Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Collared knitted dress

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

M Missoni Collared knitted dressI saw this dress the other day and immediately thought, “way too ‘sexy schoolgirl’ for the office.” But I keep coming back to it — love the classic Missoni space-dyed pattern, the fitted bodice (with seams that almost remind me of a bustier), and the pleated A-line skirt. And after I saw that the collar was detachable, I liked it all the more. It’s $995 at Net-a-Porter. M Missoni Collared knitted dress

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


  1. Very early TJ, but a question about running apparel.

    I had some tendonitis on my upper knee in fall from adding too many miles too quickly. Enter CWX Stabilyx compresson itights (which I highly recommend to anyone), the pain went away an I’ve been injury free since then.

    Until Saturday. It is way too hot for tights of any kind, so just went out in regular running shorts. Guess what’s back? It doesn’t actually hurt, but I can kinda feel it there and don’t want it to get any worse.

    Really hoping for advice from the hive — what do you do for running in hot weather? Turn the compression into recovery wear instead of active wear? Ice? Any other advice much appreciated. Thanks so much!

    • Do you do strength training on your legs to beef up the muscles? Definitely consult with a physical therapist but consistent strength training may enable you to run without tights. Squats, lunges, leg lifts can really help. I have loose joints and used to wear a knee brace until I discovered strength training. And I don’t need the brace anymore.

      • Yeah this is also true! I have torn ligaments in both knees (one repaired, one unrepaired) but have had very few issues since I started strength training with weight machines.

        • This is true. Squats, lunges, leg lifts + cross training. Like NOLA, I had an ACL reconstruction and what has helped me the most are squats and lunges (w/ light weights). I know your issue is different, but even before I had major problems, when my knees felt achy/weak, the squats/lunges cleared it up.

          • Wow, eek, mine wasn’t nearly that bad. I had a torn MCL in my right knee and had arthroscopic surgery to repair it then tore the MCL in the other knee while I was recovering (no idea how – the first one was obvious). The unrepaired one does pretty well without a brace now. The repaired one is much better but I have nerve damage where the scope went in on one side.

          • Girl — any instruments going into the knee is bad!

    • You might want to look into the Ace compression knee braces. There are some that are just a knitted stabilizer. I think that would be cooler if worn with shorts. I’ve had trouble with the ones that wrap around and secure with velcro – they don’t stay up and they can hurt if you make them tighter. I prefer the ones that are like a cuff that you pull up then stabilize with the velcro. Ace has some that don’t even stabilize with velcro. It’s like a compression cuff on your knee.

    • Would the capri-length tights help at all? Or (this is perhaps too expensive to contemplate) hacking a spare pair apart and wearing shorts, then one knee’s worth of tights?

      If not, perhaps a short-term membership to the air-conditioned gym would make the tights tolerable.

      • I agree with NOLA’s suggestion, but i also think you might want to look into using compression gear as recovery gear. Some brands do make lighter weight compression – saucony’s new line comes to mind, as does 2XU.

    • Is it IT Band syndrome? I had good luck with the cho pat strap and also the ACE knee brace NOLA recommends above. Or maybe a PT can suggest a way to wrap with that snazzy colored athletic tape to achieve the same effect as the compression tights? I have a couple of friends who use that and it works well (plus it looks awesomely bad a$$)

    • This is all great advice — thanks ladies!!

    • I use KT tape for my knee cap and bunion, and for lower back I use Icy Hot and it seems to help (or maybe it’s a placebo effect)

    • I have been going to PT for six weeks due to double tendonitis in my left foot. It has been slow, but they are miracle workers. Ice is great, but see if you need to go to a PT–in my state a patient has to be referred by a doctor, so check with your PCP.

  2. yikes. sorry.

  3. I dunno. This has a very strong “can I get you some coffee” vibe. Definitely not for days when you need the “I’m in charge” vibe going.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I’m with you.

    • Yes! I think it’s because of the Peter Pan collar.

    • Former MidLevel :

      I agree.

    • Dreadful dress. It crosses into what the Japanese call “loli-girl” cutesy.

      It can make young people look like they’re young waitresses at a cafe; if you’re older, it’ll scream mutton dressed as lamb. The drab color doesn’t make it more serious, it’s just a drab color on an awful dress.

    • The pattern is a little to camo-like for me. Without the collar though (and in a different color), I think it would be ok.

    • Hate the dress.

      1. Peter pan collar screams 5 year old
      2. Blah colour
      3. Very little-girl-dressed -up

    • I think that high neckline adds to the young vibe of that dress.

    • It looks like something Wednesday from the Adams Family would wear.

      • This! It would suit two long braids…I’m half tempted, although the price is way out of my range.

  4. taking thumper’s advice today about this dress

  5. I do see the appeal in a very dramatic sort of way, but IMO this is the kind of thing that the broke-but-always-wearing-designer-clothes gallerina would be wearing in a rom-com.

    • Totally agree!

    • agree. its after the “big fight” and she has given up on her big city dreams to be a graphic designer slash fashion magazine editor slash founder of an etsy like start up. she was silly to think she could make it in nyc, shes just a small town girl with dreams and ideas to big for her heart. he never even really loved her! that much is obvious from that text message she saw from another woman named sandy that said she loved him and always would. it was right of her to leave without a word and not explain why she suddenly refused to talk to him even after their 48 hour montage where they did quirky things all around the city. she has started working at the coffee shop wearing this dress and tried to forget about him even though she keeps giving wistful looks instead of making lattes. she goes to take the next order when he pulls the menu down and its him! sitting with an older woman. he introduces her to his mother…. sandy!

      • hahahaha that just made my morning!

      • Are you picturing Marisa Tomei in this? Because I am!

        • Always a NYer :

          Now I am! But who would be her leading man? And who would be Sandy?

          • Totes McGotes :

            Robert Downey Jr. (I really loved Only You and if we’re going for the cheesy rom-com why not add in the Runaway-Bride-style wink of “Look! We reunited two actors who were in another rom-com together already!”); Ann-Margret for the mom.

        • I’m not sure Marisa has quite the “urban twee” aesthetic for this one, though I agree she is awesome. More like Gennifer or Zooey.

          • actually – Marisa could be cast as Sandy, now that I’m thinking about it. She could pull off the had kids young, wants the best for her 20-something son as he adventures in the world even though she’s a little jealous of him a la the mom is Sweet Home Alabama, thing perfectly.

          • I could see it being Zooey. In that case the business she tried to start was instagram for cats

          • Totes McGotes :

            LOL @ instagram for cats! Totally sums up Zooey.

          • Zooey was my first thought too. Awesome.

          • Senior Attorney :

            Definitely Marisa as Sandy. She’s my age! I like Zooey for Our Heroine.

        • You know if this were cast today, it would be with some girl from the Disney channel as the leading lady, Justin Bieber as the male lead, and someone younger than me as the mother – maybe Lea Michelle. And then we’d all feel ancient.

      • Hilarious!

    • In a slightly different vein of thought – I could totally see Peggy Olson rocking this dress…

  6. At first I didn’t like this dress. But now I’m just excited about the metaphors its apparently going to inspire. So, at least there’s that to look forward too.

    (But yeah, in general, I don’t love the peter pan collar, unless you REALLY ARE Michelle Williams or Ginnifer Goodwin.)

    • This dress would look pretty sweet minus the collar AND the sleeves.

      • And possibly the print and with maybe a scoop neck. Or we could just buy a different dress! Perhaps one that isn’t $1000. :-)

        • Maybe but it’s just so hard to find a nude-for-me dress, you know? The pleated A-line looks like it’d be able to accommodate my tail just so.

          • That universe better be arcing towards a like button at lightening speeds.

          • MissJackson :

            This made me snort, loudly. Thank you, Godzilla.

          • haha. And, the sleeves on that dress would be long sleeves on you.

          • I am such a dope!

            I just realized that all this time when I have been picturing Godzilla, I have actually been picturing King Kong! Explains why all the comments about short arms made no sense to me!

        • A really good knitter could create a similar dress with <$1000 price tag. You could also remedy the high neckline and collar everyone is talking about, AND choose a better colour!

    • I actually love this dress, but doubt I could pull it off. Carey Mulligan completely could, though!

  7. Early TJ: I work with my husband’s best friend (I am his supervisor, in fact). We get along great and I’m also very close friends with his wife. Last night I had a pretty blush worthy naughty dream about hubby’s BF. This was not the first time, either!

    Nothing can or would happen between the two of us in real life, promise. Is this normal, though? I feel super guilty and would like it to stop. Help!

    • I don’t know how to make it stop, but I gotta say, my pregnancy dreams can be similarly guilt-inducing. Sometimes I try to figure out what might have been underlying the dream, like insecurity about my attractiveness to my husband, and try to address that issue. It seems to help. Maybe schedule some getaway time with hubby, or just do something really sweet for him to heat up that relationship?

    • Dan Savage :

      I promise you can’t cheat in your dreams. It perfectly normal to develop slight, or even not-so-slight crushes on people of your preferred s*x that you spend a lot of time with. And its also normal in the course of a long relationship that you will have s*xy time thoughts (even conscious ones) about people other than your hubby. Perhaps channel that energy into a romp in the sheets with your allowed partner tonight and he’ll be thankful (but don’t tell him why….god don’t tell him why.)

      Short answer: yes its normal, no you shouldn’t feel guilty.

    • Totally normal. I wouldn’t read into it at all. I have vivid dreams and sometimes they can be really distressing. You can’t control your subconscious so don’t spend lots of time worrying about this.

    • My grandmother used to tell me that if you dreamed about kissing someone, it meant you will become good friends with them.

    • I’ve read that these kinds of dreams are actually manifestations of a desire to please someone. Each time I’ve had one with a surprising co-star, I’ve found that to be true. In my case, since I possess no position of power, it has always been about a supervisor/professor/authority figure, but I think one could want to be a really great supervisor to someone, too. Does that present a viable explanation, as opposed to a genuine attraction?

    • Think of it this way: Why would you feel guilty about something over which you have absolutely no control?

    • soooo anon :

      This happened to me a week ago, but the kissing target was my not-cute, OCD, married with multiple children CLIENT. Whom I had to sit next to for several long days of arbitration following the dream. I chalked it up to ovulation.

    • You guys are awesome. I think it was so real, and I was so freaked out by that aspect of it, that of course I overreacted. Everything said here makes sense: I can’t control it, it’s my subconscious, you can’t cheat in your dreams, etc.

      I like what one commenter said about wanting to be a particularly good supervisor — I am laughing to myself, though, because I’m sure if I supervised him the way I did in my dreams I’d get a much different performance review!

      Thanks for the reality check, hive. Love this community.

      • Haha! I know what you mean. Sometimes my dreams are so vivid, I have to take a few minutes to re-orient myself when I wake up and come to the realization that they did not actually happen. It’s still hard to shake the guilty feeling sometimes, but it’s completely irrational. Brains are funny things.

  8. Longshot threadjack–any suggestions for a bed and breakfast/inn in the DC area (within 2 hours driving distance) that accepts dogs and is around $150 or less? Our 4th of July plans fell through due to an injured doggie, so I’m looking for somewhere to go for a night where we can take her along to keep an eye on her. Thank you!

    • Here is a list of Loudon County properties that accept dogs. (Link in next post to avoid you know what hopefully.)

      I would also check out VRBO. If you can find someone with an unrented cabin at this late date, you might be able to negotiate them down to $150 and some/many will take dogs.

    • Boo. I’m awaiting you know what for some reason. But maybe this link will make it through.


      Also check VRBO.

    • the holladay house!!! http://holladayhousebandb.com/about.html

      it is so cute I love, love, love it. the owner sharon is so nice. you can bring dogs for a slight extra fee and they have a room available for the 4th for 149. there is an amazing restaurant across the street (like, def in my top 5 ever, and that is counting great dc places) and there is horseback riding and wine tasting and antiques and its so cute.

      • we did a wine tasting and brought our dog for a spring weekend last year and it was great!

    • Not a B&B, but handy to know: All Westin hotels accept dogs. They’ve been a life-saver for us a few times when we needed a dog-friendly hotel in a pinch.

    • Thank you so much, and keep them coming! I have a bunch of inquiries out based on these suggestions.

    • Check around in the Shenandoah area. I had a recommendation for our favorite B&B, but it looks like they’ve closed. :( Good luck, and get well soon doggie!

    • Make sure to call first. A lot of places in the area lost power or are booked because of people who got tired of waiting for power to come back on.

  9. TJ: I am home from work today with a stomach bug. I don’t have telecommuting capabilities, so I’m not stuck trying to do work. But I hate h a t e just sitting around and watching KLG and Hoda, etc. I am feeling like I can be productive today but for sporadic bouts of, um, illness.

    Any suggestions of things I can do around the house to stay productive today? Stuff that you always kick yourself for not doing when you had the time? Due to allergies heavy cleaning (ie baseboards etc) should be out.


    • Can you drive? I always want to switch out the pictures I have up in frames on my walls. And put up new ones (read go buy some new frames). All it take is picking some photos from vacation, printing them at CVS (which you can do remotely now), driving to CVS, and switching them out. but for some reason I NEVER get to it.

      Also, organizing and cleaning the fridge. Or going through your spice cabinet and getting rid of the really old stuff and making a list of stuff you’d like to have.

    • Clean out your closet & put together donation bags
      Organize photos
      Clean out your inbox and unsubscribe from stuff you don’t want, set up filters
      Set up a password manager for your browser (i love lastpass)
      Rebalance your investments or do other financial housekeeping
      Clean out your filing cabinet (google how long to keep stuff)
      Write long emails to people you’ve been meaning to catch up with
      Make sure all the clocks in your house are showing the correct time (incl. microwave, etc)
      Research your next vacation

    • Throw out your old clothes. The ones hogging up space in your closet and drawers. And, uh, get rid of the bags of clothes ready for donating also. Because you have those taking up space in your closet also.

      • Haha you’ve been to my house, I see! I do have those piles….

        Thanks for the excellent suggestions ladies!

        • K...in transition :

          don’t throw them out though… if they’re good but unnecessary, I still believe we should have a c*rp*r*tte clothing swap… otherwise, donate work clothes to a women’s shelter (where so many women need work/interview clothes) and the rest to goodwill (never to salvation army unless you agree with their anti-lgbt beliefs) :) feel better!

          and PS, spend some time watching a heartwarming show… hulu has episodes of Secret Millionaire for free and it’s just inspiring!

          • My inability to throw things out is why I have piles and piles and PILES of “clothing donations”. I know thehairpin put up a swap googlegroup, maybe [email protected]#$#$tte can do something similar? People ship out stuff for free or for the cost of shipping, it’s pretty awesome.

          • Do people actually just throw perfectly good clithes etc in the garbage ?! This is a shocking revelation for me. My friend Sal (…vation Army) can always use clothes etc, as do the Big Sisters and Planet Aid boxes.

          • I would be interested in a clothing swap. How can we facilitate this?

          • A friend has a website that does clothing swap-type activities. closetraid.co

            Would that work?

    • Purge your closet. Shred old bills / insurance verifications / etc. Polish your silver. Sew on the spare buttons on the garments sitting in the “repair pile.” Sort your photographs / order prints of your favorite digital-only pictures from the last X years (I try to do this annually).

    • I vote for being productive by exploring new television shows and dedicating yourself to answering questions posed on this site! :) Seriously, though, don’t work yourself too hard! Get better!

    • Holy love of everything good! You have the stomach bug. Read a trashy novel and drink some tea. When you’re not sleeping, that is. (Don’t know about you guys, but stomach bug sidelines me like nothing else.)

  10. Any recommendations for therapists in DC/NoVa? Preferably with experience in trauma, but names of anyone good would be helpful. Thanks very very much.

    (If you’d prefer a less public forum you can email me at dcnovatherapistrecs [at] gmail [dot] com.)

    • Call The Women’s Center. Offices in Vienna and DC. I cannot say enough good things about the wide variety of services they offer. Their intake receptionists will be able to give you to their therapists who specialize in your specific type of trauma.

      thewomenscenter dot org

    • Anon for this :

      Jan Beauregard. http://www.ipivirginia.org/groups.html
      Saw her years ago before she was director of this institute I think, but she was fantastic.

    • The Viva Center in Dupont Circle. If you have PTSD, they are very good. They also have some therapists who do night and weekend appointments.

    • thank you all!

  11. This dress strikes me as something Charlotte would wear in Private Practice, which I freely admit I watched for a good chunk of this weekend.

  12. This is way too bicycling-Zooey-Deschanel for the office, IMO.

    • I was about to post almost this exact same comment. I find that channeling Zoe Deschanel doesn’t equate to “authoritative” in the office.

      But that high neckline just screams racy-nun-Halloween-costume to me.

  13. Talbots order :

    Good morning!
    Received my order from Talbot’s this weekend and I have one endorsement and one question.
    Endorsement first: http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi28658&rootCategory=cat70008&catId=cat80018&sortKey=Default&section=Regular&conceptIdUnderSale=cat70008
    I am wearing this dress at present and I LOVE it. I’m generally a 14/16 and the XL fits like a dream. Very comfortable, very flattering, knee length. Perfect for a business casual office on a hot day.

    And question: http://www.talbots.com/online/browse/product_details.jsp?id=prdi29028&rootCategory=cat70008&catId=cat80016&sortKey=Default&section=Regular&conceptIdUnderSale=cat70008
    Got this too and I really like it, but I’m not sure what top to pair it with. I don’t presently have a white t-shirt that is reliably opaque enough to wear to work (yes, I know, this skirt is not good for a conservative office, but as mentioned we’re business casual and upper management has been more casual during this heat wave so I think it’s fine). I have navy, but it’s not the exact navy as what’s in the skirt. Is that ok? Should I go for another color like gray? What about a distinctly different blue or a black? I think pale yellow would be great but I don’t have anything like that at present. Any thoughts?

    • I would love coral with that skirt (or red if you wanted to be especially patriotic). But I think gray would work, too. Kelly green would be pretty too. I think almost anything could work, really.

  14. what is this i don’t even.

    why we eatin fondue?

    • Hello Herbie. I love you. The end.

    • we eatin fondue because fondu is whimsical and a seventies throwback. Much like our dress.

      • Or a sixties throwback, I get my eras confused (so sue me, I wasn’t alive for any of them…but not really…so many lawyers on here for that joke.)

        • Trust me, it was seventies. Early seventies. I was alive then ;)

        • No worries – dates are confusing! I often use the convenient umbrella term “Ye Olden Times” to refer to anything between Biblical Times and the 1960s.

      • Actually, this is dress is PERFECT for fondue times. For what other event can it be appropriate for?

        • one of those late-night “movies” on Shotime where the young, innocent librarian gets seduced by the slightly frumpy yet oh-so-seksi professor?

        • Riding a bike to work in a fake neighborhood in New York City to our children’s bookstore that is bound to fail because a BIG EVIL bookstore has recently opened nearby. But that’s okay, because we meet and fall in love with Tom Hanks.

          Or having an all day shopping date at IKEA.

        • Missoni: for all your retro key party needs.

    • This makes my day every time you say it. And it was oh so appropriate here (imho).

  15. momentsofabsurdity :

    TJ – summer getaway advice. A friend and I are looking to go down to the Vineyard for a day later this summer (we are in Boston). Has anyone ever spent a day on the Vineyard? We’re thinking of not doing an overnight because it is $$$ (plus it’s late in the season to book), and just catching the first ferry out and last ferry back in (potentially on a Friday, when the last ferry is at 845).

    We wouldn’t have a car so we’d have to do things near Oak Bluffs, where the ferry drops off – I think we definitely want to go to the beach, maybe just wander around town and check out the gingerbread houses, and maybe ride the carousel. I haven’t been in years, so I don’t really remember if this is really possible, or if the Vineyard is car-necessary and way-more-time-necessary, so the idea of a daytrip is impossible. Any advice or tips?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Aaaaaaaaaaaaand by the Vineyard, I mean Martha’s Vineyard. Apparently, I’m becoming a M*sshole come hell or high water.

    • long time lurker :

      Rent some bikes! I biked around the whole of MV a few years ago and had a great time.

      • long time lurker :

        Sorry, hit post too soon. We did it as a day trip from the cape, I think a day is enough time to explore on bike.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thanks! Didn’t even think of renting bikes but it sounds perfect. (I wonder if I can rent a bike with a basket – then I can have my perfect idyllic summer Friday afternoon…)

      • Yes, I did this too and it was really fun! Also if you are open to going in shoulder season (September post-labor day or even early October) the prices should much more reasonable and there should be much more availability if you do want to do a stay over.
        Also: Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium in Oak Bluffs is a must for awesome ice cream and chocolate candy. I have never to the one on the Vineyard, but there is a location in Bar Harbor Maine that I have been to a thousand times.

    • I have spent lots of time on MV, and I think it would be a great trip. If you’re taking Steamship Authority, keep in mind that they go to both Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs, so make sure you know where the last ferry departs from so you don’t miss it.

      Depending on what you’re looking to do and how the weather is, I think you could definitely spend all day in Oak Bluffs–walking around, shopping, and going to the beach. Make sure you hit up Back Door Donuts, in the square where the post office is off Circuit Ave (definitely get double chocolate raspberry muffins to eat on the ferry back).

      You could also rent bikes and take the bike trails to Vineyard Haven and/or Edgartown, or ride in the state forest. I would not recommend riding on the road during the summer–it is incredibly crowded and some of the roads don’t have any shoulders. I used to do it in Chilmark/Aquinnah and have done the whole island in the off-season, but I really would not recommend it now, and there are plenty of bike trails to get you between the more commercial towns that are “down island.” If you want to go up island, they have decent buses, but I think you will have plenty to do even just staying in OB. Let me know if you have specific questions, and have a great trip!

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Thanks! Yeah I don’t think I’m up for biking on the street anyway but it would be nice to have a bike to go some place a bit further than we’d want to want. If it were a day trip, we could check weather and decide day of whether or not it was worth it, which is one of the pluses.

        Is there any particular beach in OB you’d recommend?

        • I don’t know the beaches in Oak Bluffs that well, sorry. The beach that I know of stretches from the ferry down towards Edgartown, and it always looks nice when I’ve ridden by. As for biking, there’s a little road riding between the three towns, but it’s not terrible and there are decent shoulders in that area.

          Reading GW’s comment below, I also think just going to Woods Hole would be a good day trip and would save you the ferry trip. I like Woods Hole a lot (Pie in the Sky!), and you can take a trolley into Falmouth’s main street area. It would also be fun to rent bikes there to ride to the beach and into Falmouth.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Yeah Wood’s Hole is an option but I’ve been there several times in the past couple years, so I feel like I’ve seen a lot of it. Its about 1-2hrs from my house to Falmouth, so it would be a long but not impossible day (my friends and I once flew to Florida for the day… now THAT was a long day, haha). I’d really like to do the Vineyard, just because its been so long since I’ve been. Another option we’re investigating is staying in Falmouth and taking the ferry there to potentially save some money (though looking it up, I don’t know that that would really save any money…)

    • There’s no ferry from Boston, is there? Do you mean you’d drive to the Cape and take the ferry from Woods Hole or Hyannis? If so, seems like WAY too big of a hassle for a day trip. If you want to take a ferry somewhere, explore the Boston Harbor islands instead, or take the ferry to Provincetown for day.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        No, no ferry from Boston (sadly!) — There is an early AM bus and a late PM bus though so we were hoping to catch those so we didn’t have to deal with driving. But it might just be too much, you’re right.

        • That’s a really long day. Maybe it’s just because I’ve really never understood the attraction of the Vineyard (I’ve been there, it’s nice enough, but nothing to obsess over, IMHO), but I wouldn’t do it. There’s so many easier day trips from Boston, why kill yourself for the Vineyard?

  16. Threadjack– Help!

    The manageing partner just told me that HAROLD is comeing to the firm’s July 4 pool party at the manageing partners’ house. This is VERY strange b/c HAROLD has absoluteley nothing to do with the firm, and I do NOT know why the manageing partner had to come by to tell me especialy about HAROLD unless he is trying to make us a couple. And right after I JUST got OUT of going Harold’s gradueation party. FOOEY!

    What make’s it worst is I told the manageing partner Friday that I would go out early to the HAMTON’s tomorrow to help prepare. I cannot get out of going b/c EVERYONE is alway’s expected to be there. There is alot of good food–the manageing partner’s wife always grill’s up yummy skirt steaks, chicken, shnitzell, hamberger’s and hot dogs and alot of deserts and even real S&S NY Cheezecake — absolutley the BEST!

    HAROLD will be taileing me like a puppy dog, stareing and nuzzeleing me b/c we will be the ONLY young peeple at the party except mabye my 2 neice’s and the nanny. Harold is probabeley a good kid, but so goofey! Beside’s, he is to busy ooogleing to actualy listen to what I have to say, and he does NOT know alot of things I know b/c of my legal expierence. It should NOT matter, but Harold is already loosing his hair and I am SURE will be totaly BALD just like the manageing partner.

    I like to swim in the manageing partners pool, but NOT now b/c Harold will be ooogleing me which I am NOT comfortible with, and I also do NOT want to hear the manageing partner chimeing in about my tuchus. After all he does NOT own me, just b/c he give’s me a paycheck. And BTW, I earn my money thank you very much and I do NOT want Harold thinkeing he has a claim on me b/c he is related to the manageing partner and is in the Hamton’s with me. FOOEY!

    So, does the HIVE have any ideas to keep HAROLD from nuzzeleing and thinkeing he is my date or worse yet that we are a couple? Help!

    • Have you considered creating an imaginary boyfriend? I don’t want to be presumptuous, but something tells me you’d be really good at it.

    • Francie Nolan :

      Ellen I would tell Harold that his advances are not flattering and that you are in no way interested, for he is too young for you. Tell him you need a man with more depth and maturity. Tell him firmly, yet kindly that when he and the managing partner stare and ogle you, it is harassment, although you are sure they never realized that and when they do that it creeps you out And you wish that they would stop. Use a voice that is soft, but firm. Tell them in that fashion so they would not be offended or get scared by you yelling and cursing them out. Then please report back and let me know how you make out with it.

  17. Yee. Sorry, Kat, this is just hideous.

    Threadjack: I have an interview tomorrow. That I was told about today. Anyone got any tips to quell the butterflies currently doing backflips in my stomach?

    Also, I think someone mentioned having a packet on negotiations that they found really helpful? I’m afraid I missed the initial discussion (and am blanking on who the OP was) so if someone could send it to me at ay dot cee dot corp at gmail dot com?

    Thanks muchly!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Focused breathing exercises for the butterflies! Good luck at your interview!

      • This. Lay off the caffeine. Be yourself and remember they wouldn’t have asked you in if they weren’t interested in you. You’re qualified, now go knock their socks off! Also, I believe the original sender of the packet was MissJackson; hopefully someone sees your request and passes along the info.

        • I missed this! Was this packet in an earlier thread that I can find?

          • I think it’s been mentioned a few times — try a g o o gle search on this site and look for salary negotiation packet.

        • I had it in my email still from Miss Jackson, so I forwarded it to you, Aycee. Good luck!

      • Okay this is going to sound weird. I was a theater major in college and I do my acting vocal exercises before interviews (if I’m driving and therefore can make strange sounds without freaking anyone out). If you have someplace you can go to do this, like driving to the interview, start by making a high-pitched singing sound (like “ahhhh”) then let your voice slide all the way down to the lowest note you can make then deep breath and do it again. You really can’t have tension in your chest, lungs, shoulders, or face while you’re doing this. Also, if you’re like me and lose your breath when you’re really nervous (like you open your mouth and just a squeak comes out) it helps get your voice used to making noises so you’re ready to sound normal when you talk. (Told you it was a weird one.)

    • This sounds silly but it was a piece of advice given to me by a professional speaker that has helped:

      Tell yourself those butterflys are because you are SO excited to go to your interview tomorrow and talk about all your wonderful accomplishments and why you are perfect for the job!

      Mentally it will put you in a different space than if you keep repeating to yourself, “I’m so nervous.” Try it!

    • Review your resume and application materials to remind yourself of the highlights and how awesome you are.

  18. K...in transition :

    Updates please? I know there have been stories here about recent bad breakups, whether or not to move or take a new job, blind dates, etc… hoping some of you pop back up and update us!

    Wanted to share some news too… I adopted a pup on Saturday. He’s a maltipoo but is essentially a maltese with poodle coloring (white with dark gray and tan markings). He’s 8 mos old, 5 lbs (he’s full grown) and is pretty well house-broken. He’s crate trained and knows “sit” and “lie down.” Granted, it means I’ll be eating ramen for a while since there was an adoption fee, but I discovered him and knew it’d be easier to make up that money someday (if I ever manage to find work) than to work first, try to find the dog, and then try to find the time to spend getting him settled. I have begun to look for cheap toys and a cheap carrier for him and am amazed at the high price options… $30 toys and $2000 carriers! It’s like there could be a Splurge Monday Animal-Style or something! lol

    I admit, it still feels like I’m dog sitting. It’s tougher than I thought to begin to feel an attachment, but I suppose it’s a bit like dating after you’ve had your first love; no one could ever compare but life has to continue.

    So that’s my update… can’t wait for others’!

    • Whoa, that’s awesome! Congrats!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Congratulations K! Let some time go by to feel the bond – it will come! What’s his name?

      Cheap toys – grocery store. Seriously. Petco + Petsmart are $$$$$ insane. Also your local Craigslist, or even Freecycle.

      • Look for non-traditional toys. My great dane loves loofahs. I’ll pick up a couple when I’m at Target and she’ll have a blast tearing them apart.

      • Also, TJ Maxx/Marshalls can be good for dog stuff–toys, treats, pick up bags, etc.

      • K...in transition :

        I named him Saba (sah-bah) :)

        Will check out those places, thanks! :)

      • Also, check your local tennis courts for used tennis balls. We’ve also purchased rope from Home Depot and made our own rope toys at 1/3 the price.

    • Perhaps maybe there are some people on here (not naming names) who might have dogs who reject toys and the like who might be able to share. And also a big dog who had a puppy crate that might work as a maltipoo crate they might be willing to send you or sell you at a reasonable price?

      [This site] swap meet!

      • K...in transition :

        I’d love to do a swap meet lol I have some 1950s/1960s fabric curtains I could include in the swap meet… not sure what else I have that wouldn’t be super expensive to ship, but I’d be up for that… will try to catch a post early and we can maybe do a swap meet conversation?

        I have a kennel crate but need to get a travel soft sided carrier for him… like a gym bag with screens. He seems to not be interested in rubber toys but likes rope related toys (based on what he tried to chew on when he met other dogs yesterday and saw their toys).

        • I have a couple of soft-sided kennels that work for dogs up to be about 12 pounds, and I don’t use any of them anymore. Email me at txattyjen [at] gmail [dot] com if you’re interested and I can ship you one.

      • K...in transition :

        YES! I’d love to do a swap meet lol I have some 1950s/1960s fabric curtains I could include in the swap meet… not sure what else I have that wouldn’t be super expensive to ship, but I’d be up for that… will try to catch a post early and we can maybe do a swap meet conversation? :)

        I have a kennel crate but need to get a travel soft sided carrier for him… like a gym bag with screens. He seems to not be interested in rubber toys but likes rope related toys (based on what he tried to chew on when he met other dogs yesterday and saw their toys).

    • Great news about the pup! Remember, I mentioned to you that when my current cat adopted me (just two weeks after my beloved gray and white monster died), I was struggling with the fact that she was “just a cat” to me. Now she’s my most perfect little feline princess.

      No real updates from me except that things about my SO’s move seem to have gotten more vague. I’ve decided to just roll with it and let him figure out what I already know.

    • Congrats! The $1 toys are Target are always my toy poodle’s favorites. They’re usually the right size for a 5lb dog. Also, Jeffers pet supplies has great prices. They have small crates for around $30 that are perfect for this size dog. Finally, your dog probably isn’t full grown. I got the same spiel on my toy poodle. He’s about a pound and half or two pounds bigger. They grow until they’re 2 years old. But, really, that small amount makes no difference. They’re still just cuddle bugs.

    • Great to hear from you K! I’m sure you’ll end up embracing matlipoo (is there a name yet?) as a family member.
      My update:
      1- The coworker who assaulted me was supposedly passed for promotion (evil smile.. bad bad naughty houda) and I hear he is currently in the process of leaving the company to pursue other interests (not entirely y fault; he wasn’t great at his job anyway).

      2- HR and top management announced the reorganization, many people were laid off but I was spared. My incompetent future-ex-boss got kicked up to another department. This time they will for sure know how incompetent she is. I will get a “functional” manager, which means I will keep kicking a$$ and working independently, then maybe send a couple updates once per month to said new-boss to update big-boss.

      3- About the part of having no social life especially that I have no summer vacation: I got a planner and now make sure to meet someone at least twice per week. I have been quite successful at it; including farewells, staying all day/night holding a friend’s hand because she lost her grandma, saying hi to a coworker who just got a baby girl, saying yes to a last minute b-day dinner etc. etc.

      • K...in transition :

        YES to the first two and it sounds like the third is becoming really awesome too!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Not bad bad naughty Houda. Strong, smart, responsible Houda who does not put up with bad bad naughty evil coworkers. Way to go, girl!!!

      • Glad to hear things worked out at work !

      • Yay! And no, you’re not bad/naughty. It’s good that bad people who do bad deeds don’t always get away carrying a bunch of rewards.

      • :)

    • Kontraktor :

      I still feel a bit weird towards my cats, which is weird because I loved my childhood cat from the second I saw her and still love her and miss her 5+ years after she died. I’ve had my new cats for 2 years now and am just starting to like and miss them when I go away. I think it’s normal. Animals are new members of the family and it takes time to get adjusted. :-)

      • K...in transition :

        thanks for that, Kon… I’ve been worried about it! I’m intentionally spending more time lounging with him though, trying to let him bond even if I’m not there yet.

    • Congratulations on the new pup ! Glad you explained ‘maltipoo’ – wouldn’t have been able to figure it out otherwise.

    • For pet stuff, check out overstock.com and Big Lots!

    • Not too much. New responsibilities at work are getting better–my workload is finally adjusted so I won’t be billing 50 hours per week this month.

      The Harvey Specter look-alike is in London. After one date, I’m not sure it’s healthy to have such a huge crush on him…must…resist…texting…him…and looking desperate. Had a dream that he and my kryptonite-ex were both at a BBQ. That was awkward.

      • Kontraktor :

        Are you going to have another date? :-)

        • That was my impression at the end of our date. But he hasn’t been super communicative in the meantime. I can never tell if it’s Silicon-Valley-nerd-shyness or just-not-that-into-me. Too often, I’ll play it cool (not initiate any text or communication and wait for him) but later he’ll be all “I just didn’t know you were interested in me.”

          So I didn’t hear from him for a week, and given what I know about shy-guys, I sent a quick one line text to say hi yesterday. He responded with a picture of Trafalgar Square. Yep, he forgot to mention he was going to be out of the country.

          And men think women are hard to understand?!

    • I posted a while back about not finishing my marathon in April. Still a bummer, but I’m almost done with physical therapy and back to running (just very slowly!) And also, I’m ten weeks pregnant (also a reason I have to run slowly, lol!)

      Love the doggie updates! Mine also likes the $1 ropes from Target, though lately she’s taken to nylabones.

    • Be careful with giving him the store bought treats. Per my vet, a lot of them are high in preservatives and can cause a lot of weight gain especially in a smaller dog. My dog trainer told me to use Cheerios as a treat and my dogs love them. A big box lasts a long time. Also, check out ebay for dog toys and carriers and periodically check Target for marked down toys.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Congrats on the dog! Did he come with a name or did you pick?

      I posted a while back about my husband re-entering the work force after being a stay at home dad. He was snatched up by a firm and started immediately. It was a good offer for a good position at a so-so firm. He isn’t completely comfortable with the quality of work being put out or how quickly it all happened, so he’s cautiously circulating his portfolio and holding informational interviews at some other firms. (He’s technically on contract right now, although the firm hopes to make him full-time). He refreshed his wardrobe using a stylist at Nordstrom, as recommended here. It was a fabulous experience, and he looks great. However, we’re all struggling with the change, and baby is keeping me up all night. I haven’t had more than two hours of consecutive sleep in a week.

      I decided to postpone salary negotiations until closer to annual review time. I’m struggling to get caught up from maternity leave, so it didn’t seem the best time to ask for a raise! I really appreciate the negotiation info, though.

    • My beloved dog died four months ago. My husband and I assumed we would get another dog someday, but weren’t sure when that would be. A beautiful dog kind of fell into our laps only 6 weeks after losing beloved dog. I was really concerned that it was too soon and that I wouldn’t love her as much. This past weekend, I realized how smitten I’m becoming with our new dog. It’s taking some time, but I’m sure it did with beloved dog, too – it was just so long ago that I’d forgotten. Be patient with yourself – and congratulations!

    • Yay! I’m delighted that you’ve got a dog in your life again. (And thanks for the dog-related advice in my dog threadjack below.)

    • In Disbelief :

      I’ve been quiet on here lately, but probably owe everyone an update. My husband left me in March in a shocker of a move, and after a month of the silent treatment agreed to join me in counselling. Things weren’t getting any better, he was being manipulative and wouldn’t acknowledge the hurtful nature of his actions, so I asked him for a divorce two weeks ago. I am upset, and still in disbelief that I’m in this place, but my friends both IRL and online have been amazingly supportive and I know I’ll get through this.

      I’m currently looking forward to a girls night out involving Magic Mike and a few upcoming trips.

      K- hope you and the new pup enjoy this get-to-know-one-another time!

  19. Unhappy hour :

    Ladies, I can’t be the only one here that hates happy hour, right? I always feel obligated to go but I dread it all day long. My immediate boss never attends since he has kids so it’s mainly a few others on my team and a neighboring team. I seem to always make excuses and bail when i can Will this negatively impact my career? I mean, I do really have other things to do and people to catch up with that I really rather not hangout with my coworkers after work.

    • When was the last time you went to one? Maybe you will enjoy it (sometimes when I really dread something, it’s the dread that’s the worst part and the actual doing of the activity isn’t so bad because my brain made it out to be so much more worse than it actually is). Also, work life is a lot easier if you get involved in the office in a smart way, play office politics and join in on the camaraderie. Just show your face, stay for a little while, and then leave.

    • Totes McGotes :

      I guess it depends how important it is to *actually* be interacting with your coworkers as opposed to just showing up. My first instinct would be to arrange for someone you want to catch up with to meet you there, so that you can be seen “participating” but in reality using that time to hang out with your friend.

    • Seconding eek. I’m not saying go to every one but staying away will definitely not help your career one bit.

      I’m an introvert and hanging around with my coworkers, especially in a noisy bar, sounds awful. But I agree with NGDGTCO (and we really need a less clunky acronym for that) in that a lot of times alliances are made and trust is fostered not by your work product but by casual relationships with people. So I’d say go at least often enough so that you don’t get stuck out of the loop or get a reputation for being stand-offish/not a team player.

      • Kontraktor :

        I’m going to disagree a little bit here. I think generally it is good to be social, at least for a minimal amount of time, with coworkers to not be seen as stand-offish. But there are times when going to such things may honestly offend your values/sensibilities or you truly are made too uncomfortable to be there (ex., maybe a person has social anxiety disorder or is a recovering alcoholic). I think in these instances, you just need to be comitted to your principles, work hard, and socialize in other ways in the office (invite people to lunch/coffee, be chatty with people, etc.). I am introverted and a bit stodgy, and in my last office, many of the people would go to bars to be rowdy, get drunk, make s*xual slurs at people (the waitresses and also the other employees), and generally act in ways that I absolutely did not find personally appropriate. So I never went. I didn’t care. I wasn’t about to compromise personal moral principles (and just general personal comfort levels) to make some fake point about my “career” because honestly, the types of people who insist on going to a bar and being rowdy and demeaning to people are probably the types who will mess up my career anyway (regardless of if I am going to the happy hour or not). I think when people start compromising true moral/personal comfort levels for the sake of their “career” is where things can sometimes get dicey and start leading people down the wrong paths. So, point is, if you truly feel uncomfortable, don’t go and find other ways to be social with people during work hours.

        However, if we’re just talking about you wanting to be a little more social (and not a situation where you feel morally uncomfortable), I have a couple suggestions. Could you pick the place one time? Volunteer to coordinate one and pick a more quiet place, perhaps that serves a lot of food, so that non-drinkers/more quiet people would be able to see the occasion as just a chance to get together. Another suggestion is to go, but just get a club soda/ice tea, show your face, and then leave after 30 minutes. Another idea I have is to coordinate an office take out order one day for lunch and socialize that way so you reveal that you are into office bonding but you are doing it in a way that you feel more comfortable with. We used to do this each Thursday and it was a great office morale builder (and for me personally a much nicer and safer way to socialize with coworkers).

        • Research, Not Law :

          I tend to agree with this. It sounds like this is office camaraderie time, not networking. I’m sure it depends on your office and field, but connecting with your coworkers can be done in other ways. I’d make an appearance often enough to not seem cold, balanced by more interaction during the day. Walking to get take-out lunches is popular in my office. FWIW, I’m an extrovert and still I hate routine happy hour. It feels so forced.

          My husband’s field is networking-oriented, but he’s introverted and really uncomfortable with it. He does enough to get his face out there and know people, but he’s steered his career to a niche with less of it and instead developed solid relationships with a few people (who are well networked and look out for him). It has hindered his career, but he’s much happier for it. He would have left his profession entirely otherwise.

    • My question is – how important is it to networking or your job to do it? Only you know how important it is for your team(s). Honestly, I don’t do it. At. all. I don’t like to drink during the day, don’t particularly like to hang out in bars, and I work out after work and that’s way more important to me. People I work with know that. If there’s a late afternoon university-wide c*cktail event that’s more of a see and be seen thing, I’ll show up and shmooze with the people I need to see then hop out to the gym. That said, I’m senior and the supervisor and I don’t really socialize much with the people I supervise.

    • Don’t go if you feel so strongly about it. Sure, there may be some small impact on your relationships with your co-workers but I can’t imagine the alternative of hanging out at a bar and feeling resentful over it being particularly good for the relationships either.

      • Sorry, but you should try and go if you can. It’s a good opportunity to hear about things going on in your office and connect with your co-workers in a more relaxed setting. The wonderful thing about happy hour is you can always have “dinner reservations” at 6:30 pm that you need to leave for. 1 drink, show your face, get outta there.

  20. anon in DC :

    Have any of you done the 333 clothing challenge? I’m trying to but between work and down-time, I’ve gotten my clothes, shoes, jackets/coats, purses down to about 60. If you were to do this, what would your staple pieces be? what couldn’t you live without? what would you keep no matter what? Any advice from those who’ve done this? Thanks.

    • a passion for fashion :

      you know, i think about doing this, or some other similar “project” from time to time, but then I jsut realize that I really like clothes and so what is the point? However, what I do on a fairly regular basis (largely necessitated by the fact that I have tons of clothes that dont fit into just one closet) is rotate my clothes. And not just on a seasonal/size basis, but it a way to ensure that everything I own is getting worn. And if there is some item that i have not work in a while, i force myself to make an outfit out of it. And then I wear it. If I dont feel great in it when I wear it, out it goes into the donation pile.

    • MissJackson :

      Funny, I was thinking about doing this and I even made a list. Except that I was going to cheat…errm, modify… so that I didn’t include jewelry/coats/purses/etc. I was able to get down to 40 items that way. I haven’t actually implemented it yet, but I plan to tackle my closet in the coming weeks.

      My list basically goes like this: 10 pencil skirts (this is probably way more than other people would pick, but it’s my “work uniform” and I don’t wear pants in the summer; 2 of these are suit pieces. half of them are prints and half are solids.), 10 shortsleeve or sleeveless blouses (again, about half prints and half solids), 2 long sleeve blouses (1 solid, one print), 6 dresses (4 casual, 2 work), 6 blazers (2 are the jackets to the suits mentioned above, 4 are more casual knit blazers in fun colors), 3 cardigans (all solid colors), 2 pairs of jeans, 1 jean skirt.

      I made navy my neutral of choice, and then I worked with other colors that I love/are in/work with the season. For me, that’s coral/orange, turquoise, cobalt, jade/mint green, red, lime green, and pink. One of my suits is navy and the other one is a summery beige, and all of those pieces work well as separates.

      If I had to get shoes and accessories in, I could probably get away with one pair of flip-flops, navy pumps, and nude-for-me pumps for shoes. Fun jewelery is kind of my “thing” which is why I didn’t even bother trying — I wear lots of different stud earrings, statement necklaces, and cocktail rings. If I had to, I’d just go with pearl studs, pearl necklace, and maybe one statement necklace with a pop of color — probably turquoise.

      I do think that rotating by season makes sense. In the winter, black would be one of my go-to neutrals, but I don’t have anything black on my summer list.

  21. Always a NYer :

    TJ – How do you keep your black clothing black? I’ve been going through my clothes and none of my blacks match!!! I love black clothing and what I have for work usually gets dry cleaned so I’ve never really paid much attention before but I want my black tees to remain black. Any tips?

    • Woolite Dark! I have a separate laundry hamper for blacks/purples/navys (navies?) and wash those garments inside out on the gentle cycle with Woolite Dark, then hang dry. (Hi, my name is MsZ, and I’m a laundry freak.)

    • Keep in mind, though, they may not all have been the same color black to start with. Lots of different shades of black, unfortunately.

    • cornellian :

      it’s pretty funny that your handle is “Always a NYer” :D

      Do you already hang dry your clothing? that might help.

  22. TJ ladies: Any suggestions for running clubs or groups in the DC/NOVA area? I’m a beginner runner hoping to get back in shape after having a baby…and meet some new folks in the area as well. Any ideas would be great! TIA!

    • Potomac river running (local chain running store) has a great program out of there stores (they have maybe 7 or 8) called Running 101 – google potomac river running! I can’t post a link as i’m on my phone but it should come right up. It’s a great program I did for getting back into running – very beginner friendly.

    • Pacers running stores also has a ladies running group for those who want to get back into running or beginners. They meet out of Alexandria and Arlington / Clarendon.

  23. Kontraktor :

    Haven’t done this per se, but I definitely shop in a very calculated manner. I have everything in my closet organized by thing and color (so, all skirts are together and they are sorted by color, etc.). That really helps me to see what I have and don’t have. I usually then will target certain areas at once. Not that long ago, I feel I really only had 4 pairs of pants. So, my shopping for the next couple months focussed on pants/that is what I looked for. Similarly when I buy something, I have a mental rule that I need to be able to immediately think of 2-3+ ways I could wear it with things in my closet and think about how it fills a hole (and or what holes in might create if I really am buying it with the assumption I will couple it up with things in the future). I have more pieces than 60, but I love almost everything in my closet, and almost everything I have (even the weirde things) can be worn multiple ways with multiple pieces. I have debated cataloguing all my things with an iPhone app, but I am not sure I have the stamina for that, but since you only have 60 items now that could actually be useful. Maybe download one of the outfit making/cataloguing apps so that way it’s easier to mix and match the few pieces you do have and see what holes you need to fill or what things you’re not making outfits with at all and thus might be able to be tossed.

    • Kontraktor :

      Hm, this post was for anon in DC above, not sure why it posted here.

    • a passion for fashion :

      ohh, the iphone app sounds interesting. what is the app and how does it work?

      • Kontraktor :

        I forget what it is called, but if you google “iphone fashion closet pap” or something like that, it comes up as the first or second hit (as there is one app that seems to be loads better than all the others and it’s clear which that is with a brief search). Anyway its main feature is that it lets you take pictures of everything you own and ‘cuts out’ the background so that you can make poly-vore-esque sets of your outfits in a mix and match way. Then you store them in your phone to reference later. I would love to do this just to remember outfits I make in my head but then forget, but the prospect of photographing everything in my closet offends even my OCD sensibilities a bit. But it could be great if you don’t have that much stuff.

        • The one I have is called My Fashion Closet. Although I will admit to having downloaded it and not used it much as of yet, it works pretty much the way Kontraktor describes.

  24. Diana Barry :

    Argh! I did about an hour of work yesterday and 2 hrs today and my wrist and arm HURT (tendinitis and/or ganglion cyst, it happens every time I have a newborn at home). My dr said (last week) to ice and ibuprofen, but otherwise there’s nothing I can do about it. Any other suggestions? I have been trying to mouse with my L hand but that is really hard for me to do too.

    • Diana Barry :

      Oh, and I am on my laptop, can’t change computers.

    • I’ve had similar issues and capsaicin gel helped get me through the rough days.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I ended up on worker’s comp and physical therapy with tendonitis. Tips – buy an external keyboard (<$20) and trackball mouse (<$30), and prop your laptop up on books on a table so that it's at proper eye level . . . basically McGyver an approximation of an ergonomic setup. I switch off my mouse hand. Yes, you will get used to a L hand mouse use. Laptop keyboards are evil, track pads are evil – do not use either. Stay off your blackberry as much as possible. Buy wrist braces (Walgreens/Amazon) to sleep in. Yes, really. Also, avoid bending your arm further than a right angle at the elbow as much as possible – change your body orientation to create an obtuse angle as much as possible. Yes, ice. Also, ultrasound on angry elbow and arm are awesome (consult your doctor on this – one of the things that was done to me at every physical therapy). I imagine it happens when you have a baby because your upper body is not strong enough to carry around your child, especially after the strain of pregnancy. Very careful strength training, under supervision of a qualified trainer, will slowly and gently build strength in your upper body to help avoid more flare ups. I'm sorry you're suffering. I literally feel your pain.

    • You can have a ganglion cyst asperated at the doctor’s office. It’s a really simple procedure. You might also try searching for a PT/OT who specializes in hands (search for “certified hand therapist”). Good luck!

    • Get a really stiff brace and sleep with it, that should make tomorrow much better. The one I have is almost a splint — it basically immobilizes my wrist. If you can’t get something that sturdy, look for one that has the stiffener on the bottom of your wrist, not the top. If you can’t find that, someone makes a brace that has the rod on the top and a weird bean-bag like pad on the bottom; it’s marketed as a computer-friendly wrist brace. That one won’t be for sleeping, but might help as you’re typing. I never bother icing, but ibuprofen helps me.

      • I have a ganglion cyst too and I was told to not wear a brace for it. If it is a ganglion cyst you can get it drained but more than likely it will come back under the same circumstances or similar circumstances where your wrist is in that position. The only way, I was told, to get rid of it permanently is though surgery. But ibuprofen is good and so is ice.

      • WriterKate :

        The brace with the bean-bag bottom is the IMAX SmartGlove, I believe. I have radial tunnel syndrome, and this brace is a life saver when I’m flaring up.

    • I have severe tendinitis which ended my music career.

      Now I work in corporate America, and I had to learn to mouse with my left hand–it’s definitely doable and the nice thing is once your left or non-dominant hand gets tired or sore, you can switch back again.

    • I got this with my first and am hoping to avoid it with number 2. It got so bad I had some difficulty operating, one of the other surgeons got it so bad he had to have a small operation on the tendon under his thumb (if that’s where the pain is). Honestly, ice rest, and then pay a ton of attention to how you are holding the baby. I got it from cradling him in one arm and then crunching my wrist up under the bottom.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My chiropractor did some useful adjustments, ultrasound treatment, and exercises. However, she gave me a referral for a hand specialist to aspirate if it didn’t show improvement. I found that avoiding the scrolling motion on the mouse was critical for me. I click the scroll bar instead, and the pain went away. I still have the cyst, but didn’t bother to get it aspirated since my chiro said there was no reason so long as the pain was gone.

  25. Dog Threadjack (Please skip if you’re not crazy about doggies.)

    I want a dog. I really want a dog. The way some people want babies, I want a dog. I look at Petfinder, especially at the older dogs (7+yrs old) and get sad that many of them may live out their lives in a shelter. (As a low-energy person, I think a mellow older dog is best for me.)

    My current lifestyle is fairly dog-incompatible. Work + commute = I’m away from my place for 12-13hours/day. DH has the same arrangement, so I can’t ask him to be the primary canine caregiver even if I were so inclined.

    A friend of mine has insisted that I can get a dog, but that I should get two older dogs so they keep each other company during the day and just hire a walker. Or, get/build a really good doghouse for them and let them stay outside (in the fenced yard.) I am sooooo tempted, but I think the dogs wouldn’t get enough attention from me, right?

    Please tell me that my qualms are right, and that I shouldn’t get a dog (or two). Please, wise hive, talk me from the ledge here. I just don’t want to make some poor dog(s) miserable. *sigh*

    • We have a dog and are generally out of the house about 10 hours a day (sometimes 11-12). Its not ideal. But we give her a vigorous walk in the morning. Then she goes to a four hour playgroup during the day, they pick her up and drop her off (YES…we are yuppies…), and then we give her another vigorous walk when we get home. On the weekends we take her for hikes and runs and focus a lot of her attention on her. We’ve built vacations entirely around her.

      Would her life maybe be MORE ideal if she lived in a house with a stay-at-home mommy or something, maybe, but she’s not miserable. Dogs live with people who work. But you have to be prepared to make the *investment* in the dog if you can’t be home with it, because what will make a dog miserable is 12-13 hours alone at home and then you being too tired to pay attention to it when you get home and your weekends being too full to pay attention to it then either. If that’s your lifestyle, its okay, but volunteer at a shelter or go to your friend house and play with their dogs instead.

      • Oh…and at least in my neighborhood and with my dog, leaving her outside during the day isn’t really an option (unless I particularly feel like noise complaints.) But if you do that, you need to make sure they have cool places to be AND cooling beds that allow them to lie up off the asphalt. And ideally a way into and out of the house.

      • Mousekeeper :

        My teen-age daughter has wanted a cat for years. We have a parakeet who has been in our house for about 10 years, and for reasons too complicated to mention, we cannot have a cat in the house while we still have the parakeet. The parakeet is very old and I’ve told my daughter that we will get her a cat as soon as the parakeet goes off to parakeet heaven. To take care of her kitty jones, she started volunteering at an nearby cat shelter once a week. Their deal is, you work for an hour and then you can pet and play with the kitties for an hour. She doesn’t feel so deprived and is less resentful of the parakeet.

    • Don’t do it. I love dogs, we have a dog, but man, is it ever hard work with a schedule like yours (mine is similar). Because I know I’ll be gone all day, I try to give our dog a good long time at the park in the morning, usually 45 minutes. So there’s an extra 45 minutes out of my schedule in the morning. Then I have a dog walker come during the day, who takes him out for close to an hour. He’s fine if I get home around 6, but if I’m going to be significantly later than that, then I ask my dog walker to come for a second visit in the late afternoon. But then I give him two good long walks in the evening (one when I get home, say 30-45 minutes, and another before I go to bed, say 20 minutes or so). Now, we don’t have a yard, so maybe if we had a yard it would be easier because I could just let him out. But that doesn’t really satisfy their need for exercise. So your 12/13 hour days are do-able, but don’t forget this also means that you can’t just decide to go out with friends for dinner after work or something like that, without some advance planning. And it affects your weekend schedule too. I love my dog dearly and I love that having him has made me more active, but it does take way more time than you think (and then there’s all the guilt when you feel like you’re giving him the short shrift).

      • But I think getting an old dog would do away with a lot of this. We have a lazy breed, and we try to walk her after work every other day or so, and other than that, she’s fine. If we go through a busy period at work, we’ll take her to day care one day a week, but generally she stays home and sleeps in the house, and then is very excited when we get home, and then generally sleeps more in the evenings. She never has mistakes in the house. We give her lots of attention at home, like petting her, snuggling with her, and playing with her toys, but we don’t have to walk her much. I come home and work on my laptop, and she snores next to me. I love her with all my heart, and I think she’s very happy.

    • MissJackson :

      I get it because I’m a dog person (the way that other people are “baby” people). If you have the means to hire a dog-walker, it would be completely fine. If you really want a dog, then you will love the dog. That’s the most important — if you love them when you are home and you have the means to make sure that they are cared for when you are not home — get the dog (or dogs).

      I think you’re on the right track with an older dog (or dogs), too.

      • MissJackson :

        I should add that both my husband and I work in BigLaw, and I assure you that our dog is not miserable.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Your qualms are right. If you don’t think you have time for a dog or don’t want to make the lifestyle adjustments for a dog, you shouldn’t get one.

      That being said – I work full time and I have a dog. However, it is expensive to have a dog you’re not home a lot for. I have spent a ton on dog daycare (luckily he only needs to go 1-2x per week but at $30/day, it adds up real fast), dog walkers, etc. It also curtails my weekend time in that I need to make sure I get home, if I’ve worked a lot that week I feel bad peacing out on a Saturday all day, etc. My dog is not at all miserable, but I do give up a certain amount to make sure of that.

      That being said, for me it’s 100% worth it. Whether it is for you, you’d have to decide.

    • My husband and I have similar schedules and have two dogs (have had them both through college and law school, so they’re entering their senior citizen years now). We walk them in the mornings, have a dog walker come around lunch and walk them, and then walk them again when we get home. We have a fenced-in back yard, so we can let them out when we’re home, as well. We’re in Texas and it’s entirely too hot in the summer to leave them outside during the day, and I wouldn’t want noise complaints, and, I generally don’t believe that dogs should be left outside all day.

      I’d say it works for us. The dogs are older and even when my husband or I work from home, they spend the entire day sleeping on the couch or on the floor next to us. They’re both fairly low energy now, so this lifestyle is working for them. You just have to be willing to make a commitment with your work schedule (and to work with your husband) to come home at reasonable hours to the extent possible. That does mean limiting after-work happy hours and the like. But for us, the companionship from our dogs is definitely worth it.

    • I know people disagree on this, but I do not think that it’s cruel to the animal to get an older dog that is pretty sedentary with that kind of lifestyle. The chances of that dog getting adopted seem low, and if you can give them love and a comfortable place to live the rest of their life, I think that’s good for them. You have to have the financial means to have a dog walker come several times a day, and maybe look into installing a doggie door if you have a fenced in yard. I wouldn’t count on making your dog an outside dog–some shelters will not adopt if that is your plan, and it doesn’t work for all dogs, especially depending on the climate. As for whether two dogs would be better, I think that really depends on the personality of the dog(s).

      However, think about how you will care for the dog as s/he ages or if s/he is injured. An older dog may require more frequent bathroom trips or may develop mobility issues. Could you or your husband take time off to deal with vet trips? What will you do with the dog when you go out of town?

      If you are thinking about it still, you might want to consider greyhounds, especially if you have a fenced in yard (the only way they can be off leash is in a fenced in area). We have a greyhound and she is very sedentary (now 6, but has been since we got her). She does like to play and run around for a short time each day and likes going for walks, but even when we’re home with her all day, she sleeps/relaxes most of the time. However, our dog is currently injured such that we do not feel comfortable leaving her alone–luckily DH works from home–so there’s that.

      • I agree that it’s doable to get a dog. I do have to say, though, that not all dogs need to be walked several times a day. I think my dog would think we were torturing her if we tried to walk her that much!

      • Word, I have an older lab and she sleeps all day and is seriously exhausted for two days if we take her on a 45 minute walk. I think you would be find getting an older dog with this schedule and just having a dog walker come in the afternoon to let her/him out.

    • K...in transition :

      Would it be an option for you to have a regular volunteer time at a shelter? It sounds like your heart is good but that neither of you have the amount of time needed for a dog. Even when the dog or dogs have proper vet care, food, etc. they’re pack animals so they’ll notice that no one is home ever.

      I am 10 million percent with you on the heart aching for one, I just worry that it wouldn’t be in the best interest of the dog. That said, maybe you have a neighbor who has a dog and could use a hand, you could go over and walk the dog and bond with it without being the primary caretaker?

      • K...in transition :

        to clarify, that wasn’t me telling you not to (if you can get an older or a more tame pup from a shelter, more power to ya), it was just another set of ideas in case you decide not to :)

    • Constance Justice :

      If you have the resources to afford doggy day care, I think it would be fine. Two dogs may make you feel less guilty leaving them alone. I have one but have wanted to get a little brother or sister for a while for that reason. My dog also benefits from daycare every Wednesday to break up his week.

      I am a lawyer with a dog. I go crazy for dog like some women go crazy for babies. I love that dog so much that it has changed my schedule more than I thought it would, but I do not regret it. We wake up early in the morning and go for a 45 minute walk before I go to work. That wears him out enough that he doesn’t miss me too much during the day. I also work from home more because I prefer working in my home office with a dog at my feet. Most days, I leave the office early to take the dog out, and work a few more hours at home later on. When I haven’t been able to do work my schedule around my dog, having a dog walker or doggie daycare works well. If you have the means to outsource these kinds of things, I think adopting an older dog (or two…) would be a wonderful thing.

    • I think if you get an older dog or a breed that doesn’t require much exercise AND have the means to give it some attention during the day (doggie daycare/in home dog walker) then it might work but every dog does have a different temperament.

      Our dog is a (very) large breed and thus tires easily with minimal exercise (completely pooped after a 1 mile walk or 5 minutes playing fetch) and sleeps a lot. We don’t really exercise him every day (let alone multiple times a day). But, he is affection-needy. If we both work late or come home on time but then leave again to go to dinner, etc. he clearly gets upset and will tear up anything he can get to. He still wants attention/affection from us even if he doesn’t need exercise/won’t go potty in the house and he does not like to go that long without getting it (he’s typically alone from 8 to 4:30 since we have staggered schedules and we are typically home in the evenings where he can get petted constantly-which he will seek out). If we leave him from 8-4:30 he is perfectly well-behaved but any longer and we better hope no one left a trashcan, food, food wrappers, things that look interesting to chew, etc. anywhere he could possibly reach.

    • Susan (OP) :

      Thanks all, for your thoughtful responses.

      My takeaways are: my lifestyle isn’t ideal, but not that incompatible with dog-care.

      Aside from my crazy work hours (and my DH’s crazy work hours), we’re not people who go out very much. We come home, make dinner, chitchat for a bit, and curl up on the couch to watch a movie or read a book. I just think our life would be that much richer and more enjoyable if I was curling up on the couch with DH and a dog. Or puttering around the backyard with the dog hanging around, or playing fetch. (We have a big enough bed that most dogs would be able to comfortably sleep at our feet, unless it was a 200lb St. Bernard.)

      I’m not a “go out for the nightlife” type person and if we were to travel (not likely, as it’s been hard to try to sync up a big block of vacation time for both of us, we have friends who have dogs and who would volunteer to dogsit (they have a horse farm!). We have the means to hire dog-walkers to give the dog enough exercise during the day while we’re away at work or, we could afford doggie-day care.

      The dog that I would get (if I were to get one), would not be ignored during the hours when I’m home. And I would lavish attention on the dog on the weekends. I am endlessly patient when it comes to brushing dogs (I have a friend with a Husky who’s shedding tons right now) and giving bellyrubs. (I’m also not grossed out by barf, poop, etc. I grew up with a big dog and wow, he made huge, huge poops, and it was just part of the lifestyle of living with a dog, so not really a problem. )

      While I do have lots of comp-time and some flexibility to pop out for lunch-time doctor’s appointments and such, my workplace is Neolithic in terms of its views about working-from-home even though I’m a long-timer here at this company. So, I can take comp-time to take the dog to the vet (very relevant if I’m adopting an elder dog), nail-clippers, etc. I just can’t spend all day hanging out with the dog, even though there’s nothing about my job that can’t be done from home with a computer and a phone. *sigh*

      So, I think, I could make it work, but in all things to do with living creatures who are dependent on me, I think I should be conservative and not get a dog. I like K’s idea of volunteering at a shelter (probably on weekends; not sure if any near me have the kind of hours where I’d be available on weeknights). Not quite the same, but it might give some of those dogs a little bit of joy, while giving me lots of joy, and that seems worthwhile for me.

      Again, thanks all for helping me work through this. On paper, this should be so easy, but it’s quite difficult when I feel torn by my great desire to have a dog in my life with my desire to try to do the right thing.

      • K...in transition :

        you might find that the right dog for you appears when you’re volunteering at a shelter… one who is super happy to see you or that you hear is too relaxed to catch the attention of adopters or something, so you’ll be able to check out the dog and get to know him/her before choosing, a rare gift!

        • Constance Justice :

          This. I have a rescue dog. You may think you are out there choosing a dog, but the reality is, they choose you. :)

        • God…she’s totally going to volunteer at the shelter for like a WEEK before she ends up with one of them. You can just feel it in her post. :-)

          OP…you are toast. Might as well accept it and start making plans now.

      • Kontraktor :

        I dunno, I think given your explanation here you sound perfect for a dog!! Especially if he ends up being a quieter dog.

      • duck duck goose :

        You may also consider looking for a smaller rescue organization that fosters and closely vets its dogs and can give you a really good idea of the dog’s personality. My husband and I worked with a Lab rescue to find the perfect older girl who fit our lifestyle, which is very similar to yours. The rescue was ideal because all of its dogs were fostered and observed under a variety of circumstances for at least three to six months before they were even eligible for adoption. We got a “folder” with info about every dog that we met (including how the dog responded to other pups, kids, people, vacuum cleaners, separation, etc.). The mission of the organization is to never have to “re-home” its pups. It encourages applicants to be very honest about what they are looking for, and they, in turn, are very honest about the personalities of the dogs. (I will also say that the approval process felt a lot like we were going to adopt a child and many applicants are rejected – I think we were approved b/c we were willing to spend $$ to compensate for our time away from home).

        It took a long time to get the “right” dog, but they finally had an older lab available for adoption who was very relaxed inside the house, did not require a lot of exercise (even though she still gets three vigorous walks a day!), had no separation anxiety and really just wanted a family that would let her sleep on the bed and snuggle on the couch. Our adoption coordinator knew what our needs were, and knew what the dog’s personality was like, and was able to match us. This really wouldn’t have been possible by adopting a pup off of petfinder, which I think is a wonderful tool – but can be hard if you want to rescue but have specific lifestyle issues to work around. Also, my husband (who was formerly not a dog person), was nervous about coming home with an “unknown” personality. This rescue was the only way he agreed to become a dog parent :)

        Anyway, the joy she has brought to our life is immeasurable. We plan our trips around her, we plan our evenings around her, and our biggest concern about our first child, who will be born in a few months, is whether we will like him as much as our pup.

        • duck duck goose :

          Susan – just in case you happen to be in the DC metro area – this is the organization we worked with: http://lrr.org/main/lrr-philosophy

          I cannot recommend them highly enough.

        • Betsy Bee :

          That sounds like a fabulous organization! May I ask what it is called? Thinking about adopting a lab…. Thanks

    • dancinglonghorn :

      I have two dogs. Honestly, I work 14 hour days. When I work from home, all the do is sleep all day. I think that if you are wanting an older low-energy dog, you will be fine. We walk our dogs about 45 mins per day in the evening.

  26. I’m looking for a small gym bag to carry to/from work on the metro. It needs to hold my gym clothes, sneakers sometimes (may leave them at work), freshening up items (deodorant, face wipes, etc.) lunch, and a book. Any suggestions?

    • I don’t know, but I want the same thing. A coworker of mine really likes her Lululemon bag, and it is really nice, but it’s also way more money than I would ideally spend on a gym bag.

      • I have a Lululemon bag that I use. I got lucky–$24 at a secret sale on New Year’s Day before 1pm.

        How about a Lo & Sons bag? I don’t use mine for the gym but it is a really nice bag with a separate shoe compartment.

    • duck duck goose :

      I know people that swear by the Baggu Duck Bag – http://baggubag.com/#Duck_Bag

      The price seems about right, and there are lots of other options on the site as well.

    • I got a LeSportSac tote – fits everything and then some. I even use it for quick overnight trips.

  27. NOLA here – Kate, both of my friends who work with photographs should be contacting you about your wedding photos. My photographer friend is very good and more experienced at what he does but he’ll also be more picky about how he works with you. My friend who works with yearbooks has less experience with this kind of thing but she loves to do it and did a great job for our other friend (something similar to what you wanted). It just may take her longer.

  28. Oh my gosh you could be me. I torture myself by looking at Petfinder all day and petting stranger’s dogs (with permission, of course). I love love love them so much, all of them, big and small. I want to get a sad one from a shelter and give it love and make it happy again. Which is why, for now, I’m not getting one. My friend keeps telling me that a dog from a shelter will be living a better life with me than s/he otherwise would have, even if I don’t give her/him a lot of time. True as that may be, I just can’t do it.

  29. Merriweather :

    Is there a kind way to break up with someone if it just isn’t a good fit? I don’t really want to go into how emotionally closed off he is since I don’t think it’s fixable…

    • K...in transition :

      I think it’s fine to sit the person down and explain that, while you enjoy his company and you’ve appreciated getting to know him, you’ve realized that the traits you need in a husband are different than what you’ve experienced in this relationship. Say that you’re grateful for having met him but that you don’t think it’s fair to either of you to continue something together and possibly miss out on better fits for you both. (it allows for closure without being mean and it won’t be so awkward if you run into him later with a date on your arm!)

    • Troubling :

      I just broke up with someone who isn’t a good fit, but after three years of dating. It’s very difficult not to go back to him, because he is so helpful to me and caring, but I know the right decision is to stay apart from him. How do you keep yourself from being so lonely? I’ve been asked on many dates since we broke up, but going on dates right now just makes me feel guilty.

  30. I have a white skirt from banana republic (can’t find it on the website anymore). It’s 100% cotton with a polyester lining, and the tag says “dry clean only.” Do I really need to dry clean it? Since it’s cotton, couldn’t I just machine wash it in cold water and air dry?

    • I would wash it on gentle cycle, cold water, and hang to dry. Should be fine.

      • As long as your washer is on the newer end. In my old rental, our washer (even on gentle) destroyed things. But our nice new washer/dryer on gentle and basically wash anything on the gentle cycle!

    • I’ve used the Dryel kit before. Its for at home dry cleaning. I always pick up my refills at Target, but I’m sure most grocery stores carry it.

  31. Old coworkers :

    Reporting sine I added it late to the weekend thread:

    Left my previous job almost three years ago. Was told to keep in contact with some of the managers in other areas. I only partially did this – only those that I had outside friendships with previously. This was because my old boss stayed there, was evil, did some things that were technically legal but others did not know about, was under the impression we were best friends when that was the only way to minimize her turning on me like she did her other employees, and I had no intention of keeping in contact with her but knew it would set her off if I was visibly “buddies” with others.

    She is now gone (people actually looked at what she was doing) and there are some people I really liked, could serve as a mentor in my new position, or would be good for networking. Is it too late to reach out to them to reestablish connections? I’m really more interested in the mentoring and getting input on some of the crazy stuff I’m seeing/how to fix them in my current position. If I do go forward, how would I do it? Some of these individuals are in HR so I don’t want to start out with “Sorry for being silent , but this chick was crazy and I wanted to ditch her”.

    • K...in transition :

      Don’t mention the other chick at all. Contact each person and say something like, “Hey! I was talking to a friend the other day about [something the person loves, a trait s/he has, etc.] and it made me think of you so I thought I’d drop a line! Any chance you’re up for a coffee and a catch-up sometime next week?” and see where it goes. If the folks know crazy chick was crazy, they’ll either bring it up or assume she’s why you backed off. If they don’t, there’s no need to badmouth someone neither of you work with anymore.

      Hope it helps!

      • I agree. Don’t say anything negative about someone else. That’ll give off a yuck-vibe to most people unless you are already solid friends outside of the office. Focus on why you want to reconnect with these people and keep it positive. Say… “I thought of you and can’t believe how much time has passed since we last saw each other. I’d love to catch up!” If you had a positive relationship before, they will most likely be excited to hear from you and won’t need a long explanation about why you’ve been MIA. People get busy. You don’t need to make it dramatic.

  32. Alright fellow Type A’s — am I the only one that has trouble enjoying my weekend. I always feel pulled in so many directions – fun, errands, exercise, relaxation. I feel like I am in a frenzy to do a few things, then I try and relax, but freak out I’m not doing more. It’s a struggle to end a weekend feeling like I enjoyed it – if that makes sense.

    I’m trying to create just mini lists, 3 things to do each day to feel productive, then that’s it – fun only the rest of the day. Would love to hear if anyone else has this weirdo problem.! And what you do on the weekend that really recharges you. Thanks!

    • http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/

      • I read that article this morning, too. Definitely agree with it, and I’ve been deliberately pursuing a path of diminished busyness for the past year or so, both professionally and personally. Money quote that rang SO. TRUE. with me:

        “I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.”

        I get this from certain people all the time, and it’s just like, “Really?” At some point, not worth the effort.

        • Another potential source of this: maybe the friend just isn’t that into you, in a friendship kind of way. I give this sort of line to certain friends at times, because they aren’t my closest friends (or I like the friend a lot, but don’t want to double date) and honestly I’d rather spend my weekend hanging out at the house with my husband than go out of my way to see these people. But I still generally like them and don’t want to end the friendship. So I claim to be busy when really I’m just busy doing other stuff I ‘d rather do. And I feel like a horrible person for writing this.

          TJ to this- does anyone else hate double dating? Its one of the things I try hardest to avoid. There are some couples I don’t mind double dating with (they tend to be DH’s friends), but with most of my girlfriends, the double dates just suck. It’s not that I don’t like their SOs, because mostly I really do. But I don’t have a lot in common with them and my DH doesn’t really vibe well with any of them- like they get along, but they would never hang out together, ever, if not for their partners. So whereas a one on one lunch date with me and a girlfriend would end up with 2 hours of gabbing about personal issues/memories/plans/etc, a double date with the same gf and our SOs ends up being an hour of mostly small talk that leaves me feeling like it was some sort of work/professional event.

        • My favorite quote was:

          “More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary.”


        • KK, that could be the case. I do have specific people in mind with whom it is not the case. Well, okay, one in particular who is always like, “omgomgogmogmogmgom i’m so busy sososososososoooooooooo busy,” will commit to making plans, and then will back out at the last minute because see point A, she’s sosoossososososo-omfg-busy. But I happen to know she spends a good part of the day goofing off and not focusing. So naturally, when you fail to accomplish your work during working hours, work will spill over into non-working hours, which then limits the time available to you to do other non-work things. Like see the friends with whom you made plans in the first place. Annoying, but I solved the problem by not inviting her to do much anymore.

        • That quote rings true for me too. I’ve definitely lost faith in a friendship I had when my friend was always too busy whenever I invite her out. Now said friend frequently calls me to catch up since she moved out of state and has few local friends. It’s like she doesn’t get it that she was snubbing me for the last two years. I’ll still be her friend. We have too much history for me to take it too personally, but I think she has no idea that there are repercussions for always being too busy for other people.

      • Yup – I think some business is needed but I liked the article pointing out how much is self-imposed. Of course working 4-5 hours a day is WAY out of the question for me.

    • I don’t think you’re a weirdo. I always make a gargantuan list during the week of stuff I “have” to get done over the weekend and then spent a big chunk of Sunday night feeling guilty that more items are not checked off my list. The idea of a mini list sounds like a good idea – or what about making sure to add at least one fun thing to do each day (more, if possible). That would give a feeling of accomplishment, but also would build in some relaxation to the weekend.

    • For me it just depends on what I’m doing. Sitting on the couch is not that restful or enjoyable, and leaves me with nagging guilt (“well if I’m just sitting here doing nothing, I should be doing work/flea if/whatever”).

      I find my best weekends are when I do thongs that are more active relaxation — go for a hike, a long bike ride, etc. Or if I want to be a bit more chill, doing it out of the apartment (eg, reading a book in the park). And stuff with friends also helps avoid the feeling that I should be doing something more “productive”.

      Just my 2 cents, but I’d forget about the lists. Or if there’s somethig you really need to do, combine it with something fun (drop clothes off at the cleaners and then try that fancy new ice cream place?) The list mentality is just reinforcing the idea that you have to do something productive, but really, it’s okay if you spend a weekend without crossing things off the list!

    • Anonymous :

      No, and thanks so much for posting this!
      I try to think about what my perfect life would be — if I was a blogger with a “perfect” life what would I be doing and posting about?

    • Oh yes, I feel this way, too. So I’ve instituted two policies: 1. Do not leave the house ever, for any reason, whatsoever, on Sundays. Sundays are to stay home and do nothing and 2. Try to do the same on Saturdays. I jealously guard my weekends from time-stealers. I do nothing and I revel in it.

  33. TJ: What do you do to make yourself feel better when dealing with awful opposing counsel? In fact, how do you deal with having to deal with awful opposing counsel?

    I try to gird my loins when dealing with one particularly difficult firm, but lately it’s been getting really hard – being constantly misquoted even when I try to resolve the simplest things civilly, facing barrages of hyperbolic letters (that all say essentially the same thing), insinuations that my clients are plotting something diabolical when there’s just no basis to say so… Seriously, why the unnecessary drama?

    • Former MidLevel :

      You just have to ignore them and keep being civil and reasonable. I know it stinks, but when the time comes to be filing (or responding to) motions to compel, etc., you want the judge to see you’ve been wearing the white hat all along.

      • This, and document and save EVERYTHING. If a judge has to review a dispute, he or she will be p!ss#d, but at least it will be clear that it’s not your fault. Attaching letters as exhibits should speak for itself should you need to get the judge involved. I’ve known judges to throw cases out and other such extreme remedies when plaintiff’s counsel pulls such nonsense.

        Sometimes it’s particularly satisfying to be able to attach one of the crazy letters as an exhibit even for something simple, like a motion to extend discovery, just to give the judge a flavor of what it’s like to work with this guy. Can put the judge in the right frame of mind for when you show up for the hearing.

        • frou frou :

          The most painful thing is that the judges see this brand of litigation so much that they don’t seem to take notice anymore. White hat or no.

          • ugh. That’ll burn you out quick. I felt like I saw this more in state court. The federal courts were, by and large, more civilized, both bar and bench.

    • I don’t know how to deal with it in court, but emotionally, can you try to reframe it as funny and pathetic rather than annoying?

      • Yeah, I look for the cc at the bottom of the letter, too, and realize the lawyer’s real audience is his client, not me. It’s pathetic that he (or) she feels like he has to be an @sshat to prove to his client how great a lawyer he is. Clearly does not understand what being a good lawyer is about.

        • frou frou :

          heh, this seems like the only thing I can do in the circumstances. Thank you, ladies!

    • Be so good that awful opposing counsel files a frivolous motion for sanctions against you. That’s how you know you’re winning.

      (PS: communicate only in writing)

      • frou frou :

        Oh, I like this.

        I’ve made that resolution to only communicate in writing before, but I guess it’s just an ingrained habit to try and do things the polite way – courtesy call, and then email. I need it tattooed on my wrist or something.

        • If opposing counsel is being particularly awful, there’s nothing wrong with telling them “You are being so particularly awful that I will only communicate with you in writing going forward.” It’ll help you remember.


    • I’m dealing with the same thing. I just stick to email and letters; the phone just allows him to go off on never ending tangents and drama and ruin my day. I also delay my response time over email, so I can write back when I’m no longer angry of frustrated at the asinine email that he sent.

      Good luck. Dealing with those types can make you want to quit your job altogether.

  34. Wednesday :

    Farewell parties for departing colleagues: does the company typically foot the bill? Or is it the manager who does?

    • Depends on the office. We typically pass around an envelope with a card – everyone signs the card and can put in a couple of dollars if they want (no one knows if you put in or not/how much you put in). Whatever is there gets put toward cake/coffee and then anything left over is a gift or gift card. The branch director will also often put in some extra. (Same technique for showers, retirement, etc.)

    • karenpadi :

      Company foots the bill. The manager should handle the bill (e.g., using a company credit card).

    • At my office, the attendees all pay. Once in a blue moon, someone very senior (e.g., CEO) will show up and cover the tab.

      At my boyfriend’s biglaw firm, they get a $100 per year worked budget for a departure party. Person departing expenses it herself.

  35. To my colleague’s husband:

    You are a grown ass man. You should not need to call your wife – at work! – to ask how to handle leftovers that “stink.” Give me a break!

    To my colleague:

    “I don’t know” is not the right answer to this ridiculous question. Throw them out!!!

    Desperate for a private office

    • Ha! One day my husband told me his office mate had to leave work early to pack her boyfriend’s bag for a vacation. To husband’s credit, he was floored.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Oh, my!

    • Yeah, but you know, some people like that. If the wife has a sideline in housekeeping-martyrdom, she will likely feign annoyance to her friends, “My hubby doesn’t know how to do ANYTHING in the kitchen….you know, he called me once about how to do with rotting leftovers….he’d be oh so lost without MEEEEEEE. He’s oh such a manly* man he can’t understand kitchen stuff.”

      I work with some of their male analogues who like to faux-complain that their wives can’t balance a checkbook (on paper or online) and doesn’t understand stuff like paying the electric bill or their cable bill. Then, they get to chest beat that “BIG OL ME told the little woman she didn’t have to worry her pretty little head over it.”

      *I always find it amusing that people think that their ignorance on a topic conveys some other attribute. Like the men who think that not knowing about art makes them more manly. No, it says nothing about their manliness or lack thereof. It just says they know jacksh!t about art.

      • Ugh, atrocious typing & grammar on my part. This is the afternoon slump, ladies, and it ain’t pretty or grammatical.

    • I realize I’m projecting, but go easy on your coworker. My SO is a bit needy and calls me at work more often than I would like (to be fair, I think the only appropriate reason to call is “I am stuck at work, can you pick up child?”) so when he calls me at work to ask a question I think is ridiculous, I usually tell him “I don’t know” even if the answer is obvious to me. This has helped me to limit most of his phone calls to matters of more importance. I can definitely see the above scenario happening in our relationship and I would be rolling my eyes just as much as you. :)

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