Weekend Open Thread

Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

For those of you hunting for Mother’s Day gifts, Nordstrom has a ton of suggestions, both by price point as well as “personality type” — while browsing through the “ladylike” type I came across these fun (and affordable) sandals by Nine West — love all the colors! They’re $88. Nine West ‘Letitgo’ Sandal



  1. I had so much fun with yesterday’s drugstore favorites thread.

    Today I’d like to hear your can’t-live-without splurge items, cosmetic or personal care.

    Chanel pressed powder compact
    Trish McEvoy makeup & planner
    Perrier-Jouet or GH Mumm Champagne

    • Proud member of the Clarisonic Cult.

    • Is the bubbly in the cosmetic or personal care category?

    • Always a NYer :

      Laura Mercier Eye Kohl
      Lancome Poeme
      MAC Blot Powder
      Shiseido cotton squares
      Stuart Weitzman shoes
      Monthly massages and facials

    • DiorShow mascara
      Chanel eyeliner
      Lancome eye shadow
      eye shadow primer

      But really, all of those things last me so long that I don’t even think they work out to much of a splurge.

      • Benefit mascara and compact
        Bobbi Brown blush
        Chloe perfume (haters gon’ hate)

        But like b23, it all lasts me forever (currently on a rate of two compacts per year), and I try to stock up (within reason) if I see something on sale or get a coupon.

    • Kevin Murphy AngelWash/Rinse
      Klorane gentle dry shampoo
      – these are things I *really* can’t afford on my salary, but my hair has been Uh.May.Zing since I started using them, and I think it makes me less stressed, cause i don’t have to fight with my hair, and it balances out b/c by protecting my color, I don’t have to go to the salon as often.

      oh, and Dark Dark Dark chocolate…. preferably Belgian… and TJ’s new Dark Chocolate Almonds with Sea Salt & Turbinado Sugar…..

      I would probably have more if I could afford them ;o)

    • FormerPhotog :

      My awesome stylist (she’s not super pricey, but add in the 2hr drive, and it’s a time suck, too)
      My LUSH stash
      SynergEyes hybrid contacts (used to be a splurge, now VSP covers them as necessary)
      Grey Goose vodka

      • Another Zumba Fan :

        I always have a bottle of GG at home and highly recommend Wegmans lemon drop martini or orange pomegranate martini mixers to go with it.

        • FormerPhotog :

          Aww…Wegman’s. Making me miss my days in undergrad…

          I like Trader Joe’s French Berry Lemonade with some frozen pomegranate seeds if I’m feeling sweet, but usually it’s a dirty martini, or a Moscow Mule for me!

          Today is killing me! I’m working from home, it’s dead quiet, and all I want to do is put on my shoes and go for a run – even if I finish my scripts, I won’t email them to MarCom until Monday to avoid them getting lost

        • How do I not know about these?

    • Bliss triple oxygen energizing facial mask
      Fekkai conditioner
      Laura Geller spackle foundation primer
      premium pedicures
      letting my 9yr old daughter use my hair stylist
      buying lacoste for my 6yr son because he wants alligators like daddy has not horses

      • “buying lacoste for my 6yr son because he wants alligators like daddy has not horses”

        Cutest. Thing. Ever.

    • Stila eyeliner – so black and velvety smooth. The blues are gorgeous, too. But soft kohl eyeliner that smudges easily are for special events only – and the stick only lasts for a month.
      1-day contact lenses.

    • MaggieLizer :

      My cleaning lady
      Laura Mercier tightlining
      kate spade jewelry, shoes, and purses
      Troubadore, Chimay, or Lambickx. Or all three.

      • My life is so much better now that we have someone coming in to clean. I’ll add Kate Spade heels. I’ve been wearing the pair I bought at Off Saks all day today and my feet are still happy.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          +1 on the cleaning lady, and +1 on Kate Spade heels. Also, my absurdly expensive Tumi briefcase, our expensive new king size mattress (spectacular!!!), and my fancy downtown SF hair stylist. Our other big luxury is going out to eat at world-class restaurants pretty darn often.

          Bobbi Brown shadows and gel eyeliner last so long that I don’t think they count as luxuries.

          NOLA, I am so, so jealous of your access to Commander’s. If I lived there, I’d have a standing quarterly reservation in the Garden Room.

          • Yes, it is awesome. My new boss (starting in August) asked me how they managed doing twenty-five cent martinis and why we didn’t go regularly. I told him it’s a pretty boozy afternoon for a regular date. I always say that Commander’s lunch in the Garden Room is the quintessential lunch spot – see and be seen (I always see people I know), 25 cent martinis, tiny entrees, enormous desserts!

    • -Sunday Riley’s Juno Serum
      -Urban Decay’s Naked Palette
      -Louboutins (personal care – I have bad feet!)
      -80% dark chocolate (some on the kitchen counter; in my bag; at work; and emergency stash in the freezer)
      -monthly massage/mani/pedi (actually joined a spa to keep me on schedule with these)

      • 2 more:
        Armani foundation and Jo Malone perfume, love them both.
        And, really good whiskey. AIMS, we should hang out.

        • Glad I’m not the only one ;)

          • i think it’s time for some of this Right Now. Having the Worst day, and it’s still not over!!! I am so p!ssed i’m still working.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          I love whiskey but I get hot-flashes when I drink it late at night. Bummer.

    • Shu Uemura protective hair oil
      Origins face creams (not the spendiest but not cheap)
      Chanel foundation
      Smashbox O-Gloss
      Bond No. 9 perfumes
      Really good whiskey

    • Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturizer
      Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner
      Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate
      Clarisonic Brush
      Prescription Retinoid
      Pedicures and Gel Manicures
      Maker’s Mark Bourbon

      These are the things that make me feel the most polished. If my skin, hair and nails look good, my makeup can be more minimal and it takes less time to style the hair. And the bourbon, well, I like to have a good time even if I am just staying at home.

      • Wow, KSouth – we are almost twins. No Kiehl’s for me, and no pedicures until I get rid of some nasty blisters, but other than that, I am with you all the way!

        Thanks for starting these threads, mamabear, I’ve really enjoyed reading about everybody’s fave items – and am starting a mental shopping list :)

      • I am a banana. :

        Can we start a Maker’s appreciation circle?

    • K in... Transition :

      when I was working, I used almost all of my “fun money” in the first year on lasek (-ek, not -ik) and went from a -7 to 20/20 vision, keratin treatments for my hair every 12 weeks (wash and wear?! yes please!), and laser hair removal for my arms/legs/underarms/girlparts (shorter showers and no embarrassment for this pale skinned, dark haired girl?! heck yeah!).

      Other than those, I don’t have any expensive products… someday, when I work again, I’ll pay for a few more laser treatments to finish it and go back to the keratin

    • Equity's Darling :

      Chanel, butter London and deborah lippman nail polish.

      It just makes me smile to have fun/bright nails when I’m working late, and thankfully, my firm is not uptight enough to care:)

    • Laura Mercier cosmetics
      Kate Spade shoes
      Jo Malone colognes
      Starbucks coffee
      Moroccan Oil hair treatment

    • Anonymous Girl :

      Urban Decay Naked Palette
      Smashbox BB Cream
      Smashbox Halo powder

    • I rarely splurge on myself, but my hairstylist feels like a splurge because I had never paid so much for haircuts in my life before going to her (and she’s only $45) but she understands curly hair. When I’m feeling really decadent I’ll buy a $6 cupcake from a local cupcake bakery. Yum!

    • Brocato Cloud 9 styling creme (which I can now only mail order)
      MAC tinted moisturizer, loose powder, concealer
      Kate Spade totes
      Michael Kors shoes
      the occasional lunch at Commander’s Palace (although La Petite Grocery is my new favorite lunch spot)

    • -Regular massages and mani/pedis
      -Jo Malone Red Roses
      -Really nice scotch. Which I haven’t bought in a while, because I don’t want to move it cross-country. Woe is I…

      • I am with you on the scotch! That was one of my first splurges once I started working. It’s been great.

    • Benefit boooing
      Tarte amazonian clay blush
      iced green tea, sparkling water, and ciao bella sorbet.. yum!

    • I have such a shopping list going, you guys. Keep chiming in!

    • My splurges are:
      – Fine teas
      – MAC Makeup
      – MAC Brushes
      – Clarins cleansing/toning products
      – Citizen of Humanity jeans
      – Yearly trip to the US (this combines beauty and wellbeing since I renew my cosmetics and tea stash in the US)

    • Oh.so.tired :

      Victor & Rolf Flowerbomb perfume

    • Chantecaille powder compact, eye shadows and blush
      Chanel lipstick
      Fresh Sugar Lip Treatments. In Every Single Color they sell!
      Darphin skin care
      Jo Malone Lotus Blossum & Water Lily
      Annick Goutal Eau de Hadrian
      Perrier, because my tap water is awful

      • Urban decay 24/7 eyeliner
        Gel manicures (every two weeks or so)
        Cowgirl Creamery cheeses
        Frye boots
        New iPhone even though I didn’t really need it
        Big screen TV to watch my streaming videos from Netflix

        • Ooh Cowgirl Creamery is a good one! Mt. Tam used to be my splurge when I lived in the Bay Area.

          Nice haircuts
          YSL concealer
          Pints of Jeni’s ice cream now that I live in the Midwest :)

        • I want to treat myself to a pair of Frye boots
          I hope they last as long as people have been raving about them

    • YSL Touche Eclait
      Chanel lipgloss and foundation
      Eufora Illuminate Shine Mist – smells amazing and works
      Makeup Forever concealer
      *I’m w/ b23, all of my items also last forever

      Laura Mercier eyelid base and her eyeshadow that comes in a tube
      Bobbi Brown gel eyeliner
      Josie Maran argan oil
      Shiseido Bio-Performance Super Corrective Serum
      Image Skincare (Vital C and Daily Defense lines)
      Philosophy Amazing Grace conditioner
      Sedu Revolution hair dryer
      Another member of Maker’s Mark club. Has anyone tried Old Pogue?

    • Fresh Brown Sugar Body Scrub
      Fresh Soy Face Wash
      (if you’re not familiar with Fresh products they’re awesome but wildly expensive, won’t lie).

    • Kate Spade handbag
      Cleaning lady every other week. Makes me look and feel more rested and beautiful!

    • Skippy pea :

      How much fun is this!
      Alterna. Caviar blow out cream and non aerosol. Mousse.

      • anon in SF :

        Bliss Sage Lemon body wash
        KP Patrol exfoliator — expensive, but really effective, and doesn’t leave a weird oily film in the shower.

    • locomotive :

      Urban Decay 24/7 eyeliner
      Urban Decay Primer Potion
      Urban Decay Naked 2 Palette (I am such a UD fangirl)
      Nars Tinted Moisturizer (St.Mauritz which is mediumish)
      Smashbox fusion soft lights (I think this may be a highlighter, but I use it as a bronzer/summer blush)
      Nars blush (deep throat..hah.)

  2. WannaBe Ex-Pat :

    I’m reposting this from the morning thread to see if there are more comments. Thanks to those of you who posted, I’ve already started looking at flats to rent =)

    My current internship ends this month and in August I’ll be graduating with my Master’s degree. I’ve always wanted to live and work in London and have decided that now is the time to find out if that’s what I really want to do. I’m 24, am single and without roots so I’m free to try this now.

    My plan is to set up appointments with employment agencies, send out resumes in the hope I can get an interview, and go over for six weeks in September to test the waters. I have been to London several times and fell in love with the city when I was ten but living there on my own will be different than travelling with my mother and staying with relatives.

    I have family north and south of London but don’t want to stay with them as I’ll be there for six weeks. My real concern is where to stay that won’t completely bankrupt me. I don’t really like hostels and know my standard 5-star hotel stays are out of the budget. Any recommendations for bed and breakfast, extended stay type places that are extremely clean, in or no more than a 40 minute train ride from London, and with a younger crowd? This is all new to me so I appreciate any tips you may have.

    I’m currently building my budget to include my airfare, my rooming situation, food, public transport, and fun money because I love British fashion! I’ve also started my packing list. Is there anything you would add, to the budget or my packing list?

    Thanks for any advice you ladies have for me!!!
    (I have dual citizenship with the US and an EU country so visas aren’t going to be an issue for me, btw)

    • I am an American expat is Scotland. Seeing as though you are a duel citizen, most of the cautionary tales I would extend to someone interested in working over here will not apply to you. If you are going to live in London, I would take whatever your budget is and double it. And, if you can afford to do so, I would come over here and have a look around the city before you move, so that you can see the neighbourhoods for yourself and try the morning commute, etc. Although I am not in London, feel free to drop me a line if you have questions about general life over here.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Yay! London!

      If you are looking for temporary accommodation, there are quite often rooms available in people’s houses/flats in the short term. For example there is a site called spareroom (please do a search, I’m trying to avoid moderation) and it has plenty of short term options as well. Usually these will be in house/flatshares so you would meet the people already living there. For a short term option that could work.

      I’m in London and I have to agree with HF that whatever you think you will spend, you will spend more. Also, a word of warning – trains are EXPENSIVE. Like, really expensive. So if you’re looking at cheaper places slightly outside London, you will probably bring your budget back to the max just in trainfares. It’s a huge problem here.

      You mention August, but another point to note is the Paralympics which are in August. It isn’t likely to be quite so hectic here then, but you may have trouble finding accommodation around then.

      I’d be happy to help in any way I can with advice/ideas etc. if you want you can drop me a line – ellecommawoods at the google

      • Second spareroom. I’m out in the sticks but have used it before and rate it over Craigslist, etc

  3. ChocCityB&R :

    I’ve been waiting for a weekend thread to ask this question about finding work in the federal government (legal). It seems that although “they” say USAJobs is the place get hired, I don’t know anyone who has gotten a job from responding to a listing posted there. I would like to work for the Department of Justice, either in their Civil or Civil Rights Division, or for the US Attorneys Office. I’d also be thrilled to work for an agency, like Department of Ed or the new Consumer Protection Bureau.
    In law school, I had no idea what type of law I wanted to practice, so my coursework wasn’t focused and my internships ranged from Biglaw to nonprofit direct services. Now I’m certain that I will be happy as a public servant and litigator, or in the alternative, as an advisor/transactional public servant on issues I’m passionate about (civil rights, consumer protection, education). In law school it seemed as if every career path required me to jump through a specific set of hoops, none of which I think I’ve done, so I feel very ill-equipped to begin a government job search (which I’m certain has its own hoops).
    Right now I’m doing work that I love, but it’s temporary and I want to figure out what I need to do to position myself for some of the above opportunities. Is it necessary that I pick one passion/interest and develop some expertise there, or can I start with the feds with general legal experience and develop more expertise over time? If it helps any, I’m two years out of law school with general litigation experience since graduation. Any advice, anecdotal, links, hunches, ANYTHING, is MUCH MUCH appreciated.

    • I have been told that knowing someone on the inside who can let you know about excepted service positions that may not be posted on usajobs (or may only be posted for a very short time) is key. Also checking individual agency websites for excepted service jobs that might not be posted on usajobs. And if you are using usajobs, I understand they use a keyword frequency match so make sure your cover letter and resume mention words/phrases from the job posting as many times as possibly without sounding ridiculous.

      That said… I have yet to have any luck myself (not knowing people on the inside appears to be my big fail).

    • I’m sorry but DOJ and the US attorneys office are just not hiring right now.

      • ChocCityB&R :

        cc- I know about the hiring freeze, but I’m not looking to move anytime soon (like 2-3 years from now) so my question is more how can I position myself to be a good candidate for this type of job, and also how do I find one when they start hiring again (hopefully soon).

        Also I forgot to mention that I’d also be interested in state level work w/the AG’s office. KLG, I’ve also heard the “knowing someone” thing, and the funny thing is, I know a lot of someones who work in DOJ (I have friends who went through honors) but I have no idea what I’m supposed to do with that knowledge. They aren’t in a hiring position, so what’s the strategy to get a job when all the someones you know are not someones in HR or high up in the department?

        • Apparently you are supposed to reach out to all of them and tell them you’re interested in their agency and to let you know if they hear of any hiring needs or openings in hopes that they might be able to alert you to postings that may not be advertised on usajobs. I will admit I did get a heads up on one agency posting that was up for only 2 days because of this. And I had a friend get hired after she was interviewed for a position they already had someone in mind for (common) but liked her and gave her a heads up when a new position became available.

        • It seems like some states are hiring in the state AG offices. I have seen attorney positions posted on AG websites, and if you don’t have any connections, I would try some local bar events.

          • yes, consider local gov’t experience instead. I did it and got good experience. those federal agencies are difficult to get into.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        There have to be some exceptions. Former coworker just got hired as a US Atty.

        • Yeah, I saw a US Attorney job posting on USA Jobs website. It was in Boston, criminal division, I believe.

          On a similar note – I have applied for several positions through USA jobs and never heard a word. I periodically log on and check the status of my application and they all say “reviewing applications.” Some of these are positions I applied for in October! Can anyone speak to how reliable the status information is? Can I still cling to hope that someday someone might still call me to interview? For those of you who have gotten a job through USA Jobs, how long was it between when you submitted your application and when you were asked for an interview?

        • Some of the offices have exceptions but are generally only hiring people from other USAOs.

    • Agency Counsel :

      I got my fed job through usajobs.gov, granted that was over 10 years ago. It was about three months between submitting the application to when I got a call for an initial phone interview. Vacancy announcements on the website are usually up for 2-3 weeks, but whenever we have a job posting for even just our field office, we can get over 200 resumes each time.

    • There are consultants who specialize in helping people tailor their USA Jobs applications. I don’t know any specifics, but I know people who have used them – maybe another reader knows more details?

    • When I was applying, I didn’t get a single interview through usajobs. If you have friends who work where you want to work, ask them to notify you when their agencies are hiring and also ask them to take your cover letter and resume to the hiring person.

    • SpaceMountain :

      A federal court clerkship will do wonders for your DOJ application — you can apply to clerkships now, assuming you did not clerk after law school. Also, experience in the subject matter of the offices to which you apply.

    • TurtleWexler :

      I’ve had two federal jobs at this point. The first was only posted on law school career planning websites, not on usajobs (excepted service). The other, I actually DID get through usajobs, so I’m one of the very few people out there who seems to have done that. It was recent, too – I’ve been here for about 5 months now. But I really don’t have tips on navigating the system. I just did exactly what it told me to do, and I think I was lucky in that my previous job was very much like this one (different agency, but same title and general duties) so I think my keywords were spot-on. I applied for other jobs through usajobs and never heard a word. I do know that the federal hiring process is either extremely prolonged (6-9 months is not unusual, though there’s a push to speed things up) or extremely quick.

      Have you signed up for job alerts from the specif agencies? I still get HHS and EPA emails about new availabilities because I can’t figure out how to turn them off…I bet other agencies have a similar service.

      Getting a federal attorney job is really a combination of good credentials, good references, a demonstrated commitment to public service, and a huge amount of pure luck. Things are so very, very competitive, even in more obscure agencies/departments — when I left my last job, we had over 120 applicants for that position (advertised only on local career services websites) and there were 327 for the job I have now (which was listed on usajobs).

    • Our federal agency is required to post everything on USA Jobs, but the reality is that people who know people who work there already are in a much better position. We get hundreds of resumes for every opening. Also, read a book on how to write a federal resume and answer the KSAs as that will help you get past the first screening, which at least in my agency is done by a non-lawyer who doesn’t necessarily understand what legal resumes mean.

      • My agency is also required to post all vacancies on USAJobs, even if they are only for internal candidates. I am pretty surprised to hear people saying that some jobs are posted other places and NOT on USAJobs… I actually find that hard to believe.

        Some advice that was already mentioned, but that I will reiterate is to set up job alerts because some jobs are only posted for a short period of time. Make sure your resume lines up with the skills listed in the job posting (key words). Finally, sounds like a no brainer, but make sure that you submit ALL of the required documents and follow the instructions in the job announcement exactly.

  4. these shoes :


  5. Getting hitched :

    I know there have been a lot of gifts threads on here recently, but I’m having lots of trouble with this. I’m looking for a wedding gift for my fiancé. He already has a very nice watch, and doesn’t need cufflinks for work. I’m looking at around $1k or less, although less is definitely fine, as he likes sentimental things as much or more than expensive things. I’d like to do something more personal than sporting/concert tickets, etc. since it’s a wedding gift. Thanks in advance.

    • How about some art? Or a pre-wedding romantic weekend with no wedding planning drama? At a hotel that could become your go-to celebration place (for anniversaries, etc.). Or a balloon ride or other experience thing that you could do together?

      Congrats & good luck!

    • K in... Transition :

      sometimes you can find (through search or on ebay) cuff links made with paint or pieces from a sports stadium. it might be useful enough to be used but personal enough to be fun and unexpected…

      what about a really nice chair for his office or the home? something cushy and that he’ll get a ton of use out of?

      • You could also get plain silver cufflinks and engrave them with your wedding date.

        A friend of mine got coordinating silver keychains for her and her hubby with their wedding date engraved which I think they both really like (makes a nice gift idea for others, too).

    • A photo frame for his office might be nice, but only if you know he’s already planning to put a wedding photo in his office – otherwise it seems sort of pushy. Perhaps a nice set of luggage for the honeymoon? Something engaged with your wedding date, like a ring holder or paperweight?

    • A sterling silver frame from Tiffany, engraved with your (pl.) initials and/or engagement date + session with a photographer to take the perfect photo for the frame.

      Then, 50 years from now, your daughter can ask the hive what to do for your anniversary, and someone can say “make the invitation to the party an old photo of them” and there will be the perfect photo.

    • My mom gave my dad very nice crystal wine glasses for the two of them as her wedding gift to him. They use them on special occasions now and my dad will still mention that they are a gift from my mom.

    • If you have to spend $1K, MAKE SURE you get some benifit out of it also. When I was going out with Alan, I made the MISTAKE of geting him GOLD cuflinks, which did not benifit me at all.

      He liked it alot, but what did he give me? A ticket to a GIANT’s Game, and I do NOT even like FOOTBALL!!!!!! Beside’s, all HE did was DRINK beer and IGNORED me the whole time we were there with his dopey drinking freinds from the CPA class. BOREING guys too, I remember.

      So I recomend you find something you can enjoy TOGETHER, and then get the benifit of your $1K. That is alot of money to waste on a guy unless you do get MARRIED.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Hermes tie

    • recently hitched :

      Boudoir photos? Haven’t done them myself, although considering them for our first anniversary (time just got away from me before the wedding).

      I also saw really cute collar stays on Etsy that I almost bought for my husband (he has a watch and doesn’t wear cufflinks), but we didn’t get each other wedding gifts. The collar stays are thin metal pieces that you can get engraved.

      • do boudoir! :

        I did a boudoir shoot with my husband as the photographer, and we had so much fun! HIGHLY recommend doing a shoot if you’re at all interested in it :) And, second that suggestion as a gift for the soon-to-be-husband!

        • what exactly are boudoir photos…?

          • Pictures of you in fancy underoos in a bedroom setting. (Can alo be nude or semi-nude). Meant to be a private gift for your gentleman.

        • recently hitched :

          Is your husband a professional photographer, or did you just decide to do a non-pro one with him (both sound like awesome ideas)?

          • do boudoir! :

            Sorry for the late reply, I was busy all weekend! My husband is an amateur, but he would love to do photography as a side business. He has a good camera and a studio light kit, so we went to a hotel for a Valentine’s Day celebration. He set up the lights and camera, and I did fancy hair and make-up, and we just shot photos in different outfits for the whole evening. I also made a couple of feather/jeweled hair pieces to wear. It was a WONDERFUL time together, and the pictures turned out beautifully! Even if your SO is not a pro, you can still get great pictures with most point-and-shoot cameras these days.

      • If you do this, please don’t post the photos on facebook.

        One would think that would be common sense… but a former assistant of mine did it. Bad idea.

        • BAHAHAHAH, SERIOUSLY????????????? That takes self-confidence to a whole ‘nother level, yo.

    • I got my so a print of the squash painting don draper had in his office for seasons 1-3 of mad men.

    • A book can be a nice wedding present, but I think it has to be the right book. Not a read-once-and-done book, but something he would read again and again and be glad to have on the shelf.

      My mom got my dad a book of John Donne’s poetry for one of their early wedding anniversaries.

      • My husband got me Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese. An early or beautifully bound edition would be particularly nice. (We couldn’t afford more than the regular store version when we got married.)

    • The Gilmores :

      All I can think of is the Gilmore Girls episode when Rory is living in Richard and Emily’s pool house and they think she’s about to sleep with Logan (they’re actually way late to the party), so they bring over their pastor. He tells Rory about the importance of saving that special gift for her husband, because otherwise she’ll have nothing special to give him and she’ll have to give him a sweater.

      So, um, a sweater? ;)

      • Oh.my.god.this.made.me.laugh.so.hard.

        A sweater. Yes…your husband won’t get the joke, but we will!

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          Ironically, I was just talking to my boyfriend about how I can’t just give him a sweater for our wedding (I give him sweaters for basically every other gift). I suppose I could still give him what the pastor wants Rory to give her husband, but honestly, that doesn’t seem like the coolest gift. For example–years later–with one of the commenter’s mother/father story, the father would just be like–oh look, there’s your mother’s “virtue”, that’s what she gave me for our wedding. I mean, what?

          I might just be in a super weird mood from 3L exam studying.

      • Hilarious! Love it.

    • Getting hitched :

      Thank you so much everyone! These are all really wonderful ideas! You all are the best.
      I had been tossing around the boudoir photo idea- I think I will email our wedding/engagement photographer, maybe she can throw that in for a discount.
      I think I will do that + something else from this list. Seriously really great ideas in here, thank you thank you!!

    • I don’t know what you think about this – it’s a little out there. But there’s an artist here in N.O. who does commissions of fashion art, like a bride’s dress. It may not be a good groom’s gift, but it could be kinda cool (artwork of you in your dress). http://rhondacorley.com/richmond-bridal-portraits.aspx

      I have three of her prints and I love her work.

  6. I am at a conference for breast surgeons. It is the first surgical conference I’ve ever been to that has a decent percentage of women attending. You would all be proud of the outfits. Most are dressed in cute professional clothes. I see tons of color, florals, ikat, etc. Its a totally energizing conference.

    • PharmaGirl :

      1. Adam Yauch died today. This saddens me greatly.

      2. I asked fmy husband or a very expensive watch (~$500) as a combination mothers’ day / birthday gift and feel so guilty. I’m already nervous that I won’t actually like it.

    • I’m just happy to hear there are women breast surgeons. When I needed surgery several years ago, I could not find a single woman breast or reconstructive surgeon outside of universities.

    • anon in SF :

      Excellent. I am also glad to hear there is a conference for female breast surgeons. Extra bonus points that they are well dressed :)

  7. K in... Transition :

    if anyone’s in the Northeast Ohio area who’d ever want to grab coffee or dinner or something, shoot me an email: munchkin 1616 at juno dot com …I’d love to meet some more C*rpor*tter gals! (that said, it’ll have to be cheap food, I can’t afford the fah-ncy cuisine y’all are used to hehe)

    PS for those who’ve asked before, yep, that’s a juno email address, yep, I’ve had it for almost 15 yrs… but I’ve had my original 89-90 New Kids tour jacket for longer and I still rock that, so I guess an old email address suits me :)

    • uh uh uh-uh-ooh… The Right Stuff

    • Hi K, and welcome to Ohio. I’m not in the northeast area but get up there sometimes — if I do, and I’m not booked the whole time, I’ll definitely drop y0u a note and see if we can get together.

      • Where are you?! I’m in Ohio, too, and actually have been to northern Ohio only once in my life. But, K in Transition, if that ever changes I’ll e-mail you.

        • River Song :

          I’m in Ohio as well! Southern, though we do travel to north-central quite frequently.

          • I’m in Cincinnati, so if either of you are anywhere near there, we should do a meet-up!

          • Anonymous :

            Southern/Southwestern Ohio – a meet-up sometime would be great. I get to Cincinnati fairly often, so maybe we can arrange a meet-up sometime.

          • I’m another Cincinnatian too! I’d love an Ohio meet up at some point, although I’m sure it’d take a while to arrange!

  8. RunnerGirl :

    Hi ladies. Long time reader but first time commenter here. I need support and advice and my friends and family aren’t cutting it anymore. I resigned from my job at a Manhattan law firm in July 2011. It was a small firm but growing steadily, and as it grew the partners got worse and worse. They were good lawyers but horrible managers. I got a ton of great experience early on in my career (I was there 4.5 years) – I won trials, independently wrote briefs and argued appeals, and have extensive deposition experience. Over time, however, the firm became completely focused on billing, and I was billing 180-200 hours per month in the last few months I was there. I had been billing 180/month for a few years before the final crunch. I know this is not unheard of especially in NYC, but I was certainly not making big firm money. I hated living in NYC, hated the cases I was working on, and the work, along with my emotionally abusive superiors, were taking a huge toll in my mental and physical health. I am admitted in my home state as well, and with the support of my family I decided to quit my job, move home, and focus on getting a job here. I know some people think I am crazy but I just couldn’t stay there anymore.

    Now, nearly a year into unemployment, my monetary cushion is nearly gone (although living with family has certainly helped), the forbearance on my private loans will soon end, and I feel like I made the worst decision of my life. (If I did, PLEASE don’t reinforce it to me now.) I have any ivy league undergraduate degree, my law degree is from a well respected school, and I have a huge amount of practical experience. And yet, I’ve had interviews with only five employers. I’m still doing the pro bono work (animal rights work) I was doing while in NYC in order to keep my brain active, but I’m getting really scared I will never get a job again. I’m 31 years old, I’m smart, hardworking, and well educated. I simply COULD NOT stay at my old job. If I had, I would have sunk deeper into a different kind of depression and probably would have become a lawyer-suicide statistic.

    What am I supposed to do now? Please, any advice or support is greatly appreciated.

    • K in... Transition :

      alright, first of all, you did NOT make the biggest mistake of your life; you put your life and your mental health ahead of a paycheck. Some folks spend their lives and never learn how to do that. Good for you!

      second, the economy still is in the latrine, so don’t take it personally or as a sign you’re doing something wrong.

      third, are you able to meet with lawyer friends or folks you work with pro-bono to take a look at your resume/cover letter to see if there are ways to improve it? Are you able to contact your schools to find out if they offer career services?

      fourth, you did NOT make the biggest mistake of your life. At 31, you have a solid 50ish years to make bigger mistakes in ;)

      • Agree with everything K in Transition said. It takes strength and a kind of wisdom to take a risk to get yourself out of such a bad situation. I don’t have much advice that others haven’t already said, but I assume you’ve gotten involved with the local bar oorganization? Volunteering or even just going to events could help you meet people who might be hiring.

        Also, if you’re looking for a real-life sympathetic ear you can tell us where you are, and maybe someone will be nearby to get a drink or something.

    • ChocCityB&R :

      In total agreement with K in transition, you did not make a mistake in leaving an untenable situation. Also, you are not alone in having trouble finding work, as I have many friends who have been searching since late 2009 and are still working temp/doc review to make ends meet in the meantime.

      What you do now is keep moving forward. Understand that this is a TEMPORARY set back, and that in time the economy will improve and you will find another job. Network your ass off, apply to every job that interests you, and for God’s sake, make sure you take care of yourself in the process. Looking for work isn’t easy, and being out of work while looking is even harder, so you want to practice good self-care while you live through this rough patch.

      Finally, consider counseling or support groups. Having a place where you can vent your frustrations to others in your situation can be invaluable (Corporette being a virtual version). Other people can prop you up and give you perspective when things seem insurmountable.

      • Migraine Sufferer :

        Maybe the local bar has a support group for job-seekers. Ours does. Might want to check it out. Might also want to attend bar activities in the area of law you want to practice in. Its a great way to make contact, meet people and satisfy CLE requirements.

    • RunnerGirl :

      I wanted to add that I do have solid references, including law school references, internships, and two of the partners at the firm I left. They did not want me to leave (I couched it as being unhappy in NYC and wanting to move to a new area, which was only half of why I left). They indicated they would serve as references for me. I don’t even know if I’ve gotten to the point in any of the interview processes where anyone has called my references. I had an interview last week at a medium sized firm where I would love to work, but of course they are doing three rounds of interviews and want someone to start by June 1st, so the fact that I haven’t heard anything in 10 days is probably not a good thing.

      I know there is a stigma against the unemployed, and while that should not be the case for anyone, I actively chose to leave my last position. It took guts and a strong sense of self. How do I get that across to prospective employers?

    • long time lurker :

      I would suggest network network network. Did you work closely as co-counsel with anyone while at your old firm? In terms of your home state I am assuming it has a decent sized city or metro area, if you have been to 5 interviews. Maybe someone you worked with knows someone in a firm that you could meet and greet. Law school classmates? Friends? Contacts at the clients you were working for? Look at companies with legal departments not just firms. Anyone you know who also does the same pro bono work that you do that could help you get in the door at their workplace? Perhaps there is a bar organization you can get involved in to network (although dues etc cost money). Do not give up but spend X hours a day trying to build connections and meet people, in addition to continuing to apply to job postings. Wish you the best, and your old job sounds awful.

      • Exactly. If you’re already doing pro bono work, how about looking to get on the board of one or more not-for-profits? It could be a good way to meet people and might lead to something.

        • Something else.. how about branching out a bit in the pro bono work? Animal rights, like that, sounds a bit PETAish, which may not go over very well outside of NY :-). Something pro-bono but less radically-tainted may do you good, as well as widen your circle of acquaintances.
          That said, second everyone in not beating yourself up about a bit of unemployment :-).

    • Where do you live now? I think moving to a better legal market would be a good first step. I realize you don’t have any money, but if you’ve only had five interviews in a year, you’re clearly not in the right place. You might also consider a career change. Would you be interested in a teaching fellowship program that would let you pursue a teaching degree while teaching in an underserved school district? Lots of major cities have such programs, and Teach for America is nationwide. Or maybe studying library science and becoming a law librarian? I have heard that there’s more demand than supply for law librarians.

      • RunnerGirl :

        I’m in western MA now and went to law school in Boston (Northeastern – I guess my attempt at total anonymity is silly). All of my law school friends have their eyes and ears open but no luck so far. I’ve actually had 8 interviews (a few with the same two employers) but no more.

        I applied to a new teaching fellowship program at a number of boarding schools (I went to one of them) but again have heard nothing.

        Networking has always been the bane of my existence but I am trying to do it. I’ve had informational interviews/lunches/etc. I’m actually pretty well connected by the pro bono work I’ve done, but while I would LOVE one of those jobs, there simply aren’t any.

        Thanks for all the advice:)

        • I live in the Boston area and went to a boarding school in the area, as well. I’ll keep an eye out for you, too.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          My parents still live in the New Bedford/Fall River area and always mention to me the number of legal positions they see advertised there. Might want to check out that area.

          • RunnerGirl :

            Where are they seeing them? I review Emplawyernet, MA Lawyers Weekly, Indeed.com, Monster, and government job sites daily, if not multiple times per day. I apply to every position I am remotely qualified for.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I think my dad sees them in the N.B. Standard Times, the local newspaper.

        • Can you open your own small practice? Are the pro bono cases you’re working on in an area where the court sometimes appoints attorneys – would that be a route to getting paid for your current pro bono work? Would you consider teaching civics/social studies in a private school that doesn’t require a teaching degree?

          • RunnerGirl :

            I’ve applied to some private schools for exactly this type of position. Others want at least some teaching experience. I have a lot of volunteer mentoring experience, but that doesn’t seem to be enough:(

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Have you taken the bar? What is your area of practice? Set up a practice, and get out there and network. Build a book of business. Try to become a court appointed advocate. Are you going to networking events? Western Mass is big – are you up north, where Albany is a market or closer to Springfield? You’ve got some options beyond sending out resumes but you are going to have to be pro-active….

          • RunnerGirl :

            I have taken the bar and am admitted in NY and MA. I’m in Northampton, so closer to Springfield. I practiced criminal defense and municipal defense litigation with my old firm. Setting up my own practice seems to be a popular opinion but I honestly have no idea how to do that. What kind of money does that take? I’m down to a couple thousand dollars to my name.

          • Hey RunnerGirl – re setting up your own practice, the ABA has some resources on this.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Ahhh…sad – I went to one of those 5 schools in your neighborhood…..

            Anyhoo – if I had criminal defense experience, I’d set up shop and find clients in Nnorthampton, Holyoke & Springfield…. Can you check to see if the court does appointments? Just make sure you get your full retainer up front etc… (dated a crim defense attorney before)!

          • lucy stone :

            Runnergirl, there is a great book by Jay Foonberg on starting your own practice. My fiance became unexpectedly solo a few years back and he found it helpful.

          • no longer "job hunting" :

            For starting your own practice, there’s a book called “Solo By Choice” that I would recommend. The start up fees don’t have to be very high: you can work from home and maybe join a club where you can reserve conference rooms for a small monthly fee. Other than that, your expenses are malpractice insurance, regular insurance, a copier/printer, letterhead/business cards, and westlaw access (or use a library and research the old fashion way if you want to save $$). Don’t pay for advertising– just network heavily, set up a website, and give out business cards.

          • Just want to give NoHo a shout-out as a Smith grad. Although I imagine you may feel differently given your situation, I would give my left arm to spend a year there as an adult :)

          • I hung my shingle about a year ago. I love it, but it’s not for everyone. I highly recommend Jay Foonberg’s book and “Solo By Choice” by Carolyn Elefant.

            Many many solos get a job in retail until something more comes along. At least it would take care of some of the monetary stress for the moment.

            Is there a young lawyers group in your area? Go to their lunches or networking events, and get involved in their pro bono work. They can find you jobs, too.

    • You absolutely made the right choice. Protecting your mental health is paramount. I was going off the deep end at my old job and I, too, quit last summer and experience much longer unemployment than anticipated. I ended up taking a job I knew I wouldn’t like to pay the bills and just keep searching, although there are days when I wish I had done contract work instead (I’d make about the same amount…). BUT, I actually sleep at night now. It’s amazing what that will do for your outlook.

      If you have good references, have them call one of the people you interviewed with recently. People don’t always call to check references but it does speak volumes if a reference seeks them out.

      Second, the job searching comes in waves. Some weeks/months there are tons of jobs open, others not so much. Keep that in mind.

      I agree with everyone who suggested you get comments on your resume/cover letter.

      And lastly, the job market for lawyers still stinks. Yes it’s getting better, but it’s still insanely competitive and there is not enough work to go around. It is not a reflection on you. It just means that unfortunately a year might not have been long enough to find something else.

      You did the right thing.

      I’ve become quite shameless about connecting with old acquaintances on LinkedIn and emailing “friends of friends”

      • RunnerGirl :

        I don’t think I understand LinkedIn very well. What do you do when you come across people who are 2nd or 3rd contacts and you want to pick their brains? Email your contact and try to get that person’s info? Use the “introduction” function on LinkedIn?

        • I’ve actually found it most helpful for finding contacts within my own connections that work or have worked at places to which I’ve applied. When people aren’t my connections and I don’t feel I know them well enough to add them as a connection and contact them directly, typically I email our mutual contact to ask for an introduction. Or sometimes I email our mutual contact and ask if they wouldn’t mind letting the person know I’ve applied for a job at their company and forwarding my cover letter/resume.

        • I used it once in a very helpful way. After I applied to my current job (which I love), I searched the company on my contacts list. A 3rd circle person came up who had just retired from the same area of the company I’d be working in. We were connected through a guy I didn’t actually know (we were on a telecon-based committee together at one point). He lived in Denmark, guy I wanted to meet lived in Seattle. I messaged the direct connection guy asking for the intro, he sent it, I sent a note to the company guy, we met for an hour at his country club (retired executive) where he did a total info dump for me on the organizational dynamics- names, structure, etc. He didn’t help me get the job in the sense of calling the company for me, but he armed me with really good info going into the interview which increased my presence.

          Generally, I find pure networking when unemployed to be almost impossible. You reek of job-seeker-ness and can’t help show it; you have nothing to do, etc. I think it is way better to network by working with others, through a volunteer committee, nonprofit board, certificate course, etc. Those are a few things I did. That way you are meeting people by demonstrating your skills and personality, not putting out the ‘give me a job’ scent. It’s hard to motivate to do that, and doesn’t usually give people much ground to consider you for positions (‘i met her at a networking event, she seemed nice?’ doesn’t help; vs. ‘she executed this project well and was awesome to work with’- yes)

          • RunnerGirl :

            YES – this is always how I have felt about networking. I have to be able to DO something.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Someone once told me, you are never without work if you are admitted to the bar. Obviously you want a regular job but you aren’t finding one right now. Time to just find your own clients. Can you get on the federal defender list and start taking criminal appointments? If your state doesn’t have a formal public defender office can you get on that appointment list too? Did you have any insurance contacts at your old job? Can you see if the adjusters can send you some claims in your new state? Does your state have a lawyer referral service? In mine, you can sign up for referrals and in exchange, you remit a small portion of your fees back to the program. I currently get about 3 referrals a week that way. What about getting on the list for some pre-paid legal services programs like ARAG and Hyatt? While their covered stuff pays at a low rate, you get all the referrals for the uncovered stuff and just have to give a 25% discount. Time to go solo and build a client base while still looking for traditional work. If you find it, you already have the clients to bring with you, raising your worth to future firms.

      • RunnerGirl :

        I actually have a lot of criminal defense experience but mostly on the research/writing side. I’ve interviewed with CPCS (MA’s public defender system) and have been told that I’m too experienced for entry level positions and not experienced enough for supervisory roles. Ugh. I haven’t pursued the federal defender list because while I’ve won federal appeals, I don’t feel extremely comfortable with my trial skills. I want someone to teach me more! But it’s something to consider.

      • Fully agree you did the right thing.
        In my twenties after law school, I quit a horribly abusive job in NYC.
        Fast forward: I am 35, have a dream job in a great company in Seattle.
        I won’t say the years in between were easy- I called them working my way out of the 7 circles of hell- unemployment, slightly less awful jobs (still horrid though, the next few were), etc. It was really, really hard mentally, financially, in many ways. But I eventually made a 3-year plan after introspection on what I wanted and stuck to it and it worked. The biggest part was leaving NYC. Unemployed, so that was risky, but worked out better than I could ever have imagined.
        What would I have done differently? Quit the abusive job sooner and dealt with the consequences. Nothing is worse being treated in a way that makes you depressed and ill. Good luck- I wish I had enjoyed my transition times more by remembering that I would work again. Now I never have time off and wish I’d had the presence of mind to enjoy more of those days rather than stressing out about next steps. You’ll be fine- eventually. Suggest first taking stock of what you want next then picking 3 strategies to get there and taking small steps to achieve those strategies. More than 3 possible pathways are too much to focus on well so try to narrow it down to a fairly specific goal then specfiic steps.

    • How’s your cover letter? Are you underselling yourself/not selling yourself enough?

      • RunnerGirl :

        I’ve had people review my cover letters/resume. I tailor them for each position as much as possible, etc. My best friend kindly paid for a legal employment counselor and she said I was a much better candidate than most people she sees. It’s just so damn tough out there.

        • manomanon :

          I’m not sure where in western MA you are but could you look into working with the Law Center at UMass Amherst? Or something with one of the 5 colleges (MHC, Smith, UMass, Amherst and Hampshire for those less familiar than me)
          Or see if they are hiring in areas like risk management etc.? While it’s not your type of law specifically it would give you something law related!

          Good luck!

          • Divaliscious11 :

            I don’t think there is a law center at UMASS. I think there is now a law school at UMass-Dartmouth, but that’s on the other end of the state… These is a legal studies dept at UMASS, but unless she wants to adjunct, not sure that helps….

          • manomanon :

            It’s not a law school- I’m still not really clear what it is, but a bunch of my pre-law friends from UMass work there part time theoretically to gain law experience before heading to law school.

    • Hey runner girl,

      I’m a mass lawyer also actively applying (with um…similar results) to the mass legal job market. If you want to vent/chat about strategies, feel free to e-mail me at [email protected] (though tell me if you will, i don’t check it that much).

    • Firm to In-House? :

      I have no actual advice — I got into my current job before the whole world went south — but just want to add my voice to the others: you absolutely made the right decision. Instead of beating yourself up over it, please be proud of yourself for realizing that you needed to do the thing that was right for you. And also, your family is awesome.

      • RunnerGirl :

        Thank you – they are! It’s not as though they have tons of money – we’re pretty middle class – but my parents just couldn’t let me stay in that situation any longer.

    • I’ve seen people from New York attend the PLTC program in British Columbia (10 week course), article (10 months of basically law work there are almost no limits as to what you can do as an articling student and you get paid) and write the two bar exams up there. I’m not saying there are tons of jobs to be had up here in Canada but there certainly is a need for lawyers in many areas. I think a lot of firms up here will be hiring for articling soon and firms in Cananada love people with fancy smancy American degrees and foreign experience. I see many articling students with great jobs and hirebacks who were lawyers in other countries. I mean, it’s worth applying and seeing what happens if you’re okay with a move.

    • no longer "job hunting" :

      Leaving the awful law firm was the right decision. Hunting for a job in this economy is extremely difficult. Here are some ideas that may help you:
      (1) Does your state bar association have sections? Mine has sections based on practice area, and each section has a list serve where practicing lawyers post questions. You can join the list serves that match your career interests and submit several good answers per week with the signature “RunnerGirl, Available for contract work in ____ area.” This way practicing attorneys in your field will see how great you are, and if they learn about work they may send it your way.
      (2) Picture where you want to go in your career. Someone in your legal community is there right now. Buy that person coffee. Ask them if they know of any contract work or other people you could talk to. Follow up with all their suggestions. The goal is to have all the higher-ups in your community looking for work for you. The best bet here would be small or solo firms, because the bigger firms’ hiring processes are more formal.
      (3) My state bar has a program for people who are not eligible for free legal aid, but can’t afford standard attny fees. The program refers these people to lawyers who are willing to work for a smaller fee. Not sure how it works, but signing up to get referrals is free and it’s a good way to meet people/get experience/small fee is better than no fee.
      (4) Go solo.

  9. Mamma Mia :

    I asked earlier in the week, but didn’t really get any tips, so I’ll give it another go: Does anyone know any good pregnancy apps? I downloaded the babycenter one, but it’s really more of a fun facts and tips then a tracking app. I’d more like to track anything that might need tracking, be reassured that everything is good and right with my uterus, I don’t know. I’m on Android, but we have most of what I-phone has.

    • Maddie Ross :

      I’m generally not (or at least try not to be) the snarky one, but you might be well-served in joining the community at the Bump or one of the other online pregnancy sites for all of your questions. I’ve enjoyed hearing about your journey, but since you have near to daily questions about this stuff now, I can’t help but think they would be more helpful for that kind of thing. Congrats though, and best of luck to you.

      • Mamma Mia :

        OK, sorry. (All of those sites that I’ve seen have message boards that are terrible, so I’ll just try to re-focus. Just having a bad day today and haven’t been able to concentrate on much else, so I keep checking Corporette.)

        • Consider asking at


          And all the other subreddits linked there.

          I’ve found the reddit community pretty accepting of most parenting / pregnancy views. Do check out the breastfeeding subreddit cause it could save you so much trouble in the long run.

    • Will second Maddie Ross’s very polite suggestion on this one.

    • PharmaGirl :

      I joined baby center and read my birth board along the way. As annoying as some people could be, it was very reassuring to know that everything I was going through was completely normal. It was also nice to see posts from people who were due earlier in the month so I had an idea of what was coming. There is a what to expect app but I didn’t use it much.

      I highly recommend Total Baby for after the child is born. I obsessively tracked ‘input’ and ‘output’ and used Total Baby to report back to the pediatrician during the early visits (the ped will ask how many times per day the baby eats and poops and how many hours the baby sleeps).

    • This may not be what you want to hear, but I’m not really sure what you need an app for. I mean, I hear what you’re saying, but there isn’t a ton on minutiae to track until late in pregnancy, when a kick counter may be helpful. I’m totally an obsessive at times and I’m not trying to be critical, but I just don’t see what you need. Good info about pregnancy birth and the first year of life is easily obtainable. I guess I would caution you about tracking too much. There is such a range of normal and the symptoms come and go randomly. As long as your not cramping severely or bleeding there’s not a lot of value in micromanaging things. Just my two cents.

      • Anonymous :

        Ditto. I used the Babycenter weekly emails (hey! he’s the size of an avocado now!) and frankly, unless there are special conditions, that’s all you need.

        My OB made of point of telling me (and others), ‘you’re not sick. there is nothing wrong with you. go about your daily life while pregnant.’

    • Honestly, I left most of the tracking up to my OB. They can give you the best guide to what’s normal (a whole bunch of weird side effects you wouldn’t expect) and what’s concerning (a much smaller list of things you can’t control). BabyCenter and TheBump have weekly emails that were somewhat educational. There are paper journals out there if you want to do a keepsake of weight, cravings, pictures, that sort of thing. I also like Your Pregnancy Week by Week and From the Hip for reading material (better than WTEWYE).

    • Fitnessista posted about some sort of app she used. You could check out her blog archives, in the family section.

    • MM,

      I don’t know that I agree with the other commenters. I’m also pregnant, and I have found that the communities on the Bump, or on Babycenter, are made up almost entirely by women who are like :
      “OMG!! LOLZZ!! I’m preggerific! Like, I super-duper love my husband (BFF 4EVA) and like totally can’t wait to be a mommy-wommy! Babies are so cute my back hurts so like I’m just going to stay in bed today and watch Judge Judy RFLMAO!!”

      …and that I have less in common with the women on those threads than the non-pregnant women here. I say, keep on asking on Corporette and those of us who are interested will answer, and those who aren’t will skip past. Just like with threads about big hips, or threads about frizzy hair, or threads about any of the other challenges that come with being a professional woman over the course of your career.

      Nobody is doing any other woman any favors by separating discussions about other aspects of personal life (what do I buy my fiance, what’s a good graduation present, weekend book recommendations) from discussion threads about pregnancy. I’d argue, instead, that we’d be doing better to keep pregnancy, a relevant and often challenging aspect of a professional woman’s life, a relevant option on the comment threads as well.

      Finally – Congratulations!

      • Agree. Or, they say things like “I’m 19 and my boyriend left me and I am getting a tattoo is that bad for the baby” yuck.
        I personally skim past pretty much all clothes talk and read workplace behavioral stuff, pregnancy stuff, and anything else of interest to me. I wouldn’t expect anyone to not post about their vacation question, gift ideas, etc. just because I have no interest in Boston hotels or wedding gifts. And of course it’s a fashion blog in large part so the materialistic stuff is just always there. But I don’t know anywhere else to absorb collective advise from a group of women situated similarly to me in life.

        So I am going to ask another preg-related question. Did anyone have a really hard time with their usually beloved spouse towards the end? Like, I literally want to ship him to Kalamazoo in a box right now. Despite normally loving him so much. He is driving me crazy. Won’t get into details, but welcome any suggestions on how to break out of cycles of behavior caused by stress, hormones, and exhaustion on both sides. WHen I have zero, zero time/energy to go to counseling etc.- I am breathing through painful false contractions right now after a long day of doctors and work (due in few weeks). It is sad to be in such a bad place with him but we can’t seem to get out of the anger cycle.

        • no longer "job hunting" :

          I totally get like this w/my fiance. We get into these stupid fights, and the more we fight, the more we fight. We finally just both sat down and decided that we hate fighting and we were going to make a habit of not fighting. Surprisingly, it’s worked. I really think long term relationships revert to habit. It’s a question of what kinds of habits you want to foster.

          Also, PMS and being busy/exhausted always make things worse, but we’ve discovered things like yoga and sleeping in on a Saturday morning make things better. Know your signals.

      • +10,000. The beauty of this forum is that we can all connect to other smart, successful, interesting women about everything that is going on in our lives. Whether that is venturing into online dating or whether to get a dog. To isolate pregnancy as the One Thing that is off-topic is just reinforcing the idea that pregnancy and the workplace do not mix. We already have to combat that attitude at work — it seems to do everyone a disservice if we have to combat it on a women-focused website.

        I’ve never been pregnant but I am hoping to have kids, and the pregnancy discussions here have been really illuminating as to what to expect. I do hope people keep posting them.

        • I think pregnancy to a large extent is off topic for work. I have received entirely unwanted child having advice from female lawyers and once received an email about a partner’s miscarriage (this was not information I felt I needed to know).

          However, this is not work, it is a form about work – all meaningful discussion relating to the lives of working women should be welcome.

        • Its not that pregnancy is off limits, people were commenting that mamma mia has posted everyday about it

      • Completely agree. Twice I posted asking if anyone knew of another forum/blog that was more corporate-mommy geared. No takers. The second time I asked if Kat was going to do it (because she had once mentioned doing something similar in a preg-o post) and she replied on the post that it is a work in progress, but wasn’t quite ready to put up yet. So maybe there is one in the works!

        Nothing worse than “OMG I drank a bottle of beer before I took the test – is the baby dead now?” forums. Maybe we should start our own working attorney mom forum!

    • MM – There’s a long, supportive comment from me in moderation right now. I used the name of this site. I hope you’ll check back when it gets out of moderation.

    • Yes please stop the pregnancy questions. I don’t mind an occasional question but not one in every single post. It’s easy to say that those who don’t want to read can just skim past but try to remember that there are women in this community who have miscarried or can’t get pregnant and it may be difficult for them to see all this pregnancy talk. Besides if you don’t know what medicine to take, you should be asking your doctor not an Internet community of laypeople. At least limit the questions to how pregnancy related to your corporate life.

      • The OP already welcomed the other message boards suggestions, so at this point it’s unnecessary to jump on her. Plenty of people post here with other questions not related to corporate life and get great advice every day.

        Regarding your point about whether other posters may find the pregnancy talk difficult, I would counter that there are a number of people who read this site daily who may find other topics difficult (ex – those who are unemployed for years, and here we are talking about new jobs, those who are going through a divorce while others are talking about wedding presents, etc). I’m not trying to start a discussion on whether one situation is harder than another, but feel strongly about the fact that you can just scroll down, instead of trying to police what we post here.

      • Anon for this :


        • Anon for this :

          I actually meant to ‘second’ sigh’s response.
          Some of us find work and our professional lives an escape from the baby stuff for the reasons sigh mentioned.

    • i didn’t respond prior b/c I think they mostly stink. I get the what to expect and it is repetitive with an annoying tone. I skim it anyway… but generally have found that just relying on my doctor/nurses’ advice and the mayo clinic guide book are the better courses of action. There is also a lot of misinformation in those apps which got me concerned at times until I found out it was crap.

  10. Happy weekend everyone.

    If you could get any fur coat, what would you get? I inherited a full length mink coat, and took it to a furrier for them to send out to be cleaned. I now have to decide whether to have it restyled or to trade it in for something else. The furrier says that it is a good quality mink, but the style is very eighties, so that would have to be changed if I decided to keep this one rather than trade it in.

    I am in my early thirties, and very rarely attend a formal function to which I could wear a fur coat. If I had not inherited this coat, I probably would never in my life own a fur, but this coat has sentimental value. My father bought it for my mother, then years later they divorced, and more years later he passed away and she gave it to me.

    • A good friend had her grandmother’s mink made into a throw that she cuddles under while watching TV. This was partially because of worn areas in the fur, so wearing it as a coat would not have been possible.

      With the leftover pieces, she hopes to make some throw pillows, but hasn’t gotten around to having that done.

    • so anonymous :

      Since the coat has sentimental value, I would hang onto it. I feel like styles come back in – in the past few years, the 1920’s stoles seem to have been in style, but that will surely evolve into a rehash of a different era. The 80’s-style furs are sure to come back, and you will love to rock it out then!

      • It is VERY eighties. Think huge sholder pads.

        • Always a NYer :

          You could always remove the shoulder pads.

        • Because of the sentimental value, I personally would have it restyled rather than trade it in. If you were going to trade it in, maybe just take cash rather than a coat and buy a piece of jewelry and try to transfer the sentimental attachment to that.

          Maybe you can have a small stole (and hat and or muff?) made from a piece of it; I’m thinking something that, when you wear it over another coat,would look kind of like a collar. Then you would get more wear out of it. I like the throw blanket idea as well.

    • If I were in your position, I think I’d be inclined to have the coat cleaned so that you can safely keep it in your home. Then I would sit on the decision for a while. If, over the course of the next year or two, you find yourself saying “Hm, I might wear mom’s coat to X event if only it …” See how you feel about it. Maybe you will decide to keep this coat, either the way it is or with minimal restyling, so it will really be “mom’s coat” to you.

    • A friend’s mom inherited a fur coat a while back and had it cut down. She used the remnants to make a cute scarf and ear muffs for my friend. Not exactly the same situation, but maybe it will give you ideas…

    • I would definitely keep the mink you have, both because 1. it’s sentimental, and 2. because I don’t like the idea of killing another animal when you have a perfectly acceptable dead one already. My personal fur credo is that I will never buy or wear a new fur, but that I am fine with the two furs I was given, both of which were owned by others before me.

      An idea for a re-style, if you don’t want the full-on fur coat–a shrug. My mink is a shrug, and it’s a bit less in-your-face look-at-my-giant-fur-lined-with-dollar-bills than a coat, so I think I get more use out of it.

    • Keep the fur coat and have it restyled into a more “today” piece. And what about wearing it just for the heck of it? Granted, I think this may be a “where are you living” situation, but I would pull it out for dinner or to go to the theater or over to a friend’s house.

      • This. I have a fur from my mother. Its not work wear, but general winter use I pull it on, belt it (I haven’t got round to tailoring it down for me yet) and wear something that is sentimental to me

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I’d have it styled so it was a more modern cut. I have a full length dark/more formal coat, but I also have a knee length more casual coat….

      • i would never buy a fur coat per animal reasons. if you decide to get rid of yours, animal shelters welcome them because homeless baby animals love them to cuddle on.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          On the off chance you DID intend to post this to me…. Not likely. I like my furs and may buy another! If people don’t like fur, they shouldn’t buy it.

        • If you meant this for me- I won’t get rid of my fur for animal reasons. When I said I wouldn’t buy myself a fur, it was really for style reasons. I wear leather and eat meat.

          Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I think I will get it restyled, and see if they can make it reversible. That way, if I don’t want to show all the fur, I can wear it with the fur in the lining and the collar and cuffs. I saw this on some of their modern coats, albeit shorter ones. I will take ADL’s advice and find at least one excuse to wear it this winter. Maybe this upcoming winter won’t be weirdly warm like the last one was.

    • Clueless Summer :

      If you don’t think you ever will/are not comfortable with wearing a fur coat to the events you go to, I would suggest perhaps making it into the lining of a coat? (Assuming you are in a climate where fur-like warmth is needed in the winter). I know a woman with a nice black wool coat that has a removable fur “liner” – so she gets the lovely warmth and softness of the fur, but what other people see is a normal black coat.

  11. another tj – I have to recommend this JC Penney Worthington $22 skirt.


    For the talls out there, I’m 5’10” and it hits me mid-knee.

    It is not quite as vanity-sized as lines like Talbots, but I found the size chart accurate.

    I forgot I had it (impulse buy when ordering shirts for my husband.) I just grabbed it from my closet and thought it was one of my usual Talbot’s or Nordstrom skirts. It really is of pretty nice quality, particularly considering it’s only $22!

    I think the style is probably comparable to The Skirt.

    • I have one, too, and I’m really impressed by it. High quality, lined, doesn’t wrinkle much, love the seams. I wear it a lot more than I wear my the skirt.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m 5’11” and have found that the comparable skirt in the flared version is my new favorite. It is also a great length for us tall gals. I find myself wishing it came in white – probably why I can’t seem to find another skirt that I want to invest it. As soon as I buy one from JNY I’m sure JCP will come out with one in the same color.


    • I have a question about jcp.com — I can see the thumbnails when I search, for example, “pencil skirt”, but when I click through to a particular item, I can’t see a picture. Is that just me? (Mamabear, I trust your recs, but I’m about half a foot shorter than you, so I was looking for the regular not tall version of this skirt.)

      Also, I went to my local JCP (Manhattan) because of everyone’s comments, but saw so many prints that were … ummmm…. not for me….it was disappointing. I did get my summer’s worth of tees for a ridiculous total (they’re like $5 to $7 each, but the vees wash better than the scoops). I was hoping for a skirt or dress, but no luck due to aforementioned print trauma.

      • I have had exactly the same problem with links from their website. In fact, I was shopping for a rug tonight and ended up switching to IE because none of the pictures were showing once I clicked on a particular item.

        I had the same experience at JCP today. Because of the comments here, I thought I should look but everything I saw was disappointing. Really ugly prints. I thought I must be missing something. FWIW, I did not see the Worthington brand.

      • Tuesday, I just checked the JCP website. I don’t see the Worthington Seamed Pencil Skirt in regular sizes. They only have it in Plus and Talls at the moment.

        They must have sold out in Misses. :( Shame, but they’ll probably bring it back if it sells that well.

      • I can only see pictures using IE, which I only have at work, so JCP doesn’t get my money. Their website is worse than Target’s.

      • This happens to me, too. I think it has to do with my adblocking software in Firefox.

    • tall anon :

      I have also had great luck with the tall Worthington shirts at JCP. I was having a very difficult time finding something that had long enough arms, would button around my wide rib cage and bust, but wasn’t baggy at the bottom. I’m 6’1″ and the arms are long enough. I posted the link below. The do wrinkle, but they have washed fine for me. I can’t afford to pay for the tall dress shirts at AT, so these are a steal at $20.


  12. Threadjack:

    This is sort of a follow-up to the proofreading threads earlier this week. What’s on your proofreading checklist? My basic ones are: automatic spell check, search for double periods, search for all defined terms (with “match case” enabled).

    I also keep a document-specific list as I’m working on the document of things that I know might get missed.

    What are yours? For reference, I’m in Biglaw, corporate junior associate.

    • Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

      I know that I use a lot of passive voice, sometimes have issues with subject verb agreement, and subject verb gaps, so I review my documents just for those issues on top of other reviewing. Also, I recently learned that I can make my Mac read my documents to me, so I do that before I submit anything. It helps point out awkward language.

    • I don’t have a checklist. I go word by word. Sentence by sentence. Paragraph by paragraph, etc. I check every element. I also proofread it by reading backwards.

      • I am the same way. I do have a checklist for what needs to be included in a brief pursuant to our state rules, since I forgot something once and had to file an amended brief which made me feel like a giant idiot.

      • Same here, minus the backwards proofreading. Twice, and then once more after it’s been attached to the email.

    • Anonymous :

      Check for common typos that do not get caught by spellcheck, ie. “doe snot” for “does not”.

      Remember to add unusual words that you use often (i.e. client names) to your personal dictionary in spellcheck, but be cautious if the word is too close to a common mispelling.

    • Moonstone :

      I was a copy editor for publications for many years before I started supervising paralegals. Of course you are checking every word, as the other responses have said, but after you have done that, you will catch the most serious of your errors if you go through the document and doublecheck the spelling of every proper noun, and then go through again to look at every number/figure/numeral. It’s anti-environmental, but that’s where a printout really helps — you highlight each name or number after you have checked it.

      I am afraid to post this because I am worried a mistake is lurking!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I posted about my recent tortuous/tortious error. I’m reading something on the court’s website now and they have it spelled wrong too!!

    • MissJackson :

      I keep a list of partner-specific stylistic proof reading items. You know — Partner A likes italics whereas Partner B prefers underlining, Partner C wants two spaces after colons, Partner D is a transition-word fanatic. Basically every time I get a document back and it is marked up by a Partner, I use those stylistic corrections to make a list of personal preferences. It helps a lot and you can be a superhero and pass it on to the younger associates.

    • I find it really helpful to do the final proof on hard copy. It makes it easier for me to spot any spacing errors. But even before that, there’s something called reveal codes or reveal formatting that will show you spaces on your documents so you can really spot any errors.
      I also add to dictionary very liberally for commonly used words and I do “ignore for this document” or whatever for any names I don’t want added but I don’t want highlighted in red.
      If at all possible, I try to give myself some time to get away from the document before proofing (even if it’s ten minutes). Check all the citations and search for “v.” to make sure I haven’t missed any cases. If I have any words that I could possibly mistype, I’ll run a quick search for that word (principal/principle, rational/rationale) or just try to pay extra attention to words like that.

    • In addition to what everyone else mentioned:
      I search to make sure that all parties are referred to the same way the whole way through, i.e. John Smith shouldn’t be Plaintiff in one sentence, John in another, and Mr. Smith in another. Or, if he is, it’s at least the result of a conscious choice.

      I also do a separate proof of all headers and footers- I’ve learned the hard way that if I don’t, I’ll often miss inconsistencies.

    • I always search for “trail” to make sure that there’s not a mis-typing of “trial.” You can add specific similar searches based on your particular case.

      • When it absolutely, positively, has to be perfect, I do the following (very tedious process).

        1) Read out loud, slowly (although having the computer read it is a really good idea too!) to catch any weird phrasing and the like.

        2) Print it out and from the very top of the page (including the caption) make a checkmark over eveery single word, indicating that it is (a) spelled correctly, (b) has the right amount of spacing around it and (c) is punctuated correctly. I have caught so, so many errors this way, even on documents I had reviewed multiple times and had reviewed by others. In fact no matter how many times I review a document, I always catch errors when I go at it again with this methos.

        3) for extra credit, now print out another copy and make brackets around each sentence to check for (a) correct tense, (b) subject-verb agreement (c) not run-on. Although I find a lot of this is covered in step 2.

        4) For bluebooking, while I am drafting, I always out the full cite ( No “Ibid”) until I am totally completely done with drafting and the document has been approved to be put in final. This way, if you re-arrange your paragraphs somewhere in the process, you don’t have “Id” referring to the wrong case.

        I am going to add party name consistency to my list! That’s one I don’t do as methodically.

        • haha, obviously I didn’t use my editing method for this post!

        • JAS1, I think you just became my proof reading hero.

        • I just cut-and-pasted your directions and saved right into my file marked “brilliant ideas.” Full disclosure, the file also includes a craft project for making ordinary shoes into glitter shoes, which I have not yet tried.

    • I do some work for utilities before my state’s regulatory body, the Public Service Commission. I always run a search for “pubic” because it’s very easy to miss!

      • Tee hee. We mistyped “made a pubic disclosure” rather than a “public disclosure” in a PowerPoint presentation argued by biglaw sr partner at a federal ct hearing.

    • Read your document backwards. Seriously – it helps so much to keep your brain from skipping over sentences where you *think* you remember exactly what you said.

    • I check for hanging participles, passive voice, subject verb agreement, improperly placed commas, and other punctuation. I find it best to do all that on a hard copy using a red pen because I can see all corrections easily when I have to make them to the electronic version. I do another review just for proper Bluebook citations at very end.

  13. Happy Friday! I’m hoping for a sunny weekend.

    • My car thermostat said 103 when I left the mall this afternoon. Yeesh.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Sometimes weI flirt with the idea of moving to New Orleans… but that would be why it’s not as compelling as it otherwise might be. 103 degrees and what, 80% humidity??

        • I’m not sure it really was 103 degrees – just what my car thermostat said after it had been sitting in a totally unshaded mall parking lot. It’s probably 86-88 It’s actually not all that humid today (relatively speaking) – about 50%. I’m not going to lie – the summers are brutal and we’re so tired of our summer clothes by October that we want to burn them. But you get used to it (and I’m from northwestern PA). I am so acclimated to the humidity that I go north in the winter and I itch all over incessantly. We also treat our summers like the winter up north. You just don’t go out in it. I go from my air conditioned house to my air conditioned car to my air conditioned office.

  14. anonymous :

    I live in the city and have to be on Long Island for some of this weekend. I’d like to go up to the North Fork and do something outside. Suggestions for places to go/thinks to do please?

    • long time lurker :

      Love the North Fork. To me it is all about the farmstands and the wineries. Paumanok is my favorite vineyard. The smaller ones, like Old Field, are preferable to the large ones, like Pindar, because they seem to spend more time explaining their wines. A few of them, Osprey’s in particular, will have live music and space to picnic and enjoy their wines. My view on the wines is that North Fork does whites fairly well, like chardonnay – a trend is that they do not age them in oak, but if you are an oak fan you will find it if you look. The reds can be iffier, although some of the Merlot is OK. Just saying that while it is a thriving industry it is not the level of Bordeaux or Napa really. Other than vineyards, the tiny town of Mattituck has a delicious cheese shop and a cute restaurant Love Lane Kitchen (sweet potato fries yum). Greenport has some nice restaurants, as well. The North Fork Table and Inn is supposed to be fabulous (have not yet been).

      Around Peconic Bay I believe there are places to rent kayaks if you are into that. And bike rentals. It’s a pretty flat place, so it would not be challenging.

    • Always a NYer :

      If you like homemade pie or jam, stop at Briermere Farms in Riverhead – 4414 Sound Avenue. They have a website so I’d check that out. When I lived in Nassau county, we’d always go there at least twice a year, their pies are that good!

    • I’ve only been to the North Fork once, but really loved it. I thought Green Port was such a cute little town, with quaint shops and cozy restaurants. We really enjoyed walking around and checking out the stores. We went to a few of the larger vineyards, including Pindar. I definitely felt that their tasting rooms were a bit crazy – they were very packed. However, it was really nice to buy a bottle of wine and sit outside enjoying the nice weather, beautiful scenery and live bands. Probably, if I was in charge of where we went, I probably would have tried the smaller vineyards – but my friends were more concerned about having the outdoor activities available at the vineyards than the tasting room experience.

  15. Ladies, I need your advice. This last week I was at an out-of-town wedding for an old work friend. She and I used to work in the same building, but now live across the country. We usually only see each other when I am in her city for work once or twice a year. I hardly knew anyone at the wedding, and my BF was out of town, so I was on my own. The wedding was gorgeous, and I spent a lot of the time with a fabulous gay guy who has been a good friend to my friend, although we hadn’t met until the wedding weekend. Ceremony? Gorgeous. Drinks with FGG? Lovely. Reception? Fun fun fun, and then I all of the sudden I was so drunk. I told the groom that if he hurt my friend, I would kill him, and then burst in to tears. I was flirting with the bride’s brother (attention seeking behavior) and drinking like it was my job. At one point the bride’s brother asked if I have a bf what was I doing with him. Good point – nothing happened, but not the kind of behavior my bf would have liked. Eventually the bride’s brother and sister packed me into a cab after an ill-advised cigarette smoking adventure. I got sick in the cab, sick at my friend’s apartment where I was staying, and am now going through a huge shame spiral. I tried friending FGG on FB, but he hasn’t responded and now I can’t see his profile through mutual friends, although previously I could, which I am of course taking personally.

    I want to send the bride (who is currently on her honeymoon) an email or a card to say that I had a blast, and I was really out of control, and to apologize for being such a mess. I am not a mean-spirited drunk, but I am a goofball and usually hate myself the next day for being so ridiculous. I will never see FGG or her family again, but I am really beating myself up over this, and I am SICK at the thought that me acting like a crazy person – especially to her family – could wreck our friendship. On the other hand, she has told me her brother is a pro-drinker so maybe they will all chalk it up to good old-fashioned wedding shenanigans?


    • Worry not! Forgive yourself, send the bride and the FGG (if you can track him down) a nice note emphasizing how much fun you had with a sincere apology and move on. Rest assured that others are obsessing about their own behaviors, outfits, regrets and only gave your behavior a passing thought. You can only control your feelings/reaction at this point. Be good to yourself. And focus on the fun you sound like you had!!!

    • Agree w/ Betsy Bee about no one else is giving your behavior as much thought as you are. Time will make it better. Here’s a story for you: at my wedding to my ex, a very very very close family friend of mine made out with my cousin on the dance floor and then up against the wall and then blocked a door so that the wait staff couldn’t come out of the kitchen. Then took him home with her (he flew in from Hawaii and had a hotel room of his own and his mom/dad/brothers were in town, too). He got sick in the car (note: my friend’s FGG was the designated driver). They both came the next day to a bbq and it was awkward for them, but my attitude was, eh, it’s close family friend and cousin, they are adults, and there is more to their character than whatever happened that day. Sure, we noticed it, but honestly, we all laughed about it and, knowing both of them, we all knew they were mortified. I never bring it up to friend but occasionally she brings it up. My parents still adore her, etc. etc.

    • Sorry. Frankly, I did similar things at 2 weddings in my mid-20’s, and that’s when I stopped drinking heavily. Will have a glass of wine now occasionally, but I haven’t been drunk since the second of those two weddings as my shame was great. I have been much happier ever since.
      I eventually apologized verbally to at least one person… he doesn’t love me for sure and that’s ok.
      Unfortunately, one of those two weddings was my own. Sigh. Live and learn. Well, I’ll never look back and wonder what if I had partied it up for a long time- very comfortable in my current lifestyle choices.

    • anon for this :

      Um. I once attended a casual get-together for mothers of my child’s preschool class and ended up vomiting in the hostess’s yard. I wanted to die, pretty much. (She sold wine for a living and kept refilling my glass and I’m not a big drinker… )

      I had to call to apologize in the morning because my car was still at her house (as obviously I didn’t drive myself home.) She was gracious, I was humiliated, but it passed. I am pretty sure no one even remembers it, and it’s not my regular social circle.

      That said, it was a red flag for me that a particularly stressful situation in my life was impacting my decision-making. So I attended to that as best I could. If you have a pattern of acting out, hard drinking, what you identify as “attention-seeking behavior,” etc. then maybe it’s time to stop drinking and take a hard, cold look at your behavior. What a relief it would be to not have that kind of morning ever again, right?

    • MissJackson :

      From a bride’s perspective: my wedding was one of the drunkest event I have ever attended (and I was a sorority girl). We broke all the records for the venue for alcohol cost. At one point, I had a conversation with my uncle wherein afterward I was like, “whoa, I am the only sober person here.” My brother in law came running up to me at one point to tell me how much he loved my extended family (later found out that my extended family convinced him to do shots with them). We provided transportation back to the hotel from the reception and so no one worried about over indulging. I spent the last hour of my wedding dancing with my good friend and using my full skirt as a privacy barrier because she was wearing a short dress and kept showing the world her hoo-ha. One of my friends apparently got sick on the bus on the way back to the hotel. My cousin was so drunk and smitten by some of my college friends that he apparently managed to figure out what room in the hotel they were staying in and drunk dialed them.

      I got the most. amazing. ever. notes, emails, facebook messages, etc. afterward. I would literally laugh for hours! People were so so so so apologetic. The bus puker sent me this “I’m so sorry I got sick please let me pay for everything” email, my cousin was so mortified and worried that he had offended everyone. Honestly, it was no big deal. People had a lot of fun at my wedding, and that was all I cared about. So go ahead and send the bride a message, ask the bride to send your apologies to anyone else involved, but know that the bride will likely get the biggest chuckle out of this :)

      Everyone has a night like this in their lives that they wish that they could take back. Don’t stress out about it.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        My wedding was the same. We were young and the first of our college friends to get married. My husband grew up over seas so we had friends and family from all over the world in town. We had an open bar and a bus. There were sooooo many hook up stories. One friend threw up on the bus. We were in a limo starting our honeymoon so we had no idea. My fave story though is my mother in laws friend’s husband got so drunk at the rehearsal dinner that he missed the 2 pm ceremony. My in-law’s room also had a murphy bed and one of their friends got locked in it somehow. The “adults” were more out of control than the recent college grads. Everyone still talks about how our wedding was the best they had been to in a long time.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Though I will add, the girl that threw up on the bus no longer drinks. A few years later she decided she was a problem drinker and had to stop.

    • Seriously, everybody will get over it. It happens. My brother and my uncle came to my wedding without their wives (long trip and my nephew was an infant) and both of them overindulged. My uncle (then in his 50s) ended up peeing off of the second floor balcony of the hotel where we had our reception and where everyone was staying. His brother was horrified. We just laughed. Nobody said anything about it afterward.

    • Maybe you should talk to your boyfriend instead…

      And yeah, it’s worth apologizing just to be polite but it’s not something she is losing sleep over.

      • I agree, prob time to break up with the bf. But I think you are beating yourself up much more than they are thinking about it

    • Thoughts? Consider AA.
      Yes, nobody was paying as much attention to your behavior as you are. But this sounds like a red flag that you’re out of control…

      • um, AA?! uh, that is an extreme reaction to one incident. *Everyone* has a few bad-decision-making moments in their lives, it’s called Life! And over-indulging at a wedding is classic, as the other stories above show.

        OP – everyone else’s advice is spot on, you will be fine! This has happened to all of us. But not anon’s advice: you did some flirting and drank too much, on ONE NIGHT. That does not an alcoholic make. Don’t let anyone make you feel like this is the end of the world. You will be fine, and you can make better decisions next time. Hugs.

        • Thanks everyone! FWIW, a little more background: I usually have a one-and-done drinking policy (due to previous am-I-an-alkie-? concerns a few years ago), and I only have this issue at weddings I go to by myself. So, I’ve already decided that I’m not going to weddings by myself any more. I am keeping the BF. Nothing happened with the brother other than flirting, and I haven’t been in a relationship for ages, so I’m chalking this one up as lessons learned and reaffirmed.

          Thanks again for sharing your stories! This is my first time posting. But I’ll be back. :)

        • Um, no they don’t. Seriously, the assumption that all women behave like this is offensive. She knows she behaved like an idiot. There is no magic pass for weddings to behave like an idiot.

          And I think getting smashed, threatening your friends husband, crying, flirting with the non boyfriend and then wondering if you should apologize on a public message board are all cries for attention that you may at least want to think about. In particular you should not threaten people, apologize to the groom as well as the bride.

          • wow, i think you are being really hard on the OP, Loking. Plus, I was saying we all have bad decision making moments, not saying all women have done exactly this… but if you can find someone who has *never* done something they regret, I’ll give you a hundred bucks. And people have admitted things their not proud of on this site before. The flip side of that: judging people you don’t know, from a few sentences on the internet, anonymously, is very easy. I don’t think that’s what this community is here for.

          • I think when you’ve reached the point of threatening to kill someone you should expect judgement. I don’t think telling her that it’s okay is helpful- it is not okay to threaten anyone. Would you like being threatened by your partner’s friend on your wedding day?

            I did not say she is an idiot and I’m sure she’s a smart woman like the rest of us. What she did was a series of idiotic things. She came here clearly looking for people to say that her behavior can get a pass. No, you do not get a pass- apologize to your boyfriend, your friend and the husband and try and behave like a civilized human being.

          • I did not mean to imply that I actually threatened the groom with violence – it was more like a “this person is special to me and I will never forgive you if you mess with her” sort of thing, which I think was understood by everyone. It’s not like I was armed. And I can’t believe I just wrote that!

            I wasn’t looking for a free pass, I know an apology is in order. I was more looking for assurance that this is not the end of the world.

            Thanks for your support, zora. Hugs back ‘atcha for understanding.

          • And I think EVERYONE else understood that, Uh Oh. It is definitely *not* the end of the world. ;o)

          • Your initial post says very clearly that you threatened to kill him if he hurt your friend. Sure you were drunk and you didn’t mean it literally- it does not mean that you didn’t threaten him.

            That is clearly what your post says, not that you implied a threat or that you implied violence or that you threatened to defriend him on Facebook or whatever you are now saying happened.

            You are not honest and I’m not bothering with this anymore.

          • I didn’t take that literally when I read it. I highly doubt the groom felt his life was in danger. It’s like when someone says “Oh I’ve done x a million times!”. I don’t expect that they have an Excel spreadsheet counting the times they’ve done x.

          • Seriously, honey. You’re the one out of control here. Dial it down, sistah.

    • I think you were “that girl” at this wedding. Every wedding I have ever been to has had a “that girl” and a “that guy.” I think it would be gracious of you to email the bride and groom, the bride’s brother, your friend whose apartment you got sick in, the FGG, and anyone else who was affected by your episode and apologize; say you were too excited to eat and the alcohol caught up with you way faster than you expected. Then never mention it again and in a year no one will remember anymore. Don’t worry. I’ve been “that girl” too; I think most of us have been.

      • I agree with Bluejay.

        After one time of being “that girl,” I never ever want to be her again. So use whatever works for you to behave a little better next time (having an escort, stopping after one, whatever works).

        But yes, it’s not the end of the world. We do stupid stuff sometimes. But we also learn from it.

    • Working Girl :

      Honey, you sound fun. Do not beat yourself up. It’s a much bigger deal to you than to anyone else. You did not “act like a crazy person.” One of my friends was so out of control at my wedding that the guests next door to her in the hotel–who unfortunately happened to be relatives of my husband–called the cops to complain about the loud partying all night. There were cigarettes and there were inapprorpriate hook ups, and I am glad she had fun. There is nothing wrong with you letting loose a little, and your friend should be glad people had a good time at her wedding.

  16. Looking for tips for getting out of bed. Work is super slow – and it’s oh so hard to get going in the morning with a long slow day to dread …. Anyone have a great morning routine that helps?

    • Get a dog that bothers you incessantly, starting around 6 a.m., until you get up and go for a walk with her. By the time you come in from your 30-minute walk, you will have woken up and, bonus! started your day with physical activity.

      Be warned that, effective as she is as an alarm clock, your dog will not understand the concept of “days off,” and that she will torpedo your plans to lie in bed until 7:00, like the sloth you are, by licking your toes and aggressively jingling her dog tags.

      • PharmaGirl :

        See also: babies.

      • Ha! This is how I get out of bed in the morning. Except my dog has learned there is one sure way to get my attention while I am pretending to still be asleep: she licks my mouth! Eww! I take off her tags before bed though, so at least she’s quiet. I have to get up at the same time every day to take her out though, no sleeping in on the weekend. At least she’s always willing to go back to sleep when we get back.

        • Ooh that’s a good call to take the tags off at night. Hadn’t even thought about it. Will implement immediately, and be grateful she only licks my toes, not my mouth!

          • Another idea – put a rubber band around the tags or buy a dog-tag pouch available on amaz*n – if your dog gets lost, the tags are still easy to access.

      • Firm to In-House? :

        a.: Do we share a dog???

    • For me, it helps to get up 2-3 hours before I actually have to leave for work, and to do something enjoyable during that time. I start my day with a good cup of coffee on the couch while watching the news and playing on the internet, and then some kind of exercise (running on the river if it’s nice out). By the time I have to shower and leave for work, I’ve already had a nice little morning of doing things I like, so going to work doesn’t feel as oppressive.

      • This is my preferred method – although usually it’s working out followed by puttering around while getting ready for work.

        Working out in the morning only happens regularly if I have a class to go to.

    • I shower in order to get clean at night, but in the mornings when I don’t feel like getting out of bed, I get up, switch on the kettle so I’ll have hot water ready for my coffee, and then get in a hot shower (with my hair up to keep it dry) and just stand there for 10 minutes. I feel totally awake by the time I get out.

      I am not a morning person, so there is no way in heck I’m getting up and going outside to exercise. Gah.

    • I go to work early and I’m not a morning person so I try to stay with a routine and a schedule. When I wake up, I turn on my laptop but give myself a short amount of time to mess around with that before I get in the shower. That wakes me up. Then I do hair and makeup and I take a good amount of time to read the paper and have breakfast and coffee. If I rush, I just have a harder time convincing myself to get out early, despite having to get up earlier. The only thing that ever makes me late is dithering over clothes and shoes. Feeling good about what I’m wearing does wonders to get me going. But seriously, I know what you mean. I have been crazy crazy busy at work then I had a day this week where I had virtually nothing on my calendar and I sat on my bed before work trying to convince myself to go.

  17. Housecleaning question: does anyone have any good tips for rinsing cleaning products off your shower (in my case, porcelain tiles and clear glass doors) if you do not have a hand-held spraying attachment? I feel like so many commercials talk about things like “spray, rinse and walk away,” but rising is a huge pain in the behind if you cannot spray :(

    On a related note, any ideas how expensive it would be to replace my shower head (assuming it’s even possible)? I am not handy and live alone, so I would need to hire … a plumber? A handyman?

    • K in... Transition :


      I have this… basically you unscrew the showerhead you have and screw this one on following the included directions, a 10 min project total.

    • Like to replace it with a handheld? If your showerhead unscrews (all the places I lived they did. The whole bracket doesn’t come out it just the head. And then you just buy a hand held at bed bath and beyond and screw it in! 30 bucks and easy peasy. I’m not handy at all. If you are looking for a full replace I’m not sure, but I always replace my showerhead with a nice handheld one that mounts with adjustable spray.

      • So actually this doesn’t necessarily work. I always have used a handheld, and I thought I would just replace the showerhead in my current apartment with a handheld. But the existing pipe is too high up and too close to the wall for a handheld to fit properly; I’d have to install a shower head mount with a moveable bar or something to get it to work right. So OP should look carefully at her shower setup before deciding to just replace the showerhead.

        Also, if her showerhead’s been on there a long time, it is probably stuck pretty good and she’ll need vise grips, a wrench, and a lot of upper body strength to get it off.

    • If you want to screw a new showerhead on, I would also recommend getting plumber’s tape. Basically, you tape the screw part, and then screw the new head on over that. It will work without it, but it is much better to do it with it. There must be a you tube video.

      • 2nd teflon tape (what the plumber’s tape is called.) I just went through this installing a drip system for my kitchen garden. Battling a leak, I finally learned that hose threads, like sprinkler to garden hose connections, are made watertight using washers. Pipe threads, like what you find in shower heads, are made watertight using teflon tape.

        (And my problem was, I was connecting a pipe thread to a hose thread. )

    • For the shower head: If it’s clogged, soak it in CLR. If all else fails, buy a new one. They’re not expensive. And the ones with the extra hand-held spraying attachment aren’t expensive either. I am fairly handy but trust me, it’s not hard.

    • People who say diamonds are a girl’s best friend probably never heard of a hand shower :-)

      Seriously, aim one at medium/low speed at your privates.

    • If you are not going to switch shower heads, fill a bucket half-way with warm water and slowly pour the water down the walls. The water should run in a sheet down the wall. Be careful- if you go too fast, it will splash all over the tub (and you).

  18. I am supposed to go on a business trip, and was selected to go largely because I said I was already THINKING of travelling to the location on my next vacation (so I would just tack-on a few days of work). However, this place is FAR, and I was just considering the possibility of going- which I thought I made very clear. I did express a lot of enthusiasm in going because that is what junior people are supposed to do!

    At first, it was clear to me that the firm would be paying for my expenses and trip there. Now, I am getting the impression I am expected to go, and on top of that, expected to pay for my flight (which will be $$) and no mention of any accommodation such as hotels, etc. has been made. I am quite junior and I have tried to bring it up but the question keeps kind of getting brushed off.

    How to I fix this? The time is approaching to book the flights, and I don’t have thousands of dollars lying around to take random trips. I tried to speak with the person today but she is running around all day and didn’t have a moment to bring up such an awkward conversation (money is always awkward). Would an email be okay? Help!

    • Get over the awkwardness. Put your big girl pants on approach the person.
      You could approach it with the assumption that they are covering the costs “it’s gettin close to the time to purchase tickets for x. What will the procedure for reimbursement be? I’ll also need some guidance about budget for accommodations, per diem, etc”

    • I have to say, I’ve never heard of a firm expecting someone to pay for their own business trip and it’s considered totally normal to take advantage of a firm trip to tack on some vacation time. With that in mind, the way I might approach it is to say “You know, I need to book my flight to X location, and given the expensive flight, it would be difficult for me to front that money myself. Is their a way to have it billed directly to the firm?”

      If they were expecting you to pay for the flight yourself then, yes, that will be awkward but it’s an entirely unreasonable request and so it should be awkward for them. You should not feel awkward at all. And it is completely reasonable to, at that point, say that you had said that you were considering taking a vacation there, you had not made any firm plans, and you, at this point, are simply not planning to do so in the absence of this business trip.

      • Thanks for the tips- I already sent out the e-mail about how many days i should plan for business so I knew how many days I would be accommodated, and it got brushed aside- the only reply I got was “it is hard for us to predict how many days you will be working given the nature of the business trip”.

        I also emailed about the costs of flights, but I guess I didn’t directly state that “how will I be reimbursed”?

        I just found out I got a permanent position at the company, which is why I’m so concerned about causing drama. Another reason why it’s awkward is because of the dynamics of the people I’m working with- in that, they generally don’t like to be told what to do with their money (as partners). So it’s a bit of a dance to make sure I am not taken advantage of while not sounding demanding at the same time.

        • “it is hard for us to predict how many days you will be working given the nature of the business trip”.

          That would make me worry that you might not get your actual vacation time respected, which makes it even more important that they understand that they need to pay your expenses. I would directly ask about the procedures for booking travel and how you will be reimbursed.

        • have a conversation, don’t handle through email. this is ridiculous. tell them simply where you are at on the matter and confirm they’ll be paying for the business travel, or that you aren’t going there for business.

        • Don’t say “how will I be reimbursed”, say “which is the firm’s travel agency, and who handles tickets?”. It sounds like you want to avoid reimbursement talk at all costs, make sure they pay up front. Bad enough that you probably won’t hardly get a vacation at all..

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      If it is a business trip, it needs to be a treated as a business expense (with any additional days you tack on on your own dime, of course). Plenty of companies, however, require you to book your own travel and pay for your own hotels, and reimburse you afterward. Perhaps that is how your company does things?

      I would email accounting or HR and say “I haven’t traveled for Company before. What is the protocol regarding expenses? Am I expected to book through a company travel agent or with a corporate card, or keep my receipts to submit for reimbursement? In addition, if you could forward me any standard information as to what Company considers reasonable reimbursable business expenses for travel, that would be helpful.” (the second sentence because many companies will pay for coach, not business, up to $X/day on meals, etc).

    • Yes, I think email is fine, but I’m confused. How do you know that you were selected for the biz trip because you mentioned to your bosses that you were thinking of traveling to this place?

      • Because we were all in a meeting and they casually mentioned we might need to go in person to get the info from the company, and I casually mentioned “Oh, I was thinking of going there on my time off.”

    • A business trip is paid for by the company, period. I’ve had co-workers go on trips where they have friends/family and stay a few extra days but the companies have always paid airfare and hotel/meals for the relevant days with the employee picking up the costs for any extra nights in hotel, extra charges for the rental car. I’ve done this too, but never at my expense for the business part. Sometimes you can get a better airfare if you stay over a Saturday night, so that benefits the company: These airfare deals are less common than they used to be.

      I think bringing it up by email is fine and even better it gets you a written record of the authorization, if they indeed authorize it. Most companies don’t expect a junior-level folks to front the costs of such a trip. Do you have a company expense credit card? If not, I would not book anything without written confirmation that they will pay you back. Actually, I’d ask that someone with an expense card pay for the tickets instead of you putting it on your own credit card. You should also read the company policy manual on business travel expenses, which most mid- to large-size companies would have, to see how it addresses reimbursement for travel expenses and guidelines (such as always flying coach and maximum hotel costs and/or per diem for meals).

      Depending on what you find out about policies, I would say something like “The trip to X is coming up soon and if ABC company/department wants me to go, reservations need to be made soon. As you know, I don’t have a corporate expense credit card, so I need to make arrangements for someone to put it on their company card or to have accounting cut me a check for the airfare. I’ve read our travel policy, and have found Flight 000 on Allways Airline for $X, which looks like a good price. Hotel Y is near the meeting location and their rates are $X a night, and I’ll be staying X nights. (If I stay additional nights, I will pay for them myself.) If you approve of these expenditures, I will make the reservations on Monday. If you have other suggestions, let me know. ” Good luck!

      • “Most companies don’t expect a junior-level folks to front the costs of such a trip.”

        Ha! I wish. Two weeks after I started a ($33k/yr) job, entry level, I was expected to book (on my own credit cards) a trip that with airfare and hotels, came to $5k. None of it was reimbursed until two weeks after the trip, and I had to get my parents to front me the money since the corporate policy was that all travel was booked by employees and reimbursed afterward (so no one had a corporate card, except the CEO).

        • Similar situation at my last company. All employees, regardless of seniority were expected to front the money for hotels, cabs/public transportation, and meals, all to be reimbursed later. Depending on how long you were on the road, it was possible to rack up quite a lot of expenses!

          Plane/train trips were booked through corporate travel agency and paid by company directly.

        • Moonstone :

          My place is like this, too. It’s one of the big differences between Biglaw and a smaller firm that’s not run the way most businesses run.

          • I’m in biglaw, and our airfare is usually paid directly by the firm, but we have to front meals/hotel, which can be a LOT depending on city and length of trip. However, the firm will pay the annual fee for a credit card if you use is only for business expenses, which can help to keep your normal credit card freed up.

          • I’m working a small (18 attorney) firm as a first-year attorney. Every lawyer in my firm has a firm credit card for booking travel arrangements (we do a LOT of it). Per our handbook and the partners, meals, hotels, rental cars, gas in rental cars, etc are permissible uses for the card. The only thing that I am later reimbursed for is mileage that I put on my personal vehicle driving to out-of-town hearings.

            This conversation is making me realize how lucky I am, even more than I already did.

        • This. Most small companies operate this way.

        • Another Sarah :

          Same here. Although my company will pay the extra interest on the business expenses if I can’t pay the whole thing. We get paid once a month, so sometimes this happens because someone’s bill is due before getting the paycheck with the reimbursement.

          • Wow, this is horrible. I wouldn’t front my large corporation a single dollar. I take out cash advances on my corporate credit card. Helpful perspective as there are things about said large company that are annoying (like processing the receipts). But we’d never be asked to pay for international business class tickets etc. that can be $10,000 per trip.

    • “Dear X,

      Since I’m supposed to be going to Location on Date, I need to get tickets and book accommodations. Who is our firm’s travel agent and what is the billing code I should give her for the charges? Also, how do I arrange to receive my per diem?


      • This is great wording.
        And then, if they write back and say that you have to pay for it yourself, and you can’t afford it, I think you need to just be honest:
        “I am sorry, I assumed the company covered business trips. I do not have the resources right now to front the expenses for this trip. I appreciate the opportunity, thank you for thinking of me.”
        and then see what happens. Get used to awkward stuff like this, unfortunately, it’s the reality of being an adult, sometimes other people are bad at communication. :o( I still get that sinking feeling in my stomach when I have to deal with things like this, it hasn’t so much gotten easier, as I’ve gotten used to powering through and I know that at some point it will be over, and it probably won’t be a big deal. good luck!

      • This. It’s much better to approach them in a way that assumes they’re paying and you don’t have to front anything (because this is the way well-run businesses work, frankly, except maybe the per diem – at my job we get it reimbursed, not advanced). This way if they’re going to be jerks or have some stupid policy, they have to feel awkward explaining it to you.

        • Exactly! well put, Bluejay… this is what i was trying to say, but not as clearly ;o)

      • I like this wording. Its also good to note in most places the admin staff will know the answer to theses types of questions. I do alot of short term contracts and try to make friends with the admin staff so I have someone to ask stuff like policy on travel expenses and the like.

  19. D Train South :

    These shoes remind me of the tropical-print flats I wore as a middle school student in the 80s. I loved those shoes and felt so fashion-forward and grown up wearing them. It all comes back around, doesn’t it?

  20. tall girls :

    Where do you really tall ladies (5’10″+) find cheap, work-appropriate dresses? My favorites in terms of price and style are The Limited and Target, but I find that most dresses from these places are too short for work, especially without tights. I hav e a decent winter dress wardrobe, but as we head into summer months I don’t really have any dresses I can wear to the office. I generally find BR/Ann Taylor overpriced for the quality, even with the sales. Anyone have suggestions (either retailers or specific links) for dresses that work on someone of my height and are under $100?

    • Anonymous :

      This one is a toughie (6 footer here). AT, BR, JCrew all have tall dresses. I tend to only wear separates/suits, although I am strongly considering some custom made dresses just so I can have a damn shift dress that fits.

      When I was very young and skinny, I would buy shift dresses two sizes too big, and have them tailored to fit, so the whole proportion waist/hips thing (lengthwise) could be tailored in.

    • I can’t wear dresses most of the time. I am 5’10” and find the waist is usually at the wrong place for me, and having it go all the way up to my shoulders makes the dress hit too high at the hem. I wear separates.

      That said, I have been looking at eshakti because you can custom-order to your measurements.

    • I am a banana. :

      Talbots on sale.

    • Mountain Girl :

      I don’t have good luck with dresses. I tend to wear skirts most days because they are much more plentiful for us tall gals. A pretty fair share of my work clothes come from JCP and Gap. Eddie Bauer has talls and sometimes they have things that might work for a business casual office.

    • another anon :

      I have to wear tall dresses because of the placement of the waist. I wear tall dresses from Boden, Ann Taylor (usually when there’s a 30-40% off everything sale) and recently, one from the Gap.

    • I stalk BR sales. They will often have dresses that are 41″ long (my minimum for work). I won’t buy until they drop under $100.

    • associate :

      I have a couple Antonio Melani (sp?) from Dillards that are a pretty good length.

    • I’m going to have to plug Long Tall Sally! You can get some good quality, well priced work appropriate clothing all created for taller bodies (long sleeves! Lower darts! Longer hemlines!).

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Talbots, Nordstrom, BR (occasionally), Marshalls/TJ Maxx, Nordstrom’s Rack

    • Nordstrom does have tall women’s clothes. But it’s much easier of you develop a good relationship with one of their personal shoppers, who can snap up the rare things suitable for you as they go by.
      Then again, a dressmaker isn’t really more expensive.. Especially if you order several different fabrics/colors of the same pattern. I guarantee you nobody will know, they even deny it if you point it out :-).

  21. Anonymous :

    We are buying a house in NY state and I was wondering with what companies do the ladies have their homeowners’ insurance?

    • RussiaRepeat :

      Used to have Liberty Mutual, then got married and added homeowners’ insurance to my husband’s policy with USAA.

    • I have Traveler’s (which is Geico, I think). Have never had a problem with them.

    • SO has Erie. I used to have Allstate for my renter’s. I’m with Erie now also but am switching because my auto insurance is too expensive.

    • If you qualify, it is the best insurance available no matter where you live.

    • Anon for This :

      I have Erie for home, auto, and my general umbrella insurance. Before we owned, I used them for my renter’s insurance. The few times I’ve had claims, it’s been a breeze. This was NOT the case with other insurance companies I have used in the past.

      Without saying anything specific regarding individual companies, I would encourage you to stay away from the biggest and hugest of the insurance companies. While the rates may be competitive, in the event that something actually happens, it has been my experience that the larger companies are more likely to blatantly undervalue your claim and jerk you around.

    • Get your auto and home from the same company, and use umbrella insurance to provide additional coverage on both (instead of increasing the coverage on the auto and home policies).

      • THIS

        Umbrella policies provide separate grants of coverage and can sometimes cover losses which your primary policies would not cover due to various exclusions.

      • USAA

  22. Equity's Darling :

    To the hive: I know this type of question has been posted before, but I am a unique snowflake, and thus I ask you all to indulge my question.

    What advice do you have for someone turning 25? For life, love, spirituality, career (law! I’m being called in August), goals to have, and general nonsense and trivia?

    Advise me! Make me the best 25 yr old ever!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Also, my birthday is Monday, not today, but I know the weekend thread usually gets more replies:)

    • Anonymous :

      Travel. Goof off a bit, then get serious before you are 30. Pay your bills, especially credit cards, in full.

    • K in... Transition :

      learn about money. watch suze orman, read her “young, fabulous, and broke.” start a retirement account (if you don’t already have one… Vanguard’s STAR fund is a good one). learn how to negotiate. learn your body’s normals (temperature, skin/freckles, lady bits, etc.) so you’ll recognize when something isn’t right. make a playlist of the silliest songs you know that make you ridiculously happy and keep it around for the moments when you’re most frustrated or annoyed.

      hope those help!

    • on a vanity/health note, my metabolism took a turn for the, ahem, less friendly in the last half of my 20’s – activity not noticeably less, but things seemed to “stick” more easily. if you gain those first 5 lbs, nip them in the bud. then you won’t wake up and discover you have 15 to deal with…

    • Sunscreen. This is often mentioned, but it’s true. Wear sunscreen.

      I’ve seen the book The Defining Decade recommended on here and elsewhere – it seems worth checking out. It’s about making the most of your 20s. But in general, from your posts you seem to have your stuff together! Happy birthday.

    • Happy Birthday! On the more serious side – Pay off your student loans, pay off any credit card debt, start saving for a down payment on a house and make sure you are saving for retirement. Take your career seriously and do your best, but don’t take it so seriously that it rules your life. You work to live, not live to work. Network, network, network. On the more fun side – think about the things that you have said you wanted to do and make sure you go out there and do them before life passes you by and you regret never getting around to them; travel the world (and may I suggest doing some of it alone since I think being alone allows you to get more out of a trip); and finally, make sure you do stuff that puts a smile on your face.

      • Equity's Darling :

        Yes! I love travelling alone. I did an exchange in Austria for 5 months alone, and it was the best.

        Also, I opened my RRSP (like a Canadian 401k I think) when I graduated, and I put my entire tax return in there, which maxed it out for the year (thanks to tuition tax credits!).

        • Austria! So fun. I was an exchange student in Vienna and loved it (and had a delightful summer affaire de coeur with a smokin’ hot Austrian guy; ah, the joys of youth).

          • I went to school in Austria, too! No fun summer affair – just lots and lots of music and art. I practically lived at the opera house.

    • a passion for fashion :

      i dont have any advice for you. I think its best to figure it out on your own. Have a fabulous birthday though.

    • Take friendships as seriously as you take relationships, as you get older and time demands and distance make them harder, they require work. Making new friends after school is almost like dating, but other women.

    • At 25, you can prioritize saving for the future & current fun about equally. If you have $x left over at the end of the month after rent, food, etc., bank half-x (or better yet, put it in an IRA or 401k), and do something for yourself with the other half — experiences are what make a good life. Travel to interesting places, talk to interesting people, do fun things, and treat yourself well. But never, never forget your future self. Compounding is your friend.

    • 1L-2L (formerly 1L) :

      Happy birthday, E-D! :-)

  23. Off to greener pastures :

    We’ve had a few threads about resignation letters and exit interviews, but what do you say to colleagues and partners who ask why you’re leaving? Do you handle them the same way?

    I’m leaving my firm because it’s very unfriendly to women. Every woman who has become a mother or who has become a single mother in the two years I have worked here has been forced out. This amounts to about 5 people. I’m single and don’t plan to have children any time soon, but 1) it’s really hard for me to watch the friends and colleagues that I respect get treated this way, which is making me really bitter and unmotivated; and 2) I don’t want to bust my tail for a firm that is going to treat me that way one day no matter how hard I work. Almost everything else about my firm is great – I love the work I do, I love the people I work with, and I have a really fantastic mentor/sponsor. But I just can’t take it anymore.

    When people ask me why I’m leaving, what should I say? A part of me wants to tell them the truth; I’m honest to a fault and I don’t know that I have it in me to give half-truths to people I care about. But I also want to protect my professional reputation; I don’t want to seem like I’m trash-talking the firm on my way out.

    • I am also “honest to a fault” and I think I would handle it like this:

      “I have really enjoyed many aspects of my time at Company. I love the work I do and especially value my relationship with Mentor. I also love the people that I work with, and that is why it’s hard for me to see some of them, particularly women with children, treated in a negative way. I’m looking forward to taking what I have learned here and using those skills in an organization that is more accepting of working mothers and families. I am not saying this to denigrate you or Company; I sincerely hope you take my words to heart and carefully examine the corporate culture in this regard. Thank you again for everything you’ve done for me during my time here.”

      • K in... Transition :

        this! I’d also be tempted to research whether there’s a place to document all you’ve seen so that, if someone ever sues, there’s a documented history from an impartial party.

    • I probably wouldn’t tell them the truth. In my experience, they likely already know what they are doing and aren’t going to change it based on what you say anyway. Don’t burn the bridge if you don’t have to.

    • I would not say anything. Even if you word it in the very professional way suggested above, I still think that you would burn bridges and make enemies. If you have to say something, I would phrase it to be about yourself and not about the firm, like “I’ve loved my time at X, but am also looking for a firm that fits with my life plans for the future” or something equally vague.

    • I would also not mention it. You’d be surprised how many people probably don’t think they’ve forced anyone out. I would probably stick to “I’ve enjoyed my time here and am looking forward to using what I’ve learned somewhere new.” It’s not a direct answer, but not a lie.

    • Another vote for not saying anything apart from ‘a good opportunity came up elsewhere’. This goes for partners, colleagues, clients and professional contacts. Anything else from a departing staff tends to prompt judgements about the person saying it, rather than the firm.

    • I don’t think you can really be honest about this without looking like you’re badmouthing the firm.

      When I left a job a few years ago, I said, “I just took a hard look at my future, and thought XYZ NewFirm suited it better.”

  24. Just wanted to share – I told you all about the ‘managing’ coworker situation. Well my manager had a meeting with said coworker and essentially called him out on his behavior and told me that it shouldn’t be an issue going forward..

    and I just received a note from one of the c-suites letting me know I am doing an outstanding job on my projects!

    Finally – some good news!

  25. Oh.so.tired :

    So, I’ve been having really negative thoughts lately about starting my BigLaw job in October. Just a few months ago I was super-psyched and ready to go out there and make my name. Now, I can’t stop myself from thinking about strategies to not overwhelm myself, just skate by enough to pay off my student loans. I don’t know where this change has come from- I am definitely an “pver-achieving chick” and frankly these thoughts really worry me. To give you an example, for the past seceral weeks my mind has bern going to “work comfortably the first year, no meed to worry about making your hours, then immediately get pregnant and they wont risk firing you until after maternity leave, then come back and focus on baby until you get pushed out.” WTF, WHY AM I THINKING LIKE THIS?!! I know BigLaw is tough with high turnover, but yeesh, I wanted to atleast give it my bedt shot!!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Are you perhaps afraid of failing and lack of control so you would rather plan your own failure rather than “not working out?” Or maybe you realize the realities of big law and know it won’t be your cup of tea so you’d rather enjoy your life while working there rather than struggle to make it and get canned anyway? If so, kind of brilliant.

    • Oh.so.tired :

      Wow, so many typos. Typing on my phone + walking = fail.

    • Kudos for admitting the worries. I agree with Blonde Lawyer that it sounds like “you can’t fail if you’re not trying” may have invaded your psyche. To be honest, I don’t think your first year in BigLaw is that “tough” looking back, if that’s part of the issue – the hours and facetime can be a lot, but it’s a time when your responsibilities are very well defined and you have more leeway to ask the “stupid” questions – I was more physically tired than mentally tired (now it’s both!). That said, if a little kick in the pants is what you want-

      – I doubt firms are as eager to give people a few years “coasting” as they may have been in the past. If you’re not making deadlines because you work shorter days, or turn down work and then don’t make hours, I wouldn’t trust your timeframe to last. And I’ll be honest, the idea of using pregnancy as a shield bugs me. Doesn’t mean it wouldn’t work, but it bugs me, and probably won’t earn you any goodwill.
      – People will figure out that there are others that are more invested than you are, and they will then get the better work/experience over time. Aside from innate overachieving competitiveness that this might bother, what’s your plan upon departure? In-house positions will be looking for experience, not just biding your time over doc review.

      Now for sympathy: I’m assuming you’re a 3L. Being ready to just LIVE sounded heavenly to everyone at that point. And you’ll have a very nice two months after the Bar to do just that… whatever, watch the Olympics all day and pretend to be a trophy wife. By time I started work, I was stir crazy and eager for structure and goals again! Think about how hard you worked to get to where you are – even if you decide after a month that you’re on your way out, if you can sustain that for a few more years (and people do start leaving as third-years), then you’ll have many, many more options than if you go in with a coasting mindset.

    • Don’t worry so much about failure. It may happen, it may not. Either way, it makes us who we are. Worry more about doing what you love and doing it well. Failure just makes you better in the end.

    • This may sound like shallow advice, but stop reading Above the Law and all other “law related” blogs like it for awhile (you might even skip threads on here about first-year problems). Just stop worrying — every firm is different and there’s nothing you can do. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but every firm is really different, the problems you may have as a first year at your firm may be completely different than you think. But seriously, when I stopped reading ATL as a first year, I became much happier.

      • new york associate :

        I agree — I went cold turkey on lawblogs, because they were making me crazy. My life is much better as a result.

    • If you’re a 3L, perhaps you have a combination of burn-out and new job anxiety.

      Perhaps you can take a trip (even just to a local lake or some place close) after graduation before or after the bar exam to destress? Or find something that you like to do that you don’t have time for in school to focus on. Like a boot-camp or training for a race or a charity bike race, perhaps. Something to distract yourself and change your focus from school and work to real life.

      Have you had these types of thoughts before, such as before starting law school or college? Then you might want to talk to a counselor or get a work-book to deal with anxiety.

      • I’ll be the devil’s advocate here. Never did big law, never appealed to me nor me to them. It sounds like a terrible lifestyle despite the money (yes some people like it well enough). I’ve seen plenty of people go into a black hole and sad spiral in BL. Consider whether you may want to do something different with your life. That is perfectly ok to do and change course. Frankly you will just be another hired service cog and none of it is all that crucial to the world going round. I remember one buddy getting so caught up in his image of it all he once said “I mean- I am doing IVANKA TRUMP’s contract-” as if it was a life or death situation. Great, you did paperwork for a spoiled rich person who doesn’t know your name or care? To me, that was not impressive, it was sad that he saw that as the pinnacle of achievement. Ladies I’m not implying that there aren’t meaningful big law assignments, skills and poise to be obtained, etc. But it is quite fine to assess your situation and consider alternative lives. Most of the rest of us lead them, and many of us are just as satisfied if not more than the average BL lawyer. It is always harder to get out of something once you get invested in it.

    • Are you oh so tired? That’ll kill anyone’s motivation. Work hard on getting enough sleep, see if things improve. Sleep deprivation is serious business, even in the young..

  26. Mother’s day question:

    At what point does it make sense to send a gift to your significant other’s mother? My bf and I have been dating for about 2 years, and his parents have been very nice and very generous with me (though I wouldn’t describe our personal relationship as close). I should have sent a card, probably, but it’s too late for that now since I’m abroad in the middle of nowhere. I’d like to give her something (flowers, maybe?) if it’s not inappropriate. What do you all think?

    • Anonymous :

      When you are engaged/married/living together. Otherwise, skip it.

    • Totes McGotes :

      I think the question is less, “When does it make sense to do this?” and more, “How long can you date him before it gets weird that you haven’t?”

      People like gifts, so gift away.

    • I think it’s appropriate to send a joint gift with your SO. Does your SO usually get his mother something?

      Just an idea if you want to do something on your own– you can make a donation to the Woman’s Lunch Place in Boston (google it) and they will send a Mothers Day card (today is the deadline for guaranteed delivery by Mothers Day). It is the first year I am doing it, hopefully it will be well-received!

    • I’ve never sent a Mother’s Day gift to my DH’s mother. We both just take care of our own mothers and leave it at that. I think when we have kids I might send something “from” the grandchild, but I don’t really think it’s necessary at this point. She’s his mom and I have my own mom, you know?

    • PharmaGirl :

      I don’t send anything to my MIL… she’s not my mother.

      • That’s how I would feel. I don’t expect a SO to ever send my mother or father gifts except for December holidays (Christmas/Hanukkah)

    • did not acknowledge until I was married. However, aside from reminding hubby that Mother’s Day is coming up, I let him decide what to send and will sign whatever it is. I feel no obligation to go above and beyond her own son (particularly because she’s always reminding me how she is HIS MOTHER, but that’s a post for another day).

      • Our MILs must be the same person. For the three years we dated/lived together/were engaged before our wedding, the MIL refused to refer to me by name. Instead I was DH’s “living situation.”

        That said, I also sign the card for whatever my husband decides to get his mother. We also give joint gifts to my parents at gift-giving occasions.

    • Thanks for bringing this up thebf and I will do joint gifts.

    • When you’re engaged. If she gets a mother’s day gift from her son’s gf, she’s going to think that you guys have exciting news for her.

    • Oh.so.tired :

      Not until your engaged or married. That’s when she becomes your MOTHER-in-law. Otherwise it doesnt make sense to send her a gift on mothers day.

    • Jenna Rink :

      Either your boyfriend’s mother is a dream come true or you’re trying too hard to make her like you. This might sound harsh, but keep in mind that the gifting/holiday expectations you set now will carry on into your future relationship. When my husband and I were dating I put a lot of effort into making his family like me. Now I wish my past self would have coasted a bit more when I carry on some of those traditions with people I honestly don’t like that much!

    • I guess I’m the only one that does this… but I like to acknowledge all the mothers in my life, not just my own mother. I give cards/calls/greetings to friends who are mothers, my sister-in-law (mother of my nephew), my stepmom, my grandmothers (when they were still living), close aunts who are mothers. And a card/greeting/call to my boyfriend’s mother.

      I guess I kind of view it as not just for your own mother.

  27. There is a child screaming and running down the hall of my firm. Just needed to complain to someone…

  28. Rant:
    I have been verbally assaulted by a person at my current company. He formulated threats against my person and screamed at the top of his lungs for ten minutes in an open space.
    The ugly part is I know HR will not take any action, and no disciplinary action will be done against this person.
    It is heartbreaking that I have to leave my job like this.
    I had ups and downs, but I was hoping I would leave on a more positive note than being harassed by an untouchable coworker.
    These are the moments where I so wish I lived in the US because at least I could have sued my employer if they didn’t take action to protect me.

    • I’m so sorry. I would still report the incident to HR (even if you know they will not take action) because there will be some written documentation of the event on file.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Report it to the police? If there is any chance the threat is serious, consider a protection order if those are available in your country.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Can you carry a tape recorder and secretly record his verbal assaults? I’m actually not sure what good that would do you, but if it’s not illegal to yell at your coworkers in Morocco, it’s probably not illegal to secretly record them either?

    • I’m so sorry. :( That sucks. Has he behaved similarly toward others? Maybe if several of you banded together HR would be forced to take action.

      Also, if you’re at all concerned about your physical safety, please make sure you don’t walk out alone at night where he might harass you in the parking lot, or stay late by yourself, etc. I’m sorry this is happening to you.

      • Well, I know for a fact he used the exact wording with a colleague a year ago. She told me but I just never imagined t would happen to me too..
        I don’t need to record since he was screaming in an open space, so there are at least 8 people who witnessed this,n though they are mostly interns and staff (who in our current setup might be afraid of retaliation if they speak up).
        I do not think he will attack me physically but I cannot go to work and have him bark at me or even have an evil smile as in: ” I treated you like sh*t because I can and no one will do anything about it.”
        I work for a multinational company with headquarters in the US so I called HQ because I hope even if Moroccans are less concerned about my wellbeing, the big mother company will hopefully make a small investigation.

        • I think you did the right thing. Sorry to hear this, Houda.

          • ps – I also work for a multinational with a US HQ. I work in HQ, and there would definitely be an investigation if we got a report like this from staff in a country office. Our code of conduct applies in all our offices, and this behavior violates it.

        • I would first talk to local HR, try to get some sort of written answer from them, and if it’s not satisfactory, then escalate it to HQ. They will be concerned. I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know whether you could sue in the US, but it’d be very bad for them to have it be known that they allow their international employees to be abused.. Don’t threaten directly, but do say that you know his behavior is illegal in the US.

          And I’d still go talk to the police and file a report if the threats were strong enough (not just being called an idiot I mean). Never count on a company/school entirely, they’ll always prefer to talk their way out of trouble, but if there’s criminal behavior you must go beyond them to the real police. This doesn’t mean that anyone will come and haul the jerk away, but at least you will have an official record which cannot be swept under the carpet.

  29. Another gift TJ

    Ideas for a graduation gift for a high school senior? She’s rather fashion forward (for her age) so I’m thinking something branded. About $200 (yes, very rich, but this is going to be a joint gift from several family members).

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I got a really cute Dooney & Burke bag for around that price for high school graduation. It was very cute, not particularly ‘grown-up’, and a nice introduction into non Target/JCP handbags.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        The bag I got was something like this:


        but I would have loved something like this as well:


    • TJ TJ: Looking for the same thing, same amount, but for a boy.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Beats by Dre headphones? He’ll want headphones for college anyway, and those are branded and cool for teenage guys.

      • External hard drive for his computer.

        Personalized towels or laundry bag.

        Luggage (especially luggage that collapses so it doesn’t take much room in the dorm). To go with luggage you can add luggage tags, shave kit, packing cubes, or luggage scale.

        A “nice” set of dorm (i.e., plastic) dishes and silverware

        I’ll second the nice set of head phones.

        Gift certificates to Target and Bed Bath & Beyond. (Container Store, too, if there’s one where student lives or is going to college).

        Cool/fun desk supplies.

        Gift certificates for restaurants or movie theaters near the college.

        My daughter wants a camera, but many people feel like the camera in their phone is sufficient, so that might not be a great gift unless you know for sure.

    • A classic piece of jewelry that she will still have and wear throughout college and after college. Think pearl stud earrings.

    • My godmother got me a strand of pearls for high school graduation that I treasure still.

      Another idea is, since she’s presumably off to college, some kind of bag for carrying books around campus. I’m honestly not sure what the stylin’ youngins carry their things in, but maybe a cool designer messenger bag? God I’m so old.

      • I like the idea of classic jewelry, whether a pearl strand or studs. If you want to do a bag, girls at my alma mater default to brightly-colored Longchamps–not exactly the most comfortable on the shoulder, but they’re classic, chic, and fit a crapton of stuff. I think I got a laptop, two notebooks, three textbooks, and the wallet-keys-phone flotsam into mine once.

        Also, not exactly seasonal, but maybe a nice coat, if she’ll be someplace with a winter? She’ll probably be doing a lot of walking outside, and will of course want to maintain her fashion-forwardness.

        If you’re willing to be more practical, less fashion-y, I think a lot of InfoGeek’s suggestions could work well. External hard drive, cute luggage, desk supplies, sheets, stuff like that.

    • collegiette :

      The best HS grad gift was from my mom’s friends who went in on a really beautiful luggage set. Other good ones were a Starbucks gift card, fancy bathrobe, and laptop bag. Note: if you get linens, pillows, or towels, white or subtle trumps bright.

    • I’ve been giving this some thought this weekend, given what I see on campus. Most girls use backpacks, not purses. Pretty much plain old backpacks. But they do often have a pretty wristlet or something that size that they carry inside the packpack to organize smaller things. Maybe something like this: http://www.katespade.com/signature-spade-leather-lacey/PWRU2811-1,default,pd.html?dwvar_PWRU2811-1_color=424&start=3&cgid=wallets

  30. K in... Transition :

    gift for a 23 y/o female graduating with a law degree in trademark law? Am paying to fly across the country/hotel/food/etc. to attend the ceremony so it’ll have to be a low priced item, but I thought I’d ask if there was something especially meaningful/awesome any of you received.

    • Totes McGotes :

      Maybe order a custom stamp with a logo you designed just for her? Such a thing should run around $20-30.

    • I’m buying gifts for several graduates so I’m keeping the budget fairly low. I have bought two of these and it looks like they’ve added more colors since I bought them: http://www.lodis.com/leather/shop-womens/shop-by-collection/audrey-wallets/audrey-mini-card-case/2750

    • Oh.so.tired :

      How about a business card holder? You can get a reasonably-priced one from Things Remembered and have it engraved. You can also look for one on ebay or amazon for a good price.

      • Jenna Rink :

        The business card holder idea is great! I never got one, and my cards have been kicking around my purse for too long. Had to give them out the other day and was so embarrassed at how dingy they had gotten!

      • I got a silver engraved business card holder as a graduation gift. I love it and still use it.

      • Also check out e t s y for some unique ones. I just got one from Decorative Designs for under 20 bucks. It’s a cool retro / arts and crafts design.

  31. Chocolette :

    Question for the hive: I know that a lot of you ladies are attorneys or in law school – what would your advice be for someone currently considering law school?

    Background: I’ve already worked as a paralegal for several years in both biglaw and public interest, so I know the work of a lawyer firsthand and still want to do it. I’m seriously hesitant though due to the cost of law school and the lack of jobs for law grads. My current thinking is I’ll have more career flexibility and life options (where to live, when to have kids, etc) if I stick with being a paralegal. Curious as to what you all have to say?

    • dontdontdontdontdontdontdont do it.

      • Maine Associate :


      • fourthed.

        • fifthed. don’t do it. surely you can read up elsewhere on why, it is too tiresome for me to go into, but simply: the threshold question is whether you could even get a law job, and then if you did, the odds are you wouldn’t like it. I am a non-practicing lawyer.

          • Sixthed! Don’t do it! RUN !!! I’m graduating without debt and no job, but I’m still a little ball of stress. The lack of debt is due to my parents, not a scholarship so the guilt is a major part of it. I always think that if I could redo the last 3 years I would be a paralegal instead. No debt, less pressure/responsibility, etc. There are too many unemployed lawyers right now and the amount of work is just not worth it at all!

          • Migraine Sufferer :

            7thed. No no no no.

    • your hesitations and instincts are right on.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      no no no no no no no no no no no no no.

    • I did not have a paralegal job prior to law school, but had a job that was similar prestige-wise. I went to law school because I wanted to make more money and wanted more prestige (ugh, I know. I think I just wanted to do something with my degree). Well, I made more money, but it’s 10 years later and I’m also more in debt and delayed marriage, kids, etc. I really just want to live outside of an expensive and competitive urban area, and a) I haven’t done that in the past ten years and b) don’t know if I’ll ever be able to do that due to job challenges. I mourn for my children, who will not be able to experience the idyllic childhood that I did, free of money obsessed people. I mourn that I will not be able to spend lazy summer days at the pool or the amusement park with them, because I spend my life in an office building. I would not tie yourself to a future of debt and uncertainty. Life is short – be thankful for a job where you can go home at the end of the day with (fewer) worries.

      • Backgrounder :

        This. I went to grad school seeking the whole “prestige” thing. Now have loads of debt. Don’t do it!!

    • MissJackson :

      Agree with everyone above. My first response is: no, no, no, no. Except: if you really want to be a lawyer and you’re sure about that, you should do it. It sounds like you’re not actually sure, so that’s step number one. Do not, under any circumstances, go to law school if you are not positive that you want to be a lawyer.

      Have you taken the LSAT? Assuming you resolve that you really want to be a lawyer, take a practice test, and realistically assess whether you are likely to get (or with some practice are likely to get) a scholarship. Is there a well-respected regional school where you might get a scholarship? What about a state school where tuition starts out marginally lower? If you can go to law school without incurring six figures of student loan debt, then you will be playing in a different ballgame when you finish school. At that point, you can do whatever you want (including being a paralegal should your flexibility and life options some day make that appealing — although if you think this is where you’d likely end up, I’m still not sure law school is worthwhile — see Step 1).

      I would not advise anyone to go to law school and incur $200,000 of student loan debt. Maybe if you could go to H/Y/S, but even then just maybe.

      • Great advice!

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I know several Harvard/Harvards who are unemployed too…..

      • Agree. Do not let US News & WR convince you that a 20th ranked school is worth 100k more than a 40th ranked school. It really is not. Also, pay more attention to where you want to practice than to just rankings. Outside of H/Y/S, the only relevant rankings are those of schools in the geographic area you want to practice.

    • stay away unless you can get into an amazing school. too many of my friends now have tons of debt and no job.

    • What is it that you want to do now that you can’t do as a paralegal? Would being a lawyer make that possible for you?

      Conversely, what would options would being a lawyer cut off?

      Those are the questions I’d ask. I’m glad I went to law school, but I’m a bit of a workaholic and a deal junkie, and I don’t have kids. I do know that my life choices are severely limited by my student debt, and that if I have kids, this will be much harder.

      Also: do NOT incur six-figure debt unless you’re at a top 10 school. I know others may disagree with my cut-off, but that’s where I generally draw the line (with the caveat that the best school in your market might be worth it if starting salaries in that market exceed $100,000 AND if there are a lot of jobs in that market).

      • Anon for this :

        What if you make 100K as a paralegal? I am considering law school and this is my situation. (Not the OP.) And a well-informed paralegal, who has worked in London, NY and CA…so I do know what I am getting into and feel strongly that I could indeed be an amazing associate, pay off loans and jump ship to in-house in CA in no-time, given my background.

        Would that change your “nononono” responses?

        • Why in the world would you go to law school if you are making 100k as a paralegal!!!

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Nope. Being a good paralegal is not the same as being a good lawyer, and I promise you, most lawyers will give you little, to no, credit for being a paralegal, once you are a lawyer.

          • This. I was a very, very good (junior) paralegal and it did not help me one bit with getting a legal job. I was also assured by my supervisors when I was a paralegal that I had the right stuff to be a successful associate there or anywhere else. Going to law school just didn’t work out as planned for me, and I have a lot of regrets about it. I was not making nearly your salary when I left. I really hate to discourage someone, and I don’t know that I could have been dissuaded from going to law school if I’d asked around five years ago, but don’t go if you’re counting on law school leading you to a certain career path, because there’s really no guarantee of that.

        • There are not enough associate jobs to go around. Graduates in the top half of their class at Columbia and NYU are taking stipend-based public interest internships as their first job out of law school. People in the bottom half are getting no jobs at all. My office just interviewed people for a summer clerkship. Two of the three top candidates were foreign lawyers with LLMs from T5 US schools; the other was a JD graduate from a T5 school. Only two of them got an offer. This is for an unpaid summer internship.

          So I’m sure you would be a kickass associate, but unless your mom or dad is a name partner at a firm you’d like to work at, there’s absolutely no guarantee that you’ll get a job at all. Unless your current firm will keep you on part-time through law school and guarantee you an associate position, my answer remains nononono.

          • I go to one to the schools you just mentioned, and it’s not at all my impression that there are many people at all who are struggling to get firm jobs if they want them. I agree that law school is a bad idea if you don’t want to be a lawyer, but firms are hiring first year associates.

          • @anon – maybe things have gotten better for 2012 grads, I don’t know, but I also know that people aren’t always entirely honest about their employment situation because of a sense of embarrassment. The grads we’re hiring are 2011 grads who still have not found a “real” job.

        • It is an even BIGGER no now! You could end up making half that after law school. Sheesh!

        • As a paralegal: You can keep your 100K. As a lawyer: your 100K either goes to loan payments or to tuition. There aren’t a lot of lawyers making 100K these days.

          Do not go. It’s a bad time.

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        Even if you’re at a top 10 school, do not incur six figures of debt.

        Ask me how I know.

        • new york associate :

          I’ll see that and raise it: even if you have the opportunity to go to the number 1 law school in the country, do not incur six figures of debt. Voice of Experience speaking.

    • Get the very best paralegal job you can at a big firm that has some high-level staff and that offers tuition reimbursement. Look for schools with part-time programs — which are not likely to be top tier schools. Work your way up the ladder at your firm while taking the minimim number of classes (because many reimbursement benefits are capped for each year). It’s a long road. If, after two years, you decide you don’t want to continue with school, I think that’s OK. You just have to make sure you have not taken on enormous debt.

      Remember that there are lots of jobs in big firms that don’t require a JD. Unless you have your heart set on taking deps and appearing in court, you have good options without going to law school.

    • karenpadi :

      No. Just no.

      Horror story: I have a friend who was a patent paralegal and patent docket specialist. She was making good money (high 5-figures) and had a good, stable job. She went to law school for the same reasons you are contemplating it.

      Fast forward through internships/clerkships/graduation/passing the bar/job search. She’s volunteering for a legal aid-type place and networking like crazy to try to find a “lawyer” job where she can reasonably expect to make half of what she was making before law school.

      So she’s six-figures in debt and has half the income potential.

      • I have a classmate for whom this is the case, as well. We’ve been out a year now, and I believe she’s still looking.

        To the OP: Absolutely do not go. The money will not be better for quite some time, especially when you consider the debt you go into to get a law degree.

        I’m an employed new lawyer who makes a very fair salary at a very nice firm and who (despite being overwhelmed) really likes her job. And if I could go back and do it over again I’d not have gone to law school and have done the paralegal thing instead. Don’t give up a good thing on the law school risk. It’s not worth it.

    • I went to a very strong regional law school on a full ride scholarship, I’d still be better off financially if I’d just pursued a paralegal job when I graduated from undergrad.

      I’ll add one question: Are you amazing at networking? If you’re not, you’re probably going to have trouble getting a legal job even if you graduate in the Top 1% of your class from a good law school.

      • lucy stone :

        Same boat here. I have a undergrad degree in econ from a good school and kick myself for thinking I could have been making six figures in i-banking for the three years I spent going into more debt. I like my job, but it was not a good financial life choice.

    • Tucker max is a d-bag, but makes some excellent points re: law school.


    • Firm to In-House? :

      I’ve only had time today to scroll and post my question (below) — just now getting back to it — but consider this: Open Thread started at about 2:00 today. By 6:15, at least three of us had posted about being miserable in our jobs (I may be missing some because of the skimming). Not just unhappy. Miserable. I realize that a lot of nonlawyers are miserable in their jobs, and, conversely, a lot of lawyers are truly happy and in love with what they do. But when you have a six-figure debt — essentially a mortgage, on top of your rent or real mortgage or any other debts and expenses you may have — and the market sucks, it is a lot harder to get out of a job that’s flattening you. And I say that as someone who has no kids, no mortgage, cheap rent, and car that’s paid for. There is a lot about the intellectual practice of law that I love, but, if I had it to do over again, I wouldn’t.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        I actually like practicing law. And I’d do it again when I did it, just wouldn’t do it now…….

        • Me, too. But, I don’t make 100 K and I have been practicing for 15 years, and I am still in debt.

      • I love my job. And if I hadn’t graduated prior to 2008 or so, I wouldn’t have it.

    • I know three other ladies who graduated at the same time I did from law school who work in my city. We all were in at least the top 25% of our class and we all received jobs that many people applies for, one girl has a job that received hundreds of applicants. My firm did not hire me back but I found a job in my so’s city. It took three interviews to
      get that job and I only got it after he has proposed to me. It is a good job and I will earn almost 50% more than I currently do. One lady was hired back but will not receive a salary and instead receive a billing percentage. I doubt she will earn more than 45k next year, if that. The other two ladies will not be hired back and have no job prospects. I think this is fairly representative as to how law school works out… 1/4 are happy.

    • Anonymous NYer :

      Absolutely do not go. At least once a day I regret going to law school and becoming a lawyer.

    • anon #98432793 :

      To give you a bit of a different perspective: I worked in a law-related (but not paralegal) position for years before law school that convinced me to go. It was in public interest, so my earning potential there was limited, and only slightly less limited if I went to LS and did what I wanted to afterwards. So I went to great regional school with a full tuition scholarship and lived on husband’s income, incurring no debt. I’m graduating in a few weeks and have my dream job lined up, and no debt. I’m absolutely happy I went. That said, dream job pays 30% more than my non-law job did, with not that much more earning potential. Of my graduating friends, 70% do not have jobs lined up, and another 20% have one-year state clerkships with nothing afterwards. Almost everyone else has a lot of debt. The atmosphere around school right now is OHSH*T.

      If you do decide to go, begin networking now with all the people you have ever worked with who like you. Find people to be on “your team” who will provide references for internships (you’ll need them for the first few at least), give you the lay of the land, recommend you for jobs, etc. Also, if you go to law school on scholarship, DO NOT TELL ANYONE you go to school with. AT ALL. No one. Just nod along when they complain about loans.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Only if you have a burning desire to be a lawyer, and some way to finance it without debt….

    • Chocolette :

      Thanks so much to everyone who shared their thoughts. I’ve wanted to be a lawyer for a few years – I wanted to do the things you can’t do as a paralegal like represent clients in court and give legal advice. But something changed the last few weeks and I really don’t want to take on the risk and uncertainty. I’ve already taken the LSAT and could get into a T14 school; it no longer seems worth it to me. I want a job that I enjoy that allows me to have a balance with my family and other things that I enjoy. I think I’m really lucky to already have that option now at my age.

      Thanks again ladies. It means a lot to hear your honest advice!

      • I am in a very similar situation as the OP but I have wanted to go to law school for a long, long time and have spent a lot of time learning what lawyers actually do and I find the work to be interesting and challenging. But it makes me so, so frustrated that despite how much I want to become a lawyer, I feel like I can’t. There is no way I won’t incur debt and the job market is so terrible; I can’t comfortably accept the risk I would be taking. It is just so disappointing. I don’t have parents that can help cover the cost of school or support me in anyway and I don’t have any family networks to help me find a good job afterwards. I feel like unfortunately law school just isn’t for me. No matter how bad I want it to be.

        My current job is not intellectually challenging and I don’t feel like I am doing the “best” I can do. I don’t see what other options there are for me that fit my skills and interests. I also feel like I am looked at as “less ambitious” because I haven’t gone to earn a professional degree or master’s yet. When in reality I could have but have considered the cost and job prospects and decided I simply can’t afford it.

        Thanks for letting me vent..I didn’t realize this would turn into a “woe is me” post but I just feel so frustrated and helpless.

        • Anon @ 2:50p.m., it’s never to late to go to school. Can you go to night school? Can you get hired a bank or Boeing or some other company with tuition reimbursement?

          I can’t remember who (Cardoza?) but night school is a long-standing tradition for those who don’t have the funds to go to law/professional school full-time, and some of these people become very successful. When you keep your job and go part-time, the opportunity cost is lower and you won’t have to incur (as much) debt. I don’t know where you live but it depends on where you live or where you could move to to perhaps be eligible for in-state tuition and/or attend night school while working. It’s a hard road but doable. Google “part-time law school” and look at the US News listing of almost 100 programs.

          Or find an employer that pays for tuition. This is limited to bigger companies usually and many banks.

          There are also some very well respected schools that have online grad programs – UNC Chapel Hill has an MBA as does Duke. I’m not sure what your interests are if not law but I’m thinking something like a masters in public policy or economics might be an alternative to law school.

          Sometimes the hardest things are the most valuable. Just keep your options open and be creative. Good luck.

  32. love this idea!

  33. I wanted to find out what other Corporettes thought of Cate Edwards, John Edwards’ daughter, sitting through his trial. I don’t blame her for wanting to support her father, but to me John would have been a better man if he did not let her be there to be associated with him and hear the testimony. This was evident after the incident earlier this week when Cate ran crying out of the courtroom due to testimony about her mother. What do you all think?

    • Anne Shirley :

      I think it’s not nice to judge other people’s family relationships, and it is best to be charitable to those who may reasonably be suffering through a hard time.

      • She is there as a public show of support in the courtroom and at his press conferences, so I think it is a fair topic of discussion.

        I think it is bad for him to have her there for her sake. I don’t think she gains anything in terms of reputation by being publicly associated with him. I think it’s best when parents keep their children out of their legal drama. That scene as it was reported was horrific.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Well there is that adage about being able to pick your friends, not your family….

      • Agree with Anne Shirley. We’re talking about an adult woman here, not a teenager. She’s old enough to decide on her own whether she wants to be there or not, and handle any related fallout.

        Also, Pest, how is John Edwards supposed to not let her be “associated” with him? She’s his daughter. Whether or not she’s physically present, that’s about as much of an association as you can get.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Cate is an adult woman who can make her own decisions as to whether to be there or not. John cannot “let” or “make” her be there, nor can he forbid her from being there. At the end of the day, whatever John Edwards wants and whatever pressure he’s exerting over her, it is her choice.

      I can’t imagine being Cate and being there during that trial. That being said, if my dad was on trial, facing jail time, no matter how awful the crime he was accused of or how sure I was he was guilty, or how much it hurt me, I would be there. Even if he was a horrible person, he’s still my dad.

    • I find the coverage of her outfits to be strange. It’s like PEOPLE just because she went to Harvard Law it doesn’t mean she dresses in INTENSE LAWYER STYLE all the time. Also worth noting that she is 30 anf perfectly capable of making her own decisions.

  34. Firm to In-House? :

    Anonymous-for-this threadjack for the hive: does anyone have experience moving from a firm to an in-house position at a client’s company? After nine years of practicing law, including four in my current firm, I am finally admitting that I really, really hate the firm lifestyle, and want to explore my options for going in-house. Additionally, for personal reasons my job has suddenly gotten incredibly ugly (as in, spend about an hour every morning crying and trying to work up the willpower to make it another day ugly), and at this point I absolutely have to leave, and as quickly as possible. And like magic, a company which has been my client posted an ad yesterday for a position that might reasonably match my experience.

    The problem: the client is a long-term client of the partner with whom I work most closely, and he and the GC there have been working together for 10-15 years. If I call the GC to ask about the position, I’m afraid it will get back to the partner. I have a good relationship with the partner and don’t want to hurt or offend him (or burn the bridge with him) by having him hear from someone else that I want to leave. But I also don’t want to bring it up with him and create all that awkwardness, then find myself stuck here for six more months in even more misery while I try to find something. I know a lot of lawyers go in-house with clients — how does that usually work?

    • I am really interested in hearing the answers to this. Besides the partner finding out, I’ve also worried that it would be awkward working with the client if it the job prospect didn’t work out.

    • Former BigFirm Now In-House :

      Let me share how you should NOT do it. This is what I did, and it was the worst mistake I have made in my 25 year career — and possibly the worst mistake I have made in my life. I, too, work in a very small legal community. Everyone knows everyone: firms, in-house, socially. So when it became clear to me that I had to leave my firm (the crying you mention brings back memories), I conducted virtually no due diligence about any options. I took the very first job that was offered to me, which was wrong wrong wrong for me. Less than a year later, I had to conduct a real search. It was much harder to do for various reasons (my old firm no longer had an interest in helping me both because I wasn’t there any more and because there were hurt feelings when I left, my new job had a terrible reputation that did not help my job search, I had to explain two moves in 18 months). But I forced myself to do what I should have done the first time: take me time, call everyone I knew and ask for help, make a considered and informed decision. I have been in this job seven years now, and I am really happy here.

      I wish that once I knew I wanted to leave my firm I had had the presence to pick the right partner (once you tell the first one, they tell everyone else), scheduled a talk, calmly explained that I was very grateful for all the firm had done for me but that I had decided to start looking (not decided to leave), that I wanted to be a “friend of the firm” (that’s code for “we help each other”) and that I was there to ask the partnership for any help it could give me. In your case I would add: “for example, I think I would be very happy working for X and that X would benefit from my being there and that the firm would benefit from my being at X.”

      It is very difficult to have that presence of mind when you are as unhappy as I remember being and as you sound. If you can do it, though, I think it will benefit you.

      • Anonymous :

        This. Firms are generally ok with associates leaving to work at a client’s — it is a tie to keep the business with the firm. Leaving to go to a non-client or a competitor, not so much.

      • Firm to In-House? :

        Thank you especially for this, Former Biglaw. The personal conflict is bad enough that I have seriously, seriously considered just resigning on the spot to go do document review on a contract basis (I suppose I should be grateful for my massive student loan debt, which is pretty much te only reason I haven’t). So taking the very first job I can get is precisely my instinct. I appreciate you making me think that through a little more.

        On the plus side, I stopped by Banana Republic tonight with the intention of making sure of my sizes so I could order a new interview suit, and wound up getting a beautiful gray suit with blue pinstripes at something like a 50% discount. Too light in color, and maybe a little too unusual, to be a first interview suit, but perhaps it might work for a callback in some environments. I view this as the universe realizing that I needed a pick-me-up.

      • I think I MIGHT want to try in-house, especialy since I had to work ALL weekend on 2 EBT’s and I was the ONLY person at work all day! FOOEY!

        I did NOT call the Captain back b/c I do NOT want to be an Army Wife. My sister was visiting with Dawn, my beautieful 3 year old neice, so I met them and we all went up to the Top of the Empire State Building. Dawns’ hair got all wind mussed, so I bought her a set of three scrunchies on Broadway! She now is in scrunchie heven and says what a great ant I am. We also went to Crumbs for a chocalate mufin. Yay!

    • karenpadi :

      We just had two attorneys leave to go in-house. In both cases, they were seconded to the client for a few months before they decided to leave. In one of the cases, the partner knew that the client was trying to steal him away months before it was official. The partner used that time to start shifting work from him and developing back-ups for certain clients.

      For a law firm, having people leave to go in-house at a client is the best way to lose people. It strengthens the client relationship and ensures that the person added to the in-house team isn’t (or shouldn’t be) tempted to pull work from the firm.

    • I think firms are generally supportive of associates leaving to go in-house at a major client’s. It keeps up ties with the firm. One option ask the GC or an associate GC to lunch/coffee and discuss with them to see if there are any options for you to go to work there. Alternately, since you’re close to the partner, you can tell him you’re thinking of going in house and wondered if he has any suggestions or would be willing to serve as a reference. Partners know that associates aren’t going to stick around forever; unless he’s grooming you to be a partner yourself, he won’t take it personally.

      • Firm to In-House? :

        And one other question, Bluejay — any opinion as to whether it’s better to approach the GC first, versus a partner? I suppose that, if I approached the GC first, I’d at least have some idea of whether there’s actually a real chance at a switch before I disrupt the working relationship. On the other hand, I am learning that I live in a really small world.

        • I think it depends on your relationship with the GC and the partner and their relationship with each other. If you are on better terms with the GC, and you don’t think he will tell the partner, I’d approach him first for the reason you state. However, the partner should not find out that you’re considering going in house from anyone but you.

    • Firm to In-House? :

      This is all both very helpful and very reassuring — thanks! Followup questions, though: there are two partners I can think of to approach. The one whose client I’m considering applying to is an awesome, amazing attorney, but I also think he’s a little more likely to take this personally. Not in a nasty way, just in that I think he thinks of me as sort of the daughter who wants to be a trial lawyer. The other is the guy who actually brought me into the firm, who has commented — again, not at all in a mean way, but in a very matter-of-fact way, that I might not be cut out for this kind of work. My urge is to ask the second one (the one who brought me in) to have lunch, and then ask for his advice in dealing with the personalities.

      Second question, prompted by Bluejay’s comments: the business model of my firm (it’s a small-to-midsize) is that everyone becomes a partner, if you’re here for the requisite number of years. I’m actually not too far from reaching that number. I don’t know that I’ve been especially groomed, but we’re a small shop. Does that change anything?

    • If you think you want the job, apply for it, then immediately have a chat with a sympathetic partner and the responsible partner. If you don’t apply for it, you don’t know what machinations the firms is up to behind the scenes. To your face, they may be nice but they may be manipulating things to get someone else into that job. Don’t have a lot of time to elaborate but firm politics are unbelievable. The firm will always do what is best for the firm, not for you. You are not subservient to the firm. Yes you need their help but you don’t need their permission.

  35. manomanon :

    for anyone celebrating cinco de mayo tomorrow these would make a fabulous addition to the festivities!


    • While they are totally adorable, my first thought was “Wow, that’s a lot of work for something that would be mindlessly eaten in less than a minute!:

      • manomanon :

        hahahaha my thought too- it’s why I’m not making them even though my friends asked very very nicely- I will be finishing up finals and packing instead
        But I thought if someone else had the time and or inclination I should share
        at a minimum they are cute!

    • Wow. I am the worst cook in the world but I want to make those!

  36. Recommendations for your favorite denim brands and styles?

    I just accepted a job offer with a new company that has no dress code (aka everyone wears jeans 80% of the time). I’m looking for some classic styles that don’t stretch out, hold their shape well, and can be worn a few times before washing (without looking like it). I’d like to keep it under $200 a pair, if possible.

    PS – even though I know I should be ecstatic about everyday being casual Friday, a little part of me is going to really miss my pencil skirts and sheath dresses.

    • Love wranglers. Their jeggings though are low quality so avoid.

    • You can still wear them, you just need to dress them down a little

      • Agree with this. Maybe get a couple denim or corduroy blazers with some fun, funky flats. Presto chango, casual wear for the office!

        • Oh, and they’re not trendy by any sense of the word, but I love my Ann Taylor Curvy fit jeans.

          But if you’re at a “less than $200” a pair budget (which is pretty hefty really), maybe you should check out your local designer Denim store and get matched with your best Designer jean? They can usually fit you with something that will fit you amazingly and then you only really need one or two.

    • I can wear jeans to my new job, too. Today I’m off to buy a new pair of yoga jeans:

      I like the mid rise bootcut pair

    • LandsEnd’s modern fit work well for my body type (5’2″, long-waisted, athletic) but are well below your price point. They have worn well and don’t stretch out.
      Just because everyone else wears jeans does not mean that you need to as well, find some trendy stuff to wear with your nice separates and you should be fine.

    • Lauren by Ralph Lauren classic straight. At Macy’s. $70ish. Wear well. Spare so easily dressed up or down. Come in 29″ or 31″ length.

    • For a sleek look with flats, I like straight leg jeans. More on trend than boot cut, but not unflattering (on me) the way skinny jeans are. With heels, I prefer a boot-cut or trouser-style jeans. I agree with others that even if everyone is wearing jeans, you can still wear what you otherwise would, just dressed down a little.

      As for brands, I like Citizens of Humanity and J.Crew (matchstick cut) best. I have some 7 for all mankind jeans that I like as well. I’ve heard that the new Gap jeans are amazing (from friends that usually shop much more expensive places) but haven’t tried them yet.

      Unfortunately, with jeans you really just have to try on a ton and see what works.

      • tall anon :

        The Buckle has many different size options offering pants in specific waist and inseam measurements, instead of generic 0-14 or whatever, though the wash choices probably appeal more to a younger crowd. I’m 6’1″ and I wear a 37″ inseam, so I get all my jeans there. I wish they sold dress pants!

    • I love the dark wash in Gap Long & Lean. They flatter all kinds of body types. I wear them on casual days all the time. Usually about $50/pair.

  37. Ladies, I need your expertise. Am looking for dress recommendations for a friend’s engagement party at an “event space” in NYC. Something I can get in-store, since I’m doing things terribly last minute as usual and the party is tomorrow night. Have blue eyes, medium brown hair, and skin so fair it’s translucent, and am an hourglassy 6-8. Am sort of afraid of color, though occasionally wear cobalt or red. Yellow makes me look as if I’m dying of liver failure. Hoping for under $100. Anyone seen or purchased anything especially fabulous lately? Or have thoughts on which stores I should check? Thanks for your help! :-)

    • IMO — NYC means an LBD is always appropriate. I would check all the major players – Macys, Nordies, White House Black Market, etc.

      Something like this would look pretty nice I imagine:


    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I really like this one which should be in BR stores:


  38. I moved to Texas and am breastfeeding. What relates the two? My nipples are always erect, and I am always sweating.

    Do you have suggestions for bras that are comfortable in hot weather and also cover nipple bumps?

    What kind of tops would be fine for the weather?

    • I love the Elle McPherson nursing bras with the lanisoh pads for extra coverage/leakage protection.
      Right now I swear all I wear are button downs and camis under light cardigans for easy nursing access. Shirt dresses or wrap style tops should also work well for you.

    • I always used the disposable nursing pads – round discs a little like sanitary pads that go in your [email protected] Serve the double prupose of absorbing any leaking milk plus n!pple coverage.

    • Nipple petals work wonders for covering the headlights and you can use them under any bra. Amazon has a couple varieties. I have some that are really thin rubber that I use daily. The silicone ones were too thick and you could see them under shirts. I though nursing pads were visible too although maybe I had the wrong ones.

      • Bezi BraDiscs are what I use. amazon has them. One pair has lasted me over a year of daily wear. Just hand wash at night.

  39. 1L-2L (formerly 1L) :

    Happy weekend!

    I know this is late to the thread, but what do we think about Birkenstock sandals for a student on vacation? They look super comfy but I have no idea if they’re stylish in places other than North America…. if they’re considered stylish here at all. Do they scream tourist in Europe?

    • try naots instead slight improvement in look and they are israeli so look a bit more.. i don’t know, better

    • birkenstocks don’t actually stay on your feet very well if you’re doing a lot of walking. I’d look for something designed more as a hiking sandal. Chacos are my favorite for that, Keen has good ones. Maybe others have more recs, but if you’re talking about a lot of walking around Europe, I think you really want something that closes around your heel or ankle, so that it will stay on your feet. Those cobblestones can be killers.

      • also, there was a whole thread on this post about good walking shoes for Europe, with lots of specific suggestions and links: http://corporette.com/2012/05/03/thursdays-tps-report-sleeveless-shift-dress/

        I know you said sandals, but honestly, I would have one pair of closed-foot walking shoes and one pair of sandals. When you’re on your feet all day, it makes a huge different if you switch shoes each day.

    • Marie Curie :

      I’m in Europe and they don’t scream tourist, they scream “I just went out to grab some milk and couldn’t be bothered to put on real shoes” because they are classical house slippers to me. I wouldn’t ever wear them to go sightseeing or shopping or anything similar. I’d rather invest in a pair of good hiking sandals, like zora said.

    • If you want walking sandals for vacation — get chacos! Birks s*ck for walking. But be prepared, you’ll have the dirtiest feet ever with the weirdest tan lines by the end. When I was backpacking I stuck with my Keens mostly, but had a pair of Teva flip flops for really hot days and on those days it was like I’d never get my feet clean again.

    • Birkenstocks are fine in Europe, at least in France and Germany. Try to get something a little perky though, not just the old standard in black or brown, how about snakeskin or orange patent :-)? They’re really good for heavy walking, impeccable arch support and cushioning. Do break them in slowly, as your feet will need an adaptation period if you don’t want said arches to complain loudly.

  40. Ok, reporting back to those who recall my situation last weekend- internal job offer to negotiate and decide upon (3 level jump to senior management position, offered under 10% more only). Sharing, as the results aren’t what we want to hear- when the recommended course doesn’t work- but sometimes reality differs and that is okay. After a week of trying to get them to come up in salary or at least vacation, they stuck with a take it or leave it offer. It was disappointing but they made clear there was zero wiggle room. I felt insulted and frustrated and was really on the fence about it but ended up accepting. The leadership opportunity it presents it significant, and my leverage was low (? no thanks, i’ll stay in my lower level position with less money..). My big company is government-like in its processes. On vacation, they are serious sticklers for policy adherence. On salary, they say I am already at/above the peer managers in the group. My frustration is that looking at it from a total comp point of view, I have less vacation, no pension, etc. than the other managers most likely (much of company are long-timers) but that isn’t how they do it. I have been beating self up a bit for not trying to walk away and call a possible bluff if I was harder nosed about it, but the company does actually withdraw offers from people, and the train had left the station anyway- my current VP encouraged me to do it to get the experience so he can pull me back at a higher level in the future. Some of the reasons I didn’t fight harder: wanted to maintain good relations with new boss, so trusted his word that there was nothing he could do more after having worked the issues through HR etc. Being 8.5 mo pregnant, I appreciate that they are holding the job for me til September. I have a ‘weakness’ of perspective- realizing always in back of mind how super good I have it in the grand scheme of things- high paying job with good hours doing stuff I enjoy and care about. Last- I had labor scares all week with lots of pain and uncertainty- including when I was on the phone discussing situation with the new boss, the day the offer was expiring (they do that formally)- was hopping from side to side breathing through pains while having the conversation- not my most able moments. Sometimes, you just have to make a decision and move forward. In the end, the classic advice and tactics dont’ always work and I’ve done a lot of second-guessing and lamenting about whether I got short-changed and p.o.’d that a chance to fix my awful 10 days vacation situation has passed. But swallowed pride aside, it is a great advancement opportunity that should open a lot of doors so I need to accept that. Nonetheless, the approach does give me some hesitations about the company longer term for a mid-career working mother, especially the vacation thing, so I will keep that in mind in the future. Which is not necessarily bad to remember to keep an eye on other places and options in life. So! There you have it. I am lucky in that my current boss said he will take me back if I don’t like it in the new position.

    • Thanks for letting us know how it went. I’m sorry the vacation and salary issues did not work out as hoped, but I hope it will be worth it for you. And, since your days off are limited, I hope you’ll have some flexibity to get in late or leave early a few days if needed. Congrats and good luck!

      • Thanks, I do have the flexibility- had that conversation up front. That is the silver lining and only way things can work at this place. No complaints- getting a promotion to do a job I like is a great situation. Was just kind of taken aback by the take it or leave it thing.

    • It sounds like you maximized your situation, so don’t have any regrets. Good luck with the new job and the new baby!

    • You know, people are great with free advice, but only you know the situation.

      A few years ago I was interviewing for a job in another city, and I told the potential employer up-front that as a homeowner, I would require relocation assistance and funding. The potential employer said they don’t do that. I talked to friends, and they all said, bullsh1t! of course they’ll help you relocate! Go for the job and then negotiate that stuff!

      So I interviewed, kicked a55 and got a job offer. No relocation. My friends again said, no you have to push for the relo! So I pushed and pushed, and they increased their salary and signing bonus offer up (but not nearly enough to cover relo) but they never did cave on the relo. When I finally called to turn down the job, I said it was in part because they wouldn’t relocate me. They said – but we told you that up-front. There were seriously hard feelings on their side. (and as a poster said sometime this week – listen when people tell you who they are.)

      So, I tell you my own story – only you know the situation at your workplace. Not your friends, not people on this board.

      Congratulations on the job change & your pregnancy!

      • Interesting. Yep, I tried to glean advice of those closest to the issue- a few trusted exec males in the company. At first they said ‘you must get more money, period, expect this (higher) range, etc.’- then when I explained where things were at they said ‘well you still need to take it.’So it was confusing, but it was the situation. Almost everything is negotiable, except when it’s not.

    • Well, you know, if you’re that pregnant vacation is going to be meaningless anyway, because every bit of free time will go to unscheduled kid stuff anyway :-). Don’t fret, it sounds like you have a pretty good deal no matter what.

    • At least you tried! You’re no worse off than if you didn’t try to negotiate, and now you don’t have to wonder if you could have gottten more. Congrats on the new position!

    • Congratulations on the new job Ruby! The job sounds like a good position and that outweighs the other negatives. Focus on the new position and the baby! S/he will be here before you know it.

  41. Threadjack: I have my last ever law school final in a few days and I feel so happy! I know the bar exam craziness will start in a few weeks, but still – it is so good to know I am done with school. It just makes me feel so optimistic about life in general.

    • AnonInfinity :

      Huzzah! I remember that feeling. Bar study was boring and frustrating at times, but I’d take that over school any day. I even thought that in the last 3 weeks of bar study. Hated.school.so.much.

    • Congratulations! I took my last final on Monday and have been enjoying my time off before the bar craziness. Pop a bottle of champagne (or cheap Processo like I did) and celebrate! :)

      • Yeyyy, congrats Miriam! I will celebrate later this week. It’ s not that I did not like law school, but the whole student-thing gets a bit too much after 3 years.

  42. Anonymous :

    The law school question (and overwhelming negative response) has me thinking — what other types of grad schools are just a waste of time/money and (apparently) an enormous pool of regret in this market? Specifically, I’m planning to get my MBA (with I would guess around $90K debt), and while I think it’s a good career move, I would love to hear from those who have been there – is it worth it?

    Is this problem with law school a specific problem with an oversaturation of lawyers in a shrinking market, or is it a larger problem with grad school as a whole? Are there too many people looking to graduate school, period, these days as everyone gets a college degree?

    • I am graduating from law school, so cannot speak about MBAs and other graduate programs in detail. But my friend, who is getting an MBA at a highly-ranked business school told me that it was not as easy getting a job now as it used to be. As I understand, there are two big job areas – consulting and banking. Apparently, the internships were fewer this year and there was more competitions among students to get the same internship opportunities. (I assume that getting an internship is important for getting a job at the same company after graduation, but I may be wrong here). But one thing is certain, as with law school, it is probably not worth it incurring such debt unless you go to one of the top-rated MBA programs like Harvard, Wharton, Sloan, Kellogg, etc.

    • My understanding is an MBA right now is only a good investment if you want to be a high-end consultant or executive (and then only if you can go to Harvard etc.) Or if you can get someone else to pay or if you have a very specific career goal in mind. But, other people’s opinion’s may vary.

      • I think your RIGHT generaly, but it is BEST to get a CPA degree, like my ex has. He worked alot to get it but can be DRUNK and still hold his job b/c he has that cridentiel they can NOT take away.

        I recomend going for the CPA degree, even if Alan has one alraedy. Fooey on Alan!

        On my own ISSUE, I met a guy who is a CAPTAIN in the milatary (the Army).

        He wants to DATE me.

        I am not sure if I want to date someone in the milatary. Does anyone have expereince with guy’s in the milatary? Does it mater if it is NOT the Army?

        If he goes away do I have to stay with him? What are the rule’s here? PS I did NOT do anything with him yet,and he want’s to SEE me SUNDAY.

        • I think MBA is good right now. Better if you can get an employer to pay it though. All the recent MBAs I know got hired between $80,000-$120,000 at big companies or start ups in Seattle from the top local school with bonuses, equity, etc. Granted many of them hate the work, but they mostly think they know more than they do:)

        • Point of clarification: he’s in the Army, or NOT the Army?

          Either way, make sure you let us know how it goe’s tomorrow!

          • “In sum: she doesn’t know what she’s talking about, and even her delivery is wrong, but she writes with such life force I can’t look away. This naivete, plus knowing-ness, makes her The Fool to my intuition.”

            Brilliant. I just discovered ELLENWatch. Thank you. :)

        • Perhaps too much prejudice on my part from personal experience, but my take on it is that guys in the military are much more given to domestic violence than the general population. And they have guns. Be careful.

        • Give him a chance. What’s the problem in having coffee or whatever? It’s just a first date. You’re not getting married to the dude. Let’s wait to count chickens until they hatch.

    • If you have a job and you’re thinking to boost your marketability with an MBA, I’d say go for it. If you don’t and you think an MBA will help you get a job, I’d be supremely hesitant with that. In NYC at least, it seems like everyone has an MBA.

    • Is an MBA valued in your industry? It is in mine (consulting), balances out my social sciences undergrad (history & political science) and it puts me in a higher pay bracket for my industry. However, my Project Manager Professional certification differentiates me and prospective employers specifically note that I have my PMP and say nothing about my MBA.

      I think if you can afford to take the time off to go to a top school, definitely consider it. But, I also think Ruby makes an excellent point about getting your employer to cover the tuition. There are some very good schools with evening and or Executive MBA programs (Georgetown, UVA, etc) and you work and attend school on evenings/weekends, generally working through the program as part of a cohort. I think in this economy this might be a better option because you’ll have a job during school and you’ll have a job after graduation. Sure, there might not be a salary bump unless you’re in an executive program, but at least you’ll still be employed while you look for new opportunities.

  43. Freddie Mercury :

    I’m thinking of trying out the fertility awareness tracking described in Taking Charge of Your Fertility. (Not TTC, just trying to get a sense of what’s normal for me.) Anyone have a good suggestion for a thermometer to use daily?

    • I have heard many people say this worked like a charm anecdotally, but my OB said it doesn’t hold up scientifically/ isn’t reliable indicator. Just fyi.

      • SpaceMountain :

        I’ve done it for well over a decade, first to learn, then to get pregnant, then as birth control. I have a pink digital thermometer from the drugstore, in the same aisle as tampons and such. The author has some stories about skeptical doctors who don’t fully understand her method; wonder where the disconnect is. Maybe it doesn’t work for everyone, but if it does, it’s free, natural, and involves no medication. Lots to love.

    • Yeah, not sure why your OB is a skeptic, but I did FAM for years (to achieve and to avoid pregnancy) and it was pretty damned accurate – the [redacted] sign of impending ovulation, then a spike in temp after ovulation – all lined up with distinctive cramps when I ovulated and with the conception of my two kids. Many women also use those tests (of your saliva, iirc) that indicate precisely when you’re ovulating and find it meshes with FAM.


      I used an ordinary thermometer, whatever was at the drugstore, and learned quickly to keep the chart and a pencil in my bedside table.

  44. Magazine Renewal Rant :

    More Magazine sent me a renewal notice. The envelope has “Second Alert” written on the front in large red letters. The same envelope has a window pane through which I can read my name and address and my account number and expiration. Without even opening the envelope, I can see both the “Second Alert” notice AND the fact that my subscription does not end until March 2013. Next year. This comports with my own records, which indicate that my subscription ends in March 2013.

    What’s the end game for the publisher here? Catch me without my own records to indicate that my subscription is paid for another year? OK, but I can read that very information in your renewal notice (without even opening the envelope). Trick me into thinking that I need to renew now, even though it doesn’t expire for another year? What does the publisher get out of that? It won’t start sending me two magazine a month; it will just tack my new year onto the end of my current one, so it doesn’t save any money there. And what a waste of money for the envelopes and the postage!

    Anyone work in publishing care to explain this?

    I don’t mean to pick on More, which I love. All the magazines do this; I just happen to have the More one in my hand right now.

    • Jacqueline :

      I think the point is to create a false sense of urgency and lock you in for another year. If they can get you to commit, they’ve gotten another year of your eyes on their ads, which is key for their bottom line. It is really annoying, though, and I always think the same thing when publishers try to pull this on me!

      • viclawstudent :

        My guess (based on a tangential connection with the way things worked in my publishing-adjacent career) is that it’s useful for them for ad sales purposes – I believe a lot of magazine ad sales are done a long way in advance (ie they’ll send out a “this is our upcoming year’s worth of issues” to past ad-buyers), so when they’re trying to sell 2014 ad space in 2013, they’ll want to have locked-in subscribers to point to. The earlier they can get you on that list, the better.

    • Right. They want you to subscribe now for 2014 so they can plan. Same motivation as “Vote Early” initiatives.

  45. There’s a department in my agency (it’s within my organizational division) that I would like to laterally move to. I sent my resume over a few months ago when there was an internal job posting, however the hiring manager wrote back to me and said that although they had the posting, they didn’t have permission to hire anyone at the time because of budget reasons, but she would let me know if things changed. The posting remained up for some time, and now I noticed that it was pulled. I cannot express how badly I want to move to this department. I’m not sure if I should email follow up, introduce myself? I literally know no one in this department, but I’d like to find a way to network my way in so if the position does open, I have a better shot. Ideas?

    • so anonymous :

      I would mosey on over there and casually introduce myself, and, if possible, explain why I want to move there. I recently did this myself and am waiting to hear back (although I’m cautiously optimistic). From their perspective, an internal hire is much less risky than an external one. Assuming they don’t need someone with extremely specific experience and are willing to spend gobs to get that experience, I’d think you’d be a great candidate.

      • This is what I’m leaning toward doing… and I do have the specific experience! I’ve had great luck in the past getting positions by just putting myself out there in similar ways. Good luck in your move as well!

  46. so anonymous :

    I have the Kentucky Derby coverage on mute while I listen to the Beastie Boys as a tribute to MCA. A strange pairing? Perhaps . . .

  47. Am I a Neat Freak? :

    I’m posting to get an opinion from people who might’ve been through professional or law school, or who have lived with other young professionals. I’m in my first year of law school, and I don’t think my roommate, another 1L, has cleaned the bathroom ever, or ever swept the kitchen floor. I clean every 2-3 weeks when things start to get noticeable and unbearable. I have also cleaned before we have parties at our apartment, and whenever she catches me in the act, she comments, “Oh, I was going to do that.” It seems like too much of a coincidence that every time she’s going to clean, I just so happen to do it right before she gets to it. She doesn’t say thank you either. She cleans her dishes, but not very well. I’ve stopped re-washing her stuff with visible cheese or other chunks left on it and now just avoid using the dishes she usually uses. She also kind of makes passive aggressive comments to me, and whenever I say anything about school to her, she tries to negate what I’ve said, or to make herself sound better.

    • Am I a Neat Freak? :

      I should add that she’s not overwhelmed with school any more than I am. We both were in the top 25% of our class after first semester, so I don’t know why she’s so lazy with housework, or so competitive with me.

    • Anonymous :

      I am a young professional and live with young professionals. What’s most important is communication – she’s not going to know waht she is doing is bothering you unless you tell her. You passive aggressively cleaning up after her and letting things build as you get more and more annoyed won’t help, as she may even not know there’s a problem to deal with.

      You need to say something friendly but pointed like, “Hey, I feel like we’ve been letting the cleaning slide around this place and that when there’s vacuuming and sweeping, I’m the one that ends up doing it. How do you feel about putting together a chore schedule we can both live with?” or if you notice the mess is building, “Hey, it’s getting pretty gross in here. I vacuumed last time, so could you do it this time?”

      • Am I a Neat Freak? :

        I’m wondering why she would think it’s acceptable to never clean the bathroom that you share. It seems really odd and gross to me. I don’t passively aggressively clean. I just clean like I believe a decent adult should.

        • Anonymous :

          Because you keep cleaning it when it gets dirty? And maybe in college she never had to clean a bathroom since it was communal, and at home, her mom did it for her? And when it starts to get visibly dirty, you clean it so she doesn’t bother with it?

          Passive aggressive was the wrong choice of words, but the fact is – if you keep cleaning and never express an issue with doing so, you can’t get mad at her for never magically realizing that you want her to clean. You need to use your words and tell her so.

          • Am I a Neat Freak? :

            That is true, but I wish she would say thanks instead of saying she was going to do it. Next time the bathroom looks really dirty I think I’ll suggest it to her. I guess I just had really good roommates in college where one of us generally cleaned the bathroom once a week.

            She might snap at me or make fun of me if I mention it to her, since when I said good morning to her this morning at 11:30am, she decided to debate with me whether or not it was morning…. law students.

          • Am I a Neat Freak? :

            Also, last week when the kitchen sink drain finally got completely clogged (it had been steadily draining slower), she decided not to help me with it at all, so I had to help the building caretaker and drive to go get supplies. She didn’t say thanks for that either. She kind of blamed the issue on me by saying she never puts anything down the drain (when I’ve witnessed her try to wash chunks of raw chicken down our drain with no disposal). Then after I had worked with the caretaker on the issue for a matter of hours, she decides to tell me I was doing things wrong, even though I followed the instructions on the bottle of Drain-0. sigh. sorry for the rant.

          • don’t worry about it, this is a place for ranting ;o) but yes, you were lucky with your last roommate, it’s usually not that easy to have things be equal without effort. Sorry you’re dealing with this!

        • so, this took me maannnnyyy years to learn, but people have different threshholds for cleanliness, and mean different things by words like ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’. I *finally* learned after many many bad living situations, that you really have to be specific and upfront about these things when choosing roommates, and before they become problems.

          Some people don’t really care how clean their bathroom or kitchen are. I cannot live with those people. ;o) but there are other people that could live with them that wouldn’t mind.

          The only solution I found was that I had to only live with people that also openly acknowledged they were clean freaks, and I would only live with people who would agree to a cleaning schedule before we even moved in together. Plus, I always had detailed conversations during the roommate interview about what clean means. It’s a lot of work, and kind of a pain, but as someone with a (very) low dirtiness threshold, it was necessary.

          In the situation you are currently in, it will be more difficult. You can sit down with her and say that you would like the place to be cleaner than it has been, would she agree to a chore schedule, and if she says yes, make one that has you both cleaning equally. But, it is likely she won’t agree to that, or she’ll say yes and then not follow through, because she has shown that her threshold for cleaning is higher than yours. If that is the case, I think your only option will be to either: learn to live with things a little more dirty than you would like (and therefore clean only as much as you feel like), or accept that you will do a lot more cleaning, in order to keep the place the way you like it, and let go of any expectations for her behavior. Or, move out. Which is what I did. A few times actually, till I finally figured it out.

          But, maybe you can work something out with her. Good luck! I know how frustrating it is to feel like you’re doing all the work, I hope it works out! ;o)

          • Zora has great advice. After watching my daughter pick college room-mates for the past three years, I think that roommies should be on the same page and same level before moving in. “Am i a control freak” OP- you aren’t a control freak but she may view you that way while you can view her as being clean-challenged. Both of you can be seen by the other as passive-aggressive because she feels guilty and you feel like she is taking advantage of you. You may need to find a new roomy.

          • I have lived with young professional roommates (before law school) and we did discuss cleaning responsibilities ahead of time. This is key. You need to talk to her about it and see what happens.

            I second everything that zora said. Don’t feel compelled to make too many compromises. If you feel that things won’t work out, you should just find a new roommate ( I don’t know what your lease situation is, so this may be easier said than done). Law school is stressful enough. You need to feel good about your place and the person with whom you are sharing it. In fact, this may even help you keep your relationship with her on better terms (not that you’ve said it’s bad). Living with someone with whom you are not compatible can put even the closest friends at odds. Good luck!

    • Just find a convenient time for both of you to sit down and discuss apartment issues. You need to be careful about seeming like your springing things on her–don’t tell her you need to talk about cleaning now, set up a time to do so, and don’t ask her if she can clean the bathroom today/in 2 hrs/etc. I would also look into moving to a situation that you will enjoy, although it would be good to make this one more bearable until you can move.

      I once lived in a house with 3 others that were much less concerned with overall house cleanliness than I was, but they could tell it upset me and cleaned because they wanted to do something nice for me. I think those kinds of roommates are few and far between, though.

      • Am I a Neat Freak? :

        That’s what I’m worried about, that she isn’t the type of nice person like that who will clean to make me feel better. I feel like she must know already that I clean and she doesn’t and it seems like she’s already purposefully ignoring the fact that I like things clean. Would it be absurd to ask to agree to a cleaning schedule for every two weeks? I feel like most reasonable people would think that’s a small amount of cleaning to deal with, but I don’t know with her.

        • Seattleite :

          “She must know already…” “purposefully ignoring”

          I’m a clean freak and feel your pain, but don’t don’t don’t fall down that rabbit hole. You don’t know her motives, and assigning ill intent to her will accomplish nothing but greater resentment in you.

          Many people say they simply don’t see dirt. I don’t understand that, but you’ll get along much better with her if you believe it and just deal with solving the problem rather than maligning her character.

    • I’ve been on both sides of this – I’d usually take care of my dishes (and had a roommate who didn’t, and it was GROSS), but I wasn’t terribly diligent about sweeping, vacuuming, etc. Fortunately I haven’t shared a bathroom in years. I think you may need to talk to your roommate about setting up a schedule for when these things will or should happen instead of just assuming that she will do it because it’s what a “decent adult should do.” She likely has a higher tolerance for mess than you do.

      • Also, try not to make it about whether she’s “nice” enough to clean up because it would make you feel better. This likely isn’t about you, personally, as much as it’s about the two of you having different standards.

        • Am I a Neat Freak? :

          If I did talk to her, I wouldn’t say anything about her being mean, and I would also try to avoid saying I’ve cleaned considerably more than her. However, I guess I am trying to assess how receptive she would be. It seems like she HAS to know that I like things cleaner, so ergo it seems automatically disrespectful of her to NEVER pick up a cleaning tool. I mean, not even once? To me it seems like that has to be on purpose, although I admit I can’t understand the perspective of living with pee stains on the toilet or large crumbs on the kitchen floor for weeks.

          Before I was the type of person who cleaned, I felt bad freshman year of college when I realized I was the messier roommate, and that my other roommate had been dusting and vacuuming the whole time. She cleaned when I wasn’t in the room, so I didn’t really know about it. When I found out I felt awful, even though I had a higher threshold for messiness then. This is why I can’t understand my current roommate, because she’s notice my cleaning and instead made remarks that she was “going to do that later.” If she see’s me cleaning the kitchen, why doesn’t she eventually clean the bathroom. It would only make sense if she was telling the truth. Are there any people with a higher messiness tolerance that could explain this?

          • It probably truly doesn’t cross her mind. It’s also possible that she has a higher tolerance for mess and she doesn’t see why she has to change her preference just because you are cleaning. It’s not like she’s agreed with you that she will clean on a schedule.

            As an aside, I do think it’s passive aggressive for you to clean, expect her to notice you cleaning, not say anything to her about it, and then get mad that she’s not cleaning. At the very least, it’s not the most adult, mature way to handle the situation.

            Not to be too harsh, but you are going to be a lawyer. A major part of your career will be having awkward conversations with people who might not react like you want them to (opposing counsel, clients, partners, assistants). Now is a great time to start practicing this. Just talk to her about it without getting angry or accusing her of anything.

          • Why are you trying to figure our her motives? Just talk to her and make a schedule and be done with it. No need to make it an emotional thing.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            I am one of those people that just doesn’t see things as messy. In my younger years, I would have seen you cleaning and thought “why is she cleaning again, it’s not even messy yet!” Then I would assume you were doing it for stress relief or because you enjoyed cleaning and I would turn back to my tv show.

          • four or five responses have either directly or indirectly told you: many people with higher mess tolerance DON’T THINK LIKE YOU and therefore these actions could have benign motivations (or lack thereof). yet you keep trying to convince us and yourself that the problem is attributable to a defect in her character.
            maybe she’s doing it on purpose, or maybe these things never occurred to her. insisting on believing the former will only make this harder. focus your energy on making a workable cleaning plan together. the clearer and more detailed, the better, but you’re going to have to lower your expectations. it doesn’t get better after talking to her, make plans to move.
            btw i don’t mean to be harsh. i’ve been in your position several times with good friends as roommates. it sucks. in answer to your ?, as far as i can tell, the “messy person viewpoint” is out of sight, out of mind:
            come home, use kitchen, bathroom, etc., nothing new… (whereas everywhere you turn you see “put me away!” “wipe me down!” “sweep me!” screaming at you so you can’t relax until you do it) doesn’t see any dirt –> doesn’t think about cleaning
            sees you cleaning, “oh yeah! cleaning is a chore that exists!”
            but doesn’t see you cleaning –> cleaning doesn’t exist
            so maybe propose a visual reminder, like a calendar on the fridge with a schedule, or a regular roommate cleaning date. something that doesn’t leave it up to her to remember to clean, because she probably won’t.

          • I think nb and Blonde Lawyer have it right here.

            I, like Blonde Lawyer, am one of those “don’t see it don’t care” kind of people. My husband is not. I do try to pick things up, for him, because I love him. I probably wouldn’t necessarily do the same for a roommate. We also had to discuss that if something’s bugging him, he’s got to say something before his head explodes, because I’m not ignoring whatever it is on purpose, I just don’t notice it or care about it.

            It actually stresses ME out when people are cleaning all the time. I just want to say “jeez, sit the F*&$ down already, you’re making me crazy”. I don’t ‘appreciate’ all their ‘hard work’. You may be as irritating to her and how SHE likes her space as she is to you. It’s one thing I’ve noticed with ‘neat freaks’, they seem to be under the impression that there aren’t ‘conflicting ideas of what’s clean enough’, but rather that THEY do it right and you do it WRONG and if you weren’t such an idiot you’d want to do it their way. That’s sort of your attitude here. Your method of living isn’t somehow automatically more valid than hers because it’s yours.

            You guys do need to come to some agreement about how common areas will be kept. That will probably involve stepping it up from her, and chilling the heck out from you. You can’t demand it be to ‘your standards’ when it’s her turn to do it. Your way isn’t better, it’s just yours. She does need to be respectful enough to mind the common areas, but you have to sit down like a rational adult and say “I see we have different ideas of what’s clean, so I’d like us to agree to a schedule for picking up the common areas and what we will do when we do it”. Then write it out and post it on the fridge, and quit trying to make it into something she’s doing to torment you. She’s not defective because her standard of neat is different than yours, it’s not a personal affront, it’s just *different*. Come to the middle together and get over it already.

          • Am I a Neat Freak? :

            I understand where you guys are coming from. I really don’t clean very often, unless every 3 weeks is “all the time.” I didn’t mention this before, but it also bothers me when she takes credit for the cleanliness when we have friends, parents, or the landlord in the apartment. However, the one thing I have asked her clearly to do, three times, is to please throw out food when it goes bad or at least when it gets moldy. I told her that I’m allergic to mold, so I would really appreciate it if there wasn’t moldy bread sitting on the counter, or moldy meat in the refrigerator. She agrees to do this, but she hasn’t improved. I don’t want to be passive aggressive and post signs to throw things out, either. It seems like my best decision would be to move out at the end of the lease. How could I expect her to respect my mental health by cleaning other things when she can’t manage to remember to respect my physical health by throwing out things that I had absolutely nothing to do with? I also think it’s rude to move other people’s things, or use their food unless agreed upon, so when I do throw things out, I ask her if it’s okay, then I ask her to please do this on her own from now on. This is a never ending issue about a simple health request, so I highly doubt she will even entertain the idea of cleaning for pure aesthetic or mental health benefit. Thanks for the input though, ladies. It just makes me sad to know that even throwing stuff away for my health doesn’t cross her mind ever.

          • Ha! I have been reading this site a lot recently because I am contemplating applying to law school. From this post, here is what I have learned:

            It is most common for roommates to never clean. You shouldn’t have to learn to respect common living spaces just because they sometimes clean.
            In fact, cleaning is rude and makes other people uncomfortable. You should leave their dirt alone. They should accept your way of living, and even if they tone down how much they would otherwise clean, if they clean at all it is them saying that they are better than you.

            Ha! I’m going to live alone for sure! I would definitely make some *poor* soul’s life a living hell because I would clean every week without asking them to do anything ever! It would be so miserable for them to have a clean space, especially when they have family or friends over.

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            Actually, Jackson, what I got from this thread is that people have differing comfort levels with mess and dirt, and while it would be nice if people could read our minds and adjust their habits according to our preferences, most can’t.

            Cleanliness is just like anything else – noise, overnight guests, food preferences, schedules. When two people live together, they won’t like things exactly the same. Some may like to watch movies late into the night, others think TV should be off at 10pm no exceptions. Some might see no issue with taking off for the weekend and not mentioning to their roomie that they’ll be out of town. Still others prefer a calendar on the fridge that lets everyone know where everyone else will be so no one worries. Part of having and being a roommate is being willing to compromise where you can, and speak up where you can’t. You should never assume someone knows there is a problem before you’ve spoken to them about it.

          • I guess I just feel bad for “neat freak.” Her roommate won’t even respect her allergies, takes credit for cleaning, and other posters called rude for cleaning. Some people have been nice to her or sympathized, but it seems like it’s rare for people to actually clean. I actually did learn that some people do think it’s acceptable to never clean a bathroom. I would’ve never imagined that. To me it seems like common sense to clean it at least once a year haha, guess not. I need to be careful if I live with someone in the future because it seems like I have unusually clean roommates now, based on the above comments.

          • Am I a Neat Freak? :

            Once again, thanks everyone for entertaining my petty problems and complaints :) I think the cleaning is just one issue that contributes to an overwhelming need to move out. She picks on or makes snide remarks about the television I watch and the books I read, to the point that I don’t feel comfortable watching my own large television in the living room. When we’re talking with another person, she speaks as if I’m not there. She decides to disagree with or try to correct or make fun of most things I say on our section facebook page. She publicly states that exercising is stupid, many times after classmates and I are discussing our workout routines, yet said roommate always makes sure to tell me each time she does yoga (is that not exercise?). She critiques the time I wake up in the mornings on weekends (I do tend to sleep in because I have a hard time falling asleep in our location after 2am on weekends because of bar closing). I’m overall just sick of the disrespect I feel. Maybe I am more perceptive and willing to respect people’s needs. When she said she could hear me working out in my room, I felt bad (since she thinks exercise is stupid) so I no longer do it when she’s there, or I go running outside or to the gym.

          • OP, I just read your post from 4:14p.m. today and I have to say that it sounds like she is a hard person to be around and not very nice. It sounds like you’ve let her get to you – that is too bad. Or she’s so insecure that she has to continually tear you down. She’s just a roomie, not your manager or judge. You should be able to enjoy your time in the apartment and not have comments on your exercise, sleep or whatever.

            Just ignore her comments, work on getting to know other classmates and find some other people to live with for next year. I’ve seen roommates draw up contracts before moving in together (e.g. standards for overnight visitors, parking, cleanliness of common areas etc.) so you might try that. But I hope you can get a better living situation for next year.

          • I also think that neat freak shouldn’t be called rude for cleaning if it’s not rude to be messy. Messy doesn’t automatically win if clean doesn’t automatically win. It would be rude to clean and give everyone else the evil eye, but if she doesn’t do that, then I don’t see how cleaning every once in a while is rude.

          • It sounds like this roommate has a lot of issues. I would do as much as you can for your own mental health until the lease runs out. When that happens, get a new roommate.

            As for cleaning, though, I’m more on the side of messy. I think I’m actually pretty clean, in that most things are put away and I don’t leave spills on the counter or floor. But I don’t regularly vacuum, sweep, or clean the bathroom. I clean things when they get dirty.

            But I would clean regularly if I had a roommate who specified “Clean sink, toilet, and tub every 2 weeks”, “Make sure all dishes are clean by 9pm every day”, “Vacuum every Thursday evening”, etc. at the beginning of our time living together.

            If you don’t specify this stuff, she probably has no idea you want it this way.

            And living with roommates sucks. It just does. You have to be discriminating with roommates.

          • Tired Squared :

            Neat Freak, I feel awful for you. Your most recent post (4:14pm) just makes me want to give you a big hug, tell you ignore all of the cleaning issues, and focus on getting OUT of that apartment/house as soon as humanly possible. It’s possible to live with roommates and deal with problems–and to have good roommates!–but it sounds like this roommate is never going to be a good one, and that she is dragging you down.

            School is hard enough without letting someone do that to you!

          • Hugs. This is a tough situation, especially because it seems like the cleaning issue is the only thing you dislike about your roommate that is remotely fixable.

            I agree with other posters that law school is hard enough without all this other drama. Your living space is supposed to be your sanctuary, where you can rest, be yourself, and recharge. I had a roommate who stopped speaking to me in college – did not talk to me for three months. My parents made me move out when I told them I hadn’t had my period in months because of the stress. So my advice is to take care of yourself first.

          • Just back to chime in – after reading your more recent posts, I think you just need to make other living arrangements once this lease ends. At best, it doesn’t sound like the two of you are really compatible as roommates. Having roommates can be really, really difficult because people often don’t bring the same level of investment to making the relationship work that they would to a marriage, for example, and as you’ve noticed, many people have individual quirks that make them hard to live with. For what it’s worth, my law school roommate (who was the neater one) and I did not get along well, and I think it was a relief to both of us when we finally went our separate ways. Some people just aren’t meant to live together. I’d also point out that the stress of exams is very likely exacerbating your problems right now.

    • I am kinda like this roommate… I have good intentions about cleaning, truly I do, but so often I just never get around to it, and then – oops! – someone else has done it. I leave food out (I’ll put it away in a minute), my dirty dishes have been known to grow new life forms (how did it get this bad? I swear I washed up just a day or two ago), and in all seriousness, if I didn’t invite friends rounds my carpet would never get vacuumed. And yet I do see the dirt, and I LOVE it when everything is immaculate and sparkling clean, and if I invite guests, I clean the whole place. In fact, when I lived alone I would make sure to invite guests on a regular basis, for this very reason ;)

      On behalf of procrastinatory roomates everywhere: my deepest apologies, and I will try harder in future.

    • SoCal Gal :

      “Oh, you were going to? Great! Here’s the mop. Thanks so much!”

  48. I just wanted to thank whoever recommended the book “The Defining Decade” the other day to the birthday girl. I thought it looked interesting, so I downloaded it Friday, and I am about a third of the way through it. I’m 27 years old, and it’s really resonating with me, so thanks!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Seconded! I am really enjoying it thus far. Just the concept to be more mindful in my choices is, I think a really helpful one.

    • We (his father and I) just gave it to my stepson (21, brilliant, perfect SAT score, never applied to college and living with his mother until last week) on Friday. I can only hope that he reads it and gets something out of it.

  49. Does anyone have any recommendations for sandals that can be worn to a corporate workplace? I do not have a clear concept of what is and is not acceptable and am searching for a gift for my girlfriend.


    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think it depends on the workplace. At my casual workplace, sandals are acceptable but I have plenty of friends who would get glances if they wore them to theirs. I think it’s tough to buy them as a gift for someone unless you work with them, and know what is/is not acceptable for their office.

      If you really want to get her something for her office, I might get a cute peeptoe flat or heel, or maybe even slingback. If you really want to get her sandals, get cute sandals and don’t worry so much about whether she could wear them to work.

      • no way sandals in my corporate workplace. better choice: nice silk scarf in muted, classic or simple colors.

  50. I guess I just feel bad for “neat freak.” Her roommate won’t even respect her allergies, takes credit for cleaning, and other posters called rude for cleaning. Some people have been nice to her or sympathized, but it seems like it’s rare for people to actually clean. I actually did learn that some people do think it’s acceptable to never clean a bathroom. I would’ve never imagined that. To me it seems like common sense to clean it at least once a year haha, guess not. I need to be careful if I live with someone in the future because it seems like I have unusually clean roommates now, based on the above comments.

    • Another Sarah :

      It’s not that it’s rare to clean, but it’s not rare that people have different definitions of what is “clean.” I just moved out of a situation with a roommate whose “clean” was equivalent to my “prepped for surgery.” My “clean” is perfectly clean – floors done, dishes done every night, bathroom done about once a week/every 10 days, kitchen done about once a week/every 10 days, etc. He would constantly say that he couldn’t tell if I cleaned because I didn’t do the baseboards, scrub the shower curtain, wash the wall behind the garbage can, scrub the grout in the shower every week, and a whole bunch of other little things that I honestly, would never even think to do. I tried to tell him that I honestly don’t see some things, and if it bothers him, he should just do it. He tried to tell me that since I’m home more than he is, I needed to learn how to live with other people, and I should do it. When he did clean (oh yeah, I did most of the cleaning), he would sigh and complain about how messy the apartment was. So needless to say, I sympathize a bit more with the roommate in the above situation (although she should, at least, take the moldy stuff out of the fridge).

      I should note that he also didn’t respect my allergies (called them fake when I told him that we needed to run the air conditioner at night when it was 95 degrees in DC).

      So now you know, just live with someone that shares your same views on what is “clean,” and you’ll be good. Or live alone – my old roommate would call my current apartment squalor, but I have my sanity back. So I suppose you could say I’m happy as a pig in filth? :-)

      • Am I a Neat Freak? :

        Your clean that you did with your old roommate seems like my definition of clean, which I’ve let slide so as not to seem like a passive aggressive cleaner to my current roommate, so it’s good to know that I don’t require “prepped for surgery” (I like your name for that) clean, even though I admit that I may like things a bit cleaner than the average. I’m perfectly fine with her keeping her bedroom however she wants. However, as I noted above, and how other posters also noted, the cleanliness disparity issue isn’t the least of my issues with her.

      • Seems to me the person actually doing the cleaning should be the one defining what clean means :-). A roomate who demands surgery levels while watching you work is not a neat freak, he’s a control freak, and that’s a very different problem..

  51. student debt? :

    I’m curious to see what you ladies think. How do you think the student debt problem will get solved (if it’s solved at all)?

    • Putting a definite cap (lower than present) on amount of federal student loans that can be taken out. Make private loans dis chargeable in bankruptcy. The problem is that the risk free lending from the bank’s end makes too much $ available, reducing price sensitivity, and allows the schools to jack costs up.

      If the govt would let you borrow, say, 12k for your degree in…law (or lesbian interpretive dance, which is probably more marketable now), and tuition was $30k, and the loan was dischargable in bankruptcy, the bank you apprach for the additional financing will (wanting to get be repaid) look at the degree’s earning potential and say “no thanks” or “show me a “down payment,” or require some other upfront sign of the student having skin in the game on the front end. Just like the bank refuses to loan more than 95% of a home’s appraised value for a mortgage loan, requires proof of income, title insurance, etc., the bank would do due diligence on the degree.

      If you couldn’t borrow $50k/year by signing your name as a 22 year old, the cost of tuition would adjust quickly.

      Just my 2 cents

    • The problem with student loans is that they are virtually risk-free for the banks, as they are not dischargeable in bankruptcy. They need to be, just like other types of debt. It is twisted that right now, defaulted student loans are more profitable to the lender than healthy loans. That’s right – it is in the lender’s best interest, money wise, for you to default on your loans.

      The ease and availability of access to student loans has caused the cost of tuition to far outstrip that of inflation. Again, as l says above, this would be addressed by making the debt more risky for lenders, so less loans are available and less students can attend. More radically, this can be addressed by cost caps on education, or, less radically, more stringently defining what a college needs to report (mean loan debt vs median, etc) to potential borrowers so they can make informed decisions.

      In addition, a disproportionate amount of student aid is accessed by people attending for profit universities where the likelihood of increased employment prospects is low. These institutions have been shown to be predatory in their lending, preying on students’ financial illiteracy to have them take out high loan amounts, and have been shown to engage in loan fraud. IMO and this may be drastic, I think student loans should only be made available for students attending not-for-profit qualified educational institutions.

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