Coffee Break: Baroque Hoop Huggie Set

Shopbop just added lots of new markdowns to their sale, which includes this set of four earrings. They look like a great basic, and the two pairs are different sizes, so if you happen to have double-pierced ears it could make for a cool look, or else it would be nice to pair them with your outfits as you like. We’re featuring the rose gold, but they’re also available in silver-plated and gold-plated. These were originally $100 at Shopbop but are now marked down to $70. You can get free shipping with Amazon Prime — and free returns too. Luv AJ Baroque Hoop Huggie Set

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  1. Legal Writing Sample? :

    When a prospective employer or recruiter asks for a writing sample, what’s the best thing to provide? How long should it be?

    I’m a transactional healthcare attorney, and was laid off a few months ago. I’ve been looking for a new position, and have been asked for a writing sample. I don’t know that I have anything from my previous job, as I have no access to anything there, so I’m figuring I should just write something now. I have no idea what I should write, or how long (1-2 pages? longer?). Any suggestions? Thanks!

    • I’m in litigation, but I always use a 5-10 brief that has been publicly filed (usually downloading it from PACER to show that it is publicly available and not privileged). Do you have an equivalent to that? Or have you written any firm newsletters that you could use?

      • Legal Writing Sample? :

        I don’t really have anything like that – pretty much everything is confidential memos and contracts. I did write part of a white paper, but I’m not sure if that’s publically available…

      • I agree.

        1) I have alot of pleading’s that are on file at the NYS WC website that can easily be accessed so there is NO Confidentiality issue to worry about. You should go for this first (if you have one)

        2) If you do NOT have pleading’s or a breif, you can use a memo you wrote to your manageing partner on a legal issue, but make sure to redact confidential information.

        3) If you do not have either 1 or 2, you can submit a law school MOOT COURT, which does NOT have to be redacted. But since it is MOOT, you will NOT get the credability you will have for a real breif.

        4) Finally, if you have none of the above, give them a research paper you wrote for a law professor or for your law school newspaper. I got my first job serving subpeenies by giving them a draft article I wrote to try and get on to my school paper. I did NOT get on, but I got a research job with a profesor, instead, which was better for my legal career. YAY!

    • Ask the recruiter. Ime they usually mean 10-15 pages, but some employers will specifically ask for something shorter or longer.

    • Wildkitten :

      I use something I wrote for work that is heavily redacted.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m a transactional attorney. I’m in-house now and used to be in BigLaw (M&A, debt financing, SEC, offerings etc.) I would be hard pressed to find a “writing sample” that wasn’t confidential. I’m not going to submit a merger agreement (?) Now that I’m in-house it’s the same – I’m not going to supply a commercial agreement or negotiated SLAs or commercial terms or terms of use/policies as a writing sample. Can you ask the recruiter what they want? I’d guess that this requirement doesn’t really apply to you.

  2. Anon for this... for now :

    So I was just told i am having a formal disciplinary action against me for telling a male HR manager I was not comfortable alone with him in the room.


    • This is terrible. Be strong and document everything.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Did the male HR manager threaten or harass you in any way? What caused your discomfort. If its just a desire to not be alone in an office / room with anyone who is male I could see how that would be hard in a work setting…

      If you were harassed / threatened by this man then I am sorry.

      • Anon for this... for now :

        I had previously raised an issue with comments he made with my team leader who said he would handle the issue. Now today I was due to have a meeting about my performance with him, brought along a witness and told him I was not comfortable with him alone due to his past behaviour, and he became extremely hostile, denied me my (female) witness, brought in another man from HR (A hr admin, instead of the experienced female HR manager who was also available) and refused my request for a female HR representative and told me I was not allowed to leave the room despite my multiple requests to do so. Leaving the room in tears to go talk to the female rep was apparently unprofessional and disruptive, too.

        • JuniorMinion :

          I’m sorry that’s no bueno. I would say that you should schedule a separate meeting with the HR manager responsible for you and whoever issued the disciplinary action against you (if it isn’t this man). Try to frame it as “what are the action items involved for me in this disciplinary review and what were you hoping to see from me.” When you get their response you can go one of two ways:

          1) if the request is impossible (ie we expect you to just deal with d*ckwad – well then you know where you stand and what they think of you. I’ve been in a sort of situation like this before and it stinks but at least then you know that these aren’t people that will ever have your back and you can plan out your exit

          2) If the request is something along the lines of “We hear you concern and are sensitive to it, but in the future would appreciate if you handle it like x ” – then you can come up with a plan as well as reinforce your ability to work well with others / build bridges thus earning yourself some points for handling things in a “mature” manner

          Try to psych yourself up before you do this to avoid tears as best you can as (unfairly) this is likely to undermine your credibility. Also try to avoid having it become a men vs. women thing and more a “this particular guy is over the line”

          Best of luck getting through this. In my experience it stinks when your reaction to something that you have a legitimate gripe about is used against you.

          • Anon for this... for now :

            Basically the issue is that he *is* my HR manager, and he also issued this action against me. He was supposed to deliver my quarterly feedback from my actual manager (a quirk of being a contractor) when all this went down.

            … yes, his reaction to finding out that I considered his conduct inappropriate was to file a disciplinary action against me. So professional, much maturity. not.

            The disciplinary process would normally be a scheduled hearing with my HR manager and one other HR person, but as this situation is a bit… sideways, I am not sure which way they will proceed.

            I will, however, endeavor to have ALL the xanax at hand.

          • JuniorMinion :

            Ugh that stinks. I’m sorry you are dealing with this. I had a friend who was contracting and had a very legitimate issue like this (Male with jurisdiction over her wouldn’t sign her time sheet and REFUSED TO PAY HER until he deemed some explanation of hers satisfactory. HR did nothing). Moral of the story it pushed her into looking for jobs hardcore and she actually ended up with a higher paid permanent job at the end of the day and a thriving side hustle.

          • Anon for this... for now :

            I have been here as a contractor for 10+ years and have a niche I enjoy and would find very hard to replicate elsewhere, so I am not letting this walking doorknob chase me away if I can avoid it.

      • This is totally awful. It is bad when you get a male person in HR who is harassing you, or where you feel uncomfortable with a male HR person alone in a room. Having men in HR has always puzzeled me. It really creates problems b/c the men know all of the tricks and can manipulate the situeations to their advantage. If there were ONLEY women in HR, we all would be alot better off. FOOEY!

    • ::Hugs::

    • He sounds like a terrible HR person. I’m so sorry.

      Can you meet with the female HR person with your documentation of events that have transpired to date? And/or discuss the male HR’s behavior with whomever he reports to? “You’re not allowed to leave the room?” WTH.

      • Anon for this... for now :

        I have sent out an e-mail with bullet point list of what went down and raised it with the TL who previously was informed of his conduct. I am going to make a formal complaint about this and I am looking into bringing in legal representation if need be.

        • Nothing to add except support for you. Good for you for documenting and speaking up! :D

          • Anon for this... for now :

            Thanks. I am still rattled AF but like, dude. I am not gonna let this self-important little poopwhistle walk over me when he is just so, so wrong.

        • Anonymous :

          Good for you!! Stay strong.

    • anon for this :

      I seriously wonder if this is the same male HR manager I had to deal with. I had food poisoning once, and wanted to use the “quiet room” to lay down for a while before my husband could pick me up. I didn’t want to Uber due to vomiting possibility and my husband worked nearby.

      He came into the quiet room without knocking, while i was lying down, half asleep, and ask me all kinda of inappropriate questions including whether I was pregnant and if my husband was abusing me. I asked him to leave so I could rest because I felt ill. He wouldn’t leave and stood in front of the door even after I said I wanted to leave the room, got up and stood in front of him, and said I wanted to go back to my office. I felt threatened. The guy is like 6’5″ and at least 250, and I am barely 5′ and barely 100 lbs and I was sick. I pushed past him fairly forcefully to get out of the room, and i vomited as soon as i got through the door. I had to do a meeting with the managing partner of the firm about my “assault” on this guy. I was asked to not come to work for two weeks, without pay. I complied, but I was already planning to leave anyways due to an insane boss and other co-worker issues. It was an insane firm. I am at a firm that is great now.

      • Anon for this... for now :

        Wow that is appallingi am so sorry you had to deal with that.

        And this dude is shorter than i am and trying to compensate hard, so nope not the same guy…

  3. I know you love your buggies, Kat, and so do I. They are great for work, because they are not too big, and they feel a lot better when holding a phone to the ear than studs to.

  4. I was a bit late on the morning thread; thanks to all who responded.

    I’m going to Austin, TX with a group of girls at the end of April. We’ll stay for about 4 days. Recommendations on where to stay, where to drink, what to do? I didn’t mention this in the original, but I’d like to have at least one really good (read: $$$$) dinner while there. I expect I will need a break from bar food/liquid dinners. Continued thanks!

    • Uchi for great sushi. torchy’s tacos is great cheap food. I dream about their tacos.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      We went 4 years ago for a weekend so this might be old but anyways:

      Stayed at Casa Kenwood Guesthouses which are in the Travis Height neighborhood. Loved them.

      Ate at:
      Amy’s Ice Cream
      Torchy’s Tacos

      Went to:
      Zilker Botanical Gardens
      Saw the Bats
      Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
      LBJ Library and Museum
      Continental Club for Music
      Alamo Drafthouse for a movie

      This blog is based in Austin and will have good restaurant ideas if you do a search:

    • We had a great meal at Barley Swine when we were there – it’s pricey but I thought the price was fair for the quality of food. We waited in line for about an hour for Franklin bbq (went at like 2pm before they closed – they had sold out of a couple meats when we arrived).

      +1 to LBJ library

    • Kat, can you please make comments searchable? No offense to OP – I hope you get some good info! At this point we have weekly questions about Austin, TX.

    • We stayed at the Austin Motel which is kitsch but not luxury. Great location in South Austin. Walked to a bunch of neat bars and restaurants. Most of my friends would have freaked out about this place (it’s just a motel) but I liked it.

      • PatsyStone :

        +1 I LOVE Austin Motel, you’ll probably need to book now as it books quickly. I would also consider looking into an AirBnB near Zilker Park. The bars on South First were super fun when I was last there, but that was 5’years ago. If you’re there the last weekend of April, it’s Eeyore’s Birthday at Pease Park. It’s amazing and the only place I would legitimately consider going topless with body paint.

    • Be aware that the Legislature is in Session until the end of May, so hotel rooms in Central Austin are outrageous by normal standards ($600/night at our Kimpton). You may want to look at the Hotel Ella for rooms in the $300-$400 range. For a nice meal that’s not too fussy (love Barley Swine, but I don’t need smoke in a jar,) Wink, Bullfight, Olamaie, Launderette are all good. Make sure to check Eater Austin for other good recommendations. Uchi’s little sister, Uchiko, is equally delicious and easier to get into. Enjoy our lovely city — April is one of the nicest times of the year!

    • I was there a few weeks ago for AAJ Convention. I had waited too late to get a room at the Marriott and wound up at the Hampton Inn and Suites a block away. It was relatively inexpensive, like most Hamptons, staff was great, and two blocks from the river, where you can rent SUPS, canoes, or kayaks. We had a very nice meal at Flemings, one block from the Hampton.

  5. Wildkitten :


    I need a longer (but not tunic length) open front black sweater. I want something that will last because I wear it every day but I want to pay under $100. Also, nothing see-through. Size 12/large. Anyone have suggestions?

    • Woolovers Womens Cashmere and Merino Waterfall Cardigan Black.

      • How have you found their shipping? I ordered on 1/19, it arrived in the country on 2/4, and my package has still not arrived! Customer service says to expect a 30 day delay at customs (Canada) but i’m starting to get antsy.

  6. I suddenly have to replace my entire (very good) set of Calphalon pots and pans. Every last one, and with some urgency. I’ve always wanted La Creuset, so it seems like time to go for it. But I have a number of questions that hopefully the hive can answer. Is there anything I should know about enameled cast iron? What is the real difference between the Lodge enameled and La Creuset? Are there other brands I should consider, or other cookware entirely (must be cast iron or stainless steel)?

    If I go La Creuset, what pieces and what sizes should I get; at that cost I can probably only get maybe three items to start. I cook for 2 people probably 4-5 nights a week, mostly quicker 30 minute meals. Thanks!

    • I love Le Creuset and I think you can’t go wrong with them, but why do you need to replace your Calpnalon?

      I use Le Creuset for frying and Dutch oven stuff. I use All Clad for boiling pasta, reheating stuff, and making risotto (I have a round-bottomed All Clad just for this.) I have an inexpensive 8″ teflon coated pan for making eggs.

      I don’t think one line of cookware necessarily meets all needs, and sometimes I don’t feel like hauling out the heavy Le Creuset just for a little job.

      • I terms of sizes I’d get 5 qt and 7 qt Dutch ovens and a 12″ frying pan for feeding 4-5 people.

      • I just moved, and now have an induction stove. The Calphalon doesn’t work with it, which means I have zero functioning pots and pans.

        • Ah thanks. I should mention that my most used Le Creuset pan is a braiser. This was a splurge purchase insisted upon by my husband after the 3rd time I badly burned my hand on a frying pan handle that had been in the oven. I can’t seem to learn not to grab those, so the braiser is a much better pan for me (it’s shallow like a fry pan, but has smaller side handles like a Dutch oven.) I roast every chicken in the braiser, I make chicken and rice in it, and I do actual braises in it all the time.


          • Here is the braiser (5qt)


          • Thanks for the input. The 5qt looks really big in the brazer – do you find you need such a large one? I’m only cooking for 1-2.

          • That was a read-o on my part. I thought you were cooking for 4-5 people in your original post, which I now see is 4-5 nights per week. I’d do the 3 1/2 quart braiser and a 5 qt Dutch oven if cooking for two.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        I wrote the following notes to my dad to give him advice on buying my sister pots and pans. I cook all the time.

        My notes to my dad:
        1) I have been really happy not buying a set. I don’t need that much pots or skillets. I just buy piece by piece depending on need.

        2) My All-Clad pans are my favorite. Very expensive but so nice, such even cooking.

        3) A good cast iron pan is what I use for 90% of my skillet cooking. BTW there is a new modern lighter cast iron pan that I have heard good things about but haven’t tried:

        4) I currently have a 4 quart Cuisinart sauce pan that I am not crazy crazy about just because the black coating on the outside is slowly scratching off. BUT it looks like the new version does not have that black paint on the outside and is on crazy sale on amazon. 25 bucks instead of 80 and sooo many positive reviews.

        6) My 3 must haves: 4 quart sauce pan, large soup pot, cast iron.

        Later but not on my must list I added: 1.5 quart sauce pan for browning butter etc, another large soup pot, a skillet, and two le creuset pieces: a dutch oven and a shallow casserole pan. I love my shallow casserole pan and between that and the cast iron pan I don’t use my skillet ever. If you don’t cook meat a lot then you probably don’t need a dutch oven.

        7) oh and I hate glass tops. I had them with the set mom got me for using at college and was so happy when i replaced that set to just have metal lids. I found that glass are really hard to clean because its not one solid piece its metal + glass and it makes cracks and grooves that stuff get into.

        Lastly we bought my dad this pan for Christmas:
        because my mom refuses to own things that can’t go in the dishwasher, so this was our answer to a cast iron pan for him. I learned about it on this blog:
        if you scan down you can read her review.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        wrote a huge post that got put in moderation but hopefully it will eventually come through…

    • I cook a lot, and I am a big proponent of having pans from multiple brands/lines for different tasks. So, in your situation, I would buy (1) a Le Creuset Dutch oven or braiser, (2) a non-stick skillet, (3) a cast iron (non-enameled) frying pan, (4) a cast iron (non-enameled) grill pan, and (5) a heavy, stainless steel sautee pan from All-Clad or similar. It wasn’t clear if you need to buy pots as well, but I think with these if you had a medium-sized pot with a steamer basket and a larger pot that would heat up quicker than a Dutch oven, you could cook just about anything. (Well, maybe add a roasting pan.)

    • Stainless as an option :

      My stovetop cookware is generally All-Clad tri-ply stainless, and I’ve been very happy with it (in spite of growing up cooking with nonstick). Cast iron, enameled or not, is heavy enough that I’d probably avoid cooking if it was the only stuff I had for everyday. Cook’s Illustrated has good guidance on what makes sense to assemble as a basic set of pots and pans, and they also do good reviews in categories of products (4 qt saucepans, saute pans, etc)–their reviews are how I ended up with the All-Clad.

      I do have a Lodge enameled Dutch oven (6 qt maybe?) and a standard (non-enameled) Lodge frying pan (12 in). I’ve been happy with both–they’re just task-specific items rather than day-to-day utility players for me. If you’re set on cast iron and need to come up with a full set of cookware, I’d not pay the Le Creuset premium. It’s a lot of money for what reviews I’ve seen (the Sweethome in particular) describe as no difference in quality vs Lodge.

    • Someone else posted this link this morning re: Lodge –

    • Anonymous :

      I have a 6 quart Lodge and a 3 quart Le Creuset that I have been using for close to 10 years. No difference in quality that I can tell. Neither have chips, both have mild staining/minor scratches. I actually like the more rounded angle of the Lodge (where side meets the bottom) because it is easier to clean than the close-to-90 degree angle of the Le Creuset. Lodge enamel is made in China, if that matters to you.

      I cook for 2 people most nights of the week. 6 quart gets more use. I also have the Lodge enamel cast iron frying pan- it is the most used pan I own. Add in a small stainless steel saucepan, and you’re good to go.

    • Brunchaholic :

      The 1 pan I could not live without is my 3 qt le creuset dutch oven. I previously had the 6 quart Lodge and “upgraded” per my wedding registry to a 3 qt and 5 qt. (spoiler alert: the Lodge is fine.)

      We had previously used the Lodge for everything and were surprised that for 1-2 people we use the 3 qt 90% of the time. It’s smaller it’s way more manageable for moving around but roomy enough to fit good sized portions. We got it at Williams-Sonoma and I don’t think it’s a classically carried model so I think fewer people have it, but I cannot recommend enough!

    • Love my Le Crueset. If you’re not picky about color, you can get them heavily discounted at the Outlet and places like Marshalls.

  7. Recommendation for a long lasting dog treat? My pup needs the activity of chewing on something to keep him occupied while he’s still on “quiet rest” for heartworm. I’ve tried all sorts of those plastic flavored bones but he just doesn’t understand them. The kong is excellent for 15+ minutes but there’s only so much PB he should be eating. I gave in to those stinky bully sticks but the last one he finished in less than 5 minutes (he’s not even a really strong chewer, so maybe it was a bad brand?). Help!


      Includes a number of frozen ones too that will take longer for your dog to get out of the Kong.

      • Elk antlers, or yak chews. google “himalayan dog chew” – those take my 30 lb terrier a while.

        • Miz Swizz :

          Yes to elk antlers! My dog is the fastest eater ever but he likes to gnaw on elk antlers. You can get them at pretty much any pet store (all the ones I’ve been to have them) and I’d recommend the split style.

    • My dog loves a frozen banana in a kong – much lower cal than peanut butter.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Watch your dog’s reaction to this though. I gave my dog a kong with a treat jammed in there so she couldn’t just pull it out. Dissatisfied with just licking at it, she took to slamming the kong of the floor, walls and furniture to try to break it open like a coconut. It was not at all quiet play!

        • I sincerely wish you had this on video! Sounds hilarious.

          (Though I imagine at the time it was slightly panic inducing)

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I should try to get a re-do and get it on video! We normally crate her when we are not home. My husband was traveling and I was going to a friend’s house after only being home for 3 hours or so. I decided I wanted to try leaving her out of the crate. I was in the garage when I heard these crazy noises coming from in the house. I ran back in and found the dog trying to crack the Kong LOL. I then spent 15 minutes prying the damn treats out of the Kong so I could leave her with an empty Kong instead. She was mostly good. She *just* chewed the corner off two of our wooden stairs. I don’t think she’s ready to be left alone outside the crate yet. Now I just ask people to come to my house if I’ve been gone most of the day.

    • Cow hooves.

    • I freeze a kong (not the cylinder shaped one, I think it’s one that was meant for disc shaped treats originally) full of meat baby food (whatever grain free version I can find – usually turkey or chicken and sweet potato. My pup loves it and it takes her a while to work through, and it’s not as calorific as peanut butter.

      • anon a mouse :

        We do this with canned pumpkin.

        • added to the grocery list. I also just realized I could probably get a slightly bigger Kong for his size which added to the frozen stuffs might keep him busy longer!

    • Frosty paws. We used to give them to our dog during holiday dinners so she wouldn’t steal food off the old folks’ plates. Took her about 20-25 minutes to finish it – just enough time for a second helping of turkey and cranberries :)

  8. Meg March :

    How do you keep non-retirement savings? We have a savings account which is Ally, so it’s getting 1% back, which is nice, but not sure how much to keep there (emergency fund?) versus putting in mutual funds versus some other form.

    • Meg March :

      Other savings are for eventual down payments, future house renos, children’s college, etc– all of these things are distant future, so we don’t have 529s or other specific vehicles. We are young, and have 6 months of income for emergency fund and are fully funding retirement.

      • I keep some in cash and some on a low fee index fund and a handful of stock. I opened a brokerage account at Wells Fargo that is linked to my checking and savings account so that I can move money back and forth (though I usually just leave it alone)

      • Betterandbetter :

        My wife and I are just getting started too with savings. We have a LMCU max checking account that gives you 3% APR on the first 15k if you jump through some hoops that arent too bad. We use hold it as a joint account but if you have combined finances with your spouse you could have one in each of your names, but honestly we are only holding this much this liquid cause my wife is more risk averse and the 3% is the only thing that lets me stomach holding this much cash. Eventually we will probably move to TIPS for cash holdings. The other portion of our efund is in a taxable account with a conservative allocation. Anything above that, that we dont expect to use in the next 24 months or so will be an account with an aggressive allocation.

  9. I am relocating to another city and I have been interviewing at a few firms in new city. My husband already has a job in the new city and I plan to move there either when I get a job or when my apartment here is rented. Firm A let me know Thursday that they were interested in having me come back for a second (final) round interview and told me they would be in touch to schedule. I had second round interview at Firm B on Friday. They offered me the job later that day and told me I have until the end of this week to let them know. I called Firm A to let them know of offer and to see if they could schedule second round interview sooner rather than later, but emphasized that they were my first choice.

    Today recruiting from Firm A called to schedule second round interview for this Friday, then a few hours later called back to cancel. She said partners are very busy and traveling and they will not realistically be able to get the right people in the same room for 2-3 weeks and even then its not a guarantee that I would get the job and its inappropriate for them to suggest that I turn down another offer that would keep me away from my family. She also said it was a shame because the partners who interviewed me liked me a lot, but they don’t feel comfortable having me turn down another offer at this point. We left it that I would evaluate my offer from Firm B independently and would let them know what I decide, and if I don’t take it we could possibly try to set something up in 2-3 weeks.

    I’m so confused. Did I mess this up by telling Firm A about offer from B? Firm A is my first choice by a long shot. Are they just not that interested? There was no job posting for this position – my resume was forwarded to the head of the group by a contact and the recruiter said when we set up the first interview that they were interviewing me “opportunistically” because I seemed like a good fit.

    • First Year Anon :

      I think you did not ruin your chances- Firm A sounds like they are interested but they cant make promises about getting you a job until you have interviewed. They tried to fit you in but couldn’t- which I think is a good sign. I think you have to evaluate if this is your DREAM job and the other is way down your list…and also evaluate your chances of getting another job if both fall through. What don’t you like about Firm B?

      • I agree. I don’t think you messed up your chances with Firm A. It sounds like they like you but that they can’t get all the right people in the room at the right time, and maybe there are operational issues (maybe budget, since they weren’t actively looking to hire) that are keeping them from speeding up the process or promising you something.

        I would do exactly what you suggested to Firm A–evaluate the offer from Firm B independently. Would you be a good fit there? Would it set you up for success? If you decline the offer, what are your chances of getting another offer from Firm X or Company Y? Then, if you accept Firm B, do what you can to keep the door open at Firm A in the long run.

        • I agree – I think Firm A is treating you with honesty and respect. They’re giving you all the relevant facts and letting you make the decision that works best for you.

    • Anonymous :

      See if Firm B will give you an extension. I was overly timid in asking about this when I was in your position a couple years ago. You hold the cards; it’s not like they are going to rescind your offer for asking (although it does technically extend the time open for them to rescind the offer, but I’ve never actually heard of that happening, so it seems like a small risk).

    • I was Firm A in this situation a few years ago. We interviewed a great candidate, but it took me some time to convince my partners that this was a great fit. In the meantime, she received an offer from another firm, and we weren’t in a position to make her an offer yet. Long story short, she turned down the other offer, met with us again, and we ended up hiring her. She’s been fantastic, and I think everyone is happy.

      • Anonymous :

        But you don’t know that that will happen here.

        I went through that with a firm that seemed not to be able to get its scheduling act together. Turns out, the partners were slow-walking b/c they were negotiating to leave that firm and go elsewhere (spring is the season for that). So it may never happen. Or happen in 6 months. Or 12.

        I’d take B’s offer and move. If B doesn’t work out or A becomes the first choice, you can re-evaluate. But be very clear that Firm A isn’t going to hire you soon and has decided that they’re OK with that. Listen to them.

        • This. If B is a real option (if you would have been happy there had A not existed), go with B. If you wouldn’t have taken B and waited for something else if B had been your only option, turn down B and see what happens with A.

          There’s no reason to assume anything about A other than that it’s a “maybe someday” option, so keep the networking door open there but move on from them. They were kind enough to tell you they’re not ready to make an offer and they’re so far from it that they’re ok with knowing it likely means you won’t be available to them any time in the near future. Consider it a gift of clarity from them and a sign to move on!

          • I’m the OP. I’m at a big law firm in big market. Firm A is one of few big law firms in new city – so same level of work and top of compensation. Firm B is several tiers lower with lower pay. I would be more interested in Firm B based on interview and the job description but there are several red flags that suggest I may not be happy there, including that 2 people in informational interviews told me not to go there, one person referred to it as a “sweatshop with no pay” and another person said it was a man’s firm and bad for women. I also get the sense that there is a big face time requirement, which I am not used to and not ready to do. That being said, its one of the few firms that have a group that does what I do, so if I turn it down and don’t get Firm A, my options will be limited.

          • Anon in NYC :

            Can you work remotely for your current firm for a period of time while you get your feet under you in the new city and continue to pursue Firm A? From what you’ve described, I wouldn’t want to go to Firm B.

          • First Year Anon :

            It sounds like you don’t want to work at Firm B no matter what (neither would I…).

          • Anonymous :

            I wouldn’t want to go to Firm B either. Given these facts, I think you’re better off waiting for Firm A to get back to you. If Firm A doesn’t pan out, keep hunting. Firm B sounds pretty miserable and having been in a situation where I transferred to a firm I knew was bad in order to move with a spouse, I wish I’d done long distance for a while longer and kept hunting for a better position…once I was at my version of Firm B I was too miserable to meaningfully job hunt, even as the situation got worse and worse. I ended up eventually quitting with nothing else lined up, being unemployed for a while and then starting over in a different area. I’m happy now but it was a long tough road and I wish I’d turned down the firm I knew was going to be toxic.

    • You definitely didn’t do anything wrong. Just take Firm A at their word that they just couldn’t make it happen in time. And personally I would accept B’s offer because it is absolutely not a sure thing that when Firm A does get all the right people together that they’ll hire you.

  10. anonymous :

    Do you judge the owners of barky dogs poorly? I adopted a dog a little while ago , and while he’s very sweet and not in the least bit aggressive, he’s pretty reactive and scared of most things, which translates into barking at dogs a lot while we’re out. We’re working on training him, but I know other dog owners avoid us when we’re out walking (totally reasonable) and I guess I’m wondering how much they’re likely to think I’m just a terrible person or bad dog owner. Not that this really matters, but I guess I’m curious anyway.

    • Meg March :

      Depends on what they’re doing. If they appear to actively be training the dog, ie, have treat in hand, are working on “look at me” or whatever, then I don’t judge. If they just let their dog lunge and bark and snarl and try to drag the dog along, then yes, I do judge some.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I don’t judge them in the same exact way I don’t judge parents of crying kiddos on the airplane- it’s not like you’re egging him on and it’s probably not much fun for you, either. I feel kind of bad and don’t mind or judge at all.

    • I judged my old neighbors who left their dogs outside in their fenced in yard. They would bark a lot and I didn’t notice any intervention to bring them inside or get them to stop barking. It would be different if they were outside playing with them.

      I’m but not a dog owner, but I wouldn’t care if a dog was barking at other dogs while out on a walk. That seems normal to me.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I have 2 dogs, the little one has never met a stranger and the medium one is super wary, though not barky. The little one will get super excited and will try to tug me toward any other dog so I sometimes worry that people are judging me too.

      If you’re yelling at him to stop, I’d judge you. But as a fellow dog owner, I’d avoid you while you’re out walking because I have the aforementioned super friendly dog and I wouldn’t want her to cause you or your dog any stress. Or I’d avoid you because the wary one wouldn’t have any interest in saying hi to you or your dog. But generally speaking, unless you’re yelling or it looks like the dog is going to get free from you, I don’t pay you much mind.

    • No judgement. Some dogs and some breeds just bark. When I’m out with my pup I often avoid other dogs because I don’t know how they’ll react to mine. (Lots of dogs aren’t very friendly on a leash.) Don’t worry about it!

    • Guilty Neighbor :

      My dog barks in the evenings when he goes outside when we are home. At passers-by and such. My neighbor has told me it really bugs them, mostly as the gate where he sees things and barks is super close to one of their bedrooms. The houses in the neighborhood are old and small, almost all with old windows. I try to be super-vigilant, and am almost always outside with him. But he still barks. I’m sure more than neighbor would like.

      But I try, and I feel terrible about it. It is not something I can 100% eliminate, only mitigate. I look forward to moving this year.

    • Anonymous :

      I mean dogs are going to bark now and then. What we do with mine is we sit him down- so we get a treat and distract him then have him sit (off to the side so we aren’t blocking anyone) and we make him wait and focus for a bit (so we arent rewarding the barking) and then continue on. Helps him get out of the “state” – some days he is just more likely to get riled up esp if he smells a deer or something like that. I think it helps with judgment too- we are obviously actively training we aren’t like on our cell phone while our hound from hell is announcing his arrival.

  11. Anonymous :

    Re-posting because I was too hasty and accidentally posted this question in the cashmere discussion earlier —

    Any tips for work travel to Mexico City?

    In my experience in other Latam countries, women tend to wear pantsuits more than skirts — can anyone confirm that’s what I should be bringing?

    I’ll be there for a few days, and I expect I’ll pretty much be in meetings the whole time, maybe dinners afterward.

    • Anonymous :

      pantsuits or skirt suits are fine. bring comfortable shoes for commuting between meetings if you will be walking, as some streets in the older parts of the city are cobblestone.

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks! Are tights required for skirt suits (to the extent they are not required in the US, that is)?

        • Anonymous :

          Tights would look very odd, given the mild temperatures. I would probably wear pantyhose.

  12. Travel Rec Question!

    My husband and I are looking to take a relatively big trip in April or May. We are open to any non-Zika locations (this is–I hope hope hope–our last hurrah before trying to become pregnant with donor eggs very shortly after returning), so unfortunately that pretty much means Europe, as we don’t really have time for Australia or New Zealand. Priority is good weather and good food. I am hoping to push him more toward May, but he is more interested in April, so I know good weather will be hit or miss.

    Right now we are thinking southern Italy or Croatia. We have visited Northern Italy, Spain, Portugal, Greece, and Turkey together, plus various other places on our own before we met. I’d love to hear about your experience/recommendations in either place.

    Plane fares are horrific! I have been hoarding miles for a decade and we had had planned to fly business to SE Asia, but alas no, and probably not for years to come if we are successful with a pregnancy. So I’m also considering getting in touch with one of the miles whisperers to see what they can get us on such short notice. If anyone has used those services, I’d love feedback or recommendations.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Check out Scott’s Cheap Flights for flight deals!

      • Thanks for the tip! I’d been meaning to sign up, then I forgot the name of it. Just submitted my email address.

    • Senior Attorney :

      We went to Sicily on our honeymoon and loved it. It was rainy in late September but should be nice in the spring. Food was amazing, beaches were great, sightseeing fantastic, lovely people. I would go back again in a heartbeat.

      • Thank you! I love hearing the personal recommendations. We have friends who looooove Southern Italy, but they always do the Eastern/Adriatic coast. So it’s good to hear the Western coast is as lovely.

    • Anonymous :

      What do you consider horrific? I just got roundtrip tickets to Europe in May for $800, which seems like a pretty good price to me. Fares usually go up markedly within a two month window, so at this point you probably want to look in May instead of April if you’re trying to find a good price.
      Anyway if you’re willing to go as far as SE Asia, I’d highly recommend doing that now since I think Italy or Croatia would be much easier with a kid than Thailand or Vietnam.

      • $1400! Granted this is to smaller airports like Bari, Sicily, Dubrovnik, and Split.

        SE Asia is out due to Zika. :( Believe me, it was our first choice.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh ok, didn’t realize that SE Asia was out because of Zika, I misread and thought it was out because of plane ticket prices. I think Croatia is notorious for having insane airfare – my husband had to go there for work a few years ago and his employer paid $2600 for his ticket (from a major US airport). What about flying into Naples and taking the train from there to the Amalfi Coast? I love the Amalfi Coast and think it would be a great place for a last kid-free vacation.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh and I don’t know if you’re cruise people or not but there are cruises that leave from places like Rome and Venice and visit Sicily and Croatia…that could be a more affordable way of getting there.

        • Anonymous :

          Try doing a US carrier into Rome and then Alitalia to your connecting city. You should get cheaper fares that way.

    • Why not try France [Paris, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux], Austria [Vienna & then mountains], or the Czech republic [Prague should be lovely in spring]?

    • Anonymous :

      Are you ruling out all of Asia? I saw some ~$500 fares to Tokyo through April out of DC on TheFlightDeal in the last few days.

    • If you have some time, flying into Rome and then traveling south can be a great trip. I didn’t do the trip in the spring, but renting a car and driving to Naples and winding up in Siracusa or Taormina on Sicily is a ton of fun. Laid back, great food, great history.

  13. Donation Regrets? :

    So often, I hear people debate donating things (furniture, clothes, etc. etc.) and then not doing it out of fear they’ll someday need or miss the item(s). I’m wondering, how much do you donate and what, if anything, have you ever wished you had held onto? I’m wondering how often we actually regret donations/minimizing and how much we use the fear as a way not to downsize.

    • I’m pretty ruthless about donating and don’t usually feel regret. I donate as needed when I find myself with clothes I don’t wear. When we moved that was an opportunity to to go through household items and get rid of what wasn’t needed.

    • Anonymous :

      I get fed up with clutter and then just throw out everything that’s not nailed down. I can’t even remember what it is I toss/donate in a hurry. So I am 100% sure I don’t miss it.

    • I purge my closet ruthlessly and have only ever regretted three items (one work dress, two pairs of shorts). I had put on some weight and none of them fit anymore, but a year later I was back to my old size. I still haven’t been able to find any replacements I like as much.

    • Anonymous :

      If it hasn’t been worn in a year and it’s not a specific item (e.g. ski clothes when we didn’t go skiing that one year), it gets donated. Only other exception is kids clothes for a specific purpose (saving size 4 snowsuit my 5 year old just outgrew for the two year old, once two year old outgrows something it gets donated). I kept 10 items of baby clothes per child as memory items.

      Furniture – if it’s not in current use or specific intention (dining table in my family for 5 generations that needs refinishing), it’s gone.

      Feels so great to see things that are not of use to my family being used by others.

      • +1 to all of this.
        Can’t remember ever regretting donating something. My philosophy is: if it’s something you really like, then you’ll use it. If you don’t use it, then donate it.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have almost never had regrets of this nature. However, over the weekend Lovely Husband and I realized that we donated a bunch of small wine racks that we could really use when we bottle the wine we’ve been aging in the big glass jar since September.

    • I donate everything from books to appliances to clothing to kitchenware regularly. If I can’t find a place for it in my house, it goes out the door. I have never regretted donating anything. If I might only need or miss something “someday,” I think it should go to someone who needs it now.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Short answer no. I do know people who got rid of family heirlooms because they were young and didn’t want to deal with storage and now are older and realize what it costs to buy good real wood furniture and are regretting it.

      If its something like a t shirt or mug or something I take a picture of it. I made a book of pictures my husband’s highschool and college t shirts. That had the image of the tshirt and described the activity and why he got the tshirt. Its super compact and we aren’t carrying around all the memories.

      If its a hobby I am done with – I always try to find someone else with that hobby and gift them the things or a teacher the things. Lets say if I was to give up knitting – I would find a fellow knitter to give my stuff to because I think that just taking it to goodwill – it gets lost in the shuffle. It also feels good to give someone things they will actually use.

      I love getting rid of stuff but make sure I find good homes for it. It drives me crazy when people just throw things out like half used art supplies when I know as a teacher classrooms love that type of stuff.

    • For me it depends on 2 things: do I love the item (even if I’m not currently using it) and do I have space for it? I’m finding myself keeping more things now that I have space. These are mostly decor items – my house is no where near “done” in that sense so if I think I could find a spot for it, I’ll keep it if I really do love the item. But if I don’t love it, I get rid of it and don’t think twice about it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve never regret*t*ed donating anything. I even moved across the country with 5 boxes and 2 suitcases and sold or donated everything else and have no regret.

      There is only 1 item that I don’t have anymore that I really want. It is somewhere inside my hoarder mother’s house. Before I cut off contact with her, I had her look for it and I’ve had my sisters search for it. Nobody can find it but I guarantee it is in her house (see: hoarder). It is just a little ridiculous that the 1 thing I can point to missing is trapped inside her house somewhere. I don’t miss anything I’ve donated or sold based on my own decision to get rid of it.



    • Anonymous :

      I have only ever regretted the time I threw out nearly all of my “junky” t-shirts, because the real solution was that I needed 1-3 of them instead of 5-10. But I did need at least one, and I missed it dearly until another wormed its way into my possession, as free t-shirts do.

    • I do a cull of all my stuff at least once a year. When I buy something new, I also tend to look at whether there is anything I can now get rid of. If it’s something nice, I offer it up to family/friends before taking it to Goodwill. I’ve never had regrets on getting rid of anything.

  14. Let's Play a Game! :

    If you could be any tv character from an 80s, 90s, or 2000s sitcom, who would you be and why?

    • Brandon Walsh – even though I’m not a guy. I loved their life – Beverly Hills glamour but still “normal”; house; parents/tight family; and was 100% jealous of his ease of making friends and how much everyone liked him just bc he was nicer/more normal than most guys they grew up w.

    • Not sure who I would choose to be, but I’m pretty sure I *was* Angela Chase from My So Called Life in high school in the 1990s … beautiful dumb boyfriend, gay best friend, nerd-crush recipient, my parents just didn’t understand me …

    • I would probably be someone from Friends. Most likely Monica, but I’m not as organized/controlling as her

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Buffy the Vampire Slayer – super skilled, strong and backed up by a group of friends that would literally bring her back from the dead.

    • MacGyver or Alex P. Keaton. Or either of their girlfriends.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Can I go back farther? Samantha Stevens from Bewitched (pre-Tabatha) complete with magic powers. Or Jeannie from I Dream of Jennie complete with magic powers.

      Non-sitcom answer: Sydney Bristow (obviously)

      Within the actual constraints that you asked about: Probably Phoebe from Friends because she just seemed to love life so much.

    • I thought about this for a moment and concluded.. I’d be me. Warts and all. All the joys, all the tragedies. I’d still choose my own life.

    • I wanted to be friends with Abby from ER.

  15. cross country moving :

    Anyone have stories of packing a car and moving across the country? Any tips/tricks? Favorite memories?

    • This makes me think about favorite road trip or moving songs! Songs about hitting the road or empowered women or yay for change and such. Wondering what folks have on their playlist for these types of situations.

      • I made a breakup CD for a friend when she left the toxic work environment where I met her to move 8 hours away. The only songs I can remember from it were Ciao Monday, by Em Gryner, and Deja Vu, the Mo Kenney/Joel Plaskett version.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep, I did it when I moved from the East Coast to West Coast after law school. I did the whole drive in five days, since I had to start my bar exam prep course (ugh), so there wasn’t much sight-seeing time, but we did squeeze in a little bit and I have fond memories of the trip. My then-BF now husband drove the first leg to my parents’ house in the Midwest and then my mom drove with me from there to the West Coast. I could have done it solo but having company definitely made it a lot more fun. At the time I lived in a one bedroom apartment and had cheap furniture, which I sold or donated, so I was just moving clothes, books and kitchen items and I was able to pack all my stuff into my car. It was a lot easier and cheaper than using movers and paying for my car to be shipped.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have no comments on the car part, but I’d recommend Amtrak cargo shipping for shipping non-furniture stuff. So easy and so cheap! I shipped my stuff and flew for my last long-distance move.

    • Anonymous :

      use ziploc vacuum storage bags to pack any clothes you are taking with you that you won’t be wearing on the trip. I shipped a lot of stuff but I had some favorite clothes that I didn’t want to risk getting lost or damaged so I took it in the car.

    • anonymous :

      I have done this multiple times and am about to do it again this summer.I always trim my belongings to a bare minimum before I go. So I recommend purging your closet or your entire house really of things you aren’t using all the time or don’t spark joy or whatever. I also like to pick up a few books on tape for the drive.

      Favorite memory is that now-husband and I moved across the country after college, and we were broke so we took a tent and sleeping bag and would find a place to squat on the side of the road for the night. “bathe” in gas station bathrooms, etc.One night we spent on the banks of Lake Superior in some super remote place. It was really nice, and way less sketchy than it probably sounds!

    • I did this and it was great! Moved from DC to the PNW. Took a more southern route so I could stop at Dollywood, which was awesome. So were Nashville and Memphis. Arkansas was surprisingly green and pretty. I wish I’d had time to visit some Native American sites in Oklahoma. Amarillo smelled really bad and I wasn’t too sad to zip through Texas, although I did drive through some staggeringly beautiful farmland that was just SO expansive and vast and made me feel very tiny. The Tucumcari Historical Museum in Tucumcari, New Mexico was definitely worth the stop. The canyons and rock formations in Utah were beautiful, but SLC’s street naming system is effing confusing. Crossing the Snake River multiple times in Idaho made me think about Oregon Trail and I made a lot of “You have died of dysentery” jokes to myself. I made it all the way to Oregon before getting a speeding ticket coming down off a beautiful mountain into Pendleton. I was just ahead of a big storm and seeing it roll in was awesome in the awe-inducing sense of the word. Anyway, our country is really pretty and driving through it is such a good way to see it.

    • PatsyStone :

      I used Pods for a cross-country move as I was driving alone and it seemed more manageable than towing my car with a uhaul. It seemed to cost a fortune, but moving always does to me.

      Memories? I had my insane 8 mo old yellow lab and my mean old cat (RIP) as my traveling companions. I will never forget our nights at various La Quintas along the way. Discovering the most beautiful rest stops in the middle of nowhere for dog stops. I also remember being super scared of going to a new place where I knew no one. Honestly, the fear was warranted but it was also crazy and incredible and no ragrets.

  16. Empowering/Encouraging Quotes? :

    Favorite empowering or encouraging quotes? (Song lyrics are also acceptable, of course!)

    • “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

      “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”” – Abigail Adams

      Not sure if this is what you were looking for, but will try to think of some of the non first lady ones I wrote down the other day!

      • “I take inspiration from the most heinous of situations
        Creatin’ medication out my own tribulations”

    • Action conquers fear.

      The difference between who you are and who you want to be is what you do.

      Can’t means won’t.

      Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Rom. 10:10)

      “When life is sweet, say thank you and celebrate. And when life is bitter, say thank you and grow.”

      Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets:
      Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
      Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it!”
      ― William Hutchison Murray

      and the whole “Man in the Arena” quote.

    • Anonymous :

      nolite te bastardes carborundorum

      • Anonymous :

        That’s a good one!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I just read that book this year for the first time. WOW. I’m still processing it, but seriously…wow. Amazing, freaky, incredible, terrifying book. I’m looking forward to the Hulu series and hope it does the book justice.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” – George Bernard Shaw

      “If you are always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.” – Maya Angelou

      “With ordinary talent and extraordinary perseverance, all things are attainable.” – Thomas Foxwell Buxton

      “You are what you believe yourself to be.” – Paulo Coelho

      “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” – Amelia Earhart

      “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan” – Eleanor Roosevelt

    • “People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

      “I don’t know where you are these days, what’s broken down and what’s beautiful in your life this season. I don’t know if this is a season of sweetness or one of sadness. But I’m learning that neither last forever. There will, I’m sure, be something that invades this current loveliness. That’s how life is. It won’t be sweet forever. But it won’t be bitter forever either.” – Shauna Niequest

    • Anonymous :

      “You can do hard things”

      “Don’t fashion me into a maiden that needs saving from a dragon. I am the dragon. I will eat you whole.”

      “I am a gladiator in a suit.” (From Scandal. I like to channel Olivia Pope when I need to do something hard.)

  17. Recruiter Needed :

    Can anyone recommend a legal recruiter who places within Westchester, New York? Thinking about relocating and looking for some leads. Thanks in advance.

  18. Stand up desks :

    Is there a place that sells used stand up desks or those thingies that make a desk a stand up desk? I can’t afford them but I always hear that some folks love them and some hate them, so I guess I’m wondering if there’s some specific website or place where those who hate them tend to sell them. It seems like a great option for me but it’s way too expensive to buy new and my company would allow it but wouldn’t pay for it and I don’t itemize so I couldn’t make it a tax write off.

    • Craigslist?

    • Check your area for used office furniture stores? There are several in Houston where I am. When companies either go out of business or move locations and need less furniture, second-hand office furniture companies buy up their inventory for resale.

      Or craigslist, or your local facebook trading group.

    • New Tampanian :


      • New Tampanian :

        reading comprehension isn’t my strong suit today – missed the “used” part of that – sorry!

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      put a request on freecycle!

    • Moonstone :

      I got a nice wood breakfast-in-bed tray at a thrift shop. Added to my desk, it’s the perfect height for a standing desk.

  19. I just wanted to celebrate a little body-acceptance victory. About 6 months ago I had gained a bit of weight (15 pounds, which, on my 5’9″ frame, isn’t really that much), but I wouldn’t buy new clothes.

    Well, I went ahead and sized up to a 10 and everything fits and looks so much better and I like myself a lot more.

    I was really happy and proud of myself for doing it (that double digit size was killing me), but I feel way better about myself and way more open to looking good (at any size).

    • Good for you. Well fitting clothing always looks better than too tight stuff! Be nice to you. :)

  20. leaving a narcissist or emotional abuser :

    For those who have done this, how long did it take before you began to feel normal? I logically know that part of the way that these relationships last is that the person makes you feel small/weak/unable to be without them, so I am wondering how long that process lasts.

    Also, how did you know when you were back to being yourself again?

    (Not Melania but finding myself relating to her more than a person should)

    • Senior Attorney :

      Longer than you feel like it should.

      If you’re not in therapy, please go. It helps.

      I think I knew I was back to myself when, two or more years in, I finally stopped having flashbacks to Bad Husband every time Good Husband did or said something good. Like “Wow… with Ex this would have been a fight…”

    • JuniorMinion :

      It’s been a gradual process for me. I would say it took me a full year after going no contact to really feel less afraid of the person, but the person in my life was a parent so I had had ~25 years of dealing with them (10 or so were really pretty bad, the parent did fine with the young child physical caretaking tasks). Your mileage may vary.

      It’s been a full 3 years since I last had direct contact and I have moments but I am ~95% recovered from it. Every once in a while something really bothers me (dear apple: when I block someone’s number I don’t want the voicemails they leave me to show up on my phone….)

    • Still working on getting there and I’m almost a year out. I still have flashbacks, freak out I’m going to run into him, and generally just feel anxious when thinking about him. It’s definitely less than it was a year ago, but some days are still bad. Sometimes the oddest things will send me into what I think of as “DudeName Mode,” where I just can’t do anything until I physically and emotionally distance myself from the situation.

    • You’ll probably feel light and free again,and like yourself again, quite quickly after you disengage from the narcissist simply because they are all-consuming and devouring while they are still around. But be prepared for flashbacks to last for a few years. I think the whole process of understanding what happened to you, coming to terms with how he/she really was underneath all the pretence, and working through your own grief at your unmet expectations and amputated dreams will take far longer than you expect. There is a lot of information online that can help you understand what has happened to you. If you go to therapy, try to find a therapist who really understands NPD.

      • Added to say… GO NO CONTACT! Don’t even think for a second that you can maintain any sort of contact (other than what is absolutely necessary if you have kids) without being sucked in or traumatised again. Don’t do it! If they have things of yours, buy new ones. It’s worth the money. Treat it like a game… watch and see the craziness that comes out when you go NC, watch to see how often they’ll pop up again, look for the gas-lighting. It will all come out, but you will be immoveable and detached because you’ll be prepared for the craziness and committed to no contact. My narc still pops up four years later and at this point it’s just amusing to see how fully crazy he is. You can do this. Again, it really helps to read all the stories on blogs online by women who all describe the exact same situation and exact same behaviour across the world.

  21. Anonymous :

    Tonight I get to have an argument with my mother about the fact fiance and I are buying a house before we are officially married. Sigh. (We’ve been together for over a decade and living together for most of that. Our wedding is about 6 months after when we plan to buy, which coincides with the end of our lease date).

    • Senior Attorney :

      No, you don’t. It takes two to argue. If you have to tell her, then tell her. If she argues, you don’t have to argue back: “I appreciate your concern, but that’s what we’re doing and it’s not up for discussion or debate.” “Thanks for your input, but we’re happy with our choice.” “Mom, if you keep arguing about this I’m going to have to hang up/leave.”

      Congrats on the house and the marriage! :)

    • Why argue? Just don’t even tell her if she’s going to want to argue with you about it. Just give her your new address when you have it.

      • Anonymous :

        Regrettably it already came up today when she called me at work about something else (because what else could I possibly have to do in the middle of a work day than talk to my mother?). I told her I didn’t want a new piece of furniture for my birthday because I didn’t know what our space would be like when we moved. Cue “You’re moving?”

        • anonymous :

          Well she’s going to find out you’re moving eventually. That doesn’t mean you have to argue. Just tell her it’s not up for discussion.

          • +1

            Thought I don’t have a particularly good relationship with my mother, so ymmv. When she tries to start an argument with me I just tell her I’m not going to argue about and just stop responding to her attempts to argue. The first few times I did this she continued to attempt to argue. These days she knows I mean it and just gives up.

          • If this is a phone conversation, shut it down as soon as it escalates. “Gotta go, Mom, talk to you later.” and CLICK.

    • This is why I tell my parents things on a strictly need to know basis only. I didn’t tell my mom we bought our house til 2 days before closing.

  22. no wonder things feel so depressing! :

    I just realized that I currently live in a world where a loser tv show host is president, where so many 80s radio icons are dead (Luther Vandross, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, George Michael, Prince, etc.), where theer are fewer Black tv shows now than their was in the 90s (going backwards with equality), where we are fighting the same battle for women’s rights that women in the 70s have already fought (going backwards yet again) and where emma stone won a major acting award over Meryl Streep.


    • I’m with you on all of that except for the oscar. Meryl can’t win every year and for every film. I don’t think she expected to win this year.

      And I guess I’d argue a little on the black TV. There may be fewer shows centered on black characters, but they’re higher quality and don’t make fun of black culture. There are also more black characters integrated into shows that aren’t just black shows.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree with you about the president, but I still think we’ve come a long way. When my mom was not much younger than I am now schools were just being integrated and black kids were being spit on just for walking into their classrooms every day. When I was born in the late 80s, people weren’t very comfortable with the idea of people even being gay, let alone the idea that gay couples could get married and raise families. It was only in the 1990s that more than half of Americans said they approved of interracial marriage, even though the Supreme Court made it legal everywhere in the country decades before. We still have a long way to go and I agree 2016 was a tough year for women’s and minority’s rights, but when I think about the progress that’s been made in one generation, it’s staggering to me.

      I don’t get what Emma Stone vs. Meryl Streep has to do with this. If it’s an age thing, I don’t disagree that there’s a double-standard in Hollywood for how men vs. women are treated as they get older, but I don’t think Meryl is an example of that. She’s at least as decorated as any male actor her age, and is one of the few older women who has absolutely no problem finding roles. And I second what Anon at 5:25 said, they can’t give her the Oscar every single year, that would be absurd and I don’t think anyone thought this year was one of her finest performances.

    • Calibrachoa :

      But hey you can look at Suicide Squad getting best makeup and hair as every film Viola Davis was in last year getting an Oscar…..

    • In the 1970s, women at my public accounting firm were fired for getting pregnant. Now there is paid maternity leave and we have female partners. It’s not all back sliding.

  23. Conflicts Question :

    I just want to run this by other anonymous lawyers to make sure the advice my firm is giving me is correct. My spouse is on a committee that involves working closely with some judges and advising them on criminal law issues. I’m changing up the facts here for anonymity but let’s assume that spouse works for govt agency A and that the court has borrowed employees of govt agency A to work on this criminal project. I got a little worried about any conflict with my civil cases in this context. I’m a civil attorney in a small state where attorneys often belong to the same country clubs as judges and it is no problem that they all hang out together.

    My firm has said that it is up to the judges to recuse themselves if they feel there is ever a conflict. They are getting to know my spouse, not me, and that this is not a conflict where my spouse is only working on criminal policy issues and I am only going to be before the court on civil matters.

    I’m just worried about an opposing counsel raising an issue in the middle of a trial or something. I’ve found ways to work it into conversation naturally since spouse’s work and this project is really interesting. Then they can’t claim I didn’t disclose it but it avoids the big issue of some major disclosure.

    Everyone I mention this to doesn’t see a potential conflict but it still makes me a bit uneasy.

    • Senior Attorney :

      It’s up to the judges to disclose/recuse. I think your firm is right.

    • I don’t get what the potential conflict might be. That they know each other and get along? That is what happens — legal communities are often small, even in large cities. Is there a financial component to your husband’s work with the judge? It seems like a policy issue that is drawing practitioners from the field to do unpaid work, so I don’t see the potential problem.

  24. So… how do you social? I went to a party over the weekend and it was a disaster. I guess after many months of working 60-70 hour weeks, I feel like I have absolutely lost the ability to talk with other people?

    What are topics of conversation that won’t reveal me to be a complete bore? I don’t want to talk about work if I can avoid it, politics is a no-go, but I haven’t seen a movie in months and feel totally out of loop on pop culture.

    • How was it a disaster?

      • I made a few attempts at smalltalk with other guests (people I have met before through the hosts but not friends) and it was just terrible. Like, they were scanning the room to look for someone else to talk to that wasn’t me. I basically stood by myself nursing a drink until I felt like it was okay to leave. The hosts are very outgoing and were flitting about, so I chatted with them some, but couldn’t very well monopolize their time.

        • Anonymous :

          That sounds like a success to me. You attended! You talked to more than one person! You stayed longer than 10 minutes! Cut yourself some slack here.

          • +1

            Definitely think about how you’re defining success OP! If “success” means leaving a party mostly attended by people you don’t know very well with a new best friend … you may have unrealistic expectations.

            Also, ymmv on this, but, feel free to allow yourself to hate parties filled mostly with people you don’t know. I do. I go occasionally when such a party is hosted by a good friend, but I usually don’t stay long because I just don’t enjoy them. I also don’t feel bad about turning these invitations down and instead asking the good friend if she has time for lunch/drinks with a smaller group. I enjoy myself more in smaller groups.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I agree — cut yourself some slack.

          That said — what attempts at small talk did you make? Maybe thinking of it as “small talk” was your mistake? As others said below, did you try asking them about themselves? If you’ve met them before, people love it when you remember something from the last time you met, like “Hey, did you ever get that remodeling project finished?” or “Weren’t you about to start a new job? How’s it going?”

          • A friend uses “What keeps you busy?” with strangers as it lets people talk about their work, their hobbies, their kids. I think it’s such an effective question and doesn’t make people feel awkward if they’re between jobs etc.

        • Anonymous :

          I feel like this sometimes. I basically don’t do anything other than work and kids, both of which are very interesting to me, but not so much for others (hey, at least I’m self-aware enough to recognize this!). The answer is: ask people about themselves! People are always supremely interested in talking about themselves (i.e., I will talk your ear off about my work and kids, if you seem interested!). Topics: vacation, mutual friends, hobbies, new bars/restaurants, etc. If they have kids, trust me, they always want to tell you stories about their kids.

    • If you haven’t seen a movie in months you can still ask if the other person has seen any movies. Ask about travel, books, restaurant recommendations. I find if you ask questions, most people enjoy talking about stuff they like.

      • +1 If you ask people questions and get them talking, all you ever have to do is plug in an, “Oh, that sounds interesting! Tell me more about [XYZ].”

    • Depends on who the other guests are. Do you know them or are they friends of friends? For people you’re not close with — how do you know the host; what do you do for a living; do you live in the area are all good starters. For your friends – aren’t you just picking up where you left off — i.e. it’s been a while, how’s everything? How’s work? Any vacations coming up?

    • anon associate :

      Ask people about themselves. Appear to be genuinely interested. People love to talk about themselves. You’ll make them feel great because you’re interested in and responsive to them. Ask follow up questions instead of struggling to think of something interesting to say in response. Plus, who knows what they’ll say and what you’ll learn about them- may open up lots of avenues of conversation.

      New restaurants is also a good topic, if you live in a food-loving city. Anything new around your town- even if you haven’t done something, you can always position yourself as seeking recs for fun new things to do. Vacations/travel can be good, too.

    • Here’s the thing and the secret to socializing and work chitchat and lots of other true life situations: everyone loves to talk about themselves. Ask people lots of questions about their fabulous lives/selves/shoes/whatever and give flattering, interested answers. People will talk about themselves forever.

      • +1

        First, learn to say, “Wow, I’d love to hear more about that!” in a way that sounds both interested and sincere. Say it at least once in every conversation. You can mix in some variations like “Tell me more about X” or “I would love to hear about your experience with Y”.

        Next, add in some basic flattery – “That’s so interesting!” “I had never thought about that before; I’m amazed at how complex it is!” “I’m so impressed!”

        Finally, use conversations to build other conversations. “Susie over there was just telling me a great story about her trip to India! Do you have any upcoming travel plans?”

  25. Anonymous :

    Posted at the very tail end of the morning thread and re-posting for anyone on West Coast time –

    I am interviewing with – and interviewing them – in contemplation of a move to a very small ‘firm’ (2 partners, 1 associate) tomorrow – we’re having a long, long lunch. For a lot of personal/lifestyle reasons, moving to this firm is a very good move for me, but I’m trying to come up with questions of what I would want to know and what information, if any, would make what seems like a good idea into a bad idea.
    I work in a smaller Southern town, and this is the kind of move that, once made, I can’t undo – my only other option really would be to go solo. I currently work in a small, but larger firm (10 attorneys).
    My biggest concerns are about financial footing- ensuring that while this firm appears to be doing well, knowing what the financial indicators that is otherwise would be and making sure I request that information.
    Any suggestions for questions and/or documents that I should request would be greatly appreciated.

    Partners will likely continue practicing for another 15+ years; this would be me joining their partnership. Oddly enough, I’d be joining part-time and then coming in full-time in 2-3 years, so kind of the opposite of the normal ‘come in and prove yourself’ mode.


    • Sunflower :

      Since you’d be going in as a partner, you should be able to examine the firm’s financials. As another poster noted, I’d look closely to make sure the firm isn’t dependent on any one client to the extent the firm would crash if it lost that client. I’d also try to determine whether the firm is dependent on one sector of the economy–banking, for instance–such that it would have a significant problem if there was a downturn in work from that sector. This may be a little off the wall, but I’d closely observe the two partners’ interactions with each other. See if they seem to genuinely like each other and enjoy practicing together. Sometimes partners are quietly seething at each other and making secret exit plans. You wouldn’t want to be a newcomer under those circumstances. Finally, observe how the professionals and the staff seem to get along. You can tell a lot about your potential work environment from that observation.

  26. I recently heard about Rothy’s shoes. They’re reportedly environmentally friendly and super comfortable. Does anyone own a pair? I’m deciding whether to pull the trigger.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep. Got them about 2 months ago and have been wearing them nonstop since and am considering another pair. I have small very narrow feet and they fit great. If you’re in between sizes, I’d size down.

      • Thanks, that’s so helpful to hear! I thought they looked cute when I saw random ads, but never looked into them because my feet are narrow and normal sizes almost never work for me. Maybe I”ll give them a shot.

  27. Tried and returned — comfortable sole but too narrow for my on-the-wide-side feet.

  28. My favorite shoe brand, Fidji, is no more. Somehow I missed their announcement in Sept 2016. I kept waiting for Amazon to have their spring/summer 2017 line and no dice. I finally looked it up and it’s on their Facebook page : thanks for your support, we have closed.

    Anyone know of other shoe lines with top-quality leather, interesting designs and colors, and comfortable low heels? Fluevog is the closest I’ve come, but they lean cutesy and don’t have enough work styles (not to mention they’re $250-$300 while Fidji was $150-$200)

    • Oh no! Fidji has been my go to for the past several years. I sometimes like Pikolinos, though I don’t find them as comfortable as Fidji.

  29. Paging: Sad and Confused :

    Given your diction you seem SE Asian, and I think your work problems might be entirely covert racism and internal bias. The problem doesn’t seem to be you, but your job.

    • Confused and Sad :

      I am SE Asian. I don’t think it is racism with the manager who wanted to fire me. However it was definitely a gender bias problem as he did the same thing to two Asian women (one of them he actually fired) and a Caucasian woman. When I went to HR, the other two women who still work in my company also went to HR and explained their experiences along with documentation. So HR involved legal department an opened a formal investigation. I didn’t want to go into all these details in my first post as it is kind of sensitive.

      My current manager, I am not sure. We have people from all races whom she has hired and it is a very diverse team. However, there are few people (again from different races) who are loyal to her and have worked for her for more than a decade. It is well known that they are her favorites. So I suspect there is some bias, but it is not due to gender or race. But I have no way to prove it.

      • to confused and sad :

        I just wanted to add that I am sorry for what you are going through. I remember when you originally posted and thinking that your current boss is not trustworthy because it is a huge red flag that she would tell another person to do x in order to be promoted to y…person does x…boss does z? I mean at least she admitted it to you before making you jump through hoops for nothing but the fact she had another person do this in the past is not a good reflection on her. Of course we can always assume good intentions (TM Senior Attorney) by her confessing this to you perhaps she learned and matured beyond that experience, but she also isn’t giving you the tools to advance. Some bosses never will. Some bosses are constrained by budget, or ego, or nepotism, or other reasons they would never disclose. And the ultimate hope is, some bosses are secretly fighting for you and/or testing you before you get the reward you deserve. I don’t know what your outcome will be, but I wish you well, whether you continue at your current organization or find a better situation elsewhere. If you do not end up getting the promotion, it does not sound like it has anything to do with your performance, it sounds like there are some systematic problems with your management and HR. So please do not give up. Unfortunately there are (too) many things beyond our control in this world. Losing one promotion in a dysfunctional workplace does not mean YOU are a failure. It means the system failed you. Good luck.

    • Confused and Sad :

      Yes..It is the same manager and thank you so much for writing this.

      I have spent a lot of time contemplating on fairness/control in broader context (part of the reason I am a bit quieter than usual). I understand there are a lot of things out of my control. I rather fail trying to get a fair treatment than passively accept the unfairness of the system. At least it gives me peace that I did everything I could and truly things were not in my control. I am also looking for another job, but I don’t want to rush and accept anything that comes my way.

      I am just appalled by the responses this morning. Most of them just suggest that I am acting entitled, tone deaf, crazy, stubborn, holding grudges, have behavioral problems, begging for a promotion etc. It was almost like I committed a crime going to HR. My manager is entitled to do anything, like one poster said she may not promote you because it is raining and I should just accept that. I just don’t know what to say for all this.

      All I wanted is how to respond to my manager’s possible question about why I am sad (which I have answered already with all honesty). The closest to the point response was I should tell her I was disappointed in her decision and I now understand. The fact is I don’t understand, she has not given me any actionable feedback on what went wrong. I am just going to say that I am disappointed in her decision and I DON’T understand. However, I want to understand her decision. I am not going to accept answers like it was raining on the day she made her decision. She has to give me actionable feedback and I am going hold her accountable for that.

      • With all due respect, she doesn’t have to give you actionable feedback and there is no way for you to hold her accountable for that. This is not a democracy and there is no law that requires people to be good managers. She is your manager and even when you don’t like a decision she has made, you generally have to respect it and keep doing your job (assuming you want to keep it and not have every day at work be unpleasant).

        There are good managers and bad managers. Assuming you have a bad manager, you should not give her any additional information about why you are sad. You can say that you are disappointed and leave it at that. You don’t have to understand her decision and you can’t force her to give you information to get to that point. THAT is what is tone deaf. While she is your manager you have to respect it in the sense that she is in a managerial role and you are not. Because you do not like the decision and it sounds like this is not a good fit, it’s time for you to find a new job asap. I know you are searching, and that’s good. Get out of there as soon as possible.

        • This. I was the commenter that said to say you understand. CountC’s comment about what seemed tone deaf is what I picked up on. You can’t force anyone to do anything, and it seems that by ignoring that, you’re causing yourself some significant depression and impacting your work relationships. You aren’t a failure if you learn to accept the world as it is. Not every battle needs to be fought. Having the benefit now in my mid-30’s of hindsight and an anxiety disorder and depression, I really think this is the best way to find some peace.

  30. Potentially Controversial :

    Without being inappropriate, can a woman maximize being conventionally attractive to the benefit of her career? Bad? Turning male gaze upside down through these actions?

    • Anonymous :

      Sure, I think there’s a lot of data that good-looking people earn more and get promoted faster. But I don’t think it’s really anything you DO, it’s just a benefit of being naturally attractive. I suppose to a lesser degree it includes things that highlight your attractiveness like wearing make-up and tailored but not tight clothing.

      • anonymous :

        I don’t think this is necessarily true. I’ve read that female beauty is is highly controllable, and I think I generally agree with that. You can lose weight, get a more flattering hair cut, more flattering clothes, and take a little more care with grooming. Whether you feel like you want to do those things for a career benefit is a totally different thing. I’ll admit that being attractive is really important to me for this reason. And I don’t think it’s necessarily about the male gaze either . All people assume better things about attractive people regardless of sexuality/ sex/ gender etc.

        • I don’t see how it could be highly controllable. You can maybe take it up or down a notch, but you’re not getting a girl-next-door to Playboy status with anything other than extensive reconstructive plastic surgery. Using the horrible 1-10 rating system, I would say you can get a 5 from a 4-6, but you can’t turn a 5 to an 8 just with better clothes and hair. I feel like this is the “She’s All That” philosophy, where putting glasses and overalls on a 9 somehow makes her a 2. That’s not true to anyone that isn’t in Hollywood.

    • Sure- I think beauty (like handsomeness) can sometimes be part of your charm. In sales you see a lot of attractive men, even when they are selling to other men. You have to know your whole package. Sometimes it can work against you (not being taken seriously, or being thought of as a snob or ice queen) and some people make it work for them. Sometimes I use being a woman to my advantage at work (men do this too- think traditional bonding over golf, sports, etc). Sometimes I get a lot further because I don’t automatically invoke a pissing contest. I’m softer, I’m a little sweeter, I ask about your kids annnd I’ve sealed the deal. I will say I think it is very hard to ever use sexual appeal to your advantage. But I think in general, people tend to like looking at attractive people (both men and women) so there is a possibility it could be used to your advantage. It will never replace competence of course.

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