Suit of the Week: Banana Republic

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.

Brightish purple herringbone skirt suit: yes or no? While obviously not for court, I think this suit could be fun as separates, as well as that rare “look at me” suit for a presentation or networking event, particularly if you’re an alum of a school with purple colors (go ‘Cats!). The jacket is $178, the skirt is $98; there are also matching pants and a dress (with an unfortunate bow in the back, IMHO — a detail that I’m seeing on a few dresses at BR right now).

This post contains affiliate links and Corporette® may earn commissions for purchases made through links in this post. For more details see here. Thank you so much for your support!


  1. Hey you, NU! :

    Hey!!!! GO ‘CATS!!!

  2. Convince me to let DH live :

    We’re leaving on a 2 week trip to Europe this Saturday–our belated honeymoon, my first chance to meet some of his family, and the first big vacation we’ve ever taken together. I conciously decided weeks ago that I would do more than my share of prep work, because I knew I would not cope well with last minute stress.

    Left to his own devices, he would not do this work at all. He used to regularly return from trips to find a full gallon of sour milk on the counter. He has already changed his usually MO significantly. But I still want to kill him for making things worse not better around the house right now.

    Seriously, please argue his side to me. Convince me that the problem here is inside my head (which I know it is!). I don’t want to have a big blow-up over things that might not even go wrong just before a long trip.

    • Anonymous :

      You’re this worked up over what exactly? A slightly messy house? Get over it. Your house gonna catch fire? Pipes freeze? Nope? Then this is your anxiety to deal with.

    • Anonymous :

      (a) Relax. It sounds as though you already know you get stressed before a trip. I do too. I know this and I have to consciously remind myself to relax about it and not take it out on others, BUT that said, (b) this part of traveling with your DH is only going to get worse if you don’t proactively take steps now, in the beginning of your marriage, to require him to do his share. Whether this be lists or specific tasks or whatever. Just wait until you have children and/or pets and you’re the one arranging pet sitters, and packing for kids + yourself. Then the stress really starts.

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        Arranging pet sitting (out-of-town) and necessary pre-trip vet appts and rx pick-up are a couple of things I have had to do this week.
        And I’m sure it’s true that this would be exacerbated by parenting, but as a couple who doesn’t plan to have kids, and it’s pretty annoying to have every road-bump invalidated while also being threatened about an ominous future. I’m trying to stay in the present–

        • Anonymous :

          A pre-trip vet visit sounds like poor timing unless the pet got unexpectedly ill. I deliberately keep the week before a trip light and don’t schedule routine appointments then.

          • the pet probably needs shots to stay in the kennel.

          • Anonymous :

            Pets should be up to date on routine shots. All the shots you need to stay in a kennel are standard shots and should be done at the annual visit.

        • Anonymous :

          Whoa whoa whoa, that was not what I meant to do at all. What I am saying is – get a grip on the planning load now. Whether you ever add more pets or other dependents to it or not. Make a list of everything that has to be done – arrange a pet-sitter, stop the mail, stop the paper, arrange someone to water plants, etc. – and share it with him and split it up. I was not trying to invalidate anything about the present. Just saying don’t take it all on now. Make him share it with you.

          • Convince me to let DH live :

            Thank you, I believe you that that’s not what you meant.

        • In addition to your anxiety, you might consider talking with someone about managing your reactions. You asked for advice, you received advice, and now you are criticizing the advice.

          The poster said children and/or pets. She didn’t invalidate anything, and you say you are trying to stay in the present– her advice does apply to the present, as you are clearly dealing with the pet issue already. To that end, you have to have a conversation with DH. Stop doing all the tasks. If you think he will not do them without prompting, prompt him. “Hey, will you set up the pet sitter before our trip?” Yes he should know these things have to be done, but sometimes you have to help him help himself. On the next trip, remind him again. On the trip after that, mention that he needs to do this every time without being reminded. It can be a process.

          • Convince me to let DH live :

            There is a common theme on this site that any marriage problem is responded to with “…and it will get worse when you have kids.” I do resent the sociological behind that I think it is worth pointing.

          • Well, it’s a common perspective because it’s true. Pretty much any marriage problem will get worse if you have kids. No one is saying YOU MUST HAVE KIDS. Everyone basically agrees that if you do, whatever problem you’ve posted about will get worse, so better to fix it while the fixing is good. The poster you criticized even said and/or pets, indicating that kids are not the only tipping point. You support that hypothesis by stating you’ve handled all the pet care this week, and that’s part of what you’re frustrated about. Kids make marriage problems worse in general– that’s still true generally even if you in particular do not have them.

          • Anonymous :

            That’s because it’s true. If it doesn’t apply to you, that’s great, move on. Even with declining numbers of couples deciding to have children, it’s still greater than 1/3 of the population that do. 1 in 3 is better than most statistics on this site.

          • OP, I think you’re using the fact that people are bringing up kids, even though you don’t plan on having any, as a way to ignore their completely valid and helpful advice. If that part doesn’t apply to you, then hop over it and move on.

      • Anonymous :

        I think you have to let him fail and deal with the consequences. Make sure you have your own sh!t figured out, your own stuff packed, etc, so his laziness doesn’t impact you.

    • I have a checklist that I keep for every trip, which I start about a week prior to leaving. We typically share the duties, but if they haven’t been done before we leave I just do them. On the list:
      set up automatic light timers
      suspend mail delivery
      charge kindle, batteries, etc
      water plants
      clean out fridge
      empty dishwasher
      take out trash
      unplug idle electronic devices
      leave on hall light
      turn off alarm
      adjust thermostat

      • This is what we do. I have a standard packing list for us plus kids, a list of carry-on items and a list of “to do before leaving” items. I print it about a week before the trip and go over it with DH. We share the “to do” items. Mine is like yours, but also includes buying kids’ entertainment items, dropping pet off with pet-sitter, returning library books, and paying bills. I do this on paper so we can check things off & see that tasks have been completed, plus in the 30 minutes before we run out the door DH always asks what else we need to do, and I can just say “look at the list.”

      • I do all that crap, a little grudgingly. But then we land in a foreign country and the husband drives, reads Google maps, finds the arbnb apartment in a strange country, locates the rental car, the airport and all the other stuff I hate, and I’m thankful

    • Anonymous :

      What exactly is he doing? I think if you’re the one that wants a clean house before leaving for a trip (I’m the same way) then you can’t really get annoyed with him for not helping you with a giant deep-cleaning effort. If, on the other hand, you clean the kitchen a couple days before the trip and then he makes a huge mess and doesn’t clean it up, that’s different. He needs to be an adult and clean up his own messes and not actively un-do your cleaning efforts.

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        That would be it!

        • Convince me to let DH live :

          Also…eating the designated food I had bought for the plane. And refusing to get of the computer so that I can make actual travel arrangements.

          • Did you tell him the food was for the plane? Did you tell him you would need the computer at a specific time? (And do you even actually like him? Because it sounds like kind of not.)

          • If you didn’t tell him they were plan snacks, you can reasonably be mad. If you did, he’s an ass.

            I made awesome banana bread for the party I’m going to tomorrow and DH came home, saw it, cut into it and ate some. I was pretty annoyed and he felt bad. But I bake a lot and didn’t label it off-limits. He didn’t ask, but he didn’t really have a reason to. He offered to help make more/run out and get something else. I decided to bring it sliced and minus a slice ;)

          • Ok, I could maybe chalk the food thing up to a mistake. But the computer? Maybe he needs to buy his own if he can’t act like an adult partner and help you out.

          • Convince me to let DH live :

            I love him, I’m just annoyed as he ll at him right now.

          • Alright so you asked for someone to talk you down and I really tried but your DH is being a petty childish jerk. The food and computer things would annoy the heck out of me. He needs to get replacement snacks of the exact type and quantity as the snacks he ate. And then you’ll have to hide them because apparently he has the impulse control of a 13 year old boy. Same with the computer – is he playing WoW with all the neighborhood kids? GTFO the computer so I can actually see our travel plans without having to squint at a tiny phone screen. Also, I think this gives you license to get a computer/tablet that is just YOURS since apparently he can’t share his toys.

            Is there a reason that he’s acting so teenager-y? I know we try to presume good intentions around here but at some point this behavior starts to look passive aggressive. Maybe you should talk to him about the parent-child relationship that seems to be developing between you.

          • Convince me to let DH live :

            Thanks tribble, I really wanted to hear/say all of that. Perhaps tonight I will actually say GTFO THE COMPUTER!

          • Never too many shoes... :

            I have a husband who sucks at doing stuff before trips, so I had some real empathy for you at the start of this…but come on. He ate the plane snacks is just not a thing that I can take seriously (caveat – you have some extremely weird food allergy and these snacks will keep you from dying during the flight). There is food on planes. This is not a big deal. Please just unclench before you pop out a diamond.

            And perhaps consider that there is something else at the root of your anxiety, perhaps like this being your first big trip together or because you are worried about meeting his family…

          • Convince me to let DH live :

            And yes, there are reasons. Many extremely compelling reasons why he needs a vacation and I’m trying to be extraordinarily patient. But still…

          • Anonymous :

            You need your own computer. Just go buy one.

          • Okay, I do not understand sharing a computer at all. Do people do this? I can’t imagine not having my own.

          • Liquid Crystal :

            I never replaced my laptop when it croaked a few years ago, and my husband and I now share his for personal use. No big deal! We also share one iPad. No need to buy more stuff to sit around the house, and it works for us. It is very occasionally mildly inconvenient, but that’s it.

    • Whatever you forget to pack you can buy there.

      Whatever he forgets to pack is not your problem.

      It is impossible to come home to a perfectly clean house unless you hire someone to clean while you’re gone. Even if everything was 100% picked up, dust will accumulate, water will sit in the drains and probably mold a little, mystery hairs/cobwebs will find their way into corners.

      Also it’s only Wednesday. Saturday is forever away. You have plenty of time to get sh*t done.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I think it helps to spiral out worst-case scenarios:
        – something bad happens to the pets – ok that’s terrible but you have something in place so that it won’t.
        – stuff in the fridge rots – you can handle this if necessary (or make him do it if it’s his fault)
        – place burns down – it won’t. check stove before you leave. tell a trusted neighbor you’re going and ask them to keep an eye on your place.
        – you forget to bring anything – europe has stores. i once left my luggage in a cab when i was in town for a weekend for a wedding. i had $0 but scrounged up $50 and gave myself the challenge to dress for a wedding on that budget. it was fine. and you aren’t going to forget/lose everything. and neither will your husband.

    • Linda from HR :

      Seems like the problem usually arises when you leave him alone, but he’s going with you, so what are you worried about? That he won’t help enough before you leave?

      Sounds like you’re taking on a lot of the emotional/mental labor of prepping for a trip, because you know he isn’t worrying about any of that stuff. And you’re pretty sure if you delegate a task to him, he’ll forget or won’t do a good enough job, and you won’t realize it until you wanted to walk out the door 40 minutes ago! Yo, this is normal, but it’s not as big a deal as you think. The first trip is the hardest, take this step, tell yourself that if something does happen to happen, you’ll deal with it and move on.

      Do you have a neighbor who can check on things while you’re gone? Or a friend you can give a key to, who can stop by every now and then? It’s probably not necessary, but could give you peace of mind.

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        He does a perfectly reasonable job with anything I delegate–he’s just flat-out refusing to take on any tasks. He doesn’t see the need. Grrr…. I explain that I’m cleaning/organizing/buying X for reason Y and his response has been, “I’m not criticizing you!”

        • I don’t understand– are you saying he only does what you delegate and doesn’t do anything without it being delegated to him? Ok, that’s fine for this time. Make a list and delegate. Tell him next time you’d like him to help make the list. Tell him you have a goal of not delegating because he will be an equal partner who also sees what needs to be done rather than letting you tell him.

        • Linda from HR :

          Ah, that’s definitely annoying. I think a lot of the time, people argue that X task isn’t “necessary” when they know it is, just so they won’t have to do it. Try this: “I know you don’t see the benefit, but I’ll feel better if it’s done before we leave, so if you can’t do it for yourself, can you please do it for me?”

          He probably doesn’t see the need because it’s always been done for him “behind the scenes” growing up, but he was never expected to help out. Only in recent years have I really learned what goes into getting ready for a big trip, and how stressful it can be.

    • Left to his own devices, he wouldn’t do any of this, and yet he is presumably an adult who has survived this far in life without his apartment burning down. So he is probably basing his concern on his years of experience that have taught him that none of this stuff matters that much?

      You can have a different opinion/feelings, but don’t treat your husband like he is stupid or lazy because his life experience has taught him that it is not necessary to do these things before a trip – he has learned that, to him, the potential consequences are small and manageable, and aren’t worth the hassle of dealing with it before hand. (Throwing away some sour milk can be dealt with in about 10 seconds.) He, presumably, is a rational person basing his actions on previous experience.

      If you want him to change his opinion on these things, try explaining to him why it is important to you that these tasks be completed, for a reason other than “because I want them to be!” If you can’t come up with anything other than, “because that’s how I do things” or “because just knowing there’s dirty laundry in the hamper will ruin my vacation,” then that is your problem to deal with, not his.

      • Anonymous :

        +1,000. This.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yep. You like to plan well in advance, and you like to have things ship-shape when you leave so you can return to a perfect house. Me, too. But honestly it’s not like that is The Objectively Correct Way To Live.

        There are 1. Dealbreakers, and there are 2. Things that are annoying but are the price of admission to the relationship. There is no such thing as 3. Things that are super annoying but which you can get the other person to change, even though they don’t want to, if you just make a big enough stink about it.

        • Anonymous :


          There is no ‘Objectively Correct Way to Live’.

          Honestly, I would think my partner was cray cray if they were pre-buying food just for a flight to Europe unless there were specific medical issues involved. (I say this an allergy parent who does have to bring all my kid’s food for our transatlantic flights.) If you didn’t want him to eat the ‘plane food’ then put it in a container/bag marked ‘plane food do not eat’.

          You’re just going to Europe, it’s not like you’re going somewhere where you can’t walk into a store and buy anything you might need. And if you forget something at your house like milk on the counter, call a friend to pop by and deal with it or clean it up when you get home. A bit of a PITA but not worth stressing/fighting over.

    • What exactly is it you want him to do?

      Perhaps this is an area for newly married couple discussions re: division of labor. Hey DH, when we go away, I’ll take care of holding the mail, setting light timers, and printing boarding passes/checking into our flights. You secure the pet sitter, get the passports, and be sure to have X, Y, and Z packed (i.e., a dinner jacket or hiking clothes).

      It would drive me crazy if someone kept telling me to “prepare” for a trip but didn’t ask me to do a specific thing. If you have asked your spouse to do a specific thing (like, “can you please call the pet sitter”) and he’s like, “nope,” then…well, I don’t know then.

    • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

      What on earth is all this prep work you need to do? My things are pack, take out the trash, run dishwasher so you don’t come home to gross dishes, turn off AC, and throw out anything in the fridge that will spoil. He can pack his own things because he is an adult.

      Is the issue more than your house is a mess generally, and he doesn’t help with that, and this has nothing really to do with the trip?

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        The easiest analogy might be if you imagined that we lived on a farm. Almost every extra chore that would imply, we’ve had to do, along with the geographic isolation and lack of services to complicate everything. Take out the trash= drive half an hour to the service station, during the few hours it’s open.

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        You could imagine it as though we live on a farm. Almost everything that would entail is true, and everything is complicated by geographic isolation. Take out the trash = drive 30 min to the dump, if you can find a time when it’s open.

        • This makes no sense. Do you live on a farm with all that entails? I don’t see how regular life can be analogized to owning a farm.

          You’ve been repeatedly asked what it is that needs done that he won’t do but I haven’t seen an answer?

          I definitely think there’s more to this- you don’t make sense.

        • I don’t get the trash thing. Either you live in an apartment where you put things down a chute or in a dumpster, or you live in the ‘burbs where you keep your trashcan in the garage til it is trash collection day. Nothing special needs to happen; what is it that needs to be planned for different from any other week? If you decide you want to take the trash out, isn’t that a task that takes about 2 minutes to do? Ditto with most of your other errands – cancelling things like newspaper delivery is a 2 minute phone call. Sometimes it takes more effort to write a list than it does to actually do the things.

          • Anonymous BigLaw Associate :

            Right. Even if OP needs to drive 30 min to get rid of the trash (doubtful), I just meant get it out of the house so there is a rotten food smell when you return. If you live somewhere so remote that you need to drive to a dump, you have to have somewhere you can put it in a can like in a shed or garage.

      • I don’t get this prep work as well. We are going on a trip this Saturday. The prep work is that I’ll pack my stuff and the Fodor’s book because I’m the planner. He’ll pack his own stuff. We’ll take an Uber to the airport. There’s no thermostat to turn down because it’s frickin’ August. I think you are exaggerating what it takes to go on a trip, which is basically pack and get out of the house.

    • I do think a big part of this is YOUR anxiety, which your husband should not have to kowtow to. A gallon of sour milk is, like, the least bad thing that could possibly happen while you’re on vacation.

    • When I like coming home to a clean house before a trip and life is busy then I pack 2 nights before the trip and schedule the cleaner to come the day before the trip or even the day of if its a night flight. I ask her to empty out the fridge and all the trash. Clean sheets, clean towels, and clean laundry all make an easy transition back. At the airport when I am waiting for my flight I put in a grocery order with basic supplies for the week that will arrive a few hours after we arrive. I put a buffer in incase our flight gets delayed or something but if its really going to be late I can always call and reschedule the delivery for a slight fee.

      Honestly though – I have had days where I have 2 hours warning that I need to get on a flight, and the house survives!

      • Convince me to let DH live :

        That sounds like a wonderful way to outsource. Wish I could!

        • My house cleaner is 33 pounds for 3 hours. This is not crazy expensive outsourcing. This is one less movie out or one less take out dinner out.

          • Anonymous :

            In the US, it is almost impossible to have a cleaner come for less than $75 and usually it’s more like $100+ even for a one bedroom apartment. A single family home is usually closer to $200. Not saying it’s not worth it for a lot of people, but that’s a lot of movies or takeout and it’s something that many people would struggle to find room for in their budget.

          • I live in a high COL city and I had a cleaner for $15/hr. I provide the cleaning supplies and have to be flexible about the times because its a side hustle for my cleaner. My 1-bedroom takes 3 hours = $45.

            33 pounds is about $43 USD so its not that far off.

            You do have to hunt a bit and be flexible but it is possibe

  3. Anonymous :

    I would probably wear these as separates, because I’d feel too self-conscious in the full suit, but purple is my favorite color and I love this.

  4. am i midlevel? :

    i’m starting my 4th year as an attorney (2014 grad) but switched practice areas after my first year (immigration to corporate) so about 2 years under my belt in corporate. if i’m looking at corporate jobs for attorneys with 3-5 years experience, am I not qualified yet? just trying to gauge whether i’m out of my league here.

    • Anonymous :

      You have 4 years. You’re qualified.

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. And your resume should focus on your corporate work, even if it’s all coming from the last two years.

    • Anonymous :

      +1 I clerked for a year and had (have) a bit of imposter syndrome, but when I looked for a new law firm job, I marketed myself as my law school class year, and it was received just fine, even though my clerkship had nothing to do with my transactional practice. Ultimately, it’s not like you’re lying, and the person doing the hiring can make the call.

  5. Anonymous :

    I loved this suit. Until I saw that the skirt was only 21 inches long. Eek.

  6. Anxiety and cleanliness :

    Do you have anxiety and/or germophobia/need for (excessive) cleanliness? Or does your partner? If so please send me some advice on how to support my spouse through a bad sudden spell of anxiety/need for cleanliness, without being enabling (might be wrong word). He is waiting for an appointment w/a professional, before you ask! (I insisted).

    • Anonymous :

      Interested in responses to this. I feel like I’ve gotten like this in the last 3ish yrs.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s anxeity. Find out what he’s anxious about. It’s not about cleanliness – that’s his avoidance/outlet for the anxiety.

      -Signed, lifelong anxiety person.

      • +1

        My ex-boyfriend had (actual, medically diagnosed) OCD. Always much, much worse when he was stressed or anxious.

        While he waits for that appointment, try to find ways to reduce his stress, not add to it. By that I mean, don’t engage or criticize the cleanliness anxiety – you won’t be able to logically talk him out of worrying about this stuff. Instead, make suggestions for other ways to relieve stress, like going for a walk or watching a favorite movie, or just talking (about things other than cleanliness/germs).

        Try not to shift your own behavior too much – for example, keep the kitchen reasonably clean but if he decides that he needs to run all the (clean) dishes through the dishwasher to make sure they’re clean, don’t participate in that – just sort of remove yourself from the situation.

    • Puddlejumper :

      He needs to work with a professional that will push his levels of comfort and then realize the world won’t fall apart if things aren’t cleaned perfectly. But it will be a process of small baby steps. You however, should meet this professional too and see what they think is the best approach but my bet is that you should clean the house as you always have cleaned it. Don’t change. If your partner complains or wants it done a different way – point out that you didn’t get weird illnesses before when you cleaned this way, so cleaning this way is fine now too. If your partner goes and does weird cleaning things after you -its on them, but don’t bend to their new life style changes that are more restrictive.

      • Anonymous :

        It doesn’t not about about the cleaning at all so don’t even discuss that. The best thing you can do as the spouse is to say, “honey, this isn’t about the cleaning. What IS it about?”

  7. Another post on Alzheimer's/dementia issues with parents :

    Someone here posted about this topic last week and got helpful responses. So I am bringing my own story in the hope of assistance:

    My dad is my mom’s caregiver. By his own words, she is functional enough to be well short of needing a nursing home. However, he is acting more and more like a selfish child himself and it is killing me.

    Here are the things I have done to help:
    – Took my entire life’s savings (almost $300k) to buy them a house closer to me. The idea was for my dad to sell their house in Wisconsin (small town and slow market) and pay me back.
    – Researched nursing homes
    – Researched doctors for him and her
    – Used all my accrued vacation in 3 separate visits to go to WI and deal with contractors, real estate agents, etc. to facilitate selling their house.
    – Lots of regular visits, etc.

    Meanwhile, my dad:
    – Does nothing to help me. Often promises to, doesn’t follow through.
    – Has not cut checks to pay for the work done to their old house, despite repeated badgering.
    – Refuses to make changes in his own situation. Example: He inherited $100k from his mother last year, right as we were house-hunting for them. What did he do with that money? He ran out and signed a purchase agreement on a flipping 40 foot yacht. That he can’t even sail. That he refuses to sell because “my life isn’t over yet.”
    – Complains, complains about how hard it is caring for my mom. She is out of the house 4-6 hours a day M-F. It is like, ya know dad, that $100k COULD HAVE paid for in-home nursing so you wouldn’t be burdened so much, but you wanted a shiny useless toy that you can’t do anything with (ironically, if I didn’t have to spend all my vacation fixing his house maybe we could have taken a fun trip and then sold it).
    – Finally he treats my mom badly. He obviously has so much anger toward her for ruining his retirement. Last week she showed me a bruise from his grabbing her (it does sound like this was motivated by safety).

    What to do? I’ve spent all my money helping them, I’ve spent all my vacation, my job might be at risk, and I am building a lot of anger that he is taking advantage of his child (me) and not doing anything to help me help him. He has an explosive temper and I am scared to be too confrontational with him. I bring up the boat every time and he gets testy, says he will sell it but does nothing to move the ball – and now the season is over so we are stuck with it and the moorage fees. He might jump into the car (nicer than mine, newer than mine, paid for by his child) and disappear. Leaving me with my moderate income and no savings to handle my mom alone.

    • I am so, so sorry you have to deal with this. I don’t know if I have much to say other than absolutely stop giving your dad money.

    • Anonymous :

      Your mom needs a nursing home. She’s not safe or well cared for in her own home. Stop giving your dad money.

    • Treble chef :

      He is depressed. He has reason to be. He is crying for help. He is dysfunctional because of this.

      Get him to see his doctor. Go with him. Call ahead and warn the doc about these issues. He likely needs medication.

      Find the local Alzheimer’s association family support group near him. Take him.

      You cannot imagine the stress of living with your loved spouse and watching their decline. Don’t totally blame him. Until you have been a full time caregiver, you have no idea.

      • Another post on Alzheimer's/dementia issues with parents :

        I KNOW he is crying for help. I am helping, in case not clear from my first post. I have scheduled doc appointments for him and he cancels them. He won’t go to support groups, I send him info on these and I go myself. He says he cannot leave my mom.

        I don’t fully blame him but at this point I am doing more than him. He has time to watch TV, movies, go out, make dinner, clean his house, and do things. I work 70 hours a week with international travel and don’t have time to take care of myself in these basic ways.

        I can’t do any more. I’ve already wiped myself out in every way.

        • weddings.... ugh. :

          Read my post again.

          Take a breath.

          You may need to take FMLA. I did.

          Throwing money at it is actually the easy way, and you still have the hard way ahead of you. Stop throwing money. Start getting external forces telling your father what to do. Not you. His doctor. Your mom’s doctor. The Department of Aging case manager, how should be called to go to the home to assess the situation.

          Scheduling appointments….. isn’t helpful. You actually have to go with them, unfortunately. You call his doctor and tell them what is going on before the appointment. You call your mother’s doctor and tell them what is going on, and go with them for a visit with the nurse/social worker. You tell them if you fear your mother is not safe in the home. This is actually more common than you think.

          Sometimes you have to do the heavy lifting in person.

          I’m sorry it is so stressful. These are the hardest things in life.

          You are screaming. He is screaming. There are no easy answers. It is still easier to be in your position than his. I promise you. And yes, he will drive you crazy.

          another caregiver

        • I realize you are stretched. But you realize that you are making unfair comparisons, right?

          The year my mother retired, my father was critically injured and hospitalized for 6 months and was seriously disabled for the rest of his life. Disabled so….. that some people commit suicide to avoid it…… kind of like Alzheimer’s disease, but more painful or more disabling. Their lives were over. She fell into a deep depression. All of her adult life she had been dreaming about retirement, and she never got one. Every day was full of pain and sadness and there was no escape. She was diagnosed with cancer soon after and died within a year.

          Your father and mother’s lives and retirement are devastated. Although you are stressed right now, you have your whole life ahead of you, and you are supposed to be working hard now. They…. are not. Criticizing your father for watching TV….. for even buying a boat, probably his retirement dream? Comes off as selfish and petty and totally tone deaf. Your snide attitude about your father having 4-6hrs free 5 days a week……. do you realize how many hours there are during the day/week when he doesn’t have any help? Do you realize how much you need to do during those 4-6hrs to …..keep your sanity? I don’t think you do.

          When you are drowning, you can’t see clearly. Your father is drowning.

          You really need a support group for caregivers. You are a long distance caregiver, which is extremely difficult. But as you have learned, you cannot just tell grown adults…. your parents… what to do. It doesn’t work that way. And from your tone posting on here, I suspect that you are not always…. sensitive…. to your father when you are telling him what to do. Because honestly….. what do you know?

          Sending him an appointment, a support group….. OF COURSE he cannot go. He has to be with your Mom. He cannot manage that logistic without help.

          I agree that they need a social worker to help navigate. I agree with going to see your Mom’s doctor for her dementia and talking to those in the clinic (often there is a nurse and social worker there that helps with these issues).

      • Anonymous :

        All of this. And stop giving him money so you won’t be as resentful. Signed, a caregiver

    • Puddlejumper :

      I would:
      1) find a senior social worker for your mom who will know what services she is eligible for
      2) sell the house you bought for them and give them a time frame to move out. Make back whatever you can on it. You do not need to pour your life savings into this.
      3) find a good nursing home for your mom and with the senior social worker’s help get her transferred there
      4) Let your dad go live on his yacht or in his house he won’t sell
      5) Join a support group
      6) stop giving them money. You are an adult. You earned that money. It is okay not to give it to them. The old put your oxygen on first holds true. You are setting yourself up for financial ruin (like what if you get sick and need retirement savings?!?!) if you keep going down this road. Long after your mom and dad are gone, you will need money.

    • Hi! Fellow bitter caregiver over here. Some days I feel like I’m choking on rage. My parents have made so many horrible choices with their health and finances. People often say to just walk away, but that is so much easier said than done. I don’t have much advice, mostly commiseration. I will say that you will get through this. Also, when it comes to dementia, no stage is permanent. I’ve faced so many challenging issues with my mom’s illness, only to have her morph into a different stage of the disease, presenting new problems, but also resolving some of the old. I’ve learned that every day will be different.

      Like yours, my father is blowing all of their life savings foolishly, but I can’t control his actions. I said my peace and now I’m done. (My situation is different in that my mother is already in a facility.) This article has some great resources for coping with life as a caretaker.

      Be well. Know that there are many of us out there with similar woes.
      -Signed “Only in my 30s and this sh*t is making me reconsider having children”

    • Anonymous :

      He is emotional devastated and is not coping well. He needs mental health treatment to cope. Check what caregiver support programs are available in the area.

      Even at 30 I have lots of hopes and dreams about what an active retirement would be like. They do not include watching my beloved husband die a slow and painful death. Being there with her every day – yes she’s out of the house 4-6 hours a day, but she’s home 18-20 hours a day. That is exhausting even for a fit young person. And your dad is not young.

      He probably feels obligated to continue to care for her at home as long as possible. I would speak directly with her doctor about having her placed in a home. A caregiver needs to be able to provide suitable physical care and psychological care. If he is getting inappropriately angry with her, she should not be at home with him.

  8. We are headed to Italy for our honeymoon in 11 days- I’m so excited! My future MIL keeps telling me not to wear my engagement ring (not small), wedding ring (small eternity band), or diamond studs (.25 c in each ear) – she has volunteered to store these at her house in the safe until we get home. We’ll be in Amalfi and in Florence – is this concern overblown? I live in Chicago and I’m obviously careful day to day, but wondering if I’m at a higher risk overseas?

    I’d also love any packing tips for Italy in September!

    • Anonymous :

      Do you regularly take off your jewelry during the day and leave it sitting about a hotel room while you are out and about? If not, overblown concern.

    • I used to be more concerned about this stuff, but now I only consider what I’ll be doing. Lots of beach time or hiking? Leave the good stuff at home. I usually will wear my eternity wedding band unless it’s lots of beach time or something. Then I have a basic silver band that I like to wear. If I’m going somewhere that’s like home, I wear my good stuff. That’s what I’ve got it for.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Not a thing at all. You are fine.

    • anonymous :

      Hey, also a Chicagoan who honeymooned in Italy! I agree with the above – are you going to be swimming a lot or are you more someone who lounges seaside but doesn’t get in? I wore my engagement ring, wedding band, diamond earrings, and gold bracelets in Italy and probably only left them in the safe on the days we went on a boat and I wanted to jump in the water. I wear my jewelry on other vacations unless it is an all-beach vacation like the Caribbean, in which case I leave my engagement ring at home for the whole trip.

    • Anonymous :

      You’ll be totally fine, it isn’t a third world country. Your MIL sounds kind of nuts. You should be more worried about being pick pocketed.

    • Personally, I wouldn’t worry about it getting stolen, but I’d worry about losing it. When I travel, my routines are different – my rings/jewelry doesn’t go in the same place it does at home. I misplace chargers, etc. So, I always leave my real stuff at home & travel with a fake wedding set & fake earrings and leave the real stuff at home. You know yourself best & if you’re not someone who loses something every time you travel, you’re probably fine bringing it. FWIW, I also got my husband a cheap steel band on Amazon as we share the “lose things in hotels” issue.

    • Anonymous :

      Totally overblown. I’ve been to that area of Italy 3-4 times in the last five years and never had an issue.

      That said, the only real jewelry I travel with is my plain gold wedding band. Aside from theft, I’m the worst for forgetting stuff and it’s a PITA if something gets left in a hotel safe and you have to change plans to backtrack to that city to retrieve it. Just one less thing to worry about.

  9. Rainbow Hair :

    My two year old would DIE OF JOY if I wore this suit. (You should have seen how delighted she was to see my purple unders this morning!) I do not think I could pull it off.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Really? I think it would be totally fine with a black top underneath. Perhaps not ankle strap sandals…

      • Rainbow Hair :

        What I would tell myself is that I don’t have the swagger to wear a colored suit. I try to keep my (work) clothes non-memorable.

  10. Lamp recs :

    I just ordered a sectional sofa, which will require me to get rid of an end table that currently has a lamp on it. Any great lighting recommendations for a tall lamp that could go behind the couch’s corner piece? I’m thinking the regular type of lamp on a pole with a lampshade won’t work (too short). I’m also worried about glare on the tv. Thanks!

    • There’s a big arc shaped one at target that we have, with a white fabric drum shade, that gracefully arcs over the back of the couch in a similar spot.

    • An arc lamp! I love them!

    • cat socks :

      We got the Brightech sky LED Torchiere floor lamp from Amazon. It’s kind of a minimalist look. Not sure if that’s what you’re going for, but we have two and don’t have any glare issues.

  11. Kat- just a heads up that links to Banana and a few other retailers through are blocked by my work filter- this may be the case for others too

  12. Treble chef :

    I am going to a MM Lafleur pop up tomorrow. Any recommendations for their pants or dresses that worked for pear shapes? Or any favorite blouses that are work horses. I am tiny on top. The Deneuve works well for me in XS and is flattering, but not thrilled with the dry clean only.

    I have the jardigans.

    • Legally Brunette :

      Try the Foster pant. Although I have heard that the Nic and Zoe version of this pant is just as good and far cheaper.

  13. Anonymous :

    I would totally wear this to court and look good doing it!

    • +1!

    • I also like this suit, but would have to go to Bannanna Republic to get it. I would perfer to find a suit like this and TRY IT ON at Bloomies or Lord & Taylor in NYC, or in Nordstrom’s but they don’t carry these there. FOOEY!

  14. Will ask again tomorrow but just in case I can get an answer before then I’m posting now too: I’m flying into Logan on a weeknight and will need a taxi/car service/Uber to take me directly to Wellesley. I will have a toddler in tow (and a car seat for said toddler). What service should I use? Wild guess as to price and travel time? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      IIRC, an Uber from Logan to Natick (very slightly farther than Wellesley) was in the neighborhood of $80 before tip. I’ve since switched to Lyft because I was swayed by all the negative PR around Uber, but I haven’t been back to Boston since then so I can’t speak to Lyft’s availability and quality there.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Boston has set published taxi fares for Logan to practically every city in the state. You should be able to find it online maybe on Massport’s website.

  15. Midwestern Constitutent :

    Day 3 of unemployment has been very quiet. Monday was about going to the unemployment office (which I won’t be doing again if I can avoid it. I was basically in a middle school computer lab with some very angry people, and very overworked staff), and Tuesday was errands and a shift at my part-time job. So I treated today like a sick day, since I’ve had a headache since Sunday: slept late, went to the gym later, showered and then took a nap. And I just finished watching the first half of season 1 of Ash vs. The Evil Dead. I can’t do this every day, but it was nice not worrying about anything today.

    Thanks for the advice and kind thoughts. I would dearly love to head off to work all day tomorrow, but as much as I want it, I know this is going to take time. Thanks again!

    • S in Chicago :

      Just a quick note to say I was thinking about you earlier today. I went through a period of unemployment back around 9/11, and I know it can be the absolute worst. Especially when you’re a doer. You’re doing all the right things. Treat yourself gently, focus on good nutrition, sleep and exercise (especially the exercise–it’s a good mood booster). You’re not asking for advice so forgive me for giving, but the things that helped me stay sane(ish) at the time were :

      -Devote a certain period of the day to looking at ads and sending resumes and reading interview tips (so you’re not caught flat-footed when the calls start coming) and reaching out to any former colleagues or mentors with network connections who might be helpful as if it were your job–and then consider that “done” for the day and try to put it out of your mind.

      -Get out in nature if you can and do something physical. Maybe get some horror/zombie fiction etc. audiobooks from the library and plan a daily walk? I love Adrienne Lechter–powerful female–or Sarah Lyons Fleming–great characters that feel like friends.

      -Spend some time doing the things you wouldn’t normally get to or playing tourist in your own town since you’ll soon not have the time: Visit a museum, see the zoo, go to a lecture you likely wouldn’t normally attend, etc.–most cities have some free days.

      -Plan and cook meals. Will help you maximize budget and the cooking will help get your mind off things.

      -If you’re feeling like some “work” would relax you, then focus on writing an article for your trade or putting together a presentation. Once employed, you can easily pitch this to your industry groups and hopefully impress the new job with a secured speaking or writing placement (or if you think you can do it without waiting, then go for it!)

      -Give yourself an afternoon to-do list–each day tackle cleaning something new, be it junk drawer to full-on closet. It’s weird, but at least for me, as your space starts to feel put together, so will you

      And hang in there! Don’t be hard on yourself or worry about what is or isn’t right. There’s a bit of a grieving process here. It doesn’t feel like it now, but it will be over soon and you’ll be back into daily work routine in no time.

    • Hope you’re feeling better!

  16. I have a pet question, specifically a cat question. We’ve been giving our cat the same natural, grain-free, chicken-flavored canned cat food for 6+ years. Last month, that particular food was discontinued and replaced by the brand with something very similar. We didn’t even notice the change at first. Our cat throws up the new food, very soon after he eats, and it’s different from regular cat hair balls, etc. We honestly thought he was sick and were about to bring him to the vet when DH realized the food label was slightly different. We switched back to some of the original “chicken formula” we still had a package of, and that fixed the problem for a few weeks. That food is almost gone, and we realized today that we can’t reorder it because it’s been discontinued.

    I compared the ingredient lists, and the only ingredients in the new food that are not in the old food are xantham gum, cassia gum, and salt. Are allergies or intolerances of these foods even a thing? I suppose it could also be the amounts of certain other ingredients or just the processing/texture, but the texture seems very similar. (Again, we didn’t even notice the food was different for days.) I have found several foods that don’t have these ingredients, but they’re more expensive. I’m also not sure if our cat would eat them or if it would fix the problem.

    Has anyone else experienced something like this with their pets? We’re going to call the vet tomorrow for some advice, but I thought I’d check here.

    • Anonymous :

      I think those are all pretty common additives to pet food, although it sounds like he’s allergic to one or more of them. I would definitely try a new food without those additives and probably also double-check with the vet.

    • Yes. My cats have gotten sick from a change in recipe before (GI, not vomiting). So frustrating! The new ingredients were tapioca starch and a switch from one gum to another (can’t remember in which direction). They are doing fine on a (more expensive) food that does not have the tapioca (it does have guar gum). I know that gums are pretty common digestive irritants even for people, and it annoys me that these starches and texturizers are even included in spendy cat foods, since they seem to be filler ingredients. But maybe I am wrong, and most cats would turn up their noses at a cat food that wasn’t exactly the right viscosity. Sigh.

      If you do try a different food, keep in mind that cats can have a hard time changing from one perfectly fine food to another, and it’s often recommended to introduce a small amount of the new food mixed with the old one, and then increase the ratio gradually. Maybe your cat was just blindsided… though repeatedly throwing it up seems like a bad sign to me. (I’ve also fed my cats food that made them sick and that was later recalled, so I’m a little paranoid now.)

    • Yes- our cat had this. He had some sort of food intolerance to off the shelf commercial cat food- got very sick and vet put him on an expensive prescription cat food, which he was fine on for years. Then one day he began vomiting the prescription food soon after eating and like you I realized the new bag had a “new improved formula” label on it.
      I researched the ingredient changes and they looked minor, nothing you’d think would be a problem. The manufacturer recommended another similar product of theirs, we switched to that, and vomiting stopped immediately; he was fine for years on that. I think you can try to find another food similar to your original one, and unfortunately I think it’s not predictable, other than try to get something decent quality and not too cheap, although price doesn’t guarantee quality- good luck!

    • It’s late, so not sure if you’ll check back on this, but was this Wellness brand by any chance? They just changed their formulas and it is not sitting well with my cats – they don’t like it much and they are having some digestive issues. I ordered some cases off Amazon which thankfully turned out to be the old recipe… but I’m having the same issue you are having: someday it will run out!

    • Digestive upset like routine vomiting can also be a sign of a thyroid problem. If this doesn’t get better with time, take your cat to the vet. Mine now takes a tiny daily pill every morning and the vomiting has stopped.

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