Weekend Open Thread

Tory Burch Shrunken Sergeant Jacket, Fuchsia Something on your mind? Chat about it here.

Military-inspired jackets seem to be really in right now, and I like this shrunken jacket in a lovely, saturated fuchsia color. (It’s also available in “clay beige” if the bright pink isn’t your thing.) It’s $295 at Bergdorf Goodman. Tory Burch Shrunken Sergeant Jacket, Fuchsia



  1. Anon for this :

    I bought one of these fitted, vaguely military blazers in olive at JCP and I love it. I wear it with jeans, trousers, skirts…very versatile.

  2. Is this outerwear? :

    I like! I’m the inner-wear outer-wear confused person from earlier in the week. This time of year, I’d wear this inside with a coat over it, but this might become my outerwear once it gets warmer (but still cool at night). My compass is strangely off with this issue. In the meantime, Team Cardigan!

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The more I think about it, the more hard pressed I am to come up with a guideline for what the difference is. I can’t tell what kind of fabric this is, but if it is a thicker canvas material then I probably would be less likely to wear it inside.

      But this jacket in a lacy fabric (which I’ve been lusting over) seems fine to wear inside to me. http://m.whitehouseblackmarket.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=24&pageId=1&productId=570067414&viewAll=&prd=Lace+Military+Jacket&subCatId=&color=&fromSearch=&inSeam=&posId=11&catId=cat210004&cat=Jackets&onSale=&colorFamily=&maxPg=2&size=

      • I’d be okay indoors on that. As a general guideline, if its waist length and not puffy it may be okay to wear indoors. Long coats generally are outerwear. (?) I’m sure there are plenty of case by case exceptions to this. And then of course it’s situational – if my office is freezing and all I have is my coat I’ll probably wear it, but if I’m at an interview or something important I’ll just suffer.

    • I can’t come up with a guideline, but to me, this is outerwear. I’d wear it when it warms up a bit with a scarf and in the summer when it gets cool in the evening. I would not wear this with outerwear over it. Although, I would wear it indoors at a restaurant or a concert or something. I would not wear it indoors at work or a party or something (for some reason).

      • Yeah, it’s hard to articulate the difference, but I’d also wear this as outer-wear-that-can-be-worn-indoors. So no coat over it outside, but okay to keep on while inside. Kind of like a fleece (although I will wear a fleece under a parka if it’s like -20 outside, but then, it’s like -20 outside).

      • hoola hoopa :


    • big dipper :

      It’s really hard for me to come up with a rule. This jacket is something I would typically wear as outerwear because it’s short, and the material looks like canvas which reminds me of the outdoors. However, my roommate has a similar jacket in navy that she wears indoors in the winter, unbuttoned, over a tee shirt which is adorable. However, she doesn’t wear it to work.

      I think my big indicators
      – Fabric. Thick wool, canvas, and fleece indicate “outdoors” to me. Lacy, sweater, or other knit fabrics would indicate indoors. Something with a lining (akin to a suit lining) would also indicate indoors.

      – Cut. Jackets that are short, form fitting, nipped at the waist, short sleeved or resemble a suit jacket are probably for indoor wear. Jackets that are longer, more shapeless, or are clearly functional (many pockets for hiking, etc) are probably outdoors.

      – Details. Sometimes the details are an indicator -like fancier buttons, or sewn shut pockets, or a fun hemline – those might indicate an indoor jacket to me.

      Sorry, this is a really hard to articulate answer but hopefully that helps!

      • These are good guidelines! It is one of those complicated issues, a blazer is straightforward but something a bit more detailed is harder.

  3. The sizing looks off, like the coat has a waist several inches above the actual waist. I would like it better if the top was longer, so the waist sits at the anatomical waist and the bottom was slightly longer.

    • Need to Improve :

      I agree. I don’t think this would work if you are (even a little) busty.

    • Anonymous :

      This would sit at my anatomical waist, for whatever that’s worth.

  4. I love this. It looks a little short, so it probably wouldn’t work on the long waisted, but the color is so pretty!

  5. Calibrachoa :

    Big, fat, FOOEY!!! at the weather :(

    thanks to the fellow ‘e!!e planning to come to Dublin, I decided it is totally time to revisit Howth Head and do a bit of hiking this weekend….The flood might have just SOMETHING to say to that. So, my weekend will be spent doing housework. yay. Not.

    • I agree! Doubel FOOEY!!!!! It is so cold that I froze walkeing to work today, but I DID GET my 2.5 or so mile’s and on the way home, it’s 40 KARAT’s for me! Yogurt with Pinappels! YAY!!!!!!

      The manageing partner has me doeing all the reserch for the doofus in Baltimore even tho I am NOT a MARYLAND admittee. FOOEY! There are no cases that I can find on WESTLAW that are ON POINT. Evedenteley, peeople in Baltimore don’t get WC case’s alot, they just settel them right off and there are NO opinion’s by the JUDGES in MARYLAND CASES.

      I am goeing to be published soon, and I will have the JUDGE sign a photocopy of his opinion. He is so nice to me b/c I am ALWAY’S PREPARED. When I was on the train, some smelley guy sat right in front of me and he passed alot of gas right into his seat, and the woman next to me thought THAT IT WAS ME WHO did it. I said NOT ME, it was the smelley guy with the greazy hair. She was NOT sure but I convinced her that It was him b/c when I went to get a drink of water, he did it again. THEN SHE KNEW and told the conducter. He said LADY, what do you want me to do? SHE did not annser him.

      That is the LAST time I do NOT get an ACCELA, and stay over. The cleint is so cheep he said have a 2:00 PM meeting knoweing that I could NOT stay over and would have to leave the same day. FOOEY! I want to stay at the Mariot or the Ritz next time. I have to talk to the manageing partner b/f I go back there. The smelley guy was the WORST I’ve smelled in along time — even worse then Alan or Frank. TERRIBLE STINK! TRIPEL FOOEY!!!!!!

    • Oh no! We’re weirdly okay in Edinburgh but everywhere else seems bad. Something like 40,000 out of power in Belfast?

      Howth was one of my favourite parts of my Dublin trip. Hope you can venture out soon.

      • My boyfriend is heading home to (Northern) Ireland for Holy Week, and is probably going to get stuck in an airport somewhere because of the weather, too. Uck.

      • Calibrachoa :

        Yeah Belfast got hit pretty hard – several of my friends got snowed in, etc. Dublin jut got a LOT of water… thankfully all the rivers stayed put!

        I am hoping if the weather clears out I can go this Friday – I won’t mind the cold as long as it is not wet!

  6. momentsofabsurdity :

    For those of you who are switching out of Google Reader, before you leave, make sure to click “Trends” (under “all items” on the lefthand bar) to view your reading trends! It’s some interesting data for sure and cool to see (it’s also graphically laid out.

    My data (among others) included the following:

    From your 82 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 2,330 items, clicked 109 items, starred 0 items, and emailed 0 items.

    Since May 20, 2009 you have read a total of 121,384 items.

    • Thanks so much for pointing that out! How fascinating and how very disturbing. Particularly the “time of day” graph. Maybe it’s for my own good that Google Reader is disappearing.

    • I’ve never used Google Reader and maybe it’s late to ask this question, but what does it do?

      • Thanks for asking, TBK! I also would love to know, even if it’s too late to use it.

      • It aggregates all of your RSS feeds into one location. So, it’s a central place to read blog postings, news articles, etc. without having to visit each site individually.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        Reader basically just aggregates content from all the blogs/news media that you choose to follow and sorts them by time, pulling new relevant content for you.

        So instead of me having to check 82 different websites to see what their new stories are, I can quickly scroll through my Google Reader and only click or read content that actually interests me. It’s also helpful if you (for example) follow a blog that only updates occasionally, because you can read the content right on Reader or click through, but you don’t have to remember to constantly check the blog.

    • Anonymous :

      So this is where all my free time goes…

      From your 96 subscriptions, over the last 30 days you read 2,654 items, clicked 5 items, starred 4 items, and emailed 0 items.

      Since September 11, 2010 you have read a total of 84,600 items.

  7. Bay Area Meet-up Save the Date

    Afternoon of Sunday, April 21, 2013 somewhere in San Francisco.

    Details to be determined (suggestions are encouraged).

  8. I like military-inspired jackets, but refuse to buy any with chest pockets. If anyone has seen any recently, please post a link and I’d be very grateful.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      The White House Black Market one I posted above doesn’t have chest pockets. I think its called the Lace Military Jacket just in case the link doesn’t work.

  9. Here’s a kind of weird question. I’m semi-vegetarian (fish/seafood okay, but almost no beef, chicken, pork) and have young kids. We eat a variety of stews, curries and casseroles, but pretty much everything is mushy in texture – so lots of variation in flavor, but very monotonous in texture. I find myself craving crunchy things all the time – crackers & cheese, my kids’ goldfish crackers, junk food… So I was wondering if anyone might have suggestions on more “crunchy” meals that are somewhat healthy? I can think of hard tacos but not much else.

    • Stir fries?

    • What about lightly steaming veggies or grilling them to retain some crunch? Raw veggies with a yogurt or hummus based dip? I don’t like hard tacos, but you can always add shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, crisp corn kernels, things along those lines for crunch. For snacks, try kale chips or roasted chickpeas. Both can be customized for flavors (including sweet for the chickpeas).

    • hoola hoopa :

      We routinely have raw vegetables as a side or snack. Crisp apples and nuts. Bran cereal. Granola on plain yogurt.

      I’m happy to brainstorm, but I don’t think meatless is really the cause of lack of crunch in your diet. Meat isn’t usually crunchy. We eat meat and I’m struggle to figure out what crunchy meals we eat. I think the crunch is what makes junk food so popular with vegetarians and omnivores alike.

      • hoola hoopa :

        More ideas:
        Cabbage salad – fresh, not the nasty deli kind. I like freshly shredded cabbage with grated carrots and julienned apples in a dressing of apple cider vinegar and honey. Chopped kale and fresh ginger makes a good addition, too. Or green cabbage, red onion and/or radishes, cilantro, and lime for tacos/burritos.

        Pita chips with hummus, bakes tortilla chips with bean dip or guacamole. Not light options, but at least the tips are nutritious.

      • hoola hoopa :

        Asian-inspired salad with baked tofu, raw cabbage and other vegetables, crunched up ramen, and a soy sauce/ginger/marin dressing/marinade.

        Sesame seeds added to green salad.

        Everything bagel (toasted) with cream/goat cheese, red bell pepper, and sprouts/microgreens.

        • This sounds good! Do you just crunch up the raw ramen?

          • hoola hoopa :

            Toast it in cast iron skillet for extra credit (after crunching up), but usually we just crunch it up as it has to be watched fairly closely while toasting. It is really a great meal!

    • Calibrachoa :

      Not a meal, but popcorn is crunchy and pretty good snack because it can be low in fat and it is high in fiber – my current favorite is the wasabi flavored Skinny Topcorn!

    • What about doing “dips night” sometimes? Crunchy raw veggies with healthy dips (yogurt-based, salsa, hummus, etc.). I don’t have children, but I hear the littler ones especially love to be able to eat with their hands. You can add whatever additional side(s) you need to make it feel like a full meal (pan-cooked falafel patties would be a great, and healthy, addition).

    • I’m a life-long veggie. For crunchy food, I eat a fair amount of raw veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers, jicama, salads), sometimes with toppings (humus, peanut butter); granola and other cereals; pizza with crispy crust; sandwiches with sprouts or romaine lettuce; cheese and crackers; popcorn; kale chips and sweet potato chips; apples.

      Are you really missing crunchy food or chewy food?

    • What about stir-frys? If you don’t overcook the veggies, you should still have a fair amount of crunch in there, or add some toasted almonds. I also like roasted seaweed (Traders Joes, Whole Foods, etc. will have it) for a crunchy snack that is (in theory) healthier than chips. Probably if you roasted your own, it would be even healthier. I’ve seen recipes for roasting kale at home to make crispy “chips,” that might be an option too. Now that I think about it, it is hard to find meals, rather than snacks, that are crunchy but healthy. I’ll be watching this thread.

    • Anonymous :

      often i’ll put chopped nuts on top of dishes because I too need that crunch – chopped peanuts or cashews on top of asian stir fry, chopped almonds on top of a hearty stew, etc

      • Maddie Ross :

        I really like water chestnuts in stir frys. Even cooked, they retain a nice fresh crunch.

      • Famouscait :

        +1 this. And don’t forget about chow mein noodles – yum!

      • Veronique :

        Peanuts or cashews are great on Asian dishes. I recently made a knockoff CPK thai chicken pizza that was delicious. It had shredded carrots, bean sprouts and chopped peanuts, so tons of delicious crunch. You could make it a stir-fry for a much healthier version.

    • Calibrachoa :

      For salads, grated carrot and cucumber are both crunchy and v. tasty – and when mixed, the moistness of the cucumber means you don’t need a lot of digressing to make it palatable. I love mixing up the two with some tuna and cottage cheese.

    • I add toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch to a lot of the veggie meals I cook. I’d also second the idea for stir fries. Right now, our go to meal has been sauteed beets and carrots, cooked with an onion and garlic, with kale or spinach added at the end, toasted pumpkin seeds on top and over quinoa or your grain of choice. I can’t even tell y0u how good this combo is and because the veggies are naturally sweet, they develop a really great crust as they cook.

      Also, for fish, I like to do fillets with a panko crumb topping. Or for something else crunchy to add, you can roast chickpeas and throw them into whatever you’re cooking for an interesting texture.

      • Anonymous :

        Okay, question. What kind of beets are you using? This sounds delicious, but when I think of peeling and chopping the beets, and risking staining my butcher block countertops, I just think, “Oh, it isn’t worth it.” Are you using canned beets or something? Or is there a trick to peeling beets?

        • If you have easy access to Trader Joe’s, they have prepared beets in the fridge case that are great. I think they taste better than canned, and they’re easy to work with.

          Otherwise, I have had some luck roasting beets in foil and then peeling them while managing to contain the mess to the foil.

          • Anonymous :

            Those are both good ideas. The problem is thinking to roast them a few days in advance so they are cool by the time I need to peel them (I cook dinner in under 20 minutes, so I don’t think it’d be possible to do both steps in one night). And yes, to mascot, I do use a cutting board. That’s actually not one of my major concerns. I just hate holding the little beet while trying to peel it, you know? I knick my fingers.

            Anyway, I’m going to run to Trader Joe’s this weekend. Thanks!

        • Could you use a plastic or bamboo cutting board on top of the butcher block? With a tea towel underneath if you are really worried about stains?

          • AIMS, that recipes sounds delicious. I was wondering the same thing – if you have to pre-cook the beets. I cut beets up on a plate, rather than a chopping board. The rim of the plate keeps the juices in, whereas if I use a chopping board the beet juices get all over the kitchen counter.

          • I use regular beets, not pre-cooked, and a potato peeler. I can’t say I’ve found it difficult to peel them or cut them (certainly not like butternut squash or the like). I cut them into 1-inch chunks and coarsely chop carrots to similar size so they cook evenly together.

            You certainly can roast them, or even easier just boil them with the skin on. They’ll keep that way for a couple of days. It requires virtually no effort. Takes about an hour. They’re done when you can easily pierce them with a knife.

            The trader joe’s beets are another solution, but they’re baby beets and I prefer them just for salads.

            As for staining, I just use a large plastic cutting board and haven’t noticed a big problem as far as clean up goes.

          • I should add that if mess is a concern, you can always peel the beets in the sink over a strainer. But seriously, beets are so good and so great for you, it’s all worth the trouble (and it really is not a lot of trouble).

      • SoCalAtty :

        I was thinking along the same lines as the bread crumbs – you could do “fried” (but really just coated and baked) fish tacos, or just the fish itself.

        What about a panini night? You could do grilled cheese, or even fish and really toast the bread and put some good cheese on it, like some goat cheese or good mozzarella. That’s crunchy and salty, and the combination possibilities are endless…eggplant…portabello….

        ok now I’m hungry.

        • Yep, delicious fancy grilled cheese on baguette. We use at least two kinds of cheese (including something smoked, ideally), plus pesto, mayo, sauteed peppers and onions, and spinach. The baguette crisps up great.

          Even if you don’t have a panini press, just using regular french bread (rather than soft white bread) makes them much better and it’s definitely not mushy!

    • funkybroad :

      not really a meal but kale chips are DELICIOUS. I’m thinking of buying a dehydrator to make my own because kale chips are godawfully expensive.

      ps. are there any other vegans here?

      • Diana Barry :

        Do you ever make kale chips in the oven? I bake them all the time – toss with a smidge of olive oil and salt and throw in the oven at 400 for just a few minutes. DELICIOUS. A big bunch of kale bakes into two cookie sheets’ worth and is much cheaper than the ready-made chips. :)

      • I make kale chips at home by spraying them with olive oil and baking at 350 for 10 or 15 minutes.

      • thanks to all for the instructions for kale chips — I can’t bring myself to pay the $6 a bag I saw at the natural grocery.

        And hi, funkybroad! I’m not pure vegan (I travel a lot and do lots of working meals so it would be hard; plus I can’t quite give up cheese, even though I know I should) but my husband is a super-strict vegan and we are basically vegan at home. I’ve posted here before some recipe links/fast dinner ideas that are all vegan.

      • Just want to echo those who said they are dead easy to make yourself. I like mine with olive oil and sea salt.

        Also amazing – kale caesar salad (obviously you can do vegan caesar). SO GOOD.

      • I’m sort of vegan- I’m vegetarian, but I’m not a fan of eggs, so I don’t eat them, and I don’t tolerate dairy very well….

        And I, like the others, make kale chips at home, they are super easy. And lend themselves well to seasonsings, I usually go with garlic powder and nutritional yeast. They also make great crumbs, and I’ll sometimes mix them with panko to coat tofu and bake it to make crunchy tofu bites.

      • SpaceMountain :

        Almost vegan but not strict about reading labels, so I’m sure I get some dairy products/eggs if they are in something. Love kale chips & I grow my own kale, but to Funkybroad, kale chips made in the oven are better than the food dehydrator. I mostly use my dehydrator for tomatoes from my garden and strawberries from the farmers’ market in the spring, which are just so much better than the ones at the grocery store.

      • Vegan here!

    • OP here. These are great suggestions so far! I forgot to mention that I’m not a huge fan of raw veggies, and my kids don’t like stir-fries. I don’t think the lack of crunch is because we are meatless per se, it’s more that everything I can think to cook is mushy or soupy! Just a lack of culinary imagination! We do some of the things suggested (nuts, granola, pita chips, etc.) but many of the others are things I don’t think about or buy much, so I’m loving the ideas! I will check back over the weekend to see if there are any suggestions. Already planning on getting some cabbage, popcorn, water chestnuts, and chickpeas to roast this weekend!

      • Another Trader Joe’s item–they have this couscous pilaf that I love. It includes rice pilaf, red quinoa, and some kind of bean. The beans don’t cook that much so they have a little crunch, and it can give a meal a little more texture than going with rice or pasta.

    • Try adding nuts or pumpkin seeds to your stews and curries right before they’re done. You can also make crunchy toppers: croutons, pita crisps, baked tortilla strips. Or you could buy any of those as well as French’s crsipy onions, or those crunchy asian noodles (both of which can really pick up soup: I love some crispy onions in tomato soup.)

      And even if you don’t like veggies a really crisp salad that is mostly lettuce (bagged Caesar salad type thing) is generally crisp without having that extra chewy factor that turns lots of people off of raw veggies.

    • Add water chestnuts to your stirfries. Big hit at my house.

  10. I like this pick. It’s a not-for-me-but-perfect-for-someone-else item.

    Question for the moms with two or more pregnancies (or perhaps those with extreme weight loss):

    Did you have more and longer lingering extra skin after your second child than after your first? While I never fully returned to pre-pregnancy form after my first, I was pretty darn close by nine months post-partum. It’s been a year since my second child was born and I still have two fist-fulls of extra belly skin and extra elsewhere on my torso. Granted, it was at least twice that 6-9 months ago, but it still is way, way more than I’d like. I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Typical? Will it continue to improve? Anything I can do to encourage extra skin to go away?

    • yup. Mine’s still there 2.5 years later, and I’m at prepregnancy weight (or a little less). Did not happen with my first.

    • Diana Barry :

      Yes, I have extra skin on my belly – like a wrinkly elephant. This is 11 months post with #3. My derm said that it wouldn’t really go away unless I got a tummy tuck. Oh well!

    • My belly looks like a deflated balloon. Pretty sure mine is in tummy-tuck territory. I still have a few pounds to loose, but the wrinkly saggy skin is just bleh.

    • This occurred following the second child birth for my mom, best friend and her sister. It does not go away w/o a tummy tuck. 100%.

    • A little more extra skin after No. 2, even though I weigh less/am thinner than I was pre-pregnancy, and am way smaller than I was before this whole kid thing got underway.

      Relatedly: after two kids, I have arrived at a different, non-judgmental opinion regarding tummy tucks and breast lifts. More than my flat stomach, I miss my perkier chest of yore.

    • Blerg. Not what I was hoping to hear. I guess there’s comfort in not being alone? Sigh.

      As a side, I made a comment to someone currently pregnant with their second about how I got rid of my bikinis because, even though they still fit, I’ll never wear them again. She gave me a doe-eyed look and asked “why?” I lifted up my shirt and probably gave her nightmares.

      Good thing the buggers are worth it ;)

      • Ha! I know it’s cruel but I do enjoy scaring future/new parents now and then.

        Once when going to a mid-third trimester checkup for No. 2 I told a set of new parents (clearly in for their 6-week post-partum checkup because (1) they were both there! and (2) so was their baby!) that it’s so nice where kids were that age because they don’t move.

      • My then-2yo once had an accident in the dressing room of a maternity clothing store, when I was pregnant with #2 and desperately looking for pants that fit. The chi-chi yuppie couple who witnessed the aftermath were horrified, and I looked at them dead on and said, grim-faced, “Just wait.”

        I cleaned up, of course, and notified the store staff, and apologized.

    • I have the extra skin thing – not from pregnancy but from being very heavy and losing a lot of weight. It’s depressing because I will never have a flat stomach so matter how much weight I lose, unless I get a tummy tuck. I just have to dress in a way that’s flattering for my body.

      • Senior Attorney :

        Same here. I call it my “shar pei tummy.” I look fine in my clothes and I’m not inclined to spend the money or go through the pain of a tummy tuck. I’m just glad the devastation is someplace where it’s easily concealed.

  11. nice cube :

    help! a male superior just made some very crude comments to me in my office. in the moment, i told him to stop. but i feel like i should follow up and tell him that he crossed the line. right? should i email it to create a papertrail? or just go tell him?

    • Anonymous :

      I would email him and tell HR

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      Email him to say:

      “John, I just want to reiterate that I found what you said to me in the hallway (“dang, girl, your ass looks fine in those slacks. Shake it like a polaroid picture, baby”) to be completely crude, inappropriate and harassing. I want to be clear that I find it unacceptable that you spoke to me that way. Please do not do so again.”

      With instance, I wouldn’t necessarily go to HR, but if it happened multiple times, I definitely would.

      • momentsofabsurdity :

        *with *one* instance, sorry!

      • Excellent wording from MoA. I agree, don’t involve HR yet. But make sure to keep a hard copy (away from the office) or forward a copy to a non-work e-mail address of this and anything else that could become the paper trail to prove the harassment. If you don’t put all the gory detail in the e-mail to this creep, take a few mintues and write it all up (again, keeping copies away from the work place so you can get them later if necessary) so that you will have a record created while the details are fresh in your mind. An e-mail to your self is a good way to do this because it not only provides a recitation of the facts but also shows when it was prepared. Hopefully, this won’t go any further, but you’ll want to be able to make your claims stick, if it comes to that (and be prepared to deal with any suggestion by the creep that you are making this up).

        So sorry you’re going through this.

        • I agree with the email to yourself. It keeps a record and emailing him after you already made yourself clear in person might inflame the situation. If it escalates anyway, take it to HR.

          • Anonymous :

            I never get the emailing to yourself. I could send an email to myself right now with any number of lies. How does it help protect you?

          • Of course e-mailing something doesn’t prove it’s true. But it can help the person remember details that will fade with time, fend off a defense that harassing conduct was not unwelcome and knock out any assertion that the claims were made up later (such as if the victim gets fired). She can prove that yes, this was not a last-minute claim made months later but was memorialized in an e-mail on March 22, 2013.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            The content documents that you told the offender that you found what was said offensive, and establishes when that communication was made. You are also keep a contemporaneous record of the behavior.

          • hoola hoopa :

            Email has a time/date stamp. BCC’ing yourself is best because it show when, where, what, and who.

            In this case, it would not prove that the supervisor made the comments, but it would prove that she informed him that the alleged comments were clearly unwelcome. If the harassment continued, it would be useful to have description of the comments while fresh to memory, date they occurred, and evidence that she had asked him to stop.

          • Anonymous :

            Right- I totally get emailing HIM. But I don’t get when people say “send an email to yourself.” I could send an email to myself right now that says “Boss said I was sexy. I told him that it was unwelcome.” (which is not true) So how would that help in the future? It is not evidence I told him to stop. I get the refresh memory part, but people seem to be saying it’ll help prove its true, but I dont how that would help

          • Divaliscious11 :

            The assumption of course begins with not being a liar. Secondly, significantly more evidence wold be needed to prove a case, but records taken at the time of incident are used to record activity and because of the time/date stamp are less likely to be manufactured, ie… not all made up and entered into diary the night before filing a claim, for example….

      • Anonymous :

        +1 to MOA’s advice.

        This is better, IMO, than emailing yourself. And fears about inflaming him seem more like teaching women to be cowards. He’s in the wrong, stop dancing around the feelings of the perpetrator. That’s one of the things they exploit– they know some women have been coached to avoid confronting in case he “gets angrier,” so they keep being jerks.

        This is not like you’re walking in some dark alleyway afraid of physical violence– this is the office. If he gets inflamed, he’ll probably just give you more evidence to use against him in court/with HR.
        Fire away.

        • My comment was intended to agree with MoA’s wording on an e-mail to the creep but, if that message does not include all the detail, as separate record (e-mail preferred) about the entire incident.

          In fact, I would tell him that this is unwelcome by e-mail, not in person. the OP already told him to stop, and the email with the language MoA suggests is very clear, concise and not subject to the arguments or misinterpretation that could come out of a face-to-face discussion. (The creep might also worry about who has been bcc’d on the message.

    • You have to have a THICK skin. Men can be so dumb some time’s! We just have to IGNORE the stupididity and silly thing’s they say b/c they often do NOT think about what they say before they say it.

      I have been so busy! I billed 2600 hour’s last year and that does NOT count alot of hours the Manageing partner would NOT let me bill. All my research for his CLE and my antitrust work was worth 100 hours! FOOEY! And no real time off, b/c I was goeing to take time but then we got new cleint’s like Jim from roberta and the next thing you know my tuchus gets flat and flabbey! FOOEY b/c only the South American guys were interested, but maineley in taking me to bed. FOOEY!

      If you have time off you can exersize and flatten your tuchus. If your MARRIED you don’t have to worry about a flabby tuchus but I cannot find a husband until I get back in size 2. FOOEY! Myrna did say my tuchus looks flatter then it was. Yay!

  12. Anon for This :

    I was “volunteered” by one of my partners, a woman transactional lawyer, who is very unfriendly and known in the office to be a disruptive influence and someone who is always backstabbing you by complaining about being too noisy or something similarly lame, to be a “mentor” for some woman litigator that I have never met who is a friend of a financial planner who feeds lots of business to this partner. I really don’t want to do it since I like to choose the persons I mentor and since she graduated from a very marginal law school (I am not sure it is even ABA accredited) I am not sure what help I can offer.

    But since I have to do this, I would appreciate suggestions of how to approach this with the woman (it’s not her fault that I am dragged into this unwillingly and she could be a perfectly lovely person) and what kind of “mentoring” I could provide. I have 35 years’ experience litigating at both a Big Firm (more than ten years ago, as a litigation partner) and, more recently at a local midsize firm. My “mentee” is a two year law graduate who I think is working solo. I have to call her and I wonder how to handle it and what to say. Suggestions are welcome as I have a fairly large mental block to overcome about doing this.

    I need to add that I am not at all opposed to mentoring, in fact love to do it, especially for women lawyers but prefer to do that after first getting to know someone and developing a relationship with them. I also confess I am influenced by my very poor relationship with my partner who set this up. She has not been kind to me at all and I am always wary of dealing with her.

    • hoola hoopa :

      Not a lawyer, so maybe this doesn’t make any sense in that world. I would offer an informational interview. It could provide a jumping off point for future contact or advice, but it could also serve to complete your obligation. Specifically, I would offer it and have her take the lead on scheduling it. She may have been pushed to this as heavy handedly as you were and may take the opportunity to let it drop.

    • Diana Barry :

      I would email her and encourage her to email you back to set up a meeting/informational interview – just keep it very brief. That way you have reached out to her like you were “supposed” to, but the ball is in her court to get back to you.

    • There’s a huge difference between giving advice/being a bit helpful and really opening your rolodex and spending your time to make sure that this young lawyer becomes a superstar (if it’s even possible). You can be helpful without being too invested. Who knows? Maybe you’ll hit it off. But remember that you control the relationship, and you should guard your time and contacts carefully.

      I’ve been burned by being “too helpful” to folks based on who recommended them, and in your case, your inclined to be less helpful based on the referring party. I think you are right to be cordial, somewhat helpful and to provide a broad overview of what you do and how you became successful without say, sending her scraps of business which don’t fit with your practice.

      If you’ve had a meeting or two with her, you can say with straight face to evil partner that you met, X, she seems like a promising young woman, and you gave her some guidance on how to proceed based on the few times you met. I think that’s more than enough, especially since you didn’t volunteer for this.

    • I’d quote her the mentoring section from “Lean In,” mentors aren’t assigned, they are developed from relationships with people whose career development you want to be involved in/with. I’d let her know that you’d be open to speaking with her, but can’t commit to mentor her without first having a personal relationship-you might not be the type of person she needs and vice versa.

    • Anon for This :

      Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. I took the suggestion of emailing her and asking her to call. She did, we talked and what she wants is help getting a job with a firm located in my area. I was candid and told her the market was tight and I had no leads for us and we are not hiring (we aren’t, we would not hire someone so junior and we would not consider someone from her law school, none of which I mentioned). I encouraged her to become active in our local bar association, made some specific suggestions of sections she could join and offered general networking comments and ideas.

      It was pleasant, she sounded appreciative but I think there will not be any follow up by her. The ball is in her court now and what she wants is a job. That I cannot offer her. I think it unlikely in this market that she will find anything, especially given her credentials. But if she circulates and stays in touch with other professionals in the market here, something may turn up. And that’s the advice I gave her.

  13. When you provide references for a job application, do you include mailing address or just name, org/position, phone, and email? I will submit the job application itself via email, if that matters. Thanks!

    • hoola hoopa :

      Even in the days before email, I don’t think I ever submitted a mailing address for a reference.

    • Miss Behaved :

      I don’t put addresses. You really just need contact info. You may want to include what their relationship is to you. But I usually just list
      Jane Doe
      Senior Developer
      XYZ Company
      [email protected]

    • momentsofabsurdity :

      I include name, phone, email, org, and city/state (just in case there are time difference issues)

    • Thank you!

  14. Diana Barry :


    I have several pairs of skinny jeans that fit pretty well when I first put them on. Then they seem to stretch around the waist and rear and so for the rest of the day, I am constantly pulling them up and look like I have a saggy bum. They never feel like they stretch out around the thighs or calves, though.

    Is this just a cheap jeans problem (I think they are all from Gap)? What kinds should I try instead? I have a straightish figure and J Crew and Theory pants fit me well for workwear.

    • TO Lawyer :

      I do think this is a cheap jeans issue because I have the same problem in my non-designer jeans. My sevens maintain their shape really well all day (but you may not want to spend that much on a pair of jeans). I think you want to look for jeans that are stretchy but not too stretchy…

    • One of my friends has this problem and swears by J.Crew toothpick jeans and the DL 1961 brand. She says they work for her because they have less strech, and her jeans always look great. I really like the J.Crew matchstick for this reason as well. Good luck!

    • Size down a bit when you buy your skinnies- I usually buy the 7 for all mankind skinny jeans (they have some stretch to them), and when I very first get them they’re super tight, and then after about a month of uncomfortable wearing, they stretch to wear I need them to be, and then they’re fine (I wash/hang, so they’re a smidge tight again when I first pull them on, but they’re fine within the hour or so). The first pair I bought were way too big after a month or so, and I learned my lesson .

    • I am a banana. :

      Try Paige jeans. I have the skinnies and straight legs and have not experienced the bagging problem.

    • I definitely have this problem with Gap jeans – within an hour or two the knees are all stretched out and they’re practically falling down. I want to lose 10 pounds before I buy a pricier pair, though, so belts it is for now!

      • Gap is the worst for this, I have a pair of trousers that look adorable for an hour and a hot mess after that.

    • I like the Madewell skinny skinny jeans – they don’t seem to do this. I did go for the snugger size though (I’m generally a 29-30 and got the 29).

    • This is due to too high Lycra content… Maybe check out the percent Lycra on the ones you are having issues with and look for less as you try on other brands. Also agree to buy on the small side for skinnies.

    • Try sizing down. Jeans should be snug when you first put them on.

    • This happens to me too and I hate it. I wear Lucky jeans, I’m 24 yrs old, size 4, and I do not have a saggy butt, but my jeans always seem to give me one by the end of the day. I have to just ignore it until I can afford new jeans (currently in law school).

  15. anon for this :

    TJ looking more for support than advice….

    I had a major ladygarden emergency yesterday (not to be too graphic, but thought I was having a miscarriage) and had to leave work and spend all day at the hospital being poked and prodded. All signs point to actual ladygarden being OK but potentially a blood disorder is to blame (they are running some follow-up to an abnormal result on a clotting test).

    I know the guideline is that I don’t need to tell my boss/coworkers anything other than “I was sick” but anyone else have a hard time when it’s um a sensitive issue like this? Certainly I don’t want to volunteer this info, but I have been asked by several people what I was sick with, and then I also had to go back today for a follow-up with the OBGYN (and will have to see a hematologist next week).

    I think what bugs me is that it’s a pretty major issue, and if I had come down with, say, a stomach ulcer I would simply say, “I have a stomach ulcer- it’s serious and I’ll need to be in and out of the office taking care of it” but I’m not about to do the same for my ladygarden issue so I feel really weird and evasive.

    • This is awkward. Can you say something like “a female problem”? It sounds kind of 1950’s but not sure what else I’d say. Maybe others will come up with something better. The condition sounds distressing – I hope it gets figured out and treated soon!

      • I hope you’re joking — that is really an awful idea. It just invites everyone to imagine what “female problems” you might be having. If you’re going to be super-vague, take it out of the garden area and just say a “medical problem” (or a blood disorder — interesting, relatively specific and honest, and doesn’t make people wonder whether you have an oozing vag infection, hysteria, or a shopping addiction).

    • I am a banana. :

      A quick “I’d really rather not talk about it” when asked what you are sick with is often quite effective.

      • Agreed. It’s very rare for people to press with medical questions. If you want you can throw in something like “we’re getting it resolved and I’ll be fine” just so nobody thinks you’ve just been diagnosed with a terminal condition or something. Not mandatory, but when people have no info sometimes their minds go to the worst possibilities, especially if they really care or have had related experiences in their own lives. And you can always thank them for their concern.

    • I don’t think you need to give any details to your coworkers.

      As for your boss, what about something like, “I have been experiencing a women’s health issue, which is why I was out of the office on XYZ date. My doctors are running some tests, so I appreciate your understanding if I need to modify my schedule over the next few days/weeks/whatever.”

    • “The doctors don’t really know what’s going on but it might be a blood disorder.”

      FWIW, I would be uncomfortable in my office about saying “it’s none of your business.” It’s just not our office culture. But I wouldn’t feel bad about lying because it really isn’t any of their business and they aren’t trained medical professionals who would figure it out on their own. If it would explain my being out of office, I might just tell people it’s a stomach ulcer.

    • Hugs to you while you go through this.

      I really hate the “female problems” type of formulation, but maybe that’s just me. Also, if it turns out to be a blood disorder of some type and not actually gynecological problem, that term is not really accurate. You might just say you’ve developed a health problem and hope it’s nothing serious but you’ll need to have some testing and follow-up done that will require you to modify your schedule. This will make clear that it’s not just a cold but still both protects your privacy and avoids gory or embarrassing details.

      And just a head’s up: Yours could well be different, but when I had to see a hematologist a couple of years ago I was referred to someone affiliated with an oncology practice, I have no idea why. The doctor was in fact a hematologist not an oncologist but my reminder cards said “[City] Cancer Center,” as did the sign on the door — and all the literature in the exam rooms was directed to cancer patients. It was hard not to freak out just a little.

      • I don’t think this is terribly uncommon. My mom had cancer some years ago and her doctor’s office said “oncology and hematology” on the sign outside. I’m obviously not knowledgable about this sort of thing, but I guess they’re related somehow?

      • Medical, not legal, professional here. Hematology/oncology ( heme/onc) is a combined specialty, usually with a concentration in one or the other. So, don’t freak out if your hematologist is in an oncology practice.

    • Statutesq :

      Can you just say.. hopefully nothing serious but something I need to take seriously. That should quiet the questions.

      • I like that wording! I feel your pain OP, I really did have a miscarriage this week and was at a complete loss for what to tell my supervisor. I ended up just saying I had a health issue that required follow-up. Hope everything works out for the best with your health!

        • Oh, and I have to add, I totally agree with your ‘stomach ulcer’ comment. It seems so awful that something like a miscarriage and other scary/traumatic female health issues are so taboo that we have to carefully think about how to tell people or try to avoid telling people altogether. Why are female health issues too ‘gross’ for telling the boss but if I had something like kidney stones, I’d just go ahead and say that.

          • Maddie Ross :

            I don’t think that women’s health issue are too gross, it’s just that they are so personal. People feel sympathy for you when you tell them you have kidney stones, but they make the oddest comments and downright pity you when you say you’ve had a miscarriage. When I had my miscarriage, I totally lied to work about it. I didn’t say stomach ulcer, but it was something similar and unspecific.

        • I am so sorry for your loss. Be gentle to yourself in the upcoming weeks.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I’m currently recovering from lady garden-ish surgery so I feel your pain. I just use the more general version of the issue “had to have cyst surgically removed” and leave out the specifics. It is also drastically impeding my ability to walk and sit so I have allowed the suggestion to remain that it was on my inner thigh. One coworker thinks I hurt my leg and I haven’t corrected him. Little white lies/lies by omission are okay in these circumstances. While I knew I was going to need this out, I wasn’t prepared to have it out the date it was removed so I didn’t have my work affairs in order and had to return the next day. For most offices, my response would be way tmi but my office is really small and everyone knows everyone’s business. Everyone was very concerned about my sudden visible “injury” so I had to explain somewhat.

    • I thought a lady garden was a vagina, not a womb? Is every female part a lady garden? Seems a bit strange.

      • I thought the garden was just the hair bit – like a bush?

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        Mine was a skin cyst, not ovarian, so it was on the literal garden. Though I guess if we are being hypertechnical the garden would be the vulva, not the vagina.

        • I think it’s unclear what people mean by “in my lady garden”. If they mean public area in the context of a shaving discussion, then sure, it’s a vulva. If they mean sex, it’s a vagina (unless you have some technique I don’t know about!) But extending it to mean womb I think is a bit weird.

    • I think the question is — do people in your office know you’re pregnant? If so, just say, “I had a pregnancy related scare and will need to do follow up appointments.”

      If not, you may need to hedge a bit, (as in: I was sick and needed to go to the hospital.) but once they know you are pregnant they will put two and two together.

      Also, I HATE “female problems” 51% of the world is female. Men can deal with generalities of “I have cramps.” “I have an infection.” “I need to see my OBGYN.”

      Just wait until a guy you know gets testicular cancer — they think their body parts, at lest when ill, are neutral and non-sexual.

  16. eastcoaster :

    I’m about to start my first job at a law firm post-graduation! Any tips on getting started?

    • Don’t take it personally when associates/partners mark your work up and you get back a document that is so marked up with red pen that it’s bleeding. Their goal is to get the product to where it needs to be and for you to learn, and on top of that, each lawyer has their own style, so…just don’t feel personally connected to your work, otherwise you’ll be upset when you realize that maybe 10%, if you’re lucky, of the final product was your original thought.

      And using precedents isn’t cheating/plagiarizing, it’s totally fine.

    • * Pay very good attention to cues. For instance, watch how senior associates interact with partners and follow accordingly, if the senior is well-regarded. Pay attention to small cues, like how folks dress or whether face time is important–when you’re new, you don’t want to stand out in a bad way.

      * Try to find out who is well regarded. This may take some time, and you don’t want to be gossipy, but try to find out who has good precedents to use or would be helpful if you have a tricky legal question to ask.

      *Use assistants to suss out the mood and whereabouts of partners that are known to be crotchedy, so that these wise assistants can warn you if it’s a good or bad time to stop by to chat with said partners.

      * Find a good paralegal and ask them to tell you the “backstory” on any matter where history would be helpful on how to approach a client, another associate, a certain type of deal, etc. But know that just because a paralegal has been around for a while, that does not mean that they are a good paralegal (e.g. tenure is not necessarily indicative of skill)

      *Always proceed with caution until you know what you’re doing–there may be behind the scenes issues (billing pressure, past matters, etc.) which are not immediately obvious to you. It’s perfectly find to give the “I’ll look into this and get back to you” answer if you are not certain how to proceed or need to confirm with someone more senior.

      * Be proactive, but not too proactive. You want to be helpful without overstepping. Your goal is to get up to speed so that you can take work off others’ plates, so keep that in mind, but remember that as the newbie, you don’t “own” the client relationship, so it may be best for someone more senior to have the client contact or deliver your work product. This is not a reflection of your ability, but rather the delicate nature of law firms.

      * Be solution-oriented. Everyone’s busy, but problems do occur and you need to help fix them. So if you are raising an issue, try to also provide suggestions for solutions as well.

      *UPOD – underpromise and overdeliver. It’s tempting to think that a project is really simple and so you’ll have it done by X time. But until you have more experience, always build in a buffer so that if an unexpected issue arises or you need to research additionally, you have time before you’re “late” in delivering an assignment.

      *Be impeccably polite, even if things are not perfect. In small firms or large firms, your attitude toward staff and colleagues will be remembered.

      *Take care of yourself. Law firms will take you for all you have unless you set up reasonable boundaries. Try to keep a sense of self as a person, and not define yourself solely as an attorney. Try to find time for exercise.

      *Figure out a good way to track your time and stick to it. Similarly, if you are not a naturally organized person, figure out who can help you be organized (assistants, paralegals, etc) with paperwork, dates, or whatever else is relevant to your practice area. Ask others what systems work for them and follow their lead until you find a system that works for you.

      • +1 for taking the time to observe your office. It sounds strange to say, and even if you summered there, try to find out the unwritten rules of the road. For example: When is it most important that you are actually in your office? Who are the associates/counsel/partners who are respected and on their way up? How can you get on their cases?

        Another pointer: ask questions but spread them out amongst various people: trusted paralegals when you can (so, how do you normally handle X?), secretaries (time keeping, formatting, etc.), your level, or a year or two ahead of you (best source for, help, I don’t know how to start/handle this or how does a particular senior associate/partner prefer things be handled), and those more senior (for more case specific questions) and also learn who will not view questions favorably (certain partners). I would also add that your librarian can be a great resource and may have a good sense for what a particular person is looking for.

        Lastly, as MJ said, take care of yourself. You can burn out very quickly in certain environments. Figure out what boundaries are acceptable and then hold to them.

        Good Luck!!

      • All of this is very good advice. I wish they handed this out to new attorneys at my firm.

    • I’ve been told to read Swimming Lessons for Baby Sharks. It’s a very short book and I bet you could read it standing in Barnes & Noble.

  17. But I don't WANT to micromanage :

    Stupid relationship question/issue that I feel bad about discussing in real life because it totally throws my sweetie under the bus…

    For those of you who are the multi-tasking, type A, planner personality types, how do you deal with an SO who just doesn’t plan anything. I’m not even that much of a planner, but compared to my sweetie, I’m a mastermind and it’s been that way for the last four to five years. It’s everything from figuring out what movies are playing to planning his daughter’s birthday parties.

    I accept that a large part of it is my fault for just doing all the planning and being a bit of a control freak. I’m better at it (which is his usual excuse), but I’m also better at it just because I do it. But I’m tired, and wedding planning has pushed me over the edge.

    I’ve started to just let things go, and if it’s not something that I really want done, I don’t push it. We’re late to the game, eh, I don’t care, since I’m only going because he wanted to go. Tickets for a movie are sold out, eh, I’m fine with just watching something on TV.

    He’s very aware that this is frustrating for me, but I don’t think he knows how to make it better.

    I think we both need ‘tools’ to help us get better at this, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one here who’s in a similar situation…


    • You are not the only one! I have finally done just as you have… stopped completely with managing/planning any of his stuff for him. He didn’t plan it? No daughter’s birthday. And you know what, he got it done this year (at the last minute, but still, my way doesn’t have to be right). Right now we’re in a mini-war about stuff around the house, because he knows it bugs me more. For example, the irrigation system out front is leaking. So he digs it all up, and now it has sat, dug up, for about 3 weeks now. I know it is going to cause WW3 when I hire a plumber to come finish it because he “was going to do it”, but I’m almost there. It actually helps my OCD self to have a new goal: instead of making sure everything is done, my goal is to not once nag, remind, cajole, or do it for him. It really helps. Its 9:30 and none of the kids (his, not mine) are in bed? Well, that is because you didn’t think of the 25 things they need to do before bed, and so only started the process at 9:15 when everyone is tired/crying/throwing fits. A cup of tea and book for me… my work was done for the night. The next night, everyone was ready for bed by 8:30. Ta-da! Of course, if he asks, I will help, but I am done doing it for him.

      The mom and toddler reference from this morning’s question about dressing her husband was perfect for this. I am not his mom. I am his SO. If I do everything, he will let me. If I treat him like an adult and don’t manage his life for him, he will figure it out and I am so much less resentful, so we get along so much better.

      • Anonymous :

        This x 1000.

        I always get irritated when I read about men who act like babies, but my irritation is with both the men and the women who keep enabling them. Not doing ANY of it for him is the way to stop enabling.

    • hoola hoopa :

      I find it very helpful to be explicit about what he needs to plan or arrange with a deadline or timeframe. I occasionally follow-up and remind, but do not nag, judge, or take over. Honestly, it’s hard, but I feel like it’s very important to show that you need and want his help and trust him.

      I pick carefully. He is in charge of his parents’ birthdays, Christmas, and mothers/fathers day, for example. A month in advance, I let him know that the event is coming and that he is in charge of it. Two weeks in advance, I conversationally ask him his plans. A week in advance, I conversationally ask about progress. Sometimes, they don’t get anything but a call – which I sometimes have to reminded him to do that day. (Thankfully, now that we have kids I always make sure that ‘they’ mail something in advance, so it’s clear that *I* am not at fault).

      I would never, say, leave him in charge of planning a birthday party for a child who will be destroyed if he drops the ball. I will request that he helps with certain things, like picking up and wrapping gifts that I had shipped to store, ordering the cake (know your husband – mine can come up with some charming ideas, but my father could not have), or cleaning the house.

      If I feel like he’s doing it ‘wrong’, I do nothing. If it’s his task, it’s for him to decide. It usually works out just fine, although maybe different than how I would have done it.

      Also, it gets a lot easier the further you get from wedding planning. Wedding planning is miserable and exhausting.

      When I struggle with his shortcomings, I remind myself of his strengths and my own shortcomings that he gracefully endures. I may have planned the birthday party, but he came up with the fabulously fun idea for it – and has forgiven me for making him late for work when I needed oil in the car stat after repeatedly delaying taking the car in for an oil change.

      • Anon from 4:43 :

        You make an excellent point. He has so many strengths that I don’t have, and I do try to step back and appreciate the things that he does do well, and the many things he does for me. For example, he made screens for all the windows in our new house (after my cat got out and I had a total panic attack), and does many other handy things like that. I probably *could* do them, but he is good at it, and in all honestly, I would hire it out otherwise. He has made dinner every night this week (and done *most of* the resulting dishes, after we’ve had a million discussions about how much dishes piled up makes me crazy. Are there dishes on the counter? Yes. Did I say a single word about it? No.) I might plan to get everyone together for a party or event, but he’s the funny, charming one that makes it fun.

        And I’m sure I have a ton of things that drive him crazy, that he “endures” as hoola hoopa put it. So it works out in the wash.

      • Anonymous :

        Children are much stronger than you think. They don’t get “destroyed” by not having a birthday party.

        Do NOT let men use that as a “hostage” to make you keep doing all the planning and scutwork.

        • hoola hoopa :

          Hahahaha! This is such a silly response to my advice. Maybe if your significant childhood events had been celebrated with a fun day, you wouldn’t try to anonymously be mean to strangers on the internet.

          LOL, I can hardly wait to inform my husband – who has been home all day caring for two children and cleaning the house for a birthday party tomorrow – that he is holding me hostage and to do the “scutwork”. I think I’ll do it over the dinner that he cooked.

          • Mean? How’s a common-sense remark mean? Perhaps you need to feel that your children get the best-ever parties. But that’s hardly the case for everyone else, and it’s totally true they may not even notice any lack of birthday festivities if you weren’t pumping them up for it.

          • I think it depends on the precedent in your house. If mom has always planned spectacular parties, and then hands if off to dad and he doesn’t plan anything, then the kid may take that as a reflection on himself, rather than dad’s planning skills, and be upset. If your household doesn’t make a big deal about birthdays, then maybe not. I know my stepdaughter STILL talks about the hello kitty helium balloons I brought home for her third birthday, even though we just had cake and dinner. As with most things, it depends on the norm for your family.

            I do agree with what I think was Anonymous’ intent, which is that some men will just not do it, because they know that you will so little Susie’s heart isn’t broken when it doesn’t happen. So don’t let them hold you hostage with that sort of stuff. But if its important to you and your children, that may not be the best task to hand off.

          • dude- no need to be so defensive. It was not a mean comment.

          • You’re really overreacting, hoola hoopa.

          • I also read the comment more like, “there are a bunch of things children don’t need.” As in, what’s important is not the party, but that they know they are loved. Don’t go overboard with providing them everything that isn’t necessary. Did not read it to be mean or demeaning.

    • Senior Attorney :

      I’m in this situation, too. My best practices are as follows:

      1. I don’t do things I don’t particularly care about. E.g. I don’t do gifts for his family, I don’t take charge of renewing the concert series that he loves but I only tolerate, I don’t plan date night unless I really want to have a date night and feel good about planning it, I don’t worry about his laundry or maintenance on his car. The flip side of this is I DO do the things I care about, and I manage to feel okay about it most of the time.

      2. If it’s something he can do but I can’t, I ask him to do it and if he agrees, I give him a reasonable amount of time to get it done. For example, in Anon’s example about the irrigation system above, I’d give it maybe a week or two, then I’d say “If this isn’t finished by X date, I’m calling the plumber to finish it.” And then I do it. Don’t much care if he’s upset at that point, becaues there have been no surprises and he’s had plenty of warning.

      3. A lot of things I just hire out. E.g. lawn care, house cleaning, most home maintenance. It is irksome but not as irksome as having to nag or seethe.

      • SoCalAtty :

        +100 to this! I give my husband very specific time frames, and then I hire it out.

        It doesn’t help that my husband is actually a contractor, so wants to do EVERYTHING himself (while running a business, so that goes well) and actually could if he had the time. I finally outsourced gardening, after having to have a serious conversation with him about his guilt about paying someone else to do what he felt like were his chores. We’ve hired a cleaning service, finally, because I convinced him that since it fits in our budget just fine and it has eliminated 50% of our fights, it’s worth it! That was after another of those “you shouldn’t feel guilty for outsourcing things if you can afford it. Why be miserable?” conversations.

        But I still plan all of the vacations, trips, dinners, events, concerts…he just can’t do it. I gave him 1 day in Hawaii with instructions to “find me a beach with lounge chairs and a bar nearby” and he drove me to a random location, made me trek like a mile to a beach, only to discovery it was a windblown, rocky stretch of beach with NOTHING near it. Ok….his reason….”well I thought this hotel had a beach!” Needless to say, I lost my marbles. We went back to our room and I read my book on our pretty patio while he sorted it out, and eventually got me to a really great beach at a neighboring hotel, with chair / umbrella and the whole thing.

        It’s frustrating, but I’ve come to accept that I want to have a good time so I just do it. I don’t know if I’ll ever break him of not being able to dress himself. I exaggerate, he’s generally totally fine, but whenever we have any kind of an event that requires anything nicer than jeans, he likes to wait until the last second (like 10 minutes before we have to leave) and realize nothing is clean, or that X pair of pants is too small. He does that with packing for trips, too…but I stopped helping and let him forget socks and underwear a few times, and he’s getting better.

        • Anon from 4:43 :

          OMG, this! My SO was driving back from a trip, and calls me and says “get dressed in something warm and meet me outside in 10 minutes.” So I do, and get a little excited that he has planned something special for us to do. Then we proceed to drive around for 45 minutes while he tries to find a trail on this mountain he wanted to hike up so we could watch the sunset. Umm, it was nearly dark when you picked me up, plus you didn’t even figure out how to get up there?! And we have no flashlight for the hike back down, nor any water… It was sweet, and we ended up just taking a nice drive and talking, so it was fine, but I had to laugh. Seriously, basic logistics, people.

          At least confirm its a beach I can lay on, and get a pina colada :) Too funny.

    • ++1 to anon. If something affects you, by all means make some plans. But at the very least butt out of what affects him..

    • I’m a crazy overzealous Type A planning type, and my live-in BF is like that at work, but not at all when it comes to his/our personal life.

      I’ve pretty much accepted that this is one of those “price of admission” things for being with him, and have let it go. If I want to go to a movie, I plan it. If I want to go on a trip, I plan it. Even silly things like leaving the house at certain time or going to sleep together, I plan it (aka will say, “Babe, we have dinner reservations at 7:30, so I need you ready to leave the house by 7:15”.) It used to REALLY bother me that he would never think to take the initiative to do some of this himself, but over time, I just let it go. It kind of amazes me how laid back I am about it now, honestly!

      If, on the rare occasion it is important to me that he plan something, I explicitly (I’ve learned that explicit instructions are key – being too vague means he has do more planning, which is a recipe for disaster) spell it out for him and ask him to do it. This happens pretty infrequently, so he does take the reins on something when I ask, which is nice.

      Part of my issue was that I equated planning with caring (ie – if he took the time to plan something for me, I felt loved). But then I realized that he shows me he cares in countless other ways every single day, so now I focus on those and appreciate his planning on the rare occasions it does happen. :)

      • Anon from 4:43 :

        Have you guys read the Five Love Languages? I just read this, and discovered my top two languages are Touch and Quality Time, two things we have struggled with recently. Even though it hasn’t changed a lot, just knowing that made me feel a lot better. I think his are Affirmations and Acts of Service, which I am not stellar about providing (I need to have him do the quiz). I think once I realized that, I stopped taking his lack of affection and time as being unloving (which is how I would probably tend to express my displeasure about something), and noticed that he is showing he cares in the way that mean something to him. As I’ve made more of an effort to tell him he made a great dinner, or thanks for doing the dishes, or that he’s a great dad, he has been more affectionate and doing more around the house.

        • I haven’t read it, but I’ve skimmed it and taken the quiz online. A ton of my friends have read it & my mom is a marriage/family therapist, so I’m familiar with the overall concepts.

          I think keeping the ideas behind the book in mind have helped me more cognizant of when BF is trying to do something to show he loves/cares about me, even if it’s not exactly what I might have in mind. Also, I think it’s made me a little more vocal about the things I do like and want more of in our relationship, which in turn means I typically get more of them.

        • Joan Holloway :

          This book has been very helpful for me. My love language is affirmations, and my husband’s is acts of service. Every now and then I him know that I haven’t been hearing my language lately, and he starts speaking it. Now that I realize that acts of service make him feel loved, I’m much less begrudging about doing them.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I loved the book and learned a lot from it. I still struggle with one thing though. I still have a hard time with the idea of “if he loved me he would” . . . What the author sees as nagging I see as one spouse telling the other what they want and need. While the other may not see why it is important they know it is important to the one they love and that should be reason enough to do it.

          • Joan Holloway :

            I see what you mean. Sometimes it helps for me to explain to my husband that “my love tank is empty” and I FEEL unloved. This reminds him that it’s important for me to FEEL loved by trying to speak my language.

      • hoola hoopa :

        “I equated planning with caring” – YES!

        It took me a while to understand that they weren’t actually related, but it changed my whole outlook. My husband may shop for my birthday present the day of my birthday, but he will spontaneously offer to give me an hour long massage on a random Tuesday.

        +1 to the Five Love Languages. I used to think everyone had drunk the kool aid. I haven’t read the book, but we took the online questionnaire out of curiosity. Wow. Everything suddenly made sense. We have a solid relationship, but being mindful of how we each like to be appreciated makes such a huge difference at times when we’re stressed and short on time/energy.

    • But I don't WANT to micromanage :

      Thanks, everyone… I have been employing a lot of the above ideas — especially actively not caring about things in the hopes that eventually it will just come naturally. I also really don’t care HOW he plans things or even what he plans. And I realize I’m partly to blame for letting it get this bad.

      I realize a lot of this is exacerbated by the evilness that is wedding planning. And that it’s not personal – he’s like this with everyone. And that it is “the price of admission” with him. But sometimes it’s just ARGH.

      The tipping point this time was his putting off confirming the space for the Rehearsal/Welcome Dinner — I had set it up and found a place that would work for us (it was tricky logistically due to family travel plans) in December. He was going to finalize things with the restaurant since he was the one who really wanted a dinner for the out of town people, he was concerned about the menu, and he was paying for it. He accepted the task, he had all the info, and I did occasionally remind him.

      Yesterday he FINALLY called the guy, and the space is no longer available. I’m not even mad at him (I’m not even fake-not-mad). I’m a little upset with myself for not just finalizing it in December or January, but really, I don’t care, since I’m actually fine without having the dinner.

      So maybe he’ll find something else (I did give him a few other options that I found), but maybe he won’t. But either way, I really don’t care. Otherwise I would have already contacted the other places about their availability.

      • But I don't WANT to micromanage :

        Oh, etiquette-wise, we don’t really need a rehearsal dinner because there isn’t a huge wedding party. Everyone at the rehearsal will be fed and transported to their hotels.

        He felt the need for having something for his friends who are coming in from out of town because they aren’t familiar with the area. Given that the wedding is in a tourist friendly city, with amazing public transportation, and everyone invited is an able-bodied adult or the child of an able-bodied adult who probably has other things they’d rather do than hang out with the same people they will see the next day, I’m good.

      • Anon from 4:43 :

        Haha, I love the term “fake-not-mad.” I have been working on this a lot. If I’m mad, I need to say so, and stop saying “No, its fine” when its not. I’m not fooling anyone, and I just look like a pushover. In the meantime, looking at it as training him to manage his own life has helped me not get mad… its part of the process that benefits both of us.

        Good luck with your wedding planning. I’ve never done it, but my friends who have all went a little crazy during that time. Cut yourself some slack, which it sounds like you’re doing. Your event is going to be great, even if FDH drops the ball on a few little things :)

      • hoola hoopa :

        Wedding planning is really, truly exhausting. I was so happy when the wedding was over!

        I was really stressed with the weight of doing “all” the wedding planning myself (which in actually wasn’t true – he and others helped a lot, but there’s just an overwhelming amount to do), and I can tell you that the normal couple living a typical life will never have to go through something like that again. Mostly it will be making occasional dinner and hotel reservations, buying some gifts, not a big deal. I think it’s really good that you know that you don’t want to micromanage. That means you most likely won’t.

        There are essentially two approaches to marriage: you can see it as a zero-sum-game where you are battling each other over opposing and mutually-exclusive interests, or you can see it as two people using their different strengths to balance each other’s weaknesses and work towards compromise. View yourselves as being on the same team.

      • Lady Enginerd :

        Can I just quick bring up something that stood out to me? You not only did the follow-up with the original venue,but also gave him a list of alternatives. You are still doing it for him and having to keep track of things for the dinner that he wants and that is already His Responsibilty.

        I suggest that when you delegate… Really Really delegate. That means no prior research, whether it’s flagging five readings you like for the ceremony if you already put him in charge of readings, or providing a soft landing with alternative venues when he fails to follow up. When you delegate and get it off your plate, let it fall entirely off your radar and stop wasting any mental effort tracking it… And see what happens.

        How he reacts when you do this might tell you a lot about how your marriage will be, (I was engaged to someone like this). Is he a responsible planner at work and not about “us” stuff? Does he (1) step up, (2) not step up and withhold complaint about things not being done, or (3) does he not step up and complain that the wedding fairy hasn’t magically done it? Premarital counseling might be a good place to talk through this love language and planning/spontaneous dynamic and how moving forward you won’t feel taken advantage of because you are the only one who knows the kids soccer schedule while he feels his spontaneity is unappreciated.

        • Senior Attorney :


          Delegating only works when you really do it. Otherwise he knows that you will always be there to pick up the pieces and there’s never going to be any incentive for him to get his, um, act together.

        • But I don't WANT to micromanage :

          Yep — I do realize I was doing half the work for him. And to give him some credit he came up with a few options on his own. Partly, I was splitting the task based on our strengths — I don’t mind doing the research, but I hate cold calling people about things, whereas that doesn’t bother him at all.

          Our pastor, who requires a few pre-marital sessions, is aware (somewhat) of this issue, since one of his tasks was emailing her to setup the sessions. And he kept putting it off, and every Sunday, he said he was putting it off. I made some comment to her about how I should just contact her, and she said, no, he had to do it. I think this will be something I bring up.

          Anyway, it’s good to hear all of this — both the suggestions and the understanding (and the Hawaii and hiking stories — are you sure we’re not all involved with the same guy? because those both sound SO familiar).

    • Make it clear that he is “in charge” of something. Like half of all date nights.

      When we planned our wedding the SO was in charge of his clothes, food, alcohol and music because those were important to him. I was in charge of finding the location, the officiant, the photographer, my hair/clothes/makeup because those were important to me. The other things (bouquet/decorations/tables) ended up being my mom’s, with our input, because she lived near the venue (across country). We had a whole roast pig at our wedding. Some people would have hated that, but it was his responsibility and I said nothing. (I actually didn’t care and it was delicious.)

      My parents are like this (gender reversed) and my dad has been planning everything for decades. My mom planned their last vacation and it nearly didn’t happen. But she found a new hotel and they tried out some different things this time.

      Don’t just walk away from things though — you have to TELL him you’re doing it, so he can do his part.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        Man, some days I read this blog and just want to give extra garden parties and all sorts of stuff for being a plain ole good dude!He isn’t perfect but geesh!

        Pick better ladies…. you deserve it

        • I agree. I know this blog is for high achievers, but, da*mn, a few ladies here tend to the mean and difficult. If I were a guy, I could never live with some of our of posters. And your post, by the way, is really well written.And not just this one….

          ‘Course I live in Hawaii, and we, even the litigators (except during actual litigation), tend to the mellow. And, weather permitting, I surf, or body board after work (or pau hana (end work) as we call it. but each to his/her own: rigid lines might provide a comfort for some.

        • Seriously. Are you all marrying man children?? Also I think in general this blog has stopped being for the high achievers. Why would yall marry these annoying men? I think your marriage partner says a lot about you. I just can’t with this blog anymore- this site used to be partners and lawyers and professional women. It’s become a mommy blog(which includes how you handle your husbands)/dating sadness/whiny mess.

          • Well, it was nice “knowing” you, Anonymous. I’m sure whatever new venue you choose will appreciate your open mind and thoughtful comments. Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Uncalled for, Nan – and she’s right. As a long term poster, this stuff goes in cycles, but the repetitiveness of the mommy/broken husband/broken boyfriend issues versus on topic managing work/life balance type questions is old. Not to mention the brand dilution.

            More importantly, however, with no one pointing the ridiculousness of some of this, other readers may start thinking that this type of stuff is normal, acceptable relationship behavior, and its not…

          • TO Lawyer :

            I usually try to stay out of the fray on things like this but I think these comments are a little unfair.

            I consider myself to be a high-achiever, or at least ambitious and hopefully on that path but I still have family and relationship issues – and with these issues – I really appreciate the advice of other high-achieving ladies! This site seems like a safe space for all sorts of issues that “high-achieving” women may have.

            Second, when people post about their relationship issues, they’re only posting about one aspect of their significant others. I’ve posted about my SO and how he’s not great at thr emotional side of things. Someone only reading my posts may think I’m dating a “man child” who can’t express his feelings. But he’s actually a great guy that has some a few emotional limitations. You’re likely not able to pick up on how great of a guy he is based on my posts. I think we should recognize this limitation of our community and not automatically assume that every person experiencing a normal relationship issue is with a “man child”

          • Wannabe #1 :

            Wow, because “high achievers” only want to talk about $1000 blazers and who billed 3000 hours, I guess. They would never have issues dealing with men or children (because apparently “high achievers” don’t have children, or wouldn’t be caught dead commenting anonymously on a blog about how exhausting it is to balance both, because, you know, its all easy-peasy for the “high achievers” ). The rest of us professionals balancing a husband and children who are less than perfect fits for a “high achiever lifestyle” are just wannabes.

          • Wannabe #2 :

            Totally agree. I think we should go back to the old system when Kat required a resume and transcripts before you were allowed to comment here. I’m tired of all of this noise from flawed individuals who have challenges in life. I know exactly what their problems are and how to solve them, but honestly my time is too valuable to be giving free advice.

          • Calibrachoa :

            These things happen to internet communities when they grow. not to mention, taking into account how long this site has been around it makes perfect sense that people would come here to talk about family woes in relation to being a high archiver.

          • Easy for you to say, Divaliscious. Your husband lives 5 states away and you have tons of money. If you had a marriage where you actually had to live together and deal with everything that comes up in that situation, maybe you’d be justified in being high and mighty about what a great partner your husband is. But you don’t live with your husband. He could act like “man child” most of the time, but you wouldn’t be there to have to deal with it, so why are you so down on those of us who have marriages with someone who screws up dinner when it’s his turn or who doesn’t fix the toilet when he says he will? Maybe if your husband lived with you and your kids, he’d drive you crazy.

            Change the subject back to work and money if you want, fine. But stop with the critiquesof women who ask for advice on other topics, please.

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Do not for a second think that because I am in a long distance relationship that the normal challenges of marriage don’t come up. They do, and they are often amplified, because of the distance. He doesn’t act like a man-child because he is a grown man and if he makes a commitment, he keeps it.
            If your partner/spouse doesn’t keep his/her commitments to you, its because he/she doesn’t respect you.
            As I said, you deserve better, or maybe you don’t because you put up with it….

            Perhaps you might be a little less presumptuous about peoples lives or experiences with regard to children and challenges, Wannabe #1, or perhaps read back a little further. Discussing the challenges of balancing two demanding careers with parenting, especially parenting a child with autism, is something I have discussed and is on topic for the board. Stroller recommendations and fifty-eleven posts about how to “fix” purportedly grown a$$ adults – not so much.

            If you don’t want commentary of your decisions, don’t post them on a public board. Particularly if they are off-topic….

          • Divaliscious11 :

            Really – you want to go there? You have an issue with me picking a man who loves and respects me, and being in a marriage where BOTH of our professional goals are equally respected and pursued, even if that means that being in different locations? Or is your problem that the city where we both can do what we do doesn’t at this time exist? Really – ha…

            Clearly some of you have picked your mirror images…..

            And since some of you seem to recall details I’ve shared – woman and up and use your regular posting name…..

          • Young Consultant :

            Kat used to require resumes for this site?!?! Is that true? Was there an age limit, and income bracket? Only top 50 undergrad universities? Or only those with professional degrees? Haha, I find this very funny and interesting info.

          • Wannabe #2 :

            Um, no, Young Consultant–I was making fun of the exclusivity that someone seems to be proposing, the notion that high achievers don’t make poor decisions in any area of their lives, and finally the assumption that you can ever be certain that anyone has the impressive credentials she claims to have on an unmoderated, anonymous website.

        • "Pick better, ladies" ?! :

          Wow, diva… How about picking a man who you can work with to find one city to live in that accomodates both of your professional needs? I mean, I know that’s judgmental, but you’ve completely judged the rest of us for picking jerks for husbands just because we have conflicts and power struggles, so…

          That goes for Anonymous too. I’m sure you’re either married to Prince Charming or you’re happily single and true to your high standards. Or you’re a single mom who is also a CEO and finds time for everying. That’s great for you. Just skip to the next post or start a discussion about a “high achieving” topic you find interesting! What are you contributing to this community?

          • Divaliscious11 :

            YES! Pick better! All of these non-need meeting men in a likelihood were exactly who they were when the relationship began. Why would you marry someone who, as a part of who they are, can’t meet your needs? Since you decided to use my marriage as commentary – and aside an aside you judgment means nothing, and hiding behind an alias of an alias, that would be like my moaning and groaning about my husband being away, despite my knowing when I married him that he worked a job that would require significant travel, and possibly dual households.

            But here’s the difference – we will eventually be in the same place, your jerk will still be a jerk – so yeah, pick better…

          • Anonymous :

            I don’t think he is prince charming- but he is a fully functioning adult male who can handle his own sh*t without a wife who needs to play mother. Why would you ask if I am a single mom?

          • Silvercurls :

            Hopefully by the time I post this, everybody will. have. calmed. down.
            Kudos to all the super-achieving chicks whether their accomplishments are super-obvious (billing oodles of hours, making partner, earning the commensurate salary) or super-subtle (being in LDRs, juggling challenges from family and home, living with some imperfect dude or gal, managing to survive and even look stylish on a modest salary).
            Kudos to Divaliscious for parenting a child on the autism spectrum.
            P.S. to Diva and anon, some of us married/paired off before attaining sufficient wisdom to realize that Dear Spouse/SO has imperfections–like almost* everybody else.

            *As my grandmother used to say with a smile, Nobody’s perfect, except me.

  18. Singing Anon :

    Does anyone have good karaoke song suggestions? Going to a work event tonight with upper management and these outings typically consist of karaoke until 2 in the morning.

    • I don’t usually participate, but one rule of thumb is that you can’t mess up too badly with a song whose original artist can’t sing very well! They tend to have narrow ranges and no belting or vibrato because the singer couldn’t pull it off. This is of course if you don’t feel up to rapping.

    • The Devil Went Down to Georgia? Doesn’t require any singing talent.

    • I vote 80s and 90s pop. Think the kind of songs that EVERYONE knows the words to. Maybe they’re overdone, but getting everyone to sing along is half the fun.

      • +1. Those “Top 10 Karaoke Songs” are the top 10 for a reason. Karaoke isn’t complete until the entire room has done at least one rendition of Don’t Stop Believing.

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      If you have a girl/guy duo Love Shack is always fun. I’d only do it if you know the words though. It is a little fast to just keep up on a screen.

      I did Shoop by Salt n Peppa at a bar down south and was surprised when the dance floor started line dancing to it.

      Total Eclipse of the heart is tough vocally but usually the whole place sings along and drowns you out.

      Alanis Morrissette Ironic is pretty easy but I can’t get past the fact that the events in question are not, in fact, examples of irony.

      Oasis Wonderwall is easy and seems to be a hit with guys of the 90s.

    • I usually sing Shania Twain. Specifically, “Any Man of Mine.” It’s pretty easy (not a wide range), but the song has a bit of attitude to it and impresses every time I try it. Other country songs would likely work, too! (And no, I’m not normally a country music fan)

    • Don’t Stop Believin’

    • Motown songs are good because people know them and like them. Plus, there is probably a Motown artist that matches your range. I sing “I Want You Back” by the Jackson 5 and its a big hit.

  19. so this is random :

    but one of my besties broke her (dominant) arm. I’d like to send along a care package of fun things for her, especially things she can still enjoy while temporarily one-handed. thoughts?

    • Cute paper plates and plastic cutlery. Gift certificate for delivery or take out. Candy you can safely open with only one hand. Speaking from experience, feeding yourself with only one hand is really challenging.

      She might also appreciate some cute clothes that the cast can fit through the arm holes. If she has no use of her hand, then pants without any buttons will be a huge help in her life.

      • Take her to her favorite beauty salon for a cut, color and blow dry. My friend did this for me and it was heaven. I looked like a drowned rat before my beauty-salon adventure. (She paid for it all, but let me pay the beautifician’s tip.)

    • A great pair of yoga pants. My mother lived in them when she broke her arm. (She couldn’t button or zip normal pants.)

    • Maddie Ross :

      Dry shampoo. Washing your hair one-handed is hard.

  20. Help! I’m looking for a shirt like the link below (I think it’s called a silk utility popover shirt – i would be okay with one that buttons all the way down too, as long as it’s a slim fit.)

    I found this one at J.Crew but I’m really looking to spend less than $70. Any ideas?

    I tried J. Crew Factory, Banana & Loft but wasn’t able to find anything. Thanks for any help.


    • Sydney Bristow :

      How about this one? http://shop.nordstrom.com/S/sandra-ingrish-roll-sleeve-shirt/3012132?origin=category&contextualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=LEMON+WEDGE&resultback=0

    • I think the Limited usually has shirts like this – definitely polyester rather than silk though.

    • I have this from Old Navy in several colors and like it. It’s a bit static-y in the winter, but has been great otherwise. Slim pickings online, but they have a lot of these in lots of colors/sizes in store (love that “find in store” feature). http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=72302&vid=1&pid=250557282

      Similar, but linen blend instead of silk: http://oldnavy.gap.com/browse/product.do?cid=72302&vid=1&pid=387892052

  21. Question for anyone who has a 7th grader or spends time with them: Are yoga pants (tight in the butt, loose in the legs) appropriate for a middle schooler to wear to school? Her school bans leggings unless you are wearing a skirt over them that is longer than your fingertips, but based on the last 2 days they apparently allow yoga pants because she hasn’t gotten any dress code violations. My husband and I are struggling with whether they are okay for her to wear.

    • Anonymous :

      I’d use the same guidelines as the leggings- have her wear a long shirt with them. I wouldn’t push it- I still remember when I got in trouble for a dress code violation, it was so, so humiliating

    • SpaceMountain :

      I showed my 7th grade daughter the “are you wearing pants” flowchart once when we were having a debate about a pair of leggings she was wearing with a short t-shirt. She was not too happy about that, but I think it worked. Her school’s dress code covers length of shorts and width of tank top straps, but that’s about it, so girls do wear yoga pants. If you want the school to help you out here, maybe a discreet call to the office to ask if they are checking on the dress code?

    • I personally think if they’re not too tight and they don’t seem to be violating dress code, it’s fine. If you did decide to prohibit her from wearing them to school (or in public?) what would your reasoning be?

    • My own opinion is no, buy not becaus I think they’re to form fitting or anything like that. To me, yoga pants are athletic wear, and so not appropriate for school. Same reason I don’t let my boys wear track pants to school or when we’re traveling. They have a time and a place, which is during sporting events otherwise, no.

      • SoCalAtty :

        Agreed! I think on that flowchart it mentions something about yoga pants, and then asks “are you going to yoga class?” Athletic wear is not for anything but that, unless it’s some weekend run to the grocery store or something.

        Now get off my lawn!

      • This makes me laugh. I am pretty sure I lived in pajama pants, sweatpants, track pants, etc. all through middle school and high school. As in, we literally wore flannel pajama pants outside, in public, to class. I still have a bad habit of wearing yoga pants on the weekends for errands and such. I guess I missed the life lesson on structured clothes are required for casual days… now that I’m a lawyer, I do think twice about if I ran into a partner at the store dressed like that. Generally, I convince myself that it looks like I just stopped at the store after yoga…

        • big dipper :

          Yup, this. Jeans and a hoodie was a dressed up day for me in high school.

        • Blonde Lawyer :

          I wore my dad’s PJ pants to school. My dad is 6’4″. Oh the days of grunge.

        • This is me as well. I also wore basically yoga pants to high school. Probably wasn’t the best look for me, but I don’t think it hurt anybody. I would let your daughter wear what she wants unless it is so far into inappropriate territory that no one would argue with you.

      • Divaliscious11 :

        My son’s private school uniform pant used to be a track pant! Had I not moved, it would still be a track pant….

    • I had an amazing pair of black, flared stretchy pants I wore in middle/early high school. Basically yoga pants. As long as they’re not way too tight, I think they’re fine.

      • big dipper :

        Yeah, me too. I actually wore them to work. I was a supermarket cashier and had to wear black pants, and they were a substantial material. Although my uniform top literally came down to my knees because they only had XXL’s left. So nothing inappropriate was exposed.

  22. When I painted my old condo back in 2008, we used Ralph Lauren paint. I loved the colors available and felt like I never ended up with the wrong shade (i.e. french green ending up looking like it was baby puke), but I can’t seem to find it anywhere anymore. Anyone found a store that carries Ralph Lauren paint or have a recommendation for a similar, high quality brand that won’t lead me to mistakenly painting my bathroom room like the bottom of a pool (and not in a good way)?

    • hoola hoopa :

      Can’t help locate Ralph Lauren paint, but you could look at Devine as a substitute. I would imagine the Martha Stewart line would have fool-proof colors, but I don’t know about the quality.

    • did Home Depot discontinue carrying it? That’s where we got RL paint in 2007 and I think 2009 also.

      • Ralph Lauren paint is no longer carried by home depot, and Ralph Lauren’s website keeps freezing when I try to find a local store.

  23. AEK's skincare PSA :

    PSA: I went to Ulta (Chicago) during my lunch break and they had all Boscia products for 50% off. I love that line, and I stocked up on starter/travel kits. I don’t know if it’s a store-specific sale, but I thought I’d spread the word just in case.

  24. I got a really generous gift from a family member and I’m having trouble with the thank you note. Her husband recently committed suicide, and I didn’t send a condolense note because I’m a terrible person and felt so awkward that I never figured out what to write. Do I mention her husband in my thank you note? The note she sent didn’t mention him, but I expect his passing inspired the gift in some way.

    • Yes, I think you should mention it. I also think you should be honest about why you didn’t write – you were incredibly sad to hear of his passing and wanted to support her, but was never sure what was the right thing to say, and having not found the words, you are embarrassed to not have not written. You realize now all you needed to say was “I’m here for you” and that you still are. Maybe also say that you’ll use part of her generous gift to get X, which will remind you of both her generosity and happy memories with both of them.

      • Yes, this. Honesty gets you so many points! One of my co-workers lost her husband to cancer last year and I didn’t attend the funeral, which I later felt terribly bad about. When I sent her a condolence card, I explained that I didn’t attend because it dredged up too many sad feelings for me about a friend of mine who had died from cancer a few years ago, and apologized for not having had the guts to put my feelings aside to come support her in her time of grief. She later told me that it was one of the most thoughtful cards she’d received and that she was so thankful I had explained my feelings to her.

  25. Indoor Garden :

    Any tips for starting an indoor herb garden? The sunniest spot in my apartment is a 4″ windowsill that I’m thinking of putting a few small containers on. Would this work?

    • I’ve had a lot of luck with basil, both from seeds and plants. Both places were fairly sunny, but it even lasted through a move (where quite a few stems were injured) and only died after I went away for two weeks. I wasn’t particularly caring with it either – I’ve pretty much only managed to keep a few cacti alive in my lifetime, besides the basil.

  26. Hey ladies, I have a lawyer-type question. My baby brother (who is not a baby anymore) has developed a product with his classmates (they’re mechanical engineering graduates). Their industry mentors really like their product and have advised my brother and friends to protect their intellectual property. Are there any patent lawyers in the NY area who can help advise my little brother?

  27. Does anyone have recommendations for stuff to do/places to eat/nice places to stay in Winnipeg?

    • Go to the Forks. Eat at Star Grill, Harman’s Cafe (DELICIOUS Ethiopian that is pretty close to my house but I wouldn’t necessarily walk there in the dark…), Billabong Gastropub, Falafel Place for Breakfast. Wander around the Exchange. Check out Assiniboine Park. Walk around Osborne Village (great little boutiques etc) and the Corydon Strip. Winnipeg Art Gallery has some good stuff on permanent exhibit and usually something interesting as a visiting show as well?

      In terms of staying, there are some nice B&Bs in the Gates. If you’re hotelling, the Fairmont or the Fort Garry. The Delta and Radisson downtown are both acceptable but some people don’t much like the area at night (Winnipeg has issues with perceptions around crime downtown…though for the most part if you’re not looking for trouble you’re not going to find it).

      When are you coming?? Summer is full of festivals. Take advantage if you’re here during one!

    • You can email me at [email protected] if you want more info :)

  28. vacation plans and job searches :

    So I’ve just started looking for a new job, and it occurs to me that my future employer may not be totally delighted by the fact that I’m planning to be out of the continental United States for three straight weeks this summer. I shouldn’t even mention this fact until I’m in the very final stages of negotiating my start date at a new place, right?

    Obviously I don’t expect to necessarily get those three weeks as paid vacation time from a new employer, but I’m not going to cancel my participation in those trips (a two-week-alumnae tour I’m leading in Europe and my extended family’s twenty-fifth annual vacation/reunion on a cruise to Alaska). Any thoughts?

    • Divaliscious11 :

      You bring this up when you have an offer and are negotiating start date etc…. This sin’t an issue until then.

  29. I’m looking for recommendations for lodging in Maui.

    We are looking for something really nice. Not high end shopping/nightlife/dining, but more spacious/ocean view/clean with nice pools, beachfront, and good service both poolside and on the beach.

    We’ll be traveling with our two kids. We’d like a room with a separate space for the kids and a bedroom with a door (hint hint). Kids are OK on a sofabed.

    I don’t really have an upper limit on cost. Priority is a really relaxing and non-stressful five nights. And, oh yeah, hubby wants to go to a luau.

    Any recommendations?

    Places to avoid?

    Looking forward to your suggestions.

    • The Weston at Kaanapaali Beach (close to Lahaina for a luau) or the Grand Wailea in Wailea. The pools there will keep your kids happy and busy and elsewhere ;)

      • The Sheraton Maui is great. I think the pools are better and it’s way more open and less crowded than the Westin. It was one of the original resorts on the beach. Great swimming and snorkeling out front, gorgeous views, fab service. We are headed back next week with our two boys for the 11th time!

        They have a junior suite which has a lovely ocean view, sliding doors for parents’ king bed with a double murphy bed for the kids, or one-bedroom suites although I think you have to ask for rollaways for the kids with those.

        Easy to walk for some great dining (Tropica at the Westin is actually really lovely and you can bill it to your Sheraton room), or lots of family friendly dining. The Sheraton also has it’s own luau on site, although I’ll tell you as much as I love Hawaiian culture, I think a luau is not the best way to spend one of 5 precious nights. Cabs anywhere else are about $10 to Lahaina which has some great restaurants, or $20 to Kapalua for the same thing.

        If you’re looking for a babysitter at all I can highly recommend Happy Kids, Jacqui Conti in particular of their nannies, although we’ve always had great service whoever is available.

        • Thank you both!

          I have a lot of status with Hyatt hotels, but it sounds like thier resort is not the best. I’ll check out the Starwood offerings.

          And thanks for the babysitter rec but my kids are – finally – old enough that we can get them room service and a movie and head off for a grown up dinner somewhere in the hotel.

          • I’m the Sheraton Maui fan above. I’ve never stayed at the Hyatt, but I run past there in the morning. It seems nice, I have to say, although it is quite big. Their restaurant Son’z at Swan Court is quite yummy and my guys go down there to see the penguins and swans sometimes at night with Jacqui (they are really old enough to leave, too, but they love her after so many years so we still get her for company anyway. Plus we are traveling from Canada and the whole being in another country thing is still gives me a bit of pause). I think the beach is better at the Sheraton end of Kaanapali, but if your kids aren’t tiny you’re not going to mind wandering up the beach for swimming either.

            We do love the Sheraton but part of the reason we stay there is our Starwood points, so I get your drift on status.

            I can tell you that the people on Maui are amazing and you will love it, no matter where you stay. That whole beach is glorious. Enjoy – from what I read of your posts I’m pretty sure you all deserve a break! It really is paradise!

    • Highly, highly recommend the Honua Kai resort (“and spa” – but there isn’t a spa there!)

      • Off to Honua Kai this July :

        +1. Condo rather than hotel. Makes breakfast and lunch so easy with the kids.

    • The Grand Wailea is great for families. Kapalua also has some villas (condos) that you can rent that are very nice.

  30. Gotta go anon for this. I am not a lawyer but have to deal with this situation ASAP in my office. 10 women have come forward in one email to our CEO that a male coworker has made inappropriate sexual or creepy comments to them. (Eg. i find it sexy when a woman…,/ you need a boyfriend if…/ i can tell youve lost weight). I was already aware of one comment to a friend of mine, but this coworker is European and I brushed it off as cultural. The CEO says he should be fired. However even though we have a handbook which states the sexual harassment policy, no one has to prove they received it or sign anything. If we fire him, aren’t we asking for a wrongful dismissal suit??
    Thanks soooo much for any advice.

    • do you want 1 wrongful dismissal suit or 10 sexual harassment suits? I don’t know why someone would have to sign that they read the sexual harassment policy. You don’t have to sign anything that says you won’t steal from the company or punch your coworkers in the face. I’ve never had to sign anything relating to the sexual harassment policy. Honestly it kind of disgusts me that you are hesitating when TEN of your female staff are being harassed. Good for your ceo. Please stop fighting to protect this creep, and stop brushing it off.

      • Ok, thanks for putting me in my rightful place. I see I was wrong.
        I wil get statements from the women while he is suspended and he will be terminated.
        Thanks for the advice everyone.

    • Put him on administrative leave and investigate it fully. NAL – gov’t worker.

    • lawyeranon :

      The grounds for wrongful termination suits in most states are extremely limited. And if you keep him on the company may be exposed to significant liability, depending on the circumstances. Your company needs to consult with an attorney asap.

    • Need to Improve :

      Are you in charge of the decision or do you just work at the company? This is something you need lawyers involved in.

      I do not see why he would have to sign a handbook in order for you to have cause to terminate him.

      You guys are now on notice of a serious issue.

      If it were me making the decision (a litigator but not an employment lawyer), I would call an employment attorney. Short of that, my first approach probably would be to confront him with the information and tell him he can either 1. Resign or 2. We do a full investigation while putting him on leave. But you really need to call a lawyer.

    • I practice management side employment law and here is what I suggest. As an employer, your company has an obligation to prevent sexual harassment. Since you have been put on notice, your company needs to conduct a thorough investigation with all individuals involved (I.e. alleged victims and harasser). When interviewing folks, interview each person separately and keep things as confidential as possible. Document everything. Depending on what you find, take the appropriate action. If you decide you need to terminate this guy, make sure he doesn’t have an employment contract or anything that limits your company’s ability to terminate him. If he is an at will employee, I would still be careful and consider whether he has any other grounds for a potential lawsuit. For example, he may claim that you wrongfully terminated him not for his inappropriate conduct but because of his race, age, gender, etc. so make sure you have a paper trail that supports the reason for his termination. If you decide not to terminate him and if the allegations are true, you need to give him a documented warning which sets forth the allegations, that the company conducted a thorough investigation, summarize the findings, and warn him that any further violation of company policy will result in further discipline up to and including termination. Sit down with him and have him sign it.

    • Sheesh. You’re using cultural relativism to let people off the hook for violating policy?

      Love that being from Europe/somewhere other than the U.S. gets one off the hook on the first offense. Your post is what makes people have no respect for HR — we consider most of you to be ienffective idiots who were hired by the company for CYA.

  31. microscience :

    Hello ‘rettes! I am lucky enough to be spending my summer in South Africa (winter there, although apparently very mild). Have any of you been there? Advice, tips, especially related to clothing would be wonderful! Safety tips are welcome too, although I’ve gotten the basic rundown already. I will be with a group, working at a University, and won’t need to be looking “professional” more than once or twice. I guess my main questions revolve around outerwear and how to blend in and not look too flashy or too much like a tourist. And I’m always looking for comfortable walking shoes that don’t look too much like walking shoes, so recommendations there would be helpful too.


    • Young Consultant :

      Where in South Africa will you be? I lived there for about 6 months, and if you are in the Cape Town area, the winter is actually pretty cold (probably 30s-50s, although August gets warmer) and people will be wearing winter dress coats (pea coats, wool long jackets) and high boots during most of that time. I know areas farther east up the coast (like Durban) are warmer during this time. But really, I was shocked at how cold it was and my wardrobe was woefully unprepared for the weather. I would say the thing that sets Americans out a lot is all the active wear, particularly fleeces and north face stuff. All of my South African friends used to joke that everyone in America must have two north face fleeces and north face backpacks. People just dress up more, like in Europe.

      I had such a wonderful experience, and I would say the best thing I did for myself safety wise was find a reliable cab company. Once I found a few drivers I liked from them, i got their personal numbers and they would pick me up anywhere. It really helped me feel secure and not get stuck in a strange place or have to take a weird cab. Let me know if you have any other questions!

    • Silvercurls :

      At the risk of sounding like an interfering aunt, I’ll remind you that they drive on the Other side of the road! As in, remember to look RIGHT first, not left, every.time.you.start.to.cross.the.street. (Apologies in advance if you’re from U.K. or some other place where people drive on the Other side.)

      On a more cheerful note: If you get the chance to go to Cape Point, Cape Aghuilus (sp?), the top of Table Mountain, or Kirstenbosch–GO! All beautiful, these are respectively the tip of the cape near Cape Town, the tip of the continent, one of the key geologic features of Cape Town, and a phenomenal garden.
      Rely on people with more recent knowledge than mine to know if you need to take any safety precautions for any of these locations. My most recent SA visit was in 1997. (Yes, that was LAST century.)

    • Where in SA will you be? I currently live in Cape Town (and work at the major university there – is that where you’ll be?), where winters are indeed mild. HOWEVER, keep in mind that many places here do not have central heating. So while it rarely gets below 40 degrees, it can seem much colder. Also, it’s rainy and generally damp in the winter, so while you don’t need a down coat, you probably do want a good wool coat and/or trench with sweaters under it. Honestly, I often wear long underwear in the winters here.

      Gauteng (Joburg area) is different – almost a desert climate in winter, so very cold nights but warm days. Durban is very mild, light wool jacket is all you would need.

      Middle-class South Africans dress not so differently from middle-class Americans, perhaps slightly more formally. If you would fit in to a crowd in NYC/Chicago/LA, you won’t look out of place here (although Young Consultant is right about the lack of activewear – perhaps the style is actually closer to a major European city). The big stylistic divide is more between middle-class South Africans and the much larger number of working-class/poor South Africans. If you’ll be doing work outside of middle-class areas, you’re going to stand out, and that’s just not really avoidable (especially if you aren’t black). I do try to avoid wearing expensive jewelry to make myself less of a target for muggings, but that’s the only way I really dress differently in SA than in NYC.

      Safety-wise, especially in winter, you will plan on needing to rent a car (long-term hire starts at about 3000 ZAR per month) or take a lot of taxis. In most parts of most cities, being a pedestrian after dark is inadvisable. If you can swing the car rental, I would strongly recommend it – you’ll have a lot more flexibility, and it will be useful for weekend trips as well. Public transport is not great here – will probably get you to work and back, but in the winter when it’s getting dark by 4:30 or 5:00, it won’t be useful for getting around after that.

      If you have any other questions – particularly about Cape Town, though I’ve also lived in Joburg in the past – I’d be happy to exchange emails. If you leave an email address, I’ll get in touch.

    • microscience :

      Thanks for the advice! I’ll be in Durban, and currently live in the south, so it sounds like winter there will be similar or even a little warmer than my winters here. I wont be able to rent a car but the advice on taxis is great, I will definitely try to find a few reliable guys. Silvercurls, I totally appreciate the advice, I’m sure I’ll forget and learn the hard way :)

      Sarabeth, I would love to hear more. You can reach me at sallyxsalamander at yahoo

      • lawsuited :

        I’m South African. Durban is fairly hot and humid, even in the winter. Dress as you would for spring/autumn in a four season climate. You will be fine with a fleece and raincoat/windbreaker as outerwear.

        Not sure what else you need to know, but provide an anon email if you want more info. I have family in Durban too.

  32. Cornellian :

    I have a recommendation and a question for New York-based readers:

    1. Serene Max spa at 24 E. 36th seems like an amazing place to get electrolysis. Everything is very clean and organized, and Daria took a long time talking to me, answering my questions, and explaining how the process would work. Unfortunately, once she got a look at my hair, she confirmed that my dark strawberry hair is too light to use laser hair removal, even saying “If I were you I would definitely not spend any money on this therapy here. I’d consider electrolysis, which we don’t do here.” She was very informed and patient, and obviously, honest. But that leads to ….

    2. Has anyone had electrolysis done in New York? Recommendations or warnings?

  33. I’ve just been invited to a little girl’s birthday party. She’s turning 7 and is really into art. I’d like to get her some art and craft kits but am a little overwhelmed by choice. Anyone have any recommendations? Ideally from amazon so I can get 2 day delivery. Thanks!

    • My friend who is a school teacher highly recommends Martha Stewart glitter. It’s really fine and gets on everything, but it’s great for craft projects. How about a flower loom? I had one as a kid and I made flowers and learned to crochet around them.

    • There are some really beautiful and luxurious fine-tip marker collections out there. You couldn’t go wrong with this even if it isn’t particularly flashy. I mean the rainbow-like assortment of colors that come in a pack? If one or two ever dry out or get lost, the gift as a whole is still useful. (I’m thinking about 7 year olds here, but also any younger siblings and friends that may borrow!)

      She also might like a beading kit, but closures etc. might be above her skill and dexterity level.

      One more suggestion is stamps with stamp pads, though again not as practical or durable.

    • There is a series of books on artists called “Getting to Know the World’s Greatest Artists” that I loved as a child (the Van Gogh one was my favorite because a hilarious cartoon of him and Gauguin). What about picking an artist and then getting a set of art tools that would correspond? It could be as basic as the Georgia O’Keefe book, a coloring book on flowers, and water colors. Or Picasso, paper, and some cut-out fun shapes to make faces out of.

      • Thanks you guys! These are all great ideas. I’m planning a trip to Michael’s this week. I think seeing these things in person and with the above suggestions, it will be a little less overwhelming than just browsing amazon.

  34. Spring cleaning today! I’m going through and pretty much trying on all my clothes. I’ve managed to narrow my pants down to 5 each black, grey, and brown, and 8 jeans (just could not get down to 5). Don’t have specific numbers in mind for dresses, skirts, shirts and sweaters just getting rid of everything that looks worn or doesn’t fit right. I’ve found a consignment shop nearby that pays cash so I’ll try my luck with that.

  35. Anonymous :

    Does anyone know a dc realtor that works with rentals? I’d like to look for a new apartment but I’d prefer to rent from a private homeowner instead of a huge building. I feel like these are hard to find and maybe going through a relator would work better

    • annabelle :

      i just moved to an apartment in dupont circle (which 1 month later, i LOVE) and i used craigslist to find it. the apartment was managed by a realtor – donna brannon – dc rentals i think. good luck!

    • Anonymous 2 :

      A little late here but Anonymous – I am looking for someone to take over my lease in my two bedroom in a nice neighborhood in Arlington. If you’re willing to go outside of DC proper, please email me at alliehumm @ gmail and I can give you more information. Our landlords are wonderful and the place is really a gem in this area.

  36. Late thread jack, but does anyone know how to revive white jeans that have yellowed? I have a pair that is very flattering, but no longer fluorescent white. I can always dye them darker but hope the hive can help!

    • I haven’t done this, but isn’t this what bleach is for?

      • I have successfully bleached a white denim jacket. It went back to looking like new.

    • Maddie Ross :

      Be so careful with bleach and jeans — I tried it last summer on a pair and while they were whiter, when I put them on, the fabric had become so brittle that they ripped when I put them on. There is a product you can buy on amazon that supposedly takes yellow out of white clothes. I’ve not tried it, but will next time in lieu of bleach.

    • Try soaking them in Oxyclean and water for a few hours/overnight and then laundering them.

  37. Worst styling ever :

    from Tory Burch sale: http://www.toryburch.com/DANIELA-JACKET/52111503,default,pd.html?dwvar_52111503_size=10&dwvar_52111503_color=445&start=2&cgid=privatesale-jackets

    • Criminey, that is unfortunate. She should add these shoes for even more amazingness. http://www.toryburch.com/Printed-Pixie-Wedge/41128616,default,pd.html?dwvar_41128616_size=5&dwvar_41128616_color=996&start=15&cgid=privatesale-viewall

  38. Question (out of my own curiosity) for all of you who are lawyers,

    I work in an office of less than 20 people which is part of a larger regional firm, and am a tax accountant…which means we are very busy this time of year. There is one employee in my office that has some medical issues (i.e. has seizures, a small cold that others could fight off severely affects her, etc.), and she has already missed 9-10 days of work this year due to illness of one kind or another. Her health issues really impact her ability to do good work, and even when she is at work, she makes mistakes, often major, that someone with 5+ years of experience in this field does not and should not make.

    I’ve heard rumors that the bosses want to fire her but are concerned with the legal ramifications. I know very little about law, but is it illegal to fire someone due to their health, even if it affects their work performance? I compare it to someone with a job where physical fitness were a requirement and they could be fired for not being physically able…

    Any thoughts on this?

    • I think you are Not allowed to discriminate against some one b/c of their disabilitie’s but you CAN generally fire a person WITHOUT CAUSE IF YOU ARE LIVING IN a work for hire state. I am onley an expert in NY LAW, and mabye soon in BALTIMORE LAW.

      Based on my experti’s, HERE, the woman sounds like a performence mess, so that is a reason to get rid of her if you needed a REASON. You should make sure of the law in YOUR state. One you tell the hive where your firm is, the hive can add to my coment’s. Yay for Corpette’s!!!!!!!

    • goldribbons :

      This is not legal advice.
      Firing someone because she cannot do her job is not the same thing as firing someone because she has health issues. Sure, health issues can be the reason for her inability to do her job, but (presumably) the office would be nothing but supportive of her medical issues if she were able to do her job *well* when she’s actually at work. Again, this is not legal advice but I hope it helps.

    • Also not legal advice.
      If someone has health problems that can qualify as a “disability” under state or federal law, and you fire them *because of the disability* despite them performing satisfactiorily, or if you refuse to reasonably accomodate the disability (after the person asks for an accomodation), the company can be liable. But otherwise, it’s pretty much always OK to fire someone for being bad at their job, unless that person has an employment contract, not just the usual employment-at-will arrangement.

  39. I just moved to San Francisco from a small Southern town and now have a job that requires I dress properly (i.e. not in my current ‘uniform’ of a polo shirt, black pants and black shoes). I’m considering the idea of a personal stylist/shopper. Anyone here who can offer advice about finding a good one?

    I’m a petite size 16/18, which makes it difficult to find clothing at the best of times. I’m almost 30 and have no fashion/style sense* – I learned TWO WEEKS AGO that navy blue is a neutral. I don’t know if I’m a spring or a summer or a fall or a winter or what that even means; I don’t know what’s flattering or whats stupid; I don’t know what goes well together, what’s on style or… anything.

    I follow a bunch of fashion/fatshion blogs but I don’t think they’re really helping me. I’ll get dressed, think I’ve put something good together, then get to work and I can tell from the look on my boss’ face that I actually look terrible.

    How do I find someone who can explain clothes to me like the 6 year old I clearly am, take into account the fact that I’m short and stout, and not only find me a wardrobe but give me a bunch of simple guidelines and rules I can use in the future?

    * This is the sort of thing that can happen when you grow up in a family where everyone is plus sized and deeply ashamed of it.

    • Welcome to the SF Bay Area!

      I am similarly “clothing handicapped” and really dislike spending time shopping. My solution is a Nordie’s personal shopper. I see Melyssa at Stanford (in Palo Alto–about a 30 drive out of SF). She’s great! I’m also bigger than I would like and she has really helped me accept my body and make me look beautiful.

      • Thanks! I’m up in the North Bay – I see there’s a Nordies in Larkspur/San Raf so I may try there. Yelp reviews suggest it’s a bit snobbish (seems to be a common issue in Marin) so I’ll prepare my fat girl armor.

        Marie Denee’s curvy fashionista site lists personal stylist services, but the questionnaire/enquiry link leads to a 404 so I don’t know if she still offers it.

    • Nordstroms personal shopper seems to be the standard answer around here, but I haven’t tried it out myself. I stick to basics, collared shirt or blouse with pencil skirt or slacks, minimal accessories (usually wedding band and simple pendant necklace) and a pretty black and grey wardrobe so I’m afraid I’m not much help but wanted to welcome you to SF. I’m about 20 miles down the peninsula.

    • lawsuited :

      I’m the same size as you, Lexi, and a lot of my workwear comes from Talbots – I’d consider setting up a personal shopping appointment there too. Also, because you’re petite, find a good tailor (you might have to try a few before you find a good one) and take most of what you buy to him/her to be sure it fits properly.

      • I have a tailor (the last time I saw her, she told me “no more black suits”) and so far, so good.

    • I'm Just Me :

      It’s already Monday, so I don’t know if you will see this, but it’s ok to have a uniform, you just may need to step it up a notch so that your uniform is a little more dressy and a little more pulled together.

      I’m your size, although not a true petite, and older than you, but I basically wear a uniform. I work in a business casual office.

      Once you have been to see the personal stylist at a store, and you have some pieces that look good on you, then consider buying them in more than one color/print/pattern. My work wardrobe is basically a collection of pencil skirts, surplice tops and “third” pieces (structured cardigans and jackets). I try to keep the skirts in neutrals, the tops in prints that go with more than one, and the third pieces in good quality. It’s easy to get dressed.

      • Thanks, IJM. I’m at the stage where I don’t know what does look good on me – I can’t trust my own eyes, and the only other person around to give me feedback is my husband, who seems to base his opinions on the state of my chest! (Bless ‘im.)

    • I am the same size as you are and I like Talbot’s. I am lucky enough to have a Talbot’s outlet nearby and it pretty much dresses me for work head-to-toe. The clerks there are fantastic about helping me pick out outfits for interviews, etc.

      I would be careful about ascribing motives to your boss’s stankface though. I can’t imagine you don’t look fine.

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