Splurge Monday’s Workwear Report: ‘Wandee’ Colorblock D-Ring Sheath Dress

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

This awesome colorblock dress from Ted Baker is like a basic blouse with a skirt but for the exposed zipper in the back pulling it together. I like the elbow-length sleeves, the grosgrain ribbon trim, and the goldtone hardware. It can either be dry cleaned or hand washed cold, and it’s $315 at Nordstrom in sizes 0-5 (00-14). ‘Wandee’ Colorblock D-Ring Sheath Dress

Two lower-priced options are here and here; two plus-size options are here and here.

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Comments

  1. Ooooh, I don’t technically /need/ another dress, but the Lands End plus size one in the wisteria color is kind of calling me…plus it’s on sale right now…

    • A woman wore the Ted Baker in a different pattern to my church on Easter Sunday, and she looked so fab and classy. It looks like something Selina Meyer would wear.

    • Really pretty color combo in the wisteria.

    • I have the Lands End dress in ivory/black and it’s quickly becoming a wardrobe favorite. The fabric is heavy, though, which makes it less than ideal for people who work in offices that are always hot. My office is always like a refrigerator, so the dress and a medium-weight cardigan are perfect.

    • All of you are making me think hard about the dress, but I have had mixed experiences with pointe. Will this work on a petite cusp size with an hourglass shape and a tummy pooch?

  2. H-cup shamed :

    I know cleavage, any cleavage, is supposedly the ultimate no-no at the office. But I’m large and tall, and when I have to lean over and show people papers, things swing around, even in a relatively high-necked shirt.

    On my budget, the best bras I’ve found are Cacique full-coverage. You all know how limited the options are for plus-size and tall tops.

    I know my coworkers (almost all thin, all very small in the front) are snickering and making snide comments behind my back. It’s not like I’m carelessly sloppy, much less trying to be sexy. Is there something I can say to them, to fight back against the body-shaming?

    • This is something I would talk about with HR…

    • Anonymous :

      Wow — do you work with a bunch of middle school boys? How do you know they’re making comments/what are they saying?? I always thought as an adult even if you see something you shouldn’t, you discretely ignore it.

      • H-cup shamed :

        They mock other women for it in front of me, and literally snicker and sniff contemptuously. It sucks.

        • ponte python's flying circus :

          Look ’em in the eye, stone cold: “It sounds like you are making fun of so and so’s body shape. Why are you doing that?”

          …aaaaand then HR.

        • I did not see this before my post below. That’s a big old nope for me. I’d call them out. “That’s so rude.” or “What do you say about me behind my back?”

      • H-cup shamed :

        Oh, and no, an all female office. Some how to me that’s not even surprising.

    • FWIW, I’m short-waisted and busty, so my cleavage starts high and I have to wear pretty high necked tops to keep things under wraps. I’ve had some very good luck with Calvin Klein tops. They have a number of plus size options and a lot of their tops are very high-necked. I really like their pleat-necked top.

      • H-cup shamed :

        Thanks

        • If the necklines of your tops are falling down a lot and exposing you, try using fashion tape to hold it in place.

          • Or safety pins. I am flat chested and some of the looser styles of tops that are in right now slide around on my and show bra unless I pin them to my bra straps at the shoulder. Doing that eliminates the problem entirely and takes about 20 seconds.

      • Wearing one of these today- love. No idea what to say to those coworkers- super rude, I’m sorry you have to work with them. And no bra help either- I’ve had a hard time finding full coverage even in a standard C-cup…

        • Also similarly built, also no help re your coworkers, but also love the Calvin Klein pleat neck tops. Kaspar also has this style in plus sizes (I got most of my Kaspar ones at SteinMart).

    • In a stern voice, I would say, “Stop with the body shaming. Stop it.”

    • I, fortunately, don’t run into this at the workplace. But generally when I hear someone body shaming another person I’ll compliment the person that is being insulted and sometimes add in how “I admire the person’s confidence in X” (where X is related to whatever is being insulted). I’ve found that this either deflates the offender because they realize it makes them look petty or insecure or at least stops them from making such remarks in my presence because they know I won’t join in.

    • 1) if you’re saying your bras aren’t really holding you in, check out ABraThatFits on Reddit. Specifically, do their size calculator. You can find better bras in your size range for cheaper on Amazon.

      2) no one should be talking about your boobs at work unless you want them to. If it were me I would not ignore what is happening. If you think someone is snickering at you, stop what you are doing immediately and fix them with a cold stare. “Did you have a comment?” or some question like that is a good way to go. If it continues, then be more direct. “Don’t comment on my body.” Third offense, HR.

    • Have you thought about a different bra? I was a FF, and got resized and found I’m HH. The change in bra size has made a huge difference with regard to keeping things…situated… and not moving around. Are you certain they are snickering? I know how it can be and often times it’s my own self-consciousness making me think people are staring but nobody is actually paying attention. Not trying to minimize, just giving my POV.

    • Thanks for the multitude of suggestions for eye-contact and pointed questions that leave them nowhere to hide. Don’t know if I’ll be able to, but I really like the idea.

      • You can do it! Practice in the mirror if you need to.

      • Just pretend you’re Regina George. Or that you are an adult talking to a bunch of 7th graders because that’s how it sounds like they are behaving.

    • Anonymous :

      So, I’m similarly situated and went to a fancy bra store to get fit and buy a good bra. It was soooooo worth it, and honestly only $35 more than I used to spend (and prettier). Given that I wear it every third day, that’s pennies. I might give that a try if you can make it work.

    • Ironic that in a post about how to respond to body-shaming you felt it was necessary to point out that these rude women are thin and flat-chested, as though that is in some way relevant to their behavior.

      • Lay off her :

        Except that there is a difference. If they’re equally struggling then it’s not the same. Just isn’t. Do you really want a race comparison?

    • Have you checked out Asos and FigLeaves for H cup bras? I’m also an H cup, and a correctly fitted bra will not leave you “swinging.” I find that UK retailers have far better options for G and H cups (and above) in moderate price ranges.

      • And obviously no one should be laughing at you or commenting about your body, so seconding all the calls to talk to HR, but just providing suggestions for also helping you feel more comfortable.

    • That sucks, alot. Rude people must work at your job. I am busty and I try my best to have no cleavage at the office.

      Try to buy some neutral colored camisoles that cover your cleavage, size up. In your case you don’t need to worry about length just higher neck camisoles so when you bend youdon’t show people your boobs.

      I wear light weight scarves and cardigans to add coverage. Try wearing dresses. I am a 38 H with LOTS of cleavage and this hasn’t been an issue. Try a camisole.

  3. Looking for some encouragement today if anyone has some to offer. I just accepted a job offer out of college that doesn’t look so great to people who aren’t me. The pay is low and I’m in a M/HCOL area (suburbs of big city, a lot of fluctuation in different neighborhoods). I’ll be an hourly employee (but FT with benefits!), and the job itself is fairly mundane. However, it’s in an industry where it’s difficult to get a foot in the door, and there’s a lot of opportunity to move up once I get a grad degree in the field, which I’m starting in the evenings this fall. I’m excited about the job, but I’m having trouble with the way people are reacting to it. Either they understand how little I’ll be making and they think I shouldn’t have taken the job, or they think “I got a job” means “I’m rich now” and are talking about things that I won’t be able to afford for years (i.e., buying a house). Both reactions make me feel like idiot, even though I know this job was the best thing for me. Any advice for staying strong and having a positive attitude to make the most of this opportunity?

    • Stop caring what other people think. It’s YOUR career, not theirs.

      • +1,000 but if you must say something, say this, “it’s in an industry where it’s difficult to get a foot in the door, and there’s a lot of opportunity to move up once I get a grad degree in the field, which I’m starting in the evenings this fall. I’m really excited about the opportunity!”

        Then get better friends.

        • Anonymous :

          Totally agree here. You have a great vision, your foot in the door, and a career plan. They do not need to slow you down. Consider sharing less with people who are slowing your enthusiasm, too. You can give some grace to young friends who are getting their career-launch social skills together, but if it’s more than a phase, you can re-balance your social time with them accordingly.

      • Yup, and also, if you’re happy about it, that’s all that matters.

    • My first job out of college sounded like a similar situation. I just pasted on a big grin and went with “I’m so excited to learn more about [industry] and I can’t wait to work with [population]!” When people asked how I was going to handle living in the undesirable location, “I’m ready for a big change of pace and [one cool thing about that location]!” It sounds like you’re confident in your decision that this was the right choice for your career–don’t let the haters get you down.

      And FWIW, that job was the best thing I could have done for the two years after I graduated. I learned so much and it was a perfect pipeline job for my grad program and what I knew I wanted to be doing long-term (which I am now doing).

    • I graduated in 2008 and took literally the first job that was offered to me. It was low paying, but I continued to live frugally and worked my tail off. Turns out I got my foot in the door at a great company and have turned that low paying mundane job into a great career with a great salary. I’m likely a lifer here and I’m so happy that I took that initial job even if it looked unattractive on paper.

      • I think it’s good to be pretty frugal the year after college. A lot of my classmates are like “ooh I’m making money, gotta spend it”, but I don’t mind kinda “living like a student” and actually having some savings.

    • My first job out of college was selling crappy Chinese antiques to cruise ship tourists. I had a really mean boss who would control everything. She would even pack my lunch for workdays. It was horrible!

      I like how you are playing the long game- not everyone can get the dream job straight out of college these days. You are thinking strategically. If people don’t share your enthusiasm, then it’s they are the ones either without LT vision or they have no idea of what the job market is currently.

      You don’t owe them an explanation however if you feel like responding, tell them about your long term goals.
      Wishing you luck!

    • I lived through the same thing – took a low paying job in NYC to get my foot in the door in a challenging industry. It was rough, but worth it in the end, and it launched me into what’s become a great career. As long as you’re excited about it, that’s all that matters. And congrats!

    • Stay focused on your goals. It’s your career not theirs. I say this as someone who 20 years ago took a job for $18,500 as a newspaper reporter in a suburb that was anything but cool while my friends all moved to the city. These days I’m a director of a creative department at a large media company in another major city and out earning everyone I know from college. More important, I love what I do. I literally wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. My projects are interesting, the work-life balance is great since I often work from home and I regularly get to be around other creative folks, from my awesome co-workers to the people I meet at industry events that I travel to every few months to learn or speak. I don’t know how I ever got this lucky–except that I do. I worked my tail off and lived hand to mouth a bit at first. That girl covering school board meetings and dog shows? Yeah, she paved the way despite the nay sayers like my folks wanting me to use my English degree and stellar grades to aim for law school instead. (A good choice for others, but not for me.) Just nod at them and stay focused, knowing you’ll be using that foot in the door to break through.

    • Which people? Do you mean college friends or your parents? Reality is if it’s college friends/classmates — ignore them. They are starting their careers, you are starting yours. It’s fine to want different things and have different ways of reaching your goals. Reality is lots of these people who are looking down on you don’t have their own lives figured out — just makes them feel better to criticize someone else. You have a specific industry you want to pursue and this is what it takes to get into that industry. They may just have accepted an offer bc it’s the first one they got or it pays the most or is in the right city or whatever. That doesn’t mean they have their career figured out — the same ones who criticize you now are often the ones jumping around jobs/grad school for yrs to come bc they don’t really know what they want.

      • Parents are supportive since they know my long term plan and they know that it’s a big deal to get a job you actually want right after graduation. I mentioned this below, but there’s a lot of peer snobbery because of the lack of prestige of the university I’ll be working at. Comments like “you’d have to pay me a lot more than that to work there” from people who’ve never even been to the school. And it’s not like the school is Trump university or something. It’s a large, legitimate state university, but it used to be a community college and some of the community college reputation has stuck around. One of the reasons I’m excited about it is because the administration is making an effort to grow in both size and prestige, which means more opportunities there in the future. So I’ll keep taking the advice here, and stick to the course that I see the most potential in :)

    • New Tampanian :

      Agree with the above. If you know it’s a hard industry to get into, you are making the right move. Your goal now is to make as many GOOD contacts as you can in the industry. Get those relationships started. Then you’ll be in a good spot later on.

      Is it in the sports industry, by chance?

      • A specific area of higher education, actually. Part of the criticism I’ve been getting is that it’s not at a super prestigious university and my degree is from a private liberal arts school that looks down on big state universities. But for job growth, it’s better for me right now to be a tiny cog in a big machine where there are lots of different avenues towards advancement instead of being at a smaller school where you quite literally have to wait for someone to die to get a promotion. Le sigh. Join my unofficial petition to end college snobbery now and forever?

        • New Tampanian :

          Oh F those people. I went to a state university for undergrad, another state university’s law school, and have a dream job. You do you. That’s my typical refrain for situations like this. Make mindful, strategic decisions. People won’t always follow your strategy, let them sit there and judge all they want. See where they are in 10 years compared to you. (Hint: You’ll be happier)

          • I love your attitude. I took a job out of college being a receptionist (!) but it was a start-up company that offered incredible opportunities and the chance to break into a new field. I’ve made a great career from that start. Tell them why you’re excited! And congrats.

  4. I was abused growing up. My mom made a series of well-meaning but bad decisions that exacerbated the abuse. I believe she tried her best as a parent, but things never went the right way. I became very independent, moved out as a teenager, and haven’t really looked back…I don’t have much contact with her beyond Mother’s Day-type formalities. I know this makes her very sad, but I guess I don’t mind her being sad considering the consequences her decisions had on me.

    My bf wishes I’d talk to her and ask her why she made the bad decisions she did…I’ve never had a conversation with her as an adult about her behavior, so I don’t know why she made these decisions. In the past I’ve said to him, well maybe at some point, but I don’t really want to. Got into an argument with him this weekend where he said in the heat of the moment that I need to at least try to have a conversation with her about what happened before we can think about getting married, so then I can either let go of my hostility toward her or be able to move on because I tried to talk to her. It was almost an ultimatum.

    Is this reasonable for him to ask of me? He’s not the only one in my life who’s surprised at the degree of animosity I feel toward her. I’ve tried therapy and didn’t feel like I had that much to say: I simply feel like there’s too much bad history between us for me to want a relationship with her. My bf isn’t exactly demanding that I have a relationship, but a real conversation now that we are both adults. I’m willing to do almost anything for him but I don’t know if it’s fair for him to ask for that.

    • Anonymous :

      I’m failing to see how this is your bf’s business. How is your relationship with your mother impacting your relationship with this guy at all? He doesn’t get to tell you how you should interact with things in your own life that aren’t majorly hindering your shared goals or life together. Based on what you’ve written here, your bf is being unreasonable. It’s not his choice how you deal with issues, and I wonder if he’s prone to other controlling behavior.

      • He thinks the hostility toward her bleeds over into my life generally and that I haven’t really moved past the issues with my mom.

        • Maybe you haven’t. It takes time to move past things like that. Is the hostility bleeding into your relationship? Because he feels that’s the case, I think it’s appropriate for him to ask you to address the part where it affects him. Otherwise, he needs to not dictate personal life choices for you.

          • He does think it is bleeding into our relationship. I don’t feel like it and was surprised that he said that, but he is a lot more sensitive than I am.

          • In that case I think it’s reasonable for him to ask you to address the ways it bleeds into your relationship, but not reasonable for him to dictate how you handle the issue with your mom. I had a similar situation, and one shouldn’t underestimate how talking about these things with her again could reopen old wounds. I have found that hard, especially when those talks didn’t yield what I hoped for. You should proceed with your mom as you see fit. And get some info from bf about how specifically bf feels this is bleeding over into your relationship and what things you can do (within the context of said relationship) to fix it.

          • I would move the dial up on his request to have short-term couples counseling for both of you. Chances are, it’s not all you – and – you probably scratch a relationship itch from his history. Work with a professional that has experience with clients overcoming trauma if you are both serious about getting this sorted out safely. Otherwise, some of this is flailing. It’s ok to not click with a professional – but also essential to move on to someone you trust.

    • No, I don’t think this is reasonable of him to ask. Why should you forge a relationship with someone who enabled your abuse? If you are happier without having a relationship with your mother, then that’s the best decision for you. Maybe he doesn’t understand how deeply it hurt you? I could see him perhaps encouraging therapy, if it is affecting you on a daily basis or interfering with your relationship with him. Does it matter why she made certain decisions? The end result doesn’t change and I doubt that you will get some sort of closure that changes the way you feel overnight. Life isn’t a movie where problems are resolved in two hours.

    • Wildkitten :

      It’s not fair of him to ask that, but it’s totally fair for you to get some therapy for yourself so you can work on your hostility, for you, before you commit to a lifetime with a person who doesn’t get it. I had an abusive childhood and I am no-contact with my dad, so I *definitely* don’t talk to him about it, and I’ve found therapy to be really helpful for myself.

      • Wildkitten :

        I’m trying to say – the goal of therapy doesn’t have to be to have a relationship with her.

      • Thanks. I’m not opposed to therapy, but when I tried before I felt like it didn’t go anywhere. I just basically gave a more detailed version of what I wrote above, the therapist was like “it seems like you’re really mad at your mom for not protecting you,” I was like “yeah pretty much but it’s not really affecting my life except that I sometimes feel guilty that she’s so sad, etc. I don’t feel like I got any kind of better/deeper understanding and am not even sure what I would really be trying to get to.

        • You could also consider therapy as a short term commitment that will equip you with good ways to stand up for yourself when situations like this come up. It sounds as though you do not need assistance with sorting out your relationship with your mom – you’re good there. (And by the way, congratulations – that is really, really hard and you are AWESOME.) But if you approach a therapist with, “Hey, this is where I am, and what I need are ways to articulate to someone who loves me that this is where I stand on this issue,” you might get some really helpful ways to talk about this with your current partner and any potential future partners.

          And no, he doesn’t get to push you on this. He needs to respect you. He didn’t live this life, you did. He is second-guessing your reaction to your own life experience and that is extremely unfair. If he continues not getting it, it would be a cause for concern with me.

          • +1 This is a good way to think about giving therapy another shot.

          • Agreed. Like CountC said, this a good way of framing a second go around with therapy. You’ve drawn your boundaries with your mom (serious kudos for that!), and now it sounds like you need some guidance drawing boundaries with other people w/r/t your relationship with your mom. That way you know how to tackle situations like this in the future.

      • Anon in NYC :

        I agree. It’s not fair of your boyfriend to give you this sort of ultimatum. And if he has relatively normal relationships with his parents/family, he probably has zero understanding of what you went through. BUT, if your animosity towards your mom is affecting other areas of your life (your view of family, children, your relationship, not trusting people, etc.), then I can see the larger point about seeking therapy to help you let go of that anger (assuming that’s what he really wants).

        • Thanks. And that is his perspective, yes.

        • Anon for this :

          I feel like he gets to choose not to be in a relationship with somebody who is angry and hostile and refuses to address the anger and hostility.

          And you get to choose not to be in a relationship with somebody who finds you unreasonably angry and hostile. And you also get to choose to go back to therapy if you are uncomfortable with your level of anger and hostility.

          But I feel like you two are probably not a match if neither of you is going to move off of your positions.

          • Senior Attorney :

            That was me.

          • Thanks SA. I guess I am in fact (cautiously) willing to move off of my position but only if it is reasonable for him to ask me to move. I don’t know if that sentence completely makes sense outside my head.

          • Senior Attorney :

            I get what you’re saying, but it doesn’t matter whether anybody else thinks it’s reasonable. It’s what he needs from you, and you get to decide whether it’s reasonable to you.

          • +1 This. He’s expressing his feelings that there is something awry/uncomfortable with the current state of your relationship, and offered a suggestion to address it. Perhaps couples counseling would be more productive than individual therapy, since you could focus on your relationship and what each of you needs, vs. your previous experience with individual therapy.

    • Ultimately, it’s your decision, not your boyfriend’s. But you also say others have picked up on the hostility. I’m not suggesting you should meet with her and have a conversation, but this is heavy stuff and still seems to affect your present life. Would it be worth trying therapy again — for your own peace of mind, not anyone else’s? I’m trying to tread really carefully here because you know your situation best and I’m not at all suggesting that you need to have a relationship with your mother. But if the past keeps getting rehashed in present-day arguments, perhaps that’s a sign that you still have some open wounds.

      • Thanks. That’s definitely his perspective.

        • Woah. He doesn’t get to decide what your own peace of mind looks like!

          • I don’t exactly think he’s doing that, but more saying it doesn’t seem like I really am at peace with it.

          • I am somewhat sympathetic to your boyfriend, in that I think it’s entirely reasonable to expect one’s partner to put in the work to make sure that their personal baggage doesn’t harm the relationship. I’ve told my husband that he needed to go to therapy (and he did, and it helped, and he thanked me for it later!) But the way you are describing it kind of makes it sound like your boyfriend expects you to be able to come to a point where your past abuse isn’t something that shapes your present life at all, and that just doesn’t sound feasible. You’ve been through trauma, and that’s not going to change. Yes, you should be committed to working on your own emotional and mental health so that your past trauma isn’t making it impossible for you to have a healthy relationship in the present, but no therapist is going to be able to wave a magic wand and make your childhood different. If that’s what he suspects, even subconsciously, then it’s a problem.

    • Anonymous :

      Not fair or reasonable. The idea of “closure” and the thought that you could achieve it through a single conversation is incredibly naive and simplistic. If you are not coping well and it has an impact on your boyfriend it would be reasonable for him to ask you to improve your behavior, which might involve therapy, but he doesn’t get to demand that you “talk things out” with your mother.

      Honestly, this request would make me question his maturity and suitability as a partner.

    • JuniorMinion :

      Sorry this is happening to you. As someone who also had a bad childhood and has a difficult narcississtic mother with whom I am NC, there is no way to have it be fine that these things happened to you. You are totally within your rights to say “this stuff happened to me, and it was terrible.”

      I think some people who have good parents don’t understand (perhaps your well meaning BF is in this boat) and they think that talking / attempting to resolve a problem with parents always works out in the end but regardless he needs to understand that this is not going to happen in your situation.

      • Yes. I had a happy childhood- DH did not. It’s pretty clear to me my role is to support whatever he does. Not much contact with Dad who was out of the picture most of the time? Fine. Reestablish relationship now? Fine too. I just listen to him talk it through whenever he feels like it, mostly.

    • I was in a similar situation to the OP. My husband just does not get it. Because he was raised by sane people. Same with my sister’s husband. The OP’s boyfriend is thinking about the situation like these were reasonable people making reasonable decisions, because that is where he is coming from. Every time I see someone who was not abused telling an abused person to “just try to work it out!” it makes me both enraged and also shows just how much of a lack of comprehension there is about what it’s like to have that kind of experience. There is complete ignorance on their part.

      I was in the OP’s position, but I actually had the conversation with my mom. She didn’t know how bad things were for me and thought she was shielding me from way more than she actually was. I think she was in serious denial about how bad the situation was. She was really shaken when she found out how bad it was. And I still haven’t told her everything that happened. It’s water under the bridge and there’s nothing she could do about it now. She was also raised in a different time, when keeping the family together was a huge priority, no matter how terrible things were.

      I do agree that maybe you should give therapy another shot, for your own mental health. I know what it is to carry around anger and hostility, and it just makes you sick after awhile. I think you can tell the therapist that your goal is not to reconcile with your mother, but to let go of the anger and hostility. Therapy helped me with that.

      • Thanks. That is helpful, especially in regards to how to frame it if approaching a potential therapist.

        Did you feel better after having the conversation with your mother?

        • It helped me feel less betrayed when I found out that she didn’t realize how bad it was. I know she still thinks about it and feels terribly guilty about it. She’s told me more than once in an apologetic way that she did the best she could, which for my mom, is a pretty big thing, since she’s not typically known to admit when she’s wrong.

          Our relationship is not warm and fuzzy by any means, but it’s okay. I have a kid of my own now, and that has helped me be a bit more compassionate too. As a child I thought that adults should and did have all the answers, but as a parent, I understand just how much I fly by the seat of my pants and pray I’m making the best choices. It helps me humanize her a bit more.

    • Alright I have a lot of thoughts about this. In no particular order: 1. Why does he feel entitled to dictate how you should cope with your abusive childhood? Is he controlling in other ways?

      2. I don’t believe him that he wants you to have a conversation and has no expectation as to what the outcome will be. If that were the case, he wouldn’t be starting arguments with you about this. He’d be pushing therapy so you can get closure on your own or at least have professional backup for a conversation with mom. His approach seems like he’s trying to force a reconciliation.

      3. Why the pressure to deal with this before you two can talk about marriage? Why does your relationship with your mom have anything to do with whether you two are ready to get married? Does he just not like the idea of marrying someone who doesn’t have or want a warm and fuzzy relationship with a parent?

      • 1. He thinks that my hostility toward my mom bleeds into our relationship. I don’t personally see it but he is more sensitive than I am.

        2. I believe he would be glad that I had the conversation regardless of how it goes, but really what he is looking for is for me not to feel hostile toward her (not necessarily to have a relationship)

        3. See #1. Not that we can’t talk about it now, but that he would want things to change in this regard before he felt comfortable going into it. He doesn’t have a warm/fuzzy relationship with his mom (he did with his dad, who died) so I don’t think it would be fair for him to expect that of me.

        • We can’t tell if this “bleeding into [your] relationship” concern is legitimate or not because we don’t know you two. You’ll have to decide for yourself if his concerns are reasonable. How to address them is a separate question.

          I can tell you this situation strikes a nerve for me. I was once with a guy who held my history of abuse against me. He looked at me like I was damaged goods. This came out in a lot of ways; for example, if I asked him to not scream at me during arguments, he would claim that I only get upset when he screams because I had a bad childhood. The problem was never him, it was always me and my supposed baggage. Hopefully none of this rings true for you, but if it does, then the two of you should go to counseling together to help you both sort through this.

    • Can you ask BF, in a not-fighting way, why this matters to him? Maybe a discussion of his motives will help him see that he’s working with some assumptions that don’t fit your situation.

      I come from a generally happy family, but DH grew up with abuse, abandonment, narcissism, and divorce. It took years for us to understand that how I relate to my family has nothing to do with how he relates to his, and vice versa.

    • BeenThatGuy :

      Another perspective here…I think your boyfriend loves you and is pushing you to resolve the anger you have. Now, should it be an ultimatum? No. But as your partner, he sees first hand how this effects you and wants you to heal. I’m not saying that a 1 on 1 conversation with your Mother will solve all your problems. But I do think giving therapy another shot might help you let go of some of that animosity.

    • assistant professor :

      I’m sorry this happen to you. I have animosity towards my parents esp., my mom, as well. They did despicable things to me and my childhood. As of now, we only call and have short chat to each other every 3-4 weeks while all my friends talk to their parents almost daily. I’m here for you.

      It’s reasonable that your BF asks you for this. It is well-intended. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea to figure our why your mom did all those things. Sometimes people are obsessed with closure and they think they need closure to move on. The fact is, that you know your mom didn’t love you enough despite all her well-intended yet hurtful actions is enough for you to move on and to find your happiness in your own way. You don’t need to talk and talk and talk and talk with her and figure our her reasons and understand her to be happy. You may not need a close relation with your mother to be happy and have a fulfilling life. As long as you two are civil, things should be fine.

      If in the future, both of you and your mom decide you two do genuinely want to re-visit the past for a good reason, then maybe go ahead and give a try. But even that, I’d be careful about it.

    • I read this a different way. Is it possible that what he is pushing you for is closure with your mom before your relationship moves forward? I’m coming from the other side of this where DH has a parent that is emotionally abusive. Part of our pre-marital counseling was figuring out what role that parent would play in our lives, what role DH wanted the parent to play, and when I had the ability to pull the plug on it if he was too enmeshed. I took the “resolving the problem” to be more of a resolving the space that parent will occupy in our lives (if at all) as we negotiated new traditions. Addressing this sort of approach isn’t terrible with a counselor because they may want y’all to discuss what role your mom will have in holidays, if you have children, whether she is coming to the wedding at all. These are all discussions that don’t require you to confront your mom, but more work through with your future husband was space your mom is going to occupy. Just my two cents.

      • another anon :

        +1. When you marry someone, you marry their family. I’d assume good intentions here, along with him probably not understanding that “nomal” relationship conventions didn’t happen in your family.

        A slightly related example maybe: my husband is adopted with zero information about his birth family. Pre-marriage, I really wanted him to do some digging to get health history because I was thinking about our future and kids. I didn’t appreciate that having him do that could unravel a whole bunch of other threads, might introduce relationships with his birth family that he wasn’t interested in having, etc. Once he pushed back and explained the bigger picture to me, I understood the magnitude of my request and dropped it. No one in my family is adopted so I didn’t think about any of that.

        • I don’t unilaterally agree with the statement that “when you marry someone you marry their family” Yes and no…I’m a psychologist, married 16 years to someone who also has a family history of abandonment, divorce and a psychologically limited parent (difficult personality features in my mother in law). We do the typical things you can do to survive and do well as a couple with young children : did our own couples work, set limits on what we attend, are involved but not excessively and try to be grown ups with them, kind but firm. His father abandoned the family decades ago, my husband wants no contact, I respect his wishes. Internally, like every person, we had and have our baggage. Welcome to the club! Early on in the marriage it was hard, I did not understand them and I think I had to grieve it. My point is that over time, we learned how to cope and build our own lives. I don’t feel married to his family. I am married to him. I hope that helps her in some way. Every family is really different. Yes therapy can be helpful.

    • Huh, I’m going to be contrary to other respondents and say I understand your point of view.

      I think if a woman came on here and said she had a great fiancé who she was excited to marry but she was worried about his unresolved issues with his mom or dad, 90% of the people would be telling her to insist he get therapy before marrying him, and the other 10% would tell her to dump him.

      You’re marrying this guy. You’re going to be in a hopefully lifelong relationship with him. Our patterns from our past relationships replay in our current relationship ships. Always. 100% of the time. I’m assuming that’s why this even comes up often enough for you two to fight about it.

      I think you might benefit from a couple of sessions of couples premarital counseling. Really try to understand your fiancé’s point of view with a neutral party moderating things. Then go for some individual counseling if recommended at the end of the couples counseling.

      • *i understand your fiance’s point of view

      • “I think if a woman came on here and said she had a great fiancé who she was excited to marry but she was worried about his unresolved issues with his mom or dad, 90% of the people would be telling her to insist he get therapy before marrying him, and the other 10% would tell her to dump him.”
        I think this is very true.

      • But OP is saying that she did try therapy before and that it didn’t change much. IMO it sounds like OP has already explored therapy and dealt with her mother the way that feels right to her- no contact. Her fiancé should respect that.

        OP, for what it’s worth, I too, shock my friends with the amount of animosity and anger I feel towards my mother. I also went to therapy about it and felt that it didn’t help anything. I’m already an open book, I’m not suppressing my feelings or unable to move forward with my life. My DH does a lot of listening and never tries to steer my path in coping with it.

        • Then maybe her partner is really saying…… you need to learn to deal with your anger issues better as they are carrying over into the rest of your life. Therapy is a good place for that, and she hasn’t mentioned she learned those skills when she tried therapy previously.

          • Therapy is a great place for that! But giving her an ultimatum to have a conversation with her estranged mother is not the same as asking her to try therapy again.

      • I’m not sure you disagree with what most folks are saying. It might be fair for BF to ask OP to go to therapy on her own. It’s certainly fair for BF to ask OP to go to therapy with him if he feels like she has stuff to work through but she thinks she’s over it. But it’s not fair for BF to demand that OP must have a conversation with her mom, and it’s definitely not cool for him to start an argument, issue ultimatums, and threaten the future of their relationship because, in her judgment, talking to her mom would do more harm than good. He’s crossed a line; that’s what people are reacting to.

      • Anonymous :

        What if instead of going back to solo therapy you and your boyfriend do a few sessions of couples therapy focused on this specific issue? Maybe it would help you understand why he is concerned, and help him understand why you feel the way you do, and figure out a way forward. I think it is possible you both have some blindspots that a 3rd party could help uncover. Or the 3rd party could say you are right and he is being unreasonable, but more importantly, help him see why this matters to him so much – it could be your relationship with your mother is triggering something in him that he needs to work through.

        • Based on the other comments that the OP has added throughout the day, I think this is a good approach. If he thinks it’s bleeding over, but she doesn’t, they need to try to figure out why they see it different ways and if it’s workable.

          I do agree with those saying he doesn’t get to ultimatum her into having a conversation with her mother though.

    • I think it is reasonable. She made bad decisions. I was angry with my mom for bad decision but when I grew up, I had a more charitable view of her. I think he sees that you haven’t moved past it, really.

    • I have a similar background. Your BF is naive to think you can resolve feelings about your childhood by just “having a conversation” with your mother. You may not be ready to do that, or it just may not be what you need to do. But he may be right that unresolved feelings are impacting your other relationships. I’d strongly encourage you to try therapy again. Some therapists just aren’t that skilled or helpful. You may have a different and better experience with a different person who can help you better understand how your childhood experience is affecting your life today, and what you can do to feel better.

    • I can see the recommendations above mostly focus around 1. making sure you are taking care of yourself and any residual feelings that may be spilling over into day-to-day and 2. generally saying the BF has no right to ask you to mend the relationship with your mother.

      I am going to play devil’s advocate and say that every one of us has the right to find the person they want to marry. If his idea of the perfect marriage partner includes that partner having a speaking relationship with her mother, it is completely within his right to walk away if it turns out you cannot meet this criteria. This may say something about how he envisions the family dynamics for YOUR family in the future. What I’m trying to say is that aside from the “does he have a right” and “is it fair” questions, you need to consider what this question even being raised may say about your compatibility.

      Maybe he expects the two of you to have children who spend the summer at grandma’s while you would never dream of leaving a cat with her for the weekend. These types of mismatches in expectations can lead to painful misunderstandings down the road and that can have tragic consequences. I would encourage you two to talk about more abstract and long-term items to assess your compatibility before making the decision on this concrete topic.

      Personally, I never realized how “hands-on” my husband’s mother was going to be in our lives before we married. I have since learned to curb and welcome her involvement because she is an awesome super smart woman whom I respect deeply but I had to make a huge mental adjustment because I come from a completely different environment (I talk to my family – with whom I have a great relationship – maybe once a month, and they visit maybe once a year). They raised us to be independent and my MIL raised her kids to be a part of a dynasty. It’s a difference in world views that can be too discordant to get past.

    • Anonymous :

      Anecdotal, but here’s my perspective. I also had a mom that did some not awesome things during my childhood. As an adult, I had a conversation with her on the topic because I just wanted to hear from her why she did what she did. Her response was basically that she had gone through a lot a therapy to be ok with things and I needed to work on myself if I had problems with it. Which, is not what I wanted to hear. However, ultimately she was right. I was much happier once I came to peace with my childhood.

      But you aren’t going to get that from a conversation with your mother. Even if the conversation was perfect in every way – she said everything you ever wanted to hear – it’s not going to fix the problem. Therapy and a supportive partner helped me. Assuming good intentions, your boyfriend may be trying to be supportive in asking you to talk to your mom because he’s trying to get you to address the problem. It’s just possibly not the right way to address this problem. As you acknowledge this is a problem, I think you do owe it to your partner to address the it, but not in the exact way he is asking.

  5. Anonymous :

    So on the recent weight loss topic, I’m on that train. So far so good – down 6 pounds in the last month, which is ok per my doctor. But my issue – do you find yourself eating the exact same things all the time? I’m starting to get bored, and I’m worried that is where I’ll end up losing motivation. What do you do to vary it up?

    • I do small changes to the same types of food. For example, I usually eat a spinach salad for lunch every day, but if I start getting bored I’ll switch the spinach for “spring mix” or kale, and switch up the toppings. Even though it’s the same basic formula, a spinach salad with slivered almonds and strawberries tastes a lot different from a kale salad with coconut flakes and mandarin oranges. For dinner, I’ll make the same thing with different groups of spices, like chicken and roasted veggies with basil, oregano, and lemon one day and the same chicken and veggies with paprika, cumin, and cayenne the next day.

    • Cornellian :

      I’m not on a weight loss plan but am on a bit of a structured diet post-baby for nursing, and I definitely do eat the same things all the time. It wore on me for the first month or so, but now I find the routine easy. I don’t have to think about it, I know what I need at the grocery store, etc.

      What has helped me is having a few ingredients I can swap out for whatever appeals/is in season:
      -what fruit goes on my oatmeal
      -what kind of kimchi I top dinner with

    • I definitely get bored eating the same things all the time, and it’s one of my biggest challenges when it comes to weight loss. My compromise was to eat the same thing for breakfast during the week, have a “go to” list for lunch (maybe 5 different options that I know will work, plus leftovers from dinner if available), and change up dinner all the time but keep a “formula” in mind (for me, usually protein + starchy veg/whole grain + green/leafy veg). And for snacks, I buy whatever fruit is in season because that’s usually the cheapest and the yummiest.

      Another tip on salads–make your own dressing, and change it up. We had a salad with soy sauce, lime juice, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper last night, and it was so good and a welcome change from our standard balsamic.

      • This is exactly what I do.

        But I need to try that lovely salad dressing! Usually I am too lazy and rotate among the Trader Joe’s offerings. Using some sort of Asian peanut dressing currently.

        • Me too – I keep to a rather small list of meals that I know work well within my framework, but I make small swaps. I’ll substitute shrimp or salmon for chicken, try a different salad dressing, or a different fruit (sometimes topped with fat free Cool Whip, yum). I’ll change how I season things, or have a different flavor of coffee or tea, and find ways to still eat my favorite foods – for me, that’s pasta – but a measured amount that’s bulked up with a lot of low-cal veggies. Frozen WW-type chocolate ice cream bars are a nice treat at the end of the day that keeps me from feeling deprived.

        • The salad dressing is delicious. It’s actually from an amazing NYT recipe for roasted asparagus and scallion salad – https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/1018751-roasted-asparagus-and-scallion-salad. That particular salad is a lot of effort but well worth it for a semi-special occasion (not just any old Tuesday night). The dressing is great by itself, and throwing some scallions in with roasted asparagus is yummy too.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I get bored with food easily, so I do try to change it up even if the formula is basically the same. Breakfast is usually one of the following: chia seed pudding w/ fruit, overnight oats or hot oatmeal w/ fruit, or smoothies. I will vary the fruit, add protein (nuts or PB), or vary the flavorings (my current fave is overnight oats with cocoa powder – like chocolate pudding).

      Lunch is usually leftovers, or I’ll make something specific for lunch and eat that all week. This week it’s chicken noodle soup. Last week it was sweet potatoes, chicken sausage & veggies. My snacks tend to be the same thing all the time, which does get boring.

      Dinner can vary a lot. It’s the one meal that me and my husband share so we try to have a variety of options, but we definitely have our go-tos.

    • changing it up :

      I’ve curated a few standards that basically have the same ingredients / macros, but change up the seasonings so that it’s different enough. I also usually cook two meals in bulk on the weekend and then alternate them for lunch and dinner so that it feels like I’m not eating the same thing. A couple of my go-tos:

      White Chicken Chili
      Chicken Tikka Masala / Tortilla soup (this is almost the exact same, but I use Indian spices vs. Mexican spices)
      Thai curry (I normally use ground turkey or chicken)
      Taco bowls (usually use ground beef and add sour cream/avocado/cheese/rice, depending on my macros)
      Chicken rice with mushroom sauce
      Vegetable beef soup
      Spaghetti (load up the sauce with veggies, ground turkey/ground beef, and either zoodles, spaghetti squash, whole grain pasta, or just eat it straight as its own meal!)

    • Anonymous :

      I cook 2-3 meals in large quantities on the weekend, divide them into single serve Tupperware, and eat them all week. I like Skinnytaste.com for recipes.

  6. Anonymous :

    Would you ever correct someone for calling is Mrs. _____? E.g., you’re married, kept your name, and go by Ms. Maiden. Yet, well-meaning people consistently refer to you as Mrs. Maiden. I leave it alone at a hotel, car rental co., etc., have tried to gently correct it at work with someone who does scheduling because I feel it created the impression to third parties that this was my preferred way to be addressed and am torn on whether to address it with others in between, e.g., someone at an insurance company I regularly deal with.

    The person at work told me they had no idea what the differences were and just assumed all married women wanted to be called Mrs. So I feel like I did a little public service there. But maybe I need to just let things go more??

    • You tell people to call you by the name you want to be called. If they call you aomething else, you correct them. “I’m Ms. Maiden. Thanks.”

      • Yay Kat! I agree with his 100%. I actually had this discussion with my ex when we were thinking of getting MARRIED. I wanted to make sure the world knew I was MARRIED, but did NOT want to loose my name, which is of royal delinieage. So one of the alternatives was to call me Mrs. Barshevsky (without confusing my mom, since it was at work only), versus Mrs. Barshevsky-Sheketovits, or worse yet Mrs. Sheketovits-Barshevsky, which Dad was 100% against. As it turned out, it became a MUTE point b/c I broke up with my ex b/c of his alchohol abuse. FOOEY! But it CAN be an issue, and a sensitive one. I am still Ms. Barshevsky to the outside world, and I hope my husband to be (whoever he is) will be more flexible then my Alan was in this regard. DOUBEL FOOEY!

    • Anonymous :

      I am always so, so tempted to say to the people who call me Mrs. Maidenname “my dad and I are just friends, but thanks.” In general I do make the correction, particularly when it’s in writing.

      • Well, I love this. Haha.

        I can’t believe a conversation I just had where I had to explain in some detail that my husband and I are married but have different last names. (This was with a bank, not a personal conversation.) I mean, it’s 2017, it’s not really THAT uncommon to have different last names, is it?

      • "Maiden" Names FTW! :

        hahahah I love this

      • “I’m not married to my dad!”

        -My dad and I were traveling together and the front desk guy wanted to know why I wanted 2 queen beds instead of the upgrade to a suite with 1 king bed. It was 1 am (my time) and I was coming off a 5-hour flight.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Ha! That’s great! I’m married to Husband 3 but for a variety of reasons I use Husband 1’s name. If I were a smartypants I could say “Oh, no, I divorced Mr. B 20 years ago, but thanks!”

        Sometimes at hotels they call him Mr. Myname or call me Mrs. Hisname. We always laugh and say it’s great to be called by the other person’s name in that situation because it means the other person is paying!

    • I think a lot of people don’t know Mrs. Maiden is incorrect. (EG, my husband fully supported me keeping my name but was shocked I was going around as Ms. Maiden instead of Mrs. Maiden.)

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Hahaha. I think it is because little kids were taught back in the day “call married people Mrs. and not married people Miss.”

        • That is a good explanation. And I agree that people do it because they don’t know. I just feel like they should though which is why I want to tell them. But I wonder if that makes me pedantic. I mean it def does but should I do it anyway? It seems like something you should know if your job is customer service/support/sales and you have to address people by their last names.

          • Yes, you do it anyway. What is so hard?

          • How would you address a widow then (obv: as she prefers to be addressed)?

            For tax purposes, they are single. But you wouldn’t call them “Miss MarriedLastName”.

          • How she wants to be addressed? Why make any assumption and not ask. If you know enough to know she is a widow, I would think you would be in a position to ask what name she prefers or goes by.

          • Widows is traditionally still be addressed as Mrs. Married socially. You don’t lose the Mrs when your spouse dies, only if you get divorced. But regardless of marital status all women should be “Ms” in the workplace unless they tell you otherwise.

          • wow, the grammar in that first sentence is atrocious. “Widows are traditionally still addressed as Mrs. Married socially…”

      • Until I started reading this post and the comments, I had no idea that I should be using “Ms.” instead of “Mrs.” when women keep their maiden names. Maybe it’s a regional thing? But in any event, some of us just really didn’t know! I had been taught that it was polite to use “Mrs.” for women who were married.

    • IDK if it’s that I’m southern or just slur my words, but all women are addressed as “mizz” regarless of marital status.

      • This is an excellent point. My bank refers to me as Mrs. Maiden Name and the first they did it I legit turned around looking for my grandmother.

      • Anon @ 10:32 :

        I will add:

        — mizz is often takes two syllables to say in a small town
        — it’s n/a as a concept at work generally among co-workers regardless of generation
        — it does show up with other groups with their clients (family-owned businesses often have H/W owners come in and then of a certain generation and they are known as Mr. and Mrs. Grandee; one never calls Mrs. Grandee “Dot”; anyone who does estate planning with older couples; younger couples come in as “Grayson and Smith Dobbins-Clark and you have no idea if they are two men or two women or who is who in a mixed-gender couple).

      • Yeah the all-purpose “Mizz” is very helpful.

      • It could just be my hearing, but that’s generally how I hear it, too. Unless someone’s putting an absurd amount of emphasis on it, I’m not going to catch any difference in spoken language.

        For the OP, I would follow the same rule that I do for name pronunciations – if it’s likely to come up again, then I’d politely correct it, if not, it’s really not worth worrying about.

        I have to admit, I’ve always thought that “Mrs.” signified married, and was not related to whether or not the woman had taken her husband’s last name or not. But either way, I just use “Ms.” across the board.

        • Anonymous :

          Yup you’re southern. To us Yankees Ms has one syllable. Mrs (misses) has two. Clearly different.

          • AussieLawyer :

            In Australia, Ms has one syllable and Mrs is pronounced misses/missus.

    • I would ignore it in non-work settings. I changed my name when I got married but I still have my maiden name on my SPG and Hilton Honors accounts, so my husband gets called Mr. Maiden a lot when we check into hotels and we both find it hilarious. But in a work context, especially with a subordinate/secretary, I would correct it and tell the person who said it that the general way of referring to women in a workplace context is Ms. and Mrs. or Miss. should only be used if the woman expressly requests to be called that. To me, this issue isn’t really about Maiden vs Married name. I use my married name at work and I would still never want to be addressed Mrs. Married at work. “Mrs” has no place in the office except by specific request.

    • another anon :

      I kept my last name, and my favorite is when my husband gets addressed as Mr. My Last Name:)

    • Hotel reservations, bills, etc tend to be in my name so my husband gets called Mr. Maiden pretty often. He is cool with it so I try to cool with Mrs. HisLast when it comes up in situations like that.

      However, at work I would not put up with it. I would correct anyone who addressed me that way more than once.

      Where do you work, though? I haven’t been called Ms., Miss, or Mrs. at work in ages. Is this a regional thing?

      • This is not a maiden/married issue. Just Ms./Mrs.

        I get called the right name with the wrong honorific. I work in a very formal environment. I have corrected people at work and explained the difference which they genuinely did not know. My only issue is whether to mention it to people outside of work who I deal with on a regular basis. The part of me that wants to is the same part of me that wants to tell people they should cut off the “100 % wool” label of the sleeve of their coat. But I realize not everyone wants a benevolent vigilante Emily Post around.

        • If the same people with the 100% wool tag on their sleeve are calling you “Mrs.” I would just laugh. And maybe stare at the tag. Who gives F what these idiots think?

        • Senior Attorney :

          Their 100% wool tag is none of your business but how they address you is most definitely your business! I say absolutely mention it to everyone!

    • “The person at work told me they had no idea what the differences were and just assumed all married women wanted to be called Mrs. ”

      That’s odd–the default assumption in a professional context should be “Ms.” I have never had anyone try to call me “Mrs.” at work, not even crotchety old male judges of the sort who are supposedly offended by pantsuits. I only get called “Mrs.” when I am appearing in my capacity as a mom (pediatrician’s office, school).

    • Married Name Woes :

      I am bright white and my husband is African. I took his last name (as I was a mere infant at the time of our wedding and didn’t particularly care), but his name sounds very Irish-Catholic. As a result, everyone always thinks it is my maiden name and assumes he must have some different (“ethnic” sounding) last name. My absolute favorite story is when one of my colleagues met him at a work function where we were wearing nametags and was astounded to see his last name. She said excitedly “oh wow! you took your wife’s last name? that is SO wonderful.” He looked at her and dead-panned “nope. it’s my name. I’m black-irish.”

      • That is too funny.

      • Cornellian :

        That is hilarious.

        My husband and I took a joint third name (my mother’s maiden, although she actually never married my father so I suppose it’s just my mother’s last name…), and people make the strangest assumptions.

    • New Tampanian :

      As someone with a hyphenated last name that has never been married, this is one of the most annoying things. I try to gently correct people.

    • I make this correction constantly. It took almost fifteen years to get MIL to stop addressing cards to be at “Mrs. Husband’sLastName”). It is not unreasonable to expect people to call me by the name that I use.

  7. Thank you notes :

    Do I need to write thank you notes to co-workers/bosses who threw me a shower? I thanked each of them verbally during the shower. I suspect the answer is yes, but am curious about the hive’s thoughts.

    • Definitely for the people who threw you the shower and gave you gifts. Of course.

    • Yes, write an actual physical thank you note. Imo an email would’ve been OK if it was sent on the same day, but I’m guessing you didn’t have the shower at 8 this morning.

    • Absolutely, without question, yes.

    • Right, wrong, or indifferent this is how I handled – when I had an office shower and everyone got me individual gifts, I wrote individual thank you notes to all. When a different office had a shower for me for my second child and they all contributed to one target gift card, I did a group thank you note and posted it in the breakroom for all to see.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      Yes.

    • Voice of Dissent :

      Eh, office showers I think are slightly different. I think that a written thank you card is the nicest/most polite, but I think that you *could* get away with writing a nice thank you email to each of the organizers and then to the office as a whole if everyone pitched in on a gift/gift card together. If everyone gave individual gifts, I think everyone deserves their own note.

    • Thank you notes :

      Thanks all. I suspected as much. Some of the thank you notes will have to be emailed since some people are in a remote office.

    • Unequivocal yes. Counter your question with, “is there a good reason not to do it?”

    • Yes, I wrote individual thank you notes for both my office showers. The other option I’ve seen in my office that I think is fine – after a coworker’s retirement party, she got a classy box of chocolates and wrote one thank you card to the whole office and put both in the office kitchen. I still think individual notes are better, but the second option is fine, especially when there’s a group gift instead of individual gifts.

  8. Bumble, Apps, Etc :

    Ive seen Bumble mentioned on here before. Have any of you had luck using it? Im in the DC area and I feel like I only see fratty clones on there and the few seemingly interesting ones rarely message back (not really used to sending the first message though) but Ive only been using it a week or so, so perhaps I just need to be more patient? I had a lot of luck meeting guys on Tinder but every guy I dated on there ended up be a commitment phobe (mid-late 20s so maybe its an age thing) so I wanted to try something new. Any tips, commiseration, etc is welcome!

    • I have! I met my bf on Bumble – he actually was the first person I went out with, but I did have a pleasant interaction with another man on the app as well. The second guy and I were not a match, but he was perfectly nice and respectful.

      That said, I am central PA, not DC, and while we do have bros here, probably not as many!

    • No experience with Bumble personally, but a friend in DC tried it for a while and said it was where all of the bottom-dwelling frat lords hung out. We talked about this three weeks ago so that’s still pretty current intel.

    • I’m in Chicago, early 30s, and met my boyfriend of one year on Bumble. He’s the best, but I went on so, so many bad online dates over the last few years to find him. Stick with it; there are good ones out there!

    • Bumble tends to front load the really attractive people (assuming the people with the most right-swipes), so you may need to get thru those first before you get to the non-frat types.

      • Anonymous :

        The podcast Why Oh Why just did an interesting episode or two where they did a deep-dive into the reason why Bumble front loads the “attractive” (or at least, fratty banker types?) people.

    • Anonymous :

      Bumble in DC is rough compared to other cities — I’ve used it in two other large cities before moving here and there was a WAY better response rate than there is in DC. IMO, there are just too many high-quality women here for the number of decent men, so a lot of guys are able to shoot way above their league and/or get away with being super flaky/jerks.

    • I’m in DC, about a decade older than you, and I met my bf on Tinder last year. I didn’t care for Bumble – it was all fratty bros or hipsters – just lots of pretension. I found that Tinder had more “normal” guys. I liked OKCupid, too – their matching algorithm was pretty accurate IMO. Match and eHarmony were awful, awful, awful. Match was full of “single for a reason” guys (needy/insecure/dull as dirt/socially clueless) and eHarmony frontloaded the cute guys during your trial and it went downhill instantly after that (one guy was easily 40 lbs heavier than his photos let on and another guy was MARRIED). Just no to the big paid sites…here in DC in your mid-30s, at least.

  9. Does anyone have the Nisolo huaraches and can you comment on fit and comfort?

    • Great shoes! :

      I really like them! I haven’t worn them for, say, lots of walking on a vacation, but I have found them comfortable for plenty of bopping around town (e.g., a day of errands). I am between an 8.5 and a 9 and went with the 8.5 because the leather softens/stretches with wear.

  10. moving_to_NC :

    Just found out that my partner got a job in Raleigh, NC! I need to start looking for a job down there so he may move before I do, but does anybody live in that area/have any recommendations for Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area? Any particularly nice places to live?

    • Raleigh native :

      Yes – lots of nice places:) and many towns have their own personalities, so take some time to research. Traffic here is no joke- do consider that. The area continues to grow and there’s no public transport, and highways can’t keep up, so depending on what area of Raleigh his job is in ( downtown, North Raleigh etc) you may want to factor that into your job/housing location decisions. Raleigh itself has many nice neighborhoods. I’d use Google maps’ travel estimator with time of day function factored in, to get an idea of commute times, and you can double some of those for rain:(

      • moving_to_NC :

        Thank you! I’m in hospital admin, so will probably end up with a job in a different part of the triangle so this is really helpful to think about.

    • If the job is in Raleigh then I’d recommend focusing your housing search in Wake and bleeding out into the surrounding counties based on your lifestyle preferences from there. If you have school-aged children then I wouldn’t recommend Durham public schools. Most of Wake schools are great. The Orange and Chapel Hill schools are also great, but it is a bit of a trek from there to Raleigh.

      As far as traffic: consider that unlike a traditional city structure where the commute shifts into and out of downtown during rush hour, the Triangle area has traffic moving in every direction from every direction. Sometimes more distance to work does not equal more time to work – I lived in Fuquay Varina and commuted to RTP in less than the same amount of time that I commuted from central Raleigh to RTP.

      There are tons of great neighborhoods but keep in mind that the footprint of Raleigh itself isn’t as big as you might think, so your idea of a neighborhood or borough somewhere else best correlates to living in a town in Wake County. As a Raleigh-to-Charlotte transplant, that was one of the biggest differences that I noticed.

      Good luck in your job search!

      • moving_to_NC :

        Thank you!! I just started a new job so I’m a little overwhelmed at having to start the hunt all over again, but so it goes!

    • If you’re childless, I’d try to be in Raleigh itself rather than one of the surrounding towns which have a more suburban feel. Friends moved to the area and bought a house in Cary because they wanted a big house and newer construction. They soon discovered that town is pretty much all families with kids and there’s not a lot to do there for young, childless couples. Within a couple of years, they had sold their house in Cary and moved to downtown Raleigh.

      • moving_to_NC :

        No kids so that is very helpful – we actually stayed in Cary when he went down for an early visit to the job in November and it was really cute but not the vibe for us.

    • No solid recs, but my husband’s from Durham and loves the Triangle. I can see us moving back there at some point in the future. My understanding is that Durham has, historically, been the poorest area of R/D/CH, but that there has been a lot of “revitalization” in the last decade.

      • moving_to_NC :

        Thanks! And yeah, we’re moving from Baltimore so honestly when we visited, I preferred Durham over Raleigh, but we didn’t visit Chapel Hill so looking forward to a more thorough exploration of the whole area.

    • Congrats and welcome! Same situation here: DH got a can’t-miss-offer in the Triangle and we moved here in January from DC. Enjoying it, but still underemployed and job searching. We’re in CH right now but will be looking to buy something small in Durham inthe next two years.

      • *I’m* underemployed/searching, to be clear.

      • moving_to_NC :

        We’re coming from Baltimore! I’m from the south originally, but have lived my whole adult life in urban northeastern cities (I guess B’more is more mid-atlantic, but you know what I mean) so I’m psyching myself up for the change of environment. Did you have a hard time making the transition from bustling to DC to CH?

        • I think that you’ll like Durham if you like Bawlmer, hon! (Couldn’t resist!)

          CH is definitely an adjustment but we are from a college town in New England so we knew–roughly–what to expect. It is a beautiful, clean, diverse, thinking town, and we’re big fans (Carrboro really has our heart, tbh). I think Durham is more our speed long term due to being more of a city, even if a small one. We don’t and won’t have kids, so many of the community aspects that make CH and Cary, etc great just aren’t for us.

          Big adjustment here has been the food scene and the walkability we miss from DC. The Triangle food scene is *fantastic* and growing, but smaller–obviously–than in DC. Quality, community, worldly food, but on a smaller scale. Like, the one great Ethiopian place in CH/Durham just closed, and that’s a loss; in DC, I’d just say “ok, there are 28 others within a 7 mile radius!” That’s an adjustment. Same with going back to car culture after using feet and mass transit for everything. Thankfully Uber and Lyft are super here, so we rely on that too.

    • Anonymous :

      Another triangle native here. It’s a wonderful place to live. Definitely sort out the job situation before buying a house — traffic is no joke, as others have mentioned. There are lots of nice neighborhoods in Raleigh for all tastes; I’d personally prefer something within the beltway. Also a matter of personal preference and budget, but I’d stick to Raleigh, Durham or Chapel Hill, where there is a bit more going on and houses and neighborhoods are less cookie-cutter. There is wide variety in school performance in the area, as others have mentioned, so make sure you’re informed on that if you have kids. Come back and post as you narrow down your decision, and I’m sure you’ll get good tips!

  11. TorontoNewbie :

    I want a pair of trendy sneakers for the summer. What’s the best bet?

    • Jinx! YouLookFab just had a sneaker post. You might find a good rec ther.

    • I just got these and love them: http://www.zappos.com/p/converse-chuck-taylor-all-star-shoreline-slip-on-white/product/8078424/color/14

      Not the most comfy but they make me happy when I look down at my feet. I see a lot of Adidas around too but when I tried them they looks too bulky on me.

      • +1 to the Shorelines. I haven’t had any comfort issues with mine yet and I wore them a good bit this weekend. I have high arches but normal width feet FWIW.

        • I love the look of the Shorelines, but I find that the elastic in the back bites into my heels and the top of the shoe constricts my foot (I have narrow feet but high arches).

    • I’m loving these this summer so far http://www.zappos.com/p/skechers-vaso-black/product/8866011/color/3 , but I might be a year behind the times since the college girls were wearing these last year. In March every girl in Paris (and my cool, high school aged niece) were wearing Stan Smiths. I’m predicting Sambas will be next year’s It shoe, since the trends seem to follow chronologically what I wore in middle school/high school.

      • I also love my supergas and wish I had a pair in gray, and the throwback old school New Balance. I saw the NB around Paris but not as ubiquitously as the Stan Smiths. And mine are in my school colors so I love them even more.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      My Puma Vikkys are SO GREAT. They have velvet laces! And I’ve put a ton of miles on them (12+ in one day in DC) and they’ve never given me blisters.

  12. Do you think that one could wear this blazer in the winter, or is it a summer-only thing: http://www.neimanmarcus.com/Lafayette-148-New-York-Emelyn-Open-Front-Plantain-Tweed-Jacket-Multi/prod196440040/p.prod

  13. Finally got my first Vitamix and I’m extremely excited. Anyone have favorite go-to recipes to share?

    • Black bean soup! I use this recipe. http://www.eatingwell.com/recipe/249895/black-bean-soup/

    • I use it to puree a box of spinach and some water and then I pour the puree into ice cubes and freeze to use in smoothies (because I’m really bad at using up spinach but the technique works well for other things). My go to smoothie is a few spinach cubes, handful of frozen pineapple chunks, half or a whole lemon, protein powder and some water.

      I’ve also made dole whip with the vitamix and it was delicious

    • No recipes per se but be open minded about how you can use it. It truly is amazing. For example, I had ours for a year and mostly used it for smoothies before I realized I could chop onions in it. Life changing, no more tears!

    • Thanks you! My husband asked “what appliance is this replacing” and I said our blender (which was broken) and our immersion blender…but now I’m thinking if it can chop onions I can get rid of our food processor too??

      Also, obsessed with your spinach cubes idea. Great for the summer when we are awash in spinach from our CSA.

    • We use ours to make soup, esp. quick gazpacho in the summer. Great for pico de gallo too. Ours has a soup setting and makes delicious creamy hot soups without the cream. Another setting makes delicious frozen alcoholic drinks. :-)

  14. Just a quick thank you to whoever suggested using Just For Men as an eyebrow tint! I got some this weekend and used one of those tiny disposable interdental brushes to apply it. I was so happy this morning when I was doing my makeup and could skip doing anything to my brows.

  15. Are you required or obligated to bring along co-workers to meetings with contacts that you have made?
    My coworker and I attended a conference in another city. I met someone at this event who works in a field similar to ours and asked if I could speak to her at some point on something that I thought would be of mutual interest and during this conversation I suggested that I might even drop by her office if she had time. For context I am now working in a field in which it took incredible effort to break into, so I tried to make a real effort to meet people at this event. I’m an introvert so for me this doesn’t come naturally so think talking to people at coffee and lunch break and I also went to the organised group dinner that others chose to skip. Anyway the lady I met emailed me a day later saying that I could come in the next day for a chat. Before going I made a point of briefing my supervisor about this meeting who was very encouraging and sounded thrilled that I had taken this initiative. He mainly wanted me to ask questions to understand more about what they do to explore ways we might collaborate in future. Given the short notice I thought this would be an informal chat but she went all out and introduced me to other members of her team, including someone who is working on the same exact specialty area I am in. I will be briefing my supervisor and other work colleagues about our discussions later this week. The question I have is on something my colleague said as we were travelling back to our home city yesterday i.e. she was sad to have missed that meeting. Should I have asked her to tag along? My supervisor did not mention anything like this when I spoke to him before going there. And during the meeting one of the people who showed up had been at this dinner where I was the only one from the group to attend. I did think about calling her at the last minute but I was concerned about suddenly showing up with a second person she was not expecting when I went to her office. In all this my question is when are you obligated to bring others along to meet connections you have made? FWIW this is my first major position after grad school and my first experience of working in a more collaborative environment.

    • IMO, you don’t bring anyone along to a networking meeting unless you have cleared it with the person who has invited you and the add of that person will benefit the organizer in some way, it’s also beneficial to you in some way (especially here where it was your effort that brought about the meeting), or the original meeting organizer suggested it.

      That might be a bit stone cold but . . . shrug.

    • I probably wouldn’t have brought her along either, especially since you discussed it with your supervisor in advance and he didn’t mention it.

    • I have to admit, I am somewhat confused by your big wall of text but I think what you are saying is that you and a colleague met an important contact at the same time, you followed up and met with the contact alone, and now your colleague is bent out of shape.

      If that is what happened, you have nothing to worry about. It sounds like you are in a role that requires some level of sales/production. Kudos to you for pursuing this particular lead. You are not tied at the hip to your colleague.

  16. Looking to take my 15 year old daughter to Montreal and Quebec in July this year. She’s never been and I haven’t been in ages? Where would you stay? Where would you go? Please help us plan the ideal itinerary. We have about 5 days to fill. Thanks

    • We stayed at the Hôtel du Vieux-Québec in Quebec last summer. Loved, loved, loved it. Book through the hotel directly and they will bring you the most delightful breakfast basket each morning with croissants, pastry, yogurt, cheese, orange juice, etc.

      We spent on day of our trip hiking at Jacques-Cartier National Park just north of Quebec. It was a great way to get out in nature a bit, but was still close to the city if you have access to a car.

      • Montreal/Quebec Recs? :

        Thank you! It’s these types of personal recommendations that I’m looking for! Please keep them coming! Not a frequent poster so I didn’t know how to put a title to my post. Trying now!

    • I love walking through the (albeit small) chinatown district in Montreal. Go for an afternoon and eat your way through the pastry shops…

    • Senior Attorney :

      I don’t know if this is your bag at all, but when we were there we did bicycle tours that we just loved. Tour of Montreal with Fitz & Follwell and two tours in Quebec City with Cyclo Services. We especially loved the one from Quebec City to Montmorency Falls.

      In Montreal we stayed at the Hotel le St-Martin Particuleur and loved it. Great location, beautiful rooms, and the restaurant in the lobby was top notch. In Quebec City, we loved the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac — old school elegance at the top of the hill. Amazing!

      There are a ton of great restaurants in both cities. We particularly loved Cafe Du Monde and Legende in Quebec City.

      From Quebec City if you have a car, it’s fun to drive around the Ile d’Orleans. We stopped at Domaine Steinbach where the son of the owners gave us hilarious and delicious tasting of their mustard and sausage and apple wine and all manner of goodies.

      Oh, and don’t forget the basilica in Montreal. Just breathtaking! Make sure you venture behind the altar to find the beautiful hidden small chapel!

      Generally I’d say spend more time in Quebec City than Montreal. It’s like being in France without the long plane flight!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Shoot I just typed a long response but I don’t see it. If it doesn’t show up eventually email me at seniorattorney1 at gmail and I’ll give you some suggestions.

  17. Melania pantsuit! :

    Did anyone else love that Melania wore a white pantsuit to the Arab Islamic American summit in Saudi Arabia? I’m a big HRC fan and really don’t have an opinion on M on any personal level- but I thought this was a very interesting choice!

    • The harsh black eyeliner around her soulless eyes are distracting but I think it’s not a great fit at her waist. I would expect something more sleek for the $$$ .

      • Who invented this look?? Sarah Jessica Parker does it too, the too heavy eyeliner is supposed to accentuate blue/lighter eyes but they end up looking soulless and weird!

        • The most important makeup lesson I ever learned was that liner all around your eyes makes them look smaller. Melania has pretty small, squinty eyes to begin with. This look ages her and she needs to drop it.

          That said, on to politics, I sincerely doubt Melania is broadcasting a feminist message with her white pantsuit.

    • Pen and Pencil :

      I personally think that Melania does not get enough credit. I think she knows exactly what she is doing, and I think she hates her husband being president as much as anyone else (regardless of what party you are, I believe most educated people are not fans of Trump. We would not be having half of the conversations we are if someone like Paul Ryan or McCain got elected). I love that she wore a white pantsuit, and I love that it was a subtable political statement in a country that could use some more rights for women,

      • I think she knows exactly what she bought into when she married him. I’m 100% sure there is no hidden message in her suit. That’s wishful thinking that you are projecting onto a woman who has stayed with a philandering orange popsicle. Credit for what? She has done nothing and continues to do nothing to advance women.

        • “woman who has stayed with a philandering orange popsicle”

          Great, let’s take one more swipe at choices women make in their marriage.

      • That was my take too. I feel like she’s sending interesting messages with her clothing choices. I don’t know much (anything) about Saudi/ Arab styles but thought it was interesting she chose pants the fruit day (the black Abaya-looking pantsuit). Like, it’s long and black- but hey, I’m wearing the pants here.

        • Jumpsuit, I mean…

        • Saudi press actually complimented her for wearing such a conservative outfit. Seriously, her photo was printed in Saudi papers and everything as a good example for women to emulate with fashionable yet professional and conservative ensembles. So even if she meant to make a statement, the Saudis certainly didn’t get it.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Do you take that as a bad thing though? I have always felt that when you are an invited guest to a different country you respect the norms of that country.

          • Anonymous :

            I think it is interesting that she didn’t wear a head scarf. Trump was very critical of Michelle Obama for not wearing on on a Saudi visit. I don’t think she should have worn one, but in contrast to her husband’s past tweets it was not the expected choice.

          • I don’t think it’s a bad thing that Saudi press liked her clothes, I just think that it means her outfit didn’t really make a statement the way that people are claiming it did. For the headscarf, countless female dignitaries and heads of state have traveled to Saudi Arabia without wearing a scarf. Queen Elizabeth II, Hillary Clinton, and Michelle Obama are just a few. So if you want to praise her for not wearing a scarf, go ahead. But it’s not a new idea, and neither is her husband’s hypocrisy on the matter.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Cait, I feel the same way. So hypocritical. Though I wonder if he wanted her to wear a head scarf and she said he11 no!

      • She’s a pretty woman who married a much older wealthy man. This may not be exactly what she bargained for, but she knew going in that she was along for the ride and would not have any decision-making role in her husband’s career and ambitions. She has great fashion sense and she seems like she might be a good mom, based on the fact that prior to her husband being President she used to pick her son up from school every day. I think she gets exactly as much credit as she deserves.

  18. Memorial Day Recipes :

    Favorite Memorial Day recipes for side dishes? I’m going to two outdoor parties this weekend. I’d like to make a big batch of something that I can bring to each party. It should be able to travel well and sit in the sun/partial shade. Thanks all!

    • I love this corn salad – http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/aarti-sequeira/indian-street-corn-salad-recipe-2121054. No mayo to worry about.

    • Red cabbage slaw. It gets better with age and the lemon (or vinegar) based dressing keeps it safe at room temp and above. Just make sure to toss well right before serving. Tons of easy recipes out there.
      Cucumber salad w/ red onion, dill, and oil & white vinegar dressing is another refreshing option. I add a touch of sugar to mine to balance the tartness.

    • Anon in NYC :

      I really like this orzo pasta salad – Boil orzo in salted water. When it’s done, remove it from the water and put it on a cookie sheet. Heavily douse the orzo in olive oil, add salt & pepper, and let cool. Chop olives, scallions, and grape tomatoes – quantities all to taste. Add the orzo and adjust seasonings. I usually add some diced chicken and feta to the dish, but you can omit those if it’s going to be sitting outside all day. I would probably add a can of chickpeas instead.

      • I make this but add dill and feta (no olives bc I HATE OLIVES) and it’s delish and keeps really well, even when hot. I have never added chicken.

    • Another corn salad reccomendation is the Summer Corn Salad from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe. It keeps well overnight in the fridge.

    • Strawberry and spinach salad with poppyseed dressing. Recipes all over the internet. Great at this time of year when we are at the end of spinach season and the beginning of strawberry.

      • nylon girl :

        How about bean salad with a white vinegar dressing. 6 cans of different beans, yellow onion, celery, and green peppers. Super easy and relatively healthy. Makes a big serving.

  19. This forum is always good with body issues — have to go to an event tomorrow and a few friends (who used to be colleagues but we work in different places) will be there. Thing is — I like one of them a lot, but it has become a thing where she will make a comment about how thin I am/how little I eat EVERY TIME. If it happens when just hanging out with friends — my reaction is whatever and I shrug it off as I’ve gotten “you’re too thin” comments my whole life. But judgment isn’t one of her better qualities and last time we were at an event, she said it at the event in front of someone I didn’t know. It came up bc the other friend (who is a law firm partner who was hosting that event) said — well if you all want to grab food or drinks, the bar/buffet are now open — kind of to move us from one room to the next. Friend announces — well we know Jane (me) won’t eat. The partner-host actually got a bit embarrassed for me and said something polite to end that line of conversation as there were a few other colleagues who I had just met 7 seconds ago standing right there.

    So I imagine this comes up again tomorrow. Yes I’m thin. Yes she’s a larger woman — I couldn’t care less, in all other ways she’s a friend and I want to hang out but obviously I don’t want to be called out in a professional setting. Nor do I want to explain why I eat so little out in public (am VERY prone to reflux so I tend to be super careful with new foods esp at a professional event where I have to be on). She makes me feel like she thinks I have an ED or something. WWYD? Is there any way to stop this once and for all w/o making a big huge discussion of it?

    • I’d pull her aside before tomorrow’s event and just say ” I hope you won’t comment on what or how much I eat during this event. It makes me uncomfortable any time but especially in front of others.”

    • Gah. This is so annoying. I’m thin but I eat a lot (good metabolism, I guess) so usually the comments are “HOW can you eat so much and still be thin?” Honestly, since you have a medical condition I’d just say that. Give her a heads up in advance like AEK suggests. And then if she does say something at the event say something like “Yes, I have a medical condition that requires me to monitor what I eat very closely” or something like that. I guarantee you people will be horrified at her, not you.

    • I think it’s time to call her on it directly. Tell her to “Please stop commenting on my body and my eating habits. It is incredibly inappropriate, especially in a work setting.” I get that it’s uncomfortable, but she clearly isn’t getting the hint from you trying to shrug it off, or even from other people getting uncomfortable around her.

      You could add something very vague about “health issues” if you wanted. Definitely no details, but she might actually feel bad (and so stop talking in public) for poking at a heath matter.

    • It is so rude to comment on anyone’s body other than to give a vague compliment (“you look great!”) and even that is not appropriate in a professional context. I would email her ahead of time: “On a couple occasions in the past, you’ve commented on my body type and eating habits. I’m sure you didn’t realize it at the time, but this makes me uncomfortable. Would you please not do so anymore?”

    • Senior Attorney :

      I agree with calling her on it in the moment.

      In the example you gave, though, I am 100% certain that to the extent anyone was awkward or embarrassed, it reflected badly on her rather than you.

  20. Headed to law school in the fall and looking for a bag to carry back and forth every day. I’m thinking a backpack will be best, since I’ve been told to prepare for heavy textbooks. Any recs for backpacks that don’t look like I’m in middle school?

    • I’m going back to school for a 2nd bachelors after being a lawyer. I really like my backpack: the North Face Borealis. Big enough for many science textbooks and to carry a laptop.

      In law school, I didn’t need a huge bag. Parking was close to the classrooms and the library. I used my car trunk as a locker. My law school had lockers too.

    • I loved my Swiss Army backpack in law school – lots of room and well padded back and straps. Go for form and function over cute and trendy – the books are HUGE!

    • Frozen Peach :

      I used a Vera Bradley Miller bag in law school and loved it. Went through a few but it was really nice to have six large internal pockets.

    • Sloan Sabbith :

      Herschel was popular last year, but honestly, just get something that’s comfortable. I used a North Face for most of law school and DGAF about looks. If I had an event, I’d bring my work bag instead, but seriously: the books are freaking heavy. Don’t get one of the fashionable bags with leather straps and no padding. Get something you can actually use.

    • I loved the LL bean medium sized boat and tote (no zipper) with the long handles for law school. I was driving to the school though and we had lockers, so I think that impacts the backpack vs. tote debate. It was the perfect size to hold a textbook or two and my laptop (in a sleeve or not), and the width of the handles made the weight bearable. Also able to put in the washing machine, which was great.

    • Don’t buy anything new. Use an old backpack from undergrad or even middle school. Save your money. No one cares and it’s not worth the added loans.

    • I have an LL Bean lightweight day pack that I use for travel and I love it. It might take a beating from heavy law books but it’s only around $50. Really anything LL Bean is going to do the job well. I promise that literally no one will be looking at your bag. Good luck in law school! Read “Getting to Maybe” this summer ;)

    • I switched between a backpack and a tote. The books are heavy but I kept them in my locker most of the time since I studied at the library.

  21. Local Counsel :

    I’m local counsel in a case. My role is to make sure that lead counsel complied with local rules, that the pleadings have a good faith basis behind them and sign my name and file them. However, the pleadings have had some atrocious grammar issues – like lots of incomplete sentences with key words missing. I mark them up and send them back to be fixed before I file. I feel like this is starting to annoy the lead firm. If they were signing and filing then I wouldn’t care. Since I am, it makes it look like my work and I don’t want something filed in my name that is sloppy. I’m not re-writing arguments (as much as I want to) just making it look proofread, at a minimum.

    For those of you that have been local counsel, how much did you mark up the docs you filed?

    • Honestly, I make the changes myself to grammar mistakes, tell counsel I’ve made grammatical/clerical changes, and file. Sending them back marked up only really works if you’re working with an associate on the other end – a partner level person is going to get annoyed at your actions (fair or not).

      • Local Counsel :

        Ah, I should be clear. I fix them, with track changes on. They want to review all changes before I file so they see what I changed. Occasionally, I need them to fill in a blank or re-write a sentence because it is too unclear what they were trying to say for me to fix it.

        • When I was in big law, we’d have appreciated our local counsel finding mistakes–but never relied on them to do so. It sounds like this firm is careless in general, so I would keep doing what you are doing and keep it in mind if you’re willing to work with them in the future. It may ultimately come up as a billing issue, so you might want to take on the issue head on. “I will continue to clean up these documents, in the future do you still want to review these types of changes?”

  22. morbidly obese houseguests :

    A relative has always been heavy but has gained a significant amount of weight over the past year. She just visited us. She wasn’t able to fit in any of our dining room chairs except for one we pulled in that didn’t have arms. And it appears that our dining room is too small — there is furniture that is far enough away from the table for us (and we are just average) and our children to scoot past if someone else is sitting, but it’s not nearly enough room for a larger person to sit at. Our old house tiny bathrooms (like the size you see on a plane in coach) don’t work except for the one in the master BR (which she didn’t want to use at night). We wound up eating takeout instead of trying to go to restaurants (see the chair issue above). We have a lot of 4-poster beds that are a bit high — I don’t know if that was a problem and my husband doesn’t want to upset her by asking. I felt awful — I didn’t forsee this and it wasn’t a problem before. I don’t know what we should do to be a better at hosting. Any advice for the next time? And how to communicate that we’d move the furniture around a bit (more like: here are pictures of the redecorated dining room, something we’ve been planning anyway, without that sideboard that we sold on Craigslist last week).

    #hostessfail
    #whatwouldmarthastewartdo

    • Don’t make a big deal of this. Move the furniture around a bit so she can sit at the table. Go to restaurants you know and book at table and ask specifically for chairs instead of a booth (you can look for armless chairs). Put her in the master and you in the guest’s room “so you don’t have to share with the kids.”

    • This does not sound like something you would anticipate i.e. you didn’t know about the massive weight gain. And you sound sensitive enough about making enquiries that might make her uncomfortable. Before her next visit just make any adjustments you think would help. You don’t have to mention them to her–I say this because if it were me I would feel like I am a bother to people. Just let her know she is welcome when she says that she will come and visit.

    • If you’re serious about hosting this person, I think I’d make some changes to your home–e.g., springing for a sturdy step stool to access the bed and at least one comfortable chair that will both support her and fit into your dining room. Then I’d kind of casually mention that I’d done this. I mean, super casually. Instagramming this great chair you found. Facebooking this stool that just perfectly matches the bed. That sort of thing.

      Or, you might say something along the lines of, “our house is so small! Several of our guests have suggested it’s kind of uncomfortable” and then offer to put her up at, I dunno, the Hampton Inn.

  23. Eyelash tinting :

    Very curious. Know nothing about it. Can anyone give me Eyelash Tinting 101?

    • DIY or going to a salon?

      If you’re interested in DIY, I actually posted about this in one of the AskAManager weekend open threads (link to follow). I’ve also gotten it done in a salon.

      Basically, my eyelashes are super blonde, some of them translucent. Tinting them makes them dark (obvs). Most days I don’t wear makeup. When I do wear mascara, having a dark base is nice, and I can focus on accentuating length/thickness rather than coating every.single.lash to get them evenly covered.

    • I just tried this with a sketchy looking kit I bought on amazon.
      It made my eyes sting a tiny bit but it was really easy to do myself. Took about 20 mins. They look great! It remains to be seen how long it will last…

  24. What bag would you pair that outfit with? I’m thinking of my Von Baer Business City Leather Laptop Bag or My Kate Spade Cedar Street Medium Harmony.

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