Thursday’s Workwear Report: Plus-Size Elbow Sleeve Ponte Sheath Dress

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

The ponte sheath dresses at Lands’ End have always been favorites for readers, but this season they don’t seem to have many interesting ones. Either it’s still early, or it’s a sign to stock up on what they have now if you love them. We’re featuring the plus-size version of the “radiant navy” geometric pattern, but it also comes in regular, petite, and tall sizes and a couple of other lovely prints (and solid colors, too). It has pockets, it’s machine washable, and I think it’s a really great dress if you want something basic and easy to throw on. The dress is $99.95 ($89.95 in other size ranges), but be on the lookout for Lands’ End’s frequent sales. Plus-Size Elbow Sleeve Ponte Sheath Dress

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  1. EmployeeRecognition :

    My star employee/direct report was just selected for an internal promotion to another division within the organization. We will be peers now, and I am thrilled for her and excited that I will get to continue to work with her. Other than making the transition as seamless as possible, any ideas for special ways to recognize/congratulate her? Just leave a nice note on her desk on her first day in her new role?

    • The promotion is the recognition. Smile, verbal congrats, maybe even a “goodbye lunch” if that’s company culture/comes natural to your relationship, but I wouldn’t do anything more than that and what you’ve mentioned.

      • Anonymous :

        “That’s what the money’s for!”
        No. Don’t be a Don Draper. If you really like her and are excited to keep working with her, do whatever you feel she would appreciate. Since you’ll be peers now, there’s more room to celebrate without having to Be A Boss.

    • She might be feeling nervous about the new role (based on personal experience and some of the comments we see on the board) even if she is a star and 100% ready for the new challenge. A nice note reminding her that she’ll be great and your excited to continue working with her or just a comment to that effect, might be appreciated (or at least I would have appreciated such a note/comment).

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        I was in a similar situation once (was the one who earned the promotion and was then peers with my former manager). She wrote me the nicest note saying all of the above, and I still carry it in my workbag several years later.

    • I’d take her to lunch.

  2. My daughters are doing Girls on the Run this year at their school. There is a family 5K each semester at the end. I’d like to start running with them (I am not a runner, but it is good exercise). I know from last year my older daughter had trouble with endurance at the runs (she is super-fast, but likes to dart out for a bit and then walk, so the 5K took us 45 minutes, which was not fun in a freezing December morning drizzle). Daughter #2 is new to it this year.

    I was thinking of going to a high school track in the evening once or maybe twice a week, that way, even if one of them is ahead, we’re all together. And I’d definitely improve my endurance / fitness over the semester. But what should I watch out for them? I know nothing about youth training for running (even for fun runs, which is what this is), except that I don’t want to make this Serious Running. I just don’t want to freeze this December b/c we can’t have a more running-type pace. From the spring run where I stayed with Kid 2 while Kid 1 ran with dad, it seems that 30 minutes for 5K is do-able.

    • Anonymous :

      Idk anything about running with kids, but 30 minutes for a 5k is a great pace even for an adult. That’s a 10 minute mile. A 5k in 45 minutes is totally reasonable, especially for kids. If you’re cold then the solution is to dress appropriately for the weather, not pressure your kids to keep some unreasonably fast pace.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes this. Or you don’t run with them in the “next to them” sense. Just let them have fun. None of what you just wrote sounds like letting them have fun. Buy a hat.

        • Anonymous :

          “Buy a hat” hahahahaha thx! Yes, 45 minutes is a good time. Be thankful you can do it.

      • Anon in NYC :

        While I agree with the sentiment in general (dress appropriately, lower expectations), I think the OP is really asking for tips on how to teach Kid 1 to better pace herself because Kid 1 is otherwise capable of running a 5k in 30 minutes.

        OP, I think this is something that you can ask the GOTR coach about. S/he will have tips and you can use that advice to inform how you run in the evenings with your kids.

        • Anonymous :

          I mean if kid wants to alternate between sprinting and walking then so what? It’s actually better exercise.

          • Anon in NYC :

            I don’t think it’s a problem at all – I was just giving the OP the benefit of the doubt.

        • OP needs to let her daughter complete the 5k in whatever way she wants. Taking on the task of teaching daughter to maintain the same pace and finish in 30 minutes rather than running faster and the beginning and then walking at the end and finishing in 45 minutes is a meddlesome solution to a non-problem.

          OP, if you want to run with your kids to spend time with them, then that’s great, but don’t do it if the focus will be telling them that they’re running wrong and need to run a different way to please you.

        • Isn’t that what the organized group of Girls on the Run is for? OP says she has no running experience, so she should leave the coaching to the experts . . .

      • OK — I’m not a runner and if this isn’t a problem pace, I will run in a coat again this December :)

        Some people are just sprinters — the cheetah is fast but not a distance runner either.

        I still need to train me, so may just bring them to the track and make sure they bring a book or something in case they just want to sit on the bleachers.

        • Personally, unless they want to go to the track, I would make running more fun than that for them – I would find a trail, let them run ahead, run back, wait while they catch up, etc. Take your cues from them. If you need more running/training than that, either find a time to go on your own, or have them ride their bike while you run.

        • I’d ask your kid how they felt after last years’ 5k. For me, the feeling of having gone out too fast SUCKS, enough so that if I never learned/was taught how to pace myself, that I would have given up running a long time ago.

          If she had a good time doing what she did, great! Do that!

          If she didn’t, and it’s because of her pace, there are two different ways to approach it. The first is to do some interval of run:walk. Most beginning running programs are based on this approach. Start with 1 minute running and 1 minute walking, or an even longer interval walking depending on your comfortable pace and fitness goals.

          The second way is by perceived exertion. For a comfortable run, you should be able to hold a conversation. If you can’t do that, slow down.

          I’m more comfortable with the second way for myself, but gazillions of people- even really advanced runners- train with run:walk and it’s great, too!

    • The Girls on the Run program you are working with should be able to provide you with guidance on age-appropriate training for the kids.

      However, I would think that doing a Couch to 5k program together would work to0.

      I also agree with the first poster that the solution for being cold in the winter is to get better winter running clothes, not to make speed the way to stay warm.

    • Yeah I ran my first 5k back in may. I started training a month before and finished in about 35 minutes. Definitely don’t pressure them to go faster or longer than they can.

    • A 45 min 5k may be very reasonable, depending on age and overall capacity for running.

      Just cover 2-3 miles (walking and running) on a regular basis.

    • I have a lot of experience with running training for kids (was a very competitive junior runner). I’m not sure of your kids’ ages, but many (if not most) kids are capable of running a full 5K (with no or minimal walk breaks) by the time they’re 8 or 9. The overall pace may be slow, but that’s not really the point – it’s more about making sure they have a good experience. So I wouldn’t worry about what the total time is, but rather about helping her understand the overall concept of pacing. The “sprint and then collapse” thing is common with kids and often results in a much less fun experience for them than if they run most of the 5K .

      An easy way to help your older daughter get a sense of how to pace herself: (i) pick a pace that you know is slower than she can run, (ii) go out for a run together, (iii) tell her the goal isn’t to run as fast as she can, but to get as close as she can to that pace, even if it feels slow. If you do that a few times, it usually helps kids get the idea. Another option is to use a run-walk approach (I’ve never done it, so I don’t have details, but google “run-walk” or “Galloway method” for tips).

      I was involved with GOTR at one point, and TBH didn’t find that they gave much info on pacing – the program that I was involved in was so focused on not pressuring kids that you weren’t even supposed to gently encourage your girl to keep running during the final 5K. I do think it’s important not to push kids in an unrealistic way, but it’s also true that until kids run a full 5K, they don’t know that they can. They can surprise themselves, and surprising yourself in that way can create a sense of achievement that’s great for kids.

      • I did run/walk when I got back into running after some bad injuries.


        Stop running before exhaustion. Run/walk works because most people can walk a 15 min or 16 min mile with a bit of effort. You can’t do that, however, if you’re doubled over or doing a death shuffle.

        Practice walking at a good clip. Go out and walk a few miles at a quick pace. It should get your heartrate up and you should start to feel yourself breathing more heavily.

        You improve by running and walking faster and running longer between walk breaks. Improvement takes a lot of time. Be patient with yourself and keep at it.

    • I agree that 30 minutes for a kid is probably too high of expectations (MS or HS for someone who is training, no, but for elementary kids, yes). I understand time and childcare is at a premium, but IMO you might like running better if you did it on your own instead of taking everyone to a track and having to keep an eye on the kids. Alternatively, I look forward to when my daughter is older having her ride her bike with me when I run sometimes. I could never train for a 5k on a track only. Way too boring.

    • I run the GOTR program in my area. The program is designed to incorporate the workouts for the girls. :) Part of the experience is the kids learning how to pace themselves and learning form experience.

      In your Grown Up Guide, there’s a training plan for all levels of running for grown up running buddies. Maybe you could do one on like Saturday mornings and see if your girls WANT to tag along? (I’d try some of the walk/run workouts).

      Other than that, maybe doing another fun run along the season (there’s a practice 5K built into the curriculum), I feel like extra “family” workouts are what make the girls not enjoy our program as much.

    • GOTR Former Coach :

      I honestly don’t think this is a good program. I was asked by a friend to be a coach, and did for a short time, but was dismayed with the program. I was and still am a competitive runner – I began competing when I was in sixth grade, all the way through NCAA D1, and now do ultramarathons pretty much exclusively.

      Having people run a 5K with little training is not safe and can lead to injury. I agree that GOTR doesn’t focus nearly enough on the sport itself – the proper training involved – running, strength building including core, flexibility, pacing, etc. I get the focus is supposed to be more than sports, but it is not empowering to run a race unprepared. The cost is also too high – kids would be better off getting involved in free team sports at their school and competing through that. And all the “positive” messages were just too much, and seemed to go against hyper-feminine environment the organization creates. Running track on a junior high team would provide a much better and more empowering experience.

  3. I recently became GC of a mid-size company, and I am getting inundated with sales calls. Everyone is wanting to have lunch and talk about what they can offer…from translation services to law firms. I am trying to balance being polite and protecting my time. This is the first time that I am responsible for a large(ish) budget, and I am totally overwhelmed on how to handle.

    • Anonymous :


      As a lowly associate, I stopped picking up the phone for unknown and blocked #s. Occasionally a client goes to voice mail (and gets a call right back). But 90% of my calls are similar to yours (SO MANY cold-calling financial advisors wanting to help me invest my $; um no).

      Ultimately, I have 0 time to spare (now a partner, 2 kids), esp. for things I don’t need or want. Where I have needs, I am proactive about filling them and would be reluctant to rely on a cold call from a stranger to help me fill them.

      TL;DR: don’t feel bad about answering calls or returning them; I toss junk mail and don’t feel bad about it and delete e-mails all the time.

    • If it’s a cold call from someone you don’t have a personal connection with, I have no problem saying “no thanks” and hanging up on them, or deleting the email without response. For personal contacts, I think it’s a more challenging conversation but I’ve typically held them off with “let me get settled into the role, and I’ll call you when I better understand our needs and ready for a conversation.” That puts you in the driver seat on who you want to pitch you.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have an assistant who can field some of these calls?

      • Anon in NYC :

        +1. For starters, have your assistant pick up calls. And, I assume that you have people that you can delegate vendor meetings to, at least in the first instance.

        As for law firms, work those into your schedule as you can, but I wouldn’t rush to do any of that.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you not have a secretary? Have her/him take these calls. Your job description isn’t “be polite to people trying to sell me stuff.”

    • Anonymous :

      Just say no. If it’s not something you need decline the offer. Sales people are used to people saying no. It’s not personal.

    • You are polite when you let the call go to vm. You are polite when you nicely say you will keep them in mind if the need arises, then promptly end the call.

      You are not socially or professionally obligated to listen as long as they wish you to or to attend events they wish you to attend.

    • pear lady seeks linen pants :

      guys: I am seeking a unicorn linen pant that will look nice on my pear body. flat front/elastic hybrid a plus as I am not a fan of drawstrings.

    • I get a lot of these types of calls, and I let them go to voicemail. On the off chance that I pick up the phone when they call, if it’s someone I have no interest in conducting business with, I just say no thank you. If it is somebody I might be working with, I let them know that email is a better way to get a hold of me since I’m away from my desk most of the time (true, plus I HATE unnecessary phone calls), and deleting an email feels less personal than trying to extricate myself from a salesy phone conversation I don’t have time for. It also means I have any communication from them in writing. You’re under NO obligation to give them time outside of a short phone call or email. Honestly, they’re used to rejection.

    • I don’t answer my phone unless I’m expecting the call.

    • LOL you don’t need to accommodate salespeople. Be polite when you tell them “No thanks, I’m not interested” but you don’t have to let them take up your time. Being firm does not mean being rude, don’t let yourself think that way.

  4. fun question :

    fun question: what’s the best date you’ve been on? bonus points for ideas in dc.

    • I really like trivia nights, especially for first dates. It helps give you something to do if the conversation is lagging and it has an end point, so you’re not just sitting their awkwardly trying to determine when enough is enough if it’s a bust.

    • Tandem bike riding and then a picnic for a second date. It was the early-aughts so twee was still novel.

    • Escape Room, brunch and a movie at a local theater showing an old Hitchcock film with a catered breakfast, strolling through the natural history museum

    • anon a mouse :

      Go to dinner somewhere in Dupont Circle and then go to the Board Room. Take turns picking games to play. (Or skip the dinner and just meet for drinks at Board Room.)

    • Stand up paddle boarding under the full moon. This was a first date (with someone I kind of knew already). And the guy had planned it out so well with snacks and beer and we had our dogs on the paddleboards. Probably going to be hard to beat.

    • The Spy Museum and dinner in Chinatown area is always a classic for DC. (Or the Portrait Museum or the Building Museum which I think are both also in that neighborhood).

      I also used to really like going to plays at the Shakespeare Theater Company in DC. There are some other good indie companies as well that I can’t remember the names of off the top of my head. If you’re in your twenties, see if you qualify for their young adult discount tickets.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Once my then-bf (now husband) ‘surprise’ took me to Coney Island… by the time we were 1/2way there on the train I had figured it out, but I didn’t know it was the plan when we left home. Sand and water and beer and hotdogs and games and Wonder Wheel! Delightful.

  5. I wore this shape/style of dress in black from LE yesterday with some bold but simple jewelry, and got a lot of compliments. I was comfortable all day, felt polished, but was essentially in work appropriate PJs. Win, win, win.

    • BabyAssociate :

      So did I! And I ordered this exact dress yesterday. They’re great dresses.

      • Can you talk about sizing? I have a coat from Lands End and had to go down 2 sizes, but these dresses seem pretty fitted. Are they TTS?

        • TTS-ish. If you’re between sizes, size down, but there’s no need to completely deviate from your “normal” size. By reference, I wear a 6 in J.Crew and normally buy a 6 at LE. If the sizes are S/M/L, I do normally buy a small though.

  6. So I am about to start as an associate at an AmLaw 200 firm and trying to prep for my work wardrobe and honestly, I need a total head to toe makeover and don’t know where to start. (I would pay money to go on What Not to Wear if that was still a thing.) Anyone have experience with using a store (Nordstrom or similar) or private stylist?

    • Anonymous :


      It may matter which city you are in. I am in BigLaw (partner, SEUS branch office, formerly DC associate). We are officially casual, but it can be more business depending on the person / level / workload / time of year (e.g., b/w xmas and nye people are working and grumpy and dress for weather/comfort).

      In my SEUS city, you could go into any Banana Republic and get a wool suiting suit and some polished blouses / separates and be just fine to start. If you look like the workwear people in a Boden catalog, you’d also be fine from day-to-day.

      And Hannibal Lechter was right — no scuffed or cheap-looking shoes. And get a good haircut / trim (and talk to your stylist — they totally get things like this and tend to want to help).

      Ultimately, knowing your office / partners / day-to-day activities will help, so I’d just get a couple of workhorse pieces to start with.

    • Can’t help with a stylist, but my general advice is to get only a few outfits at first and see what everyone else is wearing/what you’ll be comfortable with day in and day out before you get a whole new wardrobe.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. When you feel like you need SO MUCH help, it’s really tempting to buy an entire wardrobe. But it’s best to let your wardrobe grow more organically. If you buy too much stuff at once, you get confused about what goes together and might even forget everything you have. It becomes even more overwhelming — you go from having no things to too many things — and then you stay discouraged about your work wardrobe. Ask me how I know….

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Thirded! If you have a good shopping friend/relative, you can make a fun thing of going out to get a few good work pieces and have her tell you that you look great, and then look around and figure out what you want to wear based on what your colleagues are wearing.

          The summer before I started my BigLaw job had some intense family stuff and to get a break, my mom took me to Ann Taylor I think? A store like that? She helped me choose a black dress, a blazer, a cardigan, maybe a shirt and a top? Enough that I felt really confident in having something to wear the first days, but not A Whole Wardrobe purchased at once. Anyway, it’s a happy little memory for me.

    • I have a friend/acquaintance who is a private stylist and does some online stuff, and it seems like “need new work wardrobe” is something that comes up fairly often! If you don’t go the personal stylist route, maybe start with something like two suits (with skirt or dress and pants) and five tops or something like that. A place like Nordstrom should be able to set you up well.

      And congrats!

    • I am on my second personal stylist. Way better to pay someone for their time than to use the Nordstrom people, because then you can go to different stores and also integrate your own clothes. With both of them, before we shopped we went through my closet to see what I had, what I needed to get rid of, and what I needed to buy. Then they went shopping without me and put stuff on hold. Then I met them at the store, tried stuff on, and bought some of it. Then we came back to my house and made up new outfits integrating the new stuff with the old. (this was often on another day because I don’t have the energy or the time for that much outfit-ing at once). And she takes pictures of me in the new outfits so I know which shoes, purses and necklaces to wear with which outfits. Super helpful. First woman was $50 an hour then she moved and my current lady is $95 an hour. Well worth it. The other nice thing is it (mostly) keeps me from buying stuff without her.

      • In-House in Houston :

        I had the exact same experience as Lobbyist. I live in Houston and paid her $100/hr. Well worth it. I picked someone a little younger than me because I wanted a younger/hipper vibe to my wardrobe. I liked using her vs. using someone at a store b/c she didn’t have a commission at stake, so I feel like I got her true opinion of what I should buy. She even told me some of the items would likely go on sale soon so we took photos and I kept a list and went back a week or so later to buy them on sale.

    • Congratulations! Your situation is part of the reason why I keep about 2 week’s worth of more formal workwear for the summer and winter despite having a business casual dress code right now. Also, having atypical measurements means that I try to avoid having to shop at the last minute for important events.

    • Go to Banana Republic and buy a few suits to get you through your first week. No one is expecting you to have a full wardrobe – especially if you are coming out of law school and haven’t had a paycheck for a while. But, don’t be surprised if the other associates starting with you are wearing the same suits. This happens every year. Stick with simple, clean lines and avoid anything overly fussy (e.g., ruffles, peplums).

      Once you get a feeling for the office dress code, I would suggest Saks and Neimans over Nordstroms since they tend to have more suits and business wear in the physical stores. If you can make it until Christmas time, both normally have pretty epic end of season sales where you could pick up a few nicer suits for Banana Republic prices. In some cities, Saks has a Saks to On Demand service where they just bring the clothes to you. If you are in doubt, look for the kind older lady working in the St. Johns/Layfette (the more stuffy old lady clothes). She’s not going to recommend the most trendy stuff and know that you need boring clothes to wear to work.

      My best advice for shoppers is to pick someone that has a similar body type to you. This will prevent mismatches between say your rear and straight up and down sheath dresses. Also, be up front about your budget — and be realistic about what your budget needs to be.

    • Before you buy a bunch of suits, know your office. I am Biglaw but on the West Coast, and I seriously wear a suit about once a year (the only time I’ve worn a suit this year was for OCI recruiting). Is there an associate or someone in HR you could ask for tips about dress code?

  7. bad bad bad :

    Let’s say you are a guy having an affair with a co-worker. It is pretty blatant. Someone sends a letter to your wife telling her about this. Do you then take the letter into HR and demand that HR interrogate female staff and female associates about whether they sent it? [And if you are HR, do you go along with this?]

    My jaw is on the floor right now.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      What in the actual F

    • No, but if I am an employee, I call the EEOC. Is there a reason to suspect the sender is female?

      • Exactly.

        If you aren’t being investigated, OP, and have some seniority, you should run this by legal.

    • Anonymous :

      What are you referring to? Something at your workplace?

      • Anonymous :

        It’s already happened. I am shocked that HR went along with this. I was out last week (and I have a feeling that HR wouldn’t dare pull this with me due to seniority).

        [I have no idea whether the sender was even from our office or female. I care that we treat employees indefensibly horribly like this.]

    • I don’t know what you do but sending a letter to the wife is inappropriate. The fact that he’s having an affair doesn’t make it okay. Let’s say he wasn’t having an affair and someone decided that he was because he spent too much time in the office late with a junior associate and did that. What do you do then?

      • Anonymous :

        That’s a good point. If it’s clear that no affair is happening, I could see HR getting involved to find out who is wrongfully sabotaging this guy. OP says the affair is blatant though so idk.

    • Anonymous :

      Why would the wife or HR assume that a woman sent the letter? Men can’t think that cheating is wrong? None of this makes sense.

      • Anonymous :

        Not the OP, but I read it to mean that the man involved made a demand that women specifically be investigated.

    • Anonymous :

      How does he even know it was some at work?

      But no, HR doesn’t get involved with this, unless it’s to do an investigation of impact of his affair on liabilities the company might face. He doesn’t get to use company resources to find out who told his wife, so he can presumably retaliate against them. (though I agree that it was stupid on the part of whoever sent the letter)

      • +1 Beyond the visceral negative reaction I had to this craziness, I think this is the best logical case: No, you don’t get to use company resources for a personal matter.

    • How do you actually know this is what HR is investigating? Seems possible they could be looking into whether he is a bad actor/me too type allegations. IME the gossip about internal investigations is almost never right.

  8. Question: should I avoid making coffee as a young woman in the office?

    I work in a very small office in a male dominated industry (our partners are mostly men, but the lower level staff is pretty balanced.) I am the first one to get in in the mornings. Is it bad for me to start the first pot of coffee, or is it fine because I am just being a good office citizen? (We go through 3-4 pots a day, so I wouldn’t be the only person making it, just the first.)

    • If you’re not the only one I think it’s fine.

    • Anonymous :

      First one in makes the first pot. Besides, cowboy culture confirms *brewing* black coffee is a plenty macho task. It’s fetching, serving, and adding sugar that makes it girly.
      Oh, I wish I were kidding…

    • Anonymous :

      If you drink coffee and want some of that first pot, then yes, make the coffee. If you don’t otherwise consume the coffee, leave it alone.

      • +1

      • +1

        I would not make someone _else_ coffee if they ask you to, but if you’re the first one there and you want coffee, who else is going to make it for you? I would make it.

        Personally the reason I don’t ever make coffee at my office is because the grounds they stock in the kitchen taste like burned dirt. I make my own at home and bring a thermos.

      • This. I’m not going to deny myself coffee if I’m there first because I’m female. That’s ludicrous. If you don’t drink it, it’s completely unnecessary.

    • Unless you want to be seen as the “office mom” or the “girl who gets the coffee” I would not make the first pot each day. Bring your own in if necessary. Once you start doing it, the men in your office will continue to look to you to do it along with cleaning the kitchen, ordering supplies, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Who is making the coffee the rest of the day? Staff or (male) attorneys? Don’t be the only attorney making coffee.

      • We aren’t a law firm (consulting), but basically anyone who finds it empty makes it, from lowly research assistants (me) to Senior VPs. The admin staff handle the ordering of supplies and getting milk when we run out but they do not make the coffee.

        My impression was that it was fine as long as I wasn’t the only one, and wasn’t doing other admin tasks, but I wanted to double check! I do drink it as well, I just don’t always want a cup first thing.

      • I would make it and enjoy it with a full bowl of cereal using the company supplied milk. Enjoy your day

    • I once heard a Condi Rice interview where she described being asked to make the coffee while the only woman in an office, in her early/mid career. She made it so strong no one else could drink it and they never asked her again.

      So, that’s always an option.

      • I did something similar at my first active duty posting (Army). I was asked to make the coffee first thing in the morning, and replied that I didn’t drink coffee. But that didn’t fly (after all, it was the military). I wasn’t lying, though, I really didn’t drink coffee so I made the full pot with maybe a tablespoon of coffee. I never had to make coffee again.

  9. I just purchased these and if you have the Ebates coupon search on your browser, there’s apparently a 30% off coupon that Ebates found for me.

  10. Repost Rhonda :

    Someone posted this question late yesterday and I was actually interested if anyone had any potential answers
    (sorry I’m bein a creep!)

    Can y’all talk to me about short-term disability insurance in advance of TTC?

    I work for a small organization that does not qualify for FMLA, does not have any stated policy on parental leave, and does not offer any disability insurance. I am optimistic that when the time comes, I will be able to negotiate reasonable terms for my leave; my partner and I also have significant inherited wealth that would cushion us in the event of a temporary lapse in my income.

    That said, I don’t want to forego STDI if it’s a worthwhile investment. Has anyone here successfully purchased their own plan in advance of TTC? How much did it cost and how much of a hassle was it? Are there reputable companies you’d recommend? If it matters, I’m very healthy and in PA.

    • I tried to purchase a disability policy for the exact same reason through my bar association (they sent a promotion). The company told me that giving birth is not a covered condition and would offer no benefits if I was out following birth, and that no disability policies cover this in NY. That seems wrong to me because I keep seeing things online about how women get disability to cover this period (immediate postpartum), but I kind of just gave up after that.

    • My understanding is that it’s very hard/impossible to purchase outside of work, but maybe that’s not right?

    • I think short-term disability is often overrated, even if you can purchase it through your company. The insurance I could get only covered four weeks of pay at 60% rate, and you had to be on the plan for a whole year before you could use it for maternity leave reasons. It cost $70 a month, so that was a lot of premiums to pay for 4 weeks of leave, especially when you don’t know how long it will take to conceive.

      In your case, you may not even be able to purchase it outside of your work. I would suggest setting aside money for maternity leave on your own.

      • Yes, do the math. Let’s say you make $100K/year of allowed salary and you’ll only be covered for 4 weeks at 60%. That means you’ll get a payout of $4600 (Roughly $2000/week salary * 60% * 4 weeks). If you have to pay $70/week for at least 52 weeks, you’ve paid out $3600. And you’ll have to keep paying for it while you’re using it – another $280 at least. So you’re netting $700 from STDI. You could have just put the $3880 in a savings account and had MORE money for your leave.

        (Pay attention to waiting periods where it’s not paid out – mine was 6 weeks coverage but one week was a waiting period so only 5 weeks paid out. Also pay attention to payout caps. Mine was 60% only on the first $100K of salary and didn’t include bonus or commission.)

        • Shouldn’t you be doing the math on 12 weeks? Who is out for 4 weeks on maternity leave? In addition, policies range in amount and coverage. This calculation doesn’t hold up for longer leaves or different policies. Look into your options at different insurance companies.

          • This was meant to be an example calculation using the figures from anony @11:16. She said it only paid out for 4 weeks, which is fairly typical. Most STDI plans do not pay for more than a month or two.

            Also note I mistakenly used $70/wk not $70/mo. Your payout is $4600, your cost is at least $910. So you net $3690 in the best case scenario. You won’t have more money from your savings premiums, but you start to come close if you have to carry coverage for 2+ years before going out on leave. IN THIS EXAMPLE ONLY.

            (Maybe not so obviously,) do the math for your own situation to figure out what makes sense for you.

      • Anonymous :

        $70 a month?!?! When I’ve had to pay for it, STD was usually accompanied by LTD (same company/same plan) and the STD was an add on for a few bucks a month to the pricier LTD plan. But by pricier, it was $30-40 a month (I think) and the LTD covered 60% of a salary (up to $70,000), so you capped out on the LTD side, and was $250 a week for STD. (I used to be the HR/benefits person, so this is burned into my brain).

        So, it wasn’t really salary replacement if you were out, but kept some money coming in.

  11. Hair washing :

    I accidentally bought hydrating anti-frizz curly shampoo for my mostly straight hair, and it’s working great! Taming the grays that whirlygig out at a totally different texture, and adding bounce to the bottom of my ponytail. I’ve realized there was more natural curl than I thought.

    But now my hair doesn’t have any gloss or sheen. It isn’t an unpleasant texture, just very matte. It actually makes the color look darker. Anyone know why? Can I keep using curly shampoo but have shiny princess hair again ;).

    • Are you using conditioner?

      There are also lots of shine products. I’ve used Moroccan oil and some Oribe product I got from Birchbox. The oil is a little heavy for me in the summer (very fine hair) but Oribe tends to be pretty light.

    • It sounds like it’s over-conditioned now. Most of us with curly hair wash our hair less often than people with straight hair and the shampoo is formulated to be less stripping. Try washing it less and see if that helps.

      • I agree with this (also curly hair). You could also wash every other day with a clarifying shampoo or something like that. I only wash my hair every 2-4 days.

      • Less effort? Awesome!

        • Anonymous :

          Shampoo the roots and condition the ends.

          I would just say as someone who washes her hair about twice a week – don’t wash with clarifying shampoo every time. Maybe once a month.

  12. Reposting from yesterday’s coffee break: fellow 1099 ladies or anyone who uses an app to track personal receipts and expenses – what is your preferred expense report app? I’m trying Expensify, but before I pull the trigger on the subscription, I wanted to see if there are any other options to seriously consider.

    I don’t need too many bells and whistles: scan, notes, categorize, pull simple reports. Expensify keeps asking who I want to submit my receipt to, which I hope I can get to go away if this ends up being the solution. I am mostly tracking travel expenses, taking clients to lunch, office supplies, etc. I use Mile IQ, don’t need to track hours, and do have a tax accountant. I just don’t want to dump a hot mess on him at tax time.

    • Can you say low tech? :

      Not an app and this is SO low tech but I have always used one of those thick clear sheet protectors to travel. If I know the receipt is in the sheet protector, I can forget about it until expense report time. Once when traveling with a small cross body bag, I used a quart sized Ziploc freezer bag.

      My husband is self employed and puts all his receipts in a large Ziploc bag in the console of his vehicle.

      Another idea may be taking a photo of the receipt with your phone and saving the photo as a favorite until you’ve prepared the expense report.

      As far as actual expense reports, we tend to prepare only one per year. I use something in Excel and include a column for the type of expense that lines up with expense categories in Quickbooks. Then I enter it as a December 31st journal entry as a debit to the expense categories and credit to Owners Equity. Of course, the alternative is writing an actual expense check which would credit cash.

      I’m sure there are a ton of excellent apps but we have been doing this for twenty years and it works well for us.

    • Have you looked at TriNEt and Zoho? Both are pretty simple, but still link to QuickBooks if that’s important to you.

  13. Lefty churchgirl :

    Paging the vestry member of a progressive DC Episcopal church who responded to my post last week — would you share the name of your congregation? I’d love to visit.

    Other specific recommendations also welcome. Thanks to everyone who responded; lots of wisdom in that thread.

    • Try Foundry United Methodist Church.

    • I used to go to St. John’s Lafayette Square b/c it was near work and I always had to work on Sundays. We used to joke that at St. Margaret’s (IIRC) on Capitol Hill, God was a woman. Maybe that is an option?

    • ELCA lutheran churches

    • HI!! That was me! St. Clement’s in Alexandria. Let me know if you have any questions! Hope to see you one Sunday!

    • Assistant Professor :

      New York Ave Presbyterian Church (on, you guessed it, New York Ave between 13th and 14th in DC) might be one to check out if you’re open to another mainline protestant denomination besides Episcopalian. The minister there is very social justice oriented.

  14. Anonymous :

    Hi ladies, any birthday gift ideas for a girl who is turning 18 years old and heading to college other than a gift certificate and cash? Will be giving her that too but wanted to give her something a little tangible. She’s a tomboy, like movies and likes young adult fiction like Hunger Games and Divergent. Maybe if anyone knows another young adult series? I’m totally out of the loop on this!

    • What’s your budget? For books I really like the Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland series. A tree grows in Brooklyn is also wonderful of course.
      Does she have a good semi-adult looking tote or book bag? I would have LOVED if someone gave me something like the Lo & Son’s totes or a Dagne Dover backpack or tote at her age (I settled for a china town knock off of the Kate Spade diaper bag looking nylon totes).
      Otherwise my mom’s (and my) go to gift for college kids was a pop up laundry bag (ideally with wheels!) filled with $5 or so in quarters, laundry detergent pods, dryer sheets, a small hex tool kits/screwdriver, and some easy college kid food (candy/granola bars/peanut butter/etc.) with a big cheesy bow on top.

    • The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series was pretty great if she hasn’t read that one yet.

    • anon a mouse :

      If she likes movies, a generous gift card in her college town would be nice. (I know you said you have gift cards covered, just pointing out one option if you didn’t consider that.)

      A Hunger Games pillow would be fun to take to college, something like:

    • Snack / care package subscription for her at college.

    • – Unwind series (very good philosophical dystopian premise for collegiate minds)
      – Eden series (female focused, dystopian, premise about ecological collapse)
      – Handmaid’s Tale (classic and tv series to match)
      – Monument 14 (fun adventure series, YA)

      (with hesitation I mention):
      – Cinder Series (retells Cinderella from Feminist standpoint…. but I think it only sort of achieves goal)
      – The Selection Series (basically it’s the Bachelor in book form – very popular YA, but message is great)

    • anonymouse :

      If she’s into sci fi try Stars are Legion by Kameron Hurley, or the Ancillary series (Anc. Justic, Sword, Mercy) by Anne Leckie (sp). Not young adult, but, imo, engrossing reads from award winning female authors.

      Organizers, totes, a new ipad/lap top case may all be helpful to a college freshman.

      Long term present may be: committing to write/contact her once a month at least through the first semester to check in and see how she’s doing. I remember mail/care packages from home always made my day when I first went to college.

    • Not quite what you were asking for, but depending on how close your relationship is, consider a gift for the adult she is about to become. I usually give women I am close to an interview-appropriate “real jewelry” necklace (usually a strand of pearls, but I’ve varied it depending on style) for their 18th birthday. In the jeweler’s district in my city you can get a pretty nice strand of pearls for around $100, so it’s not a crazy extravagant gift. For the ones who were less mature/less ready for the grown up aspect of that gift, I’ve included a note in the card along the lines that they may not want or need to wear the necklace for a while, but when those big life moments come along that they need to feel their most polished I want them to be able to reach for that necklace and remember I am cheering them on.

      • Anon in NYC :

        This is a great gift, especially as she starts to interview for summer internships, etc.

        • housecounsel :

          As a mother of two girls headed off to college, I beg you not to give something large that has to be packed. Some relatives tried to give DD a microwave for her dorm room. A) not allowed B) I am not taking a microwave as my carry-on. I like the “real jewelry” idea!

          • As a tomboy-ish/punky 18 year old I had no idea what to do with the broaches and things well meaning relatives gave me, don’t do this. Wait until graduation. And, pearls on an 18/19 year old intern would seem like dress-up.

    • Anonymous :

      The Six of Crows series seems like it’d be up her alley.

  15. hostess gifts :

    Favorite hostess gifts? Preferably something small that I can put in my suitcase. I’d rather not waste time at my destination shopping, so no flowers. I’m staying with a good friend for a night and she also has a one-year-old baby. Any ideas for something cute to bring for her? Or is that overkill?

    • I would bring a small gift for the baby. I’m in DC, so there are a ton of location specific books. When I visit friends with kids, I bring a fun age-appropriate book. With older kids, it provides a good conversation opener. For that age, I would probably get Good Night DC.

    • Nest candle in grapefruit. I love these candles and buy them for myself sometimes but would love it if people gave them to me.

      • +1 scented candle
        I purchase a ‘travel-size’ candle from a luxury candle maker. It saves money bc sample size, in case the host does not like the scent, but is still a quality product and small luxury/pleasure for host.
        My go-to are:
        1) Aquiesse
        2) Diptyque

    • A book for the baby? Cute tea towel? Chocolate? Or just take her out to dinner/pick up take out and a bottle of wine.

    • If she uses stationery, I would go with that. A box of cute note cards, or a nice list notepad. There’s a nice local stationery shop where I’m from, and I always bring my friend a little something from it when I’m visiting.

    • A board book she wouldn’t buy herself b/c it’s too expensive. I like the Tails book by Matthew Van Fleet and my kid at about 14 MO became absolutely obsessed with it.

  16. Can anyone recommend a swimsuit top (bikini or tankini) with sewn-in cups? I hate the removable pads because they move out of place the second I jump in the pool. I’m a c-cup and haven’t bought a new suit in a while so idk where to look.

  17. Love these dresses and this particular one is really gorgeous.

  18. Beef chislic recipe? :

    I know that there are South Dakotans here.

    I had beef chislic that was like crack in Sioux Falls. It was pretty basic — nothing fancy and definitely beef. The recipies I am pulling up are either some other meat (mutton / venison) that I don’t cook with or eat or are too involved (pretty sure that there was no brown sugar, etc. in what I ate).

    I need to recreate this b/c I won’t be back in SD until next summer (and that trip will be to Rushmore — I’ve heard that chislic only exists in the Sioux Falls area). I also have a trip to Minneapolis coming up — might I find it in a restaurant there?

    • This captured my curiosity – I have never heard of this in my life, despite growing up ~2 hours from Sioux Falls. I live in MSP now, and I’m sorry, but you are not going to find this in Minneapolis.

      A little light googling turns up this recipe, which looks straight forward:

      If you are coming to MN during State Fair time, a steak chislic was apparently served at Tejas Express two years ago, but no guarantees. You can’t lose – the worst thing that can happen is they don’t have it and you eat 12 other peculiar and probably deep fried delicacies. Let me know if you need any other MSP recommendations!

      • yeah…my brief googling indicates that it’s apparently a very SoDak thing. Never heard of it either.

        But also recommend the State Fair for wild new food types. The new foods list is up, if you want to start planning :)

    • I live in Minneapolis and I had to google chislic. I have never heard of it. Unfortunately, I don’t think you will find it in restaurants in Minneapolis.

    • SD here and I’d never heard of it until moving here :) You can find it in Western Iowa as well, not sure about Omaha area. Never had it in MN. Good luck!!

      • No chislic to my knowledge in Omaha. I grew up near the SD border and it’s a new one to me. Must be hyper local to the Sioux Falls area?

    • I lived in Western SoDak (Rapid area) for five years and never encountered it! Might be hard to find around Rushmore.

  19. Any recommendations for an online jeweler? Not a big one like blue nile, etc. I’m having an October baby and want to purchase something in the October birthstone (in case anyone also wants to vicariously shop). Thanks!

    • I only buy online jewelry at James Allen. It might be too big for your search parameters, though.
      I bought a right hand ring in my son’s birthstone there and it is perfect. IMHO, they are the tops in quality and trustworthiness.

    • BabyAssociate :

      What’s your price range? I’ve gotten a few things from Local Eclectic, which sells jewelry from a number of different independent jewelers and I’ve been really happy with the quality/price.

    • Panda Bear :

      My favorite local jeweler (mostly antique and estate, if that’s your taste) sells online – Market Square Jewelers.

    • anon a mouse :

      Catbird has beautiful things.

      Ruby Lane has a number of vintage things.

    • Delezhen on Etsy

  20. Ladies. I’m in a wedding next month and the very sweet, well meaning, skinny sister of the bride selected a dress from that was not made above a size 8-10. I am… not that size right now and apparently the dress is non-negotiable. Can anyone recommend your favorite mega, mega shapewear? I think my regular lump-smoothing light spanx are not going to do the trick here.

    • No. What are you thinking? Call the bride today and tell her that dress doesn’t come in your size and she needs to pick a different one.

      • Absolutely this. Do NOT try to fit into a dress that doesn’t fit.

        Also, the bride asked you to be in the wedding knowing how you look and your (approximate) size. Presumably you’re one of her nearest and dearest and she wants you to be there and to feel comfortable no matter what your size is. Don’t be afraid to say something!

        • THIS.

        • lawsuited :

          I think it might help to reframe this problem for the bride as you being naked at her wedding if another dress isn’t chosen, as opposed to you just being uncomfortable in the chosen dress.

      • +1.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        +1 this is beyond unreasonable. Plus I’ve found that many bridal and bridesmaid gowns run really small– I remember having to order an 8 for a wedding when I’m generally a 2 or 4.

      • Agreed. You might have to find a coordinating dress, but a dress that fits you us non-negotiable.

        I am getting married soon and trust me, I would want to know if dresses, tuxes, etc., did not fit someone.

      • Elegant Giraffe :


    • Um WHAT? Wow. Seriously, will you be comfortable at all with crazy shapewear? I would be frank that they don’t make that dress in your size and what option would they like you to select instead. I mean, that is just insane to me. I’m sorry, this just made me angry.


      I’m six feet tall and have literally never worn a size 8 or 10 and no amount of shapewear would get me past my current size 12

    • Don’t make yourself miserable squeezing into a dress that won’t fit you. Talk to the bride and explain that dress isn’t available in your size. Ask her if she can talk to her sister about choosing another dress. If the sister refuses, you should consider not being a bridesmaid.

    • Did you tell the sister that the dress doesn’t come in your size? If you did and she insisted it’s non-negotiable then go to the bride. You are not being difficult here, you need a dress that actually fits you.

    • Yes, you need to tell them that the dress does not come in your size, so either they have to pick a different dress or you cannot participate. This is ridiculous. You do not need to squeeze your body into crazy shapewear to celebrate someone’s wedding.

    • If you already have the dress or will have it soon, I think your best bet for shape wear is to take the dress to a department store, talk to the sales associate, and try on several options for full-body shape wear.

      Actually, I think your best bet might be to talk to the bride again and let her know that you’ve tried the dress and all the shape wear in X and Y department stores, and it’s just not going to work. If the bride is choosing a specific dress, it’s her responsibility to choose one that fits all the members of the bridal party. That’s pretty much the only bridesmaids dress requirement.

      • First, I think that this whole thing is ridiculous and you should not have to squeeze into the wrong size dress for any wedding (including your own!)

        But, if you already have the dress and there’s really nothing you can do about it, maybe also consider taking it to a seamstress stat and see if they can add a panel of fabric or lace or something that won’t look weird to give some extra room. Sometimes this can be done.

        However, I think your first option should be to talk to the bride. If she’s even remotely reasonable, then she will obviously help you pick a new dress.

        • +1 Talk to the bride. If she insists you wear the dress that doesn’t fit you, then you can politely back out of being in the wedding party. Then reconsider your friendship.

          • There’s no need to reconsider friendship here. The bride probably didn’t know the dress doesn’t come above a certain size, and she probably doesn’t know what size OP is. I don’t know if my friends are a 6 or a 12 or a 14. There’s nothing here that indicates the bride is trying to be cruel in any way.

          • Anonymous :

            If the bride insists that you must wear a dress that doesn’t come in your size, that is a perfectly good reason to reconsider friendship. If she didn’t know, that would be one thing. But knowing and not caring – nope, not ok.

    • I don’t think I understand how the size of your actual body is more negotiable than the choice of dress. You’re not complaining that you don’t like it; it just doesn’t actually fit you. I would question whether or not someone who tries to insist that this dress is non-negotiable in this circumstance is actually well-meaning.

    • I’m so sorry. Getting the dress to zip and being comfortable for an all day event (where you will need room to drink plenty of water and eat) are two very different things. Explain to the bride what can happen if you squeeze yourself into this dress – one of the seams could split, or the zipper could burst – what kind of a state of panic would that cause on her wedding day?

      Depending on what this thing looks like, is might be possible to have the bodice remade to fit you, but I’d guess that would entail $150-200 in alterations. Is the bride prepared to cover that for you if this truly is the only option?

      • +1. One of my bridesmaids bust a huge seem in the back of her dress right before my wedding. She had to sew it up partially and it was really stressful. (And by the way I didn’t force her to buy a too-small dress–she chose her own dress in a particular color… I think she had just gained weight.)

      • +1. I was a bridesmaid, and I had a dress rip along the zipper at my best friend’s wedding. We did a safety pin/cover it up work-around, but it was stressful and took attention away from the bride. I wouldn’t sign myself for that risk again. (The bride had not forced me to buy a too-small dress. I had had the dress taken in by a tailor that week, and I guess the tailor made it pretty snug. I was TTC and ovulating at the time, so I think it was just hormones making my breasts bigger.)

    • I think you guys are all providing reasonable options, if the bride and MOH were reasonable people. They are not.

      Two girls have already decided not to be bridesmaids, because the dress isnt available, and the bride was fine with that decision, and picked a few skinnier friends to replace them. That should tell you something, as a starter. When the dress was selected, back in June, the bride and MOH suggested that although the dress only comes in small sizes, maybe that would be a good motivation/push for us all to lose a few lb’s and look our best for the wedding.

      I’m a relative, not a friend, and for the sake of self-preservation at future family events, I cannot back out of this wedding at this point. I’m usually a size 12 hourglass (oh my god, becky, look at her butt!) so the 8-10 is snug and unflattering, but it zips fine- I’m really looking for shapewear to make it more flattering.

      • This literally sounds like the worst wedding party ever, but I can recommend Rago shapewear if you really cannot just drop out of the bridal party. And really, if she’s so unreasonable, you are just going to do something later that risk your self-preservation, so I’d consider whether it’s worth doing it now or later. How much are you willing to bend? I usually shy away from giving DTMFA style advice on this site but, wow, please do not be in this wedding party.

        • This. Something will come up later and she will hate you for that, and you’re going to think, “After all that I did for her wedding, and that d*mn dress. Why did I even do it?” Cut your losses now.

      • These people sound awful and I’m sorry you have to put up with this.

        In addition to the shapewear, if you can actually zip the dress I would take it to a seamstress and see if she can let it out at all at the seams, or has any other ideas on how to make it fit you better. Unfortunately though that amount of tailoring is also usually quite expensive IME, so you may not think it’s worth the money. But I think it’s worth taking it in and asking what can be done and for how much. If you have a month there should be plenty of time for this to be done.

        • +1 Take the dress to a seamstress. There is usually about a half inch of give between the two side seams and she could potentially reshape the bust darts to give you more room (depending on construction).

      • I would still back out. If your family can’t understand that you can’t be in a wedding when the dress doesn’t come in your size, then I would distance myself from the extended family. Based on what you have said about these girls already, if you force yourself to do it, they seem like the type that are just going to complain about how you don’t look good in any of the dresses, and couldn’t you have just lost some weight for the event.

      • I’m going to respectfully disagree with your initial adjectives of “very sweet” and “well meaning”. This is downright awful (with particular emphasis on the suggestion that someone lose weight?!?!?!!), and I give you permission to feel the same about a family member.

        • Yeah…my prior response was based on that. Then I read this update and…no. This bride sounds horrible.

          • 100%, this bride is horrible. The sister is sweet, but naive and kind of dumb. For me, in this situation, the only way out is through.

      • WHAT. You absolutely CAN back out of this wedding. If anyone gives you crap, you say that they picked a dress that didn’t fit you, and you chose to back out rather than go naked. Managing to get the dress to zip is the litmus for whether a dress fits you.

        I’m a size 12 hourglass and there’s no shapewear in the world that can get a 8-10 dress to look flattering on me. There’s no shame in being replaced by a “skinnier friend” in a relative’s wedding.

      • Take it with you to a department store or specialty shop that has lots of shapewear options. The right shapewear will depend on how the dress is fitting. Like if it’s snug in the waist but ok through the hips and bust, then a corset might work. But if it’s snug everywhere then you can’t wear a corset – corsets just push everything in the middle up and down. You might be able to do one of those full body things, but they’re not going to make you a full dress size smaller, they’ll just hold everything in place better.

        Also these people sound awful.

      • Grow some self respect and don’t do this.

      • They seem very appearance focused. You can use that! Any desire to dye your hair a non-natural colour? Shave your head? Do something outlandish and get yourself kicked out of this wedding! Then the bride is the bad guy!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          Oooh I did this when I was going to be the bridesmaid at a wedding … well more like I just reminded the bride that in addition to being twice the numerical size of her bridesmaids, I was also sporting a big ol’ shoulder tattoo (and would be a few months postpartum so my body would be ???). We came up with another way for me to support her — one that didn’t involve sticking out like a sore thumb, or trying to dress a rapidly changing body.

      • anon a mouse :

        Wow. I’ve heard of a lot of bad brides but one who dumps her larger friends for the sake of a small dress is right up there.

        If you must participate, I suggest making it clear that you don’t agree with that, and changing as soon as pictures are done. And definitely pack safety pins/double sided tape/a spare outfit in case you accidentally bust a seam (bridesmaids dresses are not known for their stellar workmanship anyway).

      • “maybe that would be a good motivation/push for us all to lose a few lb’s and look our best for the wedding.”

        What the what.

        I am not even really onboard with brides going on pre-wedding diets (unless it is the impetus for health motivated lifestyle changes). Members of the wedding party do not need to lose weight for the event, FFS!

        • I was maid of honor in a wedding once – became maid of honor when the previous MOH was demoted to bridesmaid and then kicked out of the wedding, if that tells you anything. When I accepted the “honor,” the bride provided me with a diet and workout plan with a request to lose a minimum of 20 lbs before the wedding, as well as a helpful choice of acceptable hair colors – as mine at the time clashed with her wedding aesthetic.

          I went along with it, but eventually got back at her when the best man and I left right before the ceremony took place, but after the photos. Needless to say, we are no longer friends.

          So OP … I feel you. Some weddings you just can’t get out of. Or maybe you can (I did)! Hang in there.

          • Wait, you decided to acquiesce to all of the demands just so you could leave right before the ceremony to get back at her? You both sound terrible.

      • OMG. The things we do. I get it, though. Sometimes it’s just easier to do the things. I like SPANX. For this I would wear the bicycle shorts that go up above the waist and down to the knee.

      • Veronica Mars :

        I’d recommend going to the seamstress in addition to shapewear. The reason being, a very tight dress will not only get progressively more uncomfortable the longer you wear it (no duh), butt also pose a significant risk for your passing out if it’s hot during the wedding, or, even more pleasant, making it impossible to eat because it’s constricting your diaphragm and preventing your stomach from stretching. Leading to vomiting. Lots of vomiting. Don’t ask me how I know.

      • Even if you get shapewear etc….. could you have another wedding appropriate dress that you could change into after the ceremony / pictures so that you don’t have to suffer the whole day?

      • I understand your point of view. In addition to shapewear, I would take the dress to a seamstress to see if she can let out the dress at the side seams. I had this done recently, and the dress looked perfect – you could not tell it had been let out. But it added over 2 inches of fabric around my body, and made the dress fit better by looks and comfort. Unfortunately, it did cost a good bit b/c there were several layers (~$150). But it was my own fault b/c I ordered a size smaller for the motivation to lose weight. Didn’t work.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        When the dress was selected, back in June, the bride and MOH suggested that although the dress only comes in small sizes, maybe that would be a good motivation/push for us all to lose a few lb’s and look our best for the wedding….

        What the actual f*ck is that even? I would not care if this was my own mother’s wedding, I would absolutely not be a part of the wedding party. Because this is a woman that will complain afterwards how your refusal to starve yourself down to an “acceptable” size absolutely *ruined* her wedding pictures. Wait for it.

      • Wow. I suggested above that you take the dress to a department store and try on a bunch of different shape wear.

        I know these people are unreasonable, but you might ask the bride if you could change for the reception (or just do it without permission). For my wedding, one of my bridesmaids went to the store and tried on the dresses and ordered her size, only to receive a dress that was supposedly the size she ordered but was a size smaller than what she’d tried on. She wore the bridesmaids dress to the wedding and for photographs, then changed for the reception. (For the record, I would have been fine with her wearing a similar dress for the wedding, but she wouldn’t have been comfortable wearing something different or standing out.)

        • Anonymous :

          I think the problem is that if the OP backs out, then the bride can blame her forever (basically) for ‘choosing’ not to participate in the bride’s wedding. Maybe I am wrong?

      • So, I once ordered a bridesmaid dress that was too small by accident and, since I’m short, a good seamstress was able to take fabric from the hem to slightly widen the side seams (and you could not tell, she did a great job), so that’s something to consider in addition to shapewear.

        Though if it were me, I’d probably pull out of being a bridesmaid on PRINCIPLE because this is so very, very unacceptable. I had bridesmaids that ranged from tall and skinny to short and plus-sized (with the other two sort of distributed in between) and we found a line that ran into plus sizes, went with chiffon dresses because they were more forgiving, and they each got to pick their own neckline/cut (it was also black dresses so they’ve all since reused them). Picking a dress that part of your bridal party can’t fit into and then telling them to lose weight is *beyond* tacky. OMG.

      • Frozen Peach :

        Having been part of more than one wedding party akin to this one (great bride, horrible friends, or horrible family I can’t escape from), PLEASE LIVE BLOG WEDDING DAY with a feminist snark pov. I will trade you my horrible wedding party stories.

        • Anonymous :

          Please please please share anyway; my schadenfreude is at the max with terrible wedding stories. My favorite quick one: a friend’s friend’s wedding where the BROTHER of the bride sang “Your Body Is a Wonderland” by John Mayer during the ceremony.

      • I’m sorry you’re in this situation … I admire your grit. My advice to you is that shapewear doesn’t eliminate flesh, it only redistributes it. So I would evaluate the dress and your body and decide where you want to move things to be more flattering and then make your foundation garment decisions based on that. If you purchased the dress at a bridal shop, it may be helpful to work with (knowledgeable) dress consultant there, or with a seamstress who is used to working with undergarments and alterations. Good luck and may you maintain an optimal alcohol intake level through this. (if that is your thing)

      • Anonymous :

        I think you are going to need to try several options. In my experience, when I have used shapewear with fitted/tailored items that fit but are unflattering, I have found the shapewear actually moves things around such that the item no longer closes/zips, so I’m better off without.

        Also, the bride and MOH sound horrible and while I appreciate your desire for family harmony, and get the difficult spot you are in, I hope you don’t have to be subjected to these kinds of demands in the future or have to subject your (future?) children to this kind of attitude.

      • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

        “I’m a relative, not a friend, and for the sake of self-preservation at future family events, I cannot back out of this wedding at this point.”

        Oh yes you can. These people don’t deserve any respect since they are giving you none.

        But if you insist, I would see what a tailor could do to the dress – including taking material from the bottom. I was forced to buy and try to fit into a dress that wouldn’t fit me for a wedding too. The alterations cost tons of money, but it looked fine (as well as seafoam satin with ruffles on the butt can look) and kept the peace.

    • lawsuited :

      Shapewear slightly alters the distribution of flesh on your body to change how your body looks, it doesn’t change to size of your body. Shapewear will not help you fit into a dress that is a size or more too small. Call the bride TODAY and tell her the dress doesn’t come in your size so you can’t wear the dress to her wedding. Of course the dress is negotiable if the alternative is you being naked.

  21. Insurance Qs :

    I’m in the mind-numbing process of reviewing our insurance, and I’m wondering how to choose a deductible. What is the drawback of having a higher deductible, if you can afford to cover a loss less than that number? Say we will be able to cover a $2500 home loss, is there any reason to go with a lower deductible for our homeowners policy?

    Also: Talk to me about umbrella policies. We’re at a point in life where perhaps we should have one. Any insight there?

  22. There’s always good tips on vacations here so I’ll give this a whirl – heading to Banff/Canmore next month. Any suggestions for not extremely difficult hikes (am in good shape but not climbing to the top of a mountain) and other things to do/see would be greatly appreciated!

    • E Rock from the Block :

      There are so many amazing hikes off of the Icefield Parkway! I have posted a few links for you below:

      My #1 absolute MUST DO while you are there is a glacier hike on the Athabasca Glacier. The company Icewalks will provide you with crampons and will take you on a guided hike (about 3 miles total) of the glacier. It is such an incredible experience and you can only do this a few places in the world!

    • TorontoNewbie :

      Mt. Yamnuska is a great hike! Just read the trail description because at one point there’s a split in the path and you need to take it to the side and not straight otherwise you end up at the base of cliff with the hardcore rock climbers. It’s about 8-10km I think – a reasonable day. Last year there were a lot of bears and the trail was closed, so check that.

      I like Yamnuska and Tent Ridge particularly because they’re loops, so you don’t just end up backtracking. I think Tent Ridge is another 10km or so.

      3 sisters pass is a really good hike too. It’s a very iconic half-day hike if you’re looking for something shorter.

      Otherwise… Goat Creek Car Park has the Ha Ling peak hike and the East End of Rundle and those are pretty good.

      Banff is overrated. It’s pretty but it’s touristy and expensive and overly manicured. The hot springs are kind of fun but it’ll be crazy packed and I always find them a bit gross in the summer.

      . If you like mountain biking, there’s a really easy and fun trail between Canmore and and Banff you can do along the Goat Creek Trail (its about 20km).There’s also more advanced single track at the Canmore Nordic Centre.

      If you’re in the area, I’d suggest checking out lake louise! You can do an easy hike around the lake, or rent canoes and cross it.

      I’ve always wanted to do one of the day trip or overnight horseback tours in the area.

      • E Rock from the Block :

        We did the 6 day back country Equitrekking trip with Banff Trail Rides a couple years ago. I highly recommend it!

    • I just visited the Banff area last year and here are a few of the places we went:

      – Radium Hot Springs (or any in the area)
      – Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park
      – Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park
      – Maligne Canyon/River Hike, you cross ~6 bridges, gorgeous views
      – Lake Moraine rock scramble
      – Lake Louise – easy hike around the lake, or harder hike up to Lake Agnes (open seasonally, when I went last year in early June the snow hadn’t completely melted yet)
      – had some really pork belly good burgers at Block + Kitchen & Bar in Banff. I’m not a burger person but I was pretty annoyed I had to share this burger with my sister because I wanted to eat it all
      – Johnston Canyon and the Ink Pots (it was on our list but due to a freak storm it was closed that week)
      – Natural Bridge in Yoho National Park
      – Bow Summit at Peyto Lake

    • Grassi lakes :

      The grassi lakes hike just outside of Canmore. It’s perfect for a morning hike and 3.8 km.

  23. What do you consider the 1% by asset level? I have a friend who has several trust funds totaling more than 500K, but she just graduated and doesn’t have a job yet so she considers herself broke and is being incredibly miserly (always mentioning how expensive basic purchases like food are, wanting the absolute cheapest option of everything, etc.). Another friend said she wasn’t sure if Friend A was in the 1% because she isn’t working, but don’t assets at that level include you? And if so, shouldn’t you be a little less whine-y about the cost of living…

    • One could say you should be a little less whine-y about someone else’s financial situation. Good for her for wanting to make her own way in life and not wanting to spend money that she didn’t earn on luxuries like expensive food.

    • Whether or not someone has more money than you doesn’t dictate what sort of budget they want to live by. If you don’t want to listen to them whining tell them you don’t want to talk about money or something, but don’t judge them for being budget conscious. $500k is not going to last your friend her entire life and if she doesn’t have a job she’s right to be concerned about that fact.

    • 1% net worth in America is north of 10 mil. 20% net worth is around 1.1 million. You and your other friend should stay in your lane. You don’t know how her trusts are set up. Are they throwing off income now or can she not touch them now? And even that isn’t your business and you sound jealous. Reality is I lost a job when I had a NW north of 500k and it was stressful because I didn’t want to be selling stock and diminishing NW growth long term to pay the rent.

    • Stop counting the money in other people’s pockets. You have no idea what’s really going on. A recent grad being frugal? Sounds normal and none of your business.

    • If it’s in a trust fund, it’s likely that she’s not the only beneficiary and there are a lot of strings attached. So even if it is hers, it’s not like she has access to it. So I’d count it for maybe 20-50K/year maybe, which ain’t rich. Not bad for a recent grad with no job though, but it’s like having a big 401K or a lot of home equity (or a rich parent): it’s not spendable $ for you.

    • I’m sorry, but I can’t get past that your friend is whine-y about the cost of living when not working!!! That alone would make her no longer my friend because she is being ridiculous! (I’m assuming that she is not looking for a job, which it seems from your post. If not true, ignore.)

      I’m not sure that I have an asset level that I consider the 1%, or why that even matters to you, but I’m sure there is some outside research on it. Regardless, 500k total in assets, even trust funds that you can’t touch yet, make a huge difference in your life. If she has any school loans, that will pay them off and still leave a lot for a house down payment. Which seem to be two of the biggest stressors in my friends group.

    • Just because you have trust funds doesn’t mean you have access to that money. There is a person called a trustee who decides whether or not you can get a distribution from the trust, and the person who funds the trust often puts in place certain restrictions that the trustee has to adhere to when deciding whether or not to give the beneficiary money out of the trust, like you can only get money to pay for education or whatever. That’s one of the main points of a trust– it lets the person giving you the money retain some amount of control over it.

      Yes, it’s a little eye roll worthy that she’s acting like she’s in poverty. That said, I see lots of trust fund beneficiaries with permissive trustees who let them take out whatever money they want and blow it on whatever, and it’s actually a good thing that your friend is frugal. That should serve her well.

    • Uhhh I would say that I think it’s probably a good idea for someone who just graduated and doesn’t have a job yet to be “miserly” – more like trying to be responsible with no income?

      Maybe YOU should be a little less whine-y about your “friends”.

    • Flats Only :

      Your friend is being smart, not miserly. She is trying to live within her current income, which is apparently $0. By not spending her capital, she can leave it to grow and look forward to having it cover a house down payment, retirement, possible kids college educations, etc.

    • Maybe I wasn’t clear in my original post, but she is one of my best friends, we talk every day, including about finances, and she is well-poised to get a STEM job any day now. Maybe I am the only one who would be irritated when someone claims they can’t afford a new pair of shoes at Target for an interview when they’re sitting on that much money (which is fully accessible, not locked up behind a trustee anymore), but that’s how it is. My position is that it is insensitive to complain about very basic, frugal necessities when you are that wealthy.

      • If she’s one of your best friends, what exactly is so insensitive about her being honest about her feelings? It’s not like she’s showing up at the homeless shelter and asking for sympathy. I know 500k seems like a ton of money, and it is a lot (though honestly not even enough to buy a cr*ppy studio apartment in some places), but there’s nothing wrong with her for setting it aside and pretending it doesn’t exist. That’s a smart move. I know it’s not fair that some people have a lot of things handed to them, but try to remember that her having that fund isn’t taking it anything away from you or any of your friends.

        • +1 – if she doesn’t want to spend the money on a pair of shoes from Target while she is not currently earning income, that’s really her right. (And smart, if she’s trying to keep that trust fund $ for the future).

          And not that she asked for my advice, but if she had, I would have told her not to discuss her trust fund or NW with others, even “best” friends.

        • I see what you’re saying and most of the time our talks about money don’t bother me in the slightest (we talk about investing, cost of living in our relative cities, saving for travel, etc.), and I agree that it’s really good to live frugally and pretend the back-up doesn’t exist, but it’s the “ugh I’m so screwed, I can’t afford shoes for my interview” that I find really off-putting. I totally get not touching principal to protect the future, but when you have access to ample capital gains in a checking account, you CAN afford a pair of $20 shoes, you know?

          • Look I get where you’re coming from. It’s annoying. Idk if I’d call this virtue signaling? Or appropriation of some sort? Or plain ol tone deaf? There are lots of people who legit can’t afford shoes for an interview. Who will never get the kind of job that you need nice shoes to interview for because they face so many barriers to employment – many of which are rooted in financial issues. She will never know what that’s like. But she’s complaining “omg poorz” as if she’s just like everyone else who faces real financial difficulties, even though she’s sitting on a half million dollars. It’s borderline offensive. If she’s a very close friend then maybe tell her that she’s coming off super tone deaf and please don’t say this nonsense to anyone but you.

          • Anonymous :

            Nope. If she has decided it’s not in her budget, she can’t afford it under HER budget. It doesn’t matter what your budget would be if you were in her shoes.

            It may be annoying, but you don’t get to decide what’s in her budget.

          • Frozen Peach :

            Agree with Anon at 12:48. The “omgz I am so poor” moanings of my friends with over $100K in savings or net worth aside from their salaries irritate me beyond all measure. If I were not in my own extremely privileged employment/education position, I would find it unbearably offensive instead of irritating and something that makes me want to spend less time around them. Especially since I have, in fact, not having their familial and other safety nets, have once had to borrow that $20 for the interview shoes.

            And lemme tell you, after that, hearing someone saying she can’t buy the $20 shoes when she has immediate access to over six figures IS offensive, and it doesn’t make me think, wow, my friend is so wise and frugal. It makes me think wow, my friend is tone deaf and clueless to her own privilege, and doesn’t appreciate the circumstances of the vast majority of humans on our planet, including me.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m with you. I have a friend who comes from (what I consider) a lot of money and I come from the opposite end of the spectrum. She regularly complains to me about money issues and it grates on me. The truth is she has no idea what it feels like to really have money problems– I grew up with my family literally running out of money for gas and toothpaste, she grew up with several vacation homes and a fancy private school. She has every right to be frugal but it is annoying when she frames it as “poor me”!

      • Point is if she thinks she shouldn’t be spending on shoes when not working, then she shouldn’t. Doesn’t matter that you think she should spend bc OMG 500k. You’re still jealously counting her money. You’re the exact reason why people shouldn’t share finances — bc you’re judging.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Maybe your friend is taking it to extremes, but I agree with everyone else that generally she is quite wise. She has no job at the moment and why on earth would she squander her capital rather than do whatever she can to preserve it?

        I think you would do well to stop having discussions about finances with her because apparently your jealousy is getting the best of you.

        • Frozen Peach :

          I do not think it’s wise to not buy a $20 pair of necessary shoes for a job interview, when you have ample ability to purchase them, in the name of frugality and protecting your principle. And whining about that to people who know you can buy them, and don’t have the same kind of resources (and might, hey, actually have that as a genuine problem instead of a virtue/being frugal conundrum) IS offensive.

        • It isn’t a jealousy thing – I don’t have as much money as her, but I’m very financially comfortable and I tend not to get jealous about other people’s money anyway (career prestige and body size are another story, but so it goes). It just feels grating and off for me (as a pretty privileged woman) to sit there and validate an even more privileged woman’s “I’m literally too poor to buy shoes, I’ll never get a job” when the solution is RIGHT. THERE. and so obvious/tone deaf to people who actually can’t afford a $20 purchase. Maybe she’s not officially in the 1%, but to have access to a huge trust fund and no student loans in a LCOL state where she could buy a house in cash tomorrow simply isn’t the same as someone living in grinding poverty.

          • Anonymous :

            Then you shrug and say “Sounds like a pickle” and move on. For whatever reason, she doesn’t see the same solution that you do, and yes, you don’t have to entertain the complaint. But you are still spending a lot of mental energy trying to live her life for her (ie, judging her decisions, whether they be good or bad). Even if you are good friends, it’s not your job to school her on her privilege if you don’t want to. And even if you want to – I think you get to say something once (“Seems like buying shoes, so you can go on an interview and get a job would be a worthwhile investment”) and then you redirect afterwards.

            On the otherhand, maybe she’s feeling nervous about the interviewing process and deflecting by focusing on the need for new shoes (which she doesn’t need in reality), as a way to lower exceptions for when she doesn’t get whatever job she interviews for. Shrug – it’s a pickle.

          • Anonymous :

            So then don’t validate her. *shrug*

    • She sounds smart not to blow through her $500k and try be reasonably frugal. Dumb people look at trust funds as things to raid.

  24. Ladies with middle schoolers–

    I have two adorable middle-school aged neighbors who aggressively “babysit” my pre-school aged children, giving me a huge break ( which I love and so do they!)

    Wanted to get them a little back-to-school gift. Small-ish, nothing crazy, like $10-15 each. One will be in 6th grade (a new middle schooler!) and kind of quiet/awkward, and the other in 8th, very small-town teenager. What’s a “cool mom” gift that’s not cash, candy, or food?

    I was thinking locker magnets, fun pens, maybe a cool notebook?

    • Target gift cards and they can pick what’s cool? Whatever you think is cool as a 40 yr old mom may not be what middle schoolers are using. If you want an item — cool pens; also a nice journal/assignment book based on the school yr calendar but while I loved those in Sept as I resolved to write down all my HW and schedule my life, by Nov it was barely in use and this was the 90s. Now I imagine everyone uses an iPhone to tell them to read chapter 5 in social studies.

    • Temporary tattoos (Tattly makes fun ones, though you can also sometimes find super cheap ones at Target) are a huge hit for my BFF’s kids who are that age
      Fun pens as you said
      Nail polish samplers (with a bunch of small bottles in different colors)

    • From the little I know about Middle School kids, trends come and go very fast! Do you know the parents well enough to ask for specific likes?
      Some trends I’ve heard through friends:
      6th Graders:
      – fidget spinner
      – locker decorations
      – fun pencils and erasers
      8th Graders:
      – cell phone decorations
      – nail polish (parent approved)
      – journal

      • Be sure their schools actually have lockers before you buy locker decorations. None of the schools in my area have them.

    • Housecounsel :

      Really cool, fun school supplies? Locker decorations? I am a mom of a sixth grader and she would like that. She would also like grown-up looking clothes – her big sister just got her some very distressed jean shorts and a graphic tee and she thinks they’re awesome. What about a t-shirt featuring the local sports team or even their school?

    • My middleschooler loves notebooks. She’s big into drawing.

    • Anonymous :

      Ask their mom.

    • Gel pens or Flair pens :

      A set of multi-colored gel or Flair pens. Huge hit with that crowd and older!

  25. I get a lot of these types of calls, and I let them go to voicemail. On the off chance that I pick up the phone when they call, if it’s someone I have no interest in conducting business with, I just say no thank you. If it is somebody I might be working with, I let them know that email is a better way to get a hold of me since I’m away from my desk most of the time (true, plus I HATE unnecessary phone calls), and deleting an email feels less personal than trying to extricate myself from a salesy phone conversation I don’t have time for. It also means I have any communication from them in writing. You’re under NO obligation to give them time outside of a short phone call or email. Honestly, they’re used to rejection.

  26. It’s been a few months of generally feeling sad. To be fair, there’s been a lot going on (unexpected surgery with three weeks recovery, not getting promoted, etc.) — but my malaise isn’t tied specifically to any one thing. More like a daily, “Ugh, here we go again.” Is this depression? How do I know if I’m depressed?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I can’t answer your last two questions. Maybe others will chime in. But I go through weeks/months of feeling…bored…for lack of a better term. Not bored with each individual day, but bored with life/routine. In that situation, I find ways to make each day a little different than the day before. (I read about this somewhere, can’t remember where.) I take a different route to/from work than I normally do – even if it costs time and/or money. I buy a different kind of coffee at the grocery store. I pair pants and blouses that are different from what I typically choose. I make a new recipe for dinner. Etc. It really does help, surprisingly. Good luck.

    • What if instead of trying to figure out whether you’re actually depressed, you went ahead and spoke to a mental health professional? I feel like there’s absolutely nothing to lose here and everything to gain. Maybe you’re depressed. Maybe you’re blue. But you can certainly stand to benefit from a sympathetic ear and some coping strategies.

    • My therapist has talked to me about this – the difference between acute major depression, which is what we think of, where you expect to be crying all the time or something. But most people don’t present like that. If your mood is at a point where it’s impacting your life – like you decide not to do things because “eh why bother” or you just can’t think of anything you’d like to do that would make you happy etc., then it doesn’t really matter what your clinical diagnosis is, your mood is impacting you.

      I’d talk to your PCP about this – they may be able to get you started on a low level SSRI and also recommend a therapist to talk to near you.

    • Whether it’s general malaise or mild depression, you should talk to a therapist, which is a form of treatment in and of itself. You don’t necessarily need to label yourself as depressed or jump to any form of medicine (especially if it is really like you characterized as long term mild sadness – the benefits to the medicine often doesn’t really outweigh the potential side effects until you get to moderate or severe depression).

    • Anonymous :

      I reached a point in my life when I no longer saw hope. I no longer felt that anything would get better and that I needed to take like one hour or even ten minutes at a time because finding the strength to continue was so hard. I am working a day at a time now. I urge you to seek help before you reach the point I did, even if you aren’t depressed you deserve to feel better than just not depressed.

  27. I called in a nonemergency call to the police today regarding a family member who had been threatening self harm and deteriorating over the last month (massive weight loss and deterioration of mental health). It’s gojng to cause some ripples in the family for sure so I’m
    Driving my coffee and preparing for everyone to yell at me any minute now. Going to be an even worse day than I expected.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      You did the right thing. Do not second guess yourself, even when your family reacts. Sending you hugs!

    • Good for you for doing what was needed.

    • You did the right thing. Any way you could be “at a bachelor e t t e party” or similarly unavailable this weekend?

      • Anonymous :

        I live half a country away and basically only get news from home when everything is terrible and they need someone to emotionally dump on.

        In all fairness the situation is bad and it sounds like it has been very, very bad for some time. I would say that family is doing their best but the situation from what I’m hearing is not something they can manage any more or at the least I need someone independent to say that things are okay. I think that sometimes people with good intentions think they can care for others and it can get very nasty very quickly. We all need help and breaks and sometimes we just aren’t physically or mentally able to help others and our community supports need to step in and take charge.

        I know all that but know my family will be enraged with me.

    • Oh no! That’s super tough but you did the right thing!

    • Veronica Mars :

      Hugs. You did the right thing.

    • Hug. It is a good day, because you had the courage to do the right thing.

    • Anon 4 This :

      Hugs. We did this for my MIL last month. I empathize, and want you to know you did the right thing.

    • Hugs. You did the right thing.

    • Anonymous :

      Update 1 – one parent is completely enraged, have blocked him to get some work done.

  28. Panda Bear :

    Testing! My replies to comments keep seem to keep disappearing into the ether…

    • Mine too. But they reappear later. It’s moderation hell. Kat, can something be done? It’s been way worse than usual. To the point that there is very little point to having a conversation here.

  29. Thanks to everyone who responded to my comment yesterday about my terrible habits cleaning up after myself when I get undressed at the end of the day. I’ve been so embarrassed about this I didn’t think I would get any responses! I feel hopeful and will implement some of the tips you suggested!

  30. I’m going out of town for a job interview tomorrow, so I decided to reach out to some other places I had applied to see if I’d be able to chat with someone ect. ect. I was able to land another formal interview (yay!), and I’m also getting coffee with a woman who was the point of contact with an employer. I have not gotten a direct rejection from this employer yet, so I’m wondering how I should take this coffee meeting. I’m going to prepare for it slightly like an interview (do my research on the person I’m meeting with, bring an extra resume…) but for formalities, how should I act myself? Should I “sell” myself like I would in an interview? In my email reaching out, I said I was still interested in the position and was not told it was already filled. I’m hoping to get something from this trip so I want to stay on my game and be prepared for it all! Thanks for any advice.

    • It is at least an Informational Interview but maybe not yet a Job Interview — come with your resume on paper, and your talking points, but most of all a lot of questions for your interviewee about the firm, position, what they’re looking for, etc. They might want to run the show (ask the questions) or they might want you t0 – be open and ready! Sounds like you are!

  31. I realize how wide open/without details this question is but maybe we can get some salary ranges. How much would you expect to be paid at a plaintiffs side employment firm in NYC? I’m talking a small shop owned by 1-2 people, employing 5 associates, that would bring on someone with a decade of experience (related but not exactly) as a counsel or something akin to a partner role (so some salary and some money based on bringing in business). I have zero frame of reference. Would you expect at least 100k or 150k or unlikely?

    • Anonymous :

      Highly unlikely. I would expect some minimum-wage-level salary ($50k) plus some percentage of eat-what-you-kill, meaning a percent that your partners actually collect on the hours you bill and/or the work you bring in.

    • Anonymous :

      It really, really depends. Plaintiff’s firms run the gamut and it may depend on how the current year is going. That’s the right range for my slightly larger DC firm.

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