into effect by creating more targeted regulations, and these are the things that really impact industry. You can also explain that the administration has the role of choosing enforcement priorities, so it will make decisions that impact how much certain businesses can and cannot get away with.

  8. Sydney Bristow :

    I’ve been using a metal card case, technically a cigare t t e holder, as my wallet for the last 15+ years. It cuts down on the cards I can carry, which is good if my purse was ever stolen, but I haven’t felt like I need more with me. It also fits nicely in the cell phone pocket of purses. There are normally 2 so I can still fit my phone and wallet. Plus it fits in every purse and clutch I own.

    I’m still in the market for a new one though. I’ll check these ones out.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My reading comprehension is poor today. I blame the cold medicine. I went to look at these and realized they were metallic and not metal.

    • I use a metal card case as a purse inside evening bags, especially on holiday. I can get my EHIC card, money (folded up), my room key and an emergency card listing contact numbers/insurance details etc in it and it stops it all rolling about the bottom of my bag. I’ll do the same this Friday at my staff night out.

      For the last couple of years there have been lots of metal card cases around in independent U.K. shops and a lot of them call themselves anti-card reading cases.

      • Eh, if you put two contactless cards near each other in your wallet neither can be read, so the anti-card-swishing wallets are superfluous.

  9. Oh this is what you put business cards in. Good to know.

  10. Midwest Mama :

    My BIL and SIL have a blended family, which includes 6 kids: 17 yo boy, 14 yo boy and girl, 5 yo girl, 2 yo girl, infant boy. Any ideas for Christmas gifts? It gets expensive buying for each kid individually, but I’m having trouble coming up with a good family gift for such a wide range of ages.

    • Forget the kids. Offer to babysit overnight and give the parents an evening out.

      • anon in sv :

        Yep, average of $10 each for each kid – a movie pass and popcorn coupon for each of the teenagers, a book for each of the little kids (so the teens will be about $15 and the little kids about $5), and a night of babysitting for the parents. I’m sure the teenagers will also be thrilled they’re not stuck babysitting their siblings.

    • SF Lawyer :

      *Zoo or museum membership.
      *Big basket of family movie night supplies – cozy throw blankets, gourmet popcorn, fun bowls for the popcorn, Junior Mints (or your Movie Candy of Choice), maybe some DVDs (do people still make DVDs)?
      *Same basket concept but with board games.

      Good luck – that is a tough gift-buying challenge!

    • Anonymous :

      The Book With No Pictures for the 17 and 14 yr olds to read to the 5 and 2 yr olds. Also, a telescope or microscope.

    • That age range is just too wide for a group gift. Get them individual gifts, but less expensive ones. A book, a T shirt, a small toy, whatever fits your budget.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I may be cranky (see “I’ve been cranky since Nov. 8” in previous thread), but if it’s your BIL and SIL, then they’re you’re in-laws? Meaning they’re you’re spouse’s sibling and sibling’s spouse? Me personally, I would assign that job to the person whose family it actually is.

      That said, Apples to Apples is a good game for everybody to and including the 5 yo. And the babies don’t care.

      • lawsuited :

        Yeah, you might be being cranky. Some folks consider their spouse’s family to be their actual family as well and would be cool with buying them presents.

        • Wildkitten :

          We get one gift for in-laws and usually the spouse tells their family what the in-law wants. I love my BIL but I know my sister knows what he wants better than Mr. Kitten could randomly guess (not currently a thing, but has been in the past).

        • I consider my in-laws to be my family, but my husband still knows them better so he’s the point man for their presents.

  11. Lets play the “how out if touch is your boss” game. I’ll start. I juat received my third holiday turkey “bonus”. Literally a frozen turkey, boss who I work with closely knows I’m vegan and doesnt see a problem with the “gift”.

    • I had a boss (a drunk) who liked to give me (non-kosher) turkeys and once a ham for holidays. A$$hole.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was just thinking about how sweet my husband’s boss is on this. She buys each member of her team a bottle of wine but my husband doesn’t drink so she always gets him a box of fancy chocolates, which he loves. Totally the opposite of what you asked. I know it’s easiest to get everyone the same thing, but a minor personalization based on a well known fact is always appreciated.

      I don’t think I’ve ever received a gift from a boss.

      • Anonymous :

        That’s so thoughtful. I’ve only ever received alcohol from bosses (several times) and I don’t drink.

        • So thoughtful. I wish I was so lucky. I’d probably get a little misty if someone was ever so considerate to me.

    • Last year my boss gave me a scented god d*mned candle from Bath and Body Works. It was “ocean” scented. I’m 99% sure his wife found it lying around the house. He presented it to me and said that it was “just a token for all my hard work.”

      Screw this. I’m a lawyer in a large law firm. This guy is a complete and unmitigated [email protected]@hole who is mentally unbalanced and abusive to everyone who isn’t a direct superior or client, and spent the whole year berating me and telling me I was too incompetent and lazy to succeed at my job.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG this reminds me of a story from my childhood. My dad got a job with a new company and there was much rejoicing because the first year the company gave big fat Christmas bonuses in cash. The next year my mom was all excited on the last working day before Christmas, and my dad came home with… a turkey. Gah…

    • In my first job, my terrible boss said as he was walking out the door the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, “See you Friday!” I was young and he walked out, so I didn’t get to confirm until noon on Friday when I sat in an empty office that he was “just joking!!!” The following Monday he “felt bad” and brought me a small box of Godiva chocolates; I thanked him and tucked them into my bag… until that afternoon when he got hungry and asked for me to open the box so he could eat them.

      I have had a lot of bad bosses. It’s actually my SO’s current boss that is so thoughtful that it was a wake-up call that I needed to leave biglaw because it was so toxic. He is so thoughtful that he has sent articles home with my fiance of topics he knows I love (something I geeked out about at their holiday party).

    • Anonymous :

      So…because I’m on a 80% plant-based diet and don’t have animal products at home, what do you do with a frozen turkey? I ask because I’m getting one for a holiday gift through an organization that I volunteer for.

      Would it be weird to bring the frozen turkey to work and send an email to my co-workers asking if they want it? Do food pantries take frozen turkeys?

      • I donated my ham and turkey, but I did have to call around and find an organization that would take them.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Can you just tell the organization “thanks, but keep it and use the money for programs?”

        But failing that, I’m sure somebody would take it off your hands at work. I probably would… ;)

  12. I have a blouse that fastens with a loop at the base of my neck but leaves about a 5 inch long “peep hole”. I love the blouse but I decided I don’t like the peep hole – too distracting for work. But I can’t sew it up either because then the neck hole would be too small for my head. What can I do to eliminate the peep hole? Wearing a safety pin on my chest does not seem comfortable.

  13. Anon for this :

    Any tips for dealing with mansplaining? I just got a 30 minute lecture that was peppered with accusations that I “didn’t do my research,” despite the fact that was ALL I was doing for the last few days.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you me? I was going to ask this same question today!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Depends on the situation. I assume it’s at work; in that case, I don’t have any advice. But if it’s an acquaintance/friend/partner, I would stop them at about minute two and say “I did my research; I know all of this information. I don’t need you to tell me it again. Stop.”

  14. What would you do here? About 3-4 year ago, a relative and I agreed to stop buying Christmas gifts for the adults in our families – I still buy for her young daughter. Every year, when making holiday travel plans, I have kind of checked in to make sure she is still on board with this. Last year, she said she was, so we didn’t buy her anything, and then received a box of gifts in the mail. They seemed to be the type chosen just to gift “something” but not with us in mind. This year, do I just suck it up and get her something?

    Not sure it’s relevant, but my past motivations were a combo of cost savings and environmental. I think hers were just a cost thing and now that her circumstances have changed, she wants to go back to gifts.

    • Minimalist :

      I don’t know, but I want to. Buying my gifts that are made through dangerous labor policies and environmental degradation is not thoughtful. My current solution is so smile and say it’s “sweet” then promptly donate. But even that makes me immensely uncomfortable

      • Thanks. I have tried to talk to her before about my thoughts on the wastefulness of holidays in general and on how we all have too much stuff. I think she thinks I’m a weirdo for it and as soon as she had funds, it was right back to the Old Navy fleeces.

        I may split the difference and and go for an experience gift for her fam.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I feel like if an invitation is not an invoice, then neither is a gift.

      If you have made it clear that you aren’t doing gifts, and she does anyway, then you are well within your rights to assume that she is okay with one-side gift giving. And either she is, which is fine, or she isn’t, in which case it’s totally her fault and the following year she will stick to her promise of no gifts.

      • I don’t have a blanket policy of not doing gifts.

        I’m weighing whether to have this (somewhat annual) discussion again and not know what she will do, just suck it up, or just be find opting out. It’s the random switching what we’ve agreed upon that has thrown me.

        • Senior Attorney :

          That’s what I’m saying. If the last agreement you two had was “we’re opting out,” I say just stick to that.

  15. Anonymous :

    I may repost tomorrow since it’s probably too late in the day today… but any advice for how to handle this situation with grace and patience?

    I see my mom about twice a year and I enjoy her visits. She usually stays about for a week or two. She loves going shopping. Every time she visits she picks up things to make herself “more comfortable” and then insists on leaving them at my place so that they’re be there for her next visit.

    It’s not a true comfort thing. She just really likes shopping. Case in point – Last year she bought a giant soup bowl like coffee mug because all of my mugs were “too small”. She left it at my place and it’s still there. This year she bought a new coffee mug and also left it there.

    I’ve asked her not to leave her purchases at my place. I offer to ship them home with her and, if necessary, ship them back here for her visits. I’m pressed for space as it is and I abhor clutter. She notices if I throw things out. But she insists on buying and leaving things each time she visits. Can I start throwing everything away? Or do I need to just suck it up and deal with the pile of stuff accumulating in my tiny apartment?

    • Frozen peach :

      Do you have a storage locker? Could you literally have a “Mom Visiting Box”?

    • My mom does this, but not with new stuff. She likes to give me all the stuff she has laying around her house that she can’t find a use for. I told her that if I didn’t want something and it still mysteriously appeared in my apartment, it was fair game and I would donate it.

      About a year after this conversation, my mom and I were visiting cousins. My cousin turned to me suddenly and asked if MY mom persisted in giving me things that she couldn’t get rid of herself. I burst out laughing. Her mom said, defensively, “Well, it was a nice lamp.” The two mothers (they are first cousins) just sat there, looking slight abashed.

      If you mom is willing and able to shell out cash, then I would just keep a shopping list of things you need and have her buy them for you.

    • Is there an in between solution? E.g., find a drawer in the guest room for “mom stuff” and keep her purchases in there? Maybe that also sends the message that the stuff she’s buying for her own comfort isn’t really part of *your* apartment.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I like this idea. Assign here a limited amount of space and insist that she only leave what fits in her space.

    • Anonymous :

      This is how I have a hairdryer. My mom wanted me to have one for her visits. It’s stashed under my bathroom sink and I never use it.

      I have had to set boundaries with my mom and, it’s tough. I’d box up some of the more junk-y stuff and ask her if she wants it or if you can donate it. Don’t give her the option of leaving it at your house. I would keep a few things that she genuinely uses when she visits.

    • I would put them all in a box. Then, when she arrives for a new visit, take everything out of the box and lay it out in the guest room or wherever she is staying. It seems welcoming and also makes the point that you are keeping this stuff just for her. If you incorporate it with your stuff – like putting the mug in the cupboard with other mugs – she might not know where to find it or might mistakenly think that you have found it useful.

      Even more passive aggressive would be to just box it up and mail it to her, with a note that says, “So great to see you! Here are a few items you left behind! xoxox”

    • Anonymous :

      Are you really complaining because your mother gave you two coffee mugs, that she enjoys drinking from when she visits?

      Or is something else going on? What am I missing? Because this sounds a bit…. unreasonable on your part. Are the visits too long?

      If my daughter mailed me back two coffee mugs, I would take that as a very strong hint that she doesn’t want me coming back again. Seriously.

      My Mom passed away too young, and when I hear complaints like this, I just can’t even……

      • … yeah, agreed. My mom can be very critical under the guise of being “helpful”, so I understand bristling about a maternal visit, but out of all the possible problems in relationships “she bought a mug that takes up too much room in my cabinet” is really … at bitch eating crackers level. I just… I keep thinking about how my mom is 70 and I don’t know how much time with her I have left. While my and my sister’s relationship with her is a bit strained, both of our daughters adore her, and it helps me see her through new eyes. Maybe make a drawer for her in your guest room. And think about how you really don’t know how much time you have left together.

        (Obviously, if she’s abusive or awful, disregard, but there is no indication that she is in what you’ve said.)

      • The two coffee mugs was just an example. The last week she bought and left about 15 items at my place, including a $1 backscratcher, a $2 pair of earrings, and a $6 blanket. It’s just that she’s leaving a *lot* of stuff in my very small apartment, and it’s not because she’s sentimental about the “things” it’s because she likes to buy things.

    • Anonymous :

      Unless you live in one of those 300 square foot apartments in NYC, then you need to make room somewhere. Relationships are about compromise, even the ones with your parents…..

    • No, you can’t start throwing it away.

      You need to take a Valium.

    • I’d also recommend a “mom visits” box or shelf, and then quietly donate things she’s bought new versions of. I.e. donate the first mug once she’s bought the second, but keep the second. If she buys too many kinds of things for that to work in your space, then I’d say “Hey, Mom, I don’t have room to keep the X you bought. Would you like to take it home or shall I donate it?”

      MAJOR CAVEAT: If this is actually an instance of your mother trying to run your life, it could be worth putting your foot down and donating everything to enforce the boundary/on principle. It doesn’t sound like that’s what’s going but I figured it couldn’t hurt to throw it out there.

  16. Learning to sell :

    I am a new Biglaw partner (starting second year as an income partner) and I just signed my first real client! One that wasn’t just a referral or a new matter from an existing client – I networked my way into a meeting with the decision-makers, did my pitch, gathered references, and got hired. I am a huge introvert who HATES anything remotely sales-y (as a seller or a customer), so this is huge for me. Thanks for letting me share!!!!!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Woo hoo!! Hooray!! Heartiest congratulations!!!

    • Go you!!!

    • SF Lawyer :

      WAY TO GO! I’m also a new Biglaw partner (in my first year at an equity-only partnership) and to me, landing your first client like this is just as impressive (possibly MORE impressive) than making partner.

    • Anonymous :

      Way to go! That’s awesome!!

    • PI Attorney :

      That’s super, nice work! Outgoing people don’t realize how hard it is to push through introversion to close on a sale…it’s so much easier just to run and hide! Good for you for taking the plunge :)

    • Learning to sell :

      Thank you ladies!!! (They didn’t tell us in law school that in private practice, at some point sales skills become more valued than legal skills…) I wasn’t so sure I wanted to be a partner because I never wanted to do this sales stuff (I just wanted to run the other way), but I sucked it up and started doing it because I have to, and it isn’t so terrible. Plus, it’s nice to get the feeling of a “win” because I’m in a transactional practice and don’t get to “win” like litigators do.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I always say that when you go into the private practice of law, you are consenting to be a business owner, with all that entails including selling.

    • Learning to sell :

      Also I think this calls for the statement “mama needs [ok, wants] a brand new bag.” I’m thinking Prada…

  17. Does anyone have advice on preventing linting? I have a really nice navy ralph lauren sweater, but it is shedding everywhere. I washed it before I wore it- should I try washing it again?

  18. I’m fashion challenged, please help.

    (1) I am planning on wearing a cobalt blue lace sheath dress to husband’s Christmas party. It is cocktail attire and held at a nice hotel ballroom.
    (a) Shoe help please. I have a pair of silver heels with on strap over top of foot and ankle strap. Too much like a sandal? Are plain black pumps too boring? I am in a cold climate, no snow currently but can’t rule it out for party.
    (b) jewelry?
    (c) I don’t own a clutch or bag that is really appropriate for fancy events. suggestions?

    (2) Also thinking about what to wear to my Christmas party the following evening. It will be a small event at an upscale restaurant. I have a black wool mini skirt (not inappropriately short) with 2 or so inch horizontal strips of sequins (hopefully that makes sense). I’m thinking I could wear that with tights and ankle boots? But what type of top? And dumb question alert…can I wear a wool jacket that is longer than the skirt?

    • Wildkitten :

      1. Awesome. A. Either is fine. B. Fancy earrings. C. Get a cheap clutch at Claires. 2. Awesome. Is the jacket going into coat check? Cuz then. Totally!

    • 1. Awesome. a. Disagree with Wildkitten –wear the silver heels. Black leather pumps are office wear, not formal wear. b. Yes to fancy earrings. c. Yes to cheap sparkly clutch from Claires.

      Re tops to go with black wool miniskirt: I would go with simple, solid-color sweaters or blouses. Black, dark red, or ivory turtleneck sweaters or silk blouses, for example. And bring back the fancy earrings.

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