Splurge Monday’s TPS Report: Gabi Silk Jersey Dress

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

DIANE von FURSTENBERG Silk Jersey Dress - GabiThis dress comes in so many colors and fabrics it’s a bit hard to pick just one, but, lo: here is the first one I saw, so I’ll post this one. Love the wide neck, cap sleeves, love that pattern, love the ladylike length of the skirt, and I love the ruching across the body. It took a very little bit of poking around to find that Nordstrom has it in a magenta version of this print, as well as the dress in solid orange, that Bloomie’s has it in solid purple, dark blue, and raspberry, and Saks has it in basic black (in wool) and kiwi green, while CUSP has the black in a knit version. The only one on the DvF site itself seems to be a dark gray one. Some of the dresses are silk, such as the pictured black and white dress; some of them are knits, a fabric blend described as a “suiting fabric,” some are poplin, and some are a “felted” wool blend.  The dress is $345-$375. DIANE von FURSTENBERG Silk Jersey Dress – Gabi

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  1. I love this dress. Really wish I had an extra $375ish in my clothing budget.

    • I keep trying to reply, but I guess I’m getting stuck in moderation, maybe its the link? Anyway, Loft has a very similar dress that I just received, much cheaper and they have the 40% off going on right now. Look for Animal Print Ruched Side Knit Dress. Not quite as long as this one, but comes down to just above my knees, and I’m 5’10”.

  2. I LOVE this dress, and it is not to expensive if I get the 20% from the manageing partner!

    Today I am going in to court on 2 more of Jims’ cases and HE is comeing to b/c he want’s to see me “on my feet”. I do NOT know why he said this b/c he know’s that I have handeled alot of WC case’s before AND I am NOT sure why he has to be there, especialy since these are ONLEY Motion’s to dismiss under CPLR 3211. FOOEY!

    If I can get rid of these now, I do NOT have to go to trial, but I need alot of trial expereince to become a NYS Supreme Court Trial judge.

  3. Anon for this :

    Threadjack! Looking for come career advice. I’ve been a higher ed administrator for the better part of the decade, and am now looking for the next thing. I have an advanced degree although not in higher ed administration. I’d like for the next step in my career in higher ed to be in student civic engagement and/or service learning. I have the opportunity to take masters level classes in higher ed administration or public administration, and can’t figure out which is the better choice. Higher ed administration is on point and is often called for in job postings for the kinds of positions I am looking for, however, getting a masters in something I’ve been doing for six years seems redundant, when I could just take a class or two in student development. Public administration, however, covers administrative issues in schools and in government, which seems to make my options more broad after I finish my degree, as well as help me to develop practical knowledge for building relationships with and serving community organizations, but doesn’t give me any background in pedagogy.

    Because I already have an advanced degree, I won’t get credit toward a masters for electives in “the other” after I choose one. Any suggestions?

    • Also in Academia :

      You migh think about the types of schools at which you want to work. In my experience, community colleges, state colleges, and so forth will be less exacting about the subject matter of your degree — At my “state college” (mainly AA-granting but with a growing number of 4-year degrees as well) I work with student affairs degree-holders, but also people who have degrees like MPH, MSW, and the like. The larger, more selective institutions at which I have worked tended to be a bit more homogenous in wanting higher ed or student affairs only when hiring new student affairs staff.

    • kerrycontrary :

      I would discount getting a masters in something just because you’ve been working in the field for 6 years. I have my Masters of Library Science and most of my classmates had been working full-time in the field. Their experience levels varied from no experience to 20 years. A lot of times the Masters was necessary for upward mobility in their institution. Having work experience in the field allows you to bring applicable examples to your coursework, and you will probably learn a lot of theory that isn’t addressed in your day-to-day workload.

      • Library science may not be a great example because the MLS is an absolute requirement for getting a job as a professional librarian.

        Higher ed administration is a hot degree right now and would probably be a good choice, thought.

        • kerrycontrary :

          I would argue that it’s not a requirement as I know many full-time librarians who don’t have an MLS as they have 15 years of work experience behind them. But Ok.

          • Sorry not to be clear – that could be true in special librarianship, but in academia, especially where librarians are faculty, the ALA-accredited MLS requirement. We can even hire anyone with a foreign equivalent.

          • I mean we “can’t” hire anyone with a foreign equivalent.

      • Anon for this :

        Helpful advice! Thank you. To narrow my question even more specifically – do you think university employers would want someone with experience working with community/non-profit/government organizations in a service learning role, or someone who is familiar with education theory? You’ve both answered that in different ways, but I thought I’d re-state it more clearly than I did in my first post.

        • Have you looked around at the credentials of service learning directors at schools where you might want to work? I’m sure this is the kind of field where people approach it from many angles, so I’m guessing people do it both ways.

    • I know a few people who work in service learning and none of them have a specialized degree directly relevant to higher ed or public policy. Instead, they all have significant experience in public service/public interest work. Most of them have a degree related to the field in which they previously worked in the public sector – law, social work, international development, teaching (primary or secondary school), and one has a theology degree. I’m not sure how you could directly translate a higher ed admin degree into working in service learning. If you haven’t been involved in public service in your current job, I think a public policy degree would go farther than a higher ed degree in getting you into that field.

  4. birthday girl :

    This dress is lovely. Not in my price range right now, but I would get it in a solid color if it was.

    Birthday t/j: how do you spend your birthdays? I come from a family where being together and doing special things on birthdays is important, but I don’t really feel that way. My birthday is coming up and I am having some frustration over what I would like to do versus what my family would like me to do, so I was curious to hear about how others celebrate (or not).

    • Not knowing your family dynamic or your age, this is hard to answer. I live hundred of miles from any of my family so I spend it however I want to. I have dinner and c*cktails with a group of girlfriends then we spend the evening at an art festival. I normally take my actual birthday off from work so I can relax and spend some quality time with my SO. He brings me flowers and we have a quiet dinner at home.

      So maybe a compromise? Plan something with your family to make them happy then plan something you want to do for either the weekend or another day. Think of it as a “birth week” rather than a birthday.

    • We have traditionally celebrated birthdays by having friends/family over. This means, of course, a lot of cooking and cleaning, most of it done by the birthday girl. Lately I have admitted to my SO that I do not really enjoy working on my birthday, so we have transitioned to brunch + spa format.

    • I often celebrate with my friends by doing dinner or brunch, dinner with my parents and then often have a family party with cake and small presents from my aunts and uncles, grandmother. My birthday is in a few weeks though and I’m currently very unhappy with some fighting going on within the family so have told my parents I’m really not inclined to eat ice cream cake and play nice, so will just do the friend/parent events, probably going to visit with my grandmother in place of a family party.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      When I lived in the same area as my family, we would typically get together for dinner at home or at a restaurant. It was typically low key and never had to be on my actual birthday though. My family is pretty laid back when it comes to these things. I’d also typically do something separate with my friends to celebrate as well.

    • I like to leave town whenever possible. Being away — even for a short weekend — always makes my birthday feel “special” but without any pressure to actually do anything specific, with family or otherwise. Then, when I do see my friends/family to celebrate, it’s much more low key and convenient for all involved.

      If going away doesn’t work, my SO gets me tickets to a show and we do that + nice dinner on the actual bday and I see friends/relatives some other time, either before or after (usually after because I feel like it’s bad luck to celebrate ahead of time).

      BTW, I do love my friends/family. I just find it difficult to get everyone at the same place all at once, and even if I did it, it would often be awkward and I’d hate it, so this solution just makes it all so much easier for me. No hurt feelings and I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to do on my special day.

      • I remember you saying this a while back, and I’ve decided to take your method for my next birthday. Thanks for sharing!

      • I usually take this route too, with my husband. It takes the pressure off assembling a suitably festive crowd although we get a bit of low-key acknowledgement from friends and family at non-birthday specific get-togethers that month, and that’s quite nice too. We’ve also had times when one of us can’t get away from work – I still like to mark my birthday by doing something for myself, even if it’s just going to a gallery or trying out a new running route.

        To AIMS, my Chinese mum feels the reverse of you on the subject of luckiness though – she reckons it’s bad to celebrate after the date. The luck factor probably evens out across cultures, so chances are you’re fine to celebrate whenever feels festive !

        • @SS, my family’s theory is that if you celebrate it early, you jinx it and may never get to celebrate it at all. Very dramatic, I know. They also hate baby and wedding showers on the same presumptuousness theory. But it is good to know that there are other superstitions to cancel out theirs.

          @b23, I am so happy you’re doing that! For me, once I did it, there was no going back. It was just so perfectly fun and incredibly stress free. Plus it helps you remember all your birthdays (e.g., 28? I was in Montreal … ). I’d love to hear how it works out :)

          • Wannabe Runner :

            I also hate wedding and baby showers.

            But mostly because they are annoying.

    • darjeeling :

      I had a party at a karaoke bar for my 30th a few years ago, but usually I just go out to a low-key dinner with my husband only. I have a large family and 4 siblings but they all live far away from me or I’d want to get together with them too.

    • Take the day off work and turn off my phone. :) Usually I do some fun weekday activity like going to the zoo or a museum.

    • I spent my most recent birthday (last week) at a 5 hour interview and missed my own birthday party! However….

      I have a twin sister, so our birthdays can get out of hand with our multiple groups of friends and families. We do whatever we feel like on our actual birthday – dinner, a picnic, a chick flick, a pedicure – and then get together with our shared family, in-laws and friends at other times during our birthday week. Utilizing “birthday week” takes the pressure off the actual day, lets everyone who wants to celebrate with you despite different schedules, and extends the fun!

    • birthday girl :

      I like just seeing everyone’s traditions and preferences. It’s on my mind because my family (several hundred miles away) urged my SO and me to take a vacation to see them around (and including) my birthday, which we planned. Now it’s looking like we may need to go see friends that are expecting a baby during that time (I know it’s hard to predict when a baby is going to come, but this would be a week post-birth thing), and my family is giving me a hard time about changing my plans so we will be with them for a few days and then leave to go to the baby thing, which would mean not having a birthday dinner with them on my actual birthday.

      • OT, but do you absolutely need to go see the baby as soon as it arrives? New parents usually do better if they are not subjected to visitors so soon after birth.

        • birthday girl :

          It’s for a religious ceremony and my husband is going to be the godfather, so yes, we need to be there.

          • Have you mentioned this aspect of it to your parents? I feel like this is such an honor — and clearly for a specific date –and that is should easily trump your parents’ desire to have dinner with you on your actual birthday.

    • If I’m in the same city as my parents, we would always go out for dinner on the actual day. Sometimes, I’m in the mood to do something insanely low key so I’ll tell different groups of friends that I have plans with a different group and order in something indulgent and have more than one glass of wine and treat myself. (I’m not usually a birthday person).

      This year though, my SO and I are going to NYC for our birthdays (2 days apart) and I have never been so excited for a birthday before. I think if it’s your birthday, you should do whatever you want to do (even if it’s effectively nothing).

    • Maine Associate :

      My birthday is the week after Thanksgiving, so I take the day off from work and decorate my Christmas tree. I turn off my phone and get my favorite takeout. I like having the entire day to myself.

      • Turning off the phone is a brilliant idea! I am doing this next time.

        My family is not big on birthdays, and I hate them. My husband’s family, however, is the exact opposite. Cards, texts, get togethers, parties, gifts.. ugh! No amount of “please don’t” etc. seems to be effective on my MIL, particularly. Maybe I can try to avoid them for the whole month and they’ll get the idea…

        • Wannabe Runner :

          I feel like you could refuse their presents if you really wanted to.

        • Please don’t refuse the presents. Some people really like to buy gifts. But, once you get the gift it is totally up to you to decide what to do with it. You can re-gift it (best if done discreetly), donate it, etc. If someone refused a gift that I bought them, I would be really offended. But I would not be offended (or at least I would get over it quickly) if they decided it wasn’t for them and gave it to someone else.

          • Wannabe Runner :

            If she hates parties and hates gifts, but her in-laws insist on making a big deal of her special day against her wishes, I think it’s ok to refuse the gift.

            Not everyone likes receiving gifts. It shouldn’t always be the giver’s choice, especially after they have been told that a gift isn’t welcome.

    • The only “set” tradition for my birthday is, I send my mom some of her favorite flowers on my actual birthdate.

      I usually do something low-key with DH and maybe a few friends, but nothing really big. I sometimes try to get together with family, but if the scheduling doesn’t work, we shelve it for other times. It’s mostly an occasion to catch up at a good restaurant.

    • This BR dress is of a similar shape and in a solid jewel tone at a third of the price, it might be the alternative you are looking for.

    • We have this issue in my family too- mostly my grandma wants to hang out with us on our bdays, but since she is 94, it really limits us to dinner @ home. What we do is just pick a day that is near our birthdays, get together with her, do dinner, have cake– and then do the actual birthday, or a different day to celebrate w/ friends. Birthday week!

    • Usually the hubs and I dress up and go to a nice restaurant. We also do something that he normally would not want to do, like dancing, but pretends to have fun doing because it’s my birthday.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Usually I spend the day with my family doing something fun but low stress and enjoying a dinner and dessert of my choice. When I was single, I usually spent it doing something similar with my parents.

  5. Dear Talbots, I understand if you have to delete an item from my order because it’s out of stock. It’s frustrating because it’s half of a suit, but whatever. But seriously: Would it kill you to update your website so it doesn’t look like it’s still in stock, three days later? What is this, 1999-era internet shopping?

    • Ha, last time I posted this same comment, someone said this website had just become a lot of complainers. But I feel you!

      • aw, thanks for the support. And I guess I will counter the complaining by celebrating the fact that it was 80 degrees for my DC commute this morning. First time in weeks I didn’t arrive at my desk a sweaty mess!

    • This happened to me last week! Grrrrrrrr.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      This drives me nuts. Then they don’t understand why I don’t want the rest of the order. They say they can’t do anything about it b/c it is final sale. I explain that I only bought the TWO final sale items because they go together and I have no use for just half of it. I successfully managed to get them to cancel my order once in this situation but they told me it was a “favor they would do just this one time.”

      Someone on here suggested not accepting the shipment of the second half and disputing the charge with your credit card company. I think that is a good idea given the situation.

      • Last week I told them that I did not want the balance of the order because the items were intended to coordinate, and insisted I wanted to cancel. Talbots couldn’t cancel because the order was already being processed/shipped, so they waived the shipping fee and said I could refuse delivery and the items would be returned to their warehouse for credit.

        It might be trickier with final sale items, but I have been able to return final sale items in the past where the item I recieved was not as pictured on the website, so it’s possible.

        • Can we all write emails/letters to the CEO of the company? It seems like customer service is unresponsive and whatever problems aren’t being escalated up the chain.

          Or, if you want to have the CEO’s @ss kicked, write to their major investors about why you will be shopping at their competitors because Talbots’ online shopping and customer service really suck.

          • I’m planning to do this. I wrote a letter to the CEO when I had a problem with Ann Taylor and they were very responsive. I’m interested to see what Talbots will do, if anything.

    • I’m done with Talbots. Apart from the out of stock issue, they have started lining overpriced linen clothing with cheap, icky, sweaty polyester. WTF is the point of linen if you’re going to line it with the hottest fabric imaginable? Ugh.

      • This is a totally honest question – what kind of lining fabric should I be looking for in suiting? I’m going to guess that the majority of my suits lining is polyester and I didn’t know that was so bad. I’m a newbie to buying new clothes though.

        • Nothing wrong with poly lining if the suit is not made of a fabric that is intended to keep you cool in hot weather!

          Really high-quality suits are usually lined in silk or bemberg, but otherwise poly is the standard. Summerweight suits usually have unlined pants and partially lined jackets.

      • That was supposed to be – I’m a newbie to buying NICE clothes

    • One of my biggest pet peeves when they don’t connect their online shop to an automatic stock tracking system.

    • lawsuited :

      I recommend contacting their customer service through their website’s online webchat or their facebook page. They’ve been helpful in resolving my problems with last week’s order, and I’m pretty content with the resolution now (although not thrilled with the effort it took). The customer service through the 1-800 number is terrible.

    • That happened to me one time, shipped the jacket to a suit but not the pants, and customer service found the suit pants in a store and shipped them to me, with no shipping charge. They should at least offer to look for it.

  6. I too loved this dress online and went into the store to try it out. The rucking highlights ANY tummy pooch you have, and I do have a small one now post-baby and I’m not sure when and if it will ever vanish. So it is for the flat abbed ladies only.

    I loved the print, the length and the non wrap style. I really really wanted to like this dress….le sigh.

    • Obv. I meant ruching. Not rucking and certainly not rubbing. Are you listening, auto correct function?

    • darjeeling :

      Considering that this style looks identical to a belly-accentuating DVF maternity dress I had, I can well believe it. Maybe one of the non-drapey materials wouldn’t have that effect.

      • I didn’t know DVF makes maternity clothes! Where are they sold?

        • darjeeling :

          I had 2 dresses and they were dynamite! One my sister bought at Century 21 (which does not sell maternity clothes, alas) by accident, later wondering why she looked pregnant in all the photos from the wedding where she wore it. I bought another one just like it in a different print on eBay. So in short, I’m not sure where they’re sold usually but I would really recommend.

          I am actually a little sad that I won’t get to wear them again since we’re done having kids.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      I love it too, and was all set to follow a link to a store to ogle but realized that that dress is not going to work on my pear shaped figure. At all. It would be gorgeous on someone else though.

    • Not even– the design makes the model look like she’s got a somewhat poochy lower abdomen, too. I’ll pass.

  7. Nice pick, Kat! Yay, longer length! And something like a sleeve, too. I like the print. It’s interesting without being crazy, and I think you could wear it with a solid black cardi or blazer without worrying too much about matching blacks. Or white? Is this a dress that could handle the infamous white blazer?

  8. Air Turkey…. Has anyone flown it? Thoughts? We’re trying to book a trip to Europe and the cheapest flights looks to be through Istanbul but I’d rather pay an extra $150/pp if it’s going to be unpleasant to fly/go thru there. Sorry for the early t/j, just thought you cosmopolitan ladies might know this sort of thing!

    • I think I have, from Amsterdam to Istanbul. It was close quarters and the passengers were a bit rowdy but it was fine for a relatively (3 hr) flight. I’ve definitely had worse (I’m looking at you, United!)

      • Turkish Airlines? I’ve flown it from the US to Europe and thought it was great. I was in their “comfort class” which is kind of like domestic business class– so I’m not exactly sure what regular economy is like, but I would imagine its the same as US airlines.

        No complaints. I was concerned that it wasn’t a legitimate airline, but their planes were new, every seat had a tv ( even in regular economy), service was good, etc.

    • Air Turkey is an excellent airline, and so much better than many US airlines. And, Istanbul airport is great as well; if you manage to get a stopover in Istanbul for a couple of days, do so, it’s one of the most amazing cities in the world.

    • Jacqueline :

      I loved Turkish Airlines. Great service, good food, and plenty of entertainment choices. It’s much better than most US airlines I’ve flown. Go for it!

    • Do you mean Turkish Airlines? If so, it’s a really great airline. Super comfortable. Try to book a layover and spend a few days in Istanbul if you can!

      • Clearly not enough caffeine this morning! I did mean Turkish Airlines, not Air Turkey.
        Glad to hear positive feedback though. Thank you all!!! This Xmas, we flew American to Europe and it was so terrible I am trying not to repeat the same kind of experience!

        • I have to say “Air Turkey” gave me a chuckle, as turkeys can only really fly awkwardly for very short distances…. :-)

    • So timely!

      I flew Turkish Airlines from LAX (via JFK) to IST in 2001 and thought it was great. The plane was clean, the food was fantastic, (this was pre 9/11) some of the seats were empty and it wasn’t too crowded, attendants were polite etc.

      I posted a couple weeks ago about things to do on a 2-3 day layover in Istanbul (we will stop there on the way home to the US from Israel). Two days ago I called Turkish Airlines to buy the tickets we had reserved the week before by phone. Possibly the worst airline customer service experience in my life. You do not tell the agent your credit card number. Instead, when it is time for you to share your credit card number with the airline, the agent puts you into an automated service so that you can punch your card number into the phone. Theoretically, when you are done, you get matched back up with your agent and you complete your transaction.

      You get three chances each time you are dumped into the automated section to enter your card number. I was dumped into it 4 times. That makes 12 attempts to enter my card. It never worked.

      The first six times (2 rounds), I used my Amex card. Both times I came back to the agent (after 3 tries each round), she told me that there was something wrong with my card and that I should call my bank. I knew that was nonsense, so I asked to speak with a supervisor. No such luck. So I said goodbye and called back and asked to speak with a supervisor.

      The new agent insisted that if I just told her what was wrong, she could solve it and I didn’t need a supervisor. I gave up asking for a supervisor after five minutes of debate with her and told her what was wrong. So she tried to process my purchase transaction. When I told her that I had not been able to complete the process, she asked which credit card I was using, and she said “we only take VISA or MC, that’s why you kept getting kicked out of the automated program.” OK, it would kill them to tell you that before they dump you into the automated program?

      So this time I used a VISA card. Two additional rounds of 3 tries each time. Still didn’t work. The agent concluded (without confirming with anyone) that “our system is down.” But she still wouldn’t take my card over the phone. Essentially, she told us that they were not selling any tickets to anyone anywhere in the world over the phone until the system came back up. Terrific business model.

      Her suggestion was that we drive to the nearest TA office and purchase our tickets in person. First, that is about 100 miles away from us. Second, what is this: 1973? When she said that there was nothing else she could do for us, we asked her to extend our hold, so we now have about another week to complete the purchase.

      I am supposed to call this morning, but I just don’t feel like it.

      I understand that they are burdened by a bad infrastructure (the automatic program, a bad computer system etc.). But it would take zero additional thought to tell me that I have to use VISA or MC instead of Amex. And I should not have had to ask for them to extend our time to purchase; she should have offered it.

      Nonetheless, we still plan to fly them because my experience was so positive last time and the flight path/schedule is so convenient.

      • Update: I called this evening and purchased our tickets without incident. I also made reservations at Amira Hotel, thanks to a recommendation here from someone whose name I can neither recall nor find in a search. But it looks terrific, so thanks!

    • We did this for a trip this summer- we were able to add in a layover in Istanbul at no additional cost and really enjoyed it. I flew coach and TA is easily superior in comfort to United/Luftansa/Austrian Air/Delta (the four others I have flown in the past year or so). They planes we flew had the 2x5x2 configuration, which is nice if it’s just two of you travelling and you can be in your own segment of the row.

      We had no problems with Istanbul’s airport, though found security to be more thorough (but efficient) than in the US so maybe factor in a bit of extra time when you are picking your flights (you do get to keep your shoes on!).

      • Agreed about security in Istanbul! I think I had to show my passport at least 5 times…!

    • LadyEnginerd :

      If you have a long layover in Istanbul, the airline runs a sight-seeing tour so you can get out of the airport and see some of the city (at least, they were doing that a few years ago). Check and see if that might be the case for you!

      I have no complaints from my trip, which is pretty good for an airline ;)

  9. Thread jack…..for ladies who went back to work after maternity leave….so please skip if this bores you.

    How did you focus on work after weeks or months off?

    How did you cope with missing the baby etc?

    How did you get that I-will-not-coast feeling back?

    Part of the issue is that while I could afford to be a SAHM, I know I would feel bored after a few months and want to go back to work, or to something where I could use my brain. As opposed to only baby care. And part of me wishes I could just stay with baby all the time. I know I am lucky to have the choice, but I really want to be focussed when I get back to work.

    Any tips? I start work in 4 weeks time and frankly wish I could take the rest of the year off to be with baby. I did this with my son, but having started a new job with super understanding bosses just a year before I delivered baby, that is not an option now.

    • 4 weeks is a looong time in babycare reckoning. You may be sleeping better and feeling a bit better about baby’s independence in just a couple weeks, which makes all the difference. Don’t sweat it just yet. If you’re still ambivalent about going back to work closer to the date, (this is silly, but) consider going on a little shopping trip to buy a few work clothes that fit you well right now. That might help you be happy to break out of the sweatpants and crocs routine without having to mope over the post-baby body. I know when I went back and tried to fit into my pre-baby work pants, it was just depressing, and I felt like I no longer belonged in that world. Just a sheath dress from Target made me feel like an adult again.

      Everyone is different, but for me, I prefer NOT to keep pictures of baby in the office to remind me of where I’m not. It’s not easy, but when I’m at work, I try to be at work, so that when I’m at home, I can be at home. That said, a phone call to the childcare provider at lunch the first few days might help you feel better that baby’s doing just fine.

    • Anon for this :

      I can’ t comment directly on point 1, because both of my kids came after ending one thing (school, then a one-year job) so my returning to work coincided with starting a new job. I ended up taking off a lot of time (6 months with Kid 1 and a year with Kid 2), which was mostly on purpose. With Kid 2 it ended up being about 4 months longer than I’d wanted because job searching in an off season and then getting getting budget cleared for the job I ultimately got took for-evah (ugh, state government).

      Upshot of all of that was I was raring to go back to work. I never was conflicted about whether to work/stay at home, but I think it helped a lot that I was able to have so much time off with my kids at the beginning. Frankly, I needed it; I am so impressed with ladies who can head back after just a few months. With Kid 1 I was in perpetual fear that I’d be fired (it was in the depths of the recession and people were “disappearing” every week from my firm); with this job it’s been slow so I haven’t felt too taxed work-wise (quite the opposite, really; I was hoping for more work than I’ve been getting, although it’s getting better).

      Something I wanted to mention when there was that dirty-secrets thread a few weeks ago: there’s this conventional wisdom that working moms are no-nonsense, power-through-the-work, totally efficient productivity monsters. I often feel the opposite, not because I’m missing my kids but because of the (now years of) sleep deprivation. My kids were/are about average in terms of kid sleeping, but I feel like I’m chronically exhausted and have nothing in the tank. I call it shark mode: once I stop moving, I die (i.e., fall asleep). It’s hard for me to concentrate for long stretches on intensive reading and writing. I’m not looking for advice (clearly the answer is to sleep more, and lord knows, I try) but more to see if anyone else has felt guilty they are not embodying the Productive Working Mom trope that is out there.

      • “to see if anyone else has felt guilty they are not embodying the Productive Working Mom trope that is out there”

        *raises hand* Pick me. I lived (live?) in survival mode following return from maternity leave. In fear that I would be fired, and worse, that I deserved it. If anyone finds a cure, let me know.

        • Research, Not Law :

          “In fear that I would be fired, and worse, that I deserved it.” Oh geez, me too.

          Like elz below, I found leaving the baby much easier the second time around. I know she’ll be okay and am too busy to really focus on it. I have the same guilt about spending most of her waking hours away from her, but have less worry around it – if that makes sense. Interestingly, while the baby is fine, returning to work was VERY hard on my toddler. She loves her daycare, but she’s really missing mommy time.

          I’m nearly three months back. I’m not at full productivity, but it has dramatically improved from the first month, which was pretty much a loss. Thankfully my supervisor was understanding of that. I set up deadlines with my projects that I knew I could reach. Obviously they weren’t happy after already waiting three months while I was on leave, but meeting attainable deadlines is better than missing crowd-pleasing ones.

          While sleep deprivation is definitely at play, I find that a lot of my productivity loss is simply me not working because I’m doing other things with my “free time,” like running an errand, online shopping, reading reviews, planning weekend activities, or simply sitting in peace. Oh yeah, and there’s pumping twice a day. ugh.

      • Me for sure! I don’t think I could handle being a working mom if I also had all the home responsibilities as well, as it seems that society assumes the mom takes care of. I have a super supportive dh whose employment is less consistent (contract work) and usually more flexible than mine, so he cooks dinner each night, he’s usually the one to take the kids to dr appts and stay home with them for school PD days. And I regularly screw up by forgetting things (the worst recently was ds#2’s soccer team photo). My kids are older and sleep is a huge priority for me, (otherwise I get sick) so I don’t normally feel sleep deprived, but I definitely don’t feel like I’m that Supermom stereotype that’s out there. However, I work really hard at not feeling guilty by thinking about all that I am providing for my family, which helps. But not putting myself through mommy guilt is a big priority for me and my dh, thank goodness.

      • new york associate :

        Me too. My office is so quiet and cool and calm compared to my rambunctious child that I always spend too much time in the office just enjoying the peace and quiet.

      • Me. I’m in survival mode. My office is swamped with work right now and my husband is traveling a lot for work, and it’s pretty much all I can do to work, take care of the baby, and get enough sleep to survive.

        I’ve been back 3 months from maternity leave. The good news is, it gets easier to leave the baby during the day. Being busy really helps. And I enjoy my job, in general, and I like having a semblance of my old freedoms (eg, going to the bathroom when I want, going out to lunch without a baby, etc). I also try, as much as possible, to spend a certain amount of time with my son each night with my phone in another room, on silent. I feel like we get more “quality time” that way.

    • I found it easier to return to work with my second daughter. In fact, I took calls and worked on documents the same week I delivered her. I guess I knew that it would all be ok in the grand scheme of things, and was a lot less anxious generally. It was still hard to leave her to go back full time-just easier than the first time! I try to focus on work during work hours and family during non-work hours. It doesn’t always work, and the beginning is harder. This too shall pass.

      It will be hard. But, it will get easier. Good luck.

    • I’m not the best example because we have one child (with another on the way!) and I started a new job after taking 12 weeks off with her. So I had the distraction of NewJob to keep me engaged.

      I always tell people that you really have to love your job — that makes it SO much easier to go back to work after having a kid. I realize that not everyone is able to do something they love, but I know that’s made all the difference for me. So perhaps try focusing on the reasons why you do want to go back to work.

      Also, it’s OK to coast when you get back — I like the commenter below who pointed out that a lot of this “working moms are hyper efficient power machines” stuff is a bunch of hooey. I mean, yes, I know I can fit a lot more into an average day than I used to back when I was kidless. But I also know there are plenty of days when I just want to lay down and take a nap behind my desk. Do the best you can, and try not to beat yourself up. A little self-directed kindness can go a long way!

    • Diana Barry :

      Aww! You will get through it. Yes, it is hard. I do coast right now – I run on adrenaline rather than sleep. Not sustainable, but I need time to get stuff done more than sleep time right now! (Baby is 3.5 months now, I have been back for 4 weeks)

      I miss baby but find that I miss her less when I focus on work. I am also working a modified schedule with 2 days/week at home right now (and one day/week off), which is great, so I only need to miss her/be in the office 2 days/week. If you can go back with some working at home, I think that would help.

  10. *vent alert* Any of you lawyer ladies ever sit in a court where you felt like the young women lawyers were treated differently from the old men lawyers? I know when we lose a motion the tendency is to look for something to blame, but sometimes it’s hard not to wonder if who is presenting the motion affects the outcome. Maybe I’m oversensitive, but there were only two of us young women in the courtroom all morning, and the judge would let the guys talk and talk and talk (even if they didn’t have a client in the case!), but shut off the women in the middle of arguments with a patronizing comment. How do you deal with this? It’s annoying, but worse than that, I worry that my clients are getting punished for picking me over a more established gent to represent them in court.

    • Yes – I live in the South and I’ve seen this over and over and over. You’d think in 2012 this would no longer be an issue. . . .

      • Looks like you’re from my state. Maybe the next generation of judges will be more enlightened…

        • That’s funny, I’m from Houston and don’t encounter this at all. It’s too bad it still exists elsewhere.

        • Let’s hope so, Midori. Frustrating thing is that I’ve seen it from female judges, too.

      • Cornellian :

        definitely saw this in central Texas!

    • Would you have grounds for an objection when a male lawyer rambles on and on? I don’t think you can directly confront the judge (unless it’s so egregious you’re willing to really stick your neck out and file an official complaint or ask for recusal), but I do think you can and should assert yourself as much as possible and hope he takes the hint that you are not a doormat.

      • Yeah, I objected twice on relevance, and the second time the judge just cut me off and ruled against me (and, I think, any legal grounds). Grrr. Like I said, you always look for something to blame when you lose, but this one just felt unfair. I know when my argument is legally “adventurous,” and this one shouldn’t have been even close.

        This particular motion wasn’t worth an appeal, and there’s no court reporter, so for now I just deal with it. It’s so subtle I doubt it rises to the level of anything official, until we get an egregious ruling where all factors indicate appeal.

        • I think you did everything right. All I really have to add is “that sucks.”

    • The solution is to say to the judge: “Your honor, I am entitled to make my record. I’d like to finish my argument so that I may make my record.” You can say it as snippy as you’re comfortable with (I usually bark it at the judge). The reason this works is that there is an underlying threat that you plan to take the matter up on a writ/appeal and that the judge will be overturned if he prevents you from arguing your position.

    • You know what? That sounds like the beginning of a beautiful thesis project for someone majoring in women´s studies/social studies, or even law. Why not mail a suggestion to local department heads? It might get an interesting ball rolling.

  11. Piperlime has that Juicy Couture blazer featured here a couple of weeks ago on sale until Friday: http://piperlime.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=84232&vid=1&pid=399637&scid=399637002

  12. MissJackson :

    Hi ladies. TJ — I have an interview this morning for a lateral job that I’m really excited about. This is my first time ever really considering leaving my current firm, and hence, my first ever lateral interview. It’s been a long time, and I’ve been “practicing” because I’m probably rusty.

    It’s about an hour to go time — any last-minute advice?

    I’ll take all the good internet vibes I can get, too :)

    • Sending good vibes to you through the interwebs!

      I was just reading something about how you should take ownership of your successes instead of brushing them off. If someone compliments your accomplishment, don’t say “I got lucky” or “my team was really great” or “my work environment enabled me to succeed.” Acknowledge your own awesomeness.

    • Good luck! Just remember, confidence is key. Talk about all the great things you have done and how that translates to making you valuable to their organization. You’ll do great!

    • good internet vibes on the way!!!

    • Good luck ! Remember you’re interviewing them for best-fit too.

  13. I’m working in the library today and someone is wearing the heaviest perfume. Why, people, why? Looking around, everyone is wearing that look of dissertation panic and dressed in sweatpants so I can’t figure out why perfume was a necessary addition? Maybe they’re too busy to shower?

    • Ugh. I feel your pain. People wear heavy perfume to my gym regularly – the worst is the powder scent when it’s hot & muggy. It’s a gym – we’re all going to be and smell sweaty – let it go!

    • I watched someone spray on hairspray today on the Metro and was similarly frustrated. I’m sensitive to chemical-y scents, but my biggest problem is spraying in public. I also watched a fellow (older, maybe 40+) I was sitting next to in the coffee shop stand up to leave, drown himself in Axe body spray, and then go on his way. He could have just as easily Axe-bathed just outside the door where the smell would have dissipated faster. I was choking on it and had to take some time outside to catch my breath, and the smell didn’t die for over an hour.

  14. Early divorce and children TJ:

    There are the occasional TJs here about whether one should stay married for the sake of the children. I came to the realization this weekend why the con-arguments will not work for me. I believe that whether the children thrive or not after divorce is a function of many factors, but certainly, they cannot unless BOTH parents truly put the children’s need first. And that is never going to be my situation. I feel very much like the poster a week ago who is no longer in love with her husband, believes her husband will never “have her back” and is living a miserable existence. However, I do have children, and my husband, who has anger issues, will never agree to an amicable divorce. He has already threatened that he would fight for full custody if I were to pursue a divorce, and has made it clear that he would make my post-divorce life a living hell (presumably through the only means he would have available, i.e., the children). All this, despite the fact that he himself had to live through a fairly acrimonious divorce when he was young, which has clearly affected his entire approach to life (though he neither admits nor even notices it).

    I don’t believe there is a solution to this, and am resigned to living with this man until the children are off to college (still 10+ years away). Does anyone have any experience with this?

    • Why why why would you stay with this man, only because he is threatening to make the divorce process a nightmare? Get yourself the best divorce lawyer you can find and go.

      As for the impact on your children, I’m the product of my father’s second marriage, which has been a long and happy 40 year marriage. I recently asked my brother (from my father’s first marriage) how it was for him when his parents got divorced, and he said that it was actually a big relief, because it meant that the fighting and tension and toxicity between his parents stopped. He was six years old at the time, and that’s still how he remembers it. Point being: your children might actually be a lot happier in the long run if you and your husband get divorced.

      • My parents got divorced when I was 25, and the positive impact on my life was profound. I just wish they’d done it years earlier.

        Don’t put your kids through 10 more years of marital hell. Also, another thought– your kids learn from you about what relationships are supposed to look like. Are you modeling the kind of relationship you want them to have as adults?

    • I don’t have personal experience but I am an attorney for a firm that does a lot of family law so all I will say is this: If your husband has anger issues, get your kids into therapy sooner rather than later because regardless of whether you stay or go, those anger issues alone can seriously affect your kids.

    • Get thee a good lawyer. “Fight for full custody” does not equal “get custody.” It probably won’t be fun, but neither is living with someone who has anger issues and is already making your life a living hell. Kids have a way of picking up on this too.

    • Always a NYer :

      I’m so sorry to hear about your situation, I can only imagine what you’re going through. Hugs and support.

      Now, my two cents on the matter. My mother divorced when I was a baby and I’ve never had contact with my father, something I never think twice about. That said, my experience will be slightly different from yours. We moved in with my maternal grandparents and my grandfather was the best male role model a child could ask for. Not only was he my best friend, I couldn’t have wanted for a better father figure. It cost my mother more money than she had at the time and many sleepless nights but if you asked her if she’d do it again, she wouldn’t hesitate to tell you, “Absolutely.”

      My mother has counciled several of her friends as they went through their own divorces/custody battles and the following is advice I’ve gleaned. First, and most important, do not let him know you are seeking divorce until you have everything lined up. That means your finances being separated as best you can without raising suspicion, finding a safe place for you and your children to live, and having a divorce attorney and iron-clad plan ready to implement. When dealing with someone who has anger issues and a vindictive streak, do not tip your hand under any circumstances. You want to have as much control as you can, which is safest for everyone, especially the children.

      If I’m reading correctly, your children are around 6-7 years old or so? While young, they are able to see a dangerous situation and could be frightened of their father. This is only an assumption I’m making from your post. They could tell a family court judge that they do not feel safe with their father and don’t want to be alone with him during your divorce preceedings. Know that this will cause a lot of tension and upsetment for you but you need to decide whether or not you want your children in that situation and feel just like you do.

      It saddens me that you think you have no other option but to stay with this man until your children are off to college. There is always another way, it just is often difficult and scary to get there. Know that you and your children deserve the best, DNA alone doesn’t determine family, love and trust must be there as well.

      If you’d like to talk further, let me know and we can take this offline. I wish you the best in this difficult situation and you’re in my prayers.

    • Anon for this.... :

      I am very sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds tragic. I am praying that you are at least trying counseling now, as your husband sounds awful and vindictive.

      Let me tell you…. staying together for the kids often fails to achieve the goals you have. Especially when it is clear that parents are unhappy, and especially when one parent has anger issues. The result is a TERRIBLE model for your children about marriage, respecting your spouse, and …. life. You think they don’t see/know what’s going on? They do. They are scared.

      My parents had a very unhappy marriage, but stayed together “for the kids”. My mother was the successful, quiet, unhappy one… and my father was the bitter, angry one. I knew ever since I was 6 or 7 that something was scary/not right. Many of my most vivid memories of my childhood are of dysfunction… bad stuff. I felt totally isolated as a child, and had no outlet…. childhood friends cannot be a sufficient support network when parents are dysfunctional.

      While my brothers and I are now intelligent, “successful” people in our schooling/jobs… we are all very unhappy in our personal lives. My brother and I will probably never marry or have children (we are in our early 40’s now). I have never been in a relationship (yup…), and my brother has serial relationships because he never wants to marry. My other brother married a quiet, subservient woman from a foreign country. All of us left our home town as soon as we could, and have no close relationships with our entire family. It is very sad.

      Please get counseling as soon as possible.

      • Another Anon :

        This is so similar to the experience that my brother and I have had – I’ve only entered into a relationship at 37 after much counseling (and continuing counseling), my brother has been engaged 4 times, married 2 times, divorced twice, and is on to his next ‘serious’ relationship.

        Had our parents divorced when we were younger, instead of waiting until I (the youngest) was done with high school, I can’t but think it would have been different. If nothing else, we would have been spared being trapped within that particular toxic relationship (to be fair, based on their own limited understandings of what was possible due to their own upbringings – I really wish they could have both had counseling as well).

        • “staying together for the kids often fails to achieve the goals you have. Especially when it is clear that parents are unhappy, and especially when one parent has anger issues. The result is a TERRIBLE model for your children about marriage, respecting your spouse, and …. life. You think they don’t see/know what’s going on? They do. They are scared.

          My parents had a very unhappy marriage, but stayed together “for the kids”. My mother was the successful, quiet, unhappy one… and my father was the bitter, angry one. I knew ever since I was 6 or 7 that something was scary/not right. Many of my most vivid memories of my childhood are of dysfunction… bad stuff. I felt totally isolated as a child, and had no outlet…. childhood friends cannot be a sufficient support network when parents are dysfunctional. ”

          YES and Me Too to all of this a thousand times. I have nothing to add to this because it so exactly fits my experience. I’ve been in therapy for years to heal the damage done. I recently married a wonderful man, yet am continuing to act out dysfunctional and self-destructive behaviors because that’s the only way I know how a marriage looks from my parents totally f’d up marriage. I often feel he deserves better than me, someone less damaged. I have to unlearn in therapy my parents’ “role models” for the foreseeable future. It is very, very hard work.

          Which is not to say that a divorce would be sunshine and lollipops for your kids. It will be hard, but it will be better. As ACT mom says, one healthy home and one bad home is infinitely better than only one bad home.

          OP, the likelihood of a man getting sole custody is very, very slim. My best friend in high school was raised by her single father, who had to fight tooth and nail to get custody away from the drug-addicted, alcoholic, abusive mother with multiple arrests. Courts DO NOT WANT to take custody away from mothers, even when that’s best for the child. It will be much easier for you to get custody, but other ladies here are right that joint custody is likely.

    • How can children thrive any more in a marriage where only one parent puts the children’s best interests first, than in a divorce where only one parent puts the children’s best interests first?

    • Living with parents in an unstable marriage, especially if their father has anger issues, seems like it would be very unhealthy for the children. Do you want your children to learn that it’s ok for men to shout and push women around, and that women should be meek and put up with it? The divorce may be unpleasant, but at least it will be over much sooner than when they start college.

      Make sure you get yourself a good lawyer, and don’t give your husband a hint that you plan to file until you and your lawyer are ready to file. Cover your rear and make sure you are ready to be aggressive in fighting him for custody. Document his anger issues and use them against him.

    • I’m so sorry you are in this situation. I just wanted to chime in as the child of a father with anger issues: my parents’ divorce was the best thing that ever happened to me and the rest of my family. There was no custody battle in my case, but my Dad fought my Mom on a lot of financial stuff, and as a pre-teen I was fully aware of that unpleasantness and the fact that my Dad felt no obligation to support me and my sister (and my former SAHM Mother) financially. It was still so, so much better than living in The House of Seething Resentment and Occasional Violent Outbursts.

    • I think there are only a couple of commenters here who strongly favor staying in a miserable marriage “for the kids.” My view is that those commenters, who are looking at this through the filter of their own parents’ divorce, are looking at it in a very me-me-me way, not considering that their parents are also human beings.

      That said, I think even the most extreme points of view do not support remaining in an abusive relationship. You’re worried about your post-divorce life becoming a living hell. It sounds like you’re living in hell already. I cannot imagine living with a father who threatens and browbeats their mother is an ideal way to raise children, anyway.

      I know several women who have been through horrible, painful, acrimonious divorces and not one of them has lost custody of their children. I know divorcing parties like to play the “full custody” card, but I don’t think the courts really tend to hand down such extreme decisions in reality. The divorces haven’t been fun, exactly, and they tend to go on and on with the child custody issues, but every one of my friends is glad she finally divorced the jerk.

      • Another Voice :

        Mamabear, usually you are so wise, but I really disagree here. Parents should protect their kids. If it is a choice between their own child’s happiness and their own, they must choose their child’ happiness over their own.. Any parent that would trade their child’s happiness for their own has broken the unspoken parent/child contract and in my eyes is a pretty despicable person.

        I hope you have never had to live with a man that threatens and browbeats his wife/girlfriend. But if wife/girlfriend knows that such abuse would fall on the kids if she left, then I think she should stay. (Obviously there is an exception if the abuse would rise to the level that it would put a dead stop on any custody or visitation issues, but that is usually only the case for pretty bad physical abuse. See Blonde Lawyer’s post below.) Custody is one thing, but most fathers get pretty significant visitation if they want it and can pay the attorney to fight for it.

        • Another Voice :

          Hopefully this did not come off as overly harsh. I don’t think you were advocating for the parent’s happiness over the child’s, mamabear. I was just trying to point out that sometimes a woman is choosing between her own happiness and her children’s if she is considering leaving an emotionally abusive man that would abuse her children once she is out of the picture and they have to spend weekends, holidays and summers alone with him without her to act as a buffer. Or, if the marriage has gone boring and unromantic, then perhaps the trauma of a divorce is not worth it even if the parents would be happier dating exciting new people.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I just want to chime in and say while I have no idea what is best for you and your family, I understand your fears and where you are coming from. A friend of mine was in a similar situation and divorced the children’s father. I only know her because she later ended up marrying a friend of mine.

      The tough part for her is that while they were together she was able to at least supervise what the scum bag father did around the kids and take them out of the house when situations got bad. She got “custody” of them but he still has them unsupervised several times per month, including for over nights. She has reported his abuse of the kids and social services determined it was “unfounded.” She was reprimanded by the judge for trying to “fight dirty” and trying to get supervised visits only.

      While she thinks it is good for the kids that they are not living with him 24/7 and see her in a stable healthy relationship now, she still fears for them constantly when they are alone with scumbag and feels awful that by divorcing him she is no longer there to supervise scumbags interactions with the kids. She has a lawyer, she went to court, she went to the police, she went to DSS, but her kids still have to go there, without her, overnight, several times per month. Not sure if they are better or worse post-divorce.

      • Another Voice :

        This. When you are around to be the buffer, it makes a big difference when angry dad has the kids to himself for weekends, holidays, etc. Especially if he is vindictive and willing to use the kids as a pawn to hurt the mother. You should seriously reflect on the consequences of the divorce if you think your husband may behave that way after the divorce. Unless the kids are coming home with bruises from beatings, the father will generally get visitation if he wants it and can afford an attorney. Psychological abuse and general neglect (hard to prove) are not normally severe enough to deny visitation to the father.

        As an example, my father would often only feed us one tiny meal a day while we were at his house during my parents divorce. My little brother was constantly getting sick when we visited there because my father kept his home very dirty, didn’t feed us, etc. Judges would similarly accuse my mom of “playing dirty” when she brought up these issues, and they wouldn’t believe me when I would be brought into chambers to discuss with the judge (my father is a smooth talker and could always come up with a story–he would say “Of course I fed them, but their mother hates me and she told them to make up this stuff to make me look bad. Look at her–doesn’t my daughter look healthy?”)

        I realize my situation was extreme, but divorce is often a very selfish option for the parents, ESPECIALLY if you know that your husband will be a scumbag to the kids when you aren’t around to protect them.

        • Senior Attorney :


          I think the OP’s analysis is spot on. Let’s face it — if your husband is as bad as you say, your kids are pretty well screwed no matter what. After having spent three years in family law court, I absolutely think the worst of all worlds is not an unhappy intact family, but an acrimonious divorce. When you divorce, you lose control of your kids and you lose the ability to be a buffer between them and the dysfunctional parent. It is sad but true that you can’t count on the family court system to protect the kids because there is a strong policy towards joint custody or at least liberal visitation.

      • I feel so sorry for your friend. We have a similar dilemma. Mom inserted herself in an argument in front of her house and got beat up in FRONT OF my stepdaughter. At no point did Mom tell SD to go inside and at no point did mom just go inside and call the cops, and in fact, according to mom’s police report, when the guy said “come over here and make me!” she walked over there!!!! It was bad enough that the guy was convicted of assault and mom was able to get a protective order against him. (And of course Mom herself has assault charges from her younger days, although she has cleaned up a great deal).

        We have put SD in therapy (which mom thinks is a waste because SD is “doing fine”) and increased custody to exactly 50/50 by agreement but are afraid to fight for primary custody because we don’t want to make things any worse for SD who loves her mother dearly and we generally get along with mom in terms of arranging holidays/vacations/etc. (the custody order allows some leeway with agreement of the parties and it’s never been a problem) and don’t want to upset the working relationship. But we HATE that we have no control over what happens at mom’s house. And while some of the issues are clear cut (like above), sometimes it’s a fine line between what is hurting the child and what is just a different approach to parenting.

    • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

      I have A LOT of experience with this and could write you a book. But I am running out the door. Please, please, please read all the studies that say that the best thing you can do for your children is give them at least one healthy household (yours). Right now they have one unhealthy household. After the divorce, they will have two households and you will be able to ensure that at least one of them (yours) is healthy. Every study says that if a kid has one healthy parental relationship, s/he can make it. Also, please find a therapist who has a lot of experience with divorce and children and talk about this. I recommend Christyn Nelson (Google her) and maybe she can recommend someone in your area. She literally saved my husband’s mental health and his relationships with his son and daughter and, by extension, their respective mental healths, when she taught us how to deal with his former wife.

      Also, I know from having been a kid of an unhealthy marriage: the kids know something is off. They are watching you and your husband. They are learning all the wrong ways to deal with a partner. And they are wondering why you are staying. I thought it. My stepkids tell me that they thought it. And my little half siblings, whose mom and our dad got divorced when they were in high school, tell me they thought it.

      Save your kids. Get out now and give them one healthy house.

      • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

        PS: please also search this site for the threads about divorce orders and parenting plans. If you are dealing with someone who is that difficult, you need to have a divorce order that is extremely specific so that there is no wiggle room about anything, especially about the “parenting plan” (where the kids stay on the regular schedule and the holiday schedule). Having that specificity and being able to say “let’s follow the plan” will create a lot of stability for your kids and for you.

        Google this — site:NAME OF THIS SITE.com “parenting plan”

        • Another Voice :

          Sorry, but it does not create stability to have every other holiday in a different place and to miss out on school sports, proms, and other normal kid activities if one parent doesn’t approve and intrudes on “his” time with the kids.

          • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

            Who said anything about missing activities? We live 10 minutes apart and neither stepkids has ever missed anything?

            Re holidays, I would venture to say that an even/odd year schedule is better than spending the holiday watching your parents fight every year.

      • Another Voice :

        Not every study says that one healthy household is better than an undivorced/unhealthy one. Make sure you read both sides–there are plenty of studies that show that the conflicted marital home is better than a divorced home. Also apply the studies to your own situation. Deep down, you probably know how your husband will behave after the divorce. If he will make you and your children’s lives a living h*ll, maybe the not-so-happy marital home is the better option.

    • Do you really think he is the first person to threaten to make divorce a living h*ll for the spouse if they leave? This is classic manipulation. Get a great divorce lawyer and get out of there.

      Obviously it wont be a great divorce, you are married to an a$$ hole. Its going to be a messy one. But he is an a$$hole now!

      So stay for the sake of your children and be miserable. They will have a miserable mother who will slowly morph into the shell of the person she was, and an a$$hole dad with anger issues. Or, divorce him, your kids will have a rough couple months, and then they will live the next ten years with an a$$hole dad with anger issues, and a mother who is free from his manipulation, is happy, and is able to give them all she can because she no longer has to make her husband happy to avoid his wrath.

      • Also anon :

        This. Do not skimp on a very good divorce lawyer. Put the kids in therapy now both for the damage that your dysfunctional marriage is doing and to start establishing a medical record for child abuse in the event horrible father gets visitation rights.

        • Another Voice :

          It is very hard to get psychological abuse accepted by most courts. Unfortunately, most fathers who can afford attorneys will get visitation rights unless they are physically abusing the children.

        • I just wanted to say that after my divorce, when I took my 9 y/o son to a therapist to establish a medical record of emotional abuse, to use in court if necessary. My ex not only forced my son to reveal everything my son had told the therapist, but also threatened to sue the therapist, claiming that I did not have the legal right to seek counseling for my son without my ex’s permission (which was a lie, but it scared off the therapist). My son refused to speak to another therapist for years. He’s 20 now, and is seeing a counselor, and it seems to be helping. Sometimes things are not as simple as you hope they will be.

    • new york associate :

      You need to go talk to a lawyer or an expert – not to file for divorce, but so you have a more realistic idea of what you’re facing if you do. Think of it as a very low-stakes fact-finding mission — just to figure out your options. You don’t need to make any decisions, but you do need to get an accurate view of your options.

    • Get a divorce. Do not let him make you a prisoner. Find a lawyer. Get. Out.

      Personal story time: my parents were never married, but for the first six to seven years of my life, they were embroiled in constant, unending, soul-sucking, acrimonious custody battles. It sucked a lot. I don’t think either of my parents handled it well, and my needs were certainly less important than their needs to win/punish each other/whatever.

      And yet, I survived. I turned out just fine, thanks, and even have good relationships with both of my parents. Kids are resilient. Don’t let fear for their sakes keep you trapped in a marriage that makes you miserable. Do think about what you’re showing them by remaining married to this angry slimeball, and how that will affect their lives.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      For whatever it’s worth, and I know I’m the lone dissenting voice here, I’m glad my parents stayed together “for the sake of the kids.” Their marriage has NOT always been healthy, even from their children’s point of view. However, I think my life was markedly improved over them getting divorced. At the end, I did feel like the both sacrificed a lot to put the idea of a family unit first. They’ve gone through very low periods in their marriage, but both committed to the idea that marriage is fundamentally a practical arrangement, and that keeping a stable two parent unit was more important for the kids than their own self fulfillment.

      This isn’t to say they’ve lived miserable lives – I don’t think, overall, that they have. I know there were times in their marriage though, that had they been of a different culture (we are South Asian), divorce would have been enacted or at least seriously considered. I’m actually really glad it never was – I felt a strong sense of stability through my childhood – that no matter what, no matter how tough things got, I always had a stable sense of the idea of family.

      That being said, I don’t know that it would have been better if they got divorced. Just like children of divorce don’t always know if it would have been better if their parents had stayed together. But for me, I feel like I owe a lot of myself to the fact that my parents sacrificed many things, including at times, their own personal happiness and fulfillment, to make our lives and our conception of them as “parents together” and a family as stable as possible. Would it have been different/better if they’d split? Maybe, I guess. I have no way of knowing, but I don’t think so.

      However – my parents were not dealing with issues of abuse. If you feel unsafe or threatened in any way, I think it’s important that you leave, and leave soon.

      Good luck to you as you figure this out – it seems heartbreakingly hard.

      • I think there’s a difference between staying together forever because you both consider your marriage a lifetime commitment (which is what it sounds like your parents did) and staying together until the kids finish high school and then filing for divorce. Shared commitment and shared drive to make it work is always a good thing; putting up with your spouse’s crap for 10 years is unhealthy and unstable for the kids.

        • This. My parents were not always happy together and at one or two points when I was 20 years old or younger the D word even got seriously discussed but they stayed together because they wanted to make it work somehow and were both committed to going to counseling when things were deteriorating and seeing if they could make it work. They didn’t stay together for our sake and now that we are all out of the house, their marriage is fantastic. It will be 36 years this fall.

      • You’re not alone, Moments. My parents were pretty miserable for a bit (no reason that I’m aware of, just constant arguing), and there was a time that I wished that they would get divorced. I know that separation was at least brought up. But, looking back now, I’m really, really glad that they didn’t get divorced. Even now, in my 30’s, I still see the psychological scarring on my peers who grew up in divorced households, and, now that I understand the dynamic a little bit better, I can look back at how my life would have been different growing up had they gotten divorced, and it’s not good at all. And that’s assuming that things were relatively smooth, and not like many of the divorces that I, in my family law practice, sometimes see, with wild accusations and custody grabs.

        (No abuse in my family, though. But I’m not sure that there’s abuse here, either – I don’t know what “anger issues” really means. Both my parents are good people, but I don’t think it would be extremely out of line to say that my mom has something akin to anger issues. Or that she’s just moody.)

      • Wannabe Runner :

        It sounds like, momentsofabsurdity, that both of your parents were committed to the marriage and to loving each other, and worked to have a successful family.

        That’s not what the OP Is saying her situation is.

        For me, my parents divorce when I was 10 was the best thing that ever happened to my family. My parents, who fought pretty viciously when they were together, ended up both calm and nurturing and great single parents. I went from one sucky house to two good healthy ones.

      • +1 to moments and Lyssa. You guys are not alone, I too feel the same way about my parents. Thank you for voicing your thoughts in more eloquent ways than I can write.

        Anon above – I’m so so sorry that you are going through this. I wish you the best of luck as you figure this out.

    • Thanks for all the replies – you guys make me teary with your kindness. Just to be clear though – my husband has never let his anger show in front of the kids – he’s very very good about that, so there is no child abuse issues here. He is, on the whole, an exemplary, loving father. He is extremely manipulative with me, though sincere – iow, he genuinely believes he is NOT manipulative. This is a trait he inherited from his mother, who cannot do anything without some amount of passive aggressive, manipulative behavior, which stems from how difficult MIL/FILs divorce was.

      I agree that it is unlikely that he will get full custody. I have been the primary care giver since the kids’ births, he barely knows their day-to-day schedule. But I have also seen how absolutely miserable HIS life was made by his parent’s divorce and the games that can be played in a divorce (e.g., withholding tuition funds and tax information, constant badmouthing, holiday games). His anger issues are in no small part influenced by his parent’s divorce, which is why I’m so concerned about my own children’s long-term well-being. And to add insult to injury, I know that if we were to divorce, his mother would inevitably be brought in to play a huge role in my children’s upbringing – and if you could imagine a women who is the exact antithesis of a cor*p*e*t*t*e, she would be that person. She would undermine every single thing I’ve ever done to try to make my girls (I have 3) strong, intelligent, independent women, and it scares the cr*p out of me.

      I will do the exploratory stuff suggested though – the idea of doing something like this secretly, behind husband’s back, scares the bejeez out of me though.

      • Another Voice :

        Its a good sign that he doesn’t take anger out on the kids now–but you should be fairly confident that will be the case post-divorce.

        • You don’t know this. Not everybody who’s an @sshole to his spouse takes it out on the kids. Let’s try to see this person, this obviously unpleasant man *fairly*, and not project whatever is in your past onto him to try to scare the OP into staying.

          • Another Voice :

            Thanks Susan. Not trying to project anything or use scare-tactics on the OP, just trying to get her (and other parents) to see all sides before she makes a decision that can’t be taken back. Truly acrimonious divorces are (thankfully) pretty rare, but it is best to do a realistic and fair assessment of the situation before doing anything.

          • Also anon :


      • Nobody who is manipulative believes that they are.

    • Everyone is telling you that divorcing is worth it and, from your post, I’m inclined to agree. But you didn’t ask for tips re: divorce. I thought I’d try to brainstorm some potential solutions that don’t involve divorce as a first step.

      (1) See a counselor. If your husband controls the finances, perhaps you can squirrel away money elsewhere—take out cash for haircuts that you don’t need, get out cash when you buy groceries, etc. A counselor or therapist could help you formulate a plan—if/when to leave and how to go about it, and how to cope with your home life in the meantime.

      (2) Is there anything you can do to keep your husband out of the house more often? Like, if he’s selfish, let him go off on his own to pursue his hobbies or whatever. Can you schedule things like music lessons, kid activity classes, and play dates for times he’s likely to be home? That might minimize your time together.

      Actually, that’s all I’ve got.

      You can’t make him stop having anger issues or be nice with the kids. That’s why everyone is recommending that you leave. If the threats of making your life miserable are direct quotes, know that that’s truly a red flag. If he is controlling your time or money, and that is part of what makes divorce a tricky option (e.g. if you can’t separate money ahead of time or make room in your schedule to see a lawyer), maybe the women here can help brainstorm ways for you to line things up without your husband finding out.

      How does your family feel about him? Is he well-loved among your relatives? Does he have a certain standing in the community (your church, town, whatever) that makes it hard for you to leave? Do you have reason to think he can make good on his threat w/r/t custody of the children? Maybe with a few more details, we can help.

      • I think these are good suggestions.

        My father also had anger issues, but my mom was very, very good at protecting us from them and not letting us realize the person he really was. My parents didn’t get divorced until after I was in college (though, FWIW, I wish they would have and I think you should look into it). What probably saved us, and my mom, however, was ignorance. We didn’t realize how mean he was, and she didn’t realize that he was having countless affairs. The win-win there was that he was almost never around. It really was an “ignorance is bliss” kind of situation. (Keep in mind, however, that that says nothing about how my mom completely fell apart when she realized what had been happening 20+ years later and that she missed out on having a loving marriage for most of her life.)

        You might be in a better position. Since you have already come to terms with what your relationship is, maybe you can keep him away from you and kind of live separate lives enough to avoid the war? Sleep in separate beds, separate finances? It’s a thought, anyway. My best advice for staying would be to protect yourself. Yes, you are protecting your kids, but don’t forget to protect yourself, too. If they were in your position when they grow up, and roles were reversed, what would you want them to do?

        Good luck.

    • I just wanted to say I’m sorry you’re going through this. I am the product of a single parent household. Stable home is the best thing as a kid. Doesn’t matter how many parents you have living there, but knowing you have a safe loving environment. Consider just talking to a lawyer and/or therapist to know what your options are. Both will help you protect yourself regardless of what decision you make.

    • Another Voice :

      I am going to cut against the grain here. Anon, you are not foolish to think that your children may go through h*ll if you get a divorce. My parents were in the situation that you are in. They got divorced. IT WAS THE WORST DECISION AND EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF IF THE UNHAPPY MARRIAGE HAD CONTINUED UNTIL YOUNGEST REACHED AGE 18.

      It is great that divorce worked out for other poster’s parents. Maybe they were mature adults, maybe they were young enough that the trauma wasn’t memorable (most babies in divorced homes deal better than 6+ year olds who see their family fall apart).

      My father had the resources to drag the divorce out for 10 years. 10 years! So for most of my childhood (age 10-20), my parents were going through a divorce. Without my mom around to protect us, my father took his anger out on us and used us in every possible way that he could to hurt my mother. If he wants custody and visitation rights and has the money to fight for them, he will get them. Short of violent assaults on the children, he will get significant visitation and maybe even partial custody (psychological abuse doesn’t count–ask the countless psychologists I was forced to see by the court system).

      The divorce ruined most of my mother’s adult life, as would have staying in the marriage. So she was stuck, no way around it. But us kids would have had a much better life if my mom had continued making the situation work while we were younger. The divorce just brought us scars and trauma.

      • Why are you blaming your parents’ divorce on your mother? If your father was such a SOB, he’s to blame, not her for finally wanting out.

        • Another Voice :

          I blame them both and clearly my father was the “bad guy.” But a Mom’s job is to protect the kids. She knew he had the money and the motivation to behave as he did once she filed for divorce, but she did it anyway in a moment of selfishness. I paid for her selfishness with 10 years of h*ll, so I can be a little bitter.

          • Honey, I hope you are in therapy for this. Your mom is not the bad guy here. Your dad and the system that did not recognize your father’s abuses are the bad guys.

            When you’re talking about selfish, do you not think it’s selfish to think your mom should have stayed with this abusive asshole for your sake?

            You and your mom both got ripped off and I’m sorry it happened to you, truly.

          • Another Voice :

            mamabear, thank you so much for your kind words. It was obviously a complex situation and it is really hard to express everything. I get a little worked up on these threads, probably more than I should, because while many people are happy they got divorced, I know quite a few (including my mother) who really had no idea what they were bringing down on their families. Even simple divorces with two mature adults have long-ranging consequences that can reverberate for years and years when children are involved. So I go a little crazy trying to get people to see the other side of this complex decision since it seems like most voices say “just leave that good-for-nothing.” Hence my handle for threads like these.

            Anyway, most of my anger is directed at the system and it is probably one of the reasons I became an attorney. I won’t touch family law with a 10 foot pole, but I feel a sense of security that I never had has a child because I know how the system works.

            And despite a truly awful childhood, my life has turned out pretty well. I have the best husband ever, and his wonderful parents have practically adopted me and shown me what a happy home can be like. I found financial success and I will always be capable of being independent and supporting myself. My life is now filled with love and support, and no courts have forced me to see or speak to my father since I reached that magical age of 18. But no one should ever look at me and say kids are resilient and will bounce back. I feel lucky to have survived my childhood, and as scarred as I sometimes am, I feel like I narrowly escaped a life that could have been much, much worse.

          • +1. Wise words from mamabear.

            Also, this is something that helped me get over my own parental custody legal system nightmare: realizing that I could 1. remain angry and bitter, and keep allowing the trauma to define a significant portion of my emotional landscape; or 2. acknowledge that it was a bad situation, it was unfair that I had to go through it, my parents made a lot of very painful mistakes, all of that–but that clinging to the anger and bitterness wasn’t hurting anyone but me, so that I should just let. it. go. I hope you will get the help you need to work on letting go of all of this resentment.

          • Another Voice :

            Thanks a., I’ve actually done a pretty good job of letting go of the anger for myself. But it feels so fresh when I imagine another child going through what I did, and I just want to become superwoman and protect them. But since I can’t do that, I jump in on these threads and try to get women who might be at risk for the acrimonious divorces to think things through. See Senior Lawyer’s post above, she knows the divorces of which I speak–such divorces are very different from the run-of-the-mill scenario. Sadly, most acrimonious divorces shouldn’t take anyone by surprise. Most women know if they married that type or not after a few years of living with him. If an acrimonious divorce is a real risk, then making a clean break when the kids reach 18 might be the better option.

          • Sorry, but it’s BOTH parents responsibility to protect their kids. Your dad took an opportunity to treat you and your siblings like sh*t because he’s a scumbag. That isn’t your mom’s fault. I hope you are working through this with a professional because it is obviously an awful situation that you haven’t fully processed.

          • AnotherVoice, I also wanted to say I’m sorry about the system and that it screwed you and your mom. I didn’t know anything about it growing up (my parents stayed together) and have completely had my eyes opened in the last 1.5 years when I married a guy with a kid from a previous relationship. I’m not sure how to fix it but there are so many things wrong with the current system and I completely agree with you that people with money can absolutely use that to their advantage or just to drags things out and that sending kids to a therapist is a total crap shoot in terms of finding one who can see through the bs and advocate for the kid. I thank my lucky stars every day that my husband was never married to his child’s mom because I think it saves us a lot of emotional crap and makes it easier for him to swallow some of the bitter pills he was handed by the courts along the way and still keep a good relationship with mom.

          • Another Voice, hugs to you. Really, I got tears in my eyes reading your story. I’m so glad you were able to move forward.

    • Another Voice :

      I have cited studies in this thread before and wanted to link to a 2002 study that followed a sample of unhappy couples over many years. Some unhappy couples got divorced and some didn’t, and the researchers tracked results from both groups. A report on the study is called “Does Divorce Make People Happy? Findings from a Study of Unhappy Marriages.” Link to follow.

      • Another Voice :


      • Another Voice :

        You can find studies on both sides, but this particularly study found that unhappiness often increased after divorce. Two out of three unhappily married people who did not divorce actually reported being happier five years later. Averages and statistics don’t account for individual circumstances, but if you once had a happy marriage with your spouse then you may find the results of this study intriguing.

        • I clicked through because I was interested in seeing the research on this, but this is not academic research — it’s a report from the “Institute for American Values,” who, according to their website, aim to “help foster three major social changes”:
          An increase in the proportion of U.S. children growing up with their two married parents;
          A renewal of the ethic of thrift and a decline in the culture of debt and waste; and
          A turn in the intellectual tide against extremism in the Arab and Muslim world.

          • Another Voice :

            The study was chaired by Linda Waite, a sociologist at the University of Chicago. The summary I linked too is easier to read than academic studies. And if it matters to anyone, Linda Waite describes herself as a liberal democrat.

          • Another Voice :

            And, if anyone wants something with a more academic bent, here is an article on Waite’s research published in the University of Chicago magazine in 2003:


          • Perhaps easier to read, but also more potential for spin. I’m an academic sociologist, and that report raises some big ol’ red flags for me. You can see that even in other popular sources Waite’s take on the data is more nuanced:


            “The research points to a higher risk of poor outcomes for children raised by single mothers, in divorced families or by parents with few resources or bad tempers than among the lucky few who have stably married parents (and if we’re wishing, let’s make them college graduates with high-paying jobs). In fact, most children do fine in any of these families. Higher risk means, for example, that the children of married parents finish just slightly less than three years of college, on average, compared to two-and-a-half years of college among children whose parents divorced.”

    • My brother was in a tough marriage with a lot of fighting but stayed in longer than he should have “for the kids.” It turned out that the children were much happier when they finally divorced. I’d suggest compiling evidence now for a bitter divorce. Keep copies of any emails you’ve sent your husband referring to fights or problems you’ve had.

    • I stuck it out with my ex for about 7 years longer than I wanted to, for similar reasons. My son was 9 when we divorced, he’s 20 now, and I still wonder if I should have stuck it out longer. While we were married, my ex was hardly ever home, so not much of an influence on my son. But, he had another son from a prior marriage, and after we got married, I saw how hard he was on his older son during visitation, which was one of the reasons I was afraid to leave. My ex was emotionally and verbally abusive, but smart enough to hide it when he needed to. Anyway, I stayed with him because I couldn’t bear the thought of sending my child to stay with my ex for days or weeks at a time, and I knew it was unlikely I would ever be able to get his visitation reduced or limited in any way. When we finally divorced, he insisted on much more visitation than normal, and it was even harder on my son than I tbought it would be. Some visits would be fine, and some would be horrible. You never really knew what kind of mood my ex would be in. I wonder if he’s bipolar, just not diagnosed. Oh well, I don’t have a solution, just wanted you to know I understand the problem. If you leave, document everything and get a good lawyer. Maybe I could have gotten my ex’s visitation reduced, but I was familiar with a case in my jurisidiction in which a mother lost custody when she sought to reduce the father’s visitation because of emotional abuse. Father counter-sued for custody, the judge disagreed with the mom, and decided she was attempting to prevent the father from having a relationship with the son, which is grounds for custody change in my jurisdiction. Dad got custody. Scared the heck out of me.

      • Same anon as above, just fyi, my ex’s older son ended up with a drinking problem, and died in a car accident at the age of 25. My 20 y/o son has a drug problem, and is currently in rehab. Would things have been better if I had stayed? I’ll never know. But each situation is different, and you are the only one who can evaluate your situation.

    • I have no real advice here, but I just wanted to say that no matter what you decide, I hope that you are kind to yourself about your decision — there’s really no way of knowing what the one best decision is in such a tough situation (if there is such a thing), and I hope that years from now, no matter what happens, you will remember that you were trying to make the best decision you could for yourself and your children. There’s a lot of blame going on on this thread that IMHO just deepens the hurt and the sadness over choices that people (usually women) are making in no-win situations.

    • FWIW, it sounds like your children are about as old as my sisters and I were when our parents went through a horribly acrimonious divorce. There is no way I would have wanted them to put it off until 10 years later. Things would have gotten even more bitter between them. We were young and we just accepted what they told us- that they were unhappy together, that it was not our fault, that they both still loved us, that it was for the best, etc. Be mindful of what you are teaching your children by your example if you stay, that they may grow up and look for a Mr. or Mrs. Threats-And-Anger-Issues of their own. Younger kids are more resilient than people give them credit for. My sisters and I grew up to be successful, independent and driven women [backpat, but it’s true].

      • That was exactly how my mom finally decided to leave: she asked herself what she was teaching her daughters if she stayed, and she realized she couldn’t continue to provide that example.

        My parents divorced when I was 18 and my sister was 15. Our parents should have divorced years before they did; instead, we had more time to pick up on their poor communication habits (my father in particular) and many years later, I am still unlearning those habits.

        Divorce sucks no matter what age you are. I’m not sure it’s any easier when you are older – if anything you might have more memories of unhappiness. There are no easy answers and I am sure you will question your decision. Must go but will follow up on this later. Hugs in the meantime.

        • Meant to say “I am sure you will question your decision either way.” Even my mom, who is now very happily remarried, has gone through periods of wondering if she did the right thing. It would be nice if these decisions were cut and dried, but more often than not, they aren’t even close.

          For whatever it’s worth, my sister and I have never questioned that my mom made the right decision. We had seen the way my dad treated her, and we knew she was doing what she needed to do. If anything, I was proud of the courage it took to take that step, because untangling lives that have been lived together for so long was incredibly difficult and painful.

          Best of luck with whatever you decide. Your girls are so lucky to have you.

  15. Ladies, I’m leaving for Croatia in a few days. The itinerary is Split, Hvar, Dubrovnik. I’d appreciate any and all advice, but especially any food/restaurant recommendations for a vegetarian (no fish). Thanks!

    • That’s a great trip, enjoy!

      • There is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Dubrovnik. I forget the name of it, but all the guidebooks mention it and it’s centrally located. The menu is “global” cuisine, so you’ll have other options besides the usual pasta/pizzas that will make up the bulk of your vegetarian options at most other restaurants.

        • viclawstudent :

          No tips, just wanted to say that I am so jealous – that is my dream trip (and I’m also a vegetarian, so I’ll be writing down any and all tips you get on that front).

        • I’m not a vegetarian, but want to chime in that this restaurant is incredible. It’s called Nishta. We went there twice because it was so good.

    • Just recently did that itinerary. You’ll find plenty of restaurants with veggie options – although probably more so in Dubrovnik. The guidebooks have lots of recs. Enjoy!

    • Thanks everyone!

  16. Toronto recommendations? :

    Ladies, I’m heading to Toronto later this fall with a group of friends. We have culture and museums pretty much researched, but can anyone recommend any favorite shops, restaurants, or bars? We are especially interested in Origin, Fabarnak, Bar Chef, and Foxely — are they as good as they sound?

    • Some of my favourite restaurants are Mildred’s Temple Kitchen, Beer Bistro, Lola’s Commissary Kitchen, Queen Margherita Pizza. Noir is a fun in a group – the food is average, but the experience is great!

      I’m not sure how to recommend stores without knowing your taste though. The upscale designer stores are on Bloor Street, there are lots of antiques stores on Queen Street, etc.

      If you haven’t booked your accommodation yet, I highly recommend that Cambridge Suites – they are very affordable, central, and have the best customer service.

      • Also, Origin and Fabarnak are great. I haven’t been to Bar Chef or Foxely.

      • LOVE Origin (I live just down the street!). Bar Chef is fantastic too. I haven’t been to the others you mentioned, but have heard good things about Foxley. A good resource is the restaurant directory on TorontoLife.com . I generally agree with most of their reviews.

        Shops: the Ossington strip (where Foxley is), West Queen West. Leslieville and the Distillery District are good for a wander.

        Bars: I love the rooftop of the Park Hyatt (more for pre-dinner than post-dinner). Great views and old-school ambiance. However, short list reminds me that I haven’t been out in a while…

        If you let us know what kinds of things you’re in to, we might be able to come up with more specific suggestions :-)

    • One of the most memorable dinners I’ve had recently was at Guu in Toronto:


      Unique food and very fun atmosphere, perfect for when you feel like being your loud and festive self instead of your quiet and refined self.

      • I had a long post which appears to have been lost somehow.

        There was a thread in May I think (about backhanded compliments at the office) that included a ton of suggestions about Toronto things – check that out.

        Also – the last time I went to BarChef was a couple years ago, but I thought it was fab. Very (rich) hipster and not the type of place I would go often because the drinks are expensive, but it’s a very good experience.

        Let me know if there is anything in specific you want and I’m sure I can come up with more suggestions!

        I’ve found Oasis tends to get clubby, but is a nice patio. I in particular recommend Panorama if you’re looking for a rooftop patio for a more chill atmosphere. Also, BlogTO just recently did a post on the best rooftop patios in Toronto – if you google it, you’ll find it right away.

        For shopping, I love the boutiques on Queen West. And while the pricey designer stores on Bloor are fun, I also like the pricey boutiques in the rest of Yorkville, just north of Bloor.

        • Toronto recommendations? :

          TO Lawyer, I just found that thread, and it is packed with great ideas. Adding them to my list — thanks!

    • Toronto recommendations? :

      Thanks for the great recommendations! As for more specifics about what our group is like and what we’re into:

      *We are early to mid-30s for the most part
      *We are going to celebrate a friend’s birthday, so we want to find an especially great place for that group dinner that appeals to everyone. There are a few foodie types in the group, and this is the kind of group that will definitely appreciate a good scene. We’re willing to spend a bit more on this dinner.
      *We’d especially love some great brunch recommendations.
      *Most of us are very into fashion (the shoe museum is on our agenda!), so we would like to check out boutiques from local designers. However, no one is going to be spending more than $100 on an item, so I guess we’d prefer to see more affordable boutiques, if they exist.
      *Is Eaton worth going to, or is it mainly chains?
      *Any other recommendations?

      • TO Lawyer :

        The Drake Hotel has a fab brunch that I would recommend.

        For dinner, I would say Lee’s on King. It’s Asian tapas, very trendy decor, food is fab and the chef Susur Lee was on the Iron Chef. I’ve only been once but it was by far one of my most fav places in Toronto.

        Also I’d recommend the 5th Grill – it’s attached to two bar/clubs but it’s a little secluded and the food is great. The Drake Hotel also has a fab restaurant if you want to go for dinner.

        For shopping, I’m definitely going to repeat my suggestion of Queen West – start a couple blocks west of university and see how far you get. They’re more affordable (although it is certainly easy to drop quite a bit of change without realizing it.

        For Eaton’s Centre, it is mostly chains but I would recommend visiting the 3rd floor of the Bay (I don’t know where you’re visiting from, so if it’s somewhere really fab, ignore this) but I like a few of the designers and that you can find a bunch of things from different designers easily.

        Enjoy Toronto! It is a great city! I would recommend spending some time wandering around. My SO and I love wandering down King West, as well as around the St. Lawrence Market area and the Distillery District. If the weather is good (and it probably will be in the fall), it’s easy to spend some time just wandering and taking in the sights.

        • springtime :

          Loved Lee! Definitely recommend. And I’ve heard great things about Guu.

          • TO Lawyer :

            Guu is really fun! I really enjoyed my meal there – not fancy but great for a big group!

      • springtime :

        I like Origin, but I find it overpriced to be honest. Tiny portions (I’m not a massive eater, and I understand the concept of the restaurant is tapas, but still) means you have to order a lot to feel full. I think it’s a great place for a pre-dinner cocktail + light snack. For a nice lunch during the week (since it’s more of a Bay St. crowd) I enjoyed Modus.

        For brunch, I really liked my food at Le Select, if you’re into the traditional French thing.

        As for shopping, I don’t have much advice. I’m tall so I generally buy what I know will fit me, which often isn’t what is found in boutiques.

        LASTLY- I’ve been meaning to post about this- TO meet-up? I think it would be fab.

        • springtime :

          Ugh moderation! Re-post

          I like Origin, but I find it overpriced to be honest. Tiny portions (I’m not a massive eater, and I understand the concept of the restaurant is tapas, but still) means you have to order a lot to feel full. I think it’s a great place for a pre-dinner drink+ light snack. For a nice lunch during the week (since it’s more of a Bay St. crowd) I enjoyed Modus.

          For brunch, I really liked my food at Le Select, if you’re into the traditional French thing.

          As for shopping, I don’t have much advice. I’m tall so I generally buy what I know will fit me, which often isn’t what is found in boutiques.

          LASTLY- I’ve been meaning to post about this- TO meet-up? I think it would be fab.

          • lawsuited :

            TO meet-up? But what will I WEAR??!!

          • TO Lawyer :

            I was just thinking this too! yes a Toronto meet-up would be AMAZING!

          • springtime :

            Let’s make it happen then! I’m thinking sometime in September- August is always hard to nail down, in my experience.

        • Toronto recommendations? :

          Ooh, if you do it while I’m in town, I would love to meet up! (longtime lurker here)

      • lawsuited :

        Lola’s Commissary Kitchen and Mildred’s Temple Kitchen are my top picks for brunch (and Mildred’s has a fantastic, innovative drinks menu to make brunch that much more fun!)

        The Eaton Centre is mainly chain stores, but the flagship store of The Bay on Bloor Street is worth a visit for a “Canadian” shopping experience. We have a line of clothing called Joe Fresh that is sold in sections of popular grocery store chains – it’s fast fashion for sure, but is very popular with some of my friends. There are standalone stores on Queen Street West and at Queen’s Quay.

        In terms of Toronto designers, I’d recommend Philip Sparks, Ross Mayer and Pink Tartan, but none of them will get you under the $100 mark!

        • Toronto recommendations? :

          Reposting because of moderation…

          I’ve been wanting to check out Joe Fresh. The website is so cute!
          Added Lola’s and Mildred’s to my list. This group loves a good cocktail, so I have a feeling they’re going to be into those drinks!
          Thank you all so much! This is such great information. And if there’s a Toronto meetup while I’m there (end of Sept.), I’m so in!

          • lawsuited :

            One last thing – seeing as you’re corporettes, you might want to check out the huge Club Monaco stores on Bloor Street or Queen Street West. Club Monaco is in the US too, but it was a Canadian company started by Canadian designers, and the TO stores are awesome. (Price point is similar to BR.)

  17. Anon Attorney Interviewer :

    I just wanted to provide some info… we just went through a hiring cycle at my mid-sized firm, looking for mid-level associates. I was involved in the hiring process, start to finish. I know a lot of people are looking to lateral or just to find a job, so I wanted to provide some insight to what I saw/found and maybe it’ll shed some light on the process for some of you ladies.

    1. It’s not personal. I went through 300+ resumes in 2 days. We had 1 opening. These were resumes that came in over 7 days. There is just a glut of people wanting to move right now. It’s insane. We don’t even have time to send e-mail “no thanks” responses to everyone. When I was job hunting, I was always angry when I sent my resume out & never heard anything. Now I know why. If someone follows up, we always tell them “thanks, but we looked elsewhere.” So if you really want to know, follow up with the firm. Otherwise….

    And, if the posting says 5-7 years, that’s what we’re looking for. Not 2, not 10. If you are over-qualified, we aren’t looking at you. Because we think you’re looking for too much money, or you’ll leave soon, or you won’t fit because we’ve had a bad experience with another over-qualified person unwilling to do 5-7 year work. If you have 2 years experience, you might be the most amazing 2nd year ever, but we’ve had bad experiences with 2nd years recently, so that’s why we’re looking at the 5-7 year level. Sorry. Nothing personal. It’s unfortunate, but true.

    2. PLEASE limit the “hopping” you do firm-to-firm. If you are a 5-7 year associate and have been to 3+ firms, you are immediately cut out because it looks like you can’t “hang.” Unless of course, you can explain this away in your cover letter (i.e. firm collapsed/downsized/etc, you had to move, etc). If I see a slew of firms on your resume, I get concerned because I think I am going to hire you & you’re going to run for the hills in 1-2 years. Not what I want.

    Speaking of cover letters… people actually read these to see if you can write. And to see what you have to say. Write something about why you want to move jobs– tell me why you are applying– and not because you were a rock star in law school.

    3. Make your resume readable. You would be astonished at the amount of hunting I have to do on peoples’ resumes. Dear heavens. Don’t make me hunt for the basics. 5-7 years out, I still want to know where you went to law school, but no, I don’t need to know your GPA or that you were in the top 5%. I don’t care. I do want to know where you have been working, I want to know what type of law you have been practicing. Don’t bore me with job specifics, though– you are a 5-7th year– I can figure it out and we’ll talk about it at your interview. I will not be wow’d that you are writing motions or doing discovery. I presume you have been. Also “writing motions” is vague– are you writing them & sending them by yourself? Are you writing portions? Are you arguing them alone in court? Are you going with the partner? See? Too many questions. Be concise, and leave the details for the interview.

    2b. Clean up your resume. I don’t want to see the one you used to get your 2L summer job. Take off all your garbage. I need to know what you did between college & law school briefly, but don’t go crazy. If there’s huge gaps of time, explain them. I do want to see an explanation (traveled, renovated a house, slept, took care of sick relative, got an Olympic gold medal, became an alpaca farmer). It’s something to talk about. Speaking of which. If you are going to list personal interests, be careful. I know Corporette’s discussed this before, but beeeeee careful. For instance, if you slant political, I am not certain I would dump that on your resume as an “interest.” Same as your religious beliefs. You may feel strongly, but we don’t want to have to speculate if that’s going to interfere with your objectiveness as an attorney or your ability to perform your job.

    3. When I call you to set up a screening interview, pick up your phone or promptly call me back. Try to sound interested. Try to recognize my firm’s name. Try to come to the interview looking prepared and interested. And, for the love of humanity, don’t make inappropriate comments (guy commenting that he wants to leave the “female dominated” work environment he’s currently in, I’m looking at you).

    4. Women tended to over-sell their professional qualities, as if they had something to prove. Men were more interested in carrying on a conversation about work and how they’d fit in. It was fascinating to watch. In the end, it was much easier to see how the men fit in. I actually voted for a man for the position because I couldn’t see any of the women fitting in well here. It was unfortunate, but they didn’t do a good sales job. Please, please, please, don’t over-sell yourself. The “Nice Women Don’t Get the Corner Office” book is super, but it doesn’t necessarily serve you well all the time. You need to be yourself. Over-assertiveness in an interview isn’t a good thing. Neither is being a wallflower. Be yourself. That’s what guys do and that’s what works. As a note, the cocky “I am awesome, I have the job already” guys came off just as poorly as the over-selling women. Guys aren’t blind: they see through people too.

    5. I noted the Weekend Thread had a blurp about going on interviews just to “practice” even if you didn’t want the job. Don’t do this. It’s just rude. And interviewers see right through this. Trust me. We had a few doing this. I kicked them out within 5-10 minutes or just texted the partner in the middle of the interview and we blew off the interview, which made it useless for the interviewee. Have a little courtesy for the attorneys’ time that you are interviewing with too. They have a lot of interviews to get through.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Any other hiring managers in other fields want to chime in? This is pretty informative, and very useful!

    • Super useful! Thank you!

    • I’m only going through OCI, but this is still super useful to me. #4 is exactly the problem I have. Thank you times a million. I needed to read that.

    • Please tell me you at least send ding letters/emails/whatever to the people who take the time to come in and interview with you. I went to several half-day interviews when I was looking and never got so much as an answer. If I’ve gone through the trouble to take a half-day off from work and/or to fly halfway across the country because I’m interested in your firm, please at least take five minutes to ding me so I can write you off my list.

      • Anon Attorney Interviewer :

        Of course. If they physically come into the office, they get a ding letter back. We aren’t crazy. ;-)

    • This feedback is much appreciated!!!! 5th year here on my second firm. I’ve been hesitant to put in my cover letter that I moved when I got married and now am limited in my search area due to custody issues but perhaps that warrants a mention since based on what you said, I can see how people might think I don’t plan to stay in the area.

    • anonymous :

      I have to wonder at #4 if there isn’t some sort of unconscious gender-bias going on here, where women who sell themselves are seen as trying too hard, but for men we see it as conversational and “being themselves.” I definitely struggle with taking ownership of my accomplishments, but it is in large part due to societal pressures on women to acknowledge other people and emphasize their efforts in contributing to success. Not trying to accuse you of anything, but it may be worth thinking about the individual statements from individuals and see if you’d feel the same way about them if they came from a woman versus a man, and vice versa.

      • Anon Attorney Interviewer :

        I am extremely conscious of gender bias. I have been in very male-dominated professional settings for most of my professional life and often in leadership positions. I haven’t ever encountered as many women exhibiting these behaviors as I did in this hiring cycle. It just struck me as bizarre, so I thought I would mention it. Personally I have hired many women before who have been very successful at their jobs… but this hiring cycle was just much different.
        For the record, we interviewed 60% females, 40% males in the first round. So there wasn’t a strong gender bias.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      As to number 3, remember these are practicing lawyers you are dealing with. They may be in court all day, a deposition, client meeting with a partner, etc. If “call you back promptly” means in 24 hours, then yes, I agree. If it means within 2 hours, I think you are being unreasonable. Not all of us can take personal calls at anytime we wish during the day. Also, to speak to a potential employer, when your boss doesn’t know you are looking, requires some sneaking and discretion that can take time.

      • Anon Attorney Interviewer :

        “Call me back promptly” = if I call you at 9am, I would figure by 7pm you could have managed to sneak away for 5 minutes to call me… or email me, considering I usually hit you both ways. I understand some people are in court or in deposition. Believe me, so am I. But if you are job hunting, you’d think you could figure out how to sneak out to the bathroom for 5 minutes….

    • Thank you for this. Good feedback for sure.

      Any tips on the fashion/style of the applicants? :)

      • Anon Attorney Interviewer :

        Wearing clothes that fit always helps. A skirt that is about 3″ past your behindy… not so helpful. Otherwise, quite honestly, we don’t care what you’re wearing. Just something that fits and is professional. Black suit, brown suit, grey suit, navy suit… whatever. Wear something that you are comfortable in and won’t distract you from the real purpose of you being in our office: your interview.

  18. New Englander :

    Why don’t pants fit? Seriously, I think that I’m proportionate but I tried on about 15 pairs of jeans yesterday. Anything that pulled over my butt/ buttoned comfortably was HUGE on my legs.

    • I don’t know. I’ve been searching for cropped work pants (fine in my office), and they all seem to be so tight in the calf, even if they’re gaping at the waist. I’ve tried on a bunch at a handful of stores. Sigh.

      • This! I have been trying to find some crop pants, and they are all too tight in the calf. I haven’t had this problem in past years, are skinny legs just really in this summer?

        • Ditto.
          I blame it on my height. I’m tall, so the knee-to-ankle distance is longer than average. On me, the narrow part of the leg begins at middle-calf, instead of the much smaller lower calf.

          That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it !
          (Plus boots are always too wide, so there).

    • Yes yes. Why does every single pair of pants I own fit my butt but gape horribly at the waist?? Seriously, my butt is not THAT big! Yes, belts solve the gape problem, but it also means I can’t wear shirts untucked without having a weird belt outline at my waist…

    • Our butts are not big, our waists are just small. I’ve given up on finding perfectly fitting pants off the rack, although Loft’s Julie cut comes close. Instead, I have found myself a wonderful tailor who takes in the waist of my pants, which makes my butt look awesome. Now I just look for pants that are on sale and fit me decently through the hips and thighs and just get them taken in.

      On the other hand, why knee-high boots tend to be loose around my calves but I can’t get skinny jeans (or are they jeggings? What’s the dividing line?) over those same calves remains a mystery to me.

    • It’s not us, it’s the designers who make clothes for super-skinny models who *aren’t* proportional – either that, or they think that everyone is a gazelle-like teenager who doesn’t have hips yet. Part of the reason I don’t wear pants very much is that I *hate* shopping for them.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Ugh, seriously.

      AT/Loft Julie/curvy are the only that work for me and with their declining quality, I’m not sure what to do. I’m going to try Levi’s curve id, but their website looks like they are aiming for more of a young, party crowd (not the “I need a high waist to keep in the pouch and not give my toddler the chance to stick things in my crack while I’m changing baby’s diaper on the floor” crowd, so I’m not holding my breath.

    • I have the opposite, anything that fits in the waist is baggy in the seat. But I have a flat butt, so that’s an issue.

  19. Threadjack!

    There are always lots of comments by black/darker-skinned women looking for nude shoes. I have found some at Talbots! They’re quite well made and also on sale. Mine just came in the mail and I couldn’t be more pleased. The praline color matches my medium-toned skin really, suprisingly, well.


    hope this helps someone!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Ooh – thanks!

    • anon in tejas :

      I’ve had some hit and miss quality with Talbots. What do you think with these shoes?

      • Christine :

        I’m wearing them for the first time today, so I can’t tell you how long they’ll last. But they seem pretty solid.

        They have an all leather upper and the footbed is pleasantly padded, so they’re pretty comfortable even though the patent leather is stiff right now. I’d say they’re definitely of higher quality than J. Crew shoes. For the sale price I’m quite impressed.

    • Wow! For $27 ($35 with shipping), I am definitely going to give them a try. Thanks for passing these along.

  20. Dead Quote Olympics :

    I love this dress, and am sad to hear about the tummy accentuating ruching.

    and a TJ thank you to all of you — I have been a lurker here for quite some time, and I have found your discussions and advice invaluable as I switched from academia to an executive directorship in state government. That was a rough sartorial switch to make, believe me. I have my first meeting today with the finance person from my agency to discuss my unit’s biennial budget. Based on the discussions I’ve read here, I dressed in a navy suit, white jewel necked blouse, not too statement-y a necklace and mid-heel navy pumps. Since I was meeting with finance, I went as conservative as possible. My colleague/work pal looked at me this morning, said “you look extra nice,” I explained where I was going, and the first thing he did was check my shoes! He told me that the finance person in question had once sent someone home from the office for wearing peep toes. So, hive — thanks for steering me straight!

    • Yay, how nice to hear!

      PS: I read “executive directorship” as an “executive dictatorship” – LOL, I am sitting at my desk giggling at the thought. My dream job, totally!

    • Someone was sent home for wearing peep-toes? I can understand telling the person that peep-toes were not acceptable but certainly don’t see it as being worthy of sending someone home.

      • Dead Quote Olympics :

        Sorry to post and run earlier. Adele– Oh, if only… Bonnie– now that I’ve met him, he doesn’t seem like that kind of guy. Apparently it was years ago, but I’m glad I knew from you all not to risk peep toes with a financial officer on the first meeting…..

  21. Anon être :

    I posted last week about no-hire no-solicitation clauses between companies situation that my friend is going through. She just informed me over the weekend that it is no-hire clause, not merely no- solicitation.
    I tried doing some research for her and found few cases (not completely on point) for California. However, I could not find anything for Illinois.

    Some of you mentioned design with this issue before. Do you think that there is work around at all? This gets difficult as she does not have any insight except whats been said above.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I posted this last time, but you really really need to get a lawyer who is not a stranger over the internets to look into the question. Or your friend does. I’m not trying to be mean, but cases involving these types of contracts are extremely fact-specific. It’s not an area where general answers are sufficient. This company needs someone who knows all the facts of the contract and the situation regarding the proposed employment and who is familiar with the state’s law. If the company hires your friend without getting a real legal opinion, the company and possibly your friend can face liability.

    • I am not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt, but I think the main thing to consider here is whether it’s likely the current employer will try to enforce the no-hire clause. I’m a government contractor, and all companies I’ve worked for have had no-hire clauses, but they are often worded with caveats like “in the same workplace,” etc. Obviously it’s unrealistic (in my situation) for one government contracting company to enforce a requirement that no employee leave and work for another company. There are way too many of them, and way to many separate contracts, agencies, etc for it to be a real competition issue.

      I don’t remember the details of your first post, but unless she’s going to a direct competitor, I would guess she doesn’t have to worry too much. When I switched companies most recently, I just sent a copy of my non-disclosure agreement and no-hire clause to the hirers, and let them make the determination whether it was a risk they were willing to take. The company I left never said anything at all; it was a complete non-issue.

    • Doesn’t your company (or your friend’s company, it’s not clear to me whose company it is) have counsel? You need solid legal advice. This is not a question to ask the internet about. No lawyer on this site is going to venture a response, lest we violate ethics rules.

  22. jcrew final sale advice sought:

    I ordered the Mona patent leather pumps in my standard jcrew shoe size (every pair I have from them is a comfortable 7). This pair feels half a size too small. Am I SOL b/c of the final sale demon, or what’s the best way to get a refund/store credit? (Online chat? In store return?)

    • I haven’t had personal experience bending the final sale rules, but I highly recommend searching jcrewaficonada.blogspot.com for advice.

    • This happened to me too with the Mona’s! I was so ticked. Rather than try to return them I’ve been trying to stretch them. Had some success but I still can’t wear them for long periods.

    • Update: live chatted, rep made a change on my order to allow me to return. Yay for good customer service!

      FYI, I ordered in “warm bisque” – they would be a better “nude for” someone with yellower skin undertones than mine.

  23. **TJ**

    Short recap: My very-serious BF may have a promotion opportunity in town B, 4-hours away. But this is very much potential right now. After weekend of discussion, we agreed if the promotion materialized, he would go, and I would follow as soon as I could figure out my next career move.

    There is a chance my current job could move with me to town B. And while I like my company, a number of internal politics/need for a practice area change already caused me to look at other jobs in my current town A. A brief perusal of job openings in town B returned a number of interesting positions I would love to apply for.

    But, we have no idea if this promotion will materialize in town B. And I much prefer town A. Any advice on applying and/or waiting about the jobs for me in town B?

    • My 2 cents would be to wait for word on your BF’s promotion before pushing go on your search, if you wouldn’t be looking at town B except for BF’s potential move. Why risk wasting time and energy, and distressing yourself unnecessarily if a really good opportunity turns up, only f0r BF to find out that he’s staying put ?

    • We just lived this. I got a dream job in a town 4 hours away, DH was not able to transfer within his company. We spent the next few months doing a long distance relationship until DH found a job in our new town. He had talked about changing companies anyways, but this finally forced his hand. I would start doing market research now and spending some time in town B so that you know what it has to offer. Likewise, BF should at least go through the exercise of identifying his promotion opportunity if he stayed (sounds like you have gone through this). It is doable to make this type of move. I know it sounds cliche, but sometimes your only available means of transportation is a leap of faith.
      Timing-wise: What is the timing for the promotion? Its my experience that employers are more lenient with relocation candidates regarding start dates. It can take months to find a position and then get relocated so it wouldn’t hurt for you to start applying. Good luck, I know how stressful this is.

    • It’s good that there are job openings you’re interested in. I’d start applying now – it could take a while before you get interviews, and even longer before interviews turn into a job offer. Deal with the possibility of you getting a job offer before BF is sure of his promotion when/if it happens – you can always say no.

  24. Posted over the weekend thread but my comment mysteriously never showed up — so reposting in concise form to avoid moderation.

    Lawyers – if you’d had the chance to start right out of law school at a midsize firm as opposed to biglaw, would you have taken the option? the midsize has a specific practice group which is #1 in its field (and which I would be hired directly into); the firm usually only hires laterally. (I know people who have tried to get jobs there from biglaw after 1 or 2 years and failed because of the competition). it sets me up better for in-house opportunities (and has a much more attainable partner track) than the practice group at the biglaw firm I’d be hired into. it pays below market, but not significantly.

    Thoughts? From what i’ve heard, most people do not love their first year in biglaw (even if they don’t mind it), whereas first year associates at the midsize can’t stop raving. For what it’s worth, I felt happier working at the midsize over the summer than my summer associate position in biglaw, where I felt largely overwhelmed and like I wasn’t getting assignments in my areas of interest (though I did good work and got good reviews/an offer). However, I don’t want to limit myself either.


    • AnonInfinity :

      Your post did show up! I remember reading the responses and nodding in agreement with almost all of them.

      I’m in a smaller market, but I chose to go mid-law for my market rather than big law, and I can’t be happier with that decision. I am getting lots of practical experience and have a very close working relationship with the folks, including the named partners, in my firm. It was absolutely the right decision for me.

    • I think I remember this from the weekend thread, with a lot of comments. Did you look on both pages of the weekend thread?

    • You got a ton of responses on the weekend thread. You’re on the second page – August 11, 2012 at 10:46 am.

    • You got at least 10 responses. everyone seemed to say midlaw

    • I’d go with Biglaw, although it depends on your market.

      I started in NYC and didn’t (still don’t) know anyone who raved about their first year or two of practice. I went straight to a midsize firm and was miserable; the hours were the same, but I made 1/3 of the money.

      • That’s the general experience of everyone I know in NYC mid law. Same expectations and workload but less compensation.
        But I do think the OP has the benefit of this being a niche field that she is really interested in so maybe in that case midlaw wins out.

    • MaggieLizer :

      I didn’t see the responses on the weekend thread so this might be repetitive, but it really depends on the firm. I’ve been in both midlaw and biglaw, and much prefer my (current) biglaw gig. Don’t assume that just because a firm is smaller it has more sane hours or expectations or a better culture than you’ll find in biglaw. And really, being a first year kind of bl*ws regardless of your practice.

      All that aside, you said you preferred your summer in midlaw over biglaw, so I’d suggest going with that. If you felt overwhelmed and didn’t get the work you wanted as a summer when they’re trying to recruit you, it’s not going to get any better when you’re a first year and they already have their claws in you. Trust your gut and go with the firm that will make you happier.

      • Thanks for the responses guys – about to go check out the other thread right now although more responses always welcome. I did ask current associates at the midsize firm about their hours because I’d heard that midsize could come with biglaw expectations, just for less pay and perks. that doesn’t seem to be the case here, though. It seems like working weekends is the exception rather than the rule, and associates say they are less overworked than their peers in biglaw. And yes, this being a niche field helps too — at least if I’m being overworked, it helps that all the assignments would at least be in a field of interest. It’s such a tough call though.

        • It doesn’t sound like a tough call to me, although I was never interested in BigLaw and had a very good mid-law summer experience.

  25. I reached a new height of sleep/caffeine deprivation this morning, when I apparently put on my underpants inside out – with the pad I’d previously stuck on the correct side now facing down, away from me. And I didn’t notice until well after I got to the office.

    Please, somebody, get me some chocolate and a hug. I’ve got a case of the Mondays.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Oh no! You need a meal of wine and Thin Mints, stat!

    • Yiiiikes! Lots of cyber hugs, and make getting some chocolate IRL a priority!

    • Honey Pillows :

      That is some serious Mondays.

      That deserves a hug and a huge espresso (unless you’re cutting out caffeine, which it sounds like you might be -in which case, two hugs and a huge glass of water with lemon in it -it actually helps!).

    • I drove off to work this morning with my spare car keys on the roof of my car (why had I put them there? good question), drove at least 3 miles up and down hills until I heard a clanging noise and they ended up on the hood of my car. In the middle of traffic. Hey, at least I didn’t lose them.

      • I once forgot my bberry on the roof of my car. A stranger on the street flagged me down and notified me. Embarrassing, but at least I didn’t lose my phone!

        • I once drove off with my coffee, in a Starbucks “spill-proof” mug, on the roof. It fell off as I turned out of the parking lot. Amazingly, it did not spill and the mug remains as good as new.

          Thanks, everyone, for commiserating. Wine and Thin Mints sounds like an excellent idea…

          • Maddie Ross :

            I’ve had that happen, too. Even better, I had someone in the car with me that morning and when the coffee fell and spilled down the windshield (obviously, my mug was not spill proof) I slammed on the brakes and screamed bloody murder because I thought I had hit a person.

          • I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve done this too (with my travel mug). Unfortunately the mug did not survive, and my car smelled like coffee for weeks after (I think it must have gone into the air vents from the outside). I really need to stop putting things on top of my car!

            Anyway, hope your day improves, E!

          • Lady Harriet :

            When I was in high school, my mom was driving me to my summer job one morning. I was already running late and was carrying the various components of my breakfast, plus my shoes. I set my cup of milk down on the roof of the car and forgot about it. As she backed out of the driveway and turned the car, the cup flew in the open window, covering me (and a good portion of the inside of the car) with milk! Needless to say, I was even later because I had to run back in the house and change my clothes, as well as mop up all the milk.

      • Honey Pillows :

        I’ve driven off with coffee cups on top of my car MULTIPLE times. One time it felt off and broke in the bumpy driveway. Another time, I made it four blocks before reaching for my coffee, realizing it wasn’t in the cupholder, and very, very gently pulling over to retrieve my still-steaming coffee.

        All this coffee talk makes me want to get another cup.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Once when we had a small earthquake in the morning, I was so rattled (heh — “rattled”) that I drove away from my son’s school with his lunchbox on the roof of my car!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yikes! I had a day a month or so ago like that. I ended up wearing hot pink underwear under a white skirt. It was great.

      Hopefully your day is only uphill from here. ;)

      • Probably the only thing that could have made this worse is if I was wearing white!

        • Lady Harriet :

          I once worked with several girls who didn’t seem to realize (or care) that if you wear a hot pink bra under a white button up with nothing in between everyone can see it. We were required to wear white shirts every day, and this happened at least three time with different people.

          I have definitely realized after the fact that you could see my colorful underwear through light-colored pants or a skirt before. Somehow I never think bottoms will be transparent like tops are.

          • Marie Curie :

            My mother once suggested I wear a brightly colored bra under a white shirt, so the boys would “have something to look at”. I was a student, not working, but still …

  26. Wanted to thank those who gave me recommendations for restaurants in Miami. We ended up going to Ola, which was delicious. We had ceviche (my new favorite food), the king crab salad, and the duck salad. We also went to a place called Pubbelly, they had a special tasting menu going and it, too, was delicious. Most amazing tomatoes I’ve had in a long time, excellent ceviche again, and bunch of little dumpling things filled with meat (mostly pork, I think).

    We spent one day/night in Key West and ate at a place called 7 Fish. It was small and casual (I was able to wear shorts, and not dressy ones, which was nice because at this point I had grown tired of trying to look stylish in the heat) and very good. I had a crab and mushroom pasta dish that was amazing, although so rich I couldn’t finish it.

    Key West is interesting. It looks very pretty and I wouldn’t mind going back when it’s much cooler and exploring on bikes or something. But it does seem very full of drunk rowdy people – I didn’t realize it was a cruise stop.

    • This is very timely for me! My b/f surprised me with a cruise to Key West and Cozumel for my birthday and leaves from Miami. It’s my first cruise so any tips would be appreciated :)

      • We went to Cozumel last year on a cruise. Tons of fun.

        Cruises are great. There is ice cream and pizza available 24 hours. Can’t beat it.

        For the ports of call, remember that Carnival (I’m assuming you’re on Carnival) has a special dock sometimes miles away from the actual town you’re going to. It’s designed to make you buy things in Carnival shops and take cabs/shuttles/taxis that give Carnival kickbacks. We almost misssed the boat in Cozumel because we misjudged how far we were from the Carnival dock.

  27. Anon for this :

    I had a job interview recently, and if I get the offer I am planning to give my current employer the chance to keep me. I know that is not always considered a good idea, but I think in my position it is. I love my job and would be very sad to leave it, but this opportunity is also amazing. I would be happy to stay in my current job for more money and a better title, but would also be thrilled to take the new opportunity. I know better than to burn any bridges, if my current boss doesn’t go for it by the time I accept the position I won’t turn around and change my mind. I’m trying to get my plan of attack in place now so I can move quickly.  Do I give them a list of what it would take to keep me, or do I just tell them I’m considering the job offer and let them take it from there?   If you’ve successfully done this, how did you do it?

    • A few questions — what is your exact strategy?
      1. Get the job offer, keep as insurance. Then go in and ask the boss for [more money/new title] but not mention the job offer?


      2. Get the job offer, use as threat. Go in and ask the boss for [more money/new title] waving the job offer?

      I strongly recommend the former not the latter. The latter tends to poison the well. If someone doesn’t want to give you a raise just on the merits, threatening to leave while waving another job offer, forces their hand and makes them resent you because you’ve backed them in a corner.

      They may very well cave to your demands now, but they will raise the bar very high the next time you have a performance review. They can wait till then to ambush you, give you a terrible review, and get rid of you.

      • I would go in and just tell the cheapskates they are underpaying you and that you want a raise. Now.

        Don’t even mention the other job. See if they reward you on the merits. If they do, fine, but otherwise, be prepared to leave.

        Why? Because if they say nothing, they don’t want you. In that case, just go to the other job, b/c the other poster is right. They will resent it if you hold them over the ropes by waiving the other job offer as a condition to getting the few measley sheckels they might offer you.

        If they want to pay you what you are worth, fine, otherwise, don’t hesitate to go elsewhere even if there is less money involved. You never want to keep swimming in a place where you now know others have used as a cesspool.

    • Avant gardener :

      I would ask for what you want or need without bringing up the potential offer. If your employer turns you down, you’ll know where you stand and can accept the offer without a second thought. If your employer agrees and you stay, your working relationship going forward will be free of any tinge of “well, she threatened to leave if we didn’t give her this.”

    • Agree with Susan and Avant Gardener.
      Also, know your workplace. Some companies have a policy of never issuing counteroffers.

    • I recently who got an unsolicited job offer he was considering taking, but like you was interested in staying at his current place. So I’ll disagree with the previous posters and say that there is a tactful way to use the other offer without burning bridges. I think its a know your workplace/have the right rapport with your supervisor kind of situation.
      What he did was go to his supervisor, with whom he had a good working relationship, and say something along the lines of “Hey, I wanted to let you know that I received a job offer from another company, and I’m considering it for financial reasons. I really like working here, and would rather continue to do so, so I was wanted to give you guys the opportunity to counteroffer before I accept. I don’t want to create a battle, but I do want to be able to compare both of your best offers so I can make a good choice.” His company understood, they made him a better offer, and although it wasn’t as good as the other option he had he took it because he really did like working at his current place.

      Now, his situation was a little different because he wasn’t actively looking. But I think the key is not to try to pit them against one another, but to really try to get everyone’s best offer on the table so you can compare.

      Best of luck.

      • That was suppose to start, “I had a friend who recently….”

      • I have a friend who recently used this tactic to negotiate reduced hours at her current firm. She was ready to leave for the new offer but her firm countered and she stayed.

      • I really like your friend’s phrasing. It sounds very non-confrontational, which is really how I want to go about this. It also puts the ball in their court. Thank you so much for sharing it!

        • Thanks! He and I worked on it together for a while before we figured out what would come out right and best fit what he was trying to say.

          Note also that his field is one where people are frequently poached with better, unsolicited offers, and so his employer was actually happy that he gave them an opportunity to counter and keep him. It made him seem more loyal to the company. Not all employers will take it that way, though, so proceed at your own risk.

    • I’ve done this and it worked out well for me (it’s been several years now). I had been applying for jobs at the same time I requested a promotion at my current job. I eventually got the promotion and stopped applying for new jobs. However, I got called for an interview for a job that was in the field I’d always considered my dream job. One of my colleagues (not my boss) served as a reference and I got the offer. However, the money was not great (actually it was less than I was making at my current job) and, although I had always dreamed of working in this other field, I had come to really love my current job and was no longer certain I wanted to pursue the “dream” field. So I talked to people working in the “dream” field and still could not decide whether I really wanted to take the job. So I decided to use it to negotiate for a raise. I was underpaid at my current job, and was fully prepared to quit and take the other job if I did not get a raise. I went to talk to my boss, he referred me to our executive director, I spoke with the executive director and told him the deadline by which I had to accept or reject the other offer, and he was able to get a raise approved at the low end of the range I gave him. So I rejected the offer and stayed with my current employer, where I remain today.

      I think this worked for me for several reasons. First, I could honestly say that I had not been actively looking to leave my current job and that the offer had been unexpected. Second, I was genuinely ambivalent about the two jobs; I liked both my current job and the offered job, and would not have been upset if my employer called my bluff. Third, I knew I was considered a top performer and that my employer valued me enough to fight to keep me (as our executive director told me when I met with him, “I wouldn’t do this for most employees; I would tell them to have a nice life. But you aren’t most employees.”) Fourth, I knew our executive director values assertiveness and people who stick up for themselves and would not be annoyed by my asking for a raise. Fifth, I did my research and knew what a reasonable salary range was and could make a legitimate case for why I was worth more than what they were paying me.

      My approach was to tell my boss that I was considering another offer and ask if there would be room for negotiation of my current salary and job status in order to give me a convincing reason why I should stay with my current job instead of switching fields. He asked me specifically what I want, and I said I wanted a raise and more travel, and gave him the salary range I wanted (he agreed to give me more travel immediately). Prior to telling my boss, I spoke to a few attorneys who were 2-5 years senior to me and asked them what they made when they were at my level (at the time I was a 4th year, I think). I found out I was making about $8,000 less than people who were hired as (the nonprofit equivalent of) 4th-year laterals and so I asked for a raise in the $6-10,000 range. My boss was neither opposed nor supportive of my raise, and so he did not make a recommendation to our executive director, but our executive director met with me personally and agreed to put through the raise.

      Hope this helps – if you have any follow up questions let me know.

      • Oh, I should add two things:

        1. Don’t do this if you don’t want to take the other job or if there’s any possibility it might fall through. You very well could be shown the door once you tell your boss you’re considering another offer, especially if it’s a company that directly competes with yours. (In my case, it was an entirely different field so I was confident I would not get fired even if they didn’t do anything to try to keep me.)

        2. Don’t let your boss know if you were actively looking for another job. An unsolicited offer makes you look like a hot commodity; actively looking for another job makes it look like you’re just going to continue looking for a better opportunity and leave when you get a better offer.

        • Thank you so much, that is a huge help. My situation is very similar. I would be really happy to either stay in my current position or move into the new job, so I don’t have a problem having my bluff called (and frankly, I expect it). I just know that if I don’t try, I’ll regret not seeing what might happen. I really appreciate your explanation of how you went about actually making the request.

    • I did this! I was recruited by another company, and they eventually made an offer that was about 20% higher salary than I was currently making. Basically I sat down with my boss (with whom I have a pretty good relationship) and said, “I have an offer with another company. It is attractive to me for XYZ reasons. I have really enjoyed working here and will be sad to leave, but I can’t pass up this opportunity for professional growth.”

      At this point, boss stopped me and asked “If I can work on the money, would you consider staying?” and I said yes. I told him honestly what the other offer was, and he asked for a couple days to run it up the chain to the powers that be. They were not able to match the salary, and the intangibles at the other opportunity seemed better, so I ended up leaving. BUT, the new job turned out to be terrible, and I was able to reconnect with my previous employer and come back after a few months– with a raise and a promotion. Ultimately, everything worked out great, and I believe it was at least in part due to how I handled the initial offer.

      Definitely know your office and know what your supervisors think of you. If you are perceived as a valuable person to keep around, and there are no policies to the contrary, I would think there’s a good chance they will try retain you. If not, at least you will have expressed that you had a good experience at current job and given them a chance, which will go a long way to keeping bridges intact. Good luck!

      • It’s great that this worked out for you, but to the OP – be aware that some companies (like mine) refuse to rehire someone who has quit. One of my direct reports recently left, and I know she has the attitude that if her new position doesn’t work out that she can always come back to us, but I have been told that our VP has asked HR to mark anyone who quits as not re-hireable.

        Good luck to the OP – I hope everything works out well for you!

  28. You can’t go wrong with DVF. This dress (especially in the print you are showcasing) is great for work to Happy Hour. And this one would be great with a pair of colored pumps!


  29. eastbaybanker :

    To everyone who loves this dress but not the price tag, Lauren by Ralph Lauren has some similar dresses (ruching, cap sleeves, modest length).

    > This one is in cobalt blue with a v-neck: http://tinyurl.com/9cb6dxm
    > And this one has a side knot instead of ruching (same tummy coverage) and a similarly elegant boatneck with cap sleeves: http://tinyurl.com/8socmsf

  30. These are great! thanks for posting links

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