Suit of the Week: Classiques Entier

Classiques Entier 'Viviane Suiting' Stretch Wool Blend JacketFor 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.

I love the “navy melange” fabric here — kinda navy, kinda brown, kinda gray — but with a classically fitted suit. I’d probably keep it super simple and wear a white or black t-shirt beneath it and a set of pearls, but I could also see it looking nice with purples, oranges, greens, beiges, and possibly even a dark red. It’s part of the Nordstrom Anniverary Sale (check out Kat’s workwear picks). The jacket (Classiques Entier “Viviane Suiting” Stretch Wool Blend Jacket) is currently $179 but the price will go back to $268 after the sale ends. The pants (Classiques Entier “Viviane Suiting” Stretch Wool Blend Trousers) are $109, down from $168. (The skirt sadly seems to be sold out.)



Classiques Entier 'Viviane Suiting' Stretch Wool Blend Jacket Classiques Entier 'Viviane Suiting' Stretch Wool Blend Trousers



  1. I bought this suit in the gray color and promptly returned it- didn’t like the fabric, it was super matronly, and dwarfed me (I ordered a 4 in the jacket and a 6 in the dress and could easily have gone down a full size in each (or maybe 2 sizes in the dress).

    • hoola hoopa :

      What a shame! I would wear the heck out of that “navy melange” color.

    • I was wondering about the sizing for these suits.

      I ordered this suit in the jacket and skirt and the similar Classiques Entiers Arial black/white pattern suit (link to follow) in the jacket and dress.

      I saw the fabric of both in the store and liked them a lot. But, naturally, they had only one piece in two weird sizes in the store. So I ended up ordering everything in the likely sizes and will return what doesn’t work.

      The black/white Arial jacket arrived yesterday in a size 2. This is the smallest size they make. I am a 4 or 6. The shoulders are a little big but may be tailorable. I will ask the seamstress on Saturday when I go. The dress (4) and the navy melange jacket (2) and skirt (4) will arrive in a couple days, so I will try them on then. But how can it be that these are so much bigger than what 2s and 4s usually are? I am really, truly NOT that small.

  2. I have a question about people in relationships with someone who is from a different cultural background – specifically with regard to money/finances.

    I was born in India and moved to the US when I was around 3 years old. My parents both work and overall are very financially generous towards both me and my brother. We had scholarships in college, but education is very important to them they helped us with other expenses so we could focus on our classes instead of needing to take a part time job. They helped pay for my brother to go to law school and helped us with a downpayment on our house.

    My husband’s parents got divorced when he was 6 and he has 3 other siblings. They all lived with his father who was a pastor and they did not have a lot of money growing up. Both his older sisters got married shortly after college and my husband and his brother started working right after high school.

    I think from my background and culture it’s not unusual for my parents to help us out financially. A few years ago, they invited us to a vacation in Maui and paid for our airfare and hotel. Recently with the house downpayment, they offered their help and told us the amount they felt comfortable contributing. I greatly appreciate how my parents help us, but my husband feels very uncomfortable about it.

    Just the other day, we were having dinner at my parents house and I mentioned how I would love to take a beach vacation b/c this past year has been busy with work and moving into our new house. My mom got really excited and mentioned that she had seen some good deals online. We started looking up dates, etc but at that point my mom didn’t explicitly say they would pay for the entire trip. When we talked on the way home we agreed that we could not afford the trip on our own, but my husband said he would be interested if they were paying for it. My husband said I should send an email telling my mom that we wouldn’t be able to go on the trip to due finances with the new house, etc. I did that and included some dates/prices I had looked up if just she and my dad wanted to go.

    She called the next day and mentioned something about adjusting the original dates we were talking about and said they would check with us before booking the trip. Before the conversation got further, I asked her if she meant they would pay for it or if they would want us to pay them for our half. She confirmed that they would cover our portion. I thanked her for her generosity and we decided to talk later about the dates.

    When I told my husband about our conversation, he blew up because I had asked my mom if they were paying for the trip. He told me I effed things up and now he didn’t want to go on the trip. He said I should have told her on the phone that we couldn’t afford the trip and then if she insisted we go, then we would consider it. I didn’t realize I had said/done anything wrong, so this was out of left field for me. He was really rude and raising his voice and I’m really upset by how he reacted to this.

    I don’t like being the one to communicate to my mom what all he is thinking. As of know, my mom still thinks we’re still interested in the trip. He and my mom have a pretty open relationship so when I get home, I’m going to ask if he can call my mom and express his concerns directly to her. I’m tired of getting in trouble b/c he thinks I didn’t say things exactly how he would have.

    Anyway, this turned into more of a vent than I expected. I guess my question is if anyone else has dealt with similiar situations with your SO.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t, but I’m sympathetic to your spouse here. I’d be very uncomfortable with the amount of support you’re getting as a family, and doubly so if you’ve asked for that support (which it seems you did, with regard to this trip) rather than it being offered. One data point for you.

      • ITA. Also, I wouldn’t feel comfortable if my spouse told me that I needed to explain to his mother. It puts him in a weird position and also could create a lot of in-law tension. I feel like it’s your responsibility to be family spokesperson to your parents.

        • (former) preg 3L :

          +1. It’s your responsibility to be the family spokesperson to your parents. That doesn’t mean you should limit the communication between your spouse and your parents, but when there’s conflict, you need to step up and be the middle-person.

      • To clarify – I didn’t ask them to pay for our part of the trip. I was trying to find out if they were volunteering to pay for the whole thing – or – if they were going to book the trip on their card and we we would just pay them for our half.

        I will reconsider having him talk to my mom. I just felt frustrated when he said I didn’t say things in the way he would have said them.

        • I agree with the 3 comments above, but I think that there also may be a stand up for yourself issue at play. You can discuss the communications that you’re having with your parents with your husband, but you shouldn’t be responsible for communicating in the way that he wants you to – whether or not you go on the trip is a joint decision between the two of you, but how you discuss it with your parents is really your decision, not his. (And, of course, the same goes for him wrt communications with his parents.) (I’d add an exception for private information – that is, spouses get a say in how much information is given to family regarding things like finances, child-having, sex lives, etc., but that’s not really at issue here.)

          • SuziStockbroker :

            I understand where OP is coming from. I find my husband often asks me to call someone (like his mother) to confirm something, call a store and ask soemthing, or be around for a tradespoerson or something and then gets upset that I didn’t ask what he wanted be to ask, even though he didn’t tell me what to ask.

            Sounds, to me, like he did ask her to ask if they were paying. It’s frustrating.

    • [[edited because I misread OP… ]]

      This is a larger issue than the vacation with your husband, it sounds like. It’s about the support and how the support is being provided/asked for/not asked for – actively versus passively. Is he ok with support if it’s passive (they offer?). Or, has he reached his max at receiving their generosity, and this trip was just the tipping point? I haven’t dealt with this specifically, but it doesn’t sound like you’re both on the same page with finances… and that I have experienced. Once you have a practical conversation about finances and your parents’ role in it (not about the vacay) you’ll both be better for it.

      Also, do not make him explain to your mom… that’s just… no. If anything you explain to your mom that you misrepresented your position as a couple on it and need time to think about it.

      • He was definitely okay with the support of helping with the downpayment on the house. They also offered some money to help us put a deck on the house. I think based on that, this trip was the tipping point.

        • Point that out to him, how comfortable he’s been accepting money in the past. But, my original comment still stands… you’re not on the same page with $$ and it’s bigger than this vacation. I know he didn’t express himself kindly (yelling, etc… that’s it’s own issue), but don’t miss his message – something isn’t aligned when it comes to finances.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Regardless of what you did, your spouse shouldn’t be blowing up at you and he shouldn’t be swearing at you. You are not a mind reader either. I can also see where it would be confusing whether they are offering to pay for the trip or not and you are just asking for clarification so that you know.

      Recently my husband’s parents planned a family trip that involves them renting a house. I asked my husband to clarify that they are paying for said house because I’d rather not have an awkward conversation where we didn’t send money we didn’t know we owed. Family finances can get tricky.

      • Yes, I was just asking for clarification so we could make a decision. That’s why I felt frustrated when he snapped at me b/c I didn’t agree that would definitely be going on the trip or make concrete plans on dates, etc.

        • I agree. No matter what the explanation is for why he yelled at you (frustration? pride injured by accepting help from your parents?), it isn’t an excuse. This isn’t how we treat people (especially people we love). I hope he is offering apologies and asking for forgiveness before you have to mention how upsetting this was.

    • Anonymous :

      I haven’t been in this specific situation so take this FWIW, but I think your husband is being a little unfair. It sounds like he doesn’t like having to ask for things, but is perfectly okay with your parents’ generous support if they just hand it out or if he can tell himself/others that “hey, they offered!”

      So he was okay with you dropping all sorts of hints that essentially amounted to asking, but just not expressing saying “Are you paying for it?” Sorry, but that’s like saying “Oh wow Susie! I had no idea your uncle was Paul McCartney! Man, you have NO IDEA how much I am DYING to have backstage passes when Sir Paul is in town next weekend! Say, is that something he ever does for friends of family?” and then claiming you didn’t beg Susie for the passes. If he wants to play that game, that’s fine, but he should be the one to do it, and not yell at you for “effing” things up when you take a more direct and perfectly reasonable approach given your family dynamic with your parents.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        This is pretty much how I read the situation as well.

      • +1 If you are uncomfortable with the support then don’t take it period. That’s what I do with my parents.

      • That was exactly my read of the situation and what I was going to say. Basically, he didn’t want it to sound like you “asked” for them to pay for the trip.

      • I’m glad I read through the comments before posting because yes, exactly.

      • Absolutely this.

        In fact, I was totally put off by your husband basically telling you to tell your parents…. “you are paying for us right? or else we’re not going….”

        You did absolutely nothing wrong in my book.

        Although, you kind of were fishing for your parents to pay for a beach vacation from the beginning, weren’t ya? Maybe it’s time to have a talk with your husband and start focusing on living within your means. Time to take the plunge and be out on your own….

        • No, I definitely wasn’t fishing for them to pay for the vacation. The conversation started with my mom talking about planning a trip to India this December – and she said to let us know if we want to go – but that’s definitely out of the picture b/c we don’t have enough vacation time.

          I said it would be nice to take a beach vacation and perhaps go to an all-inclusive. At that point, my mom got excited and showed me this ad in the paper that had good deals to Cancun. She started talking about how fun that would be and even opened her calendar to look at which dates would work.

          We just moved into a new house this year, so I know a vacation is not a good financial choice. When I mentioned, it was just wishful thinking about how it would be nice.

      • Flying Squirrel :

        I totally agree with this. I think the DH is being somewhat underhanded here. I have a similar siutation, though DH has made his peace and would never try to tell me how to talk to my parents. But frankly, my mom would be offended if I hinted without being straightforward.

        Honestly, I think you and DH need to have an upfront conversation on how he feels about support from your parents…but he needs to let you deal with your parents. Every family (and relationship) works differently. He wants you to deal with your parents in the way that makes sense for him based on other relationships that he’s in…that’s not fair.

      • +1. That’s what I was reading into it. It’s OK if they pay for it and he doesn’t have to ask – but he doesn’t want it to look like he’s asking for a handout. It seems like he’s a bit uncomfortable with the situation but may not know (1) exactly why or (2) exactly what he wants to have happen.

    • It sounds like your parents are very involved with your lives. It’s great for you, but if you look at it in the reverse way, would it maybe make you feel uncomfortable if your in-laws were involved so heavily in your life, to the point where they influenced even where you lived and took you on vacation with them? Even if you enjoyed the closeness, it might make you feel weird to ask your in-laws to pay for something as gratuitous as a vacation. My guess is that your husband is probably frustrated at something like this and expressed it poorly. You should probably talk about it.

      • Actually this past year is the most inovlement we’ve had with them financially. Even when we were in the early stages of talking about moving into a new house, my mom said she and my dad would “help us out”. We made all the decisions of where to live, etc and to their credit they have never dictated what we should do since it is their money.

        I will have to look at it from my husband’s perspective that they are possibly being too involved and he is uncomfortable with that.

    • Have you explained to him the cultural differences the way you explained it to us? I have a little bit of this in my relationship and, eventually after explaining the cultural differences, my husband gets it. You can’t be expected to be his verbatim mouthpiece! Tell him that you handled it the way you felt comfortable handling it (and it’s your family, so I’m pretty sure you know this area well) and that you guys will thank your parents while on the vacation and maybe get them an extra nice Christmas gift this year or something.

      • I don’t even know that these are cultural differences. My MIL is like your mother and she is from Maryland.

        It would help most of all if everyone was being nice to each other and not yelling, etc.

        • True, could just be familial differences. Like my family doesn’t spend a lot on each other for Christmas, but DH’s family spends a ton.

    • Your mother loves you, yes? Can you just tell her (without throwing husband under the bus) that you got carried away with the vacation talk and that you and your husband aren’t on the same page with going (generally) going on your parents’ dime (so that they are on notice that this is an issue and might be aware of your new sensitivities in this area).

      As a parent, I have had a child lie to me to avoid upsetting me (which lie was obvious when told; child should never play poker). It breaks my heart and I always respond with “I love you so much that telling me the truth will not make me love you any less.”

      Then figure out where you husband is (some are happy for the money, some wonder about string attached, some have pride issues). Maybe what may help is that time is short and that your parents would rather leave you with memories (house, vacation) and enjoy making them with you while they are live than leave you a bunch of money once they are gone.

      • Thanks, this was helpful. I did talk to my mom and without going into details about my husband’s behavior tried to communicate that we’re still uncertain about going on the trip. Actually, that last part about making memories is exactly what my mom said – she and my dad are financially stable and responsible with their money and she thought it would be fun to take a vacation together.

      • I know this is late but I hope some people still see it. I lost my parents at a fairly young age and this made me tear up a bit. I would love to have made some more memories… even if it was at the wading pool at motel 6 outside of the town that has the world’s largest paperclip, you know? (not that I was left any money…but looking back I know what my choice would be if given the option).

    • Anne Shirley :

      Maybe tell your husband to stop being an immature jerk who’s fine with letting your parents pay for luxuries but only in the precise way he approves of and if you don’t curses at you and brings the rage? And tell him that he’s being a controlling idiot and if he wants to talk about whether or not you should be getting support from your parents like this that’s fine, but he doesn’t actually get to tell you how to talk to your own mother because you’re a grown up?

      The nerve wanting them to pay for vacation and then throwing a temper tantrum.

      • I am 100% with Anne Shirley here.

        I would agree with some of the other responses if your husband DID NOT want your parents to pay, and was ACTUALLY uncomfortable with taking “handouts” from them.

        But he ISN’T. He WANTED you to GET THEM TO PAY. He just didn’t want them to KNOW he wanted it. So he wanted you to do it “his way”, so that he could DELUDE himself that he wasn’t really asking for help/a gift/whatever.

        I agree with Anne shirley. The nerve. He’s acting like a 4 year old. Either he wants the help, and he can be grateful and appreciative like a grownup, OR, he does not want the help because he wants to stand on his own two feet, in which case he says “Thank you so much for the offer but I think we’ll put it off till next year so we can save to pay our half.”

        You don’t get it both ways. Welcome to the real world, buddy.

      • Unfortunately, I think this is just a symptom of bigger issues in our marriage – sure he didn’t like the wording of what I said to my mom, but the anger and tone of voice he used is not cool. And he’s overreacted like this before. I don’t mind if he disagrees with me, but I would appreciate it if he was able to discuss it in a calm, rational manner.

        During one part of the conversation I misspoke and said “So I should have told her ABC?” He snaps back “No! That’s not what I said. Did you pass any classes in college?”

        Yeah, it’s really frustrating trying to communicate with him sometimes.

        • Yeah, you guys need counseling to learn how to have appropriate disagreements and to communicate better. That’s unacceptable. I’ve been married almost 10 years now and it’s understood that we don’t resort to personal attacks like that, even when we’re incredibly angry.

        • Anonymous :

          Did you pass any classes in college? Wow, what an asshole! Honey, who pays for the trip to India is the least of your worries!

        • At that point I would have punched him in the face.

        • If my husband spoke to me like that, I would have a come-to-Jesus talk with him ASAP.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I mostly agree with one caveat. I think there is a big difference between asking for help and accepting it when it is offered. My in-laws are well off. We, however, would never ask them for money except in a dire crisis. We have done everything on our own. We would never call them up and say “hey, we want a vacation, will you pay for it?” But, if they called us up and said “hey, you have a big anniversary coming up. We’d like to buy you a big trip as your present.” We would say yes in a heart beat. They paid for our honeymoon that way but we never asked for it or even assumed we were getting a present.

        Even with my much less well off parents, who we provide financial assistance on occasion, they also like to contribute to things for us on occasion (and we would NEVER ask). One example is my dog hurt her paw back when my husband and I were in paycheck to paycheck jobs. My mom insisted on sending some money to go towards the vet bill because she loves us and my dog.

        I could see husband saying “look, if they want to send us on a trip, fine, but do not ask them to do so.”

        I wrote my reply before the OP replied but I already said above his way of expressing his disagreement is not okay.

        • +1 … there is a difference. Subtle, but to the right person, quite meaningful.

        • I agree, there is a difference in asking for help and accepting the help. I thought about this and I don’t recall any specific instances in which we specifically asked for money. We’ve planned other vacations on our own and have paid for those ourselves. Honestly, I would love to be in a place financially where I could be generous and help out friends and family like my parents have done for us.

        • I think that’s true….except in this case, it seems more like the husband wants her to manipulate (for lack of a better word)her parents into offering to pay for the trip by saying they wouldn’t be able to go, and fully expecting that her parents would then respond by offering to pay for them. In those circumstances, I think there is no difference between accepting a gift and asking for help (since hubs clearly wanted the in-laws to pay anyway).

          • This.
            I definitely agree that there is a real difference between being willing to accept offered gifts, and being willing to ask for assistance.

            Here, however, he was willing to ask for the assistance, just so long as no one knew he was asking and so long as his wife manipulated her parents “just so”.

      • High five to Anne Shirley.

    • lawsuited :

      The rules of engagement for in-laws are that each spouse speaks to their own parents about awkward issues involving the other spouse. Examples from my own life: DH’s mom is upset because I want to spend Christmas with my family this year – DH talks to MIL, my mom makes a comment that DH does not earn enough and I am supporting him – I talk to mom.

      The basic premise is that your husband can be more honest with you than he can be with your mom, and you can be more honest with your mom than your husband can be. Plus, you and your mom have years of goodwill in the bank and your husband doesn’t have as much so a disagreement/fight like this could have a lasting impact on his relationship with your mom.

      • Yes, it makes sense that each spouse talks to their own parent. But what if the spouse doesn’t like the wording of what was said? (See my response to Anne Shirley)

        • “But what if the spouse doesn’t like the wording of what was said?”

          Then this is a control issue, and you need counseling (separate, together).

        • With the exception of getting a say in not revealing confidential information (i.e., if your spouse wants your financial information to be a private matter, that should be respected), spouses don’t get to dictate how the other spouse discusses things with his/her parents. I wasn’t going to judge too harshly based on one fight, but with the additional things that you’ve added, I’m concerned – he’s treating you like a child on this issue.

          If you guys are still newlyweds, this might just be a symptom of the whole trying to work out how to relate to each other as a married couple thing that can be difficult in the first year or so, but if it’s not that, I think that you should step back and look at the dynamic regarding your communications. As a life-long American, I do not think that this is purely a cultural difference (as in, I do not think that this is the typical American way of relating to one’s spouse).

        • Your husband could have expressed a preference in how you conveyed things to your mother, but he does not get to dictate the terms of your conversations with her. He also dooes not get to call you stupid, ever, which is basically what your husband did, Anon44.

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        I think you need to think carefully about how you tell your husband what you said to your mom. You and your mom probably had what was a totally normal conversation, based on your relationship history and years of love and trust. When you summarized the conversation to your husband, you used shorthand – but that shorthand can’t capture all of the love/trust/normalcy of the conversation. So all your husband hears is that you didn’t carry out his strategy. And he (as others have pointed out) seems to have a lot of ego bound up here.

        Here’s how I do this. I don’t summarize conversations to my spouse. I am not a court reporter and I can’t do a good summary or replicate the conversation. Nor should I be expected to do so!

        What I can do is say, “Hey, my mom and I had a great conversation. She offered to pay for the vacation. I didn’t commit to anything, but I thought it was nice of her to offer. What do you think?” In other words, share the facts, protect your spouse’s right to turn down the offer, and then move towards the resolution.

        Your spouse might say, “Well, what exactly did she say? Did you ask her or did she offer?” I think it’s totally legitimate in those circumstances (especially in light of your posts) to say, “We were talking about it generally and she offered.” But don’t go into details. You don’t owe anyone a transcript.

        My otherwise wonderful, lovely, supportive, non-controlling husband definitely has some issues around how I communicate with my parents and how I communicate with his parents. For him, the best thing I can do is to just say, “we had a great conversation,” and not try to recap it word-by-word. It assures him that everyone is fine and prevents him from nitpicking communication style.

    • I’m also Indian and my Husband and I view family quite differently from one another, in some part but not entirely along the lines of what you’ve described here. I’ve found that it’s extremely important to be aware of what each of you came into the marriage expecting and how cultural stuff may play a role. It’s possible that for the sake of your marriage, you may have to disengage from your parents a bit. For example, my dad was born in India, came to the states and married an American woman (my mother) when his father died, his mother came to live with them. It ended up causing a lot of stress on their marriage, and it did not end well. There wasn’t a real attempt to sort of forge a middle path- my grandmother came to live with us b/c that’s the oldest son’s responsibility, and my dad didn’t think to consider alternatives. My mom tried to be a good sport, but couldn’t. Now when he talks about it, he stresses that he just didn’t understand the cultural issues surrounding this problem, although he thought he did at the time. He says that he should have realized that in order for his marriage to work, he had to put some distance between himself and his family, as is customary in the West. (he actually raised me himself, which is why I still identify as Indian- just for some context about my earlier statement re: my own marriage)

      It also seems like he’s not behaving quite as he should, which is something else I’d ask you to think about- whether you feel that there are major red flags in his behavior.

    • hoola hoopa :

      So, my brother is your husband and his wife is you, almost exactly. I can relate to this, from his point of view.

      First off, he shouldn’t have blown up at you like that. Period. Regardless of family and intercultural dynamics, you deserve an apology for that.

      Secondly, don’t have him talk to your mom. That’s your role. He talks to you; you talk to them. The same reverse situation with regards to his parents.

      Thirdly, I’ve read your subsequent comments and I agree that this sounds like a tipping point. It could also be that a vacation doesn’t feel nearly as necessary as a down payment to him. When he’s cooled down, you guys really need to have a conversation about your parents expectations of giving, his comfort zone for gifts, and how he’d like you to handle similar situations going forward.

      It is uncomfortable to accept gifts like that when you aren’t raised with the tradition or expectation. Being told that his in-laws are comfortable with it doesn’t necessarily relieve his innate discomfort. For example, my brother’s in-laws bought them a brand new car when they were shopping for a used one that fit their budget. He *knew* that they meant it only as a gift and that in India that sort of thing is common, but he *felt* humiliated for not being able to afford the kind of car that his ILs felt they should have.

      I can relate to it based on my own financially generous in-laws (who incidentally are white/US-born), and there’s an additional aspect of feeling badly taking their money because my parents can’t give equally. Logically there are lots of reasons why I should feel fine with it, but it still always feels awkward to me. I worry we’ll overstay our welcome, so to speak. It’s just so foreign to me, so I don’t know “the rules”.

      • Thank you. This was helpful and gave me something to think about. Before this whole incident he mentioned that he didn’t think it was “fair” that they were spending his money on us. Honestly, I’m not sure what he meant by that b/c I know my parent’s are doing this b/c they are able, want to, etc. I know they don’t feel obligated to help us financially. I think I will have to have a deeper conversation about exactly what is causing the discomfort.

        • As a related question, whose responsibility will it be to care for your parents in their later years? If it is you, is your husband aware of that and ok with it?

          • Funny you mention that, because this subject came up also – they have a living will with medical info, etc and they mentioned meeting with my and my brother to go over the details. My mom actually said they might move back to India when they are older where there is some type of assisted living center. This is something we will need to address in the future for sure and we will both need to be on the same page b/c it’s much bigger than a vacation.

      • When you asked your mother “hey mom, did you mean you were going to pay for us?” would she have felt comfortable responding “No, you guys would pay us back your share of course” ?

        Asking because my mother would have felt uncomfortable coming out and saying that, even if that was what she had intended all along. You almost feel like if you *can* pay for your beloved child, who is in worse circumstances than you, you *should*.
        So what is plain-speaking for one person may be pressure-tactics for another, and while you may know the right context based on your communication style with your mom, your husband may interpret it differently and may feel awkward about it.

        If I were in your husband’s place I would feel uncomfortable with both this level of parental support, and the context of “asking” for a fully-paid vacation. There are many ways that they can spend time with you both without paying for your beach vacation, so that argument doesn’t hold water in my mind.

        (Of course none of this in any way excuses his rude behavior to you.)

    • Hi Anon44….I couldn’t agree more with what everyone else has said. They nailed it!

      #1. You should serve as the spokes person between your mom and your husband. I don’t think your husband will feel comfortable talking to your mom about this issue and I’m sure your mom wouldn’t feel comfortable talking to your husband so save everyone the discomfort.

      #2. Your husband wasn’t being fair to you. You basically did what he asked you to do but not in those words. He is fine with accepting help from your parents but he just doesn’t want them to know that he wants it. I don’t feel right about it. Do you? I mean, I know he has his pride but if he needs/wants help then man-up and say it.

      But here’s my 2 cents….How old you are guys? Are your parents very well off? Like multi-millionaires? If so, congrats! I want parents like that! If not (and I’m from Asia as well) then I wouldn’t feel right accepting money from my parents. I’m an adult and I’m married. I should take care of myself and give them money. Your parents have taken care of you your whole life. Shouldn’t it end at some point? Isn’t it time for you to return the generosity? If you can’t afford vacation then don’t go. Go when you (on your own) can afford it. Let them save their money for themselves or when they get much older. Unless you’re on the verge of foreclosure, you shouldn’t need anyone else’s help.

      I think this is the grey area with your husband. He’s not comfortable with it but has gotten use to it since that’s the norm for you. However, he’s still struggling to make it a norm for him.

      • I will say that my in-laws always lived frugally. Then my FIL died (before I was around). After that, my MIL wanted to take a large expensive family vacation every year. She wanted to see her grandchildren, who are largely far away from her. It would be expensive for two children, but we could afford it. She gives the trip as a gift to us because it is really something that *she* wants and because she wants to treat all of her children equally.

        I’d usually just pay, but she wants us to respect her decision that she spends her money as she wants when she is alive (otherwise, she is set financially) and leave us less as an inheritance. Her money, her decision, and we respect that. It would be different if strings were attached (there aren’t).

      • Adding my 2 cents to your 2 cents! Your 3rd paragraph above expresses my thoughts exactly.

      • I see your point about ending the parental involvement. My mom said flat out that they want to spend their money now while they are in good health and able to travel. Giving – of her time or finances is something my mom enjoys doing. Thanks for your comment. It gives me something to think about.

    • I have had similar issues with my parents and husband. My parents paid for my education, including law school, we bought our first house with money from an investment in a private family company that was mine before our marriage. My folks have paid for us to go on vacations from time to time. At this point, they are older and my father is in poor health (Alzheimer’s) so we are more apt to help them than the other way around. There were some points where it was tricky but I would not have asked my husband to talk to my parents about it. Hope that’s helpful in some respects. All I can say is families are tricky and each one is different.

    • Haven’t dealt with issue myself, but here’s my take..

      If you think about it from his perspective, he might be thinking that it is making a bad impression on your parents that he only wants to go if your parents pay. When he said that he would be interested if they were paying for it, that was something he said just to you, not something to be said to your parents. That could be why he then said that you should tell your parents that you wouldn’t be able to go due to finances (not “we can’t go unless you pay). It’s obviously harder when you’re speaking with your parents to think about this from his perspective – you’re used to the type of interactions you have with your parents, and I think that’s totally OK – just hope you can get this point across to your husband that that’s just the way you talk with them.

      It sounds like he was probably thinking that the conversation would look more like this: your parents talks about the trip again, and you’d say well you can’t afford it b/c finances, etc but if your parents insist we might think about it some more, and then your parents might offer to pay it and make that offer first (rather than you asking your parents first if they will pay for you). This might be a cultural thing b/c of how he grew up as well, so something else to consider.

      I think if he is upset, you probably should not ask him to explain it to your parents, because that would be an uncomfortable conversation. You should talk to him about how you are comfortable speaking with your parents and your parents were willing to do it, etc, even if you hadn’t brought it up with your mom in that convo (if this is true of course)..You should talk to your mom about any concerns you and your husband discussed and explain the situation. Most likely your parents might just be like, “oh thats ok, we were willing to pay if you can’t afford it”…

    • I’m indian and I know that parents usually save up for kids’ education, incl grad school, from the day they are born. As an aside, you cannot be indian and not go to grad school or you’d probably have your passport taken away, but I digress….

      Your husband sounds like a jerk with his passive “acceptance” if your parents “offered to pay ” for the holiday, but then getting upset because you asked them to pay. I mean, either you are ok with inlaws paying or you are not. Don’t ask him and your mum to sort it out, it is not your mum’ s problem.

      You need to set some ground rules for you and your husband. I have never heard of Indians paying for kids’ holidays after they were married unless your folks are super duper rich.

  3. Productivity/Workflow software :

    I recently moved from a fully paperless firm with productivity software that kept track of deadlines, tasks, appointments and reminded me each day what I needed to do that day. My new firm uses a paper files, Windows directories and Microsoft Outlook.

    I’m losing track of my tasks and deadlines. I’ve tried a paper “To do” list and post-it notes with deadlines on the calendar, but things move pretty fast around here, and my paper system is always a few steps behind.

    Can anyone recommend any software or app or other solution to help with organization at work?

    • TO Lawyer :

      I would use Outlook for this – you can flag emails and create tasks and they show up on the tasks list. I find it easier to see everything at one glance and like that I can flag emails and they automatically show up on my to do list.

      • Orangerie :

        +1. I swear by outlook tasks and the “For Follow Up” folder underneath my inbox.

      • Penny Proud :

        This. I love Outlook for this reason because my firm has a similar structure as OP. I flag emails that ask me to do something or require a response. I add tasks of all sizes to the list and add deadlines.

        You can also write notes on the task, which is very useful.

        I have never missed a deadline because of this.

        • Red Beagle :

          Outlook takes care of all of this – no need for post-its or lists. You can change emails to tasks, appointments, and meetings by dragging them over to your calendar or your task list and then filling in the details on the task or appointment bar. Also, as mentioned, you can flag anything for follow up. You can journal progress on a task or appointment. You can assign tasks to others or set reminders that you can then snooze for a day or two if things get crazy and you just can’t finish a task, or drag the task to a later day. I teach a class on Outlook and you can make it do all kinds of nifty things and you can almost have it take care of all your emails for you (or reduce time spent on them by 90%) by creating rules and using quick steps and quick parts.

    • In addition to Outlook tasks, which I use almost exclusively for filing deadlines and following up to emails, I use Todoist to track smaller tasks (but still tasks I have to remember to do) like looking stuff up, reviewing some document, doing some admin thing. I also use the calendar in Outlook for major filing deadlines – I just set them as All Day events so they will always be on my Outlook window and not lost in my list of Tasks. Separately, I keep track of where a case is at (status, like if it’s being reviewed, etc) in a table in a word document which I update every day. And then I also use Teamweek to track ongoing cases so I know which ones are currently pending in my docket (I just make one really long task that spans several days from day of assignment to day it’s due, and I do this for each task). I usually just use Teamweek for major tasks, like “file X”, and todoist for small tasks.

      • Try gmail calendar when something is time sensitive – will go off on multiple devices. For online to do lists you can try teuxdeux or remember the milk. Ifttt may also be helpful – look it up on lifehacker.

        • I like It sends you an email reminder to do whatever task you want to be reminded of and you can select the specific date/time you receive the email. You can also hit snooze. It’s free up to a certain number of emails.

  4. Veronica Mars :

    I have a very common last name (ex: Elizabeth Sarah Smith) so whenever I try to get a username or e-mail address, every possible combination of my first name + middle + last plus and minus initials, etc. is taken. So I have gone with something like: LizzieSmith, a shortened “nickname-y” version of my first name instead. I don’t go by “Lizzie” at all. It’s only come up once before, when my manager asked me about it from seeing my e-mail, but I said I just go by “Elizabeth” in real life. Should I change this? I think something like LizzieSmith looks better for twitter/email/etc instead of Esmith674 or something similar with numbers. Thoughts?

    • Sydney Bristow :

      If it has only come up once before then I don’t think it is worth changing. I think you handled it fine. If it comes up again you can add a quick disclaimer that you go by Elizabeth but that your name was too common to get the full version in an email address. I think most people would understand that.

      • Veronica Mars :

        Thanks. That was my thought too. But since I’m now entering the working world, I wasn’t sure if that would be considered odd and I should just suck it up and add a string of numbers. I think I’ll just have to be clear that I prefer “Elizabeth.”

        • Sydney Bristow :

          You can also make sure to sign your emails as Elizabeth. That way it might be less likely to come up.

    • LizzieSmith is much better than BuxomBetty or something. Eventually you’ll probably get a work specific e-mail at the work’s domain that will follow their rules [email protected] or [email protected] or [email protected]

      In addition to signing with Elizabeth, make sure your first & last as they show up in people’s box is Elizabeth. Usually that is determine by your profile.

      I went with FirstLast##, with ## being the year of my birth. As I age, I’m sort of regretting it.

    • In the Pink :

      Took me a while to “grow into” being Elizabeth, but once I did, I would not go back. So I know if someone doesn’t know me and/or is a sales pitch when they call me Liz, Lizzie, anything but Elizabeth. I know it’s a longer name to say, but there is elegance YMMV

      So whatever your name is, embrace it. I’ll use “elizabeth” here as an example.

      So, please DO tell people you prefer that you be called Elizabeth. I do it all the time and people do respect that.

      Have you tried doing Smith Elizabeth dot whatever for your emails?

      • Seattle Freeze :

        Just don’t set yourself up for an Elizabeth Becton-style “Don’t call me Liz!” situation :)

      • Veronica Mars :

        Yes, my actual name isn’t Elizabeth of course, it’s actually less common than that (I’ve always been the only “Elizabeth” in my class) but it seems like every single combination is taken since my last name is so common and my name has a male counterpart (err, “Edward”) so things like ESmith, SmithE are always gone. On the bright side, even though my last name is very common, I actually managed to snag “” a few years back, so if/when I ever get the domain hosted I could use [email protected] or [email protected] or something.

  5. Big mouth :

    Advice on how to keep my mouth shut when I know I shouldn’t comment? I have a bachelor e t t e party tomorrow night and all kinds of drama has unfolded around this wedding. A bridesmaid got kicked out of the wedding and has been spreading a lot of rumors and generally being sh*tty to people, including my BF. These folks are mainly BF’s friends; I’ve known several, including bride and groom for years, but I don’t know ex-bridesmaid very well. I haven’t been directly involved in her goings on, though she has inexplicably tried to blame some stuff on me, notwithstanding my noninvolvement. I have pretty strong feelings about how she’s treated BF and I’m not very good at keeping my opinions to myself, especially when alcohol is involved. I know I need to stay out of it (except for things that are specifically about me) but I’m really worried I’m going to say something I shouldn’t at the party. Any advice?

    • Given (1) “I’m not very good at keeping my opinions to myself, especially when alcohol is involved”

      and (2) “but I’m really worried I’m going to say something I shouldn’t at the party. Any advice?”

      My advice is not to drink at the party!

      • (former) preg 3L :

        +1. If you plan to drink at the party anyway, plan a one-sentence response and practice it over and over (something like, “it’s really a shame that we can’t all get along.” plus subject change).

        • AnonLawMom :

          +1. I’d go with a statement along the lines of “I’m not really sure what happened with all of that.” Get the point across that (1) you don’t know the details and (2) you don’t really care to know them. Even if you do.

    • Don’t drink so much that you can’t control what you say.

      • I definitely plan to be conservative about consumption! But it gets to me when people are accusing BF of things he didn’t do. Maybe I’m more anxious about the situation than I need to be, but you all always seem to have such great advice and I thought someone might have dealt with something similar.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Don’t drink so much. Or prepare for the fact that you are going to say something you regret.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Eh. I don’t see the need to censor yourself. If she’s a jerk, she’s a jerk. Say what’s on your mind. Just don’t be a backstabber and act like she’s your friend later.

    • Don’t drink too much and literally bite your tounge if you feel like saying something. It sounds like this person is already causing enough drama, so you don’t want to add to the fire.

    • or…drink so much that you don’t care what you say.

      • TO Lawyer :

        haha +1 – I would do this but mostly because I find it really difficult to keep my mouth shut normally.

        Is it possible to hang out with other people at the party that won’t be involved in the drama? I would just hang out and drink with them and try to avoid everything else that is dramatic and could potentially result in me putting my foot in my mouth

  6. Rachelellen :

    I just wanted to say that for all the discussion here in the last few weeks about summer interns not knowing what “work-appropriate” dress is, recently I find myself surrounded by hordes of young women dressed completely appropriately, perhaps a little herd-like, in classic pumps, pencil skirts and nice professional tops. I could be projecting, but I think they’re summer interns because they travel in small groups, seem studiously put-together, and because I work on K Street.

    • I work in a different city and today seemed to be s3xy intern day, based on people wearing nametags getting on the elevator with me today.

      Including: ankle strap heels with some sort of sparklies, short and tight pencil skirt, and jacket work with cami (all on same person). I think they were inspired by TV lawyer / office characters (not The Good Wife, more like something you’d see on the CW, like Pretty Little Liars meets The Office).

      Then I learned that they were all doing interviews to be next summer’s interns. At a large accounting firm.

    • This made me smile.

    • Yay for Women in DC! We have the power! Women in DC know how to dress b/c they have to be abel to get internship’s on the HILL, and we can NOT get them if we dress schlubbey. When I was a student in College, the first thing my RA taught us is to dress very styleishly b/c the men in DC appreciate women who are well dressed. Many are married, but their wive’s have stopped takeing care of themself and men therefore like to ooogle women who are still without husband’s or sugar daddie’s like us who were all of 19 and 20 year’s old and untested in the job market. So we all went to Brook’s Brothers or Woodie’s and got the best clothe’s we could afford and then hit the placement office. The placement guy was also kind of a jerk, b/c he knew that he could place us but we would have to kiss his a$$ for a good lead. What a dooshe he was! I bet he is still there getting cheep thrills from young Sophomore’s lookeing for their first internship. He liked to rub up again’st us, which is a form of Harassement, but we needed the internship’s so we let him. FOOEY on him!

      Anyway, right now, I am still in the hotel (lobby) staying out of the sun. The lifguard came around this morning to our room with some Solarcane with Aloe that he helped me put on. He was sweet, and is a college student at Pratt in NYC. Myrna say’s I should date him but he is to young. Beside’s I think he would onley want sex, like all guy’s his age. I need a guy to MARRY and suport me and our child. I do not think lifguard’s make much money and I never heard of Pratt before. Does any one in the hive know Pratt? If he could get a good job and support me, mabye I would marry him, but that might take to long! YAY!!!

    • Baconpancakes :

      Clearly, this blog is doing it’s job!

      • Baconpancakes :

        Aaaand I clearly didn’t pay attention even WITH the edit button. Its* job.

    • I'm Just Me ... :

      I totally agree. I’m supervising 2 interns this summer (government) and they have been well dressed each and every day. I also walk down K on my lunch time walk and see many groups of young ladies and young gentlemen appropriately dressed for the business world. I also see my daughter and her friends heading out or coming back from their internships and summer jobs and they are appropriately dressed (I’ll pat myself on my back a little since I assisted with a beginning of the summer shopping expedition with her and her friends.)

    • Veronica Mars :

      So I’m an intern and I put a good deal of effort into looking work appropriate (my most daring thing is that sometimes I wear Jack Rogers in our business casual office–others wear sandals too). I always felt a little silly because like I said, it’s business casual and the range in the office is pretty big. I always saw other interns from different departments and a lot of the time, they don’t look very professional. Then I found out that one of them was yelled at on her first day (apparently she said something super rude to a coworker) and told that she looked like a prositu t e (YIKES!)

  7. I’m having nanny issues for my 10 month old. I discovered last week that she’d been sneaking for a while and doing laundry at our house. I spoke with the other parents in the nanny share over the weekend and the other mom and my husband confronted her yesterday evening. She denied everything and accused us of making stuff up. The other parents, my husband included, we’re set to let it go because they didn’t have proof. As the person who discovered the laundry i was sure she was lying; I confronted her this morning and she again denied everything. She was hostile and confrontational and said it was my problem. I let her know that I didn’t believe her and I needed to think about what we were going to do next. A couple of hours layer she texted both moms admitting doing laundry at our house. Then an hour later she called crying and apologetic.

    The other family in the share doesn’t want to go through the process of finding and training a new nanny and thinks this is trivial. I’m not sure I can get over her lying to my face. We all think she takes good care of the babies and have no other reason to doubt her care.

    What should I do? Go along with the other parents? Upset everyone and find a new nanny and share family? Get a camera? Find some way of rebuilding trust? Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don’t. Is this one of those times?

    • Anne Shirley :

      Why did you care in the first place that she was doing laundry? That reaction seems so out of place to me I’m having a hard time understanding the rest of the story.

      If doing laundry was something you had specifically told her not to do, I think I wouldn’t be comfortable keeping her. If it wasn’t 100% clear, I think she probably just panicked when she was confronted. But I am also of the opinion that nannies are paid to be good with kids, not 100% professional at everything else.

      • She knew that she shouldn’t be bringing her whole family’s clothes to our house and using our utilities. Regardless, the real problem was that she was sneaking around and trying to hide it from us. And then she lied when I found her daughter’s shirt and it set off the whole thing.

        Would people really be okay with a nanny doing all of her laundry at your house without permission when she’s supposed to be caring for two babies?

        • She’s probably super embarrassed that she has to do her laundry at her employer’s house. She’s probably tight on money/time and humiliated that she had to do that. I think it’s cruel to press her on this.

          • Maudie Atkinson :

            And POSITA, yes, yes I would accept a nanny doing her laundry at my house. I think one can take care of two babies and do all her laundry at the same time.
            Also, I can’t imagine this is going to affect your utility bill in an appreciable way, and even if it does, ask yourself whether the marginal difference in the utility bill is going to be worth (a) the ignominy heaped upon you by others in the nanny share if you fire her over this and (b) the trouble of finding another nanny who won’t do something similarly gauche.

          • Carrie..... :

            I agree with this.

        • This seems so ridiculous I cannot even comprehend. She’s doing a few loads of laundry while childrent nap. What’s your water bill gonna go a few cents? Maybe when someone makes a huge deal of something little she denied it because she thought, “my that’s a crazy response, I’m scared of POSITA flipping out on me”

          • +1. I’ve had a nanny for nearly 4 years (who is awesome) and I can’t even fathom this being something you get worked up about, nor having a relationship with a nanny where you would forbid her to do laundry at your house (or do anything but agree if she asked.)

          • I’m amazed people think it is totally normal for someone who is being paid to be a nanny is doing her own significant household task during employment hours. Maybe I’m just slow, but when I have laundry for my whole family to do it takes up most of a day between changing loads, folding things up, etc.

            To me this is the equivalent of someone going to an office for work and using office resources for something personal. I can only imagine the look I would get from my boss if I was printing huge amounts of personal stuff on the office printer and then was like “what? it’s not taking time away from my job- I’m just hitting print occasionally [changing laundry loads occasionally].”

        • This is smacking of some severe classism. Ooh, her whole family? Why do you care so much? Do you think their clothes are dirtier than yours? Make your expectations and desires clear from this point onward, and get over it.

          • I can’t help but think of old southern racism or something of the same sort. “How dare her family and their clothes touch my $1000 washing machine”

          • She’s a former au pair from Europe with a college degree who is very well paid. This is just wrong.

          • Blonde Lawyer :


          • To POSITA :

            In response to “this is just wrong”.

            Why is it wrong? Removing from the equation whether or not she was “allowed” to do laundry at your place, why would it otherwise be wrong?

          • Not that it matters, but “well-compensated” for a child-care worker usually =/= well compensated (never mind the benefits side of things).

        • I have two kids and I manage to do laundry on the weekends when I’m home with them. I wouldn’t have a problem with this – I’d count the cost of water/electricity from laundry like the cost of food or air conditioning or whatever else a nanny needs to spend the day in the house with my kids.

        • If this a major offense to you, I don’t think the answer is getting a camera or getting a new nanny. Frankly you sound like someone who just shouldn’t have hired help because you’re not really a reasonable boss. You just seem awfully concerned with making sure everyone knows you were right, while losing sight of the important fact that you’ve found a reliable nanny who takes good care of her kids. Given the strength of you reaction, it’s no wonder she didn’t admit it right away! The trust thing flows both ways, and I certainly wouldn’t trust a boss who gets this angry over a minor issue, and, to boot, jeopardizes my employment with other people. I wouldn’t want to work for you, but unfortunately your nanny probably does not have the luxury of walking away.

        • Nanny share :

          I’m surprised and confused that people don’t think this is a big deal. My nanny asked whether it would be ok if she washed a few things – mostly stuff that needs to be washed on delicate and hang-dried (she lives in an apartment and I assume uses shared laundry facilities that make this care a little more annoying). I was OK with it, but the asking permission is important. Washing an entire family’s laundry is a utility cost, and it takes away from time that you are paying her to be doing something else: taking care of your kids. Those are two things you as the employer paying the money are totally justified in caring about.

          • Totally agree :

            With nanny share. I always see tons of nannies texting, talking on their phone, etc, and totally ignoring the child. A good nanny has her focus 100% on the kids… Particularly at that age. (I don’t think posita said what the house situation was but if doing laundry involves multiple levels of the house and leaving th babies alone on their level, that would bother me even more.) If nanny was only doing it while the kids napped, she would have said so. The fact that she hid it and denied it makes one certain that it did interfere with her nannying duties and she knew it.

        • How did you ever find this out? Nanny-cam? Something else?

          If you used a nanny-cam, you might check your state’s wiretapping law to make sure you didn’t violate it (especially if you made a sound recording).

          FWIW, I have done laundry while taking care of two babies. It’s not hard with 10-month olds since mine had predictable naps by then. But I had a washer/dryer off of my living room. Your nanny’s option may have been the laudromat.

        • POSITA – not trying to pile on, but when you say “she knew that she shouldn’t be bringing her whole family’s clothes to our house and using our utilities” do you mean you expressly told her that she couldn’t or that she should “know” that she shouldn’t? Because that is a big difference to me.
          Now, if she had asked you if she could do this in the past and you said no, I can see how her disregarding your rules can be a red flag (even if I don’t agree with the “rule” itself). But I suspect that she never asked and you never thought to say this was prohibited and if that’s the case, I think you’re overreacting.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I agree too. At this point, I’d be way more concerned about the lying than the laundry, unless you had specifically told her before that doing her laundry was not ok.

        • I see why you’re upset about the lying to your face aspect… but as you stated, “She was doing her personal laundry while the babies napped.” Emphasis on the “while the babies napped.” I’m not sure it was such a big deal to begin with. There are any number of reasons she could have felt the need to lie (what if she’s embarrassed she doesn’t have her own laundry facilities?). If you must, simply talk to her about it.

          Nanny’s become members of your family, at least that’s how I see it. She spends more time with your baby than you do…why not “let” her take care of things that will help *her* out at home when the babies are sleeping?

          • AnonLawMom :

            “Nanny’s become members of your family, at least that’s how I see it. She spends more time with your baby than you do…why not “let” her take care of things that will help *her* out at home when the babies are sleeping?”


            You need to start thinking of a nanny as an extension of your family, not some easily replaced hourly employee.

          • 2 more cents :

            This is interesting to me. I understand how people think of a nanny as an extension of their family, but I have always seen it as an employer-employee relationship. My house, my child, my rules, and you agree to play by them if you’re taking a paycheck from me. I laid out very specific parameters about some things, but I hired my nanny because I trust her judgement, and she has always taken very good care of my child. That said, if we disagree, I win. Would I say no to a request to do her laundry during naptime? No. I can’t think of a request I would say no to, actually. But I would be upset if I discovered she bypassed the asking and was treating my house and the time I’m paying her for as her own. For me, it’s a respect/boundaries thing.

            Anyway, the bigger issue is definitely the lying. You’re leaving this person alone in your house all day with most of your worldly possessions and your very young child. You need to be able to trust her, full stop. I don’t think this incident, which she eventually owned up to and apologized for, is a firing offense, but it’s certainly a chance to clarify what your expectations are.

        • Are you effing kidding me? If she can do laundry while the kids nap, who cares? You seem like a very petty person.

        • Personally, I would move on from this nanny. I get what people are saying that it’s a little bit classist or a minor thing to care about, but it would be a problem for me. And I really don’t think that it should have to be explicitly said: please don’t bring a family’s worth of laundry to my home and do it while you’re watching the kids.

          First, doing a family’s worth of laundry is not an insignificant task, and I’d be annoyed that someone I was paying to watch my kids (and not paying to do MY laundry) is simultaneously doing her own household task. I’d also be annoyed because doubling the quantity of laundry that goes on in a house adds up in terms of water use and other utility bills. Finally, I had a nanny who went from taking toilet paper roles, to cleaning supplies, to finally clothes before I figured out what was going on. I thought I was losing my mind because I would go to Costco and stock up and then we would be out 3 weeks later. I thought DH and I were crossing wires until my daughter told me the nanny would play dress up in my summer clothes (in the winter) and sure enough- many of my summer clothes were missing from my closet and in the back of her car. When we confronted her, there was a definite rationalization of “you wouldn’t notice and you have enough that it wouldn’t matter.” I need to be able to trust someone 100% when I’m leaving them in charge of my kid and my home and this just would feel tinged with a little too much of someone trying to take advantage or see what they could get away with. But this is clearly influenced by my own experiences/other details that you haven’t included in your post so YMMV.

        • I would not care one bit if my nanny did her laundry at my house.

      • Agreed. While it’s always better to ask for permission, this a person making a low wage (presumably) and working full time in other peoples’ homes taking *good* care of their children. You can’t let her use your washer while the baby sleeps? That seems awfully Marie Antionette.
        If she did some of her own laundry and that’s not cool with you (why, other than not clearing it first?), you should just tell her that she needs to run it by you first. I don’t get firing someone for this.

        • I also don’t see the problem with doing laundry unless it was specifically prohibited then there would be an issue. I think I’d be uncomfortable with the lying though, why not own up to it? But as @Nellie points out she is presumably not making much and maybe she panicked, thought maybe she would be fired and then lied? If she is taking good care of the kids then keep her on but make sure you let her know that lying is not okay with you. Also establish boundaries about this stuff i.e. laundry and anything else so there’s no confusion in future.

      • Yeah, I really don’t see why it’s a big deal that she’s doing laundry at your house. Was she told flat out, absolutely, no laundry to be done while watching the kids? If so, yeah, ok, terminate her for violating that and lying. Otherwise, this seems so out of proportion is she takes good care of the kids.

        Just tell her that you didn’t appreciate it when she lied to you and that she shouldn’t do it again. And then maybe make sure that everyone has clear expectations and understanding about what is and is not permissible while watching your kid(s).

    • 1. Why would you make such a big deal out of her doing laundry?
      2. If you didnt want to find a new nanny, you would’ve thought, “so what, she does laundry, but she takes good care of the children, I’ll just ask her politely not to”
      3. Be prepared to have everyone mad at you for having to find a new nanny, this is like firing the essential employee because they stole a role of tape.

      • To be fair, when I found her daughter’s shirt I said, “Hey is this your shirt?” She denied it. Then things didn’t add up and I knew it had to be.

        I’m really surprised that people wouldn’t be upset that their nanny was sneaking around. She’s been covering things up and I’ve been blaming my husband for laundry mishaps for months not know that it was her.

        • “sneaking around”… with your WASHING MACHINE? “Covering up” her LAUNDRY?
          Do you hear yourself? I think your sense of perspective melted in the dryer a long, long time ago…

    • I really don’t understand. Do you mean laundering her own clothes? That doesn’t seem like a huge thing to me at all, but if you don’t want her doing it, I guess make that clear and let it go.

    • Huh? Why would you care that she’s doing her laundry at your house? I don’t get why this is a big deal to confront her over.

    • Anonymous :

      I agree with the people below who said this seems a little out of proportion to the crime, but we just let a household employee go – we’d started noticing small things like this and hadn’t said anything, and it escalated to embezzling funds from our account and shopping for themselves with our money. So there’s that. This may be a special case.

    • Nanny share :

      Oh man, do not get me started on nanny shares and why they can be the worst thing ever when you are not on the EXACT. SAME. PAGE. as the other family about everything (which, of course, is impossible).

      I am with you that it’s worrisome that she lied to your face. I recently withdrew from a nanny share because my nanny blatantly ignored my instructions right in front of me a few times in quick succession (and then when I called her on it, she complained to the other family that I was making her “uncomfortable” and tried to work out a deal with them that the share would only be at their house from now on. They took her side without ever asking me what the original issue was, and then I was _really_ done).

      It’s absolutely a trust issue. How can you leave your child with someone you don’t completely trust? On the other hand, if you are otherwise happy with her and the care for your child, I might give this situation a week and see how you feel then. Interviewing nannies is a PITA. Finding a share family to work with is also a PITA. Estsablishing a new relationship with both will take time, so your “devil you know…” point is well taken. But don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong for being upset.

      • It’s funny how you and OP both emphasize the importance of trust and how important a nanny is, but do you actually put your money where your mouth is in terms how important a job it is? Because most people pay the bare minimum for the applicable market, and I doubt you’re any different— nickle and diming these minimum wage workers who you think are so, so important. I just think there’s a big disconnect there.

        • This is a big assumption on your part. She is well paid with legal benefits. We helped her figure out her withholding and she has a HHI in the six figures. We are not taking advantage of anyone.

          • Nanny share :

            Mine too. I paid more than $30k a year for my half of the share. When she worked only for us, I paid ~ $50k. Is it big law money? no. But my nanny makes more money than many of my relatives.

            Nannies, at least in my area, are not low-wage workers.

          • Oh, well in that case she definitely should be using her major $$$ to pay her own hired help to do her whole family’s laundry, since we know she doesn’t have time to do it herself. Probably when she’s not caring for your children and the other family’s, she is out on her yacht.

          • I like how you said she has a “household income in the six figures” without specifying what YOU actually pay HER for the time she spends with your children. Or how many people are in her “household” bringing in that income. Must be a lot of people, since you keep emphasizing that she does her WHOLE FAMILY’S LAUNDRY. Because if it’s a small family (like, my own family of three), it takes very little time to do my WHOLE FAMILY’S LAUNDRY.

            I think perhaps a nanny share is not for you, honestly, it sounds like a live-in full time nanny/housekeeper might be better for you, sincerely.

        • Although I disagree on the laundry, I think that’s unfair assumption about paying nannies. When we had a nanny, she was paid well above minimum wage. The going rate for nannies is generally well above minimum wage (in my city, at least).

      • Bewitched :

        Agreed, the whole nanny thing can be a nightmare. I think the fact that they are working in your home (and often paid under the table) lends itself to a relationship which can be somewhat “casual” even though you’d like it to be formal. I once helped our nanny with Medicaid coverage for her youngish mom who had Alzheimer’s. Another nanny picked up my preschool son from school and then wasn’t home when I called about a half hour later (trip takes 10 minutes at best). When I asked her about delay, she lied and told me there was “traffic”. My son (who was old enough to you know, speak and comprehend!) later told me they stopped at the Dollar Store so that she could make an anniversary present for her husband. With this event, I was also more concerned about the lying than the unexpected stop, but I viewed it more as a situation where I had to make my wishes explicitly known. Another nanny told my kids to “keep quiet” since she was trying to study. Yes, these nannies all underwent background checks and had impeccable references, but they were also often young and these were largely remediable situations. It is upsetting at the time though.

    • I agree with everyone else — why do you care? I get the lying thing, but maybe she got defensive because she was nervous and you made a big deal about something that is so trivial? If I could do laundry at work I would. I am all about multitasking.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m pretty sure doing laundry when you watch kids or house sit is totally the norm. I remember my college friends loving when they got a babysitting gig because they had a place to do some laundry. Unless you have a really tight budget where $10/month or so in utility bills makes a difference I would really let this go as a perk of the job. Can she watch TV when the kids nap? Can she use your internet? Your stove? Eat food in your fridge? I would think you would want a nanny to feel at home in your home and that includes using your utilities.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I guess I’ll be the outlier here and say that I think it’s weird that a nanny would be bringing personal laundry to my house to do while she’s watching my kid. I wouldn’t do that, so I wouldn’t expect someone else to do it.

      OP, obviously your nanny was scared and felt like she did something “wrong” which is why she initially lied. Only you can decide if someone who otherwise takes good care of your child (and someone else’s child) is worth dismissing over this issue. From the nightmares that other people have posted on here, I’d say no.

      Look at your water bills for the past several months and see if you can discern a noticeable jump in your water bills. If it’s not anything that you can’t manage, I’d let it go.

      • Another New Yorker :

        I agree that it’s weird to assume the washing machine is available for personal use. If it isn’t too expensive to make it a benefit of working for you, then that’s great, but I wouldn’t just assume it was fine for me to use my employer’s washing machine to do my own laundry.

        I don’t know where POSITA lives, but NYC water bills are expensive. A property manager warned us not to add a washing machine to the apartment on our second floor because inevitably the tenants’ friends bring their laundry over, and the tenants don’t pay the water bill.

      • workingmomz :

        I have a nanny who does our laundry when the kids are sleeping. I would find it odd if she brought her own laundry over. I have never specifically prohibited it, but it’s not a normal thing. I don’t know anyone whose nanny does that.

      • Agree with prior posters that this is a trust issue and also an expectations issue. I would not lie to an employer. I’ve been a nanny and babysat a ton. I’ve never done MY laundry, but there absolutely has been an expectation that I would help with THE FAMILY’S laundry while little ones nap. Also, it’s pretty easy to fold clothes while little ones toddle around on the floor. The point it is, the wrong laundry’s getting done, it’s not cool that she lied, and frankly, as someone who’s declined to sit or work with super-uptight moms–POSITA, you sound like you’re a being a bit silly about this.

        If you want to keep this woman, tell her that you expect to be told the truth, always, and lying is not OK. That was a one-time deal and it better not happen again. Tell her that if she has something to ask you or feels like she needs to “sneak” something, she should just ask to clear the air. And clarify that if she’s on your dime, she should be doing light housework for you, not her own laundry, since that seems to be part of the concern.

        Over and out,

        Experienced nanny/babysitter who is excellent and highly loyal to mom employers who are not uptight

    • Nanny Issues :

      It’s different to adjust to life with a nanny. If this is your first time, and you are only 10 months in, you’re probably still getting used to the ups/downs associated with working closely with your nanny.

      In my experience, the best relationships are ones where you recognize that there is a push/pull with having a person care for your child. Not wanting to stereotype, but unless you are filthy rich and are paying one of the ridiculous six figure nanny salaries, your nanny probably is lower-wage and in a different spot than your family, even if she is a well-paid nanny. There are issues that come with that – for us, I got used to our nanny bringing her daughter during snow days b/c back-up care was an added financial pressure the family couldn’t handle. Same thing when there was a family emergency. I know good friends who have done legal work for trusted long-term nannies, helped with immigration, etc. Before I was used to having our nanny, I thought some of those things would indicate an unreliable employee – simply b/c they were not things *I* would have done. Turns out, no. some of the behavior is cultural, and some is driven by socio-economic realities, some is simply the byproduct of navigating a new legal framework (personal experience, but all of our nannies were born in different countries).

      Communication is key, but we also got to a place where our nanny could bring issues or requests for help/flexibility to us immediately. That kept our childcare continuity in place, and has helped our nanny know she has back-up in place. I’m not saying I would have been thrilled to find her doing laundry without mentioning it to me, but I think it could be approached a lot of different/better ways. Set clear parameters and expectations (i.e., doing your laundry is okay during naps, but please toss the kids’ clothing and towels in at the same time, or whatever makes you comfortable), and don’t have the conversation via text or email! so much better and reassuring for all in person.

      • Bewitched :

        +1,000,000 to all this. See my notes above about doing legal work for a nanny and also working through issues which arose dues to different expectations which each party brought to the relationship. Ultimately, I think a lot of the comments overlook the fact that the nanny relationship is about trust and comfort, especially with infants. They don’t have a voice to tell you what’s going on, so until you get used to the “ups and downs” you are always envisioning your child crying hysterically in his/her crib while the nanny folds laundry (or in my case, studies or makes an anniversary present for her husband!) Often you envision the worst case scenario even if that is not what is happening.

      • Nanny share :

        This is the best reply. Not to hijack, but I absolutely recognize my issues with my nanny were driven by cultural differences, and we had previously worked things out over different misunderstandings (including, since anyone who knows me already has ID’d me by my previous comments, the nanny giving my child his first haircut. wow.). It was the dynamic with the share family taking sides that really pushed me over the edge.

        In any case, I can see all of this in the OP’s situation, as well. When you add in a share family, you have another layer for potential miscommunication/conflict. It’s really important for the OP to work out her differences with both the nanny AND the other parents for this to resolve successfully, and I 100% agree any conversations need to take place in person.

      • Great points here. My kids are a lot older now and we’ve been though several nannies (the best lasted 7 years before she moved.. what a bummer! ) The most important thing I learned was: do I trust this person with my kids to take good care of them and to exercise good judgement in the event of a problem. If the answer is yes, then everything else is secondary. The seven year nanny was awesome but at the beginning she would bring candy and give it to the kids in the car (ages 1 and 3) and that bugged me because I want them to eat healthy food. So I stewed about it for a week then asked if she could do it once a week or so instead of daily and I also let go a bit because when she had them she got to make the rules. My current nanny brings her son sometimes. She didn’t ask or warn me. But she’s great. And she only brings him as a last resort. And he’s a nice kid. And if she didn’t, she probably wouldn’t be able to care for my kids. So it’s worth it for me. And I do try to be a good/nice employer because, well, she has my kids! So I pay her for her X hours every week even though she usually works less, but if she works more she always gets it. I do feel, if the person is a good and trustworthy person, then it’s in your interest to be giving and kind because you will more than get it back.

        And by the way, everyone who I know who did nanny sharing ended up breaking up. Just too many different expectations.

    • I agree that it’s not a big deal that she does her laundry, but it does seem like common courtesy to at least ask if that’s fine before doing so. I can’t imagine a situation where I wouldn’t ask first.

      I can see why she lied when she was confronted, but I still see it as an issue. I’d maybe have a talk with her about why she didn’t ask first or felt like she needed to lie to you about it. You might find that you feel differently after realizing what she was thinking. I wouldn’t fire her over this – I’d just request that she ask next time before doing something like that so this doesn’t happen again (assuming you would have felt differently had she asked).

      • +1. She should have asked permission. When she lied, she was probably worried about losing her job – but she still shouldn’t have lied. Her side of the story is important and should be heard.

    • I agree that the breech of trust is worrisome. If she was hiding it, etc., then she knew she was doing something you wouldn’t approve of. The correct move here was for her to ask permission. I’m a really hands-off mom when it comes to my nanny and I get your reaction. I’m not sure I’d be upset by her doing laundry, but I would be upset about her sneaking around. I can’t understand why people are so horrified by your reaction.

      I also don’t like this knee-jerk reaction that nannies are all underpaid and taken advantage of. Nannies in my area make at least $700 a week for one kid and over $800 a week for 2 kids in a share. That is not nothing. And it’s a hard job, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not like they’re working at a soul-crushing, demeaning job.

      • You can absolutely have a soul-crushing, demeaning job that pays $800/week. All depends on the boss.

        • Absolutely. Many people have soul-crushing, demeaning jobs that pay them $160k a year. But if being a nanny is soul crushing and demeaning to you, then you are not in the right field.

    • thatsnotmyname :

      I am surprised by the huge backlash to POSITA here – I completely think it is a trust issue!

      I would be ok with my nanny using our laundry facilities to wash her family’s laundry ONLY if she had asked me first. I would then consider it an additional, but nominal, cost of having her around.

      All the folks who think POSITA is making a huge hue and cry about this – do you also agree it is fair for you to steal office supplies for use at home, because it only makes a difference of pennies to your employers?

      And others who have asked when she is supposed to do her laundry – I don’t know, when do you guys do your laundry if you have full-time jobs? or anything else? Several of you have 12-16 hr work days – you get help or do it on the weekends, or multi-task when you cook. What makes you think the nanny can’t do the same (or has someone at home doing laundry, like a kid or spouse)?

      It is not a class issue – the nanny is being remunerated the going rate or above for her work. By the way, does anyone think it is ironic that nannies (and most housekeepers) charge extra for doing your laundry, but almost everyone who has posted here thinks it is ok for the nanny to do hers at your place??

      If you want to use the laundry facilities, ask for permission, and if you didn’t and are caught, accept and apologize.

      Given her behavior, I would find it hard to trust her and her work ethic again.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Due to my long hours I take care of personal business from the office all of the time. Because I work even more after I go home I frequently have office pens, notepads, post its, binder clips, redwells, and manila folders lying around my house. If I need one for personal use and it is there I use it. I believe my chips and dog food are currently held closed with binder clips. Since I never buy any, I presume they found their way into my home from the office. About once a month I round up stray work pens and bring them back to work. It is amazing how many my purse, car and home accumulate.

        • Bewitched :

          I do this too, but I don’t send all my personal mail out under my employer’s postage machine. I really don’t think it’s the utilities. It’s the not being truthful and the concern over whether this personal work spills over into time when she’s supposed to be watching two infants.

      • She probably has to go to a laundrette which means it takes way more time to do her washing. I’d be fine with it, if she had asked.

      • Honestly, I would find it weird if someone made a big deal of someone taking pens or something home from the office supply cabinet. Who really cares? The kids who were really, really into being a school safety when they were in fifth grade? Maybe that explains why people don’t think it’s a big deal.

        I think it is a class issue, even though you disagree. My mom took me to work with her sometimes. Sometimes if someone was babysitting us as a kid, they brought their kid along. I don’t think it’s weird to do things like that at all because that’s how I grew up. It’s not a bad work ethic (though really, is she angling to become nanny CEO? She’s not climbing a ladder) and it’s not hurting anyone. How much you pay someone doesn’t determine their class.

    • Wildkitten :

      It sounds like being able to use your machine to do her laundry while working is a very useful perk for her that costs you next to nothing. One of my jobs in college had washing machines on the premise and students were allowed to use the machines for our personal laundry and it was an awesome perk to get that done while at work. Maybe you should add this perk to your compensation.

    • First of all, I just want to say that I can understand being upset about this. Coming to work to your house while carrying a big load of laundry to do later on seems weird to me, unless she asked first. I think that since she did acknowledge it and apologize though, it’s OK.

      I don’t think you should get a new nanny. It sounds like she was pretty upset by the whole situation and probably lied because she was scared she was going to get fired. She called back to apologize because she didn’t want to lose her job and wanted you to know she was sorry – both about lying and about using your laundry machine.

      I think it would help just talk to her about it. If you really don’t like other people using your laundry machine, just say that. If you are OK with it, then just tell her it’s fine to do the laundry, but that you appreciate her coming out and being honest about it, and for being honest going forward. If she’s a good nanny to your kids, then don’t worry about it – just monitor her a bit, but you don’t need to get a cam or anything like that. I think this is a minor situation. If she had lied to you about something regarding taking care of your kids then that might be a different story.

    • It’s interesting to me that people seem to view the issue here as if, in a sense, the nanny is doing Posita a favor by caring for her children. Ultimately, a nanny is a childcare professional. Using your employer’s washing machine to do your personal laundry without asking permission is unprofessional. The nanny is an employee, not a member of the family, and not a friend – yes, her job is very important and in a sense, very personal, but she’s an employee. Her own laundry-related challenges aren’t her employer’s problem. Is it a nice thing for an employer to let an employee use a work resource when that employee has a personal need? Yes, as it’s a nice thing for an employer to be sensitive to any personal need or difficulty that an employee has. But I can’t help but feel like those who thing Posita is so entirely in the wrong here are viewing the relationship between a nanny and her employer differently than the relationship between, say, an accountant and her employer, and when it comes to issues like this, I don’t think they’re really different.

      I recently needed to meet with a financial advisor on a personal matter during the workday. Before using the office conference room for that meeting, I checked to ensure that employees are permitted to do that. It turns out that we are, and so I scheduled the meeting. The conference room (like Posita’s washing machine) belongs to my employer, not me, and as a baseline, an employee should assume that permission is required to use the employer’s resource for a non-work purpose.

      • I will add that thinking about a nanny as an employee (rather than someone who is performing a personal favor of some sort) is generally better for the nanny. It’s super-common for people to try to load up extra duties on a nanny beyond those that have been agreed (“it’s just a little bit of housework”), not to want to establish a regular schedule with a nanny or abide by the nanny’s agreed work hours (i.e., the parent that always comes home late but thinks s/he shouldn’t have to pay overtime for the extra time because “[Nanny] loves the kids!”), react with hurt feelings when a nanny tries to negotiate salary, etc. Sure, any of these issues can surface in other employment relationships, but I see a significant tendency among my friends to drift into acting as if the nanny is on the same footing as the child’s grandparents – someone who spends time with the kids for fun, instead of for money.

        • Wildkitten :

          This is why I think it would be useful for Posita to see it as a potential compensation trade-off, instead of as a personal affront of broken trust.

  8. Wedding Guest Question :

    This falls into the “would you be upset if this were you?” type question:

    I have an old friend (about 13 years). We live in the same town, but see each other maybe 2-3 times a year. We get together for lunch a few times a year, she came to visit me when I had a baby, but we don’t hang out together on the weekends or talk often. I don’t know very many of her friends, but I know some of them just by virtue of us having known each other for so long. I’ve met her fiance once and I’ve met her family a few times (we used to be closer friends, but have drifted a bit as these things happen). She is getting married this fall. I’ve known about her wedding for about a year now and received a save the date a few months ago.

    I just found out that my whole family is getting together out of town the same weekend as her wedding. I’d really like to see my family and have my daughter see her cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. I see my family all together like this only a few times a year. For various reasons, my family can’t pick another weekend to get together.

    Is it awful to skip this wedding? I’d rather see my family, but I’m afraid she’s going to be hurt if I don’t come to the wedding. She’s a shy and somewhat sensitive person (not a bridezilla or demanding, just more of a person that might take it personally and be hurt, rather than angry).

    If I do go to the wedding, I will need to get childcare for the whole day (ceremony and reception), which isn’t a huge deal, but I don’t have local family and don’t have a regular sitter yet (baby is pretty young still).

    On the one hand, I don’t think she’ll “notice” per se if I am not there. As in, it won’t make or break her day. On the other, she is a long-time friend and did come to my wedding (8 years ago) and visit when I had my baby. I feel like because its an in-town wedding that I’ve known about for a while, its a slight to leave town that weekend.

    • I would explain to her what’s going on what you’ve said here: there is a family reunion type activity out of town that weekend, you can’t change the date, it’s really important to the other family members that you go and that you bring your child to meet everyone. Tell her that you’re sorry it worked out this way, you won’t make it to her wedding, and send a nice wedding gift. If I were a bride, I would completely understand.

      If you feel so inclined, maybe offer to host a shower since you can’t be there for her wedding?

      • I agree. I think she would be understanding if you could explain the situation to her. I was also going to suggest going to some other wedding relatd activity – perhaps the shower? Or maybe plan a bachelorette party? Or maybe just have a special lunch with just her where you can give her the wedding gift?

        • Wedding Guest Question :

          I like the special lunch idea. Also, I could attend the shower/bachelorette (assuming I’m invited).

          • Yes, I would make an extra effort to attend any pre-wedding festivities you’re invited to, like a shower, bachelorette or engagement party.

      • hoola hoopa :


      • anon prof :

        I would think she’ll be all right with it if you explain it to her soon. I’d try to take her and her fiance out to a nice meal (your treat) or have them over–part of attending the wedding is meeting the spouse, after all. Maybe the latter if you have a small child who doesn’t do well at restaurants? We had a very small wedding (for lots of reasons), and several friends whom we did not invite to the wedding made a point of having us over for dinner or taking us out to dinner to celebrate, and we have done the same when we’ve had friends get married but didn’t go to the wedding.

    • I think a lot depends on the details – is the wedding a flight away or just a couple hours drive? Could you attend the ceremony or reception and skip the other? Could a grandparent bring your child to part of the family reunion stuff while you’re at the wedding? Could you attend the dinner reception, head home early and be fresh for family reunion stuff the next morning?

      • Wedding Guest Question :

        The wedding is in town. I’d have to travel for the family trip. Nobody can bring my child to the family reunion because they are all traveling from different places; none of which is where I live. I can’t attend both because the wedding is here and my family is meeting in a place that is a plane ride away. Flying in Sunday morning after the wedding doesn’t make any sense.

        It really one or the other. Either we stay and go to the wedding or travel to meet family and miss the wedding.

    • I agree with everything JJ said except maybe the shower – that seems like overkill given your relationship. But maybe take her out to lunch after the wedding and let her tell you all about it?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I think anything you choose is fine. Although if your family has these get-togethers several times a year, and especially if you’ve already said you’d attend the wedding, I’d have a slight bias towards attending the wedding.

    • Go to your family reunion. As much as I’m sure this friend would love to have you at the wedding, the reality is that every bride is hoping for “no” rsvps. Go to her shower and +1 to the idea of taking her out for a special lunch to give a wedding present. Keep in mind that you don’t give your reason for not going to the wedding when you rsvp no.

      • Why is every bride hoping for responses of “no”?

        • Because weddings be expensive. And sometimes you have to invite a ton of people you don’t really want to invite, like your extended family, because your parents are funding the enterprise and you’d really just rather your second cousin three times removed decline, send you a cake knife, and be done with it.

          • But it sounds like the OP is one of the guests the bride would like to have, rather than one she wouldn’t.

  9. Does anyone have tips for cleaning a front-loading washing machine? Mine has recently gotten this ring of grime & running empty loads with bleach isn’t doing anything to help it. Thoughts?

    • Have you searched the Ask A Clean Person blog / column? She always has a solution. Although, this sounds like something for which she’d normally recommend running a hot cycle with vinegar (the wonder drug), but if it didn’t work with bleach, that might not do it.

    • marketingchic :

      Have you tried the washing machine cleaner stuff? Sold in the detergent aisle.

    • Moonstone :

      Maybe the Laundering Nanny knows how.

    • Regina Phalange :

      Is the ring of grime where you can reach it/scrub it with some elbow grease? If so, you may need to scrub it. Also, try (carefully) cleaning the rubber gasket around the door, including all the nooks and crannies. Don’t tear the gasket, as it would be expensive to replace. If you use bleach to clean the gasket, rinse it thoroughly and do at least 1 load of whites before putting a color load in the machine. To prevent future problems, wipe off excess moisture on the gasket after each load (including the nooks and crannies underneath the gasket) and leave the machine open when it is not in use so that it can dry out. Good luck.

  10. Dealing with collection agency :

    I am currently unemployed and I had a credit card bill transferred to a collection agency. I had been making payments but was unable to continue. The account was with the collection agency for about 4 months and yesterday I was informed that it was to be transferred to another agency unless I could make a payment. The person I spoke to said “it was going to get worse” but did not give specifics. At this point I can’t really do anything seeing as I don’t have an income. Does anyone have any idea what happens if an account is transferred from one agency to another?

    • Anonymous :

      My understanding is that it is the length of the deliquency, rather than the transfer from one agency to another. The agency wants to collect your debt because they already purchased it from the original credit card company. They will therefore say anything to get you to pay it. It is obviously in your best interest to pay it as soon as you can, but the transfer from one agency to another should not have any bigger impact on your credit report. (I think).

    • meh. I don’t have experience with this but they’re probably just trying to scare you. They can’t put you in jail or garnish your wages, so what else can they really do? Call you an extra 3 times during the day? I’d tell them to bring it, you’re ready.

    • Also, the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act limits what debt collectors can say / do to you. You might want to review the law, or a consumer watchdog’s summary of it, so that you are aware of what they can permissibly say / threaten and what is out of bounds. I doubt “it’s going to get worse” is actionable (I actually have no idea), but you should be aware of your rights a debtor not to be harassed or threatened even if you admit the debt is legitimate.

    • Google the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Or:

    • Depends on what state you are in, but if they ultimately bring you to court I say go to the hearing and demand evidence that this is in fact your bill, from your account, the account balance is valid and doesn’t have any inappropriate fees… make them prove their case. For a brief time I worked as a contractor for a collections firm and 9/10 times they did not provide me any evidence at all to bring to court to prove the debt if the debtor did show up and challenge it…usually the “debtors” did not show and we got default judgments which my bosses were counting on.

      Some people might say this is sleazy because if you know you owe and didn’t pay,that’s wrong, right? But you can be sure that if you did make a payment and the company didn’t properly credit it, you would receive no sympathy unless you had some kind of receipt or proof.

      “Docs or it didn’t happen” is a sign I am going to put on my office door (mainly because I am so very very sick of clients coming in and telling me either that they wrote a letter or received a letter that said XYZ but they don’t have a copy.)

      PS: If it does come to going to court and you do want to pay, you can probably make a deal to pay a low monthly rate towards the balance – I have seen people enter agreements for $5.00 per month on 5 figure balances…but if your income is too low court may not allow it to enter. Again, depends on your state.

  11. Associates Interviewing Partner Candidate :

    I’m a second year associate in a small group within a large firm. We’ve been looking to hire another partner for a while, and I’m fortunate to be able to interview the newest candidate. It will be myself and a 6th year associate interviewing the candidate. I’m very happy my firm/group keeps me involved in these things. But, I’m at a loss as to what I should be asking the candidate? Any ideas?

    • I’m all over with my comments today.

      I’d ask the candidate what he/she considers to be traits that successful associates have. And to describe the best associate that he/she has ever worked with. Maybe ask soemthing about preferences in work style, etc. I think you might learn a lot from that.

    • AnonLawMom :

      I’d ask questions that will let you know (1) what type of work this partner does and how that intersects with your practice, and (2) how the partner likes to work with associates. Does the partner let associates interact directly with clients? Does the partner enjoy working with junior associates or do they prefer a senior associate as a go-between? You will have to be careful how you phrase your questions but if you are interviewing the partner you should be trying to figure out if this is someone you will work well with.

  12. Has anyone noticed vanity sizing with b r a s? I have had the hardest time finding some that fit, and decided to get re-sized (I was sized at Nordstrom last summer and was a 34D, but recently they’ve all been way too small for me). I’m now a size 34DDD, which is really hard to believe because I am only up about 7 lbs from last Summer, and I don’t notice a major difference in size!

    I’m not sure that it matters in the grand scheme of things, but it’s going to be exponentially harder for me to find ones that fit now; so do any of you have recommendations for stores that sell this size?

    • Nordstrom’s sells larger sizes so maybe try online. 34DDD IS 34F too

    • Baconpancakes :

      It also depends on the brand, and even the style! I’m a 36 F (DDD) in some, and a 36 G (DDDD) in others, even within the same brand, and I’ve got some 36 DD ones that still fit perfectly.

      As for buying them, I’d suggest finding a local “fitter” (I’m in the DC area and I like Br a- La- La in Fulton, MD), finding which brands and styles work for you, buying one or two of the full-priced ones, and noting the others you like to get them online. Nordstroms has a good number (Chantelle is my favorite) in the sale atm, and they have a decent selection in the brick and mortars as well. Herroom and Figleaves are also good places online.

    • This is what I’ve noticed, and I’m not sure it’s vanity sizing at work.

      At VS, they want to put me in a 34B. They never quite fit right. The straps always fell off. Once in a while, I’d get a 32B: much better, but sometime it gave me quad boob. Nothing else much worked. FOR DECADES. Finally, I found a place for people like me (with stunted rib cage development) and it turns out that my band size is a 30. 30!!! I guess there aren’t enough of us to make it worthwhile for many stores to serve, but it has made a world of difference to me.

      So I don’t see it vanity sizing because there are noticeable fit differences with the different sizes (not like how in high school I wore a 6 or an 8 but now as a heavier and fatter (more of my body is fat and not muscle) 40-something, I take a 4. But at least my bras fit.

    • PinkKeyboard :

      VS did this to such an extent I left for Nordstrom. I had A cup bras that fit perfectly, went back and had to purchase C cups. I am rather petite in the chest area, nothing near a C. I haven’t noticed at Nordstrom but I also haven’t been measured in awhile.

      • Ok, this makes sense then. I was at VS. I don’t have a Nordstrom near me, so I dropped in there. I’ll have to go out of my way to get to a Nordstrom. My issue with Nordstrom’s selection though is that most everything is very thin in the cup area. I need more coverage, since I seem to poke through a LOT of thinner b r a s, so I tend to go with padded ones. The Nordies I went to didn’t have anything with enough coverage for me. Maybe the one I went to had a smaller selection than others.

        • I’m similar in size and love Chantelle, esp the Rive Gauche and Basic Invisible, both in the sale at Nordstroms. Also, rather than rely on my the bra for coverage, I use the Besi bra discs. You can’t see them at all and they provide solid coverage.

    • In the Pink :

      I wear similar sizing and the cups are just alot of letters…why?

      I agree with the DD vs the E … seems the E F G are more of an International Size coding.

      Anyway, I have found a good supply and variety through Her Room dot com.

      They have this great “know your gals” quiz about shape and size etc. which helps point toward a style/type to best select.

      They list the actual measurements of the garment, incl. the height in the front; so I can avoid looking and feeling like I’m wearing armor plated breastplates from the Middle Ages.

      There is also a feature with the item is shown under sheer blouses with different necklines so you can tell how it will or will not show.

      Lately, they are posting little videos of tips and hints for fitting.

      You can do a very specific search on the type of garment, style, and size. . . and Boy! Do they have alot of each category so it’s a great feature otherwise it’s so overwhelming. I also hate seeing something that looks nice only to find it is in A or B only…I’m sure you understand.

      I end up ordering alot and keeping and returning. There have not been any problems with returns. I just credit back to the cc and do a separate order rather than exchanges so YMMV.

      I had tried [email protected] smyth dot com and [email protected] necessities dot com in the past but shared OPs frustrations with stock and variety.

      Happy shopping?

      • Thanks for the recommendation. I’ll check them out. I loathe shopping for underthings these days, so maybe not happy shopping, but happy after shopping when I finally have a b r a that fits!

      • Red Beagle :


    • anon not to out :

      There is no “vanity sizing” with regular clothes – never mind bras (except a failed GAP in-store experiment back in the early 2000s). Every brand makes different cuts of bras for different clienteles and shapes of chests (just do a bit of research to find out the vast diversity of chest shapes out there). Given most American women wear cup sizes way, way, way too small (talk to any European bra manufacturer – or even American bra manufacturers about the difficulty of getting American women to wear the correct cup size!) , I have a hard time believing in bra “vanity sizing” rather than the idea that you are simply wearing the wrong size/cuts/brands of bras! Also, remember that your old bras are probably really stretched out (unless you replace every 6 months) so you are probably used to a very loose bra which means that the new bras are going to feel almost uncomfortably tight and you might be tempted to go up a size or two to avoid that tight feeling. Its probably a half dozen of one, 6 of the other.

      Sincerely, a 34 G (European G not American) with extensive bra industry experience.

      • Well, I happen to disagree with you regarding vanity sizing, but that’s neither here nor there.

        I do replace my bras every 6 months, and my issue isn’t the band size, it’s the cup size; I don’t mind my band being tight. What resources would you point me towards to find a properly fitted b r a, as there are so many differing opinions out there?

        • ANON in CO :

          Why do you replace your bras every six months? I buy expensive Wacoal bras and they last years.

          • Baconpancakes :

            Depends on how many of them you have. When I was first measured, and realized that br a s didn’t have to give me quadrib00b and hurt like the dickens, I could only afford to buy two – ergo, they were replaced pretty regularly.

          • Wildkitten :

            If you own fewer bras and wear them more often they wear out faster, versus owning more bras that you wear less frequently.

  13. Working Girl :

    I like Wacoal for bras…even strapless. They fit perfectly and I am a 29 DDD. I have to special order from Nordstrom.

    • Red Beagle :

      +1 Wacoal and also Natori for my 32Fs. Comfy and generally well-constructed.

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