Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Button Blazer with Cutout Hem

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

SMYTHE Button Blazer with Cutout Hem Happy Monday! I’m liking this Smythe blazer, featuring the newest trend in blazers: the cutout hem in the back. I’m just starting to notice these odd, geometric cutouts on pieces for sale, and after a few minutes of rubbing my eyes, I’ve decided I like the trend — it’s a breath of fresh air after the past few years of Peplum Domination, and an interesting counterpart to the hi-lo trend. This blazer (exclusive to ShopBop) is $595; it’s available in both navy and black. SMYTHE Button Blazer with Cutout Hem

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  1. I believe this is the same blazer (or a very similar one) that Kate Middleton wore several times to the Olympics last summer and even before then.

    • Yes, but did you see the back of this blazer? Instead of their being a SINGEL or DOUBEL vent, which is mabye OK, this has a CUTOUT where the tuchus is, so that your tuchus is compeltely visible. If you do NOT have a TUCHUS, FINE, but what, like ME, if you do? FOOEY! I do NOT want to air my tuchus out to the WORLD to see. FOOEY!

      Grandma Leyeh and I cooked a chicken Friday, but I did NOT like it. It was TOO BLAND. FOOEY! I say next time I COOK IN the garnish item’s. I will have my MOM make it that way in HER oven. Mabye Grandma Leyeh’s oven is NOT hot enough to cook after all these years? I am NOT sure, but it was very BLAHHHH. I would not marry someone who cooked a bland bird like this. FOOEY!

      Myrna and I drove out to Long Beach, which is still recovereing from Super Storm Sandie, FOOEY on Sandy. I lost a boyfreind b/c of Sandie, and him NOT calling or texteing me b/c of Sandie. There is still alot of Sand at Long Beach, and some guy’s kept askeing us if we wanted to go get beer’s with them. FOOEY on men that drink! FOOEY! Myrna said no and I agreed. YAY!

  2. I insisted that our wedding date be inscribed on the inside of our wedding bands when we were married to make sure Mr. TBK would never miss an anniversary. Did I just take my own ring off this morning to check the date (which is in two weeks)? Yes. Yes, I did.

    • Olivia Pope :

      My anniversary is a repeating event on my google calendar. No judgment here!

    • Ours is the day after my husband’s birthday and I still get confused about which day is which. It’s been 8 years for us, so no judgment here.

    • Gurl I can’t even remember my own age anymore without doing math.

      • Yup, same here. Have to think “what year is it?” then “have I had my birthday yet this year”? Same thing with how long I’ve been married – “ok 2013 – 20xx is y years, but have we had an anniversary yet this year? no. Ok, so I’ve been married y-1 years.”

        I also realized my husband’s birthday was the next day by my sister asking me about our plans – and she was reminded of it by Facebook. I remembered that his birthday was the 3rd of month, I just didn’t realize that the 3rd was the next day. I apologized to him for not planning anything (but he’s not into birthdays anyway, so we would have just done something small) and he admitted that he also hadn’t realized his birthday was tomorrow.

        I’ve since set google calendar reminders for 1 month, 2 weeks, 1 week etc for birthdays and anniversaries. Hopefully that will help.

      • Me too! And I’m probably way too young for that to be considered acceptable.

        Also Mr. TCFKAG and I forget anniversaries kind of a lot. Its like our thing. Our dating anniversary was actually made up because we couldn’t remember what day our first date was actually on. And we picked our wedding date at least in part because I thought it would be easy to remember….um….not so much. Oh well.

    • I got married on a major national holiday, which is commonly referred to as a date (the ___th of (month) so I would always remember. Do I know how long we’ve been married, though? Only in ballpark terms…

  3. Anon for this :

    I’m sorry to threadjack first thing, but I am sitting in my office trying to revise a settlement agreement and I can’t think about anything else.
    I know I have a lot of hormones surging right now, but I feel pretty lucid – and hurt. I’m nine months pregnant, due in the next week or two. Friday afternoon, I was talking to my best friend – who has been my best friend for the past 25+ years. I told her about how last week OB requested that I fill out a birth plan to have on file with the hospital; that because they have a rotating practice of 11 doctors who may be on call, and because the OB nurses have a short shift split between the delivery and the nursery, that they request every patient at my practice fill out this sheet with preferences – everything from circumcision, whether you plan to B-feed, to whether you want any pain medicine or other preferences. That way, when there is inevitably a doctor or nurse shift change during labor, they already have it scanned in the file and you only have to tell them if you want to deviate from that. Short point – at the practice I use, this one-page ‘birth plan’ is pretty much mandatory.
    I checked facebook this morning for the first time in 4-5 days. It turns out that my “best friend” obviously spent most of the weekend making fun of me on the phone with our other friends for having a birth plan. My news feed came up with SIX different people who had a status that was obviously referring to my birth and how BF had told them of my birth plan and how “wasn’t that precious” or “hahahaha” or “you know how some people have to think they’re in control of everything.” I guess they came up on the status because she was tagged in their post as the person who was telling this. Then, I get a phone call from my aunt about thirty minutes ago letting me know she was an OB nurse at another hospital and that nurses really don’t like birth plans and I might want to think carefully about submitting one. Turns out BF had run into her yesterday afternoon and told her all about my ‘crazy hippie birth plan.’
    So it would appear that my best friend, the only person I’ve told about this birth plan, has – for the first time in our relationship – told it to every person she’s come into contact with for the past three days and somewhat twisted it into how I wanted everyone to hold hands and sing Kumbaya while I gave birth in a waterfall, and laughed at me with everyone.

    How can I handle this in a mature way? She has NEVER made fun of me before that I’m aware of, but my gut reaction is to push her far, far away from things that I’m emotionally sensitive to, which would involve completely excluding her from the next few weeks of my life. I’m really hurt by all this and don’t know what to think. And maybe I’m overreacting.

    • I would email her with a list of the names of people she’s spoken to/contacted, explain that she must have grossly misunderstood you in order to give the impression that she did, and tell her that you’re quite happy to give her a chance to explain and apologize. I would include one really snarky sentence about how you’re delighted, at 9 months pregnant, to get to school her on the basics of being a decent friend. But YMMV.

    • Miss Behaved :

      Honestly, I think you tell her what you’ve told us. Send her an email saying that you confided in her and now you’re hurt that she mocked you and spread the story indiscriminately.

      Tell her that right now you need to distance yourself from her because you’re so hurt. And then reply to your aunt, stating that the hospital asked you for this information and you are complying with their request.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. It may be that whatever she told them was inaccurate, or it may be that they interpreted it as “crazy pregnant people” whatever, but I would talk to her about it.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think for a best best friend, it’s worth talking to someone before pushing them far away. I don’t blame you for being hurt – I would be too – but it’s also possible something is lost in translation in the game of telephone of all your friends/relatives talking to you about what your BFF “said,” you know?

      I would just ask to grab coffee with her and tell her a lot of mutual friends are giving you heat for having a birth plan, and ask if she had mentioned it to anyone. And then see how she responds and react accordingly you know?

      Either way congratulations on your pregnancy and hope you have a safe and healthy delivery!

    • Did your friend voice any disagreement with any points of the plan, for instance if you specified absolutely no epidural, and she recommended being open to this possibility? Was there any discussion between you? There must have been something that set her off – not that you are guilty of anything.

    • I am so sorry. I know this feels like a betrayal, and the fact that you are probably extra sensitive and maybe hormonal doesn’t help. Not that I am making excuses for her.

      I had a fight with my best friend when we were both pregnant nd wound up not talking to her for the first year of our kids’ life. While we are friends now, the memory still hurts.

      Could you ask her about it? After all, if you only shared this with her, and now the whole town knows, you have a legit reason for calling her out on it.

      Alternatively you could decide to focus time and energy on wrapping up,work and focusing on the birth.

      Either way, don’t let this spoil what is a very special time for you.

    • Talk to her. This is only going to make you unhappy and distracted. She’s your best friend of 25 years. Give her a chance to explain herself. You can always distance yourself from her later, right now you’ll feel better if you talk to her about it.

      • Agreed. Talk to her and explain what you have seen and how hurt you are and give her a chance to explain herself and apologize. You may not know the whole story. She may not have been acting maliciously. By giving her a chance to explain, you’ll have a chance to heal too.

    • That is so out of line and hurtful. But, given how close you’ve been, I can’t imagine cutting her off without having a conversation. Then again, you may just be ready to focus your energy on preparing for the birth. If it will help you move on, then talk to her. Sorry you’re having to deal with this.

    • goldribbons :

      First off, I am so sorry. That’s terrible. My guess is that she doesn’t have children of her own – having a birth plan is TOTALLY NORMAL and a really good idea. Each birth is unique, and we have so many options today, that it’s really smart to have it written down ahead of time. (IMHO, your hospital sounds awesome.)

      I completely agree with the suggestions of talking with her, but if you feel she may write you off as “simply hormonal,” is there any way your DH or your mother could speak to her? It just seems totally out of character for a best friend to do this. Is it possible that she’s incredibly jealous? Is there some underlying pain she’s dealing with that she doesn’t want to share with you? I hope you can forgive her for this at some point (maybe not in the next few weeks, but hopefully soon), because best friends of 25+ years do make mistakes sometimes, and do get in fights sometimes, and you still end up being friends.

      Hugs and best wishes for a peaceful birth!

      • This! Why can’t we just support each other’s choices and quick being so damn judgmental? What if you had unilaterally decided to come up with a birth plan? Your baby, your choice. Case closed.

    • WTF? Besides your friend making fun of you behind your back, what is with people making fun of you on FB? Are they all 12? I agree with momentofabsurdity that something could have gotten lost in translation (and I would guess that what your aunt means by “birth plan” is, as you said, very different from what you meant) but the whole thing sounds very juvenile. What’s going on with your friend these days? Are there other tensions? Is she struggling with something (infertility, romance, life just generally not on the path she’d hoped) that might make your happiness difficult for her? Not to excuse her, but if this is out of character it makes me wonder if she’s struggling with something else and took it out on you this way (maybe she hasn’t been as forthcoming with her own issues lately because she didn’t want to steal your baby-thunder and it backfired and made her resentful and snarky?). Clearly not the time to have to deal with all this nonsense, and I think being hurt is 100% justified even without hormones making it worse. I’d either call her up now-ish and ask for her story of what happened (did she tell one person and that person was a jerk and ran around telling everyone?) or write to her and say you are really hurt but can’t deal with this right now, that you still love her, but that you’ll want to talk about this in a month or two since you’re not really in a place to handle it the way you’d like to right now. And I’m sorry. How obnoxious.

    • It sounds like something else is going on here. Possibly this triggered something emotionally for your best friend and she reacted by lashing out instead of dealing with it like a mature adult. I don’t know what that would is; did she have a difficult birth where she felt like her wishes weren’t respected and is carrying around some bitterness about that? Is she dealing with infertility or that she wants a baby but doesn’t have a partner she wants to have one with? Something else?

      I mean, it’s possible she’s just become a terrible person or that she’s betraying your friendship. And this is not to condone her actions at all; what she did isn’t okay regardless of the reason. But if you talked to her and found out that there was something else driving this – that it was about her own issues rather than you – it might be easier for you to forgive. It might be worth having the conversation and finding out at any rate.

      • +1. There’s gotta be more to this. For some reason she lashed out because something is bothering her. She is either starting to get jealous about your impending motherhood if she doesn’t have kids, is worried it will make you two less close, etc. Talk to her and see what’s going on.

    • Wow, thanks guys. Actually I did just need some perspective. She has been struggling with infertility for about two years now. I know it’s been an issue, I’ve been supportive (and we tried for 179 months to get pregnant, so I do understand those struggles) and I have purposefully not brought up my pregnancy unless she wanted to talk about it. I’ve also tried to support her – I’ve gone to two appointments with her for her HSG and her second IUI – because her husband is not very supportive.

      But I think some sort of weird freak-out reaction is happening right now – she wants to ask me questions about my pregnancy/delivery plans, but usually they’re weird questions – like “How dressed up would I like her/is there an outfit I would like her to wear to be when she comes to the hospital for pictures with the new baby?” And so I’ve pretty much avoided talking to her about it. Last Friday was the first long conversation we’ve had about things in some time. And I guess it didn’t actually go very well, since she changed the facts and re-told it to everyone she could in a mean way.

      This has certainly given me some perspective to be more understanding and forgiving. That said, I really am in a position where my emotional energies have to be focused on having and taking care of this baby right now, and not on helping her work through her own emotional issues. I do just need to be a little more self-centered for the next few weeks, but hopefully we’ll be able to pick it back up soon.

      • Good luck — it looks like you are two people who are each hurting in different ways. It is unfortunate that the internet does such a good job of documenting venting that should have been for other ears only.

        Re the birth plan. I hope that you are not so wedded to it that leaving the hospital with a healthy baby and a healthy mommy by means other than originally envisioned becomes a problem. Best to keep your eye on the prize (and here your friend’s situation may help you: beyond healthy baby + healthy mommy, are the details all that important?).

        • No – definitely not wedded to it. Wouldn’t have made one if my doctor didn’t make it mandatory. (And year, my hospital and OB practice are both pretty awesome for lots of reasons.)
          That’s really the crux of my own hurt – that she took something I mentioned as a form my doctor gave me to fill out and return today to be placed in my file, and turned it into a story for everyone making it sound like I wanted to give birth with Enya playing while the baby crowns, wearing fairy wings and having my baby swaddled only in organic cheesecloth.

          • goldribbons :

            Well there are a LOT of cooky things new moms do, and there are a lot of crunchy-granola theories and plans that some women buy into. No offense to anyone who gave birth in a tub in their home, but that’s not something I’d be comfortable with. (see also: mamaandbabylove.com – they have a sample birth plan here if you’re interested http://www.mamaandbabylove.com/2013/01/18/how-to-write-a-birth-plan/4/)

            I’m sure anyone who knows you, KNOWS you wouldn’t require your baby be swaddled in organic cheesecloth, and they were able to laugh about an incredibly loaded topic with a woman (your bff) who’s been struggling with this for a long time. It’s incredibly hurtful and cruel of her, but it sounds like she was able to diffuse some of the tension – I’m sure you’re not the only one who knows she’s still struggling with infertility.

          • By the way, I’m kind of loving your descriptions of your not-birth plan. Now I suddenly want to give birth wearing fairy wings!

      • Anon in NYC :

        Knowing a little more of the backstory (her infertility) makes her actions more understandable, in my mind. Still not at all okay (who would do that to their friend?!), but I could see how jealousy/anger/frustration could create an environment where she would do something like that.

        Also, I don’t have kids, and my friends who have kids have never discussed birth plans with me, but because I’ve read blogs where the blogger has had a baby and birth plan, I know what they are. It could be something as simple as her telling friends that you were developing a birth plan, and people who had never heard of them started questioning her about it. Seriously poor judgment to put any mockery on FB, but that’s not necessarily your friend’s fault.

        In terms of your relationship with your friend, I think you should be direct. Tell her that you saw all of the posts from your mutual friends and got a phone call from your aunt, and that you know that she was telling people about your birth plan and appears to have been making fun of you while doing so. Tell her that your feelings were really hurt. And, leave it at that and let her apologize. Do not make this bigger then it needs to be. Do NOT get into her infertility, or any possible reasons she could have for doing this. It could simply have been poor judgment on her part (and the part of your friends), and dragging her fertility struggles into this will possibly irreparably damage your friendship.

    • I would ignore it. As someone has not had a kid (or had a close friend have a kid yet) I have never heard of a birth plan. (Though I totally believe you that they are normal and required). You’re going to have a BABY in a WEEK! You’ve got bigger fish to fry than explaining to these people what a birth plan is… like… giving birth. Congratulations!

      • Anne Shirley :

        I would ignore it to. She’s your best friend of 25 years, she’s suffering infertility while you make a birth plan. Yes, gossiping about you was wrong. But I think that kind of friendship means you’ve earned the right to colossally screw up from time to time and have everything be okay.

        • +1. Not cool, but her infertility combined with you upcoming joy has become combustive for her. I hate to tell you that this is rare, but I’ve seen it happen many times. Please move on and focus on your own life and baby and not waste any energy on her. It may well be that she may need a break from this friendship. One of my previously close friends who commiserated with me about infertility issues for months decided to unilaterally close all communications with me once I became pregnant.

      • I disagree. While I agree that you have bigger things going on in your life, the fact remains that a lifelong friend did something very, very hurtful and you have every reason to confront her about it. The backstory makes her actions more understandable, if not excusable, but I don’t think sweeping it under the rug and pretending it never happened is the right course of action here. This is dependent on your personalities of course, but for me, it would likely cause bigger problems down the road to try to pretend this didn’t happen while secretly being very (legitimately) hurt. I think its better to hash it out and (hopefully) get an apology from her. Even though its not going to be ok overnight, yuo can at least start the process of moving on once its out in the open as opposed to letting the wound fester.

    • My dear, You’ve received good advice here but I just wanted to touch upon one thing.
      I’m sorry you felt you had to spend so much of your post defending your birth plan. I had one, my friends who gave birth had one, the hospital asked me if I had one, most of the pregnancy books I read recommended a short one. It’s so common! Your friend obviously hasn’t given birth, because she is so surprised by such a commonplace thing. Don’t feel you have anything to explain.

      • Yes, my OBs office also gave me a “birth plan” form to fill out, mostly with lots of “yes/no/maybe” questions like do you plan to have an epidural, have the baby circ’ed at the hospital, b-feeding, etc, do you have a carseat to take the baby home from the hospital in, etc. It was suggested but not required, and he mainly recommended it as something that my husband (or birth partner if applicable) fill out together to make sure we were on the same page, as they would defer to him if I couldn’t answer a question, so he should know my answers. I guess he also had couples who HADN’T discussed this kind of thing in advance and wound up have arguments about things like circumsion in the hospital, so he pushed it more as a conversation starting point than “plan”.

        But yes – short birth plan or some kind of childbirth preferences questionaire – totally normal, not hippy/crazypants/only for natural/homebirth/super crunchy people.

      • Loved your comment re swaddling the baby in organic cheesecloth! It’s a good sign that you’ve still got your sense of humor. Also agree that your friend is probably trying to hide her enormous unhappiness that she isn’t also having a baby. right. now. BUT while it’s OK for her to make small social blunders such as asking “what do I wear to visit you in the hospital?” it’s not OK for her to poke fun at your medical care and it’s not a good excuse that she was trying to lighten her own misery, or that her lack of experience made her misperceive a matter-of-fact part of your medical care as some crazy granola new mother idea. So I second the advice to speak up about this one point only…without getting near the topic of her infertility. Trust me, she’s aware of the elephant in the room. No need to point it out and make a brief-but-necessary comment into something that would intrude on your own life and coming responsibilities. Speak up gently, maybe reassure her that you know life is changing but you still want her as a friend, and then relax and take care of yourself as you start being a mother.

        P.S. It’s very hard to make peace with your own life when you DON’T have something you want very much while at the same time the much-wanted event is happening for somebody else close to you, but part of being a grownup means being able to accept one’s own unhappiness without inflicting it on everybody else. Preaching at her, not at you, but also speaking from experience on both sides of the happy/unhappy fence (and not just re motherhood, but other things also).

    • Anon for this :

      My advice is to forgive her when you can. I’ve been on the opposite end of this. A friend of mine is getting married this fall, and I’m really jealous for some complicated reasons. I realize that my jealousy has caused me to say and do some uncharitable things, and I feel AWFUL about it. I don’t want to be jealous of her and it totally stinks, but I haven’t quite kicked it yet. I haven’t done anything as bad as your friend did (I hope!), but I am afraid that my poor behavior has damaged our friendship. If I were your friend, I would want you to talk to me, tell me my behavior was not okay, and then let me apologize and clear the air.

    • Anonymous :

      For the record if your birth plan DID involve holding hands, signing, and waterfall birth EVERYONE should be on board!! It’s your birthplan and no one should blink twice about it. Sending big hugs your way! And it’s normal and ok to feel hurt.

    • Okay. First of all – I’ve never so wanted to slap someone across the face on another person’s behalf as I want to slap your friend’s face right now. I mean seriously? First of all, where does she even think this is any of her business (even if you did have a hippy-dippy birthing plan with a water fall – it is literally none of her business.) Secondly, she shouldn’t be spreading around personal medical information to all and sundry who want to hear it (or who probably didn’t want to hear it). Leaving aside all the rest of it, you need to talk to her about the fact that, if you confide a medical issue in her, you really need to be able to expect that she will respect the fact that those issues are private and shouldn’t be gossiped about.

      Now…on to this whole “birth plan” thing. Its funny that your doctor’s office calls it that – I bet they do it so they can sort of get the slightly anxious (some might say crazy) mothers … of which you don’t sound like one … to relax thinking they have a “birth plan” so they’re all right. If I had to pick a descriptor for what you have filled out, I would say it is a “treatment plan” – mostly necessary so that the doctors and nurses know what should be going on in what is a hectic delivery room and so no mistakes are made. Anyone who has surgery knows that the doctor goes over a written review of the procedure with you before hand, makes sure you understand it, and you sign it. They go over it again orally before they cut as well on the day of the surgery (at least three times). Its about informed consent.

      Sadly, there’s another reason the treatment plan is critical in these situations. If something went wrong and you were unconscious after the birth for some reason – like you needed surgery – the doctors need to know what your wishes are in terms of things like circumcision or placement of BC or whatever. I’m shocked that the idea of this was so surprising to your friend.

      So I guess what I’m saying is (a) I would agree that your friend is taking some kind of more complicated emotional issues that are not your problem out on you … which is a total doosh move and (b) what you have is a treatment plan that any prudent patient would have – and anyone making fun of you for it deserves to be added to my list of people I would slap for you. God.

      • So I have a somewhat strange tangential question, but why would whether or not to circ be part of a birth plan? I’m not very familiar with the procedure (we did not and will not) but I thought it was something that happened in the days following birth rather than immediately following birth. Am I wrong?

        • Not being a parent myself, I’m not sure – but I think if its a non-religious circumcision it happens fairly shortly after birth because it hurts less that way? Anyone with actual babies and/or kids want to agree or disagree with this? I got no idea.

          • Anonymous :

            Non-religious circs are done by the OB (most peds will not do them based on professional standards) shortly after the birth. Typically religious circs are done after eight days.

        • MaggieLizer :

          I’ve had a friend and more than a few friends-of-friends whose babies were circumsized without the consent of one or both parents, where at least one parent had very strong feelings about not mutilating their child’s gen*tals. I’d assume getting it in writing ahead of time would be a liability thing, from the hospital’s perspective.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Yeah – my son’s was within 24 hours of his birth. The doctor who did it was not in the hospital every day, so they asked in advance so they could assist with his scheduling…

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Wow…no offense to you, but your BF sucks! And I’d tell her. So what if nurses hate birth plans – its YOUR birthing and YOUR baby. And I’d let everyone who felt it was appropriate to make fun of you that they sucked too.

      I had a birth plan with both of my kids, and thank goodness, because the nurses at the hospital were ready to shove a bottle of formula in my kid. Luckily one of my best friends, who happened to be a nurse at the hospital saw this and said – NO, I am 1000% sure she is planning to nurse, check with her first. (No jusgment on formula – just not my choice). But things can happen quickly during L&D, and your wishes should be known in advance in case you can’t articulate them in that moment.

    • Just another two cents: I’d ignore it. Yes, BFF was rude and hurtful, but in a week (yeah!) you won’t even remember being worried and it will fall to the bottom of the significance scale compared to your amazing, awesome little person who you love more than words. Congrats to you, welcome to Mommyhood!

  4. momentsofabsurdity :

    I am back from Peru!

    And let me just say – it was AMAZING. Totally a trip of a lifetime and an incredible place to spend Mother’s Day with my mom. We landed in Lima, flew to Cusco then spent two days in the Sacred Valley. Then Machu Picchu which was extraordinary – but I have to go back one day! I didn’t have time to climb Huaynapicchu! Our tour guide mentioned that the government is considering closing the site to tourists to prevent further erosion so hopefully I get a chance to go again. Then several days in Cusco and a final day in Lima. It was fantastic and I totally recommend it!

    • So glad! I’m not a particularly adventurous traveller (think cafes and art museums rather than anything that requires special gear) but this sounds awesome!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        My mother is the opposite of an adventurous traveler and she looooved it. We did go on a tour (which I had never done but was actually a lot of fun – made a ton of friends traveling!) and that took a ton of the headache out of it.

    • That sounds amazing. Would you mind sharing the name of the tour you went on?

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Sure! I took a Gate1 trip and everything went quite smoothly (also very inexpensive – in total less than $2k per person with everything (airfare, hotels, meals)).

    • phillygirlruns :

      this sounds incredible. what a great vacation…and yet another place to add to my list.

  5. I like everything about this except the cut out in the back. It probably wouldn’t bother me too much as styled (longer tee and jeans) or with a sheath dress, but, man oh man, am I flashing forward to see this end up being a showcase for unfortunately low rise pants/jeans everywhere. I really hope this doesn’t catch on as a trend….

    • I agree + much as I dislike jackets with peplums (pepla?), they can be worn to the office with a fairly formal dress code. This one… no.

    • I was in Topshop today (questionable, I know) and it was all cropped tops and cut outs. Yikes!

    • Yes, when I first saw “cutouts” I was thinking it might be an interesting pattern like some shirts will have at the neckline, not just a big rectangle that looks like someone took scissors to the back of their blazer. And now that you mention it with low rise pants I can see it being used to highlight a lower back tattoo, decorated thong or something equally as classy – or in a Maxim photo shoot.. It’s a mullet jacket – “business in the front, party in the rear!”

      • I like this–> “business in the front, party in the rear”…LOL! Just noticing this trend now, I think it would only look good with something like a skirt of a different colour–color blocking? I think with pants it only serves to highlight the derriere….

      • Obviously meant for styling with a hi-lo dress. The mullet jacket cancels out the reverse-mullet dress.

  6. Managing partner of my group just introduced me to the summer associates as being on the “maternity track.” What would you have done? Personally, I’m so over his nuttiness that I just keep reminding myself that this isn’t forever and ignore him. But I hope the two female summers were listening.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      When people introduce me as “the intern” (even though I’ve been working for three years and am not an intern) I just look at them quizzically and say “Gosh, why would you say that?”

      Usually it forces them to stop and think about it and realize they have totally put their foot in their mouth.

      • Diana Barry :

        +1. WTF? If nothing else, it would help the female summers to know that you know that he’s insane. (As an aside, what does it say about your firm in general that he says stuff like this?)

    • Wow that is unbelievable! No words.

    • goldribbons :

      +1 “I hope the two female summers were listening.” I probably would have turned bright red and said something totally inappropriate. You sound like you have your priorities straight, know what you want, and are going to be a successful professional AND have a family. You sound awesome. So sorry the managing partner sounds like a DOOSH — any chance you work with ELLEN? (kidding)

    • Anon in NYC :

      Ugh. So awful. I remember an old boss who used to ask me to do his administrative tasks until I finally just looked at him and said, “I’m not an admin. You have an admin.” He was genuinely surprised that I was not an admin in addition to, you know, doing my real job.

    • “What do you mean by that?” Mostly because it gives him the opportunity to dig his hole a little deeper, and it’s always amusing to watch people flounder after saying something inappropriate and offensive.

      • I love this.

        • I love it too –also because you can play it totally innocent, as if you simply have no idea what he’s talking about. In an ideal world, anyway, you wouldn’t! Terms like this should be meaningless gibberish that mystify all who hear them. Sometimes it’s good to enforce norms that aren’t norms yet.

    • Moments like these are the reason you need to have a loud “record scratch” noise available on your smartphone at the touch of a button.

    • Hey look – another person I want to smack on another person’s behalf. I think you could say something like “that isn’t a track” or “I’m sorry – I don’t really know what you mean” as people above have said. Also, if and when you’re out with or meeting with the two female summers, maybe you could address how out of line that is? If they are young attorneys (straight out of college to law school) they might think that’s an okay thing to say to a female employee who is a mom … I shudder to think that they might think they have to tolerate that.

  7. Has anyone on this site had plastic surgery? What kind? How did they deal with getting recovery time off work? How did they tell people at work? Did insurance cover any of it?

    I’m in my early 30’s and I really want to have a br**st reduction – I do have back pain, and I have for a while, as well as skin irritation under my bust line. I’m in the healthy BMI range, they’re just really large for my frame/size and I’ve spent my whole life being frustrated. I know that I would need a few weeks off to recover and I’d come back looking significantly different. I’d also really like a nose job at some point, but that’s less pressing.

    • I had my nose done but had it done as a teen after breaking my nose twice in the span of a few weeks. It hurt but was definitely worth it, there was a family nose in my future but luckily a volleyball and a boogie board intervened.

      With a breast reduction, could you say you’re having a necessary medical procedure? People would expect you to look a bit different after being out for a few weeks.

      • I had my nose done while I was at BigLaw. I did it on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, took off the following day and the three days of Thanksgiving week, and returned to the office on Monday. Just before the surgery, I changed my haircut so the change in my nose wasn’t noticeable to most people (not to mention I didn’t go for a tiny button nose, just went for one that fits my face). I told people I had to have “nasal surgery” and sounded like I was not looking forward to it; everyone assumed there was a legitimate problem with the functionality of my nose that I was getting corrected.

        I didn’t think the procedure was painful. The biggest inconvenience was limitation on exercise.

        If a bre*st reduction is medically necessary, you may be able to take off time under your employer’s short term disability policy. If you tell people you’re going to be out for a “procedure,” they won’t ask more questions. No one wants to know more from a woman about “procedures”; they assume a “procedure” must have something to do with lady parts and are generally willing to leave it at that.

        • Just a side note- I have had two people I know get “nasal surgery” and everyone knows its a nose job. The people you told were just polite- not assuming there was a legitimate problem. I don’t think getting a nose job is a big deal at all- I just feel like sometimes on this site there are claims of “no one knew!” but its just that it would be rude to say “I don’t think you are getting nasal surgery, I think you are getting a nose job.”

          • Anonymous :

            +1 They knew. They know now when they look at you, just like they know your hair isn’t naturally straight. It’s okay, but you didn’t fool anyone.

    • I had a rhinoplasty right after graduating college, before starting my first job. The initial recovery time (with a splint on my nose) was about 1 week, but it took almost 6 months for the swelling on my face to go down completely (after a few weeks it was imperceptible to anyone who didn’t know/wasn’t looking for it, but I can still tell my face looks a bit puffy in photos from a few months after the surgery). Thankfully I didn’t have to deal with telling anyone at work, but I think your best bet is to say it’s a nasal surgery and leave it at that. Tons of people have problems with their septum so it’s definitely a plausible excuse.

      WRT to the reduction, I agree with the commenters above on calling it a “procedure” and taking a couple weeks of sick time. Yes, people will probably notice you look a bit different when you come back, but hopefully they have enough tact not to question you over it.

    • I had a breast reduction in my mid-20s. Let me tell you, it is life changing. I only took a week off from work and spent most of that time relaxing and watching movies — one of the best “vacations” I’ve ever had! But my posture is now so much better, clothes fit better, my back hurts less, and my 5’2 frame now looks curvy, rather than dumpy, which is how I spent my days feeling before I had the surgery.

      I don’t think you need to worry about people noticing. You’re pretty swollen for a few weeks, and that will go down gradually.

    • I haven’t had one though I’ve considered it and some of my friends have had one, so something I’ve read in the way of advice is to change your clothing to minimize the appearance of your bust before the procedure. If you normally wear fitted blouses, wear something in a shape and size that downplays your bust size — you probably know what works for that. That way, people won’t see such a drastic change when you come back.

      I also know most insurance covers at least some of it, but with strict rules. They have proportion guidelines that you have to fall into to get it covered (so like, if being a B would be proportional to your body, but you only want to go from a DD to a large C, you might have trouble).

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes, I had a facelift about a year ago. After I lost a bunch of weight, my double chin turned into a turkey neck, which was just completely not okay with me, so I had a lower facelift to fix it. And I figured while I was at it I’d get my lower eyelids done, too.

      I just said I was having minor elective surgery and took vacation time, rather than sick time, for the surgery and recovery. My surgeon swore up and down I’d be presentable in two weeks so that’s how long I took off work, but if I had it to do over again I’d definitely have taken three weeks because I was still a little odd-looking when I went back.

      I’ll be honest — the surgery and recovery were painful and pretty horrific, but I’m super happy with the results and am very glad I did it.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Thinking about a tummy tuck next, for the Shar Pei tummy.

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        Wow, there is no way I would ever have known this based on meeting you IRL! You look fabulous, but I never would have guessed there was a surgeon involved!

    • No personal experience, but I used to work short term disability claims, and b-reductions were really common claims. We’d look for something from the doctor saying that it was medically necessary, but just a note that said “back pain” or something was good enough. It was one of the more common things that we saw, and as far as I know, it was always paid. Most people don’t even really think of that as plastic surgery.

    • Anonymous :

      Just another perspective on plastic surgery – I have a friend whose mom had a nose job, but my friend inherited her mom’s original nose (she’s honestly like a carbon copy of her mom, in general). While I think my friend is beautiful, and I think my friend wants to think she is beautiful, she really struggles with self acceptance of her own nose, and feels like she *needs* to get rhinoplasty since “clearly it was so bad that my mom had to fix it.” It has caused some issues for her that her mom disliked something on her face so much that she got surgery, and now her daughter has it and feels like her mom is hollow when telling her she’s beautiful as she is.

      I say this as a person with a not-small-nose that I’m not always happy with when I look in the mirror. I think its a careful decision to be made.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      My sister asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I have ever seriously considered a breast reduction and the comments here make me think maybe I should – especially the thing about being dumpy, as I’m quite short so certain outfits do make me look round rather than curvy. I don’t have (fortunately) serious back pain or anything, so it would be wholly cosmetic, but I have started to seriously consider it…

      • Anonymous :

        I actually just made an appointment last Friday with a surgeon to discuss breast reduction. I’m very small, but have very large breasts. I’ve had them for more than 20 years, but I’ve always kind of disliked them. They make me look dumpy for sure and they make it difficult to wear a lot of clothing. I try to hide them quite a bit.

        • Anonymous :

          I’d love if you kept us updated on how that goes – I’m so curious. I also think that I just look dumpy because of my breasts, and adding in the back pain, I’m at my wits end almost.

    • Marie Curie :

      I had a breast reduction between finishing school and starting college, so it’s not like I had to tell lots of people (and I haven’t told anyone except my mother who disapproved, but that’s another story). No one of my friends noticed (or at least they didn’t comment on it openly). Insurance paid for all of it (I’m not in the US though and I was on my parents’ insurance plan which is one of the best in this country), I only had to pay a small fee for staying at the hospital. I’ve always hated my breasts as they were huge compared to my tiny frame so without a doubt, it was the best thing I ever did. I didn’t have ANY pain afterwards, the only thing that sucked was that I got so nauseous from the anaesthetic I threw up in the recovery room and felt sick the whole day. In the end, they had to give me drugs (don’t remember what) to stop me from throwing up again and again. Other than that, recovery was great. I stayed at the hospital for four days (I think?) and as said above, no pain at all (and I have a low pain tolerance). For the first week afterswards, I wore bandages across my breast and when I got the stitches out, I had to constantly wear a special compression bra for months (I think it was months, sorry, details are a bit fuzzy by now). All in all, absolutely the best decision ever. I love my breasts now and look way more proportional.
      (Any more questions, just ask. You can also post an anon e-mail.)

  8. Has anyone had any experience with pelvic floor physical therapy? Successful? I am looking into it for treatmetn for vaginismus…this has been a long road and am hoping for some success stories.

    • I am a regular poster but going anon for this. Yes, I have. Severe vaginismus for as long as I could remember… couldn’t uncover any psychological issues and it turned out to be a purely physical issue. I did a lot of self-treatment – dilation etc. and made good progress. I joined an online support group which was incredibly helpful in learning about types of treatments and options. I also found a physical therapist who was amazing and helped me get completely cured. I am 8 months pregnant right now and couldn’t have imagined this was possible 3 years ago. I am happy to share more info or details if you want to post an anon email address

      • Thanks – so glad to read this! This is a really isolating problem and I really don’t have anyone to talk to about this. My email is [email protected] if you’d be willing to share more about your experience. I have a consultation with a physical therapist on Thursday. Your post gives me hope!

        • Of course, happy to help. Just emailed you. And I couldn’t agree more on how isolating it is. In fact getting diagnosed with vag felt like a breakthrough in itself because for a long time I thought I was the only one with this problem and didn’t know where to turn for help

    • number cruncher :

      I have dealt with vaginismus for over 10 years and PT was the best thing I could have done. I will type out more details soon–the short version is that I went once a week for about 3-4 months, once every other week for 3 months, one hour apts. each time. Early on we kept it simple: different versions of Kegels, some gentle stretches, easy dilation. By month 2 we had progressed to more extensive dilator use, and some biofeedback work, where the therapist attached electrodes to my back and worked on contractions and relaxations with me. I found the entire process extremely helpful. 6 months later, I have a set of exercises I do daily, and if I keep up with that I can say my pain is easily 80% reduced.

    • I haven’t, but two very good friends each have and have had good experiences with it. The initial experience is a bit tough the first couple times, depending with how comfortable you are having someone “down there” as it were. But they both think it made a world of difference and are really glad they did it. It wasn’t a magical cure – they had to work hard for it and it still isn’t perfect – but its still better than it was.

  9. Diana Barry :

    Kat, just so you know, the new posts are still not opening for me in Firefox, and not all of the comments come through. The name auto-fill is not there, either. I am opening now in IE and it appears fine.

  10. I feel like I need a huge career reset, but I don’t even know where to start. I am at a loss because jobs are so hard to get even when you are an exact match to the job description, and now I am thinking about a career change. Any advice? (I’m not in law, by the way.) I have a Master’s degree and do not particularly feel like going back to school, but I would consider it if I knew it would be worth it. I really just have no idea what I want out of my life.

    • This is the perfect time to use information interviews. Do you have some jobs you think you might like? Reach out to your network (personal, professional, alumni, etc.) and set up a few coffee chats with people who have jobs you think you might like. Find out what a day in the life really is and see if it still appeals to you. Meanwhile, keep notes on what you enjoy/don’t enjoy about what you do in your job currently. Do you like doing long research projects? Do you like getting out of the office? Do you need human interaction throughout the day? Look back on all the jobs, internships, extracurriculars you’ve had in your life. What did you like/not like about those? Then compare those notes with what people tell you about their jobs in the informational interviews.

      Once you’ve found a career or two that seem to match up with your interests, find out from those people what they think would be necessary to switch from what you’re doing now to what they do. Maybe you need a new degree. Maybe you could get involved in other ways, maybe by starting to do some research on your own in that area and do some blogging about it, or otherwise engage in the conversation. Maybe there’s an intermediate step between your current job and the job you want so take a job that’s related to your current job but starts to move you into the industry you ultimately want to be in.

  11. So, how weird would it be to wear tights when it’s 100 degrees out? My office seems to be getting colder and colder the warmer it gets outside (right now I’m wearing long pants, a short sleeved top, a cardigan, and a suit jacket, and have a heater blowing on my legs, and am still a little chilly), and I’m told that it is likely to get worse as the sun gets intense on the other side of the building and they turn the air up throughout.

    I don’t want to give up my skirts, but I’m just not sure I’ll be able to handle bare legs (which are fine in my office). I drive to work and park directly under the building, so, even though it will get very, very hot outside, it’s not likely to be a big problem.

    • Can you try keeping a wrap to drape over your legs while you are at your desk? I have a substantial wool wrap that I keep on my chair and put it around my shoulders, legs, or middle as needed. That doesn’t work if you’re running around to meetings all day in cold conference rooms, but if it could work for you, I’d probably try that before I went to tights.

    • Kate Middleton :

      Sheer hose.

      • +1. I think opaque tights would look a bit out of place in the middle of summer.

    • Diana Barry :

      I am RIGHT THERE WITH YOU. My office is freezing cold and I need to bring in more wraps, or not wear skirts!!! (Not going to do nylons)

    • Anon from Chicago :

      i think its weird to wear tights when its even a little bit warm, though i totally understand the freezing office. i keep a pashmina in my office and drap it over my legs when its too cold.

    • I have the same issue with an overly air-conditioned office, and sometimes thigh-length Spanx or equivalent, plus no-show socks under closed-toe shoes, are sufficient. I can deal with my shins being cold better than I can handle my feet being cold.

    • A couple of ideas – one if you’re uncomfortable in the hose/tights on the way into and out of the office, just leave them at work – change in the bathroom when you get there. No one needs be the wiser. I’m a big believer in sheer pantyhose year round (because of course the Duchess and I are soul sisters) but they don’t necessarily do THAT much to keep your legs warmer.

      May I also suggest this product (or something like it) – http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/nordstrom-whisper-cashmere-wrap/3318212

      You can wrap it around your arms if your arms are cold, your legs if your legs are cold, and its way more classy than a snuggy. Plus its pretty. I totally want one – but my office is kept at a toasty h&llish heat all year round.

  12. Cornellian :

    Our summers started today at our BigLaw NYC firm I’m only three years out from that experience myself, but does anyone have any advice for dealing with them/things you wish your mentors had done for you as a summer/etc?

  13. Speaking of pregnancy…I want to mail a care package to a pregnant friend who is due in a month or so (good friend, but I will not be there when the baby is born or right afterwards). I am thinking about things for her to have in her hospital bag, or maybe also some things for her to have once she brings baby home. What should I include?

    • How about yummy and healthy snacks? I was exhausted, overwhelmed and starving those first few weeks. I needed something that I could eat one-handed and that didn’t require preparation. She will also spend lots of time feeding the baby so she may appreciate reading material or movies (Amazon, ITunes, Netflix gift cards?). A candle or some lightly scented shower gel may help her feel more pampered.

    • Here is what I recently sent a friend in my breastfeeding survival kit: insulated water bottle, snacks that can be eaten one-handed (preferably bit-sized to reduce crumbs and not a choking hazard), an amazon gift card for some easy kindle reading, a tray for food/drinks while you’re on the couch or bed and an ipad case that stands up! Those were my personal first-year must-haves!

    • If she’s nursing, it’s nice to have a basket of supplies you can move around to your different nursing spots. I’d include lanolin, pads, water bottle, tissues, “one-handed” snacks and magazines.

    • Thanks, all!

  14. Does anyone have any advice for travel groups for single people? I’ve done a bunch of Contiki tours (trips for 18-36 year olds all over the world), but I feel like I’m getting a bit old for those (currently 30). A lot of the other tour companies I’ve looked at either seem to cater to retired people or to couples (i.e., singles are way more expensive). I like to get off the beaten path when I travel and am thinking Africa, South America or Southeast Asia – which also helps explain why I’d like a tour group rather than just travleing alone.

    • I’ve had good luck with Intrepid. It is an Australian tour company, and they get a wide range of ages and nationalities. Every tour I’ve done with them has included other single travelers. GAP is a related tour company, but I didn’t care for them (although my bad experience could have been a one-off). Intrepid will usually try to put you with a same-sex roommate, if you like. If they can’t, you’ll have your own room with no extra charge. And if you want your own room, the extra fee seems reasonable to me. They do a lot of trips off the beaten path, and I’ve been very happy with them. Good luck!

    • Merabella :

      Check with your alma mater’s alumni association. There are tons of tours put on by those groups, and often they try to cater to specific age groups. You can also try to get a friend to go along with you – who says your “couple” has to be a SO? That way you get the couple’s rate.

  15. Lessons On Turning 30... :

    Turning 30 is considered a big deal especially for women which might have to do with the biological clock etc. To the hive What realizations or life lessons did you become aware of as you turned 30, 35 or 40?. I’m one of those people that always likes to have a plan, get this done by “X”. One of the biggest lessons for me has been that as driven as you can be, sometimes achieving what you want takes time, there are delays but you will get there. Also it’s important to enjoy the journey.

    • One of the things that struck me when I turned 30 was how lucky I was to pick a career where you get more respect with age as opposed to one where youth is valued above all else.

    • Diana Barry :

      The world will not end if your hip bones don’t stick out. Also, if you leave for a family vacation at 10 am instead of 9, it is really okay and you are not “late”.

    • Meg Murry :

      Just because you haven’t achieved your 5 or 10 year plan by 30 doesn’t mean you won’t get there – after all, you are probably only 1/3 of your way through your life and less than 1/4 through your working life.
      Don’t focus so much on career goals and family goals that you forget basic things like making sure you are happy, healthy and getting enough exercise to be fit and sleep to be functional.
      Karma is a witch. Don’t judge coworkers for not being as flexible or reliable or energetic or overall super awesome as you – someday you might have be in their shoes where work takes 2nd or 3rd to other things going on in your life, and the last thing you need is the “bright young things” judging you.
      If you have “use it or lose it” annual vacation, use it all – no one will remember that you gave up a couple days of vacation come review time, so schedule some time off in the spring/ summer/ fall if you can’t during the run up to Christmas.
      Don’t avoid getting pictures taken of yourself because you don’t like your shape/skin/clothes whatever – in 10 years you’ll probably wish you looked as good as you did then, when you thought you were too [something] to be photographed.
      Enjoy your parents & grandparents while you have them and they are healthy – once they start to get older things can go downhill really quickly. Get them and your grandparents to teach you favorite recipes and skills and traditions while you still can.
      Take a deep breath. Is what you are doing life or death? If not, chill out a little. Today whatever is bothering you may seem like the biggest deal in the world, but will you even remember it in 5 years?

  16. Today's fashion sin :

    Peep toe sling-back heels + hose + that hose had picks and fuzzies.

    If you HAVE to wear hose with your peep toe shoes, at least wear hose that’s in good shape!

    • Wow, so sorry you had to be subjected to that. Real tough day for you.

    • Thank you, fashion priest. If I don’t wear hose, will you make a helpful comment on my lack of leg shaving and non-existent pedicure instead?

    • I swear to god I thought this was the lesson she had learned when turning 30. Paired with “wear sunscreen” and “tuck your darn shirt in [later revised by others to say unless you are very short waisted]” – these aren’t actually terrible life lessons.

      In the grand peep toe shoe that is life, try to be the good condition pantyhose.

      Or better yet – when faced with a peep-toe shoe – think outside the box. Get pantyhose that fit between the toes so that your toes are bare and show off your awesome pedicure instead.

      If life gives you peep-toe slingbacks and fraying pantyhose, don’t worry too much, just remember to put a smile on your face and nobody will be looking at your legs.

      Okay. I’ve taken this too far. I’m bored at work, can anyone tell?

  17. Does anyone here use dropbox? I’ve been using it to store pictures and just ran out of space so I want to buy more space, but it’s 100 dollars a year…..is that a reasonable price or are there cheaper alternatives out there?

    • Marie Curie :

      No idea if it’s reasonable (I’m not even close to using all my space so far), but have you done all the things to get more space? (https://www.dropbox.com/getspace)

    • We added pictures to our Dropbox (wedding photos to share with family and friends) and then we automatically got a bunch more space.