Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ponte Sheath Dress

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

Readers always like Lands’ End ponte sheath dresses — they’re machine washable and they come in a lot of size ranges (regular, petite, tall, and plus) — and there are tons of great dresses on sale right now: in solids, with sleeves, and this gorgeous faux wrap dress (a previous recommendation). This one is down to just $35 and comes in five colorways. We’re featuring the navy polka dot, which isn’t too feminine for the office and is nice for spring. If you see something else you like, note that you can get 20% off regular-priced items today. Ponte Sheath Dress

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  1. Anonymous :

    Do you all ever feel nervous about leaving a job after one year?

    I have this gut feeling that my team will hate me since they spent so much time training me.

    • Wanderlust :

      Can you describe in general the size of your company and the industry? In some industries (e.g., biglaw), first year associates are pretty fungible and there are many people waiting in the wings who could replace you. At a smaller firm/company or in a more niche industry, finding a replacement may be a bit harder.

    • Nobody likes training someone and seeing them leave. But if the situation isn’t working, it’s not working, and that’s it. Better to move on and let them try to find someone who may end up being invested for the long term. Also, if they lose too many qualified people after a year, someone may realize there are issues with the department. Please remember as well, the business existed before you got there and will continue to exist after you leave.

      Also, protip: life gets a lot easier when you stop caring if people you barely know and will never see again like you, or will be angry with you. :) If this is the right move for you, they will understand. Everyone will move on fairly quickly; none of us are as indispensable as we think. Yes, it can be hard when the member of a small team departs, but life goes on for everyone.

      • Thank you for the protip.

        How do you build and maintain relationships if you don’t care about what other people think?

        • Easily. The key is not caring what, as Amy said, “people you barely know and will never see again” think. Not that you don’t care what _anyone_ thinks.

          • Yup. I’ve also stopped caring if someone I DO care about has an issue with a decision that I am making that is inherently much better for me than the alternative. For instance:

            I left my last job after three years. I was burned out (it was a highly emotional area of the law), and the office was poorly managed, leading to lots of infighting which was killing me. When I was offered current job (better pay, fewer hours, less stress, more opportunity for advancement) the boss (who I like personally) and several of my “work friends” (who I still talk to) balked. They were upset.

            Did not care. I was sensitive that this would affect them, and maintained professional habits until the end. I made the transition as smooth as possible (though b/c of poor management they didn’t hire the candidate to replace me that was the obvious choice for about three months after I left, even though he interviewed during my transition).

            I am super happy now. I love my job. I don’t dread coming to work, or the toxic environment I used to work in. I am still friendly with some of those people, but I don’t care even a little if they are upset that I made the best professional decision for me. If they’re unhappy, they too can leave.

          • Remember, generally (industry/location dependent of course) your immediate coworkers are not going to be in a position to truly affect your long-term career prospects. Now, you absolutely should not burn bridges and you should transition in the best way possible, but this is business, not personal. You also will likely not stay in touch with 99% of your former coworkers (again, industry and location specific). Sure, you were friendly while you worked together and maybe you did form one or two true friendships, but work is work and people move on.

        • She didn’t say “don’t care about what anyone thinks”. She said not to worry about what people think if you barely know them and won’t ever see them again, as is likely (but not necessarily) the case with your current co-workers. You can’t build relationships with everyone in the world, although you can avoid burning bridges.

      • Depending on the rest of your work history, it may be sensible to care about what a future reference thinks of you, but for most of your ex-co-workers it really doesn’t matter.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it depends in part on why you’re leaving. People are probably most understanding of a candidate leaving for personal reasons (spouse’s job relocation, moving to be near an aging parent) and pretty understanding of someone leaving to go back to school or to switch roles/industries. If you’re going to a similar role at a competitor for more money/prestige, that’s what’s most likely to cause hurt feelings. But you have to do what’s best for you and as long as you give sufficient notice and work hard to wrap up your projects you haven’t done anything wrong by leaving after a year.

    • Sassyfras :

      I recently left a job after a year and my boss and team members were happy for me. I think the higher ups might have been upset that I had left after such a short time… but at the end of the day, I needed to do what was best for myself and the organization was not the right fit for me. Have been at the new organization for a month and am much happier. And on my way out, my previous boss said he would be willing to give me a good reference if I needed it.

    • JuniorMinion :

      You should also not feel bad (regardless of what your colleagues say) if you are leaving due to declining workload / health of the business reasons. I recently left a job after 1.5 years where there were some concerns about cash flow / future of my role. My boss kind of guilted me about it and counteroffered hard. A month after I left that entire team got laid off.

      • That’s a really common story, unfortunately. For younger professionals, here’s another protip: you can have loyalty to your company. Expecting the company to reciprocate that loyalty, especially in troubled times, is naive. A few years ago, a good friend of mine turned down a great job offer because she felt loyal to her team and didn’t want to put them into hardship. Two months later – after the other position had been filled – her company laid off 100 people, including her entire team (and including her). One of my bosses used to say, these days, we’re all just temps. Managing our own careers and making sure our own ends are covered is our responsibility; no one else’s.

        • +1,000 Never let the camaraderie that you have with your coworkers shadow the fact that if the company wants to fire you/let you go, they are going to do that without a second thought. Ultimately, my boss isn’t the person who makes the decision to fire me/lay me off, someone several rungs up the ladder does and I can guarantee that the financial decisions of the company > my coworkers liking me and thinking I do a great job.

    • Anonymous :

      Regardless of how your team feels, I would worry about how future potential employers would feel seeing that on your resume. If you are early in your career it is more understandable.

    • Of course, because in most industries employers expect a permanent hire to stick around for 2 or more years absent extenuating services. But you shouldn’t let nervousness prevent you from making a move after a year if it’s the right thing for you. You need to look out for number one.

    • S in Chicago :

      I’d be more nervous on how it looks from the outside. Usually it takes about a year to settle into a role and have folks expect normal performance (rather than, she’s new or in training). If the move isn’t for something that’s obviously a better title or company, I’d worry about it on the resume and having folks think it might not have been totally by choice.

      For the emotional aspect, I think that’s only an issue if the person has a lot of stake in it (they sacrificed a lot of personal time to train you or they own a small business and are hyper aware of cost). Otherwise, I think folks just expect that not everyone will stay forever, especially these days.

      • I’ll second the first paragraph. In law firm hiring, I get worried if I see a string of 1-2 year stints, as in my experience it’s after the 1 year mark where you find whether the person can hack it, so between year 1-2 is when people are shown the door or self-select out. This doesn’t apply if it’s a geographic move, promotion, only 1 short stint, etc.

        No, don’t worry about what your colleagues will think or if they’ll be mad at you.

    • Anonymous :

      OP, I took a job six months ago in a department has had a ton of turnover (I didn’t know about all the turnover until after I joined). Now I’m pretty miserable and considering leaving after a year if I can stick it out another 6 months. No job is worth my happiness or mental health IMO. It reflects badly on them, not you.

  2. Analysis paralysis :

    Kat did a post a while back about finding a job in two hours a day. Googling it got way too many results. I had no idea that was such a popular topic! I’ve just spent too much time wading through some of the sites.

    Have you used online tools to plan a successful job search? Which one, and what field are you in?

    • Anonymous :

      You mean, like on-line job posting boards (I used Indeed) or LinkedIn? I mean, that was about the extent of the “tools” I used. That and reading the Ask A Manager blog.

    • Anonymous :

      I made sure to check Indeed every day (just takes 5 minutes) and then if there were any relevant postings, I tried to carve out time that day or the next to apply to them.

    • Make sure your linkedin page is up to date and that you have maxed out your opportunities on there. When I got really desperate I upgraded my linkedin account for free for 30 days to maximize my exposure. Create email alerts on all of the job boards for key words (indeed, linkedin, monster) in addition to checking each day. Try to apply to a relevant job each day.

    • Recent job hunter here! I had a list of websites that were likely to have relevant openings, and checked them every day. On top of that, I would take some time each day to research companies that would likely be hiring someone like me, and checking their Careers pages*, often sending a resume as a general application or sending an inquiry to the “careers” email address.

      *keep in mind that posting jobs to third party websites like LinkedIn, Venturefizz, Monster, CareerBuilder, Dice, etc. costs money for the employer, and depending on what they’re hiring for, a company’s HR team may find they get a satisfactory applicant flow just on the website, and spending the money on third party postings isn’t necessary, so don’t rely solely on job boards and networking sites.

  3. I have a great mentor who is in a different industry (that I’m trying to transition into) and she is quite candid and open. We’ve already covered a number of topics from strategic to tactical and she’s been very helpful in thinking about priorities, etc.

    What are some of the less common or more impactful questions that you’d ask a mentor?

    For reference, I am an experienced professional (Sr Dir equivalent) and she is more experienced (SVP).

    Thanks in advance hive!

  4. Anonymous :

    Kat what is the deal with moderation this week? Nothing is posting.

  5. Jules - cat-eye sunglasses :

    I read the coffee break yesterday but wanted to mention a great site for sunglasses, ZeroUV. I bought some tortoise-shell Ray-ban knockoffs (after leaving my last, expensive pair of the real things at an airline ticket counter in the thick of a cancelled flight snafu, adding injury to injury). The company’s styles are all, well, zero UV, and some are polarized, which I got. They seem like good quality, they look great and they are ridiculously cheap. (Mine were about $10 a pair but I found an online coupon so they came down to $8; I got two plus one for my SO.)

    Here are there cat-eye styles:

    • Thank you! My SO loves sunglasses so I can’t wait to get him something trendy. This is perfect.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have their (ridiculous!) hollowed cat eye sunglasses and I love them. Feel like such a cool kid when I wear them.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG I just clicked over to look, and the first two options for women were gold-colored wire hexagons. Just like the glasses I wore in eighth grade! I’m dying here…

  6. Anonymous :

    I have three of the “ponte dress with sleeves” Kat links to above. They’re shorter than I thought they would be, and I am only 5’4″. It was surprising to me that this would be the case, as I usually don’t have that problem with Land’s End.

    • I have two of the ponte dress with sleeves and one that is sleeveless. None of them are the same length. One I consider to be actually long enough for me (5’8″) to be professional. One is border line. The sleeveless is the shortest, but it’s bright pink and I got it more for weekends and vacations, so it is fine.

  7. Anonymous :

    Does anyone have any comments on how these fit on the smaller end? I’m usually a 0 in BR and JCrew – should I try the petites (I’m 5’4″ and regular sizes usually fit me better)?

    • Lands End is cut more generously and tend to run short. I’m usually a L at BR/Jcrew and tend to take a M Tall in Lands End.

      • Agreed on generously – I can’t specifically speak to the dresses, but I’m normally a 6 and I was easily a 2/4 in some of the things I ordered from there in the last year or so.

    • The sizing of these dresses changed at some point in the last couple years, and I think in the new sizing you probably will want to stick with regular sizes, not petites. I am 5’6″, and I feel like the new sizing is too short. The fabric changed also since I bought my first dress – it’s more stretchy now and I don’t find it as flattering (especially in combination with the shorter length).

    • I’m 5’1″ and usually 2 or 4 petite. Lands End dresses do not work for me at all. The waist is too high and too wide and shoulders too narrow. I have given up.

  8. Off-key Valkyrie :

    I need advice that falls somewhere between law and finance.
    Situation: Grandpa just had his tax returns hacked. He’s seems unable to understand what the risks are and how important it is that he change his accounts and such. And we’re discovering as we try to help him that he is not as content as he seemed: he told us incorrectly who his lawyer is, can’t give us a list of accounts or monthly bills, and the paper files that used to be in perfect order are several years out of date.
    I know this will probably end with some kind of POA,but in meantime, until we can get that taken care of, we’re trying to protect him from the ID theft immediately.
    1. I don’t know what to do other than reopening the account’s where he keeps his money. Can anyone who’s been through this recommend a good online guide? It would be especially awesome to read one that adressed trusts or pensions.
    2. Does anyone know of any resources in WA state, non-profits, government agencies, anyone really, that we could ask for help. We’ve already exhausted the local options–everyone knows what’s going on, because the most popular accountants in town got hacked.
    3. General advice. Anything? We’re smart people, but we’ve never dealt with this before, and feeling totally overwhelmed.
    Thanks in advance!

    • I work with a bunch of estate planning and elder law attorneys. You need an elder law attorney and possibly some type of geriatric social worker. An elder law attorney will help you figure out what information you need and what you need to do going forward.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a local office on aging? Maybe start there. Our state AG has a section devoted to elder abuse and have people devoted to financial fraud.

      POAs are easy (so beware of him signing unintended ones set to him by bad actors).

      Guardianship / conservatorship is what’s hard.

      • Yes, your local office of aging/senior services should be able to help. You might also reach out to whichever agency does consumer protection and see if they have advice for you.

        The CFPB has guides for people managing someone else’s money as well:

      • Unfortunately the local version of that only seems to address health/living situations, and abuse associated with that. Very important work, but not helpful in this situation.

    • Did the information that was hacked contain account numbers or just personal identification metrics like SSN and DOB? What measures are being taken by the firms that got hacked? Are they offering credit monitoring to their clients? The state Attorney Generals office and the Federal Trade Commission should have resources for consumers and identify theft, including how to contact the credit agencies and lock down accounts. Can you also contact the account institutions fraud department and have them place alerts on his accounts?
      Lawyer wise, I’d look for someone that specializes in elder law and estate planning. They should have experience with dealing with adults with diminished capacity.

    • I would immediately call each credit bureau and put a “credit freeze” with each of them (Equifax, Transunion and Experian). This will prevent anyone from opening any credit in his name (credit cards, loans, bank accounts).

      I would next telephone his bank, his brokerage firm and anywhere else that he keeps money and tell them (with Grandpa on the line, if need be, for authorization purposes, so conference call) that his identity has been hacked and that you would appreciate that they freeze the accounts or not permit any withdrawals. I would follow this up with a letter sent overnight, certified mail, return receipt requested. If he has any kind of access cards (ATM, Debit, Credit), I would cancel all of those and tell them that the cards/card numbers were stolen and he needs new cards to be issued BUT confirm the address on the account so that they don’t send new cards to the theif’s address. (Make sure that you allow for one way for him to withdraw bills he needs.)

      If he has a checkbook that was stolen, immediately call or visit the bank and ask that they void that sequence of checks and dishonor them if they are put through.

      That’s all I got.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Thank you, I didn’t know the credit bureaus could do that! And I hadn’t thought to confirm the address, that will definitely help.

      • Totally second the credit freeze recommendation. Also pull copies of all of his credit reports to make sure nothing else has already been done. He’s entitled to 1 free copy per year, but I think you also get free copies after being a victim of identity theft. I’m not sure how that works.

    • Off-key Valkyrie :

      Thanks very much. His lawyer (now that we’ve figured out who she is) is very good and handle a lot of elder-law clients. When she heard he got his taxes done at this firm, she started swearing a blue-streak. DH also specializes in elder abuse cases, so I am aware of how important it is to get good POA to benefit the elder. That’s exactly why we feel like we shouldn’t rush that through too quickly and shouldn’t get overly involved, lest it look like we were acting in our own interests instead of his.
      We think the hacked info included all about his retirement and trust, because that is his source of income. Still working on getting an actual copy, like I said, he doesn’t seem to understand how serious this is.

      • Can I ask how you know (or why you suspect) he was hacked? Not questioning you at all – this is a tough issue – but I’m curious how people know/know to suspect that something is wrong? Is it that scam that’s been going on that by the time he filed, someone else had filed on his behalf? Or something else?

        • The CPA that has handles his taxes sent out letters saying all of their clients records for all years have been stolen. Major cluster*

        • Yeah, I’d have this question as well. Which leads me to a random PSA from your friendly neighborhood CPA:

          The IRS will only ever contact you by mail. THEY WILL NOT CALL YOU. So if you get a phone call “from the IRS” saying that you have been hacked, it’s not real.

          This concludes your PSA.

          • An especially important PSA when seniors are involved, thank you! But in this case–it’s real. It came by mail, from the CPA. The local bank and all the local lawyers know about it, and the local paper is reporting.
            We’re just having an especially tough time because this is the moment when it became clear we need to start managing Grandpa’s money more directly, and we don’t have our ducks in a row to do it yet.

      • Is he local, or is all of the help over the phone?

        Sounds like once the initial dust settles, someone needs to go in person and sit with grandpa and elder law attorney and set up POA. The lawyer should be supportive of this, and explain why. Time to organize all of his accounts, list of credit cards, bills, will/trust. It’s also a good time to reassess if Grandpa is starting to need more help in other areas of his life. Trouble with fiancé management is often a sign.

        Many websites online have checklists what to do for fraud. I printed one from the CHASE site when my Dad’s social security number was stolen and someone started applying for credit cards.

        Agree with suggestion to call credit bureau to set up freeze (double check websites to see which one you want) and request copies of credit reports, every bank, every investment company, every credit card. They will often set up extra security on your accounts, like extra passwords or 2 step verification.

        If he does stuff online, you may need to clean things up there too. Runs full virus scan. Call social security to report fraud, and the IRS so someone doesn’t start filing taxes in his name and stealing refunds.

        A police report should be filed. Then you can get a freeze extended by the credit monitoring agencies to 7 years at no cost, with multiple free credit reports per year.

        I also suggest signing him up for a credit monitoring service. My Dad had AAA and he signed up for one they offer for free.

        It took a lot of time for me to do this for my Dad. Mail, bills, need to be scrutinized for months. The CHASE checklist will help you.

        • And unfortunately, your family will need to do this. No non-profit public agency can devote the time needed and it is too sensitive. A lawyer could do a lot, but it would cost a fortune. I spent hours on hold, many call backs, letters to be sent etc…

          • Yeah, as much as it would be nice to dream about getting more support, I understand that. I was more hoping for a targeting list that goes into more detail than: “call all your banks” and “continue to monitor your credit carefully” which is all I got from my initial internet search.
            The specific advice I’ve gotten here today has been immensely helpful. A big thank you to everyone who has posted.

        • Thanks! My mom/his daughter is taking time off work today to do as much local leg-work as possible. I am doing as much research and emotional support as I can from another state.

          We absolutely are reassessing everything right now–he’s actually moving into assisted living this weekend (willingly! yay!). Everything seems to be hitting all at once.

          I will look into the CHASE checklist–a personal recommendation counts for a lot. I’m not sure if you meant AAA or if that was an auto-correct for AARP, but I’ll look into both because I didn’t know there was such a thing as credit monitoring services.

          Also, I hadn’t even thought to find out about whether this years taxes had been filed. Add that to the MUST list. So good to know. Thanks you.

  9. Closet Purge Update :

    Many of us had NYE resolutions re closet purging.

    I’m still taking a survey of items (not a huge task, but more lack of time/ motivation at the end of the day). It seems that I do OK with work clothes. Lots of suiting separates and jackets and solid and print tops and blouses. Maybe too much gray and black (day 1: black top/gray pants, day 2: gray top / black pants; day three: variation on the theme plus scarf out of desperation to break up the monotony).

    Print blouses collection seems to be too large, but I feel that they are so noticeable that you need more so it’s not “Oh, it’s Tuesday; she’s in the beetle-print top again.”

    The casual clothes. OMG insane. Some are A+ pieces (DVF Reina dress). But my weekends can be spent in athleisure-wear (am OK there; probably too much, but everything is worn often and there’s a lot of seasonality here: weekends in the summer need shorts but now I need fleece-lined leggings). But then there are the sad C- casual pieces — too many sweaters, too many cardigans.

    I’m trying to wear everything at least once to give it a final chance to earn its place back (like if you have to do this, it’s a sign you have too much stuff). If I had 3-day weekends, I could work through the casual clothes much faster. [And if my weekends weren’t so kid-centric — no way am I dressing up to watch my kids do swim lessons at the Y; I am wearing workout clothes and getting in an express workout of my own (and sadly, I won’t be sweaty and nasty so I could wear this outfit all day).]

    At any rate, how are you all doing?

    • I ordered a shipping bag from ThredUp or one of those places (can’t remember the name off hand) and put it on the floor of my closet. I have been throwing the odd thing in there and it’s nearly full. I took photos of my closet (it’s a 6′ single bar, organized L to R by jackets, pullovers, blouses, skirts, pants, dresses, and then by color within category) and texted them to my sister. She said “too much black!” I argued back and she said, “I count at least 8 black blazers or jackets.” Ummm, guilty. So I took my least favorite of those and moved them to the coat closet temporarily to see whether I need them before I throw them out.

      I’ve also added clothing this year. I added some skirt/jacket/cardigan separates in light gray and dark blue, which I didn’t really have before, and it gives me more mileage and options for the pieces I already have.

    • I moved from a cold climate to a warm climate 4 years ago. I’m finally down to my 3 favorite thick sweaters. I only wear them once a year (and that may or may not be when I’ve visiting a colder climate) but since I do like them, I’ll keep them.

    • I’m in the same place; I’ve accepted that certain categories of clothing (casual sweaters, pumps, LBDs) have no real place in my life.

      Because I like Systems mine is if I donate item X because I didn’t wear it anymore, I can’t buy anything in that category (ie, I donated a pair of bright fun heels that I never wore, and now I stop myself from buying more fun bright heels because as much as I’d like to think of myself wearing them on a trendy rooftop party, that never actually happens.)

    • Nobody is paying that close attention to your blouses. Keep them if they “spark joy” or whatever.

    • This wasn’t really a new years resolution of mine, but it’s something I’m always working on.

      I did make one big positive step — I replaced all the random, old, slightly weird or ill fitting neutral skirts in my closet with four of the exact same CK pencil skirts (navy, black, gray, and taupe) that fit me perfectly and are comfortable and professional. This involved getting rid of all the ponte “stretch pants” skirts I got after I had my daughter two years ago as well as a bunch of stragglers still hanging on from various points in the last decade. Felt so good.

      • Anonymous :

        I think I know which CK pencil skirt you’re talking about, and I also have it in the exact same four colors. It is perfection.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Not one of my resolutions, but something I’ve been working on.

      I replaced all my plastic hangers with the Amazon thin velvet ones, which added a fair bit of space.

      I finished adding all of my shoes, accessories, and purses into Stylebook. That took a concerted effort one weekend to pull it all out and take pictures.

      I plan all of my outfits for the week out in advance and started paying attention to which ones I was avoiding. Then I figured out which item it was that I was avoiding and donated it. I also donated things that didn’t fit anymore and all the purses and accessories that I just completely forgot that I owned because that meant that I obviously didn’t care that much about them. That was about 2 Fresh Direct boxes full. I used Give Back Box for free shipping labels and the boxes were picked up by the post office and delivered to Goodwill. That was awesome because trying to donate stuff where I live is super difficult.

      I’ve also made a list of holes is my current wardrobe and have given myself to permission to buy those specific items. I managed to find 2 pairs of jeans that fit to replace the 1 pair I owned that were nearly falling off. The other items on the list aren’t as important yet because of the weather, so I’ve picked out what I want and have been keeping an eye on the prices so that I can buy if they go on sale.

      And finally, I’ve tidied up all of my drawers except for my shirt drawer (that is on my to-do list for this weekend) so that I can more easily access what I am looking for.

    • I’ve been thinking about this lately and am not sure what to do with my huge excess of casual clothing. A parred down a year or so back and got rid of things that I didn’t like (why did I have so many in this category??), were shabby, or didn’t fit that well. But I still have a huge number of casual clothes I just don’t wear because I just don’t have many opportunities. Weekends are only 2 of 7 days a week. I genuinely like everything I own on the casual half of my closet at this point, but it seems ridiculous to own so many clothes I never wear.

    • Miz Swizz :

      I’ve been better about identifying which pieces of clothing I pass on every time I don’t know what to wear and putting them in the Goodwill box (a random cardboard box that I fill and use to donate clothes). So far, I haven’t missed anything or gone searching through the box, so it’s a good step in the right direction.

      I noticed this morning that I didn’t have anything I was dying to wear today because we didn’t have much of a winter so I’ve worn pretty much the same group of clothing since October. I was really hoping a cold winter would let me enjoy the cold weather clothes I don’t wear much and start to miss my transitional wardrobe but no dice.

  10. Paging Senior Attorney! :

    Paging Senior Attorney and anyone else who’s doing or has done a Whole 30. My mom started 5 days ago and is determined to succeed, it’s something I’m really glad she’s doing for her health, so I want to be as supportive as possible. Any tips/anecdotes I can pass along to help and keep her motivated?

    • There’s tons online if she gets into it, but what saved me was:
      – nutpods “creamer” for my coffee, w30 approved and you can get it in Amazon
      – making a chia pudding jar so I could make a snack out of that with bananas and dates
      – having a ton of bananas and avocados on hand
      – using ghee for roasted chicken

      • Ps – not sure if she’s got a partner but it’s a lot easier to do it if everyone in the household is committed to it. It worked for me because I’m a lot better with a strict rule than a “just keep it in moderation” diet. And it’s a strict one. So if anyone around you is having a glass of wine or something else delicious and prohibited, the will power part is tough. So if you can convince your Mom’s partner (if there is one) to do it with her, that’s really helpful. So is understanding the restrictions if you cook for her or go out together.

    • KateMiddletown :

      I did a whole 30 around this time last year… it was extremely difficult and I sucked at the re-entry part (it was Easter Sunday, there were chocolate eggs and rose involved.) The Kitchn has some great recipes, but the hardest thing for me was sticking with it. If you provide moral support I’m sure that would go very far! (And maybe some kombucha, coconut water, other fun Whole 30 approved beverages.)

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I did a bunch of whole30s and one whole100 (which was actually pretty awesome and recommended despite how terrible it sounds upfront) so I would consider myself a pretty advanced whole30er. If she is an abstainer, it will work well for her. If not, she will probably hate it. But it’s only 30 days.

      She probably has already checked out the whole30 timeline. It’s pretty accurate. So she is probably in the kill all the things stage, which is real. Gently support through that. It gets better (way better) as she goes. She will have better digestion and energy at the end of this, and may lose weight too (if that’s the goal).

      Meal prepping is super key, so if you can help her with that, that’s amazing. Paleomg, nom nom paleo have good recipes (not all are whole30 though) but the basic premise is protein, veg, fat and she should feel ok sticking to that.

      Don’t be scared of fat (avocado oil, ghee). Make dressings (vinaigrettes, homemade mayo which can then become homemade dump ranch – google it – and a whole bunch of other delicious things like cheese-free caesar dressing etc).

      Make delicious compliant meals that feel like cheating – bunless burgers and sweet potato fries dipped in mayo! Buffalo chicken lettuce wraps with dump ranch. Paleomg’s buffalo chicken casserole. All the (sugarfree) bacon.

      Try to dial down the larabars and fruit and dates as much as possible.

      Finally, eat TONS of food and enjoy it. That’s the best part of whole30, you get to eat it’s amazing!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yay for your mom!

      My best tip, which I don’t know is practical for your mom, is to do it with a buddy. I am doing it with Lovely Husband and I think it would be harder alone.

      Yes to the bananas and avocados.
      Ghee is the best cooking fat ever and if she hasn’t got a jar she should do that ASAP. And leave it out because it turns rock-hard in the fridge (ask me how I know…).
      Expect to spend all your time, at least at first, thinking about food, preparing food, shopping for food, cleaning up after dealing with food.
      I made these last night and they were delish: . Like, lick-your-plate delish. (I used ghee for the “cooking fat.”)
      I made the “sausage” recipe from the Whole30 book and it was good but I added 1 tbsp chili powder and 1 tbsp smoked paprika and that took it to the next level.
      Trader Joe’s has pre-cooked carnitas and that makes a great taco salad with lettuce, fresh cilantro, fresh salsa, avocado, and Whole30-compliant dressing of your choice. It’s also a good breakfast meat with your eggs.
      Make a dozen hard boiled eggs at a time to have on hand for snacks. Ditto a whole bunch of carrot and celery sticks.
      At a bar, I’m ordering club soda in a champagne flute. I like holding the glass…
      If she wants an email buddy, have her hit me up.

    • Thanks SO much everyone!

  11. Anonymous :

    Tips on being enthusiastic or at least supportive when your friend is starting yet another doomed relationship? Maybe doomed is too strong a word. A relationship that I do not believe is particularly promising because of a certain giant waving red flag.

    My friend is not good at relationships. Neither am I, frankly. We both ignore red flags and sort of hope for the best because we see the good in people. We’re in our mid-30s, if it matters. Her new guy is a recovering drug addict who’s ~6 months into his recovery. They’ve gone out a handful of times but he still hasn’t opened up to her about the his addiction, specifically, why he’s seeking treatment now. Friend has a good friend who is a drug and alcohol counselor, and that friend told her to run for the hills. Friend is moving forward with the relationship and has made it clear that she doesn’t want to hear any more about why this is a terrible idea. How do I keep my mouth shut? Do I keep my mouth shut? I love my friend and I want to do right by her and the friendship.

    • Anonymous :

      Why are you friends with her, someone who seems to have seriously questionable judgement? Remind yourself of those things you like and admire about her and look the other way with as much understanding as you can muster ( of course you understand she is looking for love or attraction just like we all want to find). Remind yourself not to give unsolicited advice. Hope for the best but be prepared to put distance between you and the friend if you just can’t watch her make self-destructive choices.

      • Anon for this :

        Kind of hijacking this post since this topic has been on my mind for a while. In terms of not giving unsolicited advice – when you know your friend is making poor dating choices (i.e. constantly falling for then overanalyzing jerky/emotionally unavailable guys), do you just nod your head and say nothing? Or be honest when she gets lovey dovey about him when in fact he’s really just not really great? I want to seem supportive but not fake.

        • Veronica Mars :

          I’d say something like, “It looks like John is immature or emotionally unavailable, that sucks.” and then when it comes up again, saying something like, “Well you now how I feel about the situation with John.” And if the relationship is more involved or there are more serious problems, having 1 sit down conversation where you rationally lay out your concerns. But then ultimately not harping on them, because sometimes people need to learn lessons on their own. They have to go through dating an addict or a compulsive gambler or liar to understand that no, their case isn’t special and it’s not going to work out. So you can be there for them within limits after expressing the concern.

        • I have a friend who used to date married men, serially. And she wanted a long-term, committed relationship and kids, so this did not match her goals. I did find myself staying pretty quiet when she talked about it. When asked, I told her I just didn’t know what to say. She’s done with that pattern now, but evidently she needed to do that for a few years. I’m glad we stayed friends throughout.

          • Why do women do this…..

            I had a friend who did this too.

            She had many, many poorly treated psychiatric issues. I real tragedy.

          • Veronica Mars :

            OG Monday, loving the name! Glad you’re back :)

          • Anonymous :

            I have a men who has dated married men serially too. I had a chat with her about it once. It was a very hard conversation. Our friendship survived but is not and will never be the same because I can’t seem to get back the respect I used to have for her.

        • Similar to Veronica Mars, I’d suggest maybe leading questions and see what she comes up with. Or you could just ask what she’s getting out of the relationship. But as a frequent receiver of unsolicited advice, I’d mostly suggest leaving her be.

    • Hope is not a strategy :

      I mean, if it were Ben Affleck, I see why people’d try to make that work with him.

      My guess is that this guy doesn’t have Ben’s one attractive feature ($). So why? B/c she’s in her mid-30s and maybe is tired of dating / wants kids? Hope is not a strategy for getting to her goals.

      Maybe get a hobby to distract yourself from her decisions.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t see this as a red flag. He’s been in recovery for six months. He’s been that open with her. I don’t think he owes her all the nitty gritty just yet.

      • I disagree with this. Drug addiction is a serious health and social issue that would impact almost every part of a romantic relationship. If he is still in treatment because he continues to abuse drugs, I would consider that need-to-know information. I would expect it to be discussed during the first 5 dates with someone seriously pursuing a romantic relationship, just like I would expect things like a divorce, a child from another relationship or a serious health diagnosis that would clearly impact the relationship to be discussed. You don’t expect to learn everything about a person in 5 dates, but the big things should come up and should be discussed. It’s the little things that can wait until date 20, not the big things.

        • She said he is six months into recovery so I interpreted that as six months clean. I agree with Anon at 9:45 that if he’s six months clean he doesn’t owe her details about his past or his current treatments at this stage of their relationship. If he’s still abusing drugs that’s a different story.

        • Agreed. 6 month is super fresh into recovery and this should be disclosed after the first few dates. Most counselors recommend not even dating for at least a year of recovery. I think the OPs friend needs to take the advice from the drug and alcohol counselor and maybe pick this back up in 6 months

      • It’s my understanding that you’re not supposed to get involved in a romantic relationship until you’ve been clean for a year. But more generally, he won’t discuss anything about his addiction or where he is in the recovery process. That’s problematic for a number of reasons. In her shoes, I’d want to know that he’s committed to recovery and what he’s doing to get his life back on track. Most importantly, I’d demand information necessary to protect my own health. Like, did you use needles (and tbh don’t believe him if he says no)? When was the last time? Have you been tested? How long does it take for really awful things to come up on an HIV, etc. test after using likely unsafe needles? His refusal to talk about specifics is pretty not awesome on a number of levels.

        • I can answer one of those! If you’re exposed to HIV, it may take 6 months to show up on a test, which is why they advise you to wait 6 months to from your last possible exposure to get tested.

    • If you havent said anything yet id say something once then leave it alone. Try to accept that no matter what you say it will likely make no difference – especially if her drug abuse counselor friend said to run for the hills and shes still moving forward.

      Perhaps it will work out, but more likely than not it wont and just pray that it ends before she decides to have kids with him. Speaking as someone whose Aunt had children with someone like this and they are still struggling to this day in their early 20s.

      Youre a good friend for being worried. Dont listen to ‘hope is not a strategy’ above. This is serious and you have a right to be concerned. For your own good it might be good to take a step back from discussing him or limiting your time with her if you feel it becomes too much/too sad to see (after youve voiced your concerns of course).

    • Jitterbug :

      This looks like a risky, potentially unstable situation, especially if he’s still hanging out with friends who make bad choices. Telling her to run away won’t work, it’ll only cause friction in the friendship; all you can do it advise her to be cautious. I’d encourage her to have a “zero tolerance” policy towards backsliding. If he starts using again, or gets violent even once, or gets involved in criminal activity (especially if her money, or home, or belongings are in any way involved with said activity), she needs to GTFO.

  12. Traveling in East Africa :

    I may be traveling in East Africa for work this year (Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania) and I’m considering whether I’m up for the trip. It might be silly, but one thing I’m considered about is whether the clothes I have here would be professional enough for conferences then while also appropriate for the climate (I usually wear pants, but one friend told me skirts are better to fit in and for the weather). Has anyone ever traveled in the region? Can you comment on what it’s like style-wise?

    • You’re going to pass up an incredible trip to avoid buying skirts? Madness.

    • I’ve been to Tanzania, but was there for vacation not for work. I wore pants and so did the local women, at least as far as I remember. It was also on the chilly side some days (July, so winter there), so, again, pants appropriate weather. Has your friend been there? I’m not sure why she would say that based on what I remember. I really wasn’t paying attention to style much though so maybe I just didn’t notice whatever she noticed.

      • Traveling in East Africa :

        She worked in Uganda for about a month and she said it was important to be “put together” and that you would definitely be looked at askance if you wore sloppy clothes to work. She recommended knee-length skirts for comfort in the heat/conforming to norms.

        • Ah, that makes sense. I will say that you should not expect your office to be freezing the way we keep them here in the US (I also found office buildings generally kept warmer on work trips to both London and Stockholm). If you’ll be in an office building in the summer, it’s not going to be 65 degrees in there so skirts likely would be a lot more comfortable.

    • It’s dryer and there’s a lot more dust than anywhere I’ve been in the U.S.

      • This is where I’m from and it is true about the dust. Bring both, some pants and some skirts. You can decide which to wear depending on weather and occasion. If your shoes are leather, consider bringing shoe polish or you can get some there–this helps you avoid the scruffy look on your feet. Or bring those that can just be wiped down with a cloth and no polish. If you will be going to the countryside, you can also pack a scarf that can be wrapped around your hair if you don’t want it to collect a lot of dust if driving around. But if most of your time will be spent in cities this may not be an issue. Don’t forget a sweater or two it can get chilly.

    • Socially pants are completely fine, but you might be cooler in skirts/dresses depending on what time of year you are visiting.

    • Anonymous :

      I worked in Uganda for three months – June through August a couple years ago – as a lawyer at a refugee NGO. So it was everything from court to conferences to clients. I can’t speak to the weather in the other countries, but in Kampala it was 75-80F everyday and a couple days a week we got a little rain. Think a drier version of south Florida in the winter.

      I wore exclusively pants and blouses as I recall. I had a nicer outfit for a court meeting. I definitely don’t recall ever being looked at askance for my clothing choices. Some parts of Kampala are pretty trendy and maybe there I was, but that was more about club attire…

      We dressed up for the conference, which was an international event. Not suits or anything though. More like what you’d wear if you were at a nice conference at a resort in the US – smart business casual.

      I traveled in the north of the country too for both work and fun. Wore light pants (versus jeans) and nice t-shirts the whole time since it was much hotter. I don’t like skirts when I’m hot.

      Something to consider is your mode of transportation. At least in Uganda, if you have a driver, wear what you want. But if you’re going to rely on boda bodas, either wear pants or be OK riding sidesaddle in your skirt!

      That said – GO! It is an amazing, beautiful place.

  13. Can anyone out there help with how to wear blazers? Or perhaps an alternative to wearing blazers but still looking professional? I basically have the body of a 16 year old and look like one but am double that, so blazers are always looking like I am playing dress up. I also struggle with what to wear with them. I like to wear dresses and pencil skirts a lot, but feel weird wearing blazers with them. It could be because I am not used to it or am not wearing the right type of blazer. I work in an academic field and usually would need to wear a more business-y outfit for a presentation at a conference, so perhaps someone could recommend any alternatives that might fit the bill?

    • I’m 5’0″ and not very curvy, so I look young and worry a lot about looking like I’m playing dress up. I can’t figure out how to wear blazers with a sheath dress but do love the way it looks over a blousey shirt or silk cami with cropped pants like the J. Crew Martie. I also think part of it is getting used to wearing something more structured if that is not what you are used to.

      • I also think knit blazers are a nice way to get used to wearing blazers. Maybe not polished enough for the presentation but good on other days to get used to seeing yourself in this style? Like this:

    • Shorter or cropped blazers work best with dresses. You can get away with a more traditional cut blazer with a pencil skirt, but it still won’t look quite as good as it would with pants imo. This may depend on body type; I’m short and curvy so ymmv.

      Also, tailoring. I have exactly one non-ponte blazer that I bought off the rack that didn’t need tailoring (WHBM, fwiw). The other several dozen blazers I’ve owned at one point or another have all gone to the tailor. The sleeves need to be hemmed and tapered. The waist taken in. The bunching at the back of the neck eliminated. Something always needs to be done. A good tailor will tell you what they can do to make the blazer fit you properly.

      • Yes to tailoring!

      • How much does that generally run you? I almost always have slacks and skirts tailored (I buy what fits at the waist and have the hips taken in), but have never had a blazer done because I’ve always thought it would be too complex and expensive.

        • It really depends. I’ve spent anywhere from $20 to $150. If you go to a store with tailoring, they should be able to tell you what needs to be done and how much it’ll cost before you buy the blazer. That way you can decide if it’s worth it.

          For example, taking the sleeves up is pricey if the blazer has buttons or some kind of cuff detail because they have to remove the sleeve and take it up from the shoulder – that’s around $40 ime, as opposed to like $10-15 if they can just hem it.

          • For me it’s never sleeves, it’s always waist. I have broad shoulders and a flat chest. Blazers tend to look billowy on me if they fit my shoulders and there’s always all this excess fabric in the front where b**bs are supposed to go. I’ve always been told to fix that you’d have to just take the whole blazer apart and it’s never seemed worth it to me.

    • I also have the body of a 16-year-old and find that I do best with cropped, fitted blazers. 3/4 or bracelet sleeves, rounded lapels, collarless styles, and styles that are cut away or rounded at the bottom of the front also help to avoid the “help! I am being eaten by my blazer!” look. Be especially wary of attempting to wear a suit jacket with a dress. Suit jackets are cut to work with pencil skirts and pants, not dresses.

      • I am shaped like the OP. I need a two-button blazer, often in petite b/c I have narrow shoulders and a high waist (I wear regular pants, just shaped like a T-rex).

        Personally, I like the blazers at BR.

        Jackets I find all over. But they are always shorter (like to the waist or high hip). And interesting (b/c I have so many solid black pants/skirts). I try to get better quality items on eBay once I know my sizing in a brand. You might check out The Directrice b/c she wears nice jackets.

      • Thanks for this very specific advice! I have seen this style before and do actually like the look, so I think it could work. Do you have any brands you really love for blazers that you could recommend?

        • Anonymous at 10:05 :

          I actually have a very hard time finding blazers in these styles that are not made of cheap knit fabrics. I have had some luck with Nordstrom’s store brands Classiques Entier and Halogen and with Anthropologie (but that is very, very hit or miss and the styles are more casual). I have also bought one or two blazers at Ann Taylor, but that’s tricky because Ann Taylor runs large in the bust and it’s difficult to have them taken in at the bust.

          • Sounds like I’ll be trying some Ann Taylor blazers, thanks for the (reverse) tip!

          • I have a J Crew blazer that is exactly this style. The closest one I see on their website now is in a pattern ( but maybe check back in the fall?

    • Try the M.M. LaFleur St. Ambroeus jardigan with your sheath dresses.

      • I have that, but it sometimes hard to do if the dresses have 3/4 sleeves (so sleeveless / short sleeves work OK). The jardigan’s sleeves are fairly snug.

        It is otherwise a good piece.

        • It’s difficult to make any blazer work with a 3/4 sleeve dress–the two layers of sleeves create too much bulk. A 3/4 sleeve dress shouldn’t require a blazer in most situations, the big exception being some courtrooms.

          • I have a freezing office, so I need one. When it is too much trouble, I just wear a fleece at my desk and hope no VIP meetings get sprung on me.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I am having such a hard time imagining what the body of a 16 year old looks like! I mean, for me it was “not nearly as chubby as I thought” with bigger b**bs than I was willing to acknowledge?

      But anyway, blazers! I love ’em! I still feel costume-y in a lot of suits (am in my mid 30s) but a dress + a blazer makes me feel powerful. What do you usually wear now? I agree with shorter (waist length) blazers over dresses. Can you wear a dress to Nordstrom Rack or something and try on a bunch of different styles? Get a friend to come with / text a friend selfies from the dressing room!

      • Anonymous at 10:05 :

        To me “the body of a 16-year-old” means not necessarily petite in terms of height, but generally narrow and not very curvy. Not the baby giraffe look of a 13-year-old who has only grown vertically, but narrow shoulders and a non-hourglass figure. Maybe that’s just me, though.

        • Yes. I sometimes refer to it as the figure of an 11-year-old boy. [With some serious junk in the trunk and sprinter’s thighs.]

      • My appearance has changed so gradually that unless I see photographs – or attempt to wear an old pair of pants – I usually think that I look the same as I did at 16. But I don’t, for better or worse! (That said, I am still rocking plenty of t-shirts from that time, which I’m grateful for.)

      • yeah, pretty much what everyone has already said in terms of my figure…. 5’6″ and scrawny, flat-chested, no curves. Maybe like a pre-pubescent boy, ha!

        Right now, I’ve been wearing nice dresses from places like Banana or Ann Taylor that have 3/4 sleeves (never sleeveless) and without a blazer and I have felt totally comfortable (again, in academia). But I have a few events coming up where a blazer would be more appropriate. I’m also trying to rise up in my field, so trying to project a more professional look as well.

        • Also in academia; I wear a lot of MM Lafleur (aware that I am a Corpor*tte cliche in this respect). Etsuko dress + jardigan is my go-to for more formal events. That said, in my humanities field, things are never actually business formal.

      • For real! I had basically my same body when I was 16, just about 30 pounds lighter.

    • Blazers seem way more troublesome if you have a chest. You sound well positioned to rock menswear inspired looks!

  14. Leaning in so far I'm falling over :

    Yay! I made partner @ BigLaw (real partner, not income partner)! But Boo! I am ready to lean out (or have it in my 3-5 year plan).

    The recession hit when I had kids and I was at BigLaw then. I didn’t expect to weather the recession, but I did. I’ve got my own clients and have a good thing going. But I don’t see it as sustainable.

    Part of it is small kid/small problem. In a few years, I’ll have middle-schoolers and I want to be around more in the teen years. I want to take real vacations (not vacations where I always need wifi and bring my computer and a file box of stuff in case there’s no good printer). I just want my life back.

    B/c I have clients, I think it would be awkward if I looked for in-house positions with them. [Although I’d jump if asked.] And I am not sure what partners say when they leave (other than I learned a lot and could help you a lot, but I’m seeking more balance). I don’t think it would be in good form to submit via companies’ websites (but how do you network to get out while you need to be outwardly facing as bringing in work and being committed to your firm)? And what do I say to my associates — this is yours to run now, don’t mess it up?

    I get getting pushed out as an associate (and that happened to me) and being a lateral (again, as an associate). But I don’t know any partners who have ever left anywhere except to be a GC somewhere (not me) or b/c it didn’t work out.

    Any advice? I feel stuck on a treadmill.

    • Congrats! At least at my firm, it’s not unheard of partners to lateral or go in-house. It’s more common among senior associates, but partners definitely do it too. Also, is part-time an option? I know there are pitfalls to that but I would think it might work better as a partner when you (at least theoretically) have more control over your schedule and more ability to push back.

    • Leaning in, I hear you!

      I think partner’s get all caught up in the thrill of makeing partner, and can not fathom the thought of giving up what took so much to get. I do not have kids yet, but want to be in the same boat as you. I will leave my partnership in a heart beat if I can get MARRIED and have a child to raise. I work to much already (600 hours billeable per month), and that has impacted my ABILITY to find a worthy man to impregnate me with our child. Men are MORE then willing to have sex, but NOT have a baby with me. I want a man in our lives to be the father. Men today just want the fun w/o the resposnibilities. FOOEY on that! You have that, so just go forward and do it. Hopefully your husband will stay the course and work so that you can be there for your kid’s. Best of luck to you. Let the HIVE know what you do, as I watch each day all of the posts.

    • Why can’t you go in house with one of your clients? My boss did that 7 or 8 years ago. I don’t see why it would be a problem if they have a need?

      But I’m an in house 6th year, so my career experience is both more limited and very different from yours so maybe I’m just not getting whatever the issue is.

      • I think it’s the dichotomy of:

        Give me more work
        Wait — I’m leaving / not committed to staying; but give me your work in the meantime

    • JuniorMinion :

      From your comment, it looks like there are a number of different things going on. I would say try to frame your thoughts around what it is that you are trying to achieve. Is it the ability to unplug after work / on weekends and vacations? I moved from investment banking to the corporate side, mostly for reasons of wanting to be on the buyside but if I had moved in order to be able to completely unplug I would be upset. While my hours are shorter, I still need to have cellphone with me and bring a computer on vacation. Most good / impactful corporate jobs (while more reasonable hours than professional services) you will still have to have access to email after hours, deal with occasional weekend / vacation work.

      If it is just a problem of sheer hours spent at work though, that is much easier to remedy and there is a real lifestyle change in that regard to moving to a corporate environment (I no longer work until midnight plus on the regular).

      Just a note on the whole “being with my teens more” – you may want to try and scale back your expectations on this. By my early teen years I left the house at 7:30 every morning and came home at 6 PM after sports / activities at which point I still had ~3 hours of homework to do. This is the nature of American high school in any demanding / good school. If I am going to be honest with you, before I got a drivers license my best moments / parent QT were commuting together with my dad in the morning as he had driven me to school my whole life.

      • Your last sentence is interesting. I walked to school as a child and have had mine take the bus to school in the morning so they’d feel like big kids. Their middle/high school will be a 15-20 minute drive (dumping me into traffic to get to my office), but I do see how it would be good in a way I hadn’t considered. Even if they just sing the whole way to Taylor Swift (or whatever is cool then).

        • Not JM but I had the same experience. My Dad was a busy partner in private practice and didn’t always make it home for dinner but he drove me to work every single day of middle/high school. Those were the times we really talked about stuff.

          • And by ‘drove me to work’ I mean he dropped me at school on his way to work.

        • JuniorMinion :

          So my dad traveled a lot via car (think regional pharma sales rep) and I went to a parochial school in the larger city 30-40 minutes away (at rush hour) from my town in elementary school and then middle / high school there. He was a big talk radio guy – I was Don Imus’ youngest listener I bet back in the day. We would do cool stuff like he would tell me where he was going for the day and I would pull out the Atlas and listen to the radio traffic report and follow his route and let him know if there would be any traffic or if he was flying somewhere we would talk about Dallas or Louisville or Omaha or what have you and I would look at the city on a map and he would ask me to find the best route from the airport to the hotel or something. Sometimes we would stop at Dunkin Donuts for coffee (him) and hot cocoa (me).

          He traveled a lot (like up in the air level). So some weeks the only time I saw him during the week was these drives. I think he also wanted me to get a sense of where he was going / what he was doing when he was working.

        • I had the same experience – in middle school, I took the bus both ways for independence/friend reasons, but I was pretty much over that by high school and really appreciated the extra couple of minutes of leeway a parent drop-off allowed me. I was at school by 7:30 in middle school and 7 in high school so this worked with my parents’ schedules. At the time I can’t say that I particularly noticed the quality family time we were having but in retrospect I see it.

          Of course once I could drive and when there was an extra car available I dumped this plan immediately in favor of driving myself, but you’ll have some quality years before that happens.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Agreed with your last sentence. Until I got a license, my parents (depended on work) drove me to school every day and I appreciated the quality time a lot.

        The first day of school, sophomore year, my dad hit a squirrel about five blocks from our house. We still reminisce about it.

        Morning time, too- even though it was usually Dad reading paper with the coffee, half awake, mom rushing to get ready and hustling us along, and brother and I getting ready, I really treasure the memories of mornings at our house. Newspaper, NPR on every single morning, a nice time to chat.

    • Delegate more of your work to senior associates. Bring in a junior income partner if you really have to. If you’re at the point in your career that you’re bringing in clients and you’re expected to bring in more, then you’re also expected to spend a ton of your time doing business development stuff and not so much time doing the actual legal work. I’m a litigator – pretty much none of my partners do any real legal work. They might show up for a hearing and they’ll read the stuff I tell them to read a couple days beforehand. But they’re not doing strategy or research or case management or anything of the sort. That’s where you need to start moving if you’re going to stay in biglaw.

      It is doable. If that’s not your firm culture then look at other firms. You have a book, you will be an attractive candidate. The partners I work with have actual lives. They take vacations. They have wifi in case of a client management emergency, sure, but they’re not bringing file boxes with them (and frankly if someone tried I would show up at her hotel room and take it from her).

    • I moved in-house from one of the largest firms in my market (Big Law type expectations) after making income partner. I’m now associate GC in a large company, practicing in the same specialized area I was in at the firm. I got the job through networking with alums of the firm. It was a little awkward announcing my departure, but most of my partners understood exactly why I was leaving – I was looking for more work-life balance too. I was not the only partner to resign from my firm – several of similar tenure left within a couple of years, some were income partners but I think one or two had made equity partner.

      I think whether you will actually have better work-life balance depends very much on the company. My GC and colleagues all value work-life balance, so mine has improved vastly. We are all expected to do what it takes to get the work done, but few people email on evenings or weekends and no one expects a response then unless it’s truly urgent. I work outside normal hours because something really needs done, not because I need hours or anyone expects it regardless of urgency. Vacations are respected. I know this isn’t true everywhere, so I think you have to screen carefully for the culture on this.

      I know one commenter suggested that you may actually get less time than you expect with your teens, and that certainly may be true. Or it may not. I think it depends very much on your kids, circumstances, and activities. To provide another view, I currently have a teen, a tween and an elementary age kid. I find that I need and value my ability to devote more time to my family right now than I ever have. (I frequently laugh at my younger mom self who thought it would be SO MUCH EASIER when they were all in school!) For the most part, my kids’ extracurricular activities are not school-based and occur later in the evening rather than immediately after school. They come home and work on homework. The ability to be home at a reasonable time, grab dinner, check on homework status, and get them where they’re going is crucial. And I really love being able to actually watch them during their practices, etc. rather than sit there desperately trying to bill another hour. From the time I get home, I spend most of my evening with my kids, whether that’s at home for dinner, homework, or hanging out together, or on the go getting them to practices. At the tween/teen stage, I find that time in the car with them is the best time to get them to open up and talk about what’s going on in their lives. This may all change with older teens, but at this point I’m really valuing the ability to devote more time to home than I could at the firm.

    • Become a judge. Seriously. It’s a great & rewarding career path and will probably take about 3-5 years to accomplish.

      • That would be awesome (and make dressing for work a breeze!). But my state elects judges. And the local litigators have the edge on that (I’m a transactional attorney and never work with the local bar that actually goes to court).

        I know two career clerks who love their jobs (and their work/life balance) and would even consider that (although they’re in federal court and I hate to say it but federal court bores me to tears unless it’s tax or something in the FRD (see? I have a really high boredom tollerance b/c I love the FRD but then my eyes glaze over for all of the arcane Acronym Law fields) or a diversity matter).

        • I have a relative that is a career clerk in an intermediate state appellate court. She loves her job.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I could be you. I went from being a law firm partner to being a clerk in the state appellate court just when my son started high school. It was a huge pay cut and I felt like I was committing career suicide, but it eventually opened up a whole new career path and it worked out great for me. It’s not for everybody but if it suits you it’s a great gig. It’s quite solitary and the clerks do most of the work for none of the credit, but it’s sedately paced and the hours are more than humane and the work is important and interesting.

    • Long time lurker :

      You seem like you have it made but it is true the reward is more pie. I was an income partner at a firm and was pushed out – very gently with a long runway but still pushed out for not generating business or being aligned with the “right people” who would share business – yes it sucked and was soul crushing. I ended up in a high level govt job that I love. I have a lot of autonomy and my days are busy – but I leave at 530 every day with extremely limited exceptions and don’t take work home. I did take a pay cut but it was not as much as I thought and the benefits more than make up for it. My amazing cheap health insurance for one vs the crappy plan at the firm that I paid for entirely myself. Many of my colleagues were partners at firms before coming here.

      That said I wouldn’t hustle out the door just yet. If you are bringing in business you have the ability to ask for things and get them. Delegate more. Find a really good senior associate that you trust to make decisions if you are out etc. I worked with a woman who was a very busy partner with tons of clients and she never stayed late. She delegated to people she trusted. She has no qualms about asking for adjournments of dates etc for her own reasons. I would try to make it work with less time in the office but always keep an eye out for the next opportunity.

    • Maybe don’t take on new clients and see how you actually feel once your kids are in middle school. Don’t pre-quit. And bank those partner bucks.

    • Income partner at MediumLaw in a midwestern city here. BigLaw is not your only choice. If you have portables, a firm like mine would be happy to talk with you. My office has reasonable expectations (as in: I cannot remember the last time anyone here had over 2000 billables in a year; most of us average between 1500 and 1800 a year) and most people do not work weekends, although there are a few of us that work evenings (in my case, so that I can leave by 5:45 pm every day). Your clients will appreciate the lower rates and with the scope of work you have, you may be able to bring or take on a junior to do what you do not want to do.

      Keeping leaning, though! You are making a difference by modelling success for the next generation of lawyers (and encouraging the rest of us who are leaning in to keep doing it)!

  15. Real partner in biglaw with clients? I would kill for the things you have.

    Grass is always greener, I guess.

    • Leaning in so far I'm falling over :

      It is truly a pie-eating contest where you just get more pie for winning.

      • anon associate :

        OP- I know you came asking for advice and I’ve got none to offer (junior associate yayyy) but I’d love to hear more about how you developed your client base if you don’t mind sharing, and any advice you’d have for a hypothetical jr associate who needs to start working on that…

        • Leaning in so far I'm falling over :

          Sure! Here goes:

          Talk on the phone (esp. with external people) if you can rather than e-mail, esp. with peers (so don’t call the GC of a company, but definitely call if the person is at your level or less senior).
          If on the phone, see if you can visit a bit in addition to the task at hand.
          Try to meet people in person if you can (many of my “opposing counsel” are my friends and many of them are in-house or are in a position to direct work to me).
          Be nice.
          Return external calls/e-mails within the hour if you can.
          Do good work.
          Be clear re timing and expectations.

          Also: think like a waiter. A good waiter makes it happen for the dining person. And is nice and smiles. You want that waiter again, no? It is a service business and we need to serve well to serve often.

      • Yeah but some of us who didn’t win would just want to do that kind of work and now we don’t get to bc we were pushed out.

        • Leaning in so far I'm falling over :

          I am sorry for that. It is a crazy pyramid scheme to be sure and the profession loses a lot of good people for no good reason.

    • Thinking the grass is always greener is human nature, but comparison won’t ever make you happier.

      Objectively, there are a lot of reasons women (and men) often choose to opt out of biglaw; just as there are a lot of reasons some people want to become thriving equity partners. I certainly understand the desire to lean out (as that was the choice I happily made), even when it seems like there is potential to keep moving up.

  16. Frequent UTIs :

    Anyone else struggled with frequent UTIs? I had a series of UTIs last summer, and just had my first one of the year, and I am so very annoyed/tired. I have adopted all of the things suggested: I take probiotics, L-Mannose (active ingredient in cranberry), drink a large glass of water pre-LGPs and go to the bathroom every time. When I felt the first hint of the UTI, I drank massive amounts of water but four hours later I was absolutely miserable. (As a side note: My insurance company has a service where you can call an on-call doc. I walked through my symptoms and had a RX called in to a local pharmacy where I was traveling. It was an amazing alternative to trying to find an urgent care center when I was in the middle of meetings. ) I’ve heard the suggestion of taking a prophylactic does of Macrobid. I’ve been hesitant in the past to do this, but I just cannot deal with getting UTIs frequently. Has anyone done the prophylactic course or something else?

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Oh my goodness, my sympathies. I had them ALL THE TIME for a few years. The best thing I did was constantly drinking water. A doc told me I should be peeing every hour (she also said “we are going to turn you into Niagra Falls”). I am more like every hour and a half, but it’s close.

      I also know that some docs will give you refills on your antibiotic rx so you can treat yourself when you feel one coming on.

      • Frequent UTIs :

        Thank you for the sympathy! That’s an interesting point re: water. I try and drink water but am better about it on days when I plan on exercising. I know I’m not drinking enough.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          I was terrible about drinking water, too, and it really just came down to having a water bottle on me at all times.

    • So much sympathy :( I had the same issue and had to try multiple kinds of cranberry pills til one actually worked. I’m religious about it and haven’t had one in (knock on wood), about 2 years. Also more water every single day.

    • I’m dealing with this too (with a bonus side of antibiotic resistance, ugh). I’ve started the prophylactic course — there are two, one daily and one just after s*x. I did it a few years ago and it kicked them for a while, so I’m cautiously hopeful. I’m also doing d-mannose but if I have too much it upsets my stomach.

      Also, if you’re dealing with lingering pain, I’ve found following the food list for interstitial cystitis heplful. and avoiding carbonation.

    • I do the prophylactic dose of nitrofurantoin/macrobid. I have been doing it for several years now and I don’t get UTIs anymore.

      Since you know you get them frequently, whether or not you decide to do the prophylactic antibiotic, you should have a pyridium tablet or two in your handbag (the pain reliever that turns your pee orange) so that you aren’t miserable for four hours before you can get some help.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Oh yes, this too! Uricalm was a staple in my purse, especially when I was traveling.

        • Frequent UTIs :

          I left it at home on this trip, which necessitated a 1/2 mile run to the closest CVS between meetings while in high-heeled boots.

        • I haven’t had a UTI in months but I still make sure I have some of these around.

      • Frequent UTIs :

        Follow-up question, and my advanced apologies for the nature of this question: How frequently do you end up taking the dose? Do you wait until you begin to feel symptomatic or every time you have a LGP?

        • right after every LGP. I also have a glass of water with d-mannose then. symptomatic is too late in my experience.

        • After most but not every LGP. I’m rolling the dice for sure, but I can kind of tell which sessions were intense enough that I am at risk for a UTI. I’ve been partying for a long time and I’ve come to know these things about my body. YMMV

    • I’d make sure you don’t have interstitial cystitis or pelvic floor dysfunction, which can mimic UTI pain. See a gyno-urologist to make sure.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’ve done the prophylactic dose thing after resisting for many years. Ultimately my OBGYN actually made the case for me that the low dose of macrobid she was putting me on on an as needed basis was much better than basically being on Cipro for 3-4 weeks a year (I have literally had almost 40 UTIs. Seen two urologists. Nothing definitive wrong with me).

    • Are you on HBC by chance? This is totally anecdotal, but I (for lack of a better term) “dried up” on the ring which caused more irritation in the whole general area during LGPs and I think caused me to get UTIs much more frequently. I did not have a history of them prior to HBC except as a child, and haven’t had one since I went to the IUD.

      And +10000 on feeling your pain. It is the worst and I really wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I still occasionally have some urgency but no more pain, thankfully.

    • How do you take the d-mannose? I try to time it so that it’s in my bladder at the right time and take 2x what is on the bottle of pills. Some people say the powder works better, but I haven’t tried.

      • I mix a spoonful of powder into a small glass of water. I was worried about the taste but it’s just slightly sweet and not bad at all. I’ve read the powder is better than the pills; I think it’s also cheaper per unit. Two teaspoons at once makes me ill though.

        • Maybe it would be worth it try the pills, then? I have not had a single UTI since I switched to my current strategy. I usually take a dose few hours before (around dinner or whenever), and then I take more after the event. Not sure when you take it, but if you’re taking the powder in the morning I would think it would clear your system and not be effective for the evening.

      • Frequent UTIs :

        I take the pills right after LGP and the next morning. Obviously, however, that is not sufficient for me.

    • Do you pee after every LGP? Try peeing soon after (within 15 mins) and drinking at least a full glass of water so you pee again within an hour. Also, do you tend to get your UTIs during a certain point in your cycle (e.g. just before your period)? If so, you could stop gardening during that period and see if it makes a difference.

    • The d-Mannose tore up my stomach. I’m now on the prophylactic course (one Bactrim tablet after every LGP). It’s been 4 months and I’m now UTI free. I won’t go back if I can avoid it.

  17. Ladies with long arms/torsos: where have you found your favorite cardigans to wear with sheath dresses like this? The Merona line at Target fits me well for length and the color selection is great, but I always wonder if they look too unpolished/cheap.

    • anon a mouse :

      Halogen has worked for me in the past, though I don’t see the ones I own currently on the Nordstrom site.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Long sleeves are the bane of my existence. I have a bunch of Merona ones because they actually fit. Andrew Marc also works well for me. I have also gotten used to wearing cardigans that are 3/4 length on me (even though they are meant to be long sleeve).

  18. Does anyone have tips for having a conversation with SO about the relationship? (Not married, not engaged, no children.) We may break up and I’m not sure what questions to ask or how not to cry.

    • Not to be rude, but this is kind of vague. It all really depends on the WHY. Is there a non negotiable issue you guys are dealing with? Is it cheating? Is it just not working? How you handle a relationship defining conversation really depends on all of that. I would start with being brutally honest with yourself with what you want out of this before even thinking about what he wants/how youll come across. Worry about that later.

    • This is going to sound really weird, but an long term BF and I knew the relationship needed to end for probably six plus months and couldn’t manage to actually end it due to crying and the hope that something could be salvaged (breaking up due to drifting apart, different long term priorities, and some underlying depression/anxiety that needed to be handled without the other trying to be a “fixer”). We finally agreed to have the conversation through a super long instant messaging conversation with a planned meetup a few days later to exchange stuff.

      Our relationship started off long distance and instant messaging was a major form of communication for us, so we had good history of effective communication via that medium. I think the significant part of it was we were able to cry it out, carry on the conversation and not stop to try comforting each other.

    • Have the conversation when the situation is generally good – no one is hungry, tired, angry, busy, wanting to watch a show that comes on in 5 min, etc.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Hugs to you. Without any background, I’d say ask yourself first if you’re happy in the relationship. Then ask SO the same question. If you’re both open and honest, the conversation should lead right to where it should.

      Good luck!

    • This may not apply at all because your question doesn’t have context but:

      In my experience, with a break-up conversation where I was getting dumped and I actually felt like it went reasonably well: I asked if I had done anything to upset him or cause the end, and he answered something vague that I don’t remember the specifics of that was basically “It’s just not working out for me”. I told him I accepted that and was sorry to see it end, gave him a hug, and he left. I started crying a bit before he left. I think this conversation went well for a couple of reasons: 1) I didn’t press him on his reasons for ending it because I am who I am and I am not interested in changing who I am if I’m not the person he’s looking for (I actually think I said basically that to him), 2) I didn’t try to fight the end of the relationship, even though I didn’t want it to end, because you can’t make someone love you.

      Just one random Internet stranger’s experience. Hope it’s helpful.

      • +1 This is my preferred ending to a relationship. Don’t beat around the bush. Be honest, but don’t ask for or go into long-winded reasons. If it’s not working, that’s what you say. It will hurt on both sides, but you have to rip that band-aid off. Don’t drag it out over a period of time. Set the conversation for a time when both of you are available and not rushed or anything, then dig right in. It will be hard, really hard, but you can do it. You need to do what’s best for you – don’t rely on anyone else to take care of you!

    • Is it your SO that’s asking to have the conversation about the relationship? There’s really no way to prepare for a conversation if you don’t know what the subject matter will be. If you cry, that’s okay. Ask whatever questions you want during the conversation, and if you feel blindsided and can’t formulate questions but think you might have questions later, say something like “you’ve given me a lot to think about, can you give me some time to organize my thoughts and we can continue this conversation tomorrow/this weekend/whenever?”

      I hope it goes well!

    • Hugs. From reading the replies I get the feeling that your outlook is as good as possible re having a calm, civil, functional breakup if that’s where your conversation takes you and your current SO. It’s not fun to go from paired to un-paired but it’s better to be alone and content with yourself than in a relationship and unhappy. Honestly, the second is worst because before you can get happier you either need to do a lot of work to improve the relationship or you need to plow through the breakup and post-breakup–and then be open to (or actively looking for) another relationship free of whatever you don’t want! (sorry for that run-on sentence)

      Take care of yourself and keep on being honest and civil with your SO/soon-to-be-former SO. Kindness and dignity beat bluntness and drama 24/7/365.

    • Senior Attorney :

      When LH and I need to have an awkward conversation, I say “I need to have an awkward conversation.” And we sit in the Awkward Conversation Chairs and I spit it out. (He is super chill and never needs to initiate awkward conversations.)

      If you think he is breaking up with you, I’d suggest asking “are you breaking up with me?” for starters. You can ask follow up questions which he may or may not answer and may or may not answer honestly. Generally I think Torin and CountC above are on point with their suggestions. You may well cry and that’s normal and okay.

      I’d suggest having a place to go for the night after the talk so you don’t have to spend the night together if you don’t want to. Maybe a friend’s house if you don’t want to be alone.

      Hugs to you! Good luck! I broke up with my husband four years ago this week and it was the best think I ever did!

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s okay to cry.

    • Thank you so much to everyone for responding! Can’t tell you how much I appreciate it.

  19. I’m looking for recommendations for a great shoe for travel. I hate wearing tennis shoes and they don’t match any of my clothes. I’m going to Europe next month and will be doing a ton of walking so I’m looking for something very comfortable, but also at least a little stylish. My last big trip, my feet still hurt even though I was wearing sketchers.

    • Bonus points for any shoes that could go with a casual dress.

      • Shoes, Shoes, Shoes :

        They might not be stylish, but Ecco Bluma Band. I bought the solid black ones. I wore them for 4 days straight on vacation right out of the box.

        • other anon :

          Those look like great travel shoes, and I could see the black sole version looking fine with anything. the arch support?

    • I have some Born boots with a 1″ heel that I got at Athleta last year that are insanely comfortable. My feet hate everything in 4 hours and these boots work well. I think Zappos has something similar this year.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I have got some great shoes from Cobb Hill. Right now on Zappos the Gracie looks cute. One (annoying!) thing I have learned about traveling though is that I just need to bring more than one pair of shoes. Like after walking around a city all day in Pair A, just being able to wear Pair B the next day helps a lot.

      • Yes, this is surprisingly important – I had a work trip a couple months ago where I got away with a pair of pewter booties for the entire two-day trip style-wise, but my feet really hurt after the second full day in the same pair of shoes, even though they’re crazy comfortable.

    • I would go to a supportive shoe store or a great department store and try out Ecco, Mephisto, SAS and other walking brands. For what you’re looking for I think a pair of really supportive black or brown flats, maybe with a mary jane strap, would be the best thing. They would go with jeans or a dress or whatever you’re wearing. If your feet hurt after Skechers, I’m thinking what you really need is arch support.

      The blog une femme d’un certain age has lots of Paris travel posts, and she always posts her footwear. I don’t see her being the ugly american wearing giant white sneakers in the Louvre.


        Here’s a decent roundup from the walking company. Obviously I wouldn’t go with the higher heels, but the ABEO brand (I think their house brand) has good arch support, and they sell Eccos, which also have pretty good support.

      • I’ve never heard of that blog but it seems interesting!
        Here’s the page you’d be looking for:

      • We often wear comfortable shoes en route to work and then change to something nicer. There is nothing wrong with wearing comfortable sneakers if the rest of you outfit looks city/nice enough.

    • I don’t know of you consider these tennis shoes or not:

      People seem to be wearing this style with everything. IME Keen has always been super comfortable.

    • Look at Gentle Souls. There are some frumpy options for sure, but some a little more stylish and very comfortable for all-day walking on vacation.

    • Look at Gentle Souls. There are some frumpy options for sure, but some a little more stylish and very comfortable for all-day walking on vacation.

    • I bought a pair of Ipanema sandals a few months back expecting them to be your basic unsupportive beach sandals and was totally shocked at how insanely comfortable they are. I’ve walked miles and miles in them. Here are a couple of cute options:

    • Oxfords or booties. I also like Worishofer sandals.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Chelsea booties or something like it – they tend to be supportive (unlike flip flops / ballet flats) while looking polished

    • SF in House :

      Trippen makes some really comfy shoes. They are pricey and a bit avant garde, however.

    • My plan for my next trip to France is to switch between AGL laceless oxfords, AGL ballet flats, and tailored Teva wedge sandals, plus a pair of neutral Euro-style hiking shoes for when I am out in the countryside. Pretty much all black, of course.

    • Check out Allbirds. They are definitely casual but nicer ( I think) than sneakers. Insanely comfortable! I have one pair and am seriously considering buying a second, maybe in one of the fun seasonal colors. They are the hip cool shoe in San Francisco with the tech crowd, so you look like an on- trend nerd too!

  20. cake batter :

    I missed the convo about skin care a few days ago but wanted to chime in late with a few things that really helped my skin in case this could help someone else. I had developed some really terrible and consistent blemishes on my forehead and got the bright idea to cut myself some bangs to hide them, which worked about as well as you can imagine. Both my skin AND hair looked ridiculous, so I booked the quickest appointment I could for a real hairdresser and got a recommendation from a friend for an aesthetician who worked in a derm’s office. I started getting chemical peels (i.e. a glycolic acid peel as part of a clinical facial) at her recommendation, and my skin improved immediately. It’s sorta pricey at $75 a pop every two/three months (I go more frequently in the summer when my pores get more clogged with sweat and sunscreen) but I’m actually spending way less than when I used to buy out half of Sephora every few weeks because I was trying to fix my problem skin on my own, without actually having a clue what to use. Now I only use about 5 products on my face, and I don’t experiment with skin care at all (or even really use samples from Sephora) because I’ve found exactly what my skin likes.

    I also had a magnifying mirror I used when plucking my brows, but I also used that as an opportunity to pick at my mucked up pores – which did my skin no favors. I made myself toss the mirror, and also tried to touch my face as little as possible. Three years later, and I get regular compliments from strangers about how clear and bright my skin is, and I get maybe one blemish a year, max.

    I say all this in case anyone else has problem skin and is struggling to find something that works – try seeing a professional, because I’m SO glad I finally did.

    • Is there any advantage to doing a glycolic acid peel vs regularly using glycolic acid as an exfoliant?

      • cake batter :

        I do both – essentially the peel acts as my “deep cleaning” and my daily glycolic acid cleaner is my maintenance. The only difference is the peel is a much stronger dose.

  21. Friday routines :

    What do you do on a Friday afternoon for a successful Monday? What does your future self thank you for?

    I use a very, very simple bullet journal and on Friday afternoon, I open up my calendar and my projects list and make my weekly to do list – normally about 8-10 work priorities, and 2-3 life priorities. I review the list from the week prior and move things over as necessary.

    I’ll admit to adding things that I have to do (give a lecture, attend an event) so I guarantee that things do get ticked off.

    • anon a mouse :

      I’ve started leaving myself a 1-2 item to-do list in the afternoon for the next morning. The items on the list are short tasks (e.g., booking travel, reading an article, reviewing something for a peer) that can be knocked out quickly without a lot of prep. It’s solved the issue of me arriving at my desk, thinking “what now?” and losing 30 minutes to drinking coffee/Internetting.

    • Clear out my inbox! I just file everything away in the appropriate folders so I can find it later when I need it. If I didnt do that, I’d never get to it during the rest of the week and then it would just be a downward spiral…

    • I like to write out my to do list. I try and think of everything I might think of during the weekend and write it down so I don’t have to think about it over the weekend.

  22. Question for the lawyers.

    I had my depo taken in NYC on Wednesday in a commercial litigation case. The depo lasted all day and was exhausting. My attorney said I didn’t do well. I had very little prep. My issue was, in my attorney’s opinion, that I answered too many questions. I said, but I’m under oath, and I know these answers. He said I should be saying I don’t know a lot more. He told me all of this at the first break. In fact, he yelled at me. So after the break, I answered I don’t know a lot more, and then the other side’s attorney got really aggressive with me, saying, we’re going to sit here all day until she answers the question, trying to stare me down for minutes at a time, talking to me like I was three years old, etc. and finally saying “how can you have advanced this person as the person most knowledgeable if she doesn’t know anything?”

    How do of you find that fine line of answering enough but not too much? Are all depositions this combative and uncomfortable?

    • I’m not in NYC, but I don’t think all depositions are like that. I haven’t seen yelling before.

    • Your attorney sounds terrible. It was his job to prepare you, and tell you to lie and say that you don’t know isn’t prep. I’m sorry that happened to you!

      The key to a deposition is to answer precisely and only the question asked, and if it’s a complicated question ask the questioner to simplify. In conversation we frequently answer an _implied_ question rather than the actual question. Easy example: “Do you have the time?” is usually answered by telling the person what time it is, when the literal answer to the question would be “yes” or “no”. It’s really hard to do this because it goes against the way humans communicate. It takes practice.

      • Senior Attorney :


        I often have to explain to people that saying “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember,” when in fact you do know and you do remember, is a lie. But it is okay and desirable to answer just the question asked: “Yes, I have the time.” And it is not okay and not desirable to volunteer a bunch of stuff that is not a direct answer to the question.

    • It sounds like a 30(b)(6) deposition – you were put forth as a representative on behalf of a company? In that case, your attorney has an obligation to educate you on certain topics and you can’t say “I don’t know” in response to everything. If you’re a personal witness you can say you don’t know whenever you don’t know, but you obviously can’t lie under oath. Your attorney sounds poorly prepared at best and ethically sketchy at worst.

      It’s possible what your attorney was (poorly) complaining about was that you volunteered too much info. You shouldn’t lie and say you don’t know if you do know, but you should be very careful that you’re only asking the question asked, and not giving one iota more information. For example if they say “Do you know what Jane’s job is?” the correct answer if you know is “Yes” not “Yes, Jane is the senior IP litigation counsel.” The opposing attorney then just has to ask “And what is her job?” so it’s not like you’re hiding any info from them that way, but it forces them to use up more of their time on follow-up questions. In reality, all witnesses volunteer to some degree, but attorneys like to stress in prep that you should think carefully about what’s being asked and only answer that question.

      Anyway, sorry you had such a bad experience. It does sound atypical, and like your attorney didn’t prep you well.

      • Yes I was put forth as the person most knowledgable about a certain function of my company. My attorney was in-house. He has done depos but not against this attorney. You’re right about not telling the time, and I may have slipped up on this a couple of times but it was more like “are you aware of” kind of questions, and the answer is “yes” (honestly.) My attorney thinks I should have said no unless I knew every detail of the item in question. Like – are you aware of a certain contract? I said yes. My attorney feels that unless I could recite the contract word for word, I should have said no.

        • This in my opinion is an exception to the rule that you should give short answers. When asked if you’re “aware” of something, the literal answer “yes” could imply that you know a lot about it when you don’t. So, in this specific situation you could answer, “I’m aware that the contract exists yes, but could not recite specifics from memory.” This answer is both accurate and forces the questioner to ask you a more specific question to make whatever point he’s trying to make.

          Your attorney is an idiot. In that situation “no” is a lie and he should not have told you to lie.

        • “My attorney thinks I should have said no unless I knew every detail of the item in question. Like – are you aware of a certain contract? I said yes. My attorney feels that unless I could recite the contract word for word, I should have said no.”

          That’s absolutely false. If they ask “are you aware of a certain contract?” and you are aware of that contract’s existence, you should say yes or “yes, I’m aware of it’s existence, but I don’t know what it says.” If they phrase it differently and say “What does XYZ contract say about ABC?” then it’s probably ok to say “I don’t know” if you don’t know the exact terms, although I wouldn’t excoriate a witness for giving a more forthcoming answer like “I’m aware it addresses ABC but I don’t know the precise terms.” The really bad thing is when the witness says “XYZ contract says ABC” and it actually says something else, and it doesn’t sound like you were doing that.

          Anyway, if it’s a 30(b)(6) and that contract is one of the topics, your attorney has an obligation to make you knowledgeable about it, including reading the terms of the contract so you know precisely what they say. Sounds like he goofed on that.

    • Your attorney is a jerk and you were right to answer all questions honestly. I represent clients against companies all the time and it’s infuriating to have witnesses say ‘I don’t know’ when they obviously do. I can tend to get a little yell-y when I know someone is being dishonest in a deposition. Is there someone you can complain to, that you felt like you were feeling pressure by counsel to lie under oath?

    • I’ve also learned over time that there is often a misunderstanding between what advise I give my clients and what they hear from what I said or how they interpret what I said. I can tell my clients 100 times that the most important thing to do is tell the truth but if they think I’m ever telling them to answer a question a different way from the truth (which I wouldn’t do) they start doing that thinking I told them to.

      Here’s an example of a recent miscommunication with details changed. I knew attorney was going to ask client about 10 conversations. 7 were about his cause of action 3 were unrelated. I tried to explain to him that sometimes attorneys will ask you about stuff that you think is unrelated to your case and that is okay. They are allowed to do that. You don’t have to say that every conversation you ever had is related to your case. (She was going to try to make him look like he was inflating his claim if he said some innocent conversations were part of the claim.) I should have clarified, just tell her which ones are related and which ones aren’t, honestly.

      Go back into the depo and he starts saying NONE of the conversations are related to his claim. Take break. His explanation “I thought that’s what you wanted me to say.” Then I have to repeat the instructions again. Tell the truth. Don’t be nervous if she is asking you stuff that isn’t related. That’s okay. Just tell her which ones are related and which ones aren’t.

    • Depositions are not fun for anyone, but it sounds like the attorney did not prepare you properly. He should have explained how to answer the questions in a truthful, direct way without offering so much information that you’re answering a question you weren’t asked. Your job in the depo is to answer questions, not to be helpful to the other side’s case. For reference, I typically spend 2-8 hours preparing someone for a deposition, sometimes more if they are a critical witness.

      Also, you called him “my attorney.” Is he your attorney or your company’s? I’m guessing by your last line that he is the company’s attorney and you were testifying on behalf of your company. If that’s the case, you might consider a brief, calm chat with whoever handles the relationship with the attorney for your company (e.g., in-house counsel). Let them know how much time he spent preparing you for the deposition and that you didn’t feel this was enough for x, y, z, reason. The company should know if its attorney didn’t do his job (and you don’t want him to say the reason the deposition went badly is because of you).

    • Never too many shoes... :

      It is also completely unprofessional and against the professional conduct rules to discuss the deposition while it is still ongoing and the witness is under oath. Bad lawyering, very bad.

      • And also unethical beyond measure to tell her to answer untruthfully.

        Honestly, OP, I’d be tempted to talk to in-house lawyer’s supervisor (or yours, or both) about the experience. Unless something is getting seriously lost in communication, I would want to know that this had happened, if I supervised either of you.

      • I agree it is unethical to tell her to answer untruthfully.

        But your ability to discuss the deposition during a breach varies a lot from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. It may have been unethical here, or may not have been.

        • Anonymous :

          I was always taught (in federal court) that you couldn’t discuss the substance of the witnesses’ answers so far, but you could tell them they were doing a good job and you could go over general prep points again, e.g. “Remember what we discussed about making sure you’re always answering only the question that is being asked”, etc.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      As others have said, your attorney messed up. He obviously didn’t prepare you correctly. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he doesn’t seem to understand 30(b)(6) depositions, but it may be that he was being unethical and asking you to lie.

  23. Are all depositions this combative and uncomfortable? No but it’s not infrequent.

    Attorney was wrong to tell you to lie. He should have focused on explaining that you provide the narrowest answer that honestly answers the question and to answer only the specific questions you are ask, because they might be fishing for something but not able to ask you directly for whatever reason. Example: Do the important files go in red folders? Answer: yes Answer to avoid: ‘yes, and we use blue for xyz, except when… and here’s interesting fact you didn’t know’.

    • +1

    • +2. I was taught to prep witnesses by telling them they should try to default to one of four answers: yes, no, I don’t know and I don’t remember. Obviously there are questions that can’t be answered by one of those four statements, but when you’re asked a question, you should mentally think to yourself “can this be answered honestly by one of those four statements” (even if it’s clear to you that the questioner is getting at something else) and use whichever statement applies. The classic example is the one Torin mentioned above – if someone says “Do you have the time?” most people will respond “sure, it’s 3:30 p.m.” but the correct deposition answer is “yes.”

      • Unless you are the plaintiff. Then you have to avoid getting boxed into a yes or no when the area is much more grey or you have more damages than they are listing …

  24. Pairing Snoopy :

    I tried to reply yesterday but it never posted.

    Check out Karen Pryor’s blog, which can be found easily via G-double o-gle.she uses clicker training, which is an operant-conditioning based training method. The ‘click’ sound is very good at telling your pup the exact moment that you want to reward – which, in your case, is the gap between the barks. It’s really hard to get that exact moment rewarded with a voice ‘good job’ or a treat, but the click is fast & distinctive.

    This is a common issue, so I’m sure her blog will have a few articles with ideas about how to fix it. Spend a lot of time up front, hanging out in the house, pairing the click/treat together, before using it on a walk and tackling the bark issue (by a lot of time, I guess I mean several 10-minutes sessions over the course of a weekend, not weeks or anything). It will also help if you use the clicker for your other training to continue to reinforce the reward that comes via the clicker. Good luck, keep at it!

  25. Maybe a long shot, but any recs for tours (either companies or specific tour itineraries) to see the Vatican and the Colosseum in Rome? I don’t typically do guided walking tours on vacation but it seems like everyone does them in Rome.

    • For the Vatican Museums, the best tip is to purchase your tickets in advance. The other ticket line is absurdly long. I liked having the audio tour! To see St. Paul Cathedral itself, I went very early (like 7am) and it was a fantastic time. The sun was rising and it was spectacular. I didn’t do a tour, but it was essentially empty (except for the 6 masses being celebrated) so there was plenty of time to wander and admire.


    • We used Through Eternity Tours for the Vatican. Small groups, guide was good.

    • Why, yes, I am going to recommend Rick Steves again — but in this case just a book. If you usually travel without a tour group, you will do just fine with his Rome book. All the detail you need and all the practicalities. You’d have to be in Rome a month to do everything. Also, if you want the structure of guided tours, you could do something different every day with the company Rome Walks.

      • Oh, jeez, I misread this questions and thought you wanted a whole guided trip. I still recommend Rick Steves guidebooks, which walk you through the places (“turn left and look at Bernini’s canopy”). There are also free audio tours on his site that you can download in advance. But I LOVE the Rome Walks tours for learning about the city.

    • SF in House :

      A little outside your question, but I did a bike tour of the Appian Way that I loved. I have recommended it to two friends who also loved it.

      • +1 to this tour – it was one of the highlights of our trip. Also not what you asked, but the Eating Italy food tour of the Trastevere neighborhood is unreal!

    • Try to get a Scavi tour to go into the excavations under the Vatican. Highly recommend.

  26. How do you support a sibling in a health struggle that you don’t share, but it’s somewhat clear they got the shorter end of the stick genetically? Eg. you have low cholesterol and eat steak frequently while sibling eats all the right things and has high cholesterol or you have no trouble maintaining a healthy weight while sibling struggles constantly with weight loss while maintaining good habits. I’ve been asked to offer advice and want to freely give it as I’m a registered dietitian so I can offer concrete help. But some of this seems to be genetic over behavior. Add in a big personal event coming up where sibling wants to look their best, some infrequent but awful sibling rivalry/jealousy and I’m walking a tightrope here.

    • other anon :

      This sounds like a fraught situation. I wouldn’t offer advice unless asked, but you were specifically asked. I would offer generic advice in that case and DO NOT follow up to see if sibling is adhering to your advice. If, as you say, it is genetics, you can’t fix it anyway.

    • Can you bow out gracefully via recommending a colleague to your sibling? My thinking is that the drama will go away if your sibling is seeing a Professional rather than you, a Professional-but-also-her-sibling-who-unfairly-got-the-better-genes-re-diet-weight-and-cholesterol. I’d pick someone with a specialty in something pertinent (IBS, diabetes, PCOS, or whatever your sibling has) or in a practice with super-convenient hours & locations for your sibling.

      I’d also find new topics of conversation with your sibling–preferably about something you find hard or will always do badly; ideally also something she finds interesting and easy! (Personal example: I have a great sense of color when it comes to matching clothing, but I will never, ever, ever be a good team sport player or an accomplished horsewoman.) Or find something that your sibling does well and ask her advice (if you can do this honestly plus follow her suggestions). Does she have musical abilities, great taste in nail polish colors, a wonderful skill with house plants or home decoration, or the ability to find unique personal accessories in unusual boutiques or to turn strangers into friends at networking events…?

      • Agree with the first paragraph.

        The second, honestly that sounds a bit patronizing.

        • lawsuited :

          +1 “It sucks that you’re incapable of losing and maintaining the weight you’re desperate to lose, but you are so great at nailpolish colours!”

        • Point taken re patronizing, unless sibling really, truly has some expertise that OP will never achieve. I was trying to get both OP and sibling to pay less attention to the entire subject of who does and does not lose weight and maintain the desired lower weight.

          Maybe pay more attention to an interest of sibling that OP hasn’t previously acknowledged much?

    • I’d just give the same advice that you give to your clients and then never discuss it again unless they bring it up first.

    • Give some generic advice that you’d give to a client in an initial meeting when you didn’t know much about their health history. After that don’t bring it up. If she brings it up – say you’re happy to refer her to a colleague bc s/he’s the best in the business and would give her better advice bc you don’t deal with x (whatever issue she has) nearly as often as they do.

    • lawsuited :

      So from my own experience of being (not unhappily) overweight for many years, and having thin siblings, and having family members who comment on and offer advice about my weight, I would suggest that instead of responding to her request for advice, you respond with enthusiastic love and support for the way she looks right now. She can find advice elsewhere – a huge portion of the internet is devoted to weight loss stories and advice from all sorts of people, including registered dietitians. What you can convincingly give your sister that no one else can is love, love, love and acceptance. I have the strong, happy relationships that I do with my siblings and my parents because none of them talk to me about my weight. I love that when I’m around them I am just a sister/daughter and not a fat person. If you and your sister are already in the habit of talking about weight, it may take a while to reframe your relationship to eliminate weight from the equation, but if you can manage it it will be the greatest gift you can give her and yourself.

      • >…reframe your relationship to eliminate weight from the equation … if you can manage it it will be the greatest gift you can give her and yourself.

        lawsuited, you said what I was trying to say, only much better!

  27. For those of you who have seen Hidden Figures, can you tell me whether it would be appropriate for kids who are 6 and 9? I’ve heard about the movie and think there are good messages for kids. I don’t care about four letter words (we can talk about them) but would not like to have to talk about any graphic $ex scenes or things of that nature.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think it would be great for kids. Everybody keeps their clothes on at all times and there is a lot of stuff to spur interesting and important conversations.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’d suggest briefing them in advance about the key characters (especially John Glen, who is portrayed as quite the hero) and the space race so they will know what’s going on.

    • I think you barely even see Taraji and Mahershala kiss if I remember correctly. I think the racism would be the much more difficult thing to explain to children than any kind of $ e x stuff.

    • try reposting on the moms site as it’s not as busy over there or here on the weekend thread. Haven’t see it but my impression is that it might be okay for the nine year old but too boring/hard to follow for the six year old.

    • I think it’d be very boring for kids 6 and 9. Yes, it’s a good movie, but it’s basically just people running around an office doing math for 90 minutes. Save it for junior high.

    • My 10-year-old loved it and immediately started reading the book and chose human computers as the topic for her school project. If your kids are used to watching realistic movies, they will enjoy it too. Some kids I know in that age range would have a hard time sitting through it, but that’s only because they are not used to watching full-length live-action feature films with character-driven stories. It moves quickly and the romantic parts are very discreetly implied. I agree with SA that your kids will enjoy it more if they go into it with some knowledge of the space race. I would also explain segregation and racism, especially the part about segregated bathrooms, if the younger one hasn’t had much exposure to that topic yet.

    • I took my 8 yo daughter to see it and we both really enjoyed it! Some of it went over her head, so our post-movie discussion was a little more … rich, than usual, lol. But otherwise, very kid-friendly. She was also quite tickled to see Katherine Johnson at the Oscars!

    • Anonymous :

      I think it might be boring for a six year old, but a lot of nine-year-olds would get a lot out of it. I saw Apollo 13 at that age and loved it. There’s no s*x, either explicit or implied. One of the main characters is a widow and meets a man she eventually marries in the film, but the whole thing is very traditional. They meet at church and you see him taking her out on a couple of dates, they dance and peck on the lips maybe once or twice and then they’re getting married. It couldn’t be less raunchy if it tried.

    • Jitterbug :

      It may have good messages, but they might be too bored to really hear those messages. If they’re enthusiastic about it, or really into science, then by all means take them! If you take them because you want them to see it, I’m not sure anyone will be in a good mood by the time the previews start. Otherwise, you may want to wait until they’re a little older and then have a family movie night with their favorite takeout, they’ll probably appreciate it more when they’re teenagers, or preteens at least,

    • Also, you may already have done so, but commonsense media is a very helpful source for reviews. I know what things my daughter is sensitive to and what she’s not, and their reviews have been spot on for us.

      • Anonymous :

        I love Common Sense Media so much! They rate each movie on a number of different dimensions (violence, consumerism, language, positive role models…) and also provide a prose write-up of aspects that might be challenging or objectionable for some families. It provides enough information to make a really informed decision that is tailored to the family’s values and the individual child, and sometimes also provides good conversation-starters.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I am surprised that people are saying it would be boring for kids that age. The movie is very captivating, and my 8 year old son is the one who asked me to see it. I took him and my two tween boys. They all loved it, and we had a pre-discussion of the space program and race issues in America during that time. And a lot of discussion about race relations then and now after the movie. My two oldest boys are African American, so this is top of mind for them.

      Completely appropriate for kids as others have said too as it comes to sx. Some violence, but that is what happened historically and they need to learn that at some point anyways.

    • Yes it would be fine for them. I took my 12 and 14 year olds they loved it.

  28. non-profit privacy (or not) :

    I work in non-profit fundraising, and I’ve noticed a significant uptick in grant funders requesting a lot of demographic data about my organization’s Board and staff. This is starting to make me a little leery, especially in the current political climate.

    I think these questions reflect good intentions from our funders, but I’m having a hard time navigating questions asking about the percentage of Board and staff who are, say, LGBTQ, differently abled (though the applications always just say “disabled”—blech), immigrants (!!), or living below the poverty line. And frankly, given the complexity of identity, the more-common questions about racial demographics and gender (which only ever specify male and female—more blech) don’t thrill me, either. I can guess or make assumptions, of course, which I don’t like doing. But obviously I’m also not going to survey anyone (which in some cases would probably be illegal in addition to deeply problematic).

    Are any of you involved in grant funding, either as grantor or grantee? How do you handle these questions, if you’re the grantee? What prompts you to ask these questions, if you’re the grantor? If you are neither of those roles but you support or participate in a non-profit organization, would you see value in having this kind of data about its staff and leadership?

    (I’m less concerned about these questions when they specifically reference my organization’s constituents. Obviously, a lot of non-profits exist specifically to serve a particular demographic, so in that case the questions make more sense, although I’d still be happier if they used more inclusive terms.)

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I had to do a grant report, essentially, recently- it asked for a lot of that kind of information about my clients. We’ve made a conscious decision within my unit to not track some of the specific information asked for- if a client discloses it to us, we’ll make a note in our files because it was important TO THE CLIENT to disclose it. We made a note “We don’t routinely ask if a client has a disability, or is LGBTQ. Those numbers are based off of the clients who self-disclosed to us, not all clients. They’re likely low, but we have made a decision to not ask.”

      I don’t think the information is necessary unless the grant is specifically in regards to those demographics. If the grant is to bring in more people with disabilities to positions of leadership (IDK, first thing I thought of), okay, that’s important to know, but if they just want to be able to brag that “50% of the board of this organization is POOR! WE DO SUCH GOOD WORK,” f that. It’s important to have representation from traditionally underrepresented groups. It’s not important for those people to become tokens.

  29. How to handle? Saw someone at a professional networking event last week. I know her well and like her a lot and only get to reconnect 1-2x/yr given our schedules. Amazingly she mentioned grabbing a drink and telling me her schedule next week is pretty open. Was going to email her today and suggest a few days next week. Of course now I see that my southern city which freaks out about a flurry is due to get a snow storm on Tuesday. Hopefully it misses us/turns to rain etc. But if it doesn’t, the city will be a MESS. Do I still suggest the days I was going to suggest (probably the day after the storm)? I don’t want to not take advantage of her availability for some storm that may or may not materialize, but I don’t want to get stuck in the email tag of – are you going to be able to make it, etc. All this is kind of new to me – moved here from Boston where no one cancels anything for 9 inches of snow; here people cancel preventatively bc of a forecast of snow . . . they wont’ go to work or if they do, they certainly will not venture out to drinks or anything after.

    • Yes, reach out to her. Avoiding this because of the *possibility* of a storm is weird.

    • Lol. Yes this is one of the biggest adjustments moving south – people freaking out about snow while you’re saying – it’s ONLY 6 inches. Definitely reach out since it’s a good networking thing. If it gets canceled, you’ll reschedule. But I wouldn’t not to reach esp since she mentioned it and you you’re both available since that doesn’t sound like it’s common.

      • C’mon – 6 inches is still be a big deal, even if you are a winter state. It’s the freak-outs over an dusting to an inch that make us northerners (with our fleet of snowplows and salt/sand trucks) roll our eyes.

        Until we’re grumbling in traffic because the 1 inch of heavy wet snow hit during the communte.

        • Depends on where you are. 6 inches in Manhattan – no one bats an eyelash and people would look at you weird if you said you couldn’t go out due to the snow; the city takes care of it quick and it melts fast on its own bc so much of the city has steam pipes under the sidewalks.

  30. Sloan Sabbith :

    Today marks a year since I’ve had any sort of meaningful conversation with my abuser and since I deleted him and blocked him on Facebook!!

    I am so proud of myself. I wish I could announce it to everyone, but I can’t. So, here I am.

    • Congrats!

      There’s an app called Nomo that tracks time since you quit whatever you needed to quit (think “I don’t talk to him no mo’.”) It was designed for alcohol/drug issues but has all kinds of categories, and every day will tell you how long it’s been and how much time and money you’ve saved, depending on your inputs. It’s great for that internal sense of reward for swearing off something/someone and sticking to it.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Money I’ve saved: A lot.
        Time I’ve saved: If I could quantify all the time I spent crying, needlessly fighting with him, or anxious about him, it would probably be A LOT.

        I just kind of mentally keep track. I’ve always kept track of things like this just for myself- calendar notes that say things like “1 Year Down!” and “3 months!”, but I do tend to journal about important things in Day One and it reminds me “A Year Ago Today…”

    • Snaps. To. You.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Hooray!! Congratulations!!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      At least you can announce it to us! Congratulations, Sloan. 525,600 minutes of freedom…and counting.

    • Jitterbug :

      All right, snaps for you! Cutting people off can be tough, so good for you for pulling the plug and staying away.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Yay you!

    • Congratulations on doing what was totally, completely, absolutely right for you!

  31. Tell me about Big Law! :

    What’s the difference between an income partner and a real partner? Today’s comments are making me wonder. The world of Big Law is so fascinating to me, somebody who is totally not even anywhere near it.

    • An income, or non-equity, partner makes a stated salary per y ear, but doesn’t own any equity in the partnership, doesn’t get a vote, and doesn’t get a cut of the profits in good years (although they may be in the bonus pool). The salary range is lower, closer to what’s typical of a senior associate–maybe just a little higher. A non-equity partner can’t serve on the board or a compensation committee/executive committee, that type of thing.

      An equity partner owns shares or units or some form of equity in the firm, votes, gets paid based upon how the firm does rather than a stated salary, typically makes more.

      Obviously, these things vary by firm.

  32. This dress epitomizes the petite/plus problem. In tall and regular the dress goes to a size 18 but in petite, it only goes to a 16. In regular and plus, the dress is too long for petites and the armholes in plus are way too big. The ponte dresses are great but it’s a mystery to me why Land’s End won’t go up one extra size on its petites.

    • Go ahead and order the dress if you’re interested. I’m 5’4″ and short-waisted and it’s a smidge too short for my tastes (not inappropriate, I just prefer for my knees to be covered, and in the sleeved dress they’re not). Lands End is great with returns.

    • Anonymous :

      It also epitomizes the tall/small problem. No tall sizes under a size 6.

  33. AZCPA - Paging AZ Anon :

    To the person planning a couple’s trip to Tucson, my long post of suggestions finally came out of moderation late yesterday. Just wanted to make sure you saw it!

  34. BabyAssociate :

    Might be a little late for the morning thread, but any Portugal travel recommendations? I just booked a 6 day trip in November. Flying into Lisbon, but don’t need to stay there the whole time!

    • BabyAssociate :

      Priorities are good food/drink and walking. Not looking for a guided tour.

    • I went to Portugal in November and loved it. I spent part of the time in Porto – stayed at the Yeatman (which has an amazing restaurant) and visited port lodges and roamed the town. I also really recommend Sintra as a day trip. It is magical.

    • TorontoNewbie :

      The aquarium in Lisbon is amazing! The zoo is terribly and depressing (concrete pit type of zoo).

    • Sintra, like a fairytale.
      Stay in a Pousada or other historic building, avoid any modern chains they are just like anywhere else. Porto is close enough by train to take a portwine tasting trip to the cavas.
      Dare to eat the strange traditional foods. I only ate bacalao on my third trip, because I had seen and smelt it in grocery stores and couln’t imagine it could taste good.
      Ir’s worth reading a bit history before giung, you’ll get so much more out of your trip.

  35. Heartbreak Hotel :

    I’m back after Tuesday’s post about my SO moving out over the weekend after long battles about his creepy and codependent relationship t sister and super overbearing family – and how that impacts his emotional unavailability in our relationship (or really in anything else in his life, beside caring for his parents).

    We have not spoken at all, save for an out of the blue text I received yesterday morning mentioning he’s having bad dreams, asking if I’m ok, thanking me for all the cuddles and affection, and telling me that it is missed. My response was a simple “you’re welcome” (to the thanks for the cuddles and all the affection).

    But I still cry every morning and cry every night before bed. Again, not sure what I’m looking for… just venting to strangers, I guess.

    Thanks, all.

    • I think everything you’re feeling is natural, and normal, and your response to his text was fine. I wouldn’t engage further with “I miss you” type texts. Hang in there – it will get better.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Don’t engage further. This guy is soooo not okay.

        The crying will go on for a while. It doesn’t mean he is the one or even a halfway decent match. It just means you are a nice person who is going to feel badly when a piece of your life disappears overnight.

        Someone who wishes she had clearly cut ties with a manipulative, emotionally-unavailable, narcissist the first time this happened.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Agree with January about not engaging or dragging this out (as hard as that may be). Hugs! It will get better even though it sucks right now.

    • Senior Attorney :


      I’d suggest blocking his number and going total no contact.

      When I left my husband he maintained total radio silence. I was heartbroken but you know what? It was the very best thing he could have done because it sped up the accomplishment of the task in front of me, which was to break the attachment.

      It’s normal to cry. The only way out is through. But you are doing yourself a gigantic favor. Better things are coming. I promise!

    • Breaking up sucks. Maybe visiualizing how much more devastated you’d be if you’d stayed and walked in on them in 5 years will help remind you you’ve made the right choice.

    • Another anonymous judge :

      Everything you are feeling is a normal response to a bad situation.

      However, his text strikes me as unfair and manipulative. Thanking you for the cuddle and affection and telling you they are missed? Damn straight they are missed! You are awesome and anyone would miss having you in their life. However, he was not prepared to prioritize you or your relationship over all the crazy weirdness with is family and so he doesn’t GET to have you. Further, what adult texts another about their bad dreams in this situation unless he is just trying to keep you invested in his welfare?

      I vote with Senior Attorney (for about the thousandth time). It is healthier for you to block him on your phone and social media. This will permit you space both to grieve and to move on. It will be harder to do that if he has the ability to pull at your heartstrings with messages like these.

      I am so sorry you are going through this. But I promise you that you will feel better, much, much better, and happy, once you DO get through it.

      Internet good vibes and hugs from a stranger who is cheering for you and your awesome self.

  36. Anonymous :

    You all have given good and consistent advice to stay away from narcissist significant others but what about friends that after a couple years of developing a friendship ( and after learning how to identify the problem of narcissism) appear to be narcissists? Generally, is it possible or worthwhile to engage in a friendship with someone who is definitely narcissist ( and possibly has other clinical-level personality disorders)?

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Nope. Not worth it. If you’re miserable because of them, not worth it.

    • What’s the point? If they are a narcissist, it will never be an equal friendship. You will just be someone there to give them supply, listen to their stories, stroke their ego, etc while you are sucked dry. This is what narcissists (and other personality disordered people) do. Ask yourself what you are getting out of the friendship, especially compared to what you put in.

  37. Anonymous :

    Thanks. I didn’t even give specifics, but I guess I just want permission to walk away and have been having a hard time rationalizing that to myself.

  38. Is there a European option for the dress with sleeves? I like that the skirt isn’t too form fitting and the sizing serms to be forgiving at the waist.

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