Coffee Break: Ginger Satchel

We’re on a bit of a ladylike, feminine, classic, elegant kick right now, and this bag is no exception. This gorgeous satchel from Ferragamo just looks so elegant while also having a very modern and fresh look. I could see someone like Grace Kelly or Audrey Hepburn carrying this bag with aplomb. It’s available at Zappos/Amazon for $2,250, while Bloomingdale’s has it for $1,990. The “ecorce/golden brown” color is at 6pm for $1,195. Salvatore Ferragamo Ginger Satchel

Here’s a more affordable option.



  1. This is a gorgeous bag.

    Alas, I work from home now, and would only have reason to carry it a few times a year (also, 2250…).

    Speaking of, though – it is amazing how little clothes/shoes/accessories shopping I’ve done since transitioning to working from home. I thought I was a pretty restrained shopper before, but now I’m seeing how many little things here-and-there I bought, and how much of that was probably influenced by being in an office, seeing what other people had that I liked, etc.

  2. What solo hobbies do you have? My NY resolution is to add a weekend hobby, and I thought I’d crowd source ideas here. I’m currently thinking of taking up piano, karate, or Spanish language classes. What are some favorite hobbies from the Hive?

    • I bike, swim and read. I should do more yoga and community service — maybe when the kids leave.

    • My main hobbies are trail running, horseback riding, and reading.

      When I have extra time (ha), I like to paint with acrylics.

      Things I want to do but have no time for: play the guitar, refresh my Russian language skills (terrible currently), and get back into photography.

    • I have been taking culinary classes lately and loving it!

      I consider myself a pretty decent home cook, but entirely self/mom-taught, and I have learned a LOT. It has helped me go from someone who could make just about anything from a recipe to something who knows how to just pull stuff together without a recipe, and feel more confident about tackling big cooking projects.

    • Anonymous :

      Baking and weight lifting! I like to tell myself the latter negates the former…

    • Marshmallow :

      I take barre class regularly, but really look forward to my weekend classes because I love the instructor and usually go get a coffee or otherwise have some me time.

      Also just purchased a “knitting for beginners” book and some basic supplies! I want something that will be soothing and keep my hands busy, doesn’t take up too much space, and feels productive. Knitting checks all the boxes.

      Minor TJ: Anybody had success getting back into music as an adult? I was a very advanced violin player through the end of college, after which I fell off the wagon for various reasons. I’m considering taking lessons but all the music lessons I can find online seem geared toward children.

      • Most of the people who do lessons for children will also do lessons for adults, they just don’t advertise it as much. If you have a university with a music program near you, some faculty may take on private students as well.

      • Check with local colleges. If an advance student isn’t offering lessons, the professors may know some teachers who offer private lessons to older students as well.

      • When I was a kid my mom and I took piano lessons from the same teacher. The only difference seemed to be that she would ask my mom what she wanted to play, and just tell me what I was going to play, haha.

      • My 60 year old mother takes lessons from an instructor who teaches kids. We all went to her last recital and it was adorable and a little awesome that her solo was among some elementary students. But I agree with others based on that, you can use the same teachers that kids would use.

      • My friend was like you, and she volunteered for the city orchestra years ago (not the symphony, but an all volunteer orchestra). She still gets to play the Messiah concert and the 4th of July pops every year, and I’m incredibly envious!

      • Musical theater! :

        Super late reply, but I perform in musicals, and we always need orchestra people. If you’re just a bit rusty, I recommend prepping a few pieces and auditioning a few times to gauge your skill level. You might still be able to play some of the easier shows, and it would be enough of a commitment to practice, with the reward of performing for a couple of weekends.

        If you’re involved in a church, you might see about joining the church orchestra as well. Some of my non-religious musician friends also play for local services. Again, this could be a low-stakes way of just getting back into the swing of things.

        Finally, most of my musical friends just take voice lessons from a private teacher, whether they appear to focus on kids or not. I say reach out to any of the local teachers you’ve found! The theater and church communities usually have contacts for people who are skilled by just need to brush up vs. beginners/rigorous commitment.

    • Anonymous :

      Currently do baking and hiking mostly but looking into swimming, ice skating and ballet lessons (will start with one).

    • In the summer, kayaking is my therapy. I also love swimming, reading and gardening but I’m in a stage of life where it’s hard to do anything as much as I’d like!

    • Consider a book club! It’s structured enough that you’re forced to set aside some me-time to read the books that have been on your to-read list for a while, but not as formal as school/work, so there’s no stress if you don’t go to every meet up.

    • Trail running, Orange Theory classes, cooking/ baking, reading about personal finance and interior design

    • Aerial yoga, adult coloring books, makeup

    • Rock climbing (it’s problem solving but with your muscles!), reading, and yoga.

    • I just took up aerial trapeze and love love love it. I get to be the gymnast I never got to be as a kid.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        There’s a studio in my city that I’ve been itching to try. I was never allowed to be a gymnast either (and I still can’t do a simple forward roll).

        My hobbies are weightlifting, making (bad) linocut prints, and reading. Post-apocalyptic fiction and historical nonfiction are my favorite genres.

    • Delta Dawn :

      I love piano! It is very relaxing to me– though it may not be that way until you can comfortably read music. But I think it’s worth the effort on the front end. I love to play old songs that my mother and grandmother used to play. I also like cycling and have enjoyed spin classes for a few years. I recently started painting and have found it to be really fun. Unlike piano, you don’t have to be “good” at all for it to turn out well (as long as you like abstract).

      This reminds me of the advice to find three hobbies: one to make money, one to stay fit, and one to be creative. I think my list has two creative ones and no money ones, but that’s ok.

      • Anonymous :

        Just started a 6-week class in the waltz and foxtrot, with some details of history of the dances – mild exercise to music. My husband died a year ago, and I am trying to complete some of our projects. I find it soothing.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I did martial arts for years and loved it. Got in the best shape of my life and made a lot of great friends. So I’m here to support you if you decide to go for that!

      • Which style did you try? There are so many styles out there, I just picked karate because it’s widely available. And thanks all for the suggestions! I love finding out people’s interests, and it reminded me of a few things I used to love doing when I was a kid.

        • Senior Attorney :

          So funny — I did what is now called mixed martial arts but at the time there was no name for it and when asked what style I practiced I’d stammer and stutter and say “uh, it’s an eclectic style…” I’ve also done Kempo and liked that a lot. If you’re in So Cal I highly recommend my old dojo, United Self Defense.

    • I read, I knit (mostly in the winter), I play the piano, I cook, and I garden. I wish I had more time to devote to all of these.

      Professionally, I volunteer with my professional group to do student outreach. I also wish I had more time for this, but it’s incredibly rewarding.

    • My hobby is actueally becoming a GOURMAND. I love FOOD, so Dad has let me take a course in fine dining, which lets me eat at 17 restrunts per month at a fixed rate (PRIX FIXE) of $77 per meal, includeing wine. I have to keep my weight flat, which means I have to do 12,350 steps a day on my fitbit, but so far so good b/c I have NOT gained a pound from when I started at 122. It is VERY hard to keep this up with the winter, but I am walking everywhere, which also helps my tuchus a bit. So for the rest of the hive, if you walk 12,350 steps or MORE per day, you can eat out 17 days a month, includeing wine! YAY!!!!

    • artist in another life :

      Visual art. Lends itself to solo activity really well, but you can find groups, too (live drawing meetings, etc). Can be done at your schedule, drawing is really portable/easy to do on the spur of the moment. It seems like people don’t usually get into art if they don’t have some sort of natural talent (I am lucky to), but I also know people who have good eyes for design, or maybe can paint non-objective/abstract works but can’t draw at all, and they love it. Doing art is one of the greatest, purest joys in my life.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Horse riding, cycling, reading.

    • Knitting, crocheting, reading, meditation, listening to music.

  3. I’m doing employee reviews, and think I would rather poke my eye out with a fork. Why are HR systems so so so bad? I thought Peoplesoft sucked, but that was before I had to use Workday.

    • I’m curious- why do you think Workday is so bad? I’ve found it a huge improvement from Peoplesoft and Ultimate

      • It’s not even a bit intuitive to me, and I HATE the app-style user interface. I’m not writing reviews on a phone, so give me enough info know where to click!

        Example: When I go into the “Team Performance” section, I get a grid of my team members and their self-review scores. Their names are hyperlinked, but if I hit the hyperlink, it goes to general information about them. If I’m reviewing them, assume I know who they are and only link to the next step in the workflow!

        Also, every time I enter a comment, I’m getting a spinning circle when I save. It’s maddening.

      • Oh, no. We switched to Workday at my last company and it was a nightmare. Nothing was intuitive, you needed to know to click on the “…” box in several places, and no menus to help you figure this out.

        It could also be that my company was cheap on the back end infrastructure to support it, or just bought a bare bones version of it but I am SO GLAD I’m at a small company that doesn’t believe in formal performance appraisals now!

  4. Anonymous :

    My SO and I are thinking of taking about week long vacation in March to escape the cold of New England. We’re looking at somewhere easy to get to in the Caribbean and are hoping to keep it under $2500-3000 (not including flights). Do you all have suggestions for both locations and places to stay?

    • Costa Rica! Stay and go anywhere in the entire country, it’s all amazing. We did a week there in December for about 2 grand including flights.

    • Anonymous :

      Think about Dominican Republic

    • I think there are directs from Boston to Barbados now…

    • There are direct flights to the Turks and Caicos. I’m heading there from Boston next month…

    • Anonymous :

      Martinique or Guadaloupe. We went to Martinique last year (both are direct from Boston on Norwegian) and found it a great blend of European and Caribbean. We stayed at the Club Med for the four nights we were there and loved it.

  5. Maternity Leave :

    For those of you with children, how much maternity leave did you take? Was it enough? Too much? Did you miss working while you were out?

    I’m eligible for 16 weeks at 60% pay and an additional 8 at 0% pay, and I’m trying to figure out how much I should take. Financially, it will hurt to take leave at reduced or no pay, but we can make it work if we need to. I get cabin fever easily and I’m afraid I’ll miss the mental stimulation of working, but who knows how I will feel after the baby is born.

    • Sassyfras :

      I took 12 weeks, the max I could take under FMLA. I did not feel like it was enough and did not feel ‘ready’ to be back at work until closer to a year. Take as much as you can. You will never have that time with your little one back. Find a mom’s group that meets weekly or connect with SAHM friends, go to a museum or conservatory to walk around with your baby. Infants are generally sleepy and easy to carry around while you do whatever, especially if you wear them in a Moby or similar.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 All I got was 12 weeks, most of it unpaid, and I was devastated to go back. I have no interest in being a permanent SAHM, and I LOVE my job, but 12 weeks was just not enough time. It basically took 10 weeks to feel physically recovered and get out from under the lack-of-sleep induced fog, and then 2 weeks to logistically prepare for my return, so I felt like I had zero time to just enjoy baby snuggles. I think six months or so would have been the perfect amount of time for me. My husband got six months of paternity leave, which was amazing, but he took it consecutively with mine, which meant that he got to an enjoy a more alert three to nine month old who, especially by the end, was really interactive and fun, while I got to care for a newborn and change diapers and nurse round-the-clock. I feel like he got a waaaaay better deal. Can you tell I’m still bitter about it?

        • Diana Barry :

          I had 6 months with my first and 3 months with the other 2. 6 months was perfect, particularly since she was a terrible baby and cried non-stop most of that time – I was *so tired* until the last month or so, and I wouldn’t have been able to function at work. Luckily the other 2 were easier babies, but I had a hard time going back to work after 3 months. I did work at home more for another few months, which helped.

    • Anonymous :

      I would take all 24 weeks. I’m a Canadian who took a year, but honestly the 3-6 month age (so 12-24 weeks approx) was my favourite time.

      At 3-6 months, Baby hadn’t started solids yet so no having to worry about meals but I felt like I finally found my feet as a mom, so I was able to get out a lot more than the 0-3 month period. Physical recovery from the birth was more or less behind me. I enjoyed mommy and me yoga classes, met working friends for lunch, went to museum exhibits (at that age babies are happy to sit in a stroller or carrier and look the world around them).

    • I had a c-section. I took 12 weeks, and that was perfect for me. Enough time to physically recover and get into a loose routine but not so long I was antsy at home. I was happy and excited to go back to work, but I’ve never had the slightest bit of desire to be a SAHM. I was not capable of mental stimulation for the first 10 weeks or so. By the 6-8 week time-frame I was so sleep deprived that I was dizzy and queasy all the time. Then my daughter started sleeping in longer chunks and I was well rested enough to be able to function on a basic level at work by the time I went back.

    • Anonymous :

      My reply is stuck in moderation but take the 24 weeks. I took a year and age 3-6 months (12- 24 weeks) was the easiest and funnest time by far.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I ended a job, had a baby, and then started a new job 14 weeks later. So, no benefits. I would have preferred a little more time at home – maybe 2 more weeks – but we needed the money.

    • I took 12 weeks after my baby was born. I also had 4 weeks of medical leave before he was born because I was placed on bed rest. I did not miss working at all, and I was not ready to go back. My baby started sleeping through the night around 5 months (which is pretty early), and I felt much better at work with a full night’s sleep.

    • I took 12 weeks both times, the max I could take under FMLA, and it really wasn’t enough. With baby No. 1, I felt like I was finally getting a handle on things at home, when I had to go back to work. I really struggled with guilt and depression after I went back. With baby No. 2, I was on the lookout for mental health issues and luckily struggled much less, but I still wasn’t ready to leave her at 12 weeks. Plus the sleep deprivation was bad both times and only got worse once I returned to the office and couldn’t rely on naps to get me through the day.

    • Macademia :

      I only took six weeks after the birth of the baby. (I had about 4 weeks before because I went out early, sick of comments about my belly). It wasn’t enough. It was so short I could fool myself that I’d be the same person going back as I was before. How I handled this whole time is one of my biggest regrets.

    • I took 8 weeks both times (both C-sections), and found that to be right about right. I found the c-section recovery not too bad and felt plenty ready well before then. I missed being close to the babies, but I’ve always thought that 12 weeks would be harder, because they really develop personalities around then. In both cases, I had a pretty laid back job where I could manage my time pretty easily, so it wasn’t too hard to take it fairly easy the first few weeks.

    • I had an uncomplicated, planned C-section. I went back p/t at 7 weeks, ramped up to full time by 11 or 12 week. I was at a small, non-fmla employer and received a pittance of paid time off (2 weeks, I think?) which factored somewhat into my decision but I felt ready to go back when I did and likely would have, even absent the financial pressure.

      It was enough time for me, but I had a very easy baby, and easy commute, and an equally-involved co parent. I think I nursed once a night at the point that I was back at work f/t so I was tired but not a zombie. Absent any of these three factors (good sleeper, short commute, co parent) I would have needed more time off to prepare.

    • As many of these comments illustrate, you really can’t know the perfect amount of leave for you and your babe until you are there. If you ask for the max, and are ready to come back early, would that be a possibility? Are you stuck with what you pick before the baby is born? I took 6 months with my first (100% salary — one perk of biglaw) and 16 weeks with my second (using only accrued vacation of about 4 weeks). With my second, I could have gone back to work at 10 weeks, and with my first at probably 16 weeks (he was a tough baby).

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I am Canadian (so could have taken a year) but I went back at five months which *for me* was perfect. My husband then took two months of paternity leave.

      • SuziStockbroker :

        Also Canadian, took 4 months, and my husband took 8 months. It just made more sense for our situation.

    • I took 12 weeks with my first, but was ready to go back at 8 weeks.

    • With my first, I took 12 weeks, the max available. i had an easy delivery and by all comparisons an easy baby but it took a long time to adjust to new parenthood. I’d have done a lot better with another 4 weeks.

      With #2, I could have gone back as early as 8 weeks and in fact did a bit of work on that time. However, I was working as a consultant at the time so did a really slow ramp back up- 5-10 hours/week starting at 4.5 months, then more like 20 hours/week after six months, and went back to FT consulting at about 9 months and didn’t go back to a corporate FT gig until the kids were 3 and 5.

    • Away Game :

      I took 12 weeks with my first and 11 with my twins. (DH took similar amounts of time.) I was ready to go back to work.

    • A few other factors that others haven’t mentioned:
      –do you have a 40 hr week gig or a biglaw job? Your baby probably won’t quite be sleeping through the night. You will still feel like you spend all of your time nursing, pumping, holding the baby. It gets a lot easier as the baby gets older. If your work is less life-consuming, I think you’ll be fine to go back earlier. Pay is important.
      –will it be easy to pump at work, if that’s what you’re planning on? Your supply will feel more established, and you’ll feel less guilt about supplementing, if you wait to go back.
      –what will your childcare situation be? I would feel better about going back earlier with an awesome nanny. We did daycare, starting at 5 months, and I think the staff workers there didn’t have enough bandwidth to give attention to all of the babies who just wanted to be held all of the time at that age. When our daughter hit 7-8 months and started sitting up and crawling, I think she was happier at daycare. The ideal situation is if you can get a temporary nanny and then ease into daycare later to save on costs.

  6. Button up! :

    OK, since this is a style blog can I please ask a non-political Trump question? Why does he NEVER button his suit jacket? Ever, ever, ever? It looks so ridiculous! Is there a presidential butler or someone who will tell him?

    I am aware of this theory,, but I really want to know what the real story is!

    • I admit to not reading the New Yorker piece, but my understanding is that it is an attempt to not look overweight.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Jezebel or something had an interview with a high end men’s wear tailor and unbuttoned jacket plus weirdly long tie is apparently a classic overweight/obese covering trick.

    • Anonymous :

      I think his suits don’t fit and he can’t button them or it’s really uncomfortable if he does.

      • So he thinks it’s better to look clueless and vulgar than fat? I mean, he’s fat. We know it. Who cares.

        • He’s in perfect health. The best health. The fittest health. I don’t know why the #lame #worthless media keeps making a story out of his suits. They are the best suits made of the most expensive cloth. The most expensive.

      • I doubt they don’t fit. They have to be custom made. I think it’s probably what CountC and Anon @ 3:28 said.

    • Anonymous :

      Thank you!!! I’ve said this 1000 times. I don’t care what his body issues are, he needs a suit and tie that fit.

  7. Ugh, my business partner is newly single (separated since Feb, working on splitting assets, divorce not yet finalized).
    My sister left her husband a little over 2 years ago and has been divorced a year.
    They’ve joked about meeting each other, and I’ve basically just said, “wow, that would be awkward”.

    My sister did look him up on POF and message him saying” hey, aren’t you so-and-so” and “don’t tell my sister we’ve talked, she wouldn’t like it”. He did tell me. She later told me, she “saw him on POF”, and I just responded, “yeah he told me”.

    “John” and I have only been business partners for about 8 months, but we were colleagues for 8 years before that. everything is going well. I am excited to come to work each day, and we are good fit. He’s good at things I am not, and vice versa but we are similar on the things we need to be similar one. It’s all good.

    Saturday night, “Ella” asked me to go for a drink with her and a friend of hers. I had a busy weekend, but she’s recently been given the “I just want us to be casual speech” by a guy she really liked that she’d been dating for a couple of months, so I went.

    Well, we ran into John at the bar. He had been having dinner with friends nearby and arranged to meet up with another friend at this same bar. Total coincidence. And that friend texted him, not being able to make it after all.

    So0000000000, I, Ella and Beth and John were at the bar together for about an hour. I started feeling not great, and Beth wanted to leave. It was about 11 and I had a soccer game early the next morning (well, my 10 year old had a soccer game). Beth and I said we wanted to leave soon, and Ella pulled the “I think I”ll stay for another drink and cab home” card. John did not say “I’m heading out too” but stayed with my sister.

    I didn’t say anything to either one of them. I also didn’t respond to her “so much fun last night!” text, although I’ve responded to all her other texts that are not about the other night, or him.

    We are going to a Women’s March together with our kids, and some friends on Saturday.

    John just came into my office and said, “I need to tell you, I have a date with your sister tonight”.

    I said, “Thank you for telling me. You both know how I feel about this. It is uncomfortable and awkward for me. As you are going ahead anyway, I really would appreciate not hearing anything at all about this from either one of you. It is not fair to put me in the middle, and I don’t want to be in the middle, so I’d rather not know anything going forward”.

    I think this what I hope they respect for now. Obviously though, if this thing goes anywhere I am going to have to be informed at some point. For example, I’d need to know if he was going to invite her to a Significant Others included work event, and if she was going to invite him to a family event.

    But for now I am firmly not asking, and don’t want to hear.


    • Anonymous :

      Do not tell me anything = the right approach. Be super firm on this.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I think this is the best you can do. You made your feelings clear and now you just need to step out of it. It could be the whole “forbidden” thing is making him more attractive to your sister.

    • Anonymous :

      Oh my god chill. Two single people went on a date. Your tone is incredibly excessive. At no point has anyone put you in the middle. You would not “need” to be informed if they brought each other to events, you would just need to be a normal person and say hi. Why are you so set on borrowing tomorrow’s problems? Why can’t you be a little happy for them? Jeeze louise.

      • Oh, fun, a snarky Anonymous!

        You know what, IF it works out, and he ends up as, say, my brotherinlaw, I’d be incredibly happy for them.

        I like him, and I love her.

        Um, I wouldn’t just say “hi” to my sister if she was his date at a work event. That would be weird???

        You have no capacity to understand why this would be weird for me?

        I especially don’t want to hear the “I don’t understand women” from him and the “oh my god, help me analyze this text for an hour” from her.

        • Anonymous :

          But you haven’t!!! None of those things have happened!!!! There is no problem right now, at all. Just chill and see what happens.

          • I think I might know my sister better than you do. If I don’t tell her not to talk to me about him, I WILL get the “what do you think he meant by this?” questions.

        • Anonymous :

          I think she has a point. Just step back from it and if they talk about each other to you, say no thanks. You may be borrowing trouble here.

        • I don’t understand why you wouldn’t say hi to your sister at a work event or how that would be weird. I am not even close to my sister, but if she were dating someone I worked with and I saw her at an event, of course I would say hi to her and talk to her like she was any other human being I saw at an event. What would you do, ignore her???

          I can see how it would be awkward for a little bit if something bad happened between them, but you aren’t there yet.

          I think you’re overreacting a bit. They are adults, treat them as such and go about your business. Change the subject if you need to. I mean, it’s only a big deal if you allow it to be or make it one.

      • Really? How fun, a snarky Anonymous, imagine that.

        I like him a lot and I love her. If it works out, I will be incredibly happy for them both.

        HOWEVER, you have no capacity to see how awkward this could be?

        If he ends up as my BIL, great.

        However, I am much more likely to be subject to “Help me analyze this text for an hour” from her. He’ll have a little more sense of appropriateness and PROBABLY won’t subject me to having to hear anything. I certainly get the occasional, “dating is so hard, I don’t understaaaaand women” from him now. I just shut that down from him, smile and change the subject.

        The guys in my office socialize a lot together, and talk about their dating adventures a lot. He just stuck his head in my office and said, “last thing I will say on this, I won’t talk about your sister to the guys”.

    • I’m confused. Is “Ella” your sister? I think staying out of it is the right approach. If it’s going well enough that he’s bringing her as his date to work events and she’s inviting him to family events in the future, you’ll find out (and it probably shouldn’t even be a big deal, if that happens). But you really, really can’t stop them from dating, as you’ve already learned.

    • You can try to be happier for them. Maybe you have your concerns and are not thrilled, that’s fair. But unless you think they are awful for each other, and even then, your feelings about the relationship isn’t a reason to prevent two people from forming their own bond. It’s awkward for you but don’t you care about these people’s happiness?

    • I had kind of the reverse situation except I was more involved in the beginning. I set up a close colleague with a very close guy friend of mine. I told them both I didn’t want to hear about it. They dated for a while and I know they went away on weekend trips together.

      Even though I told them both I didn’t want to be in the middle (here’s your introduction, I’m out.) But the guy friend called me about something else and then told me he was “smitten.” Then I heard from another coworker that the colleague liked him ok, but wasn’t seeing a future, and didn’t consider it exclusive.

      Then they broke up. I still stayed out of it.

      And now neither of them really talk to me.

      You’re right when you say it’s awkward.

  8. Beautiful bag that won’t go out of style…. but ouch at that price tag!

    This makes me wonder, its is better to have 1-2 classic bags that will last for years and years or to indulge yourself in a new trend you like and accumulate a collection of cheaper bags?

    I’ve currently got a model that is an unsustainable mix of both and just results in my bag collection growing and growing without containing that one go-to bag that fits everything and has a zipper and isn’t obnoxiously covered in logos, etc.

    • Anon in NYC :

      For me, it would depend on how I planned to use the bags. I have no use for a fancy, nice, expensive bag that I also can’t stuff full of stuff. I also don’t want to carry 2 bags on the subway. On any given day, I’m toting around breakfast, lunch, coffee, gym clothes and sneakers. Not to mention kid stuff from daycare. So I need a large bag. Now that I have a toddler, I also find it harder to manage weekends with a small bag (or one that doesn’t go over my shoulder or is a cross-body) because I’m toting around diapers, snacks, etc.

      All that said, I still tend to purchase fewer, nicer bags. Mostly because I expect to get several years out of them. But I’m now exceedingly picky about bags and can see myself purchasing fewer bags going forward than in years past.

      • Good point…. better to be picky and only purchase something you’re fully satisfied with rather than have a big pile of bags where none of them completely fit the bill

    • I buy a ‘splurge’ (typically around $1k) everyday bag that I love once every 2-3 years. I just got myself a Ferragamo bag after wanting it for literally months. I then take good care of it, get it conditioned and repaired, and can get 3+ years of almost daily use out of it (longer if I don’t carry it daily). I also don’t buy bags just because I “need” one; I wait until there’s one that I’m obsessed with that remains on my wish list for a while to ensure I won’t get over it or it’s not too trendy/will feel dated soon. I typically look for a neutral color, no visible or very minimal logos, and a size large enough to fit all of my stuff. I also try to avoid bags that are obviously very ‘of the moment’, as pretty as they might be. If every fashion blogger is carrying it now, it will look dated in 12-18 months.

      I also tend to spend less on non-everyday bags (maybe $200-$300, max) for clutches or other bags that I won’t use as often. It’s more important for me to love the bag I carry everyday and invest in that, versus owning some very special pieces that rarely see the light of day.

  9. Anonymous :

    Anyone wearing anything special tomorrow? I want to wear my “American Needs Nasty Women” shirt but not sure it is totally appropriate (esp. since I have a meeting with someone I don’t know well – my regular colleagues would all love it). So I think I might just wear all black.

    • Anonymous :

      All black. Which no one will notice in my nyc office but I will know.

    • Anonymous :

      We’re business casual and can wear jeans on Fridays so – dark denim + HRC t-shirt + black cotton blazer (I’d do white blazer if I had one)

    • I have the classic black with white print nasty woman shirt. And I’m wearing it to my office tomorrow with a totally professional business outfit.

    • Tears and chocolate stains, probably.

    • Get over it. He won. He IS your prez. And I say this as someone who doesn’t like him either.

      • Anonymous :

        Where did I say I don’t think he’s legitimately the president elect? Of course he is. I can still hate him, because he’s terrible.

      • We had this conversation at the dinner table last night. My husband and son said something along the lines of what you’re saying. But then we talked to our kids about the history of protesting and civil disobedience in this country and how it raised awareness and moved issues forward – civil rights, vietnam war, to name just two.

        It’s important to me that we show the rest of the world that not all of us (or technically most of us) agree with him and his agenda.

        So no, I will not shut up and accept and be polite. Nothing was ever accomplished that way.

        • +1 I can’t imagine how Anon feels about the Women’s March if she’s this upset about someone asking if anyone is wearing black tomorrow.

          • Anon here — I’ll help you out — it’s a waste of time. Women marching won’t suddenly make him pro woman. If they want to cut off $ for Planned Parenthood, they will. But feel free to spend the day standing outside if it makes you feel better.

          • Anonymous :

            Do you have something else in mind?

          • Anonymous :

            @Anon, so you think the civil rights movement marches were a waste of time? Because they sure accomplished a lot. Nobody believes one march is going to make Trump magically start treating women well. But marches change the culture and the beliefs of the general public, which leads to electing better officials. And it’s important for the country and world to know there are a lot of people who strongly disagree with him. It matters for how harshly history will judge us. I think most people who are marching are also calling their elected officials and making donations. It’s not like anyone is just marching and saying “Ok, I marched, that’s enough.”

          • Anonymous :

            @ 3:34

            Yes, peaceful protests have never accomplished anything. *Opens history book*….oh wait…

          • march on washington :

            1963 here – I’ll help you out – it’s a waste of time. Black people and their allies* marching won’t suddenly make Washington pro-civil rights. If they want to keep up segregation and disenfranchisement, they will. But feel free to spend the day standing outside if it makes you feel better.

            *Half the people I know going to the march in my group are men. And screw you.

        • PrettyPrimadonna :

          This. Right. Here. I’m not “just getting over” anything. Tuh.

      • Anonymous :

        Sure, Jan. Let’s all just smile and get over our healthcare/rights being taken away/threaten by someone who the majority of Americans didn’t vote for. Let’s all pretend we’re totally okay with that.

        • So put on your t shirts — THAT will REALLY change things.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think it will change anything. That’s not why I’m wearing black. Obviously it will have no impact to anyone but me. And “I just want to” is enough justification for that.

          • Anonymous :

            yes, because we’re all just putting on t-shirts. We’re not at all being more engaged in our communities, encourage capable women to run for office, increasing our donations to civil society organizations etc.

            It’s just t-shirts and we’re just silly girls.

          • Sorry but most of you silly girls DON’T do anything. It’s all t shirts and lamenting on social media and asserting how hard you’ll work to change things. I know bc I work with dozens of you liberals and it never amounts to anything besides shirts and social media and the occasional march.

          • Anonymous :

            Kat, normal word get moderated but “silly girls” is cool?

          • Nasty Woman Here :

            God, you suck, anon.

            I’m wearing all black tomorrow to my legal aid clinic for low income women, some of them trans*. Then I’m gonna keep wearing that all black outfit (with blazer) to assist immigrant families plan for how to keep them and their children safe.

            What are you doing, other than being bi**hy on the internet?

      • Anonymous :

        Like the Tea Party did when Obama won? I’m not rioting in the streets, just making a small personal statement.

        • I should have posted my comment here…anyone know where I can get a tshirt last minute to wear on Saturday?

          • KS IT Chick :

            If you have time to take something to a t-shirt printer, or buy an iron-on transfer kit, Mary Engelbreit has released an image to the public domain for use on t-shirts & posters.


      • He’s the President tomorrow. Not today.

        And I’m not gonna get over it, thanks. If he does well, I will praise his good work and support it (for instance, the highway infrastructure bill he wants — I hope that happens).

        If he continues to be a demagogue and proposes policies that I don’t agree with, I will speak out against them, vote against people who support them, encourage my legislators to oppose them, and donate to causes that can do more than that to oppose him.

        We’re allowed to be upset, given the massive shift in policies, his unpredictable, bullying nature, and the fact that he is filling his cabinet with several people who have no business running the departments they have been appointed to head. We’re allowed to wear black if we want on inauguration day, and still show up to work. We’re allowed to be upset about his Twitter habits.

        That’s even leaving aside the actual policies he’s proposed.

        No one is saying he’s not going to be President. No one is saying he didn’t win. Calm down.

        • No — you won’t give him credit even if he does well. I bet you’ll find some fault bc you simply don’t like him.

          Feel free to put on your magical t shirts. That’ll change things, really.

          • Anonymous :

            Die in a fire troll. Literally no one has said they are wearing magical t shirts that will change things.

          • Anonymous :

            I am the most anti-Trump person ever and I will be delighted if he does well. Really, truly. Honestly at this point, if he doesn’t start a nuclear war or completely destroy the environment, I will say he’s done ok. We genuinely do not want him to fail – we just fear that he will. I don’t know why that’s such a hard thing to understand.

          • Magical T-Shirt :

            My magical t-shirt does change things. It makes me feel powerful, and that makes me slightly less likely to “be nice” in the face of BS. It [email protected] sure does more than demeaning the efforts of others anonymously on the Internet. I’m not sure how knocking others down makes you feel better, but my magical t-shirt makes me a warrior.

          • He’s already not doing well– his cabinet picks are a clown car of incompetence, corruption, and greed. The national security transition is an unfinished, half-assed horror show. We are the laughing stock of the world.

          • Nasty Woman Here :

            I still hate you, anon.

          • Oh, Anon. Bless your poor little black heart.

            I was actually doing work yesterday afternoon, but I’m glad you think you know what I will and won’t do, internet stranger! Must be super nice to know everything about everyone. What’s it like being omniscient?

            I’m also not wearing a magical t-shirt today — that’s saved for tomorrow’s march.

            You sound like such a delight. I’m sure everyone loves you.

      • Oh, for crying out loud. I’ll get over it and start acting like a “grown-up” when he does.

        • Senior Attorney :

          This. Good Lord. It is absolutely, positively, 100% incomprehensible to me how people are so anxious to normalize this malignant narcissistic sociopathic ignoramus.

    • Black Armband. In mourning for civil rights, health care, First Amendment, etc.

  10. Sitting a deposition and I am realizing I really want a feminist t-shirt to wear on Saturday (while I’m flying to another deposition). Anyone know where I can get one overnight? Or in a chain store? Amazon is not helping, most won’t arrive in time.

    • Anonymous :

      Where are you located? Your best bet is probably something in store. Post your city and someone may have suggestions.

    • Is there a mall nearby? I feel like a Hot Topic might have something at least close to this concept, or the people working there will be able to tell you where to get one.

      • Midwestern Constitutent :

        Hot Topic is my weekend gig, and there probably won’t be anything that fits your need. In the fall, we had a few political-ish shirts: Grumpy Cat saying “Vote NO on Everything,” “I’m voting for my cat,” Re-Pug-Lican with a picture of a pug puppy. There was a Lex Luthor campaign shirt that read “Vote Lex Luthor: Make Metropolis Great Again.” I thought it was hilarious in October. Now, not so much.

        Most of these shirts were clearanced out a couple weeks back, so while there might be one or two in the store, there are no guarantees. But if you want something black, or with skulls, you’ll be set. Or superheroes/supervillians. Lot of comic book stuff lately.

    • Meg March :

      Any specific recs for NYC?

  11. A cute slob? :

    Any recommendations for really comfy loungewear? In the evening, I’m usually in a fleece, tee, and sweatpants or yoga pants. Which is fine and does the job, but I end up feeling frumpy and shlubby and usually end up in my pajamas at some point anyway. I’m looking for pieces that are soft and comfy but still cute-ish. I’d prefer something with some ease — leggings and tights are not my jam at all. I’ve tried.

    • What about denim leggings/skinny jeans that are super stretchy and a longer tunic?

    • actually, I can’t tell whether you’re looking for nicer PJs or casual wear. Soma Intimates has really pretty pajama separates in their Cool Nights line. I wear these often as loungewear. I pair them with a long cardigan and flat shoes.

    • Athleta

    • Marine Layer out of San Francisco – I have some loose pants from there that are AWESOME.

    • Maybe consider upgrading your pajamas? I invested in some cuter stuff recently and it made me feel much better about still wearing my PJs at noon on a Saturday (or changing into them earlier in the evening). Honeydew Intimates at Nordstrom is my favorite recent find, and there are frequent markdowns.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Harlowe and Graham sweaters and jogger sweats. I bought the sweater and I love it so, so much. I kind of want to go buy the sweatpants.

  12. No Kids Now Or Ever :

    Is there anyone else in this space? Am in my mid 30s and struggling to find a life partner/husband. Most either have kids or want them or at least they want the option of them someday. Online dating tends to lead to either zero matches or men who tell me how I’m damaged and they’ll fix me or how, once I experience their… gardening tool… I’ll want to have dozens of their babies. I worry I’ll be single til I’m in my 50s, when men are over it or when their kids are so grown and gone that I wouldn’t have to deal with ex-wives or coparenting situations.

    • Anonymous :

      Hi, you are me. I’m 31 and forever single. I resent that as I get older, the choice to have kids is taken away from me because of biology, but I’m pretty sure I don’t want kids anyway. Not having a life partner at this age sucks, but I’ve accepted that if it hasn’t happened by now, it probably never will.

      • Anonymous :

        Whaaaaat? This is literally crazy. You need therapy if you think that if you haven’t found a partner at 31, you “probably never will.” More than half my friends met their spouses in their 30s or 40s.

        • Anonymous :

          Agreed. Absolutely bonkers.

        • Thanks for calling me crazy. I have dated and dated and dated. I do everything “right” and nothing ever works out. It’s discouraging and exhausting. So I enjoy my single life and I don’t have expectations or hopes anymore. I’m much happier that way!

          • Anonymous :

            No, we are calling girl who thinks her life is over at 31 crazy. Because she is.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            I actually see where she is coming from. Early 30’s is when you Facebook newsfeed is full of engagements, weddings, babies, etc. It can be incredibly difficult to stay positive when you keep going on terrible dates and feel like the dating pool of compatible men is shrinking every day! Cut the girl some slack! It’s really tough.

          • Brunette Elle Woods is right. Look, I totally disagree that you’re expired at thirty, but saying it’s crazy to feel that way is not cool. I get what everyone is trying to say, but it is invalidating of the very real pain and frustration that people experience. I’m in the same boat and it feels awful some times. I have the [email protected]$$ life that single women are supposed to have so they don’t mind being single (I travel, I have a great job, a cute apartment, have at least three awesome hobbies I participate in weekly, have great friends, an amazing niece, buy myself shiny rings), but it’s still really hard to be single when you don’t want to be. And when you’re reminded of it all the time. And when it’s out of your control. I worked really hard to develop this cool life. I’m proud of it. But I can’t work really hard at dating and get the same result.

      • Anonymous :

        You’re 31, not 91.

      • Shopaholic :

        I feel this way too. I know rationally I’m probably wrong, but I have friends in their 30s that don’t seem to have any more luck than I do and I feel hopeless.

        Just wanted to comment that you’re not crazy for feeling this way.

      • This may be regional. I am from New England, my mom was 34 when she had her first kid and 38 when she had her last. I live in the Boston burbs and was the “youngest patient I’ll see all day” when I went in for pregnancy visits with my SECOND kid at 32. The average age for having a baby in MA is extremely high-into the 30s!

        This past week, I was in the Deep South for work (Mississippi and Alabama). I was speaking with a few people and mentioned I had kids. One *dropped her glass* when I told her they were 2 and 5 (I am now 35). We are approx the same age, but her kids are in late high school. At a later point, the comment was made by a totally different person that “oh, you’re one of those that have waited to have kids…” Not in a negative way, but it was hilarious since I am a “young mom” compared to all of my older daughter’s friends’ mothers. I am almost a decade younger than my older child’s two BFFs’ moms.

        So, if there’s a chance in right and in your region 32 is “too old,” just move over here to Boston where you are still a Young Mom.

    • If it helps, I don’t think it’s that much easier to be 33 (almost), single, and wanting children – you still have to find someone you want to have kids with, in a shorter time frame, and I’ve encountered at least a few guys who are divorced and have a kid already and aren’t that enthused about doing it again. (I guess that’s my suggestion for you – date guys who already had a kid and don’t want more. They definitely exist. Can you talk up how career-oriented you are in your profile? That seems to be the accepted code for “not having kids.”)

      • Yeah, I was going to say–it’s tough all around for women after 30, even for those of us who might want kids. I have been just trying to get to a second or third date for…for years. Literally for years. FWIW, I see a fair number of men who say explicitly they don’t want kids in their profiles, so maybe just put it out there and you’ll attract a better-calibrated group of prospects?

    • I’m 44, single, never married, don’t want kids and live a very happy, fulfilling life. I view marriage as a nice to have and not something I’m actively persuing.

    • 32 and don’t want kids. SO doesn’t either. FWIW I met him online. I also know a number of married couples of similar ages who have decided they aren’t ever having kids. People who have no interest in parenting are around!

      Good luck OP!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Same here. I’m 33 and my husband is 36 and neither of us has ever wanted kids. Both of us have been very clear about this basically our entire lives. We met online and I can’t remember if we had specified that in our profiles or those OKCupid questions or not, but it is something that we discussed and bonded over on our first date.

        There are people like us out there! I have no advice on how to meet them, but I suspect that part of it may be regional. There are so many people online dating in NYC that it felt like you could at least get some potential results for practically any category you wanted. They might not ultimately be the right person, but it at least affirmed for me that I was not the only single person out there who felt like that about kids. I tried online dating in a couple of cities that I lived in on the west coast and felt like there were simply fewer potential matches in the first place (just as a numbers game!).

        Good luck!

    • Still Single at 36! :

      I am in Seattle and plenty of men here do not want kids. Me, I am STILL not sure at 36…but I suspect that is largely due to my complete inability to imagine adding a child to my extremely demanding job and my chief caregiver responsibility for my disabled parents. It is hard enough to find time for a date once ow twice weekly.

      I also need to save my money for nursing homes for my parents, and daycare on top of that would break me. Children are a super luxury good in the modern world.

      • Anonymous :

        Nonsense. You should be ashamed of yourself. You do not need to be rich to have kids. They are not a super luxury good. Poor people have kind and are excellent parents all this time.

      • Anonymous :

        I wholeheartedly agree with the last sentence “Children are a super luxury good in the modern world.”

      • You do know that you cannot save enough $ for your parents to stay in a Nursing home, right? It could easily be $15-20K per month for both of them. Your money is better spent talking to a great elder care lawyer or private case manager about how to plan and prepare for Medicaid. And then, how to time their move to the best nursing home they recommend while your parents are briefly private pay so that when they transition to Medicaid they will be able to stay.

        You are an awesome daughter. Do this planning now, so you can start your life.

    • I don’t want kids. Nor do most of my close friends (of eight women, 6 don’t want them, 2 already have them and are done). We are all mid to late 30s. This hasn’t been an issue online dating for any of us. Personally, I’ve met a lot of men who with have grown children and don’t want more, or who don’t want kids at all, and my current boyfriend is one of them. Without knowing with is in your profile or criteria I can’t know whether you are excluding those sort of men, but I suspect you might be – I would imagine in the 25-35 age bracket far more men want kids than those who made it to 40-45 without having them. Also, consider if you are selecting or excluding based on religion, which might impact this as well.

    • Anonymous :

      38, never wanted kids, and I agree. It’s so hard to find a nice, normal guy who doesn’t want kids. I originally thought I would be okay with stepkids, but I don’t even know about that anymore. That sad thing is that looking at online profiles for guys 15 years older (which is my outer limit), some of them have GRANDKIDS. I never thought I would be 38 and dating a grandparent. It makes me think a part of my life passed me by. I hate it.

    • That was me in my mid30s, dating then felt like being at the last stop at the train station for every guy who wanted a family and it sucked. I turned 40, and magically all of a sudden a lot of men who didn’t want kids either materialized. No theories on why that was, but maybe up your range to 40-45 yr olds and state explicitly you don’t want kids. Lovely men who don’t either do exist.

  13. Coral Gables FL — anyone know anything about it? Esp. the “Miracle Mile” area? My (older) parents are headed to Miami for a few days, and I’m trying to find them a hotel. They want something in a “walkable” area though they’ll have a car for longer excursions. Basically they’re happiest if they can go to a Starbucks or get breakfast in a pretty/safe/upscale neighborhood. While my preference would be Miami Beach/South Beach, I’m not sure if it’s right for them — they aren’t really beach people and they get turned off by anything that looks the slightest bit seedy/gritty, which I know beach towns sometimes can be. I think they’ll get more of a kick out of a cute palm tree lined neighborhood — since we don’t have those up north.

    I was also looking at Coconut Grove to get them a water view, yet hotel availability seems really limited there for their dates.

    Hoping the hive has some ideas.

    • Anonymous :

      Coral Gables is a really affluent, upscale area. I wouldn’t worry about safety at all. I wouldn’t call it walkable though. None of Miami really is, but that neighborhood is especially suburban. I’m sure you can find a hotel that is within walking distance of a Starbucks and a couple of restaurants though.

      • I’ve found 1-2 hotels that are right on the Miracle Mile/downtown shopping strip — like it looks like the doors open to that one street. Looking at pics of it — it seems like you’d have to park on the street and walk to a restaurant anyway — so I suspect it’s no different walking out the front door of your hotel and grabbing a slice of pizza or coffee or whatever.

        Only other option I’ve considered is downtown (Brickell?) but not so sure about that. I’ve only been to Miami for conferences and the like and have spent some time in Orlando and West Palm — I always feel like those Florida downtowns get eerily quiet after hours and sometimes even during the day; I feel like people must drive to their offices, park under their buildings, work, and drive back out to the suburbs. Not sure if Miami is like that though.

        • Anonymous :

          Brickell is not a great neighborhood, and does get eerily quiet as you mentioned. I would definitely not put them there. I think Coral Gables is a good bet for what they want.

        • Anonymous :

          Concur-I stay in Brickell when I’m in Miami because that’s where my friends live, and while I don’t think it’s quiet, and there’s definitely restaurants/walkable, I don’t think it’s the “not quiet” type your parents are probably looking for–seems to be mainly young professionals, still gritty in parts.

    • Anyone have any thoughts on Coconut Grove?

      • I stayed there 10 years ago and it was fun, walkable, and safe, but I have no idea if it’s changed since then.

      • use the walkable website to see what’s within walking distance… it’s super pretty there (and affluent) but not sure how early/late things are open if they want things before 9am or after 10pm.

  14. Anyone tried any Beautycounter products? From their marketing, they appear to be more natural or eco-friendly or what not, but I have not done proper research to know if their statements are true. It appears to be MLM and my SAHM friends who are selling…which initially turns me off, however I’m always looking for ways to improve my health. Thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      Buying MLM stuff isn’t going to improve your health.

    • Anonymous :

      I purchased some BeautyCounter – liked the mascara.
      As for claims about natural/eco-friendly/ improving health – I’m always skeptical.
      Not sure if BeautyCounter products are really any different than European brands.
      Personally, I am a Clarins girl.

    • Anonymous :

      Using beauty products will not improve your health, unless it’s sunscreen. If they claim to improve your health, it seems scammy. Other than that, there are so many products out there that are eco-friendly or “natural” (which means nothing) that I don’t see a reason to delve into MLM-focused brands. MLM is just inconvenient in every way to me – even if I liked the sales model, having to buy through a person is annoying. I prefer to buy everything online.

  15. all about eevee :

    So, as a higher ed fundraiser, I was fascinated by the conversation in a recent thread about giving to their alma mater. A lot of you said that student loan debt or badly timed ask turned you off from giving to your undergrad or graduate school alma mater, but I would be interested in hearing more about why you do NOT support your alma mater or what nonprofit organizations in general have done to put you off of giving.

    • Anonymous :

      1- they have enough money. I do not understand why my alma mater needs a massive stockpile.

      2- they, all charities, have proven themselves completely incapable of respecting my wishes not to be contacted by phone email or regular mail. This alone is the number one factor why I don’t donate to more charities.

      3- they don’t seem to understand me. PBS in particular- their fundraising format doesn’t show any interest whatsoever in actually reaching people under 60

      4- they don’t make their case for what they need the money for.

      • Strongly, strongly agree with #1. I refuse to give to my alma mater, which has a giant endowment and, in my opinion, has been reckless with its spending and financial planning ever since I attended 10 years ago.

      • I went to Harvard (and nearly-as-rich places for grad school). They have more money than they know what to do with already. It’s obscene, actually. They should be giving money their own money away to places that actually need it.

    • Anonymous :

      I like my alma mater, but I have limited funds and I feel like there are so many organizations that need my dollars more, especially in this political climate.

      • This is my view right now too. Once my loans are paid off, I’ll probably start contributing a small amount to my undergrad, but with what I do donate now, I feel there are other non-profits that need the funds more.

    • Anonymous :

      Asking recent grads for money – They either just got done paying loads of money, or are paying off student loans. Maybe wait until the 5 year mark before you start the phone calls? Or limit the first ask until they are a year out, instead of the summer after graduation.

      Not counting volunteer hours when considering “giving” to the university. I volunteer more of my time than I do of my money – it’s what I can afford to give. I’d love to see that included in the count of what alumni “give” the university. Some of us have time and some have treasure. Both should be recognized.

      • Anonymous :

        I posted in the other thread – I was asked for money as a senior in college, which I found massively inappropriate at an institution with a huge endowment etc. Granted, it was nominal and mostly for participation numbers, but the aggressive fundraising tactics of the student coordinators (and the support they got from the administration) left a really bad impression.

        In the future, I would be happy to contribute my time to benefit students directly and might reconsider financial donations when I’m farther out (to go towards financial aid or specific improvements) but I’m holding off for now.

      • +1

    • I didn’t write in earlier, but I do not give to my State U alma mater and I will never do so. Our sports teams are more than well-funded, and the coaches make an extraordinary amount of money. Our professors are focused on research and see teaching classes as a side gig. If you want more money for actual academic enterprises, then find a way to change the way those funds are allocated. Basically, prove to me that academics are first before sports and research, and then I will trust that my money will serve the student population.

    • Anonymous :

      I assume my alma mater can support itself through tuition, etc. What would I be donating for, exactly? They have money coming in from students, I am not a student anymore, and I guess I don’t see a reason to donate to them.

    • I think my Alma Mater charges too much for tuition. Although I had full financial aid, a lot of that was in loans I was paying forever. I think they (and most universities) need to think about cost cutting.

      • +1 My university was not hurting financially and offered top-notch services/classes/amenities. Effectively overnight the decision was made to increase tuition 21%. As in, my class was the last to get the lower tuition. The incoming class behind me was charged 21% more. We were literally sitting in the same classes, attending the same extra curriculars/amenities, same everything, and they were paying 21% more because “that’s what our peers are charging”.

        10 years out everyone is at the higher tuition of course, but that was just such a ridiculous act. I’ll never give them a dime.

      • In some ways these days universities remind me of those big chain apartment complexes we have everywhere in Houston. Every apartment complex has to have a workout facility there, a large fancy party room, a pool, etc. etc., and they charge rents accordingly. Tenants then pay rent based on all of those amenities, despite the fact that they will never use them.

        Universities advertise a lot of amenities in a similar way (rec centers and other “student life” type things), so they all feel the pressure to build these things, despite the fact that they don’t contribute to students’ education or job prospects. They do cost money though, so students pay top dollar for them even though they might get literally nothing out of them.

    • I donate to my alma mater only because I can earmark the money for a very specific scholarship that is near to my heart. (It helped me pay for college.) I would not donate to the University’s general fund because I do not see that as providing for the betterment of anything.

    • Anonymous :

      I actually don’t have student loans but still don’t and don’t intend to donate to either my State U school or my law school. State U has tons of money and an incredibly profitable football team. I’m not sure they need my money. I have however participated in a couple of 5k and 10k races my alumni association held near me that I probably would not otherwise have run where the proceeds went to a scholarship fund.

      As for law school, I personally felt lied to about job prospects going in. Then once I was there my career services department was some of the most useless people if you weren’t in the top 10% of the class. (The rest of us were unranked so I have no idea what my rank was, but my grades were fine.) In one specific case I know of they bent over backwards making personal calls for a woman in the top 10% who made a last minute decision at the end of 3L to move to a different city for her husband’s job and needed help finding a job in the new city because the firm she had summered at didn’t have an office there. But they basically told the rest of us, including me, “good luck, you’re going to need it.” Eff those people.

    • Brunette Elle Woods :

      I don’t feel like my alma mater did anything to….deserve my donation. They provided a service, I paid for that service, and we are done. Why am I donating to a university? I’ll donate to organizations I have an interest in and really value ie: PP, ACLU, etc.

    • I won’t support my alma mater because there are literally millions of other charities out that that legitimately need my donations. If my alma mater desperately needs the money, perhaps they should take a look at the ridiculous administrative overhead expense.

      Also, when I ask you to stop mailing me stuff, please stop.

    • I donate to my undergrad because they don’t have a huge endowment, have committed to meeting all demonstrated financial need w/o loans, and allow you to direct your donation to funding that commitment.

      I will never donate a penny to my private high school because in the middle of the recession, they fundraised for a building project that included renovating athletic facilities and building a bell tower. If the only thing a school can think to use alumni donations on is a bell tower, it has plenty of money.

      I also won’t donate to my law school because they have a large enough endowment and don’t seem to need the money. Their fundraising efforts even seem half-hearted.

    • I used to give a nominal amt to Yale, for financial aid, but given their recent inability to deal with diversity issues, I’m fed up and saving my cash for more directed giving (towards specific programs on campus, etc).

      My law school gets nothing until the loans are paid off.

    • Still nursing a grudge :

      I don’t support my law school because they reneged on their agreement to provide me with a private place to pump (even though they had tons of interview rooms not in use when OCI was over). So I had to pump in the law school dressing room that doesn’t have a locking door and got walked in on several times. Maybe this is extremely petty, but I have no desire to give them any money even though they gave me a full ride.

    • Anonymous :

      Everything above is accurate as to why no money is given. Add to that list that when I have given money, the next solicitation is usually less than a month away. It is a beast that never has enough. And it’s BS to some point–every year School reports a new “record” fundraising year–super results…and then raise tuition/ fees etc. I learned a word in school that explains it…greed. And it’s weird what the school has money for…but then pleads poverty.

      • Every year, my undergrad sends out a form that basically says, “Give now, and we’ll leave you alone for the rest of the fiscal year.” And they do. Based on the comments here, it seems that’s a good strategy for continuing donations.

    • Anonymous :

      My undergrad asked solicited me while I was a student there. Specifically, a freshman, at an Ivy, paying full tuition, coming from a family where that was a heck of a lot of money to be paying and need to pay for the next three years. And it wasn’t like “please give $5-50 per year to start getting involved and help our participation numbers.” That would have been okay with me and when my law school did the same to me as I was nearing graduation, I was fine with it. My undergrad’s solicitation included four and five figure dollar categories in their ask. Tone deaf is an understatement. I swore they would never get a penny beyond what I owed them.

      Today, two decades later, my annual household income is usually more than I paid for tuition, room and board for all four years of undergrad. We make a point to donate at least 10% to various causes and institutions. Still haven’t given my undergrad a penny.

    • distanced alum :

      I commented saying I gave nominally (<$10) upon graduation to support giving numbers while I was poor (making $27k/year, in grad school part time, had a bit of undergrad loans). I met my husband in undergrad and we both donated and were fairly active alumni. Then they did three separate things that stopped our donating:
      1. Movement to eliminate Greek life. We didn't go to a Greek domained school, but DH was in a frat, which was filled with upstanding guys, and that's where we met. The school took a hard line stance, basically took possession of privately owned buildings, and alienated a LOT of alums. We stopped visiting after this, but continued to donate nominally.
      2. There were 2-3 saftey incidents, one involving a shooting and one was a r*pe. The way the school swept it under the rug and has refused to make any meaningful improvements in student saftey was reprehensible. I wrote to my former professors and was part of an alumni group (including a lot of former frat boys…) that formally threatened to withdraw donations and other forms of support for the school. This is when we stopped donating.

      3. They eliminated my major and my 2 favorite professors are no longer there.

      DH and I were on track to be donating $1k+/year. We wouldn't ever have reached Building status but we loved our experience at the school, met and married there, and we're happy to support it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I haven’t given to my undergrad, law school, or law school where I got my LLM. That’s because I owe a ridiculous amount of student loans and any donations I give are to organizations that I feel need it more right now.

      I agree with the commenter above that my undergrad felt like we completed a transaction. I paid for a service that they provided.

      My law school where I got my JD is likely the only school I’d give money to in the future. That’s because I feel more of a connection to the school, the staff/faculty, etc. The law school is part of a larger state school though and the last time they asked me for money, it was to re-do the gym. The same gym that was absolutely state of the art less than 5 years prior. It didn’t seem like a worthwhile cause to me. I’d be more inclined to give if it were going to fund a law school clinic or for a scholarship fund for law students or something similar. The school is also incredibly well funded through donors who contribute huge amounts of money to our sports programs and buildings and other major projects (but mainly sports).

      The law school where I got my LLM didn’t seem invested in me at all and I didn’t enjoy my time there at all. I get a very fancy envelope asking me for money a few times a year but I’ve never been contacted about anything the school is doing. I know they have regular events/speakers but I’m not ever notified. Granted, I likely wouldn’t go, but it feels odd that the school thinks it is up to me to follow them on LinkedIn or wherever for information about what is going on. Even just some sort of monthly or quarterly alumni email with a simple calendar of upcoming events would make me feel like they care about me at all. They got my money, graduated me, and aside from asking for money they haven’t been in touch since. I’m also pretty sure that they are extremely well funded to begin with.

    • ERISA Lady :

      Went to Ivy college and law school. I think their tuition rates are shameful in light of their huge endowments, and their tuition relief for “middle class” families is a joke. They have enough money to make undergraduate education free for everyone, but they keep raising tuition and spending the money on more administration and stuff to make college more fun.

  16. This is totes adorable and profresh. I’m new to your blog but I’m already digging your style. I’m so glad I found it!

    • Anonymous :

      Are you teaching life skills to millenials, or are you a millennial teaching others life skills?

    • anonymouse :

      I’m loathe to take life skills advice from someone who uses “totes” and “profesh” in their first post on a professional women’s website.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Millennial here: Can we not? People already judge us. This isn’t helping. There might be a need for your services (although I’m not certain you’re going to find that audience, after a brief look at your website), but it doesn’t help to make millennial women look young and unprofessional.

    • a millenial :

      barf in a bag at this advertising

    • Frozen Peach :

      I sincerely hope this is a fake person. No professional woman I know has ever, ever said either the word “totes” or the word “profesh” without being completely farcical.

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