Wednesday’s Workwear Report: Colorblocked Gathered Detail Top

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

This top comes in both a black/navy (machine washable) and an eggplant/bright fuchsia (dry clean), and it seems simple yet fun. I like that it’s gathered but still a typical, classic shell — Argent is doing a lot of interesting things with workwear. If you’ve never bought from Argent, note that it offers free shipping and free returns and that sizes run small. The top is $118 and comes in sizes 0–14. Colorblocked Gathered Detail Top

Here’s a lower-priced option and a plus-size option.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous :

    I tried this on, as well as the gingham jacket. I think they fit similar to Theory.

    • Marshmallow :

      How was the quality? I’ve been eyeing this top, specifically, for quite a while. But Argent’s prices are higher even than MMLF and I don’t know if it’s worth it.

      • Anonymous :

        The pieces were well-constructed. The fabrics didn’t have that luxe feel of Boss or Max Mara, they were a bit more utilitarian.

  2. Baconpancakes :

    Today’s reading assignment (which is so long I’m breaking it up into at least four breaks’ worth of reading):

    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/06/the-birth-of-a-new-american-aristocracy/559130/

    So far, it’s hitting pretty close to home. But I think that’s the point.

    • Anonymous :

      What about it is hitting close to home for you? Curious.

      • Baconpancakes :

        That we all like to think we’re middle class, ignoring the reality that the “middle class” is well below the average income levels of most people on this board. That privilege is real and pervasive and insidious for people who don’t have it.

        • Anonymous :

          Do we though? I have a HHI of $150k and I definitely consider myself pretty wealthy. I mean, I know there are plenty of people who have much more and we generally live a pretty middle-class lifestyle so we can put lots of money in the bank. But I wouldn’t describe myself as “middle class” because I know our income puts us in the top 10% of households in the US.

          • HHI around 150K in a LCOL city and I still consider myself middle class. I would only consider myself upper class if I was able to stop working and still maintain my lifestyle. Middle class to me means working to earn money even when the money becomes somewhat surplus. I definitely don’t feel rich or wealthy, the money goes where it goes (some splurges, some house stuff, mostly bills, some supporting my child who is a relatively young single parent).

          • It’s so interesting to me, poster from 12:17, that your definition of middle class is “still needs to work.” (Please don’t read this in a snarky tone of voice. I’m genuinely interested.) And upper class is “doesn’t need to work.”

            To me, middle class is the kind of lifestyle you’re living, and the lifestyle of your peer group and social class. I earn $120,000 less than you a year, and consider myself middle class.

          • Anon at 9:20 :

            I definitely think you can be upper class or wealthy and still need to work (assuming you’re not at a normal retirement age). So wealthy you don’t need to work is mega mega wealthy. To me, middle class means you’re not struggling to pay your basic bills and you can enjoy some moderate indulgences like meals out, fancy coffees, kids’ sports camps, stuff like that, but you’re not going to Europe every year, driving luxury cars or spending hundreds of dollars a month on clothing.

        • Baconpancakes, I’m with you on this sentiment and how it hits close to home. Growing up, my family referred to ourselves as “upper middle class” I think in part to downplay how upper class we actually were.

        • I think some of us saying we’re middle class is more a modesty option. When I am working (cross fingers for latest interview), our HHI is over $200k but I still feel “middle class”. I feel weird saying “upper middle class” or even “moderately wealthy” even though we have the hallmarks of those things (high HHI, large house, long term investments, many material items, etc.).

          I think what “class” you’re in might be more of a mindset than actual hard dollars and cents?

          • Anonymous :

            Um, no. It is definitely not. You are upper class. You have much, much more than a lot of people. Your discomfort with that fact is much, much less than the hardship that people with less than you go through.

          • Agree; you are definitely upper class. Calling yourself middle class isn’t modesty, it’s tone deaf delusion.

          • Kat in VA :

            Maybe it’s more the mindset since I grew up lower middle class, if not lower than that. To me, it still seems unreal to be in this financial situation. I don’t know how else to explain it. It’s not so much discomfort as thinking, “Nah, I’m not RICH, I don’t have a private jet or a 20,000 square foot mansion, and I don’t go to Turks & Caicos for vacation.” I guess that makes me delusional, then. Thanks for the useful input.

      • Anonymous :

        I didn’t grow up around money or around anyone who had it. And by “money,” I mean $100,000 or above. it took me well into my 30s to start to realize that there were people who had a whole leg up on life that I didn’t merely because their parents knew professional people and had networks, and my peers had tapped into those networks effortlessly.

        The dawning realization that there was this whole group of people whose parents had taken them to museums, and who had traveled, and who had socialized with people in professions and who casually knew people who did these interesting careers — and that THIS, along with being smart — had gotten them where they were … it was a sobering realization. I knew how to go to work and do a good job, but I had zero idea this other world even existed, that these other people were born into. And by “this other world,” I mean, people who make much less money than many of the people on this board do. I guess that means I grew up (genuinely) lower middle class. Or lower, lower middle class.

        • This is sort of funny. We went to museums b/c we were poor (b/c we never traveled and maybe went to movies once a year). Often there are free days (or teachers were free) or the fees were very nominal (esp. compared to movies). So I never got taken on any culture-type trips but have seen things in museums and have read about them. We still think of things from museum gift stores as fancy presents.

          We could have gotten movies from the library, but my parents didn’t have anything to play them on until I was an adult.

          • Interesting :

            I think the museum and library visits are a good example of having access to cultural capital, and having parents who valued it (teachers, while certainly not wealthy, are definitely middle class and generally put a higher value on education). My husband and I grew up in households of similar (middle mayyybe verging on upper middle) means, but my parents are college educated and his are Eastern European immigrants with rural roots. He only visited the library on his own when he and his brother would be left to fend for themselves while his parents had to scramble to make a living. My parents put their money into ballet lessons, vacations, and things like museum visits but we had shabby furniture and I mostly wore my cousins hand-me-downs, while his were so excited to get a piece of the American dream that they focused more on a big house and cars. As an adult, he often feels like he had to play catch up on cultural references that are valued by the upper middle and wealthy people he works with.

        • Anonymous at 9:57, I was like you. I grew up believing wholeheartedly in the meritocracy. We were lower lower middle class in a rural area and I knew how to work hard. I begged my way into scholarships and worked 35 hours/wk in high school so I could afford the state college. I picked a major that would pay well – I thought $50K/yr in a Big 4 Accounting firm was amazing – at 22 I was making more than my parents ever would.

          Then… the opportunities! The networks! The family who could give you advice on office politics! The people who had left the state! Such a sobering realization to see how far behind I was, how much harder I’d had to work to get what others took for granted. To see that people like this existed. It shattered my belief systems.

          The divide between the 90% and the 10% is pretty stark when you’ve lived both sides.

          • Oh and I should clarify. I am aware of the immense amount of luck I had in getting to where I am too, and how so many of my peers never even got a chance to show their grit or smarts. I try hard to live this in my values, and make as much of a difference to others in the 90% as I can. (Through volunteering, donating, voting, even where I choose to raise my kids and how I get involved in my local community.)

            I don’t have much sympathy for people who think THEY worked hard and got to the 10%, so they shouldn’t feel bad. Of course you should feel proud of your accomplishments and the inner strength you have, no one can take that away from you. But you should also be turning around and lending a hand to those below you on the ladder, since you know first hand what it’s like to be there, and you know first hand what is going to be most helpful.

          • You just described my life! Sometimes, it’s hard to enjoy the indulgences now because I feel guilty for not giving back more…

          • Yes, +1

          • Yes! This is me and my husband, too – we currently have a HHI of around $170k in a MCOL city, and refer to ourselves as “rich,” but mostly just to each other, because our friends from college and work were all born into this kind of life, and they definitely do not think they (or their parents) are rich, even though we’re all pulling down roughly the same amount. We’re hyper-aware of our privilege, in large part because we make more money than all four of our parents combined ever made (…and of course our parents still work, even though they’re technically ‘retirement age,’ because they can’t afford not to, while all of our friends have retired parents).

    • Anonymous :

      I may be a top 10%er now, but I didn’t come from it, much less come from it for generations. My extended family’s survival and stability is basically that people endured bad marriages to alcoholics for several generations (b/c being a single parent would have cut off half of your extended family support and lopped off a decent chunk of income while still leaving you with 5+ kids) and never leaving the same small town.

      Pretty sure my kids won’t have the same spending power I do (b/c I spend most $ on a house in a good but not awesome school district and child care), but I know exactly what my alternative would be (and theirs) and am not rushing to return to it.

      My people don’t have country clubs. They have the country.

      • Baconpancakes :

        My mother’s family was on government assistance in the depression, and my mother was the first in her family to have a degree. But my SO’s family is all doctors and lawyers. I have a strong anxiety about the whole “marrying up” thing, and frequently feel like I’m faking it when I’m around his family.

        But the reality is that I met my SO at my excellent, small, public liberal arts school, which I was able to get into because my mother prioritized my education above all else. Could I have gotten into my college without going to a private prep school? Maybe, but I probably wouldn’t have thought to apply there. Being exposed to the people who were from Good Families gave me a leg up, both in being able to “fake” being part of that world and having access to their resources. My mom made the same choices that the 5G’s families made, at her own expense (Oil of Olay beauty products were an “expensive luxury” to her), and she’s the reason I’m in the 9.9% now.

        • I have the Preppy Handbook. I know it’s supposed to be funny, but can be almost like anthropology to those of us who grew up playing soccer in the street. I feel like it taught me a code of some sort.

      • Anonymous :

        ??

        • I think what Anon at 9:03am is saying is that she grew up poor and is now in the top 10% and doesnt want to risk going back there? But I dont think the article is even saying you need to do that?

          • Anonymous :

            I think she’s questioning whether it’s really privilege when you worked your bottom off to get there and didn’t come from means.

          • Considering how many people work their bottom off and stay stuck in poverty in this country/world, at the end of the day she and other people who were able to uplift themselves out of poverty still have privileges other people do not. Its just the way it is.

            HOWEVER, that does not mean she did not work hard, isnt deserving of her success, etc. The concept of privilege is complicated and touchy and from my understanding, there are many layers to it…its not just “oh you were born poor but youre rich now so pay up!” – its more nuanced that that imo

          • I think the point is that privilege for some people is sticky and for many of us, is a privilege that only lasts as long as your paycheck.

            It may be the difference between rich and wealthy, as Chris Rock’s routine went. I am a paycheck away from being poor. I am like someone like a guy in the NFL making league minimum (which is great, but good luck getting more than 4 years of it and you’ll probably die broke). My current good fortune looks like a momentary blip if you factor the 30 years of lower-middle class life that preceded it. Talk to me when I’m 60 if I make it in SF BigLaw (probably not); I probably will still be living in a 1BR doing something else.

          • If you’re in biglaw your privilege can be sticky even if you don’t stay forever. Why aren’t you investing to the hilt right now so that if/when you leave and drop down to a 100-200k job, your money continues to work for you?

          • Anonymous :

            b/c i am so tired

          • Anonymous :

            leave biglaw and drop to a 100K-200K job? seem like a unicorn but sign me up

          • Anonymous :

            You’re too TIRED to invest?? No one is saying you need to listen to every earnings call, but how hard is it to put money into an index monthly so your NW grows even if you leave biglaw for a lower salary?

            A 100-200k post biglaw job is a unicorn? What do your peers make when they go in house or government?

        • I agree. I dont understand what peeople are referring to here. I know I had alot of advantages as a kid, but I started at the BOTTOM once I got my JD degree., with NO help from Dad.

          So me working serveing subpeenies and getting my tuchus pinched every day is hardly something I needed to be middle class for.

          Now that I moved out of that to be a real lawyer, I think I am very fortunate, but do NOT have any real wealth, other then my freinds and my clotheing. So if I consider myself upper middle class, it is b/c of what I did to advance myself, useing my intellect to get where I am today, as an attorney duly admitted to the NYS Bar, and in good standing. I do not think there is anything for me to feel bad about, whatever HHI refers to. YAY!!!!

    • I read it a week or so ago, and thought it was so true. I was a biglaw senior associate until recently when I left for a government job. Even as a single person, my HHI is higher then the vast majority of people in DC. And most of my friends have HHIs significantly higher than mine. But to hear them talk, they are barely getting by. I’m so sick of people with HHIs of 300k+ talking about how they don’t make enough money to raise a family, and completely overlooking all of their advantages.

      • This is a DC thing to a large extent. Never in my life have I heard people complain about how life is soooo hard and 300k is barely enough and I don’t get how expensive dc is. Uh moved here from nyc 2 years ago, get a grip it isn’t that expensive.

    • Feels like those articles always try to shame people for doing well. I’ve worked hard to get to 9.9% and the required net worth and I accumulated it myself – no spouse making 6 figures; no wealthy or connected parents who were able to get me an internship or a job even when I was unemployed for 18 months recently. So what if I and others like me want to protect our space?

      • Anonattorney :

        So, you should read the article. Especially this quote: “It’s one of the delusions of our meritocratic class, however, to assume that if our actions are individually blameless, then the sum of our actions will be good for society.”

        In fact, the author acknowledges that given stratification and lack of social mobility, people in the 9.9% have taken more steps to–as you put it–“protect our space” because it’s so scary to fall out of that group.

        • Read the article when it circulated weeks/months ago. I just don’t see what’s so terrible about protecting your space.

          • What do you mean by “protecting your space”? It sounds like you mean pulling up the ladder behind you so nobody else can get up there. I hope I am misunderstanding.

          • Anonattorney :

            Ah, I see. Do you feel like the systems currently in place protect “your” space? The opportunity for people without wealthy or connected parents or spouses to move up? If so, I’d love to hear more about your reasoning. I don’t think I’ve read many articles written by people defending the bootstraps argument in the past few years.

          • Anonymous :

            I’m all for a system where people who aren’t born rich or to connected parents can get to 9.9 just like I did. But I’m also keenly aware that my first responsiblity is to my own family – keeping the in the 9.9. IMO that means making sure my money isn’t subsidizing college for others – with all the tax the wealthy so college becomes free ideas – I took loans for my own and I first want to make sure the next gen in my family is fully paid or has negligible loans. Same with gilded neighborhoods mentioned in the article – work hard for the down payment to get into a certain area and district and I have no interest in it being re districted for any reason. If people want to send their kids, they can do what I did.

          • so you just genuinely believe that you should never give back, give up any of your money, even just a small percentage, if it means bettering many other people’s lives or netting society as a whole more education, more opportunity, etc. K.

      • Anonymous :

        If your response to having your privilege pointed out is to feel attacked, you are very much missing the point.

    • I’m reading this as well – but I think fewer of us fall into this top 10% category. You need $1.2 million in net worth – and while some folks on this board may have that, most people I know with HHI of $250k (which is high and who are blessed) have nowhere near that amount in net worth due to high cost of living, childcare, medical expenses, and mortgages. So very lucky and comfortable but definitely not in that top 10%. I’d also venture to say that background makes a big difference. If you didn’t come from money, you likely had to take out loans for college, grad school, help out family members, etc. and are “behind” as a result.

      • You’re on track to have that net worth when you retire though. 40 year olds are always (hopefully) going to have a smaller net worth than 60 year olds with the same income. If you earn $250k, unless you are recklessly irresponsible with money, you are certainly going to be in the top 10% of people your age in net worth. You can’t really compare yourself to people who are much older and have had way more time to save.

        • See I’m not sure about this. This assumption may have held for previous generations, but I’m not sure about mine, particularly for the WOMEN. Seems to me a lot of these professions (I’m particularly thinking about law and consulting and finance) are designed to take a good 8-12 years out of your 20s and 30s but not necessarily graduate you into the upper echelons of the profession. And if you’ve spent that $$ on student loans and daycare and couldn’t put down a down-payment for a jumbo loan “starter condo/home”, well, you probably don’t have that much net wealth. And 1.2M is the BOTTOM of at top 10%, not even close to the median.

      • Agreed. Location also has a lot to do with it. A lot of high salary jobs predominantly exist in VHCOL cities (NYC, SF) and its difficult to build wealth or feel financially secure when COL is that high.

      • +1 to this. I know it’s been talked about before on here, but student loans are and will continue to be a factor in the wealth gap. But, at least in my experience/observations, you often can’t achieve one of the high paying jobs without additional education, which often means taking out loans.

        Yes, I know there are ways to minimize the loans and there are strategies for paying off loans quickly, but sometimes you just don’t have these options or circumstances change. And looking decades ahead, saving for the full cost of attendance for college for my kids might be feasible for my kids, but I don’t know if I’d also be able to save for grad school, if they chose to do that. Then, even though my kids would have privileges others don’t, once their on their own, it would take a long time for their net worth to reach this 9.9% group.

      • Baconpancakes :

        Income and net worth are both ways of determining your percentile – but the reality is, even if your net worth doesn’t feel particularly high, your income is vastly higher than the majority of the country. I was basing most of my comments on HHI. Regarding the HCOL, just because your neighbors are making more/own more doesn’t mean you’re average – it means your neighborhood is extremely wealthy. If you’re in a HCOL área making a HCOL salary, you’re probably not worried about paying the electricity bill.

      • Anonymous :

        And if you’re nitpicking whether or not you’re in the top 10% or just outside it, you are also missing the point.

    • anon a mouse :

      I think about these issues All. The. Time. because a number of themes intersect with the work I do.

      The class divide in and of itself is a problem, but I’m also extremely concerned that many people seem to believe that wealth is an indicator of good character, and poverty (or even middle class) is somehow the result of personal failings. Privilege isn’t recognized as such, but somehow is seen as a reward for being intrinsically good, therefore people who don’t have it must not be good. Which translates — at least in the current administration — into policies that reward “good” and penalize “bad.” And exacerbates the empathy gap.

      • I saw a quote that I’m trying to remember that says something along the lines of, you do horrible things “when you see fault in poverty.”

      • I also run into this thinking all of the time. There’s a lot of belief in meritocracy among the privileged and successful. But the people I know who work entry-level service jobs also tend to draw hard distinctions between people who “lie, cheat, and steal” and people who can be trusted with more responsibility. There’s a lot of stigma everywhere (obviously actually bad people exist, but I try to think more in terms of incentives and perceived community–I really doubt all of the people who are willing to steal from their corporate employer would steal from their friends or from a family business, whether or not I think either decision is okay).

        I’ve also found that otherwise progressive people are often comfortable with the idea that people who are ill or disabled should live in poverty. The perception seems to be that if someone is capable of less, they’re just worth less. And I’ve seen how the stigma of poverty starts to attach to people who became injured and disabled, even though everyone knows what happened. It’s almost as though illness or disability starts to
        be perceived as a character flaw as well.

      • As much as I don’t want to admit it, I do see that work ethic, and just the attitude of persistence…wanting to take ownership of your life and figure things out…does separate the haves and the have nots. Those who don’t have as much can have more of a defeatist attitude, a sit-back and just listen to those who told you that you won’t make it attitude, a I’m not going to self-reflect or try to better myself attitude…Those who have made it work their arses off and try very hard. But then I live in an area with a lot of gov workers and some of them make 6 figures and brag about how they watch movies all day. All with a community college degree. A lot of dummies who think they know something…

        I suppose you do need a role model of some kind to teach you how to make something of yourself and many don’t have that and don’t try to find one.

        • Anonymous :

          On the other hand, so long as there’s a competition, somebody has to lose. When is it wiser to keep trying and keep losing, and when is it wiser to realize that you aren’t competitive, and you may as well make the most of the little you have?

        • Aunt Jamesina :

          I think this is a bit like nature vs. nurture arguments… sure, if you start of with two people of the same level of privilege and one works hard and the other doesn’t, you’re going to see a difference. But don’t tell me a hard-working kid of a single parent living in poverty going to a terrible school is going to get anywhere close to where a lazy kid of wealthy (or even middle class) parents going to high-quality schools will.

          It’s more comfortable to believe in a meritocracy because it gives us a sense of control over our lives and that our success is due to our own good “choices”. But the reality is that there are so many elements decided for us at birth.

          • I place more value on someone who has worked for what they have over someone who gained it through privilege. Also, just because you make a lot of money, doesn’t mean that you have to send your kids to a private school or live in a fancy suburb. Or drive an Acura or Audi…until your kids are out of the house. They don’t need all of the fanciest clothing and electronics, either. Just because you have the money and the means doesn’t mean you can’t make your kids work a little and rub elbows with different types of people.

            People who have Phds their parents helped pay for and get jobs they can’t handle and didn’t deserve at 35 (that most don’t get until pushing 50)…people who have a name people around town know well…These people don’t impress me. Not until I see that they can perform and have a certain perspective that privilege can’t give you. Not until I see that they know how to treat others and lead properly.

            Futher, who is to say that we all want or need to want to be in big law or make a million dollars? Yeah, there is competition, but how many people want what they thought they wanted once they even get there? Is it really that great on the very top? Shoot for the moon, but even if you miss, you can still land among the stars.

    • I think a lot of people who are in the 9.9% or close up it — or are making 150k+ even if they aren’t at a 1.2mil NW — end up feeling middle class because so much of their money goes to 401ks, 529s, brokerages accounts etc that they don’t end up jetting off to Monaco or Hawaii and then say — see I’m middle class like everyone, just driving to the North Carolina beaches.

      • Baconpancakes :

        But most of America doesn’t HAVE 401ks, 529s, and brokerage accounts. That’s the whole point.

        • I think that’s what she’s saying. She’s saying people are looking at cash flow when they should look at the whole picture.

        • Exactly. I’m not sure why people are over looking this. (Not Anon at 11:39am – just people in general)

      • I get your point BP but I was making a different t one — people are self deprecating about being just middle class on 300k because they aren’t headed to Monaco this summer. Yet they choose to ignore that regular people don’t have the luxury of deferring 18.5k/year for a 401k with additional amounts for non retirement investing. Frankly if they were irresponsible and decided to forego savings — 20-50k vacations would be no sweat and just having the choice takes you out of middle class.

      • My husband’s colleague has a good line about this exact thought: “I know I’m technically rich… I just thought it would be better.”

        • Truth.

        • This was my experience too. I grew up in like, the bottom 10%. Now I’m a 1%er, and I see how much easier my life is without a doubt. It’s actually pretty amazing, and I have very few worries in the scheme of things. Somehow though, it still feels like life isn’t really easy!The way I look at it now is that we all think that life is easy for someone, when in reality it isn’t. It’s just that the amount of not-easy is highly variable, and it’s not obvious what the range looks like if you haven’t moved around a lot on it.

        • Blueberries :

          I wish more people who are technically rich would take the view that “I know I’m technically rich, but I thought it’d be better.” It’s frustrating to hear people who are certainly in the top 10% complain about being middle class, paying taxes, barely making it, etc.

        • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

          “I know I’m technically rich… I just thought it would be better.”

          Yup, so much this. I came from a very very poor background, and I didn’t get high income and high net worth mean very different things for your life. I also didn’t get how difficult it would be (or at least how long it would take) to pay off student loans and become a home owner.

          • This is interesting, and I wonder how much of this is people who *grew up* lower middle/lower socioeconomic class, but managed to get to college and then get a good paying job (i.e., never lived THEMSELVES as adults with a family and a lower socioeconomic status income).

            I grew up poor (like, tape garbage bags over the windows in the winter cause the snow comes in the cracks poor), and managed to scrape my way through a trade school and into “can pay all the bills and nothing is getting shut off”. I was married then divorced and a single parent in that income category. My child qualified for government health care (this was pre obamacare so I had none). I had no retirement, no savings, no investments, no vacations. I ate cans of green beans for dinner so my kid could have good meals and decent clothes.

            It took me 15 years to get a bachelors degree, one class at a time. At 37 I went to law school on a partial scholarship (some loans, but not terrible). I now make around 100k a year in a MCOL city. I have full benefits and a 401k. I got remarried. Our HHI is about $170k. I can’t afford go to Europe but I go to other states and chill at the beach. And once I get my kids through college, I can probably go to Europe.

            I feel pretty darn flush. I don’t have to stand in the grocery store and calculate if I can afford the steak. I don’t have to decide between yogurt or sour cream. I can have BOTH. I can get a massage when my neck hurts. When my kid wants to do an activity I can pay the fee without checking my balance.

            I think watching your parents struggle to pay things for YOU, and struggling to pay things for your OWN child, are very very different things.

      • Yeah, making $150k isn’t anywhere close to having $1.2M. No one gets to $1.2M by trimming grocery expenses from their $150K salary, unless maybe they are single and can truly, truly go cheap (like roommates and car shares and whatnot, which can be fine for singles).

    • AnonBigLaw :

      I read the entire article when it came out (it’s been awhile now). If you haven’t read it, here’s the capsule in 3 minutes: https://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/560222/america-class-problem/

      What strikes me is the knowledge that you’re in that top 10% and the anxiety you feel from “seeing” the truth of the top 1% and the bottom 90%. From the comments so far, it sounds like a lot of us would qualify as the top 10%, even though I’m guessing most of us won’t hit the net worth requirements till later in life. I thought it was a good explanation for the anxiety of the “upper middle” or whatever else you want to call it.

    • If you live in NY state, even in the “hickish” upstate region, $150-$200k really isn’t a whole lot of money.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s the cost of a house that you’d own outright. That’s a lot of money to most people.

        • It buys you a house in a place where there are no jobs. So what good does that do the middle class? It’s vacation rental at best. More likely falling into disrepair bc no one can maintain a house on the available salaries where it’s located.

          Look, I don’t think people saying $150-300+ isn’t much / doesn’t put you in the top 10% means those people aren’t aware how many people live on less and sympathize or wish life wasnt different. On the contrary, I think it makes you realize how hard life is for everyone underneath you. If you don’t realize how people with $1-10M get/keep their money, what do you know? Knowing that $50k is something to a lot of people is the obvious part. Not really the insight the Atlantic article offers.

      • Aunt Jamesina :

        This attitude is insufferable. The median household income in New York CITY is right around $50,000. I think it’s easy to believe that $150k isn’t that much when you’re surrounded by people who make that much and more, but it is.

    • To me articles like this miss the mark. Defining class shouldn’t be about HHI; it should be about the lifestyle you are able to comfortably afford. And the reality is that even people at the tip-top of the income scale today are living a less desirable and more precarious lifestyle than the solid middle class of old. Case in point:

      I am on the cusp of being a 1%-er. I have a terminal degree from a top 5 school. I live in a 1 bedroom house in a HCOL area that I was lucky to get in a massive bidding war. I have decent savings, but certainly not what I “should” have at my age because until recently I was paying back about $250k of student loans. I am massively burned out and have no time for leisure, friends, or family.

      My grandpa was a cop and my grandma a part-time librarian. Both had high school diplomas. They had a lovely Sears family home in Nassau-Suffolk County and a modest cabin in the Hamptons, two blocks from the beach. They paid cash for both homes (did not need family assistance). They had plenty of dough to put their kids through university and secure retirements. My dad spent all his summers on the beach (his mom didn’t work summers).

      Short of marrying very well, I could never afford my grandparents’ lifestyle and my future will always be less secure. Their lives were uber-rich by today’s standards.

      • Anonymous :

        My mom was just reminiscing about a single-income family she knew growing up. Dad was a salesman at a department store. I forget how many kids they had, but it was a few. She was contrasting this family’s quality of life with young families today and wondering what changed. I wasn’t sure what to tell her; I was still wrapping my head around how that was even possible! I realize not all families were enjoying a high quality of life in the 60s; my mom’s own family was very poor and my grandparents worked harder than I ever will. But things have certainly changed.

        • Anonymous :

          I think that a major part of what has changed is the cost of education, coupled with job security. My parents were a single income earner house hold, had three kids and were able to put all three kids through private high school and private college and retire at 58.

          I look at my household budget now and don’t see where that same amount of money is going to come from for one kid, let alone two or three with the student loan payments me and DH have (to just then turn around and have to pay for a kids’ education). (and, to clarify, it’s not that I think my kids would need to go to private school and private college, it’s the ability of me to be able to monetarily provide that same opportunity that I had and that my husband had)

      • It’s said that in the USA necessities like housing, education, and health care are expensive, while luxuries like big screen televisions are cheap. Also, the book The Two-Income Trap addresses this.

      • But the article I s not about HHI!!! People on this blog have changed the topic to HHI.

    • Anonymous :

      My problem with this article and similar articles is they appear to blame the 10% when ALL these problems could be fixed in one fell swoop by the 1%. Somehow the 10% becomes everyone’s scapegoat.

      The 1% with their insane inherited wealth (dear L*ord someone on a NYC house show spent $200k on their FIREPLACE remodel) skip away while all the blame is loaded on those of us who started modest, took on loans, work hard and are struggling to stay afloat. Oh, you are *so* lucky that you can HAVE a 401(k) – even if it takes all our time and effort and extra money, we are told while the 1% faces none of this blame and has a significantly greater amount of net assets.

      I don’t feel bad for working hard, taking out loans to go to grad school, working a miserable big law job and saving and saving so I can retire some day and also help my children so they don’t need educational loans. I don’t feel like all the problems of the country are my responsibility. And I do feel like I will ABSOLUTELY prioritize MY retirement, my CHILDREN’s education and my own parents support in old age over other priorities. And frankly, after those items, there is almost no time or money left for anything else.

  3. I am in my 40s. On BCP to deal with wonky periods. Over the past . . . months? year? I just don’t feel right. Maybe a bit of a mind fog? Maybe realizing that BigLaw is awful and it getting that much harder to rally myself?

    Is this a thing?
    Will it pass?
    I really need to give a d*mn if I am going to keep doing this (which, as the main breadwinner, was my plan).

    • brokentoe :

      Perimenopause? If anyone had told me that mid-life hormonal issues and bodily changes would mess with me this much, I’d never believed them.

      • I just turned 40 and am noticing this too. I’m going to ask my Gyn about it and see if there is some baseline testing we can do for my hormones. I’ve also heard that there is a genetic component to when you start menopause and I know that my mom and grandmother both started on the early side.

    • Anonymous :

      I am 41 and at my gyn visit yesterday was going through a list of “weird symptoms” I have been having, expecting that my doctor would send me for some kind of testing…only to hear, gently, that this is perimenopause and yes, those symptoms are normal. And no, there really isn’t much I can do about it other than eat healthy, make sure to exercise, and “engage in my own self-care,” whatever that ends up meaning for me. She did offer to prescribe a mild antidepressant but I don’t feel like I need that right now.

      It’s rough. This really snuck up on me. I don’t feel different on the inside (or look that different on the outside) but my body and hormones are changing, no doubt about it. It’s worth a doctor visit if you think there might seriously be something wrong.

    • Anonymous :

      Is it still perimenopause if I’m on BCPs? I thought they’d moderate all of the hormones so had mentally ruled it out (had had a polyp that caused a lot of bleeding; then post-polyp removal and periods didn’t improve, so went back on early in the year) since my body should hormonally think it’s pregnant.

      This is all a bit nuts. Maybe I am a bit nuts. Is when I should do some AbFab yoga retreat and come back as Edwina?

      • Anonymous :

        Yes. The BCPs can’t make up for your own natural hormonal shifts and decline of your own natural estrogen. I asked about adding in a minipill yesterday (I already have a Mirena IUD) and my gyn said it most likely wouldn’t help. She did say some of her patients find natural progesterone cream helpful but the last time I tried that, it triggered a horrible hormonal migraine so I am not keen to do that again. Again, it’s worth a doctor visit to see if your doc has any ideas. It’s hard these days because no one is recommending hormone replacement therapy any more (for good reasons) and so there’s a limited amount a doc can do, but still worth a conversation.

    • Anonymous :

      Aging
      Maybe a bit of perimenopause

      Sleep also became more critical to me in my 40s.

      Honestly, my mother was on hormone replacement therapy, even though it is more controversial. Every person should discuss/decide for themselves.

      And eat plenty of Tofu!

      • Anonymous :

        Ugh — I just cannot with the tofu. It’s a texture thing.

        Perhaps you meant manchego :)

        • Tofu…urgh.

          GIVE ME ALL THE CHEESES

          • You can throw soft tofu in your smoothies and you wont even know it is there.

            Does firm, stir fried tofu or baked tofu also bother you, texture wise? That is quite different….

          • Oddly, no. I rather like fried tofu as long as it’s firm. It’s the soft smooshy kind that makes me go all “uck” inside.

          • Anonymous :

            I hear you. I am a big tofu eater, but the smooshy stuff doesn’t appeal to me either. Firm all the way.

    • Get thyroid levels checked?

      • This! Brain fog/forgetfulness was the most insidious sign of hypothyroidism for me. It sneaks in and becomes your new normal. You forget that it isn’t normal to get to the top of the stairs with no idea where you were going, or to lose a large portion of your vocabulary, or to need pages of detailed lists to accomplish even the most basic errand.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Even borderline thyroid function can be a problem for you and you need a full panel. Also soy (such as tofu) is the worst for many thyroid problems because it is a hormone disrupter so you should figure out if you have any medical conditions first.

    • Anonymous :

      A lot of factors can play in ..sleep, hormone shifts. But there’s also this: by the 40s, sometimes different perspectives kick in. You’ve been in a career long enough that the initial intense drive fades a bit, and you look around and start wondering if where you are is really where you want to be. Hence, the cliched mid-life crisis. It’s often not a crisis so much as moving to a phase where sheer drive and energy is shaped by other motivations.

      • Anonymous :

        So if I were a guy, I’d get a sports car? I’m not sure what the script is for this. My mom had no kids at home when she was in this phrase (cut short by a hysterectomy due to fibroids; so not sure she knows either). I have kids in grade school b/c I had them late.

        • It’s the reality that there isn’t a script that can make the season challenging. The guy with a sports car is the cliche. But the reality of bodies changing, priorities shifting, parents and children moving into new seasons, and not being exactly sure of the script — that’s what ends up in a few people doing the sports car thing and the rest of us reassessing in different ways.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      My doc won’t prescribe BCP to patients over 40. Friends say the same about theirs. Mostly because of stroke risk, but maybe there are other issues too.

      • That is bonkers. I talked to my OB about it and she’s more than comfortable prescribing it until actual menopause, when they taper onto HRT if you wish.

        • +1

          This is more reasonable.

          But you absolutely shouldn’t smoke while on BCP especially over the age of 40.

      • The explanation I received was that the hormones are similar enough to persuade your body to stop producing its own estrogen and progesterone, but dissimilar enough that they don’t actually do the same job.

    • I’m 30 so YMMV. But I stopped the pill for over a year and recently started it again because my periods were so irregular. I am feeling the mind fog so hard. I was wondering what it was but it has to be related to the pill. I think I’m going to stop and just deal with the irregularity because I need to be able to work!

  4. Anonymous :

    This is perhaps the most random quesiton I’ve ever asked on here, which is saying something.

    You know how companies are now selling socks with faces on them? I’d like to make some with faces and my own words. Anyone know of a company that will do that? Googling is not helping.

    Thanks!

    • this is an amazing idea and while I don’t know a specific company, I’m following so that I too can make face socks!

    • I think Etsy may be a good place for this. Try custom face socks in their search bar?

      I love this idea, btw!

    • Custom Ink will do it, and I’m sure there are many others. Also if you can find an Etsy shop that will do the faces, you could message them to see if they can also do words.

    • Sock market? :

      Etsy? Also, I don’t understand the socks with faces thing? Do you send them a photo?

  5. Varicose veins :

    I have a vein that goes over my shin that has become puffy. It doesn’t hurt, but when I stand for long periods, it has a general complaining sensation (not all the way to painful, but not pleasant).

    Is this the sort of problem that problem veins cause (and that people get removed)?

    At first I thought it was unsightly, but if it gets worse, I want to know where to go looking (the cosmetic (or so I thought) vein centers? a vascular surgeon? is this something that OBs make referrals for?).

    I’ve had kids, but not recently. Late 40s now.

    • Anonymous :

      I am like you. I think of myself a pro athlete — rich now, but not from $ and not going to keep it, much less keep it going into the next generation (let alone many). I’ve got a couple more good years before I burn out and then I will be back to making what I pay now in taxes.

      I paid off my loans after living like a pauper for several years and had I known how exhausting it would be to go to school, have loans having over my head, and then have a career that maybe I could tolerate for 10 years, I might have stayed in my dying rust belt town and worked for the state like everyone else.

    • Anonymous :

      Just bring it up with your primary care doctor. Could be a varicose vein. Try to elevate your legs when you sit down. You could try low level compression stockings.

  6. Anonymous :

    Is it just me, or is everyone being very snappy / dismissive (even bordering on rude) in the comments lately?

    I get that there are posts which may seem to be an overreaction (yesterday’s post about the missed period while on BCP comes to mind), but that doesn’t mean that it wasn’t someone’s genuine concern at some point or another.

    • Yeah I’m starting to wonder if some trolls have made their way here…

    • Anonymous :

      I guess it’s better than stressed people going home and kicking their dog?

      Everyone: take a powder

    • Anonymous :

      I assume everyone’s in a snappy mood because of the gross comments from tr0lls.

      • Anonymous :

        Serious question: Why do people assume Trump supporters/people who don’t care about the situation at the border are “trolls”? I voted for Hillary and am horrified by what’s happening, but over 40% of female voters voted for Trump and there are polls that indicate he still has pretty high approval ratings among those who supported him in 2016. Is it really so hard to believe there are regular readers of this s*te who like Trump and don’t GAF about what’s happening at the border? I think that’s the sad but true reality.

        • Just for the record, I’m a longtime reader, supporter of Trump (not in the primary), and I definitely do GAF about the border. I’m glad there are leaders in my party who are doing something about it.

          • You’re right, I shouldn’t have equated Trump supporter with not caring about the situation at the border. But I believe there are probably also regular readers here who don’t care about what’s going on at the border.

          • Please push the leaders in your party to ACTUALLY do something about it and sign on to the bill in the Senate to end this. Their tweets aren’t going to accomplish anything.

          • Ditto.

          • Same here!

        • I agree that we throw around the troll word too freely. But I think the tone of a few of the Trump supporters has been particularly harsh/self-centered in a way that seems to upset folks. Some of their posts are clearly meant to be in your face/I don’t care/that’s life etc…. So when you see someone posting who seems to enjoy riling people up, the troll word comes out. Especially when they start the thread (suspicious….)

          There seem to be very few women who post here thoughtfully as Trump supporters and participate in literate debate. Maybe they just hide…. don’t know…. but yes a huge proportion of college educated women supported for Trump. No hiding that.

          • A significant proportion of Trump supporters admire his own harsh and in-your-face attitude. I’ve talked to people who said they supported Trump because he was so upsetting to people they were already angry with. I guess I assume an inflammatory attitude can itself be genuine.

        • Agreed. Sadly, I know many people in real life that are happy about what is happening.

        • I’m a long time reader and I understand that there are lots of educated Trump supporters, some of whom care about the border and some of whom do not. But I’ve also noticed the way this place has changed over the last few months/years and observed patterns in the nasty comments and tr0lling. I don’t think everyone who supports Trump or who disagrees with “liberal” immigration policies is a troll. But the reality is there’s been tr0lling. It’s the way the posts are written, the nasty, pointlessly cruel follow up, and the fact that there doesn’t seem to be an intent to facilitate discussion. It’s not just about political issues, but it comes up in other places as well. People are just meaner. Someone will post a question and the first comment will be a dismissive variant of “um, just [blah blah blah], are you stupid/crazy/neurotic?” This was not always the case.

        • I think some of it is the tone of the comments – they’re often fairly dog-whistle-y. Also, I think that posters here who are conservative and aren’t trolls have gotten slammed pretty hard in the past, so they either don’t comment or have left the board entirely. That means that only the trollish commenters are left.

          Also, a lot of those posts come from someone with a very distinctive posting syntax, and so they’re recognizable and people know pretty fast that they’re from someone who has gone to horrible places in the past (I’m thinking in particular of a pretty awful thread about how this poster would respond if she had a son who was interested in ballet) even if the initial post is somewhat innocuous.

          I will say that I’m both reading and commenting less because of those threads, tbh. They’re classic trolling, but people take the bait.

        • The support for Trump and/or disregard about the border is usually not expressed in a thoughtful way (i.e., stock market is high! Who cares about anything else?!), so I think that sets off people’s troll radar.

          Note: I am not by any means saying that the stock market, macroeconomics, the relative merits of a free-market system, immigration issues, etc. can’t be the subjects of thoughtful discussion.

        • I don’t assume every pro-conservative comment here is a tr 0 l l. I assume clearly-tr 0 l l comments are what they are. I welcome conservative comments that are well reasoned and thoughtful and don’t just accuse me of being a murderer who shreds human beings for fun like one of the p o s t s yesterday.

        • And now I think I’m just done for the day. Made the mistake of going on FB. A close friend’s mom, who is a (legal) South American immigrant, as is her mother (who doesn’t speak English), and her brothers/sisters, nieces and nephews, is posting a Breitbart article about how this is Obama’s fault.

          I have been shocked at the number of immigrants/minorities that believe Trump cares about them and it is the others that are bad. Is it like how we as women sometimes believe there is only room for one of us at the table. Are they trying to say they are the good ones and not like those other minorities? I just don’t get it.

          • Anonymous :

            Sadly, I know of many minority immigrants who came to the US legally through visas/lottery who are very negative about undocumented immigrants. This is quite common. It is based on a resentment for trying to come to America a non-legal way. “We had to suffer/wait/struggle to get here legally so you must too…. who do you think you are……”. Of course, the undocumented are usually struggling too and the lack of empathy is always disturbing to me.

    • Anonymous :

      I think the political discussions tend to bring out the worst sides of folks.

      I’m actually starting to dread those threads, and am now skipping over them.

      • Same here. I’m still reading but I feel like engaging in the conversation a lot less these days.

    • Anonymous :

      I think there is a strong contingent of trolls, and a lot of commenters who then take the troll bait — and the trolls escalate the “conversation.”

    • BeenThatGuy :

      I agree. But I wish it was limited to this board. I’m finding this at work. In my community. With my friends. I feel like everyone I know is on edge. Unfortunately, people take to being a keyboard ninja to blow off steam instead of actually addressing their issues.

    • This is really nothing new. I’ve been a heavy reader for over ten years and about every six months or so there is either 1) a gaggle of commentary on how rude it’s gotten “recently” and/or 2) a gaggle of commentary about posts going up late. Generally, I think the commenting community here is on the short and curt end of the rudeness scale as a whole and sometimes there is a rash of topics that bring it out. There have always been trolls.

    • Yep, especially the last couple of days, trolls have intentionally posted, multiple times same topic, differently phrased (I’m surprised so many members of the board fell for this), on topics they know are heated or controversial and periodically pop in to stir the pot in the corresponding comments. Not that controversial topics are off limits, but a couple of inflammatory responses and the entire comment derails from thoughtful to insults (possibly to and from the same troll, who really knows).

      I’m partial to a don’t feed the troll comment below these posts. Then the troll will either 1) respond with a thoughtful comment on what they really meant proving not really a troll just a poorly phrased post or 2) say “hey I’m not a troll!” without much substance to their comment, and we know we can move on.

    • Maybe it’s because the world is objectively terrible and there are people here quite vocal about wanting to make it worse? Sorry that makes you uncomfortable on your rich lady message board.

      • Yes, because we have rude people on both sides of the political spectrum, as you see, and when they get riled up they get ruder.

        But the internet is a good place to learn how to toughen up and not take posts too personally. A good skill for life, especially for women as we are trained to be particularly sensitive to criticism.

      • 11:08 Yep, we are rich ladies and we aren’t going away. Get over it.

        • what the heck is the point of this comment. you’re spoiled and entitled. I don’t need to “get over” selfish rich conservatives. You are abhorrent.

    • Linda from HR :

      I kinda feel like that’s always been an issue here, in varying degrees. And don’t get me wrong, I don’t deal in absolutes (what am I, a Sith lord?), sometimes it’s necessary, but most of the time, I find it completely unwarranted.

      When. You. Type. Like. This. You. Are. Probably. Being. A. Jerk. To. Someone. Who. Just. Wanted. Advice. Or. To. Make. Sense. Of. Something.

      Or at least, that’s what your post “sounds” like.

      You have it all together and never lose your cool over the small stuff? Good for you! But let’s not be a jerk to people who need a little help.

      • I. typed. like. this. to. someone. the. other. day. In response to someone who posted about cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. And about how she lathered them in extra butter and in extra ooey goodness. And how we could do such things. And it was only 11:00 am and there I was at my desk wanting cinnamon rolls.

        And it was so far from lunch.

        And I said please. stop.

        I think we should recruit cinnamon-roll recipe trolls. They would be fun. : )

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Aww, now I want cinnamon rolls too! I know they have some in the vending machine, but they. are. not. the. same.

      • I think the whole Typing. Like. This. is a twitter/tumblr trend, but it reminds me of my four year old having a tantrum translated into writing, à la “No. I. Am. Not. Going. To. Bed. You can’t make me!” I just can’t take it seriously. Get off my lawn, kids.

        • Linda from HR :

          For me, it reminds me of people who verbally emphasize. Every. Word. In. Their. Sentence. When. They’re. Angry. Or people who get in fights outside nightclubs and clap on every word as they scream in someone’s face. It just elicits a sense of aggression and unpleasantness, and makes me feel like someone is jumping down my throat even if it’s not their intention.

          • AnonBigLaw :

            “This” also annoys me so. much. I. can’t. even. tell. you. Just another way of saying I’M IMPORTANT! For whatever reason, “+1” doesn’t annoy me, but any higher number (e.g., “+1,000) super annoys me.

            :)

      • +1. There’s a regular commenter here who does this all the time to basic questions. I find it so obnoxious, aggressive, and self-congratulatory.

    • Leaving aside the issue of trolls, I do think that the current political situation in the US is just making a lot of people anxious and unsettled, whichever side you align with. And one way this plays out in daily life is by snippy remarks and a lower ability to deal calmly with things that go wrong/aren’t what we expect.

      I find myself needing to back away from the news for a day or two more and more frequently, just to preserve my sanity.

    • Kat in VA :

      I’m not a terribly long time reader (maybe 6-8 months) and just started posting, but man, I’ve gotten my head bitten OFF for things that weren’t nasty or even all that tone-deaf. Corporette – along with the rest of the world – has gotten snappier and angrier. :(

      • how could you not be snappy or angry with the atrocities being committed in the US right now

  7. Single Use Plastic :

    Any suggestions for convincing a spouse to ditch his bottled water habit? He likes them because they’re convenient (keep a case in the trunk of the car- always have water on the go) and taste good (he’s suspicious of our Lake Michigan tap water). Maybe it’s none of my business?

    • Anonymous :

      My spouse is the same way. You’d think we were tourists visiting a country that our intestines couldn’t handle, but no: safe at home in our own ZIP code. Even in our house. I joke that I am so brave drinking tap water.

      • Anonymous :

        My spouse also drives an SUV and used to have some Al Gore movie as his screen saver. He does not get how ironic that is.

      • My ex-boyfriend was the same way. His compromise was a giant water cooler like they have in office buildings.

    • Anonymous :

      I think it’s not really your business. You can give him the info about why it’s bad for the environment but if he wants to keep using them I think you have to let it go.

    • Maybe one of those water bottles with a built-in filter in the top?

      • Yes – all the “wellness” people I follow on Insta have a Berkey water filter travel bottle. They rave about how the water tastes.

    • Anonymous :

      I have nothing against it but he keeps them in his car?? Do you live someplace with really cool temps even in the summer? I thought you weren’t supposed to leave bottles in the car and then drink from them bc plastic can start to break down in heat and who knows what chemicals it’s made from.

      • Anonymous :

        Yeah, not a good idea to drink water from a bottle that’s been heated in the car, especially if the bottle is made from that thinner, crinkly plastic (like a lot of smaller/cheaper water bottles). Those bottles are intended for single-use and start to break down quickly once they’re warm, releasing chemicals into the water.

        Plastic water bottles drive me crazy -mwater bottles alone generate unbelievable amounts of plastic waste – and I won’t buy them or buy them for anyone else. I bought some really nice reusable water bottles – Contigo, LifeFactory, etc. – for our house and people use them.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 If you live near Lake Michigan it’s almost certainly too hot to be leaving water bottles in the car!

      • Linda from HR :

        It’s probably a good idea to have some in the car, but only for emergencies, not for regular use.

        • Where are you going that it would be such a water emergency that you couldn’t stop at a convenience store and buy water? I think it’s a bad idea to leave bottles in the car for weeks/months on end because who knows what will have been happening to the plastic for that time.

          • Lana Del Raygun :

            If your car breaks down on the interstate it could be pretty bad, depending on where you live. But I pretty much don’t leave my house without a (reusable) water bottle, so at least for me the expected value of lugging a case of water is probably negative.

          • Linda from HR :

            Basically what Alana said. You need to have stuff in your car in case you get stranded with your car somewhere and have to wait a long time for help. It’s commonly recommended keep water bottles, protein bars (or some other non-perishable food), blankets, and a first aid kit.

          • Linda from HR :

            LANA, sorry! I have a friend named Alana and she’s been on the brain today, my bad.

    • If he is suspicious of the tap water he can get a water bottle with a filter or fill up a large jug each week at places like Whole Foods, etc. If he needs convincing on why this is such a big issue, there are a lot of documentaries or short 3-5min videos about how plastic is horrible for our environment.

      I consider myself pretty informed when it comes to the environment but even I didnt realize the magnitude of plastics on our planet until a few years ago. I would share those resources with him to get him to understand how something as seemingly simple as a water bottle or two a day has a lasting environmental impact. Also, recycling has its issues too (recommend showing him this: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/29/climate/recycling-landfills-plastic-papers.html).

      After you share this with him I would let it go. It took me some time to adjust my habits but now its second nature – give him time.

      • Lana Del Raygun :

        It’s not just the plastic, it’s also the fossil fuels spent to transport the water (~8lb/gal!) to your house from wherever it’s bottled (it probably says on the label).

        • Oh I know, I just think its easier to talk about the very basics of these issues when youre trying to get people to change because sometimes it can be overwhelming and people get dismissive/think “whats the point” =/

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I would get a bunch of reusable water bottles and some kind of filter, either a filter jug or a tap filter. If he wants filtered water on the go, he should get one of those bottles with the built-in filter.

      I’m confused about why he feels the need to have a case of water in his truck. Is he, like, a field geologist?

      • Anonymous :

        A case seems a little excessive but I like to keep bottled water in my car to have on the go. I don’t think it’s *that* weird.

      • ha! he works from home in a financial field- hes like the opposite of a field geologist!

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          Have you tried asking him to start drinking filtered tap water, and using it to fill a reusable water bottle when he goes out?

    • Anonymous :

      I do the exact same thing. We aren’t all perfect. I’m sure you aren’t. How would you like it if he nitpicked you for living your life?

      • I dont think its about perfection. Its asking him to look beyond convenience and make a pretty simple change because its important to her (and important for you, me, future inhabitants of this planet, etc.).

        If you dont care its youre prerogative but I dont think shes asking for much or nitpicking.

        • I think if she’s had more than one conversation about it, she’s nitpicking. You can tell someone it’s important to you, and present them with the evidence, but ultimately it’s his decision. If she keeps bugging him about it, that would be really annoying to me if I were her spouse.
          Fwiw, I care about the environment, give a lot of money to environmental charities and make an effort to reduce my own plastic consumption and not use plastic straws, but I take single use water bottles with me when I’m going to be out of the house because I can’t stand the taste of water from reusable water bottles (I’ve tried many different kinds) and it’s important for my health to drink water. People aren’t perfect and you can’t expect them to be.

        • Ok. But it’s not simple to him. And he’s an adult.

          • Its important to her because in the grand scheme of his life its a simple change (more than just “living your life”) that has dire consequences in the long-term – he just doesn’t want to do it out of convenience and the taste (according to the OP).

            Like I said, its your prerogative if you dont care about changing your water bottle usage but a lot of people do.

          • But he doesn’t! Is she perfect in every environmentally sensitive way? I bet not. Would she like it if he bought her a menstrual cup and threw away her tampons? Just because she is right about this doesn’t mean she gets to impose her views on him.

          • She is concerned about this ONE THING – she not asking him to be “perfect in every environmentally sensitive way”. Hell, it doesnt even appear that shes been nagging him about it.

            Nor is she is threatening to empty out and recycle all his plastic bottles and replace them with something more sustainable – not only would that be counterproductive but it would be disrespectful and immature.

            She has the right to want him to make one change then let it go if he doesnt.

          • I mean, it’s a marriage, it’s never ONE THING. You’ve got a lifetime of ONE THINGS to think about here. This is just not worth creating conflict in your marriage. And frankly if this is the biggest issue in OP’s marriage then please just chill and enjoy conflict-free marital bliss while it lasts.

          • Not sure why I’m continuing this with you but I’ll bite one more time. Nowhere did she say her marriage was in jeopardy because he’s using a GD waterbottle. Not sure how your relationships operate but my SO and I respectfully challenge each other on issues that are important to us and its brought us closer than ever. We let it go when one doesnt want to change. etc.

            I’m going to end this by reiterating my previous point: She has the right to want him to make one change to better the planet then let it go if he doesnt.

    • Could you get his buy-in on a better, huge water bottle? I have a 40-oz hydroflask knock off, which stays cold all day. I got it for $15 at Home Goods. I also have a 30-oz Yeti, which is essentially permanently attached to my hand. I often take both in the car, so I’ve got 70 oz of water. I drink 150+ oz a day, so having it at all times is a big deal to me.

      • I was going to suggest something like this, too. To get him started, you could fill it up and have it ready for him. He may start to prefer it since the water will stay cold all day!

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        The hydroflasks are really amazing. If you put enough ice in them, they really will stay cold, even if the car in the summer.

    • A) Get a better water filter so the tap water tastes decent
      B) Don’t say anything about the case in the back of the car. That’s necessary for emergencies. I’ve seen people broken down on the side of the highway in 95-degree heat who would probably kill for a huge case of clean water.

    • If it’s that important to you then I think it’s on you to take on the emotional/physical labor of making sure he’s always stocked with water in his car.

    • I’d get a couple of those Swell bottles that keep water cold and see if he prefers that. I think it’s all of our business to make things better and there’s enough out there on plastic bottle issues. I’d be a little shamed into doing better if my husband said something like this to me.

    • You’ve gotten some great suggestions so I don’t have much to add. I just want to say that I think it is great that you want to break him of this habit. (WFT haters???) There are some really great water bottles out there that keep water cool and there are some great filtration systems.

      • Senior Attorney :

        I just wonder what people here would think about somebody posting about her husband wanting to “break her of a habit.”

        I just feel like adults don’t get to tell other adults how to run their lives.

        I hate plastic but I hate micro-managing spouses even worse.

        I vote “none of your business” after you’ve had one or maybe two conversations about your environmental concerns.

    • AnonBigLaw :

      Well, he’s poisoning himself for one thing. Bottles in a hot car leach chemicals into the water.

  8. Anonymous :

    Anyone watch msnbc last night? Both Rachel Maddow and Stephanie Rhule cried on air. Not merely teary but sobbing, couldn’t talk crying.

    • I saw the clips on Twitter today. I don’t have anything to add because I’m just speechless at this whole situation.

    • Seemed over the top to me but I’m over all the msnbc women except hallie Jackson.

      • Yeah, it was over the top for me as well. I’m very much against the policy, but I don’t like performative news.

    • I’m not a mom but a friend posted a really sweet instagram story of her 9 or 10 month old son kinda whining/crying for “mama” for the first time time and I literally dissolved in tears. This kid was so distraught at not being able to find his mom for like 30 seconds. I couldn’t help but think of all the babies/kids being separated and so I can’t even imagine having to sound dispassionate when reporting this news. I can’t blame them.

      • Who is neutral when reporting the news anymore? The msnbc anchors esp the women have no problem beating you over the head with their views.

        • Related to the comment instigator conversation above, this comment is meant to provoke, does not actually relate to the comment topic, gives not added value, and implies a specific news channel and an entire gender of unfair reporting. Just say no and skip it.

          • Huh? There are stations with liberal vs conservative views and on msnbc the women ARE more vocal about their views than men.

        • Also there is no true neutral. Western society has decided a straight, white, male, colonizer standpoint is “neutral” but that is also a point of view with its own biases. There are facts and opinions, sure, but even deciding which facts get reported allows for bias, so don’t try to fool yourself into thinking you can find a truly objective source of news. Be aware of the context.

        • Don’t feed this tr0ll

    • I think it’s over the top and I can’t take Rachel Maddow myself anymore even if I probably agree with much of what she says but I’m not sure that Fox News’ take of Corey Lewendowski going “womp womp” over a child with down syndrome being separated is better. Or Laura Ingram comparing the kids detention centers to camp. The whole thing is insane. The cruelty from some people is just mind boggling to me.

      • There is definitely a better/worse, good/evil, right/wrong here and let me tell you that Rachel Maddow crying is on the better/good/right side and Corey Lewendowski is on the worse/evil/wrong side.

        • Never too many shoes... :

          Maybe I am super sensitive on this issue because my own child has special needs, but the Corey Lewendowski thing broke me. These people have completely lost any humanity they might have once possessed.

    • I didn’t watch the clip, but to be honest it’s increasingly hard for me to talk about this issue without crying too. And that’s without delving deep into the detailed stories because I just can’t. I can’t imagine having to spend the day processing, writing, editing all about this and still delivering the news unemotionally.

      • It annoyed me but that was my feeling too — 2 people cried and Jacob Soboriff, Lawrence O’Donnell and Chris Hayes looked awful though not crying. This was around 10 pm – everyone except Maddow is there, they’re touring these centers, and they report what they see like on the hour on every show, the evening news etc. I think after 12+ hours, it was getting to them. Lots of them mentioned their own kids being 2 or 5 or whatever so you can tell they were imagining their own kids being there.

        • I have a 2 year old who woke up in the middle of the night crying. She did that toddler thing where she clung on to me with her arms and legs when I tried to put her back in her crib. All I could think of in that moment was those kids who are being ripped away from their parents and jailed in detention centres with no one to love and console them except other traumatized children.

      • Anonymous :

        It’s pretty cynical to jump to the conclusion that it’s “performative” for someone to lose composure when trying to read a story about young kids systematically being taken away from their parents to score political points.

        I literally cried when just trying to calmly make a comment about it to my husband last night. My oldest child is 5, and it is so obvious that he needs me and his dad; I can vividly imagine how he would react if he were forcibly separated from us, and it is heartbreaking that any child has to go through that because of our dysfunctional government that’s been hijacked by people sorely, sorely lacking in empathy. I understand the concept of justifiable collateral damage, but IMH the ends to not justify the means in any way, shape, or form here.

    • Hey Troll. This is a site for professional women. Personally, my news sources are the Financial Times, the Atlantic and the Economist. Sometimes NPR. I read the WSJ only to keep up with Fox new’s propaganda. While I’m liberal like CNN, it’s not for people with the education level common on this board. The same is true for Fox/WSJ and really any other cable tv news. But keep trying troll.

  9. Bye Bye Wrinkles :

    I am hoping for a nice, superficial discussion… :) Dear Hive- can you give me some advice (or cheat sheet on the differences/benefits) of microdermabrasion versus laser skin tightening? I am knocking on 40 and have very deep wrinkles (crows feet and under eye as well as the dreaded eleven shaped wrinkles between my eyebrows). I have done botox in the past. I loved the result, I did not love the price for a temporary fix. I’m not interested in anything surgical. I am ok with having to do multiple sessions. Has any one done microdermabrasion or laser skin tightening (on your face)? Were you pleased/displeased? How many sessions? How much does a full treatment usually run? Any other advice? TIA!

    • I’m not a regular user of these types of interventions, but unfortunately the wrinkles between your eyebrows need Botox or nothing. Microdermabrasion or laser will not get rid of these. Those techniques are most useful for facial resurfacing…. acne scars, sun spots, color irregularities etc… They wont change the quality and depth of most wrinkles.

      Meanwhile, stay out of the sun, sunglasses at all times, lots of sunscreen….

      • Professional acid peels and lasering actually do help with fine lines and the general smoothness of the skin, but cannot help with deep wrinkles. To truly get rid of these things you’re going to need interventions like mini facelift, fillers, Botox, CO2 or other such harsh lasering, and Retin A to help cell turnover.

      • Seconded. I asked my derm if there was something I could do *other* than Botox every quarter (I squint without my glasses, frown strenuously in my sleep, etc.) and she said while microdermabrasion and laser tightening would improve the overall appearance of my skin, the only thing to keep the deep 11 lines smoothed out and not get any deeper was Botox and- if I was really concerned – fillers if I wanted them mostly erased.

        I’m not going the filler route…yet. Too much money for one syringe, even if it does last longer than Botox, and I already feel guilty enough about the Botox because it really is quite a bit of cash (to me) for a temporary fix. But oh, what a difference in my overall demeanor with Botox versus without. Without, I look tired / annoyed / angry all the time and while Botox can’t fix my RBF, it can at least keep me from looking like I have Super RBF. :P

    • I’ve gotten Botox for years, but the trick is to keep doing it – it’s a longer term fix if you’re consistent

    • Delta Dawn :

      I have done microdermabrasion; I have not done laser. I love microdermabrasion but don’t think it will target your wrinkle concerns. Microderm is more for skin texture, complexion, acne scarring, etc. For microderm, they use a tiny little vacuum sucker thing (a technical term!) to remove the top layer of skin. It does not hurt in my experience. It helps serums and moisturizers penetrate better and makes makeup go on more smoothly. I think it makes my skin look much better, but it does not have any effect on my wrinkles. The closest comparison to microdermabrasion, in my opinion, is dermaplaning, which has the same effect but uses a tiny blade instead of the tiny vacuum sucker thing. They explained to me that the main difference is dermaplane also removes the tiny peach fuzz hairs from your face, while microdermabrasion does not. I don’t know anything about laser to compare it. My dermatologist/her in-office aesthetician will do microdermabrasion monthly (although I don’t go that often), and each time it takes about an hour and costs $125 (this probably varies depending on your location).

      • Anonymous :

        What’s the recovery like? Do you walk out looking like Samantha on that S3x in the City episode? If done on a Saturday do you look ok at work on Monday?

        • Delta Dawn :

          Pretty much no recovery time. I sometimes go straight back to work afterwards. I am fair complected and sometimes am a little bit pink afterwards, although no one has ever commented on it (and I’m not sure anyone besides me would notice). They say don’t put makeup on afterwards, but it doesn’t affect eye makeup, which is still on when I leave, so I think I look pretty much the same (but glowier!) as when I came in.

          • Kat in VA :

            Ooh, thank you for this. I keep wavering about it because one of my friends got a peel (somehow I had them confused) and once she started peeling…oof. I can deal with a little bit pink!

  10. World Refugee Day - June 20 :

    If you and your family are lucky enough to be in a good place today, please donate money or volunteer hose who aren’t.

    • Anonymous :

      Suggestions on where to donate/volunteer? I donated to RAICES earlier this week.

      • pugsnbourbon :

        Two links to follow: a list of organizations complied by the Texas Tribune, and a link to another organization that was featured in an article I read yesterday.

        • pugsnbourbon :

          List from TX Tribune: https://www.texastribune.org/2018/06/18/heres-list-organizations-are-mobilizing-help-separated-immigrant-child/?utm_campaign=trib-social-buttons&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social

          The Tarihi Justice Center: https://www.tahirih.org/

      • I’m not American so can’t help,out. Just donated to RAICES.
        Honestly it doesn’t matter whether you pick UNICEF, RAICES, Doctors Without Borders…just pick one that you can trust and go for it. I don’t agonise about the organisation as Long as my goal can be met.

      • Volunteering question. This sort of thing is where I feel like being a lawyer should help. I give money but I would like to donate my time too. Does anyone know if these groups need lawyers only in places like TX or is there something we can do in NY, too?

        • Just catching up from this morning, but I heard a piece on NPR within the last month about lawyers (as well as non-lawyers) assisting folks in immigration court, I think in NYC actually. I’m not sure on the specifics, but perhaps you could look into something like that?

        • In New York, Kids in Need of Defense relies almost exclusively on volunteer attorneys to represent kids in removal proceedings in immigration court. They do a thorough training and have great staff attorneys who can provide guidance on case strategy and management.

        • I have represented unaccompanied minors in immigration court a lot. KIND is an awesome organization – I would definitely reach out to them. You likely would not be representing kids who have been separated from their families at the border, but by taking on cases that are not directly tied to this crises, you are freeing up their more-highly-trained staff attorneys to focus on the border separations.

  11. Not trying to start a fight- but how could we stop thinking and talking about this?
    I have a question about immigration bonds- judges base it on what people can pay, right? (Got that from Law & Order, correct me if I’m wrong). So if a non-profit creates a fund, can the judges that that into account as available resources, and if so, will they drive the bonds up even higher?

  12. foster parent :

    (Reposting because it went up late yesterday and I believe I’ve seen that some people here are foster parents)

    I’m starting to consider becoming a foster parent. This was partly prompted by what is happening at the border – I feel so angry about it, but (besides donating money and calling my representative/senators) I don’t know of a way to help the kids directly. But it’s making me think that maybe it is time to take some action to help other kids who are in difficult situations.

    Is anyone here a foster parent? Can you speak about the experience at all? Any recommendations for books or blogs to read to find out more?

    I’m single, have a decent income and a 9-5 job, and have been thinking about it as a possible way to help in some abstract future. But maybe this is the time. I know it is a huge commitment, and want to consider it from all angles and give it the weight it deserves before taking any active steps.

    Any other thoughts?

    • Anonymous :

      I bet if you contact a foster agency, they can give you advice and answer questions to help you discern.

    • This isn’t terribly helpful, but I do know someone who’s single, 30ish, and fostered, then adopted, two young sisters. It absolutely can be done. Some children will need a two-parent household, but others would be fine with a single mother.

    • I’m not a foster parent, but have represented the children in foster homes for a long time. Being a foster parent is tough, and there is definitely a need for good ones. Most places have a foster parent association. I would start there. You can talk to foster parents who are licensed through different agencies and find out the pros and cons of each. Some provide more support and some just leave you to figure it out on your own. Also- don’t feel guilty about stating your needs up front. It is much better to put parameters on the type of child/ren you think would be a good fit for your home than for the child/ren to have to be removed later. In other words- don’t be guilted into taking a sibling group of three if you think you can only handle one child.

    • Caveat that I have not fostered, but I encourage you to really think deeply about why you want to do this, what you want to get out of it, and what your limits are. Fostering children “just to help” is noble, but do you actually want to parent a child? Do you have the resources and the wherewithal to raise a child for perhaps an indeterminate amount of time that may have emotional issues or physical disabilities? I say this because I know people who fostered because “we have so much, we want to give back” only to contribute to the child’s attachment and abandonment issues because they couldn’t take the work and gave up early. Your biggest concern should be the welfare of the children, not your desire to do good and help – you can help in many ways, consider which is best for you.

    • So you’re ok with no more happy hours or dinners after work because you need to run home or to daycare or alternatively paying a babysitter $$$ to do it? No more weekends away without a stranger in tow? No more private conversations with family or friends because a random kid will be sitting there listening?

      • Eyeroll. Go away tr0ll.

      • foster parent :

        yep, I’m ok with all of that :-)

      • Delivery was rough, but message is on point. I assume the OP has thought hard about how much her life would change if she were responsible for a child, but it does bear foot-stomping a bit. You can still do all these things — I believe foster care systems even have a Respite Care service so foster parents can have some breaks with long term placements — but your day to day life will be radically different.

        I think the bigger question is, are you ready to be a parent for a high-needs child. If not, what do you need to get you there? All children in foster care are dealing with (at a minimum) the trauma of family separation, on top of whatever bad situation led to the separation. This means different things for different kids and different ages, but all parenting is a frustrating, difficult, and thankless job at times. I’ve also been exploring fostering, and have young biological children. I’m pretty confident in my ability to parent a neurotypical kid, but I’ve been pausing over my ability (in terms of both knowledge/skill and time) to give a high-needs child the attention and care he or she deserves.

        • foster parent :

          This is kind of where I am. I’ve also been thinking about becoming a single mother by choice, and feel comfortable that I could parent a neurotypcial child (although I know that there is no promise that my biological child would be). But am not yet 100% sure I could handle a high-needs child. But then, I spent some time in foster care as a child, and it was always a lot easier when I had good foster parents as opposed to the ones who were doing it as they could be a stay-at-home mom to their biological kids (as one person told me).

      • Are some people honestly so bored and miserable in life that they have nothing better to do than insult foster children and those who wish to care for them?

        • Kat in VA :

          I didn’t understand that comment either. I have nothing but admiration for folks who want to foster children…whether they are noble, misguided, full of love, or all of the above. It’s not something that I want to do, but I think they’re fantastic for wanting to do it. I don’t get the slapdown. :(

    • I posted already, but thought of something else to add. Why don’t you offer to help a foster parent for a while? You would have to go through the same background checks, but could be a respite resource…when foster parent needs a break, you could take the child for a limited amount of time. Then you could see what types of children you might do well with. Also, there is a real need for people who are willing to supervise visitation with foster children and biological parents. You could do that as well.

      • I really like this idea. Any idea how I find organization that organize respite care?

        • Kat in VA :

          I did a search on Google for “How to get involved in respite foster care” and got a TON of information. Most of them vary from state to state, but there’s a lot of information out there (I imagine you’ll have to weed through it).

  13. Tampon Trouble :

    It seems like I should have resolved this a decade ago, but I’ve just lived with it. This morning the light popped on that other women on this board may have had the same issue and fixed it.
    My tampons don’t stay in well. I’m 37 and never been pregnant (although I think I’ve always had this problem). It goes in just fine, but if I go to the bathroom, pee or poop, it slides down and, often, nearly out such that I need to start over with a new one. It’s sometimes a problem when I run, but not always. I’m on the pill and have very light flow so this isn’t an issue of it being full.

    Is the problem how I insert it? The brand I use (ob if it matters)? Do other women have this issue? Thank you.

    • Try a brand with a (plastic) applicator – insert the applicator as far as you can and then plunge it. Probably it’s not being inserted far back enough, ob can be hard to get in there imo.

      • Some brands are shorter than other too which I find more comfortable. Tampax is too long, I have better results with Playtex or Kotex.

      • Back when I used tampons (I take BC pills continuously now and haven’t had a period in five years, heee!), I was never able to get the OB style back far enough to stay in comfortably. And I, uh, have very long piano-player fingers. The only way I could be comfortable and not feel like there was something just “there” (or lose it when in the bathroom or even just walking) was, as Anonymous said something with an applicator, inserted as far in as the little ridges on the applicator, and plunge. Sorry if TMI, but I hassled with OBs for at least a year before frustratedly telling a friend they sucked, and she basically laid it all out but in much more graphic terms. Yay best friends and TMI!

    • I have that issue and don’t know the solution! I did, however, just buy Thinx undies and am waiting for my next period and am HOPING they work. I’ll report back if you’re curious.

    • I switched late in life from using tampons to a menstrual cup, and there’s no going back for me. I need to use it daily, as I am on sprinolactone for acne (in my 40’s, unfortunately…), and it makes my periods crazy. I spot daily and have a “period” every couple weeks it seems.

      There are different styles/sizes of cups, so it might take a little time to get used to and try, but it’s worth it in the long run. Cheaper too.

    • I poop a lot and had to change mine every time too. The alternative is pushing it up w/ your finger again. You actually likely have very strong pelvic muscles so when you are going number 2 the pushing is pushing it out. I switched to Soft Cups which have mostly solved this issue. It did give me a slightly different issue. Sometimes I can’t get all of my number 2 out with it in. So I’ll just pull it out, finish going number 2 and put it back in. I like them so much better than tampons.

    • Mrs. Jones :

      I use Tampax Pearl Lites. Bigger ones tend to fall out.

    • No? You’re supposed to change it for poop!

  14. I see a lot of posters who are really unhappy with their jobs and are feeling stuck and sad. I just wanted to say – hang in there. I was on a job search for over 4 years, and finally landed my dream job. I have been here a month and it’s hard to believe that there’s places where people treat each other well, you can go home at a decent hour, and the work and pay is good. I know it’s hard but things can get better. It just takes time. In the mean time, I am sending lots of love and good vibes. I know it’s hard.

    • I just want to second this emotion. I was in a terrible job, in the depths of the recession, for 7 years. I was looking hard for other work for the last 4 of those years. I have been in my current job for 4 years and even though it is very demanding, I am so much happier. I didn’t understand situational depression until I left my old firm.

    • I needed to read this more than you could ever know today. Thank you!

    • Unhappy BigLaw Litigator :

      Yup, it takes a while. I started my job search about 6 months ago and recognize this could take literally years, particularly since I am pretty dead-set on government. I just try to get what I can out of biglaw while I am here, and keep looking for interesting jobs with enough pay to apply for.

  15. Womp Womp :

    What is wrong with people? Seriously?

    If you don’t know what I’m talking about, google womp womp and Corey Lewandoski.

    • He doesn’t have a strong track record on empathy.

    • I think the other talking head’s reaction to Lewandowski was absolutely perfect.

      HOW DARE YOU? I MEAN, HOW DARE YOU?!

      Call this BS out on the spot, strongly and loudly, until they get the message that their behavior is not OK.

      • Anonymous :

        I am very surprised he remained as civil as he did. I would have had a lot more expletives…

        • Lana Del Raygun :

          I suspect that “how absolutely dare you” is “how f—ing dare you” after years of FCC-clean habits.

          • Kat in VA :

            I agree – I would have dropped a lot more than just I DARE YOU but I admire his restraint for not doing so. Just…how would anybody think saying “womp womp” in response…/throws up hands/. I just don’t know any more.

          • Kat in VA :

            Not “I” dare you but “how” dare you. I’m tired.

    • Lewandoski should be hung by his toenails.

    • Non-native English speaker here with a good vocab, but I don’t know slang. Does “womp womp” mean something?

      • ess: It’s kind of a cheeky, sarcastic way to say “oh well, who cares” in a dismissive way.

  16. Anonymous :

    I have one lunch in Denver on a Wednesday in a couple of weeks – where should I go??? Any price, I like any food. I just want something awesome.

  17. I’m involved in a non-profit that serves immigrants and refugees. The staff and board are very diverse. We are of course discussing everything going on at the border and how it impacts the people we serve. I am white, blonde, blue eyed and in a high paying white collar job. I recognize that I am the least likely to be personally affected by our government’s current and future policies. I’m struggling with the balance of just shutting up and listening to those that are impacted and expressing support and outrage to show that I do care and want to act and that this is awful. In one discussion I made a comment about how awful everything is and someone responded, in a nice tone at least, that I personally didn’t have anything to be worried about.

    How do we respectfully express our outrage, push for change, while recognizing that we aren’t the ones suffering here? Maybe the comment meant nothing. Maybe the person is just scared and frustrated and noting that it’s not as bad for me. I get that minorities are in fear everyday in this country and that I will never really get it because I don’t live with that fear. But we should still be part of advocating change, right?

    • Write a check to make a challenge grant and encourage your friends to donate. Give the $ outright if they don’t donate enough to meet the condition.

    • I know this is not a good thing, and I’m working on changing my perspective and assumptions. But I’m a WOC, grew up poor, parents are immigrants etc, and my life feels like it has been one struggle after another (until recently- things are pretty good for me now) Anyway, I notice that I tend to assume that rich white women who talk about these things probably care a lot more about virtue signaling than they actually care about people. I’m sure a lot of people think they care about others, but when push comes to shove are willing to talk a lot but do nothing, and still want you to think they’re good people who care. Obviously people like this exist, and I don’t like them. But I have a kneejerk reaction in assuming that white people who care about things are mostly interested in virtue signaling rather than people.

      It’s wrong to assume that, and I am trying to be better. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people are in the same boat as me here. you should still be a part of advocating change. Don’t overshadow the voices of others and make sure you’re doing more than you’re just talking. but it sounds like you’re on the right track

      • I guess what I’m saying here is talk less do more. I’m not super interested in hearing people talk about how awful things are that don’t affect them. I am interested in the effort they make to do something about it. A lot of people have rationales for why their talking is actually doing, but generally it isn’t.

        • I agree with this. OP, just get out and do something. Do anything. Don’t hang-wring over it, don’t update your social media about it, don’t question whether you should do it because you’re white – just find a group or an activity or a charity or something that does good work and makes use of whatever skills you have.

          • I’m already in part doing that by being on the board of this organization and financially contributing to it. I was specifically asked to join it so I don’t think it appears that I’m virtue signaling by being there. I do get the overall concern of virtue signaling and see that play out in certain circles.

            Way Anon, I very much appreciate your comments. It makes perfect sense. I will research the other organizations currently dealing with the border crisis and will make a donation tonight and encourage others to do so.

          • OP- just wanted to say that please don’t worry about whether it’s virtue signaling just being there. In my view, as long as you’re contributing through real actions and not just words, you can be anywhere you want :)

        • + This This This.

          Act more than you talk/post online. Whether that means writing a check or volunteering your time/skills/etc. Make sure to vote candidates that align with your values. Don’t overthink it – save that energy for action.

      • OP I read your post again, and it does sound like you may think of being effectual in terms of what you say and “advocating” for change. If this is the case please, please please make a paradigm shift toward creating the change you want to see rather than just advocating for it. We have plenty of advocates and comparatively few change agents. If you genuinely care, focus on being a change agent.

    • There’s a concept we’ve talked about here in the context of dealing with grief – complaining out? Maybe complaining isn’t the right word. Anyway the idea is that people who are closest to the event get to lean on people who are less close. But people in the outer rings of closeness don’t get to “complain in” to people who are closer to the event.

      So I think you have to be careful about the line between expressing outrage vs. expressing support when you’re talking to people who are closer to the situation than you are. My role as a white woman is to ask what can I do. To condemn, yes, but to vent my personal feelings of outrage and hurt and anger with other people who aren’t personally affected by this crisis, not people who might have family members involved in this.

      • Anonymous :

        completely agree. OP if your expressing your outrage puts others in a position of managing your feelings (“I’m so upset!” can lead to people feeling like they need to calm you down) then you are making more emotional labor for others. This is why a professional demeanor is so valuable, people can focus on tasks rather than someone’s emotions.

        Thank you for helping, thank you for wanting to help.

    • The idea that well-to-do whites can’t express outrage because it won’t affect them…is absurd. We are all humans. We should all share in this outrage. If you do not name this evil for what it is, it becomes normalized. There is an especial duty for well-to-do whites who have ties to the government or to Trump supporters to speak up and challenge what is happening – we got here in the first place because mainstream Republicans didn’t speak up. Silence so as not to offend (?!) is not the answer to a human rights crisis!

      I cried last night on the way home from work because of the hateful rhetoric posted by my relatives on Facebook, even by my own MOTHER. I will talk until I’m blue in the face, I will donate, and I will march and I will darn sure post about it as a sign that this is not ok.

      Now, there is a certain amount of empathy required here. There are all sorts of situations where it’s not appropriate to say “I know just how you feel…” when you’ve experienced just a tiny fraction of what that person is going through. But OP didn’t say that – she said things were awful – the truth! Offering empathy and concern and love is always appropriate.

      • Agree with your point with the caveat that you have to make sure your outrage and voice are 1) coupled with action and 2) not overshadowing the voices of people actually affected. What a lot of whites fail to realize is that because of the history of this nation, their voices are often seen as more valid, more authoritative, and more right. That is why you have to be careful about what you say, how you say it, and who you think you’re speaking for, because you’ll often be heard and listened to more. That is the difference in being a concern troll and being an advocate.

        • I have been guilty of that before with advocacy. For example, I had an opportunity to speak to my congress people about the ACA. I discussed all the good the ACA was doing for our non-profit. I went on to say that if some politicians just don’t care about that, here is how the ACA may be helping their daughters, their friends, their neighbors (focusing on the pre-existing conditions issues).

          It’s a delicate balance because the stories about the people we serve should be enough. But we know it isn’t because certain politicians do not care about them. So we tell stories that the politicians care about to keep the funding to keep offering the services.

          Is it better for just their voices to be heard and no funding or for the politicians to hear both stories and we keep funding?

          It was one of those times I really thought after, maybe I shouldn’t have said that.

          • Why shouldn’t you have said that? Were you taking away the opportunity to speak from someone else? I think that speaking to your rep is absolutely an action that one can take to create change. I don’t think you’re taking away someone’s voice by speaking with your congressperson unless someone didn’t get the opportunity to talk because you did

          • @ 1:53, no I mean I told the story of how the ACA helped our minority/immigrant/refugee focused organization but then said (in more elegant words and not so bluntly) but if your peers don’t care about immigrants/refugees/minorities, here is how the ACA is also helping the white people you do care about. It should be enough to just say how it helps the more vulnerable community and we shouldn’t need to add that it is helping white people too.

    • Anonymous :

      What you do is you listen to and amplify voices of people from traditionally vulnerable or oppressed communities and you speak up when you’re talking to other white people. Shut down racist jokes, talk to your more close-minded relatives, etc. I think it kind of follows the same pattern as comfort in, dump out.

  18. Did anyone read the cover story about kids identifying as transgender in the Atlantic? I thought it was pretty interesting and mostly balanced, although it could have done more to highlight that most gender dysphoric children desist by adulthood and that there is absolutely no research proving the safety (short or long-term) of puberty blockers in children. Progressing from puberty blockers to cross-sex hormones results in sterility, so it strikes me as alarming that young women in the U.S. find it very hard to find doctors who are willing to tie their tubes (“but what if you change your mind about kids?”), but parents and doctors alike are willing to let young teens choose a medical pathway to sterilization before their brains are even fully formed. Glad there’s a bit more balanced attention being paid to that now.

    • Can you link? There is a very young kid in one of my kids’ classes who has transitioned a couple of years ago (after starting school, so the kids are all aware and it seems to be TBD generally). Puberty is around the corner for these kids, if it’s not there already. I feel bad for the kid — the parents have been very vocal about the transition locally (maybe wider than that) and I can’t imagine the fishbowl that that creates for their child.

      I mean, we don’t let kids smoke or get tattoos (or agree to FGM), so permanent medical procedures seem a bit at odds with how the world usually works.

      • Just Google “Atlantic transgender” and it will be the first result. I’d link, but it’d be in mod for the time it takes you to find and read the very long article.

    • Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the general medical recommendation to put kids on puberty blockers and/or allow the teen to live as the identified gender without medical intervention until 16 to 18? It’s been suggested but I’ve never heard of sterility causing drugs or gender reassignment surgery on children younger than 16 (except for a handful of widely publicized kids that end up social media entertainers – they are not the norm in any sense)

      • 16 to 18 is still so, so young to make a decision like that.

      • In a recent 2018 study (Olson Kennedy), there were 16 biologically female patients under the age of 16 who received a double mastectomy. That’s using data from one clinic and not counting the rest of the patients who received double mastectomies between the ages of 17-25.

      • The problem is that most kids who start puberty blockers will progress to full-blown hormone therapy, which is what results in sterility. Think about it – if you’d been blocking puberty and presenting as the opposite sex for years, all through high school, would you EVER be willing to go off them and let nature take its course, publicly and awkwardly? I just don’t think young kids should be able to consent to blockers when they, like all young kids, have no ability to assess for long-term risks and when most (absent intervention) will no longer identify as the opposite sex upon reaching adulthood.

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      I have a friend who says “Why would I believe my daughter if she said she were a boy? Half the time she says she’s a dinosaur!”

      I definitely think there’s a problem with trying to force children into rigid pink/blue gender roles and then assuming they must be trans if they don’t fit. Like, no, your gender roles are just stupid.

      • I think it’s easier for girls than boys. If a girl wants to cut her hair short and wear pants all the time, no one is really going to question it. Maybe by the time she’s in high school she’ll get some people asking her if she’s a lesbian, but she won’t be pushed to identify as transgender and certainly not before puberty. But when a kindergarten boy wants to wear a dress, people immediately jump to conversations about gender identity.

        • Anonymous :

          Yes — my kid has a friend (female) who may be going through a boy phase or just a bit butch naturally or perhaps that is just how her style is. It’s not big deal. Sometimes you just do what feels like you at the moment and slap a label on it later. Some folks want to push kids into one label forever and that doesn’t seem right.

      • This is just so ignorant and flippant I can’t. It’s a hard issue. Don’t simplify it to trite sound bites.

        • Anonymous :

          There is a point to this: we don’t let very young children make permanent life-altering decisions.

          Also: what does it even mean to be a girl or a boy? To have a certain name? To wear a dress (or not)? I am a girl this way (driving car, in a male-dominated profession, wearing dresses one day and pants the next; a very young boy can be a girl this way or his own way, but not with surgery as a teen).

          OTOH, when my grandfather was little, boys wore dresses until they were potty trained, so he wore a dress and I have a picture of it.

          Gender should not be so rigid. Especially for minors.

      • This.

      • A very close friend of mine has a four year old who was born male. Since the child could speak, she was adamant she was a girl. Not only that she wanted to wear dresses or play with princess dolls (though she did). By the time she was four, she had — on her own — told her teacher and her preschool class that she was a girl. That God had made a mistake. That her parents had made a mistake. She wouldn’t answer to her given name. This all has gone on from the time the child could speak.

        The kid had never been told about the idea of “transgender.” The parents didn’t “encourage” it. They certainly don’t feel it’s fashionable.

        What are they supposed to do? They’ve taken advice from medical professionals and therapists. But they’re very very concerned about doing real harm to their child by telling her she is wrong about who she is.

        • I don’t think anyone would deny that the parents are in a challenging position. However, they need to be aware of the long-term health risks of puberty blockers/hormone therapy. Their child is not old enough to make decisions that impact fertility, bone density loss, cancer risk, risk of heart attack or stroke, and so on.

        • Of course they should not harm their child by telling her she is wrong about who she is! But there is a huge jump from “believing and supporting their child” to “having their child under go irreversible medical procedures.”

    • Trans is fashionable right now and parents are encouraging it, so whatever; it’s those parents/kids problem.

  19. What are your best tips for moving locally? We have a one-bedroom apartment in the Bay Area and we’re moving to another 1-bedroom about half an hour away. I’d love to not waste as much paper and packing tape as we did a few years ago when we moved cross-country. Is it possible to move things locally without doing the full wrap and pack job as long as I drive the UHaul slowly?

    • Anything breakable has to be wrapped. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving for 30 minutes or 30 hours. You can throw clothes and bedding in suitcases if you have them, or buy large plastic storage bins that you can save and reuse.

    • No

    • Of course it is possible, but you have a higher risk of your items breaking. Can you compromise and wrap the fragile items, like plates, glass items, etc., drape the furniture with rentable packing blankets, and pile the items that aren’t easily breakable in Rubbermaid tubs or hug boxes? That’s what I’ve always done for in town moves. The chances of a nonfragile item getting broken in a half hour drive across town is pretty minimal.

    • So you are moving yourself?

      Not packing and just placing things in a Uhaul sounds really risky……

      You can do some lazy things like carry valuables/fragile things in your car without traditional packing. I have done things like that. But you can wind up wasting more time/gas with multiple driving trips than the boxes cost!

      I actually save most of my boxes from move to move, and what I don’t save, I just get for free by going on the website Freecycle and asking for boxes. Watch that website for a few weeks/months and when someone offers their boxes after moving, take them! Then when you are done with your move, give away your boxes on freecycle. Not so wasteful then…

      I either save my boxes in a friends basement/garage/attic or in my own place (storage unit). At least I always save the wardrobe boxes and any unusual ones if I just don’t have space.

    • If you’re moving in one fell swoop, no. Use the right materials and recycle everything you can. Weigh the cost (monetary and environmental) of having to replace an item completely vs packing it properly. 30 minutes is a long way, don’t be that person who nearly causes an accident because you’re not driving with the flow of traffic. Your stuff can still shift and break and it doesn’t really have to do with the speed you’re moving at. In my neighborhood, lots of people ask for leftover/pre-used moving boxes on Nextdoor, you can definitely find ways to reduce or use your waste if that’s important to you.

      During my last move, I had 10 days to move to my current condo from 12 blocks away so I made a bunch of car trips. I packed glass in my laundry baskets super carefully with clothes and sweatshirts packed around it. Was really careful about carrying and unpacking. I brought over larger stuff like lamps, art and vases wrapped in blankets in the car carefully. TBH making so many trips and navigating the stuff into the car was a total pain in the arse, and I probably wouldn’t do it again.

    • AnonMidwest :

      You should look and see if the Bay Area has the rentable moving totes. We have them in my Midwestern city, so I’d bet you do as well. They drop off the totes, and pick them up on the other end. You’ll at least save boxes that way.

      • Blueberries :

        Can confirm that these exist in the Bay Area, are awesome. I forget the name of the company, though.

    • Not packing things is actually a lot more work! Instead making three trips to the truck with boxes of books, for instance, you’ll find yourself making twelve trips with all the books you can comfortably carry in your arms. In the past I’ve tried to move by doing things like folding my linens around my dishes. Instead of unpacking the kitchen, I had to unpack the kitchen and the linens and put them both away at the same time instead of the more organic room-by-room fashion. That was a total pain! And the whole “I’ll just leave these on hangers” thing is a hot nightmare.

      So, yeah, get reuse boxes and old newspapers for packing materials, but don’t try to save effort by packing incompletely.

    • After you move, list the used boxes and paper for free on Craigslist. This is how I’ve gotten free boxes in the past and how I again got rid of them. People snap it up right away.

    • Since you’re in the Bay Area, I’d check out Lugg – they have an app but basically do cheap, local moves starting w a pickup truck sized through u-hauls. I’ve used them for moving smaller amounts and my friends have all had good luck with them too.

    • I buy boxes and tape but skip other packing materials like bubble wrap. Instead, I cushion breakables in my blankets, towels, sweatshirts, workout clothes, etc. Essentially whatever soft stuff I can find that washes easily (so I don’t wrap stemware with my work clothes!). This has worked for me for several short distance moves over the past few years.

      • Anonymous :

        this is what I’ve done multiple times. Wrap things in clothes and towels. You still need boxes, but you don’t have to tape them up completely, just get the flaps to close.

    • Anonymous :

      In my neighborhood someone is always posting free packing materials. Try Nextdoor.

  20. Does anyone own any MMLF items in the color Chestnut (kind of a rust color)? If so do you find it easy to pair it with other clothing? what outfits do you typically incorporate it in?

  21. Just a mid-week rant. We clearly have the worst crew ever working around here. Last week they accidentally cut a network fiber that killed all of internet and phone service for a day. They kept promising it would be back up “soon” so we had to stay in the office all day as usual. It came back up at 2am.
    Now, the same crew has accidentally broken a water main. Our water pressure is at a trickle, but since we still technically have water coming out of the taps and the toilets work (although they fill up veeeeery slowly after flusing), it doesn’t violate OSHA and we still have to work. It’s 95 degrees outside and it just took me 8 minutes to fill a glass of water. UGH.

  22. rough and tumble :

    Has anyone here tried the Rough & Tumble 3 in 1 hobo bag? Thanks!

    https://roughandtumbledesign.com/collections/convertible-backpacks/products/ng-hobo-leather-base-1

  23. I’ve been feeling down recently and I know that doing things (crafts, baking, going to museums, etc.) would make me feel better but I’m having a hard time actually getting myself to do those things. Like, Sunday comes around and I have the whole day free and I know I’d feel better if I did something (anything) but instead I just waste the day watching Netflix. I think about doing something else but then think “why bother.” I’m single and am at the point where all of my friends have serious significant others, so I’m on my own most weekends. The answer is obviously “just make yourself do something,” but that hasn’t been working. Has anyone dealt with this and have a suggestion? I’ve thought about creating an instagram account or blog that I could post to if I do something productive or interesting as a way to motivate myself but I’m not sure if that would actually work.

    • I just made myself do it. Every Sunday I get up and go to church. People there notice if I don’t and Jesus is watching. Once I do one thing I’m much more likely to keep going. If church isn’t your thing, what about going to the same coffee shop st the same, early, time every week?

    • It sounds like you might be depressed and it’s worth talking to your doctor or a therapist about treatment options.

      • +1. Knowing what would help but not being able to follow through can mean depression.

        I’m in a similar boat, and I agree on making plans in advance. Also, believe it or not, taking on another job has been good for me. Regardless of my mood, I can’t just not show up for it. It makes my time off/weekends not stretch out so emptily, I feel useful, and obviously the money is helpful. (Of course this would be a terrible idea for some people.)

    • I have struggled with this too. One thing that helps is making plans in advance. Once it’s scheduled and on the calendar, it’s easier to just GO and do it. Otherwise, I’ll have a huge free Sunday stretching out in front of me and I won’t get anything done, fun or otherwise.

    • I went through a time in my life when I felt similarly, and what worked for me was telling people what I wanted to do, because then I felt obligated to do it. Even if it was just chatting with a coworker, I’d make sure to tell someone I was going to do whatever hobby I wanted to do. For example, “Any fun plans this weekend?” “Yeah, I’m really excited to try out this new muffin recipe/make a wreath/go to Local Museum!” Even if I didn’t expect them to follow-up on Monday or ever know whether or not I had actually done anything, I’d still feel obligated to bake the muffins because I had told someone that I would make muffins.
      Making a blog or instagram could have a similar effect. Even if you just have 3 followers, if you tell those followers “I’m going to make a wreath and post it for you to see here next week!” you’re more likely to actually make it happen.

    • I find that if I make myself go out, it helps. I sign myself up for a yoga class and I never want to go, but once I’m there I’m glad I went and feel more inclined to do stuff the rest of the day.

    • That’s tough, sorry to hear you’re dealing with this. I’ve been in similar situations. My suggestion is to find something you really, really, really want to do. Telling yourself you “should” go do something is not the same as actually wanting to do it! Then, once you’ve identified what you actually want to do, find a structured way to do that thing. For example, if you want to craft, find a jewelry-making class, or a knitting class, or whatever type of craft class. The key is that it is both social (you’re not doing it alone if it’s in a class) and the knowledge that you have committed to going by paying and signing up. Added bonus: you might make new, single friends! It sounds to me like you could use a wider social circle of non-partnered friends. Other options beyond crafting: book club, spin/yoga/other athletic class, photography class, ceramics, scheduled volunteering, junior league or other community civic club. Also, I know you know this, but: action leads to more action. Get up on Sundays, leave the house, go get your favorite coffee or go for a walk – start the day in a way that isn’t sitting on the couch watching Netflix and you’re less likely to fall into that trap.

    • When I had a depressive episode, what I used to try and do was make an appointment, like for a massage or mani/pedi, something. It forced me to get out of bed and get outside.

      For you, this could be a way to motivate yourself to do something else while your at it. If you have to go out for say, a nail appointment, go to lunch or a museum afterward. Maybe hit the grocery store and pick up what you need to bake.

    • I definitely do not recommend creating an Instagram account. No No No. Get off the computer, and ideally, get out of your apartment.

      You sound a little depressed, honestly. It happens. It’s ok. Losing interest in things, “why bother”, comparing yourself to others and feeling down with low self-worth are all concerning.

      I think you need to start doing things with other people, that make a difference. Can you do something where you can get outside (sun is good for mood), move (exercise/walking is good for mood) and ideally…. give back? Volunteering where you do things that benefit others is a really powerful way of getting outside of yourself. We all become a bit self-focused/ruminating when we are depressed, and to see others who need help and the impact you can make by helping can be really powerful.

      Call up your local Planned Parenthood, preschool, pet shelter, homeless shelter, hospital, whatever you care about… and ask how you can help. Reading to a toddler, snuggling kittens, doing a fundraising walk for cancer, stocking shelves in a soup kitchen….. I promise you that you will feel better after doing all of those things.

      You will not feel better after making an Instagram account. And start looking at other people’s Instagram accounts….

    • You need a routine, a new normal. Check out Grace Atwood’s blog – The Stripe. She’s 36, single, and awesome. She has a lot of good advice and gets real about it.

      I’m single. I volunteer once a week with a couple friends at a regular place, and I’m a member at the country club and I love my gym. I’ve actually found several friends through these venues, and I have classes and regular tee-times I just make myself stick to. I go to the farmer’s market every weekend in the early AM. I train for a big athletic event every year with a team. I have my active friends. I have a couple travel friends. I have two book clubs, one of which goes on a yearly girls trip. I go to church occasionally with 4 of my friends who happen to be married couples. I tend to do less things spontaneously with my friends who are married, but I do make plans with them in advance (a spin or yoga class, brunch, etc) and expect them to stick to them. I spend a decent amount of weekend nights in, but often am out doing something. My schedule always seems full, and I’m content.

    • What city are you located in? If you’re in LA, I’ll be happy to get out and do stuff with you!

  24. student loans :

    Looking for the hive’s financial advice…. I plan to enroll in a highly ranked MPP program, and am trying to do everything I can to minimize the amount of loans I will have to take (especially given that my program is an MPP, so I will not bring in the same level of income as a lawyer). I have been saving for this for the past 3 years, so I do have some savings, but still not enough to cover the full cost of the program. I am looking at about $50,000 in loans. What I can’t figure out is what I would actually end up paying back once you tack on interest, particularly for unsubsidized loans. The loan representatives are being quite cagey about it when I ask for these details and it’s really frustrating. How can I figure this out without just relying on my own math skills? Are lenders required to give me that information?

    • Have you tried running the numbers through an online calculator for student loans? At least it would tell you how much interest you would pay. If it’s a variable rate, though, that may be harder to figure out.

    • For a reputable fixed rate loan, an agent should be able to give you an amortization schedule. At the very least, if you have the loan percentage, total amount, and payment period, amortization calculators exist online.

    • student loans :

      Thanks, I”ll try an online calculator. Would you consider it a red flag if the agent is cagey about giving that information?

  25. LA people (specifically Orange County or further south) – What do you love about where you live? I am considering a move there within a couple years. Kids are now 4 and 1. I would love to live in a pedestrian-friendly and family-friendly area with access to nature and culture. Does that exist in the OC?

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I live in LA and not OC. Absolutely love it. I love how I can live in the city in an urban residential neighborhood (westside), rather than in the suburbs without feeling like I am in an urban area because there is space and vegetation. I like the diversity of my area, and all the amazing food options and cute neighborhoods/shopping area to walk around. It is easy to get around – parking is convenient basically everywhere. I like having the beach close, good places to go running, cycling, swimming, and hiking. And of course, the weather is amazing.

      I have not lived in the OC, but I get the impression it is not as vibrant and LA itself. It is definitely more conservative, and not as diverse. But there are beautiful neighborhoods and communities. San Diego also seems like a good place to live, but ymmv as I basically just need a quiet neighborhood, sunshine/beach, and good food.

      • You are basically me–I live on the west side of LA, as well, and I love it for all the same reasons. There’s also so much culture to be had in LA–art galleries, excellent museums, a vibrant theater and dance and opera community, access to interesting lectures and free concerts/dance classes/etc. all over LA.

        • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

          Yup agree with Jen on all those points too. UCLA is a great resource to have nearby.

          Also hi neighbor :)

          • Hola, neighbor! Happy to connect if you’d like to get together any time!

    • OC Native :

      Hi there, Orange County native here. I moved here as a kid when I was 5, and have lived here ever since with the exception of going away for college. It is an incredibly family-friendly area. Northern OC is a bit more ethnically diverse and blue. South OC (Irvine and south) is more white, affluent, and red. The vast majority of the county is very family-friendly and safe. Great school districts. Not as much diversity of cultural events as you might see in LA, but I still find that there is a lot to do and lots of awesome restaurants. I currently live in Irvine and I like the level of diversity here.

      Orange County is pedestrian-friendly in the sense that most areas have sidewalks and are safe, but it is NOT an area where you can walk everywhere you go. It is much too spread out. You’ll find that in LA too — maybe you’ll live close to a pharmacy or grocery and be able to walk there, but for the most part, everyone drives everywhere they go. Orange County is similar. I happen to live walking distance from two groceries, a Target, and a pharmacy, but that is an anomaly. Most areas, in my experience, have a lot of highly-residential and family-feeling areas with separate shopping centers. OC doesn’t have one central city that it is the metropolitan area of (the way LA is). Rather, OC is a collection of a lot of 30k-200k person suburbs that together make up the region that is Orange County.

      One place that might hit a lot of what you’re looking for is the town of Orange (yes, there is an Orange in Orange County, but we definitely are not suburbs of Orange). It’s cute, it’s historical, and it has a nice town center (“the circle”) that is pretty walkable if you live near it.

      This got wordy, but hope this helps!

    • Irvine is great for families with young kids- safe and lots of parks and great schools. Anything south of SF is car dominated but you can find pedestrian friendly bits around UCI

  26. My husband and I are adopting two lab puppies imminently. We’re experienced dog owners but it’s been a long time since we’ve had a puppy. Any thoughts or must haves?

    • Lock up anything you care about. Seriously, all shoes.

      • +1 Puppy-proof everything. If there is a way to get something, they will find it.

        I remember my mom pulling out her old baby monitors for the puppies, since the puppies weren’t in the bedroom with my parents. That way they would know if they had to get up for a bathroom run.

        • I love the baby monitor idea! Just found an iOS app that will stream from my iPad to my iPhone – I’ll be setting that up for sure.

          • I used a similar app and just want to share that it’s equally useful at monitoring mischief AND capturing hilarious videos. I used the app to find a hilarious video of my then-puppy’s friend teaching him how to break out of his crate.

          • Cookbooks :

            Now, that’s a true friend, helping your buddy escape the crate!

    • Puppies are annoying. I’m a lifetime dog owner and got another puppy last year, and it had been a while since I had one. I definitely forgot how needy, time consuming, and sometimes annoying they are. Mine is about a year and a half now and still has some of his puppyishness. Of course I wouldn’t change a thing, but I think could have been more mentally prepared for puppy behavior.

    • anon a mouse :

      Are you going to crate them? If so, together or separate?

      The best thing you and your husband can do is be on the same page about rules and discipline. Put the work in now for well-trained dogs by the time they are 18 months or so.

      Look for puppy socialization classes in your area — good for the dogs and freaking adorable.

      • We’re going to crate them, separately. They are littermates so we’d like to keep them separated as much as possible to avoid any future issues.

        We’re fortunately squared away about rules and discipline, as well as expectations on providing care.

        Definitely will be doing obedience training and socialization. I can only imagine how adorable that will be!!

        When we decided to adopt them, I immediately looked around our house and saw how many delicious puppy treats we have around – rugs, pillows, cords. Mega puppy proofing exercise to happen ASAP.

        • I’m confused (and not really a dog person) – why do you have to separate littermates to avoid future issues?

          • Keeping them separate to the extent that you can was going to be my recommendation.

            Anonymous, it’s important to keep litter mates separate because they can form unhealthy attachments with each other to the detriment of their relationships with their humans. This can cause a litany of behavioral issues.

          • Here’s a blog post from a favorite blog of mine that introduced this idea to me (I’ve only ever had cats):

            http://cynography.blogspot.com/2011/02/take-two-theyre-small.html

    • Do a lot of training and walks separately to make sure they each bond with you instead of just with each other. It’ll be a rough go for the first 1.25ish years– I’m pretty sure my golden retriever never stopped moving or napped until he was a year old. It was tough, but absolutely worth it now that he has gotten through puppydom.

    • Remember you’re training for the adult dog. We made the mistake of believing the shelter when they said they knew the parents and our (supposedly rescued from a mill for designer breeds) puppy would be less than 20 pounds. More like 70 pounds and a completely different breed, at least partially. We didn’t do a lot of big-dog focused training and it was much harder once she became a full-sized adult.

      Labs can get to be huge, so make sure you’re strict from the beginning on how much leash-pulling or couch sitting or jumping on people you will allow. That has to basically be zero, which takes a lot more intense training than someone with a Maltese.

      Also, are you planning to be near kids in the future or have them to visit regularly? One tip from our trainer was to start toddler-like touches early. So grab the food while they’re eating, pull (gently) on their tail and ears, pet harder than you’d think, etc. Give the dog a safe space (like a crate or bed) where it can go and no one is allowed to touch it. Those kinds of things. They’ve paid off tremendously and our dog is the most mild-mannered around our kids and others (although we keep hawk eyes on around new kids or babies, obviously).

    • AnonBigLaw :

      “The Puppy Primer” by Patricia McConnell and Brenda Scidmore is fantastic, even if you’ve BTDT

    • Not sure if you already know this, but one issue with Labs specifically is they will just continue eating. So it’s really important to not overfeed them. They even make Lab specific dog dishes. Mentioning it just in case.

      • Just moved out of puppyhood and have some reflections on things we did well and not so well:

        We shoved our hands in our puppy’s mouth a lot and constantly yanked food (mainly gross stuff while on walks) and toys from his mouth. I think this was smart because we have no resource guarding issues, and we are 100% confident that our dog plays gently with kids. We have a neighbor with a resource guarding dog and it’s really hard to undo that habit.

        We struggled for months with potty training. We got a bell at the suggestion of a trainer and had potty training mastered within a weekend (look up potty training bell on youtube for a video that we used). This is also hugely helpful for dogsitters because it takes the guesswork out.

        Stopping begging at the table is easy with a water bottle on a gentle mist.

        If you live in an urban area, make a list of everything your dogs could reasonably encounter and then add random stuff to it. We made sure to experience ambulances, cyclists, garbage trucks, construction, etc. but we didn’t think of skateboards and this drives my dog nuts. He jumps into my arms from ground height (not a small dude, either) and wails. And then proceeds to have an immediate nervous poo. I think this reaction is too engrained now to break.

        Have fun! And I recommend buying cheap area rugs because I think you’ll want to replace them at the end of puppyhood.

        • Cookbooks :

          Agreed on the resource guarding issues. We used to play (just sticking our hands in the bowl and moving food around) with the puppy’s food a little while they ate. That way they learned that just because we are near their food or touching it, it doesn’t mean we’re taking it away.

    • Research littermate syndrome. It’s a very real thing and is important if they are coming home at the same time.

  27. There was a shooting in front of my building early this morning and I’m feeling really upset about it. I’m a bit surprised by how much it is affecting me. Then while I was waiting on hold for a call I decided to scroll Facebook where all I see are stories about separation at the border. I am genuinely so upset and shaken by everything I don’t really know what to do and having a hard time functioning today. I feel like all I’m up for right now is looking at photos of cute puppies or something. Anyone have a favorite cheery distraction they can share?

    • Lana Del Raygun :

      Literally just google “cute puppies,” and maybe make a cup of tea. :) Hang in there! I find the “things organized neatly” tumblr incredibly soothing as well.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      There is a twitter called WeRateDogs. Also, on twitter, I’ve Pet That Dog, which is a rundown of all the dogs pet by the 9 year old boy that runs it, with photos and details about each dog.

      You are ok, OP. The world is a scary place right now but there are puppies and laughter and cups of tea (perhaps with a strong shot of whisky TM Lord James Marbury) to help ease the pain.

      • I’ve Pet that Dog is delightful.

        Also, Dog_Thoughts, the companion account to WeRateDogs is the purest and loveliest thing on Twitter.

    • Sorry!! Definitely no social media or news. Can you go home and take a nap? Watch tv? Call friends? Go on a hike or walk around downtown? Get your kids early and just okay? Unless work is in crisis mode I’d give myself a productivity break.

  28. basic adulting :

    I feel like I should know how to do this, but I don’t. How do you find an electrician or handyman? I’ve asked some friends, but their recommendations either don’t serve my area or they don’t have any recommendations.

    • I’ve had good luck using Yelp. I’ve also searched Craiglist, in which case definitely as for references.

    • Do you have Jiffy in your area? We’ve found it helpful for handyman jobs, gutter cleaning, etc. I also ask on FB – search for a neighbourhood group for your area (sometimes they’re “moms” groups but you can use them for non-mom issues like finding a handyman).

    • Anonymous :

      You could try to get a recommendation, or at least a review, via Nextdoor or Angie’s list, but honestly sometimes you just need to call around.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’ve had good luck on Angie’s List. Also if you know any realtors they usually know who the good tradespeople are.

      • AnonBigLaw :

        Was very surprised with how helpful Angie’s List was. It’s free these days. It won’t help you find the good start-ups, but it will help you find the tried and true contractors.

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to both these suggestions

    • Anonymous :

      I actually ask a older neighbor that has lived there awhile, and who clearly keeps up their house well.

      If I live in an apartment/condo, I ask the building management. It can be very useful to use a plumber/electrician that has worked on the building before and understands some of the issues.

      Angie’s List sometimes, but I have had good and bad experiences. I use it (and yelp) to at least screen a bit after I get a personal rec.

    • Anonymous :

      I found our excellent handyman by asking our neighborhood FB group for recommendations. If you don’t have one, NextDoor is a similar thing.

    • Never too many shoes... :

      On the off chance you are in Boston, Jiffy is a great service.

  29. spending freeze :

    Might be a bit late in the day for this, but hoping for some good suggestions on halting spending. Various forces combined to give me two months of insane credit card bills, and I’m feeling like I really need to batton down the hatches for a little to recover (did NOT love dipping into my emergency fund, though I know that’s what it’s for). I’m thinking of taking out X cash for each week and going from there? Maybe leaving my credit card at home or keeping it in a different part of my purse? Already planning on eating at home more, spending less at the grocery store and cooking with what we have, and freezing online shopping. Any other hot tips?

    • I had to stop carrying the credit card. Put it in a drawer and left it at home. If I really wanted to purchase something spontaneously I have a debit card and the cash will leave my account at the time of transaction. That helped me slow down on the spending front.
      I could for a while, easily spend less if I was putting money towards some goal: building an emergency fund, building a vacation fund, paying off debt, etc. I got a bit extreme tho, had to back off, and still haven’t found a happy balance. Finding a (reasonable) goal to work toward for savings, investing, vacay, or bucket list item may help you re prioritize where your money goes.
      I know there’s blogs or blog entries for “no spend” week or month. Some go as far as a no spend year (mostly clothes focused I think for this length of time), so google may provide you inspiration and ideas (or examples of extremes you don’t want to emulate!)

    • I would start by setting a goal for how many months and how much money per paycheck needs to go into the emergency fund to get it full again. Once your paychecks hit, do a transfer immediately to that fund so you’re not tempted to spend it.

      Your instincts are good re: cash and maybe only carry one card for emergencies. If you do a spending freeze, determine what you are and are not allowed to buy. Young House Love’s podcast covered this recently, they did things like allowed themselves to buy toiletries like shampoo only when they fully ran out, still allowed for purchases for certain things, like gifts for a wedding or birthday, clothes or shoes only if something completely wore out, but didn’t start any new projects or allow for impulse buys. Reassess anything/everything that’s on subscription or autopay. It’s summer, so get outside and do as many free things as possible – walks to a park, hikes, use sports equipment you already own that’s languishing.

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t find the cash only thing to be helpful, personally. Instead, I have to establish a budget and plan around that. If I want to go over in one category, I can only do so if I cut the money from somewhere else.

      So, for example, if I’m only going to spend $100 eating out in a month, and I know that I have a friend’s birthday at the end of the money, I need to bring my lunch everyday. If I don’t, that means I need to cut my personal spending (i.e. my random target and CVS purchases) instead and maybe my transportation budget.

  30. Senior Attorney :

    OMG can we not with the sexual harassment/diversity training taught by white bros?

    Argh…

    • Explain?

      • Senior Attorney :

        I’m sitting here in a webinar and the instructors are a couple of younginsh white bros. Who are very perky. And began by saying, in so many words, “this training is mandatory so let’s get started.” It just seems a little… insincere?

    • Sounds like our Title IX training presented by Bubba and his lawyer friend heh heh heh-ing through the whole damn thing. The women in the audience erupted!

    • BigLaw Sr Assoc :

      I sat through a sexual harassment training for “managers” taught by 3 white men. All attendees were female. They taught us valuable things about the dangers of using emoticons in emails and how to determine whether hugging a co-worker is appropriate. Sigh.

    • Lots to Learn :

      I actually think that’s unfair. I don’t think there is anything wrong with having training on these topics taught by white men. If they are sensitive to the issues and competent, why shouldn’t they be able to teach it? Surely we’re not saying that the company should “discriminate” and only let women or people of color present on such topics. Wouldn’t that involve stereotyping in and of itself? With all that said, I’m not saying that it might not be smarter for the company to ensure that the presenters generally are representative of the audience. And they definitely need to think about how the message is conveyed. But the idea that someone shouldn’t be able to present on these topics because of their race or gender really rubs me the wrong way.

      One of the best VPs of Diversity that I ever met was an older white male. He was “all in” to the issues and was every bit as much of an advocate for diversity as any woman or minority I’ve seen in that role.

      • Anonymous :

        I believe you that the VP of Diversity you knew was great, but I also doubt he was a “bro.”

        I also think that, depending on what they talk about, it may be best to follow the “nothing about us without us” principle, no matter how woke the white guy.

    • Say hi to Michael Scott for me!
      (One of the most hilarious episodes of The Office…. )

  31. Photo printer rec :

    Anyone have a home printer they’d recommend for printing photos? Realizing I’m too lazy even for Shutterfly.

  32. Is this cute? I have similar coloring to the model and i’m wondering if it’ll be a versatile color. I’m in consulting.

    https://mmlafleur.com/shop/tory-3-0-true-olive

  33. Is anyone going to comment on the content of the actual original post? I will. This top makes the model look like an attendant in a nail salon. I cannot imagine wearing this to work at my office.

    • These were my thoughts exactly. Though if everyone switched to dressing like this at the office, my life might be easier? (I commute with a lot of hospital workers in scrubs, and it does look practical…)

  34. I guess we have this – we have income of $350k with a $1.4m house paid off but we live in SF and every time we get paid we move our money over to our 3 kids college funds. And our house is an 1100sf mediocre ranch house. I certainly don’t feel rich.

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