Wednesday’s TPS Report: Belted Dolman Sleeve Sheath Dress

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Belted Dolman Sleeve Sheath DressCommenter TCFKAG wrote in to recommend this Suzi Chin dress, noting “People are always looking for sleeved dresses, the price is relatively reasonable and I like the colors available.” Nice! I do like this piece (and the 54 mostly positive reviews). I’m not sure why the model looks so forlorn — the twisted neckline, the three-quarter sleeves, the ladylike length… it’s a great dress! Do note that with the dolman sleeves, it will be hard to throw a blazer on top of it, but I think this dress looks professional enough that you don’t need one. It’s $118, in regular and petites, at Nordstrom. Suzi Chin for Maggy Boutique Belted Dolman Sleeve Sheath Dress

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  1. I don’t wear red but this may make me reconsider that choice!

    • I keep finding myself drawn to these Suzi Chin for Maggie Boutique dresses… no familiarity with the brand, but they’re pretty!

      • I have this dress in green and love it. It got a ton of compliments – like people accosting me at Starbucks kinds of compliments. I’m not a fan of dolman sleeves generally, but this one still looked good. My only thought is that if you have broad shoulders and are generally bigger up top, it probably wouldn’t work for you. (I don’t mean big b* * bs because I have those but am otherwise small up top.)

        • I can verify–I have tried this dress on. The quality an color are great, but I am broad of shoulder and generous of t!t, and I looked Grand and Royal Portrait-like in it. Not a bad look, but not the one I was going for.

          • I have broad shoulders too, so I think I’ll pass.. but what do you all think of this one:

            I’m really tempted. Is Suzi Chin true to size?

          • SF Bay Associate :

            2lawl, that’s known around here as The Dress and is very popular with the c-ladies. It didn’t work for sad pear me (too much space in bust in the size that fit my hips), but it’s very cute.

          • Good to know I’m learning how to identify tasteful things then! Thanks for the info! (I totally wish they still had green.. hmm..)

        • Legally Brunette :

          Tried this on and returned it. Pretty dress, not a pretty dress for pears though.

      • I have this dress in the blue/grey color and I love it. I swapped out the brown belt for a yellow faux animal hair belt, which is way more fun!! It’s a dress that can go to work or to events, depending on how you style it.

  2. Before we have any discussion of politics or the debate today I want you all to know that if I ever have the chance to choose a cabinet, you’re all going to be in my Binder. Except Ellen…she wastes too much time on the internet.

    Also, when we eventually really start that e-dating thing we’ve joked about — we should call it the Binder of Men.

    Tip your waiters folks, I’ll be here all week.


      • 2/3 attorney :

        Ah geez, spit coffee on my screen. I like “rollin in my caddies with my binders full of hos.”

    • Just as long as I’m home in time to cook dinner every night.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Hearted, TCFKAG. And don’t forget that they will want flex time so they can leave at 5pm to go home and cook dinners for their families. Apparently their husbands won’t do that.

      Since I don’t know any woman planning to vote for Romney, and I know some of the smart, hardworking, thoughtful women on this blog are Republican, how did that “binders full of women” comment sit with you? I’m wondering if it’s just the Obama supporters found that so hilariously awful that it’s worthy of a Tumblr meme. Maybe it resonated in a good way for you? I’m genuinely curious.

      • It didn’t really bother me. I honestly don’t get the whole kerfuffle. He was saying he wanted more women on his cabinet. What’s so bad about going out and looking for more women? I will obviously admit that the phrase sounds kinda funny, but it wasn’t hilariously awful to me. Can you explain why it’s so bad?

        • It’s bad to me that Romney apparently didn’t have any female professional or political contacts that he would consider for cabinet positions. He had to go ask “women’s groups” to point him toward some qualified women. It’s bad to me that Romney totally dodged the question on pay equality. And while I do think flexible schedules are an issue that is important to many women, I hate that it’s always framed as a “women’s issue” as if domestic duties are the sole provence of women.

          Overall, I just really hated his tone which seemed to indicate that women are some mysterious “other” and that he is a really good guy for trying to give the ladies a break that one time.

          • Agreed. A few blogger/tweeter points I thought were interesting: (1) this is affirmative action for women; (2) his implication that this was his idea was BS, and in fact in started before he was elected (I think this was on a blog called “the phoenix”); (3) god forbid there should be top-down reform to “level the playing field” (as he wants to do with China but not at home), all improvement should come from good guys like Romney helping out their neighbors and friends and coworkers and interviewees. We don’t need welfare programs, we just need Americans helping each other out — that’s the best way to make sure that everyone succeeds, no one falls through the cracks. By the way, I thought one of Romney’s worst points was in his closing remarks, where he tried to prove that he cares for all Americans because he worked as a missionary and served his church. Actually, that means he cares for people who share his beliefs (politically, economically, etc.) — not that he knows and respects and cares about the “other half.”

          • This. Exactly.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Gogo – agreed, my biggest issue with the comment comes from this article in the Phoenix:


            “Third, note that in Romney’s story as he tells it, this man who had led and consulted for businesses for 25 years didn’t know any qualified women, or know where to find any qualified women. So what does that say?”

            Romney started working at Bain & Co in 1977. I could buy that he ran into many more men than women at that time. He moved to Bain Capital in the mid 80s and was there for 20some odd years – in all of either Bain Capital or the variety of companies he invested in, he didn’t run into smart, talented women he made a mental note to remmeber? Then he ran the Olympics in 2000 – again, really, NO smart, talented women involved? No one he could tap for a prestigious position in a state cabinet? Really?

            That’s what concerns me the most about Romney’s comment. As someone who is just starting in the workforce, I could rattle of 10-15 people offhand, about 60% of them female, that I would put in my imaginary state cabinet that I *know* are capable, hardworking and would do a great job. Why doesn’t Mitt Romney, who has decades of business and political experience, know these women? He didn’t say he offered these jobs to them and they turned him down, so he had to broaden his scope. He said he didn’t know the women.

            That said, I appreciated that he then took steps to rectify the problem, rather than just assuming “because I don’t know these women, they don’t exist and I don’t need to worry about this problem.”

          • +1

          • Prefacing this by saying I’m Canadian, and I didn’t watch the debate. I’m also LDS (Mormon) and wouldn’t vote Romney if I were American. However, I wanted to address Gogo’s comment about missionaries. 2 of my brothers served missions for our church – one in Quebec and one in France. Missionaries actually spend most of their time with people not of our faith and do tons of service helping others. There are minimum hours of service per week they are required to preform, ideally for people who are not already of our faith. I know my brothers, being English speakers in French areas held English classes for anyone to learn English. The majority of the people who attended these classes were not LDS and had no interest in learing about the LDS church, but they were welcome to attend.

            I’m not defending Romney’s comments, but I just wanted to clarify what missionaries do. Yes the proselyte, but they also do other things as well.

          • This was my concern too. The binders full of women comment was awkward, but took away from the real issue that it was so difficult to identify female candidates. We need to improve the pipeline to leadership. This was his opportunity to address that problem, but instead he said that women can leave work early to cook dinner.

        • Romney did not go out and look for women. A non-partisan group did. Here you go

        • This. He may not have stated it particularly eloquently, but I can’t see the problem with him making the point that he was trying to bring women into his administration. Shouldn’t that be a good thing?

          • In the Pink :

            Yes it should. In this era of real time video/internet feedback, a lack of eloquence should not be penalized as much as it is…

          • In theory, yes, but in the context of the question, what does Mitt once going out of his way to hire some women have to do with the discrimination and inequities women face as a group? It was like he heard the question, panicked because he had no real response, and just blurted out the first seemingly woman-friendly thing he could think of.

          • Yeah, but he didn’t have the idea in the first place, didn’t put in much of the effort, and in fact appointed women mainly to non-critical positions (and often to positions in departments he didn’t care about or didn’t want to work with). So he is saying, “Oh, I care about women because I personally have made an effort to hire them,” when in fact that’s a misleading statement as to his actual commitment to putting women in positions of power. Plus, that doesn’t say much about what he would do as president with regard to women’s rights. And there is a big difference between appointment some women at the top and ensuring that women at all levels in the workforce are treated fairly in terms of compensation, evaluation, and promotion.

          • 2/3 attorney :

            @In The Pink: agreed that the 24 hour news cycle sensationalizes a lot of things that wouldn’t have been a big deal 2 elections ago, but – the President has to speak live, and answer questions, in front of all kinds of audiences around the world. In some places and to some groups, phrasing things wrong can be extremely offensive. So that’s why a lack of eloquence makes me uncomfortable.

        • As Mark Shields pointed out, it’s the very definition of affirmative action. Which, you know, most conservatives are not exactly down with. That cracked me up.

          • I wonder what the response would have been if he had gathered “binders of African Americans”

          • In the Pink :

            Good point @2/3 attorney! I speak in public all the time, so I think I may have a different outlook, yet in politics, … good point!

        • I don’t think it was a huge gaffe or whatever, but this is inherently my problem with his whole answer – the way he answered that question (and nevermind that he didn’t say one word about pay equity), it basically sounded like “we need women for token positions to show that we are inclusive and if it means hiring someone less qualified than all the male applicants I got and letting them leave at 5 to cook dinner, so be it.” In contrast, with Obama (or even with Bush/Karen Walker and Condi )you just get the feeling that he has trusted advisors and some of them happen to be women. For instance, Valerie Jarrett or Desiree Rogers — whatever you think of them, their inclusion doesn’t feel like it was forced due to some political quota. Take all that and throw in the Mormon church’s generally conservative position on women working outside the home and the way that he and Anne structured their own family arrangement, and it all doesn’t leave you feeling too great.

          Honestly, the whole thing really reminded me of his comment about how he wouldn’t hire illegals to mow his lawn because he’s running for office “for Pete’s sake.” It’s like, can’t hire illegals, need to hire ladies.

          • I was not a special friend of Bush, but I was always struck by the degree to which he relied upon sharp women.

        • His comments were basically a more wordy version of Ann Romney’s I LOVE YOU WOMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There was no meat behind it. Left me hongray.

        • The problem with his comment is that “when asked about equality in hiring and in pay, [Mitt Romney] implied that he and his advisors had to dig to find qualified female applicants – and he had to make accommodations for them so that they could get home in time to make dinner.” (my friend on fb)

      • And as to your first point, it really irritates me that people are so worked up about his comment about flex time. That’s exactly what the Can Women Really Have It All article was all about, and people loved that. The criticism of that comment makes me think that people would criticize Romney for whatever he said.

        • Not everyone loved that article.

        • The flex time bit was fine. I just didn’t like that he prefaced it with “if you’re going to have women in the workforce…”

          Really? As if it’s optional?

        • Personally, I’m all for flex time. I don’t, however, think it, by itself, is a solution to pay inequity. And when you’re running a campaign where you only ever seem to mention women when you’re talking about wives and mothers, making your only answer to a question about achieving pay equity “flex time so that women can get home and cook dinner”? Pretty condescending.

          • Monday thinks this is a bunch of malarkey :

            Agreed. I don’t think either of them were direct enough in answering the question, which was what new efforts would be made to correct pay inequity. The woman was asking about money and got an answer about making dinner and taking care of kids.

        • The comment wasn’t grating because it proposed flex time. It was grating because it presupposed that (1) all women will require special accommodations; (2) household duties belong only to women; (3) flex time will correct all of the problems facing women in the workplace; and (4) employers should (but need not) be sensitive to women’s needs in this regard.

          • Becca in Chicago :

            Yes! Flex time is something that is good for ALL PEOPLE. Ugh, we do not require special accommodations for our lady parts or lady duties.

          • It’s so we can tend to our lady garden!

          • Hmm, I agree with you, but I would like to say that I hear that flex time is a woman’s issue ALL THE TIME from feminist-types, including here on this blog. Quite honestly, it’s one of the reasons that I dislike what generally passes for feminism (That the general attitude seems to be that childcare/family care is a “woman’s issue,” which should be specially accomodated for women.)

          • @ Lyssa

            Please don’t treat feminists as some monolithic group with identical motives and agendas.

            That said, I too have a problem with the “essentialist” feminists. They’re saying almost the same thing as sexist pigs.

            Both say, “childcare is some magic circle that only women belong in, and that women must carry the burdens for.” The essentialist feminists say: give women more props, more money, freebies, gifts because this difference makes women
            MAGIC AND SPECIAL. The sexist ones say: punish women because this difference makes women INFERIOR. Both viewpoints are objectionable to me.

      • Intent was good. Phrasing was terrible because it was a business phrase. It’s sorta like intense recruiting for a client, you do have to go through tons of resumes and stuff.

        • err, business-like. A business phrase would be “we need to bring to bear more women” hahaha.

          An aside, i would die if one of the candidates used a corporate meeting challenge phrase in the next debate: ?If somebody moved our cheese, then, yeah, we should go out looking for different cheese. And then we should bring back a hunk of that new cheese and put it in the old spot with a bunch of habanero sauce on it.”

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Ha! I really want to see one of them pull that in the debate. Whoever did it most successfully could totally win my vote.

        • How can we successfully action our learnings about hiring women? I really want to maximize our synergies on this.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        I’m not planning to vote for Romney (and literally screamed at the screen when he let out that baldfaced lie about how he supports women’s access to contraceptive coverage because omg-so-we-can-just-say-whatever-we-want-and-ignore-our-previous-positions?!) but I tend to agree while the comment was poorly phrased, I do generally agree with this viewpoint:

        That said, he did dodge the question. He didn’t answer the equal-pay-for-equal-work thing at all.

        • Not to split hairs, but the question was not an equal-pay-for-equal work. It was based on an often quoted but very misleading statistic. The 72/77 – cents (depending on the source) on the dollar meme is a stat comparing all FT working women to all FT working men, regardless of occupation, years of experience, etc. Social workers & teachers with bankers & lawyers, all in one bucket. Which, naturally, would result in lower *apparent* pay scales for women when you consider that 1) in gross generalization, women are more heavily present in lower paying occupations, esp service jobs, than in higher paying jobs; and 2) women in general do take more time out of the work force than their male counterparts, reducing their earnings levels. Now, you can have legit discussions about why 1 & 2 are true and the implications of those, but as far as the pay issue, when you compare women & men in similar professions with similar levels of experience, it’s more like 95 cents to the dollar. Perfect, no, but far from the 72 cents that gets thrown around a lot, which I believe is a red herring.

          • Not true for the legal field.

            “women law school graduates start out earning roughly the same as men, but 15 years later women graduates earn only about 60% as much as male graduates. In each cohort, sex differences in labor supply (work hours, years worked, part-time work experience, labor force interruptions) account for about half the male/female earnings gap.”


          • This is really in reply to DC Jenny; there’s no reply button showing!

            That study is interesting, but it also points out:
            “Unadjusted and adjusted sex-based earnings gaps have declined over time in the general population; and sex-based gaps in engineers’, physicians’, and scientists’ salaries tend to be small or non-existent once human capital and work hours are controlled.” So I believe in general my point still stands re: the 72 cents thing.

            That said, I have a theory as to why there may still be a gap in legal (and my field, i-banking) salaries. In those fields, to a far greater extent than other high-education, high-pay areas like medicine, science, etc., the real superstars/highest paid are compensated based in part on the ability to be rainmakers for their firms. You bring in the bucks, you get the bucks. I can’t speak for law, but I can say that all of the banking rainmakers I ever came across were men. From my own experience, I am perfectly happy to network, but the other requires a whole different level of commitment over a period of years – early breakfasts, client dinners all week, etc. Personally, I never cut back on my work hours, but I did reduce the pre-post office hours stuff after kids, and I know I am not the only one. That will affect my earnings over time, but it’s a trade-off I made knowingly. (And, one that’s very difficult to capture/trace in studies like the one you linked to.)

          • I think you also have to consider why certain, typically-female professions (like teaching and social work) are compensated at much lower rates than traditional male professions (garbage collection, etc). In part, it’s because these jobs were seen as in line with women’s natural inclinations to work with children and the less fortunate–and because those women were just working till the got married and had husbands who would take care of them financially.

      • Diana Barry :

        I think the phrasing was awful, and also the whole thing about flex time is only for women, they have to go home and cook dinner, was awful. NO. Flex time/flexible workplaces/etc is for EVERYONE, so that EVERYONE can be a more productive worker in the way(s) that works best for them and the company. Sheesh.

        Also, Romney has clearly not read [this site], because plenty of SOs and husbands get home earlier than the ladies, and also cook dinner!

        • But you’re simply ignoring the facts. I agree that would be the ideal, but I know tons of women who have quit my big firm because they couldn’t swing having a child and working our kind of hours. I don’t know a single man who has quit for similar reasons. It’s just a fact of life that women are the ones who care about that more generally; there are obviously exceptions, but we shouldn’t pretend that men are quitting the work force in droves for that reason like women are.

          • You’re mistaking “fact of life” with “status quo.”

            The status quo changes. Please don’t pretend that it’s immutable.

            It’s not clear that women care more; they’re pressured to look like they care more, or to take on the caregiver role, and many women marry men who aren’t supportive of their careers.

          • I agree – what “should be” and what “is” are completely different. Yes, flex time is for everyone, but there is a reality as to who takes advantage of it more often (not always, and yes, you can site exceptions). My husband and I are both lawyers and my career has definitely taken the back seat. Is this self-imposed? Yes. Could I hire someone to do it? Yes. But I won’t. I want to be home by 5:30 to have dinner with my kids, do their homework with them, tuck them in, etc. And because of that, I left the partner track at a large law firm and now have a much more manageable job where I can do these things. My husband is a great father and loves spending time with the kids, too, but the reality of it is that I havae made career choices to make that happen.

          • I work in a company where most people work around 40 hours and everyone, both men and women, take advantage of our flexible schedule. I’ve had meetings rescheduled because guys needed to pick their kids up from the school bus or wanted go on a field trip with their kid. If women are quitting your company because they can’t swing working 80 hour weeks or some crazy amount of hours, isn’t that a sign that a more flexible schedule would be beneficial? Culturally women are more willing to compromise their careers than men are. There’s nothing wrong with making that decision but it really doesn’t have to be that way. I’m glad I don’t have to compromise my career if I want to be able to make dinner or pick up kids from after school activities or whatever.

          • AnonInfinity :

            +1 to Susan. I typed and deleted a response to this several times and couldn’t come up with a good way to say it.

          • hellskitchen :

            And I know lots of women whose husbands have chosen to be SAH or have less demanding careers so their wives can focus on their careers. Romney’s suggestion that women be given more flex time doesn’t help them at all and in fact, if he doesn’t support equal pay for women, that actually hurts these women as the primary breadwinners. We all make the choices that work best for us – it’s dangerous when we assume that everyone else would make the exact same choice. Your reality and your choices are not “facts.”

          • Do you think women wouldn’t quit as much if flex time for everyone was just generally/socially accepted, and it was just as common for men to leave early to pick up the kids at daycare as women? I worked in a company that had some husband/wife pairs, and I really think that the men took pretty much the same amount of “life duties” (picking up the kids, cooking, dealing with vacations) as the women. It was not a big deal for the male half of the couple to come in late, so he could get the kids off to school, and then stay late, while the female half came in early and left early, to pick up the kids. Although the men I’m thinking of were higher in the company hierarchy, I think this could be attributed to the fact that they had PhDs and the women didn’t. But one of the women basically ran the clinical component of the company (biotech detection technologies) so she did have a pretty high-responsibility job.

            Long-winded way of saying that maybe if society changes, women won’t carry such a burden and need to quit these jobs. And like it or not, I think these changes need to start in the workplace with more flexibility for everyone. Even barren spinsters like me!

          • Let’s also remember that perhaps it’s not that women are more willing to compromise their careers or quit their job because they can’t “swing it” with kids, but instead that maybe women are more willing to compromise or quit *because* they are making significantly less than their husbands and it makes more economic sense for their family unit.

      • I was more bothered by Romney’s comment that women should get married before having children in response to a question about gun control. It’s not that I don’t see the connection he was trying to make–it’s that I find the implied 100% female onus offensive (if familiar). Let alone the utter delusion that marriage = permanent guaranteed 2-parent family.

        • When he said that, I had two thoughts. First, another option would be better s3x ed and contraceptive choices. Second, I wish they had been asked about gay marriage…sadly, it looks like that won’t make it into this year’s debates.

        • 2/3 attorney :

          I agree. I hate that this remark implied that any perceived fault in the upbringing of a child by a single mother is, of course, the single mother’s fault – we certainly can’t place any responsibility on the absentee father.

          • Monday thinks this is a bunch of malarkey :

            I was hoping hard that Obama would respond specifically to that comment–whether or not it was to defend his own mom, whose situation was much like those Romney was shaming. But the answer overall was so disjointed that it raised a number of points, and Obama chose others to target.

          • Really. I do believe that two-parent (and note I say parent, not mother and father) families are optimal (I may be biased because I find children very taxing and would not want to do it on my own), but then again, you could be raised by a single mother and grow up to be President of the United States.

            Perhaps Obama just didn’t want to be Captain Obvious, although it could have been pretty funny.

          • I just heard it as race. Poor (black) single mothers who don’t marry their baby daddies and then their kids cause urban violence.

        • This answer seemed so off-base I actually yelled at my TV. As a side note, I wish I could be this wrapped up with Canadian politics…

          • Haha, seriously. Except it’s probably good that it’s not bad enough here for us to be sitting and screaming at our politicians on TV. I’m not exactly Harper’s biggest cheerleader, but he’s an angel compared to the current Republican party.

          • Bring on Justin. :-)

        • hellskitchen :

          I agree too. His remarks implied that gun violence could be curbed if people got married and there were less single moms. As if gun control laws and NRA’s lobbying has nothing to do with how easily kids can get their hands on guns. He similarly implied that fair pay for women wouldn’t be an issue because women could get more flexibility and need not work long hours. UGH. Romney came across as that senile, grouchy uncle who rambles and goes off on tangents when you ask him a question

          • Monday thinks this is a bunch of malarkey :

            i.e. MANAGEING PARTNER behavior. Though to be fair, Biden has a definite MANAGEING streak as well.

          • For a little synergy here, I suggest all wedding registries have a “gun” section. Win-win.

          • LadyEnginerd :

            yes, and then your meddling Aunt Ethyl could buy you a trigger lock as a passive-aggressive judgmental gift instead of ugly decorative vases. Win-win.

          • hellskitchen :

            LOL! mamabear, that’s hilarious. Amazon would jump into the game offering a subscribe and save package on ammo

      • Not trying to start any fights, but the binder story was not really true. I worked with MWPC and MassGAP, two of the organizations that put together the binders, and Romney didn’t ask for them. They were put together in advance of his election and presented to him post-election (as they would have been to whomever won).

        Here’s an article on it in the Phoenix:

        He did have a good number of women, but not exactly because he went looking for them and, as the Phoenix article notes, not exactly in positions that he thought were “important”.

        • I’m totally blown away by the fact that there were physical binders. Not more or less offended, just somehow surprised!

      • I wrote out a whole ugh response but… honestly it’s not worth it. You never convince anybody on these things. For the people who are truly bothered by a single awkward statement- well they aren’t going to be convinced otherwise by some vinging on a message board. And for the people who believe in the values/policies that Romney broadly supports- well, they probably didn’t find the statement that big a deal, or they did and don’t care because they’re voting for him anyway. UGH, I say. It’s the new fooey.

      • Speaking as one of the more conservative women on this blog – I had to vote absentee, and I voted for Obama.

        Er, that doesn’t really answer the question. Anyway, I had planned to vote for Gary Johnson, not Romney.

        • You’re not the only woman I know who’d self-identify as (more) conservative who has voted for or will vote for Obama. The ladies I’m referring to have said that while they disagree with Obama on some social issues, they think that he has the “less bad plan” for the economy.

          I’m curious about your reasons for voting for Obama, if you don’t mind my asking.

          • I guess I’m not really that conservative; I’m more of a left-leaning libertarian, which tends to get me grouped with conservatives even though I tend to disagree with them on the majority of issues. I think abortion should be illegal, and I’m pretty libertarian on the vast majority of civil liberties issues. But on economics I’m centrist-to-liberal, and I work in foreign policy and am far to the left of any American politician on foreign policy issues. Anyway, I really disagree with Obama’s record on human rights and civil liberties, and it’s hard for me to vote for anyone who supported the PATRIOT Act or the so-called war on terror. But Romney p*ssed me off SO SO much with his stupid 47% remark and his idiotic remark about emergency rooms that I really just wanted to vote for his biggest opponent as a big eff you. Very mature of me, I know.

            To summarize, I think Obama is not a very good president, but Romney would be a disastrous one.

            Also, I want to punch Paul Ryan in his smug, multi-millioniare, fratty little muppet-face. But that’s neither here nor there.

          • Maybe not “mature,” but I like your self-knowledge. And +100 for the Paul Ryan thing. Conservative, libertarian, liberal– whatevs. You are pretty awesome, Bluejay, whatever the political label you choose.

          • @Susan – thanks for the kind words!

          • Lalo for Bluejay :

            I feel you! I’m not really a fan of Obama, but am still voting for him because I can’t vote for the other party. I don’t feel like I have a place in US politics because I’m so far to the left on foreign policy, center/left on economics, believe in climate change, and am all for civil liberties. I have such a hard time swallowing the Patriot Act, not to mention the NDAA and O’s signing statement. But I can’t vote for someone who doesn’t seem to have a spine and is contemptuous of so many people, either for political expediency or personal beliefs. It was never a question, unfortunately.

          • While I wanted to punch both Obama and Mitt Romney equally hard last night for being such jerks to each other and avoiding all the questions, I agree that nobody makes me want to punch them in the face more than Paul Ryan does.

          • @Lalo – completely agree with everything you said.

          • @Bluejay and Lalo

            I am in a similar boat. Probably the only thing I’m really conservative on is that I don’t believe in abortion rights for the most part.

        • Yay Gary Johnson. He was Governor of my homestate!

          • He’s been campaigning pretty hard in DC. I think he could win a significant portion of the Republican vote here; his stated goal is to come out in second place here.

        • Gail the Goldfish :

          My fairly conservative BF who I never, ever thought would vote for a Democrat is most likely voting for Obama b/c 1) the Republican Party has gone so far crazy right on social issues and 2) as he puts it, “I don’t like Obama and I disagree on his policies, but I honestly think he wants to help America. I have no idea what Mitt Romney’s policies actually are, and I’m pretty sure the only reason he wants to be president is so he can put it on his resume.”

      • I understood it to mean that he was presented with binders full of resumes for accomplished women. In the same way, I am presented with binders full of resumes for candidates when we hire new attorneys. The candidates make slip ups every once in awhile-Rs, Ds, Independents.

    • Ryan Gosling :

      Hey Girl. I won’t put you in a binder.

      (h/t bindersfullofwomen dot tumblr dot com)

      • My Sister’s Trapper Keeper.
        (A touching story).

        (Sorry…I’m not even going to get into the substantive debate here people…I’m just enjoying the memes.)

        • me too, i am just enjoying the meme, cuz i need a good laugh these days:

          In your binder (the light the heat)
          Your binder (I am complete)
          Your binder (I see the women)
          In a thousand binders….

          • This just made my day. Y’all are awful for productivity, but awesome for mental sanity.

          • Dude, as someone who works in politics in these cray cray times, the INTERNETS are the only thing allowing me to hold on to my mental sanity. Laugh to keep from crying, etc. ;o)

          • I know the feeling (not in politics, but am dating a guy who is/am getting equally little sleep due to work right now). Slap happy doesn’t begin to describe it! ;)

      • What about Obama’s statement that he called the attacks in Libya terrorist attacks the next day. That is just not true. He said the word “terror” but he never called the attacks acts of terror. Read the transcript.

        It’s crazy that people think Romney is a liar and deny deny deny that Obama is. Honestly, they both are playing with the facts a little fast and loose, but the Libya thing is undeniably false. As is Biden’s comment that he didn’t support the wars because we couldn’t pay for them — he voted for both.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I did not like that and thought it was a lie. I like Obama, but the administration is totally covering its butt on this one. That said, it was a bit rich of Romney to go after Obama for campaigning in the days after the attack, considering he issued a political press release about it condemning the president within hours.

        • Okay, here’s the transcript: “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

          He never called the attacks acts of terror?

          • um, no he didn’t. And then he refused to do it again on the View a few days later. Seriously, if you think that’s not a lie but that Romney has lied, then you’re applying different standards. At best, he implied it indirectly but then his response on the View clarified that he didn’t really mean it. Even Candy Crawley said Romney was right on the big point.

          • Honey Pillows :

            I was heartily amused by Romney’s excitability at the statement, though. He was practically jumping up and down with and wetting himself with glee at the opportunity to call out the president.

          • There is literally a transcript of his remarks. Republicans, there are a lot of things to criticize Obama about. Don’t pick something that can easily, quickly be proven false. I mean, it’s amazing to see B post the literal, verbatim transcript and the very next commenter claims it’s a lie. Cognitive dissonance much?

          • Aren’t there lawyers here? I’m voting for Obama, but he is greaaat at being sneaky. B posts the literal, verbatim transcript that DOES NOT call it an act of terrorism. It says that no act of terror will shake our resolve. That’s saying “Hey cfm, did you eat the last brownie” and me saying “brownies are bad for my diet”

          • In response to cfm :

            I don’t agree with that analogy.

            Monday night football, anyone? Let’s say that the Chargers’ head coach is being interviewed about the game and he says “No terrible second half defines an entire season”. And then later he is accused of not coming straight out and admitting that the second half of the Chargers/Broncos game was (for the Chargers) terrible. Point is – he didn’t have to say that straight out, because it was obvious from the context. The same applies here.

          • Oh come on, cfm, that is not a good analogy.

            He’s clearly referring to the Libya attack and saying that acts of terror won’t shake our resolve. In context, he’s including the attack within the category of “acts of terror.” I don’t see how else you can understand that quote, in the context where Obama is speaking specifically about the Libya matter.

          • Actually he was clearly referring to 9/11. Wash Po agrees with me

            What did Obama say in the Rose Garden a day after the attack in Libya? We covered this previously in our extensive timeline of administration statements on Libya.

            “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for,” Obama said.

            But the president did not say “terrorism”— and Romney got tripped up when he repeated the “act of terror” phrasing.

            Otherwise, Romney’s broader point is accurate — that it took the administration days to concede that the assault on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was an “act of terrorism” that appears unrelated to initial reports of anger at a video that defamed the prophet Muhammad. (The reporting is contradictory on whether there was indeed a demonstration outside the mission.) By our count, it took eight days for an administration official to concede that the deaths in Libya were the result of a “terrorist attack.”

            More to Romney’s point, Obama continued to resist saying the “T” word, instead repeatedly bringing up the video, even in a speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 25. On Sept. 26 — 15 days after the attack — the White House spokesman felt compelled to assert “it is certainly the case that it is our view as an administration, the president’s view, that it was a terrorist attack.”

          • voting for Romney :

            I am a fiscal conservative and social centrist, and will be voting for Romney. Obama is better at pandering to women– so what? I don’t want to be pandered to, I want the government to reduce spending and get the economy back on track. Obama has failed to do that over the past four years, and will only continue to fail if elected to another 4 years.

      • Honey Pillows :

        The Silver Fox is unconvinced.

        • I freaking love this. The binder thing is tangential, I just want AC making that face all. day. long.

    • I really wish Obama had asked Romney why there were no women partners at Bain Capital during Romney’s 20ish years as head.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I knew you ladies would be all over this with me. 1.) Not all women want to be home at 5 to cook dinner and not all women want to be moms. Stop assuming it. 2.) Those that do want to be moms don’t all want to be home at 5. 3.) Flex time is for everyone, not just women and there would be far more equality if men would use the benefit too. 4.) Are you saying there were no women qualified to be in your cabinet so you hired women less qualified than men just so you could have women? If so, are you saying there were no qualified women because they had already hit the glass ceiling? 5.) So we get more women to the top – do you agree they should be paid equally? 6.) Are you going to judge the woman who wants to stay at work with you until 7 or 8 at night that isn’t home cooking dinner for her husband and kids? 7.) Woah, you think all women have a right to contraception and that all insurance companies should pay for it too? Bet the religious right is going to LOVE this flip flop. 8.) If you treat the time between the primary and the general election as a do-over despite all the promises you made to those who backed you when you were “far right” are you just lying to all the people saying you can be “middle of the aisle” when you will really go back to “far right” when elected? 9.) Are you seriously asking the President questions and demanding an answer? You are not the moderator and not the one asking questions. 10.) How can you brag about getting insurance for everyone in your state but oppose Obamacare? If getting insurance for everyone in your state is a success are you going to try to get all Americans insured, aka a mandate that you previously opposed? 11.) If you don’t support the mandate but now support the popular benefits of obamacare (no pre-ex condition exclusions, no lifetime caps, stay on parents plan to 26, can’t be dropped for being sick) how do you intend to keep the insurance companies in business? You understand that the healthy people pay for the sick people, right? You understand that if the healthy people don’t buy insurance then the insurance companies can’t pay for the sick people and that is why they had all those awful exclusions we all hate? I bet those insurance companies are sorry they backed you. You can’t have it both ways (no mandate plus all the benefits).

  3. Who is this TCFKAG commenter? j/k :)

  4. I am a 2L attending a conference this weekend and am wanting to wear something professional, yet fashionable. I own this skirt ( and would like to wear it, but am unsure as to how to style it/what to wear with it. Suggestions fashion experts? I have never been to this conference, but have been told that it is like most CLE situations in that there will be people wearing everything from jeans to full suits.

    • lucy stone thinks this is a bunch of stuff :

      I cannot tell if it is black or brown – but you could do it with a blazer in whichever color that is and flats and tights. It’s really cute. Most of the CLEs I go to are extremely casual. This time of year I tend to wear jeans, wedges, a cashmere sweater, and a scarf and I tend to be on the more dressy end.

      • Former MidLevel :

        I second blazer & tights. You could add a jewel-toned top, too, if you like.

    • I think this would look great with a grey top, especially something in a blousy loose silk or silk-poly blend button down long-sleeve look (that way you can wear a jacket over it if you want or not if you don’t want). One thing I’ve learned about CLEs is that the temperature in the room can very dramatically so you may want to layer.

      Do you own any grey tops? Not sure if you want to buy anything new. But if you want something new, I might get something like this top: and then wear a cardigan (maybe white) with it.

      • Thanks for the suggestions! The accent color is indeed black.

        TCFKAG – I actually own a cardigan that is strikingly similar to that top! Same color, a bit more ruffly down the center by the buttons but very much the same look. It is from AT Loft… The link below is to some woman’s blog (not me, but I applaud her husband for taking her picture every morning before work), I think it is the same sweater. I wear it open though, not buttoned up like she does… what color of top would would wear under it? Black? White?

        • Probably white, but black would work too (since the belt is black). Though this time of year, a green or a burgundy might also work to add a pop of fall color to it. Oh and I agree with commenters about tights (as I said, many CLEs can be brutally cold.)

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Love the skirt. I think you could wear this with the obvious (black, brown, camel, or gray top), but my vote is for teal or maroon top to spice things up. And definitely bring a layer because these things are usually held in super air conditioned hotel conference rooms and you’ll most likely freeze.

  5. In desperate need of fashion help. I am planning to wear this dress in red to a formal wedding in the not-too-distant future in the midwest:

    I mainly need help with a wrap (or something) to wear over it–both for temperature and covering my shoulders during the ceremony. I was planning to wear black patent heels, other suggestions? Should I wear tights/hose (if so, what color)? I was thinking of wearing either diamond stud earrings or a diamond solitaire necklace (I don’t think they go together, unless different cuts are ok to wear together–I really don’t know).

    All suggestions welcome, but if you want to shop for me, I’m looking to spend about $50 or less on the wrap and will probably order from Zappos or go to Macy’s in person. Many thanks in advance!

    • Of course you can wear different diamond cuts together…just make sure you don’t mix metals as far as the earrings and pendant are concerned. Rings are exempt from this rule.

      • Ummmmmm, disagree. Feel free to mix metals, especially since the metal prongs of diamond stud earrings are barely discernible by an observer. Wear BOTH the earrings and the pendant necklace.

        • Mix away! I wear a stainless steel watch, a silver ring, a pink gold ring (neither wedding jewelery), and a gold necklace almost every day. Earrings are often stone or black pearl. And w/r/t diamonds: wear away!

      • Maddie Ross :

        Ha – if differently cut diamonds cannot be worn together, than I am a walking faux pas every day. My engagement ring is cushion, my wedding band inlaid with round diamonds and I wear a pear shaped pendant. Oops.

        • Haha, even I would know that wedding rings are excluded from whatever mixed metals/mixed cuts/etc. rules might or might not exist. Although if there’s a rule about getting rhodium plating redone every so often on a ring, I am probably breaking that one myself.

          • Oh, and I should add a general thanks to all of you for these suggestions and correcting my mixed diamond cut ideas.

          • My personal rule is the more diamonds the better.

    • Anon Analyst :

      What a gorgeous dress! Maybe a wrap in a metallic color like silver or gold?

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I have this wrap from Macy’s and it’s lovely – it’s soft and has a pretty sheen to it, and it is large enough to wrap generously around your shoulders but isn’t bulky at all. It comes in 14 colors and is $25 on “everyday value.” May I suggest a pin or broach to secure it if you think you’ll be wearing it most of the night? and Wraps%26sp%3D1%26spc%3D190%26ruleId%3D52%26slotId%3D2

      • That’s nice, thanks. Maybe silver/gray? Black doesn’t seem right with the red.

  6. Young Consultant :

    As I just bought my tickets home for thanksgiving, I am beginning to think about the holidays. I have gotten to the point where I rarely am directly involed in the blow out family fights. However, I am often pulled into the fueds between my mother and sister. What are everyone’s tools for staying out of family drama, coping with it, and/or resolving it?

    Hoping to learn from those of you wiser and more mature than myself, and hoping I can channel all you fabulous corpor***** this holiday season!

    • Ooof. I have no good tools for you but just a lot of empathy. I find it helps if you can schedule other activities during your time home so you’re not trapped under the same roof with feuding family members — for example, have coffee with a friend who’s in town, go for a walk or a run, visit with Grandma, etc. You can even invite select family members to do some of these things with you (like going on a walk) — it just helps to break up the time packed into one space/house and changes the routine a little.

      Good luck and big hugs. Been there, done that. And now this year for the first time I’m not going to see my family on Thanksgiving b/c I can’t take it anymore :)

    • What stage of life are you at?

      Are you a student?

      Or do you have your own household? (I define having your own household as having an apartment large enough to have 6+ people over for dinner, even if it’s a bit snug, and having a job that covers your expenses such that you’re not taking financial help from your parents.)

      If you have your own household, can you host Thanksgiving? That way, it’s your house, your rules. And it’s more “neutral ground.” My brother-in-law hates my mother-in-law, and for no good reason, and is a prat to her for every single holiday that is celebrated at MIL’s house. I’ve decided to circumvent World War Three, Four, and Five by hosting certain holidays at my place. Then, they’re under my house, my rules.

      And trust me, anybody who tries to start a family fight in my house will get shut down hard by me. A second attempt to re-start the fire will get that person booted from the house right out into the street, no exceptions.

      • Lady, I like your style.

      • Young Consultant :

        I am a “new” adult, mid 20s. So I have a place and table that could hypothetically host, but not exactly rank in the family, so to speak. In a few years I would love to host, however I think it will be a many years before I will be shutting my mother down when she tries to start a fight, even at my own house.

        • I’m in the same boat. Young enough that I can’t pull the “I’ll host myself” card but old enough that I’m paying for my ticket home (which, pardon the venting) was crazy expensive and makes me somewhat bitter about going home in the first place…. I keep reminding myself that this is family, but I’m bracing myself to not lash out at the first person to start a fight (because really, I’m using vacation time/spending $700 to sit here while you all pick fights with each other?!).

          Sorry for the side rant. I sympathize with your situation and am hoping to figure out a better solution for the next holidays.

          • Young Consultant :

            Yeah I also find I will probably have a geographical block on hosting. Since I moved away from the family, I can’t expect everyone to come to me and whatnot, which is seems like the same situation you’re in. We will be pertpetually guilted into taking vacation time and expensive flights to the family haha. Or at least until we get married and can be guilted by someone else’s family that is hopefully a more tranquil holiday vacation.

          • Haha, exactly! I’m the one who moved away, so it’s “my fault” that traveling takes a full day each way and thus Thanksgiving becomes a half week commitment.

            And yes, while boyfriend’s family is more low key/ideally located geographically, I think my family would take it as a major snub if I spent the holidays with him. I’m normally not wistful for marriage, but this is the one reason I’d rush into it ;)

        • Stay in a hotel. Seriously. It is awesome.

    • I hear you. My mom, grandma, and aunt have all spent their lives continually engaged in long dramas with all of the extended family and, often, each other. They also love to draw other people (me, sometimes my female cousin) into the drama. I usually handle it by continually pointing out why the other person has a point. It’s extremely irritating to people who only want to be vindicated and therefore often effective at getting them to stop trying to enlist you (at least, in the moment — my mom and aunt still try to get me on their side, but this at least denies them the satisfaction of hearing “wow, you’re completely and totally right and not at all at fault!”).

    • MaggieLizer :

      Refuse to engage. You’re going to be frustrated and sound like a broken record. Your family members will throw all kinds of emotional ammunition your way to try to manipulate you into siding with them. Do not give in and do not apologize or explain your position. It is inappropriate for your mom and sister to involve you in their disputes; they are responsible for their relationship with each other, you are not. When Mom complains about Sister, say “I do not want to get involved, please don’t talk to me about Sister. I’d love to hear about xyz in your life though.” Do the same with Sister. Be calm and leave no room for argument. Repeat as necessary. These things are always really tough; stay strong!

      • This is excellent advice (in general, whether you host or not.)

      • Or you can be like Heather on RHONY and just grin like a maniac whenever someone is giving you The Crazy (in this case, Ramona)

    • karenpadi :

      MaggieLizer is right–you have to refuse to engage. I’ll tell you how my brother and I did it. It was a different situation because our parents divorced when we were adults and were constantly fighting and bringing us into it.

      For my brother’s college graduation, our parents were starting the fight over email. It was bad. So bad I decided to fly 2000 for the weekend to support my brother. It got worse when they knew we would both be there. So I sent an epic email to everyone to lay out ground rules for all future family functions.

      1. They could fight before the event. But my brother and I weren’t to know about it. Before the event, they had to plan things like transportation, who would pay, how they would pay, who was invited, etc.
      2. They could fight after the event. But my brother and I weren’t to know about it.
      3. They had to behave and act civilly during the event. If they weren’t (or were doing hidden jabs that family does so well), they would get a warning. If the behavior continued, the family event was ended then and there. My brother and I would leave.
      4. If my brother and I had to leave a family event, Christmas would be canceled forever.

      It worked! During his graduation, I gave my dad one raise of the eyebrow–not even a warning. The behavior stopped immediately and we’ve had a few successful family functions since.

      • Young Consultant :

        Wow this is very proactive of you! I may have to give a milder version of this a try. Great advice!

  7. Hello ladies. I’ve been searching for a mythical pair of shoes that don’t seem to exist, so now I’m turning here for help. I am looking for a pair of pointed toe flats or with a small heel, but no more than an inch or so. They need to me professional and lux looking (possibly with buckle details, patent leather, etc), but come in under $100 or so because I have found that I wear flats out quickly, regardless of their price point, so I go into it knowing they will have to be replaced sooner or later. The big kicker is size – I need either an 11 or 11W.

    If any of you ladies can work your magic, I would greatly appreciate it! I feel this is an especially appropriate request for the TCFKAG post!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      These go up to a size 13 so they might work?

    • How about these low wedges?

      (Not sure how you feel about bows). And do they have to be black? Found a really cute pair of Seychelles that meet your needs but they come only in a lighter brown.

      • I don’t mind bows, I like the ones that you posted. I am open to other colors, too. I NEED black, but if you find good options in other colors, I would probably go for them. Thank you!

        • Okay, here’s another one that comes in black or a really beautiful cognac.

          • LOVE those! Thanks :) Also open to kitten heels if you have any more suggestions!

        • And these Nine Wests might work.

      • These Franco Sartos are also pretty nice looking. And have a bit more heel.

      • And here are those Seychelles I mentioned, though they only come in the light brown in a size 11.

        I can do more, but why don’t you submit an ask to my tumblr so I don’t spam the thread today.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          TCFKAG, do you manage to get your links posted without long moderation waits because you only post one link per message? Or is it some other magic? :)

          • Yup, one link at a time is the key. More than one link at a time gets you into the evil moderation lounge. That’s why, unfortunately, I feel like a spam bot and more complicated shopping queries are best answered over at my tumblr.

    • Brooklyn, Esq. :

      Sing it, sister. I just did a search for this yesterday. What about these?

      These two push your budget by $10, but I like the looks of them:

      • Thanks BK, Esq. Glad to know I’m not alone! It seems like there should be more out there, but alas….

    • I have a larger-footed friend who likes Trotters. They carry wide sizes and are pretty comfortable. They can be a bit dowdy, though, although I got a pair of low-heeled (kitten-ish?) plain black pumps from them a couple of years ago that I wear pretty often.

      Endless used to carry them, not sure if Zappos does. Speaking of Endless, where did all their shoes go? The Amazon search function for shoes is pretty crappy, but I still don’t think they have all the Endless shoes.

    • I have these in 2 colors –

  8. Just chiming in to fall all over myself in appreciation of the people who commented on my “Breaking up with your family” question yesterday. I’m bookmarking that thread for times of weakness. What an amazing community — thank you, thank you, thank you.

    • I meant to comment on your question yesterday but got pulled into a rushed project instead. I was thinking about you on my way home and wished I had had a chance to respond. I was “broken up with/divorced from” my father just about a year ago. It sucked, alot, and soemtimes still does. But, I’m glad it happened in other ways, because he was such a mean person, and now I can breathe.
      Anyway, just wanted to say that you are in my thoughts, and you’ll get through this!

    • I swear I am not a paid publicist for Dear Sugar (see below) but she (Cheryl Strayed) is an amazing advice columnist over at the Rumpus. And she has written a lot about having to cut off ties with her father, and other difficult family issues. I don’t have the relevant post link handy, but you might want to start reading through her posts. She has kind of changed my life. (okay now I sound like a cult member, ;oP…)

      • I read the piece you posted recently (a week/few weeks ago?) and bookmarked her column to catch up on when work dies down. Thanks for sharing :)

      • Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, is also really terrific.

        • Wild is the best book I’ve read in a long time. I had zero expectations. Objectively, I am nothing like the author and can’t really relate to her motivations and decisions on any level, but while I was reading the book, I WASCheryl Strayed and I could not put it down.

        • Agreed. I’m in the middle right now and have been surprised by how wise and gripping I’ve found it, especially because I don’t really like Dear Sugar most of the time.

  9. Our article proposal was accepted! Weren’t sure how it was going to go because it is a topical special issue of a journal and we had to submit a proposal rather than the actual article. I wrote the proposal in a couple of hours but I felt pretty good about it. Now we have to write the article by mid-February! My co-writer will be on sabbatical in the spring but it will be due shortly after her sabbatical starts.

  10. anonymous101 :

    Eek half-naked man in 2xist briefs ad on this site = NSFW!

  11. I like the blue “lagoon” color they have. However – it’s kind of in between a navy and gray; in the fall, what would you ladies do for tights/shoes with that color?

  12. Styling question: I own Cole Haan oxblood patent heels, similar to these: . I usually go bare legs in the summer and tights in the winter (usually black). What do I do with those shoes for winter?

    • Black tights would be great with these, too. Pretty shoes!

    • Give them to me because they’re AMAZING (seriously I kind of hate you right now for introducing me to their existence in the world).

      I think they’d look great with black tights — the black tights would make the oxblood pump really pop. Also you could always consider nude hose (OH THE HUMANITY). :-)

    • Besides black tights? I think gray tights or dark brown would look awesome.

  13. In the Pink :

    So, I’m all about nude hose. Oh the oldfashioned humanity! (nod to TCFKAG and my DH).

    This week, I again had someone pay their account with me at my office in a stack of Benjamins. I take it, smile, and take it to the bank.

    Am I the only one that is “creeped out” by this?

    Cash = Credit Card Deposit both > Personal Check, I know but ….

    • Are you creeped out because you think the money might have been obtained via illegal means, hence the lack of a bank account (for check-writing) or a credit card?

      What work does your office do? I know some businesses won’t accept cash above X amounts for these reasons.

    • Thank you for the nude hose love! I wear stockings (pantyhose, whatever — I’ve always called them stockings but I know some people associate that with thigh-highs) pretty much every day to work from late Sept to late April. And I love them. They smooth everything out. They make my skirts hang well. They make my shoes fit well (and not give me blisters). They’re forgiving of bumps and of those days when I’m running just too late to shave even though I know I need to. AND I think they look good! I love when the weather turns cool enough in the fall that I can break out the stockings again. I hate going bare-legged in the summer (although in DC, stockings in summer are just too stifling).

      • Philly CPA :

        I’m with you on this, TBK. I love my stockings!

      • Brooklyn, Esq. :

        I *want* to love stockings. What kind do you like?

        • Seriously I just get L’eggs. In a giant baggie. From the outlet store. Then I wear them twice (yes, twice without washing, which I realize is gross-ish, but my feet don’t smell) and then throw them in a big mesh sweater bag and wash and dry them in the washer and dryer. Sometimes they make it to wearings 3 and 4, sometimes they don’t. But I bought them in a giant baggie from the outlet store so I really don’t care. Also, I wear control top. Like an old lady. And love them. Sometimes I’m afraid that within 10 years, I’m going to be one of those old ladies (at the ripe old age of 44) poking around the Target asking why they don’t sell stockings anymore. Sigh.

          • I’m delighted that someone else does the whole L’eggs in a baggie from the outlet.

            It is like my buying wine in a bag in a box (“WIABIAB”). (I have a very dull sense of smell, a $4 bottle smells and tastes very similar to a $50 bottle to me, so I see it as my special ability to enjoy cheap plonk.)

          • Brooklyn, Esq. :

            Now that I’m no longer a teenager being forced to wear stockings her mother bought, I totally, totally *get* control top. As in, understand it, see the need for it, embrace it. :)

          • Philly CPA :

            I just bought L’eggs over the weekend and have been pretty happy with them. +1 for control top.

        • In the Pink :

          My all time for work are Filodoro brand (Italian), Aurora 15. Wear like iron, lovely hand and colors. I get them from shapings dot com out of Canada. Just starting to explore some of their fancy brands for nights out, started with one toeless variety. Can’t recall the name but I think they only had two offerings of toeless…Spanish brand I think. They have others in that brand so that’s where I”ll epxlore more.

          Tons of things, styles, weights, brands, tights to thigh highs.

      • Excuuuuse me, I’m the captain of Team Hose around these here parts. And I’m also very bored at work today. So I’m feeling territorial. :-)


      • I’m pro-nude hose too.

        • In the Pink :

          That’s Sargent At Legs to all.

          Just home and can report in on the evening brand of hosiery I’ve been using:

          Silvia Grandi “Top 7” … from Italy again, not Spain. Lo siento.

    • lucy stone :

      My husband does criminal defense and gets paid in stacks of cash all the time. I’ve gotten used to it, but it was weird at first.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m also creeped out anytime I have large amounts of cash. I’m used to having less than $10 on me at all times, if any cash.

      • This intermingling of conversations is making me think that people are being paid in large bags of pantyhose.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I love nude hose but here in So Cal nobody wears them except the old and the frumpy. So I feel like they are just so old fashioned and aging that I don’t wear them ever. I am hoping the Duchess of Cambridge will eventually bring them back into style but so far it’s a no go in these parts.

  14. Need a catchy handle :

    How do I keep myself sane during the next two weeks while waiting for New York bar exam results? I’m finding myself googling it and checking above the law to make sure that they haven’t come out, and I know tht they probably won’t until November. Rationally I know that I just need to put it out of my mind, but it pops up even when I’m doing other things and really busy, and I know that I can’t change anything now, but that doesn’t seem to be translating to my mental thoughts.

    • Find something else to engage your mind. This is the time to get a new hobby, start online dating, read the Hunger Games series (or something similarly addictive), etc. Just telling yourself “no” is really hard, but being busy with something you look forward to being busy with helps. Beyond that, try literally visualizing a stop sign whenever that idea starts to pop into your head. Then actively pick a new topic to think about (the new hobby helps with this too), and move on!

    • MaggieLizer :

      This is kind of horrible but it’s the only thing that worked for me – I looked at it like a reprieve. I figured, if I failed then this is the last however many weeks of my life before I have to tell everyone I know that I failed and deal with the stress of retaking the bar while working. Uncertainty > disappointment.

    • Need a catchy handle :

      Good suggestions! I like the visualization and the positive spin on it.

  15. Trying to resist the urge to choke my legal assistant. Back to work.

    • Stop the Violence :

      Assistant got you down? Pull out the binder and find a new one, then.

    • My professional legal advice is that you not commit a felony. That sort of thing tends to get you at least put on administrative leave. :-P

    • I think assistant-cide might be a trend. Story from last week: I’m frantic to get a monster brief done, assistant buzzes in that client B is on the phone. I say take a message, she doesn’t just say okay but says okay, I’ll tell him you’re in a meeting, is that all right? Fine, whatever. Then she buzzes back to say that partner S will take his call. Again, fine, whatever, I am BUSY. Then 10 minutes later she actually comes in my office, stands 18 inches away from me and proceeds to tell me exactly what the client wanted to talk about, why partner S couldn’t take his call right then and when she will be able to call him back. By now I am rawring. I would pay to see Godzilla versus the Legal Assistants.

  16. In the Pink :

    OK I am all over this blog today.

    Shoe help needed.

    Red or Oxblood mary jane pumps! 3-4″ heels. Patent or real leather. Strap over instep, not at toes and please, not up so high toward the ankle.

    My CH Lucetta dark brown ones need companionship…

    • Price range? Because without a price range, I have a really nice pair of Monolo Blahniks to show you. :-)

      • I have that pair of Manolos (in nude, and I got them on sale) and I love them, although they are a bit pinchy in the toe box. I’m waiting for the gray patent to go on sale.

      • In the Pink :

        Thank you Captain!

        Well I’d say about $150 tops…I am “hard” on my shoes so I have 30 pairs or so of dress shoes as a result. One comes in the closet, a pair MUST leave. I haunt DSW, but on this, I’m stuck.

        Awaiting your recon report.

        Yours, Seargeant at Legs

        • +1 The phrasing of this made me chuckle.

        • There are lots of cute ones out there, but I don’t have a ton of time right now (perhaps I’ll do a post later on over on the blog.)

          But for now I’ll just post these Banana ones, because I like them the most I think.

        • Sorry, just realized you might not want suede. There are several Franco Sartos over at Nordies that might work. These are my faves, they are technically too high but the platform might make them work (but there are a few others too.)

          • In the Pink :

            Aw cap’n it rains alot here. So I’m trying to decrease the number of suedes in the closet. Thanks for your thoughts and recon.


    • phillygirlruns :

      well, i’m going to stalk this thread now.

    • Okay, don’t kill me – these are way over your height requirement, but I have them and they are beautiful and now on sale:

      And the LK Bennett Dawn Court shoes that I have been stalking are way over your price range even on sale but are even more gorgeous.

      • In the Pink :

        OK, so how walkable are they? Professional? My only platforms are little slivers…do tell, Nola.

        • In the Pink :

          Forgot to mention; they look great for the rainy days here too…hmmmm.

        • Actually they are real leather patent leather. I wear them to work and have taught in them. I don’t walk a ton at work but I do stand. I can’t deny they’re pretty darn high. The thing is they’re really really dark red. Almost brown. I have worn them with brown. But they are lovely.

      • Oh dear God. If I wore these I’d be almost 6″2′. I’m pretty sure that even my longest unhemmed jeans would practically be flood pants with these.

  17. Yet Another Relationship Threadjack :

    Regular poster going anon for this. I know it’s difficult to give relationship advice based on limited info, but I’d genuinely appreciate any feedback you sage ladies may have. Apologies in advance for the long post!

    My boyfriend and I have been together for two years long-distance. He lives in my hometown, and I’m in a nearby state. His career specialty is largely tied to his area, mine is less so. I’m a mid-level associate at a firm with offices in both cities. We absolutely adore each other, but he’s indicated that he isn’t ready to make a greater commitment. He says he ultimately would like to be married someday, but he’s scared and hesitant due to his parents’ ugly marriage/divorce and a general worst-case-scenario mindset.

    The dilemma: there’s an opening at my firm’s office in my hometown. I’d love to no longer be long-distance, but I’m afraid to go for it without having a guaranteed future for the relationship. I’m also anxious about starting over at a new office, but I do think I’d eventually like to be near my family, and if I’m going to do it at all it makes sense to move before reaching senior associate. Should I just bite the bullet and see what happens, or is it stupid to sacrifice the solid reputation I’ve built for myself here?

    • If you’re moving home because you’ve always wanted to do so and it’s an opportunity that may not come up again, do it. I started my career in my home town for that very reason. However, if you would feel at all disappointed about doing so if you broke up, don’t do it. He’s basically told you not to make plans based on him right now, and it’s really hard to hear that, but “ultimately married someday” is not a reason to move unless you will otherwise be happy doing so.

      • I agree with all of this, but would throw in one caveat — being long distance is not the same thing as being in the same town. I wouldn’t commit to marriage if I’d never lived in the same town with someone. While I agree that moving for a relationship that might not work out is tricky, I’d at least put the opportunity to see each other in real life (because weekend visits or whatever aren’t really real life) in the “pro” column.

        • I was thinking that as well.

          Maybe try to imagine yourself moving if he weren’t in the picture – you’re back in your hometown, so you probably know some people, have a basic familiarity with it, maybe have relatives nearby. How does that make you feel and how much would you miss your current town. I wouldn’t go as far as saying that you should only move if you would if he weren’t in the picture, but could you see it as a positive if it weren’t just for him? (Or, new hypo, if your company transferred you and you didn’t have a choice, would you be OK or upset?)

          Good luck!

    • AnonInfinity :

      Would you consider applying if your boyfriend wasn’t in the picture?

      I don’t think it’s stupid to apply for this job at all, even if you’re doing it in large part to be near your boyfriend. However, I think you shouldn’t do it if you won’t be happy in your hometown if the two of you break up.

    • There are some really good reasons for staying in your current city, as well as some really good reasons for moving to your hometown.

      If you can go to your hometown, would that prevent you from returning to this other office if things don’t work out? Also, if you go to the office in your hometown, would your job be a lateral move or a move down in position from your current one?

      The one reason I would completely excise from the list of “pros” for moving to your hometown is your boyfriend. He’s noncommittal about the future, so he should not have any weight in your decision about your future career.

      If what he says is really true: that (1) he’d like to be married someday and (2) he hopes it’ll be with you, then he needs to be open to therapy to deal with the fallout from his parents’ crap marriage and ugly divorce and to be willing to go with you to learn how to build a good relationship. Think: Languages of Love, learning to fight fairly, etc.

      If he’s afraid of X, then he should do stuff to mitigate X. Passively doing nothing, but fearing this problem that he’s turned into this big amorphous lurking horror isn’t going to get him closer to “married someday.” It’s solvable. One test for him is whether he’s willing to do the work to solve it with your help and support, or if he’s only making excuses and wasting your time.

    • LadyEnginerd :

      One rule of thumb- if someone says they have commitment issues … believe them. I agree with Susan that I’d feel more comfortable if he were doing hard work to get past these issues instead of wishfully thinking that “someday” he’ll get past them and get married (but not necessarily to you). This is similar to how “He’s just not that into you” handles this scenario, if you’re looking for a longer version of this argument.

      Another related opinion: if he hasn’t explored other options to be together with you (like you both moving to a 3rd city) except for the one that involves no sacrifice on his part, that’s something not something to take lightly. Therapy would count as sacrifice in my book. If the two of you want to be together, both of you should be willing to sacrifice somewhat equally and generously in order to get there.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Oh, and because we’re trying to avoid the DTMFA tone, I’d like to add – I’m absolutely not against you moving. I’m just trying to identify what would be at the crux of my decision. If you want to move regardless of the guy, great! (the overprotective older sister in me adds: just don’t sign a lease together quite yet). If it’s clear you’re taking this next step together as a team and moving forward towards building a life together, and that he’s on board with being flexible about his job too, that’s also a a green light (older sister adds: do remember – actions speak louder than words).

        Transferring within your firm sounds low-risk in the grand scheme of things. There’s also an argument to be made, professionally, that a larger network across multiple offices within your firm could be advantageous to your career in the long run. You might want to plan on scheduling trips back to your current city a couple times a year to take people out to lunch and stay in touch.

    • Not wholly relevant, but how old are you both? Also- have you asked your BF what he thought of the opportunity?

    • This may be a minority position, but I would move in your situation (in fact, I did for my now husand). We were a year into LD, and I realized I could move to be close to him (cross-country). We were both PhD students at the time, and moving was a risk to take professionally, but not knowing if he was the one wastoo much of a personal risk for me. And frankly, i’d never before givenupu anything for a relationship, so I knew something in my gut was telling me I had to know abt this one. My PhD advisor was concerned it would impact my work, but he let me do it. It was not easy to keep my reputation intact with him, but with hard work i graduated with glowing rferences and got engaged 9 months later.

      I can’t assess your BFs hesitation, though I know I woulod never have told my now DH that I was ready to be married if we hadn’t lived in the same place. And a tranfer between offices with your current firm seems fairly low risk professionally (not zero, but low). I think it comes down to, do you have to know). A friend of mine moved cross-country for a relationship withfar less professional certainty and commitmen than you have. It didn’t work out, though the move actually helped her onto her current career path hich she loves (and was totally unexpected). And she doesn’t regret it b/c she needed to know.

      I view it as, I only ever regret the things I didn’t do. If you’re really unsure abt this guy, then you need to think harder. But if a decnt part of you thinks this is it, you owe yourself to find out. You only get one life, and employment situations canchg for all kinds of reasons (firms can merge, bosses changee, etc).

      • Yet Another Relationship Threadjack :

        Sincere thanks to all of you for the insight thus far. There are things that I hadn’t previously considered, like the independent value of dating on a day-to-day basis.

        We are both in our late twenties, and the move would be lateral, although there’s obviously a bit of a learning curve. I do have immediate family and close friends in my hometown.

        I haven’t spoken to my boyfriend about the possibility yet because I wanted to sort out my own feelings first. He has mentioned before that he’d be happy if I moved, but again, that’s the “no sacrifice” approach Lady Enginerd pointed out. I agree that I need to have a conversation with him about how he can work through his issues, whether that be through therapy or otherwise.

        • LadyEnginerd :

          Gotcha. Sorry to be all over this – recently did Big Cross-country Move with a guy, and the decisions surrounding told us this was really it for the both of us. I do think that you can widen your horizons before you apply for transfer – sit down with him and try to solve, together, your long-distance problem without it being a yes/no on this specific job. For instance, make a list of top 5 cities and see if there’s overlap. Try to make it a “team” problem instead of a “you” problem. The last thing you want is to resent how you rearranged your life for him and he… didn’t. This is an opportunity to see if you’re happy with how the two of you work through a big life decision together as a team, which will tell you a lot about whether the two of you are ready and willing to move forward together.

        • If you’re in your late 20s and he’s not ready to say that if you move, and if things continue to go well, he’d like to get married, I’d be a bit concerned. I can totally understand from his side that having someone move for you is a lot of pressure but so is marriage, kids, home ownership (etc.) and late 20s seems a fine time to start thinking seriously about these things (not that it has to happen then! or soon! At all!, just that it seems like a sign if he isn’t willing to talk seriously about the future at an age that many people start thinking about these things).

    • Not quite the same, but I moved back to the area I grew up in to live with my boyfriend (without a job). I wouldn’t have done it unless I knew that I would be okay with or without him. My family is here, and I know the area well enough. I also knew the job market was better than where I was and even with the poor job market, I would have more opportunities. In the end, I passed the VA bar, found a job and broke up with my boyfriend. I am still happy that I am here in the area and I am really excited about my new job. As others have said, if you would be okay in that area, having that job, but not having him, go ahead and go for it.

  18. e_pontellier :

    NYC Meet Up tonight at 8PM! Look forward to meeting you ladies at Grey Dog’s Coffee, on W 16th St between 7th and 8th Aves. If you have any trouble locating it or our group, you can reach me at e.pontellier.r et te [at] gmail [dot] com.

  19. RSI doctor? :

    After years and years of computering, I’m beginning to have what I understand to be pretty classic symptoms of RSI in my wrists. What kind of doctor should be my first stop for an actual diagnosis? Any recommendations in the DC area? Thanks!

    • I would recommend that you start with your general practitioner, and see what he or she recommends. I had a problem with my wrists for a while, and it turned out that my ulnar nerve was inflamed, mostly from resting my elbow on my armrest too much – it was easily solved by an NP with just 1) stopping doing that, and 2) some anti-inflamatories. Wrist/RSI issues are common enough that most GPs are pretty well versed in them.

      So, start small, and rule out the easy stuff before you go to a specialist, would be my opinion. Good luck; I know that wrist injuries can be a pain (heh) to deal with.

    • Yes, start with your GP, but generally the next step is to see an orthopedist. I highly recommend Dr. Leo Rozmaryn. He’s based in Rockville and specializes in hand/arm issues. He’s done wonders for me — without surgery.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I also recommend seeing a chiropractor. Mine had a hand specialist to refer, but her exercises have staved it off so far. It wasn’t a typical diagnosis, and I honestly think that my GP (who I love) would have misdiagnosed.

  20. I'm Just Me :

    Does anyone own The (New) Skirt in Rust Sienna? It’s one of the colors on discount right now. Trying to figure out if it will be a color that is good for me. On my screen it is a more coral color not a sienna color.

    • Oh dear. Now I want to order it too. Nordstroms does have a good return policy, so it’s low risk…

  21. Anon 4this :

    Ladies, I know this has been semi-addressed/asked here before, (I plan to do some googling) but I think my question is a little different.

    For you ladies who decided to have children, why/how did you know that was the right choice for you?

    For you ladies who are childless by choice, why/how did you know that was the right choice for you?

    A little background on why I’m asking: My husband and I have been married for 2 years, and have decided that we don’t want children. He is scheduled for the big V in November, and I am scared that we’re going to regret the decision to remain childless, even though I think it’s the right choice for us.

    It’s so difficult sometimes not knowing what the future Mr. and Mrs. Anon 4this will want and what we’ll regret. :)

    • Oof, that is a tough one! I am smack dab in the middle of deciding this for myself, so I don’t fall into either of those categories but I’m going to comment anyway. :)

      I grew up in the Midwest: people tend to have babies early & somewhat often. I’ve always thought I’d have kids, just because that’s what you do.

      I’ve been married now almost 6 years, and now that my husband and I can finally sort of afford to have kids (we’ve been in grad school til now), I’m frantically googling childfree-by-choice websites. Kids are expensive, time-consuming, exhausting. I love my copious free time, and I love spending time with my husband as two adults, doing what we want, when we want. I also love children, but I never really like babysitting that much — I found it kinda exhausting.

      I’m just glad I live in a time and place where women can decide these things!

      • You do know that having your own kids is nothing like babysitting, right? I’d venture to guess that there are literally millions of people who hated babysitting and yet have kids, adore them, and don’t regret having them for a second.

        • Sure. But childcare does come more naturally to some people than others and those people might (MIGHT!!!!!!) find parenthood easier and more fun.

          • FWIW, I don’t generally like other people’s kids (*ducking*), and I don’t really want to hold other people’s babies (*hides*), but I can’t get enough of my own and could hold my adorable bundle of joy all day every day. I think I have magic mommy hormones in copious amounts. So, you never know.

        • Lol, don’t like other people’s kids but I adore my own spawn ;)

          I always knew I wanted them. I also knew that after.two, one I each I was done.

      • X, that’s where the husband and I are right now (we like our life as is.) Added to that is the fact that my husband is not fond of children at all.

        Even still though, even he thinks that there is a possibility for regret later on, which makes me wonder if he shouldn’t go through with it. He says there is a 50% chance that it can be reversed, and I am honestly ok with adoption if we can’t get it reversed.

        I really think I’m overthinking this. I’ve never yearned to be a mother, and while I love my sister’s children…I don’t feel the urge to have my own.

        • $7,000 not covered by insurance to get it reversed and then only 50% success rate. My husband wanted another baby but I was done.

    • If you’re scared that you will regret this, why should he do something surgical?

      Or is he the one who’s more strongly against having children than you?

      Not to pry, but there are so many reliable forms of birth control out there that it seems a bit drastic for him to get the big V, as it were. (Not an expert on internal gentleman-parts, but isn’t there an option for a reversible V nowadays?)

      • AnonInfinity :

        I agree with this. It sounds like you’re not absolutely sure. If you are absolutely sure, then yes to the V. If not, why not explore other options like an IUD, which is as effective for women as tubal ligation, but is reversible.

      • I agree with this, even if you’re absolutely sure. You didn’t mention your age, but feelings about children do change over time. I totally understand not wanting children right this second, but your attitude might change in the next 10 years.

        Also – and this is not meant as a judgment – but have you thought about what it would be like to be 50, 60, 70 and childless? It’s fun to be childless in your 20’s and 30’s, but what worries me is that when I’m 50 or 60 I’ll really miss having a big family around, and by that point I will not be able to do anything about it. What are your thoughts on that?

        • This was always a thought for me when I was thinking about kids. And it is a good thought exercise. But if you reeeeeeeallly aren’t ready, I wouldn’t let fear of a future regret (that you might not actually regret) force you into a choice like children. (Unless you KNOW you want kids, which doesn’t appear to be the case.)

          • I would agree not to let it force you into a choice like children, but if you think its a possibility that you might regret it in the future, I agree with other posters that a long term but reversible solution like an IUD might be a better option.

        • Age wise, I’m almost 30.

          I have considered what we would do when we are old, and that honestly doesn’t scare me. Most of the older people I know are unhappy with their children’s choices, and they aren’t extremely involved in their lives. I think I would find more companionship with other people my age, than my children/grandchildren. In addition to this, all of my siblings plan to have multiple kids, and we’re all very close. If I wanted to be around a big family of my own, I have one to go to.

          I also agree with goirishkj: I don’t want to have children based on the possibility of a future regret. Children are a huge commitment in every way, and I wouldn’t feel comfortable diving in without being 100% sure that it’s what I want.

      • I think the doctor told my husband that they can be reversed 50% of the time.

        He probably is more opposed to having children, but has told me he would be fine with it if that’s what I wanted.

        I haven’t been able to take any form of birth control without being a raging mess, so I’m scared to try something else.

        • anon for this :

          My SO had a vasectomy after his two kids were born. Several years later, after a divorce, he remarried a woman who had lost her daughter and then wanted a child with him. He agreed to go through with the reversal, although it was much worse than the original surgery, and his then-wife was in her early 40s. They tried and, although she did get pregnant once and miscarried, they were told by the doctor that the reversal didn’t really work and that his fertility would only decrease over time. Flash forward 25 years or so, the two of us were lax about b/c because we thought it was not possible and I became pregnant. Total shock to both of us because of my age and what he had been told. I miscarried at about 6 weeks but it was a wake up call for us, for sure. I would definitely not count on being able to reverse.

    • I am not married (never have been), but also don’t intend to have any children. I know everyone says that having your own kid is different, but I honestly don’t like spending time with kids. Even great kids. For example, my bro and his wife have two kids who are really nice, energetic, happy, well-behaved, etc. and they absolutely adore me. But after I’ve been with them for about five minutes, I’m ready to be done and for them to go home. I’ve never looked at a baby or small child and thought “ah, I’d really like to have one of those.” Not once.

      My brother’s wife, on the other hand, is a SAHM and absolutely adores spending time with her kids and with her kids’ friends. And so they plan to have a third baby. She’s happy with her choices and I’m happy that she’s happy.

      Some people like to say that I hate kids. I don’t hate kids. I’m thrilled that other people have kids and love their kids and want to spend a lot of time with their kids (in fact, I support all of those things). But I don’t want to have any.

      • phillygirlruns :

        i feel the same way as SunnyD. i don’ t want to be a mother for the same reason i don’t want to be, say, an architect. i don’t think that architecture is awful or offensive, i don’t think that all architects are morons, but it was just never something i wanted. i struggled with this for a long time because people always seem to want to hear – and argue with – your reasons for not wanting kids, but really…it’s not something i weighed logically. it’s just how i am.

        • I’m like you.

          Just as I take what people want seriously– if you want kids, then you want then, and no judgment from me— I expect people to take my LACK OF WANT seriously.

          If I wanted kids, I’d want them. But it’s just never been something I’ve wanted, the way I’ve never seriously thought about being a painter (it sounds cool, but I’ve never felt an inclination towards it and trying to paint didn’t give me a hankering to be a painter, or to paint more), or becoming a yachtsman.

          I am just not interested in being a parent. It has nothing to do with the expense, time, energy that needs to be invested. If I wanted to be a parent, I’d be willing to put in the time, energy, money, etc.

      • Sunny D: Yeah, you basically just described me. I do enjoy being around my nieces and nephew, but I’m more than ecstatic to give them back when I have them.

        Phillygirlruns: I’ve had so many people argue with our decision, it’s extremely frustrating. My husband’s aunt (that I barely know) came up to me at a wedding last year (and again this weekend), and started rubbing my stomach asking me if there was anything in there yet, even though she knows our decision. She also told my husband this weekend that we are ‘selfish’ for not giving her a niece or nephew. Excuse me? You live over 2000 miles away, and you will not be the one dealing with the child…how are we the selfish ones?

        • Ugh, I’ve gotten the “selfish” comment from family, too… hang in there!

          • goirishkj :

            Sorry to be all over this. The selfish comments are out of line–I used to get those too. No advice. My thought was always that if I wasn’t ready or didn’t feel like I should be a parent that there was a reason for that feeling and it was MORE selfish to bring an innocent child into the world just because someone else thought I “should”.

        • Wow to your second paragraph. Props to you for not punching her.

          • I wanted to. Instead I reached over, rubbed her stomach and said “Is there anything in THERE yet? I think YOU should give ME a cousin if you want a baby so badly!”

        • phillygirlruns :

          oh, the “selfish” comments are great. i’m sorry – you’re the one suggesting that i create AN ENTIRE HUMAN LIFE so that you can have the joy of spending several hours a few times a year interacting with said life on your own terms…but i’m the selfish one?

          honestly, i know it’s hard, but the best policy is to just not engage in that line of discussion at all. i’m a fan of the “why would you ask that?” it tends to shut things down very quickly, because people who ask inappropriate questions often don’t like to explain why.

          what kills me the most about the questions is that there are an awful lot of reasons why people don’t have kids, and only one of them is a personal and voluntary choice. it’s just so insensitive.

      • Don’t want to sound like I’m trying to invalidate anything you say because of course I’m not. Everyone knows what is right for them. However, just wanted to point out that I don’t like other people’s kids. Like really, not into kids. But remember that kids are only kids for a short time. I have two kids and love them to pieces, but enjoy them more and more the older they get. One day there will be two wonderful adults in my life who would have never been around if I hadn’t made the decision to overlook the fact that I’m just not into “kid stuff”.

        • This is why, in my fantasy dream world, I’ll marry some awesome guy who already has two or three amazing children who are about 10-15 years old, I will adore them and they will adore me and we’ll all live happily ever after (and then I’ll have “kids” when they’re adults, because that part would be cool). Yes, I mentioned fantasy dream world.

    • DH and I got married pretty young and while we were going through marriage prep we always thought we’d have kids “someday”. However, about the same time I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease a chronic illness that runs in my family. (I’ve posted this before that I have ulcerative colitis which is similar to Crohn’s–my first diagnosis was incorrect and was changed a year later) My dad had died of complications from Crohn’s (very rare, but it happens) so that scared me off for a while. I had a bad flare our first year of marriage which really scared us both off–I didn’t want any future kids to lose a parent young like I had. I also didn’t want to risk passing on my defective genes. So, since we were still young, we put kids on the back burner. Then we both went to grad school and I didn’t want to try to have kids while in law school. Then I was starting my career and my illness, which had been pretty quiet, started flaring up again which continued to keep me from wanting kids. DH and I really liked our lives and we just couldn’t imagine the changes that come with kids. We figured we might be in the “childless by choice” camp, but still weren’t quite ready to do something permanent should we change our minds. Our lives had taken too many odd turns by that point so we recognized that things can change.

      Then, something changed. We realized that we wanted kids. Friends were having babies. A very dear friend (who has NO health issues) had two children with health issues and I realized that healthy parents aren’t a guarantee of healthy children and that there’s no absolute that a child of mine would have my health issues. I also realized that I personally no longer wanted to totally devote my life to my job so I switched to one with more flexibility. This was mostly driven by non-kid concerns (I wanted my health back!) but it would certainly make kids easier.

      We’re now expecting our first child. I’m 32. It took me ten years to get to this point and there were many twists and turns. My advice would be not to do something permanent but just be open to wherever you two end up.

      • I left out that I’m still not sure what changed that made me want a kid. I was so sure at times that I didn’t want one–they ARE a lot of work and a lot changes when they arrive. There was just something that switched. I no longer cared about going out to eat all the time or going to bars or traveling everywhere. I was OK where I was and with what I had done and just knew it was time for a new adventure. Sorry I’m not more help.

        And let me add that I see NOTHING wrong with staying childless by choice. I really thought that’s where I would end up until I just had a feeling that wouldn’t go away that kids were the path I needed to take.

        • “There was just something that switched. I no longer cared about going out to eat all the time or going to bars or traveling everywhere. I was OK where I was and with what I had done and just knew it was time for a new adventure.”

          goirishkj- i hope you see this. this is honestly amazing and really made me think about myself. i am not in a good place right now and honestly feel like i’m so far from ever wanting kids. but reading this just really made sense to me at a very deep level. i don’t know. just wanted to say thanks.

          • goirishkj :

            I’ve gotten a lot of support and help from this community over the years so I’m just happy to rern the favor ade :). I wish you all the best in getting to the right place for you, whatever specifics that may involve.

    • Being perpetually single, I am sorry I have no specific advice for you. But I’ll repost this column from Dear Sugar, just because I think of it often at this time in my 30s where lots of “big decisions” are looming:

      • Oh, right, Disclaimer!!! Be aware that Dear Sugar often induces much crying (of joy/emotion, all kinds) and so you might want to save it for after work.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Argg this didn’t tear me up last time I read it, why is it doing so now??

      • I actually read this the last time you posted it. I love it, and it’s made me think quite a bit!

        • Yeah, it’s just good to actually think through your future, rather than just having abstract worries about some potential future regret. That’s just going to make you stressed out.

          And I’m not saying you need to rush into this decision now!! You have years to officially decide, so give yourself time to think through it. But at a certain point in our lives we do have to make choices. I am getting to that point about some things in my mid-30s now, and accept that there is another life out there that we could have had and will never be. Maybe that ghost ship is a life as parents that you could have had, and it might have been fine, or great. But it’s ok that you chose not to, as long as you are happy with the life you have.

          SPOILER – don’t read on if you are prone to crying at work:

          Sorry for the spoiler, but as Sugar says, we’ll never really know:
          “We’ll only know that whatever that sister life was, it was important and beautiful and not ours. It was the ghost ship that didn’t carry us. There’s nothing to do but salute it from the shore.”

          Gah, it gets me Every Time. ;o) Good luck figuring it out some day, whenever it’s right for you.

    • Honestly, I always wanted children. Always. When I was young I’d say I wanted to be a mom when I grew up. Obviously I branched out since then, but I always knew that kids would be a part of my future. The hardest thing I’ve had to go through so far in life was 3 m/c and finding out I may not have children. Thank goodness for modern medicine.

      Kids are definitely expensive, time-consuming and exhausting, and if you aren’t willing, or aren’t sure if you aren’t willing, to commit to the lifelong commitment that is parenthood, then don’t. However, keep in mind that your own children are different than other people’s children. For the most part (and with a few exceptions) I can’t stand other people’s children. They drive me nuts. But I love my own like crazy.

      Also, it needs to be a decision that both you & your husband agree on, no question. Good luck! I hope you can figure out the right decision for you.

    • I’ve always known I wanted kids. In fact, my husband and I decided we wanted two children and picked out names (2 boy names and 2 girl names) before we got married.

      He started grad school right after we got married, and we decided the responsible thing to do was wait. It was almost 4 years before baby #1 was born.

      Pregnancy #2 takes a while to happen and baby #2 dies in utero (3.5 years after baby #1 was born). Pregnancy #3 just never happens and we never do anything special to increase the chances of it happening.

      After a while, we decide that we don’t want kids spaced as widely as they now would be. We’re now firmly in the “done having babies” camp with an only child, which was never ever in our plans.

      Note that I *love* kids and was always volunteering to babysit or keep kids at church, etc.

      • I’m sorry, that must have been so hard for you and your husband. I had a close friend lose a baby late term (I think she was 6 months along and they had to induce labor) and it was hard for me to watch, but I’m sure it was even worse for them to go through it.

        • Thanks for your kind words.

          It was truly awful. I was 5 months pregnant and like your friend had to have labor induced. It took months before I stopped crying at random things.

          Once you’ve had a pregnancy go bad, then you realize how many miscarriages, unknown fetal demise, etc., there still are, even in industrialized countries.

    • I think that it’s impossible to be sure (at least, for many people). Heck, I’m 7 months pregnant, and I still find myself have second thoughts! (well, sort of. not really, just kind of)

      For me, I went through most of my teens saying that I was never going to, for all the reasons that childless by choice sorts usually do. Met my husband at 19, and, I don’t know, the idea seemed more appealing to me, but as a “someday.” Married at 21. When people would ask about our plans, we would usually say something like “Oh, maybe in 5 years.” We kept saying that for at least 5 years. :) There were at least a few times that I had firmly decided that I would just not bring it up, and hope that he wouldn’t ever, either, and it would just eventually become too late.

      Then I went to law school at 26 – round that time, it started to seem more important. Friends were really starting to, and I was starting to realize that my 20s wouldn’t last forever. But it wasn’t imperitive, just something to worry about.

      Then, around 27-28, something hit me. I am certain that it was biological; it wasn’t just a want, it was more of a deep urge. I would see a pregnant woman or a baby and my eyes would just follow them. The best comparison I could give would be if you were really hungry, and someone walked by holding your favorite food. But it still wasn’t practical at all.

      I’m now 32 and, like I said, 7 months along. My husband and I celebrated our 11th aniversary last summer. We’re excited beyond belief, but nervous, too.

      I’m certain that we made the right choice, but, at the same time, I think that it would have been OK if we didn’t ever have kids. The idea of remaining childless is completely understandable to me, but, at the same time, I feel something that tells me to do it, if that makes sense.

      So, on the whole, I’ll agree with the others who suggest that you should maybe consider a really great birth control instead, just in case. Because things do change, in ways that we’re not completely in control over, IMO. (That sounds religious – not my intention, just that there’s a biological imperitive at play here, too.) Good luck!

      • Lyssa, I’ve considered other forms of BC, but every type I’ve tried makes me extremely sick or out of this world moody, angry and every conversation leaves me in tears. I’m too gun shy to try an IUD or something more permanent than a pill or the Nuva Ring because I don’t want to be like that long term.

        I’ve never felt that urge, so maybe that tells me something?

        • e_pontellier :

          The only thing I would say is that November is really soon. Sounds like you should at least postpone the surgery for a few weeks/months while you think about this a little more, because you sound unsure. Also, Bluejay might have helpful insight on a copper IUD…?

          • You know, Kat posted a few weeks ago looking for someone to do a guest post on IUDs and I agreed to do it. I really need to finish writing it because there are so many questions on this topic lately!

          • I guess I’m nervous about the side effects of the copper IUD. The ones I’ve heard of anyway.

          • e_pontellier :

            Well, OP, sounds like Bluejay’s post should help you out! I fully support being childless by choice, and don’t mean to sound like I’m trying to talk you out of it at all. Just want to make sure you have as much info as you can as far as options.

        • What about a Paraguard? It’s non-hormonal and lasts for 10 years (unless you have it removed sooner). I have one and love it. I had to stop taking hormonal birth control because it either gave me debilitating migraines for a week every month, or gave me severe anxiety or caused depression.

        • Bluejay’s post will cover this, but really, you can have an IUD removed AT ANY TIME. It is MUCH less permanent than a V. it takes about 15 minutes, they just slip it right out, and you’re all good. Can get pregnant at your next cycle.

          Don’t be scared of/dismiss an IUD so quickly. I had MAJOR issues with every kind of Hormonal BC, was so ill for so many years it was torture. I have a Mirena and have never had a reaction to the hormones, because they are localized and not going thru my bloodstream. Seriously, talk to your dr about it before the V.

        • OP, I guess it depends on how old you are. I think that a lot of people seem to feel that deep urge around 30 or so. Though some people never do, and that’s fine, too. (And, of course, we don’t necessarily have to do everything that our urges tell us.)

          • Oh, and OP, I get your hesitancy to try an IUD – I don’t know much about them, but I have to say that the near-evangelical enthusiasm that people have for them sort of freaks me out! (I’m glad that they work for people, though.) I’m not sure what I’m going to do when this pregnancy’s done yet, and that’s not really in the running (probably want another one fairly soon), but I did really enjoy being off hormones for the first time since I was a teenager.

        • why not condoms?

        • Lady Harriet :

          This may not be something you would consider, but have you looked into Natural Family Planning? It’s non-hormonal, so you wouldn’t have side effects from that, but it does take a lot of commitment from the couple to make it work. FWIW, I’m single, so it’s not something I’ve personally had to deal with, but I have heard many recommendations from those who do use it.

          • Also considered this, but I am extremely irregular. I have my cycle maybe twice a year, and I can’t predict when it comes.

          • Keep in mind it’s “The Art of Natural Family Planning” not the science.

    • ananon4this :

      Don’t do it unless you’re sure. My H got one at the insistence of his ex wife. He asked the surgeon at the last second if it was reversible and the surgeon almost refused to go through with it. He really wanted more kids, but he was trying to make his first marriage work.

      Years, one divorce, and one marriage later, we have an upcoming (extremely expensive, not covered by insurance, and not the best chance of it actually working) appointment coming up to get it reversed. If you’re not sure, do something more reversible until you are sure.

    • I’ve posted my thoughts about this before, too. I married relatively young (I was 21), and we’re still very happily married (I’m almost 28). We always talked about having kids “someday,” but it was more “When we have kids, will we let them XYZ?” than anything else. I was in law school the first three years of our marriage, he was in grad school the next two years, and I’m going back to school next fall. My family, who desperately wants us to have kids (they want to be grandparents and aunts/uncles SO BAD), always says “I know you want to wait until your career is settled.” But over the last few years, my husband and I have discussed it periodically, and the truth is that we don’t want children. We want to be selfish. We want to be free of responsibility. We want spending money and free time and the freedom to go to Vegas for the weekend. Right now, I don’t know that I will ever want kids; (fortunately) Mr. JessBee feels the same way. My friends are having lots of babies, and it’s great– they’re adorable, and I love looking at pictures of them and hearing about them and hanging out with them. But I don’t get that “pang” when I look at a pregnant friend or an adorable child. I feel deeply happy for them, and that’s all.

      The big caveat, though, is that I still have time to change my mind. I don’t see that happening, but I’m open to the idea that it could. I’ve done a lot of reading about women like me, and for some of them, the biological clock starts to tick suddenly and loudly. Women who have always felt like me suddenly want/need children. (I’ve heard of it happening to men, but much less often.) That could be me in 2, 3, 5 years. Even writing this out, I’m thinking “I know I don’t want kids…now.” But I also know that it *doesn’t* happen for a lot of women. I’ve read and talked to many women who are happy and content with their decision, and who never changed their mind. Maybe that will be me.

      This is all to say that, while I am completely comfortable with not having children right now, I would be reluctant to burn that bridge completely. The big V isn’t “permanent,” I know, but I think it would have a certain finality that I’d be a little uncomfortable with. Plus, I’d hate to subject Mr. JessBee to surgery if there was a chance we would want to undo it.

    • I’m 27 now and am pretty sure I don’t want them and neither does my husband. I think my decision now had to with coming to terms with the fact that I’ve never been good with young kids or even comfortable around them. The way my husband and I look at it, there’s never been any time in our lives when we looked at the situation and thought: “Kids would make this better.” The good thing is that both my husband and I are also fine with adopting (yes, I know that could be difficult), so I don’t feel any urgency.

      There are a few things that needle me sometimes, but when I think about it, I don’t really feel proud of where the concerns are coming from: 1) What if I die alone? – But it’s really unfair to have kids expecting them to be your lifelong companion. 2) My spouse and I are both really well-educated and not bad looking, our kids would probably be pretty attractive and successful – umm…eugenics much?…like I said, not proud of myself for thinking this :)

      • 1. Plenty of people who have kids die alone. In high school, I had a volunteer gig at a nursing home, and was horrified at how most of the lonely old people there were never visited by their kids.

        2. Just as wonderful kind, brilliant people can come from utterly mean, miserable, wretched abusive parents, nice, attractive successful people can produce total @ssholes. Often, it’s mostly nice-well meaning people with nice, well-meaning children WHO JUST DON’T CONNECT WITH THEM. It’s a crapshoot. You don’t choose the personality of your biological children. And they don’t choose their parents’ personalities either. Sometimes it works, sometimes, it doesn’t. It’s lovely when it works, but sad when it doesn’t.

        • Exactly. And this is why I don’t let those concerns bother me.

        • Yes, totally this. My parents are good people and I like to think I am too, but we just don’t connect. Our relationship is cordial, but pretty shallow. They would be there for me if I desperately needed them, and vice versa, but we aren’t part of each other’s daily lives because we just don’t ‘click’.

    • I don’t want kids or even to get married, but I think that given the availability of highly effective contraceptives such as IUDs and the existence of the morning after pill, I would never do something irreversible to prevent myself from being able to get pregnant.

      I can understand why men, who generally don’t have control over whether or not their partner uses birth control, might lean toward a vasectomy. But since you’re in a monogamous relationship and he can be reasonably certain that you’ve gotten an IUD or used another highly effective method, I don’t see why he’d get a vasectomy.

      But that’s just my opinion.

      • You make a great point. :)

        I think my husband and I have a lot to talk about tonight. And…I suppose I should ask my doctor about the side effects of both hormonal and copper IUDs, so I can make an educated decision.

        • I think you should definitely explore every other option and talk about it with your gyno. Planned Parenthood also has a lot of good information about contraceptive methods on their website. Obviously the IUD doesn’t work for everyone, but it works for the majority of users, and if you happen to be in the minority it doesn’t work for then it might be time to consider more permanent options.

        • I have had both types of IUDs and been on the pill in the past. I was a crazy, emotional wreck on the pill, but do not feel that way at all with the Mirena IUD. I also had the copper IUD for 6 years before I had my second and third children, and while it did make my periods heavier, it was not unbearable. I prefer the Mirena, because it has made my period pretty non-existent, and if I understand it correctly, the hormone is a much lower dose than in the pill and kind of stays put rather than affecting your whole system. Anyways, I think talking to your doctor is a really good idea. I hope you reach a decision that you are comfortable with!

    • i'm like this too :

      You should read the book “selfish reasons to have more children,” which does a really good job outlining the thought process for most people throughout the decades of their life with regard to children. One point he makes in the book is that no sane twenties or thirties couple WANTS to invest all their time in kids but most elderly couples envision a life with family around the table at Thanksgiving and going to graduations, etc., which you don’t get without kiddos (and that huge investment in your twenties).

      FWIW, I don’t know a single couple in their 60’s who remained childless who would make that choice over again. All the childless older couples I know deeply regret not having kids. So maybe talk to any oldies that you know about their decisions?

      • e_pontellier :

        I’m reading that book too. Love the book recommendations from this site!!

      • All the childless older couples I know deeply regret not having kids.

        And all the childless older people (couples and single) I know are happy to be childless. It’s impossible to predict how the OP will feel about being childless based on the experiences of others.

        • Not in my 60s but I’m in my late 40s, didn’t have kids when I was married and absolutely don’t regret it. Obviously, it would mean that I’d be tied forever to my ex-husband, but even then, I just never had that “must have” experience.

      • I will say that the woman I knew who said she really didn’t want kids, but allowed herself to be persuaded by her husband, shouldn’t have changed her mind. She wasn’t a horrible mom, but she didn’t really enjoy the children — was more annoyed by them. They were good kids and I really felt like they had one loving parent (their dad) and one parent who wasn’t really as good as a good nanny (cause at least a nanny usually likes kids!).

      • Your sample may be biased, though.

        It’s socially acceptable, even encouraged, for people who don’t have children to say they regret that. It’s NOT socially acceptable for people who have children to say they regret having their children. And even if it were socially acceptable, saying it won’t undo their decision, so most people who regret having children keep silent.

      • I’d recommend the chapters “Why to Have Kids” and “Why Not to Have Kids” in How to Be a Woman. Very helpful in thinking through the decision.

      • So…I don’t even like going to my graduation, family’s Thanksgivings, or even my own wedding (didn’t have one, just eloped instead). I’m guessing this means I really won’t be missing having kid’s graduations and other events to go to in the future.


      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m in my early/mid-50s and my husband is 61. I have one son from my first marriage but we don’t have any children together and he doesn’t have any children at all. No regrets at all. We have many friends our age who are childless by choice and if they “deeply regret” that choice, they sure aren’t talking about it. The people who seem the most unhappy are those with the grown children who are unemployed, or drug-addicted, or incarcerated, or going through horrible divorces, or abandoning their children to be raised by the grandparents, or some similar traumas.

    • I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve always known I wanted them, and so does my husband. Our non-existent kids are a big driving force in our life (when to change jobs, what town to move to, what house to buy). If you and your husband honestly don’t feel any kind of urge to have kids, and haven’t been planning your life for them….. I don’t think there’s a need to worry. If that’s how you feel, it’s how you feel.

      If you have an overwhelming urge to have a kid later, I personally think adoption is a very viable option (I know not everyone agrees). But I just don’t believe that a kid has to be biologically yours to be your child (again, that’s just me).

    • I am childless by choice. I’m 35 and have been married 13 years. Early on there was still the possiblity of kids, but we never seriously discussed it. We went through a rough patch in the marriage and for a while almost separated. During that time, there was no discussion of having kids. After things were worked out between us, neither of us really had a desire to have kids. Honestly, I just decided I was too selfish to have kids. We enjoy our freedom and lifestyle. There were some times where I felt like I wanted kids, but it was never a great, burning desire. So for me, the choice to have kids was more a gradual evolution.

      I feel pretty sure I won’t regret not having kids 20 years from now, but who knows. I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

      I know my mom would love to have grandkids, but I’m not having kids for the sake of someone else. Luckily, she never pressures or asks about our decision.

    • Just one more point I’d like to make. I didn’t read all the posts to see if you mention at some point how old you are, but if you’re in your 20s or even 30s, you just really don’t know that you’ll always feel the way you do know. I got married when I was 27. I’d just graduated from law school, having worked for a few years between colleged and law school, started a job at a big firm, bought a condo and a dog. I totally felt like a grown up. But looking back now, I realize that I’m not the person today that I was then (even though I have the same husband and job still), and I had a lot more growing up to do still to become who I am today. So if someone is approaching the age where babies will soon become no longer an option, then that’s one thing in terms of deciding not to do it. But before then, I just don’t think you can really know that you’ll NEVER want kids.

    • This is going to sound silly, but DH and I don’t want kids- we want a family. That is, we’re not “baby” people. We’re not psyched to take time off/slow down careers to go to little league games. But we’re gonna do it, because we want to have the same kind of adult family that we both grew up in.

      Just throwing that out there as someone who isn’t kid- or baby-crazy (I, too, was exhausted by babysitting) that is still plannign to have a family.

    • I’ve always known I didn’t want children, and have never wavered. I love my niece and nephews to pieces, and would and have, do anything for them. But, I don’t really like babies and I don’t like other people’s children. Actually, I don’t think I even liked BEING a child. You don’t need to have children to make a family.

  22. 2/3 attorney :

    Roommate TJ – reasonable adult advice needed

    I live in a house with two other girls. We all split the electric/gas bill equally. We have not used any heat yet this season, but it is getting pretty chilly in the mornings in our house. One of my roommates has been running a space heater/portable radiator to heat her room – and I mean only her room, she keeps the door shut constantly and points it right at her bed, so it certainly doesn’t warm any of the rest of the house (aka, other roommate and I don’t benefit from this at all). Over the weekend, I noticed she had it on in the middle of the day on Saturday (it was probably 65 degrees out). I told her I didn’t think we needed to be heating the house in the middle of the day (seriously, put on a sweater), and that space heaters use a lot of energy. She said “oh it’s really efficient.” I haven’t brought it up again, and I haven’t mentioned it to other roommate, who wasn’t around for this conversation. The roommate running the heater is really bratty and dramatic and will throw a fit; the other is very reasonable and cool-headed, but might side with her cause she’s been there longer.

    I don’t think it’s fair for me and the other roommate to pay to equal shares of the bill so she can run her space heater all the time. This is really bothering me. However, we are, of course, all on one electric bill, so I don’t know how to propose that she pay extra because there is no way to really know how much extra she is using.

    Two questions: 1) would this bother you too; 2) what kind of payment situation might I be able to reasonably suggest? Thanks for any advice.

    • AnonInfinity :

      This would not bother me, and I don’t think you can reasonably suggest another payment situation.

      You’re probably paying a few extra dollars per month, and it’s worth paying those few extra dollars to avoid roommate drama.

      Also, it’s my experience that all roommates do something or other that’s less energy efficient than the others. Taking long showers? Leaving the window open accidentally when the air kicks on? Running the water while brushing your teeth? Leaving the refrigerator door open longer than technically necessary? You get the point.

      If you hate the space heater so much, maybe turn the heater on so it’s not quite so chilly in the mornings and then everyone is getting the benefit of the increased bill.

      • e_pontellier :

        Yeah, I was going to say something similar but AnonInfinity said it more eloquently than I could. If she feels the space heater is necessary, and if you don’t want her to be the only one benefitting from the heat, maybe just ask both roommates if they’re ready to turn on the heat in the whole house.

        It would definitely bother me too, but that’s just part of the struggle of living with roommates. Hopefully by nipping this in the bud, you won’t have too much built-up resentment about it.

      • Yes, just turn on the heat!

        I wouldn’t be annoyed by this, as for perfect-roommate-bill-splitting, you’d have to be able to split the atom and measure every minute in the shower, every minute used on every appliance, and that’d be both incredibly petty and crazymaking.

        Don’t go down that route, OP!

      • I agree, too. I’m not sure how expensive a space heater really is to run, but I doubt it’s enough to justify a fight.

        To defend her, I’m really cold natured, and sometimes putting on a sweater just doesn’t do it (my fingers!) Generally, if it’s 65 outside, it’s in the mid-to-high 70s inside around here, but it’s usually really sunny and we have big windows, so it might be different for her. I know that if it is 65(ish) inside the house, I will be absolutely miserable no matter what I wear, unless I’m, say, doing hardcore cardio. So, you might need to adjust the heat.

        • Agree with the others who indicate that its probably not that expensive to run…..but you might want to actually do the calculation before deciding to pick a fight over it.

          Look at the heater to figure out how much power it takes (assume 1500W if it is a small one you don’t know). Your local power company probably has their power costs on their website. I think our costs are about 8c per kWh

          If the heater is 1500W = 1.5kW, run for 1h at 8c /kWh, it costs 12c/ hr to run. Left on for 24hrs, it would cost $2.88

          My husband has a big space heater that he runs in the computer room in the winter. Without a thermostat/timer, it can be left on day and night (and make the room hot enough for shorts) – was costing us almost an extra $100/month.

    • That might bother me a bit, but I would try to get over it. If you were out of town for a week, would you want to pay less than an even share of the bill? I have never done that with a roommate before–I figure it all evens out.

      Two suggestions:
      – Have a roommate talk about how you’re going to handle heating this fall/winter. What is reasonable to keep the thermostat set at? If you don’t have a programmable one (in MD, Pepco installed one for us for free, FYI), talk about what you will keep it at when you are at work, who will turn it down, etc.
      – Ask that she only have the space heater on when she is in her room and needs it. In addition to wasting electricity, aren’t those things a giant fire hazard? As your roommate, that’s well within your area of concern.

    • Kontraktor :

      Sorry, but I don’t think you can dictate to the girl that she can’t use the space heater unless you are dictating who can use what other appliances and for how long. Does one roomate cook/use the stove more? Do you charge that roomate more than the others or tell her she can’t cook? Is there a roomate who doesn’t keep much food in the fridge? Does she get to pay less because she does not ‘use’ the fridge? Who takes the longest showers? Does that person get charged more? Does one person watch more frequent television? And so on and so forth. You could play this accusatory game indefinitely.

      When you live with roomates, you need to accept that different people are going to be using different appliances for different lengths of time. The assumption is that it all evens out in the end (ie, one girl uses space heater more, one girl uses stove more, etc.) and that splitting the cost between 3 people will still be cheaper than going at rent/utilities alone.

      So, unless you’re seeing your bill double or triple, I think you just need to suck up that living with other people means you have to put up with other people’s habits, including the fact that they might use certain appliances more than you. If you do end up seeing your bill go up in huge amounts (and you are 100% sure you are all doing everything else exactly the same), I might have a non-accusatory group discussion on how you all can work to manage the bills in the winter as energy demands increase.

      • Yeah, this is exactly the problem. We all see what other people do that irritates us, but we don’t see what we are doing that might irritate others. If you are going to live pleasantly with roommates, you have remember to Just Say Fooey and that everything will basically shake out evenly in the end. If it is a situation where things are clearly extremely unbalanced and won’t shake out, you have to sit everyone down and have a mature, grown up talk about it and come up with a compromise solution. And please remember: A Compromise BY DEFINITION is a solution you will not be completely happy with, but is close enough.

        I lived in a huge house that had a ‘space heater policy’ when i moved in, but in the winter, my room was over and above the coldest room in the whole house. I bought the most energy efficient space heater on the market (oil-filled radiators, btw) which had a thermostat setting. Kept it very close to my bed, and only turned it on in the mornings when getting out of bed and getting ready, then I’d turn it off, and sometimes in the evenings if I was trying to work in my room and it was freezing. At night and the rest of the time it was off. I told my roommates all of this and that I was using it as little as possible, but that I really did need some extra heat in my room. They were not happy with it, but sucked it up. On the flip side, when cleaning time came around, I knew that I did much more deep cleaning than anyone else, because I was cleaning dust and cobwebs from areas that hadn’t been cleaned in years, taking up rugs, etc.

        Ok that’s really long, but i’m trying to say that if you want to have a pleasant, congenial homelife, you need to be less concerned with counting pennies and ‘winning’ arguments, and more willing to admit when something is a little thing and really let it go. The alternative is houses where no one speaks to each other and everyone is holding on to resentments: That Is Not Fun, trust me.

        • I didn’t say anything about winning. I’m still a student, and for me, pennies matter (which is why I have roommates). I wish I had the luxury to overlook small financial issues.

          • C’mon OP. This is a little bit petty. We’re talking a couple of dollars here. Cut out the Starbucks once or twice a month and consider it the price of admission. As someone else said, it’s still cheaper than going it alone.

          • Neither you nor I have any idea how many dollars we’re talking.

    • I think I’d wait for the electric bill and see if there’s a significant difference from last month. As in, $50, not $10. If it’s minimal, I’d just ignore it. It’s impossible to trace everyone’s individual electric usage, especially for small appliances (who eats the most toast? etc). If it’s significant, I’d point it out and suggest that you all use the central heating system from now on.

      • It really might not be that big a difference. My sweet former roommate ran an AC in her bedroom one summer and I didn’t and she offered in advance to pay the difference. The bill ended up being lower than it had been in the spring without AC — how I have no idea. Don’t worry about the problem if it’s not real yet.

    • You can’t suggest a payment difference for this. It wouldn’t annoy me at all, but it would annoy me if I already had bad thoughts about the roommate. If this was your chill roommate, you prob wouldn’t even be thinking this. (I don’t mean this in a judgy way- I’d be totally the same) I like anoninfinity’s advice to just turn on the heat.

    • It wouldn’t bother me enough to propose splitting the electricity bill differently unless (i) the bill were way, way, way higher than normal and (ii) I couldn’t afford to pay one third of the increase. Otherwise, roommate has license to complain if you are using electronics in ways she wouldn’t approve of (leaving fan on, blowdrying hair excessively, not shutting down computer at night, etc.). Yes, heater probably uses more electricity, but that’s going to get very hard to prove and, unless you really can’t afford the increased bill, is really not worth the increase in tension/hostility in the apartment. Also, the heat is probably going to go on in the next few weeks, at which point this will be moot.

      • Yeah, my take away from this would be that this is a really really good way to have your roommate start knocking on the bathroom in the morning and commenting on how long you’ve been showering. Or start turning off lights when you’re still in a room, since you’re not *actively* reading so, why would you need them? Or complaining that you don’t unplug your computer when you’re not using it.

        Sometimes roommate peace is worth a bit of disparity. Trust me.

        • Kontraktor :

          This. This whole thread is making me think about how mean previous roomates were to me for petty reasons like this. I couldn’t do XYZ, but they could do ABC which of course made no sense given they had forbidden me from XYZ. Sigh. So glad I don’t live with roomates anymore.

    • The only thing is they have told me “we pretty much never turn on the heat,” apparently because they don’t like to pay for the gas.

      • Ok, this does present a problem then, one I would not be ok with personally, I don’t mind putting on an extra sweater and being a bit chilly in the winter (love my down slippers) but I hate cold and I could not live without heat all winter.

        I think it is now time for the mature sit down as described above by rosie.

        And really make an effort to frame it as, there’s nothing “wrong” just now that we’re getting into winter and I have an idea of how cold the house gets, I’d like to talk about our heating situation.

        The end result might be that each roommate is entitled to their own space heater in their own room, which means you could get your own (again: Oil-filled radiator, very energy efficient). BUT I would start with the whole proposal of a programmable thermostat and choosing a relatively low, but reasonable number to keep it at. Yknow, above frostbite levels, but not at tropical island levels. And coming up together with a timing schedule so that it kicks on in the morning when everyone is getting ready for work, turns off for most of the day, and kicks back on when ppl get home in the evenings, off again for the night. That honestly shouldn’t cost much on a gas bill.

        And, it’s a little late for now, but honestly, this ‘temperature/heating/cooling’ issue was always on my list of things to discuss when I was looking for houses/roommates. Because i am not willing to freeze my ass off to save everyone $30 a month, and some people are. But you live you learn! Good luck!!! ;o)

      • Have your two roommates lived in this place longer than you?

        If so, can they demonstrate (as in, show you a past winter’s gas bill) and show you that it was crazy high? Because if not, then they have no basis for their preference and you can challenge it (nicely).

        Natural gas prices are at record lows last winter and this coming winter and gas utility companies have been passing on these cost savings through to their customers. So, if the past winter’s bill was crazy high because they turned on the gas, it might be because the apartment has crap insulation.

        If your electric rate is very low, then I could see that it might make sense for all three of you to have space heaters and run them, and get a small uptick in the monthly electric bill than a huge spike in the gas heating bill.

        But if I were you, I’d be curious about these numbers. Then, you’d have more of a basis for either asking them to “try it for a month by turning up the gas,” or proposing that all of you have space heaters when it gets really cold.

        • Yes, this. And if they’ve lived in the house for awhile, their frame of reference may be off, as gas prices were EXTREMELY high a few years ago (as in 3-5x higher in 2008 than 2011). However, if there are major differences in comfort levels between the roommates, a space heater in always cold roommate’s room is a better idea than a window open in always warm roommate’s room.

          But you should be aware that many rentals are older and their electrical system may not be able to handle the electrical load of a space heater plugged in to certain (or any) outlets. We have rental properties and explicitly prohibit tenants from putting in space heaters or A/C units themselves for this reason – some of the outlets in the house could handle it, but not all of them, so we require them to call us to put them in/approve where they will put them. This is a major safety issue for us and we aren’t willing to allow tenants to put their own comfort ahead of the safety of all the tenants in the buildings. Also, if some parts of your house are always warmer/colder than others your landlord may be able to adjust the baffles on the HVAC system in the basement to balance it better.

          • Good point about the electrical load and about what the landlord(s) will allow.

    • Honestly, this wouldn’t bother me provided there wasn’t suddenly some crazy spike in the electric bill. I do think ya’ll need to have a sit down about heating (what temps it will be set at/ when the heat will be on or off) – when I had roommates, we definitely had this discussion at some point.

    • To me it’s not a big deal. Yes it probably costs more, but unless it’s significantly more it’ll even out somewhere else. If you look at it from another perspective, maybe she feels like she’s being polite by only heating her room instead of turning up the thermostat and making you all uncomfortable.

    • This totally cracks me up, because I lived with two other women in med school and this was the very issue that broke up our roommate relationship. I was the stay-out of it, no drama one, but by the end, my two other roommates, who had been friends, really didn’t talk much anymore.

      In our situation, the roommate who was using the space heater was also jacking up the heat when the two other roommates weren’t there. We had all “agreed” to keep the heat at a certain temp (we were in Rochester NY, in an old porous building, and it was drafty), and then you’d come home from studying and the heat would be up at 90, the space heater would be on, and it did feel like my money (of which I had none) was getting burned up.

      So I have to admit, and this has been pointed out to me before on this site (on a nasty weekend thread, not that I’m still bitter) but I can be petty. It’s one of my flaws. My ultimate solution? Move out into a tiny studio where utilities were included and lived on my own. I realized that this kind of pettiness was a sign that a roommate relationship didn’t really work for me anymore.

      • Similar “petty” person here. I don’t do well with roommates because small stuff — like the space heater situation — really bugs me. I realized it wasn’t fair to my roommates to have to adjust their lifestyles to me and got a studio. I cut out a lot of expenses to afford it (cable, data plan, salon haircuts, started biking instead of driving to save on gas, etc.), but it was so necessary for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this before I damaged a good friendship. Years later, we’re still friends, but much more distant than before.

      • Shout out to EC MD from Rochester NY (Strong Memorial Hospital!!!)

      • Anonforthis :

        I’m working at a hospital in Rochester at the moment. Winter is coming…. And I am not excited!

    • eastbaybanker :

      I agreethat roommate situations shake out in the end, and we are never the perfect roommate that we think we are.

      I’ve been in this exact heating wars situation, but in a duplex with a shared heating bill. The building was 100 years old, with old aluminum windows, very drafty and no central heating. I grew up in a warm climate, and don’t do well in the cold. I used an energy efficient space heater through the winter (oil-filled radiator as mentioned by Zora above). My use was not to be excessively hot, but just to be comfortable. The person sharing my heating bill complained that my use was excessive. On the receiving end of such a comment, it felt like the person was trying to control me. Especially since we weren’t even roommates, just shared a bill. I eventually moved.

      • I’m not trying to tell her she can’t use it, just that if it adds a significant cost to our bill, I don’t want to share that cost.

        • Kontraktor :

          Again, what else adds cost to your bill? Like many people have pointed out, long showers, hair drying, lights/computers being left on, cooking… these ALL add cost. So, why is it not okay to run a space heater but it is okay to take a long shower or cook? You’ll pay the cost for your roomates to cook, but not to run a heater? You could play this game indefinitely. So, I really don’t think you have a leg to stand on here, especially if the bill per month is only a few dollars higher (is it really the roomate’s space heater? or could it be one of a multitude of other causes?).

          You have a few options here. 1) Assuming the bill is reasonable, let it go and realize living with people means you have to deal with people doing things differently than you. 2) Move out on your own and control all utility costs yourself. 3) Dictate militant use policies for all appliance related things in your house (no showers longer than 5 min, no using the oven for longer than 60 min, etc.) so all use of everything is always ‘equal.’ 4) Assuming bill is unreasonably higher than normal, work together with all the roomates to agree on a reasonable energy use policy with the understanding that people have different preferences than your own.

    • My roommate one year in college ran her space heater 24/7 in her room without me knowing. Imagine my shock when the bill was 5x more than normal. She thought it was energy efficient, too. I was pissed and a broke college student. We split it up so that I paid half of the “normal” amount and she paid the rest. We agreed that I would pay half of the historical bill for that month (aka the year before when we also lived together in the same place) and she would pay the rest, barring a spike in rates. Suffice it to say, the next month she used it very judiciously.

      • Lalo – this is a great response. I had a similar issue with a roommate who set her bedroom window AC unit to turn on every day at 4 pm, so here room would be nice and cold when she got home from work at 6 pm. This was right out of college when money was tight (she made significantly more) and it irritated me to no end, especially when some nights she returned home at 11 pm.
        I finally said that if I’m home and you’re not here yet, that AC is getting turned off.

    • This would drive me insane. But that’s why I don’t have roommates. Also, DH and I fight about appropriate heat levels all the time (he gets cold; I am cheap). It really isn’t as expensive as you think to run the space heater.

      I’d explore just turning on the heat as an option. Or, if she’s freezing AND your electric bill is ungodly high (I’m talking a dramatic increase. Like, double), then bring it up. But my guess is that the incremental difference in your share will be under $10/month.

    • One of my law school roommates (there were three of us) and I used to get into it about the heat in our drafty apartment. I “run cold,” and really need the thermostat to be at 70 or above all the time in order for my fingers not to turn blue and for me to feel comfortable in my home. She was from a very frugal family that kept the thermostat in the low 60s all winter long. (We both grew up in cold Midwestern climates and went to law school there.) The third roommate was the “chill” one and didn’t voice a preference one way or the other.

      Anyway, we got into this terrible back-and-forth where she would turn the thermostat down to 55 each time she left the apartment, and I would turn it up to 75 the moment I got home in order to make it warm enough for me to take off my down coat and mittens, which took about 15 minutes of blasting heat. This obviously pissed both of us off. Ultimately, we agreed that the temperature would be set at 65 while we were out of the house and never above 70 when we were home. I still was a bit cold, and she still probably thought we were spending too much on heating our place, but it wasn’t worth getting into an even bigger thing about splitting costs, since we each used the other appliances in our place differently.

      I think it’d be worthwhile to address the issue openly with her and try to come up with a solution that makes you each (at least mildly) happy rather than being too aggressive about it.

    • This thread turned out, um, way harsher than I thought it would. Thanks to those who gave constructive advice.

      • Anonymouse :

        You asked whether this would bother other people and what arrangement you could reasonably suggest. By my count, every single one of your responses answered one or both of your questions honestly – but I don’t see why you think that was harsh?

        • I don’t think I’m being mean or petty or aggressive, all of which were said. I don’t have a latte budet to cut back on. Small amounts of money on a monthly basis mean more to some than to others.

          • Kontraktor :

            OP, I think all people are trying to tell you that it is really hard, if not unreasonable, to try to pinpoint who uses what electricity and charge more for individual usage. I think that is an unreasonable expectation to have if you also hope to keep a peaceful and friendly living situation with multiple people.

            If you truly are in a position where you cannot afford an extra $5 or $10 in fluctuating household expenses, perhaps you should consider moving some place where the rent is even lower? Especially given changing seasons (spaceheaters not withstanding), it is not unreasonable to see minor fluctuations in bills each month. If your financial situation is straining you so much where even a $5 or $10 deviation in monthly expenses is not doable, moving may be the best option for you so you have a greater cushion.

            If it does come down to trying to get the other roomate to ‘pay’ more, what about discussing, as a group, her paying for a few more common household items than normal if she wants to continue to use the spaceheater while the other heat is off? That way, you’re still paying the same amount of money- it’s just you’re paying higher electric but lower toilet paper/cleaning supplies/etc. cost.

          • I’m generally on your side that space heaters might cost more than just turning on the gas, but don’t forget that the bills are going to go up in the winter, whether it is because of space heaters or turning on the gas. So the real question is: how much more? and do you fight to turn on the gas or get your own space heater? Did the roommates live together last year? Ask if you can see last years gas and electric bills so you can budget. If the bills were in one of their names they can call the utilities and ask for back data on usage and cost.
            Also, on a side note lesson both I and my sister learned the hard way – a 3 person roommate situation can get ugly quick because it often turns into 2 against 1. So if you can’t afford to live on your own yet, in the future it is probably best to look for a single roommate as opposed to 2.

            I think you are right to worry a little about the bill going up, but hold off on throwing fits until it actually arrives in case it doesn’t go up. Ask your roommates to respect a “turn off the space heater if you’re not staying in the room” request. And buy them a sweater and some fuzzy socks/slippers for Christmas.

          • Anon for This :

            I think it would be good for everyone to remember that tone doesn’t always come across well online. I totally understand why OP is upset– there are a handful of comments here that would have made me feel the same way if I was in her place. Almost all of the responses are perfectly reasonable, but in light of the few comments that could easily be taken as personal criticisms (rather than criticisms of OP’s response to the situation or responses to her questions), even some of the reasonable responses seem a little like piling on. If I were already insulted by, for example, the suggestion that I just needed to skip a few lattes, I’d be pretty angry by the 15th person to chime in and repeat how wrong I was. Importantly, this doesn’t mean that the 15th person was wrong to write a reasonable answer, but I would hope we could all be a little more understanding of how our intentions can be misread.

            All of which is to say: OP, while I agree that you should probably at least wait until you can see the monetary effects of the space heater (and whether they are worth worrying about or not), I totally agree that this thread seems harsh.

      • OP it sounds like you were just hoping everyone would tell you you were right. You weren’t, your suggestion was rather unreasonable, but no one was harsh about it. everyone has had moments like that, where they think something is unfair and can’t i just do (blank). You are not alone in that at all. no one called you petty. one person said your defensive response was a bit petty. No one called you mean, I just reread it. And no one called you aggressive.

        • You’re right, I did write a defensive response. I feel defensive because I feel attacked. I don’t know why being “defensive”is such a cardinal sin. Should I be defenseless?

          I think more and more around here, people couch their frankly bitchy comments in “tough love” and it’s uneccessary.

          • I think feeling attacked is a huge overreaction though. Just my opinion but I don’t even see any tough love in these responses.

          • I’m a relatively new reader and feel compelled to comment for the first time– I don’t think anyone said anything bitchy at all. Frankly, I’m very puzzled at your tone– no one seems to be attacking you here. I think they all pointed out how hard it is to live with people and how there might be a trade-off somewhere that you might not have considered before– using oven more, taking longer showers, etc.– so that it evens out. I also think the suggestion above to wait and see the bill before approaching the roommate about her heat usage seems reasonable. Someone also simply said that in the end, living with roommates is cheaper than what you’d pay for bills living alone but you seemed to be offended by even that (“neither you or I know what the bill will be”). I don’t get it. Also, please don’t misconstrue this message as an “attack”– I simply am confounded when someone gets angry that they didn’t get the affirmation they were looking for and decided it’s everyone being bitchy. Huh.

    • OP-I just want to let you know I’m more on your side (and I can totally see how you would feel this was against you). I don’t think that this is the same as saying “you shower for 25 minutes, not 7 like me.” Wait and see how much more the bill is and I think a lot of how you will be perceived (petty, mean, what have you) by your roommate will come off of how it is phrased and the way you approach the issue. You live with them, they probably know more or less that you are feeling the pinch financially. I had a (different) roommate who would preheat the oven, then shower, then do laundry, then put her food in. I had to sit her down and tell her that even though she was technically in the house, it was dangerous to just leave the oven on at 400 because it was more “convenient.” Leaving on space heaters is not always safe (per load reasons and electrical ones as mentioned above) even though it might be more pleasant and convenient for her.

  23. I love this DRESS! It is not to expensive either. I will ask the manageing partner to aprove b/c he likes me in RED.

    My fleight was late yesterday comeing into Saint Louis so I did NOT get on to the INTERENET all day, and now I am at the Companys computer. The key’s gets stuck alot, and I have NOT done any work at all yet. FOOEY!

    Jim met me at the HOTEL this morning and we took a car over to this big plant and all morning all I am doing is talkeing to people about New York. A bunch of guy’s came over and they asked me where I live (Manhattan) and what I do (a lawyer) and do I have a sister (of course) and just about EVERYTHING but what I am suposted to be doeing, which is the do diliegeience.

    And Now Jim want’s to go early to lunch and then to go RIGHT out to the BASEBALL field for us to watch batteing practice?

    Jim says he paid alot of money for these ticket’s but it is very WINDY here today, and I do NOT want to sit in the rain. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    Also, I do NOT think it is etheicial for me to bill for a full portal to portal day when I will be doeing absolouteley no work, but the manageing partner say’s I can bill portal to portal. Is he right? I hope so.

    Does the HIVE have any advise on this? I do NOT want to bill them for $5000 a day when I am doeing no work at all, but I let the manageing partner decide.


    • DC Association :

      Well I guess ELLEN won’t be at tonight’s meet-up. ELLENWatch was right – she had two days to go out of town and she did!

  24. Has anyone made chicken breasts (not whole chicken) in a crock pot? Based on a thread a few weeks ago, I wanted to do a whole chicken in my crock pot but when I got to the store, the split (bone in) chicken breasts were actually cheaper, so I bought those. Can I cook them just like a whole chicken (i.e., rub them with seasoning, throw them in the pot, cook on low for 7-9 hrs), or is there a problem with this? Thanks!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I do this all the time, so I wouldn’t worry!

    • LMGTFY (:-))

      (google slow cooker bone in chicken breasts)

      Short answer is yes — though you need to make sure there is liquid involved because chicken breasts, even bone in, will dry out more quickly. You can follow recipes for boneless check breast — but I’d refer to a few recipes on time just to be sure that 7-9 hours won’t overcook it.

    • I do this all the time, but with something liquid (chicken stock, BBQ sauce, spaghetti sauce, etc.). Go for it!

    • I was given a slow cooker/crock pot as a gift and haven’t used it. For 3 years.

      I will admit that it’s due to my irrational paranoia that this is an appliance that will somehow malfunction, and either explode, leaving a disgusting mess in my kitchen for me or my DH to clean up when we get home from work, or burn down our house.

      Aside from the refrigerator and the clock radio, we leave no appliances on when we’re out of the house.

      Tell me I’m crazy and explain why so I can get some use out of this lovely slow cooker? :-)

    • phillygirlruns :

      yes. yes you can. make sure you add liquid, as others have said, and cook for no more than 4.5 hours on low – i know it doesn’t seem like enough, but it is, and holy cow it’s so tender and delicious this way.

      • Only 4.5 hours? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of having a slow cooker (i.e., to cook while you’re gone at work all day)?

        • phillygirlruns :

          nah – the slow cookers i’ve owned were both programmable, so once the cooking time was over, they’d switch to “keep warm.” i’ve never had anything overcook that way, and the done-ness was about the same with a few hours on warm as it was when i was able to pull them out right away.

    • MaggieLizer :

      Funny, I just had a crock pot jerk chicken breast dish for lunch. I made it over the weekend and have been enjoying it with spaghetti squash all week. Link in reply to avoid moderation. There’s a lot of sauce because the sweet potatoes, onions, and pineapple have a lot of water in them, even though you don’t use very much light coconut milk. The chicken is tender and reasonably moist. I would probably cook it for 4.5 rather than the recommended 5 hours next time because the potatoes get a little mushy when reheated.

      • MaggieLizer :

    • I frequently cook chicken breasts this way. I dump them in the crock pot with salt and pepper and a mix of chicken broth and water (I have also used french onion soup on accident which turned out pretty well :)). I leave the crockpot on low all day while I’m at work so they are basically falling apart when I get home but I drain them and shred the breasts to make chicken salad, tacos, enchiladas, chicken risotto, casseroles, etc.

  25. yes, this would definitely bother me, but i wouldn’t try to set up a payment arrangement that accounts for it because, as other commenters have implied, it would probably lay the groundwork for a tit-for-tat situation where she’d want you to account for everything you do that’s not perfectly equal. not worth it, imho.

  26. a) I just want to write down somewhere that I’m really proud of myself for responding when my (female, generally awesome) director made an offensive comment in a meeting this morning. (It’s the kind of thing that a lot of people say without thinking and that pop culture has turned into a bit of a joke, but is actually quite insensitive.) I sort of just blurted out my response without thinking too much about it, but she emailed me and came to talk to me to apologize and agree that I was correct and promised that she would be more careful in the future. So for anyone nervous to stand up for something like that, there’s some more anecdata to support you and to reassure you that management will respect you for saying something (if you have decent management).

    b) I know we’ve had 347697 conversations about hiring cleaning services/cleaning ladies. I’ve finally talked myself into it because even with doing a little bit every day, I’m not happy with the cleanliness of my apartment and the whole second shift thing is killing me. I’m about to call a cleaning service for a one-time through cleaning and then see how much it would be for biweekly maintenance. I am, however, struggling with calling a cleaning service over finding a lady that works for other families in the neighbourhood, which I know would be cheaper. Having grown up in a lower-income family, I’m not used to/comfortable with hiring people to do things for me (seriously, you should see my discomfort in nail salons if I ever go). I feel like that discomfort is lessened by going through this local company I found that has great reviews online. Is that totally crazy?

    • phillygirlruns :

      congrats on both ends. i had a very similar struggle with the decision to hire a cleaning service, and ended up going with a woman referred to me by a friend. since then i’ve referred her to two other friends. she’s pricier than the big services but i felt a lot better about having someone endorsed by people i trusted, and i like that she owns her own business.

    • AnotherLadyLawyer :

      You are NOT crazy! I grew up in a lower-income family as well (my Mom was even a cleaning lady for a while), so I was super uncomfortable with hiring someone to clean for me when I was raised knowing how to clean for myself and I’m not really that busy (that’s the awkwardness talking – really, I am crazy busy). In my brain, the service was like a non-person, so it was totally a bit easier. I actually got mostly over it by talking to my Mom, who reminded me that (1) either way, a person is going to be cleaning for you, and (2) that by hiring the cleaning person directly, you are probably ensuring that more money goes to her (rather than to the service as overhead, etc.) and she likely needs that money, like my Mom did when we were growing up. The other thing I will say is that I have had both services and independent cleaning people and without fail the independent people have done a better job. My current cleaning lady (who was gifted to me by my old cleaning lady after she got a full-time cleaning job for one client) takes care of me like I’m her kid and randomly does all kinds of lovely, special things I didn’t ask her to do (straightening up the linen closet, organize the fridge when it is particularly bad, get a handle on all of those stupid plastic bags under my sink, etc.). That said, the service is probably easier when you’re first starting out (easier to find, less stress for you right now, it seems) — so go for it!

      • Thanks — that is exactly my issue, and exactly what I needed to hear. I’ll start with the service just to get over the initial hump and then ask around for someone independent. (In my case, my mom works as an admin assistant/general office manager, and I worked in similar capacities in university so I have a hard time asking the admin assistants in my office to do things for me, and end up ordering all my own stuff and teaching them how to mail merge. Whoops.)

        • AnotherLadyLawyer :

          Preaching to the terrible-at-delegating choir! I’m working on getting better at this kind of thing one tiny step at a time. Ordering supplies was my first victory! When you’re feeling down about the whole thing, always remember that those skills (the being able to do everything kind that come with not asking anyone to do anything) will serve you well, no matter where you are. Having worked with other lady lawyers at my level who didn’t know how to copy/scan/fax/mail merge/send mail and refused to learn made me realize that I could shine sometimes for being the responsible human who knew how to do things the partners/senior associates/clients needed done during the hours when there was no admin to help, while my colleagues looked, well, bad. And, more importantly, enjoy your clean house/apartment!!

      • karenpadi :

        Second this. I agonized over keeping my cleaning lady when my ex moved out. It’s just me and a small house–I should be able to keep it clean. Then, my dad went to India and told me that, in India (and please, correct me if this is wrong), it’s bad if you can afford household services but don’t hire help. The people who make more money are expected to hire the less fortunate to “pay it forward” in a way. By cleaning your house yourself, you are denying someone else gainful employment.

    • AnonInfinity :

      a) Great job! It’s always so satisfying to stand up for something you believe in, especially when the end result is so positive.

      b) About the cleaning situation — I think you should get whatever service you feel most comfortable with. It’s my understanding that the people who work for many cleaning services make around minimum wage. My house keeper makes significantly more than minimum wage based on what I pay her (and I buy all the cleaning supplies). I’m not sure if that speaks to your issue or not. Some people like the cleaning companies because they’re more likely to be insured and easy to track down if something happens in your house.

      • Thanks! Good point about the minimum wage issue. I do intend to ask about the wages they pay their employees when I call.

    • I am from a very low income background – in fact, I even cleaned houses when I was a teen – and I know what you mean about being uncomfortable. But know you are supporting someone who needs the money. I’m sure you can relate to that, and that is how I deal with my guilt about things like that. You’re making more money and you’re spreading it around. That is the right thing to do in my book. (as long as you can afford it)

      • I find this all really interesting. I grew up poor-ish (poor enough to get groceries from our church a few times) and for awhile my mom was a live-in housekeeper (I lived there, too, but it seems weird to say I was a live-in when I was seven). I always felt like that made it easier to hire a housekeeper myself because I knew I didn’t think I was any better than they were. My husband, who grew up solidly middle class, has a much bigger issue with it than I do. (I still think it’s often just what you’re used to. So many people fuss over hiring a house cleaner and/or giving orders to the house cleaner, but you don’t hear people saying the same thing about waitstaff at a restaurant.)

        • I grew up solidly middle class, but both my mom and grandma cleaned churches for a little extra spending money and I ended up helping during high school & college when I needed extra cash, too. The fact that I know how to clean and do it well is what holds me back from hiring help even though I could reallly use it. I can keep up with daily chores well enough but all those deep-cleaning tasks don’t get done nearly often enough. I need to get over my discomfort and DO IT already. A couple that lives about a block from me has a cleaning service. They’re seriously nice people & I’d feel good about supporting them, but I can’t get over the ‘you’re being a lazy bum!’ mindset.

        • I think your latter point is important. If you don’t think of housecleaning as a lesser occupation, then what’s wrong with hiring someone to do it? It’s a job like any other – I pay a fair price for the work, and am happy to be able to outsource the task.

    • You’re not crazy. I’m another corpor3tt3 who grew up with very little money, and felt both crazy extravagant as well as ….somehow betraying some sense of class loyalty (“upstairs vs downstairs”) by hiring a cleaning person. I had this vision that I was somehow going to turn into a monstrous Marie Antoinette.

      The person who cleans my house does it as her own business. I haven’t used a cleaning service.
      And then I realized– no, just about every job has its own inherent dignity and it helps a small business owner. Plus, comparative advantage– she’s meticulous and cleans my house way better and more efficiently than a financial desk-jockey like me.

      Finally, my treating her well-as I would want to be treated as a fellow human being, alleviates the “class loyalty/guilt” thing for me. The few times when she and I are in the house at the same time, we’ve shared tea and brief friendly conversation. And it’s been a great relationship so far (3+ years and counting.)

    • It’s totally not crazy to feel guilty — and having grown up with relatively little money compared to where I am now, I totally understand (I thought having a cleaning person when I was growing up meant you were RICH RICH RICH).

      But here’s the thing, if you treat the person with respect and dignity, then I think its a real service to the community to hire someone to do a perfectly legitimate job. And I’ve always remembered something I’ve learned about other countries, like India especially, that its considered the height of social disgrace NOT to have household help if you can afford it. Because its considered simple social responsibility to do so. So maybe you can think about it like that instead — being one of those job creators that we all hear so much about. :-)

  27. Does anyone have good recommendations for fall outerwear? By afternoon, it’s too warm for a wool peacoat but a lightweight trench doesn’t cut it, especially when it’s windy.

    This is why I love weekends. Fleece jacket + cute vest = cozy & good to go.


      Sort of trench-like in style, but heavier-weight than a trench so it’ll be warmer, but not as warm as a peacoat.

  28. This is a stunning dress. Love the color and the cut. It would really make the gray days a bit more interesting :-)

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