Thursday’s Workwear Report: Polka Dot Cardigan

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

This polka dot cardigan at White House Black Market caught my eye recently, and I think it’s a very cute look. The banded waist is a flattering style, and polka dots are very in right now. It’s available in regular and petite sizes for $79, and it comes in XXS–XL. They do have a bunch of other polka dot things, including a clutch, pumps, and reversible camisolePolka Dot Cardigan

In plus sizes, WHBM has a polka dot blouse and polka dot blazer, among other offerings.

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  1. Ouch that hurts! :

    Just got the Betty Ottoman dress from Boden. While I love it, how do I put a third/completer piece on the dress? The collar seems hard to work with but I really DO need another layer in my office year round. Sending link in separate post. TIA!

    • Pashmina/wrap maybe? You could wear it more on your elbows to avoid the collar.

    • For that, I say some nice jewelry – maybe a large bracelet or some longer earrings. The neckline/collar doesn’t lend well to necklaces.

      Also, I really wish it went to a larger size because I love it!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t think a dress like that needs a third piece. It stands on its own.

      • Ouch that hurts! :

        Im slowly coming to the realization. But it’s so cold in my office!

        • Anonymous :

          Beck Sondergard makes fantastic wool/silk wraps. That’s what I use year round b/c I work in some place so cold I ought to call OSHA.

        • Anonymous :

          Wear a camisole or undershirt under it.

        • I have been wearing Uniqlo heat tech and air sim shirts (long or short sleeve) under all kinds of tops and dresses lately and in general they do not show through and provide some extra warmth. Also great for shells because they protect the layer over the shell.

    • Are you looking for a completer/third piece because you think the dress isn’t enough or because you get chilly? If it’s the former, I agree some statement jewelry could help. Also heels/flats would be more formal than boots.

      • Ouch that hurts! :

        Chilly! I usually wear Alexis Bittar earrings and a bracelet or brooch. Always wear heels at work. I’m always in front of clients every day. But Chilly!

        Do you think I could choose a color coordinating long sleeved tank like Anon suggested? I’m worried about bulkiness …. I’m an hourglass… I can’t wear blouses under dresses like Kat so often suggests …

        This dress has short sleeves; I need to wear another piece one way or the other. (No client ever sees me in short sleeved garments.) I think it might look strange with the dress and “only” long sleeves showing.

        Maybe I’m not imagining the correct suggestion?

        • Then maybe you need to return the dress.

          Some dresses look best uncovered. This is such a dress.

          No client sees you in a short sleeved dress? Return it.

          You will ruin the top of the dress and the neckline by covering it.

          • I agree on returning it (or keeping it for personal use). I don’t wear less than 3/4 sleeves to work so I get the need for longer sleeves, but I don’t see how any cardigan or blazer would work with this dress and I don’t think a wrap would be appropriate for wearing when meeting with clients (and would get in the way).

          • Agreed. Wait until it’s warmer to wear this dress.

        • I think the diretrice would put a blouse under this that had a Nehru collar, or a collarless style. I can see that looking cute. Otherwise I’m with the people who say a wrap or a shawl in your office, but probably not with clients.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          An open blazer could work. It will hide some of the detailing of course but it would work.

        • KateMiddletown :

          I feel like I’ve seen a long sleeve or 3/4 version of this dress before – maybe poke around to see if it exists?

    • I typically do a light layer under rather than over.

    • This dress will look fantastic with a collarless boxy cropped blazer. I have a couple I use exactly for the purposes of letting tops or dresses with interesting necklines shine and still staying warm.

  2. Ouch that hurts! :

  3. Going back :

    2 years ago, my contract with Fortune 100 company A in country A was terminated after a restructuring and I got a fat check as I declined to join another role which was a bit of a rollback for me.
    I am now job hunting again after a stint in MBB in country B and looking to relocate in country C.
    My career coach just suggested I try to go back to company A but in country C (my target landing geography) and see if they have any openings not necessarily in the job function I held before.
    This almost feels like being married, divorcing and getting a fat check, being in an exciting relationship and when it fails, going back to ex-husband.
    Part of me thinks there were reasons besides the restructuring as to why I left, but another part is thinking that the company itself was amazing, it’s only in the first country that they were messed up.
    Also, while I didn’t burn many bridges, I just don’t want to reach out to my former horrible team in company A though many have left over the years. Can I reach out to new people in the company and cite that I used to work there?

    • How many years has it been? How big is Company A? I’ve worked at companies where far crazier things happen: where people regularly laid off, given a severance, then re-hired less than a year later, in a higher role for more money.

      if you’re talking about a company with hundreds to thousands of employees, this is Totally No Big Deal At All, unless you’re in the C-suite. Even then, it happens.

      • +1 My BIL has been laid off at least 3 times from the same company, given a year severance and then hired back at a higher rate just before the year is up

      • Going back :

        Oh wow! good to know. It’s massive and they lay off people every 2 years. Time to dust off the Rolodex!

  4. There was a brief article on Tatler about how the Beckhams are becoming posh (in the British sense).
    I come from a very underprivileged background (developing country, ethnic issues etc.) and moving to a very posh neighborhood (South Kensington) in London. At this point in my life, I can afford to live there and am financially comfortable though not wealthy. Can anyone recommend blogs or resources to learn how to be posh? I am aware that needing to interact with HNW clients in London, I will have to overcome some barriers and I am up for it.

    • Anonymous :

      Not London/UK, but The Preppy Handbook and its sequel, True Prep?

      They are funny and not how-to books. But will help you crack the code.

      • American here and I disagree as to the helpfulness of those books (which, as far as I understand it are satirical anyway). Being preppy is not the same thing as being a posh Brit. Class distinctions in the UK are their own beast and not directly transferable to the American context.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, British posh is miles above USA prep.

          • I’m curious — other than TV imports, I have no insights into this. How so? More smoking? More skiing? Something that I’d recognize as a total outsider?

          • I am in BigLaw and we have a London office. I’ve met the heavy-hitters there and I think that they strike me as British first (so not sure what is particular Brit-posh about them (they may not really be truly posh for all I know)).

            They seem to be better dressed. The Paris office is the best for well-attired / well-accessorized (both genders), followed by Milan. But that also seems to be true up and down the ranks (like we are usually so sloppy-casual that our main corporate guy might get shown the door overseas).

            TL;DR: I am no help at all.

          • British posh often means actual aristocracy and very old money.

          • No. Not more smoking or skiing. More inaccessible. Less about money. More about status and family.

          • That sounds very preppy.

            The old cars. The worn sweaters (of 6-ply cashmere).

            It’s so quiet it whispers (but it doesn’t even do that, you just recognize it when someone brings out gran-mere’s pearls).

          • I’m an american so take this with a grain of salt but i think that in the US people may sneer at “new money” but it only takes one generation to get past it. Grandfather was poor, Daddy was new money, but you’re just wealthy. Because that’s our culture. Anyone can pull them up by the bootstraps and become a self made billionaire (or at least that’s the myth)

            I think it takes longer in British culture, if you can ever get there. This is a culture built on bloodlines. You can’t change your bloodline. And families are friends for generations. Outsiders can become drinking friends, hanging out friends (sloooowly) but you’ll never be an insider.

            I don’t mean to be the voice of doom and gloom. I just don’t think you should even try to fake being “posh”. They’ll see right through it. Just be your smart, charming, capable self and wow them with your talent.

    • Anonymous :

      But honestly, everyone loves an up-by-the-bootstraps story. Be comfortable in your own skin, but see this like anthropology where you are observing another particular culture.

      • Thanks, indeed, I never disguise my story. I beat many odds and will not downplay my ascension. But I am also aware that understanding the codes will make interactions a bit smoother. My professional success will depend on my ability to build a network in the first year so I am willing to invest in my social knoweldge.

    • Have you read watching the English? Good discussions of class! I’m in Scotland where things are quite different but I found it fascinating. I also listened to a podcast from the woman who runs school of Life about conversations.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I saw the blog Amid Privilege recommended here before but I haven’t spent much time on it. Link to follow to avoid Mod.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        One more thought. My law school had a book for students going on lunch interviews and the like. It talked about all kinds of upper class etiquette stuff that you might not know if you didn’t grow up in that background (I didn’t). I unfortunately don’t remember the title but maybe someone here does. Even if you are not a lawyer, the lessons would work for all kinds of class meshing situations.

        • Thanks, i’ll try to search around. I am moving into wealth management so should be similar to law in terms of client interactions

    • Anonymous :

      Houda you can’t! That’s the whole point of poshness. It’s only purpose is to exclude outsiders. The only way around it is to exist apart from it. By not trying to fit in but being confident in yourself, you rise above it. South Ken isn’t like so posh you’ll stand out on the street. London is an extraordinarily diverse cosmopolitan city.

      • OP here.
        Does anything suggest a lack of confidence? I apologize if my post triggered you somehow.
        I’m genuinely asking for resources because to me this is simply doing my homework and that usually works for me.
        I was not exposed to career women and sadly up to now haven’t seen any well-dressed woman to look up to but I learned here (in this community) to wear a sheath dress instead of overly casual clothing. It doesn’t mean I am not confident in my intellect or figure so fitting in with the right clothing is not a bad thing. In my head, the rest (table manners etc.) is similar.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know anything about poshness in the UK.

          It’s a US author, but maybe Madame Chic?

          Second Amid Privilege.

          And to have fun, maybe watch some AbFab episodes so you see what NOT to do :)

        • Anonymous :

          No. Nothing triggered me. What are you even talking about? You are an accomplished woman. You have manners. You will just the same never remotely pass for posh! It’s a waste of time trying.

          • Right because either you are aristocracy or your aren’t or you are unbelievable wealthy bc of old family money or you aren’t.

          • Yeah, I have to agree with this. I have kind of a weird class background (mom came from very low-income lower-class background–my fam on her side have some money now, but are still pretty redneck-y in the hunting + Baptist + NASCAR + also vacation homes in Florida sense; dad was never rich but came from very high-class background–private schools + polo + hunt breakfasts + I have grand-mere’s silver and furs and Hermes scarves). My parents weren’t together so I grew up around both classes, and I know how to carry myself around the old-money crowd. I can make the right kinds of conversation, I can use the forks, I can talk about traveling to the right places.

            But I’m still never going to pass as true old money, nor do I have any desire to do so. And I promise you that the fastest way to turn these people off is to pretend that you’re something that they’re going to know you’re not, within 30 seconds of meeting you. Be able to make conversation, know your etiquette, and conduct yourself appropriately for the setting that you’re in–but never, ever try to fake being what you’re not. It’s the kiss of death.

          • I really and genuinely thought she was just talking about etiquette–as you say, knowing how to carry herself, making the right kinds of conversation, using the forks, and talking about traveling to the right places.

            Of course it is good advice for all of us not to come off as a wannabe. But it isn’t like “how dare you, poshness is inborn, not acquired!”

          • I thought the same. I took it as wanting some information on how to avoid non-posh “tells” of daily work life that would give judgey posh people the opportunity to judge.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        If someone isn’t using their usually screen name, it’s usually for a reason. Even if regular readers can figure out who it is, I think it is incredibly rude to mention their usual screen name in a reply. It’s one thing to say you think you have more info from their prior posts and use that info in the context of advice. It’s another to “out” the poster to everyone and google.

    • I think you need to relax a little. You can’t learn to become ‘posh’ in the British sense. It is a sense of entitlement based on pedigree that is honestly… kinda shameful. And old-fashioned. And often very sexist and racist. Like, why would you want to be mistaken for this?

      Be polite. Be attentive to your clients. Do good work. If you need to socialize with them, become familiar with the haunts/hobbies/foods/wines if you must so that you can make conversation. But if you are working FOR them, you will never be accepted as one of them anyway, right?

      And the Tatler is just trying to sell magazines, mostly to to the non-Posh class. So please, do not use that as a guidepost.

      • Senior Attorney :

        The Tatler can sell me magazines any time! For some reason I hadn’t really come across it, but… OMG love. The best reading rec from this place since Garden and Gun!

    • In America, so this may be different in England, but I’d recommend reading etiquette books. Old money tends to have lots of unspoken rules that can be hard to discern.

    • OP here.
      Thanks all for the advice.
      My intent was to know where I can learn the right etiquette so that when I am in a business setting, I focus more on the discussion than whether the glass I am using was meant for wine rather than water.
      If I don’t wear something horrible and don’t butter a whole slice of bread instead of breaking it then people will have no distraction, this will allow me to shine with my intellect.
      I am glad many picked up my intentions rather than thinking I was going to go for “ethnic” wannabe double barreled toff. I do not believe in someone being inherently better than another because of their lineage (royalty, aristocracy or other); I have left that backwards thinking in my country thank you very much, I don’t need to adopt it elsewhere.
      And yes, someone trying to put a name on an anonymous post is petty but I guess many people have issues to deal with so I will leave them to their own.

      • It’s a great question. For dining situations – London will definitely have a dining etiquette school. Try one or two classes as different spots. Not that you don’t know the stuff already, but it becomes easier with practice. London has a varied cuisine but great to get tips on how to gracefully eat some of the more common menus.

        For attire – think Kate Middleton but professional – tidy not flashy, polished hair/nails/makeup. Classic well tailored clothes.

        For conversation/small talk – passing familiarity with political structure (e.g. role of Queen vs. Prime Minister), sporting events, educational system (e.g. names of ‘posh’ universities), and religious conventions is helpful. Majority religion is Anglican. You don’t have to be indepth on these issues but more posh conversation will generally assume a certain base level of knowledge so this will make it easier to follow conversations.

        Finally, and most importantly, take all these things with a grain of salt. Even perfectly ‘posh’ people aren’t perfectly posh all the time.

        • Anonymous :

          British here – familiar with “posh” but not of it. The above comments are spot on. Suggest you eat several times on your own in “posh” restaurants. One your own because it gives you an opportunity to observe customs – and you may be placed in a corner but insist on facing the main body of the room! And never fake it.

    • Reading the book “Snobs” by Julian Fellowes which referenced something called Debretts. I did a search on it and found its some sort of London finishing school that offers business related and relationship management classes. It might be what you are looking for.

      Also, reading Snobs has been pretty eye opening! I’m having to look up a ton of cultural references! It could also be helpful (albeit frustrating).

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        This article is helpful.

        I think that you can’t ever become old money – but it’s like a second language. If I learn French, it will never make me French – but it will allow me to communicate in that world. I can see how an etiquette class or something like it would give you fluency in the language so your inherent skills and brilliance can shine. good luck! Go get em!

    • I recommend the book “Class” by Jilly Cooper.

    • You might check out the movie “Match Point.” Jonathan Rhys Meyers breaks into a relationship with a British aristocratic family without lying where he came from (but about other things!).

    • KateMiddletown :

      Become Meghan Markle. That’s my only advice.

  5. Anonymous :

    First world problem, but: I received an especially large bonus this year. Most of it is going into my investment accounts, but I’d like to set aside $2,000 or so for something meaningful/a splurge. I’m just struggling on what to spend it on. I’m naturally extremely frugal/minimalist and pretty content with what I own. I don’t have any debt other than a car loan financed at an extremely low rate that I won’t pay off early.

    I scheduled a massage and body scrub at my favorite spa and will probably do a nice champagne brunch beforehand, but that will only be a couple hundred bucks. If you had a little money to blow on something nice for yourself, what would it be?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d buy jewelry or plane tickets

      • new job who dis :

        personally for me, it would be the David Yurman Continuance Ring with Milky Aquamarine (my birthstone)

        which I would then wear everyday
        : )

        • new job who dis :

          for the day I ever pay off my law loans… sigh!

        • Greensleeves :

          Also my birthstone, and I did not need to know that this existed because now I want it!!!

      • Baconpancakes :

        There’s a Ken and Dana Designs ring – the Selene- that I’d wear as a right hand ring. It looks like a branch embedded with tiny diamonds. *swoon*

        • new job who dis :

          o. m. g. I did NOT need to know about these rings. I want most of the ‘nature inspired’ section

          they are amazing !

    • Ouch that hurts! :

      A nice piece of jewelry I’d wear every day? A wonderful purse? Hand made boots to replace those I lost in a flood with Hurricane Harvey! (to never the kept on the floor again…)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’d probably go with a piece of really nice jewelry. It wouldn’t wear out or go out of style like shoes or a bag. If I didn’t lose it / break it, it could hypothetically stay in the family for generations. I’d think of my accomplishments when I wear it.

    • Anonymous :

      I would get a really nice bag (like, Mulberry or Chloe) or take a beach trip.

    • If you can’t think of something to spend it on now, why not put it in a special bank account until you do find something you really love and is worth the splurge. No buyers remorse that way and you’ll have fun dreaming of what to spend it on until you find the right thing.

      • In-House in Houston :

        I totally agree with Anon at 9:23 am…save it and wait until you find the perfect thing to buy. My wonderful hubby got me an Amazon Echo for Christmas that I didn’t want. So he sent it back and now I have a “credit” with him. While it’s just a few $100s, there just hasn’t been anything I really want and so I’m just waiting…. But on that note, I too am getting a hefty bonus and I’m buying us a new bed!! Ooh…maybe I’ll use the “credit” from my Christmas present and get some new bedding? I’m so glad I decided to comment because now I know what I’m going to do with the credit. Yay!!

      • Agree. If you don’t know how to spend it, it’s not worth spending right now.

      • +1. It’s okay to splurge, but don’t splurge on some random item you don’t even really want.

      • Agreed, you’ll know when you find something that you really want!

      • KateMiddletown :

        +1. Whenever I have splurge money that’s not enough for what I actually want, I hold off and look at more pictures of Birkins and Kellys.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have several pairs of “bonus” earrings that I wear regularly. Maybe diamond studs?

    • Anonymous :

      Diamond studs that I’d wear every day.

    • How do you like to spend your free time? I’d think about that. If you like to be at home, get a new cozy reading chair or a piece of art that will make you smile.

      If you like theater, splurge on a trip to NY (or London) with great tickets to a couple of shows.

      You could also think about renting an amazing house somewhere for a week/end and hosting some girlfriends for a getaway.

      Failing that: diamond jewelry is classic for a reason.

      • +1. I would totally get a reading chair and bookshelf, with a nice lamp, so I could have a cozy library corner in every house for the rest of my life. And every time I sat in it, I would smile at the memory of that year I kicked ass at my job.

      • Anonattorney :

        Definitely furniture. Those are the splurgy items I want the most these days. I would get a new bed, or a comfortable and pretty reading chair. Or a new couch. Or a nice piece of art.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      A lovely piece of jewelry to remind you of (what sounds like) a successful year.

    • It isn’t $2000 but I have a absolutely luxurious Ralph Lauren cashmere throw I use almost every night on my sofa. It’s amazing, we’ve already had it a few years, and I know we’ll have it many more.

    • If I came into some cash, I would get a Russian sauna and massage out in the finest spa in SOHO in New York City. There has been some great publicity for these spas, so I’d find the best, which costs BooCo dinero, but a girl can dream😀.

      Then I’d arrange a group date with my friends to a club in Nolita, where we can meet hot guys. We’d have great fun but would not pair off, and we’d finish the night at the 24 hour diner near Houston and 2nd Ave eating French toast with REAL maple syrup, not the cheap sugar syrup.

    • Travel for sure! Or I like the idea of buying my first real painting.

    • SplurgeDifferently :

      A charitable donation to Doctors Without Borders. Right now, they are on the ground providing medical aid to desperate Rohingya refugees.

  6. English / Scottish Ancestry :

    Hey y’all!

    We have been the U.S. forever, but like the Norma Rae (rural southeastern US) sense of forever, not like the Mayflower / Main Line / UES sense. My people are from England or Scotland, depending on which cousin you ask (and which ancestry / 23 and me test they took). Within England and/or Scotland, are there reliable ways to find out where your people are from (if they left centuries ago)?

    Sadly, this originated from a discussion about soccer teams and not wanting to commit to one b/c I have no early idea about where my ancestors / distant relatives and since people feel very strongly about such things, I couldn’t commit to Man U or Leicester City without knowing if it was the equivalent to rooting for Dallas in a room of Redskins fans.

    • Anonymous :

      Tracing your family tree is your best bet! Some names indicate heritage loosely too.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        My brother had a subscription for a couple of months to from somebody and managed to trace our tree back to someone coming over from England, so might try that (it was surprisingly not as far back in time as I thought it would be, though).

      • I think this is worth doing because it’s so interesting. But I don’t think it’s going to help you with your soccer team. I also have family from the us south (my dad’s side) and by the time you get four or so generations back, everyone came from different parts of England/Scotland/Ireland. Many of the trees die out or get unclear before the US. Some go back to the British isles (or Scandinavia because Vikings) but it’s not based on official records, for the most part, and you’re going to find a lot of other people’s patched together family trees that are based on family lore.

        TL;DR Root for the soccer team you like

    • Anonymous :

      So, I’m Canadian but my family is Irish/English/Scottish. My mom is really into genealogy and has tracked our ancestors back to the 1600s. A lot of church records are online these days. She found baptism, wedding, and death records in church archives. Also, Ellis Island has records of immigrants who passed through. Ancestry dot com is a really good resource as well.

      When it comes to football though, root for whatever team you want to root for, I don’t think it matters if your 6x grandfather was English or Scottish.

      • Anonymous :

        Yah this is not a thing. My rabidly Protestant relos baracked for the Rangers. I don’t.

      • Anonymous :

        I think that for many southerners, there is no Ellis Island-type record. So you may know that you are sort of English but you may not know if you are from Birmingham or London or Leeds or somewhere in Scotland or just a rural area (like someplace that has a duke or earl that maybe we heard about on The Tudors). It is all just a mystery. It’s not even that big of a country. Now I’m curious.

        • I’m curious as to why you think there are no records for Southerners. Unless your ancestors were Native Americans or were brought here against their will, everyone came from somewhere else, and I’m not clear on why some would have records and others not.

          • Anonymous :

            Like at most you know birth/death, but if you came over in the 1700s, you just got off a boat somewhere. There is no paperwork for that (maybe b/c you weren’t immigrating — from England / to England = why record that?). Maybe there are records if a person served in the army / got married / got baptized / died / owned land / went to prison, but we don’t really know where people are from (e.g., some people came to SC via the West Indies but probably somewhere in England before that).

            In my family, one cousin insists we are French. We are not from Louisiana and not Catholic (and not from a part of the SEUS with a big Catholic presence). I have no idea where this comes from but she is insistent. It’s not like there is proof somewhere that she is wrong.

          • Anonymous :

            A lot of the boat manifests still exist.

          • Anonymous :

            You can absolutely find records from sea voyages.

          • pugsnbourbon :

            To be fair to your cousin, Anonymous @ 9:44, there were Protestants in France who immigrated due to persecution:


            So it’s possible!

          • From pre-revolution? That is fascinating. How do you start? I live inland, so no boats / harbor records nearby. Hello, Charleston road trip :)


            Wow — had no idea this existed. I envy that people know this stuff about their people. I don’t (yet).

        • I’m in the middle of this process to apply to the DAR. I traced back to my revolutionary ancestor pretty easily through public records – church, newspaper articles, and gravestones (which are available on ancestry dot com). Once you get into the 1700s you can look around for other things that were happening in your ancestor’s town at the time. I was able to get from an ancestor in the USA back across the pond the American guy’s name showed up in a book titled something like “Genealogy of the founding families of [Smalltown, USA].”

    • Anonymous :

      The UK is odd for me b/c my knowledge about is is very historical (kings, wars) and/or tabloid-based (I do love me some Prince Harry stories). I don’t know what areas are like (other than W1 is the fancy zip code in London; Mayfair is too expensive for me to ever live there), where people left from to come to the US, etc. I deal with LIBOR every day, and have watched Downton Abbey, etc., but who knows what is real and what is supposed fluff about a bygone era?

      Pretty sure I am not descended from fancy people (otherwise: why leave?). We are the sort of basic rural people who were better off than many (everyone at least finished high school, some people were preachers and/or teachers). But it’s a big mystery (sorry, have gotten hooked on the Henry Louis Gates show about ancestry).

    • Timely, I was giving a lecture about Scottish national identity last night and Scots in the diaspora and football definitely featured in the discussion. I think there are people who would help you find out more about your ancestry, but don’t be disappointed if it turns out that your relations were from Glasgow rather than a highland croft.

      • Anonymous :

        Yikes — I have no idea what this is: don’t be disappointed if it turns out that your relations were from Glasgow rather than a highland croft

        Is one good? One bad? In which case, which one?

        I may be from here (or England — we aren’t sure), and cannot get over that I have so little sense of the place. Or of who we are (so much for that “strong personal narrative” NYT article linked to yesterday).

        Half of the high schools in my area seem to have teams near the Highlanders (which makes total sense for a place with no hills that is maybe 100 feet above sealevel).

        • I think people have quite a romantic image of their Scottish ancestors living off the land, somewhere up north when many emigrated from the cities. Neither is good or bad but it’s sometimes a bit disappointing for people who had a specific idea in their head. Glasgow gets a bad rap but the grid layout appeals to my American sensibilities.

          • We’ve been people who hunt game here and farm for so long and I’m the silly one who ran off to a Big City. But that would be funny if we were really descended from City People. It’s in our blood, y’all!!!

          • Also, many of those people were rural folk a few generations earlier – there were waves of migration first to the cities, and then out of the country. Not all, but a good portion.

          • Never too many shoes... :

            CB, I have so never understood that.

            Having lived in Scotland, Glasgow is my favourite Scottish city. It is aesthetically so gorgeous and the people are wonderful. Hot take, Edinburgh is kind of boring and stiff to me.

          • Never too many shoes: I know! I live in Edinburgh and like it (although I think it caters to tourists rather than those of us who actually live here) but there is something warm and a bit more interesting about Glasgow. Aberdeen on the other hand…ugh!

          • Wow — so you know if you have a tartan?

            We are supposed to be sort of Scottish. Who knows?

            Is it OK to wear Royal Stuart (b/c we have no tartan; I have a friend who does and it is on Every.Christmas.Card.Ever.)? Or is that what they tell the tourists in the kilt shops? If we have a tartan, I hope it’s a colorway that I like.

          • Tartan as most people mean it (kilts etc) was pretty much invented in the Victorian era by an Englishman. The thing that was priscribed was clan badges.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Not to go completely off topic, but CB, Aberdeen is where I went to University. It has some certain charms, kind of.

      • Anonymous :

        Are there places in England/Scotland that help Americans figure this out? B/c I would totally have that be my “I got a bonus” splurge this year.

        I’ve been to England once and went to Westminster Abbey, etc. Next time I’d like to see where my people are really from.

        • Anonymous :

          I don’t know if some kind of paid service exists but it’s absolutely doable on your own. Trace your family tree, track down church records, put in the legwork. I’ve visited graveyards where my ancestors are buried. It’s pretty cool.

        • The National Register of Scotland and I think the English/Welsh General Register do certificates but you’d likely need a name. The Scotland’s People site is run by the NRS.

      • Ha, my mom always loved to talk about our Scottish ancestors. Except we don’t actually have any. It turns out that the whole thing stemmed from the fact that the novels of Sir Walter Scott were very popular in the antebellum south, and one of my mom’s ancestors thus gave all her children names from Rob Roy. We’re essentially 100% English (I’ve traced our family history back to the late 14th century).

    • This is what is for! Thank the LDS church. It’s not wholly complete, but if you are of Anglo ancestry, your chances are pretty good. As others said above, there are ship manifests, records of indenture, marriage, birth, and death certificates that much of this information can be gleaned from. Ie – people born in the UK but married in the US will generally have to write their place of birth on the marriage certificate.

    • So I’m a pretty serious amateur genealogist (I do research for friends on request). is going to be your best bet. Just start with your grandparents and go from there.

      The problem you’ll run into in the rural south that you wouldn’t necessarily run into in the north is literacy and poverty rates. My northern family – distinctly working class – were literate and able to put food on the table in the 1800s. Contrast that with my husband’s very rural southern family where they were dying of common nutritional deficiencies and were illiterate as late as the 1930s. (I am not at all stereotyping southerners – my family shifted south over the years and I was born and raised southern.) I bring this up to explain the difference in records – my northern family has Bible records, church records, small town newspaper clippings, etc that simply don’t exist for my husband’s southern family. This is where local libraries can come in handy – they often have books or notes that were written up by some curious relative in the 1950s – 1980s that cover the lives and oral history of those who weren’t literate or who never thought they were important enough to bother writing anything down about. Local libraries’ genealogy materials are almost never online, so it does mean a visit to that small town.

      And ditto the poster who said there aren’t Ellis Island records for many southerners. Ellis Island didn’t open until 1892, and the UK immigrants who settled the south largely arrived in the 1700s. That means you’re looking for ship’s manifests, etc, and poorer people may not always appear.

      A word of caution about As it’s gotten more popular, casual users are making careless mistakes when assembling their trees and results can get pretty squirrelly. For that reason, be very careful about accepting other users’ trees as your own – make sure their trees are backed up with lots of sources before importing their data. For example, in my husband’s line, there was a couple in the 1800s named John and Anna X and they had 4 children. I can’t tell you how many other users’ trees had a census record for John and Anna X who had the right number of children at the right time and even the right county, but were the wrong race. Not every hint Ancestry is going to give you is going to be correct, so you’ll need to use some critical thinking about what you’re reading.

      Southern immigration follows a very common, almost universal pattern. Arrive in Virginia and settle down for a generation or two. By the mid-1700s, Virginia is getting pretty expensive and all the good land is taken, so younger sons move south to the Carolinas. In the later-mid 1700s, you see people start to push into Tennessee and Georgia. By the early 1800s, you have – again – those younger sons moving south and west for their own chance at land and wealth further into GA and TN and into AL. By the 1830s, you have the early towns cropping up in the non-coastal areas of AL and MS. So if you can’t find your ancestors in the place they were, look at the state that came before in this immigration pattern. Also, southern families have a habit of once they stop somewhere, that’s it, so if you’re from the Carolinas, you’ve likely been there for generations; if you’re from MS, you’ve likely been there for generations. For example, my husband’s family arrived in the Carolinas in the mid-1700s and have literally never left. His family has been in the same *county* since 1760. Kind of wild to think about…and super helpful to genealogists ;)

      Good luck! I hope you have fun and that this was helpful! Happy to answer any questions :)

      • This is awesome! We are from eastern NC (near ECU) and have been there forever.

        I did 23 and me b/c it was more scientific, but will give ancestry a try b/c this is really interesting now.

        • FYI – with you can trace your genealogy via written records. Ancestry DNA is a separate offering from the same company and gives you a broad overview (similar to 23 and me, I believe) of your origins (Eastern Europe X%, Subsaharan Africa Y%, etc.). You can choose to do one, the other, or both, depending on what you want to get out of it.

      • Hello other genealogist! I agree on Ancestry. I have a really extensive family tree file going back hundreds of years on both sides of my family, all sourced from primary materials (or noted as “tentative”), and I won’t post it on ancestry and the like because I don’t want to just give the info away. A lot of what I see on there is not correct.

        • It is correct-ish? Or can you tell (or with minimum diligence)?

          I am in the DAR (thanks retired great uncle who was into this and has the papers for at last one side of my family) but want to poke around a bit more and see where we are really from if that is possible. But I don’t want to buy into the “we’re descended from Charlemagne” stuff or anything else that may not be real.

          * tons of people are actually descended from Charlemagne; although many more people are descended from Ghengis Khan (we’re all royal — yay)

          • I’m the Anon at 10:16. It’s not that Ancestry is full of nonsense, but you want to watch for primary sources – the family Bible, the ship’s manifest, the library book, etc. And of course, reading the census records carefully to make sure you’ve got the right family. Lots of casual users just import anything into their tree and then those get duplicated, so it looks like George is John’s dad because you see it so many places, but when you check the records, you find Andrew. If you can find the first user who posted something, you can often message them and ask them where they got it / what they think about your Andrew.

            It’s important to note that for some families, there really won’t be records and you’ll have to use a little best guessing. For my husband’s illiterate and poor ancestors, there are often gaps in the records, so you have to do some sleuthing and connecting dots and accept that you may not ever be able to find out. (He’s from the other side of the Carolinas in the mountains.) In his case, I’ve been able to piece some things together from the brother who somehow made it big and died very wealthy, and there’s a ton of stuff on him – sometimes you have to trace siblings and cousins to get to that next generation back.

            PS – hi other genealogist at 10:27! :)

          • 1027 anon here. Yes, what Anon at 11:15 says. I can tell the relatives are different and can back it up from my primary source documents (“. . . that’s not a brother on the 1910 Census. . .” but a casual observer wouldn’t have those records and may “go with the crowd”.

          • Plantagenet :

            Expert researchers note that anyone with European ancestry has a high probability of being descended from Charlemagne but 99% can’t give the lineage back that far. I’ve gotten back to Geoffrey d’Anjou of Plantagenet on one side of the family from reliable sources (not but haven’t quite got to Charlemagne yet. However my 22nd cousin Harry is marrying Meghan Markle this year so I’m looking forward to that and learning a lot about family history along the way.

          • Plantagenet :

            Thanks cousin but we’re descended via illegitimate Hamelin but I am researching other branches of the family.

          • Mamderley :

            Hello, cousin! You can get back to Charlemagne from William the Conqueror’s wife, Matilda. William is an ancestor of Henry II’s wife, also named Matilda. (Henry being Geoffrey’s son, of course.) William’s Matilda (for lack of a better phras) also descends from Alfred the Great.
            Link to follow.

        • Manderley :

      • This was so neat! It kind of makes me want to research my genealogy.

      • Fascinating! My mom has been doing some genealogical research on her family, and it is exactly as you describe. She was born in North Carolina, and she traced one line back to the 1700s. One ancestor arrived in Virginia, then someone moved to Hillsborough County, North Carolina in the mid-1700s, and stayed there for hundreds of years. My mom grew up in a different county, but fewer than 20 miles from where her ancestors had been for hundreds of years.

      • So interesting! Isn’t there also the problem tracing ancestry in the South in the civil war era since so much was burned? My people are all in VA with some in SC….like you said.

      • If you do get your tree back to Scotland then swap Ancestry for Scotland’s People which is the govt agency run holder of the original records. Ancestry isn’t great for Scottish records as it’s transcriptions only (and some pretty dodgy ones at that).

    • You may be both! Depending on when your family came to the US, they may have been Scots that lived in England for a generation or two before coming to the US. Or Scots that married English that then came to the US. As an example, I know a Brit who lives in the US but in England, he is “Scottish” because his grandfather’s family was Scottish and he still has the Scottish name. Even though to us he is English.

    • I’m gonna comment again here at the bottom just to disabuse you of the notion that you are going to fine ONE hometown in England or ONE family kilt Fromm Scotland.

      You should do it because it’s cool and interesting, but it only takes a few generations to get to the point of having many, many family lines.

      It is literally exponential. You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great grandparents, sixteen great great grandparents, thirty two great great great grandparents, and you’re still in the US.

      Tracing each of those back to the old country is not going to lead to one and only one ancestral home.

      • I guess that’s right. My parents are from the same no-stoplight small town (so my grandparents all knew each other and also my great-grandparents and all sorts of great-aunts / third cousins, etc. (sort of like the post brits waaaay up at the top, but not posh and possibly not brits). I guess I thought it would be the same in Home Country — we all came from a place that is One Place.

  7. Weight Watchers Freestyle :

    So, after seeing some discussion of the new WW Freestyle program here a few days ago, I’ve been looking at it. Some of the discussion here was negative, but it sounds like it might work very well for me. I realize that different approaches work well for different people, so I’m curious if others have tried it and what they’ve thought. For context, I lost weight well on WW many years ago, and also did well on South Beach even more years ago. When I tried WW again more recently (but still quite some time ago), I struggled and didn’t lose much at all. At that point, I had a really hard time getting enough food to feel full on the points I was allowed. I am a person who likes a lot of protein and I felt like it was impossible to do that on my limited points. It was easier to fit in low-cal processed carbs than it was to fit in filling protein, and that’s not how I like to eat. Freestyle sounds like a lot of the foods I already eat and consider healthy (like very lean meats, eggs, beans, fruits, veggies) would not need to be tracked, so it might work well for me. Can you tell me what you like and/or dislike about the program? Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I dislike that the only way the program works is eating lots of point free foods like eggs and chicken breast and beans and extra lean ground turkey and fat free yogurt because I don’t like those foods and it doesn’t fit my lifestyle. Sounds like that’s actuslly perfect for you!

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’m signing up for WW in 30 minutes. We have it at work where we have weekly weigh-ins, etc. I’m a little nervous, but I work for a great company and we have a fitness reimbursement that will pay for my WW membership, so I only have the weight to lose. Let me know if you want someone to help with accountability or just to go through it with someone. Good luck!! PS. WW is offering a promotion where you get a “Free Starter Kit” valued at $70. So if you’re signing up soon and they haven’t offered it to you, tell them you want it. The free gift is a chopping board and some containers.

    • I just signed up, too, based on conversation on here. A lot of the zero points foods are stuff we consume regularly (thank you for including beans, chicken, and fish, WW gods/Oprah!). What I think/hope will work for me is that it directs me to make those choices rather than taking the easy way out of takeout or pizza or throwing together something less healthy. I’m also hoping it will help me with portion control.

      Happy to be a cheerleader and commiserator with you and In-House should you choose to do it!

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      If you rely on protein, Freestyle will be great for you. What I like about the program is that it teaches me portion control. I NEVER feel full when I eat no matter how much or what I eat. Now, I know what a reasonable portion of cottage cheese or potato chips looks and feels like. As far as what I dislike…sometimes the points seem truly outrageous. Like one slice of birthday cake would be my entire points for the day. I get how and why the points are calculated, but it can be frustrating that one indulgence can wipe me out. Also the app is buggy.

      • This is why I get mad at the WW ads that have people eating cupcakes. I’m like, that’s a whole day’s worth of points! You should not go into WW thinking you can eat cupcakes willy nilly.

        • Man, any diet where you could eat cupcakes willy nilly and lose weight could take all my money!!!

    • I have had success with WW in the past and decided to sign up in January. I was hesitant at first because the freestyle program was new to me, but its honestly been amazing. I started at a size 12 and I’m down 11 lbs (and one dress size) so far. A few specifics below:

      – I focus on meal prep and making sure that I have breakfast, lunch and dinner planned out for the week. There are tons of great recipes on pinterest and I’ve not been bored once.
      – Don’t be afraid to eat your points. By the second and third week I took it as almost a challenge to make 0-2 point meals, just because I could. Stir fry, egg muffins, salad with turkey meatballs, etc. At the end of the day, I had lots of points left and was below the “healthy eating zone”, so I was indulging in popcorn, Halo Top and wine just because I had the points left. Obviously this will not result in effective weight loss. Instead, I now eat my points consistently throughout the day, a few in each meal and the weight loss has been more consistent.
      – Figure out what works best for you with tracking points. I track, but not obsessively. I find this allows me to make it part of my routine. I generally try to track the food before I eat it, but if I’m out for a meal or with friends I’ll just track later. Different things will differently for everyone.
      – Be prepared to be blown away by how many points chain restaurant food is. I went to dinner with a friend, ordered a salad and found out after it was nearly 40 points, without the dressing. Turns out, it doesn’t much matter because one bad-for-you meal here or there isn’t going to derail your success.
      – I don’t pay attention to the “weekly extra points”. They’re there to absorb the salad mishap above, but generally I just focus on my daily points and try not to go over. The same with the exercise points– you get extra fit points for working out, but I try to just ignore them and stick to my regular eating habits. I’m sure this will vary for people who exercise regularly and need the additional fuel.

      Hope this helps!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Is there a groups function on WW Connect? The “support” functionality of it is not strong.

    • I’m the poster from yesterday who lost 30 lbs and hops back on as necessary to lose a few lbs. I just rejoined on Monday and it’s my first time with Freestyle. I actually find it more liberating than usual WW because now I have all these zero points foods! I make lots of homemade soups with beans and veggies and lean meats, and the beans used to kill my points, but now, depending on which meats I use, those soups may be no points. I’ve lost 1/2 lb since Monday (and that includes yesterday’s fiasco of eating all my points at breakfast), so I’m feeling good about the program. It’s so nice to know that you have less to track.

    • Weight Watchers Freestyle :

      OK, I’m going to sign up. I’d love to set up an accountability group with In-House, lsw and anyone else who might be interested!

    • This is genuine question and I’m trying to ask it as sensitively as possible – I apologize ahead of time if I don’t succeed. My BMI is within a “healthy” range and at first glance, I’d appear to pretty balanced in terms of height/weight. However, look beneath the strategically cut wardrobe and cast a critical eye at the BMI number and you’ll see an unhealthy amount of muffin top. I’ve been thinking about joining WW but would it be uncomfortable for other people who might have more significant weight loss goals?

      • Anonymous :

        I joined WW postpartum. I was within a normal range BMI but towards the higher end and I felt like my eating wasn’t healthy or portioned. I was often overdoing it on carbs. I set a weightloss goal of 15 lbs and met it. I attended meetings at work and to be honest, I did feel a bit uncomfortable but the reality is that many of the things about making healthy choices, learning how to destress without food, and learning to be more active applied to me as well. I achieved lifetime which is great because the program is free. It’s not offered at my work anymore so now I do occasional weigh ins at the local WW meeting office. Be realistic about your goal weight, you can go below but to maintain lifetime you can’t go over.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        Nah. Go ahead. There people on there who want to lose 200 pounds and people who want to lose 10 pounds. For one, it’s a pretty individual endeavor so unless you are loudly proclaiming your WW points target in the office breakroom, no one is going to know anyway. For two, on the social media/interaction part of the WW app, people are (surprisingly!) receptive to anyone on a weight loss journey. There are also lots of people on there who are only trying to maintain, and they get just as much support as others.

      • No one has to know. WW doesn’t have to be done in person anymore – you can do it all on an app on your phone. I lurk on Connect (their Facebook) for inspiration, and the only person who knows I’m doing is my husband.

    • I’ve been doing WW since October and am now down 19 pounds. I was doing the older plan until it switched in December. I like Freestyle a lot now. There was a learning curve but once it clicked it was good. I credit Freestyle with helping me keep my holiday weight gain to only 2 pounds, despite not depriving myself of any sort of treat in the week between Christmas and New Year’s.

  8. Anonymous :

    Rant – complying with the iPledge program every month fills me with a ridiculous amount of rage. I have very little sympathy for fears of gun registries when I’m essentially on a government registry to get acne medication (while not gardening).

    • Anonymous :

      I’d just get over it. It’s not about you. Think of it as one of those things that is for the benefit of society… getting immunized. By you agreeing to do it, it makes it easier to get others to comply. And if it didn’t exist, companies might stop making the medication. Why take the risk/liability? This silly pledge program actually works.

      Because even if you are honest, and take your your medications regularly and correctly, most people do not. Most people. And a large proportion of those lie to their doctors. That’s pretty normal, unfortunately. It is what it is.

      • Anonymous :

        Yah she knows? It’s still absurd that we can’t have legit gun registries but we can’t trust women to use birth control or get abortions. She didn’t argue that we should abolish iPledge.

        • agree with the registries. But the OP was raging about the iPledge, so that’s what I addressed.

      • Anonymous :

        This program is a ridiculous invasion of privacy and bodily autonomy, and if men’s taking the medication created the same potential risks they would not be subject to the same requirements.

        • Anonymous :

          Thank you! Yes! I’m a 37 year old exec who has to juggle several demands and must take “an approved” pregnancy test and answer questions about whether or not gardening underwater is an approved form of contraception. And the efficacy of the sill iPledge program has not been proven. But I guess my privacy doesn’t matter.

        • I hear you.

          But unfortunately it is a very dangerous medication.

          • Not for women it isn’t.

          • You don’t think carrying a deformed fetus might be dangerous for your mental health? Do you have any experience with this?

          • Omg you’re right, Anonymous at 10:23, as a woman of course I’m susceptible to carrying a precious innocent life at any moment!

          • I guess we can’t have a reasonable discussion here.

          • The difference is that a school full of teenagers isn’t going to be shot up because a 37-year-old woman is taking Accutane.

            It’s not ridiculous to have precautions in place, because Accutane is a powerful teratogen and people should know what they are getting into. It is ridiculous that this drug that COULD cause one fetal death IF the taker gets pregnant is more strictly regulated than a device that is designed to kill lots of people very, very quickly.

          • It actually is dangerous for non-pregnancy reasons. You have to take a blood test regularly to monitor other health factors – even men.

          • I’d still feel safer in a room full of people taking Accutane than a room full of people carrying guns.

            No one is saying that people taking Accutane should not be monitored. But it’s kind of… hypocritical, maybe? to be all, Oh we must strictly monitor this drug because some people might have problems with it, or a woman MIGHT get pregnant and the fetus will die vs. being all la-di-da, no need for any sort of tracking for a device that is only used to kill things and that HAS been used to kill hundreds of thousands of Americans over a shamefully short time period.

          • It’s not a binary choice, we should attempt to avoid horrible birth defects and at the same time attempt to avoid mass shootings.

        • I say bullsh!t. This is a public health concern, not an individual autonomy question.

          If there was evidence of a terotegenic effect on male sp*rm due to a drug, I do think the FDA would limit approval to include a birth control requirement. However, biological differences mean that birth effects are far more likely to result from the womb environment than a one-time biological material donation, so it makes sense that women are subjected to these requirements more than men are.

          Should the FDA not include birth defects as a risk it considers in approving a drug? How should we be regulating this usage?

      • I have to show ID and sign something to get Sudafed now — I don’t even think you could make meth from it like you used to.

    • I’d never heard of this program before. Do women seriously have to fill out a form each month to promise not to get PG while on acne medicine? I’m ragey on your behalf. What’s next, I have to show proof of my bc Rx and pledge to god and all the little angels that I’m actually using it every time I order a glass of wine?

      • Yes. To take Accutane because of a high risk of catastrophic birth defects.

      • Maybe read a little bit about Accutane and the severity of the birth defects.

        It stinks, but people want to treat their acne. The medication, honestly, probably shouldn’t be offered because of the risks. It wouldn’t be in the market without the program or some variation of it.

        • That’s absurd. Of course it should be offered.

          • Really. Why do you say this?

          • Because it’s fantastic medicine that treats a real problem very well in the absence of other good options and most people aren’t TTC at any time.

          • Can we just get our phen-fen back for weight loss too? Why do we even regulate drugs at all?

          • Excuse me tesyaa?!? Accutane is safe. It has side effects but it is safe and works.

          • Clearly we disagree on what “safe” means. As does the FDA. As does every doctor I know.

          • What’s the plan with how to deal with children born with horrible, preventable defects in the likely event people would get pregnant and refuse to abort? I agree with the poster who described this is a matter of public heath.

          • Anonymous :

            Tesyaa they are stillborn or die at birth.

        • Idc about the severity of birth defects. Women are people not baby machines.

          • I believe in plaintiff’s lawyers though and so do drug companies. Would you rather they take the drug off of the market entirely?

          • You as an individual might not care, but if you were a company who didn’t make it absolutely clear what would happen if someone who is pregnant took any amount of the medicine, you wouldn’t be a company for very long. Also there would be a big ethical issue if people taking the medicine didn’t understand what would happen, which has sadly been the case in the past and is the reason why you have to join the stupid program.

          • My guess is compliance with a birth control program is also part of the approval from the FDA. Because FDA isn’t going to let a medication that causes birth defects on the market without the requirement that precautions be put into place. It’s a requirement from other medications (like thalidomide) known to cause birth defects but still have a use.

            Yeah, I get that it’s really patronizing to having to demonstrate you compliance – but there’s a history of these things going wrong.

      • It’s more than a form, it’s testing on a set schedule. And if you aren’t able to pick up your prescription within 7 days of it being written, you have to go through the whole thing again. It’s rough. My kid was willing to go through it because the results were so good. And I agree with other posters that this is necessary because most people don’t comply with common sense instructions.

      • Accutane causes very serious birth defects. While alcohol in some amounts can cause birth defects, it is not on the same level.

        • I wonder if they have studied the birth defects of children conceived by men taking accutane. Just thinking about how my husband didn’t have to deal with any of this when he was on it.

          • How long ago was your husband on Accutane? I think the rules may have changed because my fiance had to do the pledge this summer when he took it.

          • Ah, yea it was a long time ago (10+ years)

          • Anonymous :

            It’s very standard during a drug study or post-approval registry to gather information on pregnancies. Pregnancies either of the subject taking the drug (female) or of the partner of the subject taking the drug (male).

            Agree with the above that FDA probably made this a requirement of having the drug on the market at all. So take your iPledge AND your accutane or neither.

      • FWIW – men have to take the pledge too. My fiance was on Accutane this summer and had to pledge to use 2 forms of BC. He had also to pledge to not get pregnant (seriously).

        • Very interesting. It makes me less ragey to know they’re requiring men to use BC too. And I actually think it’s great he had to promise not to get pregnant, that takes trans men who can become pregnant into consideration.

        • So he had to pledge to use two forms of BC personally, on his end? Or could he pledge that his partner would use BC and that was enough?

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I had the same question but women are allowed to list male condoms as a form of bc, right? If so then I think the male partner should have the same option to include the female partner’s bc.

    • I completely agree and it’s a major invasion of privacy. How many other medications have serious, life-threatening risks of complications and harm to pregnancy? A bigger benefit to society would be better access to abortion, gun registries and banning these weapons. I’m pretty livid these days. To quote the comment above, “it’s not about you” because all America cares about is a non-existent fetus and not actual living human beings.

      • Interesting…. So it would be better to have no program, understand that the frequency of severe fetal deformity will go up and just….. Plan to have more abortions of those fetuses? And hope that the women experiencing this can handle it better than the pledge program? Pretty traumatic for moms I would think…… Or instead, not offer the medication due to the risks?

        I’m honestly asking. Because this is not a typical medicine.

        I think that if the program causes this much controversy, then the medicine shouldn’t be offered because it is too dangerous.

        I am 100% pro-choice, And a militant pro-choice supporter since going through medical training and seeing awful things….

        I also have to admit that severe acne is so traumatic for many people that they would be willing to take this medication even if it had worse risks….. It is a wonder drug for some. And treating acne can be life changing for some. Especially young women, who take this drug the most.

        • I think that’s it — if I were a drug company, I would not want to offer something dangerous like this and would be worried about fallout. Your potential plaintiff would have some hard questions for you. And their lawyer could put you out of business.

          • ALso, it’s an FDA requirement for the drug being on the market. So – blame the FDA for wanting to prevent birth defects.


          • I would be with you on that we’re it not for the fact that the concerns seem to focus only on those medications to young women. There are a whole host of other medications (even spiro) that do not require the same theater of the absurd.

          • I agree to some extent, but young women are the ones who get pregnant, so of course that’s where this issue will focus.

            Accutane’s effects are more severe than spiro (clearly an issue too) and let’s be honest…. most young women are not on a lot of meds that pose these risks. They aren’t. And there are HUGE discussions/studies going on with medicines that cause much much lower risks to fetuses that are taken by women (ex. migraine meds, anti-seizure meds) and these are still relatively rarely taken. You may not be aware of this unless you are in medicine or taking these medicines. And their effects are no way as clear or severe as Accutane. Accutane remains a medicine for young people, especially young women.

        • Omg a woman is not a “mom” unless she chooses to have a child. A woman is not a “mom” or “potential mom” merely by existing.

          • What makes you think that all (or even most) women who get pregnant using Accutane would choose to abort? Seems like a no-brainer but anti-choice and anti-abortion people get acne too.

          • Can’t we just have a discussion please. You understand the point…. Poor choice of Mom. I’ll take that.

            You didn’t answer the question.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          If I was in charge of the program, I would accept abortion and abstaining as additional approved forms of birth control. Obviously, abortion is not birth control but it is a back up when birth control fails. It’s on the individual woman to pledge to do that just as it is on the individual woman to take or not take the birth control she is prescribed or the man to use or not use the condom he is promising he is using.

          • Abstaining counts as one of the 2 forms of bc that a patient is required to be on.

          • That is ridiculous, because abstention is 100% effective. Abstention should be enough.

          • I’m the opposite. I don’t think absention should be allowed as a method. Allowing it pretends that women are in full control of when sexual activity occurs. We all know that lots of women are [email protected]

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            @ 12:06 and that is where form two of birth control comes in. For those okay with it, abortion. For those that aren’t, birth control.

          • @Blonde Lawyer. Birth control – whether pills, IUD, depo, condoms is not 100% – it’s often more like 80% and the pill isn’t even very effective for women over 176lbs even when taken correctly. that’s why I think people should have to use two of those methods. So pill + IUD, or depo + condoms, etc.

            Abortion is not easily and widely available in the US. Many women have to leave their state to receive services. Given it’s lack of availability, it shoudn’t be considered a method. Plan B could work as a method if it was OTC and widely available but it isn’t.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            12:40 – thanks for the info. Where I live, there is somewhere I could get an abortion a 5 minute walk from my office (City A) and a 10 minute bike ride from my house (City B). Plan B is also available in all of the local pharmacies, over the counter. I forget how fortunate women in my region are.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I just re-read your question. You weren’t talking about improving the program but alternates to it. An alternate would be a serious discussion between patient and doctor about the side effects and then trusting that patient to use precautions. I was on a different medication known to cause birth defects and that was what happened. The doctor expressed how important it was to ensure I did not get pregnant while on the medication and that was it. No additional birth control or monitoring.

          One option would be to make the program mandatory just for people under 21. Many young people take the drug that might not have access to birth control and pregnancy tests if they want their parents to believe they are abstaining. My mother would not allow me to be on BC in high school but if a doctor required it, maybe she would have. She let me be on it for 2 months to treat a cyst. For acne, I’m not sure if she would have allowed it but it would have to be required by the doc for not trusting me instead of my mom ever believing I could be sexually active.

    • Normally I would call that a ridiculous, misogynist invasion of privacy, but since we live in a country where half of all pregnancies are unintended and the GOP is dismantling abortion rights day by day, it’s probably a good thing to prevent pregnancies for women taking Accutane. The thought of an unplanned pregnancy with extremely high risk of birth defects in a country that hates women is daunting.

    • Side story hopefully to make you chuckle – a friend was doing this and said that even though she pledged abstinence for BC she had to also pledge a second form of BC. It made her laugh. Complete abstinence …and … c*ndoms? Makes no sense at all. So I totally hear you on how invasive the program is.

  9. Balancing your checkbook :

    In light of the recent threads about software for day-to-day finances, I was wondering how many people keep their own record of every payment, and then reconcile with the bank’s records?

    I use the ynab mobile app and remember to enter almost everything, and then it takes me at least an hour to balance periodically. I was surprised when some people said ynab takes them so little time, and then I wondered maybe people are relying on the download function?

    • Anonymous :

      I have not balanced my checkbook since the y2K panic passed.

      BUT, I round up to pay recurring bills (so my 2689 mortgage payment is rounded up to 3000), so I can mentally know what I am doing. I also prepay credit card bills (my spending is 500/mo for misc., so I move that over at the beginning of each month so I usually have a small bill or a credit). It makes things easy to just pull up my bank online and know very fast if everything looks right. If I have something like a car repair, I charge it but then move the over to the card via bill-pay. It hasn’t done me wrong yet and with student loans, daycare, car payment, I have to make things easy and predictable.

    • Anonymous :

      I rely on the bank records.

    • Payment records including credit/debit card transactions and petty cash? No.

      I have a check book with duplicates, and I save those (I was ONCE burned by my inability to prove I’d paid a $20 parking ticket 6 years prior). I periodically review my credit card and checking account to make sure the activity is right, typically monthly. There’s often something sketchy on there that DH and I will struggle to figure out, and then we remember.

      • Oh, and previously, my main interest in keeping a balanced checkbook (which I did until about 2006) had been avoiding overdrawing my account. Now I keep a $4k buffer in there so if there’s some daycare check that didn’t clear and I forgot about that hits just as I’ve paid my monthly credit card bill and mortgage, it doesn’t overdraft.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          Same here. I do also save receipts from restaurants where I write down the tip amount and total because I once had a restaurant add themselves a tip for a takeout order that I disputed, and I keep return receipts to make sure what goes back on the card is correct, but otherwise I just rely on bank records. I also almost never pay in cash, so it’s not like I have to remember what I spent money on–it’s all on a cash-back credit card (which I pay off monthly.)

          • It is common to tip on a take out order…

          • Yeah but that doesn’t mean a restaurant can just add it themselves if a customer doesn’t tip! That’s fraud, even if the customer was being stingy (and maybe she had a good reason for not tipping).

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            On a take out? Never known anyone to tip on takeout, unless it’s a complicated order or curbside delivery, in which case, sure. Not delivery, but literally just going in to pick up the bag at the counter of a quick-service restaurant. Also, even if it is somehow customary and I’ve been screwing this up my entire life, the restaurant can’t just add a tip the customer didn’t include. That’s fraud.

          • @Gail, I completely agree it’s fraud for the restaurant to add in their own tip. But fwiw, everyone I know tips at least 10% or a couple bucks (whichever is lower) on take-out. I think there have been discussions about it here too and the consensus is most people tip. The food is usually packaged up by a waiter or waitress and that takes them away from tables (and tips) for at least a while.

          • Gail the Goldfish :

            Oh, I tip at those. I’m talking like the counter-service only neighborhood chinese food place where it’s just a cashier and cooks, not the actual restaurant that also does takeout.

    • I have a homemade excel workbook that tracks my expenses/income, serves as a budget, and tracks net worth over the years since I’ve graduated college. I enter each payment over the course of the month (takes about 5 minutes a week to enter all my purchases or earnings at once, though it does mean I keep receipts so I can do this accurately). At the end of the month I rectify all my CC bills against my own ledger.

      I use my own excel because I like the inherent consciousness of active maintenance and I built it to be exactly what I wanted. It’s probably most similar to the old PearBudget spreadsheets, and recently my boyfriend jumped ship from Mint to a blank template I gave him – so I think it has appeal beyond just me. But, in general I think you’re right that a lot of people do not reconcile across systems and just pay their bills as they come.

      • +1 to the Excel spreadsheet. I track my checking and savings accounts, and my credit cards, then sum the credit card balances and subtract from actual cash so that every day I know what I have available both today and at the end of the month. I also sign on to my bank accounts and CC accounts daily to check for any suspicious charges and make sure I am in the right ball park. I don’t track to the penny between the two. As long as there isn’t something major out of whack, I use the spreadsheet because it has the monthly overview of everything going out and coming in that month (regular bill pays, income, etc.).

        I don’t track net worth through the spreadsheet or retirement accounts.

    • I write so few physical checks, and rely on my bank’s bill-payment/electronic check system to keep records. I rely on my bank/credit card cos/mint to keep records.
      When i log into Mint (probably every 2-3 days, sometimes more often) I will keep an eye for major and/or out-of-the-norm expenses or deposits to clear, and they typically do pretty quickly. The outliers (a one-off check I write here and there) may fall to the cracks occasionally, but [like Colleen above] I keep enough of a cushion in my account that it won’t be a problem if, say, our family photographer doesn’t deposit a check for a month or two.

    • I balance about once a week and because I do so frequently it only takes me a few minutes to reconcile and then adjust my budget.

    • I reconcile YNAB every couple of days. It gets annoying if a lot of transactions build up, but 5 minutes every 3 days is pretty easy.

      • Interesting- most transactions don’t clear that fast for me, but I know my rural area runs on stone age technology.

    • Yes, I do it in Quicken. I don’t reconcile every month, but it’s really helpful to me to know where I am in any given month.

    • Anonymous :

      I ynab, and love it. I use the import feature. I’m not sure why no to? Even when you import, you have to approve each transaction. If importing is slow (which is sometimes is) I will manually enter my transactions. Once importing catches up, it checks those manual inputs against the imported transactions and asks you to approve any that are off. I don’t reconcile, but I do check my balance in my ynab accounts against my balance at the bank. I have had small differences, but they can usually be found.

  10. Isabella the She-Wolf :

    I like White House Black Market, but ive found them to be very very short-waisted. Some tops hit me ar the bottom of the rib cage.

    • I am VERY long waisted, so thanks for this. Do you know of stores that are good for this? I usually buy “tall” shirts even though I’m 5’3″!

      • Umm…not really. Ann Taylor talls have worked. Last time I went to the mall I found a store called Downeast with some long tees.

    • Agreed. WHBM cardigans like the one in the post run particularly small. I have one in XXS (which usually is a good fit for me), and every time I wear it I wish I’d sized up.

  11. Cincinnati? :

    Any thoughts on living in Cincinnati? I’m interviewing for a job there, and we would be moving from a bigger (and more liberal, diverse) city. I grew up in the area (but my husband did not), but that’s been a while, though most of my family is in the area. We have two kids in elementary school.

    • Low cost of living, great theater, close enough to other bigger cities in 2 states to enjoy things to do when you’re wanting to take a short drive, more of a slowed lifestyle than a huge city, more families than tourists, not sure what you enjoy doing to know how it would work for you personally but many love it there!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I grew up in Cincinnati too, and many of my family and friends are still there. I can’t speak much for schools except that I think private schools still dominate the scene there, though public schools have improved since the 80s and 90s.

      I am more familiar with the east side of the city – Hyde Park, Oakley, O’Bryonville and Pleasant Ridge are great little distinct neighborhoods. Downtown is booming and Over the Rhine is the hot part of town (another radical change from 30 years ago). The museum center is still excellent (though closed for renovations) and the zoo has gotten even better.There’s been a huge investment in parks throughout the city. My friends with kids all seem happy to be there.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve lived in Cincinnati for 5+ years – moved here without knowing anything about the city but so far it’s been great. I grew up in the Chicago area and always thought I’d end up back there, but I’ve gotten used to the lower cost of living and less harsh winters. Some of the Cincinnati Public Schools have a great reputation as do many of the suburban school districts. The neighborhoods mentioned by pugsnbourbon are relatively liberal with lots of young families. Overall, recommend it!

    • KateMiddletown :

      Hey girl! Cincinnati is great for those with families (meaning have your own as well as those with extended families here.) It’s not great for single folks trying to date. There are many opportunities to get involved and it’s a “medium sized pond” where you can really make a difference. There are pockets of liberal and pockets of conservative, but hopefully your realtor can steer you to the parts of town that would match your interests (unfortunately those are the parts where real estate has gone up quite a bit – not a bargain, but still not crazy as Chicago or even Columbus suburbs.)
      AMA – I live in a suburb and work downtown.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Also, I agree with everything said above. If you’re an art lover, foodie, or beer aficionado you will find your tribe easily.

      • anon in cinci :

        I realize this is a late reply but if you see this Kate I’m also in Cincinnati. Would love to do a meet up!

        • KateMiddletown :

          Yes! Although given Cincinnati, I wouldn’t be surprised if we know each other already haha.

      • I’m up the road a bit but travel to Cincinnati a lot for work and also would love a meet-up.

        And to the OP, I do think Cincinnati is a bit conservative compared even to other cities in the state but there are some good progressive things there too, the arts scene is decent, the craft beer scene is great, the people are friendly. The COL is very good, traffic can be a problem.

        A friend from HS – we grew up in Columbus – moved to Cinci a few years ago after many years in DC and Portland, OR. We’re mid-50s, and she was widowed early, so obviously not the same demographic as you and your family. But she really loves it there.

        • KateMiddletown :

          Yes, of the three largest cities (Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati), Cinci is the most conservative.

  12. Anonymous :

    This is random and specific but does anyone know anywhere in Manhattan (and/or Westchester or Fairfield County CT) that sells Shellac brand gel nail polish (or Essie gel or OPI gel polish)? And not a CosmoProf or other store that requires a cosmetology license. I’ve started doing my own gel manicures at home and want some new gel polish that is either Shellac, Essie, or OPI but I can’t find any brick and mortar stores in which I can purchase it. I can buy it online but was hoping to get some this weekend. Also, if you buy any online, what are you favorite stores?

    • Not in that area, but in my city these brands are all available at almost every CVS.

    • Is there a Sally Beauty Supply nearby? They might have some options.

      • Sally only sells Gellish Mini polish. Which is fine and what i’ve been using, but really want some Shallac/Essie/OPI gel.

    • wildkitten :

      These are very hard to find in brick and mortar stores. In DC I had to drive like an hour to a nail salon wholesale store in the suburbs. I haven’t found them in Chicago. The selection on Amazon is crap. Let me know if you figure out the answer!

      • Anonymous :

        For anybody in DC, check out the nail supply stores around Skyline area of Falls Church/Arlington (many run by Vietnamese) — there is a language barrier but I’ve never had a major issue. Word of caution there is no customer service etc but if you go in with a good idea of what you want, it’ll be fine. And bring cash.

    • I have purchased OPI gel polish on Amazon.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Have you checked out Ricky’s? I think they carry Essie’s gel (or gel-like) line.

    • Anonymous :

      I just posted about buying this in DC — I don’t have a great answer for NYC, but get on yelp and do some digging around for wholsesale nail/beauty supply stores. Not totally in your area, but I googled quick and got Kissena Nail Supply and Fashion Nail Supply — those are the type of shops you’re looking for.

      I’ve ordered from universalnailsupplies in the past, it was fine but the free shipping minimum is kind of irritating. Not hard to hit if you need a base and top coat, though. Agreed the gelish mini, etc. that they sell at Sally or the kind they sell at Ulta are a waste of time.

      I got this advice from the friend who got me started on gel nails at home: pick colors from new collections, then you know they haven’t been sitting on the shelf forever.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you!! Will check out universal nail supplies and I like the tip about picking colors from the new collections.

  13. 3 extra hours :

    if you had three extra hours before bed each night what would you do with them?

    • new job who dis :

      dang, I’d read all the books. also I’m an evening exerciser – so I’d do all my runs then.

    • Right now? Watch the olympics. But normally? Exercise (but not too close to bed; I like right after work), get chores done so I don’t have to do them on the weekends, see friends, read books.

    • Read. Have actual hobbies. Exercise in the evening, instead of the morning, so I could get enough sleep.

      Probably be a more patient mom, honestly.

      By the time my kids go to bed, I’m so tired that I’m barely functioning. I go to bed at 9:30 and wake up at 4:45 to work out.

    • I’d probably watch TV which is already what I do with my free time before bed, tbh.

    • Assuming this is free time and not time I need for chores and exercise, I would read and plan trips and work on personal finance stuff. I’m doing ok on that front, but I want to feel really proficient talking about finances with my advisor.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Read. Garden. Repeat.

    • Go grocery shopping midweek instead of on the weekends. Cook. Eat at an actual table instead of in front of the TV. Spend more time with LGP tools.

    • Ok I like all the people who are super idealistic about what they’d do but I know for a fact that I would binge watch all those shows everyone talks about that I haven’t had time to get to.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Go to sleep earlier.

    • Read, workout, meal prep for the week, bake and freeze bread/muffins/etc. that we’ve been low on and I haven’t had time to prepare.

  14. Elegant Giraffe :

    I posted a couple of weeks ago asking for advice on ways to liven up conversations with my grandmother. I wanted to thank everyone who chimed in. I’ve dropped my phone calls from 3x weekly to 2x weekly. (still probably a lot for some people, but felt better to me) We do have more to talk about on each phone call. I’ve started sprinkling in some of the questions y’all suggested, like asking about her marriage, her childhood, etc. I also mailed her a Valentines card! She hasn’t mentioned it yet, but assuming she likes it, I think I’ll start sending her cute notes every few weeks or so.

    • granddaughter goals :

      This is so heartwarming! My grandmother just passed away, and I am so glad I similarly invested time talking with and visiting her the last years of her life. Conversations at time were very challenging due to hearing issues and how small her world had become. I enjoyed reminiscing with her about holidays and also asking her about recipes and stories from her youth. You are a wonderful granddaughter.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        :) You are sweet. I appreciate the kind words. I’m so sorry you’ve recently lost your grandmother but grateful you had a strong relationship with her!

    • Aw, that’s sweet! Glad it’s working for you. I was the one with the similar relationship :)

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        oh thank you! I very much appreciated your perspective on things. Now I have warm fuzzies about random Internet commenters! pretty amazing what this s*te can be.

      • Elegant Giraffe :

        in moderation (???) but thank you so much for your advice

  15. After what happened in Florida yesterday I don’t think it is safe for my daughter to continue attending school in the U.S. This one has just pushed me over the edge.

    My husband and daughter are Canadian citizens, although my husband has not lived in Canada since he was a small child and our daughter has never been there. We have mentioned the idea of moving to Canada periodically over the years. Has anyone else made this move, or has anyone lived in both countries who can comment? How does one find a job in Canada? What is the education system like, and what programs are available for gifted children (a big priority for us)? We would be coming from a LCOL city in the U.S. and the cost of living in major Canadian cities is intimidating–how do you handle that?

    • Canada is a very large and extremely diverse country. Where do you want to live?

      • We don’t even know. My husband is interested in big cities. Our ideal city would have excellent public schools, a vibrant arts scene, not too much traffic, a reasonable cost of living, good access to health care, and a relatively liberal bent. Our current U.S. city ticks all these boxes except the last.

        • I think you’re looking for a unicorn, honestly. Any big city has traffic…we don’t get around by moose.

          • Yes, that’s why I am thinking mid-size city like where we live in the U.S.

          • Ottawa or Hamilton might work. Depends on what you consider ‘expensive’.

            Also, honestly…as a Canadian, these posts area bit off-putting. Describing a unicorn like the poster above noted, and asking “How does one find a job in Canada?” (answer- how you find a job in any western country).

          • Didn’t mean to offend. I just know absolutely nothing about it and have no idea where to start, and my husband just says “Let’s move to Toronto where we can’t afford to live because my rich parents lived there when I was a baby!” Um, that’s not a good plan. Trying to find out how to make the conversation more practical.

            In terms of the “how to find a job” questions, what I meant was, how do you find a job in a country where you have no professional connections? At this point in my career I don’t even know how to find a job in the U.S. without relying on my network. The question was addressed specifically to people who have made the cross-national move.

          • I appreciated your question, and was surprised by the Canadian’s distressed response. I knew exactly what you were asking.

            Perhaps Canadians are a bit distressed by the thoughts of Americans wanting to go up there!? But you are Canadians too!

            We take a ton of Canadians though. Why not some back and forth?

        • Toronto and Vancouver would not meet your criteria for cost or traffic, to be honest. Ottawa, Hamilton, Calgary (probably more on the conservative side), Montreal (if you are comfortable with French, especially) or even Halifax might work?
          Weather is also a consideration. I would visit potential new home cities in the winter, unless you’re already comfortable with extreme cold and snow.

          • I am a Nova Scotian and we have a house there but you couldn’t pay me to live there. The province is extremely poor, you can’t get doctors, the traffic is horrible and unfixable (because of geography) and the amenities are awful. It is also overpriced. We are military and have lived all over the country. Ottawa is my favourite for the balance it strikes. Depending on personality, Calgary is nice and Toronto feeder cities (Hamilton), small cities like Kingston are gorgeous. Montreal rocks if you can parlez. I didn’t, personally, like Edmonton but we lived in the adjacent city of St. Albert which wins most family friendly city/ best place to live in Canada year after year and my SIL loves it there. Toronto and Vancouver are too insane for traffic and cost. Vancouver is more expensive than London. You could probably buy a large, nice house in stunning Cape Breton (where our house is) for cash and never work again (but wouldn’t ever have a family doctor). (And I don’t find the comments off-putting)

      • I don’t know exactly. My husband is interested in Toronto and Vancouver, but I am worried about cost and traffic.

        • Well, those are the two most expensive cities in Canada. You can get a tear-down crack den in Vancouver for over a million dollars.

          Education and the job market are going to vary widely because every city is very different.

    • This is crazy. I’m super liberal and definitely wish we had better gun control in the US but packing up and moving to a country where you have no professional connections, where your kid has never even been and where your husband hasn’t lived since he was little is crazy. Plenty of kids die in Canada too.

      • Canada definitely has its problems but there are very, very few mass shootings. “Plenty of kids” don’t die here in school shootings like in the US.

        • Yes, I realize that but while school shootings are terrifying and devastating, the number of people who actually die in them is incredibly small in a statistical sense. It’s like refusing to fly because plane crashes are so dramatic and scary when in reality flying is much safer than other means of transport.

          • Actually, if mass shootings keep increasing in frequency at the rate that they have (smaller school shootings where no one dies or gets successfully shot often don’t make it past local five o clock news), this is a very legitimate worry, especially because you have a generation coming up with higher rates of anxiety and depression than the previous couple generations with greater access to fire arms, a greater need to be seen and recognized due to influences of social media, and impressionable minds that aren’t fully developed wanting to copy cat.

            Your bubble may be safe, but not everyone lives in a world where this can be avoided safely.

      • I disagree. I would move in a heartbeat.

    • I haven’t done it, but a friend of mine is moving to O Canada next month. Her concerns were the same as yours. Education-wise, I think she’s very pleased with what the schools offer. Housing, though, is crazy expensive. She is paying $500k for a 1,200 sq. ft. home in a small town located 30 minutes from a larger city. She admits they’re buying more house than they can comfortably afford, but she also has a financial backup system that most people do not have. It’s a risky move, and I don’t think they would do it unless they were confident in their job situation.

    • Feel the same. Hubs is from a very small island nation, but that is much safer, has better and free school system, universal healthcare, and guns are outlawed. Thinking seriously of planting the groundwork now for jobs there once kiddos come along. It never has been that safe for people that look like us (POC), but I feel like we never had to legitimately worry (because they happened rarely) about random acts of mass violence against children or crowds until the last five years.

      • Equestrian attorney :

        American in Canada here. Canada is large and diverse, so these are obvious generalizations, but: (1) climate. Obviously, Canada tends to be colder, although Vancouver isn’t that cold, mostly rainy, and even Toronto is more tolerable than say Calgary or Quebec City. Still, the winter is no joke and it can really affect some people, so make sure you’re ready for that. (2) healthcare – quality varies by province, but honestly it is pretty good and free (yes, we pay taxes for it, but no one isn’t going to the hospital because they can’t afford it). Some private care is available for those who can afford it. (3) education – overall pretty good, but it really depends where you are. There are some programs for gifted children but obviously they tend to be in larger cities. Look into programs for your specific cities and make a decision based on that? (4) getting a job – I mean, it’s kind of like in the US? Job postings online, tap your network, etc? It’s hard to say without knowing what industry you are in, but make sure your job is not regulated and your qualifications will be recognized. Assuming you don’t speak French, don’t move to Quebec and you may be limited for certain government roles, but it’s otherwise not a big deal (5) moving there – if your husband and daughter are citizens, you’re probably eligible for sponsorship, but just a warning that it can be a lengthy process. Don’t just pack up and leave – start the application process early and figure out how long it will take and when you will be eligible to work in Canada. Americans sometimes assume they can just show up, but Immigration Canada is as slow and painful as its counterpart down south, even if you are a perfectly respectable candidate for immigration.

        I would recommend taking an exploratory trip and looking into job opportunities if you’re serious about this. Honestly, I understand your concerns about safety – my husband and I have discussed whether we would move to the US – a real possibility given our jobs – and we are very reluctant because it is just so much safer up here on average and healthcare costs scare us.

        • Saying healthcare is free is a really big generalization – no, I don’t have to pay to go to the hospital, but I have to pay for medication, the dentist, eye doctor, etc.

          • Yeah, we get that. It’s all relative though. The contrast to the US is huge.


            I am healthy with no medical problems and pay $550 per month for my health insurance premiums and have a $5500 deductible before my health insurance pays anything (except for my yearly physical). That doesn’t include dentist or eye doctor, which I must pay for separately. And I don’t get any medications covered until I pay my $5500 deductible.

          • It’s not just hospital you don’t have to pay for, you also don’t have to pay for doctor visits including specialists like OBGYN, Opathmologist (eye doctor), or cardiologist or oncologist.

            You can buy reasonably priced secondary health insurance to cover additional things. And dentist/optometrist/chiropractor are covered for everyone under age 18 in most provinces.

            And cancer or a heart attack or a baby in nicu isn’t going to bankrupt you.

    • If I had citizenship elsewhere, I would move too. Why don’t you take a trip to Canada to see a few potential cities and see what vibe you get? You might be able to tell quickly whether you could fit in and feel comfortable or not. Canada is not so different from the U.S. that there would be major culture shock unless you went to Quebec or something.

    • I don’t have any advice but I am starting to feel this way too. I feel so incredibly hopeless and helpless that this keeps happening over and over and over again, and nothing changes. I fear for our children so much.

    • Your daughter and husband will have a right to reside there but you will not. You will have to apply for your husband to sponsor you which can be a months to years long process. Lots of people want to immigrate to Canada so it’s a long wait. If you can find a job there, then you will be able to move much more easily as you can get a work visa. If you have ever thought of going back to school, that’s another route as foreign graduates from Canadian universities get fast tracked through the immigration system. Smaller provinces also have programs designed to attract immigrants to those areas. So if you don’t mind living somewhere smaller or more rural then check out Halifax or St. John’s. Generally easier to immigrate there through their provincial nomimee programs.

      I love Ottawa. Vancouver is crazy expensive for housing so I would rule that out. Toronto is diverse. Not sure if you are white or POC but Vancouver and Toronto both have large populations of Asian Canadians so if you have multiple languages, you may find it easier to get work there and obtain a work visa. Ontario and Alberta are more similar to the US compared to the eastern provinces.

    • Canadian w/ a green card :

      I’ve lived in both countries as a “newcomer”. I was born in Country A and moved to Canada when I was starting high school. I lived in Toronto from high school until I graduated from undergrad. I moved to Chicago for law school. The transition to Canada was rough as any transition at that age would be but I felt the people were a lot more welcome to immigrants/outsiders than I have found in Chicago. I think the arts are valued more in Canada and there are great schools/programs for gifted children. There is more diversity unless you compare it to LA/NYC. Toronto suburbs such as Milton/Hamilton may be a good option for you to look into.

      If you are professionals, you can look into the TN visa which would allow you to work without necessarily obtaining Canadian citizenship. As for professional degrees, there is usually a bit of equivalency exam requirement. I am a lawyer in the U.S. but if I decided to move back to Canada, I would have to apply for an analysis of educational requirements, sit for a few (first-year level) exams such as Canadian constitution law etc, and then apply for the Canadian bar exam. My SIL was a U.S. med school graduate and had to re-do her residency.

      I miss the ease-of-mind of the universal healthcare system even though I have great health insurance in the U.S.

    • Anonymous :

      Stay. Lean in to fix your society. Who else is going to?

    • Canadian in America- I have been here 18 months now and regularly consider moving back to the great white north, but my job here is so great that I can’t seem to pull the trigger.

      Things I miss about Canada:
      – I miss universal health care badly. I felt well cared for and never had to worry about the cost
      – I did feel that it was more diverse, at least compared to the east coast US cities I’ve lived in.
      – the whole gun thing in the US terrifies me. Every time I pick up the paper there is a random shooting. I recently saw one where a driver shot another driver in the back of the head and killed him after he cut her off in traffic. In the first hospital I worked in when I moved to the states, a resident had to tackle an active shooter in the emergency room.

      – Every industry is just bigger in America. Whatever you do, there are more jobs here. It’s easier to find opportunities and I find it easier to climb the ladder here. Depending on what you do, it can be difficult to find a job in Canada in your industry, at your level, particularly if you have geographic restrictions. Many of my friends, for example who really want to stay in Toronto, take imperfect jobs in order to stay in their preferred location.
      – My industry gets paid more in the US, and I imagine this is true of many industries.

      Toronto is a great city but price of housing is high if you want to be in the city. There are some areas with phenomenal public schools but obviously the price of housing is higher in those neighbourhoods. Many young families live in condos/apartments. However, I loved my years living in Toronto- what an interesting, friendly, diverse city! Also your savings will go further since you are paying CAD. The surrounding suburbs are more affordable especially if you want a house/yard but that obviously means you have a commute and traffic.

      Ottawa is lovely- a bit quiet and more family oriented but a cute downtown and a nice diverse community- perhaps more of the mid-size town you are thinking of.

      I personally really like Halifax although I haven’t lived there but it is definitely more isolated.

      Calgary is a great city- people are saying its more conservative above, but you have to view that through a Canadian lens. Conservative in Canada is NOT the same as conservative in America. This is a great mid-size city that might be right for you. The winters are colder but the mountains are gorgeous, if you are into the outdoors there is SO much to do, and its very friendly and accessible.

      Vancouver- everyone loves it. But the prices are high, high, high.

    • My spouse is Canadian. We ran the numbers at several points and always concluded we would need to double our household income to be able to move to Canada and maintain our standard of living. (Moving mcol city to similar city—don’t want to name the specific cities.) The taxes are substantial. Not necessarily a reason not to move—just another data point.

  16. Hive, do you know of any good cooking blogs from the perspective of the home cook? I like Pioneer Woman’s format for this, but I find her cooking range and chops limited, whereas I love Smitten Kitchen recipes and the end-result photos but would like more of a story in the cooking and more photos (think Melissa Clark’s videos in photo form). Asking for a blog vs youtube so I can read at work.

    • Molly Yeh.

    • kitchn, shutterbean

    • Serious Eats

    • Serious Eats is a great resource. I also follow Dinner A Love Story, Love and Olive Oil, and Skinnytaste.

    • These recommendations are brilliant, thanks all! I already browse Serious Eats and The Kitchn, but these individual blogs you all mentioned are a real find- 7 pm can’t come soon enough…

    • anon a mouse :

      Simply Recipes is terrific.

    • Everyday Occasions by Jenny Steffens Hobick is wonderful. I’ve been following her for 5-6 years and every recipe I’ve ever tried is fantastic. It’s not primarily a cooking blog – it features her adorable daughter, their home, and a little online shop she’s started, but the recipes she posts are always delicious. Maybe check her archives if you don’t want to follow a lifestyle blog.

    • Half Baked Harvest! Gorgeous photos, awesome food (although often pretty time-consuming or “weekend meals”), like her commentary.

  17. To whoever is celebrating.... :

    Xin nian kuai Le! Gong xi fa cai!

    • And same to you! Wan shi ru yi!

      No local family AND I’m solo parenting the toddler this week, but we are going out to a Chinese restaurant dinner with my friend and her family tonight and I am SO EXCITED YOU HAVE NO IDEA. (I may also be pregnant and craving dumplings. Ahem.)

    • Gong hey fat choy from San Francisco!

  18. Poster from earlier this week who caught her Husband with the au pair….I just want you to know that you’re in my thoughts and I hope you are doing better today!

  19. Feel the same. Hubs is from a very small island nation, but that is much safer, has better and free school system, universal healthcare, and guns are outlawed. Thinking seriously of planting the groundwork now for jobs there once kiddos come along. It never has been that safe for people that look like us (POC), but I feel like we never had to legitimately worry (because they happened rarely) about random acts of mass violence against children or crowds until the last five years.

    • Oops, meant to respond above.

    • Biglaw Associate :

      Are you referring to Singapore?

      I’ve lived there for a year and guns are completely outlawed. It’s amazing how Singaporeans don’t even have the concept of gun ownership in their minds – to them, it’s just something that trained policemen and soldiers (and some athletes use for sport) to NOT kill people. I’ve heard that even policemen hesitate to shoot because of the backlash that they’d get from both the force as well as from the public.

      Call it fascist if you will, but it’s a LOT harder to massacre people when guns are taken out of the equation completely.

      • Not Singapore, but similar reaction from the public. It is amazing to me the type of carefree youth my husband had compared to growing up here in an increasingly fearful zero tolerance world.

  20. #shopforme Has anyone seen turquoise flats they might recommend (around $100)? This is one thing I need to add to my wardrobe!

    • Yes! I was contemplating these myself, this week!

    • turquoise is hard because it’s called a bunch of different things by retailers (also teal, etc).

      these sam edelman might be too blue?

      these nine west are cute:

      also these, with scalloped edges:

      maybe more teal but I like these from vionic:

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      If the Sam Edelman Felicia has the color you want, buy those. Nordstrom and Zappos will have a good selection.

  21. Everybody Rise :

    Someone recommended the book Everybody Rise last week. Author’s name is Stephanie Clifford. That’s Stormy Daniels real name! How funny!

    Also, tried reading the book over the weekend. I liked first part, but then got really frustrated with the protagonist’s continued self-destructiveness. I just couldn’t finish it. Made me too anxious (?) about the downfall that was sure to come. I didn’t find it to be light reading, which is what I was looking for.

  22. leaning out :

    I posted about my fears of leaning out by electing to WFH despite getting all my work done efficiently yesterday afternoon. Thanks to everyone who replied (the pot roast comment was hilarious). For those who didn’t understand how I suddenly have free time it is because in my line of work you spend a lot of time on conference calls and now I can multitask during them. That combined with reduced random chit chat with colleagues, no commute, no lunch break has somehow led me to find several extra hours in the day during which unfortunately I can’t really go too far away from my computers (so soulcycle is out ;)) I don’t have kids and I know asking for more work will not come with a salary increase so I am loathe to do that. Hence the question re what can I do such that I don’t feel I am leaning out while being in 3 mins distance from my work desk.

    • I would love to have this problem. This sounds like a chance to lean in to professional activities that are bigger than your job. You could take on-line courses, write articles, get involved in professional organizations…

    • Triangle Pose :

      If you love Soulcycle, buy a peleton bike or set up your trainer on a bike and buy bike desk.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Not sure she loves soul cycle. It was a joke I made from yesterday’s post that was a continuation of a joke from like, August on here, when someone went off about how people who WFH are just at soul cycle all day and making pot roasts. Really hilarious post.

        • leaning out :

          OP here, thanks Sloan for the dose of humor! I am dying to find the original rant post and google could only take me until june 27 when other comments including yours reference it. Hilarious!

          KAT/SOMEONE PLEASE fix the search function here!! I really really want to read that rant coz I think I may be living the ranter’s nightmare ;)

        • Triangle Pose :

          Oh I forgot about that – yeah that one from August or whenever was really weird! WFH is pretty normal, like what the heck.

    • Thanks for the clarification! On-line classes are great and there also may be opportunities to do volunteer work that is online. I used to help with a project where volunteers proofed OCR scans of old books to make sure the words were correct. I don’t remember what project I worked with but here is one from the Smithsonian. It was pretty easy work as you are just comparing an image with the text so easy to put down and pick up as you have time.

  23. I thought they made a really similar piece in sleeveless? The Martha maybe? Or you could just have a tailor remove the sleeves altogether and wear a cardigan if the coldness is a year-round problem.

    • Ouch that hurts! :

      Brilliant! Thank you … I’ll just have the sleeves removed! (Face palm as all my clothes are tailored for an extreme hourglass figure…)

  24. I keep getting emails from something called Lawyers of Distinction. Is this a real thing or is it spam?

  25. Show of hands since this board leans affluent – how many went to schools with metal detectors? Someone explain to me why suburban schools can’t do what city schools have done for 50 yrs — 1 controlled entrance with metal detectors and 2-3 armed guards who can shoot down anyone trying to shoot their way in? I know people will scream – oh that’ll never work bc 2 ppl were shot outside etc. But isn’t saving 15/17 lives better than 0 out of 17? I feel like it comes down to the fact that people in Bethesda, Rye, Summitt are affluent enough that this doesn’t look good in their schools but again – isn’t taking matters into your own school boards hands better than sitting and waiting for the Fed or state govt to do something with gum control – which they won’t (and yes gun control is the best solution IMO but why not consider partial solutions)?

    • Wow okay you are extremely uninformed. Schools with metal detectors don’t typically have 2 or 3 armed guards. That’s not reality.

      • Well you need the armed guards or else a shooter waltzes thru the detector sets it off and the unarmed person yells at him but so what? He’s in with his weaponry. Govt buildings do this daily – no reason schools can’t. They can find the $ if they want to. Why shut it down – with oh you have no clue – why not discuss it?

    • I am all for metal detectors and guards. Especially since our local suburban middle school and high school already have armed officers on campus who are currently being used to help our state maintain its #1 ranking in student referrals to law enforcement (for disciplinary issues that should be dealt with by the administration), instead of actually keeping the students safe.

      And I grew up in L.A. public schools.

    • I agree. I visited Israel and felt very safe because there were metal detectors and armed guards everywhere. There’s a reason why mass shootings never take place at airports. I don’t know why we don’t have screening for schools and malls and movie theaters the way we do for airports. It would be a nuisance for sure but way better than getting shot.

      • OMG this – I’ve been saying for 10 yrs that we should have TSA style security everywhere — malls, movies, schools etc. So it adds 10 min; it’ll also create employment for 100s of thousands of people rolling out of the military. Was in India about a yr after the Mumbai terror attack for a work trip and despite the population density, felt so safe – metal detectors everywhere from high end malls to hotels to work skyscrapers. I imagine Israel feels like that.

        • Seriously? This comes close to the more guns = safer logic that I just cannot abide. I feel extremely uneasy when I travel and see armed guards all over the place. In THIS country, I think seeing armed guards would just normalize carrying guns even more than it already is. This is not the future I want for my community at all.

          • + 1 million

            Doesn’t feel like the land of the free if I have to go through a metal detector to enter any public space

          • So you feel uneasy in Penn Station or NYC generally when the Hercules team is around (nypd w machine guns)? Why? I think there aren’t enough of them and I do think they are a deterrent. Not that schools need those – guards with holstered handguns are still better than nothing.

          • +1

          • I don’t think armed guards is the same as “more guns = safer”, certainly not the way the NRA presents that argument. There is a big difference between having police checkpoints you have to go through to get into certain public buildings (we already have this in courthouses and airports) and saying the country would be safer if every citizen were carrying a gun. I agree with you the latter is demonstrably not true, if for no other reason than the fact that guns (even ones owned by good people) cause many, many accidental deaths. But courthouses and airports are never the sites of successful mass shootings. Malls, movie theaters and schools are. If we can have metal detectors and guards in certain buildings, why can’t we have them everywhere?

            The notion of kids being psychologically damaged by it is BS. Kids are already terrified of getting shot in school. In our (safe, suburban) school district they have active shooter drills starting in kindergarten. This is something kids know about and are already afraid of.

          • This. I’m fairly sure 5 year olds already scared with all the talks of – then you’ll be kept in this closet until it’s safe again and btw that could take 4-5 hours until the cops come get us. I think they’d much prefer to hear there’s a guard at the door whose job it is to keep bad guys out.

          • I think the psychological impact of armed guards is different if you are a person who assumes “obviously these people work for me and mine.” It’s a kind of privilege.

          • No idea what you’re trying to say? It’s privilege to be able to use property tax money and cut a few sports teams to pay for security?

          • To me it seems like a kind of privilege to be 100% confident that armed guards are on one’s side and out for one’s interests. I don’t think that’s a safe assumption for all good people to make. Who is being guarded? Who are they being guarded from? So often “us/them” divisions have been drawn across race and class boundaries, at least in people’s minds. If you are used to belonging to a group perceived as “them,” I think it makes sense to be nervous around armed security.

            How much do you trust the people with the guns? How much do taxpayers, writ large, care about what happens to you? How would the media report on something that happened to you?

        • This comment reads like OP’s comment who is someone who likes to stir up trouble around here. Very familiar writing patterns.

          • I think people are allowed to have different views. I’m not seeing OP being rude or disrespectful about it. Seems like she asked for a discussion.

        • Seventh Sister :

          Frankly, I do get worried when I see police officers with automatic weapons. I don’t have an inherent trust in law enforcement.

    • My schools didn’t have this. I also think it’s a pretty bad idea. Maybe I will reassess if school shootings continue to increase, but on the whole they are still very rare in absolute terms. Requiring all kids to go through metal detectors and be under the gaze of armed guards every day would impose a very significant psychological cost on children. I have always felt that it was an unfair psychological cost on kids in cities where this is the norm. Also, more often than preventing gun violence, police in schools lead to normal behavioral infractions being criminalized rather than dealt with at the school.

      Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a solution to this problem that doesn’t involve stricter gun control.

      • Please they’ll get over it to where it’s just second nature. Israelis manage to deal with the psych stress; as to Americans working in government buildings or going to court or airports. And as for kids being criminalized — don’t do anything wrong and follow the rules and you won’t be. I agree gun control is the best solution but it seems like we’re just sitting on our hands unwilling to accept anything but the best solution which may never come. Some progress is better than none.

        • Anonymous :

          ” And as for kids being criminalized — don’t do anything wrong and follow the rules and you won’t be.”

          Because that works so well for the many unarmed Black youth and adults, and others, who’ve been killed by law enforcement.

          • Anonymous :

            Not to mention it’s completely unreasonable to think that irrational, hormonal teenagers will NEVER break rules. I mean, that’s part of the job of being a teenager–testing boundaries and learning what does and doesn’t fly in society. Can you imagine if every teen who skipped class was charged with truancy, every teen who pushed their classmate was charged with assault, and every teen who pulled a school prank was charged with disorderly conduct? The response of Anon at 12:00 boggles my mind to the point of thinking they may just be trolling.

      • I think it’s naive to think the problem is not already taking a huge psychological toll on kids. I know lots of younger elementary school age kids who have told their parents they’re scared about being shot at school (and these are not kids who know school shooting victims directly, they are just picking it up from friends, the news, etc.). I don’t think going through metal detectors would faze them.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes. My daughter is terrified every time they have an active shooter drill at her school.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I was terrified as a kid of fire drill. I was a bit of an odd kid lol. But the alarm scared me and when we would get a heads up it was coming I’d still be scared. I’d think how scary it would be if there was actually a fire and what if it wasn’t actually a drill. I am certain active shooter drills are scarier.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I hear what you’re saying, but as someone who works in urban public schools, I assure you that the metal detectors are rarely if ever used/actually turned on. And forget about armed (or non-armed!) guards. It’s more like one teacher who is assigned entry duty and occasionally asks a student to open up their backpack. That’s what urban schools realistically have the money and capacity to do.

      • I think OP is saying bring that urban model to suburban where it IS affordable. This town has a median income over 100k that’s a legit wealthy town as were Newtown, Colombine — property taxes and if needed cutting a few extracurriculars would cover it.

        • Elegant Giraffe :

          Sure – but I want to clarify that (most) urban schools aren’t actually using this model. I also am not sure that suburban taxpayers and school boards would readily fund this over other things, like lower teacher:student ratios, more technology, resources for athletics, etc.

          • Ok well if lower student teacher ratios and a curling team are more important than safety then people are making their beds by sitting around whining for gun control, the one thing that’s not going to happen ever or for years, rather than trying some self help.

          • I don’t think she’s saying it’s a bad idea. But what she (and other posters) are saying is that the original comment assumes this model exists somewhere, and generally, it doesn’t. Which I think is an important clarification, since it means we’d be venturing into the unknown by trying to make this our security model for schools – it’s not just as easy as replicating something that’s already happening. And our model of local control for schools means it can’t be centrally mandated.

            All that being said, I don’t honestly know what else to try at this point. And yes, I know – gun control (which I thoroughly support), better mental health care (ditto), etc. But those are long-term fixes, and it sure feels like we need to stop the bleeding now.

            FWIW, my mother taught in the public schools for 40 years, and it horrifies me that I’m relieved she’s now out of the classroom.

          • J3sus, Anonymous, you’ve stirred the pot enough. Go away.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to this is a stereotype. My district is an urban one, top 10 largest in my state. We don’t have metal detectors and armed guards. We have had temporary metal detectors brought in whenever there’s an incident. Yes, there have been stabbings and guns brought to school. Kids posted social media pics with a gun in the high school.

        Our HS is so large, 3500 students, that it takes a couple hours (yes, hours) to get all the kids through the metal detectors.

    • I went to a suburban public school that had enough issues to warrant metal detectors. Every morning we had to open our backpacks so the security guards could look through them, they would open my violin case while I prayed they wouldn’t drop it, and then another security guard would scan you with one of those metal detector wands.
      We had issues with kids calling in bogus threats or writing “bomb” on a bathroom wall. So the school did what they could to make sure the school was secure at the beginning of the day and reduce the likelihood of an actual risk.
      There were no armed guards.

    • Anonattorney :

      I would rather have better gun control than a police state.

      • I think everyone agrees that gun control is ideal. But I think the OP’s point is that better gun control is clearly not happening (in my personal opinion, if it didn’t happen after Newtown, it never will), so wouldn’t metal detectors be better than the repeated mass shootings?

        • or maybe not giving up on gun control? Pretty sure metal detectors everywhere is just going to result in more black kids getting shot because a rent-a-cop ‘mistakes’ a pack of skittle for a gun in their hand.

          How about we adopt the solution of every western developed country where this doesn’t happen (gun control), instead of turning ourselves into a war torn or developing country where people live in constant fear. I don’t want metal detectors, I want to be able to go to a school or the mall without worrying about getting shot. I don’t want a bandaid on a gaping wound.

          • So until there is gun control maybe 1 year from now or 15 years from now, let’s do nothing because OMG “Black kids.” Okay makes perfect sense. Let me guess you’re a raging liberal? Only arguments and perfect policy matter not actual (partial) solutions. Even Obama talked about how progress is important even if not perfect. Look it up though I imagine with the Obama cult worship on this board people have his speeches memorized.

          • I don’t think expanding what kinds of buildings have security checkpoints is mutually exclusive with continuing to push for gun control. I certainly hope for both. Security at airports was implemented as a direct result of terrorist attacks and has been widely accepted as an annoying but acceptable price of air travel. I don’t believe increased airport security has led to any kind of reduction in government efforts to find and apprehend terrorists (which would be the analogy to gun control here). We’re just approaching the problem from many different angles.

            I understand that schools are different, because they’re not optional the way air travel is, but I don’t understand the resistance to having metal detectors in malls or movie theaters at all. That seems to me to be completely equivalent to airline security. You want to participate in this activity? Fine, go through some additional security screening to prove that it’s safe for you to be here.

          • No, not ‘let’s do nothing’. Nothing is what conservatives and the NRA want. They are happy enough to see kids murdered by the hundreds as long as they get to keep their precious assault rifles and handguns, they don’t care who dies.

            Don’t care about Obama. Care about kids not dying. Gun control achieves that. It is currently working in every other country. None of which have had 29 shootings in 45 days. It is insane that anyone thinks the solution is anything except gun control. USA is the only western democracy too dumb to figure that out. The level of stupidity is so f’in embarrassing.

          • I want to live in the USA. If I wanted to live in a place where I had to go through metal detectors to enter a school or a mall, I’d move to a developing country. Literally no western democracy lives like that. It’s so embarrasing that it’s even a discussion.

          • The repeated references to “developing countries” are really offensive. Israel is not a developing country. And it’s not like this is a special exception just for airports – in my US state we have security at sports venues (professional and college), concerts, plenty of museums. Why is it that acceptable to you, but it’s not ok at the mall or movie theater? It just seems like a distinction without a difference to me.

            And you realize the NRA folks make the same “I want to live in the USA, land of the free” argument as a reason why we can’t have gun control, right?

          • Anonymous :

            You might find the references to ‘developing’ countries’ offensive but metal detectors used to protect rich people in malls and other buildings as well as armed guards is a common feature of those countries. Israel isn’t a developing country but it’s hardly a model of the kind of free and democratic society we want to have. And even Israel isn’t using metal detectors to stop mass shootings. They don’t have a mass shooing problem because they have gun control.

            It’s almost like gun control is the WORLDWIDE solution to mass shootings.

          • facts matter :

            Okay, I’ve seen this trope here one time too many. Unarmed black kids getting shot by police happens less frequently than school shootings, in absolute terms. And the shooting you’re referencing – Trayvon Martin – was a murder committed by a private citizen, not the police.

          • re. facts matter :

            Why do you think anyone was referencing Trayvon Martin? I thought of Tamir Rice when I read that comment.

            I think school security should always raise concerns about prejudice and scapegoating. When the Columbine shooters were (inaccurately) characterized as “loners” and associated with every disaffected subculture that already annoyed school officials, many completely innocent students were ostracized and persecuted by the adults in charge. Police were brought in over the most trivial and unsubstantiated accusations. Facts didn’t actually matter.

            Look up “school-to-prison pipeline.” School security is already targeting students according to preexisting prejudice, and it’s deeply concerning.

      • So if the choices are self help via metal detectors vs doing nothing, you choose doing nothing. Got it. You’d rather wait for the perfect solution (gun control) rather than trying partial solutions. Cool.

      • Anonymous :

        Me too. But after 10+ years of personal activism around gun control, I have given up. Actually, I basically gave up after Newtown, because if 25 dead six-year-olds won’t change things, nothing will. No one wants to change the root of the problem, which is access to guns. I want my child and my loved ones to come home safe at the end of the day. So let’s try it the Israeli way, and see if that works. While we sit around dithering about this, kids die. Why are we accepting that?

        • Anonymous :

          Metal detectors don’t solve anything. These mass shooters aren’t ‘sneaking’ in guns. If there are metal detectors with armed guards, shooter walks up and shoots guard, enters and continues shooting. Israel’s security issues are entirely different and related to different types of terrorism. That simple isn’t the same issue and the same response isn’t going to work.

          Guns are the issue. No guns, no mass shootings. It’s literally that simple. People just have to care about this enough and we clearly don’t because a majority of white women voted for Trump. The hard truth to accept is that the price of kids dying so that adults can keep their assault rifles has been accepted by this country. This is where we live now. Unless we want to change that, or give up and move to Canada, it will continue to happen. 29 shootings in 45 days? This is not going to stop anytime soon.

    • Seventh Sister :

      I finished high school in the mid-90s, and there was definitely an emotional/racist reaction to the idea of metal detectors. That was for “bad” schools, in the “urban” areas nearby, which was code for “schools with more than three black kids in them.” My area was an affluent-ish exurb in MD – a lot of white middle-class and working-class people with a few “rich” people thrown into the mix (and not big-city rich, more well-off contractors or physicians). Our high school building was old and had two main entrances. I’m not sure if they could have blocked one even if they’d wanted to due to fire code issues.

      From a practical perspective, the cost of the equipment and the staff is probably the issue. Even in wealthy American school districts, the money is not infinite and there is a real aversion to hiring any staff other than more teachers.

      Another thing to consider is that metal detectors and guards don’t help much if someone starts their shooting at the school entrance.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I didn’t go to the public high school in my town but they (and the town next door, and the small city with crime problems next to that) all have metal detectors.

      I don’t get what the big deal is either at the high school level (obviously might be traumatic for little kids) – for every single job / internship interview I had in college in NYC I had to go through a metal detector.

      • JuniorMinion :

        Also I grew up in CT which has very strict gun control laws (stricter than national). It is just a safety issue.

        • Anonattorney :

          I would be fine for gun control laws, then metal detectors. I’m not fine with no gun control laws, but metal detectors. Metal detectors (plus armed guards) without sufficient gun control laws increases violence, in my opinion.

  26. Advice on going to Ireland without renting a car? I know a lot of people say you need to rent a car, but honestly the stress of doing that would not be fun for us (just trust me on that one). We have about 10 days in May and most likely will be flying in and out of Dublin. Galway and Cork were the other places I was thinking of staying and then taking day trips from there. Thoughts?

    • If you refuse to rent a car you’ll be spending your vacation taking bus trips which sounds like he11 to me but Knock yourself out.

    • Coming from someone who rented a car in Ireland AND crashed it, I still agree with the others. You need a car to see Ireland. We were there for five days, based in Dublin. Spent two days seeing Dublin, and three days doing day trips to Galway, Cork and Tipperary.

      The crash was basically a parking mishap. It is surprisingly difficult to gauge how close you are to another car when you’re driving on the “wrong” side of the car. Make sure you rent the car with a credit card that covers this. We had zero out of pocket after all was said and done, but it was a bit of a hassle.

    • Well, how do you expect to get around without a car? Are you looking into bus tours for those day trips?

    • You really need a car or to take an organized tour to see the Irish countryside. There are plenty of options for tours that will show you the country very well in 10 days. Otherwise you need to just visit a couple of cities and accept that you are visiting Dublin and Cork, not Ireland as a whole.

    • Honestly, everyone else is right and you really do need a car unless you want to be on a non-fun senior citizen bus tour. Driving is not that bad over there, I promise. There’s no traffic. Make sure to rent an automatic and make sure you have gps access via your phone (or rent a gps) and you’ll be just fine.

    • Against the grain, do it, you’ll be fine and have a lovely time meeting people you otherwise wouldn’t. I spent about two months in Ireland without a car and it was just grand. Since you’re there for a short time I would recommend planning things out before you get there to make sure things line up with the schedules.

      • Anonymous :

        Thank you! I really want to go to Ireland, but driving just isn’t an option so I’m glad to hear a voice of dissent!

    • We did not rent a car. Instead, we hired a driver to take private tours to see the countryside. It was amazing and not as expensive as I thought it would be.

    • Take the train from Dublin to Galway for half your trip. You can do plenty of bus trips based out of Galway and it’s a fun city to stay in for the evenings.

    • I live in Ireland with my (Irish) boyfriend and we don’t have a car. His family lives all over the country – when we need to visit them from Dublin we just take the train. Trains in Ireland are actually really nice and clean compared to my home country (France). If you’re going from city to city with some daytrips I think a combination of trains and buses would be fine.

  27. Anyone tried MM LaFleur’s new suiting? I wonder if they’ll reliably add pieces in the same materials (at least in the navy/black wool blend).

  28. Has anyone purchased shoes from therealreal consignment site? Or, used shoes in general? I’ve always been rather grossed out by it, but there are some beautiful options that look to be in good condition. I know I’ll never spend that much on the new shoes, so the used option is tempting.

    • Flats Only :

      I’ve bought lightly used shoes from eBay, and never found them to be gross. Look closely at the pictures. Usually they seem to be pairs that someone bought and only wore a couple of times for whatever reason. If you are afraid of germs you can always wipe the inside with a lysol wipe before wearing them.

      • Same. I have a favorite brand that’s no longer made (Fidji) and an unusual size so I stalk my combo on eBay all the time. I have bought both new and lightly used and honestly couldn’t tell the difference.

    • Ouch that hurts! :

      I’ve both bought and sold shoes on Real Real. They are extremely selective as to what they choose to sell.

      I’ve also bought shoes from consignment stores, and it was so-so. I kept the ones which were in the best shape and donated the others out of buyers remorse.

      I do use clorox wipes on the shoes before fully making them mine, btw. ymmv

    • I’ve bought slightly used shoes from Ebay and Tradesy, and have been very pleased. Look at the photos and send messages to confirm the condition if you have any questions.

    • Anonymous :

      I sell my used shoes on Poshmark, but only when they’re in excellent condition and just didn’t work for me for some reason or another (lately, it’s been because the heel is too high or toe is too pointy). I would say go for it, but make sure to take a look at the photos of the inner and outer sole closely to get an idea of how much they’ve been worn. And agree with lysol/clorox wiping them before wear – especially for dress or other shoes you wear without socks!

  29. Tailors in DC? :

    In NoVa/DC — I need general alterations made to a bridesmaids dress, and a zipper replaced on another dress. I was going to go to Cheryl Lofton, who has done all my friends’ wedding dresses, but not sure if it’s “overkill”? Bonus points for Arlington/Navy Yard.

  30. I’m Mayflower people and I like fart jokes :)

  31. Shopping help please!

    I’m looking for a jewel toned blazer to wear with a black v neck sheath dress…

    Seems all I can find are black and gray. Another complicating factor is the fact that I have a very long waist. I typically buy talls but a regular could possibly work since I’m wearing it with a dress and sometimes the proportions look better than way…

    Quick shipping is a bonus…

  32. Remote positions :

    May be too late for this, sorry if I end up reposting this afternoon.

    While job searching last night, I came across a remote government position. For many reasons, WFH would be good for me, but I don’t know how to find them. Ideally government, so is there a way to search for remote/telework/etc positions on USAJobs? It may be super simple but I couldn’t find it. Or, are there keywords I should search?

    More generally, how does one go about finding a WFH position? I’m in the nonprofit sector now, looking to move over to government. Do not want to go private sector.

    • They’re not terribly common. I’ve been in and around government for years and have never heard of one. Governments are generally old-fashioned like that.

    • Just a word of warning, USA jobs is an empty black hole unless you are a veteran. I have been applying for years and never hear back, or get an automated email saying I was qualified but was not referred over those with veteran status. I would encourage you to lean more into networking than blindly applying on USA jobs. Just my 2 cents.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I’ve heard the same thing. I do have a disability, so I have a bit of a plus there because some jobs are veteran/people with disabilities only, but yeah. I’m focusing more on local government.

        Also because I don’t like the idea of even directly working for this administration.

      • Anonymous :

        For what its worth, this is not true for attorney positions. Since they are not-Union, they don’t have to follow the same process

    • A bit late on this one, but my company posts a lot on weworkremotely dot com. You may have to filter through to see non-profits, but it could be a start. Good luck!

  33. What would you do? :

    L*bido is generally low and has taken a complete nose dive in the past few months. I’ve been on the same BC pill for 6 years (my entire s*xually active life so no real l*bido comparison as far as before and after the pill. Going to the doctor today and considering getting off of it all together to see if my l*bido increases. However, I like having planned, light periods and knowing when I will expect them. Would you (have you) get off the pill or try a different one?

    • After having some issues with the pill I switched to Mirena. It didn’t really help my libido, but if I were you I’d start there as YMMV. I’ve been off all BC for over 5 years now and realized my drive to garden is just really low. Doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it.

  34. I have a white rug and two dogs, and so now there’s dog vomit all over my white rug. How do I get this cleaned? Do dry cleaners dryclean rugs?

    • Anonymous :

      Some cleaners do rugs and it’s usually expensive. I gave up, got a cheap rug at Target and periodically haul it outside and hose it down/scrub with OxyClean powder then leave outside to dry. Rug has survived intact.

      I realized that my dog had no realistic intention of giving up the joy of expelling his bodily fluids onto my rug. But maybe your dogs are better ;0

      • Anonymous :

        This, and I have had a regular carpet cleaner work on them so that might be good if you have carpets or upholstery being cleaned. I have to say it didn’t work well on urine even though we let it dry in the sun 24 hours after cleaning but vomit should do better!

    • We always use specialist rug cleaners (so I’m not sure, though doubtful, if a clothing dry cleaner would do this). A search for Persian carpet cleaner in your area should yield results.

    • I’m just gonna agree with the others. You need a non-white rug. I’d go with a synthetic with a dominant pattern of lots of colors to hide stains.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I haven’t tested them but commenters on A**zon swear by Bissell stomp and go wipes for pets. I ordered some and will test them tonight and report back.

    • We have a portable spot and stain cleaner for cleaning dog stains out of our area rugs. It was inexpensive and works like a charm.

  35. Dinner Help Needed! :

    I really need new, quickish dinners in my rotation. I have 3 children: one who eats everything, one who strongly prefers meat/chicken and one who strongly prefers veggies. Bonus points for things that can be tastily re-heated for lunch the next day since the oldest comes home for lunch while I’m at work.

    Things that have been working:
    – grilled eggplant, mozzarella panini from Blue Apron (only recipe that we kept)
    – Korean bbq
    – grilled salmon with maple glaze (other kinds of fish have not been too successful)
    – spaghetti
    – chicken cutlet (panko breaded)
    – milder curries with chicken and a veg thrown in
    – endless Tex Mex (enchiladas, tacos, burritos, flautas)

    Any other suggestions??? So uninspired here.

    • Have you read the book Dinner A Love Story. Aside from some pretty good recipes (I like the old school porcupine meatballs) her thoughts on feeding picky eaters are really good.

      What I particularly like is her approach to “deconstructed” meals. For instance, for a big tossed salad, just have bowls out with all the ingredients so each (picky) eater can pick and choose what they want in their own salad. Can do the same with pasta, etc and of course taco night is perfect for this.

      We also do Greek wraps night, which is a lot like taco night. Some marinated cooked chicken meat, store bought lavash bread, store bought hummus, homemade white sauce (very easy), tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers. A little hot sauce too. All served separately and everyone makes their own.

      • Also on the less successful fish, have you tried fish tacos? My kids will devour tilapia in fish tacos. I just put some chili powder and salt on it and either sauté or bake the fish. Serve with coleslaw, corn tortillas, guacamole and a quick crema if you have some sour cream or plain yogurt handy – around 1 c sour cream, 1/4 tsp each cayenne, cumin and coriander (or you can use taco seasoning), salt and lime juice to taste.

        I especially like fish tacos with thinly sliced radishes.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Grilled cheese sandwiches
      Chili (great for re-heating!)
      My son used to love Slider Night although that’s not great for the veggie preferer
      Second the idea for pasta with choice of trimmings

    • Also, I am all over your thread sorry

      Pasta other than spaghetti (with, I assume, red sauce?). How about pesto sauce? My kids have absolutely loved pesto since they were born. I don’t think it’s a difficult flavor profile, and they are picky about lots of things.

      Chicken and rice? I find that the pickiest eaters will still eat a ton of rice when it’s made with some fat and some chicken broth. I brown salted and peppered bone-in skin-on chicken thighs in a deep skillet, remove to a plate, add a chopped onion to the fat in the pan, when translucent add a cup and a half of long grain rice, sauté that until coated with fat and slightly nutty smelling, add 3 c chicken broth (or a can of chicken broth and enough water to make 3 c) and salt and pepper, put the browned chicken pieces back on top and simmer covered for 20 min. I usually add some chopped herbs if I have them but if you have a kid who fears anything green skip that part. This is great for leftovers lunch.

      • Dinner Help Needed! :

        Thanks, both!

        I forgot about grilled cheese, although their go-to snack is cheese quesadilla so I feel like we eat lots of carbs plus cheese lol

        I love pesto and BONUS is that it’s good cold for lunch the next day. One of the three doesn’t like it, but I’m ok with majority rules and the naysayers eats toast. BUT I have never successfully made pesto – any good recipes? I just buy the (stupidly expensive) jarred stuff at Williams Sonoma b/c it’s the only jarred pesto that tastes good (to me).

        Thank you for the chicken and rice recipe – I’m going to try it!

        I also think maybe I need to get better at stir fry…. I never know what sauce type stuff to add to the chicken and veggies. I’ve tried fried rice and they will mostly eat that….

        • I am also terrible at stir fry. For pesto I like Marcella Hazan’s recipe, but I totally ignore all of her advice about only using the tiniest leaves and using a mortar and pestle. I basically toast some pine nuts in a skillet, let them cool a bit, take all the leaves from a bunch of basil and stick it in a blender or food processor. Add a starting glug of olive oil (use the good stuff for this) and then slowly stream in olive oil till the consistency you like. Add the cooled pine nuts (I grind them a little with the pesto, but not so much that they disappear), some lemon juice and salt to taste. Then I hand stir in some grated Parmesan. Sometimes i don’t add the Parmesan and just add it at the table.

        • Also the regular Barilla pesto in a jar from the grocery store is not terrible if there are other things in the recipe. For instance I might use it inside a grilled cheese sandwich (served with tomato soup – yum!) or in a pesto cream sauce for pasta. I also use it for homemade pizza or to just add some herbs to whatever I’m cooking.

          • Dinner Help Needed! :


            Your comment reminds me that I usually skip homemade pizza because delivery is so cheap (and delicious) but it might be a good way to get the kids involved in the kitchen and fun. Do you use the premade dough for crusts or make your own? I’ve never used anything other than the pre-made pizza dough at Trader Joe’s….

          • I do both store bought and homemade. I will admit rarely homemade because of the rising time – it’s just not feasible for a weeknight. But for a weekend I like Julia Child’s pizza dough. And this is another DIY option for picky eaters. I just put out the toppings and they make their own. The kid who “hates” olives in any form put black olives on their own pizza and ate every crumb so….

            I don’t eat gluten so my own crust is always a frozen gluten free crust. Pressed for time, I’d do a frozen regular crust for everyone. We like individual size crusts.

          • Anonymous :

            Re. pizza: You can make individual-sized pizzas, par-cook them, freeze them, and then cook them straight from the freezer. Total game changer. Search “Cooking Light individual white chicken pizzas” to find the recipe I started with. I use TJ’s refrigerated crust and don’t make my own ricotta. The method works with any type of pizza, which is a bonus if you have picky eaters because each kid can have the toppings she likes.

          • Anonymous :

            Naan also makes a great pizza crust.

    • Do they eat rice? Veggie “fried” (sauteed in olive oil) rice, chicken and broccoli over rice, beef with broccoli over rice, the combos are kind of endless. You can put together a quick sauce with tamari, sesame oil, rice vinegar (look up a recipe; I don’t know ratios).

      I love the buitoni pesto from the store. I haven’t been successful in making it either, but this is so good I see no point in spending time to make it.

    • +2 (3?) for Dinner: A Love Story. I like her next book after that even more in some ways — Dinner: The Playbook.

      Also highly recommend the blog “100 Days of Real Food” for good, simple, straightforward recipes. Under “Recipes,” click on “Meal Ideas and Resources” and choose Dinner.

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