Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Résumé Dress

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

This dress from J.Crew is one of their bestsellers, and I’m curious to hear what you guys think about it. I’m not sure how I feel about those odd little cap sleeves: On the one hand, your shoulders are more covered than they would be otherwise, and it lays more nicely under blazers and cardigans, but the down side is that it has a weird way of highlighting your armpits. It’s very popular, though, and I really like this “everglades green” — and it actually has pockets! It comes in sizes 000–16 in regular, petite, and tall, and besides the green it’s also available in a sedate black, navy, and two grays. It’s $188 full price, but of course J.Crew has frequent sales. Résumé Dress

Here’s a lower-priced option and an option in plus sizes.

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  1. Interesting follow-up article to the discussions about what constitutes feminism last week:

    • Never too many shoes... :

      That was something unexpected.

      Supporting Louis Farrakhan marks you as a terrible person, in my opinion. Given his views on women and their “place”, it is hard to reconcile that with being (or even calling yourself) a feminist.

      As I said in that discussion, you can do some wonderful and useful things for women while not being a feminist, and, apparently, while being kind of a terrible person in other respects. Human beings are complex that way.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yeah, that was disappointing.

    • I am a proud femiinist. I love standing up for the rights of women but do NOT think I have to choose women over men like some neenderthal’s think. I do perfer to have freinds of BOTH sexes, and do NOT limit who I choose to affiliate with. But I want to MARRY a man and have kids and STILL be a feminist. What is so wrong with that? Dad says I should just find a guy and MARRY him and leave all the femist stuff behind. FOOEY! I will ALWAYS stand up for the rights of women b/c this world is full of schmoes that disrespect us as women. When that stops then I will stop but I know it will not stop b/c most men just are lookeing for s-x, NOT for lasting relationships with us as women. Thank you Kat for providing us with this oppurnunity to VENT! YAY!!!!!!

  2. Anonymous :

    How are Minneapolis/St. Paul in terms of formality? I’ll be doing a few months of work there and would just like to get a sense from other women who have worked both there and in other regions. The few times I’ve visited people seemed to be dressed well. For reference I have lived in Atlanta, Chicago, and all over the PNW.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve worked both places, and found it quite similar to Atlanta in terms of formality, but a little less brightly colored. Probably not too dissimilar from Chicago, but definitely more formal than the PNW from what I can tell.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 I am Minneapolis based, but work in Atlanta on occasion. Very similar to Atlanta with less color.

    • I live here. In general, people are fairly formal / conservative in professional settings. Definitely more so than PNW (where I’m originally from).

      Other things to know:

      People here tend to get to work early – 7 or 7:30.

      If you ‘re here in the winter time, its totally acceptable to wear snow boots until you’re at your desk. If you move from place to place during the day, all of the receptionists in any office can tell you where to store your snow gear.

      Public transit is great. If you can find a place to stay around the light rail line, you can get all over town and between the two cities (as well as t/f the airport) easily. The first five years I lived here, I didn’t have a car and it was fine.

      • Caveat. Eh, you can get in and out of the Cities relatively easily, and now between them. But public transpo isn’t the greatest for between suburbs. If you don’t live downtown, I would venture to say that majority of professional workers still drive.

    • I live here, too! I agree with the above in terms of work formality and people getting to work early (not everyone, but its common). Also, for anything besides work, I would say pretty informal – up to an including jeans at the orchestra (I wouldn’t – clutches pearls – but people do, which makes me feel like whatever I do wear will be fine).

    • I live here, too. What is your field? Compared with Chicago and NYC, it’s more casual and people do indeed wear jeans (overalls, even) to the MN Orchestra. For law, accounting and banking, it’s conservative if you’re downtown and at a large firm/bank, otherwise fairly relaxed, especially for women.

    • The biggest thing is dress smart for the weather. People understand if you can’t wear certain things due to the weather. They do not understand if you make clothing choices and aren’t prepared for the weather.

  3. I share your confused feelings about the sleeves, Kat. I have felt this way about the Black Halo Jackie O dress for years, and honestly it never appealed to me despite being so popular. Armpit framing is lost on me ;-)

    • Anony Mouse :

      +1 Like the color, but the sleeves look like a mistake.

      • LondonLeisureYear :

        love the color but the sleeves look like a tailoring mistake gone wrong or the sleeve got ripped

    • Never too many shoes... :

      MMLaF also has a dress with similar sleeves that I am not sure about (is it Sarah maybe?). I cannot decide if it is cute or just kind of awkward.

      • I have avoided that dress forever for the sleeves even though I like the Nisa so much!

      • I tried the similar MM LaFleur dress and it was cute. It did not emphasize the armpits as much as the J. Crew dress does (triangular cutouts are the problem).

    • Anonymous :

      Pretty sure every attorney at my firm owns at least one of these dresses (myself included). Of all the work dresses I have, this is one of the easiest to wear, though I agree that the sleeves are a little odd — at least there’s enough of a sleeve that you can get away with wearing it without a blazer in the really hot months in an office that otherwise generally stays away from sleeveless.

      • This featured one, or the Jackie O? In theory I like them both but I can’t get beyond the angle on the sleeve. If only it were a softer angle/more gradual cap.

        • Anon above, everyone has this J Crew dress. I’ve seen a few Jackie O’s, but not nearly as many.

      • Yep, I have the J Crew dress and only wear it with a sweater because the sleeves are weird.

    • A real housewives staple. Ramona Singer wore this style for years. I assume before J Crew and Black Halo some designer was making these sleeves.

      • KateMiddletown :

        Yikes. Ramona staple = turn off

        • Well, except for pinot grigio because who doesn’t need a little turtle time in their life?

          (I know I need it)

      • Ramona’s dresses were a little different – a more normal cap sleeve with a cutout around the chest ( But I agree this is Real Housewives-ish.

    • I always thought the sleeves looked odd in the picture but I tried this dress on in stores and found them to be really flattering.

  4. Colleague troubles/transitioning within office :

    Need some perspective on a work situation. I’m at a point where I’ve worked lots of places (maybe 8, sometimes for 5+ years, sometimes for a year) and understand that jobs always have pluses and minuses and your team always has good things and less-good things. I work with two colleagues, both of whom are more senior (SA and SB, managing area A and B). SB is great. SA, however, is gossipy, scapegoats, is negative, is slow, and complains regularly about their job. I’m bothered by the work ethic/active slowdown and more than that I’m bothered by the attitude – it REALLY grates on my nerves and I find I’m thinking about it outside of work often, even if I can manage while its happening at work. But here’s the thing, I was hired for B work primarily with A as an addition. In comes SC, with a soon-to-open new department that is closer to B. I’d like to move to doing B and C and not A at all. My manager is senior to us all, and focuses on A work, but has mentioned there is some fluidity in the org. How can I start building my case to transition off of A work? I’ve already started working a bit with SC. TIA

  5. Anyone in this pickle?

    Husband’s mother can’t stand me. Won’t be in the same room as me. She does have a strained relationship with my husband and my husband doesn’t want to 100% cut her out of his life. There is no father in law. What do we do with our kids? Do we introduce her to the grandma? Or just say your grandma is crazy and don’t introduce her? Whats more messed up for kids to deal with later on? Finding out a grandma (that adores them) hates their mother and thats why they didn’t spend that much time with her. Or finding out they did have a grandma and they didn’t have a relationship with her.

    She isn’t a bad person or have dangerous personality traits for kids to be around like being verbally abusive, She probably wouldn’t talk badly of me in front of the kids. She just says she doesn’t like me and doesn’t want to be around me so she doesn’t ever talk to me and won’t come to home and won’t be in spaces with me. Yes, its weird.

    • My dad’s mom didn’t much like my mom growing up (the feeling was mutual). They handled it pretty much like Option 1: we saw her when it was convenient, at holidays, etc. My dad usually took us to visit her (about an hour away). When we got old enough to ask why Mom didn’t go, they were honest (but polite/respectful to my grandma in the process). My grandma didn’t live close enough when I was little that she did any solo caretaking, and by the time I was a teenager, she had moved about 10 hours away, and I effectively didn’t see her.

      That said, I think either option is equally valid, and you’ve got to weigh what your husband are most comfortable with. I don’t think either option would have been any more messed up than the other for me and my family, personally, but you know your family best.

      • +1 Exact same situation, except my mom would go for visits because they were at least polite to each other even though they hated each other. My grandmother blatantly favored my cousins (dad’s brother’s kids) due to her dislike for my mom and we started picking up on that when we were teenagers. My grandmother lives far away and we visited her for a milestone birthday and I send her Christmas cards but otherwise have chosen not to have a relationship with her. I appreciated everyone keeping things civil and having the opportunity to have a relationship with her, even though I ultimately decided to keep things distant.

    • Introduce them to the kids, please! I never met my grandfather because my dad and grandma basically wanted nothing to do with him. He died when I was 6 or 7. It really makes me sad that I missed out on knowing him because my father and his mother wanted nothing to do with him (and, in fairness, he never tried to have too much to do with them). Seriously, one of my biggest regrets.

      Your MIL sounds weird but somewhat reasonable. I would just be blunt – “I know you’re not a fan of me, we wouldn’t want that to mean you don’t get to know your grandkids, but for the sake of this working out for everyone, the rules are you can’t speak ill of me or husband if you want to hang out with our kids. And you probably have to put up with being in the same room with me if you want to see them.” I don’t think that’s a big ask if she adores them. And who knows maybe you will end up having your own truce with her as a result of all this.

      • My husband could communicate that with her. Seriously this woman won’t answer a single email, phone call or anything from me. I tried for years before giving up. I (like most people out there I assume) prefer it when people like me, especially the my husband’s family so its really hard just settling with the fact she doesn’t like me. She decided when she found out that we were getting married that she would have nothing to do with me. Was very distant at our wedding and its gotten more and more so as the years have passed. I haven’t seen her in over 3 years and the last time was at a huge family wedding of my husband’s cousin and she wouldn’t come within 50 feet of me.

        There really isn’t a truce to be made. I never had an issue with her, there was never a huge fight. She just decided that she wasn’t going to have a relationship with me at all and when my husband asked her about it she said I was frivolous.

        • I’m sorry to hear that. I still think that it would be good for kids to get to know her. I have so many questions about my grandfather. And to the extent your kids learn to navigate these difficult water the way others describe below, I don’t think that is a bad thing. Your children will learn that people can be difficult, have complicated relations, sometimes for no good reason and they will learn how to be diplomatic. Frankly, I learned all those things anyway as I was growing up and consider it lucky that I did so. I don’t think a sheltered alternative is better. Obviously it’d be great if everyone just got along, but they will have questions either way and it seems to me that having to navigate this isn’t the worse outcome.

        • WTF. Why isn’t your husband drawing some better boundaries here? It sounds like you have done absolutely nothing wrong.

          • Her husband isn’t interacting much with his mom but doesn’t want to cut her out of his life. OP has not said she wants her husband to cut out his Mom. How’s that not drawing boundaries?

          • Its something he is working on. He lost both a parent and a sibling when he was young so he doesn’t have a ton of family members. I can understand how its really hard to cut off your basically only living immediate family after going through that. It doesn’t help that I am extremely close to my family. Honestly yes it would be easier for me if he just had no more contact with her. But I would have a hard time doing that if I was in his shoes too.

          • Wow…. This information explains a lot. I now feel a little pity for your MIL.

            I suspect she is suffering from mental illness. Do you think this is the case? She probably also feels like she has lost her only living relative. Not rational, as she has the good fortune of expanding your family with you and yours.

            Here is a REAL stretch…. but has your son separately talked to her about counseling? Depression?

    • Anon for this :

      Mother of your husband is my grandma. Both her and my grandfather wouldn’t be in one space with my mom and it hasn’t changed since almost 30 years. My parents decided that I (and my brother) should have contact with the grandparents. On one hand, I’ve got to know them, spent time with them, etc. They’ve been good grandparents. On the other hand, I always wondered how weird it is. I knew that my grandparents hate my mom, even though they’ve never said it explicitly nor complained about her. Hence, I would never tell my grandma anything negative on my mom, as an attempt to protect her image. I’ve learnt to know which topics to avoid, what to say, what not to say and when to strategically lie. I’ve adapted to the situation and learnt to cope, but do you really want your kids to do so? I guess that there’s no good solution.

      • Grand Drama :

        My mother’s mother went through a period of mental illness where she really hated my dad for unexplained reasons. My mom would still bring the kids to visit periodically. I was in the 8-12 range during this and remember my parents fighting about it and remember my mom crying a lot about it. I didn’t understand why my grandma made them so sad. My brother was younger and totally oblivious to the drama. I’d say allow them a relationship only if it odes not impact your relationship with your husband and you don’t damage your own mental health by having a shiny happy face about it in front of the kids or your kid’s mental health by falling into an angry depression every time they see grandma.

      • Anonymous :

        I would second this description of what your kids will learn. My grandma hates my mom but would never admit it, and I have to do all of those things.

        I only learned them in age-appropriate stages, for example, as a little kid, it was, “you don’t have to answer her questions if you don’t want to”. But now, yes, I sometimes lie to her without guilt. Think about whether you are prepared to teach your kids coping strategies.

        • anon for this :

          Yeah, I found out when I was a teenager that my dad’s parents weren’t so crazy about my mom, and I would say that negatively affected my relationship with them. Teaching them coping strategies is a good idea I was a little too young to have devised coping strategies on my own, and I didn’t want to tell my parents what my grandparents had said (I overheard a conversation when I was at grandparents’ house and my parents had gone out).

    • Anonymous :

      My dad’s mom hates my sweet, kind mom for ridiculous reasons. Growing up, Grandma lived halfway across the country and never visited us but we did go to visit occasionally. Mom came too and Grandma was very rude to her so I was pretty much always aware of the situation. I have not had a relationship with that grandmother since I left home for college and doubt I will attend her funeral. How she treats my mom is part of it but she’s just a miserable nasty person who has also said some very cruel things to me. IMO if the MIL hates one parent, she’s unlikely to have a great relationship with the kids long term, although she might dote on them when they’re tiny and cute. I tend to think it’s not worth trying to establish a relationship but if your husband wants the kids to know his mom you should probably follow his lead.

    • Eh. I never had a more than superficial relationship with any of my grandparents (one died before I was born, one had severe alzheimers, one died when I was 5 and we were living in a different country, and the other one died when I was 10 and living several states away).

      I’m not really sad or traumatized by not having a grandparent/grandchild relationship. Oddly enough, the only grandparent that I was particularly close to and that I have warm memories of is the one who died when I was 5. And I think that has built over time as I hear stories about her and realize how similar she and I are. I’m sad I didn’t get to spend more time with her because I think we would have had so much fun.

      All that rambling to say, it’s going to be fine whatever you decide to do. Kids aren’t stupid. As long as you explain whatever you decide to do in a mature and non-dramatic fashion, they’ll be fine.

      • +1 Both of my grandfathers died before I was born (or at least before I was old enough to realize, not sure). I don’t feel bad about not having a relationship with them because I have no idea who they were or what they were like so it’s NBD to me. My dad’s mom lived in England my entire life, so I met her maybe twice before she died? My memory is that she was super nice, but other than that, no real memories. This also is NBD to me. My mom’s mom was in the US, but never local. She also struggled with depression and anxiety all of her life (which I didn’t realize until I was old enough to figure out I too was dealing with them). My mother did not have a good relationship with her, mostly because grandma was pretty unpleasant and hard to deal with. She visited maybe once or twice a year, but none of us looked forward to it.

        Personally, I don’t view not having a super close relationship with grandparents as some tragedy, but I also come from a family that is just not very close period. I am also fine with that. So much of this depends on the family dynamic and the type of people that are involved. What do your kids what to do (if they are old enough to have an opinion)? Do they enjoy spending time with grandma? What does your husband think? It sounds like this is more trouble than it’s worth if the kids aren’t dying to spend time with her. Obviously, that doesn’t apply if they are too young to know what’s going on, but I still think forcing potentially toxic relationships on kids isn’t the best idea.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 “Personally, I don’t view not having a super close relationship with grandparents as some tragedy”

          This – and I knew all 4 of my grandparents. We lived in the same town as dad’s parents for awhile, and after that it was a 10-12 hr drive to visit either set. Which we did every year (alternating summer visits). But, I was never especially close to my mom’s parents. Neither were really interested in young kids (ironic, since they had 16 of their own), we weren’t local, and there were (eventually) 40-some grandkids on that side. That’s just not a recipe for a close relationship. And as I got older, mom’s mom wasn’t in the greatest health, and would have to ask me which one I was when I came to visit. Not because her memory was failing, but there were just so many people to keep track of.

          I have more of a relationship with my dad’s mom – where I’m 3 of 20 grandkids – in part because there are fewer g-kids, she’s more interested in knowing her g-kids, and we were local for awhile. But even then, it’s not close. I’ll make a point to call and chat, but that’s at most a 10 min. phone call. I like my grandma and will miss her when she’s gone, but she also hasn’t been a huge presence in my life.

        • +1. I don’t see it as a tragedy if the kids don’t have a super close relationship with grandparents. If she’s mean to you, then she’s not a nice person. You don’t want to teach your parents that we put up with incredibly rude behavior toward someone we love, no matter the reasons why.

          Do you have an older couple in your community that could serve as that link to past generations for your kids, if you feel that’s necessary? Maybe an elderly neighbor who needs her grass mowed? Older couples in your church or house of worship? The parents of one of your close friends who grew up in the area?

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Have H talk to his mom about whether she’s even interested in seeing the kids. If she is, he can handle the visits. If she’s not, you answer the questions about his mom and why she doesn’t visit as the kids ask them.

      • +1. My dad’s dad died before I was born, dad’s mom is awful and I don’t have a relationship with her, my mom’s parents were nice but they lived several states away so I only saw them once or twice a year at holidays and it wasn’t enough to develop a close relationship. They died when I was in high school and college (one of them after a long bout with Alzheimer’s) and I didn’t really feel anything. I was sad for my mom of course, but I didn’t consider it a personal loss because I really just didn’t know them that well. They were also in their late 60s when I was born and in my experience it’s hard for grandparents to be doing much with kids after 70 or so, except maybe reading or playing a board game. My parents had their kids in their mid-30s and I’m doing the same thing, so I’ve pretty much accepted my kids won’t have a super close relationship with my parents just because of age. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything by not having the stereotypical American grandparent experience.

    • Anonymous :

      I would divorce my husband over this ridiculousness. You want to maintain a relationship with a crazy woman who hates me? Nope. I certainly would not allow her to meet my children. “Your dads mom isn’t a nice person so we don’t see her.”

      • I mean, any children that the OP has with her husband are not just *her* children they are also *his* children. How can she “not allow” her husband to introduce *his* children to his mother?

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. I feel like you forfeit your grandma privileges if you can’t be at least civil to the mother of your grandchildren.

      • I said this above but he lost both a parent and a sibling when he was young so he doesn’t have a ton of family members. We are working on appropriate boundaries but I can also understand how its really hard to cut off your basically only living immediate family after going through that. It doesn’t help that I am extremely close to my family. Honestly yes it would be easier for me if he just had no more contact with her. But I would have a hard time doing that if I was in his shoes.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m not saying he has to cut ties. But I don’t think she gets to see the grandchildren.

        • It was more the divorce comment above that I was responding to. Everyone is so quick to say divorce in this community! He didn’t choose his messed up family, he is working on navigating it, what more can I ask?

          • Life is not perfect, and marriages do not fit neatly into black and white decision-making.

            I’ve also noticed that this board does not necessarily embrace the “when you pick a prize, it’s yours to keep” motto when it comes to marriages. :)

            When I read your original post and follow-up comments, I felt like this decision will resolve itself in your family simply because of your kind open-mindedness. There are only a few outcomes: she’ll behave so erratically that no one will be able to relate to her OR she’ll make things logistically difficult by refusing to include you OR she’ll improve.

            Good luck. You seem like a nice person.

      • anonforthis :

        Yeah this. I would expect my husband to get her to be civil to me, or to cut her out of our lives. I would do the same thing if one of my parents were being hateful to him for no reason.

        Seconding the not having a relationship with grandparents not being tragic. All of my grandparents died before I was born. Both my husband’s and my parents also died before we had any of our children. And we have no other living family except each other. Somehow, we survive and are happy.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t get along with my husband’s cousin. I realized that this was impacting my son so I told him that he could love her and like and it was just fine. That it was just a personality thing between the two of us. He seemed to think he was being disloyal by liking her.

    • What is your spouse’s relationship with his mother like? You says it’s strained, but how often do they see each other in person? Does your MIL live nearby? What kind of relationship does your husband want his kids to have with his mother? All of these would change my answer a bit.

      I don’t think your MIL has to adore you, but if she can’t even hide her contempt and dislike for you, she shouldn’t be around your kids. At least not often, and definitely not alone. I think your spouse should confront her about this, and let her know it could possibly affect her relationship with her grandkids.

      For what it’s worth, my father was estranged from his father and I met him once or twice. I don’t feel like I missed out on anything because I didn’t have a relationship with him. If a grandparent cannot maintain a civil relationship with both parents (absent extenuating factors), I don’t think they should have a relationship with the kids. What if she decides one of your children is “frivolous” and ices them out?

    • Does your husband have siblings? I think that may have an impact on how you approach this. If your kids’ cousins have a relationship with the mutual grandparents, then your kids need to also. The family dynamics get too strange if you are trying to stay close to cousins while ignoring grandparents. If husband is a solo, then you have more flexibility.

    • You sound like my mom. She and my dad’s mom have a weird relationship. My dad is also somewhat estranged from his family, and only visits them in case of emergency.

      My mom would take me with her if she ever went home (we live in a different country than both of my grandparents) and always made sure I interacted with my family on my dad’s side for at least two or three days of our vacation. She would usually hang in the background with my dad’s siblings or have one of them bring me back to the hotel after a day of fun. My grandfather died when I was a teenager, and my mom finally explained that she had a strained relationship with my grandmother. I respect my mom for putting up with my grandma and letting me decide if I wanted a relationship with her, but I 100% sided with mom once I grew up. As an adult, I have a Christmas card-relationship with that grandma.

    • When I was growing up my dad and my mom’s mom didn’t get along. It was about religion. My dad was an atheist and my mom catholic, and grandma was very insistent about my mom raising us in the church. My dad’s position was that we could go to church if we wanted to, but if we didn’t want to go, no one could force us. He also thought baptism was ridiculous and that is where the battle started.

      Grandma still visited but not as often as she otherwise would have, and she and my dad just sort of avoided each other. She did not speak badly about my dad to us kids (if she had, I don’t think she’d have been allowed to visit at all) but she did make some pointed and frequent comments about our souls, and we had to go to church with her when she was staying with us.

      We all grew up to be OK teenagers – no drug issues, no teen pregnancies, good grades, went to college, etc. – so things gradually thawed between my dad and my grandma to the point that I believe they honestly loved each other by the time my dad died. They wouldn’t have said it to each other, but there was an unspoken detente and I even saw them hug once.

      I’m really glad my grandma was in my life. Even as very young kids we knew she was flawed. She didn’t manage to turn us into religious people and she didn’t even try to turn us against our dad. If you think you can reach this point of distant but civil with your mother in law, I’d allow your kids to have the relationship.

      But if she starts bad-mouthing you to your kids, I’d cease all relationship immediately.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Ugh, I feel your pain. My mother in law has never like me, largely because I “stole” her first born away to another country (leaving aside he was 29 years old when we started dating and has a way better life here) and also because I am a vocal atheist. The part she glosses over is where she pretends her son went to church in the city where he lived for seven years before moving here when the truth is that he never went once unless he went home for the weekend and went with her. We had a manageable détente for years until I had a baby, who is not baptized…and it honestly was so ugly for a while that the relationship will never recover. They live in another country which makes it easier. My mother wasn’t thrilled, but she loves my son so much that she has literally never mentioned it again since he was born.

    • You can introduce the kids to her and they can decide if they want to maintain the relationship or not. As a kid, I was fairly protective of my mom. So when her sister comes to visit and starts to question my mother’s choices of furniture and our general daily lifestyle, I got very annoyed at the woman and decided I didn’t like her. Still don’t like her, and turns out my dad doesn’t either. Kids’ intuition is better than you think. I could see crazy from a mile away.

    • I’m not sure that my MIL hated me but for the first 10 years of our marriage she was just nasty to me. My husband didn’t do anything about it and it was a big stressor on our marriage. We did do marriage counselling and it helped him get his head out of his … They would invite us places and then be rude to me. Of course, we stopped going. We got to the point we only accepted invitations for holidays and birthdays that we wanted to attend but never reached out to them. Now, in their later years MIL has apologized for her behavior and thanked me for continuing to let her see the grandkids and admitted that i was the bigger person in the situation. It only happened though because many of her friends and relatives have passed away and I believe she’s lonely. I did accept her apology but I don’t feel like we will every be friends, but I don’t cringe and make excuses about seeing them.

    • Weighing in in case this helps. My husband has a strained relationship with his mother for reasons I’ve never been able to determine. She and I get along okay, but we just never see her. She’s seen my son maybe 3 times in his life, two of those times were when he was an infant. So he barely knows her, but it doesn’t seem to bother him.

      By contrast, my parents live 45 minutes from us and we see them all the time. My son stays with them frequently, they come to all his school events, etc. I think it’s great that my son has that really close relationship with my parents; maybe that’s why the absence of the other grandmother isn’t that big a deal to him?

      I think it would be way weirder to be around a grandparent who didn’t like my parent than it would be to not see them at all. Just my 2 cents. I don’t try to force my husband to invite his mom for visits or go visit her because it’s always super-weird and tense between the two of them and I don’t want to put my son in the middle of their situation. I don’t like being around it either, frankly. So she’s just kind of not-there and no one seems worse off for it. I think when kids are involved, the more you can keep them out of having to deal with or be confronted by adult problems they can’t fix or solve, the better off everyone will be. Again, my 2 cents.

    • Not Legal Counsel :

      My paternal Grandma did not like my mom, or any of her daughter-in-laws, really. She was never close with any of the grandkids that I knew of (rare birthday cards, etc). The exception was a favoritism for my Aunt and her kids, partially because they lived close by. We didn’t realize the drama growing up, however, because we lived far away, and when we visited, we spent time equally with grandparents on both side. My parents made a point to never discuss the issues with us, but we eventually figured it out. I’m glad my parents did this, because even though my Grandma is a hard woman to love, I still love her, and I’m thankful for the memories I have with her.

    • lost academic :

      Does this woman WANT a relationship with the kids? She won’t put in an iota of effort for you and and sounds like the relationship with your husband is barely better. Why force something like that on your kids?

      For my own two cents, I wouldn’t go out of my way to create a relationship between your kids and her at all. That’s on her to do. And what are you going to say to the kids? “Grandma’s coming over so mom has to leave because she won’t be in the same room as her, but have fun!” ??? I don’t see a way to explain that one.

  6. I have a new closet! How to start using it? I lot of my clothes do not fit well or “spark joy”. I think the new closet could be an opportunity to get rid of stuff and reorganize my clothes.
    All my clothes is right now in our (nice and dry) basement. What would you do? Only put in the closet the clothes I have used the last month? Every day hang the clothes I used yesterday? ( after washing it or airing it out). This is the first time in my life I have a brand new closet, so bear with me.

    • Can you tell me about the process and transformation of your closet??

      • For years we had some old built in closets, very unpractical and another old closet, where many of the drawers had fallen down. We bit the bullet and had a carpenter design a nice closet.

        • This sounds like my dream – I would love to have a smartly-designed closet, as opposed to the closets of a 100 year old house. Someday!

          To address your actual question, I like your idea of moving things as you wear them (if you have the luxury of time and space), though that may drag on with your seasonal clothes. What about using the “spark joy” idea to bring back several pieces in each section? (e.g. your two favorite scarves, your three best suits) “Sparking joy” isn’t always a great litmus test for me because sentimentality sparks joy for me, so with clothes I use the “would I buy this today?” and if I still am not sure, I use, “would I pay full price for this today?”

          • Yes, we love our old house, but the closets, argh.

            You might have an idea. To take my favorite stuff from all categories, so I am sure I have considered how I want to have a place for the diffentent types, but still not bring all of the actual clothes into the closets, before purging some

            And I feel you, I have so many sentimental feelings connected to my clothes.

    • I would move things by category and sort/purge as I went. If you gradually put things in as you wear them, I think you lose the opportunity to have a good organizational scheme from the start. I don’t have that much clothing, so it wouldn’t really be that challenging for me to do in one afternoon. If you have more stuff or a shorter window of time, you could start by moving stuff that gets hung in less accessible portions of the closet like cocktail dresses then work in chunks. If your out of season stuff if just too hot to try on right now, leave it in the basement BUT make sure you leave empty space in the closet.

      • Really good point about the seasonal clothes. Now I am wondering if you have a good organizational scheme? I do not have a lot of clothes, but have a way of hanging on to stuff

      • Anonymous :

        In a somewhat similar situation recently. When I became a widow, I moved into a bedroom that had been a study/guest room. The closet there was very very very shallow (about eighteen inches), but the ceiling was high. So I placed four hanging bars placed across the depth, two on either side of the door. I use them to hang work clothes – on one side on the top are blazers, jackets, and a few dresses, and on the bottom skirts and trousers. On the other side of the door, on the top are cardigans and sweater,s and on the bottom tee shirts, blouses, etc. In the back wall between the two sides, and opposite the door, hangs a large canvas container sold to house shoes – I use the top half for scarves and the bottom half for shoes. In front of it is a small wicker laundry basket, and a small open box that houses many pairs of Talbots black trouser socks (I hate matching socks after laundry!). Two high shelves on either side of the door hold purses. An LED light is triggered by the door opening. Twice a year, for me, I carry out seasonal transitions. A capacious storage closet on the hallway landing houses all out-of-season clothes, shoes, and purses, and all special occasion clothes, and all luggage.) I will be installing a full length mirror on the inside of the door. Just outside is a small chest of drawers that houses lingerie and on top a small chest with drawers that houses jewelry.
        It is so much more efficient than the much larger but clumsy closet I was using in a bedroom that I shared. And the satisfaction of achieving this closet and its organization has been out of all proportion to its undertaking! I have been re-structuring my wardrobe and I easily see where there are gaps and what is not being worn.

  7. Executive Level Interviews :

    Hi ladies, opinion of the hive requested! I’ve changed my name for this… I have an interview lined up for an executive level position (in-house, legal) – I’m in the final group of potential applicants and really want to have that executive presence. I’m planning on wearing a dark blue pants suit with black heels, a black belt and black purse. White silk blouse with some orange/black/yellow/blue print on it. Earrings and maybe my gray pearls. Does that sound “executive” enough? Any thoughts/changes? TIA!!

    • Sounds perfect! Re: shoes, if this is final interview you might be walking all over the office to meet different people, be sure you can walk comfortably at a brisk pace in the black heels you’ve selected. Good luck!

    • Take this with MANY grains of salt because I don’t work in the legal field and I suspect it might be different there, but in my industry (consulting), the most senior women are typically more individualistic in their style – a conservative suit like you’re describing would read more mid-level.

      • +1 – in-house is more corporate than legal, but I think you’d be fine for an interview. I might go less conservative on your jewelry though. All that said, know your market, I’m in the Bay Area, which is way less formal and way more individualistic.

    • Anonymous :

      Why pants? I think skirts are a little less dowdy then pants… If you subbed the navy suit for a black skirt suit i would be all about this outfit.

  8. Best Digital Camera Under $150 :

    I ran a search and came up with a digital camera discussion from 2011 and one from more recently that didn’t give many specific examples, so I am hoping this request yields a few more results!

    I am going on vacation to a scenic location and would like to buy a digital camera to shoot prints with the goal of printing some. I have an iPhone, but it’s always full and I won’t necessarily have WiFi to back up pictures on the go. I am looking to spend ~$150 or less. Years ago, I was experienced with using the manual settings (and developing), so it would be nice if there was some manual adjustment available. However, for $150, I am not going to be that picky, picture quality is my prime concern.

    Anyone have a camera that fits my criteria that they like? TIA

    • Best Digital Camera Under $150 :

      Also, I did Google searches and while some articles give good reviews, you can go look on Amazon and get mixed reviews. I also would be fine with a slightly older refurbished model, but don’t really know where to start with that either.

    • I have this one: Panasonic DMC-TS30A LUMIX Active Lifestyle Tough Camera. It’s definitely no DSLR but it takes much better pictures than an iPhone. It’s waterproof, if that’s something you would take advantage of. It’s ~$140 on Amazon.

      • Best Digital Camera Under $150 :

        Thank you! I will check it out. The waterproof function may be worth it if only because I am prone to dropping everything.

    • The Wirecutter has really detailed reviews of digital cameras at different price points and in different categories (e.g., point and shoot, mirrorless, DSLR). I would look there.

      • Best Digital Camera Under $150 :

        I did look there, but it’s a bit overwhelming especially when I go off to see Amazon reviews or whatever. I was hoping for personal recommendations.

    • I like the ELPH enough that I bought another one when the first one was stolen.

    • Anonymous :

      I have an Olympus PEN that fits those criteria. Mine is a model from around 2007/2009 and I still use it on trips. It has both auto and manual.

      When you print, I highly recommend ProDPI for quality and customer service.

  9. Does anyone have Allbirds shoes? Are they good for travel to Europe (i.e., when you need a shoe that can handle a lot of walking but also looks nice)? I have wide feet and somewhat high arches and could use some ideas for a good new casual sneaker.

    • Chicagoanon :

      I have a pair and love them. Lived in them on non-snowy Chicago winter days…and thanks to the wool…live in them as commuting shoes this summer. They’re not so great on arch support IMHO, but lightweight and comfy otherwise. I say order a pair and give them a shot.

      • Actually, even more than arch support, I need a substantial enough sole so I don’t feel every pebble and feel stress in my jaw and neck from all the pounding walking downhill (which happens to me with Tom’s shoes). Were Allbirds okay in that department?

        • They are my favorite touring shoe, and they’re more akin to a sneaker that looks polished than a Toms shoe or a flat. You won’t feel pebbles. I also have a high arch, but I’m not bothered by the insole at all.

          • Do you have the sneaker or slipper variety? How is odor control? Eyeing a purchase as well…

          • I have the sneakers, have been eyeing the slip on, but haven’t pulled the trigger (waiting for my next trip). I don’t have any odor issues with them, but the insoles come out and can be washed if you do. I think there’s enough airflow from the material that they don’t get smelly.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I have them and LOVE them! I even took them on a trip with me in JULY because they were so comfortable to walk in.

    • Do you wear them with socks? How sweaty do your feet get?

      • No, see above – one of my favorite things is you don’t need socks and they feel a little odd to me with socks. I don’t have odor issues with them.

    • Do they ever have sales/promos? I’ve been eyeing a pair as well.

    • I have the slip ons, and I feel like my big toes stick up and kind of ruins the profile – did anyone else find this? haven’t decided how I feel about it yet.

      • Yes–I had the slip-ons and the toe thing bothered me but I was willing to overlook it for the comfort. However, I returned mine because they ripped!

        Got them for a trip, wore it on the plane, then one or two days of touring in Seoul. I also wore them back on the plane and discovered a rip in the back of the heel (for less than a week of wear).

        Also, it was weird to have the inner lining “felt” and shed fuzzies.

      • Yes and I returned them as a result… I also didn’t find them that comfortable either though, so YMMV

      • Yep. I have this problem with lots of canvas shoes — Keds, Toms, etc.

      • While my big toes don’t stick up normally, I do have a habit of flexing my feet while sitting around and I wore a hole in them where my big toenail pokes. So, I guess try not to do that. I do love them other than this wear issue. They are really really comfortable.

  10. Attention New Englanders! I love to pick up regional cookbooks as a souvenir when I travel. I’m heading to Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine next week. What are the best local cookbooks I should keep an eye out for?

    • Summer Shack Cookbook would be fun!

    • If you’re going to be in the right part of VT/NH, stop into the King Arthur Flour factory/store and get one of their cookbooks. I’m sure you can find the books elsewhere, but their shop also has all sorts of other cool things in it.

      • It’s about an hour from where we’re staying in the White Mtns. It looks like it might be raining that day, so I won’t feel guilty about dragging my SO there ;)

      • Diana Barry :

        YES, that store is AMAZING. Also their cafe has fantastic croissants, hot chocolate, etc. – I would go there hungry.

      • That sounds awesome! I actually use the King Arthur pancake recipe and love it!

      • It is basically heaven on earth. Get the almond cloud cookies. They have a great lunch menu, too. I’ve never taken a class there but I’ve heard they’re great.

    • Just chiming in to say this is the coolest travel souvenir idea I’ve heard in a very long time…definitely stealing :)

  11. Any recommendations for a good site comparing different life insurance policies? Or a recommendation for an insurer? I have had this on my to-do list for a year and need to get moving but don’t know where to start.

    • We just used select quote. They basically take your info and give you the lowest rate. Everything was easy and so far I’m happy with the outcome. Note: they only do term life insurance, so if you need whole, I would talk to a broker.

    • I just have the policy my employer offers (did the same at my last job too). Is that an option for you?

      • Is that enough? Mine was a fraction of what would be needed in the event of my untimely demise.

        • It depends on what you consider “enough.” My husband and I both work and don’t have children, so life insurance is intended to cover funeral and probate expenses and allow the surviving spouse to take some unpaid time off work to grieve/deal with the estate. It’s not intended to provide for the other spouse for life, since s/he can still work. Most employer policies are enough for us and we’ve never purchased anything separate.

        • It was enough for me, but I’m single, no kids/dependents, and my surviving family in the event of my untimely demise (parents) would get enough from the policy to cover costs of my funeral/hiring someone to clear out my apartment/other related things. I’m by no means an expert on this and simply went with what was offered to me, but your calculations might be different if you have children or other dependent family.

      • I don’t like tying a life insurance policy to a job. YMMV if you are single, dont have a mortgage, dont have kids. If you’re 24 in your first job and living in an apartment, a policy you get through work is probably fine.

        But I have a kid and a mortgage so I have to be more careful– what if I leave my job because I’m sick, no longer have the policy because I’m no longer an employee, and then I die? Or what if I get cancer while I have this job, recover, then leave to go to another job and am then considered un-insurable? That’s not okay for my situation.

        What you want is one policy that you get while you’re healthy that will cover you over a certain number of years independent of your work status. I have mine through USAA. It’s a little over $30 a month for 20 years of $750,000 coverage.

      • Yes, I have life insurance through work but now that we have a child, we don’t feel that it’s sufficient. But thanks for the suggestion!

      • You need life insurance not related to your job. The older you get, the more likely it is you will manifest a health issue that will make life insurance expensive or unobtainable. If your life insurance is tied to your job, that can trap you there to keep the insurance.

        And beware of “portability”. They may say it’s portable but unless they guarantee the premiums, portability is just theoretical. I thankfully have private term insurance, but I also bought the supplemental term from my last employer. When I asked about continuing the policy, the premiums were $5000 per year, and I had been paying $5 or $10 per paycheck while employed.

        tl;dr buy term insurance while you’re young and healthy, not from your employer.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would search for an independent insurance agent. If you have an estate planning lawyer, he/she will know of some people. We have around $2M of coverage each – my DH pays $700/year, I pay $1400/year (I was pregnant when we got it so “heavy” and had some other health issues at the time).

    • Zander

    • I have not used this but heard it promoted on podcasts, but I’m pretty sure this is exactly what Policy Genius does.

  12. Paging those that suggested the Hours app in response to my time keeping woes yesterday.

    There are a couple of apps with similar names and want to be sure I’m downloading the one that was recommended. Are you talking about the “Hours Time Tracking” app? Or the “HoursTracker” app? Or the “Hours Keeper” app? Or something else entirely??

  13. Anonymous :

    About the J.Crew dress: “I really want to show off the excess boob fat by my armpit,” said no woman ever.

  14. Anonymous :

    I have a similar corporate job and bill 15 min increments for showing higher ups how our department supports the company. I just use my day planner and keep track manually. I add my hours up at the end of each day to see how I am doing towards 40.This is a newer job for me. Has similar anxiety and was surprised at how easy it is to “bill” at least 40 hours a week, due to email volume.

    • Yes, was too late to jump on the thread previously but I’m in a non-law job and the entire IT function in our global business track time. I do in 30 min increments and it’s pretty straight forward.

      Some people kicked up a big fuss/were very anxious about this. What helped was explaining why we did this. For us, by logging our time it means that we can bill against other projects showing true project costs and also identifying the true workload of our team. We are over utilised as a team, and this helps demonstrate that and justifies our budget.

      • +1 – I also track my time (kind of, it’s not overly rigorous), but it’s to give a sense of the real project costs where all I’m contributing is time.

  15. Probiotics? :

    Probiotics – My ob/gyn talked to me briefly about considering probiotics during my recent annual checkup. I don’t have any major issues, but she indicated that some of her patients found digestive benefits from taking probiotics. She mentioned Align and Culturelle, and said that the pharmacist may have some other recommendations. Do you take/have you taken a probiotic? Have you noticed any positive or negative results? Do you have a specific brand recommendation? Internet research has done more to confuse me than help. I will talk to the pharmacist the next time I pick up prescriptions, but wondered if any of you would care to share your experience.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      Great luck with VSL #3. Its kept in the fridge so even though you don’t need a prescription you usually have to ask for it. They do have a prescription type so if they ask you for your prescription just say that you want the non prescription version. I got the powder version that you mix into yogurt. Its expensive – 80 bucks for a month? But you do it once and you are good! Totally fixed some of my gut issues. My gastro recommended this one. BTW its cheaper in the USA. I bought it when I was visiting and brought it back to London.

    • I’m taking daily probiotics since I am traveling throughout Africa this summer and I wanted to see if they would help avoid stomach upset. I think they have helped, and apparently the brand I am using (Nexabiotic) is one of the only types with scientific data to back up efficacy. It all depends on the strains of bacteria and this brand is supposed to have the right ones. Worth a shot!

    • I’ve taken them and found them helpful though not for pregnancy reasons. You want one that is refrigerated (so maybe not from a regular pharmacy) and with as many different strains of bacteria as possible. I think the ones I took were called UltimateFlora Renew Life. If you find Garden of Life ones, I have also been happy with all the vitamins/supplements from this company so I think they’re a good bet.

    • I take them (Florastor and Culturelle) when traveling in developing countries to avoid getting ill. I think they may help, because when we went to Thailand my husband got sick and I did not. But it’s not conclusive because I’m generally more scrupulous about hand-washing and avoiding the things you’re not supposed to eat, like raw fruits and veggies that can’t be peeled.
      That said, I would actually hesitate to take them during pregnancy. Unlike drugs, dietary supplements (including probiotics) are not regulated by the FDA so you’re really putting a lot of trust in the company that the ingredients are what they say they are. I’m generally just way more careful about what I put in my body when I’m pregnant and that extends to avoiding unregulated dietary supplements unless they’re absolutely essential (i.e., prenatal vitamins). If you feel like you need a probiotic in pregnancy I would probably try to find yogurt with live cultures.

    • Yes, I needed a strong dose of probiotics to fix issues from lots of antibiotics. Mine were specifically for women’s part issues so I took the Raw Probiotics V*ginal Care type. Most probiotic supplements are way too weak. If you are trying to get back on track you need way more colonizing units than you think. That brand of probiotics has 50 billion CFUs, and I sometimes take two of those a day (now that I’m on antibiotics again I definitely do).

      My main recommendation if you are looking for something to help with women’s part issues – look for a type that has both the lactobacillus rhamnosus and lactobacillus reuteri strains. My research told me that those are the most important ones for women’s flora but many probiotic supplements do not have those. they definitely helped me.

      • Oh and VSL #2 does not have both those strains, so for me it was a waste of money (and did nothing for me). I don’t know about VSL #3.

      • Anon in NYC :

        My sister used to have recurring yeast infections, until she started taking these probiotics. My husband doesn’t take probiotics but eats yogurt daily (so sort of the same thing) and it has dramatically improved his stomach issues.

        • yogurt does not have anywhere near the amount of bacteria compared to probiotics. Also most of its cultures are killed off in the pasteurization process. My GI doc said I would need to eat a truck full of yogurt to get about the same amount of bacteria in my probiotic. Also there is no controlling what strains you are getting with yogurt. Yah yogurt is good but its not enough for serious gut issues.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          Purely anecdotal, but I had gum surgery two years ago and ate nothing but yogurt for a week. I noticed a week later, once I was back on normal foods, that some stomach issues had improved enormously.

      • I took this for recurring yeast as well, and it caused major stomach upset. Tried it a couple of times to make sure that was what was causing it. I do have (normally very well controlled) Crohn’s, so YMMV.

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      I started taking probiotics (Culturelle) last year to repopulate things after 9 straight weeks on antibiotics due to dental complications. I got my first yeast infection, had unending digestive issues. This has made a significant improvement for me.

      I’ve always been prone to lower digestive troubles, and taking daily probiotics has really helped. One example is that I’ve always had troubles during my period. These are significantly reduced when taking the probiotics.

    • Yes. I’ve been taking them for a while and they have really helped with lactose intolerance.

  16. At what point did you decide you wanted to define the relationship with someone your ? – did you find yourself quantifying it ‘well we’ve been seeing each other for __ months and __ times a week” or is it more of a gut feeling regardless of how long youve been seeing them and you just go for it? I had an interesting discussion with some girlfriends about this with opinions ranging from ‘no more than three months’ to ‘until he brings it up’ and I’d love to hear some perspectives on this.

    • *someone youre dating -I hit ‘post comment’ too soon!

    • Gut feeling. My take on relationships has always been if you’re questioning it or hemming and hawing, it’s not the right relationship.

    • I go by feel and what I personally want. I don’t have a rule as each relationship is different. If I am dating a person who I would like to see exclusively, I bring it up. If I want to make sure we are both on the same page re: dating casually, I bring it up. Perhaps it’s because I am in my late thirties now, but I don’t want to waste my or anyone else’s time on trying to guess what the other person wants the relationship to be. I’m not saying I dive right in to my goal is to get married, but I will address that I am looking for an exclusive relationship and then say I want the current one to be such at whatever time is right for me.

    • If you’re looking for something long term, then if it doesn’t come up naturally and you aren’t both on the same page, I’d reconsider. Every time I dated someone with ambiguity in this area that called for a DTR ended up being the wrong person for me. Different story if you’re just looking for fun, and you want to make sure the other person knows that.

    • I had a gut feeling after about 4 weeks of dating that I wanted to be exclusive, but I was going to be going way for about two weeks fairly close to that, so I decided to wait until I got back from that travel, which put us right around the two months mark. Ironically, it came up because we ran into someone I knew and that kind of opened up the conversation afterwards about how I should introduce him to people. At that point, we had been seeing each other about two, sometimes three times a week.

    • Veronica Mars :

      By date 6, I was already pretty dazzled by my current BF, and that time felt about right to bring up exclusivity. But I felt like anywhere from dates 6-8 would’ve been appropriate, so I thought I’d let it play it out. He ended up bringing it up at the end of our 6th date, and we sat in a bar and talked about all of our non-negotiables (for me, it was making sure we were on the same page with our religious belief and also talking about some health issues I struggle with). And at the end of that bar talk, we were official! I think from meeting to exclusive, it was about 3 weeks or so. (But like I said, I could’ve gone a little longer).

    • Senior Attorney :

      I didn’t want to be having a nonexclusive sexual relationship, so when things got physical I sat him down and had the exclusivity/STD talk, to which he was completely receptive. This was after about three months of seeing each other at least weekly. Then things progressed naturally from there until the idea of marriage snuck up on us and hit us over the head about a year and a half later.

      • I still remember with fondness when you posted anon seeking advice about how to have that “I know I said I didn’t want to get married again but now that it’s you I totally DO” conversation and everyone was like, “OMG SENIOR ATTORNEY WE KNOW IT’S YOU AND YOU SHOULD DO IIIIIIIIIITTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!”

    • I brought it up when things got to the point where I wanted to garden with him. I told him I didn’t have any other partners and that it was important to me that he didn’t either. He confirmed that he wasn’t seeing anyone else and that was basically the exclusivity talk.

  17. If you were going to take a month off (between jobs, unemployed, etc.) and travel by yourself, where would you go and what would you do? Assume budget is a little bit of a constraint so staying at a fancy resort for a month isn’t an option.

    • I’d do a month in one city. I fell in love with Rome a few years back, so I think I’d try to get a month-long AirBnb or similar and pretend I lived there. It seems like a great way to get to know a tourist-y place more intimately!

    • In the USA or out of the USA

      • Preferably outside the US.

        • alexisfaye :

          I would hike the El Camino de Santiago from the French border to Santiago ( I did the shorter hike from the border of Portugal (113 km) and it was the trip of a lifetime. There’s a movie called “The Way” that will give you a feel for it.

          You pack a light bag, lots of water, a change of clothes/shoes, toiletries, and you follow this path through Spain. You stop at albergues for the night, with your fellow pilgrims. They’re cheap. You make a dozen or more friends, from so many countries. You tell your stories, you hear there stories. You eat so much cheese, drink so much wine, and still lose weight. You go to the local points of interest, hot springs, churches, whatever. You have everyone stamp your pilgrimage passport.

          When you get to the end, whether you’re religious or not, you go tell the Catholic Church that you completed the pilgrimage, and they give you a certificate. You go to the Cathedral for the Pilgrim’s Mass, and watch them swing the botefumeiro ( Even if you aren’t religious, you go throw your arms around the statue of Saint James, and you tell him why you walked.

          I did it just over a year ago. Not religious. Changed my life. I left my husband, got a new job, bought a new house, and I am 1000X happier.

    • I would rent an apartment in France or Italy and just eat everything and live like a local for a month. Maybe take cooking or language classes. I’m not a huge city person so I’d probably prefer to be in Provence or Tuscany instead of Paris or Rome.

      • Agreed.

        Southeast Asia is also a perennial favorite for trips like this because it’s so inexpensive.

        • Senior Attorney :

          +1 for Southeast Asia. I’d start in Hanoi and do that city and Ha Long Bay, then fly to Siem Reap and do the temples, then make my way down the Mekong and end up in Ho Chi Minh City.

      • Marshmallow :

        This. I’d rent an apartment in Provence and spend time exploring, eating and drinking, maybe some day trips to the beach and a weekend trip to Paris. Really immerse myself in the language, take a class or something to be forced to speak to locals a lot. Aix-en-Provence is adorable, with a lot of city conveniences but so much more charming and friendly than Paris.

      • Renting an apartment in a city in Italy or France would be my ideal way to do it (especially a smaller, slightly more off the beaten path city like Siena or Modena over Rome, just because the smaller cities tend to feel a little more approachable). I’d get to live like a local during the week and then take day/weekend trips to the other areas and places I wanted to see.

    • LondonLeisureYear :

      How comfortable are you with driving? If you are okay with driving depending on the time of year I would do a road trip around New Zealand for a month or Portugal.

      You could also travel around Italy and spend time in the cities like Rome but also in the country on different agriturismo spots.

      Lastly, if you are at all good with photography I would look into GivingLens. Which organizes amazing travel trips where your photos go back to help local NGOs.

    • I’d rent an air b&b apartment for three weeks in a spot where I could easily travel by train or car to other places. And I’d spend a week at home tending to house stuff that my work never let me get to, like cleaning closets.

      In terms of cities I know this is kind of random, but I like Dublin. An easy day drive to beautiful places in Ireland and lots of cool stuff to see in Dublin itself.

    • A lot of fun working with a constrained budget: I’d base myself in a Prague air b&b for the month and do weekend train trips to other places.

      -Prague is a fantastic city if you’re into history, art, and/or philosophy. I went 11 years ago and it’s high on my list of places to visit again. The USD/CZK exchange rate is fantastic and a lot of local food/activities are really inexpensive.
      -From there you can get a rail pass and weekend in some more expensive (often EUR currency) locations. Vienna, Venice, Cologne, and Zell am See are all worth the trip.
      -I’ve also heard fantastic things about Krakow, Budapest, and Dubrovnik. Your USD should go pretty far in those spots and while I’d expect Dubrovnik to be the most expensive it’s still a pretty good deal.

      Writing this makes me want to come with you. Enjoy your downtime!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      I would definitely go to SE Asia. Once you’re there, getting around and lodging are so cheap. I would probably bop around Vietnam and Cambodia … maybe Laos, but that adds a good deal of schlepping. Though if you’re already all the way out there… yeah, that’s what I’d do. Like Hanoi, Ha Long Bay (maybe?) Hue, Hoi An, Saigon, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Phonsavan…. yup that’d be my itinerary. Gah I wish I had money and time for stuff like that!

    • I’d fly to New Zealand, rent a camper van, and putter around for a month. We went for 2 weeks last year, and it was wonderful. I’d love to spend more time there!

      • Anonymous :

        +1. I had a month between quitting my job and starting law school, and I did 2 weeks in Australia and 2 1/2 weeks in New Zealand. I could easily have spent the whole time in New Zealand, though! I stayed in hostels, though sometimes I would spring for a private room (~ $45/night if you share a bathroom). On the South Island I took the bus, and on the North Island I rented a car. It was all very affordable, and beautiful, and I had a lot of fun at the grocery stores– they don’t have a huge variety of produce, since they don’t import any of it and grow it all on the island, but there are like four aisles of wine. In Australia I went to Sydney and Melbourne and did a three-day liveaboard dive trip on the Great Barrier Reef. I highly recommend that, as unfortunately the reef is dying, so there won’t be much 5 or 10 years from now and already you need to go very far off shore to get to the good coral.

    • If you are active and enjoy outdoorsy things, I’d travel around Iceland (check out the ring road). It is extremely safe, the people are so nice and it is absolutely beautiful!

    • I’d spend the month in Italy. Or the UK.

  18. I go by feel and what I personally want. I don’t have a rule as each relationship is different. If I am dating a person who I would like to see exclusively, I bring it up. If I want to make sure we are both on the same page re: dating casually, I bring it up. Perhaps it’s because I am in my late thirties now, but I don’t want to waste my or anyone else’s time on trying to guess what the other person wants the relationship to be. I’m not saying I dive right in to my goal is to get married, but I will address that I am looking for an exclusive relationship and then say I want the current one to be such at whatever time is right for me.

  19. Globetrotter :

    I have been eyeing the globetrotter range of luggage.
    I travel extensively for work 60-80% of the week, enough to have a good collection of Tumi luggage but it’s always work related, and every now and then I fancy a decadent travel experience (in linen and shades rather than a suit).
    Now I’m drooling over having a small vanity case and a small carry on from globe trotter just for my own pleasure, maybe for those rare times I get to use all my points to fly business… am I crazy?

    • For me, buying more luggage always comes with the accompanying question of where will I store it?

      I also travel at leasta week per month for business (down from 50%+ for for years) and I have found I like having everything pared down to my Tumi roll aboard and Tumi tote, and my always-packed Emme bag for cosmetics/toiletries. I have travelled heavier for road trips where I don’t have to worry about checking but I usually end up regretting it because I don’t use everything I pack, and it’s heavy.

    • Senior Attorney :

      OMG I did not need to know about this…

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with a cute carryon for non-business needs (your company might have discounts, too, actually, if you travel a lot for work), but trust me when I tell you the vanity case is a massive pain. Take it from me, my mother had one when we were growing up… it was the devil. So heavy, has to be carried on its own, creates an extra problem in overhead storage, actually not that roomy despite being so huge, and now a big problem with the carry-on liquid restrictions. They are meant for true luxury traveling – where you don’t carry your own things ever. So unless you are flying privately and have a “bag man”, get a chic Bric’s carry-on (they are very lightweight and durable, important for hauling it around yourself), and spend the money elsewhere.

    • Not sure if you’ll see this, but do you mind saying what you do for work? I would really love a job with a lot more travel and need ideas. TIA!

      • Globetrotter :

        I am in management consulting (MBB) and based in Europe so I work all over Europe (can do up to 3 countries per day) as all flights are less than 4 hours and we can even drive across borders.

  20. Not on Vacation :

    Do I have to tell my colleagues why I’ll be out of the office for 2 days? I have some complicated family stuff to deal with and am taking 2 vacation days Thursday and Friday this week. You’d think I could leave it at that, but the culture here is for everyone to know everyone’s business and saying “complicated family stuff” would be like throwing chum for gossip sharks. I’ll be travelling to a different state where my family lives so I could say I’m going on vacation, but this is definitely not a vacation for me. Also, the location isn’t very vacation-y. I don’t want to lie, but I also don’t want to share certain parts of my life with my colleagues!

    • “Visiting family in Kansas.” If they press, “Oh, just checking in on relatives.”

    • “I’m visiting family in xyz state.” No big deal!

    • Just leave out complicated. I find it more curious and I think gossip starts if people are really vague about their plans in a chatty office, but no need to toss in “it’s complicated.” Just say you have a family obligation. That’s common and doesn’t really invite questions.

    • Visiting family in __
      – if pushed about what you’re doing, “oh, nothing interesting.” If they continue to push, repeat.

    • Just stay you’re visiting family.

    • Visiting family in Arkansas. What are you doing there – not much, just hanging out, having a family BBQ etc., bc I haven’t seen grandma in over 2 yrs . . . .

    • Senior Attorney :

      “Family reunion out of state! Big fun!”

      • If people push for why you wouldn’t have had more notice for something that was planned in advance (hopefully they aren’t that nosy, but I’ve been in situations where they are), you can add, “I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it, but I’m happy I could make it work.”

        • Senior Attorney :

          Or just “My family is so wacky they threw it together on the spur of the moment! BIG fun!!”

    • Family reunion!

  21. Talk me off a ledge? :

    I’m down to 4K in student loan debt 7 years out of law school from a starting balance of 130k. I have 120k in my 401k but only about 7k in readily accessible accounts- I’d be fine in an emergency but have saved for retirement and paid down loans at the expense of short and medium term savings. I. Just. Want. To. Be. Done. Please talk me out of just paying the remaining 4K today??

    • Why not just pay it off? I would. Put what you would have spent toward the loan back in savings and congratulate yourself on being done.

    • So only $3K in readily accessible emergency fund? Unless you’re in a super, duper low cost of living area or your monthly expenses are super low, I’d try to hold off. Do you have a particular timeframe in which you expect a bonus/windfall/tax return/etc., and you can say you’ll pay it off with that amount? Or can you challenge yourself to make your normal payment plus $x every month (and scrimp and save to do so)?
      I totally know the feeling but I wouldn’t put yourself in a position where you’ve totally depleted your e-fund when you’re this close to having the balance gone. and Congratulations!

      • Cornellian :

        Agree. Maybe you can even pencil the payment in as an appointment so you know you’ll be done on Halloween, or whatever the comfortable timeline is.

        Also, in my experience, student loan servicers do everything possible to keep your line open. They kept “missing” my payment, and then I had a sub-$1 charge for a while that I needed to clear, and couldn’t pay via ACH. Paying it off over time may ultimately be easier from an administrative point of view.

    • Pay it off over the course of the rest of the year while still saving? That way you’re not down to 3k instantly, but you’re done with the SL by 12 31 17. Would that work financially?

      • I pay 1k a month so realistically if I just keep doing what I’m doing it’s gone in October.

        • Oh then heck yeah, be done! Pay it off then dump that freed up cash into savings, and you are free!

    • How long will it take you to rebuild the 7K if you pay off the 4K now?

      • 3 months

        • Yeah, can you just flip flop that and put the e-fund rebuilding towards the loan instead? Put the $1.3K per month that would be rebuilding the e-fund towards the loan. you’re still paid off by Halloween! :)

        • Tips To spare? :

          May I ask how you did this? ANY tips at all would be helpful! I have a similar balance.

          • Anonymous :

            For the first 6 years I paid 1.5k a month, then dropped down to 1k. All bonuses and tax refunds went towards it, and I tried to pay a bit more when I could, and I inherited 40k which I immediately put towards the loans.

    • KateMiddletown :

      Yes! I’m in the same boat (started with much less than you, NAL) but I’m so ready to PULL THE FRIGGIN TRIGGER. Let’s celebrate on Halloween.

  22. Shopaholic :

    Question re J.Crew (factory) dresses – There are these gorgeous wool sheath dresses with pockets on the website. Does anyone know what the sizing is like? I’m a pear and hold excess weight in my belly/around my hips. The blue dress is so cute but I’m not sure if it’ll be flattering on me.

    Also same sizing q regarding this dress – I love this green colour!


    • Factory Disciple :

      They’re new this season and I haven’t tried them yet. I have a pretty hourglass figure (leaning toward pear in my thighs) and find that Factory fits me pretty well without alterations or with only minor alterations. I’d order two sizes to be sure (which isn’t terribly helpful, I know).

    • I’m a slight pear (4-6 up top, 8 on the bottom), and I have this dress in a size 6 and it fits great. I have the wool sheath dress in a 6 and that fits well also, except it’s on the shorter side (like most things from J Crew Factory). In general I think both J Crew and Factory cut their dresses in a pear-friendly way.

    • I have this version of the dress that was on clearance for the past few weeks (the “heather flannel” color–not flannel, but seasonless wool–with the interesting fold detail at the neckline; sleeveless sheath). I think this would be pretty well suited for a pear, as there’s extra room in mine (I’m hourglass X) in that area. My one gripe is that in the size I needed for my chest, the arm holes are big enough to show a bit of my bra cup, which is annoying.

    • I’m an 8-10 on top and 12-14 on bottom at AT and LOFT. I got a 16 on super sale and had it tailored a lot, but the waist is still loose. I think I might have fit in a 14 but there is NO STRETCH at all between the fabric and lining. Now that its tailored even being a bit big in the waist I get a lot of compliments. I think it would hide a tummy well actually. I’d wait for a sale and get it tailored. I like it enough that I plan to do the same with the blue color and maybe one in black.

      • This is my body exactly! I seem to be stuck in a fit and flare rut. Is there anything worthwhile you’ve seen lately?

        • I had good luck with the Calvin Klein dresses that were featured here in the last week or so in a 12, but a 14 might be more work appropriate as the 12 clings a fair bit.

    • Shopaholic :

      Thanks all that’s really helpful – I think I’ll get one in the fall!

  23. US All Inclusive? :

    My husband and I want to do an all inclusive style long weekend, but in the US. Any suggestions? The primary goal is to relax by the pool/beach and do nothing. We’re in the northeast, so nothing too far west, because we don’t want to spend too much time flying.

    • The Sagamore.

    • Never been, but friends LOOOOVED Blackberry Farm in Tennessee.

    • If Florida is OK, the Breakers at Palm Beach, the Don Cesar on St. Pete Beach, the Ritz at Key Biscayne, and the Ritz at Amelia Island are all great resorts. They’re not all-inclusive, but you can relax, have great food, go to the spa, and never leave the hotel if you don’t want to.

    • Haven’t been, but this keeps popping up in my research: in Fort Meyers

    • Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY

      • Just beware – they have odd rules around alcohol. When I went (admittedly, a decade ago) there was no alcohol allowed out of the on site bar, so no wine with dinner, glass of wine on the beautiful decks, etc. Which would be a deal-breaker for me on vacation.

  24. Has anyone ever printed a blog into a book? I used a blog to chronicle a year in my life during some important changes and I’d like to print it into a book. I can google and find some places that do this, but I was wondering if anyone has personal experience with any of them?

    • My husband did this for me years ago; I kept a blog while studying abroad and he had it printed for me as a surprise gift, including my photos.

      Check back tomorrow; I’ll dig it up tonight and find the service he used.

    • I think I used Blog2Print to make the PDF, and Lulu to print. About $100 for a hardback, color, 400-page book (several years of blogging, and tons of pictures meant lots of page breaks). I just had it auto-format so it’s definitely not a work of art, but it was perfect for my purposes, and significantly cheaper than any other option I found.

  25. Fresh meat :

    Does anyone else have issues keeping meat fresh? This is a really frustrating, ongoing issue for me. There are two decent grocery stores near us, and I usually buy organic/”natural” meats. But I find they keep for two days tops. I don’t think the issue is our fridge – it’s on a cold setting and stuff in the back sometimes freezes. Items will be dated 4-6 days from when I purchase them, but get rotten so fast.

    I resort to freezing meat, but find it takes forever to thaw! For last night, I took pork chops out of the freezer 24 hours ahead of time and stuck them in the fridge. They were still rock solid at dinner time. I know you can thaw in cold water, but 20-30 minutes on a weeknight is a lot of time. I’m so sick of tossing rotten meat or having to scramble for something to eat because it’s still frozen, or going to the grocery store nearly ever day. Any thoughts on “meat management”?

    P.S. We eat vegetarian several nights a week, so not looking for suggestions in the non-meat category.

    • I have had this issue at grocery stores that wrap in brown paper and at grocery stores that don’t do a great job wrapping. The best solution I’ve found is using a Food Saver to vacuum seal meat. Meat would probably last 4 days that way, but maybe not 6. It’s also somewhat of a pain because it’s an extra step when we get home, and the Food Saver bags aren’t cheap.

      If the time it takes to thaw is an issue, you can plan to eat things that thaw faster later in the week. You can package ground beef in flatter discs, spread out shrimp before you freeze it, or eat thinner cuts like pork tenderloin, salmon or other fish. Those should thaw most about half-way in the refrigerator and finish thawing in about 10 minutes on the counter. You can also thaw something on the counter or in water the night before and then put it back in the refrigerator before you go to bed (if you can remember).

    • Vintage/used furniture in DC or off I-95 :

      The problem is most likely the grocery store and/or the way they handle deliveries – they probably aren’t doing a great job keeping it cold. I have a lot of trouble with milk from some stores in NYC – it often doesn’t even last to the sell buy date. It drives me nuts. You might have better luck with a different store and/or vacuum packed meat.

      • I’ve also had this problem before (dairy esp. not making it to the sell-by because it wasn’t kept cold).

        Have you tried marinating meat to keep it longer? Most marinades include ingredients that should help.

        Are you sure it’s really spoiled? Meat will look and smell a little worse every day, but just because you can tell it’s not fresh doesn’t mean it’s gone bad. (Spoiled meat is the worst though; if it’s spoiled, I feel for you!)

        Because it’s often a delivery handling issue, I would also report this to the stores.

    • Never had meat go bad before the date on the package. What happens if you switch up your grocery store? Does the problem still happen?

    • I just never buy meat more than a day or two in advance. The only time I have meat sitting in my fridge longer is if it’s Blue Apron (though we usually use that within 3 days of delivery and tend to go in order – fish first, then meat, if the 3rd dish is veggie), but those are vacuum sealed.

      On the issue of thawing, if your fridge is set to be super cold, that probably is the reason nothing thaws in 24 hrs.

    • Anonshmanon :

      You could try one of these special boards that expedite thawing. Haven’t used one myself, but the science makes sense.

    • Where in your fridge you thaw meat can matter, too. Depending on your fridge, the top shelf might be artic cold because of the proximity to the freezer floor (mine is like this…lots of accidentally frozen mayo up there…). I tend to thaw meat overnight in the lowest point in my fridge to mitigate possible drips.

      I think this boils down to your market having not the best meat or handling practices. You reasonably can’t expect meat to last more than 2-3 days without starting to show aging (texture, smell, changes in color–most are benign, some actually worrisome), but it shouldn’t be completely *rotten* at that point.

      If it is truly rotten, and your schedule allows, bring it back to them and complain. Lay out the timeline and how it was stored. If they are reputable and are doing a good job, they’ll refund you and apologize. If they don’t, get a new market.

  26. Vintage/used furniture in DC or off I-95 :

    Okay this is a bit random, but I am wondering if any ‘rettes in the DC area or along the 1-95 corridor from NYC to Richmond have favorite used/vintage furniture stores? We are going to be driving to the Outer Banks from NYC next week and would like to do some furniture shopping along the way if possible. I feel like prices have got to be slightly lower outside of the NYC area, although that may be a fantasy. We are most in need of a dining table and chairs, and would love something mid-century modern.

    • Richmond has a lot of stuff. If you yelp you should find lots of stores.

    • givemyregards :

      Home Anthology in Catonsville, MD. This place is AWESOME. They have tons of mid-century modern stuff and, in my opinion, are really reasonably priced (particularly as compared to NYC). They do a lot of restoration work, so I think their store is only open on Saturdays. But you can check out their website to see if they have something in stock – I’ve had good luck e-mailing them with questions.

    • Old Ellicott City, Maryland has a ton of amazing vintage/antique furniture stores.

    • Anonymous :

      Thanks everyone!

    • Shenandoah :

      If you’re into mid-century modern furniture, there is a place called Epoch Furnishings. I’ve found that they tend to have pretty good prices and a wide selection of stuff. I bought a few items from them.

    • Shenandoah :

      If you’re into mid-century modern furniture, there is a place called Epoch Furnishings in Richmond. I’ve found that they tend to have pretty good prices and a wide selection of stuff. I bought a few items from them.

    • Paradiso in Baltimore! They have great prices and a fantastic selection of mid-century modern. It’s also in a really cute neighborhood (Hampden) with tons of great places to eat if you want to stop for lunch or dinner.

  27. I am about to put in my two weeks’ notice at my law firm, which I suspect will not be received well. Firm management has, on a few occasions, escorted someone out immediately when they give notice. Just in case that happens here, what should I be sure to do before I give notice? Clean my office a bit, gather my things together, send myself and then delete personal documents that are on my computer, and…? Am I forgetting anything?

    • Send yourself something you could use as a writing sample, with any confidential information redacted.

    • Make sure you have a back-up of your contacts saved so they don’t vanish with your email, review/save/delete any auto-saved personal log-information, round up contact information for retirement accounts, FSA, etc.

    • Slowly clean your personal stuff out of your office. You don’t want to do it all with someone hovering over you.

      If there is anything remotely illegal/unethical your firm has done (not saying that is the case here), document it. Check internal reporting procedures.

      Set up an out of office email signature before you hand in your notice. If they escort you out right then and there, it will at least kick on two weeks hence. Not ideal, but better than nothing at all.

      Make sure you have a list of clients and deals you’ve worked on for future conflicts checks.

  28. Here’s my contribution to wtf clothes for today:

  29. Husband and I are heading to Seattle for long weekend for our 5 yr anniversary. As most of you know hotel/airbnb are very expensive in Seattle. When we were looking at places I picked an airbnb that was $250 per night (to compare Marriott or Hyatt was $250 per night so reasonable). Husband picked a place that was $150 per night. Only about 20% of the airbnb in Seattle have air conditioning. The place I picked had AC and the place husband picked didn’t. He assured me we wouldn’t need AC because it’s not very hot in Seattle. He asked that I please compromise with his place because we spent a lot on airline tickets. Okay fine. I said “it better not be hot because you know I can’t sleep if I’m hot”. He’s known me for 10 years and knows that I can’t sleep without AC. Fast forward to this week and there’s a heat warning in Seattle (of course!). It’s supposed to be 96 degrees. I ordered a mobile AC to be delivered to airbnb place because I couldn’t get money back for airbnb to get a different place ($300). Now we’ve spent more for the shi*tty place then if we went with the place I picked in the first place. Husband thinks I’m making a big deal about that AC and has been kind of a d*ck to me this week. I’m hoping I can be positive and enjoy this trip but I’m just annoyed. It’s our first trip away since having kids 2.5 years ago. I just want to be comfortable, is that too much to ask????

    • It sounds like both you and your husband have been difficult and annoyed with each other this week. Can both of you find it in you to forgive the other person? I know it would feel good to have us tell you that you’re totally right and he’s being a jerk, but us doing that isn’t going to get you a pleasant weekend. Some kindness and generosity toward each other is a better bet.

      • +1 to this. Put it behind you and enjoy your time together without kids. I totally get the sleep issue, by the way. In future when you travel make a list of non-negotiables for where you stay :)

    • Its done so move on. I have never lived with AC ever in all the places I have lived and somehow I have survived. People survived hundreds of years before AC was invented. Its your 5th wedding anniversary will you really be spending that much time sleeping? Take a cold shower together right before you jump into bed. Go out late for cold drinks. Walk around the neighborhood with an ice cream cone. Go see a movie! It will be fine.

      • I don’t want to need AC. I’ve tried to be flexible on temp but I literally cannot sleep. I toss and turn all night and wake up feeling like I pulled an all nighter. I wish I wasn’t used to AC and didn’t require it but I do. I think it’s what you’re acclimated to. Do you have small kids? I would love to go out nice dinner and drinks but I would also LOVE to go to bed at a reasonable time and get a good night’s sleep.

        • Yeah, I hear you OP. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all in that heat. Even with a fan. I’m just not built for that. Some people aren’t. That said, your portable option should take some of the edge off and it may be cooler at night. Hope it works out, try to stay positive!

        • Anonymous :

          OK, but you fixed the problem. Now you have an AC. Choose to be done being mad about this, or your trip is going to be ruined.

      • HAHAHA – have you also lived in dry climates? I have also never needed AC in dry climates. But moved to humidity-land and good luck trying to sleep when it’s still 80 degrees and muggy at 10pm.

        • I have lived all over the world in all levels of humidity. Africa, Midwest, California, East Coast, Asia. So yes I can sleep with it all like everyone did before there was AC.

          • I lived in Seattle when the heat hit 100 degrees and it was miserable, because (among other things) those houses aren’t built for hot weather. They don’t ventilate properly. I had to sleep in the basement.

    • Honestly why go away at all if you can’t afford to travel well? I’d rather not go — and don’t go — if I have to go and stay in a $150/night place in a city where hotels are like $300+/night.

      • That was kind of my point with him and honestly now I’m regretting giving in. I feel like my place was a compromise and his was an extreme compromise. Uh. We can afford it …which is all relative I guess.

        • It sounds like this is what you’re upset about – you gave in and you wish you stood your ground. Lesson learned. Don’t let this ruin your trip. As others’ have said, it’s done. Try to enjoy the time away.

      • I agree that if you only want to stay in places that have A/C you should only travel to places where this type of accommodation fits within your budget.

        However, since what’s done is done, if you really want to enjoy your weekend, you need to get over it for the weekend and forgive your husband. What’s the point of even going if you’re going to be mad the whole time. Then, when you return, think about what it is about this situation that really bothers you (do you feel your husband doesn’t care about your needs, etc.?) and address/discuss that in a constructive way with your husband.

    • What else can you do now besides be mad about it? You’ve ordered mobile AC as as your solution and can’t go anywhere else, so why let it ruin anymore of your excitement? Sure, it’s annoying, but your husband has learned the lesson and you get to point that out for the next trip planning. But for now, chin up. What’s done is done.

      • Yes, this. Couple of add-ons:

        -You should be fine with the mobile AC. Those usually work pretty well.

        – Promise yourself that you will never again book another place that doesn’t have AC, for as long as you live. If that’s a deal-breaker for you, it’s a deal-breaker. We all have them. Own this one for yourself.

        -Word to the wise from someone who’s been married 4x as long as you. Nothing kills a romantic getaway like someone throwing a prissy hissy fit over something about the trip that is fixable or has already been fixed. Things could have been done differently. They weren’t done differently. Deal with it. You need to get over this and your husband needs to get over his stuff. Rolling with the punches is part of life and it’s definitely part of marriage. Take some deep breaths, and resolve that since you addressed the issue, by getting a mobile AC, you aren’t going to perseverate on this or bring up the room cost again. Go, have a good time, and forget the details. If you can’t do that, consider therapy, for real. Because if you can’t let go of sweating the small stuff, there’s help for that.

        • This needs to be my mantra.

          “Things could have been done differently. They weren’t done differently. Deal with it.”

        • Anonymous :

          love the use of sweating the small stuff here (and the good advice).

    • You cannot be serious :

      I cannot believe you bought a mobile AC for a long weekend for an AirBnB. Sometimes this site sickens me. You really can’t live without AC for four nights or whatever? Unless you’ve got a health problem, check your privilege.

      • Sorry but who are you to the judge. I’m the poster above who said why travel if you can’t travel well. I’m sorry — some of us like to live and travel well; if you want to go backpacking and sleep out in the wild – go for it; I’ll stick to 4+ star hotels.

      • I can do noise, I can do a tent (in the cold!), I can do full on lite room. I can do bugs/sand/dirt. I cannot do hot. Everyone has their thing they cannot do and mine is sleep when I’m hot.

        • Given that AC is such a necessity for you, maybe it’s a great thing that you now have a mobile AC unit!

      • You cannot be serious :

        Yeah. You’re right. I’m sorry. It’s been a bad morning. But I shouldn’t have been a b*tch.

        Sorry, OP. Places in Seattle don’t usually have AC. I hope you have a nice time. Happy anniversary.

      • Yeah, this is so crazy to me and I don’t think it’s as simple as “I like luxury travel and nice hotels.” When you stay in the Four Seasons the only thing you’re (arguably) wasting is your own money. You’re not wasting any physical goods or harming the environment any more than you would be if you were staying at a Motel 6. But you bought a brand new AC unit that is presumably going to be tossed in the trash after a few days of use. That’s incredibly wasteful and terrible for the environment. I don’t see this as at all equivalent to splurging on a fancy hotel, and I hope you at least take the time out of your trip to sell or donate the unit to someone who will use it. I’d be horrified if my husband did this, not because we can’t afford the $300 cost but because of the blatant consumption without regard for anything other than his own comfort.

        Also, OP have you been to Seattle? The west coast is very different than the Midwest and East Coast. Even when the temperature is really hot during the day, it gets cool at night. Not Northern California cool, but still a lot cooler than Chicago or Boston would get on a 95-degree day. Temperatures are forecast to be in the low-mid 60s overnight for the next few days. Assuming the place has a fan or two, that would really be pretty comfortable for most people with the windows open.

        • Who said I was going to throw it away? Why would you assume that? I’m going to leave it at the airbnb for the next person. The owner was thrilled that I bought (I would be too if I were him!).

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I’m glad the owner knows. I thought there might be concerns about electricity use / fire hazard and you’d be asked not to use it. Since you had it shipped, I figured they see it before you got there.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I’d suggest leaving it in the airbnb for use by the owners and the next guest.

      • nasty woman :

        Lol, I don’t think you understand what the term “check your privilege” means or its intended use…..

    • I’d cut your husband some slack. I lived in Seattle for 15 years and never had / needed AC. Average high in the summer is 75 and it cools down quite a bit at night. You happened to be visiting during a very rare weather event – he had a 98% chance of being right in his assessment.

      It isn’t too much to ask to be comfortable, but this is definitely not something I’d hold over my husband’s head on what’s supposed to be an anniversary weekend celebration. Go to Alki or Golden Gardens and enjoy the beach, take a ferry ride (it will feel cooler on the water), go out for some amazing meals, or head to Mt. Rainier for a hike, where it will be considerably cooler.

      • This is true. He laughed and said “just my luck” when I asked him if he happened to notice that a heat warning had been issued. LOL

      • This. I lived in Seattle for four years and these hot spells rarely lasted more than a few days at one or two a summer. I went back in August two years ago prepared for a lot of sun and warmth and it was actually so cool (50s and 60s most of the time) and rainy that we bought lined raincoats. Anon’s advice, above, is good.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I’ve visited Seattle every summer for years, and this is the first year it’s been gross. Coming from the SE, it’s nothing, but yeah, this year’s temps are fairly shocking.

    • Senior Attorney :

      It’s not too much to ask, but honestly, this is a freak occurrence and I think the proper spirit is “Oh, wow. This is a freak occurrence and what can we do to mitigate it?” Sounds like you’ve solved the problem by getting the portable, and now you all just have to laugh and shake your heads ruefully and say “Wow. Lesson learned. No accommodations without a/c from now on!”

      And I always say the worst travel disasters make the best stories, so just go with that and be nice to one another.

    • It is pretty toasty this weekend, but the plus is that it’ll cool down to the low 60s at nights. And we don’t have humidity, so it doesn’t feel nearly as sweaty as the heat that you get on the east coast or the midwest.

      Have fun in Seattle! It’s really a wonderful place to visit. The Blue Angels will be doing their Seafair show this weekend, so if you want to see it, it’s on Lake Washington. If you don’t, take a ferry to Bainbridge Island and wander around Winslow.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Also they have the Terra Cotta Warriors at the Pacific Science Center. I was there a month or so ago and it was amazing.

    • You'll be fine! :

      Oh for Pete’s sake.

      I live in Seattle now. You will be sleeping in mid-60s temps, because it gets cooler here FAST as the sun goes down.

      Enjoy your vacation:)

    • I live in Vancouver,BC (similar to weather in Seattle) and it is extremely hot and humid now, more so in a condo(and I live 12 blocks from the ocean, so I’m not inland, and do have a breeze) I think buying a portable air conditioner is a good move, though a fan running at night works too. I just installed a portable air con this year, and it has been a game changer in terms of sleeping well at night. I could sleep before with a fan, but not as well.

      I also suffer from not being able to tolerate heat well (I actually have had heat stroke, and suffer from migraines), and after over twelve visits to various European cities over many years, I now never book a hotel without air con(which is why I avoid air bnbs) My husband and I have had similar disagreements about accommodations regarding air cons and comfort, so I understand. He now realizes that with migraines, having control of our hotel’climate’ is a game changer for our travels. You have had good suggestions here, and as others have said, you now know have to proceed with booking places for the next trip. Hope you have a great time– enjoy!

    • Seattlite :

      Good grief. Wanting AC for this trip is not dumb. I get so tired of people saying “you don’t need AC here!” I am know this is not true for all homes in Seattle, but I use my AC heavily any day when it is remotely sunny. My prior condo that did not have AC would get to over 90 degrees even though it was 60 something outside. We moved because that is too hot and if it was a heat wave, we’d have to go stay in a hotel. I have co-workers doing staycations at hotels/resorts in the area this week/weekend, prompted by the heat.

      You don’t know what the situation will be like in this rental condo, so I think you did right by buying a portable unit and then leaving it in the unit. And stand by your guns next time with your husband.

  30. Foster Parent? :

    Does anyone have experience with fostering/adopting the child of a family member? We have a somewhat distant family member (think second cousin) who recently had a baby and the baby was born very early and addicted to drugs. Once the baby is released from the hospital (which won’t be for some time), she will go into the foster system. My husband and I are interested in getting information on what we might be able to do. The baby is in a different state from where we live, but we are in a neighboring state. Not really sure where to start here. Does anyone have any resources or suggestions?

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I would assume that the hospital has some social workers on staff who could (at the very least) point you in the right direction. I’d start there!

    • Flats Only :

      And perhaps start within your family. You are coming from a place of compassion. It would be super weird for someone who ought to have/take an “inside” track to suddenly appear on the scene via an outside 3rd party like social services.

    • Contact the state’s agency and tell them that you are interested. You would still have to be licensed but agencies often expedite licensing for family members. They may be hesitant if you live so far away that it would interfere with parental visits. If you are close to the cousin, they could consent to guardianship.

      • +1

        Goal number one with the state child protection agency will be to get mom entered into services so she can maintain sobriety and eventually reunify with the child. Keeping mom engaged with baby will be a big priority, so chances are, CPS will want baby placed in a foster home close to where mom is located to help facilitate visits (which will be supervised at first, which is easier in state).

        I’d reach out to mom and get a feel for whether she’d consent to having the child placed with you, and if so, then take Bonnie’s advice and reach out to CPS and tell them you’re interested.

    • Anonymous :

      Call her and ask her. She’s still the parent.

      • If the baby was born addicted to drugs CPS likely took custody immediately so the mother probably does not have legal authority to just consent, although she may be able to facilitate recommending them as a family member to take custody.

  31. Any suggestions for what to include in a care package for someone staring chemo?

    • I know chemo can often leave someone feeling very cold. How about some warm, fuzzy socks or a sweater? Maybe even a blanket, depending on how large a package you want to send.

      • sweetknee :

        My dad was FREEZING all the time with chemo. I bought him a heated lap blanket (you plug it in like a heating pad), and it was his most favorite thing. I think I bought it at either Wal Mart or Target.

    • Nothing with scents.
      No food.
      Depending on the person:
      – Old Nancy Drew mysteries or Babysitter Club books – or something else like that from their childhood.
      -craft stuff – knitting/crocheting/coloring books
      -Suduko books or word finds
      -a magazine subscription
      -Amazon gift card for a TV series
      -Deck of cards and cribbage board or Monopoly Deal

    • JuniorMinion :

      If they’ve got a family member keeping them company / driving them back and forth maybe giftcards to Starbucks etc for said family member? The hospital will feed the patient but family members are on their own.

    • I disagree with the no food, but definitely agree with the no scents. It’s important to keep eating, particularly protein-rich items. My mother’s experience was that she ate very little. Someone sent us a nut/cured meat/cheese basket, all vacuum wrapped so they could be opened on “good” days, and given how rapidly her tastes changed, the variety was helpful. Also helpful for the caretakers, who still have to eat and likely can’t do any cooking because of smell (imagine how miserable the house was with my pregnancy nausea and mom’s chemo nausea at the same time!). Her friends also routinely brought over dinner for the caretakers, both while we were at the hospital for surgeries and once we were home.

      Hydration is key – mom always drinks more out of a straw, and liked her drinks cold. So a few commuter mugs and/or those tumblers with straws might be helpful (maybe with a note explaining). My mother didn’t understand the commuter mugs until she realized her ice water was staying cold all day and then she always had one in hand. Mom found alkaline water kept her more hydrated, maybe a few bottles of that for them to try.

      Mom spent a lot of time on the couch – a Netflix or Hulu or other subscription for 3-6 months?

      If you know the person well, maybe a cleaning service for a short period of time – that stuff gets left behind.

      Mom was often too tired for reading or crafting. She mostly slept through the chemo treatments themselves, and then once she was home was often napping or sort of watching TV.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      The chemo gift my dad got that stood out the most was a boxed set of Lost DVDs. Something engrossing and long that he could watch when he was too tired to do much else.

      The other thing — though this really requires you to know the recipient and how she’ll react — is not-too-heavy hand weights. It made my dad feel optimistic and strong to be able to do little lifts with those weights while he was otherwise just lying in bed.

    • Thanks all. You’ve given me quite a few gift ideas.

  32. Some suggestions from a former chemo patient here:

  33. Perfect Look..

  34. I’m kind of iffy about the sleeves as well! But I love the color and fit of this dress! This is my favorite type of dress though.

  35. I love this dress!

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