Weekend Open Thread

Gap Terry moto jacketSomething on your mind? Chat about it here.

Oooo: love this “moto” jacket in — hooray — terry. I like the bit of shape to it, the sure comfort of the sweatshirt material, and the warmth (assuming it ever gets, you know, cold outside, ever again). It’s available in black and gray, XS-XXL, talls and petites, at Gap.com. (And: take 25% off today with code GAPFALL25.) Gap Terry Moto Jacket



  1. Way to go 312 from this morning’s post!

    • Awesome! I clicked on it earlier and thought it was a cool jacket. Haven’t bought from the Gap in years.

      • Update: stopped in the Gap yesterday and tried this on in the gray (they only had XS in the black). It did nothing for me. Fail.

    • Don’t everyone go rush to buy it – I’m hoping it will still be available when my shopping ban is lifted!

    • Yep! I bought it after seeing her post… I’m always looking for that perfect black jacket for the weekend. Hoping this will be it!

    • Love it!

    • What a funny coincidence! I do like this jacket a lot. Hmm.

    • What do you guys like more: the moto jacket featured, or this peplum style jacket. Or shall I get both? :/


      • Awful Lawful :

        LOVE the peplum.Seriously.love.

      • Actually, personally, I prefer the moto jacket, though I think the peplum might flatter my figure more. But since you’re probably here for enabling, get both!! Or just get the peplum one, and then we won’t awkwardly run into each other while wearing the same jacket. :)

      • I would get both and wear them for me, since I have 6 weeks left in my shopping ban and am now trying to shop vicariously through others :)

    • Anonymous NYer :

      Damn you C-Rette! I just went to order this jacket, I’ve had my eye on it for a few days, and realized it was featured here, and IT’S GONE ARG.

  2. Kate, we loved the fuchsia dress you posted earlier this week so much, we used it in our Desk 2 Dawn styling feature over at BRB

  3. Diana Barry :

    Hey ladies,

    Embarrassing threadjack – I have athlete’s foot and feel like it’s getting worse over the summer since I went back to work (wearing ballet flats with no socks, I can’t wear heels w/ my bunions). I have been using the OTC stuff for it. Is there any way to combat the sweaty feet? Are there any insoles or anything that are wicking? I am sad that my feet are all yucky. :(

    • Have you tried sprinkling baking soda and/or baby powder into your shoes?

      • Kiehl’s makes a cream antiperspirant/deodorant (in a tube) that I apply to my feet when wearing shoes without socks. It has sort of a “dry lotion” feel to it, if that makes any sense, but my feet are much drier and I feel more confident if I kick off my shoes under my desk or to lay on my BF’s couch :)

      • Diana Barry :

        I haven’t tried that. Would that leave white footprints in my office when I go barefoot (I close my door!)? ;)

        • I have a Dr. Scholl’s shoe powder that I put in some shoes as soon as I take them off. I can tap out the extra powder before I put the shoes on. I’ve never had a white footprint problem.

        • Don’t think so – it absorbs fast and dries clear.

    • I second the deoderant on the foot thing! It works!

      I have another embarrassing foot related threadjack and wondering if you ladies can offer any help – anyone had to deal with toenail fungus before? I think I contracted a toenail fungus from a pedicure place (ugh, gross) that I discovered when I removed my toenail polish recently. Toenails are yellowed and kind of “crusty” looking – I know that’s disgusting and TMI, sorry (!!) – and I just don’t know what to do. Have googled but…. Anyone else had this issue? I have to keep polish on them to wear sandals or expose my toes at all right now! So gross :(

      • Anon for fungus :

        Go to the doctor and get a prescription for lamisil. It’s the only thing that works. Please do not ask me how I know this. As bonus for the OP, it totally clears up athlete’s foot.

        • anon for this too :

          Yes…Lamisil works but it’s really expensive, really a long course (like 6 months or so), and, according to my doctors, really hard on your liver. I was taking daily meds for another chronic condition (asthma) and so lamisil was out.

          Instead, my doctors put me on Diflucan, which is a med for yeast infections, and off-label, can be used to kill toenail fungus. It worked like a charm in a month.

          You should know that no OTC stuff works–no nail paints, soaks, etc…nail fungus is so far under your nail that nothing put on top will help at all.

          My doctor also made me (gross out alert) cut off my toenail as deep as I could, constantly, well into the nailbed, to allow the skin to breathe. This was painful and gross. But not nearly as gross as the fluorescent green toenail I had.

          I too contracted it from a pedicure at a really nice salon, and I absolutely WILL NOT get pedicures anymore unless I get my own bowl of water to put my foot in, and they use separate tools only for that nail. (Yes, you can spread it around to other nails yourself via contaminated tools). Be careful!!!!

          Last, just because the fungus “goes away” visibly, it does not ever go away completely. I live in fear that it will come back (although it’s now been a few years).

          • Thank you!!! This is scary but very good advice. Ugh. Will go to dr and ask about diflucan!! Thank you. And yes – I’m scared off of pedicure tools, basins, etc. forever.

          • Anon for fungus :

            Just as another data point, the generic version of Lamisil is $4 for a 30 month supply at my pharmacy under my insurance plan.

          • Second this, and have your doctor run a test/culture on your toenail BEFORE starting the lamisil. I was on lamisil, and everything was going great until the last couple weeks, when I contracted every.single.horrible.side.effect.listed (which peaked…ahem…during the bar exam). It culminated in a major, months-long detox while my insides sorted themselves out and all the blisters on my skin went away. After coming out of the woods, my doctor ran a test on a clipping, which ended up showing no fungus (it looks the same as it did before, so it’s not like I even got pretty toenails out of the deal). In retrospect, having one ugly toenail was no big deal compared to what actually happened.

      • anonanonanon :

        Speaking from experience, wearing polish will make the problem worse. You need to let the nail breath and treat it.

        I’ve used this in the past with great success. I don’t work for this company, and I can’t speak to the formula/ingredients, but it works for me and my mom – http://www.fungoff.com/

      • My husband is having a significant toenail fungus issue, and doesn’t want to do medications. He Googled up a DIY treatment (basically, putting vinegar on your toenail every morning and night), and it’s helped a lot.

      • karenpadi :

        I had toenail fungus for over a decade that would turn into moccasin-style athlete’s foot every 15-24 months. Awful.

        I wasn’t able to get on Lamisil because it has an adverse interaction with the Pill. So my doctors (like 5 or 6 of them during this time) each did the same thing, treated the athlete’s foot and ignored the fungus.

        Finally, after seeing yet another doctor for the latest outbreak, I went to a podiatrist and had 6/10 toenails removed and the nail matrix destroyed. I’m on a rx creme for the latest outbreak of athlete’s foot (OTC methods don’t work for moccasin-style).

        It was pretty drastic but I am so happy I did it. It’s not for everyone but I didn’t know it was an option until a few weeks ago so I’m just putting it out there.

      • Please don’t use Lamasil! I did two expensive courses of it and had to do the blood tests to make sure I wasn’t damaging my liver. Ridiculous! You know what ended up curing my nail fungus AND my athletes foot? Apple Cider Vinegar. I wish I had known about it years ago.

        Buy Braggs ACV or the Trader Joes version. It needs to be unfiltered. If you see brown stuff floating in it, all the better! Every day for a month I soaked my infected foot in a solution of ACV and water. I used a plastic red cup and just dipped my foot in it while I drank my coffee/read online. I did this for about 20-30minutes daily. A month was all I needed and I’ve been fungus free for 4 years now.

      • Run a drop or two of real tea tree oil into your toe nails once or twice a day, preferably after you shower. It will take a few months, but the fungus will go away.

        • Hey, I think tea tree oil is great too, and it’s fine for athlete’s foot. But a toenail all funged out needs internal treatment, you cannot put anything ON it that’ll penetrate enough. That’s why they’re there, to protect your toes. Even if too much, in this case.

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I swear by tea tree oil. I use just a little in my shoes, and it functions as a natural anti-fungal. I treat my flats with it when I come home from work. I learned about the magic of this essential oil when I got a terrible nail fungus thing 2 years ago. Since I was TTC, I couldn’t use any prescription stuff. Amazingly, tea tree oil cured that issue, and I have relied on it ever since to keep “foot yuckies” at bay.

      • How do you treat flats? Spray bottle, or rub it in?

        • SugarMagnolia :

          I just take a little on a cotton ball, and rub that on the inside of the shoe. Sometimes, I leave the cotton ball inside the toe of the shoe overnight.

    • Something I don’t understand about putting antiperspirant on your feet. Where do you apply it? All over? One spot?

  4. How much and in what way does your “off-duty” style differ from your workday style? This is something I have been thinking about as I’ve seen the Ann Taylor aesthetic creeping into my off-duty wardrobe. Is anyone a Corpor3tt3 by day and goth by night? Do you have secret sleeve tattoos that you cover on weekdays and show off on weekends? Do you try to incoporate your off-duty style into your work wear or do you keep them separate or are they the same?

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m pretty similar, I think. Bright colors, lots of jackets, lots of high heels. I actually wear many of the same tops on and off duty, and change out the pencil skirts for jeans or shorts on the weekend.

    • Put together (sort-of) lawyer by day.

      Unwashed mess by night.

      She is Contradiction Girl!

      Coming to a theater near you, in Fall 2014.

    • I kind of feel that it’s a huge hassle to try to have two totally separate wardrobes, unless you have some really super awesome and distinctive personal style identity that you couldn’t get away with at work (like rockabilly or super vintage or so). I thought about this when I started working a couple years ago, because I also go to synagogue weekly which is basically a similar level of dressed-up as my business casual workplace (except a little more festive/colourful, I guess). Except for a few dresses (and a pink tweed skirt that I’m not sure I can pull off at work), I basically wear the same outfits to both. More casual weekend/evening stuff, I have a few t-shirts I wouldn’t wear to work, but I’ll just pair most of my regular tops with jeans or comfy skirts. (Casual Friday = not so different from casual dinner w/ mother-in-law on Saturday night.) The only exception is summer dresses which I live in after work and on Sundays during the summer but wouldn’t be appropriate or warm enough for work.

    • In my ideal world, it differs a lot. I’m working to get there (losing weight, so seems foolish to buy everything two to three times) but I like to think of my work style as “classic” and my off duty as having some classic pieces, but definitely a lot more funky pieces and maybe “edgier” accessories.

    • I used two have a work and freetime style that were light years apart. Very vintage hipster on the weekend and completely buttoned up (but totally boring) during the week. I got so tired of maintaining two completely separate wardrobes and wearing dark suits and buttons downs all the time Eventually, after I had built some confidence of what I could get away with in a conservative work environment, I started dressing more creatively at work (incorporating colors, accessories). Because dressing in that manner made me happier I was happy to invest more into my work wardrobe in turn and really came to love some of those pieces so much I wanted to wear them on the weekend, too. So by now, I use the same accessories and most of my jewelry and blazers for both wardrobes and only keep a few things that are strictly weekend or special occasion.

    • I think my personal style is roughly the same for both, and yet my work and casual wardrobes don’t meet very often. If you look in my closet, it’s pretty clear that I like clean and simple lines, I wear similar colors all the time, and I’m a fairly classic dresser overall. That said, other than basics like tees, I usually don’t integrate my work and weekend wardrobes. Part of it is a psychological thing. During my downtime, I just plain don’t want to wear work clothes because they remind me of, well, work. The other part is that casual clothes are just more appropriate for most of my weekend activities, which include hanging out with the family, taking DS to the park, working out, cooking and doing errands. Much as I’d like to be, I don’t think I’ll ever be that girl who dresses up to go to the grocery store.

    • FormerPhotog :

      I am an old school deathrocker off duty, and a slightly edgy creative professional on. When I’m on-site in physician’s offices training, I have a few twill pencil skirts and logo oxfords that I wear (install and trainings involve a lot of crawling on the floor, so it’s mostly look neat, don’t wrinkly, no plumbers’ crack!). In the office, we’re super casual – some people wear suits, some people wear jeans with holes. I fall in the middle with a retro inspired look – lots of pencil skirts and neat shells/blazers/cardigans, and pretty dresses, or leggings and long funky tunics and tall boots. I do have a love of funky shoes though.

      On the weekend, all bets are off, and you wouldn’t recognize me. I don’t find it too hard to have two wardrobes, because I started in clinical, so 5 sets of matching scrubs made it really easy to just have a really encapsulated work wardrobe (I love a wrok uniform, and then fun on the weekends. My job, though I love it, is not my identity. It just pays the bills)

    • I am a pretty classic, feminine dresser both at and outside the office, but my two wardrobes don’t mix very much. Off-duty, I wear a lot of casual skirts or dresses with a ’30s-’40s vintage style, except for activities that require jeans. While I have some vintage-style suits, most of my casual wardrobe doesn’t translate well to my work wardrobe (though it used to in my old job, which was a bit more casual).

    • This is a little embarrassing but I make it a point to keep my work clothes different from my weekend/evening wear. Although I’d love to wear my silk blouses on my jeans over the weekends, am always afraid that somebody from work may spot me outside of work(which ofcourse never happened), recognize my blouse and think I got no life. How messed up am I? LOL

    • PharmaGirl :

      My off-duty style was previously very similar to my workwear style except with dark wash jeans instead of dress pants. My current off duty style is now much frumpier since I spend weekedns chasing around a toddler and hate ruining my nice clothes!

    • SugarMagnolia :

      It used to differ a lot more, but these days, I think my work style is getting used more on my free time.

      I love going to jamband concerts and have always dressed the part of the wanna-be hippie: jeans, tie dye shirts, lots of embroidered tunic tops, flowy skirts and dresses and of course, Birkenstocks.

      My work style was much more structured…with lots of jackets or sweater jackets and suits, since I am a lawyer.

      I have noticed that (even when not pregnant) that I am “dressing up” more, and I don’t mind it. I still love anything with embroidery or lots of “artistic” details on it, but I am toning down the hippie fashion victim approach for a more happy medium.

    • TOTALLY different for me. Work = dark skirt or pants, white or black tee and jacket or cardigan, or professional looking knit top (I’m in a biz casual office, where suits are needed sometimes). Not work – crazy prints, sparkle, lots of flouncy or sexy skirts, ruffles, stripes, flirty dresses, flip flops, mucho cleavage. I even have my closet separated out between work and play. I love coming home on Fridays and sliding those closet doors over to expose my “fun” clothes!

      I spend a little less on non-work clothes unless for a special occasion. I’m hard on clothes, so I try to preserve the more expensive work pieces. I take them off as soon as I walk in the door, and don’t wear them for play ever. I’m more daring outside of work too – I’ll wear something trendy for fun (like the vince camuto batwing dress I just bought, which totally makes me look like lady Batman), where I am conservative at work. It’s a funny visual to see both sides of the closet beside each other.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Ever since a post on here I’ve been trying to change into my fun clothes when I get home and even if it is only for an hour or so it still helps my mood! Just for kicks, while my husband and I had dinner in our house last night, I wore this crazy back exposing, tight mini skirt, dress I bought for Vegas once and will probably never wear again outside of the house. I think he thinks I’m nuts, but it was fun.

        • That’s cute!

        • Love this idea! All too often, I end up in running shorts and T-shirts at home, and my husband ends up not seeing me in “real” clothes. Maybe tonight I’ll put on a dress for dinner at home!

        • My DH would love if I did stuff like that more often. I like the idea of wearing fun non-work clothes before changing into scrubby at home clothes even after work. I used to be more like that but lately am much more jeans and t-shirt when I get home (or actually, in the sweltering heat I’ve been wearing shorts most days again after years of almost never wearing them).

        • yay date night! :

          Haha, I do this sometimes because I feel bad that husband only sees me in PJs most of the time. Sometimes I’ll wear a cute sundress or something just to go for a walk around the neighborhood. It’s also fun to do home date nights in just l*ng*r*e… I would never look that exposed in public, but kinda fun to spice up a boring weeknight dinner!

        • I like this too. I’m always a little disappointed when I wear an awesome (to me) outfit to work and my SO never sees it.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          My husband would be so happy if I did that. :)

        • Yes to all of this! We do home date night on Fridays now (cheaper than a restaurant and convenient for…garden parties) and I try to freshen up my make-up and put on something pretty/sexy so my husband doesn’t feel like I dress up for everyone in the world except him.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m finding my styles overlap a lot now. I used to enjoy wearing tight, cleavage showing going out clothes but now, since dressing buttoned up all day everyday, I find I am uncomfortable in that old style and prefer more modest cuts. I will still rock a mini skirt or a low cut top on occasional but never both together anymore. I’m also afraid to run into people I know in my “off time” since we all live and work in the same area. I ran into one supervisor hungover in sweats once at a breakfast place and that was a bit awkward. It would be 100 times more awkward if I ran into my boss in club clothes.

      I try to go a little more wild on vacation where nobody knows me.

      • Same here on more overlapping as I’ve gotten older and have a more dressed-up covered-up style even when off-duty. Clothes which go seamlessly between work and play for me –
        : Dresses as long as the waist isn’t constricted and the fabric isn’t some kind of suiting – as I type, I’m wearing the same midnight blue tank dress I wore to work yesterday. Worked fine with a belt and under a jacket yesterday, and has gone on the grocery run in flats and a ponytail today.
        : Navy or midnight blue jackets go to work and with jeans after work
        : Silk, cotton and wool tanks go under suits for work and with leggings and such after work
        : Flat shoes
        : Most cold-weather gear. I like the look of a tailored topcoat with a scarf in preference to anything sporty or puffy except when the weather really isn’t cooperating.

    • K...in transition :

      sort of… by day, it’s slacks and tops and scarves and by night (if I’m home) it’s pj pants, oversized tie dye tshirts, and I don’t mind if my tattoos show. When I’m out with friends, I rock my scarves sometimes (though typically the more casual ones) but otherwise, friends and roommates have always been surprised to see me in work clothes (or as I call them, “grownup clothes”) as I change the moment I get home.

    • I don’t do schleppy very well. I spend my weekends in sundresses and denim skirts in the summer and jeans, especially tucked into boots in the winter. I’ll wear the same shirts to work and off-work but otherwise my wardrobes are separate.

      • karenpadi :

        I am similar–sundresses after-hours whenever the weather permits (yay California!). When the weather doesn’t permit, it’s basically work-appropriate/business casual clothes (including jeans) 7 days/week but luckily that’s only a few months/year.

    • SoCalAtty :

      My “lawyer” wardrobe is lots of blacks and greys with some whites and reds thrown in. Some fun, but mostly standard law office stuff. My “not work” wardrobe is either riding clothes which consists of breeches and polo shirt, or my hiker/CA beach clothes…hiking pants, hoodie (or tank top if its hot) and flip flops or low trail runners. Yep. That about sums up my personal style – hiker trash/CA beach.

      They are starting to merge, though. I’ve started wearing some of my hiking skirts to work, paired with a cowl-neck long sleeved blouse, and some of my riding polo shirts (they are all really cute and usually white or black with colored piping in the barn colors – black and tan) on days I wear khakis or with jeans on casual fridays.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Here is they type of skirt I’m talking about – I picked this up in white and wore it with a 3/4 sleeve black top from BR yesterday, and black heels. It looked pretty good!


        • Huh. That is pretty good-looking. Is it bad, though, that I had no idea there was such a thing as a hiking skirt?

          As far as the actual question, I’d say my professional and real-life wardrobes contain many of the same pieces but have very different vibes. At work I’m very classic and buttoned-up–think pencil skirt + button-up, or trousers with shell and cardigan, or shirt-dress, including lots of pieces I inherited from my mother’s original working wardrobe in the ’60s. Outside of work, I’ll wear many of the same tops (I’d say there’s the most overlap with sweaters and cardigans), but with skinny jeans and more eye makeup. In the summer I live in brightly-printed sundresses. My favorite compliment that anyone has ever told me about my clothing is that I looked like a grunge-rock Audrey Hepburn. Work or play, I’d say I try to channel her or Jackie O most of the time.

          • SoCalAtty :

            Nah. It’s just a skirt made out of tech fabric that is really breathable you can hike in. I’m a big fan of them when I know it will be a long day in the office and I want to be somewhat comfortable.

    • phillygirlruns :

      ugh. i have work clothes and gym clothes and almost nothing in between.

      work is mostly suits and separates, with a good amount of bright colors. on more casual days i err on the side of preppy with j.crew chinos or cafe capris, navy blazer and sperry angelfish (loooooove these).

      i spend the vast majority of my free time working out, so that’s a lot of lululemon (i think i own about 10 pair of “speed” shorts and 6 pair of wunder under tights), nike (their “compression” shorts that are not at all compressive are great), and cheap t-shirts with the necklines cut out because i can’t stand crewnecks. it’s often 10pm by the time i get done training so it’s immediately time to shower and throw on PJs, so there’s no real need for in-between clothes during the week.

      this is all well and good until it’s time to go out to dinner over the weekend, and i inevitably stand in front of my closet lamenting the fact that i never buy “going out” stuff. i did pick up two pair of colored toothpick jeans from j.crew this weekend as a grand experiment, but have not worn them yet.

      • I have clothes in between, but never wear them. It’s either work clothes or work out clothes. So why, oh why, do I keep buying the clothes I never wear?

    • Research, Not Law :

      I used to have a funky, thrifted vibe. But it got dull once I started blending in work clothes and even more so after having kids. I’m working to bring back some creativity, but I’m struggling since I’m no longer a hip 22 year old. I’m worried I’ll just look batty.

    • Hah, I’m a ‘rette by day and a [sorta] goth by night! Or at least I like to say I’m a recovering goth. But then I moved somewhere really really hot (it’s been 108 most of the week!), which has sort of changed what I wear. At work I pretty much wear sheath dresses since it’s too hot for pants (but also makes me more dressed up and generally more professional than others around me, which throws people for a loop when they see me outside of work) and on weekends I’m usually in shorts and a tank top during the day and a sundress at night. While I’ve found that while there are still colors I won’t wear (pastels, khaki, beige) and that I still wear more black than the average person, my summertime wardrobe would never give you a hint that I’m an ex-goth. Or a lawyer, for that matter.

      My fall/winter outside-of-work wardrobe is a bit easier — dark skinny jeans tucked into black boots and generally a black or dark shirt with a black leather or velvet jacket. Sometimes a shirt may overlap between my work and home wardrobe, or I’ll wear black skinny jeans to work on casual Friday, but otherwise my wardrobes are pretty separate and are in different closets. Mostly because work doesn’t need to see my cleavage.

      It’s funny because I think wearing a lot of black doesn’t even register for most people and then they look confused when they hear I am/was goth or see my house permanently decorated for Halloween (in a classy way, no fake spiderwebs or anything) or notice that my shoes have zombies on them. My favorite is when I happen to mention to a friend that I’m going/been to a goth club and they say, “Oh, golf! I love golf, we should go some time.”

      • I nearly spat out my coffee laughing when I read your goth/golf comment! It’s like when people tell me how much they love The Nutcracker when I tell them I belly dance.

    • This is a fun thread. I keep mine about 99% separate, largely because they’re just different pieces. My work wardrobe is a lot of pencil skirts non-matching blazers or coordinating sweaters, and a lot of silk blouses tucked in, always wearing a watch, always high pumps. Outside of work is extremely sundress-dependent, usually with flip flops, or one very overused pair of nude peep toe wedges. No watches on the weekends. Also lots of belts. Post-work is yoga pants and a comfy but cute tank or t-shirt, usually, or a slip dress/nightgown that’s relatively cute and not lingerie (my SO is consistently in basketball shorts and maybe a t-shirt, and is still in the “I like you casual – I get to see the side no one else sees” phase, so I’m inclined to go with it!).

    • ChocCityB&R :

      I can’t afford to have two closets right now, and since my office is business casual, my office style and my off-duty style are pretty identical (more jeans and sneakers off duty). BUT, if and when I can afford it, I think that my off-duty style will be a cross between rocker-chick and bohemian. I know this combination makes no sense…

    • I would say mine’s mostly different. My office is casual, but I still would prefer to be pretty conservative at work. Plus, I tend to be really tuned into dressing for the weather in my casual life (so I can keep the electricity bill down at home, mainly!) In summer, casual, I prefer things like tank tops, sundresses, and casual skirts, and strappy sandals, which are obviously not work appropriate, and in the winter casual me prefers jeans and heavier sweaters than I would wear to work. Plus, I have a dog which sheds a lot (which is a beast to get off of, say, a black suit) and I hate wearing shoes with a firey passion, which makes it hard to not take off work pants (hemed for heels) right away.

      A few of my tops, some shoes, cardigans, maybe a blazer, and most jewelry does double duty, but that’s about it. Though it’s different if I’m, say, going to church (more likely to pull out work clothes, since they’re conservative).

    • Hippies, tie-dye lovers, rock chicks, and bohos could probably all join me in lusting after this way-too-expensive top: http://www.net-a-porter.com/product/310413

      • K...in transition :

        <3 but yeah, too expensive… probably something one could make for $5 or less

    • Related topic: I see a lot of comments here about pajama time :-). But pjs don’t have to be boring or ugly, they just have to be comfy. I maintain a collection of bright cheerful and funny prints, so when I get home after a rough day I can at least feel cute. I have some extra-bright sweaters to wear with them, and I was inspired by a German mag to try boiled wool jackets indoors. Sweatshirt fabric can be made in more interesting shapes too. If you need significant time in pjs to unwind, nothing says you can’t treat them like a real wardrobe item.

    • This would be me, although more punk than goth on my off times. I’m in Biglaw so I can’t really incorporate my off-duty style into my work wardrobe, unfortunately. I have found that my non-work style has been creeping toward mainstream because of the monetary constraints of maintaining two wardrobes and having to have a “professional” haircut/only hideable tattoos, and I. HATE. IT. Plus, I feel like I’m wearing a costume every day when I go to work, and constantly feel like I have to hide who I am from my coworkers. But I draw the line at changing my non-work style to be more professional just in case I run into people from work. They own enough of my time as it is.

    • Hah, I actually recently had an interesting conversation with a coworker about this, so funny that it came up here too. The answer, for me, is yes — on the weekends, I still mostly wear my casual clothes acquired during my college years (for lack of a better word… slightly hipster-ish, at least by my city’s standards) while my work wardrobe is very conservative, lots of greys and blacks, no trendy cuts, nothing at all edgy. I like my work clothes in that they fit well, are made of nice materials, and help me to get into the right mindset for my work environment… but never in a million years would I buy just because I liked them. It feels a little bit strenuous (not to mention hard on my tiny closet) to have two completely separate wardrobes/personalities, so I hope that as I continue in my career and earn my stripes, I can move back toward having one unified style. (I should also probably get rid of some of the rattier things from my college days, now that I’ve been out for a couple of years, but it’s hard to say goodbye and I also don’t have money to invest in two wardrobes simultaneously… or at least I rationalize it that way.)

      The funny thing is that it feels to me like it would be the ideal to have one wardrobe, while my coworker who wears many of the same pieces for both work and weekends felt like it would be better to have two separate “work” and “fun time” personalities. I guess it’s one of those grass is always greener dichotomies.

    • Former goth turned lawyer here. Cracked up the day I found myself walking to lunch in a suit past a club I used frequent wearing vinyl pants and combat boots. Almost didn’t recognize it in the daylight. lol

      I try as best I can to incorporate my personal style into my work wardrobe but it’s hard. I spend as little as possible on work clothes because I don’t enjoy wearing them, and I live for the moment I get home and change into my “real” clothes. I feel most like myself in jeans, boots and a black tank these days – a toned down version of my undergrad wardrobe. I miss being able to dye my hair every color of the rainbow.

  5. Does anyone have good alternatives to either a cardigan or a jacket? I’m a lawyer and I feel like my in-office uniform is dress pants, heels, a blouse and a cardigan. A jacket isn’t appropriate in my office unless you’re in court or meeting with clients.

    • Pull-over sweater? What about a heavier gauge knit wrap top?

    • SoCal Gator :

      How about a knit blazer? They have some really cute ones out in the fall collections. They are a nice bridge between a formal jacket and a cardigan.

    • Menswear’s style vest, for example: http://www.express.com/studio-stretch-faux-double-breasted-vest-47553-548/control/page/9/show/3/index.pro
      Cashmere shell worn as a vest over a sleeved blouse or shirt.

    • I wear a lot of structured cardigans, a la http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-tipped-sweater-blazer-pants-caslon-tee/3367750 or or http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/caslon-double-knit-blazer/3265802 or http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/classiques-entier-panthere-cardigan/3281557 (yes I own all of those from the NAS). I get that they’re still cardigans, but they have more structure, and more interest. Somehow I feel more formal.

    • Stuck in moderation, links to follow.

      • I wear a lot of structured cardigans, a la http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-tipped-sweater-blazer-pants-caslon-tee/3367750 or or http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/caslon-double-knit-blazer/3265802 or http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/classiques-entier-panthere-cardigan/3281557 (yes I own all of those from the NAS). I get that they’re still cardigans, but they have more structure, and more interest. Somehow I feel more formal.

  6. For those of you who have kids age 2-4ish, what is your typical nighttime routine? I have upstairs neighbors who seem like they start to get their wee one ready for bed at 930, at which point he typically stomps and screams for an hour. I get the impression that they do not want to put him to bed until the parents are ready for bed. Is this typical?

    • Typical? Not sure. My 3-yo son goes to bed at 8:15 on the dot. Book read, covers up, lights off, doors closed. My 18-mo goes to bed at around 8:30 but she’s been a tougher nut to crack on bedtime routine. Lots of lullaby music and rocking, but rarely any screaming or stomping.

    • It varies pretty widely depending on family and culture.

      The number and length of daytime naps can also affect bedtime.

    • I think it’s common, though it’s not an approach I’d take. Because DS goes to daycare, we have to wake him up at 6:30-6:45 a.m. There would be h.e.l.l. to pay if we let him stay up until 9:30. We, and most of our friends who have kids in daycare, set an 8:00 or 8:30 bedtime. For some of my other friends, who are SAHMs or have more flexible schedules in general, a 9:30 bedtime isn’t unheard of.

    • Probably not typical but we do that. We all go to bed at the same time. As long as the little one gets about 11-12 hours of sleep, the bedtime doesn’t matter too much.

      • Little one never gets that much sleep. From what I can tell, he is usually up screaming and stomping shortly after 8. He usually is not down for bed until 11 or even 12 some nights.

    • The kids are in bed between 8:00 and 8:30. We go to bed around 9:30 or 10:00 – I like to have an hour or so to myself before bed, so we make sure to have that happen if at all possible! I get up early (5:30) for the same reason – I like to have my coffee and read the paper before the kids get up (which is usually around 7)

    • Seventh Sister :

      I have kids in that age bracket, and that seems pretty late and pretty loud. That said, my kids are in daycare (so have to be up at a particular time) and are pretty easygoing sleepers.

    • My son goes to bed between 7:30-8 and is up 6:30-7. He’s (generally) a rockstar sleeper and always has been. Some kids are lousy sleepers, no matter what you do. Your neighbors may have that kid.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Our three year old goes to bed at 9 pm. She’d easily be going down at 9:30 pm during the summer (later daylight hours) if we let bedtime creep up. She’s a nightowl. We go to bed about an hour or two later. I really like it, since I get to spend more time with her in the evenings after work. She is usually home during the day, so we don’t have to get her up for daycare, so she often sleeps until 8 am. I also really like that on the weekends.

      It’s definitely not typical, but certainly not uncommon. If that makes sense.

      Bedtime at that age can be rough at any time, although an hour seems a bit much.

    • 3 year old has a 7:00 bedtime – 2 stories, 2 songs, lights out. 6 year old has an 8:00 bedtime in the summer that gets pushed back to 7:30 during the school year – same routine of stories and songs. Everyone is up at 6:30. Our kids are wildly different about sleep. The 6 year old needs 11 hours or else he is a hot mess, and he regularly napped on the weekends until the middle of last year. 3 year old has already given up naps, and seems not to need as much sleep. She tends to talk or sing to herself for up to an hour after lights out.

    • Diana Barry :

      Definitely not. Our kids (2.5, 4.5) go upstairs no later than 730, then brush teeth, books, bedtime. They have been staying awake until 830 but we go up every 5 minutes or so to remind them to be quiet!!

    • Thanks all for the comments. I know a lot of kids are not good sleepers (certainly I have friends with those children), but I think these parents exacerbate things because Dad will yet at Wee Neighbor if he is watching boxing or playing video games at 10pm (usually on a weekend) and Wee Neighbor is cranky and bothering him. I think it’s just unrealistic to expect a little one to stay up to 11-12 and not be cranky!

      • Sounds like my downstairs neighbor, also 4 years old. Goes to bed around 10, which involves lots of screaming. Gets up around 7, which also involves lots of screaming. Several more hours of crying/screaming throughout the day. I don’t have kids, so I have no idea if it’s normal, but it seems like an awful lot of crying for a kid that can talk perfectly well (and I really wish I didn’t have to listen to it).

  7. Any advice for trying to build up a casual wardrobe for work? There are only 4 women in my office, and three of us are recent hires. I work in Seattle, and the men who work here pretty much wear what you would expect environmental consultants to wear (Birkenstocks with socks, plaid shirts, fleece vests, etc usually with jeans or khaki pants).

    My current collection of clothes includes lots of tee-shirts and sweatshirts, left over from college where that was pretty much all I wore. I’d like to add a little more style to what I normally wear, which is usually jeans and a nice shirt, usually with a cardigan over it because the office is always freezing. I feel like I could wear a lot more interesting clothes because of the very lax dress code, but I’m terrible at picking out clothes myself.

    Any suggestions? I usually shop at places like LOFT and The Limited, with some Nordstrom added in.

    • I think knit blazers and sweater jackets are great for this type of situation. Less formal than a suit jacket, but more polished than a cardigan. Look at the G.ap’s academy blazer.

      • Oooh, and The Limited also has some cute, colorful blazers right now.

        • I just posted below about their sale! I got the purple knit blazer.

          • Me too! I can’t remember the last time I was this excited to break out a new piece of clothing.

          • I’m wearing that blazer today and it’s like wearing a sweatshirt, but way cuter :)

      • SoCal Gator :

        Thanks all for the suggestion of the Academy blazer. So cute! I tried it on in the store today to make sure I knew my size and then ordered it online to get the 25% off. I got the navy one with black piping. Even cuter than the Banana Republic version that is in a wool blend and a bit more expensive.

    • I recently transition from a business/business casual office to a completely casual/jeans 98% of the time office. My new office is mostly men, so I haven’t had many women to model my new casual style after. I know how you feel!

      I live in a warm climate, so I’ve been investing in a lot of silk blouses, dark wash slim cut jeans, simple accessories, and heels – basically things I can wear all year round with the right accessories. A lot of my tops have been re-purposed from my old job; changing the bottom from a pencil skirt to slim cut jeans and leaving the blouse untucked changes the whole look to a more casual vibe. I’ve also bought a lot of daytime dresses that I’ll pair with blazers or cardigans if the sleeves aren’t office appropriate. I’ll post a link to one of my favorite new work dresses below.

      People do occasionally comment on me looking very “polished” or “dressed up”, but I’d rather have that reputation than the opposite one.

      • One of my favorite new work dresses (as promised)…it’s not nearly as short on me as it looks on the model.


    • I work in a similarly casual office, and I wear a lot of sundresses with sandals in summer, and sweater dresses with tights and boots in winter. It takes SO much less time for me to get dressed in the morning with dresses, I look more put together than with jeans and a t-shirt but they are still definitely casual dresses worn with casual footwear, scarves (freezing office too), and accessories to match the office culture. I also induldge in trends I like more, such as cropped or colored pants (or whatever else the lawyers on this site wouldn’t be able to wear without raising eyebrows), because if you don’t have to look “professional”, “fashionable” gets easier. As long as it is still modest enough for an office (I wouldn’t wear a miniskirt), go for it.

    • Annie, we recently helped some other Corporettes with answering their questions and putting together some basic wardrobe advice for them. I’d be happy to do the same for you.

    • Maybe try Zara, they have fun blazers. I’m not sure if it is too dressy, but a tunic/blazer/lightweight sweater over skinny pants/jeans (which is the Zara) vibe seems like a good mix for you. To combat the temp, try a shirt, waterfall cardigan (I have one from Boden and two from Ann Taylor) and a belt.

  8. Gail the Goldfish :

    It is so clearly Friday. I packed a lunch for myself this morning. It is now lunch time. Guess where my lunch is? Yes, on the kitchen counter at home, a 45 minute commute away from work. And it had frozen stuff in it, too.

    Anyone else feel like this has been an exceptionally long week?

    • Oops. Bummer. I’m having an exceptionally long work week as I’m dealing with very mean and very unprofessional coworkers. Hopefully this project should be done soon and I don’t have meet with them anymore (or atleast as much as I’m meeting now)

    • Me! I’ve been totally overwhelmed with meetings getting the new boss up to speed and have hardly had any time to do things that I need to do to get ready for the start of school, which is a week from Monday. I’m dead.

    • orchidlady :

      Incredibly long. I hate when a lunch gets wasted like that — but on the bright side, you get to buy something fun for lunch!

    • Yes. I am wishing we had a nap room. I would take a nap at this point over pretty much anything else.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Yes! And I found a critical error that will push me to working over the weekend. Poop.

    • Me TOO! I now all of a sudden have to study up on ANTI-TRUST law. I never took this in law school b/c I figured that I would NOT have to learn this or do this. After all, I am a LITIEGATOR, so now I have to start doing this? All b/c the MANAGEING partner want’s to have me diversefy by getting Jim to give me more cases.

      What the MANAGEING partner does not realize, or does not care, is that it mean’s more work for ME! I have to work alot more hours, and bill more to Jim, but I do NOT get any more share of the EQUITY.

      My dad says since I am working more (10+ hours / week), I should get a 20% share of the profit’s. I am NOT sure if this make’s sense, but I just figured I would ask for the 20% or $50,000 more per year. I do NOT want to be worked to death like a plow horse. FOOEY!

      • Go for the money!

      • Ellen,

        Whatever else, do not let Jim trick you. All the Tiffany talk is a calculated ploy to break down your natural resistance to him. He does not want to marry you, just have you think he does long enough to have you sleep with him for a few months. Trust me I was in your shoes.

        I got hoodwinked by a jerk that talked “forever” long enough to fool me into bed and worse yet into lending him money. After 3 months and $6,000 lost, he found another woman to sleep with and “supplement” his unemployment. While your Jim has a job, the MO is otherwise the same.

        PLEASE take my advice and remember what the nuns taught me in high school (which I forgot)….”KEEP A DIME BETWEEN YOUR KNEES AT ALL TIMES YOU ARE OUT WITH THIS LOSER! ”

        You will not regret it. Trust me.

    • Yes! I can’t remember my internship on Monday. Submitted my dissertation this morning and just had rather a lot of champagne (full disclosure: cheap cava which is going to make me a very sad girl tomorrow morning).

  9. @Bluejay — I saw the Weight Watchers group name on the last post, but absolutely cannot find it by searching “Groups” on WW. Any advice?

  10. PSA: The Limited is offering 40% off total purchase, no exclusions, and free shipping over $100. I don’t really own any Limited clothing but I know some ladies here like the clothes, so I ordered a ton of pants and some other things to see if anything works for me.

  11. B-School Recs :

    Any advice on how to ask for recommendation letters for grad school? Should I ask my immediate supervisor or even my boss’s boss who also knows my work? I have breifly mentioned to them that I’m planning on going back to school and they seem supportive, but I don’t speak with them on a daily basis and have no idea how to bring this up without sounding like im burdening them with more work.

    • Will you be leaving your job to attend school full time? If so, before asking anyone at your current job for a rec., tell your boss about your plans. If s/he is supporting, ask for a rec right then and there, but make sure you ask how you can make it least burdensome on them.

      If you’re simply worried about burdening them, ask for a rec and once they agree, ask how you can support them. Make sure you leave PLENTY of time, incude a copy of your resume as well as your goals for b-school, and if they ask or if you’re comfortable, tell them what you’d like them to highlight.

      When I asked for a rec. from an employer, I was leaving. I let them know that I was going to school to improve on X, Y and Z and could they please write nice things about me and highlight that X, Y and Z are all areas in which I would benefit from b-school.

    • K...in transition :

      Assuming your boss(es) know your plans, why not send an email to each person (figure twice as many as you actually need so it won’t stress you if some don’t follow through)? Include a note that you’re excited for school and have really enjoyed working with the person on -name specific project here- and because of that close working relationship and the time spent -name the thing you hope the person highlights in your letter here-, you’re hoping the person feels s/he gained enough insight on you to write you a letter of recommendation. This tells reminds the person of your time spent together, gives an idea of what you want said, and then set a deadline when you will follow up so it’s not an indefinite back-burner thing.

    • I simply called up the people I wanted to write the rec letters and asked. I had worked for everyone in some capacity and they knew I was going to B-school (I went part-time and continued working, so it wasn’t a secret). I mentioned that since they had supervised me and knew my work ethic, they were probably the best people to recommend me for B-school. They agreed, letters were written, done. I also made it easy for one of my former managers (he’s the president of the company and travels constantly) by interviewing him and putting together a very rough draft that he then edited so he wasn’t starting from scratch and it didn’t take up too much of his time.

      Definitely aim for the direct supervisor and maybe pick their brain about whether the boss’s boss would be open to writing a rec.

      Good luck! I was stressed out pretty much every minute of B-school but I think it was worth it. ;)

    • The comments above give good advice. I will also give you advice that my mother gave me when I needed to ask for recommendations: remember that people like to help other people. I was very hesitant to bother my busy superiors for recommendations, but now I see what she meant. No matter how busy I am, I’m always happy to help out a good person with a recommendation. So if you have a good relationship with both and they are both familiar with your work, then by all means ask them both for a recommendation.

      One more thing . . . listen between the lines if they don’t want to give a recommendation. I recently had to advise someone on what to say to an intern that did not do a great job. He told the intern: “I’m flattered that you asked me, but I think you could get a stronger recommendation from [person X or someone involved with activity Y].” (The person was willing to give the recommendation, but they wanted intern to know that it would be an honest recommendation and not great.) So if they say something like that, you may want to politely decline the recommendation and seek one from another source. Hopefully that will not be the case, but just listen if they seem to be telling you that they could not write a good recommendation for you.

  12. San fran ‘rettes I remember a few months ago reading about a great Saturday farmers market. Which one is it, there are a ton listed when I google it. Thanks in advance!

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      The one at the Ferry Building is great when you have visitors – it’s a fun environment and lots of great vendors. However, it’s expensive and I wouldn’t rely on it for my regular produce needs (it’s more a fun outing). The Alemany Farmers Market is amazing – huge selection of produce, great prices. Not a pretty location, but that doesn’t matter to me. I love the guy who sells smoked fish, and the walnuts and raisins are cheap and really good.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Mary Ann is exactly right. Ferry Plaza for the ultimate glory in produce – the most perfect peach, the most beautiful melon, in a fabulous setting. You’re also going to pay for it. Alemany is less glamorous in setting and products, but the products are still great and the prices are much lower. I love both.

    • There is one on Sundays in the parking lot in Stonestown. Pretty good– not as beautiful as Ferry Building and not as much variety as Alemany but it does have the Belgian waffle truck!

  13. orchidlady :

    Minor rant — Friend A and I had an email chain going this week, and she suddenly included her friend, Friend B (someone I’ve met a few times but am not close with at all) in the chain to ask Friend B to comment on something I said — but Friend A kept all our old emails attached. Now Friend B is offering opinions on something I shared in the original chain with Friend A — something I never expected her, or anyone else, to see.

    Isn’t this bad email etiquette? The emails weren’t particularly personal, but I never expected them to be shared. Why wouldn’t Friend A just start a new chain?

    • SugarMagnolia :

      I think Friend A just wasn’t thinking. It is definitely bad email etiquette, but if this person is really a friend, I am sure she didn’t mean to break your confidence.

    • Yes, it’s bad etiquette. I’ve had this happen in a professional email chain where what I thought were internal deliberations with my office got forwarded outside our organization. It’s not polite and it’s very frustrating. Can you talk to A about this? It might be something that wouldn’t bother her and so it might not occur to her that you’d mind.

    • I second that you should definitely talk to A about this. It’s not just etiquette, it’s ethics – respecting confidentiality. She may have slipped in haste, she may just be unaware, she may be too low-tech to know how to remove the previous parts :-). In any case she needs to realize you don’t like it, and know not do it again.

      On the other hand, you can help prevent this sort of situation by not building up chains like this, especially in personal conversations. Simply remove the previous message when you answer (most mailers can be configured to do this by default..).

  14. Baby DC Attorney :

    I’m getting married in a few short weeks (September 22nd). Any great advice you ladies have for my wedding day? Also, I know there is another ‘rette with the same wedding day — if you are her, and you see this, how are you holding up?

    • My brother is getting married that day! But in Portland, OR.

      As a type A, super organized person, I felt the weight of the world on my shoulders leading up to my wedding. The day before, as I realized I didn’t have refrigerator space to hold all the flowers, and my husband and his friends returned very dirty from their batchelor party camping trip, I had this epiphany in my kitchen. I could either freak out about every. little. thing and make myself miserable. Or I could let go, enjoy the amazing friends and family that had gathered to celebrate my husband and I, and just bask in the time. I chose option B and am so happy that I did. I highly recommend it. Your wedding won’t be perfect, but at the end of the day you’ll be married.

      Today is our anniversary, and I love him more than I did the day we were married. And that is way way more important than the fact that one of the groomsmen forgot to drive us to the reception (we just hopped in my husbands car and drove ourselves).

      • I love this. And yes – I agree. You will have some minor emergency on your wedding day. Mine was that we realized 3 hours before the wedding, somehow the back of my dress had a giant stain on the back of it (we still don’t know what happened). It seemed like the end of the world at the time. But, when you get to the reception – no matter what, take a minute to look around and take everything in. The flowers, decoration, food, all the people that want to celebrate with you. This will (or at least, should) be one of the happiest days of your life. (Oh, and my mom’s best friend took me dress to the shop where we bought it and they steam-cleaned whatever it was out. NBD).

        I’ll echo EC MD- I’ve been with my husband over 7 years now. I love him even more than when we got married and I still get excited when I think about spending the rest of my life with him. And I still look back at our reception and smile at how young we were and how much fun we had.

  15. E.B. White :

    Does anyone else have a boss (or former boss) who has some kind of grammar issue currently driving them bonkers?

    I have a new boss (new to me) and she loves her commas–particularly after the word “but.” For example, “I thought about giving you the afternoon off but, it’s Friday.” THIS DRIVES ME BONKERS!

    A previous boss said “antidote” when she meant “anecdote.” I worried for a while how to correct her, then made a medium-subtle attempt. It didn’t work, so I finally told her so she wouldn’t continue to do it in front of clients. It didn’t fix the problem.

    Someone assure me that I’m not overly critical?

    • E.B. White :

      I should clarify that the first example is in email; the second example is verbal only.

      • Please correct her when she uses the wrong word verbally. Its easy to gently do in person and may save her from making the same mistake. (Of course, use common sense and don’t correct her in front of clients, etc. You’ll know the right opportunity when you see it.)

        As someone who used to mispronounce many words, I really appreciate it when someone gives me the correct pronunciation. (Darn you, early childhood phonics education.)

    • S in Chicago :

      I’m often on calls with a colleague who talks about “flushing out” the details. Same person also once called a high-paying client “Boo” repeatedly during a call no matter how many times others on the call referenced his name (his name is Beau).

      And the comma thing would drive me bonkers, too. :)

      • E.B. White :

        Ahhh! “Flushing out” reminds me of another colleague who says “attained” when he means “obtained.” As in, “we attained this data from the client.” Which I correct every.single.time. in his powerpoints. If he weren’t a JD/MBA with an Ivy undergrad, I wouldn’t hold it against him.

      • I actually thought “flushing out” was okay — always assumed it was a hunting-related reference (don’t hunting dogs flush birds out of bushes so you can see them?). Come to think of it, though, I’m probably just wrong.

        And yes, the abuse of commas is a serious pet peeve.

        • You are right, but the two terms mean different things.

          From the net:

          To “flesh out” an idea is to give it substance, as a sculptor adds clay flesh to a skeletal armature. To “flush out” a criminal is to drive him or her out into the open. The latter term is derived from bird-hunting, in which one flushes out a covey of quail. If you are trying to develop something further, use “flesh”; but if you are trying to reveal something hitherto concealed, use “flush.”

        • You “flesh out” the details if you want to create more specifics about something. But you can also “flush” things out of hiding.

          And continually saying flush in my head has started to turn it into a weird sounding word.

    • It would drive me nuts, too. But then again it drives me nuts when my boss writes “thx. c u then” in emails.

      I think you let it go in any personal communications and correct it when it’s going out-of-office and you are involved.

    • Those things would annoy me too, but I wouldn’t correct my boss for it. As for the verbal antidote-anecdote issue, I suspect the clients probably didn’t notice or assumed that it was an accent or odd pronunciation of “anecdote” because they don’t hear her do it every day like you do.

      I guess what I’m saying is, I don’t think it’s overly critical of you to notice and be annoyed by these things, but it would cross the line into overly critical if you took it upon yourself to correct all the grammatical errors you encounter.

      Out of curiosity, how did your old boss react when you told her? did she say she’d try to fix it and then couldn’t? Was she annoyed or embarrassed?

      • E.B. White :

        So…the reason I finally corrected her was that she was giving a big presentation. I sat through the run through. It wasn’t used once or twice during the 2 hour call- she said it ALL the time. It could have been me (it probably was)–but I found it super distracting.

        Since I was there to pay attention and critique the presentation, I just put “anECdote” in quotes at the top of the page– then when we rehashed the presentation I mentioned it offhandedly, along with my other critiques. (“This wasn’t as clear as it could have been…you spoke too softly here….it’s “anecdote” and not “antidote”…etc.”) She wasn’t annoyed at all. It just didn’t solve the problem (I think she thought I was wrong).

        I’m extra sensitive about this stuff because I went around mispronouncing “indicted” (inDIKted) for about a week in high school and NOBODY TOLD ME! I had never heard it pronounced before. I was MORTIFIED when someone finally told me (as in, thanked them profusely for telling me, fumed that it took two separate presentations before someone said anything!)

        For the record– I ALWAYS want to know!

        • I have a friend who always mispronounces metabolic (as in “metabolic rate”) with the emphasis on the second syllable, so meTABolic, instead of metaBOLic rate. It’s beyond me how to correct her without embarassing her. She teaches English at a community college but obviously did not learn this in science class.

          I’ve tried saying it correctly in normal conversation, but it does no good.

          Any suggestions for how to do this tactfully?

        • Mighty Mouse :

          In grade school, I was chosen to read some “news of the world” piece in class. I proceeded to read all about Thailand (which I pronounced “Thail-land”).

          The teacher corrected me at the end. I was mortified then; as an adult this makes me LOL and I wonder how she kept a straight face!

    • grammar police :

      You’re not the only one! I started a thread a while back about improper use of apostrophes. It’s not, “we invited the Smith’s to the meeting”. It’s not, “the 90’s today”. NO! They are the Smiths and it is in the 90s outside. ARRGGHHHH…. ok, sorry, I just see this all the time, and you brought it back up again :)

      • E.B. White :

        This will make you laugh…or cry. Depends on the day.


        • Oh man, now you’ve landed on the one grammatical tic that truly drives me insane. I have to fight the urge to confront people who do this and cross examine them as to what they think quotation marks actually mean and why they think that.

          • That just kills me, too. One of my colleagues does it in every written document and when she asks for my comments, I take them all out. Unfortunately, she is certain that she is correct.

        • That is “funny”

      • I hate this, too! But it seems like even very educated, normally grammatically correct people do this all the time.

    • I have a friend (a professor!) who says “halfhazard.” I try to use the word “haphazard” in a sentence whenever she first says “halfhazard” (so if she says “I wish he hadn’t done such a halfhazard job” I’ll say “yeah, it’s so frustrating when it’s clear it was done haphazardly”). She also says would’ve instead of had, as in “I wish I would’ve known.” (Actually, that example sentence she probably would have said “I wish he wouldn’t’ve done such a halfhazard job.”)

      • E.B. White :

        I love your pluperfect snobbery.

      • “would’ve” is regional to the Deep South, as is “might could”: I “might could” go to Walmartz translated to “I might be able to go to Walmart.”

        I know the placement of that colon may be improper :)

        • AnonInfinity :

          I am from the South and did not know that would’ve isn’t proper. Fo’ realz?!

          Also guilty of “might could.”

          • Oh my god same, I can feel my world crumbling, and am now wondering how many Yanks I’ve bothered over the course of my life by saying “would’ve.”

            …but SERIOUSLY? Is that not a thing that people say other places?

          • I grew up in Connecticut, and we say would’ve here. Don’t say might could, but I might could start.

          • Not sure if you mean you use it in general or that you use as described in TBK’s example. “Would’ve” (or “would have”) is not incorrect across the board. For example, it’s perfectly fine to say something like, “I would’ve sent flowers if I’d known you were in the hospital.” However, “I wish I would’ve known” is just 100% wrong.

          • Definitely meant it in the “wish I would’ve known” sense. Eh. Oh well, so is saying y’all, and y’all–on reflect I am just not that bothered about it.

          • *reflection

          • AnonInfinity :

            Right there with you, a.

            Also, I think y’all is a fantastic word. It’s a gender-neutral way of referring to a group. “You guys” isn’t gender neutral and just “you” can be confusing (are you talking to the group or to just one person).

          • Even better is “all y’all,” which we, here in Louisiana, use to great effect, as in “F*ck all y’all [flounce],”

          • Leigh Ann :

            My San Francisco in-laws think it’s hilarious when I say “fixin’ to.” Of course, saying “we’re fixin’ to go to dinner” is different from saying “we’re fixin’ to go to trial.” :)

          • SoCalAtty :

            I’m guilty of “fixin to” do something! Raised by grandparents from OK, can’t help it! I also say “crick” (creek) and “ruff” (roof). It is funny because those words fight right along with “hella” “dude” and a fee other CAisms

        • Not specific to the South. I have heard this incorrect usage by people from all over (as in the example by TBK).

          When I was in high school the song “Hey Man, Nice Shot” by Filter was popular and every time the lyric “I wish I would’ve met you” would come on, I would scream at the radio, “It’s ‘I wish I HAD met you,’ you a$$hole!”

          Just think of the example “If I HAD KNOWN you were coming, I WOULD HAVE BAKED a cake.”

          Sorry for Ellen caps. Bad grammar brings on my rage.

        • Migraine Sufferer :

          URG! I had a boyfriend who always said “I probably might.” Drove. Me. Crazy.

      • This use of would’ve drives me CRAZY.

    • Yep I always notice those type of mistakes and want to correct the person but in most situations you just have to ignore it. My boss pronounces nuclear as nuke-ular. Shouldn’t an engineer be able to pronounce that word correctly?

      On a related note, I love the Grammar Girl blog.

    • Yes, this drives me nuts as well. I have a colleague who is constantly reminding everyone how knowledgeable she is, yet uses “gleam” instead of “glean” on a regular basis – in writing, verbally, etc. I’m not sure if she heard it somewhere and thought it sounded smart or what. Drives me crazy! I have another colleague who writes business pieces with a ton of colloquialisms, like beginning a paragraph with the phrase, “For starters.” Really?

    • The partner in the office next to mine abuses punctuation without mercy. Her biggest offense? Semi-colon abuse. To make a compound sentence, she uses “semi-colon and comma”. Example: I walked to the store today; and, I bought milk.” Occasionally, she does this in simple sentences: “Plaintiff was out of work for six weeks; and, could not find other income.” She speaks into her dictaphone so loudly that I get to cringe while I hear her speak this mistake into her dictation and then cringe again when I have to review and revise the written product. It has become like nails on a chalk board to me.

    • I have a supervisor who regularly posts updates on Facebook and sends e-mails that are full of spelling mistakes of the fat fingers variety. None of them are so urgent that she couldn’t have taken 30 seconds of her time to check that she isn’t presenting herself as a total slob. The saddest part is that she (and I) are language professionals.

      I had a boss who uses exclamation marks where normal people use periods. And of course three to fifteen when one would have done for a normal person.

    • One of my colleagues gave a wonderful presentation this afternoon in front of a local forum (including new boss) and kept talking about “pitchers” when he meant “pictures.” I’m pretty sure it’s a regionalism that he has kept but it kind of drives me nuts.

    • I do not always think it is a good idea, even tho you may be right.

      When I was young and carefree, I tattooed my ex BF’s name on my left bum, but it said “I LUV xxxx”

      I intentionally had them write “luv” rather than “love” because it was 1 less letter (and every letter was painful). My ex BF saw it later and scolded me for not spewing out my “luv” for him properly. That was very hurtful to me, and I still have the tattoo, complete with the “misspelling” which I have had to explain to every guy that sees it.

      Maybe if I had cleared it FIRST I would still be with my EX, but in many other ways he was an ass, and I am glad he is gone from my life. In the best world, I need to find another guy named David who will appreciate this as a symbol of undying love, and marry me for branding his name so intimately on my body for him.

      • Thanks Frances, we need to keep this as reference for the many times people ask whether it’s OK to get a big tatoo for work..

    • My boss says “bodes the question” instead of “begs the question”. Drives me NUTS.

  16. I’m going to a Bar Mitzvah tomorrow. I haven’t been to one since I was a teenager and don’t remember what people wear. I’m invited to both the religious ceremony and the party afterwards. The thing is, I feel like what I want to wear to the party is not particularly appropriate for a synagogue. The invitation said that the party is Black and White themed, so I was planning on wearing my only black and white dress that I have… which is strapless. Would it be appropriate to wear a sweater over it at the synagogue? Should I pick something else to wear? Do people typically wear the same thing to both? The service is at a community Jewish center which does not seem to cater to one denomination.

    • Anonymous :

      Is there a gap between the religious ceremony and the party? If so, I think a lot of people will change for the party, and I would wear something other than the strapless dress for the religous part, and just change later. If there’s not a long enough gap to change, and it’s reform, I think you will be fine wearing the strapless dress with a cardi over it. If it’s not reform, I have no idea.

      FWIW, the for the one bar mitzvah I’ve been to recently, a lot of people changed for the party, except for some of the young ladies who were there, who wore their extremely short skirts to both the religious ceremony and the party. This was a fairly liberal reform congregation.

    • Honey Pillows :

      I’ve never heard of anyone changing from synagogue to the party, but I haven’t been to any weddings where you would do that either, and I know that’s a thing that happens.

      Unless it’s an Orthodox or a very conservative Conservative synagogue, you should be ok with a cardigan.

    • It’s hard to say without knowing more about the service and the denomination. Could the family be orthodox? If not, I would guess you would be fine with a sweater in the service, even in a more conservative shul (unless the dress is very short or low cut).

      I generally assume I’ll be wearing the same outfit to the party, but the timing and location could tell you more (is there a long break and location change?).

      • The service is at 4 and the party is at 7, so there is least some of a break. I won’t be very close to home though, so it’s not as though I could go home to change, but maybe others will? The party is at a hotel, so there is a location change. I know that the family is not orthodox. I would not say that my dress is very low cut or short, just a basic c*cktail dress, but definitely something that I normally wear at night.

    • Some teenagers might wear revealing outfits (and be tut-tutted over by everyone else), if it’s a reform or nondenominational congregation, but you should definitely wear a cardigan.

      • I am not sure of your status, but if you are looking to find an eligible guy with financial potential, lose the cardigan and wear a short black or red dress with black or red pumps. Men are more likely to approach you if you dress like this. I’ve never known anyone who has snared a guy with a cardigan. If that were the case, we would all be wearing them.

    • Is the party afterwards a lunch? Like, is this a morning service followed by lunch? (This is typical among Orthodox Jews but I have no idea how Conservative/Reform/etc would do it.) If yes, people typically wear the same thing. If it’s an evening thing, then I think your idea (dress plus cardigan for ceremony, dress minus cardigan for party) is perfect. And unless your dress is super low-cut, the same outfit should be fine for a morning service/lunch type of thing.

      I can definitely promise you that no matter what… you will not be the worst/weirdest dressed person there. Everyone understands that when there is a bar mitzvah or other festivity, people have guests who are not Jewish or not observant, and although it’s appreciated for those people to dress in keeping with the occasion (skirt to knee, no major cleavage, shoulders covered), no one bats an eye at the odd person that sticks out a bit.

  17. K...in transition :

    How about a game of fill in the blank? This can be professional or personal… or one of both even!

    The bravest thing I’ve ever done was ___________________. It taught me _________________.

    Mine? The bravest thing I’ve ever done was to move to another state for a new relationship. It taught me that, although the relationship didn’t work out, I not only got to experience a whole new place (and met amazing life-long friends), I also now know that I really -am- a person who would take the risk for love, just as I’d hoped I’d be!

    • Oooh I like it.

      Talk to my doctor about my anxiety levels. It taught me that I need to ask for help and accept help from the people that love me, I can’t be superwoman at all times and neither of those two facts are going to end my world as I know it. Sounds lame, but helped me see that the reason my life was a mess was because I was letting it be that way.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done is get three cavities filled with no novocaine. It taught me I am hardcore.

      • Oh wow, that made me wince.

      • WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS?! I am dying inside.

      • In my culture it’s actually fairly normal to opt out of anesthesia for a simple cavity filling. I don’t know if it’s because of the attitudes of the dentists or some collective trauma from the evil crap they used when I was a kid that hurt more going in than the procedure itself and left you looking like a drooling stroke victim for the rest of the day. I’m not going to say how many cavities I have had filled without anesthesia, because it’s embarrasing, haha!

        The bravest things I have done are going up on stage, speaking up in meetings or holding presentations. And if I had let the stage fear rule me, I´d never done as well in school, joined certain clubs or dared try some jobs. And I wouldn´t have learned a million things from double-entry bookkeeping to dancing the Pavane.

      • Another Zumba Fan :

        She convinced me they were shallow enough to fill without it.

    • Research, Not Law :

      Good idea!

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done was travel in Europe solo. It taught me that I could do it. I was in my early twenties, so the idea of getting off a plane and walking out of the airport not knowing anyone was really intimidating. It was also really freeing and exciting. It was a great experience. I gained a lot of confidence in myself beyond just sight-seeing.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was go to West Africa for a summer to work with refugees, even though I had no housing lined up and had no knowledge of local culture or language. It taught me to trust other people, that it’s possible to hand-wash all my clothes, that I don’t need running water, that Americans aren’t the only ones who are squeamish about killing animals for food, that being different from everyone around you every single day is exhausting, and that if you saw your family hacked apart before your eyes and all the women in your family raped and you don’t know where half your children are, you may be walking around but anyone who looks in your eyes will see that you’re already dead.

      • :(

        • I know. I didn’t mean it to go that dark, but then it did. On the up side, there were some remarkable people who had done heroic things to save children who were complete strangers to them.

          • It’s so sad, but honestly people need to hear it (imo) more often because until you see the effects up close you can’t put yourself in their place and then do something about it.

      • holy sh*t tbk we are doing positive affirmations over here

    • The bravest (and possibly stupidest) thing I’ve ever done was leave my home state to attend law school in DC with about $50 to my name, when I had never visited the school, barely visited DC, never even met a lawyer before, and did not undersand anything about the practice of law. I was scared sh*tless and when I got off the plane at Reagan with my two suitcases of possessions, I really wanted to turn right back around and go home. Maybe if I’d had enough money for another plane ticket I would have. But lucky for me I love DC, loved law school, and love being a lawyer.

    • The bravest thing I have ever done was jumping off a bridge when I was fifteen into the river below. It taught me that even if something is very scary and I am shaking with fear, I am mentally strong enough to conquer it and let go and jump.

      I re-live this moment before every oral argument I have had in my state supreme court. I approach the podium shaking with fear, but I can conquer it, release my grip on my argument notebook/edge of the podium, etc. and jump into argument and do fine.

      • Interesting, anon–I did the same thing when I was 15! It was with a group of friends–I was the first girl to go. Perhaps we were in the same group?

      • Love this.

      • Double Hoo :

        This was going to be my answer too! I did it last year during a backpacking trip (aged older than 15). I could barely stand up from adrenaline afterwards, although weirdly it wasn’t that scary in the moment.

        And then I did it again in another place a couple of months later. So clearly I have the bug, which I am not sure is a good thing.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was —-Move abroad at age 16—. It taught me —-everything and helped me become my own person.

    • Complete paratrooper school. It taught me that my body is capable of doing much more than I think it can.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done was admit I had hit rock bottom, was deeply depressed, and needed medical help. It taught me that I am not a failure for needing help, and that the stigma against mental illness is utter bullsh1t which prevents people from getting the help they need. I am open with everyone I know about my experience with depression and how important therapy and medication were for my recovery, in the hopes that I will help them be brave enough to get help if they need it, too.

    • SoCalAtty :

      I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is what I’m going now – slowly divorcing myself from all of my relatives that I have been “lifeguarding” for my whole life. I’m tired of sitting in that tall chair and rescuing everyone when they start to drown, but having no one to rely on myself. Starting with my brother, I’m handing the reins, so to speak, over, and they can do what they will with it. I’m terrified. I have no idea what it will teach me.

      • Blonde lawyer :

        SoCal – I think you are awesome. Email me offline if you want to chat more ([email protected]). If I don’t respond quickly it is because I am doing some family rescuing myself this weekend and will be on the road for most of it. I’m also learning that just because I *can* do something, doesn’t mean I *should* do something.

        Also, I’d like to thank the poster who is a mom w/ cancer (Seatlelitte maybe??? Sorry if it wasn’t you) for posting about why she doesn’t tell her daughter certain things or let her go to appointments. It was very eye opening to read the “mom” perspective. My parents are in a situation where they need some help and I am in a position to give them some help but they are AWFUL about asking for it. I now see that maybe they would rather I be out having fun and living my life than at their house fixing their problem, yet again. I don’t mind helping but I think they mind taking the help. Maybe I shouldn’t force it on them. Food for thought.

        • A friend of mine summarized her situation well: ” it’s hard enough to get them the help they need, I’d do it cheerfully though. But having to shove it down their throat is what’s really difficult”.

        • Seattleite :

          Yes, that was me.

          And, as someone who has helped her parents in the past, and now may be needing help from others, sometimes asking for help is much harder than accepting it. When my parents needed help, I said, “I’m coming to see you Sunday, and while I’m there I’d like to [solve this problem].” Presenting it as a pseudo-fait accompli, and my idea, made it easier for them to accept.

          Of course, YMMV. Know your family. :)

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Yes, there are many things I just do. I was referring more to a couple things they deliberately didn’t tell me about because they were worried I would worry/try to fix it.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The bravest thing I’ve ever done is move across the country to a city I’d never even visited to before. It taught me to rely on myself, trust my instincts, and pursue what I want.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done is move to a city halfway across the country after law school with everything I own in the car and no job and no apartment. It taught me that you don’t always need to know where you’re going to end up to move in the direction you want to go. Everyone is always like “ooh you’re so brave,” but it didn’t feel brave to me. I just new that I wanted to be in NYC and that I would work things out when I got there.

      • I am considering something similar, within the next six-ish weeks.

        Can I ask: do you have any advice in this situation? How much money saved would you say is necessary? Aaaaaaah, am possibly very excited! And thanks!

    • I guess the bravest thing I’ve ever done was to go on my junior year abroad by myself to a German-speaking country when I didn’t speak German (I took Italian in college). It was an incredible experience and I lived in a girls’ dorm rather than in an apartment and loved the people I met from all over the world. I had acute tonsilitis about a month in, so that was pretty harrowing, given the language barrier. I think it gave me the courage to pick up and move, also by myself, to Louisiana from Pennsylvania when I finished grad school.

    • The bravest thing I’ve ever done is quit my law firm job to work for myself. It taught me to stand up for myself, and that I was absolutely worthy of respect and dignity. It also taught me that I’m capable of doing things I never imagined I could.

    • I think I’m just lucky that I didn’t know the bravest things until after I’d done them !

  18. Any suggestions for creative 10 year anniversary gifts for my DH? I would like to stick with aluminum or tin, which is traditional for this anniversary. DH is sporty but not gadgety. Thanks for any ideas!

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Does he like to bike? What about a cool bicycle (I think bike frames are made of aluminum…)

    • Honey Pillows :

      Sheriff’s badge! Because he’s the law in your heart!

    • Would he use a money clip or another type of minimalist wallet that might come in aluminum? Can you upgrade any of his sporting goods equipment to a nicer metal version? A fun clock or industrial lamp might also work.

    • How about an aluminum water bottle and a gift certificate for some sort of a sporty experience (tennis lessons, whitewater rafting, weekend hike, something like that)?

      • Amelia Bedelia :

        that’s an awesome idea – I have to remember it for my 10 anniversary coming up.

  19. going anon for this one for obvious reasons . . .

    do yall really wash your hands after you use the restroom everysingletime? i get that you should (and i do) after going number two (so mature) but really, after you just go number one?? that’s a lot of handwashing in a day. i drink a lot of water, and if i were to wash my hands every time i urinated i’d have really dry hands.

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      At work, yes. I always keep hand lotion at my desk for this reason. At home, only if I’m about to eat something after. I live by myself and am comfortable with my own germs.

    • Research, Not Law :


      Carry some hand cream in your purse or keep some at your desk if you’re concerned about dry hands.

      • it just seems wasteful to me, fo both water and lotion. and I don’t see the point when i haven’t touched anything you know? usually i don’t pee on my hands.

        is this an american thing? people always say we’re obsessed with cleanliness.

        Of course, i do always wash before i eat.

        • You touch the handle on the stall/bathroom door, don’t you?

        • It’s not that you pee on your hands, it’s that you touch the stall, bathroom door, phone, printer, doorknobs at the office, elevator buttons, mail, and tons of other stuff that ends up on your hands. Which is gross. So you should wash them frequently, and when you use the restroom is a good time to do so.

    • wishy washy :

      At home: wash hands half the time after #1 every time after #2
      Anywhere else: wash hands every single time, always, no exceptions. Silently, harshly judge those who do not.

      P.S. Just use lotion.

      • oh, i always do wash when there’s someone else in the restroom so as to avoid judgment. :)

        • Extremely anon for this :

          I don’t wash every time at work, but if there is someone in another stall, I will run the water and take a paper towel to give the illusion that I am washing my hands. For all the trouble I am going through, I might as well wash my damn hands, but …

    • Yes. Also have dry hands– that’s what the hand cream in my desk drawer is for.

      • I always do. I avoid dry hands by using moisturizing hand soap. I buy nice hand soap for the work bathroom because I prefer it and I get to pick the scent (I’m very sensitive to florals and perfume-y scents). I found that some of the antibacterial soaps that weren’t moisturizing gave me dermatitis.

    • Maddie Ross :

      When I’m not at home, yes, every time. At home, yes during the day. No if it’s the middle of the night.

    • Yes. Every time. Use lotion for the dry hands.

    • At work? Yes. Our office is in a high rise, and the bathroom is a “floor” bathroom. I think the people in the other office suite are gross, so I often use hand sanitizer when I get back to my desk.

      At home? No. It is just me and my husband, and I’m not worried about my own germs! If I’m cooking, I always wash my hands before I start so no worries there.

    • At home, I rinse but at night, but soap the rest of the time.
      At work, always. I wash my hands and use hand sanitizer and lotion at my desk. Sorry, but you are in a shared environment and if you were/are my coworker I would be a little grossed out. It’s not so much that you pee on your hands, it’s that bathrooms are breeding grounds for all sorts of germs. I am not a germaphobe, but buy yourself some nice lotion and call it a day.

      • Also, beyond the pee issue, you should actually wash your hands at work frequently if you work in a large building to avoid sick germs. Sincerely, the girl who always gets sick.

        • karenpadi :

          This. It’s good to wash your hands frequently whenever in public.

          At home, I can get pretty lax but I always wash with soap after handling kitty litter and before touching any food or handling my contact lenses.

        • This is why I wash my hands after using the restroom at work. It has nothing to do with what I’m *doing* in the restroom so much as it’s a convenient time for me to always wash my hands. With sick coworkers (or coworkers with sick kids) and all the stuff I touch during the day, I just think it’s good to de-germ multiple times during the day. I’m less rigid about the hand-washing when I’m at home because presumably I’m dealing mostly with my own home team germs there.

      • I would think bathrooms would be among the least germy places because they get scrubbed and disinfected all the time, and people are always washing their hands in there. I’d guess your office kitchen is much grosser.

        • And your phone, and your keyboard, and your desk, and any door handles you encounter.

          It probably also depends where in the bathroom cleaning cycle you are. They are usually cleaned at night, rather than during the day.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Even if you don’t need the strong flush (is there any polite way to say that??), there are other people who did, and who touched the seat, the toilet handle, and the door with their hands. So regardless of what may or may not be on your hands when you stand up from the toilet, there’s a surprisingly strong probability that you’re touching someone else’s waste before you leave the bathroom.

      And yes, they’re your own germs, but they’re still not healthy to touch. There’s a reason your body is getting rid of things -your body doesn’t want those things inside of it. Not washing your hands is a great way to put those things back into you, where they have a chance to get you sick again.

      Also, regardless of how you feel about it, other people probably aren’t ok with it, and anytime you have ANY contact with other people (handing them a folder! opening the office fridge!) you’re passing on what you just didn’t wash off in the bathroom. I’m pretty sure your coworkers aren’t ok with that!

      • okay,t hat’s a good point

        i’m a little grossed out now. :)

      • Anon for this :

        Except urine is sterile.

        That said, I wash mine every time when at work/in public. At home I’m more lax (especially in the middle of the night when I’m just stumbling in and back to bed).

        • Actually, urine is not always sterile. We get urinary tract infections every so often, and some people often have bacteria in their urine.

        • e_pontellier :

          Also, I heard (learned?) that only female urine is sterile.

    • yes…everytime. well not in the middle of the night.

      sometimes I think to myself, “It’s okay if I don’t wash my hands this time.” Then I think what if I did get germs on me and do pass them on and someone gets sick, blah blah blah. And then I wash my hands.

      I think that is too much thinking for just going to the bathroom.

    • No, truthfully, I don’t. Even at work (unless someone is nearby). Yes, maybe there are germs, but it’s really unlikely that they’re going to make you sick. And I tend to think that it strengthens my immune system. For what it’s worth, I am generally in great health.

      • Ah ok I’ll play. At work, I almost always at least rinse with water and use a paper towel to open the door. I don’t always use soap, because my hands are also dry. If I don’t wash with soap and water, I use the hand sanitizer at my desk instead. At home, it depends when the last time I washed my hands was. I think you should wash them with soap and water periodically, so if I haven’t in a while, I’ll wash after I go to the bathroom. But, for instance, if I’ve just finished cooking and washed my hands 10 minutes ago then I go pee in my own house, I’m not washing my hands again. No logic for it.

        For the record, I think I am generally less concerned about germs than most people. I think germs are unavoidable, and the dirtiest places aren’t in the bathroom- its your average doorknob, elevator button, atm keypad etc. I’m more vigilant during cold & flu season and when I’m around small children- for my own sake not theirs (your average 5 yr old probably has more nasty germs on their skin than the doorknob of the busiest public restroom you can think of). I’m rarely sick, except for your odd cold maybe once or twice a year. I don’t even remember the last time I needed antibiotics, but it has been at least 5 years, probably more (knock on wood).

    • remind me never to touch your hands!!!

    • Anon for this :

      When my hands are very dry, I don’t after number 1. If I’m at work, where people can hear the flush and the water, I will still run the water so it sounds like I washed but I really didn’t. This is my secret.

      My other secret is I often wash with just water only because I’m allergic to the ingredients in so many soaps and I just don’t want to carry soap around with me. I still let the water get hot, scrub for a few seconds under the water and dry it off but if it is not my soap from home, I’m probably not using it.

    • This reminds me of an ER episode. There were a bunch of staph cases among people who had been patients in the ER and they formed a team to try to determine where the infection was coming from. It turned out that all the patients had in common was one desk clerk, who (it turned out) didn’t wash his hands after every bathroom trip.

      I believe it was episode 62, “Whose Appy Now?”

      Jerry Markovic: This is ridiculous. I do not need hand-washing lessons!
      Dr. Greg Fischer: Scrub hard Jerry, to scrape off the bacteria.
      Jeanie Boulet: But the most important thing is to wash your hands after you go to the bathroom.
      Jerry Markovic: What, every time?

      It also featured this bit of dialog that seems to apply to our knowledge of each other’s hand washing habits:
      Nurse Wendy Goldman: This pamphlet says that 40% of all doctors don’t wash their hands between patients.
      Dr. Doug Ross: No kidding.
      Nurse Wendy Goldman: Yeah. And medical personnel pick their noses on average of three times an hour. And many interns only bathe twice a week –
      Dr. Doug Ross: [interrupting] Wendy, there’s a limit on how well-informed I want to be.

      • love er!

      • Yeah. However, tv is not science..
        Bathroom doorknobs are not filthier than the one to your office for instance. What’s really disgusting on the microbiological level is a kitchen wiped down with a wet, grungy sponge. Much worse than the inside of toilets, never mind the doorknobs. If you want to stay healthy at work, you should mostly prevent sick people from using your phone or your keyboard. Working in a place that encourages contagious people to use their sick leave is wise too.
        I’ll confess to washing my hands during flu outbreaks when I get to work after taking public transportation. But that’s not nearly as effective as avoiding the characters who sneeze in your direction (50feet recorded range) without putting their hand in front of their mouth.

        • You mean, sneeze into their hand, and touch things with that hand? Sneeze/cough into your shoulder or the crook of your elbow, please. Much better than your hand.

          • Ex Mr. Herbie always sneezed into his hands and it gave me the freaking willies every time. Gross gross gross.

          • Quite right sneezy! I did mean that, totally.

    • I think hand washing is a lot like getting immunizations – it’s at least as much about herd immunity as it is about keeping yourself from getting sick. Taking 30 seconds to washing your hands with soap is going to help germs from spreading, even if they aren’t going to make you sick. It is a habit that will reduce your chances of getting sick – although skipping any one time probably won’t push you over.

      And its not even so much about the fact that you just went to the bathroom (although that’s part of it for me), but that you pick up so much stuff on your hands through out the day that it’s worth it to wash your hands periodically through out the day, and being in the bathroom happens to be a handy time, what with the soap and water and dryer. Frankly, I don’t really understand NOT washing your hands after going to the bathroom. Shrug.

    • I had no idea there were people who didn’t always wash after #1. You’re touching things in the bathroom, if nothing else — the door, the toilet paper dispenser, the toilet seat if you have to put it down. Think of how many other people touch the stall door!!

      • And it probably doesn’t get the daily cleaning that the floors, toilet, and sink do…

    • ChocCityB&R :

      Not to get too detailed, but do you ladies wipe after peeing? I do, and think that is reason enough to wash my hands.

      • I do, but my hands don’t even slightly touch anything – my hands are one side of the 4-5 pieces of TP, my v*g is on the other. I mean, I still wash my hands, but I question whether wiping after #1 is what actually makes them dirty.

      • oh so anon :

        I do, yes, but not with my hands- I mean, there is no skin on skin contact down there. Also, that’s more of an ickiness factor than an actual health risk. There are far more dangerous germs on the elevator buttons in the lobby than on probably anything in the bathroom stall, but certainly more than anything “down there” (barring STDs, which aren’t really transmitted from doorknobs, handshakes, and the like). To make this completely gross, you would be much more likely to get the flu or a cold (or any other respiratory infection) from shaking hands with someone than by “going down” on them. So I feel more compelled to wash my hands after I cough than I after I wipe.

        Similarly, I don’t get toilet seat covers. Well, I take that back. I get why people use them for sake of the general ickiness factor, but it is almost impossible to catch any sort of bug from sitting your bare butt on the same toilet seat someone else’s butt was just on. There’s just no real health benefit that I can conceive of.

        • still anon :

          Thanks for putting it so well oh-so-anon.
          As the old joke goes
          – our-group always washes their hands after peeing.
          – yes, but our-other-group doesn’t pee on their own hands.
          (I’ve heard it about different ivy-league schools, but really insert your own favorite groups here)

    • Always…but I know some people who think it’s not necessary after number one.

      I’m a complete germaphobe, though. Not to be TMI, but the only thing I let come in contact with me in a public restroom is the door handle. I flush with my foot.

      • Doesn’t everyone flush with their foot? (in a public restroom, I mean)

        • SF Bay Associate :

          I always flush with my foot, always wash my hands, mentally singing the “happy birthday” song at least one time through to ensure a full wash, and use a paper towel to open the door on the way out. I’m more glad of these habits after reading this thread.

        • People who can’t use their foot to flush (ex. people in wheelchairs) don’t, and they probably don’t appreciate that other people do.

    • Microbiologist :

      ALWAYS. As others have pointed out, even if you just did #1 you touched a lot of surfaces that may have been touched by someone that did #2. Get some hand sanitizer with aloe or hand lotion to combat dry hands.

      As someone who used to grow bacteria for a living, let me tell you that those little buggers get everywhere. I always wash my hands after using the restroom and I’m one of those people that will use a paper towel (or, in an emergency, a piece of my own clothing) to open the bathroom door. People that don’t wash their hands are the reason I do this. If I designed bathrooms, the main doors would always swing out on exit and would have no handle so that you can leave the bathroom without using your hands.

      • Microbiologist :

        For an interesting take on this issue, I think there is a Freakonomics podcast that reviews hospitals that drastically cut infections by instituting handwashing programs.

        For anyone getting grossed out reading this thread, the most important thing is to have clean hands when you eat or will otherwise put your hands near your face. This is why alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be a lifesaver.

        • Hey, washing your hands after touching sick people is essential! Let’s not confuse issues here. I hope I’m never so sick in a hospital that I can’t hobble out if some jerk doctor wants to touch me without washing their hands first..

        • How do you think they get sick? It doesn’t make any sense to say that if you’re healthy or not in a hospital, you don’t need to wash your hands.

          The hospital studies are important because they show how effective and important it is to wash your hands. Not just when you are in the hospital but everywhere.

      • Wash them! :

        Every time, with soap.
        I picked up a virus which is spread by contaminated faeces, so someone not washing their hands gave me an illness that put me in hospital and a post virus illness that put me off work for just over a year.
        Wash them, I beg of you!

    • Always a NYer :

      This thread makes me want to wash my hands even more now that I know there are people who don’t =/ I’m also that person who has a paper towel to open the bathroom door because you never know who touched the door before you. I’d rather moisturize my hands more than ever consider not washing my hands after going to the bathroom, just imagining the germs, ugh. Even at home, I wash my hands every single time I go. It’s something that’s been ingrained into me since I can remember, not washing my hands isn’t even an option for me.

      • Definitely wash every time. I’m a doc. It’s amusing (and a little disappointing…) to read some of your comments, but I enjoy your honesty.

        A recent study showed that 1 out of 6 cell phones had the bacteria E.coli on it. E. coli is from poo! So think about that the next time you ask to borrow someone’s cell phone.

        Wash your hands folks. Moisturizer at desk/home. Hand sanitizer at a minimum…

    • I do b/c I often go back to the fridge to “reload” and do not want any residue on my hands that could get on the glass and back into me when I drink. Besides, I always tell my friends to wash and do not want to be a hypocrite.

    • Omg, you ladies are grossing me out. Yes, wash your hands EVERY TIME at work. You may not have peed on your hands. You may have flushed the toilet with your foot. But did you have to unlatch the stall door? Yes. And i guarantee you there is fecal matter on that latch. Ditto for the bathroom door. Wash your freaking hands for gods sake.

  20. Baby DC Attorney :

    Posting again since my earlier comment is stuck in moderation…

    I’m getting married in a few short weeks (September 22nd). Any great advice you ladies have for my wedding day? Also, I know there is another c o r p o r e t t e with the same wedding day — if you are her, and you see this, how are you holding up?

    • Congratulations! At this point, what’s done is done. I kept telling myself in the last few days: “All that matters is we’ll be married, the food will be good and the drinks will be free!”

      For the day itself, enjoy time with your girlfriends before the ceremony – I had my two best friends stay with me the night before just like we were kids again. And at the ceremony, obviously chat with the folks from work/in-town, but make sure to spend time with your out of town guests. Have fun!

    • This is what I told my best friend right before she got married and was super stressed with planning:

      Of course you want your wedding to be perfect, but something likely will go wrong. Hopefully it will be something small, and as your maid of honor, I will take care of whatever it is. But no matter what, your wedding day will be beautiful, because it’s your day! And in the end, you will be married to your awesome guy, which is really the most important thing and the reason for the whole thing anyways (don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees or whatever that saying is haha). Remember this is just one day (although an important day) in what will be a life-long marriage!

    • Try to stay present during the ceremony. I have no memory of the ceremony, none. But as my dad and I were heading up the big staircase into the room where the wedding was, I thought “this is that day — this is my wedding day and here is my dad and I’m wearing my veil and my dress and all those people I love are out there in the next room waiting for me” and that moment is crystal clear for me. If you can focus on a moment of the ceremony to freeze for yourself to look back on, it will be a memory you love.

      • THIS!

        My memory was walking out the door with my Dad and down the aisle. One of my last clear memories before he died later that year.

    • DC Association :

      Hold your bouquet low when you’re walking down the aisle. A lot of brides (me included) are nervous/excited/anxious when walking down the aisle and they crunch up their shoulders and hold the bouquet up high. In photos then you see you’re covering your dress!

      Also – EAT!

    • Kontraktor :

      Enjoy and savor your day. My wedding day was perfect and pretty much the happiest day I have ever had. I felt like I drank up every single minute. Do that because it is such a happy and joyful occasion.

    • Anastasia :


      TBK’s advice about trying to stay present is a really good idea. My memories of my ceremony include: the minister was late, I was starving because I thought I would get to eat sooner, and I giggled through a lot of the vows because I was trying to keep from crying (which I failed at, anyway, and father-in-law later commented that “wedding vows are supposed to be serious”). The rest of the details are fuzzy, but my overall impression of the day is that it was great and I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m glad my photos turned out well– the pictures are a good substitute for actual detailed memories.

      So I’ll echo the advice to eat! Also, wear waterproof mascara (obviously) and have make-up ready for touch-ups if you’re doing photos after the ceremony.

      Enjoy the day and don’t stress. Everything will be fine. I forgot my garter and the world didn’t end. The wind almost blew away the arch and the world didn’t end. As long as you, your fiance, the officiant and your nearest and dearest make it to the venue, nothing else is important. :)

    • Step back and enjoy the moment. Even better, if you and your husband can find 30 seconds in the ceremony/reception to revel in all the people there to see you.

      Don’t talk to each other the day of the wedding and don’t see each other. This seems old fashioned, yes. Have your family or ‘maids run messages during the day if needed. The first time I talked to my husband or even saw him that day was when I got to the end of the aisle. It added a fun level of excitement to the whole affair and both of us would say it was one of the best things that we did.

      • That’s funny — my advice would be to do as many pictures before the ceremony as you can. That meant we violated the “don’t see each other” advice. We did all the pictures but the big family ones ahead of time. So, after the ceremony we had the time to just be there with our family and friends.

        • But I still think you can do the pictures beforehand and make that the first time you have seen each other/ talked all day. The look on the couples faces as they see each other for the first time is magical and a great picture.

      • My husband and I went for a walk on the morning of our wedding – just the two of us, before we got fancied up. It was really grounding and restorative. The moment where we saw each other in our fancy clothes was still special and thrilling.

    • Don’t stress about the details once the big day has arrived! Even though I had a wedding planner, I am a type A perfectionist, and had a large hand in planning every little detail. I knew exactly how everything was supposed to be on the big day, and was watching the whole time to make sure it was perfect. This meant that I spent the whole wedding day as a stressed-out spaz, and I regret that.

      For instance, some guests arrived super early, and saw the whole wedding party (including the bride, pre-grand entrance) taking pictures. I didn’t like that. Stress! Some people didn’t want to sit outside for the ceremony, so they moved their chairs indoors to where they could see, but not hear. I saw this right before I walked down the aisle, and had by dad go ask them why they weren’t sitting in the set-up area. Stress! My musician did not play the right song for the recessional. Stress! After the ceremony, I spilled the first hors d’oeuvre I ate all down the front of my dress. Stress! During the cocktail hour, we were supposed to finish big group pictures, but everyone was so dispersed and I spent tons of time just trying to get everyone together. Stress! Hubby and I were supposed to make a grand entrance to the dinner, but people would not sit down, so we stood aimlessly in the hallway, waiting, while people wondered what we were doing. Stress! We got to our table and the seating arrangements had been set up incorrectly by the caterer. Stress! We had our first dance, and had no idea what we were doing. Stress! By the time we made it to the dessert table (we chose no cake), there were none left. Stress!

      With that said, my wedding day was the most emotional, overwhelming day of my life (in a good way). I am sorry that I focused so much on the less-than-perfect moments, instead of focusing on the joy of the day. I think I should have had a few drinks beforehand (I was trying to follow other brides’ advice to stay mostly-sober on your wedding day) to lighten up! My advice is cheesy, but “don’t sweat the small stuff–and it’s all small stuff.” The catch 22 of being super involved in planning your unique wedding that it is hard to let go and just enjoy the day. Try to do that, if you can!

    • One more piece of advice: your wedding is not a Broadway show. It’s a human experience, a ritual that crosses generations. Don’t worry so much about scripting the day that you lose sight of the actual experience and the emotion of it.

  21. I am seeing a lot about “Doctor Who” online and in newspapers/magazines lately. Thinking I will give it a try (I think it is on Netflix?). If anyone out there watches, is it something my children might enjoy as well? Can’t tell if it is also kid friendly: 11 year olds (boy and girl), 6 year old boy. Thanks!

    • Are you starting with the classic Doctor Who (doctors 1 thru 9) or with the recent reboot (Doctors 9, 10 and the current 11)?

      I think they are generally ok for kids (it did start out as a showed aimed at kids), although they can get a bit scary and dark. Might be better for the 11 year olds than for the 6 year olds.

    • Honey Pillows :

      OH MAN you are in for a treat.

      Some of the episodes might be too scary for kids, but they’re certainly not inappropriate in any way.

      To be honest, some episodes (Silence in the Library *shudder*) are too scary for me!

      Yes, they’re on Netflix. Give yourself three or four hours to watch the first couple of episodes, starting with the reboot in 2005 with Christopher Eccleston. You should watch at least the first two in one sitting, and you’ll be hooked!

      • Weeping Angels! So scary, I had to cover my eyes but then I was a bit convinced they were going to get me.

    • I loved the original when I was a kid. I think I was probably pretty young. Once I was in middle school nothing really scared me.

    • I have no kids, so FWIW, absolutely! It’s a show meant for kids in the UK. I’ve been watching it on and off (not always willingly as a kid), since my then-teenage sister started watching (sometime in the mid-to-late ’80s). My husband started watching when they rebooted the show a few years ago, so now I watch it with him.

      My 6 year old nephew loves “the flying house,” (aka, the TARDIS).

    • i'm like this too :

      In the UK, Dr. Who is a children’s show. However, I’ve watched it with American children who got very scared by the show. I think that maybe the British kids understand that the Dr and his companion will always live through the episode and save the world, and maybe US kids who aren’t familiar with the show will be a little more scared that something bad may actually happen. Best to watch a few episodes first without the kids and use your own judgement for your own children.

    • The first episode of the one on Netflix is something out of my nightmares (mannequins come to life). I had to think twice about watching the rest of the series, but I’m glad I did. I watched about 8 episodes a day while I was looking for a job. Now that the last season is on Netflix, I might get back into watching it.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      Love Doctor Who! It is meant to be a show for kids (well, at least that kids can watch) in the UK. However, I have seen people complaining that recent seasons are perhaps too scary for young children.

      I think with the reboot seasons, you’re probably fine with small kids until you get to the season where Steven Moffat takes over as producer. His episodes tend to be a bit darker, in my opinion.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      If I may suggest, start out with the episode titled Blink. It’s all mnd-bendy and can stand alone as an episode. I found the first few episodes of season 1 to be annoying and almost gave up but pushed through. If I’d watched that episode first though, I would never have even thought about giving up because it is so amazing. I wouldn’t recommend that episode with kids though because it freaked me out.

      • karenpadi :

        That’s the weeping angels episode. Chills!

      • Blink is the scariest thing I have seen in my life. I took a year-long break from the show when they were reintroduced as villains in season 5 because it took me that long to get over my fear.

    • I bet commenter Amelia Pond will want to weigh in.

      I like it. Definitely start with the modern. You could start with Christopher Eccelston, 2005 (New season 1) with no background whatsoever, of I think also with Matt Smith, 2010 (New season 5). They are actually called “Series 1” and “Series 5” in the BBC lexicon.

      Both totally appropriate for 11 year olds. No problem. 6 year old might get scarred by some. Some are quite silly, but others are dark or have scarier monsters. I think with a parent standing by they’d mostly be fine. I’d compare them to the Spiderman movies (Toby Maguire version) not the Dark Knight Batman stuff. There is action and a monster, sometimes people die on screen but not in a gruesome way. A particular monster here of there might be especially frightening to your child specifically. (Everyone has different nighmare fuel.)

    • karenpadi :

      I started watching it a few weeks ago–be prepared for a new addiction!

      I think they are fine for kids but a little scary. I just saw the weeping angels episode and had to cover my face a time or two (I have zero tolerance for horror movies). But no nightmares or lingering fears of angels.

      • The weeping angels are terrifying! DH and I dvr it from BBC America, but I can’t watch those episodes ever again.

      • Just wait….they show up again :) And they don’t get less creepy.

    • I’ve stopped watching Dr. Who after too many sleepless nights. But I’m kind of a wuss, I imagine there are six year olds who can handle more than I can. I actually think the first episode of the reboot is about the median of scariness of the episodes overall, so you could see how they do with that before watching more.

      I believe there is a modern spin-off, The Sarah Jane Adventures, that’s still fun for adults but aimed at a younger demographic. I’ve never seen it.

  22. Anastasia :

    A couple people posted in the thread earlier today about hiring a personal stylist/ wardrobe consultant to help clean out their closet and fill in wardrobe gaps. I have been wanting to do this for AGES. Ideally, I would like someone to come to my house, help me ruthlessly clean out my closet, and then shop for me to complete a coordinating wardrobe so that all I have to do is try things on, say yes or no, and pay. I’ve gotten as far as googling a couple of times to find people in my area, but I haven’t actually pulled the trigger because

    1. They’re expensive (I would get over this if I were sure I’d get a quality product)
    2. What if the stylist’s aesthetic is different from mine? Do you interview them first?
    3. How do I know she will do a good job? Everyone has glowing reviews on the internet, so I don’t trust them!

    So for any of you ladies who have done this, how did you go about choosing your stylist? And if you don’t mind sharing, how much did you pay? Also, if anyone in the DC area can reccommend a stylist, I’d love to hear it!

    • Nothing to add, but I am still listening and interested in this too! (Though, obviously, DC recs don’t apply to me…)

    • DC Association :

      I did a part of this once. Someone was recommended on a listserve and I just bit the bullet and hired her. I am in DC.

      I emailed the woman and told about myself a bit and we scheduled a time. She charged by the hour. I think she was at my place for 5 hour and really, she could have stayed much longer. I want to say it was about $100 an hour. But I really am not sure – this was three years ago. She told me what items worked, what didn’t, and put together outfits for me including accessories (I have to say, this was so awesome. I am pretty good at this but she put things together I’d never think of – even jewelry with stuff – and it was invaluable)! She is also good at color and shape – saying stuff like, you have a very angular face, you have to play that up and avoid this and that kind of neckline, etc.

      She was older than me (I was 40 at the time, she was probably somewhere in her 50s) and she did not have my style AT ALL. but, that did not matter one bit. She looked thru my closet and got my vibe. she also got my vibe from my emails. One of the things she said was, “Why do you have quite a few preppy items? I don’t get preppy from any of your emails at all!” Which is really pretty true.

      She also does personal shopping. I would totally hire her again. Her name is Lynne Glassman and she does have a website. But overall I’d say, email a couple people and you will know right away after the back-and-forth if you’re compatible. That’s probably the most important part. I think that people who do this for a living are really good at knowing what looks good on people and working with in the other person’s style rather than their own. people just have a talent for it.

      Good luck!

    • Another Zumba Fan :

      I haven’t used her personally, but karaallan dot com is a personal stylist in the DC area who provides this service.

  23. All good questions! I will piggyback to ask if anyone can recommend a stylist in Chicago.

  24. Anyone have experience with Uber in DC? Good? Bad? Worth paying more than a taxi?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Love Uber in Boston, for whatever it’s worth. It’s been worth more than a taxi, for me, since it’s reliable and so many Boston cabbies refuse to take credit cards.

      • I just had to look this up. I haaaaaaaate Boston cabs. Hate them. Too many horrible experiences. Uber looks promising — I’m curious what people think!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Me too. Once a cab to South Station from Allston cost me (literally) $40 with tip because when the guy didn’t take cards, I asked him to stop by an ATM first. He was like “Okay no problem!” and I was exhausted so wasn’t really paying attention when he took me to BEACON HILL for an ATM before going to South Station.

          I hate them. Hate them. So now I pay more money for Uber because they’re all nice, it’s automated, and everything is clean.

      • Boston Legal Eagle :

        I’ve never had a Boston cab that doesn’t take cards, but I’ve mostly called Boston City Cab for an airport ride… I guess the other ones are still holding out.

        Do either of you know if Uber works over New Years? I feel like that night would be great for something like this when everyone else is trying to get a cab!

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Yes they do but they have what’s called “surge” pricing – so you’ll log into the app and they’ll tell you how much over “normal” rates they’re charging to reduce demand (it fluctuates, so the more people want it, the more they charge). It can be as much as 6-7x the normal rate (though if you keep checking, you can lock in a lower rate, but that’s difficult if you’ve become, er, inebriated). They do it for major holidays – so I know last Halloween it was in effect and it might also have been in effect on St. Patty’s day.

    • Love, love, love it. Cursing my new Austerity Budget for making me limit my use of it.

    • I’ve used Uber multiple times and have had excellent experiences. I took Uber from Adam’s Morgan to DCA on a Sunday morning and it cost $29, which is about $10 more than a cab- I thought it was totally worth it. The cars are much nicer than regular cabs and honestly, I’ve found the drivers to be better/safer.

    • don’t know about Uber in DC but have used it in NYC and San Fran and loooooove it. But watch out for “surge” pricing!

    • locomotive :

      LOVE it. I live in Arlington (so its virginia) and at times late at night, DC cabs will refuse to take you home to the VA side. Uber will do it. Completely worth the extra money and the ahem maybe inebriated locomotive doesn’t have to get out her CC or cash to try to figure out the payment.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Also Uber prevents me from tipping my cabbie $25 because my drunk *ss is like “you are SOOOOOOO nice, you deserve more money!!!!”

    • I don’t have it myself (on a budget, and trying not to tempt myself), but once a friend gave me a ride home via Uber and it was fantastic. The driver was so nice and professional — it made me really realize how accustomed I’ve become to rude DC cabbies. I was also impressed with how quickly it came. We were in SW, late, on a weeknight, so it would have taken forever to hail a cab. Uber was there in 5 mins. A family member uses Uber in DC when she visits for work and loves it too.

  25. Does anyone have any tips on where to buy a belt that doesn’t have a “belt bulge”? I need a new belt for work (for casual Friday to make sure my jeans don’t gap) but I detest the belt bulge.

    • As someone who has always been befuddled by belts, what’s belt bulge??

      • Oh my goodness, try saying that 10 times fast!

        I just did and it did not end well. :-)

      • Belt bulge is when you wear a belt and have a longer shirt untucked over it, so there is a significant bulge in the middle of your abdomen where the buckle is. I have never solved this problem myself, except for ribbon belts, which are too casual for my office. I just quit wearing belts altogether.

    • Anonymous :

      I use isabelt. It works for me for this purpose

  26. Anon for this :

    I have a question about a job change, and would love insight from anyone who has been in a similar position.

    I’m a lawyer, and currently have a position that is about one-third litigation, two-thirds counseling. I’m between 7-10 years barred. I have a potential opportunity to move in-house with a client that I have enjoyed being outside counsel for.

    Has anyone made a similar move? How do you like it? What don’t you like? And, what do you wish you’d known ahead of time?


    • I’ve been in-house for about 15 years, and I like it – most of the time. The rest of the time I’m just tired of practicing law. For your potential opportunity, what will you be doing on a day-to-day basis? Will you be litigating? Managing litigation? Will you be happy if you aren’t the one doing trial work? What kind of counseling? Will you have a specialized area of responsibility, or will you be more of a generalist? Are there other attorneys at this company that you can talk to to get a good idea of what they do on a daily basis? I’ve been with large law departments and small law departments, and they vary widely. Good luck!

  27. K...in transition :

    I posted last week about neighborhood kids (ages 11, 8, 6 ish) knocking frequently on my door, wanting to play with my puppy and how, when I don’t answer, they run between my side and front doors, knocking every 10 mins for an hour or more before giving up. They did this Fri/Sat/Sun last weekend and on Monday, tried to come into my house when my front door was open (screen door closed) and I explained that they could only come over if a grownup came with them. But it’s Friday afternoon and they’ve already knocked twice. I’ve told them that I’m working and reminded them that they need a grownup and they looked broken and walked away. But they don’t seem to be hearing me. I don’t want to look like the mean lady with the puppy but I’m sick of keeping my blinds closed and being woken up by these kids. Help!

    • Anonymous :

      I don’t remember all the details of your previous post, but do you know who the parents are? Because at this point, it seems like it is time to go to the parents. (But that may not even help, because it sounds like these kids really haevn’t been taught manners.)

      Also, has school started yet where you live? it sounds like these kids are bored, and that may change (at least during the week), when school starts.

    • DC Association :

      Maybe one time when you are up and they come to the door, ask them if they can walk you over to their house so you can talk to their mom/dad/caretaker. Or ask for the phone number. Then explain the deal to that person. hopefully that will make it stop!

    • Dear Prudence had advice recently here: http://www.slate.com/articles/life/dear_prudence/2012/06/dear_prudie_my_little_neighbor_girls_need_a_mother_figure_but_why_me_.html
      I think option 1 is to give them a specific time. I am busy now, but you can come over tomorrow at 11am for 1 hour with the puppy. Or, puppy and I will go on a walk to the park tomorrow at 9/ tonight at 7 and you can come with us then. Option 2 is go talk to their parents/caregivers.

      • K...in transition :

        thanks, CJ…

        The problem with the time thing is that I might get a phone call or start an online conversation and, if I’m not out at 5pm on the dot, they’re banging incessantly on the door and my life doesn’t always lend to me having to set up play dates with the neighbor kids… though I feel like an awful person to say that. I mentioned this below too but I don’t want to be held responsible if they’re injured on my property or worry about them injuring my dog… he’s 5 lbs fully grown and, though he’s happy to run around with them, if he somehow got injured, it’d come down on me financially and that makes me really uncomfortable.

      • K...in transition :

        PS I read this and it’s awesome advice… and I fear sounding awful by saying this, however: I’m a social worker. I work with people in need every day for a living. I’m an aunt, I love on my nieces all the time. I’m a dog’s mom, a puppy’s mom no less. In other words, I am frequently worrying about someone else and putting their needs first. When I come home, when I get precious moments to have a call with a friend or to snuggle up with the dog I’ve finally tired out and take a nap, I don’t want to have someone else’s unattended to kids needing something from me. I need to be able to have that time so that I may be effective with clients, with friends, and with others. I’m saddened that these kids aren’t getting their needs met, but I can’t take 3 kid under 12 on as “projects” and I can’t take the risk that they will get injured or injure my dog while they’re on my property… financially and legally, I can’t afford to end up on The People’s Court (even though I adore that show).

        • Yes, I understand that. It is definitely not your responsibility. I think you have to decide which makes you more uncomfortable- talking to the parents or managing the kids. Screaming “Get OFF MY LAWN” and waving a frying pan is well within your rights. Buying a 10 foot tall fence and locking it is allowed, but expensive. Letting your house decay and growing ivy all over so it looks like a scary witch’s house might also work, but probably not in the next 5 years. I think talking to the parents as everyone else said is your best quickest cheapest bet.

    • I think this is when it’s time to talk to a few parents. Not necessarily getting the ids in trouble, but just to let them know what the children are doing, and to let them know what the dog rules are.

    • talk to their parents. next time they come over say why dont I walk you back to your house. and walk with them

    • K...in transition :

      I think I might know which house they come from but from what I can tell, their mom drops them off for all weekends and dad works, so they have someone who is 20 (according to the kids) to watch them, which seems to mean sending them out to play. School starts next week but they’re going to be around every weekend regardless… sigh

      I don’t want to get these kids into trouble, it’s not about punishing them, it’s about them understanding that, if they happen to be out when the dog is out, they can play, otherwise, nope. Also, I don’t want to be held responsible if they get injured while chasing him in my yard, nor do I want to end up with an issue if they hurt the puppy.

      • K in transition – someone on the old post suggested a doorknob sign – red for no, green for yes. Can you try that after telling them the code?

      • K, I don’t think they’ll get in trouble or even punished. You’re just asking the parents to establish some rules and make their children follow them. My bet is parents/caretaker have no idea this is going on and would be mortified to know the kids were distracting you. I definitely think you can have a chat with parents in a kind, non-confrontational way that will solve this problem.

        • K...in transition :

          I went outside with the dog and the 6 yr old was there, alone. I offered to walk her home and that showed me where she lives. When I got there, I discovered that the dad is basically only home to sleep and the person in charge of them is their 20 yr old aunt, who just moved in because she got kicked out of her boyfriend’s house. She saw me walking up with her 6 yr old niece and didn’t bat an eye, ask who I was, nada. I tried to wave her down but she slammed the door, kids left outside to play. So I guess parentals isn’t an option. *sigh*

          • K you need to get a back bone. The kids are knocking on your door all day but you cant go up to the house and knock? or go when the aunt isn’t there. Dont do this *sigh* stuff, find their parents and say the kids are just walking into your house. You need to be a little mean.

          • Mighty Mouse :

            Hmm. I know that you said that you are a social worker—is your spidey-sense tingling that this may be a potential CYS referral? I understand that you, for sure, should not be taking these kids on as an extra-curricular, but are they getting adequate supervision and care?

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      Based in your posts below, I think you should just stand firm and not answer the door. It sounds like there isn’t any responsible adult willing to come over with them, but that doesn’t change the fact that you don’t have time to play with them, nor are you under any obligation to do so. I’d tell them one more time that they need to have a grown-up with them (and that puppy is only available to play if you are already playing with her outside) and then stop answering the door.

  28. Anon for this :

    I’m wondering if anyone has some good tips for dealing with resentment at work (either the feeling or the situation that’s causing the resentment). I’m Anon for This both for confidentiality reasons and because I’m aware that I’m going to sound like a sulky 13-year-old brat – I’m looking for ways to break out of that behavior pattern!

    The situation is that I’m a juniorish associate at a mid-size law firm in San Francisco. Much of my work is in a small practice group with only a few people. The senior associate at this practice group has drastically dropped back her time over the past six months for personal reasons (some health related, some related to buying a house and getting married). This is okay with the firm; we don’t have a high billable hours requirement. I’ve ended up taking on much of her work, which is basically fine with me because I like this practice area and it means I get more responsibility than I used to.

    However, I’m starting to feel like the office cinderella. I’m doing the work, but the more senior associate is the one getting the credit for it with clients and others in the firm (though the partner in charge of these cases knows the situation). And every time she is in the office, which is unpredictable, she drops back into things and is in charge of whatever I’m doing. Which is totally reasonable because she’s senior to me, but also frustrating to never know who I’m going to be answering to and what she’ll want the final product to be. And often her sudden oversight will come just before something is due and when it’s really difficult to make changes.

    I’m sympathetic, because I think the health issues really are difficult to deal with and are causing a lot of changes in her life, and because I can understand how professionally frustrating the situation is. But I’m also starting to feel more and more resentful about the situation, as well as guilty for feeling resentful. And I love my job other than this, which makes it even more frustrating in a way.

    Anybody dealt with something similar and had a good way for mentally adjusting to the situation? Or for handling this kind of sporadic and unpredictable availability on the part of a supervisor/co-worker?

    • Is there any way you can sit down with her when she is in the office and have a conversation that starts with something like, “Do you have any set rules or a specific style you would like me to use when drafting things? I’m excited to take on some extra responsibility, and I hope that I’ve been stepping up to the plate, but I’m worried that sometimes it’s not adequate. Could you give me a few ground rules so we don’t have to run around and change so much on the days that you’re here?” That way, even if she’s not available all the time, you know what she’s going to look for and what absolutely needs to be in there, so it’s less stressful for both of you in the end.

    • I’m not a lawyer, so my understanding of the protocol may be flawed. But in a more generic corporate setting, I’d say definitely think about raising this at your next annual review – first, to make sure that your contribution in covering for a part-time (?) co-worker is being acknowledged and second, to examine options for improving workflow and continuity.

      As it is, it isn’t effective use of the firm’s time for the two of you to keep bringing each other up to speed on developments and waiting around for input. Can client files be separately assigned to specific associates and can you be considered ready to work without supervision by the other associate ?

    • new york associate :

      Every partner I’ve ever worked with is exactly like the senior associate you’re describing — sporadic and unpredictable! I would stop thinking of her as the “senior associate” and start thinking of her as a partner. Apply the same techniques – my favorite is to loop the partner in on every significant decision through email, saying, “We need to do X by COB today. Unless I hear otherwise from you, I will do X at 4 PM.” In other words, loop her in on everything without requiring her to respond, thus freeing you to move forward.

      Good luck. You will appreciate people like yourself and your firm if you ever encounter health problems/get married/etc.!

      • Anon for this :

        Thanks – those ideas make a ton of sense! And I already do appreciate my firm and its flexibility; I just haven’t gotten the hang of navigating it yet.

        And thanks to everyone else who replied as well. These are all useful things to think about.

    • No advice but some food for thought: Maybe she worries that she will be usurped by some bright young thing (you) during her cut-back and the charge attacks is her (subconcious) way of marking her territory.

      Keeping her updated, like new york associate suggests, may calm her down. And ask for her input on less urgent issues as well, so she can answer in her own time and feel like she is valuable. Non-technical stuff, like which tactic would work best for handling issue X with client Y.

  29. TGIF!

  30. karenpadi :

    Professional photo question:

    I’m getting my head shot redone in a few weeks. I am wondering if I can wear a black leather blazer or no blazer/jacket at all.

    Details: Silicon Valley office of Midwest firm in IP law. Business casual office. I don’t like how I look in a suit and don’t own one that fits.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I just had my head shots done, and the thing that helped the most was googling “professional head shots” and looking at a whole bunch of other people’s photos. I got a good idea of what I liked and didn’t like, which turned out to be different from what I expected I would like. I ended up wearing a black and white tweedy jacket and pinky/orangey/coral blouse, which is not at all what I would have picked out had I not done this exercise, but I am very happy with how it came out — professional yet still “me.”

      Which is a long way of saying “yes, you can wear a black leather blazer or no blazer/jacket at all, but do some investigation before you decide.”

      • frou frou :

        I did this as well – looked at headshots of other people in other firms in the area and decided what looked good, appropriate, and matched the image I wanted to project.

        My photographer said that most people look better in something with sleeves, but obviously YMMV.

    • My colleague just had headshots dont and the nicest looking ones were where she was wearing a long sleeved v neck blouse in a flattering solid color. She also took some in a suit but we all agreed that the blouse photos were less cluttered and better.

      You could always ask your new personal stylist at Nordstom to pick out a headshot outfit for you. :)

  31. lucy stone needs some gdmf sleep :

    Does anyone else have a sleep partner with sleep apnea? My husband has a CPAP but will often fall asleep in bed watching TV. When I wake him up to put it on, he is an aggressive jerk. He also rips it off every day sometime between 3:15-4 when we don’t get up until 6. He doesn’t realize he is taking it off in his sleep. As I write this, he is currently sawing away on the couch. I am most worried he’s going to stroke out and die, but would also just like to get some sleep and am hoping someone has tips on getting him to leave it on longer at night. When we talk about this during the day he’s very agreeable, but at night when he’s in an apnea episode he completely forgets about our conversations.

    • karenpadi :

      I think you’ve given him enough time to make an effort to wear the darn thing. Time to take care of yourself. Can you sleep in another room?

      • lucy stone needs some gdmf sleep :

        Tried it – I can still hear him!

        • How about a white noise machine? I’m the snorer in our home – no apnea, just bad sinuses – and the white noise machine has been really helpful for my husband.

          It also sounds like your hubs isn’t getting enough sleep if he’s passed out on the couch now. Maybe you can point that out and get him to go to his sleep medicine doctor?

        • Ear plugs and a sleeping mask for you!

    • anon for this :

      My SO had sleep apnea and then lost a whole lot of weight and it’s basically gone. Not sure if your partner is motivated to get in shape, but I wanted to throw it out there.

      • lucy stone needs some gdmf sleep :

        Mine has had it his whole life (even when he was ripped and working construction instead of flying a desk) so I don’t think that will help, but good for yours!

        • Has he been to an ENT? My mom used to wake the dead with her snoring (I used to go to sleep listening to my walkman even though my parents’ bedroom was on the opposite side of the house) and just a year ago she finally had surgery to correct a deviated septum. The surgery/recovery sucked and it didn’t fully cure her sleep apnea so she still has a CPAP machine but at a recent visit home I did realize her snoring (even without the CPAP) is totally down to normal person levels these days.

      • anon also then :

        I saw a so-called sleep specialist whose only advice to me was to lose weight. I didn’t mention that the worst snorer in my family was the grandmother who basically died of anorexia. However, before leaving to not return, I did point out to him that he was at least as fat as I was and should set a better example for his patients if he felt it was such and issue.

        • Mighty Mouse :

          Hey, there is some new-ish info out that dental devices (prev looked-down upon by some sleep drs) may actually help—not nec as much as CPAP, but better than nothing.

          Can he get a consult w a dentist who has experience w these?

    • I should specify I’m the snorer at home :-).
      But this doesn’t sound like a good setup. Maybe your husband needs some cpap adjustments, like a new mask? Has he tested out the new nostril-plug thingies that are much easier to comply with?
      I think you should discuss this with him while he’s awake and civil, telling him how much you worry about his health. And then drop it, and concentrate solely on whatever will help you sleep better, including other bedroom, eraplugs, white noise machine.
      I also very much think you should not wake him when he’s passed out on the couch. He’s a grownup, he should be acting for his own health. You’re his wife, you should not be a punching ball even if he’s not really awake. If his does have apnea, and the cpap works, he’ll be feeling much worse in the morning when he doesn’t use it enough. Not to mention the crick in the neck from the couch :-). You may gently mention after breakfast, once in a while. But seriously, don’t keep damaging your relationship by acting like his mom and getting whacked for it.
      I used to have gf who was a horror when woken up. I let her sleep, even through important meetings at work. I explained that it was not worth my while to wake her under any circumstances, that nothing but a major fire would get me to attempt it. She then set her own clock, and only blamed herself when she didn’t get up.

      • I’m very experienced with this. It can be rough. Is the CPAP new for him? If so, things can improve if he sticks with it.

        Two things I recommend:

        He absolutely needs a sleep doctor/specialist seeing him at regular intervals until he is in a better routine. Usually a pulmonologist or neurologist specializing in sleep. They should review the masks with him and good sleep habits, and the risks of his personal situation. There are new improvements in CPAP treatment all the time, so he should be followed until he is sleeping like a baby…. with no problems…

        You probably know this, but you really shouldn’t have your TV in the bedroom. That’s what they call “poor sleep hygiene”. Bed is for sleeping and sex. If he falls asleep in the living room watching TV, at least he’ll be sitting up …. and sitting position is better for the sleep apnea.

        Unfortunately, you might be aware that many (?most) folks with sleep apnea do not get treated properly, or decide not to wear the mask. Sleep apnea is very very bad, so this is disappointing.

        Get him seeing a doc regularly, so there is someone else giving him feedback on his behavior. Also, discuss it during the day with very clear questions/concerns from you, and have a clear plan as to what to do…. if he falls asleep without it in bed, or takes it off at night. At some point, you have to choose your battles….

  32. Research, Not Law :

    Are white blazers limited to summer? I kind of want one, but not if I am going to have to wait until next May to wear it.

    Link of example outfit to follow.

  33. Anon for this :


    I have a very disgusting habit that I would really like to break. I’ve tried many different methods, and I’ll do well for a little while, but the minute I get stressed, I’ll go back to the habit. I’m thinking at this stage that I’d like to try hypnotherapy…but, I am so revolted by this habit that I cringe at the thought of anyone knowing, even a hypnotherapist. I live in a larger city (a couple million), but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that I might randomly run into my hypotherapist at some point. Has anyone here had experience with a hypnotherapist? What did you think? If you did it to break a gross habit, how did you get over the shame of telling someone about it?

    • I’ve had an excellent experience with a hypnotherapist, but it was pre-surgery and not habit-related. I do know several people who were greatly helped to stop smoking with hypnosis (speaking of gross habits..). I’d like to remind you that, like all therapists, they are held to strict patient confidentiality. It’s probably enough to seek one out away from your neighborhood to be pretty much assured never to run into them again if you don’t wish to :-).

    • What’s the habit? I have a major nail-biting problem and would love to know if others have had success breaking it with hypnotherapy.

      • I had pretty good success using a hyponotherapist to stop nail biting in my late teens (late 90’s). I wouldn’t say it was a 100% cure but on the other hand, I also never listened to the tape of my session for reinforcement like I was supposed to. Now I only bite when I’m really stressed or drunk as opposed to all.the.time. without even noticing I was biting. I’m definitely happy I did it.

        I’m not sure how to find a reputable one (my parents found her for me) but I met with her for an hour for her to explain the process and find out my reasons for wanting to stop biting my nails and then I think the actual hypnotherapy session was another hour.

        My dad actually did a group hypnotherapy session to quit smoking in the mid 80’s which was how they ended up thinking to take me to see one in the late 90’s.

    • I have no advice, unfortunately, but I have been dying to know what the habit is since you posted this. Nosy, I know. But given the anonymity, can you share? Maybe people will have ideas related to the specific habit.

    • You guys knock it off with the idle curiosity! If she’s so uptight about it she doesn’t even want a therapist, she’s not going to tell you..

  34. Ladies, I need some friendship advice. I’ll try to keep the back story brief:

    I have had a friend, who I call my ‘best’ friend, since I was a toddler. We obviously grew up together, and I’ve had many, many years to get used to her behavior but it is driving me nuts. Her family (extended family on her mom’s side) is very manipulative. They will guilt her into anything, and can manipulate well enough that if it was a sport they would all tie for gold. Unfortunately, she and her mom both have taken after this side of the family (even though she claims she hasn’t, and she hates their behavior).

    She lives a few hours away and I live in the same area as her family.

    Every time she comes down (to visit me, or to visit them) they dominate her time. I barely see her, and if I do, we both hear about how she spent all her time with me instead of them (even if we spent the majority of the time with them). In the past she would never come down, and I had to go to her: I’m a bit sick of that. I feel like I’ve put a lot into this relationship, and it’s tiring now that I’m a newly wed to continue giving as much as I was.

    That said, it’s gotten to the point where I can’t even plan a weekend with her and her mom doesn’t invite herself along, or where she invites a friend from where she lives along. In short, I’m sick of being so low priority for her that she doesn’t make time for me. A few weeks ago, my husband and I moved into a house. She promised that she would come help us (she was our only help, so I was relying on her to come), and she cancelled the day of our move.

    Do I address this, or just let the friendship die? I feel like if I don’t manipulate or guilt her into doing things, she’ll never be there for me.

    • K...in transition :

      It depends what you want… do you want her to try harder or do you want to not have her in your life anymore? If you want her around, tell her all of this and give her the chance to work on it. If you don’t, I’d say to still tell her and explain why you’re ending things if you’re brave enough, otherwise, just let it fade away.

      • Ideally, I want her to try harder. I’m just afraid it’s not going to be possible after this going on as it has (and I have addressed it previously) for 26 years.

        This has all come up because of the frustration of being cancelled on at the last minute, and left with no help whatsoever when moving. She does this often. Anytime she is in need of someone to be there for her, she expects me to be there. I can’t count on her for the same.

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I think I’ve been the “best friend” in this situation (though probably not as close as you are with your friend). I move across the country from my parents and all my hometown friends. The necessary consequence of this is I don’t really get to see my family (parents and youngest sister still at home) very often (maybe 3x per year, if that, and probably only one of those visits in our hometown).

      For a while, I would go back and my friends would be annoyed that I wouldn’t want to go out with them every night, like when I lived there, but when I did go out, my family would be annoyed that they couldn’t spend time with me.

      In the end, I had to let a few friendships go. It was more important to me and I had to prioritize being with my family when I was home, and even though that meant more “family fun” and less “early 20s fun,” more nights vegging on the couch and less out-to-dinner-with-high-school-friends, etc. In the end, it wasn’t that I wanted to lose friends – it was that when it came down to it and the choice was pizza with high school friend, and hanging out with my mom, my mom just won out (god that makes me sound cool…).

      But again – these were people I had really grown apart from (generally), so this wasn’t a huge loss for me. I do keep in touch with one close friend from high school, and I do make an effort to see her when I’m home – but while she’d prefer to hang out every day or every other day if I’m there for a week, I see her one to two times and the rest is family time. That’s the right balance for me – other people might have different balances.

      It might be different for you and your friend. It sounds like losing the relationship will sadden you – have you talked to her about it? I think sometimes frustrations and hurts build up in a friendship without anyone really expressing that they’re happening, when they could be fixable if the other person knew. This friendship is clearly longstanding and important to you. So I would vote for talking to her first, and if things don’t change, gradually letting the friendship fade out.

      • Ah, I probably should have been more clear on this, and I don’t know if it would make a difference in your reply.

        The family I live by is extended: she has 3 aunts here, plus grandparents. Her immediate family lives within 5 minutes of her. Their behavior is appalling (in my opinion).

        I invited her down to go see a comedian with my husband on a Saturday night. She came down Friday night (got in around 11 PM), and her aunts found out she was visiting me. They expected to spend the entire day Saturday with her, even though she came specifically to go with my husband and I that night. So we cancelled our plans for the day (prior to the show) and drove about an hour (one way) to go to breakfast with them. We were there a few hours, and when we were leaving we were already getting passive agressive comments from her family, and then when we were driving back the texts started on how she loves me more than them, and ‘It sure would have been nice for you to make more time for your family.” It’s just frustrating that all of our time is tainted by them nagging, and she doesn’t ever address it with them. I completely understand that it has to be hard for her, so part of me doesn’t understand why she doesn’t stand up for herself.

        At their last family vacation, one of her aunts came up to her, pinched both of her n*pples and twisted so hard she was bruised. And my friend said nothing other than, “Well that was nice of you.”

        Part of my issue is that she is my friend and I hate seeing her treated like this, and part of it is how it affects me I suppose.

        I have talked to her about it previously, but I don’t remember how it went because it was years ago. I’ll have to try again.

        • This is going to sound harsh, but I think your expectations are just unreasonable. If someone lives out of town, there’s usually a limited amount of time to please way too many friends and family. The reality is that her grandparents aren’t going to be around forever, and it’s understandable that she feels some sort of obligation to spend time with them when she gets a chance. I live several hours from my immediate family and usually if I do have time to see friends in my hometown during a visit, it is for a few hours at best.

          I think the real question is how she acts as a friend in every other sense- does she answer your phone calls/texts/etc.? If you have a problem and need advice, will she be there to listen? That’s far more important to me in a friend than a person who will drop everything to spend time with me when s/he’s in town.

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          I think talking is the best thing. It IS wrong of her (as a friend) to bail on you, and to make you feel like you can’t count on her. I think that’s a separate issue than you feeling like she’s not prioritizing you enough (though it may be a harsh reality that she does prioritize her family over you and you may have a clash of values there). Both issues, I think, are worthy of discussion before letting a lifelong friendship fade out.

          As a side note – pinching her n*pples??? I honestly cannot imagine anyone in my family doing this. What?

          • I’m actually ok with her prioritizing her family over me, just not ok with being completely kicked to the curb when they decide to manipulate her when we’ve had plans in place for months.

            Also, she doesn’t answer my calls or texts, etc. so I’ve stopped trying for the most part in that area. She doesn’t call much either, she texts occasionally so that is usually when we talk/communicate mostly.

            I think the issue is far deeper than our friendship. I’ve tried to talk to her about how they treat her before, but it hasn’t helped. I think that for her well being she should take a step back and address their treatment of her with them. When I mentioned it to her, she said it wouldn’t help. I tend to agree with her, because I know her family pretty well.

            No one in my family would do this either. If they did…well…I probably wouldn’t be seeing them for a while. :)

          • I have a friend who has a family like this, and it’s a very hard situation. He’d gone through 25+ years of psychological abuse from these people. His self esteem was destroyed and it took years of little conflicts/battles before he was ready for the big step of cutting off his family entirely. I think he had to feel secure that he had an alternate family that would be there for him if he cut his biological family off.

            For now I just think you’re going to have to go easy on her. Don’t have high expectations when she makes plans. Don’t rely on her to fulfill the plans. Or you can just decide to let the friendship go naturally.

        • It sounds almost like an abusive situation–what is this? pinching n*ipples?? She needs to put a stop to this sort of abuse and impose limits. When she comes to visit you, do not visit the family and vice versa.

    • Sounds like your poor friend is saddled with a really sick family. I think you yourself need to cut off ties with them, although not necessarily with her. Let her know that you don’t want to be around them any more, but that you’ll be very happy to see her, and to support her as she figures out how not to be like them.. Agree to not tell them when she’s around.

      May I suggest some reading? How about some Lundy Bancroft? Excellent for working out abusive situations. And let me tell you, no normal adult gets anywhere near any family member’s nipples, especially painfully. How about you read some, and then you can feel more reasonable about passing it on to her?

  35. Looking for advice or support from some other childless by choice women out there… I’m 31, married, and have no plans to have kids, but I’m really starting to feel the pressure now and it has me feeling confused and alone about the whole thing. My parents have been pressuring me for years (telling me how wonderful kids are, and how I’ll die alone with no one to take care of me if I don’t have them, etc), and I’m more or less used to that, but it’s the pressure from my peers that’s really getting to me. The vast, vast majority of my close friends are married with young kids, or are planning to have kids soon, or very much want to have kids but don’t currently have a partner.

    This week a couple that we are close to who were formerly childfree announced that they’re having a baby. The outpouring of joy from our circle of friends about this change of heart has been huge, and while it is of course a happy occasion, it just makes me feel really alone (especially because they were the only couple in our social circle who planned not to have kids). All of my friends are so positive about parenting (one works as a doula, another is the editor of a magazine for parents, etc) and while I’m happy for them in their decision, the fact that every. single. person. who is important to me is telling me how awesome it is to be a parent has be doubting my own mind. Of course, fear of unhappiness is a terrible reason to have a kid, so I’m really just trying to figure out how to really know, for sure, that staying childless is the right decision for me and be at peace with that. FWIW, my husband also doesn’t want kids and is completely at peace with it, although he says that it’s likely easier for him because there’s far less social pressure on men to have kids and he also knows many more couples who are childless and happy, so I guess he has more role models for what this life would look like (he’s originally from Germany). I’m really envious of the confidence and peace he has in his decision, and am wondering — do other women out there who are choosing not to have kids feel this way? Did you decide not to have kids, and are happy? Am I insane for just not feeling that pull towards parenting? Is it really so weird in 2012 to not want to reproduce?

    I still don’t feel any active desire for a kid, what I mostly feel is 1) afraid that I’m making a horrible life choice that will result in me being lonely and unfulfilled, especially in old age, and 2) that I will someday have some sort of biological ‘urge’ that kicks in and I’ll find myself at the end of my fertile years suddenly desperately wanting a baby.

    • K...in transition :

      it doesn’t sound like you’re questioning your certainty about having kids, it sounds like you’re potentially giving in to peer pressure. If the only reason you’re reconsidering is because everyone around you has kids, find some new childfree friends and your resolve will return. If it’s truly about wondering whether you’re certain, make some lists of pros/cons, etc.

      As a childfree person, I, too, get the comments, but having a person in the world who only exists because I wanted people to shut up and get off my case isn’t so much a good idea.

    • i'm like this too :

      I think you should read “Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids.” Its not what it sounds – its a comprehensive review of the research on childbearing – especially how it affects adults. The book may help “arm” you with information about how your chosen number of children (which may be 0) will affect your future happiness.

      The bottom line from the book is that happiness declines sharply for parents of infants and increases exponentially as the children age. Retirees with children are statistically significantly happier than retirees without children (as well as having benefits like living longer due to better access to healthcare, etc.)

      For me, having children is a trade off; you trade off unhappiness and hard work earlier in life for a payoff later in life. But I think that everyone must make the trade-offs that make sense for them, and if I was you, I would be looking for all the information I need to feel secure in the trade-off I am making.

    • I am childful by choice so not the target of your question, but I’ll take a stab anyway. Our culture has a preset idea of what makes a successful life, and it includes certain brands, addresses, vacations, and children. People who reject those ideals are made to feel like freaks and outsiders. I think the secret is to take each day and enjoy it for what it is, as cliche as that sounds. You can’t let other people force their agenda on you or push a certain life choice to validate their own. I love my children and savor the precious moments with them but I know that my childless friends have a lot more money to enjoy certain finer things or spend weekends pursuing their own interests instead of sweating at the baseball tournament watching the 10th walk of the inning. I would say that, whatever you are doing, enjoy it for what it is. Enjoy watching TV or whatever with your husband in peace without wondering what it would be like if it were different. If it were different, then it would be different, but some things that you appreciate would be gone and other things that you appreciate would take their place. (I think the margaritas are kicking in.) The point is that there is no magic recipe for life. If you don’t feel called to have children then you should not have them, and you should not have to explain your decision to others. Just live in the moment and if you change your mind someday then you will deal with it then. Don’t rob your happiness today by worrying that you won’t be happy in the future. Don’t live life with the worry, “Is this enough?” Just be glad for what you have.

      • This exactly. I’ll just add that I’m childless by choice and very happy with that call. It was harder in my early 30s when friends started having kids, but it got easier as time went on.

      • Thank you for this comment, I feel more peaceful just reading it! I am very happy in my day-to-day, it’s all these future “what ifs?” that are getting me down. I’m going to go make myself a drink and try to let go of those unproductive futures…

      • Thank you.

    • I’m 32, not childless by choice but childless by negligence–I haven’t gotten around to finding a mate and settling down. It just wasn’t a priority.

      When I was 31, I was dating a guy who wasn’t father-material and I realized that I wasn’t ready to commit to being childless-for-life. He wanted kids; I didn’t want kids with him. I broke up with him. I think 31 is the age where the bio-clock starts ticking.

      Since then, I’ve started dating again with an idea that I want to be in a relationship where kids are a possibility. But…it’s frustrating.

      The mental exercise that has helped me the most is to have two 5-year plans. The first is if I find a worthy mate and have kids. The second is if I don’t find a worthy mate and don’t have kids. Some days, the first plan is more attractive. Other days, the second plan is more attractive.

      • I’m a couple years younger than you karenpadi, but I could have written that entire post!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      How long have you been feeling this way? Did the confusion arise after your friends’ recent announcement? If so, it seems like you may just be caught up in the whirlwind of emotions of a major life change. I know I feel that way when my friends have been getting married. I haven’t experienced living close to my friends who have children, so I can’t say whether I’d have those feelings if a friend announced she was having a baby. Try to figure out what the cause of the feelings is. It could be a reaction to how things are changing for your friends or you could be changing your mind on wanting children. Either one of those is ok by the way!

      For what its worth, I’m 29 and I’ve never wanted to have children. My boyfriend feels the same way and my family accepts it almost without comment now, although it took awhile for my stepmom to stop saying that I would change my mind someday. Granted I have lots of brothers and sisters so my parents will have lots of grandchildren so that may lessen any potential pressure. Everyone in my social circle is planning to have children as well. I always just think that I’ll be an awesome “aunt” to all of those kids. You aren’t insane for not feeling the pull towards parenting and its not weird to not want kids. I promise. I’m sure its awesome to be a parent. For me at least, its awesome not to be a parent. Either one can be awesome.

      I think you should also look closely at your 2 feelings.
      1- Afraid about making a horrible life choice that will result in you being lonely and unfulfilled. Are you lonely now? You won’t be lonely with your husband, other family members, and friends. There is no guarantee that even if you had a kid that the kid would prevent you from being lonely. There are parents out there who have children that have moved out and never make meaningful contact. You can make the kind of world you want for yourself and create the family you want with your husband and friends so that you won’t ever be lonely.
      2- A biological urge kicks in and you’ll desperately want a baby at the end of your fertile years. This is way outside of my understanding, but is the biological urge for an actual biological child? I know for some people it probably is, but if not then you could try to adopt. Not being able to have a baby of your own doesn’t necessarily mean that your biological urge could not be fulfilled.

      Sorry that turned out a little longer than I expected. I think its common to feel this way and question your feelings sometimes regardless of the topic.

    • Childfree N. – I think you can find peace with your decision but it may take a bit of introspection and then just owning your decision. I’ve known many child-free by choice people who are/were happy. Sure, a few may have regrets but most don’t. Not having kids allows you to focus on your relationship, your careers and your community. Sure, people (like me) who have kids can also focus on careers, etc., but without kids you can have a sharper focus, dedicate yourself to a passion or at least have less conflict with competing passions during the time when the potential kids might have been young.

      As the Covey book says, “Begin with the end in mind.” What do you want your life’s work to be? If you died, what would you like people to say about you – now or 30 years in the future? What do you want your future to look like?

      Related to your closing point #1: Having kids doesn’t guarantee that you won’t be alone in your old age. With or without kids, you can choose your family, choose your circle of friends, craft your life. You can expand your definition of family to be as broad or as deep as you wish. And in crafting this life, you can make connections that are as strong or perhaps stronger than those you “might” possibly have with kids. You could even be a strong auntie or involved friend to children in your circle of friends/family. A friend of mine didn’t have kids due to her husband’s heart problems. But she was there when her brother’s son was born, has been very involved in his life, helped him with school, taken vacations with him and was the officiant at his wedding last year.

      Point #2: There are people who wake up one day with their biological clock ticking. I’m not certain, but I think if you do some heavy thinking now and envision your life with and without kids, you will lessen the chance that that will happen to you one day. Or you can live with your decision for a set time period (depending on your age) like 3 or 5 years, and then re-evaluate, giving yourself and your husband a chance to keep your options open. Of course, that only works for a while but giving yourself “permission” to not make this a final decision may help you make it final and have peace with it along the way.

      No, you’re not weird not to want kids. Groups inforce the “herd” mentality (which is why it’s hard to be gay, a minority, a singleton, etc.) so if you are making a contrary decision, owning it will lessen the stress. Best wishes!

      • I really love the way you put your ideas about defining “family” for yourself, and I am absolutely hoping to be involved in my niece and nephew’s lives in an important way.

    • Sounds like you may need to pay more attention to older generations, and their unguarded comments about what it’s really like to have kids? Most people I know who’re having miserable old age do have kids, the kids are generally the main source of misery.

      I’ve come to believe kids are like vaccines – it’s really good for you if many other people are having them, but for you personally they may not turn out well :-). Seriously, you’re probably at the worst age for this kind of peer pressure, it’ll all be dampened in a few years (if only because many of those current friends will be too busy for you, and too tired to talk if they weren’t). Seek out some other similarly deliberately kidless pals, and wait for it to blow over. In another 5 years, start pleading infertitily and you’ll be pitied instead :-). Meanwhile, a few gay party types should liven up your life without pressures.

      Nearing retirement myself, and still so glad I followed my gut and didn’t have kids. Having a life of my own has been so good..

    • I posted almost your exact same question about a year ago. I’m also 30, married, and childfree by choice, but most of my friends are having kids now, and I often just felt really left out. I think I’m past it now (for the moment at least), but what helped me through was this: it’s normal and healthy to question your goals and decisions every now and then. When I think long and hard about kids, I come to the same decision: there are other things more important to me, and it’s not as if my having kids is required to keep the planet adequately populated (the rest of my friends are doing my part :-) ) At that point, it comes down to whether you want kids – your kids may be very happy with theirs, but they aren’t going to raise yours.

    • I am in my mid-thirties and single by choice. You’d think that would be the end of the discussion, but I live in a city where it is common to start a family (with or without a husband) at my age or older. At my last job, the two women who took maternity leave when I first started were both 40+. Trying to tell people that no, I really do not want to have kids, doesn’t really do much to change their minds!

      That said, most of my friends who have kids are brutally honest about it. I think you’d probably get a better feel for the experience if your friends weren’t so darned enthusiastic about it. I really do like kids, but having a true picture of what it is like makes me realize I made the right choice. Do I sometimes think I am making a mistake? Absolutely. However, there’s usually some confirming moment every evening when my wee neighbor upstairs is screeching and stomping around.

    • Ekaterin Nile :

      I’m 38, married for almost 10 years, and am child-free by choice. I’ve never wanted children and my husband feels the same way. It is a tough choice, particularly in your 30s, when everyone around seems to be having children. And people do say thoughtless things, like “you’re missing out” by not having children. Well, I probably am, but they’re missing out on other things by having them. Or “I never realized how selfish I was before having children until I had them?” “Um, I think you just said I’m selfish but I’m not sure?”

      Bottom line is that it is ok not to want children and peer pressure or feeling left out is probably not a good reason to have them. We are good friends with many people who have children–things change in terms of what we do together, but as their children have gotten older, we’ve really enjoyed spending time with our friends and their kids. But I certainly do not regret not having them.

    • When I was younger I could see life plans that did or did not include kids, but it turned out that the path we took is childfree and at 36 I don’t regret it at all. Honestly, while I like older kids I cannot see myself being a good parent to a young child.
      Having friends without kids is important, it sounds like if you widened your social circle you would feel less pressure. Are there any new hobbies or classes you would like to pursue, especially ones that might be difficult for parents to commit to? Even older friends, parents to teenagers and empty nesters, might provide a different perspective.
      We used non-permanant birth control for years after we made the decision, it was only last year that DH was snipped.
      We actively decided to make plans to make sure we don’t end up old, lonely and uncared for. First, we are saving so that in old age we can get the best care money can buy. Second we are making sure that we have a wider social circle including friends much younger and older and will invest time in our neices’ lives.

    • 42 and childfree by choice here. Hubs and I still get asked if we’re having children, but the frequency has died down to tolerable. It was the worst in the first 3 years after we married. Perhaps some of the questions were because we had lived together for 5 years before making it official, so people assumed that we got married because we were planning to enlarge the family?

      I’m the primary earner in our household, and my husband is a musician. Children would disrupt our lives too much, because although I make a good living, paying for full-time childcare would be a huge sacrifice. Hubs’ work would likely suffer, since he works at home and would end up being the primary caretaker. Being parents doesn’t fit our lives, and neither of us wants them enough to change our lives to fit children.

      I tell anyone who asks that I love being an aunt, but just don’t want children of my own. If they press, I find a way to redirect or end the conversation. It gets easier with practice, so hang in there!

    • I absolutely think it’s great that you know what you do and do not want. The only thing i can add here is that you shouldn’t feel resentful of your friends also knowing what they want and then getting it. It sounds like you don’t like it when your friends having babies is treated as a joyful occasion. But it is joyful for them. And if you are a true friend, you should be able to feel happy for them as well.

      • You’re right that in this case I’m having a hard time feeling joyful for them, and I’m not especially proud of that. All that I can say is that it’s normally not like this for me and I can happily share in the joy over pregnancy announcements. I think in this case it’s particularly hard for me because the announcement that they had changed their minds about being parents came at the same time as the announcement that they’re having a baby. So, I’m kind of mourning the loss of my formerly childfree allies in my childful circle of friends, and I feel a bit like the decision to become a parent is so celebrated while my decision not to parent just gets silence (and sometimes uncomfortable silence at that). I know it’s not the same since there’s not exactly a moment to celebrate being childfree the way that there is becoming a parent, but all the same right now it’s kind of hard not to feel this extreme pressure (positive pressure, but still) to become a parent.

    • I am wrestling with this issue (in the abstract, I’m not married). Part of the problem is that there’s very little positive affirmation out there for women who’ve decided not to have kids, so you feel guilty and confused and worried that something is wrong with you. No good suggestions, but there is a wonderful chapter in Caitlin Moran’s “How to Be a Woman” about choosing not to have kids (written by a woman who does have them) and it made me feel a lot better.

    • Thanks for everyone who took the time to reply, it really has helped me to just be able to talk about this with someone outside of my IRL friends. I think it’s just this particular announcement that has me shaken up because of the number of people who’ve told me that I’ll someday change my mind about having kids, and here’s the one other childfree couple that I know changing their minds about having kids. It makes me feel somehow like my supposed “biological clock” is one day going to activate and rebel against me. It also doesn’t help that parents often say that you can’t know what it’s like to feel a bond with your kid until after you become a parent, so how on earth are you supposed to make an informed choice about whether or not you want that without first having a kid?

      Sometimes I feel like I’ve spent far more time thinking about whether or not to have kids than many people who are actually parents, since “I’ve always wanted to have kids” is a socially acceptable answer whereas “I don’t feel a desire to be a parent” is apparently not enough explanation and I need to account for what I’ll do with my “extra” time, how I’ll find meaning and companionship in life, what I’ll do in my old age, and so on. Really, no one knows these things, at least not fore sure. I guess I just need to chill and realize that no decision comes with a guarantee of happiness, and I’m just making the best one I can with the information that I have now.

      • I had hesitated to post earlier because I know this topic has attracted a lot of strong views in the past but it does sound like it’s useful to you to know you’re not alone and perhaps hear some of the thoughts that rattle around other people’s heads. In my case, I married young and always thought there’d be plenty of time for the biological urge to kick in. It never did and we gently closed the door on kids when I was in my late 30s. While I still worry a bit about the urge kicking in late, my bigger concern has been that my husband is someone who’s great with kids (and small animals for that matter) and I’ll always wonder whether parenthood is an important thing he’s missed out on.

        On the other hand though, we have zip worries about “accounting” for “extra” time. We’ve both had privileged careers where we feel we’ve made a difference, and are increasingly in the position to give back to our community (financially and other ways). We undertake a lot of this jointly and it is something we’re both pretty proud of. We also have nice lives in other ways – travel, capacity to extend care for our extended families, young and old friends with wide interests, with and without kids (and some grandkids too). For myself, I know I would never have been in this position if not for the fact that I spent my 20s and 30s in demanding child-unfriendly professional situations.

        I hope this helps. You’re absolutely right to recognise that you shouldn’t over-think this. You’ll always wonder a little bit about the grass on the other side but please don’t let it chew up your peace of mind or diminish your enjoyment of other people’s kids in your life !

      • 42 here and childfree, but rather than actively decide that I wasn’t going to have kids, there just didn’t seem the perfect time to have them… then I finally realized, for me, there was no perfect time, that in fact I just wasn’t that interested in trading in the great life I have now for something other people tell me I’ll ‘miss’. I’ll never know what its like to have kids, true, but its hard to miss what you never had. However, I think if I had kids I’d miss the life I left behind, such as traveling the world, waking up with a quiet cup of coffee and a book in a quite house, rescuing large adult dogs from the pound, working late without guilt, etc.

        One thing that helped me come to peace with my decision was I became a Big Sister to a little girl in the community. I love being with her every other week for a few hours, doing kid stuff! However, I quickly realized its not something I could find joy in every. single. day. So, its win-win… a young lady gets a mentor to show her parts of life she may otherwise not get to experience, she reminds me of my inner child, and I still keep my adult life that I treasure. Something you may wish to consider checking out, the program is always looking for volunteers!

      • I’m in my mid-thirties and have felt strongly about no-kids for the past 20 years.
        I have gone through similar periods of second-guessing this stance, as well as having people ask me when I will have them.

        I think we all grow tired about the pronouncements that “you’ll change your mind” or the implication that others know my own mind better than I do. Rather than open up this debate, I simply tell people that “I don’t see it in my future, but no matter what happens, life is going to be amazing”. I’ve never had a single person dispute that sentiment.

  36. Best notebook or portfolio? :

    I read the old thread covering this. Does anyone still like the arc system? I sort of like the at–a-glance planning notebooks that come I one page a day single or double (six months in each) books. It seems easier having a page to index the topics for each day and a book seems more official than loose papers if you later have to provide documentation over time. If staying with that, I’d like a leather notebook to contain the notebook, files, etc that isn’t too bulky.

    I’m open to any suggestion for planners or notebook systems that have worked for you.

  37. lawsuited :

    Suggestions for stores to buy business wear in SIZE 16 AND UP? I do a lot of shopping online, so online stores would be great too.

    • lucy stone :

      Talbots. I’m to the point where almost all my suits are from there.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I’ve found some good stuff at Eloquii, but its been a lot of trial and error. There is a short return window and I think there is only 1 store in the country but I can’t remember where it is.

      Recently I’ve been shopping at NY & Company. They have coupon codes all the time, so I almost never pay for shipping or pay full price. They have sizes 16 and 18.

      Lord & Taylor has a pretty good selection of suits, as does Macys sometimes.

    • Talbots; website – talbots dot com
      Pendleton; website – pendleton-usa dot com
      Lafayette148; website – lafayette148ny dot com

    • Nordstrom, Macys, and Lord and Taylor all have plus size sections. If you’re in New York, I’d recommend Leelee’s Valise, in Brooklyn – a great plus-size boutique. They’ll also help you style outfits. I love them.

    • Depending on what city you live in, I think online is probably close to your only option. The only one I’d add is Macy’s. Especially for non-suit business a few stores and the website have some good things. I wandered around a JC Penny yesterday, and didn’t buy anything but I bet there are one or 2 things there each season. Lane Bryant also has an overpriced low quality work appropriate item every now and then.

      Don’t the Limited and Express and Anne Taylor go up to a version of size 16? It doesn’t fit me, but if you are a true misses size 16 you might find things there. Gap goes up to size 20 online in most things.

  38. Hi everyone, am hoping for some advice.

    After much flailing around this year, I’m slowly revamping my wardrobe. This summer, I realized I really like (and look better) wearing dresses and skirts more than what I was usually wearing to work: button down shirts and pants…with clogs. (I’m in cardiology, still in training and running around a lot!)

    But I know in the fall and winter I’ll have to go back to trousers. I think maybe I’ve just been wearing the wrong kind of pants for my figure, and that’s why they’ve looked so blah.

    My question is, how do I figure out what kind of pants look good on me? I’m petite, not much in the way of curves.

    • You just have to try them all on, but I think you can safely stay away from pants that are for curvy people. Most stores have different named pants styles, so once you know that you look good in say, the Banana Republic Sloan fit, you can just buy all Sloan pants. From what I’ve seen, Banana has a lot of straighter styles these days and J Crew also seems to be straighter.

    • You don’t have to wear pants in the winter. Just get warm tights and knee high boots. Especially with thicker skirts and dresses, I’m warmer than in pants.

    • Agree that you just have to try the pants on. It sounds like Banana Republic or J Crew might work best for you, though it may also be worthwhile checking Talbots and Ann Taylor (all have petite sizes). Generally straight-leg pants are flattering, but I don’t think many stores sell tapered pants these days?

      Instead of the button-down shirts, how about more interesting tops? I’m assuming you have to wear the white coat. Also, you can definitely still wear skirts and dresses in winter. Are you worried about winter shoes? Avoiding heels?

      It’s hard to get away from clogs, I still wear mine sometimes though it’s been a few years since I finished residency (IM). Good luck!

  39. Wow, this jacket is sold out in the black already. Way to go, everybody!

  40. A question for the hive: I got an invitation to my supervisee’s wedding yesterday. I know that she only invited three of us from work (with spouses or SOs). Her wedding is in another state so that’s out, but her fiance is from here so they are having a local reception about 3 weeks after the wedding. It would be at least an hour drive for me to attend and it’s on a Sunday at 2:00 when I would have to leave straight from church to get there. I’ve already bought her wedding shoes, threw her a shower at work, and bought her a shower gift. Do I need to push to go to the reception because I was invited? I’m inclined not to, especially since it’ll mostly be his family and local friends. Should I still buy her a wedding gift? They have a honeyfund site so that could be easy.

    • I’ve been in this situation before, and you will bank yourself untold goodwill if you attend. Everyone knows this is not the way you want to spend Sunday afternoon, and the fact that a supervisor made the effort to show makes a big impression. You do not have to stay long, make an appearance, sign the guest book, speak to supervisee, and leave. Not only do you get brownie points with supervisee, you get points with others on her “level” at the office. It’s a very nice, inexpensive (except in the way of your personal time) way to say you appreciate her enough to show up.

      Somehow, doing things AT work (i.e., shower) don’t make the impression that giving of your own personal time does.

      • This.

        To make the travel time worthwhile, can you set-up an early dinner with other friends in the other town for after your appearance at the reception or, if it’s a larger city, have a few errands in mind that you’ve been meaning to run in that city? I do this when I go up to San Francisco pretty often–it forces me to connect to old friends in that city and I don’t feel so bad about wasting gas.

      • Totally right. I’d also throw in that it’d be a good move to scope out some parental figures, and make a special point to go tell them that you work with the bride and she’s -such- a nice girl, and you’re -so- happy to work with her, and so glad that she seems to be marrying -such- a nice boy. This will be most likely to be repeated, will make the families feel happy, and get you endless goodwill in a way that merely trying to make conversation with a couple friends won’t.

    • You should probably make an appearance. Tell her ahead of time that you can only be there an hour or so and stick to it. You’ll meet a few people, have a little cake, and go. It’s not painless, but it’s not the worst, and you’ll be home before 5 to have your own Sunday evening time.

    • K...in transition :

      If this is for your supervisOR (aka boss), I’d say to suck it up and go, but to try to make fun plans in the area for dinner after or something so it feels more like fun than obligation for you. If it’s for your supervisEE (aka someone who works under you), I’d say to send a nice gift, maybe even something on the more expensive side of the registry, and a card that says that, while you’re sorry you can’t attend this event, you truly appreciated the honor of being able to host her office shower. It’ll show you care and remind her that you were present in another way.

      • Yeah she’s a supervisee, not my boss. I already spent $90 on her wedding shoes and another $45 on wine glasses that were nicer than the ones she registered for. Their registry is pretty modest (Target and Kohl’s) but I could get something nice from their honeyfund list.

        I don’t know anyone (other than Barrister in the Bayou!) in Baton Rouge and, while I occasionally make shopping trips up there, it’s not enough to want to do on a Sunday afternoon. I think I’ll wait and talk with my two other colleagues who were invited. One of them doesn’t drive so she wouldn’t go unless I did. None of the other staff at her level were invited so they really won’t know the difference. I’m leaning against it. If it were an opportunity to meet her family and friends, it would be different, but she moved here a year ago (when I hired her) with her fiance and her family is all out of state.

        • For another POV, I invited my former boss to my wedding (I left the firm shortly before the wedding and there were no hard feelings about my leaving) mainly as a thank you for her support while I was her supervisee and because she was helping me by serving as a reference for new jobs and I felt like inviting her was something nice I could do. The wedding was about 45 minutes from where she had a weekend house. It did not matter to me either way if she came or not (happy to have her, would not have been offended if she skipped it), I was just trying to include her.

  41. PharmaGirl :

    Bought this jacket at the Gap yesterday. FYI there’s a 25% online only code that expires today (GAPFALL25) but they were able to give me a 30% code in the store (not sure what the code was).

    Also grabbed a Ponte Academy Blazer.

  42. Well, bad news ladies. It looks like my JSFAMO mug is not long for this world. It’s cracked where the bottom part of the handle meets the body of the mug. Although the handle hasn’t yet separated from the mug, the crack has me concerned enough about structural integrity issues that I don’t really want to use the handle when holding a mug full of steaming hot liquid.

    RIP, JSFAMO mug. You were lovely while you lasted.

  43. very jr atty asking for advice :

    All – what tips do you have for spotting issues? I’m a very jr attorney (just passed the 6 month mark in biglaw lit) and would appreciate hearing what the hive has to say. For example, when a partner gives you an assignment in a field where you have limited experience and asks you to spot issues, how do you usually start? In this case, I’m at a loss for where to start. I would usually ask the mid-level associates, but here, it’s a very small matter, so it’s just me and the partner, with no other associates involved.

    • AnonInfinity :

      You could ask a mid-level associate that isn’t involved in the case (at least at my firm, this would be a good idea, and anyone would be happy to talk about it).

      One thing I do is look at jury instructions. My state publishes a book full of sample jury instructions. If I’m issue spotting, I’ll open up to the chapter that involves the subject matter (e.g., the contracts chapter or the products-liability chapter) and just read all of the instructions. Then I’ll go through the file and see what could fit.

  44. goirishkj :

    Admittedly stupid bra sizing question for the busty hive members:

    So I’m confused. I’m pregnant, and the girls have grown from a D/DD to a DDD at present. And I think they’re starting to get a bit bigger. So, what cup size comes after DDD? I’m confused because when I looked for sports bras online after realizing my favorite Moving Comfort bras only went up to DD, it seemed like some manufacturers went from DDD to G and sometimes I would see an F cup size. Help!

    Also, not that this group needs it, but another shout out for Nordie’s service. I went to get fitted and will probably go again and the saleswoman was great! It was during the NAS and even though I was prepared to spend a lot for a bra that actually fit, the woman helping me didn’t just bring me expensive options–the one that I ended up getting that worked the best happened to be on sale which made me happy.

    • are people not using google anymore? :


      • have people forgotten how to be kind just because they can hide behind a computer screen? :


    • Joan Holloway :

      Not a stupid question at all. There is a lot of confusion after D because different manufacturers and countries have different sizing systems. This website has a very helpful chart: http://www.wizardofbras.com/cupsizechart.aspx

      You may enjoy the blog www.stackdd.com because she is also pregnant and is dealing with the challenges of a larger cup size after being large to begin with.

    • Yeah, that bra size link doesn’t correspond to a lot of manufacturers. My most recent purchase was a Freya 32F, and its own label has it as an F cup across the board (that is, not an E like the link would suggest).

      I don’t know what the origin is (nor do I care to google), but some sites, like herroom dot com, show a universal cup size, so that it goes D, DD (aka D2), E (D3), F (D4) and so on. I would suggest herroom as a good site to check, and Freya and Fantasie as great lingerie brands.

      As for sports bras, the hideous Enell is great if you do high impact sports. I have used Moving Comfort (and I think the Jubralee goes up to E), but they are not as supportive.

      • Research, Not Law :

        Unlike what I find on a lot of internet charts, I agree that D, DD, DDD/E, F, G seems the most typical. I spend a lot of time in the DD/E/F range during cycles of pregnancy and breastfeeding, and my peeve is when manufacturers don’t make it clear whether they consider an E a DD or a DDD. So not a silly question at all. It’s one major reason why I buy my bras nearly exclusively at Nordstroms with fitting assistance.

        I’ve heard good things about the Panache and Enell sports bras, but I chose to squeeze into the moving comfort Jubralee in E since the straps make it convenient for nursing (my current phase). It’s a bit smooshy since I probably really needed an F, but I do find it adequate for jogging.

        I’ll preemptively suggest Anita for nursing bras, if you plan to breastfeed.

    • Just checked this–thanks so much for the helpful comments. The Enell is hideous but given how much the girls hurt after my last run, I think I need to finally give in, although I might look for the Jubralee option.

    • Depends on country and brand . When I was pregnant, I bought bras from bravissimo that I’m still using (nursing mum) and they have E after DD.

  45. Extra anon for this:
    I’m getting married in October. My fiance and I are both work in the public sector and are just getting by financially. His parents, who are fairly well-off, surprised us with a fantastic family heirloom diamond engagement ring. We understood from them that it was valued around $15k and had been sitting in a closet since his grandmother died 20 years ago. So we were shocked when we just had it appraised for insurance and it was valued at $115,000.

    Is there any etiquette for handling this? Do we tell them about the value? Do I offer to give it back? I have been wearing this ring (yes, uninsured–very dumb) for almost two years and I’m very attached to it. But I feel guilty stumbling into this unintendedly generous gift when there are several other siblings and cousins who had equal rights to it. Everyone knows that I have Grandma’s ring and have been sweet about hoping I wear it for a happy life, etc.

    • I can’t imagine offering to give it back. I just think there’s no gracious way to do that, and short of selling it there’s no way to divide it up. If you’re planning to wear and treasure it, and pass it down to your kids or other kids in your partner’s family, then I’d keep the value to yourselves.

      If you were planning to sell it, I’d have a different opinion, as then it feels more like an asset and less like an heirloom. And God forbid for some reason you are in a different life position some day for reasons of death or divorce, clearly the ring has to stay with your partner’s family.

      • Agree. Enjoy the ring, but understand that if something unthinkable happens the ring should stay in his family in most circumstances. And most definitely get it insured!

    • another ette :

      They must have had some inkling of its value. A thank you note and a few gracious words in person, with no mention of money, is appropriate.

    • Do you think they purposefully told you a lower value so you wouldn’t be freaked out? Maybe they had an idea of the value and didn’t want to make you uncomfortable.

      Just insure the crap out of it and wear it with love.

  46. Hi everyone, I’m looking for some advice- posted earlier but I think I messed it up somehow.

    I’ve been slowly revamping my wardrobe this year, after spending most of the last few years in button down shirts, trousers and clogs..somehow I felt that this had to be what I wore as a medical resident. Well, now I’m a fellow and trying to branch out more. I realized that I look better in dresses and skirts, but since winter’s coming, I have to look into warmer options.

    I think the trousers I used to buy just didn’t look good on me. I’m 5’1″ and very petite. What should I be looking for in trousers to make them look good? And should I just given up on button down shirts? I’ve never found any that look nice on me..

    • I love dresses and skirts, too! To be honest, I layer tights and leggings in cooler weather.

      I’ve learned some tips from others here that have been really useful:

      1. Double up on tights.
      2. Try fleece-lined leggings. (So awesome.)

      Depending on where you live, and how you commute, could you still wear dresses in winter? Winter dresses are my favorite–I have some silk lined ones I’d wear every day if I could.

      Some time ago, there was an awesome thread on what brands worked best for various body types. I wish I could remember when it was, because it was incredibly helpful.

      In trousers, I mostly pay attention to where the waistband sits relative to my hip bones, and then how closely they fit my thighs. I’m already a little absentminded, and I get jokes about it if I wear anything that isn’t closely tailored. I’ve always wanted to wear Katharine Hepburn style trousers, but I look disheveled if I wear anything wide-legged or any unstructured fabrics. What is it that you don’t like about your trousers?

    • If you like wearing dresses and skirts more have you considered pairing those same outfits with tights for the winter? You may still need to find some pants but I don’t think you should have to switch completely to them. I say keep the dresses and skirts going if thats what you think you look the best in, just add tights!

  47. anon online dater :

    Hi, all, might be too late in the weekend for this, but I thought I’d see if anyone’s around.

    I signed up for OK Cupid a couple of days ago, and I can’t figure out what I’m doing wrong, but I’m not making much progress. I get the usual “You have a nice smile” generic emails, but I’ve only gotten one normal, nice email from a guy who seems to have actually read my profile and commented on it.

    I’m dutifully emailing a couple of guys each day, and no one ever responds to me (which I guess is typical, but I’m just trying to stay active).

    I’ve had several friends read my profile and they said it’s great and sounds like me. My pictures are good, I think (one full-body in a cocktail dress, couple face close-ups, good hair/makeup, etc.). So what is it? Is this normal? I haven’t done this in a long time, so I guess I was expecting more interest. My friends say that you need to just be patient and check in every day and that sometimes it takes some time for things to heat up — is this true? I feel demoralized.

    • I am a halfway successful OKCer / internet dater – I’ve gone on a handful of okay dates, get plenty of legitimate messages, but still haven’t met anyone I’m all that excited about.

      To quantify (and honestly I don’t know if this is going to make me sound really sad because its below average, or like a humblebrag) I average 86 visitors a week (there was a good 4 month period where I didn’t log in and I don’t think showed up in too many search results), I get 1-3 messages per day, and I still haven’t worked up the courage to message people, so I have no idea if I’d be successful at that or what ratio of responses I’d get – probably pretty low.

      Out of the 7-20 messages I get per week, only one to four of them (and only *maybe,* in some weeks) are ones I bother to respond to, probably at least 3/4 of them are spammy or from obvious creeps, and the remainder comes from nice enough guys that I just am not interested in. I used to respond to everyone saying “Thanks for reaching out, but unfortunately I’m not interested,” but then I got a couple mean messages back so now I just don’t respond.

      I think a few things could be happening here:

      1) Location. If you aren’t in a major metropolitan area, there might just not be that many guys around to message or to message you. I would say part of the reason I get a bunch of messages is because OKC is pretty saturated in my area, there are plenty of people who live here and there are plenty of options in general, on and offline.

      2) General demographics. Where I am, OKC seems dominated by college-educated people in their 20s and 30s but I have coworkers in their 40s who have said they found it pretty useless for them since there aren’t many people in their age range on it. They prefer other sites, like match.com or eharmony. I think the (many) different sites vary by location in what demographic is represented on them, so make sure you’re on the right site.

      3) Time on the site. It seems like the more time you spend logged in and active on the site, the higher you come up on people’s searches and home page. Answering the “questions” is a good way to kill time in that respect and also gives you another thing to stalk when a guy messages you (I’ve disqualified a couple guys because of answers to the questions that made it clear to me we wouldn’t get along).

      4) Race. I say this as a minority female, the OKCupid team did a blog post on race in online dating and found that what race you are greatly impacts the number of messages you get, and the race of the people who send you those messages. I wish this wasn’t true but it is (http://blog.okcupid.com/index.php/your-race-affects-whether-people-write-you-back/)

      5) Profile. I think this is probably unlikely for you, because you said your friends have checked out your profile and liked it, but obviously if your profile is poorly written or the photos are unflattering, you’re less likely to get responses. I find shorter is better and I tried to stick a few sarcastic/joke-y comments into my profile so that it wasn’t just a dry, “Hi, my name is A, I work at B, I like to run, read and watch TV.”

      I think your views, messages, etc, will probably pick up and your friends are right – but I hope that helps!

      • anon online dater :

        Thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully. I think 1 and 2 are in my favor, but 3 is probably working against me (I log in daily, but I haven’t answered many of the questions and I don’t spend more than 15 minutes a day on the site). I was just surprised because I’ve done Match before and the volume of emails/visits seemed much, much higher than this (same profile and pics), but honestly, I expected that OKC guys were more my type and looking for someone my type. Maybe I’ll answer a few more questions and see where that leads.

        You probably aren’t missing out by not messaging people, since it seems to get me and my friends absolutely nowhere. The only dates that have ever worked out for us have been from guys that messaged us first. I’m all for equality in dating, but it seems like online dating is an area where traditional gender roles still apply.

        I’m going to just try to stick with it — guess I have nothing to lose. Good luck in your OKC pursuits!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I think it has a lot to do with location. It seems like different dating sites are more popular with certain crowds of people in different cities.

      As for OK Cupid, I think one of the things you should do is tweak your profile or answer some of the questions every couple of days. I could be wrong, but I think that puts you in the mix more when you show up as someone a person might be interested in.

      I had several friends read mine too, but once a friend’s boyfriend read it I was able to get a new perspective and make some changes. So I’d suggest having a guy read it if you haven’t already.

      Don’t feel demoralized though! It definitely seems like all you get is one word emails like “hey” from completely random people but then you’ll see one from somebody who has potential. Just keep at it.

  48. litigation to corporate? :

    Might be too late in the weekend, but I’ll try anyways. Have any ladies transitioned from lit to corporate in the junior associate years? Specifically, I do IP litigation (mostly trademark/patent) and was looking into transitioning into more of a licensing practice.

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