Suit of the Week: J.Crew

jcrew-houndstooth-suitFor 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.

Oooh: I’m kind of loving this houndstooth suit from J.Crew, either worn as a suit or as separates. I was just pondering what to wear with houndstooth these days — I think red can be a bit played out, so I’ve settled on “Tumblr pink” as being a more modern look (like this blouse). The jacket (Lady Jacket in Italian Confetti Houndstooth) is $198, and the skirt (Pencil Skirt in Confetti Houndstooth) is $110; take 30% off a purchase of $200+ with code SHOPMORE.

Looking for a plus-sized version? Check out this one, on sale (blazer, skirt).



  1. JuniorMinion :

    I really like this suit! Especially the cut of the blazer. I wish it was available in some additional colors / more muted patterns. I feel like houndstooth makes a bit of a statement – what does everyone else think?

  2. This suit looks lovely but I wish the shirt was at the knee. I hate midi length.

    • This is what I think of when I think of a knee length skirt. This is the length of all my skirts, actually.

    • I never put much stock in where length hits the model. This model’s arms are so long I had to check because I assumed that they were 3/4 sleeves or bracelet sleeves but they’re not.

  3. Interested in opinions from the group:

    Our office building has a beautiful outdoor courtyard with seating. Occasionally I eat lunch out there with my colleagues, but otherwise, I don’t use it much. (I am in a warm climate so sitting outdoors is comfortable nearly year round.) The other day, I noticed a woman sitting out there and reading, and immediately thought of how nice it would be to bring a book and have a reading break in the middle of the day.

    I’m an executive at my company – I do not worry at all about one of my superiors seeing me taking a midday reading break and thinking less of me. However, I do have a sizeable team that reports to me. So, my question is, if you saw your boss sitting outside over her lunch break, engrossed in her book, would you think nothing of it? Think it’s nice and maybe consider bringing your own book to read on breaks? Think negatively of it, that ‘must be nice to be the boss’?

    Just asking out of curiosity – and I bet opinions on this vary a lot by industry / region.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think it would be great to see as an employee. Especially if your office culture was of the keep working while you eat at your desk even though it isn’t really necessary variety.

      I’m a big reader and would likely bring my own book to do the same sometimes if I were your employee.

    • Boston Legal Eagle :

      I would love it if my boss did that! I would feel better about doing the same. Right now my office doesn’t have a dedicated eating area so a lot of people end up eating lunch at their desks, which takes the “break” element out of it.

    • As long as you’re not out there for hours, it would be a great example for others.

    • I think it depends on if your team has to punch in or not. At least this is what I have noticed among hourly staff and salaried lawyers at law firms. If your team punches in, then they are free to do whatever they want with the lunch hour or however long and may not be paid for overtime, so have to take the full hour. However, if your team does not punch in, they might not be as able/comfortable to eat for 15 minutes and then sit there reading a book for the other 45 until their break is up when all of their coworkers can see them and may be waiting on them to help with a project. I would often see an hourly employee watching netflix on his phone during his lunch hour – but if an attorney did that in plain sight (even if her work and billables were good and no one was waiting on her), it would not fly well. At least, go somewhere less visible to do that. It’s sort of the optics of your coworkers seeing you while they wait on you or someone else higher up the chain thinking we are paying you to read a book?, in which case I might be resentful that the boss can ‘get away with it’ and I can’t. Maybe if it were a once-in-a-while thing and not engrossed every day? Maybe if you invited people to come enjoy the courtyard while you read outside?

      • Anonymous :

        This is what I was thinking.

        My direct reports (who clock in) would be annoyed to see me (who doesn’t have to clock in) reading a book during my lunch hour. Because it would be seen as me “being paid” for leisure. They’d also be less likely to work on priority deadlines for me if they saw me doing that. Sucks, but that would likely be my experience.

      • Thank you, this is helpful. Nearly all the folks on my team are salaried, but making sure that no one is urgently waiting on anything from me is something good to consider. I might not have gotten to their request until the afternoon regardless of whether or not I was reading at lunch, but it would definitely look bad to be relaxing while they need something from me.

        • I do think it is a good example to set, though. You said you eat with your colleagues, do you eat with your team/subordinates, too? I would encourage others to come join you for lunch or encourage them to enjoy the courtyard if not sitting and eating with you. I sort of imagine the courtyard in Parks & Rec, where people also hold informal meetings.

          • Yes, I try to eat with my team when possible. It can be a very fine line to walk – there are some of my subordinates whose company I enjoy more than others, but I don’t want to play favorites. Also, I realize that sometimes people feel like they can’t just say, “Nah, super busy!” if their boss asks them to lunch. So, I try to issue vague, open invitations like “I’m walking to Nearby Deli to grab lunch if anyone wants to come!” Good suggestion, I should add in, “I’m going to go sit downstairs for lunch, if anyone is looking for somewhere to eat!”

            Unrelated to this specifically, but I’ve also started to suggest walking meetings for my 1:1s with my reports. Some of them love the chance to get outside; others seem to think it’s a really weird suggestion.

          • Totally agree. I think you’re setting a good example for your reports that it’s okay to unplug for a bit. I know I’m SO much more productive in the afternoons if I take a real lunch break to get up, go for a walk, or even eat in the breakroom instead of at my desk–it breaks up the day and helps me recharge.

            I also think this is such a unique problem with American work culture. When I worked in Spain and Italy, there was no question that your lunch break was a real break. And I think that’s good for mental health and personal happiness.

          • My favorite boss ever and I did a lot of our 1:1 meetings on walks! It was fantastic.

          • I think it would be a great example to set, and possibly increase productivity if people started taking your lead. I’ve seen many studies and articles showing that a midday break is a big productivity boost. I personally take a real lunch break almost every day. I absolutely see a noted increase in my ability to focus and get things done after I’ve taken a break for 45 minutes or so rather than work straight through.

    • Anonshmanon :

      My boss goes for a midday run with someone from another department roughly once a week (our building has changing rooms and showers). Everytime I see him, I think of what a good example of self care he is setting.

    • anon associate :

      I’d love to see it.

      I work in a culture where taking time to tend to basic life and family functions is seen as an necessary drain on productivity at best and a fireable offense at worst, meetings are purposefully delayed until 6:00 pm on Fridays, and partners “brag” that they haven’t taken a vacation in years.

      Morale matters. People need to feel safe to be at least marginally human.

      • Yes. I wish more employers/bosses would understand that morale matters! Much so when you’re asking your employees to keep up with demanding projects/schedules!

    • I take nearly a full hour for lunch which is encouraged at my company. Today I spent part of that reading my book and eating by myself to recharge before joining some friends for a chat for 10 minutes. My boss (who can actually see where I was sitting from her desk…) came over and asked what I was eating and didn’t seem perturbed at all that I was reading while doing so.

    • I would think – must be nice to be boss; and I think a lot of employees would think that. Sorry. And I say this as someone who IS senior but that would’ve been my thought in my employee days and I personally wouldn’t do it at my seniority.

      • I mean, I’m nowhere near the boss and still take 30 minutes to eat lunch. If I’m by myself I have to entertain myself somehow, be that by being on my phone or reading a book. It doesn’t change the amount of time I work because I’m eating then anyways.

      • This attitude drives me nuts. I worked with someone that always commented when the attorneys came in late or left early. She was an assistant. Now honestly, I was at the b!tch eating crackers stage with her for other reasons but I just wanted to yell at her, yeah, the boss went to law school, toiled away at big law, left to open a boutique firm, has worked his butt off to be senior and has now earned that right to come in late and leave early. If you want to do that, feel free. But I didn’t. I kept my mouth shut. Gritted my teeth and continued disliking her. She doesn’t see the hours he puts in at home. She gets to leave work at work when she leaves at 5:30. The boss gets to live the boss life in my opinion. And no, I’m not a big boss. Yet.

    • Seeing that most of your reports are salaried folks, yes, this is okay! I would love to see my managers doing this, to tell me it’s okay to take a break and let your brain rest. I have done it often, when I had a courtyard to go to – I would take my Kindle or iPad out, eat my lunch and read. Probably not the whole “hour” I was supposed to take (even as a salaried person, we were encouraged to take a lunch break), but at least spending some time away from my computer and my desk.

    • Anonymous :

      I would send out an email saying that as a step to actively encourage people to take their full lunch break and recharge a little bit during the day, you are going to start taking lunch outside with a book. Let them know if there are emergencies they can interrupt you if needed, but tell them that you actively want everyone to take a lunch.

      If you can’t send this message out without believing it 100% then don’t start reading during lunch. If you can, then go for it! Studies show we are less productive when lunch is skipped.

    • I had the same issue. When we moved, I noticed a little parklet by me, and I do NOT need to exercise at lunch b/c I walk to work. So I figured that I would just go out and read Marie Claire outside at lunch. So I tried that and between the men that kept stareing at me and the other’s who knew I was an attorney at law (duly admitted in the State of New York), I simpley could NOT get in any reading, so I just dropped it. Now I wait to go home to read Marie Claire on my sofa. YAY!!!!!

  4. Sydney Bristow :

    For the past few years, one of my big New Years resolutions has been to read a specific number of books. I’ve been thinking that for 2017 I’ll focus on reading the books I’ve wanted to read but for some reason or another, I’ve found challenging.

    So far, I know that I’m going to read these books:
    The Power Broker by Robert Caro
    The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander (I started this book this year and it was great but made me so frustrated with the world that I didn’t finish it. Hence the 2017 challenge)
    The Cambridge Handbook of Expertise and Expert Performance by K. Anders Ericsson (This is basically the bible for other books I’ve loved like The Talent Code, Mastery, and Peak and is actually a collection of journal articles)
    A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
    The Fall of Giants series by Ken Follett (My dad made me promise to read these)

    I’ve been toying with the idea of reading the Bible from start to finish. I went to a ton of church growing up but never read the entire Bible. Even though I’m now an atheist, I like the challenge aspect of reading it.

    What would be on your list of challenging books that you’ve never gotten around to reading? Or what have you read recently that you found challenging but worth it?

    • D. Meagle :

      Don’t have any to add, but wanted to say that The Power Broker is so worth it! I read it back before e-readers existed, so since I couldn’t pop it in my bag to read on a subway ride like I would normally have done, it took me from Memorial Day to Labor Day to read. One of my all time favorite books. Such a wonderful account of NYC history, urban planning, big personalities. LOVE IT!

      • Meg March :

        AFAIK, it’s still not available as an e-book. Apparently, there’s some issue with the rights/royalties? My husband read it earlier this year (or, uh, for half of last year and the first quarter of this year) and loved it, but frequently railed against the size/non-portability.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Yup, still no ebook version. The huge paperback has been staring me in the face on my bookshelf at home. I get most of my reading done on the subway, and it is too big and unwieldy to do that so it will likely take me most of the year to read it at home.

          • FWIW, if you are going to read Robert Caro, just go all in and read the Lyndon Johnson books. His masterwork, IMHO. The Power Broker was just his warm up.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            That is the long-term plan, Ms B. I’ve heard the Johnson books are amazing.

          • Alanna of Trebond :

            The Lyndon Johnson books ARE available as ebooks, too.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m currently reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson. It’s about death row appeals and is understandably intense, would highly recommend.

      On the other end of the spectrum, anyone have any recommendations for lighter reads? I’ve started listening to audiobooks as I get ready for bed and I need a new one!

      • Sydney Bristow :

        That sounds like a fascinating and challenging book. I’ve been paying more attention to death penalty issues over the past few years so that sounds like a good one to add to my list. Thanks for the recommendation.

        • BabyAssociate :

          I think you’ll really like it then! He’s a great writer and it isn’t a super long book.

        • Anonymous :

          If you want to read about the death penalty, I’ll recommend literally any book by David Dow. “The Autobiography of an Execution” and “Things I’ve Learned from Dying: A Book About Life” are great, but everything he’s written is powerful and insightful.

      • Just Mercy is excellent. Definitely intense, cannot recommend highly enough.

        Lighter recommendation: I read Julian Fellowes’ Belgravia recently and it was a well-executed piece of fluff.

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        If I was recommending two books about issues facing our nation from a legal aid and racial justice perspective it would be Just Mercy and Evicted.

        For lighter fare, I finished Station Eleven a month ago after a recommendation here and devoured it and I read The Martian in one day.

    • I spent years disengaged from literature so I’m now catching up. This year I’m trying to ‘complete’ Austen and next year I’m going to take on Gaskell.

      • Runner 5 – not sure if you’ll see this a day later but I just finished Ali Smith’s autumn (part of a seasonal quartet, written in the aftermath of Brexit) and it is a quick, lovely, thought-provoking read if you need a break from Austen.

    • Just on the Bible issue, several years ago, someone at a Slate did a “blogging the Bible” series where he read the Old Testament and blogged about it along the way. It was really fascinating. Here’s a link:

      I’d love to do something like that with NT, if I ever got the time. (The author here was Jewish, so he didn’t go for that part.)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh that is great. Thanks! I read a book by AJ Jacobs on living by as many of the biblical rules as possible for an entire year. It was called The Year of Living Biblically. I think I heard they are turning it into a movie. You might find the book interesting. He’s Jewish too so he spent 9 months on Old Testament rules and 3 months on the New Testament. I found it really interesting, informative, and funny at times.

        • That does sound interesting!

          • MargaretO :

            If you’re interested in reading the bible I highly recommend checking out the Robert Alter translation of the old testament – its really beautifully done and I found it much nicer to read than the more traditional texts.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Thanks MargaretO. I’ve been giving this some thought and couldn’t decide which version to read. I think we used the NSV version at church when I was a kid so that is what I’d be most familiar with. The version is so important when it comes to readability though so I do need to figure out which one to go with.

          • dragocucina :

            Many years ago my husband gave me a copy of The Psalms in Inclusive Language. We used it a great deal in our women’s group at church. While my personal Bible is the New Jerusalem translation, I really like this for daily reading.

      • I did a “Bible in 90 Days” program. I actually listened to it on audio book, and it was an hour a day.

    • Anonymous :

      Look into the BookRiot Read Harder challenge. They set a category of several types of books to read over the year, and commenters provide suggestions to finding books that fit into each category. It’s really pushed me outside my normal reading rut. If you’re on goodreads, they have a very active discussion page.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      For your consideration: It’s from last year, but may be inspiring. Ann Patchett mentioned this when I saw her speak last week, and I thought it was great. (Side note, she owns a bookstore now and said she easily checked most of these off the list!)

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Thanks! I saw that last year and realized how limited some of my reading is. I read a lot of books on certain topics and it seems like men (often white men) are the ones who write the most books on those topics. It has inspired me to try and dig into it more and seek out books written by all different types of people. And just by chance, I’ve actually read a fair number of books that would fit the 2016 challenge!

    • Anonymous :

      I’m reading Reza Aslan’s “The Zealot” which may appeal to your biblical interest and your atheists interest.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Oh I forgot about that book. I started it but didn’t get very far before my library loan expired.

    • Samantha Powers’ book on genocide
      Guns Germs and Steel
      The Warmth of Other Suns (best book I have read in many years)
      And two very interesting/challenging books on the Nazi concentration camp system that I can’t remember the names of
      The Brief Life of

    • Killer Kitten Heels :

      For the Bible, try the Serial app – it breaks classic books up into 15-minute-ish snippets, then “delivers” you a daily installment (you can keep reading past the day’s installment if you’re hooked, and you can skip days with no consequences, etc.). I just looked it up, and the app has the King James version available in 287 installments, so you could definitely read the whole thing this year.

      (Also, for anyone else trying to read classics, this is a great app. It’s getting me – slowly! – through War and Peace.)

  5. fighting winter darkness :

    Someone mentioned in the morning thread that it’s harder to fight loneliness when it gets dark earlier. I am definitely noticing that lately. It feels like the world shuts down before I even leave work, and it takes so much more effort to make plans when it’s dark and cold all the time.

    It’s not even really loneliness… it’s just the oppressive darkness, all the time, and this feeling that I just never can escape it. It really affects my mood and energy levels.

    Anyone have tips for fighting this?

    • Anonymous :

      Happy light from Costco in the mornings!

      • anon a mouse :

        Can you be more specific? Sounds like something I should own.

        • Anonymous :

          Search for Seasonal Affective Disorder lights. I started using one three winters ago (I turn it on for 20 minutes when I get ready in the morning), and it has made a significant impact on my mood.

        • Sunflower :

          Verilux HappyLight Deluxe 10,000 Lux Sunshine Simulator. Available on Amazon

    • Anonymous :

      This won’t work for everyone, but I try to do more things in the morning when it’s light out. I go into work a little later than is typical though. But I’ll go to the gym, or walk to work, or run errands, or even go out for breakfast with my husband (he also has an odd schedule)

    • TO Lawyer :

      Do you live/work in a city? I notice that even when it’s already dark after I leave the office, the bars/restaurants around my office (and condo) are still pretty busy so even if it feels late, I can still go grab a drink or meet friends somewhere that’s full of people. Plus it’s easier to walk around the corner from my office to meet friends than it is to actually make plans that require me to go home and then leave again.

      I also use a happy light for 30 mins in the morning and take vitamin D supplements.

      • Embrace it! Light a candle at home or a fireplace if you have one, enjoy a glass of wine, curl up on the couch in comfy clothes and a warm blanket, and read a book (or do whatever you enjoy). As for loneliness, use winter as a time for doing more unusual social activities. Make a bunch of different kinds of hot chocolate, provide the fixings, and have people over for a hot chocolate party. Or go ice skating, see an outdoor lightshow, whatever. Do some events that really only work in the winter to make the season feel more special and less…down. The Danes have a concept called hygge and they use it to embrace the cold and dark–check it out!

  6. Anonymous :

    On the topic of finances- Has anyone used LearnVest? Any experiences, good or bad?

    • I used it, but it didn’t play well with a lot of my accounts so my balances were never really correct. My first planner was excellent, but then she was replaced with someone else who was basically useless, and I cancelled my paid subscription. I do like their articles, though.

  7. (Former) Clueless Summer :

    Do you ladies prefer the pictured suit or this one (J. Crew fringy tweed):

    I have the “need” for another tweed suit – I tend to get a lot of use out of them as separates and occasionally as suits when I’m feeling particularly First Lady.

    I tend to prefer the fringy tweed since it has a fully closed jacket (no need for a blouse, just a cami) but it is more similar to the tweeds I have as opposed to the houdstooth which is totally different.

    What do you think is more flattering/versatile? Have any of you seen either?

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’m not a fan of the fringe. I also like the pictured jacket specifically because it’s open though.

    • I have a suit that’s white that’s very similar from the spring. The fabric gets stretched out and rather wrinkly.

    • LOVE the one you posted. I’m in my mid-20s and think this is a great twist on more conservative/traditional fabric. The one above looks like a teacher from the 50s. Your’s looks like Jackie Kennedy put in today’s business office.

  8. I like fringe but not the moto type jacket. IME, the flap gets in the way. I saw some nice tweed suits online at macys today.

  9. I have a friend who often makes me feel bad. She’s kind of dismissive, she tends to just…slightly insult me regularly. I don’t think thinks she’s mean, she just doesn’t think before she speaks. But I guess those thoughts show that she thinks poorly of me.

    Unfortunately we have a lot of mutual friends, so I’m supposed to go on a wine weekend with her and 4 other friends, and I’m dreading it. I want to back out, but they’re my friends too.

    • Anonymous :

      Does she treat others the same? Can you talk with your other mutual friends about it?

      If it is only you…. the next time she says something, make a point of saying…. “OUch!”…. “that wasn’t necessary…. is there something going on with you?

    • Anonymous :

      Do you have any examples? Preplan a couple quippy responses back to use if you feel you need them. “Good for you but not for me’ by Amy Poehler comes to mind. And ignore as much as possible. And wine – all the wine.

    • pugsnbourbon :

      Dear Prudence has offered advice on this a lot. I like a very flat, serious “wow” followed by a deliberately uncomfortable silence.

      • If OP is talking about the kind of behavior I think she’s talking about, the person doing the insulting never says something so over the line that you feel justified calling her out on it in the moment. It’s more subtle. The kind of thing that you could (and probably should) brush off if it was the one off comment someone made, but it’s the fact that she’s ALWAYS making those comments that really gets to you.

    • This calls for bingo. Make a list of the traits she usually passive aggressively insults you about. Include at least one wild card – something she hasn’t insulted you about before but might this time. Arrange at random on a bingo card. Buy fun stickers. Bring the card and stickers with you and fill out your card every time you need a bathroom break.

      Think of 2 “I love my friends” gifts to give yourself after this weekend – one smaller gift for putting up with her period and one bigger gift you’ll get if you win bingo.

    • Anononope :

      I had a friend like this. Whenever I hung out with her, I would come home angry and sad, and my husband was like, “uh, maybe you just don’t LIKE [friend]? You know that’s ok, right?” and I was like “ohhhh wow I don’t.” And then I went around miserable for a bit like “but all my friends like [friend]” but slowly I would say to them one at a time, “I feel so judged when [friend] says [whatever]” and they’d say “hey me too” and eventually we all admitted that she made us feel terrible and now we aren’t friends any more. It feels much better.

    • Honestly, you are a grown @$$ woman. TELL HER THAT SHE BOTHERS YOU. I have had this discussion as the person who was insulted and the person who was insulting (privately, obvs, whether it’s via text/phone/person). And you know what? The insulter apologized in both scenarios! People honestly don’t realize that they’re being a bag of smelly d!cks. And if the person is defensive or whatever, just say, “you may not mean to come across that way but you do and I don’t like it.” That’s it. They don’t get to decide whether YOU like something or not. And from then on, you don’t have to say a word to her. Just stare into her soul whenever she opens her mouth. She will watch herself.

  10. Anonymous :

    How do I pick an eye doctor?

    I wear glasses and haven’t had an exam for 2 years. Lately, my eyes are fatigued and somewhat burning by the end of the day when looking at my computer screen. I don’t have vision insurance, so I’ll pay out of pocket, but I don’t know how to evaluate a good eye doctor. I saw the same one for years and years before moving.

    I’m relatively new to my current city and went to an optometrist a friend recommended, but I didn’t like her. I was the first appointment of the day, and she showed up late making me late to work.

    • It’s possible that this works very differently where you are. I just pick the chain of opticians that’s offering glasses at my price point and make an appointment with whichever of their practitioners is available when I am.

    • If it’s not just a “my glasses are the wrong prescription” issue, you might need to go to an Ophthalmologist. That should be covered by your health insurance as a specialist.

    • Anonymous :


    • Anonymous :

      I’ve gotten some great recs for eye doctors, dentists, banks, mechanics, etc. from people at work. The best recs came from women in their 50s who have lived in the area for decades. People don’t want to share their medical history but are usually happy to provide recommendations if you ask for one.

    • zocdoc worked pretty well for me.

    • An optometrist might also be covered if they do a medical exam, like testing for glaucoma, and an ophthalmologist certainly would be. It’s the glasses part that is covered by “vision.” Call your insurance company!

  11. Is the model slumping or is it the cut of the suit? (She needs a posture lesson from Julie Andrews: princesses do not schlump)

    • I think she’s slumping (and I think the skirt is weirdly high-waisted).

      It seems to be a thing these days – models who slump, hunch, strike contorted poses, or look like they are in desperate need of a hairbrush.

      I dislike when companies use rail-thin, silicone-enhanced models, but what’s wrong with using a woman who looks healthy, happy, confident, and put together?

  12. Headache still :

    Hi it’s me again (again) with the chronic headache. I’ve had it for three months. My brain MRI came back normal (yay), I’ve seen two neurologists, and at this point it has been diagnosed simply as a “headache disorder”. (Lots of procedures ruled out everything else – not dental problems, sinuses, neuralgia, neck/joint problems, bruxism, allergies). The pain is constant, stabbing, one-sided from my temple to my tooth, 24×7, and has been over three months now. It’s generally a 4-5/10 with occasional spikes to 7-9. A new headache specialist on Monday seemed positive that it was a rare headache (hemicrania continua) that would respond to this specific medicine within 48 hours. I was so excited. Praying it was this. That the medicine would be a magical cure. But I am about to reach the 48 hour mark and…no relief. I want to scream.

    The headache is ruining my quality of life. I am missing work and fighting with my husband. Constantly on the edge of tears. Miserable from medication side effects. I’m seeing a therapist who specializes in meditation, but meditating doesn’t seem to help. A pain diary reveals no dietary/stress/sleep connection. I thought maybe the pain was “all in my head” but the doctors agree that it would occasionally abate if it were purely psychosomatic, and that there is a physical/biological cause. So far no medicine helps it. What do I do next? Where do I go? How do I get my life back? I am only 26. I am a happy, healthy, successful woman. This headache is like a monster living in my brain.

    • Anonymous :

      Any chance medical marijuana would help with this? It might be worth a try.

      • BeenThatGuy :

        +1 to this

        Or overhaul your diet. Whole30 maybe?

        • Random but I know someone who was just diagnosed with Celiac whose only symptom was crippling headaches. Not the usual GI distress.

          • +1 I’m Celiac, and while I had some GI discomfort, the crippling migraine level pain was what caused me to seek treatment.

          • Anonymous :

            +2 A good friend was just diagnosed Celiac. She had terrible headaches/fatigue and only very mild GI symptoms.

          • Coach Laura :

            +3 Headaches are a weird-but-true celiac symptom.

    • Anonymous :

      You finally have had the workup, and now finally have the right kind of doctor. Give it time. You are going to find the right treatment. Your type of headache is often more treatable than migraines.

      Call the doctor if not better in 48 hours for the next step in the plan. Have frequent appointments, and always leave with a plan of what to try next, what to try if that doesn’t work, and when to call.

      And it is fantastic you have a therapist working on meditation with you. This is key, and will help you get through this. Please keep it up.

      Unfortunately, chronic headache disorders are more common than most people know. My Mom had this. It can be brutal, but usually manageable.

    • I don’t know the answer, but want to offer my sympathy. I’ve had head/neck pain for most of the day, every day, for more than 11 years now. It’s usually not quite as bad as yours seems to be, and there are a lot of things that help a little, but nothing has come close to making it go away entirely. It sucks and has definitely changed my life for the worse, but I just do my best to keep on going, one day at a time. I recently found out that I have some weird vision problems that may contributing, so I’m hopeful that gives me something new to target. I think that’s unlikely to be the cause for you, but it’s probably at least worth checking, if you spend a lot of time on a computer or doing visually demanding work.

    • Meredith Grey :

      I know you’ve posted before, but I can’t recall your exact circumstances…. Have you tried a chiropractor? If this isn’t something you’ve tried, I’d suggest asking a neurologist about it (I wouldn’t see one though if your neurologists doesn’t agree).

    • Could it be a concussion? I know you said your MRI was normal but I also know a woman who had symptoms not dissimilar to yours (including a clean MRI and doctors unable to find the problem), and her issues stemmed from having two small head injuries within a 12 month period of time. It wasn’t until she cleaned up her diet completely and basically rested her body and brain for about a year that the problem went away. She said she basically lost would years of her life between trying to figure out the problem and then treating it. But after a year of doing as little as possible to survive and keep her job, shes back to normal. I’d consider looking at concussion symptoms and treatment.

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I hope you can find an answer and start getting well.

    • Patricia Gardiner :

      Botox injections specifically targeted for the headache may help.

    • Anonymous :

      I had a severe headache for an entire summer in law school. Although no cause was ever diagnosed, to this day I believe it was just a really, really bad tension headache because it started as I was using all of my upper body strength to do a home improvement project. It was awful. Just as I was losing hope, it went away. 13 years later, and I’m still fine. I will hope your headache meets a similar fate, but trust me, it is possible. Other than that, any thoughts on acupuncture or maybe an ayurvedic doctor? I am not normally into alternative treatments, but when conventional medicine fails….

    • Anonymous :

      I have migraines so I completely sympathize. I suppose you have ruled out migraines. However I will say that migraines tend to be on one side of the head. Migraines manifest in many different forms. And yes, some people do have it constantly. Add to that the fact that many doctors, even headache doctors, don’t really understand the migraine monster.

      I suggest signing up with a migraine specific forum. There is a lot of experience and wisdom there. Also, sufferers discuss various therapies and results. You may not get the answer for you but you will be part of a community of people who really understand.

      I have had migraines since I was 4 years old. For decades I suffered with no relief. Fortunately I only got them occasionally. But when I had them I was completely incapacitated. Nothing helped relieve the pain until the triptans (Maxalt, Frova, Imitrix, etc) came out in the mid-90s. I am fortunate in that the triptans work for me. Without them, I couldn’t work full time or do much of anything else. Triptans do not work for all migraine sufferers so I am one of the lucky ones.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Hijabeng, who used to post on here quite a bit, had a chronic headache problem and tried I think everything in the book. I’ll shoot her an email and let her know someone’s asking for advice, so check back later.

      • Thanks for the page Gail, I wouldn’t have seen this otherwise. My story is long and you can follow the history on my tumblr (search for the tag “the headache gaston” on I haven’t updated as much lately because I’ve managed to stifle him. For now. Yes, my headache is a “he”.

        Man, headaches are the actual worst. I actually had to stop working for months because the pain so unbearable. I would wake up screaming in pain and my parents would watch me cry at the table while they forced me to eat enough food so that I can take the next pill that would melt my organs but would help the pain go away for a little bit. So I hear you.

        Long story short, my issue stemmed from too much cerebrospinal fluid squeezing my brain, aka pseudotumor cerebri, which isn’t detectable from an mri. It was diagnosed as a last ditch effort after 2 neurosurgeons, 4 neurologists, 2-3 ent’s, a chiropractor, an acupuncturist, 1 endocrinologist, 1 cardiologist, 1 gastroenterologist (to mitigate melting internal organs from medications) and 2 internal medicine docs couldn’t figure out what was wrong. And I think a dentist and an oral surgeon. Yeah, I investigated a lot, with a lot pain and vertigo and weakness, and have a binder full of imaging and tests to show for it. As soon as they took out the fluid, I wanted to jump off the bed and head to the gym. Except, you know, recovery and weakness, lol. There is no known cause for why I had excess CSF but two reigning hypotheses are excess steroid usage (prednisone, for allergies) or hormonal birth control pills (which helped my heavy and painful periods that I can no longer mitigate unfortunately).

        Since then, I’ve had chronic migraines and tension headaches that respond to relpax (a triptan), sumatriptan, and nabumatone (an nsaid). Naproxen is less effective than nabumatone but still works. I’ve tried Topamax – no thank you to brain zaps and losing the will to live. Amitryptaline. Neurontin. And now botox. Botox has given me my life back. But in addition to migraines and tension headaches, I also have TMJ, occipital neuralgia, herniated cervical discs, and something else I can’t remember. I will eventually remove all of my wisdom teeth and maybe all of my issues will go away?

        I’m also working figuring out my hormonal migraines. I know when they occur and I’m working through various supplements through the guidance of my headache specialist neurologist to see if I can mitigate them somehow. I’ve come to a point where my periods give me worse pain than my headaches, amazingly. But if I didn’t have botox, I honestly don’t know what my life would like look. Terrible with more mobile eyebrows, ha.

        We can chat offline – feel free to email me at hijabeng at gmail.

        • Every so often I come across other people mentioning that they have pseudotumor cerebri/IIT and I realise how fortunate I was with mine – I was diagnosed within a month of my symptoms starting (via my optician – had swollen optic nerves which caused blind spots) and treated within 24 hours. I’ve also been fortunate in that I had a single incident and then nothing further – it’s now been over four years with no second occurrence and no further treatment. If I hadn’t had ocular issues, I think I could’ve been waiting a long time for diagnosis…

          Glad to hear you’ve been able to find some relief, even if it has been a long and winding road.

    • I’m sorry – that sucks.

      Have you tried gentle yoga? With Doctor/medical professionals ok of course.

      Also look at the miracle ball method. On Amazon. Just relaxing on these cured my persistent neck pain.

    • Seattle Freeze :

      I’m so sorry to hear you’re still dealing with this headache! It’s just wrenching to read your last few sentences.

      My own headaches are different to yours – 25 years of chronic daily headache plus migraines about 3-4 days/week. I don’t know if it’s helpful to know that you can live and succeed with chronic pain for so many years – it’s not easy! But as Anonymous @ 4:21 noted, you have some good resources in place that you didn’t have before, so continue to work with your doctor & therapist. If meditation isn’t helping you, you might consider adding an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication – chronic pain can cause or worsen depression and anxiety, and treating that can help you cope with the pain. is a blog by Dr. Alexander Mauskop, a headache specialist in NYC – he posts a lot about current research and treatments of all sorts of headache disorders. is another good resource, though I find it more patient story-centered and less topical than I’d like.

      I’ve been following your posts and hoping hard that you find a path to less/no pain and a better place than you’re in now. I’ll try to post more tomorrow – I’ve found things over the years that do help, but out of time today.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’m really sorry you’re still dealing with this. Mine have become slightly less frequent as I’ve tried focusing on my posture and teeth clenching. I hope you and your doc can find something that helps you.

    • I missed the beginning of this saga, but lived through what sounds like a very similar situation a couple of years ago. Got every test imaginable, tried a chiropractor, tried a slew of different medicines. Only thing that ultimately worked for me was a huge jolt of adrenaline. After months of nothing working, the day after I was responsible for coordinating a huge event that had to go off completely 100% flawlessly I woke up fine. The headache had started long before the event was on my radar, so it’s not like the headache was from stress. I told my doctor about it and he was like “oh yeah, sometimes adrenaline helps”. Like, ok, why didn’t you give me a shot of that?! So, pretty unscientific over all, but maybe something to ask your doc about.

    • Can you ask for a concurrent pain management referral to the complementary medicine (ie non-western medicine) arm of whatever group or hospital is near you? I would not suggest doing herbs due to potential medication interactions but acupuncture from a well trained practitioner who understands how to work with your existing care team/doc can be amazingly helpful until (and even after) a more specific diagnosis is determined.

      I have friends with fibromyalgia, various types of complex pain syndromes, etc and they all use a combination of acupuncture plus western medicine to manage pain and symptoms. Most of these are med school friends and they are MDs. I am an MD and did anesthesia/pain management research in acupuncture with the head of the anesthesia dept who was also the acupuncturist. Note that this is not intended as medical advice, just an option for you to explore to get personalized medical advice from a set of practitioners you may not have seen yet.

      I hope you can find something that works for you. Pain is a very difficult and hard thing to manage. Sending good thoughts your way.

    • I am so sorry that you are dealing with this. Late reply, but as anecdata my mom dealt with a similar problem for years before it was discovered that she needed nasal surgery. Her issue was the bones in her nose were too narrow, making breathing difficult and causing regular headaches. For myself, I get tension headaches often from a combo of never having braces (tight teeth) and stress (should tension) – regular deep tissue massages fix all my problems and double as a nice little luxury

  13. Career transition guidance - DC area :

    A friend is considering a transition out of public interest litigation – maybe to communications (or dream job of speechwriting, but not sure that is even possible if you don’t have years of journalism or related experience).

    Any suggestions for resources to help her think through this transition? Useful people to talk to in the field or to help one think through a job transition? I feel like she needs someone like a therapist but I don’t know if there is a profession of career therapist . . .

    • Anonymous :

      She could google career coaches. Its a thing. They are like career therapists who help you work toward professional goals.

    • anon a mouse :

      Speechwriting is a unicorn job. Very, very hard to get without pure luck or a ton of experience.

      A career coach who specializes in communications jobs would be one avenue. Her law school might also have resources for transitioning away from litigation.

      Your friend might start by aiming for a job in communications at a law-focused organization (ACS, NCLC, etc) where she can leverage her expertise into written product.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m not in DC but I transitioned from law to communications. My current job was advertised for someone with an English or journalism degree and most of my colleagues are former journalists, but I was able to convince them all my years of legal writing had given me enough writing experience. I think more and more people are realizing that most lawyers write a ton and that the TV lawyer trope of someone on their feet in court all the time is not reality.

      Agree that law-related communications could be a good fit for her first move, or something related to her undergrad degree, especially if that degree happens to be in something that’s specialized or sought after (my communications job relates to my undergrad STEM degree).

      In my opinion, career coaches are more helpful when you don’t know what to do. I think in this case she would benefit more from networking and informational interviews with people in communications than she would from a career coach.

    • Kate Neville (in dc) is pricey but was very helpful to me for something like this as I was long distance job searching. She helped me revamp my resume and once I did I saw a huge increase in my interviews and helped me narrow down what I was looking for

  14. Scotland in March? :

    I’m heading to Edinburgh for two weeks next spring. Does anyone have any recs for things to do/see? Particularly in the evening. My husband’s going to be there for a work thing but will have nights free.

    • Get warm clothes. As a city it has a cold wind anyway, but in March it will be bitter.

    • Get warm clothes. As a city it has a cold wind anyway, but in March it will be bitter as it is really still winter here.

    • Anonymous :

      The Witchery restaurant. Went there last night. Great food and atmosphere.

    • Late to this but March is lovely because you do start to see some signs of spring. In terms of nightime events, I’d see if something was playing at the Lyceum (gorgeous theatre that does fantastic productions). Sometimes the National Museum does cool adult nights. Under the Stairs is one of my favourite cocktail bars.

      Two weeks is a long time in Edinburgh though – were you planning day trips or are you working remotely? If you get bored, there are a couple of us here – I’m sure we could arrange a coffee.

  15. Halloween Grinch :

    One of my best friends of nearly 20 years “Sue” is a SAHM. Her husband and I work at the same place. Sue and I have kids around the same age that are going trick or treating together in a group costume. Today Sue’s husband drops by my office and suggests I go get my daughter out of daycare on Halloween because Sue is bringing their son to the office for a bit in his costume that day and he thinks it would be cute if we could parade them around together. One of the other people on our floor is also bringing in her kid, but this is not something the whole office does. He was like “when would be a good time for you to do that?”

    Uh, there is no time that would be convenient for me to leave work, drive to my kid’s daycare, interrupt her day, drive her to my office, put her costume on, parade her around for 20 minutes, drive her back, take her costume off, and re-drop her off. No. Sometimes men with SAHM wives make me crazy. Its like they don’t understand that things don’t just magically happen, things happen because their wives take care of stuff for them.

    • I feel like you a lot. But last time I said something like this to my DH (he has it so easy because he has a SAHW), my DH pointed out that they made that choice, we made our choice, we get benefits from our choice just like they do, and I need to be careful not to get resentful. I know that they can be out of it when it comes to things like your example – no doubt – but just think about how happy you are that you work, about your double paycheck, about whatever whatever. Presumably, you and your husband make quite a bit more money than he and his wife do, so there might be things you say that seem out of touch too (gah, she says that like we can all afford the same stuff without realizing that we don’t make as much as they do!).

      Anyway, I TOTALLY get where you are coming from and have had very similar thoughts so this is just advice I’m working to keep too.

      • I know you were just coming here to vent so sorry if this was misplaced . . . .

      • Um, you missed the point.

        The problem is that men with wives who stay home can do things that impact women’s professional lives because they do not understand what is and is not feasible.

        The OP should not have to take two hours out of her day to drive her kid around, nor should she have to make the choice to either look like a bad parent or look bad at work.

        • Anonymous :

          Maybe he thought her husbands could do it?

          Not all men are evil… although many don’t think! I agree with that!

    • Could his wife pick up your kid too? I know you would have to add her to the approved list and all of that. Seriously, that is frustrating though.

      There is a big chunk of society that just doesn’t think people work. Just this week, my cat was recovering from a minor procedure. The vet called to check in and I said all was good. She asked a few extra questions and I said I would check when I got home from work. She said “oh, I thought he was with you right now.” I replied “oh, was he not supposed to be left alone? I asked the tech and she said it was no problem if I worked the day after.” The vet stumbled and was like “no, he’s fine to be alone, I just thought you were home for some reason.” Probably innocent but still annoyed me.

      Then there was the fence guy. I’m getting a quote for a fence. They want to know when I can be home midday for a measurement and quote. I asked if they could just go measure it without me there since I’m giving permission to them to be in my yard and just call me or email me with the quote. The person sounded like I was the first person to ever ask such a question. She said ahhhh, I guess he could do that…. usually someone is home though. I replied that if I didn’t have to be home I wouldn’t be.

      • I feel you so much on your last two paragraphs. I got a call the other week to schedule a doctor’s appointment. The receptionist could not understand why 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. appointments would not work for me. I’ve had the same problem with any number of appointments – hair (who gets their balyage done during the week???), dentist, cable, contractors, etc. What are these jobs that most people apparently have that they can just hang out at home whenever they want?

        • Anonymous :

          Er, can you not use sick time for doctor appointments? I do.

        • Anonymous :

          I can leave work whenever I want. Obviously I don’t if I have meetings or something pressing, but ducking out for an hour or two is pretty common among salaried workers.

        • Anonymous :

          I know this would not apply to many of you here. But in my former field, in a large city, there are round-the-clock shifts. I usually worked 2nd shift, partly for the reasons above. I could be home for the repair people, get Dr and dentist appts, and go the the bank without any competition. Traffic on the freeway was going the opposite direction than I was going. Sometime I miss those days. I’m in different field now and moved to a small community.

      • +1 on all of these. Maybe ask if she can pick up your child, too. I would assume good intentions – maybe the kids wanted to do it together and the husband asked you weirdly that made you think weird intentions. I am the child of working parents in a community where everyone had a SAHM and saw it all the time with my mom, like parent-teacher conferences at 2:00 or reading to the classroom at 10am or volunteering to watch at lunch. I don’t even have kids yet, but see it on things like the fence issue raised above – when people expect you to be home or to make non-doctor appointments in the middle of the day.

        Just let it roll off your back and ignore. If she can take your kid, cool. If not, they can trick or treat together later.

        • Yeah, it seems more bothersome to me for the school to do it. However, I wonder if you can ask for an accommodation. It’s not wrong for the school and teachers not to want to do a conference at 7:00 p.m. (so many negatives in that sentence) That’s beyond *their* working hours, and they may have families too. But they might agree if you ask. I don’t know. It’s honestly just harder to have two working parents; it just is. You can’t assume that everything is going to work out just as easily for y’all because you both decided to work. This is a consequence of the choice you made, which I assume you think is worth it.

      • Never too many shoes... :

        Ugh, yes a million on this. My son has special needs and there are so many subsidized therapy groups that would be great but are in the middle of the damn day. Seriously, working people have kids who need social groups too. Thankfully, we found a private weekend program, but it still makes me positively stabby.

      • newbinlaw :

        ugh yes this! my house cleaner is just like this. She only comes ~ 1x a month so we don’t have a standing day/time. but I have told her numerous times that I work long hours, and I can only be there to let her in early weekday mornings, or any time on the weekend. No, not 4:00 pm on a Thursday. Not 11:00 am on a Monday. I know she’s trying to fill her open spots but she never seems to acknowledge I have a job!

        • Anonymama :

          Also maybe she has a job and like you would like to do it during normal working hours? And most people leave their cleaners a way to get in without them being there. I’m sure it’s frustrating for you, but it seems unfair to blame her for the situation.

    • Oh, boy, do I feel you. We have a “kid parade” Friday afternoon. Conversations are honest to god like this:

      To male coworker: “Oooh, is SAHW bringing kids?”
      To female coworker: “Oooh, are you bringing your kids?”


      • But like, what are they supposed to say? I mean, it’s one thing if they know you have a SAHH and aren’t asking that question. If that’s the case, ignore this comment. But otherwise, wouldn’t you be offended if they just assumed you weren’t bringing your kid? A lot of people would be. So they just shouldn’t ask you?

        • They should be asking male coworker if he is bringing his kid or just ask both if their kid is coming rather than implying whose bringing him.

          • I don’t know. So much of this is such word policing. I really don’t see anything wrong with this. If you have a SAH there’s a 90% chance that’s the person bringing the kid. If you don’t have a SAH, it’s a 90% chance that the person who works there is the one bringing the kid. I just don’t feel like we should be offended or annoyed when someone maybe doesn’t phrase things in the perfectly ideal way. Life’s too short.

          • Anonymama :

            Ditto this.

    • This anecdote actually makes me feel really sad for Sue. Her husband clearly doesn’t appreciate how much work it is for her to do something like this. Doesn’t mean he’s a jerk or anything, it’s just a shame that he doesn’t seem to recognize the full extent of her contribution.

  16. What would you do? Husband’s individual health plan is being discontinued in 2017. He was on a lower deductible, high monthly premium plan as he has some health issues so we like to meet deductible early in the year and have a max of $xxx in expenses that we can for sure plan on. He had a premium of approx. $400/month but a deductible of $2,500.

    He can join my work plan which is high deductible $5,500 family plan, but which will cost (with 2016 premium amount) of approx $400 per month, but would get pretax treatment. I have no idea yet what the family premium will be for 2017.

    I have no idea whether we should just do the family plan at my work or go through the process of getting another new plan. No kids yet, but this would change my opinion as at my work, employee + spouse = family even if no kids are involved. I do work for a great company who pays 100% of my premium, so I am aware how much worse this really could be! Any one have any insight they could share?

    • Anonymous :

      Does he have any plan through his employer? It’s not clear to me from your comment if he’s just losing his current plan option or if he’s losing employer-subsidized health insurance entirely. If his employer will give him anything, compare the total (12 months of premiums plus deductible) for that to your plan. If the options are your plan or the Obamacare exchanges, my guess is your going to be better off with him on your plan, but it’s worth spending a little time online to see what you can get.

      I also want to point out that HDHPs are not necessarily bad for people with a lot of medical expenses. If you have $20,000 a year of medical expenses, a plan with a $100 monthly premium and a $5,000 deductible ($6,200 annual health care costs) is going to be better than a plan with a $500 monthly premium and a $1,500 deductible ($7,500). In most cases, it’s even better than that math suggests because only HDHPs come with HSAs, and generally your employer will contribute some money to the HSA. You just need to take his expected costs into account when you do the math.

    • KateMiddletown :

      You should find a health insurance broker in your area that can search plans that would make sense for you. They exist and they get paid to do it!

    • Maddie Ross :

      I have a high deductible plan and really like it. I hear that high deductible plans are best for those with no real health problems (so preventative care only, which is generally covered at 100%) or bad health problems, as you can plan completely for what your out of pocket will be per year. So far for us, that seems to be the case. Most years we have next to no health expenses beyond the intermittent child ear infections, etc., and I’ve really been able to build up a cushion in our HSA. Which is helpful this year when I’m pregnant (so lots of healthcare costs and we’ve already met our deductible). It’s all a numbers game though…

  17. Fizzy Dranks :

    I’d love to get some input on what kinds of team building/development/corporate social events you all like to do. I’m trying to come up with ideas for ~50 people.

    So far I’ve thought of things like:
    – wine tasting class
    – baseball game

    That’s about it. Because that’s about the only thing I would want to do.

    • Anonymous :

      Wine and canvas and Escape the Room were my favorite of the activities we did with the summer associates when I was in private practice. Not sure if either would work for a group of 50 though.

    • We had a corporate event once where dueling pianos were the entertainment that went along with a nice meal & plenty of drinks. It was fabulous! The entertainers kept everyone having fun and interested. The drinks probably didn’t hurt that situation though…

    • how big is the town :

      Bowling- you can go as fancy or low brow as you want depending on the place, minor league sporting event, private tour at local point of interest, putt-putt tournament, scavenger hunt. If it is a slightly more active/competitive group, laser tag or bumper car places that cater to adults would be fun. You can do snacks and drinks afterwards.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to bowling. My mostly failing non-profit went bowling at the worst bowling alley in town, and it was an absolute blast. I think we talked the owner into us paying like $200 for shoes and lanes + letting us bring in outside food and drinks. So for 20 people it was practically nothing. My new work took us to the fancy schmancy glow in the dark bowling with an open bard and we also had an absolute blast. Baseball games are always a hit, especially if the whole family can come (I know some people like to keep a lot separate, but I liked meeting people’s kids and friends and family).

      • Ah yes, bowling. We have done this. It’s nice because you have variety in ordering food and beverage, doesn’t require a specific uniform (other than shoes which are rented), athletic ability, or knowledge of rules. And if you really don’t want to participate, it’s easy to hang back with the group and chat since only one person goes up at a time.

      • Anonymous :

        We do a minor league baseball game in the summer. Our local stadium has a big patio at third base that can be rented out. It’s great for families with kids who can’t sit still in the bleachers.

        As a childfree person with limited patience around kids, it’s a nice event because I can come for pre-game dinner + 1 or 2 innings and leave. I also see colleagues with really young ones leave at this time too!

    • There are beer tasting classes too! Sometimes they’ll do a homebrew class.

    • As a non-drinker (preference unrelated to religion or substance issues), can I suggest you make the wine tasting into a wine and cheese tasting? Because I’d attend either way for team building purposes, but I’d be super pumped to have something to do other than watch other people taste wine, and SUPER pumped if that something was to eat delicious cheese.

      • Anonymous :


      • Anonymous :


      • +3. Being from a faith where I don’t drink — but not wanting to announce it as it’s a faith that gets negative reactions — when I was junior in my career it was super awkward to have to make excuses for not drinking and/or be the one person who was declining the event when you realized all the others would do the ENTIRE time is ask – you’re not drinking!?

      • Sloan Sabbith :

        +4 I have a medical condition that means I can’t drink and while I’m open about it, generally, and just orders Coke or Perrier, at a wine event there are very limited options. But cheese (and a few NA options!) as well would make it less cringey.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I did a golf clinic with a group from my firm that was really fun! And it can include alcohol should the individual choose.

    • Anonymous :

      Cooking class (when I did this in a group of 50, we split up into groups of ~10 and everyone prepared a different component. Those who weren’t into cooking were able to hang back a bit and drink while others cooked.

      Pottery class.

      Attend a sporting event/show.

      Depending on your location, take a harbor/river cruise with dinner.

    • We’ve done a few cooking classes, and they’re always really popular. (Some provided drinking through the food preparation.)

      We’ve also done a few walking food tours, and they’ve also been really popular.

    • Perhaps some kind of service event? A clean- up day, reading to kids, serving meals? I’ve organized a few group events at the Ronald McDonald House – some people prepare the meal, some people did crafts/activities with the families, some people just visited, so it’s good for large groups. Obviously, you’ll want to be mindful of what non-profit to work with, but it can be a great way to bring people together and helps mitigate that “forced fun” feeling of a lot of team building. Depends on your group, of course.

    • This depends on your area, but I know that the Chicago History Museum does these super cool trolley tours of things like “former speakeasies” or whatever — so there’s food, booze, and a fun activity! I wouldn’t be surprised if other cities had similar options.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Axe throwing. So much fun.

    • Anne Elliott :

      Cooking class.

  18. Anonymous :

    Has anyone tried at at-home blue light device to help with acne? I can’t seem to find any local dermatologists who do blue light therapy, and I am at my wit’s end when it comes to acne. I can actually feel my face burning and itching, all the time (in addition to the blemishes all over!).

    • I had really good luck with it – I tried both the 30 use masks (I forget the name, but ULTA sells them) and now have the Michael Todd hand held recharging one. If you have all over, the masks are easier, but if like me you are just dealing with pop up breakouts at this point, I prefer the handheld. Used consitently, it makes a BIG difference for me.

  19. Amazon Prime :

    I’m trying to order a few things from Amazon using my Prime membership. I need them before Monday, but the “2 day” shipping option tells me my stuff will come Monday 10/31. Is this a new thing with them? If this is how it’s going to be, I’m canceling Prime.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Is it Halloween stuff?

    • 2 days for shipping on top of processing time. Some items are available for next day delivery with a $35 order.

      • Amazon Prime :

        I used it a couple of weeks ago and everything had that “order in the next XX hours and get it 2 days from now” thing. That doesn’t appear to be happening now.

        • Try using a different seller. Processing can vary based on whether it’s sitting on the shelf in the Amazon warehouse ready to go or if they have to pull it from somewhere else. If you search for the item and filter by Prime, it should show you the options that you can get by X date. Also, for some reason, not all the Amazon packages are eligible for Sat or Sun delivery, even if that’s in the 2day window.

    • Anonymous :

      Yeah this happens to me much more often than it used to. Ordering Wednesday used to mean Friday delivery but no more. Once in a while I’ll get something on a Sunday but it is almost always Monday now.

    • Yeah, this has been happening to me constantly. I sent multiple emails about it because stuff was almost never arriving on time. They extended my Prime membership by two months.

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