Coffee Break: ‘Pass the Bubbly’ Scoopneck Long-Sleeve Pajama Set

best-pjs-for-giftsIf you’re looking for a gift idea for an older woman in your life — or really, for any woman — these are really nice pajamas. (This year, I’m buying gift cards to Soma for a lot of the older women I know.) I think the Cool Nights pajamas are intended for women who may be getting hot flashes at night, but honestly, they’re some of my favorite pajamas. I love that they come in short lengths (plus regular and tall), so if you’re a shorty like me at 5’4″ you don’t have to flop around in your PJs. They’re machine washable and they wash well, and the latest pair I bought has pockets, which is great. Soma has a lot of cute bras too, and readers have recommended their Vanishing Edge panties. This set is available in sizes XS-XXL and is on sale for $49 (from $70) at Soma. ‘Pass the Bubbly’ Scoopneck Long Sleeve Pajama Set



  1. Realistic to save this much? :

    Reposting with more details…

    Question on how much it’s realistic to save in 2017. My husband recently started working again full-time. We are finally DINKs again. Our gross household income will be $260K a year. We live in Googleville so it’s super expensive – we spend around $5K a month or $60K a year. As we talk about our 2017 goals we floated saving $100K cash and $47K for retirement. That leaves $53K for taxes and HSA… which seems low. I think the answer is that we have to whittle down our spend a bit? Can we do that without a budget?

    I see our biggest area of spending outside of rent and cars as: food, health/medical, and shopping. How do you decide when it’s worth it to try to cut food costs from $700 to $600 or not buy a cute $30 shirt or give up private lessons for a hobby? I think we should not be too stressed and just do automatic deposits from our paycheck. I hate feeling like we are always thinking about money, which is why I hate budgets. but then I think jobs are unstable and we won’t always make $260K, so we should make hay while it shines. Husband would like a stricter budget although he never says anything about the long line of Amazon boxes that come to the house every week…

    • You need a budget. Maybe not a super strict one, but to even approach the goals you have (and yes $53k is far to low for taxes – expect nearly twice that) you need to see where you are spending now and starting making choices based on that information.

    • “I hate feeling like we are always thinking about money, which is why I hate budgets.” – So this is the exact reason I have a budget. When you automate everything, you can quit thinking about it all the time. I don’t stress about what I am doing with my money because I know where it is going. You can do a budget and set a specific amount of “fun money” that you can put toward lessons, clothes, eating out, etc. Make it realistic so you can still have some fun, but also makes sure it fits your saving goals. Does that mean that you occasionally have to skip that meal out or buying that new shirt? Yes. But it doesn’t mean that you have to be constantly depriving yourself and it will take a lot of the guilt out of buying stuff, as long as you have the money in your “fun money” category for it.

    • My best advice is to fund your savings first. Pay your fixed expenses second and whatever is left in the account at the end is your discretionary spending for that month.

      • TJ here…. month-to-month cash flow management is where I really struggle because I’m trying hard to make all monthly expenses be paid by that month’s income, which doesn’t always work perfectly.

        In a perfect world where expenses are normalized/not seasonal, I’d put $X in savings each month and set that up on an auto deposit into my savings account. But how do you account for months where, for example, once-annual expenses (ie: $1,100 home owners insurance policy due in June) are due and your cash flow is negative for that one month? Do you set up an escrow of sorts in the beginning of the year for the once-annually expenses (insurance, dog annual vet visit, income tax prep fee, prepaid lawn service fee, etc.) so they don’t come out of and mess up the monthly cash flow?

        • This is exactly what is so helpful about having a budget (there have been recent threads on how to use Mint and other personal finance tools). By planning for those expenses, you know how much needs to be set aside each month to cover those annual items. My “true” savings that I don’t touch other than for designated purposes (like the house I’m building) is outside the short term funds I set aside for larger but expected expenses.

        • I’m also bad at month-to-month cash flow. I have a whole bunch of savings accounts set up online for this purpose because I like to be able to figure out my budget for fun spending.
          I chose Ally Bank for my savings accounts which I really like bc it’s free and you can name all your accounts for whatever the specific purpose is for them. I know I spend $650 on something every 6 months so I set up an account called “XXX fund” and have my company auto deposit about $110/month into that account. I also have a “Christmas gifts” fund, a “travel to visit sister” fund, etc. Then about a week or two before I’m going to need the money, I transfer it out to my checking account and have the money ready to use.

        • You open a separate account and keep it full of say, $10,000, which is used for those kinds of expenses, plus emergencies (rental cars, new water heater, etc etc etc). After you pay your savings you top off the fund; the remainder becomes disposable income.

          • The advantage to keeping it constantly “full” is that often you can earn some form of interest because the monthly balance is so large.

          • +1 This is what we do too. I also keep a spreadsheet where I record regular expenses (car registration, Prime membership, bar dues, etc. so I am not surprised when those expenses come through.

        • I have two savings accounts. One is a true “don’t touch this” emergency fund and the second one is my “savings to spend” account. That second account serves as a sinking fund for all non-regular expenses (including vacations, house renovations and fun stuff). I treat the contribution into this account as a fixed expense.

          • I have a crazy, Type A, to-the-penny monthly budget in an excel document for the full upcoming calendar year. It’s just the vehicle for funding said expenses that is my issue – but I like this idea a lot. I might do separate accounts for vacation and these lumpy, irregular expenses, but this is definitely something I’ll do for 2017.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Yes, I do this. I have separate accounts for all those irregular expenses: property taxes, vacation, holidays, clothing, car expenses, home maintenance, etc. They all get funded monthly and then when I need to spend on those categories the money is there. I’ve been doing it for years and it’s the key to my whole financial system.

          • Meg Murry :

            Yes, I call this my “life happens” fund, and it’s for both expenses that are infrequent but expected (like car insurance every X months) and for minor surprise expenses like towing+new tires or an unexpectly high dental procedure.

        • Divide $1100/12, save that much per month for that expense. Super easy to do with YNAB and I suspect other budgeting softwares.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Yup. This is what I do for annual fees, gifts, bar dues, etc. You can do it within YNAB and either leave the money in your account or move it to a savings account. I set up a Capital One 360 account for each thing that I save up for over the year. Then on the 1st of each month I move that month’s share out of checking and into those accounts.

    • Is Googleville SF? If you’re making 260k, take home will be 130k — after fully funding 2 401ks and paying taxes, health insurance etc. You need 60k to live. So that leaves savings of 70k. Can you really trim your additional expenses by 30k? Bc that’s a ton. Even if you eat out a ton and eat organic everything and travel a lot – can you cut out 30k worth of those activities? Unless my math is off, your numbers don’t work.

      • Anonymous :

        Agreed. I think the numbers are bafflingly off. And personally I have no interest in living on 30k. If that’s the goal why bother with this job.

      • Saving 70k liquid plus another 18k each in 2 401ks is 106k. 106k out of a 260k salary is 40% of the gross being saved. That’s a LOT. Why exactly push to do more? If you want to trim the fat and you think that cutting back on some eating out, memberships/subscriptions you don’t use could save another 3k, great do that. That gets you up to saving 42% of gross. Why the push to 100k?

        • Realistic to save this much? :

          We think we might want to buy a condo. We have $60K cash so $100K additional gets us to $160K, which is 20% down for a $800K condo.

          • Anonymous :

            Unless you Want to drastically change your lifestyle this isn’t realistic.

          • If this is your primary residence then start a house fund and make whatever cuts necessary to fill it according to your timeline. If you want to buy in a year, then yes, you will have to reallocate your income to accommodate it. Or you could push the timeline to 2 years, and enjoy more disposable income along the way.

            A house is an investment, so really, you have some decisions to make.

          • I totally get that. All I’m saying is that by saving 70k per yr, you are saving $5800/month. I get why you want to get to 100k asap, but at $5800 it won’t take you 12 months, it’ll take more like 16-17 months to get that additional money for the down payment. Is it really THAT big of a deal for something to take 4-5 months more? Enough that you want to scrimp and save? I say cut out some obvious expenses — some eating out; some organic food shopping; some Amazon shopping — and I bet that’ll get you saving like $6200/month — so then you get to 100k in 15-16 months.

      • Realistic to save this much? :

        Fair – I think we can stretch to save $80K and then hope bonus/RSU kicks in for the remaining $20K.

        • JuniorMinion :

          Worth noting that that level of home price will tie you into $4-$5k / month in fixed housing expenses (mortgage + property taxes + insurance) before food and utilities. Based on your initial comment where you mentioned income fluctuation, if you think you want to go to one income at some point or you don’t think your current HHI is sustainable this might be something to consider and you might want to wait and put down a higher percentage.

          Additionally keep in mind that closing costs are typically 2-5% of the purchase price, so that is an additional $15 – $40k on an $800k home.


          Oil and Gas chick whose spouse got laid off and who has never been happier to not have a large fixed expense burden each month.

          • Googleville :

            I wouldn’t worry too much about the high fixed monthly cost. I’ve lived in and around Googleville since 2002 and the dot com bust. Prices don’t come down. Even when they do come down, it’s not by enough that you can’t recover in 2 or 3 years. Around here, housing only goes up (and up and up…).

            I’ve bought twice and sold once in this area. It’s better to buy now knowing you might have to rent out the place to wait out a bad year when you go to sell. In both my places, after a year or two (thanks 2009!), I was right-side up again and appreciating by way more than I expected.

            Because I worry about my fluctuating income and carrying a high mortgage ($2300 by myself), I extended my emergency fund to about 15 months. It’s probably not necessary because I got the mortgage using only the fixed part of my income but it makes me feel better.

            Rent is the only thing guaranteed to rise by 10%+ per year out here. Lock in your housing expenses as soon as you possibly can if you are staying long term.

  2. Has anyone bought anything from Everlane? My younger sister asked for clothes from them for Christmas, but I really don’t know what to get. Anyone have any items they bought from there and liked (or really didn’t like!)?

    • I’ve had a lot of success with them, but just a heads up inf you are in NYC they have a pop-up store currently on Bleecker! I have the Ponte pants and love love love them, also, tee shirts are great, the basic sweaters. I’ve never really disliked anything from them. I also have the thin turtleneck and LOVE it under stuff, it’s more tee-shirt material and makes such a great first layer. Finally, my wallet is from there and i love it.

    • I personally have not but my friend raves about them and their basic tees. I’ve borrowed them from her before and like them! Just havent gotten around to purchasing

    • I absolutely love their cashmere crew sweater. I have it in 5 colors. I seriously wear it everywhere in the winter.

    • I LOVE everlane and you can feel good about giving gifts that are free from predatory labor and have lesser environmental damage.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I have two cashmere dresses from Everlane and they’re all I ever want to wear. My only caveat is that they run big.

      • Everything, or just the dresses? I was thinking about ordering some of the stretch tees, but based on how they look on the model (big & sloppy) I an unsure on size.

        • Marshmallow :

          The stretch tees run TTS, definitely not big. I am a size 6/ 34DD and have both smalls and mediums. Small is good for a smooth look under other things, medium is better on its own.

        • BabyAssociate :

          I was speaking of the dresses specifically.

    • I have boots from them and they’re great. Shoes run smallish/narrow.

    • They’ve been very hit or miss for me. Some of the basic T-shirts look the exact same, but the quality in-person is way different (one was made from nice, well-made cotton and the other was like one of those thin, overly stretchy shirts like you find at a cheap mall store). Neither has held up that well and I don’t think I would buy any of their stuff again.

    • Marshmallow :

      I have two of their cropped cashmere sweaters and I love them. Especially if your sister runs a little trendy, the cropped sweaters are fun.

    • Alanna of Trebond :

      Cuyana is better.

    • I’ve got tons of things from them – quality is great, the cuts can be a little boxy & sizing a little inconsistent, I have items from small to large. I also agree with Alanna of Trebond that for the small/indy clothing brands, I like Cuyana better, but they don’t have as many basic wardrobe staples.

  3. Chicago Therapist / Psychiatrists :

    To the posters who asked about Chicago Look therapists and psychiatrists, I posted some recs on the original thread (ankle pants) but it was late. So I wanted to flag it again for you.

    • Piggy backing :

      Thanks! Here’s a link to the original conversation in case anyone else is interested.

  4. Second unrelated question:
    I’m going on a cruise to the Carribean on the Queen Mary 2 over the holidays. Has anyone been on the QM2 who has advice about how to dress during the day? I know that nights are VERY formal, but I’m just not sure about what to pack for daytime wear around the ship.

    • Anonymous :

      Whatever you want! It’s just a cruise on a fancy ship.

    • I cruise frequently on other lines that are more casual, and if I were going on the QM2 I would step it up and pack sun dresses, tailored shorts or capris, and polo shirts for day wear. I would want to feel “tidy/country club casual” vs. the type of casual that you can wear to the supermarket/Walmart/walking the dog.

    • and room for a pony :

      I am having flashbacks to a certain episode of Keeping Up Appearances.

  5. Anonymous :

    Any recommendations for blogs tracking federal court decisions? (I have a specific interest in the SC and 11th Circuit). TIA!

  6. dentist in downtown DC? :

    Any recommendations for a good dentist in downtown DC?

    • I used to see Daniel Cave when I lived in DC. He used to be on I St near the Farragut West station.

      • Rusk and Thornton. I see Thornton, and he’s awesome. They’re right near the Farragut West exit on 18th and I.

    • I LOVELOVELOVE Drs. Schneiderman and Barr. They just moved their offices too so the offices are brand new. They’re on 19th St, just above Farragut.

  7. Anon For This :

    Any advice on dealing with friends with mental health issues? I have a close friend who has pretty severe depression I believe. She’s on medication but frequently doesn’t take it. As a result, she often lashes out – gets really upset at pretty minor things and generally is just tough to deal with, partly because she’ll care deeply about something, so our friend group will accommodate her, and then she gets upset at the resolution.

    I understand that she’s suffering and going through a lot, and I also understand that when you feel so terrible, it may be hard to force yourself to take your pills and have a rational response, but I am tired of feeling like the punching bag and like nothing I do is sufficient.

    I would really appreciate any advice.

    • Anonymous :

      I set boundaries. No one gets to treat me poorly, mentally ill or not. I’ll make allowances for not being awesome, but I am no ones punching bag.

    • lawsuited :

      My sister has a cluster of mental illness diagnoses that result in her behaving very badly towards me and others in her life. The fact that it’s a result of mental illness means I don’t assign blame to her, but being treated badly still feels bad whatever the reason. I have been in therapy myself to help me create some boundaries to reduce resentment and frustration I feel in my relationship with her. It’s been hugely beneficial to me, and I recommend the same for you.

      I know that “therapy” is the go-to answer around here, but it’s really hard for an internet stranger who doesn’t know much about you and your situation, or your friend and her situation, to really help you. And therapy doesn’t have to be a life-long commitment either – I tend to go for 6-8 session “tune ups” when I’m dealing with a specific issue, like the one with my sister. The learning from therapy often overlaps to help in other parts of my life too.

    • Marshmallow :

      My BFF is bipolar and schizophrenic, also a recovering addict. When she has gone through manic episodes or other flare-ups in the past, I will help her triage her needs up to a certain extent, but we both understand I’m not her therapist. Are you thinking about hurting yourself? Do you have a plan to do so? Do you need a ride to the ER? Have you called your doctor/therapist and taken their advice if so? Do you have somebody to feed your cats if you’re going to be in the hospital? Beyond that, I’ve told her I need to back off while she takes care of her medical needs. I have visited her in the hospital with silly little gifts.

      I also sought therapy for myself at a time when we lived a lot closer together and her illnesses were not very well controlled. It was helpful to sort out with somebody impartial what my personal boundaries were. I have a lot of patience for this particular friend because I love her like a sister and she is putting a lot of work into her health. My boundaries might be very different with someone who wasn’t willing to put in the work, lashed out, and wasn’t otherwise a good friend.

    • Jitterbug :

      What I’m seeing here is that you guys are trying to help accommodate her and she’s never happy with how things turn out. Does she ever sound grateful for the group going out of their way for her?

      I generally try to make some allowances for people going through tough times, especially when mental illness is involved, but everyone is allowed to have limits. Illness is not a free pass to be a jerk, especially if she’s not taking her medicine. Is she doing anything else to manage her depression? Either way, there’s only so much you can do and only so much you can put up with.

    • Anonymous :

      FWIW, I’ve been the depressed friend and I wish someone had come to me and told me how I had changed and how worried they were. (I also wasn’t lashing out or being difficult, more of a global retreat, but still….I wish someone had cared enough to notice it.)

      • I am currently that depressed friend now. I recently “came out” to my friends after avoiding social gatherings and lessening my contact for a few months and told them that I was struggling with depression. I let them know that I wasn’t avoiding them, but the depression caused me to struggle just to get out of bed and perform basic self care like cooking and laundry. It was really interesting to see how some of my friends responded. Those who had faced similar periods in their life were really supportive and talked about how they climbed out of it. Others who didn’t understand how someone could go from being an extroverted super star female attorney who runs marathons to someone who struggled to make a sandwich and brush their teeth every day expected me to just “snap out of it.”

  8. If you were buying a used car that was supposed to have its transmission replaced but is now only having one specific transmission part replaced, would you be alarmed? I was okay with the idea of getting a used car with a brand-new transmission, but I’m not sure I want one that has needed repairs and might give out as soon as the warranty is up. I’m buying it from a car start-up and the process has been otherwise smooth, but this is a red flag and I’m not sure how concerned to be.

    • Anonymous :

      Absolutely not.

      • Absolutely not to being alarmed or absolutely not to the purchase?

        • Anonymous :

          Absolutely not to the purchase. Or any purchase from this dealer who sounds incredibly shady.

          • The dealer is one of those hot Silicon Valley start-ups. We went with them to avoid the sketchy, shady behavior we were seeing everywhere else and have only heard rave reviews from other people who have gone this route. Ugh.

          • Agreed. I would be nervous enough about buying a car on the condition that repairs be made, and then to be told that the repairs themselves had changed… see ya!

            I have had good luck with hassle-free used cars from CarMax. Yes, if you were a skilled and aggressive negotiator, you might be able to get a car slightly cheaper elsewhere, but they have won me over with their relatively non-shady behavior. I say relatively non-shady because they do still push you to add on warranties, take out longer financing than is necessary, etc, but I consider those pretty forgivable – I can just say no, and it doesn’t make me worry about the quality of the car.

          • +1 I only buy used cars and this would be a no go for me. In fact, I wouldn’t buy a car that needed a full transmission replacement in the first place regardless of whether the dealership was doing it for me or not. There are 100s of other cars out there that don’t need major repairs to be salable. PASS

    • Anonymous :

      I would be wary of a full replacement to begin with. Regardless of how good the mechanic is, once you disconnect the transmission the car just never seems to run as perfectly again. Keep looking for a different car if you can.

  9. anonymous :

    Myfriend is having a baby boy and she i s going all out with the gendered stuff. Her husband is really into football and they constantly talk about how the baby will play and how great it’ll be.

    This isn’t in an abstract way. They very much want him to be a football player.
    This makes me uncomfortable. With everything we know about football now, how could you want your kid to play, and push that decision on him when he’s still in diapers? Am I overreacting? i haven’t said anything yet, but I wonder if I should.

    • It’s not how I would raise my kid or how you would raise yours, but the baby isn’t even born and it’s not your business anyway. I would leave it alone.

    • Definitely not your place to say anything. At least at this time. Even if the kiddo wants to play football, he won’t be able to play contact sports for years.

    • Anonof your business :

      That is none of your business.

    • Anonymous :

      This baby isn’t even born. No. You should not say something. That you are even contemplating it is absurd. Get yourself under control.

    • I wouldn’t lecture them on the perils of football concussions or anything like that – the baby isn’t even here yet and besides it’s their son, not yours. BUT if they are friends, as a matter of curiosity at some point I’d say – so what if he doesn’t want to play football and likes soccer instead or perish the thought what if he doesn’t want to play sports at all and wants to play chess and paint? I’d just be curious to see if it’s a horrified – oh he WILL play a sport, we don’t care what he thinks; or if they’re at least open to the idea of raising the kid they get – which may not be HS QB material. Again I wouldn’t say this as a lecture – just to put the idea in their mind.

    • Don’t say anything. This kid isn’t even here yet and it will be at least 6 years before he can even start the youngest league of football. I think a lot of things are changing in youth sports, particularly as it relates to concussions and injury prevention. Who knows if their son will even be interested in playing? I’ve got a really athletic boy who is just starting out in youth sports. We aren’t pushing football, but if he really expressed an interest, we’d probably explore ways for him to play at this age. Also, as parents we tend to really focus on the sports that we enjoyed as kids because that’s what we know. But, there are a lot of team/individual sports out there that accomplish the same goals of healthy competition, fitness, discipline, etc; we just don’t as much about them. So dad may really want his kid to have all of those experiences, but his only lens for that is football.

    • Anonymous :

      No need to say anything. Everyone talks a big game before their child is born. If they are pushing this hard this early, it is really likely that the kid will burn out/ hate sport/ parents etc. If you want an eye opener–watch Trophy Kids:

      The football kid doesn’t even play sports anymore. And none of the kids went on to varsity level college sports (junior college-yes).

      It’s an eye-opener for all parents.

    • He’ll be his own person, with his own opinions, by the time he gets to be football playing age.

      The kid might love football. He might obstinately hate it and refuse to play. He might get signed up for a few seasons in which he perfects the art of *appearing* to play without actually having to touch the ball or ever get tackled. He might think it’s OK, play for a while, and then move on. He might even have a movie moment where he gets to shout, “Football is YOUR dream, Dad… NOT MINE!”

      Long story short, don’t worry about it.

    • You probably shouldn’t say anything, but I think they’re being way more absurd than you are. I feel sorry for their future child.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :

        Wow. You feel sorry for a baby that is not even born yet because his parents, who you don’t even know beyond one blurb on the internet, are talking about something that might not even happen? Okay then…

    • lawsuited :

      You should not say anything. Whether they really want their child to be a football player, tennis player, undertaker, accountant, rock musician, dentist or anything else is none of your business.

    • and room for a pony :

      YES, you should definitely tell them how to raise a kid that isn’t even here yet. [OMG — I am so kidding!]

      Seriously, people plan and g-d laughs. Doubly so when it comes to children. They may be mad for a quarterback and they get a long snapper. I knew a guy who quit a varsity D-1 sport to be a cheerleader (and got ripped on until people figured out that he knew all of the female cheerleaders very well).

      In life, you go long. Really long. You can get the smug “I told you so” card ready to send in a decade if it suits you though.

      • Anonymous :

        Or it will end up being a girl. :)

        • Anonymous :

          I wish my girls could play football. I can see them actually doing well at the less-cool positions (incl. long snapper and maybe place kicking). They are not linebackers, but neither was Lynn Swann (and oh did I get my hopes up upon first hearing that name as a child).

    • Jitterbug :

      I wouldn’t say anything now. However, if you’re still friends when the kid is of football playing age and they’re frustrated that he’s not giving it his all – or worse – that he’s refusing to play and wants to do something else, maybe then say “I get that you’re disappointed and frustrated this isn’t going according to plan, but maybe the best thing is to let him do what makes him happy.” I’m not sure if they care more about him getting scholarships, or becoming a hometown hero, but whatever they’re hoping will come of him playing football, there are other ways he can make them proud.

      But again, this conversation comes later. Much later. And only if it seems necessary.

    • Yeah, not your kid, not your place. Personally, I wouldn’t want to push *any* trait or hobby on my kid because I’ve seen it happen and it always backfires. But again, that’s for my kid.

      Also, don’t think this is limited to football; soccer has among the highest concussion rates, too, some argue even higher.

    • He may be built like a football player but turn out to be a really great flautist (not a euphemism) like my high school prom date. You don’t know. I would definitely not worry about it right now.

      I also wouldn’t let my son play football but I wouldn’t tell anyone else what they should do with their son.

    • Anonymous :

      You shouldn’t say anything. This child isn’t even born yet. Many sports have a very high risk of concussion. One study estimated football had a 75% risk while soccer has a 50% risk. Soccer is alot lower than football, but still very high. The conversation around concussions in hs sports should be around all sports, not just football.

  10. Break-up / new relationship anxiety :

    My last SO broke up with me over with a year ago. He mostly blindsided me and it has taken me a long time to get over. I just starting seeing a truly truly wonderful new guy. I’ve definitely dated since the ex but this is the first guy I really like and can see something real and wonderful building. He has not done a single thing to make me doubt him or his interest in me. He is affectionate, caring, considerate, and incredibly consistent (so much better and healthier for me than the ex).

    Now I’m starting to develop real feelings for him and I don’t even know why but thinking about it right now at work has made me so terrified and anxious. The last few days I’ve been floating on a high of excitement as we really got closer this weekend. But now I’m feeling a huge 180 degree turn. I think a lot of the anxiety is related to what if this doesn’t last? What if pulls away? Having gone through that once before I know I will be fine, but it was so hard and scary.

    Having the rug pulled out from under me in my last relationship has really scared me to not get too comfortable. But I know the whole point of dating IS to take a risk and put yourself out there even if it’s scary. Does anyone have any advice? And yes, I was in therapy to get over the last relationship and really thought I had made significant strides. I may schedule another appointment. So aside from therapy, does anyone have any advice? Even just to get through today’s new anxiety?

    • BeenThatGuy :

      You said it yourself: “the whole point of dating is to take a risk…even if it’s scary”. You can’t move forward in any relationship if you don’t take a leap of faith. There’s nothing more rewarding than letting your insecurity go, putting the wall down and letting someone in.

      • AlsoBeenThere :

        I’ve been in a very similar position and what I’ve found that helps is before the anxiety gets out of control stop and try to step outside yourself and ask if this is really an issue with the current or is it leftover from the former. I then remind myself not to “punish” the current for the actions of the former- enlisting a friend to help remind me of this when the anxiety really kicks in has also worked.

    • Anonymous :

      Just tell yourself you’re feeling vulnerable! Name it and try not to fight it. Keep reminding yourself. The alternative is to allow the feeling to push you into your shell, and it sounds like that is not a place you want to be (some people do; that’s OK).

    • Anonymous :

      You said this in your first paragraph, but ask yourself if your thoughts have any basis in reality (has he done anything to indicate he isn’t interested, etc). Also, imagine if a friend asked you this question…what would you tell her?

      Just try to enjoy your time together and respond as he initiates. And don’t forget you don’t know him either…the high of the weekend isn’t real and it isn’t sustainable long-term. Pace yourself.

    • Brene Brown Evangelist :

      Go back to therapy and read Brene Brown. Her work focuses on vulnerability. It’s tough. I had the same thing happen to me- out of the blue, no warning, no explanation that tracked reality in a meaningful way. It blows. The only thing to do is try to differentiate what discomfort is caused by his behavior (if any) and what discomfort results from vulnerability.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I was unbelievably anxious for, like, the whole first year I was seeing Lovely Husband. Therapy really helped, as did doing what Anonymous at 3:53 suggests: naming the anxiety and just sitting with it. I did work pretty hard not to let it show, because it was my issue, not LH’s, and I think that was a good choice.

      Hang in there!

  11. Katie or Kate :

    Looking for unbiased honest internet opinions on something fairly trivial – my real name is Kathryn, which I’ve never went by nor would feel comfortable going by. I usually go by Katie. Lately I’ve been thinking of starting to go by Kate. Random people will call me Kate (after being introduced to me as Katie) so I think I might “fit” Kate as well. It flows a tad better into my last name, I think, and maybe sounds a tad more grown up? Thoughts on Katie vs Kate? Like what are your first impressions of the two names?

    FWIW, I’m a young professional, elected to local govt with possibilities of maybe running for a higher office someday.

    If I switch, I’m just going to start signing stuff and introducing myself as Kate. I won’t be correcting anyone who calls me Katie – I’d be doing it forever.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s weird to switch to another nickname.

    • Anonymous :

      My impression of the two names: You’re a white woman born in the 80s.

    • Anonymous :

      I think names ending in the y sound for women and men are always going to sound more juvenile. But if Nikki Haley can be governor, you can too, so I would only change it if you like the alternative more. And I wouldn’t be shy about correcting people either way.

    • Marshmallow :

      I’m a white woman born in the 80’s so I know about a thousand Katies, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with Katie as a nickname. Kate might read slightly older/more serious, but not enough that I’d make the switch unless I already really wanted to be Kate. Just start using it with new people and see if you like it/ it catches on.

    • Anonymous :

      My personal preference for a professional setting would be Kate. Let your friends and family call you Katie.

      • Senior Attorney :


        And I think making the switch would be no big deal.

      • Anonymous :

        I have the same name (same spelling) and I’m Katy. I will say, I started my job at my firm at 23, and decidedly still felt like a Katy. Changing to Kate seems like too much effort six years deep in my career.

    • I get it and think it’s NBD to start introducing yourself as Kate. Most men who go by Bill were called Billy until they started introducing themselves as Bill. Same for Jim/ Jimmy, etc.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a great point. My best friend went from “Danny” to “Dan” in his professional life and people took it pretty quickly, if they weren’t already calling him “Dan”

        • Yes, I knew a lot of those: Danny -> Dan; Mikey -> Mike; Stevie -> Steve. I do think it’s weird to switch from one nickname to a totally different one, like going from Andy to Drew or going from Liz to Betsy, but Katie to Kate or Lizzie to Liz would not strike me as weird, maybe just a little more “grown up.”

          But also, you should be called whatever you want!

      • +1. And many of their close friends still call them Danny/Jimmy/Mikey and that is totally fine. I suspect that would be the case with friends and family who have always known OP as Katie.

        Seems like it would be an easy transition to Kate in the professional context though.

    • I had this conversation with someone recently. Never met a “bad” Kate. It reads strong and competent. Katie feels a little sweet and young, like something your parents and siblings call you.

      I never understood the whole “my name is Elizabeth but you should only ever call me Liz” thing. In my family, Elizabeth might be Beth, Liz, Lizzie, Eliza, etc. So I would see no problem with going with Kate and letting people who want to call you Katie (or Kathryn) go with that.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I don’t think it’s odd to change nicknames. I have a different name but using your Kathryn example, I have in the past gone by Katie, Kate and now go by Kathryn sometimes and Kate sometimes, but there is certainly overlap. Childhood friends still call me Katie, SO and close coworkers call me Kate, and others call me Kathryn. It’s your name and particularly where Kate and Katie are so close (as opposed to say Beth vs Liz), go with whatever you think suits your life.

    • Anonymous :

      Call yourself what you want. There is nothing wrong with either name – there are respected politicians that go by both, if that is your concern.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it depends on your political persona. If you want to be seen as approachable, compassionate, more Leslie-Knope-like, then Katie is a really great choice. If you want to be tough-on-crime, fiscal responsibility, etc. then Kathryn might be better. Personally, I think Kate is very inoffensive and but not as memorable as Katie or Kathryn.

    • I obviously have a lot of thoughts on this : )

      I switched from Katie to Kate between middle and high school, and only family still calls me Katie. I can’t remember if I corrected them but now I find it sweet. I’m an academic and I also publish under Kate, not my full name which is a Katherine/Kathryn derivative. In general I’m a fan of using the name you like to be called as your professional name. I don’t want use of my nickname to be something that marks people as insiders or outsiders (like how some Dems name drop “Liz Warren,” not that it’s her fault.)

      I think Kate sounds a bit more grown up and “neutral” and Katie sweeter and more accessible. As Anon above said, either could work depending on persona. Another wrinkle I’ve noticed from a lifetime of having this name and a while in Chicago is that Kates are ALWAYS white, or have white parents, whereas Katies are sometimes African American. I doubt you would make the call based on this one way or the other but you know the theory about how Villaraigosa combined his name with his wife’s to sound more Latino?

    • Anonymous :

      I like Kate better for work/professional purposes. I do not think it is weird to make this change.

      This reminds me of my dad–his name is Robert. As a child, he went by Bobby. In college, he went by Bob and when he graduated and started working he went by Robert. He is well-known in our small home-town and often sees people when we are out, even outside of our hometown. I can always tell how someone knows him based on what they call him, haha.

    • One of my long-time work friends is Susan. We became good enough work friends that I ended up meeting her non work-friends, most from college, who call her Sue. Then I met some of her family, who call her Susie. I tried calling her Sue once, no dice. She’s Susan, because we’re work friends. While this is a little bit amusing to me, it’s no big deal. She’s Susan at work, and no one has any problem remembering to call her that.

  12. No Travel NYC :

    My husband and I don’t like traveling and so we almost never do, but we have been talking about going to New York for some good meals. Neither of us knows anything about New York except the location of some of the restaurants we want to try, but they are all over Manhattan and I am feeling overwhelmed.

    In what area should we stay? I don’t think we would like any super touristy areas because we aren’t big into that type of stuff and I think it would be overwhelming. The Four Seasons Downtown looks perfect for our taste but a bit out of the way. The Four Seasons Central Park is out of the budget. Any advice on location and how far is too far would be really helpful.

    This has become so overwhelming we have started looking at other foodie destinations around the country, so I am open to those as well.

    • If the Four Seasons Downtown looks like it would suit your taste and budget, I think you will not have a problem getting around. The financial district is easily accessible to nearly all subway lines, which will mean slightly longer rides to get up to midtown, but you won’t have to transfer. You can get the 1/2/3 which runs up the west side, or the 4/5/6 up the east side, as well as some of the smaller lines like the A/C/E (west side) and R (midtown and Queens).

      The area around WTC is pretty touristy, though. Not as bad as Times Square or Soho, but be prepared for some crowds around the memorial and museum.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. Stay where you want to stay. You’ll be fine downtown. Subway access is great, if you decide to use the subway, and you can always take cabs.

        As an alternative, what about the New York Palace? Maybe a little to close to touristy things, but more centrally located.

    • and room for a pony :

      Can you find someone who can get you into the NY Athletic Club? It is on Central Park South and has fantastic views. And a good gym. And tons of history. When I’ve stayed there, it has been much less than hotels.

    • If you want sheer convenience but not too many tourists, try midtown east in the low to mid-50s. Basically within a five minute walk of the 53rd and Lexington subway station. You will be within 15-20 min. of just about everywhere you want to go in Manhattan and it will be super easy to navigate because you have the green line (6 train) to go up and down the east side of Manhattan and the V/E to go west if you want to do that. You’ll also be within walking distance to a lot of places if you like walking (not nec. short walks though, the area is not that full of amazing restaurants though there are a few good ones). Basically, it’s easier to go North to South in Manhattan than it is to go East to West.

      The area around Union Square is also similarly convenient.

    • Anonymous :

      If you can afford the Four Seasons you can afford to cab/uber anywhere.

    • No Travel NYC :

      Thanks all. Uber is used very heavily where we live. Is that a feasible option or are things just too far? We visited D.C. this time last year and found it surprisingly easy to get around that way.

      • Anonymous :

        Uber is very easy in the city. You shouldn’t have a problem getting an uber in the financial district.

        • +1 with the caveat that traffic in NYC is extremely (!) heavy right now, so make sure you allow plenty of time.

    • Anonymous :

      What types of things would you like to be able to walk to from your hotel? I like the Walker hotel in Greenwich Village. Great location for my purposes.

      • No Travel NYC :

        Honestly, we are literally going just to eat. We will probably just walk around wherever the restaurant of choice is and maybe go shopping one day but mostly just doing whatever looks fun until our next meal.

        • Anonymous :

          The Walker is definitely a good location for eating! I’d probably put your top few hotels in Yelp and see which restaurants looks good for you nearby. Public transit and Uber is great in NYC, but I always prefer walking and being able to stop somewhere for a drink, dessert, or what have you.

        • I would love to do this trip! And if I were to do it I would stay at the single Firmdale hotel in NYC b/c I love the London ones so much — Crosby Street Hotel. (I believe it’s near Eleven Madison Park and one of the Momkfukos. And Russ and Daughters!)
          If you decide to stay in Midtown East for convenience/location purposes I recommend the Benjamin — 1BR suites are lovely. And then go to Ess-A-Bagel and/or Tal Bagel.
          First choices for me if I ever got bored with food — Met. Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Opera.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Not even close to Four Seasons standard, but if you want convenient, the Washington Square Hotel is decent and a great location convenient to lots of subway lines. Some of the rooms are small, some are not–you’ve got to ask.

    • No Travel NYC :

      Any recommendations for things we should do this time of year? I know we can’t just eat the entire trip.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      My parents recently stayed at the Bryant Park Hotel and loved it. They are planning to stay there whenever they visit now. I’ve stayed there myself twice and it was great both times. There are a bunch of train lines right there and it is really conveniently located to a lot of things. It is a more touristy area than the financial district, but I think it could fit what you are looking for.

    • Stay downtown if you like the hotel better. I am from SF and worked in NY for four years. When I wasn’t on United, I was in a hotel downtown, even on weekends. Some Manhattanites urged me to stay midtown, but the few times I did it, I didn’t enjoy the crowds and I didn’t enjoy my fellow hotel guests. I’d MUCH rather stay in a hotel with mostly business guests. On one occasion, my husband and kids came along for part of a week, and we stayed at the Hilton midtown. I hated it so much.

      If you decide you’d like to eat somewhere close to your hotel, I like all the little bars and restaurants in the Stone Street area. I also like The Odeon, which maybe isn’t in style, but is one of my favorites, and it’s not too far away in Tribeca.

  13. DC in December :

    Partner and I are thinking of taking a few days in DC at the end of this month. Recommendations for things to do? We have good friends there whom we visit often (part of the impetus for the trip) but neither of us has done the DC tourist routine as an adult. (Sadly, we have already confirmed that there aren’t tickets available for the NMAAHC.)

    • Anonymous :

      What do you like to do? All the Smithsonians are free and mostly near each other along the mall. Capitol tours– go through your member of Congress to get a personalized tour (likely just your group, likely your guide will be more generous with the “facts” along the way). I love the Newseum as a break from the Smithsonians– it costs money but is often less crowded. I think if you’re willing to go to the NMAAHC early, there are in-person tickets available, but don’t quote me on that.

      Any particular food you like? DC’s dining scene is having a huge moment right now and there are tons of great new restaurants. Going Out Guide by the Washington Post is great for evaluating event options. Shopping?

      • DC in December :

        Sorry, I should have been more specific! Yes, museums/exhibits/tours are probably our focus, with a few really good meals. (We’re in Philly so are somewhat spoiled for hometown restaurant options, but we do love to eat.)

        • Anonymous :

          On restaurants:
          I went to the Dabney recently and it was one of the best meals I’ve had in my life. Pricey, though.
          Rose’s Luxury if you don’t mind waiting in line (for hours– it’s worth it, I promise!)
          Rasika for Indian food
          Convivial for fun French
          Le Diplomate for awesome brunch

          • +1 for Rasika

          • DC foodie :

            Agree with all of these!

            Union Market is a bit off the beaten track for the average tourist, but it has lots of really yummy food stalls. Rappahannock Oyster Bar has great oysters (obviously).

            If you’re free on a weekday evening, the line at Rose’s Luxury is pretty doable. There’s a place across the street, Garrison, that is also quite good if you’re into farm-to-table food. I recently went to Tail Up Goat in Adams Morgan, and it was awesome. If you want to splurge/get fancy, Fiola Mare in Georgetown is lovely. I love Daikaya Izakaya (Chinatown) for Japanese; there’s a sit-down restaurant upstairs and a casual ramen place downstairs. Kyirisan in Shaw is creative and delicious European-Asian fusion food.

            Other places that are consistently good and easier to get into (read: not as trendy because they’re a few years old now): Chez Billy Sud (Georgetown), Etto (14th Street), Mintwood Place (Adams Morgan)

    • You can get same-day tickets for the NMAAHC. According to the security guards I spoke to last week, you have a great chance of getting tickets if you go when the museum opens.

  14. I could use some help today, if anyone has a moment.
    I’m on a work trip (business casual, no jeans) and my luggage has been lost (I carried on, small regional jet, bag somehow got lost in the valet process). Thankfully I was dressed nicely enough on the plane ride here yesterday, and I had deodorant and makeup in my shoulder bag. I’m in a midsize southeastern city, and not likely to have much time to shop. Can anyone help me find long sleeved dresses on amazon prime that qualify for 1 day shipping?

    • Heads up that your hotel may or may not be able to accept the delivery and notify you in time for you to wear for your conference

    • Sorry but you’re going to have to make time to shop or just wear the same thing.

    • Anonymous :

      I was in the same predicament and it was a 4-day trip in a fairly small town. I found a Dillards and in 30 minutes bought 3 pieces that coordinated with what I was wearing, underwear, and a bag to pack all this stuff in.
      You can pick out your purchases online and use “find in store” feature that most retailers have to minimize your time at the mall.

    • You need the dress when – tomorrow morning? I don’t know if 1 day shipping will get it to you — Amazon and online retailers don’t use FedEx Express (for 8 am delivery); at best they use regular FedEx for 10 am delivery and usually it’s the one for 2-3 pm.

      Why not go out to a store tonight or first thing tomorrow morning so you know you have the dress? What type of hotel are you at – is it a place with a concierge? Don’t underestimate how helpful they can be – they tend to know people in their town at at least a few stores bc losing luggage/forgetting items happens ALL THE TIME. If you’re working until 9 pm, a call from a concierge will keep a store open until 9:30 pm; or if you’re not done until midnight tonight, a concierge can get you in via private shopping at 8 am tomorrow morning (bc often at those stores that open at 9, employees are there an hr or more early – just that the doors aren’t open yet).

    • Anonymous :

      I would stop at Target, if there’s not a mall nearby. If there is a mall, you should be able to get it done in 15 minutes at a BR or Ann Taylor- like store.

    • Zappos will do 1-day shipping as well, but I think you have to order by midday to get it the next day, not sure exactly when you need it. I do think in-person is a better bet, though.

  15. If this is wrong, I don't want to be right :

    I ordered a cute Hanna Andersson sweater dress for my very tall 8 year old daughter. And something for myself. The thing for me makes me look pregnant. The child’s size dress (a 160 — probably 2 sizes too big for her and way too “developed” in the shape) fits me (BR 4P) perfectly.

  16. Friend Etiquette? :

    Ok, some backstory, but my main question is how much “loyalty” do I owe a friend?

    Met friend “Alice” about a year and a half ago through other folks who are into her hobby. I’m not, but am friends with a bunch of them. She and I got tight pretty quick–hung out a lot, went on a trip together, etc. Shortly after I met her she introduced me to her friend “Bruce” who she’d met around the same time as me. I found out later they’d been FWB and then a few months later they started dating. Great, they’re both awesome people. This summer, I am also introduced to “Carrie” who is in Alice’s hobby too. They’re soon v tight, Carrie stays with Alice for a month when Carrie broke up with her partner and had to move quickly, etc. Carrie is great too! I hang out with all of them mostly together, but separately as well! But Alice and Bruce are not great together–we’ve all noticed, their quirks just don’t go together and it’s awkward. Carrie encourages Alice to break up with Bruce. Alice does, though she’s sad about it, and they vow to stay friends …a couple weeks later, lol and behold, Carrie and Bruce are dating. Alice is bereft and feels like she has now lost a bf AND a bff.

    So my question is….how much, as Alice’s friend, do I owe her to not be friends with Carrie and/or Bruce? I like all three of them, but do think the Carrie/Bruce thing was not well done. But hate to not be friends with them. Obvi no one is inviting the three of them to the same stuff, but if I go hang out with Carrie or go to a show with her and Bruce is that evil? I’m not posting on FB or mentioning it to Alice. But I’m pretty sure she’d be really hurt if she knew I was hanging out with them?

    • For me, this wouldn’t rise to the level of “sign of moral turpitude, shun Carrie,” but more “duly noted about Carrie/Bruce’s judgment.” And definitely don’t mention it to Alice.

    • yikes, hard situation :

      That’s a tough one. Were you as close with Carrie before the breakup as you were with Alice? Honestly, it may not be rational, but if I was Alice I would be pretty hurt if you kept hanging out (even though I would recognize that I have no control over your social life).

      Depending on how it was done, I’d also be worried that Carrie just had some sort of skeazy underlying personality: do you think Carrie gamed the situation in her favor? If yes, I’d be nervous that it might be representative of how she would treat all of her friends not just about their relationships but other things to if it benefitted her. If you think she was truly acting in Alice’s best interest I wouldn’t be as concerned about that.

      If I had to drive a hard and fast line with limited information, I would probably:
      – continue to attend group events that Carrie and/or Bruce were invited to
      – not set up individual events with Carrie, and potentially not with Bruce
      – not be responsible for inviting Carrie and Bruce to group events
      – hope that it all blows over in a year or so, then do whatever I want with whomever I want

      • Anonymous :

        Gimme a break. A and B broke up. B wanted to date C. So they did. That’s not a sign of moral turpitude.

        • I had this happen alot in college. I was usueally “C.” But the “B”s NEVER wanted to marry me, just date me until we had s-x. So then B broke up with me. And the cycle started over again, about 7 times. FOOEY! This is a lesson I learned. NOT to have s-x with B’s when most of the B’s alway’s wanted to go right back to my apartement after goeing to a movie but did NOT even want to take me out to dinner afterwards. DOUBEL FOOEY!

      • Friend Etiquette? :

        Yeah, I would say that Carrie was right and Alice and Bruce really needed to break up–I was originally for it because they’re both great, but as I said, it became obvious the two of them were dysfunctional together. But since I only met Carrie a few months ago, I feel a little bad staying friends with her when I know how upset Alice is…They’re all a bit younger than me (late 20s/early 30s, I’m more mid-30s) and I’m a bit rolling my eyes but also knowing I did stupid selfish shit ten years ago myself sometimes that I’m not proud of…

        Right now definitely if I throw any parties I’m inviting Alice and not Bruce and Carrie, but am attending group gatherings even if Alice can’t and Carrie is…

    • Anonymous :

      I do not play these no sense games. I’d be friends with all of them, not bring it up unnecessarily, and Carry on with my life.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 and I was Alice (more or less) last year. Bruce and Carrie getting together so quickly was perhaps not well done, but if Alice and Bruce weren’t good together it really doesn’t matter that much who he dates after her. It might hurt for awhile that it was Carrie and that it happened so quickly, but that hurt goes away and everything will blow over eventually. In the meanwhile, I wouldn’t change your behavior towards anyone involved or comment on it unless asked, and even then only with extreme reluctance.

        FWIW, I think all three owe it to their whole friend group to try to be adults and not make this some kind of group dividing drama. It really doesn’t have to be.

    • “Carrie stays with Alice for a month… Carrie encourages Alice to break up with Bruce… Carrie and Bruce are dating.”
      Uh, yeah, I wouldn’t trust Carrie further than I could throw her duplicitous ass. You don’t need to make a scene about shunning her, but I certainly wouldn’t engage in more than distantly cordial pleasantries at group events with her. One of those “when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” moments.

      • Anonymous :


      • Yeah, you owe it to Alice to be closer to her than these other dooshbags. You can be pleasant, but they don’t sound much like people I’d want to be around, particularly Carrie. (Though Bruce is just as bad, honestly, for not seeing through her transparent as s) Are you desperate for friends? Why these guys?

    • I was you only my Carrie and Bruce got together way after my Alice and Bruce broke up. I was literally forced to choose friends (it was said to me by another mutual friend), and I wound up choosing Carrie/Bruce because Alice and her other friends were clearly crazy. I tried to keep up friendships with everyone but sometimes it doesn’t work that way. I’d try to stay out of it as much as possible if I were you but you don’t have to disown Carrie/Bruce simply because Alice is understandably hurt. But if Alice feels that you owe that to her, then consider what you are getting out of all of these friendships. My Carrie (and Bruce) were there for me during a particularly rough time in my life, and those are the friends I want to keep around me. Good luck.

  17. Alanna of Trebond :

    This may have been asked before, but what are great places to shop in Barcelona? My husband is there for work and knows my taste, just needs some general suggestions.

    • Not Barcelona specific but El Corte Ingles is the department store to end all department stores. I also miss Oysho and Women’s Secret a LOT for classy/s*xy loungewear and intimates. Also any leather shoes or boots wherever he can find them–Spain has a very strong leather industry and you can get excellent pieces for pennies on the dollar for what you’d spend elsewhere.

    • Loewe. there’s this main strip by the Apple store with all of the stores.

  18. Pick up Printing at Work :

    Anyone have a handy tip or device/gadget to remind yourself to pick up stuff from the printer? Something that requires minimal effort…like a fake light switch or something at your desk?

    I sit 40-50 steps from two printers (color vs B&W) in opposite directions. Default is B&W but I regularly print to color as well. There are times when I go to one printer and remember I sent it to the other one.

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