Coffee Break – Lindy Bag

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  1. Honey Pillows :

    Happy relationship TJ!

    Earlier, a few ladies commented that every relationship post seems to end up with “He’s a jerk, and you deserve better. DTMFA,” and admittedly, we do complain about our SO’s here, and I refuse to believe that all of our relationships are as terrible as they seem. (Please tell me they’re not!)

    So, what has your SO done recently that made you smile and feel loved?

    • emcsquared :

      Yay! I actually felt like a month or two ago, there were a bunch of comments about how people’s relationships/marriages were in really good places and how happy they were with their SO. Which made me really happy, because I don’t usually hear about relationships when they are going well. A few things DH has done lately:

      1. Spent all Sunday afternoon on the couch with me watching football, even though he’s going out of town and needed to run a bunch of errands.

      2. Said that we should adopt our foster dog because he knows I love her and even admitted that he loves her too, so the decision isn’t all on my shoulders.

      3. Went to bed early several days last week so he could get a jump start on reading instead of keeping me up late.

      • My husband goes out walking with me at nights because he knows that’s when it fits my schedule best. Sometimes he goes even when he’s gone walking on his own earlier in the day.

    • Love this! My husband just bought me a bunch of boxes of Lake Champlain truffles and chocolates because he was going to be out of town on our anniversary. I am still eating them. Yum!

    • I am actually really surprised by how bad some relationships people have. Its the same way I get when I read Hax. Like why are people getting married to awful people?

      I realized the other day that my bf listens to the absolute minutia of my day and has never complained. I was telling him a story about work and bored myself in the middle of it. And it kind of dawned on me that I tell him boring stories every. single. day. and he not only listens, but remembers the details of them.

      • Aww, I realize I do the same to my boyfriend. He’ll ask how work was and I’ll start rattling off project updates that have no meaning outside work. He still does a good job of feigning interest and listens for cues to chime in “That’s great!” or “Wow, sounds like you nailed X.”

        Also, he is always so thoughtful when it comes to gifts. He recently got me a top in my favorite color, with a print, that was work appropriate. I had never included all three in the same conversation, so the fact that he listened, remembered, and pieced together all that info was impressive.

      • My husband does the same (listens to all my boring comments) patiently, because he knows it matters to me. He also has the kindest eyes I’ve ever seen in a man. :-)

        If this were a bad Lifetime movie, we’d then find out that cfm, KC and I are all talking about the same man. “He’s really great except for the secret polygamy!”

    • He did my laundry and folded it all. Even the fitted sheets. :)

      • AnonInfinity :

        Aside — How did he fold the fitted sheet?!?!? I just wad them up.

        • Me too! Or just put them on the bed straight away!

        • Google Martha Steward + folding a fitted sheet. I recall watching her do this on Oprah years ago (I think it’s been a repeat segment), and have used this method all of my adult life :)

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Put the pocket of one side inside out into the pocket of the other side, so you end up with the sheet in half, with the corners nested in each other. Then fold as usual. Thanks, grandma!

        • I don’t know, he’s some kind of magician.

    • Aw, I like this. My fiance and I are in a really good place right now. It would take too long to list specific things, but I am just really, really happy and excited to get married. Oh, one quick example is kissing me goodbye every morning. Love that.

    • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

      My husband gets up an hour earlier than necessary every day to make me a bagel with cream cheese so I can eat breakfast on the way to work. About 3x a week he also tries to sneak up on me in my bathroom while I’m getting ready for work to “scare” me. Today he knocked the door open and struck a Clay Matthews pose. After shrieking, I always laugh for a few minutes.

    • AnonInfinity :

      What a wonderful idea.

      My husband is embarrassingly amazing. We recently had a discussion about housework and how he picks up all the slack and I do nothing, so I agreed to take over laundry and one crock-pot meal per week. Yesterday morning, I got out of the shower to find him putting my recipe in the crock pot just because he had some extra time. I’m the most spoiled wife in the history of the universe (hopefully in a good way?)

      • This is adorable.

      • I feel the same way about Mr. 30–“embarrassingly amazing” is a great way to put it. :)

        • AnonInfinity :

          I’m glad I’m not the only one!

          A group of coworkers were joking with another coworker one day partially because her husband packs her lunch for her. I just looked down at my lunch and blushed because mine does that too!

          Sometimes I wonder how he got all of the good qualities and some of the men got none of the good qualities.

      • Laura Holt :

        I feel the same way! My husband does all the laundry, cleans up in between biweekly visits from our cleaning service, takes out the trash, does all the dishes, and bakes me desserts regularly (he’s not much of a cook but he’s turned into quite the baker since we started dating). I uh…work 80 hours a week? I keep telling myself I will take on more of the houshold responsibilities when things get lighter at work but who am I kidding, that’s never going to happen ;)

    • Aw, this is a sweet list. He cooked dinner even though it was my turn, because I had a really tough day. It definitely saved my mood to, once again, realize how supportive and kind he is.

    • I love my husband so stinking much it’s crazy. I always feel the need to chime in whenever someone gets down or feels like “I’m 32 and please tell me this isn’t hopeless.” I met him very, very randomly, through a chance encounter while he was having lunch with one of my old friends. I was 31 at the time and had just ended a 5 year, “fine but blah” relationship that had run its course long before I ended it. You just never know when your life is going to take a turn and suddenly, that thing you were always looking for is just… bam. There.

      As for Honey Pillows’ question, things he’s done recently that made me feel loved:

      – He came to pick me up at the airport at 11 p.m. on a Thursday when I was flying back from a business trip. I could have expensed a cab, but he knew I would rather ride home with him.

      – We went out for a long run on Saturday and I started feeling sick a good 4 miles from home, and he was totally happy and supportive about walking the whole way home, saying it was just nice to be out and about together.

      – I brought a dog into the relationship, but he has basically stolen my dog and now the dog follows him around and stares at him all day long. He found a tick on the dog’s head last week and he’s been obsessively taking care of the sore spot on the dog’s head and keeps saying “I’m just worried about him!”

      • long term lurker :

        lol my SO is the same way with our/my dog and vice versa with the dog. and yes he takes out the ticks because I freak out. nice things lately include doing a bunch of home repair related stuff that had been on my lists for ages during the week i was working. i am the more organized of the two and this took effort plus he crossed several things off MY list. plus he buys me a certain drink i always like whenever he sees it in a store he’s in.

      • I have totally stolen my SO’s dog. Seriously, I never knew I like dogs before this relationship. My SO teases me that I am just in the relationship for the dog.

        • I did that with my ex-husband’s cat. I never had a cat before but that cat was like my child.

        • My bf totally has stolen my dog too! I’m almost jealous. But he walks him every morning, so really, I just need to keep telling him he’s amazing.

    • mine fixes dinner nearly every night (we always have microwaved planned leftovers, soup or something else simple on weeknights, but STILL) even though we both work biglaw schedules. I would rather go to bed hungry than make dinner on weeknights, so this works better for both of us…. and I do pull my weight on weekends, I promise!

    • Diana Barry :

      My DH got me some nice kitchen stuff for my birthday this week, and made me a really nice schmoopy card. :)

    • Aw, yay. I’ve been feeling the same way – “embarrassingly amazing” is the perfect term, AnonInfinity. My SO is truly wonderful; he just makes life better. Specific examples: he is also an attorney, but his job is (slightly) less demanding, so he does all of the cleaning, cooking, and lawn work, and brushes off any apologies from me with a “you’re the breadwinner, babe!”. He also, despite making less than I do, and that our finances are not yet combined, drops off, picks up, and pays for our dry cleaning, everysingletime, “because it’s on his way too and from work.” He is actively easy to live with, patient, and accommodating of my schedule, stress, and general spaziness. Oh, and regularly tells me how lucky _he_ is to have _me_, and that I’m gorgeous. Wonderful, wonderful man.

    • Cute! When we have leftovers from dinner that are enough for three lunches DH takes one and lets me have two days of lunch.

    • My DH called his parents back after I had already said yes to them coming for 2 weeks (of my four week maternity leave) when our son will be born. I had thought it would be okay, but then was up in the night dreading it. I woke that morning, admitted that I thought it was a terrible idea (just too long). He was on the phone within the hour, and I felt so valued. It totally made me feel like we were on the same team, and that he had my back.

      • Laura Holt :

        Love this! So important for a guy to have your back, especially with his family because you and your kids are his real family now.

    • TO lawyer :

      I love this idea! Especially since I don’t think my posts about my SO have been that positive on this website. Let’s see – on a recent trip, he planned a special date night out, without my input, that was a really amazing night, he makes time for me without fail despite being insanely busy, after a venting session where I feel especially frustrated, he usually sends me a very sweet text message reinforcing his feelings about me and his faith in me… This stuff may all seem very minor but to me, it makes a huge difference, especially when he’s vocalizing his feelings about me because I know that’s not in his nature to do and he does it because he’s concerned about me and my feelings.

    • I picked up my SO and his friend from a 40 mile bike ride and he surprised me the next day with a really sweet card and Starbucks gift card.

    • I love my husband — dude is my best friend and rock. He knew our millions of pending house projects (plus my pregnancy with Baby #2) were freaking me out and taking up way too much mental space, so he took last Friday off work. We then spent all weekend ticking things off our family to-do list. I know this is super unglamorous, but it was exactly what I needed to restore a sense of calm.

    • He saved me the last cider donut even though I’ve definitely had more cider donuts than him.

      Recently someone posted an article about the languages of love. I forwarded it to my SO and it’s been really helpful in discussing our disagreements and our respective frustrations about certain things around the house. So, thanks ‘r3ttes for posting it in the first place!

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Do you still have the article link?


      • LadyEnginerd :

        That, my friend, is true love.
        Reminds me of the time we were in Portland and he snuck out of the hotel room while I was napping so he could surprise me with a Voodoo Donut. When he go there, he couldn’t decide which I’d want most, so he ended up returning with a full dozen.

        I think we had maybe a bite out of each one. Irresponsible gluttony.

        • <3 <3 <3 True love indeed.

          One time he brought home half a dozen donuts for breakfast after working at the hospital so we could share them for breakfast. Yes, we substitute food for love often.

    • I came home last week to find that my BF had bought me an orchid for no particular reason. He didn’t even say anything about it (he is a man of few words) – it was just sitting there in the kitchen being gorgeous.

      He also came to my work retreat with me last Friday without complaint even though we are currently renovating and he had a ton of work to do.

      He is a gem.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i love reading things like this, especially now that i’m newly separated. it gives me warm fuzzies in general, but also (i) makes me feel that much more secure in my decision, since things were not like this for my marriage, and (ii) makes me feel hopeful and positive about relationships in general. i cannot fathom ever getting married again, but i’m sure that someday i might actually want companionship from the opposite sex, and i love hearing about all the ways these things go well.

      • Me too =)

      • I’m sorry to hear this, phillygirlruns. Sending you my best.

        • phillygirlruns :

          thanks, monday. this was my decision and definitely the right one, but i appreciate all good vibes.

          • phillygirlruns, I’m divorced and the whole deal sucked. But know that someday you might just fall into the right place with the right person. I wasn’t expecting anything at all when I met my bf and a year and a half later here we are. :)

          • Second PHV and also Susan. It’s hard to make the decision and it’s also hard to tell the people around you. I am beyond over the moon happy with my SO and now I know what it likes to truly be loved, adored, and have a partner and best friend. And, the feeling is mutual. I am glad you are at peace with your decision.

      • phillygirlruns, sorry you’re going through a difficult time.

        But I have major admiration for your generosity of spirit– even if you’re going through something unpleasant, you can still be happy for others. It’s a lovely trait. :-)

    • I could go on for many paragraphs about Hotter/Smarter/More Interesting Edward Norton. He dotes on me to an extent I still can’t believe, and I almost never have to ask for anything or tell him what I need. One favorite thing: he sends me links for everything he considers buying, to solicit my opinion. I rarely dislike any of it, but when I do he almost never gets it! The opposite is certainly not the case–he’s unenthused about probably 75% of my wardrobe, and 100% of my makeup, and yet I won’t budge. However, he claims my hair is “magical,” which may compensate? :)

    • We’re in a really good place right now too. The best thing he’s done lately is take a new job (that comes with a 40% raise!) but is 60 miles drive each way. I’m so excited about it financially, but so nervous about him driving so much. He said now I can quit my job and stay home with the kids, but I like my job and the kids are 9 and 5, so I feel like I missed that window.

      He also recently got the big V. I told him now he’s the man of my dreams <3

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Love this. My husband is all around amazing and I try to find ways to remind him of that everyday. He generally cooks all of our dinners. Last night he sauteed squash and zucchini. He doesn’t like squash or zucchini but knows that I love it and bought it as a treat. I learned to like pork, asparagus and spinach for him so he figured he’d try to return the favor.

    • The last two weeks he’s bought me 4 bouquets of flowers b/c things had been stressful (job and family illness). He planned and booked a “just us” beach vacation for January, and contacted my folks to arrange for them to watch the kids during said vacation. He’s also overseeing the backyard remodel we’re doing which is a huge PIA. AND, hung my new kitchen lights with only minor grumbling about how big a PIA that was-we ended up having to run new electrical, float a new ceiling, repaint-whoops!

    • 1. My hubby makes me breakfast, packs my lunch and sixes my coffee just the way I like it into my travel mug every morning.

      2. On Sunday, he folded three giant baskets of laundry.

      3. He entertains our three kids every evening so I can run.

    • anon in tejas :

      he made me dinner last night while I was at yoga. he also waited to eat with me, even though I got home super late. he’s also adorbs with the dogs.

    • My husband cooks, cleans, AND does the laundry (he disapproves of my folding technique…it may be easier this way). I tumble. :-) He’s a pretty stand up guy. And he got me a jewelry box for our first wedding anniversary so I’d stop having to search all over our house for my necklaces in the morning (now I’ll have to remember to use it, but that’s a battle for another day).

    • My husband recently drove us the whole way to/from vacation, 10 hours each way, so I could relax and knit and be the ipod-dj. Awesome.

      And then I came home last night to find he’d already prepared dinner, something he is trying to do more of and I always appreciate. 10 years into our relationship and he still surprises me in so many thoughtful ways.

    • My dh is great. I have the primary career, and he is the primary caregiver to our 3 boys as his job is inconsistent, and the one he’s working at right now is very flexible. He gets home before me at night so he cooks dinner, gets the kids started on homework. He does all kinds of things around the house without complaining (I do as much as I can as well). He’s really supportive of my career without resentment. The only jealousy he feels is due to the fact that I love my job and he tolerates his because he’s not working in his preferred industry. How I wish he could have a job he loves too.

      Next week I’ll be gone 5 nights on a business trip to Houston. He has not complained once even though I know it will be hard on him with me gone. He’s also attending a religious event that I know he’s not excited about, but it means alot to me, so he’s coming for me. He also loves me for who I am and thinks I’m sexy regardless of my size or shape. Finally he sends me “you’re awesome” or “you rock” emails every few days.

    • Mr. TBK brags about me all. the. time. Apparently at his last job, it became the running joke that everything he said started with “I love T, she always…” He’d even work it into conversations that had NOTHING to do with relationships or women or anything remotely related. When I met several of his co-workers for the first time they said “ohh! The famous T! We’ve been dying to meet this wonderwoman!” I felt pretty loved. He also tells me often how proud he is to be my husband, both when I do professional/brainy things (like get articles published or do a speaking engagement) and when I look especially pretty (which he would say is pretty much every day, even when I think I look awful).

      • Aww. My husband brags on me, too. I remember when I was in law school, whenever I would happen to go to his workplace, his co-workers would come up and congratulate me on getting good grades or whatever I’d done lately. It was really sweet to know.

    • BF has been travelling a lot for work. On the day he left for his most recent trip, I came home to find he’d left me a little love note on the kitchen counter. Very unexpected but super sweet.

      He also rewatched the most recent 30 Rock episode with me (it was my first time seeing it – he had watched it while he was home sick) because it’s one of “our” shows and he felt guilty that he’d watched it without me.

      He also makes me coffee in bed most weekends and wakes me up every morning with 5-10 minutes of snuggling & cuddling & kisses. I thought this was one of the things that we’d “outgrow” as our relationship got older, but nope, more than 18 months in & he tells me it’s still his favorite part of the day.

    • Aw, this makes me happy! I hate to hear about people in bad relationships.

      • Stopped waking me up to tell me I’m snoring (apparently, this is a side effect of pregnancy, at least for me. Yuck!) and just started going into the guest room (which kind of stinks anyway, but at least we both can sleep)

      • When I had to work late last night, washed all the dishes (and I do mean ALL the dishes – I’m embarrassed to say that we hadn’t done it over the course of several days of heavy cooking)

      • The other day when I was off and he had to work, but wound up getting off early, surprised me by coming home both early and with doughnuts. Mmmm.

      • Don’t worry, the snoring will stop (if you weren’t a snorer before) once you are no longer pregnant.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My boyfriend cooked me salmon on Sunday night because it is my favorite and I walked into the kitchen when it was done to a rose and lit candles. Just because. :-)

      He has also been working in our front yard every weekend for the past few weeks because he knew that I was embarrassed by a horrible plastic fence our landlord put up and has completely transformed the yard and took down the fence. He says he wants to make a beautiful home for me.

    • In the Pink :

      Called me umpteen times from the airport when flight was delayed.
      Called me umpteen times during work hours today and didn’t catch me … called me immediately when I sent an email saying “I’m here, not in with appointments.”

      All this, from Istanbul…and he was persistent until he found me, and then went to sleep!

      FWIW, he learned how to make curry and took me to my favorite Italian place this weekend (you get an entree to go . love Magiannos) … so I”d have food in the house whilst he was gone. Awwwww.

    • My current top five, in no particular order:
      1. He reads aloud to me every night to help me fall asleep.
      2. He tells me I am beautiful and smart and good at my job all the time.
      3. During a recent medical problem, he smothered me with affection (in a good way, like a smothered burrito).
      4. He is the #1 calm communicator of all time ever.
      5. He has gotten really invested in our home and the minutiae of building a life together.

      • I love this list, especially the pleasantly-smothered burrito :). Mine also reads me to sleep and I find it to be so loving and soothing.

    • What a great idea for a thread! My husband is using a week’s vacation to fly across country without me or the kids, and is staying with my parents, just to look for a job in my area (long distance job searches suck, so he booked this networking trip). Because he knows I want to live closer to my mom.

      Also, I’m home w/kids right now but have a (thus far) nonpaying artistic pursuit. Every morning he wakes up at 5 to make me coffee and just be awake in the house with me while I work, then takes care of the kids/breakfasts/lunches so I can work as long as possible.

      He’s a keeper!

    • Every Tuesday night, my husband walks me home from class. We live within walking distance and have one car so I walk to work, go to class and he’s there to greet me when I come out. I’m a little paranoid about walking by myself on campus at night and when I asked him to walk me home, he said absolutely and stops what he’s doing to come get me.

    • This is great! I have definitely been guilty of only talking about my SO here when I’m mad at him.

      Here goes:
      -he has, more than once, gone to my house in the middle of the day to clean my bathroom when I had guests coming and he knew I was overwhelmed.
      -he had to come in town for an appointment and I was booked solid, so he went to my house and fixed my faucet and my laundry room door while I was at work.
      -he was late leaving my house on my birthday because he would not let me do dishes.
      -he has bought me beautiful jewelry that I wear every day.
      -when I come home an absolute wreck from work, he lets me vent then snuggles up and makes me think about other happier things.
      -he makes faces at me on videochat until I smile even when it’s early in the morning and I’m cranky.

    • He brought me home a chocolate covered halvah bar yesterday when he knew I’d had a crap day. :)

    • Two Cents :

      I love this thread. Just to name a few things:

      1) Tells me that I am stunning/beautiful gorgeous pretty much every day, and even more so now that I am pregnant.

      2) Is absurdly protective of me, esp. now that I am pregnant – doesn’t let me carry anything, goes especially out of his way to help around the house, etc.

      3) Almost always picks me up from the airport or from the office if I am working late because he doesn’t like me to take a cab late at night

      4) Does all of the “man” stuff around the house that I have no clue how to do

      5) Lets me sleep in while he gets up to make breakfast, even though he works way harder than me

      6) Brags about me to his family, my family, and our friends

    • Kontraktor :

      My g-pa just passed away and my husband came with me to the funeral and just helped my family with a ton of stuff. It really made me feel like we are all starting to be integrated as a family. Less specifically, some of my favorite things include: he always holds my hand whenever we are in the car, we commute together, we do chores together, we more or less always get up together. Oh boy lots of things.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      My husband rocks, and such an amazing DADDY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • He went out in the cold and rain because I wanted Fig Newtons.

    • This is a great one!

      Of the top of my head wonderful things about Professor Bhaer:

      ->he bought me a camera I thought I didn’t want, and on Sunday we rode our bikes to the park and took pictures of each other. It was super fun and quite lovely. He was very happy – said no one has ever taken such good pictures of him before
      ->cooks amazing delicious dinners for me about 4-5 nights a week
      ->tells me I’m beautiful, smart, amazing and *means it* – so that I actually believe him
      ->tells me he is proud of me/brags about me
      ->lets me warm up my ice-block feet by rubbing them against his warm ones in bed (this is a thing that was strictly forbidden with the ex)
      ->dances with me in the kitchen (and other places. But somehow I really love the kitchen-dancing)
      ->kisses me most tenderly and lovingly

    • mintberrycrunch :

      This is the best thread ever – I’m so happy after reading it. My DH is amazing all the time – he does almost all the cooking and helps out with the cleaning even though we have very different standards of ‘clean’ (he strives to help me keep the house to my standard!). He is also my biggest cheerleader and has absolutely no jealousy issues about my career pursuits. He buys flowers randomly. He walks the dog in the morning even though he has to be out of the house earlier, because he likes to let me sleep in. I’m the luckiest.

    • After a weekend with the boys, my fiance came over with brie and crackers, and pumpkin and pumpkin carving kits. He knows the way to my heart: cheese and festive decor!

    • just Karen :

      Today after work DH is going to buy me some pumpkin beer to drink while I plant bulbs (I complained to him via chat about a terrible phone call with a client). My evening is definitely looking up!

    • I recently ran my first marathon. It was out of town. My husband rented a bike and rode all over the course cheering for me. It was the best. This is just one small example of the support he constantly provides for me.

    • My husband makes me coffee and brings it up to our bedroom every morning – in bed on the weekends. He has done this basically daily since our first spend the night. We spend a few minutes together drinking our coffee together and discussing our plans, which is a great way to start the day.

    • I am a banana. :

      BF just found out I’m going to be home late tonight and texted me, “I’ll record the debate.” It’s the little things (and the fact that I adore him and he makes me all goopy inside – yay goop!).

    • Anyone else seriously bummed out by this thread? I am delighted for all of you that have these great guys, but it makes me so sad about my situation. Married 14 years, 2 kids, considering splitting up because I am not “happy”. In the 16 years that we have been together, I can think of only a few things that would fit this list. Perhaps that should tell me something.

      • This is why :

        this thread is obnoxious – well, just one reason. It’s a vehicle for people to brag.

        • This is also why Fondue is obnoxious, it just has to show up every other food by being the most delicious, so unfair….

      • AFT45 have you been to marriage counselling? We were on the brink of divorce Sept 2010 but got a good counsellor that I owe all of my current happiness to. We’ve been married 12 years, together 22. Marriage is hard.

    • As a single laydee, I feel the need to chime in and say that I f-ing love my vibrator.

      • Bluejay: You Win The Internets… that is all.

      • hahaha. *dying* I could be my dad’s husband/SO. I drove him home from the train station today and I took out the riding lawnmower and started in on all the leaves in his front yard (1 acre). Tomorrow I will suck them up and mulch them and deposit them in woods. Next week I will curse myself for doing it today because the yard will be covered in leaves again.

    • Made dinner for me last night when I got home after 10pm, then packed some for my lunch today. Responded perfectly to bad family news that I got shortly after getting home (was supportive and rubbed my back but didn’t make me talk when I didn’t want to). Then had dinner waiting when I got home tonight (something different, because I had leftovers for lunch and he knows I don’t like eating the same thing two meals in a row). And saved the last shortbread cookie for me, even though they’re his favorite. He’s kind of amazing, and I’m very spoiled!

    • I would like to know how to get my husband to do any of these things…

      Has anyone had any luck getting a husband who does nothing to get them to do these kinds of sweet things??? He cooks dinner sometimes, but he only cooks the things he likes to eat (i.e. big slabs of meat). I’ve told him I love it when he gives me flowers or surprises me with something sweet, but he still doesn’t do any of it.

      Last weekend we went out to a dive bar with my mom and my aunt and uncle, and today I learned that my H thought that was a “date night.” WTF??? On what planet are you on a date when you’re WITH YOUR MOM??? Rawr.

      Sorry to be a downer.

  2. anonymous :

    My best friend (27, f, 2 kids under age 6, her 1st marriage) has realized she needs to end her marriage (7 yrs long, he is approx. 15 yrs older, this is husband’s 3rd marriage and he has other kids).

    There is no huge blow up, she has just been unhappy for a very long time, he didn’t follow through on what he agreed to in their past marriage counseling trips, and she’s realized he is who he is and that’s not the right person for her. I ordered her the book the hive always recommends (too good to go, too bad to stay, I think it’s called) but don’t know what else to do other than to listen.

    Any other advice would be great, in terms of preparing, giving him the news, telling their kids, etc. Anything you wish you’d done better or learned or did well or… well, anything. Thank you!

    • Oh, that sounds hard for your friend. I guess the best advice I’d have is that she go to a lawyer first and find out how to legally protect herself and her kids in terms of money. I’m hoping there’s no need to protect herself physically, but you might want to gently ask.

    • Sometimes, people just need friends, no matter what situation they’re going through. So take your friend out to lunch or bowling with her and the kids or whatever and be there for her in whatever capacity you’re able/willing to be in.

    • Stepmom re Driving and ACT Preparing :

      Google this site and stepmom and parenting plan. I have written about this before.

  3. momentsofabsurdity :

    This morning’s coat discussion inspired me to go out to Marshall’s at lunch and buy a new winter coat. I’m a little on the fence about it because it’s pink (all my other winter coats have been gray/black/brown/neutral). I think it’ll make me smile to put it on on fall/winter days, because it’s so bright.

    I don’t have a conservative job, and I like bright colors, but I’m wondering if a pink coat is too … cutesy? I don’t know. So now I”m debating bringing it back.

    It’s on the left side of this picture, but it’s a brighter pink than it appears (sort of a hot pink).

    • Super cute! I love it.

    • Amelia Pond :

      I love it! Pink is never the wrong choice (IMO). To keep it from being too cutesy I would avoid adding other cutesy pieces (like I probably would not wear the polka dot rain boots from yesterday with it) but I think it is lovely and the cut makes it not too much.

      • In the Pink :

        As the moniker might suggest – I say go for it. Be subdued with blacks and greys, or do the French brown with it. There’s also navy. Maybe even forest green.

    • It’s totally cute. Go for it. Winter is so gray and blah already.

    • hellskitchen :

      I love bright colors too but in that picture, it definitely comes across a bit too cute, especially with jeans. Do you often wear jeans to work? Then I suggest taking it back. But if you pair it with grey, black, navy and more conservative colors, then it should easily work

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Oh wow. That was a brain fart. It is on the RIGHT side of the picture and apparently I have gotten to my mid 20s without being able to tell right from left.

      I’m blaming my post-lunch dip for that…

      • Amelia Pond :

        The one with the 4 buttons instead of the buttoned pockets? If so I think I like it even more!

      • hellskitchen :

        That one I love. It looks very chic with that skirt. Go forth and rock it :-)

    • I have two (yes that’s correct) pink wool coats. One is bright, one is pastel. So no, I do not think that it is out of line to have a pink winter coat. They make me happy.

      I do wear the brown/black ones when the time calls for it, but usually, it’s pink.

    • You’re going to wear it pretty much every day. It should make you happy – go for it!

  4. GettingDressed :

    Ladies, I’m feeling inspired from this blog and from looking at the pinkpeonies blog to do a mini life makeover. I’m a law student and I find myself living in my Lululemon yoga pants and running tops, even though I have a closet full of beautiful (and relatively comfortable clothes). Between the comfy clothes and the student hours, I feel like it’s so easy for me to look up at the end of the day and realize: 1) I havent really gotten dressed all day and 2) I’ve watched a lot of TV and haven’t done anything to make my day as fulfilling as possible.

    So I want to begin keeping a blog/journal of my own. I’m hoping that posting pictures of what I’m wearing and what I’m doing will by the nudge I need to really live my life mindfully. Does anyone have any advice for a newbie? I’m going to be doing it through Blogger, and am really learning the basics!

    • I applaud you but also, revel in the schlumpiness of student life. I miss it LOTS.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        2nd. My first thought was, girl, stay in those yoga pants as long as you can. You have enough on your plate.

      • phillygirlruns :

        this, this, this. i wish i could officially take back every time i wore something other than sweatpants to class.

      • Agree with all these comments — I wish I could wear my pajama pants and t-shirts and sandals.

    • You might enjoy Gretchen Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project. She keeps a resolution chart, which I believe you can download from her website.

      • Seconded. In law school I think focusing on personal renovations are way more important (and budget friendly!) then clothing renovations. Plus you don’t pay 8% interest on personal renovations!

        • GettingDressed :

          No wardrobe renovations! More of a “shop my closet” type of thing. Taking the things I have and putting them together in new and fun ways. I feel so much more productive and in control of my life when I’m not wearing pants with an elastic waistband!

          • This may take a lot of time but there are smartphone apps (I use a free one called Netrobe) where you can inventory your wardrobe, save outfits, make a fashion wishlist, etc. It’s a lot of work to take pictures of everything so I recently started with one segment of my wardrobe. It forced me to look at all my clothes and evaluate if I will never wear them, or if I can wear them in new ways. I will hopefully stick with it and get through my whole closet at some point! It also helps plan/remember outfits that work well together.

    • Hello Getting Dressed!
      I think it’s a fantastic idea!
      I have gone through the same phase 3 months ago and decided to start a youtube channel on beauty, fashion and lifestyle. It was more of an aspirational thing than actually reflecting my day to day life. Then a couple weeks ago, I started my facebook page related to my channel.

      It truly had a wonderful effect on my life. Something about going public makes it a bit of an obligation to live up to your (potential) audience expectations. Nothing drastic, but slowly improving my surroundings such that the aspirational is truly becoming reality.
      Some little things I did and which I would have put off forever if I didn’t have a channel:
      – Put on makeup on mornings
      – Wear something other than my jean (I’m proud to say that it’s been 2 weeks I haven’t worn jeans — including weekends)
      – Buy new bedsheets and actually do my bed
      – Wear a big ring to uplift a drab outfit

      and the list goes on and on..
      Seriously, get started and everything will naturally fall into place!

      • GettingDressed :

        Thank you Houda! I have a ton of clothes that I love and don’t wear. Seeing some of the other fashion blogs has gotten me think of all the new fun ways they can be put together. And the majority of my wardrobe isn’t work appropriate, so it’s going to become weekend-only wear once I start working. Might as well get as much use as possible now!

    • So just the other day I was having a conversation with another lawyer about how great it was when we were students and we never had a to wear a business suit or heels or pantyhose or a real bra.

      Carpe diem, young grasshopper. You’ve got your whole life to wear real pants.

    • Please for the love of god, listen to us. Do not wear real pants. Especially do not wear skirts and tights, or blazers or anything other than lulus and your orientation tshirt. Do not do anything other than watching TV, or reading, or seeing friends, or drinking and sleeping off the hangover. You will never ever have time to do these things ever again once you are a real person. Enjoy them.

  5. DC Meetup :

    DC Meetup is scheduled for 7:30 Thursday night at Vapiano in Chinatown. There has been a request to meet earlier at 6 or 6:30. Are other people interested in meeting earlier? I may or may not be able to do that, but I certainly wouldn’t object to others getting there early.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I would like to meet earlier

      • DC Association :


      • Sorry to be a bug, but I can’t stay out so late on a school night. My last train is a little before 7. If time changes, I’ll see if I can drive to work that day.

    • ugh, why are all meetups on Thursdays and early. i veto both as some of us work till 7 and have consistent Thursday plans (ie., committees or classes).

      • Sorry you can’t make it. I encourage you to take the initiative and organize a meet-up that works for your schedule.

      • People have all sorts of schedules. To get on the list, email dc[this site] at yahoo. A lot of the date/time logistics are worked out on email. Also, dcjenny got the email address from Bonnie so it gives a chance for different people to organize different events.

    • Ok, early birds, do you want me to send an email to the list saying that some of you will be there at 6? 6:30? I’m not sure what to do here.

      • Jenny – great thinking! If you think we can get into space earlier, I can meet at 5:30 for anyone interested. Also I will take lead on next one, if you like. It’s hard to tell tone here so I want to say that I appreciate your organizing this – I know you’ve been busy lately.

        • Thanks, eek. I think if you get to Vapiano at 5:30, you should have your pick of tables. My thought was to grab a big one toward the back. If you can definitely do that, I’ll send out an email and tell people to look for you. How will they know it’s you?

          I will try to get there as early as I can, but the BF has to travel that day, and the dog-walker hasn’t yet confirmed that she can do his evening walk, and I have, like, a thousand motions due next week, so I don’t want to make any promises.

          • Fiddlesticks! Thursday is too far away to think. I won’t be wearing blue thumb or a hair tie on my wrist. I’d wear purple pumps if I had em (shout out to Kat! Holla!). I’ll post back and email you.

          • OK, so I’ll email the list and let everyone know that the early shift starts at 5:30?

          • MsLurksALot :

            though it would be fun to get there early and ask random ladies, “pardon me, but is your name eek, 2/3 attorney, or dc association?”

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I can be there around 6. Now, what to wear?!

    • Honey Pillows :

      20 days to election day -no way I’m going to make it before 7. Probably 7:30 is more reasonable to expect.

      And I have NO idea what to wear, other than my awesome booties. Maybe I’ll show up in just those?

  6. PSA review: A while ago Kat posted the J.Crew sleeveless shift dress in pepper tweed (not posting a link to avoid moderation). I didn’t get it then, but I did buy it in the most recent 30% off all final sale items sale, and it came yesterday. I really like the tweed and it’s very flattering. As I have mentioned here before, I’m nearly a size smaller on top than on the bottom, so I got the emmaleigh dress tailored, but this dress fit right out of the box. It’s still a tiny bit big on top, but I’m confident no one would notice but me, and I don’t think it’s worth it to get it tailored. As some people pointed out when Kat first posted it, the v is inappropriately deep for work (and I’m only a B cup), so I’ll have to wear a cami, but on the whole this is a great dress! Hope this helps anyone else thinking about getting it.

  7. DC Darling :

    Help Ladies, I’m looking for a nice long down coat for a winter in Chicago (It’s supposed to be brutal this year) and I’ve been directed to the Northface Metropolis jacket as the warmest thing in existence but I can’t justify paying 320 for a jacket right now on my salary. I was also thinking of the Land’s End Chalet Long Coat (much more reasonable at around $130) but am unsure of the quality. Please let me know if you have any suggestions for something else exceedingly warm yet stylish under $150.

    Also looking for commuting boots. I’ve looked over some of the past posts and it seems everyone suggests to do insulated rain boots instead of snow boots. Any brand recommendations?

    • I tried to convince myself that a cheaper option would be warm enough (even tried the chalet in particular), but nothing I tried came even close to being warm. You are better off stalking a good coat on sale than to pay full price for a less-warm option.

      I am not a big North Face fan, but many people are. I suppose it is a matter of taste. In any event, here is a sale option that may or may not work for you:

      • DC Darling :

        If not the Lands End option, what did you eventually settle on that was warm enough?

    • anonforthis :

      For whatever it’s worth – Lands End is based in Wisconsin and most of the employees wear Lands End outerwear through the winter and that coat style is particularly popular.

      • Lady Harriet :

        I’m originally from WI and while I never owned a dead-of-winter LE coat, I owned several lighter weight ones that were warmer and more waterproof than heavier coats from different brands. I highly recommend Lands End. Most of my wardrobe is from thrift stores/hand-me-downs/garage sales. Things from Lands End are high enough quality that they usually still look great when I get them after the original owner is done with them. :) A lot of their clothes can run big, but I don’t know if that holds true for their outerwear.

        • karenpadi :

          I’m also originally from Wisconsin. I never found anything warm enough in the winter. It’s why I refuse to live in winter now.

          Until I discovered down at 16. Down is the only thing that keeps me warm. I finally talked my parents into a Lands End down coat for college and recommend it hands down! It’s light and warm, and reasonably resistant to wetness and wind. They are machine washable too!

          My mom donated my LE down coat a few years ago. I am so sad. But it was still in good condition after 7 or 8 years. I hope someone is enjoying that coat…

          • Lady Harriet :

            Being so miserably cold there has also made me refuse to live in winter ever again! I moved to a warm state and would only ever consider moving to another warm one. I had to spend last winter back in WI and it was awful, even though it was quite mild compared to usual.

          • karenpadi :

            Preach. I still have nightmares about the cold.

          • DC Darling :

            Thank you ladies! I’m glad not everyone is recommending the Northface option as I don’t think it’s particularly flattering anyway…

    • Is there a North Face Outlet close to you?

      • DC Darling :

        I can’t find a mention of an outlet anywhere. Wasn’t aware that was even an option. I’ll look into it, thanks.

    • I mentioned on an earlier thread that I picked up a long down coat from Eddie Bauer for about $100 and free shipping around Thanksgiving. If you can hold out until then, you might find some good deals.

      Brutal Chicago winter, huh? I am hoping the aforementioned down coat is sufficient when I’m there over Christmas.

      • SpaceMountain :

        Yes — I’ve worn a long Eddie Bauer down coat for 4 years now in Chicago winters, and it is great. It’s long, has a hood, looks really nice, and keeps me warm. I have a shorter North Face one, but usually wear the Eddie Bauer b/c it’s warmer.

    • I agree with nona, below, about snow boots over insulated rain boots. I’ve seen people recommend rain boots with wool socks for the winter months, and I just don’t see how that could be as effective as actual snow boots, which I also wear with wool socks. I’ve never tried rain boots in winter, but I know my snow boots are fantastic.

      • I went to college in Michigan with a 30 minute walk every day, and I’d say snow boots are much better than rain boots in 75% of situations, even if the snow is sloppy. I’d avoid Uggs, which leak in slush, and go for a more “outdoorsy” boot like a Sorel. They have rubber bottoms which stop your feet from getting wet and keep your feet warm.

        • Oh, yeah, when I said snow boots I definitely was not thinking of Uggs, but something more like what you describe. My snow boots are actually Sorels, also.

          • I knew a ton of girls who kept buying Uggs every day, despite complaining about them leaking. I had my toasty warm Sorels and my feet were never soggy :)

          • Yeah – I don’t know who decided Uggs were winter boots. Despite the sheepskin, I think their initial purpose was post-surfing in Australia. Where it rarely snows. Especially while surfing.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Re: North Face price – do you have an REI membership, or know someone very kind who does, so that you could use the rewards towards your new coat? Just a thought.

    • I have an Isis down coat, and I love it. I think it is the Snow Queen. If you check out REI outlet (online),,,, and those kinds of sites, you may be able to find it on sale from last year (or other coats that you might like).

      I really like Merrell boots. When I lived in Northern New England, I wore my Merrell mid-calf pull-on boots to/from work all the time. I also have been wearing Merrell winter hiking boots for a while. My feet get really cold, so I don’t think insulated rainboots would cut it, and I feel like I get better traction with my winter boots.

    • New poster :

      I bought that North Face coat last winter, for a winter trip to Chicago. I got it During one of Macy’s sales, when I had an extra 20% coupon, making it around 175. If you can time it like that, you should be able to get the one you really want!

    • I own a long Lands End down coat bought 2 years ago. The coat I have looks like a hybrid of the coats on the site called Modern Down and Long Maxi. I love it.

      I received a much more expensive jacket as a gift from Bloomies, I think is was along the lines of the Marc Jacobs long down coat that they have this eyar. It was gorgeous, but not as functional as I needed for my wintertime Boston commuting. I’m tall, and I wanted ZERO space between my boots and the bottom of my coat. I wanted full hood coverage. I needed long arms. I wanted front pockets.

      I will tell you, the Lands End coats are not glamorous. But frankly, in a down coat, you’re going to look pretty goofy no matter what. But I am warm, and that’s what matters to me.

      I also bought the Lands’ End Powder Run boots. I don’ t generally commute in them in wintertime, preferring my knee high suede heeled boots for style, but I bust them out to shovel the driveway, walk from my house to the train in the slush, and in subzero days. They are awesome.

    • I live in Calgary and I got my down knee length parka at Costco, of all places, for around $80. It’s really warm – I walk 15 minutes to the train every day, and with a scarf, snow boots & warm gloves I ‘m OK even if it’s 30 degrees below freezing. My lower legs and nose might get cold, but the rest of me stays warm enough.

      • DC Darling :

        Not gonna knock Costco, I definitely have some Kirkland dresses that have held up really well. Thanks for the tip.

    • I wore my Land’s End Chalet coat during my 4 winters in Chicago (also had a much cuter wool Soia and Kyo coat when it got above 30 degrees). It is not attractive but it served me very well, and I tend to get cold very easily. I still have it even though I have few occasions to wear it now.

    • Chicago native :

      Don’t get a coat that’s too long, because the ends will get slushy/dirty/icky. A slightly below the knee coat with tall, warm, waterproof boots is your best bet. I have always had down coats from Lands End or LL Bean, and I really like the LL Bean duck boots with the quilted top that comes up to your knees.

      • Chicago native :

        Oh, and Lands End and LL Bean aren’t the warmest coats out there – they’re usually about 650 fill down. If you want super warm, try Marmot, Patagonia or North Face for 800 fill. But I think 650 fill is enough if you’re not spending an extended period of time outside, and you can always wear long underwear.

    • lucy stone :

      I live north of Chicago and off of Lake Michigan and this is my winter coat:

  8. anon for this :

    Regular poster but going anon.

    Does anyone have any stories or advice about dealing with fibroids? My doctor found a couple but said they seem to be harmless and not to worry about it. I am TTC but he didn’t think that would be a problem. Still… for peace of mind, I’d love to hear from anyone who conceived despite them or any advice for shrinking them naturally – diet, exercise? Thanks!

    • No first-hand accounts but I’ve known several women who conceived despite fibroids and had pretty uneventful pregnancies.

    • My doc recently discovered I had one during surgery for endometriosis, so it was removed as well, but I asked about how it got there/prevention/etc. and he pretty much said there was no real explanation for how they arrive and nothing I could really do to prevent them or make them go away. FWIW, this was in my uterus and the doc said it COULD affect implantation, so if that’s where yours are i’d get a second opinion.

      • AnonforThis2 :

        I have them too. I don’t have kids so I can’t speak to TTC, but I haven’t been told they’re an obstacle to conceiving. Apparently fibroids feed on estrogen. I try to avoid soy and other phytoestrogen rich foods (that act like estrogen in your body) and animal products where the animal was fed hormones (i.e., meat and eggs). I also avoid dairy. It’s a challenge sometimes. I’m also trying to lose weight (just 10 lbs.) because I read that overweight people are more prone to them and even though I doubt it makes a difference if you already have them.

        • AnonforThis2 :

          Also, I looked into acupuncture to reduce them and even tried it a couple weeks but it’s expensive plus the acupuncturist told me that when they’re “bigger” it may not work as well. Maybe something to explore?

        • Thanks for chiming in everyone. AnonforThis2 – I read some stuff online today. Some articles (see link below) suggested that one should eat more of phytoestrogens because they limit absorption of other types of estrogen. I am a bit perplexed by the contradictory advice. Any thoughts? And yeah, am going to try to give up processed foods and have only organic dairy… also need to start working out again. Thanks!

          • AnonforThis2 :

            Interesting article. I’m guessing that the contradictions stem from there being no firm understanding or clarity one way or the other as to the causes/remedies so the advice we get in any given article is just the author’s best conjecture. I fall in the camp of no phytoestrogens only because it seems counterintuitive to me to do otherwise, but since I screw up and eat the “wrong” thing from time to time maybe it’ll balance itself out. All we can do is try!

          • Yep – not having a clear sense of what causes them makes it hard but yeah I am going to try my best to have a good diet and exercise. Thank you for your posts – I feel less alone!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Not to stifle your thread, but I’m pretty sure that Gigi of the fabulous Gigi’s Gone Shopping blog chronicled her experiences with her fibroids and TTC in a brutally honest way. Her TTC blog is Gigi’s Gone Parental.

    • Don’t worry about them at all. They expand when you get pregnant and will shrink later as the uterus contracts after birth and progesterone levels fall. I had 2 babies with 2-3 uterine fibroids. All went well.

  9. Lands End is known for having good, warm coats.. They aren’t always the most stylishly cut, but it will definitely be warm enough for a Chicago winter. And if you ever have quality issues, or it ends up not being warm enough, I’m pretty sure Lands End would take it as a return.

    And, I would NOT do insulated rain boots – unless you can be sure that the rubber of the rain boot won’t become useless when it’s gets cold. Snow boots will also typically be better about having frost plugged soles to keep your feet warm (it totally makes a difference).

  10. To Allergies PSA (who’s traveling, lucky chick) and anyone else following the saga of my allergies:

    I went to the ENT surgeon today to discuss my CT scan. I took Papa Godzilla with me because he’s anti-doctors and anti-surgery and he usually asks amazing questions that would never occur to me. We had some good times reviewing the scans together.

    Long story short – I have some blocked up sinuses (don’t ask me which ones, I forget the names). Surgery can help me. Initially, the doc was saying I’m a good candidate for the balloon procedure, which is done through local anesthesia to open up the clogged sinuses. I was all for minimally invasive procedure but I thought it was odd that the massive sinus headaches I would get stemmed from somewhere lower down only (mid-cheek, half inch into the plane of my face).

    Then Papa Godzilla asks what the radiologist’s report says. Which reveals another blockage the radiologist picked up on that the ENT missed. We looked at the scans and TADA, BLOCKAGE. This explains my mega headaches and was in the EXACT location I kept pointing to as being very troublesome. It also rules out the balloon procedure. So…general anesthesia with cutting out some bone or whatnot.

    Is it messed up to say I’m so excited to get surgery???????? I AM SO EXCITED TO GET SURGERY. I’m so tired of this mess. I haven’t scheduled it yet as I need to work with Papa Godzilla to make him feel not so scared (yes, even Papa Godzillas get scared) but I’m soooooooo close.

    • Ruthy Sue :

      It’s not messed up, I was totally excited for my surgery too. I had that surgery almost 5 years ago, and it changed my life! The first week of recovery sucks (hard to sleep, hard to focus, some pain), the second week is fine (I was mostly board), and I was back to work after that. I am sitting here right now, breathing out of my nose, with no sinus headache and no tissue in my pocket! Amazing.

    • karenpadi :

      No, you are not strange for wanting surgery. I had a minor surgery/outpatient procedure this summer and am. so. happy. In my follow-up appointments, my doctor ask how I’m doing and she thinks I’m weird for being so happy about having it done. She also thinks I am lying about not being in pain. Oh well, we can’t all come off as being emotionally stable all the time.

    • "Allergies" PSA :

      It’s not weird to be excited about getting healthy. I’m sure it feels good to know what is wrong and how it will be fixed. Congratulations!

      I am traveling, but I have had two episodes of extreme stomach pain (spent two hours on the floor of a public ladies room — that sounds worse than it was, it was clean etc). MD yesterday told me I have a stomach infection that will resolve itself and gave me muscle relaxant pills to stop the spasms and, thus, the pain. I have no idea why this (or the wheezing and hives) are happening. I see my ENT the day after we get home. Maybe he will know. My current theory is that I was on steroids and antibiotics for four months and now, two weeks after stopping both, my body is readjusting. Doctor in foreign country = not fun. But my fiancé got to attend his mom’s stone setting ceremony and spend time with his siblings going through their parents’ house.

      I agree with Ruthy Sue: the recovery is not fun, but it is totally worth it and you will feel much better and be much happier. Good for you!

      • OMG YOU POOR THING! When do you get back home?

        Also, I’m DELIGHTED you wrote back while you’re vacationing =).

  11. Has anyone here ever had to, in effect, break up with their family? I come from divorced parents and it’s been me/mom/sister for the last 20-ish years. Dad not really in the picture, though our relationship is cordial. It’s taken me two years of therapy to realize that my mom is likely suffering from some undiagnosed mental illness(es) and that my sister’s demands on me/our relationship are abnormal.

    I’ve hosted family holidays since I got married 5 years ago (hubs and I have a home while mom/sis live in apartments, plus I’m always the family “rescuer” — the one who does everything for everyone else), only I’m 25 weeks pregnant and have indicated I’m not going to be making a from-scratch Thanksgiving meal this year. I cannot begin to explain what a tizzy they’re in now since I’m shirking “my responsibility.” My sister has been making increasingly strict demands on me in general — demands I can’t always meet, because I have a full time job and a husband and kid of my own now. Keep in mind I’ve told them that I’ll still host the holiday, but that the food might taste different — or that we can go to my sister’s apartment if they prefer. Totally unacceptable in their eyes.

    My therapist has helped me see that my relationship with these two was like a triangle — stable, as long as we were all in it/compliant. I changed the dynamic by getting married and building my own life, and they’re resisting.

    This rant is mostly me looking for words of wisdom/advice from those who have Been There, Done That. I love my family but they’re ruining my mental health (at a time when I’m especially fragile vis-a-vis the pregnancy). I don’t even like being around them! But I have all of this guilt about going my own way. After getting ripped up, down and sideways by my sister once she heard my Thanksgiving proposal (to order in a few things and make a few things — so, a semi-homemade meal), I told her and my mom that I can’t be in an environment like that but that if she/they could put this stuff behind them for one day together, I would do the same. In the meantime, they know that hubs and I can/will make plans to be with his family on Thanksgiving.

    I guess my biggest issue is that it’s hard to not have those built-in failsafes/people who love you. Anyone out there in the same boat? Words of wisdom/advice? And rereading this, yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds — people upset about me not making a fully homemade meal from scratch but unwilling to do the work themselves. Sigh.

    • No advice, but ((hugs)). You are amazingly strong and sound like you’re handling this well, all things considered. The good news about marrying and having kiddos of your own is that you DO have a family, one that loves you unconditionally. I hope that doesn’t come across like I’m minimizing the pain of losing your family of origin because I don’t mean it that way at all — just giving you a gentle reminder that you are loved for exactly WHO YOU ARE, not what you do.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I recently told an aunt to never contact me again. I’m from a small family and when I was a kid, if something happened to my mom and dad I would have lived with my aunt and uncle. I felt like I burned a very big bridge when I did that. I may contact her someday but she has just been outright abusive to my grandmother and parents the last few years and most recently, to me. The straw that broke the camels back was after berating me to my parents for kicking her drunk adult son out of my grandmother’s 100th bday (in a nursing home), she contacted me asking for help about something I can’t disclose. She worded her email such that it sounded like she was seeking legal advice, not life advice. Certain parts of the email though, made me think her crisis was a scam/lie. I had previously blocked her email but this one had snuck through. I wrote her back saying I couldn’t and wouldn’t get involved, gave her the number to someone who could help her if the story was true, told her she had been blocked and would continue to be blocked, and asked that she never contact me again. Her email had also specifically told me not to tell my parents what she told me but I know when I piss her off, she takes it out on them. I called my dad and said I can’t tell you why but I told your sister to never contact me again. She might call you pissed. Beware. (I didn’t tell him why because I think she was setting me up by telling me something “privileged” and then checking to see if I told him.) I cried all night thinking I had turned my aunt away in her time of need but deep down I knew she was scamming me. Sure enough, the next morning I had an email from my dad. Aunt had called him that night, sweet as could be. It was out of the blue but she didn’t mention me and he didn’t mention me. If her crisis had been true, she would not have been calling my dad acting “normal” that night. It was definitely a set up. She was probably freaking out that he hadn’t called her concerned after I had called him with her secret so she called him to see if he would bring it up. He didn’t since I didn’t tell him and I haven’t heard from her since. I no longer doubt my decision though I do dread the future awkward funerals I will have to attend.

      • I remember your story about the drunk cousin. Good for you for sticking up for yourself (and not letting him ruin your grandma’s day). Someone has to be the brave one to call out an irrational family member first. Hopefully your example will help your parents to see how abusive she is and not let her affect them as well.

    • That is hard. I think you just have to stick to what you say and they will eventually learn to accept it, or they won’t. But you cannot let them control how you feel. I also have divorced parents, and my mother took it very hard when I moved out, and then eventually got married and heaven forbid had to start splitting holidays in order to see my new inlaws/be with my husband on holidays too. I think particularly for my divorced mother, she feels like she made huge sacrifices raising us on her own and the we owe her now. And no doubt she did make huge sacrifices when I was growing up, but that does not entitle her to try and run my life now as an adult/make unreasonable demands/etc. I am also the family rescuer and stuff just does not happen if I don’t plan it. So to me, that also means that since I am the one planning it, it will happen the way I want. If they don’t like it, they can plan their own thing. Harsh, but necessary for my own family’s (me, hubby and kids) sanity!

    • I can sooo relate to this. I am, also, the “responsible one” as I think most of us here are. Before my mom died in 2009 she used to always make me feel guilty about spending time with my (now) husband and his family on Thanksgiving— but being around her (she was an alcoholic), my sister (who fought with her constantly), and my grandparents was just too much. I felt like I was abandoning them for a more “functional,” “normal” family… and I guess I was. But it was what I needed to do for my own mental health. No real advice because each family and situation is complicated— but if you feel like you need to wave the white flag this year and make plans with your inlaws, do it! You’re right– you ARE pregnant for gosh sakes!!!

    • Oh, golly… I feel you. It’s so, so hard to know that you can’t count on the people you’ve grown up believing would always be there. Know that you will get through this, and that even close family can be toxic; you deserve better than toxic relationships. No matter how much you love your family, and no matter how much they love you (in their own, often disordered, ways), ultimately you alone are responsible for your own happiness, and you are *not* responsible for theirs. If caring for them keeps you from caring for yourself, the weight of that responsibility will crush you.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I don’t really have time to get into it all right now, but I had to cut off all contact with my mom about 8 years ago. My mom is severely bipolar, has borderline personality disorder, and a few other mental illnesses. It became 100% necessary for me to cut off contact completely. I am extremely lucky to have other family members to turn to, but I’m also a big believer that people make their own families by who they surround themselves with. It was a very difficult thing to do, but ultimately I’ve become more and more sure that I made the right decision and it has been a great thing for me. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do and it sounds like your realist agrees that you should at least get some distance.

      If you have specific questions or concerns, let me know and I’ll try to stop back in tonight and respond to them. I’m generally pretty open about the whole situation so I’m willing to talk with you about anything that might help.

      • Sydney Bristow:

        First – love your handle. Second – did you have any guilt feelings when you cut off contact with your mom? My mom is the only child of divorced parents and doesn’t have any “real” siblings (just some half and step-siblings, and to hear her tell it she was shuttled back and forth a lot). Her parents are deceased and she’s unmarried. She has some friends but not many, and I suspect a lot of her isolation is a result of depression and her own mental issues. All of this is to say that I feel badly for her (and yet SO FRUSTRATED WITH HER), which has prevented me from cold turkey cutting-off-contact.

        I also have a daughter, with a son on the way. My sister and mom both like to remind me that anything I do affects my kids (to which I think “Yes! I know! I am protecting them from Your Crazy!”). But is it better to let my kids be exposed to her (at my own cost) and draw their own conclusions? My goal is not to be vindictive, but rather to maintain my sanity.

        (Also — sorry, everyone, for monopolizing this thread. Appreciate the group’s tolerance of my self-centeredness today.)

        • Only natural :

          I think you should expect to feel some, or a lot, of guilt. In fact, I’d be amazed if you didn’t fee guilty! And sad, and lonely, and relieved, and angry and lost. I’d expect to feel a whole bunch of conflicting emotions. That doesn’t mean your decision is wrong — it just means that the situation is complicated and sad, you still care, and you’re human.

        • I’ve had so many issues. I’ve found support and solace on the babycenter dot com”dealing with the inlaws and family of origin – DWIL/FOO” board. They’re harsh, but supportive.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I felt incredibly guilty for a long time. For the most part, I don’t feel guilty anymore except on rare occasions. I imagine I will feel guilty in the future if I get married because I will not be inviting her to my wedding. The benefits to my own mental health outweighed the amount of my guilt though and I was able to work through those feelings of guilt over time.

          To get into too much detail, my mom has some pretty severe mental illnesses and actually tried to kill herself in response to me moving out from her house and in with my dad when I was in high school. This is an extreme example of the guilt I experienced (and I don’t think she did it solely to make me feel guilty), but she and other members of that side of my family use guilt in order to manipulate others. I tried to reestablish and maintain a relationship with her until I was in college. I went through a terrible period of depression myself and finally was able to decide that I needed to make changes in our relationship. I worked through some of it in therapy and ended up writing my mom an email over the course of several days detailing my reasons for cutting off contact with her and laying it all out for her. I told her that she was not to contact me in any way and that if I wanted to speak to her that I would contact her. I spent the next several days in a horrible headspace and completely anxious every time that my phone rang or I got an email that it would be to notify me that she had hurt herself again. I felt a lot of guilt but looking back on it, that is something I consider to be proof that it was what I needed to do. I could not let myself be subject to the guilt manipulation (and a litany of other relationship issues) from her anymore. I felt guilty again when I had to change my email address and phone number because she continued to try and contact me. I felt guilty when I chose not to invite her to my graduation party. I feel guilty sometimes when I have to explain this to someone in my life who doesn’t understand why I had to do it. But I know it was the right decision for me. Only you can make that choice.

          Luckily for me, I’ve been able to make these decisions completely for myself. I don’t have kids that I need to take into considerations, though if I were to have children now I would not introduce them to my mother. Cutting off a relationship for your children is different and something I’d suggest talking with your therapist about. I’m sorry I don’t have any other advice on that.

    • I have no words — what an amazing community. I appreciate every single one of these comments and stories. Thank you so much.

      It’s weird — I haven’t relied on either my mother or my sister for anything in years, and yet it still feels bizarre to draw this line in the sand. Like, whoa, I’m really taking a stand! Crazy! This has never happened before! I can’t help but think they’re right and that I’m somehow delusional or wrong, and yet my (amazing, steady, comes-from-a-functional-family) husband concurs and encourages me. Plus you guys, which is just knock-my-socks-off wonderful.

      I mean, seriously people: they’re getting this worked up about effing homemade Thanksgiving dinner? Egads. That’s when I knew it was time to throw in the towel.

      • CPA to be :

        Okay, I totally understand. My dad is a mentally ill alcoholic drug addict, and when I finally sent him a letter saying basically “dont call me, I’ll call you, and here’s why”, I FREAKED out. Then I went to therapy. Turns out what I did was called setting boundaries. Having someone else tell me that I wasn’t be a jerk, I was setting legitimate boundaries and protecting myself helped me so much. So I’m here to pass that on to you– you are setting boundaries, and that is a good and healthy (though not easy) thing. Good luck and hugs!

    • SoCalAtty :

      ANP – are you me? I’m sure of it. I am, what therapists have called, “the family lifeguard.” I sit on my chair in an anxious state waiting for someone to start drowning so I can save them. I started doing this when I was about 12, and when I turned 16 and got a car, it was all me.

      My mom actually passed away in 2009 due to complications from alcoholism, but up until then I was 100% the rescuer for her, along with my brother who is 11 years younger than me (I’ve posted about THAT soul sucking saga). I’ve had to basically “break up” with my brother. He is 20, and I have been 100% supporting him for the past 3 years. Paid his rent, gave him a car, paid his insurance, and paid his cell phone in exchange for him going to school and doing some chores for my mother in law, who is the full-time caregiver from my FIL (long story). He decided to just disappear and only re-surface when he wanted gas money from me, so I finally put my foot down. I told him I had been/was getting sick, that I need to concentrate on me & my husband, and that we might TTC soon…and therefore his 20-year-old self could take any one of three jobs I found for him (errand runner for family members at $8/hour, construction site helper with Uncle for $10/hour), or he could find his own job, but I wasn’t footing the bill anymore. My last offer was to send him a money order made out to the company that offers the GED test (he is still messing around with his diploma 2 years later) so that he could finish that up, and he won’t give me an address to send it to. He called me every horrible thing you can think of, including a “mean really scary lawyer that uses that against me,” that I have no empathy for “his situation,” and that I’m a horrible person that only uses logic and has no emotions – and basically said that our grandparents were around to help me when I was a kid and so I should have to support him (for the record, I did for him exactly what they did for me – paid for a roof + food + a car – but the difference is I moved out on my own at 18 and never took another dime from anyone, and he has been supported until he was 20 1/2!).

      Well – I’ve broken up with him officially, and I really don’t ever hear anything from him. I have heard (he lives in town I grew up in, I know everyone there) that he is smoking and his roommates think he is a jerk. [shocked face] But he’s an adult – and he’ll have to handle it.

      As for my in-laws…my FIL was an engineer, really smart, great guy – but no common sense. He was basically working on the Winchester Mystery House – built it from scratch, but never finished 25 years later. Decided to replace the roof himself (despite everyone telling him not to!), and fell off, and has been in a permanently vegetative state ever since. MIL has plenty of money coming in, and insurance, but insists on caring for him herself, full time, and refuses to use any of the respite care she’s entitled to. My husbands 3 younger sisters consist of: 1) The crazy one that thinks that she is better than everyone else because SHE paid for her associate’s degree in cash, and all of us lowly morons had to get student loans for our BAs/JSs, and she basically excommunicated herself from the family, which is totally fine with me, 2) The “traveler,” that spends every summer/break/free moment in another country or off playing (that one is 25+ and talked mom into paying for another year of grad school, awesome), but has decided that my husband and I travel too much and don’t deserve any free time (1 3 day weekend and 1 week at a wedding so far in 2012, the horror!), and that it is now 100% my husband’s fault that his dad’s taxes were behind and there are liens, and 3) the baby (22), who lives here by my and works 45 hour weeks and goes to school and is just generally a sweetie and stays out of everything.

      Unfortunately, MIL has decided my husband is the FIL replacement, and we are now responsible for basically everything but financial support. We are actually in the process of “divorcing” my in-laws. It was all entangled because my husband and FIL were owned a business together, and that has taken a little winding down, but in about a month my FIL’s name will officially be off of everything. I’ve made it clear that I am no longer cooking every holiday meal (we would switch locations every other year, but no matter where it was I still had to cook), and if one is left up to me we will be going out.

      Sorry that was such a novel. The moral of the story is 1) I’m really glad you have a therapist and 2) it is not your job to do anything for anyone that is an adult and doesn’t appreciate your help. The message should be “listen fam, I love you, but I am pregnant and now it is time to focus on my own family. I still want to talk to you but I need you to start doing some things for yourselves, because it is very important that I stay rested and healthy and stress-free during this time.” So have a great summer, thanks, bye. In reality, it is really hard to do that…agonizingly hard…but in the end, better for you and your new family!

      We should start our own FB group – “The Rescuers.”

      • SoCalAtty, I’ve never heard the term “family lifeguard” but wow, it resonates in so many ways.

        My family has its own set of issues and I’ve kept my distance after things came to a head this past year. I realized that I don’t really want to be close to them anymore , but I also feel tremendous amounts of guilt for just thinking that thought. After reading this site for a good amount of time, I’ve come to the realization that having someone to talk to about all of this would be very good for me. I admit I had a misconception about therapy as something for people with problems, but I think that I could benefit from learning to set boundaries and controlling my emotions from the rollercoaster of family drama (I’m a peacemaker to the extreme, so any hint of a fight causes all sorts of anxiety). Just want to say thanks to the Hive for helping me come to this realization.

        • SoCalAtty :

          Glad to hear it Anon! I do not at all enjoy therapy, but I use it more as a third party neutral to bounce things off of. A “gut check,” if you will – I’ve got the same peacemaker tendencies, with the same anxiety over family conflict, and it helps for someone to look at me and say, “why, exactly, do you care if this person stops calling you? Because the only time they call now is to call for rescue or money…”

          I am really, really good at mediation/arbitration as an attorney – just not with family. It’s making me think I should pursue a career in ADR or maybe even as a judge someday…hey, a 5th year can dream…

        • Chiming in to say that I think you have to have the right therapist for therapy to *really* work. I’ve found someone in my very small town who is both my lifesaver and my anchor. She is AMAZING and has helped me so much! She pretty much says what SoCallAtty’s therapist says: “So, why exactly do you care…?” She’s great. I want to put her in everyone’s Christmas stocking I love her so much.

          For people who are the family lifeguards, our jobs have been (all our lives) to mediate/fix conflict and help our less-competent family members out of their messes. So of course we feel badly when we MAKE the “mess.” I struggle with this all the time. Reading the advice given on this thread has not only been incredibly moving, but it’s reminding me that I’m doing this stuff for my health. And, quite frankly, the health of my husband and kids, too.

          Also: I hate guilt.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            My post disappeared so I’m posting again. The lovely ladies here taught me that we don’t “make” the mess. The dysfunctional family members made the mess and they just blame us for it when we expose it. See the star and atom analogy given to me before.

      • My mom also passed away in 2009 from complications with alcoholism. We really DO need to start a support group!

    • You are behaving rationally in an irrational and dysfunctional situation. Others will blame you for doing so because it is easier than behaving rationally themselves. I am on a handheld and can’t type a lot now. Google this site and star and constellation and atom to see what I wrote to others in your shoes earlier this year. Do what is right for you.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I was talking to my therapist about this exact thing today. I’m farther along in the divorce process than you, but it sucks and it’s hard and it’s not fair that I/we are dealing with this. Family is “supposed to be” supportive and loving and helpful, not this emotional and financial timesuck that offers no benefits beyond temporarily alleviating internally and/or externally imposed guilt for not being the “good daughter/sister/mother/whatever” that I/we are “supposed to be.” Every time I try to twist myself into knots to create that Norman Rockwell family, I end up hurting and regretting it because guess what – I don’t have that family. It ain’t gonna happen. I need to let the idea of what my family is “supposed to be” go, which means I have to forgive myself for not behaving like a good family member when they are not. I don’t have to follow the good-family-member memo that they are ignoring. They don’t get to decide what I should be doing. I need to and have the right to look to my future family with my DH and my nice in-laws, not the clusterf that I hauled myself up by my own bootstraps to get away from. Were they all evil 100% of the time? No. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong for me to cut them off. Love and hugs, ANP.

      • Aaaaaaaaa, SF Bay Associate, I big pink puffy heart you. I got so much better (w/my therapist’s assistance) when I realized that June Cleaver was never going to show up. Sigh. But it’s very, very hard. My mom was raised partially by her grandma and has wonderful memories of family holidays where the ladies cooked in the kitchen while the men sat in the living room. This was obviously the happiest time in her life and very Norman Rockwell-esque. Well, guess what — there’s only one man in our little family right now (my husband) and I would way rather hang with him then slave over an oven all day — so he can help in the kitchen! Or other people can bring stuff! Imagine that! But she is COMPLETELY HUNG UP on this idyllic scenario she was a part of so many years ago that even a homemade Thanksgiving isn’t enough for her — it has to be Homemade by All of the Ladies Cooking Together in the Kitchen at One Time While The Token Male Sits in the Living Room.

        Again, for anyone still reading this — I apologize for monopolizing this thread. This has been amazingly cathartic, though, to read all of your stories and to hear this encouragement. It also helps to type out my family’s demands and then realize how completely nutters they are.

  12. anon re: IUD :

    Thanks for all the advice yesterday – I decided to go ahead and schedule insertion if I got word from the clinic. I did get word that they had some in stock, so I scheduled insertion. The nurse said it would be a very quick, minor 15min experience (though it will be with a male gyno which makes me a bit nervous).

    My question – she said to take 2 advil beforehand. Is this sufficient? Should I take more? Is there anything I should bring with me to the appointment? I typically wear tampons (I’m on my period now, since insertion needs to be scheduled for while you’re on your period), so should I wear/bring a pad? Buy a whole pack of them? I would expect to have about 2-3 days more of my period normally, though I’m unsure if it will continue longer with Mirena. I’m planning on going back to work after — bad idea?

    • I would take 3-4 advil before hand. I would also wear a pad afterwards, just because you can be kind of sore. I would have been ok to work after my second IUD, but I had recently had a baby so it wasn’t as bad. After my first IUD, I had not recently had a baby and I was in more pain and laid on the couch like a baby the rest of the day, haha!

    • layered bob :

      Yep, plan to wear pads for a bit after insertion. Take 3-4 advil. Take the day off, if you can – my IUD insertion experience was uneventful but I was glad I had the afternoon to take care of myself.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i’d buy a pack of pads for sure, and if it’s at all possible plan to take the afternoon off of work. you might be completely fine, but you might not, and i was very grateful for the option (which i exercised) to spend the afternoon in bed not using my brain.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I hear there’s a cervix softener you should demand from your gyno.

      • anon re: IUD :

        I asked about this at my appointment and she said she’s never had a patient who needed it so she’d be hesitant to prescribe it just in case. I tried though!

        • I don’t have an IUD. But I have had docs give this kind of response with respect to other procedures and I think it’s b.s. Usually it means they don’t want to take the time to do it. There have been enough comments on this board from women who were so glad they’d gotten a cervix softener (and women who didn’t and talked about the pain) that I wouldn’t go to a doc who wouldn’t give me one before getting an IUD. You may need to be a bit more assertive and tell them you need a cervix softener. After all, you’re the one who feels the pain. The doc doesn’t.

          • Ouch, darn it :

            During my very first PAP smear, the speculum pinched, and I said “Ow! Ow, that hurts!”

            To which the freshly minted young male doctor replied, “No it doesn’t!”

          • Laura Holt :

            Totally agree with SunnyD. Pain is different for everyone and pain meds are there for a reason. I had a doctor who wouldn’t give me pain meds for a colonoscopy because “it doesn’t hurt that much.” Well my mom has had one that she describes as “worse than labor.” I left and found a different doc who would give me meds. No doctor should tell you how much it will/won’t hurt.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I scheduled mine for the end of the day. I couldn’t have gone back. I also took 2 Advil, and I don’t think it did a lot of good. I wish I’d asked for something stronger an a cervix softener. (It was still worth it, I promise!) I would bring a pad. My gyn has a big stash, so I ended up using one of theirs because I didn’t think about it.

      Also, don’t worry about the male gyn! Mine was, too. He was poking around and taking a lot of care. At one point he looked up and said, “Sorry this is taking a minute. I’d rather do it artfully and not just cram it in.” He was def gentler than my normal gyn who is a female.

    • big dipper :

      I had one put in yesterday! The whole procedure took 5 minutes (3 minute exam, 2 minute insertion). I only experienced “pain” for 60 seconds and it was really just uncomfortable – it felt like the worst cramp I’ve ever experienced on my period.

      I took 800mg of advil 1 hour before the procedure as advised by the doctor, and that was it. I didn’t do the cervix softener, but I did have it inserted while I was on my period. They told me this works similarly to the cervix softener. You should bring a pad – my doctor advised me not to use tampons for 48 hours.

      That was 24 hours ago and I’ve had no cramps, no additional bleeding and no pain. I’m a student and I went to class immediately afterwards (I would’ve skipped class if I had any complications).

      So, I had an unbelievably quick, easy and painless experience. But I do have one friend who had some really extreme cramps afterwards and she wouldn’t have been able to work. I’d at least give yourself the option of the afternoon off if possible.

      • big dipper :

        also, if relevant, I’ve never had a baby. I know that can impact the insertion process sometimes.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Where is Bluejay?!

    • My gyn told me not to use tampons for a month after. I took 4 advil and was very crampy. I sat in the doctor’s office for awhile, but then went back to work for about 1/2 a day. I felt pretty bad, but toughed it out. A heating pad helped a lot with my cramps. Much better the next day and 100% the day after. And I apparently am one of those people that doesn’t get a period with it as that was 3 months ago and I haven’t had one since. I love it! Also, I’ve never been pregnant either.

    • Oh God, no, Advil is not enough. Ask for a cervix softener and possibly a muscle relaxer.

  13. anon for this :

    Banking TJ – going anon so I don’t get identity-thefted

    Has anyone had any experience with using a Senate Credit Union checking account from outside DC? I just got one (based on recent fiasco with my old bank) and will be leaving the area soon. There is a network of affiliated locations (so CUs, but different ones) nationwide, including in my home state, but I don’t know if I trust my deposit to an ATM. Any experience?

    • karenpadi :

      I make deposits at ATMs all the time. No big deal. Also, check to see if they have a mobile app where you can deposit checks by taking a photo of the check. I just got the app and cashed a small check using it–pretty slick!

    • I use the NIH Federal Credit Union and used to make deposits by ATM all the time, until I started working in a building that actually has a branch. Just be aware that not all ATMs are set up to take deposits.

    • Yup, I make deposits at affiliate ATMs all the time with no issues and we have USSFCU.

  14. My boss, whom I like and respect and generally enjoy working with, is kind of a jerk. He never behaves badly towards me–we actually have a really good working relationship, and my colleagues have more than once commented on how well I seem to manage him–but he regularly disdains, disrespects, harshly criticizes, and undercuts almost everyone else in our small company. (By “almost everyone else,” I really mean that–there’s exactly one person whom I’ve never heard him criticize, and everyone else regularly comes under his fire.)

    This has been a problem for years and predates me, but it seems to be getting worse. The managers at my company are keenly aware of it–for some, because their staff has been targeted, and for my manager (who is also my boss’ manager), because he’s on the receiving end of my boss’ ire as often as he hears complaints from other managers. Unfortunately, my boss fancies himself even more senior than he actually is; he’s very smart, very successful relative to some of our colleagues, and very, very well-established in his field. He would not take well to discipline or chastisement from any of our managers, simply because he already doesn’t respect them.

    Last week, one of my colleagues finally called HR to report my boss for creating a toxic work environment. She has long been one of his favorite targets, and she told HR that she would not stop calling until action had been taken. I know that the managers are aware of her report being filed, and I suspect that a number of our other colleagues have also been told. So far as I know, my boss has not yet been contacted or notified of the complaint.

    So. What do I do now? I’ve never been a direct target of his bullying, but I’ve certainly seen it in action. I’m also increasingly conscious of how negative he makes our work days (as his only supervisee, I hear most of his complaints, and they are legion). I’m also aware of how much time we waste owing to his bad behavior (with smoothing over hurt feelings and renegotiating a project that he has riddled with minefields), and I think it’s silly that so many smart and talented people are dealing with this kind of behavior on a regular basis. As I said above, though, I like and respect him and don’t believe he should be targeted in a witch hunt.

    Thoughts appreciated. Thanks, ladies.

    • New job. He won’t change, and if your company is like mine, because he’s a star they’ll continue to protect him.

    • I am all over this site today but wait a second. You “like and respect him and don’t believe he should be targeted in a witch hunt”? But “I’m also increasingly conscious of how negative he makes our work days”? How do you even reconcile this?

      • I agree with Godzilla. He treats people badly and that’s not cool. If he treated you that way, how would you feel? Just because it didn’t happen to you doesn’t make it ok. Also there is nothing for you to do. I think if you’re asked any questions by HR you are compelled to answer them honestly. If this man asks you to lie or if he says “I was only joking”, do not lie and do not smooth anything over for him. You asked for advice on what to do, but some of your statements are confusingly conflicting to me.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Maybe I’m missing something, but you do nothing. You may be contacted by his supervisor and/or HR at some point, but until then, there’s nothing you need to do. I assume your interest is to stay amicable with your coworkers and your boss, so I’d stay out of it as best you can.

      That said, this doesn’t sound like a “witch hunt.” Your coworker is appropriately reporting a real issue. You know he’s unfairly treating the others in the office. He’s a grown man who makes his own behavioral decisions and will need to deal with the consequences, whatever they may be. Perhaps he’ll decide to change his approach to dealing with his coworkers and perhaps he won’t. Either way, there’s no reason for you to be involved.

      • karenpadi :

        This! He’s made his bed, let him lie in it. This isn’t a witch hunt. I have no sympathy for people like your boss.

        If he’s that valuable, he will get a slap on the wrist and everything will continue as before. If he isn’t as valuable as he thinks he is, well, don’t let yourself become known as his “Mini Me”. If I were you, I’d try to distance myself from the investigation and, using non-verbal cues, show sympathy towards your co-workers. Don’t praise him; don’t defend him; don’t try to cover for him.

        • karenpadi FTW. She’s always right.

          I would add that you tell the truth. If HR asks, be honest. If they don’t ask, don’t volunteer. Let the people directly involved handle this.

    • I’m confused why you’re asking what you should do — about what? Are you asking if you should tip off your boss about this? I’d say no, just stay out of it. I’m guessing if you work closely with him, HR may ask to speak with you. You say you don’t want him targeted in a witch hunt — do you have reason to believe that HR’s process will get out of hand? Maybe I’m making assumptions, but it seems like maybe you feel like there’s some personal loyalty at stake and if you like him, you can’t also be an accomplice to his being investigated by HR. I don’t actually see these as incompatible. He can be a good person at his core, and even be very likable in certain situations, but still be a liability for the company. If he’s as big a problem as you (a person who likes him) says, then I think it’s probably about time for HR to do something about him.

  15. I love the colorblocking, but that huge tassel thing kind of ruins it for me. I hate things that dangle off my bags!

    • Agreed. Love the colors and shape, but I think the tassel would get extremely annoying.

  16. Research, Not Law :

    Can someone tell me what DTMFA stands for? From this morning’s thread.

    Thanks :)

    • Dump the motherf*cker already. Coined by Dan Savage.

      • Not that this offends me in the slightest, but there was a little voice in my head just now that yelled at my email, “Of course: one use of the word ‘C-tail’ or an accidental ‘r e t t e’, and I’m stuck in moderation purgatory, but *this* sails right through…” I had to laugh. :)

    • It’s a Dan Savage-ism. Dump the M*F’ing A*hole. :)

    • I actually use that in a milder version;

      Dump That Man, Find Another.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        I like yours, even if it doesn’t work for those who need to dump females. Ends on a positive note that there are other fish in the sea, and you just have to go find one :)

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          The M could stand for “motherf*cker” for females. Doesn’t work as good for gay men.

  17. Coat question.

    I’m working in NYC at least a week a month for the forseeable future. I have many coats – I like coats, and I like to be warm, and I do travel a fair amount regularly – but I haven’t been in NY in the dead of winter all that often.

    Last January I was in Chicago for a week, but it was unseasonably warm and my regular wool coat was fine.

    Do I really need to look into getting a puffer coat, or should my wool coat collection be fine?

    • If you can stick a sweater underneath your coat, a thick fluffy sweater, then you should be fine. I wear a wool coat during the winter unless it’s blizzarding or continously below 10deg for a while. I commute by train, if that affects your thinking. It does rain here in the winter. Delicious freezing rain.

      • I have to walk a few blocks in lower manhattan, about the distance people who take the subway typically walk. I understand I’m going to have to learn more about what icy sidewalks look like.

        • Just don’t tell us which coat because some readers of this site might hide from you and we want you to keep your cover as you infiltrate NYC (Ellen, I’m looking at you!).

        • you don’t have to watch out for icy sidewalks in manhattan nearly as much as in the other burroughs. they get salted regularly due to high foot traffic. i used to do a commute that involved a half a mile walk in shoes with little to no traction (uggs) and had no problem.

          defniitel get gloves, scarves, warm coat, etc. anything to make you warmer on the commute but that you can take off so you aren’t sweating in the office!

    • harriet the spy :

      You do not need a puffer coat in New York. Wool coats are fine. The only exception is if you plan to be standing around outside for a long time (i.e., watching a parade or supervising kids on a playground.) But for business wear, wool is warm enough.

    • No one needs a puffer coat unless they live in Winnipeg or somewhere north of that. I grew up in the Midwest and live in New England now (and walk to and from work), so I know from cold weather. A good quality wool coat — with scarf, hat, mittens, and boots (if needed) — will be just fine, no need to gear up as though you’re going to the North Pole.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Well, no one NEEDS a puffer coat…but I LOVE mine. In SoCal :)

        To be fair, we do a ton of backpacking so I have the really nice “down sweater” type coat that has less “Puff” but lots of warmth. That being said, I’ve never been anywhere that a wool coat, scarf, and hat didn’t do the trick.

      • You can pry my puffer coat from my toasty dead hands! :) I have a seriously hardcore windproof, waterproof, insulated (synthetic, not down) puffy coat, which I LOVE. Not having to huddle into your wool coat because of the ridiculous wind chill is awesome. I have never felt cold with it on, and the best part is that if I want to go somewhere dressy in winter, I can throw it on over a short sleeve shirt and go!

      • long term lurker :

        I generally agree with this and do not wear my puffer coat for commuting. It is too hot. And the subway is too crowded to take it off/carry it. I do wear it when I go out on weekends and may walk distances in the cold. But for daily work life, I rarely wear it.

    • Cool, thanks for the responses so far.

      I have these boots –

      I bought them for a trip to Tahoe. I personally think they’re quite ugly, but they’re what I have. Is this the kind of thing people wear when there’s snow on the ground?

      • Those will be fine. People wear everything from hunters to uggs to actual winter boots to one guy I went to law school with who insisted on wearing flip flops all winter long.

        For myself, I just look for something with decent traction that will keep my feet warm, water resistant if possible.

    • NYC weather can be highly unpredictable. Some years we have a winter where I barely button my coats, others when I consider hibernating until March.

      My advice would be to wait and see what the weather is like. You can always get a puffy coat and you’ll probably get it on sale.

      I would very much disagree that you wouldn’t need one – esp. if you like to be warm. NY is windy and you often have to walk places and a down coat just makes it all so much easier. Obviously, you can survive without it even when it’s cold – layer, add silk long johns, wear your scarf and gloves, warm boots, etc. But a long (knee length or below) puffy coat definitely comes in handy. I am by no means one to overdress for the weather, but I’d say in a typical winter I wear my puffy coat about 45-60 days/winter at least.

      • Yup. On the windiest days, I’ll be that person in the puffy coat in NYC. I’m ok with looking, well, puffy, as long as I stay warm in the midst of biting, winter winds.

    • Hi mamabear. Please say you’ll come to a NYC meetup. Puhleez.

  18. Shhh it's me. :

    Has anyone ever had an experience with supervisors requiring night classes?

    I don’t know if this is a request for advice or just to vent. My managers (2) are requiring I take a night class at our local cc to sort of help me along at work. I wouldn’t take it if the company wasn’t a. requiring me to do so and b. paying for it. I did the same thing last semester (while working 40 hrs here, on the weekends, AND studying for a second bar exam.) And it was fine. But this semester they keep rehashing this “work comes first” bit, telling me I need to skip class if I have something that needs to be done at work…Which, I would understand if it was a normal class…but this isn’t the type where I can skip. There are pop quizzes (I know, RIGHT?!) and graded homework assignments. I’ve already missed a quiz, and a few assignments. I’m pretty much already just hoping to get by with a C. (I had a 98 average in the class before this one… not my usual style.)

    I just got out of my boss’s office, where he told me to take a new project home tonight because he wants it by midday tomorrow. But I have class tonight…I can’t really do both…and I try explaining this, and he says well, work comes first. I’d understand if it was in reference to when I was studying for the bar, that I kept completely separate. But, I feel like it’s a little different here, and I just don’t know what to do with the situation.

  19. 3L here. My firm has offered to pay for my bar review course, but I am having a tough time deciding between BarBri or Kaplan. Originally I was leaning towards Kaplan since that program posts all its lectures online from the first day (which is good for me… I’d honestly prefer working from home) and claims to tailor the assignments to match your particular strengths and weaknesses. But everyone has been telling me I’m crazy, since BarBri has been around forever and has a proven track record.

    Do you ladies have any opinions? Is one program as good as the next, or am I a lunatic for even considering something other than BB? Thanks!

    • SoCalAtty :

      BarBri, all day long. I used Kaplan for LSAT prep and regretted it, getting my money back in the end. For bar exams I always recommend BarBri, and for LSAT Testmasters (at least if you’re in CA)

    • SoCalAtty :

      My full explanation is in moderation, but here’s a vote for B a r b r i .

    • I did BarBri. I think you can pass with either (or even neither). The one big benefit of BB, I think, is that it’s what everyone takes so if they screw up on something and don’t teach it or teach it badly, you’re in the same boat as a majority of test takers – since the exam is essentially curved, that helps.

      But honestly, just pick a program and stick to it. Also, sign up for PMBR’s 3 day course – it’s great. You get one simulated exam (BB gives you one, too – these are really helpful prep for the actual exam) and materials with many, many MC questions. I think if you just get the hang of those questions (a little harder than BB and others, imo), you’ll do fine on the exam.

    • I did Barbri this summer (and passed), and I am 90% sure that all of their materials are available from the first day through the last day of the exam. I never tried to work ahead, but I did work only from home despite signing up for the in person class. Some places have live lectures, we did not. I’d rather watch videos online at home in my pajamas than hoof it to school at 9 am to do the same thing. I won’t get into the fact that they had 150 people paying $3K a piece to watch premade videos…

      Good luck!

      • Congrats on passing! I know you chimed in on my thread the other day when I was nervous about passing, and I appreciate it. :)

    • AnonInfinity :

      I also did BB and passed. All of our lectures that were recorded were available in advance. I know this because a friend and I had the genius idea that we would watch the lectures for the second half of the course together in one week (well before the lectures were show to the class). I don’t know that it was the best method, but I did pass. I wouldn’t do it again that way.

      Anyway, do either program. I did BB because my friends were doing it, and I wanted to be with them all summer. Just stick with whichever program you pick.

    • I never took any test prep programs until the bar, and I did BB since the bar examiners will toss out questions that are answered incorrectly by the majority and all that jazz… that and because 99% of my friends were doing it so there was a nice group to study/whine with.

    • BarBri all the way! I cannot imagine taking the bar without BarBri. Literally.

    • karenpadi :

      I vote for BarBri. The danger of Bar Prep is that it’s really easy to procrastinate and fall behind (I witnessed many of my fellow barbri-takers do just this). Having to be at school at 9am every morning and do my homework every afternoon really helped me stay on schedule. I’d be worried about falling behind and not being able to catch up if I had the option to watch the videos from home.

      The goal is to take the Bar once so give yourself every opportunity for success. Don’t cut corners. Don’t think you have a unique bar-taking super-power. Be a sheep–baaahhh! (That is a BarBri reference from 2005–do they still tell you that?) Part of that is going in to class to watch a pre-recorded video. Baaahhh! (Yes, my friends and I made sheep noises at each other all summer that year. Good times.)

      • Legally Red :

        They do still tell us to be sheep! I can’t remember which lecture that was.

        And I second all the BarBri recommendations for all of the reasons already mentioned.

        • Please tell me they still have Prof Whitebread (“Oh! Professor Whitebread!”) even though he’s dead, and that lady who sings and claims that her family invented vodka sauce. (Another reason to pick BB — years later you can bond with other lawyers by making fun of BB teachers.)

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Yes, as of 2008 they did. Honingsberg, I think. Be a sheep! Gooooooooooood idea? Nobody! BarBri all the way.

    • Turtle Wexler :

      I took BarBri the first time around (2 states during the same exam administration). Then I unexpectedly had to move before I was eligible to waive into my new state’s bar. I was all set to use Bar Bri again, but got a job that didn’t require bar admission here and decided to hold off taking the exam. So obviously, I’m personally partial to BarBri…but I have friends who used Kaplan and others who used Themis, and pretty much everyone passed regardless of which program they used. It was just my opinion that BarBri had the best slate of lecturers; I wanted to attend live lectures rather than video or online classes, and was in a geographic area where live classes were offered by BarBri but not others; best timeline/schedule; and good essay reviews, which put them above the other companies for me.

    • Laura Holt :

      This may very from state to state but at least in my state all the BarBri lectures were available online, I believe even in advance of the day they were scheduled for the class. I originally planned to go to the class because I thought it would help me stay on task but after a couple of days in class I realized being around the other students wasn’t good for my mental health because they were all SO darn stressed about the bar. (Also they talked constantly during the lectures, which was distracting). So I did them all from home and surprisingly managed to stay relatively on task (although my husband learned a lot of black-letter law that summer! He was a student so he was always at home when I was watching the videos). That said, I didn’t really work that hard. I probably worked 30-35 hours a week until July 1 and then 40-45 hours a week from July 1 to the bar. Nothing like law firm hours :P I did everything BarBri assigned, and almost nothing else (maybe literally nothing else but I can’t swear I didn’t do some “optional” MBE quetions) and I felt really prepared. It was almost absurd how confident I was going into the bar and I found the bar really easy and really similar to BarBri questions. I”m not saying this to brag, just to say that if you do BarBri and you work hard, do what you’re assigned, but dont kill yourself you should have no problems. I have no experience with Kaplan, it may be equally as good but I highly recommend BarBri.

    • I’m a day late on this. I did Kaplan for two seperate bar exams – passed first time for each. For me, I worked full-time (both during law school and during bar study for both exams). I also had a very long commute to the BB lecture locations and it wasn’t the best use of my time to spend it in the car driving. I liked Kaplan’s online program and it worked well with my schedule.

      Throughout the summer, I studied with friends who used BB and when we compared notes, we were on the same page. While my friends had the funny stories to remember the lectures, Kapan has a lot of mnemonics to help you remember the different legal tests or elements for the essays. Kaplan has online quizes that pin point your strengths and weaknesses and allows you to focus where you need. They have graders too – and you submit your essays online. They also had live online lectures – scheduled at a specific time where you could ask questions. You could also get one-on-one help any time you needed it. For me it was the right choice because I prefer to study alone and it worked with my schedule. For others, BB was the right choice.

  20. Brooklyn, Esq. :

    So, who else attending the NYC meetup tomorrow has been mentally sorting through her closet all day?

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