Weekend Open Thread

Missoni - SM10 VAR G 992 (Multi) - FootwearSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Zappos has a number of good deals going, including up to 40% off a good selection of Stuart Weitzman, Kate Spade, Loeffler Randall, and… Missoni. These stunners are the perfect office shoes, if only because they’re totally impractical for wearing outside.  I like the classic shape, and the fact that they’re just a leetle bit wild — perfect for a casual day at the office. I’d order them now and wear them for a house party on New Year’s Eve, and then take them in to work to wear with pencil skirts, sheath dresses, and more. They were $525, but are now marked to $289.99. Missoni – SM10 VAR G 992 (Multi) – Footwear


  1. Bridal Veils :

    Women who’ve marched down the aisle: How did y’all wear your bridal veils? Were they attached to your hair with a clip, a comb, bobby pins, a headband, or something else? I am on the market for this silly headpiece, and I am trying to avoid buying one that will mess up my ‘do. I would appreciate any and all recommendations that have anything to do with veils. TIA!

    • I had a floral/pearl piece and a veil – both attached with combs and the veil just slid in and out without hurting my up-do.

      Something to consider – I had a floor length veil and the comb went in right above the nape of my neck and it felt awkward and heavy – I only wore it for the ceremony and couldn’t wait to take it out.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        After bridesmaiding for several brides who felt the same about their veils, I skipped a veil entirely. No regrets at all :).

        • SF Bay Associate – have you gotten married already? I know it was on the near horizon. If so, congratulations!

        • dc 'rette :

          Congrats! What shoes did you end up wearing?

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Jimmy Choo Logans in glitter Champagne: http://bit.ly/uWgvHh. I’ve already managed to wear them 3 times since. Win!

          • SF Bay Associate :

            Link is in moderation. Jimmy Choo Logans in glitter Champagne from Saks. I’ve already managed to wear them 3 times since. Win!

          • OH MY GOD SF Bay Associate, we seriously ARE twins. I wore those same shoes in my wedding in October. I love them more than life.

          • Love those! Were they comfortable enough to dance in?

          • dc ‘rette — I’m not a HUGE heel wearer, so I took mine off for most of the dancing — but I thought as far as heels go that they were pretty damn comfortable. They are very solidly constructed.

          • Congrats, SFBA!!! Those shoes are simply spectacular! May you dance though a long & happy life with your spouse!

          • I ended up wearing dance shoes for my wedding – my husband and I had this whole routine planned so our instructor suggested I get some dance shoes for our first dance. I found some pretty white suede shoes at a store that specializes in dancing attire (they were around $90). After searching and searching for comfortable, inexpensive wedding shoes, I decided to just wear the dance shoes for the ceremony and reception too. They were super-comfortable!!! Just thought I’d share for any brides-t0-be.

        • Congrats!!!

        • I did the same six years ago when I got married. Skipped the veil entirely because I didn’t like the way they felt or looked. No regrets for me either.

          • I should mention that I had bobby pins with pearls at the end arranged all around my updo so I still had pretty stuff in my hair.

          • No veil for me, had a silver hair piece that looked like leaves woven through my hair.

      • This was me too, except mine was on the top of my head. Ripped that thing out asap.

        Word to the wise, if you wear a long veil, and you do a recieving line, either take the veil out first or succumb to several rounds of hug-induced whiplash.

        Good luck w ith your hunt!

    • I had basically a large circular piece of tulle draped over the top of my head secured with a single long straight pin, worked fine.

    • I wore my veil under my updo, so it just hung down in the back. I wore a fancy comb, borrowed from my aunt, on the top of the updo. After the ceremony, I removed the veil and just had the fancy comb tucked into my updo. It worked out well. I considered doing no veil but I didn’t feel like a bride without it.

    • recent bride :

      I had a floor-length veil and a blusher, both attached to a metal comb. (The woman at the bridal salon recommended a metal comb over a plastic one.) I wore my hair down with the front/sides twisted back, so my stylist just put the comb in right above the twisty ends pinned in the back. I just lifted it straight out before the reception when I wanted to take off the veil. My stylist put little rhinestone clips in my hair under the veil, so I still had some bling once I took it off (the veil had rhinestone edges).

      Talk to your hair stylist about what you want with your hair, and see what s/he recommends. If you’re doing a hair trial, you can bring the veil to make sure everything will work out.

      • Diana Barry :

        I wore a very long veil (chapel length???) that was under my bun in the back. I did take it out for the reception, but only bc it would have had people stepping on it. It was attached with a comb under the bun. No issues with weight etc. I did get a custom veil (custom color, my dress was oyster colored) which probably made it lighter than the ready-made ones.

    • Attached with a clip, over my face and flipped for the kiss. I bought mine for super cheap at a Joanne’s Fabrics, and it looked perfectly fine to my untrained eye.

    • I had a bejeweled silver headband (beautiful) and then an elbow length veil that attached with a comb. It tucked in right above my updo. I found it perfectly comfortable as it was short and light and had no additional decoration on it — my wedding was a really windy day so we got some really beautiful pictures of the veil flying all around.

    • i would say switch your thought process– Pick a hairstyle you LOVE first, then determine which veil type is more complementary. they are such silly things, and lets be honest, hair is MAJOR LEAGUE important, its best not to let the veil wage the dog. Also, they are easy to find and don’t require a ton of alterations, so you can easily afford the lag time in selecting one.

      I had a definite idea of the type of veil i wanted- until my stylist showed me this amazing do. game changer. and totally the way to go!

    • Consulting :

      To my first wedding I wore a flower head band, hippie style. To my second wedding – the one that is sticking! – I wore a rose tucked into my hair. Good luck finding a look that makes you feel beautiful!

    • I had an elbow length veil that attached to a headband. I took off the veil for the reception so people didn’t yank my head back when they hugged me. Also, if you are getting married in a religious ceremony, I suggest checking with your officiant about whether or not the veil should be worn over your face coming down the aisle. Our minister was not a fan of having the veil over your face as you come down the aisle and definitely not during the ceremony.

    • Rose in Bloom :

      My veil was a family heirloom and about 10′ long, so I wore it with a comb at the top of my head. The way the veil was constructed it wouldn’t have fallen right had I placed it anywhere else. I took the veil with me when I did the test run for my hair (updo), and that was really helpful to see how it would look. Even with such a long veil dragging on the floor behind me, one comb was sufficient to keep it in place. I took the veil off for the reception.


    • Research, Not Law :

      Fingertip veil (circular, so it covered my face, too) attached with a clear, plastic comb. I wore my hair down. I test drove bobby pins and a nice metal comb, but couldn’t get it to work. The comb worked well and didn’t mess up my hair (although, with the amount of product in it that day, I’m not sure what would have). It was slightly visible when I flipped the front of the veil to the back, but I doubt anyone noticed.

      Bring your veil to your hair trial, if you’ll do one. Or, if you don’t have a veil yet or are undecided, then discuss options with your stylist.

    • I wore a cathedral-length veil (it went about 3 feet beyond my train) and I loved every second of it. Yes, it was heavy – it had beading around the edges – but that veil, more than the dress, made me feel like a bride. My hairdresser showed my bridesmaids how to pin it in with a comb and bobby pins on top of my low bun.

      I sold my dress (preownedweddingdresses dot com) but treasure that veil.

  2. Anastasia :

    A comb. I think it depends more on your hairstyle, though. I had a twisty, curly bun-like thing, so I just shoved the comb in it and it was fine. If you’re doing something more sleek that will look “off” if your headpiece pulls a few hairs out of place, it might not be the best bet.

  3. Can anyone comment on how Kate Spade fits for large feet? I wear size 11 or 12 (really I’m somewhere in between but it’s hard to find 11.5). I’m looking for shoes to wear to my wedding and there are some very cute styles on sale…

    • Too funny– I was just checking them out for that exact reason! I’m usually an 11 and their heels are very comfortable for me in that size. I share your pain in trying to find cute shoes in large sizes!

    • I love KS shoes & wear an 8.5 usually, but I find that line runs a little big, at least at my size.

    • Consulting :

      I’m around 11 too…and my feet expanded a bit with my pregnancies! The shoes I wore to my wedding – the second one, mentioned above – were ballroom dancing shoes. Sorry – don’t know anything about Kate Spade, but now that I know they carry 11s, I will look into them!

    • I wore Kate Spade Halle in Platino for my wedding. Love them! I’m usually 8.5/9, more often 8.5 in heels, but found the 9 fit better in this shoe for me.

  4. So I am feeling very Grinch-like today. My dear husband, who tries very hard to get just the right gift but sometimes misses, gave me two items that did not go over well this Christmas. He purchased on a flash auction site a luggage set in bright orange brushed aluminum (my least favorite color is orange) and spent way too much money (over $2000) on a couture black leather jacket that is so not my style (and I already have 2 black leather jackets I love) and which is not returnable. I went to the boutique and they would not budge on the return policy. I am very bad at hiding how I feel (my son said I winced when the luggage came out of the box) and my husband’s feelings are clearly hurt. Now I need to make myself get over my initial reaction and try to embrace and like these items. But I feel like a total jerk for how I reacted and am not sure how to make it up to my husband, who was trying very hard to do a nice thing.

    • Any chance the luggage is paintable, being that it isn’t fabric?

      • Can't wait to quit :

        Look into having it powder coated. You should be able to find a small business that does it and would take on an interesting project like this. The powder coat will be much sturdier than regular paint.

    • In any marriage/relationship there will be times when a partner disappoints the other in some manner. When you displayed your hurt at your husband’s gifts it shows that you are in a relationship where you are not forcing yourself to behave contrary to how you feel. That is a good thing!

      As for the money spent(or wasted, from your perspective), it is not in any way greater than the love you both share. I agree that the amount in the range of $2000 is not small by any means. But it can be earned back and is not something that should cause a rift between you both.

      Now coming to your husband’s feelings, he obviously thought he was expressing his love for you by buying you the gifts. You need to show your appreciation for that sentiment, if not for the gifts. He needs to know that he did the right thing but possibly not in the right way. For e.g if he likes buying you expensive clothing, you both can reach an agreement that you would love for him to take you out shopping for it. Or you can tell him how you always change your mind after buying things and would like only returnable gifts(like 99% of us women.. :-) ).

      You are a very lucky woman and your husband obviously cares a lot for you. So give him a hug and a kiss and say you are sorry. And list the items on craigslist or ebay..someone will surely want them!

      • Anonymous :

        Clearly your husband is looking forward to travelling with you!

        And yeah, my hubby has done this, too. Sometimes it’s under the guise of “saving money”

        Hmmm, black jacket and orange luggage…he wants to take you to a Baltimore Orioles game in the Spring? Or during Spring training?

        He wants to take you out on a Harley to tour the California coast?

        Any chance you can cover the luggage with travel decals? Or brainstorm for where they might do the most good – an extended family member with a need? Donate to a silent auction for an alma mater or other beloved charity? Personally, Craigslist and eBay selling is not my idea of an easy process, though YMMV.

      • I think it is bettter’ no matter how wealthy you may be, to make a practice of only giving inexpensive gifts. Then the mistakes when they occur will not be so major. You can give gifts more frequently. The exception might be precious jewelry such as gold diamonds and watches, and it is better to select these pieces together. This has prvoven wise during 57 years of marriage.

        • Agree,

        • Haven’t been married anywhere near 57 years, but I agree with this. We set a $150 total limit on our Christmas gifts a few years ago and it was a great decision. Totally takes the pressure off finding the “perfect” thing and as Nevadan said, when the mistakes happen, they aren’t so serious. I get gifts several times a year now, instead of just once, and each time it’s something fairly reasonable that I really want.

          Could you put the jacket on eBay? If it is couture, it will sell. It may not be your style but it will definitely be someone else’s, especially with the tags still on.

    • Anonymous :

      Can you regift it? The sentiment was nice but your husband really should have known you well enough not to get you these items. You said orange is your least favorite color, he should have known that. Maybe that makes me sound like a grinch but I don’t think you should keep items you don’t like, or pretend to like them.

      Your husband’s feelings are already hurt. Apologize for not approaching the situation better and try to communicate better with each other about future gifts.

      • another anon :

        Ugh, I have the same issue with my husband, although he does not tend to spend as much. He tries, but often misses the mark by quite a bit. And while part of me understands that this gifting just isn’t something that he is very good at (and he does have lots of other great qualities), it really hurts my feelings that after being together for almost 10 years, he doesn’t know what my favorite kind of chocolate, body lotion, etc. is, or doesn’t know where I go for a massage and gets me a gift card to a place I dislike. Or he just completely misunderstands me. (For example, two years ago my parents bought us an electronic gift that he had on his wish list, assuming that it was for both of us, when really it was only him that wanted it and only him that would use it. So basically he got a gift from my parents and I didn’t get anything. I don’t really need anything from them of course, but it was still disappointing, and I complained to my husband about it. So the following year, what does he do? He gets me one these same electronic gadgets, which I totally did not want at all. I almost cried when I opened it because I was so hurt that he had totally misundertood why I was upset over the previous years’ gift from my parents.)

        So for the OP, you are not alone in this, and I would not feel too bad about being grinchy. I would have a comversation with your husband about how to handle this issue in the future and then try to resell the stuff on ebay or craigslist. Maybe in the future you can agree that you will give him a list of specific items that you would like, or agree that he should not spend over $ X, and/or that he should not buy items that you can’t return?

    • I totally understand, and I would be feeling the same way. If the gifts wer cheaper I would agree at you should try to like them, but at that price I don’t think that is a great option. Why not try eBay, at least for the jacket (the luggage is likely a pain and expire to ship, but you could try it for local delivery only if youre in a big city). You won’t get what he paid, but even if you get half that’s better than having spent all that money on stuff you isn’t want. Maybe you can use what you make to buy yourself something you do like. I often eBay gifts I don’t like.

    • Thanks so much for all your comments and suggestions. It does help to know that my reaction was not totally out of line. And I so agree with the comment that I am lucky to have a husband who cares so much — I am! I just needed a cathartic release of my feelings — they have kept me feeling down all day. I think now that I am processing them, I can move on and try to repair any damage I did to my husband’s feelings. We are going away for New Year’s so there will be plenty of opportunity for some affectionate gestures of appreciation for his efforts!

      What I will end up doing with the gifts, I am not sure. I think hubby has a new set of luggage for his use since he likes the color so well. He explained that he wanted something that you would recognize instantly when it comes off the airport luggage ramp. He absolutely achieved that goal (ha ha).

      • In search of Bunkster's Bark :

        If you were me, you’d load those suitcases up with peanuts and check them on American Airlines. Guaranteed way (at least for me) to never see them again.

        Wait! You can put the jacket in there too!

      • Anonymous :

        :) This sounds like a fun travel calling card, and there is no way that a switcheroo is likely.

        If it gets to be too much – bumper stickers could be a fun layer.

        Catharsis is totally warranted. When we were dating, he royally screwed up . Big time. He wanted to do something to make it right. OK. He then proceeded to spend hours refurbishing a bike by brother left (that I used as a spare) to make it better. Total miss, and a secondary injury. Humbling for him, too, on how badly he missed. Bless my sister for listening…

        That “I feel you” thing – not so finely tuned with DH. Thank goodness for internet wish lists.

        May all of your gifts be in alignment in 2012 :)

      • But at least you HAVE a husband who gets things for you. I want to be MARRIED too, but Alan did not. FOOEY ON HIM!

      • Hmmmm, it sounds like your husband picks out things for you that he would like.

    • Anonymous :

      maybe he wanted to get something you’d notice right away at the airport luggage carousel

    • Seriously, your luggage sounds awesome. Not the point, I know, but now I want orange luggage.

      • That can be arranged…. Just kidding! I am sure over time it will become a source of much family kidding and amusement.

    • I’ve read that it’s often hardest to pick out gifts for the people you are the closest to. I know I have a very hard time buying gifts for my husband, and he has almost always given me poorly considered presents. Maybe the take-away is that your husband gives bad gifts because he really love you?

      • I like this theory. It explains why my ex-husband gave me such great gifts. And why my forever husband gave such lousy gifts that we agreed to not exchange presents anymore!

        *Sigh!* It must be true looooooove…

    • anonymouse :

      I think the poor guy deserves a break. I mean, it is really hard to buy gifts for people who already have everything. Especially hard if you know they are going to get all disappointed and grumpy if you don’t get something they absolutely love. Not to be mean here, just trying to offer an objective view of the sitation – I sort of think it sounds like you acted like a spoiled a brat.

      • Either you have never been the recipient of a really disappointing gift, or you are one of those people who was raised to believe that your feelings are always less important than other people’s. The OP did not throw a tantrum and throw the luggage across the room; that is “spoiled-brat” behavior. I think this comment was out of line.

        • I’m sorry but I agree. The gifts showed effort so it is not like he didn’t care. Is he supposed to know what style of leather jacket she likes? The biggest issue is buying non returnable clothes.

    • I got hurt feelings when hubby didn’t do the right thing for my birthday. Really overreacted, but after thinking abut it realised that getting a certain type of gift from him is really important to me i.e. something I consider romantic. To streamline things I finally told him that getting a box of chocolates from him on birthday, Christmas and anniversary was a requirement. Makes it easier on both of us, although not such a surprise. Can you ask him for a particular gift next go round? Men often have no clue what they are doing when it comes to gifts I think.

      • Anne Shirley :

        Wow! A $2000 jacket you can’t return? I can understand the luggage, but to me that doesn’t even sound reasonable. I’d thank him, sure, but I actually don’t think, if it is the thought that counts, that buying non-returnable clothing is a good thought.

        I’d definitely be telling him that in future he shouldn’t buy any clothes that cannot be returned as it is impossible to ensure they fit, and selling the coat on eBay. I think it would be fun to use the proceeds for a weekend away, courtesy of the coat. And I don’t think you sound spoiled at all, this was a big financial decision and it was poorly made!

      • My S.O. recently confessed that he was “really nervous” about whether I’d like a gift he got me, to which I told him, “not as much as I am!” And, it was true — I really want to like his gifts and I seriously worry that I wont. But I think it’s important to not take it personally if the gift isn’t perfect. Not everyone is good at picking out presents. I spend so much time trying to pick the right thing, that it’s easy for me to assume that if my S.O. misses the mark, he just doesn’t understand me or he didn’t spend enough time picking it out, whatever. But that’s not necessarily the case, some people just suck at gift giving. And some people are easier to gift — he tends to be super happy with a warm sweater. I do think explaining what you like is a very good idea (Anon’s chocolates req is great. I do this with flowers).

        Early on in our relationship, my SO went to Bloomingdale’s and got me a huge CZ pendant. I was horrified! Normally, I would not say anything so early on, but I just couldn’t wear that thing for even an evening. So I said, “This is very sweet, but I really don’t think I am comfortable with such a huge, fake diamond.” Luckily, he laughed… Turns out he didn’t even understand that’s what he got. He just thought it was pretty. So now, we have parameters (no fake jewelry as gifts). FWIW, after that incident (I returned the necklace for a dress), I tried to help out by giving him shops I like (if in doubt, go here). We also sometimes play a silly game where if I’m on the couch looking through some catalog, I’ll say, “Guess which item I like most on this page” or “What do I think is the most hideous?” It’s not even remotely serious, and we usually end up giggling when he picks something I really hate, but I do think it actually somehow helps – this holiday, I loved the earrings he got me (and they had real diamonds)…

        • My SO thinks he’s a terrible gift giver so he freaks out about it, although he has gotten me beautiful gifts. When his first choice for me this year for Christmas fell through (timing issue), he was so upset. I told him, you know that I like everything you’ve gotten me at our local (incredible) jewelry store and N. knows me and she knows you. You can always go there and just ask for her help! He did and bought me a beautiful necklace for Christmas.

          Despite the fact that he thinks he doesn’t want anything, I pay close attention to the kinds of things he likes. I’ve gotten him some cool gadget things that have been huge hits. This year, the thing that made him happiest was work gloves with LED lights from ThinkGeek. Last year it was boots, which he had been admiring for awhile but wouldn’t buy for himself. He’s so appreciative that he makes me feel great about my choices.

      • gift lover :

        Yeah, I had to do something similar: specify what kind of gifts I would like for Valentine’s days (flowers), anniversary (something small/ inexpensive but memorable), and birthday (romantic/ personal). Of course, these are still open to interpretation, but the birthday request saved me from getting power tools or a desk lamp, and the anniversary request resulted in a very sweet & thoughtful gift this year.

        This has been a little tricky because both my brother and father are *amazing* gift givers – not extravagant, but they find gifts that always hit the mark and make me feel warm & fuzzy. I, too, put a lot of effort into thinking about and shopping for the *exact* thing that would suit the recipient. (Not saying that I always hit the mark, but my SIL did say ‘you find the coolest stuff!’) Not everyone is into shopping/ thinking/ gift giving in this way, though. My husband is much more oriented toward efficiency/ pragmatism, and likes to get all his Xmas shopping done via internet in one evening. Naturally, this sometimes results in gifts that are less considered. But then that’s the way of his family: his mother has sent him more than one copy of the same book because she forgot that she gave him the book for a previous gift occasion.

    • My husband misses the mark often with gifts. It took me a while to realize that he was trying his best and that his feelings would not be hurt if I exchanged the item, yet appreciated his effort. In recent years, I’ve started giving him wish lists. It takes the surprise out of the gift, but at least I end up with something I like. Can you take the jacket to an upscale consignment store? You said the boutique would not let you return the jacket but would they consider giving you a credit or partial credit to use at their boutique?

    • Oh, I feel you. I once had a (now ex) bf give me long underwear for some occasion — I think my birthday. If he hadn’t been so narcissistic he would have noticed the impossible to contain horror on my face. (It was the narcissism, not the abysmal gift-giving that sealed the fate on that relationship).

      You husband sounds very sweet and rather clueless, and your reaction (and worrying about his feelings about it) sound quite normal. I’m sure you’ll make it up to him over the reaction, but maybe part of that might involve helping steer him in the right direction for future gift-giving? He may be quicker to gain a sense of humor about this gifting gaffe if he has more confidence for the future.

    • This is way after the fact, so you may not see this reply, but my H gave me cash for my birthday last year. CASH. No card, just cash. Since then, I just sort of rib him about it every now and then, and he has gotten the point that he needs to think a little harder about gift-giving.

  5. How did you wonderful accomplished ladies decide what you wanted to do? I graduated in 09 from a good college with my liberal arts degree with average (but decent) grades but very little internship experience. (I have worked since I was 16, but coffee shop/lifeguarded/babysat etc.) I started part time at a womens retail store, and have now been manager for about 1.5 years. I want to take “the next step” and leave this job, but have no idea what I am qualified for, or what I even want to do. Since I have a job I don’t want to take the very first thing, I’d like to make my next job a place where I can grow and where I enjoy (at least a little) what I’m doing.

    As a second question, does anyone deal with people thinking their job is “beneath them.” To be honest even though I don’t love what I do, I moved to a new city and got promoted very quickly, and am managing people much older than I am. I am kind of proud of that! But I feel that most people kind of go “oh..” when I say where I work.

    • How are you presenting where you work? I think anyone who says “oh…” when you name the place is a reflection on them, not you! Very snooty. If you don’t already, I’d try adding a line. “I’m a retail manager at X. I’m in charge of organizing Y and I really enjoy Z aspect” may bring a better response. Maybe people are flaking when they realize they don’t have anything in common with that profession, and your enthusiasm for it would help them think of ways to connect. Or maybe they’re just snobs :)

    • I would suggest you volunteer in an area you’re potentially interested in – politics, animal shelter for animal care, etc. to get a sense of whether that is something you’d like to do and if your volunteer supervisors are encouraging of that idea.

    • Can you start volunteering in areas that you might be substantively interested in pursuing? That way you can explore the area, make some connections, and get some other experience on your resume that might be relevant to future work, since you say you have very little internship experience from undergrad.

      I think you should be proud of getting promoted, doing something well, and supporting yourself while you figure out where to from here. I would just ignore comments about your job being “beneath you.”

      • I think volunteering is a great way to get involved. It gives you a chance to see other fields that you are interested in without taking a leap. Also, it gives you a leg up in the hiring process if/when you are making the leap.

        Finally, don’t let the reactions of others phase you! If you like your job, that is the most important thing. Your job teaches you great things about small business ownership, etc that will be tremendous valuable later in life.

    • It takes time to really discover what you’re good at and what you want to do for the next 40 years. My plan was always to become an attorney, but then post undergrad, I didn’t attend law school. I didn’t do particularly well, and needed a break from school. It was only after being in the working world for 4 years that I decided that I had to become an attorney. I ended up quitting my promising marketing job (where I was up for a promotion) to attend law school full-time. My husband did the same with his job. I am now an attorney, at 30, and my husband is in the process of becoming a registered dietician.

      Take time to really think about what you love about your current job, and what you don’t. Also, take time to consider what you could do if you could do ANYTHING in the whole world. And if it’s possible, try to do that. I am a firm believer that failure is being afraid to not even try to do what makes you happy.

      What is your liberal arts degree in? What about marketing or sales? I have a friend who managed a large retail chain post undergrad, and transitioned that position into a marketing position, where she became very successful.

      It’s not a race–if you think your peers, at 23ish, have it figured out, well, they’re just better at faking it than you. Most people have at least 2 careers. I think it says a great deal about you that you are really taking the time to think about what makes you happy.

      And I agree with the below comment re: how you present your current position. If you tell people what you do in a manner that makes it seem like you’re not happy there, others will pick up on that. The job I have post law school is not my “dream” attorney job, but I love it. And I focus on that when I talk about it to my peers. I think it really makes a difference in how you feel about your situation.

    • Another Sarah :

      I agree with figuring out what you’re interested in and volunteering there. If you don’t know what you’re interested in, think about what classes you really liked in college (like, your favorite major classes), what you can see yourself doing for the rest of your life, etc. Once you have that figured out, if you aim for it, you’ll probably either get it or get close enough to it that you’ll be happy.

    • my .02 -don’t let a starting salary deter you from doing something you love. If you love what you do, chances are you’ll be good at it & you’ll get promoted. I know people say “do what you love and the money will follow” but I wish I’d taken that a little more to heart when I was younger & able to live on ramen & with roommates for a while.

      • This. There is rarely a day that goes by that I don’t wish I had followed my passion instead of being practical and stuck in a job I hate with nowhere to go in a bad economy.

    • I was unsure from your post of whether you’d be at all interested in staying with the company that you currently work for, but in a non-retail (and more “professional”) position. If you got promoted so fast, someone there clearly thinks you have potential! Try to reach out and schedule a meeting with someone higher up on the chain than you. Express your interest in the company and feel out whether there are advancement opportunities into non-retail positions.

    • Browse job ads well outside your experience/training. If you see a job and think “that would be an awesome job!” then figure out what it would take to get it there.

      Alternately, find things that you enjoy doing in your work, such as “organization” or “presenting to groups” or “managing people” then follow that.

      Universities and professional societies may have “what you can do with your degree” information and job postings. You can check that for ideas.

      • Absolutely agree with this! I was a wandering liberal arts grad for several years after college. My job – which I loved! and at which I excelled – involved an amount of manual labor and actual dirt that most people seemed to believe was ~beneath~ a liberal arts grad, and continually asked me when I was going to get “a real job.”

        I read higher level job postings in the NYT and magazines (not Craigslist) to see what jobs sounded interesting. All the cool ones required an advanced degree, so back to school I went…. never expecting to become a prof!

        I also ‘hit bottom’ with a job that was a promotion from previous jobs, and appeared to make good use of my skills/ experience – and I hated it. That made me uncomfortable enough to seek out a new field. Part of your 20s is about finding out what you *don’t* want to do (for work, or romantically).

    • Consulting :

      I tried something I didn’t love for a few years, and then when doors opened, I took them.

      Don’t be ashamed of your work, just because other people are insecure and think their work makes them worth more than others – All work is sacred.

    • Figured out what interests I had that could translate into a career and I liked so much I wouldn’t mind thinking about them 40 hours per week (in my case, politics and travel).

      Figured out what I was good at that could translate into a career and I wouldn’t mind doing for 40 hours a week (in my case, research and writing).

      Figured out what careers would combine those interests with those skills (in my case, I settled on law after also considering PhD progams in international relations or in a foreign language. I made this decision based on my ability to get into a top law school and the better long-term career prospects for attorneys. It was not an easy decision.)

      Once in law school, took on activities and applied for internships that emphasized my interests and skills. I targeted my job search the same way. Throw in a bit of good luck/alumni connections, and I’ve spent 6 years as a research attorney with a highly political job and I travel often.

      I also want to point out you never really finish deciding what you want to do. People change careers all the time and even after 10 or 20 years in a field. It’s not good to be flaky and change jobs a lot, but you also shouldn’t fall into the trap of thinking that what you do when you’re 25 is what you’ll end up doing forever. As recently as last year I seriously considered a major career change, from practice to academia, because academia had always been my “dream job”. Long story short, 6 years of practice had made me realize that my “dream” was just a dream, and I really liked my reality, so I stuck with my current job. So people’s goals and interests change, and that’s ok.

      As far as working as a retail manager – look, some people in “professional” fields assume that everyone with the intellectual capacity to work in a high-powered field also has the desire to do so, and therefore they assume that people who don’t work in such fields couldn’t cut it or aren’t that smart. If you’re happy, eff ’em. My dad’s the smartest person I know and the person who made it possible for me to be little miss overachiever, and he worked a blue-collar job. Some people just don’t realize that there’s more to life than corner offices.

    • I plan on embarking on a major career change within the next year or two — I fell into my current career path after a brief stint in the military, and while it’s lucrative, it’s not what I really want to do. I’ve volunteered various places and taken classes at community college to kind of hone my interests and explore options, and I chose my future career based on my interests, and desired lifestyle and work environment.

      As for people thinking your job is beneath them…oh boy, can I speak to that! I was an enlisted member of the military. Before enlisting, I was an honor student at a prestigious university, and my job in the military was selective and required quite a bit of additional school/training. Nonetheless, the average non-enlisted person I encountered thought I was a brainwashed grunt with a gun and no prospects (the post-Iraq and Afghanistan hero-worship of military members hadn’t quite crystalized yet). Even people who knew me well enough to know better said “oh…” or worse. It really, really bothered me.

      In my experience, there’s nothing you can do about it– I tried highlighting the exciting parts of my job and what a great experience it was, explaining my motives and how it would lead to xyz in the future, etc., but people have preconceived notions of certain careers, and nothing you say in one conversation will change that. Thinking through all those things, though, helped me feel good about my choices and be more dismissive of the people who were dismissive of me. Those people are snobs at worst, and at best, speaking/reacting from a place of ignorance.

      You are good at what you do – keep being proud, and know that there is no such thing as bad work experience. Then, change the subject to your favorite hobby.

      • I’d also suggest talking to your friends who have jobs that interest you. But just talking to your friends in general about career choices can give you new ideas, and when a friend suggests something that might fit you, you might end up taking the idea more seriously.

        I was an English major, and I was talking to a friend about how I would probably become a teacher. She asked me if I really wanted to deal with kids all day. I wasn’t sure but wanted to use my degree in my career. She suggested going into publishing. Her mom’s friend did it, so it seemed like a viable option. I did a couple internships and entered the field and am now an editor.

        So don’t forget to talk to people who care about you. They might help you think of something too :)

        Good luck! You sound great.

  6. I’d like to give a shout out for rembrant, which drastically improved wine/coffee something stains on my teeth within one use. I’m never good with the strips bc I can never remember to use them twice a day, and on my morning commute I drink coffee, and on the way home (usually after the gym or HH) i’m drinking water, so I generally can never find a good time to use them.

    Does anyone have any other ideas/products to help with surface stains? They look really bad but they always come off at dental cleanings.

    • Seattleite :

      My friends have had good results with swishing – AND SPITTING – hydrogen peroxide. It worked for me, too, but was hard on the inside of my canker sore-prone mouth. IIRC, they swished for about 30 seconds, and may have diluted it 50% with water.

    • Drink your coffee with a straw. Will make all the difference.

    • Allie from Wardrobe Oxygen highly recommended Crest 3D White Vivid toothpaste just yesterday . . . .

  7. Jade Moon :

    I know we don’t often talk about men’s clothing, but I could really use some advice for my husband. My husband works in research (i.e., extremely casual work attire, think jeans and t-shirts all the time), and is about to start interviewing at academic institutions. He is in need of a good interviewing suit, as well as a more casual sport coat. He’s more of a “big and tall” body type (5 foot 10 inches tall, 46 inch waist). I have no idea where to suggest he/we shop for this. He’s suggesting those “buy one get one free” types of stores, but I’m apprehensive about the quality (and cost is not an issue for us, luckily). Does anyone have any recommendations, particularly in the DC/Maryland area? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Can’t go wrong with Brooks Brothers

    • Nordstrom personal shopper? My husband is tall and has a great sport coat from Nordstrom, although the last time he went about suits, the personal shopper tried to get him into the wrong size, since it’s what they had (this was in White Plains…maybe you can get a specific recc for a better person in your area?). He ended up getting a few suits at Syms, which is where most of the men in my family shop, and getting them tailored.

      • Local Anon :

        I would second the Nordstom recommendation. My SO has similar measurements and we’ve had good luck at the Tyson’s Corner store with a personal shopper (def. make an appt). The half yearly mens sale is going on now. Good luck!

        • Third Nordstrom recommendation for quality, men’s anniv sale, and they have Brooks Brothers, too. Also, for parking validation at the Pentagon City location. :D

    • econ prof :

      Unless he is applying for a position at one of the professional schools (law, medical, business), I wouldn’t think he needs an expensive suit–I’d just send him to Men’s Warehouse. Some academics can be reverse-snobbish about dressing nicely and actually count it against people.

      • anon for this :

        I had the same thought. Not necessarily that they’d think less of him but, depending on the department (and dress code varies by discipline), he might never have need to wear it again.

      • Consulting :

        heh! Another economist!

      • Research, Not Law :


        And I actually think their suits are pretty nice. They aren’t the quality you’d get at a higher-end store, but they look good. Academic scientists certainly aren’t going to notice the difference. He’s not going to be wearing it very often, so with a couple of interviews, a wedding, and maybe a funeral, he’s not going to wear it out before he likely outgrows it or it goes out of style. Plus, I’ve been very pleased with their service.

    • My fiance is 2″ shorter than your husband but otherwise the same size. We get him a lot of suits at Men’s Wearhouse which I realize is not the source for snazzy impeccably made suits, but they tend to last him 2-3 years and he wears suits almost every day.

    • Consulting :

      ditto on Brooks Brothers. Jos A Banks can be less expensive when they have a deal going on but over-priced otherwise. My husband just bought a sports jacket at JC Pennys that was under a hundred dollars and is wool….Of course he needs a suit for Academic interviews, but I don’t think most academics are too fashion conscious. As long as the suit looks nice, and, in my opinion, is wool, I think he should be fine.

    • We recently had to buy suits for my husband (who normally has a very casual work environment) and had a great experience at the Brooks Brothers outlet in Potomac Mills. It helped that we were there on a Saturday night, when the store wasn’t crowded, but the sales associate was tremendous. To my eye, the suits look nice but not fancy – and the fit was impeccable. We also learned that they have a 2″ seam allowance on everything so alterations will be a snap in the future if needed.

      We started the hunt at Jos A Bank, and left after 30 minutes – the store was too jammed with merchandise to actually see anything and the commission-hungry sales associates were just too much to bear.

      • Banana republic has some nice guy suits my hus likes them as well as his bb ones

        • Personally, I am also a fan of BB – the quality, service and comfort is pretty outstanding. I would just add that you should also consider what kind of suit to get. I would avoid anything too pinstriped for an academic position as it may come off as flashy. Black is considered by some to be strictly for funerals/weddings. I think navy or gray are classic options; maybe something brown-ish could work because it would be sorta less dressy & more professorial (in my mind). Shirt for interview should always be white, IMO, but since this is a less formal environment maybe light blue could work.

          BB has great sportcoats too. And they are in the middle of an annual sale.

          • Good point AIMS. BB’s suiting essentials collection has a nice charcoal and navy for about $400. http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatSectionView.process?IWAction=Load&Merchant_Id=1&Section_Id=660&section_size=&section_color=&sortby=lowestPrice

    • Maddie Ross :

      Lands End has nice wool suiting that’s not ridiculous pricewise. My brother is not large, but is very tall and they are able to accommodate him and have a broad range of sizes.

    • My husband is 6’1″ with a 40-inch waist (well, it fluctuates – he was down to 38″ this summer for awhile) and I second the Brooks Brothers reco – it is one of the brands, consistently, that he can wear without a lot of tailoring. For shirts, he really likes Jhane Barnes, although some of her prints get a little wild, he goes for the more conservative stuff. He can buy the same size over and over from Jhane Barnes and the fit never seems to change. There are also a couple of brands at Dillards, if you have one near you or you want to order online (their return policy is really good) – Daniel Cremieux is one – that also seem to work for him.

      The biggest problems my husband has in shopping for clothes are one, he lifts weights, and his shoulders and arms are huge and problematic to fit (in suit jackets especially). And two, his arms are really long. Whenever I see dress shirts in a 18 1/2 neck with 36/37 arms, I snap them up because those are the only ones that fit him, without him having to roll the sleeves up (although he then usually has to have them tailored through the waist, which is an annoyance but not something we’ve found a way around). However, I can only find 18 1/2 – 36/37 shirts once in a blue moon. If anyone has suggestions where to get shirts and jackets sized and proportioned for King Kong, please let me know. :)

  8. Cobbler/shoe tips needed:
    *Does anyone know of a great cobbler in the Chicago/Chicagoland area? I’ve never been to one so don’t know the proper vocab for exactly what I’m looking to have done, but I have a pair of heeled boots with loose heels I’d like to have fixed, a pair of pumps with a missing buckle on the strap to be replaced, and a couple of pairs of shoes that need some kind of rubber sole/something added to their bottoms so they have some traction. Anyone have any good experiences?

    Also, in the way of shoe tips—anyone have any great inserts to recommend? I’m putting some extra padding in a pair of heels for support and to make them fit better. I’m leaning towards some Dr. Scholl’s brand gel inserts, but don’t know if they’ll make my feet sweat like crazy. (I have a past of super intense and painful eczema on my feet, which seems to have subsided since I stopped wearing cheap, old shoes, but am concerned something like this could cause a flare-up).


    • Oof, I forgot about my third question—when gorgeous peep toes seem to cut you a bit/rub your feet wrong—does putting moleskin there really work? Do you apply it to your shoe or your foot?

      (This makes it sound like I buy tons of painful shoes, which I don’t… just taking the time finally to customize some benched or new shoes to work perfectly for me! Then on to finally hemming some pants… bah.)

      • dc 'rette :

        Not sure about your other qs, but moleskin works best stuck directly to the foot. Not sure if it will be visible in peeptoes though.

    • shoe repair etc. :

      Mike’s Shoe Repair in Evanston has re-heeled a couple pairs of boots for me and spiffed/polished some of my work shoes. They also do luggage and handbags, so probably could handle the buckle thing.

    • If you’re nearby, Tony’s in Oak Park, on Oak Park Ave. I’ve been taking my shoes there for years and have always been happy with the work.

    • Jacqueline :

      I highly recommend Broadway Shoe Repair on Broadway just south of Belmont. They do a great job, and I have friends who will drive across the city just to get their shoes fixed there.

  9. Happy New Year! Wild shoes…not in my color palette but they’re cute.

    • For reals, these are some pretty loud shoes. I wear bright colors all the time but I don’t know why I’m so meh about these. Maybe cuz Missoni does nothing for me.

      • I’m just the opposite- adore missoni, too poor to really own any of it. These shoes are almost attainable price range-wise, but just looking at them makes my feet hurt. I wish I could get those flats Missoni made for Target back in the summer- the ones that sold out in like 30 seconds.

        • KK – I saw some of those flats on clearance at my Target and they were literally knit over cardboard with a cheap rubber sole. I had been swooning over them online but when I saw them in person, I passed (even though they were like 10 bucks). Which is all to say – you weren’t missing anything!

      • Finally, someone else who dislikes Missoni print. It really is unsettling to my eye.

        • It all looks like Navajo blankets to me. Really, really expensive Navajo blankets.

        • I like a lot of prints and have eclectic taste but I do not like the standard Missoni wavy stripes either….not sure why…but I know I do not.

  10. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies – I just had my review today (finally) and met my collections goal for the year, so I got a bonus! (Only 10K, but I’m not complaining!) This is the first time I’ve gotten a bonus in 5 years. So much better than last year when they said I wasn’t bringing in enough $$ and I got a pay cut.

  11. Recommendations for social etiquette book? I’ve had more than one awkward moment dealing with my high income (think 1%) clients that I think would have been avoided if I had some confidence in dealing with the “upper classes”. I know the business aspect of etiquette (I’ve got a ton of management books on the subject) and I’m totally confident and composed in that environment. However, I spend so much time schmoozing in restaurants and at parties and feeling terribly awkward and uncertain of how I comport myself. I am often left feeling like I have “former poor girl” stamped on my forehead. This goes beyond what fork to use. In the new year, I plan to have more confidence around these issues, and I know that the classy ladies of Corporette can help!

    • Seattleite :

      You might find Paul Fussell’s book “Class, A Guide Through the American Status System,” useful. It’s not really an etiquette book as much as it details ‘markers.” It was fascinating.

      • I’m not sure this book is quite the direction to take, and I’ll explain. I’ve taken a quantum leap forward in responsibility at the same employer. At the same time I took a graduate-level sociology class – social inequality, both toward a different degree, and thinking it would add some depth to my eeo work. And I’m stepped up from working class/white collar with a big helping of suburban agriculture (Barbara Kingsolver would’ve been proud of our half acre, though our friends with pools and computers -late 70s-early 80s- worried about us, especially since some of the rabbits, well, were not raised as pets.) – I’m not an easy fit anywhere.

        Having an appreciation of class helped if I was pretending to be an anthropologist in a sitation, (nodding to the actor comment below) however, it was more of a distraction because I found that something would trigger “class” and I’d end up not being fully present for the remainder of the conversation, or lose a level of connection. It’s tricky. Listen and observe. Mirror behavior when appropriate – it’s a subconscious thing that creates subtle commonality. Knowing etiquette helps, but check your assumptions. Some will have humble beginnings. Sometimes having a lot of money can knock the etiquette train off the tracks, so know who you are in the midst of the soup. (While I’m not Clarisse in The Silence of the Lambs – Dr. Lechter certainly pulled class into the conversation quickly – he was scripted, though, you’re real life, and astute)

        I’m somewhere in the middle of “The Social Animal” (2011), and it’s also interesting, and deals with the subconscious mind, including class. Some things about class are way deeper than external markers, which can move.

        May your hard work be blessed with good people and clients that raise your abilities. I’m also reading with interest.

    • No experience, but I’ve seen books by Kate Spade and the ones at Brooks Brothers.


    • Leticia Baldridge’s books are great. There’s one that came out in the las 10 years for ‘modern’ times. She was Jackie Kennedy’s social secretary in the white house. I went to a presentation she gave about 7 years ago. She was hilarious! You could tell she was very sophisticated but not snobby – perfect combo!

      • Ditto the leticia baldridge suggestion. Her book on new manners for modern times is great, very practical, and has a good section on business etiquette.

    • Just wanted to say that I relate to this problem. I’ve totally had that fish out of water feeling when around rich people in the business world, and I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent at those parties/events wishing I could teleport myself to a sports bar in a lower middle class neighborhood where I would actually feel at home. I actually left the job that put me in that situation and ended up in a (much lower paying) job where I feel more comfortable with my coworkers and our clients. But, for future purposes and general self-improvement, I’m curious to see the suggestions.

      • Same boat, and would love some ideas on how to not freeze up/feel like garbage around people of privilege .

    • Not s book, but as a former poor kid I find pretending to be a character in a movie to be a helpful thought.

      While not really on point in a lot of ways, i find thinking what would Daisy (from the Great Gatsby) Do? really helpful. I generally feel confident in my credentials but not really in my presentation.

      I think this is really one of those fate-it-until-you-make-it scenarios. So, buck up, know that you are awesome, and hold yourself high. If you think that you are charming and belong there, everyone else will feel the same!

    • They are a little dated (early-mid 2000’s?) and very tongue-in-cheek, but I really like the Etiquette Girls books (Things You Need to Be Told, and More Things You Need to Be Told).

    • Hope you don’t mind my asking, but what is your job title? Honestly, it sounds awesome.

    • Miss manners, even her old books. She uses the old rules but often presents them with great wit. Updated there was a Canadian book a few years ago – the fabulous girls guide to decorum.

      • Um, second was a different AB. Will work on a better moniker as I’m a newish commenter…

    • The Girl Scouts etiquette badge worked for me… haha. For grownups, I’d recommend the Miss Manners books.


    • Highly recommend Judith Martin’s Miss Manners’ guides e.g. Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior. Quite funny too. Another thing that might help is reading the Official Preppy Handbook by Lisa Birnbach. Also funny but some good insights.

      • Thanks all i might read these too. I love my job as I meet soo many people sometimes highly wealthy and famous types. I do ok but sense there are unwritten things I can know more than what I’ve gleaned thus far. Love this community, hadn’t thought of reading up on this. Also I will make my kid, after he or she is born and grows up enough, I had a friend in college also mid class who went to finishing school which we made fun of but actually she is impeccable and das done really well in life. For better or worse this stuff matters.

      • LadyEnginerd :

        Ditto to the Preppy Handbook. Half tongue-in-cheek, half manual for how to interact with the New England yacht club set. It is also way easier to learn to deal with this demographic in a context where they aren’t in business mode – can you learn/get involved in the prepster sports (sailing, squash, golf, tennis, etc.)? What about something like Junior League, where you’d meet a range of people socially?

    • One thing that may help you feel a little more sophisticated in these situations (especially at dinners) is if you learn more about food and wine and cocktails. One of my younger colleagues and I were raised in similar circumstances (middle America, middle class) but I have, over the years, become a real foodie, so when we are in fine dining situations, she counts on me to tell her what the items on the menu are. Read about and learn about food and drink so you won’t be daunted by fine dining. That can really make a difference.

      • I would be a little careful about the wine part around ‘the 1%’. The sums which it is possible to spend on wine have turned from merely large to eye-wateringly stratospheric in recent years and it is an area which attracts hyper-competitive big spenders. Educate and interest yourself, yes, but be careful that you may find yourself speaking to someone whose idea of a good wine is a vintage first-growth bought at auction.

    • I think that it’s most important to be genuine and warm. Treat them with respect, of course, but don’t insert a great deal of awkward distance between you. In dealing with VIPs in various roles, I’ve found that people warm up with you treat them like people with real interests, instead of “clients,” “donors,” “celebrities,” etc. Even asking about their day or how they are enjoying their drink/meal/evening can open the door for a relaxed conversation.

  12. I just wanted to say thank you to everyone here…

    I spent the holiday weekend last weekend thoroughly entertained in conversations with some of you, I’ve made a pen pal (email pal?) in another, and have gotten countless words of wisdom from tons of you.

    As an eldest child who doesn’t really have a bio family, I love being able to turn to all of you for advice/guidance/support and to hear about the awesome moments and trying times in your lives.

    I really do appreciate every bit of it.

    • Your VERY welcome. Us NYC Corporetes have to stick together, especialy if one knows some thing that another does NOT. I get good advice here and then give good advice, when I know about the subject. The people here are VERY smart, and I am very Impressed with them.

    • Hope the doggy is resting and healing well! Glad you had an okay weekend (when my husband’s family was particularly loud I was kind of jealous of you!)

      • aww :) he’s resting and did well at his follow-up cardiology appt yesterday. 5.5k in vet bills for this out of work social worker, but worth every penny no matter how long it takes to pay the credit card off!

        • Sorry to hear it was so expensive. :-( There are some organizations that help pay vet bills. This info is a bit dated but maybe it would help?


          Glad to hear he’s doing better. My mom is also a social worker and just got a job after about six months or so of unemployment, I know its hard out there right now!

          • I’ve looked into some but my credit is really good so it means I qualify for the super high interest loans, so I am typically not someone who qualifies for assistance. I put the costs on my personal credit card, but it’ll still take a while to pay off. That said, I’d do it a million times over for each extra second I get with him.

            It’s strange in a way, to be here as a social worker… people with their small 10k bonuses and spending 3k on clothing. I don’t begrudge or think ill on anyone, I am always happy when anyone awesome is successful, but some days I feel like I don’t so much fit in here, that I wish the field I’m in had room to make as much money as I’d be willing to work to earn.

            love to you and to your mom!

  13. Seeking OBGYN :

    Hello all! My sister is looking for an OBGYN in the Woodbridge, VA area – she recently moved there and is newly pregnant with her second. Thanks in advance.

    • My OBGYN is at GW Medical Faculty Associates and she is fabulous – I actually see a nurse practitioner, last name Dogo, but everyone in the OBGYN department there is great, and everyone I know who had a baby at GW Hospital had a great experience.

      I’ve heard mixed things about Georgetown and would avoid going there.

    • About Women in Woodbridge is amazing. I’ve seen a few people but I like Dr. Jennet and their NP Jennifer Folks. Really awesome people, they aren’t a PITA to get appointments with and in emergencies you can always get someone on the phone (usually about 20 mins after you call the answering service). LOVE them.

  14. How do you ask someone to be your mentor?

    I am a brand new (almost) attorney and I would really like to set up a mentoring relationship with someone I met during the interview process, which was months ago. I only started my job a few weeks ago, but I feel like having a mentor right away would be very helpful.

    I would really appreciate any advice you might have! TIA!!

    • Mentorships tend to happen organically so I wouldn’t formally request mentoring. Depending on your office culture, why not ask him/her out to lunch?

      Note: Lunch doesn’t have to be anything fancy. And you can go “dutch” (especially if your mentor is also an associate–a partner should always pay for lunch). One of my mentors became my mentor because we carpooled to Subway for lunch 3 days/week.

    • While I agree with karenpadi, it also sometimes depends on your personality. If you’re an outgoing kind of person, you can literally go up to that person (with whom you’ve hopefully have had some sort of cordial relationship with) and say, “Hey! Mentor me, please. I’d like to be your brainchild.”

      Since you’re new, you have a unique opportunity to ask questions of EVERYONE, that others cannot. When I started working, I would always ask whoever I met about their careers, complaints, advice, etc, and it garnered me a reputation as friendly and well-spoken (friendly, I definitely am not). In a few months, you’ll lose that opportunity to get people to open up. Spend lots of time talking to people and establishing relationships – even people you cannot stand will teach you priceless lessons. Go forth and interrogate!

      • I’ve been told that asking for a mentor is kind of like asking someone to be your girlfriend or boyfriend. It can put a lot of pressure on someone who might not know whether they want to invest that much time in you yet. I’d suggest just asking people out to lunch or coffee and building a relationship with them first. Stop by their office and chat with them (if your office culture supports that kind of thing) and find out what they are interested in and talk about those things. Then you can turn to them for advice in the future and create more of a mentoring relationship. But build up a positive emotional bank account with them first before you start withdrawing from it.

  15. Consulting :

    I opened up Corporette to ask a specific question of the hive-mind, and ended up posting a bunch of times on the way down the page!

    Have any of you used 37signals software? I’m curious how you integrate it into your business.


  16. Snarky In House :

    So ladies… I had that 2nd interview… where do I start…..??

    Well the corporate recruiter for the company wasn’t there. She never told me who I was interviewing with and they all seemed to be unaware that I would be there that day anyway… ugh. However, I did get the opportunity to speak with two of the interviewers for quite a bit of time. I think it went well. The timeline for them is a couple of weeks max before we find out. AAH!!

    And now a question… my lovely BF got me a Christmas/Birthday present of an iPad2!! So… for those that have an iPad… what are your fave apps??

    To echo K in NYC… I’m glad to have “found” you all. Even though I’m “new” I feel like you’ve welcomed me and been quite helpful with some tough stuff (even if you didn’t know it was me… haha). Here’s to a prosperous, healthy and fabulous New Year!!

    • For games: Angry birds (of course), alchemy (seriously addictive), fruit ninja, and peggle (oh god….there went a few weeks of my life).

      For news: the NY Times app is great as well as the ABC app.

      For otherwise: if you have Netflix the app is great. There is also a hulu plus app. I love the Kindle app, obviously. All, if you’re a calorie counter, the my fitness pal app is good. Oh, and on the opposite direction, the food network app is great. Plus there are some amazing cookbook apps you can by and the IPad is just great for that.

      • Snarky In House :

        I’ve got some of those already – some of your games look fun! I downloaded Kindle last night although I have no books purchased yet but I will I’m sure!

        I have been so excited about the prospect of the cooking apps! I’m sick of toting my laptop or printing out recipes!! :-)


        • I posted this in the other thread, but the cooking apps are fantastic. Martha Stewart has really great ones, How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman is great, Epicurious is good.

    • Always a NYer :

      Congrats!!! My fingers are crossed for you =)

      My favorite app is AwesomeNote. I’m very OCD and it lets me track birthdays/anniversaries as well as my dozens of lists. Best $3.99 I ever spent, LOL!

      Happy New Year!!!

      • Snarky In House :

        oooh… definitely going to download the lite version to see if I like. Can it sync with google calendar etc?

    • That recruiter was so irresponsible! Sorry that happened to you but it sounds like you got something out of it anyway so at least it wasn’t a waste of time.

      Happy New Year and I hope it goes the way you want it to!

  17. Betty White :

    Just got a new crockpot! Any good slow-cooker-specific recipe sites? Any good tips?

    • Look up A Year of Slow Cooking. It’s a blog that has a TON of recipes.

      IMO, the “classic” dish to make in a crockpot is a roast. Put the roast in first (beef or pork), top with vegetables of your choice (I usually go for potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, and garlic), then add about a cup of broth. Let cook on low for about 8-10 hours.
      I’ve also made pulled pork a few times in my crockpot. But my all-time favorite dish to make in it is my modified version of the Weight Watchers recipe for black bean soup.
      Crockpots are also good for keeping dips warm. I had a party a few weeks back and made a large batch of a cheese fondue. I cooked it on the oven in a pot and then put it in the crockpot on low/warm for the party.
      Another thing, and I can’t remember which brand it is that makes it, but you can by crockpot liners. They’re basically thin, plastic bags you put in the crockpot before you put the food in. They’re not always 100% leak-proof, but it definitely saves with clean up.

      • Second the crockpot liners suggestion. The most common brand is Reynolds, and you can find them near the aluminum foil. I have a small crockpot and find that the bags made for roasting turkeys actually fit my pot better and are cheaper. Same plastic, different form factor. Sometimes I freak out a little that I am cooking for hours in plastic, but the feeling passes while doing the dishes.

        I watch for recipes online, and when I find a good one I add it to an ever-expanding Word file. I look for recipes with fresh, natural ingredients rather than canned soups. The NY Times had some good ones last year; search their site for “crockpot” and you’ll find them. Googling “crockpot recipe” and a list of ingredients you have on hand can lead to surprising and delicious results.

    • I just got one too! I’m loving http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/.

    • Research, Not Law :

      We just got one, too!

      We ordered America’s Test Kitchen’s book. Knowing them, I’m sure it’s not going to contain the simplest recipes, but they should be the best. It arrives today, so I’m sure we’ll be testing it this weekend. My husband wasn’t raised on crockpots like I was, so he snubbed his nose at the first couple of recipes we tried out of the manufacturer’s recipe book… which I thought were pretty good (but he’s the chef at our house, so whatever).

      There’s also some epic FB page… I can’t seem to find the specific one I was looking four, although a quick search found many of them. It would have the more typical dump and turn-on recipes.

  18. I’m sure this has come up in comments before, but I’m looking for rational thoughts or anecdotes or opinions on large age gaps in relationships. I’m in my mid twenties, and recently started dating a man 15 years older than I am. So far, the difference hasn’t been an issue but I can’t figure out if it is worth it to try and make it work with someone who is at such a different life stage.
    Should a large age difference be a dealbreaker if everything else seems to be clicking?

    • consulting :

      I once dated someone who was about ten years older than me, and I found it incredibly annoying that he seemed to think he was vaguely superior to me, and I think it was because of the “older and wiser” thing. That was just one experience…it wouldn’t have been an issue with a more genuinely humble guy. Good luck!

    • My BF and I are 15 years apart but we are much older than you are. I’m in my late 40s and he’s in his early 60s) so I don’t think it’s as big of a deal for us. In fact, it’s no issue at all for us, partly because BF looks and acts younger than his age (not inappropriately!) and we are both established in careers and mature people and well suited for one another. It totally depends on the other life issues as you move forward- do you want kids and is that an issue for him? Are you going to be bothered when he has gray hair and is slowing down a bit or has the inevitable aches and pains? Will he be okay with less experience/maturity on your part? I think the life stage problem will be more of an issue as you move forward so you need to consider that carefully, for both of you.

      • Definitely consider what happens later in life. My MIL is much younger than my FIL who is now in his late 70s and mild dementia. It’s really hard for her and the age gap is now more apparent.

    • Snarky In House :

      It’s always worth a try when things are clicking and there aren’t any glaring issues.

      Things to consider, though: Why is he still single? Does he have commitment issues? Does he want to jump into something uber serious when you’re just not there yet? Is HIS biological clock ticking and is that going to not work for you in the near future.

      I’ve dated many men older than I. Some relationships were great. Others not. Just like with someone your own age, you need to set expectations as to what you’re both looking for in the next couple of years. It may be a bit heavy for a convo at this stage in your relationship but it’s something to keep in mind.

      More than anything – have fun!! Who knows what’ll happen! :-)

      • My parents had an 18 year age difference. It can work. I think it’s just important that you’re on the same page in terms of goals, that he respects you, that you can get along with his friends and they take you seriously, and that you understand that it may be a little bit harder down the line as he gets older, faster. But I think those are things that you need to think about in every relationship, it can just be a bit trickier with a big age gap.

    • I think the younger you are the bigger difference it makes. (Consider the importance of *half* a year when you’re 3 AND A HALF years old :-)

      Mid-twenties is still pretty young, IMO, for a relationship with someone so much older – particularly if you want it to be an egalitarian, well-balanced relationship. The power/life-experience differential is just too great otherwise. (Age differences make less of a difference if you’re interested in a traditional-gender-roles relationship.) That’s my opinion, but it’s not my relationship, and I’m sure you’ll hear examples of relationships that have worked.

      The “rule” I’ve always heard is half-plus-seven. So if he’s 40, the youngest he should be dating is someone 27.

      • DC Kolchitongi :

        I’m not sure that’s necessarily true. First off, money and life experience are important, but they’re not the only things that play into a relationship’s power dynamic. Second, by the time they hit late 30s, men (and women too I’m sure) are often more comfortable in their own beliefs and aren’t as influenced by social norms and expectations that might push people towards behaving in a traditionally gendered way.

        Anecdotally, my sister-in-law and her husband are only 5 years apart, but their marriage is straight out of a Jane Austen novel. (FWIW he’s the nicest guy ever, and they seem to be really happy.) My husband and I have a 14-year age gap and are the epitome of the modern Western companianate marriage. It’s more remarkable for the fact that he’s Korean — as in, not even a US citizen yet — and didn’t exactly see a lot of that growing up. But, he’s old enough to know what he wants his own marriage to look like and also mature enough to dismiss the parental pressure to do otherwise.

        Obviously, everyone’s different but I’m not sure an age gap on its own predisposes a relationship to be any more ‘traditional’.

        • Research, Not Law :

          I agree. We have likely the most balanced marriage of anyone we know. I know many couples of the same age who clearly have one dominant spouse. A large age gap is not associated with a traditional gender role marriage. They are independent.

    • Research, Not Law :

      My husband and I are 11 years apart. I was 24 and he was 35 when we met. We find that it’s only weird when we think about it. In our daily life, it doesn’t matter at all. At. All.

      That said, we both thought the difference was closer to 5 year when we agreed on a first date (he thought I was older; I thought he was younger). There’s no way we would have done it otherwise, so thank goodness for ignorance! We knew we wanted a relationship before we were (shocked) to find out the true age difference, so there was no turning back. It was admittedly a hard sell for both of our families, but we’re happy together and both good people. They quickly got over it.

      What I loved about dating (and then marrying) an older man was that he had his life together: He knew who he was; was comfortable in his career; could cook and clean for himself.

      Most people assumed that he had some sort of twisted past, because why else would a man be single at that age? It was simply that my husband had been in a long-term relationship to nowhere and then had waited to date until he found the right person. There’s no drama, prison time, crazy ex-wife, etc.

      The most awkward thing is probably friendships. Most friends my age seem too young for him. Most friends his age seem too old for me. Our mutual friends tend to be aged between us, which works well. They often forget our age difference, too. We still see our other friends, just typically more independently.

      The other consideration is children. We rushed to have ours so that he wouldn’t be too old. We’re considering a third child, but realistically my husband would be in his mid 40s when they are born… which means in his early sixties when they graduate from high school. He’d like to be able to retire at some point!

      We wish we could magically be the same age. He worries much more about his age than I do, although it does weigh heavy on me at times. I couldn’t care less about his grey hairs, his old-man body hair, or reading glasses. But I know that he’s going to wear out sooner than me in the coming decades, and it makes me very sad. I know there’s probably going to be an awkward period when he’s in his active older years but I’m still working and that he may not be up to traveling when I do retire. I know he’ll likely die first and that I’ll be alone in my last years. But I would rather spend what time I have with him and be truly happy than to have missed it all together.

      It’s really all about the connection between the two people, not about age. My point isn’t to push you towards a relationship with an older man simply because he’s older, but to say that it can work just as well as a solid relationship between to people close in age. It’s not a dealbreaker if everything is is right.

    • Two cents :

      I’d definitely echo the comment to understand why he’s still single. In my mid twenties I dated (neither got too serious) two guys about 17 years older. The one who had never married definitely had commitment issues and the other had previously been married and previously engaged. The latter definitely was more inclined to prioritise a relationship over work. Both were work related contacts previous to dating so there was always that dimension that they were far more accomplished than I was work-wise. However, in those two particular situations I don’t think the equality thing would have really become an issue (partly because I was in a job that had a very strong career trajectory so all parties understood importance of career)…and when a man wants a woman that much younger, the younger woman has some “power” just by virtue of her relative youth. I do think however, it’d be difficult to have equality with their friends.

      I was acutely aware that (outside of compatibility) we’d have to discuss issues arising from being at different stages in life. They would have wanted to have children very soon; and would they have wanted their wife to be around more once they retired (which would likely be at the point when I’m at the peak of my career); how far will my life decisions on whether to live be decided on where they want to retire? On the upside, they were both already very financial well off which would mean not having to struggle through getting a house, etc. (I’ve lived in expensive cities).

      So what did I do in the end? I just married a guy I knew from my early twenties; 2.5 years older; currently doing his PhD, and we’re financially stable by virtue of my pay packet :P! So my two cents is probably to not be afraid to ask the right questions early; always be financially independent so you have the broadest set of choice available; trust your heart and your head (and the good advice of good friends/family).

      Good luck! To paraphrase Shakespeare, the search for of true love is not easy, but worth it when you know that you’ve made the right choice in the end. For me, dating those older guys helped me know what I needed in the man I married and none of us are the worst for wear.

    • DC Kolchitongi :

      My husband is 14 years older than me. He’s the only older guy I’ve ever dated so I have no ‘general’ advice about older men. In our specific case we started off intending to have a fling, so I wasn’t thinking too hard about any long-term issues. Then we fell really hard for each other. Oops!

      I won’t lie. It really, really sucks knowing that a) his parents won’t be around to see our kids grow up and b) like others above me have said, I’m probably going to spend my golden years as a widow. We also don’t have many mutual friends, and we’ll have to have kids sooner than I would otherwise want to.

      But every marriage has its price of admission. You will make tradeoffs and compromises; it’s just a matter of where. My husband and I have a truly great relationship, my parents adore him, and I married into a loving family that was thrilled to have me. I feel lucky that I didn’t have to compromise on any of that.

      I try not to dwell too much on the fact that we have less time together to look forward to than I’d like. Sometimes it’s hard. But it really heightens my love and appreciation for the time we do have.

      Now I’m tearing up… I’m going to stop wasting time on the internet and go give him a hug.

    • Thank you all for the insights, I’ve gotten similar mixed opinions from friends, I suppose I want things to be more clear-cut and easy. It’s still too early (in my opinion) to be talking about kids or other future plans, but it’s nice to hear that it is possible to get to that stage and beyond successfully.

      I do see the issue of his friends not taking me seriously, but so far he isn’t at all condescending about the “older and wiser” thing, nor have I found any crazy reasons in his past that he is still single. I hadn’t even thought about what would happen 30 years from now, that is a scary thought that I might have to come to terms with. This was just the dose of perspective I needed, I was working this up into a bigger issue than it should be at this stage in the relationship.

      • This is a little late but just to add 2 cents of encouragement to go with what’s clicking well. I got married at 24 to someone 11 years older, it’s now been 14 terrific years and the age difference seems immaterial next to our history together.

      • I think the biggest consideration, bar none, relates to kids. As someone said above, you may feel rushed to have them before your partner is in his late 40s or 50s. The flip side is that he may feel he is already too old for kids and that won’t come out until later in the relationship. My best friend married her husband when she was 38 and he was 48; through the whole courtship he told her he was amenable to having kids. After they got married, he dropped the bomb – he felt he was “too old” to have kids and wasn’t interested in trying. She was on the fence about kids, so they worked it out, but in other situations there would have been an ugly and instantaneous divorce.

        The other thing I feel might be an issue is that your age, more than who you are as a person, may be the attraction. A lot of insecure men get a big charge out of dating a much younger woman. The problem is that over time, you will get older, and there will always be women around who were the age you were when you met him. A lot of men have no compunction about dumping a woman who’s gotten too long in the tooth (for them) for a younger woman. They get older but their girlfriends/wives are always the same age. Be careful before jumping into a situation where this might be the case. If his last three girlfriends were all about your age, or younger, I’d proceed only with extreme caution. He’s dating an age, not an individual woman.

  19. I think just depends on guy. Have two friends married with similar age diff, one guys jerk other is lovely so I feel all for it in second case and soo on first. But as long as he makes her happy…I just have to see him occasionally.

  20. Meant guy is and so so.. Can’t stand typing on iPad!

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