Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Silk Dress with Wrap Tie

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

I always forget about COS, and I don’t know why — they’re just not among my usual visits online. I really like them, because their designs have such a modern aesthetic (and oftentimes, pockets!), and many of their pieces are made from beautiful silk (like this dress, in a color they’re calling watermelon). The brand is a little bit edgy and, this might sound weird, but — a little joyful, too. We’re featuring this dress as styled with pants in part because it’s fun to see a different look. Also, if you want to get some more versatility out of your dress or are worried it’s too short for whatever situation you’re going into, wearing it with pants is one of those old style-maven tricks that is never really trendy but never really goes out of style, either; it either works on you or it doesn’t. (I’d say if you’re tall, it’s more likely to be the former.) The dress has a wrap tie detail, pockets (hurrah!), and a hidden back zip. It comes in sizes 2–14 (alas, the 14 is sold out) and is $175. Silk Dress with Wrap Tie

For plus sizes: Granted, this dress has a different style, but it’s made from silk in a pretty shade of pink, is on sale for the same price ($174 from $388), and is machine washable. It comes in sizes 1X–3X.

Psst: Speaking of silk, did you catch our recent post about of Everlane’s new Clean Silk collection?

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Comments

  1. Japan recs? :

    Has anyone been to Japan? Am going to Tokyo & Kyoto and would love recommendations. I’ve never been anywhere in Asia. Love food, history, walking around fun neighbourhoods, music… what should I see? Budget is pretty flexible. I have 10 days

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, I used this article – links to Tokyo and Kyoto: http://snippetandink.com/japan-honeymoon/

    • Puddlejumper :

      If you post your email I can send you my Japan rec google doc.

    • BabyAssociate :

      If those are the things you like, you’re going to LOVE Japan. Visit all the temples, eat all the noodles. My strategy was to hit whatever site I wanted to see that day early and then spend the afternoon/evening wandering and eating.

      For Toyko: don’t miss the Meiji Shrine, it’s in this nicely wooded park and feels so secluded even though you’re in the middle of a huge city. Ramen Nagi was possibly my favorite, it’s in Golden Gai on the second floor and seats maybe 10 people.

      For Kyoto: I’d definitely go to Arashiyama, but skip the bamboo forest unless you’re there VERY early (before 7), and hit all the temples in the mountains. Amazing. Do go to Fushimi inari-taisha, but again, go super early. Walk all the way up to the top too, it’s so peaceful. I think I spent 2.5 hours at Fushimi inari and was out by about 9:30 and it was totally mobbed.

      • Wanderlust :

        I wouldn’t skip the bamboo forest. It will be crowded, sure, but it’s still a beautiful site. While you’re up in Arashiyama, plan on having lunch at Steak Otsuka for some unforgettable A5 Murasawa beef. Allegedly you can make reservations, but you can also put your name down for a table day-of.

    • It’s amazing. Second the Fushimi inari rec, but we found it wasn’t very crowded once you got a little past the entrance. In Tokyo sushi for breakfast near the fish market and go to a baseball game if you at all like baseball – it’s so fun!

    • Senior Attorney :

      When I went to Japan I hired private guides from toursbylocals dot com. Was very happy with them and it made it so much easier, given that I didn’t speak the language and couldn’t even read street signs.

      Also: You are going to have such a great time!!

    • Visit a traditional guesthouse with their own hot springs and spa (onsen). It’s a splurge, but so so worth it! We went to this one on a peninsula between Tokyo and Kyoto (easy to reach with a local train from the main Shinkansen line), and absolutely loved it. https://www.hotels.com/ho600544

    • Second a lot of what other folks have said (definitely visit Fushimi inari!)–but I wanted to add that there are some great potential side trips for both of those sites. Nara is easily accessible from Kyoto, and Nikko from Tokyo–both are stunningly gorgeous world heritage sites.

      When my husband and I did a similar trip, we stopped at Mount Koya en route from Tokyo to Kyoto, and it was AMAZING. It’s a small site in the mountains that’s the home of Shingon Buddhism–the village contains over 100 temples in something like 6 square kilometers. You can stay overnight at about half of the temples and sample shojin ryori (temple cuisine); we stayed at Fukuchi-in, and it was probably the best meal we had on the entire trip (which is a high bar!). Generally, it looks like a cross between Endor and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

      Have a fabulous time!

    • The Great Buddha of Kamakura and Mount Fuji are both day trips from Tokyo. We did both, but I preferred the hiking trails around Kamakura. Fuji was covered in clouds every time we got near enough to see it, so don’t be surprised if you miss it.

      We went to a play at the National Theater in Tokyo. They had headphones where you could select which language you wanted. In Kyoto we went to a touristy version that was very disappointing compared to seeing the real thing in Tokyo. We also went to a baseball game and had a blast.

    • Try to plan for around 4 days in Kyoto, 1 day trip to Nara (the oldest wooden temple standing in the world), maybe one-two days stay in Osaka, one night trip to some hot spring (ryokan, traditional Japanese hotel) on the coast, and first and last days in Tokyo. Get JR pass that is only available to tourists traveling to Japan, it works on bullet train, and will pay off pretty quickly. Take lots of cash. Snack on food from convenience stores, its great. And bring super comfy shoes, there is a lot of walking.

  2. TTC/Insurance Woes :

    While I’m incredibly grateful to have access to insurance at all, I’ve been so disheartened by the challenges of understanding fertility coverage under medical plans. I just went through open enrollment, and as I’ve been TTC for 14 months with no success (despite everything checking out completely normal for me and my husband), I was particularly focused on whether IVF or other advanced fertility was covered, as that may be a step in the coming months and is prohibitively expensive.

    All materials online about my current plan say that it covers infertility treatments the same as other medical treatments. Great! But just to be safe, I looked at the actual plan documents available through my provider, and saw in the fine print that IVF/ART is specifically excluded. This led me down a rabbit hole of trying to figure out if ANY plans offered through my work cover IVF. Hours and hours of calls later, I learned my employer’s plan administrator (we use a third party) did not have access to this information (they even assured me it was probably covered based on the language in their summaries). I scoured my carrier’s website, but no information was available. Finally, after several additional calls, I was able to speak with someone who – if I gave him each of my employer’s offerings – could look them up one by one and tell me if IVF was covered. And of course, out of the 12 plans available (some of which would cost me thousands of dollars a month), none cover IVF/ART. Maybe I am naive to imagine this would ever be covered, but given the costs of our plans, it seems like there should be at least one…

    I’m so disheartened by this process – going through infertility has taught me so much about my body, but it has led to some of the most disempowering experiences with insurance and doctors (why can’t my insurance tell me if they cover genetic testing or not?). I can’t help but feel that if this were driven my mens’ bodies, it would be front and center. It also scares me about the true cost of child birth if I can get pregnant, even though my plan claims to cover everything. I also want to tell my employer that none of our plans have this coverage – most of our employees are women of child bearing age – but I don’t feel I can speak openly about my situation at work.

    Anyway, just ranting – good luck to all of you out there dealing with insurance/fertility/medical issues.

    • Anonymous :

      Most plans don’t cover IVF. Move to NJ- we get 4 cycles.

      • TTC/Insurance Woes :

        That makes total sense and is not unexpected…I think what’s so frustrating is that for something so expensive AND so common (and I’m sure there are millions of other health care examples), it was incredibly challenging to find out if it was covered. Good to know about NJ. :)

      • Please explain the NJ thing? I live in NJ but work in PA

    • The lack of information and transparency is never okay.

      But – and I say this as an engaged woman in her mid/late 30s who might not be able to conceive without IVF and wants kids – I don’t have any problem with insurance not covering it. The “insurance company” doesn’t pay it; every single plan holder pays for it. The harsh reality is that covering IVF increases the premiums for everyone who wants insurance in case they get cancer or have a heart attack. (That said, there’s research indicating that not covering IVF is expensive for insurance companies, since people under financial pressure implant more embryos at a time, which radically increases the number of multiple children and therefore, low-birth weight babies who need expensive care.)

      What I’m saying is — if you’re going to try to lobby your company to change this, you might have to figure out how to make it not hideously expensive. That might be something like covering one round of egg retrieval and then requiring that the eggs be implanted singly.

      • Thanks for sharing always valuable to hear from someone with lots of knowledge and experience.

      • There’s no need to go into the “societal cost” of IVF. That’s how insurance works, paying into a pool that helps cover the rest of the individuals in the pool and vice versa. Don’t try to kick her while she’s down on a “don’t burden everyone else with your reproductive problems” argument. 1) As said above, that’s how insurance works in general, and 2) that’s the same sort of *itchy selfish conservative talk that pisses off everyone who think they shouldn’t contribute to the society they live in and benefit from, and the same argument is screamed by the poor lazy people using all the social services they hate so much (referring specifically to conservative rural folks that hate welfare and other support services but use most of such services in large swaths of the country).

        • The question is whether or not it’s an insurable risk, and whether or not people who want to be covered if they get cancer should pay for it.

          That you need to insult me proves that you are wrong.

      • I don’t like this argument. It’s a slippery slope into, well why should my premiums go towards your procedure X or medication Y.

        • Yes, this could VERY easily be applied to all forms of birth control.

          • Noo, it’s the opposite of birth control.

          • except that BC stops us from getting pregnant, and thus having children and using more healthcare costs. it is precisely the opposite

            IVF is expensive. pregnancy and birthing a child is expensive. and then you have children that have healthcare costs.

          • Take it a step further – pregnancy and birthing are expensive – and technically, elective. Should they not be covered?

          • Yes, technically IVF is the opposite of Birth Control, but it is often required as a result of birth control (waiting until fertility declines). Plus you could argue that viagra is opposite of birth control as well, and that’s covered. Why would that be?

        • Birth control should be freely available to all as a form of public health. Insurance coverage shouldn’t determine access at all. I have had so many bad experiences with gynecologists who seem to think that birth control is the be-all-end-all of women’s health; I would be happy if birth control was something I sought out for my own reasons, while my doctor remained in a position to caution me about its risks to my health.

      • I agree. I don’t see the slippery slope. I think elective medical services are AWESOME, but there are only going to be more and more of them, and I worry that including them as part of insurance-covered healthcare will make healthcare increasingly inaccessible.

        • I had to get an enlarged parathyroid gland removed because it was 200 times the size it was supposed to be. I wouldn’t have died if I kept it, just eventually gotten osteoporosis and non-stop brain fog. Having it removed was an elective medical procedure. And it was covered. So I think we are already in slippery slope territory.

          • Of course that should be covered. I’m not even sure why it was considered elective. (If that’s elective, then what isn’t?)

      • Sorry, but what you said is true of basically all medical procedures, not just IVF. The entire point of medical insurance is to spread the burden of medical care out over a larger group of people so that the cost of any particular medical treatment doesn’t overly burden one person.

        The difference here is that you are deeming IVF as “optional” while categorizing medical treatment for a heart attack or cancer as “necessary”. But you really don’t get to decide this. Would IVF be okay if the reason for infertility was medical and not just age-related? Or do we cut off someone’s health insurance if they have terminal cancer since, you know, we’d be paying lots of money for care that isn’t going to save their life (even if it’ll extend it).

        Heck, by that logic, you shouldn’t be responsible for “subsidizing” end-of-life hospice care because, really, isn’t dying with dignity really just a luxury that you shouldn’t have to pay for?

        And to go with a less hyperbolic example, do you think health insurance shouldn’t pay for people to get treatment for sports related injuries because they brought it on themselves and, really, is running “necessary”? Should *I* really have to be subsidizing hip or knee replacements or whatever so that people can keep walking or running….I mean, isn’t that what wheelchairs are for anyway? I mean, it’s their own personal preference to be able to keep walking, just like starting a family is a personal preference, right?

        Yes, IVF is expensive (though if it became more widely available to more people, the costs would likely come down), but so is almost every medical procedure we get. And it’s interesting to note how often medical procedures that are excluded from coverage for being “optional” are ones that are more likely to be used by women or people considered “less than” for some reason, including fertility treatments, bariatric surgeries, or mental health care/addiction treatment as examples.

        Honestly, I’ve always thought that these kinds of exclusions have less to do with the actual cost to the insurer (since, you know, generally we don’t let insurers refuse to cover care just because it’s expensive – not to mention the fact that many of these surgeries or procedures improve people’s long term health) and more to do with the fact that insurers know they can get away with not covering the service because the powers that be (who are mostly old white men) just won’t *care* that those services are or are not provided.

        • +1

        • +100

        • IVF gets you something you want more than health (a baby) at an acceptable cost to your health. It’s different from the fertility treatments that address infertility by making you healthier that are often tried first. I have infertility and a serious medical condition, and the choice to pursue IVF feels completely different from the choice to pursue needed medical treatment. It honestly does feel more optional. I just don’t need a baby the same way I need my health? And it matters a lot to me that women’s health (including reproductive health) not be reduced to “pregnancy avoidance” or “pregnancy achievement.” I’m open to the idea that I’m thinking about this all wrong, but I’m not persuaded that this is a clear cut women’s issue.

          • Agreed. A baby is optional. IVF is an elective procedure, just like plastic surgery to change the shape of your nose. I have had enough of people who think that having children is an entitlement, or anything beyond and OPTIONAL, ELECTIVE CHOICE. And it isn’t more noble (or more worthy) than elective plastic surgery. You want kids to enhance your life. PERIOD.

          • +1 million. I’ve had an IVF baby but I agree with this. I think other people should pay a portion of all my medical procedures (including anything related to my lady parts) but shouldn’t have to pay to help me get a baby, which is 100% optional. GoFundMes for adoption costs make me cringe for the same reason.

          • Anonymous :

            You’re thinking about this all wrong. And it isn’t a women’s issue it’s a humans issue.

          • How does covering IVF for women who want to make decisions about their own bodies (and how important having a baby is to them) somehow eliminating the rest of women’s health? The reason reproductive health comes up so much when we talk about women’s health issues is that it’s one of the few areas of medical care that are heavily regulated not based on quality of care, but based on what outside, non-medical, voices have to say about it (everything from BC to IVF to abortion falls into these categories).

            I’m glad for *you* that it feels more important to have your health than to have a baby but, again, insurance is a bit like taxes – we don’t each individually get to decide what our tax money subsidizes. And when you take something like IVF and say “this particular item should not be covered”, what you’re actually saying is “this particular item should not be *available to people who can’t afford to pay out of pocket*”. There’s nothing illegal about IVF and it is a medical procedure that many many women use every year….not insuring it just means that it’s only available to people with the wealth to afford it. Not exactly the hill I would choose to die on.

            And the importance of women’s health doesn’t begin and end with baby-making. For example, I don’t know this, but do insurances cover care for women who find out they have the BRAC gene who choose to follow the Angelina Jolie path and have surgery? Are we pushing more funding into researching PCOS and other wildly misunderstood and under-diagnosed chronic illnesses that largely impact people with uteruses? Or trying to address the massive inequalities in pregnancy outcomes and complications for women of color? I could go on, but I won’t.

            Because the real question is this: how does not covering IVF treatments for women who need it somehow result in more attention being paid to women’s health outside of pregnancy avoidance and achievement? It’s not a zero-sum game and I can almost guarantee that your insurance company isn’t sitting there thinking “oh, we could help the significantly higher proportion of women who have auto-immune disorders if only we didn’t have to pay for those pesky in-vitro treatments, but oh well….we’ve already spent our budget for the year on treating the “lady problems” so never mind.”

            The more research we can fund, the more insurance coverage we can get, and the broader access to (affordable) care we can achieve for all women, the rising tide will life all of us. We’re not going to go anywhere if we buy into the concept that some women’s health issues are somehow more valid or more “necessary” because the whole necessary vs. optional medical care thing isn’t there to help patients. It isn’t there to help improve the medical system. And it certainly isn’t there to help redirect funds into “real” medical issues. It’s just there to save insurance companies money because they can (and much like the tax cuts showed….giving a company extra money without any directions on how to use it does not, miraculously, result in them using it to improve society in any way. It just goes to their shareholders).

        • Anonymoose :

          +1000000

        • “The entire point of medical insurance is to spread the burden of medical care out over a larger group of people so that the cost of any particular medical treatment doesn’t overly burden one person.”

          Actually, that’s wrong. The entire point of insurance is to spread the *risk* of relatively unpredictable, infrequent, but expensive, procedures or costs among those who share that low risk.

          • Anonymous :

            So medical insurance doesn’t/shouldn’t cover preventive care? Like routine cancer screenings?

          • So your first point about insurance spreading out risk rather than burden is technically accurate and if you feel strongly about the wording, then fine. But that’s where you go off the rails a bit. Not all types of insurance function the same way and what you’re describing sounds like car insurance or homeowner’s insurance, not health insurance.

            By your definition, not only wouldn’t health insurance cover routine preventative care but it also wouldn’t cover medical care for people with chronic health problems (since those treatments are neither infrequent nor unpredictable). It also sounds like you think that people should be sorted into risk pools and should only have to buy insurance in a pool with people who share the same risk level which would result in a whole lot of people ending up uninsured and with no access to medical care. The whole problem with the “high risk pools” that people always talk about as an alternative for people with pre-existing conditions is that without low-risk people, health insurance can’t function.

            (Also, it’s simply not true that other kinds of insurance spread risk to “those who share that low risk”, even the examples I chose of car or homeowner’s insurance still rely on people with lower risk to subsidize higher risk people, if you are a driver with a spotless record who only drives their car to church on Sundays, you may get a lower cost insurance, but you are still in the same insurance pool with people who commute on heavily trafficked highways everyday.)

            I mean, if you’re arguing that health insurance doesn’t function like other kinds of insurance and as such America should have a different system for providing medical care to all no matter their health or income (like a universal payer system), then fine. But it sounds a LOT more like what you’re saying is that healthy people shouldn’t have to take on the risk (or…one might say….the burden) of health costs for people who aren’t as healthy as them and that those useless unhealthy people should…I’m not sure what? Maybe just disappear? Suffer and die at a young age? Well, unless they happen to be rich of course. Otherwise, I guess all of us high-risk folks should just shut up and be grateful that we get to live in the greatest country in the world, right?

            But, Anon, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that your issue is semantic and not that you think that my health insurance shouldn’t cover the medications and surgeries that have saved my life and continue to keep me alive now. So sure. Insurance spreads risk not burden. Whatever.

    • Don’t have any advice but just want to let you know I totally hear you. It’s soooo complicated to figure out what’s covered or not. I really don’t know how people figure out coverage. Do you work in biglaw by any chance? I think most of the biglaw firms cover IVF now. I’m TTC-ing now but have only been doing so for 6 months but I’m sure I’m going to have to figure out what fertility treatments are covered or not and I’m sure it’s going to be so annoying. I know it’s a tough process so sending you good vibes and hope you can figure it out. Don’t give up!

      • It’s usually not this hard to figure out. Your clinic will make the calls and tell you. It’s just tricky when you’re not yet ready to do that and trying to pick from different plans.

        • +1 This was my experience. My clinic (within a major hospital system, fwiw) called me and told me everything.

          • Health lawyer here who mostly works on insurance denials. I would not trust my provider to be accurately able to tell me whether a procedure is covered. If providers could do that even most of the time, I would be out of a job.

          • In my experience, insurance companies can’t even be bothered to provide current, accurate information about which providers are in and out of network. I have no idea what their legal obligations are, but getting any information from them that they will stand by later is a nightmare.

          • +1. This is my experience, too.

      • My firm covers (I believe) $25,000 for IVF. The nice thing is that the limit applies to the IVF-specific procedures; other doctor’s visits are covered just like any sick visit would be, injectables are under the prescription coverage, etc.

        That said, we have a high-deductible plan so I believe you have to exhaust your deductible first.

    • I feel you, its maddening. It’s like you’re blindly signing a contract without knowing, or even having access to, its material terms. How is that acceptable? Yet, its the norm. For me, I have a minor medical procedure every 90 days due to a chronic illness that my insurance requires pre-authorization for. If my insurance denies coverage its $4,000+ every 90 days. During open enrollment, I wanted to find out what the coverage and costs would be for this specific procedure and it was *NOT POSSIBLE*. So I just stuck with my current plan because at least its the devil I know…

      • This.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. It used to be that sometimes you could ask your medical provider what insurance plan Y covers for procedure Z. Now the insurance plans are so complex and volatile that the provider genuinely has no idea.

    • Health insurance, but not IVF related… earlier this year I had a fairly routine surgery and it took me about 4 hours on the phone over several days and talking to several different people (health insurance customer service, my doctor’s office, and the hospital) to determine if the surgery was covered under my insurance, if the doctors were all “in network” and approximately how much it would cost (I didn’t know if it would cost $1500 or $15,000). And I’m a pretty smart person and has a lot of patience and the time to make these phone calls and do the research. I don’t understand why it has to be so complicated generally to just learn what seems like it should be a fairly straightforward answer to a fairly straightforward question.

    • I wonder if what you’re seeing is (also?) a function of how many other employment options there are in each market. I agree that, at seven years out, almost all my friends who are in major markets have left BigLaw. But they’ve left for jobs that were not available in smaller markets – A ton have left for federal government, ones in New York and California have left for prestigious nonprofits that pay very well, etc. I’m not sure those jobs exist in the same numbers in all of the secondary markets.

      And I do think firms in secondary markets are more lifestyle friendly. But I don’t think of Houston, Chicago, California is secondary markets. In my experience, any office that pays the BigLaw New York scale requires New York type hours.

      • Yes, this is what I was trying to say about my secondary market in the thread above, but you said it more clearly. :) Options that pay as well, are likely to offer equally sophisticated/interesting work, etc. are fewer and farther between here. But the law firm life can be demanding because of a high volume of M&A and PE type work, which requires interacting with NYC and adhering to NYC expectations.

    • Just starting IVF, and was equally shocked to discover that my insurance (large, multinational employer) doesn’t cover it. Something i plan on taking up at work once i’m through the other side.

    • Benefits Manager here; most plans will cover only to diagnose and treat the cause of infertility (that’s the “medically necessary” part), but they won’t pay for the IVF, etc part (they won’t pay for the part to get you pregnant- that’s the “non-medically necessary/elective” part).

      As far as the state required coverage mentioned (NJ, MA) that would only be covered by your employer if they have whats called a “fully Insured” plan, such as the local HMO’s like an Oxford Health Plan or Harvard Pilgrim (NE examples). If they have a big nation wide plan that is “self insured”, it likely will not be covered.

    • Time for some medical tourism planning. There are Asian and Eastern European countries that offer IVF for a lot cheaper than in US.

    • Anonymous :

      Want to know something crazy? I sell technology that designs benefits plans for health plans and employers. I know what the inner workings of health plans (people and tech) look like. It’s insane. It shouldn’t be hard to tell someone if something is covered, but the stuff “under the hood” at a health plan is so, so ugly that there no easy way.

    • I totally hear you. If it makes you feel just a smidge better–the insanity of trying to figure out what is/isn’t covered isn’t limited to women’s health/TTC. I have a very complicated chronic condition which requires me to do a lot of investigating what is and isn’t covered under my plan and how my doctor needs to bill/chart things to ensure coverage. This is pretty much how things are for all but the most run of the mill issues, and it SUCKS. Heck, I even had a whole saga over getting some pretty standard physical therapy appointments covered, despite the fact that my plan is actually among the more generous out there for PT.

  3. To quote Tim Gunn: That is a lot of look.

    I do like the watermelon color, though.

    • The dress I like. The pants I might like if I could see the whole silhouette. The combination? Not a fan.

    • I kind of like a lot of look!

      Love that you quoted Tim Gunn. I use that line all the time, usually about some getup my husband has on, like plaid with plaid.

    • It’s very hijabi-friendly. I like it.

    • Also…I really doing think being tall would help carry off the look. It’s a whole lot of flappy fabric. And when you are tall, then there’s just MORE flappy fabric.

      The dress looks sloppy to me, not modern.

    • I actually really like it! I LOVE the pants, but not at that price.

  4. Disappointed in NY :

    Is lifestyle in CA and or Houston/Austin law firms really better than NY law firms?

    I’ve worked at two top NY biglaw firms and felt that they were both two massive machines that spew ppl out. Now that I’ve interviewed with a couple of boutiques in NY, I get the sense that they work their associates just as hard but with lower pay. A recruiter even told me that what I’m looking for (decent lifestyle as in no weekend work, hand set on responsibilities, lean teams does not exist even with lower pay in NY). Meanwhile, I have noticed that my biglaw classmates in litigation have mostly left their firms five years out, whereas classmates who choose to begin their career at smaller firms or secondary markets (PA) have all stayed at their firm. How do people ever find the right firm?

    • Anonymous :

      I’m in Houston, and I think it is generally much better. I can say for sure my firm (Am Law 100, based in Houston) is much better. I work weekends sometimes for sure, but it’s all when I have a specific case going to trial or something. Nothing consistent or expected. And my billables are not crazy. Of course, now more NY firms are encroaching, so there is pressure from more competition.

      • I’m not in big law, but a number of my friends are, in Houston and in NY. The hours in Houston don’t seem as crazy as NY hours, but it is firm dependent. Kirkland is crazy no matter what office you work at.

    • In a word, no. You’re describing the reality of law firm life whether in NY or elsewhere. I’m sure there’s a good setup here or there, but your experience is pretty typical. There may be more pressure in NY to describe yourself as working more, but that’s what it looks like regardless of the label. It’s why a lot of people go in-house and take non-firm jobs, you may work as much but it’s a more predictable schedule.

      • I’ll amend my comment, I think your experience is typical in major markets. I don’t have experience in secondary markets.

      • In a word, yes. Open your mind a little. I work at a mid size firm in NJ, make 150k, 9-6, extremely rare weekends, do good interesting work with tons of client contact and responsibilities.

        • How do you define a secondary market? Houston and Austin are not at all the same. Houston is the fourth largest city and has TONS of energy work, obviously. Firms are much bigger, lots of big firms are based here, etc.

        • Well, I assume she isn’t talking about taking a 50% pay cut. FWIW, I think getting your life back can be well worth it, but it’s definitely a trade off and it’s pretty tough to be compensated at the big law level in a major market without the lifestyle OP is talking about.

        • I don’t know about Texas or CA, but I’m at a large regional firm in a decent sized city (we’re on Amazon’s HQ2 possibility list) and my hours are sane and pay is good. We don’t pay NY salaries, obviously, but when you adjust for cost of living, it’s pretty close in terms of actual buying power. Most associates bill around 1900-2000 hours a year. How I ended up here is mostly luck (I wanted to get out of NY and they had a job opening), but I do think my firm has a pretty good reputation in terms of places to work. I think the key is we are not a branch office of a NY firm–we are truly a firm that started in our region and just grew.

    • I have worked in biglaw in NY, London, Silicon Valley and Boston. Some of those firms were V5, all of them were V100. In my experience, firms vary in (i) facetime expectations/whether it’s fine to work remote; (ii) general anger/a-holeness/brusqueness of partners (I’m looking at you NY!); (iii) whether people define themselves wholly by their job (also a thing in NY) and (iv) client base. When I worked in NY, I billed over 2500 hours a year…as a legal assistant. Now that I am an attorney, I still have the occasional 275+ hour month in a secondary market, but that’s rare, and everyone gives you a breather after that.

      But this isn’t just about geography–it’s about practice and the specific people you work for. . I’m specifically in corporate, and I have worked in everything from strategic M&A/ PE M&A to high yield to equity offerings to securities work to venture. The worst clients are in PE M&A–they are all ex-banker types and expect you to move mountains for them…immediately. You can get some pretty awful public company GCs. The loveliest clients tend to be venture.

      While I can’t comment on Houston, I can say that in CA (and in Boston), attorneys tend (on the whole) to be kinder, have families and want to occasionally see them, take vacation (for real), and just, on the whole, be more humane. So yes, it is possible.

      I was beyond burnt out in certain markets, and I find where I am now to be much better. Hope that helps

      • I’ve only worked in CA, but my understanding from my lateral friends is that Biglaw in CA is friendly and more humane. That said, you will definitely be expected to work weekends. You won’t have to come into the office (srsly, you might not come into the office during the week either), but it’s still Biglaw.

    • I’m in a secondary market where expectations at bigger firms can approach those of NY firms. People seem to stay at their firms longer here than in bigger cities or maybe move to a second firm rather than in-house, but in this case I believe it’s because there are fewer non-law firm opportunities than there would be in NY.

    • Worked in big law for 5 yrs in Houston (which is hilariously still called a secondary market by the coastal folks, but I digress). The lifestyle is hard, but life in general is easier because a lot of the stressors that contribute to a hard life in cities like NY just don’t really exist here. I do think we aren’t as pressured to work round the clock – on Saturdays my firm was empty save for a few. Most of my colleagues, outside of corporate securities, worked 9 or 10 to 7 pm, worked every weekend, but maybe only 5 to 8 or so hrs divided between Saturday and Sunday. No pressure to work crazy if there was nothing pressing. Hours to hit for bonus were actually the hours to hit for bonus, and not the minimum hours expected.

      We can afford homes with space, we drive most places, so don’t have to deal with dirty streets, street harassment and the like, errands are simpler because you have the transportation space to deal with multiple errands, but we still have the major life convenience services that biglaw life requires (cleaning services, dog walkers, delivery). Life isn’t as expensive so many of us have cushier savings allowing us to bow out of big law earlier or lean out a bit.

    • I worked at an AmLaw 50 firm in the Bay Area. It was definitely intense but not as bad as what I’ve heard about top NY firms like Skadden. But honestly it varies a lot depending on what partner you’re working for. Even in CA, I did a fair amount of work for NY partners, some of whom were laterals from V10 firms so they had really high expectations. In general, 55-60 hour weeks were the norm, with 80-90 hours while preparing for trial. It was a very rare weekend I didn’t work, and I was there 5 years and took 4 cumulative weeks of vacation (2 of which were my honeymoon). I loved the work and my colleagues but I would not have wanted to stay there long term, because I wanted kids and couldn’t imagine working that kind of schedule as a parent.

    • Have you considered trying to switch to the other side of the v? I’ve worked for gov’t (in DC), big law (in Boston), and well-respected class action firms (also in Boston) and have found that, on the whole, the lifestyle in gov’t and class action firms were definitely more in line with what I think you’re hoping for than Big Law.

      I’ve never worked in NYC so I can’t speak to those differences, but I have friends who did and their stories sounded nightmarish compared to anything I had experienced at any of my jobs (including the big law in Boston job – but I should note that it was a smaller satellite office of a big firm so that may be part of it as well).

      I think it’s always going to vary based on what firm you’re at, your own preferences, and what your long term goals are (I’ve never been chasing partner so that wasn’t an issue for me). And if you’re considering moving out of NY, I would make sure that firm culture isn’t the only reason you’re doing it because you can’t guarantee that that will be enough better to make up for living somewhere you don’t want to live. But if there are smaller markets where you actually want to live or where you have personal connections, I don’t think it would hurt to at least dip your toes in the water to see what the legal market there is like.

    • Move to smaller city :

      I left NYC biglaw a few years ago and moved to a much smaller market. This was an issue my husband and I talked about extensively – do all lawyers work a ton or we would we really be getting our lives back by moving? I moved to a midsize very regional firm and yes I absolutely have a MUCH better lifestyle. My billable requirement isn’t much lower (1900 vs 2000) but I don’t think many people actually meet that number at my new firm where at old firm I routinely billed 2500 hrs. My husband was also at NYC biglaw firm and he moved to regional office of a different biglaw firm. He works significantly more than me and is more stressed but people are definitely friendlier and its still not nearly as bad as his NYC firm. He definitely does still work weekends and nights after coming home to put kid to bed (though not every weekend and not every night) and its totally normal at his office to leave by 6 or 630 to do family stuff. I very rarely work weekends or evenings and my normal day is 8:15-5 or so.

  5. Anonymous :

    Where is the plus size link?

    • S in Chicago :

      And at least two hours and no one has still noticed….

      • It’s up now

        It does to a shapeless straight up and down dress that I would buy if I knew how to wear. In fact I have one a lot like this but with short sleeves from EF and I haven’t worn it because I can’t figure it out. Belting it seems to emphasize my squishiness around the middle. I’m a size 1x. Would love any advice.

  6. Investing Help :

    DH and I are handling MIL’s finances. FIL passed away earlier this year, and we have about $625k – $550k in cash in a bank from life insurance proceeds and $75k in an IRA that MIL was beneficiary of. This is all she has. It’s currently 100% uninvested. She’s 57, is in poor physical health, does not work and has meaningful underlying mental health issues that she does not manage well (manic depression). She cannot handle her own finances, which she admits (most days). We pay the bills monthly and right now deposit an “allowance” into her checking account monthly for groceries, etc. So far, it’s working but we need to start making some much larger decisions regarding the balance of the money. I’ve considered outsourcing this work, but I can’t justify the $7,500/year cost we’ve been quoted by a couple places (higher cost given relatively small amount we’d be investing) given how much it is relative to what she has.

    She’s young, and we need to make this money last. I invest all of our retirement accounts and am more financially savvy than most, but this is a large chunk of change and the stakes are high given this is all she’s got. She’s in a very low cost of living area with no debt and annual expenses are low. I’m building a 30-year cash flow, taking into account inflation and taxes. By my math we need to be earning 3-4% per year to make it last. What are my best options? Money market accounts? Investing in conservative-leaning mutual funds? Everything’s at Schwab right now. DH and I are long-time customers of theirs, and we’d like to stay there but they also don’t have interest rates anywhere close to some of the online banks. I’d prefer to put some portion in a CD – maybe 20% – and invest the rest a little more aggressively… I think. Maybe split the money into a few institutions – Schwab for investing and Ally or something for their interest rates?

    I’ll also note that right now all the money is in accounts in her name, and DH is then listed as a secondary account owner – so all taxable interest income goes to her SSN and not DH’s (we were very careful of this and consulted the (large national) bank when setting this up). So, we are logging in with her username/password from our computers, which is probably a no-no. I’m weary of moving money/making investments from her login just from an optical standpoint. Is this what power of attorney is for or does it not really matter, legally speaking, that we’re logging in with her credentials? She’s ok with us helping her, but she also has brief but not infrequent spells of being very erratic and untrusting of us for no discernible reason. I want to make sure she has no case against us for fraud, or whatever, during one of these spells.

    If anyone has ideas for investment strategies, or suggestions to our approach I’m all ears. Does our approach sound reasonable? We’re trying so hard to do right by her, but also make it as painless as possible for DH and I. This money HAS to be put to work, and immediately. (sidenote: talks about setting up an irrevocable trust to hold all the cash are currently stalled – that would be the perfect situation, but is not an option right now.)

    • Anonymous :

      I’d get a power of attorney and a durable health care power of attorney, at minimum.

      An elderlaw attorney might be a good person for you to consult (and could draft those items). And might have feelings on good fee-for-service people who you could pay one time to review a plan.

      • +1 to all of this. Get professional help to set this up right. If you have yourselves set up with POA, you have control of the accounts without the tax issues you’re trying to avoid. Sitting down with a financial planner once for an hour or even a whole afternoon should not cost you anywhere near $7,500, and after getting their advice you can follow through with the plan yourselves without paying an annual fee.

      • Yes, Yes and Yes. This is NOT a lot of money for someone who is onley 57 and has mental declining issues. You need to get ahold of a elder law attorney/financial planner who can tell what is best as it sounds very likely this will go downhill over the next few years, and you need to understand things like Medicaid Trusts, Durrable proxies and health care laws, and Medicare when she gets to 65. You are a dear daughter in law, but you are NOT knoweledgeable enough to swim in these waters. I know I also do NOT know much. My dad is an expert, but he knows everything about a lot of things. Go directly to the experts to see what they can do to maximize your MIL’s chances to avoid the poorhouse. Good luck! The HIVE is here for you, but mainly to listen and commiserate. Life kind of sucks, sometimes.

      • OMG, this is way to complicated for the HIVE. Get an expert like my Dad or Ed to help in the planning. This is not a lot of money to live on for the next 30 or so years, especially if she is goeing downhill. Some of the comments are well meaning, but wrong. She needs to get things like a spendthrift trust and get that money where she won’t be able to get it (neither can Medicare/Medicaid). You WILL want to get expert advise here, even if the HIVE is well meaning, she has unique needs. Hugs to you.

      • T&E Attorney :

        +1 You need to talk to an attorney. To do things that are this extensive you a valid POA (and possibly health care POA depending on your state). Do it now while your MIL has the mental capacity to sign these documents.

    • Find a good elder law attorney. You need someone who can talk about trusts, power of attorney, health care proxy, and how Medicaid works for the dual-eligible (assuming she will be indigent in later years).

      Many also combine with financial planning services, but you could find a different financial planner.

      Would you consider an annuity?

    • Anonymous :

      I have no advice, but want to tell you that you and your husband are amazing people for what you are doing and how much you care.

    • Anonymous :

      No. I’m sorry but none of this is ok. If you’re going to do this get an elder care attorney and set it up correctly.

    • Anonymous :

      Can she collect your FIL’s social security? Can she go on disability? Part of making maximizing the investments is making sure she maximizes all potential sources of income.

      • Not until she turns 60. He also wasn’t 60 (literally 30 days shy) so since he wasn’t collecting, she can’t either until she turns 60. When she does collect it’s about $15k/year which I’m factoring into the cash flow.

      • +1 She should be getting survivor benefits from a pension or social security which should ease the burden. And you need a Power of Attorney.

    • Anonymous :

      In no planet does a financial advisor cost $7500 a year minimum. Look harder.

      • It was quote for more than a financial planner, but someone to actually handle the day-to-day investments. An asset manager, really.

        What’s the in between – a fee based financial planner? Will they do the cash flow and recommend investments based on our goals? And then be available for an annual appointment to reassess/revisit the strategy?

        • There shouldn’t be day to day asset management.

        • Yes, absolutely! We just did this, and it was $1500. They did all the legwork, advised us on asset allocation, and set us loose. Most of their clients revisit for a full plan refresh every two or three years.

          • Thank you!! How did you find this person? Word of mouth? MIL is in another state (plane ride away). Do we need power of attorney before we can talk to this person about her info if she’s not present or on the phone? I suppose I can ask whoever I contact. We’d attempt to get her on the phone for the meeting, but all of this seriously confuses her and frankly a first meeting would be way more productive without her participation.

        • I do regular personal financial assistance work for retired folks in Southern California. You can also try to find someone to do this if you’re weary of doing it yourself. Like having a personal assistant –because this person could also help her with her shopping and make sure she’s not handing cash over to strangers.

      • I think what you meant to say was “Most financial advisors cost much less than $7500 per year. Have you gotten quotes from different ones? You should be able to find a much more affordable one.” (as opposed to the rude directive you issued)

        • Thank you. Could you (or someone) elaborate on the different types of financial advisors, specifically the role of a fee-based independent advisor (vs. the guy at Schwab selling us Schwab products)? Is an independent, fee-based advisor someone who could help devise the initial plan with our goals/target returns in mind, advise us on which types of investments would help achieve these goals, and then revisit annually to make tweaks as she ages and/or circumstances change? Would this type of person construct a cash flow projection like I’ve described (and like the $7,500/year asset manager would)? At the end of the day, I really want someone to gut check all of our investing plans/decisions before we make them so that there’s a third party involved from a practical and optical-to-mom standpoint.

          • I would move the money to Vanguard accounts (after getting the power of attorney, etc set up properly) and use their financial planners. They are fee based, but waived with sufficient invested assets; in any case, their fees are reasonable. They will point you to Vanguard products, but not because of commissions. You can pretty much trust that Vanguard has a version of every financial product that it would be reasonable for someone in your MIL’s situation to be invested in, and that their version has fees that are as low or lower than comparable products.

            If you do want a CD, Ally is fine for that, and may pay more interest than Vanguard (I have all my actual investments at Vanguard, but CDs and savings accounts at Ally). I would stay away from Schwab, but Fidelity is another place with generally low cost options for a wide range of investment products.

            Good luck. The investing questions are pretty straightforward, but the interpersonal side of all this sounds very complicated.

          • I second going to Vanguard and getting one of the “personal adviser” accounts. The fee is extremely low (less than 1%), the fees on Vanguard funds are also extremely low, and those two facts alone will save you a lot of money over the course of these investments. Also, check out Ally or similar for an emergency fund/liquid assets. You need to be earning the max interest rate there.

        • No. I meant exactly what I said. You want everything coated in cotton candy go join a Mormon mommy bloggers circle.

    • Anonymous :

      Does she own her home? As she gets older, a reverse mortgage might also be a way to stretch her assets. I’d only consider this if her place isn’t something you’d want to keep as an investment property.

    • You are right to be thinking of mostly fixed income investments. Since that is all she has and has no current sources of income it would be unwise to take investment risk. I realize a lot of people are gung ho about returns right now but we are pretty far into an expansion cycle and a correction at some point is inevitable. I would not invest a bunch of new money right now, especially when it’s someone’s only money.

      I agree about the power of attorney and medical advance directive documents. You might work with mom to establish a revocable trust if she has assets like a house.

      So sorry you’re stuck with this. We did it for my mom for years until she passed away recently, and it was a lot of work. She was 20 years older than your MIL but only had about a tenth of what you’re talking about, and she kept getting fleeced by her grandchildren (watch out for this, it is very common). We had to do tough love and tell her she absolutely could not give them another cent – pay their cell phone bills or car payments or trip to target or whatever – and then she got super nervous about money and was afraid to go to Burger King for a small hamburger. It was such a sad situation all around.

    • Asset management industry anon :

      Check out NAPFA dot org for a fee-based financial planner. You want someone who you can pay a flat fee to sit down with you and come up with a plan that you then execute.

      And I agree with others that you also need to talk to an elder care attorney to make sure all your paperwork is in order. Probably do that first before the financial planner.

  7. heatherskib :

    You’re missing the link for the plus size recommendation

  8. Travel Plans :

    How do you ladies budget and plan for travel? DH and I want to travel more and are putting together a bucket list of places we want to go, but we’re struggling with how we decide how much we want to or need to spend on any certain trip. It seems like everything is two extremes- luxury once in a lifetime vacation or budget backpacking like college kids. We want to have things affordable enough where we can go on international trips every year or two, but not so cheap that we spend the whole trip sacrificing comfort and worrying about cost. How do you find a middle ground? I know it would vary depending on destination, but people here seem to travel a good bit, so is there a standard guideline you use?

    • BabyAssociate :

      I travel internationally ~7 times a year, almost always over long weekends and often solo. I’m definitely not in either of the extremes you mentioned; I don’t travel like a broke college student, but I also can’t afford that many luxury trips. I plan my trips around where I get get a cheap flight, as opposed to picking the destination first. So that means I often do a lot of off-season travel, which I actually love because there are fewer crowds and hotels are often cheaper. The main thing I like to do when visiting a new city is walk around and explore and visit the major architectural sites, which is cheap or free. I do love good food, so I’ll usually pick a couple places I’m particularly interested in trying, but I am very much of the belief that good food does not have to equal expensive food!

      So I guess the short answer to you question: cheap flight, lots of research.

      • Side question: how do you make a weekend/long weekend trip work? I’d like to do more of this, but I worry that the jet lag or travel time cuts into an enjoyable vacation. Would love to hear how you approach it/set your expectations.

        Thanks!

        • BabyAssociate :

          I usually will take a day or two of vacation over a long weekend. Yes, travel time/jet lag cuts into it a bit, but you honestly do get used to it. I’ve adopted the mentality that I’ll use the time I have and make it work!

    • Anonymous :

      You pick a middle ground? I think you’re overly complicating this. Buy a Rick Steves guide book. Read it. Book his moderately priced hotels. Don’t eat ultra fancy all the time.

    • Puddlejumper :

      Like most things travel is a bunch of personal judgement calls. Its why its so hard to travel with someone else, someone’s version of comfort is another’s version of luxury and another’s version of rustic.

      Ways to save money:
      -stop by a grocery store and get things for breakfast like bread, yogurt and fruit or stay at a hotel that has a breakfast
      – still eat local food, but eat street food options for lunch
      – don’t buy souvenirs or go shopping
      – Scott’s Cheap Flights for tickets
      – take public transport
      – get a guide book and do self guided tours.
      – Try to stay away from tourist hot spots to eat – not only are they not as good but they are expensive!

      Things I prioritize:
      – staying in an interesting neighborhood thats easy to get to what we want to get to.
      – we splurge on a few meals because food is important to us
      – Food tour – Its a way to try lots of interesting food that I might not have known about. We do this early in the trip so it often acts like a mini city tour and shows us places we want to go back to eat at.

      Also some places like Iceland are just so expensive! So avoid countries like that and go to places like Portugal which are less expensive still but amazing!

      • BabyAssociate :

        +1 for Scott’s Cheap Flights, food tours, and splurge meals!

      • This is exactly how I travel. I minimize the big expenses (airfare and lodging) by using Scott’s Cheap Flights for scoring flight deals and then staying in an Airbnb or less expensive hotel (I use booking dot com) that appears to be clean and well-located. I spend money on splurge meals and the occasional tour.

    • Research and travel shoulder season. Weather is often just as good and there can be substantial savings. Like in Greece, the last week of July and first three weeks of August are often as much as $100 more per night (so $300 instead of $200) and then late June is often cheaper again.

      Schools in Europe generally finish a week later than here for the summer, so check important local dates as holiday long weekends are often more expensive – like February long weekend in many Canadian provinces is more expensive for skiing.

    • I leverage credit card points. I use the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, charge everything and I mean everything that can be charged to it. This usually means we have enough points to pay for a trip or half a trip annually. I also usually stay in Airbnb type rentals if we don’t have enough points for a hotel (not always through them but that idea) as they tend to be more reasonable than hotels and you don’t have to eat every meal out as you get at least a little kitchen setup.

    • Budget ahead :

      DH and I set yearly set budget just for travel because we love to travel (and DH loves budgets). At the beginning of every year, we make a rough plan for upcoming known travel (like weddings, family holidays, etc) and bucket list travel. We keep close track of how much we spent on each trip, so that gives us a good gauge to project future travel expenses. When we want to go somewhere new, we break down the trip into three parts: flight/transport; lodging; fun stuff. We do a quick kayak search for cost of flights and cost of average hotel or AirBnB stays. We can’t usually do more than 4 nights for domestic trips, given our work schedules. Then we estimate the third budget category for fun stuff, based on other comparable cities. So if we’re going to a HCOL city, we look at how much we spent on trips to other HCOL cities. That gives us a decent guesstimate. Alternatively, you could figure if it’s a four night stay, you likely want to do one fancy dinner, two regular dinners, one cheap; maybe a few museums and other destination-specific excursions. We usually do this rough budget sketching many months out so that we know how much money to set aside. As we get closer, we reassess if we have extra money to do two fancy dinners, or if we’re a bit tight so we can’t do all the possible excursions.

    • I’ve done plenty of “mid level” travel in Europe. My tips: Be flexible – make your list of places and then build off from there. Go where you can get a cheap flight that year (Scott’s Cheap Flights is GREAT for this). Stay at AirBnBs. If you’re going to Europe, buy the Rick Steves Book for your country – they can’t be beat. Go to grocery stores and picnic for some meals – most city grocery stores have excellent grab and go options, and you’re eating far more like a ‘local’ than if you ate in a restaurant for every meal.

    • I’ve think I’ve hit that mid-budget by putting a lot of thought into it ahead of time–not for the sake of planning down to the penny, but for the sake of knowing what we (DH & I) want.
      In accommodations, I care about safety and cleanliness. Sometimes location matters- near the airport ground transport for an early flight, or waterfront when we are touristing on a world class beach. But by researching (DH’s forte) and not looking for luxury, we end up meeting our criteria at lower cost. And there are some memorable surprises– definitely won’t go back to the place with the mirror on the ceiling, but we loved the original Tudor building in London, despite the 8 story walk-up and complete lack of power outlets in the room.
      Think about how one cost might affect others- staying with family saves us a lot on accommodations, but remember you’ll want to buy hostess gifts, or take them out to dinner, or buy them tickets to join you at the concert- however the dynamics work in your family.
      Or,another example, we plan all of our trips around sightseeing. A hard days museuming might encourage a cheap grocery store dinner in the hotel room- or it might leave you stuck in a place with no options but massively overpriced giftshop snacks. But on a day where I’m wandering, getting the feeling for a new city, I miiiight stop and have at least a coffee and pastry at 3 different restaurants to rest me feet.
      Anyway, preplanning about options if not set-in-stone decisions would be my advice. And looking at how the while picture will come together.

    • Where do you want to go? Maybe we can provide some advice. Many destinations aren’t super expensive – research activities, find not bottom of the barrel but cheaper or mid-priced hotels, etc. Don’t eat somewhere fancy every night, unless you’re in a cheaper country. If you are in a cheaper country, you can afford a nicer hotel.
      That’s the middle ground.

    • Original Moonstone :

      My partner and I have an online bank account where we each deposit a monthly amount for travel. Some years, it was $50 bucks a month each. Nowadays we can afford to put in more. That money finances the shared costs of any trips. Even when it was $1200 a year, that was enough for us to pay for all the meals on a trip. It was important for us to have discussed the importance of travel in advance and make a commitment to affording it, so we did not have to get upset about how much money we were spending while we were on the trip.

    • – Chase Sapphire Reserve card for points
      – stay in very basic (but clean) hotels, B&B preferred
      – eat a lot of street food (not a compromise for me – I feel more comfortable doing this)
      – for meals out, make lunch the main show and consider a bread, cheese, fruit, and wine dinner back at hotel
      – no tchotchkes
      – shop for flights VERY aggressively; finding the best option can take hours
      – find good free outdoorsy activities to go to at destination
      – don’t skimp on what’s truly worth it, but don’t shell out for every tourist attraction just because it’s famous
      – use public transit. I’ve never ever taken a cab in Europe and it’s been 100% fine every time

    • We travel a lot. We occasionally splurge on something very luxury – we stayed in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora for a week once – but generally we stay in fairly modest hotels (not hostels though) and don’t spend much money on activities, except maybe an occasional museum. Travel for us is about food, exploring a city or nature area on foot, and people-watching. In cities we normally take public transit, not cabs. A typical 1 week European vacation costs us about $4-5k for two people. At least half of that cost is flights, and it would be significantly less if we could travel off-season (we can only go June-August because DH is a teacher).

    • Something I think many of us are implying, but I forgot to say emphasize: think about what you WOULD like to prioritize. One of my travel companions continually commented that it was a waste of money to send postcards when I had access to email–not about the fuss, specifically the expense. But for me and the ROI couldn’t be beat.
      Someone above commented to skip the shopping and souvenirs–I would call this a ymmv. I love museum gift shops, and stock up on cheap local food to share with friends at home. I travel with folk who prioritize “shopping”, and consider it a good chance to split up and get some alone time. I’ve heard the European bras are much better…but haven’t tried that shopping trip yet…

    • Maybe you should just start to take a couple of trips and figure out what worka for you. My trips are very DIY so I haven’t spent much money on tour guides/services. But I’ve found out I’m not a hostel or airbnb kind of person so I’m willing to spend more on accommodation to stay at hotels. My travel costs usually stay under 2K for a 7 to 10-day European trip including airfare. And I’m comfortable taking two of these trips per year. Maybe one day I’ll splurge for French Polynesia :)

      • Just a question–wondering how it’s possible to spend only $2,000 on a 10-day trip to Europe, including airfare. Airfare easily runs $800-1,000 depending on city and time of trip, and then the hotel/B&B/meals cost <$100 a night? Perhaps there are places that cheap but not sure most places in Europe would meet those criteria.

        • For example, on a recent trip to Scotland, I found airfare for about $500, then stayed in a Airbnb that was around $100/night (I shared it with my husband so technically my half was $50) and probably spent $75/day on food. We also rented a car, but even then the cost for one person was less than $2k for the week.

        • Puddlejumper :

          I am not the original poster but I could plan a very comfortable trip for 2500 for 10 days in Europe.

          Scott’s Cheap flights often has flights for under 500 dollars to Europe. They had a 480 deal to Paris from many cities earlier this week .

          My hotel that I use in Paris is 115 dollars a night for 2 people so if you are dividing that in half its 58 bucks a night.

          Then budget 100 dollars a day on average for food, museums, and travel.

          2080 so thats pretty close to 2,000. I would budget 2500 but thats still pretty good!

        • I’m the original anon above, and it’s maybe too late for you to see my reply but just in case: my flights to Europe are typically in the 500-600 range. This includes Paris this year and Madrid next year, nonstop on a major airline because my city is its hub. My hotel rates hover around 100 per night, so if I’m traveling with someone that gets cut in half. My budget for food is 50 a day, and it’s a mix of nice meals out plus grocery shopping. I mean, when you’re in Paris you’ll want to buy fresh baguettes right ;-) I also book long distance travel ahead of time for lower fares, like bullet train. It’s doable! I really haven’t gone over 2K in any of my European trips, including Scandanavian countries.

    • My husband and I also have the goal of taking a big trip once every year or every other year. We’re not so broke that we have to budget everything, but definitely not wealthy enough that money is no object. For us, we manage to plan a mid-budget vacation by doing these things:

      – Planning way ahead. Like 6-8 months ahead at least, which I know is a lot earlier than most people plan. This way I have time to research lots of hotels/air bnb options to find something that is clean, safe, and nice, but not too expensive. I feel like I’m able to get more for my money that way.

      – Pick one splurge for the trip. I.e., we are going to Portugal this spring, and got super cheap flights, and are staying in mostly air bnb’s (which are cheaper) but for one city we are staying two nights at a super nice hotel with gorgeous views. We’re being pretty price conscious on everything else, so one splurge is fine and it can make the whole vacation feel a little fancier.

      – Credit card points. We jointly have the Chase Sapphire and I also have the Barclay card.

      • +1 re planning ahead. I come from a planner family, and for all of my overseas trips I started researching more than a year in advance. I enjoy that part of it almost as much as the trip, but YMMV. I didn’t learn until reading this board how many people think planning 6 months before is planning way in advance. But I now recognize I’m the outlier! Oh, and +3 for Rick Steves guidebooks (all the guidebooks!) for Europe.

    • There is no way I could afford the once-in-a-life luxury trip, but I have managed to travel inexpensively. Flights are by far the biggest expense. Other than that, I stay in clean but not expensive places, eat at inexpensive cafes, get food from grocery stores, etc, with a few meals out. A few entrance fees to a museum or two suffice. I may buy a few small gifts to bring back for others, but shopping isn’t an activity I want to spend time doing on a trip.

    • 1. I am flexible on destinations. I will pick which ever works out the cheapest in terms of air fare and hotels when I want to travel.

      2. I don’t look for luxury hotels as most of my day is spent outside. I look for clean, safe and comfortable places (something like Best Western Plus, Comfort Inn is completely acceptable for me).

      3. I stop at grocery shop to pick up some fruits, energy bars, bread, peanut butter and jam or carry them with my luggage if I am checking in. Most of the time, we leave very early in the morning for hiking for photography (for ideal light etc). Having these handy helps not to worry about breakfast/lunch arrangements on a hiking day.

      4. I limit special meals to one or two dinners per destination. I eat in local cheap/mid-range restaurants with good reviews rest of the time.

      5. No souvenirs, no shopping for anything unless that is special and cheap in that place (on a trip to the town of Tequila, Mexico, I did get few bottles of tequila for friends and family as gifts).

    • Anonymous :

      Every trip is once-in-a-life time for me, but that doesn’t mean luxury. Because I have modest means, I probably won’t ever be back. I would consider it false economy to exclusively eat at grocery stores (or resort-style restaurants) in a place with famous local cuisine. And if I spend the money to travel somewhere, I want to experience the attractions it’s known for–I still regret passing by the Taj Mahal when I was backpacking through India because it was too expensive.

    • Last fall, I used a combo of google, Rick Steves, Lonely Planet and booking.com, was able to do 14 nights in Germany/Austria for an average of $63 per night, per person, and total budget after rental car, good flight deals, tours and entrance fees and meals was under 3K/person. We stayed in very comfortable guesthouses and mid-level hotels. Everywhere we stayed provided a hearty breakfast, had en-suite bathroom, the real hotels had reasonably sized if not large rooms and elevators, etc. Some nights (in Munich, close to city center) were more expensive, some nights were far less (35/40 euro). I have stayed 9 nights in Scandinavia, some of which I did Airbnb, and I’m planning an Ireland trip for a similar lodging budget. Food is important to me as a cultural experience, so I typically eat a very hearty breakfast, pick up whatever the locals are eating for a somewhat mobile lunch (Pølse in Copenhagen, I’m looking at you), stop at a cafe for mid-day coffee, and try to scope out the best place in town for a long dinner (typically not the most expensive, just the most authentic/interesting). Look up restaurant menus to get some idea of what typical entrees are priced at, as well as wine and beer, to give you an idea of a food budget. Many cities will offer a free walking tour of the city center, and they’re typically very good (we typically tip ~5 euro per person to the guide), but you’ll want to do a little research to find out what time they are, there is only often one tour per day. I have used Viator several times abroad to find tours I felt were of good value, and have had all good experiences. I use Google Flights, Scott’s Cheap Flights and strategically save miles for flights. It’s definitely possible to travel comfortably, eat well, and see the sites without breaking the bank.

    • Shananana :

      I think the list is the most important part. My friend and I travel on average once to twice a year. We tend to go, hey lets do something this month, can we keep it to around x, then start rattling off place options and checking flights for that time frame. I’m super into not paying more than about $5-600 for an major international flight, and can often do the Caribbean for $350. I also refuse to fly some of the super cheap airlines. Once we narrow down a couple destinations we usually work on a what would we do in each of the places, then use that to drive which one we pick. Neither of us care much about where we stay other than 1. safe 2. support the local economy whenever possible (try for locally owned places) and 3. breakfast included. We have had a ton of luck going with guesthouses which in most places is basically a nicer hostel with private rooms and bathrooms. In general, I try to keep trips all in to less than 1500 a person, which is what lets me go more often. Food and alcohol is the only thing that can drive that up a little, as both of us love food :)

  9. Anonymous :

    Cute online places to buy kids clothes more unique than baby [email protected]?

    • Here are just a few we like –

      $ – H&M

      $$ – Zara, Primary, occasionally Zulily but it’s a pain

      $$$ – Hannah Andersson, Tea Collection, Boden

      $$$$ – Mabo Kids, Goat Milk NY

      • + 1 for Tea Collection and Hanna Andersson, especially if you have a girl. I find the Tea stuff sizes small for boys.

    • For girly clothes like twirly dress and practical clothes like leggings with pockets, all in non-traditional prints like dinosaurs and firetrucks – I love Princess Awesome

    • Jack & Janie

    • How unique are you talking? I think Old Navy’s clothes are cuter than Gap’s, and about half the price. I’ve also had decent luck with Crazy 8 and Gymboree, if you like the styles. (Although lots of Gymboree fans are RAILING against its rebranding and new style, so YMMV.)

    • I like Baby Gap but find it runs short for my string bean child. H&M is my budget pick. We also buy a decent amount at Marks & Spencers and John Lewis. I think both have free shipping to the US (I know M&S does and you can throw in some great nylons and tights). They are really good quality and the styles are slightly different from the US so it might be a nice change. I really like the hippie brands as well – Frugi and Pigeon.

    • There are so many Instagram shops for this! I live in the South and love the traditional baby clothes so I will just search #smocking or #babybubbles or whatever. Try a search of what you are looking for!

    • I like shopbagsy.com for gently used kids clothes. Includes nice brands like Bella Bliss, Little English, Bailey Boys, Crewcuts, etc.

  10. BigLaw recruiting :

    There are some BigLaw major market firms that are known as sweatshops (but pay a lot, and loans are a HUGE consideration). They recruit on campus and do a lot in their recruiting literature to show the one working mom or people of diverse backgrounds. I want to say that I should at least try (but have heard stories of people hating what they saw so much as a 2L that they reinterviewed as 3Ls (and then had to explain that they summered at X firm but now want something less X-ish, which seems awkward).

    Ladies: how bad is it (really)? Right now, I am so petrified of loans, so nothing else seems to outweigh that.

    • Anonymous :

      Are there? Which firms? Why not apply to a variety and see where you get offers?

      • Agreed, if you’re a law student then you need to cast a wide net and see what offers you get. And even if you get ALL THE OFFERS your #1 consideration should be how likely you are to get an offer as a summer – like do they consistently have close to 100% offer rate or more like 50%.

    • I can think of a firm where my friends routinely come home at 5am, often on no notice. The guys all have SAHWs if they have kids. If you were a single mom and worked there, you’d need 3 shifts of nannies every day to make that work. At that rate, I don’t think you’d have much $ left over. So look around and see if there are female attorneys there with kids — even if that isn’t you, if women attorneys with kids work there (and don’t have a SAHH, as many of them I’m finding do), it can’t be all that bad. It’s like my canary in a coal mine.

      A firm that keeps trying to get me has a female partner that they trot out for everything (but her husband stays home); the one female counsel seems to be in a niche field where it’s unlikely she’d have to stay overnight or even past 7-8 with no notice (and the “with no notice” is why this is a bad lifestyle; my doctor friends work overnight but it’s planned, and when they aren’t at work, no one chases them down by e-mail). Everyone else is in the late 20s/no spouse/no kids/ probably no pets either.

    • Research firm lifestyles beforehand and only apply to those with okay reputations. Some firms are known as “lifestyle” firms as far as big law goes, and some are known to pay ridiculous amounts of money but work you till you pass out *cough Kirkland cough*. You can do big law, or even mid-law that is big regionally (so the work is still sophisticated without the insane expectations) in a sustainable way. You will work a lot, and often late at night and on the weekend at law firms at any level. But there is a big difference between being at work 55 to 60 hrs a week (just to bill 45 smh) and sporadically on weekends as needed, and working 80 hrs and/or portions of weekends regularly.

      • It used to be so much better when you could split your summers and really meaningfully compare firms. Now, you put all of your eggs in one basket.

        FWIW, I am seeing more women with kids interviewing. I didn’t have my kids until I was established at my firm, and can’t imagine how I’d juggle the on-call-ness of being a new attorney with the reality of having to pick your kid up from daycare at 7 (and then go home and feed them). Even doing it 50% of the time or having nanny+daycare seems so, so hard.

        • Southern Markets :

          Southern markets do half summer splits. It’s the best.

          Sometimes, if you are a returning 2L + your school has a long summer, you can even split three ways.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Admittedly it was a decade ago, but I worked at a fake lifestyle biglaw firm in NYC (like “we’re lifestyle” but yeah, not actually). Anyway, when you’re making that amount of money, if your loans really terrify you (mine terrified me) and you know you’re not in it for the long run, you can skip a lot of the lifestyle creep (I shared a studio apartment with my then-boyfriend, never bought an ‘investment bag’, etc.) and pay down those loans pretty quickly. Can you stand to be miserable for 2.5 years to get through a big chunk of those loans?

      Ha I just looked up my firm on Vault and first years make what I’m making now, 10 years out.

  11. Anonymous :

    I hate that clothing from Cos always has such high necklines. It’s unflattering, even on the model.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t find high necklines particularly unflattering, but I absolutely cannot wear them myself – I feel like they’re choking me.

    • OTOH, I love it. It looks fantastic with short hair. To each her own and I’m glad there is a place I can go that reliably doesn’t show bra straps.

  12. Modern suiting :

    Went to a bunch of stores today and struck out. Help me shop? I’m 30 and realizing I need to majorly upgrade my wardrobe both for age and for my new role with requires engagement with public officials and EDs. I want a black suit with a shawl collar or no collar in a modern shape (not too long, I’m petite, but maybe shorter/ruched sleeves and a flowy-er shape). MUST be in a no wrinkle/travel friendly fabric. Budget around ~500 for jacket, pants, skirt

    • Anonymous :

      I feel like I often see jackets like you’ve described from Mango. But never purchased to have an opinion on them.

    • Delta Dawn :

      This isn’t technically a suit, but you could try MM. Lafleur– a black jardigan (probably the St. Ambrose jardigan since you are petite), plus the black Harlem skirt. The jardigan is collarless. The jardigan and skirt are the same material and can be worn as a suit. They are a stretchy knit that is great for travel; does not wrinkle. Jardigan is 195 and skirt is a bit less than that, I believe.

      • Anonymous :

        I actually have that combo, with the longer jardigan. The skirt has a foldover waistband so it’s not super formal, but it works as a suit and does not wrinkle. You probably would have to hem the skirt if you’re petite, I’m 5’10” and it covers my knees. I actually bought it as a more modest option for working in the middle east.

    • I’m seeing a few options, though I’m not sure I 100% understand the modern shape thing, but I think this Anne Klein suit at Nordies would likely flatter a more petite person well. (Aso if you include your size, it helps with looking at sales items).

      https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/anne-klein-one-button-suit-jacket/4418422?origin=coordinating-4418422-0-1-PDP_1-recbot-also_viewed&recs_placement=PDP_1&recs_strategy=also_viewed&recs_source=recbot&recs_page_type=product

      I also have a couple other options but will post separately in case of the mod bot.

      • In a similar thread to the one above, this one from WHBM looks classic and is definitely shorter waisted then their other blazer (and all of their suiting pieces are made to be separates so you don’t have to buy them as a set – they have dresses, skirts, and pants all in the same fabric).

        https://www.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/product/allseason+suiting+jacket/570240822?color=001&catId=cat6219285

        If you have one near you, I’d also check out a Brooks Brothers outlet, they had some lovely shawl collared suits this past season.

      • One last one, I don’t know if there is matching pants and skirt for this one (you might need to see it in person) but this one fits your description of what you want the blazer to look like and comes in petite sizes.

        https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/vince-camuto-texture-base-blazer-regular-petite/4620482?origin=keywordsearch-personalizedsort&breadcrumb=Home%2FAll%20Results&color=rich%20black

      • Last one, I don’t really like the dress they paired with it, but if there is a coordinating skirt and pants, this blazer seems to have that style it sounds like you might be going for…

        https://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-jasyma-tropical-stretch-wool-jacket/4939611?siteid=J84DHJLQkR4-3uUtkInBONpRQp9XyEs.rg&utm_source=rakuten&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=J84DHJLQkR4&utm_content=1&utm_term=593372&utm_channel=affiliate_ret_p&sp_source=rakuten&sp_campaign=J84DHJLQkR4

    • Thank you for these options! Will go try some of these on.

  13. Ouch! That hurts :

    Try macys for a suit department. Tahari, Calvin and Anne Klein, etc. You could check Talbots petites as well.

  14. My cat has developed an unfortunate habit of snatching my feet when I get into bed. Would using a spray bottle of water in the moment help deter or is that method counterproductive? So far, scolding is not doing anything.

    • I think you probably need to prevent it before it happens. My impression is that a cat’s mind goes “Feet! GOT ‘EM! Hey, why are you being a jerk and spraying me with water, what got into you anyway?” It’s like there’s a disconnect between a pre-rational “predator mode” and everything else (so it’s different from something like jumping on the counter where they will at least make the connection).

    • Have you tried gently kicking her/him off the bed when it starts? I did this with a cat who just had to lick me in the middle of the night. It took a few nights of pushing him off the bed every time he showed up, but he got the point and stopped.

      • She doesn’t do it from the bed – she’ll hide under the bed and then pounce out to do the snatch. The element of surprise makes it even less fun for me! Anon at 10:22, I’ve tried stopping it before it starts if I notice she’s getting “worked up,” but it seems like she gets totally locked in on the goal of getting my feet and nothing will snap her out of it until she’s done.

        I’ll try this hissing technique – thanks x!

        • In that case: carry a small pillow or item of clothing with you as you approach the bed. When she pounces, drop it on her. It’s a great counter-attack.

    • Try hissing at him when he swats your feet. Mom cats hiss at kittens to teach them cat manners. Most cats will realize a hiss means they should stop what they are doing.

      It may take a couple of weeks to train the cat, no matter which method you try.

      I used the spray bottle method with one cat to stop her from jumping on the table when I was eating. She learned quickly and then all I had to do was reach for the bottle, not even touch it, and she would run away. Of course, she’d come back and reach up and put just the tip of one paw on the edge of the table, to let me know she was there and starving, but she wouldn’t jump up.

      • +1 I agree that hissing or “OWWWW” is more effective at conveying “HEY YOU HURT ME” than what I imagine when you say scolding. (Think of what a cat says when a tail gets stepped on or in response to a vaccination stab.)

      • Yes, it feels silly but I have found that hissing at my cats when they’re being particularly naughty gets an immediate reaction.

        Also, try to override your reflex of yanking your feet away from kitty when he attacks and instead move your feet towards your cat. You don’t have to kick him exactly, but I think pulling your feet away or moving them quickly just further ignites the “predator” part of kitty’s brain. If the feet unceremoniously shove him off the bed every time he attacks, it will probably get old quickly.

      • +1 to using cat noises. We taught our a$$hole cat a disciplinary sound that means “Stop whatever you’re doing right the eff now” and we only use it when he’s hurting us or his littermate. It a low, guttural gurgling that sounds like an angry cougar (perfected by practicing imitations of cougars on YouTube). We also do hissing, but that’s for B-level offenses.

    • Folded quilt at the end of the bed provides our feet with the necessary protection. We just gave up and accommodated our cat’s behavior.

    • My cat runs after me and grabs my legs and nips or dives on my feet in bed. I’ve tried doing a closed mouth squeal and that gets her attention.

    • Try having a play session before bed to get the crazy out. Get one of the wand toys and really make her jump and pounce and get it all out. She has a hunting instinct she’s currently using on your feet, redirecting it to play is usually the most effective way to prevent this. Even better is a vigorous play session followed by food– she’ll likely want to groom and relax after that and will not be tempted by your feet. If that doesn’t work, then I agree that hissing or a high pitched yelp is usually a good signal for a cat to stop doing what they’re doing in the moment. But that probably won’t be as effective at preventing it from happening again.

    • Not quite what you asked but you might play with the cat more- 10 min may do it. Mine’s favorite toy is feathers on a stick, called Da Bird. It’s pretty easy to sit on the sofa and play with the cat with this and tire them out if this is a factor.

      • I so wish this were it – I’m sure we could play with her more on certain days when she hasn’t gotten all her usual activity, but in general, we’ll play with her a ton (including stalking games) and it just doesn’t seem to correlate with this nighttime attacks.

  15. What’s the tipping etiquette for a medspa, specifically for treatments like microneedling or laser procedures? It didn’t occur to me to tip at the time but then I saw they had those little tip envelopes. The laser procedure (Clear & Brilliant) I had was $350 and took ~20 minutes start to finish.

    • Panda Bear :

      I treat it like any other spa/salon service, so usually 20% unless they did a bad job. It is a little painful to fork over 20% of such a high priced (and sometimes physically painful!) service, but it seems like what I should be doing.

    • I don’t tip at my medspa. I just can’t with the tip lines literally everywhere these days.

    • I’ve never been to a medspa but are the people who perform the services medical professionals or more like aestheticians? I feel like if it’s the former I probably wouldn’t tip (I mean….you don’t tip your dental assistant) but if it’s the latter then maybe? Though I’d probably tip more in line with what I tip my hairdresser rather than a full 20% of the treatment….but I have no idea.

      This article provides at least some guidance though “it depends” isn’t the most helpful answer. https://www.tripsavvy.com/tipping-at-a-medical-spa-3969667

      I will say though that if I can afford it, I almost always tip in situations like this where I’m not sure about the etiquette. I’d rather make someone’s day better by tipping when, at the end of the day, the difference to me is going to constitute small potatoes (but that’s a bit more complicated of course with something like this where treatments are so expensive, but I feel like tipping a smaller percentage is a reasonable middle ground in situations like this).

  16. I was reviewing a job posting for an analyst-type position and it asked for a “diversity statement” with no other detail provided. What does that mean? I can only assume it wants me to describe myself, but I honestly don’t see how that’s relevant for a job that isn’t public-facing, bilingual, or targeted towards a specific community. Any tips? I’m leaning towards not applying (it’s not a great fit anyway and I tend to skip apps with overly onerous requirements), but I better be prepared in case this is now common in my field. I’m a white upper-middle-class yuppie FWIW.

    • I would interpret this as a paragraph about why you value diversity in a workplace, not about your background personally.

      • It also can be a way of asking of you are a diverse person, or have worked effectively in a diverse environment. I had such a question when I applied to serve supeenies, and they wanted to be sure I was exposed to a variety of people who had to be served. I told them I went to school in DC where there were people of almost every denomination, and that I also worked for a CVS in high school that was in a bad neighborhood. I got the job, so if you have a similar story, do not hesititate to tell it there.

    • I’d probably answer that with information about how you would support diversity efforts in the workplace. Have you participated in any ERGs for women, or would you be interested in mentoring? Something along those lines is my guess about what they’re looking for.

    • Is there any chance this was a header in the posting below which they were supposed to paste their own diversity statement? It’s pretty common for job postings at my company to have a few lines about not taking gender, race, etc into account in hiring.

      If it’s clearly something for you, I’d look at Glassdoors section on interviews for that company to see if anyone else figured it out.

    • Job hunter :

      I’d just ignore it.

      it might come up later, in some form of a questionnaire that asks if you’re veteran, white, black, NA, asian, male female, etc. But for the moment if you’re in the initial stages I’d just move past it. they’ll make you aware of it later if you get to the next round.

    • Agree that it’s weird and I would double check that it’s actually require.

      But the position doesn’t have to be any of the things you described for diversity to matter.

    • Would the analyst position require working with data pertaining to underrepresented groups? I would describe your ability to work with diverse communities and any personal experience.

      Also, google “diversity statement”; there’s a lot of suggestions for the academic context. I had to write one for grad school. Modify for your purposes.

    • This statement is about your commitment to hiring and workplace diversity and your experience working for and with diversity–it’s essentially meant to show that you support the company’s hiring and ethics codes. Diversity statements are common in academia. I don’t think “who you are” is the primary concern here, although perhaps there are identity politics bonus points to be gained if you identify as part of a group that the company wishes to promote in hiring. If you want to write an effective statement, you’ll need to find the diversity policy of the company or business and respond directly to it. Give examples from your own experience, but keep it short–1 to 1.5 pages should be enough.

      • This is helpful – thank you (and to everyone who responded). I so wish they would just put that in the description! I’m glad it’s not all about “who I am;” I find it so cringeworthy to imagine describing how my life experiences qualify me for a position running code and crunching numbers.

    • Not HR but I hire people :

      I feel like you are from my city based on these details. Lots of companies will have some sort of an “oh sh*t” moment where they realize they are 80% white men and they will put in stuff like that to try and only make hires to balance the work force going forward. Its usually a sign of a bad company though. If their hiring was truly merit based they would have a diverse work force without this question.

      • What city is this?

        I feel like my response would be something dumb like “I have black friends”. Maybe that is what they want? People saying “I’m woke”?

    • Anonymous :

      Ignore it.

  17. Kat, I’m not seeing a link to the plus size pick. I’d be interested in seeing it!

  18. FB Marketplace :

    Need some Facebook Marketplace advice. I posted something for sale on FB Marketplace and got almost twenty responses in twelve hours. So clearly I underpriced it, even though I checked craigslist for comparable a before I listed. Would it be ok to tell all twenty respondents that because of the overwhelming response I’m going to sell this item to the Best Offer? The other thing I was thinking was to just mark it as sold and re-list at a slightly higher price, maybe even on Craigslist or another site. It would probably annoy some people, but if it is underpriced, I would like adjust that a little bit. (It originally was a thrifted vintage item).
    Thoughts?

    • Just sell it at the price you listed. I think your Best Offer idea will put off most people, and if you’re listing it on Facebook Marketplace I assume you want to get rid of it rather than make a huge profit.

      • +1 – you’re also just getting more interest because people moved off of Craigslist

      • +1 You listed it as a price you thought was reasonable, and the market agreed with you, hence the response. Sell it to the first person who can come pick it up.

        • Anonymous :

          +1 – you don’t actually know that anyone would pay more for it. And you’ve now turned your transaction into an auction instead of straight purchase. Just sell the darn things and be done with it.

    • I wouldn’t relist. Whoever is moderating that particular facebook marketplace page will likely notice, or people looking to buy the type of item you’re selling will. Just sell it to the best offer.

    • Whenever I sell on Marketplace, I just email the first person who responded that it’s there’s if they can get it within X hours; after that, I move on to the next person. I tell the rest there’s other responses ahead of them and I’ll let them know if they move into a position to get it.

    • Anonymous :

      I would view this as a bait-and-switch.

  19. My wonderful, amazing, perfect legal assistant is leaving our office. I have been assigned a not-so-good legal assistant. I don’t have much (any) input on who they assign to me, unfortunately. What I know from other attorneys is that she is often away from her desk and therefore doesn’t respond to requests very quickly (and I also have personally experienced that when I need something from another attorney’s files). That’s my number one concern about her. Is there a way to set a higher expectation from the beginning of our working relationship?

    She’s actually a really nice lady, and I don’t want to be unnecessarily confrontational. But I can’t wait half a day for her to respond when I ask her a question. I’ve also noticed and heard feedback from others that she talks on her personal phone a lot throughout the day (personal calls are fine here, but hers is noticeably more than others), and that she is often confused by common/simple requests. One lawyer said, to be frank, this legal assistant is not that smart. Sigh. Would also love any suggestions on how to approach this from the beginning.

    • You have to be direct. You don’t need to be mean or angry, but you need to be firm with her. You won’t be doing yourself (or her) any favours if you dance around the issue because you don’t want to offend her.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Could you perhaps have your old assistant speak to her in a casual “hey, here’s the 411 on what 10:33 Anon likes from her assistant – she loves cats, she hates waiting more than an hour for a return email, she uses capital P for Plaintiff”…

    • anonshmanon :

      Go into the work relationship without preconceived notions, and treat your standards as matter-of-fact. If you know that you have some preferences that are unique to you, let her know upfront. Otherwise, do a check-in after 2 weeks, 1 month, and perhaps 2 or 3 months, where you can reinforce what sound like typical expectations (“I need responses within x time” “Don’t delay time-sensitive work requests for personal calls” “If you are away from your desk for more than half an hour, give me a heads up”). Try not to let your opinion be biased by what you heard from others, but obviously if you run into the same issues, you can correct them immediately, because you can skip the step of ‘giving her the benefit of the doubt, waiting to see if this is a pattern’ and so on.

  20. Amrak Rant :

    PSA for people riding Amtrak: If you are a dentist, you probably should not be discussing your tax evasion and illegal billing practices on your cell phone. And nobody on this train cares about your thoughts about liberals and the downsides of living in Connecticut (?). If you are a lawyer, I should not be able to hear your discussions with your client four rows away.

    And if you have two young children in business class, PLEASE invest in a set of headphones/earbuds for your kids. Your daughter is adorable, but Dora the Explorer is really not my cup of tea.

    Sorry – I was just really hoping to get some work done and am feeling incredibly frustrated. My own fault for forgetting my noise cancelling headphones, but some common courtesy would be really nice.

    • Move the quiet car. It’s not that hard!

      • Amtrak Rant :

        I would but this train does not have one!

        And to the person below, I do not think it is too much to expect that people will not spend 30 minutes on their cell phones in an enclosed public place basically yelling so loudly that they can be heard all over the car. Or that people who are watching videos on planes and trains use headphones.

        But the little girl is very cute so she is forgiven. And the dentist is lucky I am not a prosecutor. Because at this point, I know enough to track him down and he is really clearly and knowingly committing fraud.

        • This is why I don’t bring entertainment on trains / planes. The people-watching is amazing.

    • So, this is the fault of the dentist, and the lawyer, and the parent (and the two kids)… but not you? I find that when I’m annoyed with every single person, maybe I’m the one who needs to adjust my expectations.

    • Oh man that’s tough. I catch a lot of attorneys reviewing privileged/sensitive documents on commuter trains. Like counselor, are you sure you want me to see your client’s unredacted medical records?

      • Amtrak Rant :

        Right? At least the time I listened in to two Big Law partners discussing promotion and compensation decisions about associates (by name), with at least one discussion about how they needed to keep one person happy to keep their diversity scores up (their words) was fun and interesting.

        Listening to the guy four rows back is just annoying. Although he stopped when a conductor came by and talked to him. I think the lady with the adorable little girl may have complained about his incredibly vulgar language. (I did not mention that in my initial rant – but dude there are kids. Not every sentence needs to include f*ck.

    • I completely agree that it’s annoying and disrespectful when parents don’t bring headphones for their kids. We can all do our part and bring our own headphones, but flashy cartoons are designed to be loud and obnoxious and you can always still hear them anyway.

      I honestly don’t get why it happens and around here, it happens ALL the time – did parents forget the headphones? Do they just not care? Do they think headphones are bad for little ears? Help me understand.

      • My child won’t wear headphones (or hats or sunglasses or anything else near his head or face). Trying to make him wear headphones to watch a screen devolves into a tantrum that’s louder than the original entertainment (and taking the screen away is temporarily worse). He’s probably not the only kid. I agree, though, that entertainment without headphones is rude, so on trains and planes, he gets entertainment that doesn’t involve screens or external noise. That means he won’t be a silent zombie, though, so you’ll hear both of us talking, and I might have to remind him to use his inside voice sometimes.

        • Anonymous :

          I hate this response. I also hate parents trying to mollycoddle children at Disney having temper tantrums.

          I have three kids, so I am not a childless monster. I have traveled alone with them on too many international flights to count, so I am not inexperienced.

          Watching a screen in public means headphones are required. Full stop. That’s it. You are only teaching them to tantrum to get their way.

      • Mine won’t wear them. So we play the videos on silent and I agree it’s annoying. But I guess some parents make the calculus that it’s less annoying than a screaming child. I save my wrath for adult males playing video games w/ the sound on and forgive the parents just trying to get through the travel experience.

      • Anonymous :

        I wish they would just have them watch something that’s not flashy. Some children’s TV shows are way less annoying than others. I would not feel the same way about a show with soft, natural speech patterns in a gentle accent (vs. STRIDENT WHINGING AND SHOUTING and absurdly loud sound effects).

    • I feel the same way about loud talkers in the hallways. Like yes I know I can close my door. But sometimes I have to, y’know, answer my phone and I don’t have a chance to close my door first. The person on the other end of the line shouldn’t be able to hear every word of your conversation.

    • And Peggy :

      That sounds awful, you have my sympathies! This is why I always pick the quiet car when it’s an option. But I don’t understand why people have long phone chats on the train. I don’t mind phone conversations that have to take place, like time-sensitive work calls, calls from whoever’s home with the kids, a quick call to your partner to let them know the thing you traveled for went well and you’ll be home by 8 or so, I’m talking about people who decide “hm, nothing to do and I’m all by myself, better call my sister and chat for the next two hours to pass the time!”

      I mean, maybe they really don’t know how much it bothers people, and they view that catch-up call as a productive use of their time, I just wish they did know how irritating it was to other people. Same goes for the parents letting their kids watch/play on devices without headphones, they probably don’t realize how much it bothers others because they’re so used to those sounds at home.

    • This is why I love trains in Europe compared to the U.S. They’re so much more civilized. People mind their own business and don’t have long cell convos, kids sit quietly, the quiet car is enforced…it’s glorious.

  21. Advice for dating someone with Asperger’s? My new guy recently confided in me that he was diagnosed as a child. I don’t really know much about it and I’d like to educate myself. Thanks!

    • Run

    • My husband has Asperger’s. He wasn’t diagnosed until his early 30s which meant that he didn’t get any help learning coping skills but also that he wasn’t labelled at an early age. I assumed he was a typically awkward IT guy (sorry, I know, not all IT guys) but it made a bit more sense when he told me about his diagnosis. I read Uniquely Human: A Different Way of Seeing Autism and it was really helpful.

      In general – it isn’t something I think about loads. He can be maddeningly literal and hyperfocused, and can be pretty rigid but he’s an amazing husband and an incredible father.

      • Same. My DH has Aspergers and is the best person I know. I have learned I can’t ask him questions unless I want a brutally honest answer, but otherwise it isn’t something I think about much. He’s a kind, generous person who is a huge feminist (he’s currently on paternity leave with our 6 month old daughter and does most of the cooking and cleaning at home). He also kills it at his career (in IT also, haha) and has a lot more friends than me.

        • Adding to my own comment to say I think my husband has fairly mild Aspergers. He has trouble making eye contact and telling lies (even white lies) but he doesn’t have any trouble saying I love you or talking about his emotions. I think the latter would have been a much bigger issue for me. My husband has also learned how to deflect a bit better. So it used to be if I wore an unflattering dress and said “Does this dress make me look fat?” he’d say “Yeah, kind of” and now he will say “You look beautiful.” He still can’t outright lie, but he is better at deflecting and not giving an honest answer.

    • alexisfaye :

      Really, Anonymous?

      Marriage and Lasting Relationships with Asperger’s Syndrome, by Mendes.

      Learn to hear him say he loves you (or likes you) in the way that he expresses it. Don’t look for “typical” responses to social situations. Don’t expect him to know what to do when you express a lot of feelings. He may only be able to listen/hug you. If he’s open to sharing with you, try asking him what he knows bothers him (loud noises, eye contact, whatever). Any and all of the normal social cues that he has are probably trained into him and not learned organically. Don’t try to fix it, just decide whether it’s something you’re ok with.

      I was thinking about this today, since my Aspie/Autistic boyfriend is interviewing for jobs and he gets anxious that he doesn’t respond normally. Don’t think of it as a diagnosis…Think of it as though he’s left-handed instead of right-handed. Not bad, just different. But the world is built for right handed people. Once you accept him as left-handed, instead of trying to make him use right-handed scissors, sit at a right-handed desk, etc., then things can be blissfully easy and super rewarding.

      If you want kids, though, ask yourself if it will bother you if he never expresses himself in a a more neurotypical way to your children.

      • I have a parent in IT (like in the skunkworks of development) and am sure he much be mildly Aspy. I watch Big Bang Theory b/c it reminds me of him. I have friends cut from this cloth as well (good jobs, live full likes like the rest of us); the kids of some of my friends are all along the spectrum, so it truly varies (and can vary wildly).

        So, if you ask “does this dress make me look fat,” you may get an answer of “yes” or “well, it’s not the dress that is making you look fat . . .” while they struggle for words. But, best of all, if they hew to the stereotype, they are good people who are so literal that they won’t lie or deceive you. There is much value in that. I like sincere and straightforward and can deal with the brusque literalness.

  22. job search help :

    We may be relocating to another state for my husband’s career. I am a lawyer, and the state we would be going to does not have reciprocity with my state. I intend to use this as an opportunity to leave traditional law practice. Fortunately, all of my positions since law school have fallen in my lap through my network, but that may not happen this time. I have not gone through a hardcore job search since undergrad about 16 years ago. Aside from working my contacts, do the big job search sites like Indeed, Zip Recruiter, etc. actually yield interviews? Should I work with a recruiter? Other tips? I am especially interested in remote-based work.

    • Feel free to disregard, but I’d think more about the reciprocity angle, if only because it might open some doors for you. Does your state have reciprocity with any state that might have reciprocity with your target state? Waiving into D.C., for example, gives you a lot of options.

    • I’m working with a recruiter and using the new google jobs search feature, which seems pretty robust. I track everything I apply for or the recruiter presents me for in a spreadsheet. I’m in house looking to relocate to another city and looking for another in house job, for reference.

      • Just went through this same process and it took about 5 months but was successful. I also sat for new state’s bar and got (passing) results back during that time, and passing definitely accelerated everything.

  23. Office Space :

    We have minor drama in my office that I’m in the middle of. We have a spare office that is currently not being used very effectively. Part-time, about 15 hours a week, it is used as a working space by a charitable organization for free. They do not contribute anything to rent. They use our internet, our printer, our office supplies for free. Lately this org has wanted to completely redesign the office space, and reserve it for their exclusive use.

    I have mentioned several times to my boss that I would like to move into this office and have it be used more efficiently since I am an actual employee, I have seniority, and I’m obviously here full-time. I also really dislike where I sit now – no privacy or quiet. There are other working spaces the charitable org can use. He agrees with me, but it has been a battle against this charitable org because they feel they are entitled to exclusive private use of this office space.

    Last night, after everyone else had left, people from the org came in and moved around all the furniture including our files etc. They waited until they knew we wouldn’t be here to make these changes.

    My boss is NOT happy and is more inclined to make it my office now.

    It’s the little petty things that make the day more interesting…

    • Ummm…kind of shocked that anyone, charitable org or not, would unilaterally rearrange furniture and files. I’d be upset if an employee did that, let alone someone in the space for free.

      • this, plus your boss sounds like kind of a weenie if he’s letting a totally separate entity take over office in his company space. get him to go to bat for you!

    • Is there more going on there? Is there a big boss who owes the organization a favor or something? I had a similar experience a few years ago at a firm – a local politician had a free office/use of resources without being of counsel or anything, just the hope that he’d be able to do favors for the partners. Obnoxious.

    • I wonder what your office lease has to say about this…

      • I didn’t even think of that – I will look into it!

      • Also, what about confidentiality? I work in a law firm, so this would never fly to begin with, if a random org. had access to/could get to files.

  24. I learned earlier today that I was nominated to “Top [number] Under [age]” in my city. While I still have to apply for consideration, I feel so honored, particularly with the folks who nominated me. They said some incredibly kind things about me.

    For many reasons, definitely not the time to share with the real world, so here’s me sharing! :)

    • Awesome – congratulations!

    • Congrats!!

    • That’s great! Just out of curiosity, what kind of work do you do? I’ve always wondered how those lists work/which fields get you on them. Congratulations!

      • Thank you! :

        Thank you!

        I am in a rapidly growing field of law, but I am just a normal lawyer person. I am very involved with pro bono and a few local non-profits. My nominees were lawyers/former classmates.

  25. My fashion radar can be terrible at times so I’d like your opinions. I received these boots yesterday and I’m really torn – the block heel trend is so weird to me and brings me back to 7th grade. Would you wear these? Are they really worth $350? As far as styling goes, please tell me if any of these don’t work:

    1) With pencil skirt, tights and sweater.
    2) With sheath dress
    3) With leggings (outside of work)
    4) With skirt/dress without tights (really not sure about this look…)

    Is the knee high boots with pencil skirt look still in style? I have ankle boots that I wear with tights and skirt/dresses but I get bored of that sometimes and it’s nice to have something warmer in the coldest months.

    • Panda Bear :

      I think we had a discussion on here last fall/winter about who is “still wearing” knee high boots (vs. ankle boots). IIRC, the consensus (or at least my opinion, which I may be projecting as consensus, ha!) was that on cold/wet/snowy days, knee high boots are still the best option, fashionable naysayers be darned. So I say they are fine, if you like them and they keep you warmer.

      I’m guessing you meant to include a link to your particular boots… without seeing them, I’m can’t give a detailed opinion but generally speaking, I think most sleek knee high leather boots would look good with outfit options 1, 2, and 3. I’m not a fan of number 4, I always feel like tall boots with skirts/dresses need tights.

      • Wonderbreadgirl :

        I think that these are great, classic boots – I wouldn’t call them ‘stylish’ or ‘on-trend’ but I think that they are a high-quality boot that you will be able to use in your wardrobe for many many years to come, especially by mixing with more on-trend (but cheaper) styles. Agreed with above that I prefer options 1 and 2, perhaps 3 for more casual use, but not a fan of look 4.

    • https://www.aquatalia.com/dena/d/91528

    • I tried to post link but it’s going to mod for some reason. Style is Aquatalia Dena

      • Panda Bear :

        Oooh, I like those! The heel isn’t as blocky as I was imagining. They look polished but still quite sturdy for walking in, especially if it’s wet out.

  26. Real Estate Investing :

    I’m guessing some folks here have investment properties–rental homes, duplexes, apartment buildings, etc. I’m interested in buying into this market but have no experience. I’m interested in the investment possibilities, of course, but am also just casually interested in real estate, houses, design, etc.

    Can anyone share with me some advice on some of the following? I’d be so grateful!

    – Good resources for learning the pros and cons and step-by-step process of buying your first property
    – The major risks I should be aware of
    – Any info that would make my wife feel more secure and/or excited about the idea – she’s hesitant and thinks it’s taking on too much responsibility, and of course the financial risk is scary.
    – Anything you would bet I’m not considering :)

    FWIW we own our home and have about $200k in equity, one kid still in daycare, one in elementary school, HHI just under $200k in a medium/high COL city.

    Thanks so much for your help!

    • Start with Biggerpockets . com. They have tons of resources (podcasts, forums, articles, calculators, etc.)

    • Mr. Money Mustache has a forum. Go there and look at the sub-forum for rentals and real estate investing.

    • Some property management companies will know if their buildings are owned by groups of people. Sometimes a client will want to sell their share of a building. This is one way to start small and have minimal involvement at the same time.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you like owning a house and the work that comes with it? Do you like home repairs? Are you good at customer service? Are you able to drop everything and respond to tenants who need things to be done?

      I’m a long-time multi-property landlord and there are definitely less stressful and more enjoyable ways to make money, even if you are into houses.

  27. There are new silk pieces on Cuyana today that are so, so pretty.

  28. My partner has a very stressful job. For the past six months or so, she gets home every night and can’t respond to the “how was your day?” question without an hour long rant. Her lack of stress management is starting to affect our relationship in general, and the ranting the second she gets in the door really sets a bad tone for the entire evening. To what degree is it fair to say to her “We just can’t go on like this at all anymore, I don’t want to talk about work with you everyday.” I don’t want her to feel like she can’t share her feelings with me, and I’m worried that might be her impression if I bring this up.

    • givemyregards :

      This might be an overly specific suggestion, but when I have a stressful day at work, the best thing for me is to not have to talk to anyone at all when I first get home. My partner is frequently exercising, or doing their own work outside of the apartment when I get home and having a little breathing space gives me the ability to decompress – then I feel less like ranting and raving later. Any chance your partner may be similar? Could you give them some alone time when they get back? Now, I’ll even say “I need some decompression time” when I get home and I’ll either go in our bedroom and read, or he’ll go for a run and I’ll watch mindless TV or something. After 30 minutes to an hour I feel like less of a gremlin.

      In any case, I think as long as you couch this as “I feel bad that you’re having such a bad time at work these days – how can I help you unwind in the evenings?” and not “I don’t want to talk about work anymore” you’ll be okay. Part of the joy of having a partner is having someone on your team, so I don’t think I would be okay with a complete moratorium on work talk.

      • We have the decompression rule at my house. Our relationship is 1,000% better since we instituted it.

        My SO is an afternoon/night person. SO will talk my head off as soon as I get home. I am a morning person, so by the time I am rolling in from my long-hour job, I am done and do not want to talk for a bit.

    • Anonymous :

      You say pretty much what you said here. The negativity is affecting your life and relationship. You understand she needs to vent but you two need to figure out how to meet that need for her in a more constructive way. No complaining about work for an hour after she walks in the door. No complaining over dinner. And when she complains, she needs to set a timer for 20 minutes (or whatever you agree to) and when her time’s up it’s up.

      Fwiw I asked this here once and was basically told that I’m awful for wanting to censor my partner. So I’ve been there. It’s incredibly emotionally draining to have so much negativity brought home every night – especially when the night starts off that way. You’re her partner, not her therapist. If she really needs to rant for an hour or more a day then she can pay someone for it.

    • Wait for a time where you guys are having a good day and she’s not mid-rant. Then say, “You know, I’ve noticed lately that we’re spending a lot of our home time talking about your job. It sounds like it’s stressful for the 10 hours you’re at work, and then another hour at home while you talk about it. I love you and I want to hear about your day, but I also don’t want your job stress to bleed into our relationship. Can we brainstorm some ways to do this differently?”

      And then listen. Is the ranting helpful for her to “let out her frustrations” and then she’s fine? Is she trying to transition too abruptly from workself to homeself?

      Some ideas to float: Can she limit it to 15 min, followed by a ritual like making some tea to symbolically close the door on work for the night? Can she stop at a gym on the way home to run or punch out her frustrations? Or stop at a pet shelter to play with animals for 30 minutes to reset her perspective? Can you guys talk during your commutes about work, and then have no work talk once you’re both home? Can you both go out for a bike ride after work so she gets her mind off work, and then talk about other things while you prep dinner together?

      • Thank you both for the thoughtful responses. She’s usually not fine after the hour long rant. Typically the stress continues into the evening. For example, she wants to crawl into bed before 8 because she’s so tired, and generally refuses intimacy because she’s so stressed. The ranting might even be amplifying the stress instead of releasing it, and by time it’s done, we’re both in a terrible mood. She normally does take the dog out right after work, but then comes in while I’m cooking dinner and unloads. She is also not sleeping through the night, and will wake me up when she’s up. Like, last night she was awake with anxiety at 4am and starting pawing at me to snuggle instead of leaving to read on the couch or something. I really do understand that caring for a partner is part of a relationship, but it just feels like her lack of stress management is really affecting my own self care. I have asked gently “do you think it’s time to look for another job?” and I always get a response of “I don’t like to run away from problems unless I’ve really tried to fix them first, and I’m trying to fix the problems at my work right now.” It’s just, in the interim, I don’t know how we can survive like this.

      • I should clarify – I’m your partner. For me, ranting is how I let it out and move on from the stress. But it was making my partner stressed out too. We worked through a couple options. (Turns out exercising right after work only ramps me up MORE plus makes it hard for me to sleep at night. That was a rough month.)

        What works for me is: I have a list of 4 people who I call to rant to. My partner, my mom, my grandma, and my partner’s grandma. (Both grandmas are widowed and appreciate a phone call no matter what I talk about – and I call them with non-rant stuff too.) I rotate all of them so any one person is only getting 1/4 of the rants. I call them on my drive home, and that effectively limits the convo to 45 minutes. But I also want to hear about their days, and I know they want to hear about the kids, so I really only have 15-20 minutes that I can talk about my job. I get out my stress, I get perspective from talking to someone else, and I also just feel happier from talking to someone I love. Usually then I can give my partner the 2 minute cliff notes version over dinner, because I already got the rant part out of my system.

        But be willing to work with her. I care about my partner and don’t want to add to his stress levels or annoyance levels because of my toxic job, so I wanted to make a change that worked for both of us. Hopefully your partner will feel the same way.

        • Op again, just wanted to also say that one reason why I’m considering this moratorium on work talk is that I have suggested other strategies for stress management and she has not been willing to try any of them (or come up with her own). I have suggested longer walks with the dog, walking the dog with a friend after work, journaling before leaving the office or on the way home, talking to a therapist, etc.

          • Then I think you need to have a more serious conversation with her about how her response to this stress is impacting your relationship. You’re worried about whether she feels like she can share with you, but it sounds like she’s not giving you the same consideration back (worrying whether she’s causing you or your relationship harm).

            You might need to lay it out – “The stress at your job is causing me stress, and it’s impacting our relationship. I’ve suggested several ways to help you manage the stress and you are not willing to try any of them. I have to say, that if we continue down this path, I’m not sure our relationship will survive. I understand that you’re trying to fix work, but in the meantime I need to take care of myself. That means I’m setting a timer for 15 min and then I’m not listening to any more work talk that night. That means I’m going to stop you when I’m starting to get upset by YOUR job. But if we want this relationship to survive, you’re going to have to care about the impact your constant work-talk is having.”

    • It sounds like she’s responding to the question you ask. I agree with the poster above who mentioned she may just need decompression time. Try changing up your salutation. How was your day is sort of a generic nice saying and if you don’t really want to hear about their day there are plenty of other options.

      Having formerly been the stressed out person it was super frustrating to come home to someone who due to type of job would be home hours earlier and dying for socialization the minute I came through the door. If my response to how was your day wasn’t upbeat or detailed enough they would probe. No saying “it was fine. How bout yours?” Because they’d want to know why was it just fine, what do you mean nothing exciting happened? Not suggesting you’re doing this exactly but if you’re putting the onus on her to talk about work and she is but you just don’t like what her work is right now you’re basically asking her to either make up something that is pleasant enough or to answer your question as if you were an acquaintance just making conversation.

      Why don’t you start by giving her the time to decompress or greet her by telling her a bit about your day?

      She likely knows she’s ranting. She doesn’t love being that person. Telling her you’ve noticed or giving her a time limit seems like another stressor that I would save for after trying some easier options.

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