Tuesday’s Workwear Report: Pleat Front V-Neck Dress

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

Pleat Front V-Neck Dress Oooh: what an interesting little dress. I love the pleat details — they feel very artistic and organic, when they could have felt like another version of the “let’s stick a ruffle on it” trend. I like the high V at the neck, as well as the lovely navy color. (Note, of course, that sleeveless looks aren’t appropriate for every office — know your office!) The dress is $370 at Reiss.  Pleat Front V-Neck Dress

Looking for something similar? This $98 dress has a similar vibe, while this $138 navy dress has more of a feminine flair, and this $58 plus-size wrap dress is great as well.

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


  1. England recs :

    We are headed to England in a few weeks. The itinerary includes a couple days in Windsor, a 4-day cruise on the Kennet & Avon Canal (with a stop in Bath), and a couple days in the Newbury area. Looking for any recommendations for off-the-beaten-path stuff. We already have a hack around Great Windsor Park planned and we are going to the horse races and Highclere Castle. Family of three with six-year-old kid. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      Please don’t do the horse races they’re incredibly cruel and exploitative.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        +1 million.

      • Another Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        ? is there something particular about these

        • Anonymous :

          I can’t tell if you are saying that all horse racing is cruel and exploitative or if these horse races are.

          • Yes, curious about this as someone who grew up around horse racing. There are definitely cruel and exploitative elements in racing…but there are cruel and exploitative elements in just about everything. In my experience the majority of owners and trainers have a deep love and appreciation for horses and the sport, and if we were to cross off every sport or form of entertainment with an exploitative element, there wouldn’t be many (any?) left.

          • Another Anon :

            I believe that any sport utilizing animals for human entertainment is exploitative. I don’t go to zoos, aquariums, etc. One of the reasons I believe horse racing is cruel is because they are being raced before their knees have stopped growing (usually around 5 years), same as I believe jumping horses before that is cruel as well. There is also a fair amount of drugging and masking of lameness that happens, among other things, both at the lower and higher levels.

            Big fat NOPE for me all around.

          • Anon at 10:06 :

            Those are fair critiques, @Another Anon. I respect your position.

          • In that case, why not just say “I don’t believe in animal entertainment” or just not respond? The OP didn’t ask about the beliefs of others re this type of entertainment. As your belief is generic and not specific to what she is seeing, how it is helpful? The OP was already open to this sort of thing and nothing in your comment suggests that this particular place is somehow worse among its type or not worth seeing.


          • Another Anon :

            Anon at 10:06. Thanks. I dated someone who was involved at the higher levels of horse racing on the track side. Some of the stories were horrifying. He banned a trainer who left a tongue tie on so long part of the horse’s tongue fell off. The state racing commission forced him to let the trainer back on the track. The Lasix crap also drives me batty.

            Some of the top trainers are masters at being a step ahead of the testers with stacking and new tricks.

            It’s a shame because I agree that there are owners/trainers/jocks who do love the horses and want to right by them but the bone growth issue is a major one for me.

            Thanks for respecting my first position.

          • Anon at 10:06 :

            @Anonymous at 12:13, I think Another Anon’s critique was fair. Sometimes it’s helpful to have our beliefs interrogated, and sometimes we don’t know about problems lurking under the surface of things we enjoy until someone tells us. Then we can make an informed decision about whether we choose to continue supporting them with our presence and our money. Personally, I will continue to be a casual racing fan (watch the Triple Crown, go to a few steeples/point-to-points each year as the mood strikes) and do those forms of mitigation that allow me to sleep at night (contribute to charities retraining and rehoming ex-racehorses, ride an OTTB).

            I think the original Anonymous could have been more helpful in explaining their position, as could the many additional anons +1-ing her. But I don’t think shutting down the whole line of inquiry is helpful, either.

        • I do NOT agree. Race Horses get treated like royalty and haven’t you heard of the Tripel Crown, which was just won in the Belmont? Dad won over $1000 betting this year, and we all went out to eat to spend it! I had a Veal Parm and Rosa had a Chicken Parm and the kids all had Mac and Cheeze, and Ed had a Strip Steak and Mom had Filet, and I don’t remember what any one else had, but it was FUN! All b/c of the Belmont! YAY!!!!!

      • Are you vegan, then?

        • I really don’t think that’s relevant at all. The “ask” is for a person to do/not do 1 thing, not to change a whole lifestyle, and there really is no requirement on the asker for being a more ethical/perfect person because of the ask.

          Don’t pollute – ok, but do you drive a car, drink a straw, buy clothes from Target?
          Don’t rape – ok but do you ever make a sexist joke?
          Don’t discriminate against LGBTQI+ – ok, but do you watch The Bachelor?

          Huh? It’s one ask. There’s no requirement of the asker. Are you perfect, then?

          • Your comparisons, though, are on different levels. Rape is a violent crime. A sexist joke is not at all acceptable, but it’s not a violent crime. They’re not the same. But if you think zoos, aquariums, and horseracing are cruel and exploitative– isn’t leather exploitative? Isn’t chicken salad exploitative? Your comparisons are apples and oranges. But to say animal entertainment is exploitative (OP didn’t ask for feedback on the horseraces, either; she asked for additional suggested activities), you must surely find any animal consumption also exploitative. Or, you’re a hypocrite.

          • You must surely…. or, you’re a hypocrite.

            My point is that YOU must surely be critical AND judgmental (both meant as insults in this context, not just descriptors) AND likely a hypocrite. Whether the person who criticised horse racing is a vegan or not has no bearing on whether or not horse racing is, per se, cruel and/or eploitative, or on her argument (which she has not gone into detail about).

            And I am, too!

        • Racehorses have a significantly worse life than farm animals (with certain exceptions for things like foie gras). Also, people need to eat and many people (myself included) need to eat meat and fish or their health will suffer (dietary supplements are not as good as getting nutrients from food). Nobody needs to go to a circus or watch horse races.

        • Another Anon :

          Yes. I am.

        • Original anonymous here and I am vegan

      • another +1.

    • Anonymous :

      Will you be able to make it up to Stonehenge? I did a tour from London that stopped at Bath but I don’t remember how far it was between Bath and Stonehenge. It was incredible.

      • Bath to Stonehenge is about an hour train ride and COMPLETELY worth it. The train ride out there only added to the experience.

    • Your 6 year old would probably love LEGOLand Windsor.

    • Anonymous :

      Hi – I answered you in yesterday’s thread. Definitely Henley on Thames. And Runnymede may be interesting

  2. Feeling bummed because I’m realizing that a lifelong friend is actually a pretty catty, self-absorbed, and dramatic person. We live far away and don’t see each other in person much anymore, but we text daily and I didn’t realize from that that this is who she is. Now we’re together for a week for her wedding and it’s really pretty bad. There’s wedding stress and then there’s downright mean comments about how ugly the best man’s haircut is (to his face) and how a beautiful handmade centerpiece a family friend put together is “ok, I don’t really care.”

    Not really looking for advice, just venting. Bummed at how this is going and how I never realized what she’s like as an adult.

    • That does suck. A couple thoughts:

      – Weddings are high stress. It’s no fun to be an event planner when that’s not your actual job. Sounds like she’s not handling it well, but if she’s been a lifelong friend, I’d likely give her a last chance after the wedding crazies have died down and see if she improves. If not, at least you gave her the benefit of the doubt.

      – She can be just your texting buddy. Sounds like she’s fine to you over text, so maybe just reframe your relationship with her into “really awesome text support” and that’s it. Friends ebb and flow, maybe this is her season of less face time in your life.

    • Anonymous :

      I believe brides should be gracious and delightful company, but this isn’t a fair snapshot of your friend’s life. I’ve noticed that many people actually revert to old patterns around family especially. I’m sorry it’s been such an unpleasant reunion though.

      • I mean, that’s true, but I guess what’s bumming me out is that I’m seeing clearly what I’ve always known on some level. I wrote it off as humorous snark years ago and now it’s so clear it’s not.

        • Except that this is probably an incredibly stressful time for her and I really doubt that you’re getting a true picture of who she is. Maybe it really is humorous snark the 99.99999% of the time that she’s not about to get married.

      • +1 to reverting to old ways around family. She may actually feel horrible about how she’s acting, or will later. Weddings are usually stressful so I’d cut her a little slack. She may be dealing with petty family drama too and the best man happened to be in her line of fire at that moment.

    • Anonymous :

      Her behavior sounds childish and I can understand why you feel this way. I’d caution you against concluding that a lifelong friend is a terrible person that you don’t want in your life anymore because of how she acts the week before her wedding (within reason). What you’ve described is definitely not great (and I’m sure there’s more). If I were meeting this person for the first time I wouldn’t want to see more of her. But I think lifelong friends get a little leeway, if only because you know that she isn’t always like this. This sort of behavior just doesn’t rise to lifelong-friendship-ending levels of awful, imo, during a time that you know she’s super stressed.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re upset because your friend said the best man got a bad haircut?

      Agree with others. Give her a break.

      Many of us grow away from our “old friends”.

      • You don’t think it’s rude to say (in front of 10 other people) that someone’s regular, everyday hair “looks like sh*t”?

        • Sure, it’s rude. Maybe ill-delivered humor? Maybe stress-induced rudeness as she is planning and executing the biggest event she’ll probably ever be responsible for? Yes, the comment is rude. I think cutting her out of your life for a rude comment is also rude, though.

        • Of course that is rude. We’re not psychic, so how would we know she did that. Is that really what happened?

          • That is exactly what happened. That’s what I meant by “downright mean” comments.

            It does make sense that weddings can bring out the worst in people, although I haven’t seen it happen to any of my other friends. Hopefully this is a one-off.

    • I can commiserate. I have a lifelong friend who recently moved to my city after living elsewhere her entire adult life. We had kept in touch via text, phone, and short visits over the years, but once she was local, it became apparent she was the not the person I thought she was. It sucks, but it happens. We still keep in touch but it’s limited to lunch maybe four times a year. Mourn the loss of the friend you thought you had, decide whether you want to restructure your friendship with new boundaries or just let it end.

    • lawsuited :

      Several close friends with whom I correspond and spend time with frequently became noticeably different during their wedding planning. One has continued to be snotty since her wedding, but the others returned to normal, so I’d reserve judgment for now. Weddings bring out the best and worst in people.

    • My sister is a great, chill person. I was her MOH. After being supportive for a few days leading up to her wedding, I was DONE with being her sister. She became this self centered other being. Just wanted to chime in to say, maybe it’s just wedding stress?

  3. Anonymous :

    Taking a weekend up trip up to see a friend in NYC from DC. Which seems to be the better option – flying or taking the train? Round trip flight time is about 3 hours, train round trip is about 6 hours, I’m much closer to the airport than Union Station (and I have pre-check if that matters), and the flight is $50 more expensive than round trip train.

    • General consensus is typically to take the train, because although the “in transit” time is higher, it’s more comfortable and a higher % of your travel time can be “useful” (as opposed to in security, waiting at gate, boarding, unable to use laptop during takeoff, etc etc) and there’s a lower risk of delays.

    • Clementine :

      I personally find the train to be much easier and saner for that route.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I would take the bus. Vamoose and Bolt are good. It usually takes just as long.

    • Anonymous :

      The shuttle flights between LGA and DCA are usually on time IME. The exception is if there’s bad weather – because they’re small planes, thunderstorms and winds are more likely to delay or cancel your flight than it would for a larger plane. Also, I’d factor in the time and expense of getting to/from the NYC airports, so the convenience from a time perspective might no longer be worth $50 to you if you realize it takes 1+ hr to get from LGA to where your friend is.

      • Question OP :

        Is there a specific company that does the shuttle flights, or is that just the phrase for the little puddle jumpers they have for that trip?

    • BabyAssociate :

      The train is definitely faster and less of a hassle. The New York airports are not the close to the city (I guess that may depend on where exactly you’re going).

    • givemyregards :

      I would fly, since it’s a weekend trip and I’d want to minimize travel time (plus I like a shorter commute from the airport home at the end of a trip), but unless your friend lives right next to LGA or Penn Station, I don’t think there’s a particularly strong case for doing one over the other. I would just go with which type of travel you generally prefer!

    • Personally I’d take the train because even an hour flight is usually about 3 total hours by the time you get there early enough, and sit on the runways, etc., especially since the NY and DC airports are large (I might fly into a small regional airport, but the big ones mean leaving early to get to the right place.) I also feel like there’s more room on the train and I feel less icky when I arrive.

      • Off topic but your ick comment made me wonder – what is it about planes? I mean trains have recirculated air too. And they’re right up on the track with all the dust and dirt. But you’re right, I don’t feel gross when I get off a train, I feel like I need a shower when I get off a plane.

        • Maybe it’s the altitude mixed with the recirculated air? I also get really motion sick and it’s worse for me on planes, but yea, it’s a little bit of a mystery as to why I feel horrid after I fly.

          • I think it’s the poor climate control combined with the proximity to sweaty, unshowered seatmates.

    • Another vote for the train. Unless your destination is very close to the airport, total travel time will be just as long on the plane. Union Station in DC and Penn Station in NYC are icky, but LGA and JFK airports are ickier. The train is not fancy, but it is way nicer than a plane. The seats are bigger. There are power outlets and WiFi. And no TSA.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Train, especially if you’re going into Manhattan. It’s just so much more pleasant.

    • I live in DC and work in NYC and I take the shuttles back and forth weekly. I used to take the train, but I just appreciate how much shorter the transit time is. Also at the times when I fly there’s no line at security so I can cut it pretty close. It keeps the travel time significantly less than on the train. Plus I never actually put away my laptop for takeoff and landing, and I notice that others don’t always either. They seem to be a lot more lenient on the shuttle than on longer flights I’ve been on.

    • Depends where you’re going in the city, but the DCA LGA shuttle is nice and SO easy. I’ve been door to door my apartment to friend’s apt on the UES in 3 hours. And I’ve found those flights for as little as $70 on Friday nights since they’re usually for biz travelers

  4. How does Reiss sizing run? According to measurements, I am exactly between two sizes. Thanks!

    • givemyregards :

      I find it to be pretty true to size, maybe slightly small compared to American brands (J. Crew, etc.), so would go with the larger size, depending on the item (I can usually get away with snug skirts but not snug tops, for example).

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a little shorter and little more narrow (like in the shoulders), which may not bother you if you’re petite but it makes the clothing too small for me.

    • Small.

    • On the small side – particularly the pencil skirt/tailored dresses – depending on your shape. It accommodates curves and a smaller waist but is fairly form fitting. I’m a US6 in JCrew and a US8 in Reiss. But YMMV if your shape is different than mine.

  5. Any tips on finding a premarital counselor? My SO and I would like to do a round of premarital counseling, more in the spirit of preventative maintenance than to address any specific issues. We don’t belong to a church and are not looking for something with a religious bent–my SO is really turned off by a friend’s experience with pre-cana. (We’re in Richmond on the off chance that anyone has a specific rec.)

    • Anonymous :

      Maybe call an Episcopal church? They would likely refer you to someone who won’t come off as preachy, just a secular counselor they think is good.

      • Thanks, I might do this.

        • I second this rec. I did the FOCCUS program through the catholic church with my atheist fiance. The religion questions were all grouped in one section and were easily skipped.

      • Senior Attorney :

        We did premarital counseling in the Episcopal church and it was very good and not at all preachy. They had some kind of online questionnaire we both filled out and then we discussed it with the counselor.

    • Anonymous :

      Check out the Gottman institute and Psychology Today for couples counselors (look for someone Gottman trained). Gottman also runs weekends, which might be what you’re looking for. That’s basically what you’re talking about and those options won’t be religious.

      • in the field :

        this + a million. SO much better, research based, and professional than pre Cana. As a professional in the mental health field it seemed like purgatory weekend workshop so many decades ago. Go Gottman.

        • I just checked and there are no Gottman-trained therapists within 75 miles, sigh–got really excited for a minute. I might see if there’s a workshop anywhere near us. We are definitely on Team Science Based as a rule, so Gottman would have been perfect.

          Pre-cana is going to be a no. The friends who did it had to lie to their childhood priest for a year about the fact that they were living together, or he would have refused to marry them. Not the route that we are going.

          • You could also just buy he 7 principles of making marriage work,read it together and talk about it – if you’re just in a let’s plan for the future but not a crisis point that might do the trick.

    • Do either of your company’s have an EAP? You can call them and get a few names of therapists/counselors.

    • I have a friend who is a licensed counselor who recently moved to Williamsburg. Let me know if you don’t find anyone and I will contact her. I think she’d fit your need really well. She’s been married twice, with the second marriage in her 60s and very happy. She’s thoughtful and smart and caring, but also very knowledgeable.

    • I would ask my religious advisor. No matter what religion you are, you should involve him/her in the planning with your spouse to be. That way, you can get the tough details out of the way up front; i.e. where to live, how many children to have, sexueal compatibility issue’s, etc, etc. Only a religious advisor can be frank with your spouse to be on these issues. Who else could say, do this, don’t do that, do that, don’t do this, etc., b/c you are hesitant to say these things yourself. That is why I never went thru it with Sheketovits, b/c I knew in my heart he was just a user. He NEVER did stuff for me or what I may have wanted; onley what HE wanted. FOOEY on peoeple like that! DOUBEL FOOEY!

  6. perimenopause :

    Ugh — I think it’s happening. And my metabolism (formerly a furnace that has lead to some really bad habits) has sunk. My shape is . . . shifting — all bulk to the middle.

    1. Advice for how to dress well? It’s almost a postpartum / fibroid-sufferer shape trying to take place (plus: THIGHS). Esp if you are not tall?
    2. GOOD blogs for this demographic?
    3. Good stores for this age/stage of life? I have sworn by Banana Republic / Athleta but I feel that I need to up my game and find things that work better for this shape since a lot of stuff just won’t fit now and may not fit again.


    • Anonymous :

      Following up on this, how do you know if you are a fibroids sufferer or not? I have all the symptoms, but they seem kind of non-specific, and my doctors seem to have a kind of “shrug”/”Eve’s curse” attitude about these things.

      • Get a new ob/gyn, pref a female one. Fibroids (family curse) are a hugely-impactful QOL issue. The perpetual bleeding can make you anemic and exhaused. And: perpetual bleeding (often heavy). The puffy stomach is the least of the problems with it.

        They can dx for sure with ultrasound.

        • Thanks. The gyns I’ve seen cannot understand why I don’t want to take the pill if I have heavy bleeding, and they act like their job is done once they’ve offered a prescription. They have brought up endometriosis, but the pain isn’t nearly as bad as the bloating. None has ever mentioned fibroids, and when I’ve brought it up, I got the impression they didn’t think it was a serious medical concern. It’s helpful to know that there are other gyns out there who might take it more seriously. Because I am exhausted and anemic all the time, and having to use multiple sanitary products + layered black clothing is not ideal either.

        • +1 to anon at 10:36.

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      Look at Talbots and Boden. I particularly find their “ottoman” fabrics to be so forgiving for my ageing hourglass. I’m an old – 60 next month. I have not found a blog I find suitable, so I’m all ears for this thread.

    • Talbots. Cuts are a bit more generous in the problem areas.

      Dressing well….. A uniform? Finding that dress/skirt that works, and buying a few colors. Pants are less forgiving.

    • We’ve had a lot of posts like, my body has been fabulous for most of my life but now I’m 10+ years past when most people’s bodies start to go and time is just now catching up to me HELP! A couple of them have had great discussions of body acceptance – I encourage you to look at them.

      You’re a not-tall woman who’s had a furnace of a metabolism until perimenopause! That’s incredible! You know the last time most not-tall women had a metabolism like that? At 14. Maybe earlier. You have had amazing years of being able to eat stuff and not gain bulk in the middle. Celebrate that! It’s fine to feel a little sad that those days are over but MAN you beat the clock by decades! So now you have to start eating like you’re 25 – that’s not something to feel bad about!

      So your actual question, how to dress for this change in shape. Your natural waist has probably shifted up closer to your bra line. Look for clothes that emphasize that smallest part of you and skim over your tummy. Fit and flare and wrap dresses are great. For tops, look for darts that nip in the waist. Amorphous shapes won’t work but you can still wear some drapey tops, the drape just has to nip in first. I have a tummy and I live in Athleta. They have a ton of dresses with a seam that hits my waist just right. I’m sure this post will go into m o d but if it ever comes out I’ll post some links.

    • A_nonymouse :

      I’m not far behind you so adding a few ideas and throwing up my hand in unison for the question “How DO you know if you’re a fibroid sufferer or not??”.
      Blogs: Have you looked at the following: Accidental Icon, Not Dead Yet Style, Wardrobe Oxygen, already pretty (mostly running archive postings now but great reads on body flattery, positivity and wardrobe foundational advice). Une Femme d’un certain age has a “daily reads” link where she has a host of blogs for fashion and lifestyle. These may prove insightful/inspirational. Supposedly there’s a world of options and styles out there, but I’m hear you, it’s hard to find new brands and cuts that fit where you are now. Good luck and chin up! I bet you are beautiful.
      Fibroids: I have very long lengths between cycles and when Flo finally arrives it’s a blood bath. Not to mention all the bloating, weeks of PMS and new feature – some spotting inbetween. My doctor is female, newer to practice and I stopped going because her answer is “there’s nothing you can do about symptom x, y, z ” if it’s menstrual related. I don’t need to pay money for essentially non care.

  7. anonymous :

    Interview question – I’m an attorney who just moved to a new city. I’ve accepted a position (Job A) that I’m excited about, but a few days after accepting, I got an offer to interview for Job B at a federal government agency. I will have to decline the interview for the second job – will that hurt me if I want to interview there in the future (preferably under another presidential administration)? I’m afraid I’ll never get another chance to interview there again, but I’m committed to Job A at this point and also do not particularly want to work for this administration.

    • Anonymous :

      Unless it’s an appointed position most people could care less about working at that level in this administration. I get you, of course, but a lot of people have to work and the current politics aren’t a reflection on them. Having said that, it won’t affect you. They will understand that you just took a new job.

      • Anonymous :

        The correct expression is “could NOT care less.” If you “could care less,” that means you actually do care. Don’t mean to be snippy…

    • Federal government jobs are so hard to get, especially if you are not in dc since there are so many fewer positions. If you’re at all willing to work for this administration, I’d take the interview. If you get the job, it would mean leaving your new job in about 6 months. But you never know when since a position would open again

      • That’s an angle I hadn’t thought about. Do you really think it will take six months from interview to start date?

        • Longer post in mod, but yes, it can definitely take six months.

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          It took me about 4, and my agency makes a big thing about how fast their hiring process is.

        • It took me 5, and my agency is really fast. I know dozen of attorneys who have moved to the federal government – the fastest I’ve heard of has been 4 months from interview to start and the slowest (not counting those who need a security clearance before starting) had been 9 months.

      • I’d also vote for continuing to interview for the government position. USAjobs is such a maddening [email protected] and government hiring takes so long, you could be well into the first year of Job A before you get a start date for Job B, presuming you’re selected.

        – Sincerely, someone who interviewed several months ago, accepted 1.5 months ago, and still doesn’t have a start date.

  8. I’m in DC and in need of a 3 day weekend. I want to drive somewhere remote and beautiful and just chill with my dog. A lake would be wonderful, but isn’t required. Does anyone have any ideas? I tried researching last night but no dice.

    • Anonymous :

      Deep Creek Lake in MD

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Rocky Gap is in the same general area with a lake that’s both smaller and calmer/quieter in case you just want a chill canoe (no gas motorboats except the one DNR/lifeguard boat).

        Other MD state park highlights: Cunningham Falls especially for hiking, New Germany for lovely forests of droopy pine trees like in German fairy-tale illustrations (lake is small though), Pocomoke River (southern MD) for canoe trails in a cypress swamp.

        If you want something *really* remote, Jane’s Island has campsites that are only accessible by canoe/kayak (and only chemical toilets).

    • Various friends of mine have gone to in the past few weeks and loved Colonial Beach, VA; Cobb Island, MD; and Tangier Island, VA.

      My husband and I drive either to the Northern Neck of VA or down the Maryland peninsula (Leonardtown, etc) every weekend. If we don’t get out of the city suburbs, it’s like we never even had a weekend. They’re both full of quaint small towns and feel a world away from DC.

      • New job who dis :

        Catoctin Mountain Park was always a huge favorite of mine growing up in Maryland.

        Thurmont, MD a quick jaunt up 70w. I’m obsessed with water and waterfalls and they are a-plenty in Catoctin & Cunningham Falls State Park.

    • Assistant Professor :

      You could look into the area around Ohiopyle State Park in PA (just over the MD/WV border)- water fall hikes, natural water slides, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water house is nearby if you’ve never seen it. The park itself will have some tourists, but I’m sure you could rent a place a bit outside of the main areas on Youghiogheny River Lake that will be remote and peaceful. No matter where you end up going, happy relaxing!

    • Lost River, WV is nice and only 2 hours from DC.

  9. Living Together :

    My boyfriend moved in with me last week. It’s also the first time I’ve ever lived with a romantic partner. I’m surprised by how our dynamic seems to have changed already – not in a bad way, necessarily, but it’s strange to have him around through all the monotony when we used to just see each other for dates. Any good advice for a person in my position? Open to lessons learned, but particularly ones related to keeping the relationship fun when also spending so much time together.

    • As with anything, communication is key so keep talking about how you feel and what is/isn’t working. Be open about how much alone time you need – it’s okay to be doing separate things in different rooms or to keep your studio class at 9am on Saturday or whatever. Spending all your time together can cause burnout.
      Also, and this is different for each relationship, keep the mystery, especially as it pertains to the bathroom. If one person is in the shower and the other is brushing their teeth, that is ok in my house. However, all p**ping is to be done alone. Certain self-grooming rituals are also best done alone.

    • Did you guys go from “dating” to “moving in together” without lots of long weekends and overnights? Yeah, it will be strange. You’ll just have to get comfortable with each other through time. It sounds like maybe you jumped the gun a bit, but I’d recommend just settling into whatever your normal evening rhythm is – walk the dog, tv, cook dinner, etc.

      • No, there were lots of weekends and overnights. It’s just different that we’re together every single day. So chores get done with the other person around, instead of before they come over, etc.

    • Ask for what you need. Out loud. Be specific. For example, it is not fair to your partner to let the dishes pile up for a week as a test to see how long your partner would hypothetically let the dishes pile up and then blow up about it–just ask your partner to wash the dishes. I know that’s a crazy (true) example, but the same principal plays out in a lot of more subtle ways.

    • Plan dates. For me, that was the biggest thing that accidentally went out the window when we moved in together. Instead of spending the day excitedly looking forward to when I’d get to see him that evening and the fun thing we were going to do, we just both came home and were like, yep, you’re here, no point in going anywhere. We realized the number of fun date things we did decreased dramatically, so we made an effort to make them happen and still get that anticipation and excitement. For example, even though he sees me getting ready in the bathroom every day, I kick him out while I’m getting ready for date night. He’ll shower and change in the guest bath and I’ll pick out my outfit and do my hair and makeup in our room. Then, when I’m ready, I’ll walk out of the room as a reveal and he’ll be ready to go, similar to how it was when he’d pick me up for dates.

      • I second this. Trying to continue with regular “date nights” has been a great thing for our relationship. We also make sure that, as Mascot said above, bathroom activities stay private. For me personally, if something like hair dye or a face mask needs to happen, I try to wait until my fiance is out of the house for that. We spend plenty of time together doing the monotonous life stuff, but we communicate enough that if one of us needs alone time, that it’s always OK to say so. We both maintain our own individual activities and hobbies, so while we’re great as a couple, we haven’t forgotten who we are as individuals.

      • I second this, but would just add that the date doesn’t need to be going anywhere. We’ve taken up board/card games. I really enjoy cracking open a bottle of wine and playing Splendor for a couple hours with SO. I like that we’re interacting with each other rather than just staring at the TV for a couple hours all the time. We still sometimes just chill out and watch TV, but purposefully doing something interactive is also important for us.

        • Mmm…Splendor! One of my favorites! Although DH and I used to play board games on our dates from the start, because neither one of us are easy small-talkers. Much better at affectionate trash-talk!

        • You could also play Yahtzee or other games that are relationship building, but not bedroom related like Twister. This way, moving in will be more then a sexual thing. FOOEY! That was my probelem with my ex. He moved in and just wanted me to do stuff for him when I came home after a long, hard day at work, when I realy was NOT in the mood. DOUBEL FOOEY! Moroever, he cared only for his own satisfaction. How thoughtless was that? Especialy when I had to come home to a mess that had to be cleaned up b/f I could even THINK of being romantic. TRIPEL FOOEY!

  10. Grieving Dog Lover :

    How do you deal with the loss of a pet at work? I went out of town Thursday and came back Sunday night to find out that my beloved Siberian Husky had died while I was gone. He was an old dog, but I’m having a really difficult time with the fact that I wasn’t with him to comfort him and say goodbye. I’ve been coming to work, and kept it to myself. I just feel like I can’t do this today.

    • Can you go home? Just say you have a headache and go home. I took a day off when my dog died. I needed to be alone, cry, and sleep. Take the time if you need it – it’s a loss of a family member. I’m so sorry.

      • +1 if you have sick days, I would take one. You don’t have to explain yourself. I would be shattered in your position and I think taking some time is completely justified.

    • Is it feasible for you to go home, just for today?

      And also, please forgive yourself for not being there. My dogs, at least, have always been more distressed when I was upset. Maybe the final gift he gave you was to hold on until you were away, so that his last time with you was happy.

      • +1 If possible, go home. And remember, even if you weren’t with him, he knew you loved him!

      • I usually avoid reading these threads because they always make me tear up at work, but for some reason I read this one. My dog died while I was out of the country and I was so upset. But I know for an absolute fact that he knew how much I loved him and cared about him and our last memory together was me holding him in my lap on the drive to the airport. And then … he just knew when it was time to go.

        I am so, so sorry for your loss.

      • Heartily agree with this. I have had both animal and human family members hang on long past expected, only to let go once we/I was not there. It’s truly like they know and want to spare you from it. (In the human case, hospice workers actually confirmed this to me as a known phenomenon.)

    • I am so sorry; I would feel the same way. I don’t have an answer for you. I don’t know if I’ve always known when coworkers were grieving this kind of loss, but I have distinct memories of several times when I did know (the fact that I have pets is well-known to anyone who has visited my place, so perhaps that’s why I was told).

    • Hugs…so sorry you couldn’t be there with him. Plan to take some purposeful time to grieve and remember this weekend. Maybe knowing you will do that will enable you to get through the week?

    • I’m so sorry. I went through the same thing a month ago today with my cat. We were out of town for a week in Europe and on our last day at the airport waiting to fly home, the pet sitter called to say that my big tabby boy passed away. He had a heart condition so I knew there was always a risk of of him passing suddenly. I just wish I had gotten to see him one more time. I cried a lot on the flight home. I luckily had another day off after getting back so I spent a lot of time letting myself be sad and processing the fact that my kitty was gone.

      I have three other cats, but I still feel the loss of his presence. Sometimes I’m okay and other times, I just miss him so much. I too have struggled with the fact that I wasn’t there for him at the end. I don’t have any specific advice for how to deal with that. I just remember that he was spoiled and loved and had a great life. I try to remember all the good memories I had of him. Gah, I’m tearing up writing this.

      It’s just going to be hard for a while. Give yourself permission to grieve and take it easy. Take a day off work if possible. Again, I’m so sorry. It’s so hard losing a member of the family.

    • I’m so, so sorry. Go home if at all possible. If you need to stay to finish some things, work with your door closed, then take half a sick day. You gave your pup a wonderful life.

    • Triangle Pose :

      I’m so, so, so sorry this happened. Go home and grieve.

    • No advice beyond what people here have already said, but fwiw I took a day off when our cat died. It was so worth it – I tried to carry on and started crying during a conference call (no one could see/hear me, but I knew it was time to call it a day). It is so hard. ((hugs))

    • Marshmallow :

      I am so sorry for your loss. Another vote to just go home– honestly when my cat died I just told my team my cat died and I needed to take it easy that day. I stayed home and did a few hours of needed work from there but did not even try to come in.

    • I’m so very sorry. I also lost a cat while traveling internationally for work. He was old, too, and it was just his time. I comforted myself with all the happy memories we had together. I hope your memories provide you some comfort as it sounds like you gave your dog a wonderful life. I would go home, too.

      A few years ago, I had started a job a couple months before when I had to put my sick dog to sleep. My employer was very understanding and let me take a sick day, and coworkers were very kind. Don’t be embarrassed. We all have been there.

      Sending you hugs!

    • Delta Dawn :

      I’m so sorry and agree that you should just go home. I know you feel bad for not being with your pup– maybe this will make you feel better about that. My childhood dog was nearing the end, and she took a turn for the worse on Christmas. We knew we needed to go put her down, but it was Christmas… the vet wasn’t open. So we just tried our best to make her comfortable, and even though we were all there with her, at the end she walked outside by herself, away from all of us, to “her” tree, and very clearly wanted to be alone. Maybe your dog wanted to be alone for that time… maybe he even waited for you to leave so you wouldn’t have to go through it. He knows you loved him. I’m sorry for your loss.

    • Agreed go home and you don’t need to explain anything other than you aren’t well. And if you can, take more than one day off. It’s not a small thing, you are entitled to grieve.

  11. Job Transition Time? :

    Did you take time off between leaving your current company and starting at a new company? I am trying to decide how to transition between jobs (waiting on an offer for a job in a different city). Once I accept the offer, should I use up vacation I have at my current company to look for a new place, pack, maybe take a long weekend trip, or should I give two weeks notice and then take a two week transition period? The new job says they are flexible on a start date. I am worried about a lapse of benefits and the cost of Cobra, etc. I’d love insight into any transition experience the hive has had.

    • You can buy Cobra retroactively if you need it. I took two weeks totally OFF and it was amazing to have NO ONE looking for me.

      Don’t burn vacation days at your current employer unless you’re 100% sure you don’t get them paid out!

    • Do your vacation days get paid out in cash if you give two weeks notice? If so, I would give two weeks notice and try and take a month off between jobs. Two weeks vacation and two weeks moving.

      If not, I would probably do the same thing if I could afford it. It is the very rare job that would be ok with you taking that amount of time with either (1) knowledge that you were on your way out or (2) at the last minute at the drop of a hat without knowledge that you accepted a new job. In my experience, its not worth burning that bridge if you can avoid it.

    • Check your current employer’s policy for health insurance. Some run through the end of the month regardless of when you leave and some end on your last day of employment. Cobra is retroactive. You don’t have to elect it from the beginning. So if you needed it on day 7 of your gap, you could elect it that day and it would count back to day one for coverage purposes. I think the only issue is that you would have to pay the premium to bring it current to that date of election.
      Also, check your employer’s policy for paying out vacation. Not all companies pay it out when you leave so it may be use it or lose it.

    • Do you suffer from serious medical ailments such that you would need COBRA? Most employer health insurance will cover you until the end of the month you depart. Some employers have a health insurance waiting period of 30-60 days, some do not. If you’re young, single, and healthy, COBRA’s probably not necessary.

      • COBRA has a grace period as well – I believe you have a couple of months to elect whether or not to get coverage. You would just have to back pay the premiums if you ended up needing it.

      • You can get Cobra retroactively. So just go about your life and then if something happens, buythe insurance.

      • Also, you don’t have to pay COBRA immediately, just if you need it. If it’s a 30 day lag and you have no medical issues, it costs you nothing.

        • Actually, it’s a several month lag at the beginning – like two or three. So just have the paperwork handy and be ready to pay if something goes wrong; otherwise, it’ll be fine.

        • Anon at 10:41 :

          Oh yes, I meant if the job to join to job lag waz 30 days. I picked a random number.

    • Benefits usually run through the end of a month so if your last day is early in the month you would still be covered for a few weeks. Cobra has a grace period where you can get retroactive coverage back to the date your previous coverage stopped (assuming you don’t need to use it right away but want the coverage more as a just in case). I believe it needs to be continuous though so you can’t skip a month. (Of course verify all this for your scenario)

      I did this and don’t regret it at all. There is a gap in my resume which is not my fave but I was very burnt out and much happier where I ended up than I think I would have been if I had taken whatever I could get sooner. It sounds like that’s not your situation anyway but that’s why I took that option.

      Also find out the vacation/accrued pto policy. I used some of mine (that would not get paid out) and was paid out the rest. I would take the vacation if it won’t get paid out or that puts you over the next month (for insurance) but otherwise it doesn’t matter much if you’re employed but on vacation or not employed but still getting the value of the vacation. One other thing to work out is if you have to go in on your “last day” which you may not want to bother with if you’re moved to another city in which case take the pay out. Note the month of your actual last day if you’ll need it for future resume/employment checks though.

    • I really appreciate all of your insight! My job does pay out vacation time. I think I would like at least a week off and maybe two. I’ll look into when the healthcare benefits end v. Cobra! I appreciate the advice on it being retroactive, too. I appreciate my hive. :)

    • BabyAssociate :

      I took nearly 3 weeks off and went on a big, bucketlist trip and it was amazing, absolutely do it if you can!

  12. Dating Dilemma :

    So after four months of things going really well (exclusive for ages, recently started using titles), the surgical resident ended things last night – or rather, said that he didn’t see it going anywhere but that he has fun with me and would be happy to keep hanging out casually. Not what I’m looking for, thanks. This wasn’t a total surprise, as I’ve been finding him increasingly emotionally unavailable the last few weeks (and there were plenty of red flags that I didn’t heed – dude is 31 and never had a serious relationship – or passed off as my own anxiety), but it still hurts. A lot.

    How do I deal with this, when it’s pretty much inevitable that I will run into him? He literally watched me renew my membership to the rock gym last night. He mentioned that he’d leave my friends and I alone (oh gee thanks). I do have a good group there (and he doesn’t, he only ever climbs with me, which sucks for him), so I can essentially assure I’ll never run into him alone, but I really don’t want to see him at all right now.

    And why oh why at 8:30pm on a Monday? Like, at least have the decency to do it on a Friday or Saturday, so I could have a day to myself and don’t have a whole week of work to get through? I’m a puffy, weepy mess right now, and I’m not sure how I’m supposed to get anything done. Ugh. This just sucks.

    • I’m so sorry. It does sound like you’ll be better off without him though. Condescending breakups always give me a nudge to move on.

      Do you know his schedule well enough to avoid the rock gym at times he’s likely to be there? If not, just take a break from the rock gym until you feel ready for potentially running into him. It’s not fair, but if you won’t be able to enjoy going anyway then it might be better in net terms.

      Otherwise, the standard breakup advice is the best: take amazing care of yourself, moment to moment. Ease up on your responsibilities where you can. Contact your favorite people. Plan fun distractions. And the prime directive: NO CONTACT. You’ll be fine.

      • Dating Dilemma :

        “If we were in our 20s, I’d probably just keep dating you. But we’re in our 30s, and I don’t want to waste my time. Or your time.” Uuuuuugggggghhhhh, condescending is right.

        • Anonymous :

          Eff this guy. Seriously. I’ve been following your story here and I’d consider this a bullet dodged. And I absolutely would not take him up on his offer to “keep hanging out casually.” Nope, nope, nope.

          • Dating Dilemma :

            Oh yeah, no effing way on that, haha, that was never a possibility!

    • Sorry you’re going through this. Can you reframe? I’d much rather get bad news on a weeknight because it’s a lot easier to use work as a distraction. I hate being upset on weekends. And then by the end of the week I care less, and that’s always nice.

    • Flats Only :

      Sorry to hear that. As a temporary fix in this type of situation I used to spend 5 or 10 minutes thinking of all the things I did not like about the man. Bad morning breath, ugly shirts, whatever. I found that it helped me to move on to feeling relieved vs. bereft.

    • Sorry to hear about this. I remember your post.

      There is a reason surgeons get divorced so often. Surgical residency is the absolute worst time to be dating one of them. I’m really amazed you thought you could develop a real relationship here. Of course he will be unavailable.

      Fortunately, unless you work on the surgical floors or in the OR, you really shouldn’t be running into him much. If you got him into climbing and he only climbed with you, that will probably die for him too. You know how crazy his schedule is, so that will also limit the chances of him running into you outside of the hospital. Sounds like this is a great time to start a new hobby, to try to branch out…

      And the best advice I ever read about dating…. dont sh1t where you eat. Don’t date medical/surgical residents at your work place…. especially if you know you will have a hard time dealing when you run into them post-breakup.

      • “I’m really amazed you thought you could develop a real relationship here. Of course he will be unavailable.”

        Wow, that’s compassionate.

        • I do remember she was having trouble on the 2nd or 3rd date with his crushing schedule and inability to commit…. to a date, and we gave her advice that he clearly wouldn’t not have the time she wanted.

          Sometimes people need a little shake up when they are not seeing what is clearly in front of them.

          • Dating Dilemma :

            And we talked about it, and worked it out, and for a good three months, he managed to have plenty of time for me, texted me every day, etc. It’s not the schedule that was the issue, to be very clear.

          • There’s scheduling issues and then there’s emotional unavailability, which may or may not relate to those scheduling issues. I just thought that that comment was insensitive and insulted OP’s intelligence and decision making. Not the right time, ya know?

          • Anonymous :

            “And we talked about it, and worked it out,”

            It did not work out.

            Borrowing dating advice: be rooted in reality. This guy might have looked great on paper, but he wasn’t the right one for you because he didn’t want to be.

            Maybe you needed to try to make things work for your own well-being, and that’s okay, even if we all would have preferred to leave after the third date. Just be aware that it was not ever going to work the way you wanted it to work.

          • Dating Dilemma :

            We did work out the scheduling issue. He spent several months prioritizing spending time with me. I thought it was a good sign that he made that effort, and that he started making weekend plans with me in advance. If he hadn’t recognized my concerns and changed his behavior, I probably would have ended things months ago. The fact that the relationship as a whole hasn’t panned out is NOT because of his schedule.

            There was a long stretch of nothing before me, so he’s not exactly putting a huge effort into meeting people. I honestly think that he just doesn’t want a relationship right now, but is dating because he feels like he should be, IDK.

          • Dating Dilemma :

            I was referring to the scheduling issue, which we did work out. He was receptive to my concerns, and changed his behavior based on them – we would plan weekend stuff more in advance, and I was fine when he cancelled last minute on weeknights because of work because we saw each other a ton. He was clearly prioritizing me, and I was ok working around him because of that. If he hadn’t made the effort, I wouldn’t have dated him for months. The schedule is NOT the reason for the failure of the relationship as a whole.

            I honestly don’t think he actually wants a real relationship right now, I think he’s dating because he feels like he should be.

      • Dating Dilemma :

        He managed to see me 3-4 times a week for four months, so in a physical sense, he was totally available enough for a real relationship. I don’t think residency excuses his emotional unavailability. I also think your comment was a little unnecessarily sharp.

        We both climbed prior to meeting, at the same gym. I doubt he will quit, and I don’t intend to either. I’m not giving up something I really enjoy or the wonderful friends I’ve made at the gym just to avoid him.

        • It was unnecessarily sharp. You’re OK. You will get through this. It sucks, and I’m sorry about that. :(

    • Oh same but worse. It just sucks for a while. You get through it cause you have to.

    • This sucks. Break ups are hard.

      Re the gym in particular: IME the circle of regulars is small, and can be sensitive to awkwardness. I dated several fellow climbers, and I would do your best to avoid times when you know he’s likely to be there for awhile, but if you do see him do your best to just be polite but distant. No need to stop to chat or discuss beta, just a friendly hello between routes. The gym is such a happy place for me, I try really hard not to let dating awkwardness interfere with that. It doesn’t always work perfectly, cause the dude in question might be an @ss, no matter how hard I try to be mature. But I’ve tried to make the effort even when I didn’t feel like it to preserve my happy place.

      • Dating Dilemma :

        Yeah, we have a really great group, and I’m actually involved in it, whereas he’s more of an outsider. I’m not too worried about awkwardness in the group, because he’s only participated peripherally when he’s met up with me at the gym. I do not think he will try to insert himself in any of it going forward.

        His schedule is erratic enough that he will be hard to avoid, because I have literally no idea when he’s on call or stuck in the OR. I’m pretty consistent in when I go, so I’m hoping he will lay low for at least a week or two and give me a little space. Because yeah, it’s a happy place, and I want it to continue to be.

        • Anonymous :

          I think you should let yourself cry today and maybe even tomorrow. Don’t worry about when he’ll show up. You have the upper hand here. Because you have a good group of friends you climb with, plan to meet with your group of friends at the gym and have fun and just look hot every time you go, which I’m sure you do anyway. :) And if he ever happens to be there, you’ll just be hot and having fun and he’ll see what he’s missing out on.

    • I hope this doesn’t sound cold, but having married a guy in his early 30s who had never had a significant relationship, and who left 1.5 years later, I think you dodged a bullet.

      Give yourself time to cry, and then get on with your bad self.

      • Dating Dilemma :

        Yeah, I knew it was a red flag at the start, but it’s so easy to overlook those sorts of things when it seems to have so much potential. Oh, he just hasn’t met the right person, he was busy with med school and residency, et al. Nope. At least he didn’t string me along indefinitely?

      • On the flip side, that was me at 31. I had LOTS and lots (and lots…yikes!) of fun in my 20s, and met my first serious boyfriend at 31. That should not be a red flag. I am 36 and married with a kid and one on the way now.

        Sorry, off my soapbox. Break ups suck!! Be kind to yourself.

        • I’m with you. In fact I’ve always thought that it was weird that lack of serious relationship history is considered a red flag. It could be, but so could someone’s history of staying in a serious relationship(s) well after it has gone stale or getting into relationships that are just ok and not caring enough to want more.

          • Dating Dilemma :

            Yes, I think it can cut both ways – apparently you should also look out for guys that have a pattern of relationships that last for approximately two years, because they want the stability of a relationship, but not to actually commit. YMMV, I guess.

            And I honestly have not has a serious boyfriend ever, so it seems hypocritical for me to reject someone for that reason. On the other hand, in this instance it could have saved me some heartbreak.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s really good to hear. I am 33 (yikes) and have never been in a truly serious relationship. I’ve had LOTS of fun but I’ve never been in love. I’m afraid of confessing this to anyone I date.

  13. health insurance :

    I will have 3 months between finishing my graduate program and starting my job. I’m fine financially speaking, but does anyone know what I can do about health insurance? I don’t have any serious chronic conditions, but I do take 2 medications daily that I will need to continue during this period and would obviously like to be covered for any emergency care. I currently have insurance through the university. I turned 26 last year, so reverting to my parents’ plan is not an option.

    • COBRA is expensive but probably your best option here.

      • +1

        You could also check online at the Obamacare options, which may be a bit cheaper since you are so young. Or not…

        My Obamacare costs me $600 per month w/dental for a high deductible PPO Bronze (cheapest) plan. But I’m in my 40’s and every state is different. Yours could be several hundred dollars less if you get the absolute cheapest HMO plan.

        If money is not ultratight, the easiest thing would be just take the Cobra.

    • You can elect Cobra retroactively, I believe. May be cheaper to pay out of pocket for your medications and then use Cobra only if necessary.

    • https://www.healthcare.gov/

    • Do the insurance companies in your state provide individual plans? (the providers in my state do – Healthpartner, BCBS, etc.) So you can check there. You’ll need to ask about what their pharmacy covers because that can vary. But it’s at least a comparison point to the COBRA.

      I mean, honestly, it’s probably best to maintain health insurance without any gaps if coverage due to pre-existing conditions becomes an issue again.

    • COBRA is generally not available for university plans. I had this happen when I finished grad school–was over 26, job not starting for a few months. I went on the exchange and purchased a gap plan. Contact an insurance broker in your state to see what your options are, and also price out the different Obamacare plans. It might be cheaper for you to pay for the insurance out of pocket and only have a catastrophic plan, if you don’t anticipate needing regular medical care during this period. I’d also speak with your school to see if they have suggestions.

      • Make sure you look at more than just Obamacare/Exchange/ACA plans. Most insurance companies will have individual coverage options (even outside of the ACA plans) that are HSA-compliant (High deductible care plans, etc.) that may have better/different coverage options from what is available on the exchange.

        AKA – there are more options than just the exchange.

    • Go on your state’s insurance exchange. You should be able to get a fairly inexpensive plan (with a super high deductible). You’ll want to get all your annual appointments etc out of the way before you switch insurers, but this way you wont lose everything if you’re in a car crash.

    • health insurance :

      Thanks everyone. I didn’t know grad schools had COBRA plans, so I’ll look into that and the exchanges. Looks like it’s going quite the hefty sum either way…

      • I don’t think universities have to offer COBRA plans, but at my university, your spring quarter insurance covered you through the summer and they offered the option to buy into the plan for an additional quarter after graduation. Since this is short term, you might also want to look outside the exchanges for catastrophic coverage.

  14. Need advice on where to get comfortable wedding shoes! Open toe, maybe a pearly color, or nude? Would love to get multiple wears out of them, not-super-expensive would be nice.

    • What kind of heel height?

    • I wore Nine West nude wedge sandals from TJ Maxx. (It was an outdoor wedding – practicality was the top consideration.)

    • If I were doing it all over, I’d splurge on a pair of Bryr clogs. They are gorgeous.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a brand of shoe you know you like and feel good in? Pretty much everybody makes a nude heel these days, so I would just start there.

      Or, you could do what I did and have a browse around one of those giant DSW stores if there’s one close to you. Pearly white would be harder to come by, I’d imagine, but I bet there are a bunch of skin-toned shoes to choose from. I wore red mary jane heels to my wedding and I think they were the Kelly and Kate (or something like that) brand at DSW. They were super comfy and I got a lot of wear out of them after, as well.

  15. Tell me about pillows. I have a flattish latex pillow that I like but it’s a little short when I sleep on my side (it’s about 4 inches thick and I am 5’3″). Other pillows I have tried are way too fluffy. What’s a good pillow for a side/back sleeper that is not too puffy?

    Also, feather comforters and featherbeds give me rashes, would I have the same problem with a 100 percent down pillow, do you think?

    • Marshmallow :

      I have a Coop Home pillow from Amazon that is a bunch of shredded-up pieces of memory foam inside a zipper case. I’m a side sleeper too and I like that I can punch it into position and it pretty much stays there. And you can add/remove foam to adjust the height of the pillow.

      • Ouch! That hurts :

        There are also the ones that purport to be filled with bamboo … but feel like foam pieces to me. Great for side sleeping.

      • Anonymous :

        I have this and only kinda sorta like it but my husband is obsessed. I am used to stacking two cheap target pillows, which suits my head height a little better.

    • I adore my Xtreme comfort adjustable pillow. It has shredded memory foam and is adjustable (you take out as much foam as you want). It fixed a neck issue that I was having and is so comfortable. I got it for my parents and they’re hooked now too. I sleep stomach or side, my mom is side, my dad is back or side.

      It was recommended by Wirecutter. You can get it through amazon or the xtreme comfort website.

    • I love the My Pillow! You can keep it fluffy or kind of shape it flatter in the middle.

  16. I’m throwing myself into a job hunt in a major way, after moving up through the ranks in the same organization for more than 20 years. I’m applying for some big jobs at bigger places and just going for it. My brother said to me the other night that there’s no point in making a big move for anything less than a big job and I’m taking that to heart. I’m staying positive and pitching myself and my experience for jobs I might have been afraid of in the past. I have come to the realization that men never sell themselves short and regularly go for jobs that are a stretch. I’m going for it! Not really needing advice… just some positive energy.

    • Positive energy sent and received! I’m in the process of something similar, though at the same employer. I’m literally trying to step into a man’s shoes (my male colleague is leaving and I am seeking to replace him) and it would be a promotion and large raise.

    • Good vibes coming your way! Woot woot!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Wow! You go!!!

    • Same here! Just a few less years at the same organization, and it’s time for a change. I’m going for it too – it’s an interesting experience knowing that I don’t NEED to move so I can be very selective. Best of luck to you!

      • Thanks so much! My job isn’t in jeopardy, so technically, I don’t NEED to move, but I need to get out of a very unhealthy professional situation. My friends who have left have said that they look back and realize how much craziness we’ve put up with.

  17. Planning a trip to Sweden in June 2019. My partner has a good friend in Gothennburg, so I think we’ll spend time there visiting with him and his wife. Anyone have suggestions as to things we must see/do. We really like being outdoors, and it looks like there are plenty of bike rental opportunities. We’ve talked about going north to the Arctic Circle. I appreciate your insights and recommendations!

    • It looks like it’s not really close to where you’re going, but I made a weekend trip to Visby when I was in Sweden a few years back and loved it. It’s a short flight from Stockholm and it’s very picturesque. You might check it out if the logistics work for you.

    • Anon Swede :

      I grew up in Gothenburg :)

      To do:
      Take the boat tour on Paddan. Highly recommended. Great way to see the city. And you’ll get to experience our particular love of corny puns.
      If you can swing it, take a boat out to one of the islands in the archipelago. Fish, swim, eat ice cream, and bike around if you can. It’s what the Swedes love doing in summer.
      Restaurants/bars: Natur, Toso, Hotell Dorsia and Hotell Pigall
      Have brunch at the Ritz
      Go to Liseberg amusement park. Sooo fun, even for grown ups.

      The coast north of Gothenburg is gorgeous too.

  18. So piggy backing off the comment about pre-marital counseling and Gottman, has anyone actually done a Gottman retreat? How was it?
    I’m getting married in a few months and my relationship is really solid, but it might still be fun/informative to do a workshop on retreat…

  19. Horse Crazy :

    My friend and I are planning her birthday party together. We’re getting tacos delivered with all the fixings, and I’m bringing chips, salsa, and homemade guacamole. Besides booze, what else should we have people bring? What else do we need?

  20. Does anyone have any skincare or makeup recs they’d like to share? I’m planning on taking advantage of the Nordstrom Anniversary sale to get some high-end products. I’m late 20s and I’d like my skin to look as good as it can for my wedding in 6 months. I’m fair with freckles and dryness. Redness around the nose and chin I’d like to resolve. Dark circles under eyes due to thin skin; very faint faint lines starting to appear in my forehead in certain lights. If you guys have any products for general skin attractiveness I’d love to hear it!

    • Legally Brunette :

      For skincare, I love Paula’s Choice products which are available at Nordstrom now. I’ve been using her line for over a decade and always get compliments on my skin. When I ended up splurging for a much more pricey line (Obagi) my skin which never breaks out, broke out like crazy. So back to Paula for me. It’s very reasonably priced.

      My favorites are the skin balancing cleanser and the 2% BHA exfoliant. I also love her Vitamin C booster but haven’t used it long enough to provide a review.

      For makeup, I’m really liking the Bobbie Brown powder foundation. It goes on very light but provides enough coverage, and I can’t stand wearing liquid foundation.

      • +1 on Paula’s Choice. I resisted for quite some time,thinking this is just a marketing hype. But I tried a few products this year and I have basically switched to PC almost exclusively. I have a background in beauty and pharma company and can appreciate effective formulas. In my job, I had to know and try nearly all competitors’ products (delights & hell of working in marketing), discuss the formulas/ingredients with medical professionals and R&D.
        I like their 2% BHA liquid and use it 2x daily, Clear Wash Gel, Calm Serum, Resist Ultra light Antiox Serum, Resist 1% Treatment and Resist Antiage Clear Moisturiser. The Peptide Booster is also great.
        I would recommend to discuss your skin needs with their rep,ask for samples, test, talk to rep for any adjustments and by full size.

    • I’d just do Curology for my actives, and focus on testing out a couple of high quality moisturizers (maybe layers? A moisturizing serum, then a creamier one)

    • Sunday Riley Good Genes lives up to the hype as far as I’m concerned! You can try a sample now from Sephora and see if it works for you. Maybe experiment with some K beauty for the redness?

    • The Smashbox photo finish primer is amazing; I don’t wear it daily since I feel like it clogs my pores, but for days when I know I want to look good in pictures (weddings, traveling, etc) I look LUMINOUS. It was part of the sale last year.

    • Seconding recs for Paula’s Choice and Curology (Curology has nothing to do with Nordstrom but it is awesome). For makeup it depends on what you’re looking for but my favorite brands are Dior and Hourglass. I’d also be tempted by Byterry and Charlotte Tilbury products. Cle de Peu concealer is supposed to be holy grail.

    • Can you go into the store and get your makeup done during the sale? I agree that products that disclose their formulations/concentrations are best, so I’d also recommend Paula’s choice. Charlotte Tillbury has some lovely lipsticks and eye palettes and pros seem to rave about the luminzer drops (filter light I think?). I LOVE the Marc Jacobs blush and eye liners (though they are $$$) and the Dior backstage eye palettes look great.

    • Eeertmeert :

      Find something to address the dryness, which will plump up your skin and fill out the fine lines. You want hydrating product to add hydration, then moisturizer to seal that hydration in.
      Yes to exfoliation, but getting some serious hydration into the skin is my first goal. I am in my mid-thirties, and since focusing on hydrating in the last year my skin looks better than it did in my 20s.
      Multiple hydrating steps, like hydrating toner, serum, then moisturizer for day, and an overnight cream for nighttime. Your skin will br happy, and your makeuo will wear better.

      Also, get your makeuo done at a few different counters. Each has its own product line but also approach to the total look. And different artists will have subtle…or not so subtle… differences in applicarion style and effects. Tell them you are prepping for your beidal look, and bring photos (like screenshots or pinterest) to help comminicate what you are interested in.
      For my wedding, i splurged on Chanel makeup, but if i did it again i would have also tried Charlotte Tilbury, YSL, and Tom Ford.

    • Your skin sounds like mine. If there’s any chance the redness could be rosacea, see a derm. The Rx metronidazole cream they can give you for rosacea makes an amazing difference.

  21. Travel agent/consultant :

    Has anyone here ever used a travel agent? I usuallh plan all my trips myself but I have been researching pretty intensely for a trip to South America and the logistics are becoming overwhelming. I found a consultant who charges a flat fee of around 200 to plan everything and I am really tempted but worried it is a waste of money. Does anyone have positive/negative experience with using someone to help plan travel?

    • Yes! Get a travel agent! I had a one month sabbatical last year and decided to do scu a diving in Indonesia and the Philippines. I had never been to either of those places and had no clue where to begin. After not being satisfied with any of the 3 American travel agents I tried, I went with an Australian agent who specializes in Scuba vacations. She was wonderful!

      After we planned the trip, my dad (who lives in Europe) decided to join me for two weeks. The travel agent booked his trip too.

      Two weeks before my departure, one week of my accommodations in the Philippines was cancelled. Just cancelled. My agent was able to manage getting a refund and booking new accommodations and transfers and made sure I used every penny. She was marvelous!

      If you decide to use an agent outside the US (which I recommend!), get one who is somewhat local to your destination. I just told her which airports I could fly out of. I had to set up a foreign wire transfer to pay for the trip which took all of an hour.

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      Have travelled internationally for decades. Always use a travel agent. Helps with any snafus … even helped us when we were stranded in Greenland as our house in the USA was flooding etc. They’ve given us great insights and suggestions as well as local ideas.

    • $200 actually sounds like a steal. How many hours have you already spent looking at train/flight/bus schedules and hotel prices? If it’s more than a couple, and it sounds like it is, pay someone else to take on this headache for you.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would totally pay a travel agent if I didn’t get a kick out of all the planning nonsense (spreadsheets! lists! moving parts! what kind of sicko enjoys that?! me I guess).

      I work with travel agents at work and it’s just a dream how easy they make everything. And having them there in an emergency — or even just an annoyance (like a flight was delayed to the point where I was stranded in a mid-way city, and they could quickly give me the options for rebooking, airport hotels, etc.) — is well worth it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I have used one for a trip to China when I had no time to plan and was worried about logistics. The trip was pretty good with a few minor complaints, which were mainly related to the fact I think I have a different travel style than the agent’s typical client (Like I would have preferred local food and instead got some very Americanized meals). I was still pretty heavily involved in terms of picking actual activities/sites, but left lodging/travel logistics to the agent. They didn’t charge a fee (make money on commissions). We recently took a trip to Africa and used what was sort of a travel agent/travel company–they planned the trip (again, with heavy input from me), but also had their own guides (it was a joint American/local company). That was great since they had local people in the country. When I was initially planning our Africa trip, I talked to an agent several friends had used and loved, but it quickly became clear she really only booked one type of trip and wasn’t flexible with what I wanted. So if you don’t like the first one you talk to, shop around.

    • Anonymous :

      try to get someone recommended though. My parents recently booked a trip through an agency, but ended up asking me to check the airline website (foreign language) to figure out whether check in luggage was included. If your travel agent can’t tell you such a basic thing, they are not doing a great job.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s a great price! Definitely use them! I usually plan my own trips, but I’ve used travel agents three times, and it was always the right choice.

      For a 12-person, 10-day family trip to Peru, we used Latin America for Less, and they were very good about tweaking the itinerary to reflect people’s preferences. For a three-week trip to India for a friend’s wedding, I used India Someday, and they were amazing about customizing the itinerary and checking up on us; when my friend got sick she called them and they told her the best way to find a doctor in the town we were in. And for a seven week trip around the world I used Airtreks, and they got me all of my flights for about $3k.

  22. Casual dressing: dressing better :

    We went to casual dress at work (BigLaw SEUS branch office) and I am v bad at this. I may revert to suits this fall when it cools off. All I can figure is that that it looks a little better to wear heels (telegraphs “I am being fashiony”) vs flats (seem to read sloppy/weekend/juvenile, or I am perhaps not buying the right flats).

    Any pointers for a novice who is failing?

    • If you want to wear flats, try pointy toes and only wear them with pants, never skirts. Wedges are another good option with pants or skirts.

      Also try wearing structured jackets instead of cardigans.

    • Cotton pencil skirt (J.Crew Factory ) + cotton shell (I like Talbots) + cardigan (Loft Outlet) or fun blazer (Talbots) = professional, comfortable, and easy. I have the skirt in 4 colors, the Loft cardigan in 6 colors, and 7 fun blazers from Talbots. I wear some version of it every day, just mix and match. For shoes, I basically wear one pair of shoes all season and wear them into the ground – this summer, it’s the J.Crew Factory Anya block heels in nude. When I wear flats, mine are similar to the J.Crew Factory Edie loafers.

      • It sounds like you like the cotton pencil skirt from JCrew Factory – I found that the one I purchased from them stretched out and looked lumpy by the end of the day. Do you have this problem?

        • Anonymous :

          The one from J Crew regular doesn’t stretch out, but it does show every last wrinkle. NBD if you’re casual, though, IMO

    • Did you company switch to casual or business casual? Either way, a full suit unless you are meeting with a client or have court will scream as super tone deaf. Even if fashion is not your thing, just stick to a certain uniform you can’t go wrong:

      Casual – casual dress plus cardigan and flats or heels; jeans and similar blouse you would wear with suits plus heels, flats, or closed toe sandals.

      Business casual – sheath/work dress + cardigan; separates slacks + blouse you would wear with a suit + nonmatching blazer or cardigan.

      • We went to casual. Like no pajamas, no crocs. When I started, it was so different (no “coulottes”).

    • I guess I just don’t find flats sloppy looking? Structured pointy-toed flats read very business to me and would look strange, for example, with shorts, which is what I think of as casual weekend wear.

      When I first transitioned from business to business casual, all I did was swap blazers for cardigans. I’ve since bought more casual clothes (ankle pants, a couple of circle skirts), but I think that one swap is the easiest to do right away.

    • I have a very casual office. I typically wear skinny pants or dark jeans and a cute top/sweater in the fall/winter. In the summer I wear dresses. Casual dresses like shirtdresses or wrap dresses in cotton or linen blends. I buy most of my clothes at Old Navy, Banana and J. Crew.

      I don’t wear heels, flats only. Pointy toed ballet flats, or loafers/oxfords.

      • I may be doing it wrong — round toe Rothys (I swear, originally it was when I coming off of a cortisone shot or when I’d worked very late the night before).

        • Rothys are extremely casual flats.

          • I guess that is what I am struggling with. I’m used to full suit regalia and flats to me are casual shoes. I am finding it is hard to be A+ and casual (esp. in the shoe dept). It’s like my brain isn’t wired for that (yet) and I’m trying to develop a fashion sense for this sort of wardrobe (to fail is to learn, no?).

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah I work in a casual office and I wouldn’t wear Rothys. I don’t think they are cute or professional. Look for real leather flats. Most of my flats are from J. Crew, Sam Edelman, or Cole Haan.

          • YOMV, in my business casual office, Rothy’s are on the formal side of the footwear I see on women – especially in the summer where people squeak by with “fancy” flip flops. During race season, I wear almost nothing but Rothy’s to work!

          • Oh, depending on your office they can be work appropriate for sure. But as flats go, there are definitely many much more formal options.

          • I mostly wear flats in Biglaw because I have joint issues. M.Gemi, Margaux, and Everlane (for loafers) are my go-to options. They have a lot of really professional-looking and comfortable styles (note that Everlane runs narrow, so YMMV as far as comfort, but they work for me).

    • How casual is casual? Dresses seem like a natural choice and are pretty scalable in formality, i.e. a dress you can throw a blazer on top of versus one of Boden’s more ebullient patterns if you need absolutely casual but still workplace-covered-up. (Necklines and hemlines are often where people botch office casual. You’re still going to the office, not brunch.)

    • Wear a sweater or nice T-shirt with your suits, and get used to taking the jacket off. If you must wear heels, wear them with jeans.

      It sounds like “casual” means “not thought out/just thrown on” to you. That doesn’t have to be the case. Take the time to plan out a few outfits that feel nice & pulled-together.

    • I hate that some people think of flats as sloppy. High heels are so bad for your feet and insanely uncomfortable. I’m doing more and more flats at my business casual office. Not all flats are created equal. I personally prefer a rounded toe for flats, but I stick to solid leather for work.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. When are we going to get over the “flats aren’t good enough” thing? Women are human beings deserve not to wreck their feet and be in pain all day. For me, it’s very low heel or flats only.

      • Anonymous :

        I don’t understand the idea of flats as being sloppy or casual. It depends on the KIND of flat shoes you are wearing. Look for good quality shoes with structure. (Not little round-toed ballet flats.) I never wear a heel height over 2″, and I promise you, there are good-looking, professional, structured shoes out there.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. I don’t wear anything over 1.5 inches and have lots of work shoes. I don’t find really flat shoes comfortable, so tend not to wear them. Check out Franco Sarto for a variety of nice loafers if that’s your style.

    • Anonymous :

      I am making this transition too. I am keeping my currentblazers and throwing them over cotton tops or nice T shirts with jeans and my heels. I have been wearing my pencil skirts with cotton tops and long drapey cardigans and flats. I have been pairing my sheath dresses with short cardigans, and flats. And I’ve gone for a more casual mix of jewelry. I am not planning on replacing my suits, pumps or silk blouses like I usually do. Instead I have been adding jeans, nice Ts and dressy flats.

  23. Has anyone here opened their own business? Any tips on the business plan / financing side of things? What questions did the bank ask? Did any of their questions or areas of focus surprise you?

  24. Buying a House :

    This is going to sound super irrational, and I just need a good kick to do it –

    I’m starting to move through the process of buying a house alone – I’m relatively young (late 20s) and single, and I really just want to, but I’m constantly struck by the “what-ifs” – what if I meet someone, would I have to sell the house, what if I can’t deal with everything alone, etc –

    I’m lucky enough to be in a financial position to do this now (which in a HCOL area is rare) and I didn’t expect that, so I guess if just never fit with my vision of buying a house with a partner later down the road.

    Not sure what I’m looking for – it’s not really a problem, kist a weird hang up I need to get over –

    • It’s not a weird hang-up. A part of your life plan is working out differently than you thought it would. Just accept that it’s going to feel strange and awkward, and go for it.

      Also, this: if you’re in your late 20s and are earning enough money to buy a house in a HCOL area, i assume you’re smart and accomplished. So this house thing probably also feels strange because you’re used to knowing what you’re doing, knowing you can handle yourself, and knowing how to get things done. Here, you don’t. That’s OK. Just remind yourself that it feels new and different because it IS new and different; you don’t know what you’re doing because you’ve never done it before; and you’ll learn, just like you learned how to do all the other things you’re doing in life.

    • Get a really good realtor and mortgage broker that can lead you through the process, and a trusted friend (especially one that can help you price out issues or changes to property) to tour with you. You’ll be fine. If you meet someone, they’ll move in, or you’ll sell and buy a place together. It’s not that hard. Do not act today on an unknown future. You may meet Mr. Right tomorrow or in 10 yrs. Don’t wait to buy when you’re ready because of an unknown guy.

    • You could what if your life away! Or you can take the leap and start working toward a space that is truly your own.

      FWIW, I bought a house and met my husband soon after. He moved in (and is still here). Someone else I knew, single mom too, bought a house and met a German dude a few years later, and moved to Germany. She sold her house (for a profit!) and lived more or less happily ever after (I assume).

      Your what-ifs seem to assume that you’ll buy a house and then become FORCED TO LIVE THERE FOREVER with no access to home improvement stores, contractors or real estate agents! It’s a big step in dollar terms but it’s not irrevocable!

    • Bag recommendations? :

      Clarifying your goals might help. Are you buying the house as an investment? Do you expect to stay in the area for at least 5 years? What will the area look like then, and how do you envision your life? Besides family dreams (which you can’t force), think about other ways you’ll use the house—entertaining? Gardening (real or euphemistic)? Hobbies? Mostly as a crash pad between 12-hr days and travel? Once you narrow down what you’re looking for, the next step should be easier.

    • I bought a house in my late 20’s got married early 20’s, sold the house for a profit. I mean realistically, it’s a good investment in that type of area and it’s not going to be a hard sell unless there’s some type of major issue with the property. If you meet someone today, it’s probably going to be at least 2 years before you get married, and in a HCOL area you can probably always rent the property. Also, if you’re buying something with an association, they may cover most maintenance.

    • 100% do this. You will set yourself up financially and the what if’s can all be dealt with. The best thing I did was buy a place in my 20s.

    • This was me, too. Bought a place at 26 with no boyfriend, husband, etc. Met my husband almost two years later. Turns out he had also bought his own place. We met with a realtor who helped us figure out what was the best option – which to sell or rent, which to move into, etc. We sold his place, he moved into mine for three years, and we just sold my place (5 years after I bought it) for a 30% profit. That was a surprise!

      Some advice: buy for your needs now but with an eye on flexibility of what your 5-7 years could possibly look like. I bought a 2BR with the thought that if I met someone, we could have some room together and even have a baby in there. (Turns out he had the same calculus when he bought a 2BR before meeting me.) I also thought 2BR was better if (1) I wanted a roommate or (2) I sold it eventually or (3) rented it out entirely for roommates. You can get a sense of this by looking at comps. Location was something close to work but also desirable for later buyers. Otherwise, look for what suits you! (Do you want outdoor space? Parking? Laundry?) These were important to me, as was a 24-hr doorman (with three FOB entry points) so no worrying about package-stealing or some stranger knocking on my door. (In contrast, this was not a focus for my now-husband’s condo he bought (a townhouse)). I lived in a newer high-rise with lower maintenance compared to my husband’s townhouse, which was perfect for me. Think about how you actually live and let that be the majority deciding factor, but give a smidge of flexibility for yourself down the road – it might not be a spouse, after all, it could be an incredible job that makes you want to move! Congratulations!

    • So many of my friends did this, got married, and then figured it out (moved in together there, sold etc.). Depending on the housing market, it’s a great move and doesn’t mean you can’t end up buying a place with an SO down the road.

    • Senior Attorney :

      As far as “what if I meet someone?”, this has happened to me twice. The first time my new husband moved in with me. (Note: If I had it to do over again I would not have put him on title.) The second time I met someone just as I was remodeling what I thought would be my “forever” house, and by the time it was finished we were engaged. I moved in to his house when we got married and am renting out my house.

      It all works out. Go for it!

      • Senior Attorney :

        Oh, and actually I’ve had three husbands. The first one had bought a condo before we were married. I moved in with him and then a few years later we bought a house together. Again, it all works out. Go for it!

    • Go for it!! I bought my house when I was 29 and single. I am still single, by choice, and I have managed to figure it all out on my own. The internet is great for learning how to do some things yourself, and I rely on recommendations from neighbors and friends for handy-people for every thing else!

  25. Taking over an account where a client is super p! issed (perhaps rightfully in some areas, but other areas I think i was a personality conflict between my team member formerly on the account and the client contact.)

    not law/banking/accounting. client is in tech.

    Thinking of sending a “looking forward to working with you” gift to the team. Thoughts/ideas on this?

    • This is weird and you shouldn’t do it. It will strike the wrong tone. Take over the account and be as professional as possible–be responsive and do a good job. Some clients will always be awful and pissy because they can be. Sending gifts to clients to thank them (for what!) is weird. You haven’t worked with them yet–what are you thanking them for? Don’t do it.

      • i get stuff like this all the time (?)

      • I would actually appreciate the gesture if there were genuine issues (from a client perspective – we work with a lot of, I think, similar companies like yours in tech).

        I always like share-able consumables. You’re making the point that you’re trying to build a good relationship with the client. I don’t really think it’s weird.

        Don’t do branded corporate stuff – I don’t need a box of pop-sockets. Just no. Cookies are great. Cupcakes, bagels, etc

      • Right there with you – and I am usually the difficult client. I do not care for your gifts, I want to get the service and quality I am paying for and expect. More than a gift I would appreciate a wuick meeting to align on expectations, priorities and to check the open list of issues/projects. Try to understand my business needs and how can you help solve them, then deliver. You can do a great job!

    • I think it’d be good to send. It subtly says, “Hey, we value you and know it didn’t go well with Joe. We’re going to try to make it better.” Edible Arrangements?

    • How many people are on this team? Is it feasible to take them to a welcome/kickoff lunch? That seems more in line with my experience for what people do when they take my company/team on as a client. We’ve never had someone send us a gift.

  26. I posted yesterday about not being able to cancel a hotel reservation. It was my fault for booking a non-refundable rate. I am embarrassed that I had considered giving the hotel a bad review when they did nothing wrong – thank you to everyone who helped me realize that would have been an awful thing to do. The GM left me a voicemail today saying that she thought about it and decided to cancel the reservation and give me a refund. There are good people in this world.

    • Now go leave a good review for them.

      • But! Don’t say it’s because they gave you a refund you “didn’t deserve”. It will encourage others to try to get the rules bent. Instead, say something like they went above and beyond customer-service-wise for you when you had an issue.

        • Horse Crazy :

          +1. I get my car serviced at a local mechanic who is also a family friend, and he let me do a payment plan when he knew I was tight on money and the bill was huge. He also asked me not to tell anyone, or put it in a review anywhere, so that tons of people wouldn’t come in and ask for the same thing. Just say they were helpful and generous.

    • This was good of you to provide an update and acknowledge your mistake. And a great outcome to boot.

    • As someone who worked in a hotel, I’m so glad you saw the error of your ways. It’s crazy what hotel workers (and service workers in general) have to put up with.

  27. What should be get to replace my old ratty messenger bag? I’m going to Prime Outlets this afternoon, need some ideas.

    I’m job-hunting now, doubt I’ll land in a formal business environment—biz casual, with lots of colleagues in khakis and jeans is more likely. I can’t wait with the purchase, because I need it for interviews/networking.

    I very strongly prefer cross-body bags. Totes & the like slide off my shoulder. I often prefer men’s bags to women’s. Needs to work for day to day & the occasional overnight.

    Budget isn’t huge. Fossil is more likely than Coach or Cole Haan (though I’ll check there too—you never know). Possibly Kate Spade or Banana Republic level. I’m not limiting myself to those stores, just giving an example of budget.


    • Do you want a laptop messenger bag? If so, I have this Knomo bag:
      and like it. It is thin-ish and structured, so I don’t think it would work well as an overnight bag.

    • Timbuk2?

    • Check out the Tumi Voyageur line. The bags are functional and durable, but also feminine and professional. They’re frequently on sale and at sale prices will be in your price range. This baggalini might also be a good fit: https://www.ebags.com/hproduct/baggallini/integrity-tote/311838
      I like Timbuk2 and patagonia, but they read as weekend to me, even in a business casual environment – but this obviously depends on your location and industry. I do like this Timbuk2: https://www.ebags.com/product/timbuk2/parcel-tote/347570?productid=10580740

  28. I bought Lands End block heels, and the sole is extremely stiff. Has anyone had success with breaking them in? I’ve worn them 3 times, and they feel like stilts.

    • I prefer block heels when I wear heels, and I think it’s just the way they feel. It’s definitely a different feel from regular pumps, or especially stilettos. Even if the block heels are 3″ or higher.

      When I’m feeling weird, I’ll clomp around like a horse just to be obnoxious. But they really do feel like you’re walking on stilts.

      However, for me, the tradeoff is not having to nip out at lunch and buy a pair of shoes, or keep a pair under my desk because I’ve snapped off *yet* another heel due to walking awkwardly or whatever. (I guess I just walk weird – regular pump heels and definitely stilettos don’t agree with me.)

  29. We have a coworker who is notorious for (among other things) stiffing the person picking up a group gift, etc. after promising to pitch in the $20 or whatever. I am picking up a Tar get GC on behalf of the team tomorrow, and she still hasn’t paid me. I’m thinking that I’ll ask one more time in the morning, and if she doesn’t literally have it then, to buy the card for the amount in cash I actually have. Then if she shocks me by giving me the money later, I’ll just use it to buy donuts or treats for the team. Is that terribly dishonest? I’m just not interested in fronting the money myself; I know it’s only $20 but I’m not rich.

    • No that’s perfectly normal.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      This sounds totally reasonable to me!

    • OK, thanks!! I’m not trying to make money off the whole deal but I also don’t want to be out an extra $20 … plus, we all love donuts.

    • Can you send a short kind reminder in the notes of “last chance to chip in for Karen’s gift, those interested, we are chipping in $20 to buy a GC, last collection today at 5pm” to her as a blind copy (you address it to yourself and put her on blind copy)? This is still gracious and guves her benefit of the doubt in case he/she really forgot (coming from a person who nearly never manages to read all of the emails).
      If she does not give you the cash by then, I would just buy the GC with the money you have and that’s it. Why should you be sponsoring other people’s lifestyle.

    • Just buy the gift card in whatever amount you have, and then if she tries to give you money later tell her it’s too late. I think it would be weird to take her money that she thinks is going to a gift card and buy donuts with it. I get that you’re annoyed that she’s not contributing as much as you are, but she doesn’t have to. These things are optional. She’s shown that she clearly doesn’t care as much about these things as you and your other coworkers do.

    • Anonymous :

      Just a thought, but does your office have a culture of using Venmo? If not, perhaps start pushing that – I’ve found it’s so much easier to get reimbursed when people don’t have to go get cash. Also, send around reminder to pay emails (or email her directly about it) – the person who does the work shouldn’t get stuck not getting reimbursed.

    • Anonymous :

      And don’t let her sign the card. If she didn’t contribute to the group gift then she doesn’t get to say she did.

  30. Anon in ATL :

    My 2yearold just had an allergic reaction at preschool. He ate “sunbutter” – the peanut butter substitute from sunflower seeds that the preschool has because too many kids are allergic to peanuts!

    He had hives on mouth, face, neck. The teachers responded quickly with benadryl. I am going to pick him up now.

    I called pediatrician. Is this something to take him into the pediatrician for? Today? Tomorrow? I am waiting for a call back but if you’ve been in this situation… let me know!

    • I would call like you did, and wait for the doctor’s office to call back. If your son is improving then no need to rush to the pediatrician today.

    • First, document the reaction with photos. Some allergists will want to see it. You should go to the pediatrician as soon as possible (but doesn’t have to be today, unless they tell you to) to get a script for epipens, which you will need to carry with you at all times. Find out what brand of bread the daycare used, and if they recently changed it. Do strict avoidance of sunflower seeds for now. Then you need to go to a pediatric allergist for testing and next steps. Good luck!

    • When this happened to our kid (different food), our pediatrician said that as long as there was no swelling around the mouth or throat, we didn’t have to rush in. He would have directed us to the ER if there had been swelling around the mouth or throat even after Benadryl. I don’t remember if we made an appointment for several days later or if we had a wellness check coming up, but we discussed it with him in his office, and he referred us to an allergist for testing.

    • I’d stop at the Urgent Care, but that’s an abundance of caution, because my kid has allergies and asthma, and has had an anaphylactic reaction before.

  31. Another dating q :

    I have been dating a guy for about 6 months, we’ve been exclusive for a while, and things are going really well. However, the other day, he was showing me a video from his camera on his phone, and I glanced at one of the next pictures that looked like rose petals scattered somewhere. I assume it’s nothing – either I saw the picture wrong or I don’t know what else – but it’s been bothering me a little bit. This is a reasonable thing to ask about, right?

    I think my ex really screwed me up on stuff like this when he would gaslight me and make me feel like the crazy one whenever I asked about strange things I noticed… but that’s because, oh yeah, he was cheating…

    • AnonInfinity :

      I would ask about it. You weren’t snooping, and there might be a perfectly reasonable explanation for it. If there isn’t or if he acts like you’re crazy for wondering, then that is also valuable information that you need to know.

    • Anonymous :

      It wouldn’t have been weird to ask in the moment. It’s very weird now.

      • +1

      • Anonymous :


      • I disagree. My SO does ask me these things sometimes (very infrequently), always well after the event. And he always does it very politely, explaining that this item caught his eye at the time but he did not mention it as he thought he would figure it out but he did not and now he is just curious. We’re all humans. I know that his ex cheated on him and this sort of stuff is better out in the open. In the 10 years we’ve been together he’s asked me this maybe five times. The way I see it, it’s not the government snooping on you, it’s the person you want to share your life with!

      • Anonymous :

        Maybe, but it’s clearly bugging her, so I’d say just ask anyway. Acknowledge that it’s kind of an odd question or odd timing, and then just ask.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah. I think it’s weird, but I also understand. And if she acknowledges that it’s strange it will seem slightly less weird. Also, OP, if you haven’t told this bf about your ex and the cheating/gaslighting, this might be a good time to explain it.

  32. What are good games to play with just 2 people?

    • Ouch! That hurts :

      cards (tons of options there)
      stage three

    • Boardgame Geek! :

      Depends on how complicated of a game you’re looking for, but there are really good board games out there right now! Some of the more simple games that are also really enjoyable: Lost Cities, Azul, Jumpstart, and Jaipur. For more complicated options, I really like Pandemic, Terraforming Mars, and Agricola.

    • For games – how game-y are you? We are big gamers and love these for two people:

      7 Wonders Duel
      Pandemic Legacy (amazing and the best game I’ve ever played; helped me survive pregnancy)
      Dominion – deckbuilder for up to four but works with two
      Guildhall – 2-4 players
      Fox in the Forest – 2 player trick taking game
      Roll through the Ages

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Dominion is so fun to play with two! There are lots of ways to change it up so there’s good re-play value.

    • Horse Crazy :

      Kind of silly, but my SO and I have so much fun playing Jenga.

    • AnotherAnon :

      I like risk heavy/low strategy games like Pass the pigs and Farkle.

    • Love board games! So many good 2 player ones out now too. Patchwork or Cottage Garden are both fun! I would second the Azul recommendation above as well.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Mancala! It’s our go-to date night game.

  33. towel recs :

    I’m looking for a bath sheet sized towel that feels good on the skin and as lightweight as possible. Durability over time is a huge plus/ Any recs?

    • Anonymous :

      I got mine from Bed Bath and Beyond and they’ve done well for the last few years. I don’t know how lightweight you’d want them, but mine aren’t super bulky. It was whatever the BBB brand of towels is (I know that’s not super helpful re: brand name, but more to say, that BBB’s brand has held up well…)

    • Anonymous :

      Wamsutta from BBB

    • I’ve switched to Cacala brand pestemal bought from amazon. It’s like a very large, very nice tea towel. They seem to be durable. The oldest ones are in good shape and are probably about three years old. They get washed in a Speed Queen washer on a regular cycle, which involves some serious agitation and fast spin.

  34. How do you let people know you’re getting divorced? My husband of 8 years and I (no kids) have been separated for a while and have decided to divorce. It’s pretty amicable. My family members and close friends obviously know what’s going on, but most of my more distant friends don’t, including many people who attended our wedding. I care about these people, and most of them have been friends since high school or college, but I don’t really keep in touch with them except through holiday cards and social media. I’m not too keen to post anything about it on FB, although I’ve seen people do it. Is it weird to send a mass email (to my friends only – I’m going to let him handle telling his friends and family)?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I only told my family and closest friends for a very, very long time. Although my divorce only took 6 months from the day he moved out, I probably waited another 6 months before I told other friends and collegues. But it was only if my ex came up in conversation.

      I wouldn’t send an email. An option is tell your most gossipy friend. He/She will spread the word so you don’t have to. Or if you are changing your name, update your FB profile and people will get the drift.

    • I haven’t been in this situation, but I’ve seen it among my friends/acquaintances a few times. I would tell your nearest and dearest the news, and let them disseminate the news from there. I don’t think you need to reach out to everyone who attended your wedding. Just let people figure it out on their own, which they will, either because the holiday card is coming just from you, your H disappears from your social media pics, etc.

      • I told a few people who I knew would spread the news around, which worked fairly well. There were a couple of situations where I actually asked friends to discreetly mention it to others before I got somewhere so that I wouldn’t get questions about where my ex is, etc.

        I also sent a solo holiday card to everyone with my restored birth name on it. The vast majority of people have gotten then hint.

        My divorce was final 7 months ago, and I still run into people who didn’t realize it happened, so I don’t think there’s any way to prevent that. I would not send an email to people you don’t otherwise talk to, text, or email with. That feels off to me for some reason.

      • I’ve figured out that a handful of friends got divorced just by them dropping the spouse’s last name on social media. No announcement was ever made.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m dealing with this but with a kid. Constantly having to tell and re-tell people is so old, especially random parents at daycare pickup and the like, when maybe I just don’t feel like thinking about that kind of thing. Or when a random friend pops up out of nowhere and need to be updated. I’m dating now and am kind of terrified of running into someone who doesn’t know about the divorce while out on a date and having an awkward moment!

      • I once saw a divorced friend on a date in this situation, where I didn’t previously know he was divorced. I thought he handled it really well– He came over and said hi and kind of whispered where his date couldn’t hear, “We’ve got a lot to catch up on; call you later.” It was clear what he meant, and I thought that was a graceful way to handle it.

  35. The last couple of days, the links to products in the posts don’t work for me. I get an error message saying “Access Denied You don’t have permission to access “http://shop.nordstrom.com/Linkshare?” on this server.
    Reference #18.c82bf648.1531272285.35557123″

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