Kat’s Favorite TPS Reports of 2012

2016 Update: These are still some of our favorite TPS reports of 2012, but you may also want to check out our 2016 roundup of favorite workwear suggestions

Every weekday here at Corporette, I offer one suggestion for an item that I would wear to work. Sometimes readers love the item, and wow do you guys hate it sometimes. Sometimes *I* love it, sometimes it was just the best I could find given the restraints (for those who haven’t noticed, Monday and Tuesday tend to be pricier items, Wednesday is in the $100-$150 price range, Thursday is in the $50-$100 price range, and Friday is in the “under $50” range.) Still, as the end of the year approaches I thought I’d look back over the past year and choose my personal favorites from the things I recommended… each picture is from one month, and the picture links back to the original post. Some of them are still available (such as the No.2 Pencil Skirt (shown below in a geometric pattern that’s sold out), the DvF Alois dress (down to $90 at Saks!!!), the yellow DvF silk jacket, the Surplice Top from Vince (shown below in green)); others have sold out.

(Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to do this in 2011 due to some tech difficulties, but here is the roundup from 2010 if you’re curious.)

Readers, which were your favorite pieces recommended in 2012? Any favorites from the commenting threads?


  1. calling other in-housers :

    Dear in-house lawyers,

    I feel like a total jerk for even asking this question on Christmas Eve, but what do you do for your secretaries/paralegals? My boss’s perspective is that we don’t do anything because the company gives Visa gift cards ($20? I think?) to every employee at Christmastime. At my firm, we still gave gift cards or gifts to our paralegal/secretaries even though the firm paid out Christmas bonuses. I just don’t feel right about NOT doing anything. On the flip side, my hesitation about going it alone is that it’s going to make my bosses look bad that they didn’t do anything and I did. I don’t want to throw them under the bus, but… this just doesn’t feel right.

    What, if anything, do you do?

    • Do YOU get a bonus on top of the $20? If not, it seems like the company factors the lack-of-bonus (because $20 really isn’t a bonus, it’s a “happy holidays” gift) into determining all employees’ salaries. On the other hand, I think firms expect attorneys to, for a lack of a better term, “share” their own bonuses with their secretaries. I guess this sort of makes sense because firms don’t usually track performance metrics for the secretaries like they do with the attorneys, so the attorneys are in the best position to know how much should be given. I realize this might be an optimistic way of looking at things, however.
      In any event, I think if you work closely with one or a couple staff members and want to give them something extra, there’s no harm in it.

    • I’m in-house, but I’m fairly junior. I didn’t do anything for the support staff and am not sure what the higher-ups did. If there was someone who I worked closely with or was particularly helpful I might have written a card and gotten a Starbucks gift card or similar. I know for admin assistants day staff got a $100 visa gift card.

    • I am in-house; each of us contributed $100 to an American Express gift card.

    • Do what your bosses tell you to do. Things only get weird and resentful when different people do different things for their staff.

    • Miss Marple :

      I recently wrestled with this and ended up giving my secretary a $100 gift card. She’s a quasi paralegal and is secretary to only one other attorney, who was just hired a month ago, so I didn’t have to worry about what her other bosses would get her. She gave me a giftcard too (<$50) which I wasn't expecting but made me happy that I got her something.

    • I like a company policy of providing a small cash gift to everyone as as an effective replacement for the confusing protocol of multi-lateral gift-exchanging, which tends to put unnecessary pressure on junior team members, at least in my experience. It may be that your boss feels the same way and is discouraging any extra gifting on your part for this reason.

      If you want to show some private appreciation for the special effort or working relationship by your secretary, Christmas isn’t the only occasion for it – think birthdays, or if you’ve travelled somewhere and brought back something thoughtful or special, or if you’ve been baking and know that the person particularly likes muffins, chocolate, cookies or whatever the case may be.

  2. Follow your boss’ lead.

  3. I bought that green Nordstrom top and had to return it because the V didn’t stay closed.

    • I bought the green Vince Camuto top and LOVE IT. It is so comfy and warm under a jacket. Full disclosure: I am on the A-team and did alter the shirt a bit to make the wrap a little bit tighter. But it fits perfectly and is so comfy!

      I also love the ponte scoopneck dresses from Tar get. I got it in green, again: so comfortable. ;o)

      • I'm Just Me :

        I have the green top as well. It was nothing that a tiny safety pin couldn’t solve. I’ve worn it with black, navy, grey, camel, taupe and probably few other colors as well. I’m wearing it with black pants tomorrow for Christmas.

        • That green top is amazing. I wore a tank under it, no problem. Thinking about getting it in another color too.

  4. from one of the earlier tales of the wallet threads this year :

    Someone, in observing former partner, current in-house’s financial suggestion, mentioned how her friend saves nearly half of all her paychecks. I’m going over my own finances this morning, and I’m curious…is your friend able to do this b/c her SO/partner has a healthy salary of their own, and so they can bank your friend’s salary? Or, is your friend single and just awesomely fiscally savvy? Either way, it’s great your friend is able to do this…but if she is single and AFS, I’d love to know how she does it!

    (I ask b/c other commentors on the thread mentioned how they save one person’s salary and live on another, but none of those commentors were single, from what I remember.)

    • Not the OP :

      But do echo her thoughts…would love to learn the awesomely fiscal savvyness!

    • Hi OP, that was me :

      That was me who posted several months ago on that thread. My friend, she’s single, frugal, and basically very on top of her finances. How she does it? In short, she pays herself first. Everytime she gets a paycheck, half of it (not sure about the exact %) goes into her savings account. The other half, she spends for her monthly expenses. Anything left over at the end of the month goes into her savings account.

      It’s funny you posted this question; I’ve actually told her several times she should write a book on her fiscal savvyness for us single gals out there . . . I’m going to email your post to her to show that I’m not the only one who would benefit from her advice.

      • frugal doc... :

        I have been incredibly frugal in my attempts to save for several years. Even as a medical resident making a very crappy salary and living in a very expensive city, I was still saving a good amount of money. And I will continue my frugal ways forever. I was trained by my parents, and grew up in a family that struggled and I will also always be fearful about $$.

        My real recs?

        Live in a home that is within your means. Actually, less then your means….. That may mean an apartment instead of a house, or no fancy doorman building, perhaps a beautiful vintage walk up building instead, no central air, maybe no parking space etc… Prioritize. What the heck do you need a stainless steel fridge for? A fridge is a fridge…

        NEVER lease a car. Buy used, only what you can afford, and something reliable (ex. Toyota). Even better, buy your parents/aunt/best friends old car. Keep it forever – until it dies. Keep up on the oil changes and repairs. Even $1000 repair bill is A LOT cheaper then leasing a new car for a year.

        Even better – get rid of the car. Commute using public transportation.

        You just have to limit the personal purchases. Hard, I know. I continued to pay for the really important things – good haircuts/highlights, but stick to the drug store cosmetics except for important things I love, only buying clothing ON SALE that is timeless/practical/quality (and I scour the conseignment shops and find excellent deals). I was still often one of the best dressed on the hospital wards in med school (although I was an exhausted mess in residency….). Style does not need to be expensive.

        Don’t join a gym. Exercise at home. Really.

        Don’t spend $200+ a month on cell phone/internet/tv etc… I spend $60 a month for my cell phone and for internet (AT&T). I don’t have cable. YOU WILL SURVIVE WITHOUT IT. Instead, I watch less TV (I have a digital TV antenna for local stations)…. I check out movies/TV series (Breaking bad etc..) from my local library for free, and when needed…. Hulu/Amazon to watch things of the moment if I can’t wait.

        Make your lunch. I ate tasty, simple, healthy lunches every day and they were simple and fresh. My co-workers all said I made them feel guilty. Can I say I am also very slender.

        Cook dinner. Eat at home.

        NEVER buy coffee at Starbucks etc.. Get yourself a Keurig if you must. Still much cheaper then throwing away $$ at Starbucks.

        COSTCO. But you must have self control. Use it to save $ on important things (cleaning supplies/paper products/certain food items you will not waste in bulk) and not to buy things you don’t really need.

        Buy clothes that don’t have to be dry cleaned. Take care of your clothing and your shoes, and know your tailor and cobbler.

        Do not take extravagant vacations.

        Don’t fill your home with “new” trendy furniture that loses 75% of its value the moment you bring it home. Carefully buy only timeless, important pieces. I restored beautiful old antiques that belonged to older relatives or things people were getting rid of. It’s also amazing what you can find at nicer resale shops…

        Don’t have pets. That is a soft rec…

        BUT if you have huge loans… it is just a wipe out that will prevent ANYONE from saving half their salary, unless you are making such an outrageously high salary that I don’t even want to know….

        And if you are married and have kids… Well, be like my frugal married friends. DON’T buy so much crap for your kids. So many cribs/strollers/clothes/books/toys are barely used and thrown/given away by people I know. So ask your friends for their left overs. And alternate baby sitting nights for your friends so they get a night out, and then you do.

        But note, I am incredibly envious of my friends who are in couples and are able to split their rent on an apartment. It saves so much money to rent/live as a couple then as a single. It is shocking to me when couples do not save more $$….

        Then again, you could be hit by a car tomorrow. My mother died before she was able to enjoy her retirement. You just never know…. so even if you are frugal, make sure you are enjoying life.

        • Middle East Munchkin :

          Zomg…this is one of the smartest posts i have seen on this site. I feel that so many young people squander their money without much thought.

          I too am envious of couples who can split rent :P

        • You are so my hero. I definitely do try to be frugal, and people usually tend to be surprised by the amount of money I saved on my salary, but it’s always a great reminder to tighten up on the personal expenses. I have enough flippin’ clothes. I don’t need any more.

          • frugal doc... :

            Thanks guys!

            It’s amazing what you can get used to…

            But it’s also easy to slip.

    • Where can i find this thread? Would be a good read while I am in the office for a very slow day.

      • here you go :

        original comment was made here: http://corporette.com/2012/09/26/whats-the-best-change-youve-made-to-save-more-money/

        more posts about it here: http://corporette.com/2012/09/27/how-to-secretly-use-linkedin-to-change-careers/

    • I also save about 50% of my take home, even with high student loan payments and in addition to fully funding my 401k. Honestly, I attribute my frugality to equal parts precedent and fear.

      Precedent: I grew up in a very middle class household – my parents never made 6 figures between them. Our clothes were always from resale stores, we didn’t take a single vacation (other than bunking with family), drove 10 year old cars, etc. After I got out of law school, a ~60k/year standard of living still represented an enormous step up for me.

      Fear: I grew up worrying about money all. the. time. Before I went to law school, I was making $23,500 a year, with annual 1.5% raises and no hope of promotion. During college, I waited on tables to make ends meet – in one job, alongside career waitresses who had been waiting tables at this same spot for 30 years or more. One had breast cancer, but no benefits and no money to afford treatment. In my own head, I am just one mistake/firing away from going back to a near-poverty salary, defaulting on my student loans, and (now) being foreclosed upon. So I hoard cash. I don’t think I will feel truly “safe” until I have at least $250k in my savings account…”just in case.”

      I don’t advocate this mindset to anyone, but frankly this mindset is why I was able to buy a very nice house of my own recently. Now I just have to work on enjoying it, instead of freaking out each night about what happens if I lose my job…

    • What is AFS?
      I’m single and I save about half my paycheck also. I know this is oversimplifying it, but I just live on less.

    • I am single and save 50% or more of my take home pay. I am very frugal and prefer the safety net of cold hard cash.
      I feel lucky to be where I am but I am always afraid something bad will happen and I will fall on bad days. I have seen many women in my family (grand mother/aunts/cousin) often having to compromise massively or remain stuck in pretty tough spots due to lack of financial independence. Always say to myself I never want to be in their position. Life has very few guarantees, but even in the worst case I hope I never have to worry about paying for food or a roof over my head. This is mostly what motivates me to resist another pair of shoes or eat home cooked dinner most days.

  5. So, what’s everyone doin today???

    I am working, but I had a migraine yesterday, so I’m going to work from home to catch up on a ton of boring stuff that has to be done before year end. I figure it will be less boring if i do it on my couch with a cup of cocoa.

    What about you? working? doing fun holiday activities? cozy family time?

    • Aww, hope you feel better. I’m hanging out at home with my husband. It’s a quiet Christmas for us this year. No travel — and considering the horror stories we’re hearing from our various siblings trying to get to our various parents’ homes with the bad weather, we feel lucky! Baking cookies and watching Tivoed episodes of Mindy Kaling’s show. Very funny and easy to enjoy! Tomorrow we’ll have a friend over for stragglers’ Christmas and go see a movie after. Yay, low-key holiday!

    • I got up this morning and made four different breakfast casseroles for tomorrow, got them into the fridge, and washed the dishes. I ran by the grocery to get last minute stuff and now I’m relaxing for a bit. I need to do my nails and should probably take a nap because I will be at the church from 4:45 pm til after midnight. Missing my SO so much.

      Enjoy your day!

    • I am home with my two boys. We’ve had a huge dump of snow the last few days but today is gorgeous. I’m enjoying the peace and quiet before the family descends on us starting tomorrow. I’m taking my four year old to gym class, trying to enjoy the unpredictable sleep habits of a newborn and generally feeling incredibly grateful for my life.

      • Coach Laura :

        EC MD – I missed the birth-announcement post so I just want to wish you lots of newborn joy and happy New Year to you, your DH and both boys.

      • anony ms. :

        Wait, what?? Congratulations EC MD!!!! Enjoy cuddling with your newborn. I’m envious – miss those days. :) Oh, and the scent of that downy little head……

      • Congratulations, EC MD! I missed your birth announcement too!

    • I went to the grocery store today. Just…. don’t. Don’t do it. Get drive-thru for Christmas dinner if you have to. It was a madhouse there. I might need therapy now.

      • Silvercurls :

        I hear you! Been there, done that in previous years, and it was awful. Therapy? That’s what this site is for–venting & sympathy. Sit down and have a cookie.

      • Grocery store wasn’t half as bad as the wine store. I had to lie down when I got home!

      • I blundered into that about 10 years ago, and never again! It’s better to eat lentil soup with no onions than to shop for food on Christmas Eve. Make it potluck if those last-minute guests appear out of nowhere.

  6. Boots PSA –

    Just got a sale e-mail from Aerosoles and my favorite boots are on sale, wanted to give a recommendation. These are mid-heel (2.5”), super-comfortable, with a textured sole for traction. I got them this time 2 years ago, they still look great after two winters. They’re reasonably water/snow-proof; the first time I wore them I made a long trip in a bad snowstorm and had to trudge through several inches of snow every time I got out of the care for gas and coffee and my feet stayed dry. If your office is boots-appropriate, they’re great because you don’t have to change from outside to inside shoes. Friday was damp and slushy here; I wore these with a black velvet dress for our office Christmas lunch (since we were walking there) and they looked fine. These boots are non-leather, for those who want that (or don’t want that). I’ve got black and brown and might buy another pair to put away for when the black ones finally give out.

    Happy holidays.

  7. Cornellian :

    stuck in the office on christmas eve with no one to go home to but my dog. sad.

    my mentor partner realized I didn’t have anywhere to go on Christmas day, though, and invited me out to her house. i’m not sure what the biglaw etiquette is of hanging out with your boss’ family, but I’m going.

    • Coach Laura :

      Cornellian – good for you for going to Mentor’s house tomorrow. I hope you have a good time.

      I’m stuck working today – mean boss – but from home and I get to sign-off at 2p.m., so it’s better than it might have been.

  8. My cousin came out to the entire extended family today, and unfortunately the reception has been less than welcoming. :(

    At least we already had a tradition of kids hang out separate from adults, so I’m taking the rest of “kids” (the 5 of us are all college age/recent grads) out to see the Hobbit, and then Life of Pi.

    Everyone leaves on Weds. We will probably go back to the theaters tomorrow to get out of the house.

    I’m sort of at the loss as far as other activities go… spa/nails are out, shopping at this time doesn’t sound fun, no snow in the area for sledding. Any suggestions would be great!

    • One of my cousins came out a couple of years ago. He’s chosen *not* to come out to another branch of the family because he thinks they won’t be supportive. (IMO he is 100% right on that.)

      My parents mentioned it to me before he called, so I was ready to be at my most enthusiastic and supportive. I think it was really important to him to hear my warm response. In your shoes it would probably help to take your cousin aside and tell him/her that you are fully supportive and would be happy at any time to meet a partner and welcome him or her into the family.

    • scientist :

      Walking or driving to see lights? That usually keeps my family busy for an hour.

    • No snow? How about a hike? Or roller skating, indoors or out? Are paint-your-own pottery/Wine glass places open? Bowling?

    • Very good idea to go for “kid” activities, so that it’s less obvious that you’re protecting the cousin from the older tiresome ones. How about ice-skating? That should eliminate the older and feeble :-). Thanks for being good to your cousin, I’m sure it means a lot to them to have your support at such a difficult time..

  9. Unstudied :

    It’s the middle of grad school application season and I can’t decide whether I even want to bother. I’m quite comfortable where I am now. I have ten years of experience in international relations and make about $95k (which might be pennies to most of you law/business types but is an AMAZING salary in IR, especially since I have zero debt). I know that eventually I will need a master’s degree to be competitive for future jobs, but right now I just can’t muster the motivation to go back to school.

    Not sure what kind of advice I’m looking for. Motivation to write essays and at least apply to schools? Or maybe assurance that I’m established enough in my career that grad school would actually be a waste of time and money. Yeah, that’s what I want. Tell me I’ll be okay with just a BA should I try to compete with MAs and PhDs for mid-level positions at NGOs and international organizations.

    • I waited until my 30s to start my MBA – mostly because of what you outlined: I was comfortable, making really good money, lack of motivation for the application process. I finally did apply when I realized that there was no next step in my company or industry and that I didn’t actually want to stay in my industry. You’ll know if/when it will be right – the important thing is to listen to the little voice when it speaks up!

    • I have a PhD and would love your advice on breaking into international NGOs. Can we email?

      • Unstudied :

        For people still in school, internships are absolutely the best — if not only — way to go. I consider myself really lucky — I NEVER would have gotten my job had I competed with the masses, given my lack of credentials. I had a professor with connections to get me an internship when I was an undergrad, and then it was up to me to convince the bosses to give me a full-time offer when I graduated. I’ve been there ever since.

        If you’re beyond your internship years, the best advice I can offer is to NETWORK. Start with your university connections if you don’t know anyone where you want to work. International affairs is a small, incestuous community (at least if you’re in DC), and most jobs are based on who you know. I’m not sure I’d even waste time applying to job postings — those tend to be pro forma when they already have candidates in mind.

    • From my experience, grad school is miserable if you don’t want to be there. I have had colleagues who were here to kill time or make a transition and they suffered,

    • Having just read the thread re: finances… if you’re happy with your job, and don’t need the extra degrees I would say SAVE YOUR MONEY/TIME.

      There are a lot of other options (evening grad school classes) and it is increasingly feeling like work experiences matter more than schooling.

      Unfortunately for me, I really wanted to go into law, and fortunately, still love it, but I do wish I had tried out more options during college.

  10. Advice please :

    Hello ladies — I’m addressing a post I wrote in yesterday’s thread, but responding here as my previous response is stuck in moderation…..
    Gone Anon, SoCal Atty, LadyEnginerd, Michelle, and sacnmama — thank you for your kindness in responding to me. To have responded at all, let alone with such compassion and thoughtfulness, made me feel inordinately better.
    My husband came to bed last night and must have sensed I was still awake, and said, quietly, “I’m sorry about tonight.” I’d thought he was sobered up earlier when I first brought it up, but perhaps he wasn’t, and that’s why he had better perspective later. Still, that didn’t change how cr*ppy I’d felt, and I told him that while I appreciated it I was just hurt and disappointed, and didn’t want to talk about it again until after the trip. But I’m glad he apologized, at least.
    Today’s been good. Went shopping with MIL. I suggested picking up a pizza on the way back. :)
    I will keep you posted, if anything meaningful changes/happens. More importantly, I want to thank you five ladies in particular again, and c-rette in general. Lots of things happen that test our faith in humanity — both small and horribly big, as we all recently experienced. But then in the midst of such things, you see the kindness from strangers like I did here, and it makes your heart swell right up, the humanity of that.
    Thanks again.

  11. Hello ladies — I’m addressing a post I wrote in yesterday’s thread, but responding here as my previous response is stuck in moderation…..
    Gone Anon, SoCal Atty, LadyEnginerd, Michelle, and sacnmama — thank you for your kindness in responding to me. To have responded at all, let alone with such compassion and thoughtfulness, made me feel inordinately better.
    My husband came to bed last night and must have sensed I was still awake, and said, quietly, “I’m sorry about tonight.” I’d thought he was sobered up earlier when I first brought it up, but perhaps he wasn’t, and that’s why he had better perspective later. Still, that didn’t change how bad I’d felt, and I told him that while I appreciated it I was just hurt and disappointed, and didn’t want to talk about it again until after the trip. But I’m glad he apologized, at least.
    Today’s been good. Went shopping with MIL. I suggested picking up a pizza on the way back. :)
    I will keep you posted, if anything meaningful changes/happens. More importantly, I want to thank you five ladies in particular again, and this site in general. Lots of things happen that test our faith in humanity — both small and horribly big, as we all recently experienced. But then in the midst of such things, you see the kindness from strangers like I did here, and it makes your heart swell right up, the humanity of that.
    Thanks again.

    • So glad to hear your hubby is figuring out your hurt over this. I had read your earlier post and had been more hopeful than the earlier commentors that things would work out. The situation sounded like a pile-up of challenging factors – misbehaving parents, cultural differences between your families and perhaps some latent racism or provincialism on the part of his parents, being away from home, having to conduct a disagreement with other people around and so on. It didn’t sound like it was about his chronic drinking, if this is not something that worries you at home.

      You guys sound like you’ve been together long enough to know each other’s worth. The best thing would be if you can support each other to get through the visit, and then have a more meaningful discussion about what triggered the whole episode when you get home.

      • Anon this time :

        I read the original post too–and I’m so sorry for what you went through, OP. What stood out to me is that it does sound like his parents have substantial drinking issues and that when y’all visit, he gets caught between wanting to honor/validate them, wanting to have a good time himself, and wanting to meet his wife’s needs. I hope you’re on the same page, or can get there, approaching this as at the very least a challenge of enjoying visits with a couple you love who drink too much.

        • Advice please :

          You’re so sweet, Anon. I don’t know why, but I hadn’t thought of the point that he wants to honor his parents — or, I kind of did, but I didn’t see it as a defensible thing. Which is crazy – these are his parents! And of course it’s natural to want to validate them. Not that it makes it any better that he gets wasted around them. It saddens me that the worst influences in his life – at least when it comes to drinking – are his own parents. He never gets remotely close to this drunk at home (except that time I referenced earlier with the bottle of wine) and it’s too bad that it’s his parents who cause and even celebrate this destructive behavior.

      • Advice please :

        Thank you so much, ss. What a lovely way to put things — ‘together long enough to know each other’s worth.’ I’m struck, too, by your point about the latent provincialism — I couldn’t put into words what I felt was the dynamic, and that’s it precisely. And you’re right about the build-up of factors; stepping back, I can see that, and it’s relieving. Thanks again.

    • SoCalAtty :

      So glad to help! I’m also really glad the husband recognized the issue and will maybe do better in the future.

      You are just too sweet, and I completely agree with your post. I’m in a pretty depressing place job-wise right now, with the possibility of things getting incredibly better in the next few weeks but the “what ifs” and what is going on with my job now make me seriously doubt the integrity of the legal community as a whole, and being able to come here with problems has gone a LONG way toward me keeping my sanity.


  12. Saacnmama :

    Aaarg! The great grey arrows of doom! I’ve just lost another post to them. It took me to the last post, and when I got back here, what I’d been typing was gone, as usual. Worst feature of the while design revamp by far!

    I’ll probably get on here later, but basically I’m upset bc we’d only been home a couple hrs before my mom called me a bitch.

  13. Saacnmama :

    Aaarg! The great grey arrows of doom! I’ve just lost another post to them. It took me to the last post, and when I got back here, what I’d been typing was gone, as usual. Worst feature of the while design revamp by far!
    I’ll probably get on here later, but basically I’m upset bc we’d only been home a couple hrs before my mom called me a b!+€¥

    • Good grief, what prompted her to say that? Sorry to hear this, Saacnmama. Was she joking, or drunk or something?

      • Thanks Lila!
        I was irked that my cousin, who had told me she didn’t want to do a gift exchange, sent a box for us to my parents house. It’s awkward that I obviously didn’t send them anything and I can’t stand that it was to their house. It’s not a couple things in a box for everybody, it’s a separate box for us. The reason it set my mom off is that she very much wants to be in control of everything, so I expect she probably told my cousin to send it to her. I think that undermines our Christmas at our house.

  14. Anon this time :

    I celebrate Christmas and am staring down a day of being with family, but I am upset about something that happened with my fiance and need to know if I’m being unreasonable.

    He told me last night that his grandmother recently said he should marry “Cara,” his long-time best friend from childhood. He and Cara are very close but I know nothing is between them and never was, and she and I get along well. The issue is just that I feel really hurt and dismissed by the fact that his grandmother said that. She has no dementia or mental health issues, has met me, and knows we are engaged, so I can’t write off her comment as something she didn’t mean. Apparently she has never expressed any thoughts about me one way or another. He isn’t close to this grandmother and doesn’t care about such comments, but I’m wondering–why did his mom pass this on to him, and more importantly why did he choose to share it with me? I’m so hurt and don’t know how I will be able to act sweet around this grandmother in the future when all along I’ll be thinking “sorry I’m not Cara! What can I say, he can’t win ’em all!”

    I just told him, calmly, that I feel humiliated and rejected that such comments are being made and that in the future I’d rather he not tell me things like this unless he’s thought about it beforehand and has a good reason to do so. This is how I handle such things when our places are reversed. He says he gets it, but I think he thinks I’m being too sensitive. Am I? If so, why is this hurting me so much?

    • Oh I’m so sorry this happened to you. But honestly, it’s something that happens pretty often when the old friend/old girlfriend is someone the family knew well and you are newer on the scene. I’d say don’t react too strongly about it unless it becomes a bigger issue later (with them, not with you). As you’ll see from our previous thread, families say all kinds of stupid things at the holidays. My SO still tells the story that his mother (now deceased) preferred another girl he had dated to the woman he ended up marrying. His mother stayed friends with the former girlfriend. For what it’s worth, even though he and his wife are now divorced, he had absolutely no regrets about the former girlfriend (who became a hoarder). Once he and his wife had children, his mother accepted her. But she was a tough old Sicilian lady. I would say just treat the grandmother kindly and politely and act like you never heard about what she said and hope you’ll win her over, but don’t sweat it. As long as your fiance is clear that you are the one and that he isn’t taking the crazy comments seriously, try to ignore it and hope it goes away. And Merry Christmas!

      • Anon this time :

        Thank you, NOLA, this is very kind. If you or anyone else have thoughts about my proposed solution–him not telling me hurtful things like this–please share. I truly do wonder if it’s somehow too much to ask that these comments just don’t get passed on to me. I want to pretend I don’t know what she said, but I’d prefer to actually not know what she said! FWIW, on the few occasions on my side when people have expressed doubts about him, I absolutely have not told him. I figured, what would that accomplish?

        • I think, for the most part, it doesn’t help for him to pass on these comments. However, knowing about them helps you strategize about how you will develop relationships with his family. I”d want to be clued in initially, but you’re right – continuing to pass on the comments doesn’t help once you know. Just remember, he’s thinking of the two of you as his “unit” so he’s sharing things with you that bother him, too. He’s not doing it to be hurtful to you, I would guess.

          • Anon this time :

            That didn’t occur to me. He actually did mention this as part of a longer rant about everything his grandmother is doing to drive him nuts right now. I still don’t like the idea of how many people this comment passed through, but you make a good point that maybe he’s doing it to bring us closer together. To me, it just feels like driving a wedge between us: “look who my family would prefer I marry! Just thought I’d pass on the buzz over here!” Thanks again, NOLA. I hope I can let this go asap.

          • I’m sorry you had to go through this, OP — like you needed to hear that! I absolutely echo NOLA’s feedback, and weirdly, I think the fact that he told you this is (almost) a good thing. At least from where I stand, it reflects how meritless and silly the notion is to him of marrying his ex. Couple that with, as NOLA also said, his perspective of you two as a unit, throw in that he’s a guy and thus inherently prone to such gaffes (kidding, kidding) — and you get this situation.

          • Anon this time :

            Lila, thanks. To clarify, again–she isn’t his ex, she’s just a longtime close friend. They never had any romantic attachment.

        • Yep, piling on tha he trusts you, and in the context of the fan it’s clear that he doesn’t agree. Maybe you’ll win Granny over & maybe you won’t, but I bet she’ll accept reality (even if she grumbles about it) after your wedding.
          You asked about problems with your proposed solution. The one I see is that it relies on someone else doing it. Is there anything you can think of that let’s him continue the openness but is a way you protect yourself from being so very concerned about what she thinks?

          • Anon this time :

            Be less insecure and care less about what harsh things people may say about me. You’re totally right, but it’s a lifelong struggle for me and probably for many others too.

    • Not Grandma's Favorite :

      Take a deep breath, and stop caring. DH and I got married 5 years ago, and while my grandmothers were both thrilled, his (southern) grandmother gasped, burst into tears, and told him, “you’re marrying that yankee girl?!”

      I was really upset, but DH just laughed and explained that (1) grandma hates anything new and unfamiliar and (2) it isn’t me; it’s that he has been living in not [home, southern state] since college and by marrying me, grandma knows he isn’t going to move “home” any time soon.

      Five years later, we’re totally fine. Grandma isn’t my BFF, but I don’t mind. She isn’t trying to ruin the marriage or anything. In your situation, don’t let Grandma’s comments get to you. “Cara” probably either (1) did something nice for Grandma a milion years ago so now Grandma thinks very well of her and/or (2) represents something else–like your BF moving back home.

      • Anon this time :

        Thank you so much for this. Cara is indeed from his hometown, and her family still lives there, so it’s true that she’d see more of him through Cara than she will by his marrying me (I’m from many states away, with my family there). It totally fits in to how she tries to dominate all his time and attention whenever he visits–the theme is, it’s all about her and what she wants! The context you provide is extremely helpful. I hope I can be as peaceful about it as you are.

  15. Merry Christmas to KAT and the Hive!!!! Yay!

    I went with Myrna last nite to THE MATZO Ball. She is a dude magnet so I figured I could meet a decent guy. She did but I came up EMPTY. FOOEY!

    This 1/2 bald guy Evan, with terible breathe kept following me around all nite. He was some INTERENET enterprenoor who has his own company in SOHO. He kept askeing me if I wanted to see his place. NOT AT 2 I the morning I said. He stayed behind me all nite LIKE HE was my shapparone or something and the when I left and was lookeing for a cab, his choffer pulled up and waived Evan over and said get in I will drop you off. I actually acepted ONLY b/c it was cold and wet and there was no cabs around.

    He dropped me off but I did not let him do anything. He said he owns a place in SILICONE VALLEY TOO and hires lawyers all the time. Against my better jugement I gave him my business card. If I am goeing to be a partner I CANNOT be jugementeal my dad says. I have to be nice to EVERYBOEDY so I bring in buseness!!!! Yay!

    This guy wants to DATE ME and I just want his company as a cleint. I will ask the Manageing partner b/c he said he would call I hope I can get him as a cleint w/o haveing to date him.

    • A Sunshine Girl :

      Ellen, you probably won’t see this post, but we want to warn you that there are a lot of guys out there (including 3 in our law firm alone) who can’t wait to figure out where you work and live. They are very attracted to you but alas, want only to “tap” you. This is precisely the problem all of us professional gals have with so-called men. The so-called worthy professional guys out there (with a job, an apartment and a bank account)are seeking only momentary thrills from women — they want to have sex only, while worthy women like us, who have worked very hard for what we have got — good jobs, professional credentials, decent living spaces and some money — are now looking just to complete the picture by finding a decent guy to marry and settle down with.

      Why is it that the decent guys (or those we think are decent) do not want to have meaningful relationships leading to marriage and family? Why do they view us as mere sex objects, to be “tapped” and then replaced with the next cute blond willing to part her legs for them? What is wrong with the society we live in where men like this are not interested in a woman the morning after the woman has given of herself to him? I think this is the steep moral cliff that we are about to go over, which is much worse than the “fiscal cliff” these guys are talking about. Some of them want us all to go over that cliff too, because they do not want to have to pay for everyone else’s health benefits. But enough about those guys. I say we women have to stick together and not give in to immediate sexual demands of men like this. If we do, we are only feeding the flames of the fire rather than redirecting the energy of these men to what they ought to be doing; i.e., marrying us and settling down as our parents did. They all think they are some kind of rock stars. They are not. They are urban professionals like us, and should be thrilled when we show enough interest in them to go out with them. This immorality has got to stop. Now!

  16. So I didn’t quite take the ‘everything will be closed’ thing seriously. A handful of French fries and some ketchup is apparently Christmas dinner. I may have a peppermint pattie for dessert.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Are you in the South? if so, there is a waffle house somewhere not far, and they are open.

      • Nope, she’s in Scotland, I believe. No Waffle House in the UK.

        By the way, Cb, my SO and I were in your shoes last Christmas eve. By the time we had a break nothing was open. We raided the fridge and had egg and bacon sandwiches. But it was still great!

        • No Waffle House but maybe a curry? I felt a bit sad panda going by myself so chips and to bed with a hot water bottle and a novel.

          Not as melodramatic as it sounds, I had a surprisingly wonderful holiday with friends and some signs of romance on the horizon. Miss my mom and dad terribly but it was nice to know I could (although wouldn’t choose) to do things on my own.

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