Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: Baye Chain Detail Dress

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

Reiss chain detail dressReiss, as always, has some adorable dresses in right now. I love the wide slash neck, figure-skimming drapey fabric, and — maybe it’s me — but I really like the gunmetal chain detail at the waist. (The dress looks great for fall as styled — I’d try it with a thin jersey turtleneck or long-sleeved shirt beneath it for fall/winter. It’s available in black, as well, but only lucky sizes are left — the red dress is $330, available in sizes 0-10. Reiss Baye Chain Detail Dress

Here’s a similar(ish) dress in plus sizes (on sale!), and here’s a $118 dress available up to size 16.

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



  1. Snity check needed–

    My daughter just started sunday school this past weekend… I saw her activity sheets that she brought home today and was shocked to see an Asian girl and boy cartoon depicted with ‘slanty chinky eyes’… Am I over reacting here? Some background, we live in a small city where 99percent of the population is white… so i can understand perhaps why this wasn’t raised before but at the same time it is 2016 here.

    How do I bring this up without alienating the teachers here?

    • Oh gosh! That’s awful. I’d assume benefit of the doubt (when I taught Sunday school, people were using ancient materials). Could you say something about ‘I’m sure you didn’t realise this but….’ and maybe offer to help scout out some new colouring pages etc?

      • Anonymous :

        1. I’m assuming that they didn’t use those words.

        2. I am teaching Sunday School. My job is to do a little information while serving (for liability reasons) as the second grownup who is always present in the room. Taking roll, making sure that children don’t have an accident, servicing a snack, don’t get picked up by the wrong parent, but do get picked up by someone. I just use what supplies are in the cabinet unless my co-teacher (SAHM) has gone by Michael’s or the church’s craft and supply cabinet.

        3. Assume good intentions. Our materials go all-out trying to be inclusive. Maybe this was a bit blunter and not so well-produced than you’d prefer? Like it’s the rendering but not the message you object to? But it’s a lot of “all g-d’s children” in the themes.

        4. Maybe talk with the director and offer to underwrite a Michael’s run to get more materials?

    • Anonymous :

      I have not seen the picture (though I suspect it is completely benign), but your description of it surely offended me.

      • I’m giving the benefit of the doubt and assuming that the description was written on the paper.

      • it was the easiest way to describe my gut reaction :

        The term is offensive- sorry I should have taken more time to describe it in a better way.

        Every single piece of coloring has the slanted eyes. I appreciate that they wanted to depict all nationalities of children but this was a little off.

        • Anonymous :

          Was it different from how the eyes are drawn in classic Chinese and Japanese art?

          • Anonymous :

            Are you asking for reference or to make a point that East Asians themselves drew their eyes in a distinct way? Either way, in this day/age slanted eyes are a stereotype that just isn’t acceptable. Same of any other racist depiction which I will not list out.

      • Plus a million

    • Anonymous :

      It’s kind of hard to say without seeing the picture. Asian eyes are different than white eyes so I don’t think a drawing that is anatomically correct is necessarily offensive. But if it’s super exaggerated, especially for comic effect, I can see how it would be offensive. (I’m Asian fwiw.)

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I would read this as them trying to be PC and inclusive by drawing children who are obviously not white so that the little white kids at Sunday School will learn that there are people who don’t look exactly like them. I have seen coloring books with black and Asian kids drawn with a different skin color and I think that’s totally fine (and totally different from wearing blackface or something like that). I would let it go.

      • Right? I don’t get it. We’re these really caricatures? Or just drawings that show a different race to be inclusive? Your description was vastly more offensive than the drawing I’m picturing.

        Sunday School teachers are by and large untrained unskilled volunteers giving their time because they love Jesus and your kids. If this was genuinely problematic, bring it up very gently and assume the best intentions.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Assuming it did not actually use that language, I am imagining the kind of pre-printed paperwork my child gets from Sunday School that comes from specific church-based printing presses. I’ll be honest, they do totally play up the physical differences shall we say that may exist between different races in an attempt to create this inclusive “rainbow” of faces and children. I saw the same type of paperwork when I was a child at Sunday school. Very “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world” style. That said, if it used that language, I would have a conniption fit and would totally leave that church.

    • I’m actually much more appalled by the words you chose to describe the depiction than what I anticipate the picture showed. My daughter is half Asian. I would allow her to continue in a classroom that had outdated materials that perhaps focused too much on different facial traits in other races, but I would immediately remove her from any place were an individual used the terms you used here.

      • Agree. Your language use here is surprising and … strange, especially since you wrote the post intending to identify discrimination.

    • Um, like almost all white churches in America were not on the morally right side of civil rights and church is the most segregated time of the week in America. You’ve got bigger issues if you’re going to attend than a – potentially – racist drawing. I don’t get it.

    • I get why you used those words – you were conveying how outdated the picture was and the words did that.

  2. It actually said those words? Obviously you should bring it up, immediately if not sooner.

    • Reply to the terribly offensive Sunday school dilemma above.

    • Anonymous :

      I assume she meant the drawing depicted their eyes in an exaggerated, offensive manner not that it actually used those words.

      • +1 – it felt more like the offense the chosen words evoked is the how the drawing made OP feel. The written equivalent of the visual depiction.

  3. S in Chicago :

    More than $300 for a poly dress? Nope nopity nope.

    • Anonymous :

      I totally don’t get Reiss. I wouldn’t wear this at thrift-shop prices. Certainly not to work.

    • I found out polyester just makes me stink. I bought 3 natural fiber Hugo Boss dresses around that price point from an outlet. I’m never buying polyester again.

      • Some of us can afford the dress, but not the dry cleaning bills… ie. Just because you can afford the seasonless wool dress at the same price point, doesn’t mean you can afford the bills/time to dry clean.

        Polyester can be done well, is incredibly forgiving and when done well looks nicer than “natural” fabrics because it doesn’t wrinkle the same.

        But this dress doesn’t work for me.

    • Shopaholic :

      I find Reiss dresses are really worth it – they drape beautifully. I have a couple dresses in this type of material from them and they’re always the dresses I get the most compliments on.

      • This one is sheer at the bottom. It has a weird short bridesmaid dress vibe to it.

        • Agree, I don’t think you can wear a shirt or turtleneck underneath a dress that is sheer underneath (Kat’s suggestion). I feel like this would look super odd.

  4. Pixie cuts :

    How can you tell if a pixie cut won’t look good with your face? I really want to get one, but I have a rounder face to begin with and I’m carrying about 15 extra pounds to boot (weight gain always shows in my face). This is made me self-conscious about highlighting my face in pictures, but I do want to try out a pixie cut for something new, because I’m tired of long hair, and because of the ease of washing my (very thick) hair). Any ideas for how to find the best cut for your shape and/or how to rule out unflattering ones? I’d like to have a decent idea of what I want before I go to the stylist.

    • S in Chicago :

      I always think round faces look really good with side parts and angular bobs that go just below chin. But Michelle Williams rocks a pixie well. Search Pintrist by “face-shape hairstyles” and you’ll get some great inspiration. Also, keep in mind texture. Thick and straight is ideal for a pixie. Thick with any waves is likely to have you battling cowlicks you didn’t even know you had (don’t ask how I know).

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. My hair is not super thick but it does wave, so I occasionally have to straighten a rogue squiggle into submission.

        Before going super-short, I worried if I had the face to pull it off. I found a great hairstylist who worked with me and I LOVE having short hair. Maybe try taking baby steps – do a short, side-parted style like S recommends above. You can always go shorter if it turns out you like it.

    • Anonymous :

      My opinion is that you need to have good bone structure to pull off a really short cut. There’s ways to go shorter without doing a pixie.

    • Have you ever had really short hair? I ask because you characterize your hair as very thick. My very thick, straight hair stands on end when cut short, so my pixie cut turned out to be more of a crew cut. I was in my 20’s, and went with it, but it could be an unpleasant surprise.

      • +1. I wouldn’t recommend anyone, regardless of face shape, to do that drastic of a cut without in-between steps. I know it’s worked out for some people and that’s great, but it’s a big risk!

    • Your reasons are the exact ones that I’m holding off on a pixie cut, so I can relate. Agree with the side part and bob, maybe give that a try first. I have that and it works, I’m just bored with it.

    • Pixie cuts work really well for round faces. I have a very round face and a pixie with long swoopy side bangs. I also have very fine, very straight hair that’s on the thin side. When my hair is longer, it just falls straight, looks kind of stringy, and makes my face look even rounder. And it certainly is way easier to take care of short hair. I’ve worked up to shampooing only every 4 days, so I have zero hair prep time on the other 3 days.

      My hair looks a lot like this — https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/564x/77/1c/40/771c4036ff9fa4a4c5063e86e66868af.jpg.

  5. Anonymous :

    Re: the discussion of the term “Irish twins,” is the phrase “Irish goodbye” offensive? Heard a good friend say it this weekend and I probably wouldn’t have thought twice before but after the discussion here a month or two ago, I’m guessing this is also offensive?

    • S in Chicago :

      An “Irish exit” is a drunken disappearance without informing friends. So yeah, I wouldn’t start adopting the phrase.

    • S in Chicago :

      An “Irish exit” is a drunken disappearance without telling friends–so yeah, I wouldn’t start adopting the phrase.

      • I’ve heard it used differently: leaving the party without telling the hosts, not while drunk. I’ve mostly heard it being spoken of favorably since it doesn’t initiate a mass stampede out the door.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 I’ve never heard it used to mean drunk, just that you leave the party without saying goodbye. I’ve also heard of it spoken of favorably, since it doesn’t distract the host with a long-winded goodbye.

    • Anonymous :

      I learned the expression Irish exit a few years ago, and realized it was something I did. I’m not sure where it comes from… Which might impact if it is offensive.
      Not everything with a nationality in the expression is necessarily objectionable… Sometimes it is what it is (e.g., French kiss).

    • Just replace that phrase with “Houdini” and problem solved. “Sorry I Houdini’d out of there…had to get home” being drunk is optional.

      • Anonymous :

        The common phrase for leaving without saying goodbye around my parts is ‘smokebomb’.

    • Anonymous :

      Hmm…I always thought the implication was because the Irish are sometimes stereotypically thought of as big drinkers (*not* my opinion but just saying that’s where I think the origin comes from)

  6. Red Flags? :

    Dating Q, because it’s been a long while:

    I matched with a guy last week that I share some interests with and we’ve been texting most of the weekend and trying to set up a day to get together, but he’s made some comments that feel kind of iffy:

    1) In the course of the texting he has admitted that he doesn’t like to be alone and he does not consider himself independent (I definitely am, which led to demise of last relationship). And some stories about previous dates that seemed a bit much for sharing with a stranger (accusations of pregnancy and giving an STD type of stories).

    2) I am getting to an age where I realize my dating pool with have divorcees with or without children. He has a child who is a tween, and he has his kid every weekend. I like kids but I’ve never dated someone with a kid. He asked if I thought it was intimidating and I said no, I just don’t know if a kid meshes with my lifestyle right now. I’m a weekend warrior, I take spontaneous road trips, hikes, wine tours, kayaking, golfing. etc.

    He said my lifestyle comment was like a “dude”.

    I’m on the fence about this. Would you continue to see where things go or are these weird red/yellow flags that I should pay attention to?

    • Anonymous :

      I would probably not meet up with him, both because of his comments (especially #1, I think #2 is more benign) and because he has a kid and as you acknowledge your lifestyle is not compatible with kids. You should look for guys who don’t have kids living at home.

      • Red Flags? :

        Thanks for your thoughts on the commentary. I’m not closed off to the idea of kids, or even weekend custody, if there are similar interests that we could all do together but my understanding is they hang out and video game all weekend, which is 100% not my thing.

    • I would not continue, no. I think you already know that these are in fact weird red/yellow flags (for you) that you should pay attention to. What you decide from considering them is your choice, though! Good luck.

    • I’d probably pass. I don’t know, but I feel like anytime you have to ignore stuff this early, you’re asking for trouble. Also, the needy thing would be a big turn off to me as would the oversharing. On the latter, there’s sharing a lot because you have an amazing connection and then sharing like this which to me means he either is a bit crazy or has really bad judgment. Maybe I’m harsh, though.

      • Yup. I don’t go out with someone if there are already red flags that would be huge compromises for me (like the kid thing). Any relationship involves some compromise, but knowing of those huge ‘red flags’ before even meeting pushes it to the “not worth it” territory for me.

        • I actually think the kid thing is less of an issue because of the kid’s age. Having a 13-year old every weekend is a lot different than a 3-year old. They have their own social lives, likely are out with friends at least part of the weekend, and they can stay home alone for a few hours. I have plenty of friends who have very active social lives now that their kids are older. Obviously some of this is kid-dependent, but I don’t think an older child is an automatic no-go in the same way that a little kid is. Ymmv though.

          • The teenage kid-girlfriend dynamic is terrifying to me (based on experiences growing up where my friends were the teenage kids) and are more of an automatic no-go than toddlers. I think it really depends on the person. There’s no logical way of looking at this that’s going to apply to everyone.

      • Red Flags? :

        I had the same feelings on the oversharing and wondered if I was too harsh, but I guess it’s a gut feeling for a reason.

        • Anonymous :

          Go with your gut. Ignoring a gut feeling has never turned out well for me.

        • anon a mouse :

          Think of it this way. This is the guy putting his BEST put forward. This is how he is trying to impress someone new. It doesn’t get better from here. If you already are having misgivings, listen to them.

    • You haven’t even had a date yet and he’s already oversharing and making condescending, sexist comments about your lifestyle. Also, ew to him wondering if a kid is “intimidating” vs. just not something you want to sign up for. It doesn’t sound like he’s very interested in getting to know you as a person. He just wants someone to fit into his cookie cutter notion of what his SO should be and he will berate you for anything that falls outside those lines. Hard pass.

    • Anonymous :

      At this stage in dating, I treat pink flags like red flags. And #1 and the comment about your “dude” lifestyle would be pretty compelling reason not to pursue the relationship any further.

    • Hard pass. He doesn’t like to be alone and isn’t independent? Here’s someone who will make poor choices to avoid being single, and who may prioritize being in any relationship over being in a healthy relationship. “Accusations” about STIs or pregnancy? Here’s someone who has drama, can’t handle their own s3xual health,* and feels that this is something that should be shared with another person. Does he think it’s something everyone should be able to relate to? Ugh. Does he think its funny? Double ugh.

      *STIs and unplanned pregnancies can absolutely happen to people who otherwise handle their health, but framing this in terms of “accusations” emphasizes lack of trust, failure to communicate, and general immaturity/failure to be responsible.

      Number 2: HELLO gender norms. HARD PASS.

      • +1. At the very least, in the kindest possible interpretation, he’s way too comfortable too early. I don’t like the presumption.

    • He doesn’t sound great to me, but honestly if you’re kind of interested and have nothing better to do, give it a shot. There’s nothing to lose (except an hour of your time) by having one drink at a bar and then deciding if he’s worthy. You don’t really know until you meet in person. I have a friend that spends hours overanalyzing every single guy and never meets anyone as a result.

    • This guy would bother me, too.

      When I first read this, I thought you said he has the kid every other weekend, which I thought you could make work for you – he doesn’t like to spend time alone, you do, so you get every other weekend to do you things! But if he has the kid every weekend and expects you to be available to him for what he wants to do every weekend (sounds like it), then, yeah, the two of you probably won’t make each other very happy.

      I kind of disagree with the advice below that there’s no harm in going on one date – in my experience, turning down guys like this for a second date is not pleasant.

    • I agree with everyone else, don’t ignore red flags and don’t bother with this guy, and I’ll add an additional point – if you do go out with him,mit will likely be a waste of time/ a bad evening and it will sour you for the moment on dating. If you want a relationship, its key to be able to stay in the game and stay positive. Going on bad dates for the sake of dating won’t help you get there. Screen carefully so the dates you do go on are at least pleasant.

    • Definitely not – one of my biggest annoyances is guys (and girls) who do the whole “you like beer/sports/etc – you’re just like a guy!”

    • Pass.

  7. We’re going to talk to an accountant about this but thought I’d also see if someone here can point me in the right direction. We are getting a large cash gift from our parents that is intended to help with a down payment and student loans. My understanding is that it will be tax exempt if they file a gift tax return and count it toward the lifetime exclusion. Some logistical questions though:
    1. Do they file the form or do we? Both? When the gift is made or in April of next year? What form?
    2. If they want to make a lump sum payment towards extinguishing a loan directly – is that also counted towards the gift or not if they are making a direct payment?

    TIA! Not trying to dodge anything here, just want to do this right.

    • Anonymous :

      You may consider having them pay the loan payment directly to the loan provider. Avoids the gift, I believe.

      • Anonymous :

        I believe that’s only if it’s to a qualified educational institution (e.g., a parent paying tuition to a child’s college is not gift tax). If it’s a payment to a loan provider, it’s not exempt.

        • Curious. What is the reasoning for that? I’m having a hard time rationalizing why this makes sense (though, maybe I’m working with the flawed assumption that the tax code should make sense!)

          • baseballfan :

            Well, you’re right that some things in the tax code just make no sense, but a good reason in this case is that loans/grants are cash that the recipient gets, that can be used for any number of things other than tuition.

            If tuition is paid directly to the school, then there’s no way it’s being used for anything non-education related.

            * I still remember the story of my cousin talking about how they used student loan $$ to buy a bread maker, among other things. I don’t think that’s all that egregious but neither is a bread maker a necessity for getting an education.

          • But why does it matter if the parents pay the school directly or a student loan company after the fact? Or is that also allowed tax free?

          • Shrug – One is an expense, the other is debt. The parent has no legal obligation under either, but the difference is that someone else does have a legal obligation with the debt (student). There is no legal obligation with the tuition expense – if it doesn’t get paid, there are no services rendered.

            I think the other point of tuition expense not being a gift is that it is typically done by a parent while the student is still legally a dependent. Dependency (for tax purposes) is decided in part by who pays the expenses of the person.

    • 1. They file the form at the same time as they do their normal taxes. If they are making the gift this year, they will file the gift tax return next year, when 2016 tax forms are filed. You file nothing.

      2. It’s still a gift if they pay it to the mortgage company. What you’re probably thinking of is medical and educational expenses. You can avoid paying gift tax when the money is paid for education to the college or medical expenses to the hospital.

      Still, consult your accountant.

      • Parents fill out the gift tax form, you do nothing. Gift tax form is done with their 2016 taxes. Tell them to make copies, as this form will need to be propagated for the rest of their lives, added to every time new substantial gifts are made.

        And I’d recommend to them that they use a tax accountant to do their taxes this year. While it seems that the paying off school loans should go towards the education exclusion I suspect it does not.

        Those gift tax forms are kinda a pain. Unfortunately, TurboTax doesn’t help you fill them out and they are quite clunky.


        Daughter you does her Dad’s taxes every year because he is too cheap to hire an accountant and I hate the gift tax form the most….

    • Also, make sure to provide some documentation to the mortgage company about the gift. I had to provide a signed and notarized letter (you can find forms online or write your own) stating it was a gift and was not to be paid back.

  8. Anonymous :

    Anyone had luck getting Amazon to take a package back over 30 days? No good reason, I just missed the return window (by a few days, not months or anything like that).

    • Just send it. They’ll take it (assuming it was sold by Amazon and not a third party seller).

      • I am having the same problem; you can’t send it back unless you printed out the return label before the 30 day window ran out. If you did, it’s no issue, just send back. Otherwise you have to call customer service. That’s on my to do list this afternoon.

    • Yes, once. I pulled the “long time customer with almost no returns” card on a chat. Thing was, it was true, so it worked, unlike a couple people I know who regularly return all. the. time. and often end up late.

      • +1

        I have generally had very good experiences using Amazon customer service. I am a regular Amazon customer.

    • I did it once with a dress (and missed it by multiple months, not just a few days), and it was no problem. I think that they took a few dollars off for a restocking fee, but it wasn’t much, and well worth it.

    • I’ve done it. Just chat with a customer rep online and they’ll email it to you. They may say something about it being a one-time deal.

  9. Going out :

    Does anyone else just…not like going out? I used to have very active social activities in college that entailed being gone all weekend, drinking all night, etc., but as I’m getting older (28), I notice that going out just doesn’t sound good. I don’t function well at all on less than 8 hours of sleep and alcohol just totally destroys my sleep; even if I don’t drink a lot, coming home at midnight guarantees I won’t get enough sleep. Plus, a lot of events just don’t sound worth it to me (like my current invite for a $75/head night cruise with open bar…). How can I decline these events while still having a social life? I love to go do things during the day (hike, ski, visit interesting places) and also go to breweries and wineries, but I really want my evenings to be relaxed and at home! I find that my friends are more interested in plans at night (or plans during the day will stretch will into the night).

    • I don’t really like going out. I’m also 28, but I’m really introverted and have never really liked it. I’m willing to go out/do things periodically with people I really like, but we also have evenings in and things like that. Do you think you could suggest lower key events every now and again? Or have people over for drinks? That way it can be relaxed, at home for you, and you can drink something else if you want.

    • I’m struggling with this too. I’m trying to drink less for weight loss (and general health, tbh) reasons, which means I can’t go wine tasting in the afternoon, then split a couple bottles over dinner, then go out to the bars after. If it makes you feel any better, ime it’s way more friendship-preserving to hang out for the first part of the evening and then leave than to be the “unfun” one hanging out with drunk people at 1 a.m. anyway. You’ll feel less resentful and they’ll miss you rather than feel like you’re bringing down their vibe.

      Schedule events that either are broken into pieces (my example above is like this – you could leave before or after dinner and it still feels like you’ve attended an entire event) or are pretty easy to leave. It also helps to have early morning “plans” like a new yoga class you’re trying out. Most (decent) people don’t like to argue too strenuously against people trying to be healthy instead of drinking all night.

    • You still have a social life by planning activities yourself, and kindly but firmly turning down the invites you don’t want to do. “Sorry, I won’t be attending the booze cruise. I still want to hang out soon though– Wanna go hiking next weekend with me?”

    • That’s what weekends are for. Getting home at midnight and sleeping until 9 or so is still getting you a solid 8+ hours without wasting the day away.

      • That’s the problem, though – I get up at 6 for work and ever since I started working, I haven’t been able to sleep much later than that, even if I went to bed late. Plus, I prefer to be up early on the weekend to work out/start my day; getting up at 9 means I’m not functional and ready to go until 10-10:30.

        • This is actually …. normal. For good health/sleep, you actually should sleep the same number of hours on a similar schedule each night. I maybe shift a little later on the weekend, but throwing your body out of wack by getting up 3 hours later may mean difficulty going to sleep the next night etc… And then by Monday, you can be all messed up. And sometimes sleeping too late for you means you feel not-so-good too. Add a little hangover to that and….. yikes.

          Many of us abuse ourselves in our 20’s with poor sleep/exercise/drinking habits. I’ve been there. But as you get older, your body changes, your interests change, and you just become less tolerant with going along with the crowd… just because.

          You’re growing up!

          Do what you want to do. Pick and choose… activities and friends. Some people will drift away, and that’s ok.

          Love my weekends…

    • Anon Midwest :

      I have a decade on you, but I think i’ve finally embraced that I’m an afternoon and early evening out sort of person and that my life doesn’t work well with later nights.

      Find a hiking group (they tend to be morning sorts at least around here) start making friends with people that live the lifestyle you like.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      7 out of 10 times I “take a pass” when it comes to going out. I cherish my down time and the idea of over-spending, over-indulging and giving up my precious time to have “an okay” time no longer appeals to me.

      To stay social, I’ll have coffee with friends during the day. Or meet a friend for a manicure/pedicure or a workout. I might be overreaching here, but it’s possible you are outgrowing your circle of friends. It happens to a lot of us.

      FWIW, I’m 40 and a single parent of an 8 year old.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Yup. I really got tired of going out around 28 as well. I probably go out to a bar no more than twice a year now, if that. My friends just sort of got used to it. I started drinking way less than everyone else and they didn’t mind. I started going to dinner with them then bailing when they went to a bar and nobody minded. I started inviting them to things I planned, which worked out great. It just didn’t turn out to be as big a deal as I expected. And honestly, many of my friends have become similar as time has gone on. There’s been a shift to brunch or day drinking at the beer garden or hosting get togethers at our places.

    • I’m 26, and in the same boat..

      Just know that different people have different preferences..
      Also, do your friends have very different jobs? I found that in some industries/jobs people tend to go in much later (~10ish) and stay late and therefore, their preferred activities tend to be very different

    • You’re on the early side of feeling this way, but boat loads more people your age will feel this way soon too. I’d expand your friend group to include a few more mature folks and people with demanding jobs who can’t function this way. There will always be people who love to party though that you want/need to have a relationship with. Plan to meet up with them for brunch or an early evant like dinner / a movie before they hit the bars and just go home before bar time starts. It may take time but these friends can get used to the fact that you go home early. Dudes find this much easier to do – just channel your inner selfish dude

  10. This dress looks like a Project Runway fail where the designer re-designed the dress at the last minute and didn’t have time to do any sewing/fitting.

    • +1 Tim Gunn always says fit is what makes the clothes. And this designer did not “make it work.”

    • Is the asymmetrical sleeve intentional? The description says “capped sleeves” but the sleeves look totally mismatched on that model.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        I *think* it’s just the way it’s photographed. I’m more alarmed by Kat’s suggestion to wear it with a turtleneck underneath in cold weather.

        • I agree with this — I did the turtleneck-under-sheath look when I was in my mid-twenties, as an intentional ingenue-type look. Trying the same thing at 34? Nope nope nope.

          • Anonymous :

            Kat is forever suggesting wearing turtlenecks under sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses, and I have never seen that in real life or figured out how to try it and not look ridiculous. Maybe I just need different turtlenecks….

      • If you look at the pictures of the dress up close at the link (look @ the navy version- shows up better), the sleeves are very obviously mismatched. So weird.

    • Agreed. The neckline doesn’t look finished and it’s just awkwardly draped. Love the color, and I’m even okay with the cut, but not for more than $300. What?

  11. Ugh, this is a tough one to type. And I’m not trolling.

    This weekend I realized my husband is not s3xually attracted to me, or at the very least, doesn’t see me in a s3xual way.

    Anyone have experience with this? What happens to your marriage after you realize your spouse doesn’t think of you as a s3xual being?

    • Can you give a little bit more detail? Is it something he said to you? Something you’re perceiving based on his reactions? Have your lives recently changed in some way? Adding a baby can be a challenge for couples sometimes if hubby sees you just as a ‘mom’. If based on his reactions, could he have an ED issue that he’s avoiding?

      • We’re relatively newly-wed (under 5 years). No kids. Our marriage is otherwise very happy and healthy (to the extent that a marriage can be happy and healthy when there is this issue).

        But he doesn’t have an interest in me as a s3xual person. When we have s3x (which is infrequently and almost on a schedule) it’s very routine, rehearsed, and not intimate. To the extent that I’ve tried to be more s3xual (wearing ling3rie, trying to be spontaneous, sending flirty texts), he does not acknowledge it, at all. For example, if I put on something slinky to watch tv together at night, he won’t acknowledge it, it doesn’t seem to do anything for him, and it has no impact on whether he wants to have s3x that night.

        I know comparison is the thief of joy, but I keep thinking about a certain friend couple where the husband will publicly comment about how s3xy his wife looks when she’s wearing an off-shoulder shirt.

        I’m struggling to figure out if it’s always been like this and I’m just now noticing it or if the change can be pinpointed to a time/shift in life. Just not really sure where to go from here.

        • Sounds like you’ve decided this fact without actually talking to him about it? That’s your first step.

          • I definitely understand why it sounds that way. And to some degree it’s true. But in the past, when I’ve brought up anything at all about our s3x life it shuts him down. And I know we need to talk about it. But I don’t know that I have the language or tools to help us talk about it in a way that is comfortable for both of us but also helps us work toward a better understanding of what’s going on.

          • You definitely need to talk to him before just assuming that he doesn’t see you “that way.” It’s possible that what’s happening is just a natural change in drive, and not any kind of issue with how he sees you. Assuming is only going to make things worse and create a ton of mental anguish for you.

        • Have you actually talked to him about it? Is wearing ling3rie something that he’s into? My DH is super sporty so honestly he’d be more into me wearing a sports br and short running shorts while running then ling3rie. He thinks ling3rie beyond cute bra and undies is complicated and fussy.

          If it’s a big change in behavior from the past history of your relationship, then definitely talk to him about it or see if he’d be willing to go to couples counselling.

        • Have you talked with him about it? He may not realize that he’s fallen into a rut. Or he may be depressed. Or he may be angry with you and this is how the anger is manifesting. Or it could be any number of things, but you can’t know until you talk about it and hear what he has to say. Be brave, be strong, and bring it up.

          • Thank you. I think this is part of my fear. That if I pull on this string it’s going to unravel the whole thing and it’ll never be quite the same again. I know that’s not a perfectly rational or even reasonable way to look at it, but there’s something about s3x that feels so much more vulnerable (to me) than discussing finances or family issues.

          • It’s scary, I know. But try to remember that you’re not happy with the current state. You’re scared it will never be the same again, but if this is what “the same” looks like, is that something you want long-term?

        • Honestly, what you’re describing is super, super normal after a few years of marriage. Many people in happy marriages have scheduled, not that frequent s*x. I guess how normal it is depends on how infrequent it is but pretty much all couples fall into a rut like this at one time or another. Obviously if you want it more you should talk to him about it and together figure out what can spice it up (second the comments that what you’re doing may not be what he’s into) but please don’t think you’re some kind of weirdo. I also wouldn’t read too much into your friend’s husband’s comment. You’re right, you shouldn’t compare yourself to others. You have no idea what’s going on in their marriage and some people just aren’t into making public comments about their spouse’s appearance – it doesn’t mean your husband isn’t attracted to you.

        • You're Not Alone :

          If it makes you feel better, my husband and I (also married <5 years, also no kids) schedule intimacy and have it probably once a week or less. There was a thread here a while back where several people admitted the same. I'm not saying don't talk to your husband about it, but I don't think you're as much of an outlier as you think you are. I think it is definitely very natural and normal to be more active in the early days of a relationship and have it become less frequent after you've been together a few years.

    • Is this a change, from prior behavior? Were you active together before your marriage?

      I know of a relationship that waited until marriage for s3x. One was experienced, the other was not. They… didn’t mesh well, and the experienced one was not a good… teacher, shall we say. It led to a relatively platonic marriage, that was unhappy on both sides.

      It sounds like you need to talk to him. Take it slow, on a good day when everyone is calm and low stress, and be as open ended in questions as possible. Listen.

      • We were active before marriage and definitely with more frequency. I know that things like spontaneity naturally trail off over time, but this seems to be different from the natural way people’s s3x lives change as they are together longer.

        Thank you for the advice about open-ended questions. I think I can get in the habit of suggesting answers in my questions because I don’t want him to shut down, but it needs to be more of a conversation than that.

        • It kind of sounds like he’s repressing something, or just not in tune with this part of himself. There are therapists and retreats and stuff that specialize in this sort of thing. It will be uncomfortable, but that’s kind of the point. I think its a conversation you need to force.

    • There is a a blog called downtothere which you might find helpful. Its about a wife trying to find intimacy in her relationship and all the paths and things she tries. Its well done and might have some good ideas for you.

    • I haven’t read it but my therapist recommended Esther Perel when I mentioned similar problems to her. I think the book “Mating in Captivity” is the one she recommends — something like that.

  12. Asked over the weekend with only 1 response (thanks, Wildkitten).
    Have any Hive members been to a DV support group that could share a bit about what it looks like? What are the topics of discussion? The “activities” (?)? Trying to decide if it’s something that would help me or just shut me down completely.

    • DV?

      I’m a big fan of support groups, in general.

    • Haven’t been to a group specifically for domestic violence, but my abuser also had problems with drugs and alcohol, so I attended Al-Anon (for friends and family). I didn’t go very often or follow the steps, but I found it surprisingly helpful to reframe my thinking that his problems were *his* and that I needed to either change what I can (being in the relationship) or accept what I cannot change (him).

      Of course that did not inform how I exited the relationship, but helped me come to the decision I needed.

      • Thanks for this. I got out a few months ago, but am having a difficult time now with PTSD, seeing him in public and other aftermath.

        • My heart goes out to you. I moved all the way across the country to close the door on my abusive relationship and I still occasionally have dreams about that life seven years later. I take anxiety medication for an unrelated incident. I don’t know what I would do if I was still in the same community. Hugs.

    • I have attended support groups for something else, and I find them to be wonderful. Better than therapy, for me.

      Activities? No…. None of that.

      Often my best ones are when I just sit… and listen. Hearing about other people’s experiences, how they dealt with it, can be very cathartic. Only others who have been through it truly understand. Sometimes I cry a little, and that’s ok. Everyone understands. Sometimes I feel stronger after, because I know I’ve made it this far, and others are encouraging me to keep going.

      You don’t have to talk. Only if you want to. But what you learn from listening is invaluable.

  13. Has anyone taken a look at the new Talbots work stuff for fall? I really like it, especially the wool dress with the flutter sleeves. Just thought I’d share :)

    • https://www.talbots.com/online/browse/work-shop/_/N-11324?intcmp=20160919_home_row3_Suiting

    • Talbots always looks so great online, then when I try it on in person everything looks so frumpy and non-tailored on me.

      • Do you size down enough? It’s one of those brands like Land’s End that is frumpy unless it’s tight enough. I think it is a brand that works well on broad-shouldered me, but I have to wear an XS-S instead of an M.

      • I have the same problem AND I size down. I want to love Talbot’s but cannot. Blerg.

      • Ally McBeal :

        I love Talbots. I basically get everything tailored (usually to nip in the bust and waist, alas), but once it’s tailored it’s a high-quality, perfectly-fitting work appropriate garment – and my Talbots clothes have held up beautifully for the last 8 years or so.

    • Anonypotamus :

      Same as Two Cents. It’s really disappointing.

  14. So, a couple weeks ago I was talking about how I started online dating. It’s been a semi-success…I’ve been seeing two guys casually. One of them I really like, but due to our schedules conflicting we haven’t been able to spend as much time together, but we’ve been texting a lot. We got along right away and I really enjoy talking to him. He makes me laugh, we have similar interests.

    The other guy, I’m not too sure about. Tomorrow will be our fourth date and I know he wants things to get more physical but I don’t know if I’m feeling it yet. He ticks off all the boxes – tall, good looking, good job, smart, educated, well traveled. But I just don’t feel a “spark.” And frankly, he’s kind of boring to talk to and occasionally condescending. Writing this out, it seems obvious that I need to break it off with him before it goes too far.

    Ugh. Dating is tiring.

    • Why so pessimistic all the time? You’ve only been at it a couple weeks and seem to have had a lot of success if you’ve been on multiple dates with multiple people.

      • +1 Agree

        This sounds pretty amazing, actually. You are quite successful. Do you realize that?

        Did you have much experience dating before you started online?

        Just do what you want. If you’re not feeling it yet, you’re not feeling it yet. If he can’t handle that, then he may not be the guy for you.

      • Yeah, this is a lot of success! I don’t often get past the first date.

        • +1 To have two men you are interested in to varying degrees this quickly is being pretty successful! If I were you, I would try to reframe my thinking. You do come off as being very negative about it here and whether you think so or not, that can come off in your interactions with people and color your perceptions of people. Just my unsolicited advice.

    • YAY! Pricey Monday’s! I love Pricey Monday’s and this Reiss dress, but $330 is a littel out of my price range, particularly since I think I look frumpy in Reiss.

      Anyway, OP, do NOT fret. You have 2 guy’s on the line, which is 2 more then I have. The first guy sounds good, and the second not so good. We must be careful about guy’s like #2 – tall handsome, smart, but DULL. I can NOT imagine spending my life with a dope, even if he is cute to look at. Another signal I do not like is that he want’s sex already. Do you realy see yourself watching this guy huffeing and puffeing on top of you? I don’t. FOOEY!

      You must go with Bachelor #1, b/c he is interesting and you can do more then go back to your bedroom for s#x. Sheketovits always wanted that, even tho he was often to drunk to do anything. DOUBEL FOOEY on men like that!

    • I agree, dating is tiring. You can break it off with Bachelor #2 if you don’t like him as much as Bachelor #1. Everyone will survive. This will be true even if it doesn’t work out with Bachelor #1. (I had an experience like this this spring, and I’m still single, but I don’t really regret my choices).

      But 10:56 am has a point – you can admit you’re not feeling it yet, and if he can’t handle it, meh. (Plus, boring and condescending are not great qualities, no matter how good he looks on paper).

      • +1

        I also am a wee bit concerned about your criteria for a guy. You need to get away from the check boxes that look good on paper, and think about the qualities that are good for a partner in LIFE. Until you know yourself a bit better and realize what is truly important, you are going to have a hard time and find relationships unsatisfying.

        Have you thought that maybe you have been looking for the wrong things, and that’s why it isn’t working?

        Any checkbox list that starts with “tall”, is in trouble….

        • Yeah. Those aren’t “all the boxes,” those are the basics (let’s assume that tall/good looking roughly translates to attraction). You probably don’t mean to imply that that’s all you care about in a partner. However, know that it’s totally ok to pass on a guy that you don’t feel a connection with or who is condescending even though he’s great on paper. When I first started online dating I’d try to make those types of relationships work (great on paper but questionable chemistry). They don’t. You just date for 2 months wondering where the connection is and thinking about when it will develop.

          • PS to Hopeless – I have not/had not done much dating outside of online dating. After doing it for about two years, on and off, I have a better (but not complete) idea of what I’m looking for in a relationship. Taking advice from strangers on the Internet is helpful, to a point, but I think learning to date/be in a relationship is kind of like learning to drive stick shift – the only real way to learn is just to do it.

        • Anonymous :

          I know someone who won’t date anyone shorter than she is, and she’s six feet tall. It’s no wonder that she’s single and in her early 40s.

          • Complete generalization and anecdata, but all of the short men I have dated (and the one that I am currently seeing) have had better personalities, are more attentive and caring in the garden, and have better senses of humor than the conventionally attractive tall men I have dated. YMMV!


  15. Desperately seeking housing :

    Any advice for housebuying in DC? We’re probably going to start the hunt in the next few months, and I’m trying to be realistic about my options. HHI is about 210K with some substantial student loans and 2 kids in daycare. We’re looking for something in DC-proper and do have our eyes set on some gentrifying neighborhoods. At most, we may be able to scrounge up 10% downpayment, but it will likely be closer to 5-8%. We’re at a point where it is starting to make financial sense for us to buy instead of rent. We may be able to borrow or have gifted to us some extra money for a down payment, but I’m not counting on that.

    Should I expect that we will be outbid or that sellers would otherwise prefer to go with buyers that can pay with all cash (there are a lot of flips happening in our target neighborhoods). With two in daycare, it would probably take years for us to save up the funds to get closer to 20%, although we continue to actively save as much as we can.

    Anyone with experience with buying in DC with not a lot of cash?

    • Are DC public schools still as awful as I read about? So 2 in daycare will translate to 2 tuition payments once they are school aged (if they don’t luck into a lottery for a charter / magnet)? With substantial loans, you might be better off as long-term renters somewhere with better schools that is still close in. You can get small houses in Arlington/Alexandria for rent (maybe not to buy) probably and probably be better off that in DC, long-term. I’d worry about the school thing in DC. All of the middle-class people I know left over schools b/c they couldn’t afford private ones.

      • Legally Brunette :

        DC public schools in the upper NW area are excellent, from elementary all the way to high school. Problem is the homes are about $1M.

      • Legally Brunette :

        I don’t know what happened to my prior response. Public schools in the upper NW part of DC are excellent, through high school. But, the average home is probably around a $1M. BUT, you can rent an apartment in one of the older apt. buildings along Connecticut Ave for relatively “cheap”. My understanding is that there many modest-income families sharing a 2 bed in the area to take advantage of the great public schools. I know you said you wanted to buy but if are open to renting that much be a good alternative.

        • She’s got too kids. A 2 bedroom with large bedrooms or a 3 bedroom won’t be cheaper than a condo – I think she’s gotta buy a condo North of Cleveland Park metro on Connecticut or she can’t buy in NW.

          • Legally Brunette :

            Yes, I was thinking some of the buildings in the Van Ness area. Cheaper than Cleveland and zoned to a great elementary school. But if the OP is set on buying, I agree that it makes sense to look outside of DC.

      • Legally Brunette :


      • Legally Brunette :

        Trying again. Schools in the upper north west part of DC are excellent, but the homes are very pricey (a million, on average, if not higher). A lot of families with more modest incomes rent in some of the older apt. buildings along Connecticut Ave. That way they take advantage of the great public schools. I know you wanted to buy but just giving another option that I see some families doing.

      • Yes, so much this. If you had no kids to worry about, stay in DC. But you can get awfully close to the city in Maryland or Northern Virginia, and your schools will be excellent and free.

    • No advice, but will be following. Are you absolutely sure it makes sense to buy, and not rent? With that HH income my concern is that you would only be able to afford to buy in districts with mediocre public schools, and with two kids, to me that would be critical. But I’m simply assuming that, would love others to chime in if I’m right on that.

      • The people I know who’ve bought in gentrifying neighborhoods are generally indifferent to the schools. Even in Capitol Hill, which is not inexpensive, crime and schools are still problems. The only people I know there with kids who aren’t rich got into a charter school (and only have 1 kid). Otherwise, they’d have felt forced to leave over schools. I know lots of lower-middle class people in /around Columbia MD and the less-expensive parts of Montomery County (renting a 2BR and kids share a room) and in Fairfax City who use public schools there.

    • I’m in NYC so may not be helpful because I think it’s even worse here than DC but just some thoughts. First, if you’re getting the money gifted, get it early because banks and sometimes sellers will want to see the money has been there for a bit. I think you want to have it for at least 2 months since many banks req. two months of bank statements for a mortgage application.

      Also, get yourself a fantastic agent. In a competitive market you really need someone very experienced and competent. Find out if less than 10 percent is even feasible where you want to buy. In NYC, it wouldn’t be but here we’re dealing with mostly coops and condos, not stand alone houses. Anyway, a good agent can help you figure out all these things because there are a lot of hidden costs to buying: closing expenses, post closing reserves (which can vary from a month or few to years [in NYC coops]). If you don’t have the necessary funds now, then it doesn’t actually make financial sense to buy instead of rent no matter how much it feels like that’s what you should be doing (said in the nicest way possible, from personal experience).

      Obviously, you’ll want to get pre-approved for a mortgage too but keep in mind that the bank people who give you a preapproval letter are not the people who ultimately approve your mortgage. You could end up in a situation where you have a preapproval but wont get a mortgage, so again make sure you find a professional that knows what he/she is talking about (again from frustrating personal experience).

    • I would seriously reconsider buying until you can enter the DC school lottery with your older child. If you get into either a charter school or an out-of-boundary school you are comfortable with, that will open up a lot of possibilities for neighborhoods (but may also limit where you look to minimize commute time). Conversely, if you don’t get into a school you are comfortable with, you should re-calculate your budget to either account for ongoing private school payments, or consider moving outside of the District proper.

      • (For context, btw, my husband and I bought a home in a gentrifying neighborhood in DC 2 years ago. No kids ourselves yet but we had to do extensive research to see if it made sense to buy pre-kids, so I do know quite a lot about the lottery system and DC public schools if you would like me to give you the rundown on that).

        • Emmer, would you be interested in sharing this info via email?

          Thanks, a fellow interested DC buyer!

    • anon a mouse :

      You can definitely buy with less than 20% but you will pay for it with a higher interest rate and/or mortgage insurance. You can do a 10% home equity + 10% down payment + 80% first mortgage, for example. Since you are not going to be doing a vanilla 20% down, you should be talking to different mortgage loan officers now, to start to get a feel for the different products they offer. You don’t mention budget, but they will also help you get an idea of your max affordability which may or may not match up with where you want to live. Your student loans will be a huge part of that equation.

      Also, you didn’t ask but if you are scrounging for a down payment, make sure you have some substantial cash reserves on hand for closing costs, moving, and repairs. A good ballpark estimator is 1% of the home’s purchase price for repairs and maintenance per year. Some years will be more and some less, but the first couple years are often more expensive.

    • Rent for longer! We barely scrapped together a (20% – I didn’t even realize it was possible to put down less, def not in NY) down payment and bought our current place a couple years ago. Now that we have much more saved, I wish we had just waited and bought a nicer place that we really wanted to be in for a long time instead of rushing in.

    • Desperately seeking housing :

      Thank you all for the feedback and advice. It just feels that without the mortgage deduction, we’re just throwing good money after bad while renting. And while we’re also concerned about the DC public school systems, I’m anticipating that we’ll just end up paying for private school if we don’t luck out in the lottery. Thankfully, by the time we get to that point, our student loans will be just about paid off.

      • DC native :

        Can I ask why it’s so important to you to live in DC as opposed to a burb, even if that means paying for private school? Genuinely curious. I love living in the city, but I know I would not love it if I was forking over $50K a year for two kids in private school.

        Good luck with whatever you decide.

      • I still don’t think it makes sense though to start looking until you at least have some idea what the situation will be for your oldest. You can start playing the lottery for pre-K 3, which has to be 2 years away or less for your kid(s). Even if you have to do private, you might fall in love with (or only be able to afford) a particular school in a particular neighborhood, and it would suck to have to commute across the city for that. I understand the feeling of throwing your money away on rent, but in the long run waiting a couple more years could put you in a much better position.

      • I say this in all kindness: with your HH income, I’m not sure how you could possibly afford private school for 2 children in DC. I agree with others that you should wait to buy until you try your hand at the DC lottery. And if you don’t get into a good public school then, move to a close in burb. I would not go into this major decision assuming that you will or can put both kids in private school.

        • No kids, but a close friend in DC told me she pays 70K for 2 kids in private school. Sheesh.

    • My nieces went to public school is DC…Oyster for elementary and Wilson or Ellington for high school. They all have advanced degrees now and did very well out of the DC education. And don’t forget (if it’s still true), DC residents get in-state tuition at public colleges in other states…which worked out very well for them (Berkeley and UT Austin). They grew up in the Brookland neighborhood which I think still may have some deals and always strikes me as a great place to live.

  16. HUGE Bunion :

    Any of you have a large bunion? Happy Monday BTW.

    I am thinking of getting the surgery done but am put off by all the time off. Anyone go through this and care to share your experiences?

    • Following. I can’t decide if I need to go through with the full break the joint and reset surgery or if shaving off the bunion part will do?


      Super embarrassed by my triangle bunion feet

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I do on both feet. One is painful more often than the other but both hurt sometimes. I saw my podiatrist about it and it would be covered by insurance. Hes willing to do it whenever it works in my schedule.

      I’ve heard people wind up in more pain after the surgery and healing, so I’m nervous. Even though mine hurt, it’s been that way for as long as I can remember so it doesn’t bother me too much. Trying to pick a time when I can be off my feet is hard. So I haven’t scheduled it yet and I’m not sure if I will.

      It’s weird though. I’ve wanted the surgery forever but never had insurance that would cover it. Now that I do have coverage I’m hesitant.

    • Definitely go for it! I had hereditary bunions and had both feet done on separate occasions, years apart. It is wonderful to be able to walk comfortably and wear cute shoes again! Yes, the time off is an issue — I rented a knee scooter for the five weeks I had to be non-weight-bearing and it was a lifesaver.

      • So I was quoted about 3 months as full recovery time. Did you have the bone reset or shaving done?
        Also did you have a lot of scarring?

        • Yes, it was about three months before I could wear “regular” shoes, but I was able to walk fine as soon as I was cleared to bear weight on the foot (at five weeks). I had the bone reset for both, and I have a very faint 1-inch scar on each foot. I did have different experiences, as the surgeries were done in different cities. For the first one, I was in a walking “boot” within a few days and encouraged to walk on it, but the second doctor was very strict about no weight bearing for five weeks, hence the rented knee scooter, which was a lifesaver. Crutches are not fun!

    • Following. I’m interested in having the shaving done. My mom had the bone reset 30+ years ago and her outcome was awful. Since my toes are actually straight and I just have these “things” growing out of them I was thinking the shaving could be right for me.

    • I have both regular and tailor’s (outside edge of foot) bunions on both feet. Mine was so bad that I had my left foot operated on at the ripe old age of 25, because it was so painful I was in agony at the end of a workday (in flats, at an office job) and couldn’t even attempt the gym or any active hobbies I had. This was a while ago and I believe some of the surgical techniques have improved, so less recovery time. I tend to scar badly, but this was quite minimal, even with a 5 inch incision on both sides of the foot. I was home (wearing a surgical walking boot, but there was no way I was putting weight on it until nearly 3 weeks in, it just hurt too much) about three weeks, and then worked limited hours for a while. It was a year before I felt truly recovered, though I was fully functional and in less pain than before my surgery by perhaps 6 months.

      I haven’t done my other foot – it has occasional pain and looks pretty terrible, but nearly 40 I still haven’t hit the tipping point where having the surgery would be worth it – for me at least the surgery and recovery were horrible. But I will also say that it was 100% worth it, since my left foot is pain free and my feet no longer keep me from doing things I want to do. So perhaps use that as your gauge – if you aren’t missing out on anything, hold off. But if you are, strongly consider it.

  17. Where do you buy skinny belts that are intended to be worn at your natural waist? I have some dresses that need one.

    • TJ Maxx is a good place for these. You can have more holes added if you needed them – just take it to a cobbler.

      • You can also buy leather punches at hardware stores, if you plan to do it a lot. I think mine was ~ $7.

    • JCRew and JCrew Factory. Always on sale. Very happy with quality.

    • I would go to Lord & Taylor’s! They have everything! YAY!

      BTW, has anyone read the Harvard Business Review article about getting positive vs. negative feedback from bosses? It seems we tend to gravitate ONLY to bosses who provide positive vs. negative feedback. I get good and bad feedback from the manageing partner, and it has made me a better partner. YAY!!!

      Here is the link for the HIVE:


  18. Should I stay or should I go? :

    Could use some advice. At the risk of outing myself, I’m giving lots of details because they all seem like they matter. Plus I really doubt anyone in real life reads this anyway.

    I work in a family business with my DH, FIL, MIL, and there are four others. I’ve worked here for 7 years. For the first 5 years, the primary full time people who were running things were DH, FIL, and me. Over the last two years MIL has come in full time when she retired from a govt job. While I have a good relationship outside of work with her, she is really challenging to work with – lots of power plays and silent treatment and reminders that she’s the boss, taking away authority/questioning decisions, etc.

    This, coupled with the fact that this job is uber-stressful from outside factors too, has reached the point that five months ago, DH and I decided we wanted to move on – both from this job and from this state (we’ve never lived anywhere else and we don’t like where we live now). FIL asked us to stay 3 years(!) to prepare the company for when we’re gone, as we are key players, and DH (and I begrudgingly) agreed to a 1.5 year. I wanted to do something like be gone by the end of the year, which I felt was still a ridiculously long and generous leave notice.

    So now we’re caught in this purgatory, where we want to be gone already, but feel obligated to stay to help the family. DH and I presented a plan for getting the company ready to be without us, but FIL/MIL aren’t taking any actions towards replacing us. Now they talk of selling the whole thing, which may entail multi-year contracts for the officers, of which DH is one. I’m generally a positive person and am pretty adaptable, but I’m having a really hard time not being resentful. The stress is building and I feel more anxious then ever to just be gone.

    So then pops up an email with a job description for a non-profit leadership position. I’ve worked with this non-profit a lot, know the staff very well, and would genuinely love the opportunity to work with them. It’s more responsibility, but corresponds with my skills really well, and would be a huge pay increase. And with these ideas floating around of multi-year contracts that make my brain swell just thinking of them, I kinda really want this job. DH is really encouraging and supportive, although he did share that he would be sad and jealous. But overall he doesn’t want me to resent him or not try.

    One added factor with the job is that it is a position that is being groomed to take over as the exec director when they retire. I would have to say I’m committed to doing that in the interview. However, DH and I want to move – hopefully in 1.25 year, but possibly in 3-4 years. Is it wrong to go after a perfect job that I know I’m going to leave in a 1-4 year time range? Or is it just leaning in?

    HOWEVER NOW (the bigger issue), FIL’s mother is in the hospital in critical/terminal condition. As in, we’re all going down today to visit in the hospital and they’re doing DNR paperwork. His father just died less than a month ago, and people are still raw from that. FIL/MIL are the type of people who always have several crisis/battles going on, but this is legitimately not in their hands. FIL is doing not well. Like really not well with it all. I care about FIL and MIL, and we really do have good relationships – outside of work. I’m really worried that if I got this job, it would be a big blow to them.

    So do I pursue the job? I feel so conflicted. I really don’t like what I’m doing every day, it’s stressful and I want out. But I do feel an obligation to the family business (and especially to DH, who I LOVE working with), I want to see it succeed, and I don’t want to hurt my inlaws.

    • Interview for the job. You haven’t even applied yet. Don’t worry about whether or not you’d accept it until you have an offer on the table. Worse case scenario is that you gain fresh interviewing experience and don’t get an offer.

      • Should I stay or should I go? :

        Thats kinda what I’ve been telling myself. Then I worked on my cover letter on Sunday and mentioned something to DH when he got home (he, having spent the whole weekend with FIL) about it, and he got quiet. I asked him what was up and he admitted that he was sad/emotional about the whole thing, but didn’t want to discourage me by saying anything. I’m glad he told me as I thought that’s what it was anyway and it’s so much easier to know what he’s thinking rather than try and guess, but it started me thinking again of whether this is just another thing that is too much to handle for the family right now.

        • Just because moving is the right decision for you and DH doesn’t mean that it won’t also be sad and hard at the same time. Doesn’t mean it’s the wrong decision – big changes in life often involve a lot of big emotions.

          • Anonymous :

            Exactly. Sure it’s sad. He can be sad, he is a big boy, you will get through it. And that’s what he was trying to make happen.

    • I agree that I would interview, but also wonder whether this is just complicating things for you since you and your husband need to be a team and should be moving. I feel like you may be looking at this job as a quick escape, which is understandable.

      FIL’s current situation with his MIL is tragic, but somewhat irrelevant. You should just be sticking to your timeline, which is more than generous. I am a little confused by part of your story, but while selling the business may be a great idea, of course you can NEVER do this agreeing to stay on for multiple years (??? I didn’t understand your post).

      FIL and MIL may not get their act together until after you guys leave. I would offer to start the hiring process now, and take it out of their hands.

      This sounds really, really… painful. I admire you for sticking with it so far. You are a very good Daughter in law.

      • This is actually really common in the sale of “small” business – they ask the key employees to sign employment agreements for a couple years. (Particularly where it’s a service type business – i.e., you’re buying goodwill not a factory).

        OP – would you be happy with a compromise of DH staying on for another few years with the family business while you take the NFP?

        • Should I stay or should I go? :

          Exactly – we’re a service type business with a small amount of employees. The value is in the people here.

          Your compromise scenario is something I’d be happy with, although it really concerns me about DH. DH says he would be OK, but I really worry that he won’t be. But as we talk about the possible sale, he says he’d be willing to sign a 3 year contract for $XX – he doesn’t want to, but there is an amount of money that he would be willing to do so that his parents could sell it whole. I wanted to be gone by the end of this year and compromised on adding another whole year; the added complication of a possible 3 year contract on top of that makes it really, really hard to deal with.

          • Anonymous :

            No. Say no. There is no amount of money worth never living your own lives.

      • Should I stay or should I go? :

        You’re right – I am looking at this job a quick escape.

        You’re confused, because we’re confused! After we said we wanted to leave (which made for a very emotional month…) and negotiated this timeline, FIL starting saying he wanted to sell it. Which was completely not what we wanted to happen, but we can’t control it. They’ve been working with brokers, and it seems like their timeline for selling it and our timeline for leaving is going to come into conflict.

        We’ve offered so many times to hire people. It’s actually part of why we’re so frustrated – we need help and we can’t get the support for hiring people.

        • You may need to accept that they will not take any steps to address you leaving until after you leave.

          They are clearly hopefully that you will not leave. The discussion on selling may be a tactic to encourage you to think about staying and eventually taking on the business so it won’t be sold. Have they suggested that it being sold to you as an option?

          My govt job was awful like that. I kept trying to work plan how my mat leave was to be addressed and kept hitting a wall. In the end I referred everything to my director and went on leave. My director did not reassign anything until 2 weeks after I left.

          • Selling it to DH was their plan forever, which had a myriad of problems attached to it. Needless to say it would be a mess and we want nothing to do with that anymore. We just want to be thankful for the experience we got building the company, wash our hands of it, move, and build our own (not the same) company.

            But yes, I do think they’re hopeful we won’t leave. In my lesser, more frustrated, moments, it feels very manipulative.

          • Should I stay or should I go? :

            Selling it to DH was their plan forever, which had a myriad of problems attached to it. Needless to say it would be a mess and we want nothing to do with that anymore. We just want to be thankful for the experience we got building the company, wash our hands of it, move, and build our own (not the same) company.

            But yes, I do think they’re hopeful we won’t leave. In my lesser, more frustrated, moments, it feels very manipulative.

        • Anonymous :

          Who cares if he wants to sell? He can’t sell with you two as employees because you won’t be there. Put your foot down.

          • Anonymous :

            This. I suspect the selling thing is a tactic to get you to stay. If DH signs on for 3 years, suddenly there won’t be a sale anymore and there will be another fight in 3 years when he tries to leave.

            Leave before the sale.

    • anonshmanon :

      Personally, I would probably lean towards not applying for that job, mainly because you are planning to move soon. The byproduct would be that you don’t have the added complication with the family. I can only say that as a stranger, but from what you wrote it sounds like you are really suffering in that job. That’s the reason I would plan a tangible exit strategy together with DH. Decide where to move in 6months, start job search in 1year, move in 1.5yrs etc.

      I agree with Anonat1105 that whatever you can do yourself to help FIL and MIL to be prepared, you should. You can draft a job ad for your replacement and suggest to post it soon (it might actually be helpful for someone to join the team right now for FIL to be able to reduce his workload with all the personal stress).

      • Should I stay or should I go? :

        You think like I think – we have a timeline in Excel with our exit strategy that we came up with in May; trips to visit cities, steps to getting the house ready for sale, when we’re putting the house up for sale, etc.. I had come to terms with that plan.

        Now that they’re are so interested in selling it in the same timeline, it feels like the original plan might get shifted/lengthened. It was already really hard to come to terms with that plan, and so it feels a little like we’re being held emotionally hostage in jobs that we pretty much hate and are really stressful.

        Held hostage, by people who love us and we love them, and one of whom is going through and incredibly difficult personal time. Ughhhhhhhh

        • Anonymous :

          You are. They are being manipulative and holding you hostage and you need to stand up for yourselves.

        • Anonshmanon :

          after reading the rest of this thread, I am with everybody else: It is very possible that you are being manipulated.

    • You need to get a handle on the business. Not now, but not months from now either. “1.5 years was too long, our last day is June 1. No, we are not signing any multi year contracts as part of a sale. We are willing to help with the transition, but our last day is June 1, whether or not you are ready. We love you, we love this business, but we need to live our own lives.”

      • Oh, but also go. Apply. See how it goes. Keep applying. Look in your target area too.

        • You also have no idea if you are ever moving tbh. Maybe when you aren’t working for your in laws you won’t be so eager to move. Maybe DH will never move. Maybe their health will fail. A lot can happen in 4 years.

          • Should I stay or should I go? :

            If I could get DH to agree to it, your script is exactly what I would do right now. 1.5 years was always too long for me. He feels that he owes it to the business.

            Hence the wanting to escape via a “perfect job opportunity that I just couldn’t pass up.”

          • Family Businesses, Ugh :

            As a survivor of a family owned business with lots of players and intra-family conflict (seriously, the fact we didn’t get sued by non-family employees for a hostile work environment is an absolute miracle), it’s hard. It’s so hard. I don’t know if people who haven’t been there can understand.

            THAT SAID, you have to remember you aren’t enslaved, and you have to try and untangle the business relationship from the personal relationships. You need to set really firm boundaries, and its okay if those are different for you than they are for your husband. Set a firm leaving date. Write up a departure plan. Put in writing what you are willing to do if the company sells. When we sold our business one officer was like, no, I’m done and we were able to work so she didn’t stay on post-sale. You also need to consider non-competes.

            You should absolutely pursue the job you want, though. For all the talk I just gave I stayed far longer than I wanted because our founder got really sick and I couldn’t just walk away.

          • Anonymous :

            “Owe it to the business?!? What about me, your wife?!? The one you made vows to?!? What do you owe me? We made a plan, we thought about it, it is more than reasonable. We are both miserable and I am done. You owe it to me and to our marriage to put us first- no more.”

        • Should I stay or should I go? :

          @ Family Businesses, Ugh – thank you for your reply; it’s so helpful to hear from someone whose actually been in it. Especially this: “You need to set really firm boundaries, and its okay if those are different for you than they are for your husband.” Things that seem so easy in other jobs just aren’t in a family business. It was a valuable experience, I don’t regret I did it, but I’m worried the next year is going to make me regret it.

          • Family Businesses, Ugh :

            The last year was definitely the worst. BUT there was light at the end of the tunnel. We were going to be done. By the way, depending on your husband’s emotional investment, expect some guilt. I didn’t stop the company my grandfather built out of nothing from being sold, and I still have lingering guilt, even though I know I’m in a better place and that the leadership issues caused by the older generation would have eventually destroyed our company.

            BTW, as you plan, make sure you and your husband figure out how you are going to stay in touch with your in-laws post departure. My case was a little different-I had literally grown up in our business-but we realized post-sale that the business really defined us as a family and we had never made an effort to have Sunday dinners or yearly trips or whatever because we’d all been together everyday at work. Even as a kid when I’d come see my mom that was where I saw my aunts and uncles. It took us a REALLY long time to figure out how to be a normal family not defined by our business.

  19. Dogs and rentals :

    Hi Hive,

    Last week a poster asked about apartment hunting tips. The conversation touched on how to apartment hunt with/wanting to get a dog and I found the responses really helpful (thanks AIMS!). I would love to hear more stories from people who moved into a place where the landlord had a “no pets” preference and then got a dog.

    I rent a condo from a lovely couple who intend to move into it in about 10 years as their retirement home. That is to say, it’s in impeccable condition (I keep it that way as a tenant) and they have a vested interest in its maintenance (because they want to retire and live in it). In Ontario, Canada where I live, my understanding is that “no pets” clauses in leases are legally unenforceable, even if you sign to them. You can only be evicted for having a pet if it is causing damage, aggravates another tenant’s allergy, or if your condo is itself a no pet building (mine’s not). I was initially a bit turned off that my landlord even included the clause in the lease because he’s a lawyer and should know that it has no teeth. Anyways…at the time that I signed the document, I did so in good faith and without the intention of getting a dog against his wishes.

    But now my father is terminally ill and in hospital, and my mother spends most of her waking time with him. They have a dog that they cannot care for at the moment. In the family, I am the only one with the energy and time for that right now. I would like to do so, but am scared about bringing this up with my landlord. What would you do in my situation? Do I not tell him, knowing that he cannot legally evict me and I am otherwise a superstar tenant? Tell him? Offer accommodations (ex. meeting the dog – who is small, well-behaved, not smelly and low-shed)? How do I respond if he says no (which I don’t believe is legal)?

    Thanks for any advice.

    • Dogs and rentals :

      Wanted to add – I’ve been living at my place for five months. So, the landlord knows by now that I am responsible (pay the rent early every month, am always responsive to requests/questions from him, keep him updated on anything he should know about the building ex. big repairs/issues) but haven’t got a years-long relationship going.

      • That isn’t very long for you to be living there. To try to do this now, is unreasonable.

        • Dogs and rentals :

          I understand that it’s not ideal, however it’s also not legally enforceable to have a “no pets” clause and I think my landlord (a lawyer) knows that. So including one in the lease or having that hang over my head is also unreasonable.

          • Does the condo have a no pet policy, or just your landlord? Per the link below, it sounds like the condo association could legally prohibit pets, even if the individual landlord could not.

          • OP acknowledged this issue in her post and noted her building was not a no pets building.

          • Dogs and rentals :

            Almost half of the owners/tenants in the building have pets. I have read the condo’s rules/constitution myself and nowhere do they forbid or limit pets in any way.

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your father. This is incredibly stressful.

      But also, taking care of a dog is stressful, and actually eats into time that is precious right now for you. Look for other friends/neighbors/boarding options.

      I would not take the dog without telling your landlord. I would present the situation to them, and see what they say. If it is going to be a temporary situation, make that clear.

      This is their planned retirement home… that you keep in perfect condition…. and you know very well they do not want animals in. Dogs leave an imprint on homes, no matter how “clean” you plan to be, and some people are allergic. What you are suggesting you want to do is really not right…. you know?

      If what you want to do is legal in Canada, I am very surprised….

      It also sounds like their are other options.

      • Dogs and rentals :

        My mom and I have asked every friend and neighbor we can think of that might be suitable. None of them have been willing – either they don’t have the time, they don’t think their other pet(s) would be ok with it, or they have travel plans that would make it impossible for them. The only other option would be to send him to a boarding home and that’s extreme in my opinion given the unenforceability of “no pets” clauses in Ontario. Unless the situation were desperate I would not be willfully going against the terms of a lease that I agreed to in good faith. The thing is, though, as a landlord I think to a certain degree you need to know what’s possible given the province’s legislation (ex. you cannot actually evict someone for having a pet) and be ok with that risk.

        • I would investigate boarding homes more, or trying to find a pet sitter who would privately board for a short term. A lot of boarding homes have month long rates so it might not be as expensive as you think.

          We have family around who would take care of our dogs, but we board them when we go on trips. Our kennel is small, fantastic, and the dogs love it there.

      • I disagree. A LL can’t rent an apartment for 10 years and assume it’ll be in pristine condition, ready for their future move in. She’s been there 5 months and presumably won’t be their only tenant in 10 years. Even moving causes wear and tear. If you assume the liability of being a LL, you can’t expect tenants to be essentially maids and maintain your property in the way that you want…for a decade. Can a dog or cat never visit? Can she never have a houseguest, say who’s on a cross-country trip and bringing a dog? To say a pet can’t enter a house for 10 years seems ridiculous to me.

    • Veronica Mars :

      This was my plan before I decided that even if they said yes, I’d still want to move to a larger place:
      1) Wait until Oct-Nov (Nov-Dec would be ideal) around the holidays when I know they would have a harder time finding a new tenant than in September
      2) Send an email with the request, painting the dog in the most favorable light possible (very small <20 lbs, non shedding), explaining that my flexible schedule means that the dog would get regular attention throughout the work week (or would be at daycare, not like he'd be alone from 8am-8pm)
      3) Offering to pay a generous pet fee and additional monthly charge ($10-$20 month which is super common here, cheaper than moving).

      • Dogs and rentals :

        Thank you, Veronica Mars! This is helpful. I’m really curious about how people have approached this in the past. My thanks.

        • This is good advice. Know that additional fees would be optional though and not something the landlord could require you to pay.


          • Veronica Mars :

            I agree–I was willing to offer it though because my current unit is about $100-$150 below market rate, so even if I added another $20 to the monthly rent, it would still be way cheaper than anywhere else I could move to.

    • Canadienne :

      They can’t terminate your lease, you are legally in the right to take the dog. I’d probably say do it. As long as you are a good tenant and intend to take care of it. I never mention my pets to landlords. My current building advertises as “no pets” but I know 50% of us definitely have animals and they never mention it. The law is on your side.

      • Dogs and rentals :

        Yeah, this is the thing – I am 100% sure it’s possible to have this dog without any damage to the unit. My parents are the biggest clean freaks in the universe and are more house proud than any couple I’ve ever met. This dog would not still be their dog if his nails scratched floors/if he had a propensity to shed lots/if he had accidents/if he smelled etc. I’ve dogsitted him in previous places (with landlord’s consent as they were pet friendly) and never had any issues whatsoever.

        I guess I’m moreso wondering if I even mention it to the landlord. He can’t evict me and doesn’t have the authority in Ontario to say no, but might try. And then it’s awkward because he’s a lawyer and I have to argue with him about something he definitely already knows to be true.

        • You could always take the dog and if it comes up later, say you ‘forgot’ about the clause with all the stress but since then you looked up the rules and it’s allowed to have pets so you didn’t think you needed to mention it. In the vein of better to ask forgiveness than permission (especially when neither forgiveness nor permission are required).

          • Dogs and rentals :

            Thanks, this is what I’m leaning towards. The last thing I need is to argue with a landlord at a time like this when I’m doing something within my legal rights. Appreciate all responses greatly!

          • I talked about boarding above, but in reality this is what I would do. :)

        • You got some good advice already. Just want to add – don’t assume because he’s a lawyer that he knows all the laws. I’d think he’s more likely to know as a landlord but again, don’t assume.

          How likely is he to ever find out? Is there someone who would tell him? Would he ever visit? Is this temporary or permanent?

          Whatever you do, good luck. And I’m very sorry to hear about your father.

          • Dogs and rentals :

            He has never visited but there’s a clause in the lease that he has the right to do so every six months to see that he place is being kept in proper condition. I have no objections to that at all. Even with the dog, it’d be in better condition now than it was when I moved in. I’ve patched numerous holes in the wall that he didn’t after the previous tenant left, actually mop the floors, have cleaned the windows from the inside, gotten to the tops of the cupboards, etc. Having said that he gave me the impression he does not tend to actually follow through with the visits.

            He might find out because there’s a nosy neighbour down the hall. I mean nosy. She makes remarks like “Oh I saw you came in late two nights last week! Guess you’re really enjoying it downtown!” I did not see her and I live all the way down the hall so I have no idea how she knows this. She knows my landlord but I don’t know if they’re in touch.

            I don’t intend to permanently take the dog but also can’t be sure how long I’d have him.

        • Will you be permanently taking the dog? If not, I think its fair to take the dog without informing them. Better to do it and ask forgiveness later if you’re positive the clause is unenforceable.

          I have 2 cats and I had a dog. None of my pets ever caused damage to the apartments and now house in which I live. I really don’t understand the “no pets” thing. I think a human is more likely to cause damage, especially if one is evicted. I’ve heard so many horror stories from my housing court colleagues about holes in the wall.

          • Dogs and rentals :

            No, I will not be permanently taking the dog but I am also unable to provide a timeline to my landlord. It’s clear that my dad will never leave hospital, but it’s not clear when he might pass.

          • Maddie Ross :

            Totally do not believe the “pets don’t cause damage” thing. And I’m a long-time pet owner. My dog has completely ruined the hardwoods in my current home (which I own). And in my last rental place, my cat who developed a UTI took to peeing in a corner, which stained the hardwood permanently (though I think I finally got the smell out). I love pets, but they can be gross and destructive, even with a cautious pet owner.

          • Pets can do a ton of damage – everything from smell/dander issues to staining/barfing on/pooping on carpet, ripping up berber carpet loops, chewing woodwork, scratching hardwood floors with nails, urine stains permanently ruining floors, etc. Your pets are probably well-behaved, but many aren’t and many can’t help the damage they do. My grandparents insist on bringing their dog everywhere and even though it hasn’t spent a ton of time at my house, it’s definitely scratched up my expensive floors.

    • I’m really surprised by the recommendations here.

      Just reinforces why I don’t want to be a landlord!

      • It’s the law in her area that landlords cannot legally enforce a no pets clause. Any landlord should know that and assumes the risk of having pets even if they don’t prefer them.

      • Dogs and rentals :

        And that’s fair. Risk is one of the reasons why I wouldn’t want to be a landlord, too. But if you decide you want to be a landlord, then I think you need to be familiar with what the legislation in your area permits/doesn’t in order to properly assess your risks. Right?

        • Dogs and rentals :

          If anything, my situation underscores that even if you find a clean, responsible tenant who doesn’t have a dog when you meet them and doesn’t have any intention of getting one – life happens and unpredictable situations arise. Your only guarantees are the ones that are legally enforceable. So you should know what those are as a landlord and be ok with what’s not legally enforceable.

    • baseballfan :

      Please be upfront about this with your landlord. I get the legal implications, but as a long-time landlord myself, I would have a big issue with a tenant lying to me and/or hiding something that goes against our agreement. Timely payment and all aside, I would trust the person a whole lot less. I understand it’s a significant family issue with few real solutions, but don’t go behind the LL’s back. Reasonable people will be amenable to talking about a solution.

      • Yes, please start with asking your landlord rather than just informing him and/or trying to hide it from him. At best, it strains your relationship with the landlord – at worst it could put your dog at risk. For instance, we put in our leases that we will give the tenant 24 hours notice before entering but that we can enter without prior notification if there is eminent risk to the property to wait (for instance, we receive notice from the downstairs neighbor that water is leaking through their bathroom ceiling, we can enter the property to go shut off the water valve in the bathroom before the floor is further water damaged). We once got into a terrible mess with tenants who had a cat they didn’t tell us about, and when we entered to do repairs (which we did give them the proper notice for) the cat slipped out of the door as soon as we opened it and ran off. Drama ensued on all sides (they were furious we let their cat out, we were frustrated with them for getting a cat after we expressly told them they couldn’t when they signed the lease because they were only on a short term lease and we didn’t want the hassle of deep cleaning before the next tenant, etc). Whereas other long standing tenants politely asked, and we were able to come to a compromise to allow the dog so long as they paid an additional pet deposit, agreed to pay for any pet damages immediately, and agreed to pay for a service to periodically shampoo the carpets (I think we did once every 6 months). If a tenant came to us with what others have mentioned upthread (explaining that it is an older, small, well behaved dog that belongs to an ill family member) I would be much more likely to go along with it.

        Also, remember that even if they can’t evict you, chances are unless renters laws are crazy on your side they can choose not to sign a new lease with you as long as they give you proper notice – and personally, I would rather go through the hassle of finding new tenants than keep on a tenant that tried to sneak a dog past me and hide it from me.

        • Canadienne :

          Leases don’t terminate in Ontario like they do in the states. So at the end of the year they either need to go month to month or extend another year. Leases can’t be unilaterally broken by landlords. They can be subject to controlled increases though 2-5% depending on the jurisdiction and other factors. It’s a VERY renter friendly place to live

          • Dogs and rentals :

            Yes, and even as a month to month renter, if the landlord wants to unilaterally end the tenancy 1. They have to have a reason that is “justified” under the act (dogs that are well behaved/non-violent/non-destructive aren’t one) and then 2. Go before a board for right to evict.

          • baseballfan :

            Minor point, but there is no standard for leases in the U.S. and how they terminate. I myself use a lease that converts to MTM at the end of the term. Many property owners don’t, however.

            And, landlord/tenant laws are very state-specific in the U.S.

      • anon for this :

        Same. We are landlords in a different jurisdiction with a valid no pets clause, and some tenants snuck in two kittens. We found out when they had to have some repairs done. We were angry and charged them a nonrefundable additional pet fee, raised the monthly rent, and were not gentle when it came time for them to move out and we assessed them for damage to the apartment. There are consequences to this behavior.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      Definitely take the dog. They are in the wrong with a no-pets clause. Ontario is an extremely tenant-friendly jurisdiction and if you want to be a landlord in this jurisdiction, that is your risk. I’m surprised at other posters being outraged from a landlord perspective – if you are a landlord, you should abide by the requirements in your laws, or stop being a landlord. I got a dog while living in a small apartment building with a no-pets clause. Said nothing, landlord knew I was a lawyer – he saw me and the dog outside one day and smiled, said hello, and moved on. He obviously knew his no-pets clause was enforceable and that I knew that as well.

      We moved into current place (similar-ish situation to you in that it is a unit a couple owns personally and previously lived in) with a no-pets clause in the lease. Brought in our small dog (which is within condo board size requirements). Didn’t mention it, but they now know we have him there – they have come in a few times to do repairs, etc. Again, they have said nothing, I expect because they know the no-pets clause is illegal and that I know that as well.

      People putting no-pets clauses in a lease are hoping tenants aren’t educated enough to know their rights.

      Now, whether you want to tell the landlord (to keep up good relationships, etc.) and how you do so are up to you. I might tell them and stress the parents are sick, dog needs a home thing, specify its small, non-shedding and not destructive, and then close with something along the lines of “I don’t expect this will be a problem given the unenforceability of no-pets clauses under the Landlord Tenant Act.”

    • seriously? :

      You know that what you are doing is wrong, and you’re looking for support from a bunch of strangers so that you’ll let yourself off the hook. The fact that it is unenforceable does not give you permission to lie to your landlord. Nor do a bunch of strangers with questionable ethics who validate you online.

      Talk to your landlord. It will be way better for everyone involved if you are upfront about what’s happened, your expectations for how long the dog will be living with you, accommodations that will be made, etc. If you don’t, you should expect that they will find out, and they will have other ways to make your life miserable while you are their tenant.

      • Dogs and rentals :

        But it’s not wrong – see the posts above re: the laws in Ontario. I was asking for how best to approach re: communicating the matter to the landlord (or not). I was not really asking for permission because I know I am within my rights.

        • baseballfan :

          Well, it is wrong. It may be legal in this circumstance, but it’s wrong. I’m not condemning and I do think your situation has mitigating circumstances, which I said any reasonable person ought to be able to work through a solution to. But it’s wrong to deliberately go against something that you agreed to.

          My answer to the question is the same – be upfront and discuss a solution and treat your landlords the way you would want to be treated in their shoes.

          • Dogs and rentals :

            Well, in their shoes, I would not put an illegal clause in my lease or expect tenants to bind themselves to an illegal clause. It’s wrong to try to make a tenant agree to something that you know is illegal. There is really no explanation or solution or permission necessary for this to be “right.” As a courtesy I may tell them about the dog but it will not be in the context of a question. We will have to just disagree because your perspective is that they had the right to expect no pets in the first place, which in Ontario they don’t, regardless of what’s in the lease.

          • Anonymous :

            It’s dishonest and that makes it wrong. Period.

          • Dogs and rentals :

            It’s also dishonest to put an illegal clause in your lease and hope that the tenant is not educated enough on their rights to know any better. See my thinking here?

          • Canadienne :

            Nope nope nope. All sorts of nope. Her LL is a lawyer putting a no pets clause is shady and illegal. Her LL is trying to take advantage of her. Getting a dog which is her legal right is not dishonest.

          • Anonymous :

            Her LL is both wrong AND illegal. OP is fine.

          • baseballfan :

            “We will have to just disagree because your perspective is that they had the right to expect no pets in the first place, which in Ontario they don’t, regardless of what’s in the lease.”

            Actually that’s not my perspective. I don’t know why that was in the lease; either they don’t know any better (believe me, many landlords do not get legal review of their leases), or they did know and are hoping tenants honor the clause regardless. I would personally not have included it as a landlord in this situation.

            My perspective is not that they have the right to expect no pets; rather it is that they have the right to expect forthrightness and honesty. If you weren’t questioning the appropriateness of this, you wouldn’t be taking an internet poll as to whether to tell them or not.

        • There’s a difference between “legal” and “ethical.” Yes they put an unenforceable clause in, but it seems like it was more of a good faith “hey, this is our preference, please don’t sign this and live here if you can’t abide by it.” If you disagreed with it, you could have spoken up before signing, but then you wouldn’t have gotten what you wanted, would you? You’re focusing on a legal technicality to justify a decision you’ve already made, and now you’re arguing with the commenters whose opinion you went out of your way to solicit.
          I get that laws really skew in favor of tenants but that’s because there are a ton of terrible landlords out there- when you luck into getting a really good one, for the love of god, why would you treat them like that and destroy your relationship?!? Landlords are people, too. Just be honest with them and I’m sure you could come up with a solution together!

          • Anonymous :

            Wait are you kidding? This extenuating circumstance happened AFTER she signed it. Which she’s said, many times. OP, you’re not doing anything wrong – legally or ethically. I’d probably do what (Former) Clueless Summer suggested above and tell them about it, explain the circumstance, and note you don’t expect any issue.

          • Anonymous :


          • Anonymous :

            Nice post, SD. Agree 100%.

            OP, you’re in a tough situation. Do the right thing and talk to your landlord.

  20. So I need to share…and who better than my anonymous internet friends. My husband and I are getting a divorce, and we’ve been living in separate bedrooms while he apartment hunts. He finally found a place over the weekend! I’m SO GLAD he’ll be moving out. Its taken him months…granted, apartments are hard, but I also think he was dilly dallying.

    • Wow… this is huge. THANK G0D!!

      Wishing you better days, and peaceful nights.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG I have twice been in the situation of living in the same house with a spouse I would soon be divorcing, and it’s the worst! Congratulations on your soon-to-be newfound freedom!!

      • OP here: thanks for the support fellow Anon and Sr Atty! I’m really soooo excited. He should sign the lease today. I told him, “take anything you want. The bed, the dresser, the chest! I’ll even rent the U-Haul!” (cue the George Strait song: she said give it away, just give it away…)

        Sr Atty, you sound “wicked awesome” (I’m from Boston). I loved reading about your wedding parade and green dress. Congrats on a new start, to us both!

  21. What would you do? I have an easy/fairly interesting job in government with pay I would consider to be fair but not great. 9-5 hours and plenty of flexibility. I don’t like my coworkers or my boss. There is little room for professional growth and no mentors. No paid maternity leave.

    I have a job offer to make a lot more money (45k), but along with it comes more work (1700 billables) and stress. Paid maternity leave. Some flexibility as long as I meet my hours target. I have a toddler and hope to have another child. We could obviously use the money, but it is not urgent. I keep going back and forth. Help!

    • Maddie Ross :

      Assuming there’s enough work to do, 1700 billable hours isn’t necessarily horrible. It may not be a strict 9-5, but that’s not an incredibly high target. The elements of this that can be really time-consuming and make the $45K not worth it would be the amount of business development expected of you and your own personally responsibility for generating the work to meet that target.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Here are a few questions to consider:
      – What is your support network like? Do you have childcare that could fill in for you or your husband in a pinch?
      – How supportive is your spouse? What is his job like? Does he have a very stressful job?
      – How do you personally handle stress/difficult personalities/having to work until midnight or 2am (or later)?
      – Are the exit opportunities/future career paths for this new job better than the ones for your current job?
      – What is the division of household labor? If it falls more on you, is that likely to change?

    • Anonymous :

      I’d stay put.

      Balancing two small kids and work isn’t easy. I’d take advantage of the flexibility in your current position and look for growth opportunities when they are a bit older and you’ve settled into being a two kid family.

      Also, even if you haven’t had issues conceiving with your first baby, secondary infertility is a reality for many couples and flexibility would be great for medical appointments etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ll disagree with Maddie and say that when I had a 1750 billable hour requirement I was working about 50-55 hours a week. Even 1700 is more than 35 billable hours a week and it’s hard to hit that unless you’re in the office for at least 50, especially if you’re working on lots of different projects and you lose time shifting between them (the only time I’ve been able to top an 80% realization rate for hours in the office was when I was on a huge case and could basically record all my time – minus food, bathroom and internet breaks – to that case). 50 hours a week isn’t crazy by lawyer standards but it’s still a lot more than 40. I probably wouldn’t move but I value interesting work and good hours a lot more than friendly coworkers and room for advancement. It depends on your priorities.

    • I hope you are still reading this, but I did this myself when I had 3 kids (literally going from a 1200 billable to a 1800 billable year) and I encourage you to go for it. Yes, I am working harder and yes, sometimes there are work-life conflicts that make it hard for you to be present at every kid event or even every work event you want to attend (conferences, etc.), BUT my work colleagues are better, my work is way more interesting, and I have mentors who have my back. My previous job was similar to your government job and my head just wasn’t in it anymore (mostly because of the people, but also the lack of any opportunities to advance). It sounds like you have nothing to lose. I agree with others that 1700 is not going to be a cakewalk, but if you have the ability to log on and work remotely here and there, you will be able to meet those hours. Be sure that before you accept any offer, you find out what’s the norm at the firm. At my firm, 1800 is the target but at least half of the lawyers don’t actually hit that and it’s not a big deal. Good luck!

    • baseballfan :

      I would take it in a heartbeat. Right now I have around that target of billables and a lot of flexibility of schedule, where I can work remotely if needed, leave early and get online later to do more work, etc. My previous in-house position was never more than 40 hours a week, but I had zero flexibility. Face time was everything. To me, flexibility is being able to come and go as you need to as long as the work gets done. That together with a significant salary hike would make it a no brainer for me.

      I don’t have kids, but like everyone I have personal life commitments that make flexibility important.

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