Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Ruffle Sleeve Shift Dress

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

Ruffle Sleeve Shift DressPresident’s Day sales are already starting, including the big Nordstrom Winter Sale. This dress is new to the sale and while it’s obviously a casual dress, it’s a fun, easy dress that can cross seasons with the help of a little layering (such as tights and a thin, long-sleeved top) during colder months. At 5’4″, everything always hits me much longer than shown on super tall models — so I’d hope it hits me just above my knees. I’d still wear much lower heels than shown here (if not flats), and I’d pair it with a long pendant.  The dress is newly marked to $41 (also available in a fun stripe and a navy — even better for tights!) and has a ton of great reviews. Ruffle Sleeve Shift Dress

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  1. KateMiddletown :

    Re-posting from Moms board for eyeballs –

    Any tips for framing a “lean out” discussion with your manager/team? I am in a commission-heavy job right now but we’re expecting #2 (after a 7 year gap) and I just can’t keep pushing as hard as I’ve been. There are team members who are 100% salary, with sales based bonuses, so I don’t anticipate pushback once I’ve structured the deal correctly.

    My main concern is having this discussion PRE-maternity leave discussion. I am about 7 weeks so I have a small window to figure this whole thing out. (Tips on maternity leave discussions also welcome!)

    • I totally get why you’d want the conversations to be separate. However, having them separate yet only months apart might appear disingenuous in hindsight in your employer’s eyes. I am assuming paid leave is affected by commissions.

      One negotiation tack, regardless of if this is 1 or 2 conversations, is after your boss assumes you’re asking for 3months off and panics a bit, offer to only take 2 months, but then only work half time (4h/d) but 100% teleworking. If your job allows for this. Do this for 2 months, then come back full time in the office after 4 months away. You appear to be making a concession to come back early, but you’re at home a month longer to get your stuff together.

      • KateMiddletown :

        I get what you’re saying about being disingenuous. The unfortunate piece is weeks 8-12 will fall squarely during the Christmas holiday season, when I typically take off too. I’m also worried about offering to work during mat leave and regretting it.

        • Oh man, that makes total sense. The holiday season is hard enough to organize without adding a little one and working part time at the peak of craziness.

  2. Many of us are aware of the shortcomings of our parents (and, ahem, our therapy bills), so I’d like to put a positive spin on it: what did your parents do really well during your childhood? It can be anything from something lighthearted like an annual birthday tradition to more serious things like instilling work ethic.

    • My parents were always willing to help anyone. In 7th grade our class collected money to adopt a family and someone stole all of it shortly before the shopping trip. My dad stepped in and replaced all of the money. When my sister’s friend got pregnant in high school and her parents threatened to kick her out of the house, my mother offered to let her come life with us. When my friend’s single dad was deployed in grade school, my parents let her and her brother come live with us for 8 months.

      • Legally Brunette :

        What big hearts your parents have!

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        Sort of similar, but on a smaller scale: Because my dad worked nights for a lot of my childhood, he would often come eat lunch at my elementary school so he could see us. Occasionally while there, he would buy all the kids in my class (a majority of whom ate free lunches) an ice cream treat of their choice at $.35/each. The less was in generosity and also in permitting everyone their indulgences.
        In line with being discriminating in praise, as Wow mentioned below, my mom often said, “You don’t get gold stars for doing what’s right,” which is a refrain that echoes in my head to this day.

      • That is amazing and a stark contrast to my own parents.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I like this prompt. My mom taught me smart finances and money management. She also taught me to never let myself be trapped – always have a back up plan.

    • My dad had a lot of flaws, but he never treated me as less capable than my brother or like I didn’t need to know “men’s” tasks. I was expected to do the same amount of yard work, learn basic car maintenance, learn the proper use of tools, etc. He also talked about always making sure I protected my finances and valued my financial contributions to any future marriage.

      My mom made amazing birthday cakes — the types you used to see on the cover of women’s magazines.

    • Anonymous :

      My mom is a great cook and I have lots of happy memories of holiday meals. She was a total Martha Stewart, made our Halloween costumes, always crafty, etc. We also traveled a lot as a family and I’ve been on some amazing trips thanks to them (even if I was too young to appreciate it properly). We have lots of Christmas traditions I hope to keep going if I have my own family one day.

    • Couple of things:

      1. I felt super awkward as a teen (extremely skinny, thick glasses, big nose, etc.) and my mom ALWAYS made me feel that I was pretty. I definitely did not feel that way at the time but hearing her say that made me feel a lot better about myself. She was never critical about my physical appearance (and the few times she was, it was only because of the things I was wearing, like overly skimpy tank tops – and in retrospect, she was absolutely right).

      2. This is more controversial, but my mom was discriminating in her praise. She NEVER complimented me for every little thing (e.g. getting an A on a test, etc.). As a result, I worked harder. What that meant is that when she DID compliment me, I knew she meant it and I took it to heart. This mentality is common among Asian/Indian cultures (see the Tiger Mom book, which I don’t agree with entirely but a lot of it I do).

      • My people are white and completely did #2. I think it is good b/c if you have one kid getting all As and one struggling, it is better b/c in your house you are a child, not a report card.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My parents did number 1 too and it helped tremendously. I had a huge self-esteem despite bullying. I really believed the bullies were just jealous of me and I was awesome.

      • I had Tiger Parents too (white but Jewish so education is pretty important culturally and my parents demanded my absolute best at school). Sometimes it was hard growing up but as an adult I appreciate it and I generally think American parents praise their kids way too much.

        • +1. I was so sad to hear my Mom say “this is not bad” at something I worked so hard on but in retrospect it made me work so much harder to get the “this is good!” acknowledgement. Even at the time I knew the differentiation was fair.

    • To always view things from multiple perspectives. Even if I was just unconsciously pulling leaves off bushes as I walked, my mom would say how do you think that feels for the tree? They were also good about explaining things honestly to me, even if it was something complicated like death or evolution. To this day, my mom refers to difficult situations as opportunities for conversation.

      On the work ethic front, the most positive thing they did was not anything intentional, but all the women in my immediate family worked and liked their careers; the unspoken lesson there really impacted me, I think.

    • My mom taught herself to cook (fantastically) and always stayed up-to-date on the latest in nutrition news. She preached all things in moderation so nothing was entirely forbidden although the meals she served were extremely healthy except on special occasions. She also never enforced “clean plate” rules or demanded that her kids eat that one food they particularly didn’t like. (In my case, I hated carrots but loved most other vegetables. So I got lima beans and Brussels sprouts and spinach… apparently I was a weird kid when it came to taste in vegetables.)

      I’ve got a million issues, but no food issues. Cooking and eating a basically healthy diet comes naturally to me, but no guilt over how I just raided my co-worker’s chocolate jar. Okay, maybe enough guilt to fill up that jar next week…

    • Forgive me for not sharing about me, but I was really touched by people posting about something yesterday that I wanted to bring it up as a sweet parent thing.

      Several people talked about how a parent would put a small note in their lunch every day. Maybe it was scribbled on a piece of paper, maybe on the napkin. Maybe it was just a small word of encouragement. Maybe it was an interesting fact. Maybe it was a joke. Kids of all ages…. from 1st grade to senior in high school loved it. Many kept the notes. Some said that they would put them in their pocket, and when their day was not going well, they would look at it and it would keep them going. Some shared them with their friends at lunch time, and the whole friend group looked forward to the notes every day.

      Such a small thing. But made everyone feel so loved. And you can imagine how the parents felt when they learned (sometimes years later) that the kids would keep the notes.

      It made me want to have a kid just so I could put a cute note in their lunch every day!

      • Housecounsel :

        Thank you for this reminder. Someone is getting notes in her lunch next week.

        • Yes! I’m going to do this too. The few times my mom did this when I was a kid, it made me so happy.

      • My dad, who packed my lunch every day from first grade through high school, used to put an origami crane in the bag occasionally. It was really lovely.

    • Teaching me privilege. I growing up I had brand new toys/bikes but I also knew that my dad couldn’t ride a bike very well because he never had one as a kid. He saved up to buy one a secondhand one when he was ten and it was stolen before he could learn. And my mom volunteered a lot with a large group of Sudanese refugees who arrived in our small city in the 1990s. We were only upper middle class but it was always made very clear that we were a lot better off than many people and we had an obligation to give back with both time and money. When you climb the mountain, you don’t look down on those below, you reach out your hand to help them climb up too. I hope to convey the same to my children.

    • Legally Brunette :

      My mom taught me how to host and entertain. She is an INCREDIBLE cook, the kind of cook whose dishes people talk about literally decades later as some of the best food they ever head.

      But apart from her cooking (which I can only attempt to emulate), she was a great HOST. Meaning, she always welcomed everyone who came in with a warm hug and a drink, she made it a point to connect people with one another who share common interests, she invited people home from all walks of life, she always woke up super early to finish cooking so she wouldn’t be scrambling when guests came over, and she was NEVER flustered even when there were 60 people in the house, etc. And she likes to dress up, which I love. She wears amazing saris and turns head wherever she goes (even now, at 70).

      She never went to college but could always carry her own in various conversations too. She never felt intimidated by those with more education. She has a strong self of self and is very confident.

      In short, my mom is the best.

      • Anon for this :

        This tribute made me tear up a little. I love it.

      • TodayIsTheDay_Maybe :

        This is beautiful. Please write this out and send it to your mom.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        I love this so much, largely because you could be describing my mother. She tells random people she encounters to drop in for a drink all the time, and people do. I think because they sense that she means the invitation and not because it is “something you say”.

        Your mom sounds awesome.

    • My parents struggled with money and, at various times, with alcohol, but we always always knew they loved us unconditionally.

    • My parents made it very clear to me that if someone or something needs help, and you can provide it, do so, and do it because they need it, not because you’ll feel great or be rewarded or look like a hero. Just help. Don’t expect anything in return, and don’t revel in it if you do get something in return.

      My dad always taught me to be self-sufficient and never to rely on anyone but myself, too, while being incredibly supportive and available to help me. He was raised in a huge family–16 kids–by a mother who raised kids and played best supporting wife to her business exec husband, and he was supportive if I wanted to do that, but didn’t want me trapped in that if I didn’t want to be.

      My mom has an incredible grace and calm about her that I’m not sure I inherited, but man, am I glad she modeled it.

    • KateMiddletown :

      My mom made us try things that were uncomfortable – exotic foods (we ate jicama in packed lunches), auditioning for plays, talking to adults. I think it expanded the range of my comfort zone now that I’m an adult.

    • Baconpancakes :

      My mom instilled into me a fervent belief in saving and independence through financial safety. She never, never, never said anything negative about my appearance (short of “brush your hair it’s looks like a rat’s nest”) and praised my physical strength, which I believe gave me a (possibly overinflated) sense of self-confidence in my appearance. She didn’t say anything negative about her own body until I was well into my late teens, either. Even now, when I can objectively see that I need to lose weight and get frustrated by my pants size, I still find beauty in my body, and I am wholeheartedly grateful to her for instilling that into me. She taught me to be a gracious host, and taught me the gift of making people feel welcome. She showed me how to find joy and magic in tiny, beautiful things, like frost tracing the grass or seeds pushing up leaves in the spring. She showed me the world, and took me as a child to more varied and exotic places than most people see in a lifetime, which I credit with teaching me tolerance and curiosity about other cultures instead of fear and distrust. She was always kind – to me, to her friends, to strangers on the street.

      She did a pretty good job as a mom, I think.

      • +1 to this. My mom was very skinny her whole life an neither my sister nor I ever have been, but she NEVER commented on our weight and encouraged us to wear any clothing we wanted.

      • Yup, my mom never said a bad word about her own body or mine and always told me I was beautiful. I think it’s why I have such a healthy body image and no issues with food.

    • I know that my parents weren’t perfect (although believing that they were was why I needed therapy in my late 20’s), but they did a lot of things well:

      – They encouraged my siblings and me to do the best we could on the paths we had chosen. We had the autonomy to each decide what to pursue, but the expectation was clear that we needed to commit to being good at something.

      – They made good money, but were fairly frugal. I was mad at them as a tween who wanted the latest sneakers, but really happy to go to college debt-free because they had saved enough for it.

      – They led by example, giving a lot back to their community through volunteering and donations. We all learned that we were privileged, and with that privilege came a responsibility to help others who were less fortunate.

      – They actively taught my siblings and me how to be grownups. We all had to know how to change a tire, iron a shirt, cook a meal, balance a checkbook, have a pleasant dinner conversation. There were no gendered chores.

    • Anonshmanon :

      My parents taught me how to live within my means, while being generous to others. I’m still improving on that second part, but being generous with my time, volunteering etc. is already a part of my life.
      They also taught me to be forgiving, welcoming and to be mindful of not excluding people in a group situation.
      Even though they didn’t/couldn’t prevent my issues with body image as a teen, they gave me an overall sense of self worth and always trusted that I can achieve something.
      For most of my life, my mom made more money than my dad, but they treated finances as an absolute team.

    • — Preached the importance of education.

      — Instilled a really good level of financial literacy, including how to invest. And put the fear of god into me about living beyond my means and going into consumer and other debt. My mom always managed the money in our house, so I never thought of it as a man’s task. I have so many female friends who act like they are way too stupid to understand basic finances. It drives me crazy, and it’s just not true.

      –My mom is also a huge volunteer. She was a SAHM, but really threw herself into doing all kinds of stuff– she led our girl scout troop, was the Sunday school director at church, edited the church and school news letter, etc. She’s always looking for a way to help.

      • My mom handles the money too, to the point where I don’t think my dad even knows how to log into their bank account.

        • Sloan Sabbith :

          My dad absolutely didn’t until he was forced to figure it out a few years ago when he was on a cross country road trip. My mom did the taxes, balanced the checkbook, paid bills, etc.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Read to us a lot when we were little and would always either take me to the library or buy me new books. I read A TON as a kid and I think it’s mainly because my parents read to us so much before we were old enough to read for ourselves.

      • Me too! I didn’t have loads of toys and things but there was always money for books.

      • Yes, me too, and I’m so glad for it! My parents are both readers, they totally spoiled me with all the books I wanted, and I grew up to be a voracious reader. I think it’s one of the most important qualities you can instill in a child.

    • My dad stayed home with me for the first year – in the 1980s! He was there for every field trip and honor roll assembly and knew all my friends. I was so much closer with my dad than my friends were. My mom worked a lot and I think it was hard for her at the time (she felt like dad got all the fun and she was missing out) but she was such a good role model. My dad is living here and looking after my son so we don’t need to send him to nursery, poor mom is missing out again but she’s so happy dad is able to help us.

      My mom had a really tough upbringing – difficult family dynamics, oodles of siblings, and substance abuse. My grandma stopped drinking when I was born and my mom was able to forgive her and foster this incredible relationship between my grandma and I. I always admire my mom for that – she didn’t repress her feelings, she just was able to forgive and make a fresh start to allow me to have that relationship.

    • My parents taught me the value of hard work (including how to do “men’s work” like the poster above) and what it means to be an American. My mom taught me never to rely on a man for security – financial or otherwise.

    • My mom never gave two sh*ts about what I looked like, whether I was good at sports or hobbies, or whether I was popular. All she cared about was that I was happy, healthy, and a person of good moral character. I am SO grateful that no matter how painful the world can be in those areas, home was a safe place where they didn’t matter.

    • My mom made sure that I knew that I was always loved and that would never change. I never had to fear telling her something, as I knew her reaction would be to help fix the problem and maybe that she was disappointed (but never in a way that may me doubt that she loved me and liked me). So many of my friends in high school wouldn’t tell their parents anything because they worried about getting yelled at. I never had that problem.

    • My dad didn’t treat me like I should be afraid of things because I was a girl (despite growing up in a traditional household and having some outdated attitudes about family roles). He took me fishing, steep skiing, mountain biking on famous, strenuous trails, rock climbing, and tons of other outdoor activities that built my confidence and taught me how to master new challenges in objectively hard activities. I never once heard “are you sure you can do that.”

      • To add to this, I think this also gave me a healthier body image in the long run (although I did have my struggles) because I learned so much about what my body can DO and didn’t have as much time to obsess over how it looked.

    • My parents were not perfect, but I never, ever doubted that they loved me with a fierceness that still blows my mind.

      They were also always there at all of our events – school plays, games, award ceremonies, etc. Even though they both worked, I was in a ton of activities in high school and my brother was a three-season athlete.

      My mom was also tremendously encouraging of anything I did to achieve and told me, over and over, that I should not anything hold me back, especially anyone saying I couldn’t do something because I was a girl. She is a staunch feminist and brought me up to believe that there is nothing I can’t do if I set my mind to it.

      • Maudie Atkinson :

        This reminds me–my parents _traveled_ to watch me compete in Model United Nations. Nothing could have been more boring, but they were there, and I felt seen by them because of it.

    • My parents taught me that if I am going to do something, do it right and don’t go half-butt.

    • My parents were kind of oblivious to gender roles for the big things – like career pursuits and hobbies and that sort of thing. I ended up in finance where I’m routinely the only woman in the room and managing a team of guys.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      There are so many things I want to write and I keep starting and deleting them. For everyone who responded, please tell your parents these things. I wrote my dad a letter for father’s day one year about all the amazing things he did and it is his most treasured possession and kept in a safe deposit box.

      My dad dropped out of high school and joined the Navy. When he retired, he was a senior chemist at a major household name company, managing three shifts of other chemists, many of whom had Phds. My dad had a GED. My parents were at every single one of my school events. My dad would leave work meetings at 4 and say he had to go to his daughter’s softball game. My dad would call out and shut down any hint of snobbery he ever heard in my voice. I used the word “trailer trash” as a kid once. Big mistake. He asked me to explain why the kids in my school that lived in trailers were trash. I said oh, they aren’t trash it’s just a saying about … and he made me think of it from the perspective of those kids. You might be called something on tv trailer trash but that hurts someone that lives in a trailer.

      In college, I made some comment about ew, I’d hate to work in the school cafeteria, in front of my parents. I didn’t mean it in an elitist way (as in beneath me) I meant it in a get dirty way. My work study job signing students into the building was a lot more cushy. My dad reminded me that before he dropped out of high school he worked in the cafeteria to make sure he had money for lunch that day.

      My mom always saved some of her paycheck to buy us extra stuff that the budget wouldn’t normally allow. I’d mention something like wanting to go on a trip with a friend and my mom would come out with some envelope of cash she had saved that would pay for it. Even as a new adult, in my first job, we were visiting their house and my then puppy started limping. I lamented that if she kept it up we’d need to get her x-rays and no one likes a vet bill. She insisted we take $200 in cash she had in one of her envelopes with us so that we wouldn’t consider our budget when deciding if the dog needed xrays.

    • anon a mouse :

      This is a great prompt – thanks.

      My parents were great about physical activity even though neither of them were athletes. My dad used an elliptical at home every morning, and we swam laps as a family. It was never talked about as “oh, we need to exercise” — it just was a seamless part of our family’s fabric.

      We didn’t have cable until I was 10 (likely due to the cost). I barely watched television in my childhood save for special events. There were books in every room of the house.

      They were really, really involved in our community – political action groups, church groups, helping with scouts, PTA, etc. I honestly don’t know if they worked fewer hours or had 50% more energy than I do — I cannot imagine juggling everything they did in my life.

    • Celebrated half-birthdays, complete with a half-cake and small presents. My sister’s birthday was right around a major holiday and she always got short shrift, so they made a big deal about her half-birthday.

    • antsmarching :

      We went on family vacations every summer. Mostly it was camping, because we didn’t have the money for anything more fancy. But my parents felt it was important that we always take some time just to be together.

      My Dad was incredibly supportive of my mom. They both worked full time. When my mom wanted to get a second masters degree at night while working, which would in no way enhance her career, he supported it. He did this despite the fact that it meant he was caring for four children most week nights with no help from her. I don’t know if I would have agreed to this, but he did, and never once complained.

    • Thanksgiving :

      I come from a middle class family with quite a few siblings and my parents made it a point to make sure no one we knew was alone on Thanksgiving. They invited anyone and everyone (singles and couples) who may be alone on Thanksgiving, especially older people who they knew wouldn’t cook. Sometimes it was people from our church, my parents would come home with various types of people they worked with, my dad even once invited the mailman. Some were good friends and some were relatively strangers but Thanksgiving at our house was always a full table. I’ll never forget their generosity for others.

      • I could have written this. To this day it’s one of my favorite things about my parents.

      • Anonymous :

        I love this. My family didn’t do this consciously, but there were always some extra people at grandma’s celebration. I’ve been the guest at other family’s Thanksgivings since then, and it means a lot.

    • several things:

      1. giving your time can actually be more valuable than giving money. we were the family that would do meals on wheels every thanksgiving, but also would do it in the middle of April (when there is generally less volunteering)

      2. the importance of having dinner as a family with no phones, no tv, etc. (although cell phones didn’t really exist when I was in high school…)

      3. money management

      4. never, ever stop learning. read, read, read everything you can. have open, frank and honest discussion. learn how to speak effectively.

    • The most important lessons were:

      Hard work—I was shocked when I started working and other people didn’t have the same work ethic. In my family, you worked hard until the task was done and you did your best. My dad went to work early and came home late. My mom kept a schedule for herself and they both did almost everything themselves (housework, yard work, car maintenance and repairs, etc.). At work, I get things done and at home, I can rely on myself.

      Cooking—my mom made my sister and I cook Sunday dinner every week (we traded but were responsible for planning, cooking, and cleaning up a balanced meal). My mom would answer questions but wouldn’t help. Knowing how to cook as an adult is so helpful. I can tackle any recipe and know what the terms mean and how it will turn out.

      Money—I wish my parents had talked about money more, but they’re very frugal and I learned from their example. They never carried debt and always saved. We went out to eat maybe once a month and my parents just didn’t care about consumer products. We were never deprived (although of course I wanted name brand clothes) and went on great vacations (almost always road trips), but we were expected to entertain ourselves without needing lots of money.

    • Amberwitch :

      My father taught me to shop and cook. When I was growing up, the weekend wasn’t complete without a longish shopping trip to a large supermarket, and he spent a lot of time teaching me and my brother to find the best produce/meat etc. and comparison shop so we always made sure we got the best deal. When I was a teenager he taught me to cook my favorite dishes – which were very different from the dishes my brothers learned to make.

      My mother made all my clothes. She allowed me to choose the patterns and the fabrics. The annoyance of fittings and pains of pinpricks were nothing in comparison to getting to decide completely what to wear. It took me a long time to adjust to buying clothes after she dies (not the most difficult part obviously)

    • Tech Comm Geek :

      They clearly demonstrated and discussed that a marriage takes work. It isn’t easy, it isn’t all lovey-dovey. They never directly fought in front of us, but they had discussions in front of us. They told us that they needed to talk about things to make it work.

      I credit that with the fact that my wife and I have been together for 25 years, despite a lot of struggles.

    • Senior Attorney :

      My parents were mostly pretty awful as parents, but I remember two of my dad’s sayings, which I live by to this day: “You can do anything if you have the right tools,” and “it doesn’t matter how you get into trouble, what matters is how you get out.” He was a carpenter and the second one was in the context of making mistakes or coming across unexpected conditions on a job site, but oh my gosh I found it so useful as a young lawyer!

      My mom insisted I learn to type in high school so I would “always have something to fall back on” (because back then it was actually possible to support yourself as a secretary). I think that was great advice and my 21st-century version is “always make sure you can support yourself and your kids, whether or not you have a husband.”

    • In an age when it was still permissible to pick wild flowers, when we were less than five years old, my mother taught us to never pick the penultimate flower because then the last one would be lonely – in later years this was applied to many situations,

    • My dad took my mom’s job seriously even though it was lower-paid and lower-prestige than his. He made it clear how impressed he was by her and how much he had learned from her professionally (he is a college professor, and she was an elementary school teacher). My dad was also our primary caregiver for most of my childhood, because teachers have very inflexible jobs during the school year. I grew up with a very egalitarian view of relationships and an unshakable expectation of being respected by my partner.

      Even though I can see what they did wrong as parents, and at times as a child and teen was angry with them, hated them, fought with them, and felt like I disappointed them, I would tell you hands down that I had amazing parents. So that’s the other thing they did well: I understand that no parent is perfect and that being a great parent doesn’t require perfection.

    • My parents told me that they loved me all the time. I never questioned that I was the most important thing in their lives, and that deep knowledge of unconditional love got me through the rocky parts of adolescence and my twenties with remarkably few scars. I wasn’t spoiled, and they had high expectations; but they always made it perfectly clear that they loved me deeply and unconditionally.

    • I think my parents did a great job of finding the balance between avoiding a lot of the gendered b.s. while still encouraging the girly interests I showed. I grew up in the country and I went fishing, climbed trees, explored the woods behind our house, got a jackknife for my 11th birthday, played with homemade bows and arrows, and was taught a lot of self-sufficiency, but still loved princesses and dressing up in my mom’s old bridesmaid dresses.

      I didn’t realize how much crap I managed to avoid until I got to adulthood and heard what other people experienced that I had not.

    • This is proving hard for me. My parents weren’t bad parents, but either I don’t remember anything spectacularly good/it was just kind of average and I felt that they were just “there.”

      Regardless, I am thankful that they provided me with a lot of opportunities that other kids don’t get. I had a piano, I played the oboe, I went to ballet, gymnastics, I had a pony, and they paid for my undergrad. That is fantastic privilege, and I am grateful for it.

      I learned nothing about relationships or communication, but I had a pony!!

    • the yellow one is the sun :

      My parents were far from perfect. I know they have not had easy lives, but they aren’t very resilient or able to be grateful for many of the blessings they did have. They had problems with money and addictions. But!

      My mom really values education and instilled the same in us. She was mostly a SAHM and I remember her doing all kinds of educational activities with me like setting up a little store with price tags on knick-knacks when I was learning about money in first grade. She never gave me a hard time about being stuck in my room reading all summer, and she was really strict about my grades. I went on to be the first in my family to graduate from professional school.
      This is related, but my mom also told me over and over and over that I needed to make sure I never had to depend on a man. She would argue with my dad when he said I should learn how to cook to be a good wife. She didn’t want me to have the life she did and she raised me to be independent and to expect an equal partner in managing the household and kids.
      My dad tried really hard to give us a stable home and to be a good provider. He is very proud of his kids. I don’t like much about his parenting style or how he sometimes treated my mom, but he was 100% committed to his family and I think he did his best a lot of the time, which is more than a lot of kids get from their fathers.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      What a nice thread! I agree with what a lot of people upthread said – my dad taught me the importance of money management, saving and investment. He also prioritized this over material possessions, and I was able to graduate college debt-free and law school with relatively minimal debt. My dad also showed me the importance of being reliable and responsible – if he said he was going to do something, he did it. My mom never ever said anything negative about my appearance and didn’t talk badly about her own body. I’ve never had any body issues or eating issues, and even now weighing more than I used, I’m ok with my body and don’t feel the need to diet or exercise beyond just maintaining a good level of health. They also emphasized education above all, which has given me lots of opportunities.

      My parents also modeled a truly egalitarian, respectful relationship for me. Both worked for as long as I remember, and my mom actually made more money starting maybe 10-15 years ago. They didn’t treat each based on gender stereotypes and they didn’t argue much when I was growing up. I think that’s been really helpful in creating a good role model for my own marriage.

      I really wish we had more positive messages for parents, especially working parents, like this. My parents were certainly not “perfect,” whatever that means for a parent, and made decisions that I probably wouldn’t make, but I never doubted that they loved me and would be there for me. This is a nice remember as a parent myself.

    • this is such a great prompt. as someone who is currently pregnant, it is nice to be reminded that parents can do good things too since often time people to do turn to this board to complain/vent!

    • anonforthis :

      My parents taught me to always stand up for what I believe in, regardless of whether it is a popular opinion and regardless of the consequences.

    • Thank you for asking this question! A hundred therapy topics sprang to my mind immediately, and it took a minute to shift gears. Maybe therapists should ask about the good stuff more often!

      My parents encouraged and supported our interests wholeheartedly. They were also endlessly creative in finding ways for us to pursue our dreams. I have so many memories of being the only kid in a class or workshop, because they didn’t believe that just being a kid should hold us back from anything we wanted to learn or do, provided we were capable and willing to pursue excellence. (I think there would be other kids in those classes today, but they were a bit ahead of the times.) Between my siblings and I, none of us have taken the same path in life, and I think that’s partly because there was no pressure or snobbery about our choices–just support and encouragement, so long as we were giving it our best.

      My parents had our backs. They didn’t meddle in our relationships with other kids (unless an issue was well and truly in adult-intervention territory, tattling was something to be ashamed of), and we were taught in a pretty old-school way to respect adults and authorities, but they saw it as their job to advocate for us when the system wasn’t working the way it should. For me, this meant that when I had some serious health issues come up, they made sure I was allowed to make up for sick days at school, and they didn’t let doctors gaslight me as moody or attention-seeking.

      I don’t know if this is something my parents did or not, but I really like my siblings and their families, and I have a good sense that we are there for each other through thick and thin.

    • This is my favorite thread ever. My parents taught my by example about helping other people who are in need. We didn’t have much money growing up, but they always donated to charity. They took good care of us when we were sick (often at the expense of their own self-care). My dad is an extrovert and we always hated going to family friends’ parties with a bunch of people we didn’t know, and my dad would say “This is how you get to know people!” That has helped me as an adult when I don’t want to go somewhere for the same reasons.

    • KS IT Chick :

      My mom instilled a love of learning in me that is still with me today. I can find almost any topic interesting and I can learn something new all the time. She also taught me how to explain things in ways that non-experts can understand. I don’t think I will ever forget sitting with her in the hospital and explaining how SAFER barriers on a racetrack work, and drawing her a picture and having her actually understand it. My brother was shocked that we talked materials science and physics and that she understood it and could then understand why the barriers were important.

      My dad would help me do anything I wanted to do. He still lives on the farm where I grew up. I was a 4-H kid, with cats & cattle as projects. He built a pen specifically for my project cattle so that I wouldn’t have to keep them with the general farm population. He helped me learn how to use a chop saw and how to weld (I made the standards for a volleyball net that my brother’s kids still use almost 40 years later when they visit).

      They also taught me that sometimes what is right isn’t what is lawful. We harbored a family in transit from Texas to Canada for about a week at one point, as they were outrunning immigration authorities. The monastery where my dad went on religious retreats also served as a sanctuary point, and he one time helped a young woman and her children get away when the monastery was raided. When we talked about it, they told me that sometimes you have to do what your heart believes is the right thing, even if the law may not agree.

      My dad also believes in me in a way that I have found no one else ever does. His line for years was, when asked what his kids do, “Well, my son is a pharmacist, but let me tell you about my daughter.” Ten minutes later, after explaining what health IT is and how it impacts how healthcare is delivered, he’d talk about flowcharting and legal compliance and money management. And then he’d ask if they’d been to the doctor or hospital lately, because every hospital needs someone like his daughter to make sure that the systems worked and that the bills were right. No matter what I do or try to do, he’s my biggest cheerleader.

    • Thank you so much for starting this thread.

    • When I had difficulties in my male-dominated major in school, my dad said, “The only difference between you and them is that you pee sitting down.” He also always said (and continues to say), “You’re so smart, you don’t even realize how smart you are.” I’m pretty sure I’ve peaked as far as smartness, but it’s nice to know someone thinks I’m impressive.

  3. Im not sure why but this dress makes me think of Sarah Huckabee Sanders and I just can’t take it seriously.

    Question: I have a silver birthstone/initial pendant necklace (2 small tokens on a short chain) that I’d like to add to but I don’t know the source of the original tokens and am overwhelmed by all the options. Anyone have a place/Etsy seller they like? My only criteria is a real gemstone, not just Swarovski crystals (which a lot of Etsy seems to be).

    • Now that you’ve brought up Sarah Huckabee Sanders that’s all I can see,

    • Not sure if it will match, but I bought this for my bff when her son was born.

      Etsy store Delezhen

    • Never too many shoes... :

      It hurts my heart to admit this, and I say it in my small voice, but I kind of like her clothes. We have a kind of similar size and shape and colouring and (while I would not dress that way for being the Press Secretary), I think she dresses really nicely.

  4. I recently purchased a gorgeous Maggy London dress with this identical neckline (not the same dress though). I couldn’t figure out what necklace to wear and ultimately wore nothing, just earrings. Would you wear a necklace with this or no?

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I would not. That’s a gorgeous neckline, and I think a necklace would be a distraction.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t.

    • I would maybe wear a delicate silver pendant that fell just below the neckline, or no necklace at all.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I wouldn’t do a necklace. Maybe a brooch on the left shoulder?

    • Definitely no necklace. What a gorgeous neckline. A necklace would ruin it.

      That is a perfect dress.

      Classic, yet with a distinctive twist. And sleeves.

      Totally Claire Underwood, but with color. And I would wear it like Claire would. Minimalist. Simple stud earrings – good jewelry. Pumps. No blazer/sweater.

    • Yeah that’s a no necklace neckline. But for me I either wear major earrings or a major necklace, never both together, so I’d be doing it up in the earring department. Go big.

    • Thanks for the validation! It is a gorgeous dress and if you are an hourglass and slightly long waisted (or regular waisted) you will look fantastic in it, so I encourage you to try it on. In general, I love Maggy London dresses.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I like the brooch idea! Failing that, go big on the earrings and also maybe a fab bracelet.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Gorgeous. I would go with no necklace, hair pulled back and bigger earrings.

  5. DCCyclist :

    What does it mean when someone tells you that you “carry your height well”? I’m almost 6 feet tall. While I don’t think anyone should comment on someone else’s body at work, it came from a well-meaning woman in a private setting. I assumed good intentions and thanked her, but I don’t understand it.

    • Anonymous :

      Was it another tall woman? I’m 5’10” but I have awful posture as I grew super early and was like a head above all my classmates. I always admire other tall women who carry their height well by not slouching or trying to make themselves appear smaller. I’m still working on getting there.

      • JCrew factory blouses :

        I was freakishly tall as a child (50th percentile as a grownup) and slouched. I am trying to break the habit still. Definitely a compliment.

      • +1 I take that to mean good posture, not slouching, not being afraid to take up your full space, etc. It’s a compliment.

    • Flats Only :

      I suspect she meant you are graceful.

    • I hear “you don’t seem that tall” alllllll the time. It usually happens like this: someone I’ve seen multiple times before is standing next to me, that person suddenly realizes I’m taller than them, they ask how tall I am, they say I don’t seem that tall. Um, thanks?

      • I get the opposite. “What? You’re only 5’8″? I thought you were much taller!” Thanks, I’ve always been teased for my height and felt freakishly large, thanks for confirming you see me that way!

        • Anonattorney :

          Well, as someone who’s 6’0″, you’re not freakishly large at 5’8″. Usually this is a compliment – shorter people who otherwise have long limbs look taller. You probably have long legs and arms and therefore seem taller than 5’8″.

          I am 6’0″ but am of average proportions — my legs aren’t particularly long, I’m not model thin, and many people often say that I don’t seem as tall as I am.

          To OP – I think “carry your height well” means that you have good posture and you project confidence in being tall.

          • Anonymous :

            Good points. I objectively know I’m not really that big and definitely didn’t meant to imply others who are taller than me are freakishly big. I got my height very, very young (I was as tall as my teacher in 3rd grade; 5’4″ at 10 years old), so I dealt with being called a giraffe, monster, giant, and many other cruel names as a child. It’s amazing how long-lasting the effects from that cruelty have been for me. I finally started to feel more confident with my height after graduating college, but even at 31 I feel defensive when people comment that I look very tall.

    • Hamhanded attempt at telling you that you are graceful and project confident power? But like, as opposed to…? Does she expect that all talls = giraffe people?

      But, I’m with ya. Once someone–in my family, not at work–told me that I carried my WEIGHT well. I was like, uh, yeah? Wow.

      • I’ve gotten that too. I’d rather get the comment on my height …

        Or HAY PEOPLE how about we just don’t comment on other people’s bodies

    • Anonymous :

      I usually take it as a compliment meaning that you project yourself with confidence.

      On first meeting, my in-laws called me “majestic” – I’m a solid 4″ (at least) taller than all of them. It’s my new favorite personal mantra when I’m trying to project confidence -Be Majestic!

  6. Anon for this :

    I’ve recently coached a direct report through an internal interview process. She (Mary) did really well; in fact, she was the highest scoring candidate in a field of approximately 30. After they determined which candidates met the cut-off score, upper management slots the candidates across various departments. I’ve learned that Mary is going to be offered a position in a department that is a mess – it’s low performing, there is low morale, high turnover. Mary is being slotted for this department because she performed so well in the interview (and has a strong body of work in general). Upper management believes she can turn things around in this department. I think she might be able to do that, but she’ll be pretty miserable while doing so. I am guessing that when Mary gets this offer, she will want to decline it and ask for an assignment in another department. What advice would you give her for this negotiation process?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Are you sure Mary doesn’t want to take on the challenge of the underperforming department?

      • Anon for this :

        I’m not 100% positive. She’s definitely going to get the job offer as is and can make her own decision. She has mentioned to me in passing that she wants to avoid that department, so I think there is a decent chance she will want to decline. Just looking for advice on how to support her if that is the choice she makes.

    • If Mary is ambitious – and it sounds like she is – then she should see the challenge being offered to her as an opportunity and negotiate for support to help her meet it. Is this a position where she will have authority to hire/fire? If so, she needs to know going in that she will be allowed to manage people out of the group and bring in new blood if necessary. If not, she needs to know if her manager will listen to her recommendations about staffing. Maybe she can negotiate for additional administrative support, as well.

      • Anon for this :

        She will not have hire/fire power nor is it possible she will get additional admin support. Hmmm…good point about her new manager though. Maybe I can help her prep some questions she’d want to ask of the new manager before accepting the role.

    • She should take the assignment in the underperforming division.

      I work in talent management/HR. I’ve made many similar decisions about where to move emerging leaders as they move up the ladder. Mary’s being given an opportunity to prove what she can do based on what she already knows, and also stretch herself by taking on a challenging situation where there probably won’t be a lot of easy answers. Someone in the team evaluating Mary probably thinks a lot of her and her potential, if they are offering her that opportunity. Because in situations where we’re not quite sure how someone will do moving into management, we don’t choose the hardest situation to throw them into. When I see someone who I feel like absolutely has the potential to move into senior leadership someday, I push to put them in a challenging assignment so they can build skills quickly.

      If Mary asks for a different assignment than what she’s offered, she needs to be aware she’s communicating doubt in herself and her skills that won’t play well with higher-level leadership. What she CAN do, that will help her immensely, is be honest with the offerers, and say: “I am really excited about this opportunity. I understand the division I am going to has some challenges. I would like to access whatever resources I can to help develop myself as a leader to help me as I move into this role.” That could include: internal or external leadership development training; a mentor; an internal or external coach (and she absolutely can and should, if possible, have both a mentor and a coach); and access to internal or external leadership roundtables or mastermind groups. Yes, Mary probably will be less-than-totally-happy dealing with an underperforming team. But, if she does well and continues to develop herself and make connections within the company, most likely the assignment will be temporary and she will be rotated out – either into an even higher-level role or into a better-performing team – if she does well in this role. It may be two or three not-so-wonderful years, but if she hangs in and does well, her career could really take off.

      It’s flattering that they think so much of Mary that they want to give her this assignment, but they should also provide her with plenty of support to deal with the challenges of an underperforming team. And also – kudos to you for developing Mary into someone who is ready to take on a higher-level role. Not everyone can do that effectively.

      • Anon for this :

        This is SO helpful. Thank you for the specific language and recommendations on what support she should ask for. Asking for a coach is a great idea and is way more likely to happen than her getting admin support or other assistance.

        And thanks for the kudos. I work really hard to develop my people. This is bittersweet for me :)

  7. JCrew factory blouses :

    I ordered 2 of the JCrew Factory blouses featured last week.

    I think that I sized them wrong and would try one more time to get it right but hate the ship/return roulette when I’m paying both ways.

    I am 5-4, 125# with a tummy. Small chest. The S was very wide on me and the arm holes were massive. And with the length, it seemed to be a lot of fabric to tuck into pants or a skirt (and the hem didn’t seem to be ideal untucked, but perhaps it was also where it fell on my generous hips). Would XS work? Petite S? Petite XS?

    I wear a 4/6 P jacket in Banana (depending on the year / cut). I’m mostly leg, so sometimes I need a P to get the waist right. Most of my blouses are popovers that aren’t often sold in P and regular is often OK.

    The JCrew blouses are cute and I love that they are washable and I need sleeves for my freezing office, so I was so hopeful about these.

    • I’d try Small P. I’m also 5’4-ish and need a petite blazer in BR (4P) and that’s the size that works for me without gaping issues there.

  8. What is your favorite daily news blast/email? My old standby just stopped publishing. I’d prefer something non-partisan but mostly I want to hear what you all read.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      no news blast/email, but I listen to the NY Times Daily podcast on my commute each morning.

    • Baconpancakes :

      NYT. I pay for access anyway, and they ARE zone of the best newspapers in the world, so I figure they’ll cover anything worth knowing. (Don’t tell my friend at the WaPo.)

    • I like Quartz for their variety of topics and The Broadsheet for a female focus on stories.

    • I listen to NPR every morning while I’m getting ready, sometimes during commute. Sometimes my local NPR station, and sometimes mix it up with the stations from NYC or Boston (where I used to live).

      And online – NYT.

    • NPR on my 30-45 min car commute

      Subscribe to various news outlets on my FB account so i see headline news from them throughout the day, even if I don’t stop to read the article

    • Daily 202 from the Washington Post. There is usually a feature story, and then a rundown of everything that happened in the last 24 hours, both in politics and not, after that.

    • The NYT morning briefing.

    • I like The Skimm for a daily e-mail blast. They condense news stories into small chunks and have refreshers for stories that have been going on for a long time.

    • Anonymous :

      The Skimm for morning and NextDraft for late afternoon.

    • I read TheSkimm when I first wake up. I listen to NPR on my morning commute. I receive The Broadsheet and RaceAhead during the day for stories focused on women and minorities. Then I search for the most recent Daily 202 if I have extra time on my evening commute, although I find it doesn’t usually have much new that hasn’t been covered in the above.

  9. professional groups/affiliations :

    How do you decide which to join and which aren’t worth the cost? Other than g00gle searching looking for reviews/scam alerts, how do you know when there are so many for most industries these days?

    • What groups does your boss and his/her boss join? What about your colleagues and your clients? Those may be good starting points.

  10. Which articles of clothing do you get tailored (or would if you could afford it)? Which do you think are not worth the effort/cost to have tailored?

    • Pencil skirts are worth it for me. I have large hips and a small waist, and it’s really hard for me to find pencil skirts that fit without tailoring. I am fairly average up top, so I never get shirts or jackets tailored (though if they could make sleeves longer I would!

    • Note to Kat- I was just thinking the other day it would be absolutely great to have a guest post from a good tailor. Sort of an ask me anything style post, if the tailor were willing to respond to the commentariat.

  11. Does anyone know if you can purchase e-stationery to use with Yahoo mail? I see they have a few free designs through Paperless Post, but I’m looking for something suited to Presidents’ Day and they don’t have anything. I wonder if I can add an app to Yahoo mail for this.

    • No help but curious why (1) you are using Yahoo mail and (2) you need Presidents Day themed stationery!

      • What’s wrong with yahoo mail?

        • It just strikes me as something most people don’t use any more. Like having an aol or hotmail address. 99% of personal emails I send have a g m a i l recipient.

          • I use my old crusty yahoo account for online shopping. The longer you have an email account the more spam you get, so I’m happy to have all the e commerce ads go there because I never check it unless I’m looking for a receipt.

    • I doubt it, stationary isn’t really a thing anymore, and I’d worry how it would come through on people’s phones or mobile devices. If you really wanted the design, could you send it through as a PDF?

    • If you’re talking about a fancy background for a regular email, please don’t. Those things make the emails large in size and clog up inboxes with size limits, and on mobile can take forever to load.

  12. Shopping help: I’m looking for an open cardigan that’s his at low hip and is nice enough for a casual Friday in the office. Black/gray/taupe colored would be OK. All the ones I’m seeing out now are made out of really soft blankety material or are really chunky and casual looking. I’d like something a little polished, if possible. Around $50 would be good. Thanks!

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Did you check LOFT? They happen to have a sale today too.

    • givemyregards :

      Banana Republic and the gap have become my go-to for these types of sweaters:

      This cardigan has buttons, but I have it in black and wear it open all the time:
      (I also have this one from gap and I think the quality is comparable:

      This one could go either way – it has a blazer-ish neckline, but the jersey may read too casual, particularly in white:

      This is a true “open” cardigan, and I think the details spruce it up a bit:
      (Similar option from the gap that’s a bit cheaper:

  13. Anyone want to help me shop for a wedding dress? The ceremony will be outdoors in Jun and relatively casual, so no ball gowns. Budget is $500 for both dress and shoes. I am not particularly enamored of the idea of getting married in white; the symbolism of it isn’t my thing and I don’t think the color suits me terribly well. Here are a few I like, but I welcome further suggestions! I’m quite pale, and have dark blonde hair and blue eyes, for coloring reference.

    • I love all 3 as dresses but think the two lighter color ones of these look more bridal… maybe you could do one of those and a long veil so that it looks very intentional/bridal in photos without being an 80s nightmare or horrible coloring for you to achieve the difference between “I’m dressed up for something” and “I’m a bride” if that is important to you.

      Another option might be to consider whether you own shoes you already like so the budget can go into a dress/veil or whether you have a dress you might already love too in which case you’d only need a veil and could go more WOW with one?

      Yay for you for choosing for yourself rather than wearing a nightmare just because some think that’s what a bride must wear!

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Does it have to be long? Because I passed this one in Macy’s the other day and am considering getting it for rehearsal dinner, but it could also work as a short not-quite-white wedding dress (it’s a very subtle ice blue)

    • I like the third one quite a lot. I don’t like the first or second. This one is a variation on the second that would be lovely if you added a colorful/personal/sparkly/whatever belt or ribbon.

      • wildkitten :

        Flag – the belt on the third one is probably sold separately.

        • My best friend wore this exact dress, the Fleur, (and immediately sold it to another friend who will wear it as her dress) — it is gorgeous, but the belt is not included.

    • Baconpancakes :

      If your goal is to buy a dress that rewearable, the first one is your winner. If your goal is to wear a pretty dress, I’d go for the BHLDN one. If you like the BHLDN but don’t want white, I’ve seen some brides in blush colors that looked fantastic, still bridal, but more casual, or the grey would also look great.

    • I love #3. If white isn’t your thing the blush would be amazing.

      Here’s another option – similar to your #2 which I also like.

    • I’ve seen the first in person and really love the pattern.

    • I also like no. 3 the best.
      If you want something different, try searching for floral white dresses. There are some that are gorgeous and would make a lovely non traditional wedding dress. Or look for something pale pink or blue if you think that would suit your coloring better. Also, consider some fun colored shoes if you want to be a little more interesting.

      This white dress is very simple, if you want a classic look, but I think would look great with the right accessories.

      • A less traditional but gorgeous and flattering option:

        • Pale pink dress, size 8 only but I’m sure you can find similar. This one is very romantic, I think.

          • Another pale pink:

          • A pale blue:

          • Ooo, I love the blue one!

    • I would do something like one of these: or

      Simple dresses are much easier to accessorize and I love the way that trumpet is cut, plus you could afford to tailor it for that price. You could add a beautiful belt or topper, or go all out with your hair without looking over the top.

      Also, this dress is beautiful if you want to do a short one – you can get 20% off:

    • The BHLDN sale section has some fun dresses (bridal, and a bit more alternative) that could be lovely for what you’re describing:

    • I highly highly recommend Badgely Mischka sequin evening gowns — I wore a navy, short-sleeved long sequin dress as my wedding dress and loved it. And I found it for half-price on As a bonus, you can wear a normal bra with the cowl back. The cowl has a concealed tab that tucks into your bra strap…

  14. I think the first one is GORGEOUS but doesn’t really look like a “wedding” dress. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, then it’s perfect. The second looks kind of like cheap curtains imo. The third one is nice but very bridal and more formal.

  15. New Orleans :

    Can someone help me plan a New Orleans trip next weekend? I’ll be with my 10-year old daughter, so need activities that are family friendly. We’re currently reserved at the Sheraton on Canal St. but I’d welcome other suggestions as it is far more expensive than I anticipated. We won’t have a car, so will have to took around via Uber or the streetcar. Thank you!

    • I adore the Sheraton on Canal – it’s so comfy and convenient to a lot of walkable activities. A few options you could do from there: walk down Royal street and look at antiques or shop for souveniers, walk to New Orleans Cake Bakery & Cafe for breakfast, take the trolley to the cemeteries (this sounds morbid but I promise it’s not) and walk around there – we spend 1-3 hours walking around the cemeteries each time we visit. You can make a game of finding the earliest gravestone. You can take the trolley to Magazine street too, I believe, and that’s good for more shopping and has great lunch and dinner spots (use Yelp or ask a local/bartender for recs). You could walk to Frenchman street at night and get dinner there. There should be some jazz stuff going on although I don’t think your daughter can get into any of the jazz bars. You can take a taxi to either City Park or Audubon Park and walk around. The zoo is over there too but I’ve not been. You could also do a French Quarter walking tour, but I’ve never done one of those either. I also like Muriel’s in the quarter for dinner. Basically just get out, walk around and eat! Hope this helps!

      • Preservation Hall is a jazz venue that does not serve alcohol (although I believe people can BYO), and its website says all ages are welcome.

    • wildkitten :

      This is the coolest thing I’ve ever done:

    • You can walk to the aquarium from where you’re staying, if I recall. (I’ve stayed there several times and like it.) The aquarium’s good, but the zoo (in a whole other part of town – uber required) is really amazing. I think it’s quite old (oh, wiki says 1914), so it has a bit of a Mary Poppins feel about it that I just loved.

    • The WWII museum is a wonderful museum and appropriate for a 10 year old.

      If the weather is nice, I’d spend half a day in City Park. You could have a fancy brunch at Ralph’s on the Park, then go over to the park and walk around looking at the big oak trees. You can rent bikes or pedal boats or kayaks. The park also has a beautiful sculpture garden, a putt putt course, and a botanical garden, so you could pick one of those depending on your kid’s interests. The amusement park is geared to kids younger than 10. I enjoy the New Orleans Museum of Art, but it doesn’t have much to engage a child.

      Do you mind sharing when your trip is? There are lots of special events in spring. (It may even be why the Sheraton is so expensive.)

      • +1 on the WWII museum. Also, allow enough time – we didn’t, and couldn’t view all of the exhibits or do the immersive experiences they offer. I think you could spend at least 4 hours there.

      • If you want to leave the city, you could do a swamp tour. I haven’t actually been, but people always say they had a great time. Buses pick you up at your hotel and drop you back off, so you don’t have to worry about a car.

        There are also plantation tours with hotel pickup and drop-off. Plantation tours are always controversial on this s*te, but the Laura Plantation does a good job presenting a full history of both slave owners and slave holders and does not, in my opinion, hold back or gloss over anything. The Whitney Plantation is specifically focused on the slave experience. However, I don’t know if any of the bus tours take people to these 2 plantations. Since you won’t have a car, your plantation choices may be more limited. (Oak Alley is the most popular one. The grounds are beautiful, the tour is so dismal it’s almost awkward, and they completely whitewash history.)

        • OH MY GOSH! FINALLY! THANK YOU! Laura is so much better than Oak Alley! I feel like I’m the only person to have ever said that. You hit the nail on the head – Oak Alley’s tour is dismal and awkward. (And only like 15 minutes long. And nothing is original. Not even the staircase. So like, why bother? See the grounds for free and save your $40.)

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, please don’t go to Oak Alley, especially with a child. Some friends convinced me to go on a girls’ trip to NOLA and I was absolutely horrified by how they deliberately side-stepped the whole slavery thing. It honestly seemed to me like touring a concentration camp and not mentioning Hitler/the Holocaust. I’d have been 10x more horrified if I had an impressionable kid with me.

    • I’m in NOLA now and it’s definitely more expensive than I’m used to, but I’m from a low cost of living region. I loved the Audobon insectorium and aquarium, which are on Canal. I did a walking tour of the French Quarter last night and liked it, but it might be boring for a 10-year-old. I’m planning to take a trolley to City Park this weekend and a friend says her kids love Dat Dog and the park (they also loved the zoo). I’ve done a lot of walking around and just enjoying the city. There’s so much to see and do.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      There’s a Hampton Inn about two blocks from that Sheraton that I’ve stayed at that is probably cheaper and perfectly fine if unexciting.

    • I stayed at the Royal St. Charles around the corner. It was clean and comfortable and affordable, but not as nice as the Sheraton (a friend was staying there; it was lovely). Just ask for an exterior room if that matters to you (it did to me). Literally a 2 block walk from the Sheraton, on the St. Charles line. The sandwich shop next door was pretty good!

    • I’ve mentioned this before, but City Park and the Sculpture garden at NOMA could be fun for a visit with a 10 year old. Maybe the insectarium because they aren’t a dime a dozen. Also will second the rec for Dat Dog. The locations on Magazine and Freret are both fun and easy, although my last lunch there was about a 10 napkin lunch! Definitely take the St. Charles streetcar all the way uptown. You can walk to the zoo from the top of the park, if you want to do that. Will also warn you that it is just plain hot and humid right now. Unseasonably so.

  16. So beautiful :

    I have no reason to wear this dress but I love it:

  17. Anon- trigger warning :

    Trigger warning – abuse survivor relationships-
    Hi ladies- so now I actually know and am starting to understand a little about triggers. I just had something big and revelatory happen and had to share with someone and I love the support here. So – I’m an Old, married to DH for decades (no kids). I was aware he had a history of child abuse – step dad issues and his Mom suffered in that relationship as well, and didn’t support him. He’s spoken of it from time to time and I’ve always given him extra allowances in our relationship, and been aware vaguely that he needs more support and I had to adapt to some needs he has for orderliness and predictability. But maybe because we met before the internet was a thing (!) and psychology hadn’t yet evolved to where it is today, and we tried to use common sense and be good to each other and move on / stumble through without understanding things, I didn’t really explore in depth what this meant other than common sense, Luckily I’m a very empathetic person blessed with a happy family and outlook and great job with good work friends.
    We’ve had some rare but ugly episodes that I never understood, and some occasional attitudes that I didn’t understand- we love each other and have fun and he supports me emotionally too, but there were always tough patches and things I couldn’t fathom. We had a talk last week about the episodes and he is trying to work some of this out in his head to feel better.
    Now the latest : Yesterday I stumbled acrosss the concepts of triggers and what they are in survivors and I started to weep. It explains so much. I also read more this morning about specific ways to support a partner- beyond “ be nice”. I’m going to go slow and learn more about this . My next step before I talk to DH is to see if I can find some support for me to learn what to do and how to approach this. I so much regret not knowing sll this time some of the very specific things I can do to be helpful for this person I love dearly, over our past years together – feeling compassion but not full understanding. Anyway there’s no one IRL I’d share with so you guys are my outlet today- thank you for being there as fun and support for this frequent lurker and if anyone doubts the world is improving over the arc of history, my goodness this “Old” sure feels it is!

    • Following because I’d like to know about resources. I’m the abuse survivor in my relationship. In my case, the only thing I needed from my partner was him to understand certain gardening things were triggers for me and I just couldn’t do those. I also can’t watch movies or shows with certain types of violence and he has gotten up and walked out of theaters with me, no questions asked. I could NOT handle Game of Thrones and feel kind of bad that he misses out on that cultural phenomenon because of me, but he really couldn’t care less. I’ve always approached it as a very individualized thing– more of the common sense approach I suppose you’ve been taking as well. Curious to know what others will think about more structured resources.

    • Well done. If only we all could stay so open minded and willing to learn throughout our marriages.

      Would you care to share a link that is particularly useful?

      Don’t be too hard on yourself. Compassion that you have shown to your husband has helped him more than you will ever know.

      • So far I just read in general about Attachment issues- hypersensitivity to things that trigger feelings of rejection and devaluation/being made to feel worthless. I also read about creating a “couple bubble” to intentionally work as a team. What I didn’t state explicitly above is that this has gone over to brief episodes of physical abuse- grabbing and shaking- every 2 yrs or so. I can see now things that I said – something an unaffected person would not be terribly upset by- really triggered rage because it brought up past feelings of neglect or devaluing from those that were supposed to love him. I am for sure an anchor in his life – so suddenly feeling like I’m repeating past injuries he suffered, has a huge effect. Now I need to figure out how I can move forward but just understanding what the heck happened and why, is going to make it not acceptable obviously, but something we can both work on. I’m hopeful about our future for the first time in years

        • Ok, I get that you want to understand him but putting up with physical abuse should not be part of that. This is really disturbing. Has he ever had counseling?

        • I’m anon from 11:28. These details sounds a little too close to blaming yourself (the victim) for his actions. I would encourage you to seek individual counseling to work through this. I don’t think internet links will be enough here.

          • Anons 12:37 and 12:55- yes absolutely I agree that a lot more is needed and I’m feeling my way toward that. I am looking into counseling for myself, and no of course, not blaming myself- I get it may have come across that way. I guess Im just sad that we had options for years that we didn’t explore. DH is not in counseling. I think he thought he was just screwed up and nothing could be done. I’m reading IPV lit and working through those steps too. The convo last week where DH admitted he had hurt me, apologized, and told me he wants to get better are all huge, we had never even gone there before – the episodes shocked us both so much – and were so out of character for him- that we both shut down. I have an open mind- maybe things don’t get better and I leave. But just knowing this happens to others, there’s a reason, and there are defined methods available to address it (trauma+ violence) is a huge motivation for me to move forward for a happier life for us both if I can.

          • Yes, he urgently needs counseling. It will make things so much better for him. And you cannot live feeling guilt that shouldn’t be there, and walking on eggshells….

            You could pose it as needed in response to him hurting you, which is NEVER acceptable. And take this open door that he has offered….. tell him that it is not too late, if he wants to get better this is the way, and it will take time. Maybe you can help him by confirming your insurance coverage, asking doctors for a referral, looking for a good doc, or even just by setting up an appointment with his primary care doctor. Sometimes calling the doctor ahead of time to give them a head’s up as to what this is about can be helpful. Often counseling with medications can be helpful in the early stages.

            I have several persons close to me that have gone through horrific childhoods. The impact of this can never be overestimated. It is truly amazing to me that some children make it through, but the damage can be heartbreaking. My father was one of those people, and my childhood was made more challenging because of my father’s dysfunction. It wasn’t until I was an adult that I understood my father’s tragic life, which still makes my heart break a little every time I look at him.

          • SP thank you so much. I’m going to try as you suggested. He’s extremely averse to therapy but I did start looking into logistics. I appreciate so much you sharing your story. I am grateful for your advice and will try to implement it.

          • Anonymous :

            Your husband has repeatedly physically abused you. And he hasn’t cared enough about that to do anything about it. Think about that. Therapy isn’t a secret.

        • Anonymous :

          Wow please get individual therapy. Childhood abuse is not a reason to abuse you.

    • Don’t be too hard on yourself! It sounds like you’ve done a wonderful job with the tools you had. It’s amazing what things we learn along the way. My husband read a Brene Brown book last year and it led us to having some conversations about things that also led to light bulb moments about him for me. He had a very out of control childhood and he’s just now gaining the vocabulary to be able to talk about how that affected him.

  18. Talk to me about Seattle. I’m in the running for a very interesting opportunity that would be a significant career advancement. I’m terrified and excited in all of the ways that tells me to go for it. I’m aware that traffic is a nightmare, housing is expensive, and weather is dreary. I last visited about four years ago in January, but was a tourist. Obviously life won’t be coffee & donuts all day with fresh flowers from Pikes Place Market on my kitchen table.

    So…questions for those of you living in Seattle. Do you recommend it or am I crazy to leave my LCOL city where I have a pretty good setup already? I have two children under three. What neighborhoods should I be focusing on? I will have significant budget to work with and will likely lean toward renting for a year to get a feel for the city. My ideal scenario would be to live within walking distance of daycare and then be able to use mass transit to commute to work in the downtown vicinity.

    Any insight would be super helpful as I navigate this possibility.

    • I don’t live there, but I considered moving there once before and I love visiting the city. Check out Fremont, Queen Anne, and Magnolia for family-friendly neighborhoods close to the city center/public transit. I also know people who freaking love West Seattle.

      Otherwise, I think Seattle would be a great place as long as you are prepared to go outdoors even if it’s raining. I find that the trick to enjoying winter is to go outside anyway and have hobbies (e.g., skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing) that make it fun. You can get into amazingly beautiful mountains an hour from Seattle and there is plenty of hiking and other activity within city limits or 30 minutes. If you are an outdoorsy family with a positive attitude, Seattle could be an absolutely amazing place year-around. I am sure it could still be fun if you are indoorsy, but for me, I think part of the reason Seattle is worth the high cost is because of the abundant natural beauty and outdoor opportunities.

      • Queen Anne and magnolia are absolutely lovely – my family lives there. I don’t; I’m in DC! Queen Anne is walkable without the traffic. Close enough but it’s not all tall buildings. Great views.

    • No advice on Seattle, but I love how you phrased that (“terrified and excited in all the ways that tells me to go for it”). I’m evaluating a big opportunity myself and couldn’t tell if I was excited or just terrified – you’ve helped me decide!

    • I just made this move from East Coast to Seattle with 2 under 5. In meetings all day but will respond later with feedback.

      There are things I miss so much about the East Coast, and there are a few things I love about the PNW. The perma-cloud is a real thing. Like with any big move, I’m giving it a year or two before I can fully say I love it and I would do it again.

    • SquashBlossoms :

      I moved to Seattle from a LCOL city 4 years ago. I own a condo in Queen Anne, which is a great neighborhood; very walkable, lots of parks and green spaces, and close enough to my office downtown that traffic does not meaningfully affect my quality of life. The traffic is terrible, and due to infrastructure improvements downtown, will get significantly worse and stay that way for 2-3 years.

      I will never be able to afford a house in the Queen Anne area (even the fixers are close to $1m), but your financial situation sounds different than mine (government lawyer + spouse working for a non profit). I hear the schools in Queen Anne are good but don’t have kids so can’t comment.

      West Seattle and Magnolia seems very popular for families; both feel like the suburbs, but not in a bad way. Magnolia is the site of the gorgeous, enormous Discovery Park, has a great outdoor city swimming pool, and amazing views. West Seattle also has a great big public park and city pool; it also had the advantage of relatively good public transit to downtown, but many of those bus lines will be affected by the traffic Armageddon I mentioned above.

      I love my life here. It happens to involve a lot of coffee, donuts, fresh flowers, and runs with views of water + mountains. Cheery coats (with hoods!!!) and rain boots will help you get through the wet season; the rain is no reason to stay inside. Honestly, the weather is less of an issue than the short winter days (ie, lack of light).

      I am concerned about the increasing cost of living (our property taxes are increasing 17% this year), and starting to wonder how much longer we can afford to live here unless either my spouse or myself starts making more money!

    • I moved to Seattle from the East Coast, and after four years, decided to leave. My experience is about 5 years old, so bear that in mind, but here’s what I liked and disliked:

      -Very bike friendly.
      -Near some beautiful nature (although the weather is a challenge to enjoying it)
      -Strong progressive values. It was nice never to have to fight with anyone about LGBT rights the whole time I was there. My church campaigned heavily for marriage equality.
      -Awesome food and fantastic farmer’s markets.
      -In the summer it is literally the most beautiful place on earth.

      – I didn’t hate the weather at first but it really got me down eventually. I was cold all the time. The summers are astoundingly gorgeous, though.
      – In core Seattle, there were very few black people and very few Latino people except in service industry roles. And the cost of living is so high that socioeconomic diversity is basically nil – everyone has a graduate degree and a six-figure income. Coming from a much more diverse community, I really, really disliked how homogeneous Seattle was and would have been uncomfortable raising children in that environment.
      – It was incredibly expensive. The very small house that I bought for the then-awful price of $500k sold again last year for $800k. The cost of real estate pushed up the cost of everything else.
      – The airport isn’t *that* big, so flights to the east coast were very expensive and flights to Europe and other places that are typically gatewayed through east cost airports were sky-high. That meant I didn’t see east coast family very often and travel to Europe was basically out. That said, flights to Hawaii were super-cheap.

    • Long comment in moderation, sigh. The upshot: I moved there. I moved back to my MCOL east coast city, due mostly to dislike of the weather/short days, discomfort with lack of economic/socioeconomic diversity, and high cost of living. But I loved many things about it and often miss it although I don’t regret leaving.

    • I live in the inner Bay Area and these prices all sound really good!

      I guess that’s part of the problem. As far back as the eighties (maybe before!) I heard people complaining about the Californicat1on of Seattle.

    • This advice is PERFECT. Thank you all so much!!


  19. All I see is the Chiquita Banana Girl. Now can’t unsee.

  20. All I see is the Chiquita Banana Girl. Now can’t unsee.

  21. anon a mouse :

    My office recently went to adjustable desks, so I’ve been trying to the standing desk function more. It’s done wonders for my back pain, but my feet are killing me! I already have a cushioned mat and am trying to wear the most supportive shoes I have. Any other suggestions for getting used to a standing desk?

    • Are your shoes heels? I had to switch to flats when I got mine. I had already mostly switched, but I found I couldn’t stand for an hour in heels at all, no matter how “comfortable” and I quit wearing them entirely.

      • anon a mouse :

        Flats or very low heels (like 1″). I’ve tried a few different flats and they all are more painful than a slight heel, which has been surprising. I keep the taller heels in a drawer for when I have to leave my office for meetings.

    • All my work shoes are low wedges, but I take my shoes off when I stand.

    • I would honestly get a pair of Birkenstock clogs and slip into those when working. They look like bedroom slippers so I wouldn’t wear them away from my desk but they mold to your foot over time and give excellent arch support.

      Just break them in at home on the 2-4-6-8 schedule. 2 hours the first day, 4 hours the second day, etc.

    • Yep- cushion =/= support.

      If your shoes are well fitting and supportive, get rid of the cushioned mat and see if that helps.

    • Anonymous :

      I take my shoes off when I stand. I also have an Ergodriven Topo as my mat, and I really like having the different shapes on the mat, because it lets me fidget with my feet. Constantly changing the position and angle of my feet, and stretching out different parts of my legs, makes it much easier for me to stand for longer.

  22. Where do you like to buy fine jewelry? I would like some cool, modern pieces but don’t know where to look. Bluenile, Costco, and macys are nice but a bit more traditional than what I am looking for. I pretty much would like something along the lines of Kenneth Cole or Vince Camuto fashion jewelry styles in fine metals and gems. Does that exist?

    • I like some of Effy’s newer pieces and have a beautiful right hand ring from there, and they have sales often.

    • Well I’m a pearl girl so most of my jewelry bucks go to Kojima pearl (and she does have great, modern design taste – this is not your grandma’s sedate white pearl strand) but I also visit a jeweler in my neighborhood who has a full bench and does mostly custom work.

    • Check our Bario Neal and Catbird

    • Check out local jewelry stores where you live.

    • Gemvara’s Gemma Gray Line? They are more minimalist, but very customizable.

    • joan wilder :

      Someone mentioned yesterday that they read the Directrice which I was curious to check out and she just showed the most fabulous necklace from the MOMA gift shop which led me down a rabbit hole of some really fantastic modern jewelry (sadly outside of my budget),

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Yes! Museum stores often have amazing jewelry (out of my budget, too, but sometimes items go on sale).

    • Digby and Iona

    • Out of the Box :

      Marco Bicego, Pomellato, Ippolita are amongst my favorites. RueLaLa runs some sales on them, as does Last Call.

  23. I’m looking for some really tiny gold or silver earrings. I like the look of ultra-delicate pieces for everyday wear and I need a few new standbys. Can anyone recommend some Etsy shops or somewhere I can browse online?

  24. Does anyone have any stories about how their careers took an unexpected turn for the better? I am finding myself in an interesting situation that I am really excited about.

  25. Blonde Lawyer :

    Sloan Sabbith – just want to thank you for one of your words of wisdom. I employed your advice to “do the thing rather than dread the thing” this morning and I feel so much better now. Normally, I’d have anxiety about it all day and end up staying late to address it. I need to get it tattooed on my hand.

  26. Recommendations for a relationship therapist / counselor in Boston (city)? Have never done this before so don’t know if this is normal, but looking for someone who will meet individually (figure out what we want long term in a relationship) and together (if we decide to work through issues together).

  27. I went on a Love It or List It bender. It reminded me of growing up in the NorthEast US — houses are very very small, old (so will have outdated floor plans / no frills / tiny bathrooms), and (most importantly) frighteningly expensive.

    Is it really representative of Canada (esp., I think Toronto)?

    I am in Big4 and have a big Canadian client that may eventually want to bring me over permanently. I work out of the SEUS (and currently live very close in, so I have the old/dated/expensive thing going already, but think that in Toronto it would just be that x10 (plus real winter)).

    I have kids, so the COL issue is huge (or I could just keep working remotely and flying in periodically).

    • Canada is an extremely large and diverse country and no two cities are the same. You can’t watch a TV show and think it represents all of Canada!

      Toronto is the 2nd most expensive city in Canada (behind Vancouver) and real estate there is insane especially. In Love It or List It, they are usually looking at homes outside downtown Toronto in the commuter neighbourhoods/cities because those are the only ones that people can still afford to buy. And even those, as you said, are extremely expensive. People will pay more than a million dollars for a tear-down. Even cities that are a 1-2 hour drive from Toronto are experiencing this problem, because people are willing to commute that far in order to buy a house.

      Do you research before moving here!!

      • This. I’ve turned down great opportunities in TO and Van. Because I just can’t give up my five min commute and huge backyard in my small city.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I hate to say this, but kind of, although it depends on your feelings about suburbia.

      I grew up in midtown Toronto, five minutes walk to one of two subways and greengrocers, corner stores and tons of restaurants and coffee shops around. I walked to primary school and high school and took a subway one stop to middle school.

      I live in the east-ish end of the city in a semi-detached three bedroom built in 1926. We redid the entire main floor to make it open concept and dug down the basement and finished it so we have a family room and second bathroom. It is about 5 minutes to a subway and then about 25 minutes to downtown. Five minutes drive to a highway, so well located. It has front pad parking but no driveway and no garage.

      The lot is 17 feet wide and 100 feet long, and so the house is about 14 feet wide. It is worth north of a million dollars.

      But, if you are willing to live in one of the suburbs, you can buy a more traditional “American” house (attached garage, wider footprint) for less money.

  28. Has anyone successfully asked for a demotion? I became a department director last year. I’m trying to give it a fair chance, but I haaaate it. I was so much happier as a rock-star individual employee than I am in the higher position. Being responsible for everything involved in leading a team really stresses me out, even though I’m capable of doing it. It’s a bad match with my strengths and personality in general.

    I’m also dealing with a good deal of personal stress, which my boss is aware of, which has made it even harder to throw myself into learning the ropes of management. Something in my life has to give, and it’s not going to be my life outside of work.

    The sticking point is that my boss has had a difficult time finding qualified candidates to lead this unit. Being the glue that held the department together during an interim period of disaster, they thought I’d be the perfect person to step in permanently … but I’m so not. In my gut, I’ve known that all along. If I step down, replacing me is a real issue for my boss. I can’t decide whether it would be better to start over somewhere else, or to try to figure out a new role for myself within my group.

    It’s kind of a mess. At this point, I’m unhappy enough to not care about losing pay and potentially looking like a fool who can’t hack it. I just want an exit, and I want it soon.

    • I would ask for a switch back to an individual commuter vs the managerial role, rather than say demotion. It’s really just a different career track – you gave it a try and it didn’t work out. In my old org, plenty of people went back and forth, but it was also the the culture.

      • I agree with this comment (and recently did the same myself). I had been unhappy, and wanted to get back to “doing stuff” rather than “talking about doing stuff.” This isn’t uncommon in our company culture, but the focus on being a strong individual contributor where I can make a bigger impact was how I positioned it to my company.

    • I don’t have personal experience with this, but someone I worked with at my last company was promoted from a researcher role to a director role and she stepped back down within a year. She’s extremely well-regarded and so was her replacement.

    • Senior Attorney :

      There was a book back in the 70s called “The Peter Principle.” Basically the thesis was “everybody gets promoted to his or her level of incompetence and stays there forever.” I think you’re wise to step back from a job that isn’t a good fit for you.

      • I get the idea of the Peter Principle, but many organizations have only so many ways to advance. (Speaking about government, higher ed, nonprofits.) Most people will hit a ceiling regardless of their competence.

        I’ve had to get comfortable with the idea that I’m not as ambitious as I used to be. It’s a blow to the ego, for sure. :) But who needs a higher-level position that makes them miserable?

        • Senior Attorney :

          Me, too. I tell people I have the greatest job in the world and all I had to give up was my pride!

          • BINGO!! Couldn’t have said it better myself. I never want to manage people and love my lifestyle and high salary. My approach is considered leaning out and I am fine with it. I love my job.

    • Obviously you should do whatever is best for you and makes you happy. But a year really isn’t that long in the grand scheme of things, especially if this new role was a stretch for you. If you can handle it personally, I’d try to stick it out and see if year two is any better – you may find that it’s more an issue of being out of your comfort zone than anything.

      That said, you know yourself best and there’s no shame at all in doing what you know is right for you. Even if that means taking what otherwise seems like a step backwards.

    • My old company had an individual contributor role that topped out at the entry level manangement pay grade. I knew lots of people who opted for it. But when we had rounds of layoffs they were very much on the line because they were making high-ish salaries and not leading a department or team.

      I’d think very carefully about such a move.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      I have someone on my team who took a demotion to join the team. It has been wildly successful, mostly due to his humility. He is high skilled but seeks out and receives feedback well. He leverages the strengths from his old position but proactively works to improve his skills in new areas. He rarely directly references his old position and has no ego, so his (younger, more inexperienced) colleagues feel comfortable working with him. I wish you the same success!

    • One of our employees did the same, for similar reasons – it didn’t suit her and she was miserable not doing the technical work. It came off well because she acknowledged that she wasn’t great as a supervisor, and everyone respects her for ability to reflect and take some personal responsibility. There’s still a little grumbling about her as a supervisor, but she gets respect for stepping down.

    • I know someone who had this exact situation. She was a natural to step in during an interium, and did so well they wanted her to stay. But she hated the position, the politics, the dysfunction and actually wound up making less than she made in her prior role (which paid for overtime, which the Director position did not). So she stepped down. The position was very difficult to fill with a competent person, and the next interium replacement totally failed and they begged my friend to return. She only returned with big adjustments making her day to day life better (promoted someone to become an assistant and got an additional secretary), more money, changed some job responsibilities. And she did well for quite awhile until lateraling to another Director position that she liked MUCH more.

      So the question is…. are there things that could be changed that would make it more palatable, as you may have negotiating room here. And could it be a transition to a different position that would be better for you? If not, definitely go back to what you like better.

      It is actually very common for people to step back from being a manager position.

      • That’s a great story. I like the idea of looking for ways to make this better, but I sometimes wonder if I’ve been here so long that I can’t see the forest from the trees. Struggling in this role (although my boss says I’m doing great) has made me question what I’m good and what I actually like to do. What I’ve concluded is that I like the director-level work, but I don’t like managing people at all and the politics can ruin my day.

  29. I am thinking about yesterday’s post about business travel h*r*ssment, and the more I think, the more I think it was not just inappropriate but actively dangerous. I think we are kidding ourselves if we think that women don’t already have techniques for dealing with men and unwanted attention and risk. I do not think anyone *needs* that post.

    There were also so many misconceptions in the responses. If you have been lucky enough not to be h*r*ssed, it’s just that: luck. Bad men target the vulnerable and the strong. They target the conventionally and unconventionally attractive. On a personal level, seeing someone say their “resting b*tch face” and their strength ward off potential bad-doers is hurtful. I was s**ually h*r*ssed, and I believe I’m strong. Occasionally, I’m a b*tch. Seeing someone imply I’m too vulnerable is defeating and takes me back to the shame I felt.

    Thank you for letting me share.

  30. Does anyone have a recommendation for a paste, wax, or cream to give a pixie haircut that “piece-y” look?

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Aveda styling clay – it’s a men’s product, smells and works great. A little goes a long way. It has a dry-looking finish.

      • the yellow one is the sun :

        +1 to Aveda. I used the men’s grooming clay with my first pixie and it was great – they also have a Control Paste that you might want to try too if you can get into an Aveda shop or salon.

    • Aquage Transforming Paste. Apply to wet hair and blow dry/style. Add a bit more for piecey-ness if needed.

      It’s a heavy product and sometimes I want a lighter finish. In those cases, I use Paul Mitchell skinny serum for blowdrying and finish with Bed Head Manipulator.

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