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Workwear sales of note for 3.22.23:
- Ann Taylor – Up to 40% off full-price pants and shirts; extra 30% off all sale styles
- Athleta – 20% off shorts, swim, linen & more
- Banana Republic Factory – 40% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off
- Brooks Brothers – Clearance styles to 70% off. Some pretty serious markdowns!
- Express – Extra 40% off clearance for up to 60% off
- J.Crew – 25% off your purchase; up to 50% off special-occasion styles
- J.Crew Factory – Up to 50% off everything; extra 15% off 3 styles; extra 20% off 4 styles; extra 50% off clearance
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – 25% off regular-price dresses, skirts, accessories & shoes
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
Interesting…what colors do you think would go well with this (shirt, tights and shoes)? I always have a hard time styling brown.
I can see this looking good with shirts that are turquoise, brighter green, lavender, or orange. If you wanted to stick with neutrals, brown and cream look nice together. I think shoes are way tougher; I’d probably pair this with camel so it goes but isn’t overly matchy-matchy.
Oh, and pink can look really nice, too.
What about tights to go with these colorful shirts…or even with a beige shirt?
Brown tights, as paired in the pic. If a beige shirt, then I would rock a colored tight (purple comes to mind).
I love brown with red.
Me too. There’s something calming, yet colorful about the combination. I also like brown with a light blue.
I love both of those combos, as well as brown with cream. Not 100% on the skirt, though; I’d have to see how it moves in person.
This reminds me a little too much of a Christmas tree skirt.
Always a NYer
Threadjack: I am wanting to get my husband a t-shirt with an inside joke printed on it. Any ideas where I can do that? I’ve tried the iron-on route before, and it never seems to work quite right or stay on for very long. I would love to find an Etsy seller or something that would do one for me, and I’m willing to pay what seems like a pretty good amount for a t-shirt. Thanks!
I don’t know about Etsy sellers but I’ve used spreadshirt.com with good results.
You might also try cafepress dot com.
Zazzle dot com
I’ve ordered from Design-a-shit several times and have been very very happy. It’s designashirt dot com.
and that should be design a shiRt–not design a sh-t. MORE COFFEE.
Ha! Too funny.
@SunnyD: I totally wanted to go to the first site you wrote … :)
The company is out of Phoenix (which I’m assuming is where you are). Stop by the facility and ask if you can design some sh-t. :)
Try Design a shirt (designashirt dot com). I’ve ordered from them several times and have been very happy with the shirts I’ve gotten.
Sorry if this posts twice–my first attempt included some unintended profanity.
I’ve used CustomInk . com with great results! Just keep in mind that you can’t print trademarked pictures/slogans/etc.
Check if there is a place that does custom embroidery in your city. About 10 years ago mom found one in our city and she went a little crazy embroidering things (bags, luggage, t-shirt, etc.) The embroidery has held up really well.
There are a few places online, but I think you would have better luck getting one item done at a local place. (Most places online are geared towards embroidering a business logo on a ton of polo shirts.)
I’d also suggest Go West tshirts or IdiotGenius tshirts,both in Fort Collins, Colorado.
No thanks. Is a zipper on the front and back center seams?
Yes, I’m not understanding the dual zipper thing either. Is the front center seam really a zipper? And if not, why is it not– then the back could be smooth and I would like the whole thing a lot better.
I did like how it moved in the video, though. The photo makes it seem stiff and awkward, but it looks good in action.
I think it may be just a back zipper, according to the description on the website. I think, but I am not sure, that the picture above is a picture from behind, and not necessarily the front. I can’t tell, but it looks like knees from the back.
Zipper in the back and front? So theoretically, you could un-zip your skirt right in half. Weird.
By the way, does anyone have either of those bodysuits? I’m curious but too chicken to do it without a recommendation.
I don’t have those bodysuits specifically but I do have a couple button up body suits from Victoria’s Secret (I know, I know, but they really do look quite professional on me!) that looks great and fix my constant problem of too-short or bunching-underneath-my-skirt shirts. They’re not as feasible for wearing with pants, I have found, since the underwear part of the suit comes up a bit too high.
i don’t have either of these specific bodysuits, but i do have a button-down bodysuit from victoria’s secret. http://www.victoriassecret.com/ss/Satellite?ProductID=1265700941785&c=Page&cid=1324473488323&pagename=vsdWrapper
mine is a few years old and doesn’t have the fancy lace bottom that the linked one has. i wish the material on mine were a bit thicker, but i really like the concept. at $40, may be a good way to test the waters.
I do like this!
beautiful skirt. would go great with some of the heeled knee boots that people seem generally opposed to.
The pro-boot camp agrees!
Um….no. Just no.
Agreed. This really looks like a brown paper sack…and the zipper all the way down the front? Seriously?
I like this skirt. Does anyone have any experience with the hem allowances on Tory Burch? (too short as is)
BTW, listen to the tailor when he/she tells you whether skirts can be let out. I have a white suit (cotton) that he told me, I can do it, but it will leave a line when I let it out, and it did. Sigh. My bad!
This happened to me with the sleeves of a winter coat, but we covered it by adding a contrasting cuff (in leopard…mmm). I don’t know if that would work with your skirt, though.
It’s a good thing to listen to the tailor anyway. I’ve used the same one for many years and have learnt to give in gracefully when I hear :
1. you won’t be able to move your arms (I like a high fitted arm-hole)
2. you’ll like it better after you dry-clean it (when material doesn’t drape properly)
3. you’ll think it looks fat (when I want anything that isn’t my usual trim and tailored fit)
i don’t have any tory burch skirts, but i do have many tory burch dresses (mostly shift or sheath styles). the hem allowance is usually about 1.5 inches
Threadjack for style advice, esp. from DC attorneys. I’ve got a meeting Friday with some clients and the general counsel of a fed’l agency. It’s relatively informal, to introduce ourselves to a new/acting GC and to discuss in general terms some issues of importance to the clients, one of the agency’s constituencies. The clients are in an informal business; I’m usually way overdressed when I’m with them. Weather in DC is to be mid-40s and raining, and I’ll be walking at least a bit. I’m thinking of a black/grey herringbone pencil skirt (with pleats and button details just above the knees), a black boiled wool jacket (the AT Loft one featured here last month, with ruffle and zipper details). and opaque tights Can I get away with this or do I need to do a more formal, matched suit?
You should be fine with your planned outfit. Keep in mind that most government agencies have casual Fridays.
Thanks, and good point about it being a Friday. Now I can obsess about what I’m going to say instead of what I’m going to wear.
Brilliant. Exactly what I would wear.
I guess it really depends on the agency. I work for a federal agency as a lawyer in DC and any meeting with outside lawyers would definitely be a suit occasion. Since you are meeting with the general counsel, as opposed to staff attorneys, I think that means more formality.
Thanks, I’ll give it some more thought.
I think the outfit she describes, with a jacket, is sufficient. Whenever I meet with federal agency attorneys, I wear a suit or at least a jacket, and they always wear the same (even if it’s Friday).
Thanks, Pepper. I think I’ll stick with the original plan.
Threadjack: I’m about 11 weeks into my first pregnancy and starting to “pop” a bit. My question is when should I start looking into maternity pants? Complicating things, right before I got pregnant, I noticed my pants were no longer fitting well due to gravity shifting things downward, so in a sense, a number of my pants were already snug to begin with… I’ve been getting by with a belly band, but thinking I need to start looking into actual maternity pants. My concern is that its still pretty early, so I want to make sure what I get will fit but also leave room for me to grow into. How does sizing for maternity pants work?
Thanks in advance!
maternity pants’ tops are all about being stretchy, so you can probably get some now and wear throughout. if they are a bit loose you can always put the belly band on top for now to keep them up.
You typically buy the same size you wear in regular pants in maternity pants. I say if you are no longer comfortable, then it is time to get maternity pants, no matter how far along you are!
You should probably get a variety of belly panel styles, since I think each works better during different parts of the pregnancy. That said, I could not stand the full panel, it was so itchy to me. But lots of people prefer it. So some of it will be figuring out what works for you. I really liked the Motherhood Maternity dress pants that fit under the belly. The quality is not top, but they lasted me through two pregnancies and I have lent them out twice and they look fine.
I really like Noppies black pants for work. They are around $100, but I got some additional pairs on Ebay for about $20-$30 that were in great shape. These pants can go over or under your belly depending on how big you are/ what fit you like. I’m 39 weeks now and have been wearing them constantly.
Second the Noppies pants for work. They were hands down the best work pants I had – wore them through 2 pregnancies. I also had a pair of Noppies jeans that I loved. I wore the jeans post-partum too.
Note to this comment – the sizing all depends on how you carry and which brands you look at. I had to size up in most things for maternity wear.
And I actually had to size down for some reason. Maybe all of my fat went into my boobs cause they sure did get huge!
Congratulations! Coming from someone who held out as long as possible before buying maternity pants … just buy them now. Really. Pregnancy is uncomfortable enough; there’s no reason to suffer in your clothing! Depending on how you’re shaped, the belly band may not help much anyway. (It didn’t work for me — tall, hippy, pear-shaped.)
At this stage, the demi (short) panel will be your best bet. The downside is that they don’t work as well later in pregnancy, but by then, you might be in a different size anyway. I liked the full panel when I was huge but it felt so itchy and constricting until 8 months or so.
I would start by buying pants 1 or 2 sizes up from your regular size. Those pants will be useful again when you are postpartum and going down in size. I am a size 6-8 and got a few pants in 10 and 12 (from J crew and banana) for the in-between times.
For the rest of the pregnancy, I like the Pea in the pod “secret fit belly” work pants. Do go to the store and try them on if possible – their return policy is horrible. I get a size L and they fit me all the way up to the end of the pregnancy. I also have some Old Navy and Jules et Jim pants (Old Navy is not great quality for work, but I love them for casual maternity stuff) but like those less well bc they have foldover waist and always fall down on me.
It also makes sense not to buy too much at once – since this is your first you may find that you get belly ONLY, or belly and get bigger on the hip or side waist areas, etc, depending on how you carry. Good luck! Hope you are feeling good.
You might want to shop now at a maternity consignment store. The stuff in maternity stores now may be for hot weather, and you need stuff for anow and a month from now when it’s still cold. The problem I found with stretchy-banding pants is that my shirts weren’t long enough to hide the band and everything got a bit lumpy. If you can just buy some size-larger bottoms, that may buy you some time. Second the vote for the “secret belly” pants, but PITP is expensive and if there is a Destination Maternity near you, they carry sister lines that may look similar but cost less. You may also need the size-larger stuff for when you return, but the seasons changing will make everything up-in-the-air a bit. Also agree with the buy-a-little strategy: you may be a different maternity size by when the weather changes and need to shop again. Also highly recommend Target’s Liz Lange line for maternity and you may be able to wear nursing dresses from Nixilu (on diapers.com) while PG (love! washable!) and after. Congrats!
With my first pregnancy, I waited as long as I could to start wearing maternity clothes — made it until about 17 weeks and once I started wearing them, I was like, Why did I wait so long — this is SO much more comfortable!! I also used the elastic band trick with my regular pants, just thread an elastic band through a belt loop and then pull one loop of the band through the center of the band and then hook it around the button (hope that makes sense), then you can leave the pants unbuttoned and unzipped a bit — as long as you are wearing an untucked shirt or sweater of course! That bought me a few more weeks until maternity pants truly fit. Good luck!
Congrats! I started wearing maternity pants about the same time you are currently, mostly because the feeling of the actual waist cutting into my stomach made me nauseous. I sized up one size in Gap maternity pants for work (I’m tall, so I needed the long lengths offered by Gap), and I love the demi-panels from them for early pregnancy. Now that I’m 9 months, I still wear the same demi-panel pants and just put my belly band over them to hold them up – this works infinitely better for me than a full panel, which was always falling down.
I got by with dresses and the elastic band trick until about 15 weeks or so. It really depends on how you carry. I personally really like the gap demi panel pants – they’re cotton, look dressy enough, wash well, and sort of split the difference between over belly and under belly. Plus gap was always having sales and they process their returns very quickly (you can only order maternity online).
One thing to keep in mind – now that I’m in the latter half of my 3rd trimester, I prefer over the belly styles as they smooth things over a bit more, but they were waaay too itchy for me in my first and second trimester.
A thank you to Seattlite – About a week ago there was a thread about dealing with parents when you / they have a dysfunctional relationship. I really appreciated reading your thoughts / strategies, especially the part about thinking of them like a nice older couple versus my parents who have unreasonable expectations for our relationship. Your thoughts really resonated with me, so thank you!!
PS – Don’t worry ladies, I’m in therapy to work through it as well.
You’re very welcome. I will confess that since I always use this moniker, I was a little nervous about revealing so much of my emotional life. Your comment has shown me that it was worth the risk.
And my best wishes for your therapy. It is hard work but so so worth it.
Can you post a link to that thread? Or do you know what day it was? I just tried searching & I couldn’t find it.
[I could really use help with this!]
Nevermind, found it! (https://corporette.com/2012/01/13/weekend-open-thread-116/)
SF Bay Associate
NYT article on the biomechanics of high heels.
“In results published last week in The Journal of Applied Physiology, the scientists found that heel wearers moved with shorter, more forceful strides than the control group, their feet perpetually in a flexed, toes-pointed position. This movement pattern continued even when the women kicked off their heels and walked barefoot. As a result, the fibers in their calf muscles had shortened and they put much greater mechanical strain on their calf muscles than the control group did.”
SF Bay Associate
Sweet as Soda Pop
As much as I will harp on wearing sunscreen and never tanning for the sake of my skin, I just cannot give up my high heels! I try to mix in flats once or twice a week, but a heel just looks so much more elegant and ladylike to me. I also don’t wear heels less than 3″, since a lower heel tends to make me “clomp” but a higher heel is more graceful (at least for my gait). I do take off my shoes under my desk, though, and as soon as I’m home.
I do the same (I’m definitely in bare feet more than heels!), and I also tend to stretch out my calves a lot while I’m sitting. My completely unscientific and medically un-trained opinion is that that should make up for wearing heels.
Have fun with your bunions! I had to have surgery on both of my then-30-year-old feet for bunions that, if not caused by heels, were certainly made much worse by them. I think heels are beautiful, too, but I have a new appreciation for how important taking care of your feet really is–even after surgery, they’re never really the same and foot pain is something that you have to deal with day-in, day-out.
No snark intended–just a bit of a warning!
Sorry to threadjack:
I’m 30, and I need surgery for my bunionettes (same as bunions but on the outside of your feet/at your baby toe). Batgirl, I’ve been putting it off because I’m concerned about the recovery. Can I ask about how your surgery/recovery went? You noted that foot pain is something that you still deal with — can you elaborate.
Oh, my favorite subject! (Kind of kidding, but it’s nice to have a specialty, right?)
I had surgery on bunions, not bunionettes, so I think that it’s probably quite different because you put so much more pressure on the ball of your foot than on the outside, but I’ll offer up what I know. First, I’m kind of surprised that they’re recommending surgery for them. Have you gotten a second opinion? My doctor said that they didn’t tend to operate on them much. Second, if your feet cause you a good deal of pain, I think it’s worth it. The younger you are, the faster you heal. I figured I’d rather deal with a bad few months at this age and have good feet for the next (hopefully!) 50 years rather than suffer for another 10-20 and have it done anyway.
In terms of the surgery itself, it wasn’t bad at all. The day of I had a bit of pain from the swelling, but that had more to do with the bandages being too tight and wasn’t nearly as bad as I’d feared. In fact, it was mostly pain-free and I only took prescription meds for pain the first two days. After that, just advil. Ice is key–can’t emphasize that enough. It’s hard to sleep with your foot elevated, but advil pm took care of that.
In terms of recovery, that’s the real pain in the butt of it. For each foot, I was literally couch-bound for TWO weeks. Didn’t leave my apartment at all, had friends bring in food, etc. Then another two weeks in an orthopedic boot, which in NYC is a royal pain. Then another month or so in oh-so-cool sneakers. I think it took a good three to four months for each foot to be in fairly normal shape. For me, they recommended doing each foot at least three months apart, and that was good advice. You don’t realize how much you have to depend on your other foot and if you’ve just had that one operated on, you can’t hold yourself up at all.
As for my current foot pain, I don’t have pain in the bunion areas anymore, though I don’t push it with crazy heels for more than a night out. Even then, they can hurt but in a way that I think is normal considering the shoes. I have fallen arches which are related to the bunions–that’s what bothers me most now. I didn’t notice them as much when I had bunions b/c the pain of that was so much worse.
If you haven’t tried orthotics first, I’d try them for six months or so before having the surgery. They really helped me a lot and might help you with your issues without you having to have surgery. But if you’ve tried them and the pain is bad, just get the surgery.
Final things to note: I had a weird, unexpected side effect to the surgery in that the doctor severed a nerve in one of my feet. It doesn’t hurt, but it’s been over a year and it still mostly feels numb in the right part of that toe, which I’m not crazy about. Not as bad as the pain was, though, and this is apparently very unusual. Finally, the scars are no joke–at least not with non-bunionettes. I have a big old two inch scar on each foot and it’s very clear I had surgery if you see my feet. Still worth it! Post an email address if you want more info and good luck!
Thanks so much, Batgirl! I apparently have especially bad bunionettes, particularly on my left foot — to the point that I actually once got an infection (this was before I even knew the cause of the pain, etc.) and had to wear a boot for a couple of weeks. Now that I’m more careful about being kind to my feet, I have not experienced any more infections or anything drastic like that (the whole infection thing happened about 3 years ago), but I do still experience periodic throbbing pain (worst in the winter, I think because my feet are confined in shoes more often). Basically, my doc told me that I can keep from making it worse by being more careful about my footware, but that I can’t undo the damage that is already done. He didn’t say that I “had” to have surgery, but he suggested that I seriously consider it if I find that my pain is impacting my day-to-day life.
So I’ve been dragging my feet (literally, I guess) for the last 3 years trying to decide whether the current amount of pain is “bad enough” to endure the surgury/recovery time. I’m a 5th year associate in BigLaw, and I commute by public transit, so the recovery period would be a pretty big ordeal for me.
I really appreciate all of your insight — I don’t know anyone who has actually done the surgery to talk through the pros and cons!
@MissJackson: I was a big law associate at the time but had very understanding bosses. To be honest, I billed a ton while I was home. It’s amazing what a bit of couch-induced boredom can do for you.
The commute was a huge pain in the butt for about three weeks each time. But then it’ll be over and you’ll be glad you’ve done it.
I put mine off for a few years, too, because it was hard to find a time that would be good for doing it. The thing is, there’ll never be a good time. A good salary helps in terms of medical expenses and cabs. I managed fine on the NYC subway, though. People were pretty good about giving me seats and when they weren’t, I just asked.
I think that when your feet become enough of a pain, you’ll know it’s time to just get it done. Six months out, I was so glad I’d done it. The pain is really minimal considering what they’re doing–I actually joked with my doctor after the second surgery that I didn’t believe that he’d done the operation because I literally had no pain! It’s the swelling that will get you, though, so you have to be VERY good about keeping your foot elevated.
I had bunion surgery about 8 years ago, and my experience was a bit different from Batgirl’s. I should say that I had bunions, at the first metatarsal (ball of foot), not bunionettes/tailor’s bunions, but structurally I think the issues are the same; they’re both really just joint dislocations.
Mine were the result of ballet, heels, and genetics, but in the order of about 1%, 1%, and 98%. The shape of my feet and structure of my bones set me up for bunions in ways that no lifestyle changes could ever accommodate.
I had one foot done, and I opted for surgery because I was in a great deal of pain. (I think surgery should always be a last resort, but when every step is agonizing, it’s time to consider the possibility.)
Mine was an outpatient procedure, and I was walking with a cane and one of those stupid soft velcro shoes within a few hours afterward. I didn’t find the recovery very painful, but having my mobility limited for a few weeks after was annoying.
Like Batgirl, I also experienced some loss of sensation; mine is around the incision site (about two inches, on the top of my foot). I’ve regained a lot of it in the years since, but it’s still not quite what it used to be. It also took more than a year for the post-op joint stiffness and swelling to go away, but I could still walk, run, and dance just fine in the meantime.
Oh I should add, I was able to walk a bit–like, to the bathroom and out of the surgery. It was outpatient for me as well. But standing for more than five or ten minutes was very painful for about two weeks.
I also have bunionettes. I’ve always had them (so mine are congenital, not caused by an injury or foot problem), but as I get older they hurt more and more. Can I ask what led you to decide to have surgery?
I have a severe bunion on my left foot and not much of one on my right. These are genetic/caused by my having zilch in the way of arches when born. The left one is so big that it distorts every single pair of shoes I own — from leather pumps/heels/flats/boots to high-tech-fabric running shoes. (My ski boots have a huge punch-out right there in order for me to be able to get them on.) I’ve often thought about having the surgery on just my left foot in order to have that foot look more attractive and to be able to maintain shoes for longer than a year. BUT . . . I’ve never experienced any pain in either foot — even when skiing days and days in a row, or running up to a half-marathon. (Or — far more typical — going for shorter 3-5 mile runs four or five days in a row.) It sounds like from what y’all are saying that the surgery and recovery time is enough of a pain, both literally and figuratively, that I should not consider the surgery unless and until I experience pain due to the bunion.
So thank you for the detailed comments and input! I appreciate it.
I had bunion and then bunionette surgery 6 and then 5 years ago on the same foot… The pain was so bad that I was having trouble sleeping. And then the skin around the bunion started breaking down and to avoid an open sore, I went ahead and scheduled the surgery.
Unfortunately for me, the recovery was long and painful both times. My doctor put me in a cast for 7 weeks each time, and the pain in moving my leg from a horizontal position lying down to one standing up (say, to transfer to the bathroom) was so excruciating that I avoided drinking water etc to minimize the amount of time walking the first week.
Clearly I have a low pain tolerance….
It took about a year before the swelling on my foot was down enough to wear my old shoes again. My non-surgeried leg muscles got quite the workout during and after my surgery. My balance as a result is different, and the callus pattern on both feet is different than it was prior to the surgeries. That leads me to believe that I’m holding myself differently since the surgeries. It has been interesting to observe these kinds of things in my own body.
However, I am thrilled with the result of that one foot. Now it is my “good” foot, which can wear almost any kind of shoe and looks and feels great! Since those surgeries I have had my twin daughters, and I have been waiting and managing foot pain in the other foot until I have time/inclination to do that foot’s bunion surgery.
The foot that still needs surgery is my “driving/gas pedal” foot. The thought of 7 weeks (my doctor’s proscribed cast time) without driving is daunting, given my commute and also children’s activity schedule.
Not to mention going through that horrid pain again.
I understand that there have been significant advances in pain management regarding bone surgeries and the ability to deliver anesthetic meds directly to the site after surgery. I am thinking perhaps a different doctor might also manage my surgery differently as well…
So I am on the fence, but this winter’s close-toed shoes and increased pain in my foot has lead me to believe that another foot surgery is in my future, despite my attempts to manage the pain and also the progression with proper footware.
Clearly I didn’t have the best recovery even without complications! I’m still not sure the whole experience was “worth it”, given my trepidation about doing it again. I suggest that you wait until the surgery is absolutely necessary before going down that path.
@AmyH–I wouldn’t have surgery for cosmetic/style-of-shoe reasons because 1) your foot won’t necessarily get more narrow, just straighter, 2) it’s a pain in the butt, and 3) you’re going to have a big scar that is about as ugly as the bunions were.
@ spacegeek–that sounds terrible! Sorry it was so painful for you. It sounds like maybe yours had gotten very bad and that’s why it was so painful?
I should add (and had forgotten about this) that I would recommend physical therapy afterward if you can–well afterward, that is. It did affect how I walked on one foot b/c I was avoiding putting weight on the joint and turned my foot out as I stepped. That caused some minor knee pain but it’s since passed. Went to physical therapy about a year afterward for six weeks.
In conclusion, worth it if the pain is persistent–even if it’s not terrible, just persistent, I think it’s worth it.
I was getting bunions there for a while and then was told that it’s not only about how high the heels is but moreso about how tight the toe bed is. Since then, I still wear my tall tall shoes but make sure they’re roomy around the toes, and my bunions have improved dramatically. I made myself get rid of some beautiful (beautiful!) shoes that were just too narrow.
I have also started wearing more flats on the weekends and when I’m walking long distances – it used to be a point of pride that I could wear heels 24/7, but I just had to get over that. Like you, Lyssa, I also take my shoes off under my desk all the time, so the amount of time I’m really wearing heels is not much.
All things considered, I have really reduced the likelihood that I will have to have surgery, which had seemed rather imminent when I first noticed the bunions.
Toe bed is really important…but heels shift your weight and my doctor said that the height had a lot to do with bunions, too. Glad you’re doing better!
I’ve switched to wide width shoes (I put inserts in the heel to keep them from slipping) and have pitched everything that was too narrow in the toe box. I agree that this has helped. I also only wear more “reasonable” heels -2.5″ seems to be all I can handle comfortably, even for around the office. And I have Yoga Toes that I use to stretch out my toes pretty regularly. Plus I wear comfortable flats for my commute.
I’m somewhat torn on whether I would still be better off getting the surgery, though, which is why I’m interested in hearing more from anyone who when ahead and did the surgery.
My rule of thumb would be: if you have enough foot pain that it makes you feel like a less active person or you’re taking advil for foot pain about once a week, you should just have the surgery.
I have bunions and bunionettes, but the idea of surgery scares me so much I just won’t go to the foot doctor, and I don’t want to think about not running/skiing/working out for however many months. I wear flats or 2″ heels/1″-3″ wedge heels to work. Maybe 3″ or 4″ heels to a special event.
The main problem is I can’t walk long distances in most shoes (except running shoes), so I just blame the problem on shoes and not my feet. I figure if I can run 6 pain free miles, it’s not my feet. I’ve switched to buying wide shoes, but with the hammertoes and everything else, it’s hard to even find flats or flat boots that are comfortable walking in.
Sort of on topic- I had a bone spur and a bunion surgically corrected in 2009 and lately have been feeling pain and stiffness in the ball of my foot/ big toe joint in flats and boots… for those who had surgery, did you ever have subsequent pain or stiffness in that joint long after the fact?
The joint is definitely stiffer but not in a way that hurts or affects my movement in any way.
Can't wait to quit
I used to mix flats and heels, and then a few winters ago I wound up wearing a pair of 2″ heel pointy-toe boots all the time because it was so cold (under pants usually). By Spring I was definitely getting bunions. I switched to flats entirely (my office is business casual), and the bunions have not gotten any worse. I also just figured that flats were OK for me becuase at 5’1″, even really high heels don’t make me tall, and just hurt my small feet.
Not to be a foot nerd, but be careful with your arches in flats. Make sure you have good arch support.
I had to wear sneakers all day yesterday cuz I was in the field and it was painful. Painful to wear sneakers – my feet, knees and back all complained. I’m typically hoofing it in heels or skechers shape-ups, so that was a huge wake-up call for me. Leg exercises, you shall get done.
Do you have a ProStretch? They’re kind of evil, but great for gastroc. stretching!
No, I have never even heard of this. If it’s as magical as the review makes it sound, then I’m gonna mail you $1. Make that $2, one for each foot.
You know I’ll just put it toward supplies for a super bada$$ necklace for you.
More justification for my love of flat shoes and very low heels and avoidance of anything with pointy-toes. Too much risk just to look sexy, and I still look awesome in flats anyway.
I think a lot of it is genetic. I have been running a good amount since I was a teen (but only one half marathon). I really only wore pointy toe shoes or heels when going out in college and my early twenties, and only break them out maybe once a month now. I know lots of women who wear heels way more frequently that I do with beautiful feet.
My story FWIW:
I used to wear heels (at least 3″) everyday. Then, I could no longer run more than 1/2 mile, then 1/4 mile, then 200m without excruciating pain in my calves. (I was also trying barefoot running at the time.) I went on vacation and discovered I could no longer walk down stairs in bare feet. I had proto-bunions forming next to my big toes.
I was terrified I’d never be able to be active again. So I went cold turkey. Bought 5 pairs of black flats and kept a pair of 1.5″ wedges. It was painful. My feet and calves hurt for two months straight. On days when the pain was unbearable, I’d wear the wedges for relief.
Eight months later, my feet have gone up half a size, my proto-bunions have disappeared and I can run 2 miles.
I miss heels, my body looked so good in heels. But I am so glad that I can run again and walk downstairs.
They also contribute to plantar fasciitis – if you have PF, definitely stop wearing heels or limit it as much as possible.
This skirt is kind of blah. Need to vent. I hate medical insurance beurocracy. How do they authorize the procedure but then drag their feet on the meds necessary for the procedure? Ugh. I don’t know how you medical professionals deal with insurance companies.
Ugh I’m sorry. My health insurance once refused to cover my BCPs because it categorized them as “nutritional supplements.” I spent hours fighting on the phone to sort it out (because seriously, WTF?) but eventually just gave up and paid out of pocket until I switched to a different insurer.
My physical therapist stopped accepting my insurance as of this month, so I can sympathize. I was almost done with treatment, and now I have to find a new therapist. Huge pain, and highly disruptive to my therapy.
Unfortunately it’s a difference of at least $2000 so I have to continue fighting with them. Fortunately the doctor’s office is taking over the fight.
Threadjack – how often am I obligated to lunch with the partners?
I work at a tiny firm, and I’m the only associate. I mainly work with 2 partners (much older, male), and they go to lunch together, and with me, several times a week. On one hand, I do really appreciate that they include me and treat me as an equal, but, on the other hand, I’m just not that into eating lunch out. We’re not going to super-expensive places, but I usually brown-bag homemade food, so it is an added expense. Plus, I’m a pretty light eater, and I just don’t really like eating heavy restuarant food all that often, and I find that if I eat lunch out, I usually don’t want dinner (and I really like dinner!). We almost never discuss “business,” more just current events and sports and what everyone’s doing that weekend, and, to tell you the truth, I’d really much rather heat my leftovers and surf the ‘net for lunch most days.
Part of me thinks that limiting it to once a week would be fine, but the other part of me feels weird about saying no when they ask, unless I have a specific conflict. FWIW, these aren’t planned lunches, more “duck into my office and grab me on the way out the door” sorts of things. (I sometimes think of trying to just eat my lunch earlier, so that if they ask I can go “Oh, no, I already started mine!” But I never seem to manage to time it right.)
Not quite to your question, but could you order and appetizer instead of an entree? It might help on the portion size.
I do sometimes try to order less, but that has it’s own host of issues – Mostly because apps are usually just deep-fried whatever, and there’s not even an opportunity to get a veggie on the side, so it’s not really any less heavy than an entree (this is probably somewhat regional – I hail from the land of Paula Deene). Also, they usually wind up just as pricey, when all is said and done.
I sound like a health nut, but I’m not at all – I just like to manage the heaviness of my food. I still get a burger and fries if I want it, but my favorite kind of day would involve leftovers of some homemade pasta with frozen veggies for lunch, and then some homemade dinner, say, meatloaf.
Salad? I like to get a big salad with protein and dressing on the side for a business lunch – not heavy at all. Or do the places they go not even have salad???
There’s usually salads (as in, the kinds with chicken or something on top), but, to me, they feel heavy too (dressing, cheese, fried toppings, etc.). I usually still don’t want dinner after having one. Same with having a sandwich, even if I only eat half (I’m thinking greasy, cheesy sandwich). I know that I probably could get some lighter version of the salad, but that’s just really boring after a while (compared to my yummy homemade leftovers!), plus they’re generally still pretty expensive.
I know, I’m whiney when it comes to food. This is the penalty for learning how to cook!
I commiserate with you, from what I’ve gathered we’re about the same size. The calorie calculators online tell me I need like less than 1500 calories a day to maintain my weight, so a lunch out is really a big chunk of your daily calorie needs.
I don’t really have any specific advice, I would hope once a week is enough. Can you politely say you have leftovers/packed a lunch/have some personal business to attend to during lunch?
Otherwise, or a sandwich/salad/entree and take home half for the next days lunch! Also, sometimes I’ll just soup for lunch, which normally comes with a roll, and you can snack on some produce or something later on!
Oh man. I think you have to go on most of them. Or start planning conflicts like lunch with people outside the office, or workouts, or fake workouts (like walks).
Re: the food, I would try either ordering the appetizer, or seeing if you can get an entree salad, i.e. “can you add chicken / shrimp / salmon to that salad and make a larger size”? I find that if I eat salad + protein at lunch I’m fine. Carbs are the enemy. Or order a sandwich and eat only half (or none) of the bread. If they look at you strangely, tell them that carbs make you sleepy, and you want to be productive in the afternoon. How can they criticize that?
A few thoughts for you. If it’s the company culture to eat lunch together fairly often, I agree that you have to go along with it and make it seem like you’re always declining. That said there are a few things you can try to make it less of a conflict for you.
There’s the idea of appetizers and lighter portions, above. Can you also exercise more control over the whole process? e.g. pick a restaurant that serves lighter fare, or proactively invite them to lunch on days when it will work better for your schedule or when you are particularly hungry / don’t have dinner plans etc? What if you commit to going twice a week – once when you invite them, once when they invite you – and the rest of the week, feel free to say, “not today, but how about tomorrow/thursday/etc” or “not today, but i really enjoyed yesterday’s chat, thanks again” … etc?
that is – *not* make it seem like you’re always declining.
Simple answer is that you’re not obliged to lunch with partners.
But I’d be wondering whether it’ll be just you and the secretaries surfing with your lunch boxes while the other professionals go out for lunch, and whether that’s the message you really want to send. I also reckon your 2 partners have done a sweet thing to adopt you as a lunch buddy in a completely natural way across differences in gender and seniority – while they are unlikely to be offended if you choose to drop out, it might be hard to re-join without awkwardness if you change your mind later.
I am in basically the same exact situation. I now limit myself to going out for lunch with the partners about once a week. Luckily we all travel quite a bit, so I usually only have to turn down the invitation a couple of times per week. But when I pass on lunch, no one seems to mind or notice. I think they ask to be nice, but they don’t really care so much whether or not I go. I find that when I make an excuse (yoga, working, etc) it sounds weirder than if I just say–No thanks! I’ll catch you guys next time!
So maybe don’t over-think it. It’s important to participate, but you don’t have to kill your waist or wallet over it.
I turned down going to lunch with the managing partner just once (because I was completely swamped!) and was never asked again.
I recently turned down lunch with a partner (again, because I was swamped! And I’m not a heavy eater) and he offered to bring me lunch! It was a little awkward.
I’m agree completely with LSC. You don’t want to skip the lunches all the time and be out of the loop, but a couple of times a week keeps you in the firm culture and still lets you do what you want with your lunch time on the other days. Do not stress out about this too much.
As I mentioned elsewhere, when I was a young associate I went to lunch with a small group of partners, or with individuals, pretty regularly, but I also just as frequently ate at my desk or in the office lunchroom, went out with associates or staff, or just went for a walk; there was no pressure. Now, I’m a partner in a different firm with a much different culture (and workload) and we all eat at our desks, if we’re here, or skip it entirely. Frankly, I miss those group lunches.
I sympathize. I usually do an intense group workout at 6 pm. It involves lots of running, and I feel terrible during the workout if I eat anything heavy for lunch. I work from home, though, so it’s infinitely easier to eat at home than to go out.
Partner: “Hey Lyssa, want to grab lunch?”
Lyssa: “Thanks, but I brought mine today. Let me know next time!”
Lyssa: “Thanks for the invite, but I’m just going to eat something here and catch up on X project.”
Lyssa: “I’d love to but my husband promised a big dinner tonight so I want to save room.”
I agree with the hive-mind that you should go on occassion – it builds comaraderie and it’s great that they want to include you!
Maybe you can schedule lunch with them? And even explicitly state it? Like, Tues/Thurs are lunch with partners day, unless there’s a work conflict and other days are lunch at desk days. I’m a pretty upfront person, so I would just come out and say it. But this approach depends on your personality and working relationship with the partners.
I think you really should go to lunch with them. It’s not work but it is part of your office culture. I find it strange that the partners aren’t paying for lunch.
When I was a young associate in a small firm, I frequently went to lunch with a two or three of the half dozen partners, and they NEVER paid. (One of them carried a calculator and figured each person’s share to the penny, aack.) It was different if a partner took me to lunch for one reason or another, but not for the let’s-all-go-to-the-bar-club-and-grab-a-sandwich lunches.
I honestly think you should keep going, unless you have a specific conflict. It’s obviously a team thing, and you don’t want to be perceived as not part of the team. I’d aim to make sure you go at least 80% of the times they ask you. There’s nothing wrong with just ordering a cup of soup or something – you don’t need to have a man-sized appetite to be one of the guys.
Agreed. Be happy you are included. It is much harder to deal with when all the partners go to lunch and leave you out. It may be hard to be included if you turn them down now. That said, I do not think you have to go with them every time you are invited, but more often than not. It’s firm culture, and you will almost certainly regret it in the end if you do not adapt.
This is not lunch, it’s politics. I would say go every chance unless you have a business reason not to go. It’s not about eating lunch. It’s about making friends, getting “in” with the right people and all the rest. It’s about being in the loop on things. Even if it seems like it’s all sports/weather/weekend stuff it’s also about team bonding.
I used to avoid all lunch/happy hour/outside the work building activities. Once I started going to them I realized how much I missed and how much I put myself behind by not going along with it.
@ Kanye East, if you’re around today — Just went back to yesterday’s PM thread and want to thank you for your further comments. Honestly, it reminded me that I have never had a female “mentor,” though I could really use one.
You got it, gurlfrayn. Again, I hope none of it came across as overly harsh or critical of you; it definitely wasn’t intended to be.
I just have a lot of … feelings. About this subject.
Thanks to all those who suggested Oxiclean the other day – now I have another problem I hope someone has some ideas on…
I’m thinking I can’t be the only one who gets those huge nasty red spots all over my chin once a month. They aren’t like normal pimples. They are red and shiny and they hurt and look nasty. You can’t pop them (yes, naughty Elle, I’ve tried, but stopped) and I haven’t found any kind of chemical or other product that gets rid of them. I try to eat well and drink water and all that, but it hasn’t made any difference. No concealer I have tried covers them up – make up is like water off a duck’s back and just appears to slide off in minutes.
They make me look and feel really gross. They make me feel super unprofessional at work as I just don’t look polished and it then obviously affects my confidence.
Any ideas would be much appreciated as to how others deal with this!
I had that issue and also have rosacea. My dermatologist prescribed Differin (among other things) and it has all but elminated them. It did dry my skin out at first, but I seem to have gotten used to it since then. So, I would recommend seeing a dermatologist about it.
Thanks – it never used to be so bad when I was on the Pill, but because it is hormonal, I fear that the only solution would be to go back on the Pill which I don’t want to do. :(
Sounds like cystic acne. Definitely agree with seeing a dermatologist – they can prescribe something to help with ongoing cysts. Also, a dermatologist or a nurse practitioner can inject something into them and help it clear up much faster.
Sounds like some cystic acne (story of my life). I would head to a dermatologist and get some RX meds to help. I use 1 or 2 topical creams at any given time, hormonal BC pills, and a daily antibiotic (for maybe 2-3 weeks at a time) when I get flares like you describe. This regiment does not make things go away 100% (but I have awful, awful skin and awful skin problems), but it keeps the pain and redness down and I think makes fewer of them come up. I am also able to cover everything with MU (oh to head out in public without MU…). A derm can help you find a good regiment that will help yours as well, but I imagine you may be at the point where it is best to look into RX topicals and/or antibiotics.
Barrister in the Bayou
I mentioned the other day that I use a drugstore retinol. I’m using it for mild acne and for the anti-aging benefits. Right around the holidays I had about 5-6 cystic blemishes back-to-back (I had stopped using the retinol for a while) and the retinol cut down on the healing time and I haven’t gotten one since.
Just in case you are interested, I used Neutrogena Healthy Skin Anti-Wrinkle Cream, Night Formula and I haven’t needed another night time moisturizer.
From another cystic acne sufferer – until you get to a dermatologist, over-the-counter hydrocortisone will help calm the inflammation, which helps with the pain. I apply it pretty frequently (i.e., hourly if I can remember, but at least 3x daily) as soon as I feel a cyst coming on and it helps quite a bit. The key is to catch them early though – once they’re huge and painful, it doesn’t speed up the healing that much (though it does still ease the pain).
Snarky In House
I’ve gotten them forever and just recently they’ve stopped showing up. The difference? I started using the Clinique face wash for oily skin, the acne toner and acne moisturizer.
I have VERY few if any blemishes now. It’s great!
I have the same thing, hormonal chin acne. I didn’t want to go back on the pill (for me, because I have the Mirena, which I love), and my derm just started me on spironolactone, which controls the overproduction of the hormones. It hasn’t all gone away (I’ve been on it about 2 weeks), but I think it is getting better. Something to ask your derm about.
Spironolactone changed my world! I’ve been on it for over a year and, after a couple of months for it to really start working, I haven’t had ANY cysts.
I would be interested in hearing more about people’s experiences with Spironolactone for acne. I’ve been on it for almost a year (a relatively low dose – 50mg) and although at the first six months or so I saw an improvement, my skin now seems to be back to as bad as it was before. I’m reluctant to up the dose as I find that it makes me a bit tired and dizzy, and also I’ve definitely noticed a decrease in s-x drive (I am guessing that has to do with the suppression of testosterone). I’m now thinking of quitting it altogether (but worried of a flare-up worse than what I have now). What dosage are you guys on and do you experience any side effects? (I also supplement it with a BP/antibiotic gel in the am and prescription strenght retin-A at night.)
As noted, I’ve only been on for two weeks, so I don’t have much to contribute but as a data point, I was started with 100mg (once a day). The only side effect I’ve found so far is the diuretic effect that I was warned about. I haven’t noticed a libido change, but I’m also currently single, so I may not have noticed one yet.
I’m on Spironolactone for PCOS, and it didn’t help with my acne at all. It does help with other menstrual cycle problems, though.
SF Bay Associate
Fab. u. lous. This discussion makes me realize that I now have “hormonal chin acne,” which suspiciously coincided with my switching to NuvaRing. I used to have perfect skin on the pill. This is cystic acne?! And it scars?! FML. Must make appt to see derm.
Well, your acne might not be cystic. Does it feel like a big bump under your skin? If so, that’s probably cystic.
Elle- I also have hormonal chin acne, pill made it disappear, but I’ve been off for nearly a year now and don’t want to go back. I found that my clarisonic really helped, and recently I’ve been using hydrogen peroxide on the actual blemish. It’s probably super harsh, but I just use a tiny bit on a q-tip. I think it helps clean out some of the bacteria and at least prevent it from spreading other places on my chin (when I get one, I tend to get 2 or 3 more in quick succession).
On a related note: I see that a lot of people mention going to a dermatologist. I’m 29 and have never been. I sorta thought a dermatologist was a specialist you only see if your PP refers you for some specific reason. Do you ladies see a dermatologist as a matter of routine? Like a dentist check up? Very curious to hear your responses…maybe I need to be seeing a dermatologist.
I guess it depends on your insurance, but when I was growing up, my parents paid out of pocket for doctor’s visits so we just made appointments directly with the derm when my acne got bad and I wanted to do something about it. Have continued to see people over the years to get refils on the RXs, change the routine, etc. Now that I am on insurance that requires referrals, seeing the derm just takes mentioning my acne (not like it’s not totally obvious) to the primary care person and asking for a referral. The last time I did it, it went something like, “I have previously been seeing dermatologists regularly for my acne and to monitor my acne medication routine. Could I have a referral to keep up with that?” I then got a referral for 6 appointments or something like that, so it’s pretty easy if your acne is bad.
My derm does a skin check, looking for skin cancer. I’m supposed to go every year (well, I guess we’re all supposed to go every year), but I realistically only make it every 2 years or so. She documents all my moles, so she can see if they’re changing over time. It’s a little weird to have someone surveying your skin with a magnifying glass, but it’s for a good cause.
I go to the derm for a once a year check-up (which is probably about once every 18 months, really) because I’m really pale and have a family history of skin cancer. I started going after I had a mole do some odd things when I was about 25 (it wasn’t cancerous, but I had it checked out). The chin acne (and the resulting spironolactone prescription) that I mentioned above actually came up at my annual appointment; it wasn’t pressing enough for me to go in separately, but since I was there anyhow, I asked about it and my derm checked it out. I have high-deductible insurance because I really only go to two doctor’s appointments a year (ob-gyn and derm check-ups), so I have to pay most of the derm appointment myself, but it isn’t that expensive.
echoing others who suggested it’s cystic acne and to see a doctor; just adding my experience that topical creams or gels didn’t work for me but the oral antibiotic minocycline cleared mine up twice and only took about 2-3 weeks to see results. you can ask your primary care physician about it if finding a dermatologist is a pain.
Definitely sounds like cystic acne. If it is really bad, a dermatologist can help. I’ve also discovered a mask cream from Avon that worked wonders on mine – I’d apply a hot cloth for several minutes, dry, then dot on the mask just on the problem cyst the night before and leave on for a few hours until washing it off shortly before bed. The next morning, it the cyst was even still there, I’d put it on again when I first woke up, then let it wash off in the shower. If the cyst was especially painful, I’ve left the mask on overnight before. Never had one last more than a day using this method, and better yet, no dermatologist needed.
anon in SF
It’s not a cure-all, but I cover the spot with a big dab of Fresh’s Umbrian Clay Mask before bed. It tends to really dry it out over night, and makes the inflammation go down. I find the mask too drying to use on my whole face, but its great for spots. it’s on the pricey side, but a single tube will last forever.
Don’t worry – it won’t go away. You’ll still have it when you’re 47. Ask me how I know. :(
I agree, it’s cystic acne. Get yourself to a dermatologist and don’t give up until you’ve tried everything. Those things scar like crazy.
Anyone have any recs for treatment of cystic acne that are pregnancy approved? I’ve always had cystic acne problems, but it was mostly controlled while on the BC pill. I’ve gone off it to try and get pregnant, but am told that most of the treatments I would normally rely on or have used in the past (benzoyl peroxide, antibiotics, etc.) cannot be used during pregnancy. I hate the way my chin looks. And like Elle mentioned, these suckers are painful! Any thoughts? Should I try clarisonic?
I used to get zits like these, and had oily skin like yours that caused makeup to slide off. Paula’s Choice Skin Balancing line seriously eliminated the zits, and now my skin is barely oily. (Strangely, her anti-acne line didn’t help me at all.) I highly recommend trying the Skin Balancing line – there’s a 60 day money back guarantee, so you aren’t taking a huge risk if it doesn’t help. I haven’t had a cystic pimple in more than 6 months, and I only very rarely get any pimple at all. I also use the Olay Pro X brush (Clarisonic knockoff), and I am ridiculously diligent about washing my face morning and night and always using toner.
The pimples are hormonal, but skincare products can help. Your skin produces more sebum due to hormones, but whether that excess sebum succeeds in creating pimples can depend on your skincare.
Also, I haven’t tried it, but CHS recommended a product that will help deal with the pimples you have already: http://www.caphillstyle.com/capitol/2011/11/22/bpgp-acnefree-pimple-patches.html
I had the same problem throughout most of my 20s and early 30s. Antibiotics (minocycline, I think) helped enormously, but I didn’t like being on them all the time. I didn’t have much luck with topicals, but started using a glycolic cleanser and having the occasional series of glycolic peels in my early 30s. The breakouts definitely got worse before they got better (I had a month of a totally messy face, including my forehead which never previously broke out). But I have been completely free of the big, painful cysts since then, and only get the occasional normal zit when I’m stressed or not keeping up my skin care regimen. Now, I just use Cetaphil bar cleanser and moisturizer with SPF 15, and throw some glycolic peels into the mix every few months when my skin feels blah. Good luck! I know how horrible acne can be!
From Sweden: 4 points of 10 :P
Does anyone have recommendations for online language classes? I’m going on a trip to France in a few months and I want to freshen up my French skills. I used to be near-fluent in high school and college, but my language skills have gone downhill considerably since then (and gotten jumbled with Spanish). I don’t want to invest in Rosetta Stone for just a few months of language refreshing. Any good, less expensive alternatives? Thanks!
Check with your local public library. Mine offers online access to language lessons for free.
My library used to offer free rosetta stone, but now have free bbc lessons.
Check out your public library. Ours has a subscription to online language lessons.
My ex-roommate was obsessed with livemocha. Haven’t used it myself, but she swore it worked.
You might try Alliance Francaise (apparently, it’s called the French Cultural Center now). My grandmother was a member.
They even have an event tomorrow with wine and cheese: http://www.frenchculturalcenter.org/index.cfm/events/scheduled-events/lapero4/
I’d go just for the cheese. The one in 2 weeks is crepes and hard cider!
Oops. February is fast approaching. It’s next week, not in 2 weeks.
Also, there may be a French language group on meetup.com
If you want to brush up on your oral comprehension skills, try News in Slow French: www dot newsinslowfrench dot com. They have regular podcasts, are pretty cheap, and also have vocab and grammar lessons. I’ve seen good reviews!
I’m doing Pimsleur French and it’s working, but I am a beginner, not formerly fluent like you. However, they do have a Conversational French series (vs French 1, 2, &3 that I’m using) that might be the ticket. I listen in my car during my commute. Also, if you buy them through Amazon, Amazon will give you a substantial portion of your price back if you send them back as used.
Au revoir et bon voyage!
I would watch as many French films/TV shows as you can (at first with subtitles to check your translation and then without to see if you can follow it), because they will be speaking at the natural pace and with slang, like you’ll encounter in France. Also, read online magazines and news to get comprehension back. I like “Tex’s French Grammar” online (through University of Texas) to brush up grammar; I used it when I taught undergrad and high school French courses.
i took a really cheap online french class through my local community college continuing ed program. It was only like $80 for a 3 month ‘semester’
Anon For This
Does anyone have any experience with going off of an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety drug?
I took Celexa for about a year to help with anxiety I developed during an extremely stressful time in my life, and I’ve been weaning off of it since September. I finally took my last pill 13 days ago. I felt normal the first few days, minus the occasional “brain zap” (those of you who’ve experienced them know what I’m talking about). Then, from days 5 to 11, I became an absolute emotional wreck. We’re talking intense mood swings, crying at the drop of a hat day after day, and initiating fights with my boyfriend over the smallest little things. My emotions were totally out of my control. I think it’s over, and I’ve felt fine since Monday AM, but those were a rough couple of days.
Has anyone else gone through something similar? How long did it take until the withdrawal symptoms stop and you went back to “normal”?
Also, the other thing I’m struggling with is whether or not tell my boyfriend why I was acting like a possessed lunatic for nearly a week, as he doesn’t know that I was on Celexa. I didn’t tell him because the plan was never to be on it long-term, and by the time our relationship became serious I had already begun the weaning process, so I knew I’d be done with it in a couple of months. I’ve apologized for my behavior, but he’s been more distant than usual since my multiple meltdowns and I know it’s related to how I was acting. I’m not sure if giving him an explanation will help or hurt the situation. Any advice?
Honestly, I would tell him. I would think the primary worry you have is that he’ll think that acting that way was the “true you” and will dump you because you are showing your “true colors.” Right? But if you tell him, while he could dump you for “being crazy” (worst case scenario if you tell him, right?), he might very well say, “OH THANK GOD, it was just the meds. I was really starting to think you were horrible, and now I know you’re not.” I think that’s the better of the two options. (Also, honesty = yay!) (And if he’s scared by meds, A) he’s a weiner; B) he’s ultimately incompatible with you, most likely, because you think meds are sometimes appropriate and he has a kneejerk bad reaction to meds; and C) he doesn’t realize how prevalent meds are and will have more and more uncomfortable conversations like this.)
Agree with all of that. I can’t think of a single good reason for you not to tell him.
Anon for this
I found out accidentally that my boyfriend of then only 5 mos. was on Celexa (saw some prescription bottles out that I don’t think he’d intended me to find). I was definitely freaked out since I had no personal experience and was unfamiliar with them. The thought did cross my mind about whether I was with someone stable, whether I should be investing further into the relationship, etc. And then around the same time I was processing that info, he told me that he was taking it and the reasons why. For me it didn’t change the fact that he’s a good man, that our relationship is good and worth pursuing, or that I love him. And I think I deserved to know (granted our situation is different because he was not and is not weaning off). You didn’t say why you’re hesitant to explain to your boyfriend the reasons behind your recent behavior. But if he’s someone you see yourself with long term, my inclination is to say that he deserves some sort of an explanation.
Anon For (OP)
He is definitely someone I see myself with long-term, and dicussions of moving in together this year have started coming up. I’m mostly just afraid to tell him because of the stigma associated with taking these kinds of medications. I don’t want him to think he was dating a closeted crazy person who was only manageable because she was on medication, and now who knows what will happen now that she’s off? He does know the details of the stressful time that I went through prior to meeting him, he just doesn’t know that I started taking meds to cope.
I would rather be with someone who is smart enough to realize they need a little extra help than someone who ignores their emotional issues. Just sayin’.
I think the self-weaning approach is really frowned upon by psychiatrists. That said, I also did it because, like you, I never intended to be on anti-depressants for a long period of time (just long enough to pull out of my work-induced hell and find a new job). After about 6 months on Lexapro (and after starting dream job), I decided to get off of the drugs. I took them every other day for about two weeks. Then quit taking them entirely. I had night sweats for about a week or two, but no other problems.
I’m glad you’re doing better now. If it gets bad again, consider calling your doctor to help you wean off of the pills. I personally wouldn’t tell my BF about the medication if you’re off of it and don’t expect to get back on it (that is if taking the meds was a one-time thing and you don’t expect to need them again). People can get really weird about psychiatric medication. Also, maybe he just thinks it was a bad PMS month.
Anon For This (OP)
I did wean under the guidance of a doctor (forgot to mention that); I started the process in September and was taking a small dose only every 3-4 days by the time I finally stopped.
If the emotional symptoms don’t go away, I will give my doctor a call. I have taken medication twice in my life (once when I was very young for insomnia) and once more than a decade later. There is the possibility that I’ll need them again in the future, but I don’t plan on using them long-term.
I know people can be weird about medication, so therein lies my hesistation in telling him. :/
If he’s weird about meds, wouldn’t you rather know now so you can weed him out? Believe me, if in the future you need to go back on meds, you don’t want an unsupportive boyfriend/husband who ‘doesn’t believe in meds.’ Dealing with anxiety and depression are tough enough w/o having loved ones – who should be in your camp! – telling you to just pull your socks up and get over it.
I get the sense that you’re still a little conflicted yourself about the meds. BTDT. If that is the case, please reframe it. Needing meds is an issue of brain chemistry, not a personal failure.
I haven’t gone through the weaning off process, but will be interested to see what others say. I do think that you should explain what was going on to your boyfriend if you see the two of you as at all serious. I can completely understand why you chose not to tell him about the Celexa if you were already beginning the process of getting off of it, but I think he deserves to know what’s going on with you right now, and you deserve to have his support while you go through a hard process. I think not telling him will cause unnecessary strain on the relationship.
SF Bay Associate
I’ll “come out” as having been on an antidepressant at one point in my life. I am shocked that educated ladies such as yourselves are trying to wean yourselves off of the antidepressants without medical supervision. These are very serious drugs that non-medical professionals are very unlikely to understand fully. For goodness sake, tell your doctor you want off the meds. Mine first reduced the mg in my pill, then after a few weeks, I split those pills, and then reduced my dosing schedule. It took a couple months to fully be off.
I also encourage you to be honest with your SO about taking the meds. The stigma against antidepressants is such a tragedy, so I try to be open about it. It’s not your fault that you need or once needed this medication, and you should not be ashamed of having been on them. Depression makes you act not like you – blaming it on PMS is frankly ridiculous and trivializes how serious depression can be. Yes, I once took antidepressants because I was depressed. Yes, I once had a cast because I broke my arm. I hope some day, those two conditions are regarded the same – things that happen to people sometimes.
Anon For This (OP)
I mistakenly left out that I did wean under the guidance of a doctor; my mom is a mental health professional so I’m well aware that you need professional involvement when doing so. I’ve been slowly weaning since September, following a program my psychiatrist put together for me that involved slowly lowering the dosage and reducing my dosing schedule. It’s been very bearable up until the last few weeks, when I was supposed to stop completely.
Thanks for your input! I am one of those naturally anxious people and while the week or two of withdrawal has been awful, it’s nothing compared to how terrible I felt before I took any medication.
I took them as well – for about two years – and I believe they saved my life. With antidepressants, my head was clear enough that I could actually effectively participate in my eating disorder treatment. Without them, I’m not sure I would have made it.
(just chiming in to do my bit to reduce stigma!)
Anon for This (OP)
Thank you! It is helpful; I always look forward to reading your comments and it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one who’s needed the assistance of anti-depressants at some point.
I’d tell him. You don’t know what life may bring you; maybe you’ll need to go back on meds again, maybe you won’t. I say this as someone who’s been there. Coming clean about how you actually feel and the steps you’re using to remedy that is brave and someone who loves you (assuming you guys are there) should accept that part of you. My partner is “in theory” worried about meds, but when it came down to it he recognized there was a need and it helped me be a happier person. IMO, anyone who judges you for addressing a chemical imbalance in your system, isn’t someone that is going to respect you for the long haul.
Anon For This (OP)
You’re right, this is a part of me. I’ve never really thought of it like that (it was always this awful dark part I wished would go away). Just as I’m intelligent, sarcastic, and incredibly punctual, I also have a natural inclination towards anxiety.
We do love each other and he is absolutely the person I want to be with long-term, so I think I do need to find the courage to tell him and pray that he is understanding and supportive.
Anti-depressants/anti-anxiety medications are so ubiquitous in today’s society that it should not come as a surprise to anyone that he may be dating someone on those medications. You weaned yourself under a doctor’s supervision and are doing what you can to take care of yourself. It’s likely that your boyfriend is wondering what on earth is going on- whether it’s him, something else you’re not telling him, etc. I am sure he would be relieved to know that this is just part of a time-limited weaning process as opposed to some long-term issue that may never be fixed.
I would just tell him. I’ve been on them most of my adult life, and every time I have “come out” to my SO, I get a positive response. Something like admiration for recognizing an issue I have and taking steps to deal with it. With the exception of one ex. But I really should have seen that idiot response coming in that situation.
OP – Would you mind giving me your thoughts and answering a few questions for me?
I have been on Celexa since Sept 1. I do feel more in control of my emotions. My outlook on everything is more positive as well. But I am really afraid of getting off it. I have an appoint in March with my Dr. to discuss progress. I have been sleeping so much since I started taking it. I sleep from 8pm-630am most “week nights”.. Is this b/c of the meds? Also, I quickly gained 10 lbs about a month ago. I have started exercising and watching my calories but the weight won’t budge. Did you or anyone here ever experience this? I know it sounds silly to be worrying about but I am not about to go but a new wardrobe!
It’s been 10-15 years since I took them, but I too slept like crazy and gained, gained, gained while taking Prozac, then later Paxil. Other things were going on at the time (undertreated hypothroidism), but the meds certainly contributed. Talk to your doctor.
Anon for This (OP)
Sure! One of the reasons I was on Celexa was because I personally experienced very few side effects (for instance, I tried Zoloft for a few weeks first and couldn’t sleep at all). I know weight gain on it is common but I think it actually helped me keep weight off, as I’ve noticed the scale creeping up since I’ve slowed down my doseage. I did sleep a LOT when taking it, but I’ve always been a big sleeper who needed at least 8 hours a night so needing 9 didn’t really seem that drastic to me.
From doing various research on the subject, it seems as though different people have varying reactions to taking and withdrawing from the drug. A lot of people experienced dizziness and/or sweating, according to a lot of the first person accounts of weaning off the drug that I read, when I experienced neither. Using and going off of the drug is no picnic and definitely something to do under the supervision of a doctor though, so I’m glad you’re meeting for a check-in.
Formerly anti-minivan mom
I wanted to add a comment to yesterday’s 3d child conversation (which turned anti-minivan so quickly!)
I have three children and even though you might hold off, you need to embrace the minivan. Seriously. It’s fine if you can transport both or all three children now in your volvo or accord, but once your kids are older and doing activities, life is SO SO much better when you can carpool. I can fit four football players (+ pads) plus my two other children into my van. Or six kids for a school field trip, or all my three kids plus each with a friend… you get the idea. The more kids in the carpool, the less often you have to drive!
Most of my friends from my kids’ school drive them so there’s not a “cool” factor for me — I figure it’s just a phase we’re going through and they are SO SO functional.
As for three kids… I love all three and am so glad I have them. But it is definitely a stretch. When I get home from work (or on weekends), there is so little time and it is hard to spend good, quality time with each one. Our resources are definitely much more stretched, but the time aspect is what bothers me the most.
Formerly Preggo Angie
I started the thread, and I’m NOT anti-minivan… even if we stick with two our next family car will likely be one.
Always a NYer
I’m nowhere near the children phase of life but the thought of turning to a soccer mom driving a minivan makes me shudder. I’ve always thought that SUVs were just as efficient, room wise, to a minivan, and in ways better. Am I missing something?
law talking girl
Minivans are better than SUVs even if you don’t have kids. They are easier to climb in and out of, they seat more people more comfortably, have more room for all your stuff, handle better, and get better gas mileage. I borrow my mom’s minivan all the time for camping trips. I can squeeze up to 6 friends (and me) plus all our backpacks and equipment in the van. I also use it for mountain biking trips. I can put up to 4 bikes inside the van plus 4 people plus extra gear. What SUV could ever do that???
Yes. SUVs with 3rd rows typically eat up any cargo space — you have to put the third row down to get room for stuff vs. people. Plus minivans are lower to the ground, so therefore easier to load little kids into (or have them load themselves).
Formerly anti-minivan mom
My Odyssey is smaller than a “big” SUV — smaller turning radius, easier to handle, park, etc. — but it carries that same amount of gear (more than a small SUV, by which I mean one which is based on a car chassis — e.g. a Highlander or Volvo SUV)
Environmentally, I feel a minivan is a more responsible choice. That argument has lessened somewhat as the big Tahoes and Suburbans are improving their mileage. Also, I may be gullible, but I have bought the argument that in almost any accident between a big SUV and a car, the SUV will win — dramatically. A minivan in an accident will keep its occupants as safe without causing as much damage to the other vehicle. (Obviously, this is a HUGE generalization, but hopefully you understand the point.)
Research, Not Law
We rented one for a long car trip and loved it for space and comfort. My issue isn’t the “cool” factor – I drive an old corolla, so having a cool car is really not important to me – but the sheer size factor. I have driven compacts for so long that I find minvans and SUVs very intimidating. We live in an urban neighborhood with tight streets and parking lots and frequent tight parallel parking. It scares me to think of navigating it in a minivan. So we’ll only go there for our primary car if we have three kids.
One huge plus that minivans offer over SUVs is the sliding doors. Kids can’t whack the next car when opening them.
Threadjack! Does anyone have any advice on turning a resume into a CV? I’ve never done a CV before.
Isn’t it the same thing? Resume in the US, CV in the UK?
I’m applying for an academic position in the US (trying to transition out of law practice). I think they’re looking for something qualitatively different than a resume, but I’m not 100% sure. I have no scholarly publications to my name, so I can’t think of anything I’d include in a CV that isn’t already in my resume. I wonder if I need to make changes in format, emphasis, etc. I’ve read that international CVs include things like marital status and nationality, but I don’t think that kind of information is appropriate. I just don’t want to send my resume as-is and be perceived as someone who doesn’t know enough to comply with their instructions to use a CV.
If it’s a university/academia position, a CV is DEFINITELY TOTALLY different (if you have a PhD for example, your CV will be laughed at if it’s only 1 page).
But it’s easy to find examples on professor’s webpages. You can also look at university career services pages (google it) for graduate/professional students because most universities assume their grad students are going to stay in academia and thus target their advice and guides towards grad students looking for academic jobs.
As someone who just went through this process, yes, you definitely need to make changes in content and format. E.g., add lines for your primary and secondary teaching interests, publications/works-in-progress go on the first page.
There is a great example in Becoming a Law Professor: A Candidates Guide, by Denning et. al. There is also information online – schools like Yale and Stanford post their law-teaching guides online and I know at least one of those mentioned the resume vs. CV thing.
P.S. You also need to include academic references on the last page.
Thanks! Yale’s had just the kind of information I was looking for. And I’m glad to see it’s OK to put references on the CV – I’ve seen conflicting advice on that but I trust that Yale wouldn’t deliberately steer its students wrong.
Always a NYer
So…went in for a second round interview yesterday — interviewed with four people. Spent half an hour this morning crafting a good thank you e-mail to the one who’s probably making the decision. Then wrote the other three — and in the last one referred to decision maker. At which point, I realized I spelled her name wrong in the Dear xxx part of the thank you note to her (now note, its close, it could be a typo and she has the unusual spelling, I’m sure it happens to her all the time) but STILL. GRARRR. If I lose this job (my dream job) over a stray R I’m going to kill someone.
That is all.
Don’t worry. I once got a job after spelling the HR manager’s last name wrong on the cover letter. If you’re the most qualified candidate, they’re not going to take someone less qualified over something like that. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you!
well said Anon13! and good luck OP!
I realized somewhere between the first and second interviews for my current job that I’d misspelled the name of one of the people I was sending application information to. When (weeks and weeks after I’d been hired) I confessed how crazy-making that realization had been, he looked at me blankly and it was clear he’d never noticed. (His name is a. hyphenated and b. one of the names is long and difficult to spell.) It literally happened to him all. the. time. and he was beyond being surprised, offended, or even noticing.
I’m sure it will not count you out!
Had a boss once who was against thank you notes. don’t fully agree, but he thought you were each doing a favor, letting them consider you for your services. i do agree with the great job huntig book i have, that says they are an opportunity to mess up, so best to keep very short/contained. sorry this happened.
the weirdest one i got was from a young law grad who addressed the note to ‘counselor [smith]’… huh? she was american- just weird.
Snarky In House
Just a little heads up to those who shop at The Limited (yes, I know, starter store but still I loooove it there – and it’s inexpensive!)… Tomorrow online and in store they are doing 50% all orginal prices!
Snarky In House
Whoopsie… it starts tonight at 5pm… I guess I read yesterday’s email…
no one to talk to… I am going through a break-up with a possessive boyfriend. i know that the relationship was not perfect and was turning emotionally abusive, so it is best that it ends. but i am feeling so broken and battered that I cannot imagine going to the meeting I have in two minutes. how to get the tears to stop and just pull it together?
a nonny miss
I have no good advice, but I want to give you a massive hug. If K in NYC is around, maybe she’ll have something useful for you!.
Second this. K is my new best penpal. We have great conversations.
If you want, feel free to email me. rummyredd at gmail.
I’ve been there. Paste a smile on your face, get through the meeting and cry later. You are doing the right thing by ending this relationship. Surround yourself with friends, take weekend trips, call your family, watch comfort TV or read comfort books. And do not contact him unless absolutely necessary.
Well since you only have 2 minutes, I would try to get really mad at him. Instead of “oh poor me I am losing this guy” have a quick pump up fest with yourself along the lines of “f u stupid jerk that wasted months of my life. You can’t treat me like crap. You would love it if I got in trouble at work crying over you. F u. No more tears. I am going to enter this meeting like a freaking ray of sunshine because you are so not even worth a wrinkle from a frown. F U loser, we be done.”
Then plaster on that smile and go to your meeting.
Long term, such repression may not be healthy but it should get you through today.
I love this!
Related: I once read (OK, it was in YM magazine when I was a kid, but it stuck with me) that Ivana Trump was quoted saying”Great hair is the best revenge” – as in, be awesome, and let him be missing your awesomeness.
I love both of these comments. :)
I have absolutely no idea if this will help you, but this is what I learned working with DV victimes. Emotional and physical abusers THRIVE on exactly this feeling. They rely on the fact that they can beat you down, drive you away from your family, make you suck at your job, and generally mess up your life. Because the more they do that, the more they rely on them.
Knowing that, don’t let him! The best way to fight him, to get your autonomy and control back in your life, is to do the things he tried to prevent you from doing. And right now, that probably means going to this meeting. And then maybe making dinner tonight. One step at a time. For many women who have never been in a relationship which turned abusive, they don’t understand why women go back. But its because abusive men are very good at establishing dependence and that is the hardest cycle to break.
Finally — on a long term basis, you should seek support from friends, family, and professionals as someone who was abused. Sometimes people who have “only” experienced emotional abuse feel somehow less worthy of support or like their suffering was less serious because they were never hit. But when training DV workers, we frequently say that sometimes the most dangerous situations involve no hitting at all. So its okay to feel really upset and messed up and like you were abused — (again if that helps) — don’t let anyone invalidate those feelings.
But right now, deep breaths and focus on getting your life back one meeting at a time. Or if you can reschedule, do that. And know that there will be people in your life there for you, don’t be afraid to ask them.
*you rely on them (first paragraph) — obviously. Again….good luck!
thanks so much for this advice. I keep returning to websites that say very similar things, to reinforce my strength and remind myself not to call or visit him.
It is so crazy. One moment he is accusing me of cheating or lying or “being shady” and keeping things from him, and I am thinking “this is just crazy. I cannot prove what I am not doing”. The next minute I am wanting him back and wishing he could get past his paranoia and insecurities. I just keep falling into thinking about how much I love him and how we had such a great time together (when he wasn’t being paranoid and crazy) and how much I miss him, but then I remember that the “love” is just some sort of emotional attachment that I need to get away from.
It seems to be this constant battle between my rational side and the emotional side of me that just wants to be loved. crap, that sounds so needy and co-dependent. How did I end up like this?
anyway, thanks so much for all the kind words of support. it is odd how helpful it is to read your notes.
Emotional abusers are masters of manipulation. What you described is a classic cycle — and its incredibly hard to make a clean break. If abusers were straight up awful all the time, i.e. if there were no “good times”, then the relationships would never last and the cycle would never start in the first place. But try to always remember the mantra that relationships are NOT supposed to be this hard and they ARE supposed to make you happy.
You might consider reading “The Emotionally Abusive Relationship” or another similar book. I would also consider contacting a local DV advocacy org and asking for a referral to a counselor. And finally, talk to people in your life. Be honest. Sometimes the secrecy and shame is the hardest part (and one of the strongest mechanisms of control).
I also feel compelled to tell you that the end of relationships are also the most dangerous times. If he starts threatening you, showing up where he doesn’t belong, or you feel threatened at all — put your safety first. Seriously.
I second everything TCFKAG wrote. I also do some pro bono DV work through an advocacy program. I am working from home today (stupid cold) but I have a binder chock full of resources at work. I can send you some websites to read up on and give you some hotline numbers. Hotlines are for support, not just crisis. They can connect you with other women who are smart, successful professionals who have been in your shoes.
Also, read the chapter in the Gift of Fear of DV and stalkers. Have a safety plan. TCFKAG is right. Things could get worse before they get better once he realizes you are actually leaving. For good.
Here is a national website and hotline to get you started: http://www.thehotline.org/.
girl in the stix
After a friend finally left an emotionally abusive relationship, she kind of sheepishly admitted that she “still loved him.” I told her I didn’t doubt that–I just thought she didn’t love herself very much.
Hug. I sincerely hope you feel better soon.
Been there, done that, wrote the book. I’m so happy that you are ending this unhappy and unhealthy relationship. Even though you know it’s the right thing to do, it still is hard. It will take time to move on, but you will. Having been in exactly your shoes, I encourage you to CUT OFF ALL CONTACT WITH HIM. He may call or email obsessively, but please do not respond. This is what he wants. Big hugs to you.
Has anyone ever had their boots hemmed? I just purchased a new pair of boots, which I love, but they hit at mid knee. Is it possible to have them hemmed so that they hit a low knee?
I’ve had them tightened, and it did not go well. Regret.
This came up the other day when someone was asking about doing a bit of legal work on the side. She wasn’t talking about hanging a shingle, but someone did raise the idea of insurance. Question for the lawyers: I am an in-house counsel (4 years out of law school). A friend is starting a consulting practice, and has been getting MSA’s and other standard agreements in from clients. I have been helping him “just as a friend, not as a lawyer,” but it raised the question for me — if I wanted to take on just his work for a small “friends and family” rate, what would the insurance and other implications be? Would I have to set up an LLC or some other entity? How would I insure myself? Has anyone here done this where the anticipated income would be low, but probably relatively steady? I don’t want to spend a lot or risk a lot, because it won’t be worth it financially, but if I could help someone I know and take in a little (which would be a win-win, because he would spend way more elsewhere), is it feasible?
The ABA has a lot of resources for solo practitioners that would also apply to this situation. I suggest you check out the ABA’s website.
I recently went off BC (not TTC just sick of the hormones). I”m in my mid twenties and was on it for about 5 years. Before BC, my cycle was always 28 days, but since I went off it they been longer. Does this happen as you get older? I had gone off BC once while I was on it and went right back to 28 day cycles.
According to my doctor, it’s not unusual for periods to move around a bit in your mid to late 20’s. Mine, which was previously an awesome 40 day cycle, shortened itself down to a 34 day cycle.
Thanks! I thought mine were getting longer because there were less eggs or something! I just hope they become predictable so I can better avoid an accident!
Get the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility! I first learned about it on this site and now I can’t stop recommending it to (just about) everyone! I was shocked/horrified by how little I knew.
Second! I also read this recently after learning about it here. I love this book and I wish I’d read it years ago before I spent so long dealing with annoying side effects of hormonal birth control.
I have a question about those bodysuits! I really want one (have considered the VS ones) but do they have snaps on the crotch? Honestly, how do you go to the bathroom if you wear them?
The ones I have from VS do have snaps on the crotch, yes.
remote control relay
Wow! At last I got a web site from where I be capable of actually get helpful facts regarding my study and knowledge.