Thursday’s Workwear Report: Martha Skirt

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

This pick from Boden — the Martha Skirt — looks like a fabulous skirt, particularly in this Riviera Blue color (one of four prints available). It’s made from 98% cotton and 2% elastane, it’s lined, and it comes in petite (2–10), regular (2–16), and long (4–18) sizes. It has great reviews, as do the matching dress and top, which are called, funnily enough, the Martha Dress and Martha Top. The skirt is $77–$110, depending on color. Martha Skirt

Two plus-size options are at Talbots.

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  1. It’s nearly 9:00 ET. Kat: Can’t you build up a backlog and time your first post so that those of us on the East Coast can have a look before the workday starts in earnest?

    • Anonymous :

      The post was up around 8:30 eastern today…

    • Agreed

    • I don’t know if you’re new around here, but the first post has _always_ gone up around 9am. QUIT WHINING.

      There’s plenty of content from yesterday evening in the comments if you’re that needy. SHEESH.

      As someone who’s read this blog from both coasts for years, 9am is a good compromise!

      –Not Kat, but Kat defender

      • Anonymous :


        to OP – eyeroll – yes, we get it. You’re special and these posts should go up to accommodate your schedule. Why do you think that should be the goal for posting? And I mean, my goodness, how much time does it take to purpose the item of the day? It’s not like there’s going to be substantive discussions to comment on if the post went up at 8:00 ET vs 9:00 ET

    • Agree. I’m only reading/commenting because my train is delayed.

      Kat tries to have picks in descending order or price throughout the week, and got complaints when clothes were out of stock by the time she posted. So I can see how scheduling posts would be tough, especially if she wants to check the stock right before posting.

      But maybe the solution is to do the splurge Mondays and the frugal Fridays, and just make sure that the other three days are a reasonable mix. Or maybe there’s other solutions, but the late postings make it tough to comment and read.

    • Anonymous :

      She did get today’s post up on time! Chill whingey.

    • We just had this conversation yesterday. You need to get over it. The posts have literally always gone up between 8-9 am ET.

      • Anonymous :

        Yesterday it wasn’t up until 9:30 or later, which is why people were mad. Agree that there’s no reason to complain about today’s post, which was up around 9.

        • I think it’s hard to justify anger at the timing of a post on a *free* blog. /eyeroll/

          • I will say that I find the posting schedule on Cup of Jo annoying. She regularly does not get the first post of the day up until after noon or later ET, even if it’s a throwaway link round-up post or something. However, I don’t leave comments berating her to change her schedule. I just don’t read it often.

          • I agree! Cup of Jo’s first post of the day (especially on Mondays) is way too late in the day.

          • I don’t consider it “free” anymore. The in your face ads is getting more and more painful…. Such is the internet.

          • +1 It’s a not a service you pay for, so there is no obligation for her to adhere to any type of schedule. The answer is to either deal with it or find a new blog to read that posts early in the morning. Simple.

    • OMG, there has to be some compromise, not everyone reads in the same time zone. Being on the west coast, the morning post usually has 50-100 comments already when I look at it, meaning I have to ask my questions on the afternoon post which is considerably slower. Do you see west coasters complain endlessly?

      • Why can’t you post in the morning post? Posting at 9-11am always gets good responses. Much better than the afternoon post.

      • The first post used to go up earlier and got a less unwieldly number of comments because the afternoon post also went up earlier. It’s evolved to a hard to read morning post because there are so many comments and a dead afternoon post.

    • I think you should really start your own bl0g since you know so much about how to do it

      I mean, it’s free. Quit b1tchig.

    • Anonymous :

      AGH! I am so tired of the Kat defenders. Do only those comments make it through moderation?? Yes, this is a free site. So is FB. So is instagram. People have feedback about changes to those sites and how they are presented back to users all the time. Kat makes money off of this blog. Yes, she provides post content, but the readers provide the lively discussion which is what keeps people coming back. We (all of us, including those of us who want the posts to appear earlier or later) help her to get paid off of linked content. We are allowed to have an opinion and to voice it. I have no idea if this one opinion reflects a majority, but Kat should listen to the people who are creating the community that allows her to make money.

      • Exactly.

        It would be tough if this resulted in her losing readers and commenters, and therefore revenue, and she had no idea how to fix it.

        I will also point out to the West Coast that America isn’t the only country out there. Earlier posts make it possible for people in Europe to meaningfully interact.

  2. I’ve had very long hair my whole life. It’s been a security blanket. But now that I’m in my 20’s, I decided it was time to let go of the super long hair, and now have a chin length bob.

    I actually really like it—I can dry and style it in 10 minutes—but I can’t figure out how to go more than 24 hours without washing it. With long hair, I’d just wear it up between washes, but that’s not an option now.

    Dry shampoo just feels weird to me, and within a few hours of using it, my thin, fine hair looks limp and sad and greasy again. I’ve tried psst and tresseme

    Any tips for a newly short haired person? I’m in a very humid climate, if that helps

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a reason you don’t want to wash it every day?

      • Anonymous :

        By that question, I mean … I wash mine every day because otherwise it gets greasy. Some people say that if you give you scalp enough time to adjust, it will eventually not feel as greasy as quickly, but I’ve never been able to manage it.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed — some of us are just oily. Oily face. Oily scalp. Oily back.

          No one ever says to someone with dry skin that if you strip it with stridex pads it will somehow make your skin become oily to compensate.

          • +1. I have oily skin/scalp/face/etc. The only time my hair was ever able to go more than one day without washing was when I was on accutane. You may just have to deal with washing it every day.

          • I actually have heard that. I was always taught never to rub a harsh drying agent on a pimple because the skin around it will become more oily to overcompensate. I have very dry skin

        • Only the top "layer" :

          This is me and I do not like dry shampoo on my hair (you can tell on mine). A solution I learned from my mom is to wash the “top layer.” I have a middle part, so that means I only wash the top layer that lays on both sides of my part from the front all the way to the middle of my head (where the part ends). It’s hard to explain in writing, but basically anything that is the “top layer” as seen by anyone else gets washed daily and then the rest can last anywhere from 3-4 days. It only takes a few minutes and my hair always looks perfectly fresh.

    • 90 degrees / 90 percent humidity :

      Lots of alcohol-based products on day 1 (mousse, maybe dry shampoo, definitely hair spray); hairspray in the evening before you go to sleep; wear a shower cap in the shower; more hairspray.

      I don’t like texture of dry shampoo, so I use only sparingly to add texture to my baby fine hair.

      Honestly, it’s a pain and Day 2 hair isn’t an A+. It’s often easier just to wash, do a household task (folding laundry, etc.), and dry hair more to style when it is like 80% dry already.

    • Anonymous :

      I wash my hair everyday because if I don’t it looks and feels bad. It works well for me.

    • Anonymous :

      I think not washing every day works for long hair because you can put it up, there’s more hair to distribute oil through and you’re trying not to excessively dry out the ends which are older (and have seen more abuse/environment) than the rest.

      once you cut short, most of the reasons go out the door and you may need to readjust.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I’ve had this exact experience. I trained my scalp not to need washing and could go like, 3 days between washes no problem. Then I cut it short(er than it had ever been) and I can’t get away with more than 36 hours between washes. Womp womp.

    • Anonymous :

      Well, that’s just part of having short hair. Sorry but unless you’re willing to use dry shampoo you’ll just have to wash more often. I suggest trying some different kinds of dry shampoo because you might find a kind that works better.

      • Also, apply dry shampoo at night, don’t brush it out, then sleep on it – in the morning it will be absorbed.

        • I do this. I have fine, thin hair. I apply dry shampoo at night (to handle day 1 oil) and the following morning (to handle overnight oil). I find this works much better for me than morning only. I also curl my hair on the second day (normally stick straight) so that it feels different to me and I thin it looks less oily as well.

          FWIW, I found the “not your mother’s” brand works well for me. I think some experimenting may help.

        • Marillenbaum :

          On that same note, if you are sleeping with dry shampoo on, I’d also recommend sleeping in a satin bonnet–it protects your pillowcase and is gentler for your hair than cotton. As a Black woman with natural hair, bonnets have always been a way of life, but they are great for all hair textures, really.

      • MagicUnicorn :

        Maybe for some people, but this is not a blanket truth.

        OP: I abhor dry shampoo, have a pixie cut and only use actual shampoo once a month or so. Water-only wash daily, dry brush with a boar bristle brush every night, use non-silicon products (minimal qty), and my hair is the most amazing it has ever been.

    • Short hair requires more “doing” on a day to day basis than long, sad but true. On my non-wash days my formula for keeping my chin length hair looking ok is: brush, clip up then shower with shower cap, blow dry (like 10 seconds) around ears and back of neck which still manage to get wet, run through with a flat iron, THEN dry shampoo. Klorane is my choice – $20 for a bottle but works better than the drugstore brands. Shake it out, maybe another quick run with the flat iron, then go. It still won’t look as good IMO as freshly washed, but it’ll do. And don’t sleep with a ponytail holder in. You can’t ever get those dents out.

    • You might just have to wash it every day, but as a fellow fine-haired lady, I suggest really massaging the shampoo into your scalp when you wash your hair and only putting conditioner on the ends of your hair, not at the scalp.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. I have a pixie, fine, thin hair, and wash almost every day. I might skip shampoo on weekends, in which case I’ll use dry shampoo and a volumizing hairspray, maybe add some flatiron waves for texture.

        If you dislike the gritty feel of some dry shampoos, Suave has a new-ish one they market as “grit-free.”

        • +1

          I also have the same hair. Also was sad to learn I must wash it daily when I cut it short. The oils just kill it when it is so short because the hair is so fine.

          My stylist advised me to wash every other day with shampoo, and use co-wash the other days for hair health.

          • Dealtwiththis :

            Another fine hair lady chiming in. I’ve never understood how people can go multiple days without washing their hair, mine is an oily mess just by the evening! I’ve learned that I just have to build it into my routine. I take a bubble bath every night (my self-care routine for myself) and wash my hair and then let it air dry. I then straighten it in the morning or blow dry it for about 2 minutes with a round brush (while it’s dry). It’s a bummer but it’s what works for me! Target sells a dry shampoo that smells like coconut that I’ve been able to use on 2nd day hair if I put my hair up in a pony. Best I’ve found…

          • I don’t get the “hair health” thing here. I wash my hair every day, otherwise it looks like [email protected] and my hair is totally healthy? What is all this shampoo supposedly doing to my hair? I know for some people it makes a big difference, but it works for me, so why wouldn’t I wash every day?

          • Anonymous :

            My hair is aging hair – I am almost 50 and have quite a bit of grey. So even though my hair gets greasy in a day, it is still… dry, if you can imagine. Especially since I have to blow dry it every day or it looks crazy. So washing with shampoo every day on top of this is not great for my hair over time. My stylist has hair with some similar issues and told me exactly what he uses. So wash with a purple shampoo every other day, wash with co-wash every other day.

            You must realize that there are dozens of types of hair/skin/genetics contributing to this as well as age, styling tools used, whether you blow dry or not or color or not etc… Just because something works for you, doesn’t mean it works for me, and it definitely doesn’t mean it will still work for you in 10 or 20 years.

      • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

        I have a mid length bob and fine curls that do not like to be washed every day. I’ve actually switched to using shampoo plus conditioner in one and only doing an extra conditioning once a week. I’ve found that a good dose of dry shampoo before bed has me waking up with more volume and texture than freshly washed. It’s all about finding the right dry shampoo, I love Garnier Fructis but the key is really slathering it on at night and then giving your scalp a nice massage in the morning.

    • If your hair is fine and thin, you’re looking at everyday (or nearly every day) washing. Despite what some say, shampooing daily is not a sin and is necessary for some hair types.

      Another short-haired person who despises dry shampoo

      • Co-sign. My hair is gross if not washed every day and I’m not willing to live like that during the time it supposedly takes to “train hair” out of daily washing. I’ve found that conditioning before I shampoo seems to make my hair less quickly weighed down and oily, so you might try switching up your routine. Also, I use the Dove volumizing dry shampoo on a weekend or to freshen up before going out, which is the only one that seems to work for me.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I have thin, fine hair with oily skin, and after tons of experimenting, I’m resigned to the fact that my hair has to be washed daily in order to look fresh. Dry shampoo makes my hair feel rough and makes it break off more easily when brushing. I think our hair type shows oil much faster than some others. I think the no/low-shampoo movement has been oversold as a miracle when it’s not for everyone.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I have short, fine hair and live in a humid climate. I have to wash my hair daily to look decent. Dry shampoo just makes it worse.

    • Yes. Wash your hair every day. Problem solved.

    • Another anon :

      I have short, very fine hair, and I only wash my hair every 3 days. It did take some training my hair at first. Try washing your hair with water only on the second day. Once your hair has gotten used to that, try just getting it slightly damp in the shower spray and then tousle it a little. I do find dry shampoo helpful. I know it sounds like a pain to go through the process of getting your hair used to less frequent washing, but it saves so much time and has made my life so much easier…

    • Anonymous :

      I have a lot of fine, straight hair and get oily. I’ve had some luck stretching between washes by (1) finding the right shampoo (for me, generally sulfate-free and/or texturizing, such as Not Your Daughter’s Beach Babe and Rusk Sensories and sometimes EverPure) and using no or little conditioner. Flat ironing though is the real difference-maker. I often can go the 2d day if I flat iron on day 1; rarely if I don’t.

    • I have curly hair so ymmv, but I definitely don’t wash every day — but I do have to wet it at the sink and reapply product. My scalp isn’t oily and daily washing is just too much.

  3. 90 degrees / 90 percent humidity :

    Inside in the A/C though, it’s a frosty 70 degrees, if that.

    My building is 90% leased to TBTF banks, Big 3 accounting firms, AmLaw 200 law firms.

    Today, I’ve seen flipflops and a couple of short strapless dresses with smocking above the waist (I think that this is a pool cover-up). If it gets much hotter, I bet people will start showing up nekkid (it will then probably drop to 65 degrees inside as they really crank up the A/C though).

    I am wearing wool b/c I am freezing.

    • I feel you. It’s so cold in my office, I’m still wearing my winter sweaters to work. But then I’m roasting on the long walk to my car. Meanwhile most of my (male) coworkers are like, “you’re cold? its not cold ENOUGH in here.” I don’t understand when I see girls wearing skirts and dresses to work, unless maybe their area of the building is warmer than mine, but I would be miserable and freezing all day.

    • I keep the chunkiest, coziest, long grandma cardigan at my desk. It has a waterfall front that I wrap around myself like a cocoon and goes past my knees. I don’t wear swimsuit cover ups beneath it, but it helps me at least wear otherwise seasonally appropriate clothing.
      And if anyone comments on it, I remind them that 65 is not a reasonable interior temperature for June.

    • My summer and winter wardrobe are basically the same. I’m wearing a button-down shirt and blazer and trousers at this moment, and am considering wrapping a scarf around my neck–I sit right next to an air vent and the cold breeze going down the back of my neck makes me feel even colder!

      But when I leave work tonight, I’ll have to take off the blazer, because it is hot and humid outside. I’ll get home and change to a tank top and shorts.

      It’s 72 F and 15% humidity in the office right now. I’m sitting here shivering.

    • Anonymous :

      +1, I dress seasonally appropriate for my commute but then I keep a space heater in my office which I blast all day, and I have a cashmere sweater that lives at work that I wear daily. I also have a cashmere shawl (MM LaFleur) for extra cold days or if my legs are bare. The kicker is despite all of this I have to be very conscious of my shoe choices, because if I were to wear sandals (For example) I would be too cold due to exposed feet….

      • My office has been having AC problems lately. (We are moving soon to a newer building.) So some days it is 80+ and humid in here. Some days it is about 65. So I basically have to dress in lightweight clothes in case it’s 80 and then put on sweaters, shawls, blankets, etc. if it’s 65.

  4. A colleague and I were discussing an academic couple we know with very different views on a prominent constitutional issue and wondering how that dynamic worked. I’m a political scientist (with no voting rights in country of residence) so have all the opinions but no ability to exercise them so I basically just yell at tv news. My husband is pretty apolitical so we don’t tend to disagree on the major stuff.

    Do you and your partner align politically? How do you manage those discussions?

    • Anonymous :

      It’s kind of like our views on professional wrestling or various football teams. We have long-standing differing views but it’s not a big part of our lives. For meatier areas of potential conflict, we are of different faiths and seem to make that work OK even though our countries of origin have good to war over that and in our lifetimes have had killings and bombings due to sectarian violence.

    • We actually got to know each other on social media through our shared political views.

    • Anonymous :

      Lordy — is this what academia is like? I thought you all would have awesome sparking witty c*cktail parties and epic trivia battles soaked in beer. I guess I can give the fantasy of retiring to a college town and teaching a class or two?

      “You know, Madge, Bert and Kitty have different and perhaps unorthodox views of the Compromise of 1850 and the Kansas-Nebraska Act.”

      “OMG, tell me more!”

      • I know…we’re very sad. Even our gossip is boring. And everyone tries to be pretty neutral – it’s okay to say you think Brexit is a mess but you wouldn’t necessarily share which party you voted for.

        • Anonymous :

          I think that Brexit is a mess, but will talking about it do? Now, more faculty parking spots in prime locations, that’s worth using oxygen for.

      • I want this life…

    • Anonymous :

      I’m socially fairly liberal but more to the center than a lot of people I know. My husband is pretty far to the left of me, which is fine. In this political era, we don’t really disagree about anything. He probably is more passionate about things like free college for all, but it’s not really something I’m opposed to, just something I don’t care about as much as he does. We both care a lot about gun control, better healthcare, and the environment.

      I could be married to someone who takes conservative positions on issues but I couldn’t be with a Trump supporter because support for him indicates disconnect on certain fundamental values that are important to me. Post-2016 election I think I’d have a hard time being married to someone who identified as an active member of the Republican party because of how closely aligned the party has become with Trump and people like David Duke. But I’d be ok with someone who identified themselves as independent but frequently voted for reasonable Republican candidates. Maybe that’s just semantics, but a lot of people I respect (including my father) no longer identify as Republicans post-Trump, even though they are conservative and we disagree on most issues.

      • +1 Yep – perfectly sums up my thoughts about this.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, this. My husband was a Republican when we started dating. I had never dated a Republican but it was fine. After things started getting so crazy with the 2016 election he ended up leaving the party after they nominated Trump. I think being a Trump supporter would definitely have been a deal-breaker for me.

    • Anonymous :

      How much science is there in political science? Like any? Or are them fighting words?

      • Anonymous :

        What is wrong with you?

      • Anonymous :

        What does this even mean?

      • Anonymous :

        I wonder if this comes up in faculty senate meetings — the hard science people eye roll the non-hard science people.

        I envision them as lots of Dowager Countess types and a lot of emeritus profs in tweed eating finger sandwiches and sneaking in some bourbon. Like prime minister’s questions.

        Also no?

        • Heh. I’m guessing it’s a no, but I’m liking your view of faculty rooms.

          I happened on a life stream of the house of lords discussions yesterday and it was oddly comforting to listen to people pontificate on procedural questions that had absolutely no bearing on me. I would have broken out in tweed, had it not been 95 degrees already. .

        • Yeah, this kind of thing (your first paragraph, not your second) comes up in faculty politics all the time.

      • I’ll answer genuinely because this is an important question when we think about who informs policy and how we employ evidence in making this policy. We aren’t mixing up chemicals in the lab or working with mice but we are analyzing cases and events and attempting to draw meaningful conclusions. The project I’m currently working on is examining how different levels of government work together and the findings will (hopefully) be used to improve working relationships.

        Many political scientists (particularly in the US) use quantitative analysis – of survey data data, of big datasets to try and identify causal mechanisms. Qualitative researchers rely more on analysis and interpretation, substantiating their claims with evidence from interviews, documents, participant observation etc. I’m a qualitative researcher with a focus on political parties and am not interested in identifying or ‘proving’ causation but delving into relationships – how might the structural conditions surrounding a party impact their position or behaviour?

        There are also interesting advances in neuropolitics and experimental political science, in a response to demands to make political science more science-y.

        • Is there is anything that isn’t a science then?

          I ask (sincerely!) as a philosophy major (symbolic logic, y’all) and as a person with a BA. It is interesting which schools give degrees like a BA for a major and another school gives a BS. And then there are schools that give business degrees separately, even accounting and quant-type with a lot of math (that’s treated as a science at my undergrad, but is it? It’s just numbers, not actual data).

          Maybe I could just be the cranky old academic who doesn’t teach anymore but goes to every meeting and gets into rants and tangents rather than staying home and letting my mind rot.

          • Yeah you sound annoyingly cranky to me.

          • Political Science is a social science and is pretty well-established field. People get shirty about the soft sciences vs the hard sciences, but it’s not going to change.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            I’m asking sincerely, do philosophers run studies and work with statistics and numbers? I understand the pause people have around “science”, but there’s a good deal of analysis that goes into it. I had this argument as a social sciences major with an engineering acquaintance in college, and he had no idea I had to take a number of statistics courses as a part of my major and work with SPSS.

          • You are cranky and your attitude is outdated. Even in academia.

          • Anonymous :

            Math is, strictly speaking, one of the humanities; I assume it gets grouped into STEM because so much of the purpose of a math department is to offer prereqs for science and technology degrees.

            I have spoken with a number of academics who have little idea what they are doing with their data (they are relying heavily on software and code they didn’t write), and who just tweak things until they get the desired result. I got the impression that they’re kind of forcing quantitative evidence for conclusions they reached by other means (but which they are pretty confident in). I’ve been a bit uneasy about this ever since.

          • Sincere response to Aunt Jamesina: yes, there are *some* philosophers who run studies. The sub discipline is called “experimental philosophy,” has existed for around a decade, I’d say, and they do a lot of simulated testing (e.g., how people would respond in an ethical dilemma).

          • Why does it matter to you what is and is not a “science”?

        • +1 I’m the child of a quantitative social scientist; he spends virtually all of his time working with large data sets.

          • +2. Quantitative social scientist here. The statistical techniques we use are actually more complex than those used in many studies in the natural sciences because we usually have to rely on observational data, which were often collected for some purpose other than research, and very rarely get to run a randomized controlled trial.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in the US. Before the last election, I dated plenty of guys that were more conservative than I am. Back then, my requirement was basically you’ve got to be a good person – trust women to make choices about their healthcare, act like women are equal, not spew vitriol or make “jokes” about immigrants/nationality/race/sexual orientation… that sort of thing.

      Now? I’ve come to realize that a lot of men who wouldn’t necessarily do horrible things themselves will tolerate horrible behavior from other men. And to me that’s just as bad. I’m actually really glad that I’m single because I probably would’ve married a guy whose complacency would now disgust me, and we’d be divorced. I’m still listening and learning and trying to hear the nuance of the positions across the aisle, but for me, now, with what I’ve observed, any guy I’m going to date will need to have a political outlook that’s pretty d a m n in line with mine.

      • A lot of guys I know who have the political resume to suggest otherwise are the worst people I know, as far as treating dating partners and other people goes. Its like how people can go to church on Sunday and come home and kick their dog. There is absolutely no internal consistency at all.

        One of the most woke guys I know gaslights everyone he has dated (2 of my friends; there was overlap), is never faithful, and is outright deceitful. And a bad tipper (bad tipper is my litmus test FYI).

        It’s like you might as well just to go a convent.

        • I seriously don’t know how anyone finds a partner. So many things have to align. I’ve given up at this point. I think my list of must haves is so long that no one will ever meet it. You know, things like, honestly believes that women are people, doesn’t have a problem with my work, follows through on commitments except for true emergencies. I don’t think there’s a man that fits my apparently lofty standards.

        • Not surprising.

        • This is so true! Men just want us to roll over and do what they want, when they want, and they are very unreasonable when we aske THEM to do any thing. If we could find another way to make babies, I would totally stop dealing with men! FOOEY on men that just want us to be their hand-slaves! Who do they think they are, anyway?

      • OTOH, Bill Clinton is still sorry/not sorry re Monica Lewinsky. It is amazing; just say you were wrong.

        • That’s not OTOH, that’s the same hand. It doesn’t matter which side of the aisle you’re on, ethics applies equally to everyone. If you’re the boss, especially if you’re a man (because men consistently overestimate women’s interest in them), you can never be certain that any romantic interaction with a subordinate is 100% consensual. And if you can’t be certain that you’ve got a true, enthusiastic yes, then you have a responsibility to pass.

        • I consider myself pretty liberal, voted for Hillary and definitely think Bill Clinton is a scumbag. Most young liberal women I knew (and plenty of men) feel the same way.

          • Listen, I’m 38 yrs old and I’ve seen precisely how enabling Babyboomer women in high level positions have helped perpetuate the bs we are still seeing today. She does not get a pass. I’ve gotten fired for standing up to crap she had let slide for years. She’s married to a sexual predator and still retains his name…

      • Also OTOH, my SO is a a moderate white dude would not previously have been opposed to voting for reasonable Republicans. Prior to 2016, he identified as an independent (voted for Obama twice, R on some down-ticket state elections). Post-2016, he has identified as Democrat and voted a straight ticket–he says he can’t stomach voting for a Republican at this point. All the nonsense has pushed him way left of where he’d be on his own.

        • That describes me and DH, too. Moderates who have been pushed to the left.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Nazis showing up in the streets has a way of pushing you very left. My SO was liberal in a very tech-bro, almost libertarian way, but the political reality of our world today, combined with my angry feminist rantings and constantly noting the sexist stuff I deal with in my extremely privileged life, has pushed my SO more liberal.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes, this is my DH, too.

        • This is me too. I always considered myself pretty centrist. I voted for Obama in 08 but Romney in 2012. I never would have dreamed of voting a straight ticket. But I am 100% Democrat at this point and will vote straight Democratic ticket for the rest of my life. I will never, ever forget how the Republican party embraced Trump and his neo-nazi supporters. I also think the current state of the Republican party has pushed me left on the issues too. I just don’t want to agree with them about anything because I find them all so disgusting.

    • Anonymous :

      I have a longer reply in mod, but the state of American politics has made me much more selective about my partner’s political leanings that I’ve been in the past.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh and also – I’m pretty surprised by the number of profiles I come across in Bumble etc. that specify no liberals. It’s actually great for me that these guys are helping me out. But holy heck there are a lot of angry white men out there and it’s not just boomers.

      • +1. I agree with this

    • We align on most issues but disagree on some. What I view as most important is that you fundamentally respect your partner as an individual person with thoughts and preferences. If you don’t do that and instead only respect them when their views align with yours, you don’t have a solid foundation.

    • My husband and I are both lawyers. He’s a republican and I’m a democrat. We are both relatively moderated within our own respective camps but even then we disagree on a lot of issues. Some topics we just respect that the other has very strong opinions that the other does not share and we don’t discuss. They aren’t the type of issues that impact our day to day lives so it hasn’t been a problem. We’ve been together 10+years. Other topics are just fun to debate. Sometimes I learn something, sometime he learns something. I don’t think either of us has really changed our mind on anything, but I do have a much better appreciation for the logic behind the alternative position as a result of these debates.

    • Anonymous :

      A constitutional issue? Like what, exactly?

      Is it something like soldiers should be quartered in people’s houses? Or you shouldn’t be tried by a jury? Or something obscure under the 10th amendment?

      I mean, if Scalia and Ginsburg can get along, it can happen, no?

    • Yes, we align.

      I think these days your politics often aligns strongly with your moral compass. I can’t think of many things that would be critical for me to have in parallel with my spouse, but a moral compass is one. If we are bringing up kids together, in particular, I would want us to share a common outlook.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      The only good thing about Trump being president is it was the final straw that led my SO to switch to the democratic party. When we first started dating many moons ago, we were much further apart on the political spectrum (though he was always pretty left on social issues) but he’s moved more to the left on pretty much everything over the years (and the republicans have moved more right). Before we were closer aligned, we just discussed things and agreed we weren’t going to agree. We’re both pretty logical, not emotional people anyway, so weren’t likely to have big fights about it.

    • We have political disagreements, but they are disagreements about strategies, not values, if that makes sense. We share the same goals, but don’t always agree on the most effective ways to achieve those goals.

      For values, though, it’s a bright line for me. Many of the major policy positions of the party currently in power in this country are morally abhorrent to me. I could not share a life or raise children with someone who thought that forcibly separating parents and children is a reasonable response to illegal immigration rather than a human rights violation, or that it’s ok to let people who aren’t wealthy die because they can’t afford insurance.

      • It really hurts me every time a realize that people think it’s ok to let people who aren’t wealthy die because they can’t afford insurance.

        I just want to tell those people…. ok…. so if your son gets hit by a car when riding his motorcycle without health insurance or when your Mom has to move into a Nursing Home when she develops Alzheimer’s disease…. you’re going to pay for all of that yourself, right? You wont come begging to us for Medicaid to pay for your Mom (the elderly and children are the biggest users of Medicaid in my state) or your son who is now unable to work or ages out of your insurance or never bothered to buy insurance himself, right?

    • I work in politics so it would be very hard for me to be with someone who fundamentally disagrees with my career.

      But even if I switched from political comms to more like corporate PR, I could never have a physical relationship with someone who doesn’t respect my right to bodily autonomy. Just a non-starter.

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      Yes, we align politically. We live in a very liberal and diverse city and congressional district (<10% went for Trump), so we are probably very liberal on a national scale. I can't imagine my partner having opposing views on things like climate change, treatment of minorities, immigration, women's rights, and LGBTI rights. My husband and I have differing views on minutia, which I find interesting to discuss with him and reassess my views based on what he says.

  5. Q re dehumidifiers :

    Does anyone here use a dehumidifier for your living space (not your basement)? I live in an apt and it gets so steamy and I hate it. But at the same time, I also have two window unit ACs, so would the heat generated by the dehumidifier cancel out the AC? Also, if anyone has a particular brand they like, or size for a smaller space, I’d love recs.

    Screw the East Coast and this stupid humidity. Californian 4EVA, even when I live in swampy states!

    • Pale Girl Snorkeling :

      I keep a small dehumidifier running in my house year round and in the summer it sure gets a works even with my AC running. It barely generates any heat at all, definitely less than say a TV. I keep mine in my bathroom which makes it easy to empty every few days.

    • AC dehumidifies the air. Are your window units not keeping up with the humidity?

    • Why is your AC not taking care of this problem for you? Sounds like maybe you need new AC units.

    • Anonymous :

      Sometimes AC is not enough to reduce the humidity (I’m in the DC area), but you should do a check of some sort to make sure there’s not places for the damp to get in (windows, maybe?).

      We run a dehumidifier in my boyfriend’s bedroom because even with AC in the room, it still gets very damp (maybe because the room has two exterior walls? I have no idea). It does heat up the room a bit, but we just push the dehumidifier into the hall at night and the room is actually more comfortable, because it’s not so damp.

    • Maybe make sure your AC units are clean & running properly?

  6. Tips for dealing with supervisor who is an absolutely a-hole snake interpersonally (yelling, patronizing, condescending, not a team player) but who kisses arse upwards, so everyone thinks he’s lovely. I think I might lose my mind.

    I confronted him the other day when he was being absolutely vile and he backed off for one day. But then started up again today.

    He always does this on personal calls or behind closed doors in offices. All of the junior folk know he’s awful but the senior folks seem oblivious. HALP!

    Also, please don’t tell me to get a new job. I am only on this project for a little while (maybe three months), but need coping tips for that time. The rest of my colleagues are lovely and my workplace is dreamy, which is why he is such an awful outlier.

    • Record him!! Your smart phone has a recording device so put in in your pocket or something and record him when he’s being an jerk. Then go to HR and play the recordings for HR and demand that they do something about it. Just make sure it’s not illegal in your state to record someone w/o their knowledge/consent. Most states are 1 party states, meaning if 1 person to a conversation knows it’s being recorded (i.e. you) then it’s legal. Google the law in your state.

      • This is illegal in many states. Do not do it.

      • Unless he’s yelling truly terrible epithets at his staff, I think recording him and turning him in to HR is just going to make OP look crazy and out of touch. Especially if she “demands” anything. This is just a really bad idea.

        • Anonymous :

          Why is recording him a bad idea? I think it’s pretty smart! It’s proof of his inappropriate and possibly unlawful behavior. And who said she’s demanding anything other than the behavior to stop? It’s her word against his and an audio recording will settle that…as long as it’s legal in her state to record him w/o his knowledge.

          • Anonymous :

            You’re right in theory, I’m just pointing out that in practice that in most work places this will go over as well as a lead balloon. That’s just the truth about professional environments, whether you like it or not.

          • And once again, the menfolk get a pass. From high level Hillaryite careerwomen no less. And as usual.

    • No Problem :

      Call him out on it again. You’ve done it once and it was (temporarily) effective. Make it clear you will not be spoken to that way.

      And if you know or have any kind of relationship with his boss or even one of his peers, ask them how they deal with him when he’s being vile, or how they suggest you deal with it. “Bob is always screaming/yelling/being awful and when I confronted him he chilled for a day but then was right back at it. What do you suggest I do next time?” If they’re not already aware of his reputation, they will be after that conversation.

    • Can you talk to a recruiter, someone in your own division, etc?

      Document everything. Continue to tell him that it’s inappropriate. He is trying to use his lack of response to gaslight you, so you feel foolish. (Hey, he changed! For a whole day!) “As I already told you, that is not appropriate.”

      Walk out of the meetings or hang up the phone. Email him and HR and say that the conversation will take place in front of someone else because the screaming is unprofessional and unacceptable.

      Recall what another paper – RainbowHair? – said: no one gets to scream at her.

    • Don’t assume his higher ups can’t see right through him. He sounds like a well known type in management circles–and is worth keeping around as long as there aren’t problems–but no one is going to lose any sleep over losing him.

      Also, one way to approach this with higher ups is to ask for help–like, hey, Bob seems really cool in groups, but gets really intense behind closed doors–any ideas of how to manage this?

      If you are part of a group, there is strength in numbers–meaning if he treats several people this way, you can band together to confront him, or take it up the chain.

      • Anonymous :

        Right, my first assumption would not be that management doesn’t know about him, rather that they don’t care.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Meet his anger and unreasonableness with neutrality and lack of reaction. Think of it like negotiating with a toddler. I wouldn’t record him without having a really firm grasp of your state’s laws around recording someone without their consent.

      You: “So based on that what would you like me to do differently next time / alter about the project?”

      You: “Can you help me understand what is actionable here?”

      You: ignore and move on

      If he isn’t a team player just start cc’ing everyone on everything and call lots of “status updates” to “make sure we are all on the same page / we’ve closed the loop on that”

      I think people like this need to be removed, but if you can’t get any traction on that front making yourself seem as impervious as possible will lessen the chances that you get picked on (hopefully)

  7. audio book rec? :

    I’m looking for an audio book for a long drive and I’m interested in something on the Kennedy family – it could be a biography of one of the family members or an overview of the whole family or anything really. I just realized it’s a total gap in my knowledge. I’ve never paid any attention to anything related to them. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      There is an audiobook of A Season in Purgatory. Not 100% on target to your ask, but Dominick Dunne is a fantastic storyteller and observer of things.

    • I read Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter, about the sister of JFK/RFK/etc. who had developmental issues and was ultimately institutionalized. Not sure if it’s available on audiobook, but was an interesting read
      that provided context around the family while focusing on Rosemary in particular, without just focusing on THE KENNEDYS as an institution.

      • Anonymous :

        I can remember reading about her in high school and while I was never a Kennedy fan and couldn’t think of more rotten people than Joe and Rose.

      • Not the OP but this sounds really interesting – just ordered on my Kobo. Thanks!!

    • Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys” and Robert Dallek’s JFK biography “An Unfinished Life” were both good books. I assume they’re both available as audiobooks.

      • I’ve read Doris Kearns Goodwin’s book and it’s great, but it is very long and detailed, nearly academic. It would not make for a good audiobook unless it’s abridged, IMHO. She’s fantastic and is a very thorough scholar, but it comes off as more scholarly and not light!

    • The Kennedy Curse by Edward Klein was interesting when I read the book. Each section of the book focuses on a different family member, but the takeaway is how they brought the “curse” on themselves. They are power-hungry and arrogant and think they are above the law (and above everyone else), and when that doesn’t work, it fails spectacularly. The higher you climb, the farther your fall.

      It’s got some weird psychobabble parts, but overall was a good look at the actual family behind the myths that we read about in History class.

      • The one who skied into a tree was also cheating on his wife (who was Frank Gifford’s daughter and Kathie Lee’s stepdaughter) with his teenaged babysitter. Ewwwww.

    • I liked “Jackie Ethel Joan” which focused on the family plus the wives that married in.

    • I, for one, am age 39 and got most of my Kennedy knowledge from the covers of the supermarket tabloids and AP US History and have never felt that this is a gap that reflects poorly on me at all.

      FWIW I am a Democrat and I also believe in vaccines (RFK Jr does not).

      • Anonymous :

        This would not be a topic of interest for me, but I don’t mind if it is for others. I think it’s only the people who idolize and adore the Kennedy family who have a problematic gap in their knowledge.

  8. running gear :

    I like to run with music. I have an iPhone 8 Plus and am looking for suggestions for 1) something to put the phone in and strap it to my body and 2) ear phones (must be the over the ear kind).

    • Anonymous :

      I have a spibelt and absolutely love it. I have a friend who has wireless over the ear headphones from Beats for running and loves them. I am about ready to pull the trigger on something so will be interested to see what others recommend.

      • Anonymous :

      • running gear :

        I had something like this before I got the plus and loved it! I’ve tried to order similar only for the Plus side phone but my last two Amazon attempts have failed.

        • Anonymous :

          I’d be surprised if the spibelt doesn’t fit the iPhone 8 plus, but admittedly I can’t say for sure. I just know it is very stretchy. From Google, it looks like maybe they make large pocket ones for iPhone 8 Plus and similar, but the patterns aren’t as nice.

    • I bought the super tiny jelly pro phone from amazon just for running. It’s a bit of a pain to swap my sim card back and forth, but I could not find any belt which was comfortable and fit my phone (the blackberry priv). They sell a tiny arm band to fit the tiny jelly phone and it works really well.
      I have the bose wireless bluetooth sport headphones and I really love them. They are super comfortable and stay put for my entire run. The sound quality is really good too. I haven’t tried any others (like the Beats) so I can’t compare, but definitely check out the bose if you’re looking at headphone options.

    • The larger/wider Flipbelt fits an iphone 8 plus. I’ve been very happy with both of my Flipbelts (narrow version and wide version. It doesn’t move at all during a run, it is good quality and it lasts through many years of use and washing. The phone won’t fit in the zippered part, but it easily slips in and out of the slots at the back, even with a case on the phone.

  9. Dress for family event :

    I have a big family event this weekend, and have nothing to wear. It is a causal event, and I was thinking about wearing a dress. But when I went to pack last night, I realized I only have work dresses, very-very causal weekend dresses, and date dresses. I need something else for this, but I’m not sure what. Anyone want to help?

    The event is in a small town in the upper Midwest, so nothing too fancy. It needs to be something I can pick up at the mall tonight. I’m between a 14 and 16 size, depending on the brand, and an hourglass. Thanks!

    • How about a wrap dress or maybe a swingy skirt and top?

    • Anonymous :

    • You don’t say type of event or price range so it’s hard to help you narrow it down. I’m just a size smaller than you and I’ve had luck at White House Black Market – just go in and say “I need a casual but preppy dress for a small town wedding” and they will pull several options in your size. It’s going to be super hot this weekend, so I’d go for something like this (although this particular one is online only):

    • Anonymous :

      On Friday, I bought 3 very cute, dresses at Loft that might be the type you’re looking for – slightly-elevated casual (and they were only $35 each). There were a TON of options so I think you would be able to find something there!

    • Look for a denim or chambray dress – can be dressed up with shoes and worn all summer.

  10. Married to a Difficult Person :

    *originally posted last night – it was suggested that I repost this today for more responses.*

    H and I agree on virtually nothing when it comes to home renovation projects. We can’t agree on a light fixture, paint color, or even which projects to prioritize. Our tastes are completely different. He will usually pick out something that I hate, or vice versa. He gets fixated on finding very particular things, which end up being unicorns and impossible to find. I will get frustrated and buy something that is close enough, and he will hate it and pester me to return it. In order to move things forward, one of us has to give in and agree to something that they really don’t like (and that person is usually me). We have this issue with other things as well, but we bought an old home that is in serious need of updating, and we haven’t made much progress on it in the 3 years that we have owned it. Is this a normal part of marriage? Should we go to couples therapy? Find an interior designer? What should we do?

    • Anonymous :

      Why are you always losing? I think you should go to counseling. Your inability as a couple to recognize you have different taste, figure out a fair solution (I get the living room, you get the kitchen, alternating decisions, I suggest three you pick one and next time we flip it), and move on is interfering with you life.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah you need to find a designer. When you go to the trouble of looking for something, find a piece you really really like, excitedly show your partner and they scoff at it… that feels personal! You don’t have that issue if the designer is the one picking things out. And hopefully s/he can find options that neither of you would’ve considered but will be able to compromise on.

      But if this is happening in other areas too then I think you’re right to consider couples therapy. I was engaged to a guy like this and it was a nightmare. In the 3 years we lived together, we (ahem he) never managed to pick out a rug for our living room. I have tile floors in a coldish climate (no idea why the last owners did that) so the whole room is cold and uncomfortable in the winter without a rug. I can’t tell you how many times I begged him to just pick something already I don’t even care what it is please just don’t make me suffer through another winter with an uninviting main room. That wasn’t the reason we broke up but yeah I bought a rug the week he moved out. Actually I didn’t even see it before it came, I just had a designer pick something in my budget.

    • Hmmm, my husband and I don’t have the same taste either but we’ve managed to settle on a different style from both of our preferences hat we both like. I have a design background so that’s helped because I can show him more options and not get as stuck in my own style. I’d hire a decorator in your shoes, and I’d look for someone who sources too since you’ve got the buy/return issue. Make sure you both meet with the decorator too to talk about what you like. And if everything is a tough struggle for you guys, can’t see how couples therapy would hurt.

    • Do you have these conflicts about everything (where to go on vacation, family matters) or is it just a decor issue? It worries me a bit that you phrase it as ‘married to a difficult person’ rather than something specific to furniture. Couples fight in IKEA but this seems like it goes beyond that.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed! I think that’s a really good point. Because actually if it’s just decor there are tons of solutions.

      • Married to a Difficult Person :

        Oh yes, our inability to come to consensus has affected other aspects of our married life as well. Another major thing we disagree on is if/when/where to go on vacation. We started taking vacations only within the last couple years, after several years of me begging. I usually make the arrangements but he gets the final say on everything from the location to the hotel to the activities. He almost never says, “This seems to be important to you, so let’s see how we can make this work.” It’s usually him shooting down every idea I have.

        Ok, I see the pattern, now. We need to go to therapy.

        • Or just get divorced cause he sounds horrible. Maybe some individual therapy to explore why you are putting up with this.

        • Ouch. I’m surprised you’ve made it this long. It makes me start to feel depressed just thinking about your relationship and how it would make me feel…. which is awful.

          Good luck. Keep us posted. I’ve very curious how he will respond when you suggest therapy. It is possible that he may be completely oblivious to how he comes off, and he might surprise you and be willing to address it.

        • H may have BPD. Based on your description, there are hints of the symptoms there. You might want to do a little research and talk to a therapist a bit before couples counseling to prepare.

          • I think it’s far more likely that he’s just a giant jerk than that he has an otherwise undiagnosed mental illness.

          • Married to a Difficult Person :

            I have seen a couple therapists for individual therapy, but I haven’t yet found a therapist that I have clicked with. Also live in a smallish metro area and have run into people I know in the waiting room, which is very embarrassing for me. H has been open to therapy in the past, but it will probably take a while for us to find a therapist that (both of us agree) is a good fit. Just seems exhausting and embarrassing. But I hear you all – we need to go to therapy.

          • Anonymous :

            Isn’t your marriage in its current state exhausting?

          • Anonymous :

            It may feel exhausting to find someone, but there is zero embarrassment in needing someone who is outside your relationship dynamic to help you get to a better place. We ALL need people who can see things we’re blind to, to speak into our lives. Sometimes that’s a really wise friend, sometimes it’s a therapist. No embarrassment.

    • I posted before, and I think you need to figure out a marriage dynamic in which you are not the designated loser.

    • As an experiment, maybe try using a designer for one room. Tell them your budget and preferences and ask them to come up with a couple of design plans for you. We found a person through our local independent furniture store which meant he had access to various brands and fabrics. If we told him we didn’t like a pattern, that was fine and it didn’t feel like the same personal rejection as it would have been one of us doing all the research/work.

    • DH and I have had some of our worst marital fights over stuff like this. We re did our kitchen and I was in tears at the granite store. What upset me was not that he was holding firm on the slab I thought was ugly, but how he treated my choice- like “oh, no, that’s hideous and off the table.”

      Anyway, it was about a LOT more than our granite and we had a really long, epic fight.

      We had a similar landmark arguement over the color of DH’s tie at our wedding. I wanted A, he wanted B. He just said “nope, I’m not wearing A.” It isn’t really about what he wore, it was that he didn’t come to the table to have a conversation. To figure out how important this one thing was to me relative to all other decisions on the wedding. It in fact still comes up because as we near our 10th anniversary he joked (because he can be an ass) that he’ll wear B to our dinner.

      Anyway, those arguments were years ago. But they were some of the worst of our marriage (the wedding attire fight bled into post wedding). We worked through them but ifnyoure having trouble getting at the real issues you should consider a counselor. I brought it up during the granite fight.

      • Wow. Girl. He gets to dress himself. I hope with time you understand you were wildly out of line.

        • I don’t know…. wedding attire is a little unique.

          • Aunt Jamesina :

            I know it’s common, but I really dislike this attitude. People would throw a fit if the groom dictated what the bride wears. You’re adults entering into a marriage! Let the groom pick out his own f*cking outfit!

        • I didn’t read that as her necessarily telling him how to dress himself, or was treating him like a child.

          • Further explaining: everyone in the wedding party, plus parents, should be at about the same level of formality, and that level of formality should be appropriate for the time of day and location.

            While I don’t think that paying for the wedding makes one a de facto dictator, it is a factor.

            If you have a situation wherein the bride has a gorgeous, traditional, formal gown, appropriate to the evening wedding at a church and then reception at a fancy Manhattan hotel, and her dad would feel awkward in anything less formal than a suit… dude, don’t fight to wear a polo shirt and chinos.

            My fiance really wants to wear a tux and tails. When I went dress shopping, I specifically asked the saleslady for something that would look nice next to that. We’re getting married; it’s no longer all about me.

          • Yah sure but this was about two different colored ties! He gets to just pick without exploring her feelings and how much this meant to her. Bet he didn’t pick her earrings.

        • Lol no. Coordinating outfits/color schemes has been the style for decades. If he didn’t like the color scheme then he should’ve said something in the early stages of planning, not create a huge issue out of his tie.

          My ex wanted to wear a bright yellow, patterned tie to our wedding. It was a fall wedding and the main color was burgundy… which we only picked because it was his preference (I wanted teal). My flowers were deep shades of red and purple. His boutonniere was a burgundy peony. All of his groomsmen were wearing plain burgundy ties and the bridesmaids wore burgundy. There was no yellow anywhere in the wedding or in the flowers. And again – HE PICKED THE FREAKING COLOR. I do. not. know. why he was so stuck on this yellow tie. I can only assume it was to pick a fight.

          • I’m the one that commented about the tie fight. It was something like this. But again, it was so much more about the approach than the result. Which was the first of several similar arguements.

            Over the years, we’ve learned how to disagree and compromise more productively and respectfully. And we’re both pig headed so we’ve also come to develop some basic ground rules.

        • Do you even know how to read? She spelled out in her comment how the problem was not the tie but her husband’s reaction.

    • Does he think this is a problem also? I went through a similar issue. Since I was the one always giving in, husband didn’t even know there was a problem. We went to couple’s therapy, but it’s much harder when the other person doesn’t even know the problem exists. Basically- can he change this behavior? Is he willing to change it? If he’s not willing to change, can you live with it?

    • Get a designer.

    • Actually, with the additional information you provided, he sounds mentally abusive. No way but his way? Ever? Belittling? You can’t even take a vacation without his permission? I don’t think therapy will “cure” him.

      • Married to a Difficult Person :

        I don’t need his permission if I am going on a solo vacation (though I tend not to travel solo unless for work). But when it comes to planning a vacation together, his workload is so packed that there are only a few days a year when he can take time off of work. So our vacations are planned mostly around his work schedule, since mine is not quite as restrictive. I want to travel overseas (and I think we can afford it), but he wants to travel within the state/US to keep costs down. Then he suggests a location, and I give in because at this point the options seem to be to either go with his destination choice or not go on vacation at all. I usually select the hotels because if I can’t choose the location then I at least want to stay at a nice hotel. I will let him know what the hotel is, and if he is opposed to it in some way, like wanting a hotel by the water, then I will cancel the reservation and book another hotel. Although our vacations would not have been my first preference, I usually enjoy them. My problem is that I don’t know what compromise looks like in a healthy relationship – my parents had the same dynamic.

        • Anonymous :

          All of that sounds deeply exhausting. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I’m sure your husband is a lovely person when he gets his way. The problem, of course, if that it seemingly means that you never get your way. I wonder if your husband would even know how to meet in the middle, where neither of you is completely happy but agree on a mutual course of action.

          All that to say, I do think that therapy is the right next step. I think your husband might be a bit blindsided by this, because I’m sure he’s perfectly content since he gets his way the vast majority of the time. Don’t let that deter you. From this follow up post, it seems like both of you need to learn some skills in reaching a better dynamic. Hugs!

        • Anonymous :

          That really, really sucks. That sounds awful. I would book whatever you want and to hell with him.

        • Pretty Primadonna :

          Yeah. This feels stifling to me. I’m not telling you to leave your husband, but if you are always settling to his whims, do you think you can sustain that forever?

      • Therapy can be dangerous with someone like this. OP needs individual counseling and probably meds.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow. How did we get from “OP’s SO is a selfish jerk sometimes” to “OP needs meds”? Even if SO is abusive, is it really okay to medically pathologize abuse victims as a matter of course? This seems like a terrible way of doing things.

        • Anonymous :

          OP definitely needs individual therapy (for her own sake!), but I don’t know how you make the leap to meds . . .

    • Good luck. We just finished a massive renovation / build project on our old house and it was … exhausting. I think I’m still burned out from all the work of trying to find my husband’s unicorns or to get him to agree to tile, siding, light fixtures, or paint. I mean. so. much. work. But I gotta admit, him stubbornly refusing to agree to my first choice of siding color, paint colors, or pendant lights did work out. It made me keep looking and we both loved what we eventually picked and we get lots of compliments on them. It’s crazy when your neighbor tells you that you have the best looking house on the street. So keep looking for that third option. But make him help and/or hire a designer. Get help and don’t give up and it can work out.

    • Our practical solution to these sorts of fights is that you can’t veto the other person’s choice without proposing an alternative. (Yes, we totally stole it from the Angelina Jolie interview a few years back about how she manages all her kids.) It works great for decor choices and also avoiding gridlock about what to have for dinner– and forces the other person to problem solve beyond just I don’t like what you are suggesting.

  11. Anyone use tradesy and mind sharing their experience? I’ve been eyeing a gorgeous bag but it’s $500 retail and I found it on tradesy for $175 cheaper…Says it’s new and still has tags and seller is a consignment shop. I’ve just never purchased anything other than retail before so I’m a bit confused on whether this is a good idea. TIA!

    • I’ve used it several times to purchase and sell a few items, and have had a good experience. I usually ask several questions to the seller to confirm no flaws, genuineness, etc.

  12. Adjunct or Lecturer? :

    I’m a practicing attorney who’s posted here before about reaching out to schools about possibly adjuncting. Would I be pitching myself (6 years practical experience, open to teaching most things!) as an adjunct or lecturer or is there any difference? Just want to come across as someone who knows what she’s requesting, if that makes sense! and you all are so helpful!

    • the nomenclature depends on the specific school, but often lecturers are more permanent (still paid little, but often they teach every semester). What you’re pitching is “adjunct.” Also, if you’re in Canada this all goes out the window, as they use different names.

      • Agree with this, though it does vary from university to university. It may also be different at law schools, I have no experience there. I suggest doing some snooping around their websites, but I’d go with adjunct unless you have reason to think otherwise.

        • +1 The law school where I am an adjunct does not have lecturers. Just go to the website and look at the faculty and staff page and see what they call people

    • What you’re talking about are, very slightly, two different things. Among faculty, there are two major distinctions: ordinary (tenured or tenure track) and extraordinary. Extraordinary can be of two main varieties – full time extraordinary (by contract, teach full time with benefits, but not tenure track) or adjunct (hired by the course). What those extraordinary faculty are called (instructor, lecturer, visiting assistant professor, etc) is sort of school to school and sometimes varies by qualifications or their commitment to you. Law schools may vary on that somewhat. What I see on our Law school’s website is that they are called Adjunct Professor of Law. YMMV, but adjunct is, I believe, what you’re asking for.

  13. A dear friend was in a very bad accident and is now on life support on the West coast, where she lives. Her family has flown out to be with her. A handful of us who are still on the East coast feel awful and completely useless right now. We would like to do something to support her family, but aren’t sure what is appropriate and useful. We were thinking of sending flowers or a snack gift box to her hospital room, but I wanted to check in here to see if you all have any better ideas. I know similar topics have been discussed before and you all have had great ideas, but I just don’t have the emotional bandwidth to try to sift through past threads right now. Thanks in advance.

    • Anonymous :

      Sadly, the reality is that you can’t really help. Don’t send flowers they probably aren’t allowed. If you need to do something, have food delivered. Sorry. It’s just really awful.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to the funeral (if not: send a heartfelt letter to the family). Pray. Light a candle.

    • Call the hospital and ask what they allow and suggest.

      I like the gift basket idea more than flowers.

    • How much do you know about the family? For example, would paying all the associated hotel and travel bills be a hardship for them?

      • pugsnbourbon :

        This is terrible and I’m so sorry.

        My MIL passed away a few years ago after several weeks in hospice care. As family, we had access to a room where we could go if we just needed to get out of her hospital room for a bit. It had a kitchenette and a fridge. Could you call the hospital and see if you could maybe have food delivered? Maybe fruit or a veggie tray – something fresh that they can’t get out of a vending machine.

      • They are well-to-do so I don’t think they need financial assistance, but that’s certainly something to think about.

    • Gift cards to whatever the coffee shop/chain restaurant is in the hospital or the closest take out place. Call the nurses station on the floor where she is staying, and ask the nurses.

      • I’m sorry, but the nurses are busy. Don’t call them! Call the hospital and ask for a social worker. They can help you get the family what they need.

        • A receptionist picks up the phone often. It takes 1 minute. It is not an imposition.

          Do you know how hard it is to find and get a inaptient social worker on the phone? Their time is gold.

          relax, eh?

        • Yeah definitely don’t call a social worker.

          You know what might work? Google maps. Then you can see what’s near the hospital.

          • It’s nice to know though if there is a Starbucks or Au Bon Pain in the hospital itself, as gift cards to those are really helpful. When my father is hospitalized I literally eat there every day for weeks and would have been so touched if someone had taken a minute to think about this and send me a gift card.

            In our city, Au Bon Pain basically won a contract with all the major hospitals and has taken over.

          • It took me <10 seconds to use Google to determine the name of the in hospital cafe at a hospital in my city. Didn't think I needed to spell out everything- google to determine what's IN the hospital AND google maps to determine what's NEAR the hospital. I'm sure most hospitals have this on their guest services pages. I'm really getting tired of the contrarian nitpicking that occurs constantly here now.

          • Anonymous :

            Who’s the whine-y nitpicker here?

      • Thank you, both. I poked around the hospital’s website and found a number for their critical care unit so we will just plan to call that and see who we get before sending anything.

    • Marillenbaum :

      For something practical, perhaps a gift card to a restaurant in that town which delivers, in case they don’t have the bandwidth to cook. Similarly, a Harry & David basket of sausage and cheeses; I’m a Southerner with a large Mormon family, so I default to food as the response to grief. I’m sorry about your friend.

    • If you have the means, offer to buy a plane ticket/use airmiles if any family members can’t get out there. Someone did it for my family years ago and we have paid the favor forward many times.

      • Anonymous :

        Or donate miles. Most airlines let you do that, and a lot of people who wouldn’t be comfortable accepting cash would happily accept your donated airline miles, especially if you told them you weren’t going to be able to use them.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Rather than dealing with hospital limitations (some won’t allow flowers in the room, etc), do you know what hotel the family is staying at? Several of these ideas – gift baskets, flowers – could easily be delivered to the hotel.

  14. Anon Hair :

    Anyone see Ocean’s Eight? I’m coveting Cate Blanchett’s hair in the movie– razored bangs and textured lob, I guess, for lack of a better word.

    I think it could theoretically work on my fine hair, but is it a reasonable style for a very average style person? Or does it look dated/not of the current era?

    My hair has always been sort of nondescript with no real discernible style so maybe I’m just liking the fact that there is a definite clearly defined look. Any thoughts on her look?

    • I think she was going for a rocker chick look ala Chrissy Hynde, but slightly more up to date than a shag cut. Can you pull that off? Can you wear lots of black eye makeup and leather jackets?

      If you do get the cut, maybe don’t have the bangs all the way in your eyes. I swear I couldn’t follow her character because the hair in her eyes was making me itchy.

  15. Living Room Furniture :

    Interested to hear what others think here. How often do/will people replace living room furniture purely for aesthetic reasons? Our furniture has been around for a while, and I’m over it. But I’m having a hard time doing something about it because there really isn’t anything wrong with it structurally/functionally.

    • If you can afford it, do it. I’d change more if it was in the budget. I do tend to refresh around the furniture often (paint every 5-7 years), new pillows or curtains around the same cycle, same with inexpensive rugs, bedding I’ll change more often. I like adding and subtracting art. Basically I like a pretty regular refresh but my furniture is pretty constant.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s time. You have the permission of this internet stranger to buy yourself new furniture.

      Fwiw I struggled with the same thing. There was nothing “wrong” with my furniture but it was what I bought in law school just to have something to sit on and I never really liked the style. I dropped like $5k at Ethan Allen, worked with their designer (no extra charge). I’m so happy I did. It’s been almost a year and I still feel happy every time I look at my living room. For the first time in my life I feel like I have a home that’s mine. I didn’t know furniture could be so uplifting.

    • grapefruit :

      I won’t replace the big pieces for purely aesthetic reasons – I’ll wait until they start to show wear or some other reason for *needing* to replace. I purposely buy neutral “base” items like couches and coffee tables that I won’t get sick of, and I regularly swap out the cheap items like curtains, pillows, throws, and small accent pieces like footstools, side tables, etc.

      Can you sell the pieces and apply the funds towards the new purchase? That’d make me feel better about it. (But I’m cheap so may not be a concern for you.)

      • This is my approach too. I try to keep the big pieces (and walls) fairly neutral and change out the “accents” regularly. My gray couch has been in a cool yellow and blue phase, a nautical navy and white phase, and a warm tan and burnt sienna phase.

    • Marie Kondo comes in handy. Acknowledge that the furniture has served its purpose, thank it for its service, then let it go. Maybe if you donate to an organization in need you’ll feel better.

    • I come from a family where you everything needs to last forever (and sadly, it does). But it’s like never getting a facelift — nothing stick out so bad as one new thing. I’d probably get a new husband before I replace my circa 1999 couch. My parents are still on first spouse/first couch.

      • “and sadly, it does” – LOL. This is the story of our dishes. I bought them in college on clearance at Target. The damn things won’t break!

    • Idk, I bought a $2000 couch when I was around 28, then spent the next ten years feeling guilty about how much I spent, and now I’m 53 and I still have it. The side chairs and coffee tables were from my husband’s apartment (the coffee table is around 60 years old, from his family) and we bought some side tables and lamps around 10 years ago. We still like everything and don’t see a need to change it. I guess the $2000 sofa ended up being a great deal.

    • Never. I might swop out plants.pillows, wall colors, but not furniture. I buy slowly things that last.

      Flipping out furniture every 5 years is the definition of nouveau rich to me, and is very wasteful.

      • I’ll challenge your contention that it’s wasteful. If you’re donating to a charitable organization, then another family who wouldn’t have been able to afford new furniture gets gently-used furniture for a great price. Instead of furniture that’s already showing significant wear and will end up on the curb the next time they move.

        • Nope, you’re causing the manufacturing of another sofa. Definitely wasteful.

          I mean, if you’re gonna do it, then do it. But don’t make up crap to make yourself feel better.

        • Sure, because the world doesn’t have enough furniture floating around all ready, this way poors can have gently used stuff from Restoration Hardware. It’s a basic principle of sustainability that reducing consumption is the most effective choice.

          I totally get the urge to re-decorate. But the wastefulness of it is usually what stops me– both money and in terms of resources. I’m not trying to shame people for wanting to create a home they love, but let’s be honest.

        • No, your contorted logic here is wrong. You are buying a new piece of furniture that otherwise would not need to exist.

          You do you, but don’t try to pretend like getting new furniture is doing the world a favor.

      • Same.

    • If you need a reason to get rid of your old couch, may I recommend cats with claws? I usually keep a couch about 8 years, and the last 2 years I have throws over the arms that the cats have destroyed.

    • Thanks. For context, hubby and I bought this furniture when we were first married 12.5 years ago. It was a bit of a compromise at the time – hubby got the final say on the couch/oversized chair combo, and I got the final say on dining room furniture. It’s an olive green color. Not offensive and arguably neutral, but I’d love to move to a gray color with cleaner lines.

      • I’m thinking of having my furniture re-upholstered. It’s environmentally a good choice and while costly, is slightly less than a new set.

        • Diana Barry :

          +1. Or slipcovers!

        • I hadn’t thought of this. I should look into it!

        • Anonymous :

          reupholstering will help change the color, but may not be able to change the shape (cleaner lines). If that’s an okay compromise, then this is a good option.

          Just…don’t cheap out on the reupholstering. It’s not really a cheaper option than buying a new couch (in most cases), just a bit more environmentally friendly.

      • Eh, I think 12 years is an appropriate time to redecorate. Sell it on facebook marketplace (I”m finding it much easier/faster than Craigslist these days) and get new stuff! I think most couches have a life-span of 10-15 years before cushions get saggy.

        Our rule is that we buy new upholstered furniture (rugs, couches), but anything else is second-hand or antique. Solid wood furniture that was made 30-50 years ago and has been cared for is usually in better shape than new construction furniture.

    • Why not reupholster?

  16. Father’s Day :

    So, the holiday got away from me and I suddenly need to find and buy something that will ship by Sunday for my absolutely lovely, but terribly difficult to shop for Dad. I’m hoping you might have good ideas potentially available on Amazon? He’s a fan of boats, seeing and being out on the water, female jazz singers and birding. He travels regularly for work. He’s not necessarily looking to acquire many new things, but he’s really started eating healthy in the last few years, which makes consumables hard. Thanks for any ideas!

    • How about a coffee table book about sailboats? I think there might be one out there with beautiful pictures of Hinckleys, which are very well-made, classic, and lovely boats that any boat fan would appreciate.

    • What kind of boat dies he have?

    • Why not make a date to go sailing together, even if it’s not this Sunday? If you don’t live in the area, a phone call to say “hi dad, how’s it going? When’s a good time for me to come up and see you, maybe get some boat time in?”

      Basically – give time, rather than stuff.

      • Father’s Day :

        I’ll definitely call and visit later in the year, but we’re also a family full of gift love language people, so it’s important to give something.

        But thanks for the reminder to call! I’ll do that tonight too :)

    • Can you make a donation in his name to a charity, like an ocean conservation or bird conservation organization? And/or get him the book, The Living Bird by Gerrit Vyn

    • Does he like to read?

    • Marillenbaum :

      Ken Burn’s “Jazz” documentary series on DVD! In my experience, dads love Ken Burn documentaries.

    • CDs by a saxophonist and singer named Grace Kelly.

    • Anonymous :

      Fruit of the month club?

    • Are you my sibling? :) My dad has similar interests and I got him a CD of bird songs at my mom’s suggestion. Amazon Prime would get one there in time!

      That or the cast recording of Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill–the Broadway show about Billie Holiday’s final concert. Amazing!

  17. We’re due September 1st with our first baby, and just found out that my husband’s brother is getting married a 10-hr car drive away (NYC to Wilmington, NC) 2 months after the baby’s due. Our attendance is definitely not optional– any suggestions for the car ride with a two month old? It will probably be more like 12 hours with all of the stops I assume we’ll be making, I have no idea what to expect.

    Second, since I’ll be on maternity leave and it’s such a long drive each way, I thought maybe we could extend our trip and maybe spend a week nearby. I’m looking for suggestions for cool towns near (or on the way to)Wilmington, NC to spend some time in, with a newborn. Looks like it’s near the coast in the southern part of the state. I realize it won’t be warm in November, so not even necessarily interested in being near the beach. I’d be interested in chilling in a cabin or cute AirBNB in a town with good restaurants/cool outdoor experiences.

    • Anonymous :

      Fly. That’s a stupid long drive once you add it stopping to feed and change all the time. It’s a short and easy flight.

      • Please please please fly. I made a 10-12 hour drive with a 2 month old and still have major regrets. (He’s 6 now). He would not drink from a bottle in the car seat–I think the seating position aggravated his reflux–so we had to stop to nurse constantly and it was torture, even driving overnight. Flying with a young child is much easier. Baby will get his first vaccines by then and most doctors will sign off on an airplane trip at that age.

        Honestly I would wait to see if you want to spend a week away from home with a 2 month old – it might be much less appealing then you imagine. A lot depends on your baby’s temperament and personal preferences (do you feel comfortable nursing in public? does your baby have colic? etc) but good restaurants are not necessarily going to be relaxing for a while, and you will have to worry about keeping the baby out of the sun–can’t use sunscreen at that age–etc etc.

      • +1

        There’s a really easy answer here.

    • Why don’t you fly instead? 10 hours is a long drive esp with a newborn.

    • At two months old they still sleep a lot, so that might help! If you can swing it you might consider trying to time your drive so he/she will be having her night sleep for at least part of it…(i.e. leave super early in the morning or later in the day so that the later half would be post her bedtime).

      otherwise I have no ideas really. they will be too little for screen time and my son hated being in the car when he was a baby and would basically cry the whole time. not useful I know. but you’ll get through it!

    • If driving, Richmond might be a good place to stop. I took a 5-hour car trip with a 5 week old and pumped in the car and then fed the baby a bottle so that we weren’t stopping every other hour for 30-45 minutes –> made for a long ride. You probably have to stop ever 2 hours for a diaper change anyway at 2 months.

      You could take the train from NYC to Rocky Mount NC and rent a car and then drive to Wilmington. Might be easier if you are nursing.

      Or you could fly to RDU and rent a car (also easy drive down 40 to Wilmington).

      Or you could fly into CLT and rent a car — longer drive to Wilmington, but so many NYC people with kids move here that it might be worth a visit :)

      A week in Wilmington might be nice (is towards the end of hurricane season).

    • I would probably fly NYC to Raleigh. A short nonstop flight and a 2 hour drive would have been easier for me at that age than a 10 hour drive. A 2 hour drive usually took us more like 3 hours at that age, so I think 12 hours is probably an underestimate. I would guess more like 14-15. It will be really tough to do it in one day.

      • Wilmington has a lovely, calm, easy airport, too, though you may have to connect. Raleigh to Wilmington isn’t a bad drive, but renting a car, doing the 3+ hour drive (with stops) might be a big pain. There is no where cute or pleasant to stop.

    • I did a this exact thing with 2 month-old twins! It was so easy. Definitely easier than now when they are 4. They slept pretty much the whole way. We stopped a few times to feed them and change them.

    • Honestly, I’d stay home and let your husband go alone. His attendance isn’t optional, yours is. I wasn’t comfortable flying until the baby was vaccinated, but a 10 hour drive with a newborn is insane. I also wouldn’t be super comfortable taking a newborn to a big gathering like a wedding, because there will be a lot of germs there too. Taking care of the baby by yourself for a few days won’t be super fun, but it’s the best alternative I see. If you have dogs, send them to a petsitter while your husband’s gone so you only have to worry about the baby.

      • I love weddings, but this is what I would do too. No one in my family would have expected me to go to a family event (even one as important as a wedding) that was nowhere nearby with a 2 month old. Some 2 months olds are easier than others (mine was not) and you obviously won’t know this until after you have had the baby.

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 to staying home and letting your husband go. At least set the expectation of this as the default plan, and then if you turn out to have the World’s Easiest Baby, you can change your mind and go.

        You really won’t know what is possible until you know your baby. My first child would have never, ever, in one million years, ever have been able to go on a trip like this. Screamed every second he spent in a car seat for about four months. I wouldn’t have flown with him because he was a spitter plus a screamer, and while I am all for babies and kids being just as entitled to be on a plane as anyone else, it would have been complete misery; a headache soaked in spitup. There is just no way I could have taken that baby anywhere without both him and me absolutely hating every second.

        My second child is a perfect angel baby. Predictable, easy, happy all the time… could easily ride in the car or on a plane or probably on the back of a camel across the desert. We have flown with him twice in the first five months already. If your baby turns out to be like this, 1) thank heaven every opportunity you get and 2) maybe you can go to the wedding. As some have said above, a flight may be easier than a 10-hour drive, because then you don’t have to stop for feedings and diaper changes. Baby will probably eat every three hours or so (maybe more frequently?) at 2 months.

        There are several older threads here and also on the moms s!te with travel tips for both flying and driving with baby. For either, consider bringing several changes of clothes (two or three for the baby, and even one for you) each separated into ziplock baggies. Like I would have each baggie with a onesie, pants, extra diaper, socks, bib, etc. That way you can grab for an emergency change without having to rummage. Planes cause explosive baby poops for some reason. Another tip is for travel I would put baby in overnight diapers (even during the day) and possibly one size up. (But make sure they are still tight enough around baby’s little legs so nothing seeps out.) An overnight diaper in one size up will hold a little more in case you can’t manage a diaper change immediately.

        In sum: don’t go, unless your baby is super easy, and in that case good luck!

        • On the other hand, I have that perfect baby (slept through the night at 1 month old and never regressed, hardly cries, etc.) We flew with her three times in the first six months and took her to Europe before her first birthday. All great trips. And I still wouldn’t have wanted to do this trip with her at that age, because I consider flying too risky before the first set of vaccines and there’s increasing evidence about the dangers of kids being in car seats for long periods of times. I also wouldn’t have been super comfortable bringing her to a wedding, especially if there were lots of relatives that wanted to hold her and kiss her. Even the common cold can be pretty dangerous for a 2 month old.

          Stay home. Everyone will understand. If anyone is upset, blame the pediatrician since I really doubt he or she would be wild about this trip, no matter how you travel.

    • Drive, don’t fly, and don’t panic. Mine mostly slept a ton when he was that young. And when he was awake I’d just give him a little milk or whatever – even a short stop at a restaurant is exhausting for babies that young.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yeah, we drove from Chicago to NY around the same age. It was … fine? We nursed and changed diapers in a lot of truck stop parking lots. We stopped around halfway and slept in a hotel, with baby in a travel crib. It was kind of a fun adventure!

    • If you happen to be exclusively breastfeeding bring some pumped milk so that you don’t have to stop to nurse every time the LO is hungry. One parents can go in the backseat and feed her while the other drives.

      • Oh and you’re technically supposed to stop every two hours and take her out of the carseat, so depending how rigidly you decide to follow that plan for a lot of stops.

        • Do you know where this recommendation comes from? I heard it somewhere else recently as 45 minutes and I’m looking for a source.

      • Anonymous :

        We drove DC to Boston at 3.5 mo (8 hours at best) and still split it into 2 days. We couldn’t feed without stopping because baby needed to be burped after feeding and would be in horrible pain if not burped. Babies still eat pretty frequently at 2 or even 3.5 mo, plus need frequent changes. Ours also would not sleep more than 30 min at a time in a car, so there was a lot of screaming. You won’t know how yours does with that till later, but if you do drive I would absolutely recommend splitting it up.

    • Something that nobody has mentioned is that there’s a new safety recommendation that baby needs to be out of the carseat (I think for 30 minutes) for every two hours in the carseat. So even if you bring pumped milk, you’ll be doing a LOT of stopping. Babies really aren’t meant to be in carseats for 12 hours a day and it doesn’t strike me as the safest thing in the world. If you insist on driving, I’d plan to stay overnight halfway there, so you have two six hour drives instead of a twelve hour drive.

    • Wilmington has an airport, so I would fly. It’s tiny, admittedly, but even if you can’t get a direct flight from NYC there are regular flights to other southern cities. A quick search for a random weekend in November shows direct flights from LGA and one stop flights with stops at Dulles, Charlotte, and Atlanta. My grandparents used to live outside of Wilmington, so I’ve done this flight a bunch and its super easy. The direct flight is less than two hours. (No tips on flying with a baby though.)

      I would probably just stay in Wilmington itself, which has some cute stores and restaurants and the potential of running into celebrities if they’re filming something there. (I once saw a movie sitting next to the cast of One Tree Hill, which barely counts, but my grandparents had stories about running into better celebrities like Colin Firth. There’s also the studio tour, especially worth it if you were a Dawson’s Creek fan and wish to have the experience of climbing through Dawson’s window yourself.) You can probably get a cheaper Airbnb for the week down by Carolina Beach, although a lot of that stuff will probably be closed for the winter. Having done the drive down 95/40 to Wilmington dozens of times in my life, I can’t think of any towns I would recommend as cute or having a good food scene.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Yea, if 2 months old vaccinated enough you’d feel comfortable flying (I don’t no babies), I’d fly to Raleigh or Wilmington. Raleigh’s only a little over a 2 hour drive and it’s a super easy drive.

        Wilmington is interesting enough for a day or two. Sadly NC got rid of our film tax credits a year or two ago and there’s not as much filming stuff, but you can still tour the studios, I think. If you want to go to the beach, Topsail is nice and right there. There’s nothing interesting on the drive down 95 in North Carolina. You could detour slightly to Kinston and have dinner at Chef & the Farmer, but that’s about it. Richmond’s on the way and might be worth a stop.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Ok ignore all the typos in that post… I should re-read things before I submit. But I re-read your post and will add to my suggestion–if you want to spend a week, consider Southport and Oak Island and/or Bald Head Island, which are about a half hour south of Wilmington. Southport is small but cute and Bald Head would be nice for relaxing. Bald Head requires a ferry to get to and is usually expensive, but in November might not be as much. Or come spend a few days in Raleigh. We’re delightful:-) (and have lots of excellent restaurants)

    • I would stay home for reasons cited above and also add that the bride and groom may not mind it if they aren’t inviting kids. I’m not allowing any kids at my wedding, especially babies that have the potential to cry during the ceremony. They may not be that disappointed.

    • Diana Barry :

      Fly! Don’t drive.

    • Fly. I flew solo with my 9-week-old and it was much easier than I expected. Some fussing at takeoff and landing, but the airport itself was so stimulating that he slept in a carrier on me for almost the 2-hour whole flight.

      Do make sure your baby has had the second round of shots (8 weeks). Otherwise it’s perfectly reasonable to say that you’re not bringing the baby at all based on pediatrician’s orders. Seriously, there are so many anti-vaxxers out there and you won’t know everyone on a plane or at the wedding. It’s just not worth exposing a new baby.

    • I would not be okay with a 2 month old crying baby coming to my wedding at all so that might be your easy out.

      • I am wondering whether the family is expecting OP and her husband to bring the baby to the “wedding weekend” so the family can meet the baby, but perhaps not bring the baby to the actual ceremony.

      • I’m getting married in January and our guest list includes no fewer than 8 nursing mothers with babies who will be less than six months old. I will have absolutely no problem if those moms decide to skip all or part of the wedding. They’re our friends and cousins. Don’t feel obligated to attend. A two month old is a good reason to skip a wedding, even if you’re close to the couple. I would also not mind if the babies cry during the ceremony, though I would hope someone takes them out.

      • Why do you assume the baby is crying? We took my 3 month old to a wedding and she didn’t make a peep, and then slept the entire reception (even through the music). You must not have kids – older babies/kids are much more disruptive than little babies.

        • Because babies do in fact cry? I don’t want kids of any age at my wedding and that includes babies.

          • That’s fine, but I wouldn’t assume your preferences are the same as OP’s in-laws.

          • LOL OK troll who probably isn’t engaged, married, or anywhere close.

          • Anonymous :

            I didn’t assume anything, I suggested that may be her easy out. Relax.

          • Anonymous at 12:49, you’re confusing assuming with suggesting. If no one pointed anything out or made any suggestions at all, this board wouldn’t exist.

          • Anonymous :

            What in the world? How does not wanting babies at my wedding make me a troll or not engaged? Some nerve you have.

      • Anonymous :

        Fwiw, newborns are actually pretty quiet. Older babies and toddlers may be less likely to cry, but might shout or squeal during the ceremony or throw food or something like that during the reception. I think people who don’t have kids assume newborns are the most disruptive, but once you have kids you realize that newborns are actually incredibly quiet compared to toddlers. They sleep about 18-20 hours a day. Odds are overwhelming that if the baby’s been fed beforehand it would sleep through the ceremony. We brought our baby to a (local) wedding when she was 2 months old and she didn’t make a peep the entire time.

        • That may be but if someone showed up to my wedding with a newborn after I specified no kids, I wouldn’t let them into the ceremony. Not saying that’s the situation with the OP, before the assumption police gives me a ticket.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m sure OP won’t bring the baby to the wedding without making sure it’s ok with the bride and groom. I had a no kids wedding too, but I also didn’t have any siblings or close friends with kids at the time. I can’t imagine not allowing your own niece or nephew to attend your wedding (provided your sibling is responsible and would promptly remove the baby if it cries). But to each their own.

  18. I was told 2 months was too early to fly for a newborn in terms of being exposed to too many strangers in too close proximity. No?

    • Nope. S/he likely will have had the first set of shots by then. But my ped said flying was ok even before shots. Good news is it’s not really cold/flu season yet.

    • No.

    • I would have been uncomfortable with this unless my child had received vaccinations by that time. I guess 2 months old is the time for some of them.

      • Only assuming if baby comes on time. If s/he is even a week late (likely for a FTM), s/he won’t have gotten them by then.

    • My doctor said it was ok, but I wasn’t comfortable flying (or taking her to crowded enclosed spaces, like restaurants) until she had her two month shots. My understanding is these shots can’t be given even a day before baby’s two month birthday (e.g., if born on Sept. 1, shots can’t be given until Nov. 1) so unless your baby is early or exactly on time there’s a good chance they won’t have any shots yet.

    • I personally wouldn’t have done it with my 2 month old. She was still in that “fragile” phase and even though she will most likely be fine if she catches a cold, you won’t want to be dealing with a sick baby on the trip.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I think (and you should confirm with your pediatrician) that once a newborn receives their first round of vaccinations at around 8 weeks that it is safe to fly. My pediatrician told me to avoid the subway and planes until that point because they were “steel tubes of germs.”

      Of course you’re going to find people who did not do those things (and I did not 100% avoid the subway), but that is dependent entirely on your comfort level.

      • Our pediatrician ended up accelerating our vaccine schedule to ensure that our child had her first round of vaccines before a wedding. At 8 weeks, we took her on her first flight (2 hours). At 4 months, we took her on a 6 hour car ride. By far, the flight was much, much easier.

    • I flew cross country with both of my kids at 2 months to visit family. Easiest flights with kids I’ve ever had, since they snuggled into me for a food and a nap the whole trip.

    • Fwiw, the same rules that prohibit flying (lots of people in close proximity) would also prohibit taking the baby to a wedding, unless you’ll be outside the entire time. Our pediatrician recommend avoiding enclosed public spaces (including restaurants and the mall) until the two month shots. If you want to make an exception for the wedding I don’t see why you couldn’t also make one for the airplane (the typical wedding is longer than a flight from NYC to NC).

      • I’d argue then that you’d want to limit the number of different scenarios to which you are exposing baby to just the wedding and NOT do the airplane ride then.

  19. Bald Head Island, NC :

    Going with kids later this summer. Any recommendations for things to do on/near BHI?

    I know it can be dicey getting a ferry on the big move in/move out times for rentals, but is it otherwise easy to spontaneously leave/return to take a day trip?

    How good is the grocery store on the island? We’ll be cooking a lot more than usual on vacation and in a rental kitchen, I am not sure what I’ll need and need to make many trips (and how to you carry groceries home in a golf cart? bring Ikea bags and a rubbermaid tub?).

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I just posted this upthread in response to suggestions for things near Wilmington, but Southport is where the Bald Head Ferry leaves from and is cute for wandering around for a bit. I’ve only been to Bald Head for a day trip, so I would say yes, easy enough to leave/return for a day trip. I don’t think there’s a whole lot to do on Bald Head itself other than hang out on the beach and bike/wander around the island (and climb the lighthouse, but that doesn’t take long). Surf lessons, maybe? I took one on Oak Island that was me and a bunch of kids, so that might be fun for kids:-) I assume someone probably teaches some on Bald Head.

    • Anonymous :

      The BI ferry runs every hour, and unless there is a weather problem you should be able to take the ferry on and on the island for day trips. Depending on the age of your kids, the Aquarium at Fort Fischer is fun. You can take ferry into Southport (private passenger ferry) and then go to the dock for Southport to Fort Fischer Ferry (which is a public ferry for cars). It seems like a lot of boats for one day, but a family we know does this every year and their kids claim it is their favorite day of vacation.

      Southport itself is kind of fun – but you only need a half-day at best. Unless you are going to the light house there isn’t a need to go to Oak Island. And there is very little parking at the light house itself.

      Orton Plantation is on 133 between Wilmington and Bald Head. It used to be open to the public all summer. It’s now closed but supposedly it still opens the grounds for tours occasionally for special events (the house itself is always closed). We toured the grounds about 10 years ago and it was fascinating.

      For food you must bring in any hard liquor or any specialty item you can’t live without. Otherwise you should find most of what you want at the on island store. They may deliver to your house, but I seem to remember it was expensive? You could bring in a day or two worth of stuff and then go to the mainland store if the island store is not sufficient.

  20. Anonforthis :

    Seeking advice from the hive – if you are or ever have been married, do/did you have a prenup (or post-nup)?

    My husband and I just tied the knot a few months ago and a friend just asked me if we had one. I thought briefly about getting a prenup during our engagement and ultimately decided wasn’t necessary, but the question got me thinking if we should look into getting a postnup.

    I currently work in biglaw and make slightly over 2 times what he does, but do not expect this income level to last for obvious reasons. He works in government and his income is expected to remain steady, with perhaps occasional raises, for the rest of his career (unless he decides to make a drastic career change, which we have no reason to think as of now). I have just a few thousand left in student loan debt while he has somewhere around 20-30k, and we are aiming to get everything paid off within the next couple of years. I do have around 130k in assets, including retirement savings and some inheritance money. I think he has around half of that in his own retirement funds/savings/etc. Neither of us have been married before and there are no prior children (although we do hope to have some of our own eventually).

    I’m not quite sure that our financial differences are big enough to warrant a prenup. We are also deliriously, happily in love, and a pre/postnup ever coming into effect seems unfathomable. My husband is a compassionate, generous soul, and also hates conflict. If I bring this up, I can see him signing anything proposed on the thought that the provisions won’t matter since they’ll never be needed, plus he’ll just want to make sure I am happy and have everything I want. My lawyer brain tells me that no one ever thinks they will need a prenup but it is better to be safe than sorry. However, I also hesitate at the expense that a pre/postnup would entail, since we would both need to get lawyers – I’d much rather that money go towards our loans.

    Any thoughts/advice greatly appreciated, thank you!

    Thanks in advance for

    • Nope. DH earns about 3 times what I do, but there were times in our marriage where I earned 8 times what he did (I moved from a high-paying job to a low-paying one, he moved from grad school to a high-paying job). To me, pre-nups only make sense if one spouse comes into the marriage with huge assets due to family money or whatever. The fact that one person is earning more during the marriage doesn’t translate to a need for a pre-nup, because the lower-earning spouse is probably picking up a lot of the household or childcare slack and that contribution is valuable.

    • I’d avoid co-mingling the inheritance/retirement money that you have but I wouldn’t otherwise worry about it. If it’s a short marriage, he’s unlikely to get spousal support for any significant length of time, if at all, and if it’s a longer marriage he could outearn you if you move out of biglaw at some point.

      • anonymous :

        This is what our lawyer advised us. No pre- or post-nup but we did estate planning (mostly for him as I had a lot already). Given our ages and career paths, by the time we would divorce, my husband would earn what I have in my trust (inheritance/family money). I make a comfortable amount but my husband earns about 4-5 times as much as I do and it keeps increasing every year. I don’t co-mingle it except for a chunk I knowingly took out to contribute to our down payment on our home. Assuming we don’t divorce in the next two years, he will earn as much as I have in trust and our post-marital assets (not including the trust) would be split 50/50 in our state. If I die before we have kids, my trust is split between him and my family. If I die after we have children together, then it is held in a trust for the kids. This was a different calculus for my sister, though, who has a pre-nup. Most good estate planning lawyers will talk to you about these options for a free consultation and if you are married and have kids, it’s a good idea to talk to them about that planning anyway and they will advise what you need.

    • There’s no reason why you need a postnup.

    • I don’t have one and I had more assets than my husband. I don’t find it necessary, if worst comes to worst, unless he undergoes a radical personality change (anything is possible…) he’s not going to try to get more than what he brought in. I’m not saying that because I’m burying my head in the sand, it’s truly his personality.

    • No, I wouldn’t worry about it. Your assets/debts are not very large so far, in the scheme of what you will earn/save of the next years are also not impressive.

      Sure, you can keep the inheritance separate, but I’m sure it is co-mingled already so…. And it still isn’t very big.

      You both have good jobs and earning potential.

      I can’t see why a pre-nup would cause anything but stress.

    • Diana Barry :

      I agree, I wouldn’t do it in your situation. My DH and I were more ‘equal’ when we got married (I had less in savings, but he still had loans) but we have both been the higher earner at different points.

    • Are you in a community property state? If I was married under that regime, I would definitely sign something.

      • This. I was married to a man who later became schizophrenic and I had to divorce him. We married shortly after college and obviously this was the first mistake (too young, did not know what to ask before marrying, like HOW MUCH DEBT?). I worked all through college, working so hard to make sure I had no or minimal debt. This was in a community property state. During the divorce, it turned out he was very, very far in debt without my knowledge. He not only took student loans (to which community clause does not apply) but also private loans that I had to fight very hard to prove were taken out before we were married or should be classified as student loans.

    • We got a pre-nup. We got married young and had no real assets to speak of, so it wasn’t about protecting asymmetrical wealth. Rather, we looked at the marital property and divorce laws in our state and decided we weren’t comfortable with how they allocated assets during or after the marriage. We saw the pre-nup as a rare opportunity to customize the law to our taste.

      For example, our finances are yours/mine/ours (we had set things up this way for the few years we were living together before getting married) and we allocate things the way we see fit. However, our state’s laws specify that any money EARNED during the marriage is considered community property to be divided upon divorce–regardless of whose name is on the account it’s in. We don’t agree with that and didn’t want state law essentially overriding our chosen division of money/property during our marriage let alone if it ended. I think you might find that if you looked into your state’s laws, you might not be comfortable with everything there. Or at least, it’s worth checking into to see how well your local legal system aligns with your values and approach.

      We are both lawyers so perhaps that increased our comfort level with it. It was NBD for us and didn’t cause any contention…we agreed on everything we wanted to specify before we even walked in the door to the lawyer.

      On the note about not wanting to think about or plan for divorce: We have been together for 10 years and are madly in love and very egalitarian/shared about most things financially. We do not anticipate ever divorcing. However, sh*t happens. Members of our family have gone through some extremely messy divorces and many times folks didn’t see it coming. Consider a pre-nup your gift to yourselves to make things slightly less awful if the time should ever come. No one likes to think about natural disasters or dying either but we still get home and life insurance.

  21. I’m on a vanilla kick lately. Does anyone have any favorite ultra vanilla-y recipes?

  22. Does anyone have any fun goals they are working towards? I’ve been feeling down recently and I think I’m missing the satisfaction and confidence that come from having clear goals that you’re working towards. Running is usually what I turn to when I feel this way but I’m looking for something other than exercise/physical goals. Would love to hear what your goals are or other ideas!

    • Beyond exercise, here are a few of my current “fun” goals:
      – Expand my garden and try new plant varieties. I have really enjoyed this lately; tending my garden before I go to work is relaxing and makes me feel more like myself. (I’m in a role at work where I feel like I have to put on a poker face at all times — which is exhausting — so this type of personal expression feels important right now.)
      – Teach myself to make cinnamon rolls the real way, rather than cheating with frozen dough.
      – I have an ongoing reading list that I’m working my way through.
      – Try paddleboarding.
      – I have a list of places in my state that I’d like to take my kids. We’re in a state that’s often made fun of/overlooked/considered flyover territory, and it’s important to me that they understand hidden treasures can be found anywhere.

      • Delta Dawn :

        Pioneer Woman has an amazing cinnamon roll recipe, if you are experimenting with different ones. (You didn’t ask for suggestions so feel free to disregard of course– but it’s so delicious I just wanted to mention it!)

        • More un-asked for cinnamon roll advice: I mix melted butter, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pinch of ginger and pour it over the cinnamon rolls after they’re rolled up and in the pan but before they go in the oven. Keeps the tops from drying out and nobody has ever complained about an extra moist and gooey cinnamon roll.
          Also, I make cinnamon rolls from grocery store fresh pizza dough. I know you’re going for the real deal, but this is a great halfway point between frozen and homemade for anyone interested.

      • Are you my secret twin? I love (actual) gardening and went on a garden tour last weekend. I took out all the grass in my front yard a few years ago and love seeing my yard develop and grow. I also adore cinnamon rolls and go on a kick every month or so where I make them constantly (I’m usually lazy and get the frozen ones). And I live in Idaho, which is not known as a destination place, but has lots of great things to do—including paddle boarding, which I got into last year.

    • I’m working to brush up on my Spanish. I’m doing Rosetta Stone at night, going to a language club monthly at work, and watching novellas. I’m trying to get to a point where I can have conversations with the other parents at pickup and other events at my diverse neighborhood school. It’s SO HARD to pick this back up, even though I spoke it fairly well through my school years and college. It’s proving to be a tough challenge but with very tangible progress so I love it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Organizing all my digital photos through the years. I want to go ahead and make photobooks with them and have them waiting on shutterfly so when they have one of their fairly frequent promotions with a free or half-off photobook, all I have to do is buy it. My plan is to do 1 photobook for each year (not including major vacation pictures, as I have already done photobooks for most of those)

    • Marillenbaum :

      I’m working on improving my French (taking sessions with a local tutor), tennis lessons, and working on my crafts: I’m knitting a cabled scarf (with pockets!), and sewing my first dress! The dress is a bit scary, because it’s the first garment I’ve sewed and it’s in jersey knit, but I’m having a BLAST. Good luck!

  23. First Date Outfit :

    Anyone in the mood to do some vicarious shopping? I’m in my early-30s and am back in the online dating pool. I’m looking for an outfit that I can default to for first dates this summer. I imagine most of these dates will be in the afternoon or evening on the weekends. I’m short, pear shaped, and live in a hot and humid climate. I usually default to khaki shorts, a nice v-neck tshirt or preppy-ish tank top, and flat sandals when I go out with friends in the summer. I am pretty low maintenance and am not naturally a very flirty person, so I am looking for something that is more “date like” than what I might usually gravitate towards. My only real requirements are no ruffles and only clothes that don’t show sweat (it’s really hot here and I’m a sweater, I can’t help it, I just have to try to hide it). I’m on a budget so nothing crazy expensive. Thanks to any of you fashionable ladies that want to play!

    • My vote: Espadrilles (flat or wedges) and an easy dress you feel great in. Look at Madewell Courier and Central dresses – they come in a variety of colors and are not ruffly at all. I am not a “dress” person and these are my go to dresses.

      • Agree – definitely a dress. It’s easier to just put on and go. Look at Amour Vert, I covet a bunch of their summer dresses right now.

    • Grana is currently having a great sale, and a lot of their tops look perfect for a first date.

    • Thanks for asking. I’m in the same boat and will take advice too!

    • Shopaholic :

      I bought a few swing dresses from Old Navy and wear them on the weekends with cute sandals and maybe a long necklace. Surprisingly, I have gotten compliments from men (friends and dates) even though the dresses are fairly modest.

    • I’m a huge fan of the santorini dress from Athleta. They have it in a few colors. It’s very easy to dress up or down and looks great with sandals. Super comfortable. I have a black one I wear for date night on the reg. Check poshmark, someone might be selling it.

    • Anonymous :

      Wear a dress. No khaki shorts on dates.

      • Question for the group – would white or navy khaki shorts really be that bad for a first date?

        • Anonymous :

          IMO I think khaki shorts are too casual/unsexy for a date. I mean, I definitely own and wear khaki shorts, but would never wear them on a first date.

        • Anonymous :

          I think unless you have a great body and the shorts are pretty short, most guys don’t love the shorts look. I also think it’s a weirdly casual look for drinks or dinner, even at a fairly casual restaurant. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear shorts if the date was to an amusement park or a beach or something like that, but it definitely wouldn’t be my ‘go-to’ date outfit.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. I’m pretty sure even Gisele doesn’t look cute in khaki shorts. White or blue denim cutoffs maybe, but still strikes me as a bit odd for an evening date.

        • If you are playing tennis or don’t really like the guy, they are fine. Otherwise, no.

          On the very last first date of my life, I wore a ruby red slinky dress.

  24. New Limited - returns :

    I ordered a few items from the new version of the Limited. The pull on pants are very comfortable – definitely keeping. The two shirts I ordered did not fit at all, and I want to return them. I just learned that the Limited does not have free returns or include a pre-printed return label in the shipment or even give you the option of printing a return label from their website. This is the only online order I can recall in the last 5+ years that doesn’t. So now I have to find time to get to the post office – what a hassle.

  25. How long of a flight (incl. layovers) is too long for a one-week trip? I realize a lot of this is personal preference, I’m just not sure if I’m being a wimp. I’d love to visit Cool Destination but the shortest travel time from my city is 12+ hours each way. No direct flights. I’m thinking maybe I should save this destination until I can take a longer trip, though that won’t be for at least two years. What do you consider to be a reasonable travel time for a week-long trip?

    • I don’t have a limit. I’ve gone (separately) to Australia and Asia (from the US) for one week. But I don’t really get jetlagged and it’s also hard for me to take two weeks off at once, so if I didn’t go to these places for a week, I’d never see them at all.

    • I’d do a 12 hour flight for a one week stay, no problem. They are usually overnight so you can hopefully sleep and save a night’s lodging expense.

    • 12 is about my Max. I’d love to save it for a longer trip but life is short and I’m limited to a week at a time.

      • I think it also depends on the time difference (re: overall trip enjoyment). 12 hours to South America is different than 12 hours to Asia.

    • The part that always kills me is if you have to spend one night in a layover city – it’s a lot of disruption for a short trip. But if you can get all the traveling done in one day each way, absolutely.

    • 12 to Europe from the east coast is pretty normal. Nonstop is 8+ so even a short layover is going to push it to 11-12 hrs. I sometimes also do nonstop to a major city before hopping on a separately booked domestic flight to the smaller city. That ends up adding several more hours as well. If I really want to go, then it’s worth it.

    • I’d go. I’m in the middle of the US, so any international travel I’ve done requires very, very long flights. Better to have five days there now than wait two years.

  26. I love the front of so many Boden dresses but dislike the lower backs. Why do they do this? To me they make the dresses look less professional

    • Agreed! I really dislike the concept. If I don’t want to show any cleavage, why would I want to show so much back?

  27. Receptionist :

    I currently work as a receptionist, but I’m trying to find a new position. I keep getting connected with recruiters on LinkedIn but they want to do phone screens during the day. Due to what I do, I don’t have a private office where I can close the door or get up from my desk and go somewhere private, so I’m pretty restricted to either my lunch break or after hours. This seems to stop any recruiting momentum in its tracks, since I can’t be as flexible as the recruiter. Am I in the wrong here?? I’m getting frustrated!

    • Can you take some vacation time for interviews? I think that’s the only way around this dilemma.

    • Anon in NYC :

      No, I don’t think you’re in the wrong here. This is the nature of your job. I would say that most recruiters probably don’t want to do a phone screen after hours, but might be amenable to doing one at, say, 8am. So if that’s an option for you, I’d offer mornings or lunch time as the best times to do a phone screen.

    • You can schedule these calls. You can just say “now isn’t a great time to talk, can we schedule a call for <>”

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Yes! In this type of interaction I think it’s important to follow your “no” with a specific alternative. “I can’t talk at 2pm, but I can at noon” (I assume you could call from your car at lunch?) etc.

  28. Family photo help needed! We’re getting family photos taken next week (outdoor setting) and I’m stumped on what to have DH wear, and how to finish my outfit. Here’s what I have so far:

    Me: Kelly green linen shirt with navy/white embroidery. Still not sure what bottoms to wear. Will wear tan sandals.
    Kid 1: Yellow polo shirt, khaki or navy shorts, boat shoes.
    Kid 2: White cotton dress with little yellow lemons. The green leaves match the kelly green in my dress. She’ll wear either light blue sandals or a cute little pair of huaraches that match mine.

    What should DH wear? Navy top? Something lighter and more summery? I’m stumped. I’m pretty sure I need to buy him something new. And don’t even get me started on shoes.

    I’m kind of stressing about this more than I should because wardrobe is one of the few things I can control. I’m fully expecting the kids to either cop an attitude (kid 1, super likely), or get camera shy (kid 2, also likely.) We’ve selected a photographer that’s worked with several families we know well and I love her work … here’s hoping that she can make magic happen! Also, I am bribing them with ice cream. If they do well, we stop and get ice cream on the way home.

    • If he has them, I would say navy top and kahki shorts. It’s already in everyone else’s outfit and if you do have to buy something new for him, it’s something that should be easily incorporated into his daily wardrobe.

    • I’d wear dark jeans if I were you and a navy shirt for DH. Keep it in a style he wears so it’ll get use after the photos (e.g. if he never wears polo shirts, don’t buy a navy polo). You could also do a medium blue shirt if navy feels to dark. Anything you can’t decide between for kids, let them pick. It’ll make them feel a little more in control and might slightly reduce the likelihood of attitude. For example, the morning of, let K1 decide between khaki or navy shorts and K2 decide between blue sandals or huaraches.

    • Senior Attorney :

      How about if you wear white bottoms and DH wears a white shirt and dark jeans or navy chinos?

      Also: Ask the photographer what he/she recommends.

    • I think DH should wear a white shirt (button down, sleeves rolled up, or a polo). I wouldn’t put him in navy b/c he would be the only one with a dark shirt on. While Kelly green is bright, it’s not dark like navy is.

  29. Non-Fiction Book Recs :

    I apologize for asking something that I know gets asked frequently, but I am really short on time.

    I need nonfiction book recs that are not super duper new and popular at the moment because I want to be able to borrow the e-book today or tomorrow for a trip beginning this weekend.

    I love crime/murders/mystery, forensic stuff, books like Directorate S and Ghost Wars, anything with ex-spys/operatives (loved all of the Robert Baer books), that sort of thing. Also, enjoy interesting memoiors.


  30. Bridal Shower Ideas? :

    Has anyone ever played a game at a bridal shower that wasn’t totally terrible?

    I’m planning a shower for my bff next month and was planning on it being more of a cocktail party, but I just found out that her mom has her heart set on a more traditional shower with the bow bouquet, games etc. Any suggestions of games that would actually be fun? It’ll be probably around 15 women, most of them friends of the mother of the bride (late 50’s early 60’s), and only a few of us closer to the bride’s age (late 20’s).

    Would love any suggestions!

    • I think there was a whole APW post about this in the last couple of weeks. I’d check there!


    • “guess whose baby picture this is” always goes over well. Not a real game, but we did onesie decorating (simple white onesies, three or so bags of fabric markers) as an activity, that worked out well.

    • The real threshold question is does the bride want games? If the bride absolutely doesn’t, then honor her wishes. If she is indifferent/wants to make her mom happy, then I would suggest something low-key that still lets participants chat and have a good time.

      Ideas could include:
      – bingo sheets (can play really passively) while still enjoying the shower — I think you need gift opening, though, so if this is a display shower it wouldn’t really work
      – I didn’t want games but my MIL did for the shower she threw me so it was a little “get to know the bride” trivia game where people guessed where I went to college, etc. (wrote down answers) and the most questions answered correctly won a prize (like a decorated cookie or a flower arrangement)
      – Another trivia type game is people get clues and you guess if its the bride or groom (i.e. Who spends more time on their hair: bride or groom? Who is afraid of heights: bride or groom?). The most correct wins a small prize.

      I think the keys to making them not terrible are to make them (1) relatively passive (no fun seeing a friend or cousin at a shower you haven’t seen in ages and not being able to catch up because you have to make a dress out of toilet paper) – also nice for relatives with limited mobility (2) not insert inappropriate questions (somehow there is always someone who plans a game that asks questions that make a grandma or aunt uncomfortable) and (3) relatively quick because showers (especially ones with gifts) can really drag on late and I’d much rather be at a long shower because I was having a blast catching up and not because it took forever to play games and open gifts.

    • Anonymous :

      I”m very anti-game but we played the Newlywed Game (bride & groom answer questions about each other and their relationship and you see how their answers match up) at my shower and I thought that was super fun. Keep all the questions G-rated if mom and grandma will be there.

      Agreed though that if your friend wants no games, you shouldn’t do games.

      • eertmeert :

        I love this one, it was the only game I played at my bachelorette party, and my husband and I still joke about some of his answers/my guesses (which I told him about after the party).
        A friend of mine played this as well, and her husband’s answers were so very sweet and loving, it really made me see him in such a warm light although I did not know him well.

      • I agree with this! Just went to a shower where this was played. One of the hosts asked questions to the bride that she had previously emailed the groom. It was cute! Don’t let it drag on!

    • Anonymous :

      The only ones I enjoy are the quiz games, where they ask the groom a bunch of questions (sometimes recording a video of his answers) and then have the bride answer to see if they match. And of course, you have to do the bow hat.

    • Everyone gets 3 clothes pins and you can’t say “bride” (or “wedding”). If you do, someone can steal your clothes pins. It is more of a passive game, so less annoying in my opinion. If someone isn’t into games, they don’t have to do anything other than turn over their clothes pins, while other people can get super into it. It also serves as a good icebreaker if people don’t know each other. The person with the most clothespins at the end gets a prize.

    • Anonymous :

      The best bridal showers didn’t have games.

      Say no to games.

    • This will take more up-front effort on your part, but my BFF made a Jeopardy-style game for my bridal shower and it went over really well (with multiple people saying what a fun game it was). She’s very crafty and went all out with colored envelopes on a poster board, but I’m sure you could do a simpler version, or even use an online Jeopardy template. The five categories were: Bride, Groom, The Couple, The Proposal, and The Wedding. The guests were divided into two teams and alternated picking questions – if the team got a question wrong, it went to the other team. I read the questions/answers and my BFF sat out (because we obviously knew all the correct answers).

      All the questions were varied enough that most attendees had knowledge to contribute, and those who didn’t know the answers got to hear stories around the questions. Things like “What is the bride’s favorite ice cream flavor?” “How many states has the groom lived in?” “Where did the groom propose to the bride?” “What date is the wedding?” It worked well as a team competition because everyone was able to talk about the answers and chat while the other team was up. One tip if you decide to do this – try to make sure the groups are evenly divided, with Mom/MIL split between teams, sisters on opposite sides, things like that.

    • I recently took the items off the bride’s registry and made it into bingo cards. The women at the shower really seemed to love this, and it kept people engaged while the bride opened her gifts. People who got bingo won prizes (a bottle of champagne, a gift set, etc).

  31. Any ideas for a long weekend in Rhode Island? I’m thinking seeing some of the robber baron mansions might be fun, but otherwise I have no idea.

    We’re thinking of driving to RI from DC, then to Connecticut to see some friends. Any ideas on places to stay, eat, see, etc., are very welcome. Budget is not huge, but flexible.

    • Anonymous :

      Waterfire in Providence is lovely. There are many good seafood and ethnic restaurants (Italian, Guatemalan, Peruvian, Portuguese). Newport is a fun day trip. RISD has a nice museum that’s free on Sundays.

    • Assistant Professor :

      In addition to Newport, Watch Hill, RI is a super cute town. It’s in southern RI just across the border from CT off of I-95. Have lunch at the Ocean House and walk around the grounds, browse the cute shops in town, etc. Also, Mystic, CT is really close to Watch Hill, so you could do the Seaport and wander around there, too. Also, Providence is a cute little city, so you could spend some time there too.

    • Anonymous :

      Make sure you eat steamers and clam cakes!!!!

    • I would recommend either Watch Hill or Newport. I have never found Providence particularly interesting.

      Ocean House in Watch Hill is absolutely lovely, but it is pricey. Castle Hill Inn in Newport is also beautiful.

    • Thanks, that’s really helpful!

    • I love Green Animals Topiary Gardens in Portsmouth (I think), but I’m a dork. Save the Bay does cruises – at this time of year, probably just lighthouse cruises, but in fall-spring, they do whale- and seal-watching cruises, too. The Cliff Walk in Newport is fun – can be crowded, but on a nice day, it has lovely views. Blithewold Gardens and Arboretum in Bristol (again, may be hazy on the exact city). Sakonnet Vineyards in Little Compton if you like wine. Little Compton is so pretty – Goosewing Beach is lovely.

  32. Anonymous :

    Are pointed toe flats still fashionable? I’m eyeing the new blue color Rothy’s released today but it’s only in the point, not the rounded toe flat or the loafer. I love the color but I don’t really want to drop $150 on a style that’s on its way out. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think Rothy’s are particularly fashionable (imo) but pointed toe flats for sure.

    • Anonymous :

      You can pry pointy-toed flats from my cold, dead hands. Who gaf if they’re “fashionable”

    • Anonymous :

      Pointy toes are pretty much classic, and will always be acceptable. Round toes go in and out of trend, but many people simply have to wear this because of their foot shape. An almond toe is a nice intermediate, when you can find it.

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