Splurge Monday: Twist Neck Stretch Jersey Top

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

michael-kors-twist-topOooh: I always love a graceful, feminine top like this — the wide neckline can be such a flattering look with anything from skirts to pants to suits.  With this kind of look I think it’s important to keep the clavicle mostly clear, so I’d avoid a necklace and instead choose a great pair of earrings, a brooch, or just focus my accessories elsewhere (watch, bracelets, whatever).  This particular top is $595, available for pre-order at Nordstrom.  Twist Neck Stretch Jersey Top

This $49 top is very similar but without the wide, low neckline; this top or this top are more expensive but slightly more similar.  This $55 sweater is kind of similar in plus sizes.

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Any tips for someone whose legs puff up during the day? Already generous calves can gain up to an inch during the day making skirts at night a no-no. I will need to wear a dress in the evening soon and am looking for tips for how to stop the bloat.

    • I say this with love, but that’s crazy pants to not wear skirts because your calves are swollen. I promise you, no person other than you will ever (ever) notice something like that.

      Not knowing if there’s any underlying medical cause, avoiding salty foods, drinking lots of water, and (if possible) a quick few minutes in a steam room do wonders for any bloating I have.

    • See your doctor first if this is a new problem. Otherwise, try compression socks?

      • +1

        Cut down your salt to see if it helps. Elevate your feet/legs if you can during the day. Compression stockings.

        And just choose a pump rather than a strap-y sandal.

        Have you bought the dress already? Is it formal where you could pull off full length skirt?

        I also agree with the other poster that no one will notice like you fear they well. But I really relate to feeling uncomfortable about my body, unfortunately.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Start with going to see your doctor. Mine did an ultrasound on my legs as well as an EKG to rule out underlying problems.

        My legs swell when I sit too long, although not consistently. I’ve been able to solve it with an adjustable sit/stand desk.

    • My legs can swell and I’ve had a blood clot in the past so am quite conscious of this. I’d recommend some light compression tights – I’m wearing a Dr Scholls pair today and do find my legs feel better. I use a box under my desk to make sure my legs aren’t hanging down awkwardly and also spend a decent amount of time with my legs up the wall – either in yoga class or at home when my legs feel tired.

    • Why are skirts a no-no? It sounds like something you should talk to your doctor about, but I assure you that nobody cares if you calves are an inch or two greater in circumference in the afternoon than they are in the morning. Nobody is looking at them and having calves that are not stick thin is not unattractive or unprofessional. If you’re bloated and want to stop it, make sure you’re eating healthily, exercise regularly, try compression socks, get a massage, take some midol, etc.

    • Heart Disease Survivor :

      Are you retaining fluid? Do you know what is causing you to do that? I would be concerned about heart disease.

      Compression stockings and a low sodium diet would be helpful, but you probably should seek medical advice first.

    • I had leg swelling issues post knee surgery. I spent a fair bit of time laying on the floor, booty scooted up to the wall, with legs straight up the wall. Do it for 30 minutes and you should get temporary relief from the swelling.

    • Please talk to your doctor. Many of my family members have a similar symptom which, in their case, is caused by a blood circulation issue. It’s controllable but you don’t want to let it go!

    • no suggestions on the medical front; sounds like you’ve got some good advice from the hive already on that front. I would just say: Go with a maxi skirt if you don’t want to show off your calves for whatever reason.

  2. Red (White) and Blue :

    I live in a solid republican district in an overwhelmingly democratic state. I wanted to visit my congressman to see if I could get some idea of what will happen next with regard to Obamacare (to which he is opposed.) This guy isn’t my favorite, as a few years ago I asked him if he was going to try and work with the President and he said, “Sure, if I agree with him.” This wasn’t exactly my idea of “working together.”

    In any event, I was browsing his website and his issues are standard, ie support veterans, businesses, the local watershed, etc. Now, this guy is also a medical doctor. So needless to say I was astounded when I clicked on a video clip of him, thanking all those that marched in the recent pro-life march, saying that “The abortion industry lies to women. To be pro-life is to be pro-women.”

    Now I am thoroughly confused, scared, and a lot of other things. I want to do something, but don’t know what. Thoughts?

    • Make a counter video clip showing how many women die of unsafe abortion around the world, how many mothers are forced into pregnancy in his district, whatever you can. A video is usually more compelling than an article. Opposing abortion doesn’t make it disappear; it makes it less safe. All pro-birth people need to stop denying that.

    • Anonymous :

      call his office, the one in your district not the one in DC, and tell them.

      Join your local democratic party

      • Anonymous :


        And tell your friends, and recommend they do the same.

        A doctor… So shameful. I’m a doctor.

        Watching a woman being forced to deliver her dead baby because no doctors were trained to assist with this “late term abortion”, and all the nurses refused to help changed me forever. Patient patient was catatonic and suicidal. The utter cruelty.

        • When/where was this? Please tell me someone helped offered this woman legal assistance to sue the shirts off their cruel, negligent backs?

          • I’m not sure what cause of action she’d have.

          • This was in a famous Boston hospital, about 15 years ago when I was a medical student.

          • Cause of action: med mal for not treating her in accordance with the standard of care? Intentional infliction of emotional distress?

        • I’m just wondering — do you have to train to do abortions in medical school (and can you not participate in an actual one)? Or is is that perhaps you get redirected to something like radiology if you do not want to participate in that? Or do you just go to a med school / residence at somewhere that won’t compel that (like maybe Catholic ones)?

          • No where forces doctors to learn how to give abortions. It is optional for every doctor in the us.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            Anonymous at 10:06 is correct, and there’s an extreme shortage of doctors who have training in later-term procedures. I believe there are four in the US, and all are in their 50s and 60s.

      • Anonymous :

        Since primaries bring out the crazies, maybe this and other posters should join the republican party (and I will get some libertarian / pro-weed R friends to switch to D)? If the D party had maybe not lost so many blue-dog type D people, maybe the Bernie thing would have lasted 10 minutes and not been such a distraction? Same way that maybe the Trump thing wouldn’t have happened (although that may be showing how 20 people don’t need to run for a job where you split the reasonable voters and this is what you get).

        Just shaking my head. I don’t think that sorting ourselves into groups will help. If anything, we need to blend together more and get closer to the average.

        • Intrigued by this suggestion. I’m also interested in the fact that while I see people upping their support for certain organizations (ACLU, PP, Sierra Club, etc) in the wake of the election (which I think is great), I don’t see the same kind of fervor in people throwing themselves into the Democratic party – local or national. It seems like this is a real moment to reinvent the party as it will look in 2-4 years, and yet I’m not seeing as many people rallying for it, or the various progressive political groups. Am I just in the wrong echo chamber?

          • I was at my local Pantsuit Nation’s first meeting yesterday. We are definitely throwing ourselves behind our state and local Democratic party, and plan to be heavily involved in upcoming state and local elections. But I’m not seeing too many posts on social media about it.

          • Emeralds, I am in your city and would like to get involved in the Pantsuit Nation movement. Where can I find more information? I am not on Facebook.

          • Fantastic! Email psnrva at gmail.

          • Excellent point. I don’t think you’re in the wrong echo chamber.

          • I think a lot of people are fairly underwhelmed by how the Democratic Party managed this election, and aren’t particularly inspired to throw themselves into an institution that seems increasingly about its own success than about issues. I know a lot of Republicans and frankly, nor are they particularly energized about their party right now. This wasn’t a good showing for either institution.

          • Anonattorney :

            @cbackson: At some point, though, a party (and a voter) has to make *some* compromises on the issues to ensure the party’s success, particularly in a two-party system. In the last 20 years, the Democratic party has always had problems trying to be everything to everyone of its constituents. That results in a fractured electorate, because of course no candidate can simultaneously prioritize education, the environment, job creation, healthcare, elder care, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, international diplomacy, international aid, etc.

            Of course, the other option is just to lie to the voters and tell them you’re going to focus on specific issues in order to get elected. Then once you’re elected, do the exact opposite–like padding your transition team and administration with bankers, lobbyists, and other government insiders, even though you promised your voters you would “clean house.” SMDH.

          • My city has had police-shooting protests this year. It is a one-party city. Many voices called out city leaders for letting the schools just completely fail for decades while spending political capital on bike lanes and domestic partner benefits for employees. The bike lanes were something they had very particular disdain for.

            I get it: this is the democratic party for the top 25% or at least the top 50%. They want a democratic party for the bottom 50%. They didn’t care about who went to which bathroom. They cared about safety and opportunity and their kids not having any opportunities b/c the schools are awful.

    • I saw this on Facebook and thought it was really helpful: http://www.attn.com/stories/12768/former-congressional-staffer-explains-how-to-make-congressman-listen

      If you can, sync up with a women’s group in your area – or even just a big group of people you know! – and flood the phone lines.

    • Did you see that Twitter thread about how the best way to influence your representatives is to call their local and DC offices? Call them. Tell the staff member your concerns. Tell all your friends to call. Twitter and Facebook and the like aren’t as effective. You have to actually call.

  3. $595 for rayon??

    • I know, I kind of liked this until I saw the price.

      • I think that MK has so many diffusion lines, I’d be unlikely to spend this kid of $ for something that I think of for logo bags that high schoolers wear. I bet you could find something at maybe St. John that would maybe be less rayon-y or more wool (or less also worn by highschoolers)? That’s just a lot of $ in my book for any label.

    • Yay Kat! The $49 Ann Taylor is is MUCHO Better buy! I love NORDSTROM’s, but I would NOT pay $595 for a top I can get from Ann Taylor for $49! FOOEY!

      As for the other OPs, we need to work together to make this new Presidency work. Mom told Grandma Leyeh to Kwitcherbitcheing! And that should go for the rest of us. I did not vote for him, but America did, and we are ALL part of America, so let’s just make the best of it. It’s not like a boyfreind who we get tired of and dump. We must embrace Trump for the next for year’s and mabye more. So let’s MEND, just say FOOEY and move on!!!!!!

    • For that price for a top, I expected a beautiful wool or silk.

    • I really like the top too but not for nearly $600…

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      Wow, $595 for a top!

    • anon-oh-no :

      i will never understand people who post on *Splurge Monday* about the price of things. Designer clothes is expensive. for a lot of reasons. sometimes its the fabric, sometimes the workmanship, sometimes the design, always the label, and sometimes a combination of some or all of those things. High end designers know much better how to make clothes lay right and make the proportions right etc.

      If you can find a cheap knock off, more power to you. but I suspect if it existed, Kat would have linked to it. If its not in your budget, then don’t buy it. But I just don’t get the inevitable Monday (and often Tuesday) comments about things being expensive.

  4. Eager Beaver :

    What kind of bras do you wear with wide-neck tops? I feel like I am constantly tucking my bra straps out of the way.

    • Sometimes I dream about being so organized and crafty that I sew bra strap threads with snaps into all of my clothes.

    • I wrap the ribbon hanging loops from inside the shoulders around my straps to keep them tucked in.

    • If I’m wearing something with an unusual neckline, I put a safety pin in each seam so that it doesn’t show from the outside and corral my straps with those. There is a product called “strap tamers” that basically does the same thing.

  5. Art of conversation :

    I feel like I’m trapped in a cycle of bad conversation. I have always loved deep, intellectual conversations and will have them with pretty much anyone who seems interested, but the problem is that I think people aren’t interested/that they’re just humoring me and I find myself diverting to small talk (you always hear people say “eh, let’s not talk politics” or whatever it is – obviously politics is a sensitive issue right now, but it shouldn’t be off-limits all the time). Does anyone have any tips for inspiring better conversations with friends and family?

    • Unfortunately, you can’t force people to care about what you care about or want to talk about what you want to talk about. I have friends who I talk seriously with and I have friends who I don’t. I never talk about serious issues with my family, and I am fine with that. It comes down to finding the people who are similarly invested in whatever it is that you want to talk about, even if they have opposing viewpoints.

    • Anonymous :

      The art of conversation is a two way street. If the people you are talking to seem disinterested, ask yourself honestly whether you are really having a convo or lecturing. Then join an organization conducive to those discussions. Give yourself a really good outlet.

      • Art of conversation :

        It actually seems like SOMETIMES, I have great discussions with certain members of my family and friends – I just haven’t identified what it was about those times that clicked. I have gone out of my way to ask questions, show interest in their lives, find out what they’re up to, etc., but those convos are the ones that feel the most small-talk-esque to me and I’m not sure how to have a better conversation without prying. Where is the middle ground between “how are your kids” and “what did the doctor say about your kid’s illness”?

        • I think you are wrongly categorizing the things that are interesting and important to people you are talking to as “small talk.” “How are your kids” is only “small talk” if you don’t care about the answer. If you are sometimes talking about daily life and sometimes having big important talks, that actually seems like a pretty reasonable balance. That’s why I suggested a more focused outlet- like, I LOVE talking local politics, so I organized a young professionals civics happy hour and talk away to my hearts content, and don’t feel those interactions are missing from the rest of my life.

          • It’s only “small talk” if you don’t care about the answer. I LOVE THIS.

            Also, to OP, I would recommend listening to podcasts about things that interest you. I have a particular affinity for Pete Holmes because I think he’s an exception conversationalist, but YMMV.

    • I feel you on this! One suggestion – I find that my deeper conversations with my friends and family stem from a book or TV show that we’ve both read. My friends and I swap book suggestions a lot, and when we do we say we like it because XYZ – that opens up a deeper conversation.

    • Are you actually having conversations or are you debating? Because I’d rather shoot myself than talk to somebody who wants to debate all the time and thinks there’s never a bad time for it. But some people like it. You should find those people and talk to them.

      • Yes. My DH is like this – very verbal and loves debating. I’m introverted and when I get into a deep conversation it isn’t a debate (=”game” in my mind), it’s serious. I am near tears and speaking passionately and it only happens rarely. Because I am not as articulate as some, including my DH, sometimes debates with him seem to me like he is baiting me and just arguing the contrary viewpoint because he feels like it. For me, I’ll only even enter the conversation if I feel SO strongly about it that I can’t keep quiet.
        So we’ve evolved now that he will only debate with others and he is more (verbally) gentle with me with causes I care about.

    • I felt the same way after I finished school and moved out of my college town.

      I also think it’s a function of how Sensing types and Intuition types like to converse and focus their attention on different things (according to the MBTI).

    • I say this with love but when I read your note it brings to mind a colleague of mine who is an excessive bore who talks endlessly without listening. Asks a question without waiting for the full answer. Overtalks. Will not move on. Etc

      Don’t be that guy.

  6. Cashmere Wraps? :

    What are everyone’s favorite cashmere wraps? Thinking of getting a lovely cashmere wrap for my sister and mom for Christmas this year (and maybe one for my freezing office).

    • Anonymous :

      I have been eyeing the cashmere throw at Garnet Hill. The cashmere cardigan I have from them is excellent quality. The wrap is very pricey, but on sale for 25% off (but shipping is pricey….). I almost pulled the trigger yesterday.

      Does anyone know if Garnet Hill has better sales?

      • Maddie Ross :

        They don’t normally have sales better than 25-30% on the cashmere. Occasionally at the very end of the season (March-ish) there are better deals, but the wraps are virtually never left. The cardigans or other pieces sometimes are, including the regular sized scarves. Honestly, the price is so worth it. I have one from 5 years ago and it’s worn like iron and is soft as can be.

        • Thanks for this. Maybe I should buy now. I was debating waiting until black Friday.

          I hate paying almost $15 on shipping for a scarf!

          But it is a great scarf… The reviews are amazing.

          • Call and ask if they’ll give you a one-time waiver of shipping. That’s worked before for me with Anthropologie.

          • Anonymous :

            Wow – here’s an idea. I just signed up their email list, and they gave me free shipping off my next order. But I don’t think you can stack codes (the 25% off is a code currently). But I will try calling. Thanks!

      • Cashmere Wraps? :

        I looked at these last week and are what I am thinking for my mom and sister.

    • lawsuited :

      I have several of the waterweave cashmere wraps from Talbots and really can’t recommend them highly enough. They are warm and gorgeous and not fragile like so many knitted cashmere sweaters and accessories I have. I think they’re worth the MRSP, but right now they’re on sale so you could get a pretty great bargain.

  7. I went through a very painful breakup during which I leaned a lot on my friends. I told them every bad thing my ex did/said as a way to process it, and they were so supportive in helping me try to get over him. Though they liked him while we were dating, now they all think he’s a selfish jerk. (He didn’t do anything really horrifying, but basically was not considerate enough of my feelings during a critical time, leading me to dump him even though I really loved him.)

    Fast forward 6 months…my ex got in touch with me, we talked about what went wrong and what needed to change, and we recently got back together. I can’t be sure it will work out this time but I’m feeling good so far.

    But I’m worried about my friends’ reactions when I tell them. No one who heard the details of the breakup is going to be thrilled. I’ve mostly forgiven him, but they haven’t. One friend in particular really went out of her way to be a caring, supportive friend when I needed her and I’m worried she’s going to be disappointed in me and feel like she wasted her effort. And I’m worried it will be awkward when we socialize together now.

    Any suggestions about how to approach this?

    • UGH – I posted my response below. Copied here.

      You should be prepared for them to not want to hang out with both of you for a while and for your friends to probably not want to hear about your relationship for the first little bit of it. I’m not saying that is a guarantee, but I would imagine most of them will tread cautiously. Also, a good lesson in not bashing your ex to your friends and not bashing your friend’s ex!

      Anywho, I would tell them what you said above plus some additional stuff: “Ex and I have talked about what went wrong and what needed to change, and we recently got back together. I can’t be sure it will work out this time but I’m feeling good so far. Thank you all so much for your support after we broke up, it got me through a really hard time and I value our friendships so much. I understand this might be awkward for you after what I said about him. I don’t expect you to be jumping for joy about us getting back together. I do hope that you can trust me that I am making the right decision for myself right now.” Or something like that.

      • Thank you–this is a good script. I am prepared for them not to want to hang out with us as a couple…and yes, it is a good lesson in not bashing exes. Though honestly at the time I was in such rough shape that I almost couldn’t help myself (and didn’t imagine we’d ever get back together).

      • Also, if you relied on them a lot and talked to them all the time and now don’t that is a recipe for losing friendships, which you may need if this doesn’t pan out again. (Or any other relationship that doesn’t pan out in the future.)

        • I will still talk to them. I just won’t plan to burden them with relationship woes if things go south again.

    • What has changed tomake youfeel that he will be more considerate this time around? To be honest- people do not change dramatically in 6 months. Think about the fact that these great friends may not be there for the next painful breakup.

      • Before I agreed to get back together, I laid out what I needed from him emotionally, and he said that he agreed and that he would work to do it, whereas before he said he didn’t know if he could. Right now it’s just words and I will have to see how things play out in reality.

        And yes, I won’t ask them for the same kind of emotional support if we break up again. I don’t think it would be fair of me to.

        • Anon for this :

          He never told you he would do it. He said he would work to do it. This is BS. You are asking for emotional support, not for him to run a marathon with you. It should be a resounding yes.

          • Yeah, this all sounds like a disaster waiting to happen to me. Why are you going back to him? Your friends have reason to feel skeptical – he hurt you so badly you needed lots of emotional support from them. I would be supportive of a friend getting back together with an ex if they broke up for a reason that was out of both of their control (a move, for example). But it sounds like he mistreated you and is still not willing to commit to treating you right and so yes, you have reason to believe your friends are probably not going to react too warmly.

          • Sorry, I think my phrasing was unclear. He agreed to do the things I needed and said he would put in the work required for it to happen. I’m aware it’s only words at this point.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, “work on it” is code for “won’t change any of it.”

          • FDM, I wouldn’t take this line of comments to heart (especially from someone with three marriages and counting?) Not sure why people are so negative about a human being’s potential for change, but it wasn’t your phrasing. You guys seem like you’re in a good place, and you’re going in with eyes wide open. Just enjoy your time together.

          • Thanks, Anonymous. That is definitely what I’m hoping to do.

          • Senior Attorney :

            HA!! Sick burn!!

          • To Anonymous @12:47 Senior Attorney has always been open about what she’s learned from her relationships. She’s trying to prevent others from making some of the same mistakes she has made. I admire that. Don’t be cruel.

          • Also, I’m sorry Senior Attorney, I didn’t realize the comment was insulting you (I just didn’t understand that part so sort of glossed over it when I responded).

    • You made your bed now lie in it. Of course it will be awkward. You are back together with a guy who didn’t treat you well.

      I’d move gradually. With him, with expecting them to interact with him, with everything. Like, why are you “back together” instead of tentatively dating?

    • Anon for this :

      I’m the friend in your situation. My friend keeps going back to an emotionally abusive ex and I am really losing patience with her, despite understanding the cycle of abuse. I never want to see him again in my life and neither do her friends and family but she doesn’t care. I will not say he is not allowed in my house because I know that just accomplishes his mission of further isolating her from her support network. But I am judging him and judging her for being with him and there is nothing I can do to stop it. She has absolutely zero self esteem and there is nothing I can do to make her have self esteem. Why she would value trying to forge a relationship with a guy that treats her like trash when literally everyone in her life, friends, family, coworkers, therapist says it is an awful idea is beyond me. I think it is a means of self harm frankly. It is painful to standby and watch.

      I have no advice on how to make it easier for you. You are not paranoid. You are making your choice and hopefully your friends will welcome you back in even if they are silently judging.

      Also, try to do things one on one with your friends, without the boyfriend, and don’t discuss the boyfriend.

      • Anon for this :

        Also, I disagree with the advice to not bash your ex in the future. Since you were so devastated it sounds like the bashing was justified and you needed it to get through. Have you considered maybe you shouldn’t be back with him instead of trying to figure out how to convince your friends that you should be?

        • I’ve considered it. Maybe I should consider it more. I really want to try, though, and I think I’m going into it with the realistic understanding that he may not have changed despite the fact that he’s saying the right things so far, and that it may fail.

      • +1 to your last sentence for sure. I would also recommend telling them ahead of time that you will make friend time a no boyfriend discussion time unless they ask/until they are comfortable with it.

        • Yup. If you feel like you’re going to need to convince your friends that it’s ok that you’re with him, and if you were honest about the hurt he caused you and not over-exaggerating, why are you with him again? Your post above explaining the reasoning sounds ridiculous to me. I foresee disaster.

          • I’m willing to forgive (not forget) how he acted right before our break-up if things transpire differently this time. We’ve worked out a plan for how we will approach things differently in the kinds of situations that were problematic before. He is now saying the things and acting in the ways I wanted him to before. The question is if it lasts, and I’m totally aware that it might now.

        • I may be mis-reading this, but I think she should be able to talk about her boyfriend with her friends. Complaining about him right off that bat might not go over well, but if there are positive things, she definitely shouldn’t have to censor herself. It sounds like they are both on different footing this time around, and the friends should give them both a chance and be supportive. That’s what I would do for a friend in this situation.

          • She shouldn’t have to censor herself, but as a friend in this situation, I wouldn’t be open to hearing about him right out of the gate.

            When I gave an ex a chance (and I should NOT have), I didn’t say one word to my friends about it. They knew what had happened and they (rightfully) would have been upset that I chose to give him a second chance. I did it under the radar and it failed because despite saying he had changed, he hadn’t. I ended it and that was that.

          • You sound like a delightful friend to have….not at all petty and self-involved.

        • I think the no-boyfriend time idea is great, thanks.

      • I also have a friend who keeps going back to her abuser. It’s incredibly frustrating and I’ve nearly lost my friend.

        I hesitated to post because it doesn’t sound like that’s the situation OP is in. OP’s BF was inconsiderate. That’s a pretty common complaint and ime IS the kind of thing that could be turned around in short order. OP’s friends will be surprised and disappointed, but I don’t think going back to an inconsiderate guy ONCE is grounds for losing respect for your friend. Just… maybe don’t go on and on about how he’s so great now.

        Also a huge +1 to the advice about making time for your friends. Your friends proved how awesome they are. Continue to build on that. What’s been most hurtful for me is that my friend only ever wants to hang out with me when she’s trying to leave/get over him. Rightly or wrongly, I feel used. Make sure you share good times with people who are there for you during the bad.

        • +1

          And if you break up again, hire a therapist…. to save your friendships.

          • Anonattorney :

            Agree 100% with [email protected]:15. There’s a spectrum on this stuff. Having problems in a relationship because your boyfriend does not provide enough support emotionally during difficult times is a far cry from emotional abuse. I cannot name one friend (male or female) who hasn’t had issues with their partner relating to finding common ground on emotional support.

        • Thanks a lot for this comment. He’s not abusive, emotionally or otherwise. He was inconsiderate and it was a pattern. I believe I am pretty clear-eyed about how/who he is and definitely won’t be bragging to friends about how fantastic he is.

          I will continue to make time for friends (probably 1-on-1) discussing other stuff in our lives.

          And yes, I started seeing a therapist during our breakup and am continuing to do so.

      • Thanks…I totally get this and will try to think about it clearly.

        • Baconpancakes :

          I’m wondering whether you’re just the kind of person who (no offense intended) complains really bitterly and takes things out of proportion when you’re hurting, so that it would sound to your friends that he was basically the scum of the earth, but when you step back and you guys agree to work together on the relationship, you realize that you were being hyperbolic when you complained to your friends?

          I have a friend like that. I love her to death but I cannot talk to her about her relationships.

          Also seconding the above question of why you’re “together” instead of “dating,” simply because I do rarely see people change in six months. You’re giving him what he wants (to be together) while he’s not committing to his side of the bargain (to be considerate of you), but instead, promising to work on it as he moves forward.

          Also, as a firm believer in dating around, I think you’d find that he’d either lose his appeal or straighten up a lot faster if you were seeing other people.

          • I don’t believe I overreacted in relaying things to my friends. In a couple cases they seemed even more upset about his actions than I was. But I certainly only shared the bad things about him in these post-breakup conversations, and of course they didn’t have the whole context of how things were between us.

          • And yeah, I should think more about the dating around thing.

          • FDM, a while ago, I proposed an idea to my close girlfriends. Generally speaking, people tend to only complain about their SOs, right? I find that it colors the third party’s opinion of the SO even if they know the SO is a nice person or whatever. We aren’t getting the whole picture and that’s not fair to the SO. I challenged my girlfriends to tell us a good thing their SO had done for them each time they complained about their SO. Maybe I am an a$$hole and my friend’s all roll their eyes behind my back – oh well. I try to have a positive attitude and realize all people make mistakes. Obviously, this does not apply to serious situations where my friend is in danger or their SO is hurting them. But more for the small price of admission things.

            Something to think about for the future, if the relationship works out the second time around and as a way to help your friends come around if they are resistant to the new development.

          • Thanks, CountC…I like it.

  8. Winter Boots? :

    Boots help please!

    I am looking for a pair of everyday boots to wear in DC this winter. My trusty cognac riding boots are giving out. What should I replace them with (other than another pair of riding boots)? I have several ankle boots (with heels) which I wear to my casual office, but I am looking for flat boots for the weekends and/or snow and ice days. Should I look for snow boots, hunters, or something else? Brands or links appreciated :)

    • I have a pair of black midcalf Merrells which I find very comfortable – happily wear them for my normal 5 miles / day of walking and on holiday, for 10+ miles. They aren’t super exciting but are good quality and super comfortable.

    • If you want another pair of riding boots, I got Louise et Cie boots last year that have lasted well. They aren’t great in the ice or snow, but they look good. I’ve also been happy with my Sperry duck boots – they look similar to the LL Bean boots, but have different colorways. They’ve been great in rain and DC-level snow. I was over my Hunter boots…I didn’t think they did a great job on the ice, and they were so heavy. I can wear the Sperrys all day without feeling like I’m carrying extra weight.

    • I have two pairs of Frye boots- one tall (melissa, I think) and one shorter (veronica? with buckles- moto style) and theyve worn wonderfully in DC. However, I dont wear them in more than an inch of snow- that’s when I switch to my LL Bean boots.
      You might have success with a pair of Blondo boots- they are made to be waterproof, and I believe there’s a few pairs on sale at Nordstrom right now.

      • I bought the Blondo boots last week and am SO happy with them. They’re beautiful and very comfortable.

    • La Canadienne! Great leather waterproof boots– I have 2 pairs, heeled and flat. Worn in Switzerland during multiple winter trips when it was snowing (not used like snow boots in deep snow, but there was a lot of snow and salt and grime on the ground). and also my go-to rainy day footwear. Have held up really well and kept me warm. I find they are true to size so if you wear thicker socks for warmth consider sizing up.

  9. You should be prepared for them to not want to hang out with both of you for a while and for your friends to probably not want to hear about your relationship for the first little bit of it. I’m not saying that is a guarantee, but I would imagine most of them will tread cautiously. Also, a good lesson in not bashing your ex to your friends and not bashing your friend’s ex!

    Anywho, I would tell them what you said above plus some additional stuff: “Ex and I have talked about what went wrong and what needed to change, and we recently got back together. I can’t be sure it will work out this time but I’m feeling good so far. Thank you all so much for your support after we broke up, it got me through a really hard time and I value our friendships so much. I understand this might be awkward for you after what I said about him. I don’t expect you to be jumping for joy about us getting back together. I do hope that you can trust me that I am making the right decision for myself right now.” Or something like that.

  10. Govt job advice :

    Job help needed. I was offered a position with a federal regulatory agency that covers the industry I have worked in for over 25 years. I am leaning towards taking it, but the pay is 15% below my current base and won’t include a bonus like the private sector does. Last year, my bonus was about 20% of my base, but can vary considerably due to business issues. My current employer is not a good fit for me and is in the midst of a major downturn in performance and asset gathering. I need to leave.

    Pros: Low stress. Ability to telework regularly (after a year). Job security. Regular pay increases mandated by union contract. Compliance is the main focus and I would work with people who share that view (instead of being the “no” person). It is an offer that will get me out of the bad situation I am in.

    Cons: Pay. Bureaucracy of government work after years of private sector experience. (Very indirectly working for Trump.)

    • Anonymous :

      Take it.

      What is your retirement/benefits package like? Right now government jobs look amazing to me. As does yours.

      make it better!

    • Sounds like investment management to SEC ? I don’t expect you to confirm if it outs you but if this is the scenario you can always go back to a fund in a few yrs. It doesn’t have to be a forever thing and regulatory experience is valued.
      Also I get the reluctance to work for Trump but we need qualified workers in government jobs and hopefully not just his loyalists if we’re going to have a chance of making it through the next four yrs. There was also an oped in the NY TIMES today to this effect if you need some positive reinforcement

      • Govt job advice :

        I found the oped and it helped. Even if he tries to lessen regulation, I can be there to help protect the public.

      • My husband is at the SEC and he finds it to be one big ball of depression. People’s trials won’t go forward. People are waiting for big cuts (Dodd Frank, for example) and just sitting around playing solitaire. This sin’t the time I would make a move to make a difference, but, hey, you may get the opportunity to sit on your ass.

        • Why aren’t people working hard, if there is concern cuts will be made, to try to get things done?

          Your post actually makes me upset…. Playing solitaire?

          These changes, if they happen, will likely take quite a bit of time.

          Why do we all give up so quickly? Haven’t we learned anything?

          • Have you ever worked in government? Maybe you are underestimating the amount of bureaucrazy (ok…that started as a typo but is perfect…). Sometimes things happen so slow that you can’t do anything even if you want to.

    • Different SEC divisions have very different cultures and will be impacted differently by the new administration change. If you’re looking at IM, I’d definitely make the jump. It will be relatively easy to move back to a fund company in a couple years if you find it’s not a good fit. The lifestyle benefits really are great, and it’s excellent experience that will make you that much more attractive to future employers.

  11. No Problem :

    What are some good websites I can browse in my downtime that are NOT news? I’ve had (political) news overload for the last month and just want to not see it all the time. I already read this page, Ask A Manager, and a local news site (it sticks purely to local news). Good science pages? Good celebrity gossip?

  12. SO Insurance :

    Tax/insurance question – Having trouble figuring this out on Google. In September, I added my domestic partner to my health insurance. The premium has increased and, while my premium is still taken out before tax on my paycheck, his is taken out after tax. I understand that domestic partner insurance is treated differently than spousal.

    On my paycheck I now also have a line item: “Med ImpInc,” which is $350 of income per paycheck. It is included with my income, but an asterisk notes that this earning does not add to gross – it’s in the same category as my company’s contribution to my 401k, which isn’t taxed.

    Am I correct that the Med ImpInc is the fair-market price that they value his insurance at? This is not impacting my individual paycheck withholdings – but when it is time to pay taxes will I be taxed as though I’m making an extra $8400/year? Or is my company somehow covering the tax implications here?

    • Depends on your company. Some cover it as part of an effort to recruit gay employees. Something to ask your benefits person to explain to you.

      • +1. Talk to HR. Unless your company has a benefit where they pay you extra income to help compensate for the extra taxable income you incur (some companies do this), you are taxed as though you make that additional “income” (the assigned value of the health insurance).

        This is yet another reason why I was thrilled when same sex marriage became legal.

    • Yes, you’re correct. The Med ImpInc is the imputed income value of the health insurance for your domestic partner, and you will owe income tax on that amount.

  13. Any recommendations for dinner in downtown Louisville? Going to be there for work tonight. Somewhere I’d be comfortable alone and not too fancy/expensive.

    • Oh, and I don’t have a rental car, so walkable or Uber-able from what I’m guessing is the main downtown area (like a half mile from the convention center)

    • I was there for a conference last year and my group’s overall favorites were Doc Crow’s and Sidebar. Both of them have bars where I would have been totally fine eating by myself, neither were too fancy or pricey. Enjoy!

    • Go to the bar at 21C Hotel. You can browse the art gallery in the lobby of the hotel and order food from the attached restaurant, Proof, which is yummy.

    • Ditto the recommendation to go to Proof at 21C.

  14. Any tips for BSing your way through an annual goal setting meeting? I despise my job and am actively interviewing, but I need some convincing lies about things I’m looking forward to and want to achieve. Any useful phrases that I can trot out would be much appreciated.

    • My favorite annual review goal is “Project as assigned.” And then agree to assign something later as the need arises.

    • lucy stone :

      Can you set one of of your goals as developing a skill you need to have that impacts your job but is also moveable to a new position? “I’d like to learn Spanish so I can work on deals with the factory in Juarez” sounds like it benefits your employer but also benefits you.

  15. Am I the only person who doesn’t Uber? I can’t (fossil with blackberry), but even when friends offer to get me an Uber, I pass. Then I get the look of dread/pity for not being hip or with it. I just have a thing about getting into a car with a random person. I get that cab companies could have that issue, too. But I see a lot of cab drivers in my city as hard working older regular drivers and/or immigrants, all of whom take this very seriously. I am not so sure about a 20-something who freelances (it’s like hitchhiking: OK for others to do, but not for me).

    • Might depend on your city, but in my experience Ubers have been on average cleaner than cabs. I also love being able to enter my destination address beforehand and have it pop up on their GPS. With cabs, I always have to explain where I’m going and it’s sometimes hit or miss whether the ones in my city go the fastest route.

    • I put my teen daughter in an Uber by herself. I could track her route in real time and knew that the driver had proper directions to get her back to my house from a city 14 miles away. You can’t do that with a cab.

      • Now I’m thinking: could I go this instead of hiring a nanny just to drive my kids around? In a year or so they will switch to middle school where there is no after school care.

    • In my experience in NYC trying to go to/from NJ, cab drivers were rude, refused the trip, overcharged me, and were not safe drivers. The uber drivers I use are professional polite and willing to take me where I need to go.

      You don’t have to use Uber but it is nothing like hitchhiking and refusing to try it seems real silly.

      • Isn’t it app-based? I also can’t do Waze b/c there is no blackberry app for that.

        I am so tied to screens and gadgets at work that all I want a phone for is to call 911 if I break down or let someone know if I am running late. I so hate computers / screens in the off hours b/c I am otherwise around them all the time at work.

        • Blackberry is becoming obsolete. What are you planning on doing then? It’s 2016. You need a real phone.

        • Yeah it is app based but you said you were refusing to try it even when friends offered to get it for you.

          • A lot of times in cities it just seems faster to walk around the corner to a hotel where you can hop in a cab. DC / Midtown NYC / lots of other places. It seems a bit silly to call up a car (or even a car service) when a cab is a few steps away.

            I have been in cold rainy weather where there were no cabs to hail on the street, but this was a lovely evening a few weeks ago, so warm, sunny, and plenty of yellow cabs.

          • You order an uber whenever you want – if you are downtown in a major city, it takes like 2 minutes. And in my experience, Uber cars are cleaner, nicer, and newer models. And the drivers often have freebies like water or gum, or phone chargers you can use.

            Don’t knock it til you try it.

    • I’m not so into supporting the 1099 economy myself because I’m not convinced it’s all that great for the workers. But isn’t UberX the one where it’s all professional drivers anyway? Car service drivers? I’m in NYC where Uber drivers are required to be licensed as professional drivers. Other cities also have that requirement.

    • I feel that Ubers are safer because there is a record of who you were with. Also, many Uber drivers are also hard working and immigrants. In my experience, they’re nicer than cab drivers and often drive for Uber as a 2nd or 3rd job.

    • I am a huge uber user, because cabs in my city are unreliable, frequently dirty/smelly, the drivers often speak such poor English that it is hard to communicate and no one on earth has any idea who I got in the car with – or that I got in the car at all. Getting in cabs doesn’t feel safe or pleasant to me. I think a lot of people feel that way, and I think your positive view of cabbies is likely less common – that’s more likely the source of your friends’ surprise than some judgment over your lack of hipness (uber doesn’t count as hip once my mom is using it…).

    • I don’t like cabs or Uber or car services and prefer public transit when I am traveling. The few Ubers I’ve been in have been cleaner and mostly less sketchy-seeming than cabs, but I somehow feel as if there is some type of accountability for cabdrivers that isn’t there with Uber. I will not take Uber or a private car service alone.

      • This is me — last sentence. I am alone 99% of the time I’m in a cab (mainly for work travel, often in cities I am not familiar with). The Uber guys at LGA are aggressive.

        • Uber drivers can only respond to an app request – they can’t hang out and solicit you. That’s not permitted (by NYC or by uber). Are you thinking of the shady private car service guys at LGA? Because they are in fact horrible, I agree.

          • LOL, OP doesn’t even know what Uber is apparently.

          • Ugh — they are hanging out waiving Uber signs at you. It’s like the soliciting guys printer off the uber placard.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Those aren’t legitimate Uber drivers. Google Gothamist Uber LGA. They are impersonating Uber drivers.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Here’s the story: http://gothamist.com/2016/10/24/fake_cabs_jfk_lga.php

          • OK — this is making me feel better — it seemed super sketchy. LGA is about 30% of my work travel (the rest is randomly sprinkled through the US) and those guys have been sketchy there for decades!!! So if that is not representative of Uber (or not even Uber), I do get that. I thought these guys were really Uber drivers and would never get in a car with one of them.

          • Lol you never even bothered to figure out what uber is?

          • I’ve seen those guys at LGA (and only at LGA it seems). Super aggressive. They start heckling you as you’re heading towards the taxi pickup line.

            If that is your first glimpse of Uber (even though those guys aren’t following the rules if they are legit drivers), I can see why you’d stay away. Who’d want to get in a car with an aggressive and sketchy strange guy?

          • Uber drivers respond to you alone, and you can check because you have their license plate number.

      • I’m really confused when you say there is no accountability with Uber. The company knows exactly where you are at all times and who is driving you. It tracks all that information. You can even leave reviews of your drivers, and bad drivers are held accountable.

        • Yeah, I feel much much safer in an Uber since everything is being tracked online. If I get into a cab, no one knows I’m in that cab or where I went…

      • I definitely choose uber over taxis for safety reasons.

        In an uber, there is a record or where I was picked up, who picked me up, where they drove me, where they dropped me off, and its all tracked in real time.

        Getting in a random cab on the street, there is no record, often the ID hanging in the back doesn’t actually look like the person driving the cab (even if it does, you have to remember to take a picture of it) and I can’t follow the route on my phone, so in an unfamiliar city I have no idea whether they are taking me on my route or somewhere completely different.

        A friend of mine in college was sexually assaulted after she got in a taxi alone after a night out and he drove her outside the city limits and then climbed in the back seat with her. She was able to get away and eventually get home, but there was no way to figure out who the driver was to press charges or to really do anything. All she could remember was the colour of the taxi. So they were never able to figure out who it was.

        At a minimum in an uber if something bad happened people could log in and track who picked me up and where I went and maybe find me, or at least hold the driver accountable.

    • There’s also different types of Uber…. UberX is the version where anyone can sign up to be a driver. Uber Black (more expensive) is fully insured, etc.

      Ubers are typically immaculate. Cabs, not so much. Plus there’s no fussing with payment, tipping, etc. with Uber.

    • Sounds like you are getting that look because of your attitude, not because you are not hip. Uber does background checks on its drivers and you get the information of who took you and where you went. It automatically does the GPS so you can’t get overcharged, you don’t have to carry cash, there is a company you can complain to and you can rate your drivers. I also don’t have to hail it-I can call it from inside a bar or restaurant instead of waiting outside. You are free to not use it but it seems weird to be so distainful when you’ve never even used it

      • anon anon armani :

        here in my town, uber has refused to do background checks. there have been horrible incidents. so, no.

        • Background checks or fingerprinting? I know they refuse fingerprinting, but I’ve never heard of them refusing background checks.

    • I must be the only other person out there who hates Uber. I take it though bc I moved to a city where you just can’t hail a cab on the street. Still sketches me out to be in a random person’s car though.

    • Do you realize with Uber, the app tracks your route, driver name, car make and license plate? It’s not a random person. When you get in a cab, that’s a truly random person.

    • I use a taxi app. I can reserve a taxi up to 24 hours in advance and also repeat a trip. It lets me know when the taxi is on the way (I can track it), driver’s name, car number, and estimated cost.

    • I will not use Uber because they took a huge investment from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and then tried to frame that as pro-woman because it meant women could be more independent and get around.

      Yeah, because your major investor won’t let women drive!

      • Anon for this :

        I have mixed feelings about this. I would of course rather see government change so that women could drive. 100%. But if that isn’t going to happen and I was a woman living there, being able to get an Uber and get around would be huge step in the right direction. Isn’t this the country that didn’t even want women riding bikes?

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah, I’m mostly using Lyft now for that reason.

    • I don’t do Uber either. I don’t have a legitimate reason other than I’m old and set in my ways. I’ve been taking cabs by myself since 1994 and never had an issue so I see no reason to change now.

      • You’re lucky – in my city cabs are notoriously bad with horrible unprofessional drivers. I’ve had many bad experiences and I was so happy to switch to uber.

        The ease of using an app alone and not having to worry about payment or tipping are also huge reasons to switch imo.

        • Speaking of unprofessional, I hailed an Uber for my son. Apparently the driver told him that was “not allowed”. I then checked the Uber website and they promote the fact that you can hail an Uber for a friend. I texted my son that info, and he told the driver. The driver then pulled over and told my son to get out! Twice! I realize this is not representative of all Uber drivers, but yeah, they can be unprofessional too. The app provides an easy way to file a complaint about a driver, so hopefully, he was disciplined or educated. I shudder to think what would have happened if he asked my daughter to get out….at night… in a large city.

          • How old is your son? Although often flouted, Uber prohibits minors from having accounts and prohibits accountholders from hailing rides for minors.

          • Uber technically does not permit riders under 18 for liability reasons, I don’t think. A lot of drivers probably ignore that rule, but I can totally understand why a driver would not want to risk it.

          • Bewitched :

            He’s an adult. No issues about transporting minors. His app was just not working correctly, so I ordered the car for him.

    • This is hilarious to me. I frequently travel and there are some places (like Newark, NJ) where I will no longer take cabs because it feels too unsafe. I exclusively Uber Black there and I don’t think it is any more expensive than a real cab, but is a bout 1000 times nicer. All of the regular Uber X and Lyft rides I’ve taken all over the world have felt very safe and I don’t have to deal with some random man grunting at me and being confused over processing the payment. There are a lot of weird, rude cabbies who do things like hand you the fare book and challenge you to look up the fares (I didn’t imply that you were cheating me, dudes who do this) and only take credit cards using that 800 number to process them and don’t have receipt slips.

    • me neither :

      I don’t use it either, and I’m exactly the yuppie they target. Three main reasons: safety, desire to support low cost transportation, and desire to support companies that treat their employees well. I am 100% alone among my friends for this stance, but I stick to it because I feel strongly about these three issues.

      My primary concern is safety, and there have been multiple incidents of Uber rapes or sexual assaults in Boston in the past few years. I am not getting a into a car with a driver who does not have to pass what I deem a sufficient background check, and I think the city still does a better job than Uber does.

      I also value the public transportation system and even though it could use much improvement, I think that any money that I can funnel into it helps keep it affordable for those who count on it. If people like me stop using the T or stop using it late at night and safety falls off, than my city as a whole loses out and those who are already pinched by the cost of living have it much worse. I always preference walking or T over taking a cab.

      Finally, I think the way Uber treats employees is not permissible. More can be read here: http://prospect.org/article/road-nowhere-3 but here’s a key quote – “Indeed, with its clout, cachet, and big-name backers, Uber has sought to redefine what an employee is. No way, it says, should its drivers be considered employees, asserting that its relationship with them is attenuated—even though the company hires and fires the drivers, sets their fares, takes a 20 percent commission from fares, gives drivers weekly ratings, and orders them not to ask for tips. For Uber, there are manifold advantages to treating its drivers as independent contractors. Not only does it avoid being covered by minimum wage, overtime, and anti-discrimination laws, but it sidesteps having to make contributions for Social Security, Medicare, workers’ compensation, and unemployment insurance. It also escapes the employer obligations of the Affordable Care Act. By some estimates, all this cuts Uber’s compensation costs by more than 20 percent per driver.”

      • I get your penultimate paragraph. I use the subway and/or walk at night most short distances and have been fine with that for decades.

        For your last paragraph, I was thinking that cab companies rent the cabs to the drivers, so the drivers are not employees but also independent contractors (sometimes? maybe depends on the city/cab company). But the black cars / car service drivers are usually employees (in NYC). Yes? No?

        [Oddly, my 1099/W2 knowledge is based on strippers and people who do hair (some are employees, others rent the booth/hair chair). There are SCT cases on all of this, but not Uber, yet.]

      • Anonymous :

        x 1000000

        It is funny to me how few people on this site reflect on the economic implications.

        And thus, we have Trump….

      • Anonypotamous :

        I concur. I’ve used Uber exactly once and that was because the location was rather difficult to find and I didn’t want to be there waiting for a cab. But yeah, Uber may be great for the individual who is really just trying to get a bit of additional income (and therefore really acts like an independent contractor) but otherwise, it is just a tax/benefits avoidance scam.

  16. I need financial help! We have 8 grand in credit card debt and we also inherited a trailer and land – worth around 80k. There is a 20K mortgage on the trailer but we can’t get insurance on the property because the mortgage is not in our name. We can’t refinance the mortgage because of Barney-Dodd. I don’t know why but it is where we are. We want to take out a second mortgage on our home to pay off the mortgage (we would then own the land and property outright and with insurance, could rent it out). We want to borrow 30 thousand which would essentially go to pay our existing debts at a lower rate. BUT, we also want to buy our son a car and are looking to finance about 8 grand – taking on more debt. So, which should we do first? (We have some money in savings but would rather leave it there and I have about 70 K in my retirement fund.) Will one loan impact out rate on the other even though we have near perfect credit? Thanks!

    • Do not borrow any more money

      Sell the trailer and land

      Pay off your cc debt

      Buy your son a car in cash that you can afford

      • Yeah this seems like the only financially-responsible option for you. Also, why would you be willing to finance a car for your kid when you’re already in debt? That is insane to me.

    • Do not buy your son a car. Srsly what is wrong with you? You have 8k in credit card debt so you can’t afford to buy him a car.

      • Anon for this :

        One exception – if son will use said car to get to and from work and will pay you each month the amount you are paying for the car. I understand kids can’t get financing the way adults can. Even if that is the case, I’d recommend you get him a $2500 beater instead.

      • I think Mary is one of the new tr0lls

        • What are you gaining, nutella? Do you feel better than me now? I hope so. But I feel sad that calling people trolls is what you are doing with your day. :(

    • If the trailer and land are legally yours, you can take over the mortgage and have it put in your name. Do you need the land and trailer? Agree that you should not be buying your son a car if you’re in debt.

    • The only reason you cannot re-fi the mortgage is likely because the current mortgage is not current. If you inherited the property, you should be able to put in your name and re-fi, but if it’s not current, you are barred by the regulations from doing so. Find out how much it takes to be current (which is likely well less than the $20K to pay it off) and bring it current to re-fi. If you can’t bring it current because of how much it’s in default, it may not be worth keeping.

    • Is calling frank-Dodd “Barney Dodd” some sarcasm I am not getting? But no, you can’t get your son a car until you have no cc debt. That kind of thinking is nuts

      • I thought it was just an innocent error on OP’s part (and kind of a funnier name for it anyway).

        • Anon at 11:02 – thank you for not being a jerk. Yes, innocent mistake. People are so disgusting with calling people trolls. It is just part of the Trump Nation, I guess.

          My problem is my husband won’t let the property go rational or not. It was his Dad’s land and we do expect to get rent from it. And, my son needs a car that is dependable to get back and forth from college to home (three hours away.) Thank you to those who gave decent advice.

          • Baconpancakes :

            I had a $2,000 car to take me back and forth to college (purchased in 2005) an hour and a half away, and it lasted me another 5 years after college. Your son doesn’t need an $8k car. And I know you think he’s going to come home every weekend, but if you’re honest with yourself, you’ll see him maybe once a month.

          • Does your son know other kids that go to the same school? Is there a bus that travels back and forth? A car isn’t the only solution for getting back and forth to college.

            Says the girl who didn’t have a car her first two years of college and had to arrange rides for the 3 hour ride to/from her tiny college town in the middle of nowhere.

          • Anonymous :

            Your son needs to get a job and buy a car or take the bus or get a ride.

          • Oh, Nona. I was there as well with no car throughout school. :( This is why I want so badly for my son to have a car! He will be working but his income will pay for dorm and other expenses. Fortunately, we have pre-paid college and a partial scholarship. But, I guess it is better to wait at least a year until we get our other debt paid and own the property free and clear. My husband views the property as his retirement. He would no more sell it than you would tell me to raid a 401 to pay the credit card debt.

          • Edna Mazur :

            I had no car to go back and forth from college 3 hours away. I either bummed rides off friends heading that way (paying for gas of course) or waited until by parents were willing to come get me.

            I was FAR from alone in that situation. He does not need a car.

      • That was the tip that reminded me that I think she is one of the new tr0lls; there was a wave recently all with more traditional women’s names.

    • Diana Barry :

      Sell the trailer and land now. Do not lend your son any money to buy a car.

    • Is your constant trolling part of some weird plot to make women look stupid?

  17. The Holidays are coming and so is family drama. Long story short, I became a scapegoat in a dispute involving my in-laws. We were never told why we were getting the cold shoulder but think it has something to do with our decision to adopt a child out of foster care. MIL has bought Christmas and birthday presents but has made no effort to see the kiddo or even ask how he is doing. We have been trying to get back into the family but have not been made welcome. I called to offer to host Thanksgiving to take some strain off MIL and was told that she is hosting and we “can come.” I really don’t want to go but feel like we should to try to unify the family (distant family is happy about kiddo). So any tips for getting through this other than biting my tongue?

    • It’s your job to protect your son from his horrible grandparents. It’s up to them to make the effort, not you.

      • Disagree. Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face. The invitation to dinner, such as it is, is an olive branch. Take it. And play Terrible In Law Bingo to keep yourself sane.

      • Anon in NYC :

        Yes. Don’t go, please. Protect your son. Make plans to see your distant family separately while they are in town.

        • Anon in NYC :

          Also, if these are your in-laws, speak with your SO about what he or she wants. You shouldn’t be shouldering the burden of making amends or “trying to get back into the family.”

          • SO has also been making efforts and wants to see his family. Problem is that we cannot see SO’s father without going through MIL and distant family only comes into town once a year and stay with them.

            As much as it’s going to suck, we are inclined to go and then use LO’s bed time as an excuse to not stay long.

    • It’s hard to say without knowing more about your MIL, but as someone who “made the effort” for years, all I got in return was more manipulation. I wish I’d just done what I felt was right from the beginning instead of trying to make nice and fighting a losing battle.

    • Any insight on why this upsets her? Is it because she wanted bio grandkids? Is your adopted son of a different race and g-ma is racist? I think the root of the issue would change my advice. Wanting bio grandkids is a fair thing to grieve though she absolutely should not be taking it out on you. Having classist/racist issues is a whole different issue that does not require accommodation in my book.

      • And how upset is she? She sends Christmas and birthday gifts?

      • I have no idea. We thought that she would be thrilled especially as she was not able to have bio kids and knew of our fertility problems. She’s liberal so I didn’t think race would be a problem. Maybe because he’s from foster care and is “damaged”?

    • If it’s your your MIL being weird, I think you should go and see the rest of the family. See how it goes. You can always boycott the next holiday.

  18. I started a new job 2 months ago and I’m still training on our software/specific processes (all of which are brand new to me). I keep making small mistakes. Not a lot, maybe one or two a week, but I feel horrible about them. I feel like my superiors think I’m dumb because I’m not getting it as fast as they did. I don’t know how to recover from this.

  19. Anon in NYC :

    PSA – Kate Spade is on sale at Nordstrom Rack, including some of the Karolina shoes in black patent, black suede, and camel patent.

  20. In Chicago :

    Any suggestions for dinner and light sightseeing (not necessarily super fancy) in Chicago (sacrilegious to say, but I’m not huge on pizza generally) for one? Did the Purple Pig yesterday (so good!) and walked around Millennium Park (saw the Bean and the river/bridges). I’ll be finished with my day at 6:30ish.

    I would like to stay near this area (conference at Marriott Magnificent Mile), but experience Chicago things (or things I couldn’t do back home, basically).

  21. Looking for some feedback here. I am a CPA that specializes in taxation. I have twins and I am a member of our local twins non-profit organization. I am hoping to get more involved with the organization through the following avenues. I would like to support other moms and hopefully land a couple of great clients by getting more involved. Please give me your feedback.

    (1) I would like to run for treasurer in January 2018 when the position opens. The current treasurer has a finance background (she is a budget analyst for the state). She seems to be a nice personal that is popular in the group but I honestly feel that my skill set is a better match for the position. How do I “run for treasurer”? I do worry about the amount of work involved in being the treasurer. Any input from those of you that have done this in the past?

    (2) I would like to host a quarterly tax information session for the group. Most of the working moms have nannies and need assistance with nanny taxes. I would also provide basic information dependent care FSA, child care tax credits, etc. I could also have 15 – 30 minutes of Q and A. I’m a total tax and personal financial planning nerd and enjoy talking about this stuff and educating others. I’m hoping that I could land a couple of clients through these information sessions. My fear here is that the only clients I will land are moms that are doing multi level marketing stuff….which I despise. Not sure how I could get around that. I guess you have to take a few small clients to land the big ones, right?

    • Anonymous :

      Does this nonprofit have an audit/finance committee? Perhaps you could get involved in the financial management to see if its something you have time for. I work in the nonprofit sector, and the amount of time involved greatly varies depending on nonprofit size/budget. Or, could you reach out to the treasurer and see if you could work together on reviewing the financials, or work with the Executive Director on the financial report to the Board?

      For your 2nd question…maybe do an info session for anyone, have people sign in and list their info including employer, then schedule individual follow ups with those who don’t do MLM?

    • 1) Talk to the current treasurer. Say you’re interested in maybe eventually taking on the role, so would like to help her out and learn what all it entails. If you think she’ll bristle at you considering it, then don’t say you want to take on the role, just say you have a finance background and want to find a way to use that within the group, and you’re interested in helping her out. See if there’s a way to be “assistant treasurer” for the next year. Learn the ropes without making a true commitment, and then decide.

      2) Do a general info session, no Q&A. Include a survey with specific questions to find out if they found it useful, and what kind of follow up or additional sessions would be helpful. Ask them to give their info (including employer, and a brief description of their question area) and you’ll contact them. Contact everyone obviously, but you could form-email the MLM ones and call the ones you think are a little more potential.

    • I have twins as well and was involved in our local twins organization for a short time. Even though we are in a a major city, our twins organization was mainly about socializing, commiserating, making meals for new moms, putting together a huge gently-used baby gear sale, putting together a box of preemie clothes, etc. It was not a professional networking organization and we almost never discussed our work goals. As you probably know, many if not most moms of twins never go back to work so it wasn’t a great audience to discuss work generally. So, I think (1) seems like a lot of work to help the organization and for not necessarily much of a payoff in terms of targeting clients. Unless you really love your organization, I would save that energy for helping out organizations that speak to you and will allow you over benefits (e.g., being treasurer for your kids’ school will allow you to meet and network with others in your child’s school community) (2) sounds like it would be great since it would give you more avenues to be invited to speak to other groups and you can use the same materials, etc. If you want to “land the big ones,” then why not serve on the board of organizations where your target audience are actually members, sponsors, board members, etc.? In my experience, twins organizations are not where “the big ones” congregate.

    • Stormtrooper :

      On (1), check the non-profit bylaws and ask to serve on the finance committee now.

    • If you don’t want to take MLM clients and are approached by anyone who does MLM, tell them you aren’t familiar with all of the tax laws/regulations/specifics surrounding MLM businesses and therefore are not qualified to take them on as a client. I do this all the time as an attorney, as do a lot of my friends who are attorneys. Even if it isn’t true, they aren’t going to know that, and it gets you around the issue without offending them.

  22. Just wanted to share this–I am incompetent at curling my hair–To do the waves that curve away from the face, I just cannot contort my wrist the right way or whatever and I always fail.

    I saw this thing on a YouTube video at 4am for $30 and bought it on a whim and it’s amazing for people who are clueless like me at curling. You hold it, and it curls your hair for you, and you can change it’s direction by pressing a button. I was skeptical, but my long hair looked salon-done in 10 minutes, and I can barely use a straightener.

    $31.99 on Amazon! http://ow.ly/8BRv3069Wtd

    • The Amazon commenters seem to love it!

      I might try this. I have burned myself and my hair with my current curling iron (and with wretched results). If I have several hours, I can do wonders with product, spray, and hot rollers (but I am a one-trick pony though — I can do volume, but not styles).

      How many sections do you do? I think I lose track on the back of my head and try to get away with big ones and small ones (and seeing what I’m doing) would help so much with getting a better result.

      • So I have long (mid-back) hair. I use big duck clips and divide my hair into 3 sections-top, middle and bottom. Then I just curl each side. It takes about 10 minutes and I don’t miss any pieces

    • In-House in Houston :

      Thank you so much for this recommendation!! I’ve wanted to try this, but I just knew I wouldn’t be able to do it, or burn the hell out of my hand/face/head trying. I just ordered it and with Prime, it’ll get here on Wednesday. Can’t wait to try it!!

    • I want to try it!

      If it helps with wrist contortion, I love a super simple wand (hot tools brand, from target) I hold it upside down, with the handle up at the top of my head, wand pointing at my collarbone, and wrap the hair back around it that way. It took a long time to get used to this, but now it’s quick and easy.

      What that doesnt solve, is the burning issue- on several occasions, I’ve had curling iron ‘hickeys’ and had to wear a scarf to work.

    • I had the same issues with curling irons and then I changed to curling my hair with a flat iron. It is seriously game changing.

      There are lots of youtube videos but the motion is similar to how you would curl ribbon with a pair of scissors– clamp hair in the flat iron, half or quarter turn, then pull slowly toward the ends until all the hair has gone through. Now changing direction just involves turning your wrist a different direction and I am much less worried about burns since the iron moves away from you.

  23. FB Echo Chamber :

    A question for the conservatives/republicans out there: what political stories are trending on FB for you? For me, there was a big one yesterday about Trump only wanting to live in the white house part time and then today stuff about a teacher getting fired for saying racist things to students. What are you seeing as far as trending political stories?

    • A libertarian here (definitely not a conservative or republican) and mostly stories about how horrible Trump is going to be on spending and civil liberties. Also follow a lot of pro-science sites, and multiple stories about how horrible he’s going to be on science issues. As he he’s an anti-vax, anti-biotech, anti-GMO loon.

    • Anonymous :

      I follow National Review, although some of makes me want to barf, I do appreciate Victor Davis Hanson and David French. Headlines range from learning from the last ACA repeal effort, blasting the liberal media for biased election coverage, how the left can now play by the rules they set, how President-Elect Trump should avoid the belligerence of candidate Trump, John Bolton being an ideal pick for Sec. of State, and Trump’s triumph is one for the ages.

  24. Color Help :

    I’m going to visit family for a week in Vegas and then immediately go on a week-long business trip to San Francisco. I’m short on space as I’m bringing my 10-month-old with all her accessories on both trips. I have a dress (will post link to similar in reply) that should work for both Thanksgiving dinner and one of the days at the office. But I can’t figure out what goes with this color (blazer and shoes). I’m already bringing nude-for-me ankle boots (a very light beige) I’m planning to wear with other work outfits but could grab kitten slingbacks or pumps just for the dress (but what color??). Blazer colors I have navy, black, collarless black&white stripes, medium gray, and collarless white. Nothing in burgundy which would be my first thought for this dress. What could work? I suck at colors. Please help!

    • Color Help :

      It’s the green one.

    • Color Help :


  25. Color Help :

    It’s the green one.

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