Weekend Open Thread

 J Brand 901 Waxed Legging Jeans Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

I can’t help it — I have always wanted a pair of leather pants. Did I watch too many ’80s music videos or something? Sigh, who knows. Sadly I know by now that actual leather isn’t the best — you swelter in it, it can squeak funny, and it’s super expensive. So I’ll be dreaming about some “waxed” legging/jeans like these cute ones from J Brand instead. They’re $194 at ShopBop. J Brand 901 Waxed Legging Jeans



  1. Moving On :

    Amidst competing priorities, is it ok to let some friendships go? I have some guy friends from grad school I am ambivalent about keeping in touch with. We have a lot of shared history, they can be fun, but they also can be kind of mean. I rarely see them as most have moved away from NYC. A few of them are visiting this weekend and I’ve found myself not wanting to make the (minimal) effort to meet them for a beer when I’d rather be cooking dinner at home and hanging out with my boyfriend. So I guess I have my answer, but conflicted feelings remain.

    • springtime :

      I think it’s okay -we only get so much free time, I think you should spend it with people you enjoy. I’ve let similar friendships die (fun, but can be mean to people) and it made me feel slightly better that I’m no longer validating their bad behavior.

      • S in Chicago :

        I don’t think it has to be all or nothing. I’m usually a “life is short” type who doesn’t believe in spending time on things that don’t make you happy. But you may find that keeping a minimal connection with them ultimately brings you happiness in the long term. I wouldn’t feel obligated to meet up if you’re not in the mood. However, I would still do minimal to keep in touch: Christmas card, occasional Facebook post, etc. People can really change and grow through the years. The mean bar boys often grow up to become loving fathers and husbands. Those shared memories or histories can sometimes be more pleasurable to look back on together after a few years go by and everyone has kind of settled a bit more into the people they’re becoming. You don’t say how old you are. But I’m now approaching 40, and I definitely hold more sentiment around some of my college and high school pals than I would have in my mid- to late 20s. They’re still not the friends I turn to with important stuff or meet for breakfast each month, etc. But the occasional update I read online or the once-every-few-years meeting always leaves me a little happier. (And yes, I have cut bait over the years with a few that seem on a track to dooshdom. You don’t sound like you generally dislike them though, which is why I’m encouraging giving some more time.)

        • allierose :

          S in Chicago, well said.

          • Moving On :

            This is nice to hear. You’re right, I don’t dislike them. They are interesting and funny and adventurous and I love to hear their travel stories. But I guess I’ve grown out of enjoying the “verbal sparring” that accompanies these meet-ups. My boyfriend is saint about coming along with me to all the family and friend events that are important to me (even when they are not enjoyable), and it feels wrong to subject him to the company of people who are only marginally important and can be at times unpleasant to be around. Context, boyfriend recently moved to NYC so part of this is just growning pains at merging our lives/friend groups.

        • Agree with this 100%. I sort of think of some of my guy friends as my “silver” friends. You know, my good female friends got a personal phone call when I got engaged, my guy friends got a mass e-mail. I e-mail my guy friends once every few months maybe when their sport team does well (or when they post something on facebook that’s funny) — that sort of thing. Its not that I don’t love them too, but its okay to keep degrees of friendships without completely abandoning them.

    • Moving On, I had similar feelings after finishing a managment training program. When you’re just out of a program, it feels like going “back to school” to keep in contact. However, we are 25 years out and just had a reunion. During those 25 years, the people from my group were the most helpful contacts when I needed help with a job search, and vice versa. So, if you can keep them for networking, you might get some benefit out of it in the years to come.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Don’t worry about it. People grow at different paces, and your life in just in a different place right now.

  2. Ladies, I’m anon for this sex related question. I am a lapsed Catholic, and have for most of my life dealt with sexual repression. Essentially, I think sex is shameful, and when I do indulge I have to pretend I’m someone else, or engage in fantasies that I’m being forced into it in order to be aroused. It’s starting to have a huge negative impact on my relationship, as I never really want to have sex, and only do it out of obligation. Of course that makes my husband feel fabulous. I think I’ve repressed my sexual desires so much that I have no interest in sex when I’m awake, but I have lots of sexual dreams so I know that it’s not an issue of no desire, just repressed desire.

    I find my husband attractive, I love him dearly, and I want to work on this issue. At the moment, I don’t have access to therapy, but I hope to at some point in the near future (and would welcome recommendations for virtual therapists or therapists in the SF bay area). In the meantime, can anyone recommend self-help resources for dealing with sexual shame, or tell me about how they were able to overcome their personal issues so that I can feel less hopeless that this will ever be resolved? I just feel that after 30 years of having these issues, the chances are I’m broken for life and will never find happiness around this.

    • I can’t give you a specific recommendation for a therapist in SF bay area (though it being SF and all, there must be one!) but have you read Dan Savage at all? He has dealt with issues like this in some of his columns and I think given some really solid advice. You can search his archives or honestly just start reading — it might just help you to see the full range of s&xual expression out there to start feeling more normal about your own s&xual expressions.

      Also — have you actually talked to your husband about this? I mean really honestly talked about it?

      • karenpadi :

        Second Dan Savage. I was raised Catholic; he was raised Catholic; he taught me everything I know about s#x. Dan isn’t great on female-specific issues but he is still very helpful.

        • Though he is good, when he gets a question about the ladygarden area that scares him (he is feint of heart in that area) to ask an expert. So there’s that.

      • I just had a big talk with him about it last night. I had complained to him that we weren’t having sex much, and he said “finally, you noticed.” Apparently I want to have sex only when I start to feel bad about not having enough sex, and he had stopped initiating because he felt that I wasn’t attracted to him, so basically we haven’t had sex in a month. I finally told him the nitty gritty details, and explained that I find him attractive I just feel so much shame about sex, and he told me that I have to commit to working on it but that he will fully support me in working on it. He also asked me to start masturbating so I can learn what I like. But I don’t masturbate, and the thought of it scares me. I feel like I owe it to him to at least try it….but….ewwwww. (And there goes my childhood fears again…)

        • Oh, sweetie. Get yourself a vibrator. You’ll enjoy it, I promise. Lie back with an erotic story and the vibe and it will be all right. And he can use it on you, too. Fun for everyone.

          • Oh, and you know what might be a good idea? They make c–k rings that have a vibrating bit on top that will hit you on your most sensitive area. That might make sex a lot more fun for you…

            (I am kind of wishing I’d gone anon for this. Hi, Corpor—e meetup ladies!)

          • We have a date night appointment to visit the local ladygarden toy store and buy one tonight. I will report back on whether I survived it! I have used one before in the past, and it “did the trick” if you know what I mean, but I always felt so bad after that I never really kept using it.

          • You felt BAD after using it!!! Don’t feel bad…feeeellll glorious (oh…and hi my meet-up ladies.) I’m not even ashamed.

          • Oh, Bluejay, we don’t think any less of you. I love it that you posted this.

          • No Sex Hangups Here :

            Please be careful of giving yourself party favors only with a v-i-b-r-a-t-o-r and not manually. You may “train” your body not to respond unless a battery is involved, and that could make things difficult for you later.

          • Oh, I know you don’t think less of me. I just usually don’t talk c–k rings with people I’ve exchanged business cards with.

            anonn- speaking as someone who used to go to Confession if I mast–bated, the whole s-x/self-pleasure/using toys/etc thing gets easier and less embarrassing the more you do it. And the rewards of a great s-x life are, well, great.

        • layered bob :

          I disagree with the posters suggesting you get a vibrator watch p0 rn or whatever – if you don’t want to and it doesn’t make you feel good, don’t.

          I also came from a sex-negative background (conservative evangelical) and when I tried to do things that I thought a liberated, sex-positive woman should do (m as tur bate, read erotica, etc.) I felt guilty. I knew I *shouldn’t* feel guilty, but I did. You can’t just stop feeling bad/uncomfortable by telling yourself, “And now I will do this very uncomfortable thing and feel good about it.”

          I read a lot about s3xual ethics from different theologians, and basically tried to re-set my brain/theology by thinking about s3x from a different angle. And then baby steps, pushing my comfort zone with things didn’t make me feel guilty… processing feelings along the way with a counselor who gets my religious background.

          I still don’t feel comfortable with toys or erotica or p 0rn, but I don’t think I have to be.

          • But how will she know if she doesn’t feel good if she doesn’t try it? I don’t think you have to feel comfortable either, but it’s good that you got to know what you do like by trying different things and discarding the things that didn’t work for you. I felt uncomfortable just like you did, but if I’d never tried those things, well, I’d still have a miserable sex life.

        • You know what? There are some really good resources that are both religion-positive and sex-positive. If you’re a practicing Christian and you think that would be useful, I’d suggest starting with “Sacramental Sex” by Matthew Boulten. It’s not erotica or anything, but argues that good sex has an important place in a long-term committed relationship.

          Good luck and good job for facing this issue and working on it.

          • Yep, that might be the place to start. Every religion says sex is part of marriage, and it’s not hard to find Christian ministers, even Catholic priests, who will say that enjoying it is a vital part of marriage. Heck, you might even want to start by talking with a priest if you are actually lapsed (as in, just stopped going to Mass) and not someone who made a clear decision to leave.

            I realized just as I finished college that I wanted sex to be about more than making babies, made an effort to be with more guys. A few years later I decided that hurt and I stopped it. But what I learned in that was to pay attention to how I feel about it. Now, I don’t know if your feelings and logic are so ridiculously tied together as mine are, but if so, you might want to do some slow and serious thinking about this, alone and with your husband, perhaps wearing something fetching but not so racy you feel guilty before the conversation even starts, and I do mean conversation. It might end in a wild romp, but maybe not. Just seems to me that the trust and connection you’d build that way would be the best place to start.

    • I’m also Catholic, not lapsed, but not in agreement with the magisterium on issues of human sexuality. It’s surprising that you feel this way even though you’re married. I don’t think that comes from Catholicism – Catholicism is all about married sex (and the resulting babies). If you had access to therapy, I think you’d benefit from exploring other possible sources of your sexual repression and finding a long-term solution. So maybe you should try to find a way to go to therapy. You aren’t broken for life.

      Having said that, I understand you don’t have access to therapy. My suggestion would be to try to find ways to make sex fun, and I don’t just mean the fun of having orga$ms. Get some toys. Act out some fantasies. Watch some woman-frendly p-rn with your husband. Get some lingerie that makes you feel hot. If you’re embarrassed by these things, do them anyway. You won’t die, and you’ll probably like them, and then it will be easier to keep doing them.

      Think of it this way: say you have body image issues, and you think eating cake is so, so bad that you only let yourself have low-fat, sugar-free cake. It doesn’t taste good! You don’t ever want to have it and it makes celebrating birthdays less fun! And so even though you’re terrified of getting fat from it, you finally go to a bakery and order a slice of genuine chocolate cake with a ganache topping, strawberries, the works. It’s amazing! And you like it! And you don’t get fat overnight! And suddenly you want to try it again next week! You get the point.

      • to Bluejay and Anonn :

        I had/have the same Catholicism problem, and have to say that getting married didn’t help. For two reasons, i think. First is that i married my husband after “living in sin” with him. And second, even if i hadn’t married him, i had to live with the 10+ years of having an active ladygarden-party lifestyle without being married and all the grief my mother gave me. So it has a long-lasting impact, even though i’m now married.

        • I just wanted to chime in and say that I think the Catholicism started my woes but I’m allowing them to continue. My misguided family taught me to be ashamed of my desires, and I lived in fear of them for so long, that now that I’m having married sex I can’t let go of the shame. Also I use birth control, so I am technically not having the kind of sex that is allowable under my former faith.

          However, I’ve known amazing Catholics who have found no conflict between their faith and ability to get it on. This is why I think that it’s not just my (past) faith, but something wrong with me that makes me feel afraid of my sexual desires.

          • There is nothing wrong with you – this is what you were taught.

          • I came across a website which could be of interest to you – google “Christian Nymphos”. It’s a tongue-in-cheek title but they do aim to address this myth that nice Christian ladies cannot be too keen on sex, and there are frank and open articles and discussions about what Christian women from all sorts of backgrounds do, in fact, very much enjoy with their husbands.

        • But you enjoy it, right? Because I had to think long and hard about whether it was ok to have ladygarden parties outside of marriage, but I’ve always enjoyed them. Feeling guilty isn’t the same as not wanting it at all.

          My mother, from whom I am mostly estranged, recently put on her judgy pants when I got an IUD and asked me if I really wanted to have a way to make it easier to have sex. Um, yes, mom, that was the point. And I’m in my 30s. She’d been married twice already by the time she was my age.

          • Bluejay, I’m curious how you have reconciled catholicism and sex outside of marriage. Care to elaborate?

      • e_pontellier :

        I find this really helpful. Thank you Bluejay.

    • I am so sorry. You are not alone. I am also in the Bay Area with serious, ongoing disinterest in ladygarden parties which is destroying my marriage, even though I deeply love my DH. He is supportive, but it’s really, really hard. Anonn, we are very, very fortunate to live where we do because there’s actually a medical practice at Stanford and another at UCSF that specialize in womens’ mental and physical challenges regarding ladygarden parties. Most doctors and therapists know *nothing* about this issue and will hurt more than they help, because general advice (just relax! drink some wine! have you tried the tub?) are entirely unhelpful. There are also a number of books published by licensed s3x therapists – see amazon. But honestly, books didn’t help me – reading case studies about other patients didn’t help because they weren’t ME. I needed a therapist to deal with my specific damages which are the root of this problem. And a regular therapist won’t cut it – you need one that’s licensed by the medical org that focuses on these issues (use Google – I can’t Google that at work) or vouched for by the Stanford or UCSF clinics.

      • Wow, anon, I had no idea! See this is why I come to this website! I’m going to look into this for the future when I have a bit more money and can afford therapy. In the mean time, I’ll check out books on Amazon. Would you be able to recommend some in particular…even though I know you mentioned they weren’t particularly helpful to you, maybe one that was closest to helpfulness?

        • I can’t Google this topic at work. There’s a medical org called Society for s3x therapy and research. Its members have written books which are available on Amazon. I imagine the org also has a website which lists its members publications and resources.

          Bluejay, I really enjoy your contributions here, but honestly, you don’t know what you’re talking about right now. It’s not a physical issue. Toys won’t help, and suggesting them as the solution will be especially upsetting if she musters up the courage to try the toy, it still doesn’t solve her mental issues, and she feels even more hopeless than before. I’ve been through this. It’s a deep-seated mental disorder. It’s not like cake for heaven’s sake. Blithe comments like yours, however well meaning, are actually very hurtful and insensitive. Anonn, be careful who you talk to about this – a lot of people’s advice is actually quite damaging.

          • You know, I’m speaking from personal experience, and based on the advice of my former therapist. So maybe you’re the one who doesn’t know what you’re talking about?

    • Anon with no xxx :

      Also going anon for this.

      While I am not Catholic, I also struggle with (not having) the desire to have sex. This is obviously impacting my relationship. Unlike the OP however, I do not feel any attraction to my partner. I don’t think it’s quite as simple as well, find a new partner you are attracted to, because I have gotten to a point in all of my relationships where I just shut sex down and have no desire. I am content to not have sex and will never push the issue. It has been about seven months now in my current relationship.

      I don’t think it is shame for me. I definitely think it is that I am incredibly uncomfortable with many aspects of the whole thing. Being naked, the pressure of doing it correctly, the pressure of making my partner happy, being naked, etc. The idea of sex sets my anxiety into high gear and literally paralyzes me. I will pretend to be asleep, go to bed before my SO, etc., in order to avoid it. Additionally, I do not think in the 16 years I have been sexually active I have ever had an orgasm. I attempted to masturbate at one point but just wasn’t into it and was kind of embarrassed about doing it at all.

      I have been to therapy in the past and was told I need to seek out a therapist that specializes in this area. I want to, and plan to soon in the future when I have better insurance.

      • anon from above :

        I could have written your post word for word, except that I have o’d in the past. Everything else exactly, especially the anxiety and embarrassment. The specialist clinic expects therapy will take a long time to fix it (she said a year, heaven help me), but it is fixable with medical assistance.

        • Anon with no xxx :

          Would you be willing to go offline and share where you are located, in the event we are near each other and that clinic might be helpful to me? anonwithnoxxx at gmail dot com

          • anon from above :

            I’m in the Bay Area. My doctors are at one of the two hospitals in the area that specialize in this issue (UCSF or Stanford). There is a sub-practice at each hospital that specializes, so calling that specific department will connect you to the right doctors. I understand there are specialists at a few of the other U.S. teaching hospitals connected to prominent medical schools as well. I hope one of them is convenient to you. Your friend, anon from above.

          • Anon with no xxx :

            Anon with no xxx – thanks! I looked into the university hospitals around me and it looks like Johns Hopkins has a similar program.

          • Anon with no xxx :

            I meant thank you anon from above – I did not mean to thank myself. Durr.

    • anon as well :

      On a separate but related topic, I stopped having interest in s*x drive for nearly a year and in my second week of couples therapy I learned that it was mild depression, or dysthymia. I started taking medication a few weeks ago and I’m finally starting to be interested again. I would encourage everyone to not settle for a relationship without s*x, and work on getting to the bottom of the problem.

      Kudos to you, anonn, for starting that journey.

    • K...in transition :

      PS if you’d be interested in online or phone therapy, email me and we’ll discuss making that work in a way that fits your schedule and gives you the privacy you need to talk about these feelings :) munchkin 1616 at juno dot com

    • Honey Pillows :

      Everyone has issues with s3x. Many, many, many women (and men!) avoid or dislike s3x for as many different reasons as there are positions. You are not alone! Even people who enjoy and willingly participate in the act have their hangups -am I too into it? Is my lady garden too dark? Too long? What if I don’t make it all the way? What if I want something different from my partner? Is it weird to want lady garden parties only in cars? What if I can’t enjoy myself unless my partner calls me Millie?

      Even more people feel uncomfortable with parties (lady garden or otherwise), and don’t try to fix it, because they just don’t believe it can be fixed, or they don’t believe they deserve to enjoy it.

      People gots issues.

      But people do deserve to enjoy their lady garden parties, and you’re working towards that, so yay! I’m really glad someone in San Fran sent you towards some medical help, and while therapy seems like the best route for you, trying to enjoy it on your own with toys, etc is a great start.

      I wish you the best of luck!

    • Another anon :

      Hi. I have very similar problems, which have resulted in my remaining a virgin well into my twenties. I did see a sex therapist briefly, about a year ago. She recommended that I read Great Sex, by Michael Castleman. It’s actually written for heterosexual men, but about half of the book addresses female sexuality, and there is a chapter on negotiating desire differences within a relationship. There is also a chapter about when sex is a challenge for the woman, which might be useful for you and your husband to read. My time with the therapist didn’t exactly solve my problem – I’m still mostly resigned to a party-free existence – but it did demystify some of it for me, as well as provide me with some helpful info about the many facets of human sexuality in a nonjudgmental way. Best of luck to you, and good for you for seeking help – I know this is a reeeeallly tough thing to talk about.

    • I am sympathetic to this, but am coming late to the post. I have a slightly different probelem. I will NOT have sex again until I am in a relationship where I have a RING, meaning at least engaged.

      To many men just want sex with no string’s and that is NOT good. I got burned in my last relationship b/c I NEVER got a ring or a promise for a ring and I felt USED when I broke up b/c he got alot more benefit then I did.

      I wish you all the best with your issue tho, as there are alot of peeple in the HIVE that have already given you good advise.

    • Anonnnnymous :

      OK, I’m just going to throw this out there because no one else has yet. Maybe, just maybe, your husband could indulge some of your nonconsent fantasies? If he’s got a dominant streak in him at all, perhaps letting him use it would help. You might enjoy the s*x more, and then could transition into more evenly balanced power scenarios, and ultimately get to where you’re up for initiating and taking control without shame.

    • This is such a hard thing to bring up (for a lot of us) but I’m glad you did and I hope the suggestions from other posters have been helpful. I’m a lapsed Catholic, when I was in college I left the church for feminist reasons, and had a handful of relationships that were fulfilling, hot, and multi-o in bed. And I was okay, delighted with this, no shame.

      Then I met my now-husband, and I knew right away I was going to marry him. Knowing that this was my husband-to-be (who was also Catholic), for me brought back all the guilt and shame and shyness that I’d shed earlier, and with that, my ladybits would shut down. Because now this is Serious. Playtime is over. It’s hard to go with the flow and pay attention to sensation if you’re all caught up in your head worrying about this that and the other. I feel like I’ve had to relearn how to communicate about my desires and be playful in sex with my husband. It’s taken several years but now we’re at a place where we’re a lot more playful and I’m much more relaxed. Good luck to you!

  3. Chicago meetup! :

    Chicago meetup planning continues! We got some great suggestions for location this morning. Let’s keep them coming. On Monday, I’ll put together a few concrete suggestions and we can vote on different options.
    Terry (ChicagoC o r p o r e t t [email protected])

    • allierose :

      Whatever will I WEAR????

      • I know! It’s a toughie. At least we know what we’ll talk about when we get there.

    • allierose :

      If we want to go west a little bit, there is a great new place at Grand (1123 West) and May called TWO. Comfortable space, huge selection of craft beer and wine. Also Townhouse on Wacker, I think at Madison or Monroe.

      • Backgrounder :

        Soo many good places in Chicago! Townhouse is at Monroe and Wacker literally steps from my office :) Also would recommend rooftop at III Forks which is a little further east.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      As a suburb worker, who lives in the city – can we schedule for 6 or 6:30, and do we have any dates yet?

      • I’m going to post a few date options and time options on Monday and we can vote. I can’t speak for others, but I plan to be there for a few hours. When we settle on a location I’ll look into parking options. (Actually, I’m a reverse commuter too. !$#@! the Stevenson.)

    • yay!

  4. Hi ladies,

    Does anyone have a recipe for homemade granola (or muesli) that isn’t full of sugar? I’m so tired of the oversweetened store bought granola and muesli, and I figured I should be able to make a healthier version myself.


    • Motoko Kusanagi :

      This is super easy to DIY. Mix together oats and whatever other ingredients you enjoy in your granola (spices, nuts, dried fruits, etc). Add a small amount of honey. Spread out on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and bake at 350 until “done”.

      With the honey – start small, and work up. You’ll figure out what ratios work for you.

      • agreed! Don’t add oil, it makes it go stale faster. I always add about 1/2 cup honey to about 6 cups oats.

      • What kind of oats? Does it matter?

        • Nope! Well, not steel-cut. Old-fashioned is best but the “quick” works too. I also bake mine at 250 for about an hour or so, stirring about halfway through.

      • Motoko Kusanagi :

        Any regular oats (not instant).

      • You can also spray with cooking oil or spritz with canola oil in addition to the honey if you prefer crispier granola.

    • Or, if you want something store-bought that isn’t full of crap, look for Dorset Cereals. I am a big fan and often have a small bowl for breakfast mixed with yoghurt and a little honey.

    • Anastasia :

      Oooh, I love homemade granola! You can modify things however you like with your favorite nuts/seeds as long as you basically keep the wet:dry proportions fairly consistent. Dried fruit and chocolate chips can be added to anything, too. This is the recipe I make most often, which makes cruchy bars/ crumbly granola. (I refrigerate it in a ziplock bag, it always lasts until it’s gone. Never heard about the oil spoilage thing before.)

      3 1/2 cups regular oats, uncooked
      1/2 cup each: flaked coconut, sliced almonds, wheat germ
      1/4 cup each: chopped cashews, chopped pecans, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds
      1/2 cup honey
      1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
      1/4 cup vegetable oil
      1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
      1 teaspoon vanilla extract

      Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl; stir well, and set aside.

      Combine honey, brown sugar and oil in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sugar dissolves and mixture is thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; add peanut butter and vanilla extract, stirring until peanut butter melts. Pour honey mixture over oats mixture; stir well. Mixture will be dry at first; continue stirring until moist.

      Press mixture into a greased 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan. Bake at 250 degrees F for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into bars while warm. Let cool completely in pan.

      Here’s one that’s a little bit different and chewier, but also delicious. http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/easy-granola-bars/detail.aspx

      • It might just be my taste, I don’t like the “old oil” taste it can get. Keeping in the fridge would probably eliminate the risk of that, though.

    • Praxidike :

      Try the SmittenKitchen granola bars/chewy granola bars recipes. I will link them in the next comment to address the moderation issue.

      • Praxidike :

        Granola Bars:


        Thick and Chewy Granola Bars:


        I’ve made both, and both are delicious. Obviously they don’t have to be made into bars and can just become regular granola if you don’t press them into a bar shape and, instead, just bake the unformed granola on a rimmed baking sheet until crispy.

    • The simple answer to replacing oil and sugar/ honey/ liquid sweeteners is pureed fruit. I like mashed bananas myself (easy) but google David Lebovitz for an actual recipe. I’ve actually adapted from this one and find it works fine with my bananas plus a tablespoon of oil plus a tablespoon of honey.

    • Thank you so much for the recommendations everyone!

  5. Family Drama :

    I’m a semi-regular poster, but I felt like I needed an anon for this.

    I wrote back in March about contemplating cutting off all contact with my sister, who has been emotionally and physically abusive.

    I cut her off, but not 100.000%. That meant answering trivial questions if she needed me too, trying to be courteous when I had to associate with her, and just civil behavior (well, my best attempt to be civil- I did get angry with her a couple of times). She lashed out when I wasn’t engaging with her as much anymore, told nasty lies about me to people (whatever), and continued on with her life.

    As of sometime in the spring, she got a job offer in a city that’s a flight/quite far away (not related- but I feel like someone was looking out for me when that happened!). She spent the summer being as emotionally destructive as possible at my parents house, through texting, you name it. It all came to a head when she had a going away party which resulted in work colleagues finding out about her true nature, cops being called, drugs being found, and every other piece of drama you can think of. I stupidly went to this party out of guilt but had the good sense to catch a cab before a lot of this happened. I was, though, informed about the aftermath by her and other people I am friends with.

    Long story short, she’s lashed out at everyone- think wishing people dead, calling people sl*ts, jealous, ugly, threats, etc. I revived my position that I am not willing to speak with her on any level until things change, which I don’t expect for months, if not years, to come. She has now threatened to call and/or email people at my workplace to say I said nasty things about them. She also throws out general emotional threats, and some threats of physical behavior (but not now since she’s left my city).

    Is this at the point where I need more intervention than ignoring? At first I was really upset- it felt like she had died, that my sister was lost and gone forever. I “mourned” her “death” for a few weeks. Recent messages make me even more concerned it’s more than just jerky behavior- it’s a sign of mental health issues, or even drug issues- and I feel like wallowing isn’t going to protect me. Do you ignore? Take action? Cry? Any help would be wonderful.

    Also- I love those pants :).

    • Therapy. With a counselor who is qualified in drug issues. You can’t know (and maybe won’t ever know) but they may be able to give you guidance on how to cope with this under those circumstances. Also, please PLEASE consider the possibility of needing a restraining order. People who are addicted to drugs/alcohol can go from 0 to dangerous pretty quick. the fact she’s already threatening you via your workplace is concerning. Same goes for your parents. Seriously.

      Not a therapist, but it could be some combo of drugs and mental health issues as well. You and your family need to figure out what the goal is for her (rehab, inpatient therapy, whatever) and work out a plan with the help of a qualified individual. Best case, she’s being an overdramatic brat and will cut the sh*t pretty quick once she realizes you all are serious about cutting her out. Worse case scenario it’s something major, but you uncover it and start dealing with it.

    • I wonder if going to an al-anon or the equivalent for N.A. might help. If there are drug-related issues, these groups could help you with how to navigate your relationship.

    • K...in transition :

      Contact the local police and file a restraining order for harassment. This means that, if she contacts you or your job, you will have legal options AND you will be able to save face by simply telling those contacted that this is a person from whom you have a restraining order. (Preventing them from thinking you’re inviting the drama into the work place.)

      As for you, choose a therapist and go! You are in a mentally abusive relationship and you deserve better.

    • You said drugs were found at the party – what sort of drugs? And then why do you note at the end “or even drug issues,” as though you’re not sure she’s using drugs?

      • springtime :

        E, coke, you name it (i wasn’t there, but was verified by two people and my sister). It’s her bf that uses them and deal them, so that’s why I’m not sure SHE is using them too.

        • She is using. Sorry, but no one who isn’t using drugs is dating someone who deals and uses coke and “you name it.” You need to start protecting yourself and your family and work with a qualified therapist ASAP. I’m sorry to be so blunt.

          • Anon for this :

            She probably is using, but it’s definitely too broad a brush to say that if someone’s SO is using/dealing, they must be too.

            I had an ex boyfriend who used, and eventually dealt, meth. I didn’t know it until we’d been dating awhile, and by then I was ‘in love’ with him, and thought I could fix it all. I’m sure I made some bad choices in prioritizing ‘fixing him’ over other things, but I never touched drugs.

  6. momentsofabsurdity :

    I can’t be the only one who thought of this when I saw Kat’s pick for the weekend…


    • Well…since that’s what I think of WHENEVER I see leather pants. Yes. That’s what I thought of.

    • You are not the only one, I thought of that IMMEDIATELY. And, I have actually wanted leather pants for a long time, but everytime I look at some I giggle thinking of this episode. ;o)

    • “The lotion and the powder have made a PASTE!”

    • Add me to the list of people who knew what that link was of before clicking it!

    • That, and The Leather Man skit from SNL with Jimmy Fallon.

    • You all realize we did this the last time Kat posted leather pants, right?

      Only that time it just descended into us quoting OTHER Friends episodes at each other and giggling in our offices. So…….. READY GO.

      • Ha, I don’t remember that.
        Altho, I do remember that we often launch into long Friends quoting threads…. my fave is still the one with the couch on the stairs… Pivot….. Pivooot…. PIVOT…. PIIVVOOOOOTTTT…

      • “Monica, I’m Scared!”

      • Its Chanandler BONG.


        Actually, its Mrs. Chanandler Bong.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Rachel: No accountants. And no one from legal either. I don’t like guys with boring jobs.

        Chandler: Oh and Ross is what, a lion tamer?

        • momentsofabsurdity :

          Oh and one of my favorites:
          Joey: Oh my god .. How much do you weigh, Ross ?

          Ross: I prefer not to answer that. I’m still carrying a little holiday weight.

        • TO lawyer :

          haha I’m now giggling to myself…

      • Woods-comma-Elle :

        “you have great hair”
        “thanks, u grow it myself”

    • Thank you for causing me to waste an afternoon watching this and other Friends videos on youtube.

  7. Someone posted yesterday about shoes for ladies with larger feet. PSA: I ordered these Women’s Ashby heels from lands end (link to follow) and they arrived today. I normally wear a size 11 shoe and have relatively wide feet, but the 11s were TOO BIG. So if you are an 11/12, you may want to check these puppies out. 25% off and free shipping makes them $75. AND THEY COME IN PURPLE!

    I happen to love Lands End, since everything is forever returnable AND you can return in-store at a Sears.

    • http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-ashby-essential-high-heel-shoes~243113_-1.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::ADH&CM_MERCH=IDX_women-_-shoes&origin=index

  8. Ladies, I could use some wedding gift help. One of my very best friends is getting married and has no registry, just a honeymoon fund. I’d like to get her something personal/sentimental (along with a contribution for the honeymoon). She’s not really huge into cooking/domestic stuff, but her & her fiancé like food, traveling, going out. I’d prefer to get them a “thing” rather than an experience… Any ideas?

    • This is sort of on the thing/experience line but what about a gift certificate for a service that will make them a nice album of their honeymoon photos? Or, since they like travel, they could use it for a different trip.

    • Luggage? Travel guides to wherever they’re going on their honeymoon? Something they can use on the honeymoon (totally depends where they are going)? Photo frame for pictures?

      Could you do something for/at the wedding? One of my favorite wedding gifts was DH’s uncle, who offered to be our videographer during the event. His wife couldn’t attend so he was solo anyway and made a GREAT video. Plus, he had a blast doing it.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Nice luggage is one of those things you rarely buy for yourself, but always wish you had. I second this.

    • allierose :

      Are they wine people? A really special bottle with a note to drink it on their tenth or twentieth anniversary? I think it is what you say with the gift that counts. I am looking around my house right now and although I recognize a number of items as wedding gifts, I am ashamed to say I don’t remember, for the most part, who bought them for me. I do, however, still have the note my best friend sent me on the occasion.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Giant hideous tacky vase from a tag sale, with A collection of Louis Vuitton city guides inscribed with thoughtful messages about their future.

      Passport holders with their initials intertwined on them

    • I love giving the Love print from Jones Design Company- “The Greatest of these is Love.” It’s beautiful, but subtle. I’ve also given nice albums- the one I like is an “Anniversary album” it has space for a picture and a few lines of what the couple did/was important to them that year. It’s honestly the only scrapbook type of thing I’ve ever been able to maintain! Or, a nice set of champagne flute and a bottle of Schramsberg.

    • This isn’t really a “thing,” but what about writing her a letter (on fancy stationary!) telling her how much she means to you, how much you love her spouse-to-be, why you think they make a great couple, and your hope that you stay close as you grow older. I think if you give specific examples/memories of your times together and of her spouse, it will be a really meaningful gift. (And I wish I had thought of doing this for my BFF when she got married!)

    • Do you know where they are going for their honeymoon? I know you would rather get something, but arranging for a service like a dinner on the beach or couples massage beforehand might be just as good if they would not do that for themselves.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Not sure what your friend’s style is, but a unique and beautiful wedding portrait might fit the bill.

      If she would like it, think outside the box: papercut portraits, graphic maps, their initials and date burned into a tree sculpture. My personal favorite is the handcut fingerprints. (Links to follow to avoid moderation)

      Also creative, definitely a “thing,” and flexible, would be something small and luxurious but necessary.

      If they’re “into” coffee, a Chemex carafe with a year’s coffee subscription would fulfill both the “thing” requirement and give them something to enjoy together. I’d recommend Intelligentsia coffee -they are amazing, if pricey.

      Alternately, a set of gorgeous, luxurious, embroidered towels with their initials would be an amazing gift (provided they haven’t just bought themselves a set of their own luxurious towels). (Sorry for the length -hope this helps!)

      • Honey Pillows :


      • Honey Pillows :

        Grr moderation.


      • Honey Pillows :


      • Honey Pillows :


      • Honey Pillows :


    • There are some classic albums with great titles which are perfect for this kind of gift-giving – Frank Sinatra’s Songs for Young Lovers, Dinah Washington’s For Those in Love and a couple of others. The tunes are wonderful and easily enjoyable regardless of musical preferences, and the price will usually be right if you’re already giving $$ in some other form.

  9. 2/3 attorney :

    Anyone feel like doing some fashion hunting as this Friday afternoon d r a g g g s on? I like the tie-neck blouses I have been seeing everywhere for fall, but why are they all 100?! This jcrew version is beautiful, but something more like $40 would be my price range. I am thinking ivory-ish, with short sleeves (long sleeves are always too short for me). Anyone have a suggestion?


    • This is not helpful to your request at all, but my eyes just about popped out of my head when I saw the price tag on that J. Crew blouse. $110?! For rayon?! J. Crew’s always been on the pricey side, but I feel like they’ve gotten totally out of control lately with crazed, inconsistent sizing, constantly diminishing quality, and seriously inflated prices. Oh, J. Crew, you hurt my closet’s heart because I can barely justify even shopping you on sale these days.

      • Ditto to everything you said. I love the JCrew style, but find it increasingly frustrating to shop there. I leave the store empty handed more and more these days.

        • Likewise. I try to treat looking at their stuff as more like magazine thumbing now, because I’m so consistently disappointed these days with the quality. Fooey on J. Crew.

      • MissJackson :

        The really weird this is that the polka dot version is exactly the same…. except it’s silk instead of rayon… and it only costs $8 extra dollars.

        I <3 J Crew to the point of absurdity, but I won't buy anything there unless it's on sale + an extra percentage off because those kind of prices for rayon are insane (as is pretty much their entire pricing strategy).

        • MissJackson :

          thing, not “this” — sorry for the late Friday afternoon typos!

          here’s the link to the polka dot version: http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/shirtsandtops/blouses/PRDOVR~16313/16313.jsp

        • Honey Pillows :

          Speaking of polka dots… cashmere polka dot crewneck sweater? LOVE.

          Any other suggestions for cashmere/merino polka dot sweaters if indeed The Crew’s quality has fallen so pronouncedly?

          • Dead Quote Olympics :

            Just to add to what others have said — I love my older j crew cashmere sweaters but send two back last winter because of the quality (and they were on sale, too — there was no way I would have paid full price for them). I’ve gotten better quality cashmere from TJ Maxx! I have no recs for polka dots, but I’ve been mulling ordering from Pure Cashmere http://www.us.purecollection.com. I believe they are somehow connected to Boden. I have yet to meet cashmere that lives up to my ancient Lord and Taylor label cashmere that I wash in the washing machine (delicate, in a new front loader, in a lingerie bag, but still). Those t-necks are soft, thick, and indestructible!

            Polka dots– maybe this Nordies one? http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/halogen-dot-print-cardigan/3308194?origin=category&cm_ven=Linkshare&cm_cat=partner&cm_pla=10&cm_ite=1&siteId=J84DHJLQkR4-vyYiZeHniPgXbaxDPfL.rw

          • MissJackson :

            I love it, too, but I won’t pay that price for something that isn’t really a classic. However, apparently there is a “secret sale” on cashmere in b&m j crew stores through Monday. “Secret sale” meaning there aren’t any signs up, but if you ask a sales associate they should know about it. All full price cashmere is 25% off.

            I think a “secret sale” is crazy weird, but there you have it.

            To satisfy my polka dot sweater craving, I just bought the Old Navy cotton version. It’s ON, so obviously “higher quality” was not my aim, but since it was $20 with a promo, I’m not terribly worried about it. And, I bought the polka dot Tippi — for what it’s worth, I think that J Crew’s 100% merino sweaters hold up nicely. It’s the cashmere/nylon/merino blend sweaters that really suck. I haven’t actually bought J Crew cashmere in quite awhile so I can’t speak to quality there.

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Totally agree. I bought the Super 120’s suit online recently, and the skirt arrived with a fallen hem! Are you kidding me? Not so super, j crew. I took it straight to the store to have their tailor fix it. Very disappointing. For the price of that suit, it would seem to be better quality!

      • J. Crew is counting on its consumers having strong associations with the brand that we won’t notice inferior quality. I recently recommended the Sophia dress to a friend – I wore it in a wedding just 3 years ago. Mine was 100% silk and cost about $200. The same dress is now the same price but 100% polyester. Shenanigans!

        • Honey Pillows :

          WHOA. That is really dismaying. I have a silk cardigan from The Crew from… oh jeeze, 10 years ago, that’s still going strong.

          I’ve bought some suits in the past few years that seemed to be of the same good quality, but I’m saddened to hear how the quality has fallen.

        • Seriously? I used those dresses for my bridesmaids a few years back and they were lovely heavy silk that was well priced for the quality. So annoyed to hear they’ve changed to polyester – esp. since I’ve recommended that dress to loads of people!

    • i was just on the limited’s website investigating my comment below, it looks like they have lots of tie-neck blouses with short sleeves that are similar to your j.crew pick, but i don’t see any in ivory-ish

    • Forever 21 has a few cute blouses last time I checked but not ivory or short sleeved. This appears to fit the bill though it is sleeveless. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/charter-club-top-sleeveless-bow-blouse?ID=696185&CategoryID=255&LinkType=PDPZ1

    • Receiving one from BR this afternoon! They have 30% of everything right now, which should put it in your price range, I’ll see if I can find the link.

    • I have ordered things from eshakti before and while their quality is somewhat inconsistant I usually like what I get. They have an ivory tie neck blouse for $44, and if you sign up, you get a $20 coupon off your first order (it used to be no minimum purchase, but I can’t swear to that now since I haven’t checked). All of their clothes are customizable, so while this one is longer sleeves, you canorder it with a variety of sleeve lengths. Returns are easy too.


    • New York and Company has some available for less than $50. I prefer the sleeveless version because of the odd way the sleeves end on the other version.

      Link to follow.

      • Sleeveless: http://www.nyandcompany.com/nyco/prod/Sale/Buy-1-Get-1-50-Off/Blouses/Sleeveless-Bow-Neck-Blouse

        Sleeved: http://www.nyandcompany.com/nyco/prod/Sale/Buy-1-Get-1-50-Off/Blouses/Houndstooth-Bow-Neck-Blouse

      • Just got back from New York & Co and I rescind my recommendation. The print is really nice in person, but the fabric is horrendously flimsy. I wouldn’t even pay $10.

    • Research, Not Law :

      I saw one in Lands End’s newest catalog, available in “sand bar” for $60. They frequently have sales/codes. http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-short-sleeve-bow-front-blouse~242213_59.html

      It looked much cuter in the catalog than it does online…

      • Ekaterin Nile :

        Ha! I bought this Lands’ End shirt a couple of weeks ago and have received tons of compliments on it. And it’s machine washable!!!

      • I just saw in a Lands End Canvas email, they have jumped on the polka dot train as well! So, if you’re lookin for “the dots” check em out!

    • So expensive!

    • Legally Red :

      Thanks for reading my mind and asking this! I am on a similar hunt. :)

  10. DC ladies,

    I’m hoping you can help me identify a good make-up consultant in the area – I’m thinking a specific person at Nordstrom, Sephora, Bloomingdale’s, etc that I could go to and get some new product. I wear very little make-up generally, but am almost out of what little I do have and could use some professional help moving forward. In short, I’m in my early 30s and it would be nice to start looking like an adult.

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • No specific person in mind, but I have had luck at Bluemercury in Georgetown

    • Seconding Bluemercury, but I go to the one in Dupont.

      • Thirding Bluemercury, but the salespeople at the Dupont one were completely rude to me on more than one occasion. The people at the Farrugut one are much nicer.

    • locomotive :

      I love the NARS counter salespeople at Nordstroms at tysons.

    • This is going to sound so creepy, but I can’t remember this woman’s name. I went to the NARS counter in Nordies @ Pentagon City and there was a young woman (tallish, white/paler complexion, dark hair) with great makeup. Very helpful, took her time, and showed me every step of how to achieve the look I was going for. She wasn’t pushy about products and wasn’t only pushing nars products. She was a big fan of smashbox primer. If I think of it I will repost, but she was SO helpful

  11. has anyone sen the foulard-print dress at the limited in person? is it awesome or tacky? link to follow.

  12. (former) Clueless Summer :

    Ladies…if your firm/workplace had a social/cocktail hour with booze and snacks provided, what sort of snacks would you like to eat? (examples of what we’ve had before include sushi platters, pizza, spring rolls/asian appies, etc.) Just looking for creative ideas!

  13. http://www1.macys.com/shop/product/elementz-blouse-short-sleeve-button-down?ID=701528&PartnerID=LINKSHARE&cm_mmc=LINKSHARE-_-4-_-30-_-MP430&LinkshareID=J84DHJLQkR4-Lh2Zecy2vHudClB3JHWGvQ

    This is the best I can find in that price range. You’re right – they ARE pricey!

  14. T. McGill :

    Does anyone have any recommendations for a post-pregnancy support band/girdle? Do they actually work at permanently sucking in the stomach/waist/hips? Thanks in advance!

    • Research, Not Law :

      Are you looking for figure enhancement or abdominal support?

      I had diastasis recti so badly after my second pregnancy that I needed something just to keep me upright. I got a post-surgical band from the hospital pharmacy – essentially the same thing as a belly bandit, but white and only $8.50. It saved me. While it kept everything in, it added bulk, so it wasn’t a figure-flattering option. I definitely believe that it helped get my abs somewhat back in line (I went from being able to put my entire hand into my abdomen to “only” a two-finger gap from rib to pelvis). I only wore it for maybe two weeks immediately post-partum. After that, I was in a place where I could approach the issue using exercises.

      If you’re just looking for belly skin trimming, I’d look at normal shapewear. I’ve hear of “Lunbarwear” brand that are supposedly oriented towards post-partum, but have no experience.

    • I have a friend who said the belly bandit worked great for her. She’s also a runner and swimmer and was in fabulous shape pre-pregnancy. I think that had a lot more to do with it.

      I bought one, but it was so hot in August and September after my baby was born that I couldn’t stand to wear it. So, maybe a better option if you have a baby in cooler weather.

      • T. McGill :

        I’m looking for figure slimming and abdominal support. I can’t tell if it’s because I’m just lazy, or the weight of my chest (I’m nursing), or weak abdominal muscles, but I feel like I’m slouching and hunching my shoulders all the time. I’ve been hearing good things about the belly bandit, so maybe I will give it a try.

        • Miss Rumphius :

          No personal experience, but a friend of mine really liked her Bellefit and said it made an immediate difference from both a posture and figure slimming perspective.

    • I wore one for about two weeks after my c section. It is called a dale abdominal binder and you get it at the pharmacy. That is to support muscles post surgery.

      For slimming the tummy, in asia, we use massage and also the traditional belly binding.

  15. K...in transition :

    So frustrated with the job… don’t get me wrong, it’s a job and it’s at a school so the hours/vacation are great. But it pays the same as unemployment (once you account for gas spent commuting) and, after spending 9 mos telling myself to just hold on financially until a job came, every minor thing at work now feels bigger because I’m no better off now in my bank account while I’m up at 6 and dealing with work stress than I was when I was on my couch job hunting in my sweats. I guess there isn’t really a point to this except to vent but man, I hope a VA job comes someday so I’m making solid money and feel like going to work is financially worth it!

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Hang in there, K! Always good to have more experience on your resume, and to get back into the rhythm of working before VA comes along. Maybe run “experiments” on how you like to manage yourself, organize yourself, etc – basically, what is the very best way for K to work at her best? Then, when VA comes along, you’ve already been “training” to be the very best K at the VA you can be and you can hit the ground at full sprint of awesomeness. Also, yoga?

      • K...in transition :

        It’s certainly an exercise in restraint and in learning to accept the mediocre around me when I’m not in a position to change those things. I guess my biggest frustration is that I’d been planning to live off the same unemployment income amount and use the rest to pay off the debt from my pup’s vet bills earlier this year and maybe even be able to save enough to buy myself small diamond earrings (something I’ve wanted since I was about 15) for my upcoming 30th birthday. Knowing that I now have to probably take in a roommate and can’t afford to run through McD’s without crunching numbers and certainly won’t be paying down the debt any time soon AND being surrounded by some mediocre work just makes me a little batty.

        (disclaimer: Not calling anyone mediocre as a person, but the pay rate being so low means the boss knows hiring is tough, so being fired is all but impossible, leading some/many to slack a whole lot, doing mediocre work.)

        • Woods-comma-Elle :

          Ugh, sorry to hear about this, hugs and hang in there. It is usually easier to get a job if you already have a job although I appreciate being at work severely limits time spent hunting. But, it may be a good thing in the long run even though it sucks financially!

    • Wasn’t it you that posted an article about yourself on here recently? Be careful what you link to…

      • While Hmm’s comment below was far too harsh, I agree with other-anon: be careful, K!

        • agreed. my cousin works in the same field and area as you now and reads this site (hello!). She would never be in a position to fire you, but if you were my coworker and I read that, I would definitely have a different/negative opinion of you. For every 100 people that comment, there’s 400 that read and don’t comment.

    • I’ve gone back and forth about whether this is constructive and worth sharing with you, and I’m still not entirely sure. But this is about the 50th time I’ve had this thought, so here goes nothing.

      So much of what you post about yourself suggests that your life isn’t really in a very good place. None of it is necessarily your “fault,” but I do have the feeling you have a lot of growing and maturing to do. This is true for many people here. But when you then offer out your services as a remote therapist/counselor, I just can’t see you being the right person for the job.

      • I agree with this. And I say it out of a place of love which is why I’ve never said it before, I didn’t want to come out wrong. But you seem unable to handle small things that go wrong, and it becomes this big mountain. I have a friend like you (who I love) but she does the same thing, its a bit of a persecution complex almost.

        • K...in transition :

          Wanna know a secret? Therapists and social workers are people too. We have marital issues and fights with our kids and annoying parents and the whole bit. Another secret? This site is meant to be a supportive community, a place to share and to vent and to celebrate and everything in between. I’m sorry to spoil whatever amazing image you have of the perfect lives a person should have in order to be qualified to help others, but man, do I wish the diplomas and licenses came with some magic wand making me immune to the whole deal! ;)

          • That’s all true, but at the same time, there are a lot of things that shouldn’t be shared with people with whom you are seeking to develop a professional relationship. I am an investment management professional, and there is simply no way I’d share messy details about my personal life (e.g., relationship problems and icky health issues) like I do here and then ask people to trust me with their money. It shows a lack of professionalism and good sense.

            There’s something honest and admirable about posting everything under your same handle, but for me, I just shake my head every time I see you soliciting clients on here. You’ve probably drummed up some business from people who feel differently – more power to you – but to the extent you ever want to focus more seriously on private practice, my advice would be to maintain an online presence that first and foremost conveys your qualifications and professionalism.

          • K, I agree its a place to vent and a supportive community. No one has perfect lives. I think hmm was saying its different complaining as much as you do and the way you do it when people know your identity is different. Like if I do it 5 times under different names, no one realizes its the same person. when you do it, its starting to be like, ok K we get it, everything is awful. And its always like “just when I thought I would catch a break, this happens” Its your attitude about the bad things, like the universe is conspiring against you. So in summary, its the way you complain about it, and then offer your services. Hmm isnt saying (i dont think) that you can’t be a good social worker if bad things happens. Its that you personally dont seem to be able to handle the bad things that happen to you in a productive normal way, which I would not share if you want to do therapy work with clients from here.

            You seem like a lovely friend and sweet person, but I totally see the point hmm was making here. Theres another poster who I really, really like whose resume I saw a few months ago. But she admits she spends all her time at her job on here and doing her blog and stuff. I really think people forget that if you reveal your identity, you have to assume some of your colleagues are in the crowd and plan accordingly.

          • Okay, ladies, time to stop piling on. She has stopped reading and this is getting out of hand. Despite the fact that she has absorbed three major hits in the past year (job, relationship, pet with attending financial disaster), K has, until recently, remained positive and has continued to offer helpful advice here no matter what was going on with her. Unfortunately, her recent move, which seemed like the best choice at the time, has been a pretty souls*cking experience. To go from great job and great life in NYC to what she’s dealing with now would throw anyone. She has never set herself up to have a private practice. It’s something she has done on the side and only offers where it seems appropriate. In fact, this time, I suggested it to her. So go ahead, attack me.

          • Nola, I know your real life friends with her but I think both comments were meant in a loving way. K has posted many comments where she gets a hundred “hugs” and best wishes comments. I think people are giving some constructive criticism, and that is valuable too. When you post so much of your life, I think u need to take the critisim and the positive together

          • I get what you’re saying, cc, but there is such a thing as kicking a person when she’s down and it’s not called for.

      • Tired Squared :

        Poster Hmm, I think you’re right — that some of K’s posts do sound like her life isn’t really in a very good place. But I feel like that’s part of the reason we all comment — to ask for advice, to vent, etc.

        I also disagree on the “right person for the job” part of your comment. First, I think that choosing someone for therapy is a very personal choice, since we all have different personalities and preferences. Second, K seems to be a rather positive person, and she seems very willing to help the people that she reaches out to. She might not be the right person for you, and since I haven’t used her services, I don’t know if she would be the right person for me — but she could certainly be the right person for someone else.

    • Blue state :

      Man, this is the kind of comment that is like red meat for Republicans. I am glad you feel safe enough to share that thought–it is a testament to this online community.

      I can see lots of positives to your current situation. Let me offer five possible ones:

      1. Unemployment insurance eventually runs out.
      2. It is easier to find a new job when you are already working.
      3. Your being in this job now will pay dividends down the road, in the medium and likely long term, because your resume will not be blank for this time.
      4. Besides filling a blank on your resume, you are keeping skills sharp, maybe learning new skills, creating a network with your new colleagues (who I realize you may not think highly of, but you never know who they know or have worked with in the past), and you are getting out of the house and seeing people face to face each day.
      5. Presumably you are helping people — this is worth a lot of karma and hopefully the importance and value of your work provides additional motivation and sense of accomplishment.

      As for the diamonds earrings, I hear you. I have read on this board that it is easy to tell fakes from real. I can’t, and I am happy with my Ann Taylor CZs, which I probably wear 3 times a week. Good luck!

      • K...in transition :

        agreeing with everything and was venting, not at all saying I’d rather be on unemployment than work, simply that the income difference isn’t as high as I’d have hoped! :)

  16. Looking for some shopping help/suggestions if anyone is bored and wants to kill some time before kicking off their Friday night. I’d like to buy a piece of jewelry — preferably a necklace but earrings might do the trick as well — in the $500-1000 range. This is WAY more than I normally spend, but I’d like to buy something really nice that I will get a lot of use out of for a long time.

    With that in mind, it cannot be something that is a huge statement or very trendy. At the same time, a standard “classic” piece (e.g., pearls, diamond solitaire earrings, etc.) is not really my style. Think ladylike, but with a twist. I also gravitate towards vintage pieces but am open to more modern items as well. Any ideas for something fun but still wearable?

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Paging TCFKAG! She’s awesome at this sort of thing. You should also submit your question to her tumblr.

    • Maybe try Ross-Simons? They have some cool and interesting stuff in various price ranges.

      • This is definitely not a wear every day thing, but pretty cool: http://www.ross-simons.com/products/773117.html

        • Pretty! I don’t know about you, but I love a necklace in a fun color.

          • Agreed! I have Anatoli sterling and gemstone necklaces in champagne quartz, garnet, blue topaz, and green amethyst. Not like I have a problem or anything…

            My local jeweler is awesome and they know me well and recommend pieces to my SO for birthdays and Christmas. Anything Tom Mathis does is amazing. Have a look: http://www.symmetry-jewelers.com/our_jewelry.php

    • Ooh…this IS fun. You could formally submit this to my tumblr, but in the meantime, maybe I can come up with a few ideas. Otherwise, you could check out blue nile where they have lots of beautiful jewelry — also nordies and bloomies and the nicer department stores all have a nice selection. Also, some Etsy designers create beautiful pieces in this price range — but you’d want to evaluate their ratings and the like to make sure they’re legit.

      • Okay, just to get a sense, what do you think of this necklace from Last Call at Neiman, is this the right idea?


        • That is gorgeous, and I am a big fan of semi-precious stones, but I think I was envisioning something a little more delicate. Also, I have had issues with longer necklaces that I have bought in the past — I like the look of them, but they never seem to work with what I have on and I end up not wearing them as often as I’d like.

      • For something more in a simple pendant style, this David Yurman necklace is beautiful.


      • And this one is unbelievably beautiful, but might be too dressy for day to day wear if that’s what you’re looking for.


        (BUT GOD DO I WANT IT NOW….I might need a break, this is depressing.) :-)

        • That one is really beautiful. I’m not sure I’d wear it every day to the office, but I’d certainly try to as often as I could get away with it. This is definitely going on the short list. Thanks for the great suggestions!!

          • What about this Chanel Vintage Snake necklace? Its also amazeballs.


            This is too much fun. TOO MUCH.

          • Also beautiful (though tell me if you’re not a gold person).


          • Wow, I love the Chanel necklace! Way out of my price range, but I’m definitely pinning this for future inspiration!

        • Wow, this is beautiful!

          • Both also to die for — can you do all my shopping for me? I am definitely a gold person, and I love the color of the stone on the last necklace. I’ve been having a big aqua moment over the last month or so.

          • anon — I CAN do some of your shopping for you, just post questions to my tumblr. I may post more ideas there later, but for now I must go live my real life (what a bummer). No more jewelry p*rn.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Full disclosure, I know the designer of these but I have a pair and multiple friends do too and they are my absolute favorite earrings. They go with everything and the stone seems to pick up whatever color top you are wearing, so they look a little different each time you wear them. http://tinyurl.com/bwodo98

    • Where do you live? If you live in NYC or LA, try the jewelry district. If SF, try Chinatown.

  17. Potentially silly questions, for lawyer Corporettes with long hair (in my case, below shoulders; above brastrap): do you wear it up or down for court appearances, and if up, how do you style it?

    • Up, in a sort of bun. I feel it’s less distracting. But I’ve seen lawyers who look fine with their hair down – as in, they seem comfortable enough with it that they don’t play with it or adjust it unconsciously, and they look better with hair down than up.

  18. Trying this again because I forgot an asterick.

    Potentially silly questions, for lawyer Corporettes with long hair (in my case, below shoulders; above br* strap): do you wear it up or down for court appearances, and if up, how do you style it?

    • Usually up, in a bun (the spiral bobby pins are amazing), hairsprayed a little to tame the flyaways. I don’t think down is a problem, though, as long as you don’t play with it and it stays neat and out of your face.

    • Occasionally I wear it down, but more often I wear it in a sleek low pony tail, which I think looks the most professional on me.

    • Tired Squared :

      I generally wear it down, parted on one side — it’s super easy to brush it out in the morning, part it, and leave. My hair is probably at/past bra strap level at the moment, so it stays behind my shoulders without needing to adjust it all the time.

      If I’m feeling fancy, then I pin the top part back (is the right term for that half-up half down?) with a nice pin.

  19. Does anyone have the Cartier love bracelet? worth the money or no one will even recognize it? I like what it symbolizes but the price tag is pretty hefty. I can afford it but feel guilty about spending so much for a material item.

    • If you like that it symbolizes love, then I say get it if you can afford it. But if it’s important for people to “recognize” it and that it’s expensive… that seems like less of a reason, but to each her own.

    • every married or engaged girl in mid-town seems to have one, people will recognize it. i actually like the aesthetic of it alot but will never get one because its too recognizable.

      • I’m the same way as you. I love what it symbolizes and think the design aesthetic is great, but its popularity significantly diminishes those two characteristics.

      • This. Depending on where you are in the country, it will either be totally recognized but also seemingly on every 3rd person’s wrist OR no one will think it’s special. Personally, I would go with a really nice gold bangle. Symbolism is personal, the cartier bracelet is just marketing.

  20. eastbaybanker :

    I was working until 3 AM(!) last night, and didn’t make it to any Fashion Night Out events. Such a bummer. Did anyone hit up any fun events or get any good swag online?

    • i was also working til 3am and didn’t make it to any FNO events (and i write for a fashion blog as a hobby and was scheduled to cover some events). sigh, total commiseration.

      • eastbaybanker :

        It’s my dream to write for a fashion blog. You are officially my hero.

  21. Can anyone suggest a good template for a conflicts waiver?

    We have several clients that want us to represent all of them on a single estate matter, and my boss wants me to prepare (1) A notice of conflict letter and (2) a conflict waiver. So far I am not finding anything on Westlaw, but we don’t have any of the forms databases. If I knew a specific one to look for I could go over to the law library and get it.

    Thanks very much in advance!

    • JAS1, did you check with your state’s bar? They might have forms, which could be worth it even if you have to pay something.

    • Look for a conflicts waiver for business-immigration – they often represent both employee and employer.

  22. (former) Clueless Summer :


    Ladies…if your firm/workplace had a social/c***tail hour with booze and snacks provided, what sort of snacks would you like to eat? (examples of what we’ve had before include sushi platters, pizza, spring rolls/asian appies, etc.) Just looking for creative ideas!

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Bacon wrapped figs with goat cheese. Mini crab cakes. Prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Mini quiche. Mac and cheese bites. God I’m hungry.

      • These all sound great. I would think things that don’t require a lot in the way of cutting or utensils would be great. I always find cheese platters messy and unsanitary looking.


      • Ron Swanson: “Bacon-wrapped Shrimp”
        Ann Perkins: “No thanks, I’m fine.”
        Ron Swanson: “I wasn’t offering.”

      • Bacon wrapped dates. :) For the, um, vegetarians, right?

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Anything that can fit in my hand and be swallowed in 1-2 bites is ideal, I think. Crostinis tend to go over pretty well, as do bacon wrapped scallops, mini crab cakes, etc.

      I love when there is some kind of bread (like flatbread or make your own bruschetta) or something there, since I’m usually drinking at these things and having something to soak up the booze in my tummy seems to prevent too many “omg I accidentally got drunk” moments.

    • anon in tejas :

      love love love greek/Mediterranean (hummus, veggies, rolled grape leaves, pita bread, feta, kebabs) and italian (salamis, cheese, garlic bread, brusetta, etc.)

    • Vegetarian options are appreciated, but from a vegetarians like to eat perspective and vegetarians like to not drink on an empty stomach perspective.

      You said you’ve had pizza, have you had breadsticks (both sweet and savory dipping sauces)? Quesadillas, chips, and a salsa bar. Indian food (mini samosas, pakoras, etc.).

    • Not sure it goes with c***tails, but I summered at a firm that had an ice cream happy hour maybe every other Friday. Big tubs (a gallon? the kind they dip out of in the ice cream store) of fancy ice cream with toppings in the conference room. When I accepted the summer job offer, they invited me to that week’s ice cream party to celebrate and I knew I’d chosen the right firm!

      • Now THAT’s my kind of happy hour.

      • Anne Shirley :

        oh god I would love an adult ice cream float bar. gin, tonic, and lime sorbet? coke, rum, and coconut ice cream.

        sadly, i know of no law firm cool enough for this

        • Ooh, love this idea.

        • The Herbie, Esq. Law Firm PLLC will have an adult ice cream float bar during the summer. And a full bar year round, obviously.

          • And if your law firm would like to hire an Event Planner to help with the planning of the adult ice cream float bar and any other events, esp those involving fondue, please call me. I’ll work cheap, I promise ;o)

    • FONDUE.

    • Beligan beer + belgian waffles.

  23. Okay, having a hard time getting out of moderation on this one for some reason. I have a somewhat silly question for lawyer Corporettes with long/medium-long hair (mine is below my shoulders but above the clothing item that gets me sent to moderation).

    What do you do with your hair for court appearances? Blow it out and wear it down? Put it up? And if you put it up, how do you style it?

    • Em, the name of this site will put you in moderation every time. Even the letters e t t e at the end of a word will do it. Your post (3-4 versions) came through this morning.

      • Thank you – I didn’t realize that, though of course I’ve seen people space it out or avoid the name of the site so I should have twigged. Apologies to everyone for the spam.

  24. Anonforthis :

    Friday afternoon vent. My boss has had my 7 day vacation request for my wedding/honeymoon on his desk FOREVER. I have reminded him about it multiple times over the last three weeks (when I realized it hadn’t been signed and started to panic). So far this year he has made me take all of my vacation (6 days so far this year) unpaid. 4 of those days were negotiated before I ever started working here. This afternoon when I brought him my vacation request he told me how I’ve taken more vacation than anyone else this year and said he’d take a look at my request on Monday. REALLY hoping one of the 4 jobs I’ve interviewed for in the past week pans out.

    • Do you have a set number of vacation days? If so, what’s with giving you a hard time about taking them? Also, how many other people in your office got married this year? If the answer is zero, I think you get extra slack for what (presumably) will be a one-time event in your life.

      • Anonforthis :

        Exactly. I have 12 vacation days per year, NONE OF WHICH I HAVE USED (because he made me take other stuff unpaid). Not to mention the accrued sick time I could use as well… No one else is getting married. He gave another associate a rough time about taking three days off the week between xmas and new years. The guy is just a Grade A jerk and I’m so over it.

        • How can he force you to take unpaid leave?

          • Anonforthis :

            “If you want those days off, you’ll have to take them unpaid.” I could have argued with him but I’ve seen enough to know it’s a losing battle (hence the interviews).

        • Ok fine, unpaid vacation days. But do you at least get to have your vacation days cashed out at the end of the year? Because if not, we’re gonna have to start laying the smackdown….

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Ew. Your boss sucks. That said, if it’s your first year there and it’s September, you’ve taken 6 days already, you are taking 7 more for wedding/honeymoon (totally understandable) and will probably also take some time at Christmas and Thanksgiving, that seems like a lot of vacation time for your first year of work (I think 2 weeks is standard for the first year?). I understand your wedding/honeymoon is a one time event, but I guess I could see how that would raise eyebrows at a place with a strict vacation policy.

      If you already negotiated certain days off before you started, and he is now making you take them unpaid, I think you need to remind him of your original agreement.

      • Interesting. Is that the convention for places that don’t have a fixed number of vacation days, or is that true for associates anywhere? If you have a set number of vacation days (say, 3 weeks), is it still standard to take only two weeks off anyway during the first year?

        • Alanna of Trebond :

          To me, this doesn’t make any sense? I will have four weeks of vacation next year, and while I’m not sure I’ll take all of it–I don’t see the point of limiting it to only two weeks. I get four weeks!

          • Yeah, me neither. I just didn’t understand why momentsofabsurdity said that a first year should limit her vacation to two weeks…

          • momentsofabsurdity :

            No I didn’t mean a first year should limit their vacation – I didn’t even know you were an attorney (I am not and have no idea how that should work). I just mean everywhere I’ve seen it’s standard to be allowed somewhere around 2 weeks vacation the first year (in a relatively entry-level position), with a gradual increase with longevity at the company.

            I missed that you were taking it unpaid (although I would assume there’s some reasonable limit to unpaid days as well). Obviously if you are given more vacation time as a standard, then you should use all or most of it, unless you can bank it.

    • Are you not entitled to those days? Time to talk to HR!

  25. Anonymous :

    Am curious – how much do you guys spend on clothes/shoes/makeup/bags each month on an avg?

    • eastbaybanker :

      This question has generated some…uh…lively discussion in the past. See the 11/10/2009 post.

      • This question is more relevant if asked as a % of total income or % of total expendable income.

        (someone spending $300/month making $25k/year vs someone making $150k)

    • I spend around 5-10% of my net income
      For larger investment pieces, I save monthly until I feel comfortable shelling a relatively large amount on a single piece.

      • Sydney Bristow :

        I’m about the same. About 5% of my take home pay. I’m trying to aggressively pay down my student loan debt, so it’s typically close to that but sometimes less.

  26. Argh, I keep getting stuck in moderation. I have a frivolous question for long-haired lawyer Corporettes: hair up or down for court appearances? And if up, how do you style it?

  27. gift for departing direct reports? :

    I lead a small team in my division. We are all women right now & get along quite well. Most have been with me for 5 to 10 years. A senior member of the team is moving on to a new position in a different agency to lead her own team. I’d like to give her a gift to let her know I have appreciated all of her good work for our team and to wish her well. Of the people that have left (that I was actually sad to see go…) most were much younger (going off to grad school, etc.) so my ‘usual’ type gifts won’t work here.

    She is pretty casual, so I’m not sure she’d appreciate things like a scarf, jewelry, etc. Any ideas?

    • I’ve had great success with prints from the Conde Nast website – can usually find a vintage Vogue photo or New Yorker cartoon which will resonate with the recipient.

    • Maybe a gift card, amazon, starbucks, something consumable. The older I get, the less I want “things” that I have to find a place to put!

  28. "Allergies" PSA :

    For Godzilla:

    After being off meds since early last week, MANY symptoms appeared over the last few days that made life miserable. No way could I live like this until my scheduled surgery date of November 1st. And no way would I want to feel like this during our 3 week vacation to the middle east in October.

    Today, I saw the ENT, moved the surgery to October 20 (I need to take some meds before he can do it) and will plan to send my husband to our vacation in his home country without me. If I have a miraculously speedy recovery, I may join him. Otherwise, I will be sufficiently post-op that he can leave me home in good faith to spend some time with his siblings cleaning out his parents’ home (they both passed away this year and the siblings have some family business to conduct — I wish I could be there with him for support, but they need to do it and it’s not nice to leave it to the siblings who still live there to do alone).

    I am petrified of the surgery, but I am so miserable that I am eager to have it done. Haven’t had kids, but I assume this is what it feels like for the last week or so of being pregnant; you just want so badly not to be pregnant anymore that giving birth starts to look good.

    Hoping all is going OK with you. Did you make an appointment to see your ENT yet?

    • "Allergies" PSA :

      Make that September 20.

    • I was thinking about you a lot this weekend. I stopped all of my medication, too, just for fun and all of the headaches, fatigue and depression-like symptoms are back. It’s hard. I’m gonna call today – totally inspired by you moving up your surgery date. Hugs and good luck!

  29. Baby Lawyer :

    Thoughts on networking from a distance? I just graduated from law school, and I miraculously have a job offer, but it is totally not where I want to be, professionally or geographically (or personally). That being said, it’s a great opportunity, with great benefits and training (and my loan payments are creeping closer and closer), so I figured that I’ll accept it and see if if the job market where I want to be improves in a year. (All of the entry-level jobs are going to people with a minimum of a year’s experience, so I have to start somewhere.) I figure that everyone says that it’s easier to find a job when you already have one. I’ll be back in my preferred geographic area at least monthly. Does anyone have advice on how to go about making connections with people even though I’m not there?

    • Former Partner, Now In-House :

      I know someone who did this in a very smart way. He was working in City A and wanted to find a job in City B. He spent a few days once a month in City B. In advance of his visits, he would use LinkedIn and old fashioned “follow the introductions” to set up coffee dates via phone and email with people in City B for during his next visit to City B. During those coffee dates, he would tell people about his background and what he was looking for, ask if they knew anyone with whom he should speak and tell them that he was talking with a lot of people and ask them if there was anything they were looking for so that he could keep his eye open for them during all his networking. Also, once during each visit to City B he would host a happy hour table at a local restaurant and invite all the people with whom he had met so that they could all meet each other. I think it was very smart, and he eventually found a job that suited him.

      • Legally Red :


        • Legally Red :

          Wow, no posting before coffee. This was supposed to be the start of a reply on the thread about tie-neck blouses.

      • Baby Lawyer :

        That was a genius idea to move beyond coffee dates and connect everyone he’d been meeting with! Thanks!

    • Check into local bar association events in your preferred geographic area; if there are any in the times when you’ll be visiting, that might be a good way to meet other local attorneys. Good luck, and congratulations on the job offer!

  30. Christmas in England :

    (I apologize in advance if there has been a previous thread on this topic- I searched, but let me know if I missed it!)

    The bf and I will be traveling to England for Christmas this year (excuse me while I squeal from excitement, I’ve never been!). We’ll have a few days in London, some time in Devon to see his family, and possibly extra days to do what we’d like. Only I have no idea what we’d like! Does anyone have any recs for things/places/shops/restaurants they’ve visited that really made the trip? I was thinking London specifically, to help narrow it down (but if there’s a really wonderful B&B/pub/town/field filled with sheep somewhere that you must share, please do!). Also, would anyone suggest getting a full raincoat, like trench length? I’ve got a sporty rain jacket, but I’m worried it won’t be enough, especially as I’m always freezing.

    • Have tea in a fancy hotel.
      National Gallery (Elgin Marbles, Egyptian mummies, Rosetta Stone).

      • It’s been a few years, but I think those things are in the British Museum. The National Gallery is great too, but it’s more artwork than artifacts.

        Covent Garden is also fun to wander around, even if it is a bit touristy.

    • oil in houston :

      what’s your budget?
      an amazing place is manoir des quatres saisons, the Raymond Blanc restaurant. it is amazing michelin-star restaurant, in the cutest English manor and garden you can think of. http://www.manoir.com/web/olem/le_manoir.jsp
      It’s pricey, but the menus at lunch are a lot more affordable. You’d need to book a table now. It’s near Oxford, so you could do it on your way from London to Devon or viceversa.

      Similarly, if you want to stay longer in Devon, you have an amazing restaurant there, Gidleigh park. http://www.gidleigh.com/

      tourism-wise, the Costwolds is stunning, just great for walking, having afternoon tea, and just enjoying yourself! (if you saw the movie the Holidays, that’s where it was), not far from Oxford as well.

      have fun!

    • Sporty rain jacket with liner or layers should be good (not sure how much time you’re spending outside). You’ll want a scarf and gloves.

      Also, prepare yourself for Boxing Day. It was a bigger deal than I knew.

    • Anne Shirley :

      Will you be in London on Christmas Day? Prepare yourself for the fact that everything closes down. Also totaly Property nerd point, but I was psyched to see lots of otherwise “public” plazas roped off for the day to attempt to avoid creating a right of way. If you do need to get around London on the day, Zipcar is open, works with your regular US membership, and no one is on the road.

      Other than that, the Harry Potter film studios were awesome, and if you’re a Downton Abbey fan Highclere Castle was lovely, although I’m not sure if it’s open that time of year.

    • Make sure you have an umbrella, gloves and hat and warm shoes/boots – the weather could be anything from mild, pleasant and sunny to damp and chilly with a wind that cuts you to the bone. As you are “always freezing” perhaps it would be wise to consider packing thermal underwear and thick socks just in case, and make sure your hosts either keep the central heating high or can supply an electric blanket or hot water bottles (I take my own hot water bottle when I visit my parents over Christmas).

      Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day are all bank holidays: pretty much all shops and businesses will be closed and there is unlikely to be much in the way of public transport.

      I don’t know where you’ll be in Devon, but Exeter is a lovely town to visit. You may also consider a visit to Bath, further north, with its beautiful Georgian crescents, Roman Baths, modern spa with a rooftop pool, shops, and Jane Austen museum – if that is something you are interested in.

      An afternoon walk on Boxing Day is a traditional part of a family Christmas for many, and on New Year’s Day some crazy people I know go surfing on the Devonshire coast.

      What used to be called the January Sales now begin on Boxing Day, and are the exception to the “everything’s closed” rule. If you are keen to shop any British brands like Hobbs, immediately after Christmas is the best time to get a bargain.

      Have a wonderful trip!

    • My trenchcoats are usually in the back of my closet in December and I stick to wool coats. Get something with a hood if you don’t want to get your brolly out every time it starts to drizzle.

    • I’d definitely go to Bath and maybe Exeter. Oxford and Stratford are both easy day trips from London. Though I personally preferred to stay a day or two at each of them.

      In Lomdon, go to The houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and don’t miss the war cabinet rooms. The last is incredible…you can even see Hand drawn maps on the walls showing the progress of the war, and hear the audio tapes of important peoples’ diaries. Maybe take in a play at covent garden?

    • The best ice cream in the UK, quite probably the world, is from Langage Farm in Plymouth.

  31. Target return policy? :

    Ordered something online from target – actually the dress that was featured here a couple of weeks ago… ordered two sizes, keeping one! but have to return the other. Does anyone know how long I have to return it in-store for full refund?

  32. oil in houston :

    what’s your budget?
    an amazing place is manoir des quatres saisons, the Raymond Blanc restaurant. it is amazing michelin-star restaurant, in the cutest English manor and garden you can think of. It’s pricey, but the menus at lunch are a lot more affordable. You’d need to book a table now. It’s near Oxford, so you could do it on your way from London to Devon or viceversa.

    Similarly, if you want to stay longer in Devon, you have an amazing restaurant there, Gidleigh park.
    tourism-wise, the Costwolds is stunning, just great for walking, having afternoon tea, and just enjoying yourself! (if you saw the movie the Holidays, that’s where it was), not far from Oxford as well.

  33. Refreshing :

    Ug. Waiting to hear if I made it to a second-round of interviews for a great job. Trying to resist the urge to check my email constantly!

    • Ugh – the weekend doesn’t help either, does it? I hope you get the news you want!

    • Working Newbie :

      I’m doing the same thing right now… Totally know the feeling.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Hang in there… I’ve been waiting eight weeks to SCHEDULE a second round interview…..

    • Good luck!!!! I’m doing the same thing and hoping it works out for you!

  34. Pretzel_Logic :

    Got a pair of questions…

    1) I’ve been looking everywhere for classy, itty-bitty stud earrings. I have my cartilage and second holes pierced and I’ve had the same earrings in forever because I can’t find any others small enough/not made of crap metal/not ugly. Ha. I’m on a law student budget, so I can’t go super nice and get diamond studs (I’d love to, but I can’t), but I thought maybe one of you might know where I could look…

    2) I have a “meet and greet” at my school this week with some local practicing attorneys in the field I desperately want to be in (I’m a 3L, been sending out resume bombs diligently). What should I wear? A suit would be overkill, since it’s in the law building and during the day and as part of a symposium-thing, but I don’t want to go too casual either. I was thinking dress pants and a nice cardigan, maybe heels, but don’t want to look, as I said, too casual (or too formal, either). Ideas?

    • Legally Red :

      I would think that dress pants or a skirt and a cardigan would be fine, unless this is some horribly dressy practice area. Even if it is, however, the attorneys will understand that you’re at school. If it’s like any of the meet and greet/symposium events I went to when I was in school, I’m sure some of your classmates will show up in jeans and a t-shirt and at least one will show up in a suit. Wear whatever makes you feel comfortable but shows you know how to look professional.

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        Ha, it’s public interest/prosecution, so not super fancy. Thank you!

    • hellskitchen :

      Could you wear a dress? Perhaps a shirtdress or a simple sheath in black, red, navy, gray. You could team it with a cardigan or a jacket for the event but it wouldn’t be out of place in school

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        I would say yes except that the only dresses I own are either suit separates or formal. (And frankly, because I’ve got ‘dat hourglass going on, even the professional sheaths are looking a little va va voom.)

    • http://www.freshtrends.com/cgi-bin/item/1636

      That or something else from that site?

    • Re earrings: Try the piercing pagoda at the mall. It is always b1G1 50% off. They have cute studs and some come in sets. The have real gold and sterling silver at cheap prices.

      Advice – Don’t wear all those earring when meeting with potential employers.

      I have 3 holes in my lobes, 2 cartilage and a tragus. I like to wear very small studs too. I only wear one stud in my lobes and my tragus to work. I also have to wear my hair down every single day b/c I am not allowed to have the tragus in. If I take it out it will close :(

      • Pretzel_Logic :

        Thanks. I have long hair that looks better down so it stays down…most people don’t see the extra piercings unless I go to the gym or something with them. (And really, are those that scary? I figure if my grandmas are okay with them, they probably pass with most employers, even those of…other generations, right?)

        • I’m a public interest lawyer at a pretty liberal and casual place and I have never seen anyone with anything beyond two piercings with simple studs, and even that’s rare. Even people at really liberal workplaces need to dress up in suits and go to court sometimes, and we generally expect you to look in an interview the way you will look in court. So maybe consider removing the piercings if it’s not too much trouble.

  35. Legally Red :

    PSA–If anyone is looking for inexpensive suits, Limited is having their suit sale. Buy one jacket/pants/skirt, get one free.

  36. I’m making one last shot at avoiding moderation. I have a frivolous question for the lawyer Corporettes with longish hair. How do you wear it for court appearances? Up or down? And if up, in what style?

    • MissJackson :

      I wear mine up to court. I wear it parted at my natural part and pulled back into a low bun. I have messy/beach-y waves, so I feel more polished with my hair up. Do whatever feels most comfortable for you — there’s no rule about this (unless you’d be tempted to play with your hair or leaving it down would require you to push it behind your ear, etc. — if so, put it up so it isn’t a distraction).

    • I wear my long straight hair down for court appearances, usually with a little bit of curl in the long layers to give it some oompf. But I have a very round face and think I look more grown-up with some curl (not ringlets, or overly styled curls, just enough to make it look professional. If that makes any sense). I would prefer to wear my hair pulled back, but I am having a hard time doing that (in court) because I do feel more vulnerable/exposed with all of the hair off of my face.

    • If you are doing a jury trial, I’d highly recommend wearing it up or at least half-up so that it’s out of your face. If you wear it down, you run the risk of either blocking the side of your face so that the jury or witness can’t see it, or constantly pushing it behind your ears.

    • I alway’s wear my hair DOWN in court b/c the manageing partner say’s I look better that way. In fact, when it was realy hot and I put my hair in an updo at a depo this summer, the manageing partner was NOT happy. Fooey on him!

      I told him that it was ONLEY a DEPO, and that I did NOT think it matterred how I wore my hair at a depo, and that their was NO air condition in the room so I did NOT want feel GROSS.

      Also, the cleint’s also give me alot of complements on my hair when they can see it, and they can NOT see it as much when I pull it back or up. So I do what I can with what I have and that makes me better and happy. Yay!!!!!

  37. Different Job, Same Boss :

    So…the owner of my company (so technically my boss) has decided that some Monday morning I will have a new job within his organization. Essentially, helping to turn around an under-performing division. Which I know basically nothing about. I’ve been doing payroll for 2 divisions and employee benefits type stuff for the whole company for the past three years. And I’m really good at that, but somehow Boss Man has decided that being able to speak well for 5 – 10 minutes on a topic I know a lot about translates to me being able to help turn around a faltering division. Oh, and I don’t need to worry about transitioning my current duties to another person because the person who was doing this before I took over can just pick up where I left off. And I have no guidance whatsoever on how to do the new “job” I’m supposed to be doing. And basically had no input on whether I was switching.

    That new job I’ve been looking for the past year can’t come soon enough.

    • Different Job, Same Boss :

      That is, “come Monday morning”….

    • Your boss sucks. The best managers and leaders don’t give their best people their problems. That’s not to say great employees should only get plum assignments, but good people are good for a reason. You just don’t reward a person for their hard work by forcing a poorly run division upon them, particularly without consulting them. All I can say is, I’ve been in your shoes and it sucked so hard. I hope other job prospects pan out for you.

      • Different Job, Same Boss :

        He really does – because he’s the owner (who’s business has grown a lot in the last 5 years by buying other small companies and folding them) he sweeps in and makes changes without regard for how people’s jobs actually work. There is a better than probable job (but not guaranteed to get) on the horizon. So that uncertainty is killing me too.

        Time to go buy something, I guess.

    • Ah, the glass cliff. Hope that new job comes through soon!

    • I feel bad for you. At least I am limited to what I can do legeagley as an attorney under NY law. The manageing partner can NOT ask me to do a case in New Jersey, for example, b/c I am NOT admited to practise there.

      I supose he could ask me to do things like the acounting, or secreterial stuff, but I am way to busy doing all of my case work to get into that other stuff. Beside’s, Frank is suposed to handle all acounting issue’s. And even he is not perfect, b/c Jim found adding MISTAKE’s in Frank’s Hart Scott fileing. Fooey!

      Jim called me 2x today here at work, but I did NOT pick up. I am on my way OUT the door and am going to pick up some deli for dinner, even tho it is way to late to eat, I LOVE a good sandwich with a half-sour PICKEL! YAY!!!!


  38. Would moissanite studs be in your price range?

    • Pretzel_Logic :

      Just checked their website…nope. Gorgeous, though. I’m thinking, like, under $75…if that’s possible…frankly I’d like it to be less or I’ll have to adjust my food budget. HAHA.

  39. Here’s something to add to the discussion about feeling like no political speeches ever address the non-wife non-moms among us.

    “Not Married. Not a Mom. Still American.”

    I like that this post starts really haughty but turns tender. Indeed it seems like this reaction is only part anger, and the rest of it is the disappointment/hurt of being treated like you’re irrelevant.


  40. I know I have seen these threads before .. but looking for recs for everyone’s favorite skinny jeans (especially for curvy women). TIA!

    • 2L (formerly 1L) :

      You’re going to laugh, but I wear Old Navy Rockstar jeans. I have the ladygarden issue where my thunder thighs rub together and wear out the inner part of the jeans, so I replace them every 3 months or so, and the $30-40 usually isn’t a big deal.

      Also, they fit awesome. :)

      • I also like Old Navy, although I’m not sure which style mine are.

      • I’ll admit that I wear Old Navy rockstar jeans too, and also primarily because they’re so cheap that I’m not angry when my thighs rub through them. I’d suggest trying them on in store rather than buying online, though, because the various colors have different degrees of stretch, and somewhat inconsistent sizing.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      For curvy shapes – Cookie Johnson skinnies – You can get then at Nordstrom

  41. I saw a post yesterday about mental health, so maybe someone can help here. I’ve had low grade depression for many years, and when it has gotten really bad I’ve gotten therapy which helps sometimes but not a lot. I’ve never used meds, but recently I’ve been thinking about trying out a combination of meds and therapy. How do I do this? Do I look for a psychiatrist first or a psychologist? Are psychiatrists trained in meds and therapy or do you go to 2 different people? We moved last year, and I don’t have a therapist here so I’m starting from scratch. Thanks….

    • 2L (formerly 1L) :

      I think I’d look for a psychiatrist if I was trying meds. I have depression as well, only on talk therapy, same as you. I have a tendency to not “trust” brain drugs though – it takes awhile to find the right cocktail/drug for you, and even still, it may have side effects like sleeping 11-13 hours a night (says my friend who has tried everything under the sun).

      I would start with your psychiatrist for meds, as s/he is a trained doctor, and then either go with them or with a trained psychologist for talk therapy. In my experience, though, psychologists are both cheaper and more understanding for those of us on the high-functioning side, who just need to talk to someone to cope rather than to truly live.

      Hope this helps – good luck in your journey!

    • K...in transition :

      with the best therapists, you’d be doing work with that person for some time to try to work before deciding you may need medication. You never want to introduce meds into your body unnecessarily and only a licensed mental health professional can make the call regarding whether they’re right for any one person.

      • Thanks, I should have said that my therapist (2 different ones) in the past suggested meds but I was against them at the time. Part of it was that they said i would benefit from meds, but they could not prescribe. So they suggested I visit a psychiatrist but the process of finding someone new seemed daunting. I don’t want to get stuck again with 6 months of talk therapy, and then they suggest medication, and then I have to find someone new. Can I avoid that? Could I go see a psychiatrist and do therapy only for a while to avoid that?

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Really, K? Hmm. In my experience, you work with both in combination, particularly if you go through a hospital/clinic/integrated medical group. The M.D. (psychiatrist, or maybe primary care physician) prescribes the Rx, and is well versed in the types of meds and their side effects and interactions and contraindications and such. There’s a few common Rx that most people are started on that most people tolerate well. YMMV – one of the best-tolerated ones gave me the extremely rare side effects. It’s somewhat trial and error. Depending on how depressed you are, they may put you on an Rx right away, probably a low dose, to see how you tolerate it. They’ve done that for me. It takes several weeks for the Rx to get fully into your system and work at its maximum effectiveness, so if you’re already feeling pretty depressed, they’ll probably immediately get you on an Rx if you are open to it. It also reduces their liability – depressed patients on Rx are less depressed and therefore less likely to hurt themselves, which means fewer families that sue for malpractice on behalf of patients who hurt themselves while in treatment… or so the thinking goes.

          Many psychiatrists don’t do talk therapy because their time is very expensive, so most patients can’t afford it/most insurance won’t pay for the cost of an MD’s time. The MDs can make a lot more money a lot more quickly if they oversee the medication of dozens of patients a day, while a therapist can only see one patient per hour. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that – there’s a specialist for the brain chemistry, and a specialist for the talking. They need not be the same person. We need both. The M.D. works with the therapists. The therapists may provide feedback to the M.D. on how you’re doing on the Rx, but it’s the therapist who does the talk therapy with you weekly. Meanwhile, you check in every few months (or more often, as needed) with the MD supervising your meds.

          • My experience was the same as SF Bay Assoc., except no side effects. Primary care doctor put me on a common anti-depressant/anxiety med. It took 4-6 weeks to kick in. I started seeing a therapist the week after I started the meds. The therapist and PCP would check in with each other once a month. I had to give them permission to be able to do this.

      • K- I think this advice is way off. In my experience, many medical practices establish patients on medication first, then move into therapy. And, actually, only a psychiatrist can tell if meds are right for you. Not a social worker.

        • K...in transition :

          I’m not sure I’m understanding… you’re saying that a person would come from nowhere and be immediately prescribed meds and then begin to see a therapist? Although Americans tend to go toward meds as a quick fix (as do many docs), not all life issues require meds. As I’ve seen the post since where the person stated that she’d been recommended meds before, this is a different situation, but that wasn’t a known detail at the time of my initial comment.

          • Nope, you’re not understanding. The correct answer to “I’ve tried therapy, and now I’m interested in drugs, do I see a psychiatrist for that” is yes! You see a psychiatrist, and they can prescribe meds and refer you to a therapist. And although you’re obviously biased against them, most psychiatrists are actual caring doctors who aren’t going to throw meds at people they don’t need them.

          • I had an experience where the doctor prescribed meds (Z*lft and X*an*x) without even ASKING me if I had seen or was interested in seeing a therapist. I was 21 years old and in a highly competitive graduate program– stress had me not sleeping, barely eating, and surviving on caffeine to get through each day. I felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown and went to be GP, who immediately prescribed the above. I was on the first med for about 8 months, and the second for about a month. A few months after finishing the grad program, I decided to wean myself off the first one (not a great idea to wean yourself off SSRI’s without a doctor’s supervision, but lesson learned.) I’ve never had to take them again (its been 10 years.) I did end up going on my own to my university’s counseling service for about 6 weeks which was a great help to me, but this was on my own initiative and not even suggested by my doctor.

    • Anon for this :

      I went to a DR (my insurance is part of a hospital group) for a prescription and she monitored me for about a month with weekly appointments. Then I started therapy with a therapist. My co-pay for the DR was $125 and the therapist was $20. So I was glad to be going to therapy long-term, as opposed to my MD. My DR told me I needed to be on medication first b/c I had to go into my therapy sessions with a positive outlook.. I was in such a rut that I was becoming very pessimistic. It worked for me and exactly one year later I am feeling like myself again.

      Of course everyone is different. I would start with your GP and ask them for some advice and a rec. Also one thing I learned the hard way… some insurance companies require this “mental health survey” to be completed by the therapist before they will begin to cover your services. I had to foot the bill up front and was later reimbursed. I had Blue Cross at the time.

    • I’ve had the non-MD therapist call and speak to my primary care doctor and they worked out the meds/follow up routine.

    • I went to a clinic specializing in CBT therapy, and during the intake evaluation I saw several people, including a psychiatrist who prescribed me meds. I then did CBT work with the therapist over the course of six months or so. Now I follow up with my GP, who prescribes the meds. I was very open to starting meds when I went, and for me the combination of doing both at once helped immensely — I felt like the meds helped me get back enough sanity that the therapy could actually take hold. I’ve been very lucky in that the first med I tried has had almost no side effects for me and also seems to be effective. As for therapy, I didn’t do a whole lot of research before choosing a clinic or a therapist, I just went to one that was associated with a local teaching hospital, close to my house, and I took the first available therapist.

    • Only a psychiatrist can prescribe meds (well, any doctor can, but I wouldn’t recommend getting them from your PCP even though some will write you a prescription). Most psychiatrists where I live do not accept insurance and can be pricey, so most people see a therapist who consults with the psychiatrist. You can start with either the therapist or the psychiatrist, and they will be able to recommend the other to you. Having said that, I started on meds when I felt like I could get no further with therapy, and it was the best decision of my life. I don’t go to therapy anymore. So keep in mind you don’t have to be going to therapy if you’re taking meds.

  42. After tromping around smelly, muddy, hot sites all day, I am left with two questions for the hive:

    1. I have to go to these type of sites once a month or so. Usually I’ll be in my biz cas office before or after. I’m set on boots, but as far as pants go, anyone have a recommendation for something that (a) is sturdy and can stand up to getting some mud on them and the following machine washing and tumble drying; (b) is not jeans, as I am sometimes accompanied by my (male) boss who always wears a full suit even when the people we’re meeting with are in jeans and polos; (c) looks decent on a curvy girl; (d) looks ok to throw a blazer over if something comes up while I’m in the office; and (e) has pockets big enough for car keys, a good place to clip the blackberry holster would be a great bonus (I know, I know, but risk of dropping it in the muck is very high otherwise).
    2. Any recommendations for sunglasses that convey Practicality and Gravitas despite the fact that I’m the youngest person around and the only woman for miles? I went with an old, annoyingly scratched pair today because I didn’t think my pair with rhinestones on the sides would assist my colleagues in taking me seriously.

    I know there was a post on what to wear for visiting factories not too long ago, but I’m hoping the ‘rettes who get muddy from time to time can help me out here. Thanks!

    • No help on the not jeans front; but A pair of classic aviators would be my move on the sunglasses front

    • As a casual (and occasionally muddy) hiker, I’ve found that Athleta has tons of hiking pants that fit your requirements. Try the Mariposa Pant, Dipper Pant, Pacific Crest Pant, Nalu Rivet Pant, or Adobe Pant. I like that some of them have a slight boot cut, which balances out larger hips.

    • What about some chinos from land’s end? Their material holds up well to machine washing and looks dressy enough it wouldn’t be totally off with a blazer.

    • scientist :

      I wear pants from Ann Taylor outlet in the field all the time, usually gray or dark brown. I hang them up to dry, and they seem to hold their shape well. They sometimes have pockets. I have clipped the holster to them with no problem. I hold my keys in my hand or set them on the table or put them in the jacket pocket. I also pared down my keys to the essentials.

      Or maybe you can use a messenger bag to hold the phone and keys? I have one from a professional org that I use for field work. It holds a clipboard and a bottle of water.

    • Gap Perfect trousers. You can wash them but they are work pants. And they have pockets.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I have a pair of blue dress pants that are made of a material similar to khaki but very stiff so they look more like dress pants. They are from the BR outlet and are machine washable. I also have a pair of khakis from Gap that I can wear with a blazer that are soooo sturdy. I have gotten them pretty dirty and they have never stained.

    • Jcrew chinos. They come in several colors (I have gray, black and camel and I can’t remember the others but there are more).

  43. Um, can someone explain to me how i did not know that All. Six. Seasons. of the Highlander TV Series are now on Hulu??? HOW?

    Also, tell the world I said Hi. Cuz I have a feeling I’m not going to see it anytime soon. I have 6 seasons of Duncan and Methos to watch… ok, mostly Methos….

    • I re-watched the entire series a few years ago when I noticed it on Hulu. It’s great! I think it may also be on Netflix too, if you have it and don’t want to waste time with commercials.

  44. I need help! My lips are so chapped. They are red, swollen and scabbing. They crack at night and bleed. I don’t know where this is coming from. Someone said maybe I am not drinking as much water as usual and that makes sense. I workout 5-6 days and week and try to sip water all day. I am very busy at work and have to limit myself due to meetings, etc. I have noticed myself going to refill my water less often.

    Anyway… what should I buy? I tried vaseline, nivea, the cherry stuff in the black tube, peter thomas roth, you name it!!!!!!! I am in the Northeast so I don’t think this is weather related chapping?

    • I had really dry lips at one point early this summer and I know it wasn’t climate-related. I asked here and people recommended Aquaphor or Carmex. I tried both. The Aquaphor felt good but didn’t do much. The Carmex sloughed off the dead dry skin and helped my lips heal. It’s a little more medicinal and feels harsher but it was the only thing that did the trick. I used the vanilla Carmex in the little yellow tube.

    • First, try to get more sleep and keep sipping water. For chapsticks, the best I have used are from Fresh and Laura Mercier. The Laura Mercier is expensive and sometimes I have to use a sterilized paperclip to get the product to squeeze out, but it is amazing stuff. Links to follow.

      • http://www.sephora.com/sugar-lip-treatment-spf-15-P57002

      • http://www.sephora.com/product/productDetail.jsp?skuId=1307495&productId=P279703&keyword=laura%20mercier%20lip%20silk&_requestid=146892

      • Guess they are both expensive . . . didn’t remember the Fresh one costing so much. But definitely way better than what you can get in the drugstore, which sounds like what you are looking for.

    • Divaliscious11 :

      Lansinoh – on your lips at night. Its made to heal b****ies for nursing moms, so its safe to be on your lips. I use it on my kids in winter.

    • Bag Balm. Google it.

    • Dr. Dan’s CortiBalm was recommended to me when I was on Accutane. It worked wonders.

    • I use the neosporin overnight renewal therapy. it’s very concentrated and it works. Like you, I had tried just about everything on the market. This is the only thing that I found that has saved me.

    • Try switching your toothpaste – it could be irritating the skin on your lips (sounds crazy, but it happens.)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If this is out of the blue, are you using a new product that you might be allergic to?

    • also, you really have to do more than “sip” water. I recommend a large glass of water first thing when your feet hit the floor in the morning.That will give you a jumpstart on the day’s necessary hydration.

      I second carmex and neutrogena intensive care overnight.

  45. Adoption Fundraiser :

    My cousin and his wife are having a fundraiser to raise money to adopt a child. This is their preference for what “having a child” means to them (meaning, the family does not know about any fertility issues – I’m not sure exactly why that would matter). I respect the altruistic reasons behind their plans, but I’m having trouble figuring out why anyone else should fund it. Adopting seems like a highly personal decision (which I respect and admire), but not exactly the subject of a fundraising campaign. I can’t imagine them asking for contributions to their IVF fund, if that was something they wanted to pursue. What do you think?

    • I think people can do what they want. But if you don’t like it, you don’t have to support it. (So don’t attend.) Adoptions are expensive, so I don’t find their idea incredibly offensive although it is no something would do. Anyway, there are charities out there that, IMO, raise funds for things that are much more ridiculous than bringing a child into a loving home.

    • AnonInfinity :

      I have a friend who did this. I thought it was icky, even though the end goal is something great. And I don’t think that fertility status matters — I wouldn’t give anyone money to have a child, no matter what avenue they choose. I didn’t participate but didn’t explain why, either, because I knew it just seemed like something I shouldn’t say out loud.

    • Infertile here (tho, successful IVFer) and we’re in the process of adopting.

      It’s not uncommon for prospective adoptive parents to hold a fundraiser. The most common way I have seen this done involves the adoptive parents selling something, such as a t-shirt, that is emblazoned with an adoption-friendly message. I have also seen people set-up accounts asking for donations. The pleas for these accounts are sometimes prefaced with the phrase, “Many of you have asked us what you can do to help” in what I see as an attempt to minimize the ick factor of asking your family and friends for money. While it’s not uncommon, it’s not something I would choose to do because I think it’s inappropriate and a little strange.

      As an aside, please consider that adopting a child is not altruism. I realize it’s a common assumption, but adoptive parents are not doing a child any favors by “rescuing” him or her from a lifetime of “parentlessness.” The child is the one giving here – he or she is the one helping a family form. And this form of “help” is made possible by a loss completely outside of the child’s control.

      • Adoption Fundraiser :

        Thanks for your comment about altruism v. parentlessness. That is not something I had thought about before. This is especially true because my cousin and his wife have a blog that talks about how much they can do for a child who is parentless, especially a child who is parentless and has special needs (HIV, other medical issues, other issues generally from what I gather). There is a lot of concern within my family that they have no idea what they are getting themselves into.

        I hope the adoption process goes smoothly for you!

        • Frou Frou :

          Thanks so much!

          RE: your cousin: I know a lot of adoptive parents are the rescuer-types. But many of us in the community see it very differently. And thanks for taking my comments in the spirit intended.

    • Adoptions are just as expensive as childbirth (if not more expensive) or IVF, and they’re not covered by insurance. Calling it a fundraiser strikes me as a little odd, but I’ve heard of “showers” where people gave gifts of money to help with adoption costs. I don’t think you’re under any obligation to contribute, but you should know that what they’re doing’s not unusual.

  46. Has anyone got a pair of waxed jeans? I think I might have a place in my wardrobe for a pair but only if they won’t be completely over by xmas.


  47. Waiting for bar results and kind of depressed :

    ** Update **

    I have an interview! And, my hairstylist updated my color for FREE, which means that I will look smashing and professional.

  48. Hi ladies,

    I’ve been reading for a while now and have finally gotten up the courage to de-lurk and ask for your advice. It’s for a former student of mine:

    If a person has been convicted of a felony, what types of jobs in the legal / criminal justice system will they be barred from, and what types are still open as possibilities?

    Some background:
    In my previous city, I had a job working with teens in the foster care system. One of my best students was also involved in a gang. Shortly after his 18th birthday, he was at the scene when a fight broke out and one of his fellow gang members shot and killed another man. He was charged and pleaded no contest to being an accessory after the fact to murder and admitted a special allegation of gang involvement. (Going off the wording in the newspaper article here, I can ask him for more specifics if that would be helpful.)

    Fast-forward a few years – he is now out of prison and just started his first term at community college. While in prison, he read several law books and became interested in pursuing a career in law or criminal justice. He is currently enrolled in an Administration of Justice course and is really enjoying it, but has asked my advice on whether he’d ever be able to have a career in the field due to his background.

    Any thoughts? He is passionate about the field and I want to encourage him, but I also want to give him a realistic picture of what options will be open or closed to him due to his record.

    Thank you SO much, sorry for having such a drawn-out novel of a first post! :)

    • I think it’s great that you are trying to encourage him and that he’s excited about the practice of law. That said, not to be a downer, but he may not be able to be admitted to the bar because he wouldn’t pass the character and fitness requirement. I recommend contacting the bar examiners in your state to find out how they handle people with criminal records such as his.

    • Gail the Goldfish :

      I believe some state’s bar commissions will give preliminary opinions on character and fitness before applicants apply to law schools. I’m not sure of the details, though, but something to look into.

    • It varies by state and by individual applicant to the bar, as others have said. There’s no way to be certain, but generally a person who has transformed his or her life and is many years removed from past crimes will be admitted. Exceptions I’ve heard of are particularly violent crimes (like murder) and crimes that involve a breach of trust similar to the duties an attorney has to a client (like embezzlement). But there are even some lawyers who have been admitted despite having committed these types of crimes; I remember reading an article about this in a bar journal. Also, like Gail the Goldfish said, some state bars will give a preliminary opinion so he may be able to find out before he starts law school.

      He definitely should be able to pursue a legal career that does not involve being admitted to the bar, such as being a paralegal, so there’s no reason why he shouldn’t pursue a legal field for his undergraduate degree.

      • Thanks anon, Gail the Goldfish and Bluejay!

        I really appreciate your responses. It’s good to know that there is at least a *possibility* that he could one day be admitted to the bar. He’s in California so I will research it further on a state-specific level. I’ll definitely encourage him to pursue an undergraduate degree related to law, since he’s still exploring his options and is also open to careers such as being a paralegal or working with juvenile offenders in some capacity. I’ll also advise him to seek a preliminary opinion from the CA state bar before he begins the law school application process; it’s great to know that option is available so he can make an informed decision.

        Thank you again so much for all your help!

        • Don’t encourage hime to pursue an undergraduate degree related to law. It will not help him get into law school (in fact, “pre-law” programs are often seen as less desirable). Encourage him to choose something that gives him other options and to get stellar grades. Law school admissions comes down to grades + LSAT score (with room around the edges for a great personal statement, which your student may be able to write).

          • agree with this, no need for a pre law program.

          • .edu Cate :

            Thanks DealCube and cc,

            That’s good information to have. Does the “no pre-law” guideline also apply to community college concentrations like Administration of Justice?

            He has expressed interest in getting his AA degree in Administration of Justice while also completing the required courses for transfer to a University of California campus. Do you think it’s still okay to encourage A.J. as his community college concentration, as long as he doesn’t choose a pre-law program for his bachelor’s degree?

          • Agreed. Most Admin of Justice programs are geared towards police work or corrections work, neither of which is viewed as very challenging or giving a person the kind of broad, inquiring mind law schools look for.

            Not there is anything wrong with those programs, but they are not really what you need on your undergrad tanscript to get in to law school. Political science, english, even engineering majors seems to do well if law school is his aim.

          • That’s good to know; I’ll let him know that he’ll need to choose a different AA concentration as well if he wants to pursue law school. He’s also still considering a career in police work or corrections, but hopefully by the end of the semester he’ll have a more clear picture of what he wants to specialize in and can change his major accordingly if law school is the goal.

            Thanks so much to all who weighed in, I really appreciate it and will pass your advice on to him!

  49. I had A pair of leather pants. I warn you that if you pass wind it stays in until you take off your pants. So don’t go out on a date with a guy you will fool around with later especially if you are going out for burritos! I made that mistake once and I never heard from the guy again!

  50. I need recommendations for doctors/therapists in Denver, CO. My mom is having a lot of trouble making decisions and having the energy to make herself happy with her life. I think part of it may be due to mild depression, and have her going to a doctor who can evaluate that and give medication if necessary. Does anyone have recommendations for therapists/life coaches who are solution oriented in the Denver area? She has a tendency to wallow in issues that are minor in the grand scheme of things, so while I want her to have a professional to talk to, I also want to make sure that it’s someone who is going to encourage solutions and active steps forward rather than just having her dwell on the challenges.

    Please help with any advice, it’s so hard doing this from NYC.

    • Mary Ellen Caiati is the best. She’s a psychiatrist who also does therapy, and I credit her with basically everything I have achieved in life.

      • THANK YOU! Would you be comfortable sharing any more? What did you like about her? My mom may need some convincing so I’m trying to gather as much info as possible.

        • I will say that with me she was very low-key and non-dramatic – definitely no Good Will Hunting-style confrontations. I had a really hard time talking about certain things, and she never pushed me, but she did challenge me in a gentle way i.e. “You are talking about something sad but you are laughing, why is that?” or “You think X but I think most people would see it in Y way.” She is also just a really soothing, caring presence without being smothering in the slightest. She may change her manner based on the patient, I don’t know, but she was exactly what I needed. Also, she is not med-happy at all, but will prescribe things if needed, so if your mom is worried about that you can reassure her.

        • I also want to say that you are doing a wonderful thing for your Mom. It can be really difficult to find a doctor/therapist and even more so if you are suffering from a mental health issue, so you should be proud of yourself for being such a caring, helpful daughter.

          • If you live in DC or nearby, would you recommend any providers in the area?

          • Sorry, Anon, I don’t have any recommendations for DC, but you may want to start with your employer’s EAP, if you have one, or The Women’s Center, which is what Carolyn Hax always recommends. http://www.thewomenscenter.org/content.asp?contentid=59 Good luck!

          • Anon, I have used the Women’s Center (their Vienna office, not the DC one) and cannot say enough good things about the therapist they connected me with.

    • The University of Colorado Hospital Depression Center in Denver has a great reputation and practices “multidisciplinary” care (MD’s, psychotherapists, other kinds of therapy). I don’t have a specific recommendation for a doctor/therapist, just know several people who have been helped mightily there. http://www.ucdenver.edu/academics/colleges/medicalschool/departments/psychiatry/PatientCare/depressionctr/Pages/Welcome.aspx

  51. ananon4this :

    I am probably late in the weekend, but I need some serious life advice from some kick @ss women…. [long post, bear with me!]

    I’m in my 2L year of law school. H has a great paying job in City A, but hates his boss and wouldn’t mind a new job. Meanwhile, I just got an offer in City B for 2L summer at a great firm, which is 90%+ certain to turn into a permanent offer after graduation. My starting pay would be ~20k per year higher than what H currently makes, and H could also find another well-paid job in City B.

    Sounds simple enough, right? Well… not so much. H also has an 8yo from his previous marriage and we have her 5o% of the time (2 days on, 5 days off alternating schedule, which I hate), and he cannot fathom giving this schedule up. It seems it is not even up for discussion.

    To top it off, I’m not crazy about step-daughter. We get along fine, but she has been raised very differently than I would raise my own children, and she is very close with her mother and her dad, which is wonderful, but I can’t seem to find a spot to squeeze in. We do great when it’s just the two of us (SD and I). But when it is SD, me, and H? I am definitely the third wheel. To make matters worse, I’m even more frustrated because we want to get pregnant, but are up against fertility problems (for a 2L, I ain’t no spring chicken…). And even if we can get pregnant, there is simply no room for another body in our 850sq. ft., 2br/1ba home. Add this all together, and I feel super tense about the whole situation. I need advice!

    In my ideal world, we would take custody of SD over vacations and some weekends instead of this crazy custody schedule, move to City B (~2 hours away), rent a large enough apartment for a future baby and SD, pay off some loans, and then re-evaluate if we like City B or want to go back to City A (or somewhere else entirely) in a few years.

    In H’s ideal world, we just “see what happens.” That means me taking the summer job without any plans to accept a full-time offer (and having to try again at 3L OCI for City A, where there are no jobs), trying to get pregnant in the meantime, and not having any plans for where to live, how to fit a baby into the house, or how to pay off loans.

    I was starting to think I could handle this wait-and-see approach (I must have been feeling delirious), but my type-A personality has just kicked into full force. I feel like I’m either going to end up broke and homeless with a baby and a ruined marriage, or happy and successful with a great job and a great family in a new city.

    If you read this far, I’m impressed! Help?

    • That’s a tough situation. As a first step, does your husband understand how hard it is to get a law job in this economy? If not, a frank conversation on that topic is in order.

      Also, any chance you could live halfway between City A and City B and split the commute? It will suck (we did it for 2.5 years and it was draining, to say the least), especially if you have a baby, but just throwing it out there as a potential compromise. This probably won’t work if you have SD on weekdays.

      I have no experience with stepchildren or custody issues, so hopefully someone else will weigh in.

      • Sorry to be blunt, but it seems like your SD is priority #3 (behind your job, and your baby). That’s not fair to Hubby. I would follow H’s lead-go take the job for the summer, and hope for an offer. If it comes, you can figure out where you want to live. In the meantime, you are asking H to commit to move to another City and recreate his custody schedule just based upon a summer job. I don’t think there is any comparison to seeing your child every week vs just seeing your child on vacations/some weekends. Honestly, I’m not sure I would want to be married to someone who would ask me to do that. I’m sure having a good job and a baby are extremely important to you, but you need to put some more thought into balancing H and SD’s needs. After all, how would you like it if you saw your new baby only on weekends and maybe some holidays?

        • ananon4this :

          I know he wouldn’t want to be married to me if I asked that — which is why I never have and I never will.

          I guess the solutions I’m asking for are how to keep the custody schedule, or at least a similar one where weekdays are very much involved (because that’s given), and still find a way to have a job post-graduation. The whole OCI process completely baffles me. If I don’t get a job this way, I’m not sure what to try next, and I’d like to plan ahead.

          Some people have suggested commuting. I think it might be possible for a while (for me to go back and forth, not him) or for me to start looking at other, non-OCI options (clerkships? Volunteer and networking? Other options? Any thoughts?)

          I’m not looking to be told that I should make my H give up his kid — I would never do that. I’m trying to figure out what options I *do* have.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            I think you do have some options here, though some are more attractive than others.

            Option 1- You commute 2 hours each way to City B. This would probably be extremely difficult and doesn’t seem like a long term solution.
            Option 2- You rent an apartment in City B and drive in to work from City A to City B on Monday mornings and stay in City B until Friday nights when you go home to City A. Also a rough option, but you’d get to spend every weekend with your husband and wouldn’t be driving 4 hours every day.
            Option 3- You work this summer for the firm in City B and don’t take a post-graduation offer if you get one. There are other things out there besides OCI options. At my school, OCI was entirely biglaw firms. Other options are government, clerkships, smaller firms, solo practice, document review, etc.

            It’s really not big law or volunteering. OCI is just a structured way schools and typically bigger firms have for students to find jobs. I don’t know the statistics, but I think a very small percentage of law students across the country find careers that way. All the rest of us have had to seek out other opportunities in any number of ways. Go sit down with your career services office for other methods of job searching in your city (although hopefully your career services is more helpful than mine was). Get out there and network. You’ll need to do this anyway regardless of where you end up working. You can find a way to make this work. Good luck with everything.

          • I think it is unreasonable for you to expect to move until your husband’s daughter graduates high school. He has shared custody. He wants to keep shared custody. Uprooting his child for holidays and summers should only be considered as a last resort, which you aren’t at.

            How long is your current offer open? Ideally you should try to get an offer in the city you are in before it expires. If you can’t, I would work in the other city for the summer (without DH doing anything to move). In the meantime, network, network, network to get a job in your city. Don’t rely on 3L OCI. Starting now, start meeting with alumni from your UG and law school who are attorneys in your area. Figure out how to make yourself marketable where you live. You will be able to “sell” the switch pretty easily in the fall. You tried the other city, decided for family reasons it didn’t work, and are now committed to where you are.

        • Frou Frou :


          • Frou Frou :

            In case it wasn’t clear, this is to the “sorry to be blunt” anon.

    • man, if only he didn’t have a pesky kid huh? totally see how she is bringing that vibe of the perfect family down. If only there could’ve predicted that hed still love his daughter even after marrying you.

      1. It sounds like you just applied to city b before discussing it with husband? since he obviously doesnt want to move.

      2. theres no such thing as 90% positive you have an offer before you even start. im sure the chances are good, but no you dont move your family before you have the offer.

      3) your two choices you see, 1 where everything is stressful and 2 where everything is perfect dont even mention the fact that in option 2 your husband doesnt see his daughter nearly as much.

      • ananon4this :

        My two options were exaggerations, and both of them have obvious, serious problems. That’s why I’m trying to find out what the solution really should be. I know I can’t be 100% certain with the job. The firm just has a very good reputation for hiring all of its clerks every summer. And, beyond that, it’s my only post-school option right now, which is exactly why I’m trying to figure out other options.

        • ananon4this :

          And… H said many times that he was happy and supportive of me applying in City B (we definitely talked about it many times). I just recently sat him down, now that I have an official summer offer, and said, “hey.. but, really, how would we make this work with SD?” And he basically said.. “oh.. well.. I guess we can’t.” So now I’m trying to brainstorm.

          • Frou Frou :

            Here’s the thing. You are asking your husband to hypothetically choose between you and his daughter over a possible job offer that may never come for another year. He’s not going to do that and he shouldn’t have to. Put on your big girl pants, take a deep breath, and wait and see what happens. Stop putting your DH in this position, because it sounds like you will lose. FWIW, I would absolutely expect my DH to choose a relationship with his child from a previous relationship over a relationship with me, because I’m the adult and I can deal with not being the priority. Children, on the other hand, cannot and they deserve both parents in their lives as much as possible.

    • e_pontellier :

      I really like the suggestion of living half way between cities A and B if you end up loving your summer job and would love to take an offer from them. Also, since you got the job through OCI and will spend the summer at a big firm, you sound like you’d be a great candidate for a clerkship in city A, which would then open a whole new round of doors for you (and wouldn’t require you to do OCI before 3L). This sounds like a very sensitive issue and I’m glad you were able to bring it up here.

    • ananon4this: I think people above are being unnecessarily harsh. You clearly know that you are kind of freaking out, and are asking for advice. I completely know what it’s like when that “Must Need To Know The Future” thing kicks in and I start thinking all kinds of crazy worst case scenarios :o( that feeling really sucks. I have the hardest time dealing with people who can say “let’s just wait and see” I know they are being honest, but I just don’t know how they do it! My brain seems to run away with me!

      So, all of that to say {{{BigInternetHugs}}} and you have A LOT going on, and it is perfectly normal to be stressing out about All Of The Different Things that all seem to be up in the air at the same time.

      BUT, all of that said, I will try to be the calm, outside observer for a second. The “Wait and See” CAN mean, just for this summer. It doesn’t have to mean forever. So, figure out how to just focus on doing this summer job at this firm, while leaving everything else the way it is. And then somehow get your brain to understand: At the end of the summer IF a full-time job offer happens, THAT will be the time to sit down and figure out the next steps. If a full-time job offer DOESN’T happen, that will also be the time to sit down and figure out what your next job steps might be. And yes, you will also have to figure out the next steps about having a baby, and a million other things. BUT “Wait and See” doesn’t have to mean: Forever and Ever For The Rest Of Our Lives. It can mean, just till the end of your 2L summer job.

      An even longer response, so I don’t know if you read to the end of this, but {{{HUGS}}} and try to Breathe a few times. And just see if you can get thru the 2L summer job and then, when you have real options on the table, make it clear to your H that it is time to start making some decisions.

      I hope that helps!!!!

    • I think that whatever you do, you need to involve his daughter in the decision from the get-go. Maybe she hates going back and forth, likes city B, and would like to spend all her holidays with dad and the rest of the time with mom. Maybe not. But when I was about the same age one parent moved across the country and uprooted me from the other parent, and let me tell you, the next 10 years of my life until I reached adulthood were absolutely miserable. These are not decisions that should be made without the input of the child, who will be most affected and least able to understand.

      • I hate to say this, as well, but I wouldn’t say you have a 90% chance of a job offer. I know plenty of folks who were no-offered, due to a poor fit, firm dissatisfaction with your work, or simply deciding not to hire. So, don’t consider it a decision you need to make now. I would do it, do the best you can, so if you don’t go that direction, you have good references.

        And as a child of divorce whose parents had a similar schedule, I hated the way my schedule was, but I switched to 1 week on, week off. I was close to my dad and would have been devastated to switch to only seeing him holidays/weekends.

    • Miss Zarves :

      I spoke with my stepmom shortly after reading this, and actually, I thanked her for never doing this, or anything that would have been similarly destructive, to my relationship with my father when I was a kid. Please don’t underestimate the impact that forcing this choice on your husband might have on his relationship with his daughter. Or, truthfully, on her relationship with you. As she becomes an adult and reflects back on her relationships with her parents, she will be able to figure out that the wedge between her and her father was placed there by you. You could miss out on what would otherwise be a fantastic bond with your adult stepdaughter (even if you’re not crazy about her now.)

  52. ms. mcgillicuddy :

    long time lurker who loves reading the financial posts on this site; here’s an interesting link: http://www.smartmoney.com/retirement/planning/secrets-of-the-401k-millionaires-1326152038448/?mg=com-sm

    A financial role model (at least to me) from the article: An executive at a pharmaceutical company, she maxed out her pre-tax contributions each year, and including after-tax contributions saved close to 30% of her earnings annually. She was the kind of person who never had debt — not even mortgage debt, D’Angelo says. “She was a disciplined saver, whenever she got a bonus — she would invest half of it.” Her plan had a mix of large cap, small cap, international equities — and a bit of bonds, and at 56, when she retired, she was earning $450,000.

  53. Anne Bronte :

    If you’re late with a credit card payment but pay before it goes to an outside collection agency, does it go on your credit report? I got a call from AT Loft because apparently I’ve had a small balance the last two months and didn’t even realize it — I must have been trashing the paperless statements as spam. It was definitely someone from internal collections. This won’t go on my Permanent Record, will it?

    Also, is the NY weather making anyone else want to weep? Summer, I long to be rid of you.

    • Jenna Rink :

      It will go on your record. There is usually a short period of time (5 days or so) after your payment is due but before your next bill is generated during which you can pay without being reported to credit agencies. If it’s been a few months it will be reported to credit agencies, but the degree of lateness as well as the amount are reported, so this won’t Ruin Everything. You could try calling the customer service number, explaining what happened, and asking them to remove it from your record with them, which would remove it from your credit agency record.

    • I don’t know if you are still reading, but just in case…

      This exact thing happened to me. I had forgotten that I used that card until I got “the call.” Whoops. It did go on my credit report, and it did impact my score, but only by about ~20 points immediately. A couple of years later, I don’t think it makes an impact at all. It stays there for 7 years, but honestly, it’s not the end of the world – if this is the only blemish on your record, you won’t be turned down for loans or anything else because of it. I got a mortgage a year later with no problems.

      You can talk to the bank and explain the situation and ask them to not report it, if they haven’t already. But even if they do, don’t stress yourself out over it.

  54. Auto Anon :

    Used Car Advice

    Saw a car today that really hits my sweet spot. I need a reliable car that gets from point A to point B and back again. My job requires me to be on the road a lot and it’s mostly highway miles. Also, need storage space for IKEA trips and other stuff.

    The car in question with the specs is $11,750 according to the Kelley Blue Book website. Dealer’s starting point is $13,500. Dealer showed me the maintenance records and carfax– car is pristine, no accidents, very regularly serviced at that very dealer’s shop, and is certified by that dealer.

    What would your opening bid be? Aggressive, with the goal of landing around the $11,750? Any tips would be helpful here. Thanks in advance.

    • I have NEVER bought a car, but my dad has, and he is a very SHROUD negosheator, who realy does NOT even negosheate at all!

      His rule’ of thumb is VERY simple. He just goes to the guy and says:

      “LOOK, this is what I am abel to pay, NO more, No less. I do not have time to DICKER with you so please to cut the BS. Take it or leave it. ”

      They alway’s take it b/c he is fair. He is also very smart. MENSA smart!!! Yay!

    • Well, my dad was not a SHROUD negosheator, but here is my advice:
      1. Find some specific reasons to list why the car should be below the blue book price – you were really looking for feature X, it looks like there is some heavy wear on the carpet, etc. List them, say (with conviction) that they lower the car below the “excellent” or whatever condition it is listed as, and start with a price somewhat below the blue book value.
      2. Are you paying cash, financing with the dealer, or financing elsewhere? If you aren’t financing with the dealer, they will get the full cash at the time of sale – which can mean they might be happier to accept a little less.
      3. Look for comparables listed at lower prices, if possible, at CarMax or even CraigsList and point them out.

      This might just be my personality, and I’m not good at BS, but if I’m armed with facts I’m confident and able to negotiate a lot better than if I’m just spouting off because I want to pay less.

      Also, be prepared, truly, mentally prepared, to walk away. If you negotiate from the mindset of “if I don’t get below 12,000, I’m leaving,” the conviction will tend to come across in the negotiation and make you more convincing to the dealer. And then, walk away if you don’t get what you want – there are a million cars for sale in the world, and you will find another car if you don’t get this one.

      Good luck!

  55. momentsofabsurdity :

    Does anyone have the IKEA Solsta sofabed? I’m considering it because the price is so low and we need another small couch. Would love to hear other’s thoughts as well as thoughts on size and packing it into a Camry-sized vehicle to transport it home.


    • karenpadi :

      The ikea near me (palo alto) delivers. It’s charged per trip to your house so stock up and have them deliver as many things as possible.

  56. Cover Letter Help :

    Some advice from the hive, please. I took a job that quickly turned into a nightmare less than a year ago. In a trying to pick myself up kind of way, I browsed some job boards in my field and found quite a few jobs that I am perfectly qualified for. I would love to apply now and, hopefully, escape my current nightmare.

    Question – how do you explain looking for a new job from a current job you have had less than a year and that, on paper, is about the same as the ones you are applying for (other than saying “PLEASE, SAVE ME FROM MY CRAZY BOSSES”)?? I’m trying to address it proactively in a cover letter and also have some stuff ready if, by any chance, one of them calls me back.

    • You really want to work for that company?

      • AnonInfinity :


        She doesn’t want to work for her current company, so she is applying for new jobs.

        Ask a Manager has some good columns about this, I think, Cover Letter Help.

        • AMB is saying you focus writing about why you want to work for the new company, not why you are leaving. Its assumed that something is wrong with your old job, but just focus on why the new company would be great

  57. anon for this :

    I am struggling with how to address negative and inappropriate comments about my personal life at work. I am a young attorney and recently married a professional athlete. I continue to use my maiden name and want to continue to work, even after I have children. Problem: my husband’s career makes for constant fodder at the office and I worry that it will detrimentally impact my career. There are 2 trains of thought: 1) partners will comment that I am not going to work for very long, due to my husband’s career, or 2) partners will make snide remarks that my husband’s career is not legitimate and that we will struggle financial in the future. Both groups will ask inappropriate questions and pry (example: asking about how much money he makes).

    I am becoming increasingly concerned that my husband’s career will impact partner’s decisions regarding what cases to give me, partnership, etc. and I want to develop an appropriate response to comments that I will not work. To combat this stereotype, I am one of the highest billing associates in my office and carry a heavy caseload. Any thoughts on how to combat these ridiculous gender stereotypes and inappropriate questions?

    • If you are SMART, you will MANAGE your husband’s finances. To many atheletes make a lot of money, but soon blow it all because they have never had money. As an attorney, you presumably have enough common sense to tell hubby that you are in it for the long term with him and to stay away from people with big ideas that they want him to bankroll because he is making a lot of money. I am presuming he is a professional in a high-paying sport, not something esoteric that has no money associated with it.

      So this is a case where you, as the woman, can wear the financial pants in the family. Put him on a budget and insist that you want to put the money away where you can both invest it.

      As for the partners at work, it should make no difference to them what they assign you. The only thing I can think of is if your husband is not invaluable to the team in the locale where you are working, that he could be traded.

      So if he’s in football, and he is now with the Washington Redskins, pray that he works his arse off or else they “will shuffle him off to Buffalo! ” OMG! Let’s hope not.

    • New poster :

      I’m sorry this is happening to you–that would make for a very stressful work environment.

      I have two thoughts. One, some people are probably just a little star-struck and want to talk about your husband’s career generally because they think it’s cool that they work closely with someone married to a professional athlete. So some of the inappropriate comments could be awkward people making awkward comments because they want to talk about your husband but don’t know what to say. Not that that makes it right.

      Second, unfortunately the only thing you can really do to change this impression people have that you are gearing up to leave is to continue to be steady, reliable and dedicated. It sounds like you are already doing that by shouldering a heavy caseload and working really hard. I’m not sure how recently you got married vs. how long you have worked there, but perhaps people are more focused on this right now (if you just announced the marriage) and will ease up when they see how your work/dedication/ambition hasn’t been changed by it.

    • Anon for this, it’s somewhat late in the weekend for this question. You might even email Kat and ask her to feature this question on a daily thread.

      In my opinion, your situation is a variation on the “she just got married to a guy with bucks and will retire to raise kids” scenario that we’ve talked about before except with two variations – your husband is a public figure and his salary is not known (as it would be if he were a surgeon or newscaster, for example). I think you need to develop a standard response to that question that shuts down nosy people’s questions. Perhaps to the partners at your firm who matter, it could be something like “Mr. Big is very glad that I’m committed to my career and we’ve agreed that I will continue to focus on my career in the long-term. I’m determined to become Senior Associate (or whatever) and will demonstrate that by the high quality of my work product.” To people who don’t have an impact on your career, just a Miss Manners’ type brush-off would be in order. Perhaps others will have other solutions.

      • Just a clarification – by “salary not known” I mean that most people can ball-park a surgeon’s salary so that it’s a known factor, and there’s no anxiety. When it’s not known, then some people feel compelled to find out so they can “peg” the other person. If your hubby was a football player who had just signed a $XX million contract, they would have their curiosity satisfied. The fact that they can’t makes them act rudely, not that that’s an excuse.

  58. Litigatrix :

    Random question….but does anyone have advice for selling a few pieces of clothing online? I have a few pieces of new/newish items that I have not worn but are too good to give away. I looked into ebay, but I get a bit overwhelmed. There are no consignment stores in my area, so I am thinking of online resale places. Is there a marketplace for corporette ladies by chance? I thought there was a thread about that awhile ago, but I can’t seem to find it. :)

  59. Litigatrix :

    Random question….but does anyone have advice for selling a few pieces of clothing online? I have a few pieces of new/newish items that I have not worn but are too good to give away. There are no consignment stores in my area, so I am thinking of online resale places. Is there a marketplace for corporette ladies by chance? I thought there was a thread about that awhile ago, but I can’t seem to find it. :)

  60. Completely off-topic, but I just graduated law school and I’m starting work at a biglaw Manhattan firm in a few weeks and I’m trying to decide on a work appropriate bag. I’m thinking the Le Pliage bag, just because I saw so many associates with one when I was a summer associate there. Do you think the bilberry color is appropriate for work (shown here: http://is.gd/NDrknZ) or do I need to go for a more traditional black? Also, is this even the right bag to be using for work? Any ideas/thoughts/suggestions/words of wisdom would be much appreciated! Thanks!

    • This site (and the comments) has covered appropriate work bags countless times. Personally, I would avoid the one that everyone else has, but I guess we can’t all be mindless conformists.

      • Anon for this :

        I for one, cannot stand these “we talked about it before” replies. Not everyone started reading this site at the same time, and there may be new insights/ideas/developments even if a topic has been discussed before. If you must, post a link to the thread with a constructive comment like “this thread might answer your question.”

    • Many might disagree but I feel the Longchamp Le Pilage is too casual. I have a few and they are great but I only use them on weekends, casual Fridays, on vacation and if I want a second tote bag to take to work to put my laptop, papers in. Its not a structured bag and you can come across as disorganized when you rummage through it to find something. Happens to me all the time when I take it shopping! I would try to buy the best structured leather bag within your budget instead. If you must get a Le Pilage, I feel the short handle is slightly more professional and classy looking than the long handle. All the best with your new job!

    • TO lawyer :

      The Pippa!!! Comes in a ton of neutral and fun colours, is structured, has pockets… pockets are not quite big enough for laptops – my macbook pro 13′ doesn’t fit, but I always use one of the main pockets for papers/briefs to carry back and forth to work. I’ve found it to be really good quality and I’m looking forward to breaking mine out again in a couple weeks. (I have the black and put it away for the spring/summer).

    • I don’t know if you are still reading but…

      The bag is appropriate, esp. if many associates have it at that particular firm (I like the bilberry color too). There are many worse options. But it does veer casual. And I don’t think it makes you a “mindless conformist” – there’s a reason that bag is so popular – its lightweight, holds a ton of stuff, and lasts forever.

      Consider MZ Wallace bags (I have the Jane) – also light weight and roomy, but with lots of pockets so they don’t get all disorganized, and they have that ~something~ that makes them look less casual.

      Posters here ask for suggestions for bags a lot on this site, so if you browse the comments from the past week or two I’m sure you’ll see lots more suggestions.

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