Wednesday’s TPS Report: ‘Rustic Weave’ Taped Skirt

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

Classiques Entier® 'Rustic Weave' Taped SkirtI was going to post something else today, but this skirt came up in one of those little “suggestion” windows and it’s just such a solidly great skirt that I had to post this instead. Knee-length? Check. Unusual but neutral color? Check. Flattering and interesting details like seams with silk-banded taping? Check. It’s not among the new markdowns at The Nordstrom Half-Yearly Sale (my picks here), but I’m posting it anyway: it’s $168, sizes 0-14. Classiques Entier® ‘Rustic Weave’ Taped Skirt

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  1. Wedding threadjack ahh! :

    Hi all-need some advice that may seem elemental to some of you , but i’m at that age where a lot of my friends are starting to get married. my boyfriend (whom i live with and have been with for 8 years) recieved two wedding invites yesterday from his fraternity bros from college – i was not included on the invite, nor was it addressed to Mr. X and guest or whatever. That’s fine, we’re not the best at staying in touch with friends from college so they may not be sure if we are still together or whatever, but is it just assumed that he can bring a guest to a wedding? we’ve been invited to weddings before but the invite always said either my name and his or mr. x and guest….the little RSVP card just has check yes or no and check what you want to eat…help!

    • PharmaGirl :

      If it is unclear, I would have your boyfriend get in touch with the groom and ask if he is invited with a guest.

    • kerrycontrary :

      No, you cannot “assume” that he can bring a guest to a wedding. Your best bet would be to call the bride or groom. Maybe they don’t know you are together or they are only inviting significant others of those who are engaged/married. They may be trying to keep the guest list small. Whatever the reason you were not specifically invited (if you were they would’ve listed your name or “and guest) and your boyfriend needs to check if you want to come along. Can you imagine if you showed up and there wasn’t a seat for you?

      • downstream :

        Yes, I can imagine that exact scenario, because that is what happened to me on my wedding day. One of my husband’s colleagues brought his uninvited girlfriend and there was no seat for her.

    • anonforthis :

      I would assume unless the invite specifies “and guest” that you are not invited. Your boyfriend can check with his fraternity brother to see if you are invited.

      • Anonymous :

        No name, no “and guest,” no invitation. I also wouldn’t ask — it puts the host in the awful spot of having to say no, or feel pressured to say yes. Schedule a girls’ night out and have fun!

        • Anonymous :

          Egad — I need to learn how to use reply better — that was in reference to the OP and not the response. Need. More. Coffee.

        • I agree. We had to omit certain people from the guest list in similar situations, and a couple of people asked if their SOs (many times not in as serious of a relationship as it sounds like the OP is) were invited. We always said yes, which put us in a tough spot. It’s just hard to say no when somebody asks. The more polite thing is just not to go.

          • Actually, the rule is if they are living together, they get an invite. You don’t send an invitation to one person at an address. If the couple is not living together, the “plus one” does not have to be invited.

          • Are you saying that you would rather one of your friends just not attend your wedding than ask politely if their SO was invited?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I agree. You certainly cannot assume that there’s an invisible “and guest” on the invitation. There is no “and guest” because your SO was not allotted a “guest” spot. Maybe the couple drew the line at engaged and married +1s only. Maybe the couple drew the line at +1s that they actually knew, and the bride said “fine, you can invite a ton of your frat brothers, but no +1s for them because I want to invite some of my sorority sisters, which we can’t afford to do if all of your brothers get +1s.” Who knows, and whether you (or I) agree with whether that is “fair” is irrelevant. The guest list was one of the most stressful parts of wedding planning for us. Many of our friends did not get +1s because we couldn’t afford to feed strangers at our wedding. I imagine that they are well aware that you two are together, given both the grapevine and Facebook. You have no idea what the couple’s financial situation is, or how they are choosing to have their wedding. Please do not add more stress to the stressful wedding planning process by asking about the invisible “and guest.”

        • Anon, this isn’t in reply to your particular post, but I couldn’t find a better place to put it.

          Dear Brides: If you invite someone to your wedding but you cannot (or don’t want to, or don’t have space to, etc.) invite their SO, then you should not be inviting that person to your wedding in the first place. We all understand you are tight on cash, are limited on space, or think their SO smells funny. This is completely rude in any social situation — being the bride and having a limited guest list doesn’t make it any more excusable than if you hosted a dinner party and left an SO off the list. Select who you want on your guest list, add a +1 by each of their names, and cut your invite list deeper if you must to accomodate it. See also: the weekend post about the guy who invited one of a couple to his birthday party and didn’t invite the other. Completely inexcusable.

          //End of rant.

          • MissJackson :

            Disagree with you entirely.

          • Disagree with the “add +1” to every guest. A wedding isn’t a “date night” for friends. I agree that if you know that someone has an SO, that person should be invited by name. But a couple has no obligation to invite random people to their wedding.

          • Are you kidding me? You must not be married. Inviting someone to a birthday party where people go dutch or perhaps the host sets out appetizers and serves her own drinks is not the same thing as a $200/person wedding with space issues.

          • Clearly you’ve never footed the bill for a wedding or other large event.

          • I just don’t get the sense of entitlement.

          • Intimate Wedding :

            I guess we should have invited all the flighty SO’s of people at our 35 person wedding. We couldn’t afford more than that number. Most of the “spots” were taken up by immediate family members. One of my guests broke up with her SO about a week after the wedding… so glad I didn’t invite that guy who would have taken the space of a family member.

            I always wanted to tell people that if they wanted their random/weird/unknown SO (who neither I nor the groom knew) to be invited to our intimate wedding, they could foot the bill for an extra spot/contribute to our budget so we could afford to host a wedding in a larger location with more people.

          • Wow, I can’t believe you think this! Weddings are about a couple celebrating the start of a marriage, with their families and people they care about. The thought that any bride or groom should cut a guest they truly care about, so that someone else can bring a stranger, is just ludicrous to me. I really, really encourage you to re-examine your thinking on this one.

          • Not to pile on, but I couldn’t disagree more. It may be offensive in some specific situation with a bride who has a very close friend whose boyfriend she has known forever and she has a 300 person wedding but can’t squeeze in that guy. BUT even then, I would give her a pass. It’s tough. She made a judgment call. You don’t agree with it, but it’s not your wedding. You are guest. That’s it. Honestly, if it is going to make you so resentful and angry, you should just not go at all.

            I do think that it is nice to give everyone plus ones if you have the money and space. I did. Especially for people who don’t know anyone else at the wedding. But a guest isn’t entitled to that- it’s a bonus, like transportation to/from ceremony locations, breakfast the morning after a late reception, etc.

          • I agree to some extent. We invited everyone that was married/engaged/living together with their significant other, and then we added on SOs on a case-by-case basis as we had space and depending on how serious the couple was. My advice is to do that and then budget the space/$$ to add a few extras for guests that get into serious relationships between when you make the guestlist and when you send invitations.

            I get not wanting to have strangers at your wedding, but you’re inviting people to celebrate your relationship, and to some extent it’s not very nice to disregard their relationship. It’s one thing to not want random dates, it’s another thing not to want the serious SOs of people that you care about very deeply, or at least enough to have them on your guestlist.

          • I agree with this completely. If you can’t afford to invite both parts of the couple, don’t invite them at all. Its incredibly rude to invite a person who is part of a known couple and not invite their SO. Especially if they live together and/or you have met the SO. Rude, rude, rude.

          • Wow, I also disagree entirely. I had a very small wedding with only family and a few very close friends. Two of these friends happened to be a couple, but no one got a +1 invite. My bridesmaid had a boyfriend at the time, but it was not a long, serious relationship, and I barely knew the guy and wasn’t crazy about him. I absolutely do not feel bad about not inviting him. I told my friend, “sorry, small wedding, small budget, this is not an oversight, he’s really not invited,” and she was fine with it. Why would I want that guy at my wedding, especially when many of my actual friends and even extended family members weren’t invited?! And why would I *not* invite someone who is important enough to me that I asked her to be my only bridesmaid just because I didn’t want to pay for her boyfriend? Ridiculous.

            This can be situational, but in the OP’s situation — if she’s the only SO who isn’t invited, ok, that might be a little rude, but it’s still the happy couple’s call. But if the no +1 for frat brothers (or football teammates, or any other group like that) rule is applied evenly, I think it’s 100% OK.

          • I kind of agree. I think there is a difference between random date and significant other. See that word, significant?? This person is important to your guest!

            Add on top of that the fact that weddings often require travel and it’s just rude to expect someone to come to your wedding alone.

            I know weddings are expensive, but guess what — so is attending weddings! I have spent hundreds on all the gifts, which often include engagement and shower, bachelorette parties, travel and just buying a dress and finding a babysitter. It’s absurd. If someone has been together for 8 years, you either invite them with guest or you don’t invite them.
            I’m, frankly, shocked at the outrage. I can’t only assume that it’s stress and lack of perspective from all the wedding planning.

          • To Anastasia who asks why she would want a guy that she doesn’t know at *her* wedding. The answer is because you are the host and its not about *you.* Its about your guests. Which it always is when you throw a party. And your guest presumably wanted her boyfriend there. She’s dating him because she enjoys spending time with him. The ceremony is about your marriage, but if you’re hosting a party in celebration, then its about your guests. It truly shocks me how many people don’t get this.

          • Completely disagree with LawyrChk. First, a wedding is not a random dinner party. Second, your comment disregards the fact that there is such a thing as the “SO spectrum”. There are friends who are married to their SO’s, engaged, in a long-term relationship, just started dating, off-and-on, and just hooking up… not to mention that many times the bride or groom hasn’t even met the SO. A wedding being such a personal, once-in-a-lifetime occasion means that this is one of the few times when it’s OK to draw the line somewhere.

            I also don’t get the sense of entitlement. It’s an invitation – if you cannot bear to be there without your SO, then by all means politely decline. When it’s YOUR wedding you can do whatever you want.

          • Intimate wedding :

            Sorry, I have to truly extend a LOL to “Anonymous” with the quote that a wedding party is “not about you.” UM… well who the heck is it about then??? It is *my* wedding for pete’s sake!! My friends are here with me to celebrate a monumentous moment in *my* life. How in the world do people expect a wedding, ie one of the most important and intimate moments in a person’s life, to actually be made about them??

            I’m not saying be a bridezilla or be horrible to your guests, but man… if I don’t even get my wedding day to be about me, my occasion, and this moment in my life, not sure what occasion *is* about me then.

            OMG so glad we had a 35 person wedding. I could not deal with guests, presumably friends, who felt the need to act so bizarrely entitled during a time meant to celebrate a monumentous moment in my life. Everybody at my wedding was so happy to be there and celebrate with me, SO or not. I can’t imagine having celebrated with a whole bunch of snarky harpies thinking I was a horrible person because I didn’t invite Joe The Random Squeeze who they met last week and lessening me as a friend because of that.

          • MissJackson :

            I’m not sure why this has me so riled up (I gave everyone a +1, I swear), but it does. There are no hard-and-fast rules here, and I think it’s important to not lose sight of that. It’s no more automatically “rude” to not give everyone a +1 than it is automatically “rude” to exclude a specific SO. Specific circumstances really make a difference!

            I’ve had friends who have cut this every which way (everything from NO ONE gets a +1, to just married, to only married or engaged, to living together, to everyone gets a +1). Being on the receiving end of those various invitations, I completely understood. I had one friend in particular who emailed a bunch of us [sorority sisters] to say that she was so so sorry but that in order to invite all of us we all had to go solo, and she wanted us all there, so solo it was. Basically she said that if people declined that they would invite as many SOs as possible, but they were up against budget and space limitations. Anyway, all the girls ended up going sans SO and it was a blast. It’s not like my night was ruined because my husband wasn’t invited (and, bonus, everything was cheaper because we all carpooled and split hotel rooms — just like the good ol’ days)!

            I’m not saying that it’s always okay to invite half of a couple, but the situation I described above illustrates why you can’t just make a blanket statement that it’s universally rude/unacceptable/etc.

          • Gooseberry :

            Couldn’t disagree harder. (That said, I disagree with what you say, but COMPLETELY support your right to say it. And, your right not to attend weddings where your S.O. is not invited.)

          • Anonymous :

            A party that you are hosting is about your guests. Plain and simple. Anyone who knows a shred about etiquette knows this. Bridezillas going “me me me my day i’m a special snowflake” included. You can make your wedding whatever you want. But, its rude to exclude part of a couple so it can fit into your space allotment or budget. I am not saying everyone has to have a date. But, if someone is “dating” someone — or worse, lives with them, you are supposed to invite them.

          • Totally agree with LawyrChk. I’m a recent bride, and someone who has been invited both solo and as a couple to many weddings. To echo Anon in response to Anastasia, above, YES, it is your wedding day, but NO, it is not all about you! You are a hostess, people will have given up their weekends, taken time off of work, traveled, etc., all to share in your big day! It is the least you can do to make your guests feel comfortable by inviting a date for them to chat and dance with.

            Yes, if you are having a 35-person wedding, maybe it is different, but most weddings are not that size. Back before my husband and I were living together, I was invited to several large (over 150 guests) weddings without him. I found this extremely rude, since it left me feeling awkward and lonely the whole night, while my friends snuggled with their SOs who were somehow more “legitimate” than mine. Especially as you and your friends get older, and some of your friends marry their college sweethearts, while others have to deal with the pain (and shame, in their minds) of many relationships and break-ups on the path to Mr. Right . . . how does a bride feel comfortable telling the latter friend “sorry, your relationship isn’t good enough for my wedding”?? I could never do this to a friend, acquaintance, or relative.

            We invited everyone to my wedding with either their SO or a “plus guest.” After my experience as a guest at so many weddings, I would never have done it any other way.

            To the OP: once, when I was invited without my SO to a good friend’s large wedding, I called up and asked if he could come. She, graciously, said yes. I feel that this is a perfectly acceptable thing to do in your situation.

          • Intimate wedding :

            Anonymous, the problem with people like you claiming parties/celebrations are all about the guests is that you will never be satisfied. So… let’s say I invited 100 people all with SOs and their third cousins… well to do that I probably would have had to have had super market cake and KoolAid. To which, I am sure people like you would have called me cheap and claimed I didn’t care about you enough to offer you more than that. You would have said, how could this person serve us KoolAid and super market cake… we came all this way for their wedding party. Surely they respect the guests more. Surely they want to make it more about the guests.

            People like you will never be satisfied if you honestly think every celebration, especially one as personal as a wedding, is about you. Because your attitude will always be, why didn’t this person do more for *me*, and that to me is being the selfish one.

          • Anonymous :

            Sorry, IntimateWedding. I completely disagree with you. Wedding guests do not have a right to complain about the food and drink they are served. Third cousins do not have to be invited — unless you invite the third cousin’s spouse or girlfriend, and then, they do. You are taking what I have said to an irrational extreme.

            I understand having a small wedding within your budget. But, to be a gracious hostess, you need to figure out a way to do that without not inviting your friend’s boyfriend who you weren’t “crazy about anyway.”

          • Intimate wedding :

            Wait, so… guests have a right to complain about their SO not being invited to an intimate party because a party is “not about you” (it’s about the guest), but they do NOT have a right to complain about the food??? That is so hypocritical and doesn’t make sense. If you’re judging me because I don’t want to invite some stranger to my wedding party, celebrating an important moment in *my* life, forgive me for calling your bluff that you’re not judging me on the food or any other pithy party variable. If who I invite is worthy of judgement because it shows I do not care about my guests, what else, as defined by your arbitrary criteria, will show I also don’t care about my guests? I won’t be able to win. If it’s not who I invite, it will be food, favors, music… whatever a person wants to complain about will show I don’t care about my guests enough.

            Seriously, claiming a party to be all about the guests just lends itself to this arbitrary line in the sand drawing. Action A is fine for guests, but Action B is not. Action C is okay sometimes, but Action D is never okay. Because it’s about the guests obviously.

            Telling the guests to get off their high horses and attend weddings *because they want to celebrate with the couple* solves ALL these problems. If I am at a wedding because I honestly 100% want to just see the happy bride and groom and be there with them, honestly I do not care whether my SO is there, what the food is, or whatever other stupid variable the wedding or party has. I am there to celebrate with my friends and be happy. I don’t expect them to put me on a pedestal. The second I start attending weddings for the party, for the free booze, or for the situation where I made something that is not about me about me is the situation in which I become like you, arbitrarily judging people for things that don’t really matter at all to the central event at ha and forgetting why I am there in the first place.

            If you are not married, I surely wish for you that you have zero budget and space constaints in the future to invite everybody under the sun, their guests, and have all variables at your wedding which show you are putting guests first. If you had a wedding already, perhaps just be thankful you had the resources to do as such and didn’t have to really be careful with your resources.

          • Yes, I’ve been married for 7 years and planned my own event. I’m surprised at the disagreement among the hive, but I still think it is completely tacky to invite someone to a wedding without inviting their SO.

          • Anastasia :

            to Anonymous: Normally I would let rando comments on the internet go, but I strongly, strongly disagree with you.

            Yes, *my* wedding was about *me and my husband,* not about my guests having a date night with their flavor of the month. I was accomodating of my guests in every way except the +1 issue (which affected only 3 people, all of whom were good friends with each other) because they were people my husband and I loved and I wanted them to have a nice time. If I thought it was impossible for desired guest to have a nice time without his/her SO, the SO was invited (exhibit A: shy brother’s long-time girlfriend got an invite). Bridesmaid had a great time, and yes, she is the type of person who definitely would have told me if she hadn’t.

            If you see your wedding as a party, by all means, invite tons of people and dance the night away, but that’s not what mine and DH’s was. It was <30 of our nearest and dearest sharing our committment to eachother, our families meeting each other for the first time, etc. Give people the benefit of the doubt that they put some thought into their guest lists — most of them did.

          • I agree with LawyrChk : A wedding is *your* day, but when you invite guests to share that day with you and implicitly agree to host them for a meal and a party, the comfort of your guests ought to be taken into consideration. It’s not up to me to judge how serious the relationship or how significant the other of one of my guests is. I completely understand that budgets are crucial to successfully planning a wedding, so I hear the other side of the argument, it’s always been my opinion that you must have the wedding that you can afford. That might mean cutting back in other areas in order to afford your guest list.

          • Long Tall Sally :

            Regarding going to a wedding reception out of town where you don’t know anyone…that’s how I met my husband. So glad I didn’t bring some random escort, even though I was invited to bring a +1!

          • SoCalAtty :

            I don’t think there is any hard and fast rule for this one. I certainly don’t advocate cutting “your invite list deeper” if some family member you’ve invited wants to bring a date.

            I invited 240 to our wedding, and I think right around 200 actually showed up. We planned and paid for the entire thing, which we had in Malibu, ourselves. Guess who the biggest % of flakes were? The SOs. My rule was living together & marrieds get invites (by name), people traveling far (requiring an overnight) got +1 invites, and locals and others I knew were traveling with some of my big groups of friends didn’t get a +1. That was appropriate for my particular crowd, and I did make it known that they should check with me close to the event to see if there were cancellations and maybe they could bring someone. It was basically “if I already know who you are going to bring, you can bring them.”

            I do disagree with some posters on the food issue. If you aren’t going to serve good food, then don’t serve food at all and go with a drink & passed hors d’oeuvres.
            Also I have a HUGE pet peeve – pictures between the wedding and ceremony. It is not at all nice to ask guests to “hang out” for hours waiting to be fed when they arrived at 6pm and it is now 7:30pm and dinner might happen around 9pm. Do them before or provide some sustenance and entertainment for your guests, don’t make them just stand around.

            I do a lot of event planning for non-profits and other groups, and quality is so important. For my wedding, the food & entertainment quality was very important to me – so important that if I had to cut the guest list to get the party I wanted, then I would have. It didn’t turn out that way because, believe it or not, live bands are pretty comparable to DJs. The food was great at the location we chose, but I was prepared to bring in my own if it wasn’t. I think fondant is gross, so I served a killer berry-topped cake with different cake/fillings in each tier (drove around the county for that one, but it was worth it!). A very awesome, high-quality event can be put on in any budget range, so I think when I see the punch & cake thing I get frustrated.

            We did a great wedding for a friend on $3000 for around 100 people. Killer gourmet taco buffet (a friend cooked), beautiful flowers (4:30am flower district trip anyone?), and great music with a rented setup and a friend to run the tunes.
            I have no idea why I became a lawyer instead of an event planner! Probably for the semi-steady paycheck…

            Sorry for turning that into a rant too!

          • FWIW, Miss Manners opinion on the subject is as follows:

            “The most common is from single people who complain that they wouldn’t enjoy themselves if they are not allowed to bring their own guests, because they won’t know anyone there. Miss Manners is not sympathetic, as she believes that wedding guests should be people who are invited, and who want to attend, because they actually care about the families being joined. And while the established partners of such people— meaning spouses, affianced spouses and para-spouses—must be included, caring or not, a wedding is not a dating opportunity.

            “She does, however, feel sorry for people who feel incapable of socializing with the friends of their friends.”

            (From her April 24, 2011 column.)

          • I disagree with LawyrChk, but Emily Post says spouses, partners, and significant others are to be invited. Regardless, the OP & her boyfriend shouldn’t call the bride and groom and ask that she be able to attend. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

            On a side note, I think it’s funny that people get into a tizzy about proper etiquette when they’re not included on the guest list, but I’m sure that all of those same people included registry information in their invitations, which for me is the most egregious of all wedding etiquette sins.

        • Agreed. Three of my husband’s friends called to ask if they could invite their girlfriends. I felt pressured, and agreed. It’s $150 per person, so that cost quite a lot- and I’m sure they would have had more fun with a girls night out.

      • Maybe I’m a little compulsive… I didn’t put “and guest” on any of our invitations. I took the time to check in with the person and get their SO’s full name and add them. But we mostly invited only SOs who were engaged/married or in long term relationships. After 8 years, I would think your name would be known to these friends?

        My husband I have both been to many weddings on our own since we have been in a relationship — sometimes it was an economic decision, sometimes because I/he knew it would be college friends and he/I wouldn’t know a ton of people. Not a big deal to go to a wedding alone, still a lot of fun!

        • As I recall, this was the tactic recommended by Miss Manners when I got married (6 years ago). Nobody gets “and guest.” If they are close enough to be attending your wedding, they are close enough to find out who the SO is and put his/her name on the invite (assuming that said person is, in fact, a *significant* other, not just an other). If you have time while planning the wedding to track down Cousin Jo’s new GF… :)

          • Long Tall Sally :

            We found out the names of the SOs and put them right on the invitation and envelopes. It was a little extra work, but I think it made the invitations more personal – and prevented misunderstandings. too. We also did this for families with kids – put the kids’ names right on the invitation. (A friend of mine learned the hard way what happens when you just put “and family” on the invitation. Turns out people can interpret “and family” in a surprisingly broad way.)

    • Jennifer S :

      If it was not addressed Mr. X and Guest, then he is not invited to bring a guest.

      • I’m with Jennifer.
        I don’t think you’re invited. You say you’re not in touch with them really, but is your boyfriend? I just wonder why they didn’t “know” to invite you. You’ve been together 8 years, but they might wonder “if you’re still together?” Just saying. Kind of weird. First of all, I’d ask your boyfriend if they know if we’re together for 8 years. And if not, why not. Guys are weird and don’t talk about relationships with their friends….but still.

        In any event, have your boyfriend deal with it if he wants to, not you.

    • Yes, I’d get in touch with the groom. I’m embarrassed to say we did this with our wedding invites, and it was completely thoughtless – we meant to indicate that people who had partners were welcome to bring them, but that people shouldn’t just scrounge up a date for the sake of having a plus-one. However, that info just didn’t get included in the invite, and people had to email us to check.

      It would be totally acceptable for your boyfriend to ask this of the groom, don’t worry.

      • I agree with this. Have your boyfriend ask the groom if you are invited with him. As long as you don’t say something like, “if my GF isn’t invited, I’m not coming and you are the rudest person on earth,” it’s fine to just ask and accept whatever answer is given.

    • phillygirlruns :

      if it doesn’t specify “and guest,” don’t assume he’s invited with a guest. there’s nothing wrong with his reaching out to his friends to confirm, but realize they may say no – and don’t take it personally if they do, especially since you haven’t been in touch with these people for a while. carving our guest list down to fit into our budget made me feel like a ruthless and terrible person.

      • Wedding freaker outer :

        Thank you, everyone – that’s why this place is the best. I honestly think i would’ve just showed up if I hadn’t asked, as I kind of just assumed I was invited – I’m going to pass this along to the BF and he can do with it what he wants. I’d like to go, but if he feels awkward asking his friends, whatever….hard not to take it personally, as we have been dating since college, when he met these people, but i understand…we are not engaged because BF is in law school and $$$, but i wasn’t terribly good friends with these people so I understand.

        • yeah, def do not just show up! I think either go on the assumption you are not invited, or have the bf ask. To be honest, I wouldn’t ask, I’ve never heard something like FCG says guests were ok when it wasn’t on the invite. I’m guessing they are going to have a “frat bros” table and decided not to invite the gfs or and guests of them. I would only ever ask if it was like one of my great friends who knows my bf and still didn’t put him on the invitation, because I would assume that was just a mistake.

          • BTW…I’ve been to a couple weddings with my now-husband and sat that the frat-bros table and I’m not gonna lie. I’m not sure you WANT to be at this wedding gurrrl. They get rowdy. And annoying. :-P

        • Oh god. Never show up to a wedding you’re not expected at. I’m having a bit of a stress stroke just thinking about it.

          Lets put it this way. At even an average wedding venue, each plate of food, per person, can cost anywhere from $35-$100 per person. Adding open bar on top of that, you can be looking at $150 per person for food and drink alone. Add a favor and the like, it CAN (doesn’t have to be CAN) cost as much as $200 per guest at a wedding. So if you automatically give everyone a plus one, it can cost $400 per person you decide to invite. So some people, in an effort to make sure they get to invite as many of their friends and family as possible, make the decision to only invite engaged or married significant others. Others make other decisions, but now having planned and paid for a wedding, I will never question another brides choices in terms of a guest list and budget ever again.

          • Ive never planned a wedding, but thus is the first thing that cane to mind. Weddings are expensive, so don’t take guest list cuts too personally. If you really think it was a mistake, ask your bf to contact the groom. Otherwise, plan something fun for yourself that weekend and send your best wishes.

        • Wedding freaker outer :

          and i guess i should’ve clarified, about the marrying couples not knowing if we are still together…neither BF or I have facebook and we live far from these couples – both the grooms are in the military stationed overseas and have been basically since college graduation – they have bigger and better things to worry about, i think. it’s not a reflection on bf’s and i’s relationship, i don’t think, so please don’t insinuate that it is. just kind of adding insult to injury here. but thank you everyone for the advice, i do appreciate it – haha glad i’m not going to show up and be sitting on the floor for a wedding! saves me some major money too…

          • I don’t think it has anything to do with your relationship, I think its much more likely that they kind of “themed” a group of invites. So instead of doubling the frat brothers and having them sit at two tables, they didn’t invite guests and are making one table of frat brothers they haven’t seen in a while. Like a little reunion.

          • Oh! I’m sorry if mine implied that, I really didn’t mean that! I just mean that a lot people draw a (frankly entirely arbitrary) line at engaged/married vs. dating. Eight years is a long time, no matter how you cut it.

    • If he isn’t invited with a guest, he doesn’t bring a guest. Unfortunately, budgeting often leads couples to have to invite folks as single unless they’re married, engaged, or the couple knows both members of the guest couple well. Since it looks like he hasn’t been in touch with these guys lately, that’s probably how things fell. It’s no fun, because you all live together, which is a relationship status traditional ettiquette hasn’t caught up to yet, but I’d say that either he goes alone or he sends regrets and skips the wedding.

      • If you aren’t super close to the marrying couple, I wouldn’t put them on the spot by asking, either. It is possible it is an error, but it can be really hard to refuse! If he isn’t close enough to the groom that he knows he’s in a serious relationship, I wouldn’t go there.

    • Generally — the front of the invite (the envelope) will indicate “and guest” if a guest is welcomed. This would also usually have been indicated on the save-the-date.

      BUT, and this is my big but (and I cannot lie…hahahahah), when I was the bride, I would have hated to have accidentally left off someone’s girlfriend or boyfriend who they would have really liked to have brought. Say if I hadn’t known about them or if I just omitted them by error. *I* would have much preferred a casual e-mail saying “hey…is there any chance I could bring my girlfriend Jane to the wedding…we haven’t been able to have a weekend away together in awhile and she’d love to meet everyone!” Something like that. (I gave everyone plus ones to avoid this….but some people don’t do that.) So if your BF is (a) VERY comfortable with the grooms and (b) this is important to you, then you can send that e-mail. Otherwise, then just let it slide and let him have a nice weekend with his boys. And maybe he can talk you up and you’ll get invited to future parties.

      • additional threadjack :

        Do save the dates typically include “and guest”? BF received a save the data only addressed to him. Should I expect the formal invite to be similarly addressed?

        I don’t want to make the bride/groom uncomfortable by having the BF ask (he’ll see them a few months before the wedding) w/o having a general idea of the save the data / invite etiquette. Former brides, what did you do?

        • PharmaGirl :

          Save the dates typically do not specify ‘and guest’ since they are sent so far in advance.

        • If you have to make travel plans to attend the wedding, I think it is courteous for the save the date to include the significant other’s name, if invited, or if the person will be invited with a general “plus one.” That’s what we tried to do.

          If you have to travel or need to know for other planning purposes if you are invited, then I think it’s fine to politely ask if you will be invited with your BF. I would email, so you’re not putting them on the spot with a phone call or in-person question, and take whatever answer you get.

        • I did not include “and guest” on the save the dates. Mainly because most of my friends who were dating people have a flavor of the month that doesn’t need to come to my wedding. I figured if any of those flavors were still around when I sent out invites, I could add and “and guest” then (which I did in one case-the others were gone by then)

      • I think it’s ok to ask the groom, but only if you do it very casually and give him an easy out. For instance, “The invitation doesn’t say anything about GF, so I assume she’s not invited but I just wanted to double check with you before I make plans. I know these things are expensive. Looking forward to [frat] reunion!”

    • While I agree you should have your BF call the groom and find out if he can bring you, I think some people are reacting a little strongly in saying that you shouldn’t even ask. At my wedding, we invited known significant others but didn’t put “plus guest” on single people’s invites (or people we weren’t sure if were single or not) because, as someone else noted, we didn’t want people scrounging up a date. But, anyone who called and asked if they could bring a date because they had an SO or whatever, we were happy to oblige. So since this seems to depend on the situation, I would ask. Sure they may have strict guest list limits or it might be like our situation and no big deal.

      • I totally agree, and I think many of the above commenters are being harsh. Just got married last month, and had no problem with people asking if they could bring guests. Sometimes we said no, sometimes we said yes. Don’t assume you’re invited, but don’t feel like you have committed some huge faux pas by even asking.

        • I think it is in how you ask. If you set it up so that you assume the answer is no and you are just double checking, I think it is ok. But I would never ask if I thought that the question would be seen as an expectation that an additional invitation should be extended.

          • I agree I just don’t think you need to proceed like you’re asking for the moon. Most conversations proceeded like this:

            “Hi, Anon, we got the invitation to your wedding and we’re so excited to attend! But I was wondering if it’s ok if I bring my boyfriend?”

            “Sure, no problem!”

            Not a big deal.

            And also – I had this come up with my second cousin (god mother’s daughter). She was in a serious relationship and actually had just gotten engaged when I sent the wedding invites out — which I obviously didn’t know or have any reason to know. So my godmother called me up and asked if she (her daughter) could bring him. Again, not a big deal — I just didn’t know she had someone serious in her life. This is why I think in general it’s not a problem to ask. You shouldn’t assume the bride and groom are intentionally omitting you (and be angry about it) — that’s just as presumptuous as assuming you’re invited when you’re not on the invite.

    • No Assumptions :

      I was married in 1990. At the time, we were living in NY and I planned the wedding at my parents’ house in CA. I still remember that one of my now-former husband’s friends, who was invited as “John Doe” RSVPd for himself and showed up with a guest. In the middle of the wedding, we had to scramble for an extra chair and place setting and an extra plated meal. This was one marriage and 22 years ago, and I still remember and think he was raised in a barn.

      Your boyfriend should call and ask whether he was invited solo or with a guest. And then he should live with, and not try to influence, the answer.

      FYI, Emily Post or similar is great for these kinds of personal etiquette questions. I prefer Letitia Baldridge for professional etiquette questions.

      • Yep. I got married in 2000 in Vegas, which was pretty casual, but we hosted a very expensive dinner at a beautiful restaurant and needed an exact headcount. My husband invited three of his colleagues, one of whom decided it would be fun to road-trip to Vegas and bring along six (SIX) of her closest friends, none of whom we’d ever met. Six strangers at our 30-person wedding dinner. And we had actually declined to invite a couple good friends due to space constraints. I’m still carrying a grudge, seriously.

      • Maddie Ross :

        This happened to me, too. It was one of my husband’s frat brothers. My mother was appalled. Luckily our caterer and planner handled it well, but I will always remember the guy that did it. Esp. because his date was apparently someone he had just hooked up with the weekend before and dragged to our out of town wedding. They didn’t last the night and we never saw her again. Lovely. So glad I had to shell out an additional $100 + alcohol for her (sarcasm).

    • TJ to the TJ:

      Does your BF even want to go to this wedding? I mean, if I was the one invited solo, and
      – I had not seen/seriously spoken to the bride & groom in years
      – they didn’t know I lived with someone
      – attending the wedding means a serious outlay of cash for a weekend trip

      I mean, I’d just RSVP “no” and send a gift, you know? Send everyone good wishes and move on.

      • When I was putting together my wedding guest list, I felt forced to clarify how people “ranked” in my life in a way that I really didn’t want to do. Due to budget and space limitations, I had to leave off certain people I really did like, but had somewhat lost touch with, or just didn’t feel as close to as I did to certain other people. Some of the people I couldn’t include took this as a signal that we were no longer friends *at all*, which was a real shame. So . . . please try not to take this personally.

        • Wedding freaker outer :

          well, i started this, so i guess i should respond…after talking with the BF, we’ve decided to just not go. I would be totally cool with him going alone and having a “boys” weekend or whatever, but these weddings are far away and would be an expense – we are basically at the point that if we can’t spend out money on somethign fun for both of us, it’s not worth it. I dont think he should have to put his friends in the weird situation of having to “squeeze” me in, even though i do agree wtih some of the posters who have said basically that if you are having a wedding to celebrate your relationship, you should be respectful of the relationships of others – but then again, i’ve never thrown a wedding, and i plan on getting married at town hall and having a small dinner wtih family only afterwards…but that’s just me. anyways, thank you all for the comments, it made me think about this from many different angles and was helpful, especially the parts about not taking it personally. It ends up in this situation that my boyfriend is taking it more personally than me – he assumed that I was invited, but now that he realises i’m basically not, he’s hurt that his friends couldn’t reach out before hand and see if he’d like me to come or whatever…i understand planning a wedding is stressful, but no one forces you to throw a giant party. whatever, off to pick out a registry gift before only stupid stuff is left!

          • I don’t think you should read this as a lack of respect for your relationship. You said in your initial post that you didn’t know if these couples even knew if you and your BF were still together, and that you’ve been out of touch with them, etc.

            But, I think rising above it, declining the invite, and getting them a small gift is the right way to go. And sign the card from both of you.

          • Last year, one of my grad school classmates, a guy who had been part of my smallish circle of close friends, got married to another classmate that we had not known well. The invitations to me and our two other married female friends were addressed to “Mrs. Firstname Marriedname” period–no mention of the guys. All of our husbands had been around (I was married, and the other two were long-term dating) during school, and they had been part of our social life as a group. I made the same decision you guys have– I decided not to go. I didn’t really take it personally, because I knew it was a small wedding and a tight budget, but I did read it as a deliberate exclusion of my husband. My thinking was that if the budget/space was so tight that there wasn’t room for my DH, I’d save the couple the money/stress/space of me attending, so I wished them the best and sent them a gift.

            One of my married friends attended solo, though, and the groom asked where her husband was. Sigh.

        • Intimate wedding :

          Seriously this. This was the worst and most stressful part of my otherwise lovely wedding. I hated not being able to invite people I liked but just couldn’t afford and having to invite people in tiers. Even capping our guest list at barely 30 was hard because we sort of started out with an “A list” of people we really, really, really wanted there, then as those people started RSVPing no, we asked a second set of people we would really like to be there, and then so on. It just felt awful. But what could we do? Ugh. This whole convo is grating on me because it’s as if nobody understands the limited space and money resources that come with a wedding of any size and it’s all a personal quest of the bride and groom to p**s people off. There is always going to be a prioritization unless you have an unlimited budget. It’s sad and frustrating but honestly what can you do?

          I think I read somewhere that in certain Chinese weddings, it may be socially expected that a guest will give the couple a cash gift equal to their cost to attend the wedding. So, couples will invite tonnnsssssss of people, but almost all of them ‘pay their way’ with a cash gift equal to the cost of their plate/presence. Not sure if that’s true, but I suppose if that is the cultural expectation and everybody acts that way, it’s okay to invite tons of people without worrying too much.

  2. I need advice on dealing with a new coworker who’s very loud!

    “Jane” started in my office last month. She sits directly behind me and is very chatty, at a very high volume. I don’t mind being friendly – in my team of four (Jane isn’t on my team), we often make jokes, have brief conversations about non-work related things, etc.

    That said, my team does have important deadlines twice a day, and we concentrate hard for most of the day. Our chatting is mostly done over office IM as well, so it doesn’t disturb other people in the office.

    I have a lot of trouble concentrating if there is too much noise going on around me – which hasn’t been a major problem until now as usually when someone’s talking near me it’s a team member or colleague saying something I need to know about.

    But Jane makes loud comments at least five or six times a day; in comparison, I’d say my team talks intrusively (ie, loud enough that our words can be made out outside our four desks) about non-work things once or twice a week, if that. They’re always near-monologues – her reading a news story and loudly saying “Oh my goodness!” or laughing for about 15-20 seconds, waiting for someone to ask her what’s so funny.

    It’s often hard to hear each other having work conversations because she is talking so loudly.

    Because my team does enjoy non-work conversations every once in a while, I don’t feel I can say “Hey, stop talking about non-work stuff during work time” because we do that too. On the other hand, I’m really having trouble concentrating. I’ve considered earplugs but I need to verbally communicate with my team throughout the day to get our work done.

    • Tell her you need fewer distractions and lower sound volume? I myself sometimes talk too much in the office; I don’t mind being asked for quiet.

    • So Jane quietly does her work for almost the entire day, but speaks about non-work topics five to six times per day? Um, wow. I can honestly say that, in every environment I have ever worked in, that would be a record for focused on-task-ness. Obviously your office is different, and of course it’s important that you get your job done–but I would really, really encourage you to take some deep breaths here, and ask yourself if this is such a huge deal.

      If the issue is Jane’s volume, have you considered saying something like, “Hey, Jane. I know we all take a break and chat sometimes, but would you mind keeping your voice down a little bit? It’s hard for me to concentrate when you’re speaking so loudly.” Or if you all chat over IM, could you invite her to chat with you that way? To minimize the verbalization?

      As far as Jane speaking about non-work topics at all goes, I’m sorry, I don’t think you have a leg to stand on there, since you acknowledge that you talk with your team about topics not related to your job.

      • Yeah, it’s definitely more the quality of the interruptions than the quantity – both the volume (which is unquestionably much louder than nearly everyone else here) and the length of the chats. My team doesn’t tend to verbally chat for more than a minute or so before going back to work or taking it to IM, but Jane will go on for 4-5 minutes (which might not seem like a long time on paper, but it’s very difficult to not be able to concentrate for a full five minutes!).

        I think it’s also the culture here: my colleagues tend do most of our chatting through IM, for this very reason – it’s an open plan office and we all have deadlines throughout the day, so at any given moment *someone* is going to be on deadline, and we all respect that.

        It’s not a “huge” deal, but it has unquestionably made it much more difficult for me to concentrate in the month she’s been here. I don’t like losing productivity.

        • You might try replying to her, and conversing with her, via IM rather than out loud as a way to socialize her into the office culture. She might just not get your habits yet.

          • I agree with the IM suggestion. If she makes a comment about it, you can say it helps you multi-task. (Does multi-tasking even exist anymore??)

        • Could you encourage Jane to do her chatting via IM? “Hey, Jane, not sure if you knew, but a lot of us prefer IM to talking. It means less distraction for those of us who prefer a quiet work environment. If there’s a news article you want me to see, just send me the link!”

          • That’s quite a good idea. I think I’m just having trouble figuring out how to communicate that to her without sounding like a giant drama queen, but that’s a good constructive way to phrase it.

          • Making a polite, reasonable request of a new coworker is in no way being a drama queen.


        • I’m super curious about what you do now, Frugal City Girl.

    • phillygirlruns :

      no suggestions, just commiseration. the secretary whose cube is directly outside my office is a very loud person – lots of personal calls at high volume, lots of talking to herself. it can get very distracting, and not only for those of us right here, since her voice carries down the hall. she’s been given a few official warnings, which usually means she whispers for a few days and gradually goes back to normal.

      • That sounds frustrating! If she’s been getting official warnings, at least her manager is somewhat involved. I’m assuming closing the door isn’t an option?

        • phillygirlruns :

          well, i can (and often do) close my door – i don’t like to work with my door closed, as it feels weird and antisocial, but it’s an option for me. not so much for the other staff with cubes in the same hallway – they’ve got it rough. she’s a hard worker, but OY…the entire office hears every single argument she has with her parents, husband, etc.

      • Ugh, me too. On days that my boss isn’t here (like today), her secretary spends the day having loooong conversations with her friends, either in person or on the phone. I’m stressing out right now just listening to it (I can’t concentrate, and she’ll take it personally and get mad at me if I shut my door).

        • I would still close my door. I know that office politics are complex, and you don’ t really want to anger the boss’ secretary, but really? You need to get work done.

          As you close the door could you say something like “I think I’m getting a headache and just really need to concentrate on this brief?” with a warm smile?

        • Who cares if she gets mad that you close your door??

          • Ugh, I don’t know. She and her friends in the office are bullies, basically. Maybe I should just live with them thinking I’m too stuck up to join their party (yes, this is how it would be interpreted).

    • Sounds like headphones are out because that would be my first suggestion. Other than that – and I know this is kind of mean – just ignore her. Eventually she’ll get the point that people around her are busy and don’t want to chat. If she says something and/or tries to get your attention, try responding with, “I’m sorry, were you talking to me? I was really concentrating on X” or “That sounds interesting, but I’ve really got to get this done by deadline.”

      • That’s a good idea – I usually do go “Oh, that’s interesting!” and then get straight back to work, but when she’s talking to someone else right behind me, I’m never sure how to ask for quiet.

        She doesn’t have as much workload as my team does at the moment (this is just a seasonal thing), so I think she also might have the impression that everyone else has as much downtime as she does.

    • I would not be above a loud “Sshhhhh!” upon hearing a guffaw.
      Safer if the person doing the shushing is not within direct visibility of the offender.

      • Honestly? Absolutely not. She is saying one thing once every one and half hours. Just ignore her, or get earplugs.

      • I personally find shushing to be incredibly rude. If I’m too loud and you say “Hey, do you mind keeping it down? We’re trying to make our morning deadline.” I will probably feel badly that I interrupted you and try to be quiet. But if you shush me like a school librarian, I will probably just roll my eyes. (I realize this is immature behavior on my part but it drives me crazy that people can’t speak up about something this simple).

      • Please don’t “Ssh.” I don’t think this is a library, and I don’t think the OP and Jane are kindergartners. Adults use (polite) words. I, personally, would be very hurt if some invisible coworker shushed me; a polite request to lower my volume, or reduce non-work-related chitchat, would be completely fine.

      • Do you seriously do this in the workplace?

      • Why shush her when you can simply demand that she wear a Cone of Silence Shame? Available from your local vet.

      • Do not ssshhh her. Seriously. Someone in my area sssshh’d a coworker and me one day when we were having a brief conversation about work-related things, and now I almost want to talk loudly around her on purpose. Immature? Yes. But her ssshh was pretty much the rudest and most immature thing I’ve ever seen done in the workplace. How about, “Hey, do you mind keeping it down?” or “Can you guys take this to a conference room?”

        • Jenna Rink :

          Yes! Two years ago a coworkers (whose office had a door, I might add), shushed a group of us who work in an open area. She immediately entered the Hall of Shame and was outwardly despised by the rest of our office until she left. Shushing is a great idea only if you want people to hate you.

      • If I laughed out loud in the office and heard someone “shush” me, I would probably laugh even louder at the rudeness and ridiculousness of shushing a coworker. So it will probably have the opposite effect that you want.

        TL;DR version: Don’t shush your coworkers if you don’t want to be talked about behind your back.

    • I understand asking her to keep her voice down but don’t quite get why it’s such a problem for her to chat 5-6 times a day for a couple minutes about non-work things. If you have an impending deadline, you can always tell her that it’s not a good time.

      • It’s a combination of it being both louder and longer than other officeplace conversations, and the fact that we’re nearly always on impending deadline (with the brief exception of this afternoon, hooray). There are offices where this wouldn’t be a big deal – I’ve worked in them! – but here because of the rolling deadline nature of our work it’s more disruptive than it would be elsewhere, I think.

        • Anne Shirley :

          I think you need to learn to work on a deadline without total silence. Saying something to a coworker who speaks every couple hours seems so hostile to me, as does suggesting that she communicate via im. consider it practice for every other job you will have in which total silence will not be maintained.

          • Senior Attorney :

            This. Honestly, her behavior would be far more normal than yours in every single workplace I’ve ever been in over the past 30-plus years!

            That said, if the culture in your workplace is really that different, then it would be a kindness to take her aside and explain that although her workload is light at the moment, the rest of you are totally swamped all day long and although you totally get that she is trying to be friendly and collegial, you would super appreciate it if she would either chat via IM or save it for the afternoon after the deadlines have passed.

          • Agree w/ Anne Shirley :

            Plenty of people condition themselves to work through noise. It’s not as if she’s blasting rock music or having loud personal phone conversations. Get over it and focus on your work. When a noise bothers me, I stop and ask myself “Is it my problem or their problem?” It’s usually my problem, and I get over it. Most work environments will have some noise and some interruptions, no matter how important the work.

          • Oh, totally! Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely the usual ambient noise in the office, even aside from printers and the coffee machine there are almost always 4-5 people talking among their coworkers. I wouldn’t even mind it if she was speaking in an ‘inside voice’; I just have difficulty concentrating when there’s someone nearly shouting two feet from my head, until it stops.

        • agree w/ Senior Attorney :

          And if she only started last month “Jane” is probably unaware of your office culture and a bit lonely. She’s trying to form a decent cube-mate relationship (once every few *hours*, that’s nothing!) and geez, please do not Shhh her!
          Next time she mentions something, say “can you send me the link over IM?” and chat for a minute with her that way.

          • That’s a good point (I should clarify that I am not intending to shush anyone and never was!) – I’m beginning to realise how much this is a culture thing and I think it will be more constructive to frame it that way.

    • River Song :

      Have you considered she might have a hearing loss, and may not know or be able to hear the volume of her own voice sometimes? Speaking as a person with hearing loss.

  3. PSA –

    The amazing Rachel Roy “drape” restructured blazer featured here recently is on sale at Nordstroms. Down to $273 from $498. Biggest size available is an 8. I find her blazers to run a size small (but I am broad shouldered.)


  4. Rural Juror :

    Can anyone explain to me if weight watchers is better than just using a free app like my fitness pal and why? I am thinking about spending the money to join WW but I’ve never been able to get much success through the app route… Just worried I’m going to spend the money and realize it’s basically the same thing. FWIW I only want to lose 10 lbs but I think it’ll be a huge struggle- I have a pretty healthy diet and lifestyle, just hitting that late 20s weight gain where none of my clothes fit anymore.

    • I have done Weight Watchers, Weight Watchers Online, and things like LoseIt. I find that going to the Weight Watchers meetings keeps me accountable for my actions and I lose more because there is someone I have to face if I gain weight because I ate an entire pizza on my own (as opposed to just weighing myself in my bathroom). I also think it is good to have people around you who are supportive and going through the same thing.

      I haven’t been on Weight Watchers in a while because of the cost, but I think for me it really is the best route. When I get to a place where I have the money to go, I think I will probably go back because I have found the most success there.

      • FYI, after you have been gone for a while, WW sends you a “come back for free” thing every so often.

    • I love Weight Watchers — used the iPhone app and online tracking system but never went to meetings. It keeps you really accountable and I need that in my weight loss plans! Good luck.

    • I would give WW a try if you have not done it before. The meetings end up costing about $40 a month, but with the 10 lbs that you are looking to lose, I would imagine you can get that done in 1-2 months. A lot of it depends on the leader and the other meeting attendees – I have seen some who are extremely supportive and holding you accountable, and others who I couldn’t believe I was even paying for their services, so make sure that you shop around.

      The one disadvantage about WW in my opinion, is that it does not always work as well for people who have lifelong struggles with food. I don’t mean this as a knock on the program, but more an observation. People who have been overweight their entire lives (not that this is your case), or who struggle with a lot of emotional eating may benefit from a more individualized approach. Good luck!

  5. prefer to remain anonymous :


    I have an odd/scary situation coming up this weekend. It is the 10-year reunion of my group and the next year’s group of a professional co-ed fraternity I was in during college, and I really want to attend and have RSVP’d/paid. The reunion is all day and evening at a retreat center. Some of my best friends and memories of college were the result of this group, and I have not seen anyone from it in years, and they’ll probably never get together at this level of participation again – at least 15-20 people I would love to see will be there. It will be about 60 people altogether.

    I just found out last night that one of the people there will be my ex-boyfriend, who was also in this co-ed frat. We dated for about 4 years, including 2 after college, were very serious, and the last two years of the relationship the abuse was both emotional and physical – but the emotional abuse was horrific. For about two years after we broke up, he engaged in stalking/threatening behavior. After I got up the courage and broke up with him I also stopped staying in contact with most of these friends, because (forgive me, I was 22 and an idiot) I didn’t think they’d believe me if I told them about it and that I’d stayed in for so long. I didn’t get a protective order for the same reason. I have about a dozen friends who know about what happened and why things ended, but none of them are from this group. Nobody who will be there this weekend knows how things turned out between us.

    I am looking for advice on how to handle this situation like the strong, professional woman I am. I would really, really like to see these friends that I haven’t seen in years and want to go. However, just thinking about having to deal with him makes me shaky and nauseous. But I am angry at the thought that he can keep me from going somewhere or seeing people even years down the road. Given our history, I am positive that he will come over and try to interact with me. If I saw him show up on my front step today, I’d lock the door and call the police. But what do I do in a public group of friends?

    I know this is one of those questions where everybody’s experiences greatly color their responses, so I’m happy to provide additional information as requested.

    • Professional/friendship connections are important — but not as important as your physical/emotional safety. As much as you probably hate to let him “win” — I’m just really not sure its worth it.

      Honestly, I might send an e-mail to the dozen friends explaining in oblique terms that you had to cancel for personal reasons but that you miss them all very much and you’d like to reconnect. Then perhaps create a Facebook group or a yahoo group or an e-mail list and reconnect that way. And then once you’ve all gotten back in touch that way, maybe you can all plan a trip to Vegas together — sans crazy stalker ex-boyfriends.

    • I would feel hesitant to go to this event because it seems like his past behavior is dangerous, and I wouldn’t want to put myself in the position to bring up that stuff. However, I understand that you don’t want to let him dictate where you can go and who you hang out with. If I went, I would try to avoid him when possible, and just be neutral with him if you have to interact with him – don’t share any personal information, don’t be mean or overly nice. Is there anyone that will be there that you feel comfortable telling about the situation? I would always try to keep a buffer of someone else between you and him if at all possible to reduce the risk of a scene/discomfort on your part.

      I don’t have much advice. I’m really sorry that this is happening to you. Good luck.

    • I’m really sorry. To be honest, if it were me (and it has been).. I would let this group of friends go. You haven’t been in contact with them, and I think nostalgia might be coloring your memories. For me, it just wasn’t worth the stress and anxiety. And it might feel like he is winning, but I think it’ll feel more like he is winning if you show up and can’t handle seeing him or if he does something crazy.

      • Thanks for your comment – I should clarify, although I didn’t want my OP to be a mile long.
        I am in contact with these old friends pretty regularly for the past 3-4 years on facebook, email, etc. I moved several hours away and dropped out of the picture somewhat quietly for about 2 years after my relationship with Mr. Scary ended (it helped that I did not have facebook then), but subsequently re-established contact with most people. Over that period of time, most everyone had moved to different areas in the mid-Atlantic region. I just never brought it up, and nobody asked me, which is why nobody knows about what happened. I’ve known that some of them remained acquaintances with him, and I’ve, like Anon13 below, have just made a point to not give out certain information.

        Because everyone is in different areas and coming from up to 10 hours away for this, that’s why I really, really want to go.

        • I agree that you should probably think about whether it’s worth it to go; but assuming you do think it is, just be careful and be safe. Don’t give personal information (address phone number, etc) to anyone there, because he may worm it out of them. Also, find someone you can tell or bring someone who knows the score. That way if it looks like he’s trying to corner you or something, this person can run interference. Don’t go anywhere alone. I once walked into a hallway to go find the bathrooms and was luckily-not-seriously-just-drunkenly grabbed.

          You may truly find that it is fine, he has moved his focus to someone else and avoids you as much as you avoid him. But be prepared for the opposite as well. Check your security settings on fb, etc…

          Finally, if you do go, and I think you want to, HAVE FUN!!! :-)

    • This is a tough question, and I totally sympathize. My college BF displayed some serious stalker behavior for years after we graduated, and I have yet to go to a college reunion or share information about myself in my school’s alumni publication because I don’t want to trigger any renewed interest on his part. Is there anyone from the group you could confide in so someone else knows what’s going on and can bail you out if he corners you or does anything odd? Do you have a close friend or SO you can take with you? Also, keep whatever information you share about yourself to a minimum so it doesn’t get back to him. Good luck to you. I look forward to seeing what other people suggest.

    • Seattleite :

      This sounds awful. If you haven’t already, please read Gavin de Becker’s “Gift of Fear,” stat. If I were in this situation, and still wanted to go, I’d have some sort of “escape” plan in case things fell apart. (Have my own transportation, or a really good friend stashed nearby with a car & a book, etc.) But honestly…given his past stalking, I don’t think I’d go; it might open that door again.

    • If You Want To Go . . . :

      If you want to go, you should and can with some advance planning. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with people, both personally and professionally. Why should he ruin it?

      1. Personal Safety: Will there be security at the event? I.s., if it is at your college, can you call campus police/security and talk to them in advance. If at a hotel, hotel security. Etc.

      2. Psychological Issues: Can you tell one or two friends the truth so that you can have someone to pull aside if you need for a pep talk?

      3. Dealing with Him: Make yourself a plan for what you will do or say if he approaches you. Practice it. It could be, “Please do not talk to me. If you approach me again, I am calling the police/telling the chair of the event to keep us separated/whatever.”

      4. Exit Strategy: Make yourself an exit strategy. Write it down. Bring it with you.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Yes! These are all excellent suggestions! I especially like #3. In fact, I might seek the perpetrator out immediately upon arrival (perhaps in a quiet corner at the initial mixer event) and tell him “Stay away from me this weekend. Hotel security/campus police/local law enforcement have been notified of your history of abuse and stalking, and if you so much as look in my direction this weekend, I will make a scene/call the authorities/whatever you choose.”

        I’d also suggest bringing a support person who knows the history and can have your back, literally and figuratively, during the weekend.

      • If you decide to go, I really like this advice too. I have a similar BF experience from college and I probably just wouldn’t go, just to avoid that from reentering my life. I think planning and having a friend who know the situation would be really helpful.

    • I wouldn’t go. Honestly, it is not worth it.

    • Unfortunately, I have a similar college ex-boyfriend. I would seriously consider whether it would be worth it for you to go. Here is what I would do:

      (a) Bring a friend with me who knows the situation and have an escape plan. I wouldn’t drink too heavily so that I could drive away at a moment’s notice, for example. If my ex approached me, I would firmly say “I’m not interested in talking to you” and walk over to a different group of people. If anyone else asks about him or my relationship with him, I would say “Sorry, I don’t feel comfortable responding, but I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to!” and move on.

      There’s a very good chance that over the years he’s found a new target or actually changed his behavior. He may not be interested in bothering you at this point.

      (b) Just don’t go. While catching up with people is fun, it may not be worth it. I live in the same smallish city as my crazy ex, and I get a lot of peace of mind knowing that he doesn’t know what car I drive or where I live (got new car and moved). I would not want him to even have the option of knowing those things. (New thought: if you decide to go, drive a rental car).

      • just Karen :

        If you go (and if you feel safe enough with a safety plan, such as having your own car and limiting your alcohol intake), I would talk to one or two of the people you were closest to ahead of time and let them know what is going on. They will be there to bail you out or intervene if needed, or just to make things less awkward if you react strongly to the ex entering the room, etc… They will also be able to be an extra set of eyes and ears and if the ex is acting strangely or drinking too much, can give you a heads up or get you out of the area. If you don’t have anyone you would be comfortable asking to do this, I might rethink my recommendation to go.

    • Accountress :

      Is it too late to RSVP/pay for a guest? Bring your BFF or a sister, and follow the buddy-system?

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Could you hire a security guard to go as your date for the evening? Gavin de Becker’s website describes some of the security services they provide. If you don’t want a fake date, maybe you could still hire a professional security guard to just blend into the crowd and watch out for you. You could also introduce him as a friend who was in town so you brought him along or something like that.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Love this. I would find it really empowering.

      • Silvercurls :

        Second. Your hired security person (whether posing as your date or friend or working under cover) will be 100% focused on *keeping you safe* at this event plus all marginally related activities such as stepping out to the restroom, using the coat check, leaving, getting to your (rented!) car and driving away. This eliminates the possibility of your getting stranded–despite your friend’s good intentions–if your safety person gets pulled into a totally fascinating conversation, has too much to much drink, or leaves early with some irresistible person. (No offense to your friends but people can get distracted.)

        Minor logistical hassle in all this: hiring someone local to the party site (from a distance) versus hiring someone near your home city and having to pay his/her travel costs.

    • Just wanted to second/third/eleventh not going it alone. If you can’t bring someone who knows, can you reach out to a select few of your friends who are going to be there? Let them know the history (in brief), and let them know that you’re scared of him. If you have support there, and people you can turn to if you need to, you’ll feel better the whole time.

  6. When to test? :

    TTC threadjack in light of someone’s pregnancy news yesterday– I can’t stop thinking about the fact that I may be pregnant, but I don’t want to test too early and risk an inaccurate result or disappoint myself. My cycle is usually 28 to 31 days and today is day 32! But, I can’t help but think that the minute I take a test it is going to be negative and my cycle will start immediately. So, how long should one wait to test? Did anyone feel like they may be starting their cycle soon but they were actually pregnant?

    • Are you tracking your cycles such that you know when you ovulated? As days past ovulation is (IME) a better indicator than length of cycle.

      That said, a negative now won’t necessarily mean you’re not pregnant, but a + would be pretty conclusive.

      I will confess to testing early with my second pregnancy, getting a +, and testing *four more times* in the next two hours because I just could not believe I was pregnant already. So even the most practical and sensible gals can be excused for being slightly insane w/r/t pregnancy tests.

    • Unless you ovulated really late, the test is most likely going to be accurate today. Most on the market will show a line 7-10 days past ovulation if you are preganant.

      Good luck!

    • Test now! And if you’re TTC, you can get a huge pack of test strips and ovulation predictors on amazon. Good luck!

    • Pregnancy tests don’t trigger your period, they only cost $10, and they’re usually accurate by the time you miss your period (unless you ovulated late due to stress, travel, fevers, etc.). So go to the drug store and take a test right now! Do it! Do it now! If you get a negative but don’t get your period, take another one in a couple of days and see.

      • When to test? :

        Ha! Thanks for the responses. I don’t track my temperatures, but I think I ovulated by day 16 or 17 based on other indicators. The cause and effect of test/period is more of a worry. Also, it’s not the cost of a test, it’s the psychological considerations of the timing of taking a test.

        Thank you all, I will take it tomorrow morning when the hormone would be more concertrated and let you know!

    • PharmaGirl :

      Go for it! Get a 3-pack and use them all if you’re concerned about false positives.

      • earlypregnancytests(dot)com. the bomb. you can get a cup you pee in and then test strips for like $1 each.

    • I tested the day my period was supposed to arrive and it was negative. But I just felt it-like something weird, I just knew I was pregnant. I tested a week later (still no period) and it was negative. Finally I tested a week after that (still no period) and it was positive. I’m glad I kept continuing to test obviously!! I would say if you continue to not receive your period, I would test once a week. Not all the math is always right with ovulation/cycle dates, etc. in my opinion.

      • It always took me forever to get a positive too. And I would even waste money on the more sensitive tests and still have to wait way past 14 dpo.

    • Whoa Nelly :

      That was me yesterday! Do it…you won’t regret knowing either way. Good luck!

      • Anon in ATX :

        This! For me it is the not-knowing that is killer. I confess my motto is test early, test often ;) good luck!

      • AnonPregnant :

        I thought I might be pregnant after my period was two days late. I tested and was definitely pregnant (I’m now over 5 months!). The first test came back as a “faded” line. I took a second digital one and I was definitely pregnant. I thought I might be pregnant because my breasts were really sore and I was peeing all the time.

  7. This skirt keeps popping up for me, too. Very cute style. I think you’d have to try it on in person to see whether the vertical seams stay vertical when worn, or whether they’d turn into parentheses, which could be unflattering.

    • I also worry that the fabric reads a bit like jeans, which would make it a no-go in my workplace. (Eye-roll…I hate that, but oh well).

    • Amelia Bedelia :

      hahahahahaha – I had the EXACT same thought, Mamabear!

    • phillygirlruns :

      this sums up exactly why i swapped out the skirt i put on this morning for the pants from my emergency suit about an hour ago. i’d never worn the skirt before – have had it for a couple years but could not fit into it until recently – and thus did not realize that the vertical pockets, placed very oddly in the MIDDLE of the skirt and directly over the center of my thighs, were a terrible, terrible idea.

  8. So I know we make fun of formal shorts a lot on here, but ladies, I’m seriously considering them right now. It’s just after 10am, and it’s already about 80 degrees in my lovely but un-air-conditioned academic building. Any recommendations for work-appropriate shorts that aren’t totally goofy looking? I’m thinking something just above the knee, maybe in a tropical weight wool?

    • Please, no. :

      Just wear a skirt. Please.

      And I say this as someone who loves casual shorts. But formal shorts? No.

    • Okay. I shudder just recommending these, because really…I hate formal shorts. But, since you work in academia, maybe they’d work. But I think something like these slightly formal bermuda shorts *could* be dressed up with the right accessories to work in an office environment, maybe?

      One more truly formal link following in the next post. But really, why not just a skirt?


        But a nice, a-line linen or cotton skirt would be so much nicer and really would breath so much better! REALLY!

        • This is pretty much what I was envisioning… are these really so bad? Am I insane for considering this? Maybe I’m suffering from heat stroke :)

          • Please drink lots of water and stay out of the sun :)

          • Okay, my response involving a cute pare of cropped length pants from the loft keeps disappearing (they’re lemon yellow and a summery fabric, much more work appropriate!)

            I would also suggest even something like this — though I’d normally not recommend capris for the work place (let along something that includes the word “chino”) these are cute!


          • Oh, and the loft pants are the Marisa Cuffed Cropped Pants in Stretch Faille (for googling purposes). The link won’t post for god knows what reasons.

            Also, there are lots of useful suggestions that have been discussed on here for the thigh issue with skirts. There is a product runners use called Easy Glide that works wonders.

          • I like the chino capris!

    • First: are you positive that your employers would be okay with you wearing shorts? I feel like any workplace that would require “professional” fabrics like tropical wool are probably not likely to want their employees dressed in shorts. But only you know your campus. I will say that I never saw a professor, administrator, or support staff member in shorts during the six years I have been involved with higher ed.

      Second: how do you feel about skirts and dresses? Those are my go-tos when it gets hot. (In fact, I am wearing a dress right now, due to the fact that it’s over 85, and so humid you can take a bite out of the air.) You get the bare-legged cooling factor of shorts, but maintain your professionalism.

      • Oh, my workplace absolutely doesn’t “require” professional fabrics, and most people around here dress quite casually. But, IMHO they can get away with that because they’re old, tenured, male professors, and I look quite young for my age/position as a postdoc. I tend to overdress to avoid being mistaken for an undergrad.

        • What discipline? In my experience the (hard) sciences are casual enough that the only problem with shorts (and skirts) would be your legs would be unprotected in the lab.

          I actually think those shorts are okay for academics, provided you aren’t TAing or giving a talk. But then, I work khakis and a button up to my post-doc interview (and I got an offer).

        • PharmaGirl :

          You’re a post doc? If you are in a research lab, I’d say you can wear whatever you want. In my previous academic life, post docs wore jean shorts, ratty old t shirts, and sneakers.

        • You’re a post-doc. Okay…I think its a miracle that you’re not wearing your pajamas to work. FORMAL SHORT away gurrrl.

          • River Song :

            This made me laugh. “Formal short away” is going to be my new favorite expression.

        • I’m in medical sociology, so about half the time in the hospital and half the time in the sociology department. The hospital’s no problem because it’s air conditioned, it’s the sociology building that’s dreadful.

          The bar for dress code is really not set very high around here, especially in the summer, but I just hate being mistaken for an undergrad/department admin/research assistant by the new collaborator/visiting professor/senile old professor who can never remember me/mailman/etc… Maybe I’m just being overly sensitive.

          • As a fellow sociologist who works with many other sociologists, I say, wear whatever you want that keeps you cool. People in my work place wear sweatsuits! Formal shorts are much nicer.

          • Culottes! Lovely, cool and skirty with added practicality.

          • Imagining something knee length like this

      • Marie Curie :

        I majored in physics and one of the (male) profs actually wore shorts in summer, for teaching. The consensus among students was that it was weird and sorta unprofessional. (It was also the only time I saw a professor in shorts.) On the other hand, the general physicist uniform included hiking sandals with socks.

    • First – I’d recommend a skirt. Perhaps, something a little loose/flowy rather than a fitted pencil skirt.
      Second – if you’re going to do shorts, at a minimum stick with bermuda/walking shorts that come to the knee and are in a professional/neutral fabric and color.

    • Sigh, I know, formal shorts just seem so… wrong. I am wearing a cotton skirt today and it’s fine, but I just can’t see myself wearing a skirt every. single. day. of the summer (potentially TMI, but the inner thigh rub becomes a real problem after too many days of skirt wear).

      So far it seems that most people in my building just work from home in the summer (not an option for me because I need the files and software on my work computer), or wear khakis and t-shirts (and I really want to avoid doing that). I’m open to ideas other than formal shorts, if anyone has suggestions….

      • AnonInfinity :

        Get thee some Bodyglide for the thigh problem.

        If you are worried about being mistaken for an undergrad, I think that shorts (even formal ones) are not the answer.

        • Thanks, I’m onto the BodyGlide… it really does work well, but after a couple of days of skirt wear my thighs still just get irritated. I’ve also tried split slips, which work well too but adding an extra layer doesn’t help with the heat problem.

          I feel like I have winter “need to look older” dressing more or less figured out, but the summer thing is throwing me for a loop.

          • Maybe try Spanx Skinny Britches under a skirt – they are thinner than regular Spanx so would not be as hot?

      • phillygirlruns :

        as someone painfully familiar with the summertime chub rub, i highly recommend investing in a stick of body glide and/or a pair of spanx (i size up because they’re more comfortable that way and i don’t care about sucking anything in, i just care about not chafing).

        also, linen pants. they wrinkle like crazy but they’re FABULOUS for the heat.

        • Hmm, good idea! Maybe I’ll look for some light colored linen pants.

          • I just got a pair of linen/cotton blend pants at NY&Co. They do have a drawstring, which I like because linen blends can stretch out so much. But they look perfectly informal/academic office appropriate. Plus cheap, which I know from experience is a plus when one is a postdoc!

            By the way, I am not exactly sure what medical sociology is, but I think it sounds fascinating!

          • Cheap is for real a plus. Thanks for the tip, I’ll check those out!

      • Do you watch What Not to Wear? Stacy London wears “formal” shorts a fair amount of time. She keeps them to just above the knee, usually black. She pairs them with a really light blousy top and nice belt. I think she looks cute in those outfits. May help to provide you with some inspiration ..
        Good luck! Can’t believe you can survive working in no a/c!!

        • This is exactly the kind of outfit I had in mind… skinny belt, silk chiffon top, formal shorts. I think your comment has officially tipped me over the edge… I’m going to try out the formal shorts, and if people don’t like ’em, well, haters gonna hate :)

      • Try some shorter bike shorts. I find Spanx really uncomfortable, but I have a pair of super lightweight and thin bike shorts (I think by Nike) that works under all of my skirts.

        • Late to the convo, but in case anyone subscribed or is still reading, I have tried everything to deal with the thigh-rub issue (not to mention coverage for windy days when you don’t want to channel Marilyn), and I am now a total convert to Jockey Skimmies Slipshort. They are lighter and stretchier than bike shorts and Spanx, have a cotton gusset, are not binding and don’t pinch or cause muffin-top or that weird line around your mid-thigh at the edges, don’t ride up or move around, don’t cause skirts to cling to them, and are super comfortable.

    • I think all work shorts are goofy looking.

    • What about dressy capris?

  9. Looking for some support as I was just diagnosed with PCOS. I’ll be going on a pill to help normalize things, and I’m not ready to have a child yet, but I can’t help but be concerned about my ability to conceive in the future. Any advice (or reassurance) for how this should affect my planning or anything you should have done/looked into?

    Thanks much!

    • Can’t write a lot out – but I’ll say this: I was diagnosed with PCOS about a year ago, and I’m currently due with my first child in July!

      My best advice is this – find a great, understanding reproductive endocronologist and start seeing him/her sooner rather than later. for me, it was key to have someone that understood my timeline and was willing to work with me. A lot of friends got frustrated with doctors that kept them in limbo; I loved having a proactive OB and RE who were willing to take extra steps to help us conceive immediately (not the path for everyone, but it was great to have advocates who were on our side).

      Also, even if you aren’t ready to conceive right now, you can take great steps in the short-term that will make conception easier (significant changes to diet now, start with certain vitamins, etc.), and an RE will give you great ideas. There are tons of online resources, but if you have an RE you trust, s/he will help you wade through and find the most applicable.

      • Thank you for your response! Would you recommend that I see an RE now (likely a couple years before I’d like to get pregnant), or stay with my GYN? GYN is not too concerned because I do ovulate (just somewhat irregular).

        • No need to see an RE until you want to get pregnant (unless you just want an initial consult). But the second you do want to start trying, don’t spend any time with your OB, go directly to the RE. OBs know how to get babies out, REs know how to get babies in. :)

        • People may think I’m over zealous here, but I would set up a consultation in your near future. Explain your “anticipated” timeline, and ask what proactive steps you can take to start improving/regulating your ovulation now. You can do a lot to help improve your ability to conceive with diet and exercise, and fortunately, time is on your side. A good RE will be able to focus what steps you should take with the ultimate goal of conception – or at least refer you to others that will guide you for a year or two until you are ready to actually start trying to conceive.

          I dunno – I guess it seems smart to start tackling specific changes that an RE advises will help conception. Who knows, maybe by the time you are ready to start trying, you won’t need intervention. But I will say that it can be really tough to tackle serious life changes when you are dying to have a baby RIGHT NOW. May as well take care of that now.

    • ChasingSummer :

      I do not have PCOS, just polycystic ovaries, although this is apparently a matter of degree. I was advised to eat right, manage my weight and exercise. Apparently doing this helps your hormones to balance themselves out a bit. I did notice that things got more “regular” after I lost some weight.

      My ob-gyn told me that I needn’t go on the pill or be medicated unless and until I had tried to conceive for awhile and was unsuccessful. Naturally, YMMV.

    • I have PCOS, too – and a few other gyn issues, but that is the most severe (as I have a more severe case of PCOS and a lesser case of endo, apparently).

      If you want to talk about it ever, I’ve left my email below.

      If the first treatment doesn’t work or only somewhat works, it’s okay. I’ve tried all different pills. I’m now on a shot that worked amazingly the first round and seems to no longer work. (I get pain that makes me unable to move. It’s still less than it is without the treatment, but not good.) Just breathe and remember that you have a great gyn that will help you find the perfect treatment for you. (For instance, I’m not planning on children in the near future and possibly ever, so we concentrate on the pain/irregularity/other issues.) If you don’t feel that way about yours, find one you do. If you post your location (here or later under a different name), I’m sure people will provide names of recommended gyns.

      I don’t want to give out too much, but we can definitely chat offline. I would similarly suggest seeing an RE sooner rather than later, as that is something that you may need to plan for a while. Plus, they have the same interest as you – pregnancy for you. (weird phrasing, but I hope you understand)

      Remember that there is a wide range of severity for PCOS, so the scary stories you hear online aren’t necessarily the majority. My gyn (who does lots of ob and re work) says the vast majority of women she sees (and generally) with PCOS are able to conceive – and many with little or no trouble.

      Also, remember some of the peculiarities of PCOS. Carbs are worse for us (which is awful) – the best diet most people I know with PCOS (which is limited, granted, but research and my gyn back it) is a low carb diet. It’s easier for us to gain weight, which is not helped by many of the medications for it.

      I’d keep going, but I’m writing a novel. If anyone with PCOS wants to chat, let me know. [email protected]

  10. Clerk question :

    Thanks to all of you who responded to my question yesterday about a SCOTUS clerkship (and in particular to the woman who said that she recently obtained one). I have reached out to friends who were former SCOTUS clerks and have received some information that way. Couple of follow up questions to the person who obtained a SCOTUS clerkship:

    1. How many recommendation letters? Right now I have two profs and two judges. Is that good enough?

    2. Do the Justices like to see a more substantive cover letter or just the very basics like where you went to school, who your letters are from, etc.


    • The two people I know who applied sent in 4 letters, and their cover letters were generic, like the ones sent to the courts of appeal judges.

      • I come from a school that has consistently sent 2-5 students to SCOTUS each year, and I’m personally familiar with the application process of several of those applicants (pending and successful).

        You should have 3-4 recommendations. Your cover letters should be generic. Students at my school formally apply to all 9 of the Justices as a courtesy, even if realistically they will only be considered by half of the bench due to political / jurisprudential leanings.

        Frankly, coming from a T-10 school, the successful candidates were in the top 1-3 students in their class (sometimes 5-10) (but much more flexibility on class rank the higher ranked the school within the T-10), on managing board of law review, had published a note in the law review, and went to a strong (generally feeder) appellate judge for a clerkship. After passing those extremely rigorous bare minimum qualifications, it is not so much a crapshoot as a highly political behind-the-scenes campaign. This latter stage is highly dependant on the right professors and judges having the right amount of sway with certain justices, and being willing to spend their political capital on you over another candidate. Seriously – it is like an actual political campaign. If you don’t have the right people personally calling or talking to the justices (not just recommending you), it’s extremely unlikely to happen.

        I note all of this not to be discouraging, but rather because there is a serious information void out there. If you don’t want this to be a shot in the dark, then prepare yourself for an extremely strategic campaign and very realistically assess your resume and connections.

        Good luck!

    • Same woman who replied yesterday here.

      1. I don’t think there’s any magic number of recommendations. Many applicants start with 3 or 4 and additional letters end up coming in. Some justices say they only need 2-3 but I don’t think anyone is going to quibble too much as long as they are solid recommendations (not just “I had this person in class and they did well on the exam!”). I think the key is figuring out if there is someone else out there who would add something to your application. You should ask that person and, if it is not too awkward, specify what you hope they will talk about (i.e. that project you did for a professor involving exhaustive historical research or the way that you and a professor have bonded despite your ideological opposition, etc.).

      2. I recommend generic cover letters unless you truly have something personal to say to a justice (that would be exceedingly rare).

      3. This may seem obvious, but don’t forget to apply to all of the justices, which–right now–means all 12. And if you’re trying to get your application materials together for OT13, you probably already know that you’re late on sending in materials. In your cover letters, you should specify that you are willing to be considered for other terms as well (assuming that is the case).

      4. And VA is right. A lot of this requires the right person calling on your behalf. Don’t be afraid to call people you know and tell them you are applying. Don’t be afraid to ask someone to put in a good word if they get a chance. I hated that part of it, but it matters. If it doesn’t work out for you, please don’t feel that it is a reflection of your skills or qualifications. It is a whole lot of luck and being the right sort of candidate at the right time.

  11. Hey everyone,

    I was wondering whether anyone had advice for finding an affordable financial planner just to consult with once or twice. My SO and I really could use help in figuring out the lowest-cost way to pay off our student loans, especially given that one of us will be clerking while the other is working over the next two years (him this year, me the next). Money is obviously tight right now so we can’t spend a ton, but think it’s probably worth it in the long run to invest in some quality advice now.

    • Texas Lawyer :

      Look at the websites for the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (napfa dot org) or the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (cfp dot net).

  12. Hey gals, it’s me with a lil melodrama. If you like soaps, keep reading. As many old time readers know, I’m going through the arranged marriage process, which I’ve whined about here and there (most notably, that interesting debacle where I’ve been informed I’m racist).

    Anywho, there have been *developments*. With a new guy. And I’m so stricken and conflicted and SADFACE. Basically, the guy gets a check in every category me and my parents have come up with. Observant Muslim, good family, educated, taller than me (very important), nice, social, spends time at the mosque, etc, etc, etc. HOWEVER, I don’t like him. He’s nice and I love his family but that’s all. He’s just that meh kinda nice. There’s no personality there. And the thought of someone with no personality or spark just makes me feel all fuzzy beige inside.

    So simple, just say no, right? I did. Numerous times. VEHEMENTLY. My well-meaning and desperate and hopeful mother ignored me and forced the families to meet each other (we met alone at our first meeting, chaperoned by my bro), expecting that I’ll like him if I see him again. I didn’t. I just got along really well with his siblings. And then his family fell in love with me. And the matchmaking auntie and uncle are pushing me, saying that the guy’s parents and the guy agree. My parents agree. I don’t agree. After a while, my mother finally told the matchmaking auntie I don’t like him. And they all ask why why whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy. It doesn’t matter why, I just don’t. And what’s hilariously messed up is that my parents would back up off me if I said I thought he was ugly. How much messed up is that?

    So the auntie says to my mom that don’t I know that I’m getting to be too old to match at soon-to-be 27? And if I’m so picky, why don’t I go and find somebody and bring him home? Also, she’s doing our family a “huge favor” by offering him to us first but there 3-4 other families waiting to snap him up. I’m inherently inclined to dislike matchmaking aunties but [email protected]#@#%@#%. AND I FEEL GUILTY. THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH THIS GUY BUT I DON’T LIKE HIM. And my siblings feel bad because they agree that he’s nice and normal and the families would be such a great fit but they see that this match is kinda off.

    And I think to myself – maybe it would be good to be in a marriage where the guy takes a back seat, supports the superstar wife. Maybe that would be good for me. But I know myself – I feed off the energy of others. When I’m around low energy people, I become quiet. When I’m around go-getters, I’m out there running with them. And I don’t want to be a superstar wife. I want be in a marriage where we feel like equals. I feel stifled. So my dad told the matchmakers and the guy’s parents to give me some time. BUT I DON’T WANT TIME.

    I don’t know guys, just make me feel better. I’m so tired of hearing how my mom is now super depressed and heartbroken and has no reason for happiness anymore.

    • I’m so sorry! I would give you a big hug if I could.

    • Legally Brunette :

      You did the right thing, Ru. If you don’t like him, you don’t like him and you can’t let your mom guilt you into feeling bad. Remember, your parents love you but they also really, really, really, really want you to get married – like yesterday. My mom started freaking out that I was an old maid when I hit the ripe age of 22.

      When your parents see a Muslim guy who checks off the boxes, of course they are going to encourage you to marry him. But, you’re the one who is going to be with this guy for the rest of your life, not your parents. And if you feel fuzzy beige inside now, things are not looking good. Move on, and don’t give it a second thought!

    • I can’t pretend to understand how this process must feel, but I can commiserate with the familial pressure of choosing a mate sooner than later. I am the same age as you, and my family is asking when will I marry my bf or stop wasting my time with him.

      In any case, I can say one thing for you with certainty: if you feel this way about this guy now, these feelings will only be intensified if you agree to spend your life with him. The fuzzy beige will turn dark, as you will not find inspiration and happiness from this person. Trust your gut, your women’s intuition and stick to your guns. Your family might be pressuring you for a couple of years, but it will be worth the effort to ultimately choose someone you want to spend your whole _life_ with.

    • Many many hugs.

      I’m really sorry that your parents, family and friends just aren’t accepting your no.

      Do not feel guilty about it. Think of it this way — the guy seems like a nice guy, right? He should have someone who is excited to marry him. And as a dutiful South Asian daughter myself, I know it’s hard to disappoint your parents, but they will get over it.

      Can you rally the support of your sibs? My brother went through the process, and there were a few girls he was meh about, much to my parents annoyance (this was several years in) and I always weighed in with the comment that it doesn’t matter how much everyone else likes her, or how good she is on paper, if he doesn’t, it’s not going to work.

    • I’m sorry you’re going through this! But at the end of the day, it’s not your mom, or the pushy matchmaking auntie, or any other concerned family member who’s going to be in a relationship with this guy. Your feelings matter and are valid!

    • Oh my gosh, I’m sorry you’re going through such a stressful situation. I have no personal experience with this, but since you say your parents would leave you alone if you told them you thought he was ugly, could you just do that?

      • I might. I may have to. Although the thought of doing that makes me shudder – it’s so shallow and completely not the point. My parents and the auntie/uncle generation just don’t understand the concept of chemistry and personalities and whatnot. They told me that he’ll get better-looking as he grows older, as if to comfort me (apparently, nobody in the older generation likes the way he looks). AUNTIES/UNCLES, WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE????

    • Oh my gosh, I completely hear you about feeling “meh” about a guy who checks off all the boxes. I am in a situation that sounds similar to this, minus the arranged marriage part. So, I’m putting this pressure on myself, because I feel like I reject guys too quickly, and I should keep trying to like this one.

      I have haa conversations with myself identical to the one you describe, wherein I try to convince myself that maybe I could be happy with a more beta-type guy who needs/wants me to make decisions and organize things, and possibly be the primary earner (not that I would mind being the primary earner if it were better for a family, but I kind of do mind when the issue seems to be he can’t figure out what he wants to do). He also is pretty low-energy, like you describe, so I wind up feeling low-energy around him. This is never how I imagined a marriage working, and I don’t really understand why I’ve let this go on for so long (we’ve been in an awkward, non-exclusive, pre-dating stage for months now), except for the desire and pressure to get married.

      I know, I know, marrying someone just to get married is not the answer. It’s just hard to face the idea that I might never meet the right person. Ugh. So, I’m really sorry that I have no answers for you. I’m just sending tons of sympathy in your direction, especially w/r/t the family pressure. Thank goodness it sounds like you have some support from your siblings. Please keep us posted.

      • oh i hear ya :

        Ru, I have no specific advice, but I am sending many many hugs!

        Eleanor- I have a man in my life who I have dated on and off (for years at a time) for the last ten years! He is a fantastic guy. Super nice, very personable, and our senses of humor (?) match quite well. I have ended it every time mostly out of pure terror of finding “the” guy at 19. Haven’t I grown as a person? I am now a 30 year old woman. We still talk a few times a week, and though we live in different cities, he is in the process of moving to my city for reasons outside of me. The family loves him, and just assumes that we will eventually get married, and are starting to amp up the pressure.

        Now, I’m having this conversation with myself on a daily basis. The reasons he is “meh” are things like: I would be the breadwinner, but only slightly, because he is in finance; he is less active than I am; and did I mention we met when we were 19? For some reason I can’t get that stigma out of my head.

        I realize some (ok, most) of my reasoning is extremely petty, but I think the pressure is making all my little nit pics way more amplified than they should be! I’m afraid that even though I could be really happy with him for the rest of my life, too much time and pressure has built that it is impossible I will ever be that extremely ecstatic bride to be. Again, no useful advice, but many many hugs.

        • Why is someone you meet at 35 more likely to be great than someone you met at 19? You may have other reasons for not staying with him, and that’s fine, but if it’s just “we’ve known each other a long time and so therefore I must be “settling” and so I have to leave him” – think about if you’re going to regret this in 10 years. You are NOT more likely to meet someone better later. It’s actually /less/ likely because more of the ‘good’ men you meet in your 30s are already married compared to at 19.

          It was probably a good idea not to marry the guy when you were 19 :) But how does having known him then ‘disqualify’ him? Would you not recommend him to a friend because you met him a long time ago?

          • oh i hear ya :

            This is exactly my issue. I know that this is a stupid reason, but it is a stupid reason that I have not been able to shake for the last ten years! :)

            It used to just be that I was too young to handle that big of a decision. Now there is all this other pressure (family, will this affect my career? will I be stunting my professional growth?), and I think its what I want to do, but there are no butterflies in the stomach (because, duh, it has been ten years!)

            Of course, the other side of this story is that even though he has had a few other girlfriends over the years, he still just wants to be with me. And he has waited 10 years. It may be time to suck it up and grow up. Sigh. :)

    • No no no, don’t reconsider this or try to force yourself to like this person. You obviously don’t. Life is long (looooooong) and if your family is freaking out this bad that you don’t like this guy now, can you imagine if you decided 10 years from now that you still don’t like him? There’s also a tiny message in your post — next time you don’t like someone, tell your family you think he’s ugly. =)

      I’ve had friends who’ve gone through the arranged marriage process and certainly felt hopeless at various points. The ones who are happy now are the ones who stuck it out and didn’t compromise, even when people were telling them that they are getting too old at the geriatric age of 26. The ones who are not happy are the ones who threw in the towel and gave up, and then realized down the road that they’d made a mistake. It’s your life, not the aunties’ lives, so hang in there and stay strong and find someone who excites you.

    • I know they’re trying to guilt you into saying yes, but just don’t. You will have a miserable life if you don’t like him now. Stand your ground!

    • Ru, fellow south Asian here but not Muslim and didn’t have an arranged marriage. Just say no. Go with your gut. You cannot spend the next 10,20,50 years with a meh guy.

    • You Have The Right To Say No :

      I am Jewish (Reform, but I read a lot). In the Orthodox matchmaking process, the bride-t0-be has the absolute right to tell her parents that she doesn’t want to marry the guy they picked for her. She has to meet him first, but she can say no, and it can be for the reason you state.

      • It’s the same in Islam – the woman has the right of refusal, for any reason whatsoever. The issue here is culture – desi culture in particular. And confusing culture and religion. And desi parents being overbearing and not listening, ESPECIALLY when they boast about how Islamic they are. People are not being very Islamic right now and far be it from me to point fingers and say someone’s being unIslamic. PARENTS.

    • Anon for this :

      In my culture, matchmaking is common but it does not go as far as arranged marriage. So, I was introduced to a bunch of men but either I did not like them or they did not like me. Finally there was this guy that was a good-not-great catch, smart and good looking enough. Well, he fell in love with me, began pursuing me ardently, and while I was not crazy about him at first, I caught his spark. We soon got married and it has been a good marriage for many years now.

      Intelligence and sense of humor were my pre-requisites and he has them, but I did not appreciate it until some time into the marriage, until we become comfortable with each other and learned to make each other laugh.

      If the guy is smart, kind and has a sense of humor that’s compatible with yours, give him a chance.

      • Generally I’m a fan of not rejecting someone off the bat for a lack of chemistry, BUT (and I don’t want to presume anything about the arranged marriages in Ru’s social circle), it’s often really hard to back out once things get started — there often isn’t an option of ‘let’s date for three months and then see how we feel’.

        That was MY biggest problem with it, since even in the fairly flexible and liberal version of match making that my parents and their friends promote, decisions are made fairly quickly.

        • While my parents say that they would be okay with a 2-3 month dating period before decisions are made, there are going to be visits to each other’s houses and etc and gifting and OMG DESI PEOPLE ARE SO OVER THE TOP that if it’s no after that period, errrrybody gets super angry at the wasted time and effort.

          PLUS, matchmaking uncle suggested we get married before Ramadan. Which is in like 50 days. 50 DAYS PEOPLE.

          • Um yeah, and then the pressure for babies starts. Can you imagine having this guy’s kids? Without really going there, can you imagine making this guy’s babies with him?

            It sounds to me like you’ve given it a shot and it’s just not there. Maybe, as some have said, you could grow to love him…but you sound like you know yourself and the personalities are just not a match. So, stop wasting your time! Let him get on with finding another woman and get on yourself with finding the right guy! Continuing to try to shove this together just makes it that much longer before you each find your loves.

            One last little caveat (like you don’t have enough to think about) is it possible that he’s feeling the pressure too and that’s making him quieter than he actually is? I really REALLY like TCFKAG’s suggestion on this, and even better if you can film it for your tumblr! :-)

          • I quote Cher from Clueless, “You see how picky I am about my shoes, and they only go on my FEET.”

            It is OK to be picky. You’re going to be spending your life with this guy — either married, or co-parenting with a divorce order.

        • I’m married to a South Asian (hindu) guy. I am not SA, so obviously he didn’t go through the parental matchmaking process, but not for lack of effort on their part. He also has an older sister who is (gasp!) unmarried and 30 and the parental pressure on her is awful. So I do sort of get the parental pressure involved. The parents have two distinct interests here: (1) self interests (fun wedding! nice in-laws they can hang out with!) and (2) your own interests. As for #2, I’m sure in their own way they want you to be happy and I suspect that most of them went through their own arranged marriages where maybe they didn’t feel any spark or had doubts or whatever but didn’t get a lot of say. And then it worked out and they “grew to love” that person. They don’t want you to miss out on that.

          So, if it’s a definite no from you, tell them that you understand #2 above and you hope you find that, but it’s not going to be this guy. Not ever. You just aren’t attracted to him.

          But if you are open to giving him one more chance, I’d see him again- with just your bro, not the whole family. Try to get past the superficial and see if there’s anything there. If you truly like everything else about him, it might be worth a shot. I try to imagine my DH and I having undergone this sort of thing (obviously in an alternate universe where I were also south asian) and I’m not sure I would have liked him, or his family, quite frankly, on one or two meetings.

          In either case, can you keep pushing for meetings with other guys? Maybe that will derail this obsessions w/ Mr. Perfect as your last chance at love.

    • Can’t relate, but I definitely think youa re doing the right thing. Take the discomfort and unhappiness of the present time, compare them to how unhappy, uncomfortable, etc. you will be in 50 years if you marry him. You are doing the right thing.

    • I am with a nice-but-meh kind of guy and believe me : if you are in a position to do so, keep looking for the good one. It IS dragging after a while and it does not get better.

    • Ru, I’m so sorry to hear this! My husband (South Asian Muslim) was being pushed through the arranged marriage process before he “found me” and introduced me and we, obviously, passed the parental test and ended up marrying. I know that he found it very uncomfortable, stressful, and difficult to disappoint his parents, who were trying very hard to find a good match for him but just not quite getting it right. He was much more negative about the process to begin with than you are, so maybe this is not comfortable for you, but based on his experience, I think you have to have a serious talk with your family and aunties and say: “If you cannot respect when I say no, I cannot work with you. I want this to work, but you have to ultimately trust me and my decisions. And you have to trust that I will give prospects a fair chance, because I do want this to work, too, so I will. Don’t make this more stressful and difficult for me than it already is, or I will sour on the whole process.” They won’t want that!

      I did not go through this myself, but I did try hard to push myself to like various guys who “fit the right boxes”, and — you’re right, it never feels right. When you find someone you WANT to spend your life with, it makes all the difference!

      What about these siblings you got along with? Any of them eligible young men? :)

      • Hey MM. Sigh, I have had that talk with my parents. They just keep forgetting that they agreed to be rational. It frustrates me to the max that they won’t drop the issue until and unless the guy’s side says no.

        His lil bro is 5 years younger than me and is weird and unintentionally hilarious. I wanna keep him as a pet. He told his brother in front of me that he likes me and approves, lol. His sister was pretty chill, too.

    • Hugs. As others have said, you’re the one who has to spend the rest of your life married to him. Not your mom. Not the auntie. Not his siblings. If you don’t like him, you don’t like him.

      Maybe you could add that as a box to be checked off: observant Muslim, taller than me, educated, a person I enjoy spending time with.

    • Also religious :

      Is there any way to spend a little more time with him? Could it be there just weren’t sparks at first sight? This is a tough situation for sure.

      I guess this is also hard because when entering into marriage where religion/culture/values are a huge consideration, I feel sometimes it is necessary to be a bit more objective. I can think back on men I have met in the past who might have been a more passionate or interesting match, but at the end of the day, I chose to pursue a partner who met my religious and moral criteria and who would help me to live that sort of value-driven life I want and need to lead. Can it be a little boring sometimes? Yes. We are not that exciting. But then I think about how I don’t have to worry about him looking at p**n or other women, cheating, having a disease, objectifying me- there are a ton of benefits to having married somebody who 100% shares my values and moral outlook on life. I also don’t have to worry about fighting the battles over holiday or religious occasion observance because we do that together. Kids will be raised seamlessly with our values as well. It’s just so much simpler and I feel like my marriage is going to be much more successful in the long run because my partner is helping me to live the life I want and completely shares my moral and social values.

      I’m not trying to say you pick the blah person just because. Just more that sometimes it is important to look at things a little more objectively as well and ask whether potential partners will help us to lead the religious lives we want, help us to construct that life and support those morals. If that person is a 100% moral/religious/values based fit and we can see that person creating that life for us we want, perhaps it is not the worst thing to value that over immediate sparks or an extremely passionate existence.

      • Muslimgirl :

        I agree with this. You just can’t have everything. When I met a guy who checked off the biggest boxes (for me this was religious values and approach to religious practice, parenting, materialism/career etc.) then I considered myself lucky. He was younger than me, not that good looking, not from my culture, not super driven, so he “failed” a lot of other cultural desi boxes, but I am so happy with my decision. I am so glad I have someone who keeps my type A, anxious tendencies in check and helps me focus less on dunya and more on deen and akhirah. I am so glad I have someone who I know thinks the world of me and values me and who I can always count on to be there for me. I respect him and his character so much. Perhaps I am too “practical,” but no one is perfect, and there is no Mr. Perfect. Not feeling sparks or being immediately energized by someone seems a bit silly as a deal-breaker to me personally because you don’t even know him that well, and also marriage is not a honeymoon! You will grow old with this person, you will change with this person, you will raise children with this person. You should give him a chance and get to know him — but ultimately I think you should think hard about what your “Mr. Perfect” is like, and how important each of those “boxes” really are. If you will always be dreaming of “Mr. Perfect” it would be a disservice to yourself and to this guy to marry him.

        • Sigh, I agree VERY MUCH with the both of you. My head says to marry him. My intuition is extremely opposed to that. I’ve prayed so much for a seeratul mustaqeem partner, someone who’d help me on the way to jannah. Maybe he’s the answer to my dua? I don’t know. I feel like I’m being so ungrateful, since there are so few men who are raised in this country that are religious but I feel so wrong saying yes. And so wrong saying no.

          To everyone: thank you so much for responding. I’m gonna print out all of your responses and read them over and over. And maybe create a weighted matrix or something.

          • Also religious :

            Ru, I will pray for you too! :-)

            Is there any way you might be able to spend just a little time with him alone? Maybe have a more candid talk with him about if he feels pressured? Is it possible that some of these feelings are stemming from the hulabaloo the families are conjuring up? Maybe opinions might change a little if there was just a bit more time to wade through that and get to the real him. Does this man have any nice qualities that are a little more subjective (like a nice smile or nice eyes) you could think about in addition to the more objective qualities? Sometimes if I am feeling grumpy about more subjective or romantic qualities of my husband I take a moment to think of a nice thing he said in the past or how he likes to hold my hand a lot. Then I feel a little better.

            You are not ungrateful. It’s just a hard situation because (well most of us at least) we only get one chance to pick the right person, and with so many religious/cultural/familiar obligations to consider as well, the whole situation is just very weighty. It can be hard to know what path we are being called to take.

            I am not sure if this helps, but there are definitely times I feel very… matter of factly about my husband. But I do love him so and know he is the right for me. Sometimes I think there are natural ups and downs to how we feel about our partners. I pray a lot when I get in those mental ruts. Sometimes I think for those of us raised in the West, Western concepts of love may make us feel wrong or bad if we don’t feel extremely sparky about our partners at first or all the time. The second one starts to feel more neutral or just not over the moon, Western stereotype/tendency might be trying to tell us to think that it is the beginning of the end. So… again not sure if it helps much, I am just trying to provide a perspective that sometimes feeling more flat line about our partner is not a bad thing and it doesn’t mean something is always wrong (sometimes something is wrong, just not always by default). This sort of thing is natural to me and not a cause for concern if we continue to love them and also pray for guidance towards better times :-)

            I think you will make the right decision. Don’t beat yourself up too much over it. Just take some time to think, possibly talk to your parents, possibly see if you can talk further to this man. I think things will be sorted as they are meant to be.

          • To Also Religious- thank you so much for this. You hit on exactly some issues I have been struggling with internally. I have struggled with taking the next step with a very very good man because, although he is a fantastic person and we have fun together, etc., after many years, I don’t feel that “sparky” feeling anymore that so many describe that is supposed to be “the” indicator when you are with the right person. This has caused me a lot of anxiety, but you are totally right. Also, this is silly, but thank you for mentioning praying for guidance. How did I think that this issue was not prayer worthy? Sigh…

    • Also S. Asian here.. You are not too old to be getting married. You are not past your expiration date. This matchmaking auntie is not “doing you a favor” by giving you first crack at the guy. (Classic marketing–creating a false sense of urgency.) You are not buying a product, you are making a lifelong and incredibly personal investment in your future and your happiness. You have every right to want to click on a personal level as well as regarding pragmatic issues.

      Major kudos to you for trying to make sensible decisions at the same time that you try to please the family. And I’d imagine that the same pressure on you to “marry well” is probably also weighing on your mother, hence her “broken heart.”

      On an aside, I somehow feel that some of these matchmaking aunties are inappropriately pushy b/c they are just trying to increase their stats of “successful” matches–that is how they derive their respect and status in the community. Ignore them because this not a mere transaction!!

    • Ru — have you asked him to sing yet? If he refuses or sings badly — then you have valid grounds for refusal! :-) But if he busts out the Fresh Prince theme song, then you have to marry him.


    • Anne Shirley :

      I’m confused, because to me this is exactly what Id think you’d get in an arranged marriage. A guy who checks all the boxes, with compatible families, who seems like a decent man you’ll learn to love over the years.

      • The movie “Suzie Gold” is about dating the guy who “checks all the boxes”.

      • Muslim Anon :

        Ru isn’t agreeing to an arranged marriage. She’s agreeing to a set of introductions with guys who fit her profile. She doesn’t have to marry any of them.

      • Had the exact same thought :

        From a background that often participates in arranged marriages. I agree w/ Anne Shirley–isn’t this the exact expected result?

        It may “be more like an international dating service,” according to Aishwarya Rai’s character in Bride & Prejudice, but what more does one want? I’m not asking to be snarky. So you want someone who fits all these boxes plus the intangibles? I really don’t know if there are any shortcuts to find that person with whom you spark.

    • Muslim Anon :

      Oh Ru, I totally feel you. I went through the same thing with my parents. Everyone needs to calm down and realize that being over 25 and unmarried is not a death sentence. But of course they won’t and will be all melodramatic. I think you’re right to nip it in the bud though.

    • lostintranslation :

      Nothing to add, but just wanted to say hang in there. My grandparents had an arranged marriage and a partnership I admire. My cousin (early 40’s) said yes to the stable meh arranged marriage and he provides for her and the kids, but it’s not where you wanna be later on. I promise. My mom rejected all of the potential matches she was introduced to, and married my dad when she was thirty-“frickin”-five :-) You will find the right guy for you and on your own terms.

    • I say this with love for my husband: a husband can try your patience to a very thin edge; he can anger you; he can hurt your feelings; he can seem more like your child than your lover with his needs. You will need more than “meh” to come out the other side with a healthy and whole marriage.

      Maybe try telling the parents and the auntie that he is a very good man who deserves more love than you’re going to be able to muster?

    • So many great comments already, there’s not much to add. You can give this guy a little more time maybe, if that will help make up your mind or convince the families, but if you still just don’t like him you need to stop the process. As others have said, this is perhaps the biggest decision of your life and you should not be pressured into it.

      I thought it was telling that you used the word “beige” to describe your feelings — if Ru, the great goddess of color, feels beige, then forget it.

    • Tired Squared :


      As a fellow (albeit Hindu) desi, I know where you’re coming from. Hugs for you.

      I think that your second-to-last paragraph speaks volumes. “I know myself — I feed off the energy of others.” and “I want to be in a marriage where we feel like equals.” If I were you, I think I would add these things (or something incorporating them) to your list of boxes. You know these qualities are important to you, just like the fact that the guy should also be an observant Muslim, from a good family, etc.

      At the end of the day, it is your life, and no one else’s. No matter what those Aunties say, it is going to be the next few decades of your life that you spend with this person, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to start out those decades feeling stifled and beige inside.


    • Don’t let anybody strong arm you into it. And don’t do it to make your mom happy. I married someone (introduced by family and then made our own decision about our compatibility) who seemed meh but nice because I thought it would make my family, and eventually me, happy. Meh is still meh. I’ve had to suppress a lot of my achievement-oriented inclinations and activities to limits that are acceptable to his ego and self -esteem issues. Marry someone who is your equal. Period. That doesn’t mean he has to be the same as you, he could be an introvert where you are an extrovert, etc. But you should want to be with him.

      I will say that if there is any chance that he could grow on you, perhaps another coffee date or the like? Is it possible that he has felt stifled by the process and hasn’t shown his true, more colorful self?

      I know it’s hard… Have a one-on-one with your mom, maybe. By the way, if you get married to please her, you know that next she’ll be asking about the grandbabies, and then the next one. In other words, moms will always want something more for you until you have the big house in the suburbs and two kids of each gender, but what if that’s not really what you want for yourself.

      • I’m scared that what you’ve said could become my future if I say yes. There’s nothing objectively wrong with this guy, it’s me. I’m considering texting him and letting him know that I’m just really uncomfortable with the whole situation, sorry. I know that he’s under a lot of pressure, too. Sigh.

    • Gotta have the spark. It’s the most important check of all. Doesn’t have to be huge. But there has to be some chemistry.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Hugs, Ru!

      You’ve got to go with your gut. You deserve the right match, but so does he. I’ve known two (happily) arranged couples and both felt a connection from the start.

      Have you seen the indie film “Arranged”? LOL, it won’t get your mind off your situation, but maybe it would offer some commiseration and hope.

    • PirateLawyer :

      I understand that there are considerations beyond just a “spark” when you are entering into this sort of a situation. BUT, that being said (and I say this with respect to any first date/introduction/courting/whatever) after meeting him, you should *unequivocally* want to see this man again. Period. You may not have a rush that makes you certain you will marry him, but you should absolutely, unequivically, be intrigued and want to see him again. Spending your life with someone is a long commitment, and your mate needs to pique your interest now, so that he can keep on piquing your interest as you move through life together.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        To follow up on that – perhaps you can see him in a context where he will shine more than how you’ve seen him so far. Is there something he loves that you can do with him and see if he becomes less beige-y? If he loves the arts, could you go see a play or go to a museum? Same goes for sports, science, or whatever it is that he is passionate about – can you put him in a context where he will light up? (oh, and if he isn’t passionate about anything, that should be answer enough that he’s just a beige kind of person.)

        I absolutely agree with Pirate that you really need to want to see him again and find him interesting (that’s why I’m with my SO) … but I sure as heck would not acquit myself well if someone met me at Thanksgiving dinner with all our relatives pushing us to get married (which is what my WASP mind imagines you’re going thru). Perhaps you should give your heart and gut one last shot to get on board while setting him up for success? If you still don’t see him as more than beige after that, you might then be more at peace with refusing.

  13. Professor TBA (formerly Just Hired...) :

    I just noticed that my textbook selections are already posted on my future law school’s website, which is strangely exciting (even if I am listed as “Professor TBA”). Thanks again to everyone who shared their input on textbook format issues!

    • My sister was the first in our family to go to college, and she recently told me that she thought all her freshman classes were going to be taught by the same guy … Prof TBA. Good luck with teaching!

      • My college actually had a pre-orientation week for people who, essentially, were “first in their families” to college or were otherwise from a socio-economic class that wasn’t in on the college scene *lingo* and I think it really helped with the transition (I think they also did one for international students and a more general one for students of color). I actually thought the first one was a really great idea, just because you don’t really realize the amount you absorb in terms of learning from just being surrounded by college grads until you meet someone who hasn’t grown up in that environment (not in terms of book-learning, but in terms of just feeling comfortable).

  14. Does anyone know where I can get a plain, white t-shirt, made out of nylon or some other silky material that’s a little dressier than plain cotton? I used to be able to find those everywhere, now I can’t seem to find them. I like the nylon/spandex blends, they are a little thicker than cotton, and just look a little dressier under suits. The ones I have are getting worn out, but I haven’t seen anything I like to replace them. Ann Taylor carried them in the past, but no more.

    • Soma has some tanks and 3/4 t’s like that.

    • Does this fit your needs? I’m not sure how I feel about the shininess of it.

    • You could also try buying this men’s t-shirt in a small. :-)

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m wearing this one in orange today and have rec’d several compliments. I also ordered it in white. It won’t work under all jackets but definitely dresses things up a bit. Also thinking about ordering this one in white:

    • White House Black Market Seamless T

  15. Hi ladies, need to get thoughts from the hive… since I’ve been here I’ve heard a lot of opinions regarding pantyhose from Team No Hose and Team Hose… also have learned the phrase ‘nude for you’, discovered the wonderful world of toe-less pantyhose (yay!), and read that Kate Middleton is making nude stockings fashionable again (although this is arguable, per Team No Hose!).

    And the reason I am celebrating this information is that I am one of those that feels very self-conscious about my bare legs. I’ve read posts from other people who also dislike the look of their bare legs, but my situation is a little different in that I was in a motorcycle accident several years ago, my pant legs caught on fire, and I had burns completely surrounding my left calf and partially around my right, requiring skin graphs. Both my calves and my thighs are significantly discolored and the skin texture isn’t the same, as it seems ‘looser’ and tends to wrinkle slightly, ick. However, I am very fortunate in that it did heal fairly smooth, after a year of wearing compression garments.

    So I normally wear hose with dresses and skirts. But, I was wondering, what about wearing knee-highs with longer capris and the cropped pants that are out for summer? I can’t decide if nude knee-highs with a casual capri pant would look more or less odd than naked, scarred calves. I also haven’t been able to find the perfectly sheer, nude for me, toe-less knee high, so if anyone has any suggestions regarding this, or just nude hose in general, I’d appreciate it!


    • Former MidLevel :

      I wouldn’t wear hose with capris or cropped pants (and I am firmly on Team Hose). I also understand being self-conscious about your calves, but I don’t think you should feel compelled to hide your scars. See, e.g., Padma Lakshmi. I’m sure your legs are still beautiful and they show you are a survivor.

      • Agreed. I think sheer hose would look odd with capris (and I am also on Team Hose — wearing them right now in sweaty NYC!). Ditto about Padma Lakshmi.

        I will also add – nobody will care about your legs as much as you do (or at all). To be honest, I wouldn’t even notice my coworkers legs. And, if I did notice, and also cared enough to think about her legs, I would also never say anything because that’s just rude.

        As for nude hose – a lot of people love the Hanes Silk Reflections. I have also had good luck with Wolford (with both skin matching and durability, although they’re expensive).

    • soulfusion :

      I understand about being self-conscious, we all have our insecurities. But I agree that you shouldn’t feel like you have to hide your scars. I’m a team no hose not because I have awesome legs (too pale, too veiny, too many mystery bruises) but because they are TOO HOT!! Besides, in capris, I doubt anyone would really even notice.

    • just Karen :

      Sorry, I don’t have any suggestions for great hose, but you have totally blown my mind with the reference to toeless stockings, which I had no idea existed. I think I’ll be heading to the store after work. Also, I agree with Former MidLevel that your legs are beautiful, scars and all . Wear whatever makes you comfortable.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I love the hose/no hose argument, particularly because here in England it isn’t even an argument. Most people wear them (although less so in the summer) so it just doesn’t get discussed the same way.

      But then we also very rarely have tropical temperatures…

    • I broke my leg as a child and have very, very noticeable scars on one of my legs. I’m captain of team Hose (what UP!) but I think you shouldn’t wear knee highs because you want to hide your scars unless its for some other reason for comfort. I like hose because my feet sweat in close toed shoes and because it smooths everything out under skirts. BUT…everyone’s different and you know, you should do what you like. But I do think capris and cropped pants would look odd with knee highs, especially if you were wearing open toed sandals (oh no!)

      Seriously, you won’t be the first person people have seen with scars. When people have the audacity to ask me about my scars (god…people like on the subway….REALLY)…I get to practice my “I could kill you right now” face…which really, I don’t get to practice enough.

      But in short, if you’re really, really self-conscious, you could wear knee-highs with capris (and there are toe-less knee highs out there available on onehanesplace) but I think the look would be both odd and uncomfortable. I’d stick with capris or cropped pants that hide most of the scars and otherwise just don’t worry about it too much and know that you don’t have the worst scars that people have ever seen.

      • I am a bystander in the team hose/team no hose war. I wear hose when appropriate, I usually don’t because it’s not appropriate in my workplace.

        I am, however, apparently on team TCFKAG today, because exactly this. Hose will be warm during the summer and people should not even notice or care. I absolutely understand being self conscious about something, but then I always remember “Those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

        I have scars, not as bad as either of you are describing, because I 1) did not have any idea how to shave my legs and ripped a chunk out of my leg with the razor (literally, moms, don’t give your 15 year old daughter a razor in a locker room shower and tell her to “go to town” NOT pretty.) 2) went roller skating and got pushed into a gravel pit; 3) went roller blading and ran shins first into a gate, couldn’t walk for two days; 4) slipped on the dock at the lake and scrapped right over the previous shaving scar (years apart); 5) went biking with a 90 pound lab and got pulled into a parked car; 6) went running with a 90 pound lab and got pulled down an asphalt hill; 7) was not told to wear protective gear when I learned to slide in baseball; 8) slipped on the diving board trying to do a handstand dive; 9) had an ingrown hair on the top of my foot that had to be surgically removed…there are a few more I can’t remember.

        Sometimes I look at my legs and think I am the klutziest, most accidentally self-damaging person ever. Other times I think, “hey, look at all the cool stuff I did!” :-)

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I love your stories. I got pulled into a parked car by a 70 pound pit bull mix and I left a huge dent in the car like an animal had hit it. Luckily (?) it was my car. That left quite a mark and I couldn’t believe the dog had that much strength. Lesson learned: don’t let a parked car get between you and dog on a long leash because when the cat comes running by, you will have NO control.

          • It’s 11PM, and I’m prepping for a depo, and this just made me laugh *so* hard.

    • lostintranslation :

      I tend to feel so painfully self-conscious about everything. When I do, I think about what mamabear said a while back. Even if someone were to notice, in 10 seconds they’ll go back to thinking about their favorite topic: themselves

      Which is a roundabout way of saying you don’t need to wear hose if you don’t want to. Nobody will think that you look odd!

      • Mamabear is wise. All bow to the wisdom of the mamabear.

      • LOL! Very true, about the favorite topic!

        I’ll have to work on being less self-conscious, which if not careful can lead to being self-absorbed. The idea crossed my mind because we are planning a dream trip to Rome in the fall, and I’m already shopping for new clothing/footwear that’ll travel well but not scream ‘tourist’… and it occurred to me that, from a distance, with knee-highs you would hardly see the scars… but I’ll save money on the knee-highs, and get some new shoes, instead! Grazie!

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