Suit of the Week: Boden

For busy working women, the suit is often the easiest outfit to throw on in the morning. In general, this feature is not about interview suits for women, which should be as classic and basic as you get — instead, this feature is about the slightly different suit that is fashionable, yet professional.

Cobalt suits seem to be on a 3-4 year cycle — I’ve seen them regularly enough over the years that at this point I think they’re approaching “everyone who wears suits should have one” status. Not interview material, mind you, but perfectly appropriate for a regular workday whether as a matched suit or broken out and worn as separates. This polyester/wool cobalt blazer and skirt from Boden is lovely — I really like the deep shawl lapel of the jacket and the streamlined goodness of the skirt. And: huzzah for a fun lining. The jacket (Claremont Blazer) is $189, and the skirt (Claremont Skirt) is now $105. The dress is down to lucky sizes only in blue and is $140 (down from $200).

(Don’t forget to check out our recent roundup of how to build a work wardrobe at Boden!)

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love this gorgeous cobalt blue skirt suit -- a modern classic for polished women!

Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I wish there were pictures of the blazer and skirt together. The blazer seems a bit long.

  2. exfoliation :

    LOVE this suit; wish it had pants.

    I’m just getting into chemical exfoliation, and so far I’ve been alternating BHA, AHA (both Paula’s Choice) then retinol (The Ordinary). My skin is doing well so I’m wondering if I can combine any/all of them. Do people use them all at once or cycle through, like I’ve been doing?

    • I tend to use BHA in the morning and AHA at night. Retinol should also be used at night. You could use your AHA followed by retinol . Definitely use a sunscreen, too.

    • Depends on your skin, some types can tolerate this 3-combo, some would burn even with combination of BHA and retinol. Be careful as excessive exfoliation can damage your skin’s protective barrier.
      If your tolerance is good (as per your post), you can use BHA daily together with retinol and then once per week switch your BHA for AHA. I think this was also recommended on PC web. You could even try everyday AHA with retinol. Or try switching to higher strength of the exfoliators/retinol (I would do this gradually, though).
      I would not try the 3-combo of using all products every day or during the same day, that sounds too harsh and counterproductive (the risk of irritation and potential consequences seem higher vs benefits of the 3-combo).
      And as always – it all depends on your skin targets (what do you want to achieve by increased exfoliation).

      • exfoliation :

        Thank you! These are good tips. And yes, I’m a sunscreen devotee. My skin tends to run dry, my pores are not clear around my t-zone, and I’m getting older (38) so those are the main issues I’m trying to tackle. So far loving that my skin is brighter, my pores are looking better (if not totally clear), and my products seem to be absorbing well!

    • Anonymous :

      I’d ask the Paula’s Choice folks. Their reps are very good.

  3. I keep a chapstick in my car and now that it’s mid-summer, my chapstick likes to melt all over the cup holder. Does anyone know of a different chapstick or lip balm that won’t melt in the car?

    • Try one that is in a tube that you have to squeeze out, like the Carmex tubes. They do still get melty, but they are more contained!

      • This. But in terms of squeezies i swear by the Clinique – will post a link if not m0d

        • https://www.neimanmarcus.com/p/clinique-pep-start-pot-restoring-night-mask-0-34-oz-10-ml-prod210190128

          • I think it’s very funny that NM is calling this “pot restoring.” Its pout restoring. Anyway, it works. Great lip balm. Squeezy tube won’t melt all over your car.

    • Anonymous :

      Eos

      • This. Eos will make it through a summer in the south.

        • Really? Eos melts in my car in the Chicago summers. It collects in the lid so it doesn’t leak out of the package, but I don’t think it’s a good option.

    • Anonymous :

      I use Vaseline in the little squeeze tubes for lips.

  4. I need some encouragement right now. I absolutely hate my boss (not law, but a corporate environment). He does not communicate effectively and refuses to provide clarification when requested, which makes completing daily tasks feel like pulling teeth. I constantly feel like I have a knot in my stomach. It seems like it is well known that he cannot manage a team because he is being moved to another department! It can take some time to find a replacement and until that happens, any advice on how to deal with him? I’ve just been holding on to the fact that he will not be my boss much longer, but everyday is so difficult and stressful!!!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t have any particular advice, but you’ve made it this far! And now there’s an end in sight.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you take some PTO? Plan a long weekend? Take some half days? WFH? Anything you can do to minimize contact.

    • Anonymous :

      So, I just went through this with a boss I hated who left. Time to celebrate! I literally printed out a calendar and crossed off each day until she was gone. It was so satisfying crossing off each day knowing I was one day closer!

    • Anonymous :

      When you need clarification and you know he won’t provide it: write him an email with a default choice for every issue. “We talked about working on X and Y matters this week. I wanted to update you that I am focusing on X, and will make sure the Z thing is addressed first. For Y, I have asked Belinda for last month’s report, and will create the presentation when I hear back.”
      You give him a chance to redirect what you are doing, but you don’t make him make decisions because you present one path. Also, you cover you a** by documenting everything, which can’t hurt.

      • This response makes alot of sense. There are so many bosses (nearly all male’s) that are incredibel douches. Why do we, as profesional women, have to put up with these loosers? I think we need to form an organization, and name it appropriateley, Myrna says something like WADAMB, meaning Women Against Dumb A$$Male Bosses. We are NOT wedded to this name/title, but the rest of the HIVE should get the idea.

  5. Anonymous :

    Talk to me about mixing hardware finishes in a kitchen. How does one do it in a way that looks nice? I see a lot of articles saying that this is okay to do if it looks intentional but I could use more guidance on how to achieve “intentional.”

    I’d like to incorporate warmer gold/brass tones into my kitchen, and the easiest way to do that is through hardware and pendant lighting. But all of the faucets I like seem to be more chrome, and the appliances are stainless. We have upper and lower cabinets. Do I make the upper cabinet hardware one type of metal and the lower cabinet hardware a different metal?

    • I’d say add some decoration with mixed metals when you add the second metal in. So, you could add brass pendant lights and maybe a put a pitcher or vase with both cool and warm tones on the counter.

    • I have a chrome faucet, brushed nickel drawer handles and cabinet door knobs, and brass light fixtures. It’s fine. No one but you would ever notice.

    • Aunt Jamesina :

      I think the intentional look shows through making sure the fixtures share some characteristics so they look related– e.g., don’t do modern, minimalist cabinet pulls with a rustic farmhouse style faucet. They should go together in their level of formality, style, and general shape. I’ve seen a lot of kitchens where it looks like the pendant lights and the rest of the kitchen fixtures were chosen by two different people.

      • This is a good point. I’m the poster right above. My stuff is all consistent in style – we tried to match the original Kitchen shapes. My house was built in 1909. The kitchen was updated in the 1920s, the 1940s, and the 1970s, as far as we can tell. We went with the stuff that was still around from the 20s, which included brass hardware for the lights and the craftsman style drawer pulls that I think don’t have a name but are half dome shaped. The faucet is new/modern but in a traditional shape.

      • This is so helpful. Thank you!

  6. anonymous :

    This could be a really extra long post but I’ll stick to the facts to keep it short. This has been a really hard year for my family. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer last fall and went through radiation and chemo and is now being monitored. Right as she finished her treatment, my younger brother was in a terrible car accident and ended up in a coma for a month. He is now having to relearn how to walk; he can’t work and his job didn’t offer disability insurance and he’s exhausted his FMLA, so they’re threatening to terminate him. My parents moved from the city I live in to the city where he is (8 hrs away by car) to help him while he recovers. They are 70 and I’ve been worried about their health for awhile. I got a call yesterday – my dad just had a small stroke. He’ll recover but now he’s going to probably need rehabilitation and physical therapy himself now. My mom broke down on the phone – she doesn’t know how she’s going to manage this.
    I have not been able to offer a lot of help because I just got promoted this year into a new job that looked like it was going to be great, but is actually a nightmare. I’m doing critical work for the organization but there’s no backup for me – if I am gone, work just piles up until I get back. My boss is not supportive – in any way – and I’ve been able to take minimal time off to help my family. I’ve been taking intermittent FMLA, which has been offered very begrudgingly and I got downgraded on my performance review because of “not being available.”
    After we got the news about my dad’s stroke, I really just want to quit my job so I can help my family. Our household can financially handle it, at least for awhile. My husband is supportive of me quitting. I have seen other people in my career take “caregiving leaves” from working. I am worried that I am going to tank my career by doing this. But more worried that if I don’t do it my family will suffer more than they already have. I’ve been at my company for 18 months and in my job for 6 months; I was at my previous job for 4 years. Any advice for me, especially from people who have done something like this?

    • Is there any way you can afford a home helper for your parents? Not necessarily a nurse, who would be more expensive, but someone to do 20 to 30 hrs a week with caregiving activities like cooking, cleaning, rehabilitation transport?

      If not, you can help in small ways so that the health burdens don’t seem so great, like a regular cooked meal delivery service for breakfast and lunch, or a company that specifically transports for medical care/rehabilitation? Any bit you can do to lift a bit of burden will be helpful, especially since you’re far away.

      • Anonymous :

        Can you say more about what a home helper is or how to find one?

        • Is your dad still in the hospital? Have the hospital social worker work with your parents on discharge planning. He may be able to do the rehabilitation at a nursing home, he may qualify for home health, etc. Also ask about private home care and respite care – its often out of pocket, but it may provide the assistance your parents need for your dad in daily activities like bathing as well as meal preparation or just having someone be a sitter for your dad if he needs that type of thing.

          • Anonymous :

            All of this. I have a family member who needs 24×7 care that I have to provide or arrange. Don’t quit your job yet. Push back on the FMLA issues and find resources that can help you before the nuclear option.

            You’ll hear anecdotes from people who’ve made this work, but the reality is this situation can go on for years and if you quit now, it could have a very significant impact on your career and finances.

        • Almost like a Mother’s Helper but obviously for adults. You can get recommendations from friends or family friends, or look to care.com. Or looking to a local university job board for one or two students that can help throughout the week. By Home Helper, I mean someone that can literally be your mother when it comes to making their life run (like necessary errands, transportation, and even an able bodied person to help with lifting and other physical needs for your father and brother – I imagine you mother off of cancer treatment is weaker than normal), not necessarily a home nurse or aide.

    • relocation :

      I know things like this are easy to suggest and hard to pull off but can they all relocate to where you live?

    • Anonymous :

      My fact pattern is slightly different, but I can speak to, at least in my circumstances, time off to take care of a family member not being career suicide. I was laid off by the (toxic, horrible) law firm I’d been at for almost 5 years late in 2016. In January, I found out there was a good chance my mom was terminally ill. I was applying and interviewing all spring, but nothing quite panned out. June, we found out she wasn’t responding to treatment, and she died in August. I then took some time for myself, and ended up finding something great about six months later. So, I have a total gap of 14 months between leaving the firm and starting my current position.

      Honestly, it probably worked in my favor, because I have a clear explanation for the resume gap, and it’s something that was discrete and finite, with no potential to be ongoing. I put a mention that I was caretaking for a terminally ill parent at the top of my cover letters. While I can’t speak to your industry, every single place I interviewed (law firms, in house positions) was hugely sympathetic, and multiple interviewers told me that they would have done the exact same thing in my position. If you can afford it (including expenses for a decent period of time for job hunting once you decide to go back), it wouldn’t necessarily be career ending.

    • Coach Laura :

      If you are taking intermittent FMLA which was offered begrudgingly and are getting flack for not being “available” I’d suggest that you push back through your HR department. This is exactly what’s NOT supposed to happen when someone uses the FMLA that is legally available to them.

      I wouldn’t quit – I’d either ask for a modification of your job during this time or take a real FMLA leave. Don’t quit before you explore options. Take the 10 weeks or 12 weeks or whatever you have available via FMLA. Do some planning and looking at options and other jobs during that time: You may end up quitting later but that’s ok. Maybe when you come back you’ll have a different boss or there might be a new role that would suit you better.

      Good luck and I hope your mom, dad and brother recover quickly and fully.

      • Anonymous :

        In fact, discriminating against someone for taking FMLA leave is unlawful.

      • That was the part that struck me. Sue them for all they’re worth. Seriously. Those people suck.

      • Thanks for the advice, truly. The problem is – we work in HR. So there is truly nowhere for me to turn about this. I know it is illegal in addition to being unfair, but they were very careful in how they worded the feedback so I don’t know I’d be able to prove this.

        • Late response – but since you have only been at your current job for six months, you may not actually qualify for FMLA.

    • Anonymous :

      I went through something similar: my mother was seriouslyill in my home country and my siblings had taken a large part of the caregiving burden to the extent they had almost exhausted their leave allowances. I didn’t qualify for FMLA and so I needed to take extensive PTO but fortunately my employer was extremely understanding and allowed me to work remotely for a few weeks, knowing that I was at maybe 70% of my regular output during that time. I am so thankful for this but had they not been so accommodating I was ready to quit my job which would have had serious visa/immigration implications for me.

      If you say you want to quit your job then you should do it, especially if it will give you the peace of mind to be able to spend time with and care for your family. Ultimately, your career will recover but it may take longer than you would like/hope. Have you discussed the possibility of a period of extended unpaid leave for a few months, or some other arrangement that would allow you to take time off on an unpaid basis and the chance to return to your same posisition afterwards? Perhaps they would only keep your job open on a best efforts basis but that might be preferable to quitting outright.

      Big hugs to you whatever you decide – you and your family are going through an incredibly tough time.

    • Anonymous :

      I would 100% quit in your shoes. You have a lot of health challenges in your family right now, your husband’s income can support you at least short term and even though people on this s!te may act otherwise, SAHMs and other people who have taken extended time off from work do normally return to the fulltime workforce, often just not quite at the same position/income level they were at before. I can’t imagine dealing with the challenges you’re going through, let alone with an unsupportive boss like you’ve described. Quitting isn’t something one should do lightly, but the combination of miserable job + all the family health issues + husband’s income makes it a pretty reasonable choice in this situation.

      • Anonymous :

        +1. My brother did this a few years ago when we were dealing with serious family health issues and things worked out fine. He now has a job that was even better than the one he left. People seem to overestimate the harm of a resume gap, especially in cases like this when it can be reasonably explained.

        • It’s actually nice to hear about a male doing this. I often read her and wonder “would a man ask this?” You hear very few stories of a man taking time to care for ailing family members. In most cases, I don’t think they even consider it.

          I’m totally sympathetic to OP but I doubt her husband would be considering quitting if this were his parents.

          • Anonymous :

            I have a male friend who did this, both of his parents died from cancer and he did all of the work, and not because he was an only child (he has a sister).

    • Talk to HR at your company; take leave as needed (and tell HR the ways that you’ve been hurt by taking leave already – that should be something they care about); lean out but do not quit your job. Everyone goes through periods of time where they can’t get an A+, but that doesn’t mean you quit. You get a C or a D+ for a while. You don’t get fired, you maybe don’t get a promotion & you maybe look for a job with another organization if you end up falling flat at your current job. Quitting is the nuclear option & I know it feels like your only option right now. But it isn’t. Take care of yourself and your family, do your job as best you can, but preserve your career in the process. I’m so sorry you’re having to deal with this.

    • Anonymous :

      Talk to your mom about what she really needs help with. It may be housekeeping, meal delivery or an Uber account to get your family to their appointments. Or it may be senior care services. You can from a distance help her sort that out and get the right person people lined up. Don’t quit.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      If you’re concerned they’ll push you out for taking FMLA leave (illegalAF on their part), but you are also contemplating quitting, take the leave! Take the leave, make sure it’s documented that it’s FMLA leave, and if they push you out, sue their pants off (while perhaps breathing a silent sigh of relief to have all that time on your hands). If they don’t, yay, you kept your job and took care of your family!

    • Hugs. I don’t have anything to add other than I am thinking of you and your family. That sounds like a terrible set of circumstances and I am so sorry that this all happening to you. I really don’t understand why work places can’t be more supportive in situations like these and can’t try to think of it as if it were their parents and siblings. Hang in there!

    • Anonymous :

      No way. Do not quit. Men do not quit to take care of family members. Just because you are a women why does it fall to you?. Your parents need to handle this. Hire someone. Get help.

      • CaringisImportantToo :

        omg what? It probably falls to her because the other male relative she mentioned is recovering from a coma? Because some people think that caring for family members is actually more important than working at a job? Because there is more to life than getting a paycheck and climbing the corporate ladder? Good grief.

        • Anonymous :

          You do realize this is a website for professional women, right? For people who care about that the advice not to quit is spot on because quitting is how you kill your career and become a care giver instead.

          • A lot of professional women realize that a job is not equivalent to a career and quitting one job (especially one you don’t like) isn’t the same as opting out of the workforce or comitting career suicide. You can be ambitious and care about professional success and still take time off for something like this.

      • Anonymous :

        You seem like a lovely daughter.

    • Anonymous :

      If your husband can support the family, please quit. Your family is the most important thing. That’s why we work! Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

      • +1000. You can (and will) get another job once your family is in better shape. You can’t get this time with your family back.

    • Thanks to everyone for their responses. I am still not sure what I am going to do but it is good to hear different options that people have chosen. For the person above (who I am pretty sure is a tr 0ll but – whatever) who advised that “my parents handle it” – I’ll pray for you, genuinely, and for your family. I hope you aren’t ever faced with the kind of choices my family is facing. I truly appreciate all the support and good wishes I received in response to my post. Thank you.

      • I’m reading this a few days late and can give you my experience and regrets. I worked in biglaw full time while my parents moved in with me as my dad was diagnosed with Stage III pancreatic cancer. At the time, HR offered me the option of working part-time at reduced pay. I decided to continue on with full-time. The firm slowly gave me increasingly negative feedback, even though I was killing myself to do a good job. After I took time off in the last 2 weeks of my dad’s life, it was the last straw. I was fired about 3 months after my dad died and I came back to work. Even though I came back to work right away, it felt like they were planning to hire me anyway and had built up enough track record of negative performance evaluation. When I left, I grabbed coffee with a senior associate/junior partner, who told me I should have taken the reduced pay option when it was offered to me. There were also some medical malpractice that happened with my dad’s treatment toward the end of his life that resulted in him dying in a particularly gruesome and painful way. That period of my life has been the most traumatic experience I’ve had so far. Looking back, I wish that I had chosen the reduced pay/working-part time option, or take a large chunk of time like 6 months off, to fully focus on taking care of my dad and spending quality time with him. Instead, I was too worried about our finances and my career to make the leap. As a result, I lost both. I should have known that my career was going down the drain at that firm anyway. And at the very least, I could have found a job at a nonprofit or a low-paying and low-hours place that would allow me to both not work and take care of my parents. It is one of the biggest regrets I have to this day – that I didn’t take better care of my father.

  7. Texas Hill Country :

    Does anyone have any recommendations on a weekend vacation in Texas Hill Country? Thinking of taking the wife there for her birthday, but I don’t know the area too well. We’ve done the Fredericksburg wineries and lived in Austin for a while already.

    • Enchanted Rock, Hamilton Pool, Old Tunnel State Park

    • Anonymous :

      Go to Hunt! It’s the headwaters of the Guadalupe – totally beautiful and lush with clear river water. Of course, there is literally one restaurant and zero shops, so it’s literally just for relaxation.

    • Anonymous :

      If you are into the outdoors I would recommend going to Garner State Park. The Frio River is (obviously) cold and it is so crystal clear you can see 13+ feet down to the bottom like it is glass. You could get a cabin and float down the river or do some hiking. Also on the list would be Pedernales State Park and the Lost Maples state park. Enchanted Rock is good if you haven’t been already.

    • oil in houston :

      Wimberley is my favorite

    • Not exactly hill country but we love the JW Marriott in San Antonio and hear similar things about the Hyatt Los Pines. JW is outside of town with great spa and golf cours, a few nice restaurants and a great pool. We just got back from a trip there and didn’t leave the resort for 3 days. Another option is New Braunfels. Lots of cute B&B’s plus Gruene hall and antique shops to wander.

  8. Em as in Money :

    The dress link goes to the Banana Republic Logan fit pant.

  9. Any advice for refocusing when something’s happened to really throw you off? A work situation arose this morning that’s going to make my life really difficult over the next few months. It’s also made me pretty angry, which is not like me. I have a TON of work to do today and I just can’t get my head back into it. Help?

    • Take a walk to clear your head…let yourself be angry for the first 10 minutes or so and then talk your self down for another 10, take deep breaths, think good stuff. Get your mind back to the work you need to do and then dive in when you get back to your desk.
      Sounds simplistic but has worked for me.

  10. Dress pic :

    I’m so confused by the dress picture. Why would you market work clothing with a picture of a model with her hair all over her face? It seems so weird

    • Anonymous :

      Seriously? You can’t go the extra step to imagine yourself in a dress without hair on your face?

      I bet you’re really fun at parties.

      • Anonymous :

        The question is not can I imagine myself in the dress. The question is why would you choose to advertise your product that way – does it show the dress in the best light?

        • Anonymous :

          Work can be fun
          the dress can be worn at non-work occasions
          everything is not black or white

      • I bet you’re a b1tch at parties. And in real life. Get another hobby.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      “Even when caught in a windstorm, your dress will look great!” No, it’s weird. I like the dress, though.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Except the blue is sold out, and the last thing I need is another black dress. Oh well.

    • Anonymous :

      She looks lost.

    • Because when I’m walking to lunch with my short haired male colleagues, I need to know that I’ll still look fabulous when the wind invariably picks up to mess up my hair and render useless the time I spend styling it in the AM while the boys were still asleep.

      Or when I get so frustrated by yet another inane thing that someone somewhere did that I have no recourse but to grasp at my hair in distress, I will still look glamorous and sophisticated– a literal hot mess, you might say.

      Because we all need to know that wind is professional.

  11. What do you all think of the new MM LaFleur floral collection?

    • Triangle Pose :

      Not a fan. Looks very Ann Taylor Loft to me. I would have liked their classic drapes and solids but with some brighter/more saturated colors/jewel tones instead of the floral prints.

    • I hate it. If I wanted that blue/black pattern, I’d buy it for $14 at Kohls.

      I think for the last year or so, MM has gone away from their original mission of dressing women smartly and efficiently for work in easy, washable, wearable pieces. The women who were originally wearing Etsuko dresses are not likely up for this this manic pixie, dry clean only, culottes b$ they’ve been selling this year.

      • Agree with this. Although I think some of the florals are very nice, I’m not going to buy them. I need washable workhorse pieces, not dry clean only dresses that are memorable enough that I only want to wear them once every three weeks.

      • Anonymous :

        THIS. and the supply chain seems to have been interrupted to the point where the basics are unavailable most of the time in BASIC color and a full range of sizes.

        • Anonymous :

          Agree 100%. Why can’t I buy the Lydia dress in a normal color? Where did the Nisa and the Annie go? What is up with the weird muddy colors?

      • Baconpancakes :

        I suspect it’s because their target market already has purchased a jardigan, greenpoint skirt, etsuko, noho skirt, aditi dress, and didion top, and it’s generally easier to get repeat customers to buy again than it is to make new customers.

    • I am resoundingly meh on it. But I don’t much like florals, personally — they don’t seem very polished to me, for some reason? And obviously the MM clothes are still quite conservative, but it just wasn’t something I felt like was missing in my wardrobe and don’t think I’ll buy anything.

    • Anonymous :

      I love patterns, particularly florals, and I don’t like any of these pieces. Sorely disappointed on my end!

    • I am in additional sizes so I don’t have the same choices, but I like the blue/white floral Cobble Hill skirt in cotton. I’d wear it with all blue on top and lots of white pearls. That would totally fly in my office.

    • +1 to the comments about it not being machine washable. These days, dry cleaning is a dealbreaker for me.

  12. Anon for this :

    I’m used to getting the occasional dark hair on my chin, but I found something new today. For days I’ve been seeing a hair on my face out the corner of my eye, but then I’d go to brush it off and not actually feel anything I thought I was going crazy, so today I finally pulled out a mirror for a closer look and I found a fine, light hair, about one inch in length, growing just next to my nose. What even is this?? What causes this?

    It’s gonna drive me crazy until I get home and can pluck it, that I know.

    • Flats Only :

      I found one like that about an inch above my eyebrow at one point. I plucked it and it didn’t return. The body just does weird things sometimes!

    • pugsnbourbon :

      I get these – most frequently on my neck and jawline, some are light but mostly dark. My sisters and I all joke about how good it feels to pluck our “weird neck hairs.”

      In my case it’s probably PCOS. I’ve seen some improvement since I started taking spiro for acne (the acne is much better), but I still gotta tweeze frequently.

    • Anonymous :

      This is how you know you’re turning into a witch and reaching your full potential.

    • Here’s a deal I have with my two closest girlfriends – and you need to arrange your own right now.

      If I’m ever in a coma, they have agreed to come visit and secretly pluck my chin hairs.

      • Anonymous :

        Ahhhh…. This is a true friend.

      • Senior Attorney :

        OMG I love this.

        Also: I have a deal with my husband that if I ever have to have emergency surgery, he is to demand a plastic surgeon to work on the incision.

    • Anonymous :

      thank good for internet anonymity. I get these on my chest, maybe once a month.

    • Anonymous :

      My husband has a unicorn hair like that. Fine, but long and sometimes it curls up. We can only see it in one bathroom in the morning light.

      Electrolysis will work on hair like this. Not laser. Why bother? 1. they will get worse over time. 2. what if I’m in a coma? who will come pluck and tweeze?

    • Anonymous :

      I have an inch-long hair that grows on my shoulder. Been there for years and years and I’ve just plucked it in the summers when it’s visible in sleeveless tops. I always joke that it’s like it didn’t get the message that it’s supposed to be a 1/4 inch long.

      • I, too, have a wayward, recurring hair that can get to be like 1.5 inches long if left to its own devices. I can’t believe I’m saying this but it’s in such a distinct place that it’ll out me if I say where it is! Some how way too many people know about it.

  13. Anon for this (don't want to out my handle) :

    Medical folks I need your help! How do we decide if someone can or cannot be left alone at home? My husband was in an accident, and is back home using a walker and a wheelchair to get around while broken bones heal. He is relatively mobile around the house, but not perfectly so. Husband is an introvert and would prefer to be left alone all day long while he recuperates. So far I have stayed home with him last week, and his mother has been there this week. With just me around he was fine, but his mother’s visits haven’t gone very well, as she tends to want to interact and socialize all day, which he finds draining. We can afford to bring in a home health aide, who would be easier to manage than his mom, but he really just wants to be alone. How do we judge when that’s safe?

    • Is he able to handle going to the bathroom and making himself meals without help? Has the house been made safe for him (grab bars in bathroom, pick up tripping hazards like throw rugs, he can get up and down out of a chair safely)? Is he a fall risk for any reason- like he has fainting spells? Will he agree to not do certain things while he’s alone if you know he needs assistance like bathing? Can you make sure he either keeps his cell phone on him or has another method to call if he needs help?

    • Anonymous :

      Does he physically and cognatively have the ability to get out of the house in the case of an emergency?

      Are you able to create a safe space in the house wherein he can easily get around and have access to food, water, and a bathroom if he is alone? If he were to fall could he get up on his own? Is there someone who is able to check up on him during the day (by phone may be fine).

      If the answer of these is all ‘yes’, you’re good IMO. Sometimes this may mean that someone needs to be home to help him get downstairs and/or be around when he’s taking a shower, but ask yourself if he’s safe to just chill in the living room during the day. Also, ask his physician if in doubt.

    • I would look into whether your insurance would cover a once per day home health visit for bathing/grooming if he can’t do it himself. But you need to work. You don’t have to stay home and take care of a grown man if he can get himself to the bathroom to pee.

    • anon a mouse :

      Can he do basic tasks for himself – go to the bathroom, get food from the refrigerator, etc?

      You might consider an aide to do a pop-in once or twice a day, to make sure he’s okay and to offer a hand. Doesn’t have to be a full-day companion deal.

    • Min Donner :

      Just an anecdote to do with what you will — my husband had achilles surgery and crutches, and on his first day home from the hospital he tried to go to the bathroom and tripped with his crutches and basically undid the surgery. Luckily I was still home, and back to the hospital we went for another surgery. Home care wasn’t an option, so he was home all by himself every weekday while I was at work, but after the fall he was incredibly cautious and even assented to having a toilet chair right by the couch/sofabed where he spent all his days. Yes, I had to empty it, and it was gross, but you get used to it and it was worth preventing falls. So he did not really move except between the couch and the toilet unless someone was there for several weeks. I packed him meals and snacks and drinks in a cooler every morning that he kept within reach.

    • Anonymous :

      from what you describe, there is no reason he needs 24 hour care. As long as he keeps his cell phone on his body at all times so he can call for help, he should be fine.

      If he had an unstable seizure disorder or was cognitively impaired with poor judgement I might say otherwise. Can you share his problem?

      Often too much care can slow down your rehabilitation. Don’t baby him unless those are the doctor’s instructions.

    • Thanks all. This is very helpful. He broke his knee and the opposite wrist. He currently needs help getting the walker into position to get in / out of the wheelchair or bed or on/off the toilet (which he can do with effort), and getting into the bathroom is such as effort that his physical therapist urged him to keep using a urinal bottle, so that needs emptying. Our house is small, so getting to the refrigerator in the wheelchair is difficult to impossible at the moment, so someone needs to make his lunch. I’ve been dispensing medication, but he could do that himself. I really just want him to take it as easy as possible to speed his healing vs. being tempted to try new maneuvers when he’s alone and injuring or exhausting himself. He’s been a lot more active for the last day or two, but at the same time complains that his broken leg is achy from the effort of moving it around without someone there to lend a little support (which he’s been refusing) when he props it up.

      • Anonymous :

        That is really helpful info. He is totally fine to be alone at home.

        You buy 2 or 3 more urinals for $5 each on Amazon. He doesn’t need 24 hour care to empty a urinal. He leaves it filled until someone comes home.

        At night, you make a lunch for him for the next day. Freeze it. Take it out to thaw in the morning. Examples are tuna fish sandwiches, that freeze great. Keep it simple. He will survive.

        Ask the PT about him being alone. They will know best. Let him do as much as possible himself. Only limit what the PT says he should limit.

        Pain meds. Take them! Ibuprofen/naproxen/Tylenol are often very effective.

        • Anonymous :

          Yeah, this dude could be pretty happy with a couple ‘chauffeur’s friend’ type urinals and a cooler in easy access of the couch.

          Other ideas for what to keep in there: PBJ’s (like the ‘uncrustables’), cut up fruits and veggies, squeezable yogurts, pre-sliced cheese, hummus and pita. It might help to put a frame around your existing toilet – an OT can also be super valuable in helping you figure all this out.

      • Oh, preach! I broke my knee (patella, straight across) and opposite ankle in law school, the night before my Spring 2L finals. It was good times, esp because I lived on a third floor walkup. Hopefully his ortho can get him a leg brace soon so that he can hobble with the knee. Getting up without a wrist can be hard, but it’s a good chance for him to work on his abs (kidding!).

        I definitely think he can be left home alone. It sucks if you have to hobble, but he will get the hang of it. This is a great opp to work with Ortho and PT/OT to teach him how to do for himself.

        And if his pain is not managed, he should also talk to them about that too! GL!

        • Thanks again all. He spent 10 days at in patient rehab before he had surgery, so he got good skills for maneuvering. His pain is managed well. All this advice is great!

      • Min Donner :

        Agree with the above comments — buy extra urinal bottles, or even get a bucket with a lid that he could empty the one bottle into so he can keep reusing. It’s not elegant, but it is practical. The broken wrist is a complication my husband didn’t have, but for the occasional #2, it might be easier to get onto a chair like this (which we rented from a medical supply store affiliated with the hospital) than into/out of the regular bathroom and toilet. https://www.amazon.com/Drive-Medical-Folding-Bedside-Commode/dp/B001HP7AQE/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_121_bs_lp_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=7JBC87KVY01BNMACX3G8

        Also highly recommend a shower stool or tub bench depending on your bathroom setup, if you don’t already have one, because even as one heals they can get fatigued and it’s nice to just be able to sit while washing hair, etc., and prevent slips/falls.

        Pre-planning and a cooler is the solution for food. Or, thinking outside the box, if he wants hot meals, you could totally put something like chili or stew or soup in a small (or regular sized) slow cooker/crockpot and just plug it in near wherever he is stationed so when he wants lunch he can dish it out. Or make up paninis for the cooler and have a George Foreman grill on the coffee table. There’s a lot he can do with a limited range of motion so long as you can get things in arms reach. Best of luck!

  14. I’m in the middle of an excruiciating bout of plantar fasciitis. All my home remedies (sleep brace, wearing rocker soles) aren’t helping. If I go to the podiatrist, what can they do? Or should I just wait it out?

    My issue is that my old podiatrist is no longer anywhere reasonably close to my office or home. I’d have to find a new one.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have a good stretching plan? If not, it may get be worth a visit.

    • My teenaged daughter and husband swear by the daily combination of these things:
      1. sleep brace to keep foot flexed
      2. rolling frozen plastic water bottles under feet
      3. rolling wooden fake lemon under foot (anything similar should work)
      4. picking up a pile of about 15 marbles with toes, one by one and moving to separate pile

      Sorry you are dealing with this!

    • Podiatrist will ask you to add arch support to your shoes (that’s a major cause of PF). Podiatrist will recommend icing several times a day and a short high-dose course of advil (or similar NSAID). If walking is really painful, there are cushioned soles for PF and gel heel soles you can get. They make the actual walking feel better. However, my pod yelled at me because while cushy things feel better, they are the opposite of what you need–you need support and hard soles.

      I would just go see any pod you can–it may be that it’s a different tendon or something–worth checking out.

      Hope that helps!

    • I went to a PT for mine awhile back and had weekly tendon-therapy-massage. I’m not sure exactly what the clinical name for the treatment was, but it was basically a foot massage that didn’t actually feel good or relaxing, focused entirely on loosening those specific tendons. It really helped.

    • Anonymous :

      What really helped mine the most was getting massage. You have to find someone who knows what they’re doing, but massaging the calves especially made a huge difference. In between I’d massage myself with “the stick.” I also wear birkenstocks or danskos pretty much all the time.

    • S in Chicago :

      In addition to the above, you may get a cortisone injection.They may recommend PT. If none of these things work you might get a walking cast. And absolute worst case surgery. Sooner you intervene the more likely it will take only minor intervention.And also don’t keep ignoring or you’ll end up hurting the other foot as you compensate. Ask how I know….

  15. House buying q :

    Has anyone represented themselves in buying a house, without using a realtor? All the parties are well known to each other, so there’s a good level of trust, and good comps in the area to go off of. Any tips or guidance for things to keep in mind?

    • Anonymous :

      No. It’s a significant purchase (for most people) & I want it to be done correctly. I want things filed in the right places & I want recourse if that doesn’t happen. I want a professional to handle it. There’s also lot more to buying a house than identifying the property. I’ve always found the properties I’ve ended up buying & I have always used an agent to handle the transaction after that. I simply don’t understand going DIY on matters of significance.

    • Once as the buyer and twice as the seller. It really saves a ton of money on real estate commission. When we bought this way, my husband used a standard contract real estate agreement found in a software package sold at Office Depot (2003 before everything was downloadable online). When we sold both places, once the buyer produced the contract, and once we found a contract template online on the state real estate association’s website. No problems any time. The contracts all allow for custom tailoring in areas such as inspections, earnest money, any necessary repairs, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      Yep, and it was my first time buying! I don’t think I missed out on anything other than having somebody to collect and organize all the paperwork, which was time consuming and a little annoying, but totally not worth what you pay in commission.

    • As the buyer you pay zero commission. Broker fees are on the selling side. No question I would use one in this situation, but they will not work for free…your friends (sellers) would have to pay the typical amount (half the typical number since it’s only going to 1 realtor instead of 2).

  16. Anonymous :

    Just now realizing how much a friend’s negativity brings me down. We haven’t spoken or texted in nearly a month between my work travel, vacation and then her vacation. It felt so calm. I feel bad even saying that about my closest friend in recent years. So she returns from an international vacation, texts me and instead of anything about how great it was — it’s “omg I’m so dreading go back to work. I realized my boss is this this and that and I’m drained.” Uh can’t there ever be 1 non negative message?? And FWIW I’ve been telling her she needs a new job for a long time — there’s nothing more to say here. Would you pull back? I feel bad since it’s a close friend but I’m very satisfied with how calm I’ve felt for weeks now.

    • I think it depends on if you were just listening to complaints, in which case you might just have to decrease contact, or if you were participating and you don’t want to anymore. If there’s some way to make it sound like you’re turning over a new leaf maybe you can tell her you’re going to make an effort to be more positive because you’ve realized your traveling/vacation was a great break from worries and you want to keep it up … or you realized how unhappy venting sessions were making you and you need to step back from them. But I would just view this as giving her the heads up that you’re going to bail on those types of conversations though, then consistently bail on them. Maybe you can find other things to discuss or maybe this means you won’t talk often anymore :/ but either way you’re in a happier place.

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