Thursday’s Workwear Report: Asymmetrical Pencil Skirt

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

This $89 skirt from Emerson Rose has a lot going for it. It’s your basic black pencil skirt (not quite a faux wrap) but with a really interesting slit in the front that makes it look a lot more avant garde than it really is. It seems like a cool skirt that’s very modern and sleek, and it’s lined, as well. It’s available in Nordstrom in sizes o–18. Asymmetrical Pencil Skirt

A plus-size option is at Lord & Taylor.

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  1. grapefruit :

    I have a feeling y’all will laugh and think I’m uncool, and maybe I am, but I recently discovered pull on pants (i.e. no zipper or button fly – they pull on like leggings) and my life has been changed. I’ve always despised pants because I hate the feeling and bulk of a zipper fly, but I randomly found some cute black and white patterned slim pull on ankle pants at TJ Maxx that are SO comfortable. And I look slimmer because I don’t have a bunch of bulk around my stomach. LIFE CHANGING, LADIES.

    That is all.

    • You’re not alone! I’m loving this style for the same reasons. They are also way more flattering and accommodating of weight fluctuations (I’m the kind of person who gains everything in my stomach, butt, and thighs, so I need room!).

      • grapefruit :

        I hear ya. If I so much as look at a salty meal, I gain 5lbs of bloat. My clothes need a little wiggle room.

        • Rainbow Hair :

          I’m always so confused by posts here (and people everywhere) saying, “I just have these last 5 lbs to loose!” like… I fluctuate almost that much, with no effort, over a weekend through sweating/hormones/drinking water/peeing/apparent magic?

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            “I wanna lose three pounds.”

          • They mean 5lbs of fat, not the normal fluctuation you’re talking about that everyone experiences. It could make the difference between clothing being too tight vs actually fitting you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be comfortable, you know?

          • Rainbow Hair :

            Anon, I’m not criticizing, I’m literally confused. (I know I have no right to weigh in on what someone else wishes for or works on on their own body!) I guess they mean “five pounds from the lowest weight”?

    • Anonymous :

      See also, side zip pants. Talbots almost always has some side zip ankle pants. Those and EF crepe pants (pull on) are my office standards on days that I don’t need to suit up.

      • Triangle Pose :

        I love side-zip ankle pants! They are so flattering, with a flat panel front, perfect for tucking in tops. I don’t love pull-on on pants because they still always have some sort of elasticized waistband even if it’s just at the the two sides of your hips and elastic is not office appropriate for me but that’s a “know your office” thing.

        • grapefruit :

          On mine, the elastic waistband is fully concealed inside the fabric, so it’s totally invisible unless you pull the pants inside out. It’s a stretchy ponte fabric but the waistband looks no different from side zip pants. I haven’t tried tucking yet, so can’t speak to how that would look.

          I’ve worn my new perfect pants to work twice already, once with a flowy black 3/4 sleeve top and once with a black tank and white blazer (with black heels both times), and both looked really cute and professional. Makes me so happy when comfy wardrobe items look really cute!!

          • Which pants?

          • Triangle Pose :

            They sound great! I guess I meant _I_ don’t feel office appropriate wearing elasticized waist pants, not that everyone can tell they are elastic.

          • grapefruit :

            @Torin they’re some weird brand from TJ Maxx, I’ll try to remember to check later. But knowing TJ Maxx, they probably will never be found again.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Can you tuck shirts into pull-on pants? I can’t quite figure out how that would look.

      • I have a pair of side zip pants with belt loops – I typically will tuck in my shirt with a belt in that case.

    • sippin tea :

      AMEN. I wear JAG Jeans in a pull-on style, and some Charter Club (Macy’s brand) straight leg pants that pull on at work. I am so much more comfortable, and I never need more bulk around my belly.

    • Not that Anne, the other Anne :

      If you are uncool, so am I. I have a couple of pairs of work-appropriate pull-on pants and I love them. What I don’t love is that sometime pull-on pants do not have pockets. I need pockets!

    • I’m a pear and pull-on pants (and esp. JAG jeans) actually make me look a million times worse than I do. It’s like bad maternity wear on me.

    • Yes, I have pull-on jeans from J. Crew that I love!

    • everyone tell me more about all of these pants.

      signed, side zip and pull on devotee

    • I wear nothing but this style for work. People get excited for our monthly charity casual Fridays, while I’m grumpily thinking how much LESS comfortable jeans are than my work pants.

  2. How do you handle feeling jealous of friends? I have such raging feelings of jealousy and I feel awful about it, but I can’t stop them.

    • Anonymous :

      Positive self talk!

    • Anonymous :

      Jealousy or envy?

    • Anonymous :

      Identify what’s at the root of the jealousy. Usually it reflects a mismatch between where you see yourself and what you see friend having – are you just looking at the highlights, without balancing the realities? Are you looking at the work/risks friend took to get that opportunity? Can you use that realization to help you figure out how to get yourself to where you want to be?

      I like to (ideally) use jealousy as a flag to look at my life and figure out 1) what I think I’m missing and 2) what I can change to get that thing. If I have to change something I don’t want to change, then maybe I don’t really want that thing too badly afterall.

    • Linda from HR :

      I step back, remind myself of all the good things I have going for me, then ask myself, is it possible for me to have what she has? What steps could I take? Do I want to do that? And finally, I try to be happy for her, because that’s what friends do!

    • You need to get outside your bubble and be around people with real problems. If you have time to be jealous you have too much time on your hands. We are the most fortunate people in human history; get some perspective.

      • Unnecessary and possibly untrue. We don’t know what OP’s jealousy stems from. Right now, right before Mother’s Day, a lot of people are having a lot of mom-related feelings. Maybe OP lost a child and her friend has beautiful healthy kids. Maybe OP lost her mom and her friend has a wonderful relationship with her mom. Maybe OP was raised in a series of foster homes and all the performative Mother’s Day rituals are getting to her.

        Yes, we are very fortunate, but that doesn’t mean we’re immune from the bad parts of life just like everyone else in human history.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Jealousy is a part of human nature. While it’s true that most Corporette readers are living in an exceptionally privileged time and place in human history, you can really only easily compare yourself to what you see around you. I can’t fully understand how difficult life was for a Russian peasant in 1915 or even for my great grandmother raising eleven children on her own through the Great Depression despite reading and hearing about it; I see my friends, peers, and coworkers regularly and get to experience a bit of their lives alongside them. It’s human nature to compare. And what qualifies as a “real problem”, anyway?

        OP, any time I’m feeling the green-eyed monster it tends to correlate with when I’m feeling more dissatisfied with something in my life. It’s easy to say and hard to do, but I try to focus that energy on improving my life and staying away from people and things like social media that distract me.

  3. After a long search, I’m leaving my toxic government job to join a smallish firm . I’m thrilled. However, I’ve never been in private practice. Any tips for a successful transition?

    • Wanderlust :

      Get in the habit of tracking your hours and entering your time before you leave the office each day. If you work from home after you leave, you can always add that back in the next day. Being on top of my time entry really helped with the “OMG am i going to meet my hours?!?!” fear.

      • This is probably the most important piece of advice you will receive. Bad time entry habits are SO hard to break.

        • I made that exact transition about two months ago. Keeping track of hours is new for me, and it’s definitely a learning curve. I like to keep stickies (the app, though real stickies could work too) open on my desktop so I can write down what I’ve worked on and the time. I spend several minutes at the end of every day making sure everything on that sticky is in my billing entries.

          The reduction in autonomy is also taking some getting used to. At my old job, I answered to myself and my semi-present boss. I could pretty much come and go as I pleased. I wanted to work hard because I wanted to win my cases, but there wasn’t a whole lot of oversight. Now I have a very involved partner to answer to, as well as clients who pay us.

    • I agree with the other OPs. In government, you did NOT have to bill your time or account for it I suppose, but that will NOT be the case in private practice. When I was in government, I pretty much did what I wanted, and tho I was onley a summer person, none of the others in my office who were attorneys sweated it out very much at all. Onley when the deputy AG stopped by for a planned visit did people scramble to put together power point presentations, but then did very little later other then look out the window rating women that walked by on Constitution avenue. FOOEY on them! I did NOT even get an offer from them. The assistant branch chief wanted to date me but I was not interested in him. He was half bald and smelled of fish all the time. I remember seeing a lot of sardine cans in his garbage all the time. DOUBEL FOOEY! As if I could see myself having that as a boyfriend? No thanks!

  4. Anonymous :

    Tips for actually getting up early and not snoozing 7 times? It’s a hard habit to break.

    • Triangle Pose :

      Give working out at night a try! Tire out your body and mind before bed so you go to bed and sleep earlier. For a long time I tried to be a morning exerciser and I realized not only and I not getting the most out of my workouts because my body isn’t warmed up in the morning, I was hacing trouble falling asleep at night because my body was still wired from the day and I had worked out too early to experience the benefits of being tried and ready for sleep at a reasonable hour at night. As soon as I accepted that and worked out at night, I can get up early and have a better day and better sleep.

    • Put your alarm clock away from your bed.

    • I struggle with this myself, and unfortunately i think the answer is to go to bed earlier. Or set your alarm at a realistic time (i.e., when you actually need to get up and not when you think you would ideally like to get up).

    • Anonymous :

      Set the coffeemaker to have the coffee finished brewing when your alarm goes off. Having it start brewing when the alarm goes off is not sufficient. Set out your cup, spoon, and sugar bowl right next to the coffeemaker. This is the only way I can get up at 4:45 to work out.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      The only thing that worked for me was using my fitbit vibrating alarm. It goes off twice – the initial time and then nine minutes later. It will not go off again, so I had to tell myself I didn’t get up, I would for sure oversleep. It works. I feel the first one and start “practicing” being awake. When the second one goes off, I get out of bed.

    • Anonymous :

      Go to sleep earlier. An earlier dinnertime helps me with this. My body is used to x hours between dinner and sleep so if I can time dinner right, I’ll be naturally tired when I want to be.

      Get up later. Take care of as many of your morning chores as possible the night before – pack your bag, lay out your clothes, line up your makeup, shower at night, make your breakfast and pack your lunch.

    • A pet that hates snooze alarms and thinks it is his job to wake you up.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      What works for me is to drink a ton of water so that I wake up at 6:30 and have to pee, and then can’t fall back asleep. :)

    • Have a kid or get a dog. (Only slightly kidding. I haven’t set an alarm in 6 years.)

  5. I will be attending a family wedding in Portland, Oregon over Memorial Day Weekend. I’m trying to feel out what to wear for a Thursday welcome dinner, Friday rehearsal dinner, and Saturday wedding (all with after-parties!). Not looking at RTR, will shop if necessary, and am trying to get a feel for Portland/the Pacific NW vibe for wedding attire. My east coast wardrobe may not be fun/casual/whatever enough so I’d love some advice! Thanks!

    • Anonymous :

      What is that part of your family like — are they casual? Relaxed? Do they have money and wear Expensive Casual? Or are they more formal, even though they live in Oregon?

      • Great question! They are in-laws so I’m not exactly certain. The groom is from the Deep South but the couple lives in Portland. It is a moneyed crowd but many of their college friends will be in attendance and all events are at Very Hip Places.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Any chance of peeking at their social media feeds to see how they usually dress?

          • +1. I totally creep on people on social media to find other weddings they’ve attended to try to get a sense of their “standard” dress code.

    • For me personally, I’d do a dressyish jumpsuit and fun gold jewelry for the Thursday welcome party, a floaty skirt and top for the rehearsal dinner, and a fun, funky dress for the wedding on Saturday.

      I feel like Portland is one of those places you can get away with pieces or outfits that might be a little more “out there”, but I could be wrong!

  6. This is really random and I have my annual doctor’s appointment coming up so will ask there, but in the meantime: the last couple of weeks when I wake up or if I’ve been lying on the couch for a long time, my feet hurt a bit when I first start to walk. Not badly, and not even my feet really but more like the top of my foot where my ankle and foot connect. That area just feels a bit achy. The feeling goes away pretty quickly and I’m usually fine by the time I reach my kitchen. Anyone experience this? Am I just getting old? Do I need to drink more water? I’ve tried stretching before getting out of bed in the morning and it doesn’t seem to make a difference.

    • Anonymous :

      Are you wearing different shoes? This is what happens to me every year when the temperature rises and I go from my winter shoes to sandals.

    • Are you barefoot? It sounds like when I had plantar fasciatis. It hurt in my arch and up the back of my heel.

      • +1

        Your arches just stiffen up when you’re not walking around, and then loosen up when you are. I bought a pair of these to wear around the house and it went away.

      • Agred – plantar fasciatis.

        Roll a golf ball underneath your arch.

        • I’m both wearing different shoes and walking around barefoot! Thanks! Will try golf ball. This is so much better than falling down the google rabbit hole and deciding I have an incurable disease.

          • I had these symptoms and they got worse after pregnancy/a year post partum. It ended up being a combo of weak ankles and weak arch on my right foot (I have hella high arches), then plantar fasciitis in my left foot because it was over-working to compensate for the right. I went to PT and now I only wear shoes with insane arch support (Birks) or with inserts. Still figuring out what shoes I can wear in the summer (spoiler alert, it’s kind of a drag).

          • From experience, a golf ball can be a bit intense at first. A tennis ball is friendlier.

          • A lacrosse ball is perfect.

          • Minnie Beebe :

            If you’re feeling really brave, try a Foot Rubz massage ball. It is probably harder than a golf ball, with little hard nubs sticking out all over. It’s not super fun to use, but it really, really works well.

      • If you do have PF, highly recommend you go see a podiatrist to have them educate you on what to do and not do. I suffered for months, saw a podiatrist, he told me exactly which insoles to use in which shoes. I had been using some drugstore PF inserts that cushioned (and made my feet feel better), but it turns out that PF needs support, not cushioning, which is why you have to wear shoes that have good arch support, no bare feet, etc. My PF cleared up last year, but I am still very careful if I am doing significant walking to make sure I am getting the support I need and it’s much better! Good luck.

    • I’m 48 and my husband is 55. He’s been complaining about his feet for years and describes it like you do. He is a runner and can barely walk when he first gets up. I fear that I am getting there – when I run at least 4 miles, my feet are sore all day. Our 15 year old daughter is a distance runner and has lovely pain-free feet. They look so healthy – plump pink skin with no visible veins or bones. I write it off to aging.

    • Rainbow Hair :

      You can get a thing to put in your shoes called heel cups– I found they really helped!

      • Don’t do this! This is what my podiatrist told me was masking the pain, but not fixing it in any way (thus extending the pain). Go get the right inserts for your feet so they are supported!

        • Rainbow Hair :

          oh no really?! i just used em and then it got better (and now i just wear regular supportive shoes)

          • Your local specialty running store should be able to recommend and fit you for the proper insoles, even if they aren’t for running.

    • PF is often caused by tight Achilles tendons. My physical therapist suggested basic stretches for that, which you could g00gle. I often stop and do then for 10 seconds as I walk around my house. And my PF flares up if I wear heels.

      • There are probably specific stretches, but I find any calf stretches help, as this loosens the tight tendons.

        When PF was really bad for me, I slept in a sock with a velcro strap that attached just below the knee – this pulls your foot perpendicular to your leg and stretches the muscles while you sleep. Not s3xy but very helpful for the pain!

        • Anonymous :

          +1. Ultra running BF does something similar he swears by: wear a hard boot/brace to sleep. It keeps your foot perpendicular to your leg and stretches the muscles while you sleep so you don’t get that instant stretch and irritation in your muscle when you step out of bed.

    • Anonymous :

      Just chiming in to say I don’t think this is PF. What you described is pain on the top of the foot. And then you got a lot of responses about a condition that is caused by inflammation across the bottom of the foot running to the heel. (“It sounds like when I had plantar fasciatis. It hurt in my arch and up the back of my heel.”) What you have sounds like an injury to the tendons at the top of your foot. You may need to wear a different kind of shoes because what you are wearing is causing stress to the top of your foot. Maybe your shoes are tied too tightly. Maybe you need more arch support so your foot is not stretched so flat. Maybe you can’t wear heels so often. You may need to use some anti-inflammatories and do some simple stretches for a bit until an overuse injury can heal. But again, like you said you would, ask your doctor. This does not sound like PF.

      • Anonymous :

        Are you by any chance a treadmill runner? I had a similar pain a couple months ago, and I realized it coincided with the change in weather that led me to bring most of my runs indoors. I always set the incline on the treadmill to +1 because I heard that better mimics outdoor resistance. But it was also somehow aggravating the tendons on the top of my foot; I suspect because my foot was never landing completely flat. Removed the incline, and the pain went away.

  7. Posting again in the hope of more responses. I’m looking for a great endocrinologist in DC or Bethesda who can treat my hypothyroidism. My PCP has not been doing a great job managing it and so I think it’s time to see a specialist. Must take insurance (I have United Healthcare) — I am really shocked at how many endos don’t take any insurance at all. Any recommendations?

    • I posted on yesterday’s thread! I started seeing Dr. Sarika Rao at Medstar health – she is great! My PCP also wasn’t doing a good job managing my hypothyroid (she shrugged it off when I raised concerns about my levels and TTC) and I am much happier with Dr. Rao. I also have United Healthcare.

    • Washington Endocrinology in Gaithersburg. It’s a little far but they are good.

    • Dr Sklar — Sklar endocrinology

      • Thanks, I heard great things about him but he’s one that doesn’t take insurance.

        • Minnie Beebe :

          Can’t you just submit your own claim? My son’s dentist doesn’t take insurance directly, which means we have to pay upfront. But we get reimbursed for at least a portion of that via a check from the insurance company.

          The office might need to help with the claim processing/entering codes, etc.

  8. Anonymous :

    Shot in the dark, but can anyone recommend an oral surgeon in the Philly area who takes Medicare?

    • Medicare doesn’t cover “services in connection with the care, treatment, filling, removal, or replacement of teeth or structures directly supporting teeth,” except for very limited exceptions, so I think it’s going to be very difficult to find an oral surgeon/dentist/endodontist/etc. who takes Medicare.

    • Is this dental? Medicare doesn’t cover any dental-type surgeries.

  9. Anonymous :

    I just can’t seem to get my brain to do little chores. Cashing a check from the insurance company, returning that pair of shoes that didn’t fit, completing my application for a service org I really want to join… things that I WANT to do and NEED to do and won’t actually take that much time but I just have this mental block that makes each chore seem like an insurmountable task. I usually have my sht together better than this. Anyone experienced this?

    • I think you need an admin power hour. Make a giant list of all the niggly things and group them by context (errands, computer, phone calls), set a timer and go, go, go!

    • Rainbow Hair :

      Do you have a checklist? When doing the task itself doesn’t seem ‘rewarding’ enough, checking it off the list often does it for me.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Sorry I can’t remember who on here said this, but I have found it life-changing: “Do the thing instead of worrying about not doing the thing.” It has been very helpful to me! Because doing the thing is SO MUCH EASIER than the worrying!

      • Doing the thing is sooooooooo much easier! Literally always.

      • That quote totally stuck with me and is my new mantra too!

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yup, it’s usually just a matter of “doing the thing” for me. Once I’m on a roll I’ll power through a million of these small tasks easily. And sometimes I realize that while I think I *should* do something, I don’t actually want to do whatever thing it is or it’s not realistic and I let it go (obviously this applies more to things like applying for volunteering and not to paying bills, etc!).

      • I think Sloan said it, and I think of it often when faced with a challenge. Come to think of it, I haven’t seen much activity from her unless she has gone anon. If you see this Sloan, I hope everything is going okay!

    • Reading along to pick up some tips, and wanting you to know you are not alone in this matter…

    • Try the Wunderlist app. It has really helped my husband and i become better about these things and change our habits. I used to be the same way – the amount of time/energy i spent talking about the thing i has to do, I could’ve done it five times already

    • Did I write this when I was procrastinating on submitting a reimbursement request and forget????? Ugh you are not alone. I was actually contemplating the “do the thing” mantra this morning on my way to work… I find that sometimes I go through phases where I’m doing well with it and other times where I flail. When I’m doing well I try to notice it and roll with that energy for as long as possible- the satisfaction I get from doing the thing motivates me to do other the things.

    • Anonymous :

      This has always been me, but recently I say I will do one thing before I go to bed tonight, or one thing at lunch time, etc.rather than a whole list of things I don’t get round to or I’ll do them ALL on Sunday or whenever. I am so much happier now from this small change. From now on “Do the thing” will be my mantra.

  10. Low ferritin levels :

    Thanks to everyone for chiming in on my low ferritin levels. My doctor recommended Vitron C, which I know another reader also recommended. He recommended two pills a day since my numbers are so abysmal. (I’m not anemic, thankfully). Fingers crossed that my numbers go up and my hair grows thicker!

    I’m also in the need of a new multivitamin, my stock ran out a few weeks ago. I normally take GNC multivitamins. Should I get one WITH iron or will that be overkill with also taking my iron supplements?

    • Ask your doctor?

      • Low ferritin levels :

        Yes, but unfortunately my doctor just went on vacation for 10 days and I’d prefer to restock sooner rather than later. Just hoping to get some anecdata from the group.

        • There should be another doctor or nurse in the office who can recommend what is best. Personally I feel that a multivitamin is not useful and wouldn’t take it.

      • Many times, doctor’s do NOT want to bother talking to me about vitamin’s b/c they are OVER the COUNTER and they do NOT get paid to prescribe them to anyone. So they just tell you to go to CVS and talk to the person behind the counter to find a vitamin that is on sale that week. Rosa had this experience with her doctor and she is much cuter then I am, but the DOCTOR knows she is married so he does NOT waste much time with her or her kids. Ed told her to get another doctor b/c she goes to the same doctor that her kids go to and I agree she should get an INTERNAL MEDICINE specialist, not a skeevey pedicatrician. FOOEY on her doc who really should NOT be examining Rosa at her age!

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Not a multivitamin, but you could consider adding Nature’s Bounty gummies with Biotin for hair, skin and nails. I get them at Costco. My hair is pretty thick always, but does seem a but shinier and they definitely have made a difference to the length and strength of my nails.

      • Anonymous :

        I love these and have been taking them for a couple of years now. Helps with both hair and nail growth.

    • Hi. I’m the poster who recommended Vitron-C too. Get a multivitamin without iron. You will always add your iron separately with the Vitron-C. Iron in a multivitamin is usually a different formulation than in the Vitron-C and would also cause more GI side effects. In general, you don’t take a MVI with iron unless your doctor told you to do this specifically.

      Agree that the multivitamin is a good idea, and hope you have a follow-up appointment planned for a re-check of your ferritin levels and to talk about other possible vitamin deficiencies. Almost certainly your vitamin D is low and if you aren’t eating sufficient dairy/sufficient other sources, you probably aren’t getting enough calcium. Separate the time of day you take your multivitamin with Calcium from your Vitron-C so that the iron and calcium get absorbed.

      That’s great you aren’t anemic.

      • Low ferritin :

        This is so helpful, thank you! I got very comprehensive blood work done and everything else looks good, it’s just the ferritin levels that are very low. Vitamin D is 54 ng/ml which is within range (and note that I have medium brown skin – Indian), hemoglobin is 12.9 gm/dl, TSH is 2.5, Calcium is 10.0 mg/dl (which is on the high side of the range), B12 is 793 is pg/ml. All within range except for ferritin levels. These are just a few of the tests I got done.

        Which multivitamin do you take and do you recommend it?

  11. After dealing with a deployed partner, a death in my family, a cancer diagnosis in my family, a job I hate, and a 4 year job search that is going no where, I finally went to the doctor for possibly depression/anxiety. My doctor won’t prescribe anything until she feels that I’ve tried everything I possibly can to curb it. She specifically wants me to exercise more. I understand her reasoning but I believe the reason I haven’t been exercising is DUE to the depression. I have no motivation at all to exercise, how can I drag myself to do it?

    • Go to a new doctor, that’s an approach, but it’s clearly not one that’s going to work for you. Be your own advocate here.

    • Hire a trainer and keep the appointment. You may be able to get one through a military support organization.

    • I second the call to see a new doctor, but be cautious about starting medication. The New York Times ran an article recently discussing the addictive dangers of antidepressants, including Prozac. Of course they still have their place when truly needed, but don’t make the decision to start lightly. Talk to another doctor and maybe a counselor and get all the information first.

      • As the wife of a doctor, it sounds like her doctor is probably right and I hate when doctors get punished for saying the tough thing. Don’t find a new doctor until one will give you pills. Caution about these pills is a GOOD thing.

        • Thank you for this comment.

        • How is the doctor right to fail to refer OP to a mental health specialist?

          • Yeah, I am not a fan of GPs prescribing antidepressants for a variety of reasons, but the answer is to refer to someone who is a specialist in treating depression. Exercise can help depression, sure, but it may not be the appropriate treatment here.

          • How is the doctor wrong for trying to treat situational depression with exercise before moving on to prescribing drugs?

        • Agree with you there.

          My spouse got prescribed Ambien that he self medicates with. Instead of treating his anxiety (and maybe depression too) and resulting sleep issues constructively, it was so easy to send him home with pills. 10+ years later, no treatment, no motivation to treat, the Ambien has him eating a 4th and sometimes 5th meal after taking it, his sleep is still a wreck, he has gained 30 pounds, and is probably ripe for a heart attack.

        • There is a lot of evidence supporting exercise for the treatment of depression. Kudos to your doc.

          • Kudos to her doc? But OP is saying she’s too depressed to exercise so what then?

    • Can you enlist a friend to help you out with this? For instance, you could sign up to take a class together, to walk or run after work, or to hike on weekends?

    • Get a referral to a mental health specialist who is able to prescribe medication. This is way out of your primary care physician’s expertise. Exercise, diet, and sleep work for a bit, but what you’ve been going through won’t improve with a long swim.

    • Did she also recommend a therapist? I don’t fault the doctor for wanting you to try other options before pills. But, suck it up and get to the gym, as a response to a mental health issue… does not strike me as sound advice. I’d suggest working with a mental health specialist first and then they can guide you on whether to start medications.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Yes, this! A therapist or counselor should be able to help you with mental tools and strategies to mitigate depression and/or exercise around it. You may find you don’t need medication; you may find you do. But if you’re trying other things first, get professional support in that.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I agree with all of this. It’s like when someone tells you “don’t worry!” or “cheer up!” …like, dude, that’s what I’m trying and failing to do!

        As much as I hate it, I’ve found exercise really helpful for my depression and anxiety. BUT I couldn’t get there without the pillz and therapy. (Like, when putting my clothes on is an insurmountable task, and I’ve spent every bit of my strength to get through the workday without crying… how exactly does a zumba class fit into my day?)

        I think it’s good for a doctor to offer less invasive (??) means, but I also think this doctor is failing OP by not getting her some hands-on help now: a referral to a therapist or other mental health professional, or something…

    • Find a new doctor.

    • I understand being cautious about taking antidepressants, but in some cases, medication can help you start making other necessary changes, including counseling and exercise, that lead to better mental health. I’d speak with a mental health professional about the best plan of care for you.

      • second this – I went on a low dose of zoloft during a very low period and it was what got me back motivated to do the things that would actually get me out of the mentail hole I was in. I only stayed on it about 5 months then tapered back off. But it was the tool I needed to get the other things in place for long term help.

        • Third- this is how my therapist (who referred my to a psychiatrist) treats meds for anxiety/depression that isn’t crisis level. They help you get out of your own way so the other things you’re doing (therapy, exercise, mindfulness, engaging with friends) can actually do some good. Caution is good and appropriate, but the attitude that meds are only to be used as a last resort I think is short sighted.

        • Thank you all for the thoughtful responses. I am leery of medication as well due to some of the things mentioned above, but I think this is really what I am looking for. I will follow through with seeking a mental health professional but I just need an extra push to get me motivated to do things like exercise again. This has been going on for a long time so I am discouraged. I want to be able to quickly taper off though.

          • Anonymous :

            For whatever it’s worth, I dealt with a crippling bout of anxiety last year, went on Lexapro, and felt better almost immediately — which allowed me to do the things I needed to do like exercise.

            One thing that really has helped my exercising is accountability – I have neighborhood friends and we do a morning walk a few times a week at 6 AM. It is really, really helpful. I also have a trainer who I meet on other days. None of that has helped me lose a pound of weight, but it has really helped my mood.

      • Anonymous :


        My GP responded by prescribing a short course of wellbutrin and recommending that I increase exercise and start therapy and a monthly check in appointment to see if I still need to continue with medication. Also gave me a specific therapy referral. Sometimes the medication is the boost you need to initiate positive changes to support improved mental health, a GP who doesn’t understand that would have me looking for a new GP.

    • I’m sorry you’re going through all this. That sounds so tough and all the internet hugs and empathy to you.

      Is your doctor your PCP or a psychiatrist? Therapy with a psychiatrist is pricey and often not covered by insurance (although it sounds like you have Tricare which might cover it because I hear it’s amazing) but well worth it IME. S/he can help with “things other than pills” but will also be well-placed to assess when and which medication is appropriate.

      My PCP is happy to prescribe my now Zoloft, but only because it’s just a continuation of a prescription from my old psychiatrist.

    • Also, if it’s not too personal, what area are you located in? If you’re in the DC area, I’m happy to meet you for a workout!

    • Where do you live? I’ll be our workout buddy/motivator!

    • JuniorMinion :

      Couple ideas.

      1) Pick certain times / exercise routines that you will do on certain days – ie something like a strength training program. Even if you don’t want to, commit to going and hold yourself accountable either online or in a journal of some kind. I have an online lifting log where I track my progress. I hate my Monday squat sets but my mindset around it is that it is Monday and on Monday I do this level of squat volume / intensity. I allow myself to whine to myself in the squat rack as long as I do what I am supposed to.
      2) Sign up for some sort of class based program that penalizes you for signing up but not showing up. Thinking of something like Orange Theory / spin classes where you have to sign up for a bike
      3) Pick a fitness goal like jogging / walking that you can more easily incorporate into your normal life.
      4) Workout at home where it doesn’t seem like a huge imposition / you don’t have to be ready to be public facing – reddit has a bodyweight fitness sub and there is a bunch of stuff out there on youtube. You can put these on a calendar (fitnessblender has one)
      5) Hire a trainer (this is the most $$$ option obviously)

      I’m sorry you are in a tough spot. I think everyone struggles to some degree with motivation – key is building a habit of some kind that works for you. The discipline / habit will be there for you when motivation fails.

      • Anonymous :

        She will not reply. All she wants is pills. Ugh.

        • Excuse me? What in the world? Are you a troll? I replied several times above, a few times changing my name to OP and a few times I forgot. But i specifically said I’m leery of pills too. “She will not reply”?! I have a job that I just left for the day. Good gracious. It’s posts like this that make people not want to post on this board anymore.

          Thank you Junior Minion for the thoughtful suggestions.

        • Anonymous :

          This is a really hurtful and unhelpful response. There’s nothing in the OP’s responses that indicates this. Be ashamed of yourself.

  12. How would you style these pants – black, wide leg cropped trousers (culottes, basically); not flowy, more like a thick cotton material; cuffed; hits at natural waist. Looking for more ideas of tops that complement that structure.

    • I’m thinking white sleeveless top with a non-structured white jacket. How’s that for specific? Generally, I think the floaty bottom, fitted top and floaty top, fitted bottom guideline works.

    • Those pants don’t sound cute.

    • SawThisInLife! :

      I saw a woman wearing the khaki version of these this morning and she looked amazing! On top she was wearing a long, belted shirt. It looked like it was cotton so, while it wasn’t fitted, it wasn’t drapy. The silhouette looked fantastic and would probably work with the black version of the trousers.

    • You need something tight on the top. Very tight black short sleeve tee, off the shoulder striped tee, breezy silk cami or barely there silk tank, though these are more like going out looks. Alternately, maybe something like that light pink topshop origami top from last week would work, depending on how stiff the pants are?

    • anon a mouse :

      What about the origami top that was featured last week?

      • Ahhhh yes! That belted top looks perfect. I’m tall so I think that would really work with my proportions. The origami top is a great idea too. I’ve been looking at that top for ages but I need a color that won’t wash me out.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I have similar pants and I wear them with a white tee and this slouchy olive waist-length jacket:

      It’s not the most conventionally flattering look in the world but I get tons of compliments.

    • I love fitted-ish crewneck sweaters with pants like these. A good pendant necklace is a nice third piece.

    • Metallica :

      I really like the look of that style of pants with tops that also hit at the natural waist or just below–that way you get a little waist definition and the leg line stays long–and you highlight the cool pants :) Those pants are also great for showing off fierce shoes.

    • grapefruit :

      I have similar pants and just wore them with a jcrew factory gingham button up blouse that ties at the waist. It’s a long sleeved blouse, and I scrunched the sleeves up and popped the collar a little bit. I think the key to making those kinds of pants work is a fitted top and heels, otherwise (on me) they look frumpy.

    • Anonymous :

      Where did you find these pants? I’ve been looking for a pair…

      • Unfortunately I got them on ThredUp a year or two ago. They are Loft. Now I’m dying to get a pair of the khaki ones described above.

        I love all of these suggestions! Going to try the crewneck sweater, since I already have that. This was a case of “I know I wore these pants to work all the time last year, but now that I haven’t worn them all winter I can’t remember what I wore them with” syndrome.

  13. Shampoo for color treated hair :

    Can anyone recommend a shampoo/conditioner for color-treated hair (black in my case)? Must be sulfate free. My hair is fine and thin and can get oily. Thanks.

  14. Can anyone recommend a good apartment cleaner or cleaning service in Boston? I’m in the South End. Thank you in advance!

  15. Curly hair question. My curls have become *too* soft. They’re undefined and…mushy. I’ve clarified, deep conditioned, and stopped using the product that I thought was the culprit, but no luck. I usually wash twice a week, once with shampoo, and the second only a co-wash.

    Has this happened to anyone else?

    • My hair did this when I used Devachan “no poo”. The whole “clarify don’t shampoo!” thing just did not work for me. These days I use a sulfate and paraben free shampoo and conditioner once a week (the argan oil stuff they sell at Costco), and rinse with apple cider vinegar once a week, and my curls look normal again.

    • Have you looked at whether your hair is high or low porosity? If you have high porosity hair you might find a product with protein in helps to give it a bit more shape.

      • It leans low porosity. I think IHHtown is correct in that I’ve over conditioned and that I need some protein to give it more shape, like you said.

    • You’re over conditioning. Do a protein treatment for every deep conditioning treatments (ex. protein treatment once a month, then two weeks later, a once of month deep condition). Aphogee has a great line of protein treatments that work well (you can literally feel the difference in strength after one treatment). I recommend doing the really intense two-step protein treatment once, then once every 6 mths after that, then go with the two minute protein conditioner after that.

      • This makes sense. I realized an excess of protein turns my hair to straw, and so cut it out all together. I think I’ve now gone to the other extreme.

        I’ll check out Aphogee. Thanks!

  16. Is 3 years in Biglaw enough experience to go in-house without having to take some sort of massive paycut? I’m desperately trying to get out, but feel shackled in a golden handcuffs kind of situation.

    • No. May not be enough experience to go in house at all, but it’s not unheard of. Most people take some sort of pay cut, even attys who have 8 years of experience under their belt.

    • Depends on what you do. For corporate work, you can make a move, other areas like employment and litigation usually require more experience. But at only 3 years you should expect a pay cut – that’s going to be a junior role either way.

  17. Billable Hour :

    I’m a first year associate at an insurance defense firm with a high billable hour “goal” (190/month average to be “bonus eligible”, 180/month to be in good standing), I’m wondering if our billing practices are the norm. When assignments are given, I’m told a max I can bill for it regardless of how long it takes me. I have to bill 1 minute per page for reading documents, not how long it actually takes me. There is no way to bill or account for time that is not chargable to a client, it simply doesn’t count. So even though I’m very busy and working all day, I find it very difficult to bill close to 9 hours. If it’s relevant, the firm appears to be a “revolving door”.

    • Unless your engagement letter says that you’re billing one minute per page, you need to bill for the time it takes you–otherwise that’s fraud.

      Different firms have different rules about writing off associate time (that is above a cap). At some firms, I was expected to bill all my time and a partner would write off what was above a cap. At other firms, partners tried to intimidate associates into “lying” about how long it took them to do things (faster than it really did), so the associate had to “eat” whatever was over a cap. The former is way better than the latter. Especially at the latter, I’d find that a partner was billing all of his or her time, but _I_ was expected to eat my hours, which was really galling and unfair.

      It sounds like your firm is asking you to work “off the clock” but expecting you to hit your hours targets based only on what is billed, not on how long you work. There is a disconnect between your metric for performance and what is actually happening. This is a recipe for disappointment and frustration. If the firm has always been this way, then don’t think you’re going to change it. However, it may be that because you’re new, you are a little slower than you will be in a few months, so you’re less efficient than other associates who know how to “get to the meat” faster. Is there someone that can mentor you re efficiency? Is there another associate who can tell you whether this is a chronic problem?

      If your targets are there and there’s no way to hit them based on how they’ve structured your billing–that’s your answer–you’re not going to get ahead or a bonus there because they’ve set you up to fail. Side note–this sounds really awful and miserable and you might want to find somewhere else anyway. One minute per page? What if something is complex and you need to think about it to analyze its implications properly? This doesn’t make sense to me.

      • I’m really curious — how is that fraud? I agree that this situation sucks, but I don’t see how any labor laws are being broken or anything.

        • It doesn’t have anything to do with labor laws. You’re billing your client for time you didn’t work. You need to bill your clients for time worked or less. Over billing is fraud.

          • But isn’t this the opposite case? She’s really underbilling, not overbilling, right?

            Also it sounds like the firm has already negotiated price with the client, so I guess I see this as more an internal management issue anyway.

          • Anon at 12:36 :

            For everything else yes, but this was in regard to the 60 pages per hour thing, which is the sentence in which fraud was mentioned above.

      • Billable Hour-OP :

        Re: one minute per page, idk if I’m a slow reader, actually my past experience has lead me to believe the opposite, but reading 20 page case does NOT take 20 min! Can take over an hour!

    • Insurance anon :

      60 Pages per hour is actually a really low figure, some of our clients will only allow for review of 150 pages/hour.

      But those are pretty high yearly billables for a defence firm, at least from what I know about other firms.

    • I think you have your answer as to why the firm is a revolving door.

      190 hours per month is astoundingly high — most Biglaw firms have a 2000 hours per year bonus eligibility requirement, not 2280 — especially when you’re constantly being forced to underbill your time. 190 hour months are bad enough without them actually having to be 250 hour months that you’re not allowed to bill.


    • This is not the norm at all, but I will say that I think that every insurance defense firm has their own weird quirks with billing. Yours sounds worse than a lot of others, which is why it is a “revolving door.”

      I am also at an insurance defense firm. I can bill for anything really, and then the partner determines what is charged for the client. We have no rules on what we can bill for but are told to structure our time entries certain ways for certain clients. (It sounds like some of your issues with billing, like the one minute per page thing, are the client’s requirements and have nothing to do with the firm, btw.) Most days I have very little non-billable time related to my work for the firm except for time entry, etc. My billable requirement is 1800 a year, which is standard for my market.

      Flip side of this is that my firm’s weird quirk is that I am not salaried but instead paid based on the hours I bill. This is great if I’m prepping for a trial and have a ton of work. It’s not great if I have the flu and don’t get paid if I take a day off. Also, because we’ve been paid more throughout the year for working more, we do not get a bonus at the end of the year. (I did get a bonus for winning a trial.) My understanding is that the firm has used this compensation model for decades and believes it has helped their stability. They also believe that all the associates like it (we don’t). I will say though that it is better than a lot of other compensation models I’ve heard about.

    • I work in BigLaw and even we don’t have 180 or 190 billable goal. Our total for good standing is 2000 (but this includes CLEs and other office initiatives) and bonus is 2100 (and you can bill a certain amount of pro bono towards this). 2100 for bonus averages 175 a month….

    • Not normal. I am in insurance defense, and our billable requirements are 1800 minimum for the year, with tiered bonus structures for billing over that amount. There are some months I bill 190 because I’m very busy, but doing that every month would be very difficult, particularly as you are saying you can’t bill all your time above the “cap” and will likely not be sustainable over the long term. This is the reason for the revolving door.

      The reason it’s fraud to say you are billing exactly one minute per page is because clients are supposed to pay for actual time spent on a matter, so it can take you 5 minutes to read one page of complex argument and 2 seconds to read a page with one sentence written on it. That is why you typically look at your start time for a task and then note the time when you complete it to accurately and ethically bill your client. Where I work, we get credit for hours actually spent and partners will cut our time if it has taken too long. My understanding is that this is how it’s typivally done. I would start keeping an eye out for a new firm with more humane hours.

    • I’ve heard of firms like this and ime everyone basically half a s s e s their work. You’re only going to pay me 1 hour to read your insurance contract? Ok I’m stopping after an hour and if there’s stuff in there I didn’t get to, oh well, you get what you pay for. I was shocked the first time I heard someone say something like this, it totally goes against everything you think lawyers are supposed to do, but these firms seem to thrive on this sort of attitude.

      You can also forget about mentoring. The senior associates and junior partners have zero incentive to mentor you – they don’t get credit for it – and they’re struggling to meet their own hours. As bad as it is for you this year, it will only get harder to meet your hours requirement as you get more senior.

      I guarantee you other firms in your market know what kind of reputation your firm has. They know you’re not getting any mentoring and you’re being taught to slack. Get out before you carry that reputation with you.

    • That sounds terrible! It also sounds like they are setting you up to fail. I’d start looking to move; life I’d too short.

    • I’m also at an ins defense firm, but more “high end” for lack of a better term. This is bizarre and not typical of all ins def firms. They usually all have strict rules about how to bill and what lawyers can bill for (as opposed to say, paralegals) and generally don’t like lots of time billed to a matter, but I’ve never heard of any mandating 1 min/page or being completely unwilling to pay for more than an hour of research. This place sounds like it’s a revolving door for a reason. (Retention is always highly relevant!! All young lawyers should look carefully at the histories of the people the work with– where did they come from? Where are they going? What happens when they perform less than perfectly? Are they invested in where they are?) I’m told to bill the time it takes-that’s how you do good work for the client and build the skills you need as a young lawyer. It’s the partners’ responsibility to cut it. Our bargain is that the associate does good work efficiently, and the partner faces down the client to justify it if needed or faces the partnership to justify why they have to cut so much associate time to keep a client happy. The partners don’t put the burden of cheap clients on is like yours appears to be doing. This won’t get better and is a recipe for misery. Your hours req is very high. Find a new firm.

      • Exactly this. As an associate, I see it as my job to bill my hours that reflect my work and the partner’s role to make decisions about those hours with relation to client expectations.

    • Creative writer :

      This compensation structure is exactly why I left patent law. No more working for free for clients I don’t like who have “inventions” that aren’t new or even reduced to practice.

  18. Should I stay? :

    When I was in college, I thought I would end up working in the public/nonprofit sector. For better or worse, I am the kind of person who derives a chunk of my self-worth from my job, and it is important to me to feel like I am contributing to the world in a positive way through my work.

    That said, I have spent the last several years as a biglaw lawyer. I actually like my job most of the time. I like being a lawyer and practicing in a firm. I enjoy managing my cases and work with great people and on some pretty fun matters. My particular area of law does not exactly set my world on fire, but it is intellectually challenging (important to me) and I like my clients – I don’t feel gross about the work I’m doing.

    But now that I’m close to partnership, I’m debating whether to stay or jump ship, ideally to some kind of nonprofit gig (easier said than done, I know). Currently I devote a couple hundred hours to pro bono a year and my salary allows me to contribute financially to several different orgs I support. It has also allowed me to pay off my loans, save for retirement, and help out family members who need it. I made more as a first year lawyer than my parents did at retirement; having that financial cushion has been more important to me than I anticipated.

    Some days I feel ok about where I am and what I am going but other days I feel like I will look back on my career at age 65 and wonder why on earth I spent so much time working for corporate America rather than using my education to be of full-time service to those less fortunate.

    I know I am the only one who can ultimately decide what will make me happy but I would love to hear from anyone who has strugged with or made a similar choice between public and private sector, a direct service role or making enough money to donate freely, etc.

    • It sounds like you’ve already made your decision.

    • FWIW, being fiscally solvent and being able to donate time/money to causes important to you is a gift. If your job lets you do this, no need to walk away. Money makes a lot of things happen, including in the nonprofit world. And BigLaw needs nice, decent people who are higher up. Don’t flee just because it sounds good to think in the future you can be “Linda, GC at the Helping Alliance.” So much of my work with nonprofits has been in fundraising (even if I just want to do probono work, there is so much pressure to join the board (e.g., fundraise)), that removing a funding source might do more harm than good. I mean, any nonprofit is paying its current staff anyway, which is easier with your check. If you work there, great for you, but who replaces your check to them?

      • Insurance anon :

        I feel like this is a point that is not made enough. You are meaningfully contributing in this way as well.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Amen. As we’ve seen over and over here, the jobs have a surplus of people wanting to do them. The people who are able to write the checks seem to be fewer and farther between.

    • Make the $$$. You can serve the world later or not – you can just donate $. I’m a believer in looking out for yourself and your family first and not sacrificing yourself/family to save the world.

    • I am currently making a career change from a field where I felt like I was saving the world one person at a time to one where I will be working for corporate America. For me, I found that when everything was great in my non-profit job all the sacrifices were worth it. But the reality of work is that most of the time things are somewhat less than perfect, and at those times it did not feel like the sacrifices were worth it. When things were bad in my organization, I felt like I was actively making the world worse. It made me realize I would be happier in a field where I didn’t feel quite so strongly emotionally invested.

    • Arundhati Roy :

      Also the “kind of person who derives a chunk of my self-worth from my job”. I mean I spent 23 years of my life making sure I work hard to get here. I work in a senior position at a non-profit. Do I make less $$$ compared to even some of my peers? Yes! Do I worry that after spending a ton on my ivy league education I am not “doing all I can” to repay my loans asap and retire? Yes. But is it worth the price of waking up every morning excited for the day? Oh yes! Great work-life balance, great sense of passion and fulfillment and the joy of not feeling like a clog in an invisible machine, really do make up for the missing $. Also, it really gives you a perspective, where you have less value for those additional $$ and the things you could have bought with those but don’t really need in the grand scheme of things. Flexibility, good amount of free/vacation time and passionate colleagues also add to this wonderful package.

    • Linda from HR :

      Not a lawyer, but I feel this way too sometimes. I majored in political science so I could make a difference in the world, and ended up in the corporate world. But you know what? I like my job. I don’t love it, but I feel engaged, I’m paid well, I enjoy flexibility and good benefits I can actually use, and I don’t feel like my life is consumed by some soul sucking job which to me seems pretty huge. Pivoting to a nonprofit, or work with the state government, would mean half the money, and the expectation that I make that job my whole life because I care about the mission or whatever.

      I recently started feeling like I should consider going down a different path, like maybe management consulting, and maybe someday I will go to business school and make that happen, but I don’t want to ditch a good situation for something that might pay more and might feel more prestigious and important, but might also turn out to be crushingly rigid and way too stressful. Grass is always greener, etc.

    • Anonymous :

      I work at legal aid, struggle to pay my bills and loans, and have regrets at my path even if the work motivates me. I suggest you join a nonprofit board. We always need Board members with personal wealth and connections to networks of wealth, as well as dedication to the mission.

    • Anonymous :

      So I am basically just like you, only I decided to stay and make partner. I love my job, I love being a partner (most of the time!), and my job allows me to do things that are really important to me. I’ve taken several pro bono cases to trial and secured classwide relief on constitutional civil rights claims. I work closely with amazing non-profit organizations and may be the next public service chair of our firm, which gives me a chance to steer time and dollars in the direction of significant pro bono work. If you are at the right firm, then you can find a way to make it all work.

    • Should I stay? :

      Thanks so much to everyone who weighed in!

  19. Any recommendations for an opthamologist (not an optometrist or a my eye dr kind of place) in DC preferably downtown? Went to GW a few years ago and they automatically schedule you with an optometrist if it’s a routine exam? I prefer an MD for a number of reasons so I think a private not academic practice may be better.

    • Unless you have active eye disease, an optometrist will offer you a better quality routine eye exam than an ophthalmologist.

      • Ok well then you can go to an optometrist. That’s not what I’m looking for – thanks.

        • That was a rude comment at 11:34.

          • With the things people clutch their pearls at around here, I seriously wonder how some of you manage to get through life.

          • Linda from HR :

            I don’t think it’s a sign of weakness to speak up when someone is being rude or unkind. It’s normal to expect a certain level of civility, and I actually think it’s a sign of strength when someone’s able to stand up to incivility.

            OP, that may not have been the information you wanted, and maybe it felt a little condescending, but it’s bad form to react like that when someone’s trying to help you make an informed decision.

          • Anonymous :

            And it’s not rude to tell me I’m seeking the wrong type of dr? GTFO.

          • Linda from HR :

            Fine, if you’re going to be like that, figure it out on your own then.

      • + 1

        100% agree. For routine exams, my optometrists were always significantly more competent than my opthamologist.

        • Anonymous :

          Because optometrists have years of education in refraction and routine eye examination. Ophthalmologists receive relatively little training in it, and often the training they do have comes from optometrists.

    • anon a mouse :

      Samuel Stopak is great.

  20. Light Pants for Summer :

    Most of my pants are black. I am looking for light colored crop/ankle pants for summer. I am a curvy pare with saddle bags and a big butt. I am looking for specific retailer and pant style recommendations for my body shape.

    • The Express Mid Rise Ankle Columnist Pant just came out in a bunch of light colors for spring. I like the light blue and the grey – both very summery

    • I am shaped similarly and have tried the old navy pixie pants (ankle and full length – full length is a little short) with success. They have a variety of colors and prints and top out at $25-$40 depending on the sale, so you won’t be hurt if you only want them for one season.

      • +1. I own in several colors and they’ve lasted for years. Love them. The sizing is different from both Old Navy’s jeans and shorts though–bring multiple sizes into the fitting room to see what works (I wear a 10 in Pixies, a 12 in their skinny jeans, and a 14 in their chino shorts…)

    • Loft Julie pants – lots of styles that are light colored right now

      • +1

        I just ordered another pair of these. They work well for my extreme pear shape, and have a nice quality fabric that smooths. I get the ankle pants and there are some cropped styles too.

        The only Express pants that work for me are the Publicist cut,which you can usually only find online.

        Also, Halogen also has a pretty good ankle pant for our shape. The Halogen ones are my more casual/weekend look, and the Loft ones are more substantial that I wear for work.

    • White House black market ultra slimming- the fabric is thick enough to hold you in and not show lumps

    • Magic Unicorn :

      Ann Taylor curvy fit ankle pants! I just tried them for the first time and love them. Also a pear, 38-33-44 measurements, usually size 14 in other brands but had to size down to a 12 (and they are comfortable if not a tad loose).

    • I really like the Banana Republic Avery fit.

    • Nerfmobile :

      I have recently discovered Talbots. Their Hampshire ankle pant fits my hourglass shape with a large rear very well. They even have a curvy fit which I haven’t tried but could be worth doing so.

  21. Do you think there is more depression/anxiety in the US than in other parts of the world? Or is it just diagnosed more – while in other countries people wouldn’t go to the dr for it? Do you think depression/anxiety are more prevalent now in America than when we were kids? I realize some of this is that the stigma is gone (which is great), but being mid 30s now – so many peers/friends experiencing this (not judging – been there), so many see therapists and/or take meds. I don’t recall it being this bad when I was 15-20 — I don’t recall any 30 somethings talking about this, taking meds etc. It could just have been something you kept quiet back then. But talking to friends about this over brunch – all of them said their 60-70+ year old parents say the same — they knew no one who ever went to therapy or maybe 1 person who went after divorce etc but they seem “surprised” that so many highly educated, motivated women with far more money and higher level careers than their parents are so unhappy. Do you think it’s just lack of stigma or is life harder or less resilience or MDs quicker to diagnose??

    • Lolz. No. We aren’t just wusses. And major major lolz at anyone actually believing people weren’t depressed 40 yrs ago.

      • Yeah, the “our parents never knew anyone who went to therapy” thing is NOT because people were happier then. That’s about stigma and awareness.

        My grandmother got electroshock treatment in the late 1950s/early 1960s, and the family kept it a secret for almost 40 years.

      • Yuuuup. Major depression/’female issue’ (ie – undiagnosed endo/PCOS/tendency towards uterine and cervical cancers) runs in my mom’s side of the family but nobody talked about it much, however as an adult it definitely started to come out in my moms/aunt’s descriptions of when ‘oh yeah, mom sent us all over to the farm for a month when our baby sister died young’ or ‘remember when mom whipped us all and was so mad for that one summer’ or ‘aunt so and so was always mean and yelling at her kids’ etc. etc. etc. If you look between the lines it is there. I would SO much rather acknowledge/treat my issues than ‘cope’ by anger/physical violence/benign neglect/alcohol as my parents and relatives did.
        Oh – and Guess which path is easier on the kids as well?

      • Betty Draper :

        Of course we weren’t depressed 50 years ago. We had Mother’s Little Helper.

    • FWIW, when I was working in global health some 15 years ago, depression was identified in surveys as among the world’s most common health conditions. I think we approach and treat it differently in the US, and our cultural context for thinking about mental health is different, but if you just apply diagnostic criteria it is (or at least was at the time) identified as incredibly, incredibly common.

    • If exercise helps with depression and anxiety, then being glued to screens at work and at home is probably worsening it. People just seem so, so sedentary now. Kids, too. No wonder everyone is miserable.

      When I was a kid, we were just outdoors all the time. [Same with my parents on weekends — those leaves aren’t going to rake themselves!] TV was 12″ and we got 5 channels, so no point even watching much of that. And we went home after school. And my parents didn’t work insane office jobs (and then log on to the computer at home afterwards). My kids go to an after school program where are kept in the school cafeteria for 3 hours until I can pick them up — currently looking for an after-school nanny who can walk home with them (half a mile) and then let them be outside once they do their homework. I think they will be much happier that way.

      • Rainbow Hair :

        I hear this all the time, and maybe this is fatalistic of me, but … so what? What do we do with this theory? I guess I could quit my job (that gives me insurance that helps me get antidepressants!) and get a non-computer job? I don’t even know what that would be? Take my kid out of daycare and ???? do what with her while I’m at my non-indoor job? I could lock my phone in a box for 23 hrs/day but then how do I connect to my support network?

        A lot of people are really trying their level best, in the real world that we live in, and are still depressed.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      It’s a combination — stigma is down and diagnosis is up, which is good. (Remember that a lot of people our parents’ ages who should’ve been in therapy were closet alcoholics instead, and valium has been widely prescribed for a long time.) But there’s also a lot of data showing that actual morbidity is also up, especially among young people. Suicide rates are a rough guide actual depression rates regardless of diagnosis, and that’s wayyy up, again especially among young people.

      I saw an article about the whys of this (I’ll see if I can find a link) about a researcher who found that the only really strong correlation is smartphone use, although it’s not clear afaik if there’s something about smartphones as such or if it’s a proxy for things like irl loneliness, social media toxicity, cyberbullying, p0rn, or whatever. Among young professionals, economic anxiety comes into it as well, I believe.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Okay I couldn’t find the article I was thinking of so here’s a different one, albeit with a melodramatic headline:
        It’s by someone who studies teens specifically, but I would imagine (IANAS) that adults would suffer similar effects.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Okay, so I couldn’t find the article I was originally thinking of, so here’s a different one, albeit with a pretty melodramatic headline:
        It’s about teens specifically, but I would imagine (IANAS) that adults would suffer similar effects.

    • Can’t speak to the bigger issues because who knows but doesn’t it feel like everyone thinks about things ALL the time now? Back in the day – you got a job offer, you took it or not based on $, commute and how the manager seemed. Now you research it to death on Glassdoor, LinkedIn, ask your former colleagues opinions and their friends of friends because you’re connected to them via LinkedIn. By the time you start, you have such a picture of how it’ll be, expectations etc that when it doesn’t match, you’re confused, saddened etc. I think the internet has led to too much info and that “just do it because I have no choice” is being lost and that has mental effects.

      • Albert Ellis wrote about how a lot of unhappiness stems from your reality not meeting your expectations. As expectations go up, it’s easier to be unhappy. That’s one of the reasons why social media creates so much unhappiness. Look at sitcoms and movies even. Compare today’s houses to the honeymooners or even something like Family Matters. It’s so easy to feel like you just aren’t measuring up. Plus we are sold a huge bill of goods about how we are supposed to w/r/t our relationships, our social life, everything. It’s like your life is just supposed to be multiple org&sms, fairy tale weddings, huge baby showers, pinterest dinners everynight, etc.

        This is not to say that real depression didn’t exist before or that people are being wussies now, but I think it’s easier to feel socially isolated now, to feel anxious about your place in the world, to be unhappy with how your life is turning out because you realize you can’t actually have it all, etc. And, choice paralysis is a real thing, for sure.

    • Doctor here. Diagnosis of mental health issues was terrible in the past, and treatment was rare. The stigma is lifting but clearly still not gone.

      To the OP – Of course people did not talk about it to you about their mental illness when you were 15. What 30 year old together enough to realize they were depressed and lucky enough to have a doctor that was treating it would reveal it to a 15 year old? Honestly, strangers are more likely to reveal mental health issues to each other than to other (judging…) family members. That’s why support groups of “strangers” are so effective.

      While this blog may suggest otherwise, doctors/primary care doctors/cardiologists/neurologists/oncologists are still quite poor in diagnosing and treating mental health issues, when these doctors… honestly… should be asking about mood at every visit.

      We realize now that it is critically important to diagnose and treat depression/anxiety, as these are associated with not only poor quality of life, but decreased recovery/rehabilitation after acute illness, increased dementia long term as well as many socially devastating effects, such as family breakdown/addiction/child abuse and mental health destabilization in children/school drop out/job loss etc…. And on a milder note, depression/anxiety causes sleep difficulties (with more long term biological effects that are detrimental), difficulty concentrating, difficulty organizing/multi-tasking/remembering, fatigue, increased pain and more.

      BTW – while the NYTimes article was interesting, it was not very scientifically based and did nothing to address the fact that because of our biological/genetic differences, there is a large number of people who will benefit from medication and behavioral modifications/therapy for life. And this is not a bad thing. Because if we didn’t treat them for life, they would be more likely to lose their job/damage relationships/attempt suicide/develop dementia etc…

      I also agree that the increased use of electronic devices, decreased exercise in children, and social meeting are causing negative effects that will reveal themselves in the years to come.

      • brokentoe :

        Thank you for this…

      • Anonymous :

        But antidepressants aren’t effective “for life” for most people. They poop out, and then what are we supposed to do?

        When I was medicated, I genuinely felt that I was being numbed to a problematic status quo. I can’t help but sometimes wonder if this is happening at population level.

    • Blue Zones :

      I’m not a doctor, but wouldn’t be surprised to learn that depression is higher in the US for a few reasons:

      1) Not as tight of a social bond in the US as I’ve seen in other countries. Families are spread out through the country, people work too much to socialize with friends, etc. Growing up in Asia we would often have friends over in the evening, see grandparents constantly, cook outs on weekends, etc.

      2) Poor nutrition. People are eating way too many processed foods and not enough fresh fruits and vegetables, high quality meat, organic dairy, etc. Look at the obesity rate in this country.

      Definitely agree that there was surely depression in the US years ago but not diagnosed as much due to stigma, lack of awareness, etc.

      Highly recommend reading The Blue Zones which profiles communities worldwide who live the longest (and are also healthy and happy). Almost non-existent depression in such groups as well. The common factors among the group were strong social connections, regular walking, and eating fresh food.

      • I agree with you. I especially think the lack of tight social networks is a huge factor driving up depression rates. Your social bonds contribute hugely to your levels of happiness and ability to stay resilient in the face of a crisis. A lot of happiness surveys basically equate the health of your social bonds with your overall happiness levels because they are so closely related.

        Social media just makes it worse because people spend time feeling inadequate and envious, rather than actually getting that boost of person-to-person contact. Having a friend or family member over for a weeknight dinner would be a million times more helpful than spending an hour on social media, but that’s not logistically possible for a lot of people. A lot of people feel very alone.

  22. Submitting an Op-ed :

    I recently pitched an idea for an opinion piece to an online business publication in my industry, and the editor was interested. He liked the piece and requested a bio, contact info and a photo from me. Is this an indication they’ve decided to run it?

    I’ve never done it before and literally have no idea how this works. Not at all my day job…


    • You should ask him!

      That sounds super cool and exciting, btw. Congrats on even doing that!

      • I mostly just didn’t want to look silly, but I probably will ask toward the end of the day. And thanks :)

    • Publishing professional here.

      No way to tell based on what you’ve said. I’d suggest asking the editor for confirmation. Basically, “I’m pleased you like the story idea. I’ll be happy to put together the materials you’ve requested if you’ve decided to run my piece. Can you tell me more about next steps?”

      Be sure to ask about deadlines, how long the review process (if any) and editing are likely to take, and how quickly they’ll post the piece. Also ask if you’ll retain the copyright.

      • Thanks for chiming in. I actually sent him the piece and a bio that he requested. I got excited and didn’t really think about asking anything else. I’m hoping to raise my profile in the industry, so I don’t much care about anything other than getting it out there. If they aren’t going to run it though, I’d like to be able to submit it elsewhere. So what should I do now?

        • Oh, okay. Yes, they will probably run it, but do ask for confirmation. You can also inquire about the timing and copyright.

          As to whether this will give you visibility, it depends on the site’s status in your profession and popularity/circulation. At minimum, you can promote the article yourself once it’s live on the site: put the link up on your FB profile, add it to your email signature for a while, send it to selected professional contacts, and so on.

          • Sorry, I meant LinkedIn profile re: professional contacts, although FB or other social media could conceivably work for you, too.

        • Anonymous :

          Go to the site and search to see if they have writer’s guidelines anywhere, or if there is any information about how to submit an article or an idea for one. If you can find this info, it will tell you a little more about the process.

    • Yes it sounds like they are probably going to run it. I think you’re overthinking, my hometown paper runs long form opinion pieces from locals all the time. It will run, your picture will be there, you’ll get a couple crank emails maybe and it will fade into the 24-hour news cycle.

  23. Blue Oxford Help :

    What is your favorite brand of classic button down shirt? I’ve curated a work uniform that includes a blue button down and my go-to, Gap, is no longer cutting it. The new version of their fitted boyfriend is too thin. Looking to stay in the $30 or less range (I know that’s a stretch). I have scoured ThredUp and I’m not finding much. Thanks!

    • Try Uniqlo. Haven’t checked recently but had very good experience with theirs in the past.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I really like Lands’ End, which often has shirts for $30 on sale or overstocks (especially classic blues — if you want one of the special florals it may not make it into overstocks).

    • I actually really like H&M button downs!

  24. Has anyone been in a firm that has switched from a set number of days of vacation to “unlimited” vacation days (provided of course you meet your hours)? When it was a set number, the message was very much, this is part of your salary and you are entitled to take it. With an unlimited system, it seems like the message is that you are only entitled to take vacation if you’re having a good year. But maybe I’m making too much of a distinction – at the end of the day you’re expected to meet your hours under either system. For anyone who was at a firm when this change was made, did you see any shift in attitude about vacation time?

    • My husband works for a corporation (non-lawyer job) and has a set number of vacation days. I work for a small firm and have “unlimited” due to our compensation structure. He is more likely to feel he has to take all of the days but must schedule them in advance. He often will take a winter break and just do things around the house for a week while I’m working. I’m more likely to be able to leave work early on a whim or take a half day for a trip but not just have time to burn on vacation. In other words, I feel like my schedule is more flexible than his, but I do not feel like I have “unlimited” time off.

    • My firm made this switch when I was a junior associate. I always felt that it was a way for the firm to save money, since it would no longer have to pay out vacation days when associates left. I didn’t see or feel a change in the attitude towards vacation; both before and after, the firm mainly cared about your total hours at the end of the year.

      • OfCounsel :

        My firm does this and for the same reason. They don’t have to track and pay out unused vacation when someone leaves (which they would otherwise have to do under state law). Before and after, there was an unspoken rule that nobody cared how many days you took off as long as you met your hours – although we did have a rule that if you billed less than 4 hours in a day you had to take a half or full PTO day – which was not enforced to people who had met their hours but had no unused PTO.

    • Linda from HR :

      Yeah, that’s unfortunately pretty standard. If we switched over, I’d probably feel “entitled” the same amount I had before, and wouldn’t take anything else unless I had a really good reason for needing it.

      That said, at my last job we switched to unlimited, and as far as I could tell my colleagues were able to take what they needed for family trips, sick time, travel days for weekend trips, stuff like that with really no argument from the boss, but our boss was cool, I never knew exactly how it played out in some of the other departments, so who you’re working for probably does make a difference here. And as Anonymous above me mentioned, it is easier on HR to not have to keep track of that stuff.

      • Linda from HR :

        Er, forgot to mention, the job I had with “unlimited” (I think they called it “flexible vacation” or something) I was a contractor so I never got to enjoy either vacation policy. For two and a half years. Not salty about it now or anything . . .

    • I work at a firm that has unlimited vacation. It’s punitive. Every hour you’re on vacation is an hour you have to make up at some point.

    • Elegant Giraffe :

      My husband’s company (not law) made this switch in January. The company was very explicit to say that you should take approximately the same number of PTO days you took last year, so I think there are ways for companies to avoid the punitive sense that can come with unlimited PTO systems. Main change seems to be that company will no longer have to pay out unused PTO.

  25. Lana Del Raygun :

    I was 100% planning to change my name after marriage but then never got around to it, and now I’m not so sure. If you hyphenated, did it cause hassle or mixups with paperwork? If you or your kids grew up with a hyphenated name, was it a big pain learning to write it or telling other kids or anything? (My name and my husband’s are each two syllables, six letters, FWIW.) If you kept your name but gave your kids your husband’s or a hyphenation, how did that go?

    • I am not pro-hyphen. Esp. when you are hypenated but your kids aren’t (you are Smith-Jones, but your spouse and kids are Joneses). And if you pass the hyphen on, and your Smith-Jones kids marry Hill-Bakers, what do they do? In the meantime, how do you monogram that? [I think the Brits have hypenated names as a last name, like Price-Jones, but then how do you hypenate with that — Smith-Price-Jones?]

      FWIW, I like Lana Del Raygun Smith (just add on at the end, no hyphen).

      I also give a pass to Zoe Saldana’s husband b/c taking your wife’s name, even with a hyphen, rocks.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        Do you mean changing my last name to “Del Raygun Smith” with a space, or shifting “Del Raygun” to a(nother) middle name?

      • I personally think that people who worry about the hypothetical grown child marrying another person with a hyphenated name are just making excuses. I would trust my hypothetical child enough to figure it out.

        But I’m really anti-name changing (it is *the* hill I will die on) and I’m not anywhere close to having kids, so that part is not an issue I think about much.

        • I think the point is more that hyphens don’t really fit in easily. Like for airline reservations or running out of spaces when filing out forms (my first name for SATs, etc. was Virgin).

        • Anonymous :

          I agree with anon at 12:25. I mean, c’mon.

      • I agree. I don’t like hyphens. It’s equitable but kind of clunky. My BFF kept her maiden name and they gave the kids her name, which I think is amazing. In my circle, at least 50% of women keep their names, but they almost always give kids the dad’s name. I like the idea of alternating (first kid gets dad’s name, second kid get’s moms or whatever) but then you have to be ok with your kids not having the same last name.

        • I kept my name and we gave DS my last name. My sisters with kids took their spouses’ names so there was no one in the next generation with our family name, ex-H had family issues and was happy not to pass on his father’s name, which was always being misspelled and mispronounced, anyway.

          We had very few issues with it, although we live in a liberal bubble within a red area. DS is 23 now and thinking of making his dad’s last name his middle name. This started to occur to DS only as he became active in a particular cause where his father is very well known – so he was constantly explaining that yes, Prof. X is his bio dad.

          • Anonymous :

            Yes my friend who gave her kid her last name used her husband’s last name as a middle name. I’m not sure if they will do that for all kids or just the first one. It was a similar situation – her husband has father issues and wasn’t keen on passing on his family name.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I always thought the rule was that when Mary Smith married Bob Jones and they become the Smith-Jones family, then Jane Doe and John Roe marry and become the Doe-Roe family, when Susie Smith-Jones and Mike Doe-Roe get married they each keep the name of their same-sex parent and become Susie and Mike Smith-Roe.

        If it were me I would keep my name and give each of my children the name of their same-sex parent. So Mary Smith and Bob Jones’s children would be Susie Smith and Frankie Jones.

      • Anonymous :

        My last name is hyphenated; we gave my son only my husband’s last name. He’s our only child and also the only child in my husband’s paternal line left to carry on the name. I was fine with it. I know lots of women with hyphenated names but not too many children who have them, so giving the child the last name of only one parent must be a common choice in my area.

        I love having a hyphenated last name and have not had any legal problems with it whatsoever. The only minor issue is when I book flights on Southwest Airlines, I have to smoosh my two last names together.

    • Betty Draper :

      I have a neighbor who hyphenates. It seems to be a period piece of sorts (like from the first generation of working women — think Working Girl — who didn’t quit when they got married). She is Jones-Smith and husband and kids are just Smiths.

      Then, it was associated with women in status jobs and then when she left that she got mocked for having done the look-at-me hyphenated thing and sticking with it even when she stopped having an “important” job.

      So it seems that maybe it is a bit dating do hyphenate (vs adding a last name or just keeping yours or using one just socially or for work), like it is out of style?

      I have lots of black friends and I see a lot more hyphenating in that community (incl hyphenated children, not just hyphenated married women). Among my white friends I can only think of one woman younger than me who does it (and I’m in my mid-40s).

    • I added name at the end like Lana Del Raygun Smith. And I wish I just had kept my maiden name. It’s a lot of bother and many systems like airlines just won’t recognize the space in a name so I’m always guessing whether my name is in there as “Raygun Smith” or “Raygun-Smith” or “RaygunSmith” or just one of the names in isolation. People are confused by it. That said I did stick my kid with the same two-part last name because smashing the patriarchy.

      • People are confused by it because you’re insisting that your middle name is part of your last name when it is not. It’s a middle name. That’s what women have always done. Most of the time they drop their middle name and replace it with their maiden, but not always, some people just have 2 middles. But no you don’t get 2 last names without a hyphen that’s not a thing.

        • I think that that is why so many girls typically have throwaway middle names like Ann or Lynn.

        • Except that it is? If my elementary school could figure it out for my classmates who had both parents’ last names without a hyphen 30 years ago, I’m pretty sure it’s a thing.

          • I think you have to fight upstream for that to be a thing.

            I keep trying to eliminate my middle initial and even that is a fight (seriously, I have Unique First Name and Unique Last Name — I don’t think you can just volunteer in Unique L. Special, which I hate; how many “Unique Specials” are there???).

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I don’t see any hyphen in Del Raygun, so… ;)

        • So you’ve never heard of Harriet Beecher Stowe? Her last name was Beecher Stowe.

          • Beecher (her famous family) became her middle name upon marriage, and she was known as Mrs. Stowe socially and in public appearances. The Library of Congress and all other major sources list her as “Stowe, Harriet Beecher”–so she was ahead of her time, but this is not a case where the birth name and married name were used together as the last name.

        • Anonymous :

          It’s 100% a thing and it’s actually the most common format amongst professional women in my area who did not just keep their maiden name. I don’t know anyone with a hypen.

          I’m Jane Maiden Married. DH is John Married, kids are Lisa Married and Bart Married.

          About half the female lawyers I work with have the same set up for their families. The other half did not change their names after marriage and their kids have their husband’s last name. One female lawyer changed to her husband’s name.

        • Magic Unicorn :

          Haha, sounds like you have not experienced Dutch country. Space without hyphen last names are everywhere and no one bats an eye.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Yep. And also in Mexico it’s usual to have two surnames that are not hyphenated.

          • Senior Attorney :

            And by “yep,” I mean “nope” to Anonymous at 12:37 p.m. and “yep” to Magic Unicorn.

        • Anonymous :

          How is two last names, no hyphen “not a thing”?? I wanted to hyphenate but was told at the Social Security Office “no hyphens” and so just have two last names instead and never touched my middle name. (I suspect my small, rural community’s SS staff may have gotten that rule wrong, but whatever.) I now really like the two last names thing, and it generally doesn’t cause confusion.

          That said, we gave our son just husband’s last name. My reasons for keeping mine were about not wanting to lose my pre-marital identity (I was switching from writing to law at the same time, so was extra-attached to not abandoning that previous iteration of myself.)

    • I grew up with a hyphenated name in the 80s/90s. The biggest problem was that some computer systems wouldn’t take the hyphen or have enough spaces. But I grew up in an urban Midwest city, and people may have had different reactions in a different area. Also, my extended family never got it right – mom’s side used her name, dad’s side used his – but that says more about my family then how confusing it was or wan’t.

      I ended up dropping one of the names before college graduation, and it was no big deal. I had been thinking about it for years, and wanted to do it before I got my degree. But that was for family reasons and nothing to do with the hyphen or any problems it caused. My brother still has the hyphenated name.

    • I think the no hyphen, both names option inevitably results in your name becoming a de facto middle name and your husband’s becoming the only last name people use. If you want to hang on to your name, use that hyphen.

      I also think the “oh, noze! what about the children’s future marriage?” argument is a bit ridiculous, as Spanish naming conventions (among others) have handled this issue successfully for generations. Should the need arise, your kids will almost certainly figure this out on their own, as you are doing now.

      It’s also worth mentioning there will always be hassles and mixups concerning names. It’s inevitable. I mean, my name is Jennifer. It’s one of the most commonly used names in my age cohort, and one my parents gave me to avoid the trouble they had with their longer, less common names. I am regularly called Jessica.

      So. Ask yourself what you want, what you really really want and just do that.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        This is a good point about the inevitable hassle — dh’s name is one letter off from a popular TV character’s, so it’s not like adding my name would be a lot of marginal confusion.

        I think that what I want, what I really really want is for all of us to hyphenate, but dh doesn’t want to change his name and he’s the only son, so he also wants to pass on his name. Maybe we’ll give the kids my name as an extra middle like someone suggested downthread?

    • We hyphenated our names and have had no real hassle (beyond the inherent hassle of changing your name, anyway). Sometimes people forget a name and just use one of our original ones but it’s not a big deal and I’ve never been given a hard time about correcting it.

    • SuziStockbroker :

      My name has been hyphenated from birth (my dad’s last name is hyphenated, its a thing in the UK).

      I didn’t change my name when I got married.

      My husband also didn’t change his name.

      We hyphenated the kids names. We took the first part of my last name and hyphenated it with my husband’s.

      So, we have three last names in the house; mine, his, and the kids’.

      It’s not really a big deal.

      I also know couples where some of the kids get mom’s last name and some get dad’s (or their other mother’s).

      And I know one couple where the kids all have mom’s last name.

      It’s all good.

      No one can spell my name, even though it is actually spelled exactly like it sounds. But my husband’s last name has several different common spelling, so he always has to spell his too.

      Someone with his exact name was on the No Fly list a couple of years ago, so my husband always had to check in at the airport and it took forever. That will never happy with mine or my kids very unique last names :)

    • Anonymous :

      My mom and I both kept our names but gave our kids our husbands’ names. Neither of us has ever had any problem whatsoever. Chose to use husband’s name for my kids because mine is unpronounceable.

    • I did not change my name and my kids have DH’s last name. But they both have my last name as a second middle name on their birth certificates and passports bc I thought it might benefit me at some point.

      My name is what it is and I didn’t want to change it. I’ve had no issues dealing with my kids’ schools or anything else based on the different last name.

      • +1. We gave our daughter my last name as her only middle name. Made it very easy because we only had to choose one girl/boy name. :-)

    • Anonymous :

      My mom hyphenated and gave me and my siblings our dad’s name.

      I then hyphenated. My husband is Latino. Having 2 last names is typical in his culture. I haven’t encountered any problems in 6 years. We do not have children, but if we do, we will give them the hyphenated name.

      If I’m ordering pizza, I’ll just pick one name. If I need to say my name aloud, I just say “Smith hyphen Jones”, and computer systems find me that way.

    • I’m starting to come around to a combined name or new name, rather than taking one or hyphenating. I want my kids to have the same name as me (I will have carried them around for 9 months and I want that connection) but keeping my dad’s name and my husband’s name still sort of removes me from the equation. I think I want to have a combined name that we all take instead.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I think what I really want is for us all to hyphenate but dh wants to keep his name. :/

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        I definitely agree that I want the same name as my kids.

        • Having the same name as your kids may be something your thoughts evolve on. Now that I have kids, they are so irrevocably mine that it just doesn’t matter what the last name is. Also, I know at least two people who changed their names a few to several years into their marriages. One only after her kids were in school. And a third friend who wanted her son to be hyphenated until she had him and then decided it was ok if DS had DH’s name and she kept her own. My DH added his mom’s last name as a second middle name when he was in elementary school (in the 1970’s).

          In other words, it’s ok to keep noodling on this decision for a few years. The only decision that will be difficult to undo is if you change your name.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            Well, I can only noodle on kids’ names for another six months or so, unless I want to file a name change for a baby! :) But I appreciate the un-pressure — I’ve been telling myself I have to get my name figured out before then so thank you for the reminder I can still wait.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            When did you make up your mind about whether you wanted the same name as your kids?

    • Kept my name, gave kids my husband’s name with mine as their middle. Honestly, no one cares that I have a different last name.

    • I hated my name! :

      I do not have strong feelings on this, but I was SOOO glad when I got married and could drop by horrific hyphenated birth name for my husband’s much shorter, easier name (although my mother gave me all kinds of grief about “bowing to the patriarchy”). Hyphenating is all very well and good if your name is Smith-Jones, but please think about it seriously before you give your child Kongisberg-Van Den Broeck (not my actual birth name but only one syllable shorter).

    • Anonymous :

      I thought about this long and hard ahead of getting married. I ended up keeping my name as it was and not hyphenating, adding DH’s last name, or losing my middle name. We have one kid and so far it hasn’t been a problem at all. Sure, I get people who call me Mrs. MarriedName, but that’s mostly at the pediatrician’s office or at daycare. I can’t say I care much, though I do think it’s ridiculous that it’s assumed in 2018. We gave our son my husband’s last name.

      For anyone interested in the reasoning, here goes: I felt that changing my name as a grown woman was sexist and unfeminist. This is my identity and it’s important to me to not lose a part of it. I considered adding my husband’s last name to mine because adding felt less objectionable than taking away, but I didn’t want to hyphenate (partly because of comments on this s1te about how it’s a pain and partly because our names would be funny together [think, two common nouns]). I didn’t want to lose my middle name to turn it into my maiden name because a) I thought that wasn’t that different from just losing my last name in the first place, and b) it was an important family name. I felt okay with my children taking my husband’s last name because, while still slightly objective from a feminist perspective, the idea of a child starting out with one name based on paternal lineage bothered me less than the idea of a grown woman having to change her name because she changed her relationship status. (And no, I’m never persuaded by the argument that my original last name is my father’s so therefore it’s all patriarchy — there is something very different about choosing a last name at birth than switching your name when you have spent much of your life going by a different name.)

      Finally, for what it’s worth, I’m very happy with my decision. I felt a twinge of “maybe I should have changed my name, too?” when my son was born but that wore off about a month later, and I’m happy I kept my last name.

      • Anonymous :

        I also felt like it was easier to go by “First Maiden Married” socially if I felt like that was important to me for family unit reasons than to make the switch legally and have to deal with all that comes with it. And I do do that sometimes — despite my feminist feelings about keeping my name, I like that we are “The Marrieds” on our Christmas cards, even if the return label is from MyFirst MyLast & DHFirst DHLast.

      • “(And no, I’m never persuaded by the argument that my original last name is my father’s so therefore it’s all patriarchy — there is something very different about choosing a last name at birth than switching your name when you have spent much of your life going by a different name.)”

        Exactly. Also, “don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

        I joke about being the future Mrs. Smith, but I am absolutely going to do two last names. (Oddly enough, two people – both hard-core Republicans, FWIW – have volunteered that my first name, last name, fiance’s last name sounds really good.)

  26. SuziStockbroker :

    Lost my comment :(

    Me: last name hyphenated since birth (my dad’s last name). Kept it.
    Husband: kept his name too.
    Kids’ last name: First part of my last name hyphenated to husband’s last name.

    No issues. I have always had to spell my last name (which is spelled exactly like it sounds), and my husband has always had to spell his last name (several common spellings).

    It’s all good.

    I also like the idea of girl babies getting mom’s last name and boy babes getting dad’s (or other parent’s since not everyone has a mom and a dad).

  27. One of my friends from business school is currently miscarrying, her third. We were friendly in school but really drunkenly bonded at a mutual friend’s bachelorette party after graduation over our shared infertility problems (she saw my clomid in the bathroom). I’ve since had a baby boy and my heart is breaking for her since I’ve had two miscarriages myself and know how it feels. She hadn’t told anyone else about this pregnancy, just me over text (not in the same city). What can I do for her? A care package of some sort? I’m thinking of sending a card and some things for her but don’t want to come off as insensitive

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s always good to reach out when a friend is hurting, regardless of reason. Yes, send a card. A care package would be super nice too.

    • A card and maybe a couple of things that she could use for self-care: new nail polish, favorite candy or snacks, whatever she’s into.

      The most important thing though, is to continue checking in with her. Maybe even setting a calendar reminder for the due date to check in with her then. When it happened to me I felt I was the only one who remembered this brief little life by the time the due date rolled around and it felt so isolating.

    • Anonymous :

      FWIW, I got some spa-gifts with my first miscarriage and it just was weird / sad / hard to enjoy.

      I got some flowers and “we love you and are thinking of you” cards for my first and second miscarriages that I treasured.

      I got a living plant for miscarriage #2 that I killed — then I felt like I couldn’t keep anything alive, which was not good.

      Card / meaningful letter / cut flowers you could press / pressed flowers?

    • As someone who has lost 2 pregnancies in the last year, I can tell you that a card and a care package is wonderful. Just knowing someone is thinking about you and sending you good thoughts means so much. Last year, my friend sent me self care items, like face masks, nail polish, etc., and a sweet card. This year, I had a friend send me cookies. I appreciate everything.

  28. Anonymous :

    So I am basically just like you, only I decided to stay and make partner. I love my job, I love being a partner (most of the time!), and my job allows me to do things that are really important to me. I’ve taken several pro bono cases to trial and secured classwide relief on constitutional civil rights claims. I work closely with amazing non-profit organizations and may be the next public service chair of our firm, which gives me a chance to steer time and dollars in the direction of significant pro bono work. If you are at the right firm, then you can find a way to make it all work.

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