Coffee Break: Synal Flat

synal-flat-marc-fisherOooh: these little pointed toe flats are bestsellers over at Bloomingdale’s, and it’s easy to see why — I love the bit of gold in the heel, the classic pointed toe style, and the wintry suede (for non-slushy days or office shoes, at least). Bloomingdale’s has them in three colors, Zappos has them in five, and Nordstrom has them in eight colors — all for $140.  Marc Fisher LTD. Synal Pointed Toe Flats

Looking for a more affordable option? These $49 flats are reader favorites.



  1. Kat these are cute, but to look good in flat’s, women like me need to be at least 5’6″, and I am NOT that tall; therefore I use 3-4″ heel’s (closed toe) to be presentable. Dad warned me that wearing lower will result in me getting “lost in the weeds” with all of the taller women who look like model’s. FOOEY!

  2. New to CLT :

    I am soon moving to Charlotte and am looking to get involved and proactively make attempts to meet new people. Any recs from those familiar with the Queen City about the best organizations or groups to join to get acquainted with the community there?

    • A lot depends on who you are and what you want to get out of it.

      Maybe you are Junior League of Charlotte (I am a sustainer and transferred in from the JLW).
      Maybe you have strong alumni clubs.
      Maybe you buy a membership at the Whitewater Center.
      Maybe you live uptown and thigns happen more organically.
      Do you play tennis? Do you golf?

      Lot of options (maybe too many to sort out here).

      • workingmomz :

        I’m also a sustainer in Junior League of Charlotte! lol

        • It was odd being a transfer b/c I was older and single, so had more in common with the husbands in my transfer group (all ladies who were recently-engaged to CLT people or moved for spouse’s job). But I met so many amazing women in JLC management (many are SAHMs now and know all of the kid-related stuff I need to know now) that I wouldn’t have otherwise met. Would recommend even to haters just based on the quantum of women you meet (like speed dating for friends and acquaintances).

    • I thought Cincinnati was the Queen City. I am too lazy to google it but good talking point? Haha…

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Cincy native here and I’ve come to learn that there are many queen cities … but only one Porkopolis.

        • Yup, Queen City just means the largest city in the state that’s not the capital. Charlotte, Cincy and a host of other cities apply…

          • Charlotte is actually called the Queen City because it was named after Queen Charlotte (of Mecklenburg, which is the source of the name for the county that includes Charlotte).

    • I relocated to Charlotte from my hometown a few years ago and found a lot of people here are also transplants, which makes meeting new friends easier. Lots of good ideas from QC anon, but my 2 suggestions:
      I’d recommend subscribing to the Charlotte Agenda, an a daily e-mail news service (similar to The Skimm, but with QC news and goings on) to see if there’s any events that pique your interest. Recent topics include a $5 yoga class at a local brewery tonight with the Panther’s Greg Olsen, Charlotte Symphony launching a music and beer series, and 8 Halloween events happening around town this weekend.
      I’d also sign up for e-mail news updates from SkillPop, a Charlotte start up that offers small classes (6-8 people) focused on mainly creative endeavors (jewelry making, painting, baking, although subjects do vary) — if this even remotely interests you, it’s a good way to meet potential friends, since you’re doing something new and everyone is very relaxed and most are friendly. New classes are announced every Tuesday morning, and they fill up fast, but every one I’ve attended have been interesting.
      Good luck, and welcome!

      • Ditto all of that. Also: many museums in town have fun and approachable evening events / young friends events. From very funky (Light Factory) to very fine arts (Mint) to modern (Bechler and McColl Center). Outside of DC and NYC, it is the easiest city to be a transplant in. 1 in 10 Charlotteans are New Yorkers (incl a lot from Buffalo), so it is a very outer Borough (just iffy on the bagels). You can even find bars to watch your football team in (but there are only Panthers bars here and we don’t even like them this year).

        If you can, live Uptown or Southend — it will really let you dive into CLT. I lived Uptown a million years ago and am so glad that I did. You can easily move out or somewhere less expensive, but it helps to have your bearings first.

  3. Anonymous :

    Can anyone with plantar fasciitis recommend good shoes for work? My dress orthotics don’t fit most of my shoes, and I think my work shoes are making my issues worse

    • Anonymous :

      Someone mentioned the other day VIONIC is good for PF but I can’t confirm as I’ve never worn them.

      Do you stretch your feet and calves out regularly? I can get away with regular flats without orthotics as long as I’m good about stretching. A lacrosse ball can also be very helpful.

    • Wildkitten :

      Have you tried sleeping in the strassburg sock? It worked wonder for the former Mr. Kitten.

    • Anonymous :


    • Wear your orthotics. It’s really the best thing. This may mean you need to go shoe shopping (OH DARN). My orthotics work best in oxford style shoes. Fortunately low heeled oxfords are on-trend and look great with tights if you are a skirt-wearer.

  4. anonymous :

    I love these, and they look like just what I’ve been looking for. Can anyone speak to the quality of Marc Fisher? Worth 140? I’m particularly concerned with they synthetic lining.

  5. I saw the coolest shoes on a woman in a meeting today – grey snakeskin/python print loafers. I would love to find a pair. My only flats are ballet-style, pointy toes don’t fit well, and I’m in the market for something more professional. Anyone seen these types of loafers around recently? Thanks



      • And these, which someone linked below:

        • One more. These are listed as “ballerina” style but they sure look like loafers to me.

          • Sheesh, forgot the link:

    • anon-oh-no :

      if you cant find exactly what you are looking for, try designing on shoes of prey. it is my new obsession.

      I’ve made (and ordered) 2 pair so far — a 3 in wedge and a 4 in block, stacked heel. I love them both and have worn them a ton. probably my most comfortable shoes. the block heel was just something cool that I liked. the wedge is navy patent, pointed toe 3 in wedge pump. seems simply, but I couldn’t find anything exactly like I wanted for work (too low, or too high, round toe, too frumpy etc), so I gave it a go and they rock.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That looks amazing! I’ve wanted green flats forever but never found any that I liked in wide widths. Now I have a pair all designed. They aren’t too much more than I’d otherwise spend on shoes. Not in the budget this month, but hopefully next month.

    • Cole Haan also did a bunch of snake stuff recently

  6. Closet Redux :

    any RIT Dye aficionados out there? I have a pair of black pants that are 95% cotton, 5 % spandex. They have a wide line of significant fading/graying along one side from having sat on a shelf folded in the same position for so long (they are maternity pants, so I went a couple years between wears), I suppose from sun and dust. I have never used RIT before– does it work for true black? Any tips?

    • It usually works very poorly on spandex, so you might have poor results. But if they are unwearable otherwise, it can’t hurt to try. Make sure you follow the instructions, and be prepared for the to bleed in the wash for quite a while.

    • navy blue worked :

      have not done black before, but my husband recently did navy blue and it was deep and worked very well. for some reason he did the soaking in a cooler we have (reasoning that it would be easy to clean and he wouldnt mind if the cooler interior became a tinted blue – luckily the color didn’t stick).

    • Wildkitten :

      I used to re-black my blacks with RIT and was always having to re-re-black them. I ultimately decided it wasn’t worth it.

    • I think it’s worth trying rit dye with only 5% spandex. Wildkitten is right that it will fade again but might be worth it for maternity pants you need/like. Wash only on cold gentle and only with other black items.

      • Anonymous :


        It will bleed in future washes (and fade), so watch out what you wash it with. It will not dye the spandex, but that’s probably not what’s lost color and it should be evenly dispersed so it won’t look worse than it does now.

    • If you can find Dylon fabric dye, I find it to be a bit more black than the RIT black dye. I’ve found the Dylon in Michael’s, and it’s also available on Amazon.

    • I haven’t done it, but I read that for black, you should double the amount of dye you use. To prevent future bleed, wash in cold with vinegar.

  7. Anonynopotomus :

    I am scheduled to go to Sarasota this winter for a business trip and am a little worried about Zika (TTC a few months later). Sarasota doesn’t have Zika yet, but does anyone know if it’s expected to continue to spread as the temperatures drop? Or if it’s not there yet, can we reasonably expect it won’t be?

    It’s been pretty impossible to find an information online about this and that might be because it’s impossible to know, but I thought I would ask here.

    • Anonymous :

      No Zika now, unlikely to get it then, if it does you just cancel.

    • Anonymous :

      If you’re TTC a few months after your trip, I wouldn’t worry about. As you have pointed out, there’s no Zika in Sarasota and even if there is by the time you travel, it leaves the bloodstream quickly. There’s evidence that Zika can stay in s*men for longer periods of time, so it’s much more of a long term concern if your partner is traveling to a place with Zika. The CDC rec is to wait six months after last possible exposure to Zika; for women it’s only eight weeks and my doc said the CDC is overly cautious. Apparently the CDC reached these recommendations by TRIPLING the longest known transmission time – so if you follow their guidelines, you should be perfectly fine.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, this wasn’t clear – the CDC recommends MEN wait six months after lost possible exposure before trying to conceive (or having unprotected s*x with a pregnant woman), but women only need to wait eight weeks after last exposure before TTC.

        • Wouldn’t you want to be extremely cautious? Microcephaly is a substantial disorder and limiting condition for quality of the individual’s life.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes, but my point is that the CDC *is* being extremely cautious – or so says my doctor, anyway. I’m not saying don’t follow the CDC’s recommendation, I’m just saying that following their recommendation is sufficient.

    • Anonynopotomus :

      I should have added that my husband and baby would likely be coming along.

      • Anonymous :

        Well, then, if Zika has reached Sarasota by that point (which it probably won’t) it makes sense for DH to stay home or you to postpone TTC until six months after the trip.

    • New Tampanian :

      Cooler/clearer weather means no more mosquitos.

  8. On the subject of flats, any recommendations for a very comfortable flat I can wear while commuting (walking 1 mile each day) with LEATHER lining? I always buy AGL flats but looking for a cheaper option. The key is that the flats must be leather lined (else my feet get way too smelly). Must be very comfortable. Stylish a plus. TIA.

    • I wear these, and they’ve held up really well. My commute is ~2 mi a day in Boston (so bricks, cobblestones, etc). They have good arch support. They are not crazy fashionable, but they aren’t embarrassing either.

      They are lined in leather.

    • I’ve had good luck with Ecco flats.

      • Anonymous :

        Had never heard of this brand but HELLO GORGEOUS

        Can’t tell if the sole is leather though? I don’t love leather soles and can’t understand why more flats aren’t made with rubber. Much more durable and less likely to result in slipping on wet pavement.

    • I really like my Bali Elf flats, they are all leather. I’ve heard good things about the Soft Star ballet flats, but haven’t tried them myself.

    • Do you have no option to change shoes? I used to buy flats similar to what you are requesting, but I was wearing through them so fast it was ridiculous and crazy expensive. I finally caved and purchased some sketchers mesh (sort of like a sock on top) walking flats and change to walk, both so I can occasionally wear heels and to preserve my good shoes. I’ve been really happy with the plan so far (about 2 weeks).

    • You might try Geox shoes. This is what they are made for. They have breathable foot beds for people who suffer from sweaty feet.

    • Corso Como Recital flats. Nordstrom has them in about a dozen colors.

  9. Anonymous :

    LOVE. these. flats.

  10. Hoping to crowd source this — sunny vacation spots in the US during Dec/Jan preferably a 2-3 hr flight from DC that don’t have known Zika. Are there any? My go to in the winter is Florida – Miami, West Palm etc. but I’m not super comfortable with it this yr. Yet I know I will get to a point esp. in January where my body will NEED sunny and 75+ degrees. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      So Cal might be a little chillier than that but probably not much and will be sunny.

      • Anonymous :

        Depends what part, but the touristy areas like San Diego and OC are usually in the low-mid 60s that time of year. Very pleasant for walking around, and definitely more sunshine than you’ll have on the East Coast, but not really beach weather. For the weather you describe at that time of year you really need to go to South Florida or Hawaii.

      • That’s more than a 2-3 hour flight though.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the same boat! Usually we like a winter vacation in a sunny spot and want to do something pre-baby, but can’t figure out where to go….

    • Arizona and hang out by a great pool and spa? Sunny and warm. Vegas will be as well. YMMV.

    • commenter :

      Bermuda! It won’t be 75+ but probably 65-70+ that time of year and much lower zika threat.

    • As long as you aren’t going to south-east Florida (Miami, Keys, Ft Lauderdale, West Palm), you are fine. Try Sarasota/Siesta Key or Naples.

    • No idea of the Zika areas, but we like South Padre Island in Texas. We went in April, just after the March spring break crowd was gone, and it was perfect. So YMMV since it’s a little later than you’re looking to go.

    • New Orleans

  11. Maddie Ross :

    Bizarre Halloween etiquette question/poll — do you let the trick or treaters pick a candy, or do you just dump one (or a handful) in their bucket? Last year was my first ever Halloween with trick or treaters, since we just moved to the ‘burbs. I’m trying to figure out which is the preferred method. Last year I just dumped a handful on the premise that it was quick and it gave each child more than just one piece, but is there a better protocol?

    • I personally dump it into their bucket. Somehow I don’t like the idea of their grubby hands being all over the candy as they will touch multiple pieces before grabbing 1 or a few. I like to eat what’s leftover and I prefer it be untouched.

      • Isn’t it all wrapped?

      • +1 Also prevents the more aggressive kids from grabbing a giant handful.

        • +1 to the aggressive kids.

          Also, you offer more than one kind of candy?!

          The Halloween Grinch

          • Ha, I don’t hand out candy at all, even if I’m home.

          • The bagged candy often has several varieties. The giant bag I bought at Sam’s has Snickers, Milky Way, M&Ms, Three Musketeers, and Twix in it.

            I may put aside a few Snickers for myself. :-)

    • I let them pick their own piece, because I remember really enjoying that when I was a kid. I also double-up on the reeses cups and boxes of nerds because those were my favorites as a kid.

    • Wildkitten :

      Either way is fine. If there is a big crowd of kids at your door it’s definitely faster to drop candies into their baskets. If it’s like, one kid with their parent it can be fun to let them choose their candy.

      • Anonymous :

        + 1

        This is what I do.

        Jumping on your post to add a plug for allergy- friendly treats. Swedish berries and Fuzzy Peaches and Plain potato chips are all dairy/egg/wheat/peanut free and easy to find in stores.

        • Anonymous :

          Speaking of allergy-friendly treats, I bought a bunch of glow sticks and some other small $1 items at Target for kids with food allergies. I saw something online about teal pumpkins indicating food-allergy friendliness, but couldn’t find one of these pumpkins. Do kids with allergies say something? Should we ask every kid who comes to the door?

          • No, you do not need to be concerned about this. I say this as someone who had ALL THE ALLERGIES growing up. They can trade with their friends for allergy-free treats. It’s free candy, you do not need to accommodate food allergies.

          • Anonymous :

            Ugh, don’t get me started on the teal pumpkin thing. I think it was invented by SAHMs. You’re supposed to paint or spraypaint a pumpkin teal and put it on your porch to indicate that you have allergy-friendly treats. It seems like something people with way too much time on their hands do.

          • If you search online, there should be signs you can print and put in your window. I assume that would prompt kids/their parents to ask–I don’t have experience w/it as we don’t get trick-or-treaters where we are now, I’ve just heard about the signs.


          • Anonymous :

            Re. non-candy treats: When I was a kid, I LOVED them because my mother would limit the amount of candy we were allowed to keep, but I got to keep all the granola bars and pencils and stickers. The first year we handed out treats, I bought a bunch of bracelets, spider rings, and erasers and thought we were going to be the cool house. Nearly all of the kids asked me, “Where’s the candy?” or muttered “This sucks!” as they walked away with their toys. I was shocked that they didn’t want the toys, and that they would be rude enough to complain about them. Since then I have always bought candy. With as many allergens as I can find.

          • Anonymous :

            You can spray paint a pumpkin teal to show you have allergy-free treats. As a parent of an allergy kid, I certainly wouldn’t expect it but I would be excited to see it. My daughter knows to politely take whatever treats she is offered and I’ll swap them out for allergy safe ones later at home but honestly it’s more exciting and fun for her to get stuff she can actually eat or play with. Thanks for doing that!

            I wish they’d team up with Juvenile Diabetes to make it a thing because at least my allergic kid can eat probably 1/4 of the treats she takes home – must be really hard for diabetic kids on Halloween.

          • Anon 3:37 :

            at anon 3:57

            Obviously no one NEEDS to accommodate but if you’re undecided between Reese Pieces and Swedish berries when you’re at the store, and you know that more kids can eat the Swedish berries it’s kind of a nice thing to do.

          • I handed out glow sticks to all the kids last year and had entirely positive feedback. Allergy-free and way cheaper than candy when giving out 200+.

          • Anonymous :

            The sign looks like just the thing. Thanks, rosie!

    • If it’s not too crowded or busy, I’ll sometimes let them pick and tell them to take x number of pieces. Otherwise, I dole it out. If we are getting to the end of the night, I start tossing in handfuls to get rid of it.
      My kid comes home with plenty of loot each year and I don’t think twice about who has touched wrapped candy.

    • Anonymous :

      I let them pick their own piece, because I liked that as a kid (picky eater here who only likes a few kinds of candy). Most just take one, a few ask how many they can take or ask if they can take a second and I generally say yes (especially if they’re small). A few kids just reach in and take a handful. It’s annoying but I generally don’t say anything, unless they’re obviously way too old to be trick-or-treating. We always have tons and tons of leftover candy anyway, so it’s not really a big deal.

    • I hand out one or two pieces per child. We get a lot of kids and my first year in the neighborhood I ran out of candy. I start off with one piece per kid and will hand out more as the evening goes hand out more if it looks like the crowds are winding down.

      I’ve been buying candy for the past few weeks when it’s been on sale. I buy mini Kit Kats, Hersheys and Twix. That stuff can get expensive!

    • I generally tell the kids how many pieces they can take, and let them choose.

      Has anyone had the experience where older teenagers (15-18) come to trick or treat? I find it to be a little annoying; I’m pretty sure the last year I trick or treated was when I was 12 or 13. And they’re rarely dressed in a costume.

      • Anonymous :

        We get a few older kids. I don’t mind it as long as they have put some effort into the costumes. I hate it when they have no costume or just a few smears of fake blood, but I’m not brave enough to refuse them candy.

      • Anonymous :

        Yep, it’s annoying, but my parents cut me off from trick-or-treating the year I entered middle school so I never did it myself as a teenager. I don’t refuse them candy though because I’m a wuss.

      • So I get that, but I recently read something about how if the alternative is out drinking/etc., giving out some candy to older kids is not really such a huge deal.

      • As long as they are in costume, I welcome the older kids.

        • This. It’s the teens who barely try, like just wear the same mask from last year and nothing else, that are annoying to me. If they went full costume, I would think that was awesome. I would also give candy to any adult who went full costume. :)

      • workingmomz :

        I actually think it’s nice if older kids put on a costume and trick or treat. I feel like kids grow up too fast so it’s kind of cute they still do it.

      • Anonymous :

        Let them have fun! I don’t see the harm.

      • Anonymous :

        Awww my oldest will be 16 next month and she and her friends still trick-or-treat. They dress up in appropriate costumes. This is the first year she is having second thoughts and said she might just stay in and hand out candy.

      • Here’s my take:

        I get older teenagers who trick or treat at my house. As someone who worked for years with kids in that age group, I’d rather that they be out trick or treating than doing some of the other things that I know kids in my area do instead (i.e. parties where there are risky behaviors, egging houses, etc).

        But I’m also the person who will yell at them if they’re not nice to the younger kids when they’re out.

      • My take – anyone in costume gets candy. Also, sometimes people think a child is older then he or she is when the child is just really tall. My (in costume) 12 year old was treated very harshly one year by several people who clearly thought he was “too old.”

        • Anonymous :

          So much this!!

          I was 5’6″ when I was 11. So many ‘looks’ from people that I didn’t go with my friends the next year- just stayed home

    • Anonymous :

      I let smaller kids, especially the shy ones, pick their own candy because choosing is so much fun for them. With older kids, aggressive kids, or large groups, I usually drop the candy in their sacks unless they are behaving in a very orderly fashion.

      I usually hand out two pieces at the very beginning of the night when only the really young kids are out, switch to one piece as the crowds start to come, and then switch back to two if it looks like I am going to run out of trick-or-treaters before I run out of candy.

    • Silly mom story: last year was my then-2-year-old’s first Halloween trick or treating. He went to a few houses, and then one of our neighbors held out a huge tray of candy for him to pick from. He looked at the big thing and didn’t know what to do with it. He then reached into his bucket and made a donation to their tray like it was a collection plate. The neighbor of course returned it to him with extra candy.

    • I usually grab 2-3 pieces and put it in myself. If it is getting late and I have a ton left, I let them grab.

    • We let them pick, however we give out one full size candy bars each. It’s actually cheaper for us, because my husband was WAY too generous (giant handfuls to every kid) with the fun size ones. There were multiple years where we ran out and were running to the store.

    • I get hundreds of trick or treaters. For really little kids who come early I let them pick. I say “just one” in a sweet voice and they are so cute about it.

      But later I get mobbed with older kids and for them I just grab one candy at random and put it in their bag. I occasionally get a kid who asks to switch candies, which is ok with me, or a kid who wants more than one, which is not ok with me.

      Kids are used to being told what to do. Don’t worry about hurting their feelings. It’s a numbers game for the bigger kids. They won’t remember you. (Though they will remember houses that don’t give out candy FOR LIFE)

  12. Leavin' on a jet plane... :

    I just accepted a great job … except that involves moving. Halfway across the world. This will be my fifth international move in as many years, and each of the previous ones have been an absolute nightmare. This one doesn’t look to be much better, even though/especially since for Reasons I’m only taking two suitcases.

    Someone tell me moving gets less foul the more times you have to do it?

    • Anonymous :

      hmm, it may be perspective, but I loved both of my big (admittedly non-international) moves. The first one I packed all my belongings in two suitcases, sold what I could on Craigslist, and gave away the rest. The second time, crammed two cats and everything I could fit in an economy sedan and gave away the rest. I think for me, I was so excited by the potential of the new locations that the logistics didn’t bother me. Now that I’m in my 30s, there are a few memento-type things my husband has that I never will because I discarded them at some point, but I (obviously) wouldn’t trade my experiences for them.

    • Can you identify what went wrong with previous moves and try to put mitigation plans in place this time around? Obviously some stuff is out of your control, but I would use past experiences to try and make this one better.

    • Sorry if this isn’t the answer you were looking, but moving is awful. I’ve accepted at this point that it’s just going to suck for me no matter what I do, how much I plan, or how logistically complex the move seems like it should be. So I try to put my head down and slog through it to the best of my ability.

      Also, my personal interpretation of Scripture is that the good lord Jesus Christ brought wine onto planet Earth for the express purpose of helping me survive moves. I’ve also leaned heavily on wine’s cousin, Crying Into My Pint of Beer in Heathrow Airport.

  13. The Ghost-ee Becomes the Ghost-er :

    I need permission to ghost. I matched with some dude on Tinder a while back, we made plans to meet up, he canceled, we attempted to reschedule, when I tried to confirm that he didn’t respond and claimed his phone was dead, then said he’d make it up to me with dinner (which never happened). He resurfaced again after a few weeks’ silence and asked if I wanted to hang out sometime in the next couple of weeks and I told him to text me when he’s not so busy. I ignored a Saturday night text (late) asking how my weekend was going, and now he wants to know if I’m dressing up for Halloween.

    This is occasionally amusing, but I’m really not interested any more, and I feel guilty not responding to him. Un-matching him on Tinder just prompted the phantom dinner invite.

    • It seems like he’s not whole-heartedly interested either so I wouldn’t sweat it. Ghosting is more of an offense if you’ve given them reason to assume you’re really into them or if you know they’re really into you. Just my take.

    • You’ve never met him in person and only exchanged a few texts? Permission granted!

    • Anonymous :

      You haven’t even met yet? You have my permission to ghost.

    • Anonymous :

      I hate ghosting, but I don’t think it’s ghosting if you haven’t yet had an in-person date. He was flaky over text, there’s nothing wrong with you doing the same.

    • Shopaholic :

      Ya this is basically the circumstances ghosting was invented for… Go for it

    • This wouldn’t even count as ghosting! Totally fine (and normal) to ignore messages from someone who you’ve decided you’re not interested in meeting up with.

    • The Ghost-ee Becomes the Ghost-er :

      Thanks, all. I have a bad feeling this one will turn hostile once he realizes I’m not playing anymore… but on the other hand, not my problem.

      • commenter :

        That’s when you block them on your phone! I’ve previously felt guilty about that, but then unblocked dudes like this and received some lovely “you’re a b* for not appreciating that i like you” messages.

  14. My 25yo daughter is going to inpatient alcohol detox and depression treatment later this week. Recent alcohol problem -high functioning. She lives far away and has asked me to travel to support her. I’m scared. Anyone have gentle advice for me?

    • You’re such a good mom for being there for your daughter.

      I have no first hand advice for you, but I’ve come at this from the other perspective (daughter of brilliant, high-functioning alcoholic). Be prepared for all the emotions – good and bad. And repeat to yourself as needed – nothing I did caused this to happen.

    • See if her rehab has a family program. When my LO was at rehab, I attended one and it was very helpful. It’s also a great way of showing your daughter that you want to help. Don’t bring anything for your daughter other than clothing, because rehabs are very particular about what personal care items are allowed. While she’s at rehab, consider attending al-anon meetings to learn more about the disease. If you can’t make it in person, there are also meetings online.

      • Anonymous :

        Definitely attend the family program at least once if its available. They will give you the harsh truths you need to hear as a family member and explain to you how to help your daughter get better while not enabling her. Its hard to hear, but they know what they are talking about. When my daughter was there, so many parents couldn’t accept that the addiction wasn’t something that was out of their control and they couldn’t force their child to get healthy by loving them. The quicker you can get there, the better you’ll be able to support your daughter in a healthy way.

        Best of luck, it’s a hard road, but you’ll get through it!

    • Anonymous :

      Hugs. I’m a parent to a toddler and my heart hurts for you. I don’t have personal experience with this, but just try to listen to her. She probably has thoughts and feelings about her life that she hasn’t wanted to share with you because she didn’t want to hurt your feelings or scare you. If she does so now, just try to hear what she’s saying without taking it personally.

      Good for your daughter for seeking help. She’s so brave and strong to realize she has a problem and take steps to help herself. Also, I think the fact that she reached out to you speaks volumes about the strength of your relationship. I hope that if I am ever in your shoes that my kid turns to me for help and support.

    • Support her the best you can and avail yourself of any programs the treatment center may have for family members of alcoholics. Al-Anon has given me the tools to love the alcoholic without losing myself. This is treatable and many, many people have been through this. You are not alone. Hugs to you.

    • Anonymous :

      When my family supported me in the hospital a few things were really helpful – magazines and other “treats” especially ones we could share and chat about (games, videos, snacks), and also activities where we could be side by side and doing something while also talking if I was up for it. Stuff like short walks and knitting and little drives in the country to get tea or a treat were wonderful ways to talk without the pressure of eye contact and with a set end time. Just going to support her and being someone she can ask for help is enough, seeing what else you can do is lovely and a sign that you are going to do well :)

    • +1 to attending the family program, if available.

      You’re being great by going and being supportive. It’s OK to not know what to do. You can ask your daughter how she wants to be supported and ask the staff. Also be forward thinking to what you’d like your support to look like post-inpatient treatment. For my dad, we took turns calling and checking in on him and chatting. Understand that relapses happen. Ask what the plan is for a relapse and if you would be involved.

      Best wishes for you and your daughter!

  15. block heels :

    I have some old block heels and now that block heels are trending I would like to break them out again, but I’m afraid that they are *just* off, you know? one pair has round toes and the other two are squared. can I wear these and still look modern? I’ve seen a lot of block heels that are pointed. bonus if you think I can wear these to Europe on a business trip and look stylish.

    • Round toes are coming back too. I’ve seen a lot of block heel Mary Janes with round toes. Wrt to the square toes, if you like them and they’re comfortable then go for it. It’s not super in but just make sure the rest of your outfit reads as updated.

      Fwiw, I consider myself to be generally pretty stylish and I wear a pair of purple square toed shoes with a pretty thick heel at least once every other week. They’re comfortable and walkable and the color goes with a lot of my wardrobe.

  16. Anonymous :

    Yes, I would. Just clean them up.

  17. Anonymous :

    I have a wonderful working relationship with all of the partners I work with, except one. No matter how many ways I try to improve our communication, this partner is perpetually underwhelmed by my work product. I’m not aware of complaints by any other partner about my work product or my communication, but this particular partner seems to think I’m just The Worst. Not sure what I’m asking, just need to vent after yet another “I’m disappointed by you and your work” conversation.

    • Anonymous :

      That sucks. Do you have a particularly good relationship with another partner where you can speak with him or her about this partner?

    • Is your group big enough that you can just not work with him? I’m been in big firms before and have occasionally run into partners who have a very different style of communication/work/etc., and typically we can sort of gravitate apart from each other. I know that ultimately there may be a reputational hit for me, but usually it happens in a way that there isn’t one big “ace screwed this up” moment that haunts me (formally) in a review.

      Alternatively, I had one partner who didn’t like a project I did for him, and I heard thru the grapevine that he gave me a bad review — inconsistent with everyone else’s, so it ultimately wasn’t formally presented to me but probably is in my file somewhere. In that case, I knew it was partly a subject matter issue — it was research in an area he knew very well and I didn’t know much about, so there was a massive communications gap. Interestingly, I got pulled into a different case that he was peripherally involved in that was in my wheelhouse/with a different partner who I work very well with, and original partner was extremely complimentary of my work.

      And second prior post above — sometimes there are just partners who are perpetually unhappy with associate work, so if you can talk to someone a little more senior, they may be able to share whether he/she is one of them… in which case the management team probably knows that the partner is perpetually going to bag certain people’s work.

  18. Speaking of good flats, I have to say thanks to the poster who recommended Puma Zandy flats a while back – I think in a “commuting shoes” thread? I’ve had some foot/leg issues recently, partially caused by walking too much in cheap Target flats. I love cheap Target flats, but this week they do not love me. So I was looking for a more substantial style of flats that I could wear to work (I’m in federal government, but my office is quite casual) and thought I would give the Pumas a try. Today’s the first day, but so far, so good! My feet are much happier.

    • I am a big fan of them as well. I wear them all the time on the weekends running errands and also traveling. If you keep an eye out, you can find them on sale. I think I have had the best luck on Amazon.

  19. Anonymous :

    I just received one of MM LaFleur’s jardigans. Did anyone else notice it not laying flat in the back? It seems to have horizontal wrinkles or something, and I don’t know if this is an indicator of poor fit or what. It seems to fit otherwise.

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