Weekend Open Thread

Frye Carmen Harness TallSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

I had a conversation a year or so ago with a friend that I think about often. I — as a fan of the bootcut pant — was bemoaning the continued existence of skinny jeans and leggings, and wondering whether they would finally go the way of the dodo. My friend looked at me and said, “Kat, come on. We’ve all spent way too much on boots — the skinny jean is never going away.” See? Very profound. So if you’re looking for a bit of a splurge for a great boot to wear on the weekend, check out these Frye Carmen Harness — they’re a classic for their comfort, durability, and great look. They’re $378 at Zappos. Frye – Carmen Harness Tall (Black Waxed Suede) – Footwear



  1. Okay, but, I mean.

    BOOT cut.

    They’re called that because, like, boots. Actual ones.

  2. K...in transition :

    Fill in the blank time, this time it’ll be a double since it’s the weekend. I figure, let’s give some props to each other…

    Dear C Girlie (or however you want to address this to the general or a specific reader),
    I want you to know that you are __________________. I appreciate you because ____________.

    (to everyone)
    Dear C Girlie,
    I want you to know that you are amazing. I appreciate you because you work really hard, you make time for your loved ones, and you give great fashion advice for those of us who live in sweats when no one’s looking.

    (to a specific someone)
    Dear Blonde Lawyer,
    I want you to know that you’re a rockstar. I apperciate you because you’ve always been super supportive when I’ve needed a boost and I’m lucky to have you in my life :)

    • karenpadi :

      Dear Divalicious (sp?),

      I want you to know that you are super sharp. I appreciate you because you give solid advice and take no bull.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        This just made my up until this point craptastic day, better. Thanks!!!

        • Yes, Divalicious11, you’re the only “online girlfriend” I have. You serve up “real-talk,” explaining the world the way it is, even though that’s not the way it SHOULD be ;-)

    • lawsuited :

      Dear Herbie,
      I want you to know that every time I see your tag I imagine an anthropomorpic VW beetle using its front tires to type. I appreciate you because you are hilarious and crack me right up.

    • Dear TCFKAG:

      First of all, where have you been lately? Are you still sick? I hope not.

      Second, I want you to know that you’re awesome. I appreciate you because you are willing to give your time to others, even complete internet strangers, you seem kind, and you seem like you have a good head on your shoulders.

      • lawsuited :

        Yeah, TCFKAG, where have you been? I really could have used your help when I was looking for pants like a madwoman – you are the best at finding the perfect black flat or bold sheath dress or whatever!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I just sent her an email and cyber stalked over to her tumblr. Recent post mentions that she has had a really $h!tty 24 hours. Hopefully she comes back to lots of love here!

      • Not sick. Just having a rough time right now. If you have any specific questions, feel free to submit a question on my tumblr.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      Awww I’m blushing. Thanks, K. I’ve got to share the love with TCFKAG since she emails me when she reads about someone having an issue she thinks I can help with. My husband totally rolls his eyes every time I start a conversation with “my friend from (this site)” . . . but I gotta say, I love it here.

      • K...in transition :

        haha after watching some L&O episodes, I’ve realized that it’d be insane if the cops came in here since some of my most trusted confidants are on here (whose names and locations I either don’t know or aren’t near) and my fridge has cards on it from the awesome few who sent me notes when I moved to the current location.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          Sounds like when my brother entered Israel on a travel excursion while studying abroad in Jordan. Customs “what are you doing here?” Him “visiting a friend.” Customs “where does he live?” Him “in Israel.” Customs, “yeah, where.” Him “I don’t know.” Customs “what’s his phone number.” Him “I don’t know.” Customs “how do you two communicate?” Him “I never realized until just now, but only through facebook. We met studying abroad.” Customs “you only talk to this guy via the internet and you are staying with him?” Him “yeah, when you put it that way, sounds kind of sketchy but I swear, we are friends!”

    • Francie Nolan :

      Dear C Girlies,
      Even though I hardly comment and largely lurk, I want you to know that you are a continual source of inspiration. I appreciate you because are a smart, talented, bunch of internet friends and I wish we could all have wine and cookies together.

      Dear NOLA,
      I want you to know that you are a wealth of advice and compassion. I appreciate you because your wisdom and kindness reminds me of a wonderful friend I worked with that gave me the advice that saw me through the worst time in my life and that makes me smile.

      • lawsuited :

        +1 for wine and cookies!!

      • That is so sweet! I love mentoring my younger colleagues so I guess that spills over here. I’m really overwhelmed at work right now and feel like all of you are just lifting me up. Especially zora! and now you.

    • Dear us,

      I want you to know how much I appreciate the honesty with which nearly all conversations happen on this site. I feel like no matter what, we are authentic, real, flawed women negotiating a world. This makes some of these conversations uncomfortable or raw, but I think I am much richer for it.

    • While I know you meant these to be nice, for those who aren’t posting super frequently, and are very likely to be left out, these types of threads can come off as cliquish and hurtful for those who don’t get included. I know that you are a really nice woman, and wouldn’t mean for that consequence, but there it is.

      • It also feels bad to be a regular poster and not get named in these threads. Guess I am not part of the in crowd after all.

        • AnonRightNow :

          I actually post somewhat constantly and purposefully avoid commenting on these types of threads because I inherently think they are going to leave some ladies out and, thus, are needlessly cliqueish, even if they’re not meant to be. I am sure there are others who feel likewise. I agree that K means well and even goes so far as to address one comment to the whole community, but life being what it is….

          At any rate, +1, for all you know, someone, maybe even me, really treasures your contributions here. So don’t sweat it. . . . . :-)

          • K...in transition :

            I see your point, in a sense, but many are for all of us here. Most often, those who are individually named are because they’re very vocal here, offering a lot of help and assistance to others, which makes the site feel like such a community.

            I’m so sorry that you’ve ever felt left out, you’re certainly welcome and your thoughts and stories are absolutely wanted and appreciated!

          • Totes McGotes :

            I’m with you, AnonRightNow; I actually don’t participate in these because I know I’ll accidentally leave someone out, which has the result of… leaving *everyone* out :(

            But although I haven’t been on here as much lately, Corporette and its readers have very much touched my life. Thanks for all your questions, responses, thoughts, and love!

          • Well, gee willikers, K! Thanks for letting us know that we are welcome to post and play in the sandbox! And I disagree that the named posters are the ones that make this place feel like a community. It’s a community that has been created by everyone who comes across this site and offers their perspective on a given day. I assure you that I am not waiting on the edge of my seat for a “named regular” to respond to one of my comments.

          • layered bob :

            yeah, positioning oneself as the welcoming committee only enhances the clique-y feeling – if it’s not an insular community then it doesn’t need someone to tell poor little us that we’re valued.

          • Just wanted to let you know, K, that I had to read your post a few times to figure out what the offensive bit was that the others referenced. While these threads can be clique-ish, so are many things. I think it’s just a matter of people wanting to show appreciation for a group and sometimes specific people in it who have helped them through stuff. I’ve come to this site for support, from boredom, or because I needed something to brighten my day a bit/life me a little from depression. You all, as a collective, do this for me and I’m sure others.

            I understand why some people are complaining about it. It’s part of what makes this site great – people are open (as someone mentioned above, even when it makes things uncomfortable). However, I think it is important in these situations to remember the overall group and what seems to be the individual’s motivations. It was all done with the best of intentions. Also, K, I feel that you were trying to make things less “in group” by saying that you were sorry others were left out and that they were wanted and appreciated. I read it as you trying to say that you wanted to hear from everyone and personally I appreciated it.

        • So to whomever posted above as +1, that’s my actual handle that I use on this site. Just wanted to put that out there since I like my handle. /end petty comment

        • Another regular :

          At first I was going to agree, but then I realized that the self-appointed “in” crowd on this site is not one I really want to be part of.

      • Anne Shirley :


      • additional +1 :

        I was feeling the exact same way and thinking that i love reading others opinions and posting my own, but nonetheless, not get named. Then I thought, well, I guess they are just trying to be nice to others and i shouldnt be hurt about that. I do feel better knowing that my initial reaction is shared by others. sometimes unintended consequences hurt

        • MissJackson :

          Yeah, I am a regular poster — c o r p o r e t t e is my every day “break” at work — and the last time we did this I actually felt weirdly sad and left out. I think it’s mostly my own insecurity, and I don’t want to kill the positive vibe that I honestly believe is the purpose of the threads. But anyway, there it is.

          p.s. I was going to post this under an anon name, but figured it might make more impact coming from the “real” me. I feel pretty confident that I add value to this community, and I don’t think I ought to need someone to say so in a thread like this to make it so. I assume that there are plenty of other posters just like me who are valued by the hive but for whatever reason don’t get mentioned in this thread. Last time we did a thread like this I spent some time trying to think of all the regular posters who hadn’t been named to try to give them snaps, and I realized how hard it is to think of everyone. That helped me take it less personally, but still.

          • Oh don’t feel bad! You are awesome and I love your posts and I love hearing about the ‘burgh from you. Makes me feel nostalgic for home. And weren’t you the one who also lives in an old house with a quirky stairwell that prevents you from buying furniture? Old home dwellers unite!

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Every time I see your posts I hear the song “sorry Ms. Jackson, I am for real” in my head. I then picture the music video with the dogs nodding along and I crack up. And then I realize my head takes a lot of weird tangents throughout the day.

            Also, Homestar, so excited to read that your name came from Homestar Runner. I personally didn’t follow the site but my husband and all our guy friends did in college. They quoted it CONSTANTLY. Whenever I saw your name I would hear one of our friends saying “Homestar Runner” in whatever voice it was that was related to the site. Crazy that is where it actually is from.

          • @BlondeLawyer – me too! I really liked that song when I was in college.

      • Oh, you guise! :(

        Yeah, you’re right.

        I will say this. It takes a village. The fact that you take time out of your day to offer advice, support, sympathy, laughs, and/or internet hugs makes a difference and is important to someone. It’s pretty hard not to feel better when you post a question here and get supportive responses. There’s been some pretty heavy ish lately, and it’s been astounding (in a good way) to watch people come together to help. So thanks to everybody for that, sincerely. +10K to what EC MD said.

        And, finally, because you raised the issue of cliquishness, I can’t help myself: And on Fridays, we wear pink!

        • You can only wear your hair back one day of the week and well…I guess you picked today.

    • Dear AN and Lilly, I want you to know that you are both awesome! I appreciate you because you went beyond yourself this week to help me help someone else, and I will never forget your generosity and kindness towards strangers!

      • You’re very welcome. I was about to email you to say I found more things to send your friend so taking a day or two to make sure I don’t miss anything.

    • My dear C*p0r3ttes,

      Thank you all for making my day more interesting. You bring humanity to the internet, which can sometimes be a callous, cold place. You make me richer for all your different viewpoints, and warmer for all the concern and kind thoughts. Thanks for helping me use my brain in a different way– for something better than just making my company more money.


      • Agreed, Susan!

        My BF was telling me the other day about how he used to be pretty involved in some online message boards/blogs a few years ago. But that, in his view, they always turn to disrespect and arguing without anyone ever convincing anyone else.

        I’ve told him about this site in the past, and we tried to figure out what made it different. I think it certainly helps that it’s all women, and most of us actually have very involved lives outside of this site. (As opposed to like Star Trek geeks/people with crazy political views who live in their mom’s basement, posting on the local newspaper’s comments or whatever.)

        But I think part of what makes this a good community, too, is the fact that we actually care about each other’s feelings, and we all have invested in making this a warm place.

        So for that, thank you, sisters!

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      To Seattlelite:

      I appreciate the wisdom you provide to us youngsters. You provide great prospective from the parent’s point of view and it is incredibly helpful. You also have wonderfully thoughtful advice for anyone dealing with guilt or other issues. You are going through your own health problems right now yet you still offer advice to us when you can. Thanks!

      To SoCalAtty:

      Your family drama has shades that mimic mine and reading your thoughts gives me new ideas and perspectives.

      To DCJenny and BlueJay (I think it’s BlueJay) – your experiences in becoming successful professionals from difficult backgrounds is refreshing. DCJenny, I read your story about the “bravest thing you ever did” to my brother the day I dropped him off at law school. He has no money and is crashing on a friend’s living room floor in a bad part of Brooklyn. But he got into an awesome program at an awesome school that guarantees him summer positions in his field and hopes to do the 10 year public service loan forgiveness from that. He has done the research and knows all the drawbacks of law school but for what he got into and what he was offered, he knows he can do it. He is scared, having nobody to fall back on financially, but knows it is right for him. He needed a boost and I think your story helped.

      I really don’t want to leave anyone out because there is something I could say about just about every regular commenter. These are just a few of the ones that have helped me personally in the last few weeks. I also usually stay out of these discussions for the same reasons named above.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        GAH perspective not prospective! It is late on a Friday. Forgive me.

      • Could you link to the “bravest thing you ever did? post? TIA!

      • Aw thanks Blonde Lawyer. Best of luck to your brother. It’s not easy to make it through law school without any backup financial assistance, especially because the financial aid offices seem to think everyone has magical trust funds to tide them over while they wait on loan checks, but it is doable, and I had a great law school experience. Being brave enough to take the first step tells me your brother will be all right.

        PS: There are some advantages to having a difficult background. You can bet I milked that sh!t for all it’s worth in my law school applications essays.

      • Aw, shucks. Thanks (yes it’s me). Seriously though – I try to take a lot of time to mentor interns or law students from “underprivileged” backgrounds, so if you ever know someone who’s moving to DC and could use some advice, feel free to ask me for contact info. It is not easy building a professional career when you don’t know anyone who has one.

    • ok, not to reinforce that there is an ‘in-crowd’ (b/c i think you are all the sh1t) but I have been thinking we haven’t heard from Godzilla in a giant-lizard’s-age… has anyone heard from her? know if she’s ok? I miss her RAWRs and building-crushing and tree-eating….

      • I was wondering about her, too. I hope you are ok Godzilla and just hibernating or whatever it is you super giant lizards do. *rawr*

        • Ditto. Godzilla, where are thou, dear? Please send a puff of nuclear flame as a flare in our direction to let us know you’re OK.

          • Yeah, seems like the last time she posted was a couple of weeks ago about the whole sinus/allergy mess she was going through, but nothing else. Godzilla! Where are you! RAWR!

      • Yoohoo dahlings, I’m heeeeeere! I’ve been smashing trucks and ripping my bosses’ heads off. It’s a rough lyfe. Once my craziness settles down a bit, I promise I’ll be rawring on here more often.

        • Glad you’re doing alright, and still leaving a trail of mayhem. We wouldn’t expect any less of you, my dear.

        • Well, as long as you’re putting your powers to good use. *RAWR* back at ya!

    • Dear EC MD, I appreciate you because whenever we have a poster with a medical issue, I always think ‘wish I contribute something’ followed by ‘ah well, hope EC MD sees this’. And you always do. Am particularly glad that you were able to extend some real-life help and support to the regular poster w breast cancer.

      • I echo this appreciation for EC MD. I often need someone to answer the question of, “Should I be worried about this?” And when someone who has a little medical knowledge can tell me, no, it’s ok, only start to worry if XYZ, then I feel much better. Thanks for chiming in!

    • Ptooey and PTOOEY?

  3. karenpadi :

    Bay Area Women! I’m thinking we need a meet-up in the South Bay. Here’s the details:

    Saturday, September 22nd, 2012 at 1pm
    Cafe Borrone in Menlo Park (next to the Caltrain Station)

    Can’t wait to see you there!
    [email protected]
    I’ll send a message to the mailing list too.

    • YAY! Can’t wait!!

    • Kontraktor :

      OO I hope I can make it :_

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Aw, I’m out of town. And I love Cafe Borrone. Have fun!!!

    • I wish I lived in San Francisco! The weather is NOT as hot as NYC, and it could be VERY Romantic. I rememmber when I was dateing Alan, he had a acountent’s convention there and he had a FREE room, so we went TOGETHER, and stayed at the MARRIOT near the Fisherman’s Cove. It was OK, but Alan got drunk and I had to keep him in the room until he soberred up. FOOEY! I missed out on alot of siteseeing. If I EVER get MARRIED, I will want my HUSBAND to take me there.

      Right now, I am geting hounded by Jim, who NOW tells me he needs to file that darn HSR form next week. I put him off, b/c Frank took the day off (sick). I think he just wanted to go FISHEING on the Ocean — he has a 25 foot boat that we all went on last year. The manageing partner got seasick and vomited all OVER the top of the boat. UGH! We all just tryed to pretend it did NOT hapen, but unfortuneateley, the smell was EVERY WHERE. FOOEY!

      So I told Jim that we would have it by MID-WEEK. This gives me time to get the manageing partner to MAKE Frank do the work. Frank has done NOTHING I can tell and I must bill 25 hour’s. That’s $11,125 for ME, and I have YET to have something on paper, and Frank will be billeing also, but NOT until next month. OMG, I hope the General Council does NOT hit the roof! Anyway, Happy Friday!!!!! I am going to the beach tomorow, but just JONE’S Beach with Myrna. Yay!!!!!!

      • Don’t bill until you deliver the form! Monthly billing is the norm in litigation but not for transactional work like this.

    • Oh my goodness. I used to live right there. Two blocks away.

      I will be with you in spirit, but for now I’m stuck in Chicago….

    • Very excited!!! I’ll be doggie sitting near there and should be able to sneak away for a bit :)

    • Thanks for organizing Karenpadi! And I think I can make it to this one.

  4. K...in transition :

    Just curious, what’s your favorite [this website] inside joke or site specific term?

    I think I’m gonna go with either JSFAMO or lady garden.

    • lawsuited :

      Considering my love note to Herbie above, I should probably go with the fondue….

    • Lady garden party FTW so hard. I smile every time I see that phrase.

      • Merabella :

        This has infiltrated my entire life. If there is ever mention of garden party I begin to snicker uncontrollably.

        I also love JSFAMO and Fondue for those life moments when you just need the right catch phrase.

      • Lady garden party and JSFAMO are tied. I love them both.

      • Totally ladygarden party. I have added it to my vocabulary and it makes me smile.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      The Godzilla RAWR that I do silently on a regular basis, or on occasion when really provoked, just under my breath. I haven’t completely done it out loud at work . . . yet. . .

      • Don’t forget to add growls to your repertoire. A well-timed GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR can work wonders ;)

    • Lady garden party, totally. Extra points if said in a British accent a la Downton Abbey.

    • I’ll go a step farther and say that K in transition’s “tiptoe through the tulips of my ladygarden” is the best. euphenism. evar.

      • K...in transition :

        haha I didn’t even say that trying to be funny, I was totally being serious… which might be a problem unto itself, huh?!

      • This, absolutely!

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Anything to do with lady parts and garden parties.

    • You guise, I am so honored that the use of lady garden has, as it were, bloomed and thrived.

      I, however, still snigger every time I put a hairband on my wrist (which is every day). It just never gets old for me.

      • You guise, I am so honored that the use of lady garden has, as it were, bloomed and thrived.

        I, however, still SNICKER (sry mod software, not tryna be rude) every time I put a hairband on my wrist (which is every day). It just never gets old for me.

        • anon's lady garden :

          Speaking of which, I don’t remember who it was exactly that recommended babeland, but this garden thanks you immensely.

    • I have to say DOOSH. I say that all the time now, just the way it’s spelled. Actually, more like DOOOOOOOOSH.

    • Sorry, but I’m gonna have to vote for an oldie but goody – one blue thumb nail and hair band on wrist. Because that’s what I totally have going on today.

    • Since I started the difficult process of divorce last month, JSFAMO is my mantra – about everything. Can’t tell you all how much it helps in soooo many different ways everyday.

      • JSFAMO from that DOOSH, throw a lady garden party, and have some fondue by the fire. MMkay?

  5. Online dating fail – 0 for 3 – the first was a dud who kept talking about his mom, the second turned out to be lying about his name and married with a toddler, and the third seemed to not recognize it was a first date and turned all handsy-mchandsy on me

    I don’t remember this being so hard back in my earlier 20s…

    *rant end*

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think I went on dates with numbers 1 and 3! Number 3 was hard to get rid of.

    • One of my biggest pet peeves is a handsy guy. What about when you’re out at a bar, and some guy you’ve never met before starts trying to get all touchy-feely? Ugh, gives me the skeevies just thinking about it. And it makes me so angry: what makes you think you’re entitled to touch me and invade my personal space simply because I’m having a conversation with you?

      • IT WAS INSANE! We’re talking hands on the lower back, hip, and eventually the inner thigh. Tried not to shut him down too obviously since we were with his friends (yes, that was a surprise on the first date) but was pretty clear that I wasn’t digging it which he then read as a green light to try to get me to make-out on a street corner in my very small suburb in which my bosses and coworkers live. We’re talking hands in my back pockets – WHAT WAS HE THINKING?!?!?!

        • I think it’s OK to shut down someone obviously when they’re so out of line. And no, it’s not your job to make him look good in front of his friends when he’s so determinedly acting like an @ss. You are not the caretaker of his reputation, he is.

    • K...in transition :

      oooh, rather than a rant, let’s tell worst first date stories?

      Mine is either:

      1. when I was 20 and he was rude to me and the waitress at the pizza joint and then made a point to tell me that HE was taking home the leftovers because HE paid the check… and then tried to kiss me at the car door when we walked to our separate vehicles!

      2. when I was 28 and met a guy for a drink that was an okc guy (the only I’ve ever met in person from there). He asked what I do and, when I told him, he spent an hr telling me how therapists are crooks who trick people into thinking that’s a real profession and who probably just like to hear everyone’s gossip.

      I have to admit, I’m hoping this thread grows huge, it could be AWESOME hehe

      • When we met up for the date (which I thought was going to be dinner), he proposed that we just go back to his place and watch cable. Seriously. But I was a starving student so I proposed we go eat at some noisy bar. Over dinner he asked me to attend his family reunion the next day. I couldn’t ditch him fast enough. Then he phone stalked me for the next couple of weeks. Ick.

      • Guy who kept talking about his wife. (Actually, I have some sympathy for him, since he was getting divorced, but it was a horrible first date.)

      • No offense to anyone who might be on there (myself included) but okc is really just terrifying. A few weeks ago I started talking to this dude on there who seemed real chill, messages quickly transitioned to texting, which transitioned to pictures of his puppy, and then rather quickly transitioned to a picture of his… um…. other puppy. That conversation ended quickly.

        • I met my boyfriend who I live with on there. I don’t think okc is any sketchier than any of the other free ones (like match), at least in my area. They are all somewhat inherently sketchy.

        • I agree with you. I tried all the sites for 4 months or so. WORST experiences by far were on OKC. Multiple sexual references to things “black girls do” or “black girls like”. One dude started a chat with me referencing black male private parts…I won’t finish the rest. Every single black woman, white male stereotype was applied. Truly sickening.

        • I’ve met some really nice guys on there. You just have to separate the wheat from the chaff. Actually I’ve had better luck on OKC than on any other site, probably because they have more members and they don’t have the situation where somebody puts up a profile but doesn’t pay and so can’t write you back.

          • springtime :

            Yup I agree- OKC seems to be the best site in my major city for young professionals. Eharmony was a disaster for me and Match was full of way more creepy people- I think you really have to figure out what works in your area.

        • I’m dying, because I thought you were all talking about guys from Oklahoma City. DUH.

      • Can't think of a name :

        Mine was probably with a guy an acquaintance set me up with. She didn’t know either of us well but knew we both liked martial arts and music, so she thought maybe we’d hit it off. We went to a bar where I was something of a regular. As soon as we walked in, I said I was heading to grab a beer and asked if he’d like anything. He said no, so I got my beer and then met him at a table. As soon as I sat down, he got up and said he was going to get a beer. I looked at him kind of like, “Wha-? I thought you didn’t want one,” and he says, “Oh, I thought at this point in our relationship it would be best to keep our finances separate.” Relationship? Finances?! It was all downhill from there.

      • First date – Told me his mom died of cancer.

        Four or fifth date – making out on the couch and WHO WALKS IN. Went a little something like this.

        Madre – WTH?!?! Who is this?!
        Me: You’re his mom?
        Madre – Yes
        Me: Not step mom
        Madre – No
        Me hitting boy and telling him what a total $%(@#*[email protected] and leaving. Who says that?!?

        • Divaliscious11 :

          The guy whose mom walks in when he is making out with a chick and says WTH – What is this??? lolololol

          Not making light of having cancer, but she sounds like a handful…

          • To be fair we were in college, so it was her house. a what the hell was warrented…

        • Did you at least tell her that her son told you she was dead?

          • Honestly, I don’t remember but I think my yelling at him about said lie hopefully got the point across. I hope she beat some sense into him

      • karenpadi :

        I have more of a first date theme.

        Here are the clues:
        1. Most guys in the Silicon Valley on OKC are software engineers.
        2. Most software engineers hate the idea of patenting software.
        3. I write software patents.

        Result: hour-long lectures about why software patents are evil by guys who are “experts” based on reading one or two circle-jerk articles on Wired or ArsTechnica.

        Other than that, your typical first dates: guy not over ex, 38 yr old looking for a mommy to take over buying clothing for him, guy leaving me stranded in a scary bowling alley, subtle and overt misogyny, guys who just moved to the area and are looking for a tour guide, and guys saying they will call (and don’t).

        • Oh, software guys. I dated a LOT of startup guys (and Googlers) in Seattle. I represented M’soft. Imagine the first date rants I got to listen to…

        • Dr. Science :

          Interesting, my SO is a software engineer and strong supporter of patents (and copywrites). No ripped software, movies, music etc in our house. But 90% of the clothes he has either I or his mother bought.

      • Anne Shirley :

        He hit my hand when I insisted on splitting the check, leaving me to pick my credit card up from the ground, left the table and stood by the door tapping his foot when I took too long in the ladies room, and was shocked I didn’t want a second date.

      • I’ve been with hubs for 12 years, so my dating stories are well-aged, but these were the two worst first (only!) dates:

        1) Guy I’d been friendly with for ages finally gets up the nerve to ask me out, although I had no idea how much nerve it took. He broke into a flop sweat at dinner, then got the runs (he kept running to the bathroom at dinner, was gone a long time each time), and finally, a roach ran across our table. He was a gentleman, though, and killed it.

        2) A friend of a friend in college asked me out. I lived in the dorms, but he lived at home, so he came to pick me up to take me to dinner. As we were driving, I asked him where we were going, and he said “my mom is making pizza.” The pizza was fabulous, but I didn’t even know his last name, so it was super-awkward to meet the parents!

        • You #1 reminds of something that happened to me many years ago. There was this guy in my church young adult group who had a serious crush on me and told everyone but me because supposedly he didn’t feel like he was worthy because he was unemployed… and I had a boyfriend. So he rode his bike by my house regularly (like I wasn’t going to notice?) and apparently mooned over me and, of course, other people told me. Then on my first Mardi Gras, we were out on the street at parades and had both had too much to drink and I guess he couldn’t take it anymore so he just abandoned me on the street while he went to cry on the shoulder of another friend. I walked the whole way back to my boyfriend’s apartment, drunk as a skunk, and I couldn’t get down the sidewalk so I decided to walk in the street holding myself up with the passing floats. It’s a miracle I didn’t get run over and die. I don’t think I ever heard from him after that.

          • Holding yourself up with passing floats?! That doesn’t sound very stabilizing.

            What is it about obsessed guys that makes them such a mess when they get their chance? A different type of guy would have totally taken advantage of your drunken state, but this one just left to keep whining. Crazy.

            I didn’t mention that the guy in story #1 was a regular customer at the coffee bar I worked at. Like 3-4 visits/day regular. And the coffee bar was on the way to his office from the subway. After the failed date, he stopped coming in for several weeks, and even took a roundabout route to work so he wouldn’t walk by…

          • No, holding yourself up with the gigantic moving floats is not a smart idea. I could have fallen underneath and been run over. But I was 26 and it was my first Mardi Gras and sh!t happens and I lived to tell the tale.

            No idea what was up with the guy. You’re right. Crazy.

          • I gotta admit, girls with huge crushes aren’t much better.

            We obsess and obsess and then when we see the guy in the elevator, our friends have to hear about it for days. Then the dude says Hello to us one time, and we go, “Uh…” and say something stupid. And then our friends have to hear about it for weeks.

      • Years ago I went on a date with a guy from a newspaper ad (yes, back in the dark ages). We met at a cafe and he was pretty unattractive and had bad body odor. I am, unfortunately, a very polite person, so I suffered through a cup of coffee and some conversation even though I really wanted to leave. After a little while, he opened up a grimy backpack and pulled out an equally grimy, dogeared, obviously much-read book. He put the book in the middle of the table and told me it was a really great book that he had enjoyed a lot. The title of the book was An*l Pleasure and Health. I couldn’t bring myself to touch it. Afterward, as we were outside the cafe saying our goodbyes, two different people I knew walked by and saw us, and I had to introduce them to this creepy guy since he was still standing there, and he told them he was my date.

        The other really bad one was the guy who had a bad temper and rolled down the window of his car to shout insults at other drivers multiple times. Didn’t see him again either.

      • Went on a date with a guy who told a joke that compare the v*gina to the rotting carcass of an animal.

        …and I’ve now basically outed myself if any of my RL friends/acquaintances read c’rette, because I immediately went home and told EVERYONE.

        • Now I wanna know the “joke”. And unrelatedly, I really hope you’ve been shopping and buying yourself pretty things!

        • Oh dear god please share the joke… that is too absurd to keep to yourself

      • :-). Great stories y’all..
        I was recently reminded of the time the guy showed up in a red Corvette. Well, no problem, I was fresh off the boat and mercifully had no idea how much these things cost. But I did joke mildly about the red convertible thing, and how it made him look like his daddy’s midlife crisis.
        No, there was no 2nd date, why do you ask?
        And I didn’t even throw up in it or anything.

    • How did you figure out #2>

      • Pure dumb luck – He had told me his last name was something which began with an “R” – he was telling some story about his students (5th grade teacher – makes it even grosser) and mentioned that they called him “Mr. S”. I questioned it and he launched into some absurd and clearly untrue story about how the kids called him that because he looked like another teacher (yeah… right). It quickly devolved into me asking to see his ID which he claimed he didn’t have, followed by his car registration which he also claimed wasn’t in the car, while I tried to figure out a way to leave and not have him potentially follow me home.

        Some quick google-fu afterwards figured out who he was and confirmed the existence of a wife and kid, so I may or may not have replied to his “Thanks for meeting me – I promise I am who I say I am, but I understand” with a link to a picture of him with his REAL name from some adult baseball team.

        Couldn’t resist

        • “I may or may not have replied to his “Thanks for meeting me – I promise I am who I say I am, but I understand” with a link to a picture of him with his REAL name from some adult baseball team.”

          I think I love you.

          • Bonus points if you cc’ed the wife and the team.

          • HAHA – It felt less likely to encourage retaliation than the link to his classroom website and the public notice for the house he and his wife bought earlier this year…

            I just wish I could have seen his face when he opened it

          • For this sort of thing, I wish we could send Howlers, from the Harry Potter world.

          • I don’t think I love you, I know I love you.

          • Susan, the HP reference got a good slow clap from me. There are SO MANY things I wish we could do. sigh.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          And here is why I’m naive. Instead of thinking “oh, wife and kid.” I was thinking one might use a fake name dating online and meeting strangers so if they are psycho they can’t track you down later. I was thinking fake name sounded pretty smart. Alas, he was just a scum bag.

    • Adjunct Law Professor :

      How did you figure out the truth about No. 2?

    • Anyone who knows me IRL has probably heard this story :

      When I was internet dating, I once went on the wrong date. Here’s how it happened:

      I turn up, right place, right time.

      There’s a bloke outside obviously waiting for someone, but nobody resembling the profile picture so I go in and stand around trying to be visibly waiting, so he can find me when he arrives.

      Bloke from outside, looking NOTHING like the profile picture (and much older), comes up to me: “Hi, [myname]?”

      I think, ah well, that’s the internet for you. I say, “Yes, hi”.

      He buys me a drink, we find a table.

      I briefly wonder, is this the right person? But this is the agreed time and place, and he knew my name, so I go with it. I already know I’m not interested, but there’s nothing wrong with a nice drink and a chat.

      As time goes on, little things he says just don’t add up – both things about him and a question he asks me about my job that doesn’t match my own profile information. This is not simply someone being economical with the truth on his online profile. I become more and more convinced that this is the wrong person. When he refers to a different dating website I am pretty much convinced, but by now it would be far too awkward to do anything about it.

      Drinks finished, we part ways amicably but without exchanging numbers.

      I get home to an email: “I was there – where were you?”. Turns out, he saw me come in but was hiding away in a corner, and when he saw someone else buying me a drink he figured he was mistaken.

      Presumably somewhere in the same town there is also a woman who shares my name, who either stood up an internet date or thinks he stood her up…

      • That is amazing – ever make another attempt with the original intended date?

        • Anyone who knows me IRL has probably heard this story :

          Yes, we rescheduled but he then postponed that due to work, and I was getting a weird vibe from him by then so I cancelled altogether.

      • This happened to me, in Grand Central Terminal. Twelve years later, I’m still married to the wrong date!

    • If it makes you feel any better, I’m in my early 20s and have no real dating going on.

    • springtime :

      You would think after all of the first dates I’ve had lately since joining OKC I would have a good story. I usually don’t go on the date if I get any type of weird vibe. Maybe a bit extreme, I know, but it seems to have saved me some stress.

      I did have one guy message me about my favourite NBA team and told me the head coach was an a**hole. Which isn’t even true. And is a little rude!

      Usually they are pretty nice, just utterly boring or unattractive.

  6. Sydney Bristow :

    Does anyone use that clothing swap group that was set up awhile ago? I have some Eloquii items that I need to get rid of that are size 18 and I’d like to send them to someone here (maybe in exchange for size 16 items or just the cost of shipping) instead of trying to take them to goodwill.

    • lawsuited :


      • I love how you just long-arm-jurisdictioned the comment area.

        *high five*

        • lawsuited :

          Yeah, I didn’t know that was going to happen, so it’s the online equivalent of yelling as I run away into the distance.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        Haha glad I could help. :-) Not to enable the shopping spree you’ve been on, but NY & Company is having a buy 1 get 1 free sale on pants right now and they go up to a size 18.

        • Sydney Bristow: You have made my life. I am so so so excited to have discovered Eloqui. What’s a size 16/18 girl to do without them?

      • I loooove Eloquii!! Huzzah!

    • Francie Nolan :

      I have been wondering this as well I have some Anne Taylor wrap blouse (18), talbot white jeans (20), and a cute JC Penney polka dot dress (18), that I want to find a new home.

    • I’m interested in the answer to this; I also have some clothes (some work, some casual) in good condition I’d like to get rid of.

    • lawsuited :

      Well, folks, I’m an 18. I used to be a 16, but don’t hold onto ill-fitting work clothes (I don’t tend to love work clothes enough to let them clutter my closet if they don’t fit) so regretfully, I can’t reciprocate. Sorry!

    • I did – I sent a dress to In-House Europe awhile back.

      • But didn’t someone set up a website or facebook group or something so we can post our items and people can see if they want them?

        • Yeah, that’s what I used It’s on [email protected] (with an a – that word will bring on moderation).

        • I should mention that using [email protected] was really easy. It’s a little odd to get used to because when you post your “[email protected]” it only comes up when someone clicks on your name then you have to do a shout out to the group to say you posted something. I didn’t do it that way – just told everybody what I had in a shout out and somebody claimed it. What I liked best is that you can send each other private messages without having to publicly share email addresses and she could send me her address without posting her name and address to the group. It all went smoothly and I just heard from her that she got the dress and has worn it twice and gotten lots of compliments! I love that! (On another note, if you all see missing letters in my posts, please know I’m not an inept typist – the r key on my laptop keyboard seems to be sticking and sometimes I don’t notice that it hasn’t registered).

          • Sydney Bristow :

            Ok, I’m going to try and post my items there this weekend. Everyone else should too!

  7. Speaking of boots… now accepting recommendations for good stores or brands for wide-calf dress boots (17″ or greater circumference). I have already explored everything that Nordstrom and Zappos have to offer, so I’m looking for new options. Help?

    • Idk what brands are best, but Nordstrom will stretch leather boots for free in stores.

    • Me too! I’ve just given up on boots and unless it’s actually snowing, I wear ballet flats.

    • I haven’t pulled the trigger yet, but I have looked online at Duo boots (UK-based). You input your shoe size and calf circumference and they pull matches for you. Decent selection, IIRC. If anyone has personal experience with the brand – or other recommendations – would love to hear! I have enormous calves, which have thus far prevented me from purchasing tall boots. Makes me sad!!!

      • Merabella :

        Wardrobe Oxygen has a post on her experiences with DUO boots. I think it is a good read and she gives tips on buying them yourself.

      • I got a pair of tall, basic black leather riding boots for my wide calves from Duo. Overall, I found the process very easy and reassuring. The quality is good; i work them quite a bit last winter and they look really good (even better if I polished them). They were slightly snugger than I thought they would be based on my measurements — when I first got them I was worried they were too small, but they stretched just enough to be really comfortable, even with cords or jeans in them. If you are between circumferences, I would go up.

        Overall, I would order them again.

      • LinLondon :

        I’ve got two pairs, love them!

    • lawsuited :

      So, I once got a pair from Wide Widths. The boots were nice, but their customer services was the very worst I have experienced. The only boots I have now have elastic in the shaft, and thankfully that style is becoming more common. I’ll follow up with links.

    • The problem with wide-calf boots for me is that they fit my calves but then gape at the top. Try regular boots with elastic sewn in near the zipper.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      I can’t sing the praises of DUO boots enough – I have 3 pair, and every year, I check to see what to add to my wardrobe!

    • Boots with stretch inserts, for instance Cole Haan Air Jalisa.
      I had Naturalizer wide calf boots and they gaped at the top. Now I have Rockports with full-length elastic insert and they fit much better.

    • SoCalAtty :

      What is your shoe size? The calf widths vary based on that. I wear a 6.5 shoe size and used to have a 15 and 3/4″ calf and that was impossible. I’ve got it down to 14 1/8 and I can almost fit into a normal boot. Not quite, but almost.

      You can get actual tall riding boots at a tack shop fitted to almost any shoe/calf combination – but unless you buy the very, very expensive brands the will be impossible to break in. I have a beautiful custom pair that is for horse shows only, but they are so pretty I’ve been known to wear them out…

    • MissJackson :

      I have this issue, and to make things even more challenging, I have bunions, so sometimes regular width shoes are too narrow for me. My calves are 15.5″ and 16.5″ (is it weird that my calves are that differently sized??).

      Naturalizer carries several pair of “wide shaft” boots. I bought two pair last year — one I loved, one I hated, so it’s a bit hit or miss. Both pair adequately fit my calves.

      I’ve heard great things about DUO and may order a pair this year.

      Also, J Crew’s boots come in wide calf sizes. I haven’t tried them myself yet, but I’m in the market for a pair of brown boots this season, and they have several promising options.

      • Former dancer, so my calves are huge. I have a pair of J. Crew wide calf boots I bought about 3 years ago which have been through serious wear and are still holding up nicely. I need to take them to my cobbler for new soles, but they’re pretty great.

        I’ve also done Eddie Bauer wide calf boots in the past, but I checked their website and it seems like they’re selling outside brands of footwear instead of their own now. I may check back again in a few weeks, once boot season is solidly here. I wore a pair of tall motorcycle-style boots from them out after 4-5 years of every-weekend wear.

  8. Threadjack-

    I’m having a difficult time and could use some life and professional advice from all of you. I recently graduated law school and had a job lined up, but the day before I was to start they told me they no longer had work and could not hire me. They knew this for weeks before I moved to this location for this job (away from the major market in my area). They raised the idea of potential hourly work a few weeks ago, but they have now been ignoring my calls/e-mails. So now I am unemployed, out of the major market, and running out of funds (paying double rent to move here and start working . . . ). I’ve also been trying to get in contact with my network and had a few lunches set up, every one of which has canceled at the last minute. It blows my mind that my great school, great grades, and solid experience have left me in this spot. I guess I may have just needed to vent, but seriously, I have no idea what to do.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I have no advice for you Simsi, but I think the firm that hired you SUCKS and I’m sorry.

    • This is the worst ever. I wish I had any kind of advice to offer but :c

    • Ugh…isn’t that basically the exact situation for the main promissory estoppel case we all learned in Contracts? Have you moved very far away from your school? Maybe try contacting your career services office? I’m sure at 99% of the law schools, that’s a waste, but a lot of my classmates were able to get temporary jobs at the courthouses around our state.

    • Ugh, awful. If it’s a small firm this might not matter, but be sure to tell your career services office about this. At the very least it will make it difficult for them to do the same thing to another student from your school. I would, if possible, move back to where there was a major market (near your law school? and therefore near lots of law school friends/contacts/where your school has influence?). This economy is just bad. It’s really bad for lawyers. I’ve been there. That feeling that you checked all the boxes and did everything right and here you are. It’s so demoralizing. Can you do anything to affirm your sense of self-worth as a lawyer? Pro bono work, writing an article, helping a professor with research? I’m not impressed by the people blowing off lunches. WTF. Did they at least re-schedule? Lunch re-schedules happen all the time, but if they just canceled, that is not acceptable. Are they your school alumni? Because that’s just not good karma. (I realize I keep going back to your school, but seriously, part of what you pay for is the alumni network and career services support.)

    • lawsuited :

      I’m so sorry this happened to you. It can be hard to fathom being unemployed despite great grades and other credentials and having done everything “right”, but it happens to lots of people (and it happened to me). If a firm doesn’t have work then they can’t afford to pay you even though you’re great, but you will find a firm that does have work and would prefer to hire someone with great credentials.

      If I were you, I’d move back to the major centre and reach out to EVERYONE you know, let them know you’re looking, and then they can help you network. I was in a similar situation to yours 6 months ago, and I was recommended for the job I recently accepted by a law school professor who knew I was looking. Be prepared for it to take time (it took 6 months for me) and keep positive by reminding yourself that you’re a great candidate and you just have to find the right firm.

    • emcsquared :


      I would ask (very nicely, but firmly) the firm for help covering the expenses you have paid in reliance on the job offer – apartment, moving costs, etc. If they won’t help, go back to your career services (or better yet, student legal services) and see if they can help you get some of those costs reimbursed. The employer has a reputation to maintain with the school’s career services; it doesn’t look good for them to stiff new grads like that.

      Also – I would seriously consider moving back to major market, breaking the lease in smaller market (or see if law firm will assume it), and starting to do some pro bono or legal volunteer work while you job search.

      • “Also – I would seriously consider moving back to major market, breaking the lease in smaller market (or see if law firm will assume it), and starting to do some pro bono or legal volunteer work while you job search.”

        Agreed, that is what I would too. How awful of them! I cannot imagine. that sucks :(

      • This. What an awful predicament for them to put you in. I think it is totally reasonable that they pay the costs to break your lease and reimburse moving expenses.

      • Former Partner, Now In-House :

        This AND get them to agree that if you file for unemployment benefits, they will not challenge it.

        Question for an employment lawyer: can she collect unemployment if she never got a paycheck from them?

        • Not in NY, at least.

          • Not in Ohio, either.

            What a dreadful thing to happen, Simsi, and I agree with the other advice to make some reasonably polite but firm demands on them based on promissory estoppel (and, um, basic decency). Unfortunately, there’s no cause of action for being a-holes but that should be the subtext of your demand letter. Let us know what happens.

        • I think you have to have wages with them in order to collect from them. Some states might allow you to reach back to a former employer to collect, but if you were in school just prior, that’s probably going to complicate matters.

      • Totally agree about moving back to the major market if possible, and doing your best to get some moving help from the b*stards.. What an awful thing to do to someone.
        If it’s any consolation, it may be easy for you to revive the searches you were in before this happened, and you might get a much shorter wait next time. But I’m so sorry, I know it’s not real compensation for such an awful experience..

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I would try to negotiate with them to pay to get me out of my lease, to pay my moving expenses, and to pay for me to get re-established where I came from, plus some help looking for other work back home. Not to sound all ATL but this sounds like promissory estopple and if they think you might sue them, they might agree to this.

      I’d start by trying to get them to do this for you since they totally screwed you over. If they say no, then I’d ratchet it up by telling them you think they have a legal obligation to do it. I’d even try to get a couple months pay while you line up other work. Good luck!

    • No advice beyond what others have offered but I wanted to offer you my deepest sympathies. What that law firm did was totally crappy.

    • My firm did this once to someone – he was going to move from Canada to US for the job. He hadn’t moved yet but had shipped some stuff and done some apartment hunting. Our HR dept actually had to pay him his costs for moving stuff, his apartment deposit and plus some additional money because he threatened legal action. I am not sure if he had a valid claim or if my company did this to keep their reputation intact but could you ask them to reimburse you costs for moving at the very least?

      • I know the market is awful, but I would have trouble looking in the eye whoever made that decision if it was my company messing with someone like that. I would totally consider making a move if the opportunity presented itself. It’s such bad form.

    • are you interested in working for a big firm? great school and great grades gives you a good chance even off-cycle. i know a few 2012 and 2011 graduates at dewey who were able to land other big law jobs, and it sounds as if most if not all of their classes found positions. start sending out resumes now, and make sure to send a resume again through any alumni at the firm. the junior attorneys often know if the firm is looking or understaffed and it helps to have a connection. a recruiter may also work with you (one worked with me even though i was straight out of law school). friends who have been at firms for at least a year or two probably know of a few recruiters. i’ve also seen several clerkship positions opening up at the last minute. you can sign up for weekly updates on oscar. moving back to major market is probably a good idea.

      • also, it may take a few months but remain persistent. you never know when a position will open up at a firm/govt office you applied to 5 months ago. in addition to sending resumes, make sure you sign up for your school’s career database, several linked in groups (my school alumni group sends a weekly email with job postings), PSLaw Net, OSCAR, etc. These will do the internet searching work for you.

  9. Anonymous :

    Any thoughts on leasing vs buying a car? I’ve never leased before. Pros/cons?

    • I would only lease if you have a critical need for a brand-new car, or if you know that you only need a car for a set amount of time (as in, you’re only going to be in that city for 2-3 years and then moving somewhere you can take transit). Buying makes so much more sense in the long run, because cars should last well beyond the time you make payments on it.

    • K...in transition :

      Suze Orman and Dave Ramsay are both 1000000% against leasing… read their websites for info or check y*utube for their reasoning!

    • I think it depends on your situation. One thing to keep in mind with leasing is mileage, if you drive a lot. Also, I think you’re usually required to have more insurance.

    • I know this is the world’s most annoying answer, but it really depends on your situation. If you are someone that plans on a new car every 2 years or so, leasing makes sense. I have a friend who loves leasing because 1) he is one of those people that always wants a new car, and 2) the car is always under warranty so you never have to deal with pricey repairs. You could also lease and plan to buy the car out at the end of the term if you do plan to keep the car but don’t have the money to put down now. However, if you tend to keep cars for awhile you are better off buying.

    • Do you want a car payment forever? Then lease.

      But seriously..if you love new cars, don’t want hassle and have a few hundred extra dollars a month you don’t mind parting with, then lease. It doesn’t make a lot of fiscal sense, but it’s also not like you’re dropping thousands a month.

      Cars don’t have much resale value, so buying one is really for those who want to pay for it outright (or in a short period of time) and then use that car payment money to do something better…like invest (what you’re supposed to do) or buy new clothes and jewelry (what I do). I have never had a car payment and plan to drive my Hyundai into the ground, but… it’s a Hyundai. I didn’t buy it because of the amenities or because it’s fun to drive (what I would assume you’d want with something leased). It was cheap and got really good safety and reliability ratings.

    • Jenna Rink :

      I wouldn’t lease every time, but I think it can be a good option depending on your circumstances. We just leased our first “grown up” car, and found that as far as monthly cash flow in the short term goes, it was the best choice. We qualified for recent graduate financing, which made a new car much less expensive than a lightly used one. We were working with a limited budget and our choices were to lease our new car, which will be under a bumper to bumper warranty for the entire lease, or buy a car with enough miles on it that it was likely we were going to need to put large amount of money into it irregularly. We would have had a lower car payment if we had gone with an older car, but felt like our budget made a predictable monthly payment preferable. I expect we’ll buy our car at the end of the lease.

    • So, as everyone else said, it depends on what you want. I wanted to chime in and offer a (rare) example when leasing to own was in fact the financially more savvy option.

      Right out of college (2006), I needed a car. I was looking to spend not a lot a lot of money and didn’t really care what that car looked like as long as it ran. I shopped around for used cars (from dealers and private partys) with no success–I only had about $4k to put down.

      As it turns out, I found a Nissan dealer that was looking to get rid of its end-of-year and end-of-body-type Sentras. The lease they offered me was $0 down or 0% interest for 36 months (with $2,500 down). [They were also offering to sell it to me, with some higher amount down and a 7% interest rate).

      I knew I would eventually buy the car out, but I ended up negotiating with them to get them to lease it to me at dealer cost (!!). I put $2,500 down, the paid my payments at 0% for the next 3 years. When I went to go buy out the car, I paid the rest in cash because I had had 3 years to save up (and I managed not to lose it all in the market).

      Even better, when I bought the car, SUVs were all the rage. Then the market crashed and gas prices skyrocketed, making tiny compact cars in high demand. When I went to buy out the car, the buy-out cost projected in 2006 was $2k less than the market value of the car. If I had wanted, I could have sold it right there for a profit.

      Anyway, moral of the story don’t assume leasing is the “more expensive” option without doing some research. With the right financing packages, and depending on the car you are looking at, you may find that you can leasing with the intention to buy it out a better/ more convenient rate than buying outright.

    • Anne Shirley :

      I’ve leased in a situation where I had little money upfront, and wanted a lower per month cost than a loan, but a pretty decent chance of being able to buy the car outright in cash at the end of the term. I also like it as an option if there’s a chance you might move somewhere and not need/want the car. Or if you just know you don’t want the costs in inconvenience/stress of maintaining a car.

  10. Why couldn't we elope? :

    I need wedding planning help. I have come to like my FMIL less and less as time goes on – she is controlling, plays her children off each other, and is incredibly needy with her children’s time (she can’t understand why ‘talking to mom on the phone and using all our vacation days on her’ isn’t our top hobby). Of course, they’re contributing some to the wedding itself (less than my parents, but a good chunk of change), so I need to play nice.

    Usually, FH is good at playing interference… except for wedding planning, so I’m having to spend a lot of time dealing with this woman. You see, he has some very ‘traditional’ ideas, and one of them is that wedding planning is for girls and not his responsibility and that talking with the womenfolk about all their emotions about planning is the extent of his job (nevermind that I’d have fewer ’emotions’ if he’d just write up a guest list already). When I give him tasks, he doesn’t reliably follow up because he doesn’t seem to think it’s important or urgent – and he doesn’t take notes when we talk about this stuff so we end up having the same conversation over and over again. He’s even accused me of being the only woman in the entire universe who doesn’t like wedding planning, implying that I’m somehow defective.

    What do I do? This is taking up my time at work in part because I’m working with both our moms and vendors who are all in different time zones. I’ve had to take the vacation days off work to go deal with it and he’s stayed home. I want to go on wedding planning strike… but I have no guarantees that anything would actually get done. I feel he doesn’t respect my time and that wedding planning is beneath him, and I am getting less and less happy about what that might imply about other future things that he magically might think are the responsibility of the womenfolk. Help!

    • Can you hire a planner to deal with this for you? Can you identify the three things you care least about and delegate them to his mom to research etc? Can you sick his mom on him to do the things he’s supposed to do?

      Just throwing out ideas here, but you might want to also go on strike and restate what you’ve said here “I am getting less and less happy about what that might imply about other future things that he magically might think are the responsibility of the womenfolk.” deal with that before deposits.

      • Oh and btw having helped a friend with a diy wedding, only make it as complicated as you want. You don’t have to have programs, table cards, or cake if it doesn’t appeal to you. Don’t get sucked in to doing things you don’t want to do. If it’s a you don’t care, but other people do and they’re chipping in – delegate!

      • Why couldn't we elope? :

        Sadly, the deposit is down on the venue and the caterer. I am, however, seriously considering transforming the event into an “oops, they eloped – let’s get together and party” reception. My mom has even brought up that idea (his mom talked my mom’s ear off for two hours last night about the rehearsal dinner)!

        He’s really good about most gender equity stuff. He’s been super supportive of my career, respects his female bosses, and actively encourages me to keep working full-time when we have children. He does have a sticking point about changing last names (I MUST at least tack his on because families all have the same last name), and (apparently) wedding planning.

        I think it’s also that I’m more organized than he, so he expects that this is (1) lady territory and (2) that all things involving long-term organization, like knowing the family calendar, will fall under my jurisdiction. I’m starting to wonder if that’s a slippery slope to me being supermom in 10 years and him not proactively sharing the load.

        • A deposit is less than a lifetime of therapy. Not saying that to be nasty, but perspective! It doesn’t sound like he’s actually an a**, but some guys don’t realize not all girls dream of their wedding day. If you don’t like planning parts of it, tell him to suck it up and help plan the damn party to start your lives together.

          Not saying it can’t change, but if the default is organization = you, you are likely to get tasked with everything from vacations, to houses, to kid’s soccer schedule. Too many of my friends are running around being supermom, while their hubby is out golfing with the boys.

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            haha! no offense taken. I am legitimately worried about being the one who will plan the un-fun stuff for the rest of our lives. I’ve started to notice that I’m the one who has her act together to plan out meals M-F, and then he grills on Saturday and invites people over and gets to be the super chef hero. I’m definitely worried I’ll be supermom while he relaxes, but I thought we were making progress… until wedding planning struck. I will have to be more proactive about this issue.

          • Does he know you are worried about this?

            I think you need to let him know. Calmly. And then listen to him.

            And tell him how important it is to you that he doesn’t get up and walk away, if he tends to do that.

        • Food for thought :

          I mean this in the gentlest way possible — because I think my SO can be like this with certain things (unclear if it’s because I’m just a better planner or it’s because of my girly parts)….

          But, just because he’s supportive of you going back to work after you have kids doesn’t mean he won’t expect you to do the lioness’s share of child-related work. He’ll just figure you can do both.

          • I agree and see major flags here – the last name approach in particular.

      • Totes McGotes :

        +1 to all of this, and best wishes.

    • You need to have a serious conversation with your fiance about how this is making you feel, and what his thoughts are on what “women’s responsibilities” are in general. If he has “traditional” ideas of what a wife should be responsible for, you need to seriously think about whether that is the life you want forever.

      If it’s just isolated to wedding planning, you need to remind him that you can’t get married by yourself; it takes both of you. If he’s totally repulsed by the idea of wedding planning and you don’t want to handle it by yourself with your FMIL, you can 1) Scrap the whole big wedding thing and march down to city hall instead – very little planning needed! or 2) BOTH chip in to hire a wedding planner that will do this stuff for you (and keep your FMIL away from you!).

      • K...in transition :

        yes to all of this… not sure if you’ve had premarital counseling but this might be a great time to do that… what some will see as traditional others see as demeaning. This might be a great learning tool time for you both!

        • Why couldn't we elope? :

          I always wanted to do premarital counseling, and his mom is pushing it (which, uh, makes me wonder if I should be insulted?). Unfortunately we’re long distance right now, so the logistics might be complicated.

          • Merabella :

            Do you think that the long distance aspect is causing some of the stress? Is it possible because he is far away he doesn’t understand the time sensitivity of wedding planning?

            I know that I had no idea how involved everything was when it came to wedding planning until I was actually in the throws of it. Maybe he just needs a swift kick in the pants (metaphorically of course).

          • lawsuited :

            DH and I did our pre-marital counselling long distance – we had one initial meeting with our officiant who gave us an exercise book for DH and I to go through and discuss together, and then one exit meeting to talk about what we’d discovered and any lingering issues.

            Also, I wouldn’t waste time being insulted by the fact that FMIL suggests pre-marital counselling. It’s likely not a sign that she thinks you’re a bad seed, more likely she found pre-marital counselling very useful, or didn’t do it and wish she had, or something.

          • This sounds like it could be a positive – meaning that she is supportive of both of you having a great start and talking. Think of her handing you a giftcard for wherever you take your car for an oil change. It can make things easier.

            You both would pick your therapist, and there are also options available through various faiths. And if the first therapist/counselor/resource person you try isn’t too your liking, switch – you are the consumer.

        • Yes, and it’s troubling that he seems to use “this is traditional” as a shorthand to:

          “I want this, and it requires you and only you to make sacrifices but not me, but I’m going to hide behind the traditional stuff to make this non-negotiable. ”

          This seems like a red flag to me. The other stuff he says, I hate to say it, but I put zero stock in it. Words are cheap. Deeds tell you everything. His deeds tell me he’s got the potential to turn into the hidebound, 1950s patriarch, with all the entitlement, and none of the awareness of what sacrifices you have to make to make his vision possible. Also, he needs to back you up against his mother. It’s team you and DH, not DH and his clan, with you as their servant.

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            I agree with some of what you say. He hasn’t hit Don Draper status yet (if he did, there would be no wedding), but I do agree that I hit a wall when he thinks about how a family “should” be. It certainly was a red flag when he blew up at me that I wanted to keep my maiden name, but he’ll happily cook, clean, and caregive when I’m sick. He also sacrificed for me when I was in graduate school. I think we will have to explore whether there are any more of these landmines surrounding raising children before we get married.

          • Just when you’re sick?

            Cooking and cleaning need to be shared, unless both parties agree otherwise.

          • But will he cook, clean, and caregive when you’re NOT sick?

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            haha – no, cook and clean all the time, take care of me when I’m sick. He’s a good egg (or we wouldn’t have gotten engaged in the first place). Engagement is supposed to be a time of reflection, because you can’t expect someone to change after you get married. Unfortunately, some of my reflection involves the fact that I’m signing on to setting ironclad boundaries with his mother and that the flip side of his spontaneity is disorganization.

          • He blew up at you over keeping your name? I’d be really upset by that. It’s not his deal. Having an opinion, sure. Getting angry seems way out of proportion.

    • K...in transition :

      If it were me, I’d sit FH down and explain this to him. Tell him that it isn’t about wedding planning, it’s that the wedding is the step before being married, which is the goal you both share. Explain that this step is very stressful and you need his help, the way you’ll need his help during other stressful times in your future life together. Explain that, while you love x, y, and z about his mom, you’re having a tough time keeping the peace as she seems set on taking over the event as if it’s hers whereas you want to be sure it represents the two of you. Pre-make a list of what all needs to be done. Ask him which, of the things on the list, he’s willing to take on and explain that you need him to be responsible for these because not doing so makes your life more stressful and his responsibility shows his love for you.

      As for FMIL, perhaps you can give her a few things neither you nor FH care about and let her choose from a narrowed list? For example, if you don’t care about the table silverware at the reception, explain that you’d love for her to choose her top 3 favorites that fit your ___ theme/goal, from which you and FH will make the final choice, knowing that all 3 will be amazing since she’s got a great eye for such.

      That way, FH sees that the wedding isn’t girlie, it’s a step toward your joint marriage and that helping is a way to show his love for you and FMIL’ll have some feeling of control and choice but it’s not in ways that matter to you.

      • I could have saved the space and just seconded everything K..in transition said. She said it much better.

      • I would definitely want to explore what else you fiance will consider part of his wife’s traditional responsibilities and zone out when you attempt to discuss/engage him in.

      • Why couldn't we elope? :

        Thanks! I guess here are my thoughts: I’ve already tasked him with some things, but they aren’t necessarily getting done in a timely fashion. I’ve put a deadline on some of them, and at this point I’m trying to stay out of it until he misses the deadline. Part of me resents having to be the person with the super organized lists who gives him pick his favorites and then make the bad guy if he doesn’t get them done in a timely fashion. What really annoys me is that my parents are putting in more money, and the stuff that’s in their territory got done efficiently. The stuff that involves his mom is going slowly.

        I put my FMIL on the task of ‘decorating the reception hall’ by whatever means she would like. We’ve now contacted 5-7 florists and none give enough bang for the buck (apparently) and things that she doesn’t like are blamed as “well, that may be the way people do it on the east coast, but in the midwest…” I figure the show will go on if we don’t have centerpieces, but it is not worth my time to keep looking at different florists and then being told that the designs I like aren’t anything special (and certainly not as special as Older Daughter’s wedding).

        See also: the rehearsal dinner. Apparently asking people to travel from the midwest to the my hometown is the equivalent of a ‘destination wedding’ and so we must host all out of town relatives at the rehearsal dinner. This means we’re talking 70+ people instead of 30 and so now (surprise surprise) there are no venues that are nice enough that hold 70+ people at the price point she wants to pay! And, of course, because I grew up there my mother and I are the locals whose brains she wants to pick about stuff. But yet, when I tell her I’m uncomfortable with her choice and think it’s ill-advised, she tries to argue with me! Why ask for my advice (and take an hour of my time) when you’re just going to ignore me and tell me about Older Daughter’s wedding?!

        This is long, and I’m sorry. I’m just really really angry right now that I get to have my act together and appease people and hold all the lists and dish out wedding planning in half-hour portions because any longer than that he loses focus and gets cranky. It truly makes me feel like my time is less precious because it’s ok for me to spend hours pre-preparing for a half-hour of his time that ends up being spent repeating what we’ve previously discussed (but he forgot because he wasn’t paying attention). I am angry because it is not okay that I’m losing time at work with my anger every time a three-page email comes in from his mom telling me why I’m wrong about the geography in my home town!

        • Oh my lord. He needs to nip that shit in the bud now. I’ll even draft the email for him to send his mom.

          We’re so excited that you are participating in planning our wedding. We’d love for you to be involved, but it seems as though you have a different vision of our wedding. Certainly we know you want us to be happy first and foremost, so we are going to plan the event accordingly. If you and Dad are uncomfortable with that, we would be happy to return your contribution towards our wedding.


        • Oh my lord. He needs to nip that sh*t in the bud now. I’ll even draft the email for him to send his mom.

          We’re so excited that you are participating in planning our wedding. We’d love for you to be involved, but it seems as though you have a different vision of our wedding. Certainly we know you want us to be happy first and foremost, so we are going to plan the event accordingly. If you and Dad are uncomfortable with that, we would be happy to return your contribution towards our wedding.


          Also, how about since she seems to want “bang for her buck” you give her the dinner let’s say and she can spend all her money there. She sounds like a treat.

        • If FMIL is in charge of the Rehearsal Dinner, then she doesn’t need your input if you don’t want to give it.

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            True. I’m mainly mad that she wants the veneer of doing stuff for us (instead of for herself) and so talks to me to figure out what we want and then ignores my advice. Then again, if she wants to put the rehearsal dinner 45 minutes from the venue (> 1hr expected with traffic) over my objections, I really can’t stop her.

          • Exactly. If she’s in charge of the reception venue, then leave her in charge of the reception venue.

            It might just be her personality to ask people their advice and then ignore it. You may have to let that roll off you and let go of your reception venue responsibility. If she ignores your advice, that’s kind of her prerogative. You put her in charge.

      • “As for FMIL, perhaps you can give her a few things neither you nor FH care about and let her choose from a narrowed list? For example, if you don’t care about the table silverware at the reception, explain that you’d love for her to choose her top 3 favorites that fit your ___ theme/goal, from which you and FH will make the final choice, knowing that all 3 will be amazing since she’s got a great eye for such.” Great idea.

        And also, stick to your guns! My MIL was not happy at all with the florist I picked. But I really liked her and let MIL pick things like the flavors of cupcakes we’d eat (inviting in-laws to the cake tasting always goes over well, I would think). In the end, she loved the flowers, and got so many compliments about them, that she had to eat her words and be like, “Actually…anonahol picked out the flowers and the florist…” Same went for our photog- she was very skeptical (and VOCAL) about our choice, but the photos were amazing and she cannot stop talking about how great it was. So, if you really like a particular idea or vendor, remember it IS your wedding and if you think it’ll look great, it probably will, and MIL will have no choice but to at least tacitly agree that you picked out nice stuff.

        re: your FH. He should do something non-glitzy and logistical. Put him in charge of the alcohol, the limo, reserving the block of rooms at the hotel. My husband did all of those things and it was all very cut and dry and manly. He never looked at flowers, dresses, centerpieces, or anything. Except the food tastings of course. Like I said, that goes over well with everyone.

        But above all, he has to stand up to MIL for you. Because it’s not just the wedding, its your future home you’ll buy that she’ll critique, the name you choose for your kid, the fact that you choose to use cloth diapers or breastfeed or not breastfeed or whatever. She’ll have problems with something else you decide to do and be vocal about it, if that’s how she is right now.

    • Can you:
      1) Gracefully decline FMIL’s money for the wedding (and therefore her right to have input) or
      2) Cordon off one thing that roughly correlates with the amount of money FMIL is putting up and give her 100% control over that (e.g., centerpieces for the tables, music for the ceremony). I realize this means giving up some control, but it might be worth it for the family peace.
      3) Ask your man what he envisions for the wedding. He might be fine with a kegger in mom’s backyard. If you’re set on a Buckingham Palace level wedding, he might resent that there’s all this extra work to do for something he doesn’t want. I’m not saying that gets him off scott free. Can you compromise on a vision for a wedding that you BOTH love? (Presumably he’ll be willing to do a little more than the kegger planning would require because it would make you happy and he loves you. Presumably you’d be willing to do something a little less than the Palace wedding because it would make him happy and you love him.)
      4) Designate something as your man’s responsibility — something he cares about (guys often like food, drinks, and music) — and give him 100% authority (and responsibility) to take care of that? (Or maybe you just retain, say, one veto so if he comes up with something you hate, you can ask him to find something else.) No checking in, no nagging. If he’s in control of the music, say, he’s in control and he has the authority to make it happen however he sees fit.
      5) Or you can go to the courthouse tomorrow.

      • Why couldn't we elope? :

        Thanks! They’re all good ideas, and I thought I was being oh so smart when I implemented 2-4. (1) is unfortunately the only way to have enough guests to avoid future drama.

        You have no idea how tempting (5) is right now. The courthouse is gorgeous and I would like to spend the rest of my life with him… far away from his mother.

        • Sorry to be ALL over this, but why not have her money subsidize the extra guests? It can go towards their food/booze and if there’s money left over, she can apply it towards their hotel rooms making it cheaper for them to attend?

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            I appreciate it! My family is much bigger than his. We decided that the guests would be 1/3 our friends, 1/3 for his side, 1/3 my side. The total number was chosen such that on my side my aunts, uncles, and first cousins can come… and that’s about it. I don’t even want to think about the grief I would get if we limited things to family only or aunts, uncles no cousins and his mom got to invite fewer people than my mom.

        • I’m sorry. It sounds like you’re doing everything right. I think K…in transition is 100% right when she says to frame it as something you two need to do to take the next step in your life together. If he’s like my husband, he might just hear that you’re stressing about flowers and think “huh, how could someone care so much about flowers” but if you explain that what’s really stressful is trying to make everyone in the family happy and having so much on your shoulders, he’ll get that and step up to take the weight off. (And maybe in 1900 young ladies could do all their wedding planning sans fiance, but weddings were much smaller events, young ladies lived at home with their parents and were therefore not running a household, and young ladies were not holding down 40+ hour jobs.)

        • In The Pink :

          So in 1985, we were constantly told “It’s Your Wedding, Do What You Want.”

          It became the motto between us and the best man…

          Both sides did what THEY wanted and informed us, the bride and goom, afterwards when it was too late to do anything about it. It still rankles both of us. There are so many things we wanted and had hoped for. In the long run, it was one day, tons of months prior, and now, a small percentage of our life. I wish you all the best and the ability to have SOME glorious memories!

          Family is just that family. Not your friends, not necessarily folks who will give you credence and the space to be yourself if it doesn’t fit their needs.

          For that, you have each other and your dearest friends.

          Oh gosh, sounds like my office-therapist chats…sorry.

    • I think there are two separate issues here – the planning itself seems to be difficult and you’re not getting a lot of support from your future husband. The other issue is the fact that he seems to think wedding planning (and potential other tasks) are ‘women’s work’ and not his responsibility.
      If it was truly just an issue of you need help planning and he’s not stepping up you may have success with sitting down with him and a list of tasks (picking a venue, hiring a florist, choosing a menu, etc.) and divvying them up. Sometimes men do better with a concrete list of action items instead of picking up on “hints” of you needing help. I know my husband did much better at helping me plan our wedding once I gave him set tasks to accomplish and let him know when they needed to be finished by. That was it – once I delegated something I let him handle it – and didn’t micromanage it.
      If you suspect that he will leave all ‘women’s work’ to you – like childcare arrangements, doctors appts, elder care, etc. than that is something I’d suggest you need to seriously discuss and possibly go to counseling about.

    • Merabella :

      I have to interject here on behalf of your FH. My mom was the crazy momzilla, a lot of times I just tried to ignore her and her behavior because I couldn’t handle the stress of confronting her about it. My poor Fiance (now husband) was very nice and just put up with it. We had long talks about it, and in part he didn’t feel like he could get in the middle because she is my mom.

      I don’t know if this is the case with your FH, but maybe give him a break in that area.

      In terms of him thinking the wedding planning is “womanfolk work”…

      I would sit down and have a serious conversation with him about how you feel. Don’t use fighting words like “You are SO lazy/uninterested/etc.”

      Try using statements like “When you let the tasks I’ve assigned you for wedding planning fall through the cracks, it makes me feel like you don’t care about our wedding and it hurts my feelings.”

      Weddings are truly one of the most stressful things in the world, and it is a good opportunity to work out your communications issues before you walk down the aisle.

    • associate :

      Just want to chime in/take the opportunity to vent to say that I also abhor wedding planning, and you are not defective. As to your fiance, make sure you are communicating in a way that works for you two what type of help you need from him. I would have also eloped by now if it wasn’t for the family pressure and deposits. We really want to marry each other, but this wedding stuff seems like a lot of bologna. I also actively recgonize the “white people problems” aspect of my wedding distress but it feels like real distress! Hang in there; everyone says it’s worth it the day of.

      • I prefer “first world problems” in this context, but I fully agree with the sentiment. :)

        • Totes McGotes :

          Agreed; I’d have +1’d her post so hard had she phrased it that way.

      • I hated planning my wedding, and especially all the crafting elements towards the end. I ended up tying about 200+ bows for programs and favors, etc.

        I’m lucky enough to have a mom with great taste who also happens to love to plan things. She took care of most of the big things, and I got to do all the little things which I liked much more. For me, the best part of the wedding was being married and not having to worry about making decisions about napkin and linen colors.

    • Just taking a moment to empathize – I’ve been engaged for a while, nearly a year, but we’ve really just started wedding planning and I honestly hate every minute of it. My mother is making it hell, none of the dates we wanted were available (for our venue), plus I’m already on edge waiting for bar results. Also we wanted like 50 people, and my mother has put 150+ on the contract. Just typing that out makes me want a drink ASAP.

      • Sounds like you guys need to fund the wedding yourself and cut out your mom’s influence.

    • I can only second what everyone else is saying here, and to add that I was exactly where you are right now a little over a year ago. Ignoring the situation will not make it better, and you shouldn’t feel like you need to shoulder this whole responsibility. I got pressured by my family into throwing a huge wedding, and then somehow got convinced I had to do all the work on my own. Big mistake. Delegate as much as you can. And, get that FH involved! You will enjoy your wedding, and your marriage much more if you do.

    • emcsquared :

      Parts of this sound so familiar – I didn’t want a big wedding, DH did, and everyone had an idea about what we *needed* to have at our wedding, and it all fell on me to carry out (and I hated/resented it greatly).

      I agree with the commenters saying you need to make other people responsible for the items they are imposing on you. And if your FH drops the ball on wedding planning tasks – you need to take that very seriously. My FH failed to accomplish any of the tasks I explicitly delegated to him (we were living together – they were written on a note on the refrigerator door, which I routinely taped to his mirror as a reminder). It was not limited to marriage planning and has become a theme in our marriage, and I’m just now starting to have some success cracking down on him treating me like his secretary.

      If he drops the ball, go to pre-marital counseling ASAP. Unless you are a much saner person than I was during wedding planning, you won’t have the energy or emotional capacity to facilitate a productive conversation.

      I hope you find a way to stay sane – I truly wish I had just scrapped the big wedding and done a picnic in my backyard. It would have been just as much fun and I think the first year of our marriage would have been happier.

      • Why couldn't we elope? :

        Yeah, that sounds about right. Your story definitely resonates with me, and I will try to be proactive on the “I’m not your secretary” front.

    • Stepmom re: driving and ACT preparing :

      I believe in “lead, follow or get out of the way.” Our marriage counselor originally taught it to us as a way to deal with my step-wife’s stonewalling (ie, taking so many months to decide whether my SD “was allowed” to meet with a college counselor that we almost missed the deadline).

      It works like this:

      1. Decide what you would like to do (ex: have salmon for the wedding dinner). (I appreciate this is overly simplified.)
      2. Tell X (FMIL, for your situation) that “We plan to serve salmon for the wedding dinner. If you would like us to serve something else, please let me know no later than Y date.” (Where Y date gives you enough time to consider having something else for dinner, consult with FMIL and/or the caterer or whoever and still decide without feeling rushed.”
      3. If FMIL responds, hear her out and still make your own decision.
      4. Then do it. It is your decision and you don’t need to be held hostage to anyone else’s emotional hijacking.

      It works really well for us. It is starting to work for SD (16) with her mom. I hope it will work for you.

      Then, of course, there is the idea of you making executive decisions on stuff that doesn’t need to be a consultation with FMIL.

    • SoCalAtty :

      That’s too bad! I planned my wedding for about 220 people by myself and had a really good time doing it. That said, I did a lot of event planning for a nonprofit for years and years so I had pratice. My husband and I paid for about 55% of the wedding, and my grandparents (the ones that raised me) paid for the rest – but just wrote me a check for it and said “have fun.” The in laws paid only for the rehersal dinner (which I try not to think about because we’re talking like $600 of a wedding that cost $40k plus…so WTH? Moving on…), and also said “here’s a check have fun.” It’s rough when someone else is paying, but maybe you can tell them to give you a list of things at the wedding that are really important to them, and then tell them, “because my work schedule is so busy, I’m going to have to deal with a lot of this over email and phone, so let’s agree on a plan for me to execute.” Something like that.

      My husband wasn’t much help either – but unless yours is one who is really good at event planning, you might not want him to be all that involved. When my husband was being totally uninvolved in the planning and noncommittal…I finally got really mad and said “why won’t you do any of this??!!” He finally admitted – he didn’t care, I was telling him everything I was doing and he knew that I was a great party planner and he would be happy with whatever I did.

      For guest lists – email everyone and say, “if I do not have your guest list by X date, there will be no seats for them because the venue requires a final headcount by [X date, but lie and make it like 30 days earlier than it actually is].” I was able to plan everything except choosing a venue (toured on weekends), flower arrangements (one trip to choose from samples he made up for me), dress (weekends), and cake tasting (another weekend). Everything else can be done over the phone or by email.

      There is a great book called “The Bride’s Book of Lists” that is really all you need. Look at it this way – you have to arrange for venue, food, drinks, flowers, transportation, cake, your dress, groom’s attire, music for ceremony, music for reception, and bridesmaids/groomsman attire. That’s like 10 things.

      All that being said, if you don’t have your heart set on a big weddings, and it sounds like FH doesn’t either, take those checks and either use it to put a down payment on a house or start a retirement fund and go elope. My Husband and I wanted a massive amazing wedding, and we got it, but it cost what the downpayment on a house would have! If both of us weren’t behind that 100%, it would not at all have been worth the money.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Just to add – dang it I wish I could be an event planner. So fun. Unfortunately lawyering is the only thing that will pay for my law school sized debt.

      • Why couldn't we elope? :

        Bought it! Thanks for the recommendation.
        You’re right on the 10 things, and we’ve checked off 5/10 of those. Maybe it isn’t so bad…

        I do wish that his parents would go with the “here’s a check good luck” approach. His mom made it clear that if her money was going towards something, she wanted control over how it was spent. She was honest about placing many strings on her money. I thought it wouldn’t be that bad because FH has always been so good at running interference with her. Life lesson learned.

      • Am I the only person left in the world who thinks if you want to have a big, extravagant party to celebrate your wedding, you should be able to pay for it yourself?? I think it is sad that you begrudge the contribution your in laws made because it apparently was not big enough to suit your tastes.

        • Why couldn't we elope? :

          I respect your opinion, but I strongly disagree that I’m some sort of spoiled materialistic brat.The truth is that we can afford to get married, and we can afford to have a small, modest party all by ourselves. We’re grown-ups and can use our money to do whatever we want. The problem is that both of our families want to use the occasion of our marriage to have a family reunion, and because it was very important to them and they are very important to us, we agreed to their guest lists, money, and (most importantly) the strings that come with that money. Now that we’re really locked in, those strings are turning out to be really stifling, and I don’t think that is an uncommon experience for people who want to please their parents.

          The money is not the issue – the issue is that I feel steamrolled and like my time isn’t respected by either my intended or my intended’s mother. That deeply hurts and angers me, and makes me question my relationship and, yes, whether we should throw in the towel on having a big shebang and eloping.

          • Appealing Lawyer :

            Sorry if I posted my comment in the wrong place (not sure that I did though). My post was in response to the following comment:

            “The in laws paid only for the rehersal dinner (which I try not to think about because we’re talking like $600 of a wedding that cost $40k plus…so WTH? Moving on…),”

            You’ve got yourself in a tough situation. Your family offered to give money to help fund the party (not as a gift as I see it because gifts don’t come with strings). So you’ve basically acquiesced to having other people “co host” your wedding. I don’t envy you that.

    • e_pontellier :

      As far as post-wedding dealing with your MIL, maybe read this book: Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up’s Guide to Getting Over Narcissistic Parents. It was recommended by other posters of c o r p o r e t t e, I recently purchased it because of problems I have with my MIL and mother, but haven’t read it yet.

    • papabear and I got married by an Elvis impersonator in Vegas. Have never regretted it. Best of luck!

      • That sounds by far like the best solution :-)! And eloper, see, it sounds like papabear is still around, so you might consider Elvis safely..

  11. Skin care question. Can anyone recommend a skintone evening/age spot reducing facewash or other product?
    I am considering DDF brightening cleanser but not sure if it’s worth the $38. I’ve finally gotten my adult onset acne under control but my skin is still not where I’d like it to be, esp. as I now also try to deal with aging in my 30s.

    • I got this in my birchbox, but haven’t tried it. I will report back if you ask again in 2 weeks!

      According to the derm, the only way to 100% get ride of scars is hydroquinone via rx. Other stuff can help, but that is the “fail proof” method.

      • It’s not really acne scars. Just uneveness, small age spots, and a couple of tiny pimples that never seem to go away no matter what I do.
        I’d love to hear your report on the DDF when you use it.
        To Sasha, I do use a mild retin a, but it hasn’t helped with this, just with pimples generally.
        I basically just want skin I don’t have to wear makeup to cover up!

      • Phelphsie :

        I’m using hydroquinone (several months a year ago, got sick of applying it, started again two months ago at new derm’s insistence) and seeing no results (it was the same for my mom), so while it’s worth a try, I wouldn’t call if fail-proof.

    • Retin-a or its generic, tretinoin, will. You can get it without a prescription now.

      • Is this true and is it still super-expensive? I have some Rx stuff, and of course insurance doesn’t pay so it was like $300 (which is a lot, but it lasts me over a year). I have seen various serums and moisturizers that have retinol/retin-A at places like Ulta. I’m wondering if they’re just as good. I guess I should check out Paula What’s-Her-Face. Not Deen.

        • Hahaha! *Snort.* Paula Deen. Now I have visions of a woman rubbing a stick of butter all over her face!

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Paula’s Choice :)

        • Yep, it is true. Brands like Roc aren’t real retin-a, you need one that lists tretinoin as the active ingredient and it’ll say right on the front of the package. Some of the brands are Obagi or A-ret. I’ve never seen them in a makeup store, but a dermatologist office will sell them at the desk with the eucerin and other lotions or you can get them online at places like amazon.

          • although that makes me wonder… if it is non-prescription, why don’t they sell it in makeup stores though? The receptionist at my derm sold Obagi to me without consulting the doctor and I’ve been buying it from amazon since.. hmm.

    • Constance Justice :

      I got it in my birtchbox this month, and it made me break out. I feel like that is probably because I am sensitive to sulf-anything and it has SLS. If that is a trigger for your acne, I’d skip it.

      Sorry I don’t have any helpful recommendations! I’m looking forward to other responses though!

      • Crappers, this wasn’t in my birchbox and I would have loved it!

        The only things I have used with any success are the whitening products from Dior and Sheseido, but both lines are pricey and I end up cheaping out when it’s time to buy more.

    • emcsquared :

      I used the DDF brightening cleanser in my Birchbox – for the most part it makes my skin lovely and glowy and even, but I have noticed an uptick in acne near my hairline and under my jaw. But it also makes my skin really tight and dry so I slather on a lot of lotion…so it’s not clear which thing is causing the acne.

      Also, it says to stay out of the sun for a long time after using it (maybe a week?) so I’ve sworn off it until it’s less beautiful outside.

      • I’ve used this cleanser before and it’s fine. I am very fair and have a few spots of hyperpigmentation on my cheek from childhood exposure. I didn’t find that it really lightened the spots, but did brighten my skin overall. You could get the same effect from using a similar cleanser (I use a Neutrogena one for acne and anti-aging.) If you’re really looking to lighten spots, I’ve found that Murad makes a lightener serum thing that is working pretty well for me. I apply it directly to the spots only after washing off my make up. I think it was pretty expensive (~$60) but I’ve been using the same bottle for about 6 months and am seeing results. HTH!

      • Just as an FYI, if you get acne around hairline and jawline with a new cleanser, it usually means you need to rinse better, because that’s where the suds like to hide when you splash the water on your face to rinse the cleanser off. :)

    • You should really try a glycolic cleanser or a lactic acid based one. I’m very dry, so I use a lactic cleanser at night, but many people with normal/oily skin can use glycolic. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on one, and you can probably get by using it only a few times a week.

  12. lawsuited :

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. It can be hard to fathom being unemployed despite great grades and other credentials and having done everything “right”, but it happens to lots of people (and it happened to me). If a firm doesn’t have work then they can’t afford to pay you even though you’re great, but you will find a firm that does have work and would prefer to hire someone with great credentials.

    If I were you, I’d move back to the major centre and reach out to EVERYONE you know, let them know you’re looking, and then they can help you network. I was in a similar situation to yours 6 months ago, and I was recommended for the job I recently accepted by a law school professor who knew I was looking. Be prepared for it to take time (it took 6 months for me) and keep positive by reminding yourself that you’re a great candidate and you just have to find the right firm.

  13. Dear Aggies :

    I am traveling to your great state this football season for the first time (welcome to the SEC) and would appreciate recommendations on places to eat/things to do/see in the College Station area. I’m a connoisseur of all things football and love learning about/experiencing other schools’ traditions.

    • Here’s my advice: go to Austin.

      The end.


      A Texas Longhorn

      • Ha ha Herbie. Love Austin.

      • Fellow Longhorn :


      • Oh so typical of a Longhorn. Seriously.

      • SAlit-a-gator :

        I like you even more now that I know you’re a Longhorn :-)

        ~ signed: Fellow Longhorn.

      • Ditto, signed a fan of a major, major UT rival. A&M? Ugh.

      • Horns up!

      • Not to totally out myself, but amen!

      • SF Bay Associate :

        I also vote Austin because it is awesome. I also happen to have lots of Longhorn friends.

      • Cornellian :

        In case anyone was wondering where I went to law and grad school… horns up!

      • Anon in ATX :

        \\m// Texas Fight! \\m//

      • Yep. There is nothing worth seeing in CS. Stay in Austin and make the drive for the game. Also, go to the town of Lockhart if you really want good BBQ. Rudy’s is a chain–it’s like saying Taco Bell has good Mexican.

        • I agree about not going to Rudy’s but there’s lots of good barbecue in College Station. J. Cody’s is my favorite. CJ’s is also good.

          It’s crazy to me that people say there’s nothing to do in College Station, particularly when the OP said she wants to experience our football traditions. We have lots of those, you really can’t deny. And have you heard of President Bush? Yeah, he has a library there. It’s a huge college campus with all of the college-y things to do around it, like eating good food and drinking. You really think she should stay three hours away and drive in just for the game? That’s insane.

      • Herbie's a Longhorn???! :

        now i love you even more than i thought possible.

    • Not an Aggie :

      But second the welcome to the SEC.


      14 and counting. . .

    • Ooooh, fun!!! Go to midnight yell. It’s at Kyle Field at midnight on Friday before the game. Spend some time on Northgate, especially the Dixie Chicken. It’ll be packed, but it’s fun. There’s a greasy pizza place next door that I love. Blue Baker is a great sandwich place. J. Cody’s has great barbeque. The George Bush Library is really nice. Campus is going to be a madhouse but walk around and see the Century Tree, Academic Plaza, the Memorial Student Center. Get to the game early and see the fighter jets fly over the stadium. Gosh, I love that place.

      • http://www.aggieathletics.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=27300&ATCLID=205238057

    • I went to A&M as a grad student. I second the anon @ 3:26 p.m.’s suggestions. I also recommend checking out a barbecue place while you’re there, such as C&J or Rudy’s. Also recommend getting in on a tailgate on game day if possible.

      There are also some wineries in the area, such as Messina Hof, which could be nice to visit to get away from some of the craziness.

      • Definitely the barbeque per Melissa (love Rudy’s). There are some nice tex-mex restaurants in the Bryan area if you need to get away from the mass of students for a meal.

  14. Thanks everyone for the thread yesterday about everyone’s pump up/bad day/down songs. I now have a “pump up corpore$$e” spotify playlist I’ve been listening to all afternoon. I love how eclectic it is. If anyone wants to throw out their pumped up songs, I’d love to grow my list. :) Since I was reading the thread at about 9pm last night, so I didn’t add mine on – so here they are!

    Pump up: Lou Bega “We Makin’ Love”
    Bad day: Lily Allen “F*** You”
    Down: Taylor Swift “A Place in this World” and “Tied Together With a Smile”

    • K...in transition :

      How about inspiring songs?

      Garth Brooks’ Standing Outside the Fire and We Shall Be Free, Christina’s Stronger, G-dsmack’s Go Away, all come to mind!

      I wonder if there’s a place online to create an actual playlist, like p-ndora or something so we could all listen to such playlists!

    • Glad you liked it!

      Care to share the playlist? I know you probably don’t want to share the link (since it would out your name), but even just the full list would be good. Avoiding everyone doing the same work and all that. If not, no worries! (This was, to be honest, a motivation in my starting the thread. I want to add to my bad day, pump up, and down playlists!)

  15. Between my mom and me, we have a large collection (many many boxes) of family correspondence (letters between my grandparents, letters between my parents when they were dating, letters from my mom to me when I was in college, etc.). In addition to proper preservation (which I need to look into), what do we *do* with all this stuff? There is a lot of family history in the letters and they certainly reflect some people’s accounts of day-to-day life at certain periods in history, but does that mean I’m just supposed to store them forever? Suggestions?

    **As background, I get rid of almost everything that I don’t use, am the ultimate un-pack rat, and am not particularly sentimental. These letters are probably the exception, but that’s just because I can’t figure out what to do with them and throwing them away seems….wrong?

    • Could you scan them and have an online album to share with the fam. Or have them bound and put into a book?

      • This. I think it is really cool that your family managed to save all that correspondence and I cringe that it might get thrown away. You should try to have them scanned and bound in a book.

      • I’m interested to hear if anyone has had letters copied and bound into a book. I have the letters that my dad wrote his family when he was in the Navy (age 19-20). They are hilarious, and since he is no longer with us, I’d love to find a way to not only keep them but also to share them with my siblings.

    • Merabella :

      Are there historical societies in your area that would be interested in personal correspondence from certain time periods (WWII, post war, whatever)?

      I work at a University that has a strong History department and a great historical collection of letters, maybe see if they are interested. They can deal with the preservation aspect, and pick out the things that are worth keeping. A lot of grad students and post doc work people want primary sources to use as documentation for their work, and things like letters from that time period are anthropologically interesting to them as a way of looking into the past.

      Just a thought, and I’ve never actually tried any of these options, so take them with a grain of salt.

    • AnonInfinity :

      You could put them into albums and store them that way. I think it would take less room than the boxes?

      I might be a terrible person, but I throw away cards and letters and whatnot because I never go back and look at them again.

      • Merabella :

        I am the same way. My husband is the opposite. I found birthday cards from the 3rd grade from people he doesn’t even remember.

    • Archivist perspective :

      Unless one of your family members was historically significant in the development of your local town/county/state/or a university most historical societies or universities won’t find use for these items unless they adhear to the scope of their collection (i.e. you have letters about agricultural development during the post-WWII period which is relevant to that university). This prevents institutions from collecting TOO much stuff. There’s no harm in offering them up if you are willing to part with them, as they may take them, and you can build into a donor agreement that you can access them at any time or that they are on a long term loan instead of actually transferring ownership, etc…I would suggest preserving them in acid-free transparent sleeves, and putting them in a binder.

      • I’m so intrigued we have an archivist in our midst! Would love to hear more about what you do.

    • I would scan them and give them to other family members. My parents did this for a lot of old photos. It was great because my great-grandparents now have 10s of decendents and we can all have a (virtual) copy. For us, electronic preservation maintained the family history better than the physical material.

  16. Does anyone have tips for stopping a fidgety habit? I have a terrible habit of playing with my hair when reviewing written work or when I pause while typing. My hair is naturally wavy/curly so it already tends towards frizzy/unkempt/wild and my playing with it all day means by the end of the day it looks CRAZY and unprofessional. Not the look I’m going for when I start a new job in about a month. Thanks!

    • K...in transition :

      are you able to clip your hair back when you’re doing those tasks so it’s not within touching range? and/or pick up a worry stone to teach yourself to rub to keep your hand busy when you’re thinking?

      • My particular flavor of hair-playing involves isolating a strand from my hairstyle and running it through my fingers, so it’s almost worse if my hair is pulled back. If I didn’t re-clip my hair periodically, by the end of the day I would have a ponytail or the sides pulled back with a hundred strands sticking out in crazy directions. So having it pulled back isn’t a complete solution; in fact, I almost do better if my hair is down but I hate having it in my face and find it distracting. Admitting all of this is embarrassing — looking forward to changing this!

    • To piggyback on this question, does anyone have ideas on how to get an SO to stop annoying habits? My SO says “like” way too often (“so, like, I said to him . . .”). He also talks sometimes before he’s completed chewing his food. When I bring it up, he says I am nagging him, but I just want him to stop both habits. The first habit is annoying, the second is gross, and both seem like things that could affect his career.

      • AnonInfinity :

        I want the answer to this, too. Unfortunately, I think we just have to accept them when they’re really ingrained.

        My husband bites his nails, which I think is really really gross and bothers the cr*p outta me. The best I can do is ask him not to do it around me, and he really does try not to. I try to say it in a non-nagging way and also try not do annoying things around him.

        I want to tackle the “like” thing, but I can’t decide how to bring it up constructively.

        • e_pontellier :

          My DH bit his nails consistently until about a year ago. I asked why/how he stopped, and he said he just started taking the time to file his nails so that they never got long and jagged enough to bite. As far as practical arguments, you can bring up the germ factor…. eeewww

          • AnonInfinity :

            Re: germ factor. He’s a heath-care professional, so I definitely don’t need to remind him of that. I know. That fact makes it even more icky.

        • K...in transition :

          make a challenge… find something little that bugs him about you (or something that bugs you about you) and challenge him. Each choose something you love that the other doesn’t. Get 2 jars and have each put in a quarter every time one slips or keep a tally for x number of days or find another way to keep track.

          When it’s competitive, it’s fun, vs. nagging and whining or what might appear to be such from the other side who doesn’t see it as a big deal!

        • Sydney Bristow :

          I don’t know if it would help, but I’m reading a book right now called The Power of Habit and it goes into how habits are created. You might be able to find something that would help you change those habits.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          hypnosis helps with nail biting. seriously.

      • I had the “like” habit, and here’s how I broke it:

        I asked my husband and son to interrupt me every time I said it, with the same question. Example:

        Me: So, like, I said to him
        Husband (interrupts) Did you LIKE say it to him or did you ACTUALLY say it to him?

        Me: So, I like went to the store
        Him (interrupts) Did you LIKE go to the store, or did you ACTUALLY go to the store?

        And so on. Every. single. time.

    • Not sure whether this is work-appropriate or would be exceedingly messy, but the way I got myself to stop biting my nails was to keep silly putty at my desk and play with it when I got the urge to bite. Yes, silly putty. Strange but it worked. I’ve also seen stress balls with memory foam instead of the less-flexible foam that they’re usually made out of – those are fun to play with too, and they may be more work-appropriate than silly putty :)

  17. K...in transition :

    Update on job stuff… though there have been no offers by anyone as of yet…

    I did the math between the aforementioned Job A (less enjoyable, 11k more/yr) and Job B (way more enjoyable, shorter commute, 6+ wks/vacation) and, after figuring out federal taxes, student loan payments, gas costs, and number of hrs per week (A requires being on-call 5-6 days/week, B has set hrs), the difference ends up being that Job A would pay me $1.80/hr more than Job B. For that price, it’s worth it to have the job I’d much more enjoy.

    Also, I’m going to take the advice of the hive, continuing to try to get into the VA (where benefits and money are major), even if it means leaving job A or B (if offered) shortly after starting. Thank you so so much for your advice!

    • K...in transition :

      Update to the update…

      just got an email, Job B offered me the position! Although, for financial reasons, I’m hoping to move over to the VA in a short amount of time, this is pretty exciting -though I admit, a part of me is totally scared to start somewhere new, especially having been out of work for 9 mos!

  18. Just FYI, we’re giving away a free blouse, if anyone is interested
    Enter til Sunday.

    Happy Weekend Corporettes!

  19. Ok… Long time lurker who could not hold it anymore… ( the comment below btw hehe)

    Just really want to thank the hive for being so inspirational and really awesome.

    Wishing you a super weekend!

  20. K...in transition :

    Wow, I’m all over this post… sorry for people sick of hearing my “voice!”

    Thinking about my working wardrobe since it’ll someday be time to work again (fingers crossed). I sort of have the same “uniform;” black, dark brown, or black pinstripe Editor’s pants, a solid color t-shirt or sweater, and a coordinating scarf (I have about 30, some fancier, some fun, etc.). Black socks and black shoes with a 1inch heel.

    What can I add that’s affordable, not so specific that someone would remember it if I wore it too often or for many years in a row, and that’s not so boring? (PS I was fine with the “uniform” until I started hearing about all the fun stuff in y’all’s closets… d*mn you! hehe)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      K – email me at [email protected] I pulled out a few items to put on the clothing swap but I have been awful about taking pics and uploading. I think I have 2 things on there right now. I think they are your size. I’ll send them to you and if they don’t fit, you can throw them on the swap. They are biz-cas.

      • K...in transition :

        just posted above that I got offered Job B. They have a dress code: white collared shirt, black pants, sneakers. It sounds like most wear polo shirts… I hate polo shirts and regular collars but what choice do I have? oh no!

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I had a job where I had to wear polos. I bought mine in the boys section at walmart. They were lined so they didn’t show the girls and they were bigger than the “sexy polos” in the ladies section but more fitted and cute than the men’s polos or older-lady-women’s polos.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Lands’ End Canvas polos are pretty nice and are often on sale.

          • Lands End (non-Canvas) also has a really good selection, in a couple fabric types. They size generously. If you sign up for emails, they have frequent sale promotions. Also check locally for a Sears or Lands End Inlet for a chance to try on in the store. And if you order in the store, there shouldn’t be any shipping costs.

        • What size are you? I have some short sleeved white collared Loft shirts that are WAY too small for me, that I’d be happy to send.

          • K...in transition :

            I’m typically a medium, but depending on the fit and length, that might vary. Never shopped at Loft before to know what size I am there. I was figuring I’d hit goodwill and see if they have some things I can afford, but that’d be amazing, L, thank you!

          • What’s your email? I’ll go through some stuff saturday and email you what I have that might work!

          • K...in transition :

            munchkin 1616 at juno dot com

        • I have found a couple at Kohl’s lately that you might like.

          This one looks like it’s more of a tshirt fabric but it has a collar.

          I just got one of these shirts, but i sized up one size, so it doesn’t gape at the front, it’s more of a casual look than a real button-front shirt, but still looks great on my pear shape, hides the tummy pooch, etc. It’s sold out of most sizes on line, but i got mine in a store, maybe there’s a Kohl’s near you?


          I’m wearing this one right now, actually, its so comfy.

          I would look for what is often called a Camp Shirt. They are more comfy fabrics and cut than a ‘button-front’ but i think they are comparable to polo shirts, so they should be fine for that office.

        • i have a comment in moderation linking to stuff at Kohl’s. If you have one near you, you might check them out. I am so happy for you about the job though!!!

    • My uniform is a solid color or simple print dress and scarf, maybe with a cardigan if I’m cold. I know not everyone is a fan of dresses, but matching 2 pieces feels like it takes way less time than 3 when I’m fumbling around half-asleep in the morning; yet the perceived level of “polish” is so much higher.

    • Sounds like you’re not going to be wearing this, but jackets or blazers sound like they could easily fit into your “uniform” without being too boring.

      Same for nice, structured cardis.

  21. pentagonal Date :

    I was excited when my best friend asked me if I wanted to grab drinks at this great bar I’ve been meaning to go to. I instantly texted back. Then she responds saying her SO, her SO’s brother and wife, and another couple will be there so I’m welcome to bring someone. Well I don’t know if I have anyone I feel comfortable bringing. I’ve been on about 10 dates with this guy, but we aren’t yet official (although and we haven’t really done any group outings, so I’m not sure if it’s the right time to subject him to a pentagonal date. The friends are great, and my guy is very social too, but I’m just not sure. Oh, and while I was writing this post, my BFF text me again, saying that first everyone is going out to dinner. I kind of already agreed to go get drinks, and I don’t want to feel like I can never hang out with my BFF because she’s very serious about her BF, but I think I might just be awkward going without a date, and it might make my budding relationship seem a bit too serious too fast if I invite him. It might otherwise be a great stepping stone into exclusivity, but it seems kind of risky. My guy did invite me to go on a group outing with his friends during the day today, but I couldn’t go because I’m at work. Ugh

    • Throw it out there and see what he says. Ten dates seems like plenty of time to invite him to outings with your friends.

    • 10 dates? Invite him. You are overthinking this. Eventually you will need to know if he can hang out in a group with friends or a group with friends/strangers. This isn’t an invitation to a family reunion or a marriage proposal, it’s drinks and dinner.

    • I’m with the others – 10 dates definitely does not seem too early for a friend dinner & drinks date!

    • Agreed. I too think you are overthinking this. I’ve asked gentlemen out on group outings after far less dates. You like your friends, you like him. Even better if they are all together! If he likes you, he shouldn’t have a problem spending time with your friends, especially at something innocuous like dinner and drinks!

    • You are way overthinking this. Invite him. Or go by yourself! Hanging out with partnered people is never as awkward as you think it’s going to be.

  22. manomanon :

    I know I’m a little late to the game but I just got a job!!!!! Now I just need to buy a car and find a place to live
    Eeep! I’m practically bouncing out of my skin
    This is a great start to the weekend :-)

    • Congrats!!!

    • Awesome. I just got a job today, too.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        YAY BUNKSTER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


      • Congratulations to both!

      • Yay, Bunkster!!

        • Good grief :

          Why would you only congratulate Bunkster, NOLA and Herbie? Doesn’t that seem a tad exclusive and b*tchy?

          • Sorry! Didn’t mean to be rude and I thought about that later, but it’s just that Bunkster has been through so much between her horrendous former boss then losing her new job so soon after getting it and everything else. But congrats to both!

          • NOLA and Herbie are some of the nicest people here. Actually, most everyone is nice; sometimes it’s hard in these long threads to get the reply in the right place and I’m sure they were happy for the original poster, but dayum Bunkster has had a craphole of a time finding a new job, then she got laid off…etc.

            Congratulations to everyone on their new jobs. I’m gonna get myself a new one, too.

          • Good grief: wow.

            Let me explain what happened here.

            I tried to congratulate manomanon. But since I’d typed out “congrats” upthread, my post got rejected. I was just about to shut down my computer and leave work, and I thought, “I’ll do it later.” And now I’m back and about to do it.

            So cool your jets, lady. Have some fondue or maybe a lady garden party.

      • Congrats to everyone! This is the weekend thread of awesome job news. Love it.

        • Yes, I think we should have an awesome thread of good job news every single week!!
          Seriously, congratulations to all the newly-jobbed, may you all be deliriously happy with them.

      • Congratulations manomanon and Bunkster! Lots of good job news today!

      • Well done, Bunkster! Congratulations :)

      • Well done, Bunkster!

      • Congratulations everybody!!!!!!

    • Congratulations! Keep on bouncing!

    • SF Bay Associate :


    • K...in transition :

      you and me. right now. stop what we’re doing. and DANCE… yay!

    • Congratulations to you both! That’s fantastic.

    • Waaaaaaahhooooo! Congratulations, manomanon!

    • Congrats!

    • Congratulations!

      And I love the handle. Makes me think of the song, which was an inside joke with my law school roommate.

    • Thanks everybody!!!
      Congrats Bunkster and K in Transition!!!!! So much job happiness this weekend!!!
      Bunkster- I’m so glad things are working out (esp away from the terrible horrible no good very bad boss)
      K- those students are so very lucky to have you!

      I hope everyone else who is looking for a job finds one soon!

    • Late for it, but congratulations! Where are you looking (since posters here might be able to help)?

      • on an island I don’t actually want to name because it is so small – thanks for the offer though!

  23. Totes McGotes :

    Am I the only one who thought this handle meant she was going on a date to the Pentagon?? That’s a weird-ass date…

    Just ask him if he’s interested. If not, you can go, but if you think you won’t be comfortable with the couples, have an excuse ready to duck out early. Or say you’re not available until drinks time, you already have dinner plans.

  24. Someone was looking for college major/career advice for a sibling this week. I just saw this and thought of you. Hope you’re still reading.

    • SoCalAtty :

      It may not have been this week, but I’ve had the much agonized over brother issues – so I sent this on to him. Thank you!!!

    • SAlit-a-gator :

      Thanks for posting. I’m not the OP, but I just forwarded this to my cousin who needed something like this.

    • Recent grad :

      I was the OP. THANK YOU! Thank you! Just one more reason why I love this blog.

      • Glad to help!

        I wish I could have read that article and book myself when I was in undergrad. Not that I don’t like being a lawyer, but I think I would have just majored in economics or civil engineering instead now.

  25. K...in transition :

    Specific request:

    white collared tops? Thanks!

    • If they don’t all have to match, I’d go to consignment shops and Salvation Army. I’ve had good luck getting high quality white blouses for not a lot of $$$ at both.

      Congrats on the new job!!

    • Not a Polo, but with a collar :


    • momentsofabsurdity :

      K – your dress code is my worst nightmare! I look awful in most collars, especially polo shirts. Stark white isn’t my best look either. That said, this is versatile, looks long enough to tuck, and is well priced:


      plus it’s got great reviews. I also recommend investing in a bunch of nude-for-you bras, considering all the white you’ll be wearing!

    • I like this one because it requires no ironing and no tucking:


  26. Grinding My Gears :

    I’ve read Kat’s post on burnout, but I’m hoping we can open the discussion again because I need HELP. I’ve been in my career for 10 years and at my current workplace for 4. I like my job for the most part, but the honeymoon period is most definitely over and in the last year, I’ve noticed that my attitude has been slowly creeping downhill. I feel like I’m burning out and I’m too mired in the everyday muck to get much perspective about what I want my career to look like 1-5 years from now. Or even be as effective as I used to be on a daily basis. Here’s what my issues boil down to, and I need some advice (or tough love) on what to do next.

    1) When I started, the workload was manageable. Everyone’s workloads are much heavier now and there are no plans to add any manpower to my department. I feel like I spend most of my time just keeping my head above water. Any strategic thinking/planning has fallen by the wayside. My boss knows this is a problem.
    2) The standards and expectations are higher than any other place I’ve worked. I thrived on it for the first few years, especially after coming from environments where quality wasn’t always appreciated. But coupled with my supervisors’ insane desire for perfection, immediacy also is expected. I could handle either factor alone, and have, but the expectation of achieving both at the same time is wearing me down. I am constantly afraid of falling short of expectations. I am in a creative field and my work is publicly visible. A therapist once asked me if I could do a few things “a little less well,” and my response was no, because the expectation is that the work is perfect. I’m prone to impostor syndrome anyway, so all this external pressure is adding fuel to my internal anxiety.
    3) I’m a detail-oriented and organized, but little things are slipping through the cracks because I’m juggling competing projects and priorities all the time. I’ve been told that saying no isn’t an option; I need to find some way to make it work.
    4) I have young children. I only mention this because I know my batteries are drained from being ‘on’ at home, too.

    When I type it all out, I can see how burned out I am. I don’t want to bail, but I need to make some changes to make my job feel like less of a grind.

    • On number 1, you say your boss knows this is a problem, but the boss doesn’t really know it is still a problem because you still have a high workload and things are falling through the cracks. By continuing to “just keep your head above water,” you are essentially training your workplace to expect that you can do this workload all the time.

      I’d bring up the workload issue with your boss again and see what can be done, if anything. If they won’t change things then–and this is a “know your workplace” thing–I would consider not doing certain low-priority tasks tasks or doing a cr*ppy job on them. If the workload is too high then they should expect that things will fall through the cracks or not get done properly, so that is exactly what should start happening to give you some breathing room. To that end, you shouldn’t feel bad about #3. That is to be expected. The only thing you can do is to keep reminding boss that you have too much to do, so boss should know that you are worried that things will fall through the cracks.

      I know this advice conflicts with your need for perfection, but if you keep doing what you are doing now, then why would you expect your workplace to change? It may seem that everything needs to be done to perfection, but think about it. If the unthinkable happened and you were hit by a bus tomorrow and had to be out of work for 8 weeks, would the company shut down? No? Then doesn’t it seem reasonable that there must be something that can be done about your workload now and the company should help you with that? If they could do it if you got hit by a bus, then surely they could do it to help out a valuable employee.

    • SoCalAtty :

      No help, but you are me in 4 years!! I think I work in the same place. Job is pretty good, but there are a few things that could get really discouraging if they continue.

      • Guinness Girl :

        I have so been where you are. Last spring I took a long weekend and essentially had a conversation with my 60-year-old self (I am 42), asking her how SHE wanted to spend her days. So- I have gone back to school (for a second master’s – I am evidently indecisive), and though I am still working in the insane office environment, a) I can see my way to something better (in a different, but somewhat related field) at the end of it; and b) I have been much more upfront about what is reasonable and what is not re: workload, and just generally better at taking care of my own needs. It kind of took a crisis/major stress episode to get me to the point of action; maybe yours won’t get there (I hope). Good luck!

      • Good advice, Guiness Girl.

        I’d start looking for a new job if it doesn’t seem like any of this is going to change.

        You’ll be surprised how less stressful you’ll feel when there’s an end date.

  27. momentsofabsurdity :

    I thought the hive would appreciate this quote from Caitlin Moran on NPR:

    “It wasn’t even being beautiful. I just wanted to be smooth and thin and have, and you know, have beautiful glossy hair and lovely clothes and be able to walk in heels. And I thought that once I did all of that stuff that my life would begin. And so I remember getting to about 28 and 29 and still really realizing that I subconsciously thought that, that when I was perfectly smooth and perfectly thin with perfect hair and beautiful outfits and I could sort of spring out of bed and just put on a beautiful kind of beautifully tailored skirt suit and pick up my massive clutch bag and put on my heels and go down and drink half a cup of coffee before going, must dash, and getting into a cab…


    …that would be the point where my life would begin. And just realizing I was never going to do that even one day ever, let alone that be my life. And I think loads of women have this idea that their life is going to start at some point, once they’ve busted all these problems of being a woman, once we’re thin and we’re pretty and we’ve got all of our clothes and stuff and we’re fabulous, that’s when our life will begin. ”

    I think I’m definitely guilty of this. If I just have more stuff, if I get my hair straightened just so, if I can one day get to this point in my career, if I can have this much disposable income, if I can lose 10 pounds, etc etc, THEN I get to be happy. I think I sometimes need a reminder that my life is happening right now – I don’t have to always be in anticipation of it being about to begin if I can just get X, Y and Z done.

    I’m in the middle of How to Be a Woman, and I’m really enjoying it. For those who are interested, the full transcript of her interview is at this link:


    • ChocCityB&R :

      I loved that interview, and I’m picking up that book soon! I have to say, that at 28 I finally did get thin and smooth and I do wear skirt suits and big clutches and dash off after half a cup of coffee…and I still don’t feel like my life has begun.

    • Love her! I have the book, too, and while reading it, am alternatively falling over laughing or saying, “Right on, girl!”

      • I’m in the middle of it, and that’s my reaction, too. Can’t wait to finish it. Will definitely read the NPR interview.

    • I heard that too! Can’t wait to read her book.

    • I also heard that interview. Has anyone found the book on audio yet? I’d love to listen to it while I drive.

    • I finished the book this weekend. It’s amazing. AMAZING.

  28. Anne Bronte :

    Update on my dress for the Indian wedding (because I’m sure everyone has been on the edge of their seats) — the bride says her sari isn’t red and not to worry about it. She also says to prepare for Major Glitz. I am deliriously excited!

    Thanks, everyone.

  29. e_pontellier :

    Hey ladies, I need some help with my DH. He is extremely judgmental of me — such that, if I stay out too late or don’t do my (law school) homework on time (and mention being unprepared for class), he gets really really angry. He usually yells something like “go away” or “I’m going for a walk” and then doesn’t speak to me for 12-36 hours. When he does start speaking to me again, it’s like nothing ever happened. He absolutely refuses to discuss what set him off, or why he feels that way, or how we can work to find a compromise about whatever issue. I really want him to start talking to me about what’s going on, because his reaction is so disproportionate to my action (and hi, he’s not my parent) but how do I crack this nut?

    • Hey dear, first of all, I’m sorry you’re going through this. It’s tough to feel so judged, especially in one’s own home, and with someone ‘inner circle.’

      Is he always like this? Or has he gotten this way recently because of things that have been bothering him? (Is his own career on track? Other life goals? I ask because sometimes, when people feel lost and out of control, they turn that frustration outwards and seek to control others.) I am not trying to get him off the hook– what he’s doing is really unacceptable, and the sulking, the refusing to discuss, and therefore refusal to acknowledge something’s wrong is troublesome.

      Are there times when he’s in a calm, neutral mood when you can approach? I’d use that time (if he has any such times) to tell him that you’ve noticed a pattern and that it really makes you feel crappy and you wanted to know whether he’s aware that he’s making you unhappy in this way.

      If he gets angry and refuses to discuss, this is a big red flag. You may need to go hard-hitting and tell him point-blank that his behaving this way is tantamount to his saying, “I call all the shots here. Only I get to decide what’s wrong or right, and only I get to set the schedule on what to discuss and only my decisions and feelings matter.” And tell him that it’s unacceptable.

      I would suggest going to counseling, individual and couples, if he’s willing.

    • K...in transition :

      it sounds like he is controlling and/or emotionally abusive… if possible, seek a marriage counselor and, if he refuses to go (or in addition), get yourself to one. You deserve better!

      • My immediate thought as well. This sounds like emotional abuse. Counseling.

      • +1 on this. You guys need to see a couples therapist stat.

      • I totally agree on the abusive diagnosis.
        But I’d recommend reading Lundy Bancroft’s “why does he do that?” first.
        If only because he’d advise personal counseling for someone in that situation, and maybe separate specialized anti-abusive therapy for the abuser. But there’s way too much scope for an ordinary marriage therapist to get pulled into co-abusing if you have a hypocritical creep on your hands. Believe it, I’ve seen it happen at painfully close quarters.

    • TO lawyer :

      First of all, I’m also so sorry you’re going through this – it’s especially frustrating to be judged by your SO, who is supposed to make you feel loved.

      My ex was like this, especially because he didn’t drink and I did and it got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t be myself around him, which was awful and frustrating.

      It seems to me like your DH’s reactions are especially disproportionate to your behavior which is not bad at all! I think when you guys are both calm, you need to bring it up in a calm manner and say “when you get upset at me for X, I feel Y. Can we talk about what it is that’s making you upset and how we can fix this?”

      For a counterpoint though, I got really frustrated at my SO recently for paying almost $1000(!) in speeding tickets and insisting on going to the gym for an intense workout when he was in severe back pain. After reflecting on why I got so upset, I realized two things: first, irresponsible behavior in general upsets me and second, I think so highly of my SO that when he’s being irresponsible, it bothers me even more. (This reaction is probably not justified and I rationalized to myself that I was overreacting, and as it’s his body/money, it’s none of my business). BUT my point is (sorry I have a bad habit of going on a tangent), that maybe part of that thought process is also affecting your DH? Maybe he just thinks so highly of you that seeing you act in a way he perceives to be less than ideal bothers him?

      This doesn’t justify or excuse his behavior, but may provide an explanation, which I find is a big step towards a solution!

    • For me personally, this would be the beginning of the end. The silent treatment is completely unacceptable in a functional long-term relationship or marriage. Get thee to a therapist!

    • I Worry That My SD Will Be You in 10 Years :

      No one has said this yet, so I will: his behavior is not normal. It is not even close to normal. It is so far beyond the boundaries of normal that I don’t understand why you are with him.

      This is the kind of thing my SD’s mom does to her. Tuesday night SD was spending the night with a girlfriend. At 10:30 at night (10:30!), her mom texted her and demanded that she drive home. When SD arrived home, mom yelled at her for hours about something mom thought, wrongly, SD had done. When they woke up in the morning, mom picked up the yelling where she had left off. By the time SD came to us Wednesday evening (the usual switch), she was a mess.

      I worry that SD will say the words, “I know most moms don’t act like this,” but that when she goes to college and has boyfriends and has post-college serious boyfriends, she won’t know abnormal behavior when she sees it. Abnormal behavior like what your boyfriend is doing to you.

      Why is it OK with you for him to do this to you? Why didn’t you leave after he wouldn’t discuss it the first time it happened?

      • Or worse, she will recognize it as “abnormal” and feel comfortable with it anyway.

    • 1. That’s not judgment. 2. You’re an adult. 3. You’re not doing things that are unsupportive of your marriage.

      You deserve better. Now repeat: “I deserve better.” Two parts here: the blowing up/yelling/storming off/being disrespectful and the aftermath where he refuses to discuss.

      You must be on pins and needles and I’m glad you posted here because sometimes we all need someone to point out the truth (which you know in your heart). You are being emotionally/mentally abused. No one has the right to treat you like that, least of all your husband. And honestly, school is a drain and if there isn’t more to what you’re saying, it sounds pretty minor. So what if you aren’t 100% prepared for class, who is? Do the best you can and show up, participate, etc.

      Off to counseling for you first and then together if he’ll go. Again, you deserve oh so much better.

    • e_pontellier-

      I totally want to smack your husband right now.

      That is completely unreasonable behavior and you shouldn’t have to live with it.

      I am accustomed to giving the silent treatment, but usually only for 10 minutes or so, and only so I won’t say something I’ll regret.

      12-36 hours? That is completely out of line. I would not put up with it for one more day. If you were my sister I’d tell you to leave his sorry ass next time he throws one of these tantrums. Seriously, if he’s not speaking to you, why should you have to tell him where you’re going? Just go. Then come back in 12-36 hours. Or not.

    • e_pontellier :

      Thank you all so much. For some background: both DH & I had extremely emotional abusive parents. I have been in individual counseling for about 4 months and it’s helping so so much.

      DH and I went to couples counseling twice last month: the first time was a huge success, we both communicated, opened up, and talked. The second time was a disaster (DH basically sat down and said “well I don’t know why we’re even here, I thought we fixed everything last time” and then said nothing else). We haven’t gone back. Sidenote: suggestions on finding a couples therapist? We’re in NYC.

      DH needs individual counseling, I think, but he’s in denial about it, and I have become his therapist — about twice a month, for a few hours, we talk about his feelings and the relationship problems he has with his family, his coworkers, his friends. I have been trying to suggest that he needs someone other than me to talk to, but he’s not doing anything about it. He’s definitely controlling, but it’s based in his anxiety (not excusing his behavior, just trying to provide background) – I also think he might need anxiety meds. Does anyone have experience convincing an unwilling person to try some therapy and/or meds? Are there support groups or something for this sort of thing?

      FWIW, I did leave him the first time he did this silent treatment thing to me. We were just dating at the time and we talked about it. I am aware it’s not normal, but I want to work with him on it because the good times we have are just.so.good and this seems to be our only challenge. He believes the silent treatment is a much kinder reaction, because he grew up being screamed at. So, he thinks that by being silent, he’s just not yelling, and that’s a good way to deal with anger. (I disagree, but haven’t been able to communicate that with him).

      • **This is going to sound harsh. I mean it to sound serious, and not mean.** It is not your job to fix your husband. That’s his job (to fix himself). I also grew up in an abusive home and with brutally abusive, abnormal parents. I would never treat my DH this way. Your abusive history and his abusive history is not an excuse for treating each other poorly. Please, please call your therapist and set up a time to discuss this. You and your DH are not going to fix each other together. I’m sorry, but I just don’t think it works that way, even when/if the good times seem good. You deserve goodness 110%.

      • Hmm.. this is not reassuring. Especially where he just doesn’t seem to get it or have the willingness to “try again.” What kind of f*cking dufus thinks that marriage is a “there’s one problem and it’s fixed and will stay fixed forever” type dealio?

        He’s profiling up to be emotionally abusive. If you ever decided to leave him, would he react violently? I throw this out there just because it’s due diligence.

        I also throw this out there because I think there’s either a nontrivial chance that if you stay with him, he won’t really change and the rest of your life will be like being in a maximum security prison, or you’ll need to divorce him to save yourself.

        The latter would be relief, I think. I really don’t think he deserves to be in a relationship if he behaves in this sort of f–ed up manner.

      • So sorry but frankly think you’re putting up with pretty rubbishy treatment. I won’t add to the many comments that his behaviour is not normal but therapy does seem like the right next step. Here are some ideas on how to approach the discussion on therapy without being accusatory (although you will probably need to be prepared to use sticks ie. the threat of leaving, as well as carrots if he’s as reluctant to acknowledge issues as he sounds) –

        : You say you’ve talked to a counsellor together and that he finds it therapeutic to talk to you about his issues. But it seems clear that talking has not translated into any insight on his part about non-constructive behaviour, let alone specific commitments to change or avoid them. Is it possible for you to point this out (‘we didn’t fix anything the last time with the counsellor because we are still doing the same [upsetting] things’) and say ‘that’s why I think a professional can help us’ ? (or ‘help you better than I can’)

        : There was a good thread a couple of weeks ago about how learning to fight fairly was an important lesson for many couples in the first few years of marriage. Is it possible for you to talk about your different styles of disagreement, say that adapting the styles are important since you’re going to be together for a long time and that you’d like to seek professional help for this ?

        Do please be careful and hope you can get the next steps going. You deserve much better than this !

      • Seattleite :

        At this point, I think you are well within your rights to make staying in your home contingent on him being in therapy. You can’t convince him to be in therapy or on meds. All you can do is set the prerequisites for being in a relationship with you.

        Your individual therapist can help you locate a couples therapist and/or another therapist for your DH. Personally, I appreciated having the same person do individual counseling for each of us, plus our couples counseling; it helped me be more confident that he was getting the entire story, and that I wasn’t being unfair in my presentation. But there are differing schools of thought there, and YMMV.

        About the good times that are Just.so.good – they always are, honey. And they are what keep us sticking around for the bad times. Proceed carefully, please.

      • Do you realize that the good times being oh-so-good is part of the pattern of abuse? The too-good and too-bad parts are inextricably tied, as you’d never put up with the bad if he didn’t feed you the good in parallel, once in a while. It’s just like being addicted to gambling..

      • FWIW, my ex-h did this to me. Well, something similar – he didn’t blow up, but he would get quietly (and secretly) angry, and give me the silent treatment. Only in retrospect do I realize how destructive it was. Respectfully, I think that this is a threat to the survival of your marriage, and you need to put it to him in those terms.

      • Elle Urker :

        For the love of god, don’t procreate.

        • Elle Urker, this is an awful thing to say.

          There are lots of people who survive some terrible traumas and end up having children who are ok.

          • Anonymous :

            I think the comment is spot on. The only thing that could make this worse is innocent minors as collateral damage. Ramp up the birth control-and DON’T have kids til this is fixed or over.

    • Oh lordy, I went through this. In my case, DH was angry and sulky because he had moved to another city, where he was working 2 retail jobs he didn’t like, to support me while I attended law school. When I wasn’t making law school a priority (by going out at night, or skipping a lecture, or watching TLC instead of homework) he figured I was squandering the opportunity and he’d given up his life for nothing. He was probably justified in feeling that way, but the way he handled it by refusing to talk to me and storming out frequently was beyond ridiculous.

      • P.S. DH and I had just gotten married and were generally having a lot of growing pains at that time. He’s actually very lovely and supportive of me and my career (and my TLC addiction) now.

      • This is actually the situation I thought the OP was referring to. While the response seems to be overblown, if I was supporting my SO through law school and thought that they weren’t taking it seriously enough, that would be very frustrating. Still not justifying the extent of the reaction, and based on your follow up comments, this seems like a deeper issue.

    • Just wanted to add that sometimes I feel like people on this site jump to assuming abuse very quickly. While there are signs of abuse in what you have written, there are also things that you say that make me think it may not be the case. As we don’t have all the details, which makes sense, it is entirely possible that he is going through a rough time and not reacting well or a hundred other scenarios. It is also possible that it is an abusive relationship, but that’s something that you (and possible some non-internet friends who know you and him better) need to evaluate.

      Sometimes I feel that this site jumps to abuse too quickly, which worries me. If I posted something and everyone (or even a majority) shouted abuse, I don’t think the result would be good. (As reference, I have been through abuse, trained in helping those abused, and seen as an outside abusive relationships. I’m not a stranger to it, just worry about people calling wolf and making people doubt themselves.)

      • Yes, but it’s a possibility and it has to be raised. Why should the folks who’ve raised the ability censor themselves? Very often, the people in abusive relationships don’t know that. It’s also helpful for people to see their relationship in the context of other relationships.

        Regardless of whether some expert thinks he’s abusive or not, his behavior is unacceptable. The sob story (if he’s going through a tough time, etc. etc.) may EXPLAIN but not EXCULPATE. Please tell me you’re smart enough to know this. Sob stories (if true) still do not justify going around treating others like crap. That needs to be dealt with and he needs to show he’s a real partner in the marriage by making a good faith effort to deal with this issue rather than refusing to go to therapy.

        And don’t be so dismissive of “internet friends.” We see the undistilled ugliness of things when people come to this site in distress. And we try to analyze it to be best of our abilities to lay out all the possibilities for the OP. “Non-internet friends” who may see this dude may only see his good side. It’s not uncommon for abusers to behave like angels when others are around, making the abuse victim feel like she has no one to turn to or that no one would believe her.

        Abuse or not, it’s clear he’s behaving like a total @sshole right now. And if the OP is thinking about just putting up with this sort of behavior, then she should very well doubt herself. She deserves better.

        • +1, Susan.

        • I’m not saying the possibility shouldn’t ever be raised, I’m just saying that sometimes the possibility is raised and then that is all that anyone mentions or at least the majority of the conversation, even in cases where the OP only posted one event. I’m not saying it isn’t the case, just that the person doesn’t have to feel overwhelmed with the one possibility. I’m sure that most of us could post information about a situation with a relationship (romantic, friendship, family, etc.) that could be abuse but also could be an off day or stressful time or a million other possibilities.

          To be honest, I’m not positive what the second sentence is asking.

          I do agree with the fact that the issue at hands needs to be dealt with, but there is a big difference between one or two events and an abusive relationship.

          I’m not at all dismissive of internet friends. I understand it and wasn’t putting down your comments at all, because I do think it is important. I was just saying that, before calling a domestic abuse hotline, perhaps the OP should reexamine and perhaps discuss the more individual details (ones you may not want to mention on the internet) either alone or with close confidants or a therapist to decide the next steps and the relationship.

          I do agree with the fact that he is being a jerk currently, and honestly I was commenting more in the general than to the specific OP. It’s not that it’s impossible for some of these to be abuse, but I think it should be raised as a possibility that it isn’t always.

          • Every abusive relationship starts with “one or two events”. Often fairly mild ones at that. In fact, no relationship is completely and solely abusive, in that you don’t get beaten full-time. The way it works is that this totally wonderful man you’re so in love with, often the best thing you’ve ever met in your life, starts doing things that are more and more hurtful. They may or may not slide from isolation from your family and friends to put-downs and humiliation, and sometimes never even reach the slap, then the broken teeth that we can all recognize. The really obvious stuff hardly ever happens before your personality is completely broken down from psychological abuse. By then it’s a lot harder to get out.

            I have to say I’m totally aghast that you say you’re “trained in helping those abused”. Do you have women calling you with the kind of symptoms we respond to here, and tell them you think they’re imagining things, or overreacting? If you were properly trained, you’d know that there are in fact many, many undiagnosed cases of abuse, and that professional status is no protection at all. I shudder to think of someone finally screwing up her courage to get some help, and getting the kind of response that you’re giving here. Please stay away from potentially abused women till you’ve better processed what you may have gone through, gotten further or better training, and you can be more objective!

          • Yes but not every one or two events leads to an abusive relationship. There are also many abusive relationships with no physical beatings. I understand all this and am simply trying to say that posters should examine this with someone in real life, where they can give the details, rather than read the message board and think this 100% means they are in an abusive relationship. You can’t give enough details on an online board to determine this in most cases, particularly when the question is about only one issue.

            I don’t think a personal attack was necessary and fail to understand why you think this helps your case, other than the obvious bullying factor. I’ve never told someone who came for help that they are imagining things or are overreacting. There is a big difference between someone coming to an online board asking how can I deal with this one problem that’s nagging me (and often are letting out a rant about it) and someone who is saying, listen, I think I’m in an abusive relationship, how do I find out for sure and what do I do – a very BIG difference. I do know there are many unreported and unrecognized cases; I’m not sure why you bring this up, though. I don’t know what you mean by professional status being a protection.

            Also, just as an aside, I appreciate the fact that you are telling me never to tell women coming for help they are overreacting or making things up (which I never have or will do) yet you tell me “what you may have gone through” in regards to my saying I was in an abusive relationship.

            My entire point here has just been that the board often jumps very quickly to abuse and sometimes it would be more helpful to raise the point but not harp on it and even instead to answer the OP’s actual question. As I’ve said before, there are incidents from any friendship, romance, or other relationship that, if one is ranting or asking for help on them, could be seen as a sign of abuse. It could also be a misunderstanding, single incident never to be repeated, etc. The way many of these posts/threads read, every person is in abusive relationships. (For example, if I posted about being annoyed that my boyfriend or friend punched me in the arm a few times, you all might say it was abuse and to run away. It might turn out that he punches his friends in the arm all the time and didn’t realize it offended me until we spoke. Or, for instance, I rant about how my friend hasn’t called me and seems to have blown me off in a month, but then calls me asking for a favor and blows up at me, then wants another favor and says we’re best friends. You call abuse, but it turns out that she’s been having a tough time at work, a member of her family is very sick in the hospital, etc. and she just doesn’t know what to do so she hunkered down and withdrew but her emotions are all over the place. Should she have said something? Sure, but it happens. I know those aren’t great examples, but I don’t have time to develop a better one.)

            I appreciate the possibility being raised, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelmingly the only one mentioned. That’s been my entire point, so I don’t know why people are jumping on me for saying it isn’t abuse (which I’ve never said) and personally attacking me.

          • Hello, I normally don’t post too often, and take the time to find all the comments and scroll down, but in case you are still reading, please please please take M-C’s comments to heart . M-C put it best , that is “The way it works is that this totally wonderful man you’re so in love with, often the best thing you’ve ever met in your life, starts doing things that are more and more hurtful. They may or may not slide from isolation from your family and friends to put-downs and humiliation, and sometimes never even reach the slap, then the broken teeth that we can all recognize. The really obvious stuff hardly ever happens before your personality is completely broken down from psychological abuse. By then it’s a lot harder to get out.”

            This is very true, and I can tell you that in just a 2.5 yr marriage it took me over 2x long to get over it and begin to be myself again, realizing that along the way of getting better, I was letting lots of people step all over me.

            Don’t let this happen to you!!!!!!!!!!!! please –

            Read more: http://corporette.com/2012/08/24/weekend-open-thread-141/#ixzz24mMM3Fss”

  30. Ramon for This :

    Just venting…

    My job sucks. The actual work isn’t too bad, but the work environment is terrible. One of the few bright spots is that a good friend from law school works with me. It has always been helpful to feel like there’s someone I truly know and trust amidst this poisonous environment. Today I found out that he’s been sitting on a great job offer and a “pile of money” for two weeks, but hasn’t been sure if he’s going to take it because he’s managed to parlay his role at this office into a “power position.”

    Ladies, I know my friend’s career choices are not my business. Still, I feel really hurt because after all the b!tching we’ve done about this job and how we can’t wait to get out, and after all this time feeling like I had a buddy in the trenches, he is now actively choosing to be here. If someone called me with an offer right now, I wouldn’t even have time to put the phone down before I’d have handed in my notice. Again, it’s not my business, I’m just feeling sorry for myself because I don’t have the luxury of making the choice he’s making; plus I feel like I’m suddenly not sure I really understand someone I’d have said was my close friend.

    Anyone ever deal with this?

    • Hmmmmm. I worked in an extremely toxic environment at my old job, and one of my close friends also worked there. She and I did the same thing, b!tch and swear we would rather stick hot forks in our eyes than stay any longer than we had to. I truly believe we both hate/hated it (I am now gone) there, but there were plenty of times we both exaggerated the hate because, well, IT’S FUN.

      That said, I would not feel hurt if she decided to stay there after she had been made a job offer. It has nothing to do with me. Plus, people all have different motivators. It sounds like his new “power” is the reason he is deciding to stay. Just because you would do something different doesn’t make him less of a friend. He has to do what he thinks is best for him based on all the information given to him. It appears that he thinks staying, after all the information was presented to him, is what is best for him. He may end up regretting that decision later, but I don’t think you should be taking it so personally.

      Why don’t you talk to him about it? Just in a “Hey! Why don’t we go out to lunch and dish about your job offer and the changes being made here?” kind of way. It would be hard for me to say I didn’t understand a friend unless I had really gotten all the information necessary.

    • My BF does this. He is qualified for tons of other openings, and browses them frequently. His job is rough. He has several friends who have left and are doing great, and they always wonder why he’s still there. But he never applies for the other jobs.

      I think it’s some sort of Stockholm Syndrome. Change is scary.

      • I think sometimes people who do this are just complacent complainers. It’s frustrating once you realize they have other options, but you have to let them be them (or often end up being complained about and badmouthed or shut out).

  31. tcb in nyc :

    Ladies, I posted this yesterday but am reaching out again because, well, I’m kind of at a loss.

    I got an offer from my summer firm that I would rather not take. The firm is a good one but it is in a different city than mine. SO moved to my city to be with me when I started law school (and I made him move twice before that, too) and I just can’t make him move again–it’s not right to drag him around after me like a lost puppy.

    Plus, my gut is telling me not to go to the firm. I split my summer with a public interest job in the area I’m interested in, I’m on a full merit scholarship at a top-6 school, and I’m applying to clerkships, fellowships, and the whole gamut of public interest jobs. I feel like, given time and effort, I will find another job that I like better. But the firm only gave me until the end of September to decide, which isn’t really enough time to conduct a legitimate job search. What to do? How do I ask the firm (nicely) to extend the deadline again? Can I even do that?


    • Anne Shirley :

      Just accept it. As we all learned 2 years ago, firms don’t hesitate to change their minds, and neither should you.

    • September 30? Start searching now. If you don’t have any good prospects, take the job. A month is a fine amount of time to at least start searching. For all you know, you could find a job in a month.

    • Constance Justice :

      If the deadline comes up and you don’t have another offer yet, just accept. In my experience, firms will not hesitate to change their minds about you prior to your start date, and it is not unheard of for a new hire to change her mind before her start date. Especially in cases where you withdraw because of an offer in a different city, people are generally more understanding.

      I’d try to ramp up the job search quickly though, so as to not put the current employer in a position where you accept, they spend a lot of resources setting you up, and then you change your mind.

    • I’d take it and keep looking.

    • Can you just be upfront with them? In a similar situation, I ended up on telling my firm: “I’m applying for clerkships now and, as you know, it’s a difficult and unpredictable process. I’d be happy to accept your offer, but wanted to let you know that if I do get the clerkship I’m going to do that.” (obv plenty of room to work on the wording, but you get the gist). They were totally fine with it.

      Think it would be fine to do something like this if youre looking primarily at clerkships/fellowships (which firms tend to be supportive of). If youre looking at other firms, a much more difficult road. Though I do think you can blame it on the SO if you are engaged/married — “I loved your firm and would love to accept but not sure what SO’s opportunities are in your city and we need more time to figure it out.”

    • anon atty :

      i have a different point of view than some other posters, though i totally understand the idea that firms will retract offers so dont feel bad if you retract an acceptance. Based on your post, it sounds like you really dont want to be at the firm and dont really think its a good fit. Based on my experience (almost 10 yrs in biglaw), you wont last long at the firm and you will likely hate it (there are some obvious generalizations there, but you get what im saying). Additionally, you are taking the spot of another student and a very tough market. it is unlikely that if you wait until after the hiring season that the firm will fill your spot. You certainly do not owe other unknown students anything, but in my mind, its just the right thing to do.

    • Anonnymizz :

      Are you a 3rd year? If so accept the job and keep looking. You don’t have to go until next year. Most firms also understand if you get a clerkship offer and will usually bump your start date – then you have 2 years to find the job you want. Even if you go and are looking for a job on day 1, you will be employed. The legal job market is still very tight for folks with no experience. It is easier to find a job with a job or an offer in hand.

      If you have graduated, I’d still take the job and continue my search. Even if you find a great opportunity, the hiring process can easily take 4-5 months….

  32. Constance Justice :

    Thanks to those of you who expressed concern about my fall and for your recommendations! I saw my massage therapist today and am feeling ten times better than yesterday! Also, the face mask idea was brilliant. I’m so glad this week is over, even though its going to be a working weekend for this gal. Thanks, pain meds, for the drop in productivity.

    And thanks to everyone for providing hours of entertainment while I’m sequestered in my home office!

  33. K...in transition :

    So I’m officially a small number of hours post-job offer. I emailed and accepted the position. They need me to start Monday for training and students at the school start Tuesday. It’s a charter school where over 99% get free lunches. They’ve told me I can bring a window a/c for my office if I’d like and I can choose the paint color, otherwise, I don’t know anything else until I get there.

    Question for all… although I logically know I am well qualified for this position, what are your tips/tricks for dealing with the emotional fear? I’m stressing over not fitting in, not knowing the building, being the new “kid,” and all of the other first day jitters that are probably really common paired with having not had a boss to answer to for 9 mos and not being used to a 6am alarm clock and such. Please help calm my brain!

    • Pack a lunch (so you don’t have to worry about finding some place to eat) and promise yourself a treat at the end of the day for surviving it. Acknowledge that the day probably won’t go smoothly, it’ll take some time to get to know the ropes, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

      And practice getting up early for the week beforehand. At least set the alarm for 6, even if you don’t get out of bed.

      • K...in transition :

        I wish I could, Nona… I got the offer at the end of the day today, and the job requires me to start Monday since the students start Tuesday. So I get 2 practice days for waking up earlier and earlier.

        I’m just freaking out on the emotional level, even though people IRL always figure me to be calm and confident (based on what folks have told me in the past). I guess the inner fear is that someone’ll question why I got hired or regret having chosen me out of all of the candidates.

        • This sounds like it might be the reaction setting in from all the pent-up anxiety during the months of job-searching, when I can imagine it took a tonne of emotional discipline to hold it together and keep going.

          You must’ve denied yourself any number of little treats and temptations back then, so why not pick something to treat yourself to ? Even if it’s just a small one like calling a friend to give them the good news. Then enjoy the weekend, take your dog for an extra long walk and just be yourself on Monday. Best of luck !

    • Congratulations! You are going to be awesome.
      Maybe line up a week’s worth of cute outfits that give you a boost of confidence, look up your soon-to-be co-workers on Linkedin to see what commonalities you might have, walk around the building a few times this weekend to start building a mental map and feeling like you belong?
      Best wishes!

    • Don’t expect or try to “achieve” anything on the first day. Just smile a lot, focus on learning names and figure out where the bathrooms are. Once the kids get there on Tuesday, they’ll be the new ones and will need the help you are so well-qualified to provide!

    • Honestly, I don’t think the fear and stress are going to go away until you actually get to work on Monday. If I were you, I’d just accept it, be kind to myself in the meantime (long walks with pup? other exercise? healthy food? gardening with your neighbor?), and do anything that would make me feel more prepared ahead of time (plan outfits, pack lunch, drive the commute to make sure you’ve got it down, whatever).

      When you get to school on Monday, here’s what I would do: smile, be polite, be as social as possible, and take an interest in EVERYONE. Also make sure you know things like how the schedule works, where the bathrooms are, and the way your office will handle lunch. I don’t know if you’ve worked in a school before, but common knowledge is that there are two groups of people you absolutely must have in your corner: the head secretary and the custodial staff.

      Good luck! You’re going to be awesome and your kiddies will love you.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      What are you concerned about, fitting in with the staff, or fitting in with the school population?

    • Look up the schools website and find an email address for the PTA (or google “school’s name PTA”.) Send an email saying you’ve just been hired, look forward to meeting the PTA leaders and perhaps can you meet up to get a parent’s take on the school and what’s going on there? I bet you someone writes you back pretty quickly with a sincere offer for support.

      If it is a charter they’ve got to have an involved PTA.

      I say this as the PTA president of a public school where we have 65% FARMs (free and reduced meals) and I’d be thrilled to get an email like this.

      Anyway, otherwise Just keep telling yourself that it is about the kids. And that maybe your feat going I to this is probably no where near what they experience in their daily lives.

  34. Yay! TGIF!

  35. Reviewed. :

    I’ve been at my job for 10.5 months and I got the self-evaluation for my performance review, which is due in two weeks (Monday after Labor Day). I’m absolutely stumped by some of these questions. It’s an entry-level position at a small firm that provides a specific financial service, and I’m having a hard time coming up with specific goals for myself for the next six months to a year as well as weaknesses.

    Okay. I know my biggest weakness is that I put off making certain phone calls for forever even though 99% of the time they aren’t bad at all. (I’ve always hated talking on the phone. I don’t even like calling to order take out.) Thankfully, my job requires me to make a number of phone calls though I really only put off the one type. This is something I know I need to work on.

    And this summer I’ve had an assistant once a week (he was split between different people on different days) and it looks like this will be continuing into the fall so I’ve had very rudimentary supervisory experience on which I’d like to expand, so this is clearly a goal (including giving feedback to the person I’m supervising instead of just fixing the problems myself).

    For the most part I am pretty good at my job (my probationary review was pretty excellent and the phone skills was the biggest thing I needed to work on) and I’d like to stay at the company for a few more years. But I’ve been getting parental pressure because my mom thinks I am selling myself short and almost every time I see her she asks me what I am doing with my life, so I’d like to figure out ways in which I can ask for more responsibility.

    We always have stuff to do but not always interesting work (but hopefully with the assistant I will get to do more interesting and less tedious, which is the way I understand it – things have been restructured a little in the past month and there are still some growing pains) and I’m getting a new client who has very particular things in the contract (including a required monthly conference call! I’m a little terrified) so I feel that I’m being entrusted with particular responsibility when there are other, less particular clients who have recently been assigned to other coworkers.

    TL;DR: Basically, I’m looking for resources on completing a self-evaluation and setting goals in the workplace. Also: how to effectively ask for a raise. I’ve seen my position advertised as $x to $x+3k. I currently make very close to $x, which is barely more than my last job (specifically, I earn 2 cents more an hour but it was worth leaving the last job. I’m four years out of college). I’d like to earn at least $x+3k, which is about a 7% raise. I would definitely get a 3% cost of living adjustment. I did my very first negotiating with this job (I didn’t do a great job of it, but I ended up with more than the initial offer). Any tips?

    • Reviewed. :

      Clearly didn’t mean to post with a picture – anyone know why it showed up? Was it because I typed in my email to get responses and have an account with gravatar?

      • I don’t see a picture, so I think you’re good. Not sure about the pictures in general, but have a feeling you might be right.

        • Reviewed. :

          I logged into gravatar and removed it – that must have worked. It was an old picture so it wasn’t that big a deal. Just wondering. :)

          • Yes, that’s almost certainely how it went. Don’t go uploading pics of yourself all over the net unless it’s really justified..

          • Yes, that’s almost certainly how it went. Don’t go uploading pics of yourself all over the net unless it’s really justified..

    • For goals, take a look around at your peers who are 1 – 3 years further along than you (maybe also your supervisor), identify which aspect of their responsibilities you see yourself picking up and put those down as goals. Some typical ones might be supervising others, leading client projects, working with bigger-ticket clients, contributing to decision-making about your unit’s direction etc etc. There may also be technical proficiencies you should be aiming to acquire – these can be goals or identified as current weaknesses.

      On asking for a raise, do this in person, towards the end of your review, assuming you have a positive review. Acknowledge that you’ve learnt a lot in your first year and are proud to be making a contribution, then say ‘let’s talk about adjusting my compensation’ and explain what you understand the competitive range to be.

    • No specific advice on asking for a raise, but I’ve had the most success when I’ve listed accomplishments that had an impact on the organization – usually making money or saving money. A range is often based on experience, so don’t be upset if your supervisor turns you down. Still, you should ask – you don’t get anything if you don’t ask.

      I understand your phone phobia, because I used to have it. For me, the thing that got me over it was making lots of business calls and realizing what simple transactions they were. Generally, a business call involves saying who you are and asking for what you want. Less small talk is better than more, so you don’t have to feel nervous about saying something strange while chatting. Monthly conference calls will be great, because you’ll get regular practice. Do you need to create an agenda and minutes, as well? If no one can tell you definitively, then do it. The client will appreciate your organization.

      Finally, don’t make any decisions based on your mother’s nagging. You are four years out of college and establishing a career, which is better than what a lot of people your age are doing. If you were assigned the difficult client, that’s your supervisor’s vote of confidence in you. It sounds like you are progressing in your job at a natural pace.

    • Did you read Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office? It’s a [this site] favorite, and it includes a self-evaluation and templates for setting goals in the workplace. It should help you with your performance eval and with advancing your career in general.

  36. Gail the Goldfish :

    You guys. Public Service Announcement. I went in Banana Republic this evening for the first time in forever. I WANT ALL THE PRETTY DRESSES. Seriously, their fall dress collection is awesome for work. (Though I’m still trying to figure out to where I could wear a leather sheath dress). I was about ready to write off Banana Republic, but they’ve redeemed themselves this season.

    • Got a friends and family discount card from a coworker that’s good for this weekend, so I’m planning on going in. I did some online recon last night and got a popup offering 25% off everything, so there may be a secret sale?

      • Gail the Goldfish :

        the 25% was only online, and I definitely noticed some great suiting dresses in the store that weren’t available online–perhaps they’re pulling the J.Crew trick of taking some things down online during sales?

    • Can't think of a name :

      BR is doing 40% off one full price item the next several Wednesdays – I got hard copy coupons last time I bought something there, and they also usually send emails with the same deal on Wednesdays. Get on their email list at the very least – they always have deals.

  37. I had grand plans to sleep in this morning but my body decided otherwise, bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6am. Why can I abuse the snooze button on a weekday but as soon as the weekend hits, I’m wide awake?

  38. I spent a good chunk of last night operating on someone from out of town who needed an emergency operation.

    I drove home at 6 this morning, watched the sunrise over the mountains, stopped for a fresh scone and hot latte and felt enormous gratitude for my health, my family and my life.

    I hope to hold that feeling through today (it might take more caffeine to do that).

    • That’s amazing. Thanks for sharing, especially for those of us (or perhaps just me) who would love to create that feeling.

    • Wow! Congratulations. Some days the job is worth it, isn’t it!

  39. Good morning all!
    I will soon be starting as a first-year associate at a big firm. I know that it will be long hours and stressful. But, I’d like to hear what you, wise ladies who have been there already, think.
    What are some things you wished you knew before you started your first law job after law school? What are some lessons you learned? What helped you survive the first few years

    • Divaliscious11 :

      1. That even as a first year, you still can establish boundaries and expectations.
      2. Plan for your next job when starting your first – ie… what are the skills and training you need to get to the next level? What is your plan to get there? Who in the firm can teach you? etc….
      3. Do an exceptional job on your first work product for each partner/SA that gives you work. You want your first impression to be stellar, so when you DO miss something/make a mistake, and you will, its an aberration and not add’l evidence of mediocrity (someone did tell me this).
      4. Don’t forget to take care of yourself – eat well, exercise etc….

      • Especially #2. I wish someone had talked with me about having a long term goal and how to go about getting there. It is easy to lose the big picture or long term goal in all the every day crises.

        Sometimes your long term goals will not be the same as your employer’s goals for you. Think about that and know that you may have to take some actions that will not hurt your employer but may also not keep you in the exact mold they are envisioning for you. If you want to be a judge, get out and try cases, for example, and do not stay stuck in the rut of briefing and or backing up for a senior attorney. Take some small cases and try them on your own, as much as that may be outside your comfort range.

        As a big firm employee, that example is probably not going to hit home, but it’s an example that perhaps you will understand in your later years.

        Good luck, don’t let the job BE you!

        • Former MidLevel :

          Yes, yes, yes. Co-sign all of the above. Especially this: “Sometimes your long term goals will not be the same as your employer’s goals for you.”

      • great advice.
        I’d add to this:
        – get yourself into a practice area that also has in-house potential (corporate, employment, real estate, corporate, corporate, corporate, tax, finance). In a few years when you want your next job, you will probably want to go in-house (many threads on here as to why) & it’s not that easy, especially if you are a litigator. Easiest road in-house is in corporate — get experience drafting contracts & negotiating them. In-house positions in this area can come along early in your career (2-3 years in). For other practice areas, like employment law, lots of opportunity but you need to be at a firm longer (generally) to get enough experience first.
        – make friends with your class. Seriously friends/real friends with them. Not just “network opportunity” but friends. You will need a real support network, people you can trust and talk to & be “in it” with.

        • Thank you all for your great advice and for your encouragement as I embark on this new journey! It is good to have the perspective of those who have experienced this first hand.
          I have already thought about the corporate v. litigation choice and I intend to stick to the corporate side because of the reasons darby mentions.

      • #2 is spot on.

    • If you’re like most 1st year associates (myself included), you’ll feel like a f-up most of the time. I think it was 2.5 or 3 yrs before I really felt like I knew what I was doing. But it’s good to feel uncomfortable because that means you’re learning and growing. So just do your best and hang in there.

      Other than that, echo all the other advice.

      • Herbie, thanks so much. I was thinking about how steep the learning curve is going to be and it will be easier when I know ahead of time that it is going to be hard.

  40. Any suggestions on what to do with my last 3 or so days before law school orientation? I’ve already done the first assignment (only one assigned so far). I’ve done a combination of prepping (but I’m interested in it and enjoy the reading), seeing friends, relaxing, and getting my life set before starting (moving, organizing, etc. though I do have a few of these things left).

    • Run like hell?

      Kidding! (kind of) Maybe get a haircut, manicure, waxing, eye exam*, tooth-cleaning, or any other personal grooming/health tasks done that might fall by the wayside during your first semester. Poke around your law school’s website and identify some student groups you might be interested in joining. Google your first semester professors. Read for pleasure because you probably won’t for the next three years at least. Plan out your budget and enter your info into a budgeting ap/program so you don’t find yourself living on ramen by the end of the semester. Watch Legally Blonde, which is basically a documentary of exactly how everyone’s 1L year is ;)

      *Law school is killer on your eyes. I swear half my section came back from winter break wearing glasses they didn’t have before, including me. Make sure you get your eyes checked regularly.

      • Thanks! Do you have a budgeting program or app that you recommend? I don’t currently use one (though I’m always under budget).

        I didn’t think about the eye strain! I already have contacts, but this comment makes me think it would be smart to wear glasses mostly (since they damage my eyes less/I can take them off when not needed).

        • Boston Legal Eagle :

          I wear contacts too and my prescription has definitely gotten worse from when I started! Luckily, it seems to be stabilizing now, so don’t worry too much about a couple of changes there. I like mint.com for tracking finances and making a budget.

          I second the suggestion to spend some time taking care of yourself and generally enjoying these last few days off! You will still have time to make friends and go out during the beginning of the semester though, so don’t feel like you have to be studying 24/7, esp. in September and October. I met most of my close friends 1L year so be sure to make time for social activities and getting to know people.

          Also, if you have time and feel motivated, get your resume and cover letters ready and think about some employers you’d like to apply to for the next summer. Our applications process started at the end of November, which is when finals were around the corner, so if you have all of your materials ready, you’ll feel a bit less stressed.

          • Thanks – that makes me feel better for my eyes.

            I’ve heard good things about mint, so I’ll check that out today.

            I have a general plan for the semester (though I’m sure it will change in quite a few ways once school starts, but it’s an easily adaptable plan) that definitely includes socializing a little. It seems like it’s important to make connections (and honestly it’d be a miserable three years if I had no friends and never spoke to anyone) for both career and emotional health. I know I’m apt to put my nose in the books and disappear, so I’m going to try to not study 24/7! I guess what I’m saying is thanks for the advice – it’s great to hear that from someone who has been through it.

            I did work on converting my resume and cover letters so that they are more targeted to legal jobs in the past few weeks. I’ve already looked a bit at places to apply, though I know more research is needed on those. (It’s tough to do more than weed out the ones that flat out do not hire 1Ls at this point, unless I’m missing something.) I can only imagine the craziness of 1L finals and job search combined – not looking forward to that one! I’ll probably review those again (because improvements are always possible!) and relax. Thank you!!

          • Don’t burn yourself out or ignore social stuff, but don’t get behind on your reading either. Getting through the reading was painfully slow for me first semester, and once you get behind it’s difficult if not impossible to get caught back up.

          • I agree with most of the things said so far – have fun now, don’t stress out before school has even started. I also second what DC Jenny said – do not fall behind on your readings, especially the first semester. The learning curve is the steepest during these first couple of months because you still do not know how to study/ learn for law school. That takes time and patience. For me, the first semester was the most stressful time of law school because I was still getting used to it. Another thing that helps a lot – start outlining (or whatever method you will use to prep for exams) early on so that you do not feel pressured for time when finals are around the corner. If you start early and do a little at a time you will also have time to stop and think about the most difficult concepts to ensure that you understand them. In this way you will have plenty of time to talk them through with a professor or your study group if necessary.
            Good luck!

          • Thanks, Suomi and DC Jenny! I’m hoping my past legal work will help me finding the reading at least a little familiar. I’m sure it will be very different, though – especially learning a new way of learning!

            I’m planning on outlining and definitely starting early. I’m not sure about study groups yet, but I am figuring that I can let that sort itself out as I go (since I don’t know if it will help or hurt yet).

          • Just to clarify – I do not particularly advocate for study groups. I myself found it unproductive to be in a study group. You are absolutely right, you should just figure it out as you go, snon.

          • When people say “Don’t get behind on reading,” I would add, “Don’t dwell on previous assignments. Do whatever reading you can for this week.”

            You will most likely not be able to do 100% of the reading and brief/outline 100% of the cases. But stay as current as possible. Even if you haven’t finished last week’s assignments, work as much as you can while staying sane, and then switch to this week’s. Give yourself a break once in a while.

            You don’t have time to get into a routine in 3 days, to make sure to remember to eat healthy and exercise during 1L. You mind can’t really function if your body isn’t up to par.

            Neither study groups nor briefing cases really worked for me. Figure out what works for you. It may not be what others do, and that’s ok.

        • I have found Quicken to be too involved and not portable enough and Mint to be too buggy. I’m using the Spend app for iphone right now, which is simple and working well for me so far. You do have to manually enter transactions though, and it is really just a way to manage your spending rather than look at your overall financial picture.

          • I’ll check it out in comparison to Mint. Thanks! I really just want to have a central tracking of my spending other than my finances excel sheet.

    • Anonymous :

      Go out drinking? Make a quick run to the beach? Buy and devour a novel? I don’t think there’s anything you really need to do to prep, so try and enjoy the last few days off. And follow Lorelei Gilmore’s advice and paint your toes red for an added bump of confidence. And buy all the highlighters, so when you lose one a day, you’re still good :)

    • Did you move to be in the city your going to law school? If you’re like me, I moved into my law school apartment about a week before orientation. Make sure you’re unpacked and decorated and have everything you need to be settled into your apartment before classes start because once you get in the thick of things, you won’t want to deal with coming home to boxes needing to be unpacked.

      • I moved but not far and I already somewhat know the city. I’ve gotten to know the area a little, too. I do have a few organization things that I want to finish before starting, though – I keep putting them off!

        I can’t even imagine moving so close to (or even in the middle of/after, as I know some do) orientation and starting classes. That must have been tough!

  41. a., how is your mom? :

    Apologies if you’ve already posted, but has your mom received her results yet? I’ve been thinking of you, and worrying.


    • Seconded. Let us know, if you’re comfortable.

    • Oh, thank you so much for asking! She got them back, and has Stage 0 cancer. She’ll be having a lumpectomy in October, followed by three weeks of radiation. The bad news is: all of that. The good news is: no chemo or mastectomies; with full treatment it only has a 10% chance of coming back, since they caught it early; and that all of the pink fluffy ribbon binders and Chicken Soup For The Breast Cancer Patient’s Souls that they shoved down her throat made her grumpy and feisty. (Not that I mean to disparage the whole pink ribbon thing; I know many women find it meaningful and comforting. But that is Not My Mom.)

      It really means a lot that you ladies asked. Seattleite, I hope you’re holding up, and I’d just like to say how invaluable your advice was the other day. It turned out that, when I talked about it with her later, that she was feeling basically everything you said. So that was just such an incredibly useful perspective to have going into that conversation. I can’t even thank you enough. You are absolutely in my thoughts and prayers.

      • Seattleite :

        a., I’m so glad I was able to help. It honestly does make my situation easier, knowing that maybe it’s helping me contribute something elsewhere. And I’m glad that your mom’s prognosis is so good. I understand completely the grumpiness about the pink ribbons – I told a friend yesterday I was going to buy an Axl Rose skull and crossbones kerchief for the bald days.

  42. Anon For This :

    So 18 months into my relationship with a great guy, I’m learning that he has virtually no conflict resolution skills. He’s wonderful at navigating situations where there’s a clear cut “right person” and “wrong person”, which are most of the fights we’ve had thus far. He’s great at apologizing when he’s in the wrong and accepting apologies when I’m the one in the wrong.

    However, when we get into a “gray area” kind of conflict, he completely shuts down. We’re a few months away from moving in together and he prefers a more “lived in” house (to put it mildly), whereas I like things clean and neat. I tried to talk to him about coming up with a compromise for our messy/neat differences this morning and he got really defensive, then shut the conversation down by leaving to go to the office in a hurry.

    I know he grew up with an uber-controlling, mentally ill mother, so I think some of his defensiveness about his behavior/messiness stems from that. I also know that in his last serious relationship, which ended two years ago, they fought ALL THE TIME – like screaming, yelling, incredibly heated fights. He’s never once raised his voice to me or gotten very angry with me, but he’s told me he’s afraid of ending up in another relationship like that, so I think that’s why he just shuts down when conflicts between us arise, rather than try to hash things out with me.

    Aside from this, he’s a wonderful guy and I really can see a future with him. I know that he does not want to lose me and would work on it if I asked him to, but I also know that he’s got some pretty thick walls up, due to his past experiences.

    I know a lot of commentors here have mentioned that one of the things they learned in their first year of marriage/living together was how to fight. Any tips on how to begin or facilitate and go through that learning process with him? Any advice or books to read? I’d love to come up with a healthy way of dealing with conflict that works for both of us.

    Thanks in advance!

    • No real suggestions, but I’m sorry for your situation and hope things work out for the best!

    • My DH was a bit like this back when we started dating- his mother isn’t mentally ill or anything, but he had come out of a relationship w/ a lot of fighting. A few thing:

      1. It will probably get better the longer you’re together- the more comfortable you get and the more secure you are in the relationship, the more he may be willing to work through conflict.

      2. You need to take a lot of care to come at these fights from a no fault point of view. For instance, you probably feel that it is better (morally, practically, and otherwise) to be neat than messy. He likely feels otherwise. If he feels you are judging him or being critical of him, he will shut down instantly. So, it’s best to be specific about things you want (Honey, can you please put your dirty clothes in the hamper/dishes in the dishwasher?) instead of general (how can you live like this?!?). And pay attention to the timing of fights- perhaps the morning when he’s getting ready to leave for work is not the best time for a big talk?

      3. Accept that not everyone wants have big talks about conflicts. DH doesn’t and that’s fine. We rarely do. We deal with specific things as they come up (as above), but we’re not the type to sit down and have a discussion about a particular problem. We certainly didn’t have a specific conversation about household tasks before we moved in together. We just kind of figured it out as we went along. And that’s ok.

      4. Focus on what you can do (by yourself) to resolve the things that bother you. For instance, if nagging him to help keep things to your standard of neatness just irritates him, pick your battles (see 2) and do it yourself.

    • e_pontellier :

      I feel like my DH is a bit like this. Get yourself in therapy NOW, so that you have a safe place and you don’t lose perspective on who you are when you move in with him.

      As far as actually working through the fights, I think you should put all of this (what you said above) on the table with him. Tell him you’re ready to work through grey areas, you want to do so calmly, and ask if he could help you work through it. I think it’s useful to ask the guy to help you work through a challenge that you’re having, rather than accuse him of not being willing to work through what is a clear problem that both of you have.

      Also, set a time limit on these discussions, and give yourself somewhere to go (like the gym) afterwards. That way, even if you do get worked up, you won’t feel (as) bad leaving after say, an hour.

      • e_pontellier :

        OH — books! For Women Only and For Men Only. I’m still convincing my DH to read For Men Only but FWO was awesome. Also, for moving in with an SO, The Defining Decade (if you’re in your twenties).

        • Anon For This :

          I just got the Defining Decade from Amazon – it’s waiting for me at my place to read. :)

    • Anne Shirley :

      Can you tell him all of this? Tell him you’re concerned about how you two are going to handle working through the many shades of gray that come with living together, and you’d like to see a couple’s therapist pro-actively to learn some skills for that. I think most couples just sort of muddle through and learn when to save things for later, and when not to bug someone about their mess (srsly before work in the morning? maybe not an uber productive time :) ). Since you know there’s a history that could make this more challenging, I think you present it as an opportunity to learn to work even better together.

    • I don’t especially like the “learning to fight” phrasing because it implies that fighting is the only way to problem solve. I guess what I learned early on in living with my SO is that he doesn’t fight, and if I come at him in a “fighty” way he completely shuts down. I used to think that this was a serious red flag until I realized that he wasn’t at all unwilling to solve problems, just unwilling to fight about them.

      We also have the neatness/messiness issue and it’s one of the few things that we have ongoing conflict about. I’ve had the most success by trying to explain why it is that messiness is an issue from my perspective, focusing on how it affects me and not general “this is the way things should be done” type arguments (eg, walking into a messy house makes me feel physically stressed and unable to relax). Then, we’ve tried out a bunch of different solutions to see what’s liveable for both of us. The best solutions so far for us are 1) he has one room entirely that he can mess up as he likes, and I basically don’t go in it, 2) the living room, kitchen, etc each have a “stuff” bin where I can deposit the random little things he leaves everywhere when they start to bug me (and then if he asks “where’s my X? It was on the kitchen table,” I can just tell him to look in the kitchen stuff bin), and 3) coming to terms with the fact that he just doesn’t (and probably never will) see mess the way I do (it’s like it’s invisible to him), so I do a bigger proportion of the “neatening” household work and he does more of other things (laundry, grocery shopping).

      Hope that helps, and good luck…

    • To me, it doesn’t sound like he needs to learn how to fight – he needs to learn how to deal with conflict in a healthy way. One thing you may use to discuss this with him is that successful managers have to deal with conflict among people constantly. The best managers deal with it well. I had a very conflict-averse manager and it means that a lot of little things can fester into larger ones. Encourage him to learn more about managing conflict – and phrase it that it will help you two in your relationship and also help him in his career. Just my two cents.

    • At a calm time, like during dinner or when you’re both in the car riding somewhere together, ask how he would prefer to discuss things he doesn’t want to talk about.

      What time of day would he like to discuss things? For me and my SO, it’s not the morning before work, but it’s not immediately after we come home from work either.
      What tone of voice would he like you to use?
      Does he prefer to have intense look-each-other-in-the-eyes conversations, or would he prefer to be able to look away? Some people find that easier to open up.

      Listen to what he wants.

      He may ask you how you would like to have difficult conversations.

      But first, listen to what he says. And to what he doesn’t say. He needs to feel comfortable enough to actually let you know what’s going on.

    • Anon For This :

      Thanks everyone for all of the thoughtful advice and feedback. I really appreciate it & will take your thoughts to heart. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one in a relationship with someone like this too!

      I agree with the commentors who said he doesn’t need to learn how to fight, but we do need to learn how deal with conflict in a way that works for both of us. I think I may try to talk to him about what I posted here – he may be more open to “conflict” when he realizes I’m not trying to fight, just resolve conflicts in a way we’re both comfortable and happy with. My natural inclination is to hash it out and be done with it, which I’m quickly learning isn’t his.

      To clarify on the “don’t bring this up right before work” thing – I posted this on a Saturday afternoon, before he voluntarily went to the office to work on some extra projects (which he does frequently, but isn’t required of him). I do try to take timing into account when bringing these things up, but obviously could still use some work in that area. :)

      Thanks again for all of the input. I can always count on you ladies.

  43. Blonde Lawyer :

    I can’t not believe this story is accurate. 31 states allow men who conceive through rape to exercise parental rights and visitation? I haven’t done any independent research. Just read it here. If this is true, all I can say is wow.


    • HereThere :

      I have heard that this had happened in a few cases, but I had no idea that it was allowed in 31 states! Thanks for sharing.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Another source is here:

      • I’ve heard the author of this article speak in person. What a moving story!

    • Anonynony :

      I wonder if it matters if it was legitimate or illegitimate rape.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Well obviously the point is moot in legitimate rapes since her magic body chemicals prevented pregnancy, precisely to avoid this issue!

        • I’m so glad someone pointed out the accurate, scientifically-based side of the issue.

    • That is one of the most appalling things I’ve read in a long time. Ladies, if you ever get raped be sure to get yourself some morning-after pills immediately, and get an abortion asap if needed!! Sheesh.

    • Turns my stomach and makes my heart hurt. Way to victimize the victim again and again.

  44. Ladies I have a bra/pregnancy SOS. I’m six months pregnant and my breasts are KILLING me. I think the problem is the underwire in my bra combined with my rib cage expanding. But the problem is I can’t find any that fit, and even going up a couple band sizes I still feel like it’s cutting off my circulation, but when I went up a cup size and a band size the cups were much too large. Plus, now my left boob is super sore and let’s just say something weird is going on there. Anyone have any suggestions for a really comfortable bra to wear during pregnancy? I’m not super concerned with looks here I just want something I can wear without crying from pain thirty minutes after putting it on. Any suggestions for style/brand/etc. would be super appreciated!

    • Why not go to underwireless? I’m not pregnant (and never have been, hence the lack of suggestions), but I have an issue with many bras in that they feel like they pinch me and then my breasts hurt. I switched to no wire bras, but I still have the feeling (a little better, though). I haven’t really found a solution, but I figured I would share that thought/explanation of reasoning.

    • Since breast cancer/radiation/surgery, my mom has been unable to wear anything around her ribcage because it hurts too much. She buys camisole-style ones – like sassy backs (bax?) or flexees, but I’m sure there are more out there. I can’t promise that it will look the best, and they might provide too much compression on the breasts, but just another idea.

      Or you could use her other solution, which is take her bra off the second she gets home.

    • According to the woman at my local Nordstrom, the spanx bras are the most popular no underwire bra they sell, mostly to women post breast surgery or those who just can’t tolerate underwires.

    • New2InHouse :

      I bought a lot of wireless bras from Cacique when I was pregnant and my breasts got GINORMOUS. Wearing an underwire was just too uncomfortable.

      I also just found a slip-over-the-head style by Hanes that looks like a camisole. It doesn’t offer enough support for wearing out of the house, but it’s nice to bum around in.

  45. K...in transition :

    Any tips on finding this or another version of a collared white shirt w/o buttons for cheaper? http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-short-sleeve-interlock-johnny-collar-top~239606_59.html?cm_mmc=BizRate-_-null-_-FP-_-data_feed&applyPromo=0&promoState=POWERFUL-_-VALID

    I’ll need to wear one 5 days/week and I just can’t spend the money to buy the 7-8 I’ll probably need to get through the time between laundry days!


    • Old navy has a ruffle collar top for 12 and simple polos with just one decorative button for 15. Use code Ontake25 for an additional 25% off.

    • This won’t help quite yet, but keep an eye out for it to appear “on the counter” or in LE’s sale. Sometimes, you have to keep checking the sale section because everything doesn’t show up in the regular section, but you can find better deals. Also, I know they just finished a 25% promotion, but I wouldn’t be surprised if more are around the corner.

      • Or, do a search for white johnny collar top – I found super cheap ones on ebay.


    • This is a slightly beside the point response.. But there’s no need for “laundry day”. I do most of my laundry 19th century style – put it in a dish-basin of hot water and detergent at night, give it a 2mn swish in the morning, rinse as I get out of the shower, it’s often dry before I get home at night, even in the winter. You may not be enthused by say one round a week to make your 3 shirts last, but it’ll tide you over till you get the paychecks coming in from the new job.

      People think hand laundry is hard or difficult, but it’s really not. One thing is I hardly ever really wring things, it’s painful on hands and wrists and doesn’t really do much for drying time, while it can necessitate ironing (something to be avoided at all costs :-)). The other trick is that I have a special laundry-only toilet plunger which I use for agitation, it’s incredibly efficient. “poor man’s washing machine” is what my weaving/spinning teacher called it when showing us how she uses it for felting. Be sure you spend your $3 on one with a good long handle so you get a lot of leverage, and be assured that even 1mn of plunging will get your clothes as clean as any rich man’s washing machine :-). I don’t need to specify that I put the basin into the bathtub or shower before agitating, right? Otherwise you have to factor in another 10mn for mopping :-).

  46. Also Anon :

    NYC Ladies, the studio apartment featured in NYT’s real estate section (Clinton area for about $250k) looks like a great pied-a-terre.
    Is there something about the area I don’t know (but should)? Why are there so many affordable units in that building?
    Thank you!

    • First of ALL, it is a STUDIO with a MURPHEY bed, which mean’s it is not to big. No counter space and NO dishwasher. FOOEY!

      The neaighborhood is OK; but I think it is a little out of the way b/c my freind lives near there, and I have to take the BUS b/c there is NOT a subway line that far over. It’s near the water pier where the barge’s send out the City’s garbage, so mabye you want to open the window’s to check which way the wind blow’s. FOOEY!

      Also, 57th street is a VERY busy street, which mean’s alot of cars and trucks. There is a BUS line on 57th –YAY!!!, But if your a light sleeper and the apartement is faceing the street, you could have a probelem.

      I do NOT have alot of time to get into it, but as my father say’s: You get what you pay for. He is smart.

      This is not alot of money for an apartement $255K in Manhattan, and the mainteneence is not CHEEP. Be carful b/c there is alot of dog poo around so watch your STEP’s if you value your shoe’s!

      Myrna and me went to the beach yesterday. We were aproached by 3 guy’s who wanted to Hang out with us. But they were all guy’s from LONG ISLAND, so we were not to interested, even tho I grew up there, I am now a city girl and do NOT want to have to date a guy from Long Island. FOOEY!

      • Some of my reader’s have been expressing concern about you, Ellen. Were these guy’s older? Is Myrna the cuter one, or were they targeting you?

        I’ve been asked to INTERVEEN to make sure you don’t get mixed up with the wrong peeple. I don’t think you want my input, but there’s certainly nobody who cares about you more than I do. I think you should look up NERDY GUY in your OUT-Look contacts and finally meet him for that lunch. Fooey on Jim, Frank, Harold, and LONG ISLAND loosers! Nerdy Guy is the one.

    • e_pontellier :

      That one is still over $1,000 per sqft and you’re in between 2 hospitals.

    • What’s a pied-a-terre?

  47. BU Law To Be :

    This is probably late in the weekend to ask, but I haven’t been around much.

    Any suggestions for a good, but inexpensive, massage place near BU/Packard’s/Coolidge general area?

  48. K...in transition :

    I just want to apologize to anyone who has felt left-out because of my fill-in-the-blank games (see the comments at the beginning of this post)… I truly didn’t mean to cause harm or hurt feelings and it breaks my heart that some of you felt this way. I tried to apologize earlier (within that thread) but someone read it differently than I meant it, so I suppose I should have worded it better. I’d never want anyone to feel kept out or not part of a “cool clique” or whatnot. To be honest, being here within this website’s community IS the cool clique, and I feel lucky when y’all let me hang out in your clubhouse.

  49. Constance Justice :

    Anyone else working on this glorious Sunday? Anyone have any tips for making working weekends less awful?

    At least I’m working from home, with a pup at my feet. :)

  50. How to foster a budding feminist?

    This weekend I attended a family function and had a gra girl who is starting her senior year of high school. She is a neat kid and I see such leadership potential in her. I want to give her a nudge toward political awareness. I’ve been thinking about what was influential to me at that age, but I know things have changed and the messages that resonate now are different. I just read in the Beloit freshman outlook survey that there has been a woman secretary of state for much of their lives. !!! That blew my mind a bit. And has anyone else seen the 21 Jump Street movie? Hella funny, but made me feel OLD. I have no clue about high schoolers. When did that happen?

    Anyway, any suggestions for books or magzines? Or is that old thinking? My one thought was a copy of Half the Sky. What is a “gateway” into being a feminist for a slightly sheltered kid from SE Michigan

    • AnonInfinity :

      One thing you can do is encourage her to go to a more liberal college. I went to a liberal arts college, and it changed my life. I’m from a small Southern town and had never really been exposed to lots of ideas I learned just in the first few weeks of class.

      If you want to get her a book, maybe something like Virginia Woolf?

    • You could get her a copy of the DVD “Iron Jawed Angels.” A great movie about women suffragists with big-name actors (e.g., Hilary Swank and McDreamy).

      • This a great suggestion. That movie is so moving, it made me ugly cry. Also, shout out to Alice Paul, who attended my law school!

    • This is so cool of you. Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti is a great feminism 101-type of book. You could also forward her links to individual articles from feminist blogs that you think might interest her. Also, just spending time with an older, wiser lady role model who listens to and respects her and will engage with her on tough topics would probably go a long way!

      • One more: When Everything Changed by Gail Collins. I consider myself a varsity-level [email protected], and even I was shocked reading about how women of my Mom’s generation couldn’t get credit cards or mortgages without their husbands’ approval not all that long ago. It’s a great book to show her how much progress has been made, but also how far we still have to go.

    • Silvercurls :

      Great impulse! I’d suggest take a continuing interest in this young person and her studies and activities. Build a relationship, ask her about her life, tell her something about yours, and send her links to articles or sites that relate to or extend her activities. (Or maybe go retro and send her a real old-fashioned note along with the one or two books of your choice. I think I’d second Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own.”)

      However, walk softly: Meet her where she is right now and bring up these ideas in the spirit of “This is something interesting that I wanted to share with you” rather than “Here, absorb these ideas in order to rise above your less-than-ideal current circumstances.” To steal a phrase from Carolyn Hax, I sensed a whiff of disdain in your comment about “a slightly sheltered kid from SE Michigan.” She’s probably being raised by caring parents who–despite having chosen to nurture their family in a quiet part of SE Michigan rather than, say, central Manhattan, downtown Detroit, or some other location that offers a diversity of cultural events, and everyday activities–are probably cultivating in her the basic human values of kindness, loyalty, living up to one’s responsibilities, and not picking on people just because they are somehow “different.”

      The “basic values” can seem very narrow when they appear in a white-picket-fence, bedroom suburb where everybody goes to church on Sunday (or synagogue on Saturday) but over the past few decades our country has seen significant social changes as people people realized, over time, that it was only a logical extension of these values to decide that it isn’t fair to let skin color determine where or whether people got a seat on the city bus, that girls can play sports as well as boys if they have the same coaching and encouragement, or that loving families don’t all have to match the template of George Jetson, Jane his wife, and their son and daughter.

      I’m not trying to attack your desire to expand this girl’s horizons. I was raised in a liberal-leaning household myself and also attended a liberal-arts university so I’m guessing that we probably share some of the same cultural preferences (and biases). Rather, I’m trying to say that people should not be dismissed as “narrow” just because they have not yet (or will not ever) adopt all of the approaches that some of us see as basic parts of the personal scenery. A young woman can be a feminist by being a strong athlete and team captain. It’s also possible to be a feminist and be pro-life. (This is NOT my personal opinion but I’m willing to respect it in other people as long as they can acknowledge that not all other women would make the same choices if faced with an unplanned/unwanted pregnancy.) Ditto being a feminist and also being religious, or being a feminist even after taking one’s husband’s last name (both of which apply to me although I’m definitely on the liberal, not fundamental, side of being religious)…

      Sorry this got so long. Readers of this blog have probably realized that I love to write (or run on at the keyboard). Because I need to go do something IRL I’m signing off for now.
      @ AJ: kudos to you for your impulses, and apologies if I’ve offended you in any way in my reply. To everyone else who made it this far, thanks for reading.

    • Anne Shirley :

      How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran could be fun.

      • Ooh, I would have felt so absolutely scandalous reading that as an 18-year old.

    • I think the most effective thing, in the long term, is setting a good example yourself. So be sure to bring up feminism in casual conversation and how much it has meant for you, even if it’s off-hand and a 30-second info flash.

      Written materials of course are always good, much less personal lecturing. I second Virginia Woolf, especially “a room of one’s own”. I also think with someone that age, a blog run by younger women would be a better reference. How about http://feministing.org or http://bitchmagazine.org/ or even http://geekfeminism.org/ if she seems a bit geeky too :-)?

  51. New2InHouse :

    I’m a long time lurker and now have a legitimate fashion question for the Hive:

    I’m going to be traveling to a fairly conservative country for work where dresses/skirts are expected. I have a lot of foot problems and, while low heels are okay for a while, I can’t see wearing them for long days of walking (I’m expecting to spend a lot of time on my feet touring facilitites).

    So, if I am going to have to wear flats with a skirt/dress, what do you suggest? Assume the suit or dress is black and I have very fair skin. Would you go with nude-for-me flats and sheer hose? Or black flats? If black, sheer hose or black? Also, the weather is going to be hot and AC is spotty so boots are not a good option.

    • Make sure that the facilities you’re touring don’t require protective footwear, but otherwise, black flats are fine. Find some that are made by companies known for comfortable shoes, if you’re going to be walking long days. Clarks, Sofft, Softspots, Born, and Naturalizer come to mind for non-sporty shoes. I think either black or sheer hose would be fine, but in the heat, I would personally choose sheer hose (assuming that this is culturally OK).

    • I’d suggest supportive flats (or supportive low heels, but you know your feet best) above all else. I’d probably go for black shoes and sheer or tan hose based on the conservative culture.

      Another option would be formal shoes that are more like sneakers in terms of support (not look). I have a friend with a lot of problems with her feet. She has some shoes like this that fit her inserts and look pretty good. I unfortunately don’t know the brand, sorry!

  52. Mountain Girl :

    Would you wear these shoes with a navy skirt suit?


    • Mountain Girl :

      I’m not sure why the link isn’t direct but search for “eurosoft adelle” on that site and tell me what you think. Thanks

      • As anything, it depends on the styling – what kind of shirt/accessories are you wearing with the suit? I think it would probably be OK.

        • Mountain Girl :

          I could accessorize to fit the shoes. I would most likely wear a sweater shell with a scoop or v neck. I have lots of jewelry so I can make that work. I guess I’m asking more about the color and modified mary jane style strap.

  53. Crap y’all. This hurricane thing sucks. I know, I choose to live in a bowl on the Gulf Coast but seriously, school starts tomorrow and now the models are all over the place and the cone is so wide it’s hard to know whether we should look to evacuate east or west, if it comes to that. My inclination is not to evacuate (I’ve done it three times and have been through 6 hurricanes in 22 years) but in the past, I’ve had to evacuate because I had to keep working.

    • NOLA, just finished watching CNN and was just going to post and tell you I hope you’ll be ok. Wishing for no/minimal damage and disruption.

      • The university hasn’t put anything out yet and the governor and mayor aren’t calling for evacuation of the city so far. Just the low-lying areas or those outside of levee protection. Just talked to my colleague. I may go get her and we’ll get get her laptop and a backup of my desktop. Katrina was such a surprise we didn’t have anything so we don’t want to get caught in that again.

    • Just moved to NOLA and this is my first hurricane… I am nervous, especially since the storm seems so unpredictable. I guess I’m going to try to stay put unless things look BAD. Though it will all look bad to me.

      • Oh, I’m sorry! Don’t mean to freak you out. I’m more annoyed than anything. I’ve lived here for 22 years and I’ve stayed for 3 (Andrew, Georges and Cindy) and evacuated for 3 (Ivan, Katrina, and Gustav). Honestly, for all of the hype, if you stay it’s just days and days of no power. Unlike Jackson, where we went for Katrina, we’ve never had to boil water. Just make sure you have food, water (tap and bottled), gas, batteries and ice. The models are really unpredictable. They usually say to go west (I always go east) but this time, it may “nudge” west. That’s what happened for Gustav – people went to Baton Rouge and it got hit worse.

        • Anonymous :

          No no you didn’t freak me out, just anxious in general. I know it’s just part of living here but it’s my first natural disaster type thing. And that’s good to know about the storms sometimes hitting Baton Rouge worse. I will get myself a good food supply and hope for the best!

  54. What in the world do you write in thank you notes (emails) after a callback? I sincerely want to thank them for taking the time, but I can’t seem to find a more elaborate or custom-tailored way to say it. Every interview was different, but I don’t see the point in rehashing what we talked about so that they’ll remember me.

    Arg! This shouldn’t be hard.

    • Most of the point of the thank you is to rehash :-). Haven’t you had any of those “staircase wit” thoughts, where you thought of something better to answer to one of their questions? Or thought of another point that got overlooked in the heat of the moment? You don’t have to go on and on, “it’s occured to me since that you seemed a bit concerned by… let me assure you this would not be a problem, since…”.

    • Keep it short. You’ve got a great start; sincerely thank them for taking the time. Then add a quick line that refers to something in the interview– the more sincere, the better. “After hearing more about _____________, I’m even more excited about the possibility of bringing my experience in ___________ to [name of firm/job].” In some (admittedly rarer) cases, I think it can be really nice to include good wishes about a personal thing your interviewer talked about, too. “Good luck with your son’s move-in to college!” or “Thanks especially for your great advice about Louie’s Restaurant– it was delicious!” or whatever. Ideally, your note shows that you (a) are still enthusiastic about the position, (b) appreciate their time (and/or understand that a thank-you is expected), and (c) understood, retained, and digested some of the information you received during the interview.

  55. momentsofabsurdity :

    You GUISE. I just moved (almost) everything I own into the hallway of my apartment – it’s about 3/4 of my stuff. I thought it would expedite the moving process tomorrow and be less stress on the dog if most of the moving time, he can just chill in the apartment without boxes and sweating strangers. I’m keeping valuables and fragile stuff locked in the apartment until they actually get transferred to the Uhaul, of course. But I moved 3/4 of my stuff out the door of my apartment MYSELF! Hopefully that means tomorrow (when I have a helper and am not doing it alone) will be easy peasy and quick.

    And I’m finally leaving my terribleawful apartment! Sweet.

    • It sounds like today is move-day, so good luck and I hope it’s going well! Good thought about the dog–the only time my dog ran out the door by herself was when we were moving and she was beyond freaked out.

  56. Anon With an A :

    Hello All,
    Any ideas on how to politely correct a senior manager who spells subordinates’ (e.g. my team’s) names incorrectly in emails?
    This manager is a witch, a spiteful creature, and holds a grudge forever – and she’s still the boss. How to deal?

    • Very simply. Give her anonymously (and everyone else) a list of all persons’ names, together with their e-mails, and telling all that this woman has a habit, possibly inadvertant, of getting people’s names wrong. Share it with her boss.

      This way, if the woman continues to get the names wrong, you can tell the senior boss this time that this hideous sumbeeotch is now doing it intentionally, and for the senior boss to sanction her, if not fire her bony arse altogether!

    • I’ve done it with a colleague in a “hey did you notice that you spelled Alicia’s name incorrectly” kind of thing? I think the problem is that she set up a couple of people’s contacts with names misspelled in Outlook then it got perpetuated (not in the body of the email but in their name in the contact). She’s goodnatured about it, though, and your senior manager may not be. I think it’s important to both spell and pronounce peoples’ names correctly. It’s a respect thing.

    • Given how spiteful/sensitive your manager sounds, I’d be really wary of directly correcting her, so I’d probably take a much more passive-agressive tack. I would try to respond to her emails with correct spellings included in the message, like this:
      Manager: “Uhnon, Berry, and Ketie: Please follow up with Captain Carrot about the Shades case. Thanks, Manager Evil”
      You: “Manager Evil, Thanks for the heads up. Barry, Katy, and I will follow up as soon as possible. Yours, Anon.”

      In my experience, if repeatedly seeing it done right doesn’t at least prompt Manager Evil to ask someone whether she’s been doing it wrong, she probably doesn’t care that much. In which case a more obvious correction would probably not be well received.

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