Holiday Weekend Open Thread

kate spade new york 'jewelbar' long station necklaceSomething on your mind?  Chat about it here. 

HAPPY HOLIDAYS, YOU GUYS! In keeping with Corporette tradition the posting will be lighter for the next week or so, but stay tuned for some year-end round-ups of my favorite clothes, suits, accessories, and posts (and feel free to use those as new open threads if you like). For the last Weekend Open Thread of 2012, I am dying for these long necklaces from Kate Spade, which kind of remind me of those long Chanel necklaces I’ve been ogling — but in a more fun, happy, affordable package. Each necklace is $98 at Nordstrom. kate spade new york ‘jewelbar’ long station necklace




  1. Happy Holidays everyone! To those of you with huge deadlines in the following weeks, good luck and I hope you can relax soon :)

    • Yes, second all of that!

      And, I want to say HAPPY HOLIDAYS to Kat!!! And thank you again for the wonderful holiday gift of this site, an incredible community that is always there for me and where I have made so many incredible new friends. Have a happy holiday with your family, and THANK YOU!

  2. I love these necklaces but not sure if they’re worth $98.

    • eastbaybanker :

      I would agree. There is also an almost identical necklace in the sale section of some bay area JCrew stores right now, but I don’t see it online. But for a similar pop of color for $15, check out the JCrew Factory mini crystal and resin-link necklace. It comes in pink, blue and cobalt.

  3. Yay! Open Thread’s! I love open thread’s! There can, by definition, be NO Threadjack’s!

    I am waiteing for Myrna to come over with her exercycle. She is loaning it to me b/c I told the manageing partner I needed alot of new clothe’s b/c of my tuchus, and he gave me a chalenge. He said if I could loose 5 pound’s by January 1 (technicaly Jan 2, b/c I am home Jan 1), he will give me $500 as a bonus OVER AND ABOVE my clotheing alowance! YAY!

    I was worried that I could not loose 5 pound’s, but Myrna will be my trainor, and she is bringeing over her exercycle for me to use in front of my TV. She said that b/c I sit at home all the time watching TV, I can use her exercycle to watch tv and exercize at the same time. Also, she thinks that it COULD help my tuchus, but she did NOT hold out alot of hope b/c she said she does NOT beleive in SPOT reduceing.

    She also is takeing me running in Central Park! FOOEY. I do NOT like to run, and have to get running shoe’s that the manageing partner will NOT 30% reimbeurse for b/c they are NOT to be worn in the office. FOOEY!

    I have 12 day’s to loose 5 pound’s! I can do it MYRNA says! Yay!!!!

  4. If you dress your middle-aged husbands who may have a bit of a spare tire, what kind of jeans do you buy? I wish that I were lying, but my DH just bought himself a pair of Wranglers and a pair of Dickies. This is what happens when left to his own devices!!! At the same time, I don’t think he should be looking at the same brands that the twenty-somethings wear. Suggestions?

    • DH likes Polo/Ralph Lauren jeans and Lucky Brand.

    • Joe’s and Lucky primarily. Look for jeans with a medium rise that are fairly straight legged or bootcut. Avoid ones that are baggy or tapered.

    • Chaps, Levi’s, Calvin Klein (some styles)

    • Lucky Jeans seem my DH well. He is 6’1″ and has a belly (and we don’t really drink, so we call it a “root beer belly”). For work jeans he wears Carhartt. He does have a pair of wranglers he wears when we go riding and those actually fit really well too.

      The only “skinny” jeans I own are wranglers, that I bought to wear riding so they fit under my tall boots, they are pretty comfy!

  5. Anne Shirley :

    Happy holidays! No better present than reminding the office that no, your vacation location does not have cell service :)

    • That’s amazing. It feels so glamorous, you are going to someplace so hidden and exotic that cell towers haven’t made it.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      The lack of cell service was a material factor in determining where to honeymoon for exactly that reason.

    • Sometimes I don’t have cell service at my house.

      But everybody at work thinks I’m lying.

      • +1.

      • I have this same problem in my house! No cell service virtually ever, despite being in the middle of a large suburban area, and the portable debit/credit machines that the pizza place uses just don’t work and they have to go out into the street to get reception.

        It’s ridiculous, and something I will be checking when we buy our next house, since my cell phone is my primary contact number for just about everything. And having to look up a number on my cell to dial on the house phone instead of just hitting call from my cell is super annoying.

  6. Why do I have to be such a judgy mcjudgerson? I got an email from some guy through one of the internet dating sites, and I couldn’t read past the first line where he stated that “he travels allot.” This could be the most wonderful guy in the world but I just can’t even read his entire message. Sigh.

    • Sugar Magnolia :

      I think we judge sometimes when WE feel judged. and on a dating site, I would imagine you feel that way a lot. Maybe you just are trying to protect yourself from dating “Mr. OK” rather than Mr. Right too. I know I did that when I was single.

      Either way, you should be gentle with yourself – it is the holiday season!

      • Okay, so I just don’t think this right. Granola is right, she’s judging someone. So you can’t really say be nice to yourself, don’t judge yourself for judging someone else. This just seems sort of . . . I don’t know what. Like we can just excuse any behavior by saying “be kind to yourself” (not that what Granola did is that bad at all, just that it’s a slippery slope).

        Honestly, I think you should get over it. Lots of people have trouble with spelling and are otherwise wonderful and brilliant people. If his job further emphasizes that he may not have the education level you want, that’s one thing, but I don’t think you should judge him just for a misspelling in an email. It’s not even on his profile, where you could say he should be a better proofreader.

        • Plus he could be a foreigner, misled by the horrible general level of spelling in the US :-)..

        • What'sWrongWithYou :

          … I’m with Granola on this one. I have worked very hard to learn proper grammar/spelling and make an effort to check what I write before sending it off to be read by someone else. If he’s bad at spelling, he could have used a spellcheck (ftr, both spellcheck and spellcheker appear in my dictionary ;) ) program before sending the message.
          I immediately judge people for such mistakes. Sorry!

    • I think you’re being too hard on yourself. In that situation, I would have the same reaction you did – I wouldn’t conclude by any means that he was a bad guy, but I would conclude that he is probably not for me. It’s important to me to be with someone who shares my interests, and some of those interests include reading and education (not necessarily formal education; I mean being informed about interesting subjects and the world).

      It could be a typo, or it could be that he reads a great deal but the spelling never sank in somehow. And I would never reject someone as a friend for such an error. But on a dating site? The whole point is to judge people by their profiles and decide which ones attract you.

      • Anonymous :

        This. If that’s the only error in the email and you are otherwise interested, I would exchange a few more messages with him and see how it goes. But if there are more errors than just that one, it would make me think that either the guy doesn’t read, like, at all, or doesn’t pay attention to detail, both of which would be undesirable traits for me.

    • Too many fish in the sea for an allot.

    • I’m the same way. I had to give up on internet dating because i had eliminated every single person in my area for something little like that, and I just realized I am too horrible and judgy of a person to do internet dating ;oP

      When i meet people in person, however, i immediately am drawn to all the things i like about them! I guess i’m a crazy person.

    • Ha, thanks guys. I’m trying to take off my judgy pants and be more open minded, but it seems that all I can do is find reasons not to respond to the people who contact me. If, on the other hand, I had met this person in real life first and had been instantly drawn to him, I would probably not care about the “allot.”

      • saacnmama :

        When dating, it may be preferable to keep your pants on, at least in the beginning;)

        • Oh, so that’s what I’ve been doing wrong all this time! Haha.

        • Divaliscious11 :

          Off topic, but is this the same saacnmama from The Juggle? If so, I used to post over their a few years ago as Chitown lawyermom. Welcome!

      • risk adverse :

        Try to remember that you’re emailing him, not marrying him. You don’t have to go on date with him. If you go on a first date, you don’t have to go on a second date. For me, remember that the risk is low is key to online dating.

    • espresso bean :

      Don’t judge yourself! I would do (and have done) the same thing.

    • I once sent a “Really?” note to a guy whose profile said he was “extremely inteligent.” He joked back that it was how he snared smart women. We ended up dating for a few months. Great guy, but as it turns out, not extremely intelligent.

    • Meh, spelling/grammer is important to you. That’s ok.

    • I would date him. If he’s not as smart as you who cares? You’re not marrying him but even if you were being smarter will work there too.

      Go out and have fun! It’s Christmas ! But don’t be reckless!

    • I’d read the entire email because it could be a brain fart type of mistake, rather than a genuine lack of spelling knowledge. (Like typing their instead of there.) Usually the people who think a lot is one word spell it alot.

      But I don’t think there’s anything wrong with bad spelling being a dealbreaker. Everybody’s got their things they can’t stand.

      • I’m genuinely startled by much is being ascribed to bad spelling. And I say that as someone who won a couple spelling bees in elementary school and accomplished roughly nothing else throughout high school and college. I know plenty of people who excelled in chemistry and math — heck, even in English, but just didn’t spell that well. It doesn’t mean that much. My spelling was fine, but in high school I failed physics.
        I just worry about giving so much credence to one thing. We all have our capabilities and our challenges. Spelling well isn’t that great, and spelling poorly doesn’t mean much.

        • IDK, as a terrible speller myself, I’d be more than happy that people like the OP weed themselves out of my dating pool. If they have such a hyper critical reaction to a non-formal communication, there would be obvious compatibility issues for me. The little things in life don’t get to me that much. Heck, I’ve seen people have egregious typos on resumes (where typos are a much more relevant error) who have gotten the job anyway and have been been real assets.

          It’s fine that OP puts that much an emphasis on spelling. If it’s a big deal, then it’s a big deal. If more people were honest about what they cared about, then we’d all waste less time in dating. :)

        • Lady Enginerd :

          True, but presumably this email was typed on a computer that has spell check. I think attention to detail is important, and so this is one piece of very early evidence that he might, later on, forget appointments or forget to pick up milk on the way home. Not a deal breaker if it’s the only sloppy thing on the profile or in the email, but if it’s a pattern, he wouldn’t be a good match for me. So many of the ladies on this site are in professions where we must regularly present ourselves as credible and trustworthy in writing, so a spelling error from a prospective date sets off all the red flags that we presume a spelling error would set off in, say, a client.

        • I don’t consider bad spelling a dealbreaker, for the record. But like anon at 11:20 said, if it really bothers the email recipient, they’re probably not compatible anyway.

      • Yeah, my SO doesn’t always have perfect spelling and grammar when we text or chat but that’s more of a typing thing. Like “know” and “no” and “their” and there” and “they’re” but he does know better! When he sits down and writes me an email when he has time, his spelling and grammar are impeccable. He has considerably less education than I do, due to life circumstances, but he’s a very smart guy.

    • Sometimes autocorrect makes me sound like an imbecile. I’d chat some and see if it’s a pattern or a one off.

    • Don’t sweat it. It’s your natural screening mechanism.

    • hellskitchen :

      There’s usually at least five comments on this site every day from someone saying “sorry for all the typos in my previous post.” This guy’s email may be a genuine mistake. I would like to assume you aren’t judging every time someone posts a “sorry for the typos” comment on this site so I’d say cut him some slack

  7. Let’s play a game! What are the things you know your family will comment on about you during the holdays?

    Mine are my Dad – he will comment on my hair being blonder (got highlights yesterday) and he will marvel that I wear different shoes with every outfit.

    Your turn!

    • long time lurker :

      My mom will say I look like I need to sleep more/eat more/work less or some combination of the these.

      • My mom too – she’ll say I’m too thin (really, I’m not – I’m the same size I’ve always been), too overworked and look like I need more sleep (that may be true). It is her job as a parent to worry about me and I know she’ll never stop worrying. (And she knows she can’t ask me why I’m still single, so she’ll have to focus on other things.)

        Also, reading other commenters’ stories over the last few days of very difficult mothers with mental health and other issues, I just want to tell you how strong I think you all are are in coping with your situations. I realize how lucky I am to have a mother whose only problem is excessive worrying about me.

        Happy holidays everyone!

        • Legally Brunette :

          My mom always says that I’m too thin too (I’m not) and will stuff my face whenever I visit her. :)

          • Similarly, my father will look at me and say to my mother, “Doesn’t she look thin? She looks too thin.” And literally no one else in the entire world has said this about me, ever, and I will weight exactly the same as when I saw him last.

        • My mom will say that I’m too thin, even though she knows that it’s a sensitive topic because I’ve been dealing with serious nausea that’s made it hard for me to eat *and* that because of my eating disorder history, I hate talking about weight. She will do this not because she’s insensitive, but because she’s worried and can’t help herself.

          She will also remind me 1.4 million times not to forget my doctor’s appointment next week related to the above.

          It drives me crazy, but I love her.

    • BorderLawyer :

      fun game! My mother will definitely mention that my pants are fitting a little tighter than they were the last time she saw me, and will probably also comment on the extra glass of wine I intend to have if she says that!

    • I see my immediate family very often so they won’t say anything. Extended family: when are you going to have a baby?

      • Yeah, this is my situation, too. Except instead of a baby, it’s my hair is so long or they remember when I _________.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Everyone will comment on “what will do with the spare bedrooms in the new house?” and then stare waiting for me to say “fill them with babies” which I won’t. Instead, I will say, we already decorated them as fully furnished guest rooms so our friends and family can stay when they visit. Alternatively, I will comment on how I now have room to foster/adopt so many more pets and how the room that the prior owners had decorated as a nursery would be perfect for fostering a mama cat and her kittens. I will then score my relatives on who looks the most disappointed. I will offer that person a drink. I will then pour myself one at the same time and watch their disappointment further grow. I might even comment on how I need someone to remind me to stop at the pharmacy tomorrow and pick up my birth control prescription. I might cap it off by running with scissors.

    • Not seeing my parents this holiday but my mom is notorious for the subtle (not at all) tummy pinch. Never mind that I’ve lost 40 lbs. The minute I get off the plane, she’ll be talking about what we have to get done and who we have to see. My relatives will mock my academic pursuits and ask me about guys.

      Thank you for this thread as I was quite sad panda about not going home. Spending xmas by my lonesome and it might be a welcome change to the normal ‘step off plane, revert to stroppy teenager’ routine.

    • My mom – weight and wedding date. and if i’m not lucky weight again. and probably my skin (though it is looking much more fab thanks to all you lovely ladies and your Paula’s Choice recs. Seriously that stuff is amazing).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        So glad Paula’s is working for you, too! I love it.

        • I have been telling everyone. I’m still on the free samples, but I am singing their praises from the rooftops. Even my SO has noticed! I finally can walk around with no makeup on and not feel totally self conscious.

          • just Karen :

            I’m trying Paula’s Choice, but I haven’t found the right combination of products for me – I have a lot of small blemishes, but their Clear system did nothing for me – anyone out there want to recommend some of their favorites for breakout-prone combination skin? This will be what my mother comments on as well.

          • @Just Karen, lots of small blemishes sounds like a job for benzoyl peroxide. Have you given ProActiv a shot? I’m a Dr. Rodan fan. She is my dermatologist.

          • Just Karen, your skin sounds similar to mine. Paula’s Choice Clear line did nothing for my skin, but the skin balancing one, combined with a 10% benzoyl peroxide topical ointment (Clean and Clear has one at Target), works beautifully.

          • JustKaren – I chatted with a rep rather than purchasing a line. I have dry skin with lots of blackheads and scarring so I’m probably on a different regiment than you. I chatted and they sent me out samples and said if I wasn’t seeing results to call/email and they’d send me better samples so I could find the right formula.

            I’m on moisture boost facewash and moisturizer, the Skin Perfecting 1% BHA Gel Exfoliant, RESIST Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment and i forget which toner

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Oh skin. I am blessed with pretty awesome skin. Yet anytime I see my mom I inevitably hear “do you know you are getting a pimple right here?” She then proceeds to touch it.

    • Mother in law will comment on frequency of visits and likelihood of babies (probably).

      • risk adverse :

        Surely inversely correlated?

        • Probably not. I can guarantee once children are in the picture the pressure for more visits will ramp up. :-P

          • SF Bay Associate :

            But increased frequency of visits might dampen opportunities/enthusiasm for lady garden parties, thus reducing likelihood of babies.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      My mother will try to hint that she would really like a grandchild and PS you (SF Bay) are not getting any younger, but she’ll do it in a way that she thinks is slick because she knows that she will really piss me off if she says it too overtly. So, she’ll make it as veiled as possible in order to prevent me from having a legitmate reason to be pissed off. One of my extended relatives will make a comment to my DH (also an attorney at a good firm) about it must be tough on DH that his wife is at a bigger firm (read: better; read read: pays more) than he is.

      • So this is very crude, and it’s intended for shock value…but one of my friends (jokingly) suggested that when a relative asks me over the holidays when we are going to have a baby, I should look at said relative with a straight face, and deadpan, “oh, we only have lady garden parties in the back yard” (substitute your own words, but with same meaning). I could never say something like that but the thought of responding to an inappropriate comment in such an inappropriate manner makes me crack up.

        • Ok I read this as literally “in the back yard” (and was picturing out in the actually back yard under the trees) until I read it out loud to DH and he got it, and I got it about 1 second later. HA I wish I was the kind of person that would say that!

    • applesandcheddar :

      My grandparents will definitely tell me that I don’t eat enough (and ask me what I way if they are in a chipper mood), and if I am lucky and get a pimple, my grandfather will be sure to point it out. I’m sure they will also ask me if I am still “with that boy.” That boy being my boyfriend of 4+ years. Also my brother and his wife will probably ask me why I don’t buy a house (helloooo…I live in DC and they live in middle of nowhere America!).

    • TO Lawyer :

      I feel like I shouldn’t be negative on this thread and bring everyone down so close to the holidays but part of me is dreading going home because of all the comments I will get from my mom – my weight, my hair, my SO not being good enough, my deficiencies as a daughter.

      Sigh – I may be counting down to getting back to work to escape the queen of passive-aggressive land

      • Do what I do; turn it into a game. Every normal rude comment is one point, every really b*tchy comment is 5, and I get points for not responding (same scale). A whopper gets 10 points (you know the ones that you feel your BP go up and tears in your eyes). Then the points turn into a prize for me at the end – tequilla, pedicure, whatever! Build your scale before you go and you’ll be cheering for one more nasty comment to get you that new purse.

        • saacnmama :

          So they get points for the comments they make, or their comments are there for mine to be deducted from? I seriously need a system to not respond to my mom when she attacks. There is no predicting what she will say. Last time we saw them, they wanted to go somewhere for Tgiving so we did. One afternoon they wanted to split up. They’d take the trolley, we’d take the car, see each other at dinner. Around 4:15, as we were heading towards a little time on the beach and a badly-needed nap, they texted us their location. Took 45 min to get a straight answer out of them that we should pick them up. Horrible traffic. Mentioned heading back to hotel for a nap and you’d swear it was the most obscene/dumbest thing she’d ever heard in her life. I don’t spend time with people who treat me like that otherwise, and always, always, always, since middle school or maybe earlier, have felt like Bambi’s mama meeting the hunter when she uses that tone.

          • so the points work for restraint too. so if your mom says wow you look so fat you get 5 points. if you don’t comment you get 5 points. this equals 10. on my scale 10 is a glass of wine.

      • Anonymous :

        I see my mother fairly often. We see my sister about once a year. My mother will offhandedly, as if it is not happening at all, repeat every single concern I have voiced about my sister in confidence, only she’ll spin it as a complaint.

        And she will have a revelation that she has gotten REALLY fat when she once again realizes that she is bigger than I am.

      • eastbaybanker :

        I buy myself a lovely present every year, put it in my suitcase, and I get to unwrap it after I’ve survived my family visit and their cruel and judgemental comments about me going to hell or whatever for my sinful life choices. It’s my way of treating myself well after a rough trip. A couple years ago, I gave myself a Tory Burch clutch. This year, I will be earning a cashmere sweater.

        Also, I lower my expectations. If we don’t start World War III over dinner, I consider it an outstanding visit.

        I also try to make time to see highschool friends while I’m in town and bring running shoes. Both are good reasons to get out of the house.

    • saacnmama :

      My sister will comment on my job sitch.

      My mother will give me an appraising look and comment that I seem to be in pretty good shape (I’m totally not).

      My parents will NOT reply to anything positive I say about my son.

    • Anonymous :

      Weight will definitely be commented on, even though I’m the same size as last year, it’s really a running commentary from them that has been going on since I was 13, which obviously makes me feel *so* great.

    • The fact that I’m single (parents and extended family will make that comment) and the fact that I’m not providing them grandchildren anytime soon (parents only will complain). I’m really looking forward to “we’d worry about you so much less being so far away if you weren’t alone”, and “you’ve been finished school for almost 2 years now, what are you doing?”. It’s going to be delightful.

    • My mom will comment on how much younger I look with my hair in a pixie (she’s been after me to cut it ever since I started growing it ) (I know, we’re weird)

      I am also prepared for so many passive-aggressive comments directed at my brother because he requested we celebrate early. This is fine with me, since I have to work both Monday and Wednesday, but I’m predicting upset on the part of my mother.

      • My parents strongly prefer short hair on their two daughters, as well. Especially my dad. I am never ever cutting it short again, because I hated it short when I was in my adolescence.

    • My mom will comment for the millionth time about how having the woman be the breadwinner in the family is hard on a man’s ego.

      And then she will spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out why so many of my women friends are single, and then she will suggest I fix them up with some of my single male friends. Then I will remind her that most of my single male friends are gay, and she will say, “but they’re so nice!”

      • eastbaybanker :


      • Hey, mamabear, all of my male friends are gay, too! SO doesn’t understand it at all, but it’s been that way my whole life.

        I solve a lot of these friend and relationship questions by telling my family absolutely nothing about my personal life. Of course, then my Dad complains that I never tell him anything. EXACTLY!!

    • My mom will ask me when I last got my hair done, which is her uber-passive aggressive way of saying she doesn’t like the ombre that I *love*.
      My dad will tell me a hundred times how much he misses me, which never ceases to make me tear up. He has turned into a total softy in his older age and I kind of love it. We are so much closer now than we used to be.
      My FIL will announce (after we tell him that I am pregnant with the first grandchild) that he and MIL are NOT “free daycare” like all the other grandparents in the family, instead of being as excited as I wish he would be. Of course, I am hoping it will go differently than this… but I have my doubts.
      Overall, though, I am so so excited to get home and announce this pregnancy. I have been bursting at the seams for weeks!

      • Coach Laura :

        Congratulations eaopm3 on the pregnancy. I hope FIL exceeds your expectations.

      • Congratulations! Surely nothing can bring you down from something that exciting!

      • Mmm. How about announcing “I’m pregnant, but I’m sorry you’re going to have to wait in line as this child is NOT going to stay at any grandparents till at least junior high”? A bit of a preventive strike could help keep their mind onto what they really want.

    • “You look tired.”

      • Anonymous :

        +1. Followed by the “how late were you working last night? You should really get some sleep.” Oh, gee, thanks for the tip mom! I didn’t realize that after my sixth night of getting about 4 hours total of sleep, I was just freely choosing to work that late for no reason whatsoever. :-/

        • Anonymous :


          It hurts even more when I get to say, “Nope, I’m not tired…. this is just how I look…”


    • Its totally true that family over the holidays can be rough – I’m certainly on board with this and am no stranger to awful family events. But, while my mom will talk incessantly about her work and rarely ask about mine, she’ll also want to escape family gatherings to get secret drinks, and she’ll remind me that she’s proud of me and that together we’re not only working on our education/work/relationships to make our individual lives good, we’re also contributing to our family as a whole by doing so. My grandfather will be typically demanding and controlling but he’ll also cry when I leave and tell me how proud he is. My teen brother will very likely be a growly teenage mess, but he’ll also ask for advice and get sheepishly excited about giving gifts. And the super downers in the family are ex-nayed this year, huzzah!

    • Mine will ask me if I enjoyed going out to lunch and seeing Les Mis. #HoorayJews

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Great game! My parents probably won’t comment too much except to maybe say ‘you looked so nice blonde’ (I’m now a brunette and most people say it suits me better, it’s just what my parents are used to), but my great aunt who never married will ask if I have a boyfriend and when I say no, she will get all worried and upset and say things like ‘oh you really need to get one already, time is running out’. For full disclosure, I am quite happy with my status, but in any case it’s not like one just goes out and shops for a boyfriend like a pair of shoes… Hilarious.

    • Good game. As expected, my dad immediately started sniping about how I’m never coming back to America, and how he will follow me wherever I go because I’m the only thing he has to live for. My godmother has not yet said I would be pretty if I would put on a little more weight, but I’m sure it will come eventually.

    • Once had a great aunt who, every time she saw my brother in law, would invariably say “{name}! You got fat!”

    • I haven’t lost weight, and I’m not yet engaged. Two things that make my mom *so sad*. But she’ll get over it once she realizes she finally has someone to complain about my dad to!

  8. Hello ladies,
    I am a long time lurker and was hoping for some sage guidance from you all. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS and am kind of bummed. I am a happily married 27 year-old and am now concerned about fertility and my general health. I have always had terrible problems with blood sugar and now know why! I have also had weight fluctuations that don’t seem to quit even though I run regularly and eat healthfully. Anyway, I wondered if anyone had a similar experience. I also wondered, re fertility, if I should start trying sooner than I otherwise would have now knowing that I will definitely have fertility issues.

    I hope everyone has an excellent holiday!!

    • Hi Tig, I’m really sorry you’re feelning so bummed. I don’t personally have PCOS, but I do have several friends that have it and they have also successfully gotten pregnant and have healthy children. I don’t know the answer to when you should start trying, but these friends were in the 32-35 age range when they received treatment which included, I believe, a fertility specialist, a special diet (Atkins seemed to work), and they also took Clomid.

      Happy Holidays to you, too!

      • Legally Brunette :

        I know a coworker who has PCOS and had twins when she was 30. I don’t know her well enough to ask whether she needed any special treatments, but she did say that she felt that she needed to have kids earlier than she would have originally planned because of her condition. I don’t know if that is something her doctor told her or what, but definitely worth looking into. Bottom line, I don’t think PCOS will preclude you from having beautiful kids. Good luck.

    • My friend has PCOS and when she and her husband started TTC they thought it would take a long time, so they were shocked when she got pregnant instantly. Don’t let the diagnosis bring you down – it’s a good thing that you now know and you can address it (and probably feel much better).

    • Sorry. I have not been diagnosed with PCOS, but I have had doctors that really want to diagnose me with PCOS, so I just wanted to suggest that you get a second opinion if you have not already done so to make sure. From the doctors I’ve seen, it seems like the understanding of PCOS and misconceptions about it fluctuate wildly, and I would want to find someone that you really feel comfortable with before you start treatment.

      I hope you have a grea holiday and don’t let this bring you down!

      • great, not grea. sorry. sigh.

      • Yes, I have had a couple doctors try to diagnose me with PCOS despite the fact that I have none of the symptoms. It seems that to some doctors any hormonal problem a young, slightly overweight female has must be PCOS.

    • espresso bean :

      No advice, but just wanted to offer my sympathies. That sounds like a hard thing to deal with, but at least you know the cause of the issues. Half the struggle is just putting a name on something — now at least you know what you’re up against. I’m sure others here will have better advice to offer.

      Hope you have a wonderful holiday, too!

    • Thanks everyone! I had an ultrasound and have a ton of cysts, so I’m pretty sure I have it. I haven’t met with my doctor yet to go over treatment options yet, so hopefully that will clear some things up. I really appreciate everyone’s support!

    • Anon for this :

      I have fairly severe PCOS. For some women it’s an annoyance; for others it’s life-altering. I highly recommend the book “A Patient’s Guide to PCOS”. Also, if you haven’t already, you need to be seeing an endocrinologist, not a gynocologist. PCOS is often misdiagnosed and mis-treated, and you don’t want to wait until you’re TTC to see an endo.

  9. espresso bean :

    Question for the creative thinkers of the hive! I want to treat my sister to dinner out at her choice of one of two restaurants. Since I’m letting her pick, I don’t want to get a gift certificate. How can I wrap an experience creatively? Wrap the menus? Wrap a food item that they serve there? I may be overthinking this… any ideas?

    • saacnmama :

      Use the menus to line a box with 2 place settings of cutlery?
      Toddlers’ pretend food?

    • I love the wrapping of the menus idea!

      Some other ideas:
      -Make your own menu (like something you would have at a wedding) with the occasion/date at the top and instead of entrees, put the two restaurant names with a little description.
      -A little spinner or coin (think, flipping a coin) with the two options to symbolize the decision is up to her.
      -If you have great photoshop skills, create two pictures of you eating at each restaurant. You could also draw them if you’re more artistic.
      -When I was younger, my aunt took me to see a play as a birthday gift. She wrapped the tickets in a little evening purse (and she had a matching one – they were our “on the town bags”). If you don’t want to do an actual bag, you could also make one out of paper/grab a kids play one from the dollar store for kicks.

  10. Happy Anon :

    Sorry ladies, but I really just need to put this out in the universe somewhere and I don’t have any other outlets at the moment: my amazing boyfriend is coming to see me in 19 short hours!!!! We’re long distance, so I haven’t seen him since Thanksgiving. Yipee (mental cartwheel)!!!!!

    • TO Lawyer :

      awe yay! Hope you guys have a good time together!

      I’m already counting down to my SO’s arrival in 10 days :)

    • Awww, that’s really awesome and I’m super jealous. My guy and I are long-distance too and he’s only getting Christmas day off so he can’t come home. :( We’re hoping to either do New Year’s together or just take a trip somewhere together after the new year.

  11. I’ve gone anon for this, just to avoid providing any incriminating details, but this was too funny not to share:

    I’m a biglaw lawyer in NYC, and one of our MAJOR corporate clients sent us, as a holiday present, the following:

    Cornhole boards (plastic!), with their corporate logo printed on it. And the accompanying beanbags.

    The name of the game alone should make you realize this is a questionable marketing ploy…and do you really want your lawyers chucking things at your effigy on a regular basis?

    Then again, much pre-holiday lunch hilarity ensued (so, so many puns, so maybe they were just trying to give us some amusement……

    • I would think they did that because it’s inherently funny, and I would think they were a pretty cool client. Really.

      • You’re right — it absolutely hilarious. Maybe I should assume it was done with a sense of ironic fun…I guess the client themselves seems so humorless…perhaps I shall have to reassess.

        I feel like an 8 year old boy, in that the word “cornhole” just doesn’t seem like something you ought to say repeatedly with colleagues…

    • Out of curiosity, are they mid-western? I seriously saw this game maybe once in my life until I worked in the mid-west and suddenly it was everywhere! I didn’t even know it had that hilarious name.

      • It’s very popular in the south too and the trend is growing to have personalized boards. They’re usually made out of plywood so the plastic sounds a little cheap to me.

        • Yeah, plastic? Please, corporate client, get classier.

          Other than the plastic, I think that’s the best Christmas present ever.

    • I love this!!! I am going to guess that you probably don’t deal with the client’s marketing/PR people on a regular basis. IME they tend to be a little more fun than anyone I dealt with when I was outside counsel!

  12. Anon Anxiety :

    Do any of you suffer from anxiety? I am so stressed about a new job that the first thing I do when I wake up is vomit. I am going to the doctor today to ask for medication, but I just feel like a complete fraud because I am supposed to be this super confident, strong, high-powered professional. Please tell me I’m not the only one!

    • Hahahaha…I haven’t vomited, but things have been so crazy at work the last couple of weeks I’ve been sleeping very poorly, and tearing up when no one is looking and I perceive someone thinks badly of me (rationally, I realize they likely do not think badly of me). It’s not like I even work in a crazy high pressure biglaw job; just a normal law job.

      You are definitely not the only one. I am working on staying more rational in my head, the way I do on the outside.

    • Having been laid off this past year, I have nights when I’m sure that I’m going to walk into my new office and be let go. Needless to say, I don’t get much sleep those nights. :|

    • You Are Not The Only One!!

      first, BIG HUGGSSSS. second: I was just ‘putting up with’ crazy anxiety for like two years, thinking it was my own fault and I should just power through. Until I heard lots of amazing women on here who are even more successful and accomplished than I am talking about how much anti-anxiety meds helped them. Then I realized it was okay to ask for help and that just because I had this anxiety didn’t mean that there was anything wrong with me. And now that I’m finally on meds, it is AMAZING how much my life has changed. I am finally pushing through and making changes in my life and almost feeling like a normal person again.

      So, no, there is nothing wrong with you!! It doesn’t make you a fraud!! And don’t judge yourself for the meds, it will make such a huge difference when you get it worked out, I promise. MOAR HUGGGSSS

    • You’re definitely not. First day of work at the new job I barfed in the bathroom when they took me to lunch. It’s an issue I’ve been struggling with my whole life, but trust me when I say that only barfing that one time was a big deal for me! Before I got treatment I used to get sick in any kind of stressful or social situation, and it completely hampered my social life and my free time.

      I’ve been on a low dose of zoloft for it for around eight years now I think. I’ve also had xanax for when it was really bad in the moment to nip it in the bud (although I don’t need that anymore). The zoloft really just helps me deal. I tried going off it about three years ago and all the symptoms came back, right in the middle of what was supposed to be a fun vacation. Back on it I went – I’d rather take a pill a day and be able to comfortably live my life.

      It doesn’t mean you’re a fraud or a failure – it’s just an automatic response from your body to stress. In my case it actually runs in my family (my mom and at least one of her sisters experienced the same things when they were younger). I can’t control how my body reacts but I can control how I deal with it, which is what I focus on. My life is so, so much better now that I’ve gotten treatment.

      • Three years ago the symptoms didn’t come right back because you’re a truly sick person who needs drugs in order to not feel crazy anxious. They came back because you’re on a drug that’ll cause significant symptoms whenever you try to get off, and notoriously rebound effects. Here, there’s even a wikipedia entry about it You’re not alone. But please don’t mistake drug withdrawal symptoms for symptoms of your own, without drugs you’d probably be just fine, everyone has temporary anxiety in stressful circumstances and nobody becomes a lifelong psychiatric case for it.

        • This is part of the stigma that gets laid on mental health issues. If someone went off of blood pressure or cholesterol meds and the problem came back, would you jump down their throat about not really being a truly sick person?

          Yes, SSRIs have withdrawal periods. Nothing in the OPs post indicated that she was suffering from withdrawal. I suffered with anxiety for two decades before I sought treatment. I’m also on a low dose SSRI which manages my condition extremely well. I kicked-ass in life before I went on the drugs and I still kick-ass. I’m just better able to enjoy my success and good fortune now.

          Yes, some people have temporary anxiety that requires temporary treatment. Others, like myself, have an organ whose chemistry isn’t quite up to factory specifications. Because my organ happens to be my brain, rather than stomach or liver or whatever shouldn’t subject me to accusations of being a truly sick person or a lifelong psychiatric case.

          • Anon Anxiety :

            Thanks for the comments. This one from Anonymous is an interesting way to look at it. Thanks. I have lorazepam now and feel better. Zora and ES, would you have experience with how lorazepam compares to zoloft?

          • I do not have advice on that. What worked for me was talking through with my doctor (my PCP but she’s amazing) my symptoms and what my past experience with medications in general had been, and she talked through a couple different med options. We went with starting with a super low dose of celexa and slowly working up, because i am extremely sensitive to medication, and after a couple of months and some emailing we found the right combination for me. So, i hope you can find a good doctor, that can help you work out these decisions. Just taking that first step of walking into that office for my first appointment was HUGE, and almost made me feel better already. But having a doctor who listened and supported me, and finding the right meds, I am in a completely different place now where I can actually figure out my anxiety and what to change about my life to make it better. And i don’t feel like a fraud anymore! it feels really good. HUGGGSSSS

          • Silvercurls :

            Very late to this thread but wanted to say Thanks and +1 to Anonymous for her comment. We definitely need to de-stigmatize the circumstances of needing or taking meds for mental health reasons. I firmly believe in talk therapy and self-control (except when I’m around cookies, lol) but I also believe that it’s totally okay to use pharmaceuticals to correct a chemical imbalance in the brain. If someone can do without it, good for them, but they shouldn’t be the standard for everybody. Some people with diabetes can control their disease or symptoms by diet alone…and others cannot; ditto ADHD, depression, or [insert your favorite condition here]. I take two meds daily. My son takes more than two. Neither one of us is drugged into zombie-ness and I assure you neither one of us functions as well without our daily doses. It feels like TMI to be telling people about this but I view it as my personal contribution to getting mental health care out of the closet of shame and secrecy.

            OK, off my soapbox for now. Everybody have a lovely evening and carry on.

          • Anonymous :

            Anonymous from above.

            They are totally different meds. Ativan(lorazepam) is a fast acting drug and, while very effective for me in dealing with acute symptoms, leaves me definitely feeling like I’m “on something” and not in a way I like. I use it extremely sparingly.

            SSRIs don’t treat active symptoms in the same way. It actually takes a few weeks for them to start working. I went through a short period of less fun side effects (lower drive and very vivid drems that made me tired). Once I got past that, though, the result has been amazing. I don’t feel like I’m on anything, or dulled or in a fog. I feel like myself. Except I deal with stress in a “normal” way. My mind doesn’t race. I don’t obsess. I don’t have the constant flight or fight mechanism turned on. I still stress. I still have “oh sh*t” moments where appropriate. But my reactions are actually proportional to the actual problem.

            I waited far too long to get treatment. I wish I could get all of those years back.

  13. Happy Holidays to all my imaginary friends and daughters! xoxo

    • Thank you and same to you and your family and your husband’s ego. Also, I saw a VA license plate with Mamabear on the tags. You now have VA and NC covered. *mamabear empire*

    • ¡Felizes fiestas a vosotras!

  14. Anonymous :

    Company just sent an email to everyone on dealing with change and explaining the Five Stages Of Grief. I guess it’s safe to assume there will be no bonuses this year.

    • ….WHAT?

      That is too weird.

      My husband’s employer sent out a letter on Friday saying there would be layoffs on Monday. So everyone got to sweat it over the weekend. The letter from the notoriously conservative CEO also said it was because of the candidates “they” (the employees) had voted for in the election that the business would need to let people go.

      • Who lays people off on Christmas Eve? I want to punch them in the face!

      • Anonymous :

        “They”, as in “the little people”? The people who just want gifts from the government? The people who just don’t understand how things work because they are mere employees? Wow! What a jerk.

      • mamabear, aren’t you in the SF Bay Area? If your husband works locally, is his job in some sort of parallel universe? (Or perhaps more plausibly, the company is governed from somewhere else.) I just don’t see this kind of thing being possible in Berkeley….

        • @Granola, without being too self-identifying (more to protect my husband than myself) I will just say he works in the South Bay at a firm that feels very threatened by so-called Obamacare, rather than owning up to their very poor decisions related to massive expansion during a recession.

          • He’s not alone, and also, this is so, so effed up.


            It isn’t clear to me if your husband’s boss is specifically laying off democrats or just assuming that all the employees voted for democrats. If the former – isn’t that illegal discrimination?

          • He should contact HHS external affairs and ask if there’s any investigations going into firms that are doing this.

    • W.o.w.

      Both this and mamabear’s story are really bad.

    • saacnmama :

      Anon 3:55, could that be a slow response to the Sandy Hook massacre, the one that most of the nation has gotten over, or at least to the 3rd or 4th stage on?

      Mamabear, did your husband’s boss used to partner with a guy named Marley?

      • Anonymous :

        OP here — no, the company is just on their own planet. This email was odd even by their standards of insanity.

  15. Ugh I just need to vent! My coworker works at other offices some days because they have to, but then instead of remoting into their computer, which they have been trained to do, they send me messages all day long asking me to send them things from their computer and asking me to do things for them. Frustrating.

    • Sounds like you perhaps need to schedule a training refresher? Or can you use my passive-agressive method for people who can’t be denied, and reply by sending the exact reference to the page of the training manual that has what they need? (not a quote, that’d be too easy, more like” section 5.2.7 on p 82″, so they have to locate the manual and open it themselves) Resending the whole manual every time by email if necessary, so they can’t say they don’t have it. And at least wait 2-3 hours before doing anything at all for them, if necessary explaining later that you have -your- own work to do first. Make sure their time is more wasted than yours, several times over, every time this happens.
      And do provide support to the new victim if they start demanding help from other people in the office instead.

  16. Hi ladies. I posted a few months ago saying I was frustrated with my husband’s unlucky job search, and asking for advice on how to handle my frustration. Well, I took the advice (i.e., vent to a friend, but be as patient and encouraging as possible with my husband), and I just wanted to report that the long wait is over! He just accepted a great position that we are both really excited about. Talk about a wonderful Christmas present!! Thanks to everyone here for the advice and support.

    Happy holidays, ladies!

    • That is the best news! What a happy Christmas you’ll have! I’ve been there and the job search can be more draining (emotionally, psychologically, physically) than you would ever imagine. You guys must be so happy.

    • Hooray! Happy dancing for you and for him!

    • Amazing!

      Also – I think I was one of the ones who advised not to get on his case too much, as I was also looking for work and sympathized with how he may be feeling. I got an offer this week and have now switched my stress into deciding whether to keep doing what I’m doing (a little untraditional) or to accept the new offer. In any case, never thought I’d get a choice!

    • Oh, excellent :-)! Congratulations to your both!
      And now take the long-suffering friend to a very nice lunch..

    • Hooray! Pop some champagne to celebrate this awesome Christmas present :)

    • Aw, that’s wonderful! Many congrats to you guys, both on getting the position and on navigating this difficult period. Way to go!

  17. Happy Feds :

    Hooray for the President giving all the federal employees Christmas Eve off! Very excited for my unexpected four-day weekend!

  18. Thank Yous :

    Thank you note question – just got to my office after a day of meetings and there are 3 holiday gifts from execs I have done work for. It was nice of them, and I didnt expect it. I won’t see anyone until 1/2. Should I send a thank you email, or a handwritten note in January (in my office both would be overkill). Thanks!

    • I think that a thank-you email would be fine, especially if you send it soon so that they know you got the gifts.

  19. saacnmama :

    Yarg! So frustrated. I’ve been looking for weeks, but really need to figure this out before traveling in a couple days.
    I have an awesome little purse/wallet. It fits my cell phone, cards, has a couple zipper slots for cash, and most importantly, has a crossbody strap. It’s by Fossil, looks basically like this All I can find are either wristlets–useless when you’re pulling luggage–or bigger bags that would turn into black holes and could not be tossed into another bag like a wallet. C o r p r e t t e s to the rescue! Seriously, can you help me figure this one out?

    • Greensleeves :

      I have something similar I bought at Brighton. It’s actually a wallet, but came with a detachable strap. I slide it in my bigger purse when I’m carrying it, or put the strap on and carry it alone for trips, night out, etc.

    • onehsancare :

      I’m confused. You’re looking to buy one like this?

    • I'm Just Me :

      I’m a little confused … are you looking to buy one? If you search for shoulder strap wallet at ebags dot com there are several choices. You could start there and see if anything meets your fancy.

    • Wasn’t something like this featured on this blog just yesterday?

      • Saacnmama :

        Similar, but with only 3 card slots. Got my hopes up for a moment when I saw it.

  20. Mary Ann Singleton :

    My cheapo alarm clock just died, and I’m thinking of getting one of those clocks that slowly fill the room with light at the time of waking up. Any recommendations? Do they actually make it easier to wake up in the dark of winter?


    • springtime :

      Oh I am curious about this too. I live up north and I hate waking up without sunlight.

    • Greensleeves :

      Me too – I’ll be watching this one.

    • I have one! I like it. I use the light function in the winter when I wake up and it’s still dark outside. I use it along with my regular alarm clock. If you wake up on a winter morning and feel like you were in the middle of a deep sleep, I’d recommend it. I’ve noticed that it helps ease me from sleep into lucidness slowly – rather than just being jarred by a ringing alarm.

      It’s not the easiest to work — has kind of a lot of settings, alarm setting, light/dimmer/sounds to deal with – so you may not want it as a complete substitution.

      Hope this helps!

      • I have one, and I love it! I use the birdsong setting, and it’s really very pleasant. And I’m narcoleptic, so something that wakes me up effectively is likely to work extremely well among the not-sleep-disordered segment of the population.

    • I have one, and it does make it about 100x’s more easy to get up in the winter when it’s still dark out. IT takes up a lot of space on the bedside table, but I think it’s worth it.

      I set it to the radio, and wake up to the news and know that I must be out of bed before the radio show’s daily call-in trivia game is over. IT works pretty well.

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Thanks. Which ones are you using and where did you get them?

      • Midwesterner :

        I have the Phillips wake-up light and it’s fantastic. It gradually lights up over the course of a half hour and on the highest setting will light up a whole room. It makes a HUGE difference when you have to get up before the sun comes up in the winter.

        • Same here. I’ve got a lightbox by the same company, as well. Not the cheapest option (my alarm ran me 90 euros, my lightbox close to 200 euros) but the quality of the light is fantastic.

  21. Ladies, I just need to vent so that I do not lose it at my desk. DH and I were in contract to purchase a home and had a mortgage commitment. Unfortunately, the home was severely damaged by Sandy. Afterwards, the bank reapraised the home and declined the loan, based on insufficient value / collateral. (actually a relief, because we no longer wanted the home afterwards). Although the loan has been declined and we should get our downpayment back under the contract, the seller is hanging on by his fingernails and is refusing. It looks like we are going to have to sue him. As someone who litigates for a living (albeit, not in this area), the idea of doing so is just emotionally exhausting and draining. This is coming off of a year in which I lost a close relative and DH’s best friend also passed away very suddenly. I know that we are incredibly lucky that we hadn’t closed yet, and very blessed in general this holiday season, but reading the correspondence back and forth between counsel makes me want to just cry. That is all.

    • Anonymous :

      Do you think they still have it, or did they spend it on some kind of post-Sandy need?

    • KansasAnalyst :

      Internet Hugs! Take a deep breath and whooosh let it go for just a little while. Maybe the seller will come to their senses.

      Hang in there and I hope you have a wonderful holiday anyway!

      • Thanks! You are right. @ Anonymous, the money is in escrow so I know that it is still “there.” As someone who lives in the area and had a lot of family and friends affected by Sandy, I feel terrible that we are even arguing over this. I am trying to think with the business part of my brain and not make it personal.

    • Oy. But wait, you know more lititation is not what you need in your life, as extracurricular activities along work are no fun. But you can bluff your way through it. All you need to do is remind the seller than you’re a lawyer, and that another lawsuit is nothing to you, you can practically do them in your sleep, and naturally you’ll have to add a demand for damages on top to make it worth your while etc etc.
      Deep breath, it’ll work, don’t worry :-)..

    • That’s rough, Lady NFS, but thank goodness you didn’t buy before the hurricane. I remember evacuating for Katrina with a couple who had just closed on a new home and had no idea if it would still be there when they got back. It’s a tricky situation. But at least the money isn’t spent.

    • Anonymous :

      If the money is in escrow, the seller shouldn’t have a choice. Have you called the escrow agent and apprised him/her of the situation? The escrow agent should be bound to act in accordance with the terms of the sales contract, notwithstanding how upset the seller may be.

  22. Advice, please! I have a coworker who is on the same level as me professionally (junior-ish, but with 5-10 years experience, so not super green). She is great at her job and I consider her a friend. I’ve noticed lately that she uses “like” all the time. And I do mean ALL the time. And I’m sure our boss notices, as he’s commented to me on potential interns who used “like” too much in their interviews with us. Should I say something to her? If so, how should I approach it? I really don’t want things to be awkward, and while I think she would take it well if handled delicately, I’m not 100% sure.

    • How about telling her what he said about the interns, and then suggest that it’s something you both need to watch out so you don’t do it? You could even ask her to let you know if she hears you saying it.

    • Ugh I have less experience than your friend, and I catch myself doing this. I know it makes me sound less intelligent but it’s a tough habit to break. I agree with mentioning the boss’s comment first rather than her habit. She may already know that she does it.

    • I have a similar situation – a coworker who is on the same level as me (second-year associate) who will actually use the work “freaking” (as in, “I am so freaking unprofessional”) in front of our boss and even in front of clients! Whenever it happens (not infrequently), I am shocked and embarrassed. Does that sound really wild to you guys, or is it not that bad?

      • I think it’s more productive to focus on our own freaking verbal tics :-). Really, people, if a friend asks you for help in breaking one of these, then by all means be helpful, otherwise just keep your attention where it belongs, on work matters.

        • Word up.

        • Oh, I know I’ve got my own tics as well, as does everyone. But I consider the word “freaking” to be an offshoot of another f-word, and can’t imagine that anyone thinks it would be appropriate to use either word in front of their boss or a client.

          And, I consider client relations and professionalism a part of work matters, so my attention to this tic isn’t really all that misplaced. Although, I will say, practically cussing in front of a client is not the same as overusing the word ‘like’, so I don’t disagree with you that something like that is none of my business.

          I have no intention of mentioning anything to this coworker. We’re not close, and my words would probably not be well received. That doesn’t mean I don’t notice/want to slink away when it happens.

          • Anonymous :

            This is a know your boss sort of thing. I have worked with people who would find your attitude the problematic one. There are office cultures where dropping the f-booming itself is common and an overly formalistic communication style is the one out of place.

          • Absolutely true that freaking doesn’t fool anyone. For that reason, when needed, I prefer the original f-word myself. Eh.

  23. I picked up two of these cardigans from the Limited at their 50% off sale – and really love them. I rarely find much at the store, but these are winners is my book. Just wanted to pass it on – they are so soft and make me feel happy! :),default,pd.html?dwvar_5842917_colorCode=184&start=29&ppid=c29&cgid=cardigans

    • Thanks, 312, for the heads up. In case you just got them – have they been through the wash yet? I’m wondering about whether they’re prone to pilling.

  24. Coach Laura :

    Happy Holidays everyone!

  25. I am in a weird position of being an identical twin. I’m an attorney. My twin is an MD. She’s finishing her fellowship at a specialty.

    I know we are equally gifted intelligence-wise. (what started this thought process is that my sister told me my mom was going through and found an IQ test we did as part of a twin study–they were identical and quite high). My sister has found her “fire” and is RUNNING with it, doing research, reading articles in her free time, getting rave reviews, etc.

    I’m working in mid-law and (truth be told) having a hard time doing just the minimum. I’ve always been a rock star at what I’m doing, but honestly now, I’m just not interested/don’t care. I think that making partner would suck–doing all this $hitty work and then dealing with collections and fighting over your piece of the “pie” just sounds so exhausting. I feel so terrible watching myself flounder knowing that I have a lot of potential, and seeing my sister do so well and dig in and really find a niche. I don’t want to be a waste.

    I have no other skills, however–straight to law school from undergrad (lol….mostly because my sister was going to med school). I was not terribly interested in law school, either, but I just felt like I was already on the train and couldn’t fight against the current of family believing that this would “open doors.” I have about $100K in law school debt that makes it truthfully very difficult to switch careers or “start over” doing anything other than law. I don’t even know what I’d like to freaking /DO with my life.

    I just get so sad and feel so guilty for being ridiculous. I know people who would love my job, and feel ungrateful, but I know in my heart that this is not what I am supposed to be doing. It is such a hard place to be. I’m turning 30 and feel like I’ve basically made it impossible for myself to build an enjoyable career. (I’m in lit–very difficult to transition out of firm life). I feel like I didn’t get a chance to MAKE these decisions and like I’ve, without realizing it, backed myself into a corner where I cannot get out without really putting my DH (and baby on the way) in a lot of financial stress. Being pregnant makes the “Trapped” at my job feeling a little worse.

    Can you please say a prayer for me (to whoever you pray to) or send a positive thought that I can find some insight into something that I could throw myself into, and the courage and the ability to pursue it? I appreciate it so much.

    • Comparison is the thief of joy.

    • saacnmama :

      Uck. I have no advice to offer, just Mitleid.
      I’m at the point in my life where I feel like I really should have accomplished something. There are all sorts of important people in the news who are no older than me, and I feel like I’m just sitting not anywhere close to my potential. But at least I don’t have the alternate reality version of me right there.
      I hope your twin at least has a good attitude about this, and that you can just enjoy the holidays together.

    • springtime :

      I’m sure being a twin poses a whole other level of sibling angst, if you will. I totally get why you’re frustrated. I think the fact that you realize this is an issue is a great step toward trying to find a way to make yourself happy.

      Also, as a side note, I work in litigation and I’ve known several people who have gone in house at my firm…

    • Sounds like perhaps you need a little reality check with your sister. She may not be as happy as you think, like feeling exhausted by her shedule, and/or she may be focusing on happy things of your own herself (like the pregnancy for instance). That may rebalance the competitive aspect of your feelings.
      Definitely the combination of loans and child would make anyone feel trapped, it’s not just your perception. Maybe you should also concentrate on finding some things you enjoy, some work-related and some not (pro-bono work for an organization you love? swing dancing on weekends?). It’d probably help also if you give a thought to those things being able to continue after the baby arrives, so you know your life will continue with some content that you find satisfying, and will not just turn into a wasteland of cranky clients and dirty diapers..

    • Lots of good advice on your relationship with your sister, but I wanted to add some suggestions for dealing with your job issue. You’re only 30 – that’s how old I was when I *started* law school. Let’s say you’re going to work till you’re retirement age by Social Security’s standards – 65 now, I think. That’s 35 more years of work. Plenty of time to change careers if you want to – more than once even! You’re a new lawyer and about to be a new mom, so these next few years are going to be challenging no matter what. You’ve got to earn your stripes. But if you really don’t like practicing law and don’t want to make partner, get out! Stay long enough to get some experience, pay down your debt a little, or whatever, and then bounce. It’s OK. If you find nonprofit or government work interesting, remember that you could get public interest loan forgiveness after just 10 years. You don’t have to be a lawyer, either – if there’s a cause you love, you could be a fundraiser for it and still get loan forgiveness. You could teach law.

      Congratulations on all you’ve accomplished. You survived law school and got a job! And you’re going to have a baby! You’re succeeding wildly by anyone’s standards – try not to focus only on the stressful parts of your success. :)

  26. Cripes, I am waffling between two extremes right now.

    Extreme 1: I have so much to do that I wish there were about 5 more hours until I had to leave the office.

    Extreme 2: Thank goodness the day is almost over and I can leave and go home for 5 days.

    In actual fact, I have no choice because I have to leave at 5 today due to travel plans. But I could use so much more time….

    • At some point you just have to stop. I’m pretty bad at this too, but you just have to remind yourself that it will all be there when you get back.

  27. Does anybody on here know of a legit recruiter in the LA County or Orange County area? I’ve gotten voicemails at times in the past but always deleted them – now that I need to look for a new position I want to see if a recruiter could help. I’m trying to not make it obvious that I’m leaving the firm so thought using a third party would be best. Thanks in advance!

    • Email me at countchoculacorp at gmail dot com.

    • Dan Witt at Rifkin Consulting for OC and LA, knowledgeable and very kind:

  28. Mom update:

    She is still in the hospital. They are still unsure what caused the delirium that led to the fire attempt, but she’s pretty much totally lucid again. It’s been a really tough couple of days, especially yesterday and today, as they were saying that she was back to “baseline” and they were ready to release her with whatever day help she was willing to accept. Of course, her apartment is still a mess from the fire and is currently uninhabitable. She was talking about staying at a hotel for however long it took to get the apartment cleaned. So I was pretty panicked about that.

    I finally had a really good conversation with the Discharge Planner (note: is that the worst job title ever? lol) and managed to convince her that releasing my mom with no actual place to go was NOT the safe release plan they are required to come up with. So she managed to convince the team to keep my mom until at least Monday, and if the apartment still isn’t ready then, to help her find a temporary convalescent residence until the place is at least habitable (there’s some more serious damage to the floor that will need actual repair, but right now there is still burny garbage everywhere and I don’t even know if it’s been aired out).

    The family has not been tons of help. One sister (the one whose husband originally took my mom to the hospital) just had her last chemo treatment, and so is both weak and has a compromised immune system. The other one is flaky and kin of selfish. Lots of grand pronouncements of being willing to help, but hasn’t gone to see my mom until today, and has come up with a reason to refuse every request I’ve made (or she just ignores it entirely – like my request that she set up a cleaning lady for the apartment. Much easier for her to do than for me, considering she lives in the same city and has a key to the apartment. She did, however, have time to call me to tell me that if the hospital released her and something catastrophic happened, it would be my fault).

    If my mom actually accepts and keeps taking the in-home help offered by Community Care, I think things will be ok. I am going out there on Thursday to get her settled back into her place and meet with the Community care worker. (So I am managing lovely Xmas with the inlaws, which is great). My mom is also sounding open to moving into an assisted living/seniors’ residence with services sometime in the next 6m-year.

    So after a really terrible week (which included my crying in the hallway at court and having to get clerks to tell judges that I might have to answer my cell phone in the middle of submissions), I think I might actually be able to sleep through the night without a panic attack tonight. And Professsor Bhaer has been great, taking care of all the cooking and cleaning and cuddling me lots and being worried on my behalf. <3

    Thanks for the support, ladies. It's so so useful and cathartic to be able to vent this all out on here. xoxox

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      Oh Jo, this sounds so difficult. Just know that you are being an amazing daughter for dealing with all of this and staying so strong. Hugs and commiseration, and I hope all settles down soon so you can get a break over the holidays.

    • saacnmama :

      Sending you cyberhugs. Sure hope you get lots of real ones & other pampering from your hub’s family!

    • I am so sorry. If there is anything that could be helped by a little bit of internet research, just post. Happy to help!

    • Equity's Darling :

      Just offering support from afar – I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you, try to stay strong, and remember to be gentle with yourself and take care of yourself too (sleep, eat, etc.).

    • Lots and lots of hugs to you. You are being an amazing daughter and sister. I hope the holidays can bring some peace and a reminder of how loved and supported you are. Please vent here all you need. We’re all sending you good thoughts.

    • I am a judge in Canada. I know that I would truly appreciate being aware of the fact that you were coping with some serious family issues, even without the details. I am sure that any of my siblings on any bench in Canada would want the opportunity to support you in any way we could. Even my older, more crotchety colleagues would be mortified to find out they’d given you any difficulty if they didn’t know generally you were struggling for reasons that had nothing to do with choices you’d made.

      KC’s point is well made and the fact that your moniker is Jo and you refer to Professor Bhaer would get you +infinity LL points in my court, but unfortunately it’s unlikely you’re appearing here!

      You are approaching this in a very honourable and loving way. However, please make sure to take care of yourself. You can only do so much and you may be unable to save your poor mom from herself, which is just a fact of life, no a comment on your abilities as a daughter.

      I will hope (and pray) that you have a peaceful and lovely Christmas with your professor and that the stars align so you can have less to worry about on the maternal front.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        This is such a sweet comment and why I truly love this community. Jo – hang in there. We are rooting for you!

      • Anonymous :

        Thanks, anon. That is lovely and helpful.

        I’m definitely a little verklempt from all the love.

  29. writergrrl :

    Baking TJ

    Does anyone have a recipe for simple-but-delicious chocolate brownies? We’re doing a potluck at work and yours truly has promised to bring brownies. Except, though I’m a decent cook, I’ve never baked before. Does anyone have a recipe for reasonably idiot proof extremely chocolatey brownies? Calories aren’t a concern (it’s the holidays and I want to spoil my wonderful team) but they can’t have dried fruit or nuts in them.


    • If you’ve never baked, you may want to jazz up a boxed brownie mix. E.g.

      • Even if you’re baking from scratch, you should consider the peppermint patty brownies. They’re delicious!

    • writergrrl :

      Oops, I should clarify. Not in a part of the world where I even have access to brownie mixes, sadly.

      • aw darn, cuz the Trader Joe’s brownie mix is awesome.

        this one looks really simple and gets high ratings on Tasty Kitchen:

        I love this Bon Appetit recipe, but its a little more complicated with melting chocolate separately:

        Wishing you yummy brownies!! ;o)

      • aw darn, cuz the Trader Joe’s brownie mix is awesome.

        this one looks really simple and gets high ratings on Tasty Kitchen:

        • I love this Bon Appetit recipe, but its a little more complicated with melting chocolate separately:

          Wishing you yummy brownies!! ;o)

      • Damn. That’s a tough part of the world to live in.

    • I really like this one, from a cocoa brand – they give specifics on brands to use, but whatever is fine. It’s a really rich brownie:

    • Easiest brownie recipe ever:
      1 c sugar
      1/2 c flour
      1/3 c cocoa powder (unsweetened for baking, not hot cocoa mix)
      1 stick of butter, melted
      2 eggs
      1 tsp vanilla
      handful of chocolate chips

      Melt the butter in a bowl in the microwave. Throw all the dry ingredients in and mix. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix. Add chocolate chips and mix. Pour into greased pan (9×9, not 9×13) Bake at 350 for 20-25 min, until they are the consistency that you like.

      So easy you can bake them drunk.

      • springtime :

        “so easy you can bake them drunk”

        I am hoping there is a story here…

        • Lady Enginerd :

          Ditto. Story, please! If not, ask me in a few weeks and I might be able to oblige. Those look delicious and drunk me always wants to be super domestic…

          • Please just be careful about the burners! :)

            I’m thinking of you, Lady Enginerd, after what you shared a while back. Xmas might be extra hard for you this year, but it will get better.

          • Lady Enginerd :

            Haha. Re: brownie safety – I will be careful, I promise. I’m hosting a ladies night soon and these seem perfect to magically pull out of the oven mid-party. Usually I go with pizza rolls, but these seem so much better.

            Re: emotional turmoil – my family and friends have been wonderful. The holiday is hard, because right now it feels like they are the same and I’ve been changed by the awful breakup. But being home with the family and not worrying about work is the best medicine I could ask for. Thanks so much for thinking of me.

        • Oh, these are just what I crave and then throw together when I’ve had a few glasses of wine and there’s no other chocolate in the house. I wish there were a better story!

      • writergrrl :

        Awesome, thanks. 350F, I’m assuming?

        • Yes, sorry! 350 F. These also work great with King Arthur’s Gluten-Free all purpose flour, which is how I’ve been making them for the past two years.

    • Google Nick’s Supernatural Brownies – they’re on the Saveur website, and by far the easiest and best brownies ever.

      The way I make it only dirties two pans- the saucepan, and the pan I bake them in. I melt the butter in a saucepan, take it off the heat, add the chocolate, stir until it melts, add the eggs beat until the batter is glossy, then add the sugar, then the flour, pour into the pan and bake. Best brownies ever. If I’m feeling fancy, I brown the butter, which adds a nice depth. These are my go-to for potlucks, bake sales, friends, etc- just so easy, consistent results, etc.

      • Coach Laura :

        Equity’s D – Those look like fantastic brownies. Since I need them gluten-free, I googled and found that breakingbreadblog had already converted the recipie – so excited to try them and not have to experiment myself. (Link to recipie to follow to avoid moderation.) I’m going off to make them now!

        Funny thing- the GF website says to allow brownies to cool for 24 hours before cutting – ha! I’m lucky if there are any brownies left at my house by the time they cool!

        • Coach Laura :

          Here’s the GF Nick’s Brownie’s link:

        • Equity's Darling :

          Oooh, report back on the GF version- I have a friend who’s GF, and I’m sure she’d appreciate a good recipe!

    • If you’ve never baked, you need to know that sucess is more likely if you follow the recipe to the letter. The improvisation which serves other kinds of cooking well is only likely to lead to disaster here, baking needs to be much more precise. I’m not usually a “do as you are told” kind of person :-), but here it’s important, whatever recipe you choose. And I don’t think a mix would help much if you could get one, as the cooking is the most delicate part of the operation anyway and mixes add a chemical aftertaste that’s impossible to camouflage.

    • Check smitten kitchen. She has 11 brownie recipes, but she says these are her favorites and they only take 10 minutes to prep:

      • Smitten Kitchen is terrific. Do what Bunkster says.

      • I love Smitten Kitchen! But I will say, I’ve made many of her brownies, and I still like the ones I referred to above more- but her recipes are definitely great.

        I’m so sad her cookbook is back-ordered, Amazon says it’s shipping in 1-3 months, and it’s sold out across my city.

        Has anyone managed to get her cookbook already? Is it amazing?

        • aww – really? I have it, but I haven’t made anything from it, yet. But, yes it’s great, her writing voice is great, the recipes look delicious and the pictures are droolworthy!

        • You’re in the bay area right? Books Inc. has it (many copies last night), it’s great!

        • Mine shipped today. Just got the amazon notice. I ordered two – one as a gift, another for myself. Of course, just last week my doctor became convinced that dairy is causing my skin issues and wants me to eliminate it. So many good things in that book are surely off limits now!

        • I got my copy last week and so far have only made one dessert (apple cake), but the recipes look amazing and her voice really comes through the writing. Definitely have enough recipes bookmarked to last me several months!

    • I’m late on this one, but I’ve been baking brownies for just about every event ever, and people always request my brownies. They are exactly the recipe on the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate box. “Bakers Famous One Bowl Brownies.” They are extremely uncomplicated. If I’m feeling generous I’ll buy a higher end unsweetened chocolate and still use the Baker’s recipe. Add nuts or not, up to you.

  30. MC during holidays & work :

    I’m 8 weeks pregnant and I work in big law. Today I went in for my first U/S and doctor did not see a heartbeat and said it looked like growth stopped weeks ago. He expects that I will miscarry in the next week or two. How do I get through the next couple of weeks? We were going to announce to our families on Christmas (my sister is also pregnant and would have been due one month before me). The kicker is that I work in a transactional/tax practice that is having its busiest year-end ever. People are working through the holidays, nights and weekends, and I just don’t know how I will get through. After my appointment today and the devastating news, I had to go straight back to work to finalize a transaction we were in the middle of, and I got reamed out by the partner about my couple hour delay in getting him the drafts for review. I feel like I’m going to crack, but don’t seem to have a choice other than to buckle down and work. I’m scared of how this is going to affect me physically and emotionally, plus how am I going to get my work done??

    • You have a couple options. 1) wait for the MC to occur on its own 2) undergo a local medical procedure or 3) take meds to make it happen. None of these choices are great. I opted for 3 because I was going crazy waiting. I took the pills in the evening and it happened a couple hours later. It hurt a lot and I was out of commission on narcotics the next day for the pain. It was a horrible weekend but I was glad to have it over. Whatever option you choose, take care of yourself. I was a mess at work for weeks and closed my door quite a few times to cry. Call in sick if you need to for your mental well being. For me, being busy at work helped. FWIW remember that MCs are unfortunately much more common than you’d think. It will be especially hard for you since your sister is pregnant. Can you reach out to her?

    • I am so so sorry for your loss. And to get reamed out on top of it, so horrible. While work could be a welcome distraction, you need to take care of yourself first. Could you work from home? That may be a good compromise with getting the end of year stuff done but not having to face everyone if you’re feeling on the verge or tears.

    • So so so sorry to hear this. Do please tell your SO everything you’ve put down and ask that he extends unconditional love and support to get you through this. For work, if there are critical deadlines coming up, the most responsible thing may be to quietly line up some back-up, in case you cannot avoid a couple of emergency sick days.

      Will be thinking of you over the next week and praying it passes quickly.

    • Ouch. Hopefully this is the kind of partner that acts like an insensitive lout because he’s stressed out too, and unaware of you going through something so difficult. The ideal would be that he’d straighten out and act like a human being if he’s informed. If you have any doubts about this though, it may be better for you not to talk about it, and simply be “ill” when you call in as you no doubt will have to. Don’t feel like you have to expose yourself to bad treatment at work just because you’re there. If you decide not to talk, it may be wise to start mentionning “headaches”, “sore throat”, seasonal things that’ll excuse you in a believable way, and that’ll give warning that you’re under the weather.

      I agree with ss that quietly lining up some backup for major projects is probably very wise. You may not even have to do it overtly, just discuss the sticky points with someone as if you needed some advice, and be sure to write things down in a very complete way so someone can just pick up in your wake at any time without needing hardly any help on your part.

    • Saacnmama :

      So sorry to hear it! I had the same thing happen–thought baby was fine, went to routine checkup, no heartbeat. Scheduled a procedure, but my body couldn’t wait & I started bleeding very early morning. It was awful. Ended up sitting in bathtub while waiting for boyfriend to arrive. So you can guess what my advice is visa vis just lettin it happen.

      As for work, I think your boss might think you’re a weakling if you poop out because of a headache or site throat. This really is bigger than that and your body is going through all kinds of adjustments, possibly including contractions, your hormones don’t know what to do–it is physically difficult. I say, think along the lines of broken limbs, things of that severity that are more visible, & make your decision re time off based on them.

    • MC during holidays & work :

      Thanks for all your advice so far. It’s helpful to feel like I don’t have to go through this all alone. The partner who acted like a jerk tends to lash out when he’s stressed, but I know he’d feel terrible and like a huge a**hole if he knew what was going on. I’m thinking I may try to work this weekend from home to get as much done as possible while I can, in case I need to take sick days next week. Although, I’ve been an emotional wreck so I’m not sure how I’ll manage to get much done this weekend (and finish Christmas shopping, and spend time with my toddler who I’ve hardly seen, and give myself a little time to grieve). This is one of the hardest things I’ve ever been through. Thanks for listening.

      • Belle et Rebelle :

        I’m so sorry you’re going through this. I had a similar thing a few months ago (miscarriage at about the 8 week point but it had stopped developing weeks earlier). I ended up having a natural miscarriage (no meds to induce it or surgery) and it was not fun but not completely awful (kind of the order of a really, really bad period), but it seems like it’s something that’s really different for everyone, so I think you need to be prepared for it being harder than that.

        If I were in your shoes, I might consider going for the d&c to get it over with and maybe have some control over the how and where of it. I’m told that many/most women bounce back from those physically very quickly. You could tell insensitive partner that you’ve had a medical issue come up that requires immediate outpatient surgery but you hope to be back in the office the following day. Perhaps “surgery” will get it through to him that it’s a real issue and not something you could put off.

        Take good care of yourself.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I like the idea of using “surgery” or “emergency medical issue requiring immediate treatment.” You can be vague but still get across seriousness. This could be best accomplished by an early morning email before you don’t make it in. “Boss, I developed a medical emergency overnight that needs immediate treatment. I may need surgery but my doctors assure me I will be back at work within a few days. The x file is on my desk. I will be in touch when I am medically able to take phone calls/emails. Thanks in advance for your understanding.” If anyone asks for specifics just ignore the emails and only respond to the work stuff. When you get back if someone asks just say “I’d rather not even talk about it right now. I’m trying to get my mind back to work.”

        • I am so sorry. I think you’ll find that the physical symptoms associated with a d&c are not so bad – it’s the emotional side that is hard. I wish you all the best in getting through this.

      • Well, it’s good if you know the partner would react better if he knew what’s going on. Do tell him then, and talk about what you’ve done so far to make sure any transition happens smoothly and ask what else would be advisable. This can be a horrible thing to have happen, so take any help you can get, and try not to push yourself any harder than you mean to. Whether you’re a physical or emotional wreck, or not, it’ll be good to know your back is covered at work. And my best wishes and big hugs for all the rest :-(..

    • I am so sorry! I know from personal experience how devastating this is (same timing for me, etc.). I am not a doctor, but from my own personal experience and the experience of other women I know, you should not wait for it to happen “on its own.” You can be waiting for a very long time (weeks). It can happen gradually (a friend of mine bled out for weeks because her doctor wouldn’t do a dnc). You can get an infection. At least with a DNC, your body can start healing. I got a second opinion on the ultrasound–I went to a hospital where they did another ultrasound–I just wanted to be extra sure.

      Be prepared though. In my case, there was a really dramatic difference between how good I felt physically after the procedure and how horrible I felt emotionally. I cried at a drop of a hat. I couldn’t talk to anyone (fortunately we didn’t tell too many people), and he was in charge of communicating with everyone except my mom. It was just awful. But my body bounced back. I actually did not realize just how much pregnancy was affecting me (tiredness, bachaches, etc.) because suddenly, I just felt great. I was not prepared for that, and that was an extra whammy.

      If your doctor won’t do a DNC, consider finding a different doctor. I’ve just heard too many horror stories about waiting for nature, etc. Having gone through it myself, every time I think of my friends who had to wait for weeks for it to start or for the bleeding to stop, I just physically feel ill.

      Good luck with everything!!!

      • MC during holidays & work :

        Thanks for this perspective. My doctor has advised waiting for it to happen naturally, but I just emailed him a bunch of questions about his rationale and when he would recommend a D&C. So far I have no miscarriage symptoms and the waiting is making me an emotional mess.

    • Big big hugs! Everyone else has given great advice so that’s all I can add – we’ll be thinking of you.

  31. Why does the student loan company send birthday emails? Best wishes and enjoy another year of penury? Just seems like salt in the wound.

    • I once got a calendar from Access Group where they took picture (Times Square for example) and put my name in there could be words. It was the creepiest thing I’d ever received in the mail.

      • The printing company I work with at my work does that. The difference is that they’re doing it to show off their mad printing skillz. WTF, Access Group?

  32. Whoever warned me not to count my chickens in my happy short sale post — D*MN you, you were right! Gah. So we bought another house, for more money of course, but I like it way better.

    I shake my fist at Bank of America. FOOEY!

    • Aw, that sucks :( but it all worked out in the end if you like this one better! YAY!

  33. Well, congratulations om the new house!

  34. Cologne shopping advice? My SO wants me to take him shopping for a scent for him, and while I think it will be fun I have no idea where to start. He has never worn cologne before and laughs at the attempted macho-sexiness of most ads; that’s not him at all. Does anyone have any ideas even to get us started? We’ll likely go to a department store but I’m open to other tips. If it matters, I wear the eponymous Chloe perfume and he’s so-so about it. (I simply can’t find anything else I like as much for myself). He has a very sharp sense of smell. I don’t know how I could browse online for a scent, but I wonder if he might prefer something kind of obscure…help?

    • Lady Enginerd :

      Get one of the samplers from sephora so he can try them out at his leisure?


        There are a bunch of quizzes online.

    • Anonymous :

      We have always had good luck at Nordstroms and Bloomingdales. Usually the sales people are good about giving samples to help him decide.

    • I don’t have any advice, but I am reminded of Brad Pitt’s Chanel ad. You should make Mr. Monday watch just to clarify if that’s they type of look he’s after. :p. The Saturday Night Live version is also funny.

    • I love Slumberhouse fragrances. They’re for men but I can’t resist some of the lighter versions for myself.

  35. What to wear to a wedding in mid-March in the mid-west? Specifically, Omaha? I’d love to start shopping early, but with the unpredictable weather, I’m unsure what to look for! It’s not a black-tie event, but will be semi-formal…i.e. I’d like a dress or fancy skirt…

    • saacnmama :

      I always learned no white until Easter (or spring break, in the Reformed view), but a friend who grew up in Omaha tells me it’s not until Memorial Day out there.

      • No white as a wedding guest, ever! White is reserved for the bride only. My understanding is that it is generally still pretty cold in March in Nebraska. It’s hard to make suggestions without knowing the venue, your age range, body type, etc. but maybe something like this:

        • saacnmama :

          Haha, no, white clothes are never wedding-guest attire. I was thinking of the shoes.

    • March in Omaha is just like March in Chicago or Minneapolis. Could be snowy. Could be full-on springtime. Could be muddy and 40*.

      Honestly, I’d just get a great dress and plan to wear a coat of appropriate weight when outdoors. If you’re from a very warm area and don’t own a winter coat, get one on sale after Christmas. Camel would look great in spring; black might look a little dour.

  36. Would you ladies be so kind as to share some makeup advice? I feel I need a whole new look — do you have recommendations on makeup counters? I remember the MAC folks being great years back, but I returned last year and they were pretty disengaged.

    • My favorites are Bobbi Brown and Laura Mercier. For foundation and concealer, BB is best for yellow skin tones though. I have pink undertones and can’t wear those products, but I love her eyeshadows and eyeliners.

    • If you have a friend or relative who’s into makeup and wants to hash out with you what you like and what you want to change, I honestly think that might be your best bet. Makeup counter people can be pushy or spacey, so someone who’s interested but can also be honest with you would be ideal. You’ll end up with a better blend of splurge items that are must-haves for your skin/coloring, and drugstore items that will do just fine. I wish one of my friends would ask me to do this with her, it would be a lot of fun and I’d take the job very seriously! Also, remember that almost everything is returnable if you’re not satisfied, no matter where it came from.

    • Awesome, noted. Thanks, Anon and Monday. And thanks, too, for the tip on returnability. I can’t tell you how much makeup I used only once, after discovering only after trying on at home how terrible it looked. I need to remember it’s (generally) my right to return this stuff.

      • Love Sephora and Nordstrom for this reason. Also, there’s no harm in getting makeup put on at a counter, getting the SA’s card, and then wearing it around for awhile before buying. I’ve found the SAs at my local Nordstrom are very good about this and are not pushy if you don’t want to buy immediately.

  37. saacnmama :

    Bags are packed. Now must decide between cleaning house (I hate living in it like this, and returning to mess is even worse) and doing work stuff that should have been finished a while ago.

    Boy wants a tree, but is not doing the cleaning tasks he’s been given to get one ;(

  38. paging Ms. Pacific,
    Hi there! I saw your post on the other thread, but I don’t know if you are still checking that. There are a few of us interested in a holiday time meetup, maybe the 28/29 weekend? Drop me an email at zoradances at the google mail and let me know what days you are available and where you are located and I’ll put together a few things. Yay!

  39. Ms. Pacific :

    Panicky holiday packing thread jack – what do I pack for a week in San Francisco at this time of year? I gather we will be doing mostly casual outings, with two or three fancy dinner evenings. Is San Francisco a casual city like Seattle? Can I wear sneakers for wandering around town or am I going to feel bad if I am not really really put together when I leave the hotel every morning?

    • San Francisco is very casual. It’s been raining on and off the past few days, in the mid-50s. Sneakers are fine for daytime, Ugg-type boots are also very popular. Pretty much everyone will be in jeans or leggings. Bring a change of footwear for dinner, but very few places have a dress code. Hope you have a great time!

    • Mary Ann Singleton :

      You may find that people who live here have a “uniform” – North Face fleeces. I am guilty of that. We’re very casual most of the time. I try to limit my fleece-wearing days but sometimes I even wear fleece to work (meant for my commute but it’s so cozy I don’t want to take it off in my cold office). My New York friends would be horrified :)

      • Ha, you are absolutely right. I only realized this yesterday when all 3 of the people I was having brunch with (2 guys, 1 girl) were wearing NF. I was the odd man out, but my friend gifted me a NF hat. :p

  40. Blonde Lawyer :

    Thoughts on the Iowa Supreme Court opinion that it is okay to fire someone because you are attracted to them? That while she was technically fired b/c of her gender the boss doesn’t discriminate against the gender. He has lots of other female workers. He just “discriminates” against women he is attracted to?

    • hellskitchen :

      Reading that story made me gag. And this was being hailed as a win for family values??? Especially since the boss had no problems making lewd and sexually suggestive comments about his employee’s attractiveness and the impact it had on him physically. Gross

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        re: the family values: I’m really frustrated right now trying to maintain a friendship with a guy I’ve been close with since high school who joined a religion prior to marrying his wife that puts a really strict definition and structure on all of their interactions with the opposite sex. I see flavors of their lifestyle in this story where the boss fired the employee “in the presence of his pastor” because the three of them (him, the wife and the pastor) decided that the attractive employee was a threat to his marriage. I guess that also puts religion in the mix of things. Can someone’s religion say you can’t work with women and then it would be okay to fire them? I just know that my friend has all these ridiculous limits on how often he can talk to other women, what the conversations can be about, etc. I could totally see him not hiring women because his wife would be keeping a tally of his interactions with them. Apparently, I am over my quota because I haven’t received a response to a text and an email to him asking if he had a nice birthday with his family. *eye roll* Also, interactions with opposite sex members are only appropriate under his paradigm if within the first 3 minutes of a conversation you mention your spouse and the other person’s spouse. Not sure what happens if the other person is single. The horrors. Sorry, I am turning this into a personal vent. I’m a little raw on the subject.

        I have another male “friend” (actually is my husband’s friend) that firmly believes that women with small children whose husband’s make good money should be home with the children “at least for a few years.” I hate that his “family values” mean he is likely going to judge the women he works for and someday manages. I could see him thinking a man “needs” a raise while a woman doesn’t. That the woman works for fun while the man works because he has to. It enrages me.

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        How can people whose religions dictate they do not ride in a car with the opposite sex or go behind closed doors with the opposite sex ever work as equals with members of the opposite sex? I was googling to find some stuff about my friend’s marriage philosophies and found this blog. The “worrying about appearances” part is what gets me the most. So if his wife trusts our friendship and my husband trusts our friendship we still couldn’t be friends in the way we would like to be because other people of their religion may think it is improper? I guarantee that if a male boss follows a similar religious philosophy, no woman would be traveling on business with him, going to a client dinner with him, doing late night trial prep with him, etc. If he knows he can’t do those things with a woman, he is either only going to hire men or hire women but have them only do the back office research and writing things. What happens when no gender discrimination conflicts with freedom of religion.

        I don’t want this post to turn into hating on a particular religion. I’m just trying to open the dialogue on how we balance these competing interests when others don’t share the same religious beliefs.

        • Silvercurls :

          I read the link and …wow, that’s really hard-core! I don’t know how to reconcile your viewpoint with the one towards which your friend is moving (or has moved). It may be that even though you want to continue the friendship, he has decided to grow in a different direction. Can you befriend his wife so that your side of friendship extends to both halves of the couple? Would they feel more comfortable if you sent, say, an email to both of them asking how the birthday celebration went? (I guess if they don’t share an email address you’d have to send the question just to his spouse.) If this doesn’t work, I’m sorry. It hurts to have a friend grow away from us but it’s not necessarily a development that we can control.

          As for your husband’s friend and his combination of “family values” and antiquated view that all women with small children must stay home…take a deep breath and be grateful that you married your husband and not his friend! Sure, this guy is infuriating, but your husband doesn’t agree with him (I hope!) and at the end of the evening you get to go home and live your life the way you want. Hopefully the “friend’s” religious values will preclude his ever being in a position to supervise other women because he won’t want to subject himself to the temptation of ever being alone with one of them–but again, I don’t think you’d be in a position to protest unless one of these hypothetical subordinates wanted to hire you as her advocate.

          More seriously, “when no gender discrimination conflicts with freedom of religion” I would hope that over time public places and public-seeming places such as most workplaces would choose the secular values over the religious values. It doesn’t happen overnight, but society has changed its opinions regarding the appropriate public roles of many groups of people who previously experienced extreme discrimination (e.g. women, African-Americans, LGBT, people with disabilities). Things are far from perfect but if we keep chipping away, we’ll eventually get someplace. Even in Saudi Arabia new ideas are percolating to the surface. Are women driving alone in cars yet? No, but more people are talking about it and protesting the status quo. That’s a start.

          • Silvercurls :

            Apologies for poor editing and vocabulary choice fail in the first sentence of my last paragraph! I didn’t mean to imply that your personal friendship isn’t serious. I was trying to distinguish between private and public choices–the latter being the ones that are easier to attack by advocates for societal change, because they have greater implications for public policy. I think I had deleted some frivolous personal example and just failed to edit the transition that had followed it. Clearly it’s too late to keep typing! :-P

        • saacnmama :

          Blonde, I appreciate the way you’re making connections between the personal and the political here. That’s important and the only real way to bring about change.

          • Blonde Lawyer :

            Again, this is why I love this site. I was super nervous to check this site this morning. I was worried what I wrote last night (after staying up to 1 am on an appellate brief) would be misinterpreted as attacking someone’s religion. I’m glad you guys here understand my questions and intent.

            Re: friend 1, this has been going on for almost 5 years now and I’ve learned to live with it. We live far apart so keeping in touch means phone or email. I didn’t understand their marriage philosophy before and thought it was personal instead of religious and took it pretty personally. It was also difficult because at times he would call and have a long conversation with me. It got annoying being a friend at his whim but not being able to count on him to reciprocate. Even more awkward now knowing that when we do talk it may not truly be “allowed.” It was SO helpful to read the above blog. I saw lingo he had used before that we could talk, just not about “matters of the heart.”

            I agree about befriending his wife and I will try in the future to email them both or call the house phone instead of his cell or maybe skype or facetime so everyone can hear the conversation. You all had given me great advice way back when about our friendship and I was correctly scolded for blaming his wife for decisions they jointly made and not working to include her in the friendship. Thanks again!

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        • saacnmama :

          Holy cow! Reading these as charitably as possible, I thought #3 made sense, until I remembered that when my university began a speaker’s program, a dear friend of mine tossed his hat in the ring. When he came to the US to give his lecture, he spent several nights at our house. Best house guest ever! Neither of us (as far as I know) had any qualms about this, and his doing his laundry and hanging it *all* to dry in my kitchen was fair payback for the time my little boy and I visited their house and I had my laundry hanging in their backyard by the time his wife came back from work. I recall feeling a bit put off when I first met her, still don’t know if she’d be my type. She’s pleasant to me, but we’ve probably had a total of 2 in depth conversations since I met them 20 years ago. The more I hear about craziness of jealous partners, the more I appreciate her! The two of them are my son’s godparents; if it ever came to that, I think they would give him a very good grounding in clear-thinking pragmatism.

          On your friend and his wife–can you schedule your calls, so you just let him know quickly that you’d like to get his opinion on something, and let him name a good time to talk (assuming that it works for you)? If you call otherwise, I totally agree with making it obviously above-board by calling the house phone or whatever, and at conferences I’m sure you’ll find him more agreeable to meeting you at a restaurant than picking each other up at hotel rooms. I’m curious though, if you’re both coming back from a late-night session, if he would do the chivalrous thing and walk you back to your room, or at least close enough that he could see you open the door and get in safely.

          Btw, I assume that most readers of the blog you linked to agree with the author on most things, but did you note that even they had some issues with what he was saying?

          Last comment–can’t believe people in this country are concerned about Muslim boogeymen imposing some overly strict moral code when this kind of crazy is going on!

    • Attractive people are not a protected class. :p

    • Anon counsel :

      There is always one silver lining. The plaintiff should have little diffulty finding another jobs given the number of hornbags out there. If she were not attractive, that would be another story. Dirty old Men always hire the cute ones even if it gets them into trouble and the must recant, pigs that they are.

  41. Is 2 months too soon to get engaged? I met Henry on Halloween at a party, and now he’s going to ask me to marry him at my parents house on Christmas. I think it’s too soon but he’s already bought a ring and is very insistent. Am I wrong? What am I supposed to do? Henry’s dad is my father’s boss. Help!!!!!!

    • Have Dad work it out with Henry’s father. They know best, and your NOT getting any younger. Just make sure not to give up any free milk before the big day. Congrat’s from all of your friends at ELLENWatch!

    • saacnmama :

      Dating your dad’s boss’ dad? Sounds very scary to me! Like a reversal of the 50s (?) song “Down in the Boondocks”. Seriously, you have to be very sure before any marriage, and the more links there are between families, the more certain you have to be. Your dad’s life should not dictate your destiny, but it does sound like something to be very careful about.

      I know that sounds harsh, and I hope it doesn’t sound flip. I’m just picturing the pressure you’re under now, and how it would change (grow) if you are married and having some disagreement or, the thing no one wants to consider when they’re in love, are contemplating divorce. Henry is already “very insistent” that he’s going to ask you? Shouldn’t he ask and be nervous about your response because what you think and feel are important to him? If you want to wear the ring, go ahead, but make sure you’re not doing it because you somehow feel you have to.

      Successfully/happily married women, did looking at your engagement ring make you feel anything but happy?

  42. ok, we’ve done the holiday songs and the baking, now i think it’s time for the Holiday Movie Thread:

    cough it up, favorite holiday movies, the more embarassing the better ;o)
    my must-watches:

    Edward Scissorhands
    Serendipity (John Cusack’s pseudo-mullet, love it!)
    Muppets Christmas Carol

    • I love Serendipity! Not sure if I was thinking of it as a holiday movie.

      My fave is Love Actually.

    • The Year Without a Santa Claus

    • Gotta go with the old classic: A Christmas Story and the new classic: Elf.

    • Yesssss! Muppet’s Christmas Carol! I love the song with Marley and Marley. Best Christmas move ever. I also like their Muppet’s Treasure Island movie a lot.

      I also love the cartoon version of the Grinch, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and Love Actually. I also love the Santa Clause, but not because it’s good, more because I have fond memories of watching it as a child.

    • Elf and Love Actually.

      What’s a Christmasgram??!?!? I WANT ONE!!!

    • SoCalAtty :

      Die Hard!

  43. Your definition of “affordable” has become quite out of touch for those of us who don’t have the luxury of lighting cash on fire.

  44. Anonymous :

    Hey everyone in the Greenwich CT area — the Talbots on Greenwich Ave is closing and everything is 50-70% off sale prices. I was there on Saturday and it was definitely worth a hunt!

  45. Advice please :

    RGA for this – got in a big fight with my husband and I am just really in a state. Please, ladies – your wisdom in this would be greatly appreciated.

    So my husband and I are at his parents – we got here today and are leaving on Wednesday. I generally get along with his mom and dad, although his mom makes weird statements sometimes to me when she’s drunk. (more on that later.)
    We’ve been together 10 years, married for 8. Anyway, his parents are huge drinkers – my husband was the one who first pointed out that they might have a problem, as I hadn’t noticed myself, initially. My husband drinks regularly but definitely not overly. I stopped drinking about 4-5 years back, but I am comfortable with my husband’s drinking. He seems to generally get that I don’t mind his drinking at all, but I get these weird feeling sometimes that he’s defensive of it. Like I came home a few months back after going to a work thing on a Friday, and I said, upon finding an empty wine bottle in the kitchen, “Whoa, you finished that whole bottle?!” very teasingly, because polishing off a bottle in one night by himself isn’t his style and very atypical. But his reaction was really defensive, and he kind of snapped at me with a “Yeah, so what?” We worked it out the next day but it was unnecessarily tense.
    So today, we get here and are having a fine time. His parents’ neighbors were having a party and his mom asks if we can stop in, 30 minutes tops. Well, we end up staying for 3 hours and my mother in law has 3 big glasses of wine and just starts slurring. I wasn’t watching how much she drank – she herself kept saying, to my FIL and my husband, “I’ve only had 3 glasses of wine! But maybe they were huge glasses!” Like that was her refrain for the last hour of the party. She also kept saying, “Well, Daughter in law’s going to have to cook because I ain’t cooking tonight now,” presumably because she got drunk. (She’d set out a bunch stuff for thawing earlier.) She also said something really dumb like, “You’re such a big b*tch,” supposedly “jokingly,” when I didn’t let her go ahead of me when we were exiting. And she laughed uproariously and said she was kidding. But still, she said it all loudly and it was still obnoxious. Anyway, we walk back to his parents place. His dad asks what we’re going to eat since the MIL can’t cook. They determine we should go out to eat, and my husband and FIL ask if I can drive. That’s when I realize they’re really drunk too.
    Here’s the thing. Where his parents live is very mountainous. They moved here 4 years ago, and I’ve still never driven bc around here I’m too much of a wuss. I’m from the Midwest, and do my fair share of driving, but that’s not like this. With all of them being drunk, there was of course no question of them driving, but I still figured I could so long as it was close. I should add I don’t have the best night vision, either, and it was night by this point. But I asked if the restaurant was close, and my husband and FIL said yes. Had it not been, I’d have just said we should stay home and order.
    Anyway, I start driving, and it turns out it’s ten miles away. And I’m on the road, it’s dark, and drizzly, and curvy, and finally, about halfway through, I say something quietly to my husband about how I’m really tense. And he says, impatiently, these are flat roads! Which – they’re not. And his dad hears, and says, “Honestly, I’m okay hon, I can drive.” And crazy as it is – I let him. Because by that point, I’m shaking and scared and just breaking over and over, and I genuinely thought he’d be better behind the wheel.
    So his dad gets behind the wheel, and starts driving, and it is freaking terrifying. I was probably still keyed up (btw, I’m normally not a tense weirdo like this) but it felt like we were swerving a lot and I was just genuinely terrified. I put on my seatbelt in the back, which I normally don’t even think about, and I just was stock still and freaked out of my mind in the back. I sent my husband a text saying, “Sweetie, if you would please don’t drink anything at the restaurant so you could drive back.”
    Finally, we make it to the restaurant, and we’re walking out and I see he looks at his phone. He kind of smiled at me and squeezed my arm.
    We sit down, we start ordering, of course his parents get drinks – and my husband starts looking at the drink menu. And I thought – okay. Maybe he didn’t see what I wrote??? And I asked him if he got my text, and he said, “Yeah, but I’m just getting a beer.” And I said, “Babe – wait, you’re serious?” And his face got cold (sorry to sound so dramatic, but that’s really how it seemed) and he said, “I’m getting one beer with my dinner.” He went on that he’d only had 3, but likely it was more, as he was slurring. And on top of that, he’s on Lexapro and so even just a few drinks makes a big difference.
    Honestly, I thought I would start crying. I couldn’t believe it. No apology for the car ride, not even a “hey, are you okay.” Instead, he just got cold. And I said to him, “I will freak the f*ck out if you have a drink.” And he glared at me, and then rolled his eyes and looked away. He ended up ordering a coke, but I could tell he was angry.
    I tried to make the best of it. I hid my feelings the rest of the dinner bc I didn’t want to make a scene. (All our drink convo up to this point was in low tones, and his parents, on the other side of the booth, couldn’t hear.) So everything seemed fine, he was mollified, and he reached out to me and we held hands for a second. I had to push my anger away for that time.
    So we came back, and still didn’t talk about it. I’m sure he thought it was fine. We hung out with his parents, they went to bed, and he sort of affectionately reached over and said, “What’s up.” And that’s when I said, very calmly – “Listen. I’m really upset about tonight.” And he made a face and said, “WHY.” And I told him, “I was terrified in the car, both when I was driving and then when your dad was driving, and the whole experience was awful. And you’d think that you’d have wanted to make me feel better, and instead you argued with me about a beer.” And his response? He rolled his eyes, and said, “Um, I don’t remember you ever having a problem driving before.” And that’s what he proceeded to argue with me about. I told him that I couldn’t believe he wasn’t going to see my side on this, and that I was trying to just tell him what I felt without being upset or nasty.
    No apology. No nothing. I’m honestly so angry and upset, I just want to leave. I’ve used up almost all my vacation this year visiting his parents; we were here this summer, too. And I can’t believe I have to stay here until Wednesday.
    Please let me know your thoughts.

    • First of all, I hope that just getting all that down made you feel a little better. That does sound both stressful and scary all at the same time. I don’t think I’m the best to offer advice, because I come from a very alcoholic family, so take everything I say with a grain of salt.
      I think it’d be best to discuss with DH either in the morning or after you leave your inlaw’s. I imagine tomorrow and the next day might be a replay? I know that my family tends to party pretty intense on the actual holidays, do you have outings planned, or is it in their home? It sounds like he’s defensive, and these conversations are always best had when they are the most sober as you can get them.
      As far as driving, I know it can be unnerving driving in a place you are unfamiliar with, but perhaps if you find yourself in that situation again, go as slow as you like (first of all, if any drivers are behind you and are annoyed, they can whine all they want, your safety is first, and second of all, if your in laws are three sheets to the wind, you going 20 mph around the mountains will feel like they are riding with the Jamaican Bobsled Team in their state!) Perhaps in that situation, remind yourself that at that point, that’s something you have control of.
      Do you think DH does have a problem? Or is developing one?
      Best of luck dear, we’re here for you. Please, please stay safe.

      • Advice please :

        Gone Anon, you almost made me cry just in replying so quickly in itself, and then doing so with such compassion. Thank you for this kindness, and also for the advice.
        I feel just so disrespected and hurt by my husband. It indicates a sense of — entitlement, or taking me for granted – that makes me feel a little sick.

        • I randomly checked the open thread tonight, and I’ve been in your situation before (with my father, not a FIL, etc., so it is a little different but I can understand the pure fear and feeling of helplessness) so I couldn’t help but try to offer some sort of words <3
          I do feel rather incompetent to offer advice on dealing with your husband, but I will say this. If he does have a problem, the hard part of being the family of a drinker is that it always feels like they love the bottle more than you. I always hope it's not true, but I think that's a feeling that many children/spouses of alcoholics deal with. However, maybe he doesn't have a drinking problem at all (lord knows I go through phases where I drink a few glasses of wine after work–I had a few wrapping presents tonight!) Could there be something bothering him, at work maybe, that he is trying to relax a little at home?

    • First, you were 100% right to be totally terrified. I’m very used to driving on mountainous, curvy, scary and snowy roads and I don’t like doing it at night, and I can’t imagine doing it in an area I’m not familiar with if I wasn’t already ok driving those kinds of roads.

      Second, they all have a problem. If a person is defensive or reacts like that when another one says “please don’t drink because the drive freaked me out,” there’s an issue. I could understand that reaction if you were the wife that never wants the husband to drink, but it sounds like that is not at all the case.

      My mom was a serious alcoholic. She killed herself with wine. I feel like I want to write more but I’m super tired and it won’t make sense right now, and I’m probably going to fall asleep so I will say please feel free to email me at meyerlemony at g mail dot com! I grew up with a family on both sides that sounds a lot like this and I’m happy to share my experience with you. As far as what you should do now? I would let it drop [just for while you are out of town] for now because you are confined with the in laws, and tomorrow I would make sure you have some transportation and go find something to do for yourself. Even if it is just lunch and people watching, a pedicure, or shopping somewhere interesting you need to get away from them even if it is only for a couple of hours.

      • Advice please :

        SoCalAtty, thank you, thank you. You’re so very kind, and I might be emailing you tomorrow. I am terribly sorry to hear about your mom, and humbled that you’d share your experience with an internet stranger to ease their own burdens. What kindness, from both you and GoneAnon. Thank you again.

        • Likewise, and not to steal SoCal’s thunder, but feel free to email me as well, at denisegraham 9 at g mail dot com. (so much for anon…I need an anon email addy!) This is a tough time of year for all families who deal with this.

          Merry Christmas (or what have you) to you and SoCal!

    • Lady Enginerd :

      I think it’s time to get calls in to qualified couples counselors so you can go ASAP in the New Year. It boils down to him disrespecting you and not standing up to his parents for you. He was not sensitive to you and your needs, let alone your safety. If he won’t go with you because you’re “overreacting,” go alone.

      Part of the reason I finally realized my recently ex-fiance and I were on the rocks was that he allowed his sister to bully me over thanksgiving… and even joined in on the being mean to me bandwagon! A week later, he dumped me. I think this is exactly as serious as you think it is, or even more so. Please read your post tomorrow morning to remember how serious it is (don’t let anyone minimize it and tell you that you were overreacting). When he’s dismissive of your safety and needs, it’s time to bring in a professional to help one or (ideally) both of you process what is happening in your marriage.

      • Lady Enginerd :

        Oh, yeah, and I’m still up if you want to email me. quincely at rocketmail dot com. No experience with substance abuse, but sadly lots of experience with being disrespected, taken for granted, and the like.

    • So sorry this happened. I can totally relate to your nor being comfortable driving in those conditions, and all alternatives were bad at that point. The other posters are offering great insight, and I just want to echo not having this out with your dh while still there… Being back home regresses almost everyone, and I suspect he would be defensive regardless, and more so if drinking, and even more so if he maybe drinks too much. Maybe fasten your seatbelt(metaphorically speaking) for now, lay in some provisions in case of similar repeat performance so you don’t need to go anywhere, and have the necessary conversations in a calm time outside of the parental home. But factually speaking, his mom got too drunk to cook, let alone drive, and so did everyone else, this is not about your diving skills.

      • Advice please :

        Thank you, Michelle, for your practical advice and perspective. That helped me a lot, and I really appreciate it.

    • Alcoholics in the family :

      I am so sorry for your pain – I have spent numerous holidays/visits like this in the past, and your experience really resonated with me.

      Let me be blunt: your in-laws are alcoholics. They are abusing alcohol. Your husband has a problematic relationship with alcohol, even when he is not drinking to excess (although really – a bottle of wine in one evening? that’s a sign that at least for that one evening, he was using alcohol to deal with some issue – anger, sorrow, stress – that he didn’t have the tools to deal with otherwise. That’s not healthy, even on an irregular basis). His being drunk does not excuse his treatment of you in any way, and in fact may have been a very honest expression of how some part of him feels about you – a part that he otherwise represses because he doesn’t know how to handle it, and that is ‘freed’ by the cover of alcohol. Likewise all the other things that your in-laws have said and done.

      I agree that you need to just survive this visit, but then I would highly recommend a come-to-Jesus talk with your husband, and visits to a counselor either together (preferable) or alone (still good). I would also suggest going – by yourself if necessary – to a couple of Alanon meetings. People often have the idea that alcoholics are falling-down drunk 24/7, and are unaware of how subtle the abuse of alcohol can be…and how it can affect a family generationally.

      And please don’t take this to mean that I’m suggesting anyone who drinks, or who gets drunk on occasion or even regularly is an alcoholic. Alanon can help you both understand where some of the dividing lines being using and abusing alcohol are. They, or a good counselor, can also help you both figure out better ways of handling his parents, and better ways of handling stresses.

      I wish I could give you a hug. There are few things as awful as feeling trapped in a situation like that – I was once faced with walking several miles in below freezing temperatures or dealing with my father’s drunken public disgust for me; and after evaluating the situation, I realized I couldn’t make the walk home. I never visited again without control over my own transportation, and to be honest, I limited my visits severely after I realized I was abusing other substances in an alcoholic way (coffee, semi-amusingly enough).

      • Advice please :

        Thank you so much, Alcoholics in the Family, for your incredibly thoughtful post — I’m so moved by it. I think you’re right that my in-laws are alcoholics, and also that there is something latent going on with my husband that might account for his incredible insensitivity to me when he was drunk. Your advice to attend AlAnon makes me hopeful. And you hit on a worry of mine, which is how things will hash out when we have children. Sigh. So glad we’re going home for now, at least….
        Thanks again. :)

  46. I’ve very cranky because I got 0 bonus. Nothing. Not even after a review in August of “we love having you in the office and you have such a wonderful work ethic and we’ve really come to rely on you.” No, I haven’t been there a whole year but I started Feb. 1, so something seems to be in order, right? The firm did very well this year.

    My husband runs his own business (and I guess I do too, since I do the contracts and legal things) and we gave our employees $500 (construction industry). They make about $18/hour and I can tell you my husband’s company grossed less than my firm!

    No card. No mention of it. Not even a “thanks for doing way more than your job requires.” No nothing. I’m seriously regretting pulling those all-nighters and weekends now.

    Yes, I understand that I should be grateful to have a paycheck…but honestly I would have been satisfied with a “thanks.”

    • Advice please :

      Ugh, that s*cks, SoCal Atty. Is it possible that they’ll give you something when your next review in February comes up?

    • Lady Enginerd :

      That’s awful. I’d be really offended too. There’s nothing worse than feeling unappreciated and used, and I’m so sorry your employer had made you feel that way.

    • AnonInfinity :

      That really sucks. I would be regretting the nights and weekends, too. And I’d seriously consider trying to scale back (though I understand it’s not possible in some jobs). Do you want to keep this one long term?

    • SoCalAtty :

      Thanks ladies! No clue about getting anything at the 1 year in Feb., but that would be nice. I will be scaling back from now on, and I thought originally I wanted to keep this one long term but after almost a year I don’t think so…I have some irons in the fire with some interesting non-law firm things, and I think I’m going to aim for that.

  47. Advice please :

    A couple more things I should add that might help to explain why I just feel alone and angry.
    In the car, MIL said something like, “What would your parents think if they saw me and (FIL) now!” The reason I guess that’s funny to her is that my parents are conservative – not politically, but they’re of a different ethnicity and a conservative religion. (Husband and I are interracial.) They haven’t socialized much at all with my parents in law, but when they have spent time together they’ve gotten along swimmingly. MIL and FIL both have said nice things about my parents when sober, and my parents adore them, and assume they drink, etc., but have never ever said or I imagine even felt judgment about it. So my MIL said something like, “I don’t know if they’d think I was a ‘fine lady’ tonight” and the reason that made me so angry is because she was referencing a compliment my dad made about her. English isn’t his first language, so I can see how that’s an awkward compliment. But she definitely knew it was sincere, and I don’t think she was making fun of his English, but she was making fun of the idea that he thought that about her.
    Later, she said something like, “All my neighbors said you were so sweet. And they said that (Husband – her son) was sooo handsome.” And that sounds innocuous, but she’s probably related compliments like this a million times, saying people said that I was nice, and he was good looking. That’s more annoying than anything else. Not malicious, but still, with everything else, just seems insulting.

  48. I’ve seen lots of you mention Paula’s Choice skin care, and I was wondering what specific products people use and like? Taking really good care of my skin is one of my new year’s resolutions! I’m thinking about trying the skin balancing system, but wondering about the resist line as well. (I’m 33, starting to see some signs of aging, also enlarged pores, and my skin seems a little dull. My skin is normal to slightly oily/combination)
    Thanks so much and happy holidays!!

  49. Advice please :

    Gone Anon, SoCal Atty, LadyEnginerd, Michelle, and sacnmama — thank you for your kindness in responding to me. To have responded at all, let alone with such compassion and thoughtfulness, made me feel inordinately better.
    My husband came to bed last night and must have sensed I was still awake, and said, quietly, “I’m sorry about tonight.” I’d thought he was sobered up earlier when I first brought it up, but perhaps he wasn’t, and that’s why he had better perspective later. Still, that didn’t change how crappy I’d felt, and I told him that while I appreciated it I was just hurt and disappointed, and didn’t want to talk about it again until after the trip. But I’m glad he apologized, at least.
    Today’s been good. Went shopping with MIL. I suggested picking up a pizza on the way back. :)
    I will keep you posted, if anything meaningful changes/happens. More importantly, I want to thank you five ladies in particular again, and Corporette in general. Lots of things happen test our faith in humanity — both small and horribly big, as we all recently experienced. But then in the midst of such things, you see the kindness from strangers like I did here, and it makes your heart swell right up, the humanity of that.
    Thanks again.

  50. Legalseagull :

    I need some advice – I’m in a rut. Last year, my boyfriend (who I lived with, and who I thought I was going to marry) broke up with me. Now, I’m 36 and having to start all over again. I’ve always wanted children, and now I think it may not happen (don’t want to do it on my own).
    It’s all very depressing.
    I internet dated for a while, and all I found were duds.
    I think the problem for me is that I’m too smart and independent. Most men are intimidated by me, and by the fact that I’m a lawyer. A guy I met last week (sort of) confirmed this for me when he admitted that while men may say they want a ‘strong independent woman’, in actual fact, they don’t. They want to feel like the kings of their castles.
    What do I do? Take a break from dating for a while and mend my little heart, or keep looking for boys to date?
    Thanks for any advice.

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