Coffee Break: Lady Leather Tote

This gawgeous leather tote from Mansur Gavriel is part of the brand’s line of Lady bags, which come in a range of sizes — this is the biggest one. It looks so sleek and cool, whether you use it as a large handbag or a work tote, although at 10″ H x 12″ W x 4.7″ D it’s probably not going to be big enough to fit folders, etc. It seems like the right size for an iPad — and it’s pretty deep. I love the red lining and the little pocket on the inside, and I like that the long strap is detachable if you just want to carry it by the handle. Note that Net-a-Porter has it in leather-trimmed suede in a rust color (“brick”) as well in green leather: Net-a-Porter ($895) and Bergdorf Goodman ($995). MANSUR GAVRIEL Lady Leather Tote

Two more affordable options are here and here.



  1. Reposting from my late post the other day, but does anyone have recommendations for an all-cotton brale*te that has some lining/protection from headlights? I basically want an all-cotton Coobie for better natural fiber status/breathability, but it’s very hard to find something with lining. TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Cotton sports bras from Aerie or maybe Gap?

    • Linings don’t work well enough for me. I use desi bra disks (from amazon) and they don’t show at all under my shirts.

    • Madewell just launched a new line of underwear that looks cute & like it might meet your needs.

    • cake batter :

      I love the Patagonia Barely Sports Bra. I normally grab them at REI but they’re easy to find online. It’s wireless and lightly padded, so it’s my perfect weekend/evening bra. The only annoyance is that the cups/pads aren’t sewn into place (like some bikini tops) so I usually have to readjust them after a wash.

  2. Jules paging Anonypotamous :

    I just saw your post from yesterday about vacation rentals in London and Paris. Several years ago I rented a flat in London through nyhabitat dot com and I highly recommend. You can use the site to search by neighborhood, price, etc., but probably unlike VRBO or Air Bnb they hae a knowledgeable and helpful staff. They were great to work with and helped us pick a good location (for then H, teenage son and me), gave us a lot of general advice and info and arranged for us to have a driver from the airport. A few years ago I referred a friend to them for a place in Paris and she had a great experience, too. The Company focuses on NY, Paris, London and the south of France.

  3. Anon for this :

    A colleague that I normally respect made a comment recently about immigration that got me thinking. I probably should have asked him to explain himself more but I didn’t really want to hear the answer if it was a racist one.

    He said he read somewhere that the U.S. has been admitting 1 million immigrants per year. This includes refugees, people coming on spousal visas, work visas, everything. He felt that was too many because it changes a country too quickly. First, I have no idea if his numbers are right but let’s assume for a minute that they are.

    He seemed to be making an argument relating to nationality and ethnicity. Essentially, you expect to see Japanese in Japan and Germans in Germany and Americans in America. To me, this sounded inherently racist when discussing America because I have no one image of what Americans look like. But I can picture what Japanese and German and Spanish (from Spain) “look like.”

    I’m not just trying to find racism in every statement but his comment bothered me. Yet, when I apply it to other countries, it at the same time makes sense.

    So, on a policy scale, do you think countries should have the right to limit immigration on the basis of preserving their culture? If you do, do you think America should have this right on this basis? I’m cool with living in a big melting pot and actually would encourage it. At the same time, it would be odd to travel to Ireland and be surrounded by Chinese restaurants and Chinese people rather than Irish restaurants and Irish people. Has America always just been a melting pot which is why it seems like we should not do this but other countries can? Do we think that no country should limit immigration for the reason of preserving their culture. This is such a heavy topic.

    I came away from my conversation with my respected colleague sad that he thinks the US shouldn’t change “too fast” and worried about what changes he was afraid of. I really don’t want to hear that he expects it to be more WASPY.

    • What bothers me about his statement is two-fold

      1. The US culture IS immigration and change. Innovation. Starting a new life. The majority of our traditions are based on other cultures that immigrated to the US. And culture isn’t even consistent across the country – East Coast is different from West Coast is different from the South is different from the Midwest. And the typical Americana like baseball and apple pie doesn’t say anything about what the people playing/baking look like. I mean, there is definitely a stereotype about what those people look like, but as an immigrant nation we are by definition not homogeneous.

      2. Of those 1 million immigrants – how many already are Americanized to the extent that they aren’t going to be altering the cultural make up? And it’s 1 new person for every 300 – that doesn’t speak to fast paced change to me.

    • I think there’s a difference between a multiethnic and a multicultural society. I’m American, but I have read that some European countries with a reputation for xenophobia are concerned that certain key principles (freedom of speech and freedom to criticize religion among them) might no longer exist in a multicultural society. The Danish cartoon controversy is one example that I’ve seen come up a lot. Their answer would seem to be “assimilate or don’t come.” I agree it’s an extremely complex issue, made all the more so by war, instability, and immense global poverty.

      • This.

        It’s not racist to be concerned about bringing in millions of people who disagree with gay rights, women’s rights, free speech, and religious liberty. Atheists, women, and gays will take the brunt of it if we mess this up.

        • Anon for this :

          OP here. I don’t think this was his concern because he also mentioned they are more likely to vote republican. I didn’t bother pointing out that many immigrants can’t vote in national elections if they are not citizens.

          For some more background, he was raised on a farm in middle America, has lived in a few big cities, his kids have jobs that require international travel and both kids married children of immigrants.

    • I’m not a history buff but I don’t think Japan or Germany were founded on the basis for – being a refuge for people who were being religiously/economically persecuted in their homeland. Isn’t that why the colonists came here? So if they could come here for that – why is it suddenly ok to exclude the Indians or the Nigerians – bc they bring curry and speak a different language and will never have blonde hair or blue eyes? Come on – you know exactly what he’s saying. And I know people I respect as well who slip up and say the same thing — i.e. so-and-so married an “American” — what you mean to say is that you didn’t think a Indian-Am woman even though she was born and raised here would marry a Caucasian guy.

    • So, I just want to point this out –

      “To me, this sounded inherently racist when discussing America because I have no one image of what Americans look like. But I can picture what Japanese and German and Spanish (from Spain) “look like.””

      You should probably do a little thinking about why you have no one image of what Americans look like, but apparently think all Germans look like a “German”. I am German, although raised in the US (and probably what you’re thinking of as “German”), but the majority of people I know who are also German (if you’re looking at citizenship, where they grew up, how they identify, etc) are probably what you would call Turkish, Tunisian, Russian, or any myriad of other things…

      I mean, you essentially told us that if a black man or woman walked into the room and announced they were German, this wouldn’t fit into your mental model of “German”…which is exactly what your coworker said about American.

      • Excellent point.

      • I think the OP is equating the “image” of a country’s people with its stereotype. Yes, there is a stereotypical German and a stereotypical Japanese person and a stereotypical Spanish person, just like there is a stereotypical American (white guy, maga hat, holding a beer, eating a doughnut, probably overweight etc.). OP has a harder time visualizing this because the stereotype doesn’t hold true in her experience. But it doesn’t hold true anywhere. We live in a world where cultures, what people look like, and what values people hold are evolving every single day. Immigration does help shift that evolution in particular directions, but the loss of a culture entirely is more of a concern in countries with declining “native” population bases. Immigrants bring different ideas, experiences, and cultures and over time those blend with the country they have joined and you get something new, and often better. Either way you’re going to evolve, it just helps shape the how.

      • Anonymous :

        Except that that’s really not true. There are 4 times more racial minorities in the US than in Germany, and Japan is literally 99% people of Japanese ethnic origin. This is the OPs point. It’s also a frequent talking point for racists – many (if not most) similarly developed countries are less diverse than the US. To us (the forward thinking), that’s an asset, but the difference of opinion between us and the nativists clearly lies in interpretation, not in a dispute of fact.

    • I know it’s not the point of your comment, and I don’t mean to call you out specifically OP, BUT: it makes me so sad that conversations like these basically completely erase the existence of Native Americans and indigenous people. They still exist! It’s not like their cultures disappeared when Europeans came to this continent. Yes, our country is a melting pot, but there were already some ingredients in that pot when the Europeans got here.

      • Anon for this :

        OP here. I was also thinking that and couldn’t find a way to word that in my comment that also didn’t sound ignorant. You said it very eloquently.

      • Anon for this :

        OP here. You area right. I considered it and wanted to add, technically, we are all immigrants. (second time trying to post this)

    • Anonshmanon :

      I looked it up and the 1 million per year is correct, and includes all kinds of visas and immigration statuses.

    • Do I think countries should be able to limit immigration? Yes. Do I think they should be able to do it because of “cultural preservation”? No. I actually was a history major (prior to turning to the fun, fast paced life of tax accountancy) and what you are thinking of as “Japanese culture” or “Irish culture” is just the modern version of what is going on in that country. 50 or 100 years ago, these cultures were very different. Yeah, there are some foods and traditions and whatnot that would be associated with those countries, but cultures change dramatically even in countries that are not “melting pots”. Even in “old” countries like those in Europe. Borders change. Wars are fought. Old buildings are torn down. New foods are introduced. Popularity of religions come and go.

    • I think your coworker’s comments are wrongheaded in the extreme for a number of reasons, but I’ll just point out the one that occurred to me first:

      He seems to be assuming that a million people come here every year and that none of them ever leave. If that were true, there would literally be no people anywhere else by now. That tells me he has not put very much thought into his stance and I don’t think it merits your careful consideration.

      • There are seven billion people on this planet. If one million people move to the US every year, it would take seven thousand years for them all to come here. That’s ignoring the fact that the world population keeps increasing, so the amount of years it would take would increase.

    • Korean American :

      I spent a lot of summers in Seoul visiting my grandparents and remember visiting Seoul when I was younger (mid 90s/early 2000s) and it was basically a homogenous country. All Korean all the time. I think there was always a small group of ethnically Chinese who lived in Korea but they never stuck out as “different”.

      Then, when I visited a few years later, I saw a lot of South Asians who had come to Korea to work, and then about 10 years laters, there were (1) kdramas about Vietnamese women marrying and living in Korea, (2) many more non-Koreans including South Asians, Chinese, living in Korea on a more permanent basis.

      All of a sudden, as an American, my view and understanding of what “Korean” meant had to change. I think CPA lady captures it–our understanding of “[country] culture” is a snap shot at that time.

      The difference between Korea and the US is that the US has had many more years of immigration and has relied on its immigrants to grow the country and has been known for the opportunity to pursue “American dream”, where immigrants are somewhat welcome (well, that’s about to change); whereas Korea was a small country and was colonized by Japan until the end of WWII, then war-torn until 1953 and historically was not a place where lots of people randomly wanted to move to.

      The difference is the expectation–while most countries have either not been a desirable place to move to, or have made it impossible to immigrate there, the U.S. was built on the idea that you are welcome (as long as you’re “white”, see Chinese Exclusion Act).

    • There was an episode of This American Life about changing demographics in St. Cloud, MN. It had an influx of Muslim Somali refugees, and many long-time residents were concerned about the rate of change. Later, the narrator noted that this population was 5% of the city. It was a reminder that some people are uncomfortable with change, no matter how small.

  4. Burned Out at Work :

    I need some advice on how to deal with burnout at work. I am a trial lawyer in the government sector and am in my late 30’s. I am really burned out. I have risen through the ranks of my organization after years of blood, sweat, and tears, and I’m proud of how hard I have worked and what I have achieved. It used to be hard to go home at night because I loved this job so much, and I didn’t even mind working weekends or getting paid far less than what my civil counterparts make. However, in recent years, I’ve found that the passion for this job has just left me. I still come here every day and try to do my best, but I’ve lost the spark and the energy I used to have. Tasks seem daunting to me now, and I find myself procrastinating more and more. It’s hard for me to connect with those I strive to seek justice for, and I find myself just going through the motions. And then late last year, my organization went through a massive change. Most of my mentors are gone, the new administration has instituted pay cuts, and the entire office morale is at an all time low. I feel like I’m on a ship that is sinking, so I’m even more unhappy now, but the process of changing jobs seems overwhelming and exhausting and terrifying. My unhappiness at work is now affecting my outlook on life and my relationships outside of work. I never thought I would be close to 40 and thinking of making a major career change, but I feel sick to my stomach sometimes coming to the office every day and sometimes just sit on my bed crying at the end of the day just thinking about all of it. I have started seeing a therapist, and that is helping. But I would love to hear any advice you all might have as to how to get through these tough times. Thank you!

    • Frozen Peach :

      I’ve been where you are in a job (albeit in a much shorter time frame, with less accomplishment– you sound like a total powerhouse), and changing jobs was the key. As it turned out, the problem wasn’t me. Found a new gig and everything else in my life started…healing. Close to a year later, so many of the problems I was agonizing over have just gradually evaporated as the burnout lifted and I was able to engage with my life again.

      Try devoting 15 mins a day to looking around at jobs– dust off your LinkdIn profile, start some Indeed alert emails, you’d be surprised at how easy it is to find new opportunities. It’s how I found my new job.

    • Are you federal gov’t?? You guys have pay cuts? I’m not hearing about that at all and I’m a fed. I’ll say something a bit different – with 10-15 yrs of litigation experience, chances are your exit (unless you’re looking to leave law totally) would be to a firm. I would NOT go into a firm as burnt out as you are. You can loaf about in the gov’t (I’m not suggesting you do it – but people do) and there is no real consequence; a firm will get rid of you just as quick as they hired you. So take some time, maybe take a vacation, try to heal from the burnout and THEN make a move.

      • Anonymous :

        I worked for the govt for 14 years and our situations sound very similar. I rose up as far and I could w/o running for public office, which was something that I knew I would never do. So I new I had no future and needed to move on. I hated my job. I mostly managed other attorneys, so I was able to online shop a lot. I felt really guilty a lot of the time, but then other times, I felt entitled to goof-off because I wasn’t getting paid near what my counterparts at firms or in-house were getting paid. I found a job in-house and really love it. My pay is 60% higher, I get to travel and I enjoy going to work. And I get a nice bonus every year. I know that the thought of looking for a job is daunting, but it’ll be so worth it. Hang in there….

    • I can help here, Kat. I think the issue we all must face is the fact that we all have to care about our job’s, but NOT to the point that it consumes our sanity. Yes, our cleint’s are demanding, but there comes a time that we all have to step back and tell the cleint “WHOA, fellas, your case is important, but is my good health, so if you want me to do a good job, you HAVE to stop badgering me.”

      If your personal like is NOT where you want it to be, now is the time to fix it. If you are in a relationship, lean in on your significant other for support. If you are NOT in a relationship, now is the time for you to find someone to lean on. You are about my age (less then 40), so mabye haveing a child is also on the back of your mind (it is with me). So if you are contemplating haveing a baby, this is sureley the time to have one, as your eggs need to be fertilized sooner rather then later.

      If you have someone to talk to, do so. Otherwise, you should find a clergy man to talk to. They can be helpful, tho they usueally want you to come pray on the weekend. I do not have time for that, but I do like to listen to them. Best of luck and Internet HUGS to you!!!! You will figure it out b/c you have others in the hive with good idea’s too. YAY!!!!

    • Anonymous :

      It sounds like the office morale is a big issue, and that is understable. No advice, but I’ve been there and it is really, really hard. If you are ready to leave my best advice is try to focus on being grateful for what you do have, and try to improve what you can (a little time off, new office decor, more lunches out, delegate, mentor?)

      But if it is time to make a change, it is time. Some easy alternatives might be clerking or applying to be a federal ALJ. Both will pay you a decent wage and will leverage your experience, but may be an improvement in work-life balance and perhaps even autonomy.

      Either way, it will improve. Hang in there!

  5. Pageants? :

    Would you let your preteen/teen daughter enter a pageant? Natural pageants like Miss Outstanding Teen, Miss Teen USA, etc.

    My daughter is into dance and loves performing. She signed up for our local Jr. Miss County pageant and I’m cautiously allowing her to do it, because it’s a chance for her to dance a solo and get a taste of public speaking. (Plus it’s cheap and a couple of her dance friends are doing it, too.) The more I’ve looked into it, it seems like pageants can be a way for young girls to learn how to speak and carry themselves in front of a large audience.

    On the other hand–it’s a beauty pageant! I feel like I’m supposed to be 100% against these things as gross and demeaning. But if you’re a dancer (or a model, musician, TV broadcaster, etc.) physical looks and ability are absolutely part of the job.

    So, if you had a young teen thinking about pursuing one of these careers, would you let her enter a pageant? Have any of you entered a pageant before?

    • No way. No how. If she wants to dance or practice public speaking, there are far more constructive, less sexist ways to do that.

      • Anonymous :


      • +1. No way in he!! would I let my daughter do a pageant.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        This. What kind of dance does she do? Does she take classes at a studio or a ballet school? Most studios/schools at least have recitals, and many have students participate in competitions.

        Source: I have a son who takes ballet at a ballet school.

        • Pageants? :

          She takes ballet/jazz/modern/tap at a very good dance school in our area. She adores ballet. She’s also the “new” kid who started at age 9 instead of 3 like everyone else, so she’s not on the competition team. This is a way for her to dip her toe into the world of solos and competing, without the full commitment of joining her studio team.

          I LOVE that your son is taking ballet. Ballet needs more men!

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Why does she not want to (or you not want her to) join the studio team? Why do you think pageants are somehow better?

            Just because she started late doesn’t mean she can’t complete, although it might take some extra work to catch up. My son didn’t start until he was 8 and now he is 11 and competes.

            (And yes I have done pagaents but not in America.)

          • Pageants? :

            You can only join the studio team in June, it runs all year, and it’s an extra $1,000 (at least). She wasn’t interested last June, but now she thinks she’d like to compete and do solos.

            For $60 entry fee and a $50 second hand dress, she can try a solo at the pageant on her own terms. The girls doing this pageant are the competition kids, and I think she’s kind of trying the group on for size. Does she want to hang out with these girls? Does she want to be a dancer? This pageant is like test driving a new “life” at the dance studio. Once you step up, you don’t step back down. You either stay, or you quit dance altogether.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a child who has a hard time making eye contact and speaking in public. I would 100% hire a pageant coach (assuming a loving and gentle one) for her and encourage pageants just to help her grow in this regard as I think it is a life skill. I feel that acting is much more generally socially acceptable, so I’ve singed her up for some camps.

      I used to watch the Toddlers and Tiaras show and would never do the ones that involve spray tans, fake teeth, etc. But I see where it would benefit her to have a few pageant skills in her arsenal and if it could be fun and not a lifestyle, I’d give it a whirl. [FWIW, she wants to go into a hard science, so it’s like Big Bang Theory at home and I doubt that will change; but what makes for a cute TV show is not so great IRL.]

      • Anonymous :

        Ya know what helped this shy girl? Girl Scout camp and a women’s college. I didn’t need to learn to be pretty and pleasant and inoffensive to find my voice. I needed power and confidence.

        • Anonymous :

          Whatever gets you there. For some of us, the answer is More Glitter.

        • Pageant girls aren’t all pretty and pleasant and inoffensive. Many have (gasp!) actual opinions. Ya’ll need to chill out.

          • Anonymous :

            +1 I’ve known some really impressive women who did pageants.

          • I, too, went to a women’s college. One of the women in my major did pageants – and I was always in awe of her. She stood out for being powerful, confident, articulate, and very polished. Amazed at the closed-mindedness of these comments!

    • “Pageants can be a way for young girls to learn how to speak and carry themselves in front of a large audience”.

      —Uh, so can the debate club, and the drama club! And success in these two activities are not dependent on how your daughter looks in a swimsuit!!!!!!

      • Pageants? :

        Swimsuits have been replaced with “fitness”. Now the girls wear Instagram worthy workout gear, tennis shoes, and do a routine that involves push ups/crunches/jumping jacks on stage.

        • Anonymous :

          Lol are you high? It’s still just a way to judge girls on their bodies. Actual fitness competitions for children involve doing things like playing a sport not showing off their physique to a crowd.

    • Anonymous :

      Nope. Learn public speaking via local club or group for that purpose or via speaking out on causes she cares about or joining drama/theatre class at school.

    • I would allow her to do it. I might not actively encourage it, and I might look for and suggest other “more constructive, less sexist” venues for public speaking and dance. But you said *she* signed up, which means she’s curious about or interested in it, if only because her friends are. I don’t think I would try to prohibit a pre-teen or teenage kid from an activity they were interested in (including football for boys). Instead, I’d try to be supportive and ask open-ended questions about what she thinks of the experience.

      • Agree. The fastest way to ensure that this becomes a Thing, instead of an interest that is likely to pass (like most interests do for most teenagers), is to tell her she can’t do it. She’s also a teenager, even if she’s a young one–she gets some say in what she wants to do, even if you disagree with it.

      • +1 I think you’ll get a lot farther with a pre-teen/teen by letting her make choices and discussing the impacts with her rather than flat out saying no.

      • bluestocking :

        I agree.

        From my personal experience… I grew up in a rural area without a lot of opportunities to do things I wanted like drama and debate and dance. I joined everything I could (and I mean that literally-I joined every club and team at school that interested me and I took as many private lessons as my parents would pay for and drive me to). I also participated in a few pageants, including Jr. Miss. Philosophically, I don’t like pageants that involve bathing suit competitions (none of the ones I was in did), and I don’t like that pageants are gender-segregated and that male versions basically don’t exist on the hobbyist/high school level. Practically, as a teen, pageants were a fun activity on a very limited menu of activities available to me; that won out over philosophical objections. If I had grown up in an area with more opportunities, I imagine that participating in a pageant would have been much less appealing because there would have been too many options for me to participate in everything I wanted to join.

        I would let my daughters participate if they wanted to, though I certainly wouldn’t encourage it.

    • It’s 1 pageant with friends — maybe it becomes an interest for a while and she ends up doing 2 or 5 or 10 – what’s the big deal? As long as she’s not aspiring to be a career model so she can do pageants professionally for the next 10 yrs, what’s the harm? I think women overreact about this stuff.

      That said — don’t fool yourself into thinking – oh this is helping her speaking skills. It’s a pageant – evening gowns, bathing suits, speeches about saving the world. If the long term goal is – she wants to be a TV reporter and needs to learn how to look good and speak; well I guess she’ll learn the looking good part. As for the speaking and analyzing on the fly part — look into debate club; look into an internship at a local TV studio where she can follow an NBC4 junior reporter for a bit and see how they pull a story together when all there is to report on is the 4 inches of snow on the ground etc. If she wants to be a musician – looks into orchestra or marching band; private lessons; or even starting her own garage band – which will force her to interact with adults as she calls up coffee shops and offers to play etc. If she wants to do dance — have her take classes in ballet, tap, jazz etc. to see/learn all the styles etc.

      • This exactly. It’s not a big deal, but don’t fool yourself about what it really is. It’s literally judging women based on looks (and “talent”, but come on. The uglier girls never win anything other than “Miss Personality”) and encouraging the audience to do the same.

        Performing on stage and public speaking are great lifelong skills. She isn’t going to learn those in a pageant. She’s going to learn how to use duct tape as a strapless [email protected] and how to vaseline her teeth. Even at a “natural” one. It doesn’t matter how articulate your argument is, it doesn’t matter how well you shake your butt. It only matters how you LOOK while doing those things.

        • And one day, someone will post on a fashion blog aimed at high powered women abut this fabulous strapless dress they have, but they can’t get a bra that works with it, and your daughter will be able to share some of her duct tape tricks. Yes, I want my daughter to have more valuable skills than that, and to know that she is so much more than her looks. But having fun doing silly things is part of life, too.

        • Have you people ever participated in pageants? For one thing, there are unattractive girls who win ALL THE TIME. They win because they are smart, talented and can speak well.

    • Shopaholic :

      I took speech (they work with you to perform poetry/monologues) classes and was in the debate club in junior high and high school and I feel both helped me learn public speaking and be more comfortable in front of audiences. I have a big mental block about pageants because I do think they’re sexist… I would want my daughter to compete with boys and girls.

      • I liked public speaking as a child, and my mom encouraged me to enter a small forensics tournament in our town. That led to being involved in drama, which led to being involved in high school mock trial and the debate team, which led to me getting a college debate scholarship that paid for my undergrad education. I got so much cool stuff from my activities – speaking experience, learning to have poise and grace under pressure, learning about careers, and money for college! (College debate also led me to meet my husband!) And I never had to put Vaseline on my teeth, tease my hair with Aqua Net or shake my groove thing in a swimsuit. There are so many wonderful things the OP’s daughter can get involved in if she wants “speaking experience.” Debate. Community theatre. Mock trial. Science Olympiad. Model U.N. (do they still do that?)

        However, I agree with the sentiment that the daughter is more likely to decide pageants are her “thing” if OP makes a big deal about it. All I can say is, I knew when my mom approved or disapproved of something without her saying a word. There’s a difference between being supportive and being encouraging. That’s the line I would find if this was my daughter.

    • Anon for this :

      True life story: I signed up for a pageant once. I was 7 years old and some of my friends from school were doing it. So my mom said “sure, whatever”. She didn’t know what a pageant really was and neither did I. I went wearing a plain cotton church dress. My friends were there in full makeup and sequined outfits. It was the most mortifying experience of my life up to that moment.

      That said, if my daughter wanted to do one just for fun, I’d let her. I think the more you freak out and dig in with kids your daughter’s age, the more they want to do something. So I’d probably be chill about it and see how it went. She might do one or a couple and get over it and move on. Or she might have a great time. Who knows. I think its kinda of silly to convince yourself this is okay because she’s a dancer or you want her to be good at public speaking. But that doesn’t mean she shouldn’t be allowed to do one and see how she likes it.

      • Anonymous :

        I went to a small state school in VA. I know two Miss Virginias who are very smart and talented (music, not baton-twirling) and did this with thrifted blingy gowns and lots of Aqua Net. I think they did it as long as the returns were there. One went to law school and I don’t know about the other. I think if you can do drama, you can just wing it on a pageant as a teen or early 20-something. When not in pageant mode, it was sweat pants and t-shirts with words on them and unwashed hair.

    • Anonymous :

      Absolutely no way no how not. She wants to dance? Dance. She wants public speaking? Join the theatre group or debate club.

      • Anonymous :

        Don’t kid yourself re dance. It is totally brutal once you get beyond having fun as an kid hobby. Lots of judgment re bodies. Presentation > all other things. Not sure what you do as an adult once you can’t dance.

        Kind of like pageants but with more disordered eating and bad feet as an adult.

        Theater can be brutal, too. Shakespeare is one thing; Chicago is another.

        My money is on debate club. Or something with a speaking role in church (kids can read lessons in kids church at our church; if you are a teen, you could probably handle King James in the regular service).

        • It’s not necessary to look for a lifelong hobby. Lots of boys play football and wrestle. You can be sure they aren’t doing that at age 40 or even 35 or even 22 – for most of them. And yet that doesn’t mean those aren’t worthwhile activities through high school. If she wants to dance – she can dance; sure she won’t be doing dance competitions at age 28, but she’ll find something else she likes. Same with theater – though with theater I know adults who have continued to do community theater throughout their lives, same with choir.

          If you want something “academic” for speaking skills – debate; or student gov’t (though let’s not kid ourselves – it’s a popularity contest lots of times though not just about looks); or mock trial; or reporting for the school TV station – if there is one – or school newspaper (not the same kind of speaking but you get used to 1-1 interviewing).

        • Agreed re: dance and theater. My BIL and his wife have chosen musical theater for their careers. It’s a brutal, brutal world, with lots of criticism about bodies, hair, and everything else, and with more failure than success for 99.9% of the people doing it. In terms of what you do after you can’t dance–choreograph, direct, teach.

          • Anonymous :

            “In terms of what you do after you can’t dance–choreograph, direct, teach.” But 99% of the people who dance as teenagers go on to do something else with their lives. Most go to college. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that her daughter pursue dance or musical theatre as a profession, just that it’s a less s*xist way to get performing arts experience.

          • I’m the anon poster above. OP specifically asked, “if you had a young teen thinking about pursuing one of these careers, would you let her enter a pageant?” Yes, most people seriously interested in dance don’t become professional dancers, but obviously it’s not out of the question. And Anonymous @ 4:19 said she didn’t know what professional dancers did after they can’t dance.

            Also, both BIL and SIL graduated from 4-year universities. Not sure about SIL, but BIL has a B.A. in musical theater and is in an MFA program for musical theater (so he can teach). Almost all of their theater friends graduated from similar programs.

    • Anonymous :

      I would never suggest it, but if she came to me wanting to do one, I would allow it and provide a modest level of support, like helping her do her hair in the dressing room or whatever. I think kids should try on different hats, even if I think some of them are stupid. I suspect she’s curious and may come out of it with a different opinion of pageants than when she decided to do one. She probably wants to be with her friends.

      • +1 You will have lots of battles about what your teenager can and cannot do with her free time. This is not one I’d pick.

      • Anonymous :

        I think it’s great that she has the cajones to do it. I’m not a child psychologist (or even a parent, LOL) but isn’t part of growing up self-actualization, etc? I say let her explore things.

    • Yes. So long as she (and you) both go in with open eyes and see the pageant system for its flaws and attributes. It’s actually a great way to network. Many of the pageant folks are very well-connected. You can also earn a ton of scholarship money if you participate in the Miss America system.

      • Anonymous :

        “It’s not a beauty pageant, it’s a scholarship program!”

        • Senior Attorney :

          • Anon for this one :

            Please actually go talk to women who participated in the Miss America pageants and earned thousands of dollars in scholarship money. Many of them are lawyers, doctors and pretty successful. They aren’t obnoxious, petty and many of them have a lot of depth.

            I am so surprised at this community today. You would think a bunch of professional women would recognize a fabulous networking opportunity that can also be a lot of fun. And encourage ambition. If a teenager or 20-year old wants to dress up, perform, and sees a pageant for what it is, have at it.

          • Anonymous :

            Because there are plenty of fun, ambitious, fabulous networking opportunities that don’t involve women parading around as s*x objects. I don’t think anyone has criticized the women who perform in pageants or disagreed with the assertion that many of them are smart, well-spoken, successful individuals. It’s the institution of beauty pageants that people are objecting to.

          • “You would think a bunch of professional women would recognize a fabulous networking opportunity that can also be a lot of fun. ”

            I participate in “networking opportunities” all the time. One of the “networking opportunities” I participated in last year landed me my current job. And it didn’t involve me parading around on a stage, being judged for my looks.

            I’m surprised at the number of professional women defending beauty pageants. I kept wondering why pageants wouldn’t just die out; now I know why. At a fundamental level I believe that pageants are about getting reinforcement from strangers that you are pretty, and I guess some people need that. I would rather get reinforcement that I am smart. And if I had a daughter, that’s what I’d want for her as well.

          • Anon at 8:53– pageant networking helped land me my current job as well. My boss is married to a former Miss State, and I met his wife through pageants, and then met him, and started discussing what became my current employment. Networking is networking.

            If you don’t want to be judged for your looks, don’t enter a pageant. But don’t criticize someone who wants to. Shouldn’t it be her choice? I thought it was fun to wear a beautiful gown and present myself looking my best. No one made me do that. I enjoyed it. I liked (and still like) looking pretty. And the unfortunate reality is that we are all judged for our looks on some level every single day, like it or not. Pageants embrace that reality and teach women to work with it, not against it.

            Most concerning is your view that being pretty and being smart are mutually exclusive. You may “rather get enforcement that (you are) smart,” but you can do both. Have you ever seen a Miss America interview? Not just the on-stage question but the full private interview based on current events, politics, community service, platform work? These women are smart, and winning a pageant reinforces that just as much as it reinforces beauty. Women can have both. Most importantly, they should not be shamed by other women for wanting both.

    • Anon for this :

      This probably won’t be a popular post here, so I’m going anon for it. But I competed in pageants (Miss America system– the Outstanding Teen system you referenced is the younger component of the Miss America system). I paid for law school with the scholarship money. I would not have gone to law school without it (to be fair, I could have gone and asked my parents for the tuition or taken loans, but I know I wouldn’t have done either, so without the pageant scholarship, I would not have done it).

      I am a litigator and speak in court very frequently, and I am good at it. Part of the reason I’m good is I had years of practice thinking on my feet about every single current event issue and providing a response that shares my opinion but doesn’t make someone feel bad for disagreeing with me. That’s an interesting tightrope to navigate. I am rarely nervous in court because of the years of experience in front of other audiences. She absolutely can and will learn public speaking and performing on stage through pageants, if she continues in them.

      Pageants are comparable to being a stay at home mom. The construct itself is sexist– parading on stage, being judged by your looks; staying home to serve other people and attend to the needs of your husband and children, etc. BUT, I firmly believe that part of feminism is giving us all the choice to do what we want. Some people want to look their prettiest and be rewarded for it in a competition. Some people want to stay home and take care of their children and husband. It’s our choice. Good for her, not for me.

      I say let her do it. If she doesn’t like it, don’t do another one. Also, I’m in the South, and it has gone a long way as far as networking for me because Miss State is a big deal here. That may not be true where you are. But I think it should be her choice.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        A friend on my dance team in high school competed in pageants. If I remember correctly, she wound up as Miss Teen State. If you didn’t know that she did pageants, you wouldn’t have been able to guess although she was very confident and well-spoken. She used the scholarship money she earned to go to medical school.

        • Anon for today :

          Same for me, and I am anon for this post. Pageants paid for my law school and I have life-long friends as a result of competing. Also made countless business contacts that have helped me in my career. I say go for it.

      • I went to undergrad with a woman who was a “Triple Crown” winner (Miss State in the Miss USA system, Miss State in the Miss America system, and Miss State in the Miss Teen USA system). She went on to Harvard Law and two (TWO) Supreme Court clerkships.

    • Anon for this :

      I would have said absolutely not but my husband’s coworker is a former Miss State and as I got to know her, I realized this was a good decision for her. She got large scholarships out of it, tons of community service experience, met tons of people in the business community all that fun stuff. She’s still shy though and doesn’t love public speaking. She wears full professional makeup anytime she’s going to be at a large public event, like a sports game in her private capacity. In true private, house party style, she looks completely different. It’s amazing how full makeup can change how someone looks.

      That said, it was 100% about judging her on her looks. She did a lot of hard work to be as successful as she was but a big part of that was looking good all the time. I’m not sure which I’d rather have, large student debt or have to look perfect every time I’m in public.

  6. So while I have taken a breather from the news – I’ve been following the travel ban TRO in W.D. Wash. which went up on appeal to the 9th Cir this week. I find myself thinking a lot about the Washington State Solicitor Gen who argued for Wash — he is a 2007 grad. Same age as me and he is in a career where he is getting such limelight (right now). And Judge Friedland of the 9th Cir – a 2000 law grad. Granted both are Supreme Court clerks etc. so I am not comparing. But what the heck am I doing with my life/career when people who are my age or less than 5-10 yrs older are doing SOOOO much better than me. I don’t have their credentials but I don’t have bad credentials either – ivy undergrad + law; district ct clerk; 8ish yrs in biglaw; and now a dead end. I don’t want for what they have (no interest in the AG’s office or judiciary), yet I do want for something better than what I have. And then I keep coming back to – it’s a dead end job that’s paying you as much as a biglaw junior associate so don’t look a gift horse in the mouth bc not all law jobs pay like that. Ever feel like that — like you must have gone wrong somewhere bc others are doing SOO much better?

    • First Year Anon :

      Comparison is the thief of joy.

    • I try really hard to not let myself fall into this pattern of thinking. I think I’m pretty smart and talented but there will *always* be people out there who are smarter and more talented than I am. I am not the best in the world in anything. Plus, some of it is just luck — being in the right place at the right time, having the right connections, etc. It’s a pretty unproductive line of thinking for me; it doesn’t motivate me, it just makes me feel bad.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yeah I also try not to fall into this trap. I spent three years in capital markets that future jobs have given me “no credit” for. It is hard to look at people my same age who didnt do that/ didnt switch and now have higher level titles than I do.

      • Anonymous :

        I didn’t do that and am convinced that I missed the gravy train. Not all unicorns and rainbows?

        • JuniorMinion :

          Intellectually I know that we’ve all got different paths to walk in life, I think what i am basically doing is comparing my life to someone else’s highlight reel.

          Why are you convinced you missed the gravy train? I am in oil and gas right now so the gravy train is stalled somewhere out on the tracks for the time being.

          • OP here — oil/gas is my personal area of fascination though I didn’t pursue it – being NYC/DC based, I thought it’d be risky. So corporate litigation it was . . . . Are you in Tx/Oklahoma etc? Ever see anyone move into that area from a different legal specialty or in a different part of the country?

          • JuniorMinion :

            Texas (Houston) and I did.

            I am in finance (well corp dev now) so can’t speak to how easy it is to move on the legal side, but I was working in a markets based function for a global bank in New York city and ended up assigned to cover energy and power. I got to know the people in the Houston office through working with them and one of them connected me with someone he knew in Houston that was hiring for what I wanted to do.

            From the legal side I imagine it would likely be easiest to do at a firm with a presence in Houston and in a specialty that is transferable (I have personally dealt with ERISA and patent lawyers who seem to do business across a broader spectrum of businesses). Also the deal docs on the oilfield services side are pretty much like any other deal docs as they are basically a subset of industrial services so getting yourself some work on the oilfield services sector might be a way to do a bit of oil and gas work.

            I’ve dealt with some lawyers in DC before on HSR related matters and there are a few one off energy slots in NYC (from the finance side as thats my primary knowledge base), but really Houston is the epicenter of energy. Happy to connect further offline if you like! Not sure what the best way to do that is….

    • Anonymous :

      Better is relative. When we get to the old folks’ home, we’ll be happy if we still have hair and teeth and can drive at night.

    • No because I have realized that having the freedom to have a social life and pursue the interests I like (and be good at them) outside of work is what I want out of life, not a fancy title or public recognition. IME, it’s very hard to have the fancy title/public recognition bit, while also having sufficient time outside of work to actually enjoy life. I no longer define myself by my job. It’s just a job. I would rather volunteer, foster cats, run races, be there to support my friends etc., and have those things define who I am.

      Was that always the case? No. But I was miserable, had no free time, and was holding myself to unrealistic expectations and being very hard on myself for being perfectly good at what I was doing although I wasn’t OMG SUPER STAR YOU’RE GOING TO RUN THE FIRM SOME DAY! It sucked. Sure looked good to my friends who only thought they knew what the size of my paychecks were though.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Ha. Wait until you’re less than 10 years from retirement and the Supreme Court nominees are younger than you are! I have close friends and colleagues who are sitting on federal appeals courts and one in particular whom I totally expect to be nominated for the Supreme Court one day (if there is still a Supreme Court…). Somewhere along the way my career stalled out at a lower level than I expected, and I am watching them from below and cheering them on.

      But I have other wonderful things in my life and at this point I wouldn’t trade my life for theirs. As was noted upthread, comparison is the thief of joy.

    • Anonymous :

      I felt that way a little when friends started becoming partner and then I *really* felt that way when a former intern became partner! I am also in a dead-end job with no advancement (clerking) so it’s not like I had the option and didn’t make it, but I feel like I am stalled out and just counting the years until my career is over.

  7. I’m leaving MegaCorp and am filling out my electronic exit survey. It’s like an internal SurveyMonkey thing – “On a scale of 1 to 5, how do you feel the company did with X?” “What are the primary reasons you’re leaving? Check all that apply.”

    How honest should I be when checking those boxes? It seems like something that will just be aggregated for reports. That said, I work in a teeny tiny division, so of course I don’t want to be too negative.

    • Not honest at all — seriously, I wouldn’t rank anything lower than a 4 even if it’s a big, fat lie.

    • The few times someone on my team has left, I’ve been forwarded their exit interview verbatim. Some of the data is aggregated for some higher-up purpose, sure. But I still get to see what they said, in their own words.

      It’s never changed my opinion of anyone, or my future reference. Usually I was well aware of why someone left and their writing style in the interview was consistent with their work product, so it wasn’t really a bad thing for me to see it verbatim.

    • Anonymous :

      If your exit interview is an online survey–you should show them the same care they show you. Check whatever the “average” or “satisfied” response is on all questions. Easy peasy.

  8. Letter Writer :

    My live-in boyfriend doesn’t keep any mementos of our relationship – or of anything else, as far as I can tell. He tosses holiday and birthday cards the second he reads them, and generally avoids clutter of any kind. I was pretty hurt when I realized the handwritten love letters and drawings I had sent him had ended up in the trash as I love letters and keep almost all of them, but I mostly got over it.

    But we were cleaning out the closet the other week, and he pulled out an envelope full of his exes’ letters, old photos, general sentimental stuff. I’m not threatened by the presence of those kinds of things. He described the items as he pulled them out, and they’re from women he doesn’t keep in touch with any more, and I have my own much more extensive manila envelope. But after we finished cleaning the closet, he put them back instead of tossing them, which seemed contrary to his statements about avoiding clutter.

    There’s two issues here – one, I’m hurt that he isn’t keeping the things I poured love into. We’re not talking reams of paper here, more like three handmade postcards and the occasional short note. I get not keeping ticket stubs and programs or birthday cards, but it seems mean to discard a hand-written love letter from your current SO. Two, I’m hurt that he’s keeping exes’ mementos but not mine. Either you’re anti-clutter or you’re not.

    Can someone who’s also anti-clutter and not sentimental explain this to me? This seems a stupid thing to be upset about, but it’s still bothering me.

    • I inadvertently really hurt my sister’s feelings when she asked where I kept all of the holiday and birthday cards she had ever sent me, and I told her I threw them out. She said she put a lot of thought into choosing the cards and composing what she wrote in them and it hurt her feelings that I didn’t keep them. I was really surprised, as it hadn’t occurred to me that I _should_ or that anyone else _would_ keep a birthday card. I’m just not really that sentimental. I was sorry to have hurt her feelings, but truly had not intended to.

      That said though, I am consistent about it. It’s not like I only keep cards from some subset of people whose thoughts I want to remember. I just don’t keep that kind of stuff period. Or if I do, it’s an accident. The other week I was cleaning out a cabinet and found some old cards that had somehow ended up in there … and I promptly threw them out. I would definitely be hurt in your situation, where your boyfriend seems to be inconsistent in his supposed lack of sentimentality. Did you ask him about it?

      • Letter Writer :

        I asked him about it when I discovered he threw out my cards, which is when he told me he just hated clutter, but that was before I discovered the exes’ letters. I wasn’t sure whether to bring it up or not when we were cleaning out the closet this week.

    • Ultra minimalist here, I only keep letters from my husband (about a shoe box full) I don’t have anything from previous relationships.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m anti-clutter and not big into saving stuff like this and I don’t think you’re wrong to be upset. There’s no excuse for not saving any stuff from you but having a big box of stuff from his exes.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I am throw everything out, to the point I have regretted it, but I wouldn’t throw out anything like that from a current boyfriend. HisMMV of course… this reminds me slightly of the episode of Girls where Lena Dunham found naked ex girlfriend pics on Fran’s phone. Men are just dumb sometimes. Talk to him.

    • amateur hour artist :

      I’m sorry, if my boyfriend threw a drawing I did for him into the trash, I not be pleased. That might even be a deal breaker for me. You are not stupid to feel upset about that. Are you an artist? I am. My drawings are very important to me- my art represents a huge part of who I am and a drawing done for someone with love is a very personal act.

      I’m sentimental as heck, so I can’t answer your question, but just wanted to say don’t discount your feelings.

    • Anonshmanon :

      I think you have a right to ask for the reason behind his decision here. And I would feel hurt, too.

    • Anonymous :

      why don’t you ask him?

    • Anonymous :

      Have you asked him about? Like “Dear, I noticed when we cleaning that you had this envelope of really old correspondence that you kept, but I’ve noticed you don’t save anything anymore. Is there something particular about those letters that has you hanging on to them?” In a curious, but not hurt way.

    • Anonymous :

      I am definitely anti-clutter and not very sentimental over things like that, but I do have a couple of things from ex-boyfriends just because it was a fond time in my life. I don’t feel the need to keep most of what my husband gives me because I feel stable and secure with him and don’t think it will come to a point where I want to remember that time in my life if that makes sense, because I will always have him in my life. It is hard to explain, but for me that is the difference.

      • Letter Writer :

        This is what I told myself, but it’s hard for me to accept because the mementos I keep from my boyfriend just reinforce the warm feelings those things gave me in the first place. I don’t necessarily look back on old mementos from exes, but when I’m feeling down or we’ve had a fight, reading sweet texts he’s sent that I’ve saved brings warm feelings up in full force, and reminds me why we’re together.

        • ALX emily :

          I don’t think you should try to talk yourself out of your feelings, which seem totally valid and common, but if it helps to understand where he may be coming from – I would never in a million years look back at a text or anything like that for those reasons. I’m just not wired that way.

          • Letter Writer :

            Thanks, that’s really helpful. It seems unthinkable to me that you wouldn’t go over texts, etc unless you were trying to avoid thinking about something, so it’s good to have that perspective.

    • ALX emily :

      I am a clutter hating, unsentimental person who doesn’t even get cards/letters from her husband because I am so not into that kind of thing – but I do have a shoebox full of stuff from high school/college. Mainly I have it for the same reason anyone has clutter: it’s easy to recycle stuff right when you get it, but older stuff is kind of out of sight/out of mind and it’s easy to just leave the box sitting around. Plus, yeah, it seems a little more worthwhile to keep the one picture I have of a high school BF at formal than it does to keep all the birthday/holiday cards I would have from my husband over a much longer time.

      • Letter Writer :

        What if your husband hand-made something, intending it to be special, like if he learned wood-working and made you a hand-polished bowl?

        • Anonymous :

          Knowing I’m unsentimental and loathe clutter? That’s not a great gift.

        • I’m very unsentimental, and anti-clutter, and my husband did almost exactly that. However, after nearly twenty years of marriage, he’s learned that he should give me things that have some utility as well, so he made me something for a mutual hobby. I love the thought and effort that went into it, and wouldn’t get rid of it, but I do kinda wish he hadn’t bothered, because… it does feel like clutter to me.

          I definitely would not hang onto it if we split up.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t typically keep things like that, although I do have a very small collection of extra meaningful things from my husband and a few others. The last time I was at my parents’ house though, they had found a box of my stuff for me to go through. I found a ton of stuff from high school that were “keepsakes” related to old boyfriends. Even though I’d never keep the specific items that I had if I received them today, it was a little harder to part with them because they were old.

      This might be a quirk of my personality, but if I keep something around for awhile I’m much more likely to just keep it. If I throw it out right away, I’ll never miss it. I’ve discovered this quirk specifically when it comes to stocking stuffer items, but I think it applies to all items for me. The longer it sticks around, the more attached I become even though it isn’t necessarily something I want.

      FWIW, I did throw out all the old relationship stuff.

    • I have a picture from my first wedding, of my mother helping me into what was once her wedding gown. After my divorce, I kept a few mementos, including that picture. I remarried, and when my new husband and I were cleaning up I found those mementos. I was able to get rid of everything except the picture of me in my mom’s dress. I actually burst into tears while holding it, thinking of letting it go.

      I am very anti-clutter, but every now and then I get hit by some sentimental urge and keep something. My husband is the opposite, and treats everything as sentimental. He told me to keep the picture, that there was no reason we had to erase my first marriage from history and pretend it never happened.

      As a little girl, I always dreamed of wearing my mom’s wedding dress. The picture reminds me of being a little girl playing dress-up with my mom, a lot more than it actually brings back memories of my first wedding or my first husband.

      Talk to your boyfriend. Maybe his mementos don’t mean his ex to him, they mean something else in his life.

      • Anonymous :

        I think a photo of your mom helping you into her old wedding dress is totally different than a letter from your ex though. As you said, it brings back memories of your mom more than memories of your wedding or ex.

    • I want to be anti clutter but I have a few boxes. That being said, unless it’s in an album, ex-boyfriend stuff goes bye bye. I think you have every reason to ask otherwise you will just resent him every time you give him something he throws out.

    • I am very similar to your boyfriend. I hate clutter and usually don’t keep cards/letters for more than a week, and get rid of ticket stubs/programs immediately. BUT I am not always consistent. There have been times in my life that I have regretted being so ruthless and not keeping momentous, so sometimes I will have a pang of sentimentality and keep something out of character. It’s very seldom that I think that particular thing is worth keeping, but more that I get this overwhelming feeling of “oh god, I’ve thrown every moment of my life in the trash so I must make up for it”.

  9. So I have an appointment in an hour for my first ever Botox. It’s to hopefully relax a couple of forehead wrinkles (I’m early 30s so also largely preventative). Any advice? I don’t know why I’m a little freaked out, but I am.

    • Take a couple of advil now if you’re sensitive to pain, but it’s pretty easy overall. Be prepared not to exercise today, sit upright for 4 hours after & make expressions for the first hour so it can settle in the right places.

    • I have this large artery or vein that goes right down the middle of my forehead. You can’t always see it maybe if I am lying down or angry or stressed, etc. Even though I asked in my botox consult about it, she brushed it off. But all I can think is they will get it in my stress vein. Good luck! Hoping to pull the trigger this year after taxes are all paid.

  10. Anonymous :

    Both of the twitter accounts for Rogue POTUS Staffer & Angry WH Staffer have both gone silent over the last 24 hrs, almost to the minute. Sending good thoughts to all the staffers that Bannon isn’t taking it so seriously, but I know he is.

  11. Anonymous :

    Guys, I’m still trying to figure out why the Repubs are rubber stamping every nominee. I won’t paint the nominees with too broad a brush, but some of them are very corrupt individuals.

    Can it be as simple as fearing backlash from 45 – blistering tweets etc.? I can see how they would fear this but they’ve also been elected to be better than this.

    • I don’t think it has anything to do with fearing the 45, honestly. At least one of the R senators from my state has been bought and paid for. She’s more afraid of losing campaign contributions than anything else. After the DeVos debacle, I’m holding onto hope that she ticked off enough people to not get reelected next year.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m liberal, but traditionally presidents get a lot of deference with respect to their cabinets. I think the last nominee that was rejected was in the 1920s. So I think it’s probably more about tradition and maybe fear of backlash from Trump’s base (who are basically their base now too). I doubt they’re worried about Trump himself.

      • Bork was rejected for SCOTUS in the 1980s.

        • Anonymous :

          I meant no *cabinet* nominee has been rejected since the 1920s. SCOTUS is usually more contentious.

      • KS IT Chick :

        John Tower, in 1989, for Secretary of Defense. Per the Wikipedia entry for him, there were concerns about conflicts of interest, alcohol abuse & womanizing.

    • They are rubber stamping every nominee because they agree with them politically. My parents have been lifelong Republicans and people that Trump are putting on the cabinet do not surprise me AT ALL. De Vos? Yeah she’s not got experience with public schools, but tons of Republicans want “school choice”, so they’re happy with her. They aren’t looking at Sessions saying “score! he tried to suppress black voters 30 years ago!”, they are looking at Sessions and saying “he’s tough on crime”. They love big business, finance, banks, wall street, billionaires. Why in the heck wouldn’t they want these folks?

  12. This. Even people like Rubio who talk a good game (like he did in the Tillerson hearing) are bought and paid for. So they’ll make the right noises to make their constituents think they disagree with 45, and then they’ll still vote how they’re supposed to. Not sure what they think – that their constituents will forget? Marco took 100k from Betsy Devos so there was no way he wasn’t voting for her.

    • Anonymous :

      Sadly, their constituents – the ones who would be voting for them, anyway – probably will forget.

  13. Clooney Twins :

    How many of his relationships ended over his oft-stated desire not to have kids? Just not the “right” person until now? I see this happen so much in real life. Like guys who insist they aren’t ready for marriage who are engaged to a new girlfriend within a year.

    I don’t know why I’m writing this. Anyway ,those are some lucky twins— I think being Clooney’s kids probably outweighs the downsides of “old dad.”

    • Anonymous :

      He also said he was never getting married again until he met Amal. I dunno, it makes a lot sense to me. You meet the right person and suddenly you want marriage and kids. I never wanted kids until I met my husband.

    • Yea… I think we might as well start thinking of “I don’t want to be married” or “I don’t want kids” as equivalent to “I don’t want those things with you”.

      Also, if for some reason an article is ever published about me having twins, my name damn well better be in the headline first, before my husband’s.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Heh. I agree with both your points. Although to be fair I googled and it looks like most of the articles have Amal’s name first.

      • I agree with you re “I don’t want to be married.” I do think that “I don’t want kids” is a bit different though. Choosing to have children though involves a massive lifestyle change that both people need to be fully on board with. It’s pretty condescending to tell people who don’t want kids that they effectively just haven’t found the right person yet.

  14. Interesting article following up on the conversation we had yesterday about being politically moderate and wondering what the strategy will be in picking the next democrat presidential candidate. Will we go farther left rather than searching for someone with broader appeal to win back some of the swing votes that went Trump this time?

  15. Calibrachoa :

    Ladies, any suggestions on the best way to pack your suits for moving house? D:


      Or maybe put a bar across your back seat of your car and make a separate trip? They make boxes for hanging stuff too I think.

    • Wardrobe boxes are awesome for packing hanging clothes. You can toss shoes in the bottom. You can buy them at moving supply stores/big box hardware stores.

      • Senior Attorney :


        You can generally borrow them from the movers (if you are using movers) but in my experience it’s well worth it to buy them so you can pack your clothes in advance.

      • Anonymous :

        Pillows too if you have a few of them (wardrobe boxes I mean).

  16. Sloan Sabbith :


  17. I am surpised that no one in the HIVE has commented about Kelly Ann Conway’s statement to the public to go and buy Ivanka’s products. Much as I love Ivanka and her products, I do NOT think it was appropriate for a goverement official such as Kelly Ann Conway to publicly tell the public to patronize Ivanka’s products. I willl ALWAYS buy Ivanka’s products, b/c they are designed for peeople like me, but Kelly Ann is a FEDERAL official, and there is suposed to be a dividing line between the goverment and the commercial interests of Donald’s Empire, including Ivanka’s empire. I think that Jared is OK working for his father in law, b/c he is NOT blood, but Ivanka is blood, and Kelly is endorseing her, under color of govermental influeance. Am I right or what? Dad does NOT think I am right, but I went to law school so maybe those lawyers in the Hive can help me out if I am wrong.

    • Are you Ivanka, Ellen? You’re always talking about Daddy. But you do the Jewish cultural thing, which you could’ve learned from Jared, I guess. Hmm…

  18. To me, I am just fine with Orciani Flap Closure bag. Expensive still but affordable.

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