Coffee Break: Rounded Buckle Leather Trouser Belt

There are a lot of wacky belt trends out there right now, including the braided belt and the western belt, which I’m sure I rocked in the ’80s or early ’90s but just can’t do again! I’m much more likely to go with a simple, rounded-buckle, leather trouser belt like this one. I think this very nice gray color is interesting if you’re looking for something beyond basic black (which is also available in this style, along with a light pink and navy blue). The belt is 1″ wide and available in sizes XS-L, and it’s $49.50 at Ann Taylor, which comes down to $29.70 with discount code MYSTERY. Rounded Buckle Leather Trouser Belt

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  1. Moving Same City :

    Any tips for moving apartments/homes? Things you wish you had thought of? I will be moving (same city) next month and my roommate and I are doing it ourselves (probably with a couple friends to help, but we are not hiring movers). This is the first time I’ve moved myself. Any suggestions? We’ll get a uhaul, pack boxes ourselves, etc.

    • Liquor stores or Starbucks for boxes. Use smaller boxes for books (they get heavy fast!). If you can get in a week or so ahead of your move, pre-place some things there (paper plates, paper towels, some bath towels, one of those $1 shower curtains with cheap hooks from Ikea or the like, a clean set of sheets you can put on that night). If you have someone who can help, but can’t do a whole lot of lifting, have a list of things they can do in the apartments that day. My step-mom helped in the last move, but couldn’t lift a whole lot, so she was responsible for last minute packing in the old apartment and then unloading and prepping in the new (she made my bed and set up my shower curtain and the like for me!). Start creating a list on your phone of things you think of as they come to you. I just let the ideas come, write it down, and then when I’m in a better place mentally, I actually organize the list into a to-do list because things will come to you at the most random time and they won’t be something you can do immediately, but something that has to happen two weeks from now.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1 to liquor store boxes! Strong and many of them have handles.

        • And if you get the wine ones, they have pre-fitted dividers that work great for glassware or other knick knacks!

      • Make sure you have an emergency box with the things mentioned below ( sheets etc) , and add toilet paper, light globes, packing tape, scissors, a knife, some cash, your mobile ( cell) chargers , batteries, water, dried fruit , your handbag etc……. and do not let it out of your sight!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Honestly, if you have any capacity to do so at all, hire movers. You have recourse if your stuff gets lost or broken, they won’t agree to help and then cancel for a variety of reasons that you will not find persuasive, and they won’t come looking to you if they get hurt while helping.

      TL,DR: If you want your friends to stay your friends, do not ask them to help you move.

      • +1. Rent and drive the truck yourselves, but hire labor to load/unload. Worth it for you and for your friendships.

        It’s not entirely clear to me from your comment whether you were planning on doing this but don’t ask your friends to lug your stuff. I have one friend who has moved once a year (if not once every 18 months) and she asks us to help her move every single time. She is like 34; we’re all around there.
        We all say no.
        We will find another way to be helpful to you for sure but I’m not a mover.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Amen to this. Do it all by yourself (not recommended!) or hire movers. This is not the place to cheap out.

      • I disagree, you can totally use friends to move. I have helped friends move on numerous occasions, and I never thought differently of my friends. The things that helped me as a mover were:

        1. Water! – Stock both places with cold water for your movers, they will need it.
        2. Easy breakfast before moving – my cousin had bagels and coffee for us, it was a lifesaver
        3. Pizza/beer afterward as a reward

        Most importantly, be very organized. Have everything packed, know where you can park the truck at both places, have the elevators reserved (and check it before friends come), already have the uhaul at your place, and move the most delicate things yourself. I wouldn’t ask friends to pack/unpack boxes or clean your apartments, but otherwise it shouldn’t be a big deal. Good luck!

        • Anonymous :

          The only friends I will help move at this point in my life (mid 30s) are friends who helped me move at one point. Otherwise, just nope. I started hiring movers years ago and I will never look back.

        • Yeah, apartment moving pre-30 it was totally ok to ask for help moving with friends. That being said, you can usually find load/unload labor at a reasonable price and they were far more efficient than I was with my friends. UHaul may even have links to services when you book the truck online.
          For packing, wardrobe boxes are good and you can pack stuff inside of suitcases. If your drawers come out of the dresser, I wouldn’t bother unpacking them, just carry them as is.

          • They do! Uhaul has a partner s i t e that makes this super easy, with one integrated payment. Moving help dot com.

        • I would NEVER use male freinds to move me again. Mabye when I was a college student, but certainly not now that we are profesionals. In fact, there is a probelem when you ask male freinds to move your stuff, at any age. 1) they wind up pawwing through your personal stuff and 2) they get the idea (largely through #1 above) that they should become your boyfreind and that you should do stuff romantic with them just b/c they helped you move your stuff. FOOEY! This all happened to me after my freshman year in DC. I asked 2 guys to move my stuff from my dorm to an apartement I was subletteing across the street while I worked for the goverment. One of these guys I think took a pair of my cotton panties, and the other one wanted me to date (i.e. have $ex with) him just b/c he carried my stuff across the street and told the other guy not to take more of my stuff. I realy do NOT understand men who think like this, but they do, and I do NOT! DOUBEL FOOEY!

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. This. It’s only a few hundred bucks but well worth it, particularly if you have any furniture that’s heavy and can’t be disassembled.

        Also, wardrobe boxes are awesome – just put clothes on hangers into box, take out at new location. You may be able to find a few used on a local neighborhood site, or just buy some (they’re not super expensive, around $15/each).

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Hire movers. Your friends can help unpack once you’re settled in, but as far as moving heavy things, it is so much easier to hire movers! I hired movers for the first time a year ago and I couldn’t believe how easy it was! At this point in my life, most people don’t have an extra Saturday/Sunday to help me move in the heat even for pizza and beer. Save yourself the struggle.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Label EVERYTHING. Start now, packing what you won’t use in the next month, and if you’re not going to use it in the next month, seriously ponder whether it’s worth bringing. Pile up those boxes in a corner, so that by the last 48 hours, you’re living out of a suitcase. Wrap pictures and glassware in your linens. Pack your sheets, pillows, shower curtain, toiletries, towels, a cereal bowl, spoon, fork, and paper towels in a separate box, and keep that box with you. This should be the first box you unpack, so you can make your bed and hang the shower curtain immediately, for when the “OMG I am so tired I must shower and sleep right this second” hits you.

      Paint before you move in.

    • Anonymous :

      Bring your own toilet paper, trash bags, and paper towels with you to the new AND old places!

    • Pack an overnight bag! I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to finishing moving and be unable to locate some vital item you need to go sleep. Packing a bag with everything you need for that night and the next morning is so, so helpful.

    • 1. Throw as much as you can away.
      2. You can get very nice clean boxes free from bookstores like B&N
      3. Try to time your work clothes going to the cleaners with your move so you can have them ready to be picked up and all pressed for you that first week. Or at least set them aside so you’re not looking through boxes Monday morning.

    • Cookbooks :

      Disassemble whatever you can. It might seem like more things to carry, but better to move a bunch of smaller, lighter pieces than attempt to pick up and move a single, heavy, unwieldy item. Your back and your friends will thank you.

    • Anonymous :

      Use out of season clothing or linens to wrap breakables. This saves time on clothing packing and $ on packing materials.

    • We just did this! Best of luck to you — I hate moving.

      (1) Multiple posters have suggested having an “open first” box. I had that and a purse.
      – Box cutter
      – Check book
      – Pen
      – Water bottle
      – Granola bars and snickers bar
      – Notebook with our inventory list
      – Phone charger

      “Open first” box:
      – Toilet paper
      – Hand towel
      – Hand soap
      – Dish soap
      – Dish towel
      – Sheets for the bed
      – Paper towels
      – Gatorade powder
      – Plastic cups
      – 2 sets cutlery
      – Plastic bowls
      – Big blankets for putting furniture on on the hardwood floors until we had felt on it

      (2) Baconpancakes said “Label everything”. Yes! We took it a step further and numbered our boxes, then wrote details of what went in them in a notebook. Very helpful for finding our shoes when we realized we had packed them :). We were re-using boxes so we just made sure the number labels looked different from the prior ones.

      (3) If hiring movers, look for coupons on Yelp.

      (4) If it exists in your city, Dolly is also a good way to get brief labor if you don’t want to pay movers full-out. They do not, however, guarantee a covered truck — only a pick up. We’ve used them twice (Chicago and Seattle) for spot labor to carry a very heavy bookshelf and wardrobe.

      Good luck! Hope it goes well :)

    • Moving Same City :

      Thanks for the tips, everyone! My roommate and I and all of our friends are mid-20s, single, no families, etc, so we don’t feel bad about getting a couple friends to help out. We helped another friend move just last weekend. :) I appreciate all of the suggestions around getting sturdy boxes from stores and keeping an inventory list. Thanks!

    • calibrachoa :

      If your building(s) have elevators, then rolling suitcases are really good for heavy stuff like books because they can be just, well, rolled along rather than carried! :)

  2. Are other big firm litigation sections dying, or is it just mine or just my city (major market)? Our rates are too high, the clients are moving to boutiques, there’s more competition, etc. Litigators are leaving our firm like crazy. It’s pretty depressing.

    • Anonymous :

      OMG just had this conversation with a friend at lunch today. We’re at 2 different big firms in lit in 2 different cities (NYC/DC). We were both commenting on how slow it is and how slow it has been for the last 5ish yrs — nothing like when we first started out; don’t get me wrong there have been pockets of busy here and there but not the consistent busy that we had a decade ago. Both of us were wondering if it’s big firm rates driving this. Though at our firms no one is leaving — people are hanging tight to earn the money as long as they can (knowing full well that you won’t make partner in this kind of climate).

      • Interesting that no one is leaving your firms. We hear of at least one new departure a week. This place is so different than when I started five years ago.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s odd. Over the years there were TONS of associate departures — with mid/seniors thinking/saying that if they get pushed out due to lack of work or sit around until yr 12 and don’t make partner and are asked to leave, it’ll be much harder to find a job as you’re less marketable so it’s better to go now voluntarily. Now seems like the thinking (maybe just at our 2 firms?) is much different and it’s much more paycheck oriented where people seem to be saying – boutiques; in house; govt all pay less, let me make money now and we’ll see what happens if I get pushed out. I also think that in previous yrs the work wasn’t so slow in lit so people were working hard but seeing the writing on the wall that it wasn’t the kind of big client work that makes partner – so I think they were motivated to get away from the busy work with another job; now they are collecting a LOT of money and doing practically nothing not even busy work so I think they’re more “content” to stay until asked to leave.

    • anonymous :

      I’m in-house now but this was happening to my biglaw lit department when I left a year ago, too. There was almost no work, what work there was was being hoarded by the partners, and then the associates were blamed for not having pre-recession billing months. People leaving was more a symptom of timing. About three were pushed out before I left. I probably would have been pushed out eventually since no associate was safe, but left before that could happen and went in-house and have been happy since. Two others left with me but to smaller firms or government. For those of us that left voluntarily, it was because we could/i.e. felt safe with our loans and salaries that we could. Those that stayed even to the point of misery or the ones that got pushed out beforehand held on for as long as they could because they felt with loans they had no choice. It was very bleak. After we left, only one other associate left voluntarily and they haven’t pushed anymore out because they got such bad press from it and were having trouble hiring 3Ls.

      I am pretty sure it is big firm rates combined with executive reluctance to spend money on litigation when there is a feeling (at least at my company) that there are chances to make gains right now before the economy hits back again.

  3. hungryhippo :

    Can you order seamless or similar take-out to a hotel? Or is that frowned upon? Going on business by myself in an unfamiliar non-touristy area for a week and dreading the food situation.

    • Anonymous :

      Who would frown? Order it. I’d meet the delivery guy in the lobby though — i.e. tell them Sheraton Orlando at xxx address but don’t give them a room number. Then when they arrive have them call and you come down. From a safety perspective I wouldn’t give a room number and have someone come upstairs to you — I’d rather meet them in a huge populated hotel lobby (and wait there until they leave to go back upstairs).

      • Anonymous :

        Adding to this — I often order pizza on business trips and it’s fairly common as you see them delivering to others too; not via seamless — I just ask the front desk for a delivery option or look in the book that all hotel rooms have for local menus.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Even if it’s a hotel with a restaurant/room-service, they understand that not everyone wants to eat that or there all of the time. I too have ordered plenty of delivery to hotels. Also agree to meet in the lobby or have them leave at the front desk and have the desk call you (depending on the hotel).

      • I have them bring it to my room. haha. I have the pizza people come to my house at home and I live alone and don’t worry about the safety, so I don’t worry at the hotel either.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I do it all the time. They always call when they get there and you go to the lobby to pick it up.

    • Some hotels don’t allow it, or require that their room service waiters act as the middlemen to actually “deliver” it to your room–at a charge, of course. But I would assume that you’re fine to just order it and go about your business until someone says otherwise.

    • I do this all the time! I travel a lot and get so sick of mediocre hotel room service. Usually I just list my room number under delivery instructions and give them an extra large tip for the hassle of bringing it to the room. I have never had any issues.

  4. Anonymous :

    Do you pray? Meaning outside of church, temple, mosque services
    – just by “asking” for things/situations you want? I’m curious about this with peers but obv would never ask – this group is demographically similar to my peer group so feel free to answer if you want to be part of this random sample. FWIW – I do pray.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, but praying is not meant to be like an ATM machine. You are meant to be praising and thanking the being of your choice, primarily. Learning about that being through reading, maybe listening to pastors, etc.

      • FWI, there is a longstanding place in Christian faith for petitionary prayer – in fact, Jesus did it in the Garden of Gethsemane. It just shouldn’t be the only form of prayer in your prayer life.

      • But I agree that I find the sort of “insert prayer, get results” thinking about this (which is very common) to be kind of…disturbing, in a way? I guess I feel like it connects to the idea that if you just pray enough, you’ll get what you want – and if you didn’t get it, you didn’t pray enough (which I HATE).

    • Anonymous :

      No, I don’t believe in it.

    • I don’t formally pray, and am not religious at all. Actually, I’m atheist, grey up Unitarian, daughter of a Catholic and a Luthrean.

      But I have little moments where I say to myself….

      I wish I wish I wish I wish
      please please please please please please
      thank you thank you thank you thank you

      I have no idea who I’m talking to, but I find it helpful.

    • I pray every night giving thanks for the day and whatever people or things in it I am grateful for. It’s almost entirely a gratitude practice, which I started during a very difficult time and decided to make permanent. If I ever ask for anything, it’s guidance or strength, and sometimes I ask [God] to be watching over or taking care of someone I’ll name who I know is struggling.

    • Anonymous :

      I pray every day. For sure every night before I go to bed, and usually when I wake up. Just being thankful for everything I’ve been given. And I often find myself praying at random times through the day – again, usually thanking God for how blessed I am. Note that I don’t do it out loud or close my eyes or anything – you wouldn’t necessarily know I’m doing it unless you were watching me closely.

    • I do pray, but generally praying for me isn’t focused on asking for things/situations I want – or at least not in the “please let thing X happen” way. I believe that there is value in petitionary prayer but it’s not the most common form of prayer for me. I pray a lot for clarity to make the right decision; I pray for the dead; and I do a lot of “here is something that is heavy on my heart/mind” type of praying – not asking for an outcome, just kind of putting it before God and leaving it there.

      In terms of frequency and all that, I have a set of morning prayers from the Episcopal Daily Office that I pray in the morning (often while walking the dog – sometimes I listen to a morning prayer pdocast too). At night I do an examination of conscience (based on the Spiritual Exercises of Ignatius Loyola) and pray the Lord’s Prayer, the Creed, and either the Nunc Dimittis and the “Visit this place, O Lord” dismissal prayer from the Office for Compline in the Book of Common Prayer. Plus other times throughout the day, as needed.

    • Cornellian :

      I pray before meals, but more as a gratitude thing, not praying FOR something. Actually I never think about it at breakfast, but I do pray/say grace at lunch and dinner. Nothing formal . I’m Quaker, FWIW.

    • Yes. Most nights and sporadically through the day if something comes up. Mostly a combination of gratitude and petition. I’m currently expecting so prayers right now are a lot of ‘thank you for this awesome little baby growing inside of me’ and then ‘please – help me be a good parent, help me be at peace with all the crazy anxiety that comes from being pregnant etc. etc.’ And when I just don’t know what to say, the Lord’s Prayer as a default to at least open the dialogue in my mind.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Yes I pray, no I don’t just ask for things I want. That’s actually the thing I try to avoid, except for situations related to illness or safety of a loved one or friend.

      My prayers generally tend to be more listening silently and intentionally than forming actual words. I sometimes use prayers I know (serenity prayer, rosary, st. francis, etc) as a way to quiet my mind’s busy so that my verbal brain is busy enough that the rest of me can hear.

      Curious– is this question driven by an encounter with prosperity gospel theology? Because I have lots to say regarding that subject, its toxicity, and its influence on our country.

    • Anonymous :

      Yup. I pray all the time, both for specific things and for other reasons.

    • I’m not particularly religious but I pray each night just after I turn off my light – it’s always something along the lines of saying thanks in my mind for the day and asking for my family to be kept safe and healthy. I’ve been doing this my whole life.

    • Running Numbers :

      I love this question and am very interested in the responses!

      I try to pray daily. My most effective prayer is done through journaling. I find that my mind drifts when I try to pray without physically sitting down with pen and paper.

      The content of my prayers varies a lot based on what is going on in my life. If I have a specific circumstance that I’m struggling with, I will write to just talk through it with God.

      At other times, I follow the acronym for prayer suggested by Bill Hybels in his book, “Too Busy Not to Pray”. The acronym is ACTS: Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving Supplication. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in prayer.

    • I pray for patience with my toddler daughter at least once a day. And when I’m overwhelmed with love, joy, happiness, etc, I try to remember to say a prayer of gratitude.

    • Meg March :

      I pray occasionally, maybe a handful of times a month. It actually happens a lot on my commute– I think that part might come from the combination of action/being alone/seeing scenery I’ve seen a million times. My prayers are entirely inside my head, I do not speak them, close my eyes, bow my head, etc.

      Contentwise, it’s usually primarily asking God to be with me, to guide my actions, to inform my decisions, to give me His strength when I need it, to help me to keep Him in my thoughts. I ask him to look out for others in the same way. My prayers also have a large gratitude component to them, as others have mentioned. I tell Him how blessed I feel for the gifts I have received — love, health, my home and family. It’s also very “informal” and usually starts out “Hey God, thanks for…”

      • Meg March :

        Oh, also, this is pretty much the only active way I am religious anymore — I almost never go to church, including Easter/Christmas, although I was raised going every week. I still consider myself Christian, however, based solely on my own relationship with God and belief in Jesus.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, of course. Wouldn’t want to do life without it, or without God.

    • Anonymous :

      I do not. I am not religious (atheist) and do not feel the need to incorporate a non-religious equivalent in my life.

    • Lapsed catholic, now Atheist, married to a conservative Jew- I very rarely pray. I know my husband has conversations with god and will “make deals” that if something happens he will respond by doing something, which I have always found a funny thing to do.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m pretty much an atheist, but since I was a little kid I’ve occasionally done what I called ‘postcards to God’ that are kind of a little letter about what’s going on with me, and what I’m hoping will happen in the future. I basically always start them with a Judy-Blume-esque ‘If you’re out there, God, it’s me again…’ (To be clear, it’s not really a thing that I write down, more of a mental exercise.)

    • Very lapsed Catholic. When I used to pray, I kept a list of people to send out intentions for. Now I will still set aside time to remind myself about people who matter to me but who aren’t currently very present in my life. I don’t spontaneously think much about people over the course of a typical day, so I think this is healthy for me. It is also important to me as a way of remembering people in my life who have died.

  5. Thinking I could use a sanity check here… any thoughts on whether I’m being reasonable?

    My boyfriend’s son will be in 6th grade in the fall. Boyfriend and his ex-wife have been divorced for about 10 years and she has a vastly different lifestyle than we do now that she’s remarried (very rural, husband with a low-earning hourly job, mom is and always has been a SAHM). My boyfriend is a very ambitious high earner, I’m career-oriented as well, and we’re definitely city people.

    So the situation I’m getting to is the lifestyle gap that his son experiences. When he’s with us, we go out to dinner fairly often and from what he’s said, he never goes out to eat when he’s with Mom.

    What’s becoming more and more clear to me is that Son doesn’t have any guidance whatsoever on table manners when he’s at home with Mom. I’m taking waving hamburgers around, chewing with mouth wide open, audible smacking, talking with food falling out of mouth, playing with condiments on table in restaurants if he doesn’t have access to his phone, having no idea how to hold/use a knife… in short, embarrassing behavior for a kid who, in my opinion, is too old to act this way.

    Boyfriend jokingly mentioned he was going to send him to cotillion and I think he realizes there’s work to be done. Honestly, I’d send him to cotillion, eqtiquette school, whatever in a heartbeat even though it’s not the way I grew up either. The way I’ve handled so far is casually bringing up suggestions during meals, but it seems like my efforts aren’t really getting anywhere, especially because things are so different when he’s home with his mom. Son has even mentioned to me that he feels he has “two lives” since things are so different between our house and his Mom’s.

    Help! What would you do?

    • Anonymous :

      Stay out of it – you are not a parent or stepparent. There’s nothing wrong with not going out to eat all the time. Kids, especially middle schools, are not known for their great table manners and he could be doing it to tick you off. I would not pay it any mind, model good manners, engage him in age-appropriate conversation, and let the parents do what they will. If you don’t admire your boyfriend’s parenting skills, that’s another issue.

      • Anonymous :

        middle schoolers, that is.

      • He’s a sensitive kid and I don’t think he’s doing it to tick me off, but it sounds like the general consensus is that it’s behavior that is not too out-of-the-ordinary for a middle schooler.

        I don’t have any qualms with boyfriend’s parenting, but I do spend a lot of time with Son when he’s at our house.

        • Anonymous :

          But you do though. The son’s manners are a direct result of your boyfriend’s parenting. Your boyfriend needs to correct this.

        • Anonymous :

          Kids are goofy sometimes. He may be showing off for you, on the more positive side of things. My nieces and nephews are so weird when they get wound up. At least he’s not telling you fart jokes!

    • Nothing. Do not say a word. Only his father should say.

      I think it sounds kind of wonderful to grow up on a farm, with a Mom home who cooks meals for me…. especially to be a child of divorce. And then to escape to an exciting city with dinners out. Dinners out every night is not good for a kid, you know? Why don’t cook at home for him a bit more often?

      He’s a young kid. His behavior is likely pretty normal for a young kid.

      Etiquette school? Are you serious? Do you know any 11 year old boys?

      I hope you are taking him out to home-y, simple restaurants, and not high end city things. When he is visiting, it should be about him…. not about you.

      • Yes, it is simple restaurants that are appropriate for family dinners — about 3x week when he’s with us.

        Unfortunately he literally only eats hotdogs, hamburgers, pizza, fries, and smoothies so I always cook separate for him (that’s what his Mom does and I follow suit because I realize that’s not my battle).

        I realize my perceptions may be skewed so that’s why I asked.

        • Anonymous :

          That’s a lot of eating out for a kid to endure. Maybe get take out more often so he can relax and eat at home. I’m an adult and I’d be miserable eating out 3 times a week.

          • Anony Mouse :

            Me too. One thing I dislike about business trips is that they mean several days of nonstop restaurant meals. Extra choices, extra calories, extra time out in public, often alone or with strangers…. When dining out is no longer “a treat” for me, it means I’m doing it too frequently.

        • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

          I honestly wouldn’t cook separately for him, unless you really want to do that. You don’t have to follow suit with what his mom does.

          • Anonymous :

            Yeah, and you can make small incremental moves toward more sophisticated food. Like instead of spaghetti one night, do ravioli. Maybe it’ll get him used to trying more things if you start with food that is basically the same as what he’s used to eating.

      • Oh good grief :

        Alright, enlighten me as to why dinners out are not good for children. My husband and I both work full days, with very little time to cook/meal plan. Add to that the fact that neither of us are particularly good cooks nor do we really enjoy it. By eating out my kids have been exposed to a much wider variety of foods than what we would be able to make at home. They have learned table manners, how to interact with other adults and order for themselves and it’s much less stressful than rushing home to try to slap dinner on the table and clean up before bedtime. But thanks, now I have one more shortcoming to worry about this week.

        And what’s wrong with exposing the OP’s BF’s kid to high-end city things? People post on here all the time about having difficulty acclimating to different cultures once they start working. It sounds like this kid gets the best of both worlds – exposure to a more simple rural existence as well as city life – that may be a little challenging but will prepare him to be comfortable wherever he ends up.

        • Generally restaurant food is less healthy. It usually is larger portions, higher calorie and higher sugar. Everything is often drenched in butter.

          • Anonymous :

            And depending on the type of restaurant, it’s a 30-60 minutes ritual, instead of the 15-20 minute exercise it might be at home, since you have the ordering and waiting for the bill to come/be paid on top of the time eating. That can be a lot of time to be exercising self-control for younger kids.

          • If you think a 30-60 minutes ritual is a big problem, hopefully someday you will meet children in Europe who will sit quietly for meals that take hours. And much younger than 11 years old.

          • Anonymous :

            This is not a thing. We go to Europe every single year. DH is European. We have friends with small kids in Austria, Germany, Sweden, Belgium, Italy and Greece and have eaten out with our kids and their kids in all these places. People do not make small kids sit quietly in restaurants for hours, they definitely take then for walks in between courses including outside the restaurant and they don’t make them eat out three times a week.

          • I grew up in Hungary and lived in Austria and Italy before moving to New York in my 30s. But thank you for your deep insight based on going to Europe every single year. You must be so knowledgeable.

            Yes, people will give their very small children, like toddlers, a break during a long meal, but I cannot imagine treating an eleven-year-old that way. And especially thinking that a 30-60 minute meal is a very long time.

            I did not have a step-mother, but I can also tell you that no adult in my vicinity would have tolerated the behavior that is being described.

        • Anony Mouse :

          I read anon at 3:01’s comment as a concern that the kid might become spoiled if he eats out at fancy restaurants all the time.

          Dining out is also generally more expensive than eating home-cooked meals. Money may not be an issue for you and your spouse, but it might be for your kids at some point in the future–for example, when they’re in college, or first starting out on their own. If dining out has been a default since childhood, and if they reach a point where they need to adjust to a “new normal,” it may be harder for them to do so if they’ve only had exposure to one way of eating.

        • bluefield :

          FWIW, I think this is a weird, judgmental, and possibly gendered comment too. Why doesn’t HIS DAD cook for him if his dad thinks that this is really a problem? We take our 3 year old to restaurants all the time and expect her to tell us what she wants, eat her food, and sit. And sometimes we take her to – shock! – “high end city things” because we, the adults, do not want to eat at, like, Cracker Barrel or Applebees or whatever other restaurant someone else decides is “simple” and “homey.” She can order spaghetti if she wants to, she doesn’t have to eat the poached duck with frisee and caviar.

        • Kids need downtime.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t bother with cotillion necessarily, but I would practice good manners in front of him and point out what good manners are and that they need to be practiced when out to eat, etc. (And I personally wouldn’t lose a ton of sleep over a 6th grader playing with condiments on the table at a restaurant… I think that just comes with territory.)

      • Anonymous :

        +1 Cotillion seems like overkill. BF specifically modeling good manners and commenting on what constitutes good manners should be sufficient. That also helps Son realize that this is an everyday expectation, not just a fancy party expectation.

        But I also wouldn’t expect 100% compliance with the rule because…middle school boy.

        But boy, oh, boy this would drive my misphonia freaking nuts (as it did when I was growing up with younger brothers)

    • Anonymous :

      I think his dad needs to take the lead here. He is a 6th grade boy — under the best of circumstances, they aren’t great at table manners yet so he isn’t THAT behind. Why can’t dad correct him every time — i.e. chew with your mouth closed son; don’t wave the burger/ketchup/knife around etc. — same way you’d correct an 8 yr old? If the discussion comes up dad can even say — look this stuff is important bc this is how it is at restaurants, in business meetings etc. He is old enough to recognize he has 2 lives — help in learn what is needed for his city/suburban life — if he carries that over to rural, great; if he doesn’t, well he’ll thank you when he is working a corporate job and is taken to a lunch interview.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. But I’d definitely try to correct them. SO grew up in a household where table manners are, shall we say, lax. I have spent years trying to correct some of this with the plea of “you are a lawyer, we live in the South, they really care about table manners here.” I have not made much progress. I shudder at the idea of him on client meetings anywhere fancier than the local burger joint.

    • Anonymous :

      I missed that he’s in sixth grade, so I was about to agree with the other commenters. But a 12-year old boy should absolutely know how to behave at a nice restaurant — without the aid of a phone! The problem is, this isn’t your battle to fight. I would probably bring it up with bf and make some suggestions, and then leave it at that.

      I know 20-something men who have atrocious table manners, and I believe it seriously hampers their dating lives (because most mature people are horrified at another adult who cannot eat with their mouth closed, etc). So I think it would be doing him a favor to address it now. But that’s his dad’s job, not yours.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d try to dial back the judgment on the rural/poor/ill mannered vs. city/rich/well mannered. In my experience there is zero correlation. Also surprised that there is such a disparity in lifestyles. In Canada, child support is based on the income of the higher earning parent to reduce disparity.

      Agree on a set of rules on age appropriate table manners and enforce them. Make sure they are age appropriate some of your expectations are clearly not. A 6th grade boy is not going to sit still and make polite conversations for multiple dinners at restaurants in a week. Maybe focus on dining at kid friendly family focused options when he is with you.

      • I grew up in the country to a blue collar family so you may be right that I do have some judgments showing through.

        I like the idea of (Dad) setting a few specific rules to be enforced.

      • And yes, it’s my understanding that child support payments are structured the same way in the US. Son has a few half-siblings at home so it does result in a bit of a difference.

      • This. I grew up in a small town and I remember some of the snide comments made by relatives who assumed we were completely uncultured. As an adult, I realize that it says more about them than me, but it stung at a young age.

    • As a long-time stepmom to a son who lived in “two worlds,” I’d advise you not to say another thing. To your boyfriend and especially to the kid. Drop it. The two-worlds thing is such a difficult thing for the kid to navigate. As parents / parental figures your focus should be 100% on helping the kid. Your judgment makes a hard situation harder. Plus, you’re inherently criticizing mom— and I can tell you that no matter how terrible her manners are, how poor she is, or how little she goes to restaurants— the last thing that kid wants is to hear criticism of his mother. If you’re not ready to prioritize this child’s well being, then you’re not ready to be a stepmom. I don’t mean that to sound harsh. Blending families is HARD. And table manners are the very least of it.

      • OP here. I would NEVER say a negative word about his mother or their living situation. I’m hyper-hyper-aware since I was a child of divorce.

        Son has also heard stories of my own (rural) childhood so I don’t think (but now I’m going to have to make doubly sure) that he hears any judgment. That’s also why my suggestions have been limited and very casual, i.e., “hey, you might have an easier time cutting into that if you hold the knife like this” and then moving back to whatever non-manners related conversation.

        • I don’t want to push back; I can tell you are well-intentioned. But I’m talking about what he hears, not what you’re actually saying. The lifestyle disparity is so confusing. His mom probably doesn’t say anything about how he eats. Seems like dad hasn’t said anything directly to him. It’s crossing a boundary for you to say anything, even casually. Kids aren’t stupid and they know when they’re being criticized even if it’s oblique. And it isn’t your place to offer casual suggestions TO HIM about his behavior. It’s something you can discuss with a parent, not the child. Don’t poison your budding relationship with the kid over something silly like this. Plus, he’s 12. Cut him some slack on bad manners.

          And if you truly find yourself being “embarrassed” by a child for something like this, it shows that you’re placing the opinion of outsiders above your family. I can only reiterate that step-parenting is hard and can be very much about tongue-holding, especially until you have a well established relationship. Please examine whether you’re ready to take on that kind of role.

    • Anonymous :

      Have his Dad remind him that he will never attract a good-looking lady if he chews louder than the family pet. Have his Dad remind him that table manners are attractive. It also helps if his Dad actively uses his own manners.

      • Ha my mother and grandmother used to say things like this to me. Even from a very young age my response was something like, I DON’T NEED A MAN OMNOMNOM. Not much has changed in my life.

        • Haha yes! And wave your cheeseburger at Grandma while she says that!

          Seriously, we don’t engage in manners and etique t t e to get things for ourselves. We do it to show respect for ourselves and others, and to honor social custom.

          …and none of these things matter to 6th grade boys. He’ll get there with practice, good examples from you and dad and mom and step-dad, and gentle reminders.

        • bluefield :

          My parents used to make a similar comment to get me to use my fork & knife properly (“If the President asked you to dinner at the White House, would you eat like that?”) and my response was always that when the time came I’d adjust my behavior accordingly.

      • If by chance he’s gay, he won’t want to attract a good-looking lady….

    • Anonymous :

      Your boyfriend should parent his son, which includes teaching him manners.

      • Anonymous :


        Also, there is no reason to cook separate meals for him, even if his mother does. There are two adults in the room, and one parent, and the boy is neither.

        • Anonymous :

          I mean, 6th grade is also old enough to be contributing to dinner-making, if not making it himself if he doesn’t like what is being served.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Yeah, this. I agree this is a problem, but it isn’t on you.

        “I’m taking waving hamburgers around, chewing with mouth wide open, audible smacking, talking with food falling out of mouth, playing with condiments on table in restaurants if he doesn’t have access to his phone, having no idea how to hold/use a knife.”

        I disagree with someone above who said this is normal behavior for a 6th grader. What? I have a 12 y/o. I wouldn’t tolerate that kind of behavior, even at home. Heck, my 5 y/os don’t even do this stuff, aside from still struggling with a knife.


    • I guess I’m going a little against the grain – the kid is plenty old enough to demonstrate better table manners, but that’s dad’s fault, not the kid’s (or mom’s). I actually misread your post to say that the child was 6, not in 6th grade, and still found it odd that dad wasn’t correcting some of the behaviors you list. Does dad not think it’s his job to teach his kid to not speak with his mouth full? I find it kind of horrifying that dad watches his pre-teen spitting food while talking and instead of teaching the child about how to behave at a restaurant, he makes jokes about it like it’s hilarious. That’s your child! Teach him how to become a functioning adult!

      Also – I’m not sure what mom has to do with any of this. If your BF is the one taking the kid out to eat then your BF is the one who should be teaching him manners.

      • Dad does make corrections, but it doesn’t seem to sink in long-term or change any habits.

        He’s only at our house every other weekend during the school year and longer visits during the summer so I think the “two worlds” thing is why I mentioned the difference at his mom’s house.

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, please do separate the rural v. city and income levels from the ability to have good manners. I grew up in the country, with low-earning parents, we rarely went out to eat … and I had table manners. Manners come from being taught, not from eating in city restaurants.

      • OP here. I agree– clearly I didn’t take the time to frame that well.

        I also grew up in a rural, blue collar family and my parents had really strict table manner expectations so that’s probably where some of my complicated feelings about this are coming from, honestly.

        • Senior Attorney :

          I think this is the wisest thing you’ve said on this thread.

          You are not your parents. This child is not you. He’s not even your child. Table manners were a big deal to you and your parents but they are not a big deal to this child and his parents, and I think your best move here is to take a lot of deep breaths and focus on something else.

    • JuniorMinion :

      I’m late to this thread but I just wanted to say OP I think modeling good behavior will be very helpful to your boyfriend’s son. He should absolutely be enforcing standards when his son is with you, I think your role is a bit more to be another adult with a different life experience than his mother but not to critique.

      Separately, I am sorry you are being piled on. I will be forever thankful that I was a scholarship kid at a private school where I learned to eat / speak / negotiate and dress like a professional / upper middle class person. Class markers like table manners / ways of relating to other people (there’s been a lot done on white collar vs. blue collar and how work is accomplished) can be severely limiting at times to people who grow up in less advantaged backgrounds. I relate to the world and dress / speak / act very differently than my parents do and while it is hard to feel as though you live in two worlds, ultimately I decided I would rather not struggle to remain employed / fit in in the workplace in the way my parents had so I adopted the behaviors I saw around me.

      • Baconpancakes :

        I know I’m late to the thread, but OMG THIS. My family was firmly blue collar, literally (police force and military after they left the farm), and my mother was the first in the family to go to college. Her best friend, however, was from a wealthy New York family, and she introduced me to wine tasting, fine restaurants, tailoring clothes, correct pronunciation, and being unapologetically ambitious in my career. Later, she helped pay for my private school education. This has been wildly helpful in my schooling and career, in feeling comfortable no matter how much money the person across the table has, and never feeling inferior or outclassed.

    • Anon prof :

      We live in the South and I have a rising 7th grader. A large share of his male friends had to do cotillion this past year because the parents wanted to reinforce good manners. So, yes, this is an age when some folks expect a transition to more-adult manners, I guess. I absolutely think this needs to come from his dad, though, not you.

  6. Anyone have one of these belts? I do need a few staple belts.

    If so, how do they run? Trying to figure out my size.

    • Anonymous :

      Also, any insight about whether the metal buckle is gold or silver toned? I can’t tell for sure from the photo or description.

  7. Phoebe dress :

    Paging the poster who recommended the Boden Phoebe dress on sale as “good for people with hips” — I bought it on your recommendation and LOVE it. Thank you so much!

    — poster normally tagged as “curious”

    • Thanks for posting an update. I had the dress in my cart ready to go but held back because I’ve generally had really bad luck with Boden dresses (even though they are so beautiful I want them all!). Maybe I’ll pull the trigger now. Did you find it to fit true to size?

  8. Anonymous :

    Do you ladies have a sense for how long after death a funeral follows in the Protestant tradition? Trying to clear my schedule to make sure I can attend the funeral but obviously can’t bother the people who would know with asking about this.

    I hate to be asking this question; I guess I’m lucky not to have needed to know before this.

    • Anonymous :

      Lutheran, if it helps.

      • Anonymous :

        There is no specific set timeframe in the Lutheran tradition. It will generally be driven by availability of the church, the family members, and other related parties.

      • actually, if you don’t want to call the family, you should be able to call the church office (if you know the specific church).

    • Anonymous :

      Within a week or so? I imagine it depends on the scheduling of the pastor to perform the service, the cemetery to be open, and the family to get into town.

    • Generally 3-9 days after death, I would say in my experience for protestants generally. Largely driven by personal choice of the family (e.g., if more people are traveling in, maybe further out).

    • ~5 days is pretty typical, with a range of 3-7 being the norm and anything outside that a little unusual.

    • Have you checked for an obituary? Usually those come out within a day or two after the death and should have the schedule for services. Most funerals I’d say are within 3-5 days depending on the circumstances – was this expected, is most of the family local, that sort of thing. Also, it’s not taboo to ask about services or arrangements. People are expecting the question.

    • There’s no set timeframe, in my experience. Anywhere from 1 day later (for an expected event where family has already gathered) to almost a week out (when there’s a wait for a key family member to fly in). Traditions also vary – the funeral may be same day or day following the visitation, there’s usually some kind of meal is involved, but that could be a lunch or dinner, on same day or day following as well.

      Unfortunately these types of things are not plannable, and it’s usually a case-by-case scenario at the whim of whomever takes the lead.

      • Anonymous :

        Agree that usually it’s a case-by-case thing and not dependent on the particular church. In my experience, it’s governed by family schedules and traveling times more than anything else.

    • Most back home seem to fall on the first Fri/Sat/or Sunday after death in the same week.

  9. Anonymous :

    I need some guidance. My husband and I have been having some issues, largely due to my not being happy with certain aspects of our life together, mainly due to what I view as his poor judgment. He loves me, never been violent, generally kind and laid back, and the last thing he wants is divorce, where I think it sounds . . . not so bad. We have kids aged 3 to 9, but still I have found myself thinking divorce might be best, but no decision made. A few nights ago, after a night of drinking, my husband became extremely violent with me. I’m covered in painful bruises, doors are broken, a heavy object was thrown at me. He is so remorseful, trying so hard, etc. I am alternating between wanting to leave and feeling bad for him and like I caused it by my general unhappiness. I know rationally I’m the victim, but I can’t help but feel like he’s hurting worse than me and I’m the problem.
    I am going to therapy tmrw morning, but wanted to see the hive’s feedback on my reaction.

    • Anonymous :

      THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. Someone physically harming you in a fit of drunken rage is NOT YOUR FAULT.

      If it were me, I would have told him to get out of the house and stay out until I had sorted out my thoughts and feelings and that he needed to get help ASAP or there was no hope for us. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. NOPE.

      • Anonymous :

        Actually, no, I could not be with someone who I already was thinking about divorcing who then physically abused me. I’d have called a divorce lawyer already.

    • Minnie Beebe :

      I’d tell him to leave the house. Being upset with one another is okay– violence toward me (or my children) would be a total dealbreaker. Seriously. Reasonable people do not default to violent behavior when drunk.

    • Anonymous :

      You are not the problem. Anyone who resorts to domestic violence has a problem. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done. Please, for your children’s sake if not for your own, strongly consider leaving ASAP. Do you have friends or family you could stay with? Violent behavior in the home isn’t usually a one-time occurrence.
      A former DV attorney

    • I agree with you that he is hurting, but it isn’t your fault and it is not your responsibility to fix it. You were thinking about leaving already? So leave. Even if I loved someone dearly, the second they hit me, I would be out the door.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        And if he’s hurting because he hurt you, good. People should hurt when they hurt someone. But that doesn’t mean they get a pass.

    • It sounds like you’re a very empathic person– able to see the best in everybody. That said, there are some actions that should cause a breakpoint for you to stop being empathic and focus on self-preservation.

      It doesn’t matter if you feel sorry for him, know his painful backstory, whatever, that doesn’t mean you have to deal with his abuse/actions.

      There’s no reason you have to be the martyr.

    • Anonymous :

      Please be as empathetic to your children as you are being to him. Were they in the house? Will they have to listen/hear the next time he does this? Alcohol lowers inhibitions but doesn’t change the person- his demons are still there. He is remorseful because he knows his life is going to be changing, not because he is truly sad about what he did to you. Please protect yourself and your children

    • Anonymous :

      When “doesn’t hit” is on the list as a plus I think it’s a bad sign.

      • Anonymous :

        Omg omg I commented too soon.

        A- never been violent is not a plus, it is a bare minimum

        B- now that he has been violent leave immediately. In fact, change the locks and kick him out. He is not hurting more, YOU ARE BECAUSE HEHURT YOU.

    • Girl, no. He hurt you. He will do it again. Possibly in front of your children, if he hasn’t already. In fact, he may hurt your children too.

      Are you at work right now? Please call your local DV hotline and start making a safety plan. Yes, your husband is probably hurting and sad, and all of those things, but he is a grown-a$$ man who 100% had the choice NOT to get violent with you, and he did it anyone. You need to separate yourself and your children from him for your own protection – and bear in mind, statistically, you are in the most danger when you’re trying to leave, so please, please talk to trained professionals about how to get yourself out of there in the safest means possible.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes all of this.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        Seconding this. And if you need an outside person to do whatever — research a place for you to stay, make calls for you, etc. — I’m happy to connect w you via email/text and jump in. You’ve gotta keep yourself and your kids safe!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          (If you want to take me up on that, I’m my username with no spaces, then e t t e also with no spaces at google’s email.)

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Seconding this.

          My email for this site is my username with no spaces then e t t e at Google’s email.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      His violence, attitude, feelings, etc, are not your doing. I hope you leave or kick him out asap, for your kids’ sake as well as your own. It’s fine to feel bad for him (although he doesn’t deserve it), but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t divorce him and/or call the police.

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve been prosecuting DV cases for half a decade. First of all, this is not your fault. Second of all, this happens to a lot of people and in a lot of families – there’s a stereotype of DV being primarily in poor and less educated communities, but that’s really not the case. Third of all, you need to get out. Based on my experience with hundreds of cases, once things get THIS VIOLENT, there is no coming back. Best case scenario is that you will always be afraid that this will happen again and will live with that fear in the back of your mind every single day. And yes, your kids will know. Worst case scenario is a homicide. In my experience, the fact that he went from 0 to this level of violence in one incident is extremely, extremely scary.

      As for what to do – get out and take the kids. Preferably go somewhere where he cannot find you for a little while. You leaving is a “crisis point” in the relationship, and it is a moment when things could get really, really bad really fast. Did you read the article in the NYT this weekend about the re-investigation of the DV homicide/suicide in Florida? She was packing her things to leave.

      Leave, quickly and quietly. And get a lawyer.

      Please be safe and put yourself and your kids first. I wish you the best of luck.

      • bluefield :

        And document! If you don’t want to go to the police, take pictures and email them to yourself or someone you trust. He is going to deny this and you will need actual proof to protect yourself and your children.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          Yes. Take photos. Email them to yourself.

          Also, remember- if you tell your therapist and she thinks your kids are at risk, she’s a mandatory reporter.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        There are confidential shelters. If you need help figuring out where to call or go, post your city and we can help you.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This this this. This this times a hundred bazillion.

    • Anon for this :

      I have been hit by an ex-boyfriend. Never did it get as violent as you described. I was scared of him and his reaction the next time we had a fight (even though it only happened once) and ultimately the relationship ended because I couldn’t live in a relationship where I was walking on eggshells, so scared of his reaction.

      Living through that sort of violent episode, I don’t know how you are feeling, but I imagine you’re scared and hurt. This is not your fault. Your unhappiness does not beget that level (or any level) of violence.

      I’m so sorry. I think you care very deeply, since you are worried how he feels, which I understand and also did. When I was hit, I was blaming myself for making him angry. It wasn’t my fault and I believe it’s not your fault either.

      please make sure you and your children are safe.

      • bluefield :

        The walking on eggshells thing resonates with me. Even if he never hits you again, the balance of power has irrevocably shifted. He’s shown that he will use his strength and size against you. There’s no going back.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +1 You will forever be worried it will happen again. That’s a huge burden for you to carry.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Oh, love. I am so sorry. This isn’t your fault. It’s never your fault.
      I agree with others- call a DV hotline. Talk to them about safety planning. Do you have a friend or family you can talk to? Involve them in your safety planning and consider leaving with your kids if you think that’s safe for you (before everyone goes insane on me, let’s assume she knows her safety and situation the best). But for your kids, please, please consider leaving.

      And it’s not true, dear. He’s been violent with you. Once is enough.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I agree with the others that you should leave. I’d add that you should consider getting a restraining order. In many states you will get a temporary order of protection the same day that you apply. If you later feel like it is safe for him to have access to you or the kids, you can have the protection order modified. In the meantime, it will give you recourse if he comes around and will hopefully scare him enough not to come around.

      I completely understand not wanting to hurt him. You might even think he will be suicidal over this. It is a common threat abusers make. Sometimes it’s true but it is not your job to handle that or fix that. Your one and only job is to protect your kids.

      I had a friend in a very emotionally abusive relationship. After one particularly awful episode I asked her – if you are going back to him after he said X, is there ANYTHING he could say or do to you that would get you to actually leave. After much reflection, she said no, there wasn’t and that is when she finally realized she needed help because he had absolutely broken her self esteem. You have taken the first step, you have reached out.

      Also, if you are worried about money, in many states you can get temporary support including alimony and child support from your temporary order of protection. If you post your state, maybe someone here will be admitted there and can give you more info.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        Yeah, this is not a terrible idea. It doesn’t have to be permanent, but for now, it will give you some time and safety to figure out what to do next.

  10. Anonymous :

    Thank you all for your supportive comments and telling me what I need to hear. It was in front of three of our kids. It makes me sick to think that they witnessed this. But it’s sooooo hard to leave NBC I feel like I’m killing him

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am not being glib when I say that is better than him killing you. Which given that he went from nothing to bruises all over you and property damage in front of three of your children, is something that could definitely happen.

      Please, please, leave him. Please.

    • You’ve gotten some good advice already. I will just say this – if you have any hesitation, think of your kids. It is so, SO unacceptable that this happened in front of them. Both in terms of how he could do that in front of them and how they had to witness it. They need to know that is not okay and has consequences. And yes, I realize that all abuse is unacceptable but the fact that he could escalate to this with your children present is especially so. This will never be okay unless you leave. All the luck to you and your children.

      • Senior Attorney :


        Do you have sons? Do you want them to learn that this is how they should treat their wives? Do you want them to learn that this is in any way okay?

        Do you have daughters? Do you want them to learn that this is how they should be treated by their husbands?

        And do you want any of your children to learn that it’s okay for parents to stay in a home where there has been horrific violence committed in front of the children?

        Those are the things they will learn unless you leave or make your husband leave. Today. Now.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          I would say that at least for now, she should leave and go somewhere where husband can’t come try to find her- get some time to think and plan next steps. If husband leaves, he knows exactly where to find her and kids. To beg to come back, to apologize, to play kids against Mom, or, g*d forbid, to commit more violence.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yeah, that’s a good point. I was thinking it’s unfair for the OP to have to be the one who’s dislodged, but we left “fair” behind in the dust a while ago, sadly.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 – What do you want your children to learn from this? What will your actions say to them? What would you want your daughter to do if this was her?

    • Anonymous :

      Figure out a safe way to get out and get yourself and your kids into counseling.

    • Anonymous :

      His feelings are not your responsibility to manage. The safety of yourself and your kids is.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      If it was in front of your kids, I take back my suggestion to consider leaving. Leave. Get out. Take the kids to school tomorrow, take the day off, pack what you need (grab passports, IDs, birth certificates, etc), switch some money into a new, private account that he doesn’t have access to, and leave. Go to a confidential shelter or a friend’s house. And consider calling the police and a DV hotline today to talk about what you should do.

      I know it’s hard to hear but I’ve seen this many times: If you allow your kids to be at risk of abuse, you can be charged with endangerment or have it be the reason for a dependency if it’s bad enough. You need to get yourself and your kids out of there. He hurt you. And your kids are probably scared to death even if they’re not showing it.

      I am so sorry this happened to you, but yes, please, please leave. It’s hard now, but it will only get worse.

      • Cookbooks :

        This is excellent advice.

        OP, I’m terribly sorry you had to experience this. Please take care of yourself and your kids!

    • Get out, get out, get out!!! You are in danger and you need to protect yourself and your children. He’s an adult. You are not responsible for him physically or emotionally. His reaction is not your fault. Please call a domestic violence hotline to work with someone who has the training and experience to help you. Your priority has to be to Get. Out. Alive.

      Also, hugs from this Internet stranger. I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • Anonymous :

      OMG. Bad enough he hit you. And worst of all, in front of the kids.
      Please leave now. What if he hits , injures or kills them when you’re not around? Could you live with yourself knowing your decision to stay caused any of that?

    • I would never, ever let my kids see that + stay. I just couldn’t do that to my kids.

    • If you are in Atlanta, you can email me at my username at the mail of google. I know lots of people who work in this area – and I have a spare bedroom in a nice, very safe building that no one gets into without a key or written permission from a resident (ie, where there will not be a surprise visit from your husband). In all seriousness, it’s there if you need it.

      • This is such an amazing offer. I’m not the OP, but thanks for being the kind of person to offer this :)

      • Frozen Peach :

        seconding this offer for Atlanta support. Can help with childcare, general logistics, legal, etc.

        • ATL has your back, OP – or if you’re not the OP but you’re in a similar situation and you’re in ATL – we’re here.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’m in Chicago and don’t have as much to offer but if you’re around here I’d be happy to offer all I can Wildki t t e n r 3 t t 3 at g mail I am moving to a new apartment and can get you keys and air mattress to use it early if you need!

  11. Physician here–the other place you could consider is your local emergency room. They are trained to screen for domestic violence, they can photograph and/or document your injuries (helpful if you need an impartial record of the abuse down the road) and also provide you with resources for where to go. I’m terribly sorry this happened to you and your children. I mean this gently, but the fact that you feel that it is your fault makes me wonder if he has been abusing you in less detectable ways leading up to this horrible incident, since people who suffer abuse frequently report a sense of culpability.

  12. I usually don’t wear belts, as I find they can often become uncomfortable over the course of the day, but have noticed that they seem to be having a “moment.” Do you think it’s tacky to wear a designer-branded belt (all of the instabloggers are sporting those Gucci double-G belts recently) to the office?

  13. Is anyone here familiar with how to steam dumplings?

    I was delighted this weekend to discover that my favorite Korean dumpling shop (Myung In Dumplings on Olympic, fellow Angelenos) sells bags of frozen dumplings. However, because I don’t speak Korean, the only instructions I got on cooking them was to steam them, not fry them. Does anyone have guidance on how long to steam them to make sure they are cooked through but avoid them sticking to the steamer? They start out frozen with raw pork in the filling so I want to make sure I’m cooking them adequately. Do I need a bamboo steamer or can I use my veggie steamer?

    • Metal steamers get hotter than bamboo steamers so it’s more likely that dumplings will stick. You can minimize that by steaming at a lower temperature and missing the steamer with oil. Raw dumplings should get to 160 degrees so I’d invest in a meat thermometer if you don’t have one.

      • This one is my favorite.

      • Thank you! I might just get a bamboo steamer since they’re pretty inexpensive, but in the meantime, hopefully, the oil + lower temp will do the trick. I do have a good digital thermometer so I’ll make sure to check.

    • You can probably also boil them. Put them in a pot of boiling water; when they float to the surface, add 1/2 cup of cold water and wait for the water to boil and the dumplings to float again, and then repeat.

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