Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Short Sleeve Belted Tie Waist Dress

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

Prologue, a new brand at Target that was launched last month, looks very promising, particularly if you like affordable pieces that are fairly minimalist. I like the wide sleeves and wide neckline on this dress, and I think the belted tie-waist detail is really nice. It’s a pullover style, and while it doesn’t have pockets, it is machine washable, so it’s got that going for it. I think it looks great for the office, especially for taller women who have a problem finding dresses that are long enough. It comes in sizes XS–XXL and is $29.99. Short Sleeve Belted Tie Waist Dress

Macy’s has a plus-size option that comes in sizes 16W–24W.

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Comments

  1. ChillyAnon :

    Good morning! It’s suddenly fall here and I’d love advice for an office sweater to keep me warm. I’m looking for as warm as possible without being bulky, and some version of gray/black, since I’ll likely trade it out for a suit jacket when it’s time to go to a meeting. Any recs?

    • I feel like my recommendation is always Uniqlo, but at the risk of sounding like a broken record, I really do love their merino wool sweaters. I just got a longish cardigan and a shortsleeved sweater to wear with suits and very happy with both.

    • There was recently a post on The Work Edit about this topic:

      http://theworkedit.com/capitol/2018/09/18/how-to-find-the-perfect-desk-sweater.html

      I also sit on a heating pad to keep warm.

    • I like a wide scarf or Ruana at my desk. Cuyana has a beautiful baby alpaca ruana, but i also have a couple I found by searching on eBay.

    • Get a boat neck sweater. Men love them b/c they get to see a little more then our necks. But not to much! YAY!!

    • In the colder weather, I will pack my lunch/snacks the night before and will leave it in the car so there is one less thing to remember in the morning. I’ll even leave my laptop bag in the trunk.

  2. Hit me with all your wisdom, ladies. What’s your best life tip, trick, hack or habit?

    • 2 minute rule – if it takes less than 2 minutes, do it then.
      Theme laundry – laundry baskets the size of your washer, sort by type, wash when full.
      Power hour – weekly hour or two at a low energy time of day, blast through all the annoying administrative to dos in one go

      • Jennifer Markowski :

        The 2 minute rule is great. Also batching – schedule time to do similar tasks in one big chunk. Say no to more things. Be willing to pay more for convenience. Have a week preview meeting with the family (go over schedules, meals, special projects at the table together). Pre pack everything you can: meeting folders, outfits, gym bags, lunches, board meeting bag, swim meet bag, track bag. Keep snacks in your purse. Always have a book with you.

      • Along the lines of the 2 minute drill, when I pull laundry out of the drier, I immediately put away or hang up as much as my schedule allows right that moment. I can nearly always get to half of it and often put away all of it. It’s so much better than the laundry mountain that builds up for Sunday evening.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Go to CVS and buy a pack of blank cards. Keep them in your office drawer as well as a book of stamps. Anytime there is a birthday, death in the family of a colleague, retirement, parental loss of anyone you know…..take 2 minutes to write a card and send it off.

      Over the last month, I have used this trick to send cards for a friend’s birthday, a friend who had a miscarriage, a friend who got pregnant, a colleague who lost her wife, and a colleague’s birthday. It has saved so much time and has the added benefit of having the recipient get the card right away, as opposed to me waiting a week since I never have time to go to CVS.

      • That reminds me. I buy a year’s worth of birthday cards at a time. The charity shops in the UK always have a good selection and it supports a good cause.

      • I do the same with blank cards at home, and at work I suggested my department get a variety pack from Amazon with mostly blank interior cards but the outsides have “Congratulations,” “Happy Birthday,” “Thinking of You,” etc. to cover all contingencies. Saves us (or let’s be honest, saves our executive assistant) from having to run out constantly for one-off cards.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes! Costco often has a box of assorted cards for every occasion and I keep those on hand at home.

        And if you need extra incentive to do this, check out this article about the importance of snail mail: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/08/smarter-living/we-could-all-use-a-little-snail-mail-right-now.html

        • Coach Laura :

          Love the Costco card assortment. It saves so much time but also money. The cards they have retail for $4-8 so getting 25 for $20 at Costco is a great money saver. There is also a Hallmark assortment on amazon for about the same price. I keep a box of each on hand at all times.

          • So I’ve only ever seen these at Costco in January. Does your Costco have them now? I need a refill!

    • Don’t touch bathroom doorhandles with your hand – use a paper towel on your way out.
      You can wash your shower curtain liner in the washing machine (definitely learned that one here).
      Keep stamps and a pen in your car console.
      Instacart or Primenow for groceries is a gamechanger.

      • A warning — I have a washer that shreds plastic shower curtain liners.

        I switched to the polyester ones that target sells and they are fab — no more nasty mildew or plastic stench when they are new; I wash mine monthly just to keep them fresh.

        • Worry about yourself :

          Right, if the washer has a center agitator it will tear a plastic liner to shreds. I did not learn this from experience, Jolie Kerr mentioned it on a recent Ask a Clean Person podcast, but it made me feel better about not bothering to wash an old, really dirty one a couple years ago, and instead tossed it and bought a new, clean one. It felt wasteful at the time, but I know now it would have been a mess and a waste of quarters.

        • Counterpoint: I tried the polyester liner and went back to my plastic one. Which I have “washed” (once, top-loading/central agitator machine), in that I ran a cycle without detergent, mostly to clean off the conditioner residue.

          The polyester one kind of stopped the water, but then it dripped onto the tub ledge, such that the ledge was covered with water every time and sometimes dripped onto the floor outside the tub. The plastic one keeps all the water in the tub. I’ve never had issues with it getting mildew-y (ever? in the all the years I’ve been showering)

          Shrug –

      • Washing a shower curtain liner…do you mean the fabric ones? I can’t imagine washing plastic in the washing machine. I typically have a cheap clear plastic liner from the dollar store that lasts three to four years and a decorative fabric liner that doesn’t really get wet outside of that one.

        • Nope, plastic works in the washing machine! I’ve been doing this for years in my top loader and it works like a charm. Just throw in some laundry detergent and half a cup of baking soda with it.

          • Same. I think I’ve had the same clear liner for 10 years. I just wash it when it starts looking grody.

          • I also wash my in-tub bathmat this way! It was a serious a-ha moment when I realized I didn’t have to throw it away when it started getting grimy, but could just wash it in the washer.

    • A coffeemaker with a timer. Hanging my work clothes in outfits so all I need to do is grab one. Buying gifts and cards ahead of time. Buying event clothes ahead of time.

    • Nature's Miracle :

      You can use Nature’s Miracle (enzymatic cleaner beloved by people with pets) on the armpits of clothing to get stuck-on smells out.

      For those with kids, it will also remove any and all bodily fluids from anywhere. It’s magical stuff.

      • Can you link to this?

        • It’s everywhere. I think even in my local grocery store. Amazon has it also, obvi.

        • Look in the pet isle – it’s primarily marketed towards stain removal of organic material like urine, vomit, feces, etc. It’s excellent. Target, Walmart, my grocery store all sell it.

      • +1 Kids’n’Pets is another similar cleaner that I usually get on the cheap from W4lm4rt. It’s amazing for bodily fluids stains and odors (I have sometimes had to search for the wet spot to find the horrible stain that was there before I applied this stuff).

    • A large roll of plain craft paper for wrapping presents … I get fancy with ribbon or other decorative accessories on top, or have my kid draw a picture on it (no need for a card, either!

      I keep a clipboard in my travel bag … if a seatmate on the airplane invades my seat with their elbows too aggressively, I put the clipboard along side my seat – voila! Denied!

      • pugsnbourbon :

        I use one pattern of paper (or decoration or whatever) for all my family’s gifts and another for my wife’s family’s. When we pull up to my parents’ house on Christmas Eve, I know exactly which ones get unloaded and which ones wait until we go to the next house.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Learned it on here: Doing the thing is way easier than worrying about not doing the thing.

      • I saw this and immediately picked up my phone did the damn thing I’ve been putting off for a week, because you are so right.

    • Create systems for as many things as I can to free up brain space for more important things. For example- morning routine has me to task 1 followed by task 2 etc every time so it becomes automatic.

      Spend time/effort/money on the little things that annoy you on the daily but usually not enough to do anything about. Change the lightbulb that keeps flicker, throw out the can opener that needs to be held a specific-annoying way

  3. Jennifer Markowski :

    The Prologue line also has great plain white T’s: opaque, soft, hangs well, works under blazers.

    • I just looked through the line. They had some good pieces that looked more expensive than they are. But overall most of the clothing is what I would call…interesting. Very boxy and balloony with cuts that didn’t seem to go with the material.

      • Jennifer Markowski :

        Some pieces work better than others. One blouse is a great mint green color with interesting sleeve details, but the fabric puckers. One pair of leggings has bottoms than turn up every time you wear them – another is a pretty good standard ponte legging. So I’m trying out a few different pieces and taking advantage of my free returns. :)

        • Anon in ATL :

          Cute avatar. Did you mean to have your first and last name? That’s pretty unusual on this board. Up to you obvs.

    • Thank you thank you for this tip! It is SO HARD to find opaque white t-shirts. How’s the sizing? The short sleeves look a bit long on the model, are they the same in real life?

    • Yes, that tshirt is great! It is described as terry and it has that feel, but it is lightweight enough to not feel like you are wearing a sweatshirt.

  4. Anonymous :

    When you run out of a homehold supply item (laundry detergent, dish washer tabs, bleach) always buy two to replace the item. This saves you from being in a supply crisis later.

    • I bought refillable soap dishes for the bathroom and kitchen and those 5l bottles of ecover hand soap and dish soap and it saves money and makes life so much easier.

      Also along these lines, soap nuts. I buy a bag once a year and never have to buy laundry detergent.

      • re: soap nuts- wow, I have never heard of these and now I’m going down a rabbit hole. How cool!

      • I am super allergic to most laundry detergents (even the hypoallergenic ones) and soap nuts have saved my skin, literally. it’s the only detergent I can handle.

  5. A bit of a niche question but anyone with advice on paying off student loans while living abroad? Currently living and working in the UK (so feeling the Brexit bite as well) with no intention of moving back to the US. My current process is doing an annual transfer to my US account and then making a year’s worth of payments in one go but I was wondering if there is a better way?

    • Why can’t you pay monthly? What about living overseas stops you from paying online?

      • +1 set up auto pay

      • I think I’d get hit with transfer fees each time? HSBC charges a fee every time I make a transfer from my UK to US account. Nelnet doesn’t seem to let me add an international payment account.

        • Divert whatever amount you need directly from your paycheck to your US account and pay from there?

          • What banks/account types do you use for this? DH has a similar type issue and has always done a larger transfer a few times a year because he hasn’t been able to find an international autopay or deduct or divert type set up.

          • anonshmanon :

            Moving money between Europe and the US is notoriously tedious. Mostly because the US banking system is a weird mixture of pre-internet mode of operation and customized tech solutions plastered over it. I can’t imagine any British employer sending monthly pay to a US bank account (German, Italian, Spanish, yes, but not US).

            OP, I’d stick either to yearly transfers, or try a few times a year IF that would give you any advantage on the payoff conditions.

          • One way of circumventing all of this would be to buy bitcoin for British pounds, then sell it for USD, but I’m not sure I would go through the trouble just to save the transfer fees.

    • AnonTechie :

      Transferwise them over?
      That’s what i do with CC payments etc.. (and considering work travel is a pita, they are in the ~1500-2K range)

    • Fellow academic with US students loans and in the UK. I lurk here, but I’m not a regular poster. If I remember correctly we’re in a similar discipline so we might actually know each other IRL.

      Transferring once a year is actually not a bad way to go about it, although I don’t have the resources to do that since I’m also trying to buy a house in the UK.

      For those asking, most US SL companies won’t allow payments to be drawn from a foreign bank/paid by a foreign card–it might be backed by visa/mc but they still won’t accept it.

      You can use a third party transfer site if you have a way to receive the funds. Once of my SL companies partners with one and would allow international payments this way, but the others wouldn’t. For the others, I have a US bank account and use transferwise to move funds each month. Their fees are far more reasonable that HSBC, even accounting for a difference in exchange rates. This gives me the flexibility to over-pay where possible. That said, at the moment any extra cash is just being moved to the US account and I’m just making standard payments since I want a few months cushion for whatever happens to the pound after Brexit.

      The only snag is that I think it can be difficult to open a US bank account if you can’t go in person. Mine is with USAA, but that isn’t an option for everyone. I tried to do it through HSBC thinking I could visit their branch in the UK but that isn’t possible.

      • How funny! I hope we do! We need secret badges to wear to conferences. If you think you know who I am, you should totally send me an email :)

    • UK student loans :

      My husband was in the opposite situation (UK loans, US job). He transferred money from his US to UK bank accounts whenever the rate seemed good, and had an automatic monthly payment set up from his UK bank account. Eventually he just paid of the last $5k in one go, even though it wasn’t the financially optimal option (the interest rate was 0 at the time), because it was so annoying. I think he just did wire transfers, but we now use a payment system (Worldremit) b/c the fees are cheaper.

  6. Just a lighthearted post heading into the weekend.

    Last evening, my law firm had a women’s dinner, where almost all of the women attorneys got together. Even a few of the women who were previously at the firm but are now working elsewhere in the law attended. I am a 3rd year associate and work in an office of the firm where I am the only woman attorney. Although I have met most of the other women attorneys, it was so nice to be able to engage with all of these other career women in this setting. Very little about actual work was discussed, and everyone talked openly about their families and outside activities. The more senior partners gave those of us who are junior some great words of wisdom about navigating the legal profession as a woman and navigating my firm (which is overall very supportive of women and typically ranked in the top 10 in my state for percentage of women attorneys.) In the words of one senior partner, “Don’t take the men’s [crap]!”

    As an associate at the beginning of my career, I feel so thankful that the senior attorneys organized this event and that I work at a firm where the women are supportive of each other. Even though the legal field, and other professional careers, have come a long way in its opportunities for women, it is still important to remember that even these small events can have a big impact.

    • That’s so awesome!! I’m not in law, but another field that has very male dominated. There’s a women’s network at my company and I’m so grateful those that have been here a long time. They’re so open to share knowledge and mentor, and it’s been really helpful to have them in my corner when I’ve needed help.

  7. Royal Wedding :

    I thought Princess Eugenie looked spectacular this morning! That tiara, I was full of heart eyes for it. Dare I say, I feel like she hit the mark with her dress much better than Meghan did?

    • That’s quite a daring statement but I thought she looked lovely and I LOVED the tiara.

    • Anonymous :

      As much as I love Meghan and her wedding look, which was simple and suited her, Eugenie really stunned today. She looked like a true princess. The tiara was STUNNING. I am partial to emeralds as they are my birthstone!

    • +1 – I LOVE anything with emeralds but it was such a gorgeous tiara and I loved that she didn’t do a veil so it really stood out. I also really loved her dress, beautiful, and a very different shape/silohuette while being tailored to her PERFECTLY (something I think Meghan struggles with). I do wish the sleeves were slightly longer/pointed to lean into the renaissance look a bit more but that’s more my person taste ;)

      • I thought that the sleeves were way too long!

        The the shoulder wrappy effect going on was something I had in a formal dress in . . . the early 90s?

        Which I don’t know how I noticed b/c I 100% agree that the tiara stole the show.

    • She looked lovely! I thought the immediate family all coordinated so well, blues and greens. Except Kate… and the conspiracy theorist in me is wondering if she purposefully went against the grain to stand out?

    • loved the tiara but did not love the dress

      • Same. I’m not crazy about long sleeves on wedding dresses. Objectively she did look lovely though.

    • I didn’t love her dress from a fashion perspective, but I heard she wanted to show her scar to inspire kids with scoliosis and I think that’s awesome!

    • I also love that she purposefully designed the dress to be lower in the back to reveal her back scar from when she was a teen.

    • I thought Eugenie’s dress was a little heavy/wintry looking for October, but it was tailored to perfection. Meghan needs to take tailoring notes from the other royals!

    • Agreed! Really loved it! Made me want to get married again to copy that neckline :)

    • I think the dress looked slightly better from a distance than it did in the close-up photos–which is so smart for the scale of a royal cathedral wedding! Also, the train actually looked really graceful tied up, which is impressive.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      She looked great! I also thought Kate looked awesome in the plum-colored dress. And Cara Delevigne in her top hat, tails and cropped pants could have stopped traffic.

    • Exquisite

  8. I’ve just moved to Toronto from Chicago, and I’m struggling a bit with finding new go-to brands/stores/online shopping. Torontonian ladies, what retailers do you frequent, online and in brickspace?

    • Anonymous :

      Toronto has basically everything the US does, except Target!

      • +1 (e.g. Nordstroms, Ann Taylor, BR, JCrew)

        Canadian Stores I like:

        Holt Renfrew

        Hudson’s Bay

        Aritiza

        Femme de Carriere

        RW & Co

    • Well that’s not really true- online shopping isnt as good here due to duties. But you can thank the ridiculous new NAFTA for increasing the import limit to avoid duties (now will be 1$150 as opposed to a measly $20).

      Banana/Gap/ON are good for online here. Canadian stores- Aritzia, lulu, the bay, will also be good for online. Anything made in the US will always be duty free.

      Brickspace is a lot better- I agree we basically have all of the same stores. There’s a nordstrom rack downtown.

    • You can shop some retailers online that ship from Canada (like BR, Gap) but most of the rest ship from the US or UK (Boden) so watch for shipping, duties and taxes. Some give you the full price when you check out and some require a separate payment to fedex. Amazon.ca is the Cdn equivalent of Amazon.com albeit without as much selection. Still works for me and no duties, etc. Also check out Hudson Bay (aka The Bay). Uniquely Cdn department. You can get free shipping. Also Canadian Tire for household goods, small appliances etc.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      Judith & Charles!!!!

    • TO Junior :

      Club Monaco is amazing. Also, Reiss – although that’s also in the US?

      If you’re close to Eaton Centre, take a stroll through – they’ll have many of the same brands you are already familiar with.

    • I made the move opposite of you and really missed Joe fresh. Can’t speak to quality now but i have always received compliments on the clothing I got back in the day

  9. My parents’ dog (the dog I grew up with) passed away last night. She was 15, so it wasn’t entirely unexpected, but her illness came on pretty suddenly this week. I dont live nearby, so I couldn’t say good bye in person. She was part of the family for so long, and it’s hitting me harder than expected. Any thoughts on how to cope, especially when I’m not near family? I have no plans this weekend, so was going to take some me time to relax and reflect, and was wondering if there’s anything that has helped you all get over the loss of a family pet.

    • I’m so sorry. I think spending time with friends talking, some quiet activities, and phone calls to your family would help.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m so sorry to hear this. Something similar happened to me a few years ago, and I was out of town (traveling internationally!) at the time. I was not able to go see her before she passed.

      Remember it’s okay to be sad, and that grief comes in waves — over time they may be smaller or longer between, but it’s okay for them to keep coming, even for years.

      Is there a pet grief support group near you? I have a friend who still goes to one a year after losing his companion animal and finds it helpful. I personally made a donation to a breed-specific rescue (if I remember correctly, I picked a specific animal to help!) and that made me feel better too. Hanging out with my friend’s dogs helped (I swear they knew I was sad and helped) but that may be individually specific. If you’re in DC, you’re welcome to come pet my new puppy!

      Be kind to yourself. Feel sad if you need to. It’s okay to look through your photos of her and remember the good times! Do some traditionally distracting things like see a movie. *hugs*

      • I’m so sorry for your loss! It’s so hard to lose a member of the family.

        I second all this advice. I lost a kitty back in June and I wasn’t able to say goodbye because I was out of the country. I spent the next couple of days just taking it easy at home and letting myself be sad and processing everything.

        For me, it actually helped talking about it with others. I run an Instagram account for my cats, and my friends on there were very helpful and sweet. Not everyone understands how hard it can be to lose a pet.

        Definitely be kind to yourself. It just takes time to process something like this. Take care.

    • In-House in Houston :

      I’m so sorry. I lost my 14 year old dog in January and it was devastating. Can you take the day off or go home? That’s what I did; I curled up on the couch and cried, pretty much the whole day. The next day I looked like hell, but I was able to go to work (I just told my coworkers that I had allergies, a few close friends at work knew the truth). You need to grieve and you won’t get anything done if you’re at work today anyway. Give yourself the weekend to grieve. She was a member of your family, plain and simple. And try to focus on the fact that you and your family gave her the best life; a life that too many dogs will never know. Take solace in that. Sending hugs…

    • I’m so sorry for your loss. I was in the exact same situation a few years ago with my family’s 18 year old dog. I think everyone deals differently, but I had a lot going on at work at the time that required being around people a lot, and I found that distraction was appreciated.

      I think the thing that helped me most was talking about my dog. Sometimes I cried and it was painful, but I actually laughed and smiled a lot more than I expected too. Choose your audience wisely, though, as some people don’t really understand why you’d care much about the loss of a pet. My best friend made some insensitive comments about it that really hurt, just because she didn’t really understand how it hurt.

      I also ended up getting another dog sooner than I expected, and that ended up feeling like I was honoring his memory and sharing my affection and love with another creature that I had learned from taking care of and growing up with him. It felt really good in a way that wasn’t replacement at all- more like moving forward and creating more goodness in the world. for me this was about 5-6 months later though, so not an immediate change.

      These things just take time. All the best to you.

    • Aww, I am so sorry for your loss. I lost two like-family dogs in the last 4 years, and honestly, the most cathartic thing I did both times was give myself a night to utterly collapse into an ugly cry until I didn’t have any left. Of course I still feel sad and tear up even now, but I really just needed to let myself wallow in it for a bit both times.

  10. Has anyone tried the Coyn everyday tote? Thoughts?

    https://www.shopcoyn.com/products/the-everyday-tote?variant=35715065606

  11. Help shopping in London for petite clothes :

    Need your London intel….I am going to be in London for work, and have a day free. I thought I would use this time to shop for clothes. Which shops should I go to – I am petite, size 6, normally shop at Ann Taylor/Loft online, narrow shoulders, short torso. Prefer classics that last me a long time, since I am not an adventurous shopper. Budget is within $50-100. All suggestions would help.

    • Hobbs for certain. Pre-shop online for ideas. I just brought home 2 tops and a silk scarf. Prices worked out to about 65% of what Nordys was charging for the same items. And if that VAT refund ever arrives, make it 55%!

      Definitely allow for a little shrinkage on their knit tops, even after hand washing and drying flat. I was between 2 sizes and very glad I chose the larger,

  12. In the last year or two, I have been overwhelmed by a sense of malaise and distraction. I have a very difficult time concentrating, and am constantly surfing the web, thinking about other things, etc. I’m a lawyer, and this has affected my billable hours, my productivity, and the quality of my work (although so far, I haven’t missed anything significant). I’m in my 50s and have been going through menopause, so maybe this inability to focus/concentrate is a symptom? Has anyone experienced anything similar? Any recommendations? I haven’t talked to my PCP about it just because it is so non-specific, I can’t imagine he would have anything to offer in a 15-minute appointment.

    • Sometimes older is better :

      Peri-menopause foggy brain and feelings of “bleh” are very real in my experience. I can’t refer you to a cure because I never found one. Eat right, exercise, try to get enough sleep (ha! That can get very disrupted too). Just before I hit medically defined menopause which is one year without a menstrual cycle, I realized that all that stuff was gone. So I guess at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve heard hormone replacement therapy can help but I didn’t do it so can’t comment on it from experience.

    • Could this be anxiety? Inability to concentrate and feelings of being overwhelmed and worrying are pretty classic symptoms. Perhaps try a few counseling sessions to work through some of this.

    • He can run some extra labs for common issues that affect cognition (e.g. he can check for low thyroid, you can discuss whether you have any symptoms of stomach acid lowering with age which can lead to iron or B12 anemia, other things I don’t know because I’m not a doctor, etc.).

      If everything looks A-OK, I’ve found that sometimes functional or integrative MDs or DOs can help take a healthy person to optimal even if they aren’t the best doctors to see when there’s something truly wrong. I have some medical conditions, so I see specialists, but I send my husband to a MD who uses some functional approaches and who sees a lot of athletes, since my husband is healthy and fit but has a low tolerance for subclinical symptoms (he wants to feel awesome all the time, not just good enough, and he has built a competitive career that rewards that).

    • I’ve been having the same issue, except I’m late 30s, so it’s not menopause related for me. I don’t know what it is or how to overcome it. I’m looking forward to everyone’s advice!

    • I can’t tell whether my comment was eaten or whether it’s just stuck in mod.

      I had said that your doctor can order labs for you (thyroid issues can cause cognitive symptoms; most of us produce less stomach acid as we age which lead to different kinds of anemia, etc.).

      I also suggested, if your health checks out, that you could see a doctor who takes more of a functional/holistic approach (or whatever buzz words your local MDs are using). If you’re sure you’re already healthy, I think it can help to see a doctor who specializes more in taking healthy people to optimal. My husband sees a doctor who sees a lot of athletes, for example, since he’s basically healthy but his goal is to be and feel competitive.

    • I’m 30 and do the same thing. I’m pretty sure for me it’s not menopausal… I just feel very lackadaisical about work. I haven’t identified the reason, and for me it could be any number of things: exhausted because I have a toddler and a baby, bored with a consistent but predictable work routine, 7 year itch of lawyering, starting to wonder if this is all I’m going to ever accomplish, etc etc ad nauseam. I’m not sure what I’m trying to contribute except to say that it’s not just you!

    • That sounds like classical depressive symptoms. Maybe check with your doctor to see if there are clinical reasons for the depression (ex. adding regular exercise and Vitamin D, Iron, and B-12 supplements helped me tremendously, although I still had to go on depression medication, but less of it).

      • If you decide it’s depression, I’d suggest asking about Wellbutrin before asking about SSRIs. Wellbutrin has better side effects (more energy is always nice!), and it’s known to help specifically with focus (it’s even off-label for ADD). I think psychiatrists know this, but PCPs often seem to default to SSRIs which have better evidence for major depressive disorder.

        • +1 I told my doc I was worried about weight gain from the previous SSRI and she prescribed me this. Note however that Wellbutrin doesn’t do much if anything for anxiety.

          • According to my psych, Wellbutrin doesn’t do much or anything for anxiety in the first 6-8 weeks. But it totally can help with anxiety after you’ve adapted to it! As you can imagine, it took longer research trials to demonstrate this.

        • Anon for this :

          How long did it take you to get over the insomnia with starting Wellbutrin? I just started a few weeks ago, and I both have an extremely hard time going to sleep and also difficulty staying asleep–I’m waking up multiple times a night and am wide awake (though still exhausted) by 6 am.

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think it took all 6-8 weeks. Maybe 2 weeks? I remember asking my pharmacist whether it would help to take it in the morning or at night, and my pharmacist said to just try the other one and see (yours may advise differently). I may have tried some OTC sleep aide like 5-HTP (for some reason real prescription sleep aides are too much for me). Sleep matters a LOT to me, and my experience was that this definitely improved over time.

          • Anon for this :

            Thank you. I’m at the two-week mark now, so hoping for similar results.

    • This doesn’t sound exactly like it fits, but you might look into dysthymia – chronic mild depression. Regardless, why not see a therapist?

      • I don’t feel depressed, really – at least I don’t think I do. Can you definitely know if you’re depressed or not? Like, is depression something you can have without realizing it?

        • In a word: yes. Several people have commented here before that for them depression symptoms are not feelings of sadness, but lack of energy to do things/interest in doing things.
          For me there’s usually an associated feeling of ‘being down’, feeling like everything is pointless and the future is hopeless.
          I am at the end of my 30s and have very similar symptoms that you describe. I know some/a lot of it is a lack of interest in the career level job I’ve had for a decade and a half now. I’ve lost that loving feeling if you will, and don’t know that it’s ever going to come back. This year I’ve been particularly anxious and have not concentrated at work very well at all.
          I wish I had some a sure fire way to cure this for you, but I don’t. You aren’t alone.

    • My advice :

      I’m 49 and get it. I started running about a year ago (very slow process to get there; started with walking then run/walking) and found that exercising until I sweat helps enormously. At work I set up little ways to delay gratification. For example, I cannot look at this site until I do task a & b; I cannot leave the office until task c is done, etc.

  13. Camping attire :

    I am going camping (specifically, car camping) this weekend in a tent with a sleeping bag, accompanying some cub scouts (as just the mom; I’ve never been to a meeting and don’t know any of the other moms) on their cub scout camping trip.

    I haven’t camped since high school, where most of my clothes were athleisure and I’d just wear my regular clothes into the woods, no question.

    Now I don’t know what to wear — leggings and a long bum-covering sweatshirt (over a long-sleeved tee)? I have no scout attire (which I think only the leaders wear). Or is it a denim/sweater event? Just buy the whole Athleta store, put it in the car, and figure it out?

    Weather — lows of 40 overnight; high in the high 60s.

    • I would wear jeans, just because the fabric is thicker and so it’s less likely to tear or get poky if you sit on a log. But if all your jeans are fancy, then leggings are fine. I’d wear a flannel shirt over a t shirt and maybe a light vest or coat, but a sweatshirt is fine. Don’t wear a sweater unless it’s either an outdoorsy one (like patagonia) or an old bumming around one (like grandpa’s old cashmere sweater that’s ugly but super warm). Depending on weather, maybe bring a hat for coziness. and wear sneakers or hiking boots.

    • Definitely wear layers, packing more layers than you think you need because you will probably be cold. Warm leggings, maybe with sweatpants over them. Undershirt, long sleeve shirt, sweatshirt, jacket.

    • I usually wear yoga pants, tee shirts in a technical fabric, and wool sweaters. I avoid denim for camping because if it gets at all wet, it’s miserable. But it wouldn’t be an unusual choice, especially if there’s no chance of rain.

      40s is low enough that I’d also want an insulated jacket and long underwear, plus hat and gloves. You may or may not end up needing to use all of it, but it’s way better to have the option. Keeping warm is the most important thing.

    • camper here :

      I recently went camping in similar weather and was extremely cold most of the time (except when it actually hit 60 in the afternoon). Forget being fashionable. You need lots of layers. I wore leggings under hiking pants, long sleeved shirt under a flannel, and a warm jacket. Also a winter hat and gloves. We also had hand warmers that we stuffed in our sleeping bags.

    • I wear hiking pants and fleece pants when camping along with a fleece and puffy, both from Patagonia. Their stuff is perfect for camping.

    • Leggings and a sweatshirt should do it.

    • Baconpancakes :

      Layers, and sturdy fabrics. Most athleisure is not sturdy. Flannels, jeans, long underwear if you have it or a long-sleeve performance tee if you have that. This is exactly what puffy vests are made for. A sweatshirt or fleece is better than a sweater. And you’ll probably be sitting around a campfire, so don’t bring anything you can’t wash repeatedly with baking soda to get the fire smell out. Also along those lines, if you have a casual throw blanket you don’t care about, that can be great to sit on and insulate you from the ground/log stumps at the campsite.

      40 is pretty darn cold at night. It will feel colder than you think it should be. Wear thick, wool or fleece socks to sleep, and the warmest pjs you own, even if you normally sleep hot. Bring “camp” shoes – slip ons that will keep your feet dry, as well as hiking shoes. Bring a real pillow. And maybe a flask of something to slip into your mug, if you’re dealing with rambunctious kids in the woods.

  14. Anonymous :

    Can anybody recommend a dental medical malpractice attorney in DC/MD? My fiance has been having some significant dental issues and I think he may have a malpractice claim, but want to consult with an expert on this.

    • Your time would probably be better spent finding another dentist.

      • He has already found another dentist who helped identify some of the problems by the previous dentist. This was confirmed by another specialist he was referred to. It seems like it is worth him at least talking to a malpractice attorney to see if there is something here given the large amounts of money and unnecessary pain. But, thanks for the advice.

    • I feel like the world would be a very different place if dentists were held accountable for shoddy work.

  15. Anonymous :

    I’m an old and unable to understand (in a merely curious rather than judgemental way) the current makeup trend popularized by youtubers and instagrammers that consists of a thick layer of foundation, large harlequin triangles of concealer, dark streaks of contour, powder etc and so forth. Does this look translate well in the real world without looking cakey? Have you pulled it off or have you seen others pull it off well? I live in a city where makeup isn’t really a thing so have no data points.

    • Nope, it always looks cakey. It looks cakey on them too but they have beauty lights and filters so it doesn’t look as bad on camera. Especially the big triangles of concealer.

    • Personally, I think it looks terrible most of the time and definitely not professional, but I’ve never seen it in a white-collar workplace.

    • AnotherAnon :

      1. What city do you live in? I want to go to there. 2. No it always looks horrible. A very sweet acquaintance of mine who is young and gorgeous has started doing this makeup for her blog and she looks garish. I wish she would stop because she is so naturally pretty.

      • Blueberries :

        Not the OP, but I live in Palo Alto, CA. Some people wear makeup, but I feel zero pressure to wear makeup day-to-day. I would want to wear some simple makeup for a job interview, photo day at work, etc. Otherwise, I only wear makeup if I want to.

    • You're right :

      It never translates well in real life. It can look awesome in photos. But that’s about it. And this is coming from a sorority girl/reformed pageant contestant… so I’ve done my share of contouring. Photos only!

      • I always thought that was the whole point – it looks good in photos/on camera. ‘Kids these days’ may identify very strongly with the persona they create by posting on social media, getting likes, presenting themselves in a highly curated way and this makeup trend is part of that.
        In person, it makes less sense. But all of that online persona stuff is so, so important to younger people. I am not part of the Insta demographic, but speaking as an old millenial, stuff online is very real to me and the internet significantly impacts my life (e.g., all the wise women here). I feel like older generations still see a gap between The Internet and The Real Life, that doesn’t exist for me.

    • Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day. I follow a lot of beauty YouTube channels and I was wondering if anyone actually did all these steps in real life.

      Where I live and work, I rarely see people with that amount of makeup. I enjoy makeup and wear it most days, but go for mostly a natural look. I like Kate from The Small Things Blog and Lisa Eldridge for real life looks.

      I enjoy watching the videos and put them on in the background while I’m working on other stuff, but I have never copied any of these looks.

    • I think the success of the look is fully dependent on the skill of the person. My wedding makeup by a professional makeup artist was incredibly heavy and thick but, with the exception of the dramatic eye makeup, my skin looked natural, luminous and “born that way” flawless. It looks terrible because amateurs are doing it. And yes, the heavy contour is primarily for photos but can look good in real life…if it’s done right. But personally I don’t know anyone that does a full face with contour on a daily basis simply because it takes a full hour to put on. But every time I go to NY I am shocked by how much heavier the makeup on the average woman is, so I think it is partially regional. In the deep South where I live, it gets too hot to wear anything but powder, eyeliner, and mascara on a daily basis- heavier makeup will literally sweat or melt off.

    • My niece wears that stuff. She’s naturally gorgeous so I don’t know why, but she likes those videos and it seems like it’s her hobby now. I think she also looks pretty when she’s done but it’s quite obviously a lot of makeup she’s waking around in. Her false lashes alone take close to 20 minutes to put on (I know because I was waiting for her last weekend and she “only” had to do her lashes. Her entire routine is at least an hour.

      The thing about these looks is that she feels naked without them now. Like those of us who wear mascara every day look quite different without it, she would never consider going out without her false lashes

    • I’ve seen it done well in real life, even in an office setting, but 1) only if the applier is really really skilled, and 2) in real life the colors and contour are much more toned down. Can I tell that someone has on lots of makeup? Yes, since I love makeup and wear it as well. But when it’s done well with the objective of natural healthy skin, neutral eyeshadow, light contour to define rather than reshape your features, and no false eyelashes, it is very office appropriate. There are many women in my office that wear a full face everyday but look more like the below rather than heavy:

      https://customeuropetrip.com/natural-wedding-makeup/if-you-dont-want-a-heavy-make-up-look-this-is-great-for-awesome-natural-wedding-makeup-natural-wedding-makeup/

      https://blush.media/natural-makeup-tutorials-for-dark-skin-for-you-to-know

    • I’ve incorporated contouring into my daily makeup routine but it’s much more subtle than what the YouTubers do. I used to apply concealer only on my undereye circles, but I’ve found that I look much more awake if I extend it down a bit farther. It’s not a triangle, though, it follows the line of my eye. I also use a little bronzer under my cheek bones and on the sides of my forehead. I’m quite pale; the bronzer helps me look a little more healthy and less pallid. I blend the bronzer on my cheeks into my blush and on my forehead into my powder foundation.

    • Ha ha, I was thinking about this last week after coming across one of those you tubers. I was seriously mesmerized and watched her for about an hour. None of my close friends come close to wearing that much make-up. It would be a bit ridiculous for hanging out with our toddlers at someone’s house or the park.

    • It totally depends on the skill of the person doing it and that the products are a good match and texture for their skin. You can absolutely apply primer, foundation, concealer, powder, highlighter, blush, bronzer, contour, setting spray in the “youtuber” style and make it look like skin (albeit flawless looking skin). I’m far more likely to notice someone with a full on smokey eye in the middle of the day than someone with flawless looking skin.

  16. Time limit to lose a size :

    Grrr . . . seasons have changed and I have gained a size on the bottom since last fall.

    I had had some foot issues last fall/winter that kept my activities to a minimum, so I’m not surprised that I gained weight. I had thought I would lose it over the summer since my injury had healed, but it looks like that didn’t happen naturally.

    Now that I am at maximum density for my clothes, how long is realistic to see if aggressive shapewear / other tricks can buy me enough time to drop some weight? A month? Or just reshop now while stores are stocked and pack away favorites / donate other items?

    I’ve been lucky to be size-stable until the foot injury, so have no track record. Just pants that are too bootylicious (and gut-licious) to wear now and dresses that I look pregnant? postpartum? stuffed into.

    • Shop now! Feeling uncomfortable in my clothes has never once helped me lose weight.

      • Worry about yourself :

        Yes to this! I tried losing weight so my current clothes would fit right again, but eventually I caved and started buying bigger sizes. Turned out, wearing clothing that actually fit made me feel better about myself, which made me feel more motivated to do good things for my body like eat healthy and exercise.

    • Three to four months of clean eating and strength training to see how your body reacts would be the time limit I think to determine if this is your new normal v. going back to your previous size. If the clothes still fit most places and are just a bit too tight on the bottom, three to four months is plenty of time to loose the 5 to 10 lbs that that is probably attributable to and turn some of the fat weight to muscle weight (less weight to lose and a bigger impact on shape).

      I think a month is too ambitious and unrealistic to lose a whole size or two for the average adult woman. Some women drop weight quickly and for others the body likes to hold onto weight, so be kind with yourself on the time limit.

    • This happened to me a couple of years ago. I ended up just buying some new clothes. A couple of pairs of pants for work and some new jeans. I felt a lot better once I had clothes that fit. Fit and flare dresses work for my body type because I carry most of my weight in my belly.

    • Buy a few dresses and hold onto the rest and see how it goes.

    • With diet control, you can expect to lose about 1 lb per week, on average. So, depending on how much you’ve gained and what it takes, that might help you decide. Usually a “size” is about 8-15 lbs at sizes 8-12, 12-20lbs at sizes 14-20. I don’t know lower, but I would assume 5-10 lbs at sizes 0-6.

      So, if you were a size 8, and now really maybe should be a 10, and have 10 lbs to lose, you can probably do so in 10 weeks. Is that too long to suffer poorly fitting clothes? You decide!

  17. Anonymous :

    Has anyone here considered getting an IUD and gone with the implant (in the arm) instead? Why?

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I got the arm implant after giving birth. It sounded easier than an IUD. After a couple of years, I had it removed, because I suspected some side effects, although it turns out they were probably unrelated. Then I got an IUD. Then DH got a vasectomy. The latter was my favorite. :)

    • Not sure if this is current, but in my 20s (late 90s), I read an article on how if you have very thin arms (I do), you can see the rods implanted beneath your skin. And there can be scarring when it goes in and scarring when it comes out. I have pale skin that seems to scar easily, so I passed on the visibility and scarring accounts.

      Plus, being able to say “I’m not on BC” then seemed to be what led to the discussion of this whole issue and make it be top of mind for both parts of a couple (and solidified my thinking that this needs to be not solely my problem or concern, even if it is an item ever.single.time). Also made some guys run for the hills, which was a blessing in disguise. Plus (finally), I really don’t love how hormonal BC affects me.

    • Frozen Peach :

      One of my best friends had a complication where the implant burrowed into the middle of her arm muscle. She had to have extremely painful surgery to have it removed. No thanks!!

    • I had the arm implant put in after my IUD came out without me noticing. I’m lucky that I discovered this quickly. It’s rare but not unprecedented. Unfortunately I ended up having the implant removed because I was having bleeding 2 weeks/month, but I may well have had the same issue from the hormonal IUD. I appreciated that the implant could not fall out, and insertion and removal were basically painless other than the lidocaine shot. IUD insertion was much more painful; “removal” was not noticeable. Anyway, I still would recommend trying the implant – the side effect profile and efficacy are very similar or better than Mirena. I would also recommend asking how experienced the provider is at insertion and removal, since it seems the implant is still somewhat rare. I had it done at Planned Parenthood, and they were pros.

    • Not directly on point but I got an IUD, had issues with it, and moved to the arm implant instead. With the IUD, I lost a lot of weight (but maybe this was attributable to moving off of my higher hormonal BC), and I had cramps that felt like sharp localized pain pretty frequently. They felt like contractions–I would have to remind myself to breathe and count through the pain. My doctor said it may be an issue of the IUD being misplaced, and they could go in and “jiggle it around” to see if it’s in a better location. The insertion of my IUD and these frequent cramps are probably the worst pain I’ve ever felt, so the thought of repositioning it was a nightmare. The removal was a breeze. The doctor said that placement can be tricky when you haven’t had children, and I think that was probably my issue. I’d consider an IUD after children.

      I moved to the arm implant and had spotting for the first 8 months, but then I took oral BC for 2 months and my spotting stopped completely. I’ve gained the hormonal weight back, so my baseline is about 8-10lbs heavier than I was on the IUD. Not ideal, but I consider my weight on the IUD to be too low (could see ribs when standing).

      To address the other reader’s comment, I’m thin (size 0 now) and can feel my implant easily, but you can’t see it “poke” out or anything. It feels like it’s right below the skin, so no concerns about it burrowing into the muscle. The scar from insertion looks like a large freckle (smaller than a mole, though).

  18. nonprofit-type Q :

    Recently I gave a decent chunk of money to a political action org (not a PAC, not a 501(c)(3)). The founder has now emailed me suggesting that we meet up to talk more about their operations. The founder seems like an interesting person (similar in age/background to me, and we have some mutual friends), so I’m curious to do so, and wouldn’t mind getting more involved — they’re looking to establish an advisory committee, among other things. But is this just another hit-up for money in the near term? Because I gave them what I’m going to give for this election cycle, and I would hate to have a coffee date where I’m just saying no to their request the whole time. Could anyone who works in the nonprofit/political org arena give me any sense of what to expect (or how to frame myself as a good candidate for their advisory committee — is it just about being able to raise funds, or anything else)? Thanks.

    • A good non-profit would focus on relationship building for the first meeting. They’d want to understand your interests and motivations so they can pitch you on funding something in the future.

      • +1. This is probably a lead up to another ask eventually, but hopefully it will be a long lead up. I think you should just be very open in your response, e.g., “I’m happy to talk but just want to manage expectations that I won’t be able to make any more donations this year. I would be interested in getting more involved as a volunteer or advisory committee member if that would be helpful.” Any decent nonprofit staff member would love this level of candor. We spend a lot of time trying to feel people out.

        • Agree on the candor being important. I was similarly invited to a coffee meeting with my alumni association person and I began the conversation by saying frankly that I’ve donated what I can right now, I’m happy to help in other ways (like donating time or helping candidates recruit for positions with my company). She was grateful for my honesty and it was a productive meeting.

    • I very much doubt they would hit you up for money once you just donated a chunk. That’s a good way to lose a donor. More likely they want to get you involved more since the amount you donated probably indicates a strong interest in the cause or to foster a long term relationship with a larger donor. Lots of nonprofits do this for donors they know will give big every year long term so that donors know what the org is doing and what is happening with the money they donate.

    • Agreed–this will be about relationship building, finding common interests, possibly an invitation to join the board. More financial requests will almost certainly come later, but right now the “ask” is likely to be about who else you know who may be interested in helping/advising.

      If you’re interested in the organization’s work, it sounds like a nice opportunity. You are under no obligation to give anything else now (or ever). I’d be amazed if there were any pestering in that direction at this meeting–that would be very bad practice.

  19. I’m in the middle of an argument with DH and don’t really know how to solve this problem. I just started a new job at a law firm. New firm has a fairly strict 8 am to 6 pm work requirement, and I’m salaried. We are not expected to work nights or weekends unless we have something urgent that needs done. My old firm had a “flexible” work schedule, and I was paid based on the hours I billed. This meant that I would often work 9 am to 5 pm then later that night and also on the weekends. Basically, I was always working, so even though the “flexibility” was nice sometimes, it was not really ideal. DH supported my move to this firm.

    DH currently has a job that is 8:30 to 5 and involves a lot of “flexible” work, meaning that he often goes home at 5 then works until 11 pm. He has had this job for about 6 months. It is across the street from my new job, and he often bums rides from me because he does not have parking in his building. Because of this, he often tries to get me to leave at 5 pm (when everyone is at the office still) and gets frustrated about why I won’t leave earlier. Before this job, he was at a job with about a 35 min commute and very long hours, so he really had no idea how long I was at work since he left before and got home after me.

    We also got a puppy around when I started my new job. I had given DH the ok to get the puppy, with the condition that he take care of it. I had absolutely no idea what I was agreeing to. I’ve never lived with a dog before. The puppy is wonderful but obviously needs to be let out at the end of the day and have a fair amount of exercise.

    DH and I have been arguing because he thinks it is unreasonable that he gets stuck taking care of the dog at the end of the day and doesn’t get to go to the gym. He says that I need to leave at 5 2-3 days a week to take care of the dog so that he can go go the gym. (We have a dog walker, and the dog is fine in her crate until 6:30.) He believes this is a totally reasonable thing for me to do. He also thinks I’ve gotten “swindled” in my new job and am working too much. (I’m working less than before.) He also doesn’t understand how I need to be at the office for 10 hrs to bill 8 hours.

    I’ve agreed to take care of the dog twice a week and still leave work at 5:45-6 not 5 pm. DH is still upset with this and doesn’t understand why I can’t work more from home. (I really do not want to work the rest of the day at home, and this is part of why I changed jobs.)

    I really don’t know how to deal with this. DH has been somewhat frustrated with his own office politics lately, and I think that is part of this frustration. But I feel like his position on this is completely unreasonable. Like, I have agreed to take care of the dog at least twice a week, and that still doesn’t seem to be enough. My hours at this job are not bad, and the schedule is better than at my old firm. I also am trying really hard to come 8-6 to build up good will for when we start TTC in about a year and have childcare obligations. (People with childcare obligations at the firm do work modified schedules, but if we don’t have kids we are expected to work 8-6.) I also know that people are paying attention to when I’m in the office since they know I came from a “flexible” work environment. I feel like DH is being unreasonable and will realize this eventually, but I don’t know how to deal with this in the short term since he clearly is not getting it, and I really can’t start leaving at 5 pm to take care of the dog.

    • OMG he’s being ridiculous. He needs to figure out his own commute and you need to put your foot down. Your job requires you to be there until 6 and that is what you’re doing period. No more discussion or compromises. Just tell him this and say you will not discuss it again. Your spouse should not mess with your job like that.

    • Sounds like you need the dog walker or a pet sitter to come more frequently? (I had this job when I was in high school, and it was honestly a lot of fun to hang out with other people’s cute dogs.)

    • “I work from 8-6. When you insist that I can leave at 5, it tells me that you do not respect my work, me, or trust me that I know my own job requirements. To be extremely clear, we cannot carpool. I cannot leave before 6 to take care of the dog. I am happy to discuss other ideas you have but I am no longer going to listen to you complain about this. It is disrespectful, unkind, and unhelpful. If you do not want to skip the gym after work to walk the dog, then you need to accept that the dog will get walked at 6:30 or we need to rehome the dog. I am not jeopardizing my career for your gymvisits.”

      • This this this this this. So much this.

        Do not engage with his utterly unreasonable demands.

    • Best of luck! :

      hoo boy you put a lot on your plate with a PUPPY (!?) and a new, inflexible job, and driving Mr. Daisy around.

      It looks like there is no correct answer here, but it sounds like neither of you are communicating your issues and frustrations or managing the situation well. maybe you weren’t totally forthcoming about the job and thats why he feels swindled, and then you guys got a puppy without real expectations of how you would collectively take care of it. that’s a lot of things unresolved.

      lots of good things to talk about before trying to add a kid to this mix. I feel you, I’m in a similar situation with 2 demanding jobs and a dog and I don’t know how the hell people add a child to this mix (other than the woman taking over everything which I refuse to do)

      • Why did you assume, out of thin air, that she was not forthcoming about the job?

        And, what do you mean they did not have “real expectations of how you would collectively take care of” the dog? She was very clear that HE, and not she, would take care of the dog. He alone.

        You are putting a lot of pressure on OP that contradicts your statement about refusing to be the woman who takes over everything. Why are you creating these expectations for her? Her husband is being a petulant manchild who whines and wants her to drive him around like his mommy and help him take care of his puppy because it’s too much work for his busy mantime gym schedule. It’s not on her.

        • Best of luck :

          just trying to give credence to both sides here – there’s obviously a lot of mismanaged expectations on both sides. and the bigger fact is that they’re married – these are legitimate issues to work through. It’s not on her, but it’s absolutely on both of them to work through the situation.

          if he’s a petulant manchild, then she already married him and it’s time to figure some things out

          • They both need to work through it, but you’re placing half the responsibility for the problem on her. “Maybe you weren’t totally forthcoming about the job”– absolutely zero evidence to suggest that. “You guys got a puppy without real expectations of how you would collectively take care of it.”– NO. She said she will not take care of it. Period. Be aware of how you’re blaming her because this happens to women a lot and it’s not cool. From the information presented here, she did everything she was supposed to do. It is not acceptable (and it is sexist) to invent reasons for the blame to lie equally with her.

    • I would 100% not TTC with this guy. If he is this unreasonable about a dog, I can’t imagine what it would be like with kids.

      You just started a new job! Answer is you work 8am-6pm. End of discussion. Just keep repeating that.

      Plus if you are TTC in the future, now is the time when you want to lean hard into the facetime as balancing kids and facetime, especially early on is tricky. Build your credibility and worth now, use it later. Don’t start a new job leaving early!

      As an example, I have an inflexible schedule. DH has a long commute so he got permission to WFH two days a week and does all drop offs of all three kids every morning plus picks up twice a week to make our lives work. Our jobs just have different requirements. In exchange, I handle a lot of the family logistics planning from my desk at lunchtime.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, absolutely no TTC unless and until he grows up and decides to be a reasonable adult. Your work hours are your work hours and no amount of whining by him is going to change that.

      • anonshmanon :

        That was also my first thought.
        What I don’t get is, you’ve laid this out for us clear as day and he doesn’t get it at all? Are you communicating as clear as possible with each other?
        The point where I would start is “When we talked about getting the puppy, I made my ok dependent on the dog being your responsibility. I thought we had an agreement on that. What changed?”

    • Hire a dog walker.

    • if DH is upset now about a dog, how will he handle a child?

      Curious, since this was all upfront and he agreed to these parameters before you started. it sounds like he is also in an office setting and knows how critical establishing your presence is, esp in the first 90 days.

      what is the plan after you have kids? He comes off as pretty immature (cut class to be with me is what sprang to mind) and selfish to want you to leave so he can have a good commute and gym time and not take care of the dog he wanted but I could be missing something.

      are the offices far from home? if not, maybe he can uber/public transit home. beyond the practical, however, I think deeper conversations are needed, perhaps with a professional therapist.

      good luck!

    • 1) Regardless of whether DH “gets it” or not, you cannot and should not leave at 5. You just can’t.

      2) He should not have gotten a dog. Both of you work too much to have a dog. But now you have the dog. The solution to this is the dog walker that you already have.

      3) He is “stuck” taking care of the dog because he agreed to take care of the dog when you agreed to get the dog. The dog is not your obligation. If he needs to go to the gym, he can arrange for the dog walker/ dog sitter/ whomever to come take care of the dog.

      4) This is not entirely about the dog. This is about DH NOT LISTENING TO YOU. He is not listening to you. Your husband is not listening to you. You have told him that your new job is different. It is not flexible. He is ignoring that. He is not listening when you tell him your job IS. NOT. FLEXIBLE. It is not flexible. Say it nine thousand times. (I emphasize this point so much because we have this problem at my house sometimes.)

    • I think that you are right about maintaining the strict 8-6 schedule since that is something that seems non-negotiable at your firm, mainly because you are new. It sounds like that is the expectation with the benefit of not working after hours and weekends.

      This may sound drastic but can you rehome the puppy or hire a dog sitter? It is extremely difficult for my family to have a dog with two full time jobs, no matter how flexible.

      • This.

        My firm doesn’t have a lot of weekend or evening work but as a result, strict adherence to office hours is expected. A new employee leaving early, without an arrangement specifically approved in advance, would not be employed for long. A new employee asking for accommodation to walk their dog would not be approved and the employee’s reputation for making such a request would be negatively impacted. Sick child or parent needing care and need to leave early? Happens to everyone. Regularly (even twice weekly) leaving an hour early to walk a dog? Unless, there work is outstanding or highly specialized/necessary – they risk a serious chance of being let go after 90 days as not a good fit for our firm.

      • Disagree slightly– I work a ton and got a dog and while it’s definitely a responsibility, it’s a problem you can totally throw money at. Have your dog walked more or send him to daycare. Of course, whether your husband still WANTS a dog is a different story.

        Sidenote this is why there are so many dogs is shelters… never get a dog unless EVERYONE in the house wants a dog.

    • I don’t even see where the disagreement here is. He is asking you to do things that you simply can’t do. You have to work from 8-6. If he catches a ride with you, he has to wait until 6 or catch a ride home. It is his dog. You have a dog walker (!!!). He has the more flexible schedule. I honestly would simply keep doing what you have to do which is not leave work until 6 and literally ignore him when he tries to whine or argue about it – literally repeat ad nauseam “you know I can’t do that, I won’t discuss this”. If he calls or texts you about it, ignore, send to voicemail. You have no choice, point blank. Just don’t engage – my husband hates this but is used to my “I said what I said and I mean what I said” with things that have no compromise.

      The only middle point I can see is having the dog walker come a little later and put the dog back in the crate until you get home. I had a dog walker come around 2 or 3 pm so the dog could let off steam and only wait a few hours before humans came home.

      On another note, your husband clearly doesn’t respect you or your job by insisting you sabotage yourself in a brand new position for an animal that only he wanted and that is already taken care of. That is the real conversation you need to have.

      • +1

        I would not leave at 5:45 2-3 days a week. You say you have fixed hours and they’re monitored. That means this is not a discussion. If he can’t respect that, he doesn’t respect you.

        • +1 again

          If the hours are strictly enforced, leaving 15 minutes early is not cool and can easily make a worse impression than you realize.

    • AnotherAnon :

      Sorry you’re dealing with this. My DH has a flexible work schedule and he absolutely doesn’t understand why I have to be at work 40 hours per week. I have to constantly remind him I can’t just “leave at noon on Friday so we can travel.” That’s not how a normal job works. DH is a lawyer, so he’s not dumb, he just doesn’t understand this work arrangement (even though it’s the norm). Some things I have done to help him understand this: I am very clear about my work hours, and remind him often. I do not make special exceptions (even if it would be ok with my supervisor) to take off work or leave early. I do not help him out of jams he’s gotten into due to lack of scheduling. If he scheduled a dentist appointment during a work day when our son is out of school – he needs to find child care because I am not backup child care. I have a job. This sounds mean written out, but he will not understand unless I do these things. Gently, your DH needs to take care of the dog, or you need to rehome her. I have a kid. It’s hard. You can’t just leave work to watch your kid so DH can go to the gym. He’s being selfish and unreasonable; I am too at times, but it’s not beyond the pale for my spouse to point that out to me and help me rein it in. Good luck – sorry it’s hard right now. I think his job stress is exacerbating this like you said so maybe try to help him with coping strategies there too (like a different time to go to the gym – maybe he needs to get up earlier).

    • Yeah, he’s being selfish. If he wants to leave at 5 but you can’t leave until 6, either he accepts that and stays late or drives himself. He also needs to figure out something else for the gym. Either he go early in the morning, at lunch, or after he’s taken care of the dog. You can also take care of the dog, but not before 6. Hopefully eventually he’ll get that you don’t have flexible hours right now and he’ll step up to take care of things himself.

    • Yikes, please don’t start off a new job leaving early – what a bad first impression that could make. Honestly l, you need to just say “my work hours are 8-6. I will leave work at 6 every night”. When he says “how about 5:30,” just repeat what you said.

    • On the dog thing :

      Adding a dog to a new dynamic/schedule is something we did my first year of practice and it was so hard! I felt like until the 1 year mark, we were struggling to get in a groove and not feel resentful of all the work each person was putting into taking care of the dog. It’s hard to prioritize things when you have a small animal you have to take care of (I know, I know, it’s not a baby, but the first few months, you are sleep-deprived and can’t leave it for a super long time, even with a walker). I think dogs do require adjustment to schedules when you go from DINKs to DINKs with a puppy.

      I think you need to have a sit-down conversation with your spouse and put it all on the table–your schedule, the gym, whatever is most important for you guys. Then consider ways you can create a routine that makes everyone happy. It’s not the most efficient thing, but my husband and I had to use our two cars for a bit during this time because timing our commutes was not going to work if one of us wanted to go to the gym after work. Nowadays, we swap off, sometimes he goes to the gym in the morning and gets ready there, while I feed/get dog ready for the day/drop-off at daycare and go to the gym at night, and some days it’s reversed. Same with days I have happy hours or late night at the office (he usually does pick up from day care and I do drop off).

      Something to consider if both of you are first-time dog owners, is that the dog will be fine until 6:30, if you have a walker. For the first few months, I felt like a horrible human for being in a crazy job with a puppy, but it worked fine and she was fine and we all survived. Consider looking into dog daycare–a few days a week for our pup means really sleep dog in the in-between days, which results in us having a bit of a freer schedule and not feeling bad that the dog walker is the only entertainment the dog is getting for the day. There are some cities that have pick up and drop off daycare services–or one way. Our dog walker picks up our dog and drops off one day a week, which is on our longest day (dog gets home around 6, we get home around 8/8:30–dog is pooped from day care and just sleeps until we are home). Basically, there are many solutions to the scheduling problem, but it all starts with the two of you deciding what is most important in the schedule and how to make it happen.

      • I’m confused how this applies to OP. They got the dog on the condition that he does 100% of dog care. They don’t need to negotiate dog care. He just needs to do what he promised and keep his word.

        Agree with your advice for a couple who both wanted a dog. But it’s his dog not their dog.

    • “I also know that people are paying attention to when I’m in the office since they know I came from a “flexible” work environment.”

      If this the case, you absolutely cannot leave early period. Do not risk your job for his gym time. If he continues to push, think carefully about what that says about how he values your employment. Unless you plan to be a SAHM, you want him to value your employment or you will face pressure to quit post-kids.

      • If I were inclined to give him suggestions, it would be that he find a gym near work, so he can go at 5 when he’s ready to leave work and be done by 6 when you are ready. There – he gets his gym time in without you having to leave work.

        But I can only imagine him shooting that down because it’s not what HE wants to do.

    • I wouldn’t have agreed to the two days. You took a job with set hours. He knew that and you knew that. He needs to stop trying to reinvent the rules. I would not leave one second before 6, ever, and I would absolutely stick to it. In fact, I would refuse to discuss it.

      He is being the ultimate man child and sometimes you just have to do what you would do with an actual child – we have discussed this, these are the rules, this is not open for negotiation.

    • I would be livid if my partner was asking me to sabotage my job because he got a dog he no longer wants to take care of even though he promised to, or wants to do something that is not required like go to the gym. Absolutely not. Do not compromise on leaving early.

      • Equestrian Attorney :

        You cannot start a new job by leaving earlier. That’s a recipe for disaster. He needs to get his own ride, and take care of the puppy. Assuming he is not a terrible person, you need to have a real talk about how this affect you and your career and work together to find alternative arrangements.

    • Ask him what is actually going on here. Presumably you did not marry a man who is as stupid and unreasonable as he is acting about this particular thing. Take a zillion steps back from trying to resolve the scheduling issue, because it’s not about scheduling.

      Idk exactly what’s going on here, but if I had to guess, it sounds like he thought that your new job would mean you’re taking a step back in your career and can be more available for home/dog/childcare stuff. He might be freaking out about TTC, and that’s manifesting in his concerns about the gym (if I can’t even get to the gym because of the dog what’s it going to be like with kids???). Or maybe it’s none of those things idk. But he has to use his words and tell you what is actually going on. Digging in his heels on this objectively boneheaded position is disrespectful to you and damaging to your marriage.

      • Thanks for the responses! I feel so much better knowing that my response to this wasn’t insane. A few things that might help explain this more:

        –Work hours are 8 to 6 generally. Most people do not strictly work that every day. I’ve gathered that I am expected to be available and in my office from about 8:30 to 5:30 and work about an additional hour beyond that. I do not think anyone cares when I leave at 5:45. If I had to leave earlier than 5:30, I would probably at least give the managing partner a heads up.
        — DH works in tech. He WFH one day a week. His job is not chained to a desk at all. (Like, he feels like the solution to this problem is for me to get a better home office.) He also is more senior in his job because tech skews younger, and he didn’t do grad school. He feels like I’m senior enough that I should be able to set my schedule. (I’m not, I’m a mid-level associate.)
        — DH struggles with his weight. Part of why I had agreed to the dog was because I thought it would make him exercise more… with the dog. I do legitimately want him to go to the gym, but I have no idea why this should affect my life because of all of the reasons y’all have said: he leaves work at 5, there is a gym near his office, etc.
        — I did take this job in part because of TTC. I did not have maternity leave before, and my old firm had no women. It was not a step back or leaning out thing. It’s actually the opposite, but it is a lot more family-friendly long-term.

        And yes, I do think there is something else going on here, and this argument about the dog is a proxy for it. I just have no idea what it is. I have made it pretty clear to him what my work schedule is, and he thinks I’m being overly paranoid, etc. I really do not get where this is coming from. Like, at my old job, where I’d be stuck filing briefs until 11, he would come and bring me dinner, and he has stepped up and taken over dinner/food generally while I’ve been in trial. He has also said that he is cool being a the primary caretaker of kids when we have them and has even joked about being a stay at home dad. Generally, he’s been very supportive of my career… until now. I just don’t get what is bringing this on.

        And as one poster commented, the dog is totally fine until 6:30. This should not even be an issue.

        • Anonymous :

          Because a lot of the responses highlighted 8-6 as mandatory hours and you are expressing that 8:30-5:30 + one hour elsewhere are the mandatory hours, I want to note that both your statements that “I really do not want to work the rest of the day at home, and this is part of why I changed jobs.” and “I also am trying really hard to come 8-6 to build up good will for when we start TTC in about a year and have childcare obligations. ” are 100% legitimate reasons to explain to DH that you have to work 8 -6pm

        • First Year Anon :

          It sounds to me he may have expected this job was going to make it so you’re more available and you’re not. He may have been supportive when you were in more demanding job, but now his expectations may have changed (rightly or wrongly). I’d be worried about TTC with him under these expectations.

        • Anonymous :

          This background is helpful. I went through something like this with an ex when I changed jobs. His work was similar to your husband’s – he started right after college so he was fairly senior, his start/end times were pretty flexible, except mine also never worked from home. When we first started dating, he accepted that my job had sh*tty hours and it was his turn to be supportive. When I switched firms, he expected all of those issues to magically disappear. Like all of a sudden I would have normal-to-him hours. He pushed back HARD on the concept of working hard(er) when you first start a new job.

          Ime it was indicative of bigger issues. He never liked my job or my hours but he put up with it “for me” because he knew I was so junior. But he expected there to be a light at the end of the tunnel when I could be more flexible – which basically meant have the same schedule he did. He’s an ex so obviously we didn’t really resolve this issue. Hopefully with you guys, this is an adjustment period where he lets go of his idea that everything will be perfect now that you have a new job.

        • One additional thought — I could be totally off but do you feel like everything in your relationship is up for negotiation — like all decisions (not just the big ones) have to be mutual? I’ve learned the hard way that I have to think of my own bottom line and boundaries with DH and then clearly communicate them. It’s a very different conversation to hear the other person out and then say this is what I’m okay with/this is what I’m not okay with/this is what I’m going to do, than to feel like you always have to come to an agreement on everything.

          • I think you may have actually identified the problem! (Or at least one of them.) I feel like he comes at every problem we have like it’s a discussion where we have to arrive at a mutual decision and both compromise… and while a lot of things in life are like that, a lot aren’t. Like we cannot compromise on my non-negotiable work schedule established by my job. This is probably a much more helpful way to start having this conversation with DH.

            Also, to clarify, new job is a step up with a significant pay increase (which he was aware of). My hours were crazy at my old job due to bad management by my boss. Like, I would have no billable work until 4 pm and then get hit with some “emergency” that would be due that evening, and I did not get paid leave of any kind so I was always having to make up hours from CLE or doctor’s appts.

  20. Two things stick out at me:

    1) Your new job has a strict 8am-6pm policy. This should be all DH needs to know– it’s perfectly reasonable and expected for you to work until 6pm every day.
    2) You agreed to the puppy on the condition that your DH take full responsibility. Has he forgotten this?

    Basically, it sounds like your husband is the type to agree to things in theory and then try to renegotiate when he doesn’t like how those things play out in real life. Remind him of the above two points. You’re already being generous by leaving a little early to take care of the dog 2 days/week.

    • Yep, this. I wouldn’t have children with this man. He was fine agreeing to take responsibility for the puppy when it was just an idea, but in reality he doesn’t want anything to inconvenience him in any way and expects you to make that happen. He’s being very immature and selfish.

      You have to work 8-6 and should never plan to leave early to care for the dog. That isn’t an emergency, it’s a lack of planning around your work schedule and isn’t an acceptable reason to leave early. He needs to take care of the puppy or he needs to arrange for the dog walker to come more often.

  21. I accidentally posted on yesterday’s coffee break but I was wondering about your experiences with work laptops.

    If you have a work laptop, do you take it home with you every night? It makes my life way easier to be able to do some work in the evenings but I’m realizing it also makes it too easy to work in the evenings, so I’m not really decompressing and taking a break.

    I’ve never had a work laptop like this before – my old jobs, I could remote in but it wasn’t as easy so I only did it when I had to.

    Just looking for some experiences with this!

    • Take it home only if I think I might need to work at home or the weather the next day is questionable (so may need to work from home due to weather). Otherwise it gets left at work. If it’s an emergency, I go in early but nothing will be fixed at 9pm that can’t be fixed at 6 or 7 am.

    • We are asked to bring our laptops home as party of our disaster recovery plan, so I do bring it daily. However, unless I have something specific I need to do, I don’t take it out. I found that if I brought it home and unbagged it, I was far too likely to get sucked into emails and other work.

    • Yes, we are expected to take laptops home for security reasons (my new one doesn’t have a locking docking station) and also in case of inclement weather. That said, I don’t ever work on it at night. I use it for personal stuff sometimes, but there is no expectation I use it to work just because I have to take it home. I don’t save lives, it can wait.

    • I take it home every day so if something comes up I can WFH. I also like to get up and check in with everything before getting ready in the mornings so that i can wait out the heaviest part of the commute.

      • Also – I worked at a company before my current one that had a bunch of docked laptops stolen from the office one night. Management (including me) decided then to enforce the existing rule that if you had a company laptop, you absolutely had to take it home every night. Otherwise they’d give you a desktop. But having a desktop meant no working from home, ever. Most of staff decided to keep the laptops and carry them back and forth. (We actually would walk the floors after everyone had left and see if anyone had left their laptop docked. It took a while for staff to realize we were serious.)

        In that period it became a habit for me and I’ve just stuck with it. It’s very handy to have it at all times because you never know what is going to come up.

    • Sometimes during the week, I’ll leave my laptop at work but I always take it home over the weekend.

      I have the ability to easily work from home, but I don’t work from home in the evenings.

      When winter starts I will definitely bring it home every night in case the weather is bad in the morning.

      Last week, I left it at work but I ended up having to take one of my cats to the emergency vet. Luckily I was able to swing by work on the way to the vet pick it up so I could work from home the rest of the day.

    • I take it home with me every night (BigLaw) because I not infrequently get pop up things that need to be handled after I leave or before I come in. That being said, if it doesn’t have to be done at night or before I get in, I just don’t do it, but if it does have to get done, I certainly would rather use the work laptop with VPN vs. using citrix from a home desktop.

      I also have a kid and other life stuff, so it’s not uncommon for me to unexpectedly decide to WFH in the morning to deal with these things, and having the laptop at home gives me that option.

    • Not a lawyer and in government where working weekends or evenings is rare. I don’t take it home with me unless I anticipate working from home the next day. I have a lock on my office door, and the building is locked, so I don’t worry about security.

    • Jennifer Markowski :

      I leave my laptop home most of the time, and only bring it to work once a week to sync for network updates, or if I know I’ll be out of the office for a large block of time. Most of the time it stays in the bag at home. I resist the urge to use it for personal stuff (email, shopping) because it’s so easy to just check my work email while I’m here and poof! there goes my relaxation time. I did enjoy logging in during early AM to prioritize the day, or Sunday night to plan the week, but now I’m in the gym instead.

    • I take it home for the just-it-case aspect – like deciding to WFH, or with the idea of maybe doing work at night/on weekend. It rarely comes out of my workbag, but I can pretend I’ll be productive.

      Also, snow is a real thing here, and it’s nice to be able to just stay home in case of crappy weather.

    • Always take my laptop home, every day. Mine does not have a locking dock, and it is not allowed to be unsecured/unsupervised at my desk.

    • Government – evening and weekend work is rare. I take mine home a few times a month if I think I will need to WFH the next day or will want to stay home for weather, or if I have an offsite conference or meeting where I’ll need it the next day.

    • We leave our laptops at home and have separate desktops at work. All in all I have a computer with two monitors at each of my office locations + a laptop

  22. reposting - help shopping for petite clothes :

    Need your London intel….I am going to be in London for work, and have a day free. I thought I would use this time to shop for clothes. Which shops should I go to – I am petite, size 6, normally shop at Ann Taylor/Loft online, narrow shoulders, short torso. Prefer classics that last me a long time, since I am not an adventurous shopper. Budget is within $50-100. All suggestions would help.

    • Anonymous :

      I would go to The Fold. Please try on everything and report back! Their clothes look beautiful online.

  23. I am seriously lusting after this:
    https://www.tedbaker.com/uk/Womens/Clothing/Jackets-and-Coats/SANDRA-Midi-wool-wrap-coat-Deep-Purple/p/147603-DP-PURPLE

    Anyone have it or can speak to Ted Baker quality in general? Is it warm enough for mid Atlantic winters without excessive layering?

    • I tried this on last year in the pink. It’s pretty but I found the belt lumpy and unflattering. It seemed pretty warm when I tried it on.

    • I have last year’s version of this coat in black. I love the style and the cut is very flattering for my figure. However, it is a little thin and the materials don’t stand up to colder upper Midwest winter days. The hardware on the end of the tie sash are kinda clunky and I have to pay attention that I don’t hit myself or other things when I’m tying the belt. This winter I am keeping my eye out for something that has a higher wool content.

    • I have the shorter version of this in black from a few years ago. I love it and have gotten my money’s worth. If I needed multiple wool wrap coats I would consider another color/length.

      Absolutely warm enough (source: walking commute in Chicago winter) but unless they’ve changed he top buttons buttoning it all the way up is kind of annoying. I frequently wear the top unbuttoned/folded over and add a light scarf/pashmina. See the dark blue – no scarf but shows the folded look.

    • Anonymous :

      This is my dream coat, but I skew slightly broad shouldered and found it was too tight across the shoulders for me.

    • I have the long version from a few years ago in black (Lea Michelle wore it on the one season of Glee in hot pink). I am very happy with the coat and no regrets about the purchase. I am in the lower Midwest and the coat is warm enough for the hike from parking to court hearings with a full suit under it in all but the coldest weather, when I add a large Burberry wrap over it. As another poster added, buttoning the collar all the way up is a pain and I also add a scarf when it is milder out.

      I have several Ted Baker pieces (dress, scarves, this coat) and find that they are above average in quality. I do prefer to pick them up on sale and find pieces pretty often at Nordies and the Rack and occasionally on eBay.

      That purple is gorgeous.

  24. I love this dress. I also went to the Target web site, and there are a number of other promising looking items in this collection. Has anyone tried any of it on, and so can comment on fit, sizing, quality?

  25. What’s the oddest compliment you’ve ever received?

    I got a cute pair of ankle boots at the Nordstrom sale over the summer. I wore them for the first time out to dinner with BF. BF is very well-intentioned but compliments are definitely not his strong suit. I know I have to basically ask for compliments. So I did – Look I got new shoes aren’t they great? Don’t I look amazing? His “compliment”? “Yes you seem to be walking very well in them.” Lol ok I’ll take it, A for effort. Anyone else have anything similar?

    • When I was first trying to wear lower heeled shoes my huband said my new shoes looked “comfortable” – which meant I had totally missed the mark!

    • Anon for this :

      “Your uterine lining is beautiful!” –fertility treatment nurse

    • Seattle Freeze :

      Ha, probably the note left under the windshield wiper of my pickup truck when I went to the store late one night. I’d just bought a full-size long box Ford F150 in preparation for a cross-country move. The note read “Nothing like a blonde babe in a cool pickup!” It’s one of the few times I’ve ever been referred to as a babe, but I think my initial reaction was that yes, my truck WAS cool! And then gratitude that it was a note and not some dude yelling it at me in a dark parking lot.

    • When I was 8.5 months pregnant in the subway, a performer with a microphone told me ‘damn, that’s what sexy looks like! At that point, I was just confused, not skeeved out.

  26. Anxious Betty :

    Tips for managing anxiety until I can see a new psychiatrist next month? I’ve suffered from anxiety for the last 15 years, and I’ve been on an SSRI for 8 years through my GP. Since I weaned my daughter this summer, my anxiety has been much worse, and my current medication is not helping. I’ve had more than a dozen panic attacks in the last two months, and my anxiety is interfering with my enjoyment of life and ability to sleep. I’ve scheduled an appointment with a psychiatrist, but can’t be seen for 3 weeks. I need to figure out how to manage until then, so any tips or well wishes would be very much appreciated.

    • Meditation App to help with settling to sleep.

      Increase magnesium – either epsom salt baths or supplements (I like a brand called ‘calm’)

      Get outside as much as you can.

      Regular exercise to the extent you can – some is better than none. A walk in fresh air – even if just around the block can be helpful.

      Gardening – either the real outside kind or the inside kind (either solo or with DH)

      In a panic attack, I try to focus on five things – what can I smell, hear, see touch, feel – in that order. Usually helps ground me.

    • Oh my gosh, I am so very sorry for you. You are in my thoughts.
      In terms of tips/ticks – can you try to exercise a bit before bed? Some nights a good hard workout (so hard, I have to think about what I’m doing to get through it and nothing else) is about the only thing that helps. Meditation is not helpful for me, but oddly, watching ASMR videos does? Having something calming to listen to makes me sleepy/drift off right away.

    • Did you tell the psych’s office that you’ve had more than 6 panic attacks per month? That seems like enough of an emergent issue that perhaps they can move some things around to get you in earlier.

    • Anonymous :

      Have you been evaluated for an autonomic disorder? Is your blood sugar stable? How’s your blood pressure? Sometimes people who have had panic attacks from anxiety previously reproduce the panic attack reaction to physiological triggers. If this is a sudden uptick, you may need a thorough medical examination as well.

  27. I am super lusting after this: https://www.tedbaker.com/us/Womens/Clothing/Jackets-And-Coats/SANDRA-Midi-wool-wrap-coat-Dark-Green/p/150459-DK-GREEN

    Can anyone speak to it’s quality, warmth, or Ted Baker in general?

  28. I am 50 and I live and work in the Bay Area. I was on BART yesterday in the city at 5:30 so I was with mostly people who were commuting home. I don’t take BART for my commute any more but I used to when I was in my 20s and 30s and being there reminded me of that, when I used to be wearing my suit and my flat commuting shoes (not sneakers, though some people did that), and carrying my briefcase/tote kind of thing.

    Yesterday there was not one single person in a suit. The women were mostly wearing athleisure. The men were wearing jeans and tees or jeans and a button shirt, but the shirt was untucked. Everyone wore sneakers.

    I don’t wear suits anymore either but i wear the kinds of clothing we discuss here – blouses and skirts and structured cardigans and low heeled shoes – and now I wonder if I’m some sort of relic of the past. Like the older ladies I used to see in my twenties who were still wearing hats and gloves.

    Am I just completely past it or is this just a San Francisco thing? (I have a car commute to an office park in the suburbs. I’m head of office. and one of the few women there so I don’t have a lot of peer comparison.)

    • What they wear doesn’t matter. Your dress depends on your office environment full stop. You work in a suburban office park. They probably work in start-ups or purposefully casual tech or tech adjacent companies. Don’t compare yourself to them, what you wear is exceedingly common for most other offices. I agree that a full suit in most places has gone the way of the dinosaur, but business casual is by far the widespread norm in professional offices.

      • I hear what you are saying but I am in a way establishing the dress code at my office as the head of office and senior woman on staff. That’s why I’m asking.

        • Anonymous :

          In that case, take a hard look at whether any dress code is truly necessary for people to fulfill their job in your field. Once you have done that, just be mindful of the colleagues around you, and whether they emulate your preferred style or not, giving them opportunities and stretch assignments based on their skills and performance. No reason to doubt your own style, though.

          • Yeah I don’t establish the dress code, which is established corporate-wide and largely ignored.

            I’m head of a regional office. I suppose I just lead by example. Which I guess is why I’m being introspective about this. I don’t think I have any influence over the dudes, but I don’t want the younger women to … I don’t know what, feel dressed inappropriately I guess because of me.

    • Kat Lee Dune :

      +1 but I’m 54 and live and work in Manhattan. I started noticing this on the subway after taking an 18 month sabbatical. Granted, my work wardrobe (corporate drag, if you will) was modeled after Michelle Obama, i.e., colorful pencil skirts, blouses, cardigans, and kitten heels or flats. I’m off this look now too, and have only worn sneakers, denim, comfortable cropped pants or midi skirts, and sharp tailored blazers. I work from home mostly, except for meeting clients or court appearances. Skirt suit? It’s been ages since I’ve worn one. I still keep two in my closet though.

    • Overdressed :

      It’s not just you! I’m in my early 30s, work in tech, spend most of my days commuting via car in the South Bay, train up to SF 1x-2x/week. I will say that I wear skinny jeans and a more casual top (chambray button-down, thick t-shirt, cardigan) and “fashionable” flat shoes (brogues, keds, riding boots) when I do the train commute. But when I car commute, I’m in pencil skirts or sheath dresses, and I’m always overdressed at the office. My personal style and preferred workwear is more formal, and once people get used to it, they stop asking if I have an interview/mentioning that “You look nice today…” with the inquisitive face. One of the men in my office has a similar schedule to me, and we’ve had a couple of conversations about how our discipline tends to dress nicer, we both agree that wearing shorts in the office should not be A Thing (again, tech… devs have a pretty low bar for what they consider to be dressed), closed-toe shoes, etc. But when he wore a button-down shirt the other day, I commented that he looked nice and he said he was accompanying an exec to a meeting. So even us old souls get a laugh out of dressing “fancy”.

    • I think women’s work clothes have changed over the last 10-15 years from having to parallel men (e.g. suit, button down and skirts) to having their own standards (e.g. sheath dress works for a situation where a man would wear a blazer no tie). I think you can look at what local newscasters wear as an example — women used to wear blazers, now mostly are equally dressed up w/o blazers. What you’re wearing sounds good to me but maybe think of just wearing a blouse in a situation where you used to wear a blazer. Of course, suits for court, job interviews, key client meetings etc.

    • But the economy and the kinds of jobs available to millennials (who are in their 20s and 30s) is different. There aren’t as many of those corporate type jobs around for us so of course there aren’t as many of us dressed for them.

  29. Anyone want to do some Friday shopping? Black tie optional wedding, December, able to wear a regular bra.

  30. Connecting to a teen :

    Does anyone have advice for building a closer relationship with my 14 year old sister? I’m nearly 30, live in another state and haven’t lived in the same home as her since she was 4. She struggles with anxiety and recently told her therapist that she wished she had a sister closer in age that she could turn to. :(

    It’s obvious that I need to do better to be present and engaged. When Ive tried to reach out I don’t get much of a response (one word text responses, not answering the phone) and I don’t want to nag her. She’s a typical teen – close to friends, I’m an Old to her – but she’s a good, sensitive, artistic person that I love very much.

    Any general advice on how I can improve would be greatly appreciated.

    • Go with shorter more frequent communication. Use text not the phone.

      What are her interests? Text her if you notice her fav band is playing in our city and invite her to come visit. Send her a link to a top in her fav color.

      Build a habit of quick texts everyday/every couple days and the relationship will build from there. Share your
      daily struggles (“I have the worst luck – just spilled coffee all over my new dress. Hope your day is better.”) and that will help her open up to you.

      • Yes, text her once or twice a week. Maybe you guys can exchange funny memes or animal pics or something to start breaking the ice?

    • Remember it’s not your fault that you’re not closer in age to her. To a certain extent, that’s something she’ll just have to learn to live with. She’s got to want to connect, too, for anything to work. It’s not entirely on you.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes but a 14 year old in therapy for anxiety is likely not confident about improving a sibling relationship.

    • Delta Dawn :

      So sweet of you to want to do this. Can you think of yourself a bit more like a cool aunt? I know she’s your sister, but maybe an aunt perspective will help you navigate the age difference. Can you ask your parents what she’s into? Maybe there is a netflix series she likes that you could also get into. Or maybe you can just ask her (via text– I heavily agree with the advice to text rather than call) if she has any netflix recommendations for you. Ask her if there’s a movie she wants to see and if she would come with you to see it. You can hang out but don’t have to talk the whole time because, movie. You said she’s artistic– what kind of art? For example, if it’s painting, you could pick up a couple paints in colors you like and ask if she’d be willing to make you some art for your office, your home, etc.

    • the yellow one is the sun :

      This is the age gap between me and my younger sister. We had a family tragedy when she was that age, so perhaps more acute but similar situation in that she was in therapy and needed my support, and we hadn’t had a chance to get very close given our age gap and living far away.

      Honestly I think the best thing I did was make it a priority to spend time with her. We were in different states but it was not totally out of the question to drive for a weekend visit, think 4-6 hours one way, and I saw her at least once a month in the immediate aftermath of the aforementioned event. Again, that situation was intense and that level of contact is probably a bit more than would be necessary for generally working on connecting, but I really think at that age spending time together in person is critical. I took her to a nearby city to stay overnight and see a photography exhibit and other “cool” outings my parents wouldn’t have been up for, but we did simple stuff too – often when I’d visit we’d go out to a movie then to some easy chain restaurant for dessert afterward, and she would end up confiding in me over whatever ridiculous chocolate lava skillet she picked out. I also had her stay with me for a week in the summers for a couple of years, and we had fun planning a big trip for her high school graduation.

      I also agree on the intermittent casual contact, like sharing memes in DMs on instagram or whatever app she’s into.

      It got a little easier as she got older, of course. It’s SUCH a big gap, and a hybrid mother/sister role can be difficult to avoid and can cause friction, but I tried hard not to see her as a little kid and to be what she needed.

    • Wendalette :

      I’m 21 years older than my sister! Now, I did have a close relationship with her (hybrid sister/parent), but moved out of state when she was about 10. My experience:
      Definitely with the texts; nothing too heavy at first, and not with any expectation of a conversation. Even if she sends nothing but an emoji in response, consider it a win!
      Calls are good just to say you’re thinking about her and too see how she’s doing, or to get her take on something.
      Absolutely spend time with her; go up to see her, invite her to visit you. This was awesome for my sis as she was having conflicts with mom; she got to vent and ask about my life as a teen with mom, I got to share lessons learned (while still backing up mom’s authority), they both got a break from each other and sis and I got to hang out and have fun–we each picked an activity we liked and thought the other might enjoy.
      One other thing, cards and letters by actual postal mail made my sister feel extra special, that even though I’m an old, I took the time and effort to document in a tangible way and also in words that I thought she was worth that time, effort and, yes, money I spent on her.

  31. [Repeat Post- Last time I promise, just want to make sure I reach out to everyone]
    Hello all,

    I moved to the area fairly recently and would love to meet some of the rette’s out in the real world and perhaps create some long-term friendships.

    DH and I are hosting an open house in the LA-area this Saturday. If you are free and would like to join us, send me an email at larette00 at gmail and I can send you the invite.

    p.s.- Thank you to everyone who encouraged us to go ahead and do it despite the number of guests on our list

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t know that we’re going to make it (are going to be on the West Side in the morning and have a party on the East Side on the evening) but just want to thank you for the invitation and send you good hostessing vibes!! Have fun!!

  32. Having a rough Friday morning. (On the West Coast.)
    Just read an article about people from my law class (2007) being appointed to the Bench (Cal.); and I think “what have I been doing the last 10 years?!”
    An office co-worker brings “treats” for the entire office “just because it’s Friday”, which I gladly eat but think “Why don’t I do nice things like that?”
    Another office co-worker with two little ones comes to the office impeccably but appropriately dressed for a Friday, and here I am wearing an old dress that I threw on. (No kids, just woke up late.)
    Ugh!! Need to get it together. So no question but just posting because I love reading this site with all of your ideas and support when I get home. Have a great weekend!

    • Anonymous :

      If it makes you feel better, I have a baby and look really good this morning but it’s because a 9 am meeting got cancelled so I slept in a bit and took the time to really put myself together. This is rare for me and I definitely don’t feel like I have it all together most days. You never know what goes on behind the scenes!

      • 15 years ago a woman came into my office asking for advice since I “had it all together.” (What?!) She went on to say I dressed attractively and acted pleasantly professional after just having a baby and that she basically wanted to be me. She was a few years younger and also had a new baby. She seemed really surprised to learn that I was wearing two non-matching earrings (by mistake) and generally never felt prepared or ahead of anything schedule-wise. I have always been in the habit of showering daily and wearing minimal make-up so maybe that was fooling her.
        To this day, I use it as a reminder to myself that 90% is just showing up reasonably kempt, reminding oneself that the entire country is tired, too, and pressing on. :)

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I’m wearing my laziest of lazy outfits (grey sweater w/ visible fold creases, the same black ankle pants I wore Monday, gray booties), snoozed the alarm for 15 minutes and have literally never brought a baked good in for my coworkers. A high-school friend who is a literal brain surgeon just posted pics from his impromptu trip to Florence and I realized that I never actually stopped the “winter bulk” I started a year ago.

      Hang in there. We have to remind ourselves to run our own race.

    • Anonymous :

      Seconded! You never know what someone else has under the surface. Maybe the Bench appointee is failing at keeping their marriage together. Or the co-worker who brought treats is battling mental health issues. Or the well dressed co-worker is struggling with parenting.

      Wow this went grim.

      But its just to say that everyone has their baggage they’re working through. We all have our highs and our lows and you should compare their highs to your full life. Comparison is the thief of joy and I bet you have a bunch of awesome enviable qualities.

      • FWIW, I’ve tried to train myself NOT to feel better by assuming Successful Pretty Person has something secretly awful going on. As if the law of averages requires someone who has something you’re envious of to also have an equally negative attribute. Sometimes… people are just successful and pretty. And that can be annoying but… do your best to let it go.

        • Senior Attorney :

          And also? We all have seasons in our lives. Right now I am on a pretty big upswing but oh my dear sweet Lord it has not always been thus. When you get to be as (shockingly with a huge number ending in zero) old as I am, you realize that there are good times and bad times, and none of them lasts forever, and… run your own race with as much grace as you can muster.

        • +1 and more :

          I have been friends with a few successful and pretty people. As I got to know them better, I realized that these friends almost always work a lot harder at being pretty and successful than other people. It sounds elementary but I do not think that people who knew them on the surface understood that these women were staying up later than most attending to details and getting up earlier than most to exercise and blow dry their hair. Instead people tend to think “She’s just naturally pretty and successful.” It is very interesting to watch closely.

        • Anonymous :

          There’s truth to this, and I definitely agree there are successful, wealthy, beautiful people in happy marriages who love their kids and have close relationships with their parents and siblings, and basically want for nothing. Sometimes when people questions like this here, people act like every person has really Big Picture stuff going wrong behind the scenes, like the skinny woman must be secretly anorexic or the seemingly happily-married couple must be cheating on each other or whatever and I agree that acting like everyone has something majorly wrong is silly.

          But the things this OP is talking about are a bit more minor – we all have days where were look frumpy or our hair is badly styled or whatever or where we don’t have time to get coffee because we’re running so late and I do think it can be helpful to remember that everyone has bad days, and disappointments and failures – some are bigger than others, but nobody gets through life without suffering some setbacks. And if you don’t realize that, it can be hard to be happy with your own (very normal) life because your expectations need to be adjusted.

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