These come in wide widths and regulars (and are more affordable); these look great if you want a bit more height.(L-all)
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Workwear sales of note for 3.31.23:
- Ann Taylor – 30% off full-price tops and sweaters; up to 40% off all sale styles
- Athleta – All sale up to 60% off
- Banana Republic Factory – 50% off everything; extra 15% off purchase
- Boden – Up to 50% off; 20% off sale & new-season styles
- Brooks Brothers – Friends & Family Event: 30% off almost everything
- Express – All women’s jeans $49 + styles from $20
- Everlane – Up to 30% off spring essentials
- J.Crew – 40% off your purchase; swim from $24.50
- J.Crew Factory – 40% off entire site & storewide, plus extra 20% off orders $125+ with code
- Loft – $29 everyday shirts
- Sephora – Up to 50% off select beauty
- Talbots – Buy one get one 50% off! Free shipping on $150+
Some of our latest posts here at Corporette…
And some of our latest threadjacks here at Corporette (reader questions and commentary) — see more here!
- What are your favorite parts of a typical day?
- At what point in your life (age, income level, whatever) were you able to take an annual vacation?
- What shoes can I keep at the office to go for mid-day walks (that go with everything)?
- How do you release stress or trauma that’s stored in the body?
- What are the best “networking for women events” you’ve ever been to?
- I feel like we’re burning through any savings we acquire…
- I hate my job and make 30% of what DH makes – should I quit?
- What do you keep in your office?
I didn’t know cut-out booties were a trend, but given my feelings on peeptoe booties (spoiler alert, I hate them), I don’t imagine liking any of these styles. Booties are a really tough sell for me. I’ve only found a few pairs I like that have a low enough vamp where I don’t feel entirely cut off at the ankle by them.
la vie en bleu
yeah, I also put peeptoe booties and cutouts in the same category. I LOVE Borns and I would wear them every day, but cutout/peeptoes seem to clash with the very concept of a boot, which is supposed to keep my feet warm. If I want bare feet I’ll wear sandals. And when I see people wearing cutout booties with socks I think they look weird, so I just can’t reconcile the two in my head.
Huh. I don’t equate the two at all. I have bought peeptoe booties and ended up never wearing them because I just couldn’t figure out how to wear them (although they were gorgeous). But, I have a pair of Gianni Bini cutout booties that are really similar to these, but with a higher heel shaped heel like a cowboy boot. I’ve worn them a ton this year. I tend to wear them with textured socks but not patterned.
Must be Tuesday
I agree. I wear booties because they’re cute and warmer than other shoes and I can wear socks with them (which helps with the warmth). Putting cutouts or peep toes on booties defeats the purpose of keeping my feet warm. I have nothing against the look; it’s cute on other people, but I’ve never found it practical for me.
I also have an aversion to peep toe booties. I don’t dislike these as much, but still would not wear cut out booties.
Booties in general, I love!
These look like orthopedic shoes.
I want to get a pair like this, purely to show off my handknit socks.
These are hideous.
Hideous but an improvement on the bootie I’ve been wearing for the past couple of weeks: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ankle-Walker-Boot-Walking-Foot-Broken-Leg-Brace-Shoe-/200507615159
I think yours looks more [email protected], SA.
Oh no. Oh no no no. Trend or no trend, I lived through “chunky boots with floaty dresses” once, and that was plenty. You could not pay me to wear these with shorts.
I’d wear these like any other boots, except my feet would get wet.
la vie en bleu
Lol, isn’t the rule of thumb if you lived through the trend in its original incarnation, you are probably too old to pull it off when it returns? At least that is what I tell myself every time I see high schoolers in flannel, nirvana t-shirts and docs…
Sadly, I didn’t get this memo and wore ponchos in my 40s, after wearing them as a grade schooler.
I think if you followed this rule you’d run out of things to wear by your 40s.
Technically, I lived through this era of clothing, but I was a little young, and decidedly uncool, so I am loving chunky boots and plaid. No peasant dresses, though. Those I did wear, and regret.
And sheer over-the-knee highs? Can you say/chant “Donna Martin graduates!”?
I wish that the original 90210 would show up on Netflix already
You can find it (at least the first season, I haven’t checked for the rest) for free on Hulu.
If anybody here watches Episodes, is the house that the two writers live in the same house that Brenda and Brandon lived in on 90210? I swear they are the same.
I’m going to be a summer associate at a biglaw firm in New York this summer. I know Kat recommends wearing a suit the first day, but do you think I can wear exclusively flats throughout my summer? I have arthritis in my hip, knee pain, and foot problems, so I try to avoid wearing heels whenever possible — though I interviewed in low two-inch heels, it took me quite a while to recover from wearing heels throughout OCI and callbacks.
Are there specific occasions this summer I should wear heels (first day, going to court, client meetings) or am I ok wearing nice professional flats? I was thinking of buying these: http://www.zappos.com/softwalk-napa-black-soft-dull-leather-patent-man-made?zlfid=191&ref=pd_sims_p_ab_t_1
Flats are fine, and I would even suggest wearing flats your first day given the joint pain you mentioned. You will probably be walking around a lot the first day — all around the office to meet everyone, back and forth to people’s offices as they assign you work, several blocks to a welcome lunch at a nearby restaurant, etc. Same with going to court and client meetings — those are all high walking occasions. I think you’d be much better off in flats without pain than in heels with considerable pain.
I would get some pointy toe flats and wear them from the get go.
Although I do not work in biglaw, I would vote for yes, you can wear flats. That being said, I would probably try to find some pointier toed flats – the ones you linked to are nice and probably fine for everyday, but I would want to have a “dressier” pair to wear on the first day or other more formal occasions.
Maybe something like this?
I work in NYC biglaw – yes, you can definitely wear flats. I wear them almost every day, as do many women in my office. I wore them quite a bit as a summer as well – you will often tag along to meetings, go to lunch, etc., so comfy footwear is important (especially given your health concerns). I tend to agree that pointy-toed flats are a bit more formal, so I would try to pick up a couple of pairs of those for the first week and days you have meetings or go to court. DSW usually has a good selection.
Yay! Open Thread’s! I love Open Thread’s, but Kat, I am NOT about to buy these bootie’s! They do look a littel ortheopedeac to me also. FOOEY on shoe’s that make me look to much older then I am. Also, I have NOT seen alot of peeople on the street weareing these. FOOEY b/c I do NOT want to be seen weareing these.
As for the OPs, yes it is true you can wear flat’s in BigLaw (and BoutiqueLaw–where I work), but if you litiegate alot like I do, you realy want to make sure you have heel’s in court, b/c the judges like to see your body-line and if you have flat’s you will look more like a boy then a woman. My judge told the manageing partner he loves my gams, and I win cases when he like’s me. He also has me twirl around so that the court room can see my clotheing, and I guess he can see my tuchus, but if that is what it take’s to win Cases, then I am all for it! YAY!
I have NO plans for this weekend other then to watch movie’s with Myrna. She is comeing over tonite, and we are bakeing cookie’s and watcheing CABLE. Myrna like’s my FIOS cable, because it is not halfast. So I have to order dinner tonite from a Thai place and she will bring over some wine and we will have a good time, even if there are NO men. Except for the delivery boy for the Thai food, at least we will NOT have to worry about any guy’s grabbing our tuchuses or our boobie’s tonite. YAY!
Flats are fine. I’d get dressier pointy toed flats though. Something more like these: http://www.zappos.com/cole-haan-alice-skimmer-black-patent
Leather should be more comfortable than faux leather too.
I’ll be curious to hear what other have to say here. Personally, I hate heels, as they cause me significant lower back pain, so I wear flats with everything. But I work in government, and am fortunate that our office focuses more on your work than your clothes as long as you comport with basic court-appropriate standards. We certainly are a little less strict on a dress code than big-law might be. I’m tempted to say wear your nice flats and the hell with anyone who thinks that you aren’t measuring up to some fashion-police imposed dictates of what is considered ‘professional’, but if this is your dream job I know things aren’t that simple. So, while I think your suggested shoes are totally appropriate, I would suggest looking for something with a little more point to the toe. For some reason, pointy toed shoes look less casual to me, and more suit appropriate. Something like this: http://www.zappos.com/nine-west-speakup-light-natural-leather. Unless your feet problems don’t allow for this shape. In which case, rock the Softwalks, be confident, and you’ll be able to do a great job and produce stellar work product because your hips, knees, and feet aren’t causing you agony!
Thanks for your comments! Unfortunately pointy toed flats exacerbate my bunion and knee pain, and it’s more comfortable for me to wear low heels with an ugly round toe, ugh. Do you think round toed flats are ok or should I just go with low heels for more important occasions?
Wear the round toe and keep them in good condition. Don’t sacrifice your health (bones count!) for a dress code.
This. It’s just plain crazy to wear anything that causes actual physical pain.
Anon in NYC
A well-fitting and well made pointy toe flat should fit your foot in the same way a round toe one does. If its wide enough across to accommodate the bunion, it should be fine. Your toes don’t actually go in the point part. The point part much longer than your actual foot.
I’m positive you can find pointy toe flats that can fit your bunion as I have awful bunions and wear pointy toe flats and shoes quite often.
This. A well-fitting pointy toe shoe should not cause pain.
Thanks! Any recommendations for specific brands/shoes?
Ivanka Trump tend to run wide, so that may be a good brand for you.
I really like these. http://www.6pm.com/ivanka-trump-collie-beige-320-black?zlfid=192&ref=pd_sims_v_1
I have the ivanka trump ones linked below and they are very comfortable (and I wear heels most of the time, but like flats when I travel). I went 1/2 a size up and added a gel cushion for extra comfort.
S in Chicago
If you do opt for slight heals occasionally, I just wanted to suggest you skip kitten heels and go for something a little more substantial.
I have a job where I sometimes am standing on hard surfaces for hours and doing ridiculous amounts of walking. These are super comfortable for me (a plantar fasciitis and bunionette sufferer) due to the rubber heel, excellent arch support, and soft leather:
Hi, I have terrible bunions and ankle issue and only wear flats. I bough two pairs of more pointy two flats at Brooks Brothers this winter in dark green and navy. I was fully prepared to sent them back if they came anywhere near my bunions but they don’t. They are all leather and very comfortable. I also love the Banana Republic Ashley flat.
I have a bunion, and wear orthotics, have wide feet…the parade goes on – and have found barking dog shoes (search the term) to be a great resource. Aravon shoes are made by New Balance, and my feet are happier in them, with low/no heels.
I think those are fine. I gave up a few years ago and started wearing flats with a strap with everything, including skirt suits, due to my foot problems. I think they look ok – not amazing, but I have gotten a surprising amount of compliments on them from mostly older women.
These are my favorite pair I have: http://www.6pm.com/gentle-souls-noa-star
I also have a pair of t-bar flats from Boden that have a pointy toe but are somewhat comfortable and could be stretched to accomodate a bunion.
These look awesome! Just enough of a wedge to look dressy but short enough to let me stand for hours.
I think anything with a bit of structure is good. So, I wouldn’t wear flimsy ballet slippers, but Ferragamo-style flats (or even elegant loafers) are ok.
I always wear heels because I like them — but I think anyone who says that women *must* wear heels in order to look professional is being borderline sexist.
I see a lot of people wearing TB at my biglaw firm, which would be good for day to day but not sure about the first day with a suit.
L in DC
I wore flats every day as a biglaw summer and continue to wear flats as a mid-level. There is literally no occasion where you must wear heels, although I would wear suits all summer if I were you, even at a business casual firm, just to make sure that you’re perceived as dressing formally enough. That’s what I did as a summer and it was definitely the right call. I generally think that flats work best with pants suits, although they’re perfectly fine with skirt suits if that’s what’s already in your closet. I have a small bunion as well and I’ve found that ballet flats often irritate it while loafers seem to be a better fit. Ballet flats can also look a little more young or casual.
Stuart Weitzman is my go-to brand for comfortable, stylish loafers. I would order a couple pairs from Zappos or Nordstrom to try on and find your size, and then start cruising the 6pm website and ebay where you can find them for closer to $120-$150. All you need to get through the summer is one pair of shoes (although ideally two if you can swing it). Really, the only time that people ever comment on a summer associate’s shoes is when they’re obviously too casual (i.e., sandals) or when they’re very sexy or impractical (high stilettos or platform heels). So don’t worry, you will be absolutely fine.
Chiming in to say please do not wear suits every day if that is not the norm for your office. That is just awkward and would show that you don’t get the firm or its culture. You can always err on the side of being conservative when debating what to wear, but suits every day at a business casual office is overkill.
No, No, No. If no one else is wearing suits, you would just look out of touch and that you don’t understanding the firm’s culture
Just chiming in to say that flats every day are totally fine, but not the ones you linked to. Pick something a bit dressier than those. Pointy toes, patent or something that reads “designer” will help offset the more casual look of flats. And buy some in different colors so you aren’t the girl who wore black flats every day. It is unfortunate, but this would have definitely been commented on at my old firm, by both men and women.
I have large bunions as well. I would not hesitate to wear flats every day, but IME (midlaw) and per my preference for trouser suits, you might want to expand your pool of choices to consider non-heeled shoes that are not pointy-toe flats or ballet flats. Think flat oxfords, flat loafers, and polished ankle boots with a 1″ or less heel.
Just found these on a quick search for women’s oxfords and may have to get a pair for myself!
I also like the SoftWalk Maine oxford.
The Munro Lexie and the Ted Baker Kalay flat boots also look excellent (Nordst. website as well).
Must be Tuesday
This is a great suggestion. I find it much easier to find comfortable walkable shoes like oxfords, loafers, booties, etc. that look good and are still professional when worn with trousers. It’s a lot harder to find something appropriate and comfortable and flattering to match with skirts and dresses.
Late to the discussion, but I have found these shoes to be a bit dressier than my usual flats and fine with skirts. They are not pointy toed, but not totally round. I have two pair of the ara flats and have received numerous compliments on them. They are also made rather wide, which makes them a bit loose on me, but might work well for you. I use the superfleet orthotics for flats, as they give me the arch support I need.
I think it may be useful for associates to keep in mind that in most cases they are dressing to impress people older than they are, not their peers. I am a 60 year old partner and I have never heard the “rule” that pointy toes are “dressier” than round toes except on this site. I prefer round toes myself. IMHO these are very attractive. I did not wear flats with skirts at work until I broke my ankle a while ago, and bought a few pairs like this. I’m wearing something similar now, with a dress with jacket.
Is it gauche to throw a party to celebrate paying off one’s student loans?
la vie en bleu
as someone who is (clearly) never getting married or having a baby, I say we should throw ourselves parties for all kinds of reasons these days, because PARTIES PEOPLE! How is having a fun party for your friends ever gauche?? I’d come!! ;o)
I was literally just about to post a celebratory message that I just paid off all my student loans – 6 years after graduating law school. I would come to your party! Let’s celebrate!
Congratulations! I’m two months away from having mine paid off, almost 4 years to the day since law school graduation.
Must be Tuesday
I actually think it is. I think you should throw a party just because. Connecting it to loans seems like you are bragging about money. Unless is was a small close group, I don’t think you should
Agree with this (I’m the crying Anon from below.) I think it would be great to have a celebratory dinner with your immediate people – the ones who know about your finances and what you’ve done to get here. They will be happy for you. Other people? Nope. Just throw a party bc you want to have fun. Don’t connect it to your braggy success.
la vie en bleu
I think we all need to get over the fact that a friend celebrating an accomplishment they worked hard for is ‘braggy’. I am happy for my friends when they succeed at something, even when my life is a mess.
Celebrating the accomplishment is one thing. Throwing a party for yourself is another. I think women who throw themselves birthday parties after the age of 21 are weird though, so whatever.
You’re not alone in thinking that. I also think large, coordinated birthday parties over the age of 21 (maybe an exception for 30, 40, and other big years) is really weird.
I think it is pretty weird/gauche to celebrate something that is *solely* about money, even if it is a huge accomplishment. Throwing a party for making partner or other professional accomplishments that may be tied to more money makes sense to me and doesn’t seem that different than celebrating a marriage or baby. But celebrating the simple fact that you managed to save a huge number of $$ in a short period of time, even though I’m sure it took tremendous discipline, seems a little gauche to me. If your “party” is a low key gathering with just close friends who knew how hard you were working to pay them off then my answer is different. But I say no to any other kind of party. And I say this as someone who paid off my student loans long ago (and didn’t throw a party).
Boston Legal Eagle
Aren’t all parties somewhat about “braggy success”? E.g. housewarming, graduation, even wedding. Personally I like having small gatherings for all of these events but no reason to not have a big party for this accomplishment if you want one!
anon at 2:03
The reason is you will lose friends because of it. People in this country are getting killed by student loans. Would you ever have a party because you saved up 200k? If not, don’t have this party. Treat a close, small group of friends to dinner.
Honestly for the life of me I can’t see how throwing an “I paid off my student loans” party would cause anyone to lose friends. Seriously? I guess there are just a whole lot of people who are so eaten up with jealously that they can’t even conceive of being happy for other people’s accomplishments. Same people who won’t go to weddings if they’re single, baby showers if they’re childless, and so on. I think it’s a shame.
Maybe its just dependent on groups then. Coming out of my law school my year meant getting stuck with 200k in loans. They only people who can or have paid them off is people with family help or people who went biglaw. I got a biglaw gig but I am seeing my friends absolutely suffering because of their loans. To me a loan party is simply a “I get paid more than you party.” I am so surprised to see so many people ok with this. I think it would absolutely go over horrendously and I don’t think it has anything to do with jealousy on the people invited, I think its just so tone deaf by the host. This to me is the equivalent of a biglaw associate going up to their friend who works public sector or non profit and cackling how big was your bonus this year? Mine was your yearly salary!
I am someone who did pay off my student loans, and my mouth would just drop if I heard my friend was throwing a “I paid off my loans party” The fact that there is support for it here but everyone sees that the friend below who is bragging about money and wealth is irritating is so confusing to me. To me this party would simply be a “my salary is great!” party.
Boston Legal Eagle
Is this different than throwing a party, for example, to celebrate your new house purchase? See my new house, aka how much money I saved up/have to buy it! Is it because a housewarming party is more common and socially accepted?
+ infinity to Anonymous! I’m in biglaw and close to paying off my loans. But would find it offensive to the many friends who will be paying their loans off for the next 20+ years.
Unless all your friends are in biglaw or have family money, at least some will find it offensive
As someone who has tons of debt that increased dramatically during my involuntary unemployment, I could see myself being happy for you but REALLY not wanting to go to your party. Not even a little bit. And I’d think it gauche to invite me.
However, if you have friends who know about your achievement and who are on the same page as you, go for it. But an invite would make me feel like sh*t.
All celebrations are braggy. What’s so unbraggy about a wedding with 100 guests/housewarming/graduation/etc? The whole point is to shout it off the rooftops that you accomplished this wonderful goal.
If it’s gauche, I don’t want to be droit!
Senior Attorney FTW
I’m totally on board. Hoping that I am you in five years! Champagne for everybody!
As someone who cried yesterday about money problems (including student loans), I say yes, it’s gauche. But you know your friends I guess. I personally wouldn’t go to such a party because in total honesty I’d just be jealous. I still go to weddings and baby showers even though I’m not married and don’t have kids and those are things I want, but I think celebrating your financial accomplishments this way is weird. And I’m someone who thinks friends should talk to each other about money issues more, not less. Tell a friend you did it, and you’re happy and thankful and proud of yourself, and then move on.
My husband has ridiculous student loans–I almost didn’t marry him because of them. For the past 12 years I’ve hated sending that student loan payment and sometimes hated him for it. We’re still paying them and figure we will continue to pay them until retirement, unless our parents die and we use the inheritance.
I would love to go to a “I Paid Off My Student Loans!” party. It would make me feel not as ashamed and alone, because so many of us have them but don’t talk about them (not offline anyway). It would re-inspire me to send in more, or put off a vacation or new car because I want to pay off my loans early, too. It would be great to see someone I actually know smiling and happy because they stuck to a goal and got out of debt, instead of only seeing cheezy Yahoo news stories about the couple who went to bizarre extremes like moving to a shack and making their own toothpaste to pay off $100,000 in 3 years.
Thanks, Jax, this is helpful.
I agree. I don’t associate paid off student loans with being wealthy. I associate students loans as something those of us who didn’t have family to pay for school and didn’t get scholarships got stuck with. Paying them off takes sacrifice and diligence. It is absolutely worth celebrating when you pay them off!
+1. If you had to take out a sizeable amount of student loans, it’s absolutely valid to celebrate paying them off. I’ll graduate with about £35k of student debt (significantly less than many of my cohort due to my parents giving me money to live off but significantly more than the cohort a year ahead of me due to tuition fees tripling the year I started) and it’s the fact that it’s significantly less than many of my immediate cohort which would prevent me throwing a party to celebrate.
I agree with all of this. I would also go to this party (and will be marrying my student-loan-heavy fiancé very shortly after I finish paying off my own loans – doh! but I love him :) ).
The only way I wouldn’t go to this party is if the person hosting it was somehow looking down her/his nose at the other people who hadn’t paid theirs off yet, but if that was the case, then I wouldn’t be that person’s friend anyway b/c DOOSH, so moot point.
See I think this is off. I sometimes feel jealous of my friends who are having babies and getting married but I don’t think that’s a reason to skip their showers and weddings. It’s all about celebrating the stages of life your friends are at.
I don’t see the complaints being about jealousy at all. I just think there is something wrong with “look how much money I amassed party.” Its not even about the braggyness. And I am someone who thinks we should be talking about money, how much we are making how we are investing etc. There is just something about the idea of this party that puts a really bad taste in my mouth. And I don’t have loans.
I Grew Up In The 70s
I think there was an episode of Happy Days in which Mr. and Mrs. Cunningham have a party and burn their mortgage note after having paid off all 30 years.
This was actually the inspiration for my question!
Must be Tuesday
I don’t remember that episode of Happy Days, but my parents had a mortgage burning party with just immediate family when they paid off their mortgage. They bought in the late 1980s and had a variable rate mortgage. The variable rate made my mom nervous, so they made efforts to pay it off much quicker than scheduled, even though interest rates just kept falling. I also love that they shared this information with me as a teenager.
That definitely happened on “Eight Is Enough.” That’s how I learned what a mortgage was.
I remember that episode. Me too.
I think celebrating is a great idea – but I would probably do as dinner (my treat) with an SO or a small group of friends, rather than a bigger party. It just seems more like a private life accomplishment, I guess.
Yes. Terribly gauche. Just throw a party. No one in real life needs to listen to you brag about your good finances.
I would totally come and bring refreshments to this party, even if I haven’t paid off my loans yet. I agree that a giant blow-out party may be overboard, but a smaller party/get-together/raison d’etre would be fine with me as a friend.
I don’t get how this could be gauche or braggy. She had student loans, so obviously she’s not independently wealthy. She doesn’t say that a sugar daddy paid them off or she got an inheritance or won a personal injury lawsuit. She seems to have paid them off via hard work and savings. Anyone who thinks it’s braggy is being a poor sport, I think. I agree with those who say celebrate the accomplishment! Debt is a burden and albatross and it’s good to be free of it (whenever that can happen-even if it takes a while). Kudos!
Congrats! I would definitely come to a party like this and bring you some delightful consumables. If you’re concerned that it’ll come off poorly, I’d either throw a party and not tell anyone what it’s for (or only tell your close friends), or do something smaller with those you really like/trust and just be open about it. Either way, definitely celebrate!
L in DC
I say do it. It’s a big deal and worth celebrating. I was so excited when I paid mine off and invited a bunch of friends over for champagne and food. I’d been pretty open about how hard I was working to get there, and I had multiple friends say that they wanted to celebrate with me when I finally paid them off. So, you know your crowd, but I’m guessing your good friends are going to be really happy for you and thrilled to raise a glass to your accomplishment. This is also in line with my general belief that friends (and women, particularly) should be more open with each other about financial planning challenges/successes rather than treating money as a taboo topic. But I get that not everyone shares that view.
la vie en bleu
” friends (and women, particularly) should be more open with each other about financial planning ”
This This This.. yet another reason.
And yeah, I feel like good friends will be really happy for you, if anyone is not and is ‘offended’ then I don’t think they’re really that good of a friend. But again, I would love for any of my friends to have a party for any excuse. I don’t see how throwing a party for your friends to have a great time could ever be considered rude or tacky, unless there are stated requirements for payment or expensive gifts. And I think Donna and Tommy would tell you to Treat Yo’Self
I would love to go to a party like this! I wouldn’t invite everybody, but having a few close friends over for dinner/drinks/a celebratory bonfire sounds great!
Depends on who you invite. I think taking a few friends out to a nice dinner (on you) who you are very close to (close enough that you already talk about money) is appropriate but inviting a big group to a party is a bit strange and you are bound to rub someone the wrong way.
Yes it is. I’m happy for you and Imma let you finish but Beyoncè didn’t even have student loans.
Just throw a party for the sake of it and don’t mention how much money you have on book or similarly, how little student loans you have.
I think these would be nice for weekend wear in the spring – they look “lighter” than boots or booties.
@AIMS- I missed your request for Capitol Hill restaurants on the morning post. For a comfort food lunch: Ted’s Bulletin! I have decided already to believe not only that you’re going, but that you’re ordering the grilled cheese and tomato soup. Heavenly, I say.
Thanks, Monday! I *love* tomato soup and absolutely anything to do with cheese so I’m almost certainly going! Funny enough, last time I was in DC I also had tomato soup (at La Madeleine’s, I think?) and I remember it being very good and it’s something I’ve since thought of as a “DC” food. I’m excited.
Oh my goodness, if you are ever in Oregon I’ll tell you the restaurant that has my absolute favorite tomato soup. Ridiculously good.
Anyone else in the DC/east coast area excited to have a snow day yesterday? I never get snow days, and I actually was at work for an hour before I was told that our buildings were shutting down! Woot!
I drove home and cleaned my house. And my spouse is visiting for the weekend! I can’t wait until we finally live together again. Ugh. Long distance relationships suck.
I despise snow days. We have had eight in the past three weeks. My employer’s official policy is that there are no snow days, so I have to work from home while trying to entertain my third-grader.
No. I’m so over this winter and the many snow days and cancellations. I moved to DC so I would not have to deal with this.
Move to MN! We had one school “cold” day this winter, and work is rarely cancelled on account of snow. Bonus – our plow drivers actually know how to deal with snow.
Downside – those sub-zero temps are a lot more common. Though, that just means its too cold to snow :)
Are you sure these are a trend? They’re not very attractive and make no functional sense.
la vie en bleu
They are super a trend, I see them at least a handful of times every single day. Plus all over the fashion mags.
They actually do make functional sense. No, they are not good for snow on the ground days or freezing cold days, but for early spring or fall, they make perfect sense (think dry and high 40s/ 50s/ low 60s). They are closed-toe, so warmer and more appropriate than a sandal, but not as completely covered up as a true winter boot. I’d much prefer wearing these, than wearing sandals when its 58. Or worse, salt stained beat-up winter boots.
There is a wealth of options between sandal and winter boot. And I own a lot of them already, as I can wear any other shoe I already own on those dry 40/50/60 degree days. What function do these shoes fill that isn’t already addressed by things I already own?
That you already own shoes that fill the same function as these do make them nonfunctional. They may be redundant for you. But, they are not an inherently nonfunctional shoe.
Well, of course they aren’t non-functional – they have a sole and they stay on the foot. They serve the function of (mostly) protecting the foot.
My point is this shoe doesn’t provide any more advantage than any other shoe that exists between a sandal and a snow boot (ballet flats, brogues, pumps, Converse hi-tops, etc. ), so your argument for “functionality” is basically that these cut-out boots function as a shoe (and one that won’t do you any good in inclement weather, aka spring and fall).
la vie en bleu
have a kind of complicated personal issue I’d love some advice/perspective on.
My parents & one sister live on the east coast and I live in CA. I used to see them several times a year bc I traveled for work, but i don’t have that job anymore, and just got back from my first time seeing them since last July. We have always been a close family, and my parents are getting older. My sister and her husband deliberately have stayed nearby even though it is a HCOL area, and in this last visit I saw that they are having to do a whole lot of regular checking on them, bc my mom is getting increasingly worried about my dad.
I have loved living on the west coast for almost 15 years, and honestly pretty much hated living in DC for a lot of reasons. But for the first time after this trip I am feeling extremely guilty about being 3000 miles away. On top of my parents, my sister is about to have the first baby in the family and I am starting to worry I won’t be as close to the kid if I’m super far away.
I am also kind of inbetween jobs/career tracks right now so I guess it would kind of be a good time to contemplate a move back. But it would also cost money obviously, and I’m stretched super thin with the being underemployed so I would probably need to get my parents to help me with a move, so would that cancel out the being closer? And I do really love living in CA and my apartment.
I guess I just don’t know how to decide what to do. Am I right to feel so guilty? Am I going to regret it if I stay so far away? Am I also going to regret having to live somewhere I don’t like and have a job I don’t like just because of guilt? How did any of you make decisions like this? TIA sorry for the novel! :o\
That is a tough spot to be in. I would suggest organizing your thoughts into a sort of Pros and Cons list, and see if you can identify what you “want” more. I make lists like that a lot, and even though I don’t always choose whichever one has the longer column, it helps me see what I want.
I don’t know your parents, but I am pretty confident that asking them to help you move will not cancel out the benefit (to them) of your moving. It sounds like they would be thrilled to have you back near home and would not mind helping you get there.
On the other hand, don’t move just because of the guilt. I read somewhere that sons will pay for their parents’ nursing homes, while daughters will move their parents back in with them. Obviously that’s an overgeneralization, but I do think we have an overriding sense of guilt as women that it’s our job to take care of everyone, even at the expense of our own plans and lives.
If you are looking for a new job anyway, maybe you could look in both areas, and the problem might correct itself by which opportunities become available…? Good luck; I know this is a really difficult decision. Hugs!
I wouldn’t move back because of guilt. I think guilt is kind of a bad reason to do pretty much anything.
On the other hand, it is certainly true that you will be a very peripheral figure in the new baby’s life if you live 3,000 miles away. If it’s important to you to be close to your niece or nephew, that weighs in favor of a move back. And also, guilt aside, your parents won’t be around forever. I am sure they would love to have you closer and would be happy to help pay your moving expenses.
I think this is a situation with no easy answers and there will be some regret no matter what you choose. Is there any middle ground? Rather than moving, can you just promise yourself that you will visit three or four times a year, no matter what, and then stick to it come hell or high water?
Any chance of moving your family out to you? That is my plan for when my parents need more assistance. There is nothing for me career wise in their hometown and nothing keeping them tied to it besides their house. Once they can’t handle the house, I hope to convince them (and finance if necessary) them moving near me.
la vie en bleu
Yeah, this was my secret hope for years. I am actually the one in our hometown, everyone else left! But that’s clearly never going to happen, since at this point everyone else in the family is way more financially stable than I. So it doesn’t make sense for any of them to move.
Don’t move over guilt. Can you make more frequent visits? Call more frequently and facetime?
I live across the country from my entire family, including my nearly 2-year old nephew. Facetime and a shared iPhoto photostream have made things much easier. I visit when I can but technology has made it much easier to stay involved from a distance.
Say it ain’t so! No one should ever leave California!
I can’t say this thought (moving back to family) hasn’t occurred to me at times. It was always work or a boyfriend or something keeping me here.
It is a tough call. I think you need to do you. If it is being with family, then go. If being back on the East Coast will drive you batty, then stay. Just don’t forget us out here in California.
I Grew Up In The 70s
I grew up in California and moved away/back East for high school and college and five years of work after college. Right around the time I started contemplating professional school, my father and his then (spoiler!) wife started having what would become my first three half-siblings. I purposely applied only to professional schools in California so that I could be near them and not be “that relative who lives across the country and sends birthday cards.”
Fast forward 20 years, two wives and fives kids later.
I still live in California, in the area where my sister and I and three of the five half-siblings grew up. I am the only one here. Scratch that: The stepmother/mother of the first three half-siblings still lives here, too. We don’t talk ever since she threatened on more than one occasion to sue me for talking to “her children” (aka my half-siblings) when she and my father were divorcing. Because the kids were still living with her, that also meant that I had no contact with them for several years. They all grew up and went to school far away, so they don’t live here anymore.
Father lives with next stepmother and their two kids (half-siblings 4 and 5) in another state, but not back East.
I still live here because: it’s my hometown, my entire professional life was/is here, I have built an adult life here and I love it. But none of my family is here.
All of this is to say, if you make major life decisions based on other people’s preferences, be aware that other people’s preferences may change, and you may be left holding the bag.
I’m sorry this is a tough issue for you. I can certainly understand why. I would also say that a guilt-move is probably not the best idea, but it seems as though you are in a good spot in your life to re-evaluate your entire situation. Maybe DC isn’t the place for you. But, if you factor that flying to see your family is nearly an all-day affair, you could reap generous rewards by living just a few hours’ drive away. Or a commuter-flight away.
I think the relationship with your sister & her baby is kind of up to you–whatever you want it to be. I have a sister with 2 daughters and a SIL with a daughter and a son. I’m closer to my sister than my SIL, and I look to my own aunt as a model for my aunt-ship. She was awesome, treated us like her own kids (she had none, but a SD and SS), and she just filled a void of spoilage that my parents couldn’t fill. I would love to have a closer relationship with SIL, but they’re terrible communicators. They live in the same city as my sister, but because of their lack of responsiveness, in the handful of times I’ve visited, we’ve only managed to see them twice (not for lack of trying).
If you are really wanting to be a big part of this child’s life, and support for your sister & your parents, then it is going to be really hard to make it work from 3000 miles away, I think.
You are “right” to feel guilty on either side of this coin. It’s not an easy decision, and I don’t envy you. I like the idea of a pros/cons list, but I also feel like analyzing it like that takes your gut feeling out of it.
On the other hand, sometimes (for me) writing down a pro/con list helps me see where my gut is at, regardless of what the list says.
la vie en bleu
Yeah, guilt might not be the right word, because I am starting to be distressed about the thought of not being there if (when) something happens. I am not seeing a middle ground really, because it’s about being there for more everyday stuff and spending a lot more time with everyone and physically being there to help since I really can’t do much from this far away.
I don’t have a good idea for another nearby place to live, because I’m a big city person and I love living in SF. I can’t think of another place close enough to DC that would really feel like a big city. Anyone have any suggestions for places I should consider?
I also feel like I’m being incredibly selfish because the only reason I don’t live there is because I ‘like California better.’ And my sister and BIL are doing a lot to stay nearby and be physically available. Since I don’t have a good reason to NOT live there, I feel like I’m a horrible person for not moving.
I would actively look for jobs in both areas and see which one pans out. If it’s in D.C., they will hopefully pay for your move back. I wouldn’t move back out of guilt either, or even to have a closer relationship with your niece or nephew. Your life will consist mostly of spending time at work and with your friends and at your own apartment, and if you are miserable on those fronts, being able to be more available as an aunty or make more frequent visits to your parents on the occasional weekends will not make up for it and you may feel resentful too.
la vie en bleu
yeah, I think you and Alli have a good idea here, I should at least start looking and see what happens on the job front. I feel kind of awkward about the whole thing because I don’t have a job or a relationship or a super solid social life here, either, so I feel like I don’t have a good reason to stay. But I don’t know that DC will be a magic solution to all of that, either.
If you can find a good excuse to move or to stay (relationship, career, etc), do so. Moving closer to family is not a sexy thing to do, because we’re fierce, independent grown ups who can make our own way in the world, grrrrr, but y’know, sometimes family is nice to have nearby, and it’s worth more to us than the gorgeous weather you’re having in CA that this Washingtonian is super envious of. That said, don’t martyr yourself to assuage your guilt. Going into debt to move would be a bad decision. Find what you need (a job), and make your life fit you, not the other way around. In a way, it’s letting the universe decide, which takes the responsibility off your shoulders.
And finally, I’ve heard it said that fear is a terrible motivator, but the Dear Sugar Sister Ship article that gets posted here every so often points out that fear of regret is actually a great motivator. What are you most afraid to regret? There’s your decision. Think of it as being kind to future la vie en bleu.
la vie en bleu
thanks everyone for your thoughts. I have to head into a meeting but I’m reading all of your comments very closely and you have been so helpful already even though I still don’t know what to do ;-/
Everyone seems to be agreeing that you really should not upend your life or move out of guilt. At the same time, you ARE experiencing these feelings. So why not work with the feelings instead of your physical domain? For example you could talk with your parents and your sister, share that you want to help and be there for them as much as possible, and ask whether they have ideas for how you could help (without moving!). I’m thinking that if you can talk this through with them and arrive at some strategies (regular check-ins, visits, etc.), it may help relieve your feelings of guilt because you will have put it out there and arrived at some future to-do items that your family is on board with.
Not going in to further details, I will be making an international move in next few years to be with my parents. I will have kids with me as well. So I understand your dilemma and guilt.
In general, I don’t want to do anything to anybody out of guilt, obligations or expectations. It is very easy to feel resentment (if you have felt obligated to do what you did) or hurt/betrayed(if you had expectation from people for whom you did whatever you did) from people even if it is your own family. I have been in such situations before. So now I do whatever I want to do purely because I want to do it and because it is advantageous to me and my children. That way, you make big changes because you wanted it, with your full heart. In my situation, I will be moving back because I can still have a good career, my children will be with their grand parents and they can make memories with them, I want my children to see another part of the world so that they get different perspectives in life etc etc which are very important for me and I will not get to do in this country.
My suggestion is what is that you will get if you move to DC? How does it improve your quality of life not just in terms of money, in terms of feeling loved, in terms of bonding with your nephews/nieces or whatever you value? Can you go closer to DC (like Northern Virginia or Maryland) and reduce some of the negative impact the move will have on your career but still see your parents/sister’s family frequently and be there when needed? But whatever it is, I you shouldn’t feel you are compromising on anything when you make the move. In fact, you should feel your life will be better moving there and that is when you can be at peace with your decision.
la vie en bleu
wow, this is beautifully put, thank you.
Must be Tuesday
Sounds like you’re putting a lot of pressure on yourself to find the perfect solution and be happy with it. There really isn’t a perfect solution. If your family lives somewhere that doesn’t appeal to you, you’ll have to either (1) live somewhere you don’t love in order to be near family, or (2) live somewhere you love and be far away from family, or (3) find some compromise that isn’t ideal on either front. Take your time and think through the options and once you make a decision, try to make peace with it. You’re not a bad daughter if you choose to stay in California. If it helps, try to remind yourself that your decision doesn’t have to be permanent. If you decide to stay in CA, you can always move in a year or 3. Same if you return to D.C.
Maybe take a few weeks and put this out of your head entirely, then return to it with a completely open mind (no lingering guilt or pressure) for a brainstorming session. Think of any and all possible options, and don’t nix any of them as impracticable or undesirable. Just think about them and how they might work.
A few possible solutions (some suggested already by other posters):
(1) stay in CA and commit to visiting frequently, using all vacation time and long weekends to visit family, saving money for trips and aggressively earning and using miles
(2) stay in CA and look for another job similar to your old one that will allow you to travel to DC often
(3) move to D.C. and live near your family
(4) move to D.C. and live in a neighborhood or town that appeals to you, even if it’s not that close to family; you’re still a lot closer than you were in CA
(5) move to Baltimore
(6) move to Philadelphia
(7) move to New York City
(8) apply for jobs anywhere you’d consider living and let the best job offer be the deciding factor
(9) talk to family and ask if they want/expect you to move back; you may be surprised by their feelings on the subject. For ex – sister may want you to move back to help out, but at the same time she enjoys being the only child in the area and worries that if you’re around, especially because you don’t have a spouse or children, you may spend more time with parents and they won’t need her as much for day-to-day stuff, which she enjoys handling. Or maybe parents miss you but enjoy that you are living the life you want to live in California and they’d feel guilty if you gave that up to move near them. Or maybe they’re planning on moving as soon as they retire. Or something else that you might not expect.
From my own experience, being a 3 hour drive away from family was a huge difference from being a 10+ hour drive or a flight away. Three hours away isn’t the same as living in your parents’ town, but it’s still an easy trip that can be done for a day if needed, and is certainly doable for frequent weekend and holiday trips.
I agree with this advice. I’m an only child and my mother has had a series of health issues, so I have moved continually closer to home (international multi-day flight –> same coast –> 3 hours drive). I have no interest in living in my hometown, but I love my current city and I love it’s convenience. It means that I can spend a lot more time with them (going home for a weekend or having them come visit me at least once a month or so) and I can get home quickly enough if issues do come up again. So it doesn’t have to be DC or CA – I would look at NYC, Philly, or any other eastern city to expand your options but make it easier to spend more time with them.
I don’t have much advice that hasn’t already been said. But I would like to add that DC has changed a lot in the last 15 years. Depending on why you didn’t like the area before, you may find that has changed (or may find it has not). You may be surprised by what you find if you start looking to move back
Posted this on the moms page yesterday, but hoping for a few more responses. I would like to buy something to commemorate the birth of my kids (I have a 2 year old and a newborn). I’m thinking jewelry but am open to other ideas (I’d like to wear it or at least see it daily). With my older son, I was planning to buy a ring in his birthstone but never got around to it, and now I have 2 kids. Any ideas? I feel Etsy would be good for something like this but I am overwhelmed by Etsy. Would like to spend no more than $300. TIA!
I have a silver Sarah Chloe disk pendant engraved with my daughter’s initials. She has a matching one.
Search for “Catbird alphabet rings”.
Killer Kitten Heels
My mom wears a simple pendant that includes my and my brother’s birthstones. I like it because of its subtlety – if you happen to make the birthstone connection you can figure out what it is, but it doesn’t broadcast “mommy jewelry.” She had it custom-made at a jeweler over 25 years ago, and if I recall the story correctly, she basically went to the store, picked a shape/stone-arrangement she liked, and then asked if it could be made with the particular relevant stones.
Search Etsy for personalized jewelry.
Also, I’ve mentioned this here before, but I bought my friend/colleague the Monogram charm with his initial and chain from this line: http://shoplittlemissmuffin.com/pages/jewelry/beaucoup.html
after her son was born (with a pearl charm as well), then I added her daughter’s initial after she was born. They’re stylized enough that it’s not as obvious that they’re initial charms, I think. She loves it and wears it a lot.
You could do a ring with two birthstones for each of them or two complimentary rings with their respective stones. You could also do one of those delicate initial necklaces with their initials. Or a locket – I don’t think they’re very “in” right now, but I love vintage lockets on a longer chain. A little more elaborate, but my aunt gave me a ring that spells out my name in stones — not literally, but, sort of like, an Alexandrite for A, an Iolite for I, a Moonstone for M, and a Sapphire for S. It’s very sweet and it always makes me happy to wear it for the hidden story.
I have a silver keychain from blue nile with two kids’ names engraved in it…. and then I had a third.
What are their birthstones? My daughter was born in February, and Kanye East (Gewgaws & Gimcracks on Easy) made me a gorgeous custom necklace with pink, green, and violet amethysts. Highly, highly recommend!
+1 for Kayne East/Gewgaws & Gimcracks
Love this place
Look at Nelle & Lizzy. I have interlocking name rings from them and love them, but they have lots of other options too.
Check out this shop:
She does pieces with initials and birthstones, and will customize per your request. I have one with my kids’ initials. It is unique, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it.
Has anyone had success learning a new language as an adult and actually becoming fluent? Tips? Process? How difficult was it? What language?
I am fluent in Spanish. I learned it in high school but really honed my skills because I married someone who speaks it as his native language, and his family only speaks it. We see his family fairly regularly so I had good reason to practice and the right foundational skills from high school came back to serve me well. It is not hard if you really want to learn it and take a great interest in. It is near impossible if it doesn’t interest you or bores you.
I think the only way to do it is immersion.
Yes. Was fluent in Spanish and my university made us learn Portuguese because the two departments were linked. My class for Portuguese was actually taught in Spanish (mind-bending). It was accelerated, so we did a year in two quarters. I can still read and conjugate and extrapolate because the languages are similar. You have to really, really make a daily effort to speak, think, practice any language as an adult. If you have a commute or time to do flash cards or duolingo that can really help. Also, probably depends on whether you “like” languages. I love them and think they’re really fun.
It won’t get you to fluency, but I use duolingo to maintain languages I took formal classes in long ago. It’s easy to get 10-30 min every day when i’m just sitting around with my phone in my hand. I’d exhaust some free options before I started worrying about immersion and paid courses, but if you need the language for a job that might not be an option.
Yeah. I’m fluent in both Arabic and Persian, started them both in my late teen years. I’m 27 now. Not that hard, lived abroad for a while, and constant exposure when I got back. I agree with Wildkitten’s comment about immersion. Also I’d imagine this is a lot easier to do with romance languages and the like for a native english speaker.
I am (still) learning Spanish. I have been taking a private class and also did a week of immersion in Costa Rica (google CPI costa rica – I stayed with a family – very economical). You have to actively use the language in order to become fluent. That being said, I spent 2 weeks in Spain and spoke well enough with non-English speaking natives. Am I fluent? No. But I know a whole lot more Spanish than when I started. Some day, I will be proficient if not fluent.
My best friend’s behavior has been bothering lately. I love her to death and I can honestly live with this behavior but I’m itching to do something about it. I’m not sure if its even worth it. I want to talk to her about it because I don’t think she even knows she’s doing it. However, I don’t know if there is a need to have a “talk” and I should just keep it to myself.
Here’s my issues: We both grew up in a poor family and luckily married successful husbands. She moved to a more urban area and has lived there for about 15 years. She quit her job and is a stay at home mom of 4 boys (obviously, good for her). She found other stay at home moms in her area as friends and they hang out with their kids, etc. However, with each passing year I start to notice that she’s become a talker or a more showy person who gloats or shows off her wealth. She doesn’t do this explicitly but she does do it. For example, “I bought this on sale and went to the thrift store…I’m so frugal…LOL” followed by a story of her husband and how he was offered lots of money to work at X and Y and of his new bonus and how her neighborhood is now ranked as the top riches cities in the area. She’s been doing this consistently but I equate them to her being proud of her family’s accomplishments. However when you do it often it can become tiring to hear about. Part of me says it’s because of the friends she hangs out it and it is not her fault. This is how they talk and what they talk about. Even if you are not like that, hanging out with a certain crowd long enough can change the way you think, talk or act. Most of her new friends are stay at home moms who are married to rich husbands and came from rich families so I feel she might be pressured (unintentionally by these other women) to talk and have this “look at what I got” attitude.
I know that the first thought that comes to your minds is “this poster is jealous” but I am really not jealous of her. I just have an issue with the way she’s acting and I am truly happy for her. I know for sure that I am not jealous of her, 100% guaranteed. If I was in a different position in life then perhaps I might be but my husband and I are doing very well in life and both have very successful careers (….in fact, I think our family makes double of what her family makes…if you want to go there). Both my husband and I are partners at a med size law firm (different ones) in a large city. She never got her college degree so her income is based on her husband’s.
I understand her behavior is bothering you, but it sounds like there’s no intention on her part. I have a family member with a somewhat similar background and situation as your friend, and she has no clue that her behavior is at all irritating. If you want to stay friends with her, accept her and let it go.
Agreed. I have an older sister that is quite similar. I’ve just accepted that her behavior comes from a place of insecurity (and is reinforced by her husband, who is VERY into conspicuous consumption). We’re not that close, so it’s not my place to mention it to her. Therefore, I let it go and accept it as part of her personality now. It makes me sad (especially because they can’t afford the things they are buying, but that’s another story…..), but it’s not something I can change.
It doesn’t sound like you got jealous – it sounds like your friend got annoying. Do you think a conversation would be something she would be receptive to, or would *she* think that you are being jealous?
It sounds to me like she’s feeling insecure and trying to prove that she belongs. I wonder if, rather than pointing out to her that she’s being annoying (not that you said you were going to do this), you were to focus on the non-money things you love about her and that make her lovable to everyone around her, she might feel more at ease with herself and might stop feeling the need to show off.
My first thought was insecurity, too. Also, not to sound harsh but I feel like for some women who don’t work, their partner’s accomplishments become their accomplishments in a way that isn’t the same for people who are both working, and so if you bring up something about work, even if you’re not bragging, she might feel compelled to mention her husband’s success as a way to relate or justify staying home since she can’t just share a work war story with you. Not sure if that quite captures what I’m trying to say, but it’s something I’ve noticed that I can’t quite put into words…
My advice would be to say something to acknowledge your shared past and maybe remind her that you don’t care about these things. So next time she starts going on about her zip code being the wealthiest, I’d say, “geez, friend, when we were growing up did you ever think we’d even be talking about something like this much less living in these kinds of places?”
AIMS – as usual, well said. This is her way of talking about her “accomplishments.” If you dig deeper, there’s a lot of insecurity there, especially if she didn’t finish college and her best friend is a partner at a law firm(!) If you are as close as it sounds like you are, how about asking her about her aspirations and things she might like to pursue on the side? I was surprised when someone I know who is very similarly-situated started talking about wanting to start her own business when the kids got older. If I were you, I would just feel sorry for her and if she continued to be annoying, I’d spend less time with her.
I hadn’t thought of that AIMS – thank you for making my future thoughts smarter.
That sounds really irritating. Can you direct the conversation elsewhere? If you guys are that close you must have plenty of interesting things to talk about besides stuff. I’d just distract her with something like that.
Not so savvy sister
My little sister is leaving/has left her husband of 8 years. She is the bigger income earner, making a little more than double what he makes.
They own two houses, one that they live in, and one that they used to live in and now rent out.
It’s a mess.
There’s about probably about $100K of equity in the “new house” after real estate fees and the penalty for breaking the mortgage.
There’s probably about $60K in the “old house” although there is a tenant in there until June 2016 who is not taking very good care of the place.
The rental income is not covering the costs to carry the rental home.
My BIL only makes $45K, and does not contribute that much. He pays $300 a month for the “old house” (interest on line of credit) and utilities at the new house. Except for the months when he “can’t” cover them, and my sister does.
She’s been trying to get him to a mediator for 4 months. He seems completely delusional, that he is somehow going to be able to stay in the “new house” when she officially leaves (she is thinking about buying a friend’s house that worth about $$170K less than their current home).
She told him she was leaving in October and has been housesitting for said friend all this time. She has the kids about 3/5ths of the time.
My BIL bought my niece a blackboard at Christmas, installed it, too high and shrugged, “she’ll grow”. Totally delusional.
I’m really struggling to support her (and kind of him too, he is the father of my niece and nephew and always will be) but she just keeps crying, and he is in denial. He actually thought that I was going to be the mediator. 0_O
Today she talked to him seriously about money for the first time. He was thinking maybe he could move back into their old home next summer, but I crunched the numbers and he can’t carry that mortgage by himself. So now his solution is that she move back into the big house and they both live there, not as a couple.
Oh my gosh!
Now he is digging in his feet and saying he is not leaving their house. If she wants to go, fine, but he’s staying. And that just makes her cry more, and become paralyzed. Her friend is going to have to put her house on the market shortly, and then my sister will have no where to live, despite paying 2 mortgages!
Anon in NYC
My parents lived together during their divorce process because my father refused to leave. My mother consulted with her lawyer but there was nothing my mother could do to force him to leave. It was really awful and uncomfortable to visit, and I’m sure it was very stressful on my mother (it didn’t seem to bother my dad).
Does your sister have a lawyer yet? It sounds like she really needs someone to sit down with her and talk through her options.
Not so savvy sister
Yeah, that’s how she feels, that she won’t be able to get him to agree to put the house on the market even though she is not even living there, and pays everything except the utility bills.
Anon in NYC
My mother wound up buying my dad out during the mediations. She wanted the house, and she also didn’t want to make the sale of the house one of the pieces of the divorce – if both parties have equal say in the sale of the house there can be a lot of issues if one party doesn’t agree to a certain price, etc. Your sister needs a divorce lawyer asap – she really needs legal advice.
Killer Kitten Heels
Your sister needs to get herself a divorce lawyer – one for just her, not a mediator. Mediation works well when the parties are splitting amicably, when they have relatively similar assets/earnings, and when there aren’t huge disputes. Your BIL is delusional and is clearly not going to leave the “new” house without a fight. Fighting needs to be done in court, with a lawyer who is 100% fully and solely on your sister’s side, NOT with a mediator who is trying to represent both of their interests simultaneously.
Not so savvy sister
I did talk to a couple of my lawyer friends who are somewhat familiar with Quebec family law.
They seemed to think the mediator route was the way to go in this instance.
I am hoping that a visit to the mediator will put an end to his delusions of staying in the house, and her “imma pretend this is all going to magically fix itself”.
Killer Kitten Heels
It sounds like mediation is a bit different in Canada – in my (US) state, it’s pretty toothless absent a decent amount of agreeability from both parties.
Not so savvy sister
Quebec is very different from the rest of the provinces.
This sounds like they really need to decide what they want–legal separation? physical separation? divorce? Your sister really needs to talk to a family law attorney, stat, as the above poster said.
Not so savvy sister
She wants a divorce.
Moonlight and Valentino
Have you ever seen this movie? With Kathleen Turner and Whoopi Goldberg Gwyneth Paltrow and Jon Bon Jovi? It is totally cheesy and good for a big cry if you ever need it. I digress.
In the movie, KT plays the former stepmom of a young woman whose husband just died in a car accident. All of her friends and her sister are standing around wringing their hands while the grieving young widow cries and cries and no one knows what to do.
Then KT — big “career” woman — arrives and blusters through everyone and sets the young widow straight and she gets through first one day, and then another, and then she meets Jon Bon Jovi. I digress again.
After KT blows through town and sets the young widow on the right path to the rest of her life, Whoopi remarks, “She [KT] is a pill. But she is a very effective pill.” Because KT did what needed to be done.
I think your sister needs KT. Someone has to break the news to her that she needs to get this man O-U-T of her house and her life and pronto because the longer he lingers, the harder it will be and the worse the final outcome can become.
Not so savvy sister
I’ve been trying, trust me. I tried to get them to at least have an initial meeting with the mediator in October. She just wanted out, was offered the place to housesit and has been sticking her fingers in her ears singing “la la la” ever since.
Moonlight and Valentino
I have posted under a different name many times about divorce mediation and how, if not done properly, it is anti-help. At the very least, the mediator should make sure there is a parenting plan/schedule (not just a statement of legal and physical custody) in the order. In addition, there should be an agreement about tuition, summer camp/school fees and college tuition and other costs. Otherwise, especially with someone like him, it will be this bad for ever.
I will try to find my earlier posts. I will Google-brand-search this s-i-t-e and “parenting plan.” If I find, I will post.
Moonlight and Valentino
look for “parenting plan”
Moonlight and Valentino
Not so savvy sister
Not so savvy sister
My sister is in Quebec, where mediation is by far the most common method of disolving a marriage, and it is actually paid for by the province.
They only have $160K in home equity, and a small retirement account (my sister’s) as “liquid” assets.
I’m not saying you guys are wrong that she needs a lawyer but with so few assets, is it worth it?
What is the average lawyer bill in a divorce? She’s feeling really trapped right now.
Mediation only works if both parties show up. Since there is a time element here, I’d suggest she at least consult an attorney about her options. Going into mediation without understanding the legal and financial aspects of things seems like a recipe for unintended consequences at best and failure or bad outcomes at worst. You can’t will yourself into happiness when the chips are down–you have to take action. It may be that she can’t evict him. She might owe spousal support, etc. She needs to understand all of this to know what points she can give on and which ones he’s already won by virtue of staying/refusing to go to mediation.
Not so savvy sister
Update: he has agreed to go to the mediator (although I don’t know if he will listen to the mediator either). If that meeting does not go well, she will speak to a lawyer.
Interesting fact, it seems that lawyers and mediators often team up in Quebec.
She will likely owe child support (which she is more than willing to pay but will suggest she pays for most of the kids stuff liek clothes and activities and daycare rather than paying him directly as he has a gambling problem, and I think he’d go for that), but likely not a ton in spousal support (Quebec is a bit different than other provinces)
Moonlight and Valentino
More stuff I learned when I married someone with kids and a high-conflict ex-spouse:
– always pay the provider of the services/goods for your kids directly (pay half the MD bill to the MD, pay half the tuition to the school, etc). NEVER give the money to the other parent. S/he will use it for something else and you will get debt collection letters from the provider.
– never depend on the other parent to tell you what happened at school, at soccer/piano, and the MD etc. Go straight to the source and make sure the source knows that both parents are involved.
Killer Kitten Heels
I can’t speak to the average lawyer bill in Quebec, and I get that the assets don’t feel like all that much, but how many months’ worth of mortgages does your sister plan on paying while she waits around for this doofus to figure out what’s happening and actually show up for mediation? Unless there’s some way she can compel his presence at mediation without getting a lawyer of her own involved (not sure what the procedures are in Canada as I’m in the US), she needs a lawyer of her own to get the ball rolling.
Also, I’m concerned about doofus’ lingering in the house – his presence + her absence + the earning disparity, at least in the US, would have the potential to lead to a finding that she’d abandoned the marital residence, which would majorly harm any claim she might want to make to it down the road.
Anon in NYC
I can’t give advice on the legal system in Canada, but your sister needs someone who is going to represent her interests, because it doesn’t seem like she and her husband are on the same page. My parents divorce took about 2 years from the time they filed for divorce (they had separated for several months before filing), and they were both represented by counsel in mediation (and during the times when mediation came to a standstill and they needed to go to family court to have a court order to make progress).
Moonlight and Valentino
Deleted. Wrong place.
I am putting together a proposal for my boss to ask him to consider letting me work remotely from another state 100% of the time (with trips back at least once a month). Doe anyone have any suggestions for the best way to go about asking for this? Or, any tips for being a good remote employee?
I work remotely from my group, in a different time zone from most of them, and have done so for 3 years. My request was based on my spouse getting a new job, so it was understood that I would quit if they didn’t grant my request. So no tips on asking, but a few suggestions for being a good remote employee. First, since I’m in a different time zone, I’m very flexible about times calls are scheduled, even if it sucks for me. I’ve done more 5:00 a.m. calls than I can count, and had one four-month stint with a standing 4 a.m. call six days a week when the client was in a time zone eight hours ahead of mine. Second, when I first started working remotely, I would have a standing call every Monday to go over projects with my boss. At this point, we just talk when needed, but the formal structure at the beginning was helpful for him feeling like his needs were being met. Third, when I do travel to the office, I make a point of talking to people so they remember I exist, even though it means my days in the office aren’t productive. Fourth, I often pick up the phone and call people instead of sending an email because I think it is more effective for maintaining relationships. Last, I’ve found that since I am remote and lack visibility, I need to be more vocal about getting the opportunities I want. Good luck with your proposal!
As a remote employee, I think this is great advice. I was also in a situation where it was I quit or you let me work remotely, and they picked the later. Definitely make sure to be vocal about what you have accomplished and make sure to schedule routine calls with your boss and/or others who need to keep up with what you do. And when you are there in person, schedule lunches, happy hours, or just walk around to see colleagues and make sure to listen to what they have accomplished and also list yours. You do need to do more “look at how great I’m doing” when you are remote.
In your proposal, hopefully you are highlighting the benefits of having you work remotely. I have a few people who work in the Midwest and East Coast, and one advantage of that is that they can be “on call” for customer issues earlier in the morning. I will admit that usually they have to work late as well because their day doesn’t typically end at 5 PM EST, but they typically take breaks in the middle of the day for errands etc.
In your proposal, I think you probably have to answer two main questions that your boss will have: “what’s in it for me?” and “how will I know you’re still doing good work?” In many cases, the “what’s in it for me” is just that you continue working for them, if you would quit otherwise. But maybe you can bolster your case with other benefits, like the one mentioned above, or potentially being geographically closer to certain clients. I’m guessing that you’ll transition from commuting to working from home, so another potential benefit might be along the lines of “typically I have to leave at 4:00 to beat traffic but this change will allow me to be productive during the 8 hours / week I usually spend commuting”.
I would mention specific tools / methods that you plan to use to stay in the loop – consider offering a weekly status report emailed every week. When I interview people who want to work fully or partially remote, I always ask them about previous experiences they’ve had with remote work – if they felt they were successful, what lessons learned they had about adjustments their work style, etc.
I agree with everything stated above, especially around needing to be more vocal about picking up new opportunities. I will admit that although I try to be “equal opportunity” about giving people chances to explore new projects, things often wind up getting handed off to people in the office just because I am seeing and interacting with them more. I think the way around this is to be very clear when you are looking for new opportunities, especially if you know what area / topic. For example, I know that one of my remote employees really would like to work on a project involving a certain topic the next time one comes up – because she mentions it nearly every time we have a status meeting. Not in an irritating way, but typically along the lines of, “I’m still looking for work around X; I know you’ll let me know if anything comes up.”
Hopefully this is somewhat helpful!
I just requested and received permission to work remotely from a different state. Like the others, it was a “I will quit otherwise” request and my boss decided it was worth it to keep me. I will be very interested in the responses to this.
You guys, I just had the most glowing review of my career. I was even called a “model employee”!! Manager said so many nice things I thought my big inflated head was going to float off. Am walking on clouds now. Whee!
Congrats! Happy weekend!
Are your fab signature hats still going to fit now that your head is so big? ;)
la vie en bleu
I’m going on my first girls’ weekend in a couple weeks. There are three of us driving one car (so splitting gas will an expense). Hotel is paid for, but we will share meals (where we can probably ask for a split bill) and groceries. I am a little concerned because one woman does not always seem to pay for her fair share – when it’s pointed out, she does, but she seems to have an unintentional tendency to round down, etc. She admits she is terrible with money. Normally, I will throw $ at a problem like that to make it go away, but I need to be more careful with my expenses. Anyway, what’s the easiest way to split expenses? Have one person be the CFO? Add it all up in the end?
Something I did in a similar circumstance was come up with a “rough high” estimate of how much each of us would spend in gas & shared groceries. We each showed up with that amount of cash, which went into a single envelope from which we paid all the shared expenses. Then at the end of the weekend, we divvied up what remained.
Killer Kitten Heels
This is a great idea.
Also, maybe ask her up-front before the trip if she’s cool with someone else being CFO/counting the money? I’m really terrible at math, and I really have no problem at all being told “Hey, KKH, you’re $5 short” when I’m in these kinds of situations. If she’s not making a big deal out of this interactions and is willing to chip in more when asked, just ask. Don’t do that waffle-y thing where it’s like “Oh hey guys, we’re $5 short, does anyone know why? Can everyone check their math again?” if you know who is $5 short. Just tell the person.
I traveled around Europe with three friends just after university. What we did was actually to have one person (different person each time) pay for meals, gas, etc. and tally it up in a ledger as we went along. At the end of the trip we summarized who paid what – and split it so that any difference was paid – and no one paid for more than the others.
It was much easier for us to do it that way, instead of looking at the check and trying to figure out who should pay what then. Or trying to figure out each time we fueled the car, who should pay, or how to split it.
Even if someone ordered a more expensive meal on one occasion, it would all even out in the end, if we rotated paying for food. (Also helped that since we were driving almost constantly, there weren’t much alcohol at the meals.)
For groceries, if there was something that just one person wanted, they bought that themselves. If it was something for the whole group – it went into the book.
I use an app, Splitwise, for travel with friends. it keeps track of who owes what and at the end end we can pay via paypal, so you get the exact amount sans rounding.
Today someone at work emailed a few people and asked for assistance for a major project. There’s no definite timeline on the project, and it’s a huge opportunity for me, even though I would be assisting rather than leading. The two other people asked are also at my level. I volunteered and “got it” because I was first to respond, and that’s our unofficial code for these things. The other two have had great opportunities recently because they happened to respond first when asked. The problem? I’m pregnant, due in late summer. I overheard something to the effect of that they can’t believe I “took” it even though I’m pregnant. Based on what I overheard, I think the person I’m assisting is of this opinion as well. Even though she’s the one that handpicked the people to ask to volunteer and included me, and even though she has kids herself.
I’m not going to back off, and I’m going to do a damn good job. But I’m not happy at all.
Hugs to you. People say nasty things…don’t let it deter you.
I also wouldn’t assume that the same jacka$$ who said this nasty thing was properly conveying the feelings of the person who sent the opportunity.
Agreed – the person included you on the email so obviously felt you would be able to do a great job! I can envision the following conversation:
Jealous Person [being passive aggressive]: Wow, I was so surprised she volunteered for that…with the baby coming and all…
Opportunity-Sender [just being pleasant/not really listening]: Oh… sure, I guess…
Jealous Person [to friend]: …and Opportunity-Sender agreed! She couldn’t believe it either!!
Good for you. Don’t back down, you’ve got this! I’ve done some of the best work of my career while pregnant (especially in the 2nd trimester when all the energy comes back). Sorry you have to deal with some bad attitudes about it!
Good for you! You’ll have the last laugh when this is over. I agree with Former Biglaw about not assuming that the person you’re assisting felt the same way. There could be a thousand reasons why she did/said what she did, if that’s relevant.
Question–if you had a month off next August to travel anywhere on a limited budget (fine with staying at cheaper hotels or camping) where would you go? I have a ton of miles to fly anywhere in the world.
I’ve already done Glacier/Yellowstone
CA (native–have been all over)
Most of Western Europe (but not Vienna or Croatia)
Not sure I’d want to go to Asia in summer–so hot.
Skiing somewhere in the southern hemisphere – Las Lenas, Portillo, Refugio Frey, Craigieburn, Snowy Mtns… so many options!
Yep, definitely south or central america
Namibia, Angola, and Mozambique. My dream trip, and a good time of year to go. The biggest obstacle for me has been the cost of flights (and having more than 2 weeks off), so if you can get to Windhoek or Luanda, or even South Africa with miles, it would be a no brainer for me. Otherwise, I would do the far northern Scandinavian regions at that time of year.
I have done a lot of trips around this area and highly recommend them. If you end up doing this, feel free to email me at [email protected] and I can give some recs.
Skiing in NZ
CROATIA! You can travel cheaply there and not feel like you’re missing out. I feel like it’s still a somewhat “hidden” gem.
New to BigLaw
So, I’m about to leave a small law firm and move to a big law firm. Any advice on making the transition? How to prepare? What not to do? Things you wish you knew before you started?
Does anyone wear bun nets? I used to have some as a kid and just noticed a character wearing one on a 90s TV show… Would it be weird to wear one nowadays?
Yes, it would be weird. The only time I ever wore them was for dance competitions when you can’t have a strand out of place. In real life, it would look….severe.
Wait, do you mean the invisible ones? Or the thick, dark ones? Either way, tragically out of date.
The only non-weird way to wear one these days (and I mean the invisible ones) is over a bun for dance class/ dance show/ dance examination. When wearing a bun day-to-day I just go mad on the hairspray in the morning and make sure to have a few extra hair pins in my bag.
Weird is awesome, and I share your admiration for 90s TV fashion. There’s nothing scandalous about a bun net. It’s invigorating to not look like everyone else sometimes. Wear it if you want to.
Ha, I meant the pretty decorative ones, not clear or dark (usually jeweled). Sounds like too outdated for work, but I’ll feel free to rock that 90s throwback on the weekend. :)
These boots are possibly the most heinous pair of shoes I’ve ever seen.
I scored a casual coffee meeting with a big wig on Monday! I’m excited because I want to be in this person’s good graces. We were just at the same conference so we will have that to talk about. I’m also interested in a job that is rumored to open soon in her area. Any advice on what to talk about when you score a meeting like this?
More information about what you want to get out of the meeting/ what you would like to talk about for your own personal/professional purposes would be helpful. Congrats, and good luck :)
Help! What does one wear to a client dinner held after the daytime-events of a professional conference but before the evening/bar events of said conference? I am in a male-dominated field that is less formal than law (engineering, but not uber-casual tech). I am pretty junior so this is my first client dinner.
I have an LBD I was thinking of wearing (Tahari by Arthur S. Levine), it’s not revealing – has cap sleeves, high V neckline so no cleavage, but the only thing that gives me pause is it hits 1-2 in. above my kneecap standing. (I’m 5’7″. It would be perfect if I were 5’3″.) Is this a problem, or are dinners like this more evening-y attire so a small detail like just-above-the-knee hemline is nbd? I mean, I’ll have a napkin on my lap when sitting anyway, so it’s not like people will be looking at my legs… and if the dress is okay, do I wear a blazer? Yea or nay? (I think most people will be wearing jackets/blazers, but not suits, during daytime conference.) If the dress is not okay, what type of outfit should I be wearing? (i.e. would the dress be fine if knee length, or do I need to go full suit?)
Is there time to change between the conference and dinner? I’d just wear the suit I wore that day. If you wear a sheath dress suit you can always take off the jacket.
Former Partner, Now In-House
Agree with Wildkitten. This is exactly why She invented sheath dresses and jackets.
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