Frugal Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Soft Pleated Fit and Flare Dress

Fit and Flare Dress: Lark & Ro Pleated Fit and Flare DressOur daily workwear reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices. 

This dress looks a little on the short side, but my guess is that if you’re also on the short side, like me (5’4″), it’ll be just fiiiine. I like the flare details, the high neckline, and the fact that it’s machine washable. It’s just icing on the cake that there are a zillion sizes left in both red and black, it’s super affordable ($24-43, depending on size/and color, down from $79), and eligible for Prime (yay!). Lark & Ro Soft Pleated Fit and Flare Dress

Here’s a plus-size option.

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



  1. DisenchantedinDC :

    Just one-day Prime’d this. I will be so totally pleased if this is THE dress for the Christmas eve party I am going to tomorrow – ignoring the other 8 Amazon-ordered dresses in my apartment waiting to be returned…

    For $25, if it’s a half-decent work dress I’ll be happy.

    • Anonymous :

      Did you see the question (is this appropriate for a funeral) and the answer (yes, it’s conservative). Maybe I’m going to different funerals . . .

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        I’ll see how it fits me, of course, but I’ll go a little shorter on dresses with opaque tights and boots, and a blazer or cardigan – plus my workplace is pretty laid back (wearing lululemon pants and boots with a linen top and sweater today)

        • lawsuited :

          Yep, I’ll be wearing Lululemon pants in the office tomorrow for sure.

      • Wildkitten :

        If I were petite enough I’d totally wear this to a funeral with a cardigan. It has a very conservative neckline.

    • Yay! Fruegel Wednesday! Is this the beginning of a new fruegel trend? Or mabye Kat is hinteing that it will be a LONG weekend? Either way, I am fine with it. YAY!!!!

      I love the short dress, as I am short and have stockey leg’s. I do worry about it rideing up when I sit at my desk, and Frank comeing in and dropping a pencil under my desk so that he can look. FOOEY on Frank. I realy doe NOT know why he is so interested in what color pantie’s I wear. Beside’s he is MARRIED, so he can look at his wife’s underwear. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      I finished the 500 hour challenge early and decided to give all of my bonus to the Salvation Army in NYC. They have peeople working very hard to raise money and I think it is my goal to pay it foward, b/c that is what Dad does for me. If it was NOT for Dad doeing all of this for me — putting me thru law school, buyeing me my coop apartement, negotieating my partnership agreement and handeling ALL of my finances for me, I simply would NOT have EVER been abel to do this on my own. So I figure that all I need now is a HUSBAND to take over all of that from Dad, b/c he is NOT getting any younger and he realy wants to see me married. He keep’s on bringeing up guy’s who wanted to date me who I rejected. Mabye he is right, but the guy’s I brought home that I thought were good Dad did NOT like. I think that David or Noah would have been OK, but NOT Evan, who liked to pick his nose. FOOEY!!

      Mom think’s that I am at the PEAK of my sexueality, so mabye I will be abel to attract a HUSBAND this year, Grandma Leyeh thinks. She gave me some perfume that she guarantees will cause males to want to mate with me. I just want to make sure the right male’s are attracted. I do NOT want the manageing partner’s brother to be that person. FOOEY! All the best to the HIVE for the HOLIDAYS! YAY!!!!

      • Good for you Ellen! You are a good person with a good heart. I hope you find a decent guy for a change. There are so many jerks out there and you deserve a good one!

    • Anonymous :

      Good luck with the one-day shipping! None of my one-day Prime orders have actually been arriving on time because they insist on using USPS, who decides to go home when they feel like it and marks anything left on the truck as “notice left” (despite not leaving notice or even coming to the address).

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        I haven’t had this issue so far this year, but I have had issues with my apartment complex not processing packages correctly. The best one I’ve got so far is when I showed up to pick up a package that I had had overnighted, had been delivered at 1 pm, and at 9 pm they still had to “log it”, wouldn’t let me look for it, and told me “it would be done by midnight” and to “come back, you can’t wait here” (not sure how they were going to enforce me not standing in the lobby of the apartment I lease an apartment in, but okay).

        Not overly optimistic. I have other options, mostly a nice black Tahari sheath I bought recently + some sparkly jewelry. And maybe hit Target for fun tights.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I tried telling Amazon this and begged them to use UPS or Fedex. They said they’d put a note in my account but they keep using USPS. It defeats the purpose of Amazon Prime when I have to go to the post office every Saturday and wait in a huge line to get my packages. I do get enough packages via UPS so it’s not worth it to me to cancel Prime because of it, but it really irks me almost every week.

        • Anonymous :

          You should complain – they will comp you something, even if it’s only an extra month of free Prime.

          • Was it here that someone said that eventually Amazon might boot you as a Prime customer if you do this? I’ve never received free months of Prime but I frequently request a refund for the item price if it didn’t come on time and I had to go to B&M to get it instead (I’d expect them to then recall the package or ask me to return it, but I guess the items are low dollar enough that it’s cheaper for them to just let me keep it when delivered). I’m wondering how close I am to the “naughty” list because I actually expect my packages to be delivered on the day that I paid them to be.

    • Wildkitten :

      I want to like Lark and Ro. I want to buy clothes on Amazon. But this dress is 35 inches long, which would be too short for me to wear clubbing, let alone wear to work!

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        Ugh, boo. Guess we’ll see. And if not, thank god for free returns. Getting my membership’s worth this year.

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        Also, the 35″ is probably on the size 4, right? Not for every size? I hope? …………..

    • Pre-pregnancy I would have been ALL over this dress. With tights, it would be a great work dress in my casual office.

    • I like this dress and am short enough that it would work, but do we think the red is Too Much for the office? I’m in a business casual/business setting but am fairly senior so try to dress the part as much as possible. I’m not sure I want or need another black dress but am trying to figure out how best to tone down the red…

      • Pairing it with a subtle print or a non-black neutral cardigan or blazer could tone down the red.

  2. I have a colleague who for some reason seems to be threatened by me- maybe that’s not it, but I can’t explain his behavior in any other way.

    I am working on a case that he is not on, and he repeatedly likes to tell me how I don’t really have a major role on the file. That is NOT the case at all, I don’t know where he is getting this information from, and it irks me because I try to subtly correct him but I don’t want to seem defensive because who really cares what he thinks?

    I just don’t understand the motivation behind it- maybe it is jealously? He and I also work no a file together and there have been tense moments, usually because he’s being a demanding jerk. I do a lot of work on that but he is more senior and trying to make partner (and in my opinion, failing miserably, considering they just hired a new partner from outside the firm). I am many years his junior- why would you feel threatened by me? Get over yourself!

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you ignore him re: this case? If he’s not on the file why is he even talking to you about it? (This is easier said than done, I recognize.)

      • Well we run into each other in the halls etc (we are a small firm so we all know what everyone’s files are), and usually I try to talk about friendly things to be a nice and civil colleague, but then he randomly keeps mentioning that.

    • If this is happening multiple times, I would call him out. Next time he says this you can respond, “You have mentioned several times that I don’t have a major role on the case. Why do you keep saying that?” I pretty much guarantee he won’t say it again.

      • Don’t intentionally antagonize him. It sounds like you are way junior in terms of position and experience. Ignore him. Don’t engage in any sort of conversation with him – be a stone cold professional. If he says useless bull$hit again, ask “what do you mean by that?” Learning to deal with @$$holes is important at work.

        • Diana Barry :

          +100. Godzilla is a wise monster.

        • That was my thinking all along (these types of comments have been going on for awhile, not just the ‘minor role’ thing). I don’t want to give him any ammunition against me. I’m a junior, he’s a senior, but it’s only about 6 years gap between us.

          “What do you mean?” Is a good response. Thanks!

    • Ignore him. Sounds like he has no control over your career at all, so he’s simply best ignored.

    • Some men can be total douches when they feel threatened by us professional women. That is why you are getting the put down treatment from this guy. In high school, the guys who were self conscious used to put me down because I was good at math and science, and they thought that women should stay in the arts and men should do the heavy lifting. Over time, this syndrome got worse–in college, guys who tried to get me to sleep with them often told everyone that I did, when I didn’t. And in law school, more of the same. Since you are in the working world, it is doubtful the guy wants to sleep with you. He wants to be top dog, meaning the go-to guy for the partners. The worst thing for that is if the partners start going to you. He will be left with nothing–in legal parlance, holding his d***ck. That is why he is doing this. I say to heck with him and be yourself.

      • Nobody ever tried sleeping with me because I was good at math and science. Good for you Hannah!

    • Tina Fey’s stance on jerks is ignore them and go around. I like that.

  3. mid to higher rise curvy cords :


    I need some cords with a mid-to higher rise that will fit my hips (I need the higher rise b/c the waists are so big they fall down a bit — something like mom jeans would work better).

    I cannot decide if I want boot cut or skinny, but would settle for either if they fit. NYDJ? Kut from the Kloth? Some stretch would be good.

    I have some Old Navy cords and they are OK (great for the $), but the rise isn’t quite high enough (or the waist is a little big?). They work in the hip department though (and gap, which used to have a lot of curvy cuts, didn’t work — major camel toe).


    • Anonymous :

      ll bean?

      • mid to higher rise curvy cords :

        I have nothing but love for my norwegian sweater , but I have a bit too much junk in the trunk to wear bottoms from there. And even Lands End isn’t quite generous in the rear these days. I want to step it up from my weekend uniform of leggings into actual pants.

        • Anonymous :

          For a second I thought you were using “norwegian sweater” as a euphemism. LOL!

    • Anonattorney :

      NYDJ! Skinny

      • Anonattorney :

        The “Samantha” cut is a nice straight slim cut – not a full skinny but also not quite bootcut. Seriously, NYDJ are so flattering and comfortable.

        • No Samantha cords :(

          • Anonattorney :

            If you just want a non-jean look, the colored jeans are great. They aren’t cords, but they are still really soft and comfy. They come in Samantha. I’m seriously pushing these, because they are the BEST JEANS I’VE EVER OWNED. And I think I have a similar need as you — more accommodating in the hips, but a smaller waist, and the high rise is really really nice.

          • Anonattorney :

            Last post, I promise – Nordstrom is having a major sale on NYDJ right now. Up to 50% on some styles.

    • Anthropologie makes a great cord leggings (Pilcro) that are super comfortable but look like pants (pockets/zip fly). Mid to high rise and several colors. I buy them every year (they tend to wear out after a year or two, but I keep coming back because they are otherwise awesome)

    • I think with high-rise pants, your best look in the legs is bootcut, flare, or straight leg (not tapered as skinnies are).

      But, as I have said many times before, I am a die-hard flares fan. :) I also love the high-waisted look! Will be following this thread to see others’ suggestions.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’m similarly shaped to you and have had good luck with the Loft Modern Boot cut corduroys.

      • anon a mouse :

        Sorry – replied too soon – meant to say the Curvy boot cut. They also come in straight leg.

      • DC wonkette :

        Second Loft. They have had a skinny version in past years, too. You definitely need a belt (similar build to you), but they do come up higher.

    • I have these from Talbots and love them. Not usually a Talbots lover but they were at Marshalls and are super soft, well constructed and not frumpy

      • I haven’t tried these specific pants, but depending on your size I just wanted to point out that Talbot’s does plus sizes down to 12W (and 12WP). For me, the only answer to pants that accommodate JITT is to go to a “W” version, which is usually cut to accommodate a larger hip/backside to smaller waist.

        Go piggyback off this – both my mother and MIL typically wear size 12P in pants, but that is totally to accommodate hips and backside – they wind up with a big gap in the waistband, and I think 12WP would be too big in the waist and hips (although I’m going to suggest trying). And suggestions for brands that do a good curvy petite pant, in a more relaxed fit (straight or trouser cut, not skinny?). Or even a non-petite brand good for accommodating hips and butts that aren’t meant to be skin tight – I think hemming is probably easier than taking in waists.

    • I think Betabrand has cords. I assume they will fit like yoga pants.

      • Anonymous :

        I tried Jag Jeans (the pull ons) and they reminded me of maternity pants. Do the Betabrand pants have a fly?

    • NYDJ Barbara bootcuts are good. Also, Talbots curvy with bootcut.

    • Late to posting, but I am shaped similarly, and I love my J. Jill bootcut cords from last year. Higher rise and small enough waist while still fitting my hips/thighs.

  4. Ideal Stroller? :

    My sister is having by #2 and my parents and I want to get her a double stroller. She says she would really like one, but has no idea which one (though a single that converts to double is best) and does not have time to look into but would really appreciate if we could find one for her. We are going to give it her as a combined Christmas/baby gift, so budget is pretty high.

    If cost were not a factor, what would be your ideal double stroller?

    Her older son will be 2.5 when his brother arrives and she lives in the suburbs. Not sure if these are a factor in stroller purchases but they may be.

    • mid to higher rise curvy cords :

      Is she at all active (not a runner so much as does she walk a lot of places from her house with the children or go to zoos, etc)?

      I had the Double Bob (the basic one, with the pivoting wheels, not the mainly-for-runners) and it was life changing, especially with two children. I live in a very walkable suburban neighborhood (like Arlington VA or Hoboken) and used it so much in the stroller years. It was better than any other stroller (although a tad hard to fling into the car — if she will be a car-stroller-taker, the Citi Mini may be eaiser).

      If you get the double-bob, get one from a bike store local to her so they can assemble and get the baby seat adapter and the console thing for holding items near the handle.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        no idea why my response is in moderation, but I agree the citi mini is easier for cars. We also found it easier for subway and for carrying upstairs to our apartment (and storing it in our relatively small house).
        we use it tons on trails and like, but it definitely doesn’t have the bigger wheels the Bob has. Though in a crowded area (we are in the heart of the city), I prefer the smaller wheels.

      • mid to higher rise curvy cords :

        I will say that the Double Bob is awesome if you’re a big walker over uneven sidewalks / street crossings, parks, etc. It is very easy to go for miles in it (and I’ve run some 5Ks in it). It fits through a standard door for going into shops, bathrooms, etc.

        One thing I didn’t like is the ones where the second passenger is under the other child and has an obstructed view. Mine are 18 months apart and the older child would not have liked that. I moved from Single Bob + baby carrier to Double Bob when the baby was about 3 months old. It is truly the SUV of strollers and goes off-road / off-sidewalk really well.

        • We have a single BOB that I looooove (and it works as a double in a pinch — someone can ride on the front while another kid is in the actual seat) but didn’t get the double because I found the canopy/head clearance to be weirdly short. I also read in some reviews that other people had this problem, too.

          I posted over on C-Moms, but I adore our Bumbleride Indie Twin. Steers like a dream, reclines fully (so a teeny tiny baby can ride in it), and is a narrow side-by-side so it fits through doors. Plus the basket is enormous — way bigger than my BOB! We got ours secondhand on Craigslist for a song and I’m confident I’ll be able to resell it for close to what we paid.

    • Britax B-Ready! It works as a single and a double, in a variety of configurations, while maintaining a much smaller profile than many other double strollers. It has a variety of attachments, so you can pop the baby car seat in, or use two stroller seats, or a bassinet. The kids can face each other or both can look forward. It even has an attachment to turn it into a sit and stand stroller, as the older child moves past the stroller stage!

      I’ve run with it, although it’s not technically a jogging stroller.

    • I have the City Mini side-by-side double for my twins, which I like, but if I had kids of different ages, I’d probably want the Maclaren. My friends who have it love it and it is more versatile. It won’t work while the new baby is tiny, but most of my friends used the baby carriers and a single stroller until the youngest was secure in an umbrella stroller.

      • I have 2 kids. I researched the heck out of double strollers, ruled out all the side-by-side strollers (e.g., CityMini) because they don’t fit through some doorways and can’t squeeze in between cars in a parking lot. (They seem great for taking to the park, though.) I finally settled on the CitiSelect, a high-end, super-configurable tandem stroller. As much as I wanted to love it, I had to admit that it was way to heavy for me. I could barely turn it with the babies loaded it, especially on a slope. Even without the babies, it was very heavy to lift into the trunk of a car, taking both hands plus a good solid stance with the legs. There was no way that was happening if I was holding an infant in 1 arm. I sold the CitiSelect and bought a very simple, much less expensive Graco sit-and-stand, there are a few models to choose from. I LOVE IT. BabyTrend makes sit-and-stand strollers, too.

        • I was happy with our baby trend sit-n-stand double stroller. I did not have the money for an expensive one though, so I can’t compare the two.

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      If budget is truly not an option, there are two great strollers on the market on the “higher” end that are not jogging strollers, but are great all-round strollers. One is the Uppa Baby (vista, i think) and the other is the Baby Jogger Citi Select. Both have amazing options with convertibility and go to single strollers and have riding boards (extra cost) for older toddlers, etc. They both fold up really small (for a double) and easily and are fairly light. So, they are excellent choices if you are a city dweller.

      I really, really wanted the Uppa Baby, but I found a two year old Citi Select at a consignment sale for under 400 bucks (a STEAL). So, I bought that one and am pretty happy with it.

    • Ask your sister what she might do with a stroller now. She may figure out stroller + 2 kids over the first 3-6 months.

      For now, does she put the stroller in cars? Use to get into daycare? Neighborhood walking? Trails? Grocery store / mall? Does she go up and down stairs? Does she want a sit and stand? A sit and sit? She may just want a cheapy thing for the car and another stroller for home or something like the Citi Mini (a nice stroller that is more versatile than the cheapy collapsable ones) a lot of people used it to get kids + kid stuff into day care when you are dropping off in different rooms).

    • Legally Brunette :

      Just a word of warning on double strollers – I have the Uppa Baby double stroller and we pretty much never use it. It’s a great stroller but the reality is when you live in the burbs and weather is cold and you have a newborn you just aren’t walking that much outside. And then we really wanted to keep our baby on a good nap schedule, so that meant DH or I would trade off staying at home with the baby during naps while the other took out our 2.5 year old. And many double strollers have weight limitations — at least for the Uppa, you can’t use the bigger seat once your toddler is something like 35 pounds. I think other double strollers have similar weight restrictions. A 2.5 year old is probably already close to that weight limit.

      I was warned by friends that the utility of a double stroller is limited for these reasons, but I bought one anyway. In retrospect, I would have just put the baby in a carrier and used in a single stroller, OR bought a really inexpensive/used double stroller so that if I didn’t use it much it wasn’t a big loss cost-wise.

      • This is where the Bob is awesome. I used it for about 3 solid years at least 2x a day every weekend day and day we were home. I have giant children and used it until their combined weights + stroller weight (it is heavy, but in a way that it won’t flip over if you hang a ton of junk on it) were well > 100 pounds. When the older child was finally insisting on walking (which I want: let’s tire you out!), I used it for the younger one + mom stuff / shopping basket in stores.

        If this sounds like your sister’s life, it may work for her (or citi mini if she is more likely to be putting it in a car a lot). It really freed me to get out in the world with my children and I am grateful. It made my life so much better.

        • Legally Brunette :

          That’s really good to know about the Bob, thanks. We may be inclined to sell our Uppa Baby for a Bob down the road, particularly if the weight limitations are so high.

          Also, another point: I chose the Uppa Baby because it’s not side by side. We live in an area with narrow sidewalks/tight spaces. However, now that my kids are a little older, I think the younger one would be very unhappy behind my older one and without a good view. For this season side by side may make more sense (although some of those doubles are huge and may not fit certain doors).

          • Giant kids here and friends with giant kids recommended the bob to us. I cannot recall the weight of the double-bob itself, but I had over 100 pounds of kids alone in it. There IS a weight limit (maybe more important if you are running with it up and down hills). When we were almost at that limit, my children were not at the stoller age anymore and could listen in stores (for those who use strollers as a kid containment device) we found that we weren’t using the strollers anymore.

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I will note that the redesigned Uppa Baby now has 40 pound weight limit in each seat, as does the citi select.

        but i agree the double is not as worth the money if you live in a car-centric area.

      • I agree. My first 2 boys are 2y 4m apart. We didn’t have a double stroller even living in a small town where we walked a lot. When #2 was tiny I wore him & #1 rode. By the time #2 was too big to wear #1 was big enough to walk and if we ever went anywhere with a ton of walking I wasn’t alone and #1 rode in the umbrella stroller & #2 rode in the big stroller. I always thought double strollers were so huge. I wouldn’t have minded a sit & stand stroller, though.

        • Spirograph :

          This exactly. Several friends warned me that they never use their double strollers, so I never bought one. My kids are 20 months apart. The younger is a year old, and I still put her in a carrier and have the older kid in the stroller for neighborhood walks. I almost never take our big stroller with us shopping or anywhere else that requires a car ride. Baby goes in the carrier, 2.5 year old walks. For trips that will involve a lot of walking, 2 adults, big stroller, umbrella stroller for when the older kid gets tired.

          I occasionally wished for a sit and stand stroller (mostly in August when I was just so hot with the baby in a carrier), but if I had to do it over, I still wouldn’t buy a double.

          • Yep. I don’t think there’s actually a good double stroller out there. We have twins so we have had to have them. We had a double snap-n-go when they were tiny and now we have a City Mini GT and a Delta umbrella. I hate them all. Actually, the snap-n-go was fine, but it only lasted 7 months and the other two, ugh. The umbrella stroller is fine for short trips but it’s still awkward to get through doorways. The City Mini is just so not mini in double size (I’m always so shocked when I see the single ones — so little and manageable!). It’s heavy enough that it requires real effort for me to carry it up the front steps to our townhouse and I’m not a small or weak person. Our au pair, who’s probably about 98lbs and about 5 ft tall, literally cannot carry it. It’s a bit of a thing to heft it into the back of our car, and the thing, for all its size, has almost no cargo space underneath! Double strollers are just not that great.

          • Anonymous :

            I had my two children to myself most weekends and used to work a flex schedule when I had them by myself one week a month, so I had to have something where I could push both in one stroller. If you always have another parent / adult, that is a big help. I wasn’t so good with the front carrier (giant baby (was in 18 month clothes @ six months) + potty training older child and had to left her to go potty / wash hands + I seemed to have a tiny / nervous bladder postpartum), so I really liked the double stroller.

            But I live in a house and had a shed / minivan. Apartment living would have been different.

  5. newly employed lawyer! :

    I am so excited I had to tell someone. Both of my brothers and my SIL have all been laid off in the past 3 weeks so I don’t want to say anything to my family about my job over the holidays because I would feel awkward. My parents are notoriously bad at keeping secrets as are my grandparents, so I’m going to wait until the new year.

    This is my first job out of law school and it has been really tough finding something close to home where I wanted to be. It’s in house at a non profit, $50,000 a year and 2 weeks of vacation. I’m really excited because it’s a cause that is close to my heart.

    Thanks for letting me “get it out of my system”. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Congratulations!! That’s awesome!

    • Anonymous :


    • Two Cents :

      Congratulations, that’s wonderful news!! Very happy for you.

    • Congrats!!!

    • Go, you!

    • Congratulations! That’s something to be really proud of! The first job is the hardest one to get.
      Sorry about your brothers and SIL, I hope things turn around for them in the new year.

    • Congrats! You should tell them – they will be happy for you and I’d be annoyed if my sibling kept a good secret from me for fear that I’d be anything but happy for them. How is it possible that 3 relatives were laidoff in the same short time period? Did they a work for the same employer? What industry?

    • Congrats Congrats Congrats! I am in a similar “I just made it into 6 figures” (by like 2 dollars but still) boat and my bro just got fired, my dad might be laid off on 1/4/16 and my sister is moving across the country in January. My bf def makes less than me. My roommate works at the same company so YOU GUYS ARE ALL I GOT! It does feel better actually….

    • newly employed lawyer :

      Thank you all! It took me a long time to find this job, I watched friends and classmates get hired left, right and center. I knew I wanted to do non profit or advocacy type work and that biglaw and government wasn’t for me.

      I will tell my family but not until next week. I know they’ll be happy for me but I’ll still feel awkward given my brothers and sister in law. They all worked in manufacturing. Times are still tough in that sector.

  6. Anonymous :

    Im at the office and I am wearing leggings, and I have no f*cks to give about it.

    • +1 – I’m in jeans and apparently the only person who didn’t dress up but I don’t care. I’m just trying to get out of here…

      I was tempted to wear leggings this morning but figured that might be pushing it… I’m so jealous now.

    • Add me to camp jealous. I bought a super cute tunic at Target yesterday that I plan to wear over navy leggings, but was too chicken to wear today to work. I am in jeans, tank top, and a long cardigan though – it could be worse!

    • I’m with you. I am wearing the starfish LE pants, a top that barely matches, and shoes that don’t match at all.

    • Wildkitten :

      I tried to wear legging to work today and could not get myself out of the house like that. Now my goal is to wear leggings tomorrow (in protest of being open on Xmas Eve).

    • DisenchantedinDC :

      Yep, I’m on this boat, and so is my coworker. Solidarity. It’s also basically our last day before the holidays (she’ll be out; I’ll work 2 hours tomorrow)

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        I will join you (virtually) tomorrow in the of for half a day and fully intend to wear leggings and a large sweater (essentially a glorified sweatshirt)

    • Suzistockbroker :


      I am in my fanciest suit. Big client meeting this afternoon.

    • Anonattorney :

      Jeal. I have a deposition today so had to suit up.

    • Me too! Tunic-style sweater over it and black boots. Nobody other than my Associate is in the office today (hell the lights are even off in half the building), and I got in at 7am and will likely be working tomorrow too.

    • Jeans here! We’re done at noon today and I’m the most senior management here so I don’t care. Most of my team dressed up, though. Which means not wearing jeans because we work in construction in the industrial part of town so people rarely really dress up.

  7. Help! I need honeymoon suggestions. We’d like to go somewhere with a beach but also has other attractions, for about 7 days for $7000 or less. Thailand, Mexico, the Bahamas, DR, and Belize are out, simply because one or both of us have been there before. Any ideas?

    • TravelAnon :

      What time of year? Turkey and Croatia both have spectacular beaches and lower price points.

      • Timing is flexible. The wedding is in May but we are willing to take the honeymoon anytime within the following 8-10 months.

    • I’m assuming you’d prefer relatively shorter flights for a 7-day trip:

      Costa Rica
      St. Martin (French side, if you’d like really yummy food with your beaching)
      Hawaii (if you’re West Coast already)
      Vieques, PR (less ‘other attractions’ but the beaches themselves are fun to find, making the drives an activity in and of themselves)

    • Bermuda

    • Greek Isles or Croatia

    • Malta, Portugal

      • Malta is way more expensive than her budget. It’s become the favorite destination of Europe’s ultra wealthy (to the detriment of locals)

        • False. There’s tons of hotel options in Malta. You don’t need to be a billionaire to go. My only complaint was too many Brits.

          • I’m sorry I’m misinformed on my home country…

          • I mean, spending 30 seconds looking into reveals that seemingly all of middle class Brits go annually. There are options.

        • I’d be very surprised if you couldn’t do Malta on $1000/day. That’s a pretty generous budget and I can’t think of too many places you can’t visit with that budget, especially if your travel dates are totally flexible and you can take advantage of off-season deals and airfare sales. I’m sure prices in Malta go way down in September when the summer crowds are gone.

          • Wildkitten :

            I assume $7000 also includes airfare, not $1000/day to spend once you land.

          • I understand that. I still think it’s doable. Flights to Europe can regularly be had for ~$1000/person, especially if you can avoid summer. Even assuming Malta is more expensive and runs $1500/person just to get there, it still leaves more than $500/day for hotel, food and inter-country travel. That seems like more than enough to me unless you want to stay in luxury hotels, which the OP didn’t indicate was a priority.

    • We did Greece on that budget (our trip was actually more like 10-11 days and probably right around that cost). It was incredible and I try to convince all my friends to honeymoon there.

      Other awesome honeymoon spots that are totally doable on that budget: Hawaii (the Big Island especially probably meets the criteria of “beaches but also other attractions” better than anywhere else), France (Paris, the riviera for beaches, and the Loire Valley), St. Lucia, and Costa Rica. I love Bora Bora but that is not so much on the non-beach stuff (although the beaches are incredible!) and it would be stretching the budget (although I think it is doable if you get a good deal on flights and accept that you won’t be staying at the fanciest hotels). Happy honeymoonin’!

    • Has anyone ever gone to Monaco? I am having a dream of going there, but that’s based on Grace Kelly movies (so I think I would need a new wardrobe of elegant yet casual clothes and matching shoes and maybe an MZ Wallace bag) and may be 100% not realistic.

      • I went as a day trip from the French Riviera. It was beautiful but didn’t seem super glamorous to me, but I didn’t do any “fancy” stuff like designer shopping and I didn’t stay in any luxury hotels. I was also underage so I couldn’t even go in the casino. I’m sure if you’re staying in one of the famous hotels it’s much ritzier. (The MZ Wallace also doesn’t scream “Grace Kelly” to me, I think it’s kind of a “mom bag.”)

        • I agree on the bag. I think it would be a fancy tourist bag for me (maybe Le Pliage is better for this) and way nicer than what I tend to bring on trips (my work bags always look too serious or big) and would be nice and lightweight. But I am already punching above my weight class even dreaming of this. :)

      • If you aren’t spending a fortune gambling it’s pretty useless and not worth more than a day trip from the French Riveira. On your budget there are lots of options in the South of France if you don’t need ultimate luxury and the train to Monacco for the day is easy.

      • DC wonkette :

        I spent three days there on a girls’ trip and had a blast. Recommend staying at the Fairmont in Monte Carlo — it has a roof deck pool and a casino in-house. We spent very little money going out to eat, got free drinks while playing blackjack, and made it an affordable trip. It is worth splurging on the helo ride one way from the airport to Monte Carlo. The beach is pretty rocky nearby but still very pretty. It’s lovely to admire the beautiful yachts from a far :-). We did go into the super fancy casino, and I found it depressing to see people throw away my entire student loan debt on one roll of the dice. It was also a much more serious atmosphere.

    • Vietnam! There are pretty beachy resorts just outside of Hoi An, and the old town is so so romantic. (Also arguably the best bahn mi anywhere is there.)

  8. Anon for this :

    I would love some advice on this situation. I have a very close friend – the number one person I would call if I were in trouble, who I know would always be there for me, and I try to be the same for him. My parents love him and he’s like family (a very long time ago we dated, but we have been much better as friends, for 5+ years). He’s a solid, kind, dependable friend. He’s had a couple of very difficult years (a bitter custody battle, a life threatening accident (not drinking related), a couple of failed relationships).

    He goes out on town and sometimes drinks himself into oblivion, and I know sometimes he drives home. (50 minutes outside of town on snowy, icy roads.) I have been out with him and see how he drinks (he drinks with a purpose – it’s not social drinking). I’ve had to hide his car keys and had bitter fights with him when he wants to drive home and wants me to give his car keys back. He stays in my guest room those times, instead of driving home, but I know if I didn’t stop him he would get in the car because he’s “totally fine” (said with a slur).

    Last night he texted me late saying he was drunk at a bar and asking if he could stay. I said of course. He said he was on his way over, that he was really drunk and didn’t know where he was. When he didn’t show up, I started getting worried, and started texting and calling him. At one point I almost put on clothes and went out in the winter night to look for him. An hour went by and I considered calling the police, thinking that he was either driving or in a snowbank somewhere. When he finally picked up he made some lame jokes, told me he had no idea where he was, and that he had run into a friend but would be over later, but he probably was “fine” to drive. I again got him to promise me not to drive, and I went to bed, but woke up several times wondering where he was. He never showed up, but responded “yeah” to my “are you alive?” text this morning. He also said he didn’t drive.

    Part of me wants to tell him I can’t be his friend until he gets his drinking under control. But I’m also worried this is going to send him in a downward spiral where he could end up seriously hurt. I can’t be friends with him if he drinks himself into a stupor and then drives, putting not just his own life at risk but that of others – I’ve tried to talk to him about this so many times, since he has a son, I tell him someone else’s son is out there out the road and he might kill him with his drunken driving. This morning I’m so angry with him, after a night of fretful worrying, that I’m almost at the point of telling him to sort out his drinking before we can be friends again.

    What do I do?

    • You’re going to feel awful when he kills himself and/or someone else in a wreck. Just cut him off now for his sake and the rest of us who drive / walk on sidewalks / want to live.

      I think that drunk driving is wrong, but I think that this sort of really stinking drunk drunk driving is what drives all of the stats. His luck will eventually run out.

      • I think it’s important to realize that the OP cutting him off may have no impact on “the rest of us who drive/walk on sidewalks/want to live”. Regardless of what the OP does, he may still drink and drive, and it’s unfair to the OP to suggest that she has control over that.

    • My cousin was killed by a repeat drunk driver on a street I drive on all the time.

      I am sorry that your friend has a son and is otherwise a good guy. Getting locked up for drunk driving (not a crime in many places, but often leads to at least some initial jail time and / or loss of license) will hurt him initially but may help him in the long run. Maybe the next time you think he’s going to drive, you call the police and give him his car type and license plate and the bar he’s at. That will be a lot better for him in the long run than if he hits someone or hurts himself. No one else will probably see it that way.

      • Anon for this :

        I have actually been thinking of doing this (calling the cops when I know he’s driving drunk). He’s never had a DUI, but getting one might be what saves him (and someone else’s life). I can’t control what he does but getting a DUI might.

        I’m so sorry to hear about your cousin. My friend was hit by a drunk driver a few weeks ago – he’s injured but is going to be OK. It just makes me sick to see my other friend put other people at risk like this.

        • anon for this :

          I like this idea a lot. Whether it changes his behavior depends on how close he is to hitting bottom.

          My sister drove drunk all the time. I begged, I pleaded, I talked to her friends to try to help — but I was in a different city so I couldn’t actually be there to take away her keys. One night she wrapped her car around a street light and landed in jail with a DUI. The day before Thanksgiving. We could have bailed her out so she could make family dinner but decided to let her sit out the 72 hours in jail. I was so thankful that she didn’t seriously hurt herself or anyone else but royally pissed that it came to this.

          That was 10 years ago, and she totally changed her life since then. For a long time she would still drink, but lost her license with the DUI and so she didn’t drive. In the past few years she grew up a little more, realized that she wanted the freedom of driving more than she wanted to drink. I still worry about a relapse down the road, but she has a much better support network now and overall has really turned her life around.

        • And don’t worry about it ruining his life. Many jurisdictions will take into account his job and family and give a first time offender something like a big fine and “weekend jail” which is a huge nuisance but doesn’t mean you lose your job and kids.

      • I like this idea a lot. It also pi$$es me off that bars have parking lots. WHY. WHY DO BARS HAVE PARKING LOTS. Bars should run shuttles, really.

        Also, maybe attend a few Al Anon meetings?

        If I were you, I would talk to him at a time when he’s not drunk and in a good and receptive mood. “Friend, I love you but I can’t see you like this anymore. Goodbye.” Explain how worried you were, etc.

        I get that people are flawed but to me, behavior like this is a dealbreaker. You need to figure out what yours are and stick to them.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I completely agree with this. OP, I have a former BFF who’s similar (also like family to me). She lives a couple of hours away, but has gotten one DUI (but because she lives in Wisconsin, it’s a slap on the wrist). I would call the police on her if I were witness to it. I love her, but she has a drinking problem and I refuse to enable it in any way. Sadly, the old adage remains true- they have to want to change. You can only try to keep others safe.

      • As a former defense attorney who primarily represented DUI clients, a DUI probably isn’t going to stop this guy. A first offense DUI stops the average person who made a bad decision from drinking and driving again. It doesn’t stop the problem drinkers. Every single one of my second/third/fourth + offense clients were people like your friend. I cannot think of a single multiple-DUI client I represented that didn’t have a serious drinking problem.

        • This. I had a drinking problem, got a DUI, and kept on drinking and driving. I didn’t stop until I worked on my mental health issues and stopped drinking heavily.

          • Coach Laura :

            OP with DUI friend – what about an intervention? I have no experience and have never done one but I know that sometimes they work.

    • The guy is a drunk. Even tho he’s a lovable drunk, he is a drunk nonetheless. You must tell him, firmly, that you will cut him off, cold turkey, if he keeps drinking, then do it. You do not want your own sanity sacrificed for a guy that can’t stop drinking. Given the amount of love you have for him, the only other avenue you can hold out for him is to say that you will date him (and even marry him) if he goes dry. Then see if he does it. You could be the best thing that happened to him (and visa versa), considering that you do not have anything else going on.

      • What, bribe him with sex? Please tell me this is Ellen’s cousin.

      • Sorry, but she’s supposed to offer to marry him to get him to stop drinking? Her platonic friend? This is the most bizarre advice ever!

        • I started to make much the same reply but then realized that Hannah is simply an Ellen with better grammar and spelling. (See her other comment above.) Ignore.

          • Actually, I guess I did reply to the troll. :/ I had thought my comment was eaten and realized Hannah is not be taken seriously.

        • Don’t feed the troll.

      • Oh good lord, I’m glad this is a troll and that the only solution isn’t for me to marry him! (I really don’t want to marry him.)

    • it sounds like you have to decide whether or not you want to be a friend to help him figure out the problem and find the solution, or it hurts too much to be involved, and he just needs to come back when he’s better.

      Both are hard. You’ll know the right answer.

    • If he has a drinking problem, and it sounds like he does, ultimatums from you won’t work. It’s unlikely that he’ll change his drinking habits in order to remain friends with you. It’s more likely that he’ll hide his drinking habits from you, and not call you to stay at your place rather than driving home, but it doesn’t sounds like that’s the outcome you’re after. If you really would prefer to have nothing to do with him because it’s making you worry/disrupting your life, it’s your prerogative to step back from your friendship, but I don’t think it will have the impact that you’re expecting.

      Anecdotally, a friend of mine had a serious drinking problem for 3 years or so. I, and several other friends, expressed our concern and disapproval , but continued being friends with him. The drinking was a symptom of bigger issues he was dealing with, which have now resolved and the drinking has resolved along with that. So, I’m glad I didn’t cut him out of my life, but YMMV.

      • Yes, very good point that he will stop asking to stay at my place. I would prefer him to stay at my place any time a million times more than having him drive the long, scary road home and putting himself and others in danger. I don’t think he has anyone else in town he can call on in a similar way for a last minute place to stay (when drunk).

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I would try to talk to him and if he continues to drink and drive, cut him off. If he ever really needed you I’m sure you would be there for him, but as far as friendly dinners and hanging out, nope. If enough of his friends cut him off maybe he will realize how dangerous it is and hopefully think twice. As far as DUI/DWI, that’s the least of his worries.

    • Wildkitten :

      Anecdata: One of my best friends got in a DUI car crash with some of my other friends twelve years ago. The driver ended up going to jail very briefly (like 6 months?) and emerged an outstanding member of society. He still drinks, sometimes a lot, but *never* drinks and drives, is engaged, has a great job, is a great person. He never would’ve stopped driving on his own, or with a conversation, and he’s lucky that nobody ended up seriously hurt in the car crash, but it really took hitting a low rock to get his sh*t together.

      I don’t know what to do in this situation, but sometimes going to jail isn’t the worst thing for a person.

      • I have a neighbor like this. He is Mr. Cab now (and still Mr. Party), but I hate how many people just wing it. When he goes out, he leaves the car at home (so many people say they’ll call home and then when they realize it’s a pain to retrieve the next day, are all “I think I’m OK to drive”).

    • “I can’t be your friebd until you get your drinking under control. You’re going to wind up killing yourself or someone [email protected]

    • BeenThatGuy :

      He has a problem. But so do you if you continue to enable him. Immediately read the book Co-Dependent No More. I think you need to better understand the mind of an addict. And also your role here. Good luck and I pray we aren’t on the same roads as this guy.

    • In addition to the comments above… and just to help in the short term..
      Are you in a place where Uber or Lyft is available? Maybe download the app to his phone, get in the habit of Ubering to the bar and home.
      could a DUI potentially impact his ability to drive his son around?

      • Wildkitten :

        Could you work out a deal where he ubers to your guest room? A 10 minute uber ride to your guest room might be convenient enough to convince him to do that instead of driving home. (I can’t imagine someone who is irrational enough to drive drunk being convinced to take a 50 minute uber ride, even if he should.)

        • Every bar in town is walking distance to my house (no uber/lyft here yet). Which is why I almost went out in the freezing cold night looking for him as I thought he was walking to my place (he was too drunk to tell me which bar he was at) and was lost or unconscious in a snowbank. Ugh.

          • Anonymous :

            Good lord — it sounds like you are in a smal town that this guy is familiar with. I cannot fathom being too drunk to say which bar I was in (which is certainly too drunk to be considering driving).

          • Yup, that’s exactly why I’m so angry and upset with him today. He chose to get himself into that state.

          • Anonymous :

            He’s an alcoholic, and you need to go to Al-Anon

    • Can he not like, drink at home or at a bar near home/walking distance? Driving an hour while wasted sounds nigh suicidal, but I may be trying to force too much logic onto an illogical situation.

  9. anonymous for this :

    So my brain is basically skipping over Christmas this year and has already begun to think about the New Year and how I want to live my life in 2016.

    One of the things I’m determined to tackle is my eating. I am a closet binge eater. I have been since I was a little girl. I’ve recognized that it’s a problem and am making improvements, but I know that I need professional help to tackle this. I am so sick of my binge cycles and all the emotions, guilt, and clothes that don’t fit that come along with them.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for therapists, nutritionists, etc. in NYC who deal with these issues? Preferably on the west side. Thanks in advance.

    • No recs but good for you!

    • I don’t have NYC recommendations, but, from personal experience, I highly recommend seeing a therapist rather than a nutritionist to deal with any ED.

    • Wildkitten :

      Get professional help too, but I love the blog Runs for Cookies. She struggles with binge eating and has some really neat tricks to help herself when she recognizes a binge (a timer safe in her kitchen, putting dish soap on snacks she should stop eating, finding some healthy to binge on instead like grapes instead of donuts.) It seems to really work for her to have tools to reclaim power over the situation.

    • This doesn’t exactly address the issue, but I am also a secret eater. Like… withdraw cash from the ATM, dump the evidence of fast food bags at the gas station, eat after the husband goes to bed at night…
      Earlier this year I read Eat to Live. It’s extreme. But viewing my eating habits as an addiction helped reframe my thinking. I’ve since converted to a plant-based diet and the reason it works for me is that I can eat as much and as often as I want, as long as it’s plant-based food.
      I, at this point in my life, don’t have the ability to eat (any type of) food in moderation. One slice of pizza leads to an entire pizza, one slice of pie leads to as much pie as I can get away with. That’s something I need to work on independently of *what* I eat, but the way I’m minimizing the effect is by limiting what I eat to plants.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I only have internet hugs and comfort to offer. I too am a long time sufferer of a binge eating disorder. It’s not impossible to be in recovery but my experience is that I still flow between restriction and binge cycles. Luckily, I know my triggers and try to fend them off as best as a can. Remember, you are only human. Treat yourself with kindness as you begin your recovery. And every day after!

    • I went on Vyvanse for attention issues, but for me, it has really helped with my eating as well. It is actually FDA-approved to treat binge eating (not obesity, so not a weight loss drug, though that would for some be a desired side effect). I didn’t know this until after I had been on it, but I definitely noticed a difference in my appetite and my interest in food. Now I actually have to be deliberate about eating.

      I also see a psychiatrist.

    • I have the same struggle. I’m not in NYC, so no recs there, but a HUGE part of me changing my behavior was treating my depression and anxiety. Not sure if that’s an issue for you or not, but focusing on treating my depression and anxiety rather than my eating has nipped probably 90% of my binge eating in the bud.

    • Nutritionist in NYC: Lauren Antonucci at Nutrition Energy. 646-361-6803. 57 W 57th St, Ste 1211, NYC.

    • Sarah Jenks. Look her up, subscribe to her blog, work with her. AMAZING.

    • Overeaters Anon :

      It’s not exactly “professional,” but try attending the chapter meetings of the closest Overeaters Anonymous group to you. It’s very similar to AA or other 12 step programs. The readings of the group do reference a higher power, but you can find most of their materials online to see if it’s at a level that is okay for you. I too binge eat, but my “relapses” have gotten fewer and further between thanks to the support of OA.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m a late reply, but I want you know that it is possible. In August 2014 I started seeing a therapist and dietician, and it’s been a long slow road, but I went from bingeing 3x week, to maybe once a month, to not at all in the last 3 months. There is a lot behind it, but I am feeling so much better. You can do it, and it is worth it, I promise.

    • Susan schullherr. She is excellent. She was my therapist (not for eating disorder ) but I know she also works with people that do have them and even wrote a book on the topic. She is at 81 street , west side

  10. weekend trip suggestions? :

    I live in DC and would like to surprise my husband with a trip over the MLK Holiday weekend. Any suggestions for locations that are within driving distance?

    • I was wondering the same thing, all I can think of is Annapolis, Philly, or Charlottesville in 1-3 hour range. Following for updates!

    • Do you want city or country or both? City: NYC (I suggest Megabus over driving), Philadelphia. Country: Harper’s Ferry, somewhere in the mountains, Wintergreen, it’s a longer ride (~5hrs) but the Finger Lakes in NY State are also nice. Both: Raleigh with side trips, Charlottesville with side trips (including to Wintergreen, if it ever snows/gets cold).

      • Having spent three years in Ithaca, I will tell you that I have never seen nice weather on MLK day in the Finger Lakes. This winter has been super mild though.

        • Depends on what you mean by nice weather. I’d absolutely love 20 degrees and snowing right now. (But then I seriously hate DC winters.)

    • I really, really loved Charlottesville when I went for a weekend with my husband earlier this year. Happy to give suggestions on things to do. You can also probably get some great deals on hotels in Philly, as winter is the off-season.

    • VA wine country? Relatedly, has anyone been to Lansdowne Resort? My SO and I are going there soon.

    • Middleburg is super cute and close to lots of wineries. If you both like beer, you can do the “Brewridge Trail.” We did this over a weekend and went to 9 different breweries near Charlottesville/Staunton. We stayed at a really neat place in Staunton, which was a tiny town with surprisingly good restaurants. You could also stay in Charlottesville, where there are lots of cute B&B’s. There are some excellent breweries in the area and some beautiful scenery. There’s always Williamsburg, if you like historical things. Annapolis is fun, but I’d probably go when it’s warmer so you can spend time on the water.

    • I just wrote a reply that seems to have disappeared. Maybe it will pop up later. Here’s the gist:

      Middleburg is super cute and close to lots of wineries.

      If you like beer, consider doing the “Brewridge Trail.” We visited 9 breweries over 3 days (and a couple of wineries) around the Charlottesville area. We stayed in Staunton, which is a tiny town with surprisingly good restaurants. Charlottesville also has a lot of cute B&B’s. Great craft beer and beautiful scenery.

      Williamsburg, if you like historical stuff.

      Annapolis is fun, but probably better in warmer weather when you can enjoy a nice boat ride.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      St Michael, MD

    • The Omni in Bedford Springs, Pa. Probably 2.5 hours from dc. Gorgeous hotel, nice restaurants, great spa with hot springs,indoor pool. Not much else to do in the area but if you are looking to relax it’s perfect. Cute downtown, with a great italian place that sometimes does cooking demos (byob) on Sundays.

  11. Does anyone have a vacuum cleaner they love? I don’t really even know what features I would want, but I’m finally in a place in life where I can replace the decades-old, ineffective hand-me-down vacuum I have.

    I have really long hair and I shed a lot, and in the past it’s been a problem with is getting wrapped around the rolling brush part of the vacuum. Are there good machines out there that either don’t have the roller or somehow otherwise avoid this issue? It’s hard for me to picture something that’s effective but doesn’t “scrape up” the dirt. I also have a cat who sheds a lot and we are shoes-indoors people so the vacuum needs to be really good. I want to be able to use it on the hardwood floor as well as carpet without worrying about scratching.

    Specific product recommendations or just idea of what features to look for or reliable produt review sites- all appreciated. Thanks!

    • WildkittenBot :

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      Sounds like maybe you’d be happier with a canister vacuum (which usually have optional beater bars) instead of an upright (which always have a beater bar). I also have long hair and the same problem, and got a Shark Navigator. It’s great, and the beater bar is removable so you can very easily (ick!) cut out the hair. I don’t know why all vacuums aren’t this way (or maybe my old ones had this option and I just never noticed).

      • I have a small Dyson canister, also with the removable beater bar, which I also have to cut my long hair out of. Every single time I vacuum.

        Maybe you just need a different vacuuming technique? I think you can get both canister and upright vacuums that have a hardwood setting, which (I think) does suction without turning the brush. Maybe do a pass on the hardwood setting to pick up the hair, then a pass with the beater brush on to vacuum the carpet. Haven’t tried this myself, but as I type it out, sounds like an awesome idea I should try.

        • We have a small Dyson animal that has an option to turn off the beater bar for use on hard surfaces. We’ve just resigned ourselves to have to clean the beater bar regularly since we otherwise like our vacuum.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Yeah, my Shark has the option to vacuum without the beater bar turned on.

        • I think my Dyson also has a hardwood floor specific head that has rubbery brush-type edging, but no beater bar. So, if I was ambitious, I could switch those out.

    • I giant puffy heart love my Miele. It has a hardwood floor attachment without a roller – super easy to maneuver and gets everything up. It also has a long hose so it’s easy to use the nozzle on things like cobwebs in ceiling corners or to get under the sofa. I also like that it’s more compact and easier to handle than a Dyson. I know Dyson has its fans – I get it – but lugging it up and down stairs would have been enough of a deterrent that I wouldn’t vacuum as often as I needed to.

    • I love, love, LOVE my Dyson. I have the Dyson Animal, because I have mostly hardwood floors with area rugs (and I do, indeed, have an animal). My family has an additional three Dysons among them, and all of them are amazing. We are all Dyson disciples at this point. My brother got me mine for Christmas a few years ago, and I was like, “Ugh, thanks, a vacuum for Christmas” [in my mind only of course] but about a day later I was all, “Oh wow, thanks for getting me this vacuum for Christmas!”

      • Also, my Dyson is super light – I know they have a reputation of being hard to carry but mine is honestly about ten pounds which is lighter than any other vac I’ve had.

      • +1. We love our Dyson Animal.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I love our Roomba. We got the one specifically for pet hair since my long-haired cat sheds a lot. It works fantastically on both our hardwood and rugs. Bonus is that I don’t have to do anything but empty it!

    • Do a passthrough with a rubber broom to pick up the hair and then vacuum.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      I love my shark vacuum!

  12. I posted yesterday about the Not My Problem with my mother.

    She was supposed to arrive last night for Christmas, but her retirement check wasn’t posted in her account, so she didn’t have money for tolls to make the drive, but she expected it to be posted today. Well, it’s still not there, and she still doesn’t have money for tolls. Do I Western Union her the money so she can make the drive today or does this go under Not My Problem? (She spent the money on clothes and house projects and simply didn’t set aside money for tolls for a long road trip.) It’s the difference between her arriving today, the 23rd, or tomorrow, Christmas Eve.

    Regardless of when she arrives, she’s leaving the 26th because I’m flying out that day to meet my wonderful guy’s family.

    Can’t decide if I’m being a Grinch or if it’s truly Not My Problem. She can learn to live with the consequences – save money for tolls.

    • My vote would be for NOT YOUR PROBLEM! It’s going to be hard, but if you helped this could be the first step down that slippery slope…

    • Team Not My Problem. Are tolls really that expensive? Or does she also need the money for gas/meals/etc.?

      • I thought the same. If you send money for tolls, are you also funding gas? And is she going to ask you for an extra $50 for the trip home?

        • OP here. Yeah, it’d be the money for the whole trip. Six hours of tolls ($45?) and gas. Theoretically, her check will have posted for her to make the return trip on her own dime.

    • “She spent the money on clothes and house projects and simply didn’t set aside money for tolls for a long road trip” <— That? Right there? Is the definition of not your problem.

      Here's the question I ask myself when faced with something like this – am I helping someone deal with the fallout from a situation outside of their control, or am I shielding someone from the natural consequences of their own choices? If it's the latter, it's Not My Problem.

    • This is So MUCH not your problem. This is a really mild consequence (she can’t do a thing she wants vs. doesn’t have food to eat) that there is no reason for you to save her from. I do hope that she has enough for the tolls to get her home, though.

      As a bonus (maybe?) you don’t have to spend as much time with her?

      • Wildkitten :

        I would also consider this a bonus.

      • Call me cold hearted but if she doesn’t have the money for the tolls home, she can drive through them and get the bill.

        I will say though, if this is going to be a big life change, you have always supported her and now you aren’t going to anymore, I think it would be fair to provide some notice. In that case, I’d probably cover the tolls but tell her as of X date, she is cut off financially and the bank of you is closed.

        Otherwise, from her perspective it’s “daughter always helped me with some money without complaint. Suddenly, right before Christmas I was cut off and I couldn’t even spend the holidays with my family. No warning, no explanation. How cruel.”

        She will probably make you out to be a bad guy no matter what you do but giving some notice absolutely makes the fault none other than her own.

        • I totally agree with all of this.

          • You’re lucky — you’re at a natural break point for a change. You can start now, or you can let this be the last piece of evidence for why you’re making a change for 2016.

            [Your mom will probably still think “how cruel” but if you’re committed, you can start easier perhaps when you’ve got some physical distance and not when she’s right there.]

        • I wouldn’t give notice because mom sounds narcissistic (sp?) and in my opinion, then it’s all about them. Notice will just lead to an argument vs when mom brings up the topic (“why aren’t you helping me with all of my NEEDS like you used to???) then OP can gently respond, mom, these situations keep coming up and I’m just not going to be able to wire you money every time. Good news though, we can get together after Christmas or other date of your choosing, and then repeat as necessary for the next 100 times mom needs a bail out.

      • OP. Guiltily, yes, I was thinking I was glad to have less time with her, but it’s just the two of us, so I don’t want her to be alone.

        She’s not a complainer or manipulative. When she texted to say she’d be down tomorrow, she simply said her check still wasn’t in and she’d be down tomorrow and she loved me. She didn’t ask for money. And I don’t know that there’s an expectation on her end of me giving it to her…*I* certainly feel like I should. And I have the money, so that’s not it. It’s hard for me to see her living in a falling down house, to know she doesn’t get as many days with me at Christmas. And she’s not mean-spirited…just so [email protected] dumb with money.

        Sorry, there’s probably not a complete thought here.

        • If she didn’t ask, I would definitely not offer. She has accepted what it will mean for her because she doesn’t have the check when she expected. She will still HAVE time with you and one more day alone is not the end of the world. You are allowed to feel badly about all of this, but I still do not think you should offer to pay for the tolls.

    • Definitely not your problem. If the result was she couldn’t come at all, my answer may be different, but this seems like a great first opportunity to illustrate that there are consequences to her decisions.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Sure, it’s not your problem, but it is Christmas. Throwing out a different opinion here…will $50 or $100 break you? Maybe soften your heart for 2 days? (FWIW, I don’t know the background here)

      • Killer Kitten Heels :

        BeenThatGuy, you clearly missed OP’s post yesterday – OP’s mother has been expecting OP to subsidize her bad financial decisions for years, and OP has spent piles of money trying to “help” her mother, only to have her mother be absolutely terrible to her when OP tried to tell her about OP’s new relationship (which is making OP very happy, yay OP!) OP’s mom apparently also frequently made OP feel guilty over being too expensive to support, even when OP was a child! OP is not being “hard hearted,” OP is just starting to figure out how to protect herself from a selfish narcissist. It’s hard for people with “normal” parents to understand, because you’re picturing your own mom and thinking “awww, poor thing, she just made a mistake,” but OP’s mom is not your mom, and OP’s mom is definitely not entitled to the “it’s Christmas!” pass.

      • +1 – I also missed the backstory but it’s your Mom, coming for Christmas, I’d pay her tolls. But I fall in Team it’s your family, sometimes they drive you nuts, absent abuse, try to make it work.

        • Killer Kitten Heels :

          Narcissistic parents ARE abusive. Emotional abuse is abuse.

        • DisenchantedinDC :

          Yeah, don’t I hear this all day every day from almost everybody in my life – “she’s your mom, give her another shot!”

          Well, she’s my mother, but she’s also a manipulative narcissist and there hasn’t been a month in the last 3 years where I haven’t gotten reamed out over the phone for one thing or another including not supporting her through my parents divorce. The holidays don’t make up for years of abusive, manipulative behavior. There is a line, somewhere. If the OP feels she can draw that line today and is feeling strong enough to do it today, I would do it, because if she waits until tomorrow or next week or next year, the moment or the motivation may never come.

          • Wildkitten :

            I changed my phone number and blocked my narcissistic parent on both my iphone and through my wireless provider. It’s delightful. I highly recommended it as a Christmas present to yourself.

    • Sorry if this posts twice. I would normally vote Not Your Problem. But facts in mitigation is that she was expecting to receive a check and didn’t through no fault of her own. Now, the flip side is the fact that it sounds like she is willfully living “paycheck to paycheck” when she has the ability to save money for situations like this. I do think you are well within your rights to stat drawing harder boundaries in terms of helping your mom. But I don’t know if THIS is the right moment to cut her off cold turkey. I do think you probably know in your heart of hearts if this is the final straw or not and with some reflection you will make the right choice, whatever it is.

    • Don’t enable! +1Team Not Your Problem. Have an awesome time with your guy!

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      Also, OP, this site – – was eye-opening to me, and might be helpful to you if, in fact, your mom is a narcissist (as many of us suspect).

      • Wildkitten :

        I found the Reddit forums to be very helpful when I was first negotiating my situation.

      • DisenchantedinDC :

        I have never seen this before. Thanks for sharing. I envision an afternoon down the rabbit hole, which is frankly the most productive I’ve been all day.

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