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Workwear sales of note for 3.24.23:
- Ann Taylor – 40% off everything
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – 40% off dresses & tops
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off select styles; 25% off markdowns
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Honest opinions of Brass clothing and Of Mercer? Looking to try new options.
The Brass Modern Trouser is my workhorse pant – I have three pairs, and wear one of them almost every day. I have minimal curves, and it works well for my body. They have held up well so far (bought the first a bit more than a year ago).
Do they replenish sizes/colors quickly?
I have the Brass A-Line Dress, which I like, and thought the quality was good. It’s holding up well. I also tried the Brass Ponte Pant, but didn’t keep it because it was a bit too legging-like for me. I have a good impression of the brand, but because their selection is very small, not a lot of their items suit my wardrobe needs.
I have found that the clothes from Of Mercer fit kind of oddly, so make sure to look at the garment measurements before ordering. For example, in one of their shells, I am an XS, but then a 6 in one of their dresses was too small. Also, a lot of readers on here have commented that Of Mercer fits petites well, which I haven’t really found to be the case at all. Several of their dresses say that they are for petites, but what that means to them is just that they are shorter in length– they do not have shorter waists. I’m sure that there are people that these fit well, but I’m not one of them. Of the pieces I’ve tried from them, I think everything has been good quality, but I have a hard time justifying $90 for a jersey shell. Also, the Riverside Dress is really nice but I’ve found it to be somewhat awkward to wear– the tie comes undone and the sleeves don’t lay flat under a cardigan.
In contrast to the Of Mercer customer service, the Brass customer service will legitimately give you an opinion on whether their clothes will fit you. I’m short-waisted and pear shaped, and they were pretty honest with me that none of their clothes would really fit me correctly, which I appreciated.
Absolutely love Brass. I have the a-line and the work dress and both are flattering and have held up really well with lots of machine washing.
How is the length? They look really short on the models (though they are obviously tall) but I can’t find a length measurement anywhere.
I’m 5’2″. The work dress is sort of lower-knee-length on me (could stand to be a tad shorter but is fine) and the A-line was way too long and needed to be altered. They’re really responsive so I would try contacting them for specific measurements.
Kat I LOVE this pencil skirt, but will buy it in Size 4, b/c it is NOT an A-LINE, which gives me a little more room up top. I have just given away a bunch of my size 2’s and need to upsize to 4 b/c as I approach age 40, I simply am not the same girl that could stop traffic on Wisconsin Avenue. Far from it. I am just a middle aged woman looking to get married ASAP while I am still of child beareing age. I am hopeing that I will find a decent guy who will accept me for what I am today, not what I was able to do 20 years ago as a young freshman in DC. YAY!!!!!
I’m getting married and moving to a new city. I was just about to tell my boss when he notified me that someone else quit and that the next month is going to be really stressful. I’ve only been at the company for two months. It is not where I want to stay in the long run. The job is kind of boring and I know I can grow faster and be more challenged somewhere else.
What is the best way to communicate this to my boss? I’m thinking of just telling him I’m getting married but I can stay for another month to help out. Perhaps, this way, he would feel like returning the favor and giving me a good recommendation.
Any feedback from the older, wiser, more experiences readers would be greatly appreciated.
Dont say anything about getting married. Your marital status has nothing to do with your job. If you’re moving, telll him two weeks to a month before you move and let him know you’ll be happy to work until the move date.
Do you have a job lined up in the New city? When are you getting married/moving? You won’t get a great recommendation if it’s only a three month job but probably telling him early is best – it seems like you wouldn’t be that upset if he told you to leave in 2 weeks
I wouldn’t just say you’re getting married. It’s not 1955. Say that you have some exciting news to share – you are getting married and moving to X city, but you will stay on until X date to help out, which should enable them to find a replacement.
Give notice 2 weeks.
The getting married bit only matters to your boss if you’re also asking for time off. If you haven’t arranged for that time off yet, do it now.
This. Keep it professional. If Boss asks why, you can say, “well, I know you’ll be happy for me with all the changes in my life, getting married and moving.”
Also, this seems like a Troll question on this board, anyone else getting those vibes?
Yeah, I’m getting those vibes.
Right, didn’t she know she was getting married two months ago when she took this job, or is this a really short engagement? or is it a long engagement and she will be available to work another 6-12 months? Sounds either like a troll or a very young naive first-job type worker.
When is your drop-dead quit date? I would just give 2 weeks’ notice before that date. And don’t say it’s because you’re getting married (unless you’ve mentioned that before), just because you’re moving to X city.
“Boss, I know the timing is unfortunate but my fiance and I are relocating to New City. Because of the tough situation, I’m willing to be flexible about my end date, but I was thinking somewhere around [date].”
Agree with this completely. The advice not to mention her fiance/marriage seems very odd to me.
I would say give notice and leave in accordance with your original plan. Ultimately, a reference from a job that you spent no more than 3 months at isn’t particularly helpful under most circumstances (student summer jobs that were intended to be short-term are generally the exception, and then only if they’re career-relevant or you don’t have other experience to include). You don’t want to anger him, but going out of your way to stay longer is unlikely to yield a commensurate benefit in terms of the reference.
You probably shouldn’t even include a 2-month stint on your resume.
If you have only worked there a couple months, your recommendation is probably not going to be that meaningful either way – this is a job you may end up leaving off your resume. Agree that you should not give a lot of notice and just say you are moving. He is not going to like it, but it’s just business – people leave all the time, and companies deal with it.
I don’t understand the recommendations to not say that she is getting married. It’s not a secret, and it is the reason she is moving. I would think that her boss would be more understanding and willing to give a good recommendation to someone moving for a known-reason rather than thinking she just couldn’t stick it out and left him in a bind during a stressful time. I would go to him and say that you are getting married and will be moving at x date, and ask what you can do during your remaining time in addition to your regular duties to help.
Yes, but she’s quitting because she’s moving, not because she’s getting married. It’s not a problem to include the marriage as part of the overall narrative, but saying “I’m leaving because I’m getting married” really sounds like you are in a 1950s period drama. If she were getting married and staying in the same city, it wouldn’t be a normal reason to leave the job.
+1 to this. I was also confused why all the recs not to mention getting married.
It’s not so much that she shouldn’t say that she is getting married, but that it is not the reason that she is quitting. It’s not the 1950s – she can be married and work. If she was getting married but not moving, she wouldn’t be quitting. (granted, this is an assumption on my part. But if she just wasn’t going to work anymore because she is married, then she wouldn’t care about the recommendation) Maybe she is moving because she is getting married, but it seems more likely that those are two unrelated events that are happening close in time.
I think its more optics than anything – for her not to leave an impression with boss that “I’m getting married so I’m quitting” rather than “I’m moving because I’m getting married so here is my two weeks”. If she needed a recommendation the first colors her as kind of lazy, the second colors her as “moving because of familial circumstances”.
I don’t think it really matters since she has only been there for two months, boss probably won’t care that she’s leaving and will barely remember her in a few years.
People aren’t saying she needs to keep her marriage secret at work. Obviously it’s a life event that you can talk about like any other. But telling your boss “I’m getting married soon, so I’ll be leaving my job” is incredibly weird in 2018. People don’t leave jobs just because they suddenly have a spouse. If she’s leaving because she’s moving, then she should say she’s moving, because that’s the real reason. I don’t think it would be weird to say “I’m moving to city X to join my spouse so I’ll be leaving on Y date.” But you don’t say “I’m getting married, so I’m leaving” like you’re a 1950s housewife.
The idea that she is quitting work to get married is insane. She will come off as much more flaky for moving so soon after taking the new job without a solid reason.
“Hi boss. Fiance got a job in X City. I will be moving to X City in 2 months. My end date is in six weeks. I will transition my work over and help with the process as need be.”
Yeah, advice to women. Just ask for time off. NEVER reference your marriage, kids, etc. It’s asking to be treated like a stereotype.
Okay, tr0ll, did you even read the question?
Looking for some data from the universe today – could you share type of workplace and parental leave policy? I’m trying to decide if what I’m pushing for at my company is reasonable.
Large, privately-held company. 12 weeks under FMLA. One week paid, the rest unpaid.
Same. Also no ST disability policy.
Anon for Now
Same. No ST disability policy.
Fed gov’t, 12 weeks unpaid under FMLA (if you have it, can you sick leave for the first 6 weeks and any vacation time for the 12 weeks. Otherwise, unpaid)
When in BigLaw, 16 weeks for v-delivery and 18 for c section (all paid, firm had “unlimited” vacation so it technically didn’t count against vacation or sick leave)
Same at my state gov’t position – 12 weeks unpaid under FMLA. If you have available leave time, you can use 6 weeks of sick time for a v-delivery or 8 weeks for a c section, then an additional 6 or 4 weeks of vacation time.
also fed gov’t, but we are allowed to use our sick leave + annual leave to cobble together a good amount of leave (some women have taken up to 7 months paid). I will be doing this and probably take about six months given how much sick leave i have saved up.
How does this work? My understanding of OPM regs was that you can only use sick leave for the first 6 weeks. After that, you are limited to vacation and comp time.
If I actually had more than 6 weeks of vacation time on time of my 6 weeks of sick time, I could take more time, but I don;t
Canada. 1 year. Can be stretched to 18 months.
How much paid?
Canadian here also and back from a 15-month mat leave a year ago. Working for a large pharma: first 6 months I had 100% of my pay (government pay you 55% of a maximum salary of 72K and my employer compensate to match to my actual weekly salary for 6 months) and then 55% of a maximum salary of 72K for the other 6 months.
Basically in Canada ( well I am in Quebec but I think it is the same thing everywhere in Canada) : you have either 70% of your salary for a 8 months leave or 55% for a 12 months leave. This is not free money by the way: everyone pay for this via a deduction on our salary. Father gets a leave of 5 weeks – partial to full income depending on the employer (government pay 55% of weekly salary I think). The last 3 months I took were unpaid but I did not regret it.
In Ontario, if you take 12 months or less, you are paid 55% of your salary up to a max of approx $500 per week (pre-tax). If you take over 12 months (up to 18 months), you are paid 33% of your salary up to a max of approx $300 per week (pre-tax). Any income you collect is deducted. Very, very few employers offer any kind of top up for any period of time.
I live in Ontario and took 12 weeks maternity leave because we live in a HCOL area, I’m the primary breadwinner, and $500 is closer to 15% of my salary. It was impossible to scale back our living costs to 15% of my salary.
Yeah I’m in Canada (Montreal) and don’t know a single higher earner woman who took the full 12 months. Most people take somewhere from 6-8 months. Some people split with their partners, and I wish more people did that because otherwise as a youngish woman in the workplace there is an assumption that you might bail for a year, and it can play against you.
As lawsuited mentioned, benefits are capped at a certain salary and to my knowledge, few employers offer a top-up for more than 3-4 months. When I was at a law firm, there was a general understanding that taking more than 6 months meant saying goodbye to your career. It’s way better than the US, but the situation described by Mtl Bagel seems unusual to me.
Hello again: so I went back to my maternity leave policy at my current big pharma employer and my employer is providing a top-off of 20 weeks ( so about 5 month, not 6 like I said, sorry ). I am a manager with what I think is a pretty good salary (higher than 150K) and my husband makes a higher salary than mine; we did rely on his pay for the last few months of my mat leave. Most of the other women I know that are in my position (or higher rank) usually takes between 8 to 12-months of mat leave. I had a twin and I knew from the start that I would not be having any other kid so I decided from the start to take 15-months and I never regretted it (professionally, I came back to the same position). At the end of the day, you do what is best for you and your situation. We are very lucky in Canada to have this policy and flexibility .
State govt, 26 weeks under FMLA for birth or adoption. Full pay for first 30 days, then leave with pay to the extent of sick, compensatory, personal, or vacation days accrued.
12 weeks for those who have been there less than a year or otherwise not eligible under FMLA.
Large public state university (so both state govt and higher ed). All new parents get 6 weeks paid parental leave and birth mothers get 6 weeks paid sick leave (8 if you have a c-section). You can also use vacation days and personal days, so most people are able to take 14-16 weeks fully paid. FMLA runs concurrently so you can’t take an unpaid leave after your paid leave.
I’m staff, but faculty also get a 1 course teaching reduction (most faculty teach 2-1 so that means a semester with no teaching) and a 1 year extension on the tenure clock.
I keep realizing that my mid-sized public university is terrible. We get unpaid FMLA leave, which can be extended (unpaid!) up to one academic year. (We can use short-term disability insurance in some cases, I’d have to check that policy for details, I *think* it’s up to 6 weeks leave at 50% pay). My employer does cover the bulk of my short-term disability premiums). My contract says nothing about pausing the tenure clock, although it notes that we continue to accrue seniority. And something about a $1500 lump sum payment a faculty member can qualify for under certain conditions.
Canada, NGO, one year with a top-up to full salary.
Typical Fortune 500. No real parental leave. FMLA is unpaid. Birthing mothers can apply for short term disability, which is 60% of your pay (capped at a certain level) for 6 weeks (v) or 8 weeks (c) but it doesn’t work for the first week. That first week, you are required to use any PTO you have accrued. So in practice for v-delivery mothers, it’s:
One week of forced-use PTO (although you don’t accrue PTO)
5 weeks of 60% of pay under STD (they take out health benefits, and you do not accrue PTO)
6 weeks unpaid but FMLA job protected (you get billed for health benefits, and you do not accrue more PTO)
It sucks. Nearly every newly-pregnant employee chokes when they realize this is all they get. New dads will usually take one week of PTO (not using FMLA) and then be right back in the office.
A few years ago, several of us tried to adjust the policy to allow one week paid for new parents, to try to save that week of PTO since babies are sick often in that first year. It went nowhere because it was “too expensive” and “not an effective recruiting tool” likely because most 20 somethings don’t understand how terrible parental leave really is. I sure didn’t.
The forced use of PTO is particularly cruel. Like moms don’t deserve any type of vacation
The worst part is that our PTO is use it or lose it. For your first 10 years at my company, you get 16 days during the year to cover vacation and illness. If you take the full 12 weeks FMLA, you are down to 12 days. You’re forced to use up to 5 during that first week, so you have 7 real days to use that year. (A year of many doctors appts, a new baby in daycare, etc.) It’s so ridiculous and it’s not changing any time soon.
And they wonder why PPD/ PPA is so prevalent in this country…
We have use it or lose it so no accrual. Top out of 15 days PTO (sick and vacation combined bank) and have to use it all concurrent with FMLA so you have none remaining when you get back. I’ve had coworkers end up going almost a whole year with zero PTO days. I only had to go about 5 months.
Mid-sized law firm <50 lawyers. 8 weeks maternity leave, then you can use all of your vacation (4 weeks) for a total of 12 weeks paid. Some people took another couple of weeks off.
Biglaw. 14 weeks paid. Extendable to 16 weeks using vacation. Unpaid available after that, I dunno, probably indefinitely but you’re not going to be promoted taking that kind of time unless you are a serious rainmaker? And honestly, taking 14 weeks is borderline to begin with.
Every woman I know at my BigLaw firm takes a full 6 months. Most men take 2 months.
Six months for maternity leave is definitely not a universal benefit, even at firms with 100+ lawyers. Your firm sounds progressive.
To Anon at 11:19 a.m. Yes, but how many were Jr/Mid levels and then made partner? If I see it, I see it done by partners who have already made partner, or I see it by Jr/Mid levels that are planning on going in-house or govt anyway.
BigLaw. 18 weeks paid, flexible unpaid leave after that. I can think of numerous women who took all of their leave as associates and made equity partner, including me (twice!).
Really and truly, it’s the firm culture. If you have two kids (and therefore a full year of mat leave), most people will repeat a class year. But the baseline expectation here is that mat leave = 6 months.
This is not the norm at my BigLaw firm. Especially for the men – two men in my department took paternity leave this year and were each out for 1 week.
Late to the party
When I had my only in 2014, ~ 4 months (either 16 or 18 weeks paid) was standard at my big firm, but you could use more vacation or sick time, and most associates had a lot of that banked, because vacation time is effectively meaningless in a billable hour model. I took a little over 4 months, and left a week before my due date, using a little bit of sick or vacation time. Shortly after I came back, I think leave went up to 18 or 20 and it seemed the norm to take 6 months. What I don’t know is if it was paid or unpaid and how the reduction in the billable hour requirement works (which is really the critical issue).
We’ll see how it impacts partnership prospects, my take on that was if maternity leave was what did me in for partnership, then it wouldn’t be the right fit for me.
I had the most generous maternity leave of all my non-big law friends, almost to the point that I was embarrassed about it.
Mid-size law firm. 12 weeks under FMLA, unpaid, unless you use your vacation/sick time (which is not generous).
Previous job-large regional law firm, 12 weeks paid, but it counted against vacation time (they didn’t count sick days). I had to go on bed rest a month early, and they paid during 4 weeks of bed rest under the disability/long-term illness policy in addition to 12 weeks of maternity leave.
Large, publicly-traded financial services firm. 6 weeks (v) or 8 weeks (c) paid STD at 100% followed by 8 weeks paid leave. The 8-week parental benefit is for all new parents.
Anon in Boston
This is what we have at my F500 publicly traded (non financial services) company. So effectively, 13/15 weeks fully paid for moms and 8 weeks fully paid for dads, plus any PTO you want to take before or after.
Large private corporation in the US. No parental leave. You can use FMLA for 12 weeks of unpaid leave if you are eligible, but must concurrently use any PTO you have (excepting 5 days you can save for inevitable sick days when you come back). You can also apply for STD, which you have to pay for yourself, which generally pays 60% of your salary after a two-week waiting period (it will pay 4 weeks for a v-birth and 6 weeks for a C-section once the 2-week waiting period expires).
Public company in the financial industry. 500-ish total employees. 12 weeks full pay for women and I think 2 weeks for men. It runs concurrent with FMLA where FMLA applies. I was able to improve this from a MUCH worse leave policy about 2 years ago exactly. I surveyed friends in comparable companies and in companies that are not exactly what we do but we often lose talent to. That was powerful data. I asked friends and also did a lot of internet research. Good news is companies with good policies (Fidelity, etc.) happily broadcast it so it wasn’t hard to say “hey look at all the good policies out there!”.
Large Museum in the South; 12 weeks FMLA, but typically people do a slow ramp up or work from home for up to three months afterward. I only have experience with people in my department going through this, but in general, the administration seems more than willing to work with the individual to be as flexible as possible. We have a sort of unique system (as far as I am aware) where you accrue extended leave alongside your normal vacation and sick time at a rate of 7 days a year. This can only be used if you go on FMLA leave, or are out sick for over a week straight (I think that doctors notes are required and you might even have to be in the hospital to use, not entirely sure). This is great because it can be turned into a partially paid maternity leave, but it can also be used incase you have to take care of a parent or have some other sort of life-disturbance. You would have to be at the museum for 8 years in order to get a fully paid maternity leave, but if you have been somewhere 8 years, that seems like a reasonable reward. In general, we have AMAZING benefits and a lot of employees have been here 20+ years, including lower-level staff like security guards and maintence.
Large museum in the midwestern US. 12 weeks unpaid FMLA. Our PTO is generous and accrues; however an employee taking FMLA must exhaust all their available PTO before taking unpaid leave. Use of paid leave doesn’t extend protected leave time.
In general, our work schedules and practices are flexible for working parents but could be a lot better.
Ugh, this makes me angry, but…
Fortune 500 company. No paid leave policy or any parental leave policy, except for mandated FMLA (12 weeks, unpaid). Classic male-dominated industry (think alcohol, tobacco, auto, athletics, etc.) with at least 95% of upper management as male.
Never too many shoes...
Canada, private practice, litigation boutique. Up to 18 months with top up to 100% for first 17 weeks.
Public tech company. 12 weeks paid for birth or adoption, with additional paid time under ST disability for medical recovery like from a c-section. Runs concurrently to FMLA.
Biglaw firm. 20 weeks paid parental leave for primary care giver, can take an additional 5 weeks paid vacation if you have it accrued, or unpaid if you don’t have vacation accrued. Different policy for secondary care giver (usually dads), but I’m not familiar with it.
how does the primary vs secondary care giver distinction work? what if mom gave birth but dad will be primary care giver?
In my office, everyone I know who has taken primary care giver leave has been the birth mom. It’s basically become the norm that birth moms take the 20 weeks and non-birth moms take the shorter leave (which has been all dads and one lesbian mom that I know of).
State government. 12 weeks FMLA. None of it is paid, aside from any accrued vacation and sick leave. Also, can use short-term disability that will pay about $500/wk for 6 weeks. Me and most of my co-workers have managed to save enough leave to have the 12 weeks paid. Our particular office would probably allow someone to come back part time or extend their leave into unpaid for another couple months. Everyone who has had a child recently has just done the 12 weeks though (since for most of us we carry the health insurance for our families–one perk of this job is good benefits–so we had to come back right away.)
Fortune 50 financial services firm. 16 weeks paid for birth mother, 8 weeks paid for all other parents. All parents can take an additional 10 weeks unpaid.
HQ of a major retailer. Current policy: all new parents (birth or adopted, male or female) get 2wks 100% paid. For birth you receive either 6wks or 8wks depending on delivery, also 100% paid. You can cover more weeks using vacation time. Max time you can be out is 16wks; however if you take less than 16wks, you can use the remaining time during your child’s first year of life. I took 12wks and all of that time was fully paid, and then I had 4wks worth of days that I used by taking Fridays off for the first 4mos I was back to work.
Large healthcare nonprofit. Varies by state but in our state, by law, 18 weeks unpaid for v delivery, 20 for c section. Nonbirthing parent is 12 weeks unpaid. Required to use sick time until exhausted for the 6-8 week disability period followed by short term disability (50% pay) if you elected that benefit. May use any accrued PTO but not required. I think this is insane given our very very strong benefits generally and that we are HEALTHCARE. My previous boutique law firm of 15 lawyers and 2 support staff, by contrast, offered 7 weeks paid leave (they topped up short term disability for the birthing parent, and paid it all for nonbirthing) and up to 5 mo total time off. We had real vacation time and you were permitted but not required to use it.
Big Pharma here. 12 weeks paid maternity leave.
Also big pharma. We get 16 weeks of paid parental leave plus another 10 weeks unpaid. Most people spread the unpaid weeks out over the first year (every Friday off or 1 week per month, etc).
I feel very lucky in reading all these responses here. My company is trying hard to be very family-friendly and last year changed the policy to encompass ALL parents (fathers, adoptive parents, etc), not just mothers.
However, my husband only gets 1 week paid paternity leave (even though he works for a European company!).
Private research university. Faculty get one semester off whether or not they are the ones giving birth. Staff get six weeks fully paid recovery leave, plus 4 weeks paid bonding leave (so gestational parents effectively get 10 weeks paid, non-gestational parents get 4 weeks paid). FMLA applies, so both categories can take up to 12 weeks but the rest is unpaid. Grad students get 8 weeks paid, whether or not they give birth, though in practice many advisors arrange for students to be able to have more time.
Typical Fortune 100 (the second I’ve been at in the past 10 years) – no paid leave.
In Cal so we get Federal FMLA of 6 weeks (v) or 8 weeks (c) after birth (also 4 weeks before due date – which many forget about/don’t know) as disability, which is 60% pay but capped at a relatively low amount also. Then we get CA Family Rights Leave of 6 weeks, which is separate from FMLA and can be used in a chunk or partially here and there – also unpaid. So, 4 weeks of disability before and 12-14 weeks after (6-8 weeks of disability after plus 6 weeks of partially paid CA family leave).
The one saving grace is that both companies were open to women taking unpaid leave as well. I took 9 months, mostly unpaid. Obviously paid would have been better – and I believe that we all deserve it – but I am grateful I had the extra time even if it was unpaid. I took 2 years off with my first because we didn’t have unpaid leave and returning wasn’t such a smooth path.
US smallish private company that has enough employees to be subject to FMLA. For mom, 12 weeks unpaid (you have to burn through whatever PTO/sick leave hours you have to get paid).
Dad gets 1 week paid.
They like to proclaim this is a family friendly workplace for having benefits like this.
Moms get unpaid and dads get paid? WTF?
Canada, small firm. 52 weeks leave, 55% of regular income through government employment insurance. I have no benefits through my employer, so I am lucky we have decent government-mandated policies here.
My husband works for a large regional firm and will get some kind of top up from his employer during parental leave, although I’m not sure if it’s to 100% or for how long. When the time comes we will split the leave (the 52 weeks) in an as yet to be determined configuration both for personal reasons and to take advantage of his superior benefits situation.
Small professional services firm, no parental leave policy and FMLA did not apply. 2 kids by c-section, took 6 weeks off each time (4 full weeks and then 2 days/week off for 5 weeks) and cobbled together what I had remaining of my three weeks of vacation time and one week of sick time. Also had to reimburse my employer for the company-paid portion of my healthcare premium for the time I was out. That was 12 years ago and I was naive. I have since moved on to a different company.
Large private research university in a state that has a separate maternity leave benefit that protects your position for 4 months concurrently with FMLA. Every new parent gets 2 weeks paid parental leave. Short term disability covers 67% of your salary – 6 weeks for birth, up to 8 with a csection. The rest is PTO, which is a use it or lose it accrual of 6 weeks per year. Most mothers take the full 4 months.
Big silicon valley tech company.
12 weeks at 70% pay, tax free-ish, for parents. Then you have the option of an additional 6 weeks of disability time, again at 70%, tax free-ish. Lots of new moms take all 18 weeks, lots of parents take all 12.
A friend/coworker had his wife (different company) take 12 weeks after their daughter was born, and then he took 12 weeks parental leave after that, when the baby was 4-7 weeks old.
MM Fin. Services in the midwest
8 weeks 100% paid by firm
4 weeks Short term disability
recently changed so you do not need to take PTO
Males get the same but generally will take one week
Boutique US pharma consulting firm, <50 people. FMLA does not apply. State has maternity pay up to 60% of salary for 6 weeks with cap, but at my salary cap represents much less than 60%. Rumor has it that maternity leave pay is on case-by-case basis. I've asked for clarity from HR/senior management but no clear answer. Also: I only get 12 PTO days per year…
Non-profit in large coastal city. For primary: 12 weeks’ paid (can add up to 4 weeks PTO); for secondary: 4 weeks’ paid.
I was part of instituting this policy, and I’m really proud of my company for living up to its stated goal of being family friendly in this way, even though it’s expensive (and most of our staff is women of child-bearing age). It’s not big law, but especially given the crazy policies I’m seeing on this thread, I’m feeling good about what we’re doing.
In-House in Texas
Fortune 30 Company/Energy Industry. 12 weeks paid maternity leave, runs concurrent with FMLA. Can get additional time (paid or unpaid, depending on whether the employee has vacation time on the books). We also have a very generous short term disability plan that pays 100% of salary for a certain # of weeks, then 60% of salary for the rest of the year based on years of service.
Large, publicly traded financial company with US presence but based in Europe:
20 weeks paid parental leave. Available to fathers as well if they are the “primary caregiver” — that just means that other parent isn’t home at the same time. So your spouse could take her leave available via her employer and then the father if he is employed by my company could take 20 weeks paid. (They only get a week paid paternity leave at the same time as mom, though). Used to be that people with both parents employed by the company had to split the 20 weeks but now I think both can take it, just not at the same time.
You can also add on vacation if your manager approves.
Meanwhile, my husband (at another company) was able to take his 4 weeks of paid vacation and then took advantage of the NYS paid parental leave (up to a statutory maximum) for 8 weeks so was home with me for the first 12.
oil in houston
large oil company, 10 weeks full pay, 12 weeks unpaid (+2 weeks if C-section)
California, so many pregnant women with a v delivery have a legal entitlement to go out at 36 weeks (partial pay through the state) on disability for a healthy pregnancy, then 6 weeks disability (partial pay through the state), then 12 weeks of bonding (of which, partial pay for 6 weeks through the state). The disability can go up to 4 months per pregnancy, with partial pay from the state, if needed. The bonding leave (with 6 weeks partial pay) runs after disability for pregnant women and all new parents get it, even if they don’t birth a child.
Employer 1, a large private university, let me top up the state disability with sick leave (their policy granted a generous amount of sick leave) and bonding time with vacation, though I think I was only required to use a small amount of vacation. Official policy let managers give additional unpaid leave, if the work allowed, so an employee could take a full year off. Faculty had a different policy.
Employer 2, big law, topped up the disability leave to full salary and just paid full salary for the bonding time (so I didn’t have to go through the state/an insurer for bonding pay). Their nationwide policy didn’t give the pre-birth time off, but it was protected under California law and topped up through a combination of sick leave and the firm’s disability policy. Different policies for partners and staff, I think.
Fortune 50. 12 weeks under FMLA. Employer paid ST disability covers 60% salary for 6 weeks (8 weeks c section). 2 weeks fully paid by company. Can use PTO or take any remaining time unpaid, up to 12 weeks. Standard PTO is 3 weeks/year and you can roll 10 days, so with planning and scrimping on PTO you can get 11 weeks paid, [email protected] [email protected]%, [email protected]%
Private large real estate firm. 6 weeks 100% paid parental leave for all employees (male or female) concurrent with FMLA, 70% disability for 6 weeks after that concurrent with FMLA. They put this policy in place Jan 2017 and I had kiddo in 2016. Wish I’d waited, lol. At the time, I had FMLA + disability then 6 weeks unpaid. We don’t have a PTO “waiting period” for birth moms. I am surprised to hear this is a thing. The day you are hospitalized is the day FMLA kicks is. We are also not required to take FMLA concurrent with PTO. I am really confused by this and don’t understand how this is legal? FMLA protects your job while on leave and unable to work. PTO means you’re able to work but choosing to take a break. I don’t understand how they can be combined as they are for completely different life scenarios. If someone can explain this, I would really appreciate it.
State Gov in the Midwest. 6 weeks paid for all new parents (birth moms and dads, adoptive parents, parents through surrogacy.) Birth moms can also take 6/8 weeks paid as ‘sick’ time before paid parenting leave kicks in. Eligible to use for up to 12 months after qualifying event (birth or adoption.)
I have a deep love of sharp cheddar. I’ve never had a cheddar that was sharp enough! Any particular brands I should try? Or is there another kind of cheese that is like a step above the sharpest cheddar?
The Cabot extra sharp (black) package is pretty sharp. Otherwise, if you have a cheese store nearby, go in and ask them! Where are you located?
go to WF or Central Market and ask.
I feel your pain. We relocated from Austin to NYS, and now our store-brand sharp cheddar is sharper and tastier than the “good stuff” we used to get at Central Market. Nice to be in a dairy state for this cheese-lover.
HEB sells a few that are aged 3 years. That’s as close to sharp enough as it gets for me. There are a few brands but they don’t regularly stock stuff that’s aged for that long so I always just check how old it is and just buy whatever is available regardless of brand. There’s one that I think is labeled something about being Irish and has a green label that I like, but I can’t actually remember what it’s called.
FWIW, I don’t find the Cabot extra sharp that sharp. It’s fine, but there are others that are better.
I think you’re thinking of Kerrygold. They have a “reserve” cheddar that’s pretty sharp.
Order some cheese from Sugarbush Farm (.com) in Woodstock, VT. It’s a tiny mom and pop place that makes amazing cheese and maple syrup – we discovered it on a road trip. They actually have a bar called Super Super Extra Sharp haha. Our favorite though is their jalapeno cheese – oh my word…
Mmmm that sounds right up my alley.
Placing an order now …
We visited Sugarbush on a trip too! Lovely little farm.
anon a mouse
Kerrygold Dubliner Irish Cheddar. It was the only thing strong enough to slake my pregnancy cravings.
Never too many shoes...
That stuff is delicious.
Try an aged sharp cheddar. If you can find Hook’s, try any of their cheddars that have been aged more than 3 years.
I have no specific advice for you but I just want to add that I love this question and find it delightful.
We eat the Tillamook extra sharp (black) package from Costco. Aged 2 years.
We always have at least 3 or 4 in our fridge. We age them at least another year. They get even drier/crumblier/sharper! As soon as we open one, we buy another so there is always old/aging cheese in the fridge.
Ouch! That hurts
Tillamook has sharp and very sharp! I share your love …
Have you ever tried the super crumbly aged Gouda?
Aged Gouda is amazing. Also: sheep’s milk feta. So much more flavorful than cow milk.
I grew up in Upstate NY so I appreciate this question. Nothing like the homemade extra extra sharp cheddar at our local orchards.
Try the cheddars from Neal’s Yard Dairy at Central Market.
The Old Croc extra sharp white cheddar has become our household favorite. It is amazing and I mourn whenever it is out of stock at my local grocery store.
Carr Valley Cheese in Wisconsin has some really good aged cheddars. They have a website so you can order online. You can also set up monthly delivery. It’s also a small shop, so it’s easy to call in person and tell them what you like.
Seconding the Cabot rec! I prefer the Seriously Sharp white cheddar (in the red plaid package) – I’ve found it’s the sharpest.
I think this skirt looks good because of the styling – the menswear-esque pinstripe button down keeps it from looking too twee. The model’s haircut and hair color also help it look cool.
I agree. I like the skirt okay, but with the styling it looks great.
I own the skirt and love it. I wear it with a button-down bodysuit from J. Crew.
Anyone want to do some vicarious shopping for me? I am going to a conference in Monaco next month and need a long dress to wear to the black-tie event. Would love something not black, not blue or pink, under $300 if possible, no sleeves, size 8? TIA!
No advice but I think it’s so f-ing cool you get to go to Monaco and wear black tie. It’s like James Bond!
In the spirit of today’s post, how do you feel about ruffles? This one is surprisingly cute and I like the shade of green, it would stand out.
I like it! Would have to try it on to see if that green is hideous or nice. ;)
I LOVE this.
My response disappeared, but if you don’t hate ruffles, I’d check out the Vince Camuto Ruffle Gown in green on the Nordies website.
Never too many shoes...
I feel like, whatever you choose, it should be either red or sparkly silver given the location/007 connotations.
Pretty, easy to pack, and comes in a bunch of colors. https://www.macys.com/shop/product/lauren-ralph-lauren-one-shoulder-brooch-gown?ID=2664667&CategoryID=5449
I have a similar (but with sleeves) version that is my go-to for fancy travel occasions.
I’d wear this: https://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/Chiara-Boni-La-Petite-Robe-Anselma-Cap-Sleeve-Off-the-Shoulder-Evening-Gown/prod130250163_cat368009__/p.prod?icid=&searchType=EndecaDrivenCat&rte=%252Fcategory.service%253FitemId%253Dcat368009%2526pageSize%253D30%2526No%253D0%2526Ns%253DPCS_SORT%2526refinements%253D4294966681%252C729%252C718%252C724%252C732%252C723%252C720%252C722%252C725%252C726&eItemId=prod130250163&cmCat=product
or this: https://www.theoutnet.com/en-us/shop/product/gowns_cod4772211931495009.html#dept=AM_Marchesa_Notte_DESIGNERS
Love the second one!
Linda from HR
Thanks, I hate it.
I guess I like ruffles, I mean I don’t wear them but they’re fine, but it just looks wrong here. This skirt looks like the person who made it was lazy and forgot to remove some of the extra fabric. The placement of the ruffle is weird too.
Not my jam.
What would you wear to a wedding the first weekend of October, in the Midwest? Venue is a barn.
I’ve been to a couple barn weddings and my #1 recommendation is to think hard about your footwear. Could you get away with funky boots or booties? If not, definitely wedges. I don’t know what their rain plan is and if there is any outdoor component but mucking around in heels is misery.
Maybe a knee-length dress, one step short of c0ckta!l? Definitely a sweet leather jacket or other topper for when it gets chilly at night!
LJ is the answer!
Definitely depends on the barn – are we talking a barn that’s on a working farm, or something like the Pavilion in northern IL? Most have uneven ground leading up to the barn and then a concrete floor, so comfortable shoes are a must. Some barns are heated (or have AC for those rare fall 90 degree days), some are pretty open to the elements.
Dress for the weather – except the weather could be anywhere from sunny and 60s to rainy and 30s.
Other than that – knee length semi-formal dress (i’d go for one of the jersey Lauren Ralph Lauren green label dresses) in autumn colors with knee high boots and tights or bare legs and wedges (depending on aforementioned weather)
I went to this wedding last year :) I wore a lightweight long sleeve dress from LOFT – it was forest green with a brighter floral print. I brought a cardigan and was glad I had it after the sun went down. Flooring allowed me to wear heels. Basically one step short of cocktail, as said above.
Help me look more sophisticated? I’m 33 and I have a baby face and I think I’m dressing too young. People I encounter for work think I’m just out of college. Part of the problem is that I’m cusp sized (16) and it’s SO HARD to find more tailored, sophisticated clothing in bigger sizes. I feel like anything I wear I just look roly-poly and immature instead of polished and stylished. Ugh. Any suggestions?
Could you do something different with your hair? Is it long? A shorter cut might help.
While extra petite (the blogger) is on the opposite end of the size spectrum to you, she has done some excellent blogs about “looking young.” Maybe you could glean some of her overall styling/accessory tips to help?
Cut your hair/put your hair in a bun at all times + wear glasses + pants + blazers/shirts (anything masculine looking).
For clothes, you may just need to go to a tailor. Buy clothes on the big side and have them taken up to fit you just right. Make-up, hair, and jewelry can play a big part here, too. Find pictures you want to copy and study them.
+1 – this is exactly what I did, and it worked great. Tailor, tailor, tailor
I’m your age and also in that weird cusp size where normal sizes don’t fit but neither do plus sizes. I wear almost exclusively dresses. Boden and Ralph Lauren dresses fit me well and run in my size, so does the Maggy London Cascade Wrap.
Thanks for the rec for Boden. I love the look of their stuff online but it’s so expensive and the shipping is a hassle if I need to return.
Shipping returns really is easy with Boden – they send a mailing label with every order and you just need to drop the package at a post office.
I will say that in my experience, Boden is worth what you pay for it. I wear almost exclusively Boden dresses to work.
Nordstrom carries some Boden stuff now
I Heart Boden
Also, Boden almost ALWAYS has a 20% off coupon code if you search online.
If you have a difficult time finding polished clothing in your size, I am sure others can more helpfully chime in on retailers. What do you do for jewelry (or accessories in general)? That can be a pretty easy way to look more sophisticated.
Where are you shopping? What are you wearing?
There are tons of stores that now have a wider range of sizes. I think there was just a useful link on this website recently…. look for that?
Maybe a visit to Nordstroms and make an appointment with a stylist to get some recommendations.
Maybe it’s time to buy a couple structured pieces and have them tailored.
Do you need an update on your haircut? A tiny bit of make-up/lip color?
And nothing helps more than a confident stride, head up, shoulders back, looking people right in the eye, and a firm handshake. It is all in the presentation….
I’m a cusp size and I do pretty well at Talbots. Some of the styles might be too matronly for you, but others are classic and the right level of sophistication. They have killer sales.
Not saying you HAVE to wear make-up, but if you don’t wear any already, make sure your brows are shaped well and consider a lip tint.
I love Talbots. Everything I get there needs to be tailored, but is worth it.
Cusp sized petite here. Finding appropriately professional and “adult” clothes remains a problem for me in my 40s because a lot of what is out there that fits me screams lady who lunches or Sunday church. I end up at Talbots, Ann Taylor, Macy’s and Nordies the most and choose structured, tailored suits and jackets that I proceed to get altered for best fit. Outside of a business formal environment, you might have luck at WHBM, J. Crew, BR, etc.
– “Age” your jewelry. I found that pearl almost anything was good for this.
– Heels, not flats. And I mean simple, single sole heels.
– Think about your hairstyle. If you are going to keep your hair longer, make sure that you have a more professional style. There should be a number of threads on here somewhere about the high pony/low pony/bun pros and cons.
– Glasses, glasses, glasses. I found that every judge I appear in front of took me more seriously when I started wearing reading glasses (because I needed them, not just for appearance). If I had known this, I would have gotten some glasses with no prescription in them just to wear to court ten years ago.
I have a similar problem. I feel like the problem is my hair and voice. I’m nearly 40, dress very professionally, but I have tight wavy/loose curly hair (I guess I should just wear it up more often) and my voice is very high pitched. People are always, shocked (shocked I tell you) when I tell them my age, which is awesome personally, but I honestly feel is hurting me professionally.
OP here. Thanks for all the comments & advice. My hair is a bob. I wear very discreet and delicate jewelry (pearls or small silver or gold studs for example). I already wear glasses (because I need them). I always wear good quality shoes and bags. I think I’m ok in that area. It’s really my body that’s my problem I think. It just doesn’t fit into the nice, formal work clothes I see at J Crew or Banana Republic or similar stores. I’m in Canada and they only offer up to size 14 here. Same with the Nordstrom here – very very hard to find anything beyond a size 12 or L. As for more high end brands, forget it. I’m also too small for plus-sized brands. I avoid florals, ruffles, etc.
I feel like I look okay, but very cutesy (round baby face, round body) rather than professional stylish business lady if you know what I mean. I guess I just wish I was one of those tall lean people but…I’m not.
What about darker colors or a uniform of sorts. Well tailored black slacks and white/beige/blush shells (+ heels) are my jam and make me look much older.
Tell me more about accessories and glasses, ladies? I’m not the OP but I could be.
Should I get fake glasses?! Accessories… have never been my jam. How do I pick good ones? And what is their purpose? Like sometimes I’ll wear a scarf because “this big plane of solid color on my chest seems like too much” but I’ve never understood any other work accessories. And because of my huge chest, long necklaces look funny.
What? No, don’t get fake glasses.
I actually feel the opposite about accessories. I’m 5’3″ and curvy, and I look young enough that out with my bf and his siblings, I’m the only one carded and we are all 38-42. I feel like so many pieces read as trendy and make me look less serious and mature.
I’ve found that a fairly serious uniform (all solids and textures with the occasional pinstripe) in menswear styles with interesting flat shoes (again, menswear style – lots of oxfords) with only a classic watch and maybe a ring provides the right level of gravitas. But I’ll echo the fact that clothes that are well tailored are an absolute must, not matter what the style.
I ended up dealing with the accessory issue by having fewer “sedate” pieces (tin cup pearls, grey pearls, heavier silver wheat chain that I double, small heavier hoops or pearl stubs) instead of more “fun” or delicate jewelry. I love scarves in the winter and have found that a heavier woven silk in a nice solid (or one of the double sided solids – those are great) or a wool ruana carries more authority than a silk twilly at the neck or something tied in a “tie” style. Brooches also are great for this. (I know I am agreeing with Cat, but it does happen sometimes!)
Yes to fake glasses, but only with attached nose and moustache, Groucho Marx style.
Now this is a look I could rock!
This dress is my favorite.
I like the neckline on this. It’s interesting without being weird.
I have this dress in three colors. It’s great. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012I2L6R8/
I think what has helped is getting dresses with an interesting details but nothing cute, avoiding fit-and-flare (even though it looks so cute on me in my personal life!), and insisting on dresses with sleeves, because layering with a cardigan always makes me feel kiddish.
But I still have lots to learn outside of the clothes department.
Thank you for all the links! That’s a really good point about fit and flare and cardigans…I need to stop with both of those I think.
Have you tried a blog for plus size fashion, like The Curvy Fashionista?
Agree 100% on the fit and flare. I love them, but I save them for office days when I will not be seeing anyone because there is no escaping the deadly combo of young matron that seems to arise when I wear them. Team Sheath for Serious here.
I have tried to wear sheaths for nearly two decades, and it is a complete failure. So my options are fit and flare (in solids/textures with high necks so they are less cutesy) or pants. I think that in the right outfits, fit and flare can read as professional and serious.
I have been trying and trying to find espadrilles with a low wedge (1-2.5 inches) and that don’t have an ankle wrap (tends to make my legs look stumpy). I have a kinda wide forefoot so I need the front part of the espadrille to be a little on the wider side (or have a design that doesn’t cut off at the wide part of my forefoot) so that it’s not digging into the side of my foot. Any ideas?
These at Nordstrom may work. https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/toni-pons-tremp-slingback-espadrille-sandal-women/3969789?siteid=J84DHJLQkR4-4ShM3VHhp3_OfDkXx_3bcQ&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=J84DHJLQkR4&utm_content=1&utm_term=593372&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=J84DHJLQkR4
Bella Vita brand available at Nordstrom. I hav ethen in black and navy, and they are very comfortable.
I am guessing the answer if NO – and that’s how I’ve been approaching it – but are espadrilles too casual for a business casual, fashion forward-ish office? Flat strappy sandals and heeled sandals (but not thong sandals) are totally fine in my office but somehow espadrilles make me think of vacation only.
Toni Pons espadrilles at Zappos? I have similar feet, and I think I have the Ter style.
You all are brilliant. The Toni Pons are exactly what I’m looking for. Thank you!
FYI, this is for vacation, not for work. My office is pretty formal. I’d guess that certain styles would be fine for a business casual, fashion forward-ish office though.
I’m looking for a standing jewelry box (one of the big ones that is like a piece of furniture), and not having much luck finding anything in store. Given that I have particular wants with regards to its organization, I’m reluctant to buy online sight unseen. Any recommendations for stores to check out? I’m in DC, and willing to take a day trip if people know of good non-chain stores.
I know you said not online, but I recently got this one that hangs on the back of a door. I’m really pleased with it. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0716PKHRV/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
I think their in-store selection varies but try Bed Bath & Beyond. They also have easy returns so you can always take a chance and order online.
anon a mouse
I see things fairly frequently at Homegoods — you might have to visit a few different stores a few different times to get lucky.
I got a really nice jewelry organizer at Pottery Barn.
This situation sounds made for a long weekend in NC with a leisurely afternoon at Furnitureland South.
J C Penney
I need help finding a reasonable perspective on how much the church should engage in social/political issues. I grew up in a hyper-conservative tradition (wives submit to your husbands, this cupcake represents your virginity, evolution is blasphemy) because it was really all that existed in my little hometown, but thanks to great parents and a feminist streak from age nine, I never subscribed to that. Right after college, I became an Episcopalian, in large part because that denomination was willing to rock the boat by ordaining women and gay priests and by emphasizing that reason and doubt aren’t opposed to faith, but part of the religious experience.
So now I’m an active member of an Episcoal church in a large, heavily liberal city. The congregation markets itself as “progressive” and consists mostly of upper middle class professionals. Many of these folks, as well as the clergy, often hesitate to engage with anything overtly political; for example, we’ll celebrate same-sex marriages and welcome refugee families, but there are no sermons or prayers about gun violence or family separation.
I keep feeling like during this crazy time in our country, more is being asked of us — not just as individuals, but as a faith community. I’ve become somewhat cynical about the church’s failure to engage. And I keep thinking that the check I write every week would do more good going to RAICES or the Human Rights Campaign or any number of organizations, instead of to… the church organ replacement fund.
I could really use some wisdom. Are these expectations unfair? I love so many of the people in this church but I’m so frustrated. I’m limited in how active I can be in some of these issues because of my job, but maybe it’s not fair for me to expect the church to fill that role. Any advice is appreciated.
I think some churches might do this more than others – maybe there is a better fit for you within your city? Or perhaps an initiative you could lead within your existing church?
A friend works on how religious groups engage with climate change and she found that many churches were willing to do things like install solar panels but not willing to lobby government directly or participate in protest marches etc. It was outside their comfort zone but they also lacked the people-power to do it.
If you’re in DC, I have an Episcopal Church to recommend to you…
I’m on the vestry at mine. It’s such a difficult road for priests to walk. “Do I risk alienating older or more conservative members? Do I simply preach the Good News every week and let this sanctuary be a sanctuary from the world’s strife? How do we Walk the Walk in these crazy times? Does it mean protesting gun laws?” And you know the Johnson Amendment prohibits churches from preaching on specific candidates.
Have you considered moving to a more progressive congregation? In the DC area, congregations run the gamut from practically Catholic to practically Spiritualist.
Our priest feels called to preach on family separation and gun violence, but not all do. Remember, they’re individuals just like we are.
This administration will no longer enforce, or permit to be enforced, the Johnson Amendment, as part of Jeff Session’s new “Religious Libery Task Force.”
New to DC
If in DC, the Canon Vicar at the National Cathedral brings up politics. Check out her sermons on line. Great stuff!
FWIW, I have a friend who works in social justice at Trinity Church in NYC, but the social justice piece of their outreach is not done through the regular worship services, etc., but with a separate community involvement organization within the church. Does your church have one of those? I grew up Episcopalian and never encountered in-worship emphasis on anything political, other than the usual prayers for the people wrt refugees etc.
I think you are asking too much. If your church is too active politically (as differentiated from individuals in the church being politically active), your church risks its tax exempt status or at the very least investigation by the IRS or state.
Morally, I also think you’re asking too much. You joined your church because of its acceptance and openness, not because it was politically liberal and the topics you mention are definitely more political than moral in nature. Should your church pray for the victims of gun violence and the reunification of families? Maybe. Should your priest/preacher sermonize about the evil of guns from the pulpit? Probably not. Gun ownership and restrictions is a political issue – killing people is the evil. You’re conflating your politics and morals.
I agree with this. The Bible literally says nothing on how hard it should be to own a gun. I struggle to see how any of its scriptures could even be liberally read to influence gun control. Obviously, the Bible won’t talk about guns, but I don’t see any moral issue at all. Definitely talk about the evils of killing, how difficult mental illness is, how we should care for those with mental illness as Jesus did, etc.
In my view, it is impossible to argue that the Gospel has nothing to say regarding gun control unless you believe that the only thing that the Gospel relates to is things and objects that existed 2000 years ago. The Gospel is eternal truth for our time and every time, and Christ speaks to us today and every day.
If you believe that the Gospel has nothing to say about how your should exercise your rights and duties as a citizen, then your understanding of Christianity is profoundly divorced from the history of Christian social teaching. Virtually all significant social movements in the west, from abolitionism to the Civil Rights Movement to the pro-life movement, have been heavily influenced by Bible-believing Christians who felt God’s call to bring justice in this world. If you come from a conservative background, I encourage you to take a look at Francis Schaeffer’s work on Christianity and social change, which speaks to this from a conservative perspective.
I don’t think you can lump the Civil Rights Movement in with the pro-life movement. At least not in the eyes of anyone else besides your fellow X-ians, and you do so in the public sphere to your own detriment as a voice in social-political issues IMO/IME. E.g., saying it should be illegal for a woman to abort a Trisomy 18 fetus and claiming you KNOW that’s never a choice that can be moral is insanely different than saying there should be no laws allowing public/private slavery or denial of human rights.
Anon Secular: that was a value-neutral statement on my part. Whether or not you think those things are morally equivalent (and regardless of your views on the position), you can’t deny that Christians have felt that their religious beliefs compelled them to speak out against them. The point I’m making is that the idea that Christianity has nothing to say about politics is inconsistent with the history of the faith.
I’m also uncomfortable with pastors translating religious teachings into specific policies in sermons. Timeless truths are really different from historically contingent pragmatic solutions! I also think that if churches that agree with me get to preach politics, the churches that disagree with me will get to do that as well, and they have more to gain.
Gail the Goldfish
There are some limits on political activity churches can engage in given nonprofit status. My (loose) understanding is it’s gotten looser in recent years and really it’s just can’t engage in political campaigning on behalf of candidates, but discussing policy is ok, but I could understand some churches being unwilling to be too involved rather than having to navigate what’s ok vs what isn’t. (Trump administration has been trying to get rid of the rule altogether)
I don’t think you’re being unfair, except that this particular church may not be one that will fill that role. You may need to search for a different faith community whose actions align more with your beliefs about the role of the church in the community.
In the meantime, if you don’t agree with your church’s financial priorities, you don’t need to feel guilty about giving money to a charity of your choice instead of the church.
Agreed. People have pretty polarizing feelings about whether the church should get into politics. I think a lot of churches backed off because they were losing members… and that was even before the current administration. Now it seems like most people are so fatigued they just don’t want to hear it, even if they agree with whatever the church is saying. For OP, I would definitely start looking into other churches to find a better culture fit, but maybe temper your expectations.
And this might not be up your alley, but the Catholic church has been hugely supportive of immigrant rights like forever. If you’re in a very liberal city then it might be worth checking out.
Ugh… but I could never go back to the Catholic church with how poorly they have handled women’s issues, abuse, contraception, abortion… shall I go on?
I like the pope though!
I hear you. I think there’s been a real push to stop sermons that tell people how evil they are and instead focus on expanding Catholic social ethics in those areas. Like, let’s stop preaching at people about the evils of bc and abortion, and invest our energy in promoting health and social services for women, children, and families. Obviously very congregation specific though.
It really depends on where you are. Maryland has a Living Waters community of Catholic women priests if you would like the experience of a Catholic Mass with a woman providing the homily, consecration and delivering sacraments. Part of the social justice causes that run through the faith are immigration support, affordable health care (yes the birth control thing is an issue, however, it’s important to know that there is some baseline advocacy going on beyond how they tie morality and reproduction. Ministry to help those who are impoverished, homeless, incarcerated. Most conservative Catholics are shocked at what living their faith looks like. Too many are more comfortable supporting the idea of a person, and shut down when it comes to people of all ages, abilities and economic statuses that actually breathe our atmosphere. Dorothy Day is in the process of canonization (read her autobiolgraphy if you get the chance) which is part of the shift. Look for a Catholic Worker 501c3 near you to find people who are blending their faith with their personal work. Ask them where they are most comfortable going to Mass.
(This is more for the OP)
So, I am an atheist who grew up in the Unitarian church as a child of a Catholic father and a Lutheran mother who were both lefties in the civil rights movement, so take this with a grain of salt.
You either need to find a church for that works for you, and it may not be where you are now…..
Or realize that the vast majority of churches are not political organizations as well as community touchstones. I suspect there is a little pressure not to become too political or risk tax free status. But obviously that hasn’t been followed for decades. You may be looking for too much. A church still needs to keep the lights on and some want an organ…
Do you volunteer with organizations that support your beliefs? That may be more of what you need. If you really need the combo in your church, look at Unitarian and Ethical Humanist societies in your city.
This atheist agrees that you may not find what you are looking for in any church rooted in christian tradition. Maybe engaging in a church and an additional non-profit/activist group is the way for you.
I’ve grown up in a non-religious community and my outside view is that churches are too intertwined with structures of power, which is why I would always expect them to fall on the conservative side on the spectrum. Some denominations or congregations may be progressive _for a church_, but that doesn’t make them necessarily progressive compared to other organizations.
I converted to Episcopalian from Catholicism for the same reasons you did. I belong to an Episcopalian church in a very red state and our priest does address political issues, although usually as a complement to whatever the Gospel is, etc. He did re-write his entire sermon after the events in Charlottesville last year, and focused it entirely on acknowledging the hate in the world and where to go from there, which I appreciated.
So my thoughts, as a devout Christian and an Episcopalian, are as follows:
-It is absolutely the mission of the church to speak to social issues. Christ’s message is expressly not solely about transformation of the individual but about transformation of society. A church that speaks only to personal sin and not to societal sin is failing our express commission to work to bring the kingdom of God to life in this world.
-A lot of pastors are really bad at preaching on social issues. If they do it at all, it’s basically political polemic. When Christian leaders preach on social issues, they need to look deep into the Gospel and to the church’s historic theology of social justice (which goes all the way back to St. Paul) and draw on those sources so that they aren’t just repeating political talking points, but rather forcing believers into a confrontation between what the Gospel teaches and the acts of our political leadership.
-I feel particularly strongly about the “not repeating political talking points” bit because I believe that the church should *never* be the organ of a particular party. When you attach yourself to a party’s political views, you lose your ability to speak truth to power. This is happening now with the evangelical right but it happened with the Christian left under Obama in my view. I loved Obama, but he supported, or at least didn’t fight against, policies that I viewed as profoundly wrong from a Christian perspective and my denomination and others weren’t strong in their response to that because they viewed him as generally aligned with our views.
On the Feast of the Holy Innocents last year, my priest preached on the significance of that holiday throughout Christian history – including how in that story, Herod deems the murder of hundreds of children to be an acceptable cost for maintaining a comfortable status quo. As part of that sermon, he pushed us to consider how our visceral rejection of the murder of the holy innocents aligns with policies that allow the deaths of children today, specifically including our unwillingness to regulate guns. It was incredibly effective, it was grounded in scripture and Christian teaching, and it pushed me to do some uncomfortable thinking about why I’m pro gun regulation but manage not to care about other policies that ultimately have the same effect.
I just wanted to say that I appreciate your comments so much. I’m not religious at all, but your comments here are a regular reminder that religion can be a positive force in the world.
Anon in NYC
Agreed! I always appreciate cbackson’s perspective on faith and religion.
Thanks – I really appreciate that. Honestly, one of the things that is the hardest for me is figuring out every day how to live out what I believe (it is not easy to figure out how to be a force for love and compassion when your job is negotiating tough deals, you know?) but over the last 5 years or so I’ve realized that if I really believe in this I need to try to live it out in every part of my life, from the office to my sports to my civic and political decisions.
That isn’t always comfortable and I think I fail more often that I succeed, but I hope that I’m moving in the right direction.
I really appreciate this comment, cbackson. My relationship with religion is “It’s complicated” but you hit on a lot of what was important to me when I was practicing.
I grew up in a church that described itself as “socially liberal because we are Biblically conservative.” Meaning, if we take seriously what the prophets and Jesus say about how we are to treat other people, that leads to support of things like welfare programs and healthcare reform. Even issues like LGBT rights fell under the calling to love our neighbors and promote justice in the world.
The church I currently attend is in a very liberal PNW city, and we get messages about justice and compassion from the pulpit every week. Not necessarily specific political examples (as cbackson mentioned), but reminders of our calling to actively love our fellow humans. Off the pulpit, we have mission groups working with the homeless and LGBT communities, engaging in social ministry while not necessarily engaging in partisan political action. But we also have specific ministries for refugee resettlement. It’s a delicate balance, but part of why it works is that the pastor actively discusses the struggles of maintaining this balance from the pulpit.
Not sure if that speaks for or against the OP’s point, but just wanted to add my experience of the church.
“Off the pulpit, we have mission groups working with the homeless and LGBT communities, engaging in social ministry while not necessarily engaging in partisan political action.”
This is a really key point. The information I hear in the sermon is much less important to me than the physical action my religious community fosters. It’s one thing to remind me to love my neighbor and another thing to put me in the middle of a service project where I come face to face with my neighbor. I want projects that make me uncomfortable, make me unsatisfied with the status quo, and empower me to support/challenge (on my own) political positions that have an effect on the on problem.
Also, if anyone in Seattle is aware if a Catholic Church that is socially involved and pushes their congregation to get their hands dirty, I’d love the suggestion.
Try Our Lady of Guadalupe – they were busy with the Seattle Catholic Worker Center a while back. It’s been a few years since I was in the area. Maybe someone else will chime in.
Church is damned if they do, damned if they don’t. If they fail/ignore issues (like they largely did/do on slavery/Civil Rights/race relations w/in the church), then that does intense damage to their credibility. In my opinion, irreversible. But if they take stances, then you have to hope they are taking the “right” ones b/c once they get going on the “wrong” ones, that’s also really bad. Their obsession with overly-restrictive anti-abortion laws comes to mind. The hold the religious community has on secular life in Iran and Turkey and Saudi Arabia also comes to mind…
You’re not asking too much. Historically, churches have been some of the largest forces pushing for positive social change in this country. They’ve sanctioned cruelty, hatred and injustice. Why waste your money on an institution that refuses to stand up for the right thing?
Churches, like large social institutions, change. It can take a long time when the membership is global. It can feel like forever when you are in a country that is relatively well-off. Some people quit. Some people quit and come back when they see progress. Many stay with the journey and speak of how they would like their values updated, helping the change happen.
Can you target your donation? As a Reform Jewish synagogue member, I can often give to Rabbi’s personal fund, Scholarship fund, etc. I think there is an Episcopalian lobbying organization arm of the Episcopal church, I know they do a lot regarding specific issues here in Atlanta and in Denver, too. Find out more and see if you can target. Speak to your church leaders (both clergy and lay) and see what they say.
You are not asking too much!
Look up the writings and speeches of Rev. William Barber: you may remember his speech at the DNC in 2016, but really he’s a preacher, not a politician. His whole premise is that progressive people of faith have a moral obligation to take action in the face of injustice.
Also, tell your church that you need more! Talk to your minister/vestry/Board of Trustees. Or come find the UUs. :)
Can I get that name of the Episcopal church in DC?
OP- what about giving to Episcopal Relief and development? I’m a lapsed Episcopalian (but a very heavy promoter of the church, even if I no longer attend) and that’s where I give my monthly donation. It’s going to the sorts of work I want to support (disaster relief) and is still supporting the Church (so I feel better that my attendance is lackluster)
If you’re not willing to put in the time and do the work then I think you need to get over yourself.
NYC ladies: I’m coming into NYC in a few weeks so would you recommend arriving 3.30 at LGA or EWR? I could probably take the train in from Newark and then a cab to my hotel close to times square but would traffic be bad so it’s not worth trying to come into LGA and cab it into the city? I didn’t love that the train from Newark seems to take forever last time I did that.
It depends on how much luggage you have. If you just have a small carry-on, then EWR probably works, but it’s just a hassle to have to change from train to cab and the cab might take forever too that you might as well switch to the subway. I prefer LGA, which is only 15 min from UES. However, if your hotel is downtown like say the financial district, the cab ride obviously will be twice as long.
IME, flying into LGA and taking a cab to Times Square is faster. If you took the train from EWR to Penn Station, I’d recommend the subway to get to Times Square–that would be faster as well as cheaper.
Thanks for the replies. I didn’t factor in luggage. LGA sounds like it may work better overall.
FWIW, I just did something similar from EWR (we were staying in Brooklyn) and we used a Lyft. It was about $60 from the airport and about $50 returning (before tip). Very easy with luggage.
LGA is the right answer. Newark =\= NYC.
LGA for sure
MBA partner question
Can any current or former MBAs or MBA partners tell me what I’m in for? My husband is starting his MBA program this fall, going full-time. We do not have children. I’ve read online, and he’s mentioned, that he’s going to be insanely busy with group projects and both social and school obligations. My grad program was hard and I was certainly busy, but I also had time to relax, meet up with friends, and also enjoy the time I wasn’t working full-time. Is this an unreasonable expectation for me to have for an MBA? I sort of eye-roll when things online act like an MBA is sooooo different from other graduate programs and say things like “don’t expect to see your spouse much for two years” but I also want to moderate my expectations if I need to. My husband will prioritize “us” as much as possible – I trust that – but I like to know what I’m getting into. Any advice from those with MBA experience very welcome!
I did law school, my husband did MBA (top 3 program). He was probably 40 percent as busy as I was. He will have plenty of time. It’s good that he plans to take it seriously though! Many don’t!
It’s only as insanely busy as he makes it. Yes, there are lots of group projects, but he can choose how many of the social things he does (you’ll be invited to a lot of them too). Not seeing him for 2 years is ridiculous. He just needs to be very clear on his priorities because there is always going to be more to do than he has time for – networking event here, party here, trip here, club meeting here. Absolutely none of it is mandatory other than the group projects and maybe some of the job search stuff if that’s an issue for him.
B School Wife
My husband is halfway through his MBA (one year left), but we’re doing long distance while he’s in school. So I can’t speak personally to the day to day as someone living with him, but hopefully this (long!) post is helpful. I visit him once or twice a month on weekends during the school year ( and he comes to see me about as often).
One of the primary goals of the MBA (from my view) is to network. This translates into having group projects in most classes that require meetings and coordinating. DH spends a lot of time outside of class for this. In addition, because grades do not matter or cannot be disclosed at most B schools, there are people who do not pull their weight in these group projects, which lead people like my DH to become very frustrated at having to do all the coordinating and then pick up the slack.
Networking also means joining a bunch of clubs. Some of these are professional (ie banking, consulting, tech) to help you find a job. Others are fun- food club, wine club, various sports clubs. On top of that, there will be at least one night a week (Thursday, in DH’s case), where there will be school parties/happy hours or when clubs host big events.
So DH usually is super busy during the week with all his clubs, group work, etc. That said, we both try to protect our weekends (especially since we’re not together during the week). On weekends, he might have a basketball game or a Sunday night group meeting, but usually nothing else that requires him to leave the house (unless it’s right before midterms or finals). He might have some homework or recruiting applications etc, but he certainly had down time to hang out with me in his first year.
Also, a lot of B school activities are geared towards partners too. Almost all of the school sponsored events are open to partners, as are some of the clubs (ie wine club). You can go to those together- some of the partners get very involved in the B school scene.
I went to law school, which was completely different than B school. I struggled at first to sympathize when DH complained about how tired he was after a week that involved multiple dinners, events, sports, etc. What I keep having to remind myself is that it’s a different kind of busy than what I have at my law firm or had in law school, and that it’s stressful in its own way. Though TBH, I still struggle with feeling bad for him with his complaints over how busy/tired he is, when it seems like nothing compared to my long hours at the office.
Let me know if you have any specific questions!
Thanks for such a thoughtful answer, I really appreciate it. I have a feeling that like you, I’ll struggle to sympathize with his busy-ness – but I’m going to try! Good luck to you on year two!
Oh HI! I’m in your same exact position (almost, we don’t get to see each other as much, with the exception of all of the school breaks).
Nice to know there’s another long-distance, lawyer/business relationship going strong out in the world. :)
I laughed a little at your description. Of the professional schools, the med school students worked the hardest, the law students next, and the biz students were partying the most and seemed to be having the most fun. Sorry, but I have no sympathy for someone who feels obligated about all the dinners/drinking/back-slapping partying they have to do!
But it is a stressful transition, no doubt.
My partner is currently in a 16 month online MBA program at a competitive school. The day to day is definitely different than what I experienced in law school. i.e. law school was lots of individual studying and just one exam at the end. The MBA program constantly has assignments due and is heavily focused on group work. It is busy, but not OMG you won’t see your husband for 2 years! The best thing your husband can do is treat it like a fulltime job and go to school, get assignments done, study between 8-5. My partner does school for 2 hours before work everyday and then only needs to do a few hours/wk in the evening or on the weekend, mostly to accomodate group meetings. It has not impacted our life nearly as much as I expected.
I did my program part-time while I was working full-time. It was a three-year program rather than the standard two, so it was relatively intensive (not one course at a time for a decade…)
It was busy, but I still spent a lot of time with my husband and contributed to my family life as always. I agree with other posters – he can be as involved in the social aspects as he wants, but it’s certainly not mandatory. There is a lot of opportunity to network through the normal group work. Even 10 years after graduating I’m still very close with some of my former classmates!
I just finished a regular MBA program (not the Executive route) by taking two classes per semester (Fall, Winter, Summer) for two calendar years at a state school. I have a full-time job as a CPA that requires about 50 hours a week plus a teenager and a husband. I felt exhausted at the end but it is doable. If I had taken double the load and not had a job, life would have been sweet. I basically did nothing but work, school, go to my child’s sporting events and study. But I also did all the laundry as usual, baked French deserts for my child’s class, dealt with a mother who was hospitalized twice, etc – so there is free time. A lot of the studying lined up with my daughter’s studying, and I could not have done it without my husband taking on ALL of the cooking and driving our daughter. Also, regular early morning exercise (running) kept my energy levels up. The group work does add a ton of time to the load but I found that the more I contributed to group work, the less overall time those projects required. Two of my oldest, dearest friends planned an overnight birthday celebration and another one sent me flowers to say “welcome back” (to the real world/playing) after I sort of dropped out of all but the essentials. He’s got this!
Are there a lot of you with husbands about to start MBA programs, or is this the same person asking questions about it over and over?
I get the impression it is one really anxious person dealing with a lot of change.
Friend, I hear you. Have you own life, too, and you’ll make time for each other! It’ll work out, I promise!! You’re a good wife.
I’m a different woman from the other question. I don’t remember another MBA spouse question, but now I’ll have to go look for it!
My husband did his MBA a few years ago, full time at a top 10 program while I worked full time and honestly, we saw each other so much more than we do when we’re both working. He’s in finance, so that’s part of it, but he had so much more flexibility with his time while he was in school. He was very busy, of course, but he was also home a lot during the day so he could take care of some things around the house while I was at work. He’ll have to work on time management since, like most things, you get out what you put into it – both with the program and your marriage.
We lived very near campus so that was convenient, we also really embraced the opportunity and I attended a lot of social events (when appropriate, of course) with him. We ended up meeting some of our best friends through the program and I made some excellent professional contacts as well. Writing about it now makes me so nostalgic for those days!
This is so good to hear and very encouraging to me. Thank you for responding. We didn’t have to move, which means I get to stay at my job, and I’m hopeful I can take advantage of the professional network as well.
Same. Husband’s pre-MBA job was so much more intense that T10 MBA was a cakewalk, loved having him around more and able to do more at home, sad that he is going back to the real world soon!
I did law school, SO is about to start his second year at a top 20 school. We’re doing long distance (see: lawyer), so take all of this with a grain of salt if you’ll be in the same location.
If he’s taking it seriously, and treating it like a job, he’ll be busy, but it’s not THAT busy, and not nearly as busy as law school first year. He’ll have group projects/meetings on Sundays (I’d expect), and there’s a fair amount of networking that goes on in the evenings. But, from what I’ve heard, the first year is the worst, and the second year is a bit of a joke (even in top programs).
And, to echo a lot of what’s been said, there’s a lot of stuff that’s “optional but recommended” and it’s social–talking to people, meeting with people, going to events with people, etc. If your SO is an introvert (as mine is), that may not be terribly easy. So, something to be aware of.
Hi! Want to help my 22 yo daughter get some new shoes. She is a very petite person in general and wears a size 5 1/2 shoe. Her problem is that her heels are extremely narrow, and almost everything slips off, meaning that she winds up wearing a lot of slingbacks and slides though she prefers a more filled-in shoe. Her foot itself isn’t narrow though – narrow width shoes such as Ferragamo don’t really help, it is the heel specifically. And yes she wears heel pads and cushions. She has found some luck with AGL and I’m willing to splurge to help her with good professional shoes. Any other suggestions?
(Her business place is polished business casual, so ballet flats and similar are perfectly fine; plus, she commutes on public transportation so there’s little need for high heels.) Just some nice, fashionable flats and low heels.
I have a similar problem of my heels slipping, and I like a Mary Jane style if I’m wearing heels of any height, especially at work. I feel like my foot is more secure. And you can find pretty stylish ones, not all of them read young.
I have a narrow heel and an average to wide toe box. A post on another blog suggests looking for a “combination last.”
You have my feet and thank you for this recommendation!
Here is the link: http://www.reasonablypresentable.com/index.php/2016/05/21/narrower-heels-wider-toes-shoes-for-you-exist/
Thank you! This was very helpful. Had no idea. I vouch for Rieker for narrow heel and normal to wide toebox. They have gone to cheaper materials in their trendier styles but you can tell readily by looking at the description and photos of stitching. They are my go-tos and are incredibly comfortable from a fit and arch support perspective.
My feet are narrow in the heels and not elsewhere. Cole Hahn shoes fit like a glove. I had some Tory Burch ballet flats that were so perfect, I wore a hole through them (I know the logo isn’t in style anymore, but they have some plain flats). Kate Spade, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Louise et Cie shoes work with the pads. Shoes with adjustable heel straps work really well–I have a pair of Boden T-Bar straps from a previous season, and they’re still my go-to flats.
PSA–the cushions at the ball of your feet work better than heel pads for this problem. You may already know this, but it took me years to figure that out.
Since you already ready to cross the Ferragamo bridge, I’d suggest trying the scalloped Chloe block heels or any of the not crazy Aquazurra heels. Both work well for me as someone with a similar foot shape. Also, there are tons of professional mary-jane style shoes that can help keep your heels in place.
Try checking out the Barking Dog blog. It’s for medically problem feet but there are some cute and office friendly options among the casual footwear.
I also have narrow heel, and have morton’s neuroma (inflamed nerve at base of 2nd toe – need wider toe box) so similar needs. There are specific posts that speak to this situation.
Also, by wearing supportive, feet healthy shoes early on she can avoid the foot issues that are created by wearing too-tight or flimsy shoes in your youth. If I could go back in time and do that I would still be able to wear heels :(
I have those feet. None of the brands listed by the poster above (Cole Haan, Tory Burch, Kate Spade, etc.) have worked for me–all slip off my heels, so your daughter may need to try on a lot of different brands and see what works for her. AGLs are my best choice, as well as anything with an ankle strap. Marc Jacobs made some strapped heels last year, as did Sofft. Search the Nordstrom website shoes section for “mary jane” or “ankle straps” from time to time. There are more fashionable choices than the traditional mary janes out there.
Agreed with this poster. Same feet, none of these brands work for me at all. Too wide in heel, too narrow in toe box.
One of my closest friends just got engaged, and I want to get her a little something for when I see her next ($20-25 range). I’m drawing blanks. Something just to express how happy I am for her. Any thoughts?
My go-to gift for this is an a congratulations card, some bridal magazines and a cute ring holder. All of that together usually isn’t more than $25.
A cute ring dish. I always think this is a fun engagement gift since she has a shiny new ring. They have tons of them on Etsy so you can easily pick one that would have some special meaning to her.
This! I love mine.
A former boss of mine got engaged while I was working for her and a friend got her a lingerie bag monogrammed with what her new initials would be. I’ve since gotten that for all of my engaged friends since it’s something you wouldn’t get yourself and it also is useful!
You have to be certain she’s changing her name. I’d say 80% of my college/law school friends who’ve gotten married haven’t.
Also you have to know if she’s going to take her maiden name as her middle. Eg. if she was ABC and married a guy with the last name D, even if she takes his name she might be ABD or ACD. I took my husband’s name, but I kept my last name as my new middle name. A monogram that said ABD would have been worthless to me, because I’ve never liked my original middle name and am quite attached to that “C” from my original last name.
Do not do this.
I am keeping my last name and likely adding FH’s to it. (I am the commenter whose mantra is that marriage adds to my identity; it does not erase a huge part of it.)
It is sweet when people refer to me socially as the future Mrs. Smith, because they are just so happy for us. But no one is putting monograms on stuff, and it is hugely presumptuous to do so right after the engagement.
Yeah. I also think it’s weird to ask someone right away if they’re changing their name. People did that to me and I found it kind of off-putting (even though I eventually did change my name). We just got engaged, let me breath before I talk about permanently changing my identity!
Agreed. I think the best language is to ask if she has made a decision yet, not to assume that decision. It is wildly presumptuous to just rip her last name off like a worn-out BandAid.
A bottle of champagne is traditional, but I’ve also seen a ring holder (for you to stick your rings on next to the sink when washing face/hands/dishes) suggested and thought that was a cute idea. Or some stationary with her new last initial if she’s planning on taking his name?
Ring dish! Search on Etsy. I usually get my newly engaged friends ones that are plain white with their new initials engraved or painted on (if I know she is planning on changing her last name) or some kind of combo of her fiancé’s first initial+her first initial.
A nice card and a succulent that she can tend to throughout the engagement and beyond. But I love the idea above for a ring dish.
Thank you for all the comments! I love the ring dish idea. She won’t be changing her name, but I’ll keep those ideas in mind for other friends.
Some ideas: A cute little bowl for storing her ring when sleeping, washing dishes, etc. A cute pair of dishwashing gloves with a “diamond”. A fun notebook for recording details of the wedding planning. A manicure (you could go together) as she might be showing off her hands a lot. Links to follow.
It’s kind of a silly thing, but there’a s product called a “Diamond Dazzle Stick” that is really fantastic for cleaning rings, and it runs around $7ish at Bed Bath and Beyond or on the Rainforest shopping website. That, plus a ring dish, would be a gift I’d love to get!
Second, third, fourth all the ring dish recs – I always use this shop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/262075561/engagement-ring-dish-jewelry-dish-bride?ref=user_profile&ep_click=1
And fwiw, it is a popular suggestion among younger brides so if your demographic skews that way your friend might get a few of them (I like them generally and have a few myself so I don’t see this as a big issue)
If you’re reading this, my most successful engagement gifts have been a pound of fancy coffee and two cute mugs.
I was curious if I would get more likes on dating apps if I wasn’t a lawyer. So I changed my profile to doctor at a hospital and immediately got 4x more likes. The quality of the likes was also better. Before, I got a lot of “self-employed” slackers who were clearly out to find a woman who makes a lot of money. Now those people still exist, but male doctors and lawyers are also liking my profile. Oddly, I also get more men in their 40s-60s who I imagine are more interested in young women who are doctors in case they get a heart attack. . .
This just made me so sad that even my profession hurts my chances at finding love.
Do you need to list your profession on your profile?
I always left the career field empty, or put something generic like “works at a law firm” or “legal field”. People can assume what they want with that. Unfortunately a lot of men are off put by high achieving women. I don’t think that’s your issue as a doctor is more likely to make more money and have more time (depending on the specialty) than a high-earning lawyer.
What I found was putting a generic “legal field” as profession drew in better quality guys who have no issue with you being a lawyer once they meet you, but may be more attracted to a more “traditional” women’s field initially based on their upbringing. I find these types of guys want a woman with a “real job” but not someone who won’t have time for them – but generally don’t care once they meet you. It’s not right, but it is so and you’d be cutting your nose off to spite your face to not give these guys a chance because its usually a symptom of not really knowing what they want.
I haven’t had someone directly tell me that they wouldn’t date me because I was a lawyer (probably very few men would be quite so direct), but I have had several pointed questions about work-life balance, whether I would be able to make the relationship a priority, etc. For what it’s worth, I’m not happy with my own work-life balance, so it’s hard to hear those questions, let alone respond to them. I don’t think I ever met up anyone who started interrogating me about work-life balance before we’d even met.
I also changed my job description on my profile to be more vaguely legal instead of “lawyer.”
Thanks, these tips are helpful.
Hrmm. I’ve just changed mine to list where I work (large hospital system) not what I do there (lawyer). I never had both, because I don’t want everyone on Bumble or Tinder or whatever to know who I am. I wonder if that will make any difference.
It could just be an influx of likes because you modified your profile. Updates = they show you to more people.
I’m a lawyer and routinely get messages from doctors, lawyers, engineers, and consultants, although obviously don’t know if I’d get more if I was a doctor.
I laughed a little at your post. Sad, but true.
I am a doctor. When I (have to…) reveal what I do/speciality at social gatherings, people look at me uncomfortably and either walk away (it is shocking how many people do this immediately) or start talking about their closest relative who died of a long chronic illness.
I’m a real party killer. I keep meaning to pretend I’m something else…..
Haha. If I knew this, I would have gone to med school – more pay and stability, less hours, and more men!
Ugh, yet another reason to wish I had gone to med school and not law school. :(
What is your specialty as a doctor? I can’t imagine anyone backing away…
Not a doctor
Maybe an Infectious Disease Doctor? As a person who has had an infectious disease, trust me when I tell you people back away from you. So I’d imagine a Dr. that deals with that all day would certainly get that reaction a lot.
They think about it a little…. none of their images are very pleasant I assume.
Ouch! That hurts
I’m even worse – when I say “Psychologist” I immediately follow it up with “I’m not on duty now” when their face blanches!
Pretend to be a stewardess like that episode of Sex and the City!
That’s what I always think of when someone mentions this issue. And then the guy pretending to be a doctor when he really worked at a shoe store or something…
Wait, are you trying to use LinkedIn as a dating app? Because that’s not what it’s for.
But seriously, why are you even putting that info in your profile?
Is it that silly to think that someone might care about her career and that it’s a big part of her life? Because career can convey important information about a person?
Obviously I can’t speak for the OP, but if you don’t understand my job/the role it plays in my life and how it’s connected to my identity, you’ll never get me.
I don’t get you.
Phew, thank god we don’t have a date scheduled.
What is the point of this comment except to be rude and needlessly contrarian?
I think Tinder/Bumble autofill it if it’s in your FB profile. I could change it in Bumble, but I couldn’t delete it altogether.
I don’t get this attitude. The men who are put off by this are self selecting out, saving you a lot of time and work! Do you think that if you lie in your profile, you’ll trick some dude into liking you so much he won’t care that you’re a lawyer when he otherwise would have? Also, seriously, what is your plan for coming clean when you finally meet these men? Do you think they’re going to stick around once they find out you’ve lied to them?
+1, I’d be reallllly unimpressed if someone did this to me. Either be honest, or don’t put anything about your job in your profile.
I think the idea is not to lie but to be deliberately a bit vague, in order to combat people’s knee jerk misconceptions. On a lot of the apps especially, guys are not putting a lot of thought into swiping left or right. Personally, I’m also a bit vague because I don’t want people to figure out who I am from just what’s in my profile, but YMMV.
Relax, I just did it to test out the number of likes. I don’t intend on matching with these likes and already switched back to my normal profile. I don’t know what app you’re using, but on apps like Hinge and CMB in NYC, almost everyone lists their occupation and where they went to school (pulled from Facebook).
Have we discussed this one? It’s going down as my favorite work dress from the NAS sale. Sold out first day but got my size on a return and restock. https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/tahari-satin-trim-crepe-shift-dress/4934864
Any other favorites?
I almost bought it this morning but fear it might be too short for me. Can you comment on how it fits a pear shape?
I’m more square than pear, but I am carrying a bit of weight right now and went with a 10 rather than 8 to make sure it didn’t bunch at the hips. I couldn’t go larger than a 10 without it swimming off my shoulders.
Paging WW commenter
I saw the comment asking for Weight Watchers ideas late yesterday and left a long response. Hope it helps!
Poster below – I missed yesterday but now I’m going to go look at this too – thanks!
Does anyone have any experience with Square / Venmo / Paypal for non-profit use?
My church runs a pumpkin stand. Historically we’ve only accepted cash or check (and there’s an ATM within walking distance), but we’ve had lots of people ask us to find a way to accept plastic. Customers have said they’d be fine paying whatever transaction fees to allow us to net the same amount. I’m trying to figure out which system would be the easiest to get going, and more importantly, which system would be easiest for all the (often elderly) volunteers to use.
Get a square attached to an ipad or phone. It’s extremely easy to use and teachable.
I haven’t used them from the business side, but my impression is that to use Venmo or Paypal, both parties have to have any account, where with Square, it’s a credit card processing app – which means anyone could use it.
If you use the Paypal device that attaches to your phone, the person paying does not need an account. You can just run their card on the device.
I work with two nonprofits and both have the paypal device that connects to your phone, on which you download an app to process payments. It is $25 and is simple to use. Both non-profits just roll the fee into the price.
I work at a nonprofit and we use Square. Super easy.
Our Rotary Club uses Square and it’s super easy.
Be careful before charging more to pay with a CC. I believe that is illegal in some states.
Thanks! I found a table from the ever-useful National Conference of State Legislatures, and my state is one that does not have any laws on this.
Square is very easy to use.
Venmo –no fees for the receiving organization. The other two charge regular credit card merchant fees. Voice of accounting experience here.
I’d walk to the ATM to get cash before having to go download some other app and set up a whole new account. One that’s linked to my bank account, no less!! Don’t do Venmo or Paypal or any other app. Just get a Square reader like every other organization in 2018.
Can anyone recommend a good clear mat for protecting the carpet from my home office chair? There are options on Amazon but it’s always hard to tell what’s actually good.
I got a cheap one from Ikea that has worked well.
At Office Depot you can order a custom size and they’ll ship it to you. The measuring seems like it’s hard but it’s fairly easy.
In a job interview, do you think it’s a decent strategy to admit when you aren’t an expert in something? I was just asked whether I had a “lot of experience” in a particular task and I answered “although I have some exposure to that through ___ and ___, I wouldn’t call it an area of expertise for me.” I thought it sounded okay/honest at the time, but now I’m second-guessing and wondering whether I should have played up my very limited experience more. My husband said his hiring team just ditched someone for putting a skill on his resume and then admitting he had never used it in an interview, so I’m wary of claiming to have any skills I don’t have. Thoughts?
Honestly is the best policy. Don’t play up limited experience. If you get the job, they will expect you to be able to do the things you said in the interview.
I think your answer was fine but maybe could’ve been a little better. I think you took the question too literally. In my view, asking whether you have “a lot” of experience in X is a colloquial way of asking you to describe your experience in X. I don’t think they were asking you to certify yourself as an expert in X. I would’ve honestly described my experience and let them decide whether it’s “a lot” or not.
I think your approach is right if you had very little exposure to that area. Maybe you won’t get the job because they are looking for an expert in that area. But if so, you would have also been bad at the job which is not helpful long term.
I recently moved to government in a new area of law. I admitting in the interview that I had little experience in x, but I was interested in it because of y, and I’m good at learning new areas of the law as demonstrated by my recent litigation matters in a and b. It worked out for me – I got the job and there was not an unreasonable expectation about my knowledge coming in. But I’ve also used this approach in other interviews and not gotten the job – which I’m fine with, because I would hate to start a job with unreasonable expectations based on my limited experience in an area.
I think you absolutely did the right thing. It might mean you’re slightly less likely to get the job, but being denied a job opportunity is a million times better than getting hired and then quickly fired because you don’t have skills you said you did. Good luck with the job search!
I think you did the right thing. I was asked if I had experience in X at a job interview, and I straight out said no, because I really didn’t. It was also a skill they didn’t have in the job description and was kind of out of left field. I ended up getting the job and it’s been fine. Sometimes it’s more of a wish-list item than a must-have item, but it’s best to be honest so that you aren’t expected to do things you really aren’t prepared to do well. And some jobs aren’t worth getting if you won’t be a good fit.
I feel like this is absolutely the opposite of what a man would do. A guy would say “Yeah, I totally have a lot of experience — I’ve done it, like three times!”
In your shoes I would have left off the part about “I wouldn’t call it an area of expertise.”
I also err on the side of not overplaying my skill set. I wonder if there’s a very specific way you can describe how it is limited in a way that doesn’t down play it by just saying you’re not an expert? It would depend on the skill set, but I’m thinking something like “I have experience in handling State’s hazardous site response law compliance for real estate transactions, but have not handled an enforcement action/litigation.” Or, “I’ve tried [x] type of case, but as second chair,” so they don’t expect you to come in and serve as lead counsel.
I’ll say though, the male partners at my firm have zero issue representing themselves as experts in complex areas of law and then delegating all the research to me to give them that expertise. The amount of confidence/fake it till you make it unnerves me.
I would say the first part, but instead of your second I would pivot to an example or two of how you were able to pick up a new skill before with success and/or how you planned to address it if you got the job.
E.g., “Although my experience is not extensive, I have always been a quick learned. For instance, when I started my last position I was not proficient in X but within Y time I was able to successfully do Z.”
Agree that honesty is the best policy. In a similar situation, I said that I had x and y experience, but that I wasn’t as strong in the area as in [ ] other area, and was really looking forward to the opportunity to gain more experience in x and y, which is part of the reason the new job was so appealing, etc.
How do you reset your sleep cycle? I can get to sleep…at like 4 am. Which is not conducive to a productive workday. I want to return to a normal schedule, but I’m having trouble.
Had to do that and I am terrible at sleeping but it was effective.
First thing is forcing yourself to wake up at 6:30 or 7 or 8 am, so that you are actually tired.
Then you should have a routine at 10pm or whenever you want to sleep. Shower, chamomille tea, read a book and no laptop whatever. Taking some melatonin or benadryl to force it might not be the worst idea.
Honestly though the forcing myself to wake up at 6:30 am by way of a million alarms was the most effectibe.
I’ve read adjusting an hour at a time (one hour earlier wake up/sleep time) is conducive to resetting your internal clock. Also, melatonin works for me.
I suffer from a circadian rhythm disorder called Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder, and see a neurologist who specializes in sleep- I know lots about this. Tips:
Bright light first thing in the morning- go out for a walk.
No blue light 2 hours or so before bed time, no screens (I literally wear “blue blocker” glasses in the evening). Take the lowest dose melatonin tablet you can find (Trader Joes brand has been specifically recommended to me by Dr.) 2 hours before your desired bedtime. Practice sleep hygiene, only use the bed for sleep, make sure your bedroom/sleep area is tidy and conducive for sleep. #1 advice is to try restrictive sleep therapy. Here’s how it works: First set your parameters for what your ideal desired sleep time is. For example, say its 10:30pm to 6:30am- those are the only hours you’re allowed to attempt sleep. Go to bed when you feel sleepy, even if that’s at 4am, get up no matter what at 6:30. The next night, you’ll feel tired a bit earlier, say 2am. Wake up at 6:30am. It could take a month, but eventually you will be reset to your desired sleep hours.
Not doing work while sitting in bed is something I need to fix.
Thanks for the tips :)
Get up at the same time every morning. Loud alarm across the room. You can’t sleep it/go back to sleep. At all. Sit next to a happy light every morning while you drink your coffee/eat your breakfast/at your desk. Ideally, get natural sunlight exposure as well.
Daily exercise. Even just a walk at lunch is great.
Take melatonin at night. Start with taking it about 1 hour before you want to go to sleep. Start moving it up every couple hours to taking it with dinner. Even just 1 mg is plenty. I get mine from costco.
Determine your bedtime by deciding what time you are going to get up every day, and count backwards 7-8hrs. Go to bed around then.
No screens at all for 2 hours prior to bed. Start a bedtime routine for the hour before bed. Relaxing things. reading is ok. End with a mindfulness meditation while you are in bed, to help you relax (download an App onto your phone. No late night eating.
If anxiety is part of this, talk to your doctor. Keep a notepad by your bed and if you wake up in the night worrying about something, write it down.
If you wake up in the night, try another relaxation meditation or turn on the radio. If you can’t fall asleep after 15 minutes, get out of bed, go to another room, read for awhile (NO SCREENS), then go back to bed when you are tired.
Keep the same schedule, within an hour or so on the weekends. You need it.
It might take you weeks/months to shift. Seeing a sleep specialist doctor….even for 1 or 2 visits can do wonders.
I do not recommend taking over the counter benadryl or other sleep aids. TERRIBLE for you and your sleep long term. Regular use of benadryl not contributes to increased development of dementia long term. Not good.
When they say “no screens”, does that include Kindles?
Most kindles are fine, I think only the Kindle Fire has a backlight thats a bright blue light like an ipad
Do it over the weekend. Instead of forcing yourself to wake up, force yourself to stay up. You will be dead tired by 10 pm, and by 7 or 8 am, you would have had more than a full nights rest which will make it much easier to get up in the morning.
Check out CBT for sleep – there was an article in the NYTimes a few years ago that explains it well.
Why did this happen? kids, dissertation due, travel across time zones, nigh owl, stress? b/c if it’s stress, you probably need to fix that too (sorry!)
I have a wedding to attend at the end of the month. I’ll be just starting my 3rd trimester of pregnancy (about 28 weeks) and the wedding is outdoors in New England. Where do I even start looking for a dress? I think the dress code is garden party, so it doesn’t need to be too formal.
Asos probably has the best selection of maternity dresses, and if you’re in the US (and make sure you’re ordering from their US site) the shipping and returns policies are very reasonable.
Could you order 3-4 options now from places with good return policies? Then you can see what fits right then. Places that had dresses that worked for me: Nordstrom, Jojo Maman Bebe, Asos (they have pregnancy tall sizes, the Holy Grail!)
I would go for something easy like this: https://www.macys.com/shop/product/motherhood-maternity-twist-front-dress?ID=6484736&
You could dress it up with a fancy wrap and shoes (if you’re up for fancy shoes).
I used Rent the Runway for events like this in later stages of my pregnancy. They have a good selection of dresses that flatter a growing belly.
I like wine but I know nothing about it. I’m really bad at picking out wines that I like. I have some background for what I like with whites (I know I like crisp and prefer dryer over sweeter) but I’m horrible with reds; it’s a total crap shoot. I’m going to Italy in a few weeks and I want to know enough to be able to make sure I’m ordering wines that I would like. It would also be nice to know a bit of background about Italian wines, but nothing major. Anyone have any good resources for either?
Knowing you like crisp, dry wines is actually knowing quite a bit about wine. If you tell a waiter this, they should be able to get you a wine you like. This article has more about Italy specifically: https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/a-guide-to-italys-wine-regions
My local wine/beer store has frequent tastings. Maybe google some in your area?
I have not read it, but I have heard good things about “Decoding Italian Wine” as an Italian wine starter book. Available from the site of the river.
Can you catch a class on Italian wines in your city or go to a wine bar that does flights and has knowledgeable staff? That would be my normal recommendation to give you a chance to taste a number of things, because my view is that the best way to learn and know what you like is to taste, taste, taste.
you can just go to a wine tasting in Italy! You get a fun afternoon out of it and usually they give you a discount on bottles you order after the tasting.
if you happen to be going to Rome, I can’t recommend Rimessa Roscioli highly enough. They will do tastings of Italian wine (either private or in small group classes). My husband and I had SUCH a good time, that we ended up booking a second private tasting class for later in the week. Also, make sure you eat while you are there. Very surprisingly we had the best meal of our entire two weeks in Italy at this tasting bar.
Super nice and helpful staff that will give you a great introduction to Italian wines.
If you do not happen to be in Rome, I would google for wine tours or tastings in whichever city you will be staying in. We have done similar tours in other cities like Paris, and they are always very helpful.
Ooh snagging that rec! I’m currently daydream-planning my honeymoon :)
Where in Italy are you going? Chances are good that the wines at most restaurants will be regional or even more local, although Rome is probably an exception here.
I would go somewhere with wine flights or go to a tasting and jot down some words that come to mind in the wines you like. bold/dry/fruity/mellow/smoky/bold etc. I am amazed at how I can literally say 2-3 descriptive words to a great sommelier and they will bring me literally the perfect wine. I think just having a few words in your back pocket might help!
Go to Siena and go to the Enoteca Italiana- it’s a state sponsored museum/wine bar for the best wines in italy sold at cost. Talk to the soms about what you like- some speak english. Then bring home cases.
I’ve lived in wine regions and in and among wine makers. I learned two things. One, my pallet will only ever be what it is (average at best b/c my sense of smell is average) And Two, the one and only resource on wines is: https://www.amazon.com/Wine-Bible-Karen-MacNeil/dp/0761180834/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1533234088&sr=8-1&keywords=the+wine+bible
The author is just an expert in a world of would-be’s.
You can’t go wrong ordering the local Italian wines in the places you travel to. Check out the reference here if you want a better idea of the regions and what they offer. But outside Italy, most people think of “Sangiovese” and “Chianti” which are two different things but often in speech to mean the same thing. You will seem like you know what you’re talking about OUTSIDE Italy if you order those, but I bet inside Italy, you will seem like a tourist. I would try to figure out the local regions/star wines as you go along – you won’t look horribly plebeian for not knowing that stuff in advance – just ask for the popular/acclaimed local stuff with an open mind.
I may have an opportunity to interview for someone who was very prominent in the start of the #MeToo movement. She went on record about harassment in her work place and was interviewed in national newspapers. I admire her very much. Would it be appropriate to mention how much I appreciate her courage during the interview?
I would phrase it in the larger context of work environment and company culture.
We’re going to Ireland for our honeymoon next summer for about 10 days. My fiance grew up going & has family there but has never really stayed in touristy areas or in Dublin. Would like something nicer than village inns & small rentals he’s stayed in. I’m thinking something higher end or historic since it’s our honeymoon. Also looking for recommendations for restaurants/things we must see. We’ll stay in Dublin for a few days then rent a car to travel around the countryside & up to Belfast (need hotel recommendations there, too).
Never too many shoes...
I will absolutely come back to help you with this a little later today!
I love Ireland but I’m not sure I’d recommend it for a luxury honeymoon. Even the higher end hotels/castles are old, creaky, with poor soundproofing and no AC. I mean it’s a modern country but don’t expect to find shiny new American-style luxury hotels all over the place. Driving in the Republic of Ireland is also very stressful (do not under any circumstances rent a spacious luxury car). Driving in Northern Ireland was fine.
Yep, am expecting this but fiance stays in hostels/with family when he goes…which isn’t conducive to a honeymoon. Not expecting a luxury NYC or London experience exactly, but would like our own room! Hah.
Anon in NYC
Lough Eske Castle
Cahernane House Hotel
All luxury, all amazing. If you do want a charming B&B with excellent farm to table food, check out Ard Na Breatha in Donegal.
Howth Bay is a little fishing town a quick train ride from Dublin city center. Eat at Octopussy if you go, and explore the cliff trail. It is very windswept and quaint.
Never too many shoes...
There are some pretty fancy hotels in Ireland, not to worry!
For history, the Europa in Belfast and the Shelbourne in Dublin are both wonderful. The Shelbourne played a big role in the 1916 rising.
Castlemartyr in County Cork is also stunning with a fabulous spa. Ashford Castle in County Mayo as well.
The Shelbourne in Dublin. They also have a very good high tea.
Not a rec for a place to stay, but if you have time in Belfast – and if your future H hasn’t done this before – I cannot recommend enough the black taxi tours of the sectarian neighborhoods and the murals there. I did this with my son when he was 16 or 17 and he still talks about it (he’s 23 now). The murals are fascinating cultural touchstones and the history that the former cabbies/tour guides provide with the tour is very enlightening. The botanical gardens in Belfast are also very nice for a quiet respite.
Never too many shoes...
The murals are so interesting. Milltown Cemetary is also deeply moving, especially if you are at all interested in republicanism (like anti-monarchy, not the American kind).
Thank you all!
I tried to start WW and I’m so hungry. I tracked what I ate for a week so far and I ate 2-3x’s my allowed points (I only get 26 WW plus pts and at 55-77) most days. 26 (even with 49 weekly) seems like nothing. And I can basically never eat things I love (macaroons, pizza, dessert, wine) – does it get easier?
Is this just how grown-ups are supposed to eat? No delicious appetizers and drinks at happy hour? No delicious pizza and pasta at Italian restaurant outing with coworkers? No (artisan, like delicious) cupcake at a birthday party?
Yea, you basically have to cut those things out except for special occasions (using weekly points) if you want to lose weight. You definitely do not have to be hungry on WW– eat as much fruit, veg, lean meat, and beans as you want– but you can’t be eating macaroons and pizza on a regular basis. In particular, WW heavily penalizes sugar, so enjoy your fruit because other sweet treats will set you back half a day or more’s worth of points.
Try focusing on including more vegetables rather than what you need to restrict.
I was PISSED when I started WW. Pissed! A doughnut was 8 points, but only 190 calories. Look, here’s the thing about it–it’s designed to retrain you to think about fruit, veg and lean proteins first, and to use your points for treats/things off plan. If you’re going over by that much, you’re likely having off-plan lunches and dinners, if not breakfasts too. Someone has to be the person to tell you, yes, you can have a doughnut today. You can even have two if you have a healthy lunch/dinner. But you absolutely can’t have 3 if you plan on losing weight. Likewise, you can have a slice of pizza, but you can’t have that and wine, and apps, and dessert. Sorry. That’s the way it works. You could go out with your coworkers, but it would mean eating on plan for breakfast (eggs, greek yogurt and berries), lunch (grilled chicken with veggies) and then using your points for dinner (1 glass of wine, 4 points, 2 servings of bruschetta – 8 points, spaghetti with meat sauce – 13 points). That’s about 700 calories. So that plus lean breakfast + lunch keeps you on track.
Hahah – yup, that’s me! Thank you :)
Sadly, unless you are ruthless about portion sizes, pizza, pasta, desserts, etc. are very hard to fit into WW, despite what the commercials show. You may find that you do better limiting something like white carbs or fat rather than trying to stick to WW if it makes you feel like a failure. Also, if you are on the small side and get a smaller allowance it’s harder. I never could stick to it for more than 2 days – I was 5’1″ and 140 trying to lose 15 pounds. On the other hand, my 250 lb sister get a bigger points allowance and had much less trouble sticking to it.
You need to eat more zero point foods and standardize your breakfast to be something very low point. WW is all about planning – don’t just let your meals happen to you. You can have pizza or alcohol or macaroons or happy hour appetizers, but you can’t have them all / can’t have them every day.
Coming from the opposite perspective, why do you feel like you need to diet and restrict yourself from ever eating things that bring you pleasure?
I am a grownup, and I eat mostly healthy stuff because it makes my body feel better. But yeah freaking FOR SURE I will have that artisanal cupcake. Yup, having that second glass of wine on Friday night. Yes, totally going to the delicious Italian place around the corner for my coworker’s birthday.
WW Help, your post makes me feel sad: life and your relationship with food should bring you pleasure, or at the very least be value-neutral. It should not be a source of stress and deprivation, and you should eat a macaroon if you love macaroons. Maybe instead of pursuing a path of restriction and conflict with your body, try something different. Read up on Health at Every Size and Intuitive Eating and challenge your paradigm. (I am a big fan of https://www.thereallife-rd.com/ as a human and as a practitioner.)
It’s your life and your choice what to do with it, but what I want to say is: it doesn’t have to be this way.
Yes it does. Your perspective works if someone is enjoying those things in moderation. But for most people, it’s enjoying the Italian food for lunch today, going to a happy hour tonight, then meeting friends for dinner out afterwards. And then tomorrow eating the birthday cupcake with your burger for lunch, and then cooking pasta for dinner and having a macaroon for dessert.
So yeah, you’ve only had one macaroon in the last two weeks, but you’ve also had cake and cupcakes and a million sweet alcoholic drinks and tons of pizza pasta burger buns tortillas nachos as well. You cannot eat all those things at every meal and still be healthy. Your body needs vitamins and minerals from veggies and fruits and lean protein.
We have to restrict ourselves from a lot of fun things in life. I’d like to sleep for three days in a row, but I have to get out of bed if I want to maintain my job and family and friendships. I’d also like to eat cupcakes at every meal, but I have to fill up on veggies and grilled chicken first if I want the energy and nutrients to get through my day.
I’m not arguing “health at every size” because I think weight is not directly correlated with health, but today’s food is chock full of unhealthy ingredients that are specifically designed to taste good. It’s simply not true that you should just eat any food that you want, and not true that food shouldn’t be a source of deprivation.
Thanks, both. I am 40 and my weight has started creeping up over the last year.
After being more of less the same weight (except during pregnancies), I was surprised to find at my last dr’s appt that I’ve gained 10 lbs in the past year. The commenter below made me wonder what my BMI is – it’s 24, which is still normal, but I don’t think it’s healthy to keep gaining.
I think I have a healthy relationship with food. I eat lots of veggies (and some fruits, although I prefer veggies) and wholegrains. I don’t eat much meat and get a reasonable amount of fish and lean protein. So I do eat healthy things. My problem is that I just like eating other stuff too.
In my stressful day, food is an inexpensive and easy luxury. I’m not emotionally eating or trying to solve a different problem with food, I just love the taste of sweets and carbs and cheese and wine. What I thought was a healthy relationship with food – eat things that are good for you and enjoy things you enjoy in reasonable amounts (1 macaroon or donut, not 2) when the opportunity arises – isn’t working anymore.
My husband has actually lost weight since we’ve gotten married. He doesn’t care at all about the extra weight (and actually likes it). I’m not trying to make anyone else happy by losing weight. I just realize I can’t keeping gaining as a long-term proposition.
I honestly don’t know if you really need WW then. Probably just tracking your food in the free MyFitnessPal app would do the trick if you’re just trying to stop the gain and maybe lose 10 lbs.
@Anon, I’m not saying that anyone should eat restaurant Italian followed by happy hour snacks followed by late-night cheese fries every day. That’s not a recipe for long-term health for anyone. But I didn’t see anything in the OP’s post to indicate that she did eat like that–just that she loved those foods, and was struggling with the idea of giving them all up entirely. (Also, who are you hanging out with? I don’t know anyone who actually eats like that.)
I feel like every time I participate in conversations like this I just want to run screaming into the fields. Because it just does. not. have. to. be. like. this. Our bodies change as they get older. My body at 30 is not the same body I had at 22, is not the same body I had at 16. Sure, 30-year-old me could flagellate and eating-disorder and misery myself back to being [current weight] – 15 pounds like 22-year old emeralds…BUT. WHY.
I am at a healthy-for-me weight. I eat mostly foods that are nourishing for my body; occasionally I eat foods that nourish an emotional need instead. I exercise an amount that feels appropriate for my energy levels and personal preferences. Why is there an expectation that we as women micromanage our weights, instead of worrying about other things and letting our bodies do what they’re going to do? Why is gaining 10 pounds as we age a sign that we need to start depriving and restricting ourselves from things that bring us joy and a sense of personal connection?
Finally, I’m just going to leave this here. https://www.thereallife-rd.com/2018/08/set-point-weight/
Yep I think it’s just how humans are supposed to eat. I enjoy food, like love the taste of a good pizza and beer, and I’ve also grown to associate that loving feeling with comfort. Now that the food is relatively inexpensive and relatively available, it’s easy to want to eat food I LOVE every single meal of every day.
But that’s not really how our bodies work. Most of our calories need to be fuel only, and then you save those “love” foods for special occasions. It takes a long time to adjust your palate and your mindset but that’s really what you need to do, if you want to lose weight and increase your health. You have to decide that you want to be healthy (whatever that means for you) more than you want to enjoy your 3rd appetizer this week. Which is incredibly hard to do.
I still have setbacks when I go through stressful periods, like pregnancy or moving houses or intense jobs, so then I have to do the whole painful reset yet again. It’s awful and I’m doing it right now after a horrible period at my job that also coincided with lots of baby and wedding showers so I had an excuse to eat cake/ cupcakes basically all spring and summer. I don’t want to choose the responsible salad for lunch. I want to choose the yummy burger with a side of delicious fries. But I can’t do that and also make a lovely lasagna for tonight, it’s just not healthy. My health has to come before my tastebuds, and that is such a hard choice to make over and over and over again.
100% agreed that it’s a hard choice, and one that I constantly struggle with. I basically WANT to eat pizza and cupcakes for every single meal, and can’t if I want to even try to maintain my weight.
Thanks for writing this. The reset is so painful, but it’s nice to know it can be done.
I mean, yes. At least if you’re doing all those things in the same short time frame. Or at least eat very small portions.
Yeah you have to recalibrate for a grown woman’s metabolism. I haven’t eaten pizza and pasta in one sitting since I was a teenager. I haven’t had an app and a dinner (regularly, anyway) since I was like 25. And I’m still quite overweight (28 BMI).
I’ve had better luck with keto than I did with WW. I found the points system really confusing and I was always hungry. It also didn’t work well with my workouts; I think it overestimated how many extra points I got, but I was so hungry all the time I didn’t realize I was eating too much. On keto, you eat a lot of fat so you learn to be satisfied on smaller portions. I cycle on and off of it every ~3 months or so, mostly to retrain myself to keep my portions in check and be more intentional about my choices (not, like, mindlessly munch on “healthy” snacks like air popped popcorn).
Linda from HR
In my early 20’s, I could eat anything and stay thin, and it was awesome! Now, I’m trying my best to eat well most of the time and get more active, but I really don’t think I can cut anything out; the delicious foods I love just have to become “sometimes foods.” It’s tough though, it really is. I’ve started cutting back on the snacks I’ve been eating at work, and I’ve been so hungry during the days but it seems to be getting better, and my body is (hopefully) starting to adjust to a lower calorie count.
Are you just dieting, or is there some fitness thrown in? If you start working in some cardio and strength training, you still need to diet to lose weight but you’ll have a little more leeway to eat foods you like. I also find that when I’m active, I feel motivated to eat better, and when I do a workout after work, it means I’m not doing any kind of happy hour, or any evening activity that involves eating unhealthy food or drinking too much.
I believe food issues are very personal and you have to find the approach that works for you. I also believe that people get real adamant and defensive about healthy eating/weight loss because once you find something that works for you it seems so obvious and easy you want everyone to know about it. But my easy might be your hard.
I used WW for a few months earlier this year and had some success. But like you, I was hungry all the time. I think the new plan over emphasizes low fat. I switched to counting calories and it has been so much easier (and I have lost more weight). Currently I eat 1200 calories during the week and 1500 calories on Friday and Saturday. As long as I plan it out and eat wisely, I’m never hungry. I still can’t have appetizers and wine every night, but I can have appetizers and wine at different points in the week. With WW I feel like they are trying to trick you into eating a certain way – the point values are so low you need to subsist on chicken breast and nonfat yogurt! With CICO (calories in/calories out) I feel like I am much more conscious of my food choices and consequently make good choices most of the time. But then again, if I have the calories left over I also eat (a reasonable size portion of) birthday cake. This works for me. It might not work for you. I would encourage you to keep trying, but don’t feel like you need to stick with WW if it doesn’t work for you.
I have the NSale Halogen ponte pants in my shopping bag, but I haven’t purchased them because I’m not sure how to style them for work. I usually just wear dresses or pencil skirt + sweater to work. I want to add a pair of pants because in the in between seasons when wearing tights is a little strange, I am always struggling with what to wear. Please tell me your favorite way to wear ponte pants! I work in a business casual office, so it’s not a problem to wear them.
I wear ponte pants to work all the time in the fall/winter. We’re a very casual office, so I normally do flats or boots with the pants (I’m not much for heels), a top and a longer, open sweater or topper (jacket, open blazer, etc). I think since the pants are so slim, I like having more volume on top.
Question for those in big law- how much do you think that luck matters in the success of a junior associate? Luck in terms of you happened to get to work with partner x early or to get a couple of good projects etc? I’m not a lawyer (in consulting) and one of my kind of friends is being counseled to leave. I’m reflecting on the balance between competence and luck in outcomes. Like, I think incidentally he probably wasn’t skilled enough to make it, but plenty of people just have persistently bad luck with projects they get assigned etc. and that can compound over time and make it hard for you to extricate yourself from that as you go forward. My observation is that when bad luck at the outset strikes, it takes a way above average or even exceptional performer to come out on top still. Wondering what others in potentially analogous situations think.
I generally agree with your premise. I worked in biglaw for 5 years. There are always some people who are going to be superstars. But for everyone else, I think a lot of stuff like that in the early years is luck. Luck to be assigned to work for X partner, or on Y case, which allows you to quickly develop skills in a particular area. That then makes you more desirable to other partners or you work on more interesting cases. But then there are people who get stuck doing doc review for 10-12 hours a day on some huge case for 2 years. And it becomes a cycle – people who had good experiences and developed good skills get more opportunities. And people who did doc review for 2 years are measured against their peers and found lacking because they haven’t done those things.
+a million, from personal experience.
Yes, this has also been my personal experience and observations. Totally agree.
There are instances where a firm hires but work has dried up and the associate has to leave. However, in an environment of adequate work, it doesn’t take long to assess the basic competence of a lawyer. I only know one person who started with bad reviews and was able to turn it around.
I disagree. I don’t think consistently getting worse projects is luck, I think it’s a reflection of how well you’re doing. And that’s not just the actual skill of the job, it’s the skill of navigating office politics and the skill of advocating for yourself and the skill of spinning one opportunity into another, all of which are valid and important things that professionals have to do. Being just good at the core work of your job isn’t enough to be great.
Oh I agree that consistently getting worse projects is a reflection of skill. I just think that at the outset, there’s quite a lot of randomness in project assignments, and if you’ve demonstrated that you can do well at something, you go up from there. But if you get assigned something that’s more process oriented and not a ton of skill is required, then it becomes harder to get picked up for things that require skill, so you odn’t build that skill, and you get pushed out when you can’t keep up. I actually had worse starting luck than my friend in terms of opportunities offered, but I learned quickly and am probably more competent etc, and so it eventually worked out for me. I think it didn’t for him because yeah he’s probably below average in competence and performance, but it was exacerbated by the opportunity differential. From my personal experience, I think you do have to be a way above average performer in order to overcome some of this stuff, and I find that kind of sad. How it is, I guess.
I agree. As a first year, especially in big law, there is no frame of reference for your competence or work ethic, so projects get thrown your way at random, especially for firms with no project allocation system for junior attorneys. If you do mediocre or badly on your first couple of assignments, usually because it wasn’t explained to you properly or was beyond your training, you then have an X on your back that “X person isn’t a good attorney or worker” despite subsequent evidence to the contrary. Or simply not being a superstar – we had one female attorney who didn’t get lots of work because she was sheerly forgettable. People jokingly call her the wallflower and couldn’t remember her name.
Let’s not disregard the “luck” in having a rainmaker or powerful partner take a liking to your, whether due to a shared hobby, shared background *cough rich white male cough*, or familial or school connection. All this to say, success in big law is equal parts talent and dumb luck.
I have a more cynical view. I think the “luck” you describe is often intentional-ish on the part of the firm. Folks hired from Ivy League schools at the top of their class get the “lucky” assignments. A lot of associates get hired round out a class in terms of diversity or b/c the firm didn’t get the top candidates they wanted or to keep lower ranked firms from hiring them, but the associates aren’t truly wanted. Or their wanted just to go work for an odd partner that can’t keep associates and certainly can’t promote them. Certainly, firms and junior associate all know most people won’t “make it” and most people think this is fair b/c of the high pay and the candidate/associate gets to put the prestigious firm on their resume (and the firm want to have a good relationship too after the associate leaves). I suppose what I’m saying is there aren’t that many superstars that aren’t intentionally made, except for the weird egomaniacs, which do exist and thrive in the biglaw. But they are borderline psychopathic and rare, so I don’t know if they count.
I agree with the earlier comments that luck plays a big part – if you get staffed on an all-consuming doc review lasting 2 years, you will likely be judged harshly against your peers who got more substantive experience earlier, through no fault of your own, unless you have a powerful partner protecting you.
However, the associates who go far in biglaw (and in my experience, ultimately make partner) are the ones who advocate for themselves from an early stage. Even if they get staffed on a crappy project, they don’t just sit back and assume that this is biglaw life and hope they will get staffed on something better some day – they reach out to other partners and ask to work on their cool cases, and they build relationships with their current case teams so if a better assignment comes along, they are top of mind to receive it. A lot of people just sort of fly under the radar as junior associates, and it’s hard to come back from that impression too.
I really love stationery. I’m married and have kept my own name, but I’d love to have some lovely stationery made with both our names. Since there’s no “traditional” guidance on how to do this, I’m kind of at a loss. Thoughts?
Jane and John Smith
John and Jane Smith
or Mr. and Mrs. John Smith
etc… Crane’s used to have a pamphlet with ideas
– signed, long married and forgetful
Did you read OP’s comment? She has her own name. None of those options will work.
But she said she kept her own name. So it would be Jane Smith and John Doe.
In fairness, she did say she was forgetful.
I also kept my name when I married many, many moons ago. I ordered stationery for our Thank You notes when I bought the invitations. They were 4×6 cards, with our names in a small font across the top, all caps, with a small dot separating the two names: HISFIRST MIDDLE LAST . MYFIRST MIDDLE LAST I was going for something elegant/timeless. I liked them, but can’t say if anyone else did.
Really, just use each person’s name, separated by an ampersand or a little bullet point or block or whatever, using one line or two depending on length of the names.
Ex and I never had formal stationery, but when I sent letters to, say, an insurance company, I did a version of letterhead with our names and address at the top of the page: Jules Lastname & Ex Hislastname. Our preprinted return address stickers were the same.
The recent publicity on child drownings is heartbreaking. As a former lifeguard and competitive swimmer, I have always had a passion for water and loved teaching swim lessons. In my search to find water safety volunteer opportunities (which is nearly nonexistent), specifically for young children, I found Infant Swimming Resource. While I was aware of the certification requirement and the basis of the program, I was NOT prepared to see a price tag of $8-12K for the required training.
It is devastating to me, that such a critical survival skills, comes with such a high price tag. I would love to offer services, free of charge, but I can’t currently afford the $8-12K investment to get certified. Anyone know of water-safety programs looking for volunteers? I’d love to give my time to a severely neglected cause.
Where are you located?
I think if you can contact your local pools/YMCA and tell them your situation, maybe they will have ideas. Heck, they might even pay for your class if you can certify that you will teach classes on the weekends.
The Red Cross has a WSI (Water Safety Instructor) certification which is one step up from their lifeguarding certification. Many pools require this to teach swim lessons. I grew up a water baby, played water polo in college and certainly could have taught swim lessons without this certification. But many places required it and I got it in high school. Recommend you talk with the Y re things like this. I don’t know the cost to certify now, but years ago it was a few hundred dollars and about thirty hours of instruction, plus written tests, plus swim tests.
There is ample evidence that drowning rates are much higher for people of color because % of adults in that demographic that know how to swim is lower (it’s a loop–people who don’t swim are less likely to teach their children to swim). If there’s any way you could get involved in teaching in a community that is underserved in this way, you will make a huge impact. Some of the college swimmers at my university founded a nonprofit many moons ago to address this. You might also see if there are organizations affiliated with USASwimming too.