Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Playing Favorites Mila Square Neck Sheath Dress

I always forget about Antonio Melani because I don’t frequently shop at Dillard’s, but this sheath dress looks great. A lot of their other sheath dresses do, too — they have sort of a Black Halo / Classiques Entier / Hugo Boss look to them, but of course they’re much more affordable. I like the squared notched neck here even though I sometimes have problems with personality necklines. This dress is good to keep in mind if you do shop at Dillard’s because they usually have a really big clearance sale on January 1. It’s available in sizes 0-14 and is $159 full price. Antonio Melani Playing Favorites Mila Square Neck Sheath Dress

Two plus-size options are here and here.



  1. Hi ladies!

    I’m looking for recs for a weekend getaway from DC. I’m leaving one of those toxic jobs that makes you question your sanity and intelligence and worth, and I need to take a trip to reset my mind and soul before starting what should be a really great job for me.

    I’m looking for something in the mountains – VA, WV, PA? I’d love to go for a hike AND get pampered at a spa. Thanks for your suggestions!

    • Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in PA!

    • Anonymous :

      No recs for resorts but congratulations!! I hope the new job is wonderful.

    • What about Western MD? Rocky Gap State Park has a “resort” as well as a campground, and I think there’s a spa there (as well as a casino), and the hiking’s great.

    • Anonymous :

      Bedford Springs Pennsylvania or Homestead in Virginia!! Both are great resorts to get pampered at. They have big comfy beds, hot springs, great spas, and really good restaurants but they also have hiking trails. I like Bedford springs just because its an hour closer to the DC area, but you can’t go wrong with either.

    • For higher end, Blackberry Farms.

    • No recs for places but congratulations for getting away from your toxic workplace. good luck with your new job.

    • The Greenbrier in WV! The holiday decorations are incredible and the spa is amazing.

      • This! I love the Dorothy Draper interior design.

        • Anonymous :

          On the other hand, a bunch of my co-workers went to a conference at the Greenbrier and thought the decor was horribly garish, the food was nothing special, and the location was limiting.

    • Go stay at the holladay house in Orange VA. eat at Elmwood and Sparks, go hiking and horseback riding, and check out the wineries

    • Omni Bedford Springs. Probably about 2 hours. Most beautiful hotel I have ever stayed in. Great spa, good food, beautiful scenery. Enjoy and congratulations on your fresh start!!

  2. Black Halo :

    How does Black Halo’s sizing run? I am usually a 2 in non-vanity-sized US brands (e.g., M.M. LaFleur) and a US 4 / UK 8 in UK brands (e.g., Goat). I am long-waisted with a straight figure, so brands cut for the more well-endowed (e.g., DVF) are usually a no-go for me.

    • I find it pretty true to ‘designer’ sizing, and cut relatively straight. I take a 2/4 in Banana Republic/Jcrew, a 6 in Theory/Boss, and I’m also a 6 in Black Halo.

  3. all about eevee :

    Any tips for getting a really good M.M. LaFleur Bento Box? How is sizing at M.M. LaFleur?

    • Anonymous :

      Skip the bento and just order individual items you think you will like. Returns are free and processed quickly, but the return window is limited. Sizing is pretty standard for more upscale brands. Be prepared not to like every style. I love all of the sleeveless and short-sleeved dresses, but the 3/4 sleeve styles (Etsuko, Alexandra) are terribly unflattering on me and not because of the sleeves. One of my co-workers has the opposite issue–the Nisa looks terrible on her, but the Etsuko looks great. I also liked one of the jardigans and hated the other.

      • The return window is really tight, like 21 days from the time they ship.

        So if your on the west coast, that takes it a week to get there. If you travel all week for work and don’t come home one weekend to go to a funeral… Boom, no return for you.

    • I am a 6 in BR pants but an 8 in my Etsuko (I have 2). Even though I am a pear, the top is not baggy at all.

      I’m 5-4 and there was a soft knit draped/ruched dress that did not work at all on me but would have worked well on someone taller. I would have loved to have had it.

      • all about eevee :

        I am worried because I am only 5’1″.

        • Anonymous :

          Filter on “petite-friendly” and don’t be afraid of tailoring. If you like how the top fits, a good tailor can fix the waist and hips, hem the dress shorter, and even adjust the taper of the skirt.

        • I think it’s worth a try. My waist is very close to my shoulders, so I usually have to wear petite jackets (my Banana blazer size is 4P) and the Etsuko was very good for me. I think a Jardigan would also work well b/c it is short. They have pictures on their website of various staffers wearing things and I think list their sizes and maybe also heights, so that may help you pick things to try.

          I want to try a sleveless non-belted dress when it warms up.

          • Check Instagram :

            They also have a hashtag on Instagram, #inmymm that shows real people wearing the clothes. While a bunch of them are fashion blogger types, there’s a few plain snapshots that let you see real women wearing the clothes. Some include the size/height info in the caption, or on their blog if they do a full review.

          • all about eevee :

            Thanks, Check Instagram! That’s very, very helpful.

        • I’m also 5′ 1″ and I love MM LaFleur. Agree with the suggestion to filter for “petite friendly” items, but otherwise I’ve been pleased how many items work on me.

          • all about eevee :

            Can you share a little more about what worked on you and what you had to have tailored?

    • AttiredAttorney :

      The Work Edit (formerly CapHill Style) did a great post with tips on how to get the best bento. Will post the follow up link shortly

      • AttiredAttorney :

  4. BabyAssociate :

    DC ladies: recommendations for Brazilian sugaring/waxing in the city? Thanks!

    • I’ve actually been really happy with European wax center (the Courthouse Arlington location). They are fast, efficient, and while I would not expect it to be painless, they are all super fast. I go to Vanessa, but have used others there and always had a good experience. I know it’s not exactly in the city, but it’s close and there is parking if you drive around/garages close by.

  5. Toenail polish :

    I cannot keep polish on my fingernails but sprung for a pedicure that looked fab and lasted and lasted. I finally took the polish off and . . . yuck. My nails were yellowish. Will they come back or do I just have to grow out (or recover with nail polish)? Is there an optimal time to leave polish on nails? And then how long do they need to breathe b/w painting again?

    I feel like if I ask the nail people, they’d tell me every week (which I’d love!). But even then I think my nails would just be smothered again with no breathing room (if that’s what caused it).

    I feel like I am failing at adulting.

    • Was it a dark polish? I think the color is what does it because I notice this happens to me when I wear reds or dark colors but not if I do lighter colors. There’s something they sell at the drug store called “Yellow Out” but I have no idea if it works. A good base coat will usually help minimize the problem in the future.

      • Toenail polish :

        Yes! It was Essie’s Wicked — a very dark blackish red.

        • WorkingMom :

          It happens with darker colors, it should fade on it’s own. I go through phases where I do my nails weekly for months at a time, and then I don’t paint them at all for months at a time, haha. I notice that when I am doing it frequently if I use dark colors a lot, I take a week off to give my nails a break. (Not sure if that’s really needed or not, but I do it.) You could also rub some coconut oil on your nails and cuticles to give them a little TLC between manicures.

          FWIW, when I do my nails weekly – I love Essie and do two coats of Essie (sometimes 3 if the color is very light), and then one good coat of clear topcoat – it lasts very well for a solid week. (And I swim laps twice a week, which is tough on nail polish!)

    • My toenails are basically always painted and have been for years and years. My feet look weird to me now if I don’t have polish on my toenails. Some colors of nail polish cause the yellow, especially dark colors. The yellow is almost certainly just a stain, it’s not like… a fungus or something. I think you can soak your toes in lemon juice to get the yellow off if you want. I’d just paint over it.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s normal! Dark colors/reds often leave a yellowish tint. Nothing to worry about- it will wear off. If it really bothers you baking soda helps. Nails are dead. They don’t need to breathe. This is just harmless color transfer.

    • I leave my toenails painted all sandal season (march-nov because I’m in CA) and let them breathe during the winter months. The yellowing is from red nail polish. You can buff it out. I suggest that for your last pedi of the season you go with a blue color. It doesn’t turn your nails yellow.

      If I were motivated (which I am not) I would go to the salon for a no-polish pedicure at the beginning of the winter season. But I don’t. Maybe you can do that? I’m sure they’d do a better job of buffing the nail than I do.

    • Dark colors do that. Next time, you can ask them to do a white color first.

  6. Inhouse Attny :

    Can we do a reader poll of inhouse salaries here? I am looking to make a move to another inhouse position, but want to get a better sense of how my compensation compares to market (I know inhouse salaries are very variable but I need a starting place.)

    Salary: $150,000 base + $15,000 bonus
    Years out from law school: 8 years
    Other relevant info: mid-size employer, small legal department, construction industry

    • Anonymous :

      what are your hours/lifestyle like?

      • Inhouse Attny :

        Hours are 45-50 / week. I usually leave at 7 everyday but I am working every single minute until then. Legal department dynamics can be a bit stressful and the company views us a “cost center” so everything must be turned around efficiently and quickly, so there are some longer nights but nearly zero weekend work.

    • Frequent commenter :

      In-house attorney, report directly to the GC. Financial institution in Texas. 7K employees nationwide. 8 years out of law school.

      Salary: 180K and 40% bonus (last year my bonus was higher than the percentage I was permitted, based on good work). Probably 55 hours a week and travel every two months or so. No weekend work.

      I have the best job.

      • Toenail polish :

        What is your area of practice and how did you get your job (just generally: client contacts, friend contacts, applied to a listing, etc.)?

        • Frequent Commenter :

          I started here with a specialty in labor and employment. Since I’ve been here, I’ve also taken over responsibility for three other major areas. One of the associates that I worked with as a summer associate came to this company a few years ago. We had kept in touch through Facebook the entire time. When he created this position, he called me because he knew I did labor and employment work at a firm and knew that we would work well together.

        • I responded but it’s in m o d e r a t i o n

    • In-house, 10k employees nationwide, very LCOL city, 4 years out of law school.

      Salary: 90k and a 40 hour work week with lots of flexibility and autonomy.

    • In house, 25k+ employees nationwide, LCOL city, 2 years out of law school.

      Salary: 80k and 50 hour work week, bonus dependent on company-wide financial results

    • Anon in house :

      Salary $145,000, bonus 25% (sometimes more), equity bonus approx $80,000

      Ten years out from school, Fortune 1000, legal dept ~ 15 attorneys.

      Medium COL city

    • Fortune 500, MCOL, 2 years out of law school

      Salary: 75k + bonus 15%

    • Thank you for this question. I am also planning to leave an in-house role (in the construction industry) this year. I have been out for 8 years, but my pay is $120k with no bonus in a MCOL city.

    • 30k employees, manufacturing.

      $140k + 30% annual cash bonus + 40k equity

      50 hours a week, 25% travel, but clients are so smart and respectful, I love everything about the job

    • $130,000 base + $10,000 minimum bonus, more dependent on company profit. 10 years in practice, telecommute 50% of the time, 40 hour work week, no weekends ever, travel only if I want to. Lots of autonomy. 20 days of PTO per year, standard holidays, really good benefits. 401k match. Construction industry, HCOL area.

    • Not me, but I have lawyers reporting into me.

      -contracts person: years out of law school- 20++. Years in contracting for private companies- 15. Title = senior manager, salary = 150k 6-8% bonus. Denver. Jr optional.

      – compliance manager – 8 years out of law school, 2 years at a small form, 4 years private solo practice, then 2 years off for b-school and did a 1 year in-insustry internship but pretty much no industry experience. 95k, greater Chicago area (does not work downtown). JD optional.

      – our equivalent of a GC makes about 200k with a 25% bonus target. Doesn’t report to me so not sure on specifics but he’s been in house for 15+ years.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Salary: 196k ($140,000 base + $28,000 guaranteed bonus + $28,000 vested equity)
      Years out from law school: 3 years (jumped from BigLaw)
      Other relevant info: F50 telecomm, large legal department

      55 hours a week, no weekend/nights, rarely travel, I walk to work, MCOL coastal city, I work with several business units and I counsel senior execs. Clear path to promotion as I get more senior. I have the best job – I don’t see myself leaving and I’m so glad I got out of BigLaw early.

    • data point :

      4 years out of law school, in-house for 7 months. Base salary is 120k right now with 25k bonus coming. Salary for next year will be 130. Pretty solid 9-6 hours, with occasionally working until 7, never evenings and weekends. Left biglaw and am extremely happy.

    • This is all really helpful information. I had a screening interview for an in-house position and threw out a salary number that was probably too high for the position/area, although I of course said that it was negotiable, dependent on total comp. package, etc. Oops. I am hoping it didn’t completely sink my prospects.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been in-house at 3 different companies:

      Company 1: $150k, bonus potential 20%. I was 6 years out of law school when I started. Fortune 50 retail company in medium COL city

      Company 2: $150k, bonus potential 15%. Private equity owned company with 25k employees in HCOL area

      Company 3: $170k, bonus potential 40%. Fortune 59 company in medium COL area. I’m now 12 years out of law school

    • Company: 15K global employees
      Salary: 160K + 25K RSUs + 20% bonus based on personal/company performance (60/40%)
      Experience: 2014 grad
      Location: HCOL
      Benefits: unlimited vacation. great health care.
      50-ish hours/week. Very, very rare weekend work.

      Best. Move. Ever. Biglaw was the worst!

  7. Question for those who didn’t change names. How do you do your address labels? Wanted to make holiday address labels for the cards this year and for the first time we are a family of 3 – me with my maiden name, husband with his last name and baby with husband’s last name. I made a label that said “The Maiden/Husbands Family” but he didn’t like it for some reason. Said it seemed awkward. Think “The Johnson/Smiths Family.” In the past, I’ve always just done both our names, i.e., Wife Name & Husband Name but it now with baby I wanted to include the whole lot of us. Husband said to hyphenate but that isn’t accurate because neither of us hyphenate. The other idea is to omit “the” and “family” and just do a Wife/Husband.


    PS: I’m probably overthinking this but so far literally not one card that we’ve received has been addressed to us correctly. With the exception of a card from one of my bosses that was addressed to me only, every other card was to The Husband Last Name Family or – worse – The Husband’sNames …. The patriarchy is starting to really annoy me.

    • Anonymous :

      your husband should get over himself! it doesn’t sound awkward at all. if he really can’t stomach it, then hyphenate.

    • I think both your names is the way to go, especially since that’s the correct way for someone else to address a letter to you: “Alice Johnson and John Smith,” on the same line. (If you weren’t married, it would be “Alice Johnson” and “John Smith” on separate lines.) Putting kids’ names on address labels seems odd to me. That will get crowded fast if you have more children, and anyway it will be fun for the kids to get their own address labels when they’re old enough to write their own letters (I still remember my first address labels!). And having a slash on an address label just looks weird, like “this letter is from Alice Johnson and/or John Smith,” instead of “this letter is from the married household of Alice Johnson and John Smith.”

    • So you like ‘/’, he wants ‘-‘ can you compromised on a space? So “The Johnson Smith Family”?

      Another alternative is “J. Johnson & J. Smith”

      • Eager Beaver :

        This is what we do. Return address label is just “The Smith Johnson Family.”

      • Senior Attorney :

        I like this. Or you could do “Alice Johnson and John Smith and family.”

      • What about The Johnson & Smith Family? Agree that husband should probably just get over it.

      • We did first names only on our wedding invite labels: Jane & John and got many things addressed to Mr & Mrs John Smith, so our thank you (and now holiday card) address labels were “Johnson & Smith.”

    • We use “Smith/Johnson Family” — I’m Smith and DH and two kids are Johnsons.
      Is it the order of your names Husband doesn’t like? I do agree with first comment that he may need to get over this.

      • I actually think it may have been the fact that I added an “S” to his name to make it plural so that I became THE Smith and he & kiddo were Johnsons. I’m not sure… he couldn’t really articulate beyond saying that if my goal was to highlight the fact that I didn’t change my name and all the people in our social circle were addressing cards wrong, I was being too subtle.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I don’t think I’d keep the extra S. The kid is both of yours, right?

        • I agree with Sydney Bristow. Don’t pluralize. I like Smith/Johnson Family.

        • Drop the S’s. I address my cards to the “Drake Family” not the “Drakes Family” (for John Drake, his lovely wife Susie Drake, and the kids), etc.

      • Ex and I did the same: Her Name/His Name as the return address on correspondence (our printed labels had both full names, didn’t really see a need to add our child) and the answering machine greeting was from the Her Name/His Name Household. My name came first only because of the number of syllables/sounds; the combo sounded weird the other way.

        On a totally unrelated side note, the answering machine recording for almost 15 years was our son reciting the greeting when he was about four and it was heartbreakingly cute. I was devastated when one of the cats danced around on the answering machine and erased it, sad all over again now . . .

    • We do Smith & Jones on the names line of our labels. We also have some labels with a heart in lieu of an ampersand that I find twee.

    • We made up a combo name–Smithson from your examples–that we use for mailing labels etc. (neither is us changed name). The kids actually like the made up family name a lot and describe themselves by it.

      • Are you in Canada? Law school friend does this as well.

        • My husband has been trying to convince me that this is the way to go. (Also in Canada, but not doing it because our names do not work–i have an apostrophe and it gets super awkward).

        • Nope, US. And now I want to steal “House of Smithson” from below.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        We have a mash-up name based on common misspellings of our name that we use with family and close friends (and our wedding webs*te). I’d feel comfortable putting it on our return address stamp.

        We just used our first names on our stamp though. I think it looks nice because with both of our full names there’d be an awful lot of letters.

        I grew up in a blended family so we used Smith/Johnson Family all the time. It seems really normal to me to use something like that.

      • We do this with no kids but add “House of” so “house of smithson” (game of thrones fans)

      • We use a mashup as well.

      • My aunt and uncle do this. I love it because the mashup they use sounds very Seussian.

    • Children's Surnames :

      A piggyback question– I’ve seen several here post that they kept their maiden name and the children have DH’s last name. I changed my name, but had I kept it, I would have wanted the children (at least some of them) to have my name. Why the seeming default to dad’s name for kids among families where the woman kept her name? Or are there people here who didn’t do it that way? Thanks for any thoughts.

      • The same reason you changed your name- its traditional. Personally, I feel very strongly about my name. I don’t care if the kids have his, it seems fair to me- I get to birth them, he gets their last name. I wouldn’t want my kids to all have different names. And I don’t care at all that they don’t share mine.

        • Children's Surnames :

          Thanks– tradition is not at all the reason I changed my name (rather, bad relationships with former family). But for that, I would have kept my name in spite of tradition– and that’s my question, really, because women who keep their name have demonstrated they aren’t tied to tradition. So I guess it confuses me if the reason for kids’ names being dad’s name is solely tradition, when there’s already been a departure from that tradition by keeping one’s own name. (Really I think I just wish I had a name I could keep! But I would have certainly wanted my children to have it too.)

          • They aren’t tied to tradition when it means losing a piece of who they are. That doesn’t mean they want to burn everything to the ground.

          • I think it’s not about the family lineage and passing the last name on, but rather about oneself and your individual identity as Jane Smith, and not changing to a different person after being Jane Smith for your whole life. And the Kids names/identities are a separate issue from that.

      • I agree with you that it shouldn’t be the default. For us it was basically 2 things – 1) husband’s last name was shorter and easier and kiddo already has a long first name, and 2) I felt that it was nice to have the connection to the non-gestating parent established this way. Sort of like I carried the baby and it came out of my body so that’s a very big bond right away. I like the idea of names carrying symb0lism and so the idea of husband giving baby his name felt meaningful.

        That said if my last name seemed “better” to me we may have done it differently.

      • Elizabeth Taylor :

        Didn’t change names. My children have H’s last name. Their middle names come from my side of the family.

        Our home address stamp (just for holiday cards and kids to use an an amusement / on their thank you letters) is the family last initial centered over last name and our address.

        I feel like “DUH — everyone knows that Elizabeth Taylor did 100% of the work on it” and assumes that is from me even w/o my last name being on it. They know that H’s last name is Elizabeth Taylor’s husband. No one would ever think that it’s not me.

      • My mother in law expressed her sincere hope that our future children have DH’s last name, and since I don’t care that much, that’s probably what we’ll do. (No kids yet though.)

      • I have a friend who is planning on alternating last names-first kid his last name, second her’s (of course, then they had the “but what if we have three” thought. They’re only on the first one, so all theoretical for now)

        • Oh, this will really confuse people. Like they have different fathers.

          I really, really like the Spanish tradition of mothers keeping their name add adding “de Husband’s Last Name” or just using both last names for the children (no hyphen).

          But having different last names suggest a reason and a story and “we were alternating” will just seem odd.

          • There are worse things than seeming odd. I have a friend who did this, and nobody who matters seems to get confused. The kids know that they are sisters, the parents know they are the parents, and who cares what anybody else thinks?

        • AnonMidwest :

          With blended families being common, why is that even a concern? Kids, step-kids, foster kids, single sex families.

          Seriously, I am so tired of this argument. I don’t think it sounds odd at all. It sounds more modern to me. Bravo! on the idea.

          • Anonymous :

            The kids from blended families have Dad’s last name if they are Dad’s children (so regardless of which wife). Then if they are girls, the names probably change at least once.

            But to me (and my guess, anyone older than me and a good chunk of everyone else) when the kids have names that aren’t Dad’s, no one assumes that they are Dad’s kids. They assume that they might be illegitimate (if M&D aren’t married) or Dad is definitely some other Dude.

            I think there are reasons why the names are different and to not name a legitimate kid with Dad’s last name muddies the waters. Do you want that for the kid? [Like Dad probably has to show ID to get his own kid out of daycare / school. My name is different from my kids, but no one has ever questioned this b/c people just don’t do that for the mothers.]

        • Senior Attorney :

          I always thought it would be cool for the kids to have the last name of the same-gender parent.

        • lawsuited :

          We’re doing a version of this where any sons will get my husband’s last name and any daughters will get mine. I have some friends who were named like this who tell me it never became a hassle for them.

      • It’s pretty common for a woman to have a different last name than her children, no one is going to whisper behind her back that maybe she’s not really the mother. There are different assumptions for men. And, to be fair, men are already sort of on the periphery during pregnancy and early infancy. Giving them his name seems to solidify his connection with them.

      • I kept my name when I got married. In our case my husband was the only person of his generation left with his family name on his father’s side. All of his cousins are women and they all changed their names when they got married and their kids have the father’s name. His brother took his wife’s name and their kids have his wife’s last name. My husband’s family is very supportive of everyone’s choices and very much believes in equality, so no one would have said anything if the name wasn’t passed on, but since it was important to my husband I was on board with our child having his name.

        It worked out because we only want to have one child, and my last name is also a first name that is given to both genders (think Addison or Cory as an example) so we had already decided that our child would have my last name as a first name and have my husband’s last name as theirs. I had a baby in June and that’s what we did.

      • My BIL and SIL gave their kids her last name. I never asked the reason and they’ve never explained it. Their oldest has BIL’s last name as a middle. It upset my inlaws. I think if they had explained their rationale it would have smoothed things out, but they’re not the sort of people who are inclined to do things like that.

        I’ve posted about this before but my husband and I created a mashup for our kid and future kids. I didn’t change my last name and he didn’t want to change his.

      • This is/was my campaign, and I have yet to meet a man that didn’t object (no matter how progressive) I’ve always wanted my daughters to carry my name, starting a matrilineal line.

        I’m now past the point where that’s going to happen for me. But I agree that it’s a little strange that women don’t pass on their name.

        • But they do.

          My name is
          First Name
          Mom’s maiden name as my middle name
          Dad’s last name as my last name

          My mom signs her name: Mom Maiden Dad

          When I got married, I kept all 3 original names (so mom and dad’s names are still part of my name).

          I use Mrs. Husband’s Name socially (sometimes, excpect my friends still know me as my former name and my e-mails aren’t switched) and our chilren have H’s last name.

        • lawsuited :

          My husband agreed to this, probably because it was clear I wasn’t going to give up. I initially suggested that all the children have my name, and presented the daughters-have-mother’s-name-sons-have-father’s-name as a compromise. I have no idea how anyone could argue that it is fairer for all the children to take the father’s name than it is to share both parents’ names amoung the children. I think it helps that ultimately the gender of our children will be up to chance, so having decided the naming convention the actual last names of our children are somewhat out of our hands.

      • We don’t have kids yet, but we’ll do Kid HisLast MyLast. Seems fair. Mine is the second name because it’s “ethnic” and I don’t want it to get dropped or lost in favor of a name that’s much simpler.

    • Your baby isn’t sending mail, so I would say Linda Smith and Bob Jobes.

      • Technically, neither is my husband. If it wasn’t for me, no one would get a card and the only address labels would be whatever came with the ASPCA donation.

        • Wait, then why not just do that? Your friends can tell from the signature(s) who the card is from. Address labels are mostly for the post office.

    • This is coming from someone who took her husband’s last name, but I have a ton of address labels I received for free with just my name on them and those are what went on our Christmas cards because (1) they were free (and have a cute little snowflake on them), and (2) I view the purpose of the return address label as how the post office gets the letter back to the correct place if something goes wrong. The card inside has all of our names on it so that is good enough for me.

    • What about “Jane Doe, John Smith and Family”?

    • SE Midwest :

      I am A. Smith. He is B. Jones. Children are Smith-Jones. Holiday cards are from the Smith-Jones family. I found a return address stamp (Paper Source, I’m pretty sure) that let me do just first initials for the middle of the round stamp (so A&B), and then our full names and address (Amy Smith and Brian Jones, 123 Main St, Anytown, USA 12345). I figure it was my choice to keep my name and create a multi-name situation in our home so I try to be zen if we get mail addressed to the Jones Family or Mr. and Mrs. Jones. It’s just not worth making an issue when 90% of the personal snail mail we get is received between Thanksgiving and New Years.

      • No. That’s patriarchal nonsense. It was also his choice not to change his name.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          My coworker once asked me if I was changing my name and I said “no and my husband isn’t changing his either” and my coworker was so confused. Gave him a little something to think about though.

          I didn’t change my name and most of our family and friends get it correct. Probably because I was so vocal about neither of us changing our name. My MIL will forever send mail to Mr. and Mrs. His First His Last, but this is literally the only thing she does that I don’t like. We get along really well otherwise, so I’ve just let it go.

          • It could be a habit. I will admit to punting and sending holiday cards to the

            Lastname Family

            Because I have no idea what one of the grownup’s names is / not sure if one is still in the picture (but the kids are, so family is OK), etc.

        • Huh? What’s nonsense about what she said? No one changed names, they use both and try not to be bugged if people get it wrong. What’s the matter with that? I think it’s just as extreme as the patriarchy to expect men to change their names. Regardless of how I got my name, it’s my name and that’s why I felt strongly about not changing it. Why should my husband (or wife) have to give up his identity?

          • He shouldn’t! I’m just saying it wasn’t just her choice that got them into a multi-name situation.

          • I’m not the person you’re responding to, but I think she was referring to this sentence: “I figure it was my choice to keep my name and create a multi-name situation in our home . . . .” The multi-name situation was his choice just as much as hers.

        • SE Midwest :

          Absolutely — it WAS my husband’s choice as well. Or non-choice. He didn’t care either way. I did. My point was just that I’m not going to waste a lot of energy on getting worked up about the (actually very few, like less than 5) family members and friends that don’t understand that I’m not Mrs. Jones.

          • Oh I see. My husband was very against women changing their names so he gets as annoyed as I do when people don’t understand that with us. I’m going to try to channel some of the calm from SE Midwest & try to not get so annoyed when I get mail that’s addressed as if I did change my name. It really bothers me – probably because I’ve been really vocal about not changing my name for so many years.

    • We use our first names for everything. Ex: “Robert & Shereen” and then typical address lines.

    • We do “The Smith & Jones Family” my last name first.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      We don’t use address labels. When I mail something, either me or my husband just puts our address, no names in the upper left.

      Could you just do first names of everyone?

  8. Anonymous :

    Grey suting question

    There were recently a couple of posts to the effect that charcoal is the only appropriate shade for grey suiting in the courtroom. Fact is, I have been wearing every shade of grey in court for as long as I can remember. I am on the very of buying a mid grey suit. Should I re-think?

    • Anonymous :

      Dark grey is the most formal. I don’t think that means only charcoal is appropriate for court. Unless you’re going to the Supreme Court, mid gray will be fine.

    • I missed that thread. I’ve worn light gray suits to court before. It never occurred to me that it might not be appropriate.

      • +1

        I’ve worn gray is lots of shades, navy, and black suits to court. I don’t stray into other colors though. It never occurred to me that lighter gray wasn’t appropriate.

    • No! This is crazy talk. Mid gray is perfectly formal and appropriate.

  9. pugsnbourbon :

    I posted last week that the Loft Essential Skinny pants are finally available in “marble onyx,” aka gray.

    They arrived yesterday and they are the most confusing shade of slate blue. I’m somewhat disappointed.

  10. How do you force yourself to get work done when everything feels like pulling teeth? I’m dreading every single task on my list this morning from reviewing files to calling clients. I just want to push everything off until tomorrow (or never), but I know I have to get it done.

    • I make a schedule for the day, where every hour has a task assigned to it, and a check-box for every ten minutes. Then I set a ten-minute alarm on my phone (which I can repeatedly snooze for ten-minute intervals), so I get to give myself a happy little check-mark every ten minutes.

      • I should also add that this schedule includes breaks, because it’s easier to knuckle down and do something boring when I know I have a break coming up.

      • Thanks. I’ll see how much I can get done for the next 30-60 minutes and then take a break!

    • I definitely have those days, and I mentally motivate myself using little rewards/treats. For example, I’ll only allow myself to make a mug of hot chocolate if I’m going drink it while I tackle XYZ Terrible Spreadsheet. Or I’ll tell myself I can go for a 10-15 minute walk outside if I devote an hour to Project I Don’t Want To Do.

  11. Anonymous :

    Why is Kat featuring short sleeved dresses in winter? With much of the country experiencing arctic blast related temps, let’s see weather appropriate clothes! Wearing a jacket over these dresses defeats the purpose of the lovely necklines, so that’s not even a viable solution.

    • Anonymous :

      This dress isn’t short sleeved, it’s 3/4 sleeves. I wear dresses like this all winter with no blazer or cardigan. My wrists are not cold inside, and outside I wear gloves and a coat. We aren’t all working in unheated offices with circulatory problems.

      • I run cold and I am still wearing a 3/4 sleeve dress today with FLEECE TIGHTS! I am wearing it because it’s cute and comfortable and the color of the pattern makes it not suited to spring/summer wear. I sit on a heating pad and it works fine.

    • Because some offices crank the heat in the winter?

      Because not everyone actually runs cold?

      Because sometimes you want short sleeves as one of your layers?

      Also – temps are now back up into the 30s (at least around here) and it feels downright balmy after that -20F morning.

    • Anonymous :

      My office is actually much warmer in the winter than in the summer (because in the winter they’re blasting the heat and in the summer they’re blasting the AC), and outside you wear a long-sleeved coat. I don’t see any problem with featuring dresses like this in the winter.

    • Long-sleeved dresses look incredibly dowdy/frumpy on many people, including me. This sleeve length is long enough to keep you decently warm, but looks attractive and polished. The other alternative is a 4-month long parade of sweaters or jackets.

      • YES, it’s like the sleeves are taking over my body! Also, anything 3/4 or shorter length sleeves seems to hit me in the right place, but anything with long sleeves needs to be taken up and tapered. I don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of getting a dress tailored when I could just as easily buy a dress with shorter sleeves.

      • +1

        I look terrible in long sleeves.

        I am very short waisted, no chest, extreme pear.

        I must wear 3/4 sleeves to give an illusion of a lower waist and so that my upper body doesn’t disappear.

    • I wear sleeveless dresses each and every day, all winter, and I’m in Boston.

      • A sleeveless dress looks better with a blazer or cardigan over it than a three quarter length dress.

        • Sure, but the 3/4 length sleeve dress and short sleeve dresses is completely appropriate for the winter, too, for all of the reasons others have mentioned above.

    • Some of us are busty, some of us are pears, some of us are petit, some of us are tall, some of us live in cold weather, some of us live in San Diego.

      Not everything featured here will work for you.

    • Down here in Florida it is 80+ all week

    • Waving from California!

  12. I am a complete misanthrope when it comes to people knocking on my door on behalf of organizations. (Asking for money, to sign a petition, etc.) I feel like the business model is just to guilt me into doing it because they’re holding me captive, so to speak. Does everyone feel this way? Is it my civic duty to listen? I read the paper, vote, donate to charities online, etc and hate to be bothered when I’m spending time at home. Plus there’s a safety concern where I live to opening the door to someone I don’t know. Usually I don’t open the door if I know it’s someone asking for something, but there are times when I can’t be sure.

    • Yes. I also hate being asked at the check out counter if I want to donate a dollar to help starving baby pandas fight cancer or whatever, especially because I know the store is going to use that money as PR for how much “they” raised and donated. What bugs me is the guilt/captive feeling you described. I want to make my own choices about where to donate, and I do. That said, I feel like this is my private crankiness and that they’re not doing anything *wrong,* and they’ve got to raise money some how… thus I just keep it to myself and anonymous message boards. But you are not alone.

      • I hate this practice also! Makes me feel like they think I’m the biggest grinch. Oh well, I know that I need practice on saying “no” without guilt anyhow, so I try to just look at it as an opportunity for that.

      • Annony Mousse :

        Trust me, the salesperson doesn’t really want to ask you to donate, either. But you could be a secret shopper and if they don’t ask, they’ll get dinged. Or getting a certain percentage of their customers to donate could be part of their performance review. So they have to ask.

        And they really don’t care why you aren’t donating. Be polite, say “no,” and move on. You’ll be happier, the cashier will be happier, and you can get out of the store a bit quicker.

        Same thing with the store credit card. Say no without feeling any guilt.

        I have a part-time retail job since I got laid off. Right now, I have to ask every single customer if they want to open a store card, join not one but two rewards programs (one year-round, one seasonal), and donate to a children’s charity. It’s all well and good for the store (major US chain), but when you have 10 people in line, no one really wants to have to deal with that number of questions.

    • I just don’t open the door unless I’m expecting someone. Solves my problems.

      • +1 I’m with you. Call me paranoid, but there’s no way I’m opening the door to a stranger when I’m home by myself.

        • I get that. But this time of year packages/gifts I’m not expecting are being delivered. I’ve not answered in the past and then been annoyed when I see the little slip on the door.

          • You can take a quick peek and see if it is a delivery person. If it’s a stranger I mouth, “no thank you,” put the blinds back down and walk away.

          • CountC, I do the same thing. I peek through the edge of our front curtains – fortunately they’re just far enough away from the door that a person knocking isn’t looking over there! No WAY would I open the door to an unexpected, non-delivery person.

        • You should make clear that someones home. Burglars often ring the bell first and move on to the next house if someone is there, and break in if someone is not there.

    • housecounsel :

      No, no, no, no. I finally bought a “No Soliciting” sign and put it next to my door, but it doesn’t always work. I am not opening the door for strangers. I especially hate that the home security/alarm companies solicit door-to-door. It feels manipulative.

    • Just say “No thank you, I’m not interested” (no upspeak! sound firm!).

    • I don’t open the door, and if I do by mistake I say I am not interested and close it. Guilt free. They get to try, I get to say no.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I make significant-for-me charitable donations, to organizaitons chosen after doing my research, and have zero guilt about not making donations to random strangers at my door.

    • The few times I’ve opened it it has turned out to be Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses. I really do not feel like it is in any way my civic duty to listen to them.

      But regardless why would it be your civic duty to listen to someone trying to sell you something? It’s not, any more than it’s your duty to watch commercials.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Maybe it is just because I shop online so much, but I have free accounts set up with UPS, FedEx, and the post office. UPS and FedEx alert me if I have a package coming my way, which helps if it is unexpected. I also log into the post office account every few days to see when to expect things. This really helps me to know when to expect packages, thereby having a better idea of when delivery people are likely to knock on my door.

      For the most part, I don’t answer the door if I’m not expecting something or someone. If I happen to, once they start their spiel I interrupt, say “no thanks, I’m not interested,” and shut the door. I should probably stop saying “no thanks” but it is just habit. I don’t worry about listening to them though. I’m not going to change my donation choices or buy a product just because someone comes to my door unexpectedly. Since I’m not going to do that, I figure it is better to just cut them off and let them try someone else instead of wasting their time on me.

    • I appreciate all these responses. They confirm my suspicion that this is a universally disliked practice. Why do organizations still do it? Must work on someone, I guess. I really like the idea that “They get to try, I get to say no.” That will help curb my crankiness about this. Last night after I told the guy “No thank you” and started to close the door he said, “But don’t you care about the bees?” He succeeded in his mission to guilt me. But from now on I’ll think of it as them trying to sell me something, rather than that they’re just more civic minded about causes than I am.

      • lost academic :

        It’s a cr*ppy thing to do, what that guy did at the end, and back when I worked for an organization like that, we specifically trained people NOT to pull that sort of guilt trip thing – it’s alienating. Plus it’s a giant waste of time for everyone. If it helps you to think of them as trying to sell you something, I guess that’s great, but that’s really not going to be consistently true. I did because I probably WAS more civic minded about the issues and that’s why I had that job and not a different one.

      • Jitterbug :

        The logic is that you can ignore an e-mail, you can screen your calls, and you can throw away mailings, but unless you’re really good at pretending to not be home, you have to interact with the person at your door. You have to ask who it is, you have to hear their voice, and in most cases you have to see them, and in their minds that means they’re likely to get whatever it is they’re asking for.

        It makes me really glad I live in an apartment building. Any door-to-door person would have to get inside to knock on my door, and when I hear someone like that in the building I can pretty easily turn off the TV for a bit and make it seem like I’m not home. Although one time I forgot to lock the door and a man in an RCN uniform just let himself in. It was terrifying!

    • lost academic :

      I’ve done this job. No – it’s not your responsibility to listen but it is to be decently polite. Just be clear and firm and direct so that they can move on and spend time with people who might want to hear the message. When it’s cause related, it’s really not a ‘business model’ so much as it’s about activism, outreach, etc. Also, for the work I did, it was not considered solicitation and we did not need to pay any attention to those signs.

      As an aside, there is literally nothing that you could have put on your door that would have deterred me from knocking – it was my job to ask you. Once and only once did I skip a house: there was a guy cleaning his gun in the yard. Figured I’d come back later if at all….

    • Just say no or “no, thank you” politely and shut the door. This isn’t a big deal.

    • I have a No Solicitors sign next to my doorbell. When people ignore it and solicit anyway I open my door for the briefest of moments and say “no thanks.”

    • Anonymous :

      Ugh. I really hate this. The absence of Jehovah’s Witnesses knocking on my door on Sunday morning before 10am is one of the benefits of moving from a house to a high-rise. And it was always the same JWs! You’d think that after the 3rd attempt, they’d get the hint. But no…then they had to bring along their children.

      I had more than a few experiences where I’d hear the doorbell when sitting on the couch, decide to ignore it, and then they would peep into my windows and say “I seeeee yoooou”. So creepy. I still never answered the door.

      Seriously, high-rise living is the best.

      • Anonymous :

        Or even third floor living in a regular apartment. I had someone do the I See You thing at 1am on the ground floor. Never living ground floor again (alone anyway).

    • I will go to the other door of a grocery store to avoid a bell ringer or girl scouts or whatever the solicitor of the week happens to be!
      When the cashier asks me if I want to donate a dollar, I really want to say “I prefer to discuss these decisions with my tax advisor, not grocery store clerk” but haven’t had the guts to try that one.
      I have been guilty of saying “I’m sorry, my mom’s not home right now” well into my 20s when someone comes to the door. (I look young, but yes I realize how ridiculous this is)
      I’ve asked if they could just leave me some literature so I can learn more about the organization, but the door to door people actually don’t usually have brochures or anything.
      In summary – I hate salespeople or donation collectors hitting me up, the whole thing makes me super uncomfortable!

      • Please don’t shoot the grocery store clerk. It’s a crappy job, and it’s someone in a corporate office in another city who is actually making the decision to bug you for that dollar.

  13. Nordic spa? :

    Has anyone been to a Nordic-style spa before? It sounds pretty awesome, and I’m looking at going to one in Canada in January. Are there ever ones where you can get “private” pools or saunas so it can just be my husband and I?

    • There are ones with private pools, but that’s not a standard feature. I love them!!!

    • TorontoNewbie :

      No idea about private pools, but if you’re in the Ottawa region check out Le Nordik because it’s amazing.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      If you are thinking about Scandinave, it is *awesome*.

      • I’ve read about this spa! Been thinking about going in Feb…is Montreal in Feb. insane? I’m in Boston, for reference, so its cold here. Its only a 5 hour drive…

        • Montreal in February is SO cold. But maybe it feels that way partially because it’s such a long winter there and February is the most depressing part. But still. So cold.

        • TorontoNewbie :

          It’ll be chilly, but I loved Montreal. There for 4 years. If you’re going anywhere in Quebec in the winter though I’d look at going to Carnival in Quebec City.

          • Grew up in Montreal and love it :) I would go back any time and would choose Montreal over Quebec City – so much more to do, and more friendly to anglo tourists in some ways. But it’s way colder than Toronto (where I live now). Especially in February! No idea how it compares to Boston.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          I don’t think Montreal is that much colder than Boston to be honest. It is a fabulous city but so is Quebec City. I have been to the Blue Mountain Scandinave in mid-winter and it was fine – the hot pools are very warm and the cold pools actually are less jarring because of the air temperature. Then there are outdoor fireplaces, steam and sauna and lovely quiet places to just relax and read or look at the snow. It is fantastically relaxing!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            Oh, I just realized the Montreal one is indoors, so please ignore what I said about the outdoor part!

      • I’ve been to the one at Whistler. It was heavenly! The pools are outdoors and have amazing views. Went in February with snow outside. The snow and the cold added to the experience– walking outside between heated pool sessions was super refreshing. My friend had been to the Montreal one before and said the Whistler one was far superior

  14. anon for this :

    Those of you who didn’t have kids but maybe kind of wanted them and it ultimately just didn’t work out (like you met your partner late, never met a partner, found ot you were infertile)… what have your 40s and beyond been like? Is it harder to relate to friends with kids as their kids get older? Do you feel regret about not making kids happen or grateful to have lots of free time and disposable income?

    I’m asking specifically for people who always sort of assumed they’d have kids and then just didn’t, not people who never wanted them.

    Looking to hear from

    • Everyone I know who wanted kids found a way to have them despite the obstacles you mentioned, whether it was IVF with a sperm donor or adoption. A couple of people who were ambivalent about kids didn’t have them and seem very happy. But if you actively want them as opposed to just sort of assuming you would have them (those are different things, imo) then I think it’s worth pursuing it even if you won’t have the traditional nuclear family.

      • I’m curious about the answer to this too–I always thought I would get married and have kids. I’m now 39 and single, and while in theory it could still happen, I’m pretty convinced it won’t. But I do know that, especially having seen family and friends up close, I have zero desire to be a single parent. So…haven’t given up on dating/marriage, but definitely feeling the “ghost ship” concept.

      • Interesting. I love kids and would be a great mom, but I didn’t have them. I’m 46. I didn’t have kids because I’m single and I couldn’t afford to have kids and raise them the way I’d want to. I’d have to work all the time, which would not be beneficial for my child or me. I have a great, supportive family, who would step up and help out, but it would be a lot of work for them, too.

        On the other hand, I do love children. I have nieces and nephews, whom I adore. I spend as much time with them as I can. And many of my friends have kids so I spend time with them as well.

        I try to fill the void with the children in my life.

    • I think it’s a bit easier to relate to friends as their kids get older. From ages 1-12, I feel like it’s hard to relate — in the baby yrs, they are busy, exhausted, most only want to spend time with other families with kids and talk about kid things. In the elementary years, it’s still about spending all downtime with kids and there’s the whole soccer thing which goes on 24-7. From the time the kids hit 7th-8th grade though, I find parents have WAY more time. I think they still want to spend every moment outside work with their kids, but often the kids don’t want that and they’re out with their own friends. Plus as the kids get older, I find I can relate to the parents concerns more. I have zero problem talking to any parent about college admissions bc I happen to be fairly involved in college admissions for my own university; so they can talk about their kids with me in that regard. Yet I can’t exactly talk to them about white noise machines.

      • I promise you that parents in the baby years do not only want to “talk about kid things.” I have a baby and would love to talk about literally anything else.

        • And I promise other people have valid life experiences too, and if my friends who are moms of babies want to talk about things other than stroller brands and diapers it is news to me, because they never bring it up!

        • Never too many shoes... :

          + 1 Million

        • I think it’s 50-50 — I have friends who as soon as they’ve had babies start lecturing me about the meaning of life and how I just don’t get it bc I don’t and may not have a child. I have other friends who want to go out and talk about anything but the baby in part bc they like having their own friendships/relationships as they were before — where people asked about them as a friend, not as a mom.

          • Me too!

          • Ew, I had a friend like this (I didn’t get because I didn’t have child). I fully admit that I totally did not get it (and I have a child now), but it was annoying to hear. We are no longer friends.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree 100%. I’m 48 and childfree and my friends are slowly coming out of the all-consuming early years. It’s nice to see them more on their own, and when we do see the whole family, it’s nice to be able to really talk with the kids in a way that doesn’t involve screaming, goldfish crackers underfoot, or ongoing redirection.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My husband and his late wife were never able to have children. I think it was a bit lonely for them in the years when everybody was wrapped up in childrearing. They were quite close to the children of a few friends over the years and that was a nice thing for them. But now that everybody’s kids are up and out of the house, it’s really not an issue. We have an active social life and a ton of friends. And at this point it’s nice to have the free time and disposable income, for sure.

    • I am 50 with kids. Every single one of my closest girlfriends is childless. I can’t fully answer on their behalf but I know they are mostly happy, they mostly have friends who do have kids (I mean, that’s just probabilities), and they are mostly happy to be around my kids.

      I love hanging out with them and talking about anything other than kids. Happy hour is my favorite. This has been true since my kids were wee babies.

      My kids are lucky because they have all these awesome honorary aunties who are closer to them than their biological aunts.

    • So I never wanted to have kids (& probably shouldn’t answer based on that), BUT, I also always thought I might end up with them (could have seen having one if I really loved someone who wanted kids, being a stepmom, etc.) and it wasn’t until I was really past the age of having them without intervention that I realized I won’t. I’m still in my 40s now, so I’m not sure how the rest of life will go, but a huge percentage of my friends have kids & a fair percentage also don’t. My friends without kids span in ages – some are my age and won’t have them, others are younger and probably will, and others are older and didn’t. In general, I’ve just found that it’s just not an issue whether I do or don’t. I talk to my friends with them about their lives – sometimes that involves kid issues, other times it’s relationships, career, etc. Not having them hasn’t gotten in the way of my friendships with people who do at all. I’ve also made a conscious effort to stay friends during the early/hard years – I’ll reach out a lot to make plans, I’ll visit at their house, in other words, I’ll try to make staying in touch easy because it naturally gets easier once the kids are older. As for my own life, I love the flexibility that comes with not having kids & the ability to live an “adult” life (please don’t jump at that – I really just mean that I love not having to ever think about school, soccer games, birthday parties, practical cars and to take advantage of things that are tough when you have kids, like going out to dinner after work any time I want, having disposable income to spend on things we enjoy, etc.). Anyway, just commenting to say I think life can be perfectly lovely whether you have kids or not.

  15. NYC Touristing :

    Headed to NYC with a good friend for a girls weekend to celebrate my 30th birthday in early January, and I’d love some help fleshing out our itinerary. We’ll be staying near Grand Central Station. We like good food (sushi, pastries, great Italian, spicy food of any kind), craft cocktails, classical music, good people watching, history, and we generally avoid “scene-y” places.

    -I’ve done most of the “tier one” NYC tourist things (Rockettes, Top of the Rock, Statue of Liberty, the Met, Central Park Zoo) before. What are the “tier two” tourist spots we should check out? Where should you go as a tourist who has already done the things most “top ten” lists tell you should do?

    -We’ve got tickets to Dear Evan Hansen on a Saturday night -where to go for drinks after?

    -Our flight leaves around 1pm on Monday. Where should we go for brunch/breakfast on a Monday morning?

    • Since you’ll be nearby, I love the holiday market at Bryant Park — it’s cute, not as touristy as the top 10 touristy things, and some of the art sellers have really awesome stuff — 42nd btwn 5th and 6th. Yet this yr, I’m not sure if you’d feel comfortable wandering there with very very tight security.

      • afd afd afd s :

        I went with my 16 year old sister and felt perfectly fine and didn’t really notice anything out of normal. Although this was before the Berlin attacks, not after.

        • I went earlier this season — the week after Thanksgiving and it was great; again I don’t know if the feeling is any different in the last 2 days though.

      • NYC Touristing :

        I would definitely be up for the holiday market, but it looks like it closes on the 2nd and we don’t arrive until the 7th.

    • If you will be there before it closes Jan. 7, there is an incredible exhibit of gowns at the FIT museum in Chelsea. Free!

      I also really enjoyed the Frick and the Cloisters.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I love the Cloisters. It is way out of the way, but if you are into medieval history it is awesome!

    • Museums: 9/11 Museum, The Frick, the Whitney, the Tenement Museum, the MTA museum

      Other Activities: Ice skating (Central Park or Bryant Park), Chelsea Market, Smorgasburg if you’re willing to travel to Brooklyn, the Highline, New York Public Library Tour, check out the Strand bookstore, beer at McSorley’s (often billed as the oldest bar in NYC), visit Brooklyn Brewery, take the Staten Island Ferry (nice view of the Statue of Liberty)

      You could pair as follows:
      – lunch at Chelsea market with a trip to the Whitney and/or the Highline
      – Trip to Smorgasburg with a visit to Brookyln Brewery
      – Ice skating in Bryant Park with a tour of the Public Library

      • I know the 9/11 museum hits everyone differently. I will never be sorry I went, but I will also never go back. I couldn’t even make it through the whole museum, and we were there a good 3+ hours. DH and I were otherwise just your average American on that day – no personal connections to 9/11, to NY/Manhattan, etc.

        It’s sobering in a way that I never have and likely never will experience again. Just consider that while you plan your day – maybe do that in the morning (helps you beat some of the crowd, too) and then something lighthearted, mindless and easy going after.

      • NYC Touristing :

        Yours is the second rec I’ve gotten for the Tenement Museum. Thanks!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      How’s your tolerance for the subway and the outer boroughs? If you’re ok with those things and a fan of craft cocktails, you must go to Dutch Kills. From Grand Central, take the 7 train to Queensborough Plaza (which is also the first stop in Queens on the N/Q if you happen to be closer to that. Don’t go to Queens Plaza-different station). Walk down Jackson Avenue. You’ll see a neon flashing sign that just says “Bar.” You are in the right place. It will appear to be a slightly sketchy bar in a slightly sketchy area. Trust me, it’s fine. They’re just going for the speakeasy theme. They have a drink menu, but the best drinks tend to happen when you ignore this entirely and put your faith in the bartender–tell him what type of alcohol you like and what flavors and they work their magic. I highly recommend the Eastside Cocktail, but really I’ve never had a bad drink there.

      • NYC Touristing :

        I’m definitely up for the outer boroughs. Thanks for the tips!

        • Anonchitect :

          Oh! You could do Dutch Kills + MoMA PS1 or the Sculpture Center to really make an afternoon of it.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            I feel like you’ve really got to love contemporary art for PS1. Personally I find it to be a waste of time. But if you want to make a Queens afternoon out of it–Museum of Moving Image and the Noguchi are both in Astoria, which is close by (never been to either, hear good things). Also, great views of Manhattan from Gantry State Park in Long Island City.

    • Brooklynite :


      For sushi near where you’re staying, go to Sushi Yasuda for lunch (it’s a better deal than dinner). Make a reservation.

      UrbanSpace Vanderbilt (also near where you’re staying) has a great assortment of local restaurants. I particularly recommend Kuro-Obi ramen, Roberta’s pizza, Ovenly pastries, and Toby’s Estate coffee.

      For great Italian at a pretty affordable price point, check out Otto Enoteca (in the Village) or Locanda Verde (Tribeca).

      For pastries, check out Chikalicious in the East Village (also a fun area to walk around at night). They make some cool off-beat pastries and the quality is always spectacular.

      Answers to your questions:

      I second the museums mentioned above, particularly the Whitney (which you can couple with the highline and either Gansevoort Market) or Chelsea Market and then Tenement Museum.

      A great half day would be taking the 4/5 to the Borough Hall stop in Brooklyn, taking a walk on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade / Brooklyn Bridge Park (great views of Manhattan), getting pizza at any of Table 87, Grimaldi’s, Julianna’s or Dellarocco, and taking the east river ferry back up to midtown. (You can sit inside on the ferry if it’s cold – there are great city views from it!)

      For drinks after Evan Hansen, I’d recommend walking west to Hell’s Kitchen – you won’t find anything great in Times Square proper. Things get better once you’re west of 8th Ave., and at that point I’d rely on Yelp for something that looks good. Plenty of cocktail bars over there.

      For brunch on a Monday morning, I recommend Russ & Daughter’s Cafe in the Lower East Side. It’s got an old-school Jewish deli inspired menu and it’s an interesting area to walk around a bit afterwards if you have time before your flight

      What kinds of touristy things do you typically like to do? Museums? Shows? Walking around/neighboorhood observing? Trying to find the best instagram photo? With a little more guidance I’m happy to give more suggestions!

      • NYC Touristing :

        These are awesome suggestions -thank you! I love the half day in Brooklyn/ferry idea. Yes to museums and shows for sure. Friend is a big symphony fan, and I love opera, so there may be a swing by Lincoln Center. Friend *hates* the cold, so preference for indoor activities that we can cab to, though I would love walking around interesting neighborhoods and people watching. Friend is a third year big law associate and I’m in government, so anything not stressful and not surrounded by other lawyers will make it a great weekend :)

    • Anonymous :

      Food Tours of NY — we took the Greenwich Village one and it was amazing. Good history of area and great food. Second the rec on The Cloisters!

    • anonymous :

      Catch a Friday or Saturday night improv show at the Upright Citizens Brigade in Chelsea. They sell out, so if you’re interested, buy tickets in advance. usually $10

    • Have you been to Flushing? If you like Chinese food, this is where to get the best, authentic, massive, inexpensive meals. It’s a bit of a hike out (40-60min by subway), but SO worth it.

    • Anonymous :

      Lots of good suggestions, so I’ll only add a few more to the mix.

      1. Favorite art museum: The Frick (A character in one of my favorite novels said the The Frick has one perfect example of everything. It’s in a lovely townhouse, it’s small in scale (you can see it in an hour or so), and it focuses primarily on painting from the early medieval to late 19th century). For history buffs, there’s a bit of theme regarding reunited portraits (two characters connected in history).

      2. Second favorite art museum: The Native American art collection at the free (!) Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, at the foot of Broadway (Bowling Green Station). Combine a visit to this museum with:

      3. … a walk north along the Hudson River promenade in Battery Park City (especially in the afternoon-up to sunset), ending up at the Irish Famine Memorial (it’s about a 20 minute walk along the waterfront). The Famine Memorial is a really interesting looking structure and it’s a great location for some moody photos. Then grab a bite to eat (or a drink) at Hudson Eats in Brookfield Place or in the one of the nearby bars or restaurants adjacent to the Goldman Sachs building.

      4. The International Center of Photography has re-opened in a new location in the Bowery, near the New Museum. There are a number of interesting cafes and restaurants nearby. There are some interesting exhibitions, including one called “Winning the White House: From Press Prints to Selfies.”

      5. If it is an unseasonably warm day, you could extend your Brooklyn tour to encompass Red Hook. It’s a funky neighborhood with some interesting galleries, shops and cafes, but it’s a bit remote and, in its location right down on the waterfront, it likely will be particularly cold and wet – if it’s cold and wet. A fun way to get home after a trip to Red Hook is to take the free Ikea ferry from the Red Hook Ikea to the foot of Wall Street.

      6. On my must-go list for 2017 is Ladybird, a stylish vegan tapas bar, which is supposed to have very tasty food and drinks. If anyone in your group is vegetarian or vegan, they’ll appreciate that you included this in your itinerary, and the omnivores will love it, too.

  16. Wedding styling :

    Anyone want to help me shop for wedding jewelry? I got the Maggie Sottero Noelle dress and I haven’t a clue how to style it. The buttons down the back are pearls so I was thinking maybe pearl jewelry?

    My mother thinks I should wear dangly earrings and no necklace. I always wear a necklace and I never wear earrings so I think I’d feel weird if I did that. I have a multi-strand pearl bracelet with a silver brooch-like clasp that I was considering wearing, but I’m rethinking it now because I got rose gold shoes. If I did a necklace, I think I’d want something with a bit more impact than a single strand of pearls, but I also don’t want to overwhelm the dress or make the whole ensemble look too heavy. Help! Relevant links in reply.

    • Wedding styling :



      Bracelet looks something like this, but the strands are “loose” not secured with a bar, if that makes sense:

    • I wouldn’t worry too much about the shoes. With a floor length dress especially one that is pretty ornate, you may see some sparkle but it’s not going to draw as much attention as if the shoe was fully exposed. What are you doing with your hair? Would you be able to see the earrings?

    • First Year Anon :

      It has an illusion neckline? I would do earrings only, the type would depend on if you’re doing your hair up or down.

      • +1 With that neckline, no necklace.

        Beautiful dress!

      • Thanks. The illusion neckline doesn’t come up as high on me as it does on the model; it’s a good 2-3″ below my collarbones. Idk if that will change with alterations though?

        • First Year Anon :

          Even with that info, I still vote earrings unfortunately!

        • Agree with the no necklace advice. The neckline on this is so intricate and beautiful that you don’t need/ want to add additional decoration. It would distract from the neckline and look too busy.

    • Delta Dawn :

      The gown is beautiful! It will be hard to do a necklace with the illusion neckline. I agree with your mom about drop earrings and no necklace. If you think you’d feel weird, you don’t have to– but you might try wearing some drop earrings for a day or two and see how you feel. Particularly if your hair will be up, I think that would look beautiful and elegant. If your hair will be down, the earrings are less important. I wouldn’t worry about the silver clasp with the rose gold shoes– they’ll be far away from one another, and your shoes will only peek out.

    • Honestly, I would go with pearl studs and MAYBE a bracelet. I wouldn’t worry about matching your shoes. The dress already has a lot going on near your neck. I wouldn’t do a necklace. If you have to have more than that, then go with dangling earrings. Beautiful dress BTW.

    • I would do diamond or cz earrings. Something similar to what the model is wearing in the first picture of the dress. I think some sparkle would be lovely.

    • Lovely dress!

      I agree that you shouldn’t wear a necklace, but if you never wear dramatic earrings, I wouldn’t choose a big dangly pair for your wedding. Sparkly pearl & diamond (or CZ) studs would be beautiful!

    • I agree with the no necklace crowd, especially with that neckline. I vote for rose gold colored pearl studs and hair up (the back of that dress is stunning!).

    • Definitely no necklace. It would clutter up and distract from the design.

      If you’re not a dangly earrings person wear studs. I think diamond/cz would be better than trying to repeat the pearls on the gown (and I say this as a pearl lover). For a change up you might try opals.

    • No necklace with that dress. If you feel really weird without one do a really delicate chain, not anything high impact. It’s a beautiful dress!

  17. For those of you who have personal business cards, what information do you have on them? I currently have my email, phone number, and linked in link, but it’s looking a little sparse otherwise. Thoughts on other things to add?

    • I think sparse calling cards look great. Just those three things centered on the card, with your name on the other side.

    • Personal as in for social calling? In that case I think it’s odd to have your LinkedIn. If it’s for professional occasions but without employer-specific information, sparse is fine. But you could include a profession, like “lawyer” or “data analyst,” or your degree(s) if that’s done in your field.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have my city and state.

  18. My best friend just met a new guy through a community event and they’ve really hit it off. I like the guy so far, but one thing that seems a little odd is that he’s basically obsessed with her – she can do no wrong, he compliments her on every little thing, has said she’s “perfect in every way,” etc. This kind of infatuation can be normal at the start of a relationship, right? I haven’t really seen one of my friends have the start of a relationship be quite like this before and I’m just curious what others think. They’ve been going out for about a month now. TIA!

    • If she doesn’t mind, then it’s probably okay. There’s a risk he’ll be disillusioned in a big way when he finds out – as he inevitably must – that she is a regular human being. But it could also work out just fine. I assume she feels the same way about him?

      (I personally hate this sort of put-you-on-a-pedestal thing, and I would have dropped out of that relationship by now.)

    • I think it sounds nice, not that abnormal for early days, and like something you should work hard not to have an opinion on because she’s an adult.

      • You’ll note that rather than sending her an email to discuss this, I posted anonymously on an Internet forum where all matters of relationships are discussed frequently. I never said I was going to go back and express any opinions to her.

        • Duly noted, Defensive Deborah.

          • +1 This is the kind of post where the person is literally making up problems to have something to ask on the board

        • I’m so tired of everyone being so rude here. If you don’t like the post, please move on! Your negativity brings the whole community down.

          • all about eevee :

            Who was rude? I think people here just disagree with getting involved in other people’s relationships.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, raining on your friend’s parade to a bunch of strangers is negative and weird. Maybe worry less about him and more about yourself.

    • I wouldn’t say it’s common, but it’s pretty normal. My best friend tends to date guys like this who are gushing over her and making huge grand gestures from Day 1. Personally, it would totally freak me out, but she eats it up.

    • Usually the more intense it is in the beginning the more likely they’ll get disillusioned sooner rather than later when they realize you dont live up to their ideal version of you. Not saying that will happen with you friend just saying its common.

      IMO theres a difference between ‘wow this person is so cool yay!’ and putting them on a pedestal/thinking they’re perfect. I’d give it a couple of months and see how it plays out.

      Also i think its completely normal to wonder about this/it makes you a good friend. Not sure what anonymous at 10:28 is coming at….

    • Here’s a funny and slightly embarrassing story about this:

      I started dating a guy who acted this same way – super complimentary, called me ‘Dream Girl’, etc.

      After a few months, I told him that I was uncomfortable that he had me on a pedestal, thought I was perfect, etc etc. I said, “Sooner or later, you’re going to realize I’m not perfect and THEN WHAT?”

      He got a funny look on his face which I later realized was him trying not to burst out laughing. He apologized for making me feel uncomfortable but then said, “You know I don’t actually think you’re perfect, right? That I am well aware of your flaws and shortcomings, and just choose to focus on the good stuff? Though it is very cute that you think you have managed to conceal your imperfections for the entire time we’ve been dating.”

      We got better at communicating (I did still request that he be a little less over-the-top) and we went on to date for a little over a year. He was a really, really great guy with a slight tendency towards hyperbole in every situation. Sometimes it’s just a personality thing.

      • Senior Attorney :

        That’s adorable!

        Lovely Husband and I are like that. We spend embarrassing amounts of time gushing over one another despite the fact that each of us is aware of the other’s flaws. “Focusing on the good stuff” for the win!!

      • This is a very charming story. :)

  19. Sadmomfortoday :

    My senior daughter was just rejected from her “dream” college. She’s a wonderful, well-rounded kid with a high GPA and test scores and fantastic extracurriculars, in a school/town/applicant pool full of wonderful, well-rounded kids with high GPAs and test scores and fantastic extracurriculars. She is devastated. I know she will thrive wherever she goes, and I truly believe that a year from now, wherever she is, she won’t be able to imagine being anywhere else. But she is hurting badly in the here and now. Does anyone have any advice for helping her get perspective and power through this letdown? Did this happen to you, and what, if anything, helped? I have no similar life experience, not because I breezed into an Ivy but because my “dream” school was pretty much selected for its sports teams and admissions were not very competitive!

    • Don’t. Don’t help her get perspective or power through. Those will come with time. For now, let her be sad. This is a sad thing!! Take care of her. Bring her tea, make her favorite foods, buy her an engaging book to get lost in. It’s like the early days of a breakup. Intellectually she probably does know deep down that she will be fine, but for now this is the worst thing ever and she needs extra love, not pep and motivation.

    • I tend to believe a bit in fate for these kinds of things.

      I had a choice between two paid internships in two different countries after college. I was so unsure which one to take that I made my Dad hold my hand when I turned down one offer. I met my now DH at the offer I took.

      Who knows which great professors who she will click with and get an amazing reference from lie in her future? or someone who will be her BFF for years?

    • I think it’s best just to give her some space to mourn and to validate her feelings of being hurt, while still making sure she doesn’t fall into the trap of thinking she’s not going to get in anywhere she likes. So don’t say “but you’ll get into a great school and everything will be ok!” when she says she’s hurt, but if she starts putting herself down, reassure her that she is smart and will be successful no matter where she goes. I’m guessing she applied early decision/early action if is finding out this early? If so, maybe in a couple weeks I’d start talking positively about other colleges to which she might be applying, but again, not in direct response to her saying she feels sad about getting rejected.

      • As the parent of a college senior, I agree completely with Emmer and the anon at 10:30. DS was not accepted to his top choice/dream school in his early decision application and in fact was entirely rejected, no chance to be considered during the regular admission process. Everyone was a bit surprised – his HS guidance counselor was actually kind of angry – and he was very disappointed. So we just supported him, told him we understood it was a big disappointment and that we were still proud of him. He got over it.

        And if you want to have a pep-up story for her later: DS ended up getting into all three of the other schools he applied to and is extremely happy and extremely successful at the college he chose. (And met there his awesome GF and his roommate for all four years who I am certain will be a lifelong friend.) He is on his college’s mock trial team and recently participated in a tournament at Former Dream School, where his team beat that school. He said it was a bit sad/strange to be there but mostly it made him realize that he was doing absolutely great where he is now.

    • I was pushed back to regular admission, then waitlisted, then rejected from what I thought was my dream school. I went to an equally good school and had the best time in college ever, including meeting my future husband, best friend, and most of my other friends there. My original dream school was sort of in the middle of nowhere, had horrible winters, and was a dry campus– I am SO HAPPY I didn’t get in and had to go to my second choice.

      However, at the time I was absolutely devastated. Honestly, at the time, there was no amount of perspective that would have made me feel better. It just took time. Maybe, once she decides which backup school she will attend, you can plan a really fun trip to that city so that she starts having a great association even before school starts.

    • She’ll figure it out on her own. I would leave her be and try not to assign words like “devastated” to her emotions in places where she will see/hear it. There’s nothing you can do other than proceed on as if it’s normal – which it is.

      • +1 and if she is actually “devastated” for more than one day I would ask myself why her expectations are so high (i.e., are you unwittingly placing pressure on her).

        • I think this is unfair. I was devastated for weeks when I didn’t get into Yale and it wasn’t because my parents were evil tyrants. Teenagers make a melodrama out of everything and not getting into your dream college is the first big failure many bright, accomplished people have – I think it’s unreasonable to expect her to just get over it in one day. A few weeks of wallowing is totally normal. Now of course if she pulls a Rory Gilmore and steals a yacht, that’s a different story…

          • um, it’s not a “failure,” she doesn’t need to be devastated, and if she doesn’t learn to handle life’s challenges gracefully (a few weeks to bounce back, seriously?) life is going to be miserable for her….when she starts encountering actual problems. She needs perspective, gratitude, and to chill out.

          • It’s not a failure but it certainly feels like one. Being privately sad for a few weeks is not handling challenges ungracefully (you’ve honestly never been sad or disapointed about something for more than 24 hours?!?). I sure hope you don’t have kids. Have some f-cking empathy. She’s 17.

          • Oh please. It’s okay to be sad when sad things happen. There is zero suggestion she’s sinking into a depression or losing perspective here.

          • I mean, it’s likely her first experience with rejection – just because she is sad about this for longer than you think is appropriate doesn’t mean she will never be able to bounce back from rejection for the rest of her life. In fact, it will be easier once she’s experienced it once. I’m speaking from experience here. I have no problem with rejection now but it was certainly a shock when I was a senior in high school and had succeeded at everything I’d ever done up to that point. And teenagers are super hormonal and dramatic about everything. Yes, ideally she would have perspective and get over it quickly, but teenagers don’t have perspective about much (I know teenagers who have been sad for weeks about who took who to a school dance, which certainly impacts the rest of their life less than choice of college).

          • Yep, she sounds very successful, so in a way this is her first ‘professional’ failure. It’s tough, but it probably won’t be the last, and that’s not a bad thing.

            The other thing that really stuck out at me from your post is that she sounds like the rest of the kids in her class.

            For college admissions board, those kids are really look the same. Picking your daughter over one of her classmates seems like flipping a coin. If you still have applications left to do, hope your daughter figure out how she is different from her classmates. This is tough because it take some soul-searching, but in the end it will help her stand out.

          • or perhaps it feels like a failure because you lack perspective? it really isn’t a failure. it isn’t a reflection on her (or you) at all. I’m sorry you don’t get that, and I’m sorry you are still so angry about what you went through…..

          • Yall. 18 year olds are melodramatic. I was a ridiculous pathetic wallower for MONTHS about not going to my dream school (even though I got in). But I was a ridiculous 18 year old who had never suffered a disappointment on that level before, because I had always been successful academically and athletically, had friends, and wasn’t interested in dating. In retrospect I was being completely ridiculous, but it was just emotions that I had to work through for myself–you can’t logic them away, and someone telling me I was being ridiculous (cough, my dad) did not help at all. Whereas my mom validated my disappointment and reminded me I could transfer if I really hated it that much.

          • “I know teenagers who have been sad for weeks about who took who to a school dance, which certainly impacts the rest of their life less than choice of college”
            THIS. Teenagers are sad and dramatic about flippin’ EVERYTHING. This is a normal teenage reaction and doesn’t mean she will never be able to handle disappointment. Anon at 10:59 you have clearly never met a teenager…

          • there is a difference between being sad and being devastated. maybe OP’s daughter is just sad and OP is hyperbolically calling it devastated, but being “devastated” for a prolonged period of time is a problem that is often linked with anxiety and depression

          • Some of these comments are just so incredibly intolerable.

            Dramatic 18 year old didn’t get into ‘dream school.’ I promise 18 year old is truly devastated at experiencing rejection at this level for the first time. Devastation, like a lot of emotions, is relative. At 18 years old, this very well could be the worst thing that ever happened to 18 year old. Let the kid wallow for a few days or even weeks – watching peers get into dream schools through the spring does not make this easier or faster to get over. Take a giant step back before you start arm chair suggesting or diagnosing depression and anxiety and dolling out therapy recommendations. Give mom the benefit of the doubt that she will be able to identify when teenage devastation becomes concerning signs of depression.

          • Anonymous :

            Ack, I didn’t meant the daughter doesn’t feel devastated – just don’t go around suggesting that she is where she hears you unless you want to make it worse for her. If she hears you say that, either she’ll decide she is devastated after all because you’ve assigned that emotion to her or she will be annoyed at you for what she might feel is shaming her before others even if she actually does feel that way. Treat it like it’s not a huge deal because it isn’t a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but let her wallow in peace.

    • Agree to let her be sad for a bit. As a college professor, I would say that it’s good for her to cope with real and meaningful disappointment/failure at this stage in her life. It’s going to happen at some point – the longterm lesson you want to her to take away from this is not that this is not a big deal, but rather that even though it’s a big deal, she survived and went on to thrive. So let it be a big deal, in the short term.

    • Two things:

      Loretta Lynn got married at 15, had 3 kids before she was 19 (and 6 total), and is still touring (YAY!). Life is a long journey.

      Vince McMahon (even if you do not like his wife’s politics) went to ECU. So did Linda. So did half of my family. Where you start is where you start. You take your journey as you decide to. Where you start is not where you need to finish unless that’s what you want.

      And a bonus: recent WSJ article on how Goldman Sachs is casting a much broader net in where it recruits from Management realized that talent lies throughout the country and just at a few schools. I agree with them — a lot of my people can only afford State U even though their teachers tell them about schools elsewhere in the country that are expensive (and wouldn’t lead to jobs close to home or even in our region, like RTP) like MIT and Cal Tech. The relatives say “I’m going to NC State or Va. Tech because an engineer is an engineer.”

      • Politics aside I don’t think anyone aspires to be Vince or Linda McMahon…but I agree with your larger point that many brilliant and successful people went to unimpressive schools.

      • As someone who went to a fancy school, I just want to point out that many Ivies and MIT, Stanford, etc. are free if your family makes less than $100,000 a year and offer generous financial aid even if your family makes more than that. I agree that an engineer who goes to Va Tech or NC State is likely to turn out just fine, but I hate to see brilliant people discouraged from applying to the elite schools because of money. Generally, if you can get in, the school will make the finances work for your family (unless you have a unique situation like your parents earn $500,000 a year but have terrible money management and never saved anything – and even then you have the option to put yourself through on loans). And if you go to MIT or Caltech you are not going to have a problem getting a job anywhere in the world – you will certainly not be limited to the LA or Boston area. NC State is a fine school but to act like an MIT grad is going to have a harder job getting a job in Raleigh than an NC State grad is a little ridiculous.

        • It’s not that they’d have a hard time getting a job, but those firms recruit locally and it helps to have a good network anywhere you work.

          I never would have believed it as a kid, but if you want to work in Atlanta, don’t go to Amherst. Go if you love it, but you will have to work really hard to get a job than a kid at a closer school and no one will withhold your offer b/c they aren’t sure you’ll come / aren’t sure your committed to the city / etc. The older I get, the more and more I see this.

          The fanciest houses among my children’s friends belong to a pair of Clemson grads, a Clemson/Duke Law person, and one who went to UGA but didn’t finish. No family money. Go figure.

          • Obviously lots of state school people do very well and make gobs of money, but you’re kidding yourself if you think the MIT, Harvard, Yale, etc. names don’t open doors in a big way. Plus going there is a wonderful experience, and you build an incredible network of really smart and successful people. If my kid could get into one of those schools and I could afford to pay, there is no way I would encourage them to choose a state school instead.

          • Woo, go Tigers!! ;)

          • I think that they do and they don’t.

            I’m in a small city (but one big enough to have pro sports) and someone from State U here gets less of a side eye than a person from a national university unless they are also from here. Otherwise, no one believes that they want to move here and stay.

            I’ve seen it when I lived in DC when we’d interview on-campus at NYU — if people couldn’t articulate why they wanted to be in our city, we were told not to invite them for a callback even if they were great. Not such a problem for Georgetown students or even UVA.

          • I’ve seen this too. Sure, people are impressed by Ivies, but there are tons of good schools that people have heard of that might be far away from where you want to work and have no networking capabilities there, and going to them rather than a local school might hurt you. If the goal is to get a specific job in a specific place you might be better served with a less “impressive” school that has a really good career services department.

            Personal experience: I went to a tier 1 law school on the east coast (but not Harvard or Yale) but wanted to move back to Texas to work eventually. I was shocked to find that 1) no one in Texas believed I would return from the east coast, 2) no one in New York believed I wanted to stay there, and 3) my career services department had basically no ability to help me find a job outside of New York or DC. Finding a job was a struggle.

          • To Torin: I transferred law schools for this reason.

          • Agreed with Torin. Unless you start networking and have a story like “I’m getting married to Tom Landry’s grandson and moving to Dallas” (or similar local permanent-sort-of-story) or “I’m Tom Landry’s granddaughter and moving back (which is harder: what changed in your life that makes you want to make a permanent move to Texas now) home,” it is hard to find a LEGAL job somewhere other than near your school. It is amazingly parochial.

            True story: I am from NJ. My whole life. I went away for law school rather than to go Rutgers Newark for free. No NJ firm (then: Newark, Morristown, Roseland) would even interview me except for one, which told me that I was an idiot. I wound up in BigLaw DC.

          • I think the local networks are more important for law school, and maybe other professional programs like MBA. For an undergrad degree, my experience has been the more prestigious the school, the better, regardless of where you’re looking for a job. At least, I have a law degree from an ok-but-not-great school and an undergrad degree from Harvard, and a lot of people have told me point blank that they would have thrown out my resume if it weren’t for the Harvard name or similar things like “when we saw the Harvard name we had to interview you.”

        • I think that the bigger point is that hiring is regional. Sure, firms might take someone from Harvard. But that Harvard person has to find that job and apply for it and somehow make it work a firm to meet with person. So much easier to just hire the people already close to you when you can go on campus an hour from your company.

          PWC Boston probably hires from Harvard.
          PWC Atlanta and CLT may, but they interview and hire a ton of bright people from local schools.

          And Harvard’s a great school, but the first many tranches of Harvard rejects are probably just as smart as those who got in. And if your parents make 100K, a lot of $ in many parts of the country, they probably don’t qualify for much aid and tell you loudly that they will happily send you to State U so that you can graduate debt free from undergrad and then save any loans for a graduate / professional degree.

          • I worked at a BigFirm in Atlanta that stopped interviewing at Harvard Law for a few years because they found the candidates/summer associates too snooty. True story.

          • Anonymous :

            We used to interview at Harvard, NYU, GW, Georgetown. It just wasn’t worth it for the one kid every other year who’d come (and then 50% left in a year b/c it just wasn’t the same city all of their 25-year-old friends were in). Now: all SE regional schools / one HBCU law school. We’d let our Boston office (recruiting at Harvard) send us any resume they got who wanted our office, but they aren’t really pushing for kids to come work here (they are trying to hire for their needs). I mean, we have someone from Stanford who was a summer and is not a partner, but he is an Emory undergrad. Our Harvard partner (also started as a summer) was also a regional undergrad.

          • Anonymous :

            I am pretty sure Princeton (my alma matter) would cover full tuition for a family making 100k or less. Although it is hard to say that attending Princeton has opened up a lot of opportunities for me.

        • Ehh… so I think it depends on what you want to do with that engineering/STEM degree. What doors do you actually want open?

          If you want to be an applied scientist (consultant, hydrogeologist, civil engineer, land planner), that degree from MIT isn’t going to push you over the edge any more than NC State. Both will be able to do the job just fine. It’ll come down to things like fit, technical experience and training, writing and people management, networks, etc. Don’t underestimate how strong a state school network can be (I’m thinking specifically of NC State), especially in a state like NC that has strong sports loyalties.

          If you want to do research, or get a PhD, then you will probably be better off at an MIT where name brands matter and you have access to different networks-leading professors and researchers in the field, other brilliant kids who also want to sit in a lab. An environmental consulting firm is not more likely to hire a kid from Cal-Tech who has 3 years of experience doing research in someone’s lab and looks like a flight risk once he’s gotten his foot in the door, v. a kid from State who doesn’t have to move away from his family and will be satisfied actually *doing* work for clients who need things done in a cost effective manner v. wanting to research, design, advance a field, whatever.

          Daughter of two applied scientists who went to a Fancy School for UG and then a State School for grad school. The common refrain is that Fancy School networks have done nothing for them, and State School has done anything.

        • I think that a small private school gives a more fungible product, from a recruitment perspective, at least for entry-level hiring.

          Larger, less-selective schools have graduates that vary wildly, so often firms screen for honors, deans list, etc. Or use professor recommendations.

          I have a co-worker who went to Harvard. I’m sure no one asked her her class rank. [I do feel bad that whenever she makes a mistake, it will be “look what the Harvard girl messed up.” It’s probably not the sort of thing one says about any other school.] We also had a Harvard grad playing on our ECHL hockey team — I’d like to meet that kid’s parents and just ask them about their journey (and it’s good that he’s got that degree to fall back on). I think we also had two Dartmouth grads on that team at the same time. Cannot imagine the locker room ribbing these guys probably took.

    • Honestly she’ll be upset about it for quite awhile. You should just tell her you’re proud of her regardless. Perspective will come with time.

      I didn’t get into my dream school and instead when to a well-respected state school. 14 years later, I think it mattered very little where I went, within reason. I got a good education, was exposed to lots of new ideas and ways of thinking, and had a good experience. Those things are the point of college, and you can get them at any good school.

      • anon anon armani :

        This. It is also a good experience and time to deal with a variety of disappointments, lack of ready successes, as well as dashed/squashed/redirected dreams. Life is all about that. We all have childhood dreams – from business to personal, to marriage to lifestyle, and they are all vulnerable to external pressures and limitations as well as “fate” or God’s plans. Whatever you like to call it. Help your daughter learn to be resilient, flexible, and you will serve her well in her future as an adult – a happy one at that. Your care for her shows that you can be an excellent guide for her – even through this first bit of “adult” grief.

      • +1 to all this, your last paragraph was my exact experience.

    • Wait Listed :

      Oh, I feel for your daughter. Since you’re saying your daughter didn’t get into her dream school, I’m assuming that door is closed now. But here’s my story: I was waitlisted at almost all of my top choices for undergrad, and because of the nature of college admissions, the bad news all came within a couple of days. I got in off the wait list at one of those schools, went, and had a wonderful time. But there was about an 8-week period between early April and early June when I was admitted where, even though I knew I would be fine at my second choice, I was sad. I still remember sobbing one afternoon where I’d gotten a wait-list letter in the morning, then eagerly opened an email from another school in the afternoon, hoping I’d have good news to tell my dad when he got home from work, only to find another wait-list offer.

      It will be okay. I promise. But it’s probably going to hurt for a while.

      • And if she really wants, she can apply for a transfer after a successful first year at whatever school she does go to.

        • THIS.

          My husband started out at community college (he wasn’t devastated that he didn’t get to his first college or even millionth choice college; he was a knuckehead who didn’t bother to do anything in HS (which he regrets now)). He started working hard at the one option he had and he and a friend both transferred . I am sure that a lot of UVA grads didn’t start at community colleges, but there is a chunk who did.

          • As a UVA grad, I can assure you that I graduated alongside plenty of community college and transfers from other four-year schools! Both of my second-year roommates had always wanted to go to UVA, been rejected, went to their safety schools, and then transferred in after their first years.

          • Wait Listed :

            (Ironically, the school that admitted me off the waitlist, and from which I eventually graduated, was UVA. :))

          • ALX emily :

            I didn’t get into any of my dream schools and ended up at my “safety” school, which was UVa – I moped about it all summer too but in the end it was a much better situation than any of my alleged dream schools would have been.

        • Stuck in moderation maybe?
          I had a slightly different situation, since I did get into my dream school but ended up not going because of money. (Dream school and school I went to were pretty equal in terms of selectivity, rigor and prestige; dream school was just twice the price.) I was really sad and really disappointed for a long time–I’d had my heart set on my dream school since 10th grade. I moped around for longer than I’m proud of, and would occasionally get teary at things like senior awards nights where they were announcing “emeralds has received X award and will be attending Not Dream School in the fall.” It was hard because most of my friends were so excited about where they were going; my BFF and I were pretty much the only ones moping around, since we both grudgingly agreed to go to our second-choice school because of the money.

          My mom handled it really well, though. She kept reminding me that I could transfer if I wasn’t happy, and that all I had to do was go for a semester or year to give it a chance, or even defer my acceptance and take a gap year if thing were truly that dire. I didn’t participate in a lot of the traditional pre-college crap like filling up a cart at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because I just couldn’t manage to make myself care; my mom very kindly handled a lot of it. I had a decent time at orientation, which helped, and then by the beginning of August I was sick of moping and told myself I had to really give it a chance. I never capital-L loved my undergrad experience, although I did end up loving many things about my alma mater, got an excellent education, made lifelong friends, and graduated debt-free with a job I found through an advisor of a club I was involved in. So it’s completely natural that your daughter is going to be devastated, and but it’s not the end of the world.

        • This! My husband is a super smart and well-rounded guy who only got into his safety school. He hustled his first year and transferred into a top 10.

    • I had a slightly different situation, since I did get into my dream school but ended up not going because of money. (Dream school and school I went to were pretty equal in terms of selectivity, rigor and prestige; dream school was just twice the price.) I was really sad and really disappointed for a long time–I’d had my heart set on my dream school since 10th grade. I moped around for longer than I’m proud of, and would occasionally get teary at things like senior awards nights where they were announcing “emeralds has received X award and will be attending Not Dream School in the fall.” It was hard because most of my friends were so excited about where they were going; my BFF and I were pretty much the only ones moping around, since we both grudgingly agreed to go to our second-choice school because of the money.

      My mom handled it really well, though. She kept reminding me that I could transfer if I wasn’t happy, and that all I had to do was go for a semester or year to give it a chance, or even defer my acceptance and take a gap year if thing were truly that dire. I didn’t participate in a lot of the traditional pre-college crap like filling up a cart at Bed, Bath, and Beyond, because I just couldn’t manage to make myself care; my mom very kindly handled a lot of it. I had a decent time at orientation, which helped, and then by the beginning of August I was sick of moping and told myself I had to really give it a chance. I never capital-L loved my undergrad experience, although I did end up loving many things about my alma mater, got an excellent education, made lifelong friends, and graduated debt-free with a job I found through an advisor of a club I was involved in. So it’s completely natural that your daughter is going to be devastated, and but it’s not the end of the world.

      • +1 here. I got into my Dream School, but my Third Choice School, which was just as selective, ended up offering me a full academic scholarship (I missed qualifying for a scholarship at Dream School by 20 miserable SAT points). I made the tough but ultimately wise choice to take the scholarship and attend Third Choice School. And honestly? I’m so glad I did. I had a great college experience, met some lifelong friends, and the school worked with me to help me graduate early and customize my area of study to my specific interests and goals. I ended up getting two great jobs near my alma mater, met my husband here (not in college, but in the area after graduating), and have been able to live somewhere I love for the last 10 years.

        I remember feeling devastated that I was making the “responsible choice” and saving this money, but looking back, it was the best decision I could have made. Life is long, as other posters have mentioned, and I think you get out of any experience once you put into it. After a few weeks of moping, I psyched myself up about attending Third Choice School, and I think committing myself fully to the decision I made allowed me to move on and make the most of the opportunity availability to me.

    • Say the normal mom things — doesn’t matter where you go to school just how hard you work; they don’t know what kind of applicant they lost but some other school with realize it etc. But then let her work this out on her own. There will be some wallowing, some commiserating with other high GPA kids who didn’t get into their top choice, and the moving on. Hate to say it but life is full of disappointment and this is one of the first real world disappointments that many kids face after being the star of the show in their communities for the last 12 yrs. They need to learn how to deal with it bc you’re not always going to get every job, internship, etc. that you want – you have to find out how it’s best for you to move on.

      • Meredith Grey :

        Empathize with her, but make it clear you are only sad for her/with her. Even if you are, don’t be sad for your own sake in front of her. Be strong, be supportive and tell her you are proud of her. I’m sure it’s normal for a parent to have genuine worries about their child’s future success, but make sure that’s not playing itself out in front her.

    • I’m sorry your daughter is upset. Hugs to both of you.

      The same thing happened to me. Ever member of my family (since my grandparents came to this country) has attended one of two schools. Despite good grades and being well rounded I was rejected from both. I had not even applied to other schools and thought my only choice was going to be which offer I would accept. I was heartbroken. I cried for weeks. I felt like my life was over. I know exactly what your daughter is feeling. I ended up applying to other schools and was waitlisted at first but got a spot before the school year started. I was so depressed and didn’t want to go when the time came.

      I met my husband at that school. We have been together for 20 years, married for 15 and we have 3 sons. I got a great internship because the company who was hiring always took people from my school and I have great career now in that field. I met my now boss and three of my best friends there. I also introduced my sister to an old friend who I met there and they got married this summer and have a baby on the way.

      I know it’s tough and it’s got to be hard seeing her sad. Give her time and space to grieve and let her know that you are there for her support her no matter what. She sounds like a great kid. It will be okay.

    • That book by Frank Bruni, “Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be: An Antidote to the College Admissions Mania.”

    • The NYTimes just had an article about “potted plant parenting” and I think this is a situation that calls for just such an approach. Acknowledge her disappointment, tell her you love her, hug her if she wants to cry on your shoulder – and then just be there. Be in the house, nearby, physically present more than usual. Don’t try to make her talk about her feelings or cheer her up. Just be around, going about normal life. She’ll figure out the rest, and it will be good for her to learn.

      • Sadmomfortoday :

        Thank you for all of the suggestions and stories. Yes, she applied ED, and yes, she was rejected, not deferred. I AM so proud of her and I know she will be successful. I am going to look up “potted plant parenting!” I am also just going to be here for Netflix binges over break, and when she is ready to talk about other plans (there are several other applications out there) I’ll be here to listen.

        It really is true that this is her first major disappointment in life. She hasn’t faced much hardship – a fact which is probably pretty obvious to admissions officers!

    • Jitterbug :

      I’m in the “let her be sad” camp, don’t invalidate her feelings. Don’t let her act like a jerk because of it, and encourage her to spend time with friends, but let her be sad.

      At some point, if she gets down on herself, remind her that if they didn’t take her, it means it’s not the right school for HER, and she will get accepted to a college she’ll be very happy at. As someone told me when I was in high school, college is what you make of it, maybe tell her that as well.

  20. NYE Outfit Help! :

    All: I am looking for NYE outfit suggestions. I think I would prefer non-dress options.

    • Skinny black pants, tuxedo-style ankle pants, or a jump suit. Sparkly top. Heels.


        (I love all black so this is totally an outfit I would wear but you could switch out any of the components)

        • NYE Outfit Help! :

          Love the suggestions. I am so sad the tuxedo pants are sold out in my size. I would have snapped those up.

          • Oh man, I didn’t notice either! Sorry for the almost pointless suggestion. But I’m sure there are tons of similar options.

    • Ugh, me too, and I’m hosting 15 people at my house for NYE.

    • White House Black Market has several great options.

  21. What advice would you have wanted someone to give your 16-17 yr old self re careers, choosing careers, work, life, etc.? My niece had a bunch of girlfriends over yesterday and somehow that’s where the conversation went — what did I wish I knew about careers or life or whatever when I graduated high school in the late 90s. Thought it would be fun to get insight here.

    • Don’t worry so much. It’s important to work hard and try, but you will figure it out and it doesn’t matter what you’re doing at 22 exactly.

    • I wish I had more insight into the variety of careers that exist! I came from a very working class background, and teacher/nurse/doctor/lawyer/nebulous business person were about the only professions I was familiar with.

      • YES! Also, I would seriously think about fed jobs (or I would have, before Trump and his plans to dismantle/reduce benefits). There are people I work with who only have a high school degree and make what I make as an attorney, work fewer hours, and will collect a very nice pension at age 58.

      • NYC Touristing :

        Yes to this!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      If I could go back in time to my 16-year-old self, I would tell her to that her fear of failure is really holding her back. To not identify so much with the “good student” image and take more risks and push herself. And to take a more active role in developing and maintaining friendships.

    • I wish I worked harder in school and got better grades to have better options for higher education. Also, don’t think the only options are law or medicine.

    • PatsyStone :

      I wish I understood earlier that having a prestigious sounding title or huge salary are not the only markers of success. Many people (including me it turns out) are motivated by other factors and it’s short-sighted to discount them. And in the end you’re the one who has to live the life, no one else really cares.

    • Things that helped me: a student worker position in the department of my major. I scored face time points with the professors and administrators, which is still useful to me 10 years out of undergrad.

      Also, get an internship as soon as it is an option. There is very little that I learned in undergrad classes that translates to the actual work I do, but I learned TONS at my internship.

      • Yes to this! Explore different career paths via as many internships as possible (that “real world” experience is impossible to replicate in a classroom).

        Also, I wish I had studied abroad. While I can take very nice vacations now, I’m always constrained by the amount of time I can take off. I didn’t realize that I’d probably never have such uninterrupted travel time again.

    • Need to be careful saying this to a kid — but don’t get too wrapped up in school, it isn’t real life. Of course you need to get your As so you can get into the grad/prof school, get the job you want etc. But the real world is about getting stuff done the way the client wants it. I know more than a few people who had a rough transition out of undergrad or law school even though they were straight A students bc they did not want to be turning a spreadsheet on short notice — they were used to getting their As by pontificating about environmental policy or whatever. To me school was the necessary evil — had to get thru it to get what I wanted, but I saw people struggle who were way more attached to academic life.

    • I’m still young-ish so this could change, but with regards to career I’d encourage them to take advantage of the hardest opportunities they can. I’m 30ish and still see myself routinely getting great opportunities thanks to the school I chose to go to and the major I selected at age 18 (even though I’m not working in that field), and my first job out of college selected at age 22. I was saying to my mother the other day that it feels like the very hard work I did when I was younger is paying off huge dividends now compared to my friends who made slightly different but still respectable choices back then.

      But I agree with PatsyStone that this is not a path for everyone and certainly not a way to measure success of others.

      I also ditto the comment about understanding the breadth of careers available. And remind them that great careers don’t have to be chosen at age 18 or 22, especially in the corporate world a good first job leaves many doors open to a wide variety of things a few years later.

    • I’d wish I’d known how to play the game. Find out what your teachers/professors/bosses expect and act accordingly, rather than doing what you feel is best. When you’re the bottom rung, it doesn’t matter what you want.

      • +1
        Wish I had read How to Make Friends and Influence people, or things like the Ask a Manager blog, and really practiced some of those principles when I was younger. Would have helped me a great deal.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I wish that I knew what careers existed. In my high school brain, it was doctor, lawyer, or banker. I knew I was going to be a lawyer and didn’t even consider anything else.

      I wish that I realized plumber/electrician/contractor was a valid career path. If I could go back and do it again, I’d probably still go to a 4-year college because I loved the experience, but I’d try to get onto this career path.

      I wish that I had a realistic idea of finances. What does a $30,000/year or $60,000/year paycheck look like on a monthly basis and what kind of salary could I expect for certain jobs right out of school? What does $20,000 of student loans look like for monthly bills? What do other monthly things cost? Student loans seem like fake money until they come due and I had no real idea what after-tax paychecks looked like that weren’t from my part-time fast food job.

      • This. To the extent they can, they should try to figure out the kind of paycheck they need to have the lifestyle they want and work backwards from there. I’m not suggesting that you should ONLY choose a career for the money, but if in thinking about their 20s lifestyle they want to be in in a studio in Manhattan without a roommate and with enough money to get to enjoy some of NYC followed by a 30s lifestyle that involves a McMansion close to the city — finance or law school will be much “safer” paths to those goals than say a grad degree in French. And they should endeavor to gain some understanding re what after tax paychecks look like; what loan payments come out to etc. bc that allows informed decision making re whether a certain amount of debt for a certain school is worth it or not.

        • I’m going to add that they should realize what they are giving up by having that income and lifestyle. If you are making that amount of money you are probably giving up free nights and some weekends. I went into law for the money, but that changed when I realized the amount hours I would be required to work and the type of colleagues at those big firms. Now I’m making what I could have made without a law degree and wish I pursued other options. Money isn’t everything.

          • Anon 12:36 — yes that too. To make big firm/ibanking money you work ibanking hours and are on ALL THE TIME. I think it can sometimes be harder to impart that to young energetic, ivy bound high schoolers. In their mind — they are on all the time – school work; student govt; sports teams; club sports outside of school sports etc. So they think — what’s the big deal, at least I’ll be making a quarter million for it when I’m working. I think it’s hard to understand that as you get older — even in your 20s and 30s — are you more tired and quite often just don’t always want to be on, esp. if you are surrounded by friends or family who work 40 hrs a week and get the weekends to do whatever they want/need to do. So definitely talk to them about it, but don’t expect them to fully “get it” — I know I wouldn’t have at that age and probably not even until I was 30-32 and burning out.

      • Excellent points. Also think about WHERE you want to live. Is your career going to limit you to certain regions? Certain cities? Are you okay with that? Do you want to be near family? Some people really want to move away from their families, some don’t. Just something I wish I’d thought more about when planning my career.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish I knew that getting a low-paying job out of college and figuring out what you want to pursue is totally ok, and that there’s no need to apply to grad school as a college senior because grad school will always be there. I got an undergrad degree in a STEM field and realized in college that I didn’t want to go to graduate school in that field. I felt like I had to “do something” when I graduated and felt like my options were basically law school, medical school, Teach for America or working in finance. I got rejected from Teach for America, so I chose law. I ended up changing careers in my early 30s and although I was fortunate to graduate from law school with minimal debt so I wasn’t financially ruined, I feel like the whole legal career was kind of a waste of time. I wish that when I was a college senior, I’d just applied to run-of-the-mill jobs that looked mildly interesting and tried out the working world while I figured out what I wanted to do with my life.

      (FWIW, I went to an Ivy and I think part of why I felt so much pressure to go to grad school was that 90% or more of my graduating class went directly into a prestigious graduate program, a TFA-type program or Wall Street. I think if I’d gone to a state school there would have been less stigma about getting a “not a career, just a job” job to the pay the bills while I figured out next steps. So I think that is one big downside to an Ivy League education.)

    • Anonymous :

      Travel. As much as possible. See other places and people who live differently. Think about what you want for your life.

    • Meredith Grey :

      I would definitely tell myself that good grades/getting into college are not the only qualities that make me a successful and great person! I would encourage myself to cultivate other interests and talents- go to yoga class, not scoff at taking art as an elective or roll my eyes at P.E. All of those things end up supporting your professional success so work on them too!

    • I wish someone had told me that you don’t need to find your passion to study in college or find a career in. Getting a job that pays the bills and that you’re fine with is wayyyyyy more important that trying to make a career into some unicorn that is emotionally fulfilling. Also, going to a large public school with a large alumni network is actually pretty beneficial and will be way more helpful to you when you graduate than going to some expensive, small private school, since you’ll be targeted more by recruiters.

    • Anonymous :

      I wish someone had told me that it’s important to develop personal relationships with your professors so they are able to write recommendation letters, that internships are important, that you need to start looking for a job in the fall of your senior year, and that employers are looking for skills and not “potential.” I had the naive idea that employers would hire people they thought were smart and deserving, regardless of major or experience, and then train them.

  22. Ballet Wrap :

    What does one wear under a ballet wrap sweater? A plain tank top? I bought a DVF one and I like it, but it’s a bit short and I need something underneath to wear it with pants.

    • A tank top would look like a leotard under a ballet sweater. Is that okay with you? If so, I think it would look good!

      • Maybe try a tank top with some kind of lace trim or another embellishment (to avoid the leotard look, if that’s not what you want).

  23. Vulnerable Anon :

    Might be too late in the day to post but here goes. After the holidays/travel I plan on having/am ready to have the ‘i want a commitment talk’ with the guy ive been dating for several months. Deep down I know things could not work out and still have some nerves. We already had the ‘were not seeing anyone else talk’ so this is the natural next step.I’m not the best at communicating my feelings and I havent dated someone long term in years/havent felt this close to someone in a while so it took me a while to get to this point. Any advice on letting go and being vulnerable?

    • I’m a little confused about what you’re looking for. So I get the concept of an exclusivity talk, but after that I’m not sure I’ve really had any big commitment talks. It’s more like a series of conversations, touching base about where we both are, reaffirming our plans for the future, etc. I think the key is to not build this up into a big thing. Think of it more like opening the door to start an ongoing conversation.

    • Can you clarify what kind of commitment you’re looking for? Do you want to move in together? Get engaged now? Within 2 years? Whatever you want, I’d try to introduce the topic casually so he has time to think about what he wants. This sounds like a series of conversations, not just one.

      • Yeah I dont think I’m clear/probably even overanalyzing a bit. So even though we’re seeing each other frequently (at least once a week or so), share intimate details of our lives, are close and I’ve never flat out said, i want you to be my boyfriend, start introducing you to more people in my life, and know that we’re getting together at least once a week, etc. I want all those things but havent expressed it and thats what I want to talk about. I feel some ambiguity that i want clarified, if that makes sense?

        • I think those are things that come with the territory of exclusive, unless you’d originally established a FWB type situation. I think a conversation might be awkward, or make him think you are looking for what asdf guessed about (living together, engagement, etc), which it doesn’t sound like you mean. So invite him to family dinner, out with friends, call him your boyfriend.

        • If you’re exclusive, he’s your boyfriend. (If he wants you to be exclusive but doesn’t want to be your boyfriend, he’s a nope.)

        • Agree that exclusivity = boyfriend (unless there is an unusual backstory). As for introducing him to more people, just do it! Set up dinners with friends, etc, and see what happens. If he follows suit it’s a good sign. If not, it’s valuable information.

        • Anonymous :

          seeing each other once a week is not frequent, especially months in.

    • What about framing it as “What does not seeing anyone mean to you? How do you think of relationship progression in general?” Make it an open conversation without an agenda. ‘Commitment’ is pretty nebulous (honestly, I’m not even sure what you mean by that or what you want out of it). I’m of the mind that this should be a series of low-pressure ‘let’s figure out what our needs are and if we’re on the same page about them’ conversations. The monogamy stuff is already out of the way.

  24. Flowers for wedding? :

    I am getting married on Friday at a courthouse. No family members or friends are attending. No photographer. I am really happy about this-I did not want a wedding at all!

    However, my mom is really insistent that I get flowers for the wedding (or “at least carry a single rose”), but I am failing to see the point. We are going to a courthouse that is a step up from the DMV, and are going directly to a hotel/spa in the area immediately afterwards. I did find a local florist who can put together a bouquet for me on the spot for a not low, but reasonable price, but I also anticipate working late the night before, and may have to work a little the morning of the wedding, so going and getting a bouquet made is going to be a hassle.

    My inclination is to skip the real bouquet. I currently have a dozen red roses sitting on my dining table. Taking one, clipping it, and putting it so it sticks out of my handbag seems to meet what my mom wants, but I feel like I am cheating. I simply don’t want to “carry a single rose” around in the sense she is thinking-I think it will look dumb. I know she means carry it in my hand although she didn’t specify that.

    Can you guys tell me I am being an OK daughter by doing this rose-clipping-in-handbag-thing? Or should I stop complaining and take time off work to get the bouquet? Or am I just caring too much about what my mom wants?

    • Senior Attorney :

      If your mom would be happy with a single rose (putting aside whether it’s appropriate for her to weigh in on this), just grab one from the dining table and call it a day. Boom! Done! And don’t sweat the details!

      • If you feel like it would mean a lot to your Mom, take one photo holding the single rose. Then toss it aside and carry on as usual.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yes, definitely if she’s not going to be there! And if she’s there, you can hold it for the ceremony and have it in your bag the rest of the time.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh, and heartiest congratulations and massive best wishes!!!

          • Flowers for wedding? :

            Thanks, and yeah she won’t be there. Good call on the photo.

    • Congrats! Your wedding sounds just right the way you’ve planned it. Don’t add stress and costs. I vote no flowers. Enjoy and best wishes!

    • Have you thought about asking the florist to make something to pin in your hair? That would satisfy your mom’s wish for flowers and your desire to not awkwardly carry something around.

      • Flowers for wedding? :

        No, and I actually like this idea, but my hair is much too short for anything to be pinned in it. It’s even short for a pixie.

        • Flower crown? See also, gold foil in hair, though not sure that’s what your mom is going for:

    • Your wedding sounds a lot like mine. I had a relative who told me I’d regret not having flowers or a photographer and tons of other stuff that didn’t matter to us. So far, no regrets. However, if all my mom was asking for was a picture of me holding a flower on the day I got married, I’d spend $10 to make that happen because it was important to her.

      • +1. For the photo, hold the flower with one hand and your spouse’s hand with the other, and wear an expression that says Mom, thank you for your part in guiding me to choose a life with this wonderful person!

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