Splurge Monday: Line-Print Sleeveless A-Line

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

I love the line print on this dress from Piazza Sempione — it’s absolutely gorgeous but still totally appropriate for work. There are so many colors to wear with this dress that would work well — navy, white, green, purple, light blue — but I think it’d still be a knockout no matter what you choose. It is pricey — it’s at Neiman Marcus for $1,195 — and it comes in Italian sizes 40-46 (U.S. sizes 4-10). (There’s also a sleeveless top with the same print at NM for $750.) Line-Print Sleeveless A-Line Dress

Here are more affordable options (also made it Italy) from Peserico: a dress and midi skirt from Saks. Two interesting options in plus sizes are here (also at Neiman Marcus) and here.

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Comments

  1. I need help talking to children. My husband has a child from a previous marriage. Every other weekend when we see her, I struggle with talking to her. She’s 9 years old, in third grade, and a very nice girl. If I ask her questions, she gives some reply. She doesn’t inquire about me, but I attribute that to her age and not really having learned how to have a conversation yet. I have lived my life around adults and am not independently attracted to spending time with children so I have almost no experience in this realm (no younger siblings, no nieces or nephews, my friends don’t have kids or when my friends with kids and I do things together it is without the kids). My husband is not at all helpful because he doesn’t talk to her much—-I think he has similar struggles as I do. Frankly, I’m not very interested in the things that interest kids or in kids generally. However, I would like to have a relationship with his daughter and be able to engage her in conversation and find out more about what goes on in her life. So despite my general disinterest, I am working very hard at this. But I clearly need to consult people who have better skills than mine.

    Any advice? Any books to recommend on the subject?

    • I like the book “How to talk so your kids will listen and listen so your kids will talk.” While I don’t have step children, this book has been really helpful in talking to my children over the years. Hope this helps.

      • This book is great. I also find that too many questions are off-putting to many kids. I wait for the kid to start talking about something and then either make encouraging noises (“hmmm,” “uh-huh”) or ask follow-up questions (“what happened then?”) to draw them out. As noted below, shared activities are also a good conversation-starter.

    • Rather than focus on having a conversation, I’d come up with activities to do together, and let the conversation flow from there.

      Take a hike, ride bikes, go to the library/park/children’s museum/bakery/bookstore. Go to Michael’s and choose some supplies to make a craft together. Or just go to Target on an errand and browse the toys/books/clothes/whatever.

      Also, a lot of times with kids, it is easier with a third party there–see if you can take her and a friend to a paint-your-own pottery place or out for pizza. You can listen to the two of them and get some ideas about interests and things she has strong opinions about, or just topics for the next time it’s the two of you.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 this is very practical advice. Offering to take her and a friend out for an activity is a great way to get a window into her personality as she interacts with her friend.

    • You should be interested in her! She’s a human being. Ask her questions. Talk to her about what’s going on. Plan family activities so you have something to discuss.

      It makes me so sad for her that her father doesn’t talk to her much.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Right. It’s not “talking to kids,” it’s “having a relationship with this particular human person.” I’d suggest trying to get over your “general disinterest” about “kids” and focusing on the person in front of you.

        Activities are great. Do you cook:? Can you cook with her? Crafts are great. Is there an activity she likes outside?

        And yeah, give up on expecting her to ask about you. She is way, way too young to do that and also it’s not really her job.

        • I agree with you, but coming from a similar position as OP, this isn’t always easy and it doesn’t come naturally for everybody. You’re absolutely right that it’s just having a relationship with a person, but at least for me this is something that is simply more difficult with a child than with an adult. In that case, I think it’s helpful to just acknowledge that it’s a challenge and something that I need to be aware of about myself and work on. I appreciate that OP is being honest with herself even though it puts her in a less than flattering light and think that’s a good place to start.

          • Thank you for saying so and understanding! I am trying very hard. I see my failings despite much effort. My intentions are good. It’s a challenge for me and may always be. But I’m not quitting. I’m asking for help.

          • Do not feel bad! Not everyone naturally relates well to kids. I don’t and I gave birth to one!

    • I am in a very similar situation. Husband has a 10 year old daughter from a previous marriage and I am (I like how you put this) not independently attracted to spending time with children. Something that has helped me is doing activities that are fairly short and contained (a fairly well-defined end point) and letting the conversation flow from that. As an example, if I am cooking something I’ll invite her to come help me and basically break off whatever parts of the cooking I can for her to work on with me. It gets us spending time together and talking but in a way that feels like less pressure for me. It’s easier for me if I feel like I have something I can actively be doing instead of just sitting there feeling like a bit of a loser for being unable to make conversation. It’s not easy, but that’s helped. Good luck!

      • Thank you. I will start moving some cooking projects to times when we are together. I do not have a lot of interests and activities, I prefer to read, but I do cook so that’s a great idea.

        • Can you go to the library together?

        • Does she read? Do you have any interest in Young Adult books? Maybe see if there’s a YA series she likes, and read it yourself. Or ask her for book recommendations – you’re heading to the library, has she read any good books lately?

          Same thing for any hobby of hers – ask her for her faves or recommendations, then you can comment from there to keep the convo going. It might take a few times, but if you’re genuinely interested in her thoughts and ideas, she’ll eventually realize your questions are genuine.

          You’re painting your toenails for the spring, what color does she think you should do? You’re making some desserts, is there a favorite she has or a recipe she uses? You’re creating a music playlist for outside during this summer, what are her faves right now? Etc.

    • In-House in Houston :

      Seems obvious, but can you ask her questions about things she likes? Favorite boy band? Why she likes them? Ask her questions about anything she’s interested in. I know you said you ask her questions, but are they pointed at things you know she likes? Don’t take it personal about not asking about you, it’s the age. But here’s my best advice because I’m the step-mom to 2 boys a little older than your step-daughter. Don’t have an opinion at all about her behavior or school or anything. Leave it to her parents to discipline and deal with her. I promise this approach saved my marriage. At first it was so hard, but once I let go and literally have ZERO opinion about anything related to her, things were so much better. Now if she does something that I think is wrong, I let my husband know and he deals with it. But I truly leave it to her parents to make all decisions and even if I’m asked, I politely say “Gosh, that’s a tough one…I really don’t know” and leave it at that. I heard this once and it’s so true: a step-parent can be replaced, a child cannot. So if a parent is ever forced to choose between a child and a spouse, I hope they choose the child.

    • lost academic :

      I don’t think any 10 year olds are going to ask about you very much if at all. They know how to have conversations, but don’t expect them to have adult conversations with you. The burden of conversation is definitely on you as an adult – I see other books are recommended for age appropriate topics, but I also agree with activities vs conversation. Activities, too, don’t need to be special events – regular ones (errands, library, etc) are fine. Opportunities to be together and interact on a mundane level will help your comfort level as much as hers.

    • My 11 year old isn’t really into having deep conversations.

      I think it’s way better to engage in an activity. That’s how you get connection and communication. Go to a movie, the park, the library, etc. Try board games, like connect 4, headbandz or pie in face (if you’re ok with the mess).

      My son loves “family night” which is one night a week when we play a game and watch a movie together. he literally is so excited for it (and we love it too).

    • Others have already said this . . . but don’t expect a 9-year-old to converse with you like an adult. You need to do things with her. Ask her to help you in the kitchen, come with you to walk the dog, whatever. Maybe there is an activity you enjoy that you could share with her — a craft or a sport?

      This is such an important time for both you and her Dad to develop a good relationship with her, as she’s still young enough to be receptive to that. In a few years, she’ll be an adolescent, and it will get way harder to connect with her if you haven’t already built the base. And then before you know if, she’ll be an adult who will either be your friend, or resent and avoid you, depending on the relationship you’re able to establish now.

    • As a single parent of a 9 year old, I’m disturbed by this. I would NEVER marry a man who wasn’t able to engage with my son. And you shouldn’t have married a man with a child if you have a “general disinterest” in her. FWIW, I’m 100% sure, she’s aware you feel this way about her.

      • +1 to there is no way that the 9 year old doesn’t know. She knows which kids at school don’t like her and she’s certainly aware that her father’s wife doesn’t like her either.

        • I don’t recall saying I don’t like her. In fact I noted she is a nice person. I said I struggle to have conversations with her (and many helpful people have noted that focussing on activities can be better than focusing on conversations). Your comments make me want to just give up now instead of continuing to put in the effort. Fortunately, you aren’t the only people who replied.

          • Don’t worry about conversation. Find stuff to do. Let her bring a friend if that makes it easier for everyone and do any of the following: park, hike/walk, swimming pool, bounce house, bowling, laser tag, pedicure, build a bear, mall trip, frozen yogurt, library/bookstore. Does she have actives or clubs or sports? If so, take her there and pick her up and maybe even stay and watch. I think kids, like animals, can sense adults discomfort and so if you can hang out with her more at her level that might be better than trying to have a conversation. Maybe find a show and watch it together, or read the same book. Or sign up together for a cooking class, art class, go to a museum, anything you can do together and over time you will find out what she likes and do more of those things. Good luck to you!

          • Thank you, Lobbist for the list of ideas!! I am starting a list of things to do that I’ll keep on my phon.

          • Great idea to do activity pickups and dropoffs, but do be aware that some kids just want to be dropped off at the curb and don’t want their adults to come in and watch them. Observers are also not permitted for some activities. My child has demanded to be dropped off at the curb since she was six. She finds it distracting to have me around. I am permitted to watch for about five minutes at the end of practice once a week and that’s it.

      • +1. I was the 9 year old once. Stepdad has always been totally disinterested in me, and it was obvious from the beginning he wanted nothing to do with me and only tried because of my mom. She also was pretty disinterested in me and never really talked to me much. Still doesn’t. It’ll be pretty obvious to the kid that you’re not interested.

      • Anonymous :

        This is really mean. It sounds like OP is trying hard to relate to the kid, which is better than 90% of the step-parents I know or know of. Her comment about “general disinterest” was about kids in general, not this particular kid. I have a kid and I would say I have a “general disinterest” in kids who are not my own. Not everyone adores kids in general, but it doesn’t mean they can’t be a very good parent or step-parent. It takes time and effort, especially when you are a step-parent who is just getting to know a school-aged child.

        • Why didn’t she try to get to know the child prior to getting married? Why is she interested now?

          • Anonymous :

            It doesn’t sound to me like this is a brand new effort but rather an ongoing thing that she is asking for advice about. If the husband only sees the daughter every other weekend, it makes sense that a romantic partner would not spend a ton of time with the kid before marriage. It’s pretty different than a 50-50 custody situation.

          • Anonymous :

            “Why now,” WT F is your problem?? The OP asked for help and was very transparent about her issues and comments like this aren’t helpful. I’m assuming you have some kind of giant chip on your shoulder about something – do everyone a favor and take your agita out elsewhere. Sorry you had a bad weekend, or whatever is going on, but that’s not the OP’s fault. Sheesh.

    • Veronica Mars :

      One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten from my volunteering with kids is “Having fun with them is what convinces them that you actually like them.” I’d echo what the other commenters said about doing activities with her to build a relationship.

    • Thank you for the book suggestions and activity ideas. I will try to move in that direction.

      To Anon who says I shouldn’t have married her dad, thay ship has sailed. We are married. So being supportive and providing suggestions in response to my query (especially from a mom with a child of the exact same age) would have been a lot nicer than a scolding. I’m clearly trying.

      • Try to be genuinely interested in her as a human being rather than because she’s your husband’s kid. And good on you for trying.

      • I’m the Anon you’re addressing. I’m guessing you didn’t meet and marry your husband overnight. Assuming that is the case, you should have had time to build a relationship with this child prior to the marriage. If you didn’t, she probably feels like an afterthought.

        My son’s stepmother spent years building a relationship with him before getting married to my ex husband. In situations like this, the child/children are the priority. Believing anything else is selfish.

        • It must be AWESOME to:
          -Have a perfect life
          -Know exactly how everyone else should live their life and make their choices
          -Be the world’s expert on children and families
          -Have no need to acknowledge that everyone’s situation is different, and family situations are complicated

          Get over yourself.

        • Stop. Just stop. :

          I don’t necessarily agree with you that OP should have built more of a relationship with the kid before marriage – because it sounds like the husband doesn’t even much of a relationship with the kid himself. But even if it’s true that she should have done better before marriage, so what? It sounds like she is trying to do the right thing and build a relationship now. Better late than never, right? So your repeated snide comments serve no purpose except making her feel bad. You’re not offering any constructive advice unless you also have a time machine to offer the OP.

          • “Husband doesn’t even have much of a relationship with the kid himself.” Why? Unless his relationship has been obstructed by his ex, that would be a huge issue for me. I don’t think I could respect a man who chose not to have a relationship with his 9-year-old daughter.

          • Anonymous :

            We don’t know any details of the father-daugher relationship. It could very well have been obstructed by the ex. Or it may be the kid does not want much of a relationship with him because he chose to leave the family. The point is just that developing a step-kid/step-parent relationship is hard and takes time, and that’s especially true when the parent-child relationship is not super strong.

    • I have an 10-year old who is my own child, with me since Day 1 and I struggle with this. So don’t feel bad.

      In general I am also not interested in what my son is interested in: video games, Nerf guns and The Guinness Book of World Records. But I can use things he says about those things as jumping-off points for conversation. I really have to think about it like I do making conversation with a grown-up at a cocktail party, when I don’t know much about their field. If they talk about something, I would ask general follow-up questions like, do you enjoy that? What do you like about that? What do you think should happen with that? Have you tried this thing or seen this I other thing? It sounds weird but it works.

      I second the idea of finding an activity to do together to spark conversation. My son and I have good talks over board games and when we take our dog for a walk. It doesn’t have to be elaborate. Do you have a hobby she might be interested in, like photography, jewelry-making, knitting, scrapbooking, gardening, etc.? You could offer to teach her how to do what you do. That can be a great way to bond with a kid.

      You are a great stepparent for wanting to relate to her. Believe me, it is not common. It will make a huge difference in this girl’s life for you to be interested and involved, so don’t give up.

      • Your comment almost makes me cry. Thank you! I so often feel like a failure on this one despite my best efforts and the encouragement of a stranger is appreciated very much.

        • Anonymous :

          You’ve gotten some good suggestions already. If you like reading, maybe try doing an I Spy book with her. Also, if you know any of her hobbies, it will mean a lot if you purchase something small for her from time to time. For example, if she loves horses and you find a sheet of horse stickers at Target, and you give them to her “because it made me think of you!” that can help break the ice. Definitely let her bring a friend as often as you can — that can help YOU by giving you a peek into (a) how she communicates, (b) what she likes to talk about, and (c) allows you to follow up the next time asking about that friend.

          Ask if your step-daughter has ideas for things the two of you can do together. Ask if she needs anything. Ask what type of activities she would enjoy doing. Ask what type of parks or play places she enjoys. Good luck, and good on you for trying!

        • I hope you’ll keep trying — it’s so important. Connecting with his daughter and maybe even helping him do the same is one of the most loving things you could do for your husband.

      • Macademia :

        I wonder, too, if you could develop a new hobby together. Geocaching, rock climbing, embroidery–something where you are both beginners at the same level and struggle through together. I think my son (age 11) and I are both bored with Pokemon Go but it is the one video-game kind of thing we both like and can have a back-and-forth conversation about.

    • You should join a local facebook parents group. I find out about tons of activities and kid-friendly events through mine. It is SO helpful. Maybe you will even discover some new interests. Our local library also has loads of events and info on events–fun stuff for kids do to with parents/adults/guardians/etc.

      You asked the question here because you do care about her. Don’t give up.

    • Anonymous :

      One thing that has worked for me with my teenager is to go see a movie together and then go eat or get ice cream after the movie. Sometimes I can tell that she wants to talk about something but is having a hard time getting it out and so we can start by just talking about the movie and the parts we liked, the characters, etc., then that will often lead to a broader or more specific discussion about what is going on with her. I feel like we otherwise have an open relationship, but kids can just struggle sometimes to communicate. The movie allows us to spend time together without talking and then makes an easy way to start a conversation.

      When she was younger, she really liked going for hikes, going to fly kites, paint pottery, trampoline park. She still likes going shopping and getting our nails done.

      • Anonymous :

        For along time I struggled in a situation like yours, with the possible addition of a toxic adult in the mix. But it is worth the struggle and plain hard work; now years later it has become so much better. Perhaps try thinking of achieving a status as a favorite aunt.

    • Nudibranch :

      Kids that age like weird facts and jokes. If you can work some of those in, that may help break the ice.

      They can pick up on the fact that you are faking, so try to ‘keep it real’ as much as possible. Don’t come on too strong if you don’t feel it.

    • Kids are asked questions all the time. It becomes an interrogation. I agree with the suggestions to do things with her.

    • Jane, I am sorry people are being mean to you. My mom married her husband when his daughter was only 7 (I was 15). They did not have a real relationship until my stepsister was an adult and it wasn’t because my mom didn’t reach out and do fun things with her. It is just that my mom married her daddy! She resented that her mom was replaced.

      You are being a good stepmom just to look for ways to interact with her.

    • lucy stone :

      If you have a decent relationship with her mom, I might also ask her if she has suggestions of things you guys could talk about.

      I mentored two different little girls through Big Brothers Big Sisters and this was a tough age to talk to them at. We did well playing computer games together and then talking about the game, then that led into talk about what they liked to do on the weekend, etc.

    • +1 to the suggestions for activities and the book How to Talk so Your Kids Will Listen…. Just saw this thread today; better late than never. When my daughters were around your step-daughter’s age, we read books together. We would take turns each reading a few pages aloud. We read through the Little House on the Prairie series, and they looked forward to reading every night, even though they were past the age when they wanted a “bed time story.” They’re adults now, but they still have fond memories of reading those books. They really liked that series, but you might find that she’s more interested in other books. Another thing I found was that they didn’t like for me to ask them a lot of questions (hazard of the profession — I’m an attorney), so I tried to say things like “tell me about ____” or other more open-ended type things. Don’t get discouraged — I commend you for what you’re doing to develop a relationship with her.

    • Dear Jane,
      Reading your question made me reflect on my own stepmothers. Yes – stepmothers! My father re-married twice. One stepmom, Pat, was wonderful and I felt very close to her. The other, Judy, was cold toward me and we never had a bond. My relationship with my father was relatively strong through both marriages.

      The “good” stepmom, Pat, did a few things that in retrospect made me feel loved and wanted. Even as a pre-tween, I had these feelings that whenever I was coming over to “their” house on the weekends, it was kind of like being a guest in their life and home. I was still working through my parents’ divorce and getting over feelings like it was my fault my parents divorced, wondering if my dad still loved me, etc. My point for writing about all of this is that sometimes there’s layers of insecurity, emotions, history, etc.

      Pat asked me once if I wanted to pick out my own room in their home and decorate it. This meant a lot to me for obvious reasons, and she didn’t bat an eye when I picked out the biggest/nicest room. :) She always gave me a warm hug at the end of the weekend. She was intuitively good at picking up on things I was insecure about and didn’t want to talk about — she left a good-smelling tea-tree soap when I started breaking out in pimples (but didn’t say a WORD about it – just left it in the bathroom), asked me if I wanted to go shopping for new clothes, and most of all…. she was really good at facilitating activities for me to do with my dad that she may or may not have participated in. For example, she’d ask if we all wanted to go to the arcade and she’d watch my dad and I play air hockey and would go play something else by herself.

      Judy, the “bad” stepmom – I have very little to say about her. She just didn’t interact with me… at all. By this time, I was in college.

      There are others who’ve posted a lot of great advice here. Kids can pick up on intent. It sounds like you care and you are trying. I’m pretty sure those are the most important pre-requisites for success. (hug).

  2. Work outfit eye candy :

    Happy Monday hive! I’d like some work outfit inspiration. My workplace is more formal than business casual but not quite full on suits. What are your favorite blogs or instagram accounts for this?

    • Mary Orton at Memorandum – filter her blog by “Conservative.” Her older stuff is great inspiration for the formal end of business casual.

      • I really like her older stuff and used to love this blog. The last year or so it’s kind of jumped the shark for me.

      • Meant to add, here are a few that I really like:

        Blue Collar Red Lipstick
        Nine-Thirty to Five
        Outfit Posts
        Professionally Petite (infrequent poster, but there are lots of ideas on there)
        Sarah’s Real Life

        Also, I’m kind of preferring Instagram these days and have found lots of ideas and accounts to follow by following chicworkchick

    • I love District Sparkle

    • Anonymous :

      For blogs – I like the directrice. She’s a big law partner in DC and does interesting takes on corporate dressing.

  3. anonshmanon :

    In general, I am comfortable speaking in public and to strangers, eg. for networking. I try to be self-aware and read a lot about communication patterns to convey confidence etc.

    Lately I’ve noticed that I do a nervous laugh when in one-on-one conversations. Today it occurred when I was complimented on an achievement, and in general I hesitate sharing achievements with my peers because I don’t want to be perceived as vain. Classic imposter syndrome?

    Any tips on losing an involuntary habit like that?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think recognizing it is the first step. Just be vigilant and remind yourself to stifle that laugh. Plan to do something else instead, like actually saying “thank you” gracefully like an adult, which is super hard for me, too.

    • I would ask a girlfriend to be your reminder… ask her to point it out every time you do your little laugh. Make it a game…. she gets a point/treat/drink etc.. every time she hears it. Let her know you are trying to nip in the bud.

      And honestly, it is better not to come of as a bragger, but just practice saying “Thank you”. And that’s it. When someone compliments you on a success.

  4. PSA based on my annoyance yesterday

    If you are attending a classical music performance and are late, wait until between pieces to take your seat. Do not walk down the aisle and then force people to stand up as you shove your way to your seat while the orchestra is playing.

    Apparently this is something people are no longer taught so I’m trying to do my part here.

    • Isn’t that what ushers are for? I haven’t been to a classical music performance so maybe that’s not how it’s done. When I go to hockey games, though, the ushers won’t let you return to your seat until there’s a break.

      • It should be what ushers are for but apparently not yesterday. Plus they tend to be retired lady volunteers, not bouncer types physically.

        • Totally not pertinent, I know some retired lady volunteers who I’d be more scared of then bounce types. The glare is real y’all.

        • Anonymous :

          I find it hilarious that the ushers at sports events won’t let people move around during play but theatre and concert ushers will. It should be the opposite.

      • They should be enforcing it, but I’ve been to games where they don’t make people wait. I’ve found myself tempted to go “really??” loudly and incredulously, but at least in Boston, that may be asking for a fight. Noooo thanks.

    • Anonymous :

      I feel your pain. The ushers at our city’s big performing arts center will even seat latecomers during the performance. Not cool.

      Also, do not applaud between movements or until the conductor puts her hands down at the end of the piece. And do not talk or rustle your snack package during the performance. My kid had better symphony manners when she was four years old than many of the adults and even senior citizens who attend the symphony in our city.

    • I attend a lot of student recitals and, I have to say, I have witnessed some extremely rude behavior from audience members this year and sometimes it is the student’s family, who just don’t know. They don’t realize that a recital is an intimate setting and when they clomp down the aisle in the middle of a piece, they are disrupting the performance, and possibly their family member’s concentration, on one of the biggest days of their academic career. It’s really sad. People talk, make noise, and generally do not wait until a break to be seated. And some of them are other students who would be horrified if someone did this to them.

    • Gnaughhhh. Can you get a gentle note to the venue or the ensemble to encourage them to give their ushers more specific instructions?

      I actually had a performance yesterday (classical chamber choir) and made a grateful mental note partway through when I noticed the ushers holding latecomers at the back until the end of the set. And these were retired lady types! But they’d been given good instructions, apparently.

    • I know to wait, but only because I took drama classes in high school and our teacher taught us the etiquette. It should be announced along with the “please turn off your cell phones” bit, or put in the program somewhere, or posted on a sign in big letters by the door. Part of me wants to roll my eyes, but it seems pearl-clutchy to judge people who’ve never been to the theater and don’t instinctively know the rules.

    • Related, talking during performances is 100% rude and you are an annoying person if you do this. I went to a TedX event and there were a set of women who kept talking through the speakers. It still burns me that I didn’t say anything. Stupid midwestern non-confrontational upbringing kicking in.

    • Senior Attorney :

      And while we’re airing our complaints, please don’t rush for the exit the very moment the conductor lowers his hands after the last note of the last piece. The people who have the season tickets in the row in front of us at the symphony do this, presumably so they can beat the traffic out of the parking lot. It’s almost comical. But I feel like it’s so rude… part of the experience of going to a live concert is participating in the ovation at the end, and it just seems like they’re taking the performance without giving even the tiniest show of appreciation. And it’s not like they don’t know the rules… if you have season tickets to the symphony you darned well should know how to behave!

      /curmudgeon

      • There’s a play I did in college that’s very meta and address this exact issue from the performer’s POV when they see people rushing for the door during the applause/ovations. There have been occasions where I will occasionally slip out during the applause at the end, but other wise, I’m there till the closing curtain.

  5. Love the dress.

    But this pear shaped women just wishes the 2 print patterns were flipped. The top print will make my already XS chest look smaller, and the lower print (and extreme A line) will make my full bootie look huge.

    • I have the same thought, tho I am big both in the chest as well as the bootie. So I would like a dress that does not fit to tight, makeing me look cheep, but at the same time let’s men know that I have body parts that they would desire. It is difficult for us professional wome to look good w/o becoming to sexy for men. I find that when I try to accentueate my tuchus, men want to grab me but do NOT respect me. The same with my boobies. I can NOT wear anything low cut b/c men just objectify me as a woman with parts rather then as a legal profesional. BTW, when I went to Virginia with Myrna, I wore jeans and a cami and the men were VERY anxius to meet me. One guy said I had a bootie like Rosie Perez and her tuchus is very tight! I was flattered, but I would NOT want to date the guy if he lived in NYC b/c all he did was stare at my boobies. FOOEY!

  6. purplesneakers :

    Oh, that is gorgeous.

    Question for the hive: does anyone have any tips on the nitty-gritties of moving abroad, specifically to Paris? I’ve just been offered a job there, but all the information I can find about moving there is either targeted towards families with children (single gal here) or study abroad programs. I have moved abroad previously, but those have been with some structure (teaching English, university) so this is all completely new to me and not having any kind of idea where to even start making to-do lists is freaking me out. Any advice would be fantastic!

    • A friend moved to Paris a few years back. She found local American expat groups helpful in the first few months (navigating medical system etc). I think it’d be easier as a single person – more housing flexibility, no worries about daycare etc. Is there relocation assistance / someone in the local office who could talk you through their process?

      Congratulations, that sounds like an incredible opportunity, and I’m very jealous!

      • purplesneakers :

        D’oh, I didn’t think of that! I’m not American, but expat groups are definitely a resource I can tap. Unfortunately, there’s no relocation assistance, and the HR people have been… well, less than amazing at knowing what to do with a foreigner.

        Thanks so much! I’m both nervous and excited :D

  7. Diana Barry :

    Ladies! I have another batch of clothes and shoes! Please email me (dianabarry r e t t e at g m a i l) if you would like any. :)
    Theory grey/black marl sheath dress with sleeves size 6
    J Brand Maria high waist jeans, dark blue size 28
    Reiss suit, grey with subtle blue windowpane suit, jacket 8, pants 6
    Uniqlo off-white cashmere sweater size M
    Saks Blue hidden wedge flats, black, size 9
    Clarks Indigo shootie with heel, black, size 9

  8. Too many wrinkles, no time for ironing :

    Thank you to everyone who offered me advice on how to play volleyball! Had my work volleyball tournament yesterday; we didn’t win but it was certainly enjoyable! And I didn’t injure myself so I’d say it was a win :)

  9. Yay! a European brand I can comment on. In mycold country we see mainly trousers and wool, cashmere, silk sweaters, cardigans, scarves. Well-made and quality fabrics.

  10. A question about yellow. Canary yellow has been my favourite colour since I was a child, but I only have one mustard top now, because I guess adults wear adult colors.

    Everytime an actress wears an amazing yellow gown on the red carpet there are lots of negative comments about the color. But pink seeems to be popular?

    Why do most people find yellow an awful color for clothing? What are the negative connotations for you?

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      I wear yellow fairly often; it’s the only bright color in my capsule. And personally I dislike mustard.
      So go for the colors you like!

    • Anonymous :

      There’s nothing wrong with wearing yellow! I just think it’s a color that doesn’t suit a lot of people.

      • This. Yellow is a tough color for many people, especially when worn close to the face. I love yellow accessories though. These would be great with spring dresses https://www.amazon.com/Kitten-Heels-Vintage-Scallop-Adjustable/dp/B01H2PUSNE/ref=sr_1_9?s=apparel&rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1490624237&sr=1-9&nodeID=679416011&psd=1&refinements=p_n_size_two_browse-vebin%3A5391085011%2Cp_85%3A2470955011

      • Agreed. I love yellow, but can’t wear it anywhere near my face without looking sickly.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Yep. I have a yellow purse I love, but I reluctantly donated my cheerful yellow teeshirt because I realized it makes me look gross. I’m very envious of how beautiful it looks on some dark-skinned women.

    • Anonymous :

      As to your question about actresses, I think yellow can be a tough color to pull off, especially for people who are white or Asian. Yellow looks great against many shades of brown skin but if you have lighter skin then it’s a much trickier balance which is why I think it’s so frequently criticized when it’s worn on the red carpet.
      But for every day wear, just wear what you like!

    • Personally, I think bright yellow doesn’t work well with many skin tones, and when it doesn’t work, it looks worse than other colors that maybe aren’t the most flattering for a particular person. But I think it can look beautiful! And if, like me, bright yellow isn’t the best color against your face, you can always go for a bright yellow skirt or pair of pants or purse.

    • I absolutely love yellow and it looks great on me, but my issue is that I’m never able to find yellow clothing that is suitable for work! Banana has a yellow sweater this season but it’s too thin. I had an Anthro yellow sweater which I loved but it shrunk in the wash. Yellow lovers, any items you love? links please! thanks.

      • I actually do not usually look great in yellow but found a GREAT sweater from Land’s End in a yellow shade that works well. It also goes beautifully with navy, which is 80% of my wardrobe. I ended up getting the same sweater for my mom for her birthday because yellow is her favorite color. It looks like they don’t carry it any more but the shade was called “Soft mineral yellow” and here is an image: http://s7.landsend.com/is/image/LandsEnd/460896_3Q15_HF_JJ6?$ix_img_v1$&wid=170&hei=255

        I have a pair of yellow twill cigarette pants that get a ton of wear.

      • Midtown ATL Attorney :

        Brooks Brother’s Red Fleece line has several great yellow items right now, including a bright yellow water-repellent short trench coat and yellow stretch cotton pants. I got the coat a week ago, and I’ve had lots of compliments while wearing it–plus it is such a cheerfu color!l

        http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Water-Repellent-Cotton-Twill-Trench-Coat/SW00026,default,pd.html?dwvar_SW00026_Color=YLDK&contentpos=5&cgid=0246

        http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Stretch-Cotton-Pants/SU00052,default,pd.html?dwvar_SU00052_Color=NAVY&contentpos=9&cgid=0304

      • Check out Talbots – they have a lot of yellow items this spring.

    • Aquae Sulis :

      I love canary yellow. I have a pair of shoes in that colour, and I get compliments on them every time I wear them.

    • I love yellow, but I don’t wear a lot of it because it’s hard to wear. My dream dress is the yellow dress Kate Hudson wears in How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days. I’d love to have a reason to buy and wear that dress.

    • I agree that many people are more afraid of yellows, as they are harder to wear for Many than say pinks, but I love yellow, wear it, and am even associated with it at work ( since I wear it often, usually with navy and grey). I believe that a warmer, mellow canary yellow ( which suits me, and more people) is much harder to find. Usually stores sell a harder lemon yellow, or more citrine / neon chartreuse based hue that is more orangey and bright, rather than a true sunflower, daffodil, golden, or canary. I have a tough time finding yellow tops in the right shade of yellow… Would love to find some more right now. I have dark hair and pinkish warm fair skin, and what makes yellow work is a stronger red lip, or a slightly more purplish shade of red lipstick.

  11. Overshare :

    Has anyone had to do PT for levator spasm (pelv*c floor muscles)? What exercises helped?

    The only physical therapist here was ineffective and new insurance won’t cover it anyway. The gyn encouraged me to continue with stretches and yoga on my own, but I’m not sure it’s helping.

    • A good group ... :

      Check out Restore Your Core on Facebook and Laura Ohayon on YouTube.

    • Peggy Brill :

      You should google her. I didn’t see her for this issue but she is a fantastic PT in New York and has published a few books. She puts a lot of focus on the pelvic core and would probably be a good resource. And she’s a lovely human, to boot.

    • Phantom Tollbooth :

      I’m friends with the woman who is the.v a g i n a.whisperer on Instagram. She’s a pelvic floor therapist; I don’t have kids and still find her account informative and interesting. She recommends books and products fairly regularly. Maybe something she suggests will help?

    • I had pelvic floor PT for several months to treat extreme pain during s*x. Not your issue, but just wanted to say that after YEARS of trying everything, the pelvic floor PT was amazing and it worked. If anyone else is dealing with this issue, please please look into pelvic floor therapy.

      • That’s exactly my issue actually; I probably shold have specified more. Any advice on resources? So much seems to be focusedan on strength and kegels, which is the opposite of what I need.

        • If you’re on the east coast, I highly recommend going to Philadelphia to get an assessment at this institute. They specialize in this issue and can refer you to an excellent pelvic floor PT person. I wasted so many years trying to get this sorted out and I feel that the doctors here really saved my life. My understanding is that people travel from all over to this institute, because there are unfortunately few practitioners that understand how to treat this issue.

          http://www.pelvicandsexualhealthinstitute.org/

          In terms of the actual PT therapy, the therapist will insert a series of devices (basically like a d*ldo but no vibration) — you’ll start out with a small one and move up in size very gradually. And then you also practice at home. It really really works. I basically went from not being able to have s*x and I’m now blessed with 3 kids. :)

          I think I may have also done kegels but really the insertion of the devices was what made the difference. I will emphasize though that this is something you shouldn’t do on your own. You need a PT to help you. If you’re in a big city, can you google PT pelvic floor therapist who specializes in treating pain during s*x? This is more common than one would think.

          If you’re anywhere close to Philadelphia, I will try and track down the name of my PT. The institute referred me to this particular PT but the name is escaping me now.

          Best of luck.

          • full of ideas :

            You can order dilators off the internet and find instruction on how to use them They are plastic rods, not rocket science – just don’t go too big too fast and only use them for 10-15 min at a time. Also, you may have to start really small, and that’s ok!

        • In the West Coast, Stanford University Hospital.

        • Thanks- I live in the middle of nowhere, but I’ll see if maybe those institutions have some distance resources available.

          • Anonymous :

            This year I had PT for this and found a PT who specialized in pelvic and abdominal problems. Her recommendations have really helped, not only with the original but also with other nagging problems. She was endorsed by my PCP.

        • I also know a great specialist in Indianapolis, if that’s helpful or closer to you. It’s the Pelvic Health Program at the St. Vincent Women’s Health Center in Carmel. Cara Berg Raunick is the doctor. Good luck to you!

  12. casual shoes? :

    I went from having a crazy shoe closet to perhaps disciplining myself TOO well – I went in there this weekend and I feel like all my shoes are work shoes now. What’s a casual shoe, not a sandal, that is a step up from Chuck Taylors but a step down from loafers? (I have a lot of sandals, loafers, and a pair of great Chucks.) What are y’all wearing for casual shoes these days?

    • Anonymous :

      Ballet flats

    • Diana Barry :

      Ditto! Now with the change of seasons, I can’t keep wearing my ankle boots on the weekends, so I am looking for something else. But ballet flats are work shoes for me, not casual.

      • Try Sebagos. I have a pair of boat shoes and a pair of grey suede smoking slippers. More casual than ballet flats but a step up from sneakers.

    • M.Gemi pointed-toe flats.

    • Anonymous :

      Vans, keds, adidas.

    • I’m not sure these are a step up from Converse, but I wear Vans on the weekend. Either all black or gray with white on the sides.

    • casual shoes? :

      I just don’t love ballet flats for whatever reason. I really like smoking loafer styles so I have some of those, maybe I should look for a pair of smoking loafers in a more colorful style or print.

    • All of my casual shoes are sneakers, boots, or sandals. What type of outfit are you lacking footwear for?

      • casual shoes? :

        In the summer I wear sandals all the time, but I live in a pretty cold climate. This weekend I was headed to brunch at a friend’s house and wearing jeans and a breton top. I felt like sneakers were too casual but I didn’t want to wear heeled boots. Knee high boots felt too much.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Chelsea boots or smoking loafers!

          • I like driving mocs. Mine aren’t quite as structured as loafers – they’re nice and soft, but have more support than ballet flats. Other friends seem to like “boat shoes” like Sperrys for casual wear, but I’ve never found them comfortable, and the look isn’t for me.

          • I would definitely do ankle boots or slip-on sneakers with this outfit (or espadrilles, but that’s for summer). Could be a flat boot instead of a heel, but loafers or boat shoes sound too preppy for my taste.

        • I’m on my second pair of Allbirds sneakers. They are as comfortable as slippers, and I think they are a step up from converse. They are WOOL, so they are toasty warm without making my feets all sweaty.

          I also just got the Me Too pointy loafers that were featured here a couple weeks ago in magenta, and the bright color makes me happy. They are also the only pointy shoes I have ever had that did not hurt.

      • Ok, judge away, but I bought these over the weekend to commute in slightly cooler/rainy weather and they are CUTE on. I know, I know, crocs, but they look much more ‘polished’ to me than sneakers:
        http://www.crocs.com/p/womens-crocs-eve-embellished-flat/204215.html?cgid=women-footwear-loafers&cid=410#start=8

    • Casual mules. Many styles.

      I have flat sandals, wedges, chunky heel, and even a gym shoe/keds that is a mule.

    • Stylish sneakers might work. I’m thinking like the really brightly colored Nikes or similar.

    • Shopaholic :

      Last year I bought Vince leather sneakers – they’re perfect for the weekends because they’re more formal than normal sneakers but they’re still pretty casual.

    • Slip on sneakers.

    • Driving moccasins! I alternate between those and vans or chucks on weekends

      • Baconpancakes :

        I would live in driving moccasins if they were more supportive. Love them.

      • Baconpancakes :

        ETA: I particularly love them in unexpected colors. I had a lime green pair that I literally wore to the ground, and then kept wearing even after my toe poked through the bottom. I’d love a gold pair and a pink pair this season, but I’m spending my shoe money on more supportive shoes right now. (Cole Haan Zerogrand loafers in pink!)

      • How do you handle walking any length of time in these and not wearing the bottoms down to nothing? I got a pair a while ago with the classic nubs on the bottom, and they were half worn down after less than a day of random pavement walking.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Less than half a day sounds like poor construction. Mine lasted a solid year of 3-4 days a week of wear. Also, I hate the nub construction and avoid it whenever possible – they make basically no sense, and traditional driving mocs do not have those – they’re a fairly new addition.

    • I had The.Most.Perfect.Weekend.Shoes.Ever, but my puppy just ate them. (I’m in deep mourning.) They were slip-on leather sneakers that I got last summer at the Bass outlet (of saddle shoe fame, not fishing fame). I’m going to check this weekend to see if they’ve reissued them for this year.

      These two are somewhat close. Shape/style of the first one, color of the second.

      http://www.naturalizer.com/en-US/Product/EC0219538-3015313/Naturalizer/Grey+Croco/Kail.aspx

      http://www.keds.com/en/crashback-leather/14354W.html?dwvar_14354W_color=WH52244

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Booties! I feel like the uniform now is skinnies, booties, loose swing top. Especially since you said you live in a cold climate. I wear booties pretty much all of the time for casual except when it’s casual enough for sneaks/athleisure.

      • mule slides — or check out Rothy’s

        • Love Rothy’s. I wear them as work shoes too.

          • Triangle Pose :

            Thank you both, I just used a code and bought rothys pointy flats in orchid color for $125. Crossing my fingers this will be my new light commute/flat work shoes!

          • The orchid color is beautiful. Do these have any support and do they hold up?

          • They have no support, but the sole is removable and can be replaced with support. I just got the pointy ones. They have rubbed in weird spots, but I think they look beautiful! The rub the back of my heel and the top of one of my toes (I’ve NEVER had a shoe rub the top of my toe). I’m hoping after they are broken in, it won’t be an issue anymore. Stupid me for wearing them the first time on my 20 min walk to work…

    • Sperrys. Vans (or the target version of them) some too, but mostly Sperrys.

      In the summer, definitely sandals all the time.

      I’m generally not a sneaker person but I’ve had these in my amazon cart for a couple weeks now: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00R6BX6UW/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_1?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER

    • IP Associate :

      I’m a huge fan of my Superga sneakers for the weekends when I don’t want to wear ballet flats or boots – in my opinion, they look more put together with an outfit than my converse sneakers but they are still sneakers so perfect for a casual weekend outfit.

      • casual shoes? :

        Thanks everyone! I have about 15 tabs open right now to look at later.

        I am in the same boat as the Anon above…I recently had a tragic loss of my perfect weekend booties, and I just CANNOT FIND a pair that is similar. I have looked at every. single. wedged low heel boot in a caramel color that exists right now and I need to just change directions to another sort of casual shoe.

  13. D.C. Tips? :

    I’m in Washington DC for a while for work. Any suggestions on things to see that are open after work hours? Or things to do or eat?

    Thanks!

    I’ve seen the super touristy things on a school trip in middle school, and came for the women’s march, but that’s it

    • Check DCist and the Going Out Guide (WaPo) for their picks for the week- they do a good job of covering beyond what my Facebook feed does in terms of music, arts, museum highlights, etc.

    • You could check out LinkTank for after-work lectures. Many of the museums will have at least one night/week they’re open later.

      Where in DC will you be? La Colombe Coffee doens’t have wifi, but I loved reading there (or occassionally teleworked with a hotspot) when I lived closer. Kramer Books has both a cafe and a bar, so it can be an excellent place to hang out solo.

      Depending on how long you’re around and whether you want to meet people, there are a lot of Meetup.com groups.

      What kind of food do you like? Do you want to track down the best Marayland crabcakes or try Uighur food?

    • I’m not sure what “a while” is, but if you’re here for a weekend, here are some suggestions:

      George Washington’s Mount Vernon is just a quick trip outside the city and feels like a world away. Check the schedule so you don’t miss the Mrs. Washington interpretive guide (I’m not sure what her title is) – she’s an absolutely amazing actress who’s been playing Mrs. Washington for decades and you really and truly believe you’re talking to Mrs. Washington…even though you realize it’s 2017 and your iphone is buzzing in your bag.

      Old Town Alexandria is also fun – such good shopping and dining.

      Go to Eastern Market for local craft vendors (jewelry, soap, candles…plus produce and other farmer’s market items).

    • The Portrait Gallery is open until 7 PM and is one of the lesser visited Smithsonians. Pretty soon, jazz in the garden will start at the sculpture garden on the mall on Friday evenings. I also love events at the Kennedy Center. If you are under 30, check out their MyTix site for super discounted tickets. Also, Opening Day for the Nats is next week! The stadium is great. Things to eat in DC that are hard to get in lots of other places: Rasika (you can get in just about every night if you go before 7 PM and sit at the bar, where they have a full menu), Ethiopian (I like Ethiopic), Queen Amnasia (sp?) in Crystal City (Uyghur cuisine that you can’t get very many places in the US).

    • Columbia Station is a cozy bar in Adams Morgan where you can sit at a nice table/bar, sip a cocktail and listen to live jazz every night of the week. Good people watching too.

      If you love art, check out the Phillips Collection. On Thursdays, they have extended hours until 8:30 pm.

      If you enjoy the outdoors, take a stroll around the National Arboretum. They have a lovely Bonsai tree exhibit too. You’d probably only go on the weekend though.

      Theodore Roosevelt Island is open until 10 pm. It’s a great hideaway in the city with a beautiful, secluded monument. You can always walk a nice path around the island.

      You could also sign up for a yoga class at Yoga District. They have locations all around the city. You can rent a mat too. I love them mucho.

    • Artomatic is happening in Crystal City for the next few weeks – it’s open rather late in the evenings, and it’s free and metro-accessible.

  14. Role Model :

    Who are your favorite role models? I’m looking for someone whose life I want to emulate (not to the T, but the general gist). I would love to read and learn about someone (preferably a female) who loves or loved her career, her family and had a zest for life. In my small circle of legal practice, which has included clerking, biglaw and inhouse, there have not been many female attorneys, and none whose paths I want to follow.

    • RBG? Very aspirational, obvs, but the more I learn about her home life the more I want to be a much lower achieving her. Her autobiography was on sale on Amazon over the weekend.
      The kids’ book about her life, I Dissent, is also fabulous and touches on some of the same issues at a grade-school reading level.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Second RBG! Also I love Mary Berry and Julia Childs – old school legends that lead (led) full lives. This could also be because I have pipe dreams of being a pastry chef.

    • green stripes :

      I know very little about her and she’s not a lawyer, but I’ve been meaning to read more about Katharine Graham (particularly her autobiography). When I was young, I was also obsessed with Madeleine Albright.

    • Kind of cliche but Oprah is the first to come to mind for me. I was never an Oprah superfan but after listening to the Making Oprah podcast I was really inspired.

      Others include Emily Weiss (super young CEO of Glossier), Lynsey Addario (photojournalist who typically covers war zones) , and Lucy Walker (documentary filmmaker)

      • Ha, wasn’t Emily Weiss the “super intern” on the Hills? (Can’t believe I actually watched that show.) It was the only episode when I related so hard to Lauren and her feelings of “WFT?” Having said that, Emily Weiss does seem super impressive and I’m not saying she’s a bad choice for a role model. In fact, she’s a great choice.

        • YES! She was hahah I distinctly remember that episode. Wow that was almost 10 years ago. I was interested in Glossier products recently and ended up reading about how she started the company and its super interesting. Shes a smart gal.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Toronto lawyer Marie Henein. Brilliant. Immigrant. Feminist. Mother. Style icon. Ok, fangirling over for now. http://torontolife.com/city/crime/marie-henein-jian-ghomeshi-lawyer/

      • yeah, I usually agree with you but definitely don’t agree with your description of Henein as a Feminist given that she defended Ghomeshi. Bleech.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Oh honestly.

          She mentors and hires women associates and puts them front and centre in her practice. She is possibly the most high-profile defence lawyer in the largest city in the country in a largely male dominated field. She has done it while being a working mother and living that example for her two sons.

          She is a criminal defence lawyer. The suggestion that defending someone accused of sexual assault renders her unfeminist is, quite honestly, ridiculous.

          • +1000000000000000000000000

          • Pretty sure his hundreds of victims would disagree. If you think the women who testified were anything other than the tip of the iceberg then you know nothing about the Canadian media scene.

            She did not have to take that case. It has destroyed so many other s.a. cases across Canada. Professionally, I know of 3 cases in my small city alone that were dropped because the victims were terrified after the decision in the Ghomeshi case. Personally, zero women who I know have been s.a. have ever reported. That case perpetuated so many stereotypes about how s.a. victims are ‘supposed to act’. Heaven forbid they don’t immediately run to the police and go to the hospital, and they should definitely never find comfort in talking to someone else who went through a similar experience. She chose to spread that dreck because she wanted a high profile case. I’m a Canadian lawyer and I am embarrassed to be in the same profession as Henein.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      I absolutely loved Katharine Graham’s autobiography, Personal History (not law, but excellent).

  15. Has anyone had any experience with having a LEEP and then having a recurrence several years later? Had a leep 5 years ago and had the all-clear until this week. Pretty bummed about going through this again and just wondering if anyone else has had this experience….

  16. When You Know :

    Recently I’ve been reflecting on past relationships and deep down i ‘knew’ the person was wrong for me or were not going to last but I would press on to make it work so I wouldnt be single, i had already invested a lot in this person, etc. When did you feel like you ‘knew’ you and your SO were right for each other? Was it an instinct for you or a conversation you had?

    • I’m single so take this with a grain of salt – but all those guys I stuck it out with? At some point before things got bad, I “knew” they were my person. That’s why I stayed. I’ve never been afraid of being single, I’ve been afraid of missing out on what I thought was going to be an amazing future with an amazing person. A lifelong relationship isn’t about one ah-ha moment; it requires a long series of moments each of which reaffirms your commitment to each other and the relationship.

    • There wasn’t a lightbulb moment where I realized that my husband was “the one” It was more of a growing realization that he had a lot of the attributes that I was looking for, that we got along well, and that we could accomplish common goals.

    • My husband and I have known each other since high school. We reconnected after we moved away (to separate states) for college. After a couple of dates, we knew. It just felt right, we wanted to be together all the time, etc. We still moved slowly. We dated for a couple of years before moving in together, were engaged for a year and a half before getting married. We have now been married 11 years and have 3 kids.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I was friends with my husband for several years before telling him that (despite living in two different countries) I was interested in more than just friendship. As completely ridiculous as it sounds, in the moment of our first kiss, I knew that was it. That was March 2002, we were married in November 2003.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I’m used to a gut-check “this isn’t right but I’ll stick it out” feeling around a year. When I started searching for that feeling with my SO, and didn’t get it, I realized I wanted to be with him, and started questioning to myself whether his annoying habits were dealbreakers or Cost of Admittances. Then I started bringing up the hard questions, and we started talking through those, and after we’d exhausted the most pressing of those questions, I felt secure in my decision.

      I know, super romantic.

    • I also always deep down knew that prior relationships to meeting my husband weren’t right. When I met my husband, everything was different – we clicked in a way I hadn’t experienced before and it was just completely mutual. We both knew it was something different and special. We were engaged in a month, married at six months and it’s two years later and we still marvel at how lucky we are to have met each other and feel the same way that we did when we met. For both of us, it was the first relationship where we didn’t have to try to make things work, they just did. After dating for years and having a number of serious relationships, I think you can make things work, but it’s extraordinary when you don’t have to. So, for me it was an “instant” I just knew – I didn’t want to stop talking to or being with my now husband when we met.

  17. I recently started seeing a guy who doesn’t drink (much). This has made me realize that pretty much all of my social activities and date ideas revolve around alcohol. What are some laid back date-y things we can do that don’t have to involve booze? My typical go-tos are happy hour, wine tasting, sipping wine on the patio at a vineyard, beer garden, strolling around local gardens with beer/wine, brewery tours… I swear I’m not an alcoholic….

    • Instead of happy hour being about booze, treat it like tapas and go for half-priced apps.

      Instead of vineyards, hike and a cheese picnic.

      Instead of breweries, go on a farm tour.

      Play mini golf. Go rock climbing. Take a dance class. Go for an evening walk

      And don’t give up what you like entirely either!

      • Love the hike + cheese picnic. DH and I go on hikes a lot, but we don’t bring cheese which I think should change. :) And second mini golf. On Saturday with some friends we just did 3D mini golf. That is hilarious and very trippy – fun to do if you get the chance.

        To add to the list:
        -arcades are awesome date nights. Go later and you’ll miss a lot of the little kids.
        -escape rooms. Best to do with a group, but DH and I had fun doing this alone.
        -quirky random museums – even if you’re not interested in the subject sometimes its really impressive to see that someone spent so much time researching and caring about q-tips.

    • Well, anything *can* involve booze if you’re sneaky enough ;) But I know that’s not what you’re asking for! Movie theaters, mini golf, museums, zoos, and most forms of partner dancing are done in places where booze is technically prohibited. Check out Groupon for ideas! You could also ask him what he likes to do on dates.

    • As someone who doesn’t drink at all, your list made me chuckle.

      I think a lot of your activities are doable for someone who isn’t drinking much or at all. The important thing, I think, would be for you to moderate your consumption accordingly–I would happily drink something else and nibble at cheese or whatever at an wine-and-cheese-on-the-patio outing, but not if my companion was getting totally sloshed. I don’t mean to imply that you are getting totally sloshed–nothing in your post suggests that. But if you’re concerned about your alcohol intake on dates, there’s may be a reason you’re concerned.

      Maybe also try to come up with date activities that do not center on alcohol–even though I say that a lot of your activities are doable, if someone I had just started dating was only suggesting activities that centered around something that I wasn’t really into, I’d probably stop dating that person. Your suggestion above of strolling local gardens is a great one–the gardens are at the forefront of that activity. Other outdoor activities (bike ride, hiking, outdoor theater or films, picnic) would also give a non-alcohol focus while still giving you the option to have a drink if you wanted. Lots of cultural institutions do mixers around big performances or exhibits, so again, your shared focus would be on the art, not the bar.

      • “if someone I had just started dating was only suggesting activities that centered around something that I wasn’t really into, I’d probably stop dating that person”

        Yeah this is exactly my concern. I want to hold up my end of the emotional labor of coming up with date ideas. He went to a wine on the patio type thing with me (there was live music too) but I want to also come up with things that aren’t so booze-centric. I’m loving the suggestions so far, thank you!

        • I don’t drink and survived dating. Just go to restaurants instead of bars, or bars that serve good food. It doesn’t always have to be a big activity – swap food focus for beverage focus and you’re set.

          Certainly you should have drinks if you want to while you are with him. I wouldn’t assume that he cares whether or not you drink unless he says something.

    • Museums, walks (especially now that spring is here!), movies, theater. When I went out more I checked websites like groupon and goldstar regularly because they would feature activities I didn’t even know existed!

    • A few ideas from my Muslim friends who don’t drink:

      – Go for coffee/tea and dessert late at night. Your favorite coffee place probably has a much more mellow vibe at night.

      – Try ethnic restaurants that don’t center around alcohol. Interesting hole-in-the-walls, Ethiopian, Sichuan, Indian, etc.

      – Get ice cream and go for a long walk in a beautiful neighborhood / along a river.

      – Free museum nights.

      – Movies, shows, concerts, etc.

      • I think any restaurant is fine. I mean, I’d avoid wine bars and stuff like that (although as a non-drinker and foodie I actually do sometimes go to them if they have good food) but I think you can definitely go to upscale restaurants and French and Italian places where most patrons are drinking wine. Just don’t order any alcohol if he’s not drinking. Ethnic restaurants are great too but I don’t see why you’d limit yourself to those.

        • Wait why can’t she order alcohol? I absolutely would order wine with dinner out with someone who drinks but not much. I just would get a bottle.

          • Yeah I missed OP’s statement that he does drink but not much. In that case it’s fine to order alcohol. If I was on an early date with a guy who didn’t drink at all, I would not order alcohol because he might be in recovery.

        • My thought in suggesting this is that I find that when I go to a brewery or wine bar or a regular restaurant with a great wine list, the wine/beer is central to my enjoyment of the experience. But at, say, a Sichuan restaurant, you can both talk all about the food itself without feeling like the other person is left out of a big part of the meal. It’s like not going to a BBQ restaurant with a vegetarian – even a BBQ restaurant has vegetarian options, but why not go somewhere that both people can fully enjoy?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I recommend this so much that people are going to think I own stock – but axe throwing. Mildly physical and a bit competitive, but so much fun.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Clearly this isn’t the care for you, but for me, someone being into searching out great food and drink was a prerequisite for me. To paraphrase Ben Franklin put it, “Wine (and beer) is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”

      But a friend who is dating a non-drinker is trying the order-a-glass route, and it seems to be going ok. She comes out with me to get her wineries and breweries fix and her SO stays home.

    • Local zoo, aquarium, and/or botanic gardens. Go stroll down the city’s historic district (if you have one). Check out any open houses for historic properties and wander the grounds. Hiking. The county fair. Farmers markets.

      Museums – can be anything from art to obscure (I live near DC so we take full advantage of all the free museums, but I realize that in many other parts of the country this isn’t very affordable for something to do every weekend.)

    • I don’t drink (at all) and there are so many fun things to do that don’t center around alcohol.
      – sporting events
      – concerts (especially outdoor concerts now that it’s getting nice out)
      – outdoor activities like hiking, beach day, river tubing, etc
      – cooking class
      – dessert dates (ice cream, pastries, coffee, etc)

      Depending on what city you live in, you should check out Dabble. There are tons of classes you can sign up for and my DH and I have gotten lots of fun ideas from there.

      A side note, I also don’t mind going to bars or alcohol-fueled events (like a tailgate), but I would be put off by a wine/beer tasting.

  18. I work in state government and I just found out that one of the directors I advise (client department), committed suicide over the weekend. I’m absolutely devastated. He was a really lovely person who worked very hard. I know he was very upset about cuts to his department but I don’t know if that was a determining factor. I just doon’t know what to do. Can’t really focus on work this afternoon but I don’t want to go home and ruminated by myself either.

    • Please send a note/card to his wife/partner/parents and say what you write here. Say you are devastated. Use that emotion. Say That he was a very lovely person, who worked very hard. If true, say you will miss him and the place won’t be the same without him.

      Writing this down will also help you.

      If he has a family/children, you can start a collection for his family at work. Cash.

      I’m so sorry.

      • Agree with this 100%. Send a note and include a story or two that shows your admiration or affection for the deceased. Please do not let the means of the death change how you would interact with his family.

        And, I’m sorry for your loss.

    • I am sorry. Is there going to be any office-wide collection for something (maybe fruit basket for the family, flowers if appropriate, donation if one is listed in the obit, etc.)?

    • Thanks for your replies. I will definitely send a note to the family and I think one of the causes he was heavily involved with will be setting up a memorial fund so I’ll donate there. Unfortunately he is located in the opposite end of the state so almost no one I work with in my office actually knew him at all (we all have different client departments). Strange feeling to be so upset when everyone else is just going about their day and talking about the weather.

      • Yeah, on your last sentence, such is the nature of grief. I hope you can limit your interactions today as you need to and have some time to sit or walk quietly to reflect on how you’re feeling.

      • Mention it to someone.

    • I’m so sorry about this.

      Many years ago, one of my co-workers killed himself. He was distraught about several things, but our toxic work environment I’m sure didn’t help. We were all in total shock and it took weeks for things to even feel partially normal. We had a lot of people quit in the next few months, and I left about six months later. It’s a hard situation. Be gentle with yourself and it may help to talk to others (it also might not). Everyone who worked with him is probably hurting right now. Being able to talk about my co-worker and share memories with people was helpful to me, but YMMV. Take time off if you need to, and also call your EAP (if you have one) if needed. It’s a big shock.

    • Sorry for the late reply, hopefully you are still reading or will get an alert of my post. My father committed suicide 8 years ago. I echo many of the comments already made, but please please please reach out to his family and share your stories, coworkers especially have so many stories that our family did not know and it was so nice to know who my father was at work. they had so really funny stories that I’m sure my dad would have never told us. There are many we still laugh (and cry) about. I would also encourage you to talk about it openly. Suicide is a word people are sometimes afraid to use and shouldn’t be. The more people talk about it, the more people will ask for help….I hope. It’s ok to be shocked.

  19. Paris Help? :

    I leave on Friday (yaaaaaaaay!). First time visitors. Just me and DH – we’re 30 years old each and appreciate good food, good wine and people watching. We have a friend who lives there, although he’s in his 70s. He’s been great for recommending restaurants and I think we have the ‘touristy stuff’ covered.

    I’m hoping for recommendations for off-the-beaten-path stuff — like, what do you do at night?? We’re looking to go to a jazz club one night and a long, probably way too expensive dinner another night. But what else should we do? Literally just wander the streets, popping into restaurants and bars/bistros? That’s totally fine by us, but I want to be sure we’re not missing anything obvious or any great little places not on our radar. TIA!

    • The ballet. Or the opera.

      A casual bistro, with live music, and lots of wine.

      Walk along the Seine, to enjoy the city at night.

      But most nights after eating well, I go to sleep earlier so I can get up early to enjoy Paris in the daylight.

    • Just got back! Regular commenter London Leisure Year has great Google doc that she shared with me.

      We went to all the department stores (Bon Marche, Galleries Lafayette, and Printemps) and lingered around in the food halls. One day we bought sandwiches and ate them on the steps of the Opera House around the corner.

    • I did a cooking class last time I was in Paris and it was amazing! It’s called Cook’n with Class – they have a lot of different options, and they are all in English. Also, search for previous threads, there have been a million recommendations for Paris.

    • We went on one of these food tours and thought it was great: http://parisbymouth.com/paris-food-tours/. I wish we had done it earlier in our stay.

    • I would definitely not wander into a bistro for a meal. The only bad meals I’ve had in Paris were the ones where I just stopped into a bistro that looked cute. Here are my top 3 recommendations for restaurants (all a bit off the beaten path):

      1) Pierre Sang (near Oberkampf metro)
      It’s a 6 course tasting. The food is French with surprising Korean elements slipped in. Definitely sit at the bar where you’ll get to watch the chefs cooking right in front of you. And you must get the wine pairing, of course. We liked dinner so much we came back for lunch the next day.

      You can make reservations on the website. There’s a pop-up that comes up when you first go to the website. Click on “Fermer” at the top right of the box to close it and then you’ll be able to see the instructions for making a reservation.

      2) L’Esquisse (near Lamarck metro)
      This is a neighborhood spot in the non-touristy side of Montmartre and I would go here constantly if I lived in Paris. It’s effectively a very modern hipster bistro. The guy who owns it (Thomas) is also one of the servers and handles the wine. Ask him to pair wine with your meal. He knows an absurd amount about wine and communicates it in an engaging, unstuffy way. And his wine choices are pretty much amazing. Also make sure you order the poached egg with mushroom foam. It’s just so good I can’t even explain. Dinner service starts at 8 pm and I’d recommend getting there right at 8 pm or be prepared to wait.

      Also, L’Esquisse is located at the bottom of the Montmartre butte. So you can climb the butte from the Abbesses side, watch the sunset at Sacre Coeur, and then walk down the backside of the butte to dinner.

      3) Le Comptoir de la Relais (St. Germain)
      This is the best place in St. Germain. The dinner reservations are apparently impossible to get, but there are no reservations for lunch and usually there is no line or a very short line. The food is just really outstanding and the people-watching is fantastic.

      • Also, stop by the box office at the Opera Garnier and see if they have any last minute tickets for a performance. I was able to get a last minute ticket for a ballet evening and literally sat in a box on the side of the stage.

      • A couple more ideas because I keep remembering things I want to add!

        I highly recommend doing one of the early evening intimate classical concerts at Sainte-Chappelle Chapel. You get tickets at classtic dot com. Try to time it so it’s still some light outside so you can really see the insane stained glass. It’s this super small chamber music concert and the chapel is literally covered in this intense stained glass. Pierre Sang (restaurant I mentioned above) is about a 20 minute walk, if you can time your dinner reservation for after the concert.

        I also suggest wandering the Marais (the old Jewish quarter). Lots of great boutiques back there… Have tea at Mariage Freres. Look online for a self-guided walking tour. Have a late lunch at Chez Janou (it’s super crowded during prime lunch hours). I got a fabulous langoustine, avocado, grapefruit salad and a mussels thing that I saw on other people’s tables and had to have.

        Also, if you can’t get into L’Equisse for some reason, another fantastic and surprisingly cheap place to eat was Le Potager near the Abbesses stop (at the foot of the Montmartre butte). L’Annexe, across the street from Le Potager, is also a delicious neighborhood spot that I ate at and liked. L’Annexe, Le Potager, and L’Esquisse are neighborhood spots vs. tourist spots, so the food is really good, seating can be tight, and the prices are about half what they are at touristy spots.

      • Anonymous :

        I’ve eaten at Le Comptoir de la Relais (we got reservations because we were staying at the hotel) and I can confirm the food was AMAZING. Just the cheese plate was something to write home about. Definitely try to get in for lunch, it’s much easier than dinner. But definitely worth it!

    • We did a wine tasting at O Chateau. We’re both wine drinkers but didn’t understand a lot about French wines. The tutored tasting was much less cheesy than it could have been, and we learned a lot (and had a great time). The wine bar upstairs has zillions of wine by the glass options available for sale, which were fun to try after the class.

    • IP Associate :

      If the weather is good at sunset, stop by a wine/cheese shop, purchase a bottle, a baguette, and some cheese and sit on the banks of the Seine with your picnic. My husband and I did this (but we traveled in May) and it was so much fun – the banks of the Seine were packed full of people and it was a perfect atmosphere for people watching.

    • Ok I have not been but planning May- Rick steves recommends a private car tour by Deux CV that drives you around Paris by night to all the lit up monuments and sights for an hour – not cheap but not crazy pricey either. I think there are two companies, one is better(?)
      Also you can do a vedettes de Paris Seine cruise by night (not the dinner ones, just a cruise) until fairly late I think.

  20. Cape Cod vacation :

    My husband, baby and I are staying with friends on the Cape from July 3-5 but in order to make it worth the trip, we are looking to extend our stay by a few days. Does anyone have any recommendations on hotels on the Cape that would be a good spot and still have availability? TIA!

    • Where on the cape are you staying? It’s a deceptively large place. Also, that’s super duper peak season. Now is absolutely the time to book, if yesterday wasn’t.

      • Cape Cod vacation :

        Yes, I am feeling panicked- which is why I am posting here in the hopes that people have the names of some hotels! :) We are actually staying on Nantucket so we are looking for places that would be within an hour or two of Hyannis.

        • In that case, I’m partial to the Chatham area which is about a 30 min drive from Hyannis.

          Chatham Bars Inn – high end
          Chatham Wayside Inn – not as high-end as Chatham Bars, but it’s a great place
          Chatham Inn at 359 Main – more B&B but very nice, well located

          Those are my Chatham go-tos. Any time I’ve stayed in Dennis/port or Hyannis/port, I just google bed and breakfasts + town name and have luck. I stay at a different place every time, although it’s been a few years. Trip Advisor will give you some solid reviews. Don’t be afraid of B&Bs – they’re generally absolutely charming on the cape! I hope some others can give you recs for others..

    • New Tampanian :

      I grew up on the Cape. 1-2 hours from Hyannis during that week really means within a few exits off of the highway because of insane traffic. That said, here are a few options:

      1) B&Bs – do a general search of B&Bs. They are quite lovely there.
      2) Ocean Edge Resort in Brewster is nice: http://www.oceanedge.com/
      3) Chatham Bars Inn is gorgeous: http://www.chathambarsinn.com/
      (both of those will be on the high end of pricing)
      4) Anywhere in Falmouth will be nice.
      5) For a more moderate price, I have stayed at the Marriott Courtyard in Hyannis when I didn’t want to stay with parents (I’m allergic to something in that house) and it is a convenient location to everything http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/hyacy-courtyard-cape-cod-hyannis/

  21. NYC Nannies :

    I would love to hear about anyone’s experiences with a live in nanny. DH and I both work about 12 hours a day and are considering a live in nanny when I go back to work after maternity leave. We have a bedroom and full bathroom in our bright walkout basement, so I’m hoping we could all still feel like we have enough space and aren’t totally on top of each other. My parents are close by and want to take the baby to all sorts of music classes and enrichment activities, so the plan is for the nanny to help with some things like laundry and food prep to make everything a little more manageable (and she should have time to do it, since my mom plans to have the baby for 5-6 hours most afternoons). What do you think?

    Has anyone done a comparison of live in vs live out help in the NYC area?

    • I think if you want a maid you should hire one. You are looking for a full time nanny. That is enough of a job for any one person. Your mom prob won’t have the baby 6 hours every day, and you’ll need coverage from early in the morning until late at night. She is responsible for baby laundry and baby food, but not anything else.

      • Disagree: While there are strict rules for what au pairs can do in terms of housework, for private nannies not in the au pair program, housework is negotiated between the couple and the employee. She can certainly do parents’ laundry and meal prep if that’s negotiated as one of her duties.

        • That said, I agree with others who say that a nanny may not be looking for household duties and it might be hard to find someone willing to do the combo work you are looking for.

      • +1 I think if you hire a ‘nanny’ and then your mom has the baby for six hours a day and you expect the person to do household chores during that time, the person is going to be incredibly disappointed and resentful. People get into nannying because they enjoy kids and want to spend their days working with kids, not cleaning house.

      • +1

        As a former nanny, it is REALLY hard to balance baby care with housework.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Everyone I know with a nanny has her do the cooking for the entire family as well as some laundry and cleaning (depends on age of the kids and how much spare time is available, but that doesn’t seem to be an issue here).

    • With this setup, I would get an au pair and a separate housekeeper. In the NYC area, an au pair is going to be way cheaper than a nanny.

      • anonlawyer :

        agree with this. au pairs can also do house work so long as its related to the kids (kids meals, kids laundry, generally keeping the house clean from a kids toys and stuff standpoint, as well as groceries for the kids)

    • Anon in NYC :

      It sounds like you need a part-time nanny, with a solid backup option, and a housekeeper.

    • Post on the mom’s site. There are several women there that have similar set ups. It isn’t that unusual. A standard option on Care.com includes whether you want someone to help with household chores and cooking. You just need to be upfront and very clear about your expectations when you are hiring the nanny.

    • I would actually hire a full-time nanny, whether live-in or live-out, and negotiate light housework during naps or while your mom has the baby–although if you plan to have her work late, I would take that into account as well and be OK with her taking a break during nap time if she’s working a 12- to 14-hour day. (Yes, I realize that means you are too, but infant care is different, and you get paid way more.)

      Also, I don’t mean this as a criticism to your mom, but you may find once the baby is born that she doesn’t want to take the baby for 5-6 hours everyday. When I was pregnant, we had 3 grandparents in the area who said they wanted to take the baby one day/afternoon a week. Once the baby was born and we talked about a real schedule, it turned out they just wanted to be regular grandparents who help out or come play when they want to. We hired a full-time nanny, and it worked out beautifully.

      • +1 on the second sentence. We’ve been lucky to have grandparents who want to do childcare on a set schedule — we did 6 years of 3 days nanny, 2 days grandparents before kids started going to school. But we were lucky to make this work.
        If grandma is really committed, I’d try to do something similar because 6 hrs x 5 days a week = 30 hrs (basically full-time). Depending on health and how much work taking care of a baby is, it seems really, really ambitious.

      • Anonymous :

        The other thing that you all may not realize in theory is that baby’s naps are HUUUUUGE so location needs to be consistent, especially because getting out the door with an infant/toddler is a 30 minute process (in the beginning it’s long because of nap/feeding/burping/etc timelines and when baby is older it’s because they refuse to leave the house). If your mom will come to your house to play with baby 5-6 hours a week that’s one thing — but if she thinks someone will bring the baby to her that’s not going to work.

    • Look at the Park Slope Parents website for comprehensive advice on hiring a nanny, going rates of pay locally (they do a survey every year asking what people pay, what their policies are, etc.), etc. It sounds like you are looking for what I would call a “housekeeper.” I think you could certainly find someone willing to do both childcare and housework, but it might be hard to find someone who is really good at both.

    • Check Park Slope Parents for their nanny hiring resources, including survey data about going rates, policies, etc.

  22. Wow do I love this dress.

    Saw this article and thought it was worth the re-post. The lede is a good hook–two women who became friends and co-authors after divorcing the same man (in succession; he wasn’t a bigamist)–but I thought a later observation was more relevant to some conversations I’ve seen here: there are thousands of resources for planning a wedding but relatively few for planning a divorce.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-ex-wives-guide-to-divorce-family-0321-20170314-story.html

  23. Bro problems :

    I realize this isn’t “my” problem to solve, but it’s stressing me out and I’m struggling to figure out my role as a “good” sister here.

    My Ivy League, high achieving, late 30s brother has been unemployed for three years now, living off his savings. He’s allegedly working on a startup that should be very timely — and after 3 years he still seems to be at the “planning” stage. He seems to spend his days researching various health maladies… and he’s become one of those people who when you ask him “how are you doing,” he actually TELLS you all about his various aches and pains. I asked him once what he had on tap and he told me “this month I’m definitely figuring out which health care plan is best for me.” He doesn’t have a girlfriend, or kids, and I’m starting to suspect that even his friends don’t like him very much, finding him grumpy and kind of misogynistic. (I always just thought he was misogynistic towards ME, belittling my achievements, joking that I was easily distracted by shiny things, etc, and then a (male) friend of mine, J, started hanging out with (lady) friends of my brother’s and J’s told me numerous times where my brother is belittling towards the lady friends / acts like the smartest person in the room / mansplains.

    My father confronts him from time to time, so even though I’m as beside myself as my parents are, my role until now has been the “friend” in the family — listening to my brother be angry at my father. My father actually has no idea about business or startups so my brother’s anger is pretty legitimate anger sometimes (very stupid questions, etc). My brother won’t talk to me or any of his friends about what he’s working on — he’s not working with a team, or a mentor — my fear is he’s just in his house all day reinventing the wheel.

    I feel like he’s wasting his life, and needs, frankly, a good slap in his face in a lot of ways. As one of his closest family members, shouldn’t it be me? Do I need to do a full on intervention? I’ve offered to buy him (for birthday/Christmas whatever) coaching time with a business person/mentor he values and that was met with silence because I don’t think he has any business people he follows/values.

    • One of the hardest things in life is to learn that you have to let people live their own lives.

      My 71 year old mother lives paycheck-to-paycheck in a Money Pit type house that she has grand dreams to restore. For years, I begged, pleaded, shouted, and cajoled for her to move to a nice, modern home with working pipes and windows that shut and walls that are insulated. She always shrugged and said she likes her house and will move when she’s elderly and has a hard time getting around. One day it finally sunk in for me that my mother has lived paycheck-to-paycheck for the last 50 years of her life and seems fine with it, and she has always loved old houses, even when they’re past hope. She’s an independent adult – whether I see her that way or not, it’s the truth of the matter. I had to change MY viewpoint, not change my mother. Just because she’s not doing what I’d like, doesn’t mean she has to do it my way.

      A point will come when your brother runs out of savings and then has to face the world. It’s hard, but unless you fear mental illness (and admittedly, this does sound like it might be heading that way), there’s nothing for you to do other than continue to be there.

      • +1

        The fact that he hasn’t ensnared a partner or kids into his life is a GOOD thing at this point. How many posts do we see each week from people whose partners are convinced that they’ve got a line on The Next Big Thing and are blithely sacrificing family finances/quality time with kids/spousal sanity to fuel their ambitions?

        Also, you are a good sister for worrying about him, especially since it sounds like he’s a pretty lousy brother to you. I am impressed by the depth of your compassion and generosity–if I were in your shoes, I don’t think I’d be offering to shell out for coaching, and I wouldn’t accept your brother’s anger in response to your dad’s ignorant questions as legitimate. (Anger? Really? Frustration or resignation, okay, but anger seems like of firepower for that scenario.)

        Unless you are concerned that he is a danger to himself or others–neither of which come through in your post–then loving from afar is absolutely enough.

    • Not your problem. He doesn’t want your help.

      • +1,000,000 Your brother has to want to change and it certainly does not sound like he has any interest in that.

    • Anon in NYC :

      My brother is in his early 30’s and doesn’t really have a plan. He sort of deferred adulthood for several years while he lived it up as an expat with no real plans for developing a skill set that would translate to a career that he would actually want. He then moved home and he’s struggled to figure out what he wants to do with his life and it’s also just been hard for him to find a job (any job) that pays him a decent wage. He’s had a handful of temp or contract jobs, and seems to lack the drive to find anything else (or make a plan for anything else) while he has a paycheck. When he has a paycheck he’s too comfortable to put in the effort to find something long-term. When his latest contract job ends, I’m sure he will panic about life/work and hatch harebrained ideas about going to grad school for a thing that he doesn’t really want to do but allows him to defer hard thinking about his life. Rinse and repeat.

      This drives my parents nuts, and I’ve spent countless hours trying to help my brother by giving him advice or reviewing his resume or suggesting that he consider thinking about his future. At the end of the day, it’s not my problem. It’s hard to control the impulse to tell him what to do. I worry about how he’s going to fund retirement. But I tell myself that it’s not my life.

    • It sounds like he might be depressed or have an anxiety disorder (focus on his ailments). It is really hard to push someone to change, even a spouse, so I’m not sure how much a sister can do. I would try to connect with him emotionally rather than focus on what he is or isn’t doing or achieving – ask him about how he is feeling. If he opens up and shares something that seems outside the range of normal, you can reflect that back to him in a noncritical way, like, “wow, it sounds like these thoughts about your health are really taking up a lot of space. That must be so exhausting. Maybe you should talk to your doctor about it [or see a therapist if that is something he might be open to]. “

    • Counterpoint, though situation was somewhat different than what you have described. My younger brother and I are 15 months apart. When I was 25, it was apparent to me that my brother was in the midst of a massive depression (not working, not in school, living in a college town in an apartment my parents paid for, playing videogames on a 20 hours on – 10 hours off / sleeping cycle) and he was literally unable to change his self-destructive patterns. My parents were totally hands off and hoped he’d just get over it … I thought he had little incentive to do so since they paid for everything.

      So one Saturday I showed up at his door with a moving truck. I told him he was coming to live with me, and that I wouldn’t change him rent for the first 3 months and that I’d help him get a job and get re-enrolled in school, but after that he’d need to carry his own weight.

      I’m not suggesting that you try something similar, or that your brother would even be receptive … but just in contrast to what others have said, every once in a while NOT staying out of it can work too.

      • Out of curiosity, how soon did your brother pull himself together and support himself (presumably he did)? Asking because I basically just tried this exact approach with a family member for 6 months and it was, in many ways, a failed experiment.

        • anonymous :

          +1. I did this too a few years ago. After a while he outright refused to get a job that didn’t inspire him and then joined a cult.

        • … or he’ll stay for a year (or more). Ask me how I know.

        • He found a temp job (with my help) within the 3-month time frame, and returned to school within a year or so. Regular treatment with a counselor no doubt helped, he had some addiction-like behavior related to video games, and a counselor helped him work through that. It also helped that he believed me when I said, “3 months then you’re on your own.” He continued to live with me beyond the 3-month mark while he saved up for his own place … I charged him a nominal rent after he was established in his job.

          It was very labor intensive on my part on the front end – forcing him to apply to jobs, driving him to interviews, helping him practice for questions along the lines of, “why is your resume a blank sheet of paper,” etc. But once he had a job, he gained some self-esteem and that helped with everything else.

          That was almost 15 years ago; today he has a graduate degree in a STEM field and has held a job that he likes for a couple of years. He is still “behind” his same aged peers in some respects (e.g. late 30’s and never dated, lives with roommates) but he seems happy enough and is at least self-sufficient. If there had been other issues (in particular, drug or alcohol use) I’m not sure I would have tried to get involved, but in his case he was just completely aimless and full of self-loathing – he needed someone to help point him in a direction – any direction. From there, he did most of the hard work, I just got him to the starting line.

      • Anonymous :

        You are an awesome sister. Truly.

      • Tell us more! What happened? Did it work out?

    • Senior Attorney :

      Rule 10: People are not improvement projects.

      • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

        Thanks for the reminder, SA! I was thinking about my brother and realized I was, once again, considering his life (and my involvement in it) in terms of an improvement project.

        It’s not. He’s not.

        • Senior Attorney :

          It’s hard, man. My son is having some challenges lately and this rule is a hard one…

  24. I’m a new attorney still trying to figure out etiquette and appropriate dress. Do you dress down a bit for a court appearance that isn’t very important? Ex: a 5 minute appearance in state court to give a status update. My office affectionately calls them “warm body” appearances because that’s all that’s required. I ask because I find suits very uncomfortable to work all day in, especially for a 5 minute status hearing. Would say- a ponte blazer over a dress or with slacks be acceptable? Thank you

    • Shopaholic :

      I think a blazer over a dress would be acceptable – if you’re worried, I would stick to darker/more neutral colors.

    • All the time but that’s the normal where I practice. I only wear full suits for trials and motion hearings. For quick status hearings, I usually wear a pencil skirt and blouse or dress with a coordinating but not matching jacket. I don’t wear ponte blazers though because most of them seem too unstructured to me.

    • nasty woman :

      I feel your pain, but I wouldn’t risk it. Especially if you’re in court frequently, you’re building your reputation before the judge. Members of the court and other attorneys will see you. Once they know you’re a total bada** and you’re a more senior atty, there may be more room for leeway. Keep a cardigan in your office so you can discard your jacket later.

      Dress is really conservative in my jx, though, so take this with a grain of salt if you’re in Hawaii similar.

    • I always wear a suit to court (general civil). I just think it’s a sign of respect.

    • I always wear a suit to court, even for short appearances, and then ditch the jacket (sometimes exchange it for a cardigan) as soon as it is over.

    • Ponte seems super casual for court. As a junior attorney, I would always wear a suit to court even for trivial matters. As you get more senior you have more freedom to dress down for minor appearances.

      If you plan to wear something other than a suit make sure partners/senior associates in your group know and are ok with it. In the Big Law group I worked in, the partners would have gone ballistic if a first year showed up to court in less than a full suit, even if they were just going to be sitting in the gallery and not up at the counsel’s table. I can’t even imagine how they would have reacted if an associate who was going to be speaking had not worn a suit. Our cases were all in federal court though, which tends to be more formal.

    • A ponte blazer is not court appropriate. Wear a suit or high quality separates and change when you get back to the office.

    • At my firm we had “jump suits” which were suits on the back of your door in a garment bag for these very types of occasions – when you are needed in court as a ‘warm body,’ but also for if you stain your clothes, etc. I would typically change out of it when I got back to the office into what I wore that day, as did most associates, even when it was a planned court appearance.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Basically, you’re telling the court that you don’t think the appearance is very important. Is that what you want to convey? If so, go ahead and wear your ponte. Otherwise wear a suit and change when you get back to the office.

  25. I have a tiny nostril stud and on the advice of the lovely ladies here, I’m going to take it out for my new job in a more conservative industry. I don’t want the hole to close up, though, as I’d like to wear it when I’m on my own time or when I become more senior. Any recommendations for the clear things that go in piercings or just in general?

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Are you sure? Several women in my office (lawyers and assistants) have them and it is no big deal at all.

      • Counter anecdata: people in my conservative workplace would definitely balk at this. I’d only leave it in if it’s part of your culture to wear a nose ring.

      • I’m not sure at all. I’m late 20s and South Asian, and I’m starting a consulting job at an MBB soon. I just don’t want it to be the kind of thing that makes people question my judgment or not take me to meetings because I might reflect poorly on them or something. I think it would be different if I were more senior/established, but I honestly have no idea.

        • Baconpancakes :

          As a South Asian you generally get more of a pass, because it’s seen as cultural, but do what makes you comfortable.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Honestly, given your stated background, I would totally leave it in. It could be a cultural issue for you and I would think that no one will want to risk being considered insensitive on that front.

    • You can get clear plastic fillers to keep the hole open. They’re still kind of noticeable, but less eye-catching.

  26. Have to brag about my shopping victory, I found the pants of my dreams! I’m normally a skirts and dresses kinda gal, it’s tough to find pants that fit and flatter, and I’d only spring for alterations on a pair that I absolutely loved, but for years I’ve been wanting a pair of nice, high waist pants with lines of buttons on the side (think vintage style), and yesterday I happened to be in H&M and found them! They’re black and the buttons are gold! I have to get them hemmed, but I knew that and mentally build that cost into the budget for these pants.

  27. New Parents :

    Curious about the right way to balance a situation with my husband and new baby. I’m on maternity leave, so I’m obviously spending a lot more time with our son than my husband is. When he’s home and doing things with the baby I try not to step in or micromanage. But we apparently have very different ideas about when baby requires a response from us and I’m not sure what (if anything) to do.

    For example, while I was showering and getting ready this weekend, husband was with the baby. When I got out of the shower, I heard the baby crying and figured husband would be dealing with it. After 5 minutes where I quickly dressed and brushed my hair, baby was still wailing and I went downstairs and he was histerical in his bassinet while husband worked on his computer. He was like the baby is fine, he’s just hungry and seemed to think that bouncing the baby or trying to calm him would somehow spoil him. To me, the poor little guy is 3 weeks old and shouldn’t be left to cry alone in his bassinet.

    Does anyone have any advice on how to handle things like this?

    • Parenting books, or something to set expectations about different stages of development? Or a discussion btwn the two you on parenting styles?

      The particular example seems like a case where his action would be appropriate when the kid is older, but not at this stage. Has H been to any of the doctor appointments/well-baby visits to get a sense of what is appropriate for this stage? Does he have any experience with babies this young (or any age)?

      • +1 Take your husband to the pediatrician visits (even if he has to miss work) so that he has the same information about caring for the baby that you do rather than you having to convey the information secondhand which can be interpreted as nagging/micromanaging/whatever.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      The best advise I got as a new parent was from my sister-in-law about forcing myself to step back and let my husband figure it out on his own with the baby. Sometimes it was hard for sure (my son is 5 so it is all just less intense now), but my husband is an excellent parent with his own skills and strategies.

      Make sure that you keep leaving the baby with your husband, even if you have to get out of the house to do it – the desire to sweep in is strong, so you have to remove yourself from the situation sometimes. I always say that my husband taking two months of paternity leave when I went back to work was the best thing that ever happened to him as a parent for exactly that reason.

      • But he’s leaving a three week old newborn to cry when they are alone? Not sure how more time alone would fix a lack of sensitivity. It’s totally inappropriate to ignore an newborn like that.

        • Wildkitten :

          But maybe he was ignoring the baby because baby was hungry and mom would come feed him, or soothe him, or otherwise fill his needs. If mom were truly gone he’d have to figure it out and couldn’t just rely on her to take care of everything.

    • You are only 3 weeks into this whole thing so don’t expect that you or your husband have even begin to figure out anything beyond basic survival. Letting a baby cry for 5 minutes when it is safely located in a crib while a parent finishes a shower or an email isn’t neglect. If you haven’t already, you’ll probably end up with a similar situation on when you are alone with the baby, where you are busy doing something else and can’t meet baby’s needs right that second. It just seems more annoying because there is someone else in the house and why can’t they take care of this. Also, if you are nursing, your husband may feel like there’s not much he can do to remedy a hungry baby. I think you can talk generally about tricks you’ve learned to comfort the baby, but otherwise, assume that each person has good intentions and their own method.

      • I completely agree, but I’ll add that you cannot spoil a 3-week-old baby. My husband could not let go of the idea that we’d “spoil” our son by answering his cries right away. He wouldn’t listen to me and wouldn’t read the books or articles I sent him about it (saying he’d have to do his own “research”). Finally, our pediatrician told him, and that seemed to get through to him. So, yes, letting your husband finish an email is not neglect, but it’s also not necessary to avoid spoiling a 3-week-old baby.

        • +1 – I would encourage letting Dad figure it out as much as possible, but the “spoiling” concept makes me nervous with a newborn.

          Have you tried watching the Happiest Baby on the Block DVD? It’s by a man, and it focuses on concrete actions anyone can take to soothe a newborn that do not involve feeding. Maybe worth watching together.

          • Also try to get him to read “Heading Home with Your Newborn.” It’s short and practical.

        • There’s nothing to indicate that her DH was just trying to ‘finish an email’. Per OP he was working on the computer and ignoring the baby who was crying hysterically because he had decided baby was hunger and since he couldn’t feed baby, he decided to leave the baby to cry hysterically instead of bringing baby to mom.

          • Even a hungry baby can generally be soothed for short periods of time, particularly if they are just starting to be hungry.

    • Sorry that you’re dealing with this. It is completely reasonable that he should respond by comforting a crying baby. It is not possible to spoil a baby by comforting them when they cry. The fact that you want him to do this should be enough, but if it’s not I note the following:

      American Academy of Pediatrics: “The best way to handle crying is to respond promptly to your infant whenever she cries during her first few months. You cannot spoil a young baby by giving her attention, and if you answer her calls for help, she’ll cry less overall.” https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/baby/crying-colic/Pages/Responding-to-Your-Babys-Cries.aspx

      And Canadian Pediatric Association : “A baby’s first attachment usually happens quite naturally. Your baby cries, and you try to give him what he needs: a feeding, a cuddle, a diaper change, or just holding him. When you respond, your baby learns that he can trust you, and depend on you for comfort and to feel safe. As you get better at knowing what your baby is telling you and meeting his needs, your baby feels less stress. Responding quickly to a baby’s cries is the best way to show her that she is safe and loved. It should not be confused with “spoiling”. Babies cannot be spoiled. When they’re sick, upset or distressed, they need to know that you are there for them.” http://www.caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/attachment

      If your husband continues to show a lack of interest in comforting the baby and is non-responsive to the baby and not attached, you may want to encourage him to be evaluated for post-partum depression which can happen to dads as well.

    • To echo was SC said, your husband may have to hear from others (pediatrician, his mother, or hired help) what to do with baby. My husband was SO resistant when I would give advice for whatever reason (probably something we need to work on in our marriage in general) that I ended up having a nursing service come in and do a tutorial for both of us (though he was the only one who really needed it). I actually prepped them in advance on things I wanted them to cover so he would hear those things from him. And definitely raise questions when you’re at the pediatrician (if your husband is there), even if you know the answer – for some reason my husband remembers everything he hears from our ped, so I ask even the obvious questions there :)

    • I agree with the posters that you can’t spoil a newborn!

      Also, when you’re discussing this with hubby, ask him this hypothetical question: If he found you, his wife, crying in the bedroom, would he open the door to see what’s going on and then leave to go back to the computer?

      I’m hoping his response would be that he would try to comfort you with either his presence (aka: just being there with you), talking with you or help you get what you need or do something/anything other than just shutting the door and leaving you be.

      So if his answer is that he would comfort and help a grown a** ADULT when that adult is in distress, why would he think it appropriate to ignore a baby, who is the most vulnerable, most helpless, YOUNGEST member of the family? If the adults in the household deserve compassion and assistance when they’ve had a bad day/bad experience, shouldn’t the family member who knows absolutely nothing, controls nothing and is at the mercy of everyone, be given the same courtesy?

      Just a thought…

    • Don’t let anyone tell you it’s okay to let a baby cry! Whatever it is your doing, you can at least soothe the baby with your voice if you can’t pick them up, because you’re busy extinguishing a fire or giving CPR to someone. Kids learn to self-soothe at about 2+ years.

      Your husband can’t breastfeed but he can pick the baby up for skin contact and talk in a soothing voice. Baby can suck on his finger. Our baby liked to travel through the apartment hanging over dad’s shoulder. She liked baby massage and baby excercise (a series of movements you repeat) looking at faces very closely. Talking and laughing and happy voices.

      The first time I took a shower (=was apart from my baby) my husband let the baby cry and continued watching the news. His thought process was: babies cry, the baby wants mom, I’m just a dad and I don’t know what to do anyway. I was in hormonal rage then, but we talked it over later. I gave him specific actions to do when the baby cried. He hadn’t prepared himself AT ALL by reading about babies, development or practical stuff. Of course I had to guide him a lot in the beginning… for the first 9 months. And he had asked me to guide him.

      Step back when things are going well. If he does harmless things the wrong way, let it go. But I wouldn’t let him ignore the baby. Now is the time for baby to start building trust in dad, baby needs to know that dad will be there to sooth, help and care. Dad isn’t doing that now, so don’t be surprised if baby doesn’t want dad – why would baby trust someone who ignores you when your distressed?

  28. Anon for this :

    I’m listening to Big Little Lies as an audiobook on my commute, and it has made me realize something. The descriptions of the DV from Celeste’s husband are making me feel actually physically sick to my stomach. My on-and-off relationship of 8 years is with a man who has never ever laid hands on me, but who does get similarly triggered to fight me in a big way from very minor things, and I’m always tiptoeing around him. I recognize the feeling of “oh no, I should never have told him the computer broke, now all hell will break loose” and the constant searching of his facial for a new rage outbreak (and not always knowing what it was I said or did that triggered it). Sometimes it’s because I wasn’t making enough eye contact with him while dancing at a wedding, sometimes it’s because I got a ride home from work with a male coworker. I’ve left him several times because of this. Oh man, this book is really making me realize how messed up it is. I really need to stop listening to it on the way to work.

    • Good for you for realizing there’s a serious problem. Please leave him for good before it escalates into violence.

      • Yes, the answer is not to stop listening to the book it’s to leave this terrible person.

      • PrettyPrimadonna :

        Yes! Please! Get the help you need to leave this guy. Even “just” having to feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your SO is no way to live.

    • Leave this man. Move, change your number, and block all attempts that he makes to contact you. You shouldn’t have to live in fear.

    • Are you ok? You know your own relationship but based off what you said and the fact that you said it at all I’m concerned about you. Do you have the support you need to end it (or if it’s currently “off” make sure it stays that way) or get perspective from someone who is closer to the situation than me as an internet stranger?

      Please take care of yourself.

    • Or leave him for good because he is abusive? The book is not the problem.

      • Yes! Plus 1. Men who are control freak’s or abusive are NOT what you (or any woman in this hive) should be looking for. Hit the road, or tell this doosh to hit the road. NOW! So what, you have invested 8 years of your life with this doosh. Move on before you get hurt. Do not have s-x with him again b/c he will take you for granted. You do NOT need an abusinve doosh huffeing and puffeing on top of you, then rolling over when he is done. I did that for too many years. I had to throw out my 1000 psi Egyptian Cotten Sheets b/c of my ex. You should pull out b/f this happens to you. You will find another guy if you look but do NOT fret if it does not happen right away. It will and you will be happy with some other guy. I wish you all the luck in the world to be happy! YAY!!!

    • Yes, I’m OK. I’m fortunate in that I have kept my own apartment and we don’t have any kids together, so from a practical viewpoint extricating myself is going to be uncomplicated, but of course emotionally it’s more complicated than that. I just couldn’t believe how I wanted to vomit this morning listening to the book. (Note – there’s no threat of violence in my situation, and I don’t think this would ever escalate into violence since it hasn’t over the last 8 years, it’s just manipulative, controlling, jealous ragey behavior – I know that’s not OK but physically I feel perfectly safe.)

      • I’m so glad you’re physically safe, but I’m really concerned that your reaction to this is to get rid of the book. The reaction is to break up with this man and have him out of your life forever.

        Btw, I ended a serious relationship where I was walking on eggshells. It took me a couple months to get over the heartache, but one day I looked up and realized how freely I could breathe and how wonderful it was to not be constantly worried about his reactions to things.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Emotional and psychological abuse is abuse, too. It doesn’t have to be physical to be dangerous. Please, please leave. There are dozens of women here who will support you and share our experiences with the same types of men. You are worth more than “manipulative, controlling, jealous ragey behavior.”

      • anonshmanon :

        Emotional abuse is still abuse. You deserve so much better!

      • Physically you are not ok, physically you are at the point of vomiting at hearing a fictional description of what is happening to you.

        Get out. Cut ties. Right now.

        I am only watching the show, not the books, but it only gets worse, not better. And that’s the truth for all victims of abuse, not just fictional characters.

        Get out. Get out. Get out.

      • Anonymous :

        OP, with all love, coming from someone who survived an abusive relationship: just. get. out.

        You’re in an eight-year relationship that (thankfully) hasn’t progressed even to moving-in stage with a guy who scares you. This will never get better or feel better or feel different. He is not the guy for you. You deserve better than this. Get out now, before you get hurt or, at the very minimum, waste any more time on a dead-end relationship that can’t progress because of your SO’s character flaws.

    • I think I didn’t phrase my original post very clearly. I know that I have to end the relationship, and I don’t think the problem is that I need to stop listening to the book. If anything, the physical reaction I had to listening to the book made it even clearer to me that I need to put a stop to this in my life.

      • OP – that’s how I read it :) You need to not listen to the book *on the way to work* because it’s not putting you in a useful work mood.

        Good luck with the emotional processing and the extrication.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I know how you feel.

        During my marriage to an emotional abuser, I changed jobs to one that involved a lot of domestic violence-related issues. I felt just like you feel: “OMG they are describing my relationship!” Unfortunately it still took me a couple more years to leave — don’t let that happen to you!

      • Wildkitten :

        Therapy would probably be very helpful to you through this major life transition. Good luck!

    • My ex-boyfriend was like this too. It took me years to leave him. But once I finally did things were so much better. It also took me a long time to realize that it shouldn’t be that way and to stop being surprised when my (now) husband didn’t freak out over me having friendly conversations with male co-workers (gasp, even going out to lunch as a group with them!), or going out for a drink with my girlfriends. It is so, so much better.

  29. Sloan Sabbith :

    I read Tiny Beautiful Things over the weekend and feel like it relates to so much of what we discuss here. Thank you to the person who recommended The Ghost Ships That Did Not Carry Us, wow.

    It made me think: if, everything else remaining the same, you could tell yourself something (or a few things), 1,2, and 5 years ago, what would they be?

    For me:
    1 year: You made it through the worst of it. Things are going to just get better from here. Keep on keeping on. You are amazing.
    2 years: The next few years are going to be so hard. You’ll make it through- but remember to love yourself more than you want other people to love you.
    5 years: Don’t get so close to him you forget you matter, too.

  30. Out of Place Engineer :

    Shopping help request! I feel like I am 28 again: we are invited to three weddings this May-Sept. I have a perfectly serviceable black dress that I could wear to one or all of the weddings, but I was thinking that maybe I should add some color to my wardrobe. One wedding is at a Brooklyn hotel — invite says formal, but don’t have to wear a long gown, do I? We’re going to be in NY for a few days before the wedding, so I’m not sure how RTR would work. The other two weddings are in the mid-west. Busty, hour-glass, size 14

    What do you guys think of this? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/adrianna-papell-lace-overlay-sheath-dress-regular-petite/3638707

    • Beautiful dress! No need to wear a long gown at all. I’d maybe do the black dress you have for Brooklyn and the floral lace for the Midwest.

    • There was just a thread about formality of NYC weddings the other day. Apparently black tie in NYC means floor-length. Is it black tie or just formal? I think the lace is a great choice for all 3 weddings if the NYC one isn’t black tie.

      • Out of Place Engineer :

        I’ll search the archives — I must have missed that thread. The Brooklyn invite just says Formal Attire, not black tie, so I wasn’t sure if it had to be a long gown. Thanks for the reassurance!

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      Late comment, but I want to chime in to say that I love to use RTR when traveling. They can deliver to your hotel or wherever you’re staying. If it’s a hotel and you call ahead, they’re generally happy to hold something for you even if it arrives before you do. You can ship it off before you leave (or have the hotel help you do that), and it frees up so much space in your travel bag for other clothes.
      If you’re looking for an excuse to buy something you love, by all means, buy something you love, but if you’re actually worried about convenience, I find RTR more convenient when traveling than having to schlep a big, long dress around.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes, I travel a lot and used to get a lot of Amazon prime shipments at hotels, mostly various Marriott chains. You can alert them before if it makes you more comfortable, but I would just have it delivered to guest Firstname Lastname c/o the hotel and then pick it up from the front desk on my way in after work. In NYC, IIRC some hotels (like Starwood) charge a package delivery fee, I think because a lot of foreign tourists come in and online shop. You may want to check on that if that is a concern, but I don’t think they’re large fees and they deliver everything to your room.

  31. Any recommendations for affordable hotels in Portland ME? I’m trying to plan a trip there in August and everything is obscenely expensive. Unfortunately there’s no flexibility on timing.

    • Anon in NYC :

      What about an Airbnb?

    • I liked the Press Hotel when I stayed there. Not sure if that is in line with your budget.

    • AnonLondon :

      What budget are you working with, and are you tied to staying in Portland proper or will you have a car?

      • $200/night is about the most I want to pay although I’d prefer even cheaper than that. Would love to be in Portland proper but probably can’t at that price. I don’t care about fancy hotels, just a place that’s clean and comfortable.

        • AnonLondon :

          Portland itself at $200/night in August is probably not going to be clean and comfortable. If the event is a few hours the other direction from Boston, would Brunswick or Freeport put you closer? Casco Bay Inn is not fancy, but is clean and within your budget at August rates and near Freeport for shopping, or the Black Lantern in Brunswick also within budget at August rates.

    • August is prime tourist season here and everywhere in Maine, so it is going to be crazy expensive in the Old Port or anywhere along the coast.

      • Yeah, I know. I have family in another part of Maine and they’ve chosen this month for a family event I have to attend so I have no flexibility in when I visit. Don’t even get me started on our plane tickets, which are $700 round-trip from Chicago. I’ve gone to Europe for less!

        • If you haven’t booked already, have you considered flying into Boston or Manchester (via Southwest) and driving to Portland? I think it’s only an hour or two away.

          • Unfortunately the family event is a couple of hours in the other direction from Portland so it would be a pretty long, miserable drive from Boston. I know from experience that traffic between Boston and Portland can be brutal on summer weekends.

        • Flying into Boston and driving can be a great alternative. Be aware of traffic, however. Traffic into Maine from Boston on Thursday/Friday evenings and out of town on Sunday is horrendous. The drive is generally 2-2.5 hours, but with traffic it can easily be 4.

          For a hotel, check out South Portland. If you are willing to drive a bit more, Brunswick and Freeport are about 30-45 minutes north. The Brunswick Hotel and Tavern is in the middle of Brunswick (home of Bowdoin College), super cute and close to food.

  32. Feed Me, Seymour :

    I’ve been at a new job for 6 weeks. My team of 6 people has a standing meeting at noon on Mondays. The Outlook invite is titled X Group Lunch Meeting. Sometimes someone remembers to order lunch and sometimes they don’t. I’m the youngest, the most junior, and the only female. (I’m 35 with an alphabet soup after my name, so it’s not like I’m 22 fresh out of school.) Because I’m the most junior (read: lowest paid and least likely to want to have to go buy lunch for $12 because no one decided to order today), and because, hey, I love food, I’d REALLY LIKE SOMEONE TO REMEMBER TO ORDER LUNCH. I volunteered once a couple weeks ago to do it, but got the “Oh, don’t worry about it.” But, uh, ok, then that means there’s no food. Or there might be food. Heck, who knows.

    Any idea how to handle this without being seen as grabby about free food (which I totally realize I am – student loans, yo) or the female doing office admin work?

    Btw, there’s no budget issue here – the company can totally afford it and has all the other team meetings catered. I think my group is just absent-minded. All I want to know is whether to bring my lunch from home or whether one will be provided.

    • Does anyone on the team have an assistant? I know it’s very office-specific, but in my last office, the protocol was for the senior person on the team or organizer of the meeting to ask their assistant to order lunch. If there is an assistant who can do it, then it should be easy to add it to his/her calendar.

      If there’s no assistant, would it be possible to put in a standing order with one restaurant or deli? Maybe you’d have to do it, but I think a consistent lunch is worth the trade-off of one-time admin work.

    • My office has lunch meetings catered once a week and we don’t get notice in advance what the food will be. Sometimes it’s things I can’t eat, and like you, I hate finding that out when I walk into the meeting room. I now just bring a lunch every time so that I have a backup. If lunch is something I can eat, I save the lunch I brought for the next day (or have it for dinner). I know you would prefer the free food (so do I–I buy meals for the week planning on having that one lunch free, so it’s annoying when I run out early because I had to use one on meeting day) but this seems like a reasonable option for now while you’re still new and don’t want to rock the culture too much.

    • Why can’t you just have a couple of lunch options (like Trader Joe’s frozen meals) in the freezer so you can pull one of them out if no one orders lunch?

    • Honestly — just bring your lunch. If there’s food, great, eat it and save your lunch for tomorrow. If not, you’re covered.

      • Anonymous :

        +1

        I don’t understand why you are so rage-y about this.

        Do not volunteer to organize it.

        Bring a lunch every Monday, and if you get a free lunch….. bonus surprise! And save your homemade lunch for the next day.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Bring a lunch and then if there’s a free lunch it’s a nice surprise and you eat the lunch you brought the next day.

    • I have a tomato allergy, which rules out like 90% of the cheap catered lunch options (pizza, many sandwiches, many salads, pasta). When I worked at a job that did a lot of mandatory catered-lunch meetings I’d bring a meal-bar or protein shake with my everytime, in case the food was inedible, and end up eating my packed lunch later.

      Just make sure your Monday packed lunch can sit in the fridge an extra, if they do order.

  33. NYC Newbie :

    What is the easiest way to get around NYC in a car nowadays: taxi, Uber, Lyft? Also, any fun events happening this weekend that you’d recommend?

  34. Anon For This :

    I’m happily married but over the last few months I’ve developed a little bit of a crush on a coworker. I thought it was pretty harmless since we were both married and obviously nothing physical was going to happen. It was mostly just a way to liven up the work day by looking extra cute when I knew I’d see him etc. Buuuuuut now he’s getting divorced and I am a little worried about this escalating into something inappropriate. To be sure, he hasn’t expressed any romantic interest in me, but somehow having a little crush on an available guy seems a little less innocuous than a little crush on a married guy. Advice? Please tell me I’m not the only happily married woman who gets these kind of crushes? I adore my husband and we have a good bedroom life but we’ve been together for 15 years and it’s just gotten a bit routine.

    • Crushes happen. It is normal to still be attracted to other people and find aspects of their personalities to be appealing. I don’t think it necessarily means anything is wrong with your relationship; it just means you’re human. That being said, I would be very careful to not cross the line into flirtation or put yourself into a situation that you wouldn’t tell your husband about.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a big ol’ crush on a client a couple years ago. Hoo boy, I had it bad for a little while! My husband is great and we still have great, frequent LGPs, but this blindsided me. He was cute, funny, charming, we had a great connection, etc. I was concerned for a little while. Then he got divorced. And made an overture. Turns out – just like with the healthcare repeal :-) – thinking about doing something disastrous and actually doing something disastrous are different. I politely declined and distanced myself, which turned out to be a good thing as later I found out his divorce was caused by him being basically a terrible, lying, cheating person. Not someone I would have wanted to get involved with even if I was single. Much less throw my marriage away for.

      My advice is: say nothing to anyone in your real life (when the dirt emerged on my crush, I was sooooooo glad I didn’t have to live anything down, even with my friends), keep your head on straight, and know the feeling will pass. It’s not love, just limerance and limerance has limits. SAY NOTHING and you’ll have a nothing to regret later. But thanks for posting because when I was going through this, I felt very alone. It happens more often than people think.

      • Anonymous :

        My working theory on this is that you (and me, as I’ve been in the same situation) develop the crush because this guy is a cheater and was sending out stealth flirtatious vibes from the beginning. Like on some level he was showing you he was open to emotional intimacy. I’ve never developed a crush on an attached guy unless the attached guy later turned out to be a cheater/looking for a way out. The happily attached guys don’t send out come-hither signals.

        • Also Anon :

          You really don’t think it’s possible to develop a crush on a guy if he doesn’t flirt with you?

        • Anonymous :

          You’re so right. In retrospect, my crush was totally putting out the “come and get it” vibes from the jump – which I did not recognize as I was 15 years removed from dating and I had not had anyone put “the moves” on me in a long while. I think, being perfectly blunt, he had a radar for the fact that I was bored with life and found him attractive, and he ran with it. And I fell for his schtick hook, line and sinker; like I was some teenager falling in serious l u s t for the first time. I’m sure if I had done anything physical with him, I would have gotten dropped like a hot potato as soon as his curiosity got satisfied. Thank goodness I didn’t have to live through that drama.

          In a weird way,the whole journey really made me appreciate my husband more. He’s honestly a really great guy, nothing like my crush in the ways that count. I am extra glad I didn’t do something that either blew up my life, or that I would have to live with the secret of and be ashamed. It was a pretty great learning experience, if not the easiest one I’ve ever had.

    • I Went For It. :

      Maybe this is not what you are looking to hear, but I developed a strong crush on a friend while married to someone else. After much turmoil and decision-making, I’m now in the process of divorcing, things with the crush are starting to heat up beautifully, and my life is more amazing than I ever could have imagined. Turns out I wasn’t as happily married as I had once thought. I have no idea where things will go from here but I’m excited to find out! The crush did not cause the divorce–we had plenty of other issues–but he was a great catalyst.

    • Wildkitten :

      Use the crush to inspire you to bring your A game to work. Have a plan to get physically away from him if you are worried about anything actually happening.

  35. “Buuuuuut now he’s getting divorced and I am a little worried about this escalating into something inappropriate.”

    You do realize that you, and only you, control your actions, right? Why does him being married/divorced/single-and-ready-to-mingle have ANY impact on whether something inappropriate happens?

    • Anonymous :

      Access some chill. She’s being honest about her feelings and looking for help. Stuff happens. Life isn’t always straightforward. She hasn’t done anything yet and probably won’t.

  36. Best options for transportation from the Austin airport to a non-downtown location about 25 miles away? I know that Austin doesn’t have Uber or Lyft; I see multiple other rideshare options but tips on which ones are best would be appreciated – and if taxis are actually okay in Austin (as opposed to being poorly maintained cars with terrible drivers, as they are in my city), would appreciate knowing that as well!

    • Fasten works really well in that area. Also, you can still use Uber/Lyft outside of Austin proper going into Austin. I have had nothing but bad experiences with taxis there (although I don’t live there, so small sample set)…that being said, I’ve also had some really odd rideshare drivers.

    • Rent a car? If you’re not going to be downtown, it’s likely you’ll need a car anyways…

      • +1. I almost always rent a car when I travel for work (unless I’m going to somewhere where that would be ridiculous, see eg Manhattan). I’m one of the few I know at my large company who does, but I just can’t be bothered to rely on Uber/Lyft/taxis (esp in places where public transit is laughable but it might take 15 minutes for an Uber if you aren’t in downtown).

    • Depending on what direction you are heading- car service, airport shuttle, or rent a car. Generally speaking for most non-downtown locations you will want a car, plus taxi/car service will be just as expensive as renting.

    • Should have added that I will not need a car once I’m at my destination. Thanks!

  37. So my 21 yr old college junior cousin is dating a 43 yr old who is twice divorced with 3 kids. We suspected there was a boyfriend and she always said there wasn’t – then she announces to the parents that they’ve been together for a yr. She’s visiting this week and it will come up. What do I say – as her 41 yr old cousin, not her parent? I don’t want to lecture or act scandalized bc it’ll cause her to shut down. I don’t want this to turn into a – us against the world – relationship. She and the rest of my family are from rural NC – where hardly anyone goes to college, people marry at 19 often while pregnant. She is the first of her generation to break that cycle and I just think a 43 yr old will hold her back – talk her out of grad school or a professional job in a bigger place when retail locally would be just fine. But if it comes up I want to tread lightly – as not everyone in the family gets why I went to law school, moved to NYC etc.

    • What about focusing on her next steps? Is she going to grad school? Where is she thinking of apply? Does she want to visit you in NYC and check out schools there etc? Basically helping her build up her life outside of him. I’d push the grad school angle. Another option would be to push interesting jobs that would help her see the world and get away from him – there are great programs were US graduates can work (and be paid) to teach English in France and Spain (both governments have great programs).

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’d just have compassion for her. At that age, being with someone older and established (even if it means he has a little wake of chaos behind him) is attractive. It’s attractive to have a BF with a house, and a life, and everything figured out. It’s attractive to skip the uncertainty of being an early twenty-something (even if that’s really the fun part) for being older and stable. I’d let her grow out of this relationship on her own.

    • response in moderation but short version is to push grad school – maybe she could visit you in NYC and check out some schools?

    • Unless there are real warning signs, I think it might be her business. Sure, the odds are not great statistically – but it really depends on the boyfriend. Is he the sort who will encourage her to pursue her ambitions, or will he dominate the relationship and she’ll end up putting his wants first? Have you met him? Do you have any data points on him other than his age and kids? Either way I would err on the side of keeping my mouth shut until there is cause for concern, and even then I would focus on her education and what she wants to accomplish, not on the relationship.

    • Nothing, unless she asks your opinion. I’m sure she’s getting plenty of unsolicited advice already.

    • One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned these past several months is that all you can do is give people clear cut (as little judgement as possible) advice when they ask. Unless they are in danger, giving unsolicited advice rarely works out. More likely than not this relationship will run its course and she will learn what she needs to in her own time.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Sadly, I think this is all good advice. See Rule 10, above.

    • Anonymous :

      I did something similar, though I was 19 and he was 31. He was recently divorced with a child. I was in my second year of college. I liked that he had money, experience, a career, a house, etc. He was mature, but still fun. I think I made him feel younger (though looking back now, 31 is still young haha!) We had fun and he never held me back. We eventually realized that we wanted different things. He wanted me to move in with him and I wasn’t ready for that. I also wasn’t really ready to be a step-mother to his daughter. We broke up and I went on to law school and became a lawyer. I agree the best thing to do is let it run its course.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, but this is a 22 year age difference, which is HUGE especially given her young age. Even if this guy didn’t have ex-wives and children, this would be messed up. He needs to find someone in his own generation. Ew, just ew.

        • Anonymous :

          +1

          The age difference is close to double (19/31 vs. 21/43) and he’s had not one but two divorces and 3 kids. so much ew.

        • Wildkitten :

          I think it’s actually less risky. 19/31 is a potentially marriageable gap. 21/43 is something she’ll almost definitely grow out of.

  38. I am one of the lucky ones that doesn’t sweat too much. I need antiperspirant but not the 20% Al stuff that seems to have overtaken the shelves at Target. Does anyone know of any brands that have antiperspirant with less than 10 percent aluminum?

    • Anonymous :

      Crystal – the kind that you have to wet to apply. It’s the only natural deodorant I’ve found that actually works, though I am also not very sweaty.

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