Suit of the Week: Theory

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

This really lovely suit is from Theory. I like the sedate gray, as well as the contemporary fit, the sort of collarless jacket (the description says it’s a “cropped mock neck”), and the concealed hook-and-eye closures on the front of the jacket. I also like how the pants aren’t super tight but also not super wide — and they’re actually full-length, huzzah! The jacket (Sculpted Knit Twill Jacket) is $475 at Bloomingdale’s, and the skirt (Pintucked Knit Twill Pants) is $285.

Here’s a more affordable option (though in a lighter gray) that comes in several size ranges, including plus sizes (pantsjacket).

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  1. I don’t love the look of the jacket open because of the zipper but when it is closed it looks so severe, especially with the matching pants.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      It looks like the jacket Alma Coin wears in the Hunger Games when it’s zipped.

    • Call me old fashioned :

      I somewhat like the look but am disgusted by the idea of paying $$$ for polyurethane clothing.

    • Anonymous :

      I have this jacket and it’s great for me. I wear it open, and often with a scarf to soften the look at bit. My office is business casual, so I also often wear it with jeans. The fabric doesn’t bother me — it looks like wool, but it’s stretchy, so more comfortable.

  2. Anonymous :

    I’m intrigued by a comment I read this morning. Are Eileen Fisher pants good for business casual? I’m in big4 and looking for comfy pants when I don’t have client meetings. I’ve always avoided Eileen Fisher as I associated it with droopy – is that not accurate?

    • No – there are hits and misses in the collection but go try some of it on. Lots of it is lovely and the fabrics are gorgeous.

      The pants everyone is talking about look like work pants but feel like pajamas. They are magical.

      I’m a VP at a F50 and I wear EF all the time.

  3. In the spirit of discussing relationships with our parents – my mother has been increasingly speaking out against the #metoo movement, saying that we are going back to the days where relationships were “controlled” and that she believes in “freedom” and “the right to flirt”. Yesterday she shared that statement by Catherine Deneuve on Facebook with a comment along the lines of “so glad someone is finally saying this”. She is otherwise a good person and we have a pretty good relationship, but it isn’t the first time we argue about “feminists” and “those poor men”. Any advice on how to tell her that, as her (only) daughter, her view of women hurts me? I generally avoid the topic now but she brings it up pretty frequently, and engages in public debates on Facebook etc that really bug me. I genuinely don’t understand what her problem with this is and have tried to reason with her, with very little success. I was randomly approached by a pretty clingy dude yesterday as was feeling raw about these issues already so today’s post really weighed on me…

    • Tell her you’re not going to talk about it with her and change the subject.

      • +1. I happen to think that there is some nuance missing from the conversation about this but I don’t think that you are going to change her mind or have her change yours.

        There are different conversations that can happen here. But if your position is that the #metoo movement is 100% right about everything and not courting a backlash when inevitably at least some accusation gets proven false and her position is this is all just clumsy flirting, I don’t think you will get anywhere.

    • Anonymous :

      “There’s nothing wrong with flirting. I just don’t want to go in for an interview / home closing / root canal and have someone put his hand on my thigh. Bless her heart, but the Belle du Jour is completely missing the point.”

    • Anonymous :

      Tell her she’s really lucky she’s never been raped or assaulted.

      • Anonymous :

        I find this offensive. Women who have been raped/assaulted/etc. have a right not to support this whole metoo movement.

      • Anonymous :

        An attitude like that comes from either a place of privilege, or denial. Denial as in maybe she was assaulted but took to victim blaming as a coping mechanism all these years.

    • Is she by any chance a viewer of conservative news? My mother often gets riled up about issues like this, and I’ve discovered it’s because Fox News (and their website esp) really stokes the culture wars. Where you or I understand that X is a legitimate problem, Fox News is out there with the one time that X was a hoax/false/not accurate and they point to that one example as evidence that all X is made up. I asked if your mom is following conservative news because when I question my mom about her views on the issue du jour, she often parrots back to me whatever the Fox talking points are. When I gently ask her critical thinking questions – “why do you feel that way?”, “can you explain what you mean?”, she sputters about Obama and liberals, etc. I often gently follow up with an example where my mom supported or at least didn’t oppose X. (She was fairly modern before Trump came to power.)

      I have accepted that my mom isn’t thinking critically about these things and that she likes Fox. All I can do is gently prod her to think about her statements when she makes them. Also working (and I’m shocked at how easy it’s been): I like every post on her FB about cute animals and ignore the political screeds. Within 2 weeks, I was seeing dramatically more cute animals from her and markedly fewer screeds.

      • Anonymous :

        I am a liberal who does not consume any “conservative news” and I have issues with the metoo movement. Thinking that people who disagree with you are necessarily incapable of critical thinking is very small-minded.

        • Anonymous :

          Do you feel comfortable elaborating on why you hold your views and what problems you have with #metoo?

          • Anonymous :

            See, for example, the longer post by Anon @ 4:51pm below. I agree with everything she wrote.

          • Anonymous :

            Not the OP, but I can tell you what my issues are. I think that this needs to be a dialogue and not a lecture, which is what it seems to be becoming. See, for example, Matt Damon’s recent comments, which I for one find reasonable, and the response that “he needs to stop talking” and “men just need to listen.” I don’t think that’s how you get to actual, lasting change. I think that there is a difference between what Weinstein did and what Garrison Keillor did, just to use one example.

            I also think that context matters. We cannot judge all past behavior according to today’s standards. This is not to excuse criminal behavior from any decade, but it is to acknowledge that what would be unacceptable now was not always perceived that way, including by the person on the receiving end of the behavior. Along the same lines, I think it is important to acknowledge that because we women have not always felt comfortable calling out certain behavior and instead felt social pressure to smile and play along, it is just a little bit unfair to say that men who got smile and nodded at should have known we were uncomfortable. Some should have and some maybe reasonably shouldn’t have. Again, this does not apply to all behavior, but the metoo movement doesn’t seem interested in nuance.

            I am uncomfortable with the notion that one accusation is enough to ruin a career, even as I am glad that accusations are being taken more seriously. See Ryan Lizza, for example. I am also uncomfortable that accusations that have been investigated and found not credible are being revived as though that does not matter, especially when in the subsequent decades nothing along the same lines has been alleged by a single other person. See Woody Allen, for example.
            I do think that some things are just clumsy attempts at flirting and you can call them out as inappropriate without labeling the person a predator. See Glenn Thrush, for example. I also worry that all of the progress being made will be lost because some allegations might be proven false or people will be tired of having every wink policed or whatever else will lead to an inevitable backlash. That would be the saddest result for me because I do support much of what this movement is trying to accomplish.

          • Anonymous :

            YES, Anon @ 5:23pm, +1,000,000

          • Anonymous :

            FYI, Dylan Farrow’s allegations were not “investigated and found not credible.” The state’s attorney declined to prosecute despite probable cause. Any attorney can tell you this is very common where the victim is a child or otherwise not able to withstand the trauma of a trial. I’ve read the judge’s opinion in the custody case, and it’s pretty scathing – he says that it was pretty clear to him from all the testimony and witnesses that Allen had behaved inappropriately towards Dylan and granted Mia Farrow full custody for that reason. Obviously a civil custody case has a different burden of proof than a criminal case, but the judge was unbiased and much more familiar with the facts than any of us. And if a judge essentially found Allen guilty in a civil case, that’s good enough for me to boycott his movies and not financially support him. The #metoo/#timesup movement is not saying Allen should be thrown in jail, they’re saying he’s a gross person who should suffer career consequences.

    • I’m starting to finally accept what research has shown for a long time, which is that heated political discussions just make people dig in deeper to their own point of views. It’s hard, but try to remain really calm and just ask her questions, rather than contradicting her. Tell her your opinion, but do it gently. Or just change the subject.

    • Anonymous :

      Unfollow her on FB. You can’t change her mind.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know how to explain this, but basically, a #metoo backlash is fashionable. It’s a cute little theory about how Harvey Weinstein is bad, but so much of this is just flirting gone wrong, and it’s fun to be flirted with!!1!

      Read Claire Berlinski’s Warlock Hunt to see this in action, wherein she brags about having an Oxford don grab her a$s when she was a 20 year old student.

      My big complaint about that – and I am about as liberal as Ted Cruz – is that there should be areas of life that just aren’t about s*x. I go to work not to flirt, but to do a job, get a paycheck, and hopefully move up the ladder. It’s not the place where I seek cosmic justice for the wrongs women suffered in the past, but it’s also not a place wherein I want my bum grabbed (no matter how much chemistry there is, or, more likely, how much chemistry the dude in charge of my performance reviews thinks there is).

      I shouldn’t be subjected to harassment because some other women need constant affirmation of their s*x appeal. I shouldn’t be required to submit to a casting couch, nor the corporate equivalent thereof, because some hypothetical women might “use their s*xuality” to get to the top.

      I do not care that “some women” “enjoy the flirting” or that “some women, you know they exist” will happily “use their female power to get ahead.” There is no reason that such should mean open season on me – or any other woman who wants to keep her romantic life separate from her work life.

      • Anonymous :

        Sorry for the rant, but what I am getting at is that there are good, solid, conservative reasons to support #metoo, which basically are: our society is too drenched in s*x already, and some areas of life just aren’t about s*x. When you’re at work, it’s about doing the job.

        • nasty woman :

          So the conservative reason to support #metoo is because you think there’s too much s*x/are in a s*x panic. Rather than, say, the detrimental effect on women’s careers and respecting women’s rights not to be harassed or assaulted. Why aren’t those conservative reasons, too? Or do only liberals care about women’s rights?

          To be fair, your first post sort of hints that you care about a woman’s autonomy and right to be left alone…but your second post makes your concern sound more like this is all a question of decorum and you’re pearl clutching rather than caring about women.

          • Anonymous :

            Take Senior Attorney’s advice, assume good intentions, and re-frame your question.

            You don’t get points for it being all cute to be a “nasty woman” when you’re actually being deliberately nasty.

          • Anonymous :

            And if you think I merely “hinted” at women’s autonomy, you need help learning how to read… or you are so hung up on being “nasty” that you are actually… nasty!

          • Anonymous :

            +1 Anon @ 4:13 / 4:17

          • Anonymous :

            +1 Anon @ 4:13 / 4:17 / 4:48

          • nasty woman :

            oooooooooooh no a bunch of anons think I’m a meanie. boo hoo.

          • Anonymous :

            You are an anon yourself! Otherwise, please provide a link to your personal information including your social security number. What a hypocrite!

          • Yasss nasty woman preach.

          • nasty woman :

            Hypocrite? Really? Of course we’re all anonymous but I at least use the same handle for all my “controversial” political/women’s rights stuff. I am the only person using this one and I have done so for more than a year. So everyone on this board is free to decide they hate Nasty Women and throw tomatoes at her when she shows up. Get it? The distinction is somewhat subtle, but it’s there and results in at least a modicum of accountability.

            Not sure why my longer post never showed up… but TL;DR: you sound like an infant child throwing a tantrum. I merely reflected your words back to you- a “conservative” reason to support women speaking out against s*xual harassment is that there’s too much s*x in society. I just asked you why women’s rights to be free from harassment and to equal respect in the work place aren’t also “conservative” reasons.

    • This is a know your mom/relationship sitation, but if it’s overt/hostile or simply really bothering you I would find a way to address it with something along the lines of “I don’t want to talk about this with you. We have different views on this and we will not change each others’ minds. Please do not bring it up any more.” If she continues, end the conversation or visit. You may need to physically leave at first so she knows you’re serious. This sounds super mean written out, but if your mom is sensitive (mine is not) you can temper it however you need to. I learned this through years of therapy. Sometimes my mom says things off the cuff that I don’t agree with. It’s usually in her house, where I am a guest, and it’s usually just mildly annoying, so I brush it off. When she continues ranting to no one or if it’s hostile, I address it. “It’s not ok to say that, mom. Please don’t talk like that or I will hang up.” I’m pretty non-confrontational and my mom is SUPER bossy, but this works. I was pretty surprised the first time I tried it. She was shocked but then just changed the subject and we went on like nothing happened (see: non-confrontational).

      I am also not on FB. That alone shields me from 90% of this garbage and has helped me maintain relationships with siblings who hold wildly different views than I do. When I see them, it is in person and we simply talk about stuff we have in common: like how annoying mom is, haha. Ok I’m mostly kidding. But seriously, can you block your mom on FB or take a break from FB for a while? Sorry you’re dealing with this.

      • Thanks all. She normally is fairly liberal (voted Dem in the last few presidential elections) but skews libertarian on certain issues. She also increasingly seems to be of the view that political correctness is taking over the world, so she may be turning to conservative news sources. I will try to cut it out using your advice. I guess I’m grieving the fact that my parents were excellent parents who did a great job raising me, but I am realizing that, as adults, we have become very different people with wildly different views on certain topics and not that much in common.

        • OK – At this risk of making myself very unpopular, I am going to agree with your mother to a certain extent. Since I suspect I am closer to her age than yours, let me try to explain. I don’t expect you to agree; I just want you to understand her possible mindset.

          First, let me make it very clear that touching someone without their consent is wrong. Nothing I am about to say excuses r*pe or assault (which includes groping). Similarly, being nasty and vindictive toward someone who declines an advance is rightly illegal.

          BUT – it appears that we are rapidly headed toward a mindset that women are not expected to be able to stand up for themselves and say “no”. Where the mere fact that an advance was subjectively unwelcome makes it wrong. There was recently an article about Silicon Valley s*x parties and one of the women who felt victimized and with whom we were clearly intended to sympathize (1) went to the party of her own free will (it was not a work event) and (2) voluntarily took a drug she was explicitly told would make her want to be touched. And we are somehow supposed to feel like she was taken advantage of. She was a competent adult, not a child. Nobody was forcing her to do anything. She was not drugged without her consent. She could have called an Uber and left with no apparent professional consequences. Further, at least according to the article, she never once said “stop” or “I don’t want to do this.” She is not a victim, except of the societal norms that have taught you to be agreeable and that is on women as much as men.

          An “unwanted s*xual advance” is not harassment. It is expressing s*xual or romantic interest in another person. If the other person is not interested, they can say so. I sympathize with the poster who does not want to flirt at the office, but many many women who work full time at demanding jobs DO want to flirt at the office. I met my husband at the office. An awful lot of lawyers I know are married to people they met at the office. I respect your rights to say thanks but no thanks and have that respected without harassment, but I do not think you have the right to force your feelings about workplace relationships on me.

          And as to why some of us who are older feel this way: In my case I can distinctly recall living in a world where women were essentially treated like children. We had to be protected by our schools, our employers and our society because we were considered unable to do it ourselves. A s*xually aggressive woman who wanted to go out, have a drink and pick up clearly was an unbalanced slut because no nice, normal woman would want to do such a thing. Our schools had to chaperone us lest we fall prey to men who would try to seduce us and poor innocent souls, we could not be expected to say no. It was not far from that to thinking a female lawyer obviously could not handle contentious litigation because we were pushovers who could not stand up for ourselves.

          In reality, I suspect that just as female teachers taking advantage of male students makes the news while the reverse is rarely reported, many of the reported cases that make me (and probably your mother) say “OMG – really??” are very much the exception and not the rule. But I still think that due process matters and that adult women can and should be expected to say no when they are uncomfortable. It is only in inappropriate conduct when your no is not respected. It would be nice to have that acknowledged.

          And ask yourself this: When some disgruntled male tech accuses his female CEO (Sheryl Sandberg or Susan Wojcicki for example) of harassment, are you going to support her getting fired when she cannot definitively prove her innocence?

          • Anonymous :

            THIS +1,000,000

          • TL;DR but to answer the question in your last paragraph: Yes, absolutely. Nice attempt at a straw man, but it’s not gonna work.

          • I find the part where you talk about growing up, treated as a child that needed to be protected, and how that affects your viewpoints, fascinating.

            Could you explain what you mean by this, it’s unclear to me: “BUT – it appears that we are rapidly headed toward a mindset that women are not expected to be able to stand up for themselves and say “no””

          • Anonymous :

            @Violet – not op, but I agree with that sentiment. For me, it’s the notion that a person should somehow be protected from being offended or uncomfortable in any way. That syllabuses on campus should all come with trigger warnings. That you have a right to not hear offensive speech. Etc., etc. I think OP actually articulates a great standard of behavior for all these things: “It is only inappropriate conduct when your no is not respected.”

          • As the anon with the comment you are asking about: I am referring to situations (like the one I mentioned involving the Silicon Valley parties or the actress complaining that she was exploited because she did a nude scene that she had ageeed to in her contract or people whose complaint is that she was “uncomfortable”) where an adult woman can and should have said no. I don’t expect men to read my mind or body language cues. You can’t go along with something with every appearance of agreement and then complain.

            And the idea on some college campuses that any alcohol at all turns a woman into a 10 year old (while men are rightfully expected to be responsible for themselves) makes me crazy. If two mildly intoxicated people have s*x they are equally responsible. The woman is not automatically a victim and the man a monster.

          • You must not read the news a lot because there have been lots of reported cases of inappropriate behavior between female teachers and her male students. But maybe that is due to their lack of maturity by being treated like “children” by society.

            I don’t believe women were treated like children because children are assumed to be innocent. More like whatever happened to you as a woman would be 100% your fault even if you were physically forced to do it. Now that women are catching on the fact there is more than one way to be raped some are getting bent out of shape because they have been blaming victims for all these years. Instead of saying sorry to those they may have wronged in the past they rather defend rapists.

          • Obviously I was not clear. My point is that female teacher/male students is reported quite a lot while male teacher/female student, which is much more common, is not. Probably because of the man bites dog phenomenon.

            Actual cases of harassment are not as click-bait worthy as the dubious cases and therefore get less media attention.

          • anonshmanon :

            Thanks for posting this. First and foremost, it shows me that we have a completely different understanding of what the metoo movement is about, and what the potential consequences are. So if I think ‘it’s mostly right’ and you say ‘it’s terribly misdirected’, that gap comes mostly from us perceiving the thing itself so very differently, it could easily be two separate movements.

            The way I see the it, some powerful men have been confronted with inexcusable actions of their past. The message this sends is that abusing your position of power to assault employees is not ok. The use of the metoo hashtag creates an environment where people feel more comfortable sharing their experiences, with less fear of being shamed and stigmatized. So when you say that women should speak up for themselves and not rely on being protected, I agree! That’s what the metoo movement is about, in my opinion. To stop victim blaming, victim shaming, stop calling women bitchy, difficult, and otherwise dismiss them when they are standing up for themselves and rejecting sexual advances.

            I also met my partner through work, so it would be hypocritical of me to demand a sterile workplace. So I think it’s great if society can collectively re-iterate that it’s everyone’s personal decision what happens with their body (yes, even if it’s a female body) and that it will come back to bite you if you abuse your power to break that agreement. That is needed to give the recipient of an unwelcome advance the security to say “no, thank you” without fearing for their job.

            Your post was also interesting in terms of our vastly different filter bubbles. I have never heard of these Silicon Valley sex parties, wow what a crazy story! My first reaction would be that they are probably not representative of the issues in workplaces these days.

          • “But I still think that due process matters and that adult women can and should be expected to say no when they are uncomfortable. It is only in inappropriate conduct when your no is not respected.”

            This sounds great in theory, and of course I agree that due process matters. But this viewpoint fails to take into account that it is also inappropriate conduct when a “no” will potentially cost you something huge, like your job. Or your life. If you have never been in a situation where you did not feel like you could say no to an unwanted advance, you are very, very lucky.

          • YES, Anon @ 6:46.

            I think the French women and a lot of women here are totally overlooking that, perhaps willfully.

          • @ both 6:46 and 7:17 – I’m not reading that point about saying ‘no’ the same way at all. I think the point that was made is that you should be able to say no and not face any negative consequences and anything other than that (that is, negative consequences) is unacceptable.

            But I do think there’s a difference in saying yes to something b/c you feel pressured and then being outraged at the person who took your yes at face value and someone who can’t accept no for an answer. Both are conversations we need to have as a society but, to me, they are fundamentally different conversations.

    • I’m going to push back a little on something you said: “Any advice on how to tell her that… her view of women hurts me”. Your mother is entitled to her own opinions (however wrong-headed you or I may find them). I think you can tell your mother you don’t agree with her and don’t want to discuss it with her. I don’t think you can reasonably ask her not to post her ideas in Facebook. Agree with the upthread advice to just unfollow her.

  4. Spinning Workout at Home :

    I have a new spinning bike at home and am looking for an app or website for workouts. I have a free trial of the Peleton app, but without the Peleton bike I feel like I’m missing out on some of the key instructions/metrics (e.g., cadence, output…). Any recommendations for another app/site (bonus if it’s free!)? Thanks!


    • Anonymous :

      IDK but I hate Peleton. DH seem to think that a huge piece of expensive equipment in the middle of our living room will undo his 4th meal problem. Want them to just go away.

      • I’m a huge Peleton supporter and I ride mine multiple times a week. It’s not huge, by any means. Especially when you compare it to other at home equipment like a treadmill or rower. Sounds like your problem is with your husband and not the piece of equipment that you don’t even have.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I liked Aaptiv a lot. I think it has an iPad and an iPhone app.

    • Anon in NYC :

      Maybe a free trial of Aaptiv? They have indoor cycling workouts that I’m assuming are not metrics based.

    • Former Retail :

      My husband likes Zwift. He’s using this with his regular bike on a trainer and bike computer. He likes the group/competitive aspect of it.

    • Coach Laura :

      Global Cycling Network GCNdotcom has many. HIIT, hills, 15, 20, 30 minutes you name it. All free with cadence and meant to be done on spin bike indoors.

  5. Can't Stop Eating :

    How do you control weight gain during pregnancy? I’m just under 10 weeks and I’ve already gained 7-8 pounds. I wasn’t overweight when I got pregnant, but had already put on quite a bit during fertility treatments and was heavier than what I would’ve liked.

    I keep reading that I really shouldn’t be gaining weight (or maybe 1-4 lbs) during the first trimester, but I don’t know what to do! In addition to being constantly hungry, eating is about the only thing that helps with the nausea. I’ve been exercising almost daily, but apparently it’s not enough. Argh!

    • Anonymous :

      Talk to your doctor about your weight gain, whether or not it is healthy, and if you should address it. Do not ask the internet.

    • Anonymous :

      “Most people” aren’t you. Your body is doing what it needs to do to grow your baby. And that’s not indicative of what your body will do later (or what it did before).

      This is where cute animals on the interwebs are your new BFF; listen to your health care provider if there are any true health concerns and otherwise ignore the g-d scale (it is NOT your friend).

      • Anonymous :

        Grazing to ease nausea is pretty common in the first tri. Try to pick healthier foods like apples with peanut butter over a milkshake maybe, but don’t worry too much about every bite. I agree with the above that you have to trust your body a bit here.

    • Yes – I have been there!

      I mentally differentiated between nausea snacks and actual meals. I tried to keep nausea snacks as low calorie as possible – rice cakes, snap pea crisps, sugar free jell-o, sparkling water. Not a ton of nutritional benefit but just something to keep my stomach settled. For actual meals, I tried to be more intuitive about listening to what my body was telling me it needed. I also loosely tracked calories – not anything strict but just to make sure I wasn’t accidentally eating 3,000 calories every day.

      I had plenty of people tell me, “Just eat whatever you crave, you’re preggo!!” but following my cravings made me feel extra lethargic and unhealthy.

      • Oh, also, I guess I should have suggested you talk to your doctor, just in case you were planning that the only medical advice you seek during your pregnancy is from the comments section of a fashion blog.

        • Thanks – and it wasn’t. Obviously I’ll do whatever my doctor says and won’t make any changes without talking to her. I was mostly hoping for commiseration, not actually looking for medical advice. :-)

    • JinSeattle :

      +1 to the advice to talk to your doctor. FWIW, in both my pregnancies I gained weight a bit faster during the first trimester, but then the weight gain tapered off and in the end I had reached a weight that was in the middle of the range recommended for my height and pre-pregnancy BMI. Not to say that you even need to be within those ranges to have a healthy pregnancy either! Just wanted to say I experienced what you experienced, talked to my doctor, and it all turned out fine.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it will probably even out. The reason most people gain so little in the first trimester is because of morning sickness and nausea. If you’re lucky enough to not feel too sick, you’ll probably put on more than average in the early months but then gain at a slower rate later on. I put on about 10 pounds in the first trimester (my doctor only counts 5 of them, because my first prenatal appointment was not until 10 weeks but I know what I weighed pre-pregnancy and I put on 5 pounds from weeks 4-10), another 8 lbs in the early-mid second trimester and then completely stopped gaining. Now I’m 36 weeks and officially classified as “low maternal weight gain” which is a little ironic because I gained so fast at the beginning. I feel like I’m eating roughly as much as I was before and I’m exercising WAY less than I was a few months ago (I walked several miles outside every day in the summer and fall but haven’t really been able to do that since early December because of winter weather) and the weight gain has still essentially stopped. I also know plenty of people who gained 40-50 pounds during pregnancy and look amazing after the baby. It all comes off relatively quickly, especially if you breastfeed. I would really try not to worry about it unless your doctor brings it up.

      • I don’t follow your logic here. *You* gained fast in the beginning but not at the end, but do you have some reasoning behind that to extrapolate to other people?

        • Fwiw, I’m the OP and I found this helpful. Maybe it won’t apply to me, but it gives me hope that maybe it will.

        • Anon at 3:39 :

          My point was that I’ve heard (from my doctor and at least one of my pregnancy books) that it’s common for those who gain quickly at the beginning to level off and not gain much at the end, and those who gain very little at the beginning to continue gaining steadily until the end. Your body knows how much weight it needs to gain for a healthy pregnancy, and many people will gain in spurts and not as slowly and steadily as the official guidelines say. And that was in fact my own experience as well.

    • Ugh, are you me right now?! I’m having the same problem and can sympathize. I’ve decided just to do what my body is telling me I need to do to make it through this. If that means eating every hour or two and carbs are the only thing that will settle my stomach so I can focus and get some work done, so be it.

      I’ve only thrown up twice and am reluctant to ask for meds for something like this where the nausea and small weight gain isn’t harmful to the baby at this early stage. Also, I’d talk to my doctor if I could, but I don’t even have my first appointment until I’m almost 12 weeks. And I don’t see this as an emergency situation that warrants a call to the emergency nurse line. Here’s hoping the second trimester is better, and we can manage our eating much easier!

    • I recommend reading the book Expecting Better by Emily Oster. There is a section on weight gain during pregnancy.

    • Everyone’s body is different and gains weight differently! I am also pregnant and just met someone with the exact same due date as mine and we both look different. If your doctor is concerned, then there is a reason for you to be concerned. Otherwise, if you aren’t too sick (I’m still very nauseous), do your best to eat healthy foods. I also started my pregnancy a bit heavier than I would’ve liked and finally got to the mindset that yes it will be harder to lose weight after the baby, but right now while i am pregnant the most important thing is my health and the health of the baby. It is SO hard not to worry about how your body looks, especially with pregnant people like Kate Middleton floating around, but try to be kind to yourself and remember what matters is a healthy pregnancy!

    • I was a little heavier than I wanted to be before I got pregnant, and I gained more than the books/charts said I was supposed to. But my doctor was always thrilled with my weight at my checkups, and she called me her healthiest patient. I also noticed the weight gain was not linear, as most of the simplistic charts would imply. I had pregnancy “growth spurts” and would gain a lot of weight some weeks, then only a little for other weeks.

    • Anonymous :

      Hello, 1st-trimester twin! Also just under 10 weeks. Have also been grazing to help with the nausea (along with the vitamin B6, ginger capsules, etc. etc). Same as last pregnancy 3+ years ago. My solution (of a sort) is to simply not own a scale; I get weighed at the doctor’s, and then they can discuss the observed trend with me when there are enough data points.

      PS – my midwife recommends 25mg of vitamin B6 + a tab of Unisom (tablets, not gel caps) before bed, for nausea. Works like a dream, or perhaps I’m too soundly asleep to notice anything.

    • Just to share my experience: weight gain was absolutely not a straight line, but more of a stairstep. I’d put on several pounds apparently overnight, and then maintain that weight for a month or more, repeat, repeat.

  6. Biglaw Associate. I got a job offer that would start early March (based on my request because of some current client commitments that I want to see through that involve pre-booked travel). Working on said commitments with a partner, who I know will be very upset when I give notice. Would you suggest giving advance notice, or wait until 2 weeks before leave date, aka, the day the commitments are over. Just thinking it could make the travel and work very awkward if I give notice early, but it will also make me anxious to keep it a secret until then.

    • Wait. Nothing will be the same once you give notice, and it’s really an uncomfortable time. I’m an advocate of giving only 2 weeks unless there is a strong reason to do otherwise.

      • Also, I highly doubt they’ll send you anywhere after you give notice, pre-booked travel or not.

    • Anonymous :

      Be prepared to be fired the day you give notice. Now, when do you want to give notice?

    • Wait and give 2 weeks notice or give 2 weeks now and start the new job sooner. Pre-booked travel is something any employer worth their salt can deal with and truly isn’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.

    • Anonymous :


    • You want to collect your bonus, right? Wait wait wait wait wait.

    • Anonymous :

      When I recently quit my job, I couldn’t wait, the anxiety of telling my boss was killing me. See if you can move up your start date and give your notice.

    • Anonymous :

      WAIT. The partner I worked for was a petty and vindictive person, but when I gave notice a couple months early (thinking it would make the transition easier in the midst of a busy case), he blew up at me, immediately took me off the case and threw me under the bus to the client for some things that had gone wrong that were not my fault. He had informally known for a year or more that I was looking to move to a different state for my husband’s job and had been 100% supportive until I officially gave notice, so I still don’t know really know what happened or why he snapped and turned into such a jerk. In the end, I got my paycheck for the whole time and I was moving out of state and changing practice areas so the comments about my reputation didn’t really matter to me, but having to see him and deal with his verbal abuse every day for two months was awful. In hindsight I wish I’d just given two weeks notice. Trying to be nice and professional totally backfired.

      • +1 Even good bosses can change completely after you give notice. The time between notice and actually leaving is so often miserable that I wouldn’t recommend extending it any longer than absolutely necessary for your professional reputation (which normally means 2 weeks, IMO.)

  7. laptop protection :

    Have a 15.6 inch HP laptop, wanting to purchase something to protect its corners/edges for when I travel that won’t add tons of bulk. It’d go into my carry-on to be stored under the seat in front of me. I seldom use it on flights since there’s not much room for such in coach but don’t want corners or edges damaged. Hoping for @[email protected] prime recommendations so I can get it right away as a flight just came up for me! On a budget but would rather pay a bit more for something useful than save $10 here and lose hundreds in damages to it later. Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m unclear specifically what you’re in the market for, but I’ve been extremely happy with the Amazon Basics laptop sleeves.

  8. Shopping to pass the time :

    Anyone want to help me shop?

    I’m looking for work appropriate ankle booties with a 3inch or so heel (preferably thick) in a dark charcoal that would look with gray, navy, or black. Preferably as cheap as possible but no more than $60 or so. Bonus points if available in 9.5!

    • Shopping to pass the time :

      Oh also – by work appropriate I mean NYC biglaw but leans rather casual.

    • DSW has a ton of options. So many that I’m not even going to link them all. Some are 39.99 and claim to be available in 9.5 You might also check Teva’s web site – I think they were having a sale (but their stuff is rarely in the $60 price point, sadly). Good luck!

    • These are interesting:

      These are cute but maybe too low?:

      These are cool:

      So are these:

      • pugsnbourbon :

        It’s probably too late and these are probably lighter than you want, but I have these and like them:

        I can’t find the exact link but I got them at TJMaxx for $40.

  9. Cheers... :

    With all of the posts about difficult parents or parent/child relationships, I just wanted to raise a glass of everyone’s individually preferred beverage to those who are great parents, to those who have great parents, to those who have successfully created a relationship with their parent(s) that no longer damages them, to those who cut ties with toxic parent(s), and to those who have lost parents or been unable to become parents.

    It is so easy to focus on the problems in our own lives and so easy to be triggered by the problems others have that we wish we could trade for. Yay for everyone impacted who is doing their best at being their best, regardless of the struggles. ((hug))

    • i’m currently pregnant and while i have definitely had my own struggles with my parents, i’m now like, are my kids going to hate me and be posting about on blogs (or whatever it is people will use) in 20 years. kind of ironic that many people have issues with their own parents, yet still want to become pregnant. i guess that’s the cycle of life.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a big reason I don’t want kids, personally.

      • wildkitten :

        I want to do better. Kind of the same reason I do anything in life, or get out of bed in the morning. I have hope that the future will not just be a repeat of the past and that I can control who I choose to become.

  10. Class is killing my career - what do I do? :

    I need help with overcoming class issues in my corporate workplace. My colleagues are all affluent, and technically I am too except that I am economically supporting a large extended family. That means:

    – I haven’t owned a car in 10 years and walk to work; they drive fancy sports cars.
    – I live in a 1 bedroom house I was lucky to afford – no garage, no closet, and I hit my head on the shower ceiling every day (I am 5’4); they have urban mansions.
    – I hate my home and am too ashamed to have anybody over; they have big parties and invite the whole office plus spouses plus kids.
    – I can’t afford vacations; they take their large families around the world, sometimes with each other.
    – I worry about my financial future; they invest in friends’ start-ups, buy rental properties, etc.

    I feel like I reek of poor next to them. It shows in water cooler talk, social outings, the fact that I can’t host parties, etc. Perhaps they can’t articulate or see why, but I feel myself slowly being ostracized and treated disrespectfully because I am an “other” who doesn’t fit in. My ‘smell’ makes them uncomfortable.

    There is no end in sight to my family’s dependence on me. I am starting to fear for my job. Help?

    • Anonymous :

      Have you talked to someone about all this?

    • What are the concrete ways they treat you differently? I’m asking because all of the things you’ve mentioned sound like things that only you would know about or realize. Why do you think your job is in jeopardy?

      • +1


        I live as simple a life as you (one bedroom rental apartment), and am surrounded by those much more decadent in their tastes. I am professional with them at work, and polite in asking appropriate small talk questions. If asked, I just talk about more simple hobbies, “I’m not a big traveler” and leave it at that. Your finances are your own business, and it shows poor class on your co-worker’s part to be talking about their personal finances at work. You are not expected to host lavish parties. Really. You aren’t.

        I don’t socialize with my work colleagues at all. There is nothing here that poses any threat to your job.

        I worry more about your anxiety and stress jumping from the page. Why is it that you are supporting a large extended family, indefinitely? Perhaps there is something worth investing time in trying to solve.

    • Anonymous :

      You are doing what it takes to be there to support your family. Kudos to you. Hold your head up high and keep going. You don’t need to explain anything to them. Keep doing good work and don’t try to see yourself through their eyes. Everyone has to walk their own path and they are probably not noticing the things you have listed here to the same extent you are. And even if they are, you just keep going and doing what you need to do for your family. You have my respect. People who know what you have said here will think you’re a rock star!

    • Anonymous :

      As long as your work is good, they can’t fire you for not taking fancy vacations or not owning a bigger house.

      • Anonymous :

        Have you worked for some of the top law firms? Lack of “fit” is an easy reason to not make someone partner and push them out and often it is about not looking/acting the part.

      • Anonymous :

        Most jobs in the US are “at will” employment, which means you can be fired for no reason at all — they don’t need to be able to point to any kind of performance issue. And of course no one will say “You’re being fired because you’re poor.” They will just tell you you’re not a good fit and need to seek other opportunities.

      • Sure, they *can*, but I think it’s extremely unlikely that they will, and I don’t think OP has any reason for concern.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t know you or where you work, but I do not think that most people I know would care very much (in fact they would be very sympathetic / empathetic). And we’d love to come over to your apartment. No one invites anyone over anymore, so I would come, even if you lived in a tent.

      You are more than what you have — you are what you do and who you love.

      We will all leave this world with the nothing we came into it with.

      You are making your mark, in a good way. Your coworkers may be a bit . . . tone deaf? But I bet a bunch of them have an addicted / sick / failure to launch / needy relative. We are all probably within 3 connections of someone in jail / at risk / a victim / etc. You never know. And if it is all unicorns and roses now, a bad divorce, a kid who takes a turn, a car wreck, an illness can all happen with no notice, even in the sparkliest of families.

      I am worry that your heart seems heavy. I wish I could say something that would help.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you at a law firm or I bank or similarly wealthy environment? You can’t help it if you have family $ commitments and they don’t. But people in those homogenous environments start to act weird when they think you absolutely don’t fit it. Frankly if you’re paid like them and they don’t know about your family commitments, they may wonder where your money goes. To the extent comfortable – talk about your family. Though you know your work and your family best. I’d volunteer if you’re helping your uncle start his construction company; I wouldn’t if you had to make your cousins bail YKWIM? As for this other stuff – why can’t you talk about trips you take/want to take when they talk about theirs? Sure maybe they’re talking about Hawaii and you’re talking about learning to surf in FL but it still shows you have “similar”’interests to theirs. Why can’t you talk about investments? Aside from property, people rarely ask how much money you’re investing in something – they don’t need to know it’s zero – but saying how you’re really expecting a rally in financials this yr because of rising rates (and reading up on the market so you get it and the conversation can continue) – well that suddenly makes you one of them.

    • Do you think it’s possible that some of this is also a result of your own perception of the situation? I’m sincerely not trying to imply that what you say is happening isn’t happening, but I wonder if some of this is a result of your own discomfort with how you perceive yourself next to them. I say this because when I was in high school/college I ended up in a group of friends who were substantially better off than me (like, paintings by Dali in their parents house type of well-off and buildings named after someone’s grandparent, etc.) but I was too naïve at the time to register most of these differences and it didn’t seem to matter in my relationships. Now, however, I am much more conscious of different financial realities and sometimes I find myself feeling uncomfortable or out of place in certain situations, when in the past the same wouldn’t have even occurred to me.

      • Anonymous :

        I second AIMS comment – – , I am the “hold your head up high” poster. I think if you come at this from a place of “I’m such a bada$$” looking out for my family the way you are then maybe you’ll exude more confidence and that might make all the difference in how you think they are perceiving you.

    • Legal Aid Lawyer :

      This isn’t the question you asked, but it might help lend some insight: are you comfortable indefinitely supporting your extended family? I don’t mean just financially comfortable, but emotionally, and mentally.

      • Anonymous :

        This. I can understand not wanting to forego helping your family in order to take fancy vacations or buy a luxury car, but at the same time, you have to build a life for yourself that makes you happy. If you can fit supporting your family into that, that’s great, but it’s also ok to accept that this level of familial support isn’t compatible with the life you want and give yourself permission to let you family members take care of themselves.

      • Yes, you need to establish a minimum standard of living for yourself, then help your family, or help them navigate outside support. You literally can’t stand upright in your own shower, your family that you support probably lives better than you do and, tbh, you don’t fit in at work if you are neglecting yourself to your detriment.

    • Anonymous :

      Longer post in mod so check later. There are ways around this.

    • Anonymous :

      What industry? Hate to say it but if advancement in your field is based on “fit” — in terms of hanging out with the partners/higher ups and their families at lavish house parties, traveling together etc. — you’re not going to advance regardless of your spectacular work product because they’ll never see you as “one of them.” People like that want to advance people “who remind them of themselves at that age.” So yeah — your studio, no car, no vacation, and no investments lifestyle could hold back your career. I’ve seen in happen in NYC finance, law, and in sales to a certain extent. Good news though is that in all of those rather large industries once you get away from the very top firms/echelons, there are plenty of “regular” jobs to be had doing the same work but with more down to earth people and there — the work matters more and people understand that others have different life/family stuff. Never found that understanding on Wall Street or in Greenwich CT.

    • Have you talked at all about your circumstances? They might think its a little odd that they pay you well but see no signs of wealth. They might wonder if you gamble it all away or something. Not that it is really any of their business. My colleagues thought it was odd that I didn’t join their country club. I just discussed with them over an informal lunch that I’m still paying significant student loans so I don’t really have the discretionary income for that right now. They never dealt with loans and that made sense to them. Next time they ask why you haven’t been on a big trip lately or why you haven’t bought a car yet, consider just saying “oh, I’m supporting some family members right now. Maybe in the future.”

      As for your family, you also have to put your own oxygen mask first. Make sure you are doing what you need to in order to keep your job. One guy I know was spoken to about only buying cheap suits while working in banking. He mentioned being frugal. They replied that they were paying him enough, they expected him to wear a certain level of attire. He stopped buying Men’s Warehouse. I think that’s a ridiculous situation but at the same time, it’s good that they were straight with him.

      Get yourself a place that you like to live in and FIT in, even if it means you have to give your extended family a little less. I know that’s easy for me to say but I’m struggling to come up with a situation where you should be just barely scraping by and giving away all the rest of your money. If you breakdown or are fired, no one wins there either.

      • +1 also keep in mind if you are in a client facing role then appearances are important. I’m not implying that you are neglecting your appearance, etc, but it sounds like it’s important to your job to fit in a little better.

        • You are very nice to be doing what you are doing. Most people are not as fortunate as we are so we have to remember to treat those less fortunate then us with care, and not to hold ourself above them, intellectueally or s-xually. If you make money, you need to give money to your parents, as they dd for you when you were a little girl. If you have a husband, you must treat him with respect, and make sure he treats you with respect. You must also treat yourself to new things once in a while, including getting nice shoes.

    • Don’t feel bad about not inviting people over; some people just aren’t into hosting, and your colleagues have no way of knowing if that’s you. Same thing for vacations. Don’t talk about how you can’t afford them, just ask questions about other peoples trips and seem interested (and don’t react to how lavish they seem.). Walking to work could be an environmental or heath decision for all they know, or maybe you hate driving or are terrible at it.

      Don’t talk about money. Definitely don’t mention that something is too expensive or that you can’t afford X; it’s no one’s business but your own.

      The one place I would try to consciously spend a little more is on clothes. Your wardrobe is a business expense, IMO, so set aside money for yourself in this department. Good shoes, clothes, and a bag can go a long way to helping you fit in and making you feel more confident.

      • I should add that I say this as someone who’s been in a somewhat similar situation. It has taken me a long time to learn how to blend in with people who are from much more privileged backgrounds than I am.

    • I’d just add that unless you have access to their bank accounts, you don’t know if they are affluent or not; unless they can see your balance sheets, they have no idea of your financial situation (and if they’re making assumptions about you, then shame on them). They might spend money conspicuously, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are financially healthy. They might be in debt but feel pressured to spend to keep up with everyone else. I dated several guys who spent lavishly but had massive credit card debt and zero savings.

      I work in medicine, and I have so many friend/colleagues who will talk one minute about their new Tesla and their six-figure kitchen renovation and their spring break in Provence, then in the next minute request extra work shifts to pay off six-figures of medical school debt, on top of private school tuition for their kids, credit card debt, etc.

    • You might find the book Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots , White Collar Dreams interesting. It tackles many of these issues! I think I originally picked it up on the referral of someone from this site.

    • Can you build a network within your environment of people like you who have been successful? I’m from a blue collar background and I’ve found getting to know my colleagues who went to college after being in the military, went to second tier regional schools, moved here from overseas or moved here from less affluent areas but are succeeding has gotten me to a place where I have been plugged in enough to be able to continue my career.

  11. Help me with my forehead lines! I’m 32 and didn’t start using face sunscreen until I turned 30 (I know…) so now I have five gnarly lines across my forehead. I do try to stay hydrated. They are not as noticeable when I’m not wearing makeup. I use IT cosmetics your skin but better CC cream (SPF 50) as my foundation. I have a ten month old so my morning routine is a bit chaotic: pretty often I skip putting my Cerave SPF moisturizer under my CC cream. Would that help? Should I switch to a better/fancier foundation like Diorskin? I don’t especially want to get Botox mostly because I think that reeks of high maintenance, but I know that’s shallow and I need to get over it. Also I’m not sure I have time to get Botox (see: ten month old). Talk to me! Is this a foundation thing or your skin is just like this now thing?

    • Anonymous :

      Your face is like this now. You can’t undo wrinkles but you can wear makeup and focus on good skincare. Sunscreen and retinol.

      • wildkitten :

        Sure you can. Botox.

        • +1 – botox is the solution for this. Call me high maintenance but it works.

          • +1. If you really care, and the lines are still there when your face is at rest, Botox and/or fillers are the answer. Retinol and sunscreen help with minor lines/sun spots/future aging, not fixing what’s already shown up.

    • Is the issue that the foundation is settling into the lines? If so, try setting with a light dusting of powder.

      For the lines themselves – retinol and hydrating. Making sure my skin is sufficiently hydrated helps with keeping it plump

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, you have time to get Botox. It takes literally 10 min.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 I’ve been getting it done on my lunch break for the last 5 years. It’s not a big deal.

        • +1. It doesn’t take any time to do Botox and makes a huge difference. Plus, I go only every 4-6 months (for forehead lines).

    • I would select a one-step BB cream or cushion (the kind that includes moisturizer and SPF) from Laneige or Dr. Jart to use in the morning. BB cream usually goes on smoother than CC cream and other foundations so I don’t find the need to use a primer. It also settles in well over the day, and if you find the right one, it won’t feel oily at the end of the day. Try some samples from Sephora before buying the product.

      Then I’d focus on a full skin care routine for evening – I do a Korean 6-step skin care routine, including cleansing with makeup remover, toner, essence, serum, eye cream, then moisturizer/face cream. If I have more time, I use a face mask for essence after toner, and skip the rest of the routine that evening.

  12. Anonymous :

    I may repost tomorrow, but any recs for books on how to appear my confident in the workplace? Specifically geared towards woman? I am the only female lawyer out of 20ish, the youngest/newest hire, and feel like one my biggest weaknesses is not projecting confidence when it comes to work. Thanks!

    • Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office is a common rec and I did like it, but I took it with a big grain of salt (really hated the tattoo chapter). It did change my way of thinking, particularly when it came to how I was speaking/body language.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I know it’s recommended a lot, but I did not like it. I work in nonprofit and didn’t feel it was applicable to me/my work, so YMMV, but I couldn’t get through it.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      I liked Confidence Code- and this was after I’d been told I needed to be more confident. Seemed to have helped a bit.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      Presence by Amy Cuddy. I actually didn’t enjoy it, but it’s often recommended for this. And there is an article from The Cut that addresses this. Google ‘How to Say Um and Like.’

      For written & spoken language – remove the words “just” and “I feel like” from your vocabulary. Women use them all the time – and all it does it undermine yourself! Or maybe this is just (there’s that word!!) my pet peeve :)

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        I agree- I’ve found that removing “just” and “I feel like,” and “maybe I’m wrong, but” and “I’m hoping you can…” and unnecessary “I’m sorrys” from my vocabulary has helped a lot. I was talking to a partner at a law firm recently, and she said to me “In 2017, I made it my goal to not apologize when someone walks into me,” and that stuck with me. I find myself apologizing a lot, and I’ve tried to cut that out. Instead of “Hi, Colleaugue- Sorry to bother you, but I’m hoping you’ve had a chance to review XYZ. I’m just asking because it’s due tomorrow and I need to finalize it,” I’m trying to be a bit more assertive. “Hi, Colleague- Checking in about the status of XYZ. It’s due tomorrow- do you have an ETA of when you’ll get it to me so that I can finalize it? Thanks, Sloan.” It still makes me uncomfortable, but I’ve also been told I seem more confident. I don’t feel more confident, but fake it til you make it, I guess?

  13. Chicken Lady :

    This is totally random but I know folks are sometimes pitching hobbies on here so I thought I’d throw one out – get chickens!! We’ve had them on and off, and our new flock of babies is finally coming to maturity. They’re bringing me so much joy and entertainment daily. They’re surprisingly easy to take care of and legal in most cities (we live in a very urban city w a small yard). The best part is feeding them high quality food and getting the most delicious eggs ever. They’re twice as big as store-bought eggs and the yolks are dark orange. We don’t have kids yet but raising chicks and chickens is something I really look forward to doing with kids. When they’re well-cared for, the birds are quiet, clean, and not at all smelly. They have ridiculous personalities and make us popular in our social circle – people love hanging with the chickens and getting the eggs. And the babies are sooo adorable. Ok PSA over!

    • Anonymous :

      When they stop laying eggs do you kill them? Or just wind up with more and more chickens?

      • ??? You only get more chickens if you have a rooster…

        • Anonymous :

          But she was talking about babies!

          • Touche she did say chicks. Sorry for being snarky, Anonymous. Help us, OP! Did you buy chicks AND chickens? I’d love to have chickens, but they are not allowed in my city. Not that anyone would notice or care if I got some…

          • you buy the babies from a farm to incorporate into your flock

        • I assume she meant getting more chickens to lay eggs.

      • You raise a good point. Hens do stop laying and live on. I’m not OP but we’ve treated our non laying hens as pets and have yet to have one live for more than a year after ceasing laying. Theoretically it’s possible they’d live many years post laying but that’s not how it has worked for us. A non laying hen is like the housemother of the flock, and is an essential role in chicken society. (Please don’t tell me that menopausal women are useless in human society!)

        Also, in my experience they don’t go from 60 to 0. An older hen may lay fewer eggs but it’s not exactly zero.

    • We have chickens, too, and we love them! I find it very peaceful to see chickens walking around my backyard. They are also great at bug control, and the grass is very green from all the “fertilizer.” It takes a few years before chickens stop laying eggs, but none of ours have ever made it that long. Neighborhood raccoons or dogs “cull the herd.”

    • This is my dream! So great to hear this. Any books or resources you would recommend to those looking to get started?

    • Isabella the She-Wolf :

      Fresh eggs are sooo much better than store-bought! (That said, I don’t like chickens, so I have to find other sources besides keeping a coop myself).

  14. Potentially Unpopular Vent :

    I love my bff. She has an almost one year old who is a dream. I love him. I love hanging out with both of them! I went to Santa pics with them! I am always happy to hang out with them at their place just to see her or go to kid friendly things and he is always welcome when I invite her to do anything!

    She is trying to organize a dinner with me and one other person. However, it appears she can only stay at dinner until her son’s bedtime (7 p.m.). :(

    I try to bend over backwards to accommodate her son and their schedule, because I really adore him and her! But WHY can’t her husband put him to bed alone for one night! She doesn’t BF – he takes formula. I know that her husband takes care of their son on his own but complains about it. I will NEVER say anything about this unless she asks me to, but it drives me NUTS.

    • Anonymous :

      That’s ridiculous. If she has to be home by 7, she isn’t available for dinner! She needs to set up a lunch!

      Tell her “oh well! See you next time. We aren’t having dinner at 5 because we aren’t elderly midwesterners.”

      • The “midwesterner” part of this is rude and unnecessary. Possibly even the “elderly” part too.

        Signed, Midwesterner who eats dinner at 8 most nights

        • Oh, eye roll. This is not a harmful stereotype.

        • So funny. My big complaint about living in the Midwest was that people ate dinner too late. I’m from the South and blame my desire for a 6PM dinner on my Southern mom who always fed the kids first (5PMish) and ate with my father later.

    • Anonymous :

      If you somehow convince this woman to go out with you, during her son’s bedtime, and she isn’t ready to leave her son in someone else’s care for bedtime, she will probably be a miserable wreck the whole time you are together (or just cranky and down).

      Someday, this woman’s young son will be a teenager and your friend will be coming to you for dinner plans on your schedule, complaining that he never wants to have dinner with her anymore.

      Nothing is forever. She knows you miss her. She misses you too. She’ll come back out for dinner with you as soon as she’s ready.

      • She’s left her son with grandparents for a long weekend before.

      • Honestly, I’d rather pick up food and all go to her house instead of out for dinner for two hours at 5 pm.

        • And which I will now suggest.

          • You solved your own problem! Great compromise on your part! But I 100% agree with you – it’s garbage that dad can’t put baby to bed even ONE time. I have friends like this. Or I used to. Now we don’t see each other anymore…even though I also have a baby – whose dad is perfectly capable of putting him to bed. And getting him up, and dressed, and breakfast, and taking him to day care.

      • You missed the point. This isn’t her “not being ready to leave her child in someone else’s care”, it’s letting her HUSBAND, ie equal parent, take care of a child past 7. If she can’t that’s a whole nother bucket of issues that OP shouldn’t touch.

    • Anonymous :

      Parent of toddler here, and I also think that is slightly ridiculous. Sure, maybe she’s a working parent who only sees her kid awake for an hour on weekdays and cherishes the bedtime snuggles. But dad can certainly put kid to bed alone for one night. Or learn. If the pushback is coming primarily from him, she needs a new baby daddy. (There are other reasons she may not want to sacrifice bedtime. Postpartum anxiety, for instance.)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      What about going to eat after bedtime if bedtime is 7? She puts him to bed and then goes out with you for an 8 pm dinner?

      • Just found out I misunderstood the situation, everyone’s kids are coming with. I still like my suggestion of picking up food and going to her house so that she can put him to bed and we can continue our conversation after he goes to bed. Definitely not going to expect her to cook or clean up-I’m happy to pick up food for everyone.

    • Clementine :

      Yeah, this would annoy me too. My husband has exactly as much parenting experience as I have and is just as much a parent- the power imbalance that exists in some other relationships (including the ‘oh my husband can’t do anything right!’ commiseration) is something I find awkward at best and infuriating at worst.

      I mean, other side of the coin is that if you’re a working mom, it sucks to not see your kid at all for a day. Sometimes you feel like a crummy parent if you leave before they wake up and get home after they’re asleep.

      You sound like a good friend, I would probably be annoyed but I hope you assume good intentions going forward.

      • Always good intentions! She suggested a weekend because if we did a weekday we wouldn’t have much time to hang. He’s coming to dinner with us, which I didn’t realize originally.

    • Anonymous :

      Eh, doing bedtime with my kid is important to me. My husband could handle it himself, but neither of us spends that much time with our child, especially during the week (babies and toddlers often sleep 12-14 hours/night and we work/commute for 9+ hours during the day, so that doesn’t leave a whole lot of time together when we’re all awake) and we really like to try to do bedtime together every night. I will meet friends for lunch during the week, brunch or afternoon excursions on weekends or dinners before 6 pm (which isn’t all that unusual a dinner time in my area – yes, I’m a Midwesterner but not elderly, lol) but yeah I like to be home by 7:30 pm for the bedtime routine.

      • I completely appreciate that but then why not suggest lunch? Dinner was her suggestion. I don’t care when we meet, I just want to have quality time to dish. Although, now that I know a 6 year old will also be there, there’s not much dishing to be had.

    • If she’s your BFF maybe she needs a small kick in the pants/permission to let the kid be for one night. Maybe try a lighthearted “Oh I’m sure [your kid] will survive without you for one night. Let’s do dinner like proper adults and let [husband] take care of him. You deserve the night off and we deserve your fabulous company”

      • She openly complains at how her husband complains when he has to solo parent, but I just do not think anything related to parenting is my place to poke, you know? She’s getting slack from her family about something related to not being available enough to them so I don’t want to make her feel even worse when she is dealing with that. If that makes sense. We’ll figure it out, I just needed to complain a bit myself.

        • I have a friend who calls me out in the rudest ways at times and I absolutely love her for it. Perhaps she needs you to tell her that her husband can complain all he wants but he is a parent and needs to do as much as possible if not fully equal. If she keeps this up, he will never take responsibility and she will never have freedom. I’m not saying to be rude but our BFFs are there for some tough love when we don’t want it.

          Try broaching the subject lightly, she may love you more for it.

          Of course, this is just a suggestion from an internet stranger…you do you :)

    • Not all moms!

      She needs to let go a little. She will learn over time but for now maybe suggest, since she’s your best friend and all, that she designate a regular weeknight for mom’s night out. Mine was Tuesdays when my kids were little, because Tuesdays were half price wine at the joint across the street from work. I rarely missed one!

  15. For those of you that have been stuck reviewing discovery before, is there an easy way to make a file out of cloud based email? (hotmail, gmail, yahoo, etc.)

    I’m stuck with a client’s crappy web interface. They don’t have an email server we can make .pst files out of. I’m logged in as the user at the client’s request, printing to pdf every responsive email. There isn’t even a real decent search function in it. I can’t just export to relativity or concordance or one of those platforms. Just curious if there is a better way in the future.

    • If the mail system supports POP or IMAP (and most of them do), you should be able to use a mail program like Outlook or Thunderbird to connect to the account and then basically “export” or save a local copy. (A quick google search for that mail system’s name and the terms above should give you a sense of if it’s possible. The step-by-step of actually executing it may need your local IT person; if you’re somewhat tech savvy there are tutorials available online.)

    • Anonymous :

      a good e-discovery vendor could solve this, if you don’t have folks with the technical knowledge in your firm

  16. First time in Canada for PhD interview - help? :

    I am flying to Canada for the first time in a few weeks for a PhD interview. I will be there for a few days to meet with faculty and current students, I’m really nervous but also looking forward to it as I’ve never left the EU before!

    I have a few questions if anyone is feeling up to helping me out:

    1. What is the weather like in Vancouver? Obviously cold but does that mean I can’t really visit anything or be outside for longer than absolutely necessary? I am not from a cold country and don’t have a good sense of this.

    2. What should I wear for the interview? I was thinking ankle slacks, blouse, blazer, oxford shoes. I don’t own any heels or makeup nor do I know anything about it so would likely look ridiculous if I tried.

    3. I’ve never taken a long flight – what’s it like? I am hoping the plane will be bigger, more leg room etc. than for 2-hour flights. Do I bring my own food? I’m a vegan (but will eat vegetarian food if needed).

    4. My European country has a very informal business culture (style of dress, how to address people, etc.). I don’t want to make a faux-pas or seem unprofessional! What are the rules in Canada?

    5. I will be there for a few days and would love to explore the city if I get a chance – if you had an afternoon or two to spend in Vancouver what are the must-see? (Keeping in mind a student budget)

    6. How do I stop being so nervous?! First PhD/”grown-up” interview, first long-haul flight, first time travelling by myself, first time leaving Europe/ on the American continent…this upcoming trip will be a lot to take in for me!

    Thanks so much to anyone who can help me out!

    • Hi, assistant prof here. I’m also foreign and moved to the US for the first time when I went to grad school.

      2) That sounds fine to me. The caveat that it is extremely field-dependent, biology and French lit dress very differently. Have you been put in touch with a current PhD student in the lab/department? (This is common in my field.) Is it a woman? Do you have the chance to Skype with her before you visit? If so, you could mention this question casually to her.

      4) I experienced a similar issue, coming from a more informal academic culture. Make sure you understand the American system of titles (assistant/associate/full professors, “emeritus”, what “lecturer” or “fellow” means if there are people with these titles). Address everyone (both in email and in person) by Prof. or Dr. until you are invited to do otherwise (which will usually be immediately after first meeting them in person).

      6) Good luck!

    • Not sure if you will get many responses but I thought I would give you whatever info I have!

      1) Vancouver is considered cool but not truly cold. Sure you will find it colder than you are used to, but the trick is to be dressed for the weather. In Vancouver a waterproof coat will be most important, maybe one that has a warmer removable lining. On a sunny day I am sure you will be able to tour the city and enjoy it.

      2) Unfortunately I don’t live on the west coast but Vancouver is generally known as a pretty casual, laid-back city. Your outfit sounds totally suitable to me.

      3) The plane would be bigger than what you are used to for 2 hour flights – maybe not for legroom though. International flights include meals and you can request a vegan/vegetarian meal when you book the flight.

      4) I think Canada is relatively informal (I am an East Coast Canadian) but would prefer if someone with more West-coast/academia experience could weigh in.

      5) Stanley Park is beautiful and free. You can walk or rent a bike to explore. I enjoyed hiking Grouse Grind when I was there (a tough hike with a great view of the city and a gondola on the way down). I don’t recall this being expensive (I was a student too at the time).

      6) Nothing wrong with being nervous, let some of it be excitement for the potential next stage! Vancouver is a beautiful, friendly, outdoorsy place and Canadians are generally polite and curious. Just dive in and have fun :)

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