I’m loving this sweater pencil skirt from Rachel Pally — the malachite chevron looks fun and artistic without being totally wackadoodle. What IS wackadoodle is suggesting that this skirt be worn as a tube dress, but let’s just forgive ShopBop (or Rachel Pally) for that minor indiscretion. I’d wear it with black tights and black pumps for the office, possibly with a small pop of purple somewhere (necklace, ring, brooch). The skirt is $189 at ShopBop. Rachel Pally Sweater Pencil SkirtSeen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected] (L-2)
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Workwear sales of note for 3.31.23:
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
- Athleta – All sale up to 60% off
- Banana Republic Factory – 50% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off; 20% off sale & new-season styles
- Brooks Brothers – Friends & Family Event: 30% off almost everything
- Express – All women’s jeans $49 + styles from $20
- Everlane – Up to 30% off spring essentials
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase; swim from $24.50
- J.Crew Factory – 40% off entire site & storewide, plus extra 20% off orders $125+ with code
- Loft – $29 everyday shirts
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – Buy one get one 50% off! Free shipping on $150+
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
I really really love this skirt! I came here to post a threadjack about feeling overwhelmed by life, but this burst of pretty helped lighten me up a bit. Being a grown up just sucks sometimes.
Yes. Yes it does. But that’s why we have pretty clothes–to get us through the suckiness of adulthood.
Oh I hope it gets better. Yeah, life can be overwhelming. I’ve been sick for so long, it’s depressing. At the allergist now.
I hope you feel better. This is totally silly, since we don’t know one another in real life, but I was totally thinking about you the other day as I read a book about New Orleans and wondering how your cough was going.
Thanks! The allergist thinks I still have a sunus infection but he also thinks I’m on the road to getting better. More tests and more antibiotics. I’ll be in Charlotte this weekend for my nephew’s birthday!
sweetknee PAGING NOLA
NOLA— I live about 45 minutes from Charlotte. Any Charlotte ‘rettes there ? Do you have any time for an impromptu meet up ?
Hi sweetknee. This is a quick trip. Just the weekend for my younger nephew’s 16th birthday (apparently I set a precedent when I surprised his brother for his).
BUT, I will have lots of time when I’m there in December. I’m flying in December 18th for my older nephew’s Christmas concert (he has a solo!) and they will be in school/working on Thursday and Friday so I will be entertaining myself. I’m fine with it – told my SIL I’d cook dinner (lasagna or spaghetti – our family tradition) and do her holiday baking. But if I have a car, a meetup would be a blast! zora has decided that I should just fly all over the country having meetups. LOL.
NOLA I’m totally tempted by your December Charlotte visit. I’d totally make a trip down there to hang out. And I’m always up for any NC ladies who want to get together.
So sorry, Merabella. Hope it gets less sucky soon!
I bought this skirt and returned it. Loved the pattern and the material was fine, but the whackadoodle tube-dress-ness ruined it for me. It was too long to be flattering, and the fit was off at the waist/upper hips. If they had just made it fit like a regular skirt, it would have been great.
Awesome skirt! Now, for my threadjack: how do you deal with someone who assumes they’re going to be maid of honor at your wedding? I’m not engaged yet, but most likely will be soon. I have a close friend who has made comments such as “when I’m maid of honor…” or “I fully expect to be maid of honor.” For a variety of reasons, I don’t think she would be a good choice, but I probably would want to make her a bridemaid instead (if I don’t just say screw it all and elope). Does anyone have any tips for how to handle this inevitable conversation without a huge fight or hurt feelings? Thanks in advance!
Do you have a sister or a cousin? Easiest thing would be to make them maid of honor instead and say that it is a family tradition.
Nope – no sisters and no other obvious choices or family traditions (wish I had a sister for a lot of reasons and this is one of them!). I should also add that in the times these comments have come up, I’ve been able to get away with changing the subject or with non-commital responses, but I don’t expect that to last much longer.
Do you have a brother? When I get married, they’ll be my attendants.
S in Chicago
Does your husband-to-be have a sister?
Or maybe not have an official “MOH” and they all are bridemaids (say you didn’t want to offend the others)?
I had a very small wedding, which made things easy–I didn’t have bridesmaids. All my friends where there but it took away any burden of having to dress alike or feel like they were “working” at my wedding somehow. If you and your husband-to-be are OK without formal attendents, maybe you can do the same?
See, I had no idea bridesmaids and maids of honor were not the same thing. Anyway, your friend is weird. The only situation in which I could imagine someone making such an assumption would be if they were the bride’s only sister and they had a close relationship – and even then. I’m not sure why there would be a conversation involved to tell that you are *not* asking her to do something, anyway. It would be like calling your brother to say “by the way, I am not asking you to be a godfather to my kid.” Strange. Surely she’ll figure it out in her own where you invite her to the wedding?
Does your fiance have a sister? That’s sometimes done.
Traditionally, the ‘matron’ of hon0ur is supposed to be someone who is already married so if you have a friend who is and this friend isn’t, you could base it on that?
Yay! I LOVE this pencil SKIRT, Kat! And I am finaly back in the office! Super Yay!
As for the OP, I have alway’s been a bridesmaid, but NEVER maid of honor. That is OK, b/c I hope to be a BRIDE, and will not have to stand up and catch the bookay any more. FOOEY!
I promised the hive I would get their opinion’s on this quote from the book I am reading from Jean Jack Rousseau. He wrote:
“Women is made specially to please man. Therefore, the whole education of women ought to relate to men. To please men, to be useful to them, to make herself loved and honored by them..these are the duties of women ata ll times, and they ought to be taught from childhood”. FOOEY!
And the book also says a 1912 book “warns girls to put away the trigonometry and do some needlework”. DOUBEL FOOEY!
How do peeople come off trying to say and do these things? We are women and we are EMPOWERED. FOOEY on dooshey men that want to keep us pregenant and in the kitchen. That is old stuff. We have power to be ourselve’s and we should NOT let men think we are beholden to them. The book I am reading says that we are free to be women and should NEVER let men think they are better then us.
The book is titled “Wonder Women: Sex, Power and the Quest for Perfection” by Debora L. Spar. My mom gave it to me and I like it. She say’s she is learning a lesson that she will start to apply to Dad, who has alway’s kept her down. I love dad, but he is a controlling jerk sometimes, b/c he tells mom EXACTELY what to think on every issue and exactley what to make for every dinner, down to the desert. FOOEY! Dad has to join the 21st century where we women are NOT to be thought of as porcelain dolls. TRIPEL FOOEY!
OMG, Willem is back texteing and I now have to deal with him this week a long with FRED!
Haha you mean +1000.
Ellen, thank you. This made my day.
If your close friend assumes she will be your maid of honor, which means she assumes she is your best friend, she will definitely be very hurt if you don’t choose her (as well as embarrassed), and it could change your relationship forever. Do you really have to have a maid of honor? If there isn’t an obvious choice (like your sister), it seems like this designation just makes explicit things that are better left unsaid.
+1, I would just have bridesmaids and no maid of honor if there is no one particularly close to you/no sisters etc.
I was going to say the same. I didn’t really have a Maid of Honor; didn’t really miss it.
Theoretically, a Maid of Honor in a non-professionally-managed wedding is the bride’s right hand, and makes sure everything gets done that the bride can’t or shouldn’t do, including but not limited to throwing the bridal shower, making sure the bridesmaids all have dresses that fit and seeing to alterations if necessary, directing the caterers while the bride’s getting the photos done, making sure all the other bridesmaids, flower girls, ring bearers, and groomsmen are dressed and ready on the day of, helping set up flowers and chairs while the bride’s having her hair and makeup done, carrying the lipstick and concealer for touchups throughout the day, and depending on the dress, holding up the layers of tulle so the bride can pee. (We’ve all seen that terrible movie 27 Dresses, right?)
I mean, the name is MAID of Honor, after all. If the wedding is large enough to require some management, it’s a good idea to have a Maid of Honor who’s really organized, efficient, and good in a crisis. Otherwise, you end up with my friend’s bridal shower, where the Maid of Honor (sister of the bride) did absolutely nothing except invite people to her parents’ house, and her bridesmaids discovered this at the last minute and scrambled to put together a menu, cook for 20 people (mostly older relatives), buy a case of champagne, and make a gluten-free, low-sugar cake (for the MOH’s allergies, annoyingly enough) in less than 24 hours. Fortunately, we had all learned from this and the wedding duties were all split up between the bridesmaids ahead of time.
See, I see it as maid of HONOR. You pick this person to honor them, not because you want them to run stuff for you. I don’t think setting up for the ceremony/reception or making sure other people are dressed are a maid of honor’s duty in the slightest. I had a matron of honor, but it was another bridesmaid who took control on the planning/organization front – that’s just the type of person she is. It’s nice to have someone throw you a shower/help you out with wedding things, but I’d never make a less-close friend the maid of honor just because she would do a better “job”.
As someone who often takes charge of things and gets things done because “that’s just the kind of person I am,” it would be nice to actually be recognized for the huge amount of work put in to make things run smoothly. That’s what I see as the honoring part. If you want your bestie as your maid of honor, and you ask me to do everything that a maid of honor might be expected to do because I’m just good at that kind of thing, sure, I’ll probably do it because I care about my friends and want them to have a great wedding, but it’s a bit annoying.
If you want to have your bestie as your maid of honor and ask a bunch of friends to help out, or do all the work yourself, or hire someone to make the day run smoothly, then no problem, but otherwise, it’s like someone getting a new title and promotion and making someone else take care of all the responsibilities of that job.
I don’t entirely agree, but I see your point – my main issue is that a bride shouldn’t be asking for that type of help from anyone in her bridal party, maid of honor or not. If someone wants to help out (which is where I got ‘the type of person she is’), great, but it should never be an expectation.
I’m also going to vote for no maid of honor; Just have bridesmaids. A close friend of mine who has no sisters or close female relatives is just having 3 of us as her bridesmaids with no distinction and everyone’s happy.
Besides, it’s YOUR wedding.
I think this is a great idea and if I didn’t have a sister, would probably be what I would do because I wouldn’t want to get into a touchy situation with my close friends.
Killer Kitten Heels
What about no maid of honor? I have a group of close friends who are all equally important to me, and didn’t want to draw distinctions, so I made my brother my “man” of honor, and my were bridesmaids, with the bonus of no hurt feelings. If you don’t have a brother/male close cousin/whatever, you could just have no maid of honor at all.
I would definitely consider doing no maid of honor – it’s not something that is particularly important to me and my fiance-to-be doesn’t have an obvious choice for best man (he doesn’t have any family here and has only a few real friends). I bet that’s what I’ll end up doing, but I’m anticipating a conversation such as “what do you mean no maid of honor? If you don’t care, can I just be the default choice?” or something worse like “I can’t believe you’re doing no maid of honor, I would make you mine” (which might not even be true). I know it’s my decision to make and everything, but I’d just like to handle it in a sensitive way.
Do you really need to have *any* attendants?
+2. Don’t feel obligated to have a bridal party if you’d rather skip it entirely. My partner and I aren’t having attendants. Our two siblings are just going to stand at the front with us in outfits of their choosing.
That’s an interesting idea – I had briefly wondered about that, but figured it would be hard to handle all the wedding stuff without them. Would you mind sharing some details of how you’re dealing with the logistics of showers, parties, planning, etc? Are your siblings helping out with that or are doing something more low-key overall?
Also, thanks ladies for all the great responses so far!
You can hire a wedding coordinator for a lot of the planning and day of coordination. You can basically plan your own bach. party. As far as shower, mine were hosted by family friends or friends of my husbands (several or whom were not in wedding party). My maids were mostly out of town. All of our attendants had been in weddings before so they needed very little coaching on the process. I certainly didn’t expect my maid of honor to spend her time herding people around
I had attendants, but they didn’t have any “duties.” The night before the rehearsal, they threw a casual shower/we went out, but that was it and I would have been fine if that is all that happened.
If you are worried about the work, I would hire a planner (even if just for the day itself). Otherwise, I would view the titles as honorary only.
We didn’t have attendants either. Our siblings had some roles during our ceremony. One of my aunts offered and threw a bridal shower. The venue we chose had an on-site coordinator that helped with day-of tasks. I asked one friend to help me with my bustle and one friend to come with me to the seamstress so she would be able to help me with my corset-back dress.
APW has some good thoughts on bridal party variations:
In the wedding I was most recently a bridesmaid for, the wedding party did a lot of work. I can’t speak to specifics with respect to what the groomsmen did but I know us bridesmaids planned a pretty involved bachelor*tte party, shower and played a major role (much more than what the guys did) in things leading up to the wedding and the day of. I think it would have been much more difficult and stressful for the bride if she didn’t have us to rely on, even if you have a wedding planner so if you’re having anything more than a very simple ceremony, I would think having a bridal party you can rely on and trust is key!
I did all the work for my wedding – I was my own wedding planner. A friend of my MIL planned the shower. No bachelor **** party. My parents helped me do goody bags. All my maids had to do was get measured for their dresses and show up. :)
I hired a wedding coordinator, and she was amazing. I cut my budget way back on my dress and flowers to accommodate the budget for the coordinator, and I don’t regret it for a second. I really didn’t have to do anything other than show up for appointments with potential vendors, and then show up to my actual events. I had two maids of honor (no other bridesmaids), and their only job was to hang out with me and have fun.
It’s going to be a low-key shindig, so we don’t especially need a bridal party to perform any kind of practical/logistical function. Extended family is doing the shower and I’m not doing a bach-party. So maybe I’m not the best example :) That said, I’ve also been told that hiring a “day-of” coordinator can be awesome regardless — then you don’t need to rely on guests or families to run things or handle last-second needs.
Hire the day-of coordinator! It’s amazing how many little things end up going wrong, and it’s so nice when you don’t have to deal with it.
I can’t believe a grown woman would be so into being “maid of honor”. As anon implies, this is about friendship; she wants validation that she’s your BFF. It might be hard, but if you are still close with her, maybe you can sit down and say “this isn’t about our friendship, but for X reason I need so-and-so to be my maid of honor”; or “we’ll always be close friends, but I decided not to single out anyone and I’m not having a maid of honor”.
That’s the problem – I think she really wants that validation, but when it comes down to the responsibilities, I don’t think she’ll come through. She has always been extremely flaky and also tends to take things really personally. I simply don’t trust her to be there for me through the whole process or to be able to handle all the different opinions and criticisms that are bound to arise. I like that phrasing about not singling anyone out – that might be the way to go.
My DH’s best friend did that at his wedding for a host of reasons. DH did all the Best Man duties without the title. It worked out well.
No advice, just sympathy here. I am imagining this friend as Amy Farrah Fowler from “Big Bang Theory” who was obsessive about being a Maid of Honor.
Yes! I’ll be wearing my Maid of Honor dress and my tiara processing down the aisle to The Way You Look Tonight! LOVE AFF.
Don’t have any maid of honor. You don’t say there is someone else you really want, only that she might not be the best fit. As far as someone helping with the planning, just ask your most level-headed, organized friend to take the lead because you trust her the most to do it, etc. I was in a wedding in a similar situation. There were about 6 women in the wedding party, 2 of us took charge of all the organizational tasks and it was tacitly understood that we would put together the shower, help with wedding day details, etc.
Is this really a fair question, though, when some people have flawless (or at least reasonable skin) and others have skin with acne scars? I have a friend with perfect skin who loves to brag about how she doesn’t wear makeup – drives me nuts.
oops, commented in the wrong section
Agreed. Some may judge me for not wearing makeup, but on the other hand, I only do it b/c I feel like I can get away with it. If I felt like my skin was too red or acne-scarred to go without make up, I’m sure I’d do whatever it takes to make myself feel ready to face the world.
I am thankful that I feel ready with just sunscreen and moisturizer.
It makes me sad that everyone here is just saying “dont have a maid of honor”. If OP wants a maid of honor she should have one, not bend to the pressure of one friend. If picking someone else and delicately explaining to this friend why you’re picking someone else is going to make her hate you or something, she is a terribke friend. At the very least you already know she is presumptuous and not suited for the job.
But the OP didn’t say, “I really want Jill to be my MOH, but Jane will get offended.” So going off no other stated preference and just “I’d like this person to be a bridesmaid but not MOH because I don’t think she is well suited to the task,” I think it may make sense to just omit the entire hierarchy.
It kind of sounds like the OP doesn’t want this person not to be maid of honor because she expects her maid of honor to be an unpaid wedding coordinator/gopher/personal assistant. I would respectfully suggest that perhaps it would be better to pay somebody to do those jobs and ask this friend to fulfull the traditional job of the maid of honor, which is to wear a dress of the bride’s choosing, show up at the wedding on time, and perhaps make a toast to the happy couple.
That’s a pretty condescending answer and I didn’t even get that vibe from the OP’s post. The vast majority of women I know have relied on their bridal party to assist with all kinds of things leading up to the wedding, but no one accused them of just doing it to save money on a wedding planner. If the OP doesn’t think this friend can be helpful like that, she may well want to steer clear of having her be the MOH. A flaky friend is a risky choice no matter how many or how few responsibilities there are.
If I were you, OP, I would just have a few attendants with no MOH, especially if you’re not attached to the idea anyway. Hopefully your friend can understand that.
There are other traditional duties, such as throwing a shower. As we all know, you can’t throw yourself a shower, so there’s a legitimate question if the OP wants a shower.
I agree that your answer was condescending and rude. Why so much judgment around here? I can only guess people are bitter and dissatisfied with their own lives and want to make themselves feel better by being rude to others.
Well, putting aside the undeniable fact that I am kind of bitter and dissatisfied with my own life at the moment, I really wasn’t trying to be rude.
I guess it’s a generational thing, but I really do think it’s pretty over-the-top the way brides these days (and yes, I know I’m having a “you kids get off my lawn” moment) expect their bridal parties to do all these “duties” that cost so much time and money. Gah. Multiple parties, hosting, coordinating, and so on, for months and months. Sorry, but it does seem excessive to me.
I don’t think I’m condescending or rude, I just think I have a different and somewhat unpopular opinion.
anonymous new admit
I didn’t find Senior Attorney’s answer condescending, actually, but I share her “unpopular opinion.” At the same time, your friend’s anxiety is understandable – weddings are a big life transition, and she probably really wants to be included in that moment as a way of confirming that you aren’t going to let her go – but I would encourage you to take a big picture approach to solving this problem. You can signal that this isn’t such a huge occasion that she should feel threatened by simply not making it such a big occasion. No MOH, possibly no attendants. Maybe hold some low-key get-togethers along the way at which it becomes clear that she won’t be ditched somehow by your upcoming married self.
My partner and I recently announced our engagement and explained directly to everyone who would have a similar reaction as your friend that we aren’t saving a date and don’t plan to have anyone other than immediate relatives attend. We blamed this on a family situation that I have with my folks, which is quite real, but also (behind the scenes) doesn’t actually have to limit us if we decide to add people as time goes on. We took this approach because we’re both very unskilled at lowering expectations and we know the sensitive parties will be happy to receive an invite and/or role down the road if that becomes appropriate.
It’s not my intention to have someone run errands for me and do all kinds of crazy tasks. I’m a simple pleasures kind of person and an introvert who doesn’t want a huge crazy day. I might decide this is all too much work for me and just elope, but I think I would like to have a small, down-to-earth, and inexpensive wedding. I just don’t want to deal with the drama of this particular friend who has made so many comments about how she thinks she’ll be maid of honor when I know that it just wouldn’t be a good fit (and that she’ll probably freeze me out when she actually talks to me about this and learns that I don’t want her in that role). I’d honestly rather go without attendants like a lot of posters have suggested and then just work with my boyfriend to plan any events we decide to do.
Your friend assuming she’ll be your MOA is weird, but you ‘re worrying about bridal party politics and you’re not engaged! I’m sensing a maturity deficit.
Um…okay? Not really sure what this comment is intended to do. Forgive me, but I didn’t realize I was the only woman who has ever considered wedding details in advance of an imminent engagement. This friend made a comment just yesterday about “writing her maid of honor speech already” and it was on my mind.
No Bridal "Parties"
Just wanted to make a plug for not having a bridal party. For a million and one reasons, I do not like them and didn’t want one for my own wedding. I *gasp* arranged my own bachelorette, invited all my girlfriends to get ready for the wedding with me, and took pictures with everyone. And I ended up having two showers – one thrown by friends, the other by family – neither at my request. There was no sense of obligation to anyone for anything, but I can assure you that my friends knew that I valued their friendships. Five years later, I think it’s easily one of the best decisions I made (besides picking the right person to get married to ;).
It’s 2013. You can do whatever you want to do.
This is clearly a generational, and perhaps partially at least, first-world thing, I’m old; that’s why I post as OG. I retired a year ago, after almost 40 years as a trial lawyer (not easy in the old days . . . I’m one of the one’s who opened the path for you).
Anyway, I’ve been married twice. Never even considered all these things that seem to drive you all nuts: no maid of honor, or any bridesmaids or groomsmen. No bridal parties, or rehearsals. I got married by a judge on the steps of city hall in L.A. for a $100 fee. I got married because of the MARRIAGE and the life we would have thereafter.
I became a widow, and a few years later got married to my new husband, another physician, by my favorite judge in his chambers. All our best friends attended (federal judges have big chambers, at least in my jurisdiction.) Our friends and my husband and I celebrated our marriage at a great restaurant in town that night. I asked for no gifts, but got dozens anyway. We paid for the meal and all drinks. A good friend brought a beautiful bouquet for the center of the table. (I am, by the way, an orphan with maybe three distant relatives — maybe that’s why I was able to have drama-free weddings.)
I know I’m gonna get creamed for this, but I just don’t get it. To me, it’s all about the marriage, not about the ceremony. Most of my friends — virtually all lawyers or publicity people, feel the same way, and had the same sort of wedding. When did the ceremony, rather than the marriage itself, get so important?
Is this a primarily East Coast thing, or a upper middle class thing, or, attend a certain type of college thing, or an age thing; really, what started all this? When I got married, I got a plain gold ring and a judge. I’m am most certainly not saying, your way or my way is better. But, really, I graduated fromUCLA in the 70s and all this jazz wasn’t happening. It was so much simpler and cheaper and less stressful. . . . Maybe it was just the hippie-way.
Anyway, good luck to OP, but for my worthless two cents, I’d just elope and have a great party after.
Take care, be well, and enjoy your wedding however it goes.
This is a reply to OG Lawyer. Things swing back and forth. When you were young in the 70s, people were rebelling against the formality of prior generations and a no frills wedding was trendy and stylish. Now people want more formality again, at least young people getting married for the first time. A formal wedding with formal roles for important people in your life is a way to mark the huge significance of marriage (and it should be considered a huge decision), and a way to knit the social fabric of your life. This should all be a positive thing. So, to the OP, don’t hurt your friends’ feelings by making one of them the maid of honor if it’s not completely clear to everyone who should be in that position. Make everyone in your bridal party feel valued and special.
Perhaps not the answer you are looking for, but you could opt to skip the bridal party. I had no bridesmaids (and my husband had no groomsmen), and we loved it. Honestly, I think my friends were relieved to just enjoy the festivities without the obligations. But I had a close friend who helped me get ready from beginning to end and so acted as a bridesmaid in that regard (and future SILs who hosted a shower, as bridesmaids would).
In the Pink
About two weeks away, so what dish is everyone eagerly anticipating this Thanksgiving?
I’d say – mushroom risotto done in pork stock
Homemade cranberry orange relish. And turkey, of course!
I make Barefoot Contessa’s Smashed Sweet Potatoes every year. They are amazingly delicious, and super easy.
Pecan pie. And stuffing with oyster mushrooms and shallots.
Stuffing and pie!
We’re hosting for the first time this year, and I’ve been wanting to try brining a turkey for years. So that, delicious brined dark meat, with homemade (my parents always used a mix) gravy.
Also, pie. All the pie.
Word of warning. Brining the turkey can kill the gravy. Some years I have been able to have a delicious brined turkey and great gravy and some years the drippings are unusable. This year we are hosting and I’ve already roasted a chicken and frozen the drippings in case of a gravy fail. I also picked up some of Williams Sonoma turkey gravy starter in case plan b fails too.
(Yes, brining makes the bird taster so good that I’m willing to come up with gravy back up plans)
Good to know. Any specific amount of brining that causes drippings death? I know my mom can be really picky about over-salting.
My mom is the Gravy Master and also an advocate of brining, so she doesn’t brine the non-comestible parts of the turkey (neck, organs, IDK what else, I’m only allowed to touch side dishes) and makes a stock out of those bits to use in her gravy.
+1 “Gravy Master” is just so awesome. I aspire to that title one day!
Ooh, excellent idea. I’ll add that as plan c and bump WS starter to D. :)
The salt is the big issue. Rinsing well helps and I skip the bacon on top when I brine. Also, apple cider makes a great addition to the brining liquid, but killed the gravy.
I haven’t had that problem with brining but do rinse the turkey well before baking.
If you’re looking for a particular brined turkey recipe, we’ve used Alton Brown’s brining recipe a few times and it always comes out delicious.
Turkey, gravy, and my mom’s homemade cranberry compote. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and meal of the year. Cannot. Wait.
Wild rice with butternut squash! And the beautiful thing is that my grocery store started selling pre-chopped (ridiculously overpriced) butternut squash, which makes it really easy to prepare. Wahoo!!
And this thread has me a little freaked because I go back to work right after Thanksgiving. I can’t believe it’s only two weeks away!
Definitely! I started making a dish with wild rice, butternut squash, leeks and corn when my friend was gluten and lactose free. It’s soooo good!
Recipes? That sounds great, but I can’t figure out how you cook them all together.
I’m on my phone at the hospital but go to epicurious and search for butternut squash, wild rice and leeks. That recipe will come up.
You can definitely make it without the butter!
Thank you, NOLA! Definitely making this, maybe even before thanksgiving!
Pre-chopped butternut squash, olive oil, salt and pepper, maple syrup, and a little chili, roasted = easiest delicious side dish ever.
Normally I am sensible and peel and chop a whole squash, although I have to wear gloves because it gives me an allergic reaction, but on weeks when I’m exhausted and cannot face more time in the kitchen than absolutely necessary – it’s amazing.
I also hate chopping butternut squash even though I love baking it and normally I do also feel bad paying 4 times as much for the pre-chopped pieces, BUT I just bought frozen chopped squash and am hoping this will solve my troubles. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ll post back if it turns out well — it seems like a common issue.
Worth every penny! Sometimes I just roast it and eat that for dins.
omg BEST roasted vegetable dinner ever:
bunch of chopped up root veggies. Could be just one kind, but I like to do a squash, some sweet potato and super big chunks of onion.
Throw it all in a baking dish. Add 2 T mustard, and 1/4 c. maple syrup. salt & pepper
Put in 350* oven for 20 min. At 20 min, pull out and toss. Put back in for 15-20 depending on how well done you want it.
(this is for 2-3 servings. If you are making a small amount of veggies for 1, halve the mustard and maple syrup)
Srsly, I die everytime i make this. It is my favorite in the whole world. If you want to make it a one-dish full meal: add 1-2 sausages, cut into 1.5 inch slices.
I’m thinking about doing homemade stuffing. :)
Pecan pie! Apple pie! Pumpkin pie! Sweet potatoes with my grandma’s recipe! Garlic green beans!
I am all about the sweet things, I guess. Although I do try to eat a bunch of turkey first. :)
All the sides. I’m not a huge meat eater but do make a great brined turkey.
My family is all coming from out of town to visit an ailing family member whose house is far too tiny to host my entire family, which means we’re going to a restaurant for Thanksgiving. :-/
I’m considering just cooking a Thanksgiving meal the weekend after for myself and my SO and close friends, becuase I LOVE mushroom sage stuffing, I make amazing chocolate bourbon mini pecan pies, I personally believe sweet potatoes should replace regular potatoes in mashed form at all times, and I adore turkey, especially dark meat. Crazy? Or just crazy enough to work?
Not crazy. Then again, last year was the first year I didn’t host thanksgiving. Which meant that I spent Friday evening cooking all of our favorite side dishes / desserts to enjoy all weekend :)
Do it! Before we started hosting Thanksgiving I spent a number of years hosting “Practice Thanksgiving” a couple weeks before actual Thanksgiving. It was so much fun!
Small Town Atty
I’m in the same boat. Visiting sick relatives for Thanksgiving so no turkey dinner. :( Maybe I’ll have a mini-dinner too!
Last Thanksgiving (or maybe it was Christmas?) I made the Barefoot Contessa stuffed mushrooms. They were a huge hit.
Do it! Growing up, my stepmom would cook a turkey and our favorite thanksgiving sides about 4 times a year. It wasn’t as much food as thanksgiving but had the highlights. I really loved it.
We’re just having a few friends over so it’ll be an American, English, Scottish Thanksgiving. So I need to come up with something that pleases the vegetarian, gluten free and lactose intolerant. We may be eating butternut squash and carrots.
as a Vegetarian, when there are other dietary restrictions in the mix, I think it’s totally fine to plan so that there are several dishes and each person with a dietary restriction can eat some but not all of them. So, the meat dish will obviously not be vegetarian but can easily be gluten- and lactose- free. The potatoes can satisfy all three restrictions. You could make a vegetarian entree (I’m thinking pot pies, stuffed acorn squash, or something else that’s pretty simple) that might not be gluten free. I think it would be silly to go to someone’s house if you have dietary restrictions and expect to be able to eat everything. you should be able to eat a full and satisfying meal, but that’s about it.
+1. I definitely believe in making sure that there’s accessible food for people with dietary restrictions (whether that means you prepare it yourself, or respectfully request that guests bring something with them that they can eat) but I don’t think every person there needs to be able to eat every single dish. (Said as a former veggie who would never have been offended if someone served meat at a meal I was attending.)
Saw this recipe this morning (so obviously haven’t tried it out yet) but it satisfies all three criteria and looks really good
prof on a bike
We have vegetarians, vegans (ie no dairy) and gluten free people in my family, and it’s actually not that bad for thanksgiving. Usually we have a turkey (which the vegetarians don’t eat), a vegetarian gravy (like a mushroom gravy), mashed potatoes made with margarine and non-dairy milk, stuffing made with gluten free-bread and baked in a dish rather than in the turkey, and a bunch of veggies/squash/cranberry stuffing, etc. If you want to go all out, get a tofurkey for your veg guests (the gluten free person won’t be able to eat this, though). With a few tweaks, you get a meal that looks pretty much like a traditional thanksgiving meal and satisfies pretty much everyone
Um, margarine has dairy in it, if you’re serving that to vegans I’d let them know. My son has a serious dairy allergy and we now read labels very very carefully as the ‘oh, margarine has no dairy!’ thing is a common misconception.
prof on a bike
My husband’s the vegan, so I’m very familiar with this problem — there are plenty of margarines that are dairy free, such as Earth Balance and Becel Olive Oil. If you look through a couple, you can definitely find a dairy free one at most grocery stores
Look in the kosher section if your store has one – Fleischmann’s makes non-dairy margarine (both in stick form and spreadable in a tub). Works great for sugar cookies.
Yes to reading labels, but not all margarine has dairy. I’m a fan of baking with Earth Balance, which is vegan.
I grew up in a kosher house and I always thought margarine was parve (dairy and meat free). That’s why we always had margarine instead of butter.
I’m a vegetarian and for Thanksgiving I have stuffed acorn or butternut squash with a cooked dish as follows:
Partially bake the squash. Halve them and remove the seeds and pulp. Roast the squash seeds (they’re good roasted in a shallow layer of olive oil in a small baking pan) and set aside.
Meanwhile, cook lentils and brown and/or wild rice together with plenty of onion—start by sauteeing the onion, if you like, or throw it in raw—salt & pepper to taste, and whatever other spices and/or herbs strike you as suitable (e.g., cinnamon). Add whole cranberries near the end. Scrape in the squash seeds and their roasting oil or save them for topping.
Fill the squash halves with this mixture. Top with the roasted squash seeds, if reserved, or roasted slivered almonds, and bake till the squash flesh is soft.
I’m moderately lactose-intolerant (by ethnic heritage), but yogurt and its derivatives pose few difficulties, and it complements this stuffed squash nicely, so you could put a bowl of a good-quality plain yogurt or labna on the table for those who wish.
Roasted sweet potatoes tossed with coconut oil and cinnamon are delicious, and a bit lighter than sweet potatoes casserole.
Of course, if you really want to be decadent (and vegan/lactose free) you can roast them, mash them with the coconut oil, cinnamon, vanilla soy milk, and top with some toasted spiced pecans which is what we’re doing, yum!
Sweet potato pie! Dressing (stuffing)! Mac n cheese!
nom nom nom
*sigh* I am fairly recently separated from my husband and living in a tiny apartment, so I won’t be able to host my usual big bash. My parents and I are going out to a restaurant.
I’m looking forward to the wine. And I am paying for a cab to and from the restaurant so I can drink as much of it as I like!
Senior Attorney – better a tiny apartment and a big, happy life than a big house and an small, unhappy life :)
Also I forgot to tell you yesterday to thank your son from us for his service! (and thanks to you for being a supportive mama)
Aw, that’s so sweet! Thanks so much — I will pass it along!! *sniff*
I guess the reason for the pity party is that the big, happy life hasn’t quite materialized yet! But yes, any day out of that situation is a better day!
I couldn’t comment on this response (above) but I wanted to say that I thought you were very gracious: “Well, putting aside the undeniable fact that I am kind of bitter and dissatisfied with my own life at the moment, I really wasn’t trying to be rude.” And it made me laugh.
One of the best Thanksgivings I ever had with my dad was like this. Normally he hosts a big bash, but one year he decided he’d had enough and he, his then-ladyfriend, and I went to a restaurant. It was definitely different, but so fun, low-key, and relaxing, and WINE!
+1 on the wine. Starting with a bottle of Prosecco!
Senior Attorney: you don’t think it will be fun to cook in your apartment for you and your parents? not the same situation but one year I couldn’t be with my extended fam but cooked all my favourite dishes with a roast beef (don’t like turkey)
I thought we would be sad but it was fun trying twists to a new menu
The blood of my enemies.
I hear that makes a killer sausage.
I do a pudding, actually.
Does that substitute for cranberry sauce on your leftovers sandwiches?
Man we already had thanksgiving (and I had 2 dinners) but reading these comments makes me want to have a second (third?) thanksgiving…
As dual citizens, my sister and I (in Anchorage and Seattle respectively)both regularly host “American Thanksgiving” and “Canadian Thanksgiving” dinners.
I am a banana.
Ridiculously excited for: Roasted duck, cornbread sage stuffing, and salty honey walnut pie. Travelling for actual Thanksgiving to a far away house, but the menu for mini-Thanksgiving promises to deliver!
Whatever I can pick up from a restaurant. Ironically, this is one day of the year I won’t be cooking. I’m hoping for some Brussels sprouts, though.
Gail the Goldfish
Sweet potato souffle.
I had an idea for a follow-up on last week’s discussion on our obligations to society/other women when it comes to make-up, clothes, etc. For the ladies who said “I wear make-up for me” and similar comments, would you be willing to do (theoretically) the following experiment for one week at work? The rules are you can’t wear any make-up at all, you can’t wear high heels (only flats), and you can’t use any product or treatment other than shampoo and conditioner in your hair. We’ll skip some other possibilities such as no shaving since I doubt it would make a difference for anyone in fall weather anyway. Would you ladies be willing to try such an experiment? If not, why not? I’d be really interested to hear others’ responses!
Dude, I do this all the time with no trying. :) I would just substitute my lipstick for chapstick – BAM. :)
I do it too – we just seem to be in the minority :)
Yup, I do it, too. In fact, I’m doing it today.
Me three. In fact, I just started wearing makeup occasionally as a definite shift in my routine — and it’s definitely only for me.
Yup–this is me everyday! Today, I blow dried my hair halfway because it’s snowing and I don’t want my hair to freeze.
Are we doing an experiment of my life?
I should say though, that I don’t feel I’m particularly more feminist because of my choices. Or less professional. I wear very put together outfits and have luckily clear skin (if not, my make-up routine might change.) I’m lazy, not making a point.
I’m with you, chapstick and moisturizer are the only two things I cannot give up.
I would not.
When I started at my current job, I did exactly what you describe. I wore flats, no makeup, no hair product, and I thought I looked reasonable. Coming from hard science, I was accustomed to being a little more put-together than most of my peers. Other people had routinely referred to me as “dressed up”.
I quickly came to realize that I didn’t “fit in” at all. It became obvious that other women received more attention and approval than I did overall. I had trouble getting people to listen to my ideas or take me seriously.
Eventually, I started wearing makeup and heels, and spending a little more time on my hair (still no products, though). I now have a much better time socially; people are friendlier and they seem to take me more seriously. I like the way I look in the mirror a lot better, too, and my confidence has grown. It’s possible that the social improvements are entirely a product of the confidence, and that the appearance changes are incidental, but this strategy makes me happy.
That is me on most days, to be honest. Sometimes I do my makeup or dress up a little, but I’m fine not being all dolled up and I highly doubt anyone thinks about it as long as I’m clean and professionally dressed. I mean, I honestly wouldn’t notice or care if one of my coworkers used mousse or not and I’d be surprised if most people would. I feel that nobody is that focused on details of another person’s appearance unless you’re working at a fashion magazine or something along that vein. We’re all self- conscious and self-centered and it’s easy to think that this stuff matters, but most people are focused on their own lives.
I’ll bite – no.
I wear flat shoes because I prefer them. I don’t wear makeup because I prefer not to (although I do cover the very occasional blemish with concealer, so there you go).
But I have lots of curly hair, and it needs leave-in conditioner and a bit of gel to be happy. And I’m totally okay admitting that I like my hair products and they help me feel more pulled together – without them, I’m a cross between Nicole Kidman in Days of Thunder and Magenta from Rocky Horror, and it’s just not a good look (ever – for the office, for lounging on a saturday, etc). And I’m okay admitting that it’s both for me and for the people who would otherwise thing Damn, that hair is out of control :)
Same here with the curly hair. I look like Doc from the Back to the Future movies if I don’t use my hair product. I think that’d be pretty distracting. I doubt anyone would notice if I stopped wearing powder and mascara, which is the makeup I currently use. I pretty much always wear flat shoes so that wouldn’t be a noticeable change either.
I don’t think it’s really possible to say that you wear it for yourself, given that we are told we need to look good from the very beginning. I like to wear makeup but can’t really say why. Obviously if I were the same person but a man, I wouldn’t like wearing it “for me.”
That’s my life as it is, anyway, and it works pretty well for me.
I haven’t followed the previous discussion so apologies in advance if I am asking something really foolish, but what would be the objective of the experiment ? Perhaps a specific thesis to be tested or insight to be gained ?
Would you ask a man to give up shaving his face, or wearing suit and tie, or polishing his shoes because he is buying into the constructs of being masculine? I don’t see how telling women that being feminine is wrong is that much different then telling them they have to be feminine. If a woman wants to wear make up, do their hair, or wear heels what is wrong with that? Just as not doing those things is perfectly acceptable as well.
Also, some of the things you mention – like not using product aren’t necessarily societal constructs on women, since men use those things too – more of a matter of hygiene and appearance.
ITA with all of this.
No, the idea is that women in the experiment could still shower, brush their hair, wear professional clothing, and generally be hygienic – they just couldn’t engage in any of the beautifying activities that are specific to women. The hair product thing is a little bit of both, I guess, but I would wager a guess that the average woman uses many, many more hair products than the average man.
My point in suggesting this experiment is to help us all discern why we really do the things we do to make ourselves presentable at work. Many women last week said they wore make-up simply because they liked it and because they wanted to do it for themselves, but I would be curious to see how they would feel going without all those things for one week in a professional environment. If they feel very uncomfortable or feel intense pressure to rush home and apply make-up and grab a pair of heels, I think that would be an interesting reaction to think about.
As I mentioned before, I think in some more high powered fields there is also a lot of pressure on men to conform to physical appearance standards that go far beyond simply being clean and appropriately clothed. I hear my male colleagues making just as many if not more disparaging remarks about men who fail to conform as the women make about each other (or men make about women). Maybe this is just my job/office, but it has been my experience.
I think your personal life is a much different story.
Meaning the objective is to test your thesis that ladies who wear make-up ‘for me’ are somehow deluding themselves, and help them discern the truth ?
Sorry to be harsh but this is just plain condescending. Many of the pro-makeup comments here seem pretty reasonable and self-aware, and there seem to be just as many non-makeup voices, which suggests that women here are in fact making specific decisions which work best for themselves. I’m low-maintenance myself and would never feel that I know better than a higher-maintenance lady.
i totally agree with this. I dont care whether others on this site think there is societal pressure but I personally do not feel pressure to wear make up and high heels. rather, i like them. in fact, there are many people in my office who do not wear much make up and my heels are generally higher than most heels in my semi-conservative office. i wear them anyway.
+1. I wouldn’t participate in this “experiment” because I don’t want to, and if that makes me some sort of plaything of the patriarchy, I guess I’m cool with that.
I’m a feminist anti-patriarchal lady who wears makeup (although not typically heels, except for special occasions) so I understand where the OP is coming from. The thing about saying “I wear it because I want to, the end,” is that women (myself included) want to wear makeup because they want to feel more attractive, put-together, and polished–but it’s our patriarchal society that has defined the standards for feminine beauty, which do not typically involve “natural” (i.e., makeup- and product- and high heel-free) beauty. If you want to wear makeup, you do you (and I’ll be right there with you, doing my makeup every morning), but to resist placing it in the larger social context is naive.
I think it’s entirely reasonable to have a view about the beauty myth and to advocate that view if you like. I’m pointing out something different – that Experiment is being disingenuous in presenting her exercise as one of mutual interest when she is actually really saying “YOU try the experiment to prove MY thesis correct”.
This is a forum of reasonably engaged and self-aware women – no condescension or sugar-coating required.
I don’t see how feeling uncomfortable/pressure to do something somehow negates the idea that you’re doing it because you want to. Don’t you normally feel uncomfortable if you’re not doing something that you want. I mean, I may decide to eat a candy bar after lunch, and feel extremely pressured (from my belly) to do so, but that has nothing to do with societal pressure; it’s just that I really like candy.
I agree with ss – I don’t personally understand why some people do higher maintenance things than I do (I *know* why, but I don’t really *get* it, in the same sense I don’t get why people, say, run for fun, or intentionally watch professional sports), but so what? Do what you want, enjoy your life, who am I to judge on something so silly?
+1. Sometimes lipstick is just lipstick. Which also made me think of this:
“Sometimes I sing and dance around the house in my underwear. Doesn’t make me Madonna. Never will.”
I think this would be a fair experiment if professional women who normally don’t wear makeup pledged to get all dolled up the same week. I’d be as interested in their reactions – does it make them feel less or more confident? Do they feel they are perceived differently by colleagues when they wear makeup? After the week is over, do they want to revert to makeup-free or do they feel tempted to start wearing makeup? I think those would all be interesting reactions to study as well.
What hellskitchen said. I’d only agree to participate if it went both ways.
Further to this, I think some men would wear makeup if they had the option to. My boss has commented that I look “bright and fresh-faced” after a long day the previous day whereas he looks tired. I haven’t gathered up the guts yet to tell him I’m not actually feeling all that bright and fresh-faced but rather I have had some help from Giorgio Armani (best foundation and concealer ever).
I agree that it’s naive to think that we’re not influenced by societal pressures when it comes to beauty standards but I would never engage in an experiment of this sort, mainly because I have no real desire to. I have fun with makeup (and can spend countless hours wandering around a Sephora) and definitely feel more put together when my hair and makeup are done.
That’s just it, though. It *is* all about our (patriarchally-constructed) society’s norms. Without being able to own property (at times, being property), enter into contracts, have a “normal” work life (an out-of-the-house job, not homemaking), etc., women’s main goals in life were skewed toward getting a good husband and looking pretty. Ornamental.
So, our custom today of women = makeup and men =/ makeup is a remnant of the previous, more extreme binary between the sexes. Men can wear makeup if they want to, if they have arms with which to put them on and money with which to purchase it. When you say that men “don’t have the option” to wear makeup, you’re actually saying that our society does not generally have men wear makeup because they have historically been values for more worthy things than their physical appearance.
Listen, wearing makeup because you want the best for yourself because you correctly notice you’re taken more seriously at work is not terrible. I am wearing makeup as I type this. But it’s terribly, head-explodingly ignorant to say that “it’s *your* choice” (“I choose my choice!”) and that “equality means I can chose whatever I want.” This is simply not correct. To wear makeup and high heels is less of a feminist choice than to not do so. And I’ll rephrase: to wear makeup and high heels means to not fully embrace equality between the sexes, because there is *nothing* inherently lesser in our regular, non-made up faces. Our patriarchal society tells us so, and – how cleverly self-policing this is! – so many women clearly fall prey to the idea of “this is what women do!” (See paragraph one, and I am happy to post links with reading and citations, am in bit of hurry).
*valued*, not *values*
I wear foundation, lipstick, and eyeshadow or eyeliner — takes 5 minutes. I have lousy skin, older skin, no eyelashes because of eye roseacea, and pale, pale lips. I have eyes the color of ice, light blond eyebrows (one half gone due to skin cancer). So, I have a roseacea-red face, with uneven coloring and visible pores, colorless eyes and lips, and you bet I use make-up.
However, on another feminist issue, I remember in the past, c r-e-t-t-e-s talking about shaving/waxing “down there,” and vehemently denying it had anything to do with men. They did it for “cleanliness and hygiene” Heh. I can’t imagine doing that if you were an actual feminist. So, I ask you no make-up, flat-shoed, no hair product ladies, are you consistent on this other issue?
Also, for you anti-make-up ladies, I have two questions: 1) do you have a decent complexion, actual visible eyebrows, eyelashes, lips that have color and youth? If so, I’d be like you and wear no make-up. On the other hand, if you had the facial issues I or others do, would you do a little sumthin,’ sumthin’ to look a tad more pleasant? 2) Do you groom “down there” and claim you do it only for yourself and that you would do it even if there were no men? (If so, I gotta call b.s. on that.)
I’m undergoing a double mastectomy for breast cancer in two weeks, so I’m unusually cranky. Sorry.
Finally, I agree with those who say do what makes you happy; why does life have to be a test on such trivial issues? Why can’t we all just respect one another’s choices on these manini issues? (you can google-fu a hawaian-english dictionary for “manini.”) Or, to quote cop-beat-up now dead-man, why can’t we all just get along?
Oy vey. Again. :(
Choice feminism is not feminism.
to OG Lawyer:
Totally with you on the Brazilian comment – so infantalizing and makes me wonder if all the men who love that are pedophiles.
Best wishes to you for your upcoming surgery and treatment.
No, because I would feel schleppy and that would affect my confidence.
This is also me.
+1 I prefer how I look in heels, make-up, and “done” hair. Also, I enjoy putting on make-up in the morning. Is it a social construct? You betcha. But we’re human. Social constructs is what we do. I wear what I wear how I wear it in order to communicate a thousand little messages to the people I see everyday. I’m saying: I’m educated, professional, successful, attractive, warm, modest-in-an-appropriate-but-not-prudish way, northeastern American, probably-something-like-upper-middle-class-but-not-stuck-up, and hundreds of other little cues I don’t even know I’m sending. It just so happens that in our culture, in our time, in this part of the world, part of conveying those messages, and part of belonging (because it’s almost universally essential to human happiness to belong to some group) is wearing certain clothes and having a certain hairstyle etc. I don’t think it’s any more oppressive (and a lot less oppressive) than what other people in other cultures/eras/places wear or have worn.
I don’t wear make up or do my hair very often to go to work, and I oftentimes *do* end up feeling schlubby and less put-together than my female colleagues. I’m trying to get better about straightening my hair and putting on make-up in the mornings, and days when I get up early enough to do a good job I feel more confident. But this still only happens 2 or 3 times a week.
On the other hand, I always wear 3-inch heels, suit and pearls, so I feel like I have a “professional woman” uniform in that regard.
+4 or 5 or however many.
Heck, I “do” my hair (wash and blowdry) and put on makeup pretty much whenever I am leaving the house. My make-up takes less than 5 minutes. I can’t stand not washing my hair every day because it’s very fine and seems to hang onto smells, or else I am very sensitive to the smell of not-so-fresh hair. So it would bug me to smell my hair all day. Plus it takes forever to air dry and just looks better if I spend 5 minutes blowing it dry.
I feel more confident and assertive if I look good (by my standards). This may make me a tool of the man but it also helps me get what I need and want in life. Plus I enjoy thinking about what I am wearing and putting together nice outfits. I don’t obsess over it, but it’s fun for me.
I wasn’t involved in the original discussion, but though this sounds like a great experiment, I personally would not do this unless I didn’t have to go to work or something all week.
I like wearing make-up, it’s fun, it makes me look and feel more put together. I have dyed brown hair and natural blonde hair, so wearing no make up would make me look really odd. Also, I’d rather fly under the radar than invite comments from everyone in my office about why I look so different.
I feel like people would consider me a “regular” heels and make up wearer, but with some regularity when I’m really busy or tired this all sort of goes to the wayside and just doesn’t get done for a week. I honestly think very few people notice or think I look much different. However, this could be because they have already constructed a mental image of “how I look”, which is make up-ed and in heels. So, the occasional departures from that makes people just think I’m having an off day.
As a follow up to Merabella- I was discussing this with one of my male coworkers recently, and I said “Do I really need to style my hair, wear makeup, and a cute coordinated outfit everyday to be taken seriously?” and he said “Yes, I shave, carefully select my shoes, wear hair gel, and do countless other personal maintenance things to look good at work, and I think in consulting and most professional fields this is key to success”. This was in a conversation in which he said he thought the two male higher ups on our team wouldn’t get promoted any higher because of various more or less controllable things about their appearances. So I don’t think this issue lies only with women, at least in more shallow professions.
prof on a bike
Here’s what I wonder — how long does it take said male coworker to perform those “countless things”? I think that men are way underestimating the amount of time and money that their female colleagues spend to look business appropriate. Here’s what I’d like to see: an experiment where we discern how much time your average male coworker spends grooming himself in the morning, and then limit yourself to only grooming that could be accomplished in the same amount of time. I’m guessing that shaving your legs or makeup alone (let alone blowing out your hair!) would take up the same amount of time that your average professional guy spends on grooming.
I think about this too. However, I personally very rarely spend more than 20 minutes on personal maintenance in the morning (and rarely shave my legs more than 1 time a week- panty hose, 10 minutes hair, 5 minutes make up, 5 minutes clothes/jewelry), and I know this particular male absolutely spends 30-40 minutes on his appearance in the morning (and feels that is needed and notices those men who clearly don’t). But I understand that I lie on the low time end for women and he probably lies on the long end for men.
My husband spends about the same amount of time getting ready as I do, about 45 minutes. We can both do it in closer to 20 minutes if needed (hair/makeup for me, shaving for him) assuming our outfits are ready to go. I agree with Platinomad, many of the men I know take great care in their appearance.
Yup. We take the same amount of time. He’s actually often not ready when I am and I end up waiting for him to pick out a tie or something or other. And for the data point, I shave daily, wash and condition my hair, blow it dry, flat iron my hair and wear make-up.
I would not ever show up at work without my hair “done” and no make-up on whatsoever.
prof on a bike
Interesting! I easily double my SO for morning prep time — a quick buzz with the electric razor and some hair gel and he’s done — and that’s with me shaving my legs in the evening, too. He probably is especially low maintenance, though.
In some ways this is nice because he’ll do things like make a coffee for me or unload the dishwasher while I’m getting ready, but there are many mornings where I’m pretty annoyed that it takes me so much longer to get work ready than it does for him.
I think we’re completely ignoring the fact that men face similar pressure- it just isn’t acceptable for them to use make-up.
I wear make-up, get dressed up for work, and will quickly do my hair in the morning. I get out the door 30 minutes from when my alarm goes off. My husband takes longer than I do to get ready in the morning. He is obsessive about his skincare routine because he’s acne prone and doesn’t get the benefit of concealer. He puts more product in his hair than I do. He gets his hair cut every three weeks or he’ll get comments from his boss about looking scruffy. He has to shave every morning. He whitens his teeth because he read an article about how affects perception of you in the office. Etc. etc. etc. He spends plenty of time on his appearance and he looks like a totally normal dude. If I didn’t see the routine, I would assume he rolled out of bed, showered, and was out the door in 9 minutes.
I think this is a really weird feminist thing to be obsessing over. The bottom line- there is a benefit to being attractive. For men AND for women. The expectations for the two genders are different, but it doesn’t mean it’s just an issue women deal with. Move on. There are so many other important things to think about.
prof on a bike
Well, you may not find it interesting, but I find this issue fascinating. Just to take this out of the realm of ancedata: According to the American Time Use survey, the average American white man spends 32 min a day on personal grooming, compared to 47 for women. Interestingly, more time spent grooming has no impact on average income for white men, but has a strong relationship with higher income for minority men. For women, spending more time on grooming was correlated with lower income — which goes along with a few of the comments further down the thread suggesting that looking too well groomed can be an issue as well. Data from this article here:
There is an absolute benefit to being attractive, but this should not mean wearing heels and makeup. “Nice” clothes, neat hair, and so on, and you are still an attractive homo sapien.
Eh, I literally set a timer on my phone this morning to see how long it took me to blow out my wavy hair. Less than 6 minutes, including putting on product and storing my blowdryer/brush. That’s maybe 2 minutes more than it would take me just to dry it, and I am not leaving the house with wet hair in the snow. Makeup (powder, blush, mascara, eye shadow) is literally 4 minutes. So, 10 minutes to look done? Not a huge deal to me, sorry.
Blow drying my extremely fine, long hair takes 20 minutes if I want it to look polished, 12 if I just want it dry. So jealous.
I normally do my hair/makeup, but there are a couple of times a week where I don’t feel like putting in the effort, so I don’t. Today is one of those days. I had to wake up early due to the weather so I didn’t wash my hair – just dry shampoo. No makeup and I’m wearing flat boots.
In the past I’ve gone several days in a row like this, but those were times that I was going through a rough time and feeling depressed. I periodically have these periods of depression, so for me it’s important to dress up, etc b/c I know I’m in a better place mentally and I’m less willing to shut down and retreat into my bad mood.
I used to be a makeup artist. I *like* makeup. It’s *fun*. It’s art. It’s painting only on faces instead of canvas. I like putting it on MYSELF because I have had my face for 37 years and I know its contours. I know what it looks like. Therefore, when I do something cool and new with makeup, I can see how it makes me look like a different person. I spent 25 years in theater, so I like “putting on” other ideas of myself. I often do it when I’m not going ANYWHERE all day, just to *Play*. I like changing my hair. I change the color, I change the style, I do it differently all the time. Not because someone said I should, but because I like the variety. I don’t want to look the same every day. Not because someone said I shouldn’t, but because I think it’s BORING.
I get that a lot of women don’t feel this way. Therefore, when another woman says “I wear makeup for me” or “I LIKE wearing makeup because it’s fun to play with”, those women think we are confused, or don’t understand the societal constraints. But please, please stop pushing your own views of yourself and the world onto everyone else. Some women really like to exercise, even if society doesn’t think they’re fat. Some women really like playing with color on their face and doing different stuff to their hair, even if society doesn’t think they’re ugly like they are normally.
This wasn’t a response to any particular post, just the concept in general.
IDK, I participated in the original discussion, and I think a lot of people actually don’t realize (or haven’t taken the time to think through) how things like wearing makeup every day are manifestations of societal oppression of women. Again, I wear makeup myself, as well as feminine clothing, etc. etc., the whole shebang. But I acknowledge that those choices don’t exist in a vacuum where my personal ability to enjoy the privilege of being a feminine-presenting, cisgendered woman who adheres to societal standards for beauty, do not impact other people.
Basically, I don’t think anyone here is saying OMG STOP WEARING MAKEUP/DOING A THING YOU LOVE/THAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELF BECAUSE: REASONS/PATRIARCHY. I think the point of this, and the earlier discussion, is to encourage women to think about WHY they feel the need to wear makeup or make certain appearance-related decisions, and how that potentially plays into things happening in our larger society. So that we can all become more informed women and citizens of the world. Etc.
As I mentioned below, in some fields, it can be difficult for a woman to be taken seriously if she does her hair, wears noticeable makeup, wears nice feminine clothing. How does this fit in with makeup being a sign of societal oppression?
I think women (and some men – I think men sometimes also get crap, if not at work, then from their peers, for making more than a minimal effort with their appearance) just can’t win in this regard.
It does because it implies that women can’t be both smart AND wear makeup or dress in a conventionally feminine manner. If society didn’t associate makeup and grooming with femininity, it wouldn’t have a stigma. They’re two sides of the same coin.
I Googled quickly and thought this article (from that historically radical, leftist publication Forbes Magazine, linked below) did a pretty good job of explaining that. Pull-out quote: “Still that damned if you do, damned if you don’t attitude persists in regards to women and fashion. Women with an interest in fashion are deemed retrograde and superficial…On the other side of the spectrum, women who choose to ignore fashion trends are deemed slovenly and out of touch.”
This is for Emeralds. Did we read the same Forbes article? Wha? The tone of the opinion piece is be what you want to be. That quote you pulled was truly out of context –what about Anna Wintour’s statement about this being America and not Abu Dabbi (or wherever mid-east location — I can’t be bothered to go back and check), and the whole article was a fluff piece anyway. (Not that Anna W. is my guru.) Jeez.
I’ve never met a man who disrespected or belittled a smart woman who also was attractive. Never.
We don’t think you’re confused. I’ll say it again: “we” don’t think the women who honestly believe they were makeup because they like it are confused. And, when we talk about these societal constructs, we’re not really talking about you as yourself, but about something much greater and difficult to deal with.
You’re not really saying that “we” who feel it’s important to talk about social issues are the types of women who hate exercise or its likely corollary – are fat?! These concepts have nothing to do with each other, because exercise is a uniquely *human* activity and necessary and healthy. Did you know that women have been allowed to compete in the marathon in the Olympics only since 1982? That women used to not be “allowed” to ride bicycles because it was said to mess with the ovaries? That women’s exercising is highly frowned upon in certain countries even today? I am trying to illustrate the lack of logical relationship between makeup and exercise.
Does is make my point any more valid to you if I tell you I am wearing makeup and thin and pretty competitive in the exercise of running?
*wear*, goodness of the fast typing.
Change the experiment to eschewing makeup and hair products on the weekend, and I’m in. (Yes, even to social events.) But to work – no.
I think that would be a more honest determination of whether you wear products for yourself or for others.
The person you are on the weekends is more “you” – you wear what you want, you look the way you want, you do and say what you want. At work you portray the person your workplace and boss expects and respects – whether that’s the “real” you or not. A lot of us probably wear makeup and spend a lot of time on our hair not for others, but for our professional image, which is determined by what others think of us.
The “real” baconpancakes wears skulls on her scarves, studded bracelets, super-high heels, moccasins, flannel and jeans, busty tops, flounced skirts, and super-cozy sweaters. The “work” baconpancakes wears black heels, tailored trousers, and silky, fully concealing blouses.
To what end? what is the purpose of this experiment? If i say wear make up and heels because I like them, what does going without prove?
The question is can you go without them for a week? We all do things we don’t like all the time. Are you willing to try this thing you won’t like?
I think the question is what hypothesis would we be testing. Right now, I don’t understand how this is different than giving up chocolate for a week. It’s something I like, and I might do it for a variety of reasons. However, I don’t understand what we would learn from this particular experiment.
XC in NYC
I can honestly say that I only wear makeup when I want to impress and dress up. For me, makeup has always been about special occasions, and it feels silly to wear makeup everyday. I have a lipstick that I like to wear, and would like to use it more on the weekends. However, I talk myself out of it because I’m not doing anything special. I do feel more put together and dare I say somewhat important, when I wear make up. I guess I just have this weird hang-up about not wearing it. /End ramble.
I wouldn’t. I like make-up. I don’t wear make up on the weekends really, nor in the evenings, but for work, it is part of “putting on my game face”, like wearing skirts Mon – Thurs. I don’t feel imposed upon, because I can choose not put make on my face or anything in my hair. Interesting question, though.
Nope. As I discussed in the other thread, I am enjoying a tiny bit of conventional attractiveness in my mid-50s after a lifetime of not having that privilege. At this point hair, makeup, and fashion are very much part of who I am, both at work and not at work. I am enjoying the hell out of it, I don’t have to prove my feminist bona fides to anybody, and I will cheer from the sidelines as the rest of you take on the beauty industrial complex.
This really resonates. I didn’t feel “conventionally attractive” until well into my 20s, maybe even 30s. And now, in my 40s, I am, too, am enjoying that feeling.
I have a PhD in a hardish science and dealt for years with the stereotype that anyone, particularly a woman, who took her appearance seriously or was interested in clothes or makeup couldn’t possibly be serious about her work. In my opinion, this is just as damaging and pernicious as the thinking that women MUST wear makeup, heels, etc. So I’m done with all that. I do generally dress (and do makeup, etc) for me, with the occasional thought to what my activities are for the day to make sure I feel both mentally and physically comfortable.
Yes… one of my friends is now a full professor at a prestigious university in NYC, and is one of the most stylish (and NOT conventionally beautiful….) women I know. When she was applying for a faculty position at an extremely prestigious university (with very few faculty women in her department….) in Boston/Cambridge, the other women in the department were brutal in criticism. Just for being fashionable/put together. It was shocking to me. The men didn’t mention it.
The critical women didn’t know that I knew her well. I didn’t say a word… I was junior in training to all of them. But I was shocked and upset… and just gave my opinion of her science. Taught me a lesson… don’t look too good, too pretty, too expensive. And never underestimate the impact of fashionably colored glasses! It may not be positive….
None of the women who were critical wore obvious make-up, or fashionable clothes. The typical grungy lab wear.
I once interview for a job at a college in eastern PA. I felt like I was overdressed, wearing too much makeup, and too much jewelry. The women there were all in jumpers, t-shirts, and Birkenstocks. I would NOT have fit in. I thought maybe it was a north-south thing (since I don’t feel that way here!) but not sure. Maybe just the culture of that school.
I experienced the same thing in grad school. A woman came and gave what I thought was a really riveting seminar (and as it turns out, has gone one to become a fairly high-level person at a major company in my industry) and all anyone could talk about, particularly the women, was how “short” her skirt was. It was probably all of one hand’s width above her knees.
prof on a bike
Ugh, that’s so depressing!
Not to be a jerk, but what exactly is the “experiment” here?
I’m only asking because scientific method.
Like many other ladies have said – I think many, if not most (professional, at least) women don’t wear make-up and heels because they are pressured to, or because they need to fill the demands of doing so to look professional. As seen, many women don’t wear make-up and heels (I personally wear little to no make-up at all, and my hair-care doesn’t go beyond washing them, drying them and do a simple updo) and can look perfectly professional and as polished as their work need them to be. And I really dislike the concept of many men who believe women only dress up to please men. That’s sexism at its worst (not implying the OP brought it up, I just think it fits in here generally). There are some women who might do that, OK. But to generalize is troublesome. How we dress and how we treat ourselves is a main factor of pleasing ourselves and build up confidence, as long as it goes within the range of what’s allowed in a certain profession and what’s not.
That said, I commute regularly with a male coworker on some days when we need to get to the office at the same time and he needs longer for taking care of himself in his bathroom than I do. He needs longer for his hair “to look right” than I need for that little make-up I put up. That’s not saying men need generally as long as women to make themselves ready for the workplace but men care about their appearance too.
I don’t even own flats besides flip flops and sneakers, so I can’t play. I find them so uncomfortable. Do men even really wear flats? Their dress shoes generally have a little heel and an arch. I rarely wore makeup to my last job, but as I am aging my skin is more uneven and I feel better with foundation and primer to fill in the wrinkles.
I’ve done it. I call it a lazy week. I wear makeup for me. I see it as a way in which I demonstrate to myself that I have value, like caring to dress in ways that suit me, picking shoes that put a smile on my face, eating vegetables and exercising. I don’t do everything perfectly, but when I make time to spend on my appearance, I find I make choices that make my life better easier. And people don’t ask if I’m tired all the time, which is nice.
It gets depressing when people ask me, “are you ok? have you been getting enough sleep? are not feeling well?”
No, this is just what a 45 year old woman looks like, especially if she isn’t a make-up expert… and wasn’t blessed with good genetics.
I don’t wear makeup, but you can’t take away my hair products and heels. My hair is very low-maintenance, but it needs the primer I use after I wash it twice a week, and on humid days, it needs the shine serum for smoothing. If I can’t use those, I can see my hair in my peripheral vision doing wonky things, and that’s just too distracting.
And I just can’t wear flats. They make my shins hurt, and I tend to walk out of them. Also, my pants are hemmed for heels.
Pear -- lined wool pants?
Anyone have recommendations for wool lined dress pants (suit separates are OK) that will fit a curvy girl? FWIW, Gap curvy bootcuts work for me and Halogen Taylor curvys (but they are summerweight for me now). Alterations are so expensive when you get a lined wool pant (and have given me a Mom jeans look) that they need to be great off the rack with just hemming to fiddle with. And tan would be great (but could go with black / grey). Thanks!!!
Classiques makes nice pants and you can get alterations at a reasonable price at Nordstrom: http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/classiques-entier-belle-weave-belted-trousers/3460397?origin=keywordsearch
Have you tried the pants at BR? A lot of people here seem to like them.
BR Jackson fit are good for my pearness. And it’s hard to find lined wool, so these are a treasure.
J Crew wool suit pants are lined and I have always thought they were friendly to my curvy figure. I would get the stretch wool ones rather than the super 120s. I think the stretch in pants helps them drape better.
Umm…the stretch wool pants at Jcrew are NOT lined. Stretch fabrics are usually not lined because the lining doesn’t stretch, and then you lose the benefit of having stretch in the outer fabric. Also, most of Jcrew’s suit pants are not lined.
I’m a pear shape, and the BR “Martin fit” pants fit with zero alterations (and they are lined!).
Killer Kitten Heels
I love the Martins, but I find I need to leave the pockets sewn closed, otherwise they gape (even when I go up several sizes, so it’s not a “my pants are too tight” issue – I think it has to do with the curve of my hips relative to my height or something).
I blame pocket placement. If you have to sew the pockets closed to keep it that way on a real hip, the pockets are poorly designed, not your hip!
Thanks all! It looks like I will have to go shopping in stores (not clicking around on lunch hour). Need to remember to bring my store credits / gift cards / % off e-mails with me. I cannot believe that people don’t line wool pants anymore (Talbots may be the outlier from a few years ago if memory serves). I may just need to hang onto the Mom-jeans-wool-trousers a bit longer.
One more recommendation: Eddie Bauer Curvy Wool Gabardine Trousers. The curvy pants at J. Crew and BR are not quite curvy enough for me, but Eddie Bauer’s fit me perfectly, if you find the first recommendations don’t work. And they line their wool pants.
Have you tried the AT Curvy fit trousers? I haven’t bought any trousers in awhile, but last time I shopped there *in the fall/winter season* the trousers were lined. I think they go to unlined trousers in the spring and summer.
I’d at least check it out.
Talbots Italian flannel. Perfect.
I’ve been reading a few weeks and haven’t posted before, but need some anonymous advice.
I’m an attorney and have been practicing less than 5 years. I’m getting increasingly unhappy and have reached a point of depression. There are a lot of things at play at home and the office – overworked, under supported, bad office morale, it’s a rural s***hole of a town, I have almost no friends here, live alone, etc. My work has started being affected in significant and detrimental ways. I’m also experiencing suicidal thoughts when I have to be at work or think about work, almost on a daily basis. My office structure makes it impossible for me slow down or cut back on my caseload. My choices really are to quit or work through it.
I’m sure I’ll get lots of “please get help” responses, but here’s my actual question: should I tell my boss? If so, how explicit to be? He has certainly noticed my failing performance and, I think, is losing patience for what he probably thinks is just a bad attitude. I feel that telling him would put my behavior in a different perspective, one that will be supportive instead of critical. My boss also happens to be a judge (one that I practice in front of), is fair, reasonable, thoughtful, kind, and we do typically have a good working relationship. I was thinking I could write a letter (because I’ll otherwise break down in tears in about 3 seconds). If I tell him, I know that he’ll also tell at least the other 2 judges that I am in front of every week. The other 2 are similar to my boss but I also have very good personal relationships with them outside of the courthouse.
Has anyone else been here? What have you done? Thanks for any advice.
1. Could you get vacation time, or unpaid leave, to deal with a medical issue? THIS IS YOUR HEALTH. Have you called your doctor and started to get help?
2. Yes, I would tell your boss that you are dealing with severe depression and need to take some time off. DO THIS IMMEDIATELY. Or you can say it is a “severe health issue” if you don’t want to tell him what it is.
Good luck! Please do call your doctor and make an appointment today, or just walk in and ask to be seen. Big hugs.
+1 to DB’s advice. With hugs and support.
I’m sure others will say all of this, so I’ll be brief. First, good good good on you for identifying this and deciding to make some changes in your life. Second, you should consider taking a medical leave of absence. If you’re working for the government, you may be eligible for FMLA or some other type of leave. That is much wiser than quitting your job altogether, unless you would quit so that you can relocate. Third, if you need help finding anything, you can call your health insurance company and they can help you find the resources you need. Good luck and lots of hugs.
I was in a similar situation to this but I didn’t get as bad as you. Well, I would hope to get really sick so that I wouldn’t have to go to work (which is really messed up now that I think about it). I was getting micromanaged at work with twice a week status meetings and it was all driving me crazy. I scheduled a meeting with my then-supervisor in a conference room and I spoke very frankly to him, acknowledging my declining performance while outlining that the workload and management of me just wasn’t working. I came prepared with plans of actions and how I planned on improving. My voice was super shaky and there were definitely tears in my eyes but after that conversation, I felt a huge burden lift and we developed a better working relationship.
If you want, write him a letter and schedule a meeting at a Friday afternoon or something to discuss the contents of the letter. That way, you can convey everything you want to without having to orally/verbally exposing yourself.
Good luck. Hugs and rawrs.
Personally, I don’t think it’s worth writing a letter unless you’re asking for something. Perhaps a short leave of absence? Or a reduction in your caseload? Otherwise I think you’re putting your boss in an uncomfortable situation – he knows the reason why you’re struggling but can’t do anything about it and he still has to deal with you under-performing.
I’m curious though, what is your job that you are practicing in front of a judge who is also your boss? The only thing I can think of is a Guardian Ad Litum – in which case it’s all the more essential that you take leave and get help.
After writing this I think the opening came off as harsh – I don’t mean at all to undermine what you’re going through, it is 100% understandable and serious. I just want to make it clear that it is essential that you take action to help yourself instead of just asking for understanding.
Roses, I agree with you, and that’s why I’m asking for advice here. There is nothing he can do but, no, I absolutely can’t ask for either a leave of absence or a reduction in caseload, there is no one to take the work. My office is an office of 2 and there is no way to hire outside help.
So I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place. If I say nothing, it looks like I’m just choosing to slack. But I also can’t legitimately ask for anything from him beyond, as you said, understanding.
The technicalities of him being my boss and the judge are more complicated than is worth explaining here…..
Of course you can ask for a leave. That’s depression talking. If your coworker got hit by a bus tomorrow, your office would figure it out. I don’t know if you need leave, only you and your doctor can decide that, but push back at the idea that you have no options.
+1 to Anne Shirley. This is a medical condition that you need to take care of NOW. If you’ve had suicidal thoughts, even briefly, do not stop, do not pass go, figure out what you need to do to get yourself the treatment you need. Your health and safety are more important than any job.
I’m so sorry you’re going through this and please know that you will be in my thoughts.
I would tell your boss after you’ve made an appointment with someone, if you feel you can get yourself to that point. If your boss is the only one you think you’re likely to tell, and so telling him would be the only way to get yourself to some help,then please tell him at once. It’s much more important that you get well than that you maintain your professional relationship. But, if you can call a mental health professional today and make yourself an appointment, then I would tell the boss afterward. Depending on your relationship, you could either say what it is you’re dealing with, or just say you’re having some health issues, that you’re seeing someone [this Thursday afternoon? a specific day next week?], and that you should have a better sense of what you’re going to need in terms of time off etc. to deal with it after talking with that person. Good luck. Please check back in if you can and let us know how things are going. Having had several people very close to me deal with depression, I can say that you’re on a good path now that you’re ready to take steps to get better. Hope you feel better soon.
I was there a little over a year ago, albeit with a different mental health issue (Hello multiple panic attacks a day. How lovely it is to deal with you. Ugh.) It was definitely impacting my work day and output. Once I identified the problem, I asked my boss (a totally understanding, friendly, caring person to work for) for a closed door meeting, as we have staff that can be nosy at times. We’re a very open group with our private lives, for the most part, but some people cross lines. I met with him, gave him a basic breakdown of the situation (being treated for severe anxiety and need some flexibility) and what was going to happen going forward (i.e. I needed the day off to wear a heart monitor that could not be disguised by any amount of clothing – thank you nosy staff, was going to be late one day because of my 2+ hour intake appointment at the local outpatient clinic that’s covered by insurance, etc.). Once he knew the situation, he was totally onboard with getting me to a better place. We even worked out an altered schedule one day a week to account for the time I needed to get to my weekly outpatient appointment (same day come in early, leave early). Given the description of your relationship with your boss, I would bet he will react in a similar way to mine. If your office is less of a “sharing” environment, tell him its a significant health issue that will take time to address. Gauge your level of sharing based on what you think would be best given your relationship with him. My life would have been infinitely more difficult if I had not told my boss. Best of luck to you and congratulations on acknowledging the source of your problems and getting help. It is a HUGE step.
Any suggestions for a good PCP in Manhattan (preferably somewhere on the East Side) who is accepting new patients? TIA.
I really like Dr. Megan Thomasch, she’s on W 57th & 7th Ave though. (212) 765-5151.
Dr. Costas Hanjis. Park ave in the 50s. Takes most insurance, I think. Very nice guy (on the younger side).
I’m a midlevel biglaw associate and I’ve recently received feedback from multiple sources (on the same case) that there’s a problem with my writing. I’ve been billing over 300 hours a month for the past 3 months and frankly I’m just exhausted. The number of drafts I have had to get out the door in a short period of time is staggering, and I know the work product has suffered because there just isn’t time for me to read everything 5 times like I normally would (most documents have to be drafted and finalized, including parter and client review, in under 24 hours). I’m the only one doing first drafts of all documents in the case. I’ve been asking for help with either drafting or proofing but no one is available. I haven’t made careless errors like typos; the comments I get are that the writing seems rushed, it’s not as persuasive as it could be, the issues aren’t discussed as fully as they could be, and I miss tangential issues that I should address. This has been presented to me as a Very Serious Issue and one of the attorneys has suggested that I get sent to a firm-sponsored writing boot camp to improve my writing.
I’ve always been told my writing is stellar, so this has been a big shock. I tried to explain, without getting defensive, that the time constraints I’m under right now are extraordinary and I really need more help. I was told that this has been an issue with my writing before, though no one ever said anything to me about it and the feedback I’ve gotten has always been positive. They also said no one is available to help and I should be able to handle it on my own. I really don’t know what to do. I feel very ganged up on. I feel like my job is in danger. I’m frustrated that I’ve been killing myself for this case and the only feedback I get is really harsh. There is no possibility of any time off for me until the New Year and I really don’t know how I’m going to make it through the next two months. Advice? Thanks all.
Do the boot camp. Ask them what else they suggest. It does sound like your job is in danger…
First off, let me say that your situation is bananas (sorry King Kong, I know how you feel about bananas).
Don’t be offended by the writing comments. Please, by all means, go to the writing boot camp. It is in an investment in yourself. Writing is your current job description so go, live it up, come back a super [email protected]$$ writer.
As for workload, is there anyone else in your position working on different cases? Do they have the same workload requirements as you (esp in terms of quantity and scheduling)? Ask them how they’re getting their work done. Are there really no other people out there who can assist in the process/taking a portion of your work?
King Kong know Godzilla use this word for rhetorical effect. King Kong still love Godzilla.
Hmm. It doesn’t really make sense that they are trying to push you out if you’ve been so busy, but it does sound like it. Are there other associates in your group? Can you say no? Is there a sympathetic partner to whom you can talk about it? I would do the boot camp if they want you to.
No good advice, but I just wanted to say that you’re not alone and I’m sorry this is happening to you. I burned out really badly after a similar situation (billed 250-400 for a few months on a case and then was told my performance wasn’t up to snuff). Best of luck!
Absolutely do the boot camp. Since this came as a shock to you but they said it’s been going on a while, I’d also request more detailed and regular feedback on your drafts so you can better identify the problem. Finally, even if the writing is going to fall solely on your shoulders, is there anyone junior to you that can handle other tasks that you need, such as research or short memos that you can borrow from? Or is there a paralegal that can do your non-legal proofing and bluebooking to free up more time for you to focus on drafting?
This sounds really frustrating, I’m so sorry. I don’t see how your job could possibly be in danger if you are billing 300+ hours a month with no one to help out. I’d do the bootcamp, and then whatever you can do to make your next piece of writing perfect. Hopefully, a few stellar pieces of writing will help course-correct.
On a side note, it amazes me how mediocre some partners’ writing is–including many from very well-respected firms. Such a strange profession where some people can be incredibly successful where they lack the same skills that associates are told they *must* have in order to be successful.
Yes, especially regarding the second point. An unidentified partner at my firm is like a stream-of-consciousness guy, he doesn’t make any sense and uses parentheses and slashes to great extremes. He is very intelligent, but has difficulty communicating that to other people, yet he is very successful.
No advice from me. Just eff them so much. This is such stupid, typical, biglaw BS. So not helpful to you, them, or the client. I’m sorry.
+10000 to this. I had the exact same thing happen to me (minus the crazy hours, so it was much clearer in my case that I was being pushed out). Told my writing was “very good” and “above my year level” at one review, and at the very next review, told that it was “below my level” and that this had been the case “for a while.” Do the bootcamp if someone is telling you to, it’s something you can point to as a step you took to improve – but I’d brush up the resume and call some recruiters. Seriously, eff them and their manufactured BS.
Agreed. Also, I have had firms abuse people that they don’t feel are worth keeping. So ask yourself honestly if you think this is the case, and if so, then just START SAYING NO. Don’t ask for more help. Simply tell whomever else is on a matter with you that you cannot work on X. If they want to get into a p_ssing match over whether their thing is more important than that other thing, don’t engage. Simply lay out your workload, deadline and whomever else (above you) that you are working for and tell them to take it up with the other person. If it’s all from the same person, it’s time for a frank discussion telling him/her that you are taking his/her feedback re the writing seriously, but your workload is not realistic or sustainable.
YOU HAVE GOT TO SET SOME BOUNDARIES OR BIGLAW WILL SUCK YOU DRY (ellen caps intended).
Practice saying no. Don’t ask for help or ask them when they are going to get you help. Say no. Say it nicely, be firm.
If they don’t see you at the firm long term, then don’t give them 150% of yourself. You need to be brutally honest about warning signs, other midlevels who have left, etc. You actually know the answer to this in your heart though…you need to know if they are using and abusing you to toss you away, or if they are really invested in your continued development.
You can go somewhere else where your skill are appreciated. Don’t think this job is the be-all end all. Start making a long term plan, even if that involved only daydreaming about said plan.
Hugs. I know that keeping my emotional register level when I am tired is near impossible. Good luck.
LawyerMom of Four
Writing under significant time pressure is very different from writing with less constraints. This is something that will become more and more of an issue as you become more senior, until at some point your clients will no longer be able to afford to have you write (been there–sadly). Go to the bootcamp. If you have a mentor, ask for help. Since you are in biglaw, there should be associate development resources available to help you.
I am about where you are in your career and have gone through similar periods of crazieness. I definately know how frustrating it can be when you are in “feed the closest wolf” mode and your work is still being criticized.
From the gist of your question, it sounds like you are getting structural complaints on your writing rather than complaints about typos. Likley you are a great writer normally, but maybe some step that is key for you when you normally write is being left out when you are trying to handle your current nearly impossible workload.
One thing that I have noticed is that when I have all the time in the world to draft something, I outline the document and in the process spend time thinking about the most important points of what I am trying to convey before I start writing.
When I don’t have much time, it is very tempting to skip the outlining step. But (unless I have a very clear idea of what I am writing) skipping an outline leads to writing which is less organized and structured, which misses important points, or which puts important points in odd places (because that is where I remembered the point). It may be helpful to you, and ultimately save you time, to outline documents before drafting them – even when you are in a hurry. If that does not make sense for your usual work-flow, it may be helpful to think about other ways in which you are writing differently now than you normally would.
My email is r e i n e (dot) e m i l y (at) g m a i l (dot) com if you want to commiserate.
Commiseration + idea. I have trouble writing at my *best* under time pressure (although I’ve never experienced 300 hours/month time pressure – it’s amazing you’re keeping up that pace at all). At my former firm, all of the summer associates and any junior associate that needed help was given access to a writing coach for a set number of hours. I had always considered writing a strength, but I improved significantly during my time as a summer. I don’t remember how much it cost, but I remember thinking it was reasonable ($50/hour? $100?). The coach had been in private practice for many years and was amazing. She provided redlines addressing grammar and usage, efficiency, points to consider for further analysis and more. She would turn documents as fast as you needed them (within reason, of course) – so if something was due the following day, her comments would be focused on what could be accomplished in that amount of time. This had the added benefit of forcing me to stay a day ahead of deadlines, allowing more thoughtful consideration of arguments, etc. I’m sure I can find this particular coach on Go*gle if you’re interested. Feel free to e-mail at n v k 9 5 2 3 7 no spaces at the Go*gle if you’d like more info. This sounds like more of an advertisement than I intended (I promise I’m not the writing coach…or affiliated in any way…I just had a great experience).
Extended Travel Tips
I am going to be traveling for about 2.5 weeks, in 3 different countries. The climate will roughly be the same across all three countries, so I’m not concerned about what to pack clothing-wise.
Do people have any suggestions for ways to make my life easier/more comfortable on long flights, or just staying organized? Product recommendations (good moisturizers? good carry on items?) or organizational tools so I’m not pulling everything out of my suitcase to find one item would be appreciated!
If we’ve already discussed this, please point me to the thread – I couldn’t remember seeing this topic in a while. Thanks!
Assuming you’re traveling for work, my 3 helpful ideas would be to get a single light-weight bag that can stand-in for a handbag, laptop/ document carrier and on-board hand-luggage, to streamline the power cables/ adaptor packs for any gadgets as best you can to avoid schlepping around 1 cord/ pack for every item, and to get a data plan sorted out for your phone. On the bag, my go-to is something in nylon from a Japanese make ‘Porter’ but I see many happy comments here about Lo & Sons.
For organizational tools (zippered pouches and the like), Muji is great for inexpensive and durable versions, if you have access to one.
I went on a two week long trip not too long ago, followed by another long trip – Apartment Therapy did a great write up about what to pack for a long flight, and there are a lot of good posts I found through pinterest.
One of the blogs I follow – Outfit Posts did a great write up about what she packs in her carry-on bag for long trips I found helpful.
Using packing cubes for small things like underwear and socks has made travel much easier for me.
I use ziploc bags – lots and lots of ziploc bags.
Pack as little as possible. You need much less than you think. On long flights (6+ hours not during the day), I pack a travel pillow, a kindle, my cell phone, and then I pack my chargers, eye drops, chapstick, benedryl (the ingredient in most otc sleeping pills), and a little container of lotion in ziploc bag. Throw it into a big purse with a pen and possibly your digital camera. In my suitcase, I pack everything in packing cubes or bags to help it all stay organized.
I just got my Aquatalia’s from Nordstrom and am happy that the size 10 (sale size) may fit in the foot… but the shaft/top of the calf opening seems too big. I have narrow calves.
I can fit two fingers next to my knee at the top of the boot. Too much, right? Not nice looking? Ideally I want a boot that I can wear to work with skirts and that gap is with my fleece tights.
Agreed, too much! Send ’em back
Thanks for the confirmation. They are also very expensive.
I’ve had such a hard time finding boots that fit…
That actually sounds okay to me, but I like a little room at the top of my boots so I can wear socks sometimes if I want and don’t look stuffed in there.
Recs for winter lipbalm? Is Norwegian Formula the best bet? It’s not even freezing here and my lips are already cracking on my way into work.
Learned from living upstate, I think you need two products: one that moisturizes/heals your lips, and one that protects it from the elements/keeps the moisture in. I would keep a protection chap stick (probably petroleum based) in my bag, and find a good nourishing non-petroleum based one to apply at night.
You’re in Scotland, so I’m not sure about particular product recommendations but it seems like you should be able to find something along those lines.
Awesome! Will pop into boots on the way home.
I always use aquaphor lip repair…I don’t know if it’s the best, but I’ve been using it since it was little, and I’ve never looked for anything else.
anon for this
My lips have always been dry/chapped, from childhood on, so I’ve tried probably every brand around, from the drugstore favorites to the obscure ones.
I now use La Mer’s lip balm. Admittedly, it’s possibly overkill if your lips aren’t a disaster area, but my lips are healthy now. This is such a relief and joy to me that I feel faintly absurd admitting to using it in the same post as others are debating wearing makeup at all. That said: this stuff is fantastic.
I make my own since I’m allergic to everything… just canola oil and soy wax, with a bit of paraffin or candellila wax, melted in the microwave in a Pyrex container. I pour it into tubes. You have to play with the proportions a bit; I usually go 2:2:1 or so when I’m using paraffin.
Nothing beats straight-up shea butter.
Clinique Repairware Intensive Lip Treatment is awesome. Expensive – yes, SPF – no, but for generally keeping your lips unchapped and plump and avoiding all that nasty winter cracked lip feel I have never used anything better. It’s seen me through 2 week ski holidays without any cracking. Can’t recommend it enough.
how would you ladies style this dress (link to follow) for a holiday party? I’m thinking black hose (or is that too sheer? would tights be better?) and black suede booties (like desert boots but with a small wedge). Or would pumps be better?
Depends, where is the holiday party?
my bf is hosting it at his place- it’s a big affair, but casual (average age of attendee is probably 24). from looking at pictures from the event last year, it looks like most girls wore dresses like the one I’m wearing, or else ugly sweater-type outfits.
Wow, I love that dress! If only it weren’t strapless!
Love that dress. I would consider maybe something more festive than black tights with black booties. I love the black booties idea and would definitely wear those. But how about a pair of slightly metallic tights or a pair of tights with some subtle pattern? Even a tight fishnet. The concern I have would be that all that black, plus the dark skirt, would be too heavy for a festive occasion.
love the idea of tasteful black fishnets! thanks for the input :)
Does anyone have advice for dealing with an SO’s body image/eating issues? My husband has always been a chubby guy, even as a little kid. He felt very stigmatized by it the whole time he was growing up, and, while he had girlfriends, felt he was never very successful with women. He was thinner when we met (and so was I!) but has put on some weight in the five years we’ve been together. He’s a worrier by nature and has struggled with anxiety and depression in the past. This often comes out as him feeling bad about himself and he sees putting on weight as proof that he’s a failure. When he decides to lose weight, he goes on a strict diet of meat and dairy with very limited carbs (no fruit, no grain, no starchy vegetables not even squash or carrots). He sees being hungry (even being extremely hungry) as just the price of getting thinner. Obviously, this approach usually fails and when it fails, it fails spectacularly. He’ll then eat Taco Bell, six pieces of pizza at a sitting, go out with friends and eat lots of fried bar snacks and beer, stop exercising, etc. Instead of splurging on pizza at one meal and then going back to healthy eating the next, he decides he’s ruined it all already and then gorges on “forbidden” foods until he decides he’s disgusting and goes back to the crazy restrictive diet. Meanwhile, he pokes his belly and calls it “fat and disgusting,” tells me he can’t understand why I think he’s s3xy, and worries that our children (I’m pregnant) will have to suffer with being fat like him, and/or will think their father is lazy and gross. He also feels that he’s less respected by other men because he’s “fat” (honestly, by the way, while being 25 or so lbs thinner would probably be healthy for him, he’s by no means as fat looking as he thinks — maybe slightly well-padded like your typical office worker). In my dream world, he eats more moderately (both the healthy and the less healthy options) and gets regular exercise to help him stay healthy and alive for as long as possible, and feels reasonably okay with himself. I’d take that any day over some thin guy who hates his body and obsesses over food. Has anyone dealt successfully with an SO with issues like this? Anything I can say to help nudge him toward healthy eating? I’m also trying to really, really get him to cut out the “fat” talk; I do NOT want our children to think it’s okay to talk about themselves or anyone else the way he talks about himself. (And, yes, I’ve told him many times that I don’t let anyone talk that way about my husband in front of me, nor do I let anyone talk that way about my children’s father in front of me or them — even if the person talking is him. He gets it, but it doesn’t change his behavior.)
So at the advice of this site (it was sometime last week), I started reading Intuitive Eating. It’s really interesting and I think will help me with some of long-standing food issues. It does a good job of explaining how diets work against human biology, as well as helping you unwind your self-worth from your relationship with food. I am going to have my husband read it next.
+1. It sounds a little like disordered eating too, for which therapy might be helpful. Maybe CBT?
I was near an eating disorder when I was in my mid-20s, and it got a LOT better after we had kids, but I think it was pregnancy that helped me out of it, oddly enough. Not sure if kids would have the same effect on your husband.
Pregnancy was a game changer for me too After spending a lot of time fighting/loathing my body for decades, I finally learned to listen to it better. Now I watch my child eat and want to set a great example for him. We like shopping at the farmer’s market with him, I like his being my sous chef, etc. Same with wanting to exercise again. He’s such an active kid that DH and I need to take care of ourselves in order to keep up.
I never struggled to the point of an eating disorder, but pregnancy cured my tendency toward negative self-talk. How could I possibly loathe a body that conceived, carried, delivered and fed two kids? It’s not that I don’t see “flaws” anymore, I just don’t care at the same level I did pre-pregnancy. I’m not sure why I’m adding this here – it certainly doesn’t help the OP or her husband – but I’ll leave it for the readers who are worried about what pregnancy might do to their bodies.
Thank you. I know this was tangential to the OP’s question but it is helpful for me at 32 weeks and already thinking about postpartum!
I have definitely already experienced a change in how I see my body – I can’t believe it knows how to grow a human – and I haven’t even given birth yet.
Uggh. I am the opposite. I like being pregnant, but I cannot stand what it is doing to my body. Perhaps my feelings will change when I meet the little bugger, but for now, I spend a good amount of time worrying about getting “my body back” after the pregnancy is over.
Are you married to my husband? FWIW, my husband is the non-morbidly obese person in his whole family and they all are a little off the chart on the anxiety / comorbidities chart.
We have two children (normal height / weight). I try to eat most meals at home as a family and try to do a lot of the cooking from scratch by myself, with a lot of fruit, vegetables, braised meats, and other real foods (so nothing from boxes if I can help it). It’s hard. But I concentrate on setting the best example for my children and he’s usually happy to eat most of what I eat (he falls off the wagon, but he does so alone). NO FAT TALK AROUND LITTLE EARS (the in-laws don’t get that, but he’s starting to).
The baby may change that — he doesn’t want to add another generation of misery, does he?
Seriously, if we didn’t spend a billion hours a day together, I’d be a little worried you might be married to my SO, too.
Another thing we do is to try to be outside on the weekends, weather permitting. It’s just so mentally freeing (to us) and a change of scenery from our office jobs (and my children being in daycare). We try to go hiking (really: walking on paths) or do some other moderate physical activity (so some 5K walks, some tennis, some just going to the park, some swimming — yay rashguards!). You get the idea: good clean living (that is fun for us).
Also: no goal to be hot or whatever. When my children are my age, I will be in my 80s and aim to be the best and most mentally sharp and physically active 80-something I can be. And I’ve got time to get there at an enjoyable pace.
Ah hahahaha! Sister-wives!
anon for this
I’d suggest finding a hobby together so that you can reframe your diet and exercise regime in terms of goals other than looks and weight.
Both of my parents have issues with food, though in opposite directions. My dad’s well past retirement age and it’s still an issue for him; my mom still talks about it constantly, and honestly so does my sister (and most of my aunts, now that I think about it).
I had an eating disorder when I was a teenager, and I probably still do, to a certain extent. It’s not that easy to shake.
Therapy didn’t actually help me all that much. I at one point did a huge investment in personal training, thinking that would help. That didn’t work, either, because I didn’t figure out a way to articulate clearly to my trainer that I didn’t want to talk about my weight or looks. Whatever goals we were working on, the assumption remained that the goal was to be as thin as possible. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about being “healthy” –it reads exactly the same way.
What finally did help me was deciding I am a runner. I mean, it’s a ridiculously fraught term, but I just decided to try it as a way of giving myself a focal point that wasn’t My Weight or My Looks. It’s a hobby and a source of direction.
I’m not suggesting that you take up running with your SO. Just noting that trying to find another Big Goal to focus on can help, even if at first it is just a distraction.
Anon for this
Honestly, your husband and I could be fraternal twins separated at birth. I’m currently seeing a therapist for food issues and depression. I’ve faced weight problems my entire life (and was teased relentlessly as a child), and though I’ve been up and down in weight by entire life (+/- 100 lbs), I currently am the largest I’ve ever been. It’s humiliating. I finally got up the nerve to see a therapist who specializes in, among other things, eating disorders. The plan is to see her, see a psychiatrist to make sure the anxiety/depression meds are the right ones for me and so I’m mentally capable of making change, and to (eventually) see a nutritional therapist to help me with the actual eating part, since I too think that constant hunger, restricting/binging are all a part of what’s “normal.”
*Hugs* to you and your husband. It’s about so much more than the weight. It’s about feeling like your biggest vulnerability is just out there for the entire world to see and to pick at. You can’t hide. You don’t know what to do. You feel lost. And you feel like you never make progress no matter what you do.
A lot of people have given you diet-type advice. What I’m hearing in your comment, though, is less of a concern at this point about his weight, and more of a concern about his mental health and self-image. A lot of people with disordered eating associate “thin” with “lovable/good/worthwhile/desirable/successful” and “fat” with “unlovable/unsuccessful/bad/undesirable/worthless”. Your husband needs help breaking the tie between weight and essential self-worth. Counseling can help, but ultimately, the key thing is helping him recognize that he thinks that way, helping him accept that as a false and flawed way of thinking about the world, and helping him finally disconnect the two.
It ain’t easy.
Maybe don’t this of this as a diet issue at all? I think of it as my husband grew up in a household where X, Y, and Z became his habits. He’s unhappy with them and does want to change. I am trying to forge a household where A, B, and C become the habits (they are my habits already), at least for our children. For my husband, a lot of who he is is tied up in the household he came from and there is a lot of baggage there (who wants to spend decades unhappy? who thinks that maybe things could be better if they’ve never seen things be better?). I try to make it so that the easy choices are good choices. The Colorado River made the Grand Canyon, but over time. It helps that my husband can see some of this objectively and doesn’t want our children to be unhappy, but he still carries a lot of memories (and habits and preferences and genes) with him.
Maybe after you have the baby, you could both do Weight Watchers (even if you don’t have baby weight to lose, you could use the post-baby time as an excuse to do it with him). I agree with cbackson that you seem to be asking about much more. But many people do not have the tools to lose weight. It sounds as though his only technique is very extreme, all or nothing. WeWa has a great program for men and you can do it all online. I know couples who do it together with great success, as long as you are more “teammates” and not teacher/student.
long time lurker
WW is a good suggestion. Speaking from personal experience, I do not last long on restrictive diets. Your H doesn’t seem to either, probably because it is just not workable to cut out whole groups of foods like that. The thing about WW is it is a structure, but you can eat varied foods. I found it helpful for understanding “serving sizes.”
Honestly? I hate WW. I used it once several years ago to successfully lose about 20 lbs post-grad school, but somehow I can’t think that writing down and counting every item you eat forever could be healthy. Plus I always wound up playing games like adding 10 min to a work-out to bump up from 1 pt to 3 pts. And I’d get really, really stressed if I had a social event pop up unexpectedly during the week (because I was saving my extra points for specific things on the weekend). I can’t see how it can be healthy to develop so much social anxiety around food. (Also the new system with the fruit thing is just ridiculous to me. How can unlimited fruit really lead to weight loss? And to the extent people say “well, be reasonable about it,” I say “then stick points on it because either it’s 100% free or it’s not.” Don’t get me started on the fruit.)
I don’t think it would work for my husband anyway. I’m less interested in having him lose weight and much more interested in having him eat healthy. As for portion sizes, etc., he’s memorized pretty much every diet out there (being a “fat” kid since junior high does that to you) so he knows how many ounces of meat to eat or whatever and, when he’s in a diet phase, definitely weighs and measures everything. He resisted joining WW before when someone suggested it because he sees losing weight as giving up everything good and isn’t willing to trust a system that allows pizza.
tj- navy suit
Hi Ladies! I just bought a navy suit (jacket, pants, and skirt) to match a pair of navy heels I’m in love with. As someone who usually clings to black and gray staples, I’m wondering:
Do navy suits look dowdy or old fashioned?
What do I wear with a navy suit (top colors) to look current, but polished and professional?
If loving my navy suits is wrong, I don’t wanna be right!
I don’t think they’re dowdy at all. I think it depends on the navy, but I’ve done navy & navy, navy & black (top, shoes, and tights), navy and gray, pink (both light pink and raspberry look awesome, also maroon), white, dark green, purple, you name it… I think it’s much easier to pair navy with colors than it is with black. Black and brights always tends to look a bit dated to me.
In the Pink
burgundy, deep plum/purple to suit your skin tone, grey, French pink …. and/or tops with those colors in a print.
love navy suits…with pant suit and striped, I love to do a more floral on the top to ensure a feminine vibe.
have fun, explore! The navy suit and shoes should keep it traditional.
tj- navy suit
I hadn’t even thought of burgundy-will definitely try it out. Thanks!
Also, navy + orange. I have a bright apricot tie-neck blouse that works great with my coloring and looks terrific with navy. Orange can be tricky because you need to find what works best for your skin tone, but it’s definitely not dowdy.
I wear my navy suit and navy separates all the freaking time. I think the key is to pair it with slightly more colorful shells and accessories than you would your black and grey suits: burgundy, greens, yellows, corals, purple, almost any color looks good with navy.
I agree with AIMS, if navy is wrong – well – then my whole wardrobe is so very, very wrong.
I’m trying to update my resume while still at my current employer. I know you’re supposed to put things in the present tense like “defend X no. depositions..” But if I want to say I’ve had a certain number of trials to verdict, do I say “Conducted 22 trials?” or “tried 22 cases to verdict”? It seems weird to put something in past tense when everything else is in present tense. What’s the best way to do this? Just put it at the end?
Do what makes sense. For example, I currently “manage X cases” but have “tried 22 cases.” Mixing the tenses is fine as long as it’s logical.
I don’t think you need to put specific numbers on most experiences. I would generally describe the work, e.g., “Manage substantial litigation caseload, including taking and defending depositions, extensive motion practice, witness preparation, and trying cases” in a bullet (or more than one if it flows better). Then, because 22 trials is striking experience, I would add a second bullet: “Tried 22 cases to verdict”.
+1, 22 Cases to a verdict is a huge deal in my market.
Past tense is appropriate, though. The trial is over and done with – you aren’t in the middle of actively trying 22 cases, right? If something has a concrete end date, then past tense is appropriate for the resume. It’s the ongoing stuff at your current job that should have present tense.
anon in tejas
how about something like “First-Chair Bench and Jury Trials (tried 22 bench and 5 jury trials)”?
Try adding a time period (e.g. trials/year)
k-padi the Grinch
I am so not into the whole Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus thing this year. For reasons to do with my far-flung and f-ed up family, my “ideal” winter holiday is New Years. I just wish I could skip December.
Normally, I’m not not anti-Holidays, I play along in social settings. I return Seasons Greetings and give gifts. But this year, I’ve already had two encounters where Christmas came up and I could barely observe the social niceties. And really, since when is it appropriate to ask a new acquaintance if she plans to have a Christmas tree?
Any other Grinches out there? Assume that living in a cave is not an option. I feel like I have to find some way to spin “my brother and I might go out for Chinese on December 25” into a celebratory fun-filled traditional “Christmas”.
I don’t see why asking if someone has a Christmas tree is inappropriate, assuming you’re having a conversation about the upcoming holidays, unless the person knows you do not celebrate Christmas.
by the same token, I don’t think anyone would be astonished or offended if you truthfully said, my brother and I are going out to eat dinner at a restaurant on Christmas.
If they know you celebrate Christmas, I think it’s kind of progressive to ask if you’re getting a tree, rather than just assume that you must be getting one.
And I’m a big fan of doing whatever makes you happy for holidays. So often people just assume there’s only one way to celebrate.
k-padi the Grinch
Thanks. It bugs me that there’s a rebuttable presumption that I celebrate Christmas in the first place. I’d rather there be some de novo question of celebrating Christmas/the holidays at the start of the conversation.
omg i TOTALLY agree with this. I just always say “i don’t celebrate” because I am a b*tch and I brace myself for the obnoxious reaction and then I have to defend myself. But that’s probably being dumb and I should probably just play along. ;o) The most common/annoying reaction is people assuming that i must be SO SAD that i’m not celebrating, or it must be some horrible thing beyond my control, so immediately try to convince me to come to their house or event for the holiday. And no amount of: no thank you, I’m fine, this is perfect for me will keep them from insisting over and over and over. Ugh, just give up!!!
I just say “one of my favorite xmas traditions is movie and chinese” but in NYC it kind of is a giant tradition to do this so maybe it’s easier… I’m not a big holiday person at all, though I do love xmas trees because of the lights and how nice they smell, but what I tend to focus on to make me like the season is how everyone leaves the city to go be with family and so I get to have it all to myself, which really is so wonderful. Maybe find a similar bright spot? Or plan a vacation somewhere beachy and just tell everyone you’re celebrating in St. Maarten this year.
k-padi the Grinch
Thanks AIMS. Yes, that’s normally me too. I just kind of soak it all in. We had a ton of drama this September around Christmas planning, causing me to book “emergency” plane tickets to my brother’s to shut down all the drama (for both my and my brother). So, is Phoenix a “tropical getaway”? I will pretend it is!
I’ve gotten a few weird looks over the years for my neutral view of the holidays. This year, I feel oddly antagonistic about it. It seems that in the Silicon Valley, (white and not-Jewish) people are presumed to at least observe secular Christmas–which surprises me because culturally, we seem to be closest to SoCal and NYC than any other part of the country.
I spent one New Year’s eve in Phoenix a few years back and coming back to cold, windy NY, it definitely felt like a tropical getaway.
And like others pointed out, if you just say something like it’s a good thing, no one will quibble with you. And if you feel like being a little grinchy, I say just do it with gusto. Everyone loves a little bahumbug once in a while.
I’m going to be in NYC for Christmas for the first time this year and I’m really excited about that.
K-Padi, that all sounds annoying. Chinese food with your brother sounds like a great plan to me.
“My brother and I will get Chinese together. New Years is really the bigger holiday for me.”
I worked for many years with a coworker whose favorite part of the holidays was coming into work on Christmas because the office was completely empty. It was odd because he celebrated Christmas, but he said it so happily and matter of factly that no one questioned it. That was what he loved about the holidays and who’s to say it’s not equal to looking forward to decorating the tree or eating a ton of treats.
Going out for Chinese food is actually the traditional “Jewish Christmas” in the US. If you tell people this is how you’re celebrating, they’ll probably assume you’re not Christian and change the subject – it seems like a fine way to end the conversation about Christmas to me.
k-padi the Grinch
Thanks. Yes. I will try that. Hopefully, they won’t quiz me about Hanukkah!
Short version: People oppressed the Jews (pretty much every Jewish holiday story starts this way), the Jews secretly studied and pretended they were gambling with dreidles, they overthrew the oppressors, reclaimed the Temple, tried to light the holy lights, they only had enough holy oil for one day but it burned for seven days – miracle.
Now you know a much about Hannukah as a lot of Jews I know. More, even!
I think the person is probably trying to be friendly by asking if you’re going to have a Christmas tree. Talking about holiday plans is like asking about the weather or what you did this weekend. I don’t think anyone will be offended if you don’t celebrate it or are planning on taking it easy.
I didn’t grow up celebrating, and sometimes the mortification of going to public school and having to hang out in the principal’s office while everyone else was celebrating a holiday party or practicing Christmas songs in class or whatever it is that they were doing comes back and makes me feel like I’m that dorky outsider again.
I’ve become really good at faking enthusiasm for the holiday season. I can decorate enough to make even Martha Stewart happy, and I don’t even grit my teeth about it. But I’m with you on this–I’d just really, really love to skip December. And it’s only November 12th.
I think they were just making conversation and you’re completely over-reacting. It really isn’t an intrusive question.
I actually find it a really odd question. I have never asked (or heard anyone ask) about their Christmas TREE plans. I mean, I celebrate Christmas, but don’t put up a tree because I still go to my parents house and I just don’t have room in my apartment for a tree.
And it’s frigging November. I’ve barely got my Thanksgiving plans figured out, much less the particulars of Christmas.
I think it’s hard for those firmly in the majority to understand why people find it intrusive and exclusionary. It assumes you are Christian and celebrate Christmas, immediately presenting that as the natural default in the US and othering the others. (Heh.)
I am not a theist and, goodness, I have to be so careful to not offend anyone myself. I find that I cannot be truly honest.
OMG, I am SUCH a Grinch this year! If anybody asked me about my Christmas tree I would say “I’m not putting a tree up this year because I left my Christmas stuff behind when I left my husband, and he’s changed the locks on MY house so I can’t go back and retrieve it. Thanks for asking!”
It’s good to know that I am not the only one. When someone asked me, I was ready to start quoting Jeremiah. I think I mumbled something like too early to know… cats…no plans…Phoenix…
I’m also a total grinch this year. Hate Christmas. Always have. As to the tree– I’ve never had one. Even as a kid we stopped doing the tree when I was about 12. It’s really awkward to say that I’m not having a tree, though. Bah humbug!!!!
Having Chinese and seeing a movie would be heaven. I really hate going to my aunts house, exchanging gifts no one wants, getting pissed at my grown cousins because they never get a gift for my grandparents, then feeling bad because I hate the whole thing and make no effort to stay close to my family. End rant.
I am also feeling very Grinchy about the holidays this year, and I think the fact that everyone seems so cheerful, cozy, etc., about it makes my grinchiness feel worse. My roommate commented the other day how she was feeling the same, and (while I don’t want her to have a bad time just to make me feel better), I did feel better because I felt less alone in my grinchiness. So, Senior Attorney and k-padi, while I am sorry you’re both in these situations that are making you unhappy, please know you’re not alone! I think there are many of us.
Thanks. I have done a lot of reflecting on why this holiday season is so crazy and I have concluded that it is because Christmas falls on Wednesday. So if anyone is traveling, you expected to take the whole week off and celebrate for 9days in a row. Otherwise. you have to be over and done with travel and celebrating in a day and a half . this would be so much easier if we could observe the day on a Monday or Friday instead.
FWIW, I do celebrate Christmas and have a tree, but I’ve still done the Chinese food on Christmas day thing. Between wrapping up the semester and all of the singing I do in December (ending after midnight on Christmas eve), I have very little energy for a big celebration on Christmas day. So one year, I picked up takeout at my favorite Chinese restaurant, brought it to my friends’ place in the Quarter, where we had our “Christmas dinner” on the good china and drank champagne. So low key and so wonderful.
Between now and Thanksgiving I would just reply “Woah, one holiday at a time! I’ll figure out Christmas after I eat turkey and give thanks.”
I loathe Christmas. My husband loves it, and while there are some things I like, it is such a huge production of “special” things that become more and more work every year. Also, I have to put up with my MIL and her craziness for hours on end.
My fantasy is to take the immediate family to Tahoe or Taos or Hawaii and sit out the big production. I can keep dreaming, I guess…
I am the biggest Grinch EVER!! I will join you for grinchy holidays whenever you want ;)
BUT: We are having the BEST NEW YEARS IN HISTORY, so eff Christmas!!
my fantasy isrunning away to a warm climate ( snowed today in central Ontario) and coming home about May 1st. no crazy weather no &*$ ed up relatives christmas or Easter
I’m traveling outside of the US for the first time since upgrading to an iPhone. How do I turn off the data (to avoid roaming charges) while making sure that the call and text features still work?
settings – cellular – cellular data (off).
Anyone else look wretched in clingy sweater skirts and dresses? I love this skirt in theory, but know my lower half would look like a sack of potatoes in it!
I got something like it from Anthro in the spring and it was a hot mess in both the S and the M. It was very Kardashian on me.