Thursday’s Workwear Report: Lace Short-Sleeve Jacket

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

We’ve talked before about whether or not short-sleeve jackets are a yea or nay for work. I’m normally opposed to them, but this one could be a good look, depending on the rest of your outfit. The cap sleeves here make a big difference, and I like the round neck, the grosgrain ribbon detail, and the pleated but fitted look. I’d wear this with ankle pants, full trousers, or pencil skirts — there are a lot of options. In in-between weather, underneath it you could wear a very lightweight shirt with elbow-length or bracelet-length sleeves. It comes in sizes 2-12 at Nine West for $53 on sale. Nine West Lace Short-Sleeve Jacket

There don’t seem to be tons of options in plus sizes, but here’s one that’s part of a skirt suit from Tahari ASL.

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  1. I started an MM LaFleur b/s/t on facebook if you’d like to join!

  2. I am in need of a backpack travel tote and would love suggestions. I have used the Lo and Sons OMG for several years and like it, but I’m having back/shoulder issues and need to switch to a backpack for work and work travel.

    Here are the requirements: ability to fit laptop, luggage pass through so I can attach it to my roller bag when traveling, non-leather, and somewhat attractive. Major bonus would be if I could remove the straps and convert it to a tote bag when needed. I would like to spend no more than $200, hopefully less.

    The leading contender is the Everki versa, but I don’t know anything about the brand and it doesn’t convert to a tote. Tumi would be OK except it is more than I want to spend. I like the look of the Knomo backpacks, especially the ones that convert to a tote, but I don’t think they have a luggage pass through. Any ideas?

    • backpacks :

      After traveling significantly more for work (with my huge laptop) I finally switched from my tote to a backpack. The straps tuck under and it becomes a briefcase style. I’ve gotten so many complements on it and am obsessed with it for even my personal travel now. It may be worth looking into it as a relatively cheap entry into backpacks

    • If you’re a fan of the OMG’s organizational sleeves/pockets, you might like the company’s new(ish) Hanover backpack. It’s not particularly attractive/stylish, but more streamlined to blend into the background. Can fit a laptop, has luggage pass through, is non-leather, and well under $200. I’m not in need of a backpack, but would buy this if I did.

    • Henri Bendel makes the jetsetter backpack that turns into a tote

      • I have the Jetsetter, and it doesn’t see much use. The opening is too narrow to fit my laptop or files easily.

  3. Mother's Day card question :

    This is my first Mothers Day being married. I usually sign my mothers card with just my name, but now that I’m married, should my husband also sign the card? His mother died 2 years ago.

    • My husband and I always sign both of our names. And I never thought I would be one to do it, but after ten years married I’ve started calling them mom and dad. It’s easier that way since my mil never gave me permission to use her first name…but I digress.

    • We both sign. Even though it’s not “his” mom (or “my” mom, vice versa), it’s expressing the sentiment from both of us.

      I choose a card that has a simple message inside as opposed to focusing on the past/childhood memories etc., as those topics would be personal to the actual child IMHO.

    • cat socks :

      We both sign the card. Or when I send flowers online, I include both our names.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      100% depends on your own relationship and what you feel comfortable with.

      In my family the mother’s day gift for my mom comes from my sister and I because we are her children. My dad is not involved at all because to quote him “She is not my mother!”. My husband likes my mom but she is not his mom so he is not involved. He does sign her birthday card of course.

    • My husband and my mom get along well, but Mother’s Day gifts are just from me. She’s not his mom and he’s not involved in the calendering/gift-buying at all (by our mutual division of household labor). I don’t typically send his mom a Mother’s Day gift (his family isn’t big in gifts) but when she was ill and I sent flowers I signed both our names – his because he’s her son and mine because I was the one who actually bought them.

    • I get along with my MIL well, and my DH get’s along with my mother well, but both mothers day gifts/cards come from just us. I did stop doing the emotional labor of making sure he got his mom a gift a couple years ago – she’s impossible to buy for and she loves the random stuff he gets her that I would never pick out. My mom gets a huge flower basket every year – they go right by her front door all summer long.

      (Thanks for the post – I actually forgot that mother’s day was this weekend. Added buy flowers to my list.)

    • I tend to do a joint Mother’s Day gift with my siblings. I’ll text my MIL on Mother’s Day (to let her know that she’s awesome and how much I appreciate her), but I let my husband separately do what he wants to celebrate his mom.

  4. Newly-Employed :

    I just landed my first job out of college (grad school, but still first “real” job in my field) and I’d like to give my career coach something for guiding me through the job search. I know it’s her job, but she’s really gone above and beyond and has been everything from a self-esteem therapist to a fashion consultant at various points in the year. Do you ladies have any suggestions for a good gift? Whatever I give her, I’ll definitely include a note letting her know how much her help has meant to me. I know gift cards reign supreme, but that seems not quite right for this situation. Also, I got the job, but I until I start getting paychecks I’m still on a student budget. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Just a thank you card. No gift.

      • +1. MAYBE some champagne to celebrate your joint success. But the sincere appreciation will mean the most.

    • Anon for This :

      I am a career coach in a professional school setting. No gift. Just a nice note, if anything. Those notes are gold. When you have someone (or yes, their mother…it has happened!) screaming at you or s#itting on you for “not getting them a job!” those nice notes really remind you of the people you do this for.

      • Could you tell me more about what you do and where you work? I had no idea that this full-service help existed. I am more use to “here are our binders” and “here is a book on writing a resume” or “here is how to sign up for [job board site].”

        • Anon for This :

          I won’t reveal details because it is a small field, but I attended the type of professional school where I work, I had a career in that world for a bit, and then decided I wanted to be in that type of school’s professional development administration. So, I made the career shift to a career services office in my professional school realm.

          Pros include really creative, fun work environment, enriching “giving back” feeling, feeling connected to my profession, and the work-life balance that comes with it. Cons include the pay (oh, yeah, it totally sucks), the expectations that need to be managed constantly (ie, no career services office at any professional school is solely responsible for “getting you a job,” ever, period, full stop…and yet, the attitude prevails), and the small market for these jobs. Internal school politics are there, too, just as in any field: CSOs are always “responsible for” the school reputation and rankings because we are the most direct line to the output of the school. That is tough, especially when it’s not entirely accurate.

          There are totally the binders/books/forms offices out there, and that is usually a function of the budget for the office/school. And yeah, sometimes there are ineffective, out of touch people who “hide out” in CSOs–we’ve all met those people–and they are the worst. But most of us are really excited about our work and what we do, and care about being helpful and educational.

          • Is it the norm to get into people’s clothing and other personal appearance / presentation skills?

            I know some first-generation friends (including one very bright person who showed up to an interview in full small-town southern church attire including a very large hat). I’m not sure that our CSO knew about that but I am sure that they would have just left it alone (which is sad — this person had overcome significant personal obstacles but her attire and 4-foot long hair were probably a huge issue for employers to get past).

            I honestly didn’t see them as anything other than people who were just box-checkers who didn’t want to practice any more now that they were mommies (and I say this as a working mother who would love that lifestyle). I guess they didn’t seem to bring any real passion for the job, just the lifestyle.

          • Anon for This :

            Yes, we absolutely cover that stuff. Trick is this: many schools do not require or force attendance, participation, or consumption of the resources, which is a damn shame. We’ve had the pastel church suits show up at interviews, and the chronic non-showerers…and the uptalkers, and you name it, we see it. We do our best to correct or educate, and follow up, but we can’t want it more than the applicants/force anyone to do anything.

            I think that there are absolutely folks out there who do it only for the lifestyle, and those people make the rest of us look bad. Not sure I’m understanding the “box-checker” thing–not a criticism, I just think I’m missing something. I don’t have kids, and many of my colleagues don’t either (some do), but I do appreciate the trade I made for my lifestyle. I am making about 1/3 of what I could have been making if I had been employed in my trained field, so there’s that trade again. Many people–myself included–can get demotivated when the money is that bad, especially in HCOL markets. Warm fuzzy feelings don’t pay bills, sadly (…I’ve tried. JK but still).

          • For the box-checker comment, my impression of my CSO was that they could check the box that they told you to do a resume, showed you where the binders were, and sort of met the minimum requirements. They did this with a lot of hand-wringing of “if you’re not in the top 10 of the class, it will be hard for you to get a job” (which I knew). What would have been helpful was less of a do-the-minimum attitude and having some more concrete advice for the 90% of us that they expected to struggle. It was all so passive. If they had just said: start swimming upstream as hard as you can from day 1 and network the h*ll out of everything you go to and set up all of the informational interviews you can in every city and town you would agree to work in, it would have been 100% more honest and helpful.

          • Anon for This :

            Gotcha! Makes sense in that context, absolutely. I’m really sorry that was your experience. I didn’t have a much different experience myself, tbh, as I went to a very small program and they were likely overstretched to begin with. It has sort of been my goal to be the cheerleader, therapist, and amicus my students might need, and to be really proactive and realistic, to counteract that experience.

          • Anonymous :

            You sound awesome and I hope your students know how lucky they have to have you in their corner.

          • Anon for This :

            Thank you, that is very kind. Those thank you notes remind me!

            I’m currently job searching due to a family relocation, and typing out these responses has really reinvigorated my “why” I do this, and why I’m looking to stay in this field.

    • Can you stop in with the note and bring a nice coffee drink for her?

      I’ll bite on gifts though – I’d think it was cool if one of my customers got me something. Bottle of wine. Cool coffee mug (TJ Maxx or like usually has a bunch). Glass water bottle. Something small for her desk. You Are A Badass desk calendar (maybe not appropiate depending on the person but I love mine). And really gift cards.

  5. I’m having trouble picturing the right sleeves for this jacket aside from length. Slim fitting sleeves as the jacket is quite slim? Black because the coat is unusual? Other colors? What kind of fabric for the shirt?

    • I strongly disagree with Kat’s recommendation of elbow length or 3/4 sleeves with this — I think that would break up the arm in too many places.

      In winter, a very slim turtleneck underneath (like JCrew’s tissue turtleneck). In summer, I’d wear this open over a sleeveless sheath, but keep a wrap on-hand for when my arms get cold!

    • With the cap sleeves, I think you’d have to go with a sleeveless shell. I can see this looking cute as part of a black-and-white look, or with a bright watermelon-colored top underneath.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I also disagree with wearing another shirt under, although I would be interested in seeing someone try it over bell sleeves.

      I’d keep it for summer with a sleeveless top/dress.

    • I can’t see this working as a jacket in any professional environment. Maybe it’s because I lived through the trend before. I like pairing longer shirts with jackets but think it looks odd with cap sleeves.

  6. Appetizer Ideas? :

    DH and I are leaving work early tomorrow to celebrate a special achievement. Kiddo will be in daycare and then grandma will be picking him up to spend the evening with her. We’ll probably open up a bottle of champagne around 2:00pm. I’m looking to make some apps or light snacks for the two of us during that time (we’ll go out to dinner later in the evening). I was thinking caprese skewers and maybe something involving a fresh baguette (a delicious bakery just opened across the street). Any ideas? Apps will be followed by, ahem, gardening, so I’m trying to avoid things like onions or anything that will sit too heavy.

  7. fat shoulders :

    Cap sleeves! Burn them! :(

    • Anonymous :

      Truth. They always hit me at a place on my arms that gives me the oh-so-attractive “bingo wings” look, somehow. I lift, and my arms aren’t bulky to me but they’re too bulky for cap sleeves.

      • I’m still trying to figure out if it’s mostly muscle or fat – but it sticks out regardless! Short sleeves or no sleeves are the way to go.

    • You can have my cap sleeves when you pry them from my cold, dead shoulders. It’s a know your body issue.

      On the other hand, ankle strap shoes cannot go away too quickly for me. Blech.

  8. Vodka Cocktails? :

    I’m usually a wine girl but I’m having a friend over for drinks tomorrow and wanted to try out this new bottle of Vodka I was gifted. Any easy cocktail ideas involving vodka? I think we would both prefer something a little sweet or fizzy.

    • Vodka + grapefruit juice + lime wedge. Add a sprinkle of sugar if you need it….

    • Mama on the access road :

      Vodka & cranberry juice is a classic. Doesn’t Izzy make a cranberry flavor? You could try that as a mixer to get your fizz and your sweetness.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Cosmopolitans – vodka, triple sec/Cointreau, cranberry and lime. A little sweet, pink, super girly and delightfully retro glam.

    • Anonymous :

      Vodka tonics ae my face. Fever Tree naturally light tonic is delicious. Add a lime wedge.

    • Moscow mules are really “in” right now. I’m usually a dry sparkling wine drinker but do like a good mule. Ginger beer, vodka and lime (extra lime is my preference.) You can get diet ginger beer if that’s your preference, or regular if you like it a little more sweet. You can buy it at most grocery stores but be aware it’s not the same thing as ginger ale!

      • Yes to Moscow mules. You can even add to them by adding in a few fresh berries or some other garnishes. Pinterest has loads of suggestions!

    • I like vodka with cranberry juice, a little sprite, and a squeeze of lime.

    • Vodka and your favorite LaCroix, but I’m lazy.

    • If it’s warm outside you can’t beat a vodka tonic with a generous squeeze of lime. I prefer a gin and tonic, but not everyone’s cool with gin.

      • A seabreeze is also nice. It’s an easy cocktail of vodka, cranberry juice and grapefruit juice. There are proportions for this all over the internet.

        It’s nice to know a couple of cocktails you can order at a bar, particularly when the bar is not connected to a restaurant and the wine they serve by the glass is iffy at best.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Basil-lime martinis. They’re a little fussy to make but so delish!

      I like this recipe:

    • Palomas –

  9. Mama on the access road :

    I’ve been watching Anthropologie for a couple weeks. They put a ton of fancy “dress up” type dresses–multiple sizes, so not just one-offs like returns–on sale for less the 25% of their original price last week. I don’t think that was a fluke or a rare event. Right now they have numerous items for $20 (29-30%). This one looks work-appropriate. Just in case anyone’s interested.

    • Veterinary Malpractice? :

      Thanks! Been avoiding them but worth checking out at deep sale.

    • That does look like a cute weekend top.

    • I tried that shirt on in navy and it was super cute! It wasn’t the best on my particular frame with teeny-tiny shoulders and no b**bs to balance out the volume on the bottom, but the fabric felt great and I think it would be smashing on someone with a different build. I mean, it wasn’t the best on me and I still almost bought it because I wanted to love it so much.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Dang, I know we’re witnessing the death of retail but for now I’m going to stock up.

    • alexisfaye :

      That store…the prices!

      • I have always wondered who the h3ll shops there! The terrible value seems to be eccentric in itself ($300 gauze with synthetic lining? And it doesn’t cover any of my bra? Perfect.) Thanks for this informative link!

  10. casual summer office capsule? :

    I need ideas for summer office outfits at my very casual office. In winter, I do a lot of jeans/shell/boyfriend blazer/ankle boot combos to keep it casual but also have that third piece so I feel pulled together. Summer is when it gets tricky.

    I’m a 5’4″ pear, size 2/4 on top but 6/8 on bottom. Ideally, i want to just buy some key pieces that fit great and wear them all the time, but I’m having trouble picturing outfits. Any ideas?

    • Anonymous :

      In the summer I wear a lot of t-shirt dresses in my casual office with poor climate control. I usually wear a jean jacket, white jean jacket, or fatigue jacket over the dress, and I will often add a linen scarf. My other go-to outfit is wide-legged linen pants with a striped t-shirt and cardigan or jean jacket.

      • Where are you buying your t-shirt dresses from this year? I’ve been looking but haven’t found any that seem right.

        • Beck Sondergaard scarves :

          I saw a cute one at Tommy Bahama of all places. The blue one.

        • The Gap softspun material is heavenly, and they have some great t-shirt style dresses.

          • Thanks! Just checked it out and they have pretty much all the variations of t-shirt style. Now to stalk a sale as I refuse to buy anything full price at gap/old navy/banana.

            Also to the OP – check out their denim dresses. Theres a cute one that I could totally see myself wearing this summer, and I’m not a huge denim dress person.

          • Nevermind the sale stalking. There is a 40% off sale happening right now. That works for me. :)

          • I am currently wearing the v-neck style, and I have the one with the side-tie (looks really elegant for a t-shirt dress!). The skirts are also magical. Tulip pencil skirt? Own it in all the colors.

        • Anonymous at 9:51 :

          This year I’ve bought some flared ones at Old Navy, of all places.

        • Old Navy has tons.

    • I wear fit & flare dresses all summer. I have several printed ones from Lands End and will wear them with a solid color cardigan or dark denim jacket as a topper. I have a black dress that I will wear with printed cardigans and flats. I also like the dress selection at Nordstrom Rack, especially the ones from Max Studio.

      I also wear black skinny ponte knit pants and printed shells with a cardigan. Instead of boots, I wear flats. It’s cold enough in my office to wear a cardigan inside.

      • Yup, fit and flare (or sheath dresses, pencil skirts) and sandals, switch to flats/casual heels and put on cardigan when I get to work. If it’s not boiling, I also can do jeans+shell+sandals for commute, which sometimes helps cause my office is cold year-round!

    • I don’t know if you’re a skirt person, but J.Crew Factory has some cute casual pencil skirts in fun colors that I pair with a scoop neck t-shirt and a necklace.

    • I’m colder in my office in summer than in the winter. They really love to crank that A/C up. I think you could stick to the same outfit formula but maybe lighten up the colors a little. Maybe swap out the jeans for a pencil skirt now and then. Last summer I found a holy grail denim skirt at Nordstrom – cut just like a traditional pencil skirt, but in very dark denim. They are hard to find but totally worth it if you can nab one.

    • For a summer third piece, I love the Nic & Zoe summerweight 4-way cardigan. It’s a light linen blend, 3/4 sleeve, and comes in lots of colors (including neutrals) and sizes, including petites if you’re short-waisted. I only ever wear it open, and find it more flattering and formal than a regular cardigan. I have it in both black and white, and may get more this year (looking at phantom, midnight, and smoke).

    • White trouser jeans with heeled sandals (I have white wedges from dr. scholls that are great), loose top. My white trouser jeans are such a workhorse for me – I busted them out yesterday and remembered how much I love them. In my super casual industry they’re the perfect just one slight step up.

      • Where do you get white trouser jeans?

        • The ones I have now I got from Loft two years ago.

          • They’re basically these except longer and not cropped.


    • My summer uniform (bus. casual, on the dressier side in winter, pretty casual in summer) is ankle pants, Target t-shirt, cardigan or ponte jacket, flats. Take off the jacket and it’s just a t-shirt and pants. I usually wear some jewelry to polish.

    • Lands’ End ponte dresses work well for me (pear shape). I find them just as comfortable as a t-shirt dress but they look more polished. Easy to dress up with heels or down with flats and a denim jacket, and they have sales and promo codes all the time.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I’m a similar size and shape. My standard summer office outfit: black ankle pants (try vince camuto) + blouse + professional black flats. The blouse is usually similar to the Pleione faux wrap blouse or a nice sleeveless top (like a lace shell) with a cardigan or jacket. (My office is climate controlled, so I am in half-to-full sleeves).

    • Mama on the access road :

      T-shirt with vest, or is that too casual?

    • I’m new to work fashion too. This piece purports to be an answer to the OPs question, but I’m a little leery, specifically of the white dress in the middle outfit and the booties in the bottom one. What do those of you with more experience/expertise think?

      • While we’re on that site, what about this? These all look appropriate to me, but why do they call the top collection more conservative than the middle one? I’ve been eying black and white pieces very much like the middle pic, but my field is nowhere near “creative”. Please explain.

  11. Sunglasses :

    I’m looking to up my sunglasses game (baby steps, though.)

    I usually buy a couple of pairs of cheapie sunglasses each summer. I like bigger frames but nothing too bold – I have these and really like them:

    I’d like to get something similar that has UVA/UVB protection – I feel like I’m always reading a recommendation on these boards about skincare that includes the directive to always be wearing sunglasses. I just don’t know where to start.

    I’m really hoping to stay under $75 – but willing to pay more if I’ve got to.


    • In my experience, $75 isn’t going to get you a better quality of glasses, only a brand name. I swear up and down by Maui Jim. A lot more than $75 – usually in the $225-$275 range (although Costco had a few pairs for around $80). BUT, the color clarity, wearability, and overall quality of the lens makes it worth it to me (and if you can add to your sunglass budget). I too, was previously an “I’ll just buy a cheap pair because I’ll lose them anyway” person, but I can tell you when you spend more than $200 on a pair, you will take care of them. Great color, protection, and nose grips to keep them from sliding. Highly recommend.

    • $75 is a tough price point. Most sunglasses are either $30 or under, or over $100. Of the two, which would you prefer?

    • PatsyStone :

      These are over $100, but full protection. I recommend going to a Nordstrom Rack in person if possible. They have a great selection with really steep discounts. I got Alexander McQueen sunglasses that are perfect for $100 (retail $380!!).

    • Any recommendations from the hive for sunglasses that would fit someone with a large head but a flat nose? My mainland (Chinese) moonface woes. I’m thinking I should just look at men’s styles.

    • I think you can get polarized sunglasses at Warby Parker for $75. I have a pair and am very happy with them.

    • I’ve had good luck with the clearance section at REI. A big bonus is that many of their sunglasses are also more comfortable for longer wear. These look similar to yours:

    • ALX emily :

      I just got the sweet home recommended cheap sunglasses –
      $12 from amazon prime, polarized, 100% uva/uvb protection.

    • Zerouv is cheap and has full uva and uvb protection. If sunglasses have a uv400 sticker, it’s the best protection available now. Even H&M sunglasses usually have the sticker. Price and UV protection are not linked in any way.

  12. Not that Anne, the other Anne :

    Today I dropped my cats at the vet for their yearly physical. Since they’re “senior kittizens” (14 and 13), it’s an all day event involving X-rays, bloodwork, and urinalysis. I’m not expecting any problems, but that doesn’t change the low-level worry I’ll feel until I get the call letting me know they’re okay and ready to be picked up.

    I think today is a day to do something mind-filling yet not complex. Maybe I’ll reorganize my filing cabinet.

    • Oh, that’s the worst! Our cat had to have its teeth cleaned and they called about 45 minutes after to tell me he was awake and doing well. I had my keys and coat and was ready to head for the bus when they told me that they had to keep him until the afternoon for monitoring. I don’t even like cats but I love that little furball.

    • Um – it’s a CAT?? Not a person.

    • I can relate! My big tabby boy was at the vet for three days due to surgery and it was so tpugh. Luckily they called every morning with updates. Hope everything goes smoothly with the appointment! It’s good they’re getting a thorough check up.

    • Wait, should I be taking my cat to the vet yearly? I got her when she was two, she’s four and a half now, and I’ve taken her to the vet only once when she had a UTI. Am I being a bad cat owner?

      • I’m sorry if this sounds snarky or t r o l l y. I’m being serious here. I love my cat so much and I want to keep her as healthy as possible!

      • Don’t they send you reminders when she needs her shots? My vet’s office is hella persistent about this.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        You are not necessarily being a bad cat owner! Check with your vet about how often they want to see your cat. Since mine are older, the vet definitely wants to see them every year to try to catch some of the more common senior afflictions before they become advanced.

      • Dog owner here, but I take him yearly for a physical.

      • Pen and Pencil :

        You really should take them yearly, if anything just for the normal vaccinations. Even if your cat is indoor only, you never know when something is going to be transmitted by a mouse/mosquito/insect. Plus it gives the vet a healthy baseline, so if you do bring them in and you say they’ve lost weight, the vet can see how much they’ve lost.

        That all being said, if your cat is the kind that freaks the F out every time you bring them in and it’s a body armour situation to prevent scratches….maybe skipping a year or two isn’t so bad.

        • Okay, thanks everybody! I will schedule a vet appointment soon.

          • Anonymous :

            Eh, I have had my cats for 16 and 9 years respectively and I don’t take them every year. They are indoor only and are generally healthy. I absolutely take them if there is an issue and for various reasons they have had to go get shots periodically (for when I foster), but otherwise it just stresses them out and my vet doesn’t find it necessary. You’re not a bad cat owner.

          • Pen and Pencil :

            I’m glad you’re taking her in for an appointment! FYI they do make a 3 year rabies shot if you don’t want to take them in every year, so you would at least be covered on that front! I hope you and your kitty have a not too stressful visit!

            Side note: I am the crazy cat mom that always has my guy dressed in seasonally appropriate bow-ties. The vet assistants *died* when he came in for his last visit in a candy corn bow tie. I’m pretty sure he got a few extra treats than normal from the vet techs.

      • We only take ours when they need to be taken in. They HATE traveling and end up puking and pooping everywhere.

  13. Does anyone here have common variable immunodeficiency? I found out recently that I do (specifically, hypogammaglobulinemia) and that the only treatment is monthly infusions of antibodies, but my doctor said we don’t need to do that unless I’m having symptoms. Apparently it’s one of the most common immune disorders, but I have never heard of anyone else having it. I would like to learn more so I even know which questions to ask and what to watch out for.

    • My father has a variant of this.

      Like you, he was initially without symptoms so we held off on the Intravenous Immunoglobulin (IVIG). That is very reasonable. The medications cost a small fortune. One of his doctors really wanted him to start immediately, but we held off since he was rarely sick. But then he had a bad year of several infections, so he started treatment that continued for almost two years. Because his disorder is a little different from CVID, and because of his age and other risk factors, he slowly tapered off the IVIG. If infections return, he will restart. But we are vigilant about watching for infections, always get vaccinations as appropriate, good hand cleaning (keep hand sanitizer at home and at work, and just get used to using when you walk in the door and before eating anything)….. and that’s it. Life is fine.

      Oh, but we also try to limit our exposure with him when we are sick ourselves, so he doesn’t catch it.

      It is good for you to know you are considered in the group of being “immunocompromised” but fortunately without infections at the moment. It does mean that if ever have to go to the ER, tell them this so that they can have you wait in a cleaner area with less exposure to other people known to be infected. Every person is different. Some people have multiple parts of their immune system (my dad has low white blood cells and sometimes low immunoglobulin), some people only have one part affected (like just one subtype of immunoglobulin) and some folks have disease that never progresses or goes away!


      Good Immunologist at a major medical center/medical school affiliated hospital.

      Get all of your immunizations. Flu shot every year, and ask your doctor which is best. You probably need a pneumonia vaccination too because you are now in a higher risk pool. Currently the recommendations are a series of two shots. First, one called Prevnar. Then several months later, another called Pneumovax. You will also probably need the Hepatitis B series, and you can talk to your doctor as to whether the

      Very low threshold for checking in with your doctor if you are getting infections. Common ones are respiratory infections, sinusititis, ear infections and skin infections. UTIs are less common. Our instructions were to call his immunologist if he got an infection and they could decide when to treat aggressively (eg. antibiotics early if appropriate), when to consider the Tamiflu if you might have the flu (flu can sometimes progress to pneumonia in folks with compromised immune systems). Know which ER you should go to when sick (usually the one at the hospital of your Immunologist is best since they have your records). We now keep antibiotics at home for my Dad so he can quickly take them if needed. This is not typical, but is based on years of treatment and a very trusting relationship with his doctors and family involvement.

      If you eventually need to start treatment, know that for most people it is well tolerated. My Dad received immunoglobulin using one of the newest medicines where you can learn how to self-infuse it at home and it’s only once a month. It is called Hyqvia. I would actually check your health insurance and find out which forms of IVIG are covered by your plan. Review carefully what your cost will be. Again – these medicines are as expensive as chemotherapy.

      Do you have an Immunologist who is an expert managing this? That was half of our battle…. trying to have a decent doctor who could advise.

      Check out this website and Join this group:

      They will send you newsletters/information and and have a peer advocacy group that will call occasionally. There are a couple message boards out there where you can also ask peers questions, that are not very “busy”, but are a great place to get some input if you are having a hard time.

      I would do some reading about recommendations for folks with your problem from the website etc… Then make your list of questions for the doctor. What do I do if I start to get an infection? What vaccinations should I get now? Are the two main questions. If you ever need to start IVIG in the future, then you need to ask more questions about which medication and why? side effects expected during the infusion and long term? etc..

      May I ask – how did they even find out you have this, if you never get infections? Many people aren’t diagnosed for years/decades because so few doctors are knowledgeable to look for this.

    • Late reply, but in case you’re still checking – I was just recently diagnosed with this as well. Mine is pretty severe (antibody levels extremely low/nonexistent in some classes), so I started on IVIG right away and have noticed that I feel much healthier overall and also haven’t caught any colds or other infections in the few months I’ve been on it, which is a big improvement from where I was. It sounds like your situation is a little different and you’re generally healthier than I was going in, so you may not need to do IVIG, but if you do end up going that route, I can say it’s not that bad – just a few hours in an armchair once a month hooked up to an IV drip. (Well, that may sound bad to some people, but I’ve been hospitalized for multiple serious infections in my life so this is a walk in the park in comparison!) Agree that it’s important to find a good immunologist with experience treating this, and talk through whether IVIG makes sense for you (and any other questions you may have – places you can and cannot travel, etc).

      Regarding vaccines – vaccines are not effective for me, so you may want to see whether they would be for you.

  14. Ponte python's flying circus :

    At a work conference for the next two days. Not my specific area of expertise, but I can speak the same technical language to some extent. I need a better networking strategy than Brownian motion. I look very young and am one of the few women in the room, which may complicate things slightly. What are your best strategies?

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      No real strategies, but thanks for the Brownian motion reference. It made me chuckle. :)

    • I’m not sure if this is terrible, but I typically find another woman and compliment something she is wearing (purse, dress, jewelry, etc.) Then start a conversation.

      If you have name-tags listing companies/orgs, you can look for people who have some peripheral relationship with your work (e.g., “oh, you work at Widgets Incorporated? My company, ___, just announced we’re partnering with WI on a new initiative in China!”)

      Also starting a conversation with the person sitting next to you before/after a speaker (e.g., “what other speakers have you seen today? Which session are you planning to attend this afternoon?”) is a low risk, low reward set up.

      • Anonymous :

        I would find it terrible. The assumptions I’d make about the questioners estimation of me and their own abilities would not be positive.

    • If an audience member asks a question or makes a point that particularly interests you, find them during the break. Introduce yourself, tell them that you liked their question/point because [insert reason here], and discuss it further. Usually I end up trading cards during that interaction before we get pulled into the next round of sessions. 2-3 days later, follow up on LinkedIn. Good luck!

    • Out of Academia :

      Idk if this strategy works in your field, but I generally make a “hit list”, based on whose projects I find most interesting, then figure out where stalking them is most likely to be successful, such as receptions held by certain schools or vendors. And absolutely follow up with anyone who asks you questions. Discuss whatever aspect of your work they’re I retested in, then ask about their work/where the question comes from. If you want to play the chain game, ask them who they work with or whose projects they’ve found helpful and see if they can introduce you.

      Btw, as I’ve aged I’ve found that being a reasonably attractive young woman was a huge help in networking. Guys would approach me with legit work-related topics. It rarely happens these days. If anyone would have tried to start a conversation about my accessories, I would’ve felt the same way I did when someone in my field asked me what my husband did, assuming that I had I one, that he worked in that field, and that I did not, none of which were true. I felt insulted, stammered, and there was no conversation. The question was posed by an important enough person that I wanted to make a connection, but after that huge arrow pointing out my gender was corrected, neither of us could.

    • I would actually recommend reaching out to people you think will attend and ask if they’ll be there, express excitement about catching up. And/or get a list of attendees from the organizers to see who you should target during the networking sessions.

  15. Americans hair :

    I keep wanting to give my shoulder length hair a chop b/c it’s summer and I’ve had some version of this hair style since I was . . . 10?

    And then I watch another episode of The Americans and I’m all I want to be Elizabeth Jennings (minus the killing and the no qualms about it) (or at least her hair). Am I the only one?

    • No, she’s amazingly glam. I want her hair, her clothes, and her accessories. That said, my natural hair texture will never look like hers and I’m not willing to put hours in every morning to achieve that look (only to let humidity ruin it within 20 minutes anyway!) so I’ve gone the chop route and feel great about it. I’m a big advocate of working with your natural texture rather than against it.

      • I have weird straight hair that does an Elizabeth Jennings only when it is hot AND humid (I was in the SWUS lately and my hair was dreadful).

        I would consider relocating to New Orleans or Miami (or maybe Houston) b/c I could look like this (at least in the hair dept) all the time.

        Le sigh.

        I know that Kerri Russell is gifted in the hair dept and that her hair is significantly straightened for this. But it so totally works.

        • She’s also just very conventionally beautiful. Notice that she looks amazing in all her disguises too! Sometimes it helps me to remember that Hollywood people look like Hollywood people…they’re good for inspiration but not for yardsticks, appearance-wise.

          • Really? I think that she looks wretched in most of the disguises (but still obviously her). It has really brought it home how important good hair is (and the avoidance of bad eyeglasses). And that people with her coloring shouldn’t try to be blonde — it never looks right.

          • OK, let’s say she always looks “striking” and never has any problem luring in men who have key information. (I do like beautiful-ugly looks sometimes, including “wrong” hair colors and questionable glasses frames.)

        • My natural hair texture is Keri Russell’s, so to have the Elizabeth Jennings look means ~ 1 hour of blowdryer, straightening iron, curlers. And then i can’t do anything that will make me sweat and i have to fear rain. No thanks! I’ll stay with my Felicity ‘do.

  16. Paging EB0220 :

    Do you still need info on Pune? I gre up in Mumbai, which is 15 min away by flight. If yes, let me know what you’re after and I will try to answer.

    • Oh, thank you! I think we’ve got most of the travel ironed out now thanks to some people at my company who take the trip often. Now we’re wondering about the weather – what’s it like in July? Is Pune different than Mumbai since it’s further inland?

  17. Beck Sondergaard scarves :

    THANK YOU to whomever suggested these.

    I got a couple on ebay (could not find in the US) and they are fab. I love my Lilly Murphee scarves, but needed something that worked more with my work wardrobe of somber neutrals (and some crazy hot pink). They are perfect — warm, not terribly expensive (my tendency to ruin things mean that I’d be too nervous to actually wear one of the wool / silk ones from Hermes (which I’d love to have but would treat as a muesum piece)).

    Love, love, love!

    • I just looked at those on eBay. Really pretty. How do you wear them?

      • Beck Sondergaard scarves :

        All sorts of ways.

        Sometimes as a blankie if I’m really cold. Often just over my upper arms (like an open cardi). Or around the neck a couple of times. Or in my pretzel loop around the neck.

        I have gotten the long rectangles. LOVE.

  18. I really love this jacket!

  19. I’m graduating from graduate school at the end of the month. I have acrimoniously divorced parents (divorce was ~25 years ago when I was very young) but they still don’t totally get along. I’m close to dad, mom is demanding, stepdad likes to inappropriately insert himself into situations and take charge of everything. They were verbally abusive to me when I was young, so I don’t feel very warm to them, but I’m over the previous issues.

    I got pretty good at drawing boundaries and enforcing them, but my mom is super self-absorbed and whenever she doesn’t get what she wants, she makes it into this big ordeal about how I’m selfish and a bad person etc. It’s hard to hear. There’s really no turn of events that won’t have her in that mood at some point, so I guess I’m just looking for advice on how to not care that she’s really nasty to me. I guess advice on how to manage the situation is helpful too, although I think I might have that under control.

    • If the question is just about how to handle the graduation, my husband and I deal with big events by having well planned, matter of fact schedules in advance. We have a similar dynamic with our families. I’ve been known to send out emails that will says for graduation weekend, we will be having a pre-grad dinner at this restaurant, meeting at this time to go to grad and need to know what activities would will be participating in by this date. Basically we control the itinerary, and make sure that as many events as possible are in public and with non-family members, so everyone is on their best behavior. After a couple years of it is our way or the highway, and we are not putting up with anything, it got better. We also got comfortable about telling people that they could just not come if they would not behave. I know this all sounds like it plays into the “selfish and bad person” narrative, but ironically, once we set clear boundaries and said “look, this is our life, you can just not come” it took a lot of wind out of some family members sails.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree with this. You should control the itinerary as much as possible to ensure that you get to do what you want to do and minimize what you don’t want. BUT, expect/be prepared for some blowback, particularly from your mom. Just remind yourself that you’re redefining your relationship with your mom on your terms.

        My parents are acrimoniously divorced and will be in the same room but not speak. Since the divorce I have graduated from law school, gotten married, and had a kid. I’ve had to deal with changing family traditions (like celebrating holidays), adding another family to the mix (my husband’s), and adding a kid (more joint celebrations). We (me + DH) set an agenda for an event, and inform our parents. We love buffers at these events. We also allow for some wholly separate one-on-one time so that my parents feel like they get time with me (and my kid) without the other parent there.

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about not inviting her? If you know she’s going to be really nasty to you, then just invite your dad and leave Mom and Stepdad out of it.

      • They’re bringing my great aunt (sister to my maternal grandmother, who has since passed and I was very close to). great aunt was really close to grandmother and wants to come in her place. I don’t know her super well, but I’d like to get to know her better. Plus all tickets are already booked. I only have 2 tickets to my graduation, which are going to my dad and husband. So I’m not really sure what the rest of the group is going to do.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Congrats on graduating!
      I’m sorry the family dynamics are what’s stressing you out and not just excitement over graduating.

    • family issues :

      Agreeing with the suggestions to have a very strict schedule in public places. Do you have any siblings or friends that can run interference? Our tactic with my mom is to rotate among the siblings on who sits next to mom at the table/graduation/church service, and always having at least one other person in the car (she likes to pick fights alone in the car because you can’t get away in that scenario). It’s also worked well to have Dad be with his parents and Mom be with her mother, with the kids floating between the two. We also scheduled meals with just one parent/grandparent so that they didn’t have to see each other. My mom usually tries to be on her best behavior for big family events, and we take all the pictures that she wants, choose restaurants that she will like, and topics that are safe, so that usually helps.

    • Skip graduation and treat yourself to a beach getaway instead?

      • Believe me, I have considered that. The problem is, I really want to go to this (and I’m not normally a person who cares about graduations/special events, etc. I don’t want crappy family dynamics to rob me of the experience.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Also, consider trying to team up with a good friend for something (lunch, dinner, happy hour, etc.). Your parents will love getting to meet one of your friends, talking to his or her parents, etc. Takes the focus/pressure off you for a little bit!

  20. Need networking tips for a conference I am attending next week. I have the list of presenters and I am already looking some of them up. Unlike many conferences which cover a wide range of topics, this one is focused on a specific niche in my field. I have heard that it’s good practice to email some of the presenters before hand, but as I go through my list I can’t think of anything yet that I would email anyone about. My boss gave me and the colleague I will be attending this conference with suggestions of people we should try to reach out to/connect with while there. I will not be presenting so the main aim of going is to network. How can I better prepare for this so as to be able to make some meaningful connections?

    • Could this work? I’ve never done this, but could see myself sending this type of email in my field (YMMV, of course).

      “Hello, Targeted Presenter. I am NAME and I’m attending next week’s Teapots Conference, where I plan to attend your presentation on XYZ Specific Issue. Given my current speciality in 123 issues at ABC Organization, I’m looking forward to your presentation and, if time allows, picking your brain on XYZ Specific Issue. [insert closing language here]”

      • Anonymous :

        Do people really use “picking your brain” in an email? Wouldn’t “would love to discuss XYZ Specific Issue” be better?

        Agree with other posters to just introduce yourself after the presentation and chat then.

    • I just presented at a niche conference this morning. I’d find it a smidge odd if a stranger emailed me beforehand, but I think it’s fine to go up to the presenter afterwards and introduce yourself and ask a question about something they said.

      For the rest of the conference, in the words of my favorite college professor, “Be brave, little buckaroo!” I have literally just walked up to a small group of women who looked friendly and said, “Hi! It’s my first time at this conference and I don’t know anyone. You all look friendly – may I join you? I’m Jane with XYZ.”

    • I attend yearly conferences in my niche areas of law and have found that the best way to network at these things is to talk to the panelists after their panel. So the only real work I do beforehand is figure out which panel to attend and when. Then I pay close attention to the panel and strike up a conversation with a panelist at one of the coffee breaks or cocktail receptions. I find it much easier to walk up to someone and start the conversation with “hi, I really enjoyed your panel on xyz, especially…” than approach them cold.

    • anon a mouse :

      I speak on panels frequently. I would love it if someone would come up to me at a break to introduce themselves and chat. If you can help it, try not to go up as soon as the panel ends (I’m usually dying for a bathroom break!), as usually there is a rush of people asking questions then but then little conversation later in the conference.

  21. anon for this :

    I just have to share (anonymously, of course) that I’ve been offered a position joining a very small firm as a partner and have an end date for getting out of the incredibly toxic work environment at the firm that I’ve been in – an environment that’s been toxic to the point of making me physically ill for a year and a half. I’m taking a pay cut, but I don’t care, because my physical and mental health are just not worth an extra 10K a year. I’m nearly spending that amount on physical and mental care for the stress my current job has given me. It sounds cliche, but I literally feel as though someone lifted a hundred pound weight off of my chest.

    • YAY!!! I’ve been in your shoes and I remember feeling giddy with relief. Congratulations!!

    • Frozen Peach :

      YAY is right! Also have been there and I am SO happy for you!!!!

    • Congratulations! Best of luck in your new gig!

    • Congratulations!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Fantastic! Congratulations!

    • Congratulations! I made a similar move this year, and it has made such a difference. My health has improved tremendously–I’ve been able to stop medication for anxiety, I’ve stopped grinding my teeth, my headaches have disappeared, and I seem to catch fewer colds and need fewer sick days. I also lost 30 lbs, which took some genuine effort, but it was much easier when I had time and energy to focus on myself and making nutritious meals and when stress-eating didn’t have the same power. (I’m not suggesting that you need to lose weight or anything, just that the new job may also allow you the emotional bandwidth for healthier habits generally.)

  22. Gail the Goldfish :

    Any recommendations for a fitness tracker that tracks heart rate and is waterproof (I swim laps)?

    • Apple Watch Series 2, but keep in mind that any optical heart rate monitor (wrist, etc that uses the little light) is going to be touch and go accurate at best. I love my Apple Watch but for any training that depends on heart rate, you need a chest strap heart rate monitor.

    • Agreed with Anonymous above, but I also like my Polar HRM with a chest strap. My model is old as dirt but still functions (I’ve had it probably four years with regular use — just replaced batteries).

      If you want one with a chest strap, I’d start there. They’ve got affordable models all the way up to “Whoa, that’s expensive.”

      • I don’t think it’s popular at the moment, but a few years ago there were lots of sports bras being sold that had a built-in equivalent of the chest strap in the bra band, so you could just snap into your bra. You can still find them on eBay and a black one could double as a swim top.

    • One of my masters swimming teammates uses an Apple watch. In college we used the chest strap ones and they seemed to work pretty well.

    • Macademia :

      I just got a Garmin Forerunner 235, which seems to be built for triathlon training. It tracks HR and has settings for bike, swim and running workouts. It costs about $100 less than the Apple Watch.

  23. On vacation and we got a message from the dog sitter that our dog has been pooping inside every day when the dog sitter leaves for work (dog is staying at the dog sitter’s house). Dog never does this at home and has stayed with our family members without doing this so I assume it’s a separation anxiety thing or that the dog sitter is not walking her long enough – but she says she’s giving her long walks three times per day which is what the dog gets at home. Other than offering to pay for carpet cleaning, any suggestions for what to do? We’re out of the country so going home earlier is not an option.

    • Nothing? This seems like an assumed risk for the dog sitter. If she can’t get the dog to go on walks, she can take preventative measures to ensure that indoor accidents happen on easily cleanable surfaces like cofining dog to kitchen.

    • Can she keep the dog in the kitchen or another tiled area?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Our girl is an occasional house-pooper. She stays in the kitchen and has the run of the basement.

        We read that wolves will poop outside their den when other pack members have been away because the smell will help guide them home. We like to think that she’s just doing her part to get us home from work.

  24. Veterinary Malpractice? :

    We have adopted two dogs from a wonderful lady that does rescue. The last one is 5 years old, and had never been neutered. She had contracted with a particular vet, and after the neuter, our dog’s scrotum swelled over several days, culminating with a 2 am ER visit when it began to rupture. The ER vets were reluctant to call it ‘botched’, saying that neutering an older dog sometimes has complications. Our own vet however said it was the worst neuter she’d ever seen.
    Now the rescue lady has told me of several episodes of misdiagnosis, including a botched spay, a death from heartworm, and others, so it’s a pattern now, not a mistake.
    So question to the hive is, how should she handle? Complain to state vet board? Take him to small claims court? BBB? She asked me to give him a one star on Facebook which seems inconsequential. Thank you for reading!

    • That’s so terrible! Here’s sending all the good vibes your dog’s way!

      Definitely file a complaint with the state veterinary board. I spent a year in law school interning with my state’s licensing agency. We received complaints about neuters and spaying, not to mention other things, gone wrong all the time. If a vet has a history of questionable practices, the state board should know about it. Any penalties against them will appear when searching their license, so others can be aware.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I haven’t ever been in this position, but I’d definitely get in touch with what her state regulating body is. If there’s a review site he’s listed on, I’d also post there. That’s horrible and heartbreaking.

      • And also post on Yelp and any other review or consumer warning sites that exist for this. Get the word out as much as you can that she’s a bad Vet so that other animals don’t get hurt by her. Your poor dog :(

    • Not a vet, but many years in the rescue trenches. When you do rescue, you’re dealing with dogs of unknown history. The swollen up sack post neuter is a thing that happens sometimes. So is the spay death. So is (especially) death from heartworm treatment. If they are trying to keep costs down, they may not be doing bloodwork prior to surgery and even if they did, that can’t always predict a dog being a bleeder. The meds to treat heartworms are nasty and while today’s protocols are much gentler than what they did 10 years ago, it’s still a tough treatment.

      Is the facility clean? Does the rescue have issues with post-op infections? Are there patterns beyond these couple of instances? Just what you listed doesn’t really scream “poor care” when dealing with substantial numbers of rescue animals.

  25. You guys, I’ve finally broken up with my blow drier.

    I hate drying my hair but it’s mostly straight, barely wavy, and when I have let it dry naturally I always think it looks messy. But the older I get the more I hate drying my hair.

    So this weekend when i got my hair cut I told my hairdresser what I was wanting to do. She cut some layers into my above-shoulder length bob and showed me what to do with it when it is wet. What I do is take small sections of wet hair on either side of my face and twist them, corkscrew style, in the direction away from my face and leave them. I try not to mess with them until they dry.

    By the time these sections dry they look like soft, intentional waves. To be honest, she did twists all over my hair, but I’m finding that I can just twist a few sections in the front, and the layers are enough to help my natural wave fall nicely in the back.

    I thought I’d pass the tip along. And T3 hairdryer, don’t let the door hit your a55 on the way out.

    • I want to do this for the summer. My hair is on the wavy not corkscrew kind of curly and it frizzes up if I straighten it in the summer. The other poster who recently got a lob has made me want something similar with which I can take your approach to drying. My plan is to ask my hairdresser how/if we can make this work when I am in next month.

      • You might try it now, pre-cut. What’s the worst that can happen? I think it’s 85% in the twisting, 15% in the layering.

        • You’re right, I can. I have layers already! Truth be told, I am itching for something new anyway :)


          • Also: if you find that humidity is an issue in the summer, maybe add a little light hold gel to your wet hair before twisting/scrunching and then scrunch it out once dry to get rid of the crusty texture.

    • Your hair sounds a lot like mine. Some weekend, try doing exactly what you describe above, but lightly spray your damp hair with salt spray first. (A cheap drugstore one will give you an idea if you like it or not, and if it works, then move up to a better brand, which I find does make some difference).

    • Trying this next hair wash day!

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Oh I’m going to try this!

    • Your hair sounds a lot like mine and about 3 years ago, I did the same thing. I haven’t looked back. Oribe’s Dry Texture spray is the best spray I’ve found to keep my natural wave but eliminate frizzies. It’s expensive but worth it if I don’t have to dry my hair.

  26. Insecurity :

    Last night DH and I had a bad fight. The details aren’t important– we made up this morning. But something came up during that is still on my mind.

    I’ve been dealing with a lot of insecurity and lack of self-worth lately. It’s connected to stress and lack of sleep/down time, but basically I am letting my own fear of failure and insecurities create a huge gap in intimacy between me and DH.

    Instead of sharing with him when I have a problem or issue to solve, I try to hide it from him and fix it myself. He feels like we aren’t a team, and that I’m treating him like a disapproving boss instead of a partner. This is totally true. So some examples: my not telling him when I have doctor’s appointments is to me a courtesy that I manage my own time and medical care, to him is shutting him out of what’s going on with me. If I’m having a fight with a friend or struggling to accomplish a logistical task, I’m more likely to paddle frantically underneath the water and only let him know there’s anything up if things go haywire and I end up with my tail in the air. Still getting over a bad, bad case of postpartum depression, so I’m aware that the critical voices I’m “reacting” to are overwhelmingly internal.

    I fear his disapproval, I fear showing him weakness because I want to appear as together/attractive/upbeat-and-with-it-mom-wife-partner as possible. And yet trying to appear that way seems to be the very thing that is undermining our intimacy. How do you stop trying to put on a face/ facade for your partner as a way of coping with your own insecurities and fears? If it’s relevant, we’ve been together almost 10 years, married almost 5. This dynamic emerged in full force when we had a kid.

    • This sounds really tough. Have you read any of Brene Brown’s books? I suggest reading those as a start. I will admit that therapy helped me with this type of thing and I am not sure I would have been able to overcome it without it. Is that something that you are open to?

      • I heartily second the recommendation for Brene Brown’s books. I also struggle with not wanting to appear vulnerable, but accepting and leaning into that vulnerability is a big part of what creates trust/intimacy. Her books (and therapy) helped a lot and it’s still nice for me to refer to them when I’m having a tough time.

        • Part of it for me has been practice. The more I talk about things, the easier it becomes. It’s still not as easy as counting to 10, but it’s much easier than it used to be!

      • Yep. Go to therapy, read Brene Brown. ASAP. Start with Daring Greatly. This is a BIG issue for me, too.

        Your husband doesn’t want you for how *good* you are, or because of how you perform- he wants you for who you are. There’s a difference, and BB and therapy can help you figure that out.

        Plus, fear of vulnerability. They’re all intertwined.

      • Thanks CountC! I’ve read some of hers in the past and had a hard time because I agree in principle but haven’t found many practical suggestions for the “how” to be vulnerable. Practice is definitely what I need!!

        Re therapy, I have had years and years in the past, and right now the time/money/logistics of getting to/from/canceling would far outweigh the benefits. Considering doing an online therapy thing because it eliminates those concerns.

        • FWIW, my practical suggestion is that you have to force yourself to do it. It SUCKS, and it is REALLY hard. But, like another poster mentioned, start with something more benign, like a standard dentist appointment, or something similar. Also, when you are feeling frustrated or stressed, no matter what it is, tell your husband. It doesn’t have to be a long drawn out conversation, it can be as simple as, “I am feeling stressed right now about X,Y,Z. I don’t need you to fix it, but I wanted you to know because I love you.” Baby steps.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      Ooof, this is me too. One thing that has started to help me is that I’m texting my wife about things that I’m worried/afraid to share. That little bit of distance and not having to face a reaction in the moment seems to help.

      One thing I’m paddling frantically under the surface on is finding a new therapist, as my previous therapist focused in areas that aren’t where I need help now. Do you have a therapist? PPD is tough and you’re allowed to have help.

      • My H and I have have some of our most serious conversations or arguments…via text. For this exact reason. Our rule, though, is that we have to then talk about it in person afterwards, even if it’s just a “we good?” check in.

        • I should add that I’m an in-the-moment, extroverted argue-er, and he is an introverted, needs-some-time-to-formulate-a-response argue-er, so we found ourselves mismatched in how we were arguing. My expecting him to fight like I did, and him getting frustrated that I was ready with a reply or my next point without him having time to formulate a response wasn’t good. This neutralizes that factor.

      • My husband is like this (and the OP) and he finds that g-chatting (or texting) me something during the day can be an easier entree and then we follow up more about it at home.

    • You need meds and therapy for your PPD. These will allow you to figure out how to share your struggles/daily life with your partner without feeling like you have to keep paddling frantically underwater.

    • No Problem :


      And start with something small or low risk. Like mentioning that you have a routine dentist appointment is (I would think) much lower risk than discussing conflicts you’re having with a friend.

      Being a good partner/wife/mom includes not putting on a face in front of your husband. He can only fully be your partner if you let him in. You are human and can’t be perfect at everything all the time. He knows that and doesn’t disapprove. Let him see it.

    • I can relate to this. I was raised in an, “you deal with your own sh*t” family so its very hard for me to accept help or complain, even to safe people like my DH. It got worse for me post-kid too – my mom did everything for the kids, so I don’t have a model of what it might look like to have an interested, involved Dad and I initially felt all of his offers of help as criticisms of me.

      It doesn’t sound like he is actually disapproving of you or judging you. Your PPD is still lying to you. Try to take small steps towards letting him in. When he asks how you’re doing, tell him! “I’m worried about getting everything done today because I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30.” “Can you please start dinner tonight? I’m trying to work something out with [friend] and I’m really distracted.”

      As SA always reminds us – assume good intentions. He’s trying to help. Try to let him.

    • Are you me? I’m pretty sure my DH and I have this same fight once every six months. It’s a hard thing to change. I’ve learned that speaking up early and often, BEFORE I get overwhelmed, is crucial. But I still mess up sometimes because I try so hard to be strong, capable, and independent. Another thing that’s helped us is spending time every Sunday evening to go over the week’s activities and stuff that one or both of us needs to handle. It’s cut down on a lot of misunderstandings and DH is more than willing to step in/take over if he’s aware of what’s going on.

      Big hugs to you. This is hard for those of us who are hyper-aware of everything and have a harsh inner voice. I second the recommendation for Brene Brown’s books.

      • ^agree to speaking up early and often.

        I’m 33 and I’m finally learning to use my words. We always had to put on a happy face no matter what was happening. So I tend to hold in all my feelings and my sense of being overwhelmed or tired until I’m at the breaking point. At which point I snap and then feel like an embarrassed moron.

        But one day, I had a situation where I had gone to the trouble to do something special for my friend, and she was flaky and extremely late, and I was so angry. I was storming around the kitchen, slamming cabinets, in a generally foul mood. But instead of taking it out on my husband and being an immature B, I just looked at him and said “It makes me really upset when people are late.” And he said “I know” and gave me a hug. And things were better immediately. Using your words is such a powerful skill. I’m still working on learning how to do it. Better late than never.

      • Flip this a bit – being strong, capable, and independent means understanding your feelings and why you are feeling them, talking about them in a healthy way, and learning to process it all. It takes a strong and capable person to recognize when they need help and ask for it. Asking for help doesn’t compromise your independence at all – it means you are human.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      General suggestions:
      — David Burns has a workbook, Ten Days to Self Esteem. It’s been helpful to me.
      — Therapy is the best.
      — Meds are pretty great too.

      — You talk about feeling like you want to keep a perfect surface, be the best wife and mother, etc. But if you can’t cut yourself some slack, cut your husband some. He loves you! Give him little chances to show it, and you’ll build up recent evidence that shows you that you can rely on him. I had to do that with my husband, as perfectionism and PPD was dragging me down… little things. “Honey, your mom is driving me crazy. I’m going to go to the gym, but can I have a big hug first?” and instead of being mad at me, he laughs and now we can talk about that. Of course, because my husband is reasonable and loving and supportive! Etc. etc. It builds, and recently I was able to talk to him about some major, scary things, because I had this evidence, recent stuff, to show me that I can rely on his understanding and support. So this is an instance where I do think you can fake it until you make it.

  27. MM LaFleur peeps, which do you feel is more versatile – the Shirley or the Emma? I went to the pop-up yesterday and found too many things I liked, and am trying to narrow it down. (And for the pears out there, I was shocked that the Emma fit and appeared to not need any tailoring up top.)

    • They they have the Annie? It’s sold out online and I was wondering if they’d have some at the pop up.

      • I didn’t see the Annie, but they had lots of stuff that was out of stock on line, so it might have been there.

    • The Shirley is more versatile, but the Emma is special. I wear the Emma without a jacket and feel very put-together.

      I agree that the Emma is good for the non-busty. I am column-shaped and the Emma fit perfectly on top, but I had to have the hips taken in.

  28. Big Bang Theory newbie :

    So late to discovering this show. Is there a way to watch it from the beginning in orer — amazon prime? netflix?

    This is all of the men in my family (all engineers, many own pocket protectors, many offers of “if I could show you how this works on a slide rule, it would just be much easier for you” [me: no thanks, I’ll stick with the abacus you got me for Christmas].”

    • I don’t think so. I’m late to that show too and really want to watch it from the beginning, but every time I look for it it’s not available anywhere. Even on the stupid paid CBS app you don’t get all of the seasons.

    • It’s not streaming anywhere. You can get old seasons on DVD from Netflix (if you have the DVD option) or the public library.

    • It’s on Amazon. I can’t tell whether it is included with Prime. Also on DVD.

    • Midwestern Consitutent :

      It’s syndicated on TBS, which means they show re-runs all the time. If the schedule on the TBS website is correct, they’ll start showing Season 1 on May 19 at 8PM (I’m assuming that’s Eastern time). TBS and TNT have (or had) several shows where they’d show the pilot through the last season they had rights to, and then start over. That’s how I saw the entire run of Charmed, and how I got hooked on Supernatural.

    • We bought the previous seasons on DVD. Looks like you can buy seasons 1-9 for about $45 now.

  29. What color bags are on-trend right now?
    I’m in the market for a small leather cross-body, and since my wardrobe is fairly neutral I want a color. Normally I don’t care about “trendy” but I have a little money to spare this month. Thanks!

  30. Just discovering snapchat.

    randomly started following a trainwreck: eff_being_fat
    It’s a trainwreck I can’t look away from. (she’s a 30 year old law student who doesn’t intend to practice, lost 150 lbs and got b0>b job and skni surgery, megaposts, is basically unemployable).

    Any other recommendations?

    • Wait, you want recommendations of people whose lives you think are trainwrecks so you can watch them and then post mean comments about them online? I got nothing for ya, sorry.

      • hoola hoopa :


      • Sloan Sabbith :

        ….Uh, yeah, +1million.

        She doesn’t intend to practice- OK, so do a portion of law students. JD-preferred, policy, etc are all just as acceptable.
        She lost 150lbs? GOOD FOR HER.
        She got plastic surgery? So what?
        You’re deciding she’s unemployable via her SNAPCHAT?

        Mayyyyyybe examine why you’re making snap judgments (get it? snap judgments?) about people you don’t know and are literally only seeing momentary photos and videos of.

        • Omg…it’s a Snapchat account. It’s a crazy Persian girl who’s​ literally in law school to find a husband and stay on the payroll.

          Intentionally​ ridiculous, I assume. J

          • Aaaaaand you bring race into it. Nice.

          • But why do you care about this stranger so much that you are posting on an unrelated forum to make fun of her? I mean – nothing she is doing impacts your life, at all, right?

          • Why do you care so much about bad customer service to complain on a random blog about it?

            Literally asking for fun/ridiculous Snapchat recs.

          • Sloan Sabbith :

            Assumptions, assumptions.
            Crazy? Really?
            “Literally in law school to find a husband and stay on the payroll” Oh? Did she tell you this?

            And yeah, don’t bring race into it. It does not make it better.

          • Yes she literally says this.

            Omg I’m looking for crazy rh stuff to watch.

            (I’m also Persian, so chill)

    • I have snap but I’m a watcher not a poster. I am friends with my daughter and her friends, and some younger extended family members who use it all the time. My sister unfortunately uses it to narrate her life (her life is not that interesting to anyone but her) so I just tap through her feed.

      I couldn’t find the train wreck user you mentioned and now I’m totally curious. Did you spell that correctly?

    • In what world does losing 150 pounds and then getting skin removal/breast aug make somebody a “train wreck”? Or being a “30 year old” law student? (do we have none of those here?) If I don’t like people’s content, I don’t follow them.

      Go live your own life. Judging others like this is a waste of time and a bigger reflection on you than them.

    • You guys have to give OP a break. In the snap world, this is what many posters are going for. Being outrageous, generating lots of followers, and figuring out how to monetize it. I haven’t viewed this feed but I’d guess trainwreck is her very intentional brand.

      • I fail to see how being a 30 year-old law student who lost a lot of weight and got plastic surgery makes somebody a “trainwreck” or “unemployable”.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          She is a total Kardashian wanna be – she got huge implants as part of her “after” surgery and mostly just photographs herself coated in makeup and sheer tops going on about how “hot” she is.

      • The same people who crucify colleagues for like tapping their heels or wearing perfume are very TOLERANT and NICE. Don’t mention anything negative about a snapchat account

    • alexisfaye :

      I don’t do snapchat, but I had to google her after your post. FABULOUS. Of course, i love before and after photos… Don’t understand the hate. She is clearly exactly what you describe, intentionally.

      • Nothing more dangerous than people determined to be offended…..

        highly recommend the snap experience. today was a 8 minute conversation from a 30 year old asking her dad for $ to fix her phone, saying she’s only worked for 2 months, discussing the second tummy tuck and desire for even larger [email protected]@bs. wondering if there was a way she could “work just temporarily”

  31. Blackberry addict soon to switch :

    Anyone else still have a blackberry? I love mine (and use mainly for work).

    Am going to have to get an iPhone due to so many kid-related scheduling / camp apps not being available on blackberry (which I have resigned myself to; and am sort of excited b/c the iPhone camera seems loads better).

    Can I move over my iTunes or will that soak up all of the memory? And do I need to sync to something / move stuff a lot to save memory? I have heard stories that iPhones will fill up their memory and it can be an issue.

    Any advice to someone probably switching in the next month?


    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have a BB classis right now, have also had a Q10 and a Bold (my fave, RIP). I love my keyboard for sending long messages but I agree the app sitch is sub-optimal.

    • Get a model with lots of storage if you think apps and pictures will be a problem for you. I have a 128 GB one and I’ve never had any issues with running out of room and I take, like, thousands of pictures of my cat.

    • I don’t know how to switch contacts etc from B.B. to phone. The iPhone will give you instructions on backing up your old phone to iCloud so maybe that’s how it’s done with a BB

      With an iPhone you will have to sign up for iCloud for storage. As your photos and music fill up the phone, it will automatically move the older stuff to the cloud. I pay for storage but it’s not a lot of money. You get a certain amount of storage free with the phone/iCloud account.

  32. Need writing assistance :

    Help! Seeking budget help — to re-write resumee and/or LinkedIn Profile.
    I’m in Atlanta. MBA. Experienced technical consultant seeking to generalize my experience.
    Any recommendations? Would prefer local or at least in my time zone. Would prefer known people, who are worth the $. Good bang for my (dwindling) bucks.
    Thank you. Any help is appreciated. Yes, I’ve asked at my grad school alumni office already.

    • I am a huge fan of Melissa Llarena. She’s an alum of my b-school (Tuck), and many friends and classmates have used her and absolutely rave. I’ve only met her once at a conference, but she really knows her stuff. I trust my classmates’ opinion.

  33. Land's End Dress :

    I know posters like Lands End dresses, but which style is good for an apple shape? I’ve gained about 15 pounds(all in my waist) and need some basic dresses until I can fit into my old dresses.

    • cat socks :

      I like their fit & flare styles. I’m hourglass-ish, but I carry most of my weight in my belly. I’m 5ft tall and buy the petite sizes. The tightest part of the dress hits me under the bust and then drapes over the rest of my body.

    • I’m going to disagree with the prior answer. Fit and flare dresses are best for those trying to emphasize a small waist and hourglass curves.

      For Apple types, go for a sheath cut – straight up and down.

    • Wildkitten :

      Do they have A-line? I’m an apple and have always been told A-line.

    • I’m a busty apple, and have had good luck with their ponte sheath dresses. From what I can tell, they’ve changed either the cut or the sizing in the last few years (mine are 3-4 years old, and have worn like iron but aren’t the new cut). So you might need to order a few sizes to get one that really works for you.

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