Frugal Friday’s Workwear Report: Kinley Knit

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

t-tahari-kinley-vneck-shell-291x225pxHappy Friday! T Tahari has some great prints right now — including this pretty blue and black one.  I’m intrigued by the asymmetrical hemline, and I like the faux wrap effect.  It’s $38-$68 at Amazon. T Tahari Women’s Kinley Knit

Here are a few similar options in plus sizes.

Seen a great piece you’’d like to recommend? Please e-mail [email protected]



  1. Speaking of frugal friday… has anyone tried thredup? I placed my first order last night, and I’m curious to see what the stuff is like. Has anyone sold clothes through them? I’m thinking of sending in clothes that I’d just be bringing to Goodwill anyway, not because it’s in bad condition, just because I don’t wear it.

    • I’ve done it — first time was a great experience because I sent in old clothes I didn’t like and got enough money thru ThredUp (like $150 in credits) to get a classic Rag & Bone blazer and a David Meister dress through them — was very happy with the quality/level of wear on both used items. I just sent in a huge bag recently, including a ton of dresses still with tags on them (admittedly pretty old dresses) and was a bit disappointed to see that for all but a few things they gave me $72 for things that were NWT showing they were worth almost $1000 (and then weirdly they listed them all as “slightly worn with noticeable defects” when I’d never worn then. Still, my understanding of Poshmark is that you have to photograph them yourself — and ditto for eBay — so it’s nice to just get some stuff out of your closet and have someone else do the work.

      • My thredup selling experience is similar – I’d just add that be careful about what you buy. I don’t dry clean my stuff before sending it in & I’d assume it just gets sold as-is by them. I’ll send in bags after cleaning out my closet, but mostly because it’s easy & a way to make a little cash with no effort (I’m never going to have the time to ebay my things). I only buy purses/accessories on there – I figure there’s a better chance of getting something decent and less quality concerns.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve only sold clothes. In my case, it was actually easier for me to drop the bag at the post office instead of getting it to a goodwill or other donation place. Dragging it around on the subway or paying for a cab was too much of a pain.

      I sent in a few pairs of shoes and some old purses. Everything was in good condition but nothing was expensive to begin with. The nicest thing I sent was a pair of Guess heels that I’d worn once and were too painful to keep. I only got $30 total, I think. The convenience was worth it to me though!

    • I love the convenience of the bag – just drop it off at my buildings front desk for FedEx. It’s not a lot of money though. I use it to get rid of cheap stuff (Loft or cheaper). The Nordstrom/designer stuff I take to a real consignment shop. I buy baby clothes with my credits at Thredup – I’ve been very happy with the kids clothes they sell. Not so much with the adult stuff.

  2. Those of you who track price per wear, how low do you generally aim for?

    • I wanted to ask this question today in the context of how long do you expect things to last? I try to aim for £1 or less for dresses but I think I might have unreasonable expectations of how well things should hold up.

      I have a Uniqlo jacket that I’ve worn 100 times and I only spent £30 on it. At some point, they are going to start paying me to wear it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Interesting question. I only started tracking in July. Most of my individual items are $50 or less. I have a couple of more expensive things (2 purses and my glasses), which I’ve been more interested to see go down.

      My Stylebook app says that my best cost per wear items are less than $3 per wear. I added in my Coach purse back to when I got it and it’s $1.63 per wear now.

      I’m not sure what my goals are. I like seeing the number decrease. It’s also helping me remember what items I have that I haven’t worn often so I can get them into the rotation. I did buy 2 shirts in July. One I’ve worn once and didn’t like how it was to deal with all day. The other is the same top in another color that I’ve never worn for the same reason. Both were cheap but it’s having a bigger mental impact seeing that the cost per wear is way higher than my other items that I do like and/or are better quality. So I’m hopeful it will help me make fewer purchases that I don’t end up wearing.

    • If I buy an expensive, quality accessory with the intent that it will be a workhorse, I expect it to eventually be well south of $1. Like a $500 work tote should last at least 5 years, carried ~225 days per year. A $700 pair of large black pearl studs will probably be worn 1x week (if not more often) for decades (would get to under $1 per wear after about 13 years).

      I’ve realized that clothing will never get down as low as accessories will (styles change, weight changes, cloth wears out faster…), so although I prefer quality brands, I really won’t spend more than $200-250 on a dress or blazer, $150 for a sweater, or $100 for a shirt. Hence, I buy almost everything on sale.

    • (Former) Clueless Summer :

      I don’t track it but I do certainly think about it, more and more often now.

      Particularly with outerwear, I am conscious of it. I live in a cold climate and wear winter boots and a wool or down coat 7 days a week from October to late March. A $350 coat worn for two seasons looks awfully good at a price per wear perspective. $250 boots? Same thing. Even a $600 coat looks good at ppw for two seasons.

      I do think certain garments will never get you to a good place in ppw terms. A suit, a coat, a neutral classic blazer – yes. A blouse? A ponte dress? Maybe if they are very cheap, but otherwise, it seems unlikely. I’ve worn my navy suit at least once a week for 3 years so I’m probably around $3 per wear but the ponte dress I bought from AT for $125 and have worn 3 times is already pilling. My $80 favourite blouse has probably only been worn 10 times, even though I love it.

      • Casper Clone :

        I’ve been trying to track cost per wear on a spreadsheet, but an app sounds like it might be more fun and let me save complete outfits. Is Stylebook the favorite for Android?

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’m on an iPhone and really like it. It took awhile to get everything loaded and unfortunately it doesn’t sync with my other devices. Some other people here have said they didn’t like it. It works for me though. I’ve started planning my outfits out a week in advance, which is new for me but I’m enjoying it.

        • They don’t have an Android version of Stylebook. I really wish they did because I used to really like it when I had my iPhone. I haven’t managed to find an Android app with the cost per wear function.

          • Casper Clone :

            Grr, you’re right. Initial googling shows two possible Android apps – Stylicious and My Dressing – fashion closet. Off to do a little more research and then try one or both of them out.

  3. Recommendations for a career coach for a lawyer in Houston? Likely looking to leave the practice? Longshot I know!

    • Anonymous :

      I’ve posted here before that I used a career coach, as an attorney questioning whether to leave the practice and what that would mean, by using Rapid Evolution. I did this remotely, and I honestly really liked that. I was able to meet with her weekly by phone, and it hardly made a dent in my schedule and wasn’t noticeable. I did it for about two months, and I felt like she really analyze and reach conclusions about my future.

    • Nancy Mangan. Based out of San Antonio but I’ve worked with her a lot in Houston. She bills herself as a business development consultant for law firms, but I think she does phenomenal work with individual careers as well. If nothing else, Nancy could likely put you in contact with someone who she trusts and works with.

    • Thanks guys! Will reach out to both!

    • Sunflower :

      Martha Newman. Her website is toplawyercoach dot com. I’m in Houston (she’s in the DFW area) and I worked with her by phone several years ago. It was very productive. The fact that she used to practice law is so valuable–she understands your life and your world, she speaks your language, and she certainly understands wanting to leave the law. I know several people who rave about her.

  4. After months and months of searching we finally found what could be our ‘forever home’ and actually had our offer accepted. A lot can still go wrong but I am just freaking out that we actually get it because it’s more money than we have ever spent on rent. I am pretty sure we can afford it but am still super nervous because there will just be so much less room for error. Is this normal? Why am I not more excited?

    • Normal – it’s a huge investment. Trust the math that even led you to put an offer on this house.

    • all about eevee :

      Jitters, I am also in the middle of the first time home buying process! I have been renting for six years. We close soon on our house, and it just feels so crazy to me that in a couple weeks, we will be moving into our beautiful new home! For us, our mortgage will actually turn out to be much less than our rent ever was, so we are very excited.

    • Anonymous :

      It is normal to have jitters. It’s certainly the largest purchase most people will make, and having tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars taken out of your bank account in a single day is jarring. That said, your comment that “there will be so much less room for error” makes me a little nervous that you are buying more house than you can really afford (IMO, there is a huge gap between what you can actually afford and what a bank will approve you for). What percentage of your pre-tax income will your total mortgage payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) be? The general rule is that it should be less than 28 percent. Some people have a lower comfort level – I wouldn’t be comfortable with more than about 20 percent – but as long as you’re under that 28 percent level you probably shouldn’t worry, unless you have other major expenses that most people don’t (like a family member in a nursing home). If it’s over 28 percent, I would reassess the purchase.

      • We’re at somewhere around 25 percent and don’t have too many other expenses. But that’s pre-tax and pre-retirement contributions. We have been renting a very inexpensive apartment so that’s part of the reason I’m nervous; I’m generally very risk averse and I’m used to just having housing be a very small expense. The other is that we were actually trying to get more of a starter home but kept getting outbid/rejected. This place is a little more than we wanted to spend but we can probably stay there for the next 20 years. The payments will presumably be more comfortable with time.

    • Yes. I cried the night before my closing. I’m not great with change. I love it now though and am very glad we did it.

  5. Shoe recommendations? I hate buying shoes and buy them when a pair literally falls apart. I think some ladies here like it so how about some links? Looking for blacks pumps that I can wear daily w suits. I prefer no more than a 1-1.25 heel. I have a hammer toe so can’t deal w super pointy. I just don’t want to buy anything dated – yet I don’t know what’s in – square or round front, kind of heel, kind of leather? I prefer to spend about $50 but I know that’s hard these days so I’ll go up to 75-100. Thanks

    • No specific recommendations but I’d encourage you to get two pairs of shoes to give them a break between wearings. They’ll last longer that way.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        +1 to two pairs. Especially if they’re leather – they need time to dry out.

        I am cheap as all get out but am particular about shoes. I look at and always check Amazon for the brands/styles/materials I want.

        As for style – I don’t think you can go wrong with an almond-toe pump in matte black (not patent) leather. I also think taupe is a surprisingly wearable color.

    • I buy slightly-used Ferragamos on eBay. Their sizing is really good. The shoes are extremely well made and will last you for years. I have several pair and did not pay more than $50 a pair.

      Seconding the getting more than one pair. I never wear the same work shoes two days in a row. In addition, I leave my work shoes at work and wear flats (or snow boots in the winter) to drive to work. I do not want to ruin my nice Italian shoes driving or in the snow and salt.

      I would also recommend, just because they are fun, a pair of leopard-print heels. I got a pair of Clark’s (who knew Clark’s could be not ugly?) on eBay for $30. They look almost new and they are fabulous. They go with everything!

    • Anonymous :

      Honestly, I used to spend this budget on black heels for work, and I would burn through them in 3 months or less. I started buying Cole Haan at Nordstrom rack, and I get them to last a year, even though they’re more expensive. The cost per wear on a more expensive basic shoe like a black pump is so much less if you go expensive and you go traditional, not trendy. this is what works for me bc I wear black shoes so frequently. YMMV

  6. Okay, this has been something on my mind for a while, but it’s hard to articulate.

    I try to buy less clothing, etc. and waste less food. But it seems to me that my actions don’t make any difference at all. Like, the shirt already exists. So the environmental impact has already happened. It seems to me that the only way we can make a difference is if there is a big change, where enough people stop buying that shirt that already exists so that the manufacturer orders fewer of them the next time. Same with vegetables. If I don’t buy extra, it helps my bottom line, but those veggies that would have gone home with me will instead go in the trash.

    Am I missing something here?

    • I think this is an issue that the environmental movement needs to address. We’ve transferred responsibilities onto individuals but corporations haven’t been held to those same standards. I feel guilty for flying when I could take the train or making an error and printing too much but BP doesn’t feel guilty for its activities in the North Sea and Nescafe doesn’t feel guilty for selling pre-filled disposable coffee cups (my latest bugbear). We need to all reduce our consumption but also need to figure out how to force change to take place.

      • Biographies :

        Completely agreed. We can all make a small difference, but there is an enormous collective action problem compounded by the fact that corporations are not held to the same standards. Look at the almond industry in California – why were ordinary Californians saving dishwater to water plants during the drought while the almond industry plowed through a gallon PER ALMOND? They’re not the only corporation doing so, but c’mon – how can you feel like you’re making a difference when there are two sets of standards, even when one is offending way more than the other.

        • Biographies :

          And to add to that, I think taxation and regulation are the answers, not relying on good intentions. I’d love to see a carbon tax ASAP.

    • Anonymous :

      You said it yourself: “enough people stop buying that shirt … so that the manufacturer orders fewer of them the next time.” If you, and other people, stop buying so much stuff, then the stores will stop ordering so much stuff and the manufacturers will stop manufacturing as much. Same with the food–eventually less food will be produced. In the short run, those extra veggies may get used in prepared foods to be sold at the supermarket, or go to the food bank.

    • lawsuited :

      The unused food you didn’t buy from the grocery store doesn’t have to go in the trash! I’m part of a food rescue organization called Second Harvest that rescues unused food from grocery stores, food warehouses, restaurants, etc. and redistributes it to shelters, school breakfast/lunch programs, etc. It’s a big organization now, but it started with 2 women and a station wagon.

    • I mostly try not to think about it because it’s too discouraging and seems like such a huge overwhelming thing. But when I do, the things I get the most depressed about are weird things. Like the little machines full of toys in plastic pods by the doors of restaurants and big box stores. Pay a couple quarters for actual trash. Just wasteful, plastic trash. And there are probably millions of those machines in this country filled with little plastic do-dads that will be played with for 10 minutes and then thrown away. WHY DOES THAT STUFF EXIST?

      I buy a lot of things used. Old/antique furniture. Secondhand clothes. Part of this is because I’m really cheap, but part of it is because there is just SO MUCH STUFF that is barely used before it is thrown to the wayside. If my above-mentioned foray with thredup goes well, I will probably keep using that rather than shopping at the mall. Why buy something new, when I can find something barely used that would otherwise be thrown out?

      Also, I’ve volunteered at my local food bank, and they get a lot of produce donated by grocery stores. So it probably doesn’t actually get thrown out unless its gone bad.

      • I am TOTALLY the same way! Kids’ stuff drives me crazy. And like the dollar spot. Just total crap.

      • “Like the little machines full of toys in plastic pods by the doors of restaurants and big box stores . . . little plastic do-dads that will be played with for 10 minutes and then thrown away.”

        I’m not a parent, but I’ll bet it can be difficult to run an errand with a kid in tow, especially if that kid is fussy. The idea behind those machines is probably to put something small in the kid’s hands so they’ll have something to play with, and an occupied kid is less likely to get fussy and anxious to leave.

        In reality, I have no idea if it works, but for fifty cents people probably think it’s worth a try.

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          Sure, but you could bring a small toy they already own with you to avoid the issue. Or do like my parents did, and let your kids know your family doesn’t buy trinkets like that because they’re wasteful.

      • Counterpoint: the plastic doodads are silly, but the fraction of a cent they cost to produce make a kid happy and distracted so his mother can shop, maybe? Why do we even wrap gifts when the wrapping paper gets thrown out? Why go to a concert (or do anything experiential) when there’s nothing to show for it when it’s over? I also used to be quite frugal (e.g. mending even worn out pieces of kids’ clothing to avoid buying more) but I’ve learned to spend more in order to enjoy life more.

        • Experiences can be very environmentally friendly if they don’t add to landfills. I’d rather spend my money on experiences than on stuff that clutters up my house and harms the environment.

          One of my biggest pet peeves is the toys in kids’ meals. Also the “treasure chest” or “prize box” at school. My kid is in fifth grade and she still brings home garbage from the prize box.

        • Can’t we bring something from home instead? I mean, people made it for centuries without that crap. There’s a reason that global warming has gotten worse in the years since things like that started!

          • I thought about that too, I think a child might be just as occupied with something they have, but they’re more likely to be satisfied with something new.

            But I agree they’re bad for the environment, and I wish there was a way to recycle them. I once saw a box of little plastic toys in front of a comic book store, most of the things were a dollar or less (and no one would notice if you just took something, I’ll bet), I liked the idea of finding new owners for all the little things no one touches after age 8 or so, maybe there’s a way to do more of that.

        • I have a three year old and I’m starting to realize that he only really cares about stuff when we want him to or we draw his attention to it. For his birthday he got a bike helmet (which he needed anyway) and was thrilled and we spent the day at the playground (his favorite) – I was trying to brainstorm all these creative ideas and gifts that were $$$ because that’s what I grew up associating with love, but finally realized I was being crazy and all he really cares about is our time. His favorite toy for the last two weeks has been a single balloon he brought home from school that we bat around.

    • This has always been one of the great struggles of the environmental movement, and part of the reason that everything got so bad in the first place. It’s a collective action problem. There’s minimal incentive for many individuals to take action, so they don’t. It’s too difficult to unite many individuals with diverse interests around a common goal or action, so it rarely happens.

      In contrast, industry’s interest in reducing environmental regulation is defined, discrete, and high-priority. It’s much easier to unite a few entities around a common goal that when doing so will powerfully affect the bottom line. They have an incentive to throw resources to achieve an outcome that individuals simply aren’t. Hence, lobbying. There were hearings yesterday in the legal challenge to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan if you want a sterling example of this problem… this will be tied up in litigation forever (like many environmental regulations) because corporations have the resources and the incentive to challenge it.

      It would be easier to “hold corporations to the same standards” if people were to vote for politicians who believed in environmental regulation.

      I dunno that we’ve “transferred responsibilities onto individuals.” We might moralize about reducing consumption, but on the whole, this country really doesn’t do much to make individuals responsible for their environmental impact. I’d say water restrictions in the west are an exception to that (I live in the wet, wet east where people sob and bawl if they’re told to water their absurdly huge lawns in the morning instead of at high noon). Gas is cheap. Energy is absurdly cheap. Water is cheap. We barely even pay for plastic bags. To the extent that individuals bear the burden, it’s because we’re forced to bear the externalities from industry (which could be remedied via regulation!).

      • SFAttorney :

        Well said. I don’t have the answers, but share the concerns. As someone currently studying for my MBA in sustainability management, it is gratifying to see the comments here. Collectively our actions make a difference.

      • Aunt Jamesina :


    • Yes, I had to mentally readjust from “this small act is helping the world!” to “this small act is representative of how I want to live my life.” It’s a value of mine not to be wasteful, so I try to live by that.

      This is also helpful in the context of not going crazy with the whole thing. If you are trying to save the world, then nothing you do is ever enough. If you’re trying to live in alignment with what you think to be important, then you can set some mental boundaries. For example, I try not to be wasteful with cleaning supplies like paper towels – I use re-usable washcloths when I can. That being said, there is a roll of paper towels on the kitchen counter for situations where it just makes more sense to use them.

      • I struggle with the OP’s point also. It’s depressing and frustrating to think of the big picture all the time because what difference could little ole me make in this big huge world. However, as LAnon said, I reframe to this is how I want to live my life and every little bit counts (for something).

        I try to do the best I can with what I have at that moment.

      • Anonymous :

        This is a perfect way of putting it. +1.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        Yes, I like to reframe it as living in line with my values. Even if it doesn’t make a big difference, I at least have a clear(er) conscience.

    • You have to start somewhere. With me, it was water. I was always dumping yesterday’s water that was still in my water bottle. Then I read an article about water in Nat Geo and started using that water for coffee or plants instead. It’s not much, but over the last 6 years, I’ve been much more conscious of my actions and over time, things add up. It might not make a huge difference now in the grand scheme of things, but over time, we can hope people become more aware and behaviors will change. Also, and this is a bit selfish, it just makes me feel better to know I am trying.

    • I try to do that, especially with food, and we are in the process of getting solar panels. However, I try not to stress about it too much because realistically we aren’t going to be able to change much unless there is an international movement. Countries like China are so tough on the environment that all of our efforts won’t make much of a difference.

    • Omg these companies will profit and keep churning out these goods if you keep buying. Yes you missed something. Econ201 Duh.

    • Yes. You’re missing that when everybody thinks this way, nothing changes.

  7. Biographies :

    I’m interesting in reading more biographies of famous or underrecognized women. I’m not necessarily interested in any one field, but I do like hearing about women in science or in exploration. Overall, I just like biographies and reading about strong women. Any ideas?

    • Lab Girl was really good, about a botanist working on trees.

      • Anonymous :

        Lab Girl is a memoir, not a biography, but I agree it was really good.

        • Oh gosh, embarrassing! This is karma for snorting when I overheard someone ask the difference between fiction and non-fiction in an airport bookstore. But it is good and ticks the science box.

          • Librarian :

            Nothing to be embarrassed about. The lines are often a bit blurry. And I would totally recommend a memoir to somebody who was interested in biographies. Memoirs are much more popular these days, anyway.

    • BabyAssociate :

      I’d recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Definitely hits your unrecognized (also highly underappreciated) and science requirements.

    • A Life in Motion by Misty Copeland

    • BabyAssociate :

      My comment got stuck in moderation for some reason, but I’d recommend The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Definitely an underrecognized/underappreciated woman in science.

    • Anonymous :

      Ooh what a great idea, following this thread. I’ve read some great bios lately (Steve Jobs, Unbroken, Hamilton) but they were all about men and I’d love to read some about strong women.

    • Anonymous :

      It’s a memoir, not a biography written by someone else, but I loved The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. She is not super famous for non-writing accomplishments, but she definitely falls in the “strong women” category.

      • Wanderlust :

        +1000. I also enjoyed Burn Down the Ground by Kambri Crews. She’s (now) a comedian living in NYC, but the book is a memoir of her childhood living with deaf parents in the Texas woods.

      • OMG. This book changed my life (Glass Castle) — recognized a lot of my own upbringing in it. Unreal.

      • And a third for Glass Castle. Memoirs aren’t usually my bag but this one captivated me.

    • I’ve heard very good things about The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

    • Anonymous :

      This is going to sound totally ignorant that I don’t remember their names but I think there’s a movie out now/soon about female black mathematicians that played an important role. Maybe someone knows what I’m talking about? Their biographies would be really interesting.

      • Anonymous :

        Hidden Figures! It’s about Katherine Johnson and Dorothy Vaughn and some of their colleagues. I don’t think you’re ignorant for not knowing their names. I think the vast majority of Americans don’t know their names and that’s why they’re making a movie about it.

      • Anonymous :

        Oh my lord I think this went to moderation because of “Johns0n”?? Anyway it’s called Hidden Figures and it’s about Katherine Johns0n and Dorothy Vaughn and their colleagues. Your’e not ignorant for not knowing their names; very few people do, which is why they’re making the movie! And the movie is based on a book of the same name. I think that would be a great read.

      • yesssss! Hidden Figures! I’m really looking forward to it.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I should have responded here. It’s called Hidden Figures. They worked for NASA.

      • I think you’re probably thinking of “Rise of the Rocket Girls” (women at JPL)

    • Wonder Girl is about Babe Didrikson Zaharias, who was an all-around athlete (basketball, track, golf) in the 1930s.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Rise of the Rocket Girls by Nathalie Holt was great. It’s about the women who were “computers” for the JPL. Their math was responsible for all sorts of incredible space missions. Highly recommend!

      I haven’t read it yet, but Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly is about black women who were NASA’s computers. I think it’s being made into a movie. It’s on my list to read soon.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        One more memoir recommendation is Mum’s the Word by Eve Branson. She’s led a fascinating life and never cared that what she did wasn’t proper for a lady. At one point she pretended to be a man and became a glider instructor. She’s Richard Branson’s mom but is a role model in her own right.

    • Anonymous :

      Martha Graham – Personal History
      Rosalind Franklin – the dark lady of DNA
      Madam Curie

    • Anonymous :

      Fun question!

      I also enjoyed Lab Girl. Notorious RBG was fantastic.

      What about historical fiction that centers on actual women? For example: Circling the Sun (Paula McClain) was really good, based in history, but not truly a biography. That said, I think you’d really enjoy it if you like strong female characters. Z (Therese Anne Fowler) about Zelda Fitzgerald, The Aviator’s Wife, and the Paris Wife also fall in this category.

      Bossypants and Yes Please both have a lot of feminist themes and biographical information throughout, although they comedies.

    • Biographies :

      These all look great so far – thank you!!

    • There was a kickstarter for a book called “Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls”. A bunch of one-page bios of 100 impactful women. I bought several copies to give to friends, but I also plan to use it for myself to start researching more about all the women.

      I haven’t gotten the book from the Kickstarter yet, so delivery is probably a ways off, but I believe you can pre-order on their webs!te.

    • If you live in DC or are interested in politics or journalism at all, I highly recommend Katharine Graham’s autobiography. Her father owned the Washington Post and she took over as the Editor after her husband committed suicide and it is such a wonderful story of a strong woman in some pretty extraordinary circumstances. I loved it!

    • No particular books, but two women whose lives I find fascinating are Annie Oakley and Edith Wharton.

    • They’re more comedies than anything, but I really enjoyed both of Mindy Kaling’s books, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? and Why Not Me? Listening to them on audiobook is a plus because I find her hilarious and it’s like listening to a friend talk. Ditto on Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and, to a lesser extent (for me), Tina Fey’s Bossypants.

      • I also liked Mindy and Amy’s books way more than Tina’s! I thought I was the only person on earth who didn’t love Bossypants.

        • I on the whole do not love Tina’s brand of comedy as much as Amy or Mindy’s. It’s a little…meaner is the wrong word? But that’s how it feels to me. Yes Please has an entire chapter called “good for you, not for me!” while I feel like Bossypants was a lot judgier. I had similar feelings about 30 Rock as opposed to Parks and Rec, though both are hilarious comedies.

          • Yeah, totally agree. Both are a laugh a minute but Parks and Rec has a lot more heart than 30 Rock. And I though Bossypants was pretty judgy too…that was my big problem with it.

        • Me, too. I didn’t think Bossypants was particularly well written. It struck me as a “Oh no I signed a contract and now I have to give them something” effort.

          • Anonymous :

            Anon @ 10:58 here: I think the only part of Bossypants I legitimately loved was her chapter about meeting Amy at SNL and feeling like she had found her “people” in a room full of white male comedians.

          • Anonymous :

            (Same anon) Oops, sorry, they met prior to SNL, but Amy joined after Tina. At any rate, the story about one of the dudes not liking Tina’s jokes and Amy yelling “you don’t have to like it” was the best.

    • Angie Harmon :

      Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie. I’m hoping to re-read it this winter, and I only read it about two years ago.

      • +1 I loved this book and was so fascinated by her life’s story. I’m plowing my way through Massie’s Peter the Great biography, but I have to admit it doesn’t hold my attention nearly as much.

    • I just picked up Hidden Figures, which has also been made into a movie being released this fall. It’s about the black female mathematicians who worked for NASA during WWII.

    • I really enjoyed Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth. Molly Brown became a household name for surviving the Titanic, but she was a very influential reformer and politician who lived a fascinating life. Of interest to this readership- I found the way in which she used fashion to establish herself in society and promote the causes about which she was passionate fascinating.

    • A good starting off point may be “Women too Awesome, Awful, or Offbeat for Kids’ Movies.” They cover Marie Curie, Mary Anning, and Rosalind Franklin to name a few. Each entry has a section of further reading and his references, so you can get more in-depth if you wish. The author also has a book coming out soon with additional “princesses.” Many a wikipedia blackhole has started on this site!

    • The Girls of Atomic City. Not a biography, but about the women who worked on building the atomic bomb without even knowing it.

      Rocket Girl. The story of Mary Sherman Morgan, America’s First Female Rocket Scientist.

    • Anonymous :

      Many years ago, I received a recommendation for “The Lady and the Panda: The True Adventures of the First American Explorer to Bring Back China’s Most Exotic Animal” by Vicki Croke. Really interesting.

    • Romantic Outlaws. Dual biography of mother-daughter Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley. Excellent.

    • Anonymous :

      Memoir not biography, but I loved China to Me by Emily Hahn. She was an explorer/author/general interloper in China and Hong Kong in the late 30s/early 40s, including the occupation of HK. She writes like such a fun-loving badass aware of the humour and ridiculousness in people all over the world.

  8. Nelly Yuki :

    Vicarious shopping help, please. I’m looking for a dress for a family wedding in October. It will be inside so any sleeve length is fine if I can put a sweater over something sleeveless. I’m a size 14 and prefer something that has some shape and scoop or v-neck.

  9. Shrill by Lindy West! You will laugh and maybe cry. Mostly laugh.

  10. I’m hoping for advice, anecdotes, or book/blog recommendations. I’m in my early thirties, single, a biglaw associate (looking for a way out) and I just feel sort of lost. I think being single is part of that, but I feel lost professionally and lost in terms of hobbies/personal interests as well. I like the legal specialty I’m in and am trying to figure out what type of legal job would be best for me, but even then I’m not sure I’ll find it motivating. I think having concrete goals would help, but I’m not sure what those goals should be or how to figure that out. Any advice?

    • Well, you can’t go wrong by knitting. I picked it up when I was a BigCity BigLaw associate in my mid-30s. And I was single. Kissing many frogs. I never mastered more than rectangles, so I am good at blankets. It is very calming (once you get basics down).

      For the rest of the stuff . . . what area do you practice in and which city?

      • I second picking up a crafty hobby – knitting, crochet, sewing, quilting, art, gardening (assuming you have space), something where you can actually create something. Very satisfying.

        • +1 Physical manifestation of your time spent and skill developed :)

        • pugsnbourbon :

          My weird crafty hobby is linocut printing. I’m not good at it by any means, but carving the blocks is super soothing. Also pretty easy to get started! I am hopeless at any crafts involving thread, string or yarn.

    • Oh, hey, me too. Do you run? I’m starting to think I’ll have to train for a long race again to give myself something concrete to be working towards.

      • Training for a “race”, even just to finish, is my tried-and-true way to pull myself out of a rut.

    • I feel the same way – know that you’re not alone! Following for advice.

    • speaking of, any ‘rettes in NYC and want to do a knitting meetup?

    • Add A Comment Here :

      How about try on everything and see what you like/dislike. Never read it or looked into it but I imagine that what “the year of yes” is about.

    • There’s a book called “Creating Your Best Life” that you may want to check out – it’s a series of exercises to help you reflect on what’s important to you and set some goals. It’s not amazing, or perfect, but it can be a helpful jumping off point. I have dear friends (who really are loving their very best life) who read this book annually and update their lists :) Anyway. Worth a look!

  11. Nervous flyer :

    I am turning into an anxious flyer. I fly about once a month for work. Over the past year, I have been getting more and more nervous every time I fly — I am starting to think about it a couple of days in advance, not just once I am on the plane. My last two trips each had heavy turbulence on one leg, and I was absolutely terrified.

    I was thinking of asking my doctor for anti-anxiety medication, but I don’t necessarily want a crutch — I want to fix this. Any thoughts, suggestions? TIA!

    • Anonymous :

      Take the anti-anxiety meds. It’s not a crutch, it is a solution. And once you have several non anxious flights under your belt you may get out of the anxiety spiral.

    • Is this the only time you are anxious, or is it overflowing in to other things?

      If it is only flying, definitely take an anxiety MED while flying.

      If it is overflowing for days before the flight, start learning mindfulness / breathing / relaxation techniques. The App Insight Timer was recommended in here recently. Search for mindfulness teachings online.

      If it is overflowing into other aspects of your life, cut down on the caffeine, start exercising or at least a brisk walk every day. And think about setting up an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist. Or order the anxiety workbook on Amazon.

    • Veronica Mars :

      I’ve said it a ton, the Anxiety and Phobias workbook by Dr. Bourne. He talks a lot about how to conquer phobias like this one and has a whole chapter on medication (what the different options are, when to consider them, etc).

    • I’m an anxious flyer too. I have a low dose (.25) that I start taking at night when I’m nervous leading up to the flight. My doc thinks staying ahead of the anxiety is important. Kind of like post surgery pain medicine. With the .25, I can space out the doses and end up with a boost each time I need it rather than just totally knocking myself up with one big dose. Then I can also take it only if I need it. For example, one the night before the flight. One just as we leave for the airport if I’m not driving. One on the plane if needed.

      For me, as long as I am nervous they do not knock me out. If I land and then go to somewhere I am totally comfortable, like my husband’s car, I will fall asleep immediately though. It just takes a bit of being “on” to keep me from getting that wiped out feeling. If my in-law’s pick me up and we go to their house I don’t get knocked out. If you are going straight to a work event, that could be enough to keep you from being drowsy.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I’ve been there. I was at the point where I was so anxious about flying that it would affect me for a couple of days before a trip. I went to my doctor, explained the situation to her, and asked her to prescribe me Valium or Xanax just for when I fly. (My SIL had the same problem and suggested I do this.). She did, and for several years I took Xanax before flights. Guess what – I don’t need to take Xanax anymore! As another poster suggested, I was able to break the cycle of anxiety after enough flights where I wasn’t terrified. I still don’t love turbulence, but fear of flying doesn’t affect my life.

      TLDR; get a prescription for Xanax for flying – it worked for me.

    • I downloaded several podcasts about turbulence and I listen to them sometimes when I am on a turbulent flight. They will have pilots or other experts talk about why turbulence occurs and how it doesn’t hurt the plane. One I can remember is from the Fear of Flying School.

    • anonshmanon :

      What are you doing in the plane? I am an anxious flyer some of the time, it seems to come and go. I do better with a very good distraction. Reading and music don’t cut it for me, but conversation or a game on my smartphone do.

    • Thanks, everyone! This is really, really helpful. Until recently, playing a game on my phone distracted me, and conversation seems to work better lately. I will call my doctor about meds. Fortunately, this is the only thing I am anxious about.

    • I am an anxious flyer, and I also have to travel frequently for work. I’ve found that the large noise cancelling headphones help me significantly. I literally cannot stand turbulence, but a lot of what makes me anxious is the noise of the turbulence (or, more specifically, the noises made by all of the rattling of the overhead bins). The noise cancelling headphones reduce that sound a lot, making turbulence much less frightening for me. They also help me zone out a bit and make it easier for me to somewhat pretend that I’m not in a metal tube hurtling through the air.

      • Anonymous :

        Second noise-cancelling headphones. I use mine to listen to books on tape while flying. It lets me close my eyes and relax.

        I get motion sickness very easily and I’ve found that knitting in flight actually helps a lot. It’s an easy enough activity that I can focus on.

    • I’ve gotten caught in “anxiety spirals” like that before- essentially worrying ABOUT worrying. Anti-anxiety meds can stop that cycle. They don’t need to be a ‘forever’ thing, and you don’t need a high dose. I keep a supply of the lowest possible dose of clonazapan on hand, and I get into periods of life where I need it every day, and then months and months where I forget it exists.
      It essentially slows down some of the reactivity of your nervous system, so you can get yourself back down to baseline easier. It’s like using a crutch while you wait for your leg to heal, not like adopting a crutch forever and ever.

  12. Fashion help :

    Fashion help please. How do I make Danskos work with a California casual chic outfit? I see other women pulling this off ALL THE TIME here (I just moved to CA) and I love how they make comfortable shoes look intentional. Unfortunately, I’m having trouble seeing how to make it work for myself. What kind of jeans would be best to wear with the classic style of Danskos when you are a curvy (size 10) pear? If you wear loose boyfriend jeans with them, do you usually go for a more fitted top?

    • Anonymous :

      Looser jeans, structured top for the win. Or a shift dress.

      • This. The top doesn’t even have to be structured, just somewhat fitted. It also helps to make sure the jeans are rolled up high enough to show a little ankle between the bottom of the jeans and the top of the shoes.

        I have been wearing Danskos with my boyfriend jeans for years. I thought it was a cute look, but had no idea it was fashionable anywhere.

    • I recommend checking out looks on pinterest!

  13. Suggestions for black ponte pants? Love the Michael Kors ones that come up randomly at TJ Maxx or SteinMart, etc. but the same don’t appear to actually be for sale now online. Hated the ones from The Limited that people rave about. Too thin. Ideally want thick material that looks like pants, has pockets, stretchy but not leggings. Slim legs but not tight. The Kors ones are amazing. I bought 3 pairs once when they were at SteinMart. Alas, all have pilled in a season with lots of wear but worth it!

    • Anonymous :

      Ann Taylor Slim Knit Pants.

    • I just bought the Lord & Taylor (house brand) ponte ankle pants and they are everything you want. I am wearing them right now and love them!

    • The Calvin Klein ones at Costco

    • My favorite skinny black ponte pants — they are PERFECT and fit your description — came from Costco last year. $15.

    • Lorelai Gilmore :

      NYDJ makes a pair that is very substantial – looks like trousers, feels like pajamas.

    • Nancy Raygun :

      SteinMart has some really good pull on and side-zip pants that aren’t ponte, but some nylon mix. They are thick and substantial, but they don’t pill as easily as ponte if you keep them out of the dryer. I wear them exclusively at work. I also have a big butt and thighs and these aren’t so tight that they are uncomfortable or too tight for work.

  14. Well, you can’t go wrong by knitting. I picked it up when I was a BigCity BigLaw associate in my mid-30s. And I was single. Kissing many frogs. I never mastered more than rectangles, so I am good at blankets. It is very calming (once you get basics down).

    For the rest of the stuff . . . what area do you practice in and which city?

  15. Clothes that are like pajamas :

    Any suggestions for cultivating a wardrobe of extremely comfortable clothing? I find jeans and bras in particular to be so restrictive that I can’t wait to change out of them right away (I’ll walk in the door and take my pants off before I take my coat off). This could be a fit/style issue since tight skinny jeans have been in for so long, but I remember similar discomfort when flares were in. I’d like to try more pants and skirts in natural, breathable fabrics and I’m in a casual academic setting. Any ideas where to start?

    • Anonymous :

      In the bra dept, start with a Coobie. So much more comfortable and not all crazy like bralets can get.

      And Athleta casual non-gym attire can be very comfy while not looking ultra-sloppy. Maybe that’ll work? Also dresses are more comfy on me than many pants.

      • +1 to all of this.

        If you really hate bras, trying something without underwire would be my suggestions. I also like Third Love for more comfortable bras with underwire. They actually take into account shape when they make the cups!

        I highly recommend circle skirts like these over pants I hate pants. They don’t have many colors right now but old navy has been making these skirts for years and years and they come out with new colors and patterns periodically, along with the staples like gray and black.

        • +1 Not Old Navy, but I buy skirts from Loft. Skirts and dresses. So much less restricting and more forgiving than pants, because they are cr-tchless and so do not behave differently when you stand vs when you sit.

    • Eileen Fisher

    • Kat posted a link to a blog post on Putting Me Together a couple weeks ago about dressing comfortably. The blogger embraces looser fitting tops, leggings, and jeans with stretch.

    • The J Jill Wearever line might work for you.

    • Ponte dresses are super comfy.

    • I bought two pairs of pants from NY&Co to wear after I had my baby (based on a recommendation here). I still wear them because they are the greatest pants ever (I am actually wearing them today). They have a “tight” elastic waste, but are structured so they just look like dress slacks. I will post the link in a reply.

    • Get a bra fitting so you’re wearing the correct size, which will help with comfort. And try wire-free bras. I refuse to wear underwire and my life is much comfier because of it.

    • Nancy Raygun :

      For bras, I exclusively wear regular-looking bras, but without wires. They have heavy stitching where the wires would be. And those NY&Co pull on pants are great.

  16. Help me shop! Looking for brown knee high boots with a heel. Most of the calves of boots I try on are too wide, even if they have the elastic in them. Any suggestions on boots with more narrow calves?

  17. I would like to find a new podcast that involves a discussion of political issues (either general or specific) by thoughtful and interesting people. I listen to the Slate Political Gabfest (actually, a shameful number of Slate podcasts – I have an somewhat unhealthy obsession with all things Slate), and I really like the format/style, but I get frustrated with the fact that it’s entirely made up of stereotypical upper-class northeast liberals who live in a really narrow bubble, so I’d like something like that, but with different people. I’d love something from a different ideological perspective, but definitely don’t want something that’s more along the lines of talk radio (one person’s opinions that are more about preaching than discussion). I want the focus to be on discussion and analysis. Any suggestions?

    • Anonymous :

      I like Decode DC a lot.

    • 538 Election Podcast! A lot of it is devoted to crunching numbers, but there are some really interesting discussions of demographics and voting trends.

    • I like NPR Politics. I just listened the other day and one of the guests was an editor with the National Review, so it’s not just liberal commentators.

    • I totally agree about the Gabfest. I still listen to it, but sometimes I’m yelling at the people! I do think that John might be a closet right-leaner.

      • I think that every now and then, then he completely turns it around on me. But he’s definitely my favorite. (His Whistlestop podcast is really interesting, too, if you like history.) Emily drives me nuts 90% of the time (but then she’ll turn around and question something that I don’t expect her to, and I forgive her). I clearly have a complicated relationship with these people.

    • You might like the Federalist Radio Hour.

    • I’ve really been enjoying Pantsuit Politics-two women, one conservative and one liberal.

    • Trashy TV! :

      I am a lot like you in that I both love all things Slate and also share your frustration. To that end, I’ve started to enjoy “Left, Right, and Center,” the NPR Politics podcast, and co-sign FiveThirtyEight Elections. “On The Media” is a little hit or miss for me, but as we get closer to Election Day, I’ll probably check in on it.

    • More Perfect is a fascinatic discussion of Supreme Court issues.

    • I really enjoy More Perfect Union podcast. They have commentators that cover the political spectrum, but it’s great conversation and really civilized and great discourse. I have 538 on my subscriptions as well, but prefer More Perfect Union.

    • I just started listening to the weeds and keeping it 1600 and like both of them so far. They do both lean to the liberal side though.

    • Anonymous :

      Not political, but economics.

      Kai Ryssdahl of APM Marketplace frequently does interviews with people who are very “Salt of the Earth”–African Americans living in impoverished areas of the Deep South, Crayfish fishermen in the Missippi Delta, Oil Drillers in the Dakotas, Bee Keepers in California’s Central Valley. He does a very good job chatting them up and learning about them and their lives. I really look forward to these segments because I always learn something new.

    • Anonymous :

      I love candidate confessional. it’s a huffington post podcast. They interview people who lost elections, and it is fascinating and funny.

  18. We recently bought an old (updated, but not re-gutted) row house in DC and feel that it is pretty valuable from an investment perspective because of the planned development in the area. But, now we are facing (surprise!) moving abroad for at least a couple of years. We may be able to rent the house to a family friend, but wondering if it’s really going to be worth going the landlord route when we are so far away. Would love to hear from others who have done it or any other thoughts people may have…

    • I would look into what actual market rent would be and how much a professional property manager is. You have to go into this understanding what the expenses will be and recognizing that there will be damage.

    • If you know and trust the prospective tenant, I think you should be ok, particularly if that tenant doesn’t mind doing things like arranging for repairs and such him/herself. If you can rent it out at more than 115% of your mortgage payment and expect the value to continue to grow, you might want to look into a property management company too. Somewhat different calculus when you don’t know the tenant though – then you have to factor in a higher risk of potential damage to the house/maintenance not getting done.

    • Do you want to return to DC?

      I had friends move away and sell, only to return and find that while they used to have a townhouse, now all they can get is a condo much further out. The goal will just be to tread water.

      We know lots of military people in Arlington south of Glebe who rent their places out while they get posted all over and then come back / retire.

    • Nelly Yuki :

      I think this is very typical for the area with all the military and foreign service officers who are in and out. My foreign service friends have bought homes for the 1-2 years they were in DC, then rented them out for years and years on end, before moving back in. I don’t know for sure, but I would guess there are good rental management companies out there that are very familiar with helping landlords in your position.

    • DC landlord :

      We were in a very similar situation, except that we moved outside of the state but still within the US. We rented out our townhome to a diplomat. Our townhome was almost brand new and we did not use a management company. When there were issues with the townhome (which was rarely), my husband actually flew down to DC and took care of it.

      With that said, since you will live abroad I think you will really need a management company.

      I’m honestly not sure we saved any money by renting it out. In retrospect, we may have been better off selling at the time. We ended up selling years later once the market tanked, and lost some money. On the up side, we were very happy with our responsible tenant, he took great care of the place.

    • I was the tenant in this situation. An old friend moved abroad for work and I rented his recently-purchased house for three years. He cut me a bit of a deal on the rent because he didn’t use a management company and I agreed to take care of all repairs and where necessary just deduct from rent. It was a relatively new house so there actually weren’t many repairs though, so I don’t know if the situation might be a bit different for your tenant in an older house. I think the arrangement worked pretty well for both of us. I would’ve kept living there but he decided to sell. In the three years I lived there he got a pretty good increase in equity and I lived in a nice house for below-market rent.

      If you trust your family friend and don’t particularly want to sell your house, go for it.

    • anon a mouse :

      It sounds like it’s worth keeping, at least for a year to try to rent out. You can sell after a year if it doesn’t work.

      I would recommend getting a professional management company though. Your tenant may be able to handle small things but if something major happens you’ll want a professional to work on your behalf to handle contractors, be there to let people in, etc. Especially since you’ll be out of the country. Also, on the off-chance that your family friend turns out to be a bad tenant, you will need the extra protection.

  19. Fallopian Tubes Removed :

    Several weeks ago there was a series of comments about choosing to get one’s tubes tied as permanent birth control. I chimed in to say that I was considering the procedure, and I underwent it about a month ago so I thought I’d share my experience because it seems like this is a choice that doesn’t get a lot of press.

    I’m 42 years old, was married at 28, and have never wanted children. When I got married, I wasn’t really against having children and would have done it if my husband had really wanted them, but basically the years passed and neither one of us ever came to a point where we affirmatively wanted them. In fact, my desire not to have children increased as time passed. (I think I saw a poster asking about this yesterday, so I particularly wanted to mention that fact. I would say that in my mid-30s, right when conventional wisdom would say I should have been panicking about my decreasing fertility, I was happily getting my first IUD implanted.)

    I think I’ve tried almost every form of birth control out there: regular pill, Norplant, mini pill, diaphragm, condoms, and finally the Mirena. The regular pill was ruled out due to migraines, the diaphragm gave me non-stop bacterial vaginosis, condoms are definitely not effective enough, and the Norplant, mini pill, and Mirena all gave me nonstop spotting, horrible bloating, and emotional swings. Lest anyone think I didn’t wait long enough to see if the side effects subsided, I had one Mirena for the full 5 years and the second for 2.5 years before I opted to have my Fallopian tubes removed. I was not interested in trying the copper IUD because at 42 years old, I was tired of having things implanted in my body to avoid becoming pregnant. But, I was also facing several more years (a decade? more?) of running the risk of getting pregnant.

    You may be wondering “why didn’t your husband get a vasectomy?” The simple answer is that while on an intellectual and fairness level he and I agreed that made sense, he just wasn’t going to do it. And I wasn’t going to push him on it because I believe he has the same right to make decisions about elective medical procedures that I do. He’s a wonderful person and husband, and I’m not interested in any comments berating him for not getting a vasectomy.

    My doctor was actually recommended to me by in-house counsel at one of my clients. I met with him for the first time about 2.5 months ago, explained that I was 42, did not want children, and had side effects from the various forms of birth control I had tried. Blissfully, he did not question my choice, interrogate me as to whether I had children, ask me if I was sure, or otherwise begin with the assumption that I didn’t know what I was doing. He explained there were three options: cut the Fallopian tubes and cauterize the ends, use tiny titanium clamps on the tubes to close them off, and remove the tubes entirely. Some studies have shown that removal of the tubes entirely can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer, so I opted for the complete removal.

    Removal of the Fallopian tubes is a laparoscopic surgery that takes place under general anesthetic. My surgery took place at a surgical suite in (basically) a suburb 3 miles from my house. I got there with my husband at 6, met with the nurses and anesthesiologist, and my doctor showed up at 7. They gave me Versad before the surgery, and I don’t remember damn thing after that until I woke up in the recovery room around 9:30 am with the surgery complete and the IUD removed. I was home by 10, and spent most of the rest of the day sleeping in bed. I was back to work on Monday. The doctor prescribed OxyContin of some kind, but asked me to start with Tylenol for painkilling and Tylenol was totally sufficient.

    I have three tiny scars–one in my navel and one over each ovary. I had some soreness in my abdomen after the procedure and vaginal bleeding for about a week. By about two weeks after surgery, I was back to my regular workouts, no problem.

    All in all, I am overwhelmingly happy that I’ve taken control of my fertility in this manner. So I wanted to share my experience in case others are considering this option or have questions.

    • No one does this because the fact that your husband would rather you do this than him get a vasectomy is absurd and idiotic.

      • BabyAssociate :

        Like OP said….”I believe he has the same right to make decisions about elective medical procedures that I do”

        It’s not our place to criticize what others choose to d,o or not do, with their bodies.

      • been there done that :

        We’ve had this argumentative thread already w/r/t OP’s husband. Can we just not do it again???????

      • +1 to Anon 10:53. Sorry, but anyone that would stand by and watch his wife have a serious, dangerous, elective surgery because he’s scared of a bit of pain is not a good person or a good husband.

        • Generally it’s not because he’s scared of a bit of pain, it’s because “real men” don’t shoot blanks. After all, pregnancy is a woman’s issue, so it’s a woman’s job to prevent it/terminate it/deal with it.

        • + 1

          glad OP didn’t die under general


          Team no general unless medically necessary

        • The reason no one does this is because of vasectomies. Unacceptable that any husband would put his wife on this literal chopping block when a simple, routine procedure on his end would make this avoidable. You’re not interested in hearing that, but the hundreds of other women reading this should know how selfish a husband like that really is.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Stop. Just stop.

      • DC landlord :

        I hope that your husband is incredibly appreciative and grateful that you went through such an invasive procedure. And I’m glad that you’re ok.

    • BabyAssociate :

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! As someone who has also never wanted kids, this is really helpful.

      I am very, very happy to hear that your doctor did not question your reproductive health choices. I know many women who have gotten some really unnecessary judgment there.

    • This was a great and informative post. Thanks for sharing. Some of us may need similar surgeries for medical reasons in the future, never mind “just” for birth control. It’s good to know what to expect. I also respect that you weren’t going to push your husband to make a medical decision that he was not comfortable with.

      • +1 thank you for sharing and I am saving this information to possibly use in a few years time. Signed, already had my kids, going to try out some BC measures first.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Thank you so much for posting this! I’m the one who asked the question awhile back.

      I’m switching gynecolog*sts this year and am going to try and find someone who is open to letting me get Essure or some other permanent option.

      Do you happen to be near NYC? I’d love your doctor’s name if you do. Seriously, thank you so much for posting all of this!

      • Fallopian Tubes Removed :

        Happy to help! Unfortunately, I’m in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, so no NYC recs.

      • I have heard TERRIBLE things about Essure. Coils migrating, extreme pain, etc. I would rather have my fallopian tubes removed. Shudder.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I’ll thoroughly investigate the options once I find a doctor willing to discuss them with me!

    • Will you still have periods, even with the entire tubes removed?

      I hate hate hate periods, and would hate them even more if I wasn’t hoping to have kids in the future. I want an option that either stops the periods or doesn’t prevent insurance from paying for birth control in the future (which I would take anyway just to stop the damn periods.)

      • I’m curious about this too. I take birth control pills strictly for period relief (currently celibate and no interest in having kids) and have been wondering about permanent solutions.

        • BabyAssociate :

          Ohh this is a really good question! I’m pretty much in the same boat as Anon 2, so really curious to hear the answer.

      • Fallopian Tubes Removed :

        Only my tubes were removed; I still have ovaries and a uterus so I still have periods.

        • I’m genuinely confused by this… please explain. Ovaries produce egg, egg travels through tubes, to uterus where it’s final destination is to stay or go. If it goes, that means period. If you don’t have tubes, eggs are trapped, right? So no period? Or do you still get your period because the lining builds & drops with or without an egg to trigger the drop? I felt like I was so educated on female anatomy…but now I’m second guessing myself. Thanks for sharing your story/experience/option.

          • lawsuited :

            Your period is the releasing of your uterine lining if an egg has not implanted in it (you’ve not become pregnant). OP still has a uterus, which will continue to produce a uterine lining, which will continue to be released each month seeing as an egg can’t implant in it. During menopause this process stops because you are no longer producing the hormones telling your uterus to produce the lining each month. And seeing as ovaries play a role in producing estrogen, and the OP still has her ovaries, her periods will continue until the naturally enters menopause.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m questioning my ignorance on this subject as well. I thought the procedure was tying the tubes not removal. Confused about where eggs go when they are released as ovulation continues.

    • I didn’t even know tube removal was an option. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  20. I’ve been out with a nice guy three times. He’s smart, kind, respectful. I just feel nothing in terms of physical attraction. After the third date, I told him I was feeling more of a friend vibe and he said he was taking cues from me and taking things slowly but thought if we kept dating, chemistry could develop over time.

    Is he right? Part of me thinks I should be more open and give it another chance, but the other part of me is annoyed that he didn’t take my “I’m feeling a friend vibe” for an answer and seems to be trying to talk me into continuing to date him.

    I know women on this s I t e have talked about chemistry taking awhile to develop. It’s never been that way for me. Should I give this another chance? There are no red flags except for my complete lack of physical attraction and the fact that I do not think about him at all between dates.

    Hmm. I think I may have answered my own question!

    • IDK — is he good husband material? Sometimes a slow burn can be heard to tease out at first. But I find that if I have *feelings* at first, is like having a ferrari as a rental car — a lot of rush, but a bit of a distraction from the long-term hunt.

      Sometimes dating is getting to know if you want to be serious about a person. If you’re not leading him on (and it sounds like you’re not), I’d keep getting to know him.

      Otherwise, it’s too bad you couldn’t recommend him to others who might have sparks with him (nice guy, no spark, recommended by anon @ 10:11).

    • I’d give it a couple dates more dates if you’re otherwise a good match. My DH looks nothing like what I thought my type was – he’s not tall and dark, he’s the same height as me and blonde with a beard (used to hate those). Was totally uninterested in him romantically until about a month in, I realized that I’d be upset if he was seeing someone else.

    • I think you’ve answered your own question – if there’s a complete lack of physical attraction and you don’t think about him between dates this is not someone you should keep dating. I don’t think you have to immediately want to jump someone and attraction can grow/develop over time, but if it’s been three dates and you’re still feeling nothing for him except friendship I think you should move on.

      • Yea, I agree. There’s chemistry and then there’s ambivalence. If you’re ambivalent, stop dating him. If you like him, but there’s not fireworks, keep dating him.

    • I actually think it’s a good sign that he wasn’t totally scared off when you said you felt lukewarm about him. I tried that with a guy I felt lukewarm about (and who, in my opinion, was coming on a bit strong) this summer, and he basically said he wasn’t feeling it either, so bye.

      I think Anonymous at 10:16 has a good point about the Ferrari. That said, with online dating, I’ve never had a successful slow burn with anybody – it just kind of peters out at the 5-6 date mark. It’s frustrating. So, I don’t know what to tell you.

    • Have you kissed? Kiss. At least try it.

    • I think he may have taken “I’m feeling a friend vibe” to mean “you haven’t made a move” not “I’m not attracted to you.” With that understanding, you can probably expect him to be more touchy feely during the next date. If that’s not what you want, and it sounds like you don’t, then no, don’t go out with him again.

      More fundamentally, though, you already made your decision. You don’t tell someone, I see you as a friend, because you’re undecided and want them to do something different. You tried to let him down gently but he was nice so now you’re second guessing yourself. Trust yourself. You’re not feeling it. Move on.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Until your second to last sentence, I was going to tell you to give it another chance. But if you don’t even think of him between dates then I don’t think I’d continue.

      Before I read that point, I was going to tell you that I had the same concern after my first 3 dates with my now husband. We had a great time together but still hadn’t kissed and I had no idea whether he was attracted to me. I found him really interesting though and thought of him often between dates even though I wasn’t sure I was attracted to him, so I figured I’d give it a few more weeks. It turned out that he hadn’t made a move yet because he had built it up in his mind that he wanted it to be a perfect moment. It actually did turn out to be a perfect first kiss moment at a meaningful place to me. And there’s been no doubt to my attraction or feeling like he’s attracted to me ever since.

    • I have a lot of friends who have had parents with arranged marriages and have had semi-arranged ones (sort of introductions to family-vetted or family vouched-for people). If it’s just lack of spark, I’d say see one more date and see how kissing feels. If there is no real spark then, cut him loose and let him find someone who is a better fit. But if he’d be a perfect arranged spouse in another culture, I’d give it one more shot. [Especially based on being in my 40s and seeing so many prefect-instant-spark marriages blow up wildly.]

    • Never too many shoes... :

      Honestly, get a bit tipsy and make out with him (at least). Sometimes sexual attraction needs a bit of a jump start…

      • I’m interested by this an the “kiss him” advice above, because this 100% would not work for me – the prospect of kissing someone to whom I don’t feel attraction (much less anything beyond that) actually makes my skin crawl. For me this would actually end up being a really bad idea, because my level of discomfort would be such that then I really *wouldn’t* want to see the person again.

        • been there done that :

          I’m team kiss him if you legit think that chemistry can develop and you’re not sure if it’s there- not when you’re per se unattractive to him. It’s worked for me and I’m pretty picky about who I’m attracted to right off the bat.

          But the bigger red flag is that you don’t think about him. I find myself in your shoes a lot when online dating. I’ve found that if he’s just good on paper and nice, good boyfriend material but there’s really no spark, either intellectually or physically, it doesn’t develop. I no longer force myself to go on additional dates ‘just to see.’

        • At least then you’d know one way or another?

          • In my case, I wouldn’t, though – because if I made myself kiss the guy before attraction had developed on its own, that wouldn’t cause that chemistry to suddenly flare up. It would be more likely to make me uncomfortable and cause me not to want to see the dude again. So there’s actually the risk that I then would break things off with a guy that I might have been interested in.

            I think the moral of the story is that you probably know if you’re a person who can do a “test kiss” or not.

    • Honestly, when I was like that about men I used to just sleep with them to see what happened. Turns out, you can have great chemistry with people who you’re not that attracted to and not great chemistry with conventionally attractive people. Not sure what your values are like, but when in doubt try it out (safely).

    • It depends. What kinds of men have you had chemistry with in the past? Were they good relationship material? If so, then I’d feel OK passing on this guy. But if there’s any chance at all that ‘chemistry’ could actually be ‘feels like exactly the sort of dysfunction I’m familiar/comfortable with because of my upbringing’, I’d give it a lot more thought.

  21. NY Times is reporting that Trump was tweeting at 5am about Alicia Machado having a ‘gardening’ tape. Like, what is happening? Where are his handlers? Legit starting to wonder if he does have a dr*g problem. Who tweets at 5am, let alone about that, when they’re trying to win an election campaign?

    • He’s his own worst enemy. It’s interesting to watch (or would be if the prospect of him becoming president weren’t so frightening).

    • Well, he has been famous for a long time for only sleeping a couple of hours a night, so I’m not sure it’s that surprising that he was tweeting at 3 am (which is a lot crazier than 5 am, imo – many business people are up at 5 am to start their day). His handlers have never been able to control his actions. That’s been going on all campaign. They wanted him to prep for the debates, and he didn’t, and look how that turned out.

    • I have decided there is literally nothing he can do that will stop most people from voting from him.

      • Right…as he said himself, he could shoot somebody in the street and he wouldn’t lose the support of his base. It’s horrifying. They’re almost cult-like in their support of him.

      • Yep, unfortunately. He’s even said it himself: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.”

    • I thought it was that she did some gardening on a reality show that was televised, not that there was an explicit tape? So the under the covers or behind a bush type of thing that pretty much every reality star ever has done on TV. I fail to see how this is a big deal. Or how it has anything to do with him fatshaming her.

      • Right? Like, is he thinking people will read his 5am suggestion that she has a s*xtape and suddenly decide that she’s a con artist who deserves to be fat shamed? How are his handlers not on top of this stuff?

    • DC landlord :

      I did not see the tape but allegedly it was a non-explicit footage of her on a reality show with some guy, whom she ultimately slept with (but that part was not on the tape). Either way, it’s in very poor taste. He’s almost like he is trying to lose at this point.

      • Clinton’s camp has to be thrilled. She has clearly hit a nerve and Trump can’t stop weight-shaming women and attacking them.

  22. Anonymouse :

    Reposting from yesterday afternoon:

    Got fired from a job I really loved this summer bc of misogyny.
    Was too depressed in the immediate aftermath to negotiate a good severence offer.
    The company I worked for has a track record of firing women then blacklisting them from the industry.
    Seems to be happening now.
    Anyone have experience with a situation like this?
    Looking for ways to reframe so I have the energy to take better care of myself, economically.

    There is a part of the work I used to to wh is easily subcontracted out, and at which I am widely known to excel. (even by my detractors)
    There are parts of my professional network who are upset by what happened and who want to help me, (though several of them feel they are limited in what they can do bc they fear retaliation by my former employer)
    I had the idea of starting my own business doing this little subcontracted out piece, but just can’t muster the mojo to do the required tasks a great deal of the time.

    My reputation is pretty damaged now by the firing and cover story being floated by my ex company (as well as the lead up wh was lengthy and toxic). So part of me wonders if I shouldn’t just leave the industry entirely.

    I loved the work and was great at it.

    Looking for stories where any of you managed to stay in an industry you loved after a blatant discriminatory job loss.
    How do I recover from the slander?
    Doing good work wasn’t enough to keep me in my job, seems not to be enough to let me drum up freelance business.

    How do I feel less bitter/ demoralized by the fact that they got away with it?
    I’m really mad at myself for not having it in me to fight them harder.

    • It was unclear to me yesterday, and today, what you are doing with yourself. When you get fired, apply for jobs!! You can’t sit around wallowing. No one cares if you’re right and they fired you for misogyny. Like, entirely possible. And? You got bills right?

      • Anonymouse :

        Right that’s not a useful reframe but thanks for trying.
        Asking for help shifting my headspace into sth more productive and powerful, shaming me for being bummed out does the opposite of that.

        • Oh please. You get out of this headspace by doing things. Apply for jobs! Actually take steps to start your business! Change what you are doing to change your headspace. The only way out is through. Sitting around being right doesn’t fix anything.

          • Anonymouse :

            The oh please just buck up talk is not useful, it’s mean.
            Note I’ve said I’m soliciting work for my business and taking classes.
            Those are things.

            You are trolling.

          • they aren’t trolling – you just don’t like the advice. just because you don’t like advice doesn’t mean it’s trolling! I agree that the only way out is through. But take some time first to mourn and wallow and then after a week or two, forward it is.

    • Try focusing on just short, measureable tasks. Like, talk with X number of potential clients, set up a website, update your resume, search for X number of job openings to apply for, etc. For me, when I’m in a funk, just doing something helps a bit. Do you have anyone that you can discuss this with – friends, family?

      Your situation really sucks and you’re allowed to be bummed out over it. Take care of yourself and give yourself a break – you’ll get through this!

      • Anonymouse :

        Yeah I’ve been leaning on my friend circle really hard, they’ve been great.
        I have business cards and have had a few meetings with people re drumming up business.
        My mojo has been low tho so not able to really make the most of these meetings the way I can when I have better momentum, if that makes sence?

        I’m also writing badly and slowly bc sadness makes my brain clumsy, so content creation for website / power point presentations/ is behind the schedule I made for myself and I am unnerved/ disappointed by that.

        Thanks for permisison to be bummed! It’s hard to give myself, really important to hear from other folks!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I was laid off from a job in a male-dominated field (related to construction). My situation was different because I didn’t have to deal with the slander issue and ended up moving to a different state immediately after it happened. I wound up getting re-hired by the same company in the new state. The sexism issues still existed though. My boss really went to bat for me since I was his second in command in practice but not on paper. The regional manager wouldn’t hear it though and I wound up leaving for law school. So I’ve been there to a point. But not exactly.

      My advice is the same as it would be for anyone who was fired. Getting fired is awful. It s*cks. I’d set a time period for wallowing. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, frustrated, etc. Do that. But limit yourself to what you feel is a reasonable amount of time based on your financial situation. Then do your best to stuff it down and move forward. I’m not sure how to suggest doing that where you are since it sounds like a small community. But wallow for awhile then figure out a plan.

      • Anonymouse :

        It’s really useful to hear your story and to know you recovered after.
        This job was a big step up for me, so I fear I viscerally fear Being Poor Forever Now.
        Money is awesome!

        And permission to wallow is good to get.

    • I love my job and my team. And YET, women are routinely left out, passed over for partner, etc etc. I get annoyed at the unfairness, etc, but then remember what the general counsel of a major NYC corporation said at a talk in the last year, which was (paraphrased):

      “people gonna discriminate, but you can’t focus on not having the job/opportunity/promotion because you’re a women or a POC or whatever… just gotta move on and focus on the things you can affect.”

      Sorry to hear about your situation. I agree that the best thing TO DO is get out there and put out your own voice so their slander isn’t the only thing out there. Best of luck!!

      • Anonymouse :

        Yeah, when I was working there was a constant onslaught of really horifying institutionalized sexism and I had mostly figured out how to just laugh at the absurdity and do my work.
        I want to get back to thinking it’s funny and beneath my attention, but find bitterness has really taken root.

        I keep telling myself:
        Always stay gracious
        The best revenge is your paper

        But have a few times not been able to stop myself from telling my side when asked and I didn’t like how having those conversations made me feel.
        But also I’m also not totally comfortable protecting these people after the awful way they treated me.

    • Consult an employment lawyer within 180 days to see if what occurred is actionable.

      • Anonymouse :

        I retained a lawyer before the firing because the work environment was so very hostile and it was clear they were trying to get rid of me. (See: precedent of firing women)
        She was expensive and not useful.

        I negotiated a severence package on my own wh included a covenant not to sue bc I wanted to be able to stay in the industry. I asked for and got an amount of money wh was less than the most people recieve in these situations and I am really angry at myself for not going for the bigger amount.

        Definitely feel like I owe the women who come after me more, I owed myself more, too.

        • Try a different lawyer.

          • I missed the part about the covenant not to compete. It’s possible it’s not enforceable. It’s worth a consultation with a different employment lawyer in your state to determine whether you have any available remedies.

        • Anon for this :

          As I understand it, a release can stop you from profiting from a lawsuit but it can’t prevent you from reporting and participating in an EEOC complaint or your state’s version of the same. You won’t get money but you could get justice. Or the release might be invalid for some reason and you could get money. Try to find a contingency fee firm. You will likely get a free consult.

    • A close family member was fired when she announced her pregnancy. She waited weeks to tell me because she felt ashamed, and that made me realize how lonely an experience like that can make you feel. She turned things around by focusing on what was best for her and her baby. A few comments based on her experience:

      1. Don’t worry about the slander. She works in a small industry and was worried about the stigma of being fired and the nasty things her former employer was saying about her, but it turns out that in a small industry everyone knows which companies have high turnover, can’t retain women, etc.

      2. Exploit your network. Whether you decide to look for another job or start your own business, let your network help you, especially as it sounds like many are sympathetic to your situation. My family member found her next job through an industry contact who knew she did great work and was appalled by how she was treated.

      3. Talk to a lawyer. My family member spoke to a lawyer and ultimately decided not to take legal action, but given your concern about the company “getting away with it”, knowing your legal options might ease your mind.

      4. Success is the best revenge. I hear what you’re saying about low motivation to get your business going, etc. but the only person who loses if you give up is you. Whereas if you get back out there, continue being great, your ex-company will know they couldn’t tarnish your star.

  23. I’m intrigued by all of the recommendations for Coobie [email protected] Anyone with a 30 band size know if they fit?

    • YES! 30D here. I just reordered a ton of them (and have done it periodically over the past 7 years). I just tried the yoga bra in additional to the basic and may like the yoga one better (more structure / snugger). I find that I have to wash periodically when they stretch out a bit (mesh bag / air dry and always take the pads out). I put them on as soon as I get home and it takes maybe a week of wearing (or weekends when that’s all I wear) to get them stretched, then wash and they are all better. But yes — I’ve tried things that are cuter and just hated them (odd straps, lumpy, not quite the right size, scratchy tags). Lesson learned — Coobie for-evah!

    • my comment got eaten, but yes — 30D and just ordered a ton more and the yoga [email protected] / regular styles. love love love

    • Same question, but other end of the size spectrum – anyone around a 36J wear them? My usual home support is athletic tanks with shelf bras from Target, or the racerback shelf camis that Old Navy used to carry.

      • Anon for this :

        I’m not at your end of the spectrum but I’m a 32DDD and wear the larger one without the pads. I don’t wear them doing cardio and I don’t wear them to work in place of a regular bra. I do wear them lounging and doing errands on the weekends.

      • I wore mine pregnant (up to 9 months) and when nursing/pumping (but NOT at first — like 3-12 months in with leaking pads thrown in). They are astonishingly forgiveable (but I had to trash the 3 I had through all of this once I got my real ribcage and b0*bz back — that elastic was shot). I have rebought twice since then — very happy. $ per wear is amazing.

      • Meg Murry :

        Late reply, but I’m kind of in a similar size ballpark (38/40D) and I just ordered a bunch of different size and style Coobies. The original ones with skinny straps (even in the “full size”) were not comfortable to me, or were “meh” at best, and all got returned. The Coobie Comfort bra, with wide straps, however, was comfy and I kept it. I ordered both a Large (my size on the size chart) and an XL (one size up, recommended if you want a more comfy fit. Both sizes fit fine, but I wound up keeping the XL. I wore it during recovery from a medical procedure, and it was comfy enough to sleep in, but supportive enough that I felt ok wearing it under a T-shirt in public.

        I also tried the comfort bra with lace, and it was not as stretchy or comfy. I ordered all of them on Amazon Prime so I got free shipping and free returns.

        This is the one I wound up keeping:

  24. Binge-watching :

    Sometimes when life is a little mundane or tough, I will get into a show that is “comforting” and watch the whole thing. In the past that’s been Friday Night Lights, Gilmore Girls, Six Feet Under, West Wing, and The Sopranos (because apparently I find mafia violence comforting). Have hit kind of a rut– a lot of new shows are simply too dark for my tastes, but I long for a new fictional world to escape into. Any suggestions?

    • MASH!

    • Arrested Development. Parks & Recs. 30 Rock. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

      • BabyAssociate :

        +1 to all of these and I’d also add The Office. If I’m feeling down, 30 Rock is always my go to!

    • Nashville!

    • Based on this list, you HAVE to watch Parenthood. It has Lauren Graham from Gilmore Girls, Peter Krause from Six Feet Under and created and written by Jason Katims, the creator of Friday Night Lights. And it’s just a terrific show and totally binge-able. Also think you would like The Good Wife and Sports Night.

      • Ditto on Parenthood. Unlike FNL it was a slow starter for me, but after a while every episode was making me cry. My friends and I would often say “f*cking Bravermans” as shorthand for how emotional the show made us.

      • Oh my gosh yes Parenthood. I’m jealous you get to see it from the beginning – I just watched the whole thing last year and I’m already debating watching it all again. I have never loved a tv show more!

    • Call the Midwife (it can be kind of heavy/sad sometimes but the storyline is so good), Friends, Grey’s Anatomy.

    • My guilty pleasure is Scream Queens. Super cheesy B grade slasher film plot, but entertaining none the less. It’s only in the second season so you can work through it quickly.

    • Freaks and Geeks! Only one season so not great for binging but it is an amazing show that features lots of actors who were unknown at the time and are now super famous like Seth Rogan and James Franco.

    • Enlightened
      One Mississippi
      Boardwalk Empire
      Nurse Jackie

    • Parks and Recreation is one of the most comforting shows to me because the characters are all weirdos who actually love and support each other. The first season is not good, so if you’re on the fence I recommend just skipping to season 2.

      One of my favorite shows that I just rewatched recently is Being Erica, a Canadian time travel show (go with me here) about a 30 something woman going back in time to “fix” mistakes in her past. The concept is fantastical but the show itself feels really grounded emotionally and I almost feel like I’ve been through a therapy session after every episode. And relevant to this s*te, the main character’s clothes are FABULOUS. It’s four seasons and I believe they’re all on Hulu.

      • Addendum: if you are into comedies, I consistently love New Girl, Brooklyn Nine Nine, and Cougar Town (terrible title which they habitually make fun of, but a really nice, funny show). I find that “weirdos who all love each other” is a requirement for my comedy tastes.

        Other all time favorites: Life (Damian Lewis’s pre-Homeland show, two seasons, criminally underrated), Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel (Buffy purists will yell at me but I love Angel more), and, if you are into sci-fi at all, Farscape. It’s ridiculous at best but the main romance is Coach/Mrs. Coach-from-FNL levels of amazing.

        • I f ing love Life. Criminally underrated! The cast is amazing – Lewis, Garrett Dillahunt, Arkinf…. I need to rewatch.

          • Anonymous :

            Garrett Dillahunt is one of the most convincing villains I’ve ever seen. Just perfect. And Sarah Shahi!

    • Anon in NYC :

      Quantico, Madam Secretary, How I Met Your Mother, 30 Rock, and Parks and Rec.

    • Jane the Virgin

      • Lorelai Gilmore :

        Plus one million. I love Jane the Virgin. I also highly recommend Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.

      • Jane the Virgin is THE BEST for this purpose. It’s fluffy, funny, somehow simultaneously smart and ridiculous, and feels like being wrapped in a warm hug.

    • If you liked Gilmore Girls, consider Hart of Dixie. (Even filmed on the same set, just “southernized”). Yes, it’s a CW show, but it’s basically low-stakes hijinks and pretty people who are fundamentally kind and decent, with a fair deal of snappy dialogue. Lots of love triangles and town festivals. I would also suggest Jane the Virgin, which is in a similar vein but intentionally in the style of a telenovela. Apparently I watch nothing but the CW.

      I also find rewatching Firefly to be very comforting, but I may be a weirdo.

      • Seconding your recs, and wanted to say I love your name. “Did everyone else know the Slayer is a robot?”

      • +1 I re-watch Hart of Dixie whenever life is getting me down.

      • I totally heart Hart of Dixie. And I’m currently obsessed with everything on the CW.

        • The CW somehow became my go-to network and I don’t know how it happened! I love most of the DC Comics shows, Jane, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend…there’s always something I’m super into.

      • YES! How could I forget HoD. That show is so ridiculous but in such an amazing way. Lavon! Shirtless Wade! Love.

      • And if you like Hart of Dixie, The Carrie Diaries! It’s the SATC prequel. Silly, not very plausible, but very escapist.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      The Newsroom. West-Wing vibe (Also Sorkin), but modern and awesome.

    • It’s interesting how people have such different tastes. Some of these recommended shows are good, some less so, or just totally different from what the OP seems to be watching. We are so different…

    • Brothers and Sisters or… The Wine Show on Hulu. My sister-in-law and I just binge-watched it. Matthew Goode from Downton and Matthew Rhys from The Americans and Brothers and Sisters. They’re adorkable and funny

    • Frankie and Grace – a Netflix original. Wonderful writing, great cast, funny and human. Really a great show.

    • The Great British Baking Show

    • The League!

  25. How to Toughen Up? :

    Tips from you wise ladies on toughening up and developing thicker skin?

    I work in a really aggressive environment, with lots of confrontation and strong personalities (commodity trading). It’s just the nature of the work and it’s rarely personal. I’m decent at keeping my composure in the moment and I never cry on the floor, but I take things personally and take hits to my confidence. I also ruminate on small confrontations- hard for me to shake things off.

    I also need to work on being more aggressive myself (speaking up more, etc) but struggle with worrying too much “what people think of me”.

    Any advice? I imagine it just comes with time and experience, but would welcome any tips or encouragement!

    • Curiouser :

      I can’t believe no one answered this! Hugs to you from a bathroom cryer ;) My thin skin was partially because I was dealing with General Anxiety Disorder, and so I was just too worn out to cope. Could you be handling mild depression/ anxiety?

      If not: it also just takes time. I’m 28, been working full time for 6 years, and I really only think this clicked for me in the past 8 months. I had cowered so many times and was about to back down from another situation and switch to another job. My boss’s boss said: You can do that. But I think you need to prove to me and yourself that you can get through a really hard time when you’re being questioned. Somehow that gave me the courage to keep going, and I’m now much more esteemed. So it might just be a matter of persistence and getting older. hugs to you! Don’t be too hard on yourself!

      • I just wanted to thank you for writing this. I’m going through something very similar right now. I’m 28, in a job and getting right to that point of “I could just flee AGAIN; wouldn’t that be easier?” and trying to stick it out. Having nightmares and panic attacks, but I know that I need to prove it to myself that I can stick it out, and once I do that I’ll be in a much, much better place and the esteem will stick with me for the rest of my life. I’m just starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and your comment helped cement that. Thank you :)

  26. Thermos recommendation please
    I’m looking for a thermos to use to send a fruit smoothie to school with my first grader for snack time. Obviously she’s throwing it in her backpack and bouncing it around during her commute, so leak proof is a priority. I’d also like one with no straw and an opening large enough to accommodate a thicker smoothie, rather than liquid coffee. Bonus if it’s not huge, heavy and it comes in a fun color. I’m sure there is something out there, but I don’t really want to spend 4 hours reading amazon reviews, so please tell me what you use and love.

  27. Shopping help? Looking for black boots, little to no heel, wider calf. But here’s the kicker – I need Amazon Prime because I need them Monday and can’t get to a store before then. Help?

    • I just got 2 pairs of wide-calf boots via Amazon Prime. I got both in brown, but they come in black, too.

      This pair is gorgeous and only cost $41:

      My mother ordered the other pair. I’m trying to find them. I decided to keep both

  28. I could use some advice on telling my supervisors about my pregnancy. I’m ~17 weeks and returning from several months on an assignment with a different office. I just found out that when I return, I will be starting a new assignment for about a year. I think my supervisors will want to sit down with me to talk about the new assignment, etc. and I’m wondering whether this is the time for me to tell them? To be honest, due to some previous losses I’m pretty gun shy about telling people, so I’d prefer to wait to tell them for another couple of weeks. (This is not a question about whether people will be able to guess that I’m pregnant…)
    Also, what is the best way to phrase it when I do tell? Thanks, ladies!!

    • I told my boss at the beginning of a meeting we’d scheduled on something else. I phrased it as, “Before we get started, I have some exciting news to share. [SO] and I are expecting a baby! I’m still not very far along, so I’m not sharing the news widely yet, but wanted to let you know in the meantime.”

      Be prepared for your boss to ask you when you’re due and some preliminary maternity leave planning questions. I answered those questions with the proviso of “I’m still not very far along so we shouldn’t set anything in stone”, but I think it put my boss at ease and I didn’t feel any need to withhold that information.

    • During an internal planning meeting I waited until a project that would likely conflict with potential leave was discussed and said , “I’d rather wait until 1st or 2nd quarter next year to start on [project] because I will be out 4th quarter this year on anticipated maternity leave.” There was brief congratulations and then I refocused the meeting on the projects I was continuing with/would be assigned to me prior to my anticipated leave.

    • Coach Laura :

      I’d wait to hear what they have to say about your next year and digest it first. 17 weeks is still early – plenty of time to plan.

      I’d think of what you want your goals to be for the next year, how soon you want/need to return after the birth and what you want your life to look like at that time (as much as you can guess pre-baby). Talk to the supervisors about the goals and then when you’re ready, either meet with them to discuss the plan and tell them then or, depending on the nature of your job and norms there, put it in a memo with your goals for the next 12 months. As for the actual words “As we review the planning process for this next year, I am pregnant and will deliver in March 2017 and plan to return to work here so I’ve taken that into account in my project plan/goals. I will manage the transition by doing a, b and c before the birth and when I return, I would like to continue with projects x, y and z. As we get closer to my due date I’ll finalize the coverage plan/work with team members to cover/train my temporary replacement.”

  29. Not a humblebrag :

    Suggestions for healthy weight gain? In the past 2 months I cut out dairy to try to improve my skin (slight improvement), and have been reducing refined sugar for general health. We are TTC so I’ve also lowered alcohol. I happened to check my weight this morning and found my BMI is now in the underweight category- which I think will not help us TTC. Any suggestions for putting on about 5-10 lbs in a healthy way? Thank you!

    • BMI isn’t a great measure, so just because you’re categorized as underweight, doesn’t necessarily mean unhealthy or will cause any issues with TTC. But, to gain weight, focus on more calorie dense foods in addition to the healthy foods – use full fat dressings on salads (which I think everyone should do anyways because fat helps absorb some vital nutrients in veggies), eat more nuts / nut butters, avocados, etc.

    • Talk to a nutritionist. You’re doing some really restrictive and unnecessary things.

      • Coach Laura :

        Disagree about this being restrictive/unnecessary (dairy can be bad for those who don’t tolerate it, a lot of people cut out refined sugar and a lot of those TTC reduce alcohol) but do see a nutritionist.

    • BMI is really a pretty meaningless number. There’s a lot that determines whether someone is a healthy weight besides just height and weight. Bone structure and muscle mass (muscle weighs more than fat) are very important too, and are completely unaccounted for by BMI. My husband has an “obese” BMI but if you look at him he looks incredible fit. He works out all the time and has a six pack ab and not an inch of fat you can pinch. He just has really broad shoulders, has a ton of dense muscle and is fairly short, so his height/weight ratio suggests a problem that doesn’t exist. In contrast, I’m “underweight” according to BMI, but I have curves and plenty of flab around my stomach and hips. I had no trouble conceiving immediately. I would see a doctor and ask if they think you should gain weight and follow their advice. You could also just try to conceive and only worry about this if you have problems, which I expect you won’t.

      • But too little body fat is also unhealthy – less than 3% in men is considered not healthy and less than 12% in women is linked to infertility issues.

        • Right, but my point is that BMI has very little to do with body fat percentage. I have a higher body fat percentage than my husband, but I’m “underweight” on BMI and he’s “obese” because we have different bone structure and amounts of muscle. I’m not disagreeing with you that being underweight can be a serious medical concern but BMI doesn’t tell you much about whether you’re actually under or overweight. That’s why I think OP should see a doctor about it.

        • But that is something you watch by measuring your actual body fat % – not via BMI. BMI isn’t designed to be sensitive enough to capture this.

          My understanding is that BMI was a number that was more useful at a population level, rather than applied to any individual.

          • My comment was in response to the “not an inch of fat you can pinch”. I don’t know if it’s less than 3% body fat but no fat does equal healthy and while BMI is a rough guide at best, if you have a BMI outside the normal range, it’s a good signal to consult a doctor to understand your body composition better and any associated health risks. An obese BMI with a less than 3% body fat is not healthy as a general rule – individuals will of course vary but public health guidelines need to be general.

          • He has more than 3% body fat. My point was just that he looks healthy and fit and not fat at all and BMI says he’s obese so I think it’s not a great guide for many people.

    • Dairy may be your best way to gain some calories quickly and pregnancy will do all kinds of crazy things to your skin anyway. If you do dairy – Liberte has an amazing line called Mediteranee that’s like 10% fat – so yummy.

      Other ideas: avocado, walnuts, extra butter/mayo on everything, skin on chicken instead of skinlesss etc, granola with yoghurt, hearty multigrain bread/cereals, adding hemp hearts to cereal/muffins etc., lots of olive oil (put 1/2 cup of olive oil on a plate – add a sprinkle of salt and sop up and eat with foccaia)

      I got pregnant relatively easily both times but I also intentionally went up to like a 20-22 BMI and add lots of healthy fats to my diet as I thought I was important to send my body a message of health abundance (totally ancedata of course)

      • lawsuited :

        It’s also great to eat dairy while pregnant, so I’d tap dairy back in while keeping refined sugar and alcohol on the bench. I definitely recommend Liberte yoghurt (so good it tastes like dessert), avocados, and eggs – but I have a lot of food aversions right now and chocolate milk, egg McMuffins and avocado maki are about the only things I could consistently stomach in my first trimester.

    • DC landlord :

      Back when I was underweight (no longer ;)), I ate a lot of fat (avocados, whole milk, olive oil) and carbs (breads, rice, etc.). At the time I still had a hard time gaining weight, but that just my body at the time. Since you were heavier before, I think you can regain it if you focus on eating more fat/carbs.

    • Eat bigger portions. If you truly can’t manage bigger portions then eat more often. Even adding a 200ish calorie snack a day – I’m looking at you, handful of almonds – should make a difference.

    • Also not trying to humblebrag, but according to BMI, I’ve been underweight my entire life, and every doctor I’ve ever had has told me that it doesn’t mean I’m unhealthy/doesn’t put me at risk of any long-term illnesses.

      BMI is not an accurate measure of health in many cases. Talk to your doctor to see whether you’ve actually dipped to an unhealthy weight or not.

      • BMI and Bones :

        Being underweight is definitely not a humblebrag. I’m super surprised that none of your doctors were concerned about the osteoporosis risk associated with having an underweight BMI. Do you do weight bearing exercises to counteract the risk? If so, do you have any suggestions? Osteoporosis runs in my family so I’m cautious to never let my BMI be underweight.

        • BMI was developed as a GENERAL standard to aid in assessing the rise of obesity in Western cultures at the POPULATION level. It may have some uses as a starting benchmark for an individual…but it does not tell even close to the whole story of an individual’s health, e.g., you have a family history of osteoporosis, which means that your doctors may discuss osteoporosis prevention with you; Anon at 11:34 might not have the family history, so her doctors don’t. If Anon at 11:34 says her doctors tell her she’s healthy where she is, they have a lot more specific, concrete information than you do.

          • Anonymous :

            Okay, wow.

            Being underweight is a risk factor for osteoporosis regardless of family history. It’s also obviously, only one of many risk factors for osteoporosis. I was just expressing surprise that her doctor told her that being underweight “doesn’t put her at risk of any long term illness.” Maybe she’s having great success with doing other things to counteract the risk so that’s way she’s healthy and that’s why I asked, because I struggled with maintaining a non-underweight BMI and she’s been able to balance an underweight BMI with health. Sorry my interest in her journey was so offensive to you.

          • If you’re still reading, rereading my comment I can see that it came off as snappier than I intended–sorry about that. I just get really frustrated with people who throw around BMI as if it’s the gold standard when it’s a surface-level measurement being used by huge numbers of people (including many medical professionals!) for a purpose for which it was never intended. Being underweight is connected with osteoporosis, sure. But even if the BMI calculator says someone is underweight, that does not mean that an individual is actually underweight *for them.* Humans are different. Bodies are different.

          • There’s a huge difference between ACTUALLY being underweight, which doesn’t come with a number of health risks, and being underweight according to BMI. The poster said she was the latter, and is easily underweight only according to that calculation, and not according to a medical evaluation.

    • Not a humblebrag :

      Thanks all for the helpful suggestions! Sadly we are having trouble (and are seeking help) so I am trying to optimize whatever we can.

      • I agree with the nutritionist suggestion. Ask the doctor you are seeing for their fertility issues.

        Agree with other poster that you maybe are being too restrictive for not clinically appropriate reasons.

      • You probably already have this book if you’re seeking help, but I remember a chapter in Take Charge of your Fertility about this. But it was where being so underweight had caused the body to cease ovulation. So I guess I’d first want to chart to see if I was ovulating before stressing too much about “normal” weight. You already have enough to stress about.

      • Anonymous :

        Then start eating dairy and sugar again. It’s not rocket science.

      • Anon for this :

        My friend was an underweight vegetarian who was having trouble TTC. They found the issue (unrelated to her diet) and went on for IVF. The doc wouldn’t do IVF until her weight was back in the normal range. She didn’t become a meat eater but did high calorie shakes with peanut butter or avocado (not together lol) and other similar healthy fats.

    • I saw a nutritionist when I was underweight and she gave me some great suggestions. As others have said here adding dairy, nuts, avodaco, etc. is a great way to get more calories. Also think about some small changes such as using olive oil to cook with since it has quite a few calories. Drinks such as healthy smoothies are a great way to get calories even if you feel full. That was the easiest way for me to up my calorie intake by 300 or so a day.

    • Do you do a lot of running, by chance? If so, cut back. Also, what makes eating more calories difficult for you – is it that you don’t like to eat or have no appetite?

      • Anonymous :


        At least cut the distance if you run. There’s an association between marathon length running and infertility.

  30. Speaking of chemistry in the above thread…let me vent…I slept with a guy I met at an academic conference. He was really into it, and he kept calling and wanting to visit for several weeks after. We had GREAT chemistry.

    However, he wanted to visit me, and I live in a super tiny apartment with a roommate. He owns a condo, so it makes more sense for me to visit there.

    Then, he admitted that he doesn’t want me to come there because (1) he doesn’t want to introduce me to his family yet (2) I’m a tall, curvy girl and he basically insulted my figure, saying women he’s dated before are very slim and petite.

    I RAN away from this guy. Who wants to introduce someone to their family after spending 3 days together at a conference? Who would admit to fat shaming a potential partner? I promptly told him to not contact me, and blocked him on social media. He responded by messaging me on LinkedIn (forgot about that…), apologizing, but the damage is done.

    Sometimes chemistry isn’t enough. Being decent and kind, and not crazy, are equally important!

  31. Baconpancakes :

    Quick vent/PSA: when you’re invited to a party a month out, and the reminder email two weeks before the event requests a final headcount so the host can give numbers to the caterer, don’t rsvp 24 hours before the event! And definitely don’t refuse to rsvp and tell me in person you might show up if you aren’t too tired!

    Context: small, private party with 20 guests, not a big wedding or huge party, so +/- 4 is a pretty big deal.


    • “Great, hope you can make it. Just be sure to grab something to eat before you come over. I had to give the caterer the final number two weeks ago and I didn’t include you 4 because you hadn’t RSVPed, so there probably won’t be enough food for all of you to have dinner.”

      • Baconpancakes :

        Man I wish. It’s a pairing tasting menu, so the catering will be leading everyone through the tastings at the same time, and anyone not involved would literally be sitting in a corner watching.

        Which would be appropriate, but I can’t bring myself to do it.

        • I recently went to a party like this where there were some unexpected extra guests. The guests still mingled, they just didn’t get to sample everything. And the caterer’s presentation pretty much broke down about an hour (read: ~2 drinks) in anyway because it was too hard to interrupt conversations. Maybe your group is a little less, ahem, lively, than mine, but it can totally work!

        • Anonymous :

          This is one of those times I would contact people individually. People respond different to a phone call saying “Hey, I’m working on plans for the party. I need to know whether you’re coming because we’re doing a sit-down plated dinner. It’s not a problem if you can’t make it, but I need to know.” Otherwise people assume “#s for catering” means passed apps or buffet style and figure their +/- 1 won’t really matter.

          • Anonymous :

            Also, I wish I ran with a group of friends who did pairing tasting menu dinner parties!!!

          • Baconpancakes :

            That’s a good idea. I’ll keep that in mind for future events.

            I’m just flabbergasted that people think that whether they attend or not won’t make a difference. I’m making gift bags (just candy, so it’s not a huge deal), so if I need to make an additional four bags I need to know! Four people means I need to buy at least another 2 bottles of wine, another whole chicken, a larger size cake, etc.

            It’s the same thing with voting, I guess -everyone thinks they won’t make the difference, but if everyone thinks that, I’m up a creek without a paddle when half the non-respondant guest list shows up.

  32. Ewww yuck-what a jerk. Well played anon.

  33. How to you schedule therapy appointments as an adult working full-time?
    (They were easy to schedule between classes during college…)
    I know I’ve seen comments mentioning therapy here before, so I’m hoping someone will have advice.

    • Anonymous :

      I go every Tuesday mid-morning. I set a re-occurring appointment in my calendar called “Appointment.” I’m a mid-level associate, been doing this weekly for a year, and I’ve only had to cancel 3 times.

      I picked a therapist I really liked but who was also only 5 minutes from my office. As far as picking a time- Mondays/Fridays are too unpredictable. First/last appointments of the day never work because I never know when I need to get in early/work late. Thursdays are rough because I’m typically in a mad-dash to get things done for a Friday deadline. So that left Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I picked Tuesdays because I like to “start the week” off with therapy. And mid-mornings because I have more control of my schedule in the first half of the day than the second (and my therapist doesn’t do true lunch time appointments).

    • there are therapists who cater more to working professionals and have adjusted hours. i go after work (~6-8pm) or saturday mornings to start off my weekend.

    • Anonymous :

      I do every other session by phone. My insurance company typically doesn’t reimburse for phone appointments, but my therapist and I don’t tell them whether it’s in person or by phone.

    • I had a weekly 11:30 appointment, and I blocked my calendar from 11-12:30. My therapist was a 15 min drive from my office so I usually left around 11:15 and was back at my desk at 12:30. If anyone was looking for me, they assumed I had taken an early lunch. I don’t think I was questioned more than once or twice though. It’s a pretty laid-back office so I think I just said something like “oh I grabbed lunch and ran a quick errand.”
      One adjustment I’d make would be to pick a therapist even closer to my office.

    • Around lunch once a week. So right now my standing appt is 1-1:45 on Wednesday and I’m about 10 min away. That’s an acceptable period of time for “lunch” where I work. I block it off as out of office in case anyone is trying to set up a call or meeting. (Note: I’m in house, with a rather flexible lunch schedule).

    • lawsuited :

      I schedule the last appointment of the day, and schedule them many months in advance so that I can get my preferred time. I wouldn’t be able to see a therapist who only have appointments until 4pm, say.

    • Thanks, everyone.
      Luckily my work schedule is flexible.
      Hopefully I’ll be able to find someone.

      The worst part is that depression makes EVERYTHING seem like a herculean effort, so researching therapists is so hard to do :/

  34. Laptop bags? :

    Looking for recommendations for a good laptop bag that is lightweight, sturdy, and not manly. Some specific bags or what brands to start looking at would be great. It needs to fit a 15″ laptop and a fair amount of stuff. I haven’t totally ruled out totes, but I need lots of pockets, zippers, and a comfy shoulder strap.

    • Google it man :

      There has been countless discussions by readers and Kat on this. Please use the search bar on the side.

      • Mary Claire :

        Right because it’s not possible that someone discovered something new, or if they didn’t get to weigh in last time their opinion shouldn’t be considered?

        • Well…this question gets asked A LOT. Possibly the only question that gets asked more is about tips for a weekend in Seattle.

    • I have a Kate Spade laptop bag that’s currently on sale for I think $129 on their website; the sale ends in maybe 10 hours so act fast!! It’s super light weight, ergonomic and stylish. I think it says 13″ laptops on the site, but definitely fits my 15″ one.

    • Anonymous :


  35. I posted the other day that my father (who is normally Republican but has always said he won’t vote Trump) had switched his vote away from Johnson after his foreign policy gaffes but he was still refusing to vote for Hillary and saying he thought you would just stay home. Today he told me he’s decided to vote for Hillary!! He said he thought the Alicia Machado attacks were too far over the line. For me, it’s gross but not as bad as some other things Trump has done so I’m kind of surprised that’s what did it for him, but whatever works!

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