Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Shoulder Tuck Top

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

I think I prefer this Halogen top to the tie-neck style from yesterday — I really like the tuck detail at the shoulder, and the notched V-neck would be gorgeous under a blazer. The blouse is also machine wash cold, tumble dry low. Nordstrom has a couple of colors/patterns on sale for $35; the patterns at full price are $59. The available sizes are regular XS-XXL and petite XXS-XL. Shoulder Tuck Top

Here’s a plus-size option, also at Nordstrom.

UPDATE: The Nordstrom Winter Sale has officially started! Stay tuned later today for an update with some of my top picks in the sale. 

Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

    Looking for suggestions of little surprises to tuck inside cinch sacks I’m gifting to a couple of octogenarian travelers. What makes traveling in a foreign country easier?

    • Anonymous :

      A plug converter, a map of the location, small currency, sleep mask, ear plugs, individually packed wet wipes, pack of tissues, small tin of hard candy.

      • Those laminated maps that fold really easily are awesome. And I’m assuming the octegenarians will be particularly excited about maps over using their phones. Bonus that the maps are reusable. Available for most major cities at bookstores or AAA stores.

        • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

          You’re exactly right about their map preference.

          I think I’m getting them a powercube with two USB ports and interchangeable plugs. It isn’t a converter, but at least they can plug their phones in.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes to the powercube! And a note about those: All the airports I’ve ever been through have signs saying “no batteries,” but I’ve carried my powercube in my purse all over the world and it’s never been a problem. So tell them not to stress about that aspect of it. Also I got this amazing converter/charger with interchangeable plugs for every country: If they travel a lot it’s a great thing to have.

          • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

            Now I’m curious about what you mean by Powercube. This is what I’m thinking of. It has no batteries.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Oh I’m confused. You were talking about exactly what I was talking about at the end of my post. I was talking about an external battery for the phone, like this:

          • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

            OHhh! I’m glad I asked. I was afraid it sounded like nitpicking, but that or a memory case is a really good idea.

          • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

            Battery. That or a battery case.

    • Anonymous :

      All of the above (especially the tissues!), plus a small change purse to hold the foreign currency so you’re not digging around trying to separate the quarters from the yen or centavos.

    • lawsuited :

      Advil and Immodium

    • Anonymouse :

      Cord tacos (or similar):

    • This is super-dorky, but I love to have a little pack of Post-It tape flags handy to mark a guidebook with. Then you don’t have to take a long time to flip to the attractions you want to see for the day, or the maps you use most–right at your fingertips. I usually stick a bunch on the inside of my guidebook before I go.

      I also keep band-aids and pre-cut moleskin patches with me when I tourist because blisters.

      Hand sanitizer or wet wipes, depending on how rugged the trip is.

    • Anonymous :

      This is sweet. Do they have their phone set-up figured out? If not, figuring that out for them would be a big help. (Not what you are asking, but…)

      • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

        Sounds like you know us. We are their first stop for tech support on any device.

    • Hand sanitizer, lip balm with SPF, powder sunscreen.

    • I was always happy to have an aluminum flask/S’well bottle with me in Europe. I carried a large enough bag to stash it every day and used it constantly. Others may tourist with less baggage. It is light when empty, saves $$, and kept me quenched during long tours of historic sites, train rides, etc.

    • Universal outlet adapter, small hand sanitizers, Kleenex. If they have hearing aids, some nice over-the-ear headphones (not earbuds). My grandparents really like the necklace-style passport/money holders, but they are a little unfashionable so know your audience. I love the water bottle suggestion – my favorite for traveling are Vapur bottles (bags?). My grandma also LOVES packing cubes. If you know their shoe sizes (or generally can guess), I think socks designed for hiking (like Darn Tough) are great for trips with lots of walking.

      As a pharmacist, I would say to not give them OTC medicines as they may already be on different medications that interact.

      • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

        Good point about interactions. They each have one of those pillboxes with separate compartments for morning, noon, and night. The closest I plan to come to meds is little “single serving” pillboxes so they can take their midday meds with them on longer days.

  2. Overthinking this, right? :

    I sent out an email to dinner party attendees asking about dietary restrictions. One person came back and said she is vegetarian. I’m planning to make something very cheese heavy – should I email back and say “hey, just checking – is cheese okay?” or just assume it’s fine since she didn’t specifically say vegan? (Also, not a close friend, so would like to avoid extra emails if I can.)

    • anonymous :

      I’m a vegetarian, and most people will double check with me about cheese/eggs and sometimes even seafood. You should email back and it won’t be a big thing.

    • Anonymous :

      I wouldn’t bother. I’m vegetarian and would never assume that people should cook vegan.

    • Anonymous :

      Assume it’s fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d assume it’s fine – I think if she was vegan or lactose-intolerant she’d probably say that explicitly.

    • I’d assume that was fine but you can check if it makes you feel better. I’m going to a friend’s for dinner and she emailed to see if I had any pregnancy food aversions. Totally unnecessary as I’d eat my shoe to avoid being rude but very much appreciated (gag thinking about butternut squash)

    • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

      I’m vegetarian and I don’t mean vegan. I think you’re fine.

      If this bugs you, one thing you could do without all the extra emails is make sure the other dishes could be a meal, possibly with “extensions” for this person. If everyone is eating plain dinner rolls, have some pb or hummus they could spread on theirs. If you’re serving a mixed greens salad, have some quinoa or other grain that they can mix in with theirs. This is probably completely unneccessary, but if it keeps you from worrying, could be worth it. Note that the add-ons I suggested are things you could buy weeks in advance or might already have.

    • At home and at restaraunts I eat vegan. But for house parties I will tell the hostesses vegetarian. I find it’s less scary to meat eaters and doesn’t connote the same ethical implications. Plus it’s ‘easier’ for the host to cook. Lots of my friends do the same thing, so I knows its fairly common

    • Why assume? If you’re wrong then you’re up for an uncomfortable night. It’s a quick email, and I can’t see any reason why a follow up question would be troublesome. And you know what they say about assuming…

      • Why in the world would that be uncomfortable for the host? If the guest can’t clearly and accurately state their dietary restrictions when directly asked, that’s on them.

        • Baconpancakes :

          Hosts tend to feel uncomfortable when their guests are uncomfortable, no matter whose fault it is.

          • Go Granny & Gramps, Go! :

            Correction, Baconpancakes: good hosts are uncomfortable when their guests are uncomfortable. Tbere are apparently crap hosts who shrug their guests’ comfort off & say “that’s on them”.

      • anonymama :

        It’s hardly an overreaching assumption to assume that when you ask about dietary restrictions, and someone gives you an answer, that the answer includes all relevant dietary restrictions.

    • If she didn’t eat cheese, she would say so.

    • Another vegetarian here. While I try to eat vegan as much as I can, if I told a host I am a vegetarian, I am fine with dairy and eggs. If not, I would have taken that opportunity to specify other restrictions/requirements.

      You are kind to ask!

  3. Waited till I got home after work to get the right card to get the mm lafleur dress I wanted and then the size was sold out :( Why universe, why? (In unrelated news I bought a sous vide cooker on sale and it is pretty amazing)

  4. Need a break :

    Any ideas on how to take a break from work when you can’t really have one? I can’t take any days off but I did on vacation over Christmas which wasn’t that long ago at all. I just keep feeling like I need a break, I need some time to think through things and do some personal things and reset. How do you make a weekend feel like that?

    • Anon in NOVA :

      If possible, take your lunch break. That makes a huge difference for me. When you can step away during the work day, it helps to put everything in perspective. Leave the building, even if it’s to sit in your car while you eat a sandwich, listen to NPR, and surf the web on your phone.

      • Need a break :

        That’s a good idea. My team generally eats at their desks but I don’t think going outside for 20 minis should be a huge deal

      • +1. I love sitting in my car to eat lunch. I find a nice park and listen to my favorite stations. Sometimes I’ll hook my phone up to the car stereo via bluetooth and meditate to some soothing tones. Also, 20 minutes does not seem long enough. If you are not an hourly wage employee, try working up to an hour. (I should practice what I preach more regularly!)

    • When I feel like this, I move into my guest room for a couple of days. I also prep ahead or plan to order in meals, so I can get that change of scenery without a bunch of my regular household tasks to do.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1. Was going to suggest hitting all your weekend chores during the week or letting some of them fall, so you have plenty of uninterrupted time to chill.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I might try renting a hotel room for a night. Change of scenery even though you’re still in your own city. Not stuck at home with all those things you feel like you should be doing staring you in the face. No need to clean or cook anything.

    • You need to get out of town for the weekend – no chores, no errands, no nothing. Camping or something unplugged from your phone would be ideal. Even more ideal would be taking an all-day class or doing an all-day activity that requires your concentration but isn’t work, such as rock climbing, oil painting, etc.

    • This is going to sound like a really silly suggestion, but it actually worked for me.
      My SO is WAY more low key than I am and has no problem leaving work at work, whereas my mind is constantly churning and I get burnt out. He also loves silly fantasy novels and kept trying to get me to read them instead of 1) the more challenging, depressing, ‘literary’ books I gravitate towards and 2) the extra time on my phone and laptop.
      I always rolled my eyes at them but I finally relented during a particularly stressful week and started reading the book series during my commute and before bed. THE DIFFERENCE!! Oh my god! I actually feel like my brain is getting a break from the ‘real world.’ I’d say this has made as much of a difference in my day-to-day peace of mind as going to the gym and almost as much as getting enough sleep.

      If you’re curious, the first book in the series is called Mistborn. Pure, uncomplicated escapism.

      • Anonymous :

        I completely agree with this. I read or watch something that is 180 degrees from my real life (e.g. Teen Wolf, Vampire Diaries). Pure escapism.

    • I read something once that said that seeing new places resets your mind in a way that eases tension (or something like that). When I’m feeling stressed but can’t get away, I try to explore a part of my town I haven’t been to before, or even just take the long way home. I try to see things with a fresh eye, look at the world around me from an angle I haven’t considered before. It can make the same old, same old, feel new and refreshing.

    • Try and get all of your chores done during the week so you can truly take 2 whole days to do whatever you want.

  5. Anon in NOVA :

    Anyone have recs for the best white jeans/pants? I have family in South Florida and go down there to visit pretty frequently, and it’s always nice to have white pants to wear with lily tops etc.
    The past ones I’ve ever found had nude colored pockets, but they’re reaching the end of their life.

    • It depends on where you live. I havent done this yet but my friends and I live in the DC area and were thinking of going to a VA vineyard (with a wine tasting/farm to table restaurant) for the weekend and staying at a nearby bed and breakfast. Its only a few hours away but still feels like a mini getaway.

      When it gets warmer (unless you live on the west coast or the south) maybe find the nearest beach and spend a weekend there.

      • Ahhh sorry meant to respond to ‘Need a Break’

        Paige has really good white jeans though!

    • I asked a similar question here a while back and the consensus was Loft white jeans. I tried them on and they are thick enough not to be transparent. They weren’t flattering on me otherwise so I didn’t buy but they might work for you.

    • I would love suggestions for white jeans too. I have long, but very muscular legs and I carry some fat on my inner thigh. I find white jeans emphasize my inner thigh fat in a way that regular jeans don’t. But I love white jeans on other people. I just can’t find any that work for me.

    • I’m also searching…

      What is your shape?

      I’m a skinny pear, and still haven’t found mine.

      I have bought 2 styles of Loft. Their curvy fit appears to fit, but is such a flattering wrinkled mess a few hours later that I stopped wearing them. I bought pricey citizens of humanity and they have more stretch/support, but still look like an unflattering mess after a few hours, and don’t really work for my shape.

      I’m tempted to give up on white jeans.

      • OP for white jeans :

        I’m a skinny pear as well! 5’4″ about 118 lbs.. but with a AA chest that means those pounds tend to be at booty and inner thighs

        • Yup, I’m similar. 5’6″, 125lbs. Ultra tiny on top. All curves in butt and thighs.

          We need mid-rise, but finding a roomy enough fit without looking like we are wearing Mom jeans seems impossible. And we need some support, not too thin fabric ….

          Don’t bother with ?NYDJ or whatever that popular Nordstrom brand is. I am waiting for a white pant from Treasure & Bond…. also a Nordstrom brand.

    • I’ve got white ankle pants from Talbots that had nude pockets. Add nude-for-me undies and they look very sleek. They have various styles.

    • I’m a pear and I had really good luck with white Maria J.Brand jeans (they’re not see through, and they’re high-rise enough to hold me in.

    • I really like Uniqlo white jeans. They are stretchy without being thin. Plus the rise isn’t too low and they are fairly long.

    • I have two great pairs from Boden last season. They fit my apple waist well and are heavy enough.

    • I like my white jeans from Madewell

    • Taller pear here. I have had good luck with Gap white jeans.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I love my white pants from James Perse. Soft, comfy, and stylish.

    • I just bought a beautiful pair from Gant. Thick material that isn’t see-through, slim cut but not skin tight, a great fit for my slightly pear shaped body. The pockets were noticeable but I took them to a tailor and had them sewn closed and the extra material removed. They also had matching white shorts which were perfect also.

  6. Nostril piercing? :

    I have wanted a nostril piercing for years (a tiny stud) and I am having a hard time figuring out what kind of impact, if any, a piercing would have at my job. I moved in-house from BigLaw a year ago. I am South Asian, and a nose piercing would be . . . ethnically consistent, I guess is a way to say that. My office is relatively conservative (mid-size city in the South), and I see almost no visible tattoos or piercings (other than women’s earrings). On the other hand, I’ve been practicing for over 10 years, and I’m really ready to do what I want and not defer to my job anymore. Two questions:
    1. What would you do?
    2. If I do the piercing (I really want it!), tips on how to care for it? Any advice on whether I could take it out at work and put it in otherwise? TIA!

    • anonymous :

      I have a nostril piercing, and I’m South Asian. I’ve been working in government where I wear it all the time and it’s never been an issue, but I’m moving into consulting. I’m planning to take it out during the day and put a clear placeholder thingy in place. But I also wouldn’t feel the need to do this if I were older/more established. I’m 27. Mine is really easy to take in and out, and the only issue I sometimes have is forgetting to put it back in/ forgetting to take it out. One time I had it out for like 2 days and had to get it re-pierced, which was not at all pleasant.

      If you really want it, I would do it. Sounds like you’re more established, which is my main concern. you can always take it out if you decide it doesn’t work for you.

    • 1) I would do it. But maybe consider timing it to coincide with a “win” at work. Like, if you knock something out of the park, then get it done. Don’t do it at a low point, where you wrote a typo on an email or something. I think things like this are less and less taboo.

      2) I think you could take it out, because I know a few people who have nose rings, but they don’t always wear them. But it’s probably like other piercings and you have to keep it in for a while first. I don’t have a piercing, so I don’t know why I’m running my mouth about this, actually.

      • Typo on an email = low point at work? Only if you work in biglaw. By that standard, I have a low point at work all the time (but actually do quite well at my job in all seriousness).

      • LOL @ a typo being a low point where you have to worry about getting fired.

    • Anonymous :

      Get it done at a tattoo/piercing shop and with a needle. Ask for the tiniest stud they have that is flat and blends in with your skin tone. Clean it meticulously (the salon will give you instructions). I would not take it in and out. I did that for awhile and the area got irritated (which makes it more noticeable). For what its worth, I had it done during law school and removed it when I started at Big Law. But, it was my first job and I think a more senior lawyer can get away with more. But its a know your office and locale question. I don’t k now much about the South (and it appears very formal to me).

      • How are your allergies?

        I am in the south and it is a wicked allergy vortex. If your allergies are OK, that’s great. But I would worry that the gunk and the nose-blowing (I often lose nostril skin as various things come alive each year), this might not go well. In that case, is there an equivalent of a clip-on?

    • I think an additional strategy would be to time it around a big family / cultural event. If you went to a wedding, or a visit home, returning with the nose stud would be firmly heritage-connected vs. perhaps seeming random or rebellious.

    • Definitely get it done by a piercer at a tattoo/piercing shop. I’ve had mine done twice and you really can’t take it in and out. It’s a sensitive spot and I’ve found it was my longest piercing to heal as well. I’ve had mine for 3-ish years and still don’t take it out for more than a few minutes.

      I’m lucky that I had mine while interviewing/starting jobs so it was really already just a part of my face.

      For care, clean it religiously, and look up salt water soaks, they saved me from infection.

      Also, just something I wish I had known, typically they need to start you with a slightly longer bar than you may like due to the fact that it will swell a lot while healing, and anything too short would dig into the skin. Just get in the habit of making sure the stud is flush to your skin, and you can change to a shorter bar as you’ve healed.

    • I agree that its a know your office thing / dependent on how established you are. I have a nostril stud as well as a full sleeve on one arm and nearly a full sleeve on the other. I wanted to do these things for years, but waited until I had been made partner at my southern mid-sized firm before I did. My strong legal skills were established by the time I took these steps. For about 2 years after I kept them well hidden during time in the office. Now everyone knows about them and unless I am in court or with certain clients (I even have clients who are fine with them because we have worked together for so long) I do not take great efforts to keep them hidden. But I would not do this if I did not feel I had a solid foundation built for my career already.

      • Love hearing this. Working on my tattoo collection and I’m looking forward to being more established so I don’t have to always wear sleeves.

    • Nostril piercing? :

      All of these comments have been really helpful. Thank you so much.

    • I have a small crystal stud in my nostril and have for 15 years. I’m white and in Houston. It’s not an issue.

      I do have a clear plastic stud I very very occasionally put in in place of the crystal (the plastic blends in with my skin and renders the piercing basically invisible) if I’m concerned it will be an issue. For example I’ve done this for trials. You could probably the same, and paint the plastic stud with a nude-for-you nail polish or something.

      FYI, I use the clear plastic stud instead of just leaving it out for a day for court because I learned by doing that once about 12 years ago that the hole will close enough that I can’t get the stud back in after only a day (which is way, way faster than my earring holes). I had to have it repierced after doing that once.

  7. Off-key Valkyrie :

    I’m looking for a style twin, since I don’t have enough time to look at the Nordstrom sale today. Anyone find any great deals on tops or dresses in mild blues, mid-to-light grays, or fawn? I have a long torso and broad shoulders, my office is pretty much anything goes except suits.

    • I don’t know if your office is THIS anything-goes, but I just ordered this dress:

      Haven’t received it yet, but it looks super cute and fits the bill in terms of your color request.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        Both of these would totally work for my office, but I really like this first one. Think I’ll give it a try! Thank you for both the recs.

      • Off-key Valkyrie :

        If by chance you’re stI’ll reading, how would you style this for spring? I like the color, but it’s a little bit outside my usual palette, so I’m not sure how I wold accessorize.

    • This is also cute (but again, these would be weekend wear for me).

  8. Any recommendations for fun bridal shower activities that aren’t cheesy? Bride wants an elegant affair and prefers no games unless they get guests mingling.

    • Anon in NOVA :

      Ugh don’t do “who knows the bride best games”. Those are the worst.
      Maybe a bride mad-lib game?

      For what it’s worth, if she doesn’t really want games, I wouldn’t stress over it. Just have good food and decent drinks like any other gathering. I went to a (blessedly mostly game-free) baby shower where everyone had a clothes pin, and if you heard someone say “baby” you could take their pin. And the person with the most won a little gift card. Maybe replace “baby” with “wedding” and try that?

      • Cherry Scary :

        I did this game with costume rings for a coworker’s bridal shower.

      • I actually like those! The ones I’m thinking of are quizzes with questions about the bride & groom and their relationship. They’re low key and give you something to chat about, or you can ignore them.

    • Reverse telephone.

      Sit in circle and whisper a word to neighbor. The next person passes along the FIRST thing that comes to mind, and so on, until the end of the circle says her word out loud.

      It’s fun to go thru the chain!

      • Anon in NOVA :

        As someone who would ask for “no games” at a shower, this would horrify me. The idea of whispering (which is a relatively intimate thing?) into a possible stranger’s ear would just be the worst for me.

        Not to say I don’t see how it’s fun for other people or think it’s a horrible idea, but if she’s the type that asked for no games, maybe just don’t do games.

      • Don’t do this.

    • If she said no games, take that as a blessing and don’t plan any.

      • +1

        I would hate it if I said no games and you planned any. Most of the bridal showers in my friend group didn’t have games.

        Good food, light alcohol.

        If you have to do anything, ask friends to bring in a few copies of photos from their friendship with the bride, put together in a small album, keep open. Then folks can look, open doors for questions re: how you know the bride, nice keepsake for bride.

      • Yes. I’m also a bride and have requested no games. Everyone rejoiced when they heard me say that! The best thing you can do to get people mingling is plenty of food and drink and actual time for them to chat- natural chit chat doesn’t happen when there are mandatory games or everyone has to silently watch the bride open gifts for 3 hours but that is a different topic.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Please please please do this! I also asked for no games and truly meant it. The host planned some anyway but we didn’t wind up playing any, which was exactly what I wanted!

    • (former camp counselor).

      (Depending on numbers….There has to be enough ppl or its awkward)

      You say a word (love, break, heart, whatever).

      The different tables think of songs with that word and sing a line. Goes until one table can’t think of one within 10 seconds.

      It is surprisingly fun, builds a team, everyone laughs.

    • I went to a small bridal shower where guests introduced themselves, explained how they knew the bride, and said which song they were looking forward to dancing to at the wedding. It was a fun way to get people to know each other, and it was a hoot to hear the bride’s aunt say she wanted to hear “It’s Raining Men”, etc. I’m not sure how well this would fit in with an elegant setting but it really was lovely!

      I’m also a fan of no games at all, though. It’s nice to just attend a shower where you eat and chat.

      • Agree with having everyone introduce themselves and how they know the bride. Can also ask each of them to give a piece of advice to the bride, based on their own experience or their knowledge of the couple. I think these things are so much more fun and meaningful for the other attendees.

      • This. No games, but unless it’s limited to just people who already know each other well, you want something to break the ice and get people talking. You can have some prompts at the tables (like that Dinner Topics game, I’m sure there are wedding themed ones), you can decorate with photos of the bride with the guests which will prompt telling stories of the time when…, you can play a “what’s in your purse” where you get points for various items (google for a scorecard), etc.

        Two favorite low-key ones: 1) making a scrapbook for the bride. You picked a page and decorated it, but it prompted discussions as we did it at our tables. 2) fill out a predict-their-life thing, where you guess number of kids and honeymoon location and where they’ll live on their 20 year anniversary. Fun to discuss your predictions with others, and you can put it in a cute little book for the bride.

    • lawsuited :

      Maybe the Clothespin game? It’s a game that’s played while walking around and mingling, and has the added benefit of putting some limits on endless wedding talk.

    • I love that you said the bride prefers no games and everyone is recommending games. No games, people! They’re terrible! Just make it a normal party. If she wants more structure and not just random mingling, maybe afternoon tea? Also, decide if she’s going to open gifts at the party or not.

      • She has to open gifts!! It’s a shower. If you can’t be bothered opening my gift and oohing and ahhing dong have one.

        • Disagree– every shower in my hometown is hosted as “gifts unwrapped,” which means no one wraps anything, the bride doesn’t open anything, and instead the hosts take each gift as it arrives and display it. Usually the gift display is in a guest bedroom near the party where guests can walk through and admire all the gifts. Love this setup because it saves the bride having to oooh and ahhh over forks.

          • So tacky.

          • I think it’s tacky to open presents in front of people and to place a ton of pressure on both the bride and the gift giver. I think it’s tacky to expect that the bride is going to ooo and aaaaah over your gift of forks or wine glasses. Is a thank you note not enough? Do we really need to be placated that much? What about showers with varying levels of income among friends/family? That can make people (including the bride) very uncomfortable.

            I normally try not to do the judgmental thing, but “so tacky”? Really?

          • I think a lot of things technically fall into the ‘tacky’ category, including registries, but I do think the whole point of a shower is that you are showering the bride/mom-to-be with gifts and opening them in front of guests is sort of a tradition. I’ve been to ‘cool’ showers where men and women attend in equal number and no one opens anything, and that’s fine and frankly more fun for me, but it’s technically less a shower than an engagement/gonna-have-a-baby party. Also, in those cases, for every guest that appreciated it, there was an older aunt type who was annoyed that no one was going to be oohing and aahing about her most perfect present and she’d walk around alternately telling people what she got and hounding the organizers to just open a few presents.

          • AIMS — I don’t mind if brides open gifts (I’ve been to both kinds of parties). I mind all the “so tacky!” comment. I mind the idea that, if someone doesn’t fawn all over you for giving a gift, publicly, that it’s “tacky.” I think it’s way ruder to play the comparison game that the older people in your scenario were playing.

            Also: I say this as a woman who didn’t have a shower because of exactly this kind of stuff. I am not a person who likes opening gifts in front of people. I do not like shower games. And I’m certainly not going to tolerate my great aunt or equivalent judging me for not doing something that makes me uncomfortable, and then making my guests uncomfortable with her rude behavior.

            Everyone else can do whatever they like best at their own showers.

          • Yeah these are definitely a know your circle thing.

            In my family, it’s rude to shush your guests in order to watch a grown woman open gifts for 3 hours, which require a lot of effort with the way things are wrapped now. Everyone will send gifts anyway, so the shower is an opportunity for guests to enjoy themselves and have fun, which is not accomplished in a traditional shower. We have little placecards set up and as the gifts come in (unwrapped), they are displayed on a table with a little placecard indicating who bought them. Then guests mingle and chat and eat and drink while checking out who got what – there is a lot of oohing and aahhing there.

          • Fun fact: once upon a time, the gift display was so customary at weddings and showers that you didn’t just display unwrapped physical gifts, you also displayed checks – you just laid them out so that only the names of the givers (not the amounts) were visible. If you pull out an old Emily Post or Amy Vanderbilt (say from the 1960s or before), it was absolutely standard (I collect old etiquette books).

            Which is to say that showers in particularly, and weddings generally, have long been associated with gift-giving, and that the current tradition of physically opening gifts in front of a group isn’t necessarily long-standing.

            What *is* long-standing is the unfortunate truth that whatever you decide to do with respect to a wedding is going to p*ss off somebody, who will label it as tacky on the internet.

            (Also, registries have a long history too – there are references as early as my 1920s Amy Vanderbilt guide to the bride letting a local department store know what silver and china patterns she’s selected so that guests who go to the store to purchase gifts can be advised by the clerk when they arrive. Note that this assumes that everyone in your social circle only shops at one department store…)

          • Baconpancakes :

            I spent a decent amount of time in Japan, where gifts are NEVER opened in front of the gift giver, so the idea of unwrapping a pile of presents always fills me with horror. I much prefer to have a real reaction to a gift and then send an effusively thankful note than to have to pretend I love receiving Christmas-tree painted wine glasses for Hannukah.

        • Many, many people I know hate the gift-opening party of showers.

          • +1. I am one of those people. The people I know who really love the public gift opening always seem to make it a competition, or need to have their egos massaged about what a great and perfect gift they gave.

            Both make me really uncomfortable.

          • +1

            I’ve had friends/relatives who did the gift-opening shower and friends who didn’t. You do you. But seriously, do not expect me to pretend I find watching a grown @ss adult opening presents interesting. I don’t.

          • +1 Torin. I purposely had my bff’s baby shower gift sent to her house. It was a larger gift than I know our mutual friends and many others attending could afford, and I didn’t want to be the “show off.” I gave her a card with a printed image of the present and an “I’m on my way!” hand written note. I know my bff, and I know that she would have GREATLY preferred not to open gifts in front of anyone. Unfortunately, her mother planned it and didn’t give her the option. I came late and was so glad to have missed the uncomfortable gift opening “ceremony.”

          • +1 – so boring. So so so boring. I have zero interest in watching it, I don’t need the guest of honor to thank me in person. Gift sessions just kill a party and make me groan every time I get a shower invite because most people will not let this go.

        • I also disagree. I find that part of showers so awkward. The bride is trying to seem grateful (which she is!) but what do you say 20 times?

          I’m loving that the trend for kids birthday parties is to not open gifts during them. Plus, you can’t expect 2 year olds to sit still for that long.

          • I’m waiting for the trend of no birthday invite parties for 2 year olds.


            Cupcake with immediate family seems plenty for a 2 year old.

      • +1,000 No games, and no forced gift opening if she doesn’t, AND no “gifts unwrapped.” This crap is out of control.

      • Sorry people. Baby and bridal showers are all about gifts. The word “shower” means to shower the bride or mom-to-be with gifts. I would be very disappointed if my gift wasn’t opened at a baby shower. It’s usually something I designed and knit by hand by me. I don’t give a rats as s what the other guests think of it but I want to be there when my friend opens it.

        (I would also eventually like a photo of the baby wearing it but that’s another topic)

    • The only “fun” bridal shower game I have seen and enjoyed – set an egg timer for random amounts of time while the bride is opening gifts. If the timer goes off when your gift is being opened – you get a little trinket/prize! Think: nail polish, hand lotion, a mini champagne bottle.

      • Thanks all! These are great ideas! And no worries, I won’t be doing games. I was just curious how to get people mingling and what other shower guests have enjoyed or hosts have done. Appreciate the ideas!

    • Wildkitten :

      Cads against Matrimony

  9. I got a Corkcicle thermos for the holidays from my SIL and I love it, especially the shape. I am having a problem with the top though. As soon as I take a sip of my coffee, underneath the sliding part of the lid gets gross. Coffee gets under there and kind of hardens into flakes. I normally just keep the sliding lid open to avoid contact with this while I’m drinking. I asked my SIL how she avoids this and she has no idea what I’m talking about. Is it possible I’m drinking coffee out of it wrong? Trying to figure out whether it’s on me or if my lid is possibly defective.

  10. For Procrastinator :

    There was a thread last night asking for advice on dealing with a procrastinating spouse. I recently ended a relationship with a procrastinator so ymmv, but here are my main takeaways:

    1. He has to be on board with the idea that he gets to either procrastinate or he will not control whatever task he’s procrastinating about. For example, if the dishwasher is broken and he REALLY wants to fix it, he has a choice: fix it by X date or I am calling a repair person. He is not entitled to inflict a broken dishwasher on me (guess who does all the dishes) for an indefinite period of time because “I’m just a procrastinator!” Being a procrastinator is not license to be a jerk.

    2. Relatedly, at a high level, he has to accept that procrastination is a choice. Ex seemed to think that inaction isn’t a choice. His narrative was, For Procrastinator is a control freak who never lets me be Mr. DIY, not, I made a choice to not fix the dishwasher and so For Procrastinator had to take care of it to protect her own sanity and free time. He became incredibly resentful of me and I was resentful that he resented me. I could accept that I was going to take care of a lot of the adulting in our relationship. I could not accept that he was going to be resentful, rather than idk thankful? or at least neutral?, that I had to do those things.

    3. Communication is key. If ex didn’t actually want to do something, he would hide behind “but I’m a procrastinator!” instead of telling me he had a deeper problem. Continuing with the dishwasher example – he doesn’t want a dishwasher anymore. Instead of telling me that, because he knows it’s a losing argument, he would continue to tell me he’s going to fix it, he’s offended I would call a repair person, he’s just a procrastinator. Then months later he finally tells me he doesn’t want a dishwasher and we have a very emotional argument because now on top of his clearly crazy idea I realize he’s been lying to me for months.

    So all in all, if the procrastination is just a matter of logistics then I think it’s manageable. Wrap that up with other issues, though, and it really falls apart.

    • Just wanted to say that it sounds like you are well rid of this guy. I’m sure he had positive qualities as well, but ugh.

    • who doesn’t want a dishwasher???

      • I was just continuing the hypo, I don’t think he ever tried to get me to get rid of the dishwasher (although he wasn’t used to having a dishwasher so it just wasn’t a priority to him). There were a dozen things that were equally ridiculous though. He would know that I wouldn’t agree to/would be disappointed about whatever he wanted so he would claim that his resistance was due to procrastination not that he just didn’t want it.

        A somewhat trivial example – I really wanted to go out of town last NYE. He was adamant that HE had to plan the trip. My periodic follow-ups were met with “I’m a procrastinator don’t nag me!” He ended up not planning anything. He later admitted that he didn’t plan anything because he didn’t want to travel over NYE. Ok well if you had told me that in May when I first started talking about it, I would’ve been disappointed but I would’ve had time to get over it and plan something local. Now that it’s December 30, not only am I disappointed to not be going out of town, I’m also angry that you deceived me all those months and I’m angry that I’m stuck at home when I could’ve at least gone out to dinner or planned a party at home or done something else local. You don’t end a relationship because of one incident like this, but over time it really wears you down.

      • lol, and SHE’S the one washing dishes, not him!! wow.

      • Especially if he’s not the one in charge of doing dishes! That makes it seem like he wants to make you suffer doing dishes by hand for some twisted reason.

    • Sounds like he wasn’t just a procrastinator, he was also a terrible communicator. You are well rid!!

      It’s sounds like you’re able to approach this breakup as a learning experience though, for which, snaps.

    • Good for you! My husband can be a procrastinator and #1 absolutely worked for him, with the addition of the money motivator. I told him it would cost x amount to fix the garage door and that if he didn’t do it by y date, I was calling someone and spending the money. That worked and he fixed it. (I still think it is worth it to hire someone and not spend the time, but that’s a different issue.)

      • That’s really key. I’m a procrastinator too but if someone else wants to swoop in and take care of whatever it is I’m procrastinating about, fantastic! It’s a problem when you insist on doing something yourself and your SO is depending on you to do it but you just… don’t. That crosses the line from a procrastination issue to a respect for your SO issue, in my mind.

  11. Networking at Awards Dinner :

    I am looking to make a cross country move and I am attending an award’s dinner on behalf of my firm which will be attended by lawyers in my specialty in the region I’m looking to move to. I think this could be a good opportunity to network, but I’m not sure how to go about this. I don’t think I can be very blatant about it because I am there on behalf of my current firm. Does anyone have any tips?

    • Do you know who will be attending – which people or which firms? Also – why are you moving – family reasons, hometown etc.? I feel like I wouldn’t let this networking opportunity go – cross country networking is hard and you only have so many chances. Why not be direct – go up to 1-2 of them and say – hi I’m Joann, I’m with XYZ doing commercial litigation. I understand you’re with ZZZ in Portland. [insert a sentence of flattery about how you read some article about their firm’s big win on something]. Portland’s a great city – I’ve actually been contemplating a move etc.” Then if the person is friendly enough – the convo is about Portland (or wherever) and not their firm necessarily. They may ask you why you want to move or tell you what an up and coming city it is etc. Then you grab a business card or if you don’t want to explicitly say you want to keep in touch – you email them in a few days, say how nice it was to meet them, and ask to see if you can set up a call to get their thoughts on the Portland legal market. Or if you aren’t that far along and not looking right now, just send the nice email and add them on LinkedIn and ask for a call down the road.

      • Networking at Awards Dinner :

        Well, I know who is nominated so I assume they will be coming. Wondering how hard it will be to find people to talk to since I wont be able to recognize people. Thank you for the advice!

  12. Where'd she go? :

    What happened to Ellen? I miss Ellen.

    • I posted something about looking for her on valentine’s day and it was stuck in moderation…never went back to see if it went through . But same.

  13. Marshmallow :

    Seems like a good topic for a Friday– how should I make the most of the spring/summer of my clerkship before returning to Biglaw? I’m frankly a little bored in my clerkship but I know how lucky I am to have the weekends off. Husband and I are planning one real vacation along with a few camping weekends, so I’m not looking for ideas for big trips. More like, what are the little daily/weekly things you miss in Biglaw or that, as a former clerk, you wish you had enjoyed while you could? Any specific ideas for weekend or weeknight activities in the NYC area that won’t break the bank but maybe take more time than a Biglaw associate is likely to have?

    In other words, if you are in Biglaw or a similar job, I’d love to hear your fantasies for what you’d do with a little extra time. :)

    • Renewal all friendships. You’re heading into a busy period when you go back to BigLaw so get in all the brunches/dinners etc with various friends groups on the regular over the next few months.

      And I have a complex family for Christmas gifts so I’d actually do my Christmas shopping/wrapping late August so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

      Konmari my house as well.

      • +1.

        In addition, make plans for automating your life a little more, if you took a step back from that for your clerkship. If you canceled the cleaning lady, consider scheduling her start date. Think about (and plan for ) the areas of your life that you’ll want to outsource when you have less time again.

        I did NOT do this when I stepped into a more time-intensive role (not big law), and I regretted it deeply. Even though I had notice before hand, I waited until several months into the new schedule to start automating. It made life harder than it needed to be.

    • Cook a lot and put stuff in the freezer so you have easy homemade meals your first few months in Big Law.

    • Maudie Atkinson :

      This list is of the things I love(d) about the last few months of clerking and the two months I took off between clerking and starting my job. It is intended to be descriptive rather the prescriptive:
      (1) Reading all the books
      (2) Visiting friends. I did this on a shoestring budget: went to the cities where friends lived, slept on their couches, and explored during the day while they were working and caught up at night. But it was so fun and so worthwhile to get real time with friends I hadn’t seen in a while and don’t have as much time to see now (even though I have much more disposable income for travel).
      (3) Sewing (or whatever your hobby is). Sadly, I haven’t pulled out my sewing machine since I started my associate position, and so all that time I spent sewing toward the end of my clerkship and in my time off seems particularly sweet.
      (4) Finding a workout routine that works (for you). I’ve learned that working out is critical for my mental health, especially when I’m working long hours, not sleeping, and not getting the social interaction I want, and I’m so glad I found a routine that worked for me while I was clerking and had time to experiment.
      (5) Academic writing. I wrote an article during my clerkship that I was able to publish early in practice. The topic was sort of a passion project, and publishing was something I wanted to do to leave the door to legal academia cracked. If this is something that interests you at all, think about having something in the can before you start practicing, as it’s really hard to find the time to turn out credible scholarship when practicing.

    • Lunch with people.

      Much more talking among coworkers (from friendly banter to deep discussions).

      You get to take your holidays! Srsly — 3-day weekends where you can take real trips and reliably leave the night before.

      I loved clerking. If I won the lottery, I’d try to go back as a career clerk (pref in state court b/c I just find it much more interesting than IDEA/ADEA/Random Federal Acronym Law; thank g-d for diversity jurisdication!!!).

    • One thing I wish I’d done before leaving my clerkship for a firm was to take care of all medical appointments. It’s nice not to have to take the time to get eyes examined, teeth cleaned, physical, etc. until you’ve been at your firm for almost a year. Two – my health benefits were also way better when working for the government – I basically left money on the table.

      • Along these lines, automate everything. Automate your prescriptions, your bills, your EVERYTHING. Figure out a system — put everything on your calendar with reminders that are appropriate (if you need to send your parents anniversary flowers a week before their anniversary, make a calendar event for that too). Look at the next 12-18 months of your life and get everything out of your brain and onto a calendar. Find a dry cleaner you like (one near home and one near work), check their hours, write it down.

        Before you start: do ALL the laundry — get a backup set of linens and wash those too (so you can just change the sheets without worrying when you’ll wash them). Dry clean your suits and your winter coats a week or two before you start. Pick up your favorite pens so you have some on-hand (your firm will probably ask you what you like and will order it for you). If you commute by train, print out the train schedules. Get an extra set of contact solution, eye drops (even if you don’t wear contacts), chapstick, tweezers, cuticle clippers, nail clippers, tide to go, moleskin (for blisters), water bottle, etc. to keep at your desk. Make sure your new shoes are broken in. Keep a pair of black flats at your desk and wear them for every court appearance in case the partner surprises you and decides to walk 45 blocks back to the office (ask me how I know…).

        You got this!!

        • Senior Attorney :

          A propos of the cleaner, even better — find one who will pick up and deliver at the office. I guarantee there is one so ask around when you start at the firm.

        • Interview cleaning people/dog walker/cat sitter – whatever personal services you’re going to need. I basically have to rely on recommendations and hope my new cleaning person works out.

        • Oh and get a credit card with a relatively high limit if you don’t have one already. You might have to pay for travel and get reimbursed. I once paid for a junior associate’s travel, hotel, and meals for a week because he didn’t have a cc and didn’t have enough money in the bank to cover thousands of dollars in travel expenses.

          • Marshmallow :

            Ugh, this is the worst. I was in Biglaw before working so I have already experienced it. I do have a high cc limit and could handle the reimbursements, but I once had to prepay and get reimbursed for WEEKS in a hotel. WEEKS. I was not a happy employee.

          • Marshmallow :

            Oops, before *clerking. Biglaw is definitely work.

      • Senior Attorney :

        +1 I was just coming here to say this very thing.

        Also if you own a house, take care of any house stuff that needs to get done — maintenance issues, small repairs, anything that requires bids or somebody to be there or just you doing the work.

      • Marshmallow :

        Thanks! Yes, I started embracing life automation in my first couple years at the firm, but I will need to restart some things I didn’t need while clerking. My apartment building just opened a dry cleaner on the ground floor– score!

    • midwesterner :

      Exercise/get in shape/get into a routine that works for you for healthy food. I did not do that nearly enough when clerking and it has become a huge challenge now that I’m back in an unpredictable BigLaw schedule.

  14. Anon for this :

    I made a mistake at work. I promoted someone, who is definitely the most qualified for the position and the only one who actually wants the position, but one of this person’s peers viewed it as a demotion because they would now be reporting to the person. That person almost walked out the door immediately, but I was able to convince them to stay. In hindsight, I didn’t need to promote someone and should have let everyone operate at a higher level.

    Now, I’m kind of at a loss of what to do. I don’t think the person that was promoted is set up for success, so I think the best course of action is to keep each of them at the same level. I’ve asked that person to not oversee the other’s work, which I’m hoping will placate everyone. Any suggestions?

    • What? You didn’t make a mistake. Don’t give someone a promotion and then take it back because another person complained! That’s bananas. Stop placating and manage.

      • I agree. This sounds like a real opportunity to “level up” in management. It’s not an easy situation, but you’re a manager! That’s why they (hopefully) pay you the big bucks. *You* need to set up the recently-promoted person for success. You also need to work with the other person who is not happy. And if you lose them, that’s that. You can’t make an employee happy, you can only work with them to set them up for success as well. Good luck and don’t second guess!

      • Absolutely agreed. If I were the person who you promoted, I would be livid if your suggestion to my coworker’s upset at not getting the promotion caused you to rescind my advancement. The person who you promoted sounds like they deserve the promotion — they’ve worked hard and are qualified.

        The other person did not get “demoted.” This is how promotions work — sometimes your coworkers become your managers. It can be uncomfortable, but that’s part of being an adult in the workforce.

        If this other person is immature enough to want to quit because of this — then I think that’s that, like lsw says.

        Take a step back. Set up your newly promoted employee for success. Manage the expectations of the other employee.

        • Agreed with the above. OP, if you walk this promotion back, you’re likely to lose your good employee, just to placate the less good one. That’s the sort of thing that would make just about anyone dust off the resume and start hunting.

    • Wait, what? Was the new position needed or not? It sounds like it was needed, and this person was the best qualified. If demotion dude (or gal, but let’s say dude) can’t accept that, then let them leave. If dude is trying to undermine promotion person, then have a stern talk with him and let promotion person manage him out.

      You NEVER handicap your rockstars just to placate a problem child. Never.

      • Senior Attorney :

        This. You haven’t made a mistake yet but what you are proposing would be a huge mistake. Stick to your guns and don’t give in to the whiner.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1 to this. If there’s hurt feelings and bad behavior, head over to Ask A Manager – there’s lots of similar stories in the archives and today’s the open thread day.

    • Correction to your post

      “In hindsight, I should have just let him walk out the door and promoted another internal candidate into his position. What should I do to address his continued bad behavior in the wake of this change?”

    • It sounds like the mistake you made was not letting the bitter employee leave.

  15. Hey, I have a work trip to Dallas in late May. I was thinking of taking my spouse and arriving the weekend before.

    Would Dallas be an interesting place for us to spend the weekend?

    Any recommendations on what to do/eat and where to stay would be appreciated.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Dallas is great! Deep Ellum is a newer area of town that has lots of interesting restaurants. Pecan Lodge is an awesome bbq place.

      • Great. Thanks. This is sounding fun. Will have to check these out.

        • Stay at The Joule hotel!

          • I was coming to say this. It’s a really really cool hotel with great service. If you like a spa, they have a fantastic spa. They also have 2 restaurants and a speak-easy, and all are great. I know I sound like a commercial for the Joule, but it’s seriously one of my favorite hotels. I live within driving distance to Dallas, and my husband and I go there often for weekends away.

            If you like pie, Emporium Pies is next to Pecan Lodge and is so good.

            Dallas has tons of great restaurants. One of my favorites is FT33. Make a reservation. If you request the chef’s table, you can see right into the open kitchen, which is really fun. The Rustic is also really cool and usually has live music.

          • Delta Dawn :

            +1 to The Rustic! Very cool.

    • I have family in Dallas and enjoy visiting White Rock lake when I go see them. It’s a really pretty park.

    • Is your husband a football fan? If so, you can tour the Cowboys stadium. Definitely check out White Rock Lake in Dallas and the Bush Library is very beautiful.

  16. Has anyone ever used Havenly or an equivalent to design a room? I have a nearly-empty screened porch that I want to maximize this spring/summer, but I just don’t have a good eye for design and layout. Any experiences, good or bad?

    • Not Havenly, but Kimberlie Wade, who is through a similar service, Laurel & Wolf. I used her recently thanks to a link to a WSJ review of these sites that someone here was helpful to post about. At any rate, she was fantastic and very helpful.

      It helps remote people a lot if they can get a lot of good pictures and measurements of the space, a sense of what you like (or don’t), and your budget. They give you an idea board and measurements. You don’t have to shop their selections, but I like having a roadmap and a sense of what the proportions should be. I used to get lamps/rugs the wrong size (but could never figure out how to fix except that I’d botched it).

  17. Are there any designers or brands that you really feel embody your style, and you wholeheartedly subscribe to, or would if you could? I’m thinking of brands that have some prevailing aesthetic, like Lily Pulitzer, Theory, MM LaFleur, etc. I’ve never been particularly brand loyal but as I’m trying to upgrade my wardrobe I find myself developing stronger affinities to certain brands or designers, both affordable and aspirational, to a degree I didn’t have earlier in my working career.

    • Probably Vince Camuto for me. But I am plus-sized, so options are thin on the ground.

    • Marshmallow :

      Theory and Club Monaco. Both are aspirational for me right now but I can walk in those stores and want every single thing.

      • I love these two too. I now also find myself eyeing Max Mara and Akris wistfully.

      • Potomac Ave :

        Club Monaco for me, for sure.

        I bought two pairs of their pants with some of my bonus money from last year, and I’ve never felt so professional and pulled together.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Dream answer (because it wouldn’t fit and I can’t afford it): Carolina Herrera.

      More realistic answer: I’d love to live a life like the Boden catalog shows

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have become almost completely devoted to MM LaFleur. As I discard older clothes, I only replace them with MML (with some exceptions here and there)– I feel like they reflect how I want to look (and feel) at work. As I’ve matured, I find myself eliminating things that are not “me” and streamlining my personal style, which lends itself to brands with a specific aesthetic.

    • I love what Selina Meyer wore as workwear. I don’t like DVF wraps but do like her shifts (that I have taken in slightly). I have two of the Achelle dresses and e-bay stalk them.

      My leisure wear is sort of Garden & Gun meets Athleta meets 1970s (if you google pictures of the late wife of the late Shah of Iran, I seem to have imprinted my style sense on her). And too many western / rustic boots.

    • MM LaFleur plus some of the florals from Ted Baker

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      Carolina Herrera, Mary Katrantzou, and Narciso Rodriguez. Got some amazing amazing steals on Gilt etc.

      Milly and Rebecca Taylor too. We Are Handsome for stylish activewear.

  18. Picking an internship :

    I’m a graduate student in a program with a required summer internship. There are two I want and I need help weighing the pros and cons:

    1. Internship 1 is with a professor who is on track to be my mentor (we are working together on an existing project). She is very well-known internationally in our field and very well-connected. The internship would be in sub-Saharan Africa, very far from my home on the West Coast. The work in the internship would be useful and related to my studies, although it’s in a slightly different branch of the field than I originally intended to intern in. This internship appears to be mine if I want it and I think she may be counting on me to take it.
    2. Internship 2 is with an organization that is closely affiliated to the professor mentioned in Internship 1. It would be in South America and is EXACTLY the type of work I am well qualified for and EXACTLY the topic I always wanted to study in grad school. There are not that many opportunities to study this subject. I haven’t been offered this internship, but it seems very likely that I will.

    Both internships have the same stipend (fairly small), but money isn’t the key factor. The real question is whether I go with my internationally renowned potential mentor to help with her work in sub-Saharan Africa or go with some of her colleagues on an exciting project in South America. Both would be good for my career, both would be very far from my husband for the whole summer, and both might lead to work next year and/or publications. Thoughts??

    • How long are they? Is there any opportunity to stagger and do both? If not, I would be inclined to take #1.

    • 2. Do what you actually want to do. If you’re worried, talk to the professor about it, but it sounds like she would definitely give her blessing to you doing project 2.

    • Definitely 2!

    • Are you 100% convinced that Topic 2 is absolutely the area you want to work in?

      If the professor in opportunity 1 has expressly offered you the internship, I think the benefit there is (without knowing your industry, specifically) probably larger. I would be worried about alienating the professor, considering that she is setting herself up to be your mentor, and because she is very well connected and well known.

      If you do well in Opportunity 1 with Professor, it seems likely that she would be more than willing to reach out and use her connections to help you get subsequent employment opportunities, either with Organization 2 or other organizations.

    • Picking an internship :

      I should have added that both are 12 weeks long as required by the school. Professor from #1 is very connected with all the same people from #2 (it’s a small world in this area of research) and is also a world leader on the subject of internship #2 (it’s just not the focus of internship #1 this summer). Basically, either one would work great with my career and I might still be able to study the subject of #2 later on if I keep good relationships going with everyone. I guess my main concern is that if I had never been offered #1, I would LOVE to take internship #2 – but since #1 comes with the opportunity to work with the leader in the field on very important work, I don’t feel like I can say no that easily and I certainly don’t want to burn any bridges.

      • Then I stand by my recommendation above. I think you’d be best served to take Internship 1. You’re going to get a great relationship that will propel your career out of it. She’s going to be able to help you immensely in whatever subject you want to study.

        That’s not to say you can’t be a little bummed about turning down #2 if you are offered it. But I think given the circumstances, they would understand. I worry from how you phrased things that you have basically committed to #1 and would risk damaging your relationship with the professor if you say no now.

    • If you need recs later, the clear choice is #1. You can do #2 (or similar) another summer. Don’t risk angering a mentor and someone who can really make a difference in helping you get into grad school. That prof’s name will open doors for you. Counter: If her name is already on your resume, and you would not anger her by going, then do #2, but try to get her buy-in/blessing re it so you don’t burn an important bridge.

    • I’d say 2 simply because you know you have opportunities in the future with this professor and having a variety of experiences/contacts within the same field can come in handy down the line and helps fill out a resume.

    • Have you talked to professor #1 about the #2 opportunity? I think you can frame this diplomatically as I’m thrilled to work with you, but also have a long-standing interest in topic #2. I wanted to get your thoughts on whether passing up opportunity #2 would hamper my ability to be a specialist in that topic down the road. If professor #1 actually wants to mentor you (and is not just a rockstar in the field you happen to have come into contact with), they will help you evaluate the options and do what’s best for your career. Also, consider whether you can go to #2 for a mini-internship during winter break next year.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I agree with Anon 11:19. I would talk to the professor about your options. I think the ideal scenario is to do internship #2 during the summer and see if you can work with the professor during the school year.

      • Agree with this, in whole.

      • givemyregards :

        +1 if your mentor seems to you to be a fairly reasonable person who doesn’t take things particularly personally, then I would talk to them, but likely go with internship #2. You sound so much more excited about that opportunity, and if anything about internship #1 isn’t particularly great you don’t want to be sitting in Sub-Sarahan Africa wishing you’d done the other. I don’t blame you for being anxious about this opportunity (I would be having the exact same train of thought) but I think this is one of those situations where you should go with your preference and things will work themselves out in the end – it’s hard to imagine that your entire future career is dependent on this one choice. I feel like someone will probably chime in and be like “here’s an example of when my entire career hinged on picking between two similar but different projects!” but in my experience it all kind of shakes out in the end.

    • Picking an internship :

      Thanks for the tips, everyone. I’m not sure I feel much closer to a decision, but there are certainly a lot of important considerations. Maybe I won’t be offered #2 and it’ll be out of my hands :)

  19. I loved Dallas/Fort Worth but I admittedly was there for a very short period of time (1 night) so my fun was limited. Definitely hit the Book Depository Musuem. It was so moving, I wept right in the middle of one of the exhibits. And Fort Worth is really neat – we stayed down by the Stockyards where they have Rodeos on Friday nights and cattle drives down the main drag every day.

  20. I love my converse. Probably more than an adult should. But I’m willing to give something else a try finally, so any recommendations for a different, but equally comfortable, casual sneaker?

    • Keds? I wear both on the weekends except in the winter (we get lots of snow).

      • Meg March :

        +1. I just ordered two new pairs this morning, because I wore my last pair to the ground.

    • Marshmallow :

      I like my Tretorns. I have the insulated kind so I can wear them in the snow, too!

    • I love my Vans!

    • Allbirds, or Joseph Seibel. Both are super comfortable but a bit dressier than Converse.

      • Anonymous :

        The Allbirds look so wide to me, especially as mens/womens appear to be designed the same. Do you find that to be the case? Or is this an illusion from the website…

        I already have pretty long feet (9.5) for my height/frame, and if the shoe is too wide they look huge…

      • Anonymous :

        Love my Converse, love my Siebels. I have a pair in the Caspian style in platinum.

    • Anonymous4 :

      I’ve had a great deal of success with Sketchers. As someone who usually is very hard on her shoes, I can make Sketchers last an unprecedented amount of time. I find them comfortable, and in a wide enough variety of style that you should be able to find something suited to your tastes.

    • I love my Superga sneakers.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :


    • Vans!!!!

  21. Y’all might get a kick outta this:

    On my way to work a couple weeks ago, I grabbed a mini hand sanitizer I got in one of those Bath and Body Works VIP bags. It had glitter in it, which worried me, but the glitter didn’t seem to be making a mess, my job doesn’t involve much hand shaking, and it comes off when I wash my hands, so I figured it’s not ideal, but fine to use up. I just won’t buy one like it going forward.

    Well today, I must have been touching the skin on my upper chest, above the neckline of my dress, because I went to the bathroom just now and my skin was all sparkly! I look like I put on body glitter, like I’m going to a middle school dance or something! Not exactly a professional look.

    Thankfully, hardly anyone is in the office today . . .

    • This is fantastic! We go through a lot of Hemp lotion and I bought one that was a beige color because I thought it would be a good neutral for our downstairs bathroom. I didn’t read the description that read “subtle shimmer,” meaning they had added lots of glitter and when you used it not-so-subtly COVERED your skin in shimmery glitter. My husband was so angry when he used it!

      • I’m totally doing this as a prank.

      • Jitterbug :

        I used to love shimmer lotions in high school and into college, until I realized it was basically body glitter with smaller sparkles, and it’s never as subtle as you think it’s gonna be! I should throw out my old ones, I never use them and they’re probably too old now anyway. I once tried using just a little on my cleavage, but even then, it looked embarrassingly obvious.

        And the worst are the lotions that don’t use the word “shimmer,” the description says it gives you a healthy glow, and you think that means it’s good for your skin. Nope, it’s just glitter. Sneaky ninja glitter.

    • State gov’t attorney. Very LCOL. 21 years. Ordinary office hours unless something big is going on, but available 24/7 by phone or text. I really like my work and can’t think of anything I’d rather do that would actually pay the bills. The downside is that the first years of service were at a very low salary level. With student loans to pay, I was living in poverty for several years. I mean eating rice and beans, never going anywhere, not even out to lunch, and buying almost all clothing second hand.

    • This happened to me once with a body scrub. I didn’t realize it was SPARKLY!!! Until I got out of the shower and I didn’t have time to get back in and try to get it off. Dreadful, but also funny.

      • Jitterbug :

        Was it the Bath and Body Works scrub they sell around Christmas time? I think I remember one year, maybe last year, the glitter stayed on me after the shower. Didn’t have an issue with the formula they used this past year though.

    • SFAttorney :

      I got a kick out of it. Enjoy the dance!

  22. What do you do you? :

    I’ve been a longtime reader of this site/I’m admittedly nosy and really enjoy reading the what do you do/whats your salary posts on here. It gives some interesting perspectives.

    So, what do you do, whats your salary (or range), and do you feel fulfilled with where you are in life/career? Also I mostly see people on this site who are in law or business, which is great but I’d love to also hear from ‘overachieving chicks’ in other fields!

    • I’ll play.

      I’m a government attorney (not federal). I have five years of experience. LCOL area. $70K. I never, ever, ever work weekends. If I have a late meeting, my boss is cool about me taking flex time, even though I am an exempt employee.

      I feel pretty fulfilled. I came to this job after several years as a prosecutor, which I loved, but was slowly killing me. Here, I get to go to court fairly often, but I don’t have the same constant stream of cases. I get to spend more time on each issue, and do more research/writing/advising.

      This job also is strictly 8:30-5, aside from the occasional late meeting. I am not expected to check or respond to emails outside of work hours. My weekends are sacred, and I have never, ever been asked to come in to do work on a Saturday or Sunday. It’s just not our office culture.

      All in all, I really like this job. I get a variety of assignments, get to learn new things, and it meets my salary needs while giving me time with my husband and for my hobbies.

    • I work in investment management in a LCOL city. Five years of direct experience, master’s degree, and passed second level of the CFA last year. I just started a new job last week where I make ~$80k, but job seems relatively low stress and people don’t seem to work evenings/weekends. I grew up in the middle of nowhere with a poor-ish family so with my husband and I pulling in over 3x the median income of our city, I feel very satisfied with my life even though I’m not as successful or high-earning as I thought I would be when I graduated from college ten years ago. I do not feel nearly as career-focused as I did when I was younger and am instead content to have a job where I feel intellectually challenged but still have free time and a little bit of money to enjoy with my family on the weekends.

      • Congrats on the CFA–that’s a HUGE deal and a very hard test which requires a lot of self-motivation. Rock L3, lady! The certificate is so cool too–I lived with two roomies who got theirs in the mail and it was so exciting to open it after how hard they had worked. You should be really proud that you’re 2/3 there!

    • Communications for a university in a very LCOL area. $50k. I really enjoy my job. The U is big so we have a lot of communications people and we’re fairly specialized, and I work in an area that I find really interesting and is related to my STEM undergrad degree. Work is pretty much 9-5 and with rare exceptions there aren’t really deadlines, so it’s not stressful at all. We don’t get much paid parental leave (can take 12 weeks FMLA of course), but otherwise benefits are great with tons of vacation and sick leave and no pressure not to use it. Colleagues are almost uniformly nice and although the state is red-ish the college town is very liberal and inclusive. I think my position is kind of leaning out compared to other things I could be doing with my background, but it’s a great fit for me – interesting work, decent pay that is more than enough to live on here, and gives me plenty of time to be with my family and pursue other interests.

    • Anonymous4 :

      I *just* made a move from a small not-for-profit to higher education (small, private, liberal arts). I have been in fundraising for nearly 7 years. All of my experience has been in LCOL areas, and my current salary is $50K. I went from a position where I was jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none, to a highly specialized position in one area of fundraising. I’ve gone from director level to specialist level, and my goal is to return to director level within my area in 5 years. In my previous position I had no room for promotion (that is, I was never moving to C-suite), here there is room to advance up to VP level in time, or make a move to another organization for similar advancement.

      I’m still really getting my balance (I’ve been here about 6 weeks), but I find myself energized by interesting work, inspired by talented colleagues and fulfilled by a job description that suits me well. I’m generally 8-5, in my small community I get home to have lunch with DH and son, and working in a religious organization my weekends (especially Sundays) are sacred family time. I have a lot of flexibility, and am not required to report my PTO. I have rare requests for evenings or travel – and most of my travel can be done in a workday so I’m home for dinner & bedtime. Family and community are important here, and that really helps with work-life balance.

      At this juncture, it seems like a really good fit for me. It’s aligning with life goals of increased emotional and physical health, and is allowing me to prioritize family while also giving me opportunity for growth and advancement.

    • RN, 90k starting salary. This is in a very HCOL area, nurses in other markets make anywhere from 45k up. I used to be in finance, hated it, and now feel super fulfilled. There are also so many things I can choose to do in a few years. Work is 3 days a week, though I’m on 12-hour evening shifts. Still, it feels like I have SO MUCH free time and it’s awesome.

      • I am thinking of leaving BigLaw to go to nursing school.

        I really had a late epiphany re health-related issues and find them fascinating. Really hating the achievement-oriented world I grew up in where if you scored well, it was all Dr. or Esq. and no one ever mentioned nursing.

        • Yeah some of it is the prestige of doctors and lawyers. But it kind of seems like the demand for nursing (due to chronic shortages) exploded in the last 10 yrs or so? Maybe I’m wrong but when I was graduating HS in 98 — nursing school wasn’t on the radar of anyone except relatively bad students; nor did I have the sense that you graduated nursing school and secured a high paying job in a day. But now — nursing is on the radar of many many good students – in part bc people are seeing it as a profession that pays and is constantly employable, geographically flexible etc.

          I also think nursing has become more of a good option bc of specialized nursing like NPs, as well as physician assistants etc. In certain areas with PCP shortages, they are starting to take over primary care; so you can now have a very active, managing your own patients role in healthcare even if you aren’t in it for the long haul of med school + residency. I honestly don’t remember that being the case 15-20 yrs ago.

        • anon at 11:39 :

          Agree with everything above. I actually had a hard time deciding to go to nursing school because of the prestige issue. Most of my friends are in finance/MBAs/tech and don’t totally get what I’m doing. My dad is still pushing me to go to med school (why would you remain a nurse if you’re smart enough to be a doctor?). And honestly, if you work in a hospital some of the work can feel degrading. Cleaning up bodily fluids, etc. However, it is mostly SO REWARDING, and I usually leave feeling that I have actually made a difference in someone’s life. Nurses also have more autonomy and control over patient outcomes than people usually realize. They do a lot more than just follow the instructions of doctors.

          Shows like Grey’s and Scrubs don’t help either (though Scrubs is about a thousand times better in this regard than Grey’s.)

          • I think it’s weird that people think that. Sure back in HS – I may have thought that nurses did nothing bc when you saw them they gave you a shot or took your BP and then the dr. came in and did the rest. But how many adults think that? Nowadays with NPs – you may only be seeing a nurse for care. And if you’ve had a baby or have a spouse whose had a baby – how do you not notice that the nurses are the ones who are there for the entire 12 or 24 or whatever hrs and they’re the ones who specifically know how you’re feeling, when you need pain meds after etc. — the doctors come in at specified times but don’t have that constant watch over every patient.

      • Coach Laura :

        NP is exploding as an option that wasn’t there 10 years ago. It really is a higher ROI than med school and gives a lot of options (unless you can’t bear to be, for example, anything besides a surgeon it’s really wide open). NPs can be self-employed in some states and have much more opportunities than bedside nursing. Average salaries are $120,000 and some – such as mental health – can make $200,000-300,000.

        Side note – My daughter was accepted to a PMHNP program today!

    • Humanities Professor :

      Assistant professor in the humanities at a major private research university. MCOL city. $80k. Of course, I spent my twenties making $25k as a grad student. I’m 6 years out of grad school now, this is my second tenure-track job. Love my career – I could be making more money in a different field, but I don’t know anything else that would afford me the independence and professional freedom of my current job while paying me as much money.

      • Humanities Professor :

        Also, obligatory note that the job market in the humanities is terrible, lots of very smart people don’t get jobs or don’t get “good” jobs (ie, have to move to areas of the country they don’t want to live in and have teaching loads that don’t leave any time for research). Don’t go to grad school assuming you will get a job like mine. I’m smart and do good work, but I also got very very lucky.

    • In-house counsel, 10 years out of law school. Total compensation ~ 270K annually (salary, bonus, equity). I like the people, the work (financial services/technology), the hours (45-50 hours a week, occasionally a late evening, very rarely weekend time). Lots of autonomy and room for growth.

      I work from home now (relocation due to academic spouse) which is an additional plus for this self-starting introvert :)

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        Your job sounds amazing!!

        • It really is – I am fortunate.

          Also, I was laid off during the BigLaw massacre of 2008, and never would have looked for an in-house role so early in my career if it hadn’t been out of necessity – and I ended up finding a perfect fit. Sometimes things really do happen for a reason.

          • Brunette Elle Woods :

            Yes, my goal for 2017 is to get out of private practice entirely.

      • BigLaw 7th year associate. Base compensation 300k with potential for 100k bonus. The work can be tedious, but not always, and I like most of the people I work with, which is what keeps me here. The hours are good by BigLaw standards — 50 hours is a slow week but its rare I work more than 80 hours a week. Try to work late evenings rather than weekends but typically do a substantial amount of work on the weekend once a month. Other weekends I respond to email and might do 1-3 hours of work and always some admin to keep things from getting out of control. The stress is worse than the hours in truth.

        Think I have a 50/50 shot at partner sometime in the next 3 years. 80% chance of making counsel, maybe better. Haven’t left because I haven’t found anything I would rather do that doesn’t significantly chop my salary and swap hours for commuting time. Going in house might limit my hours to 50 a week 90% of the time but I’ve have a 2 hour commute, possibly longer, each day that would be driving in traffic. Moving isn’t an option due to family circumstances.

    • Anonymous lurker :

      Government JD-required but not practicing law. Very HCOL. Just broke $200,000 this year with great benefits and defined benefit retirement plan plus 401K and 403B match. 20-plus years out of law school. The work is routine but the hours are reasonable and highly predictable. At this point I am looking forward to retirement and finding most of my fulfillment outside work.

    • $155k, with generous health and other benefits — Associate General Counsel at a not-for-profit; I’m the junior person in a two-person legal department. We live just outside of a HCOL city, so I guess MCOL? Graduated law school in 2008, moved in-house in 2015. I work 45 hours/week most weeks, with some travel and some weekends. The best part is that everyone is so sane: nothing is treated like an emergency unless it IS an emergency. Want to stay forever.

    • LCOL city on its way to becoming HCOL; work in fundraising (major gifts), $73,000 with incredible benefits (403b contributions matched 150% up to 8% meaning I contribute 8% to get 20% of my salary invested). Hours are generally 9-5 except occasional events and dinners, some regional and national travel. I’m feeling sort of ready for a change – not sure development is where I want to spend the rest of my life, but there will always be jobs and I’m at the lower end of the pay scale (this is my first MGO role, overall about 8 years experience in fundraising roles)

    • a millenial :

      STEM specialty consulting at a firm in SF. base 85k, bonus ~10k. 40 hours a week, love my work and projects but wish i got paid more because this city is incredibly expensive. 4 years work experience + 2 grad school. i used to work in trading in specialty product and made ~120k fresh out of college for 2 years but hated the job and work and it was ~60-70 hours a week.

    • I work in a training department for the Government and make about $98k in a HCOL area. I am 10 years from college and this job has given me the opportunity to have three children and a successful marriage. I am fulfilled but I believe a large part of that is knowing when isn’t a good time to be promoted or go ‘all in’ with my career. My husband and I both had seasons when we were striving for advancement/promotions and where we each leaned in or out accordingly. We never lean in at the same time because that isn’t compatible with our family life.

    • JD-preferred contract administration type position, $87k, LCOL. I am a 2008 law school grad, with 6 solid years of experience relevant for this position. I don’t work more than 42ish hours a week (I come in early by preference to settle in, not because I need/have to), our 401k is pretty good with matching, vacation is meh, and our health insurance just went to crap. Bonus is completely dependent on BU performance. Last year it was 2% of salary.

      However, I love the people on my team, I like the work, and it’s interesting enough. I no longer look for fulfillment in my job though. That’s what the rest of my life is for! :)

    • STEM job (Business Intelligence Analyst is the job title), $98k, HCOL, fairly well-known private research university. I do data analysis and reporting for the entire university – graduate and undergrad. Really good benefits.
      I work from home 2x per week. I work 37 hours per week. The university contributes 10% of my salary to a 403(b) regardless of how much I contribute. Once I start making 6 figures, that percentage will go up to 15%. We don’t get bonuses, but people don’t usually get fired. I never work weekends. I have 4 weeks vacation and unlimited sick time.
      Regarding the job, it ebbs and flows. Right now I don’t have a boss, which is good usually, but can be tough when you need answers and nobody responds. I’m having that problem now.
      I’ve been out of college for almost 25 years and I have an MBA.

    • FrankieCat :

      Former Law Librarian now Finance Librarian in a MCOL city. I def do not miss working in a law firm! Work in Finance is a bit more varied and interesting, perfect for a research/stats nerd like me

    • Calibrachoa :

      Contractor IT monkey in an European capital city working for an American multinational, €36K a year with sad benefits. My job is a lot like the IT crowd, only with higher stakes.

      I am one of those occasional anomalies where I don’t have a degree because I dropped out of school for medical reasons, but thanks to the nature of IT having the hard skills to do the job mattered more than the piece of paper back when I first got my foot in the door. I plan on rectifying that when I get a good opportunity to do so, but in the mean time I just bask in my lack of student loans ;)

    • Anonymous :

      10 years out of college, 9 out of masters, former journalist now in small consulting firm (mostly research/ writing/ editing). $60K. HCOL. 30-40 hours/ week, 100% work from home, work emergencies are very rare. This situation works perfectly with kids, and let’s face it, it’s more than I’ve ever made as a journalist…

    • Until 6 months ago was a VP at a technolgy company (not a start up!) making 180 + 40-50k in bonus potential. Lots of travel, worked 60-70 hours a week on average.

      For a variety of reasons, I’m now a part time cofounder in a start-up consulting firm. I work about 10-15 hours/week and earn about $150/hr (pretax, but I pay a lot of taxes…). I bill out at more but give a cut back into our business. I have nothing to do with sales/BD, and am 100% billable. It’s pretty great. We get all benefits etc through my husband and I’m home with our high needs kids in a way I never really expected/thought possible.

      I’ll probably go more like 20-25 hours/week starting Q2 and may get back into the full corporate stuff in a few years. Or not. Will depend how things go for my husband, who is now making about 250k.

      HCOL suburbs.

    • KS IT Chick :

      Healthcare IT, with an emphasis in compliance. I have a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences with an emphasis in geography & history. I’ve spent most of this week dealing with drug charges & billing issues, plus building components of a new hospital information system involving patient registration and diagnostic imaging. I’m the information security officer for my facility, as well.

      Last year, I broke $70K for the first time. I’m at the low end for positions of my type, due to location in a LCOL area of a LCOL state. If we ever move, I’ll probably see a significant salary increase.

    • Cyber security :

      200k including bonus as mid-level management in a f500 media company. Great benefits, short commute, telework flexibility, 45ish hours per week. I’m 10ish years out of college/military. I have a BS in a non-technical discipline but military experience jump started my career. And allowed me to totally avoid student loans.

      This is not my dream field, but I have a great lifestyle, young kids, and no desire to switch right now. My job is interesting and challenging enough that I mostly look forward to it.

      • This seems crazy good.

        What do you actually do? Are you a self-trained programmer?

        • Cyber security :

          Nope, I do cyber risk management. So threat analysis, some mitigation strategy/solutions sourcing, employee training and awareness, and policy and compliance. I’ve picked up technical knowledge along the way, but other than needing a fundamental understanding of how computers and networks work, my job is non-technical. It’s a total unicorn and I feel really fortunate to have ended up here. It was a lot of luck and saying yes to odd opportunities; I definitely didn’t have a master career plan.

    • Labor relations in house at a large nonprofit organization after almost 10 years practicing law. MCOL city, just under six figures + great benefits. Definitely took a pay cut, but it’s interesting, very challenging work and is strictly 8-5 (sometimes 8:30-4:30) without weekends or an expectation of being available by phone/email outside of work.

    • Esperanza :

      Compliance and insurance procurement at an international consulting firm making just under 100K w/ excellent benefits. HCOL city. 7 years out of college with a BA. Sometimes I feel like I am living the dream career- I have a low stress/high flexibility position (telework, casual attire, 10 minute commute, 47 hrs per week– “European Fridays”). I know that I’ve got unfulfilled potential but its very hard to jump ship when the ship is a luxury cruise. Part of me is bitterly sad that I chose this instead of law school or medical school, but many of my late twenties friends who did go make much less than me and/or have exquisitely stressful lives.

    • SocialScienceAP :

      Social science entry-level professor, $120k for 9 months and additional 2-month salaries in the summer. Most R1 universities pay similar salaries for my discipline.

      I feel very fulfilled. I get paid reading journal papers I love and conducting research I love. Hour is bad but most faculties work more than 60 hours a week regardless of discipline and nobody complains about it.

      The only real drawback is many academic positions are in semi-isolated areas and I end up in a very small college town and the job market is not large enough for a junior professor to have many options and even any bargaining power for locations.

    • ~72K associate attorney at small general practice law firm in area with LCOL. I am 2 years out of law school and am in Court 3+ times per week. Can get busy on weeks with more intense hearings (50 hours plus), but the flexibility of a small law firm is wonderful. I have almost total autonomy with my own client load. Good deal for an associate of only 2 years. Not great benefits though and my firm can feel very old-fashioned.

  23. Closet Redux :

    For those of you with short hair, are you able to wash your hair at night? I really want to shower at night instead of in the mornings (better for my schedule with two small children at home) but my hair looks like a mad scientist’s in the morning. The amount of time I have to spend to get it to look presentable for the day makes me feel like whatever time I’ve saved by showering the night before is lost. What am I doing wrong? Should I dry and style it before bed? Use some sort of product to help? Re-wet and blow dry in the morning? help!

    • I think a lot of this depends on your hair texture. Some people can get away with sleeping on it any which way, though I am not one of them. I now have very short hair, and I do wash it at night. In the morning, I enjoy the mad scientist look as I get ready, and then by the time I’m done, gravity has done most of the work of bringing it back down to sanity. The rest of the madness I tame with gel–and I prefer some gel in it anyway. If you have to re-wet it and all that in the morning, you might as well just wash in the morning instead–but I say you can do this. Short hair don’t care!

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Nope. I have to wash it in the morning or blow dry it at night and make sure it’s completely dry before I lay down, or it’ll look like something exploded on my head. Even getting it a bit damp if I take a bath usually means I have to shower the next morning. I have super thick hair that is very straight, including sticking straight up. So, fixing it with gel doesn’t really work. :/

    • I used to have short hair and, like you, prefer to shower at night. In the mornings, I would just get my short hair wet enough so that I could blow it out. It seemed to work ok and definitely took less time than taking a full shower. Alternatively, can you get away with running a flat iron through it?

      • Another vote for flat iron. I have a chin-length bob, shower at night and then flat iron in the morning. Since my hair is thick, this is still quicker than showering in the morning and blowing it out.

    • The problem is definitely that you’re going to bed with it wet. I don’t even have short hair, but if I let it completely air dry before going to bed, it looks great. If I go to bed with wet hair, it’s a disaster.

    • I also prefer to shower at night, but I have to either shower basically the second my daughter is asleep OR add the extra time to blow-dry my hair. I can’t let it airdry at night or it’s a disaster in the morning, even if it seems 98% dry when I go to bed. Air-drying in the morning works totally fine though.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      I can now that I cut it so short that there is no opportunity for it to look like “mad scientist.” When I had a bit longer pixie, I would have to slightly re-wet and blow-dry in the morning, but that took all of 2 minutes. Still saved time compared to showering in the am.

    • I have a pixie and look like Kid N Play (or Flock of Seagulls, if i tossed and turned a bit) when I wake up, no matter what I do. I rewet with a spray bottle, so its far less wet than a shower and restyle.

  24. Vacation ideas? :

    We are looking for a spring (late April) vacation in a warm weather destination. Caveat is it can’t be longer than a 3 hour flight from the east coast and we can’t go to Miami (Zika). We like to stay somewhere we can walk to restaurants (not a resort). Any ideas? We really want to go to a beach but our beach vacations are always in Miami and everywhere else I find in Florida seems like you need to drive most places. We willl have a toddler with us.

    • Beach and no Zika close to the East Coast is a tough combo, it pretty much limits you to Northern Florida or the Gulf Coast areas of Mississippi, since South Florida and all of the Caribbean has Zika. If you can do without the beach, I’d vote for Charleston or Savannah – tons of great restaurants and hotels and they’ll be nice and warm in late April.

      • Aren’t there beaches near Savannah and Charleston?

      • About 10 miles outside of Savannah is Tybee Island. Small hotels and a bunch of rental properties with beach and restaurants in walking distance. Also, you might look at St Simons Island which is btwn Savannah and Jacksonville. A little more upscale than Tybee, but still has a village feel.

        • Savannahian here. Don’t go to Tybee, it’s gross.
          Check out Amelia Island, St. Simons, and Sea Island.

        • Vacation ideas? :

          These are all great suggestions, thanks. We are looking at Amelia Island with the hope that it might be warmer than some of the Carolina beaches. I am also thinking of spending a few days in Charleston and then heading to the beach…

    • Hilton Head! Or any of the sea islands in GA.

    • How about St. Pete? They have a booming downtown with a growing foodie scene that is very walkable. There is even a small beach on the edge of downtown, or you could make the 10 minute drive to St. Pete beach.

    • Bermuda

  25. I bought six matching frames to do a gallery wall at the end of my hallway. I plan to fill them over time with things we collect while traveling, but I’d like to go ahead and hang them now. Any suggestions for inexpensive prints or art to place in them for now? Since this will eventually be replaced, I don’t want to spend much. The frames are thin gold with white mats, and the hallway has a turquoise/pale blue runner (if that matters). Thanks for any suggestions!

    • I just bought this for my own gallery wall and think it would be beautiful with your color scheme:

    • What about black and white family photos? You can get them printed inexpensively at places like Shutterfly.

    • Frozen Peach :

      Check out Society6.

    • Cavallini Gift Wrap, if it fits in your frames! $4 a pop

    • Anonymous lurker :

      Maps? Menus from your favorite restaurants? Family photos?

      My designer left a frame or two empty in my gallery wall and it looked great. (Really empty — just the glass and the wall showing through.

    • Depending on how wild you are, some of my favorite Etsy stores are:

      Zane Kesey (I bought an Oliver Hibert blotter paper thing in gorgeous rainbows, framed up great, not for everyone)

      Belle Lune Arts (I have bought prints of her animal paintings and I love them — pretty neutral)

      Everyday Candy (wild fiber arts!)

    • Consider Paper Source. I got some cool printed sheets of wrapping paper and cut and framed it.

    • Anonymous :

      Postcards of every country or city you’ve been to…..

  26. I really like the look of the Madison skirt from MML, but it’s about twice what I really want to pay, and the fact that it’s not machine washable is a dealbreaker. Anyone have any recs for a similar-but-machine-washable skirt, preferably for about half the price? Bonus points if it comes in more colors than just black.

    • Coach Laura :

      Talbots had machine washable skirts on sale that look similar. Search for “Flounced skirt”

  27. How do you cope with just not feeling successful AT ALL? Like many (most) women reading here — I was the over achiever in HS who went to a top ivy undergrad followed by a top law school. By no means did I think I’d be a CEO or anything, but I always assumed that as a workaholic with decent people skills and a good resume, I’d be successful. I look around at my classmates and some (not all) have achieved prestigious titles, make great money etc.

    Objectively it’s not like I’m doing badly esp for law – did the biglaw thing. Now employed elsewhere and while I do not like it and feel stuck – it’s the type of organization that gets 500+ resumes for every 1 opening; I am getting paid ~170k – which is a pittance compared to my successful classmates but really good as some of the post biglaw jobs can be HUGE steps down financially. But bc I’m not happy/feeling it – I just don’t know what to do . . . . It was hard enough to find this job, I feel like finding another will be next to impossible. And I am not getting any younger either – 37 – I feel like if you don’t achieve big success by 35ish it isn’t happening. So now what – I just “get thru” the rest of my life like this? Give me some thoughts to help me feel better. I don’t really talk about this IRL except to 1 (hugely successful) friend and even with her I downplay it so as not to bring the whole conversation down. TBH I am not open to something like therapy either. WWYD?

    • Imagine if you’d been a C student as a kid. Then you could have spent your life just trying to be happy and/or housed/clothed/fed.

      None of this:
      I am working at BK. Should I be working at McDonalds?
      Am I doing hair at am AmLaw100 Salon? AmLaw50?
      Do I live in the *right* zipcode?
      I fix cars with metric tools/parts; should I embrace metric? Or throw that over for domestic cars?

      Achievement culture can have some wickend bad tentacles in you. Live like a bronze medalist, not a silver (google if you dont’ get this at first).

    • Get a hobby.

      You make a ton of money. You are successful. What you need is something to do with your free time.

      • +1

        Your post makes me upset.

        You have it so so good.

        You have no idea how bad it can be and you are no where close.

        • WTH? OP says she knows she’s objectively doing well – I think she even says she knows it’s good money etc. She’s just not happy. Do you normally get upset if someone is depressed?

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Do some volunteer work or something to get some perspective.

    • While you don’t feel successful, I think you probably realize that you are very successful, relative to most people. You are comparing yourself to your uber-successful friends– did they stay in BigLaw and that’s why they’re earning huge salaries? You left BigLaw for a reason, and I’m sure you knew that doing so would result in a cut in salary and possibly “prestige”.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Why are you not open to therapy? It could really help you. I honestly turned my life completely around with a long and intense round of therapy.

      Failing that:

      Affirmations (may I suggest starting with “comparison is the thief of joy”)
      Finding something to do. I have love, love, loved my local Rotary Club for a variety of reasons ranging from “it gives me an opportunity to do service” to “I met my adorable husband there.”

      I understand how you feel. I always thought I would be hugely successful in my career and although I have a job a lot of people would envy, I haven’t set the world on fire the say I thought I would. It’s tough to let go of that dream/fantasy/goal/whatever. It’s a loss and it’s appropriate to mourn it. But I do think counting your blessings is never inappropriate, either.

      • +1 Therapy. It wasn’t so much that I needed to realize I had it so good, I knew I did and do, it was more that I needed to re-calibrate my expectations for myself. I needed to realize that being a good person, being able to take care of myself, being a good friend and a good partner, and being me was GOOD ENOUGH. I also needed to realize that there was absolutely nothing wrong with good enough. I still work hard and do my best, and I still aim to improve, but I no longer hold myself to unrealistic standards that, quite frankly, are not even on the radar of a lot of people. It was also important to realize that I was the ONLY ONE holding myself to these standards. No one else cared if I made partner or worked 80 hours a week.

    • You have achieved big success. You’re possibly depressed or are sunk so far into a bubble that you don’t see how most of the world lives. If you don’t think you’re depressed, get out and go travel to a country that is not as wealthy as yours. See how people live. Get some perspective.

    • First of all, 170K is great money. I get that it’s maybe not considered great money for BigLaw, but it is great money on every other scale and it’s more than anyone I know makes… by a lot (I do not run in BigLaw circles).

      If you define success by salary, you’ll never have enough. Do you genuinely feel like you need more money to have what you want or need in life, or is it more that this is the barometer against which you measure success? Who cares if others are making double or triple as much? Use that 170K to make the life you want.

      All that said, I am sorry to hear that you feel this way and I do relate, though in a different way. I also got straight As in school, went to a top college, did all the activities, etc. etc. and now I feel like the corporate world just doesn’t reward the stuff I’m good at to the degree I was used to in school. I’m good at LIFE stuff, like balancing meaningful relationships, reading lots of books, traveling, being well-informed, keeping a cute place… but in terms of marketable skills that someone will pay me a good salary for, not so much. I have a great job and I like it, but it’s not going to get me written up in the college alumni magazine, you know?

      What really means success for you? What do you think will make you happy? Try to answer these questions without naming some high salary or prestigious firm. It sounds like you like gold stars and feeling like you’re doing better than your peers, but if you define yourself that way, you’ll always feel like you’re losing.

      I had similar feelings recently and a friend told me, kindly, that I needed to get some perspective. This reminds me of the thread earlier this week about jealousy. Sure, you could have been born into obscene amounts of money, or you could have been a Syrian refugee, a girl in some country that marries you off at age 12, a person in a manufacturing town with no jobs, and so on. You already have it better than most. I don’t say this to make you feel bad because your feelings are valid, but I just think it’s valuable to start from a place of gratitude and then work to make the changes you want to see in your life.

    • You probably grew up where there were convocations saying how great your class was, how you were going places, how you were a gift to the world, how you would do great things or change the world, etc. b/c you tested well (etc.).

      If they meant Nobel / Medal of Honor / Knighthood, they should have specified: don’t believe the hype. Not all 2000 people in your class were going to do that.

      And yet, you are great, changing the world, etc., etc. We all are. And none of is.

      But reframe it — no one said “no Nobel Prize = loser”.

    • Anonymous :

      I echo what everyone else has said, but also just want to provide an anecdote about success later in life – my mom is a professor in a STEM field who put her career on pause to have me and my siblings and raise us. For many years she was just teaching and not doing much research and was not really successful, especially for someone with a PhD from a top school. She restarted her research career when the youngest was in middle school and now – 20+ years – later is 65 and a huge bigshot in her field, who is invited as a keynote speaker all over the world. All of her major research accomplishments came after her 50th birthday. And her field is famously one where people peak early and a lot of people (wrongly) believe it’s hard to make major breakthroughs after you turn 30. Until you’re dead or mentally incapacitated, it is literally never too late to chase the dream career.

      • This. And OP you are not even 40 yet!! I don’t think “later in life” even applies. Sure your peers may be making partner or GC or whatever right now – but this is just the promotion. It’s through your 40-50s that you develop that partnership or that GC role or whatever. And as those some people flourish in those roles, others do fine but want out etc. — there is movement . . . .

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Volunteer. I found my volunteer accomplishments so much more fulfilling than my traditional professional ones. You sound like you need to feel like you are a good person. Go do things for other people. You will feel better about yourself. You can start small. Give a homeless person a wrapped protein bar. Donate to a friend’s fundraiser. Long term though, look to get involved in an organization. Walk dogs at the shelter. Serve food at a soup kitchen. Be a big sister.

    • nasty woman :

      “And I am not getting any younger either – 37 – I feel like if you don’t achieve big success by 35ish it isn’t happening.”

      Huh? This is ridiculous. I don’t know why you’re not open to therapy, but it sounds like you need it, and sorrynotsorry for saying it. You’re trapped in some really bad cognitive loops that are just not serving you.

      You need to find fulfillment outside of work. You, like many people, including myself, probably lived your academic and early career life thinking that success in those arenas will provide true fulfillment. Well, surprise, for most people it doesn’t- either because they don’t achieve that ultimate success or because, frankly, there’s only so much work can do. You need to disabuse yourself of the notion that work can provide everything fulfilling in your life. And that success is necessary for you to feel good about yourself or happy. Read Brene Brown- her work on perfectionism may help you. For me, it took therapy to straighten out my relationship with work, which was an over dependence on my career to provide security, intellectual stimulation, engagement and self-worth. That is a recipe for failure for about a hundred different reasons. Sounds like you need help even identifying what your needs are, in addition to how to meet them. That’s not a dig- its just that a lot of people get locked into thought patterns that may be really helpful in one regard (ie, you were obviously able to develop a great career for yourself) but unhelpful in others (you attach self worth to your career which leaves you vulnerable because, realistically, you will never be the best). They use those thought patterns and frameworks to try to figure out why they’re unhappy, but that framework is too ridged to get to the right questions/answers.

      Family, hobbies, volunteering, creativity, exploration, travel, friendships, learning, intellectual curiosity, spirituality… these are the things that will lead you to fulfillment.

    • Coach Laura :

      This is a hard transition. Many people go through something like this. Stepping back and taking a long term view of your career and life would help. Perhaps a reset of some type: plan a milestone trip, climb Mt Rainier, reconnect with friends/family, go on a yoga retreat, train for a charity race/bike ride.

      Then spend some time reflecting on where you might go, what you might do. Mind-map, journal, daydream. It’s a long life and long career.

      If you won’t see a counselor how about a career coach? Or break down and talk to friends IRL. I promise you’re not the only mid-career lawyer facing this.

      Other Options include working up to a career change, focusing on hobbies or volunteering outside your career, moonlighting, taking Italian classes with the goal of living there at retirement, virtually anything is possible.

      Sounds corny but you have many more options than you think and a long life w many accomplishments ahead of you. If you don’t feel better in a few months then please see a therapist.

      (On phone pls excuse typos)

  28. Jersey dress recommendation :

    I’m honeymooning in Japan in March, and I need some travel wardrobe basics. I’d love a grey/neutral jersey-type dress with sleeves that I can wear with slip-on sneakers. I’m a pear, so I tend towards fit-and-flares, but that style seems juvenile paired with sneakers. Any ideas < $100? Or brands good for pears?

    • sounds great… no ideas but would love to hear others’!

    • OK I know this sounds nuts, but off Amazon I got this dress: “Star Vixen Women’s Elbow Sleeve Ity Knit Short Skater Waist-Seam Dress with Scoop Neckline and “X” Crossback Detail” (it was like $20 when I got it) and it is shockingly flattering. Like I threw it on with leggings and flat boots to take kiddo to the pizza place and my husband was all “gotta hot date?!” I also have and quite like a dress called “VfEmage Womens Vintage Summer Polka Dot Wear To Work Casual A-line Dress” also from Amazon. It has *pockets*!

    • This one has cap sleeves, so maybe not what you’re looking for. Grey

      I have it in black and wear it all the time in the summer and fall; I liked it so much I got it in magenta when it was on sale (I mostly wear black and gray, buying magenta was huge for me).

      Have a great trip.

    • Check out loft – lou and grey’s signature soft dresses are so cozy and comfortable. i’m more likely to wear mine with flats or casual boots, but could work with sneakers.

  29. Dated References? :

    I’m giving a presentation to some college students next week. Some of the slides have photos/gifs to illustrate certain points, and I want to make sure they are suitable to the audience. Will college-age students know/”get” references to Mean Girls?

  30. We’re moving our TV and sofa into our recently finished basement – the room is rectangular and the shorter side is 12′. But our TV is not huge and the sofa should really only be about 8 or 9 feet from the TV. There’s no way we will be able to see the TV well if we put both it and the sofa against opposite walls. Do we will pull the TV back from the wall or the sofa? Or both? Can we hang stuff on the wall behind the sofa, even if there’s a couple foot gap between the sofa and the wall?

    • Furniture doesn’t have to go against your walls. The TV probably should, but you can float your couch away from the wall.

      • you could put a sofa table between the back of the couch and the wall and add some lamps if you want to fill the space.

        • Anonymous :

          This is what I do and it’s great. I live in a small apartment and it helps with storage space. We have artwork behind the couch and it looks fine.

      • Anonymous :

        But can you still put artwork on the wall behind the sofa if the sofa is floated several feet out from the wall?

        • Anonymous :

          Probably – hard to say without seeing it. You can do something intentional, like put a console behind the sofa with a chair to make a little desk and then do things on the wall behind that. Another option is that you can rearrange the room differently – maybe think about putting the soft and tv to face the short end, so that you have even more space behind your sofa to do things with. If you browse around apartment therapy, you can find lots of different room layouts.

    • I’d pull the TV not the sofa. I don’t know why just my preference. The only time I’ve seen sofas not against the walls is if they are pulled forward to be around a fancy rug and then you have one of those tables behind the sofa and then several feet of walking room behind that – almost creating a “hallway” kind of effect. Absent having that much room, leave the sofa on/near the wall and pull the tv closer.

      • Anonymous :

        The thing with pulling a tv away from the wall is cords — you’ll have a few feet of exposed cord spaghetti.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Put into G-oo-gle Images (trying to keep out of moderation) “sofa away from wall,” second photo (the white couch with the ledge behind it). I think that looks really nice- it’s away from the wall, but because there’s a shallow shelf there, it adds visual interest.

      I’ve also seen some cool looks where a shallow bookcase (one of the ones with multiple cubbies) is right behind the couch- the bottom of the bookcase is used for out of season storage because it’s blocked by the couch.

      I think it’ll look nice- good luck!

  31. Anonymous :

    We just moved and our apartment front door slams really loudly if you don’t close it very carefully. Short of getting a new door which isn’t an option, is there another solution? I’m not the handiest so just wondering if there’s a WD-40 type fix for this that I’m simply not aware of. TIA.

    • I’ve only used this on interior doors, but perhaps it will work on an exterior door (that is much heavier.) You know the little circular pads that you put on the bottom of chair legs to prevent them from scraping the floor? I stuck a bunch to the door jamb; they act as a buffer and really minimize the noise.

Leave a Reply to For Procrastinator Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Thank you for commenting. On the off chance that your comment goes to moderation, note that a moderation message will only appear if you enter an email address. If you have any questions please check out our commenting policy.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.