Coffee Break: Studded Nylon Tote

I always like a good nylon tote because they’re lightweight and they avoid some of the issues with polyurethane bags, which are often sold as vegan bags but also often have some weird chemical smell issues. That’s not the case with nylon bags, and they’re affordable, lightweight, and sturdy. I’m a big fan in general, and I’m happy to see that Rebecca Minkoff is making them. This tote is 15″ x 15″ x 6″, which is a great size for a summer schlep. It’s $195 at Nordstrom in the pictured black and in “sea mist” and it’s on sale for $117 in “eclipse.” Studded Nylon Tote

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  1. styling question :

    Options to style something like this (link in the comments)? With leggings? What shoes? A belt? (Yes, I know it’s not everyone’s style choice, no need to say that)

    • styling question :

    • givemyregards :

      I wouldn’t belt it. You could add leggings, but that would definitely enhance the art teacher/hippie mother-in-law vibes (not saying those are bad things, by the way!). I’d wear it with flat sandals as pictured (maybe less chunky) or a brown leather wedge.

    • I’d wear it with flip flops to the pool or beach.

    • Bike shorts underneath for comfort, no leggings, gladiator sandals, hair up, dangly earrings, two bangles on left wrist made of some naturalistic material like mother of pearl.

      Very specific I know but I had the total vision of what could make this work.

      • I LOVE the specificity! I can imagine a woman with a whole wardrobe of these in different colors whose entire closet is these, and who owns nothing but natural bracelets, dangly earrings, and gladiator sandals!

      • Agreed. I wouldn’t do leggings myself. I think the more modern choice would be bare legs, a messy bun, natural jewelry and cool gladiator sandals.

    • I had a phase where I wore these types of things with ankle length leggings, leather gladiators, and tan leather accessories. Super comfy!

    • I’d belt it. But my body needs more defined drapery.

  2. Medical PoA :

    I have zero relationship with anyone in my immediate family, am single/never married, and no kids. I fear something happening to me medically and them contacting the people I’m related to who don’t know me (especially as a discussion about this when I did know them caused them to indicate they’d do what they wanted and tear up any paperwork of my wishes rather than giving them to the doctors). I don’t want to burden friends with pulling the plug as I know that can screw up a person’s mind for a while even though it’d be in writing that’s what I’d want in specific circumstances. Is there a way to put my wishes in writing and then have a hospital ethics board or my doctor use their best medical opinion? What do people do in these situations?

    • Anonymous :

      So, I chose my sister’s partner as my medical POA. Rather than choosing one of your closest friends, can you choose their partner? This gave me confidence that they were distant enough that they would follow my wishes as outlined in my documents (healthcare proxy and medical poa).

    • Anonymous :

      No answer, but I’m in a similar situation. I’d be interested to hear this as well.

    • Even without designating somebody else to make decisions regarding your care, you could still complete an advance directive/living will that your providers would refer to if there was nobody there to make decisions on your behalf. You’d want to be sure to get a copy of the document in your medical record.

      • what if the legal next of kin (parents, in this case) said otherwise, then who makes the legal decision? While it’s clear to do this before a planned surgery, it’s obvious to turn this in, but how do you just put this in medical records somewhere/somehow so that any hospital or ER or office knows it exists and to find it? If a car accident or trip or something happens, then what?

        • Anonymous :

          Keep a copy in your wallet

        • These laws are all state specific, but in my state if it is advance directive vs. next of kin, the advance directive would trump. Since OP says she has zero relationship with anyone in her family, this may not be an issue, but you never know … people can come out of the woodwork during these times.

          The more you document and communicate your wishes, the more likely they are to be followed. If you have several different providers, get a copy on file with all of them. If you’re going to the hospital for a procedure, be sure to bring a copy with you. If there are other important people in your life who may be contacted in the event you become incapacitated, tell them about your wishes and that you have an advance directive.

    • You talk with your doctor and he/she documents your wishes in the medical chart. You don’t need to have any family or even a friend/advocate involved if you don’t want to. You can leave it to the doctors to decide, if they know you and your trust them, and give guidelines to them now.

      Look up living will / advanced directive in your state. Print one out, fill it out, give it to your doctor and ask for it to be added to your file.

      Then… only you and your doctor (who you discuss your needs with) will make any decisions about your future care.

      • That assumes a person has a regular doctor and that any crisis occurs after a planned surgery or that you’d be taken to that doctor in an emergency. What about many who don’t have a regular doc or people who travel or whatnot? Do police dig through glove boxes in cars or how does that work?

        • Anonymous :

          Are the OP?

          Are you in fear of your life, yet you don’t have a regular doctor?

          I think you need to take a breath, step back, and first…. find yourself a doctor.

          If you don’t have a primary care doctor, ask nearby friends and colleagues that you respect where they get their primary care. Start there.

          If you travel, you still carry in your wallet your contact/emergency information. If you have medical issues or take medication, you should always carry a basic medication list/medical history list in your purse. I carry a very very abbreviated medical directive with me too in my wallet. Otherwise, I also have an emergency contact listed as well as my doctor’s name. If I am in …. Jamaica, I guess they will look in my wallet and hopefully find those. If they don’t, I guarantee you they aren’t going to track down your estranged mother you haven’t seen in 10 years who lives who knows where and ask for her advice. They will do what is medically necessary and appropriate in the vast majority of cases.

          If you are critically ill, then you should be applying for medical/travel insurance and you can link your doctor’s name to these resources.

          You need to be a little proactive, but this isn’t complicated.

          I am worried for you though. You need to start with a doctor, and reveal to them your concerns and anxieties, which right now seem disproportionate and not quite…. rational.

          I hope you can also ultimately look for some counseling in the future, as I worry your life is being affected by your family issues.

        • Are the OP?

          Are you in fear of your life, yet you don’t have a regular doctor?

          I think you need to take a breath, step back, and first…. find yourself a doctor.

          If you don’t have a primary care doctor, ask nearby friends and colleagues that you respect where they get their primary care. Start there.

          If you travel, you still carry in your wallet your contact/emergency information. If you have medical issues or take medication, you should always carry a basic medication list/medical history list in your purse. I carry a very very abbreviated medical directive with me too in my wallet. Otherwise, I also have an emergency contact listed as well as my doctor’s name. If I am in …. Jamaica, I guess they will look in my wallet and hopefully find those. If they don’t, I guarantee you they aren’t going to track down your estranged mother you haven’t seen in 10 years who lives who knows where and ask for her advice. They will do what is medically necessary and appropriate in the vast majority of cases.

          If you are critically ill, then you should be applying for medical/travel insurance and you can link your doctor’s name to these resources.

          You need to be a little proactive.

          I am worried for you though. You need to start with a doctor, and reveal to them your concerns and anxieties, which right now seem disproportionate and not quite…. rational.

          I hope you can also ultimately look for some counseling in the future, as I worry your life is being affected by your family issues.

          • anonymous :

            Wow, talk about misplaced feedback! 1st, many people do not have a regular doctor (can’t afford it, regularly healthy, move around a lot, etc. etc.). 2nd, for someone without an easy power of attorney in their life, let alone in OP’s case where they said they wouldn’t respect her wishes, that is generally scary. Why would the idea of being kept alive in a vegetative state that she doesn’t want not be scary or being let go if she’d want to be kept alive not be scary?

            It is not freaking out, having issues, or being anxious to be aware of your life realities and to recognize that people who are healthy die every day unexpectedly. It’s why people have wills, trusts, and PoAs at all.

      • I don’t know.. these decisions are incredibly complex. You can express a DNR wish in the chart and that can be documented and will be followed. But decisions like timing of withdrawal of care.. I don’t think these are decisions you want/should expect your primary care MD to make.

        These are also incredibly difficult things to document in a meaningful way. Many patients end up with a long but vague paragraph that says things like “I would not like to be on prolonged ventilatory support” or “I would not like to be on life support once it is clear that there is no meaningful chance that I return to a good quality of life.” The problem is that there is so much subjectivity there.. what is a meaningful quality of life to you? How much brain injury would you personally tolerate before your life is not meaningful? What do you mean by “meaningful chance?” What is there is a 2% chance that you’ll return to normal function? A 0.1% chance? Plus the estimates might vary between doctors.. what if one doctor thinks theres a 10% chance of return to enough function to go to a rehab facility but not get home.. and another doctor thinks there is a 1% chance?

        These are decisions that in the moment will require a person to think back to what you said and guess what you would want in that specific situation. I personally would burden my friends with this.. I would give them written instructions and I would also talk to them specifically about what a meaningful quality of life means. Use phrases like “My life would have meaning if…”

        (My life would be meaningful if I can still communicate with my loved ones; My life would be meaningful if I can still sit on my porch and feel the sun on my face; my life would be meaningful if I can still watch football and have a beer; my life will only be meaningful if I can live independently at home)

        Yes, it will be a potentially awkward conversation (maybe a bottle of wine will help) but its a really important one.

        Write as much of this down as you can and make copies of it and put it everywhere. Your MD can scan it in the chart, but give it to your designated substitute decision-maker as well.

        The chances are high that if something happens your primary care doc won’t even be involved. Let’s say you’re in a traffic accident and you end up resuscitated at the roadside and now you’re in an ICU. They are going to look for – your previous written wishes – a next of kin or POA to contact. They will look for your primary if you’ve noted somewhere that they will make medical decisions for you, but that’s definitely an unusual situation and one you should talk to your MD about.

        If you are going to name your MD as your substitute decision maker you definitely have to discuss this with them because this isn’t a standard role for an MD. They can document your wishes (with all the subjectivity noted above) but its unlikely for most people that they know you well enough to interpret your wishes. So if you use an MD or a lawyer or someone else in a professional role be prepared to make a very detailed document, talk through potential scenarios, and understand that these situations often require a lot of interpretation and most people will err on the side of not ending your life if its not clear.

        (I’m an MD and I’ve worked in the ICU.. I’ve seen a lot of patients receive prolonged life support when I think they would have preferred withdrawal. I try to make my wishes to my loved ones as clear as possible)

    • Anonymous :

      I think you can have a lawyer act as a POA.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes, I did that when I had surgery when I was newly separated from my husband and my son was in Japan and I didn’t trust my parents.

    • Meg Murry :

      In Ohio, you can have information about Advanced Directive, Next of Kin/Emergency Contacts and organ donation added to your drivers license, among other things. Many major medical systems with electronic patient charts also have a system where you can send in your Advanced Directives/Living Wills and they will attach them to your e-chart. When my parents had their wills, POA and Advanced Directives drawn up, part of the service was that they got a wallet card they put in with their drivers license that said how to get a copy of their living will and emergency contacts.

      • anonymous :

        This is amazing and makes me wonder if it’s available in all states. Well worth checking out since it would make life so much easier for most if their documentation was easy for professionals to find rather than expecting distraught loved ones find it in the midst of an emergency!

    • Do not worry. If you have a clergyman, you can appoint him as your power of attorney. He will do what is in your best interests. Just make sure he does not know if you have named his organization as the beneficiary of your will. Otherwise, he will probabley be more likely to pull the plug on you.

  3. Daame Bags :

    Does anyone have a Daame bag? I’ve been looking at the leather laptop bag as a replacement for my beloved Longchamp, but in some of their blogger styled pictures the bag looks kind of…lumpy once it’s full of stuff. Anybody have experience with them good or bad?

  4. Paging WriterKate :

    Re: yesterday’s family situation posting and your comment… Your husband’s situation is exactly mine with his mother and siblings. If he ever wants to discuss it or if you do, I’m happy to become a penpal, it’s rare to find people with the same experience so I thought I’d reach out. (A throwaway email address is being linked but will fwd to my real email which I will respond through)

  5. Has anyone ordered products off BeautyPie? Thoughts?

  6. Shopaholic :

    Any suggestions for non-ugly commuting shoes? I usually wear booties in the winter but in the spring/summer, I try to walk home which is almost an hour so I need comfy shoes but don’t want to be the epitome of an 80s working girl with sneakers under my skirts/dresses.


    • givemyregards :

      I used to do a similar commute in boat shoes and it was pretty comfy – maybe a pair of driving mocs or loafers?

    • Anonymous :

      If you like sandals, Birkenstock Gizeh are more comfortable than running shoes for me.

    • My walk is also almost an hour and I just change into workout clothes and running shoes and put my work clothes in my backpack. Walking home in work clothes with a purse will ruin both your clothes and your back.

    • Anonymous :

      I wear slip-on Skechers for my walk. They are called Go Walks and are the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned. Mine are black and they just look like regular slip-on sneakers, not big clunky sneakers you’d wear to the gym.

    • Following — I’ve commuted in cute Ahnu Karma Mesh shoes (gray) but they stopped making them. I am devastated and searching for replacements.

  7. Baconpancakes :

    Anyone have suggestion for a cream or ivory colored pencil skirt for under $50, size 16? Texture or slight pattern is ok.

    • Baconpancakes, I am starting to wonder if we are the same person… fair skin, eyebrow woes, affinity for bobbi brown products, size 16…

      how about this?

      I have this exact skirt in navy, and I find the 16 to be sized generously:

      • Not Baconpancakes, but thank you for the last one. I am in the market for a new navy pencil skirt, and also a size 16.

    • I love this one:

      • This one is simpler and machine washable.

  8. Reaching out to Poster who Posted About Being Wrecked by Recent Breakup :

    You got piled on about cutting things off. I have no doubt that this read as harsh and that it caused some reaction about how we don’t know you, nor could you ever imagine your life without this person. Maybe it even felt like eff us for trying to demand something of you that is clearly impossible. Emotionally, that is all 100% fair.

    Logically, here’s the reality… this part of the process bites. It just… does. There’s no way not to make it feel like death and destruction. So then the goal has to be how to minimize the length of the process and the extent of the destruction. Think of it like a drug @ddiction. Withdrawal symptoms are awful, horrific even. But every time you communicate with this person in any way, you use again. You’ll never break the addiction if you always go back to using. It gives a great moment of relief, but it just restarts the sobriety clock every time. Plus, the longer you’re in an addictive state, the more destructive it is since it causes damage to your body, to your friendships, and to your future.

    No one is telling you to cut him out because we’re heartless harpies and no one is claiming it’ll be easy. We are simply trying to encourage you to accept the temporary suckage now, let it only suck once as you get out by getting through, and we are hoping you don’t allow this toxic situation to cycle through your life indefinitely.

    Please know you are loved, you are important, and you will get through this, no matter how sure you feel right now that you won’t. <3

    • Senior Attorney :

      Yes to this times a million!

      I had to go through it three times because I went back twice, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone!

  9. Anyone here in house in Denver with about 6 years of experience and willing to share your salary? Considering applying to a posting and looking for information on what type of pay scale I am looking at.

  10. Anonymous :

    I had an audition yesterday to teach spin at a studio my friend is opening in DC and it went amazing! I was shocked. I practiced a little, but didn’t have detailed notes like my others friends who were going in.

    The master instructor doing the evaluations said I looked really strong on the bike and it seemed effortless for me (hahahaha not true, but glad I can project that!), that I was on the beat/went with the flow, etc. I was really surprised because I did not feel confident going in to it, and they told me they may stop me/give me some suggestions, and instead it just went smoothly. I started coaching another type of fitness class in the last few months so maybe some of that transferred over and benefited me, too. I’m hoping spin will help me bring some energy to my other classes!

    They said we should hear in the next couple days and I’m more excited now that the audition is behind me! Just wanted to share. :-)

    • Congrats!! Where in DC will the studio be? Any idea when it’s opening?

    • I just want to say that is so awesome! I love taking spin classes but I can’t even imagine being an instructor (99% because I’m rhythmically challenged) but that’s super cool you can do it :)

  11. Ombre Hair :

    Is it still in style? Or is it getting tired?

    • Anonymous :

      I think balayage is the new ombre. same idea but more of a subtle/natural transition that can be as dramatic as you want.

      • Anonymous :

        I’m not OP but I have a question about balayage – when I search for images of this I only find pictures of girls with curly hair. My hair is naturally pretty straight (slightly wavy, but not perfectly formed curls) and I definitely don’t have time to curl it every day or even frequently. Does this style work on straight hair?

        • I have balayage and actually prefer it straight, but I think it’s because, just like you, I have mostly straight hair day to day. it just looks more “me”. Stylists put pictures online of it curled because it does show off the dimension, but I love my hair straight and pulled back still.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes, it works fine for me.

    • Anonymous :

      ombre is tired

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I have one and people often comment on it in a good way, so who knows? I do think that balyage makes it that bit softer. My hair is curly but I actually love how it looks when straightened. But if you want to try it, I say go for it.

      • I have ombre too and I still get compliments on it. I don’t care what’s trendy, I care what looks good to me, so it may be tired, but I don’t really care.

        My vote is life is too short, do what you like.

  12. Thanks for all this morning’s advice about my coffee with the potential new job contact.

    The session went great- I did send over my resume electronically. I still don’t know that this will be the opening I’m waiting for when it does come around, but I am definitely keeping my options open. One awkward moment was that my previous supervisor (who knows both of us) definitely ran into us. Previous supervisor told him to hire me immediately and even though we both laughed and explained that he just owed me a coffee after I bailed him out of a work-mergency, I had a little bit of a terror moment.

    I do trust previous supervisor to be discreet, and I also know that my reasons for networking are totally reasonable ones, but the other part of me wants to email previous supervisor and say… I don’t know… please don’t tell on me? Would you send an email.

    • Definitely don’t email — that will make a bigger issue out of it!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Yeah wouldn’t email about it – you weren’t doing anything wrong, networking is a part of professional life

  13. pins and needles :

    I posted the other day about waiting to hear back on a job offer. It turns out that they’re taking a step back to re-vamp the role and up-level it to a VP role, which would require double the experience I have. Thus, they’re not making an offer. In the meantime, I turned down the offer that I had in hand, because I decided that it wasn’t the right fit in the long-run. This was an independent decision, outside of the offer that didn’t happen. Now the CEO of rejected offer has emailed me to ask if I’ve already accepted something else and to see if we could have coffee. We set up a meeting for tomorrow afternoon. I assume he wants to convince me to reconsider their offer. I don’t know exactly what my question is here, but I guess it’s how do you think about offers when you have several good opportunities? I’m in a growth stage, and this position would be a fun job for the next 6-8 months. But it doesn’t set me up very well (in my opinion) for my next position, and I feel like there’s no growth if I take this. They’re having to stretch their budget to match my current salary, so it seems like the work and salary would stay at the same level for the foreseeable future. What if he offers me more money or something like that?

    • Anonymous :

      Money isn’t everything — as in, more money will not make up for unhappiness in a position without growth opportunity. I took a retention offer two years ago and ended up leaving within a year anyway for this exact reason. If the opportunity isn’t right, more money won’t fix that short of SO MUCH MONEY you wouldn’t know what to do with yourself/if you are desperate for the small raise. If you’re really looking for the right growth opportunity, hang in there.

      • givemyregards :

        Agreed and wish I had realized this would be the case when I started a new job a few months ago with way more money that is making me beyond miserable.

        • pins and needles :

          SIGH. I know you’re both right. And in this case, it definitely wouldn’t be so much money that I don’t know what to do with myself, and I’m not in need of a small raise. I really need to set myself up for my next role, and this position just will not do that. The team is great, the work would probably be fun for a while, but when I look at my trajectory for 18-24 months out, and how that will affect my path 5 years out, this position is probably a detour. It just sucks to make a hard decision, even when it’s the right one!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      But the positive side is that you have nothing to lose! I think you can take this as an opportunity to be really honest. Since you aren’t going to accept the job, you can be (politely) frank about why, what your career plans/goals are, etc. Who knows, maybe two years down the line this company will have a position that’s a better fit, and he’ll remember your drive and your long term plan…?

    • So I agree with the others, but good for you for meeting with the CEO. This is nothing but a great thing for you. I stayed in touch with some places that I ended up turning down offers from or that rejected me (one rejected me and then offered me later) over the years and it has been great for my career. You politely listen to what the CEO has to say, feel free to express your concerns (I think growth opportunities/trajectory is a great reason) and keep the relationship on a high and professional note. Who knows- maybe they open something up that has the right trajectory for you or the CEO moves elsewhere and still thinks you are a great candidate.

    • pins and needles :

      These are all good points, and I’m glad I’m taking the meeting. As the hiring manager said, “Small world, long career, let’s keep in touch.” It’s interesting how this stuff happens, thanks for the reassurance!

  14. Frozen Peach :

    Cross posting from the moms site, at the suggestion of several other readers.

    I have recently started working with a few new teams that include dudes who LOVE to interrupt and talk over women. Not men, only women. It’s really noticeable, to the point that several other (male!) colleagues have brought it up to me outside meetings. I’m frequently in the role of delivering practical-reality-that-isn’t-fun-but-must-be-reckoned-with information, and am also usually the youngest and only female person in the room/call, so it’s particularly irritating because they interrupt me to downplay or argue with whatever I’m saying. When other women participate, they get the same treatment. As an example, a colleague’s completely legitimate business concern, presented totally rationally, got interrupted and downplayed as “now let’s not get emotional about these things.”

    What are your strategies for dealing with this unbelievably rude behavior? I’m struggling to find a balance between calling it out/pushing back and sucking it up for the sake of playing nice and establishing relationships with people I’m stuck working with.

    • Anonymous :

      Excuse me …. Frank (you interrupting Frank)? Can you please wait until Julie finishes speaking? Thanks.

      If Frank repeats, give him a nudge outside of the meeting.


    • Anonymous :

      “Please let me finish.”

      “Stop interrupting.”

    • anon a mouse :

      “let me finish” (no please)

      “hang on Jim, you’ll get your turn”

      “I’M NOT DONE”

      Any of these in the moment will work. But if other men are noticing it, enlist their help too — both to point out the interruptions and also to call out any bs “emotional” lines.

      Also, work with the other women to amplify each other’s messages, as mentioned here:

    • OMG, I don’t have any advice because I think I would end up simultaneously trying to choke this dude and pull my hair out and scream all at the same time.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I just start talking and don’t stop talking until they stop talking. And then I keep talking. Basically if they’re trying to steamroll me, I steamroll right back.

      • I do this, too, sometimes! OP, I have the same role- the only woman and the most junior and I look and sound a lot younger and often the bearer of bad news (i.e. legal implications). I get interrupted all.the.time. For external folks, I will flat out say “You NEED to stop interrupting me.” or “You cannot continue to talk over me. I am not finished.” Internal folks I am a bit gentler with and will just talk over them – it is literally my job to give legal counsel and I’m going to do so.

      • MargaretO :

        Yup! I have never had this fail. It’s like conversational chicken, you can’t back down.

    • It’s a tough one, because people don’t notice that they do it and can view you as being overly-aggressive for correcting it. But I think straightforward, “Please let me finish,” is a good approach. I have a friend who works in an industry where this is common, and I’ve noticed she does this a lot even in non-professional conversations. It makes me mindful of when I jump into a conversation too soon.

      Also, and this is very situation-specific, since apparently some male colleagues have noticed, would they be willing to say something when this happens. I know you don’t want to make it seem like you need your male colleagues to defend you, but given the situation the fact that they are noticing the behavior might make the perpetrators more willing to believe that they are doing it (since I’m doubtful they’re doing it consciously).

      • Overly Aggressive :

        Nothing wrong with being thought of as overly-aggressive by an interrupter. I all it out every. single. time. If someone starts talking over you on a call, interrupt and ask if your phone is working and make sure everyone can hear you. If someone says “let’s not get emotional” definitely say that nobody is. I’m sure it’ll take some people aback at first, but they get over it and it’s business as usual.

    • Senior Attorney :

      There was an article a while ago about how the women in the Obama White House banded together to fight something similar.

      Hmm… looks like a bunch of articles:

    • This is BULL. Don’t say “please”. NO. FULL STOP.

      Say, “I’m not finished,” and continue talking. Always. “Stop interrupting” is good, too.

      Also, wtf are your “ally” male colleagues doing talking to you about it? They should ALSO be talking to the DOOSH that talks over women and telling him to STFU. Tell them that the next time.

      Also, if they spout garbage about “emotions”, absolutely call them out on it.

      • I agree. Men have tesosteone that makes them blurt thing’s out very quickley, which is a BAD thing. It also helps them make other things move very quickly, which is generally a good thing. But with the blurting out, you have to tell them to hold their horses and keep their traps shut until you have said your peace. That is the ONLEY way that we women in the Hive can hold our own with the men’s male hormones goeing rampent on us. FOOEY on them for that!

      • Meh. Being firm but polite never hurt anyone. It’s still established civility to use “please” in the US…even when it’s not really a request. I don’t think it’s signaling weakness to do this.

        • I am quite familiar with language in the US. “Please” is appropriate to make a polite request. She should command this loser to stop interrupting her. “Please stop stabbing me,” or “Please don’t attack me.” Yeah, I don’t think so. Microaggressions ARE STILL AGGRESSIONS.

    • Anonshmanon :

      You say establishing relationships with new colleagues, I say establish boundaries. Also, what everyone else said. We’re all exasperated on your behalf!

      • Coffee Queen :

        Say “let me finish”. “Stop Talking”. Or sometimes I say “I’ll wait until your done” “do you have anything to add or can I finish the conversation ?” I get progressively more rude as it goes on.

  15. Does anyone here live in Baltimore but commute to DC for work? Would it be crazy?

    • Anon for this :

      I live in Baltimore, and while I don’t do this commute, I know several people who do (and others who make the reverse commute). Mostly for partner-related reasons, but at least one person who just wanted to live up here. I think it works well if you are set up so that you can mostly take the train. You can pretty easily live with in a 10 min drive of the train station up here (parking is reasonably plentiful and cheap), so it’s really a question of where in DC you work.

      Let me know if you want more thoughts on neighborhoods in Balt – I really love it here, but as everyone will tell you ad nauseum, there’s huge variation from neighborhood to neighborhood.

    • I don’t, but I have a friend who has done so for years. He takes the MARC train most days.

    • Depending on where you work in DC, I could see this being one of those cases where you live many times farther away but have a similar or even shorter commute than if you lived in the city (thanks, WMATA).

    • givemyregards :

      Agreed with what everyone here says – as long as you can get to Penn easily in Baltimore and to your office easily from Union Station in DC it wouldn’t be too bad. You’d definitely get a lot of reading done on the train. Although if you work really crazy hours and there’s a chance you’ll be in the office later than MARC runs, or if you need to go in a lot on the weekend when it runs less frequently, that would be a concern.

    • Yes it’s crazy, but I can’t stand long commutes. The only person I know who does this ended up renting an apt in DC during the week, and then goes home to Baltimore and her hubby on weekends (she also works in BigLaw, so long hours).

      Know that if you commute to DC via Marc you have lots less flexibility to stay on for happy hours, social engagements after work bc I recall the Marc only running on the hour and only up till a certain time.

      I would do the commute if I absolutely had to but think about whether you want to spend 2.5 hours every day on a train/car.

    • I did this for a couple years. Your life ends up revolving around the train schedule, it’s hard to make friends with people who live in DC, and it’s hard to do things with people on weeknights in Baltimore because your commute is so long. As you can probably tell, I moved to DC and am way happier. Much of that is also though because I’m a better fit for DC than I was for Baltimore. The two cities have very different vibes, and I’ve noticed that people often feel naturally more at home in one than the other. If you like DC, then I would not move to Baltimore and commute because of the lower housing prices or anything like that. However, if you live in Baltimore and love it, then commuting to DC for a job you’re really interested in may be totally worth it.

  16. Anonymous :

    Any known clones for the Limited Ashton blouse? It fits me so well and I stupidly didn’t buy a bunch before they went out of business. Looking for something in roughly the same price range.

    • Still not really over losing The Limited. But I’ve found the Express Portofino shirt fairly similar to the Ashton.

    • New Tampanian :

      Check out poshmark – there may be some NWT ones listed on there

  17. Decluttering :

    Looking for decluttering help: how do you get rid of clothing items that you have a sentimental attachment to, but not enough to hang onto?

    Long story: I bought a whole new wardrobe about a year ago after a really bad relationship, which included several pieces that I loved and wore all the time at that point. A lot of it was bright and patterned, because my (awful) ex used to throw a fit whenever I wore anything attention-grabbing, so I basically dressed in all black for several years which I hated. So buying those pieces were super cathartic for me and I adored them and they made me happy. But I’ve since lost weight and changed careers, and none of those clothes fit my shape or life anymore. I’ve bought more new things that I love since starting the new job and losing the weight, I’m just having a hard time clearing those old clothes out of the closet because they brought me so much joy at a time when my life was really hard. I’d appreciate any tips you all have on how to get over that attachment and just donate them already.

    • Take a picture and then donate them.

    • Marie Kondo might tell you to take a picture of the items and then give them away…, but here’s what I did:

      I couldn’t bear to part with the ruffled striped shirt I wore on my first date with my now-husband. Or a watercolor-type abstract shell that I wore on my first job interview. And a pair of jeans I wore hiking in the Adirondacks. Most of the items didn’t fit anymore (love makes me fat! :) ), and I didn’t really want to pack them away or give them away.

      So I grabbed a pair of scissors, found some cheap frames from Michael’s, and cut them to fit into the frames. I used the frames to decorate a wall in one of our spare bedrooms, and it’s really cute – and always reminds me of those good memories when I see them.

    • Anonymous :

      You don’t have to get over the attachment. If the patterns spark job, what if you framed the fabric and used it as art. You’d probably have to cut up the items though. Otherwise, maybe donating to a charity that helps domestic violence survivors might help you deal with it because you would be bringing joy to other women who might want some bright color in their lives.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 You like them! You may not wear them, but you like them! See if you can whittle it down to a few items (half of what you currently have?) Keep that set for another year or two and see if the attachment still exists. If not, get rid of them at that point. Or re-whittle.

        You don’t have to get rid of everything all at once.

    • Anonymous :

      What about cutting small pieces of the fabric and using them in a frame/under glass to make a serving tray or a small piece of art you can hang in your closet? It would mean you couldn’t donate them, which has negatives of course, but you would be able to still enjoy them.

    • You could even get a small quilt made (or make one yourself). Cut the fabric swatches you want in the meantime.

      Getting over a controlling ex seems like a worthwhile thing to commemorate.

    • Pick 2 or 3 of your favorite pieces, and ditch the rest.

    • You could have them made into a quilt or pillow covers – there are lots of companies (and also individuals on etsy) who do this. If I went this route I would choose a few favorites and have them represent the whole set, and then donate the rest so they could make other people happy.

    • so, 100% not Marie Kondo, but. I have a few pieces of clothing that I have a weird attachment to as well. And along with the three dolls, various certificates and a couple trophies and stuffed animals from childhood, they live in a rubbermaid tote that I go through once a year (usually around my birthday). I reminisce, sometimes I weed some stuff out, but I have accepted them as keepsakes and am happy with that. I would say find a box, commit to only keeping what fits in said box and sorting through it a time or two a year and cull out some pieces. It gets it out of your closet, but gives you time to let go.

    • Look at it this way, even if you save them, if you were to gain weight in the future, you’d pull them out with the intention of wearing them and you’d find they were out of style.

      I had a killer maternity wardrobe for my first child. I went to a seamstress and had a couple of beautiful work dresses made, along with some separates. I saved those so carefully, but when I got pregnant with my second eight years later, I pulled out all those beautiful clothes and found them hilariously out of style. Even “classic” styles change slightly with the times.

      So take photos or better yet save photos of the old you wearing them, and then send them on their way. That point in your life is over.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yeah I had a similar experience in reverse. I lost weight and all the beautiful work clothes I’d been saving looked like costumes for a Michael Jackson video once I could fit back into them.

    • I have a few clothing items I keep for sentimental reasons. I don’t want to cut them up or something, nor do I want to display them, so I just let that not be an issue. I find other ways to declutter and I make room for the few things. I would say, if you can get the number of items down to 4 or so, if they don’t take up much physical space, who cares if you have them? If you’re talking about dozens of items, maybe then turn them into a quilt or see if you can choose just the pieces with the most sentimental value. If the issue is that they remind you of a time when you were rebuilding, maybe you can take the rest to a friend who’s starting over or to a charity that helps women who are leaving abusive relationships or find some other way to feel great about honoring the clothing item for what it gave you and then allowing it to give that strength to another who is now more in need of strength than you are.

    • I think my favorite (and most useful) thing from Marie Kondo has been the practice of saying “thank you” to a garment.

      Thank you for reminding me how awesome I was when my ex had done everything to tear me down.
      Thank you for getting me to a place where I was healthier.
      Thank you for being bright and beautiful.

      And then I can get them out of the house. And when I do miss them, I think again: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

      It works for me :)

    • Decluttering :

      Thank you all for so many wonderful suggestions.

  18. Anonymous :

    In a long distance relationship with a wonderful guy. For those of you who have married after an ldr, how long did you wait before one person moved? I’d want us to live in the same city before being engaged (if we pursued that).

    • Anonymous :

      We dated ldr for 12 months before deciding he would move. Took another 5 months for the move to happen – we lived together for 2 months in his location during our first 12 months. We lived together when he moved to be with me. We got engaged about 15 months after he moved to my location.

    • We were long distance for about 3 years, then lived together for 1 year before we got engaged (and, very quickly afterwards, married). We were 23 when we met, 27 when we married. I mention this because I think we might have tried to rush the timeline a bit more if we had been older. We were also both in grad school at the time, so couldn’t have moved in together sooner without one of us dropping out of our degree programs, which wasn’t something we seriously considered. He would probably have moved sooner if it had just been a question of looking for a job in the new city. That said, it was good to be very seriously established by the time we lived together, given that he gave up his entire social and professional network to move to my city (it was an intercontinental move). It would have been very messy, mostly for him, if we had broken up then.

    • I was in a position where I could move without too much disruption to what I was doing, so I moved cross-country within 9 mos which sounds crazy. But I was in the research phase of my PhD, which had me spending much of my time in another country. And I had colleagues at the university where AnonySpouse was, including one who was a researcher and former student of my adviser, who could sponsor me as a “visiting scholar” in order to get me access to university resources.

      It’s kind of crazy that I did that now, but it just felt right at the time. And we’ve now got 2 kids and will be celebrating 8 years of marriage this summer, so I guess it wasn’t such a terrible idea.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      We knew each other (mostly by email) for about two years before we became a couple. We then had several visits to both our locations (5 time zones apart) over the next year and a half and then he moved to be with me, into a new place that I found for us. And in fact, we were already engaged.

    • My husband and I started dating in October, he moved for gradschool 10 months later, I made the move to the city where he was going to school 9 months later.

      Workwise, it was a lateral career move but significant increase in pay. I was ready to find a new job and a new city so I didn’t have much to lose if the relationship didn’t work out.

    • Anonymous :

      We were long distance for 10 months, moved in together as soon as I moved to his city. We were engaged six months later and married a year after that.

    • 2 years – we were in grad school in different cities. So we moved at the very next opportunity.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m late to the party here but DH and I dated long distance for 6 months before I moved (and got engaged). We got married a few months later, then pregnant almost right away. Best decision I ever made!

  19. Maddie Ross :

    I have this bag. It is utterly shapeless in person and I have downgraded it to carrying my LO’s soccer stuff to practice. It makes the Le Pliage (sp?) look structured.

    • I love this description. It conveys so clearly what the bag is like (assuming you have had a le pliage). Bravo.

  20. Baggallini Helsinki Bag :

    Does anyone have this bag and like it? I’m looking for a bag for some upcoming travel. I have a toddler, so I’m looking for a lightweight cross-body bag that will fit a guidebook, water bottle, and kid stuff (snacks + sippy cup + diapers). Thanks!

  21. Grouchy Feminist Anon :

    Just interviewed a male law student for an internship who answered quite a lot of the questions I asked to my male colleague. Hi, yes, I asked the question, I’m also interviewing you, I’m over here, please don’t ignore me, thanks.

    I did bring it up to my colleague after as a negative for the particular interviewee. We’ll both be supervising him, so I’m not down with him deferring to my colleague…

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      That’s enough for a ding in my book.

    • newbinlaw :

      for sure. that’s not just a feminist thing, that’s just rude on his part. I would absolutely take this as a red flag of several issues, particularly since he will eventually be client-facing and hopefully some clients are female.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      I would completely ding him for that. He isn’t some 17 year old who doesn’t know better.

      Make better life choices, dude.

    • Could it have been unintentional? I’m thinking about my last interview, and toward the end of it, I ended up inadvertently answering to the person who had the best eye contact and body language (aka, the person who made me feel the most comfortable). I definitely kicked myself afterwards when I got home and was replaying everything in my mind.

      • +1. I’d probably ding the interviewee too. But about 6 months ago, I had an interview with 4 interviewers, and we were all crammed into one person’s office, so the interviewers were sitting in a semi-circle around me. (The conference room had been taken over by an emergency project involving lots of documents.) It was really difficult to maintain eye contact with everyone.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I would assume it was unintentional in the sense that he didn’t consciously intend to snub you. But unconscious sexism can be the hardest to combat. I’d totally ding him.

    • I’d ding him too. What did male colleague think? Hopefully he noticed/didn’t brush off your concerns?

      • Grouchy Feminist Anon :

        He didn’t notice, but appreciated me pointing it out and told me that when I said I might be overthinking it I was probably giving it as much credit as was due.

    • Participated in STEM outreach meet and greet to local PhD students, with others in my company (all phds). Short bio above my email address listed schools of my PhD and postdoctoral work like others’ bios. Received follow-up thank you from one guy addressed to “Ms”. Um, no.

      • Wow!! I used to get called Dr. even before my PhD, because people are so worried about not recognizing a person’s title (might also be because I have an ethnic name which confuses some people about my gender).

        Is the student American? There are some countries were people with PhDs prefer to go by Mr. and Ms, so do you know for sure that he didn’t address the men as Mr.? Regardless, though, he should learn American customs if he wants to be successful.

      • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

        Meh, I have a PhD and don’t care about this. I honestly don’t like being called Dr. I also don’t like being called Ms., Mrs., or Miss. In my job now as an attorney and previously as an engineer, I would expect people including co-workers, work-related contacts outside my company/firm, and interview candidates to call me by my first name. If needed, I would gently let them know this in in-person communication.

        • Many people (myself included) were raised that you only use the term Dr when referring to a medical doctor. My children’s principal refers to herself as Dr So-and-So and frankly it strikes me as amusing.

        • I don’t really care either. I honestly can’t remember the last time I was referred to as Dr. AnonyMom.
          But it’s not the norm not to care about these things, and it’s also very sector-specific. So it’s better to default to using Dr. unless you’ve been told not to do so.

          I definitely have some female friends who care a lot. And I understand why they do.

        • I don’t care about it either, but if everyone else/the male PhDs are being called Dr, then I should be too! But I guess you can’t always know what this person calls the male PhDs.

      • Is it possible – and this is really giving this person the benefit of the doubt – he comes from a disadvantaged background and doesn’t realize that a PhD is addressed as “Dr?”
        I realize this is highly unlikely, but I just find it very strange for someone to reach out via email to thank you and intentionally (?) offend you by using the wrong title. Instead, it suggests clueless-ness to me…

        I taught a Master’s class in health sciences a few years ago and had a graduate student ask me what a rubric was. Which I found pretty incredible, since the entire department used them for grading across the board from undergrad through graduate school. She was a first-gen college student who didn’t have the advantage of knowing the lingo like her classmates. It’s amazing to me she did as well as she did, and was somehow in-sync the entire time with how the rubrics were crafted by her profs.

      • I’m a professor with a Ph.D. and regularly get emails from students addressing me as Mrs. I wouldn’t really care if they called me by my first name, but my male colleagues are always addressed as Dr., and that makes me ragey.

    • I interned at a place once where I was on an all-female team. They were interviewing for a new batch of interns and told me about one male candidate who answered all the hypothetical questions as if he were working for a male boss . . . in an interview with all women. He did not get hired.

    • Delta Dawn :

      Are you still hiring him for the internship? I think a “ding” is too gentle– I would not hire him at all. I’ve fired realtors who would only talk to my husband but not me, I’ve fired accountants who would only email documents to my husband but not me, and I would not hire an intern who made it clear that he thinks the man is in charge and you’re not.

      • Grouchy Feminist Anon :

        Doubtful. We haven’t really discussed our rankings yet (5 interviews today and one tomorrow, we’re both just trying to look engaged at this point….), but I think it’s going to be a definite minus in both of our rankings because I did point it out.

    • southsider :

      Earlier this week, I was interviewing candidates for a spot on a board that I sit on–rejected a guy because of this exact problem and was explicit to my male colleague that this was my reason for vetoing the candidate (my colleague had also noticed the behavior and was also not ok with it–hooray for allies). It felt good!

  22. Anonymous :

    I had a performance review today that was actually really positive (not that I haven’t been doing great work, but one of my supervisors doesn’t like me very much). They are making noises about me staying long-term and really growing in my role. Of course they’re still paying me peanuts but I’m so happy and relieved.

    • Anonymous :

      Way to go! It’s always good to know you’re appreciated. Do you think that maybe the supervisor you haven’t clicked with is just the type of person who doesn’t project how they feel, not that he/she doesn’t like you?

      In any case, now you can build on this, ask for more responsibility, and hopefully ask for more money at the next review!

  23. I just bought way too much :

    A new shop in Ohio, all clothing is made in the US and sourced from pro-female companies! (link below)

    • I just bought way too much :

    • Thanks for the heads up! I like some of those but some of them are pretty cheesy. What does “Every human is unlimited” even mean and why would I want to wear that on a t-shirt?

      • Anonymous :

        Sounds like a reference to their brand like how gap or old navy have their name in shirts

  24. I’m an active alum at my university, and I’ve become close with a student over the last year as her mentor. Because she’s had a later in life career change, she’s probably about a decade older than I am (so she’s in her 40s). The relationship is a bit more special than someone you meet for coffee once a semester – we text and email regularly about every job interview she goes on, the bar exam, etc.

    She graduates in May and is leaving the area. I’d like to really say goodbye to her somehow. Would dinner at my house be weird? I entertain frequently, so showing I care through cooking is natural for me, but I’m not sure if it’d be awkward for her. I host a big Christmas party every year and invite everyone I know, and when I invited her last year, she mentioned she hadn’t been invited to any parties while she’d been at School. (Because of her age and heavily accented English (she’s an immigrant), I think there’ve been a couple obstacles for her socially.) She wasn’t able to come to the Christmas party because of exams, so she hasn’t been to my house before.

    Taking her out to lunch or dinner feels a little chintzy to me – I’d do that for any student. I’m wracking my brain to think of what to do for her. She’s so thoughtful – she has already thanked me for my time with movie GCs for a date night with my boyfriend :)

    • Invite her to your house, definitely. I think she would be touched by it and it would not be weird. If she has an SO, obviously, I would extend the invitation to that person as well.

  25. Snakeskin leather flats. Pointed almond toe silhouette. Black/grey/white. With otherwise classic business casual dress.

    Too much? Tacky?

  26. Too Late? :

    About 6 weeks ago I bought some bras at Nordstrom to replace my old ones. I got the same bras in the same size I had been wearing, without going in for a fitting. The new set was a bit tight in the beginning, but I just figured it was because they were new and needed to be broken in. Flash forward, I’m thinking that they are just too small —
    I’ve probably gotten bigger since my last fitting and maybe needed to go up a size. Can I bring them back to exchange for different sizes? I know Nordstrom has a great return policy, but I feel like this is maybe pushing it. FWIW, they were not inexpensive…

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