Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Orchid Turn-Up Collar Jacket

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

I was going to feature another Veronica Beard jacket today — I saw a patchwork jacket in the store that looked amazing — but then I saw this pink one online. I love the collar detail and the single button style, and it seems structured but casual. Note that it’s a blend of linen, viscose, and elastane, so it should be light for summer, but also very likely to wrinkle easily. It’s $595 at Nordstrom and comes in sizes 2–10. Orchid Turn-Up Collar Jacket

A couple of lower-priced options are at Amazon and Lord & Taylor, and, although they’re in a significantly brighter pink, Eloquii has plus-size options: one-button and open-front.

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


  1. I have a 4-poster wooden bed that looks similar to this one in terms of bottom rails and footboard. https://www.potterybarn.com/m/products/farmhouse-canopy-bed/?kwid=productads-adid%5e202405455961-device%5em-plaid%5e392879586197-sku%5e9358482-adType%5ePLA&cm_cat=Google&sku=9358482&catalogId=84&cm_ite=%5b%5bPLA%5d%20-%20Good%20Mobile%5d&gclid=CjwKCAiA_c7UBRAjEiwApCZi8SXxz32R2j0KrtqEbJSJ5WclRa6k_alwm_iJB2ODLshUAyoqt4SlFxoCm5MQAvD_BwE&cm_ven=PLA&cm_pla=Furniture%20%3e%20Beds%20%26%20Headboards%20%3e%20Wood

    Do these kinds of beds get a dust ruffle? Because of the way the support slats run, it would have to go over the side wooden rails, covering them.

    In all the photos I’ve found, it’s either showing a semi-made bed (sheets/mattress) or a quilt over the whole thing.

    My issue is really that about 1-2” of the box spring shows on the side. Do I just need to throw a fitted sheet over the box spring so the side of the bed where you can see the mattress/box spring is all white?

    Also, it’s a king sized bed. All of the king sized comforters/blankets I have do not lay low enough to cover the whole side of the mattress (ie to the top of the wood slats). My mattress isn’t crazy plush, but isn’t super thin either. Am I expecting more “drop” than exists or do I have freakishly short bedding?

    • Yes, fitted sheet over the box spring is the way to go in this situation.

    • Sunflower :

      There are box spring covers available from Pottery Barn, Garnet Hill, and similar sources.

    • I have a fitted sheet covering my king box spring and it doesn’t fit very well. The box spring is not as deep as a mattress, so there’s extra fabric that doesn’t lay smooth on the sides. I recommend looking for an actual box spring cover to do justice to that beautiful bed!

    • You could also get a low profile box spring so it wouldn’t show. ChrislovesJulia (design blog) just featured one a couple of weeks ago in their podcast.

    • Cuddledown carries oversize king bedding – comforters, quilts, etc. that will hang lower.

    • Belle Boyd :

      That is a gorgeous piece of furniture! I’d find a box spring cover or a plain fitted sheet that matches your bedding because I can’t see how a bed skirt would work.

      That said, and even though I LOVE that bed, I’m not sure how I feel about that for my own purposes. Underbed is prime real estate for storage. I’d hate to lose that!

      • FWIW we store things under the bed (it’s not this exact bed; we had it custom made). We just push it way under so you can’t really see it from the rest of the room.

  2. I think a fitted sheet on the box spring will look best. Keeps those clean lines visible. Is your boxspring a high profile one? That might be keeping the comforter from dropping down the sides?

    Maybe there is a kind of dust ruffle that goes behind that side slat, between the support slats and it?

    Also, gorgeous bed.

    • I had a bed like this when I was in college. I lived as a renter in a big house with a rich lady. I was there for two years, until the lady saw my boyfriend sneaking in the back door. She told me I could never have a man stay over in my room again.

  3. Two additional plus size picks :

    Two additional plus size picks:
    (one button, same color as pick)


    (many buttons, decorative; same color)

    • Notched collar, slightly brighter color


      • Nerfmobile :

        Or, in a different color way (aqua or purple), this two-button version from Talbots that I just bought recently:

      • I like that!

    • Thanks for doing this!

  4. A dear friend who lives near Seattle is going through a hard time now, and while talking to her this weekend I proposed a “wine and massage” weekend for the two of us. Anyone have a good place for such a thing? I’m thinking California, but I don’t know where.

    • Housecounsel :

      Yountville, in Napa Valley, or perhaps St. Helena or Calistoga.

    • Ojai has a beautiful place! Also if you want to stay close, Lummi Island is wonderful (and close to her) and I am v sure you can get massages there. The restaurant there is top notch.

    • Former Pacific NWer :

      Other closer-in options than CA: Woodinville outside Seattle has a lot of wineries and the Willows Lodge has a spa and great restaurant. Oregon also has wineries in the Newberg area and the Allison Inn has a spa.

    • Hermione Granger :

      Cave B Inn is in Washington, near the Columbia River and the Gorge. Stunning views. Great wine. And my mom (who has been to the spa) said it was amazing too.

      Btw this is the normal Newsroom persona commenting, anything with my normal handle goes to mod.

    • Mac Arthur Place or Sonoma Mission Inn in Sonoma. Mac Arthur has nicer rooms, Sonoma Mission Inn has fancier spa.

    • Thanks, all! Totally checking out your suggestions.

  5. Anonymous :

    I got really excited when I saw this blazer (the colour! linen!) until I remembered it was Splurge Monday. I will continue my search for a pink jacket that doesn’t scream pink.

    • This is pretty PINK but I do like the shade being warmer and deeper, it reads a bit more adult:

  6. I think I know the answer but just wanted to confirm. My MIL gifted me a Michael Kors handbag for my bday recently, gift receipt attached. It’s very simple and looks like another work bag I have that I was going to replace anyway, but in a different color. It was very thoughtful and nice. The only trouble is I have a weird dislike for MK. Admittedly this isn’t a logo’d item of the kind I usually dislike and associate with the brand but it’s not someth8ng I would have bought for myself. Anyway, I would just return it normally, but MIL watches our kids during the week so if I don’t use it for work, she will definitely notice. I don’t think she’d say anything but I would feel bad. Should I just use it for work for a bit? I really don’t want to cause any hurt feelings and I know she put a lot of thought into picking this gift out.

    • Tell her how grateful you are and ask if she would feel hurt if you exchanged it for a “slightly different style” (which wouldn’t have to be MK obviously). She included the gift receipt so I don’t get the feeling she’d be super hurt.

    • Baconpancakes :

      I get the dislike of the logo’s MK stuff – but if it’s a good quality handbag that’s basically what you would’ve bought for yourself, I’d keep it, and try to get over the dislike of MK. Probably she asked someone what bag a professional woman would use and they (rightly) told her MK. If you still don’t like it after a month or two, go ahead and get another one, and consign the MK bag.

      For future gifts, get your spouse involved preemptively in the gift giving process. It’s possible your MIL asked your spouse what you wanted and was told “a professional bag because she’s been talking about needing to replace hers,” and your spouse either didn’t know about or didn’t mention your dislike of MK. Ask your spouse to preemptively steer your MIL towards the specific gifts you want, or at least away from the ones you don’t.

      • Spouse wasn’t involved, when he is the answer is always gift card or books. The truth is if I were to exchange it, it’d be for vacuum or something else for the home, so it’d be tricky. I think this is why I feel bad: it’s not from a store where I would usually find fashion items for myself and MK bags are not really something that ‘professional’ women in my office wear. That said, it’s really a very basic style and nothing about it stands out so it is all largely in my head.

        • Anonymous :

          Oh no. If you exchange it get another bag. Not avacumn cleaner. Not cool.

        • Yes seriously. Buy another bag, especially if you needed one anyway. (And yes technically if the bag you want is from a different store, you can get something else, but also buy the new bag. And tell everyone that the bag is from your MIL, and you used “birthday money” for the vacuum.)

        • Big eyeroll to your comment about ‘professional’ women in your office not carrying Michael Kors. The Jet Set tote, in particular, is a professional staple. Other than that I echo others’ advice about exchanging for a different bag.

          • Every office has their own weird rules. No one is saying it’s unprofessional, but in some places certain brands get very associated with certain people and for better or worse it can affect perception. That’s not to say it’s in any way real or meaningful but it’s just the culture. For a while Coach is something that a lot of upper middle class teens and SAHM moms in the suburbs gravitated too so obsessively that it was hard not to start to have that association with the brand. MKis something I associated with a lot of secretaries and court reporters in NYC, just like Kate Spade is very much the ‘nice purse’ interns and junior lawyers carry. There is nothing wrong with that but if you’re a lawyer in an office where a lot of support staff or interns have x item, or really anyone has x item, I can see not wanting that item. It’s not rational but it’s a fairly standard feeling.

          • Anonymama :

            This is also why so many designers refuse to make clothes in larger sizes, and it’s just as gross there as here. It’s very classist, and maybe a little bit racist as well.

          • Anonymous :

            Agreed, anonymama. Are we really so fragile in our status as professionals/lawyers that we couldn’t stand to wear the same brand as *gasp* secretaries?

      • Anonymous :

        I would keep it. You haven’t really identified any reason for not liking it other than the brand (and you even said that it even looks like another bag you own).

    • White lie about needing a slightly different shape to fit your work things best? The fact that she included a gift receipt shows she wanted you to be able to exchange it…

    • cake batter :

      She wouldn’t have included the gift receipt if she didn’t intend you to have something you really truly liked. I’d probably swap it for something I really wanted and give her a low key explanation why. Ex. you have too much black and needed some more color, etc.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Exchange it and explain, while thanking her profusely.

    • I have a weird dislike for MK too.

      But in this case I’d keep the bag.

      You received a thoughtful gift from your MIL. She really considered what you like and what you needed and she got it 99% right. To me, that’s a home run. Short of just telling everyone exactly what to buy you ala a registry, this is as good as it gets in gift receiving.

      Use the bag and remember how she cared enough to get this 99% right.

      She watches your kid for goodness sake!

      I’d say a great MIL > slight annoyance at a tag

      All day, every day.

    • I’m on team keep it and in m0d. Please check back.

    • Honestly, I don’t know why people don’t know not to buy everyday use things for other people unless they specifically asked for it. How are you going to know whether your taste is the same!? You’re just creating a situation where everyone is uncomfortable/feels bad.

      She did include the gift receipt so…I would exchange it, thank her profusely, and get whatever you want. I don’t know that you have to do all this explaining unless she asks. Then maybe just say, “It was so beautiful but I needed something a little different in a bag. But I am super happy with the XYZ that I exchanged it for that I really needed, thank you!”

      I also have a thing about Michael Kors because of his egregious labeling, so I get where you’re coming from.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Haha, my initials used to be “MK” so I kind of loved Michael Kors bags back then because they were my initials! Now that I’ve divorced Mr. K and changed my name back, I stay far away from them…

        • Ok, that is a good reason!

          I figure if I’m going to be doing that much advertising they can give me the stuff for free :)

        • AnonEngineer :

          This kind of took me aback, because I couldn’t envision you having any initials other than SA. ;)

    • Replace it for another bag in the colour you were planning to get and explain to MIL that you were so grateful for her generous gift especially as your work bag was on it’s last legs [maybe make a comment here about how thoughtful she is to notice and treat you to a lovely new work bag], but X colour is more versatile in your wardrobe. I would take the gift receipt as an indication that she wasn’t 100% sure the bag she chose was right and really wants you to have something you’ll love.

    • I’d return in and not worry about it. She wouldn’t have included the gift receipt if she was opposed to you taking it back.

  7. Baconpancakes :

    Got a case of the Mondays. Back from a warm-weather vacation today. As if to add insult to injury, the weather here at home yesterday was around 70 and sunny, and today it’s 50 and rainy.

    Warm weather vacation did highlight my need for a new bathing suit though – does anyone know of a place to get athletic bikini tops for E-F cups? Title Nine’s stuff is exactly what I’m looking for but only goes up to DD. Should I just size up the band and try the DD size?

    • Anonymous :


    • HerRoom website. Every time I have tried to fudge my cup or band size it’s been a mistake. With a large cup you really need a properly tight band–and it sounds like you plan to do sporty stuff in this suit, so all the more true!

      • +1 for HerRoom, buy several contiguous sizes in each style and see what fits the best. Also, it might be worth it to try the DD. Sometimes that is equivalent to an E (there’s an entire rabbit hole for the sizing and letter designation variations among US/UK/Euro brands).

      • Baconpancakes :

        Is there a brand you recommend? I bought my current bikini (Pour Moi) from Fig Leaves, and while it certainly fits, it is not at all secure enough for water sports. Every time I go out into the surf, I have to check to make sure I won’t scandalize the beach before getting out of the water. I think the problem it just the design that most bigger size bikinis have – they’re shaped like regular bras to allow for support, and not sports bras to allow for security.

        • Try the Freya Active line. If you aren’t super saggy you could try sizing up at T9; it didn’t work for me.

          • Yes, I think my most securely fitting bathing suits have been Freya and Panache.

          • JuniorMinion :

            I love Freya. Bonus sometimes their suits are on Amazon. Also that stuff lifts and separates for reals.

        • Coco Reef, Anne Cole, and Fantasie are worth a look.

        • Savage Swim — all custom, but for athletic tops cannot be beat. They regularly do 20% off on holidays, etc. and as a bustier woman I am in love with mine.

    • Anonymous :

      If you size up the band, you can get it tailored down to fit you. Tailoring bathing suits is a thing, surprisingly.

  8. I need opinions on a date for my wedding! We wanted an early December wedding but the venue we love is not available then. Our options are December 22, December 29, January 5, and January 12. About 95 percent of our guests celebrate Christmas. Most guests are local, though some will need to travel from out of state. (Mostly within driving or train distance). The vast majority of family members are local. I have confirmed with my bridesmaids that they are available any of those dates. We are in a large Northeastern city so snow is a concern. What date would you choose? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      The 12th. As far away from Christmas as possible. I would absolutely not travel to your wedding any other date.

    • Not 12/22 — too close to Christmas. Annoying to fit someone’s wedding in when your calendar is already crowded OR you’re trying to keep the simple joy of the season and NOT run around!

      As for the other dates, no preference… but since you’re talking about two different years, how does the change in your taxes look assuming you’ll file jointly going forward?

      • anon a mouse :

        A dear friend got married on the 22nd because it worked best for their families and regretted it ever since. They can never go away for their anniversary, and they are usually too stressed with last-minute Christmas things to properly celebrate. I’d do the 12th (unless you don’t celebrate Christmas, in which case it might not matter).

        • Yes, don’t forget to consider your anniversary going forward. I think having it around Xmas or New Year is going to be potentially annoying. Or not. But to some extent that’s more impactful than the actual day of the wedding itself.

          For me, the 12th would definitely be better.

          • Isabella the She-Wolf :

            +1. We got married on Christmas eve (because family was all in together) but have never once celebrated our anniversary.
            OTOH, a freind also has a holiday anniversary and loves the fact that there is, “always a party”.

          • +1 – you will definitely want a date far from the holidays for your anniversary in future years, if you go so close to Christmas and your family celebrates, you’ll never get to do a nice anniversary trip

          • Or hey, you get to take a nice anniversary trip and not have to deal with annoying family obligations.

        • I mean, they can go away for their anniversary if they want to. They’re just choosing not to.

          • anon a mouse :

            Okay, fair – but anniversary travel is much more expensive because of the holiday crush.

          • You can, but you get caught in the every year “do we disappoint people & not show up for Christmas” when the date always coincides. We picked a wedding date that doesn’t conflict with anything in part so that we can always celebrate our anniversary. It might not seem like a big thing when you’re just choosing a wedding date, but it’s a nice time to always have a plan to reconnect as a couple that has a bit of built-in romance. It’s not to say you couldn’t pick some other time, but it’s easier to remember and plan when it’s your anniversary.

      • Nerfmobile :

        Yes, as far away from the holiday as you can get. My spouse really pushed for us to get married on the Saturday after Thanksgiving – and he has really regretted it ever since. Just to much chaos and it always gets lost in everything else.

    • Housecounsel :

      I would choose December 22. A lot of people make travel plans with family between Christmas and that will spill over through January 5. January 12 just screams snowstorm to me, much more so than December! Also, best wishes! I think winter weddings are beautiful.

      • Anonymous :

        See and I vote absolutely not to the 22nd because by then I’m already traveling for Christmas. It’s the last Saturday before a Tuesday Christmas so work is done.

      • Dec 22 or 29 :

        I agree with December 22nd or 29th because it is so easy for people to take off work then.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah if most of the guests are local anyway, why not add a wedding/anniversary to the seasonal festivities?

    • 1/12. While most of your guests may be local, you may have folks who want to spend the weekend before/after Christmas with family and/or out of town. I think Jan. 12th is the best day to avoid competing with other people’s family/holiday plans.

    • Dec. 29 or Jan. 5. Went to weddings on each of these dates for close family and friends. The church was still decorated for Christmas, so the couple spent next to nothing on flowers, etc., for decorating because everything was already up.

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 if you want a “Christmas wedding.” On those two dates, the decor could be left up (you may have to ask). I was in a friend’s wedding where the church had filled the pulpit with trees covered in white lights, and poinsettias all across the front of the altar– it was beautiful and exactly what she wanted. But if you don’t want Christmas decor, I would not do either of those dates and would do January 12, for many of the reasons others have pointed out (anniversary celebrations in the future, further from Christmas so others can attend, etc).

    • As a 12/22 birthday baby, I will absolutely tell you not then. People are already doing family activities. (I don’t think I ever had a bday party on my bday. It just doesn’t work for people.)

      My cousin did a 1/2 wedding in the Midwest a few years ago and it worked out great. Everyone already had time off work and she had her pick of vendors. So my vote is 1/5.

      • And with a Dec. 28th birthday, I will say not the 29th either. The week between Christmas and New Years is super difficult. Lots of people go out of town, after a month of Christmas parties and gearing up for New Years, no one is looking forward to another event to go to. I really would go with one of the January dates if at all possible. My sister’s bday is Jan. 6th and it’s always much, much easier to plan a celebration then.

      • Weddings are different than birthdays because weddings don’t happen every year. People will go farther out of their way for weddings than birthday parties.

    • KateMiddletown :

      If you’re keeping the wedding small and intimate I’d go for the 29th! I think a nice long NYE weekend sounds like fun.

      The 12th is difficult, since many people will have used up their vacation days over the holiday. Truly, any of these dates are going to have those that can’t attend, so do what YOU want and check with those that you definitely want there.

      • I also vote for the 29th. We once attended a NYE wedding for some close friends. Total blast! Plus I love the idea of being able to take advantage of the already up Xmas decorations.

        We did not bat an eyelash at an NYE date.

    • Anonymous :

      January for sure. Everybody is already super busy and traveling around the holidays.

      • This.

      • Linda from HR :

        January is great as far as distance from the holidays goes, but living in Boston, January is super risky as far as weather goes. I mean, December isn’t great either, but January tends to be worse. Even for a 100% indoor wedding, you’re more likely to run into blizzards, slippery roads, parking issues, etc. Not a deal-breaker, but something to keep in mind.

    • Yay winter weddings :

      What I love about the holiday season is spending it with family and friends and going to a wedding in this season matches that spirit perfectly. Any date is infinitely more exciting that yet another summer Saturday wedding (don’t even get me started on people who do Labor Day/Memorial Day weddings…). 12/29 would probably be my favorite – during the calm between Christmas and NYE when everyone is in a good mood and work is significantly less crazy than any other time of year. My parents’ and grandparents’ anniversaries are two of the dates you mention and I think both couples have no regrets about either date!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I think any of them except 12/22 would work, though you’ll have people who can’t come regardless. The January dates mean people’s vacation days will have started over (typically) so they may be able to take a day, whereas if it’s 12/29 they may have used them up (though with save the dates hopefully they would remember to save a day). Keep in mind with 1/12, MLK Day is the next weekend, so that might be slightly annoying for those who have to travel Friday of the wedding because it’s 2 3-day weekends in a row.

    • My sister got married on 12/29 and it was really fun. Same situation as yours, mostly local but a few out of towners. The holidays were over already. I actually think 12/12 would be difficult because there’s more holiday parties/activities (school plays, etc…) in the lead up to the holidays than after the holidays. I wouldn’t do 12/22 unless it was a really small wedding.

    • I have been to a couple weddings either on NYE or on the weekend around it and they were super fun. Christmas is over and everyone is in a “party” mood. I’d do 12/29.

    • Possibly unpopular opinion but can you choose a different venue and have the early December wedding you initially wanted?

      • S in Chicago :

        +1 I think weather alone may be a good reason for this

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Yeah this is what I’d be doing. If I wanted an early December wedding, that’s what I would get. But I also didn’t care much about venue to begin with.

    • The 12th. Otherwise you are competing with every holiday party ever known to man, and holiday season travel.

    • I got married on 12/29 in the northeast! It was a smallish wedding (50 ppl) some folks traveled quite a bit and lots of others were local. I loved the Christmas ambiance, did not have to spend money on decorations and got to spend extra time with family around the holidays which was important to us. CAVEAT: I invited all the people that I wanted to invite and made a commitment to myself to not have hurt feelings if someone could not make it. A couple of my best friends were not able to travel at that time. We are still best friends and I don’t mind that they were not at my wedding. If this does not sound like you, don’t have a wedding close to Christmas.

      • I went to a very, VERY similar wedding to this and it was awesome. It was more like a New Year’s Eve party than a Christmas thing and there was lots of champagne and it was just really fun.

        They did save quite a bit of $$ because the venue was already decorated for Christmas and they also had a number of family members who were able to fly in from afar and be around for both Christmas and the wedding as a double bonus.

    • I got married January 10, and it was just far enough out from Christmas. Flights were slightly cheaper.

    • wildkitten :

      If you want to be in the NYT Vows section, FYI, they get the fewest submissions the week of Christmas.

    • Anonymous :

      Jan 12 – that will be MLK weekend. I got married on MLK weekend a few years ago, and now we always celebrate our anniversary with a long weekend.

    • I would say either December 29* or January 12. *Assuming the people you really want there do not generally travel elsewhere for Christmas/NYE. It falls in that post-Christmas lull where it is still easy to take time off, but I would expect those who travel for the holidays to be away or in transit that weekend.

  9. I have received a great job offer (as in-house counsel in a tech company) and want to accept. My only concern is that, when the HR person extended the offer, she stated that the start date was “flexible, 2-3 weeks”. When we interviewed, I mentioned I would need at least two weeks notice to leave my current role, probably more if something big was happening (it is – I have a deal closing in three weeks), and I would like a two week vacation so I can start refreshed after years in biglaw. So I was a little surprised by her suggested timeline (although she did say it was flexible…) Is this unreasonable? I am thinking more like five weeks, and I feel like everyone I have seen lateral had at least a month, but maybe it’s different when you’re in-house? Any advice on pushing back on this?

    • Anonymous :

      Just tell her that you’re giving notice and can start on xyz date. Neither of you are being unreasonable.

    • Just ask nicely! “I wanted to check if a slightly later start date would work for you. I am in the midst of wrapping up a large deal at Firm, and want to depart knowing I’ve given my existing client the best service possible. Would X Date be convenient? If not, please let me know as I don’t want that to be an obstacle in joining your team.”

      • Housecounsel :

        I would think the new employer would really respect that you want to finish your work at the old one and not leave anyone hanging.

        • I disagree. The new boss is thinking purely how quick she can be on boarded so that he can fob off his work on her.

    • In-House in Houston :

      Make sure you tell her your requested start date in 5 weeks is flexible. I completely understand you wanting time to decompress so that you start refreshed. But you don’t know how urgent their need is for someone to start. We had person who wanted to start in 6 weeks and we wanted her to work a few weeks with the person she was replacing, so that was a deal breaker and we wound up revoking the offer. So you need to be prepared to start sooner if they need you. Just my opinion.

      • I think that’s a pretty crappy thing to do, as I can’t imagine those few weeks making a difference in her long term performance. Did you at least tell her it was a firm start date before revoking?

        • We did tell her we needed her to start in 4 weeks instead of 6 as she requested. When she refused we had no choice to revoke because we were about to lose our 2nd choice who had another offer. We felt a start date in 4 weeks was very accommodating (2 weeks notice and 2 weeks to decompress). nI agree with Tammi above. It depends on how badly they need her to start.

    • I changed jobs last year after more than ten years with my prior employer and only had a week between jobs because I felt so pressured to take an earlier start date by the recruiting HR manager. It turned out that it would have been fine to take even a month between, and I should have pushed back much harder. I regret it a lot because I have never had a break from work, ever (since I started working part time at age 15) and rarely a vacation longer than a week.

      Push back, take the time you need, and start the new job refreshed.

    • I’m in m0d on this one too. What is up with the crappy m0d policy, Kat?

      • Success! I ended up talking to the GC, and he was fine with my start date request and excited to have me on board. I am overjoyed to be moving on after a year of being stuck in a toxic job situation. Thank you to everyone on this board for their kind words of support and encouragement, and for helping get my act together to find a better fit for me.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      This seems fairly easy to negotiate, and I feel like HR stuff takes forever anyway. Two to three weeks probably means closer to five weeks. Also, she’s probably forgotten that you mentioned that window to begin with. She’s spoken to a million candidates since then. And congrats on the offer!

  10. PSA – Talbots will be collecting gently used business clothes for Dress for Success March 1-4. This is fantastic if your DFS doesn’t have convenient locations!

  11. Minnie Beebe :

    Help me get over this anger I’m feeling…

    Last week I was out of town for a team offsite. My first night there, DH called to let me know that our house was broken into. Upon further analysis of the alarm system, it seems that whoever came in was there for only about 6 min, and left out the back as he heard DS and our nanny coming in the front door. I am pretty sure DH forgot to lock the door when he and DS left in the morning, and also forgot to actually turn on the alarm.

    All of my jewelry is gone, and some other random items (old iPod Nano, etc). No individual item was too precious, but there’s were many items taken that I really liked or which had sentimental value (like the necklace I wore for my wedding.)

    I ended up coming home a day early to catalog the stolen items, and to get cameras installed, etc. Basically, to clean up the mess, as usual.

    I am so angry at DH! And terrified at what might have been. Am I out of line? I’m not sure how to let this go. I’m clearly feeling a lot of resentment, honestly. I don’t travel that often and when I do I make sure that everything is taken care of beforehand. DH travels nearly every week, and basically just leaves. Then I go away and a basic task like locking the f’ing door doesn’t happen.

    How can I get over this?

    • Anonymous :

      By reminding yourself that he’s only human like you are and like everyone else is. You’re assuming he forgot to lock the door. And? Like, everyone has done that! You got really unlucky once, that’s rough, but forgetting to lock the door, especially when your routine has been disturbed, is a totally normal thing.

      If you’re going to be bitter and resentful about coming home early, don’t do it. Cameras wouldn’t solve this. An inventory would wait. This is why insurance exists.

      I think it is easier psychologically to find a Reason This Happened and Someone to Blame but it’s nit fair and it’s destructive to your marriage. I mean. Come on. An iPod Nano?

      Let yourself feel scared and violated and frustrated. Being robbed is horrible. But so is your wife hating you for one minor mistake.

      • This is piling on and super harsh for no reason. It’s not just an iPod nano – it’s all her jewelry and other items as well. What do you want her to do, smile and say “it’s cool, I didn’t like that stuff anyway?” It’s okay to feel frustrated and for men to take responsibility for a mistake for a change.

      • Yeah you’re kicking someone when they’re down here. That’s an extremely unfair and one-sided analysis.

      • Full of ideas :

        I think this is a fair response – what happened sucks, but being mad isn’t going to fix it

    • Anonymous :

      He forgot to lock a door. Everyone has done that once. What’s the point of marriage if you don’t forgive him for being human?

      • Flats Only :

        Plus it’s not like he left a sign on it saying “door unlocked, please rob us”. I think the chance of a robber being around to find the unlocked door is probably slim, so this is just unlucky, not some sort of dumb husband conspiracy.

    • I don’t really get how someone can just leave without locking the door. And you have an alarm system, so setting that before you leave should be a normal thing. I think its normal for you to be feeling resentful and mad about this, have you talked to him about it? I’m sure he feels terrible about it even if he hasn’t said anything.

      • Anonymous :

        Literally by being a human and making a mistake? I’m glad you are perfect. The rest of us sometimes lock our keys in the car or forget to lock a door.

        • Well excuse me for trying to be conscious of locking the door when I leave the house, I don’t want my things to get stolen either.

          • Uhhh duh? Me too? But just the same occasionally people forget to do something. But again congrats on being so perfect you can’t understand how someone could possibly ever make a mistake. Must be nice.

      • WestCoast Lawyer :

        It is so easy to forget to lock a door, especially when your routine is disrupted (i.e. husband doesn’t usually take the kid in the morning, or the kid is throwing a fit on the way out the door, or you get a phone call while walking out the door, or….). Shortly after we moved our whole family went to dinner and left the front door wide open. Thankfully, nothing happened, but we all came home and couldn’t remember who had been the last one out the door. Stuff happens, people forget things. Blaming the husband for forgetting to lock the door seems a bit like blaming a woman who is assaulted for what she wore. The only person who deserves the blame is the robber. And even if the door had been locked and the alarm on they still could have been robbed. I know people who have been robbed twice. Their alarm went off both times, but the robbers knew approximately how quickly the police respond in our area and were careful to quickly grab the high-value, easy-to-carry stuff and get out.

    • So sorry to hear about this. My home was similarly broken into because DH left a window open and left the house (I was travelling at the time). Nothing of great value was stolen, but it was so upsetting to have someone rummage through our things and a few sentimental things were taken. DH ended up suffering the most because his old laptop was stolen with all of his pictures on it.
      I understand why you’re upset. At the same time, mistakes happen. I would take this as a chance to have a serious conversation with your husband about safety norms. And I say this as someone whose husband did not believe in locking the door at night when we met (he grew up in a very small, safe community. I grew up in the city and lock every single door all the time, don’t ever open to strangers, etc). You are allowed to be annoyed and concerned, but I would try to turn this into a constructive discussion about how to deal with this in the future. And maybe suggest the purchase of a nice new necklace to replace the stolen one.

    • Anonymous :

      Its ok to be annoyed – its not ok to let it run your life. What good does holding a grudge against him for this do? Its not going to bring back the jewelry or make it not happen. Have a discussion about what you can do together to prevent it in the future, implement the plan and sometimes you just have to move on.

      It sucks – but dont let it eat you alive.

    • I think you need to separate your anger at the incident/burglars and your anger at your husband. He left the door open and forgot the alarm (let’s assume), he didn’t invite burglars in, pawn your jewelry, or invite a robbery. People forget all the time and nothing happens. If this didn’t happen, your anger would be very different, no?

    • It sounds like this is more than just the lock, although that in itself is bad too. I would do a couple things:

      1) You – Dwell in your feelings a bit. Your feelings are justified, so let yourself feel them. Probe and see what your underlying issues are. Is this part of “always being the responsible one”? Is this part of “always overseeing the home”? Is this part of “feeling stagnant while supporting his growth”? Decide how much of that is real and how much is built up in your head.

      2) Him – talk to him about what you’re feeling, and pay attention to his reaction. Is he distressed that he caused a problem for you? Is he willing to do small things (even if they only help a part of the issue) like buy a wifi lock so he can double check the doors every day? Is he interested in getting you the help you need to move past the resentment?

      3) Together – develop an action plan. He can help you brainstorm ideas to get past the resentment. Would doing a workbook together work? Would him arranging a babysitter for joint counseling work? Would a quarterly solo trip (where he does all the planning and prep work) for you work? Come up with a plan to try, and agree to revisit it in 6 months or so to see if it helped.

    • If this is out of character for him, then I think you need to show him the grace you would want him to show you if you made a damaging mistake.

      But it sounds like this is part of a bigger pattern of him expecting you to take care of household things and not contributing equally, especially when it comes to travel. If that’s the case, then “getting over it” by squashing your feelings down to smolder in a simmering stew of resentment is the worst thing you could do for yourself and your marriage. It might be time for a calm talk with a holistic view of how you are dividing household tasks. It might be time for marriage counseling.

      • +1. It depends on whether this is out of character or not and also whether he takes it seriously or not. If he responds with “it’s not my fault, I didn’t invite them in” or “you’re the one who left jewelry laying around,” that’s a different story than “I’m sorry honey, I think I forgot the lock and now I feel horrible that your stuff is gone.”

      • Delta Dawn :

        +1 that this may be part of a bigger pattern. He travels all the time and you handle everything at home; you travel once and he can’t lock the door and you get robbed. It seems like your reaction may be because it’s not the only thing you handle and he doesn’t.

        My DH travels a lot, and I rarely do. When he is gone, I manage both kids for dinner, bath, bedtime, morning rush, school dropoff, etc. etc…. when I’m gone, he has his mom come stay. That’s fine, but it frustrates me because I feel like he should be able to handle his own home for the four times per year I’m gone. I read some of my own frustrations in your original post, so I understand.

        Also– if you got robbed the one time your house was unlocked, that could be evidence of a lot more attempted robberies at your home. Thieves often go through neighborhoods trying doors on every car and home until one of them opens. I bet this is not the first time someone tried your door; it’s just the first time it was unlocked.

        • Yes, I get the sense that OP is annoyed not just because DH left the door unlocked and the alarm disabled, but also because DH was incapable of dealing with the aftermath and she had to fly home early to take care of everything, and because she always has to take care of everything.

          • I agree with your assessment. To be fair, though, I don’t think it’s reasonable to expect that a spouse would be able to accurately catalog all of his or her spouse’s missing jewelry.

            And also, if I knew my house had been broken into and my jewelry stolen, I’d be too distraught to continue on with the conference. I know logically there’s nothing I can do, but I’d be on the first flight home anyway. Ymmv, though.

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you! How frightening for your family.

      I wonder if some of the resentment is a reaction to being the victim of a crime. My DH was robbed at knifepoint in broad daylight walking from his parked car to the gym. He was robbed of his wedding ring, 2 gold chains, and a gold bracelet he typically wears, plus his phone with a battery pack. After the robbery, rather than going into the gym to call the cops, he walked a few blocks away to what he thought was a police substation. It was a Police Athletic League gym program, where they helped him call.

      I was upset with him-why didn’t you immediatly run into the gym and call for help? Why were you so stupid to not realize a PAL gym isn’t the police (in my mind, a quicker police response could have caught the perpetrator, but to be fair, it does have the name POLICE with a badge in big letters on the door, so anyone driving by might think its a substation). How could you be so stupid to wear jewelry to the gym? Why were you wearing your wedding ring? Why didn’t you park in the gym parking lot (even though I know its often full)? I talked about it with my therapist, who made me realize I was really frightened about the experience overall and was placing blame on him.

      I felt frightened because it was in broad daylight, a few blocks from my work, and it could have been me. I go to the same gym and park on street, too.

      Ultimately the only person to blame is the perpetrator of the crime. Yes, you may be right that DH forgot to lock the door, and I think he will be more vigilant in the future. But he didn’t ask to get robbed anymore than my DH did. I hope this reframing is helpful, because I really empathize with you and am sorry this happened. FWIW, our renter’s insurance was helpful with filing a claim, and we got reimbursed for all the stolen items.

    • I understand the anger. Leaving the alarm off AND the door unlocked is incredibly reckless, especially if your nanny and child could have been home when the burglar came.

      Is your anger part of a larger pattern of him not remembering basic tasks such that you have to pick up the slack? If this were a one off thing, you might just have to remember and repeat “he’s a human, he made a mistake”. If this is a pattern of forgetfulness, causing problems and not rectifying them, and in general not being an equal adult in the family, you probably need a sit down to get your concerns off your chest, it will probably help with the anger.

      Also, get an alarm system that you can arm virtually with alerts, in case you really don’t trust him to do this correctly in the future.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I agree with the recommendations to separate your anger at DH from your fear at what could have happened. Honestly, it sounds like your DH made an unfortunate mistake, which could happen to the best of us. One time I left my keys in the lock in my apartment door overnight. You sound resentful of your husband’s lack of care generally and that is compounding your anger in this situation. If you have not yet read any articles about emotional labor, I’d suggest doing so. I think you need to sit down for a series of conversations about these sorts of things – the specific incident, household tasks in general, emotional labor, etc. And go to marriage counseling if you guys aren’t able to resolve it on your own.

    • Echoing what everyone else said – seems like you’re angry about sharing household responsibilities unequally, not JUST the breakin. In terms of the break-in, it sounds like you are victim blaming. Your husband did not cause someone to break into your house (yes, leaving the door unlocked made it easier). You don’t know, the thief may have smashed a window to break in even if a door wasn’t open. But since you’ve experienced how hard it is to solo-parent while he’s away, I would extend him some grace on this particular incident. My DH is gone one weekend a month and my brain is usually fried that weekend.

    • I totally understand your anger and frustration. It really sucks to feel like you consistently handle these really basic things like locking the door (and it is a basic thing – it’s just not that hard) and then your husband doesn’t pay the same amount of attention. However, since you can’t turn back the clock, I would split your feelings into two – anger for the thieves and frustration with a focus on solutions for your husband. A conversation could go like this: “I’m so angry at those guys for taking our stuff. It seems like theft has been on the rise in our neighborhood lately and of course we had to be their next targets. Honestly, I’m also a little frustrated because locking the door and setting the alarm system should have deterred those lowlifes. Are you sure that you did that? How can we make sure you never leave the house without it?

      Also, I really feel for you on this because this is a perfect example of annoying emotional labor that women are forced into. Not only do you have to deal with a husband who can’t remember the lock the freaking door, you also have to take care of his feelings as you make sure it doesn’t happen again. So frustrating!

    • You aren’t actually mad at your husband. You’re mad at the feeling of losing control and it’s much easier to blame your husband than to accept that this scary awful thing happened to you because… life sometimes works that way.

      He cannot modify his behaviour enough to eliminate risk from your lives. Don’t ask him to.

      • He can certainly modify his behavior enough to lock the house and/or set the alarm (either one will do) like a grown adult. Ask and expect him to.

        • Eh, even adults aren’t perfect. Perfection is not a reasonable goal.

          • Locking the house does not require perfection. Basic functionality as a responsible adult is a pretty reasonable goal.

      • Belle Boyd :

        I agree with this.

        Yes, it’s okay to be upset with your husband for forgetting to set the alarm and lock the door. It’s a regrettable mistake. He could have been running late, been on the phone, a million different things that may have distracted him. Or he may just be the forgetful type that does things like that. He’s human. That’s the thing you have to remember here. You are human, too, and it’s okay to be upset with him.

        But what are the chances that on the day he forgot, your house was broken into? That’s where you need to let go of your anger toward your husband, because sometimes sh!t just happens.

        My house was broken into a while ago. Anger and blame are just part of the gamut of emotions you go through when something like this happens. The feeling of loss of control is huge, as is the constant, nagging feeling that somebody was in my house that I DID NOT INVITE. Then there’s the fear and paranoia that it’ll happen again, and the constant checking and double-checking of doors and windows. It took a long time to get over what had happened and I was willing to blame everyone and everything rather than admit I was upset with myself over something I had no control.

        I am sorry this happened to you. It’s awful, and it’ll be awful for awhile – maybe even a long while. But your husband didn’t forget on purpose. I’m sure he feels horrible that this happened. Please forgive him.

    • Anon for this :

      It’s also possible the burglars used a tool to open your door without forced entry. I had my door, that I’m 99% certain I locked opened but my alarm scared them off. The police found the door still open but nothing taken and no forced entry. They kept saying I must have left my door open and the wind blew it open or unlocked and they opened it and ran off at the alarm. I think the odds that I left it unlocked 1 time and that particular time was when a burglar tried the handle is pretty low.

      My husband and a bunch of neighbors had stuff stolen from their cars with no forced entry. The thieves had some kind of electronic fob that unlocked the doors.

    • I’d be really upset and I feel you on this. You have a the alarm for a reason – the least he can do is set it.

      You can also feel very violated knowing someone went through your stuff and was in your home and now has things that belong to you.

      It’s ok to be mad at both things. This was a major duh moment on your husband’s part and i hope he is at least apologetic about it. I hope it’s a wake up call for him to be more careful about locking up and setting the alarm because it could have been a lot worse.

    • I’m so sorry this happened to you.

      It is very scary, and just awful to experience this, and it will shake you up for a long time.

      Focus now on the insurance claims. You will be pleasantly surprised with what your insurance will pay for. Buy a replacement for your wedding necklace. The same exact one. If there are other favorites, replace them with the same ones. You didn’t mention any heirloom items or valuables, so these things are very replaceable.

      You are actually so, so lucky. You have children. You have a husband. No one was home to possibly get hurt.

      My 5 minute burglar also stole my jewelry, which included my mother’s good jewelry. She had just died. It is irreplaceable. I am still devastated. I used the insurance $ to substitute my two favorites of my mother’s pieces. I still think of her when I wear them. You adjust.

      I have had my place broken into twice. It actually doesn’t matter if you lock the door or don’t. It is so, so, so, so easy to break in a door. If they want to get in they will. Your house was chosen.

      And it doesn’t matter if your alarm works. The burglars are so good and there for such a brief period they can still steal your jewelry with the alarm going off. They know how long it takes for the system to trigger, the call to be made, the police to come.

      Do you have signs outside of your house/apartment stating that you have an alarm system? If so, that also tells you the burglar didn’t care and was going to be in/out quick anyway. If you did NOT have signs on your doors / lawn stating you have an alarm system, get those. Sometimes they are a deterrent. The cops told me that in my current area, only houses without signs get broken into. Know your area.

      I also don’t understand how your alarm system could have been left off, and yet you somehow know how many minutes the burglar was inside….. but that’s besides the point.

      You need someone to blame, so you choose your husband and nanny (who I assume are both good, responsible, kind and thoughtful people). They both feel bad right now. Try to make yourself get past it. Focus on the insurance. Get the signs.

      It isn’t your husband’s fault.

      You are so so lucky.

      • Not to pile on but I really disagree with a lot of this.

        It really does matter if you lock the door or not. Someone wrote above that burglars go through looking for open doors. That’s absolutely true. This was a crime of opportunity– they didn’t smash a window and break in. They walked through an open door. They most likely were looking for open doors. They only chose your house because the door was open.

        It really does matter if your alarm works. Most burglars will run if they hear an alarm begin going off. The bold ones will swipe what they can before running, yes, but some will run immediately. Again, a crime of opportunity.

        My alarm system registers every door opening/closing whether or not it is armed. I assume this or a similar feature is how you knew he was inside for six minutes.

    • wildkitten :

      If you’re insured, it might make you feel better to pick out some nice new jewelry pieces with DH so they are meaningful to you and you can fix it (as much as possible) together.

    • Senior Attorney :

      To answer your question about how to get over it, try googling “Brene Brown Blame.” She has a great short video about how looking around for somebody to blame is what we do instead of doing the hard work of experiencing and dealing with your actual emotions.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Locking the door may not have made a difference. If someone wants to rob you, there are many ways to get into your home (think breaking a window, forcing the lock, etc.) I’m so sorry this happened to you!

    • Were there any keys lying around?
      Do you need to change your locks?

  12. Siberian blast :

    UK-based ladies, help! I’m supposed to be leaving for London on Friday, arriving Saturday, and I have no idea what to do about footwear and outerwear. All of my planning has been for chilly and rainy, not Siberian polar vortex.

    My footwear options are currently: giant knee-high Sorels if I need snow boots; calf-high rain boots in a hideous print, which have enough room that I can get two pairs of Smartwool socks into them if I need to; waterproof booties that will suck in the snow but be fine in heavy rain. I really don’t want to bring the Sorels but the thought of marching around London in my rain boots makes me cringe–they were a gift and let’s just say I would not choose them for myself.

    Outwear: waterproof trench which is fine in chilly-but-not-cold weather; water-resistant, hooded down parka that’s not great in heavy rain; waterproof heavy jacket from the 90s (and not in a cool way) that doesn’t have a hood, so I have to wear my rain jacket underneath it. Do I need to go buy a non-hideous waterproof hooded jacket that’s going to be warm enough for the polar vortex?

    Packing is my secret superpower, but this trip has turned out to be my Kryptonite.

    • Boston, not London, based, but we’ve had the polar vortex, too. Layers are key, and luckily they do not take up much room in your suitcase. Wear long underwear under your pants and top, and wear a sweater, fleece, etc so you can adjust and be comfortable inside.

      Can you buy a 3 in one coat, the type that has a waterproof, hooded shell and a fleece lining that zips into it?

      • Siberian blast :

        I’m planning on layers: it’s the footwear and outerwear that I’m having trouble with!

        I’ve been putting off getting a new winter coat for a few years, but this might end up being my push to get something. It looks like REI has some decent 3-in-1 coats on clearance. Anyone else think this is worth it?

    • The weather is super ugly right now and people are just wearing whatever they could find, but they said in the news that things would be better in the weekend.
      Also, what you want in shoes is more insulation rather than giant snow boots. There is a bit of snow but it’s not to the extent you’d dive into it walking around.
      Also get something for your face, the wind is horrible.

      • Siberian blast :

        Thanks, this is helpful. The trouble is that my only insulated, waterproof shoes are my giant snow boots…

        • Honestly, don’t worry about it. People in central London have been wearing Sorel boots (the short ones with 2 colors) when it was around 10°C. No one would bat an eye if you wear something bigger in even lower temps :)
          Anf for umbrellas, you can buy cheap ones everywhere at the little waitrose, boots etc. but your hand will freeze as you hold it. I’d rather wear a head cover and a hooded coat… and seriously cover your face and wear a thick cream

        • Wear the big insulated snow boots. I wear mine for warmth and not-snow all the time when the temps are 15F and below. but make sure that whatever socks you choose, you can still wiggle your toes in your boots. You want to have some air space in the boot (helps to keep your feet warm), so don’t sausage stuff thick wool socks. Thinner smart wool socks (especially with the extra padding on the bottom) might be a good choice here.

    • If it’s there’s some “Siberian Polar Vortex” it sounds like it would be too cold to rain, so I would do a packable down jacket and an umbrella if you’re going to be walking miles in the snow.

      • Siberian blast :

        It’s supposed to rain a few days after the polar vortex clears.

        But yes, I need to plan on an umbrella. I don’t use them frequently in my day-to-day life (I lose them as soon as I get them) and keep forgetting about them!

    • Honestly it sounds like you’re not crazy about any of your footwear options, and I love buying new stuff for a trip, so I would take the opportunity to get new rainboots with an insulating layer.

    • Do you have knee-high leather boots? That’s what I have been wearing in this weather. Otherwise, the waterproof booties + down parka should be just fine. The snow has been pretty light so far, it’s the cold and the wind that are more of a problem.

      • Siberian blast :

        Okay, good to know. I do have knee-high black boots that I can spray with waterproofer. I’ll add those into the mix.

        I went home for lunch today and pulled every pair of boots I own out of my closet. And I found my hiking boots! They’re definitely coming with me in lieu of the mega-Sorels or hideous rain boots. I guess I wasn’t coding this urban vacation in my brain as something I would consider hiking boots for, but they’re comfortable, waterproof, warm, and reasonably neutral.

    • Blonde Consultant :

      Second all of this – Sorels or Chelsea boots are the way to go! Other pro tips for dressing in the UK – a coat with a hood, lots of layers, and of course, a scarf! It’s cold here, but not as bad as a freezing day in DC / NYC / Boston could be, so don’t worry too much! Enjoy!

  13. Anonymous :

    Make sure you tell her your requested start date in 5 weeks is flexible. I completely understand you wanting time to decompress so that you start refreshed. But you don’t know how urgent their need is for someone to start. We had person who wanted to start in 6 weeks and we wanted her to work a few weeks with the person she was replacing, so that was a deal breaker and we wound up revoking the offer. So you need to be prepared to start sooner if they need you. Just my opinion.

  14. Last week I got an Aspergers diagnosis that makes a huge difference in how I see myself and my career. Anyone else in the hive have experience? Since it looks so different in women as compared to men, a lot of women go undiagnosed.

    Some of the things that led me to seek out help were the realization that it’s probably not typical to do things like: script out complete conversations including small talk on index cards and keep them spread out on my desk during calls so I know how to act ‘normal,’ frequent sensory overload from a variety of sources that leads me to freeze, get overwhelmed, or otherwise meltdown, several SO’s over the years noticing that I act ‘off’ or weird and don’t pick up on the cues that other people do, copying the language, dress, speech of people I admire (perhaps that’s why this site has been so helpful to me over the years!), horrible executive function, etc.

    Those are just a few examples, obviously, but it’s been such a revelation to look back at my life through this new lens. And as I think about moving forward, I’m wondering how to rearrange my life to smooth out the challenges that are now validated by something other than a feeling of ‘maybe I’m just not trying hard enough’.

    I know that SA and a few others have posted about taking a step back or laterally to find a dream job, but does anyone have experience taking a BIG step back in their career and feel okay with it?

    • I went through a similar experience with a diagnosis that sometimes presents similarly to Aspergers (non-verbal learning disability). At the time I was diagnosed, I was seeking help in staying on the same career path.

      I also have a few chronic medical conditions, and, over time, I found that I just couldn’t achieve the same quality of life as my colleagues when I needed to dedicate more time and energy (and money) to doing the same work, while generally having less energy to start with. The effort/reward calculus just wasn’t adding up, and I had no life outside of work.

      The decision to scale back was difficult for me, since I still identified as a high achiever. When compensating, it’s hard to aim for “just good enough”–I have to put a lot of effort and forethought into things that other people can achieve casually, so my pattern was to either “excel” or “crash and burn”–and of course my career was built on the excelling. I scaled back into remote work (where I have to invest far less energy in social interaction, sensory defensiveness, and commuting). I stepped up my conference participation so hard-won (if mediocre) social skills wouldn’t totally atrophy (but it probably helps more that I actually have a social life now).

      For me, feeling okay about it has a lot to do with the people I choose to surround myself with.

      • PS. I say the “people I choose to surround myself with” because I used to have more of a “beggars can’t be choosers” mindset. When I was imitating other people socially without reading them too well, I didn’t notice signs of people distancing themselves from one another; they all seemed to be connecting miraculously well from my standpoint, so opting out didn’t seem to be an option. Now I avoid people who just don’t handle difference well.

      • Thank you for posting. I especially relate to what you said about identifying as a high achiever. I think that’s what leads to the struggle in accepting the idea that maybe the ‘effort/reward calculus’ just isn’t going to add up for me in a way that I can continue being a healthy functioning person outside of my current career path.

        Was there anything in particular that you did when you were seeking help/an answer that made any of these kind of decisions easier?

        • Well. I personally kicked against the goads. I really wanted a diagnosis to mean that everything could be “fixed”, so I worked on scaffolding and set reminders and read about speech pragmatics, etc. That’s all great when it helps, but I was putting even more on my plate when the reality that had driven me to seek help in the first place was that I could not Do It All. So I needed a few reality checks along the way.

          So that was not a great way to go about things, but I did some helpful things too. Without getting into the diagnosis, I talked about work/life balance with some mentors/people I respected. As you mentioned earlier, making career changes for better work/life balance isn’t that uncommon. Once I truly internalized the fact that this wasn’t all about character flaws or inadequate willpower, it became so much simpler to go for what I wanted, to sacrifice what I just didn’t want as much, and to let go of anything I was doing to prove something to someone else without any consequent benefit for me. (I made a lot of lists.)

          It sounds to me like you are starting from a better place, so you may be able to skip ahead to the “more balanced” life part without as much angst? But either way, it’s worth it.

  15. Horse Crazy :

    Last Thursday night, I stayed at a coworker/friend’s house because we had an early flight to a conference Friday morning, and she lives way closer to the airport than I do. Her husband picked up dinner for us and wouldn’t let me pay for it, plus I stayed in their guest room, and her husband took us to the airport super early Friday morning and picked us up Sunday night. What would you recommend for something I could send them to say thank you? Nothing big – my dinner probably cost less than $10, but it was still generous of them and I’d like a little something to say thank you. Any suggestions?

  16. Random Q: I just got new glasses from one of those cheap online places and checked the box for “I spend a lot of time on the computer” at the last minute. The glasses arrived and there’s a dingy brownish tint to them. Is this what computer glasses are? Has anyone really noticed a difference in terms of headaches, dry eye, etcetera?

    • “dingy brownish tint” no is not computer glasses.
      Did you possibly accidentally order tinted lenses?
      Most of the cheap online places do have free returns and re-dos. Please feel free to send back if not completely satisfied! I did this with 39 dollar glasses dot c 0 m it’s totally ok. You can re-order what you want.

    • Computer glasses typically have an amber tint if they’re going to block blue light. I have amber lenses in my computer glasses. Computer glasses also usually have a slight magnification.

      • Yeah, I have lenses that are meant for computers and they make everything look kind of yellowish. It’s not really noticeable unless you’re looking for it.

    • Yes, these are computer glasses….
      Lenses with a orange/yellow tint on them will filter blue light. (that’s the reason they look orange/yellow).

  17. Applying for two jobs :

    I applied to two jobs at the same company (the same job, but in different divisions). Is it okay if I pursue all my connections and channels to get interviews for both of them equally or should I be focusing on my top choice only? I’m worried it will look disingenuous if I make a big effort to network for Choice B and then immediately jump ship for Choice A if given the chance. Also, if I do get an interview, do I acknowledge that I applied to the other division as well?

    • Part of it depends on how large/separate the divisions and their HR are.
      If people are in the same building and close knit, they might discuss you passingly.
      If the divisions are in different locations, have separate HR managers etc. then you might be going through 2 isolated processes even if it’s the same company.

  18. Vacation time vent :

    I am basically the only non-academic in my family of origin. My husband is also an academic, as are many of his close family members. My job has generous vacation time, but I do not have the months of June & July completely off. I don’t have three weeks off at Christmas. I don’t get a random week-long break every March. I get four weeks of paid vacation, and I have to manage its use around projects, other people’s time off, professional optics and so on. LIKE LITERALLY EVERY OTHER WHITE COLLAR WORKER.

    I just got a sort of sad phone call from my mother-in-law expressing her disappointment I won’t be going a two-week-long cruise to celebrate her birthday during one of the busiest seasons at my work. My brother’s peeved at me that I’m not taking the whole week before his wedding to help out with wedding prep. My sister-in-law just invited me to a baby shower three states away.

    I love my family. I love my in-laws. I would also love to drink margaritas on a beach somewhere without a lot of people grousing I don’t spend enough time with them.

    • I mean, going on a cruise with my mother in law sounds like my worst nightmare so I could count myself lucky that I can’t go.

    • I’m the academic in my marriage – but who are all these academics in your family who can take two week cruises? I have a much more flexible schedule than my husband, and probably take a week more vacation over the course of the year than he does (he has 15 days PTO), but I definitely cannot take June & July completely off, or three weeks off at Christmas. Even though I take more vacation, I definitely work more hours than my husband over the course of the year, because of all the weekend conferences and evening talks I have to go to. I love my career, but none of the academics I know have the ability to take that kind of vacation. Or rather, we could…but then we’d be shut out of all of the opportunities that make us actually want this career in the first place.

      • My family is from Europe and they get SO OFFENDED that I can’t take two weeks at Christmas and three weeks in August. My father, who is otherwise quite the workaholic, told me my employer was being unreasonable (!!!) for not allowing two weeks every Christmas and it was “all in my head”. I have three weeks per year, will switch to four in a year. They just don’t understand how things work in a North American office and apparently think I am avoiding them or that I should get a new job with better work conditions (I mean I could, but short of moving to France, it’s unlikely I will get French-style vacation. Not to mention I make about twice what my childhood friends make by living here in Canada).
        Anyway, I’m sorry you are going through this and think you will just have to firmly and nicely explain that no, you can’t do that, that’s not how things work for you, but you would like to do dinner/a weekend/whatever works so you still feel connected to them and aren’t always left out.

      • I’m not OP but also from a family of academics. The professors I know work very hard but have very flexible schedules and usually do take extended vacations over class breaks. Caveat is that none of them are in the lab sciences so they can work remotely just fine.

    • No advice but lots of empathy. DH’s is family are all teachers who can’t understand why we don’t want to travel to see them during peak tourist season at their location in the summer. Flights are super pricey, everything is packed full of people – so we’ll be there for one week while they are working and two weeks when they are not. I can’t take 8 weeks off every year and I’m not traveling ultra high season because of someone else’s career choices. I used to feel like I had to justify but now it’s just a ‘Sorry, we can’t do that.’

    • Your husband needs to handle this for you. He needs to inform them of what they already know but pretend that they don’t – that your job has less vacation and less flexible vacation time than theirs do, and respecting your work is not negotiable.

    • Re; two week cruise. I have done this. Do not do it. Learn from me so that my traumatic experience may do good in the world and having meaning.

      • Senior Attorney :


        Your traumatic experience has made me chuckle this morning, so at least there’s that…

      • Anonymous :

        I LOVE bad vacation stories please tell us more!

      • I LOVE bad vacation stories please tell us more!

        • Anonymous :

          Not the original anon, but there’s something about extended periods of time together that lets my parents get way too comfortable. My boyfriend and I went on a 12 day cruise with my parents. Near the end of it, my mother had a few too many drinks, and demanded to know when my boyfriend was going to propose. He gracefully deflected the question. Then, when I turned down a third beer, she goggled at me and asked, loudly enough for the waitress to jump, “Why not? Are you PREGNANT?” When I replied in the negative, she said “Well why not?” Then she turned to my boyfriend and asked, “Don’t you want to give me grandchildren?” At this point the entire room was staring at us and I got up and walked out.

    • Huge +1 to people grousing at you for not spending time with them. Every time I visit my mother, she spends the entire visit complaining that I don’t come often enough. I’m literally here spending time with you right now. Do you think I will want to come more often if every visit is one long guilt trip?

      • +1. I’m taking a beach vacation and all I’m hearing from my mom is how I don’t spend enough time with her, she is going to be gone some day, and why don’t I come to her Midwest (snow covered) city instead. Ohhh, that’s not a vacation!!!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Feel you so hard right now. My SO’s family all has either 10 weeks of vacation a year or makes their own schedule/can work from wherever. They scheduled the trip we just came back from over Tuesday through Saturday, on a week I had Monday (President’s Day) off.

      My mother’s retired, so she can’t understand why I can’t spend an entire week with her for Passover and Rosh Hashana and also just for snow sports every winter. To make matters worse, my SO owns his company and can work on his laptop wherever, so he’s frequently traveling for work with a few days tacked on the end for fun, none of which I can join him on. I’m a little bitter about it.

    • My in laws are like this. I make efforts to be at things when I can. The rest of the time I (try to) let their guilt trips wash over me like so much melting snow. It’s their problem, not mine.

      And who counts on their relatives for “wedding prep” without discussing it with them first? Nope.

      Sorry, I can’t make it. But I am so excited for your wedding!
      Sorry, I can’t join you. I can’t get away from the office then. Have a great time! I will be jealous!

      • +1 to the wtf on the “wedding prep”. You can’t just expect your relatives to be your unpaid wedding coordinators. That’s a service he can pay someone for if he wants it. He doesn’t get to ask it of you or whine that you can’t do it.

    • Commiseration. DH’s parents don’t work (and haven’t for a very long time) and don’t seem to understand why I guard my vacation time like a hawk. No, I don’t want to take quarterly trips with you wherever you are going. I want to plan my own trips and do what I want to do with my limited time.

  19. Suiting recommendations? :

    **trying again since I think this went to mod**

    Since [email protected] was mentioned above, wondering if anyone had a recommendation for suits that work well for [email protected] customers. I’m an F-G, in-betweenie sized, but often find plu$ size brands too shapeless.

    Alternately, what’s a plu$ size suiting line that’s worth getting majorly tailored?

    And, has anyone tried the new Women’s Suit Supply location in NY?

    • Nudibranch :

      I can’t help with some of your questions, but I can tell you that I’ve had good luck with the Panache brand from Bravissimo. You can also find odds and ends of this brand on Amazon if you search for your band and cup size. You really just have to try them on, but I’ve had good luck ordering the size of swimsuit that matches my bra size.

      If you search DD+ suits on Figleaves, you’ll find some nice looking options. I bought one there last year and was pleased with it.

      Land’s End also usually has several DD+ options each year. I’ve found them to be great quality for the $ if you find one you like. Personally, I wish their DD+ designs were more in more youthful options and colorways, as they always seem to be offered only in the most ‘matronly’ styles/colors.

      Hope that helps… I encourage you to buy several and return the ones that don’t work or fit well.

  20. My beloved boss told me last week that she is one of three finalists for the top job at another organization. She would be amazing and I am so excited for her. I realize that if this opportunity materializes for her, it may also create an opportunity for me internally, so I’m trying to prepare myself for that possibility. If she leaves, things will move quickly, so I want to be intentional—but please rest assured that I’m not trying to edge her out.

    My boss told me she wasn’t yet thinking about the “what ifs” because she wanted to tamp down her own excitement about the opportunity, but if she does decide to leave, I would seek her guidance on my next steps. I’m already second-in-command on the team she leads, I have a great relationship with her boss and the rest of the leadership (thanks in large part to my boss intentionally giving me increasingly high-profile opportunities to shine), and there would be no other viable internal candidate. All that said, it would be a big step for me.

    Any thoughts or words of wisdom from others who have navigated similar transitions?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I was in your shoes – it was so bittersweet. It sounds like your boss is pushing back a tiny bit on the what ifs due to her own emotions. If you have a good relationship with her, I think you should gently but directly tell her that you do need to start thinking about the what ifs and having her guidance is important to you. She’s probably only thinking about herself right now, so give her a little nudge that this would have a domino effect onto you.

      When I was in your shoes, as soon as it was confirmed that my boss was leaving I requested a sit down with grand boss. Said I was interested in the opportunity, etc. That helped me feel out what the JD would look like and what they’d be interviewing for. It was pretty standard from there.

      • I love the way you phrased it: having her guidance *is* so important to me!

        Her final interview is this week, so maybe I can check in with her afterwards to get a sense for how she thinks things will proceed. In the event that she doesn’t get this job, I certainly don’t want her to feel like I’m trying to push her out.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          Yeah, agreed. You two have a good relationship, but it can’t hurt to re-emphasize that you love working with her and would be so happy if that continued. Keep us posted!

  21. New Orleans over Easter?? :

    Has anyone visited New Orleans over the Easter long weekend? BF and I are considering a trip there. I am concerned that many things wont be open. Any input would be appreciated?

    • I live in New Orleans. Almost everything will be open. There will also be special events, including the Chris Owens Easter Parade. It’s also the same weekend as the Crescent City Classic.

      I’d recommend making any reservations for Easter brunch now if you decide to go.

      • Yeah, there are a couple of parades downtown on Easter Sunday. Lots of road closures for the Crescent City Classic, but that’s just on Saturday morning. Agree with SC about brunch reservations.

        There’s so much going on that weekend that everything will be open. I never get to do much of everything because it’s all singing all the time that weekend.

    • I went 5 years ago to New Orleans during Easter. It remains one of my favorite weekend trips. The weather was great, the Easter parade SC mentioned was awesome, and it is just so much fun. Everything was open, but agree to make reservations in advance.

    • New Orleans Over Easter?? :

      Thanks everyone!! Very helpful!

  22. I work at a government agency and had a former colleague from another government agency reach out to me about possibly filling one of their vacancies. I spoke with the person hiring and he said that he would prefer to give professional courtesy to my current boss and let her know that he is going to interview me, but he would leave it up to me whether we should tell my boss or not. I’m obviously hesitant to let my current boss know because I wasn’t really looking for another opportunity and I am pretty integral to my current office. I think it would go over ok (she is a very nice person), but you never know how these things will go either. However, the person in charge of hiring for this new position obviously would like to do it and I want to keep him happy too. Any advice on how to navigate this situation?

    • Absolutely not and I would be very concerned that the hiring person might let it slip to your boss anyway.

      • +1 Absolutely not. You never tell your boss you’re looking for a new job. It’s not a “professional courtesy.”

    • I’d tell the interviewer that you’d appreciate his/her discretion until they make their final selection for the position. Even if your boss is very understanding, it’ll be a natural impulse (conscious or unconscious) to view you as a flight-risk. You’d be less likely to be internally promoted, selected for trainings, approved for TDYs. And, if that’s a deal breaker for the new office, I’d say that’s a warning sign that he or she isn’t very realistic or doesn’t care about your well being beyond how they can use you.

    • Tell him no. Say “I’d prefer you not tell current boss since, while I’m certainly interested in this opportunity, in general I am not looking to move.”

  23. Just a little happy to share here because I can’t share IRL…

    My longterm boyfriend has been acting strange & withdrawn – turns out he had asked for his recently passed grandmother’s ring to propose with and no one can find it – just her wedding band. He said he’s hated keeping a huge secret from me, which is why he was acting strange & he’s planning on having it melted down to form the ring/setting for an engagement ring for me. He has brothers so I didn’t think he’d be the one to get any of the family jewelry so that makes it even more special, since she was such a huge part of his life. This entire thing is just the sweetest surprise he’s ever put together for me and I’m just so relieved there was an explanation for his mood and had to share with someone!

    Happy Monday!

    • That’s not the first story I’ve heard of a boyfriend acting weirdly before proposing! How lovely. Congratulations.

      • Congratulations!! My story is similar- my DH was acting *so weird* for about a month before he proposed. I thought he was going to break up with me me/move out. He was just dealing with all the proposal stuff.

    • Anon for this :

      Aw this reminds me of a happy memory. I met my husband in college. After a few months of dating he started acting really strange and withdrawn and I thought he was going to break up with me. He was really just working up the courage to tell me he loved me. I’m happy for you! How exciting!

    • Yes, I agree you are very lucky. My ex’s big gift to me was a box of stale chocolate’s from CVS. I think he got it at 1/2 price off b/c the box was dented and looked like a shoppeing cart had rolled on top of it. Once he gave it to me, he wound up eating most of the chocolate’s and then stinking up the guest bathroom in my apartement. FOOEY! I am moving to a new place in a couple of years with 3 bathrooms, but one thing I am NOT bringing along is HIM! DOUBEL FOOEY!

  24. I remember there being a comment thread about LOFT tops and their stubborn creases from being folded. Tried to search for it but couldn’t locate. Were there any suggestions for getting the lines out?

    • Hand steamer works with some extra effort.
      One person suggested taking it to the store.

    • I was the one who asked about it! Someone suggested taking it to the dry cleaners, which is what I’m planning on doing.

      • Thanks! I actually wrote to LOFT and they just said if an item is damaged you could return it. I will try dry cleaning and/or a steamer.

  25. wtf family rant :

    Went to a family memorial service last week.

    Immediately after: message from sibling re current wife of distant relative that sibling (who lives in another time zone) has not met and will likely never interact with. Theme: that woman is trash.

    Later: convo with sibling (which you think would be about death of close relative in the family) goes south over my not wanting to waste my time on earth in badmouthing aforementioned relative’s current spouse and “the bad things about her on the internet” (not sure what those “things” are; glad that the rest of the world has time to google-stalk people). Ugh. UGH. 20+ texts later, I am still the bad guy somehow.

    FWIW, can my phone start bouncing people who do not seem to have any sort of standing (hello, article 3 federal jurisdiction class) to complain about the nonsense they complain about?

    • No, but you can stop responding to people complaining about nonsense they have no standing to complain about. If you don’t want to waste your time talking about something, just don’t waste it. Don’t engage.

    • Well to be honest, just from the tone of your post, you sound pretty high-and-mighty full of yourself. I suspect that if it’s a 20+ text argument it’s about more than a distant family member.

      • wtf family rant :

        No participation on my part. 20+ text rant all directed at me.

        Called sibling b/c I (mistakenly) thought that sibling was seeing how relatives were doing with a death in the family and memorial service and all that. Did not expect the blow up about the remarriage. Remarried relative had offered condolences via FB to all of us (thus signing up for internet stalking and gossip at sibling’s hands).

        I don’t really deal with sib but thought that sib would be a growup for once about serious and real problems (like death). I guess not. Never misses an opportunity to be mean and catty and petty. It is a new low for her.

        • Sounds like you have a history with this sib. Clearly there are deep issues here, on both sides.

    • Anonymous :

      1- this sucks. I’m sorry about the death of your relative, and for your unreasonable sibling.
      2- you can turn individual text conversations to Do Not Disturb, which allows them to stop popping up on your lock screen (if you have an iPhone). This has been an AMAZING improvement in my life, whenever someone annoys me.

  26. Speaking of blazers, J Crew has a lovely white linen blend blazer that I’m kind of in love with. Am I crazy? Will I look like a sailboat captain?

    • I have one and wear it quite a bit in the summer. I really like it. As for the sailor aesthetic– don’t wear it with your nautical stripe dress and you should be fine.

    • Anonymous :

      i also have one (probably that exact one from a few years back) and wear it in the spring/summer (in Socal so it’s definitely warm enough for two season wear) and like to pair it with bright colors.

  27. Communication help :

    I’m a midlevel associate at a large law firm and do a lot of work for one senior associate. He’s smart and friendly but he has a habit that really drives me bonkers: he’ll pepper me with individual emails about every thought that crosses his mind, often sending multiple emails within a single minute or two. It’s like he hits send after every sentence. He’ll do the same thing with phone calls– he often calls me a minute or two after we hang up with just one more thing, and then five minutes after that… It’s very disruptive when I’m in the middle of a comprehensive project like drafting, especially when his thoughts are unrelated to the bigger picture of what I’m working on.

    Is this just a quirk that I need to deal with? Is there a constructive way to push back on this? I generally like working for him but I often find I’m eating up time responding to him/ organizing his thoughts instead of doing the actual work the team needs me to do. If I don’t act on the emails right away or pick up my phone, he keeps peppering me until I respond, so ignoring is usually not the answer.

    • Can you avoid reading all the emails/taking all the calls until it’s a break point for you? Not once per day, but maybe every hour check and deal with the emails? Pop-ins or calls are harder.

    • I work with a partner like this so I’ll be following for responses. This is how I deal with it, which admittedly isn’t ideal — When the first email comes in I find a stopping point in whatever I’m doing and then wait until the emails die down. After I respond, I open this s i t e or similar and wait a few minutes to make sure he’s not going to follow up. I don’t start working again until I’m pretty sure he’s moved onto something else. It’s way more frustrating to have repeated interruptions than to get interrupted once and move on when he’s done.

      I also have a pretty good relationship with his secretary; she keeps me updated on his schedule and warns me when he’s in a mood. If I need to do something that requires a lot of focus, I schedule it for a time he’s not around. I try to schedule calls when he is around – he’ll barge into my office when the door is closed (no lock) but he backs off right away when he realizes I’m on the phone.

      Finally, if you can anticipate what he’s going to ask for, it’s really satisfying to be able to cut him off with, yup already finished! And yes I did that too! And that!

  28. I’ve scheduled a meeting with grand boss to discuss my interest in an opening within my current group which is the next level up for me. I’ve been in my current role for over 3 years and my immediate manager has been promising a promotion but has never actually done anything to vouch for me. Now there is an actual posting and they are interviewing external candidates. the job description is literally everything I’ve been doing. Tips on how I can frame the conversion with grand boss without sounding bitter?

    • Have you formally applied for the position?

      • No, I will ask if I need to formally apply. In the past, internal candidates were promoted without applying even if there was a job posting.

    • Can you just ask if you are being considered? If you are you could ask what else you could do to improve your candidacy or if there is any additional information that would be helpful. If you aren’t being considered, state that you’d like to be. You should have a short spiel ready on why you’re qualified for the role, your interest, ideas you have for the role. If it seems like they have reservations about considering you, I would ask directly if they believe there are things they think you need to work on to be ready. They might be suffering lack of information or misinformation so you need to be ready to educate grand boss on your accomplishments.

      I’d leave your direct manager out of it.

      • Don’t ask if you’re being considered. Tell them you want to be considered. Seriously, they’re not going to know unless you tell you them. Don’t expect them to be mind readers.

  29. Question for litigators :

    This may be a very vague question and extremely firm-dependent, but what types of tasks and job duties would you reasonably expect a 1st or 2nd year associate to be responsible for? And to what extent, if any, should they be able to perform their jobs without asking questions/for help from those more senior?

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