Coffee Break: City Pod Tote

Today we’re featuring this ah-mazing City Pod Tote from Marni. It’s just so clean and so minimalist, but gorgeous at the same time. I like the exposed seam detail and the sophisticated and stunning style. The tote is $2,140, so it’s definitely a splurge. Net-a-Porter has them, as does Farfetch, and some are on sale. Marni City Pod Tote

Two more affordable totes are here and here.



  1. Not my brightest moment :

    Ok, super random question. I bought a rocking chair at a pottery barn outlet that should have, but did not have, a slipcover on it. I presumed I could get one on their website or maybe ebay, but when I got home, learned that the chair was an outdated model and there were no slipcovers to be found anywhere. I figured this out after i had bought a slipcover off ebay that is the same shape, but too big for the chair.

    So I have two options – the first is returning the chair to the outlet and exchanging for a new one, which is a pain. The second is finding someone to alter the slipcover. An upholstery store quoted me more than the cost of the chair to do this, so that’s a no go. I’ve been trying to find someone on craigslist, but no one has responded to me yet. People with sewing expertise – how difficult is it to alter something that is the right shape but just too large? At this point, I’d rather just send the darn thing back, but my husband is convinced we’ll find someone on CL to do it and it will be no big deal for her to do. Can anyone give me some context on whether he’s right?

    • Anonymous :

      I would return everything.

    • Anonymous :

      Depends on where it is too big. Can you take the bigness out in one spot (like it’s too wide), or will the bigness have to come out in a few different directions?

    • Have you looked on eBay to see if you can find one there?

    • Not my brightest moment :

      It is too big everywhere, so will have to come out in basically all of the different directions. Yes, unfortunately, none to be found on ebay or in PB’s backstock or anything like that. Open to suggestions for other sites. It is called the PB kids small comfort glider. As I have learned, there is also a small comfort rocker, and they are not the same.

      • That would require entirely unstitching and rebuilding it which would be at least 5 hours of work so like 100 minimum under the table cash.

    • If you’re near a larger city, try poking around in Russian/Eastern European communities for furniture repair shops or tailors. (Speaking from experience in NYC). There are tons of independent operators, immigrants from countries with strong traditions of excellent handiwork, who are so much more reasonable in price than a mainstream store. They generally won’t have websites or whatever, but if you just go to the shop and ask some questions, they can point you in the right direction.

    • engineering mommy :

      In addition to Ebay, check here to see if they make ones for your rocker:

      I haven’t purchased from them, but found them when PB discontinued my slipcovered sofa. If they don’t have it, Google the name of the rocker and the word slipcover to see what you can find.

      Making or altering slipcovers is tricky, as the fabrics are thick and it takes time to get the fit right. Furniture with curves is especially difficult.

    • BabyAssociate :

      My mom is a seamstress and I think she’d tell you it makes more sense to start from scratch than it does to fix something that doesn’t fit at all.

    • Anonymous :

      In my personal experience/research, both upholstery and slipcovers are not cost effective to do custom unless it’s either a very simple job or the piece of furniture is very special and worth the investment.

  2. Sloan Sabbith :

    Word to the wise: the Starbucks Double Shot iced coffee has five shots. When you order it with an extra shot, the next….4 hours (and counting) are not fun. I had an early meeting and didn’t sleep well, wanted to wake up. I’m now SO VERY AWAKE.

    I ate two pieces of pizza for lunch and I am still jittery and shaky. Make it go awayyyyyy. Any tips to get caffeine out of my system other than a ton of water?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      For me, the issue with this is the discomfort from my heart rate being too high. If you can, try lying down and doing some deep breathing exercises. You can use the free heart rate app on your phone to see your heart rate before and after. If you can relax enough to bring your heart rate down a little, you should start to feel better.

      Also, thanks for the warning. I have a too high heart rate naturally and I think the drink you just described would put me into cardiac arrest!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’m drinking water like it’s going out of style and ate two pieces of protein-packed pizza for lunch. I feel….well, less like I’m going to die.

      It’s my favorite, it got me through bar prep, but I forgot that I usually order it with 3 shots instead of 5 for exactly this reason.

    • Whatever you do, don’t add Sudafed to the mix….(says someone who has absentmindedly combined a much lower amount of caffeine with decongestants previously and spent the next 6 hours feeling like a hummingbird).

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I’ve officially crashed. What a fun day today was.

      Sticking with my macchiatos and lattes from now on. Or a half caf double shot.

  3. Tokyo recommendations :

    I’m going to Tokyo with two girlfriends for a week at the end of March. We have a few things that we want to see/do planned out already, but are flexible with the rest of our itinerary. Any recommendations/tips? Especially restaurants, shopping, and off-the-beaten-path activities

    • Stay in a ryokan somewhere (probably not in Tokyo proper but if you take a day trip). Such an amazing experience, it’s the best thing we did.

      • Be aware, you’re going right around the start of Cherry Blossom season, so prices will be higher and destinations will be more crowded.
        A couple of suggestions if you take a day trip or an overnight to Kyoto:
        Kyoto Botanical Gardens are gorgeous and a nice break from all of the hyper-touristy destinations. When I was there two years ago in late May, I mostly saw families enjoying picnics in the sun.
        If you have any interest in handmade paper, Morita Washi is amazing: I brought back several large sheets of hand-painted paper that I used when I made my wedding invitations.

        • +1 I studied abroad in Kyoto, and the Botanical Gardens was one of my favorite places to visit.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve shared about this before, but in Japan (not Tokyo, but Hiroshima and Osaka) I had great luck with private guides from toursbylocals dot com. I found Japan pretty challenging and it was great to have a local, English-speaking guide to take us around and smooth the way.

    • Go to the basement level of any big department store…FOOD. HEAVEN. And super easy to navigate and interact with without knowing Japanese.

    • Anonymous :

      Get yourself a Suica card for the metro and a SIM car for your phone. Google maps works perfectly there, and the subway is fantastic. Definitely visit the basement level of the department stores – the food is fantastic! It’s a super easy city to travel around it. Have fun!

    • I’ve shared this before, but great tips in these articles:

    • Anonymous :

      I live in Tokyo. End of March is cherry blossom season and both Tokyo and Kyoto will be INSANE. Super crowded with loads of tourists.

      In Kyoto, get up early and go to Kiyomizu-dera temple. It opens at 6am or something. Then walk north along the Kamo River. Then get once everyone wakes up, get out of the city!!! Go to Ohara Village or somewhere.

      In Tokyo, buy a six pack of beer from a convenience store. At around 6pm, go to Yoyogi Park. Loads of people will be having cherry blossom viewing picnics (hanami). Find a group of Japanese people that looks friendly and just drunk enough. Offer them beers. You will have fun.

      Post an email if you want to have lunch with a random Tokyorette!

    • Anonymous :

      My comment is in moderation.

      Short version: I live in Tokyo. It will be super crowded end of March. Plan for crowds.

      What do you like to do? Food, culture, outdoor?

    • My favorite place in Tokyo was the Senso-ji temple in Asakusa – so beautiful and peaceful. We spent hours there.
      Try to get down to Kamakura to see the Great Buddha, it’s not too far on the train.
      Kappabashi has some great kitchen equipment (some of which I still have and use, 12 years later) and Akihabara (the electronics district) was a lot of fun to walk around in.
      We didn’t do a lot of shopping in Ginza or on Omotesando-dori but it was fun to walk around both places.
      Honestly, everything we did in Tokyo was amazing. Just walking the streets was wonderful. I’m super jealous; I would absolutely love to go back. Maybe someday.

      • Oh, and Ueno Park and the market streets by it were also a lot of fun. There are tons of museums in and around the park; the Tokyo National Museum in particular was fantastic.

  4. DH had a huge career milestone recently and I want to get him something to celebrate. Any recommendations for classic men’s watches under $3k? I want it to be something he’ll wear for a long time and he isn’t a trendy person. He works in tech and wears jeans to work every day, so I’m hoping for something that fits that vibe more than the flashy ones I see on the guys I work with on Wall Street.

    • Anonymous :

      Aha! I just got engaged and would like to buy my fiance a watch fitting exactly these specifications. Looking forward to any recommendations!

    • Anonymous :

      My husband has a beautiful Omega he sale stalked and bought for about $2k (also to celebrate a career milestone). Steel band, round white face and dark blue hands. He wears it almost constantly and it goes with everything. It is not too flashy for jeans, but he wears it with a suit to work and it is totally appropriate for that, too.

    • I am a big fan of Nomos Glasshutte. It’s totally a luxury watch, but also very understated and not flashy. I really want one myself, but I already have one from a different luxury brand and I don’t really switch out my watches too often.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have a stainless steel Tag Heuer that I have had for 25 years that is waterproof, classic and has required very little maintenance. I think they might be around that price range.

    • Ugh, comment got modded. Look at Nomos Glasshutte. Very high quality but understated.

    • Anonymous :

      Waaaaaaay less than 3k, but I’ve been eyeing Cocktail Time by Seiko for similar reasons. Around $600, low profile but beautiful and unique, and a cool back story.

    • anonlawyer :

      I bought my husband the classic Tiffany watch with a black leather band when we got married. It was $1500 12 years ago. I’m sure its quite a bit more now, but the watch has held up very well. He is on his second band, but I think that is great for a watch that gets regular wear and is 12 years old.

    • Late to this, but look at Shinola. They have a variety of styles and price ranges (starting at $500, IIRC) and also a cool back story; they’re made in Detroit.

      • +1 that’s a hard Price point. Too low for the classics. But Shinola is the right thing I think, even if you’re backing off your price a bit.

  5. Show my work? :

    Should I let my boss see the extensive notes I wrote up for a presentation on monday? They are probably overkill, because I’m teaching a class about the basics of my job, but I’ve never taught it before. On the other hand, we’ll be teaching this class again, be so infrequently that we keep having to recreate it, so they might actually have some value in the future.
    Would it be better to show her I’m putting in the effort, or pretend it’s all coming easily?

    • Anonymous :

      No, don’t do it. Amateur move.

    • I’m wondering why you’d show them to her — did she ask how it’s going? About your presentation? Or are you thinking of just volunteering them to say how hard you’re working on it?

    • That seems weird. The boss would probably rather just watch you do a good job. The amount of prep it took isn’t her concern.

    • Yay Kat, what a nice tote, but $2,150? Even I, a junior partner at a major boutique law firm, find this a wee bit excessive! Mabye if I worked for a MEGAfirm, but not my WC firm. FOOEY!

      As for the OP, of course show your manageing partner. I am sure she will be impressed and will likely use it herself. Why hide in the shadows when you have DONE something GOOD! I say go for it. That is how I got promoted–by PROMOTING myself to the manageing partner, all in a PROFESSIONAL manner. YAY!!

    • Anonymous :

      Okay then. Sounds like consensus.
      I was thinking about it because she’s been helping me prep–gave me her notes to get started with. She’s going to want to see something, but I’ll put together a quick synopsis specifically for her.

      • This sounds like a good plan. I’d only hand over notes if she asks. I would, however, save them on the system somewhere for retrieval if this presentation comes up again in the future, so that they could be passed along (like your boss’s notes). You may even include where you have them saved for future presentations in your synopsis.

  6. Purse question :

    So on this purse (or any others), do you usually use that shoulder strap? I have really narrow shoulders and maybe not the best posture always. I usually just use the handle (or loop a longer handle over my arm and carry where my elbow is). When I go out to eat, I never have a purse place — they are always flopping about on the floor (yuck). I’m tempted to just be on Team Wristlet, but curious what others do.

    I have a Lo & Sons Seville (which I love), but I don’t use it as a purse just as a work tote.

    • I avoid bags like this for that reason alone. I don’t find them very comfortable to carry and they’re always in my way.

    • I wear a strap like this crossbody. It looks to be adjustable.

  7. You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

    Here’s a question for the Hive that I’m constantly pondering.

    I started my career practicing law at a BigLaw firm that is widely considered to be “family friendly” and “good for women.” However, I ended up working almost exclusively for one partner, who had just lateraled over from another, larger BigLaw firm that is probably the single most notorious sweatshop. Which meant that my individual experience = sweatshop.

    I finally escaped, and have now landed a great job with a super reasonable and awesome manager. The problem is that I keep projecting the INSANE BigLaw expectations and behavior onto those around me, and I don’t think it’s doing me any favors. Can give examples if that’s helpful, but you ladies probably know what I mean. Mostly this impacts my anxiety in the workplace and when I am sick or take vacation, but sometimes I can tell my boss is thinking, “Why would she think I’d expect that level of craziness?”

    • Anonymous :

      How long have you been out of Big Law? It took me a solid year to be able to send a casual email without excessively worrying that I had made a typo and proofreading it 50 times. Big Law does strange things to a person and it just takes time to recover, in my experience.

    • Hm. It’s hard to tell what you mean by projecting expectations and behavior onto those around me. Can you give an example?

      • You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

        OP here. Not quite a year. So maybe I need to give it more time!

        Re projecting expectations, one example is worrying excessively when I leave the office around 6:30. My boss keeps longer hours than ANYONE (she’s the GC), and I’m always the secondlast to leave, but I wish I could occasionally leave earlier without worrying.

        Right now it’s on my mind because I’m really, really sick. It’s a virus with both head cold/sore throat and GI/tummy symptoms. I finally kept down some rice last night, so I was back in the office today and immediately knew it was a mistake. My boss explicitly said, “GO HOME!!!” And everyone I see asks if I’m okay or why I’m here. Heading home to rest and will WFH tomorrow, but the experience has me returning to this topic in my mind and doing some reflection about why I’m so unbelievably anxious (palms sweating, heart rate up, full fight or flight) over the thought of working from home for a solid week. In BigLaw I might as well have quit in a bear costume with a kazoo. But in my new gig I’m starting to realize that, even on day 4 of a bug, I’m violating norms by being here when I’m obviously still really sick.

        • I ask this gently, and as someone with similar tendencies: Is this the only area of your life where you are experiencing this level of anxiety? More background: I was finally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during/after leaving a (small) firm that had a similar sweatshop mentality, and your experience sounds similar to mine.

          The new gig and new boss both sound lovely. I know it’s hard, but I would try to take the boss/everyone else at face value — if your work is done/you’re at a good stopping point and you would like to leave, just do. It takes time and effort, but the best way to overcome the anxiety is just to try to accept the new reality as reliable. It can be hard, given what you’ve been through.

          • You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

            Thank you, ELS, for your kindness and compassion. This is really good advice. I’ve got a diagnosed anxiety disorder too, and I’ve got great help and tools and meds. But for some reason the professionalism questions continue to be a really difficult area to navigate– I think because in BigLaw people would tell you to stay home and then talk trash about you because you did.

          • You are so welcome, OP.

            FWIW: I didn’t read any of the negative things into your comment that below posters clearly did. It didn’t sound to me like you thought you were a rockstar — it sounded like you were struggling, and concerned about how your boss viewed you after having a really terrible experience (and maybe some overall anxiety issues). Your question (and you!) seemed genuine and truly seeking some honest advice/help.

            I don’t know what kind of employer you are at now, but I remember when I moved into the public sector, it was hard for me to take my boss/colleagues at face value precisely because of the kind of clique-y trash-talking you describe at my old workplace. So: commiseration. I’ve been there (in a slightly different circumstance).

            My best advice is to keep using your tools, and try to block out the voice in your head that is telling you that everything is terrible and if you do X this one time (i.e. leave when others do, stay home when you are actually sick), that your boss/colleagues will hate you/everything will be ruined. That voice is a liar.

            And, if at all possible: try to maintain some good separation from work after working hours. Keep up with the self-care. It sounds like you are generally a conscientious employee, and someone who wants to do a good job. That shows through, I am sure.

        • I came from biglaw too and I miss it and its expectations. But get a grip. And the reason they don’t want you there is bc it’s gross to be at work when you’re contagious (which you are). You’re not a brain surgeon (and they don’t do surgery when they’re sick either). Right now the GC and your colleagues aren’t looking at you like — OMG what a star she’s even coming in when she’s sick. They are looking at you as an inconsiderate showoff. You’re good. They get it – that’s why they hired you. But this need to prove it over and over bc of your own “anxiety” will NOT get your career moving higher. It will (and probably already has) gotten you labeled as the annoying biglaw showoff in the office.

          • Anonymous :

            Omg: “It will (and probably already has) gotten you labeled as the annoying biglaw showoff in the office.” Wow, great thing to say to someone who’s already clearly dealing with intense anxiety about how to behave at a new job… OP, don’t worry, I think you need to dial down your behavior and expectations, but it’s not like you’re already branded an ‘annoying biglaw showoff’ forever and ever. Jebus.

            Dial it down, see if you can find a friend or mentor to act as a ‘sanity check’ on your behavior. Maybe read some of that blog Ask a Manager. Get exposed to more non-BigLaw people and environments and re-calibrate. And in the meantime, PLEASE stop exposing your colleagues to whatever nasty bug you have.

        • Get a grip. You are NOT coming across like a biglaw star right now. You are coming across as inconsiderate for exposing your colleagues to a virus when there was really no need for you to be at work. Manage your own anxieties – or don’t – but not everyone falls all over ex biglaw people as you think they do. They are not always viewed as being so dedicated and awesome esp when they do the types of annoying/gross things you’re doing.

          • You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

            …Which is exactly why I asked for advice adjusting to the new normal.

            And I’m struggling to see where I gave the impression that people fall all over ex biglaw people. Or that I think I’m a star.

            The only reason I mentioned biglaw at all is because it’s a very particular culture. It’s hard to go suddenly from a culture of “if you’re not at work sick, then you’re not trying” to “you’re an annoying, gross, inconsiderate showoff if you don’t stay home until you’re totally better” (or, with less snark, “it’s fine to be out for a whole week if you’re well and truly sick”).

          • You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

            Wow. First response stuck in moderation, so.

            I do not miss Biglaw, not at all. In fact, I think it can be kind of a toxic place.

            To be clear, I don’t think I’m a star, or super awesome. My anxiety is genuine, which is why I was asking for advice. Logically I know it’s a different culture. But emotionally? It’s a very hard transition to make.

        • Also Anon :

          I made a similar move to a lower pressure job about a year ago. I still get stressed sometimes, but not really. It was a really hard adjustment at first. I had to admit two things to myself:

          1. I was kind of a sucker to feel so fancy and important in my old job. Everyone who left that place (which did have a sweatshop mentality, not to mention was a huge old boys club) has gone on to work far fewer hours in much more positive atmospheres. Instead of feeling like pathetic losers, we are all a lot happier and physically healthier. All the people I used to work with who used to look like worn down nervous wrecks actually look happy when I see them.
          2. My new coworkers and boss are not trying to trick me or play mind games with me when they tell me what is expected of me.

          If you want to leave earlier? Leave earlier. It’s fine. The only way you start to feel comfortable with doing new things is by doing them over and over again. In time you’ll get used to it and feel less anxious.

          • You can take the lawyer out of Biglaw, but you can't take the Biglaw out of the lawyer... :

            Thank you! This is exactly the kind of experience I needed to hear about. And I totally agree about both 1 and 2!! 2 is super hard to get used to though, since I had to learn the opposite hard lesson in BigLaw (namely, I shouldn’t assume that my coworkers are NOT trying to trick or play mind games..)

          • This is amazing advice, and exactly how I felt after leaving a toxic workplace for a good one.

    • Are you projecting expectations on your subordinates/staff or are you doing this with superiors? With superiors, it’s better to overperform, especially when you’re new to the job, and then ease up once you get more comfortable in the position anyway. I can pretty much guarantee you that even the partners who are saying, wow she’s crazy to respond to that non-urgent email within 5 minutes at midnight, aren’t thinking negatively of you.

      It’s a different matter entirely if you’re doing this to associates and staff. Like, expecting your secretary to stay until midnight for a filing is… not going to go over all that well. People might understand. Once. But after you get the initial backlash, you’re going to need to learn to file or find a vendor to do it.

    • I get what you’re saying. It’s easy to keep projecting someone else’s expectations into a new situation. I’ve been shocked before when I’ve changed jobs and gone from an irrational manager to a completely sane and normal one. The trick is to just act the way you actually want to and tell yourself it’s okay where you are now. That means stay home when you’re sick (for the love of everyone in your office, please stay home and go home – this is my biggest pet peeve), but it also means leave when you’re done with work, come in when it makes sense. I use the mental trick of being my boss – am I acting in a way that I would like a subordinate to act? If yes, then that’s what I do. (And that’s not working in a crazed big-law kind of way, fwiw).

    • My background is BigLaw, and now I’m in house at a not-for-profit. Once, when I had just started, someone asked me a question, and I was in the groove working out the answer/writing up a little memo, and I stayed after the rest of the office had left to send it off. (From my previous job, staying late in the office was completely normal.) I hit send around 6:30 pm? Before 7, for sure. I got an email back from my boss immediately: “What are you doing at the office?” It’s just a different culture.

      A thing that they’ve told me here is that they expect me to work hard and be available when it’s needed — so when it’s not needed, it’s ok if I duck out early, or make that appointment, or don’t turn that non-urgent document immediately. I am making less than I did in my first year of BigLaw, and I remind myself that they (more or less) ask us to take a pay cut because they expect less of us — not in terms of our skills or professionalism, but in terms of our availability.

      Also, on a personal note, I understand what you’re talking about. I worked for some really bad, mean, manipulative people. I remember almost crying when I realized I was on a boat (on a Saturday night!) without my Blackberry for a few hours. After I had been away from the job for months, I woke up from a nightmare because I couldn’t remember the last time I checked my Blackberry. Etc. etc. It is like a bad relationship; you can bring unhealthy habits and expectations to the next place. But take people at their word w/r/t their expectations of you, and eventually I think you’ll be happier and more relaxed.

    • Triangle Pose :

      This will take time. I came from BigLaw but now everyone in my in-house job leaves at a reasonable time – they all catch the 5:16pm train so when I leave at 5:25 or 5:45 I’m often one of the last ones here. You get comfortable with leaving early by actually leaving early. Just get your work done, make sure your boss and business clients you support are happy and you’ll do great. It takes time. I’m only 10 months in and I don’t have anxiety so I adjusted to it happily, but really, just train yourself. You can do it.

  8. I need help finding some black flats (or at least shoes with less than a 1″ heel) to wear to work. I need arch support and, more importantly, a wider toe box (but narrow heels so wide shoes generally don’t work). I live in semi-ugly Clarks and am really hoping to find some shoes that aren’t hideous but also dont’ give me blisters or fall off when I walk (which happens with a loose heel). Any suggestions? I’m not a huge fan of the ballerina slipper look, but I also want something that doesn’t make me look 60 (I’m 39).

    • Hi foot twin! I recently got a pair of otbt shoes and was surprised how well they fit my triangular feet. Their styling skews granola, which may be a plus or minus depending on your POV.

    • I live in Ecco flats, I have four pairs in different colors that are like a ballet flat with a buckle on the toe. They have a sturdier sole, about a 1-inch wedge heel, and tons of arch support. They are not cheap but once I started wearing better shoes, the joint pain that I thought was early arthritis went away.

    • Another foot twin here. I bought the Corso Como “Mince” flat in black from Nordstrom. The straps are functional, so you can loosen the one at the ball of your foot, and the ankle strap keeps it from slipping at the heel. The footbed is nicely padded, and they don’t look as weird on your foot as they do in the picture. Bonus: presently on sale for about $75 with excellent size selection.

    • I have similar feet (although arch support is not key for me) and I second the recommendation for Ecco.

      I also really like my Safe-T-Step flats (which were too tight across the toe at first but broke in very well); they’re an inexpensive brand but made for people who work on their feet – waiters and nurses and so on. They have lots of ugly shoes and a few pairs of nice-looking flats.

      Finally, I have several pairs of Danskos that I really like. They do tend to be a bit loose in the heel, but not so much that it bothers me. I could also put moleskin pads in the heel to tighten them up if I wanted. They have tons of styles other than the clunky clogs; I like my loafers, which I think are called Oksana.

    • Anonymous :

      I have similar issues, I purchased these and never looked back-

    • I recently bought these and they’re very comfy. Lucky sizes only left on sale but they’re also on Amazon.

  9. Oh My Aching Neck :

    Who do you see when you have a persistent neck and shoulder pain? Primary care doctor? PCD for referral to Ortho? Chiropractor? Masseuse? Just over two weeks ago I woke up with lots of pain in my neck that continues down the shoulder all the way to my elbow. I’ve been stretching a lot, using a foam roller, and taking ibuprofen. The pain has reduced some, but it’s still difficult to drive or type for significant periods two weeks later and it is making it hard for me to stay asleep more than a couple of hours. Who do you see for these kinds of issues?

    • Anonymous :

      Physical therapist for sure.

    • Obviously everyone is different, but after 4 years of pretty much constant neck and shoulder pain things are finally looking up for me because I’m working to improve my posture. I probably just stretched and tried to work out the kinks for about a year. Then I finally went to my PCP who referred me for xrays and a CT scan. Those came back completely clear (as did physical tests for degenerative issues). Once it was determined that I did not have any “serious” issues based on my xrays and scans, my PCP and an ortho I saw were not really interested. Heating pads and hot yoga are great temporary fixes. I never had much luck with massages. Finally, about two months ago I started seeing a chiro who pointed out how uneven my shoulder are and how far forward my head is (I am a transnational lawyer – reading, typing, leaning all day long). I have been doing exercises and getting massages at his office and it has been so helpful. He also set me up with a posture alignment brace that I wear under my clothes which seems to work wonders so far.

      This is just my personal experience and I don’t know if it’s helpful at all, but I think the takeaway is to see your PCP and get some imaging done. It was comforting to me to know that whatever was wrong with me was not too serious and (in my mind) I wasn’t going to further aggravate it or cause long term damage by trying different things like hot yoga or intense stretches. And, of course, if it is something more serious it’s better to figure that out asap.

      • Oh, Anonymous’ comment reminds me, I wanted to also mention that I tried physical therapy and it did not help AT ALL! And I was really dedicated to making my appointments and doing the exercises at home. I think it didn’t work for me because tightness in other areas of the body (mostly from posture) is causing the neck and shoulder pain, so just doing neck exercises didn’t help. For example, most of the stretches my current chiro has be doing stretch the chest because when the chest is tight the head moves forward and that aggravates the neck. Ymmv, maybe my PT just wasn’t very good!

      • Anonymous :

        I didn’t do exactly what you did, but I did have pain from poor posture while working – hunched over with my head forward. Spending $$$$ on a fancy ergonomic chair fixed it.

    • I had a stiff neck for 6 months after my son was born. I tried both physical therapy and chirp without relief. The chiro said he had done all he could do and that I should see a pain management specialist. I thought that was a bunch of cra p but I went anyway.

      The pain management specialist put me on a strict regimen of muscle relaxants and pain relievers (high dose ibuprofen, no narcotics.)

      I was to take them round the clock exactly as directed and not let up. The pain was gone within a week.

      The pain MD told me that the neck muscles tense up because they are trying to protect you from pain. The more you hurt the more you prolong the injury because the muscles keep reinjuring themselves.

      My son’s 14 and my neck still doesn’t hurt.

    • I recommend massage and Epsom salt baths.

    • Anon in NYC :

      My first stop would be a chiro. I had a similar experience – horrible neck/upper back pain – and it’s been night and day since I started seeing a chiro. Of course, it might not be the fix for you, but I’d start there.

    • Anonymity :

      I would start with your pcp before a chiropractor in the off chance it’s a disc or spine issue. I had the same symptoms at age 29 and it was a ruptured disc in my neck and needed surgery. If it’s something like that a chiropractor could do some real damage. As said above if you have a scan and it’s clear then maybe a chiropractor would help.

    • Oh My Aching Neck :

      Thank you all so much! I really appreciate the input.

    • I experienced some lumbar back pain through summer, which was getting worse each day. One morning, the pain shot through my back when I bent in shower. I went to see my GP and ended up at neurology for a test. The neurologist told me it is muscle tightness from overload and gave me muscle relaxants and prescribed physiotherapy. At first, relaxants helped, but after a week, the pain was back. I then went strajght to a private ortho clinic and went through a series of tests (xray, MRI, ultrasound) to find out I have degenerated lumbar discs (I am in early 30s and it is probably genetics). No treatment known so far, but physiotherapy helps a lot. I am doing core and posture exercises to strengthrn core muscles and improve posture to take some pressure of my spine. My advice – if you do not feel 100%, go and see a specialist, it may be some banal tightness from leaning over your laptop or it can be something more serious.

  10. Anonymous :

    I booked a weekend trip with a friend. Because of time zones/flight times, she could leave in the late evening and I had to leave in the morning. She was going to fly home late Sunday night, so I bought a flight for Monday morning, arriving home Monday afternoon (so I took Monday off work). The weekend of the trip, she was feeling under the weather. I was happy to take it easy with her and made it clear to her I was perfectly content to just hang out in our hotel room and go pick up takeout food for us as necessary. On Sunday morning, as soon as we woke up, she announced that because she was feeling blah she was just going to go to the airport to see if she could catch an earlier flight home. As far as I can tell there was no change in her condition, she just decided she didn’t want to be there anymore. We didn’t even have breakfast together since she left within half an hour of waking up.

    I’m feeling pretty hurt by the whole thing, and can’t help feeling like she was so desperate to get away from me that she was willing to take a small chance of getting home early even if it meant there was a good chance she’s sit alone in an airport for 12 hours (which is what actually happened). I also feel like it was kind of a selfish move to leave me alone for such a big chunk of the trip (we both arrived Friday afternoon, so she basically cut our waking hours together by about 40%). I don’t really enjoy traveling solo, and once she left I basically just sat in the hotel room, did a little work, and wasted time on the internet, so the vacation day I’d taken on Monday was essentially wasted. Of course I would understand if she’d had a medical emergency that necessitated cutting the trip short, but I feel like if you just have a cold and someone’s gone to significant expense to visit you, you shouldn’t just bail.

    Thoughts? Should I just get over it or am I right to be annoyed? I had previously thought of her as a pretty close friend but am now questioning whether she feels the same way.

    • Sounds like me-me-me behavior on her part. It was a cold? And you made it clear that you could just hang out in the hotel and didn’t have to go all over town Sunday and she STILL left 12 hrs early? How were Friday/Saturday? Any chance you didn’t connect as well as normal or she got offended by something you said and decided to just take off? FWIW I wouldn’t be traveling with her again and if you don’t live in the same city, I wouldn’t visit anytime soon. I’d frankly leave the ball in her court – she should reach out to you at some point and talk about the trip/say what was going on etc.

      • Thanks, I think that’s basically where I’m at. I definitely won’t book travel with her again. I have a lot of other friends in her city, so I’m sure I’ll be there at some point, but I won’t plan a trip around her. It did occur to me that she was mad at me but she didn’t say anything that indicated that. I didn’t ask her point-blank though. Maybe I should have. I thought we had a fine time on Friday afternoon and Saturday.

    • If she’s your friend and she was really sick I’m sure she preferred to be home.

      Sitting in a hotel room for three days would drive me nuts! I think you need to put on your big girl pants and learn to do some stuff by yourself. Take a book to a restaurant. Go to a movie or a museum by yourself. These are not difficult things. You flew somewhere to sit in a hotel room and surf the Internet?

      • Just to clarify, we didn’t sit in a hotel room for three days. We went out for meals and light sightseeing Friday and Saturday. When I said I was happy to stay in and order takeout, I just meant I wasn’t dragging a sick person who wanted to be in bed around a city.

        I guess maybe part of this is just differing expectations. I didn’t really see this trip as going to visit a destination, although the place we went is popular with tourists. I saw the trip as going to see my friend, and so when my friend left the trip was pointless. I’m not afraid to go to a museum by myself, but it’s not something I would want to use a day of PTO to do. Most people enjoy travel more than I do, though.

    • Anonymous :

      She was sick. She wanted to go home. You should have gone and done stuff yourself! You have to be able to roll with life a little better than this. I don’t think she was desperate to get away from you, she just didn’t want to be taking a night flight home already sick.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I can think of few things worse than being sick and hanging around in a hotel room away from home, even with a friend. I know I much prefer to be alone when I’m sick, rather than trying to be sociable. I think her behavior was reasonable under the circumstances and kind of dropped the ball when it came to making the best of it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oops… you kind of dropped the ball…

      • +1 – it’s especially awful to be sick, getting home late on a Sunday and presumably having to try to work on Monday. In her shoes, I’d probably have cancelled the whole weekend on OP.

        • I actually would have much preferred she cancelled the whole weekend. If she’d cancelled, I could have gotten a refund on all the hotel and tour costs and recovered most of my airline ticket, less a change fee. If she’d even given me a heads up that she was thinking about going home early on Sunday, I would have probably changed my flight to Sunday morning too, saving myself one night of hotel and a day of PTO. The last-minute change is a big part of why I was annoyed, since there was no indication she got sicker while we were there.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I’m sure you would have preferred that, and I’m sure she would have preferred it, too, in hindsight.

            Sounds like you really want to be mad and distance yourself from her, so you should probably go ahead and do that. Hope it works out the way you want it to!

    • I agree that her behavior seems a little selfish, unless she was downplaying how sick she felt. I would not be angry with her exactly, but I wouldn’t plan trips with her or around her again, unless you have a history of wonderful trips together and this was an exception.

      I also agree that you cannot blame your wasted day of vacation on her. You don’t have to go out to restaurants and museums by yourself if you don’t like it, but it’s not her fault you didn’t make the most of the day you had. Even re-framing it to, “I indulged in a whole day of lazing about a hotel room by myself” could change your feelings about the trip. (As a working mom, it sounds like you had a lovely day.)

  11. Favorite places to buy furniture and decor at reasonable yet not “particle board, build it yourself with crazy Swedish instructions” prices?

    We’re moving to a rental home in a new city that’s much larger (like 1,000 square feet larger!) than our current home (we didn’t plan on finding a place this big, but it was the neighborhood we liked best and it fit within our budget). I don’t know if we’ll be in this house or this city for more than a year or two, and I don’t want to invest a lot of money into furniture that we may only use for such a short period of time, especially in a rental property. However, I also don’t want to spend the next year or two staring at empty or partially furnished rooms.

    • Following, as I’m in the same situation with the same question. I’m ready to move on from Ikea, but not ready to buy furniture that I’ll have forever (not sure I’ll ever be ready for that, really).

    • Shenandoah :

      I’ve had the best luck with consignment shops and occasionally Craigslist for finding inexpensive but at least moderately attractive furniture. It takes time and effort though. I’ve also scored great deals from Wayfair. If you make a list of the pieces you need, it’s easier to hound sales and clearance sections.

      • Shenandoah :

        CB2, West Elm, World Market, and even Urban Outfitters also have decent furniture/decor – quality is sometimes iffy. But it depends on how tight your budget is or what you’d be willing to invest (e.g. invest in a bedroom set that you would plan to take with you when you move but find an inexpensive dining table).

        • The West Elm near us clears out floor items every couple of months. We scored an upholstered armchair for half price, no visible blemishes.

    • AttiredAttorney :

      Craigslist. Second Hand Furnishing/Consignment Stores. Wayfair. Pottery Barn Outlet. Facebook groups for antiquing in your city that serve as online flea markets (In Atlanta, we have one called “Atlanta Antiques Market” that is pretty good).

      • Anonymous :

        I furnished nearly my entire apartment (well, it’s an NYC apartment so it’s not huge) with Craigslist and patience. Super cheap but I’m pretty sure I’ll have some of it for the rest of my life, I love it so much! Meanwhile, the couch I bought brand new from World Market proooobably won’t make it to my next home.

    • Senior Attorney :

      If you can be a little patient, Craigslist and the like are the way to go.

    • givemyregards :

      Seconding what everyone else has said about craigslist – it can be hit or miss depending on what cit you’re in, but in my large city with lots of millennials I found great deals on barely used west elm and cb2 furniture the last time I moved. I even had luck finding exact pieces that were still in stores that I fell in love with. My methodology was to just search for the store name or generic style phrases (i.e. “midcentury modern”) after work and scroll through everything seeing if anything caught my eye. I think this would be particularly helpful if you’re not particularly picky or trying to invest in piece for the long term, but you just want nice things to fill up the space.

    • Craigslist. I recently bought a solid wood mid century modern headboard for $50. Sometimes people don’t know what they have.

    • I got some great furniture recently from AllModern and Article for my new house. We were surprised by how well-made the furniture from AllModern was for the price. We purchased dressers from the “House of Hampton” brand – it came flat-packed w/assembly, but it was made in America, and the wood is solid. My husband is a carpenter and couldn’t believe how good it was for the price.

      We bought our couches from Article, and we also loved the designs. The couch was about $1000 – we were originally looking at the Henry couch from West Elm, but loved the Article couches as well and they are half the price as West Elm. They arrived in large boxes with the legs attached.

  12. What do you consider an appropriate level of touching for a first date? I met a guy (from a dating app) last night for drinks. Conversation was good, we got along well, I thought. Evidently he was feeling a spark much more than I was, because he was routinely brushing my legs and my arm, and when I started brushing off the skirt of my dress because some food had gotten on it, he said, “Oh, I’ll get that for you” and brushed off my skirt for me. (Who does that?)

    On the one hand, I get that it’s a date and you want to promote chemistry. On the other, it seemed a little like he’d read “The Game” or one of those other pick-up artist things that tell you the way to get a girl is to get in her space as much as possible. (Also, he had one cocktail and two whiskeys, and I had one low-alcohol beer, so I think that might have affected his behavior and my impressions of it).

    I’d like to think I’m getting better about recognizing my own boundaries about this sort of thing. And having been on many first dates, I know that this guy was a bit of an outlier in terms of how much he was touching me and in what way. But still – I might be overreacting. What do you think?

    • Anonymous :

      This would be a hard pass for me. I think lightly touching your arm once or twice is a fine way to communicate that he’s feeling a romantic vibe, not a friend vibe, but he shouldn’t keep doing it or touch your leg if you’re not reciprocating. The dress thing seems crazy over the line. If this happened to me, I would not go out with the guy again.

    • He was drunk and handsy and made you understandably uncomfortable. This is not a you issue, it’s a him issue.

    • For me, it entirely depends on how comfortable I am with the person. I met someone a while back who I instantly felt chemistry with and did not have a negative reaction when he reached down, touched the small of my back, and whispered something into my ear. Had it not been someone I had chemistry with, that move would have completely ooged me out and I would have darted away in a why are you touching me (!?!?!) kind of way.

      If the way/method/frequency with which he was touching you made you uncomfortable, that’s all you need to know! I wouldn’t give this guy another chance if I were you as I don’t make time for people who make me uncomfortable especially when it comes to physical touch/space.

    • TO Lawyer :

      Ya that’s too much touching for me on a first date. But this is definitely something that varies for each person. I have a friend that would love that (she falls hard and fast) but I need time so that much touching (especially the brushing off of my skirt) would creep me out.

      Generally on a first date with someone I’m meeting from an app, we hug hello, maybe a tiny bit of light touching during the day and then a warmer hug goodbye and maybe a kiss if it went well.

      I think it all depends on your own comfort level, and you clearly weren’t comfortable with it, so does it really matter if you’re overreacting? I don’t mean that to sound harsh or snarky – I’m trying to remind myself that with dating, I can feel how I want to about them, and I don’t have to see someone a second time if there’s any reason I don’t want to, no matter how minor and inconsequential.

    • Any amount of touching you aren’t comfortable with is too much. I don’t touch more than a handshake with people I don’t know, which means I don’t even hug hello on a first date that I met online.

      That being said, you need to tell someone that you aren’t comfortable – expecting a man to read your mind isn’t going to do either of you any good. So if you were receptive on the outside but cringing on the inside, I’d say that his behavior was a little much (specifically the skirt thing) but not offensive, and consider another date if you tend to just take a while to decide if you like someone. But if you were clear, then it’s bad behavior on his part.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve been on a date with that guy! In that specific situation, it was too much touching for me. I wasn’t feeling the same chemistry that he was, I guess. I went on a first date with a different guy though and we both felt the chemistry and wound up making out on the subway platform. So I think it depends on how you feel. I never went out with either of those guys again.

      It’s so uncomfortable to me when someone either feels more chemistry or just has a lower touch barrier than I do. Trust your gut on it though.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t mind this and I don’t think it’s out of the norm. Did you move away? Ask him to stop? Say “thanks I’ve got it” and remove his hand?

      It’s totally fine if this isn’t for you but I don’t think he was wrong.

      • I don’t really think he was wrong, exactly, and I didn’t say, “Nope, knock it off.” Just trying to sort out how I feel/felt about it. I’ll try to be more assertive if I see him again. I do appreciate the feedback from everyone!

    • Ah you make me miss my dating days! They were in the early days of Internet dating and I was recently divorced/ not looking to get married or meet The One. I mean, I did in the end, but that wasn’t the goal. I was an unapologetic ho and I had a really great time.

      A move like that after three drinks was definitely putting out feelers (no pun intended) to see how you’d respond. He wanted to know if you were a First Date Felicia like me, or a Third Date Thelma like most women. Personally I don’t think you can blame a guy for gently trying, but if you’re not attracted to him, you’re not attracted to him.

      I’m guessing if he made that move he was picking up on some chemistry between you two, but it also could have been the booze talking.

    • As much as you’re both into – key word, both. Here/ you weren’t into it at all. Pass an move on.

    • Too many drinks for a first date. Byeeeeee

      • Booze or not, leg touching is way out of line on a first date IMHO. Lots of fish in the sea, toss this one back.

  13. Sounds like me-me-me behavior on her part. It was a cold? And you made it clear that you could just hang out in the hotel and didn’t have to go all over town Sunday and she STILL left 12 hrs early? How were Friday/Saturday? Any chance you didn’t connect as well as normal or she got offended by something you said and decided to just take off? FWIW I wouldn’t be traveling with her again and if you don’t live in the same city, I wouldn’t visit anytime soon. I’d frankly leave the ball in her court – she should reach out to you at some point and talk about the trip/say what was going on etc.

  14. Black thumb :

    Seeking unconventional orchid advice.

    Nearly four years ago, I bought an orchid for my office. It bloomed, it died, I stopped watering it, but the leaves kept growing and it was a plant that brightened up my office even a little bit, so I kept it around. I’m terrible with plants and have killed many an orchid in the past so I figured it was an inevitability. I kept waiting for it to die but the thing is hardy! I’d dump the end of my water bottle in there about once a month or less often than that, even – no regularity, just whenever I needed to get rid of the dregs of my water – still waiting for the orchid to die (they’re supposed to be fragile, right??) My office gets direct to indirect sunlight depending on the time of year.

    I went to go finally throw the thing out last week and discovered that IT HAS SPROUTED A NEW STALK!! This is an orchid miracle. There are little buds (not close to blooming) and new growth even since I saw last week. I’m ecstatic.

    So my question is: how do I keep from killing this orchid now that I’m invested in it once again??

    • Don’t change anything! Don’t move it and don’t give it more water than you’ve been giving it already. The most it would need is about 1 ounce of water per week. Don’t fertilize it don’t change anything

    • WestCoast Lawyer :

      I’ve been told that Orchids thrive on neglect – it sounds like whatever you are doing is working fine!

    • That’s actually not unconventional at all – Orchids need very little water, and just lots of time. SO keep doing what you are doing. After the new stalk blooms and eventually withers, then it would be good to fertilize, but not now when you have new growth.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ll tell you what not to do: bring it home on your last day of work and forget to take it out of your car because you have to rush out to dinner, leaving the orchid to die in 20 degree temps overnight.

      Not that that happened to me or anything, of course. I was SO excited I finally got an orchid to resprout a stalk, but hard fail on everything past that point.

      All the orchid care advice I have is to water by taking it out of the decorative pot it’s probably in, and holding it under the sink (don’t get water in the leaves). The water will run out of the bottom, basically just dampening the growing medium. I do this every week or two, and my orchids have healthy leaves, but no more of them have sprouted … yet.

    • Here’s an orchid related question (sorry for the threadjack, OP!) but I live where it is cold, and my grocery store has gorgeous orchids. I’m afraid it will freeze to death on the way to the car or in my miserably cold office. Truth? Fiction? Give it a whirl anyway?

    • There is an abandoned orchid in my teenage son’s disgusting boy-cave that is about to bloom. It is the most neglected thing in the house, and about to be beautiful. I love that plant!

      • I had an orchid bloom at least 6 times. It was like a miracle. I think I just got a good one, plus I neglected it like crazy. It might have been the perfect location though – northern exposure window.

    • Black thumb :

      Thanks for the advice – I’ll override my impulse to baby the thing to death now!

  15. Can anyone who has been following this more closely tell me whether the GAO has ever issued its report on the president’s divestiture or at least lack of conflict of interest from his businesses?

    I believe the president canceled a press conference where he promised to talk about this issue, I don’t know whether it was rescheduled

    • I don’t know about the GAO report but Pro Publica has confirmed that Trump placed his holdings in a revocable trust as to which he is a trustee and the sole beneficiary. So he retains the total conflict.

  16. I will be 40 this year. You’d think by now I would have learned that the day you have multiple big meetings is NOT the day to wear underwear you’ve never worn before, even if you do feel like you need the sucking-in/shaping effects. Sigh.

  17. How do you make the time? :

    I’m a few months into a position at a new company and I’m struggling with keeping in touch with my professional network. In my old role, I had time to meet a colleague for lunch occasionally or get coffee with someone I’d met at a conference. Here, however, I’m having trouble even scheduling a Dr’s appointment – I’ve had to reschedule the dentists twice because of last minute client calls! There’s not a really a “boss” figure to clear this with a few weeks in advance because it’s project based work, so teams change constantly (think consulting). For fellow ‘rettes in very demanding workplaces, how do you manage to make time for these things. I see suggestions like “take a long lunch” or “grab coffee with friends that work nearby” made so often that I’m starting to question whether my new company is an anomaly or if I’ve simply lost sight of what is and isn’t reasonable in my desire to do well in this new workplace.

    • Oh my job is like that. My schedule is so variable from week to week its hard to schedule things. I would try to make them on Fridays or whenever it is less busy, and to put them in your calendar and marked as “Busy”. You have a “meeting” whatever it is. If you have any other suggestions let me know!

    • I just book it in my calendar.

  18. Anonymous :

    A coworker of mine has been unexpectedly out of the office because of family issues for the last 2 weeks, and she’s going to be out for at least another 2 weeks. I’ve been doing all of her tasks. I’m doing the work of two people right now! It’s been manageable, but is it inappropriate to ask HR for some kind of extra compensation or something? I just feel like no one is recognizing that I’m taking on this extra work.

    • Anonymous :

      Nah. We all take on extra work when co-workers are temporarily out of the office, ranging from when someone takes a one week vacation to a six month (or more) maternity leave. If you’re so busy with her stuff that you can’t get your own work done, ask for her tasks to be split between you and some others. But asking for money for covering for a co-worker who’s out of the office for a month is really tone-deaf.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry, I meant “nah, don’t ask.” I realized you asked is it inappropriate to ask and I would say yes.

    • Yeah asking for extra compensation would be weird if you are a salaried employee. Asking for help would not be out of line.

      I’m assuming your coworker’s 4 week family situation is something fairly urgent and probably tragic, so you whining about not being recognized is going to come across poorly.

    • It’s tone deaf. Sometimes you will have to pick up extra work for coworkers, and sometimes they will have to pick up extra work for you. Myriad of reasons – illness, family catastrophe, maternity leave, overload of work. It happens.

      Now, if it continued for a super long period of time, then it’s great when your company recognizes it and compensates you. I got a bonus 2x as large as my target the year I ended up covering for a very ill coworker for many months (out for cancer treatment). I was grateful, but did not expect to get anything other than a thanks for pitching in.

    • Anonymous :

      are you working longer hours or just being more productive during your regular hours?

    • My husband had to be out for a month when his father was killed in a car accident. We very, very much appreciated the people who “picked up the slack” for him when he was gone, and expressed our gratitude when he got back to work. If it’s a “family situation” requiring extensive unexpected leave, please have empathy and realize that people are recognizing your contributions, even if you aren’t getting pats on the back at the moment. I hope you never have to be in a situation where you are relying on someone to pick up the slack for you – but if you are, you’ll understand this better.

  19. When politics and fashion collide:

    Trump wants female staffers to “look like women” and during the campaign many “felt compelled to wear dresses to impress him”

    • Anonymous :

      He’s obsessed with men’s appearances too! It was apparently one of the reasons he chose Gorsuch. He is so, so mentally ill.

      • The fact that he can’t tailor his bazillion dollar suits makes this all worse

      • Anonymous :

        I am not a lawyer and had never heard of Gorsuch before his name was floated for SCOTUS. My first thought when I saw him was that Trump picked him because he looks “straight out of central casting.” Just like Pence and Mattis.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, I read an article that used that exact phrase “straight out of central casting” to describe Gorsuch.
          I personally think Pence is not at all handsome but maybe that’s because I’m from Indiana and well-acquainted with his inner ugliness. LOL.

      • He’s obsessed with men’s appearances and he hangs out with Steve Bannon? W T F

        (and also, does he have a mirror?)

        • Marx, from the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts, points out that money is magical because ugly people can become beautiful by being able to purchase beautiful people to surround them.

          He’s not wrong.

        • a millenial :

          i loled

  20. Right to be annoyed? :

    A friend of mine (C) contacted me and another friend (H) and asked us to go on an international trip with her. She had lots of ideas and H and I were excited. We booked our flights, which were over $1000. This was four months ago.

    Now, two months before we depart, she springs on us that she will not be coming on the trip after all because she’s buying a place. It wasn’t planned, it fell into her lap, etc. This left H and me to scramble because we had been counting on hotel and tour plans for 3. The two of us are still going on the trip, but I feel like we are leftovers on a big trip that was C’s idea.

    I am pretty upset with C. I can’t help but think, “H and I would never do this to anyone!” C. did apologize profusely, but her behavior still strikes me as tone-deaf. Am I right to be pretty annoyed with her? I tend to hold people to fairly high standards, so if I’m overreacting, I want to know.

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe I’m a b!tch but I would ask her to chip in her third of the hotel costs. If you were counting on splitting that three ways, it seems really unfair to ask you to suddenly split it two ways.

      • Anonymous :

        And yes, I think it’s reasonable to be annoyed. I would be too.

        • And then I would post 1000 pictures on Instagram of the fabulous, time you and your new BFF, H, are having. Whee!

      • Agreed, she should still pay her share. I’ve had to cancel on plenty of group trips because of work. I’m looking at you, bachelore–e weekends. That’s part of the downside of booking with a group; if you booked your own room you could cancel with no charge, but when you book with other people you’re still on the hook.

        That said, it sounds like she’s not going to pony up. Since she planned most of the trip, she might still have her research about different hotels, tours, etc. Maybe she can take care of changing some of the reservations to make it more cost-effective for two?

    • Anonymous :

      A friend did something similar to me, although it was domestic not international. I think her excuse was slightly better than “I can’t come because I’m buying a place” but it was still not an emergency or illness or something like that that I consider a good excuse. She ended up actually profiting off of the whole thing, because on the day we were supposed to travel, her flight was oversold, so she got a $500 airline voucher for “getting off” a plane she was never intending to take. I thought it was super, super poor form not to offer to apply that money to her 1/3 of the hotel costs, especially because me and the third friend made a lot less than her and covering her share of the hotels was not trivial for us. We didn’t have an official falling out, but our friendship has not been the same since.

      • Triangle Pose :

        Wow, this would be an official falling out for me. I think I would have asked the other friend to be a united front to ask her to cover her 1/3 and use the windfall as an additional reason. (She told you she made $500 off the cancellation without offering to pay for the money you were out?!)

    • Anon in NYC :

      I mean, yes, you are right to be annoyed. I’d be annoyed. But this seems like something that she didn’t/couldn’t have planned for, and life happens. So, while I sympathize, I’d also try to shut the annoyance down.

      Are the hotel costs non-refundable? Are you otherwise locked into expenses that you wouldn’t have spent? Try to change what you can, and ask her to contribute to what you cannot change. But keep in mind that if she’s backing out of the trip, presumably for financial reasons, she is unlikely to want to/be willing to contribute.

    • Anonymous :

      After you booked tickets, that’s unexcusable. So rude!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would be *furious* about the plan change after the flights were booked. Furious.

    • Anonymous :

      Buying a place is a want, not a need. I wouldn’t be friends with her anymore. Cancer? Illness? Job loss? Absolutely I just make the best of it. You just decided you’d rather buy something else with the money when I’ve already committed and put the money down? Bye Felicia.

  21. I’m meeting a friend’s 6-week old baby tonight after work, and it’s an hour drive to get to their house. Super excited to meet the baby and I don’t want to show up empty-handed, but I didn’t have time to grocery shop or cook. What should I pick up at a grocery store on the way there? I’ve heard people recommend veggie tray/cheese tray as a nice option for busy parents of newborns to snack on. Looking for thoughts and ideas! TIA

    • Anonymous :

      Last time I went to visit a new mom, I took takeout from her/my shared favorite place near me and a pint of local ice cream – I was going right from work and also didn’t have time to make something. She loved it and basically scarfed it as soon as I got there. I think showing up with anything is a nice gesture!

    • Definitely not something she has to heat up so that you can have some. A cold veggie tray sounds great. If she eats meat, maybe some pate/salami and crackers too.

    • Also – offer to wash your hands as soon as you get there, before you touch the baby. I would have appreciated that. (I had to tell a lot of people to wash their hands)

    • fancy snacks

    • Dark chocolate + roasted salted almonds for her to snack on! And yeah, takeout. Oh man some friends showed up with Indian takeout one night, let me eat, snuggled the baby, then cleaned up and left, and I am still so delighted, two years later.

    • Anything you bring for her will be appreciated. Most people only bring things for the baby. If she has a particular non-alcoholic drink or snack food she likes, that’s awesome.

  22. Kinda sad mama :

    I know I’m late in the day for this but maybe I’ll catch some of the west coast ladies.

    I have become aware (accidentally) that my 16 year old daughter is planning to “go all the way” with her boyfriend. They’ve been dating for a year and they’re both sophomores in HS. My daughter knows I saw this text that accidentally came to me rather than to her friend, but she doesn’t want to talk about it in any detail.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised and it’s nice she’s in a loving relationship rather than losing it via a hookup at some party. But it kind of breaks my heart. One, she’s still my baby girl. Two, where is this going to happen? They have no privacy at our house, I don’t let them be here together if no one else is home, and he’s not allowed to hang out in her bedroom. (should I relax these rules?) Three, I don’t want her to get her heart broken. I feel like it means so much more to girls than it does to boys.

    I don’t have any religious or moral hangups about this. I’m not worried about her getting pregnant as she is on BCP for acne and is good about taking it regularly. I’m also not worried about STDs because they are both v irgins.

    Many of you are closer to her age than mine…. what would you have wished your parents had done differently when you were a teen, specifically regarding this issue?

    • BabyAssociate :

      This is a little late in the day for this, you likely won’t get much in the way of replies…but I wouldn’t do anything.

    • Marshmallow :

      Hi mama– I think I have told a version of this story on here before but I’ll repeat it. I “went all the way” at 16 and my bf at the time was 18 or 19. And in college! The horror! I was a junior in high school. We’d been together about a year at that point. Did not tell my parents ahead of time but took advantage of a program through my high school to get on BCP and otherwise be safe about it. I’m now 29 and married to that guy, and our relationship is (I think) a huge factor in my success and happiness in life. He’s still the best man I know.

      My parents did a lot of things right by generally giving me privacy. My mom had always made it clear that I COULD talk to her about this issue, and even though I chose not to, it was really good that I felt like if I needed any kind of repro health care I could have talked to her. One thing my dad did very wrong was expressing a lot of general unhappiness that I was in any relationship at all, and openly wishing that I’d break up with my bf when he went to college. We got over it, but still, when we are all sitting around the Thanksgiving table 14 years later my dad seems like a j3rk in hindsight.

      Every person is different but 16 isn’t a baby. Assuming that my mom had found out ahead of time, I think a little talk about how my OWN pleasure and happiness should be #1 priority, don’t assume any relationship will be forever (even though, knock on wood, it wound up that way for me) might have gone over well. But every parent/kid relationship is just so unique. Also, just don’t think about where it will happen. Do you really want to know?

      • I don’t really want to know where it will happen. But I also don’t feel comfortable having them in her room with the door closed and suspecting that they are getting busy in there. Or, I don’t know, having him sleep over in her room. I guess I’m not that modern!

        • SuperAnon :

          My story is almost exactly the same. I was 16 at the time. We are now 25, married with two degrees and two dogs. Its pretty nice to be able to grow with someone in your formative years. My parents were cool and left me home alone when they travelled and let my boyfriend and I do whatever we wanted so long as we had dinner with them when we were home.

        • This is really late, but if you are still reading – don’t feel bad about having rules. Adolescents are like toddlers (literally, with how their brain chemistry is changing) and although they complain, they crave and need boundaries. I was raised in a house like yours, and in retrospect I really, really appreciate it.

    • AnotherAnon :

      I don’t have any children..and I cannot talk about the logistics. My dad wept the day I got married because he felt he was giving away his little girl and I was 28!

      However, regarding heartbreak she may experience, most of us have experienced it. If it happens to her, you just need to be a loving mother (looking at your post, you are a loving mother) and reassure her that she doesn’t lack anything and some times things just doesn’t work out and need to move on. If the boy turns out to be a jerk, then it can be a teachable moment and probably you can advice/she learns to avoid them in future.

    • I think the best you could do would be to show her you trust her, and to let her know you are there for her. It sounds like you think she’s a good kid with a good head on her shoulders, making as good a decision as any 16-year-old in love can make? Then don’t let her feel judged or shut out by you — I think that’s the best you can do.

      Chances are she *will* get her heart broken… but she’ll be stronger for it, down the line. And how much better if she can go to you for support, knowing you won’t give her any crap for her decision to sleep with him?

      I like the advice about reminding her that she’s an equal party and she should be enjoying it too. In high school relationships it seemed like all the s*x stuff was something the girl did *for* the boy, which … bah. We know why that’s not great.

      Finally, and this is my own hobby horse, try not to make v irginity a huge deal if you do talk about it with her (I don’t see a particular indication that you will, but just a heads up). I think that the concept can be pretty effed up and putting it on a pedestal can lead women (I am talking about myself here) do some dumb things, or see things less clearly.

    • Anonforthis. :

      If you were my mom, I would have been so honored and pleased if you relaxed the rules on boy in bedroom and made it quietly clear to me that, if something scary happened (it hurt, condom broke, etc) you were on my side. Instead I was 21 and it was a hostel, and my mom still doesn’t know, nearly a decade later.

      It’s just like drinking for the first time — would prefer to have experience with mom and dad than to be handed a mixed drink at a frat party and then need to decide what to do.

    • what I wish someone had told me :

      I would sit her down, tell her she can face the wall if she doesn’t want to look at me because this isn’t about embarrassing her but about her hearing some info.

      Tell her that you know she’s a good person, that she loves him, and that you love her. Tell her that you know she’s smart enough to learn about condoms and to youtube it or ask you if she’s unsure. Tell her that you’re sure she already knows, statistically, that there is a chance she could still become pregnant or contract an illness even with BC and condoms. Then say that you know she loves and respects her boyfriend and their relationship and that, too often, sex changes relationships and you hope she and he have discussed both what this means to each and how they’ll keep their relationship from being only about sex. Tell her that you know that this person and this moment is something she’ll remember forever and you hope she won’t make that memory until she’s sure that the person and the location is something she’ll want to remember forever. Then tell her that you hope she also understands that sex with the right person is meant to be enjoyable, that, whenever the time is right for her, you hope she’ll be open with her partner about what feels good or bad for her, that she’ll never let anything happen to her that feels bad, no matter how much she cares for her partner, and that you hope she’ll learn about her body and her needs and that she’ll only make choices that make her happy and feel right for her.

      Then tell her that you love her, that you will always love her, and that you will also always do your best to listen if she ever wants to discuss this with you. If she happens to have a close relationship with an adult woman whom you trust, you can also suggest she talk with that person if she feels uncomfortable discussing it with you but thinks she might want to talk it through.


      • I’m years away from this conversation with my child son, but wow, I hope I do half as good a job as what you just said.

        • what I wish someone had told me :

          Aww thanks! I don’t have any kids and never will, but I used to teach high school and I’ve taught s3x ed courses, so the thoughts come from that, plus my own memories. That said, I do hope someday to have a friend who chooses me to be the person she encourages her kids to go to in moments when they need guidance from a non-parent. <3

        • Wildkitten :

          I love this: you hope she’ll be open with her partner about what feels good or bad for her, that she’ll never let anything happen to her that feels bad, no matter how much she cares for her partner, and that you hope she’ll learn about her body and her needs and that she’ll only make choices that make her happy and feel right for her.

      • Anonymous :

        You can also have awkward conversations while driving. Even around the block. Avoids the eye contact.

    • Wildkitten :

      Can you offer to make her an appointment at Planned Parenthood, drive her there, don’t go into the appointment, pay for it, and drive her home? That way she can talk to a professional about the risks and preventative measures she can take, and asks questions to someone who is smart but who is not her mom?

    • Uhhhh…just because they’re virgins doesn’t mean one or the other couldn’t have contracted a STI through non-penetrative intercourse, so condoms are a must (and also good to ensure she starts that practice early anyway so it’s an every-time-use practice).

      • I know for sure that neither of them have done ANYTHING but yeah, they have both heard that condoms are the only way.

        • Wildkitten :

          I see this as setting good boundaries/negotiation early. At some point a dude will tell her he doesn’t want to wear a condom and her having the experience of a nice/loving/long term-partner who used on with her will be good for her negotiation power later.

    • She’s on birth control so this may have happened already, but if not she should be regularly going to the gyno if she’s having sex – this was a rule (I approved of) my mom made. I also told my mom when I was planning on (and did) have sex so we had a super open relationship.

  23. Anonymous :

    Nordstrom dumped Ivanka!!!! So, so happy to hear that.

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